Saturday, April 20, 2013

Boston Lock-Down Shape of Things to Come?

Why does Boston celebrate Martial Law with chants of ‘USA, USA’?

by Patrick Henningsen -  21st Century Wire

Obama: ‘The people of Massachusetts now owe federal and local law enforcement a debt of gratitude’
Last night in Boston, following the apprehension of a 19 year old student suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, crowds poured on to the streets of Watertown and surrounding boroughs, celebrating what they believe was an end of their terrible ordeal which began on Monday.

In what looked more like an post-game celebration following a Boston Celtics NBA championship, or a Red Sox World Series victory - major media reported the communal outpouring of national pride where resident could be seen with painted faces, brandishing American flags, and heard shouting “USA, USA”.

How did Friday become such a huge ‘patriotic moment’ for the people of Boston? Was this some kind of victory for America?

President Obama also emerged from ‘The Situation Room” in typical Hollywood fashion, to inform the people of New England that they “owed a debt of gratitude to federal and local law enforcement officers and officials”.

Was it really a success?

The Voice of America has called it, “A Week of Terror” in Boston.

But other than mustering en mass and on cue, many are still left asking this question of the 9,000 law enforcement, “What have they actually done so far?”

It seems that the biggest urban dragnet in US history could not manage to find the suspect, who was eventually found by a neighbor having a cigarette break.

What is obviously clear by the public reaction, and by the incessant grandstanding by a handful of officials at multiple press briefings, was that the people of Boston had been conditioned to believe that an overwhelming police and military show of force in Boston was necessary in order to ‘make them feel safe’.

For federal and local officials, this was their own personal ‘Katrina moment’, and the media circus scrum saw a number of individuals and departments almost competing for air-time in a bid to make their own corner of the crisis relevant while the national media spotlight was still fresh. The words of former White House chief of staff Rahm Emmanuel can be heard echoing through Boston:

“Never let a good crisis go to waste”…

The city of Boston was effectively closed down under military-style dictum that included the closure of the city MBTA public transport system, Taxis taken off the road, restricted curfews, bank closures, business closures, police taking over public areas for ‘staging’, door to door searches of homes, and something which was not reported, and unsurprisingly so, the military commandeering of Boston police scanner communications in the early hours of Friday morning. Drivers heading in and out of city arteries could see the signs which read in bright letters, “Shelter-in-place in effect in Boston”, which was an order to stay indoors.

Boy held is still only ‘a suspect’

Here another major point which seems to be lost on everyone from the President downwards – the 19 year old held in custody is still only ‘a suspect’. After the largest man-hunt in New England history, with an estimated 9,000 local and federal police, hundreds of bomb squad workers and SWAT Team marksman, anti-terror specialists and a visible contingent of heavy military vehicles – all spread throughout Boston conducting house-to-house searches, patrolling city neighborhoods – the 19 year old high school wrestling champion and University of Massachusetts Dartmouth student fugitive Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was miraculously located only blocks from the original shoot-out on the evening of April 18th. He has since been transferred to a local hospital and is said to be in serious condition due to gun shot wounds suffered some 24 hours before.

It was a bizarre spectacle – even by American standards, where under a federal mandate, the city of Boston went into complete lock-down for nearly 2 days, enacting what amounts to Martial Law, in order to apprehend one 19 year old suspect, who, based on the assessment of every pundit on every local and major network (as well as the White House) had already been determined to be the most dangerous fugitive in US history. Even after being discovered nearly bleeding to death under a tarp covering a boat in someone’s Sommerville driveway, the feeding frenzy continued, along with accolades and tributes to the bravery of Boston’s 9,000 plus finest.

To call all of this over-the-top is an understatement for sure, but more than anything, it confirms what many already suspected – that faced with any threat – real or fabricated, and after pumping up with the corporate media machine and the new American police state, and in a macabre sort of fashion which has become almost unique to the post-9/11 American cultural mindset – they will clamour for Martial Law in their communities. Naturally, and with this Boston example offered as clear proof, authorities, technocrat and the architects of the new American police state now know this is indeed the case.

For all this it seems, the Commander ‘n Chief felts that America owes this new over-arching Police State a “debt of gratitude”.

Who benefits?

Who benefits from this week’s events? Do the people of Boston, or the American people benefit from the events of the last few days? As the dust settles, there are a few clear beneficiaries of this regrettable incident.

MA Governor Deval Patrick took advantage of his own ”Chris Christie Moment” (of Hurricane Sandy fame in New Jersey), no doubt with his eye on a Presidential run in the future. The Boston Chief of Police Ed Davis also managed to get in front of the national media, but with very little to say… that was worth saying.

After this event, the TSA and the DHS will almost certainly be given new jurisdiction over all major professional and college sporting events, as well as any large public gatherings, festivals and concerts. In light of the recent budget sequester debate in Washington DC, you can also expect that their operating budgets will expand, which means many more billions will be awarded in federal contracts from those departments. The surveillance industry will also benefit.

In a segment which aired this morning on MSNBC’s Rock Center, a network ‘foreign affairs expert’ Richard Engel, claimed that the events of the last 48 hours somehow had serious “national security implications”. Now Americans can expect new powers, passed by law or by executive order, that will give the state increased power to spy upon their private lives and to seize their property or assets under the ever-expanding banner of national security.

Living in the American bubble

Regarding national security implications, Americans and their media experts might consider that during this week alone: Terrorist bombs killed hundreds of innocent civilians including: 75 in Iraq, in 18 in Pakistan, 35 in Somalia - with hundreds of others currently dying, injured and maimed in those countries, as well as others in Syria, Bangladesh, Mali and Thailand. Over the course of a year, these figures can be multiplied by two hundred.

It should also be pointed out to the experts and the people of Boston, that much of terrorist activity in these foreign countries has been not only fomented, but financed and at least in the case of Syria – actively supported their taxpayer dollars, and cynically used for political leverage by local, state and the White House Administration in the United States – in order to secure terror funding in the US, which has become the biggest single gravy train in US domestic history.

Suspects already tired in media

Beyond all the hype and guesswork making its way through the US super-spin cycle this week, it seems that the major stakeholders have still yet to ask for any evidence proving that these two brothers were the actual bombers. Neither of these two suspects fit anything resembling the profile of terrorist, not is it likely they would be able to execute the operation which took place last Monday.

For those who are awake to this fact, there is a lot of evidence here and here to suggest that they may not be the culprits of Monday’s Boston Marathon Bombing.

PHOTO: Tsarnaev brothers were likely set-up to
take the fall by FBI or other federal officials.

More interestingly, MSNBC expert Engel also let slip on air that suspect number two, Dzhokhar, who is now in hospital care, “was probably being debriefed”. This was an odd phrase to attach to an alleged terrorist fugitive.

During the FBI ”manhunt”, officials asked the public to help them locate the two suspects believed to be behind the Boston Marathon bombings. Richard Des Lauriers, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Boston division, said that the public must in no way whatsoever ‘question the official account’ of this, and that the public must not look for any other explanation other than the one that was presented by the FBI:

“…these images should be the only ones, I emphasize, the only ones that the public should view to assist us. Other photos should not be deemed credible, and they unnecessarily divert the public’s attention in the wrong direction, and create undo work for vital law-enforcement resources.”

First they ask the public to crowd source evidence, and then they tell the public to ignore that same body of evidence, some of which can be seen here.

Which leads us to where we are right now – two suspects, one dead, one in serious condition.

Unanswered Questions

There are too many question left unanswered by federal investigators and media who seem quite content to leave the story where it is right now…

Firstly, why was a Saudi national let go early on and flown to Saudi Arabia by federal authorities.

Why were the two brothers suddenly labelled as the prime suspects on Thursday replacing the previous two names being pursued by Boston police, which was immediately followed by a shoot-out… a mere coincidence, or is there more to this than meets the eye?

In addition to these four names, a completely different third set of names appeared early on Tuesday, and also disappeared the following day.

Why were security ‘contractors’ seen standing next to bombs at the finish line, only to be seen quickly leaving before the bombs detonated?

Also, why did the FBI fake the surveillance video they released two days ago of the Tsarnaev brothers?

Did older brother Tamerlan have a FBI handler before this event? On first glance, the answer appears to be yes. There are now confirmed reports that Tamerlan was in fact interfacing with the FBI as far back 2011, where official sources have confirmed he was interviewed by the FBI.

In addition to this, the dead suspect mother claimed that her son was already being watched by the FBI for five years.
During an exclusive interview with RT yesterday the Tsarnaev boys’ mother explained, “He was controlled by the FBI, for three, five years”.
She added, “They knew what my son was doing, they knew what actions and what sites on the internet he was going. They used to come and talk to me, telling me that he was really a serious leader and they were afraid of him.”

Obviously, the people of Boston, and America, have not asked any of the right questions so far.

And don’t expect federal officials to challenge their own packaged story either.

SEE ALSO: Police State Overkill Leads to Martial Law in Boston Met AreaBOSTON SHOOTOUT: Boston Police and FBI release two different sets of names

IdleNoMore Unites with Shawnigan Watershed Roundtable to Protect Water

Shawnigan Lake Residents and IdleNoMore Come Together to Walk for the Watershed and Save Our Shawnigan Water!

by IdleNoMore and  Shawnigan Watershed Roundtable

April 20, 2013

SHAWNIGAN LAKE, BC Residents of Shawnigan Lake and the IdleNoMore movement will Walk for the Watershed on Sunday, April 21st.  Participants will meet at the Quw'utsun' Cultural and Conference Centre, leaving Duncan at 8am to walk to Shawnigan Lake to meet musicians, entertainers and concerned citizens at the rally for 2pm.

"The exiting government and the incoming government need to hear us when we say hands off our drinking water" says Georgia Collins, chair of the Shawnigan Watershed Roundtable, who will walk all the way from Duncan to Shawnigan Lake, greeting the residents and massive welcoming committee in the Shawnigan Lake Village. "To put any contaminants, not to mention some of the most pernicious chemicals in the world, at the headwaters of a drinking water supply is entirely inappropriate."

Collins will join Shawna Green from IdleNoMore who, like others in this movement, recognizes the importance of water. 

“Water is sacred and a home for fish and wildlife, we can stand up for the land, water, and the animals. Please join us and come add your voice. Let's rally in support of saving the water in Shawnigan Lake. Huy ch q'u for your support.” Green says.
"Environment Minister Terry Lake has given us his personal assurance that our drinking water is not at risk," Collins says. "We want him to know that the risk is too high. He guarantees there is no pollution today, but I don't think he can guarantee it for 5, 10 or 50 years down the road. Liners do leak".

This walk and rally demonstrate the need for everyone to work together to create a government and a society that prioritizes people’s health and the health and safety of our drinking water supplies.

Members of the public and media are encouraged to attend the walk and rally.



For further information, please contact:

Shawna Green, IdleNoMore
Georgia Collins, Chair of the Shawnigan Watershed Roundtable

Boston Bombings and The Long Strings of the Law: FBI Collusion and Cooperation with Suspects Revealed

Context and Contact: Exploring Agents of Influence in the Boston Attacks

by Chris Floyd - Empire Burlesque

Without wishing to indulge in deep-fried conspiracy gobbling at this point, I will say that the revelations about the FBI's prior involvement with one of the suspected Boston attackers, apparently going on for years, are of great interest. Even more so in the light of the fact that a very large number of the terrorist attacks and attempted terrorist attacks in the United States over the past two decades have turned out to have had significant FBI involvement, often in the form of outright provocation by FBI infiltrators, egging on and sometimes even planning attacks that were later "foiled" -- by the FBI.

This doesn't automatically mean that the FBI or other government agencies were "behind" the events in Boston; sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, and sometimes people do bad things without government prompting. But the consistent pattern of prior FBI involvement, in various degrees and at various stages, with people and groups that later go on to attempt or carry out violent actions cannot be ignored, and should be more thoroughly explored in this case. Particularly considering the fact the agency at first denied having any contact with the suspect -- until her mother outed them to the media. From CBS News:

Although the FBI initially denied contacting Tsarnaev, the brothers' mother said they had in an interview with Russia Today. Zubeidat Tsarnaeva said her son got involved in "religious politics" about five years ago, and never told her he was involved in "jihad."

She insisted the FBI "knew what he was doing on Skype" and that they counseled him "every step of the way."

Tsarnaeva went on to say that "they were controlling him, they were controlling his every step...and now they say that this is a terrorist act." That may or may not be true; certainly if I were the parent of someone in this situation, that's what I would want to believe. But the now-established involvement of the FBI, as well as the probable involvement of both the American and Russian intelligence agencies with Tamerlan Tsarnaev, should not be ignored when the reasons and roots behind the Boston attack and its bloody aftermath are explored.

That said, it is of course very likely that these connections will be ignored, as the well-worn narrative of "good boys turned bad by Islam" hardens into conventional wisdom. This narrative might be the truth in this case -- but it also works to the advantage of so many powerful forces. This is true not just for those opposing immigration in the the United States (that bloody shirt is already being waved frantically by many American politicians and other high-toned peddlers of racial and ethnic enmity), but even moreso for all those in power structures around the world who profit -- politically and financially -- from the vast engines of a military-security complex gorging on the fear of Islamic terrorism. (Other kinds of terrorism -- particularly the far more constant and far more murderous attacks of state terrorism -- don't bother them too much.)

Most immediately, this incident will greatly strengthen the military-security apparat in the United States and Russia, helping further demonize Muslims in general for the American apparatchiks and Chechens in particular for the Russians -- especially all those opposed to the brutal rule of the Kremlin and its satrap in Chechnya. But every political power structure that feeds on fear -- and which ones do not? -- will benefit from the crime spree in Boston, whatever its origins.

Again, these are just speculations, drawing on the few facts that are known at present, and putting them in the context of recent history. Perhaps the Tsarnaev brothers were lone operators: tormented individuals emerging from the brutal and brutalizing background of invasion, repression, violence and murder that characterizes modern Chechnya, who then internalized this violence and hatred, and sought, in anguish, ignorance and error, to expel it by directing it outward toward some generalized enemy, a demonized Other. Perhaps not. Perhaps other psychological factors were at work that we know nothing of at the moment. Perhaps not. Perhaps some agency or other of some military-security apparat somewhere seized on these troubled individuals and turned them toward the agency's own ends, with results that were either intended or else slipped far beyond the agency's wishes or control. Perhaps not.

But I think there are deeper contexts to the case -- whether these are restricted to the twisting of individual psyches by the greater geopolitical and cultural forces that have done so much pointless violence to us all, and in particular to the direct targets of massive power structures, such as Chechnya or, latterly, the Muslim world at large, or whether there are more specific involvements of military-security apparatchiks in the development of this murderous tragedy. Yet, as already noted, we will almost certainly see none of these deeper contexts explored in the earnest postmortems -- by politicians, pundits, academics and self-appointed "experts" of every stripe -- in the weeks and months to come.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Resurrecting Public Discourse in the Age of Extremism

We Are All Ideological Now (and Always Have Been) 

by Robert Jensen | except from Arguing for Our Lives: A User's Guide to Constructive Dialog.

Public discourse is more skewed than ever by the propaganda that big money can buy, with trust in the leadership of elected officials at an all-time low. The "news" has degenerated into sensationalist sound bites and the idea of debate has become a polarized shouting match that precludes any meaningful discussion.

It's also a time of anxiety, with economic and ecological crises on a global scale and stakes higher than ever. In times like these, it's essential that we be able to think and communicate clearly.

In this lively primer on critical thinking, Robert Jensen attacks these problems head-on in an accessible and engaging book which explains how we can work collectively to enrich our intellectual lives. Drawing on more than two decades of classroom experience and community organizing, Jensen shares strategies on how to challenge conventional wisdom in order to courageously confront the crises of our times, and offers a framework for channeling our fears and frustrations into productive analysis that can inform constructive action.

Jensen connects abstract ideas with the everyday political and spiritual struggles of ordinary people. Free of either academic or political jargon, this book is for anyone struggling to understand our world and contribute to making it a better place.

Politicians and pundits, on all sides, are quick to suggest that opponents are "blinded by ideology"; competing proposals that have been successfully tagged as excessively ideological are easy to dismiss as being impractical.

But the accusation begs a question: Does ideology always undermine our ability to understand the world? As so often is the case, that depends on how we define terms. In my experience, "ideology" gets used in three ways, and contemporary political debates could be enhanced by understanding the differences.

The first, and most common, definition is that sense of ideology-as-insult. "You are being too ideological" suggests your belief system is abstract, rigid, impractical, or fanatical. Used this way, ideology is something other folks have, which keeps them from seeing things clearly. The assumption is that there is a common-sense way of interpreting the world without resorting to a reality-distorting ideology.

This definition makes some sense; we have all been in discussions where it seemed clear that the other person was not open to all sides of a question but simply pressing a position out of a knee-jerk commitment to a belief system. If we were honest, we all could identify moments when we exhibited the same rigidity.

So, if we all have the capacity to get lost in our ideologies, who exactly are the folks we can trust to have that undistorted common-sense vision? The fact that we all know people who argue fanatically and seem incapable of real dialogue - people we tend to label "ideologues" - doesn't guarantee that anyone else has a crystal-clear, non-ideological view.

That leads us to a second definition, ideology-as-worldview. This more sociological perspective understands ideology as the set of social, political, and moral values, attitudes, outlooks, and beliefs that shape a social group's interpretation of the world. Understanding ideology as the framework within which we make sense of the world, it's clear that everyone has an ideology or ideologies, and there is no completely neutral inquiry into the world. Everyone starts with assumptions, and the assumptions we make matter.

Defined this way, no one is beyond ideology. Rather that hurl the label at others as an insult, this definition encourages us to critique other people's frameworks, and our own. By suggesting we develop our ideologies within social groups, this also prompts us to look at the larger context in which our views develop, rather than see them as the product of a purely individual effort.

The third definition is ideology-as-power. This critical view understands ideology as the beliefs of a ruling group, which are imposed on a subordinate group in ways that make the ruling ideas appear self-evident. From this perspective, ideology is a tool of the powerful that obscures the truth of social relations, and the assumption is that ideology should be critiqued to help people better understand their real place in society and resist injustice.

Many people identify this view of ideology with critiques of capitalism, the view that a ruling class uses its control over the ideological institutions (schools, universities, churches, mass media) to maintain this dominance and allow it to govern without the need for excessive coercion and violence. A similar argument is made by feminists analyzing male dominance, or critical race scholars and activists analyzing white supremacy. In most cases, these critics don't suggest the dominant group's ability to control ideas can't be resisted, but simply that those in charge have more powerful tools.

All three definitions are helpful. All of us, on any side of an issue, can sometimes fail to see how we can get trapped by our assumptions, limiting our ability to recognize evidence and analysis that challenge our views. We can counter that self-indulgence by acknowledging that we all have an ideology, or ideologies. And we can at the same time realize that all ideologies do not come with the same force behind them, and that people in power often use their resources to eliminate competing frameworks.

Rather than denying the role of ideology out of fear that it will poison political discourse, we should move ideology front and center, to encourage a substantive discussion of those underlying values, attitudes, outlooks, and beliefs. As we face unprecedented challenges economically and ecologically - as the stakes for our policy decisions get higher - we stand a better chance of finding meaningful solutions if all of us have the resolve to challenge our own ideologies.

Robert Jensen is a professor in the School of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin and board member of the Third Coast Activist Resource Center in Austin. He is the author of Arguing for Our Lives: A User's Guide to Constructive Dialogue (City Lights, 2013); All My Bones Shake: Seeking a Progressive Path to the Prophetic Voice, (Soft Skull Press, 2009); Getting Off: Pornography and the End of Masculinity (South End Press, 2007); The Heart of Whiteness: Confronting Race, Racism and White Privilege (City Lights, 2005); Citizens of the Empire: The Struggle to Claim Our Humanity (City Lights, 2004); and Writing Dissent: Taking Radical Ideas from the Margins to the Mainstream (Peter Lang, 2002). Jensen is also co-producer of the documentary film "Abe Osheroff: One Foot in the Grave, the Other Still Dancing" (Media Education Foundation, 2009), which chronicles the life and philosophy of the longtime radical activist. An extended interview Jensen conducted with Osheroff is online here.

Jensen can be reached at and his articles can be found online here.

Junking Europe's Carbon Markets

European Carbon Markets Fail - It's Time for Regulation


Patrick Bond: Carbon markets are now at "junk bond" status but US sabotages all attempts at binding emission targets.

Patrick Bond is the director of the Centre for Civil Society and professor at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. Bond is the author and editor of the books Politics of Climate Justice and Durban's Climate Gamble.

The Craft: Curious Characters Attend Boston Marathon

Why did FBI fake Boston Bomber surveillance video?

via 21st Century Wire  

[Special thanks to Before It’s News investigative reporter Alexander Higgins for getting this to us today, along with other important breaking info surrounding this Boston Bombing public disaster event…]

As reported exclusively on Before It’s News, the FBI surveillance video is in fact a digitally manipulated slideshow of still photos and not an actual video.

This is evidenced by the existence of ghost images appearing in between still photos in the so-called video as a transition effect is applied during the fade between frames.

As many in the alternative media have already pointed out special-ops were photographed all over the site of the Boston Marathon bombing before, during and after the attacks.

While there is speculation those photographed could be Navy Seals the overwhelming majority of the evidence points to those in the photograph being part of a for hire black-ops mercenary squad known as Tradecraft.

Shortly after Before It’s News reporter Alexander Higgins reported on the digitally manipulated slideshow the FBI and the media are fraudulently passing as actual surveillance video it was suggested the alteration may have been done to hide mercenary’s signature skull logo.

Upon asking why this may have been done it was suggested the video may very well have been altered to hide the tell-tale skull that is part of the Trade Craft insignia the alternative media is buzzing about..

After further investigating the so-called FBI surveillance “video” for signs of alteration it was immediately obvious that the images of the alleged suspects had possibly been altered to hide the fact they where in fact part of the black-ops team on site.

This image comparing the alleged suspect, which police say is still at large and is the man that physically planted both of the bombs, to the black-ops personnel photographed at the bombing.

Comparison Of Alleged Suspect To Black Op Mercanaries

To be clear here is an actual picture of the alleged suspected.

Actual image from the so-called video released by the FBI

Enlarging the image reveals a clear area that may have been digitally manipulated to hide the skull logo.

Altered Image in FBI Boston Bombing Surveillance Video

As previously noted:

FBI Bombing Suspect Surveillance Video Faked

For an explanation of why the video is clearly a slide show that is being faked into appearing to a video see this.

With mercenary firms around the globe now owned by Wall Street banks and acting as private armies for global elitists who are funded in most cases exclusively with US taxpayer money such ruthless thugs not loyal to our Constitution have no business conducting operations inside the United States.

It raises all kinds of questions about their presence which become even more intriguing when considering the main stream corporate media and law enforcement officials refuse to even acknowledge their presence at the bomb site nonetheless date attempt to explain why they were there and what they were doing.

Mike Adams from Natural News gives a good explanation of why the operatives are believed to be from the private mercenary firm Tradecraft.

Natural News has now confirmed that at least five private military contractors were operating on scene at the Boston marathon, and that they all carried black backpacks which look very similar to the backpack carrying the pressure cooker bomb (see pictures below).

The mainstream media is completely censoring any mention of these “Craft” operatives, pretending they don’t even exist. Only the alternative media is conducting real investigative journalism on these bombings. The mainstream media isn’t interested in the truth; they only want to spin the attack into a new way to somehow blame conservative Americans for something they had no part in.

Thanks to the help of researchers posting on 4Chan, plus a bit of our own analysis, we’ve been able to bring new research to light as you’ll see in the photos below.

Who is this guy and what is he holding in his hand?

The following photo was snapped mere moments after the first bomb detonation. Many people are asking, “Who is this guy?” and why is he dressed in combat boots and military BDUs (pants)? More importantly, what is he carrying in his hand?

We were able to get a close-up of the object in his hand:

With a bit of research, we were able to confirm this object is an “Inspector Radiation Alert” device that detects the kind of radiation which would be produced in a dirty bomb attack or a nuclear attack:

This immediately brings up all sorts of questions, such as: Who hired this guy? Whose side is he on? Why would he anticipate the need for a nuclear radiation detector? What kind of private military operative routinely carries such expensive gadgets?

Four more operatives with the exact same uniforms

As we browsed through the photos, we located four more private military operatives with the exact same dress: Tan combat boots, tan BDUs, black jackets, black backpacks and tactical communications gear.

Here’s a picture of three of these men reacting to the explosion. The one in the middle is the same guy in the radiation detector photo, above:

There are several things worth noting in this image:

1) All three of the men look surprised, even shocked by the events. This might argue against their prior knowledge of the bombings.

2) The object in the right hand of the man in the middle may resemble a small handgun, but I’m sure it isn’t. Why? Because no highly trained private military operative would carry a handgun with a “pincer” grip as appears in the photo. A proper grip on a handgun is far deeper into the palm. This object is most likely the same radiation detector shown above, just captured from a weird angle with a flapping leather case of some sort.

3) The man on the left, an older gentleman, appears to be holding an object in his right hand which seems capable of being actuated with his thumb.

4) The man on the right reveal “The Craft” skull logo on his shirt because his jacket just happened to open up for this photo (see below).
Here’s a photo comparison of “The Craft” logo on his shirt:

Here are two more operatives on the scene, wearing the exact same uniform:

If you look at the hat for one of these men, you can clearly see “the Craft” skull logo on his hat:

Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle was also a member of The Craft. He was murdered by one of his close friends a few months ago. The appearance of The Craft operatives at the Boston marathon bombing raises new questions about Chris Kyle’s death:

Here’s Chris Kyle on national TV wearing the “Craft” hat:

Here’s the Craft motto, which says “Violence does solve problems.”

If you still doubt these are “Craft” operatives, check out The Craft website where all these images, logos and uniforms are instantly confirmed.

Bomb bag resembles the black backpacks worn by The Craft operatives

Here’s where all this gets incredibly spooky: The backpack that carried the pressure cooker bomb looks very similar to the black backpacks worn by The Craft operatives:

Wobbling on the Axis: What's America's Final Position on N. Korea's Nukes?

Enter Realpolitik

by Peter Lee - China Hand

Is the US Thinking About Backpedaling on North Korean Nukes? Will the Pivot Go Wobbly?

Will President Obama become a late and unlikely convert to realpolitik and allow John Kerry to sacrifice America’s nuclear non-proliferation principles on the battered altar of North Korean diplomacy?

And will the fearsome pivot to Asia turn into a dainty pirouette, an American pas de deux with China as the two great powers search for a way to dance around the North Korean nuclear problem?

Potentially, the North Korean nuclear crisis is a good thing for the US and South Korea--and perhaps even for China!—if President Obama is ready to bend on some cherished non-proliferation beliefs.

That’s what the North Korean leadership is begging him to do, amid the nuclear uproar.

His Secretary of State, John Kerry, seems to be interested in getting, if not on the same page, in the same chapter with North Korea, and maybe pick up a geopolitical win (with Chinese acquiescence) similar to the successful effort to push Myanmar (Burma) out of its exclusive near-China orbit.

John Kerry is very much the pragmatist—normalization of US-Vietnam relations was his signature geostrategic success as US Senator—and apparently would enjoy negotiating with the North Koreans and weaning them away from the Chinese at the cost of finessing the nuclear weapons issue.

On the occasion of his press conference in Seoul on April 12, Secretary Kerry had some interesting things to say.

First, in a backhanded way, he repudiated the previous policy of non-engagement, saying [President Park] “wants to try to do to change a mold that obviously has not worked very effectively over the last years”.

Secondly, on the nuke issue he stated:

North Korea will not be accepted as a nuclear power.

Kerry made the remark in the context of opening the door a crack to discussions, not trying to rally an international coalition to remove an entrenched DPRK nuclear weapons program that otherwise is clearly not going anywhere.

I don’t think I’m reading too much into this statement to interpret it to mean “It will be unacceptably embarrassing to the United States if North Korea tries to compel formal US acceptance of North Korean nukes along the lines of the bullshit deal we did with India, so Pyongyang better be prepared to throw me a goddam bone like, hey, we are also committed to the eventual denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.”

Or, in Kerry-speak:

They simply have to be prepared to live up to the international obligations and standards which they have accepted, and make it clear they will move to denuclearization as part of the talks, and those talks could begin.

It also remains to be seen if President Obama will agree with Secretary Kerry (who, I believe, is not a member of the President’s true inner circle temperamentally or ideologically) that some incremental and perhaps temporary improvement in the North Korean situation is adequate compensation for the muddying of the US pivot and non-proliferation messages.

President Obama’s decision will probably hinge on whether he decides that recent leadership changes—and the potential for tectonic realignments in the region’s geopolitics—present an opportunity worth seizing.

To understand why, one has to look at the complicated geopolitical relations of the major players, the rivals, and the haters, especially South Korea.

All five of the nations directly involved in the current imbroglio on the Korean peninsula experienced leadership transitions over the last six months, either through election (US, Japan, and South Korea), selection (the People’s Republic of China), or demise (the DPRK-- Democratic People’s Republic of Korea—a.k.a. North Korea).

The most important change was the one least noticed in the West: the election of Mdme. Park Geun-hye as president of South Korea.

Mdme. Park succeeded Lee Myung-bak, whose intransigent “MB” policy toward North Korea had frozen Korean diplomacy for the last six years.

Mdme. Park’s stated intention is to mix some carrot with the stick in what she calls “trust-politik” in a quest for reunification. She has put engagement and discussions back on the proposed North-South agenda.

Since the ROK, as the frontline state with the most skin in the Korean game, holds a de facto veto over US North Korean policy, Mdme. Park’s shift means that the Obama administration has the option of transitioning from the policy of “strategic patience” a.k.a. malign neglect that prevailed during the Lee Myung-bak years, to consideration of some kind of engagement with Pyongyang in coordination with Seoul.

Unfortunately, what Pyongyang really needs is something that the United States is loath to grant: some kind of diplomatic and economic rapprochement that includes acceptance of the DPRK’s nuclear weapon and missile programs, which provide the best assurance of continued US forbearance, engagement, and, potentially, active and positive interest in the regime’s survival.

The administrations of George W. Bush and Barack Obama can shoulder much of the blame for North Korea’s unwillingness to abandon its nukes. For North Korea, the Iraq invasion highlighted the dangers of being nuke-free in the face of US antipathy; the Libyan adventure (which occurred after Libya’s full denuclearization, return to the good graces of the IAEA, a multi-billion dollar financial settlement, the opening of Libya’s oil industry to Western exploitation, and a restoration of diplomatic relations and security exchanges with the United States) demonstrated that surrendering one’s nukes in return for rapprochement could quickly turn into a death sentence.

It is now generally accepted in the foreign policy establishment that the DPRK in its current configuration will never give up its nuclear weapons. Indeed, as the current crisis demonstrates, North Korea is committed to testing and improving its arsenal as quickly as possible under the cover of the general uproar.

The nuclear embarrassment is compounded by the fact that North Korea is not content to wait passively for whatever policies that the US and ROK jointly decide, in the spirit of mercy or malice, to impose on the DPRK.

Although the ROK’s new interest in reducing tensions on the peninsula is a prerequisite for America taking another bite out of the rather gamey North Korean negotiating apple, the DPRK does not like to see the United States deferring to Seoul on North Korea issues and thereby letting the initiative pass to South Korea.

It doesn’t want discussion to focus on the ROK’s priority—reunification-- which would give the whip hand to President Park and deprive Pyongyang of the opportunity to play divide and rule and lure the United States into a deal that might suit Washington’s geopolitical obsessions (like sticking a finger in China’s eye) while giving shorter shrift to awkward South Korean priorities (like reunification-related reforms, further economic and investment goodies for the ROK in the North or at the very least the promise of some better behavior from Pyongyang).

In order to suit its US-centric negotiating strategy, the DPRK wishes the North Korean issue framed in the context of the US priority--nuclear security.

So the DPRK turns to its cherished geopolitical card, actually its only geopolitical card, nuclear brinksmanship, in order to demand that the world negotiate with it on its terms—and the United States, as the self-professed guarantor of Asian security and godfather of the global nuclear weapons non-proliferation regime, negotiate directly with Pyongyang instead of huddling with Seoul.

This must be an extremely aggravating dilemma for the White House.

North Korea is, after all, a Burma en ovo—in other words, a socialist Asian regime eager to normalize relations with the United States and free itself of its utter dependence on the overbearing and exploitative mandarins of the PRC for access to Western trade, investment, technology, and diplomatic good offices.

And the DPRK is, through its nuclear posturing, is yelling It’s time for the DPRK and USA to get into a room alone, without the ROK and the PRC, and make a deal that suits us both!

Hwever, explicitly accepting North Korea’s nuclear weapons program is a tough sell for President Obama, for reasons that go beyond the danger of a nuclear DPRK, a stated adversary of the US and ROK (relations are still governed by the armistice that ended the Korean War, and no peace treaty has been signed), or the awkwardness of disappointing the Nobel Peace Prize committee (which awarded the coveted tin to President Obama in anticipation of his future contributions to nuclear non-proliferation, not what he had already done a.k.a. zip).

The key obstacle to adopting a live and let live attitude toward North Korea’s nukes is that neither South Korea nor Japan are interested in living as non-nuclear neighbors to a North Korea that is happily and aggressively developing its nuclear weapons and missile assets.

Thanks to some dubious decision-making by the United States, Japan is a de facto nuclear weapons power, already possessing the technology, space program, and plutonium metal needed to weaponize its nuclear industry.

The Republic of Korea would like to tread the same path as Japan, and is attempting to renegotiate its main nuclear disadvantage vis a vis Japan—the US refusal to let South Korea “close the fuel cycle” i.e. perform the extraction and refining of plutonium from fuel rods on a variety of plausible pretexts, such as the ROK’s need to offer a full slate of nuclear fuel services as it competes with Japan to sell reactors to the Middle East, or in order to reduce the load of spent fuel rods in its overcrowded cooling ponds.

For its part, the United States is trying to keep the ROK/Japan nuclear weapons genies in the bottle (or, in the case of Japan, try to pretend that the stopper has not already been removed) since, in a region suddenly bristling with prosperous, nuke-wielding powers, the US would be well on the way to losing its self-claimed role as essential security guarantor, arms-race preventer, and beloved pivoteer in the West Pacific.

When Secretary Kerry touts “denuclearization of the Korean peninsula” he is also messaging to South Korea that the United States, for selfish as well as good reasons, would like to see the ROK to eschew its own nuclear weapons ambitions and find some other way to manage the unpleasantness of the DPRK’s program.

Ironically, this puts the US on the same page with China, albeit for different reasons (China has reason to worry about actually getting blown up by local nukes, not just suffering an embarrassing loss of regional stature).

However, it appears that the easy solution to the whole regional nuclear arms mess—denuclearizing the DPRK—is not feasible.

The difficult solution—finessing the DPRK nuclear program while managing the anxieties and opportunism of Japan and the ROK—is beyond the unaided efforts of the United States.

The combined, genuine, and active good offices of China, the ROK, and the US are probably required to reassure and reward the DPRK’s understandably paranoid leadership and perform the well-nigh impossible feat of transitioning North Korea from the scary and unacceptable “impoverished dangerous dingbat nuclear weapons dictatorship” category to the acceptable class of “rapidly developing junior partner in Asian prosperity that just happens to be a single-party authoritarian state with nuclear weapon and missile capabilities”, in other words a mini-China.

The United States continues to gag on the nuclear weapons issue, both for some very good reasons relating to the potential for a regional nuclear arms race and a subsequent decline in US clout, and the expectation born of rich experience that whatever deal is made with the DPRK will quickly turn to shit.

But, judging by Secretary Kerry’s remarks, Washington may be enticed by the idea that an incremental US geopolitical win on North Korea and a general easing of Asian tensions might be adequate compensation for the sacrifice of nuclear non-proliferation principles.

The Obama administration, whose first term China policy was characterized by the relentless (and to my mind, counterproductive) zero-sum tensions of the Asian pivot executed by Secretary of State Clinton, may be thinking about using the North Korean crisis as the opportunity for a reset of US-China relations through the incremental pursuit of win-win scenarios under Secretary Kerry.

In a hopeful sign, the discourse over North Korea has recently moved beyond simple-minded and futile US chest-thumping military displays to some convoluted US messaging apparently inviting China to participate in the North Korean slicing and dicing with the prospect that, in return, the China-containment element of the Asian pivot might be soft-pedaled.

China, intent on sustaining the viability of its North Korean buffer/de facto economic subsidiary, has not yet responded in any meaningful way to Secretary Kerry’s blandishments.

Beijing will probably wait and see if the US can find its own way out of the denuclearization cul-de-sac and offer the plausible prospect of a viable North Korean state that has not become a US/South Korean proxy antagonistic to China (in other words, a socialist state that has partially reconciled with the West but somehow retained its nuclear and missile capabilities).

However, Beijing has already resigned itself, albeit grudgingly, to dilution of its once total domination of Myanmar/Burma, and, as tussles within the editorial suites of the official Chinese media reveal, is obviously debating the possibility that distancing itself from North Korea might be acceptable and even a good thing for China.

The flip side to Chinese equivocation over North Korea is the PRC’s determination to ingratiate itself with the Park administration, and wean the ROK (whose economic importance to China vastly outweighs that of the DPRK) away from the US/Japan security axis into a closer diplomatic and economic relationship with China. It would be logical, therefore, to expect that the PRC will cautiously partner with the ROK—and through it, the US-- on its North Korean initiatives, if only to smooth the PRC-ROK relationship.

So the stars may be aligning for something sensible to happen on North Korea.


Breaking: Watertown Firefight

Breaking: Watertown Firefight

by Lori Price - CLG

Breaking: Explosions, gun battle in Watertown, Mass. --Witness: Police 'suiting up with machine guns' --Multiple explosive devices -- including hand grenades -- are on scene --Explosions heard --Watertown 'on lockdown' --Multiple police agencies descending on Watertown 19 Apr 2013 (Wires) [This story will be updated.]

Breaking: Police search for suspects after gunfight outside Boston; explosives reportedly detonated --Dozens of officers and National Guard members descended on Watertown early Friday - Associated Press 19 Apr 2013 Police in Watertown, Mass., reportedly were in a gun battle with two suspects who may have been involved in the shooting death of an MIT police officer early Friday. Local news reports said the suspects had thrown and detonated explosives from their car. An FBI official told Fox News early Friday that one person was in custody and an officer was down but said it was too early to tell if the police activity in Watertown or MIT shooting were related to the Boston Marathon bombing.

Police officer shot to death at Massachusetts Institute of Technology --Campus-wide emergency alert issued 19 Apr 2013 A police officer for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology was shot to death on Thursday night at the school's Cambridge campus, authorities said, adding no suspects were in custody. MIT police were investigating the shooting and had issued a campus-wide emergency alert. Massachusetts State Police and Cambridge police said they were assisting in the investigation. The shots "were reported near Building 32...which is currently surrounded by responding agencies," MIT said in an emergency statement warning students to "stay indoors and away from the area."

P6 Pushback: Montrealers Amass for Monday Demos Against Anti-Democratic Convergence Bill

Press Point & “Action”
Monday, April 22, 2013, 10am
in front of the Palais de justice
(corner of St-Laurent & Notre-Dame)
Contact: - 438-838-8498

Press conference called by the Anti-Capitalist Convergence of Montreal (CLAC) with the participation of endorsing organizations.

At least 62 grassroots community groups in Montreal are announcing their intention to not respect the anti-protest municipal by-law.

Public Statement: Solidarity against police repression in Montreal: We will not submit to the municipal by-law P-6
(below or linked here:

(April 19, 2013, Montréal) While conservative attacks from all directions weaken the thin social safety net (cuts to welfare, employment insurance reform, etc.) and further impoverish the majority of the population (health tax, tuition fee increases, hydro fees, increased bus fares, etc.), a municipal by-law is being used to prevent effective responses to these anti-social policies.

"In the current context of austerity, it’s not surprising that grassroots groups refuse to give the police the arbitrary power to decide on the choice of routes and symbolic targets with a particular political significance. This would give law enforcement a political role, influencing the message of social demands. Relinquishing the power to express popular discontent would jeopardize the ability to defend social rights currently under attack," says Rocky Raccoon, co-spokesperson of the CLAC.

Paddy Tinerehr co-spokesperson of the CLAC, adds: "Rights are best defended by asserting them! That’s what at least 62 grassroots organizations are doing by refusing to give up their right to demonstrate to the goodwill of the SPVM.”

Media Contacts:
Rocky Raccoon & Paddy Tinerehr,
spokespersons for the Anti-Capitalist Convergence (CLAC)
Tel.: 438-838-8498
Solidarity against police repression in Montreal: We will not submit to municipal by-law P-6

With this public declaration, we assert our opposition to by-law P-6: we will continue to demonstrate without negotiating our demo routes with police, and we will systematically challenge all tickets that arise from this by-law.

The past year has been marked by an escalation of police repression against political protesters in Montreal. As our political movements take to the streets in larger numbers, with more frequency and militancy, we are attacked more brutally and arbitrarily than ever, with batons, pepper spray, tear gas, sound grenades, and rubber bullets. Our friends are mass arrested, humiliated, kettled, and in many cases badly injured.

Within this context of police escalation against political protesters, the Montreal police (SPVM) are attempting to normalize another practice: arresting demonstrators before they can even begin to demonstrate, or even gather to demonstrate. Three times within one week - March 15 on the International Day Against Police Brutality; March 18 before a planned night demo; and March 22 on the anniversary of student strike protests - the Montreal police stopped demonstrations before they could begin by surrounding protesters with riot police and arresting them en masse, in the hundreds. One clear goal of the police tactic is to scare demonstrators, and potential demonstrators, from taking to the streets

The SPVM can't be bothered to make criminal charges. Instead, they use municipal by-law "P-6" which makes demonstrations that don't provide an advance itinerary to thepolice to be a contravention of the by-law. A municipal by-law offense is not a criminal charge, it's the equivalent of a parking ticket. However, the P-6 offence was raised to more than $500 ($637 with fees) for a first offence last May in the context of the student strike movement.

The P-6 by-law prohibits “obstructing the movement, pace or presence” of citizens who are also using public space at the same time. How can we take the streets without obstructing vehicular or pedestrian traffic? Moreover, the P-6 by-law demands not only communicating demo routes in advance, but also the approval of our routes by thepolice. This is the equivalent of giving the police the arbitrary power to refuse our routes if they judge them to be too disruptive, and also to prevent marching to locations that have been chosen as political “targets.”

We refuse to negotiate with the police our freedom of expression, our right to demonstrate and our right to disrupt the existing social, political and economic order that we consider profoundly unjust and illegitimate.

Part of the response is in our hands, as part of grassroots, autonomous community organizations. There is no obligation to provide the police our demo routes, and the Montreal police in particular, who abuse their authority with impunity, don't deserve any accountability from us. Instead, we're accountable to each other, and the social movements we come from. We always retain the right to protest spontaneously, and with demo routes that reflects our needs and demands.

In the face of police repression, let's take back the streets with our weapons of solidarity and support.

This public statement is endorsed by:

La Convergence les luttes anticapitalistes (CLAC)
Anarchopanda pour la gratuité scolaire
Action Anti-Raciste / Anti-Racist Action (ARA)
Alliance des étudiants et étudiantes en beaux-arts à Concordia (FASA)
Apatrides anonymes
Assemblée populaire et autonome de Hochelaga-Maisonneuve (APAQ-Hochelaga)
Assemblée populaire autonome de Montréal (APAM)
Assemblée populaire et autonome du Plateau Mt-Royal (APAQ-Plateau)
Assemblée populaire et autonome de Villeray (APAQ-Villeray)
Association étudiante de service social de l'Université de Montréal (AÉSSUM)
Association facultaire étudiante des arts (AFEA-UQÀM)
Association facultaire étudiante de science politique et droit (AFESPED-UQÀM)
Association facultaire étudiante des sciences humaines (AFESH-UQÀM)
Association pour la liberté d’éxpression (ALÉ)
Association pour une solidarité syndicale étudiante (ASSÉ)
Centre de travailleurs et travailleuses immigrants (CTI)
Centre des femmes d'ici et d'ailleurs
Centre des femmes de Verdun
Cinema Politica Concordia
Coalition Justice pour les victimes de bavures policières
Collectif de la Marche des lesbiennes de Montréal / Montreal Dyke March Collective
Collectif opposé à la brutalité policière (COBP)
Collectif de solidarité anti-coloniale / Anti-Colonial Solidarity Collective
Comité logement Ahuntsic-Cartierville
CKUT Steering Committee
La Cuisine du peuple
Dignidad Migrante
L'Ensemble de l'insurrection chaotique
Les Frères et Soeurs d'Émile-Nelligan
Front d'action populaire pour le réaménagement urbain (FRAPRU)
Graduate Student Association (GSA) at Concordia
Guet des Activités Paralogiques, Propagandistes et Antidémocratiques (GAPPA)
Independent Jewish Voices-Montreal
Justice climatique Montréal / Climate Justice Montreal
Maille à Part
Midnight Kitchen at McGill
Montréal-Nord Républik
Mouvement Action-Chômage de Montréal (MAC)
Organisation populaire des droits sociaux de la région de Montréal (OPDS-RM)
People's Potato at Concordia
Personne n’est illégal / No One Is Illegal-Montréal
La Pointe Libertaire
POPIR-Comité Logement
Projet Accompagement Solidarité Colombie (PASC)
QPIRG Concordia
RadLaw McGill
R.A.S.H. Montréal
Réseau de la Commission populaire / People’s Commission Network
Résistance citoyenne de Québec
Société Bolivarienne du Québec
Solidarité sans frontières
Student Print Association at Concordia
Syndicat des étudiant-e-s employé-e-s de l'UQÀM (SÉTUE)
Syndicat étudiant du Cégep de Marie-Victorin (SÉCMV)
2110 Centre for Gender Advocacy
Union communiste libertaire (UCL)
Université Populaire des Sciences de l'Information (UPopSi)
[Media Advisory] [For immediate release]


America Assailing Venezuelan Democracy Yet

The US Continues to Undermine Democracy in Venezuela

by Daniel Kovalik - CounterPunch

I just returned from Venezuela where I was one of 170 international election observers from around the world, including India, Guyana, Surinam, Colombia, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Scotland, England, the United States, Guatemala, Argentina, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Ethiopia, Jamaica, Brazil, Chile, Greece, France, Panama and Mexico.

Proud Voter: Acevedo, Venezuela. 
Photo: Dan Kovalik 2013

These observers included two former Presidents (of Guatemala and the Dominican Republic), judges, lawyers and numerous high ranking officials of national electoral councils. What we found was an election system which was transparent, inherently reliable, well-run and thoroughly audited.

Indeed, as to the auditing, what has been barely mentioned by the mainstream press is the fact that over 54% of all votes are, and indeed have already been, audited to ensure that the electronic votes match up with the paper receipts which serve as back-up for the electronic votes. And, this auditing is done in the presence of witnesses from both the governing and opposition parties right in the local polling place itself. I witnessed just such an audit at the end of election day on Sunday. And, as is the usual case, the paper results matched up perfectly with the electronic ones. As the former Guatemalan President, Alvaro Colom, who served as an observer, opined, the vote in Venezuela is “secure” and easily verifiable.

In short, the observers’ experience this past week aligns with former U.S. president Jimmy Carter’s observation last year that Venezuela’s electoral system is indeed the “the best in the world.”

And so, what were the results of the election? With an impressive 79% of registered voters going to the polls, Nicolas Maduro won by over 260,000 votes, with a 1.6 percentage point margin over Henrique Capriles (50.7 to 49.1 percent). While this was certainly a close race, 260,000 votes is a comfortable victory, certainly by U.S. election standards. Thus, recall that John F. Kennedy beat Richard Nixon in 1960 with 49.7% of the vote to Nixon’s 49.6%. In addition, George W. Bush became President in 2000, though losing the popular vote to Al Gore, with 47.87% of the vote to Gore’s 48.38 percent, and with the entire race coming down to several hundred votes in Florida. And, while the State of Florida itself decided that it was necessary to have a hand re-count of the ballots there, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned this decision and blocked the re-count. In none of these cases did any nation in the world insist upon a recount or hesitate in recognizing the man declared to be the winner. Indeed, had a country like Venezuela done so, we would have found such a position absurd. The U.S.’s current position vis a vis Venezuela is no less absurd.

The U.S.’s position is all the more ridiculous given its quick recognition of the coup government in Paraguay after the former Bishop turned President, Fernando Lugo, was ousted in 2012, and its recognition of the 2009 elections in Honduras despite the fact that the U.S.’s previously-stated precondition for recognizing this election – the return of President Manual Zelaya to power after his forcible ouster by the military – never occurred. Of course, this even pales in comparison to the U.S.’s active involvement in violent coups against democratically-elected leaders in Latin America (e.g., against President Arbenz in Guatemala in 1954, against President Allende in Chile in 1973, and against President Aristide in Haiti in 2004).

And, the U.S.’s failure to recognize the Venezuelan elections is having devastating consequences in Venezuela, for it is emboldening the Venezuelan opposition to carry out violence in Venezuela in order to destabilize that country. Unlike Al Gore in 2000 who stepped aside for George W. Bush in the interest of his country and the U.S. Constitution, the Venezuelan opposition, being led by Henrique Capriles, clearly wants to foster chaos and crisis in Venezuela in order to topple the Maduro government by force (just as the same forces represented by Capriles forcibly kidnapped and briefly overthrew President Chavez, with U.S. support, in 2002). Thus, reasonably believing itself to have the backing of the U.S. and its military, the opposition is causing mayhem in Venezuela, including burning down clinics, destroying property, attacking Cuban doctors and destroying ruling party building. In all, 7 Venezuelans are dead and dozens injured in this opposition-led violence.

There is no doubt that the U.S. could halt this violence right now by recognizing the results of the Venezuelan elections, just as the nations of the world recognized, without question, the results of the election which put John F. Kennedy in power in 1960 and George W. Bush in power in 2000.

The reason the U.S. is not doing so is obvious – it does not like the Venezuelan’s chosen form of government, and welcomes that government’s demise, even through violence. The U.S., therefore, is not supporting democracy and stability in Venezuela; it is intentionally undermining it.

Daniel Kovalik is a labor and human rights lawyer living in Pittsburgh, and teaches International Human Rights at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Haitian Senator Jean-Charles Takes Anti-Occupation Message to Brazil, Argentina

Senator Moïse Jean-Charles visits Brazil and Argentina

by Kim Ives - Haiti Liberté

Senator Moïse Jean-Charles is presently on a speaking tour in Brazil and Argentina to raise consciousness about, and to campaign against, the continued military occupation of Haiti by troops of the so-called United Nations Mission to Stabilize Haiti or MINUSTAH. June 1, 2013 will mark the ninth anniversary of MINUSTAH’s deployment in Haiti, a flagrant violation of the UN Charter and of the Haitian Constitution. A major demonstration calling for MINUSTAH’s immediate withdrawal will be held in Haiti on that date, with participants coming from across Latin America.

Brazilian generals have led MINUSTAH since its inception following the Feb. 29, 2004 coup d’état against President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Brazilian soldiers make up the largest contingent, about 2,200 of the 9,000-head force.

Senator Moïse traveled to Sao Paolo, Brazil on April 14 at the invitation of the Trabalho current of the ruling Brazilian Workers Party (PT). On April 15, he flew to the city of Juiz de Fora, where he met with the mayor, local legislators, the teachers’ union, the transport workers’ union, the city’s Movement of Blacks, and the general public.

Moïse’s visit to Juiz de Fora was favorably covered by an extensive news report on Globo, Brazil’s largest TV network. “I am opposed to the UN and Brazilian military occupation of Haiti because I am a Haitian nationalist,” he told the network.

Late in the day of April 15, the senator traveled to Rio de Janeiro. From there, he flew to Brasilia, Brazil’s capital. On the morning of April. 16, he met with over 200 high-school students who jammed into an auditorium at Teaching Center #3 in the town of Gama, a suburb of Brazil.

Translated into Portuguese by Vogly Pognon, the only Haitian college student studying at the University of Brasilia, Senator Moïse spoke to the students, who displayed rapt attention for over two hours. “95% of the Haitian population is against the occupation,” Moïse told the students.

“When the Haitian people hear about UN soldiers raping young Haitians, they are angered. They heard about another young Haitian who was found hung on the UN base in Cap Haïtien. But if a neighborhood has some insecurity and they call MINUSTAH, the soldiers say it’s not their concern and never show up. But when the Haitian people rise up due to hunger, the MINUSTAH shows up to beat them with clubs and to tear-gas them.”

Later that afternoon, Senator Moïse met with the Foreign Relations Committee of the House of Deputies in Brasilia. Four deputies, Committee president Nelson Pellegrino and Fernando Ferro, both of the Workers Party (PT), and Luiza Erundina and José Stédile, both of the Brazilian Socialist Party (PSB), held a cordial meeting of over 90 minutes with the senator, who stressed, as he did at other meetings, that the Haitian Senate had unanimously voted a resolution in 2011 calling on MINUSTAH to withdraw from Haiti by October 2012. That resolution has been flagrantly ignored.

Later on the evening of April 16, Senator Moïse met for almost two hours with students at the University of Brasilia, who asked him many questions. “Everybody knows that Brazil is heading up the UN military occupation in Haiti,” he said in response to one question.

“But who is making the big money in Haiti? The Americans. Who is giving the orders? The Americans. This game of bluff has to stop.”

On April 17, Senator Moïse will meet with the Brazilian Senate’s Human Rights Commission in Brasilia, and later in the day hold another public meeting. On April 18, he will travel to Sao Paolo, where he will meet with several legislators in the local parliament, as well as hold public meetings.

On April 21, Senator Moïse will travel to Argentina where he will meet with senators and deputies there, as well as hold a large public meeting with the Workers’ Central of Argentina (CTA), one of Argentina’s largest unions. The union will also present the senator with an award for his work in Haiti.

“I commend the government and the people of Brazil on the great progress they have made in this country in recent years,” Senator Moïse said to the students at the University of Brasilia. “But in my country, things are only going to get more complicated for them if the Brazilian troops stay. Recently, President Michel Martelly, who was put in power by Washington, was asked in France if he was afraid of the people rising up against him. He answered that he was not, because the MINUSTAH was there to protect him. That remark says it all.”

Troubled Water: What's in Your Watershed?

Troubled Water: Do you know what’s going on with your water supply?

by Manly Media

Water is Blue Gold, it’s the oil of the twenty first century.” - Maude Barlow in Troubled Water

Troubled Water a new documentary by Paul Manly will be broadcast on Shaw Community Television on the Earth day weekend starting on Friday April 19th and will be launched online for a free broadcast starting on Earth Day, Monday April 22nd.

Broadcast of Troubled Water a new documentary by Paul Manly
Shaw Community channel Victoria, Nanaimo, Oceanside, Port Alberni
Friday April 19th Saturday April 20th and Sunday April 21st
and online on Earth day, Monday April 22nd

Troubled Water examines the threats to public water systems and watersheds on Vancouver Island. Whether it’s the ongoing logging or the fertilizer used in the Nanaimo watershed ten years ago, the auto wrecking, waste dumping and pig farming in the Parksville watershed, the destruction of karst water systems in Port Alberni or the proposal to put a contaminated soil dump in the headwaters of the Shawnigan watershed, the problems all come down to the same issue, a lack of local control over activities in watersheds. When it comes to mining and forestry in community drinking watersheds municipalities and regional districts have no control and no say over this activity. Those decisions are made by provincial ministries and people who don’t necessarily live in the area and aren’t dependent on the water supply.

Troubled Water also looks at aquifer depletion and contamination and raises the question of whether regional growth strategies are taking into account the availability of water resources. In these cases municipalities and regional districts do have some control but there is a lack of knowledge about the extent of the water supply.

There are other threats to community drinking supplies in the form of P3’s or Public Private Partnerships (or P4’s Public Pays for Private Profits) and trade agreements like CETA, the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement or FIPA, the Foreign Investment Protection Agreement which both allow corporations to sue governments for laws, measures and policies that affect their potential profits. CETA has provisions that bring sub-national governments (provinces) and their wards (municipalities, regional districts and school boards) into the trade agreement and allows foreign corporations to compete for infrastructure projects and sue for any perceived discrimination and loss of potential profits.

It’s not all bad news, Troubled Water also highlights positive examples of watershed stewardship including the Victoria, Sooke Lake watershed model. It looks at things communities can do to protect water as a public trust and to develop a water commons framework, which treats water as belonging to no one, and the responsibility of all, including the Blue Communities project.

Airtimes for Troubled Water on Shaw TV Channel 4 in Nanaimo, Oceanside & Port Alberni are;

  • Friday, April 19th @ 10:30pm
  • Saturday, April 20th @ 11:00am
  • Sunday, April 21st @ 2:00pm
  • Airtimes for Troubled Water on Shaw TV Channel 4 in Victoria, Salt Spring and Pender Islands are;
  • Saturday, April 20th 8:30am
  • Sunday, April 21st 9:00am and 7:00pm

The online broadcast will be available at and at starting on Earth Day, Monday April 22nd.

Troubled Water was created with the support of a grant by Vancouver Island Water Watch Committee and CUPE 401. The trailer can be viewed at


For Immediate Release

For photos and more information Contact:

Paul Manly

Home is Where the Horror Is: Domestic Violence and Weighing the Real Risks to Personal Safety

House of Horrors: Violence on the Home Front 

by Erika Eichelberger  - TomDispatch

Since the Newtown massacre, visions of unfathomable crazy mass killers and armed strangers in the night have colonized the American mind. Proposed laws have been drawn up that would keep potential mass murderers from getting their hands on assault weapons and high-capacity clips, or that would stop hardened criminals from buying guns. But the danger out there is both more mundane and more terrible: you're more likely to be hurt or killed by someone you know or love. 
And you'll probably be at home when it happens.

Between 2005 and 2010, 60% of all violent injuries in this country were inflicted by loved ones or acquaintances. And 60% of the time those victimizations happened in the home. In 2011, 79% of murders reported to the FBI (in which the victim-offender relationship was known) were committed by friends, loved ones, or acquaintances. Of the 3.5 million assaults and murders against family members between 1998 and 2002 (the last time such a study was done), almost half were crimes against spouses. Eleven percent were against children. 
But the majority of violent deaths are self-imposed. Suicide is the leading cause of violent death in the U.S., and most of those self-killings happen at home. 
Tomgram: Erika Eichelberger, Your Home Is Your Abattoir

[Note from TomDispatch: TomDispatch is increasingly dedicated to reasonable risk assessments of the actual dangers in our world. Today’s piece is the third in a recent series on where exactly to find the real violence in our lives. This January, Rebecca Solnit launched the subject in a striking way at TD with her piece “A Rape a Minute, A Thousand Corpses a Year”; Ann Jones took it up in March, offering a provocative connection between “domestic violence” and America’s war zones in “Men Who Kick Down Doors”; and today TD's director of social media Erika Eichelberger reminds us that, contrary to everything we’ve been taught, the most dangerous place in our American world may not be that ominous dark street, but your well-lit house -- with Rebecca Solnit, pitching in again, and adding an intro. Tom]

At a certain point in my life, I studied shotokan karate with a remarkable teacher, and then, unable to find her equivalent in the San Francisco Bay Area, took up wing chun for a while with a very amusing guy. At that point, I realized that the main threat to my health and well-being was my own stress level and -- well, you can see where this is going: yoga. There should be a national equivalent of that little trajectory from East Asian techniques for dealing with others to South Asian techniques for dealing with the self when it comes to real threat assessment: Americans die of lousy health and our lousy healthcare system, of natural disaster, and -- at levels unequalled throughout the affluent world -- of each other. Gun deaths in the U.S. in 2011: more than 11,000; in Japan that year, seven. From foreign terrorism in the U.S. that year: 0.

Some fears are convenient: terrorism has devoured money and civil rights and government surveillance at a rate that is itself terrifying. And it’s made “security” into doublespeak. In terms of actual American deaths, terrorists are right down there with sharks. (Zero domestic shark deaths in 2011, 12 worldwide.) Some fears are inconvenient: if you look at leading causes of death and injury for women, the terms “terrorist” and “husband” should perhaps be interchangeable. Male violence, much of it by partners and former partners, is the second highest cause of death for women between 15 and 44, worldwide. And in the U.S., suicide kills more of us than homicide, as Erika Eichelberger points out in her timely piece today.

To acknowledge what really threatens us is to upset two of the most guarded citadels in this country: the military and masculinity. They are perhaps the same force on different scales. Armed intervention is imperial machismo in the same way a raging husband or father is the military dictator of a household. Maybe “domestic terrorist” should be twinned with “domestic violence.” After all, the seldom acknowledged main form of such terrorism in this country in recent decades, anti-abortion violence, fits in comfortably, being an assault on women’s rights to bodily autonomy and self-determination.

At the Republican National Convention in New York City back in 2004, I coined the term “safe dangers” to describe how some perils are too dangerous to name and the way they are instead transformed into more conventional and acceptable dangers. The activists in Manhattan’s streets then threatened the legitimacy and hegemony of the Republicans and brought up unsayable things about our wars, our leaders, and the state of our union. We were a threat.

To acknowledge what kind of threat we were, however, would have meant acknowledging first that we had real power -- the power to change the conversation and rock the boat (as Occupy would do, so threateningly, in that same city seven years later). It would mean opening up a genuine conversation, while framing the status quo as a construct of interested parties rather than the natural order of things. Instead, we were essentially reclassified as terrorists or criminals by a mainstream media taking its orders straight from the Bush Administration.

To acknowledge the real lay of the land is always dangerous when rhetoric and reality are out of joint. And are they ever over guns these days! The debate over gun control will never go anywhere as long as the anti-regulation side continues to argue from their inner Clint Eastwood: he who will always be faster on the draw, know just who the bad guys are, and drop them with a shot into a crowd, from a dead sleep at home, in a moment of utter surprise, in a box, with a fox, in a house, with a mouse... Call it the machismo-industrial complex: it sold more than 17 million guns last year, enough to arm every soldier in NATO five times over.

Mere statistics about who actually uses guns on whom just don’t get in their way. (You know, the tiny numbers of intruders actually deterred and the startling number of family members knocked off.) Nor does testimony from people like gun-carrying Joe Zamudio. He was the man who came upon a group of people, including his congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, being shot by a lone gunman in a supermarket parking lot in Tucson, Arizona. Someone had already wrestled the gun away from the killer.

Zamudio almost shot that bystander by mistake. He wisely hesitated, ended up wrestling the actual shooter to the ground, and then simply lay on top of him.

Not at all like Dirty Harry, that role model for massacre perps -- also mostly white guys, speaking of the unmentionable -- exacting their own vengeance on a world insufficiently obedient to their idiosyncratic needs and notions. Clearly, we need counters to Hollywood, and militarism, and machismo. We also need to take stock of the real dangers in our country. That’s exactly what Erika Eichelberger does here. In the immortal words of Pogo Possum, we have met the enemy and he is us. Rebecca Solnit

House of Horrors: Violence on the Home Front 

by Erika Eichelberger


Violence Against Women

Vanette has plastic, rose-tinted glasses on and cowrie shells weaved into her braids. Her nails are long and thick and painted purple-brown. She has ample gaps in her teeth, and she's sitting at the communal dining table at a “transitional home” in Washington, D.C., telling me about the time her boyfriend broke her knee.

Vanette doesn't really think of that as domestic violence, though. "When I think of physical violence, I think of punchin' and smackin'," she says. The fat silver chain bracelets on her wrists jangle against the table as she talks. Besides, she says, she was the one who started the fight. Her boyfriend had polyps in his lungs and was supposed to carry around an oxygen tank, flush his lungs twice a week with a machine, and not smoke. One night in 2010, when Vanette got home, there he was, smoking weed in the living room with friends. "I was like, yeah, well, whatever, you're gonna kill yourself anyway." And then he shoved her over the back of the couch.

Domestic violence is the number one cause of injury to women. The incidents add up to more than all the rapes, muggings, and car accidents women experience each year. One out of every four women in the U.S. will be physically injured by a lover in her lifetime. That translates into a woman being assaulted every nine seconds in America. Immigrant women are beaten at higher rates than U.S. citizens, and African-American women are subjected to the most severe forms of violence. Not surprisingly, a shaky economy just makes these numbers worse.

And then there are the rapes. Over a lifetime, one out of every six American women is raped. For Native Americans, that number is one in three. For Native Alaskans, it can be up to 12 times the national rate.

And don’t forget the killings. Sixty-four percent of the women killed every year are murdered by family members or lovers. There are more than 1,000 homicides of that kind annually, or approximately three a day. If there’s a gun in a home where domestic abuse is a common thing, a woman is eight times more likely to be killed.

Faced with this grim pile of data, the American home begins to look less like a “castle” and more like a slaughterhouse.

At the same time, these numbers actually represent a vast improvement in domestic violence rates compared with a decade and a half ago. Since 1994, the rate of violence against women in the home is down 64%.

That percentage isn't quite as dramatic as it looks, because it coincides with a parallel decline in overall violence during the same period, and excludes the homeless, up to 40% of whom report going to the streets or someone’s couch because of violence in the home. Still, the drop is significant and is likely due to, among other things, a public coming to terms with the reality of domestic violence, relatively recent federal laws meant to protect victims in the home, and the training of police and prosecutors to treat such violence as a crime, not a private affair.

For much of American history, the legal system didn't recognize most domestic violence, or date rape, or acquaintance rape, or marital rape as crimes. For a century, American men had the explicit right to beat their wives. They lost that right by the late 1870s, but long after that, the police would often respond to reports of wife-beatings by telling the husband to “walk around the block” and cool off. Public aversion to acknowledging violence in the home was so intense for so long that the anti-animal cruelty movement preceded the anti-domestic violence movement of the 1960s and 1970s. Even today, a residual urge to respect the supposed sanctity of the home and marriage helps shield men from laws now on the books.

In 1994, Congress passed the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). It was a landmark in bringing domestic violence out of the house and into the public space. Among other things, it provided money for the legal representation of victims of domestic violence, and for police training on the subject, and it helped enforce judicial restraining orders. The law also funded states to adopt mandatory arrest policies, which require that police arrest suspects in cases in which there is probable cause to believe domestic violence has taken place. Such laws now exist in 22 states and the District of Columbia.

Nationwide, however, arrest rates for domestic violence remain low. Only about half of reported domestic violence incidents result in arrest.

Even when states do have mandatory arrest laws, they don’t always play out so well. If an arrest results in the elimination of the breadwinner in a household, it can leave an already battered woman broke as well. And the threat of certain punishment for a husband or boyfriend can actually make women reluctant to report abuse, which means they remain in violent homes. Immigrant and minority victims are even less inclined to call 911, since they have a stronger distrust of the police. Which means that sometimes mandatory arrest laws can backfire, resulting in fewer arrests, continued violence, and more deaths. A 2007 Harvard study found that the murder rate among domestic partners was 60% greater in states with mandatory arrest laws.

Once Vanette had landed on the floor behind the couch with one leg crumpled under her, it was her boyfriend who called 911. He was scared to death. When the ambulance came and the EMTs questioned her, she claimed it had been an accident. (Washington, D.C. has a mandatory arrest law). They kept her in the hospital for two days. And then she was on a cane. And out of a job. And shuttling between homeless shelters for months because her girlfriends told her she had to get out of that house.

Violence Against Children

Deon, who is now 27, doesn't cry. Ever. And he doesn’t get angry. His eyes are wide apart and impassive. He talks matter-of-factly about how, when he was 14, his mother tried to kill him. She said it was because he hadn’t done his homework. One day too many. She lashed him with an extension cord and threw a glass at him. She screamed that she'd call the police and then came at him with a knife. But she missed -- deliberately or accidentally -- and stabbed the wall instead. He says she meant to hit that wall. His little niece, his two sisters, and his mother’s boyfriend were all in the apartment. His older sister kept pleading, “Mummy, that’s enough." But no one ever reported the incident.

Child Protective Services may not have gotten a call about Deon, but it does respond to millions of reports of alleged abuse: 3.4 million in 2011. There were 681,000 unique victims that year. Seventy-nine percent of those kids suffered from neglect at home. Eighteen percent were physically abused, and 9% were sexually abused. Babies under age one were assaulted most often; 1,570 of those children died from abuse and neglect that year. Eighty-two percent of child victims in 2011 were younger than four.

While the rate of assault on children (as with women) has dropped over the past two decades, a recent Yale School of Medicine study found that serious child abuse -- the kind that results in fractures, head injuries, burns, open wounds, or abdominal injuries -- is actually up.

Being poor is a good way to increase your chances of being hurt by your parents. The same Yale study of severe abuse found that over the past 12 years, parental punching, thrashing, or burning of children has jumped by 15% for kids on Medicaid, the government health insurance program for families in poverty, but by 5% for the general population. Another recent Yale study suggested that child Medicaid recipients were six times more likely to be victims of abuse than those not on Medicaid.

Kids in violent homes have sleeping, eating, and attention problems. They are generally more withdrawn, anxious, and depressed than children with parents who don't abuse them. A 2012 Harvard study of the brain scans of 200 people found that childhood abuse can be associated with damage to the brain's hippocampus, which plays a major role in short- and long-term memory. Such kids are also more vulnerable to chronic illnesses like heart disease and diabetes, leading some to call child abuse the tobacco industry of mental health. One National Institute of Justice study of 1,500 kids found that abused children were also more likely to become violent criminals.

Child abuse first received national attention in 1874, due to the case of Mary Ellen McCormack, a 10-year-old orphan in Manhattan's Hell's Kitchen who was abused by an adoptive mother. No laws then existed to keep parents from beating their children, so the case was brought to court by, yes, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. “I have now on my head two black-and-blue marks which were made by Mamma with the whip," McCormack testified, "and a cut on the left side of my forehead which was made by a pair of scissors in Mamma’s hand; she struck me with the scissors and cut me.”

The McCormack case spurred a reformers' crusade. In 1912, the U.S. Children's Bureau was created to research and publicize the issue of violence against children. After World War II, more research led to the system of child-abuse reporting we have now, in which various professionals -- doctors, teachers, daycare workers -- are required to report suspicions of abuse. Child Protective Services does screenings and investigations and has the power to remove a child from a home, if necessary.

Deon didn't have his day in court, but even if he had, research shows that, again and again, courts return abused children to parents with a history of violence. A 2005 study by the New England Research Institutes found that, even in states with laws that tilt against custody for an abusive parent, 40% of adjudicated wife-beaters got joint custody of children. The American Judges Association says that about 70% of wife-abusers are able to convince a court that the mother is unfit for sole custody. Nationwide, some 58,000 children a year are put back into the unsupervised care of alleged abusers after a divorce.

Deon left his mother’s apartment in Brooklyn at 18 and moved in with a coworker in Harlem. He visits his mother maybe once a year. Her place is windowless, wall-to-wall carpeted, and tight with too much furniture. He and his mother don't ever talk about what happened with the homework and the knife and the wall. When he stops by, he'll hover in her apartment for 20 minutes or so. And then he has to leave.


Mark was 25, handsome, rich, and smart. He had a trust fund and spent $10,000 of it a month. He was really popular -- there must have been 400 people at his funeral.

When Mark was a kid, his father once made him cry for not finishing a sandwich in a restaurant. He also showed him just how to treat his mother and younger brother, so that Mark would grow up to be a good bully, too. When he graduated from college, his dad insisted that he also go to law school. But he couldn't get in.

Mark started binge drinking at age 13. He had a history of getting into trouble (at school, with the law), but his dad was usually able to get him out of it -- until the bar fight that landed a guy in the hospital. A couple of weeks after that, Mark was drunk at his apartment and fighting with his girlfriend. His dad had given him a .38 revolver because he thought the upscale neighborhood Mark lived in was dangerous. He pulled out the gun and shot himself. In his eulogy, his dad told the congregation that Mark was trying to live up to him and couldn't do it.

Of the approximately 55,000 people each year who die a violent death in the United States, most -- like Mark -- take their own lives: about 38,000 annually. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of American death, behind cancer and heart attacks but ahead of car accidents. There is a suicide every 13.7 minutes. And 77% of the time, as in Mark's case, it happens at home. In 2010, the highest suicide rate was among 45- to 64-year-olds. Men kill themselves four times more often than women, whites more often than other races.

There are known contributors. Ninety percent of those who kill themselves have mental disorders. Many have physical pain. Being unemployed is associated with as much as a three-fold increased risk of death by suicide. Having a means of suicide in the home, like a gun, also makes it more likely to happen. In that sense, Mark killed himself in the most common way.

Often enough, suicides fail. Nearly one million people attempt suicide every year. In 2010, 464,995 people visited a hospital for injuries due to suicidal behavior. Even though men succeed in killing themselves more often, women attempt suicide three times as often as men. According to researchers, that’s because a woman is more likely to use the act as a cry for help, rather than to end her life.

Suicide is not a pretty thing to talk about. That's one reason why federal policy on suicide prevention is still in its infancy. A movement organized by the families and friends of victims began to build throughout the 1990s, however, and eventually got the attention of Surgeon General David Satcher. In 2001, he laid out the first national strategy for suicide prevention. But 12 years later, advocates say federal funding for suicide prevention and research is still insufficient.

Oddly enough, since the federal government instituted its response, suicide rates have been climbing. The national suicide rate had been on the decline for decades: between 1990 and 2000, it dropped from 12.5 to 10.4 deaths per 100,000. In the next decade, it started to rise again and stood at 12.1 per 100,000 in 2010.

Suicide is up. Severe child abuse is on the rise. Domestic violence is still the number one injurer of women. The classic notion of the home as a refuge, not an abattoir, seems more and more like a joke.

Feel free to cut through that dark alley on your way home. Or maybe just don't go home.

Erika Eichelberger is a senior editorial fellow at Mother Jones where she writes regularly for the website. She is also director of social media for TomDispatch. She has written for the Nation, the Brooklyn Rail, and Alternet.

[Note to readers: The names of the three victims portrayed in this piece have been changed.]

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Copyright 2013 Erika Eichelberger