Monday, April 28, 2014

The NDAA: What They Don't Want You To Know

The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), Sections 1021 and 1022, authorizes the indefinite military detention, without charge or trial, of any person, including an American citizen, and applies the “Law of War,” to U.S. soil, making the United States legally a battlefield.

Witness Against Torture: National Defense Auth...
Witness Against Torture: National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) Cements Indefinite Detention (Photo credit: Shrieking Tree)
People Against the NDAA (PANDA) was founded by Dan Johnson in January 2012. Johnson is a remarkable young man – he’s only 20 years old, and is already a nationally known writer and speaker.

PANDA is the largest organization of its kind in the world, and has worked on over 18 pieces of state and local anti-NDAA legislation.

The PANDA Mission Statement, from the organization’s website:
Our Mission is to nonviolently block, strike down, repeal, stop, void and fight the indefinite detention provisions, Sections 1021 and 1022, of the National Defense Authorization Act for the Fiscal Year of 2012, to fight for American civil liberties, to combat laws restricting liberty in the interest of National Security, to support current government officials that are doing so and to engage a younger generation in the politics of the United States so this cannot happen again.

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Saturday, April 26, 2014

More US Forces Deployed in Europe and the Middle East

Flag of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization...
Flag of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Español: Bandera de la Organización del Tratado del Atlántico Norte (OTAN). Polski: Flaga Paktu Północnoatlantyckiego (NATO). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

US Soldiers Arrive in Lithuania to Reassure NATO Allies amid Ukrainian Crisis

American troops have arrived in Lithuania for military drills as tensions rise in the region over Ukraine. Russia has voiced its concern over the troop buildup in Eastern Europe as well as to the deployment of NATO ships in the Black Sea.

The US has also deployed frigate USS Taylor in the Black Sea, which will shortly be joined by French NATO vessel Dupleix.

As Iraq violence grows, U.S. sends more intelligence officers

The United States is quietly expanding the number of intelligence officers in Iraq and holding urgent meetings in Washington and Baghdad to find ways to counter growing violence by Islamic militants, U.S. government sources said.

A high-level Pentagon team is now in Iraq to assess possible assistance for Iraqi forces in their fight against radical jihadists from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), a group reconstituted from an earlier incarnation of al Qaeda, said two current government officials and one former U.S. official familiar with the matter.

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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Things are heating up in the former Eastern Bloc Nations. ***UPDATED 13:17 17Apr14***

Drums of War
Poland uneasy about Russian invasion after events in Ukraine |

Russian President Vladimir Putin's destabilization of Ukraine has reminded the Polish people that they can only ward off Russian aggression by strengthening their ties to NATO and their own military, Poland's defense minister said at the Pentagon Thursday.
"The events of the recent months and the aggressive policy taken by Russia made Poles realize that things must not be taken for granted," Polish Defense Minister Tomasz Siemoniak replied when asked if his country fears a Russian invasion.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel emphasized that the United States would defend Poland in the event of a Russian assault. Article 5 of NATO's charter imposes a responsibility on all members for collective self-defense.
"Article 5 is clear that an act of aggression against one member of NATO is an attack on all members," Hagel told reporters during the joint press briefing.

Putin asserts right to use force in east Ukraine | World news |

Vladimir Putin has sought to mobilise history in support of Russia's designs on Ukraine, reminding the world that the east of the country was once part of Russia, and warning that his parliament had given him the right to intervene militarily if confrontation escalates.
In a four-hour, meticulously stagecrafted question and answer session with Russian citizens on live television, Putin denied that Russian forces are on the ground in the towns and cities of eastern Ukraine, parts of which have been taken over in recent days by armed men, but pointedly did not rule out sending in troops in future.
"The Federation Council granted the president the right to use military force in Ukraine," he said, referring to the upper house of parliament.
Putin referred to the region in question by its tsarist name "Novorossiya", or "New Russia", as it was referred to in the 19th century under tsarist rule, and suggested it was a historical mistake to hand it over to Ukraine.
Asked on several occasions during the annual public address whether Russia had sent troops into eastern Ukraine over the past few days, Putin said: "It's all nonsense, there are no special units, special forces or instructors there."
But he admitted that Russian units had been involved in wresting Crimea from Kiev's control last month.
"Our servicemen stood behind the back of Crimea's self-defence forces," Putin said.
Though the televised session was generally comfortable for Putin, with Ukraine dominating the exchanges, not all the questions were straightforward. One Crimean asked the president when he would sort out a currency and banking mess that has emerged as the territory shifts to Russian control. Putin promised that the process of switching Crimea's banking system to the rouble would be speeded up, and he promised a series of substantial rises for pensioners in Ukraine. "They will feel the advantage of joining the Russian federation materially," he said.
Another question broached his marital status following his divorce from his wife Lyudmila.
He said the annexation of Crimea was partly triggered by Nato expansion.
The Russian news agency Itar Tass said 2m questions had been posed on the internet before the session and ranged in subject matter from the escalating crisis in Ukraine to the Russian economy, child benefits, housing and corruption. Most of the questions selected for Putin to answer on live television were gentle, and were often prefaced with messages of gratitude to the president for the way he was handling the situation in Ukraine.
Putin was asked if he was planning to "acquire Alaska"
Asked about Victor Yanukovich's decision to flee to Russia from Ukraine as unrest unfolded, Putin was asked whether he would have fought to the last drop of blood if he found himself in a similar situation.
"A person makes a decision in a critical situation, based on his life experience and values. I used to work in the KGB – we had our special training. Part of that training is that you have to be absolutely loyal to your country and state."

Jews ordered to register in east Ukraine | World | USA Today
IN MEMORIAM - 64 YEARS LATER (Photo credit: Templar1307)

Jews in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk where pro-Russian militants have taken over government buildings were told they have to "register" with the Ukrainians who are trying to make the city become part of Russia, according to Ukrainian and Israeli media.
Donetsk is the site of an "anti-terrorist" operation by the Ukraine government, which has moved military columns into the region to force out militants who are demanding a referendum be held on joining Russia. The news was carried first by the Ukraine's Donbass news agency.
The leaflets bore the name of Denis Pushilin, who identified himself as chairman of "Donetsk's temporary government," and were distributed near the Donetsk synagogue and other areas, according to the reports.
Emanuel Shechter, in Israel, told Ynet his friends in Donetsk sent him a copy of the leaflet through social media.
The leaflet begins, "Dear Ukraine citizens of Jewish nationality," and states that all people of Jewish descent over 16 years old must report to the Commissioner for Nationalities in the Donetsk Regional Administration building and "register."
It says the reason is because the leaders of the Jewish community of Ukraine supported Bendery Junta, a reference to Stepan Bandera, the leader of the Ukrainian nationalist movement that fought for Ukrainian independence at the end of World War II, "and oppose the pro-Slavic People's Republic of Donetsk," a name adopted by the militant leadership.
Olga Reznikova, 32, a Jewish resident of Donetsk, told Ynet she never experienced anti-Semitism in the city until she saw this leaflet.
"The text reminds of the fascists in 1941," she said referring to the Nazis who occupied Ukraine during World War II.
Morton Klein, president of the Zionist Organization of America, the oldest pro-Israel group in the USA, said the leaflets should be seen in the context of a rising tide of anti-Semitism across Europe and the world, and that it should prompt a strong response from the White House.
Kerry participated Thursday in a conference on the Ukraine crisis with his counterparts from Russia, Ukraine and the European Union.
Michael Salberg, director of the international affairs at the New York City-based Anti-Defamation League, said it's unclear whether the leaflets were issued by the pro-Russian leadership or a splinter group operating within the pro-Russian camp.
But the Russian side has used the specter of anti-Semitism in a cynical manner since anti-government protests began in Kiev that resulted in the ousting of Ukraine's pro-Russian former president Viktor Yanukovych. Russia and its allies in Ukraine issued multiple stories about the the threat posed to Jews by Ukraine's new pro-Western government in Kiev, Salberg said.
And the prevalence of anti-Semitic acts has not changed since before the Maidan protests, according to the ADL and the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union, which monitors human rights in Ukraine.
Distributing such leaflets is a recruitment tool to appeal to the xenophobic fears of the majority, "to enlist them to your cause and focus on a common enemy, the Jews," Salberg said.
And by targeting Donetsk's Jews, they also send a message to all the region's residents, Salberg said.


Relax, Ukraine is Not Ordering Its Jews to Register | New Republic

Today, the Western press caught up with the Ukrainian rumor mill: apparently, the People's Republic of Donetsk had ordered all Jews over the age of 16 to pay a fee of $50 U.S. and register with the new "authorities," or face loss of citizenship or expulsion. This was laid out in officious-looking fliers pasted on the local synagogue.
The Russian government has been playing up the (real but small) role of fascists and neo-Nazis in the victory of the EuroMaidan in Kiev.
Indeed, the Russian web chatter has sniffed the hand of the Dnipropetrovsk city government.
On the other hand, says Vladimir Fedorin, an independent Russian journalist working in Ukraine, we shouldn't totally dismiss these fliers.

So, in conclusion: the Jews of Donetsk and eastern Ukraine may have been asked by a leaflet to register, but it has not been enforced nor are any Ukrainian Jews registering themselves.
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