The Nation


  • Seymour M. Hersh : The Killing of Osama bin Laden · LRB 21 May 2015

    It’s been four years since a group of US Navy Seals assassinated Osama bin Laden in a night raid on a high-walled compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. The killing was the high point of Obama’s first term, and a major factor in his re-election. The White House still maintains that the mission was an all-American affair, and that the senior generals of Pakistan’s army and Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI) were not told of the raid in advance. This is false, as are many other elements of the Obama administration’s account. The White House’s story might have been written by Lewis Carroll: would bin Laden, target of a massive international manhunt, really decide that a resort town forty miles from Islamabad would be the safest place to live and command al-Qaida’s operations? He was hiding in the open. So America said.

    The most blatant lie was that Pakistan’s two most senior military leaders – General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, chief of the army staff, and General Ahmed Shuja Pasha, director general of the ISI – were never informed of the US mission. This remains the White House position despite an array of reports that have raised questions, including one by Carlotta Gall in the New York Times Magazine of 19 March 2014. Gall, who spent 12 years as the Times correspondent in Afghanistan, wrote that she’d been told by a ‘Pakistani official’ that Pasha had known before the raid that bin Laden was in Abbottabad. The story was denied by US and Pakistani officials, and went no further. In his book Pakistan: Before and after Osama (2012), Imtiaz Gul, executive director of the Centre for Research and Security Studies, a think tank in Islamabad, wrote that he’d spoken to four undercover intelligence officers who – reflecting a widely held local view – asserted that the Pakistani military must have had knowledge of the operation. The issue was raised again in February, when a retired general, Asad Durrani, who was head of the ISI in the early 1990s, told an al-Jazeera interviewer that it was ‘quite possible’ that the senior officers of the ISI did not know where bin Laden had been hiding, ‘but it was more probable that they did [know]. And the idea was that, at the right time, his location would be revealed. And the right time would have been when you can get the necessary quid pro quo – if you have someone like Osama bin Laden, you are not going to simply hand him over to the United States.’

    This spring I contacted Durrani and told him in detail what I had learned about the bin Laden assault from American sources: that bin Laden had been a prisoner of the ISI at the Abbottabad compound since 2006; that Kayani and Pasha knew of the raid in advance and had made sure that the two helicopters delivering the Seals to Abbottabad could cross Pakistani airspace without triggering any alarms; that the CIA did not learn of bin Laden’s whereabouts by tracking his couriers, as the White House has claimed since May 2011, but from a former senior Pakistani intelligence officer who betrayed the secret in return for much of the $25 million reward offered by the US, and that, while Obama did order the raid and the Seal team did carry it out, many other aspects of the administration’s account were false.

    ‘When your version comes out – if you do it – people in Pakistan will be tremendously grateful,’ Durrani told me. ‘For a long time people have stopped trusting what comes out about bin Laden from the official mouths. There will be some negative political comment and some anger, but people like to be told the truth, and what you’ve told me is essentially what I have heard from former colleagues who have been on a fact-finding mission since this episode.’ As a former ISI head, he said, he had been told shortly after the raid by ‘people in the “strategic community” who would know’ that there had been an informant who had alerted the US to bin Laden’s presence in Abbottabad, and that after his killing the US’s betrayed promises left Kayani and Pasha exposed.

    (pas encore lu)

    • Pakistanis Knew Where Bin Laden Was, Say U.S. Sources

      Two intelligence sources tell NBC News that the year before the U.S. raid that killed Osama bin Laden, a “walk in” asset from Pakistani intelligence told the CIA where the most wanted man in the world was hiding - and these two sources plus a third say that the Pakistani government knew where bin Laden was hiding all along.

      The U.S. government has always characterized the heroic raid by Seal Team Six that killed bin Laden as a unilateral U.S. operation, and has maintained that the CIA found him by tracking couriers to his walled complex in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

      The new revelations do not necessarily cast doubt on the overall narrative that the White House began circulating within hours of the May 2011 operation. The official story about how bin Laden was found was constructed in a way that protected the identity and existence of the asset, who also knew who inside the Pakistani government was aware of the Pakistani intelligence agency’s operation to hide bin Laden, according to a special operations officer with prior knowledge of the bin Laden mission. The official story focused on a long hunt for bin Laden’s presumed courier, Ahmed al-Kuwaiti.

      While NBC News has long been pursuing leads about a “walk in” and about what Pakistani intelligence knew, both assertions were made public in a London Review of Books article by investigative reporter Seymour Hersh.

    • Author Reported Essentials of Hersh’s bin Laden Story in 2011 — With Seemingly Different Sources

      R.J. Hillhouse, a former professor, Fulbright fellow and novelist whose writing on intelligence and military outsourcing has appeared in the Washington Post and New York Times, made the same main assertions in 2011 about the death of Osama bin Laden as Seymour Hersh’s new story in the London Review of Books — apparently based on different sources than those used by Hersh.

      Bin Laden was killed by Navy SEALs on May 2, 2011. Three months later, on August 7, Hillhouse posted a story on her blog “The Spy Who Billed Me” stating that (1) the U.S. did not learn about bin Laden’s location from tracking an al Qaeda courier, but from a member of the Pakistani intelligence service who wanted to collect the $25 million reward the U.S. had offered for bin Laden; (2) Saudi Arabia was paying Pakistan to keep bin Laden under the equivalent of house arrest; (3) Pakistan was pressured by the U.S. to stand down its military to allow the U.S. raid to proceed unhindered; and (4) the U.S. had planned to claim that bin Laden had been killed in a drone strike in the border regions of Afghanistan and Pakistan, but was forced to abandon this when one of the Navy SEAL helicopters crashed.

      The Spy Who Billed Me: Hersh Did Not Break Bin Laden Cover Up Story

      Seymour Hersh’s story, “The Killing of Bin Laden,” in the London Review of Books has a fundamental problem: it’s either plagiarism or unoriginal.

      If it’s fiction—as some have implied, it’s plagiarism. If it’s true, it’s not original. The story was broken here on The Spy Who Billed Me four years ago, in August 2011


      I have had great respect for Seymour Hersh, arguably one of the greatest investigative journalists of our time. I do not believe his story is fiction. I trust my sources—which were clearly different than his. I am, however, profoundly disappointed that he has not given credit to the one who originally broke the story.

    • La presse semble vouloir régler son compte à ce grand journaliste.

      Etats-Unis. Mort de Ben Laden : une enquête très polémique
      Publié le 12/05/2015

      (...) D’aucuns, à l’instar du site internet Vox [ ] , n’hésitent cependant pas à parler du penchant du journaliste pour la théorie du complot. Pour le journaliste Max Fisher, “l’enquête de Seymour Hersh est certes impressionnante à lire, mais elle ne résiste pas à un examen minutieux des faits et est bourrée de contradictions et d’incohérences”. Elle serait une bonne illustration de la dérive de Seymour Hersh “qui s’est éloigné, ces dernières années, du journalisme d’investigation pour s’engager sur le terrain glissant des conspirations.” (...)

      cet article a été repris et cité ce matin sur France-Culture Par Thomas CLUZEL

      Que s’est-il passé la nuit où Ben Laden a été tué ? x

    • Oui, l’article de Vox a beaucoup circulé. Cet article de The Nation (assez marrant) répond à l’article de Vox : It’s a Conspiracy ! How to Discredit Seymour Hersh | The Nation

      Max Fisher, now at Vox, learned well during his apprenticeship under Marty Peretz at The New Republic. This week, he was among the first to try to smear Seymour Hersh’s piece in the London Review of Books, which argued that pretty much everything we were told about the killing of Osama bin Laden was a lie. Most importantly, Hersh’s report questions the claim that Washington learned of OBL’s whereabouts thanks to torture—a claim popularized in the film Zero Dark Thirty.

      There’s a standard boiler plate now when it comes to going after Hersh, and all Fisher, in “The Many Problems with Seymour Hersh’s Osama bin Laden Conspiracy Theory,” did was fill out the form: establish Hersh’s “legendary” status (which Fisher does in the first sentence); invoke his reporting in My Lai and Abu Ghraib; then say that a number of Hersh’s recent stories—such as his 2012 New Yorker piece that the United States was training Iranian terrorists in Nevada—have been “unsubstantiated” (of course, other reporters never “substantiated” Hersh’s claim that Henry Kissinger was directly involved in organizing the cover-up of the fire-bombing of Cambodia for years—but that claim was true); question Hersh’s sources; and then, finally, suggest that Hersh has gone “off the rails” to embrace “conspiracy theories.”


      To accuse Hersh of falling under the thrall of “conspiracy theory” is to repudiate the whole enterprise of investigative journalism that Hersh helped pioneer. What has he written that wasn’t a conspiracy? But Fisher, and others, believe Hersh went too far when in a 2011 speech he made mention of the Knights of Malta and Opus Dei, tagging him as a Dan Brown fantasist. Here’s Fisher, in his debunking of Hersh’s recent essay: “The moment when a lot of journalists started to question whether Hersh had veered from investigative reporting into something else came in January 2011. That month, he spoke at Georgetown University’s branch campus in Qatar, where he gave a bizarre and rambling address alleging that top military and special forces leaders ‘are all members of, or at least supporters of, Knights of Malta.… many of them are members of Opus Dei.’”

      But here’s Steve Coll, a reporter who remains within the acceptable margins, writing in Ghost Wars about Reagan’s CIA director, William Casey: “He was a Catholic Knight of Malta educated by Jesuits. Statues of the Virgin Mary filled his mansion.… He attended Mass daily and urged Christian faith upon anyone who asked his advice…. He believed fervently that by spreading the Catholic church’s reach and power he could contain communism’s advance, or reverse it.” Oliver North, Casey’s Iran/Contra co-conspirator, worshiped at a “’charismatic’ Episcopalian church in Virginia called Church of the Apostles, which is organized into cell groups.”

      Not too long ago, no less an establishment figure than Ben Bradlee, the editor of The Washington Post, could draw the connections between the shadowy national security state and right-wing Christianity: Iran/Contra was about many things, among them a right-wing Christian reaction against the growing influence of left-wing Liberation Theology in Latin America. Likewise, the US’s post-9/11 militarism was about many things, among them the reorganization of those right-wing Christians against what they identified as a greater existential threat than Liberation Theology: political Islam. Fisher should know this, as it was reported here, here, and here, among many other places.

      Eager to debunk Hersh, it’s Fisher who has fallen down the rabbit hole of imperial amnesia.

    • Seymour Hersh Article Alleges Cover-Up in Bin Laden Hunt -

      In one conceivable episode, Mr. Hersh writes that American intelligence officials were alerted to Bin Laden’s whereabouts by a Pakistani military officer who walked into the United States Embassy in Islamabad and was subsequently paid a reward and moved by the C.I.A. to the United States. The account told by the Obama administration after the raid — that the C.I.A. tracked down Bin Laden through the work of dogged analysts — was a ruse intended to protect the real informant, according to Mr. Hersh.

      It is a deception that the C.I.A. has employed before, claiming for years that it discovered that one of its own, Aldrich H. Ames, was passing intelligence to the Soviet Union through the work of a team of analysts. The truth that eventually emerged was that crucial evidence against Mr. Ames came from a Soviet spy working for the C.I.A.

      Yet other claims by Mr. Hersh would have required a cover-up extending from top American, Pakistani and Saudi officials down to midlevel bureaucrats.


      Mr. Hersh is standing by his article. In a brief telephone interview on Monday, he said, “You can have your skepticism.”

      His manner was cheerful and breezy, and he seemed unfazed about the controversy his reporting has stirred up. It is not the first time that Mr. Hersh’s work has been met with hostility from the authorities, and he laughed loudly at the mention of the denials from the White House and others.

      “Those are classic nondenial denials,” he said, before rushing off to take a call from another reporter.


      [...] Mr. Hersh’s story would probably have gained much less traction had it not been for the often contradictory details presented by the Obama administration after the raid, and the questions about it that remain unanswered.

    • Les révélations de Seymour Hersh sur l’assassinat de Ben Laden sont à prendre au sérieux
      12 mai 2015 | Par Thomas Cantaloube

      Le vétéran américain du journalisme d’investigation livre dans un long article une version différente de ce qui s’est passé en mai 2011 à Abbottabad, quand le leader d’Al-Qaïda a été tué par un commando américain. Son récit est crédible et informé, autant en tout cas que celui fourni jusqu’ici par la Maison Blanche.

    • « L’Assassinat d’Oussama ben Laden » par Seymour Hersh (3/4)
      Par Seymour Hersh pour la London Review of Books, le 10 mai 2015
      Suite de la deuxième partie de l’article.

      L’Assassinat d’Oussama ben Laden (London Review of Books) - (4/4)

    • The Detail in Seymour Hersh’s Bin Laden Story That Rings True - Carlotta Gall

      On this count, my own reporting tracks with Hersh’s. Beginning in 2001, I spent nearly 12 years covering Pakistan and Afghanistan for The Times. (In his article, Hersh cites an article I wrote for The Times Magazine last year, an excerpt from a book drawn from this reporting.) The story of the Pakistani informer was circulating in the rumor mill within days of the Abbottabad raid, but at the time, no one could or would corroborate the claim. Such is the difficulty of reporting on covert operations and intelligence matters; there are no official documents to draw on, few officials who will talk and few ways to check the details they give you when they do.

      Two years later, when I was researching my book, I learned from a high-level member of the Pakistani intelligence service that the ISI had been hiding Bin Laden and ran a desk specifically to handle him as an intelligence asset. After the book came out, I learned more: that it was indeed a Pakistani Army brigadier — all the senior officers of the ISI are in the military — who told the C.I.A. where Bin Laden was hiding, and that Bin Laden was living there with the knowledge and protection of the ISI.


      I do not recall ever corresponding with Hersh, but he is following up on a story that many of us assembled parts of. The former C.I.A. officer Larry Johnson aired the theory of the informant — credited to “friends who are still active” — on his blog within days of the raid. And Hersh appears to have succeeded in getting both American and Pakistani sources to corroborate it. His sources remain anonymous, but other outlets such as NBC News have since come forward with similar accounts. Finally, the Pakistani daily newspaper The News reported Tuesday that Pakistani intelligence officials have conceded that it was indeed a walk-in who provided the information on Bin Laden. The newspaper names the officer as Brigadier Usman Khalid; the reporter is sufficiently well connected that he should be taken seriously.

  • ‘Nothing Was an Accident That Night’: Mexican Federal Police Implicated in the Disappearance of the 43

    But according to an investigation last month by Proceso, federal police were involved in the disappearance. The missing students were actually on their way to Mexico City to attend a protest on October 2 and they were intercepted not by local police but by federal police.


  • The Day the Troops Refused to Fight: December 25, 1914

    100 years ago, on Christmas Day, 1914, in the middle of World War I, British and German soldiers put down their guns and stopped killing each other. The terrible industrial slaughter had already taken the lives of hundreds of thousands of young men. But on that day, thousands of troops climbed out of the trenches in France and Belgium, sang Christmas carols, and exchanged food, gifts, and souvenirs. They traded German beer for British rum. They even played soccer. It’s a unique event in the history of modern warfare.

    The Christmas Truce as depicted in The Illustrated London News in January 1915. (The Illustrated London News)
    L’entreprise Sainsbury en profite pour faire une pub ...

    “The commercial is for a commemorative chocolate bar. The proceeds from this chocolate bar will go to the Royal British Legion, the official veterans’ organization. It’s another kind of official commemoration of this startling outbreak of peace.”

    Why No One Remembers the Peacemakers,_thank_you_for_making_war!

    Given the rarity of peace celebrations of any sort, what’s made the Christmas Truce safe for royalty, mayors, and diplomats? Three things, I believe. First, this event — remarkable, spontaneous, and genuinely moving as it was — did not represent a challenge to the sovereignty of war. It was sanctioned by officers on the spot; it was short-lived (the full fury of shelling and machine gunning resumed within a day or two, and poison gas and flamethrowers soon added to the horror); and it was never repeated. It’s safe to celebrate because it threatened nothing. That supermarket video, for instance, advertises a commemorative chocolate bar whose sales proceeds go to the national veterans organization, the Royal British Legion.

    #adam_hochschild #guerre

  • Tear Gas Is an Abortifacient. Why Won’t the Anti-Abortion Movement Oppose It ? | The Nation

    They were right: though rigorous studies are few, there is evidence that tear gas is an abortifacient. In 2011, Chile temporarily suspended its use after a University of Chile study linked it to miscarriage and fetal harm. Investigating the use of tear gas in Bahrain in 2012, Physicians for Human Rights found that local doctors were reporting increased numbers of miscarriages in exposed areas. And UN officials have connected tear gas to miscarriages in the Palestinian territories.

    This means it’s likely that police in Ferguson, Missouri, have been spraying abortion-causing chemicals on crowds of civilians.

    (et +1 pour le choix de la photo !) #ferguson

  • What Matters in Ferguson

    Michael Brown was shot and killed by an officer of the Ferguson, Missouri, police department. This is what matters.

    The name of the officer has been released (it’s Darren Wilson, who has been on the force for six years), alongside allegations that Brown was involved in a robbery. This does not matter.

    It doesn’t matter because people accused of robbery should not be shot. It doesn’t matter because people who put their hands up in surrender should not be shot. It doesn’t matter because a body should not lie in the streets for hours after being shot by a police officer.

    Michael Brown was shot and killed by an officer of the Ferguson, Missouri, police department. Everything else is irrelevant.

    #usa #ferguson #michael_brown #violences_policieres #police_violence

  • Washington’s Sketchy Pro-Israel/Anti-Iran Camp | The Nation

    One of the most active and most hardline groups on Iran, of course, is the #Foundation_for_Defense_of_Democracies (#FDD), whose influence Eli and I discussed at length in our recent Nation feature. (UANI and FDD officials have appeared together at events sponsored by dedicated pro-Israel groups.) The neoconservative think-tank is certainly no exception to the pro-Israel bent of Iran hawks in D.C. But even the extent to which the group serves as a pro-Israel outfit has been obscured in the course of its thirteen-year history.

  • His Name was Ahed Zaqout: Former Palestinian Soccer Star Killed in Gaza | The Nation

    Why the IDF was “defending” itself against Zaqout is a mystery.

    He was no Muhammad Ali, using sports to advance any kind of political cause. He was that most conventional and familiar of person in sports: the ex-star jock turned broadcaster. But in Gaza, what we may see as conventional can become political. Zaqout was someone whose voice, sharp wit, and trenchant analysis was a source of joy and escape for a people under constant siege. Providing escape to the trapped of Gaza was in and of itself a political act.


  • Des Indiens d’Amérique aux Palestiniens de Palestine.

    Les opprimés peuvent changer, les oppressions perdurent. De mêmes rapports de domination peuvent se reproduire endossés par de nouveaux acteurs dans d’autres conditions technologiques et militaires. Oui, l’#antisémitisme existe encore, tout comme il existe encore des Indiens en Amérique. Oui, notre lutte contre l’antisémitisme ne peut s’arrêter qu’avec lui. Mais nous ne supportons pas que cette lutte devienne, d’éditorial en déclaration, du Figaro à Libération, le moyen de discréditer la résistance palestinienne et son soutien en France. Nous ne supportons pas que quelques faits isolés deviennent des phénomènes de société. Nous rappelons que brûler un drapeau israélien n’est pas nécessairement de l’antisémitisme. Brûler un drapeau est d’abord un geste anti-nationaliste et anti-impérialiste, un geste politique de libération.

    #Israël #Palestine #Gaza

  • « Grâce à la Cour suprême, les entreprises ont davantage de droits constitutionnels que les vrais gens »

    Depuis quelques années, la Cour suprême américaine a rendu une série de jugements d’une grande portée, visant à renforcer toujours plus la protection des droits des entreprises et leur capacité à échapper à la régulation gouvernementale. Au final, selon William Greider du magazine américain #The_Nation, il ne s’agit de rien moins que de revenir à l’époque d’avant le New Deal, où le droit de la propriété privée primait sur toute autre considération, empêchant toute législation sociale. Emmenée par le Chief (...)


    / #États-Unis, #Lobbying, #responsabilité_pénale_des_entreprises, #responsabilité_sociale_des_entreprises, #normes_et_régulations, The (...)


  • Barack Obama aux Européens : « Notre liberté n’est pas gratuite »


    Le président américain a aussi dénoncé toutes les équivalences « absurdes » avancées par Moscou. Non, le Kosovo ne peut pas justifier la Crimée. « L’OTAN n’y est intervenue qu’après que les habitants y ont été brutalisés et tués pendant des années. » L’Irak « symbole de l’hypocrisie occidentale » ? M. Obama s’est pratiquement trouvé à défendre son prédécesseur : « Même en Irak, l’Amérique a cherché à passer par le système international. » Et, a-t-il ajouté, « nous n’avons pas revendiqué ou annexé le territoire irakien ». « Nous n’avons pas accaparé les ressources pour notre propre profit. »

    Obama Suddenly Defends U.S. Invasion of Iraq—Mainstream Media Shrug

    In fact, the U.S. forced Iraq to privatize its oil industry, which had previously been under the control of the state, and further required that it accept foreign ownership of the industry. The effort to transfer the resources to the control of multinational, largely U.S.-based oil companies has been hampered in part by the decade of violence unleashed by the invasion.


    Ross Caputi and Matt Howard, members of the Iraq Veterans Against the War, spoke with Common Dreams by phone and said that President Obama’s argument was both weak factually and morally. As it happens, both IVAW members were together in Washington, DC on Wednesday, organizing an evening event focused on the devastating impacts of the Iraq War—both for veterans like themselves and the Iraqi civilian population—when they heard news about what the president had said.

    “What President Obama said is false,” said Caputi. “The U.S. did not attempt to work within the international system. We acted unilaterally, without the approval of the UN Security Council.”

    “We went from one lie, which was weapons of mass destruction, to another lie which was liberation and freedom,” said Howard. Citing the devastation cited by Iraqi civil society allies, especially women in the country, he continued, “This idea that Iraq is somehow better off or that the U.S. waged a so-called ’Good War’ is ridiculous.”

  • Un rapport sur mesure

    Evoqué pour la première fois en 2005, le projet d’oléoduc Keystone XL reliant les Etats-Unis et le Canada devrait permettre de doper l’exploitation des sables bitumineux de l’Alberta, avec un coût écologique que les pouvoirs publics tentent de dissimuler derrière des études « scientifiques » :

    Avant que le ministère des affaires étrangères américain ne publie son étude controversée sur l’impact environnemental [de l’oléoduc Keystone XL], un cabinet de conseil — IHS CERA — a envoyé aux médias sa propre étude affirmant que l’oléoduc n’engendrerait aucun surplus d’émissions de gaz à effet de serre. Le rapport a été présenté comme « indépendant ». (...) Ce cabinet est pourtant financé par les contribuables canadiens à hauteur de plusieurs centaines de milliers de dollars, via un contrat qui lie le gouvernement de l’Alberta et IHS CERA pour un montant de 325 000 dollars auquel s’ajoutent 545 426 dollars que la province avait déjà versés l’année dernière.

    L’Alberta est l’un des promoteurs les plus agressifs du pipeline. [En 2013], la province s’est ainsi payé les services de deux entreprises de lobbying installées à Washington, Mehlman Vogel Castagnetti et Rasky Baerlein Strategic Communications, qui entretiennent des liens étroits avec le ministre des affaires étrangères John Kerry, afin d’accélérer l’approbation officielle de Keystone XL.

    Lee Fang, « Alberta Government Quietly Funded Researchers Behind ‘Independent’ Report Boosting Keystone XL »,, 4 février.

    #Coupures_de_presse (mars 2014)

  • Eleven Years On: How ‘The #Washington_Post’ Helped Give Us the Iraq War

    Exigence envers les anti-guerre et complaisance envers les va-t-en-guerre.

    Executive Editor Downie said experts who questioned the war wouldn’t go on record often enough. But his paper, and others, quoted unnamed pro-war sources willy-nilly.

    Vita had a different excuse on another missed opportunity. One of the fresh revelations in the Kurtz piece was how, in October 2002, Thomas Ricks (who has covered national security issues for fifteen years) turned in a piece titled “Doubts,” indicating that Pentagon officials were worried that the risks of an invasion of Iraq were being underestimated. It was killed by Vita. He told Kurtz that a problem with the piece was that many of the quotes with names attached came from “retired guys.” But the Post (and much of the rest of the media) rarely shied away from “retired guys” who promoted the war.

    At the end of the Kurtz piece, Downie offered his ultimate defense. “People who were opposed to the war from the beginning and have been critical of the media’s coverage in the period before the war have this belief that somehow the media should have crusaded against the war,” Downie said. “They have the mistaken impression that somehow if the media’s coverage had been different, there wouldn’t have been a war.”

    Two responses to that final excuse come quickly to mind.

    Most of those against the war did not ask for a media “crusade” against invasion, merely that the press stick to the facts and provide a balanced assessment: in other words, that the Post do its minimum journalistic duty. If anything, the Post, and some other major news outlets, came closer to crusading for the war.


  • After Latest Incident, Israel’s Future in FIFA Is Uncertain | The Nation

    D’autres qu’#Israël auraient été expulsés de la #FIFA depuis très longtemps. (toile de fond :

    Their names are Jawhar Nasser Jawhar, 19, and Adam Abd al-Raouf Halabiya, 17. They were once soccer players in the West Bank. Now they are never going to play sports again. Jawhar and Adam were on their way home from a training session in the Faisal al-Husseini Stadium on January 31 when Israeli forces fired upon them as they approached a checkpoint. After being shot repeatedly, they were mauled by checkpoint dogs and then beaten. Ten bullets were put into Jawhar’s feet. Adam took one bullet in each foot. After being transferred from a hospital in Ramallah to King Hussein Medical Center in Amman, they received the news that soccer would no longer be a part of their futures. (Israel’s border patrol maintains that the two young men were about to throw a bomb.)

    This is only the latest instance of the targeting of Palestinian soccer players by the Israeli army and security forces. Death, injury or imprisonment has been a reality for several members of the Palestinian national team over the last five years. Just imagine if members of Spain’s top-flight World Cup team had been jailed, shot or killed by another country and imagine the international media outrage that would ensue. Imagine if prospective youth players for Brazil were shot in the feet by the military of another nation. But, tragically, these events along the checkpoints have received little attention on the sports page or beyond .


    As Chairman of the Palestinian Football Association Jibril al-Rajoub commented bluntly, the problems are rooted in “the occupation’s insistence on destroying Palestinian sport .”


  • If Climate Change is a ‘Weapon of Mass Destruction,’ Why Promote Carbon Proliferation?

    “It doesn’t keep us safe if the United States secures its nuclear arsenal, while other countries fail to prevent theirs from falling into the hands of terrorists,” Kerry said. Similarly, a serious response to climate change requires that all countries break their fossil fuel addiction. “At the end of the day, emissions coming from anywhere in the world threaten the future for people everywhere in the world,” Kerry said.

    Kerry’s nuclear analogy is useful for understanding the Obama’s administration’s climate agenda—and its glaring omission. The plan is built on three pillars: curbing domestic carbon pollution (or, securing our own nuclear arsenal), preparing for the impacts of climate change (building fallout shelters) and leading efforts to address climate change internationally (encouraging disarmament.)

    All of that nonproliferation work would be undercut if the US sold weapons-grade uranium to the countries it was asking not to build a bomb. In effect, that is what the United States is doing with fossil fuels. While the administration takes steps to cut down emissions at home—via investment in renewables, tighter efficiency standards for power plants and vehicles— Obama continues to promote an “all of the above” energy strategy that ensures oil and coal companies profit from selling American-made dirty energy abroad. It’s one of the most critical inconsistencies among the president’s climate policies .


    To return to Kerry’s nuclear analogy: dismantling a bit of our arsenal makes us little safer, and gives us little credibility to ask others to abandon theirs, if we drop a bomb in the process.

    #climat #Etats-Unis

    • How the U.S. Exports Global Warming

      Since Obama took office, American coal exports are up more than 50 percent. And Big Coal has designs to more than double that tonnage by opening a direct export route to Asia, shipping coal strip-mined from the Powder River Basin, in Wyoming and Montana, by rail to a network of planned export terminals in the Pacific Northwest, and then by sea to China. These new coal exports have received far less attention than #Keystone XL, but would unleash a carbon bomb nearly identical to the greenhouse pollution attributed to the pipeline.


      By all outward indications, the Clinton regime-in-waiting is even more supportive of the dirty-energy trade than the Obama White House. Bill Clinton is a vocal proponent of the Keystone XL pipeline, calling on America to “embrace it.” During Hillary Clinton’s reign as secretary of state, the department outsourced its flawed environmental assessment of Keystone XL to a longtime contractor for the pipeline’s builder, TransCanada – whose top lobbyist just happened to have served as a deputy manager for Clinton’s 2008 presidential run.

  • Pete Seeger: This Man Surrounded Hate and Forced it to Surrender

    Pete Seeger outlasted the bastards. But he did so much more than that. He showed us how to do our time with grace, with a sense of history and honor, with a progressive vision for the ages and a determination to embrace the next great cause because the good fight is never finished. It’s just waiting for a singer to remind us that “the world would never amount to a hill of beans if people didn’t use their imaginations to think of the impossible.” (...) Source: The Nation

  • Obama defends police state spying - World Socialist Web Site

    In the course of his 45-minute address, Obama never mentioned the Fourth Amendment, which explicitly bans warrentless and arbitrary “searches and seizures”—precisely what the NSA and other intelligence agencies are doing, and on a scale that could not have been imagined by the Founding Fathers of the American republic.
    Instead, the speech was marked by repeated paeans to the military-intelligence apparatus.
    “The folks at the NSA are our neighbors, they’re our friends and family,” Obama said. “Our intelligence community follows the law and is staffed by patriots,” he added, declaring that NSA operatives “follow protocols designed to protect the privacy of ordinary people.”
    Obama endorsed the surveillance programs “not only because I felt that they made us more secure, but also because nothing in the initial review [of the #NSA programs] and nothing I have learned since indicated that our intelligence community has sought to violate the law or is cavalier about the civil liberties of their fellow citizens.” (...) “If any individual who objects to government policy can take it into their own hands to publicly disclose classified information,” he declared, “then we will not be able to keep our people safe, or conduct foreign policy.” He went on to imply that #Snowden was guilty of “revealing methods to our adversaries,” i.e., engaging in treason.

    • What Obama Didn’t Say in His Speech on NSA Spying | The Nation

      The most illuminating sentences of the speech on intelligence reform that President Obama delivered Friday morning were the first:

      « At the dawn of our Republic, a small, secret #surveillance committee borne out of the ‘The Sons of Liberty’ was established in Boston. The group’s members included Paul Revere, and at night they would patrol the streets, reporting back any signs that the British were preparing raids against America’s early Patriots. Throughout American history, intelligence has helped secure our country and our freedoms. »

      The choice to begin the speech with an homage to spying—however noble—reflects the practical decision that the president announced: to embrace much of the surveillance activity conducted in the name of national security, while accepting a series of modest reforms that civil liberties advocates greeted as but a first step to curbing the National Security Agency.


  • Why Is ‘The_New Republic’ Taking Money From an NSA Contractor to Run Defenses of the NSA? | The Nation

    The National Security Agency has a friend at the Harvard Law School. And at the Brookings Institution. And at The New Republic. And at The Washington Post.

    Benjamin Wittes, who is not a lawyer, is a senior fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution, where he is “Research Director in Public Law, and Co-Director of the Harvard Law School-Brookings Project on Law and Security.” He also has a Web site, Lawfare, where he’s been blogging on the report on the abuses of the National Security Agency just out from the President’s Review Group on Intelligence and Communication Technologies, in terms highly favorable to the super-secretive and media-shy agency. He also enjoys extraordinary access to the NSA, for instance in this series of podcasts with its top officials. (“We Brought In a Recoding Device So You Don’t Have To,” the series is titled—cute!)

    Why is Lawfare the NSA’s media portal of choice? Well, consider this. Lawfare, in turn, partners with The New Republic, where this post was republished in its entirety. The joint Lawfare/TNR project is titled “Security States,” and it is sponsored, Wittes proudly notes, by the Northrop Grumman Corporation. Grumman, in turn, is a major NSA contractor—see this $220 million deal it scored with the NSA “to develop an advanced information management and data storage system that will support efforts to modernize the nation’s electronic intelligence and broader signals intelligence capabilities,” a fact TNR does not disclose to its readers.

    And the NSA is apparently well-pleased with the arrangement. “Check out Lawfare’s interview with NSA’s acting Deputy Director Fran Fleisch,” the agency enthused today, one of the NSA’s public affairs office’s six breathless tweets booming “Lawfare” over the past five days. Surely they also enjoy the laundering of the content of “the indispensable Lawfare blog” through The Washington Post, courtesy of its hack right-wing blogger Jennifer Rubin. (“The NSA will falter unless Obama does his job.”)

    Meanwhile, Wittes’s Lawfare co-blogger Jack Goldsmith, late of George W. Bush’s Pentagon and Justice Department, is a professor at the Harvard Law School, but does not disclose any conflict of interest, as most Harvard Law professors do, for being part of such a project sponsored by a commercial entity.

    Let’s hear from Professor Goldsmith as to whether he is paid by Northrop for his posts at Lawfare, and whether he thinks he has disclosed that to his Harvard employers, and whether he should make the arrangement public. Let’s hear from The New Republic. Why is it taking money from an NSA contractor to run defenses of the NSA? I’ll be sending this post straightaway to TNR editor Franklin Foer, an old friend. And I’ll e-mail it too Professor Goldsmith, too. I’ll let you know what they say.


  • Inequality Is (Literally) Killing America | The Nation

    Only a few miles separate the Baltimore neighborhoods of Roland Park and Upton Druid Heights. But residents of the two areas can measure the distance between them in years—twenty years, to be exact. That’s the difference in life expectancy between Roland Park, where people live to be 83 on average, and Upton Druid Heights, where they can expect to die at 63.

    Underlying these gaps in life expectancy are vast economic disparities. Roland Park is an affluent neighborhood with an unemployment rate of 3.4 percent, and a median household income above $90,000. More than 17 percent of people in Upton Druid Heights are unemployed, and the median household income is just $13,388.

    It’s no secret that this sort of economic inequality is increasing nationwide; the disparity between America’s richest and poorest is the widest it’s been since the Roaring Twenties. Less discussed are the gaps in life expectancy that have widened over the past twenty-five years between America’s counties, cities and neighborhoods. While the country as a whole has gotten richer and healthier, the poor have gotten poorer, the middle class has shrunk and Americans without high school diplomas have seen their life expectancy slide back to what it was in the 1950s. Economic inequalities manifest not in numbers, but in sick and dying bodies.


    ... it is chronic diseases like diabetes, which are correlated with socioeconomic inequality, that are driving up the cost to the government of programs like #Medicare and #Medicaid. Overall, policymakers underestimate the costs of not prioritizing preventative care, and underestimate the long-term benefits of social spending programs.

    #Inégalité, #pauvreté, #santé, #prévention