#FreeMarziehHashemi.

(Cross-posted from American Herald Tribune)

*

Detention Of Marzieh Hashemi Pursuant To Material Witness Order Borders On Political Kidnapping

ny discussion of the detention of journalist Marzieh Hashemi must begin in the historical context that all presidents have used the Department of Justice for constitutionally prohibited personal ends. The calculated seizure and political intimidation of Mrs. Hashemi and her family in the United States is but the most recent flagrant instance.

Whether it’s the deportation of political enemies during the Palmer Raids of the early 1900’s, or the COINTELPRO attacks a half a century later upon dissidents of color through assassination, mock show trials and indefinite detention of political prisoners, or the post 9-11 hysteria that drove hundreds of thousands of Muslims from the United States, or the targeted attack on whistle blowers and construct of the surveillance state by the last president, all have seen their executive power as essentially boundless, and their thirst to use it . . .  largely unrestrained.

Yet none before has been so public, indeed brazen, as is the current one in his utter contempt for the settled rule of law and procedure. Indeed in Trump’s view the Department of Justice exists as but a mere extension of his own political thirst and agenda and may be employed as a tool to implement personal and political reprisal. In this light, the lawless seizure of Marzieh Hashemi was as predictable as it is ominous in both process and substance.

The history of the Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA) has largely lain dormant with few prosecutions, if any, for violations and none before that have triggered the seizure of an American journalist pursuant to the subterfuge of a material witness order, here employed as little more than political handcuffs.

As of now there has been no official comment by the Department of Justice as to the nature of the grand jury dodge that served for the illegal and unnecessary seizure of Mrs. Hashemi when she recently de-boarded a flight in St. Louis, Missouri.

nitial grounds for the unprecedented seizure of the highly respected anchor for Press TV swung wildly, ranging from leverage to obtain the release of other Americans “held” in Iran to a US investigation into possible violations of the recently re-imposed political sanctions against Iran to OFAC violations (Office of Financial Assets Control) arising from her unlicensed work for a designated foreign state.

If, as it turns out, the seizure of Mrs. Hashemi finds its genesis in an unprecedented criminal investigation of a news outlet pursuant to FARA, to understand just how calculated and arbitrary a step it is, one need only look at its very different application against the Russian state-owned media outlets Sputnik and RT.

Cast in the light of the hysteria over alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election, Congress and various government agencies turned their attention to both outlets. Claiming the need to provide listeners with notice as to their partisan bent, in point of fact FARA was used against Sputnik and RT as so much a legislative bully-pulpit in a readily transparent effort to “purify” if not control the message of these two foreign-owned outlets.

Yet, if FARA triggered the stunning seizure of Marzieh Hashemi, that precipitous step bears no likeliness whatsoever to the procedural and substantive approach employed by the US government with regard to like violations by Sputnik and RT.

In neither case were journalists of the networks seized by the government for possible violation of FARA. In neither case were the networks targeted for grand jury investigation.  In fact, unlike here, both media outlets were given ample opportunity to raise objections to the applicability of FARA to their activity and when their arguments proved unavailing a chance to either register with it or to cease operations within the United States. Failing this, the government threatened but did not, at any time, undertake criminal prosecutions or arrests of employees, let alone journalists, who worked for the outlets.

hat is not what has apparently happened here with Press TV. In this regard, there is no evidence that Press TV was put on notice that it’s “presence” within the United States or acquiring and using information it received in and about controversial US issues for airing in Iran, and elsewhere, triggered FARA oversight let alone a criminal violation of its reach. Nor, does it appear, Press TV was given an opportunity to challenge a claim that its activity fell within the rubric of FARA. Finally, there is no evidence Press TV was given an option to either register with FARA or to cease its operation or a warning that failure to do so could result in the prosecution of the network or the arrest of its journalists.

In this light, it is palpably clear that the Department of Justice has employed a double standard between its approach to the application of FARA to Sputnik and RT and to that applied as against Press TV.

Given a grand jury investigation into Press TV for an alleged criminal violation of FARA and the arrest of one of its most respected journalists, it is beyond cavil that the US government has chosen to selectively enforce and punish it for political reasons driven, no doubt, by an Oval Office agenda.

Continue reading “#FreeMarziehHashemi.”

Advertisements

Captain Brittany Ramos-DeBarros: “They Want Us To Believe The Lie…”

by Jerry Alatalo

nited States Army Reserve Captain Brittany Ramos-DeBarros, veteran of the war in Afghanistan, faces retribution from her military superiors. She speaks out about her experience in Afghanistan and what she has learned with respect to the truth of why America initiates wars, which, from the military’s harsh reactions, suggests a continuing emphasis on secrecy, silence or non-transparency fueling the U.S. soldier/war organizational culture.

During a public event speech which put her in legal jeopardy, Captain DeBarros told the crowd gathered:

“They want us to believe the lies that the precious lives of our soldiers are being spent for the protection of our freedoms. But I spent a year witnessing the bravery and beauty of the Afghan people – men and women, fathers and mothers, risking their lives and their families to overcome oppressive organizations that we funded and enabled.”

While appearing for a new documentary promoted by Veterans for Peace, Brittany DeBarros describes the essential experience of contrariness as someone both in the U.S. military and speaking out against American involvement in war:

“It feels like a moment where your life feels like … the sum of your life means, could be made explicit in that moment. And you have to make a decision about what matters enough to you to put yourself at risk, and what risk you’re willing to take in order to defend that.”

Her and a growing number of American veterans of war are frustrated in the near absence of awareness in the people of the United States with regard to current levels of military engagement now occurring by their armed forces:

“People don’t realize that we’re at … almost at the height of what our bombing campaigns have been, – that we’re dropping a bomb every 12 minutes when you average out the numbers.”

“What is driving a lot of our actions is very likely not what we think, which is freedom and, you know, protecting our country and bringing democracy to the world, and liberating oppressed peoples, as it’s been sold to the American people.”

Captain Brittany DeBarros and her fellow veterans opposed to war feel,  – after learning about the lies they and their fellow Americans have been told regarding military operations in Afghanistan, Syria and elsewhere around the Earth – that their voices are just as important to become heard as the generals, admirals, Secretaries of Defense, Presidents … and so on.

“I believe what I heard someone else say, which was: ‘If someone can stand in uniform as an officer and as a leader, and speak about why we should be in war, – why shouldn’t I as a leader be able to stand in my uniform and say that we shouldn’t be at war?'”

She also expresses her shocked amazement and frustration in knowing that, not taking into account the nation’s civilian population of 330 million-plus being unaware, even her own fellow soldiers are often-times “out of the loop” on the true levels or magnitude of military operations being carried out by United States armed forces around the world.

“When there’s that little awareness … awareness-raising is ground zero.”

***

For more information, please visit AboutFaceVeterans.org 

(Thank you to The Peace Report at YouTube)

Donald Trump Silent On White Helmets Scandal.

by Jerry Alatalo

Among the participants and attendees of the December 20, 2018 United Nations meeting on the activities of the White Helmets were Syrian Ambassador Bashar Jaafari and Russian Federation Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia

eople who watch the DECEMBER 20, 2018 United Nations meeting, which presented evidence of horrific crimes committed inside Syria by the so-called “rescue” organization and Academy Award-winning “White Helmets”, will come to a full understanding of the true reason U.S. President Donald Trump went on Twitter (Date: DECEMBER 19, 2018).

President Trump announced a major, surprise change in his administration’s foreign policy 24 hours before the U.N. meeting exposing the White Helmets international scandal – and wrote that, essentially: “We (U.S. military forces) are leaving Syria … immediately!”. Is it possible, or even probable, that Mr. Trump was aware of the U.N. meeting scheduled for the 20th of December, and that his no-cost Twitter foreign policy statement was delivered to place a global media roadblock in front of the White Helmets bombshell, set to explode the next day?

We sense the answer is “yes”. However, the only way of knowing for certain is hearing from Donald Trump himself for his opinion of the “extremely inconvenient, taboo…” details presented at the December 20 event. Trump’s 12/19/2018 action, a military psychological operation if the described theory becomes proved true, was put forward to soak up all global media attention, which indeed was the result. In other words, – Mr. Trump took a calculated public relations action to protect the diminishing reputation of the White Helmets, or to bury any chance of any appreciable amount of people worldwide learning details of the White Helmets criminal scandal revealed on 12/20/2018.

Developments in the near (3) weeks since Trump’s announcement seem to confirm the theory. Donald Trump and members of his administration have not said anything about the White Helmets in those (3) weeks, – most especially relaying nothing publicly whatsoever about, or since, the damning December 20 U.N. meeting.

Trump’s Twitter action could be described using Trump terminology as “fantastic, and very successful”; very few people worldwide heard news of the White Helmets scandal revealed at the December 20 United Nations meeting; Trump’s National Security Adviser John Bolton has issued, as more than once in the past, a warning to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad about potential use of chemical weapons, and, once more, threatening the severest of military responses.

With the already-suffering reputation of the White Helmets terrorist group effectively “saved” thanks to Donald Trump’s Twitter psychological operation and public relations fix, the rising odds for another false flag chemical attack in Syria (possibly Israel due to growing Neocon desperation) becomes more plausible as a predictive. This creates legitimate worries that another deception-based military response from the United States (Trump), United Kingdom (May) and France (Macron) will bring much more unnecessary death,injury and harm than previous illegal bombing operations.

What public responses, if any, have the United Kingdom’s Prime Minister Theresa May and French President Emmanuel Macron issued on this very serious matter?

Who will become the first courageous U.S. journalist submitting to the president of the United States of America the following question?

“With respect to extremely troubling revelations made on December 20 at the United Nations, President Trump, could you please share with Americans and people of the world your honest assessment of the White Helmets?”

white helmets-2
Future history books may record, teach and describe the 2-hour December 20, 2018 meeting at the United Nations as a pivotal and important, world changing event

***

(Thank you to Nizar Abboud at YouTube)

SYRIA: The Western Rogue States Must Confess Their Crimes Against Humanity And Be Held Accountable

“The West must go beyond simply stopping its financing of terrorism and the supply of weapons. The West must confess to its crimes against the Syrian people in order to be forgiven. The West must lift the economic sanctions which are a siege upon the Syrian people and it must allow the Syrian people to rebuild in peace without meddling in their affairs. The Syrian people will rebuild according to what the Syrian people want not what the East or the West want. The West has sold the idea that this war was against President Assad but in reality it was against the will of a nation and the people of that nation must be respected.”

– Reverend Ibrahim Nseir
Presbyterian Church of Aleppo, Syria

Friends of Syria

by Vanessa Beeley
A restaurant, beneath the Citadel in Aleppo, displaying 2019 New Year signs. (Photo: Vanessa Beeley)

The West and its allies in the Gulf States, Turkey and Israel have waged an eight year war against the Syrian people. The West has besieged, starved and deprived the Syrian people of humanitarian aid while pouring “aid” into the areas controlled by their extremist sectarian proxy armies.

The West has violated international law and it has enabled the destruction of Syria’s history, heritage and cultural footprint. The West has behaved as a collective rogue state without conscience and without pity for a people its media has systematically dehumanised to enable such a crime to take place.


Christmas 2018 in Damascus, Old City, without mortars from Eastern Ghouta since its liberation in April 2018. (Photo: Vanessa Beeley)

Despite this war of attrition and despite battling disproportionate force, the Syrian people have refused…

View original post 1,696 more words