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Military Resistance 11J2
Arkansas Razorbacks Announce “They Will Shut Down The Remainder Of The Football Season Unless Texas A&M Reduced 14 Points From Their Final Score On Last Saturday’s Game”
“We Started Looking At What Congress Was Doing Today And It Made A Lot Of Sense”
Shocked A& M Coach Says “I Can’t Believe Fans Would Empower Anyone To Run Their Athletic Department That Behaved Like This”
October 1, 2013 By Greg Henderson, Rock City Times The Arkansas Razorbacks today announced that they will shut down the remainder of the football season tonight at midnight unless Texas A&M reduced 14 points from their final score on last Saturday’s game. The score reduction would give the Razorbacks a 2 point victory and match the Razorback’s win total from last year. This would also mark the first time since 2010 that the Razorbacks opened SEC play with a win. “I feel like there were at least 2 instances where a hold should have been called that enabled A&M to score and a pass interference should have been called that we would have surely scored on as a result,” Razorback Head Coach Bret Bielema tells us. “We started looking at what Congress was doing today and it made a lot of sense. So effective midnight tonight we will cancel our season until we get those points back.” Arkansas issued a statement saying the only way they would restore the season is if A&M relinquishes their 14 points, or allows Arkansas to play an additional 2 minutes of regulation in Razorback Stadium without a defensive opponent. The Razorbacks have said that they will not count the ensuing games as forfeits, so no losses will accrue on their season totals. Season ticket holders will not be allowed into the stadium, and will not receive reimbursement for their tickets. “I truly feel sorry for all the fans that will have to miss the remainder of the games because A&M conspired with the officials, “Razorback athletic director Jeff Long tells us.
“To show my sympathy I will also forfeit any reimbursement on my season tickets along with all football personnel. Bret Bielema has additionally said he will donate all lucky windbreakers to a charity auction to raise money for the Razorback Foundation in this time period.” When reached for comment about the stance made by the Razorbacks, A&M athletics director Eric Hyman told us “Why in the world would I give up the points. It was a game already played and finalized. I can’t believe fans would empower anyone to run their athletic department that behaved like this.”
AFGHANISTAN WAR REPORTS
Edmond Soldier’s Father Watched Fungal Infection Kill His Son:
Wounded A Month Earlier In Afghanistan, He Dies Last Week;
“Doctors Cut Off Parts Of His Son For More Than A Month”
Spc. James T. Wickliffchacin, 22, of Edmond, Okla., died Sept. 20 at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas, of injuries sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated near his dismounted patrol during combat operations in PulE-Alam, Afghanistan on Aug. 12. SPC Wickliffchacin, 3rd Infantry Division, was awarded the Purple Heart and Army Commendation Medal with Valor posthumously. Photo provided by the U.S. Army
September 28, 2013 By Bryan Dean, NewsOK EDMOND — Thomas Wickliff watched in horror as doctors cut off parts of his son for more than a month. A leg. Part of his arm. The other leg. Eventually, doctors had nothing left to amputate, and Wickliff had to tell his son he was going to die. Spc. James T. Wickliffchacin died Sept. 20 at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio after being injured Aug. 12 in a roadside bomb attack in Afghanistan. Wickliff said the injuries from the bombing were survivable, but his son contracted a fungal infection that spread voraciously. “He came in from Afghanistan with the wounds, but it wasn’t enough to kill him,” Wickliff said. “The problem is, he came in with a fungus, and the doctor’s didn’t have anything to fight the fungus.” Wickliff said he promised his son he was going to be OK when he first arrived at Brooke Army Medical Center, because doctors expected he would recover. But the infection wouldn’t stop. “I saw my son, day by day, lose something from his body. They started with the left leg. After that, they started to take off the tissue from his left arm.” Later they amputated his right leg below the knee, then they took the rest of it. They next removed the left side of his pelvis. When the infection continued to spread, doctors had no more options. Wickliffchacin had also contracted pneumonia, and doctors said he could not handle any more surgeries. “I had to tell my son he wasn’t going to make it, that there was nothing they could do,” Wickliff said. Fungal infections among wounded military members are on the rise, according to medical experts. U.S. Medicine — a monthly professional publication for the Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Defense and U.S. Public Health Service — reported on the issue last year. According to the article, doctors found bomb attacks caused contamination of wounds leading to fungal infections in 3.5 percent of cases in 2010, with at least three deaths. In 80 percent of fungal infection cases, the wounded soldier had a leg amputated. Nearly all cases required large blood transfusions.
Wickliff is a U.S. citizen who raised his family in Venezuela. Wickliffchacin was born in Venezuela but was an American citizen. The family moved to Oklahoma seven years ago to escape the rule of former Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. Wickliff said his son was smart. He was on pace to graduate from high school early in Venezuela, but was set back when the family moved to the U.S. because he did not speak English well. He graduated at 18 from Edmond Santa Fe High School. “He had a good future,” Wickliff said. “He had all the scores to go to whatever college he wanted.” But Wickliffchacin wanted to join the Army. Friends said he was proud of his service even before he graduated from high school. Wickliff said he is writing letters to the state’s congressional delegation to alert them to the fungal infection problem, hoping it gets more attention and more funding can be put toward new treatments. “For my son, it’s too late,” he said. “But I want to do something. We have to save these soldiers.”
Army Sgt. Timothy McGill, 30, ‘Gentle Giant’ From Ramsey, Killed In Afghanistan
September 22, 2013 By Steve Stirling and Steve Strunsky/The Star-Ledger Army Staff Sgt. Timothy McGill came from a family of police and firefighters, so when the 6-foot 6-inch, 280-pound football and hockey player graduated from Ramsey High School in 2001, he went straight into the military to serve his country. “He graduated high school in June and he went into the Marine Corps in August,” said his father, Raymond McGill, a retired Mahway police detective. “He was a hero.” Sgt. McGill died in Afghanistan on Saturday, one of three soldiers killed when an Afghan wearing a security forces uniform turned his gun on American troops. He was 30. McGill is the second former Ramsey High School football player this year to be killed in Afghanistan while serving in the U.S. military. In May, Sgt. Eric D. Christian, 39, a Marine special forces staff sergeant and former Ramsey Rams player, was killed in action in Farah province. His younger brother, Phillip, said that attack was also by an Afghan National Army soldier, with whom Christian had been training. McGill was in Marine Corps boot camp on 9/11, and deployed to Iraq in 2005, before leaving the Marines and returning home to Ramsey. In 2008, he enlisted in the Army
National Guard in Rhode Island, and three years later became a member of the Army’s elite Special Forces unit, or Green Berets. His father said he planned to spend his life in the military. “We had talked about it while he was in high school. He wasn’t really interested in going to college, he really wanted to go into the military, the Marine Corps especially. He really wanted infantry,” Raymond McGill said of his son. “I supported him 100 percent. He didn’t want to sit behind a desk, he wanted to be in the thick of it, and he was.” Raymond McGill said it appeared that his son was one of three U.S. soldiers killed by a man wearing an Afghan National Security Forces uniform who turned his weapon on them in the city of Gardez, capital of eastern Paktia province. The attack, which is under investigation, took place inside a base of the Afghan army, according to a security official in Gardez. The area is near the Pakisani border and rife with fighting against the Taliban and other militants. McGill said his son could be physically intimidating, as he was on the Ramsey Rams varsity football team and in a local hockey league. "But he was a gentle giant," the father added. "Everybody loved him.” The Rhode Island National Guard released a statement saying Sgt. McGill died Saturday from wounds received by small arms fire. "Sadly, today we realized the sixth death of a Rhode Island National Guard Soldier in a combat zone since 9/11,” Major Gen. Kevin R. McBride, adjutant general and commanding general of the Rhode Island National Guard, stated. “We are once again reminded of the enduring sacrifice our soldiers and airmen have made, and continue to make, in service to this great country." He was the 152nd service member with ties to New Jersey to die in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Raymond McGill said his son followed in the footsteps of his great uncles, and served as a member of the Ramsey Volunteer Fire Department, and a duty he fulfilled whenever he could even while in the military. “He would respond to fire calls while he was on leave,” his father said. In addition to his father, McGill is survived by his mother, Carol McGill, and two sisters, Megan McGill and Lindsay Vanderbeek. Raymond McGill said his son’s body will arrive Monday evening at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, and following a military ceremony would be escorted up Interstate 95 by members of his National Guard Unit and the Ramsey Police Department. He said his son would be buried locally, though arrangements were still being made. Raymond McGill said the family had received an outpouring of support from friends of his son at military bases around country, including the Marine Corps’ Camp LeJeune in
Jacksonville, N.C., and the Army’s Fort Bragg in Fayetteville, N.C., and Fort Myer, in Arlington, Va. Master Sgt. Darren O’Donovan, who served with McGill in the Rhode Island National Guard, was at the family’s home in Ramsey today. O’Donovan said McGill was a weapons sergeant, a highly trained and physically demanding position for which his duties included going behind enemy lines to recruit, train and equip friendly forces for guerrilla raids, carrying out demolition raids against enemy targets; and interpreting and preparing combat orders. “He was a true expert in his field,” O’Donovan said. On top of that, he added, “Tim was a great guy.”
POLITICIANS REFUSE TO HALT THE BLOODSHED THE TROOPS HAVE THE POWER TO STOP THE WAR
“Almost” 9,000 More Soldiers Off To Obama’s Imperial Slaughterhouse:
“A Corps Headquarters, A Division Headquarters, Three Brigade Combat Teams And A Combat Aviation Brigade Will Deploy To Afghanistan This Winter”
10.7.23 By Michelle Tan, Army Times [Excerpts] Almost 9,000 soldiers will deploy to Afghanistan this winter, the Defense Department announced Sept. 24. The deploying soldiers represent six major Army units, including a corps headquarters, a division headquarters, three brigade combat teams and a combat aviation brigade. The BCTs will go as Security Force Assistance Brigades, smaller, tailored units designed to train, advise and assist the Afghan National Security Forces.
The deploying units are: XVIII Airborne Corps headquarters, Fort Bragg, N.C. About 560 soldiers from the headquarters, led by Lt. Gen. Joseph Anderson, will deploy in January to run the International Security Assistance Force Joint Command. The soldiers are expected to do a one-year tour. They will backfill the III Corps headquarters, of Fort Hood, Texas. III Corps headquarters, led by Lt. Gen. Mark Milley, has been in Afghanistan since April. 10th Mountain Division headquar-ters, Fort Drum, N.Y. About 630 soldiers from the headquarters will deploy in January. They are expected to replace the 101st Airborne Division headquarters, which now runs Regional Command-East, and serve a one-year deployment. The 101st Airborne headquar-ters, of Fort Campbell, Ky., has been deployed since February. 4th BCT, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colo. About 1,830 soldiers from the brigade will deploy in March. They are expected to serve a nine-month deployment in Regional Command-South, replacing the 2nd Cavalry Regiment. 2nd BCT, 101st Airborne Division, Fort Campbell About 3,000 soldiers from the brigade will deploy in February. They are scheduled to serve a nine-month tour in RC-East, re-placing 4th BCT, 10th Mountain Division. 3rd BCT, 1st Armored Division, Fort Bliss, Texas About 1,160 soldiers from the brigade are expected to deploy in February. They are scheduled to deploy for nine months to RC-South, replacing 3rd BCT, 1st Infantry Division. 159th Combat Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne Division, Fort Campbell About 1,800 soldiers from the CAB are scheduled to deploy in January. They are slated for a nine-month tour in RC-East, replacing the CAB from the 10th Mountain Division.
DO YOU HAVE A FRIEND OR RELATIVE IN THE MILITARY?
Forward Military Resistance along, or send us the email address if you wish and we’ll send it regularly with your best wishes. Whether in Afghanistan or at a base in the USA, this is extra important for your service friend, too often cut off from access to encouraging news of growing resistance to injustices, inside the armed services and at home. Send email requests to address up top or write to: Military Resistance, Box 126, 2576 Broadway, New York, N.Y. 10025-5657.
“The Commandant Of The Marine Corps On Monday Took The Extraordinary Step Of Firing Two Generals For Not Adequately Protecting A Giant Base In Southern Afghanistan”
[Thanks to Alan Stolzer, Military Resistance Organization, who sent this in.] September 30, 2013 By Rajiv Chandrasekaran, The Washington Post The commandant of the Marine Corps on Monday took the extraordinary step of firing two generals for not adequately protecting a giant base in southern
Afghanistan that Taliban fighters stormed last year, resulting in the deaths of two Marines and the destruction of half a dozen U.S. fighter jets. It is the first time since the Vietnam War that a general, let alone two, has been sacked for negligence after a successful enemy attack. But the assault also was unprecedented: Fifteen insurgents entered a NATO airfield and destroyed almost an entire squadron of Marine AV-8B Harrier jets, the largest single loss of allied materiel in the almost 12-year Afghan war. The commandant, Gen. James F. Amos, said the two generals did not deploy enough troops to guard the base and take other measures to prepare for a ground attack by the Taliban. The two, Maj. Gen. Charles M. Gurganus, the top Marine commander in southern Afghanistan at the time, and Maj. Gen. Gregg A. Sturdevant, the senior Marine aviation officer in the area, “failed to exercise the level of judgment expected of commanders of their rank,” Amos said. “It was unrealistic to think that a determined enemy would not be able to penetrate the perimeter fence,” Amos said. The incident brings into stark relief the unique challenges of waging war in Afghanistan. The withdrawal of thousands of U.S. troops over the past two years has forced commanders to triage, sometimes leading them to thin out defenses. The attack occurred at Camp Bastion, a British-run NATO air base in Helmand province that adjoins Camp Leatherneck, a vast U.S. facility that serves as the NATO headquarters for southwestern Afghanistan. Because Leatherneck does not have a runway, the Marines use Bastion as their principal air hub in the country. Several hundred Marines live and work on the British side, and dozens of U.S. helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft are parked there. The British are responsible for guarding Bastion, which is ringed by a chain-link fence, triple coils of razor wire and watchtowers from which sentries can scan the horizon for any potential attackers. British commanders had assigned the task of manning the towers to troops from Tonga, which has sent 55 soldiers to Afghanistan. On the night of the attack, the Tongans left unmanned the watchtower nearest to the Taliban breach, according to an investigation by the U.S. Central Command. Other aspects of the U.S.-British security plan were “sub-optimal,” the investigation found, with no single officer in charge of security for both Bastion and Leatherneck. The security arrangement created command-and-control relationships “contrary to the warfighting principles of simplicity,” Amos wrote in a memo accepting the investigation. Troop reductions also affected security measures. When Gurganus took command in 2011, about 17,000 U.S. troops were in his area of operations. By the time of the attack,
in September 2012, the American contingent had dropped to 7,400 because of troopwithdrawal requirements imposed by President Obama. In December 2011, 325 Marines were assigned to patrol the area around Bastion and Leatherneck. In the month before the attack, that number was cut to about 110. Gurganus did seek permission in the summer of 2012 to add 160 troops to protect Bastion and Leatherneck, but his superiors in Kabul rejected the request because the military had reached a limit on forces set by the White House. Even so, Amos said Gurganus should have reallocated troops from elsewhere to protect the encampments. “The commander still has the inherent responsibility to provide protection for his forces,” Amos said. “Regardless of where you are in a drawdown, you’re required to balance force projection with force protection.” Despite the overall troop reduction, several officers stationed at Leatherneck at the time said that many Marines with idle time could have been assigned to guard duty. Instead, some of them took online college classes and others worked out in the gym twice a day. In an interview with The Washington Post this year, Gurganus characterized the attack as “a lucky break” for the Taliban. “When you’re fighting a war, the enemy gets a vote,” he said. Amos said that when he informed Gurganus that he was being relieved, Gurganus told him, “As the most senior commander on the ground, I am accountable.” Two Marines, Lt. Col. Christopher Raible and Sgt. Bradley Atwell, were killed trying to fend off the attack. Raible, a Harrier squadron commander, charged into the combat zone armed with only a handgun. Eight other Marines were wounded in the fighting. The cost of the destroyed and damaged aircraft has been estimated at $200 million.
General “Now In Charge Of The Pentagon’s Sexual-Assault Prevention Office” Tried To Block Afghan Hospital Investigation: He “Attempted To Keep Staff From Talking To Investigators About
Mistreatment Of Patients At Military
Hospital In Afghanistan”
Patients Were “Starved And Kept In Filthy Conditions”
10.7.23 Army Times [Excerpts] A Pentagon inspector general’s report has found that the Army general responsible for training the Afghan military and his deputy attempted to keep staff from talking to investigators about mistreatment of patients at a military hospital in Afghanistan, Bloomberg News has reported. Lt. Gen. William Caldwell and his deputy, Maj. Gen. Gary Patton, tried two years ago to restrict staff from contact with investigators during a probe of allegations that patients were mistreated, starved and kept in filthy conditions at Dawood National Military Hospital, according to Bloomberg, citing the IG report. The patients included members of the Afghan forces. According to the report, Caldwell and Patton “attempted to limit” interaction and required any communication with the IG to be approved in advance. The training command’s inspector general reportedly did an assessment in 2011, without the general’s knowledge, that indicated patient care was sub-standard. The Pentagon’s report, dated Aug. 13 and not yet widely available, calls for Army Secretary John McHugh to take “appropriate” action regarding Caldwell and Patton, Bloomberg reported. Patton now is in charge of the Pentagon’s sexual-assault prevention office. Patton was cited for forwarding an email from Caldwell that called for limiting outside contact, and he could face reprimand, according to the news report. Caldwell could be reprimanded and potentially demoted. Caldwell declined to comment, Bloomberg reported, citing Army spokesman George Wright. Patton also would not comment.
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“According To An Army Times Poll, Over 75% Of Service Members Oppose The Use Of Military Force In Syria”
“It Is Exactly Because Of Our Relationship To The Military And Our Acute Awareness Of The Cost Of War That We Are Qualified And Compelled To Speak Out”
2013/10/01 Under the Hood Cafe & Outreach Center is a project of the Fort Hood Support Network, P.O. Box 388, Killeen, TX 76540. http://www.underthehoodcafe.org/ We at Under The Hood Café and Outreach Center are so grateful to the American people and our Congressional representatives for saying NO to a US military attack on the people of Syria. We care deeply about the health and welfare of Fort Hood soldiers and their families. The last thing we all need is another US war in the Middle East, or elsewhere for that matter. We were disturbed to see that the first option the current US administration considered in response to the use of chemical weapons in Syria was missiles and bombs. Under
The Hood is opposed to chemical weapons and all weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear bombs. But a military attack on Syria, no matter how limited, would inevitably cause further casualties. A hasty and reckless response would also cause moral injury to our military community, which has been led into war on false pretenses too many times. Under The Hood was founded in 2009 by military veterans, family and community members to inform and empower soldiers and their families at Ft. Hood/Killeen who have been affected by war, and to help create awareness about nonviolent alternatives to going to war. We are inspired to see opposition to US intervention coming from military communities, not only in statements from groups such as Iraq Veterans Against the War and Veterans For Peace, but also from active duty GI’s, as reported in the Killeen Daily Herald. According to an Army Times poll, over 75% of service members oppose the use of military force in Syria. An unidentified Ft. Hood Army sergeant is quoted in the Army Times piece as saying, “I haven’t heard one single person be supportive of it.” While some might think military communities are an unlikely source of opposition to war, it is exactly because of our relationship to the military and our acute awareness of the cost of war that we are qualified and compelled to speak out. We encourage all service members to know their rights when speaking out against war or for better working conditions within the military. If you are a soldier who comes to believe you can no longer in good conscience participate in war, we can help you apply for Conscientious Objector status, under which you may be honorably discharged or assigned to non-combat job. Contact Under the Hood or the GI Rights Hotline for more information on your rights and options. Or come join us for our Ribs and Rights potlucks on Thursday evenings, and our Poetry Slam events every other Friday. We are here for you.
Comments, arguments, articles, and letters from service men and women, and veterans, are especially welcome. Write to Box 126, 2576 Broadway, New York, N.Y. 10025-5657 or email [email protected]
: Name, I.D., withheld unless you request publication. Same address to unsubscribe.
Defense Secretary Hagel Blows Remaining FY13 Budget On Hard Rock Cafe ‘Rager’
October 1, 2013 by Epic Blunder, The Duffel Blog WASHINGTON, DC – With the books closing on fiscal year 2013, Pentagon sources confirmed that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel blew the remainder of the defense budget over the weekend on hundreds of orders of nachos and thousands of beers at Hard Rock Cafe. As the Oct. 1 date loomed, Pentagon leaders were struggling to spend every penny allotted. Sources confirmed that Secretary of Defense Chuck “Good Times” Hagel stumbled in at that precise moment and shouted, “Whatever!” Befuddled board members stared blankly as Hagel set out to rent the nearest Hard Rock Café for a “total fucking rager.” He then went on to assemble his wolf pack by running throughout the halls of the Pentagon clanking two empty bottles of Wild Turkey 101 together while screaming “Leeeeeroy Jenkins!” Ever ready to answer the call, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, along with Tom Gordon – a humble comptroller whose sole duty was to ensure every single penny was spent – embarked on a party bus full of hookers and blow. Upon arriving at the Hard Rock, the wolf pack placed five hundred orders of Hard Rock Nachos and three hundred orders of Twisted Mac, Chicken & Cheese before beginning their favorite drinking game, “Haze the Pussy.”
Haze the Pussy is a simple drinking game where a shot is taken any time a Serious Incident Report on hazing is briefed to the Secretary of Defense. Within twelve and a half minutes, the seasoned warfighters were utterly shitfaced. “Why do all these waitresses have their shirts on?” grumbled an agitated Hagel. “I ain’t tippin’ shit until I see some titties.” “Actually, sir, they work at the Hard Rock, so they’re not obliged to remove their clothes like the escorts you’ve also hired,” said Gordon, the only sober member of the group. “They’re even wearing the ‘Chuck-a-Palooza’ shirts you had made!” Gordon gestured towards the server’s black t-shirt, emblazoned with a silkscreen print of a disoriented Hagel with a Cheshire cat grin giving two thumbs up on the front, and “Chuck-a-Palooza – Hard Rock Fuck Fest 2013” on the back. Hagel sheepishly grinned and embraced the uncomfortable accountant. “I fucking love you, Ned.” The evening unraveled into further debauchery and reckless spending, with Gen. Ray “Odious” Odierno reportedly exclaiming, “Let’s make it snow in this bitch. Carpe diem, motherfuckers!” Gen. Martin “Keebler” Dempsey and Gen. James “Famous” Amos allegedly came to fisticuffs over the last set of PowerBall tickets within the greater Washington Metropolitan Area before each throwing out a hip and agreeing to a draw. Secretary Hagel was last seen haggling with a crackhead over a replica Hammer of Thor – complete with certificate of authenticity – before forking over billions of squandered taxpayer dollars for it.
“Welcome To The Occupation”
Woman Detained And Interrogated In Ben Gurion Airport While Trying To Volunteer At Bethlehem School:
“There Is No Humanity Here”
“It Was A Tiny, Shocking Insight Into The Tactics Of Humiliation And Control, Tactics The Palestinians Of The West Bank Face Daily”
Amena Saleem September 25, 2013 by Amena Saleem, Mondoweiss ‘There is no humanity here,’ says Sumaya, my new-found friend. ‘I guess that means we’ve had it then,’ I reply, and I try to laugh so that she realizes this is an attempt to lighten the mood, but the laugh comes out dry and hoarse and I can hear the wobble in my voice as I say the words. I’m annoyed at myself, and I want to tell her – a feisty, young, beautiful-looking Palestinian – that I’m not really the pathetic, anxious individual I’m currently coming across as.
But I’ve been in this holding pen alone for three-and-a-half hours, without food or water, and have, already, in that period of time, been hauled out five times for interrogating (the first couple of times, I’d describe it as questioning; after that, it became worse) by four different people. On top of that, I came in on a night flight, landing at 6am on Sunday, so I haven’t slept since Friday night, and I’d find that upsetting at the best of times. In this situation, the lack of sleep has led me to make some appalling slip ups during the questionings. Sumaya and I are being held at Tel Aviv airport, Israel. She’s just come in on a flight from New York, with the aim of making it to Ramallah to edit a newsletter being started by Palestinian friends. Originally from Gaza, she knows she has no chance of being allowed in to that brutally-punished strip of land, even though her family lives there, so instead she comes to the West Bank to do her bit against the occupation. This time, she tells me, she has no intention of leaving. Thinking only of my stomach, I ask her if we’re likely to get any food or something to drink. ‘No,’ she replies. ‘There is no humanity here.’ My first questioning had seemed pretty straightforward: ‘Are you Muslim?’ asked the uniformed woman with the blue eye shadow. ‘What is your father’s name?’; ‘Where was he born?’; ‘What was his father’s name?’; ‘Where was he born?’; ‘Why have you come to Israel?’; ‘Are you going to the West Bank or Gaza?’. The woman had even apologized for having to ask the questions. It all put me in the wrong frame of mind…I thought this was going to be ok, and I relaxed. Sumaya opens her hand luggage, which is stuffed full of granola bars and oatcakes, and offers me one. Bloody hell, has this woman been sent to me from heaven?? ‘They do this because they don’t want Arabs using their airport,’ she says. ‘They want to make it so difficult for us that we stop coming through here. You’ve got to hang on. They’ll let you through in the end.’ I quickly realize that I can’t eat the granola bar because of the anxiety knots tying and untying themselves in my stomach. The combination of that plus food gives me the runs, and I depart hastily to the toilet. When I return, Martin, the leader of the Surrey-based ecumenical observer group I’d met on the plane (which intends to stay in the West Bank for a week and whose members have all got through customs) is in the holding pen. He’s been allowed in to give me my bag, and also brings me a baguette and a bottle of water. I tell him briefly what’s happened so far. ‘Welcome to the occupation,’ he says wryly, and then he has to leave. Possibly the worst questioning was with the man in plain-clothes. He was young and wore a black t-shirt. Fit and strong, he made sure his attitude was one of intimidation. When we walked into a tiny metal room, the door clanged shut behind us, and then it was just me and him, and a desk between us. I considered the possibilities of assault. Focus on the questions, focus…
‘We know you’ve been in Israel before’; (I’ve never been: ‘No I haven’t,’ I say); ‘You’ve been here before, just tell us the truth’; (‘I’ve never been to Israel’); ‘Don’t lie to us, or we’ll stop being nice to you’; ‘Why is your passport so new?’; ‘Who have you been communicating with in the West Bank?’; (‘No-one’); ‘We know you’ve been communicating with people in the West Bank. Tell us who they are’; (‘I don’t know anyone in the West Bank’); ‘I know you’re lying. You’ve got one more chance to tell me the truth. I might look nice, but I’m not’. And so it went on. My tongue kept sticking to the top of my dry, dry mouth, and I tried not to cluck every time I unstuck it. My lips were dryer than I ever thought it possible for them to be, and I worked hard to control my shaking. Was I shaking because I was tired and hungry? Maybe. I hoped it wasn’t fear. That would just make me cross. Sumaya has just come back from her second interrogation with the woman we call The Bitch. She is another one of the plain-clothes squad, in a khaki t-shirt and jeans and I’ve also done two rounds with her. By now, nearly four hours after she arrived in the holding pen, Sumaya and I are laughing and chatting, and I know I can cope for however long this takes, regardless of the constant, anxious churning in my stomach. But Sumaya comes back from this interrogation furious. ‘How dare she? How dare she?’ she fumes. She goes over the details of her questioning with me, angry, raging.
‘I’m Palestinian. Why Aren’t I Allowed Into My Own Country?’
‘I’m Palestinian. Why aren’t I allowed into my own country?’ she demands. ‘We have no control over our own airspace, our own borders. Why do I have to beg the Israelis for a visa to enter my own country? When are we going to stop being herded in and out of the West Bank like cattle?’ Then she kind of collapses in on herself, totally defeated. ‘You have to be strong,’ I tell her, remembering her words to me several hours previously. ‘You’ll get in eventually.’ The second time I was in with The Bitch, I completely messed up. Thinking it would help me get in, I told her I had a friend who was traveling in Israel, which I do, and that we were going to meet up and travel together. She asked me for his email address, but I didn’t want to give it to her, so I said I couldn’t remember it. The Bitch softened and implied that if I could prove the existence of an Israeli friend, they’d let me go. ‘Do you have his email address in your email contacts list?’ she asked. God, I was tired. What harm could giving someone an email address do? ‘Yes,’ I said. She turned her computer screen towards me on the desk, and pushed the keyboard in front of me. ‘Give it to me,’ she ordered. Suddenly my stupid brain clicked back on. ‘What are you doing??’ it screamed at me. ‘Get out of this.’ I entered the details of an old Yahoo account I’d stopped using years ago, opened it, pretended to look through the contacts list, and told her my friend’s address wasn’t in there. She took the keyboard from me and typed ‘Israel’ into the search bar. Bizarrely,
three reports I’d emailed to myself in 2006 came up – one on young offenders in the English prison system, a second on funding for women’s refuges, and the third was a Housing Corporation report on overcrowding amongst Muslim children in the London borough of Tower Hamlets. She seized on the third one. ‘What’s this? What’s this?’ she demanded to know. I told her and sensed her anger at having been denied the prize – the proof she was looking for. Despite the situation, I felt a rising giggle at the absurdity of it all and quickly suppressed it. Then total fear struck as I realized what she’d discover if she managed to get into my current email account, including the link to this blog. During our first questioning, The Bitch asked me if I’d ever done voluntary work. I said I’d done some stuff with homeless people years ago in England, but she was unimpressed. ‘We know why you’re here,’ she told me, ‘But we want you to tell us before we send you back.’ Why was I there? To work with children in a Bethlehem school, to live with a Palestinian family (a couple and their four teenage daughters) and share their lives for three months, to witness the reality of the occupation. It’s hardly the stuff of revolution, but every human rights sympathiser, every international observer that is allowed in weakens Israel’s iron stranglehold on the West Bank, even if only symbolically, interrupts its systematic crushing of the Palestinians and refuses to let the name of Palestine die on the world stage. Just a few miles from where I sat for 14 hours in that holding pen, convoys of lorries carrying emergency medical aid, food, rebuilding materials, even children’s toys and musical instruments, are regularly denied entry into the sealed-off Gaza Strip, where 80% of the Palestinian population lives in poverty amongst houses that have been destroyed, power plants and sewage-treatment centers that have been shelled, hospitals and schools that have been bombed, and farmland that has been uprooted by Israel’s bulldozers.
“It Was A Tiny, Shocking Insight Into The Tactics Of Humiliation And Control, Tactics The Palestinians Of The West Bank Face Daily”
Treated like animals, the Palestinians are not allowed out and humanitarian aid is not allowed in. My pen was nothing like the open pen they are trapped in, and I was eventually given my freedom. During the hours and hours I spent in there, Palestinians other than S came and went. Some were kept for several hours, others only for an hour or two. At one point, every chair in there was occupied by men, women, teenage children, whose faces displayed nothing but patience. This was the narrative of their existence, and they bore it with dignity.
For me, used to the freedom to roam at will, it was a tiny, shocking insight into the tactics of humiliation and control, tactics the Palestinians of the West Bank face daily at any one of around 600 checkpoints that control their movement. Checkpoints where they start queuing at 2, 3 or 4 in the morning in order to make it to work, where 69 women on their way to hospital have been forced to give birth since September 2000. Somehow, in the Israeli mentality, allowing me in to work with children would have been an unthinkable concession to humanity. After 11 hours, I was taken for questioning by the Ministry of the Interior. More relentless interrogation, more psychological mind games and then I was told that my story didn’t add up and I would be deported. I was photographed, finger-printed, and a copy of my passport taken. There was a bag search, body search and yet more questions. For the final two hours before my BMI flight back to London, I was escorted by two armed guards if I wanted to go to the toilet and a close watch was kept on me in the holding pen. Then finally it was time to go. Two different armed security staff put me into a van and drove me across the tarmac to the plane. I was taken up the metal steps by one of the guards and we waited at the door of the plane for a few minutes until some security clearance came through on her radio. And then, for the first time since it was taken from me at 6 that morning, my passport was returned to me. I boarded the plane and went and sat in the seat allocated to me at the very back. For the first time also since that morning, I was free from surveillance and control. It felt weird. I opened my passport. The stamp inside it said: ‘Ben-Gurion Airport: Entry Denied’. And, with that stamp, the human rights of Palestine were denied once more.
Zionist Mob Uproots Palestinian Orchard Near Nablus, As Usual:
“Israeli Soldiers, Who Arrived At The Site, Did Not Attempt To Stop Them,” As Usual
September 23, 2013 IMEMC & Agencies
Monday morning September 23, 2013 a group of armed extremist Israeli settlers attacked a Palestinian orchard, south of the northern West Bank city of Nablus, and uprooted its trees. Ghassan Daghlas, in charge of Israeli Settlements File at the Palestinian Authority in the northern part of the occupied West Bank, said that the settlers illegally occupied the land before uprooting it. He added that dozens of settlers arrived into the area, located near the Awarta-Aqraba road, close to the Itamar illegal settlement, and carried out their attack while Israeli soldiers, who arrived at the site, did not attempt to stop them. The attack came a few hours after Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, decided to boost settlement activities in the occupied territories, and to allow the settlers into a Palestinian home in Hebron. The settlers were removed from the home back in April of 2012 after the then-Israeli Defense Minister, Ehud Barak, issued an order in this regard following an Israeli court ruling. [To check out what life is like under a murderous military occupation commanded by foreign terrorists, go to: www.rafahtoday.org The occupied nation is Palestine. The foreign terrorists call themselves “Israeli.”]
CLASS WAR REPORTS
DANGER: POLITICIANS AT WORK
NSA Stores Metadata Of Millions Of Web Users For Up To A Year, Secret Files Show:
Obama Regime Traitors “Repeatedly Stated That The NSA Keeps Only The Content Of Messages And Communications Of People It Is Intentionally Targeting”
“Internal Documents Reveal The Agency Retains Vast Amounts Of Metadata”
“Retained Regardless Of Whether Person Is NSA Target”
Material Used To Build ‘Pattern-Of-Life’ Profiles Of Individuals
30 September 2013 by James Ball, Guardian News and Media Limited [Excerpts] The National Security Agency is storing the online metadata of millions of internet users for up to a year, regardless of whether or not they are persons of interest to the agency, top secret documents reveal. Metadata provides a record of almost anything a user does online, from browsing history – such as map searches and websites visited – to account details, email activity, and even some account passwords. This can be used to build a detailed picture of an individual’s life. The Obama administration has repeatedly stated that the NSA keeps only the content of messages and communications of people it is intentionally targeting – but internal documents reveal the agency retains vast amounts of metadata.
An introductory guide to digital network intelligence for NSA field agents, included in documents disclosed by former contractor Edward Snowden, describes the agency’s metadata repository, codenamed Marina. Any computer metadata picked up by NSA collection systems is routed to the Marina database, the guide explains. Phone metadata is sent to a separate system. "The Marina metadata application tracks a user’s browser experience, gathers contact information/content and develops summaries of target," the analysts’ guide explains. "This tool offers the ability to export the data in a variety of formats, as well as create various charts to assist in pattern-of-life development." The guide goes on to explain Marina’s unique capability: "Of the more distinguishing features, Marina has the ability to look back on the last 365 days’ worth of DNI metadata seen by the Sigint collection system, regardless whether or not it was tasked for collection." [Emphasis in original.] On Saturday, the New York Times reported that the NSA was using its metadata troves to build profiles of US citizens’ social connections, associations and in some cases location, augmenting the material the agency collects with additional information bought in from the commercial sector, which is not subject to the same legal restrictions as other data. The ability to look back on a full year’s history for any individual whose data was collected – either deliberately or incidentally – offers the NSA the potential to find information on people who have later become targets. But it relies on storing the personal data of large numbers of internet users who are not, and never will be, of interest to the US intelligence community. Marina aggregates NSA metadata from an array of sources, some targeted, others on a large scale. Programs such as Prism – which operates through legally compelled "partnerships" with major internet companies – allow the NSA to obtain content and metadata on thousands of targets without individual warrants. The NSA also collects enormous quantities of metadata from the fiber-optic cables that make up the backbone of the internet. The agency has placed taps on undersea cables, and is given access to internet data through partnerships with American telecoms companies. About 90% of the world’s online communications cross the US, giving the NSA what it calls in classified documents a "home-field advantage" when it comes to intercepting information. By confirming that all metadata "seen" by NSA collection systems is stored, the Marina document suggests such collections are not merely used to filter target information, but also to store data at scale.
A sign of how much information could be contained within the repository comes from a document voluntarily disclosed by the NSA in August, in the wake of the first tranche of revelations from the Snowden documents. The seven-page document, titled "The National Security Agency: Missions, Authorities, Oversight and Partnerships", says the agency "touches" 1.6% of daily internet traffic – an estimate which is not believed to include large-scale internet taps operated by GCHQ, the NSA’s UK counterpart. The document cites figures from a major tech provider that the internet carries 1,826 petabytes of information per day. One petabyte, according to tech website Gizmodo, is equivalent to over 13 years of HDTV video. "In its foreign intelligence mission, NSA touches about 1.6% of that," the document states. "However, of the 1.6% of the data, only 0.025% is actually selected for review. "The net effect is that NSA analysts look at 0.00004% of the world’s traffic in conducting their mission – that’s less than one part in a million." However, critics were skeptical of the reassurances, because large quantities of internet data is represented by music and video sharing, or large file transfers – content which is easy to identify and dismiss without entering it into systems. Therefore, the NSA could be picking up a much larger percentage of internet traffic that contains communications and browsing activity. Journalism professor and internet commentator Jeff Jarvis noted: "(By) very rough, beersoaked-napkin numbers, the NSA’s 1.6% of net traffic would be half of the communication on the net. That’s one helluva lot of ‘touching’." The NSA is required to "minimize" the data of US persons, but is permitted to keep US communications where it is not technically possible to remove them, and also to keep and use any "inadvertently" obtained US communications if they contain intelligence material, evidence of a crime, or if they are encrypted. The Guardian has also revealed the existence of a so-called "backdoor search loophole", a 2011 rule change that allows NSA analysts to search for the names of US citizens, under certain circumstances, in mass-data repositories collected under section 702. According to the New York Times, NSA analysts were told that metadata could be used "without regard to the nationality or location of the communicants", and that Americans’ social contacts could be traced by the agency, providing there was some foreign intelligence justification for doing so.
Obama Regime Blocks German Author, Critical Of NSA Surveillance, From Entering The Country:
Trojanow “Has Been Highly Critical Of The National Security Agency’s Massive Surveillance Apparatus”
October 1, 2013 By: Kevin Gosztola, Firedoglake German-Bulgarian author Ilija Trojanow, who has been highly critical of the National Security Agency’s massive surveillance apparatus, was blocked from taking an American Airlines flight from Salvador, Brazil, to a conference with German academics in Denver. Trojanow approached a ticket counter and informed an American Airlines employee that he wanted to change his ticket to attend the conference in dinner on October 4. According to him, she entered his name and then stood up and disappeared. She returned with a higher-ranking person who rapidly spoke Portuguese and then English and informed him that a border security alert obliged them to notify US authorities immediately that he was at the airport. “Your case is special,” the woman working the counter told Trojanow. Security spent more than twenty minutes looking over his passport and other personal information.
She then asked for his Electronic System for Travel Authorization status, which is a system for determining if individuals are eligible to visit the US. Trojanow showed her some kind of document that he was approved and had paid an appropriate fee. Forty-five minutes before his planned departure, he was told he was forbidden to travel to the US. In his reaction to the incident, Trojanow wrote that “one of the most important and threatening aspects of the NSA scandal” was the secret nature of the system. Transparency is apparently the greatest enemy of anyone who allegedly defends freedom.” It is more than ironic for an author, who has raised his voice against the dangers of surveillance and the secret state within a state for years to be denied entry into the ‘land of the brave and the free,’ he added. Trojanow had been in Rio de Janeiro to hear journalist Glenn Greenwald speak about the revelations he had been writing about for The Guardian. He mentioned that within the last year he had problems getting a work visa for the purpose of serving as a visiting professor at Washington University in St. Louis. There was significant delay and no reason, comment or explanation was given. The university finally helped him secure the visa. Trojanow was the co-author of an open letter to German Chancellor Angela Merkel that was delivered in Berlin with 70,000 signatures and condemned the NSA. More than forty years ago, when Trojanow was a child, the state security service in Bulgaria bugged his family’s home. The family did not learn until three decades later, when a file folder with call recordings was partially disclosed by the Archives of State Security, that they had been under intense surveillance. This history makes him a dangerous voice to the United States government because he can speak with authority about what it means to live in a society under total surveillance. PEN America, a chapter of the international literary and human rights organization, sent a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry expressing concern over the fact that Trojanow seemed to be another person barred from visiting the US because they have possessed and expressed “disfavored political positions and views.” They demanded that the decision to deny him entry be reviewed. This development takes place as Pakistani human rights lawyer Shahzad Akbar continues to be denied entry to the US to participate in a hearing on drones organized by members of Congress and Brave New Foundation. As he wrote for The Hill, “Rafiq ur Rehman, who lost his 67 year-old mother in a drone strike, and two of his children, Nabila and Zubair, who witnessed their grandmother’s death and sustained strike-related injuries themselves. Both Rafiq and the children were
granted visas. But I was not. Instead, my application was again put into ‘administrative processing,’ where it remains to this day.” In 2012, Pakistani student filmmaker Muhammad Danish Qasim and five others were denied a visa to attend a film festival in Seattle and accept an award for their short film on US drone attacks. Qasim surmised, “If we had got the visa, then it would have been easy for us to frame our point of view in front of the other selected youth filmmakers.” Which is why they were barred from entering the United States to accept the award. There is a growing list of individuals, who are academics, human rights attorneys, prominent activists or outspoken artists, that are being blocked from entering the US because of the freethinking and freedom of speech they practice outside the US. Tariq Ramadan, Karim Meziane, Dora Maria Tellez, Vicente Verez-Bencomo, John Milios, Adam Habib, Riyadh Lafta and 61 Cuban scholars are all people, who in the past ten to fifteen years have been unable to travel to the US to share their work with Americans at conferences. The State Department would likely condemn countries like China, Russia or Iran if they were denying academics or artists entry to their country because of their political views. Yet, when individuals who might undermine US policies are struggling to enter the US, there is nothing but silence as they futilely cry out in protest.
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