By Joe Emersberger for Tele Sur – Based on allegations of drug trafficking, the U.S. government has added Venezuelan Vice President Tareck El Aissami to its list of “sanctioned” Venezuelan officials. Unsurprisingly, Westerns journalists uncritically spread the allegations. Borrowing from Einstein, a definition of corporate journalism could be “the practice of uncritically citing the same dishonest sources over and over again no matter how catastrophic the result.” The targeting of El Aissami is part of the United States’ “regime change” policy toward Venezuela that goes back nearly two decades. It began shortly after the late President Hugo Chavez was first elected in 1998. As always, the international media’s collaboration with U.S. government objectives is crucial.
By Jonathan Marshall for Consortium News. “My bottom line is that the likelihood of a nuclear catastrophe today is greater than it was during the Cold War,” declares former U.S. Secretary of Defense William Perry. A nuclear test detonation carried out in Nevada on April 18, 1953. A nuclear test detonation carried out in Nevada on April 18, 1953. If a new Trump administration wants to peacefully reset relations with Russia, there’s no better way to start than by canceling the deployment of costly new ballistic missile defense systems in Eastern Europe. One such system went live in Romania this May; another is slated to go live in Poland in 2018. Few U.S. actions have riled President Putin as much as this threat to erode Russia’s nuclear deterrent. Only last month, at a meeting in Sochi with Russian military leaders to discuss advanced new weapons technology, Putin vowed, “We will continue to do all we need to ensure the strategic balance of forces.”
By Ralph Lopez for Hub Pages. On Monday, December 12th, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal in San Francisco will hear arguments in a first–of-its-kind lawsuit against former President George W. Bush, alleging that Bush engaged in a war of aggression against Iraq. “War of aggression” is a crime under the international law which evolved out of the Nuremberg Trials after World War II. The hearing will take up an appeal to a previous dismissal of the case based on a judge’s prior determination that the defendants held immunity if they were acting pursuant to the legitimate scope of their employment as government officials. In response, the plaintiffs argue that waging illegal wars cannot be considered as an activity which is within the legitimate scope of holding office. Also named as defendants in the lawsuit are former vice president Dick Cheney, former secretary of defense Donald Rumsfeld, former national security adviser and secretary of state Condoleezza Rice, former secretary of state Colin Powell, and former deputy secretary of defense Paul Wolfowitz.
By Marjorie Cohn for Truthout. Sundus Saleh, an Iraqi woman, first filed her lawsuit against George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice and Paul Wolfowitz in September 2013. Alleging that the Iraq War constituted an illegal crime of aggression, Saleh filed the suit on behalf of herself and other Iraqis in the US District Court for the Northern District of California. The district court dismissed Saleh’s lawsuit in December 2014, saying the defendants acted within the scope of their employment when they planned and carried out the Iraq War. Saleh then appealed to the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. In her appeal, Saleh is arguing that the Bush officials were acting from personally held convictions that the US should invade Iraq, regardless of any legitimate policy reasons, and that theyknowingly lied to the public when they fraudulently tied Saddam Hussein to al-Qaeda and the threat of weapons of mass destruction.
By Barry Kissin for Popular Resistance. The lead sponsors of the legislation to uncover the 28 pages of the Congressional report on the attacks of 9-11 were Representative Walter Jones and Senator Rand Paul, two Republicans in fact, both practically unique in their unabashed opposition to our constant wars of intervention. The release of the 28 pages is a victory for Americans who yearn for peace. It comes at a desperate moment in human history. It is imperative and urgent that peace activists take full advantage of the released 28 pages. The essential truth about the 28 pages is that our own government, (Bush administrations followed by Obama administrations), ever since 9-11, has covered up Saudi Government complicity in 9-11. All the while, our government has continued to maintain very close relations, especially with the Saudi Intelligence Agency and the Saudi military. The New York Times says the pages were “kept secret for nearly 14 years out of concern that it might fray diplomatic relations between the United States and Saudi Arabia.”
By Kristen Breitweiser for Huffington Post. President Bush did not want the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia investigated. President Bush has deep ties to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its royal family and only wanted to protect the Kingdom. President Bush wanted to go to war in Iraq — not Saudi Arabia. So, 29 full pages that said “Saudi” and “Bandar” instead of “Hussein” and “Iraq” was a huge problem for President Bush. It is well documented that the Joint Inquiry received enormous push-back against its investigation into the Saudis. In fact, former FBI Director Mueller acknowledges that much of the information implicating the Saudis that the Inquiry investigators ultimately uncovered was unknown to him. Why does Mueller say this? Mostly because Mueller and other FBI officials had purposely tried to keep any incriminating information specifically surrounding the Saudis out of the Inquiry’s investigative hands.
The European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) has lodged criminal complaints against former CIA head George Tenet, former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and other members of the administration of former US President George W. Bush. The ECCHR is accusing Tenet, Rumsfeld and a series of other persons of the war crime of torture under paragraph 8 section 1(3) of the German Code of Crimes against International Law (Völkerstrafgesetzbuch). The constituent elements of the crime of torture were most recently established in the case by the US Senate in its report on CIA interrogation methods. “The architects of the torture system – politicians, officials, secret service agents, lawyers and senior army officials – should be brought before the courts,” says ECCHR General Secretary Wolfgang Kaleck, who is appearing today in connection with the issue in front of the German Parliamentary Committee on legal affairs. “By investigating members of the Bush administration, Germany can help to ensure that those responsible for abduction, abuse and illegal detention do not go unpunished.”