Christchurch is my old hometown; long before the earthquakes that shattered the city, long before multiculturalism thankfully arrived , and long long before Mr Tarrant decided it was his mission to save the ‘white” world from those “others” by murdering 50 people in two mosques in March 2019. Certainly there has always been racism in little old New Zealand- but in my experience a greater tolerance of diversity than in many countries. Our current Prime Minister Jacinda Adern is thankfully a symbol of that tolerance and compassion.
What might we be able to say about Osama bin Laden and his childhood, or even Genghis Khan?
Please note , none of this rationale in any way condones or excuses the violence of such individuals, but it can give a rationale for their actions, and hence an opportunity to remove and reduce such risks in others .
And it is important also to note that by far the greatest violence by such angry men is not committed by their own hand, but via the hands of others. Those men ( and some women) who manipulate others into carrying out their acts of violence against those ‘others”. In recent times those mass murderers have been politicians and military men and specifically those in the Western ‘democratic’ nations. One can only speculate on the childhoods of sociopaths like John Bolton, the US advisor who advocates the killing of so many Arab people, but more importantly the Iranian people, in the supposed belief that this will protect the apartheid state of Israel, or U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo who apparently sincerely believes that war against Iran will hasten the Second Coming and the Rapture . Or we could list a few women like Gina Haspell CIA director who is clearly able to internally rationalise her brutish actions in torturing people in a systematic manner, or note the psychopathic glee of Hilary Clinton when she learns of Muammar Qaddafi’s brutal death.
Such people use their concoctions of beliefs to rationalise their brutal and violent actions…when in fact they are simply frightened little people who need our compassion – and to be taken away from any capacity to control other’s lives.
Thankfully the words of adulation for ex-president Obama are now dying down and we are instead now innundated with hate media (not altogether underserved) for President Trump.
Obama was above all things a con-artist. The sweet honeyed words of the used car saleman, masking sociopathic intent . A man who talked peace and made war. A man who preached enviromentalism and destroyed much more than he preserved. A man who faked humanity while ruthlessly killing innocents by drone.
And a man who has set the scene for the destruction of what little remains of the U.S democratic process, through his persistent undermining of his successor.
Obama’s legacy; and this may well be his prime legacy- and one he may remember in his older years as he stands before the International War Crimes Tribunal, (once its decisions are no longer controlled by the U.S. State Department), was his omnipotent capacity to decide who shall live and who shall die by drone anywhere in the world, based on limited pieces of information provided on baseball cards. (a kind of Roman Emperor type role: – thumbs- up or down at the Coliseum)
Taken together, the secret documents lead to the conclusion that Washington’s 14-year high-value targeting campaign suffers from an over-reliance on signals intelligence, an apparently incalculable civilian toll, and — due to a preference for assassination rather than capture — an inability to extract potentially valuable intelligence from terror suspects. They also highlight the futility of the war in Afghanistan by showing how the U.S. has poured vast resources into killing local insurgents, in the process exacerbating the very threat the U.S. is seeking to confront. The Intercept
One might almost be forgiven therefore for coming to the conclusion that the intent of the U.S. targeted killing process is not to eliminate the sources of terror, but to exacerbate them.
As we have seen in many a colonial war, those who ‘hand in’ terrorists to the colonial power inevitably have their own agendas; feuding families and clans, or perhaps financial or property interests, but rarely because they are in fact ‘terrorists”. In addition we can be certain that US military and State Dept claims of minimal ‘collateral damage’ (accidental killing of civilians who get in the way of a drone missile’s large detonation area) are complete fabrications. And we can be certain too that drone operators have less than minimal knowledge of foreign cultural issues- e.g. the difference between a wedding party celebrating by firing automatic weapons into the air and a terrorist group in weapons training , let alone their drone “eyes” having sufficient definition to pick up who is who on the ground.
So, when dear President Obama gives the thumbs down on that particular baseball card, he really has no idea what he is agreeing to; other than that his decision will kill someone or more likely , quite a few people, out there . But of course, if that Hellfire missile with its 9kg warhead just happens to kill a few other ‘military-age males’ in the vicinity of the explosion, all to the good. By using remote killing mechanisms the US president can appear to take a Herod-like hands-off approach to the art of murder, with the added benefit of limited capacity of verifying what carnage has actually occurred on the ground.
In addition the United States’ penchant for targeting supposed ‘leaders’ of terrorist groups, rather than their supply lines, infrastructure or financial backers, means that drones can be used over and over to kill the next leader who takes the deceased’s place in the leadership line; or as in many cases , the United States simply ‘kills’ the same person over and over again; such is the usefulness of remote unverified killing.
The blog heading is one of Mark Twain’s quotes. But here is a much better one from Mr Clemens.
Man is the only Patriot. He sets himself apart in his own country, under his own flag, and sneers at the other nations, and keeps multitudinous uniformed assassins on hand at heavy expense to grab slices of other people’s countries, and keep them from grabbing slices of his. And in the intervals between campaigns he washes the blood of his hands and works for “the universal brotherhood of man”- with his mouth. – “The Lowest Animal”- Mark Twain
Today, in my little part of the world; it is once again Anzac Day, originally commemorated to mark the bloody failure of the British Empire’s coordinated attack on Turkish positions in the Dardanelles at Gallipoli in World War One, but now, ( supposedly) it ‘acknowledges the sacrifice of all those who have died in warfare, and the contribution and suffering of all those who have served.” Strangely however this commemoration of all who have died in wars is marked by artillery salutes, marching uniformed men and much fanfare about this country’s patriotism. We are encouraged to believe that Anzac Day now promotes a sense of unity, perhaps more effectively than any other day on the national calendar. People whose politics, beliefs and aspirations are widely different can nevertheless share a genuine sorrow at the loss of so many lives in war, and a real respect for those who have endured warfare on behalf of the country we live in. (New Zealand Government).
I for one, am appalled that the majority consensus in New Zealand appears to be that ‘plucky little New Zealand’ became a real country with its own identity, and not just a member of the British Empire, by maiming and killing its way through a series of foreign “adventures”. The one possible exception to this catastrophic jingoistic litany of murder and mayhem, is New Zealand’s very real contribution to the war against Nazi Germany and Japan during the Second World War, when a New Zealand invasion by the Japanese Imperial Army was a high probability at one point.
Every other war we have fought, we have fought at the behest of others- from the genocide inflicted on the Boers during the Boer Wars as part of the British Imperial Army’s need to maintain control of South African assets, the First World War’s bizarre clash of European monarchies , the staggering level of genocide inflicted on Koreans by the “Allies’ (including New Zealand naval bombardment of civilian areas) during the Korean War, our implicit involvement in American genocide in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, our explicit connection to rendering of Afghan suspects to U.S. torture centres in Afghanistan, and our ongoing complicity in the Five Eyes intelligence project, which currently serves American and U.K. interests in promoting terrorism around the world and destroying human rights.
All in all, it is not a record I for one am proud of. Our ongoing subservience to the paranoid and psychopathic American war machine and its business interests, serves no-one’s interests on this planet, other than a few crazed right wing American idealogues and the military/industrial complex.
Despite successive New Zealand governments’ posturings that we are now a sovereign nation because of Anzac Day, when are we truly going to be a proud and independent nation who stands in truth for peace and international justice?
The recent murder of Boris Nemtsov, a Russian opposition politician and ex-physicist, on the Bolshoy Moskvoretsky Bridge very near to the Kremlin in Moscow, raises many questions.
Predictably, Western politicians and mainstream media are pointing the finger at Vladmir Putin, the President of Russia, as the man who signed off on Nemtsov’s execution. In remarkably similar ways to the their response to the downing of MH 17 over Ukraine last year, they have leapt at the opportunity to once more demonise Putin. Proof of course, is immaterial in this game.
Let us be under no illusions, Putin as an ex-KGB officer is perfectly capable of signing Nemtsov’s death warrant and may have done so, but , as I will attempt to demonstrate, that is the more unlikely scenario in this instance. Western media point to other deaths of Russian opposition politicians and oligarchs where some of the evidence points to Russian state apparatus involvement as proof that this time, once again, another key opposition to Putin has been removed. This despite the fact that Putin’s approval rating in Russia remains at around 86% while Nemtsov’s appears to have been less than 5% at the time of his death.
Nemtsov’s political colleagues argue that he was killed to pre-empt his imminent disclosure of proof of Russian military direct involvement in Ukraine. Why his death would prevent that disclosure happening is unknown, or even why Nemtsov would have access to information that was not immediately available to Western politicians via high-resolution spy satellite imagery, is a mystery.
His death certainly resulted in a Moscow march of many thousands of supporters and also presumably included some who want an end to violence murder and political intimidation in the city . The Guardian newspaper disparagingly reported that Moscow Police estimated 7,000 on the march, whereas in fact the police estimates from RT.com talk of around 50,000.
Nemtsov and many of the parties he has been affiliated to have been accused, with some truth, of being funded supported and guided by European and American political interests such as the (European) Endowment for Democracy – an agency with distinctly U.S. business and right wing agendas, but portraying itself as a supporter of local democracy. Such philosophies are clearly on a collision course with rising nationalist fervour in many parts of Eastern Europe. Implicated in many of the “colour revolutions” in places like Ukraine and Georgia, and in support of the “moderate” rebels in Syria, the agency plays a lead non government role in supporting U.S. government power and control agendas. Very much because of this American bias and Russian nationalism, rather than their neo-liberal agenda, the political parties Nemtsov was active in, played to an increasingly smaller Russian audience over the years.
Russian opposition activists see Nemtsov’s death as an opportunity; “We need to seriously think what to do from now on,” Leonid Volkov, an opposition leader and organizer of the March 1 memorial, said by phone. “We were at a low point but now some things have crystallized that allow us to make plans. I think it’s the start of a new wave of protests. It’s a real shame it took such an event for that to happen.”
Nemtsov certainly had links to what has been termed as the Russian Mafia and oligarchs -to-be , in his role in selling off state assets at bargain prices to criminals after the fall of the Soviet Union- did he still have enemies from those days?-that also seems unlikely; although his recent links to Russian business interests are deemed to be extensive, but unknown to this blogger.
The role of the young girl who accompanied him onto the bridge where he was shot and who escaped entirely unharmed after 4 shots were fired into Nemtsov’s back, warrants investigation. Indeed one may wonder why Western mainstream media is so indignant that she is being held for questioning (as is standard Police practice internationally), and not allowed to return home to the Ukraine. Nemtsov’s was very much opposed to Russia’s annexation of Crimea and the Russian connection to the Eastern Ukraine rebellion. Such a political view is extremely unpopular and deemed to be unpatriotic in Russia today; was he murdered by Novorussians perhaps because he was considered a traitor?
Or alternatively, was he murdered by his Western intelligence handlers because he was now worth more to them dead than alive? Certainly the track record of Western “intelligence”, would indicate they have absolutely no qualms about torturing, murdering or destroying the lives of anyone who gets in their way to create that ‘better world’ ruled by their funders. Clearly the immediate benefit of his death is to further undermine Putin’s credibility in the eyes of those who read and believe Western mainstream media. The impact on a Russian audience is likely to be negligible given Putin’s high standing with the Russian public.
So, we are left with an implausible reason for Putin and/or Russian intelligence to kill Nemtsov, i.e. “proof” of Russian military involvement in Eastern Ukraine; a possible business deal gone wrong, a murder to meet the needs of anti-Russian sentiment in the West, an opportunity for Russian opposition parties to garner local support, or possibly, but unlikely given the murder ‘s locality on a very public bridge, a murder to avenge a romantic relationship gone sour. The death certainly has the look of a targeted killing rather than an act of revenge, and the Bolshoy Moskvoretsky Bridge is an ideal public location to stage opposition solidarity demonstrations after the death with a Kremlin backdrop. And four single bullets to the back? hmmmm
(a shortened version of this post was rejected as a letter to the editor of my local newspaper….)
The ongoing media and political frenzy about the sudden emergence of ISIS as the new international terrorist threat would be laughable if it were not tragic for those who stand in the path of both ISIS and the Western military “response”.
The reality is that ISIS, like most of the previous terrorist threats before them, are Western and Arabian Gulf state creations.
As with Osama bin Laden before them (funded if not trained by the CIA to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan) , the members of ISIS have been trained, financed and equipped by the US, the UK, France and Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar to fulfill other agendas; namely the dismemberment of functioning middle eastern states who cannot be relied upon to agree to US demands; eg Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Yemen and Syria . This trail of failed states, brought about first by Western funded terrorism and then by Western aerial bombing campaigns, has brought death, destruction, starvation and fear to their populations with no positive outcome in sight. While Western governments will deny their direct involvement with ISIS and pretend they are financing “moderate” islamacists, the reality is that those men in the training camps in Turkey and Jordan run by western governments and Gulf dictatorships, are indeed one and the same men who sign up to ISIS or who share resources, kidnapped people and equipment with ISIS.
See this delightful CNN interview of former NATO Supreme Allied Commander Gen. Wesley Clark, who clearly doesn’t have a clue about anything much at all..
For Turkey particularly, the opportunity to both eliminate the Kurdish threat within its own borders using ISIS, whilst enabling the ‘necessity’ for ‘humanitarian’ border corridors and no-fly zones along the Syrian/Turkey border which can then lead to further incursions by Turkish or even NATO troops into Syria , is a double win for the Turkish government.
For Israel, actively supporting ISIS with bombardment of Syrian government position on the Golan Heights and shooting down Syrian military aircraft attacking ISIS military positions, furthers their long-term agenda of destabilizing any Arab (or Iranian) state that could potentially threaten Israel’s territorial integrity at some time in the future.
For Western governments and their ‘intelligence’ agencies, hyping up the threat of ISIS terrorists re-invading the West and blowing up defenseless white people, is a wonderful method to maintain the level of fear and hysteria in the public’s mind. and hence the rationale for more and more “defence” purchases, and more surveillance and control of those who do not abide by the corporate agenda. A new “thirty-year war” by the U.S. is promised against a rag-tag bunch of psychopaths and mercenaries. The reality is that turning off the tap of funding from Western supported agencies, closing the supply routes and “rat-lines”, and shutting down the training camps would turn current ISIS victories into a rout within weeks.
For Saudi Arabia and Qatar, the dream is the predominance of the Sunni Wahhabi ideology in the middle east and beyond, the destruction of Shi-ite Iran, and ultimately the elimination of the Shi-ite sect . ‘Perhaps’ ironically, it is those Shi-ite ‘terrorists’ ; Syria, Iran, and Hezbollah who are actually making the difference in eliminating the threat from ISIS.
This cynical reality is well-known to most of the middle eastern public . The destruction of those states and their infrastructure who do not toe the Western party line, and who have resources than can be appropriated by Western companies, or who might possibly threaten Israel’s hegemony in the region at some future date, is the grim reality for the men women and children who inhabit those desolated countries and who therefore must be made to suffer.
Every year in this fair little country of New Zealand, we “celebrate” Anzac Day on 25th April. We remember our “glorious dead” who fought in all those wars for king and country; beginning way back then with the Second Boer War of 1899 in South Africa, supporting our British countrymen in the British Empire’s fight against the “evil” Boers, to ensure South Africa could become a safe place for English speaking white men to colonise and rule over the black man.
Since then we have had the First World War where 100, 000 New Zealand men (and some women) were shipped overseas, out of a total population of just over 1 million people. 18,500 New Zealanders were killed in that ‘war to end all wars’ and more than 40,000 wounded. Anzac Day “celebrates” the day New Zealand and Australian troops along with troops from other parts of the Empire, India, England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, India, and Newfoundland as well as French forces invaded Turkey (a German ally) at Gallipoli. The “Great War”, as it was once known, was initially at least, a European war to divide up the spoils of empire, with each countries’ soldiers the cannon fodder for money and power.
‘Only’ 2799 New Zealand soldiers died at Gallipoli attempting to break the Turkish defences in the harsh hills above the beaches, where 87,000 Turks died defending their homeland. Nothing in comparison to the many thousands killed and wounded in the trenches in Flanders and other parts of France; machine gunned, shelled and gassed by the “Hun” -the Germans.
Yet New Zealand collectively now glorifies Gallipoli; it was apparently (according to later New Zealand historians who should know) our “nation-buildng” exercise. Yet after that first world war to end all wars, every cenotaph
in every little town and city across New Zealand which named their dead, inscribed the lines “Lest We Forget”. In my imagination perhaps , it is ‘lest we forget” those who died for nothing, the horror, the stupidity , the inhumanity to man of soldiers at war; not “lest we forget” our glorious war dead. Let us not forget also, those brave conscientious objectors who also chose to suffer because of their fundamental objection to war. Let us not forget either, the many thousands of women and children who suffered at the hands of those damaged men returning from the wars; the family and community violence caused by the trauma of war and death.
The Send-off: a Poem by Wilfred Owen: -English soldier poet, 1918
And then we have the “good war”; the war against the Nazis and the Japanese between 1939 and 1945, where 140,000 New Zealand men and women were conscripted to fight overseas. Kiwi soldiers, while comparatively small in numbers, played a significant role in the European war against Germany and later against the Japanese in the Pacific. Could that war have been avoided without appeasement of Nazi and Japanese supremacism? There are many historians who say , that had the terms of the Versailles Treaty not been so punitive against Germany , German nationalistic fervour would never have produced such a cancer as the national socialists. Similarly there are those who argue that had the Japanese also been able to obtain their Imperial “place in the sun” , Pearl Harbour would never have happened. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.
New Zealand’s obligations for self-defence against the Japanese is inarguable; The Japanese were planning to invade New Zealand as part of their Greater East Asia Co Prosperity Sphere, along with Australia. The evil of the Nazis is also inarguable and the horrors committed by them; New Zealand soldiers helped to bring those horrors to an end. Ultimately 11,900 New Zealand soldiers lost their lives in the second world war. However New Zealand is implicated in the war crimes resulting from the bombing missions undertaken by the Allies against German dams and the firebombing of Dresden. And, we might ask, why weren’t we opposing the Japanese in their 1937-1945 horrific occupation of China prior to Pearl Harbour in December 1941?
New Zealand’s role in wars since the second world war has (aside from several small UN peace-keeping missions) been less than exemplary. 4,700 New Zealand soldiers fought in Korea between 25 June 1950 to 27 July 1953, with 49 men killed in action. New Zealand (under U.N. auspices but without Russian attendance at that security council meeting ) was a party to the genocide committed largely by the Americans carpet bombing every North Korean town and city over that period.
Fighting as part of ANZUS, New Zealand enthusiastically supported the American pretext for invading Vietnam from 1963 to 1975 ( supposedly to halt the insidious spread of Communism across Asia), while the New Zealand national government supported the bombing by the U.S. of cities and towns across Vietnam Laos and Cambodia, causing more than a million deaths. 37 New Zealand soldiers were killed in that war and many more afflicted by the impacts of “Agent Orange”, the chemical warfare “defoliant” sprayed by U.S. planes over the jungles and hamlets of South Vietnam.
Once again supporting the U.S., New Zealand inserted a small number of troops into southern Iraq near Basra during the second Iraq War. While for most of its service there, NZ troops were confined to base, it is highly likely that NZ troops were well aware of the wide-spread torture and murder of Iraqi civilians in that area by British troops . New Zealand is, by its support of that war, also implicated in the deaths of the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who died as a result of a war based on the pretext of Saddam’s non-existent “weapons of mass destruction.”
New Zealand continues its commitment to “freedom and democracy” by supporting the Americans in Afghanistan. Initially promoted to the public as an incursion to eliminate Al Qaeda as a threat after the 9/11 bombing of the New York towers, the war has dragged on since its inception in 2001 and morphed into the elimination of the Taleban (an Afghan Pashtun tribal entity with previous links to Al Qaeda). New Zealand troops have likely been involved in capturing Taleban fighters and sending them to the US Bagram air base in Kabul for torture. A rather dubious analysis suggest that up to 20,000 civilian casualties alone have been killed in Afghanistan since 2001- the mortality figures for direct war impacts are likely to be in the many many thousands. ( the U.S. doesnt “do headcounts” anymore.)
New Zealand continues to be a key member of the U.S. run western intelligence community “Five Eyes”, which attempts to maintain the U.S state’s power and control over most of the world, and while NZ has publicly been cast in the shadows of ANZUS because of its nuclear-free stance, it in reality maintains an extremely active role.
However , even with the huge amount of information provided by internet and phone tapping provided to “Five Eyes” intelligence ‘experts”, it is clear that those security operatives have over the years since the second world war, acquired a farcical level of incompetence and lack of intelligence and judgment. Their wild misinterpretation of other states’ and non-state entities’ intent and motives has resulted in massive suffering to millions of human beings. It is highly likely that incompetence is not going to be changing any time soon.
In summary, ANZAC Day; that tribute of poppies and wreaths and guns , celebrates not our glorious dead, but the utter farcical futility of war and the greed of the powerful.
Through its abrogation of key elements of the Geneva Convention by using torture, genocide and illegal incarceration of people it thinks could do things to US interests that the state might not like, the US has progressively negated key aspects of the constitutional protections for its own citizens. In addition, professional bodies such as the American Pyschological Association and the American Medical Association, in tacitly legitimizing torture and murder ( drones or otherwise) and random indefinite imprisonment of people the state thinks might be a risk to the US, have destroyed their legal and moral authority .
The Orwellian legal and state double-speak ( what is evil is good, what is war is peace) by US political and legal figures, is now accepted as truth by the vast majority of US citizens and many in the Western world. Many US citizens are consequently no longer able to differentiate between right and wrong/truth and lies.
The US has been fighting wars to protect its “interests” (read companies) for most of its existence, beginning with the genocide of the North American Indians who populated much of North America at the time of European settlement and leading to the wars with Spain in the Carribbean and the Philippines in order to develop an empire to exploit , as with other Western powers of the time.
But it is really only in the years after the end of Second World War in 1945, that the power of the corporations in the US has finally overturned all semblance of human rights, decency and fairness in the US . These wars, and particularly the genocides committed in North Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia and Iraq, have lead to no negative national consequences for the US , and have thus resulted in those in power in the US believing that they are immune to the impact of the death and destruction they inflict on others.
Moreover, over those intervening 65 years of constant war, the US has steadily become a “war machine”- its raison d’etre being to fight and kill others for what they have. Each marine that returns home brutalised and scarred by the reality of war; each soldier who returns to his home town finally knowing the truth of what “the greatest nation in the world ” really stands for, is a time bomb of death and destruction to that community. A culture of violence as the solution to anything has now totally permeated every aspect of American society. To quote another of those biblical aphorisms -“what ye sow, so shall ye reap”
And with each war, the targets of American state violence become ever more aware of the complete and viciously laughable hypocrisy of the United States; it’s Presidents mouthing ghastly platitudes of the US being the ” shining city on the hill” , the exemplar to the world of peace and democracy, while raining terror and death on the helpless. For the families and communities of the millions killed by the US military since the second world war, there remains no justice – no resting place.
What is now desperately needed is an international legal body that is truly impartial-no longer controlled by those rich and powerful states who commit the the vast majority of the terror and death they so loudly condemn in others. An international body that seeks justice, not vengeance, that ascribes appropriate compensation to those whom the powerful have done injustice to.
When every war-mongering state, not just as is currently , its head of state, knows that, regardless of the colour of the skin of those in power, the warring state will be punished with heavy financial reparations for the evil it has done- only then will the incentive for war rapidly recede and justice prevail.
The Guardian, in an article of 22nd January, notes that the The American Psychological Association (APA) has declined to rebuke one of its members, Dr John Leso for his known complicity in the torture of the US kidnapped suspect Mohammed al-Qahtani, who was ” charged” by the Pentagon in 2008 for his suspected involvement in 9/11.
The Guardian notes that “the APA did not deny Leso took part in the brutal interrogation of the suspected 20th 9/11 hijacker, Mohammed al-Qahtani, whose treatment the Pentagon official overseeing his military commission ultimately called “torture”.
The American Psychological Association describes itself as ” the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States. APA is the world’s largest association of psychologists, with more than 134,000 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students as its members.Our mission is to advance the creation, communication and application of psychological knowledge to benefit society and improve people’s lives.”
APA’s communications chief, Rhea Farberman has stated that a seven-year ethics investigation could not meet the burden of finding “direct unethical conduct” by Leso, and said it was “utterly unfounded” to fear the organization has condoned professional impunity.
The evidence of John Leso’s complicity in torture is incontrovertible in creating an inhumane environment for Mohammed al-Qahtani to be tortured by his “interrogators”. Dr John Leso therefore both unequivocally breached the APAs code of conduct and the universal medical ethic of “do no harm” .
No labyrinthine legal argument can allow the APA to escape its responsibilities to ensure its members behave in ethical and humane ways to their patients.
The APA has clearly now abrogated that responsibility and most certainly undermined the rights of human beings to the right to be treated humanely by state apparatus, and has consequently eliminated any professional credibility it may have had in the eyes of the global public and clinical professionals around the world.
It would therefore be expeditious for the APA to re-consider its astounding decision to condone torture by its members and to immediately and permanently dis-bar John Leso from its membership. However, this is unlikely to happen.
Since the beginning of the “War on Terror” in the United States, and the various Western countries who have been complicit in the fictional “war on terror”, we have seen increasing use by the state of statements by their “legal experts” to justify war crimes, torture and murder on an ever-expanding scale.
The APA’s excuse that the evidence about Dr Leso’s complicity in torture did not meet the burden of finding “direct unethical conduct” is clearly at odds with the facts. It does however reflect the fear by a supposedly ethical and professional body, of the power of the state to inflict harm on even such a prestigious professional body as the APA .
Weasel words and legal sleight of hand must instead be used by the APA’s legal advisors to justify this cowardice. However when such a professional body, which in their words, exists to “benefit society and improve people’s lives”, abrogates it’s right to instill justice, ethics and fair play out of fear of state retribution , there appears little hope for the foreseeable future of a fair and just society in the United States.
In the latest absurdity upon absurdity in this fictitious “war on terror”, the UK Police have defended their actions in holding and interrogating for 9 hours Glenn Greenwald’s partner, David Miranda on the grounds that Miranda was suspected of terrorism because he may have been relaying truthful information about a wide range of Western governments’ illegal spying on its citizens.
As the headline above notes; the UK Police’s rationale for the infringement of Miranda’s rights, was that they “had a duty to protect the public and our national security ” (from such unwarranted journalism). With both the UK and US police forces being increasingly accused of both corrupt and violent behaviour, it is little wonder the public in those countries feel a sense of betrayal by the state. Who are their police and armed forces in fact protecting?
Certainly the deliberately manufactured farce of muslim terrorism ( funded with enthusiasm by the CIA, and various other “intelligence” western agencies around the globe- not to mention our “allies”- the Saudis), is providing an ever more thinly stretched excuse for heavy handed enforcement behaviours, surveillance and the erosion of civil rights.
Who and what is it all for?
It would appear that much of this deterioration in rights and freedoms is simply to improve the profits of those international corporates , whether media, arms manufacturers , energy companies telecommunications or security companies that are able to buy the required influence in western “democracies”.
As it becomes increasingly clear that we are nearing the end of the free capitalistic lunch-with the remainder of the world’s natural resources being rapidly frittered away for a few quick bucks – the corporate billionaires are rushing for the exits, and trampling us “little people” in the stampede.