News Releases

Nuclear Netanyahu * Abu Akleh Killing

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Benjamin Netanyahu is forming a new, far right cabinet.

RICHARD SILVERSTEIN,  richards1052@gmail.com@richards1052

    Silverstein writes at Tikun Olam and was recently featured on the IPA news release “Nuclear Netanyahu.” He has recently written the pieces “Itamar Ben Gvir: the Rebbe’s Disciple” and “Nations Dither in Face of Israeli Fascism.”

DAVID SHEEN, realdavidsheen@gmail.com@davidsheen   The FBI just announced an investigation into the killing of the Palestinian American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh by the Israeli army. Israel has said it would not cooperate.

Sheen is following the Abu Akleh case and the formation of the new Israeli cabinet.

He has also investigated the Alex Odeh case [see video], in which a Palstinian American activist was killed by a bomb in California and the suspected killers have been given refuge by Israel for decades. See his articles: “Alex Odeh Assassination: New Testimony Could Finally Bring Jewish Defense League to Justice” and ”

As U.S. Refuses to Act, Suspected Alex Odeh Assassins Enjoy Influential Role in Israeli Politics” for MintPress.

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini,  David Zupan,
November 16, 2022

Midterms and Foreign Policy: Blank Check for More War in Ukraine?

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Reuters reports: “Ukraine expects $4.8 bln in external financing in November — finance minister.”

MELVIN GOODMAN, goody789@verizon.net
Goodman is a senior fellow at the Center for International Policy and a professor of government at Johns Hopkins University. He was an analyst at the CIA for 24 years. His books include Whistleblower at the CIA: An Insider’s Account of the Politics of Intelligence and National Insecurity: The Cost of American Militarism.

He just wrote the piece “The Midterm Elections And American Foreign Policy,” which states: “The midterms will affect Biden’s agenda for Ukraine, particularly the ability to continue the current pace of military assistance to President Volodymyr Zelensky. Since the war began nearly nine months ago, the Biden administration has authorized and the Congress has approved more than $60 billion in aid to Ukraine. McCarthy has already stated that a Republican-led House would be unwilling to approve ‘blank check’ assistance to Ukraine. …

“Continuing the war could lead to an expanded conflict that involves the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), particularly the United States, and could lead to the use of tactical nuclear weapons. ….

“It is time to talk. Ironically, it is the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, who has been the most outspoken about getting to the negotiating table. It is wrong for the military adviser to the president to go public with policy advocacy, but in this case his ideas deserve a sounding within the National Security Council.

“The Biden administration also must reassess the twin pillars of U.S. policy in the Middle East since the 1940s: Israel and Saudi Arabia. …

“Two decades of warfare in Iraq and Afghanistan should have led to a period of soul-searching; instead we are dealing with the madness of the dual containment of Russia and China.”

Biden and Xi Meeting

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President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping are meeting Monday on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Indonesia.

JAMES BRADLEY, ‪[currently in Vietnam], james@jamesbradley.com, Skype: JamesOnSound
Bradley is author of several bestsellers focused on U.S. policy in the Pacific and Asia, including The China Mirage: The Hidden History of American Disaster in Asia — see NPR report on that book. He is perhaps most well known for his book Flags of Our Fathers.

He said today: “Take the G20, subtract the G7 and it equals the BRICS. The eastern winds are predominant, the petrodollar is leaking and it will be a cold winter in the West.”

Bradley is prominently featured in John Pilger’s noted documentary “The Coming War on China.”

He has produced numerous episodes of the “Untold Pacific” podcast including “China Rising” and “U.S. Military: ‘War with China Inevitable.’”

He recently said: “The business of China is business. The business of America is war. Will the U.S. make a business-like deal with China over Taiwan? Or will the U.S. insist upon the Taiwan question being settled as a matter of war? It’s not China that’s aggressive — it’s the U.S. government that invades Iraq and Afghanistan and puts a fleet on China’s doorstep.

“The U.S.’s history in China is disastrous. One of the first war lobbies in the U.S. was to get the U.S. to pour millions into supporting Chiang Kai-shek against Mao when Chiang Kai-shek had much, much less popular support.”

See his interview with Covert Action Magazine on the U.S. military encirclement of China.

DontRunJoe.org

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JEFF COHEN, jcohen@ithaca.edu, @Roots_Action
Cohen is a co-founder of RootsAction.org, which just launched DontRunJoe.org. The move was covered by Politico, which wrote “it’s hard to argue that Democrats over-performed on Tuesday because of Biden rather than in spite of him.”

The group states: “On issue after issue, Biden has offered ‘too little, too late’ — from voting rights to abortion rights to student debt to the climate crisis — and he has spent nearly two years demonstrating that he is incapable of using the power of the presidential ‘bully pulpit’ to mobilize for victory. On many issues, he has failed to use his executive authority, including the power to issue executive orders, to defend working families – a failure that can’t be blamed on Congress.”

Cohen is a retired journalism professor at Ithaca College and the author of Cable News Confidential: My Misadventures in Corporate Media. In 1986, he founded the media watch group FAIR.

Climate Meeting: “A Coverup of Their Own Irresponsibility”

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Residents in a flooded quarter of Karachi, Pakistan, August 2022

BASAV SEN, basav@ips-dc.org, @basavips
Sen is director of the Climate Policy Project at the Institute for Policy Studies. He said today: “As world leaders assemble in Egypt for the UN climate talks, COP27 [Conference of the Parties], we’re once again seeing efforts by wealthy countries to evade their own responsibilities. They continue to push dangerous false solutions such as technological carbon removal and carbon offsets instead of rapidly cutting their own emissions, thereby making a giant high-risk bet on the future of humanity. Most irresponsibly, the U.S. continues to expand its oil and gas production. Rich countries’ intransigence threatens vulnerable people in the Global South. And it also threatens environmental justice communities at home who bear the brunt of oil and gas pollution. The hypocrisy of rich countries, particularly the U.S., needs to become more of a global scandal, including here in the U.S.

“Wealthy countries are still pushing offsets through negotiations on Article 6 of the Paris Agreement. Now, they are evidently pushing an even more dangerous scheme, where polluters can claim offsets from so-called ‘direct air capture’ or ‘technological carbon removal’ projects. The reason they’re so dangerous is that they pretty much don’t exist, except for a handful of experimental projects. So the scheme is essentially a bet on technologies that don’t exist to save us, instead of requiring polluters to cut their emissions now.

“Also, the U.S. (the unofficial leader of the rich countries) is, as we know, expanding oil and gas production, pipelines, petrochemical and plastics production, and export terminals on a massive scale. Just based on this, no one should take anything John Kerry or Biden says seriously. Everything they say at COP27 needs to be understood in this context — a coverup of their own irresponsibility.”

Indian Government Targets Independent Media Outlet

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N. RAM, nram@thehindu.co.in,  @nramind

Ram is a director of The Hindu Publishing Group and former editor-in-chief of The Hindu. He is based in India, but is currently traveling in Europe.

He said today: “The military-style ‘search and seize’ raid conducted on October 31, 2022 by the Crime Branch of the Delhi police on the offices of The Wire and the homes of its three founding editors, Siddharth Varadarajan, M.K. Venu, and Sidharth Bhatia, deputy editor Jahnavi Sen, and product-and-business head Mithun Kidambi marks a new low for media freedom in India. The police seized various devices under cover of investigating a criminal case based on a complaint made by Amit Malviya, a BJP leader who heads the ruling party’s national Information Technology department. The First Information Report registered by the police on the basis of this over-the-top complaint against the journalists covers charges of cheating and dishonesty, forgery, forgery for the purpose of harming reputation, using as genuine a forged document or electronic record, defamation, all read with ‘common intention’, under the Indian penal code.

“In the seven years of its existence as an independent and not-for-profit digital news media venture, The Wire has operated with limited resources but done sterling work that few other media organisations do in India. It has handled sensitive information, offered progressive comment fearlessly, and specialised in complex investigations, its Pegasus-India exposé being an outstanding example. No wonder that a far-right regime and its supporters regard The Wire as an adversary.

“Unfortunately, while working on and publishing a series of stories relating to Meta and India, The Wire’s editorial systems failed damagingly. Fed false information and fabricated digital proof by a techie consultant it had engaged on a monthly basis, it reported that Meta’s ‘XCheck’ programme had extended extraordinary privileges to Mr. Malviya, including the right to report any post and have it taken down, no questions asked. When independent experts questioned this, The Wire conducted an internal enquiry that detected the fraud, retracted the stories, and apologised to readers. The Wire’s editorial also promised to put in place robust editorial processes for checking and cross-checking documents and all source-based information, and in future have all technical evidence verified by independent experts before publication.

“When a media organisation publishes a story or a series of stories based on information that turns out to be egregiously false, it is unquestionably a serious matter. But the remedy must be found within the media organisation and within the profession. The Wire’s editors are experienced and ethical journalists and their work is supported by an independent ombudsperson, or readers’ or public editor. And fortunately, in this fraught situation, a large number of professional media bodies, organisations of working journalists, and professional colleagues have rallied in solidarity with The Wire. Further, editorials in major Indian newspapers have come out against the police action and the criminalisation of journalism when it stumbles or takes mis-steps.

“I believe The Wire and the progressive, upstanding, and fearless journalism it exemplifies will emerge stronger thanks to the lessons learned from this serious setback.”

The Editors Guild of India issued a statement that it is “extremely disturbed by the manner in which Delhi Police Crime Branch carried out search and seizures at the homes of founding editors and senior editors of the Wire, as well as their office and the newsroom in Delhi.”
See The Wire’s “Statement on Seizure of Electronic Devices by Delhi Police Crime Branch” and follow-up statements and reporting here.

“Anti-Vaccine Aggression”

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Peter Hotez, winner of a Nobel Prize, discussed his new article––“The great Texas COVID tragedy”––with the Institute for Public Accuracy. Texas is “just behind California as the state with the most Covid deaths… but with a Texas population estimated at 29 million compared to 40 million people living in California, the proportion of Texas deaths is far higher.” 

Hotez estimates that approximately 40,000 of the 90,000 total Covid deaths in Texas have actually occurred after May 1, 2021, “when any American who wished to take [a Covid] vaccine could do so.” In the first three months of 2022, during the Omicron wave, “the CDC [found that] rates of death in the [U.S.] were 20 times higher among unvaccinated people compared to people who were vaccinated and had received a booster.” Hotez concludes that the vast majority of those 40,000 deaths were in unvaccinated Texans. 

PETER HOTEZ; hotez@bcm.edu 
    Hotez is a Nobel Prize-winning physician-scientist and global health expert. His patent-free vaccine, Corbevax, is currently in use in India. 

Hotez has had a “front row seat” to the rise of anti-science aggression in the last decade. Now, he writes that the term “red Covid… reflects the strong anti-vaccine activism promoted by elected officials on the far right and spread on conservative news and social media sites. The rhetoric derives from right wing politics around ‘health freedom,’ both a framework and propaganda tool, which accelerated in Texas in the 2010s for childhood vaccination mandates in schools.” 

Hotez described how––although deaths more or less halted in highly vaccinated communities after May 1, 2021––in undervaccinated places like Texas and in other parts of the southern U.S. and mountain West states, “the deaths had just begun.” 

Hotez is known for being a public enemy number one in anti-scientific circles; Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has called him an “OG Villain.” Hotez notes that experts talk a lot about the “Infodemic,” suggesting that misinformation and disinformation are random, isolated issues. But this is “organized and deliberate,” Hotez says; anti-science aggression has become a “core element of American politics.” As a physician-scientist, Hotez says that he struggles to talk about it. Doctors are supposed to be “politically neutral. But what do you do when this is so clearly about a partisan divide? Deaths are overwhelmingly occurring in red states. The redder the state, the more Covid cases and the more Covid deaths. Where is the horror and the outrage?” 

But Hotez says that even in some of the hardest-hit conservative communities, “they don’t connect the dots––that they were victims of this truly disgusting anti-science aggression. Presumably because they’re still in the rabbit hole.”

Hotez worries that the situation may get worse. This will be a “battle in the Texas state legislature.” Unfortunately, “the health sector doesn’t know what to do. It’s a political problem, with political origins.” Meanwhile, “the American Board of Medical Specialties is struggling” with how to respond to physicians who are weaponizing health communications by disseminating deliberately misleading information.” But this isn’t an academic problem, Hotez notes. We can’t solve it through more “behavioral research or social science. This movement has actors, political power, money, and nefarious designs… We’re not framing the problem as it needs to be framed.” Hotez says that our health sector leaders are “fumbling”––by relying, for instance, too heavily on social media companies changing algorithms. That type of reform “doesn’t get at the monster,” warns Hotez. “The monster is letting people die unnecessarily from vaccine-preventable disease.” 

Hotez also brought attention to the issue of long Covid, which occurs more frequently in patients with severe Covid; unvaccinated people are more likely to get severe Covid. “Beyond the 40,000” who lost their lives in Texas, Hotez says, there might be “hundreds of thousands of Texans with long Covid. This will haunt our state for years.” 

Nukes in Finland Would Violate NPT: Legal Expert

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Euroweekly reports that Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin recently said: “I think it’s very important that we don’t set any preconditions or limit our own room for manoeuvre when it comes to permanent bases or nuclear weapons.’

The outlet also reports: “Earlier this month, the Polish government said it had held talks with Washington about hosting U.S. nuclear weapons, but the Americans have not confirmed this. Polish President Andrzej Duda said there was a ‘potential opportunity’ for his country to engage in ‘nuclear sharing.'”

JOHN QUIGLEY, quigley.2@osu.edu
Quigley is professor emeritus of international law at Ohio State University,

He said today: “The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, to which the United States and most states of the world are party, prohibits the transfer of nuclear weapons from one country to another. Were the United States to give Finland nuclear weapons to be positioned in Finnish territory, both states would be in violation.”

Quigley’s books include The Ruses for War. He has written about Ukraine for the Cambridge Journal of International and Comparative Law.

Note IPA news release from Wednesday: “Nuclear Netanyahu.”

Nuclear Netanyahu

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[The United Nations General Assembly First Committee, which deals with disarmament and international security issues, just called on Israel to get rid of all its nuclear weapons in a 152 to 5 vote.” Israel, unlike other countries in the Mideast, has refused to sign the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. Archbishop Desmond Tutu in his last published article called on the Biden administration to acknowledge Israel has nuclear weapons. Also see from Sam Husseini: “The Ostrich Caucus: Why won’t members of Congress just say it: Israel has nukes?” which notes that even the members of Congress most critical of Israel will not acknowledge Israel’s nuclear weapons arsenal.]

RICHARD SILVERSTEIN,  richards1052@gmail.com@richards1052
   Silverstein writes at Tikun Olam and just wrote the piece “Netanyahu Wins Sixth Term as Prime Minister: Extremist parties surge, ensuring far-right victory, as Palestinian Knesset representation falls precipitously.” 

    Silverstein writes: “Latest exit polls show resounding victory for Netanyahu’s far-right coalition: anywhere from 61 to 62 seats. He will form the most extremist government in Israeli history. This means that his most violent allies, Bezalel Smotrich and Itamar Ben-Gvir will demand ministerial posts. …

“A Netanyahu victory also will further erode Israel’s stature within American society. Anyone who previously viewed it as a liberal democratic state will no longer be able to hold such an illusion.”

Supreme Court Attack on Affirmative Action: The Irony of Clyde Ferguson

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FRANCIS BOYLE,  fboyle@illinois.edu
Boyle is a professor of law at the University of Illinois. His books include Tackling America’s Toughest Questions. He notes the irony of the Supreme Court targeting Harvard’s affirmative action program while the Harvard-based scholar Clyde Ferguson, his mentor, conceived of affirmative action. Boyle said today: “Of course, I fully support the Harvard affirmative action program. It is a shame and a disgrace what is going to happen here by the end of June when the case comes down terminating affirmative action.”

In 2019, Boyle warned that the Supreme Court was going to use the Harvard case to overturn affirmative action: “Obviously, this Harvard case has been deliberately and maliciously set up in order to bring affirmative action to the U.S. Supreme Court where the plaintiffs expect” the Federalist Society backed members to overturn it.
Boyle has been warning of the power of the Federalist Society for over 20 years. Boyle told the Guardian in 2018: “I think Kavanaugh was put on there to ensure Roe is overturned.”

On Monday, CNN reported, “John Roberts skewers Harvard attorney.”

Boyle wrote in 2019: “Roberts will probably administer the coup de gras to affirmative action in the Harvard Case — that’s gratitude for you!” (Roberts went to Harvard Law).

He continued: “If so, this shall prove to be one of the greatest tragic ironies in the history of American jurisprudence, constitutional law, and international human rights law. Affirmative action was the brainchild of my teacher, mentor and friend, the late, great Clyde Ferguson, who was the first tenured African American full professor of law at Harvard Law School. … So I studied affirmative action with its very progenitor, Clyde.

“Prior to joining the HLS faculty, Clyde had negotiated the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination on behalf of the United States government.  Clyde included affirmative action right there in article 1(4) of the Convention. The U.S. government is a contracting party to this Convention. So no matter what” the Supreme Court Federalist Society members “do to affirmative action, it shall remain a binding international law obligation of the United States government.”

See video clip: “Clyde Ferguson, President Nixon’s Envoy, Speaks of Indiscriminate Bombing In Biafra | March 1969” about fighting in Nigeria.

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