News Releases

As Afghans Face Starvation, U.S. and UN Sanctions Tighten the Screws

+++InterAction, a group of NGOs whose members include the Red Cross, has just released a statement pleading for sanctions relief for Afghanistan: “Afghanistan stands at a precipice. Nearly 23 million people face acute food insecurity, with 8.7 million just one step away from famine, including 1 million children on the brink of starvation. … In August of this year, the Security Council passed a resolution calling for ‘strengthened efforts to provide humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan,’ and the support of ‘all donors and international humanitarian actors to provide humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan.’ Yet, four months on, the people of Afghanistan are still waiting for this assistance to materialize.

“Without a clear humanitarian exception, UN sanctions will remain an obstacle to the major humanitarian scale-up that the Afghan people need right now. Humanitarian actors need legal clarity to operate. The Afghan winter has already set in. The Security Council must not wait a minute longer to facilitate humanitarian action and to enable us to reach all people in need in Afghanistan. We must spare no effort to save lives.” (Emphasis in original.)
The media watch group FAIR notes: “Media Forget Afghan Plight as U.S. Sanctions Drive Mass Famine Risk.” They say: “After withdrawal, the U.S. froze some $9 billion of the country’s central bank reserves, and U.S. and UN sanctions cut off the central bank from the international banking system and drastically limited the aid flowing into the country (UNDP, 12/2/21).”

BASIR BITA, bitabasir@gmail.com
+++Bita is a long-time civil society activist in Afghanistan. He is now in Vancouver, Canada after leaving Kabul when the Taliban took over. He said today: “Afghanistan is now beyond imagination, worse than ever, worse than the civil war. Of course, there are so many people who deserve to be out of the country, especially women and girls, and not under the Taliban. But it’s even worse. Drinkable water and electricity are now scarce and unemployment is skyrocketing. The banking system is basically shut down. The biggest cause for all this is the U.S. government’s actions — freezing funds and sanctions. It’s the regular people who are paying the price. The U.S. government says it’s trying to hurt the Taliban, but this is propaganda. The Taliban will make money from drugs, or get funds from the outside. It’s regular people who are paying the price for U.S. policy.”

Some of What Biden Could do Without Manchin

© Ad Meskens / Wikimedia Commons

+++While many are focusing on what Sen. Joe Machin is or is not allowing to pass the Senate, the American Prospect continues to update what President Biden can do on his own. See the Executive Action Tracker, which finds that: Out of 77 actions Biden could take without Congressional mandate identified by Prospect, there are 15 yes, 11 partial, 6 no, and 1 no longer applicable. For example, the magazine notes that Biden could direct the IRS to “remove the ‘high-tax exception’ from taxes for offshore corporate profits in the implementation of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.”

JEFF HAUSER, MAX MORAN, moran@cepr.net@revolvingdoorDC
+++Hauser is executive director of the Revolving Door Project. Moran is research director with the group.

The Revolving Door Project recently published the piece “Polling Finds Enormous Bipartisan Support For Crackdown On Corporate Lawbreaking.”

+++The group reports that a full “70 percent of Republicans, 70 percent of Independents, and 70 percent of Democrats surveyed believe the Biden administration should do more to hold lawbreaking corporations accountable.”

+++“We were fairly sure that the public would support cracking down on corporate wrongdoing, but we’re honestly surprised at just how enthusiastic people are, across all political persuasions, for these proposals,” said Hauser. “The fact is that we’re living in a populist moment of well-warranted anger toward greedy firms and the ultra-wealthy who lead them. … President Biden is overdue to start using the considerable powers of the executive branch to crack down on corporate greed — and just as importantly, to very publicly message doing so. He needs to show the people that he is on their side, not the side of the wealthy and well-connected few.”

[Russell Mokhiber of Corporate Crime Reporter just wrote the piece “Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla on Big Pharma Corporate Crime and Trust.”]

+++The Revolving Door project is also scrutinizing executive branch appointees “to ensure they use their office to serve the broad public interest, rather than to entrench corporate power or seek personal advancement.” See personnel map.

Why is the U.S. Government Making Nuclear War More Likely?

The New York Times recently reported: “Hundreds of Scientists Ask Biden to Cut the U.S. Nuclear Arsenal.”

Norman Solomon recently wrote in Salon: “Some policy technocrats for the U.S. nuclear arsenal and some advocates for arms control are locked in a heated dispute over the future of ICBMs, or intercontinental ballistic missiles. It’s an argument between the ‘national security’ establishment — hell-bent on ‘modernizing’ ICBMs — and various nuclear-policy critics, who prefer to keep the current ICBMs in place. Both sides are refusing to acknowledge the profound need to get rid of them entirely.

“Elimination of ICBMs would substantially reduce the chances of a worldwide nuclear holocaust. ICBMs are uniquely vulnerable to effective attack, and thus have no deterrent value. Instead of being a ‘deterrent,’ ICBMs are actually land-based sitting ducks, and for that reason are set up for ‘launch on warning.’ …

“An enormous ICBM lobbying apparatus remains in high gear, with huge corporate profits at stake. Northrop Grumman has landed a $13.3 billion contract to proceed with developing a new ICBM system, misleadingly named the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent.” (Solomon is executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy.)

DAVE LINDORFF, dlindorff@gmail.com,

Lindorff wrote the piece “The U.S. is Set to Make Nuclear War More Likely,” which states: “The U.S. is about to move towards a far more likely first use of nuclear weapons, with word that the Air Force has ‘completed flight testing’ of the cost-and-performance-plagued F35A Lightning fighter, all units of which are being ‘upgraded’ to carry thermonuclear weapons.
“What this means, as explained in a new article in Popular Mechanics, is that the world’s most costly weapons program (at $1.7 trillion), a fifth-generation fighter, supposedly ‘invisible’ to radar (that actually cannot fight and is not invisible to advanced radars), now has a new mission to justify its existence and continued production: dropping dial-able ‘tactical’ nuclear weapons that can be as small as 0.3 kilotons or up to 50 kilotons in explosive power. …

“Bernie Sanders, the independent self-described ‘socialist’ senator from Vermont, now needs to finally end his own dogged and cynical support for the basing of 18 F-35A planes at the Burlington International Airport, where pilots of the Vermont Air National Guard are now training for exactly the kinds of bombing scenario described above. …

“Sanders has insisted that while he ‘opposes’ the ‘wasteful’ F35 program, it is a ‘done deal’ and so he wants Vermont’s Air National Guard unit to get a piece of the ‘benefits’ of having it and the ‘jobs’ it supposedly brings with it in his state. He has continued to dissemble, claiming that the Vermont F35As will not carry nuclear weapons or be used in nuclear war. In fact, his office was caught altering a document from the Pentagon to hide the fact that the Vermont Guard’s planes would in fact definitely be upgraded with the ‘block four’ alterations so they can carry nukes just like all F-35As in the Air Force fleet.”

Did Sirhan Really Kill Robert Kennedy?

A California state parole board recently recommended that Sirhan Sirhan, who was convicted of the assassination of Robert Kennedy, be released. The board noted his remorse, assessed his actions as a prisoner and concluded that he is no threat to society. Sirhan still states that he has no memory of attacking Kennedy. California Gov. Gavin Newsom will soon decide if Sirhan is to be released.

A number of investigators, often working independently, have challenged the dominant narrative and concluded that Sirhan is in fact not guilty of killing Kennedy.

LISA PEASE, lpease2@roadrunner.com, @lisapease

Pease has researched the RFK assassination for decades and has put forward a theory of the assassination that challenges the official version of what happened. She is the author of A Lie Too Big to Fail: The Real History of the Assassination of Robert F. Kennedy Jr., which was published in 2018. See a talk by her the following year televised by C-SPAN. The Washington Post covered some of Pease’s work: “CIA may have used contractor who inspired ‘Mission: Impossible’ to kill RFK, new book alleges.” She is featured in Oliver Stone’s recently released documentary film “JFK Revisited: Through the Looking Glass.” A quote from Pease is below.

PAUL SCHRADE, phs90046@gmail.com

A labor leader, Schrade was a close associate of RFK’s, was with him the night he was assassinated and was also shot. Now in his 90s, he has long charged the Los Angeles police effectively framed Sirhan, who Schrade states did not kill Kennedy. The Washington Post recently reported that Schrade “said the lead crime scene investigator lied when he testified that he test fired Sirhan’s gun and the bullets matched those taken from Kennedy and two other victims; subsequent investigation showed that the test bullets did not match the victim bullets.” NBC affiliate KGET in Bakersfield, California reports “Schrade believes Sirhan was not the one who shot and killed Kennedy and that a second gunman was involved. For the past 52 years, Schrade has been working to bring to light evidence he said proves Sirhan was not the one responsible for killing Kennedy. ‘Who was this guy they were covering up? Who was so important for the district attorneys to keep covering up for 52 years that shot RFK?'”

DENISE F. BOHDAN, denise@bohdanlaw.com
Bohdan is a lawyer and filmmaker and the daughter of Fernando Faura, one the first investigative journalists to examine RFK’s killing. She has continued much of her father’s work and has helped set up the website JusticeForRFK.com which has a detailed breakdown of different aspects of the case. She just co-wrote the piece “A Response to Kerry and Chris Kennedy’s Statements About Sirhan Sirhan’s Parole Recommendation.”

Pease said today: “The only witnesses who could clearly identify both RFK and Sirhan at the time of the shooting put them about three feet apart and facing each other, yet Kennedy was shot behind his right ear at a distance of not more than an inch, and the other shots were from not more than six inches away. Sirhan never got that close and was never behind RFK. …

“The prosecution even told Grant Cooper, Sirhan’s volunteer lead attorney, that they could not prove the chain of possession on the bullets. …

“The LAPD hid, destroyed and lied about evidence over the years to maintain the fiction that Sirhan had killed RFK. They burned the door frames that had bullet holes in them, according to the FBI and video filmed that night in the pantry. They burned more than 2,000 photos from the crime scene under strict guard at a hospital incinerator. …

“Sirhan was hypnotized to believe he was back at the target range where he has spent an earlier portion of the day. … I believe what Dan Brown, one of the foremost experts on hypnosis in the nation, uncovered after 60 hours with Sirhan: he was in a grip of an illusion that he was back at the range. That’s why he pulled out his gun and fired. It had nothing to do with Robert Kennedy.” See Washington Post piece “The assassination of Bobby Kennedy: Was Sirhan Sirhan hypnotized to be the fall guy?

Report Dubs Some in Progressive Caucus “Progressive In Name Only”

Naming six “especially problematic” members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus “who are not living up to their progressive pretenses,” a national activist organization today issued a report documenting their records and suggesting that some “seem ripe for a serious progressive primary challenge.”

The report from RootsAction.org, which has more than 1 million online supporters, documented key votes and other aspects of congressmembers’ records. Identifying them as “Progressive In Name Only,” or “PINOs,” the report concluded: “On core progressive policies like Medicare for All and the Green New Deal, cutting military spending, robust civil liberties, and more, these caucus members function more like corporate centrists — opposing significant challenges to the status quo and protecting corporate power along with endless war.”

Titled “Meet the PINOs,” the report “identified six especially problematic PINOs: Reps. Madeleine Dean (PA-4), Donald Norcross (NJ-1), Joe Morelle (NY-25), Jimmy Panetta (CA-20), Brenda Lawrence (MI-14), and Lisa Blunt Rochester (DE-at large).”

A few highlights from the report:

Congresswoman Madeleine Dean: “Representing a Democratic-leaning district in southeastern Pennsylvania, mostly in suburbs of Philadelphia, Dean is the only CPC member who scored a full 100 percent wrong on core progressive issues in our review. Now in her second term, Rep. Dean has already disappointed some of her supporters, including labor activists demanding she take stronger stands on healthcare.”

Congressman Donald Norcross: “Norcross represents a heavily Democratic congressional district that includes the impoverished city of Camden and New Jersey suburbs of Philadelphia. … While Norcross supported the COVID-vaccine waiver, he has often failed to back progressive priorities. Norcross has not co-sponsored either Green New Deal measure, and he voted for legislation in 2018 to boost natural gas exports.”

Congressman Jimmy Panetta: “Following in his father’s footsteps, Jimmy Panetta represents the same Central California Coast district — overwhelmingly Democratic — that elected Leon Panetta for nine terms. … Panetta seems to have inherited his father’s hawkish tendencies, voting to reauthorize the misnamed USA Freedom Act, backing military spending increases, and opposing Rep. Pocan’s and AOC’s modest attempts to rein in the military budget. Panetta also signed the letter undermining a renewed Iran nuclear deal.”

Congressman Joe Morelle: “Elected in 2018 to replace the late Democratic Rep. Louise Slaughter, Joe Morelle represents New York’s 25th District, centered in Rochester. This strongly Democratic district cast a 60 percent vote for Biden in the 2020 general election (and 59 percent for Morelle’s reelection). When the CPC endorsed Morelle for reelection in 2019, it called him “a true champion of the progressive values CPC stands for.” Unfortunately, on a host of key progressive values, Morelle has often acted more like a corporate centrist. Though Morelle supported the COVID-vaccine trade waiver, he has not sided with progressive leadership on much else.”

Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester: “While Delaware is a blue state (D+6, choosing Biden by 58 percent in 2020), Blunt Rochester has consistently been one of the most conservative members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. … Blunt Rochester has not supported Jayapal’s Medicare for All legislation. Notably, Blue Cross/Blue Shield is among her top campaign contributors this cycle. … Blunt Rochester also failed to support either Green New Deal measure, and did not back the COVID-vaccine TRIPS waiver push. … Strikingly, Blunt Rochester was one of only two Progressive Caucus members who voted with Republicans in 2018 to weaken banking regulations in the Dodd-Frank Act, the Democrats’ fairly limited 2010 Wall Street reform law.”

Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence: “She supported Keith Ellison for DNC chair in 2017, saying: ‘he’s progressive.’ Yet despite representing Michigan’s most Democratic district — a shade bluer than Rashida Tlaib’s district — Lawrence scored 75 percent wrong on progressive legislation, failing to cosponsor either Green New Deal measure, while backing military spending increases and opposing Rep. Pocan’s modest 10 percent military reduction in 2020 (though she favored a nearly identical measure this year). … Lawrence signed the March 2021 AIPAC-organized letter undercutting efforts to revive an Iran nuclear deal — and voted to reauthorize the USA Freedom Act, which further expands the surveillance state and diminishes civil liberties.”

The heavily researched report, written by journalist Christopher D. Cook and edited by RootsAction co-founder Jeff Cohen, critically references nearly 20 other Progressive Caucus members, bestowing a “Dishonorable Mention” on seven of them.

“It’s easy to call oneself ‘progressive’ these days, but if you’re in Congress and you’re not supporting Medicare for All, a Green New Deal, reducing our insane runaway military spending, and strongly defending civil liberties, the label doesn’t mean much,” Cook said today. “From my research for this report, I’m persuaded that there are some very corporate centrist members of the Progressive Caucus who must either be strongly pressured from the left or primaried by a serious viable progressive. Otherwise, we’ll never get the changes our society so desperately needs.”

Cohen commented: “Many of these Democrats want the ‘progressive’ label because they believe it helps them with their constituents and activists in their district. In reality, as our report shows, they often legislate in support of the corporate status quo.”

The full report — “Meet the PINOs: ‘Progressive In Name Only'” — can be read at ProgressiveHub.net.

Christopher D. Cook, christopher-d-cook@hotmail.com,
Jeff Cohen, jeff@rootsaction.org,

The Media’s War Against Biden Over Inflation

DEAN BAKER, dean.baker1@verizon.net@DeanBaker13
Baker is co-founder and senior economist with the Center for Economic and Policy Research. He notes that people in the bottom half are better off than they were before the pandemic. This was noted in a recent piece in the New York Times: “Technically, most households are financially better off now than before the crisis by several measures, an anomaly after a recession.” This is due in part to increased government relief to ordinary people.

Baker recently wrote the piece “The Media’s War Against Biden Over Inflation,” which states: “INFLATION IN THE U.S. ECONOMY IS CLEARLY A PROBLEM. There, I said it in all caps so that everyone can see I recognize it as a problem. The question is how big a problem. After all, we have lots of problems, millions of children in poverty, a huge homeless population, parents without access to affordable childcare, among others.

“But none of these other problems have gotten anywhere near the same amount of attention from the media in recent months as inflation. These pieces have often been quite openly dishonest. The nonstop hype of “inflation, inflation, inflation” unsurprisingly leads many people to believe inflation is a really big problem, even if their own finances are pretty good, because they hear all those wise reporters at CNN, NPR, the NYT and elsewhere telling them it’s a really big problem.” Baker debunks myths regarding media-hyped stories on milk and gas prices.

Pentagon “Cover-up” in Kabul Drone Killing of Family Continues

No U.S. Troops Will Be Punished for Deadly Kabul Strike, Pentagon Chief Decides,” the New York Times reports this afternoon. “The military initially defended the August strike, which killed 10 civilians including seven children, in the days afterward, but ultimately called it a tragic mistake.”

The group BanKillerDrones.org responded: “Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III, in declining to punish any military personnel for the August 29 drone slaughter of 10 members of the Ahmadi family in Kabul, Afghanistan, is continuing the Biden administration’s cover-up of who and what technology was indeed responsible for the attack, including, possibly, protecting the White House if the President was involved.”

“If the Pentagon wants to come clean about this horrific event,” said Nick Mottern, a co-coordinator of BanKillerDrones.org, “it will release documents and video tapes that show who was responsible for key decisions and what technological failings were responsible. If President Biden was involved in the decision, we must know that.”

The Air Force’s inspector general, Lt. Gen. Sami D. Said, insisted that the strike has to be considered in the context of the moment, with American officials at a heightened state of alert after a suicide bombing at the Kabul airport three days earlier killed about 170 civilians and 13 U.S. troops. “The broader context the Pentagon should acknowledge was clarified by Daniel Hale, the drone whistleblower who disclosed that innocent Afghan civilians were killed in 90 percent of the U.S. drone attacks during a five month period,” said Kathy Kelly, also with BanKillerDrones. “U.S. attacks slaughtering civilians have been routine,” Kelly added. “The unusual aspect of the August 29th attack was that international media exposed the murder of civilians and the pernicious initial claim that this was a ‘righteous attack.’”

Daniel Hale, sentenced to 45 months in prison, is serving time at U.S. Penitentiary Marion. In his own words, the only thing that Daniel Hale did wrong is that he “stole something that was never mine to take — precious human life. I couldn’t keep living in a world in which people pretend things weren’t happening that were. Please, your honor, forgive me for taking papers instead of human lives.”

“Austin’s announcement indicates that the slaughter in Kabul on August 29 was business as usual,” said Brian Terrell, also with the group. “The slaughter of the Ahmadi family is what happens when all the proper protocols are followed, and this was not a matter of botches by individuals who were properly doing their jobs that day, as Secretary Austin indicates, but of gross failures within the system, human and technological, that have been routinely accepted. If this happens when the system is working as it should, then it is not a problem that can be fixed short of shutting down the weaponized drone program altogether.”“It is also shocking that the U.S. government has still not enabled the Ahmadi family to come to the U.S. and guaranteed them reparations,” Mottern said. BanKillerDrones has called on the U.S. government to compensate the family $3 million for each family member killed, based on the $3 million that the U.S. gave to the family of Giovanni Lo Porto, an Italian citizen killed in a mistaken U.S. drone attack in Pakistan in 2015.

BanKillerDrones.org is working to achieve an international treaty banning weaponized drones and military and police drone surveillance.

Contact: Kathy Kelly, kathy.vcnv@gmail.com

Nick Mottern, nickmottern@gmail.com
Brian Terrell, brian1956Terrell@gmail.com

Maxwell Trial: Jeffrey Epstein’s Exploitation of Girls, Anti-Democratic Functioning, Blackmail

Pulitzer-prize winning reporter Chris Hedges writes: “The trial of Ghislaine Maxwell … will not hold to account the powerful and wealthy men who are also complicit in the sexual assaults of girls as young as twelve Maxwell allegedly procured for billionaire Jeffrey Epstein.

“Donald Trump, Bill Clinton, Bill Gates, hedge-fund billionaire Glenn Dubin, former New Mexico governor Bill Richardson, former Secretary of the Treasury and former president of Harvard Larry Summers, Stephen Pinker, Prince Andrew, Alan Dershowitz, billionaire Victoria’s Secret CEO Les Wexner, the, J.P Morgan banker Jes Staley, former Israeli prime minister Ehud Barack, real estate mogul Mort Zuckerman, former Maine senator George Mitchell, Harvey Weinstein and many others who were at least present and most likely participated in Epstein’s perpetual Bacchanalia, are not in court. … Epstein’s death in a New York jail cell, while officially ruled a suicide, is in the eyes of many credible investigators a murder.” (See below.)

Available for interviews:

LEE LAKEMAN, leelakeman@shaw.ca
    Lakeman is a writer, feminist, activist and works with the Vancouver Rape Relief & Women’s Shelter. She said today: “It’s not an accident that a woman is getting charged while all of these men are not. Part of the dynamic here is how prostitution has become normalized in our society. This case also reveals a tremendous level of corruption and anti-democratic functioning at work.” She notes the lack of serious investigation of Epstein’s death. See BBC report from 2020: “Jeffrey Epstein: Jail CCTV erased by ‘technical errors.'”

MARLON ETTINGER, marlonjettinger@gmail.com, @MarlonEttinger
    Ettinger is covering the Maxwell trial. See his Substack.

CATHERINE WATTERS, catspaws44@protonmail.com, @CatW44
    Watters is covering the Maxwell trial. Her writings are here.

The Miami Herald is reporting: “Key accuser of Ghislaine Maxwell not expected to testify in her trial.” “Virginia Roberts Giuffre — who has previously cast Maxwell as a central player in Jeffrey Epstein’s sex-trafficking operation — apparently isn’t going to testify, even though she has been mentioned by witnesses and prosecutors almost daily during the trial: as a minor who visited Epstein’s homes multiple times; as a girl who had sex with Epstein; as a victim who was allegedly recruited by Maxwell; and as a teenager who flew on Epstein’s private plane, often with Maxwell — 32 times.”

“Her absence in the room is striking, considering that there is physical evidence that appears to support her story of sexual abuse: photographs of her with Maxwell and Prince Andrew and of her at Epstein’s ranch in New Mexico, pictures of her with Epstein and Maxwell at a birthday party aboard a yacht where she looks barely out of childhood.”

See past accuracy.org news releases including “Epstein and Maxwell: ‘One Nation Under Blackmail’ citing the work of investigative reporter Whitney Webb. In 2020, she noted: “The fact the FBI won’t even touch or question Les Wexner (‘head of the snake’ of the whole op) tells you that any effort to go after Ghislaine is superficial.”

In her piece, “Hidden in Plain Sight: The Shocking Origins of the Jeffrey Epstein Case,” Webb reports that “Alex Acosta — who arranged Epstein’s ‘sweetheart’ deal in 2008 and resigned as Donald Trump’s labor secretary following Epstein’s arrest — claimed that the mysterious billionaire had worked for ‘intelligence.’”

Webb also wrote about Maxwell’s father, Robert, who worked with the Mossad “according to several books including Seymour Hersh’s The Samson Option: Israel’s Nuclear Arsenal and American Foreign Policy.” She adds: “In exchange for his services, the Mossad helped Maxwell satisfy his sexual appetite during his visits to Israel, providing him with prostitutes, [whom] ‘the service maintained for blackmail purposes.’” [See Gideon’s Spies: The Secret History of the Mossad by Gordon Thomas.

Assange Prosecution “Killing Freedom of the Press” as Biden “Lectures on Democracy”

(Photo by Mohamed Elmaazi, NUJ Member)

Kevin Gosztola reports: “High Court rules in favor of U.S. government and overturns the district judge decision that blocked Julian Assange’s extradition. Case is remitted to Westminster Magistrates Court and instructed to send case to Secretary of State for extradition.”

Famed Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg said: “How dare Biden lecture at the State Department Summit for Democracy” while refusing to pardon WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, “thereby killing freedom of the press for ‘national security.'” Ellsberg has called the prosecution of Assange a “nuclear option” against the First Amendment. Assange is being prosecuted for publishing material that exposed U.S. war crimes in Iraq, including the killing of Reuters journalists there exposed in the Collateral Murder video.

KEVIN GOSZTOLA, kevin@shadowproof.com, @kgosztola
    Managing editor of Shadowproof, Gosztola has extensively covered legal proceedings Against WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange. See his Twitter thread on the ruling and a video he made this morning.

    Said Gosztola: “President Biden’s administration cannot reasonably claim to support principles of democracy and human rights while at same time seeking the extradition of a publisher, Julian Assange, which is opposed by global press freedom organizations. …

    “Lord Chief Justice Burnett is on the High Court. As @declassifiedUK reported, ‘Assange’s fate lies in the hands of an appeal judge who is a close friend of Sir Alan Duncan — former foreign minister who called Assange ‘miserable little worm’ in parliament.'”

As Biden and Putin Spar: Has the Nobel Prize Committee Helped Perpetuate War?

With tensions high between the U.S. and Russia regarding Ukraine, and continued conflicts around the world, the Nobel Peace Prize Committee is coming under criticism for failing to fulfill its mission.

[The New York Times reports that the House on Tuesday “overwhelmingly passed a $768 billion” Pentagon budget. “The legislation, unveiled hours before the vote, put the Democratic-led Congress on track to increase the Pentagon’s budget by roughly $24 billion above what President Biden had requested.” The vote came “minutes after the House approved an unusual measure to lay the path for a swift increase in the debt ceiling.”]

The Nobel Peace Prize will be awarded on Dec. 10.

FREDRIK HEFFERMEHL, fredpax@online.no, @nobelpeacewatch
    Heffermehl has been a vice president with the International Peace Bureau and with the International Association of Lawyers against Nuclear Arms. He has spent over a decade scrutinizing what he calls “the failure of the Nobel Peace Prize to abide by its mandate,” writing several books and founding Nobel Peace Prize Watch.

    Heffermehl notes that Alfred Nobel intended for his prize to support demilitarization. In his will, Nobel wrote that the prize should be awarded to the “the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.”

    Heffermehl has criticized the Norwegian Committee for neglecting the global disarmament aspect of the prize, and awarding it “to political figures, and/or individuals who have done work in other fields, like the environment — but not the actual work that Nobel thought necessary to actually abolish war.”

    Heffermehl addresses this year’s award in his most recent piece: “Nobel Peace Prize: Peace by Global Disarmament or Press Freedom?” which is at ProgressiveHub.net.

    He writes: “The idea of Nobel’s testament, much more important today, was to liberate all nations from the yoke of weapons, warriors and war.

    “So, can this year’s Nobel Peace Prize, for ‘freedom of expression in the Philippines and Russia,’ be the best effort for a disarmed world order in the world today? My research through 14 years leaves no doubt that the Norwegian awarders never liked Nobel´s vision of peace and have used the prize to serve their own ideas and interests. …

    “The world simply cannot afford to continue war business as usual. The costs of arms races prevent us from addressing numerous very real threats — climate break-down, nuclear arms, poverty, a lasting pandemic, an increasingly fragile food supply. We have to realize that military power games only guarantee eternal insecurity and threat of annihilation. …

    “What makes the 2021 prize particularly lamentable is that the committee failed to defend the world against a most deadly threat against press freedom in the world today — in the military field — the cruel persecution of Australian journalist Julian Assange for revealing the war crimes of a belligerent superpower.”

    Heffermehl’s books include Nobel Peace Prize: What Nobel Really Wanted and Fame or Shame? Norway and the Nobel Peace Prizewhich was recently published in Norwegian and is now being offered to U.S. and other publishers.

« Previous PageNext Page »