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Obama to Tell Netanyahu “Window of Opportunity” for Military Strike on Iran in June

In Iran, Israel, News, Other Leaks, Politics, USA on February 27, 2013 at 2:42 AM

Obama - Netanyahu

02/27/2013

President Barack Obama says the United States could launch an attack on Iran as early as this June, Israeli media reports.

According to a report on Israel’s Channel 10 News that has since been picked up by The Times of Israel, Pres. Obama will use an upcoming meeting overseas to discuss a military strike on Iran. Pres. Obama is scheduled to visit Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu next month, and during the get-together the two leaders will reportedly work out the details for a possible assault.

Pres. Obama will tell Netanyahu that a “window of opportunity” for a military strike on Iran will open in June, Channel 10 claims.

Israel has long-urged the White House to use its military prowess to intervene in Iran.

Pres. Obama will travel to the West Bank and Jordan for the first time during his second term in office. National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor has said of the trip that it will mark an “opportunity to reaffirm the deep and enduring bonds between the United States and Israel and to discuss the way forward on a broad range of issues of mutual concern, including Iran and Syria.”

Fmr. Press Sec. Gibbs: “One of the First Things They Told Me Was ‘You’re Not Even to Acknowledge the Drone Program”

In Barack Obama, Drones, News, Other Leaks, Politics, USA, Viral Videos on February 25, 2013 at 5:32 AM

 

02/25/2013

Joining MSNBC’s Chris Hayes on Sunday morning’s Up, former White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs admitted that he was told by members of Barack Obama’s administration “not to admit” that a drone warfare program exists. Gibbs shocked MSNBC’s panel guests by the admission that Obama was already focused on hiding the drone program from the press even before he took office in 2009.

“When I went through the process of becoming press secretary, one of the first things they told me was ‘you’re not even to acknowledge the drone program,” Gibbs said. “You’re not even to discuss that it exists.”

“Here’s what’s inherently crazy about that proposition: you’re being asked a question based on reporting of a program that exists, right? So, you’re the official government spokesperson acting as if the entire program – pay no attention to the man behind the curtain,” Gibbs added.

Cornel West: Obama is a War Criminal, Killed Over 200 Children

In Barack Obama, Drones, News, NWO, USA, USA, Viral Videos, World Revolution on February 16, 2013 at 6:50 PM

 

02/15/2013

Appearing on the radio Thursday with host Tavis Smiley, professor Cornel West argued that President Barack Obama is, like Presidents George W. Bush and Richard Nixon before him, a “war criminal” uniquely responsible for the deaths of “over 200 children.”

West’s words were in response to a question about the administration’s seeming preference for killing terrorism suspects from the air rather than risking American lives to take them prisoner and hold them for an indefinite amount of time in military custody. A legal whitepaper obtained by NBC News recently exposed the Obama administration’s once-secret justification for the program, which authorizes a deadly airstrike if intelligence officials believe it may take out any “senior operational leaders” of al Qaeda or “associated forces,” even if that includes an American citizen.

“I think, my dear brother, the chickens are coming home to roost,” West told Smiley. “We’ve been talking about this for a good while, the immorality of drones, dropping bombs on innocent people. It’s been over 200 children so far. These are war crimes.”

Troublingly enough, West is right on the number: The Bureau of Investigative Journalism reports that up to 216 children have died in three countries the U.S. is not formally at war with — Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia — as a result of suspected U.S. drone strikes starting in 2002 and dramatically escalating during Obama’s first term. Out of an estimated 451 total drone strikes during that period, over 300 were ordered by Obama against Pakistanis alone. The Bureau estimates that up to 4,643 people in all have been killed by drone strikes in those three countries.

Similarly, a United Nations committee said this month that “hundreds” of children have been killed by U.S. drone strikes since 2008, many which are personally approved by Obama, according to The New York Times.

“I think we have to be very honest, let us not be deceived: Nixon, Bush, Obama, they’re war criminals,” West said. “They have killed innocent people in the name of the struggle for freedom, but they’re suspending the law, very much like Wall Street criminals. The law is suspended for them, but the law applies for the rest of us. You and I, brother Tavis, if we kill an innocent person we go to jail, and we’re going to be in there forever.”

Despite the largely unchecked, secret military campaigns abroad, Obama said in a recent public discussion on Google Plus that no drone strike has ever killed an American on U.S. soil, and said he’s pushing Congress for enhanced oversight of the program.

“I am not somebody who believes that the president has the authority to do whatever he wants, or whatever she wants, whenever they want, just under the guise of counter terrorism,” he said. “There have to be checks and balances on it.”

Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, along those same lines, endorsed the idea of establishing a secret drone court that would weigh the evidence against an American citizen abroad who officials suspect is involved in terrorism, potentially shutting down a planned drone strike if the proof is not compelling enough.

John Brennan, Obama’s nominee to lead the CIA, was a key architect of the administration’s drone program. His confirmation hearing was delayed this week until after a recess by Senators demanding Obama release more information on the drone program and last year’s attack on the U.S. embassy in Benghazi, Libya.

Via RawStory

Impeach Obama: A National Imperative

In Barack Obama, News on February 13, 2013 at 2:31 AM

02/12/2013

Do it now before it’s too late!

America’s Declaration of Independence states:

“(W)hen a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, (it’s the right of the people, it’s) their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

Straightaway as president, Obama violated his sacred trust. He betrayed his constituents. He’s a serial liar. He broke every major promise made. He serves illegitimately.

He institutionalized tyranny. He’s a war criminal multiple times over. He’s guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors.

He menaces humanity. He’s heading America for WW III. He wants America’s social contract destroyed. He wants millions impoverished, unemployed, left hungry and homeless. He’s beholden to powerful monied interests that own him.

He spurns fundamental civil and human rights. He mocks democratic values. He’s contemptuous of essential needs.

Law Professor Francis Boyle is unequivocal. He told Progressive Radio News Hour listeners he should be impeached. He urged House Republicans to so.

He’s offering his services pro bono. On December 9, Boyle spoke at the Puerto Rican Summit Conference on Human Rights.

US militarism threatens WW III, he said. A century after earlier imperial aggressions, “neoconservative Republican Bush Junior administration and the neoliberal Democratic Obama administration are now threatening” global war.

He cited his teacher, mentor and friend, Professor Hans Morgenthau. Earlier he warned about “unlimited imperialism.” His seminal book “Politics Among Nations: The Struggle for Power and Peace” discussed it.

His cardinal tenet was darkly Hobbesian. He said international law and world organizations are “irrelevant” in conflicts of national interest between nations. Ignore “reality” and perish, he stressed.

Imperial priorities are disastrous. They destroy societies and human life. They make it “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.”

No law or justice exists, no sense of right or wrong, no morality. Imperial madness prioritizes war. Absolute power is sought no holds barred.

Boyle cited the US Army Field Manual (FM) 27-10 – The Law of Land Warfare. Paragraph 498 says any person, military or civilian, who commits a crime under international law is responsible for it and may be punished.

Paragraph 499 defines a war crime. Paragraph 500 refers to a conspiracy, attempts to commit it, and complicity with respect to international crimes.

Paragraph 501 says all high level civilian and military officials in any way involved in crimes against peace are personally responsible for war crimes.

Paragraph 509 denies the defense of superior orders in the commission of a crime. Paragraph 510 denies the defense of an “act of state” to absolve them.

Obama, other high administration officials, and their subordinates “are responsible for the commission of crimes against peace,” said Boyle.

The Nuremberg Charter, Judgment, and Principles, other international laws, and FM 27-10 define them.

In “international legal terms,” said Boyle, “the United States government” is guilty of “serial wars of aggression, crimes against peace, crimes against humanity, and war crimes that are legally akin to those perpetrated by the former Nazi regime in Germany.”

US citizens are constitutionally empowered to resist, says Boyle. They’re entitled to challenge their own government. They should “prevent, impede, thwart, or terminate (its) ongoing criminal activities….”

“Today’s civil resisters are the sheriffs! The US government officials are the outlaws!”

They “disobeyed fundamental principles of international law as well as US criminal law, and thus committed international crimes and US domestic crimes as well as impeachable violations of the United States Constitution.”

“The American people must insist upon the impeachment, dismissal, resignation, indictment, conviction, and long-term incarceration of all US government officials guilty of such heinous international and domestic crimes.”

Fundamental rule of law principles apply to all US military and civilian personnel. They include top commanders, the Secretary of Defense, his subordinates, CIA and other intelligence officials, as well as the president and vice president of the United States.

No one is exempt. Rule of law principles are inviolable. Imperial aggression is lawless. So is extrajudicial killing, torture, and other high crimes.

No president should be allowed to get away with them, says Boyle. Lawbreaking demands accountability. Doing so invites intolerable consequences. Disaster awaits.

We the People must act. Institutionalized tyranny approaches. It’s a hair’s breath away. Freedom’s on the chopping block for elimination. Humanity may not survive Obama’s second term.

Articles of impeachment are essential. Growing calls say so. In August 2011, Veterans for Peace (VFP) urged it. Waging illegal direct and proxy wars were cited.

“Therefore Be It Resolved,” said VFP, “that Veterans For Peace call on the US House of Representatives to immediately begin impeachment proceedings against President Barack H. Obama for failure to uphold his sworn oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America from all enemies foreign and domestic, and for his commission of war crimes, crimes against humanity, obstruction of justice and the violation of numerous national and international laws, treaties and conventions.

Impeach Obama Campaign.com has a White House Watch page. It urges readers to support impeachment.

Another page headlines “NEW ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT.” It states:

“ARTICLE OF IMPEACHMENT OF PRESIDENT BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA

RESOLVED, That Barack Hussein Obama, President of the United States, is impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors, and that the following article of impeachment to be exhibited to the Senate:

ARTICLE OF IMPEACHMENT EXHIBITED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA IN THE NAME OF ITSELF AND OF ALL OF THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, AGAINST BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, IN MAINTENANCE AND SUPPORT OF ITS IMPEACHMENT AGAINST HIM FOR HIGH CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS IN USURPING THE EXCLUSIVE PREROGATIVE OF CONGRESS TO COMMENCE WAR UNDER ARTICLE 1, SECTION 8, CLAUSE 11 OF THE CONSTITUTION.”

Other detailed information followed. Obama violated his oath of office. It mandates he “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

He “mock(s) the rule of law.” He “unilaterally” commits aggression. He “endanger(s) the very existence of the Republic” and freedom. He’s guilty of “impeachable high crime(s) and misdemeanor(s).”

The UN Charter explains conditions under which waging war is justified.

Article 2(3) and Article 33(1) require peaceful settlement of international disputes. Article 2(4) prohibits force or its threatened use.

Article 51 allows the “right of individual or collective self-defense if an armed attack occurs against a Member….until the Security Council has taken measures to maintain international peace and security.”

Justifiable self-defense is permissible. Articles 2(3), 2(4), and 33 prohibit unilaterally threatening use of force not:

  • specifically allowed under Article 51;
  • authorized by the Security Council; and
  • permitted by constitutional and US statute law provisions.

Three General Assembly resolutions prohibit non-consensual belligerence:

  • the 1965 Declaration on the Inadmissibility of Intervention in the Domestic Affairs of States and the Protection of Their Independence and Sovereignty;
  • the 1970 Declaration on Principles of International Law Concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperation among States in Accordance with the Charter of the United Nations; and
  • the 1974 Definition of Aggression.

Nuremberg Tribunal’s Justice Robert Jackson called aggressive war “the supreme international crime against peace.” Guilty Nazi war criminals were hanged.

The Constitution’s Article 1, Section 8 lets Congress alone declare war. December 8, 1941 was the last time. Subsequent wars were illegal. Responsible officials were and are war criminals.

The 1973 War Powers Resolution (WPR) limits presidential warmaking powers. It requires consulting with Congress before authorizing troop deployments for extended periods.

Section 4(a)(1) requires presidents to inform Congress within 48 hours about deploying troops to areas of ongoing or imminent hostilities.

He must explain why they’re sent, constitutional or legislative authority for doing so, estimated duration of involvement, and whatever other information Congress requests.

Section 5(b) mandates withdrawal within 60 days plus an additional 30 exit period unless Congress extends the time frame for another 30 days, declares war, or unavoidable circumstances require more time. Unlimited amounts are prohibited.

One exception applies. As commander-in-chief, presidents may introduce US forces unilaterally into conflict areas in case of a national emergency if America, its territories, possessions, or military is attacked.

Under all circumstances, Congress must be kept fully informed. It has final say. Since passage, presidents exceeded their constitutional and WPR authority.

All US wars are illegal. Congress violates its own mandate. Accountability is null and void.

The Constitution’s Article 2, Section 4 states:

“The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”

In 1793, George Washington said:

“The Constitution vests the power of declaring war with Congress, therefore no offensive expedition of importance can be undertaken until after they have deliberated upon the subject, and authorized such a measure.”

In 1805, Thomas Jefferson said:

“Congress alone is constitutionally invested with the power of changing our condition from peace to war.” Warmaking is “exclusively (for Congress) to yield or deny.”

Thomas Paine said:

“In America, the law is king. For as in absolute governments the king is law, so in free countries the law ought to be king, and there ought to be no others.”

John Jay was America’s first Supreme Court chief justice. He said:

“(A)bsolute monarchs will often make war when their nations are to get nothing by it, but for the purposes and objects merely personal, such as thirst for military glory, revenge for personal affronts, ambition, or private compacts to aggrandize or support their particular families or partisans.”

“These and a variety of other motives, which affect only the mind of the sovereign, often lead him to engage in wars not sanctified by justice or the voice and interests of his people.”

Alexander Hamilton called impeachable offenses those “which proceed from the misconduct of public men, or in other words, from the violation or abuse of some public trust. They are of a nature which with peculiar propriety may be denominated political, as they relate chiefly to injuries done to society itself.”

James Madison said:

“Of all the enemies of public liberty, war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other.”

“War is the true nurse of executive aggrandizement. No nation (can) preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.”

“In no part of the Constitution is more wisdom to be found, than in the clause which confides the question of war or peace to the legislature, and not to the executive department.”

In 1974, the House Judiciary Committee voted three articles of impeachment against Richard Nixon. They charged actions “subversive of constitutional government.”

Obama exceeds the worst of all previous presidents. He’s guilty of multiple high crimes and misdemeanors. Holding him accountable is essential. Do it now before it’s too late. Humanity may not get a second chance.

Stephen Lendman Via SJLendman Blog

Press Given Cybersecurity Executive Order Before SOTU, Agreed to Keep Quiet for 5 Hours

In Barack Obama, News, Other Leaks on February 12, 2013 at 10:13 PM

02/12/2013

Shortly before 4:20 p.m. Tuesday, the White House emailed reporters that President Obama had signed a highly anticipated Executive Order aimed at protecting cyber security.

The order — setting up new programs aimed at stopping online espionage and terrorism — was already the law of the land, signed by the president. But it was also secret.

The document was “embargoed until delivery of the President’s in the State of the Union address” — despite the fact it had already been signed.

Such embargoes — imposed unilaterally, rather than agreed-upon — are not binding on news organizations, which weigh the urgency of the news against the headache of, for instance, being dropped from the White House’s distribution list. BuzzFeed abided by the embargo, having participated in a background briefing on the move, but thought it appropriate to report on the unusual delay.

White House spokesman Tommy Vietor explained in an email Administration’s decision to, temporarily, conceal the new order: “We wanted to release the EO early on an embargoed basis because the subject matter is complicated and we knew you guys would have questions. It seemed more helpful for the press corps than sending it concurrent with the speech.”

Vietor added “this isn’t unprecedented. Take for example sanctions Executive Orders. They are signed one day, go into effect at midnight but are not released until the next day.”

The new order appears, however, to have taken effect immediately; Vietor didn’t respond to a follow up question about when the order took effect.

Keeping White House executive orders secret is far from unprecedented, but usually concerns actual secrets. In 2002, the Bush White House signed a controversial executive order allowing for warrantless surveillance on those suspected of terrorism.

According to a White House synopsis the Executive Order includes:

New information sharing programs to provide both classified and unclassified threat and attack information to U.S. companies. The Executive Order requires Federal agencies to produce unclassified reports of threats to U.S. companies and requires the reports to be shared in a timely manner. The Order also expands the Enhanced Cybersecurity Services program, enabling near real time sharing of cyber threat information to assist participating critical infrastructure companies in their cyber protection efforts.

The development of a Cybersecurity Framework. The Executive Order directs the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to lead the development of a framework of cybersecurity practices to reduce cyber risks to critical infrastructure. NIST will work collaboratively with industry to develop the framework, relying on existing international standards, practices, and procedures that have proven to be effective. To enable technical innovation, the Cybersecurity Framework will provide guidance that is technology neutral and that enables critical infrastructure sectors to benefit from a competitive market for products and service

Includes strong privacy and civil liberties protections based on the Fair Information Practice Principles. Agencies are required to incorporate privacy and civil liberties safeguards in their activities under this order. Those safeguards will be based upon the Fair Information Practice Principles (FIPPS) and other applicable privacy and civil liberties policies, principles, and frameworks. Agencies will conduct regular assessments of privacy and civil liberties impacts of their activities and such assessments will be made public.

Establishes a voluntary program to promote the adoption of the Cybersecurity Framework. The Department of Homeland Security will work with Sector-Specific Agencies like the Department of Energy and the Sector Coordinating Councils that represent industry to develop a program to assist companies with implementing the Cybersecurity Framework and to identify incentives for adoption.

Calls for a review of existing cybersecurity regulation. Regulatory agencies will use the Cybersecurity Framework to assess their cybersecurity regulations, determine if existing requirements are sufficient, and whether any existing regulations can be eliminated as no longer effective. If the existing regulations are ineffective or insufficient, agencies will propose new, cost-effective regulations based upon the Cybersecurity Framework and in consultation with their regulated companies. Independent regulatory agencies are encouraged to leverage the Cybersecurity Framework to consider prioritized actions to mitigate cyber risks for critical infrastructure consistent with their authorities.

Via BuzzFeed

Related Link: Obama Signs Cybersecurity Executive Order Ahead of State of the Union

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