Reuters photographer says reborn after freed by U.S. – REUTERS

10:46 AM EST – 2/10/10

image
By Suadad al-Salhy

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – The U.S. military freed a Reuters photographer in Iraq on Wednesday, almost a year and a half after snatching him from his home in the middle of the night and placing him in military detention without charge.

The U.S. military has never said exactly why it detained Ibrahim Jassam Mohammed — who worked for Reuters as a freelance TV cameraman and photographer — and locked him away for so long, saying the evidence against him was classified.

“How can I describe my feelings? This is like being born again,” Jassam told Reuters by telephone as he was greeted emotionally by his family.

U.S. and Iraqi forces smashed in the doors of Jassam’s house in Mahmudiya town, south of Baghdad, in September 2008 and whisked him away, first to Camp Bucca, a desert prison on the Iraq-Kuwait border, then the smaller Camp Cropper detention center near Baghdad airport.

Jassam is one of several Iraqi journalists working for foreign news organizations who have been detained by the U.S. military, often for months at a time, since the 2003 U.S. invasion. None has ever been charged, triggering criticism from international journalism rights groups.

“I am very pleased his long incarceration without charge is finally over,” Reuters editor-in-chief David Schlesinger said.

“I wish the process to release a man who had no specific accusations against him had been swifter.”

In Mahmudiya, friends and relatives crowded into Jassam’s small family home, greeting him with hugs, tears and sweets.

“I still cannot believe my son is next to me,” said his mother, Fadhila Alwan. “Thanks be to God. I cannot speak. I will keep him in my arms for days but I will not be able to get enough of him.”

‘SECURITY THREAT’

The U.S. military has asserted that Jassam was a “security threat” because of “activities with insurgents,” it said last year, without giving details.

The term “insurgents” generally refers to Sunni Islamist groups. Jassam is a Shi’ite Muslim.

The military said on Wednesday he was freed under a security pact, effective last year, which required the United States to hand over its thousands of Iraqi detainees to Iraqi authorities.

“As such, detainees that are approved for release by the government of Iraq will be released according to their threat level. It was his time to be released,” the U.S. military said.

The U.S. military still has almost 6,000 detainees who must be handed to Iraqi authorities. If they face Iraqi criminal charges they will be tried, if not they will be freed.

The Iraqi Central Criminal Court ruled in 2008 that there was no case against Jassam.

A month before arresting him, U.S. forces detained Reuters cameraman Ali Mashhadani and held him for three weeks without charge, the third time he had been detained.

“This is happy news but at the same time sad news,” said Ziad al-Ajili, head of The Journalistic Freedoms Observatory, and Iraqi press lobby group. “Who is going to compensate Ibrahim for the 17 months he spent in prison innocent of all the accusations the American army made against him?”

(Additional reporting by Aseel Kami; Writing by Jack Kimball and Michael Christie; editing by Tim Pearce)

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China suspends US talks over Taiwan arms deal – Shanghai Daily

U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and President Hu Jintao in June 2009

U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and President Hu Jintao in June 2009

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China announced yesterday it will postpone bilateral military programs and security talks and impose sanctions against companies in response to the US government’s planned US$6.4 billion arms deal with Taiwan.

A Foreign Ministry announcement said China had decided to partially halt exchange programs between the two countries’ military forces, as well as vice-ministerial talks on strategic security, arms control and anti-proliferation, scheduled to be held soon.

China will also impose sanctions on US companies involved in the arms deal to Taiwan, the press statement said.

The Obama administration advised US Congress on Friday of the proposed sale to Taiwan, a potential US$6.4 billion package including Black Hawk helicopters, Patriot “Advanced Capability-3” anti-missile missiles, and two refurbished Osprey-class mine-hunting ships.

The Chinese Defence Ministry also lodged a stern protest yesterday afternoon.

Qian Lihua, the Defence Ministry’s Foreign Affairs Office director, summoned the defence attache of the US Embassy in Beijing to lodge the protest, according to a press statement.

In a similar warning lodged with the US ambassador to China, Jon Huntsman, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister, He Yafei, said the country was “strongly indignant” about the proposed sale of weapons.

The US decision “constitutes a gross intervention into China’s internal affairs, seriously endangers China’s national security and harms China’s peaceful reunification efforts,” He was quoted saying in a Foreign Ministry statement.

“The US plan will definitely undermine China-US relations and bring about serious negative impact on exchanges and cooperation in major areas between the two countries, and lead to an aftermath both sides would not prefer,” He said.

He urged the US side to “fully recognize the gravity of the issue, revoke the erroneous decision on arms sales to Taiwan and stop selling weapons to Taiwan.”

The sale is viewed as a serious contravention of three joint communiques between China and the United States, especially the “August 17” communique agreed on in 1982.

The United States said in the 1982 agreement that “it does not seek to carry out a long-term policy of arms sales to Taiwan” and “intends to reduce gradually its sales of arms to Taiwan, leading over a period of time to a final resolution.”

In 2008, China curtailed military exchanges with the United States after the Bush administration approved a US$6.5 billion Taiwan arms deal, including 30 Apache attack helicopters and 330 Patriot missiles.

Read more: http://www.shanghaidaily.com/article/?id=427454#ixzz0e9FTdAO1

State Council: U.S. planned arms sale to Taiwan runs counter to sound development of cross-Strait relations

English.news.cn

BEIJING, Jan. 30 (Xinhua) — The Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council said Saturday that U.S. planned arms sale to Taiwan was in violation of its commitment to supporting the peaceful development of the cross-Strait relations.

The move ran counter both to the sound development of the cross-Strait relations and to the fundamental interests of the Taiwan people in the long run, said a spokesperson for the office.

The official said the fact that the U.S. side announced plans to sell advanced weapons to Taiwan in disregard of strong opposition from China would only instigate the pro-independence forces in the island and hamper the peaceful development of the cross-Strait relations.

The spokesperson also said the improved cross-Strait relations were in the common aspiration of the people on both sides of the Strait and had won support from the international community.

The current situation did not come easy, and therefore should be cherished, the spokesperson added.

Osama bin Laden is ‘worth more alive than dead’, declares his son – UK TIMES ONLINE

Osama bin Laden is worth more to the United States alive than dead because his death could unleash “very,very nasty” attacks by militants, his son has claimed.

In an at times rambling interview with Rolling Stone magazine, which was conducted in part in a Damascus strip club, the terror leader’s fourth-eldest son, Omar Osama bin Laden, said that his father had already won the War on Terror because he had achieved his aim of humbling the US and would probably not feel the need to launch more big attacks.

However, he said that President Barack Obama’s decision to increase troop numbers in Afghanistan was a big mistake that would damage the US economy.

“It is like adding water to sand, as we say in the Arab world. It only makes the sand heavier,” Mr bin Laden told the magazine.

“If I was in his position the first thing I would do is make a truce. Then, for six months or one year, no fighting, no soldiers. Afghanistan can never be won. It has nothing to do with my father. It is the Afghan people.”.

“It is going to be worse when my father dies,” he added. “The world is going to be very, very nasty then. It will be a disaster.” Mr bin Laden, whose autobiographyGrowing Up Bin Laden detailed his childhood growing up in militant camps in Sudan and Afghanistan as his father pursued his jihadist plan, left bin Laden in Afghanistan shortly before the September 11 attack in 2001.

He has since married a British woman almost twice his age whom he met on a trip to the Giza pyramids in Egypt. He makes a living as a scrap metal merchant in the Saudi city of Jeddah. He has been banned from entering Britain with his wife, Zaina, over fears that his presence would cause “considerable public concern”.

He said that he respected former president Bill Clinton for his “smart” decisions to attack his father’s training camp with cruise missiles in retaliation for attacks on US interests in Africa.

“He didn’t get my father but after all the war in Afghanistan, they still don’t have my father,” he said. “They have spent hundreds of billions. Better for America to keep the money for its economy. In Clinton’s time America was very, very smart. Not like a bull that runs after the red scarf.”

He said that his father was delighted when George W. Bush was elected president. “My father was so happy. This is the kind of president he needs — one who will attack and spend money and break the country.

“I am sure my father wanted McCain more than Obama. McCain has the same mentality as Bush. My father would be disappointed because Obama get the position.” The failure of the huge intelligence and military effort to find and kill bin Laden was a piece of luck for America, Mr bin Laden said, because his father’s followers killed for killing’s sake while bin Laden was so controlled that he would only kill if he felt it was necessary.

“People were always asking my father to attack more,” he said of the militants with whom he saw his father in Afghanistan. “They would say, ‘Sheik, we must do more’. Crazy things. My father has a religious goal. He is controlled by the rules of jihad. He only kills if he thinks there is a need.”

He said that he doubted bin Laden would order any more mass attacks.

“He doesn’t need to. As soon as America went to Afghanistan, his plan worked. He has already won.”

by Anne Barrowclough – Times Online

Supreme Court rules police can initiate suspect’s questioning

From Reuters.com (Edits by FactsNews)

Tue May 26, 2009 12:34pm EDT

By James Vicini

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that police, under certain circumstances, (which could be ANYTHING) can initiate an interrogation of a suspect without the defendant’s lawyer being present.

By a 5-4 (please, its ALWAYS 5-4) vote, the conservative majority overruled a 23-year-old Supreme Court decision that barred the police from initiating questioning after a defendant asserted the right to an attorney at an arraignment or similar proceeding.

The 1986 decision held that once a defendant invoked the right to counsel, only the suspect, and not the police, can initiate the contact.

The ruling was the latest in a recent string by conservative justices expanding the power of police to question suspects, but it does not change the landmark 1966 ruling barring the police from questioning a suspect who invoked the right to remain silent or have a lawyer present. (This is double speak, they said above that they can question you “under certain circumstances” which is ANYTHING!!!) (So much for the 6th Amendment)

Full Article

(Editing by Vicki Allen)

Bilderberg 2009 Attendee List (revised)

Factsnews: This may or may not be the official list. It was translated automatically using Google Translate. From Infowars.com.

kurt@infowars.com

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Dutch Queen Beatrix

Queen Sofia of Spain

Prince Constantijn (Belgian Prince)

Prince Philippe Etienne Ntavinion, Belgium

Étienne, Viscount Davignon, Belgium (former vice-president of the European Commission)

Josef Ackermann (Swiss banker and CEO of Deutsche Bank)

Keith B. Alexander, United States (Lieutenant General, U.S. Army, Director of the National Security Agency)

Roger Altman, United States (investment banker, former U.S. Deputy Treasury Secretary under Bill Clinton)

Georgios A. Arapoglou, Greece (Governor of National Bank of Greece)

Ali Babaca , Turkey (Deputy Prime Minister responsible for economy)

Francisco Pinto Balsemão, Portugal (former Prime Minister of Portugal)

Nicholas Bavarez, France (economist and historian)

Franco Bernabè, Italy (Telecom Italia)

Xavier Bertrand, France (French politician connected to Nicolas Sarkozy)

Carl Bildt, Sweden (former Prime Minister of Sweden)

January Bgiorklount, Norway (?)

Christoph Blocher, Switzerland (industrialist, Vice President of the Swiss People’s Party)

Alexander Bompar, France (?)

Ana Patricia Botin, Spain, (President of Banco Banesto)

Henri de Castries, France (President of AXA, the French global insurance companies group)

Juan Luis Cebrián, Spain (journalist for Grupo PRISA; his father was a senior journalist in the fascist Franco regime)

W. Edmund Clark, Canada (CEO TD Bank Financial Group)

Kenneth Clarke, Great Britain (MP, Shadow Business Secretary)

Luc Cohen, Belgium (?)

George David, United States (Chairman and former CEO of United Technologies Corporation, board member of Citigroup)

Richard Dearlove, Great Britain (former head of the British Secret Intelligence Service)

Mario Draghi, Italy (economist, governor of the Bank of Italy)

Eldrup Anders, Denmark (CEO Dong Energy)

John Elkann, Italy (Italian industrialist, grandson of the late Gianni Agnelli, and heir to the automaker Fiat)

Thomas Enders, Germany (CEO Airbus)

Jose Entrekanales, Spain (?)

Isintro phenomena casket, Spain (?)

Niall Ferguson, United States (Professor of History at Harvard University and William Ziegler Professor at Harvard Business School)

Timothy Geithner, United States (Secretary of the Treasury)

Ntermot convergence, Ireland (AIV Group) (?)

Donald Graham, United States (CEO and chairman of the board of The Washington Post Company)

Victor Chalmperstant, Netherlands (Leiden University)

Ernst Hirsch Ballin, Netherlands (Dutch politician, minister of Justice in the fourth Balkenende cabinet, member of the Christian Democratic Appeal)

Richard Holbrooke, United States (Obama’s special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan)

Jaap De Hoop Scheffer, Netherlands (Dutch politician and the current NATO Secretary General)

James Jones, United States (National Security Advisor to the White House)

Vernon Jordan, United States (lawyer, close adviser to President Bill Clinton)

Robert Keigkan, United States (? – possibly Robert Kagan, neocon historian)

Girki Katainen, Finland (?)

John Kerr (aka Baron Kerr of Kinlochard), Britain (Deputy Chairman of Royal Dutch Shell and an independent member of the House of Lords)

Mustafa Vehbi Koç, Turkey (President of industrial conglomerate Koç Holding)

Roland GT, Germany (?)

Sami Cohen, Turkey (Journalist) (?)

Henry Kissinger, United States

Marie Jose Kravis, United States (Hudson Institute)

Neelie Kroes, Netherlands (European Commissioner for Competition)

Odysseas Kyriakopoulos, Greece (Group S & B) (?)

Manuela Ferreira Leite, Portugal (Portuguese economist and politician)

Bernardino Leon Gross, Spain (Secretary General of the Presidency)

Jessica Matthews, United States (President of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace)

Philippe Maystadt (President of the European Investment Bank)

Frank McKenna, Canada (Deputy Chairman of the Toronto-Dominion Bank)

John Micklethwait, Great Britain (Editor-in-chief of The Economist)

Thierry de Montbrial, France (founded the Department of Economics of the École Polytechnique and heads the Institut français des relations internationales)

Mario Monti, Italy (Italian economist and politician, President of the Bocconi University of Milan)

Miguel Angel Moratinos, Spain (Minister of Foreign Affairs)

Craig Mundie, United States (chief research and strategy officer at Microsoft)

Egil Myklebust, Norway (Chairman of the board of SAS Group, Scandinavian Airlines System)

Mathias Nass, Germany (Editor of the newspaper Die Zeit)

Denis Olivennes, France (director general of Nouvel Observateur)

Frederic Oudea, France (CEO of Société Générale bank)

Cem Özdemir, Germany (co-leader of the Green Party and Member of the European Parliament)

Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa, Italy (Italian banker, economist, and former Minister of Economy and Finance)

Dimitrios Th.Papalexopoulo, Greece (Managing Director of Titan Cement Company SA)

Richard Perle, United States (American Enterprise Institute)

David Petraeus, United States (Commander, U.S. Central Command)

Manuel Pinho, Portugal (Minister of Economy and Innovation)

J. Robert S. Prichard, Canada (CEO of Torstar Corporation and president emeritus of the University of Toronto)

Romano Prodi, Italy (former Italian Prime Minister and former President of the European Commission)

Heather M. Reisman, Canada (co-founder of Indigo Books & Music Inc.).

Eivint Reitan, Norway (economist, corporate officer and politician for the Centre Party)

Michael Rintzier, Czech Republic (?)

David Rockefeller, United States

Dennis Ross, United States (special adviser for the Persian Gulf and Southwest Asia to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton)

Barnett R. Rubin, United States (Director of Studies and Senior Fellow, Center for International Cooperation)

Alberto Rouith-Gkalarthon, Spain (?)

Susan Sampantzi Ntintzer, Turkey (?) Guler Sabanci, President of Sabanci Holdings (?)

Indira Samarasekera, Canada (President of University of Alberta, Board of Directors Scotiabank)

Rountol Solten, Austria (?)

Jürgen E. Schrempp, Germany (CEO DaimlerChrysler)

Pedro Solbes Mira, Spain (economist, Socialist, Second Vice President and Minister of Economy and Finance)

Sampatzi Saraz, Turkey (banker) (?) possibly Süreyya Serdengeçti (former Governor of the Central Bank of Turkey) http://arsiv.zaman.com.tr/2002/05/29/ekonomi/h6.htm

Sanata Seketa, Canada (University of Canada) (?)

Lawrence Summers, United States (economist, Director of the White House’s National Economic Council)

Peter Sutherland, Ireland (Chairman, BP and Chairman of Goldman Sachs International)

Martin Taylor, United Kingdom (former chief executive of Barclays Bank, currently Chairman of Syngenta AG)

Peter Thiel, United States (Clarium Capital Management LCC, PayPal co-founder, Board of Directors, Facebook)

Agan Ourgkout, Turkey (?)

Matti Taneli Vanhanen, Finland, (Prime Minister)

Daniel L. Vasella, Switzerland (Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer at Novartis AG)

Jeroen van der Veer, Netherlands (CEO of Royal Dutch Shell)

Guy Verhofstadt, Belgium (former Prime Minister)

Paul Volcker, U.S. (former Federal Reserve director, Chair of Obama’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board)

Jacob Wallenberg, Sweden (chairman of Investor AB and former chairman of Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken)

Marcus Wallenberg, Sweden (CEO of Investor AB, former chairman of Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken)

Nout Wellink, Netherlands (Chairman of De Nederlandsche Bank, Board of Directors, the Bank of International Settlements)

Hans Wijers, Netherlands (CEO of the multinational corporation AkzoNobel)

Martin Wolf, Great Britain (associate editor and chief economics commentator at theFinancial Times)

James Wolfensohn, United States (former president of the World Bank)

Paul Wolfowitz, United States (for U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense, President of the World Bank, currently AEI scholar)

Fareed Zakaria, United States (journalist, author, and CNN host)

Robert Zoellick, United States (former managing director of Goldman Sachs, President the World Bank)

Dora Bakoyannis, Greece (Minister of Foreign Affairs)

Anna Diamantopoulou, Greece (Member of Parliament for the Panhellenic Socialist Movement)

Yannis Papathanasiou, Greece (Minister of Finance)

George Alogoskoufis, Greece (former Minister)

George A. David, Greece (businessman, president of Coca-Cola)

Domestic Extremism Lexicon