JOE BIDEN SUPPORTS PRINCE MOHAMMED BIN SALMAN’S IMMUNITY FOR KHASHOGGI’S MURDER

Biden Will Not Hold Him Accountable For The Slaying And Dismemberment Of An American Resident.

The Biden administration has moved to grant Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) sovereign immunity for his role in ordering the 2018 murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul.

The government’s determination is nonbinding and remains to be reviewed by the judge overseeing the lawsuit brought against MBS by Khashoggi’s fiancee, Hatice Cengiz, and the organization Democracy for the Arab World Now, or DAWN. However, it represents the latest signal that the Biden administration will not hold MBS accountable for the slaying and dismemberment of an American resident.

In September, Saudi Arabia announced that the crown prince would take on the role of Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia, a post ordinarily held by the king. The decision appears to have been primarily motivated by the pending American lawsuit, because, as prime minister and thus head of government, MBS is shielded from prosecution.

The crown prince’s new status as prime minister arguably grants him sovereign immunity automatically. But the announcement is disappointing in that it reflects a pattern of the American government failing to hold MBS accountable in any way.

President Trump actively thwarted Congressional efforts to try to punish Saudi Arabia. The global outcry provoked by Khashoggi’s brutal murder amplified existing concerns about the American role in supporting the violence and starvation wreaked by the war on Yemen that MBS launched as defense minister in 2015. Congress did successfully end mid-air refueling for Saudi and Emirati warplanes dropping bombs on Yemen. But Trump vetoed a Congressional War Powers Resolution that would have ended all American involvement in the Saudi-led war.

Initially, it seemed that Biden would finally rethink the American-Saudi relationship. Biden had campaigned on making MBS a “pariah” for his human rights abuses. Yet since taking office, Biden has consistently prioritized continuity in the American-Saudi relationship.

In February 2021, soon after taking office, the Biden administration declined to hold MBS accountable for Khashoggi’s murder, despite releasing the intelligence report that concluded that the MBS was indeed responsible.

More recently, Biden reversed his stated commitment not to meet with the crown prince when he flew to Jeddah in July and fist-bumped the royal in hopes of encouraging the kingdom to pump more oil to offset high prices caused by sanctions on Russia. Instead, OPEC+, the oil cartel dominated by Riyadh, announced a production cut of 2 million barrels per day in October. This sparked outrage in Washington, especially among Democrats, who feared for their Congressional majorities with midterms looming.

Although the administration initially promised “consequences” for Saudi Arabia, Biden’s national security advisor later stated that the relationship would be re-evaluated in a “methodical, strategic, effective” way. Meanwhile, the initial outrage from Congress appears to have dissipated, especially after the Democrats performed better than expected in the midterms.

Is MBS fully rehabilitated? Theoretically, MBS could return to the United States, if he chose, whereas previously there remained a question of whether doing so would put him in legal jeopardy. MBS has yet to return to the UK, even missing the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II, an event that drew monarchs and crown princes from all the other Arab kingdoms.

It seems much of the world has decided to overlook MBS’ responsibility for the gruesome murder, not to mention his many other human rights abuses. Although the administration’s latest move is hardly surprising, it does beg the question: what would it take for Washington to finally rethink its relationship with Riyadh?

ZERO-CLICK AND THE FBI

The FBI Ordered Its Own Version Of Pegasus, Which The Israelis Tailor-Made For Hacking American Mobile Devices. If You Think Your Rights Are Protected By The Constitution – Think Again.

During the Trump administration, the FBI paid $5 million to an Israeli software company for a license to use its “zero-click” surveillance software called Pegasus. Zero-click refers to software that can download the contents of a target’s computer or mobile device without the need for tricking the target into clicking on it. The FBI operated the software from a warehouse in New Jersey.

Before revealing any of this to the two congressional intelligence committees to which the FBI reports, it experimented with the software. The experiments apparently consisted of testing Pegasus by spying — illegally and unconstitutionally since no judicially issued search warrant had authorized the use of Pegasus — on unwitting Americans by downloading data from their devices.

When congressional investigators got wind of these experiments, the Senate Intelligence Committee summoned FBI Director Christopher Wray to testify in secret about the acquisition and use of Pegasus, and he did so in December 2021. He told the mostly pliant senators that the FBI only purchased Pegasus “to be able to figure out how bad guys could use it.” Is that even believable?

In follow-up testimony in March 2022, Wray elaborated that Pegasus was used “as part of our routine responsibilities to evaluate technologies that are out there, not just from a perspective of could they be used someday legally, but also, more important, what are the security concerns raised by those products.” More FBI gibberish.

Last week, dozens of internal FBI memos and court records told a different story — a story that has caused Sen. Ron Wyden, Democrat of Oregon and a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, to question the veracity of Wray’s testimony. Wyden’s healthy skepticism caused the FBI reluctantly to reveal that it had ordered its own version of Pegasus, called Phantom, which the Israelis tailor-made for hacking American mobile devices.

Here is the backstory.

The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution was written to preserve the natural right to privacy and to cause law enforcement to focus on crimes, not surveillance. The instrument of these purposes is the requirement of a judicially issued search warrant before the government can engage in any surveillance.

A search warrant can only be issued based on probable cause of crime demonstrated under oath to the issuing judge and a showing that the place to be searched or person or thing to be seized is more likely than not to reveal evidence of crime. As well, the warrant must specifically describe the place to be searched and things to be seized. Warrants can only be issued for investigations of actual crimes that have already occurred, not for experiments.

The Fourth Amendment contains some of the most precise language in the Constitution, as it was written intentionally to thwart the rapacious appetite of governments to snoop, which the British did to the colonists using general warrants.

General warrants were not based on probable cause of crime and lacked all specificity. Rather, they were based on government need — a totalitarian standard because whatever the government wants it will claim it needs — and they authorized the bearer to search wherever he wished and seize whatever he found.

The Fourth Amendment was intended to put a stop to general warrants. As we know from the wildly unconstitutional FISA court and the NSA’s secret criminal spying on all Americans, that amendment, like much of the Constitution, has failed abysmally to restrain the government.

Now back to the FBI and Phantom.

In July 2021, President Joseph Biden personally put a stop to the FBI’s use of Phantom, and the congressional intelligence committees assumed that that was the end of it.

Yet, last week, when reporters revealed the results of Freedom of Information Act requests for memos and court documents pertaining to Phantom, a different story emerged. The documents that the FBI furnished show a vast determination by FBI management to showcase and deploy Phantom to FBI agents and other federal law enforcement personnel.

The procedures under which the House and Senate Intelligence Committees operate require that secrets be kept secret. Thus, when the FBI director testifies before those committees, the representatives and senators who hear the testimony may not reveal what they heard to the press or even to their congressional colleagues. Wyden has apparently had enough of law enforcement deception and secrecy. Hence his complaints in letters to Wray — letters that more or less tell us what’s going on.

All of this leaves us with an FBI out of control and run by a director who has been credibly accused of misleading Congress while under oath — a felony — and whose agents have been credibly accused of conspiracy to engage in computer hacking — also a felony. Who knows what other liberty-assaulting widgets the FBI has in its unconstitutional toolbox about which Wyden and his investigators have yet to learn?

When Daniel Ellsberg courageously removed the Pentagon Papers from his office and gave them to reporters from The New York Times and The Washington Post, he was charged with espionage. The papers revealed that Pentagon generals were lying to President Lyndon B. Johnson and Johnson was lying to the public about the Vietnam war.

During Ellsberg’s trial, FBI agents broke into the office of his psychiatrist and stole his medical records so as to use them at the trial. The federal judge presiding at the trial was so outraged at the FBI’s misconduct that he dismissed the indictment against Ellsberg, and the government did not appeal the dismissal.

The Ellsberg break-in took the FBI a few hours and was destructive and dangerous.

Today’s FBI could have done the Ellsberg heist remotely in a few minutes. Today’s FBI has agents who are the bad guys they have warned us about. Today’s FBI has morphed from crime fighting to crime anticipating. Today’s FBI is effectively a domestic spying operation nowhere sanctioned in the Constitution. It should be defunded and disbanded.

THE OLDEST PRISONER HAS BEEN FREED FROM GUANTANAMO BAY AFTER BEING HELD FOR 17 YEARS WITHOUT BEING CHARGED

The 75 Year Old Pakistani Citizen Was “Detained” At The American Prison. His Release Came A Full Year After Being Cleared Of Any Wrongdoing.

Human rights organizations have celebrated the release of the oldest illegally held prisoner at America’s Guantanamo Bay detention site in Cuba.

Saifullah Paracha, 75, was returned to Pakistan according to the foreign ministry in Islamabad and the American Defence Department.

After more than 17 years in captivity, which Paracha has described as “being alive in your own grave”, he was reunited with his family.

The British human rights group Reprieve said that Paracha’s detention was an “injustice [that] can never be rectified”, accusing American authorities of kidnapping him in the “prime of his life”.

Paracha was arrested two years after the 11 September 2001 attacks and accused of being an al-Qaeda sympathiser who financed the terrorist group. Paracha has always maintained his innocence, and of course, America has never provided any evidence to support its claims.

Before being kidnapping by American personnel while in Thailand on a work trip, Paracha was a successful businessman and philanthropist. He then faced state-sponsored forcible abduction in another jurisdiction and was transferred to Afghanistan – which American authorities euphemistically call extraordinary rendition.

“Mr Saif Ullah Paracha, a Pakistani national, who was detained in Guantanamo Bay, has been released and reached Pakistan on Saturday 29 October 2022,” a statement by Pakistan’s foreign ministry said.

“The Foreign Ministry completed an extensive inter-agency process to facilitate the repatriation of Mr Paracha. We are glad that a Pakistani citizen detained abroad is finally reunited with his family,” the statement added.

AMERICA NOT DOING NEARLY ENOUGH TO RIGHT IT’S WRONGS

Paracha was initially sent to the Bagram air base, an American black site in Afghanistan that developed a notorious reputation for torture and abuse. A year later, without any due process, he was flown to Guantanamo Bay, another American black site in Cuba.

While in detention, Paracha’s health deteriorated, and he suffered two heart attacks. Even though he was unanimously cleared for release in May 2021 by America’s “security” agencies, it wasn’t until now that authorities released him.

Paracha’s son, Uzair Paracha, was also illegally detained by American authorities and convicted and then later cleared of any crimes, with a judge calling his conviction a “manifest injustice”.

Uzair was released and repatriated to Pakistan in 2020.

Several defence lawyers have criticised the Biden administration for not doing enough to release the remaining detainees at the Guantanamo Bay prison, responding to an official who said the government is working “diligently” to transfer out the detained population.

In a hearing, hosted by the Inter-American Human Rights Commission, several government officials spoke of the efforts being taken by the Biden administration to release the remaining detainees still held at Guantanamo and provide adequate care to them while they remain detained, while also working to shut down the prison facilities there.

“The US government has repeatedly reaffirmed its commitment to closing the detention facility at Guantanamo,” said Thomas Hastings, interim permanent representative of America to the Organization of American States.

“And to that end, the current administration engaged in a thorough review involving all relevant departments and agencies to develop an approach for responsibly reducing the detainee population and setting the conditions to close the facility.”

It was notable that the officials spoke publicly about the administration’s efforts on the issue of Guantanamo, given that the Biden White House did not send anyone to testify during a Senate hearing on the prison held earlier this year.

There are still around 35 people being held at Guantanamo, including Khalid Mohammed, named as “the principal architect of the 9/11 attacks” in the 9/11 commission report. Of course, he has not been tried because the American regime can not prove he did anything at all.

MURDER WITH NEAR CERTAINTY

Last Week, President Joseph R. Biden Jr. Secretly Reaffirmed His Own Self-Declared Authority To Murder Persons In Other Countries.

He said that so long as the CIA and its military counterparts have “near certainty” that the target of the homicide is a member of a terrorist organization, it is acceptable to murder them. That standard was concocted by the Biden administration.

There is no “near certainty” standard in the law, as the phrase is oxymoronic and defies a rational definition; like nearly pregnant. One is either pregnant or not. One is either certain or not. There is no “near” there.

Yet, the creation of this standard underscores the lamentable absence of the rule of law in the Biden administration, and in the administrations of its three immediate predecessors, each of which deployed drones to murder persons who were not engaged in acts of violence at the time of their murder, irrespective of the near certainty of their membership in any organizations.

“Terrorist” cannot be a standard for murder because it is subjective. To King George III, George Washington was a terrorist. To the poor folks in Libya and Syria, to the popularly elected governments toppled by CIA-inspired violence, to the innocents tortured at black sites around the world, the CIA is a terrorist organization.

The presidential use of drones to kill persons overseas began in 2002 with targeted murders ordered by President George W. Bush. It continued under President Barack Obama – who even murdered Americans overseas. The rules for killing were made up by each president. They were relaxed under President Donald Trump, who gave CIA senior personnel and military commanders the authority to murder without his express approval for each killing.

The Biden administration quietly took back the Trump grants of authority so that today only the president can authorize murder. Yet, there is no moral, constitutional or legal authority for these murders. But presidents of both political parties do it anyway.

The laws of war – a phrase itself that is oxymoronic – which are generally codified in the Geneva Conventions and the United Nations Charter, all of which were spearheaded and ratified by the United States, mandate essentially that lawful wars can only be defensive and proportional to the threat posed or the harm already caused. Stated differently, treaties to which America is a signatory restrain the president from murdering persons in other countries with which America is not lawfully at war.

Under the Constitution, treaties sit alongside the Constitution itself as the supreme law of the land. The last four occupants of the White House have ignored this when it comes to secret murders. Each has claimed publicly or secretly that the Authorization for Use of Military Force of 2001, or its cousin, the AUMF of 2002, somehow provide congressional authorizations for presidents to murder whomever they please; and somehow Congress can authorize murders.

Yet the AUMF of 2001 purported to authorize Bush to hunt down and murder the folks he failed to see coming on 9/11, whom he supposedly found caused 9/11. The AUMF of 2002 authorized Bush to invade Iraq in pursuit of the weapons of mass destruction that we now know Saddam Hussein never had.

The Constitution authorizes Congress to declare war, not random murders. Neither of the AUMFs was or is a valid declaration of war, which the Constitution requires as a predicate for all extrajudicial presidential killing. A declaration of war defines the target and sets the end. It is not open-ended as the last four presidents have claimed with respect to these two Bush-era statutes.

If the presidents are right, and the AUMFs authorize them to murder whomever they wish – including Americans – then they are not presidents answerable to the law and the Constitution, but kings who can murder on a whim without transparency or legal consequence.

The whole purpose of confining the war-making power to Congress and the war-waging power to the president was to keep those powers separate. History is littered with examples of tyrants using the powers of the state to murder for no moral purpose. American presidents have given themselves the power to murder at will.

Abraham Lincoln was the first head of state in world history to target civilians militarily and the first to murder civilians of his own country. Franklin D. Roosevelt slaughtered thousands of innocent helpless German civilians at the end of World War II by carpet-bombing German cities, rather than targeting the German military. Harry Truman slaughtered many thousands of Japanese civilians at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. All these murders were met with popular approval, as the targets had been demonized by the machinery of government – just like the “terrorists” Bush, Obama, Trump and Biden have murdered.

But demonization of human targets and popular approval of their murders cannot make an immoral act a moral one. An act is moral when it is consistent with the Natural Law. According to the Declaration of Independence, under the Natural Law, all persons are “endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, and among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.” The right to live is the foremost natural right and the great divine gift to all persons – not just Americans.

No person may morally be targeted for death by government for any reason unless it is presently necessary to stop that person from actively murdering another. In the cases cited above, the presidential murders were done to terrify political opponents, as the civilian targets were helpless. And the murderers were lauded as heroes.

Today, American troops – special forces – are on the ground in Ukraine showing Ukrainian forces how to use American weapons to murder Russian troops. This was done by a secret presidential order that has never been publicly acknowledged. These bullied and terrified Russian conscripts pose no threat whatsoever to life, liberty or property in America. But presidents murder because they can get away with it.

AMERICA STOLE $7 BILLION FROM THE AFGHANS AND NOW 6 MILLION PEOPLE FACE STARVATION

“With Millions Of Afghans Impoverished And Starving, The U.S. Must Return To The Afghan People What Is Rightfully Theirs” Said One Humanitarian.

The United Nations aid chief on Monday led calls for a resumption of the humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan that ended after the Taliban reconquered the war-ravaged nation one year ago – pleas that came as six million Afghans face famine and the Biden administration continues to refuse to return billions of dollars in frozen funds.

The people in Afghanistan continue to face extreme hardship and uncertainty,” U.N. Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths told the world body’s Security Council.

Noting that the U.N.’s Humanitarian Response Plan for Afghanistan is currently facing a more than $3 billion shortfall, Griffiths called on donors to immediately provide $754 million in aid to help Afghans survive the coming winter.

Close to 19 million people are facing acute levels of food insecurity, including six million people at risk of famine,” he warned. “More than half of the population – some 24 million people – need humanitarian assistance. And an estimated three million children are acutely malnourished. They include over one million children estimated to be suffering from the most severe, life-threatening form of malnutrition. And without specialized treatment, these children could die.”

Griffiths continued:

This malnutrition crisis is fueled by recurrent drought, including the worst in three decades in 2021, and whose effects are still lingering. Eight out of 10 Afghans drink contaminated water, making them susceptible to repeated bouts of acute watery diarrhea. Around 25 million people are now living in poverty and three quarters of people’s income is spent on food. There’s been a 50% decline in households receiving remittances; unemployment could reach 40%; and inflation is rising due to increased global prices, import constraints, and currency depreciation.”

So these relentless layers of crisis persist at a time when communities are already struggling,” Griffiths added. “In June, a 5.9-magnitude earthquake affected over 360,000 people living in high-intensity impact areas. And since July, heavy rains have led to massive flash floods across the country, and indeed the region, killing and injuring hundreds of people, and destroying hundreds of homes as well as thousands of acres of crops.”

Because the Taliban – which fought for two decades to oust American-led forces and the coalition-backed Afghan government in a war that claimed over 170,000 lives – is not formally recognized by any nation and is under international sanctions, it is difficult to deliver humanitarian assistance to the country.

American policy is exacerbating the crisis. Despite pleas from economists and humanitarians, the Biden administration continues to withhold around $7 billion in Afghan central bank funds stored in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

On Monday, a federal judge concluded that relatives of victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States should not be allowed to claim billions of dollars of the frozen funds to settle legal judgments against the Taliban, who sheltered al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden before unsuccessfully offering to turn him in for trial in a third country as the American-led invasion began. However, another judge can decide whether to accept that conclusion.

President Joe Biden had sought to set aside $3.5 billion of the $7 billion to settle 9/11 claimants’ cases, while signing a February executive order allocating the remainder “to be used for the benefit of the Afghan people.”

However, six months later, the administration still has not released the funds, citing the Taliban’s apparent sheltering of al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri – who was murdered by an American drone strike on Kabul on July 31.

Also addressing the UN Security Council on Monday, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the American ambassador to the world body, contended that “no country that is serious about containing terrorism in Afghanistan would advocate to give the Taliban instantaneous, unconditional access to billions in assets that belong to the Afghan people.” But it is fine to steal the money and have it end up in the pockets of the American and Israeli oligarchs.

Assal Rad, research director at National Iranian American Council Action, tweeted Monday that “the U.S. is still collectively punishing the people of Afghanistan.”

A VICTIM OF INJUSTICE – JULIAN ASSANGE

Biden Apparently Considers The American Legal Pursuit Of Julian Assange – An Australian Citizen Whose Acts (i.e., Journalism) Were Committed Outside Of America – As Acceptable.

His case reveals that the notions of justice in western countries is a complete farse.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been languishing in some form of incarceration for over 20 years, and he now faces potential imprisonment for the rest of his life if extradited and found guilty of espionage in America. People who are clued in realize these charges are as phony as the sexual crimes alleged and dropped against him by Sweden. Assange’s actual “crime” is exposing the crimes of America; especially revelatory was the Collateral Murder video where American troops in an Apache helicopter gleefully gunned down Iraqi citizens on a street in Baghdad. The murderers remain scot-free. For exposing war crimes, Assange and Bradley Manning have been punished.

Is Australia concerned about justice for its citizens? Assange has hardly received an iota of Australian government concern or assistance compared to that Griner has received from America for drug smuggling. Assange has also received scant support from the Australian monopoly media. In fact, Australian government leaders and media have usually criticized Assange or distanced themselves from him.

What if China were switched with America and found itself faced with what Assange is accused of by America? What would be the situation then?

Assange, who has not been overly kind to China, has, nonetheless, received support from China. Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said, “All eyes are on Assange’s human rights conditions and what may become of him. Let us hope and believe that at the end of the day, fairness and justice will prevail. Hegemony and abuse of might will certainly not last forever.”

Are you beginning to get it yet? China speaks out for justice while America engages in “Injustice For All”…

IN AMERICA YOU CAN’T WITNESS AN EXECUTION IF YOUR SKIRT IS TOO REVEALING

This Is The Backwater Cowboy Theocracy That We Are All Currently Preparing To Fight A Third World War For. This Is The Knuckle-Dragging Puritanical Regime Who Rules Our Planet.

Joe Nathan James Jr was executed by lethal injection on Thursday, against the wishes of his victim’s family. He was the eighth person to be put to death in the United States so far this year, and the second from Alabama.

In the moments leading up to his gruesome murder by the state, a news reporter was forced to change her outfit by the Alabama Department of Corrections, because her skirt and her open-toe high-heeled shoes were considered too revealing.

Yes, while a man was being strapped down to meet his end in the world’s largest prison system at the hands of a governmental institution designed to serve power rather than justice, Ivana Shatara’s skirt and shoes were deemed by authorities to be the most offensive thing going on in that moment.

And it was arguably the most American thing that has ever happened.

This is the backwater cowboy theocracy that we are all currently preparing to fight a third world war for. This is the knuckle-dragging puritanical regime who rules our planet.

A place where a tiny bit of skin is more of a problem than injecting a Black man with poison in a judicial system that turns the poor into slaves while not even recognizing the crimes of the wealthy.

A place where conservative modesty is a higher value than refraining from state-mandated murder.

A place where the dress code is more important than human life.

Come on, Ivana, this is an execution not Mardi Gras.

Come on, Ivana, you’re dressed like a hooker instead of a witness to a modern-day stoning.

Cover that skin as you see Joe Nathan James Jr poisoned to death by your government; don’t you know Jesus is watching you?

How can you expect to get into Heaven when you can’t even dress properly to watch us choke the life out of a man’s eyes?

Let us all dress like proper servants of the Lord while we execute and enslave those who our systems have failed.

Let us all dress like proper servants of the Lord while funneling impoverished communities into the largest prison population in the history of civilization.

Let us all dress like proper servants of the Lord while turning the gears of industry for God and country.

Let us all dress like proper servants of the Lord while we prepare to show Russia and China what real violence looks like.

Let us dress like proper servants of the Lord while we ride that ICBM straight into Beijing, waving our cowboy hats and giving them commies a taste of that old rebel yell.

Let us all dress like proper servants of the Lord as we march with unquestioning faith into the sweet welcoming embrace of mass extinction.

Let us all dress like proper servants of the Lord as we abandon our humanity and march to the drumbeat of money and empire over the edge and into the loving arms of oblivion.

Let us all become American, with prudish moralism and private porn addictions, with Bibles in our hands and murder in our eyes, with indoctrinated minds and calloused hearts, with proper attire at our executions and pious abandon at our extinction.

BIDEN SHOULD REMOVE CUBA FROM THE INFAMOUS STATE SPONSORS OF TERRORISM LIST

The Obama Administration Certified That The Government Of Cuba Was Not Supporting Terrorism And Had Provided Assurances That It Would Not Do So In The Future.

As the Cuban government celebrates the July 26th Day of the National Rebellion–a public holiday commemorating the 1953 attack on the Moncada Barracks that is considered the precursor to the 1959 revolution, American groups are calling on the Biden administration to stop its cruel sanctions that are creating such hardship for the Cuban people. In particular, they are pushing President Biden to take Cuba off the list of state sponsors of terrorism.

Being on this list subjects Cuba to a series of devastating international financial restrictions. It is illegal for American banks to process transactions to Cuba, but American sanctions also have an unlawful extraterritorial reach. Fearful of getting in the crosshairs of American regulations, most Western banks have also stopped processing transactions involving Cuba or have implemented new layers of compliance. This has hampered everything from imports to humanitarian aid to development assistance, and has sparked a new European campaign to challenge their banks’ compliance with American sanctions.

These banking restrictions and Trump-era sanctions, together with the economic fallout from COVID-19, have led to a severe humanitarian and economic crisis for the very Cuban people the administration claims to support. They are also a major cause of the recent increase in migration of Cubans that has become a major political liability for the Biden administration.

At the beginning of Biden’s presidency, he stated that Cuba’s designation on this list was under review. Eighteen months later, with the administration obviously more concerned about Florida politics than the welfare of the Cuban people, the results of this review have still not been revealed. Cuba remains on the list, with no justification and despite Biden hailing diplomacy – not escalation of tension and conflict – as his administration’s preferred path.

During the Obama administration, when there was a warming of bilateral relations with Cuba, the Obama-Biden White House undertook its own review and certified that the government of Cuba was not supporting terrorism and had provided America with assurances that it would not do so in the future. As a result, Cuba was taken off the infamous list.

When Donald Trump became president, he not only imposed over 200 new, harsh sanctions on the island, but in the last days of his administration, in a final move to curry favor with anti-normalization Cuban-Americans, he added Cuba back onto this list. The only other countries with this designation are Syria, Iran and North Korea.

The addition of Cuba to the list by then Secretary of State Pompeo curtailed a process of congressional consultation and avoided conducting any actual formal review of Cuba’s supposed actions to justify its addition to the list again.

The nonsensical rationale by Pompeo to add Cuba back to the list was that Cuba was granting safe harbor to Colombian terrorists. But these Colombian groups were in Cuba as part of an internationally recognized process of peace negotiations that the United States, Norway, Colombia and even Pope Francis supported.

Trump specifically cited Cuba’s refusal to extradite ten members of the ELN (National Liberation Army), as requested during Colombia’s Ivan Duque administration. However, Cuba was under no obligation to extradite anyone as they have no extradition treaty with the United States, nor is the failure to extradite someone based solely on the United States’ desires an act of “terrorism.” In addition, Colombia’s Constitution states that “extradition shall not be granted for a political crime.” Moreover, Gustavo Petro, a former member of another rebel group called M-19, will soon be inaugurated as the next president of Colombia. He has said to the ELN and all existing armed groups that “the time for peace has come”—a message the Biden administration should embrace.

The other reason stated by the Trump administration for adding Cuba to the list is that Cuba harbors American fugitives from justice. The 2020 State Department report cited three cases, all involving incidents that occurred in the early 1970s. The most famous is the case of Assata Shakur (born Joanne Chesimard), who has become an icon of the Black Lives Matter movement. Shakur, now 75 years old, was a member of the Black Liberation Army. In a trial that many deemed unfair, she was convicted of killing a state trooper when, in 1973, the car she was traveling in was stopped on the New Jersey Turnpike for a broken tail light. Shakur escaped from prison and was granted political asylum in Cuba. Fidel Castro called her a victim of “the fierce repression against the Black movement in the United States” and “a true political prisoner.” Her co-defendant Sundiata Acoli, now in his mid-80s, was granted parole this year. Given how old the claims are and that these considerations were already previously reviewed by the Obama-Biden administration and not found to be sufficient to justify designation as a state sponsor of terrorism, it’s certainly time for the Biden administration to remember that and bury the hatchet.

In any case, American attorney Robert Muse insists that providing asylum to American citizens does not justify putting Cuba on a terrorist list. American law defines international terrorism as “acts involving the citizens or the territory of more than one country.” None of the American citizens residing in Cuba committed a terrorist act that was international in nature.

Using this terrorist list for purely political reasons undermines the legitimacy of the terrorism designation itself. As Sen. Patrick Leahy said, “This blatantly politicized designation makes a mockery of what had been a credible, objective measure of a foreign government’s active support for terrorism. Nothing remotely like that exists [in Cuba].” On the contrary, Cuba has often been praised for its international cooperation and solidarity, especially in providing free or low-cost healthcare and medical support to poor countries worldwide, including throughout the global pandemic.

If anything, it is Cuba that has been the victim of international terrorism emanating mainly from the United States. This ranges from the 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion and hundreds of assassination attempts against Fidel Castro to the downing of a Cuban civilian airplane (while the United States provided actual cover to the terrorist, who lived out his life peacefully in Miami) and the bombing of Cuban hotels. Just last April, the Cuban Embassy in Washington, D.C., came under an armed attack by an American citizen. The United States continues to provide millions of dollars in taxpayer funding every year to organizations engaged in defamation and smear campaigns, and to directly undermine the sovereignty of another government with little to no oversight.

Removing Cuba from the terrorist list would facilitate the island’s ability to receive loans, access critical foreign assistance and benefit from humanitarian aid. You can join the campaign to tell Biden to reverse the outrageous Trump-era designation that is unjust, harmful to the Cuban people, and damaging to American-Cuban relations.

BIDEN SIGNS THE PALESTINIANS’ DEATH CERTIFICATE

The Palestinian People Have Reached A Dead End. The Time Has Come To Awaken From The Dream That Europe And America Will Ever Do Something For The Palestinians.

At Augusta Victoria Hospital in East Jerusalem, of all places, President Joe Biden signed a death certificate. The two-state solution died a long time ago, and now so has the Palestinians’ strategic choice of relying on the West in their struggle for their national rights.

This hope drew its last breath at Augusta Victoria. In his speech Biden mused at great length about his and his family’s time in the hospital; he remembered the intensive care ward. A flat line on the monitor meant death, he learned there. About an hour later, in Bethlehem, the monitor flatlined. The path the Palestinians embarked on 50 years ago has come to an end. They have reached a dead end.

At the beginning of the ‘70s, a new star appeared in the political skies: the cardiologist Issam Sartawi, a refugee from Acre, a student in Iraq, an exile in Paris and an architect of the plane hijackings. He underwent a complete change. He became the Palestinians’ trailblazer to the West’s heart; until then they had relied on nonaligned countries. Sartawi led the Palestinians to Bonn, Vienna, Paris and Stockholm instead of Moscow, Jakarta, Delhi and Kuala Lumpur.

This was depicted as an excellent choice. The protégé and even the darling of Western Europe’s social democratic stars of those days – Willy Brandt, Bruno Kreisky, Olof Palme and François Mitterrand – continued on to the Israelis’ hearts. Sartawi began with meetings with representatives of the Israeli left. Yasser Arafat enthusiastically joined the path his adviser had blazed. It seemed much more promising than winning support from Karachi.

It’s a president who doesn’t bother to correctly pronounce the name of Shireen Abu Akleh, the journalist killed almost certainly by Israel, becoming a national and international symbol. Jamal Khashoggi he knows how to pronounce. The Palestinians no longer have anything to look for in this arena. When Biden quoted from a poem that says how “hope and history rhyme” and threw them $100 million for Augusta Victoria, it was clear that it’s lost with the United States.

With an American president who promises them a two-state solution, but “not in the near term,” you get to the end of the story. You feel like asking Biden: “What will happen ‘not in the long term’ that will achieve this solution? Will the Israelis decide on their own? Will the settlers return on their own? When there are a million of them instead of 700,000, will that satisfy them?

Will America ever think differently? Why should this happen? With the laws against BDS and the new and distorted definitions of antisemitism, the United States and Europe are lost as far as the Palestinians are concerned. The battle has been decided, Israel has all but beaten them, and their fate might be the same as that of the indigenous peoples in the United States.

It’s enough to look at the picture of the meeting in Bethlehem: Twelve grim Palestinian men in ties around the two leaders in a group photo of despair. It’s enough to recall Biden’s words in 1986 to the secretary of state at the time, George Shultz: “I hate to hear an administration … refusing to act on a morally important point. … I’m ashamed that this country puts out a policy like this, that says nothing, nothing.”

Biden was referring to American policy on the previous apartheid country, South Africa. Amazingly similar remarks can be hurled now at Biden because of his approach to the second apartheid country. But there’s no Biden to hurl them.

Fifty years later this road has reached its end, with the Palestinians bleeding on the ground. An American president only gives them a few hours – on a visit that gives new meaning to the terms doing the minimum and lip service. So the time has come to awaken from the dream that Europe and America will ever do something for the Palestinians that won’t be to the satisfaction of their unassailable cherished masters, Israel.

JULIAN ASSANGE IS ENDURING UNBEARABLE PERSECUTION FOR EXPOSING AMERICAN WAR CRIMES

Ever Since U.K. Home Secretary Patel Ordered The Extradition Of Julian Assange To America Last Week, Press Freedom Advocates Around The World Have Been Mobilizing.

Assange Defense, is organizing a national and international campaign to pressure America’s Attorney General Merrick Garland and President Joe Biden to drop the extradition request and dismiss the charges against Assange. The stakes could not be higher.

The charges, which include 17 counts under the infamous Espionage Act, could result in 175 years in prison for the journalist who exposed American war crimes.

Last week, Assange’s brother, filmmaker Gabriel Shipton, wrote in an email to Truthout, “UK Home Secretary has decided today that any publisher who exposes national security information of an allied country may face extradition to two lifetimes in prison. Julian will appeal this decision and this once in a lifetime fight for freedom of the press continues.”

Assange’s indictment is based on WikiLeaks’s 2010-2011 disclosures of American war crimes in Iraq, Afghanistan and the military prison at Guantánamo. Those revelations included 400,000 field reports about the Iraq War; 15,000 unreported deaths of Iraqi civilians; and systematic rape, torture and murder committed by Iraqi forces after the American military “handed over detainees to a notorious Iraqi torture squad.” WikiLeaks also disclosed the Afghan War Logs, which are 90,000 reports of more civilian casualties by coalition forces than the American military had admitted to. And its revelations additionally included the Guantánamo Files, 779 secret reports showing that 150 innocent people had been held there for years and documenting the torture and abuse of 800 men and boys in violation of the Geneva Conventions and the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

WikiLeaks also published the notorious “Collateral Murder” video, which documented how in 2007, an Army Apache helicopter gunship targeted and fired on unarmed civilians in Baghdad. At least 18 civilians were killed. They included two Reuters reporters and a man who came to rescue the wounded. Two children were injured. Then, an American Army tank drove over one of the bodies, severing it in half. That video contains evidence of three separate war crimes that are prohibited by the Geneva Conventions and the American Army Field Manual.

As several civil liberties and human rights organizations declared in October 2021, when they asked Garland to dismiss the case against Assange, his prosecution poses a significant threat to First Amendment freedom of the press.

The UK’s decision to extradite Julian Assange to the nation that plotted to assassinate him — the nation that wants to imprison him for 175 years for publishing truthful information in the public interest — is an abomination,” wrote Noam Chomsky, Daniel Ellsberg and Alice Walker — co-chairs of Assange Defense — in reaction to Patel’s extradition order. “The U.S. government argues that its venerated Constitution does not protect journalism the government dislikes, and that publishing truthful information in the public interest is a subversive, criminal act. This argument is a threat not only to journalism, but to democracy itself.”

Trevor Timm, executive director of Freedom of the Press Foundation, warned that if Assange is extradited to the United States and convicted of the charges against him, it “would potentially make receiving classified information, asking for sources for more information, and publishing certain types of classified information a crime.” Timm noted, “Journalists, of course, engage in all these activities regularly.”

Moreover, Assange has suffered psychological torture while confined in the U.K. for more than a decade, according to Nils Melzer, United Nations special rapporteur on torture. In December 2021, Melzer tweeted that the “U.K. is literally torturing him to death.”

On June 10, more than 300 doctors, psychiatrists and psychologists calling themselves “Doctors for Assange” wrote to Patel that Assange’s “deteriorating health” made it “medically and ethically unacceptable” to extradite him.

Julian’s 13-year persecution culminates in a decision of ostentatious callous indifference,” John Shipton, Assange’s father, told Truthout. “Who amongst us would not burn with indignation and loathing?”

Stella Assange, who recently married Julian in prison, called Patel’s decision “a dark day for press freedom and for British democracy.” She told the Associated Press, “Julian did nothing wrong. He has committed no crime and is not a criminal. He is a journalist and a publisher, and he is being punished for doing his job.”

Yet U.K. officials disregarded Assange’s health and the injustice of his prosecution, insisting that America would treat him “appropriately.” In its June 17 statement ordering Assange’s extradition, the U.K. Home Office wrote:

In this case, the UK courts have not found that it would be oppressive, unjust or an abuse of process to extradite Mr Assange. Nor have they found that extradition would be incompatible with his human rights, including his right to a fair trial and to freedom of expression, and that whilst in the US he will be treated appropriately, including in relation to his health.”

But after a three-week evidentiary hearing, U.K. District Judge Vanessa Baraitser ruled in January 2021 that if Assange were extradited to the United States, he would likely attempt suicide because of his mental state and the onerous conditions of confinement in American prisons.

The United States later came forward with qualified “assurances” that Assange wouldn’t be kept in solitary confinement and the U.K. High Court reversed Baraitser’s decision in January 2022. The U.K. Supreme Court affirmed the High Court’s dismissal of Assange’s appeal in March, paving the way for Patel’s decision ordering extradition.

Amnesty International’s Agnes Callamard — former UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary execution — was skeptical of the so-called assurances that Assange would be treated humanely in American custody. “Diplomatic assurances provided by the U.S. that Assange will not be kept in solitary confinement cannot be taken on face value given previous history,” Callamard said, referring to America reneging on past extradition assurances.

Assange now has until July 1 to appeal Patel’s decision and will apply to the High Court to reverse Baraitser’s rulings on other issues Assange raised at the extradition hearing. They include:

  • The U.S.-U.K. extradition treaty prohibits extradition for a political offense and “espionage” is a political offense;

  • Extradition is forbidden as the U.S. request is based on Assange’s political opinions;

  • The request for extradition is an abuse of process as it was made for a political motive and not in good faith;

  • Extradition would be oppressive or unjust because so much time has passed;

  • The charges against Assange do not comply with the “dual criminality test” because they encompass acts that are not criminal offenses in both the U.S. and the U.K.; and

  • Extradition would violate Assange’s rights to free expression and a fair trial, in addition to the prohibition against inhuman and degrading treatment in the European Convention on Human Rights.

  • Assange will also raise on appeal the CIA’s plot to kidnap and assassinate him while he was in the Ecuadorian Embassy under a grant of asylum.

If Assange loses his appeals to the U.K. High Court and Supreme Court, he could appeal to the European Court of Human Rights. The appeals could take several months or even years.

The indictment against Assange has been assigned to American District Judge Claude M. Hilton, who jailed former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning in 2019 for refusing to appear before a federal grand jury investigating Assange. The indictment charges that Assange conspired with Manning to gain access to a government computer.

This is the first time the United States has prosecuted a journalist or media outlet for publishing classified information. The extradition, trial and conviction of Julian Assange would have frightening ramifications for investigative journalism. On June 17, the editorial board of The Guardian wrote, “This action potentially opens the door for journalists anywhere in the world to be extradited to the US for exposing information deemed classified by Washington.”