Guantanamo Bay: An Untold History of Occupation, Torture, Sham Trials & Resistance

Guantanamo Bay: An Untold History of Occupation, Torture, Sham Trials & Resistance

Few realize how expensive it is to keep Guantanamo Bay prison operational. The Joint Task Force (JTF) detention center, which opened in 2002, costs US taxpayers $140 million a year, breaking down to about $800,000 per detainee.

The JTF was never meant to be permanent, yet twelve long years after the first round of prisoners arrived, 149 prisoners remain detained there indefinitely.

The oft repeated lie that these men are the “worst of the worst” has clouded the reality that the vast majority are completely innocent, and were simply swept up in a dragnet in Afghanistan. 78 have already been deemed innocent and cleared for release, yet pure political theater keeps them imprisoned.

Moreover, only six of the 149 men have been formally charged with a crime. Five are being tried together as alleged co-conspirators of 9/11, although they all are alleged to have varying operational levels, and one alleged mastermind of the USS Cole bombing. Yet the commissions process is completely corrupted by absurd levels of government secrecy, classification and intrusion.

A few weeks ago I traveled to Cuba to cover the continuing plight of these men and conduct an in-depth investigation for Breaking the Set. The report details how America came to host one of the most notorious prisons in Cuba, the brutal and systematic torture that took place, the sham of the 9/11 military commissions, the ongoing prisoner hunger strike and how Guantanamo Bay prison can be closed for good.

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So What Does the World Bank Do Exactly?

So What Does the World Bank Do Exactly?

James Corbett
corbettreport.com

This article originally appeared in The Corbett Report Subscriber newsletter on August 16, 2014. To subscribe to the newsletter and become a member of The Corbett Report website, please sign up for a monthly or annual membership here.

As many have heard by now, the leaders of the so-called BRICS nations – Brazil, India, China, Russia and South Africa – used the occasion of the 6th BRICS Summit in Brasilia, Brazil to announce the creation of the long-awaited BRICS Development Bank. Formally the “New Development Bank,” it will be based in Shanghai and capitalized with an initial $10 billion in cash ($2 billion from each of the five founding members) and $40 billion in guarantees, to be built up to a total of $100 billion.

Immediately, the press began touting the new bank as a potential rival to the current IMF / World Bank system of infrastructure development and poverty reduction in the third world. “BRICS Development Bank Could Challenge World Bank and IMF” touts US News & World Report. “BRICS Ink $50 Billion Lender in World Bank, IMF Challenge” asserts Bloomberg. The World Bank, for its part, is downplaying the rivalry, with World Bank President Jim Young Kim openly welcoming the bank at a recent meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “The only competition we have is with poverty,” he told reporters at the meeting.

But all of this talk about a potential rival to the IMF and World Bank have exposed the general public’s ignorance about what exactly these institutions are and what they do. While most are familiar with the IMF and its predatory lending practices (and those who aren’t are encouraged to acquaint themselves with the “IMF riot” strategy that was developed in the third world and is now being imported to Europe), the World Bank is less scrutinized and less well understood. What is it, what does it do, and why is it important for the BRICS to challenge its hegemony in the development and poverty reduction arenas?

For the answer to that, we’ll need to examine the World Bank’s history, both the official history that it touts to the outside world and the real history of its part in plundering the developing world that it is supposedly there to help.

The Official Story

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US Contractors Will Replace ‘Boots on the Ground’ in Iraq

US Contractors Will Replace ‘Boots on the Ground’ in Iraq

Pentagon Notice Asks for Contractors Willing to Work Long-Term in Iraq

by Jason Ditz, September 07, 2014

Keeping the size of the official military deployment into Iraq to a relative minimum appears to be a goal that the Pentagon has in mind, with the Obama Administration adding troops in small numbers but continuing to insist there isn’t going to be a ground war, or that at the very least US troops won’t be fighting in it.

Still, that doesn’t mean the war itself is going to be heavily impacted, but rather means the Pentagon will be focusing on mustering an army of contractors for the ISIS conflict.

During the last Iraq War, the US at times had over 100,000 military contractors on the ground there. The exact figures haven’t always been easy to come by, but the message that contractors don’t count as real troops on the ground in omnipresent.

The Pentagon is already sending out feelers for assembling this new unofficial army, posting a notice seeking contractors who are willing to work long-term in Iraq, with a minimum 12-month “initial” contract to be followed by extensions.

The US continues to have over 100,000 contractors in Afghanistan, a number that officials say is likely to remain high even as the military presence there continues to draw down.

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The U.S. National Debt Has Grown By More Than A Trillion Dollars In The Last 12 Months

The U.S. National Debt Has Grown By More Than A Trillion Dollars In The Last 12 Months

The idea that the Obama administration has the budget deficit under control is a complete and total lie.  According to the U.S. Treasury, the federal government has officially run a deficit of 589 billion dollars for the first 11 months of fiscal year 2014.  But this number is just for public consumption and it relies on accounting tricks which massively understate how much debt is actually being accumulated.  If you want to know what the real budget deficit is, all you have to do is go to a U.S. Treasury website which calculates the U.S. national debt to the penny.  On September 30th, 2013 the U.S. national debt was sitting at $16,738,183,526,697.32.  As I write this, the U.S. national debt is sitting at $17,742,108,970,073.37.  That means that the U.S. national debt has actually grown by more than a trillion dollars in less than 12 months.  We continue to wildly run up debt as if there is no tomorrow, and by doing so we are destroying the future of this nation.

The chart that I have posted below shows the exponential growth of the U.S. national debt over the past several decades.  Anyone that would characterize this as "under control" is lying to you...

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BBC’s new "Head of Statistics" twists casualty figures to whitewash Gaza massacre

BBC’s new "Head of Statistics" twists casualty figures to whitewash Gaza massacre

An open letter to the BBC’s Director General, written by Palestine solidarity activists, is calling for the removal of BBC journalist Anthony Reuben from all reporting on Palestine following the publication of an online article in which he attempts to sanitize Israel’s killing in Gaza.

Reuben is the BBC’s “Head of Statistics,” a role created in February, he claims in his Linkedin profile, specifically for him.

Writing as “Head of Statistics” in August, Reuben authored an article for the BBC website headlined “Caution needed with Gaza casualty figures.

When he wrote the article, 1,948 Palestinians had been killed in Israel’s assault on Gaza, the majority of them men.

Reuben uses the fact that more men than women had been killed as an opportunity to argue that Israel was carrying out targeted attacks, aimed only at fighting men, and wasn’t pursuing the wholesale slaughter of civilians and the wanton destruction of homes and infrastructure.

He writes: “If the Israeli attacks had been ‘indiscriminate,’ as the UN Human Rights Council says, it is hard to work out why they have killed so many more civilian men than women.”

BBC gives credence to Israeli claims

It is an incredibly twisted use of statistics in an attempt to spin a story so it backs up the claims of the Israeli government, claims which were being visibly destroyed on television screens and social media on a daily basis.

So why did a supposedly impartial BBC journalist feel the need to try and give credence to those claims?

The answer may lie in Reuben’s journalistic background. His Linkedin profile shows that he completed an internship at The Jerusalem Post, a notoriously right-wing Israeli newspaper which is vocal in its support of Israel’s occupation.

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Cancer cluster killing Chinese workers at iPhone 6 factory

Cancer cluster killing Chinese workers at iPhone 6 factory

THERE could be a darker sider to Apple’s new iPhone 6 with a cancer cluster killing workers at the main production factory in China.

Thirteen workers at the factory in the Chinese city of Shenzhen, across the border from Hong Kong, have been diagnosed with leukemia and five have died as a result.

The cancer which has affected workers ranging from 19 to 24, first appeared in 2010.

Speaking to China Topix, Suki Chung, executive director of Labour Action China, said she believed the 13 known cases in Shenzhen were “the tip of the iceberg” and that many more workers had died from the disease.

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Artificial sweeteners linked to obesity epidemic, scientists say

Artificial sweeteners linked to obesity epidemic, scientists say

Drinking diet soda could cause weight gain, research suggests

Artificial sweeteners may exacerbate, rather than prevent, metabolic disorders such as Type 2 diabetes, a study suggests.

Calorie-free artificial sweeteners are often chosen by dieters in part because they are thought not to raise blood sugar levels.

In Wednesday’s issue of the journal Nature, researchers report that artificial sweeteners increase the blood sugar levels in both mice and humans by interfering with microbes in the gut. Increased blood sugar levels are an early indicator of Type 2 diabetes and metabolic disease.

The increase in consumption of artificial sweeteners coincides with the obesity and diabetes epidemics, Eran Segal of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel, and his co-authors said.

"Our findings suggest that non-caloric artificial sweeteners may have directly contributed to enhancing the exact epidemic that they themselves were intended to fight."

Link to gut bacteria

The study included a series of experiments.

Mice whose drinking water was supplemented with artificial sweetener developed glucose intolerance compared with mice drinking water alone, or water with just sugar in it. The effect occurred both in mice fed normal chow and those on a high-fat diet.

When antibiotics were used to kill off gut bacteria, the artificial sweetener effect on glucose intolerance in mice fed either diet was restored to normal.

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US soldiers are more likely to commit suicide than be killed in combat: Report

US soldiers are more likely to commit suicide than be killed in combat: Report

The US military suicide rate has stayed roughly the same even as most US troops have withdrawn from Iraq and Afghanistan and combat deaths have fallen, new government data suggests.

According to a report published last week by the US Department of Defense, 475 active service members took their own lives just last year, while 127 soldiers lost their lives during combat

The number of American soldiers committing suicide is now almost four times higher than those killed in combat, the new data shows, which was first reported by icasualties.org, a website that has been documenting war deaths since the Iraq War in 2003.

The same Department of Defense report said that 120 soldiers committed suicide in the first quarter of 2014, a rate of nearly one soldier every day. That compares with 43 soldiers who lost their lives in combat between January 1 and September 11, 2014.

The report says US policymakers and lawmakers have been slow to address the problem. Legislation focused on the subject has stalled in the Senate, and a Defense Department initiative to reduce military casualties has achieved little success.

The suicide crisis has been an issue in the military since the US deployed troops to Iraq and Afghanistan more than a decade ago. The high rate of unemployment, post traumatic stress disorder and combat injuries among veterans have sharply raised the rate of suicide among them.

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