Until government and revolutionary forces attacked the Libyan town of Bani Walid, about 170km southeast of the capital Tripoli in October last year, Abdullah Warfella had been determined never to leave.
LONDON—A tiny tip of the vast subterranean network of governmental and intelligence agencies from around the world dedicated to destroying WikiLeaks and arresting its founder, Julian Assange, appears outside the red-brick building on Hans Crescent Street that houses the Ecuadorean Embassy. Assange, the world’s best-known political refugee, has been in the embassy since he was offered sanctuary there last June. British police in black Kevlar vests are perched night and day on the steps leading up to the building, and others wait in the lobby directly in front of the embassy door. An officer stands on the corner of a side street facing the iconic department store Harrods, half a block away on Brompton Road. Another officer peers out the window of a neighboring building a few feet from Assange’s bedroom at the back of the embassy. Police sit round-the-clock in a communications van topped with an array of antennas that presumably captures all electronic forms of communication from Assange’s ground-floor suite.
The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS), or Scotland Yard, said the estimated cost of surrounding the Ecuadorean Embassy from June 19, 2012, when Assange entered the building, until Jan. 31, 2013, is the equivalent of $4.5 million.
Audio clip one: Chris Hedges talks with Julian Assange about his opponents’ legal strategies. Your browser does not support the audio element. (Transcript)
Audio clip two: Julian Assange shares his thoughts on the Bradley Manning Case. Your browser does not support the audio element. (Transcript)
PARIS - Lovers of turbo-neoliberalism, rejoice - and take your bottles of Moet to a prime ringside seat; there won't be a nastier catfight this summer than the opening rounds opposing two Western giants. Forget about the Pentagon "pivoting" to Asia without ever abandoning the Middle East; nothing compares with this voyage in the entrails of turbo-capitalism, worthy of a neo-Balzac.
We're talking about a new Holy Grail - a free-market deal between the United States and the European Union; the advent of a giant, internal transatlantic market (25% of global exports, 31% of global imports, 57% of foreign investment), where goods and services
(but not people) will "freely" circulate, something that in theory will lead Europe out of its current funk.
The problem is that to reach this Brave New World presided by the Market Goddess, Europe will have to renounce some of its quite complex juridical, environmental, cultural and health norms.
In that Kafkaesque/Orwellian bureaucratic paradise also known as Brussels, hordes of faceless equivalents of the bowler hat men in a Magritte painting openly complain about this "adventure"; there's a growing consensus Europe has everything to lose and little to gain out of it, in contrast with the much-derided enemies of the European integration, as in the fanatics of an "pro-American" and "ultra-liberal" Europe.
Available in: Paperback.It took three decades for the United States government-spanning and working assiduously over five different presidential administrations (Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, Bush II, and Obama)-to overthrow and...
Five decades since the formation of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) while the Pentagon and NATO escalates its war drive on the continent
The following lecture was delivered at the Africa & U.S. Imperialism Conference held in Detroit on May 18, 2013. The event was sponsored by the Michigan Emergency Committee Against War & Injustice (MECAWI)
May 25, 2013 represents the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), the forerunner of the present African Union which formed in 2002. This conference today is taking place at a critical time within the history of Africa and the Diaspora.
By Ahmed Elumami. Tripoli, 16 may 2013: Exhumed bodies found in a mass grave discovered earlier this week are not civilians from Misrata but are people from Tawergha, the town’s local council in exile has said, demanding that a neutral committee be...
Last October, senior Obama officials anonymously unveiled to the Washington Post their newly minted "disposition matrix", a complex computer system that will be used to determine how a terrorist suspect will be "disposed of": indefinite detention, prosecution in a real court, assassination-by-CIA-drones, etc. Their rationale for why this was needed now, a full 12 years after the 9/11 attack:
Among senior Obama administration officials, there is a broad consensus that such operations are likely to be extended at least another decade. Given the way al-Qaida continues to metastasize, some officials said no clear end is in sight. . . . That timeline suggests that the United States has reached only the midpoint of what was once known as the global war on terrorism."
On Thursday, the Senate Armed Services Committee held a hearing on whether the statutory basis for this "war" - the 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF) - should be revised (meaning: expanded). This is how Wired's Spencer Ackerman (soon to be the Guardian US's national security editor) described the most significant exchange:
"Asked at a Senate hearing today how long the war on terrorism will last, Michael Sheehan, the assistant secretary of defense for special operations and low-intensity conflict, answered, 'At least 10 to 20 years.' . . . A spokeswoman, Army Col. Anne Edgecomb, clarified that Sheehan meant the conflict is likely to last 10 to 20 more years from today - atop the 12 years that the conflict has already lasted. Welcome to America's Thirty Years War."
That the Obama administration is now repeatedly declaring that the "war on terror" will last at least another decade (or two) is vastly more significant than all three of this week's big media controversies (Benghazi, IRS, and AP/DOJ) combined. The military historian Andrew Bacevich has spent years warning that US policy planners have adopted an explicit doctrine of "endless war". Obama officials, despite repeatedly boasting that they have delivered permanently crippling blows to al-Qaida, are now, as clearly as the English language permits, openly declaring this to be so.
Our elected and unelected officials tell us that drone strikes target top level enemies of the United States who are imminent threats to us, and that killing innocent people is avoided altogether or minimized.
Congressional hearings, with a couple of excellent exceptions, question outside academics about the legality of this purported strategy. The Obama administration declines to send any witnesses.
But drone pilots have begun talking to the media. And they describe policies that bear a lot closer resemblance to reporting from the areas where the missiles strike. These pilots should be brought before Congress.
Here is a stunning new interview with one of them:
Famed journalist Bob Woodward on Friday said he would not dismiss the investigation into last year's attack in Benghazi, Libya, comparing the emails released by the White House earlier this week to the political scandal he helped break.