Human Rights


Human rights are those we possess by virtue of being human.  They are natural rights, i.e., rights we possess by nature, not by law (although they may be, and should be, protected by law).  They are not rights granted to us by any government, and so they cannot be taken away by any government, regardless of what laws it may pass and what degree of violence it may employ to enforce its laws.  (However, governments can, and should, legislate to protect human rights.) These rights include (in the words of Thomas Jefferson) the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness (in whatever form we think best).

They also include the right to ownership of property acquired by one's own labor (and the right to retain that property), the right to engage in any kind of activity with others who agree to participate, the right to alter one's consciousness temporarily as one wishes and by whatever means one chooses, the right to go where one pleases and the right to privacy by anyone who does not seek publicity.  (Human rights do not include the right to eat, be clothed, have a bed to sleep in, and such; finding these is your own responsibility, just as it has been since the days of our stone age ancestors.) It is the purpose and function of a written political constitution to state these rights clearly so that all citizens (including government functionaries) are aware of them.

These rights and others are possessed by all who acknowledge that other persons have the same rights.  We do not have a right to harm or endanger others — for that would be a denial of their rights — except where others attempt to deprive us of these rights (we have the right to defend our rights against encroachment).

These rights do not exist isolated from each other.  One has a right to go where one pleases, provided one does not infringe upon the rights of others, such as their right to privacy (e.g., one does not have a right to go into people's bedrooms at will).  Thus all judgments of what is correct or incorrect action involve the weighing up of the rights of everyone concerned — which may be rather difficult.

At the present stage of human history the greatest threat to our rights comes from governments which either fail to recognize them (or actively seek to deny us of these rights) or are too weak or too morally corrupt to defend them (against those, such as the beneficiaries of corporate capitalism, who would use the common people as means to their own ends).  Such governments do not deserve, and cannot expect to receive, the cooperation of their citizens, and must rely upon coercion to maintain themselves, a policy which in the end will prove self-defeating.


Genocide

Genocide, ethnic and cultural, has a long history.  It was practiced by the Romans, whose society has served as a model for later ones.  It is now mostly and conveniently forgotten that the Romans destroyed the Celtic civilization in the lands that they occupied.

Julius Caesar's motives in his savage treatment of Gaul have never received sufficient if any attention.  It is quite clear tht his motive and intent was to make political capital out of a great vengeance to be wreaked upon the Gauls for their having defeated Rome under their leader Brennus (Bran) ca. 390 B.C., a humiliation that was never forgotten by Rome.  This explains Caesar's extraordinary cruelty [shown in the indiscriminate slaughter of women and children and the mass execution of prisoners of war], energy, and will to win in Gaul.  What the Roman Empire began in the cultural genocide of Gaul, later history finished; the language was erased and the religion persecuted into archaeology. (C. A. Muses, "Celtic Origins and the Arthurian Cycle")

Another early example of genocide is provided by the Hebrews. This is documented in the Old Testament, which

contains the horrific account of what can only be described as a "biblical holocaust". For, in order to keep the chosen people apart from and unaffected by the alien beliefs and practices of indigenous or neighbouring peoples, when God commanded his chosen people to conquer the Promised Land, he placed city after city "under the ban" — which meant that every man, woman and child was to be slaughtered at the point of the sword. {Josh ch 6 etc.}

Thus we read in the Book of Numbers that the Jews "waged the campaign against Midian, as Yahweh had ordered Moses, and they put every male to death... the sons of Israel took the Midianite women captive with their young children, and plundered all their cattle, all their flocks and all their goods. They set fire to the towns where they lived and all their encampments... Then, when they took the captives, spoil and booty to Moses..., Moses was enraged.... "why have you spared the life of all the women...? So kill all the male children. Kill also all the women who have slept with a man. Spare the lives only of the young girls who have not slept with a man, and take them for yourselves". {Num 31: 7-19}

The First Holocaust

There was also the 1915 Armenian genocide (conducted by Turks and Kurds), of which for a long time we heard very little, but it has received quite a bit of publicity lately in the context of Turkey's attempt to join the European Union (the matter no doubt raised by those who oppose this).

The United States is a country built upon genocide. When European occupiers arrived in North America there were hundreds of Native American nations, many with old and well-developed societies and cultures. American military forces, beginning with those under the command of George Washington, burnt villages, slaughtered men, women and children, and destroyed their sources of food. The aim of the U.S. government was the destruction of Native American culture and the extermination of all Native Americans so as to steal their land, which it did. The role of George Washington in this genocide has been air-brushed out of the orthodox history of the United States.

American mythologists conjured stories from the thin air about Washington ... Contrary to the fairy tales, Washington was one of U.S. history's most successful criminals, aptly described as the "father of our country." In 1782, as the dust was still settling on America's successful elite revolt (although the poor were drafted to fight in it), Washington presented a plan to the Continental Congress to defraud the Native Americans. It was a blueprint for theft and genocide. ...

Washington's plan was to compel Native Americans to sell their land by treaty. The U.S. agents would promise that their new nation would honor its treaties, but the promises would only be kept until the "settlers" showed up. Then the treaty was not worth the paper it was printed on, and the tribes would be coerced to "sell" their treaty-provided land and be forced ever westward. Washington advocated a divide-and-conquer strategy of negotiating with each tribe separately, and trying to incite animosity between them by playing one against the other. The new "settlers" would then exterminate the game and chop the trees down, thereby making the land even less desirable to the natives. ...

— Wade Frazier, The American Empire

In the late 19th Century there were fifty million buffalo in the Great Plains, providing a livelihood for the Plains Indians. Within a decade or two these had almost all been shot by white buffalo hunters, with the Native Americans herded onto "reservations", existing on what the U.S. government chose to give them (which wasn't much). In the 20th Century the most common cause of death on Navajo reservations was officially stated to be inanition, or in more common language, death by starvation.

A nation which is rooted in evil can produce only evil fruits.


Charles Gittings' Project to Enforce the Geneva Conventions

[A website] motivated by the belief that the Bush administration is engaged in war crimes in violation of the Geneva Conventions and US code. My goal is to bring a civil action in the US District Court for the District of Columbia in order to prompt the enforcement of those laws.

Jonathan Blumen: What I Learned From Auschwitz

Genocide — an Eternal Crimson Braid, an article from The Ethical Spectacle.

Just as each of eighty million loyal Germans had his favorite Jew, each of us has his favorite genocide, the one genocide that is an exception, that was only self-defense, or a regrettable but understandable act of war, or an act of heroism, or an exercise of a God-given right to claim a birthright.  There are Israelis today who think the gunman in the mosque was a patriot and hero, Serbs who think the weak NATO response to ethnic cleansing an overreaction, and millions of Americans who do not realize that the United States itself was built on a genocide.

If you say that yes, but that was in the last century, and things were different, and Americans have changed since then, think about the heap of corpses at Mylai, women and children murdered by American soldiers under orders from Lieutenant William Calley.

I know I sound dangerously close to saying that genocide is inevitable, that humans will always kill humans for land or for power, so lets get on with it.  I am not saying that at all.  Humans never flew until they flew.  The fact that something has always been a certain way does not mean it must continue.

As long as we are taught that genocide is something that can only be committed by a demonic "other", that we are good people and the desire to commit genocide could never come to us, we will perpetuate genocide, for it is precisely (as Santayana said) those who deny who perpetuate the evils and disasters of the past.  Gibbon said that history is nothing but the record of the follies and misfortunes of mankind: it is not however graven in stone that we are eternally doomed to commit the same crimes and mistakes until we expire on this earth.  There is a way out.

On the Damning Evidence Against Augusto Pinochet
Nicholas Lezard's review of Hugh O'Shaughnessy's Pinochet: The Politics of Torture

The United Nations Universal Declaration on Human Rights

The CIA Fights For The Right To Violate Human Rights


The United States has lately been quick to condemn (alleged) genocide in those countries it can't control (while ignoring genocide in countries, such as Turkey and Indonesia, that are good customers for its arms sales).  It has, however, committed genocide against its indigenous American Indian population, a fact which it prefers to forget.  This action continues to the present time, so is it not rather hypocritical of the U.S. to condemn genocide by other governments? Especially where, as in Yugoslavia, that genocide is a concoction designed to justify a military takeover.

George McColm: An Ungrateful Nation

"Inanition," a word unfamiliar to most people, was listed as the cause of death on many of the death certificates completed in 1947 by Navajo Service doctors who tended the residents of the Navajo Indian reservation in the Southwest United States.

The word sounded better than its more descriptive meaning — "slow death by starvation" — to the federal agencies that since the Treaty of 1868 had been responsible for the care of the Navajo Nation.  The euphemism's use helped to mask the sorry state of affairs that existed on the reservation at the end of World War II, a conflict in which many Navajos gallantly served the Allied cause.

VANISHING PRAYER Genocide of the Dineh

Kosovo is not the only place in the world conducting human rights abuses and ethnic cleansing.  What the U.S. government doesn't want the American public to know is that the same crimes that NATO forces were so determined to stop in Kosovo are happening right now within United States borders.

The United States of America was built on the exploitation of black labor.  Despite the U.S. rhetoric about human rights the truth is that the U.S. is still profoundly racist, and maybe always will be — at least until the day it is destroyed by the weight of its own injustice.


J. B. Gerald's Essays on Genocide

Western governments are great supporters of "human rights" — provided that the rights involved are not those of their own citizens and that concern for such in other countries does not threaten the profits of international capitalism.

A small Canadian firm, Gerald & Maas, published in 1996 a human rights handbook, Common Rights and Expectations: United Nations Texts of Primary Treaties Concerning Rights of People.

This book includes the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.

Though U.N. treaties are available in several places, what is different about Common Rights and Expectations is that as a North American edition it notes the "reservations" (but-ifs) made by the U.S. to what should be basic guarantees of human rights.  These "but-ifs" are suppressed information in North America, and, for example, U.S. reservations to the Convention On Genocide raise doubt about whether the U.S. is really a participant.

John Bart Gerald:


Creeping Genocide in Palestine


Israel as a Terrorist State


Oh ... and have you noticed how conveniently timed these "suicide bomber" attacks are for Israel. [This was written prior to 2003 when there had been numerous such attacks in Israel.] Whenever it looks like there might be some development which threatens to hinder Israel's military subjugation of the Palestinians some attack occurs to provoke outrage, and Israel vows "revenge". Like when Colin Powell arrived (sent by Bush as a cosmetic gesture toward "reviving the peace process"). The morning he arrived "a Palestinian woman" blew herself up and killed six others. (So Israel says.) Naturally Powell's "mission" achieved nothing (not surprising since all he did was to act as Israel's lapdog). And on the day that the United Nations fact-finding team was due to arrive in Israel to investigate Israeli war crimes in Jenin "Palestinian gunmen" dressed in Israeli army uniforms entered a Jewish settlement and killed several people, including a five-year-old girl. (So Israel says.) Israel reneged on its agreement to admit the U.N. delegation and the fact-finding mission was called off. How convenient for Israel.

And now that Israel has finished (for now) pounding the West Bank, killing a hundred or so innocent Palestinians, and wishes to do the same to Gaza, along comes another "suicide bomber", providing the Butcher Ariel Sharon with an excuse to cut short his visit to Washington and return to Israel. He planned to mount a tank invasion of Gaza in early May 2002, killing more innocent Palestinians (and devastating the already minimal infrastructure) but it was presumably only intense diplomatic pressure from abroad which prevented him from doing so.

In case you don't know, many of these "suicide bombings" are actually the work of Israeli agents (they have ways of making such things happen), and the Israeli government then uses these atrocities for maximum political advantage. Surprised? Oh ... you were just born last week. I see.

Carol A. Valentine: Tooth Fairies and Suicide Bombers

And on 2002-06-18, just before Bush was to unveil his "peace plan" containing support for an "interim" Palestinian state along came another "suicide bomber" who (Israel said) detonated a bomb on a bus full of school children, killing nineteen people. And Hamas obligingly claimed responsibility (so Israel said). Bush, of course, delayed giving his speech long enough for Israel to present him with a dossier of what it said was evidence of Arafat's involvement in promoting terrorism, but more likely it was a dossier containing proof of Bush's involvement in drug smuggling, and other crimes of the Bush family, which would, of course be leaked to the Jewish-controlled U.S. mainstream media if Bush did not say in his speech exactly what Israel wanted him to say. — Israel blackmailing U.S. politicians? Oh, surely not!

And on 2003-08-19, a month into the U.S.-brokered "road map" toward "peace", another "suicide bombing" occurred on board a bus in Jerusalem, killing about twenty Jews. Again Hamas obligingly claimed responsibility (so Israel said), allowing Sharon to order rocket attacks from U.S.-supplied helicoptors which killed two Hamas leaders. The "road map" is now, conveniently for Israel, history.

This bombing occurred on the same day as the "suicide bombing" in Baghdad which killed Sergio Vieira de Mello, head of the UN mission in Iraq (and expected to become U.N. secretary general after Kofi Annan), who was sympathetic to the plight of both the Palestinians and the Iraqis and who had had the opportunity to observe American war crimes and human rights violations in Iraq at first hand. Conveniently eliminated. It seems that in the Middle East the Americans are learning from the Israelis.


U.S./U.K. Genocide in Iraq

Leslie Stahl went to Iraq for the television program 60 Minutes.  On the program that was aired on May 12, 1996, she asked Madeleine Albright, the then US ambassador to the UN, to explain the US policy in the context of the devastation she had seen among the children of Iraq and the 500,000 deaths of Iraqi children (i.e., 500,000 more than would be expected in the absence of sanctions, as reported by Unicef).

Stahl: "We have heard that half a million children have died. I mean, that's more children than died in Hiroshima. And you know, is the price worth it?"

Albright: "I think this is a very hard choice, but the price — we think the price is worth it."

The utter callousness of Albright, her complete disregard for morality, is evident from this remark, and is indicative of the psychopathic type of personality that is required to engage in genocide.


"We are a peaceful nation." — George W. Bush, October 2001.

"We are a peaceful people." — Tony Blair, October 2001.

The people may be peaceful but their leaders are warmongers and liars.  The fact is that the governments of the U.S. and of Britain have long had a taste for mass murder (knowledge of which, of course, they try to keep from the awareness of their own citizens — or, in the case of the U.K., "subjects"), as we see from their actions over the last ten years toward Iraq and Sudan. In Iraq over half a million children have died because the governments of the U.S. and Britain have prevented medicines and other essential needs from reaching Iraqi hospitals.  (Similarly in Sudan since 1998.)  Talk of the evil dictator Saddam Hussein and his alleged "weapons of mass destruction" is just an excuse to bomb Iraq several times a week and to maintain sanctions which are slowly killing many of the people of Iraq.  This is attempted genocide, slow genocide certainly, but genocide nonetheless.

On 2001-01-27 Britain held its first-ever "Holocaust Memorial Day" (over fifty years after the event).  A televised ceremony was held in Westminster Hall, London, where Prime Minister Tony Blair said: "Let not any life sacrificed by the Holocaust be in vain.  Let each death stay in our minds and those of our children as a monument to our capacity to do evil." Blair went on to speak of "a society that has the courage to confront prejudice and persecution" ("Blair tells Britain to learn from Holocaust", The Sunday Times, 2001-01-28, p.30).  Fine words, especially coming from someone who has sacrificed hundreds of thousands of Iraqis to the cause of obtaining Western control over Iraqi oil fields, and who daily demonstrates his own "capacity to do evil." Blair talks hypocritically of "confronting persecution" while ordering bombing of the Iraqi civilian infrastructure — water, electricity and food supplies needed by the Iraqi people to survive, to say nothing of the prevention of badly-needed medical supplies from reaching hospitals.  It's easy to talk of "Holocaust Remembrance" when the event is half a century in the past.  It's not so easy to acknowledge that the U.K. itself is today practicing genocide.

In early October 2001, delighted that George W. Bush had just given him a supporting role in America's War on Terrorism, Tony Blair gave a speech at the Labour Party Conference in which he outlined ambitious plans to solve the world's problems, including those of Africa as well as those of the Middle East.  Blair, British Prime Minister for the last four years, wants to fix the world but can't even fix England (a decrepit society in which schools are tawdry, hospitals are broken, traffic is snarled and public transportation is a disgrace; generally a society in which nothing works).  No doubt he was hoping that his hypocritical announcement of plans for global salvation would distract attention from his domestic failures.  Or perhaps he was remembering what Hitler said about Jewish propaganda (just as applicable today to Israeli propaganda):  The bigger the lie the more inclined people are to believe it.

So the American/British war criminals systematically targeted Iraq's civilian infrastructure.  Schools, hospitals, factories and every industry connected to food production, water purification and irrigation were targeted for destruction.  ...

In the process, U.S. and British pilots slaughtered at least 200,000 Iraqi men, women and children.  And of course all these murdered human beings were dismissed by the Pentagon as "collateral damage."

In the 10 years since that carnage, the United Nations estimates that over one million Iraqi civilians — including 600,000 children below the age of five — have died as a result of American [and British] sanctions alone.

One of the most important strategies of the 1991 terror-campaign against the civilian Iraqi people was the bombing of numerous water-purification plants.  After that the American sanctions prevented Iraqis from getting enough replacement parts to repair most of the plants.

So, just as the evil U.S. and British governments planned, the lack of clean drinking water in Iraq has caused a massive human catastrophe.  It is contaminated water, more than anything else, that is killing Iraqi babies and small children, by the thousands, every month.  Because they are the most vulnerable they are dying from diarrhea and dysentery primarily, and also diseases such as typhoid, hepatitis, cholera and polio — all caused by bacteria and viruses within the contaminated water. And just to make the whole diabolical scheme complete, the American sanctions also prevent the Iraqis from acquiring sufficient medicine to treat these deadly diseases.

— Slow Genocide by Economic Sanctions


In 2002 George W. ("Americah ridin' tall in thuh saddle") Bush was talking up his intention to attack Iraq, denouncing ad nauseam its attempts to create "weapons of mass destruction", hypocritically ignoring the fact that it is the U.S. which leads the world in the manufacture and use of such weapons. As British elder statesman Tony Benn has said, the war on Iraq was prompted not by concern over WMD but mainly by the desire of the U.S. to grab Iraq's oil and dominate (with Israel) the Middle East. It's that simple (unless your mind is deluded by faith in the noble intentions of the U.S. administration, in which case you are an idiot).

Tony Benn: 'Crude lies' used to justify war on Saddam

Edward Herman on U.S. Aggression Against Iraq


Not many citizens of the U.S. or subjects of Her Majesty's Government even know what the U.S. and the U.K. are doing to the Iraqi people.  That's because the press in these countries seldom says anything about the bombing or the sanctions.  But there are still some honorable journalists left, including John Pilger.  His articles are a good source of information on this and related matters:

See also:


As in Iraq, the government of the United States has on many occasions shown itself capable of acting with great callousness towards undeveloped and underdeveloped countries.  Another instance is Sudan.  In 1998 the U.S. destroyed a pharmaceutical factory with cruise missiles, on the pretext that it was connected with Osama bin Laden (a claim subsequently retracted).

[A year after the attack,] without the lifesaving medicine [the destroyed facilities] produced, Sudan's death toll from the bombing has continued, quietly, to rise ...  Thus, tens of thousands of people — many of them children — have suffered and died from malaria, tuberculosis, and other treatable diseases ...  [The factory] provided affordable medicine for humans and all the locally available veterinary medicine in Sudan.  It produced 90 percent of Sudan's major pharmaceutical products ... Sanctions against Sudan make it impossible to import adequate amounts of medicines required to cover the serious gap left by the plant's destruction ... the action taken by Washington on Aug. 20, 1998, continues to deprive the people of Sudan of needed medicine.Jonathan Belke, Boston Globe, 1999-08-22


Did the Allies Starve Millions of Germans?

Crimes and Mercies cover In 1997 James Bacque published his Crimes and Mercies, which alleged that more than nine million Germans (mostly civilians) died as a result of Allied starvation and expulsion policies in the first five years after World War II.  These deaths were not accidental, says Bacque, but were the result of deliberately genocidal policies instituted by Dwight Eisenhower and Henry Morgenthau.  They are alleged to have begun planning for this in 1944, before the extent of the atrocities of the death camps became known.  That more Germans did not starve to death or die of illness in the post-war years was due to the humanity of Herbert Hoover and others.

Some historians, however, have denied that Eisenhower was responsible for the deaths of millions of prisoners of war, and the WW II authority John Keegan has even derided this controversy as "bogus".

James Bacque: Did the Allies Starve Millions of Germans?

Here is a review of James Bacque's Crimes and Mercies
by Eric Blair: Crimes and Mercies: A Hidden Holocaust — Revealed

Another review is here.

Chapter VIII of the book: History and Forgetting.

The book is available from Amazon US and also from Amazon UK, where a reviewer writes:

Bacque's book is an amazing revelation of some of the worst crimes ever committed in this century — the fact that they were covered up for so long only makes it worse.  After reading this book you will ask yourself who the 'good guys' really were.  The truth is that there were no good guys — only amoral manipulators and criminals — on both sides.  [Well, actually, as Bacque makes clear, there were some good guys: Herbert Hoover, Mackenzie King, Norman Robertson and Victor Gollancz among others.] This is the book the establishment does not want you to read — and with good reason! It tells of deliberate allied policy to 'reduce' the German population after the war by mass starvation.  Well, they succeeded, by 5.7 million to be precise — this in addition to the 1.1 million starved prisoners of war, 2.5 - 3 million murdered ethnic German refugees from Eastern Europe and tens of thousands of civilian forced labourers killed from maltreatement in France.  Bacque's other excellent book — Other Losses — gives more information about this hidden Holocaust.  Order this book now and forget the lies your history teacher told you — remember that history is only the version as told by the winners.

Der geplante Tod The book been translated into German as Der geplante Tod and is available from amazon.de.


In 2006 more evidence of censorship at Wikipedia emerged:

James Bacque: Why is Wikipedia Censoring Me?


Stink Of Hypocrisy

Saddam [Hussein] is seemingly not the only advocate of weapons of mass destruction. Winston Churchill was on the verge of 'drenching' Germany with poison gas before the war turned in Britain's favour, reveals George Rosie.


Operation Keelhaul and the Bleiburg Massacres

The Morgenthau Plan for the starvation of German civilians after World War II is not the only instance where Eisenhower participated in decisions leading to the deaths of millions of civilians.

Eisenhower gave unqualified approval to such monstrous schemes as the Morganthau Plan which, had it been carried out completely, would have resulted in the deaths of roughly 40 million Germans and the swift Bolshevization of Europe. He insisted too on the notorious Operation Keelhaul, the "repatriation" of Russian, Ukrainian, and other peoples who had escaped Stalin's hell on earth behind the retreating German armies. Perhaps five million people were herded into trucks and railway boxcars and shipped eastward to certain death or worse. Operation Keelhaul was FDR's and Eisenhower's magnificent gift to Stalin and to his grim, satanocratic gulag empire; it was a culmination of friendship, fidelity, and accord; and it was a deed that for its sheer infamy is unmatched in the history of our nation and its armed forces. — Remembering Robert Welch

In May and June of 1945
tens of thousands of refugees from Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union — unarmed civilians escaping communism, as well as anticommunist resistance fighters and assorted collaborationists — were rounded up by the British in Austria, and forcibly delivered to Stalin and Tito. Most of them were summarily executed, sometimes within earshot of the British. Forced repatriations were known as Operation Keelhaul — the "last secret" of World War II, as Alexander Solzhenitsyn called it. ...

The tragedy would have remained little known outside obscure émigré circles were it not for British historian Count Nikolai Tolstoy ... [who] has written three books on forced repatriations, each more revealing than the previous one, as more suppressed information came to light. In 1977 his Victims of Yalta was published, followed by Stalin's Secret War in 1981, and then his most controversial book, The Minister and the Massacres (1986).

In his books Tolstoy argued that refugees not covered by the Yalta agreement — émigré Russians and royalist Yugoslavs — were forcibly repatriated because Harold Macmillan, "minister resident" in the Mediterranean and later prime minister, wanted to advance his political career by appeasing Stalin. — Srdja Trifkovic, LORD ALDINGTON: DEAD, BUT NO R.I.P.

Count Tolstoy has also written on this subject in The Bleiburg Massacres:

In 1945, the overwhelming majority of Croatian people returned to Yugoslavia from Austria were not killed at Bleiburg itself, but following their recrossing of the Drava.  ...  I intend here to concentrate attention on one aspect of the greater event, which to this day remains a strange and sinister mystery: the decision of the British military authorities to hand the Croats over to be slaughtered has never received any satisfactory explanation.

See also Tim Rayment's 1996-04-07 Sunday Times article, The Massacre and the Ministers.

Count Tolstoy's web site (with information about his books) is at http://www.uvsc.edu/commorgs/russia/tolstoy/.


East Timor

The U.S. and the U.K. were much less inclined toward military action in East Timor than they were in Kosovo (see NATO's War), presumably because the multinational business situation in East Timor under Indonesian rule was fine with them had it not been for the unfortunate publicity surrounding the brutality of late 1999.  Those who were quick to cry "genocide" in Kosovo have long ignored the fact that a real genocide — not a fictitious genocide concocted to justify a planned military takeover of another country — had been going on in East Timor for 24 years.  Of course, where arms sales (U.S./U.K. to Indonesia) are concerned 200,000 deaths are of minor concern.

Sylvana Gonzalez: EAST TIMOR: THE UNKNOWN GENOCIDE

Twenty-four years and more than 200,000 lost lives later, the East Timorese still live under the brutal rule of Indonesian military.

Also not well known (since the New York Times and the rest of the mainstream U.S. press feels no obligation to inform its public) is:

US Complicity in Timor

In December 2001 it was revealed that General Suharto had sought, and obtained, prior approval from Henry Kissinger and Gerald Ford for Indonesia's 1975 invasion of East Timor, which resulted in the deaths of 200,000 East Timorese.


More about Kissinger at Henry Kissinger & Freeport Mine, a page from the website of the West Papua New Guinea National Congress, which includes Genocide in West Papua.


Privacy

We all (unless we seek publicity) have a right to privacy, overridden only by the right of society to prevent someone harming others (a thief has no right to keep his thievery a private matter).

Thus it is a matter of concern to all if the government has an unhealthy interest in what people are saying to each other, or what people are doing in the privacy of their own homes.  To what extent, if any, should government be permitted to eavesdrop?

Another major concern is the extent to which marketing organizations try to gather information about people, the better to sell things to them (things often unwanted and unneeded). In this case it's not so much a matter of morality or legality as of simply protecting oneself against their intrusion, to the extent possible.


Political Prisoners in America

The United States of America, which styles itself hypocritically as a defender of human rights, keeps many people behind bars (when it doesn't simply kill them, as in the case of pro-marijuana activist Grover Crosslin) because they dare to express (non-violently) their opposition to the unjust policies of the U.S. government.  That is to say, in addition to the many dissidents now in their graves there are many locked away as political prisoners.  These are often members of ethnic minorities, perhaps because the United States, which was built upon the exploitation of black people by white, has always denied the human rights of its ethnic minorities.

The United States govt. insists that the U.S. is a country where its citizens and residents enjoy freedom. But they can't even go for a walk in the evening without the risk of being arrested and thrown into jail.

And when an open dictatorship emerges wholesale roundups of dissidents will occur. U.S. Army Regulation 210-35, entitled Civilian Inmate Labor Program (775 KB PDF file), already provides Army policy and guidance for establishing civilian inmate labor programs and civilian prison camps on Army installations.

The U.S.A. - a police state
The U.S.A. — a police state
High Court Says Suspects Can Be Barred From Home
Court allows drug-sniffing dogs during traffic stops


Leonard Peltier

And there's the American Indian Leonard Peltier. Considered by Amnesty International to be a political prisoner who should be immediately and unconditionally released, he was convicted in 1977 for the murders of two FBI agents.  After being faced with formerly withheld evidence on appeal casting serious doubt on Mr. Peltier's guilt, the prosecution admitted that it could not prove who actually shot the agents or what participation Mr. Peltier may have had in their deaths.

Here's a message of 2003-10-14 about the status of Leonard's legal appeal, with a request to write to the court in his support.

Chris Summers, BBC, 2004-04-24: Native American prisoner to fight on — an update on the case.

A new book: Have You Thought of Leonard Peltier Lately?


Mumia Abu-Jamal

A political prisoner who has received quite a bit of publicity is Mumia Abu-Jamal, who was sentenced to death in 1982 and is still on death row.



Sherman Austin

Sherman Another political prisoner in the U.S. is Sherman Austin. He set up an anarchist website called Raise the Fist! and hosted on his server one or two other websites which took an attitude of dissent toward official U.S. government policies and practices. The U.S. government felt so threatened by this exercise by Sherman of his free speech rights (rights guaranteed by the 1st Amendment of the U.S. Constitution) that they fined him a couple of thousand dollars and sentenced him to a year in jail.

Sherman's mother writes:

Sherman called yesterday [2003-10-12] and sends his love, strength and THANK YOU to all!  You can write letters or send pictures (max. size 5x7) to:  TCI Tucson, Sherman Austin, 51565-054, FCI Tucson, 8901 South Wilmot Road, Tucson, AZ 85706.   I've had lots of inquiries regarding books.  Please contact Books 4 Prisoners, books4prisoners@hotmail.com.

To be placed on a mailing list for updates concerning Sherman send a request to Jennifer at jmi46@sbcglobal.net.

Update on Sherman Austin's Case, 2004-03-06


Sami Al-Arian


Amnesty International is well aware that there are many political prisoners in the U.S.

Rights for All — Amnesty International's Campaign on the USA

Amnesty International is campaigning for:

Bruce Williams — The Youngest Person Ever Sent To Texas Death Row

Ponchai Kamau Wilkerson — a soldier's death

Bill Vann: Why has the US government imprisoned Captain Yee?

In the U.S. prisons are an industry.  If chickens can be crammed into cages why not people? Especially if the government will pay handsomely for it (using taxpayers' money, of course).


Rights groups say prisoner abuse similar in Iraq, U.S.
A man shackled to a post for hours in the blazing sun. Prisoners controlled with stun guns and shotguns. Guards sexually assaulting prisoners. These are not photographs and accounts from the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, but documented cases from American prisons and jails. U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld recently called the abuses at Abu Ghraib "fundamentally un-American." ... But human rights groups say similar abuses occur with alarming frequency in American jails and prisons.


Three States Subjected To "Martial Law Sweeps"
Local, state police and sheriff's office join feds for "terror" sweeps that result in hundreds of citations for traffic violations. ... 1,292 traffic violations were handed out to speeding terrorists and illegally parked terrorists.


Political Prisoners in Germany

Ernst Zündel

Serendipity, like Die Zeit and other European newspapers which republished the Muhammad cartoons, defends the right of freedom of expression. Ernst Zündel has been denied this right. For more on this see our Ernst Zündel page.


Germar Rudolf


Jury Nullification

Did you know that a jury can refuse to convict if the law is bad? Did you know that a jury has the right to nullify laws that are immoral, stupid or grossly unjust?

If the jury does not judge the law, the facts, and ALL of the evidence, then they are merely the tools, rather than the barrier against the tyranny and oppression of the government.
— Lysander Spooner, quoted at Liberty Issues.


Civil Asset Forfeiture in the U.S.A.

Along with the Drug War has arisen a predatory state whose agencies no longer recognize property rights (ironic in a country supposedly based on a respect for the sanctity of private property).  No property owner in the U.S. (or in any other country which models its laws on those of the U.S.) can any longer feel secure about continued ownership of their property.  Once the police and other state "authorities" discover that they can take possession of people's property by framing them on a charge of some criminal activity or other which involved the desired property then there's no stopping them from taking whatever they fancy.


Civil Asset Forfeiture in Australia

The government of Australia normally adopts policies of other countries after several years experience have shown those policies to be harmful. So it is with the passage (in September 2002) of federal legislation replicating America's civil asset forfeiture laws. This legislation goes into effect from 2003-01-01 and from then a person's assets may be seized by the state if "a preponderance of evidence" suggests that those assets were acquired sometime during the last six years as a result of criminal activity. No criminal conviction is necessary. There is no trial. From 2003 an Australian's house, car or any other item of property may be seized if some judge can be persuaded by the police to rule that there is evidence (however disputable) that that property was connected to some criminal activity (not necessarily criminal activity by the owner of the property). Of course, most Australians don't even know that this legislation was ever under consideration, still less that it has been passed. As in America, most Australians will only hear about this legal theft by their government after it becomes a national scandal, by which time, of course, it will be too late to do anything about it (though there's always the possibility of emigration to a country which respects basic freedoms and property rights).

CNN: Australia to seize crime assets on suspicion

Australian courts will soon be able to seize the assets of people they reasonably believe to have profited from crime, even if the suspects have not yet been convicted. ... The crime bill ... puts the onus on criminal suspects to prove their assets and property were lawfully derived or face seizure by the authorities.

What probably happened is that some in the Australian government saw how easy it had become for cops in America to sieze whatever property they wanted by framing "suspects" and felt that this would work just as well in Australia. The politicians in power were persuaded to pass the necessary legislation.

One of the basic principles of a free society is that a citizen is not treated as guilty of an alleged crime until a court (in serious cases, a trial by jury) has considered the evidence and has established guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. With this legislation the Australian government has breached this principle and is in violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:

Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence. (Article 11)

No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property. (Article 17)

In Australia such basic human rights are no longer respected by the government. Australia is going the way of the United States.


The So-Called War on Drugs

A major threat to the liberty of Americans (and to that of the citizens of other countries whose governments follow the American model) for the last couple of decades has been the "War on Drugs", in which the U.S. government has waged war upon its own citizens, both physically and by means of propaganda, and in the process the civil liberties of all Americans have been significantly eroded to the point where liberty for the average citizen has become increasingly an illusion.

And on into 1999 the insanity continues: White House [Al Gore] Outlines Anti-Drug Plan (link expired)

Why not cut the BS, Al? Tell it to the people straight.  Fact is, governments such as the U.S. need to keep drug use illegal so that they can find the money to pay for their black operations (overthrowing uncooperative governments, etc.).  If use and commerce in drugs were decriminalized then where would America get the money it needs in its attempts to control the world? Same for Britain, France and other governments that engage in operations which they would never publicly admit to.  To continue to do this they must have a large drug-using domestic population willing (and barely able) to pay high prices for their drugs.  So much for "democracy" — if the U.S. were a real democracy then drugs would be legal and the CIA would be reduced (as it should be) to analyzing satellite pictures and reports from their spies.

Attorney General Janet Reno has made it clear that the federal prohibition of marijuana will not be altered just because voters apparently want doctors to be able to prescribe it, says Nicholas Gess, the associate deputy attorney general for drug issues.  "The notion that you decide guilt or innocence at the polls, that's anathema to us, I'll be blunt," he says. — "Drug Queenpin or Innocent Victim?", Glamour Magazine, December 1999

In other words, "We don't give a damn what the voters say, we decide what's illegal."

So much for democracy in America.

For more on this subject see Prohibition: The So-Called War on Drugs and The CIA.


The Human Rights Watch website has sections on:

and other matters.

Amnesty International has also drawn attention to the USA's disdain for the rights of prisoners. See its Response to President Bush.


U.K. Imprisonment of People Not Convicted of any Crime

U.K. Imprisons People Indefinitely on "Suspicion of Terrorist Links"

What is an "alleged terrorist"?

Article 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights bans detention without trial. The U.K. is a signatory to this convention. But in order to detain people without trial the U.K. has "opted out" of this article.

Five alleged "international terrorists" held in British jails without charge or trial today [2003-10-29] lost an appeal against the post-September 11 laws being used to detain them.

The special immigration appeals commission ruled that the government had enough evidence of links to terrorism to justify imprisoning the five non-UK nationals indefinitely. ...

Lawyers for the home secretary had only to prove to the judges that the government has "reasonable grounds to suspect" the men have links with terrorism, a far lower requirement than the standard of proof which would be required to convict them in a criminal court.

Lawyers for the men were meanwhile denied access to the secret documents and testimonies that the government presented as the basis for its "reasonable grounds". The detainees are instead represented by "special advocates" who are security vetted by MI5 and appointed by the attorney general to act on their behalf.

Alleged terrorists can be detained indefinitely, rule judges

Twenty years after 1984, the date for George Orwell's dystopian vision, the British home secretary hopes to introduce a new category of imprisonable offence — "thought crime," or guilt by association.

According to two recent newspaper articles, David Blunkett is considering jailing those who merely "sympathise" with so-called extremist Islamic groups or who continue to "associate" with alleged terrorist suspects.

The Observer wrote on April 11, "Sympathisers with extremist Islamic groups will risk jail under controversial plans to make merely associating with a suspected terrorist a crime."

The next day, the Times reported, "Those whose names were found on seized mobile phones, computers or e-mails and who tried further contact would find themselves facing prison."

... The latest musings of Blunkett are a double attack on democratic rights.

Firstly, the proposal to introduce "guilt by association" makes criminals of those who have committed no crime. Secondly, by extension the so-called "undesirables" with whom they associate face a form of banning order reminiscent of the apartheid regime in South Africa, preventing them from coming into contact with anyone.

Barry Hugill, spokesman for civil rights group Liberty, said, "You cannot start imprisoning people for what may or may not be going on inside their head."

Britain: Blunkett to legislate for "thought crimes" and guilt by association


Something called the Civil Contingency Bill (CCB) is (2004) making its way through the British parliament. This tyrannical piece of legislation, which could go as far as extending internment without trial from foreign nationals (as now) to UK citizens, is

designed to update existing emergency powers legislation, [and] extends those powers to such a degree that they will become not merely authoritarian but verging on the totalitarian. Not only will its catch-all measures be implemented according to highly subjective criteria, but the emergency regulations brought into force would allow the government to "disapply or modify any enactment or a provision made under or by virtue of an enactment." In other words, all existing legislation (including the Human Rights Act) which has been debated and passed in Parliament can be rendered null and void once the Prime Minister or Home Secretary decides that the situation is sufficiently serious to declare a state of emergency. — Labour's reactionary parliamentary programme

See also: Amendment to CCB Bill Would Detain UK Citizens Without Trial


U.K. to Imprison People with "Personality Disorder"

A White Paper, launched by Health Secretary Alan Milburn (photo right) in the House of Commons on 2000-12-20 CE, contains proposals for:
  • New orders to detain people with severe personality disorders
    who are considered dangerous by the State.
  • Powers to force people with serious mental illnesses to drug themselves
    with state-supplied "medication".
Alan Milburn
That's what they used to do in the Soviet Union (and for this the Soviet Union was condemned by the "liberal" West).  If you disagreed with what the State said was right and good you were classified as "mentally ill" and locked up, maybe for years.  Now in Britain you just have to be judged as having a "personality disorder", which is whatever the State says it is.  But the U.K. is not a country any sane person would want to live in anyway.

This man obviously has a personality disorder.  Should he be locked up?


WE HOLD THIS TRUTH
THAT ALL HUMAN BEINGS ARE CREATED DIFFERENT.
That every human being has the right to be mentally free and independent.  That every human being has the right to feel, see, hear, sense, imagine, believe or experience anything at all, in any way, at any time.  That every human being has the right to behave in any way that does not harm others or break fair and just laws.  That no human being shall be subjected without consent to incarceration, restraint, punishment or psychological or medical intervention in an attempt to control, repress or alter the individual's thoughts, feelings or experiences.
— UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF MENTAL RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS


Not only humans have rights — animals also have rights.  Of course, since we eat animals (700 million slaughtered each year in Britain alone) it's expedient to forget this.  Perhaps we should, at the very least, confine ourselves to killing only the stupid animals, such as cows and chickens, while admitting that the intelligent animals, such as dolphins, foxes, whales (the Norwegians eat whales), dogs (the Chinese eat dogs) and horses (the French eat horses) have a right to life.

Or better, a visit to the pig factories, where pigs are raised in pens with wire mesh floors and never see the sky until at the age of seven months they are taken to the slaughterhouse, should be part of every child's education, along with a visit to the abbatoirs where it can be seen how the pigs, cows, chickens, turkeys, etc., are slaughtered.  But most people prefer to eat meat in willful ignorance of the means by which that meat reaches their table.


"Most Wanted" Corporate Human Rights Violators of 2005
  • CATERPILLAR
    Human Rights Abuses: contracting with known violators of human rights, enabling house demolition, supplying equipment that kills Palestinian civilians and American peace activists.
  • CHEVRON
    Human Rights Abuses: environmental destruction, health violations, and violent killings
  • COCA-COLA
    Human Rights Abuses: violent killings, kidnap and torture, water privatization, health violations, and discriminatory practices.
  • DOW CHEMICAL
    Human rights abuses: creation of chemical weapons, marketing poisonous chemicals, illegal dumping of toxins into populated areas, environmental destruction, health problems, death.
  • DYNCORP/CSC
    Human rights abuses: causing health problems, environmental devastation and death; endangering lives; physically abusing individuals; sex trafficking.
  • FORD MOTOR COMPANY
    Human rights violations: environmental degradation, climate change, fueling wars for oil.
  • KBR (KELLOGG, BROWN, AND ROOT): A SUBSIDIARY OF HALLIBURTON CORPORATION
    Human rights violations: Overcharging and providing unnecessary services on taxpayer's dollar, bribery, exploiting third country nationals.
  • LOCKHEED MARTIN
    Human Rights Abuses: War profiteering, warmongering.
  • MONSANTO
    Human Rights Abuses: Displacement, health violations, and child labor.
  • NESTLÉ USA
    Human Rights Violations: Abusive child labor, repression of worker rights, aggressive marketing of harmful products, violation of national health and environmental laws.
  • PHILIP MORRIS USA and PHILIP MORRIS INTERNATIONAL (a.k.a. the Altria Group Inc.)
    Human Rights Abuse: aggressively marketing lethal products.
  • PFIZER
    Human Rights Abuse: Killer price-gouging.
  • SUEZ-LYONNAISE DES EAUX (SLDE)
    Human rights abuse: Water privatization.
  • WAL-MART
    Human Rights Abuses: worker rights violations, labor discrimination, union busting.


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