Daily Archives: December 9, 2007

Adopt Nazi methods with immigrants, says Italian councillor

Independent | Dec 6, 2007

By Peter Popham in Rome

If an immigrant commits a crime against an Italian, ten immigrants should be punished for it, following the method used in Nazi concentration camps: this is the recipe for racial harmony advanced by Giorgio Bettio, a town councillor in Treviso, near Venice.

Mr Bettio belongs to the Northern League, the xenophobic north Italian party which advocates secession from the south, and his suggestion is in the League’s tradition of calculated racist outrage. When he made it in Treviso’s council chamber on Monday it was greeted by a stunned silence from the Opposition.

But yesterday the vileness of the sentiment sank in, and the remark and what lay behind it were fiercely condemned. “It is absolutely impossible that a civilised people can tolerate such imbecility,” raged Umberto Lorenzoni, president of an organisation representing ex-Partisans. “I want to meet Bettio and explain to him what Nazism was about. Instead of dozing, the law must act.”

The governor of the Veneto region, Giancarlo Galan, commented, “Bettio’s remark was delirious and repugnant.”

Treviso’s Jewish community yesterday proposed joint legal action against Mr Bettio with the city’s Roma community, the main target of recent racist anger.

Yet the theme raised so viciously by Mr Bettio – of treating foreigners in Italy with special harshness – was yesterday on the way to being enshrined in the statute book. One month ago a “decree law” or diktat authorising the expulsion without trial of EU citizens who are a threat to public security was rushed into law after the murder of an Italian woman, allegedly by a Roma man. Yesterday in the Senate they debated transforming the diktat into a regular law, and an attempt by left-wing members of the ruling coalition to send the law back to the committee stage was defeated by the Opposition. Soon it will be the law of the land, though prime minster Romano Prodi, who supports the new law, cautions that it should not result in mass expulsions.

Mr Bettio’s outburst is the most extreme of a whole array of wild reactions in the Veneto region to a perceived “security crisis” involving “criminal” immigrants – a crisis for which there is scant statistical evidence. As reported in The Independent, the first town to raise the flag of xenophobia was Cittadella where the mayor, Massimo Bitonci, passed an ordinance banning the poor, the unemployed and the homeless from obtaining residence in the town.

Mr Bitonci was quickly threatened with legal action by the state for seeking to usurp the functions of central government, but dozens of other mayors and thousands of citizens demonstrated in his favour, and outlandishly racist proposals have been sprouting like mushrooms right across the region.

One mayor wants to ban illegal immigrants from getting married, another to ban them from being eligible for school scholarships, another to limit Italian citizenship to foreigners with a perfect knowledge of Italian and of the Constitution.

As the Veneto philosopher Umberto Curi commented, “A grotesque competition is in progress for who can make the grossest proposal.” The proximity of regional elections, due in the spring, is one explanation.

Mr Bettio excused his remark yesterday as the product of rage, and of a desire to protect his “mamma”, who felt threatened by immigrants. But he added, “many people stop me in the street to thank me for saying it”.

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Call for criminal inquiry as CIA destroys torture tapes

Independent | Dec 9,  2007

By Leonard Doyle in Washington

Senior US senators and congressmen are pressing for a criminal investigation of the CIA for obstruction of justice after it admitted destroying two videotapes showing apparently abusive interrogations of al-Qa’ida suspects in 2005.

The digital recordings apparently show a team of CIA agents subjecting Abu Zubayadh, the agency’s first detainee, and another suspect to abusive interrogation. The tapes were apparently destroyed because CIA officers feared prosecution for torture, which is a felony under US law.

“We haven’t seen anything like this since the 18-minute gap on the tapes of Richard Nixon,” said Senator Edward Kennedy who accused the CIA of “a cover-up.” He called on the Attorney General Michael Mukasey to investigate.

Congresswoman Jan Harman said that in early 2003, she had warned the CIA not to destroy any videotapes dealing with interrogation practices.

“To my knowledge, the Intelligence Committee was never informed that any videotapes had been destroyed,” Ms Harman, said.

Senator John Rockefeller, head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said there must be a review of “the full history and chronology of the tapes, how they were used, and the reasons for destroying them”.

White House officials declined to comment.

A US expert on torture said he believed the digital recordings show CIA interrogation teams carrying out torture including waterboarding or partial drowning of al-Qa’ida suspects in detention centres not on US soil. The interrogations probably took place in Jordan or Egypt where the US has close relations with the national intelligence agencies, said Malcolm Nance who advises the Department of Homeland Security on terrorism.

Mr Nance, who has conducted anti-torture training sessions, said the interrogations would have been relayed live by video link to the CIA’s directorate of operations in Langley, Virginia. They would have been observed by the director of the CIA, along with a team of interrogation experts including, a psychologist and doctor, he said.

“They start by slapping the prisoner around, putting him in stress positions and finally strapping him on the waterboard where he is bound down and has water poured into his lungs,” he continued. “It’s very hard to watch people going through this form of torture,” he said. “They get hysterical and whatever they say is of no value anyway.

“Typically a camera is focused on the detainee’s face to watch for signs that he is cracking; another camera shows the interrogation team in operation,” he said.

The New York Times reported that the CIA destroyed at least two videotapes of the interrogation of two al-Qai’da operatives in the midst of Congressional and legal investigations into its “black site” secret detention programme.

The CIA director, General Michael Hayden, said the decision to destroy the tapes was made “within the CIA” to protect the safety of the agents involved.

Senators and congressmen now want an inquiry into whether CIA officials deliberately withheld information from them as well as the courts and the September 11 Commission.

General Hayden’s explanation was dismissed as unbelievable by Mr Nance. “There are ways of hiding the identity of those involved,” he said.

Hillary Clinton gets Gennifer Flowers’ vote

The Guardian | Dec 8, 2007

Suzanne Goldenberg in Washington

Gennifer Flowers, once the other woman in Hillary Clinton’s marriage, is back – only this time she claims she has no intention of wrecking Clinton’s personal life or her run for the White House. Flowers may even be offering her vote.

A nightclub singer who came to national attention during the 1992 elections claiming to have had an affair with Bill Clinton, Flowers says she would consider supporting his wife’s run for the White House.

“I can’t help but want to support my own gender, and she’s as experienced as any of the others – except maybe Joe Biden,” she told the Associated Press. Flowers said she had long wanted to see a woman in the White House, and she remains partial to Democrats. “I just didn’t think it would be her,” she admitted.

She promised that she would not try to raise havoc during the campaign, or revive a defamation suit against Clinton, which judges dismissed. “I don’t have any interest whatsoever in getting back out there and bashing Hillary Clinton,” she said.

It marks a turnaround for Flowers, who nearly wrecked Bill Clinton’s campaign with her allegation of a 12-year affair. He initially denied it, but admitted years later to a single sexual encounter with Flowers in a deposition in the Paula Jones sexual harassment suit.

Europe and Africa look to build a New World Order

EUX TV | Dec 9, 2007

By Ben Nimmo

Lisbon (dpa) – A century after European states carved Africa into a series of colonies, Europe is looking to create a New World Order – in alliance with Africa.

“Imagine if we showed that with 1.5 billion people and 80 countries – almost half the UN membership! – we can make a real impact, both regionally and as global partners,” European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso told the summit of the European and African Unions in Lisbon on Saturday.

The two continents should create a “genuine partnership of solidarity and mutual respect which defends the priorities of Africa and its specific interests” in global issues, Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak told the 26 European and 53 African leaders.

The EU-AU summit – the first in seven years and only the second in history – has been hailed by both sides as a chance to launch a “new relationship” between the continents.

And one key aim of that relationship, according to the agreement jointly drawn up by representatives of the two organizations, is to develop “common responses to global challenges” in international forums – including the United Nations.

“The EU and AU together represent 80 countries. Eighty votes at the UN is a very big power bloc, so there’s no doubt that more comprehensive cooperation could be mutually beneficial,” John Kotsopoulos, an Africa expert at the Brussels-based European Policy Centre, told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa.

The two decades since the end of the Cold War have been marked by the emergence of powerful global players such as China, India, Brazil and Russia – states with huge populations, growing financial reserves and immensely powerful corporations.

Africa is already the scene of their rivalry, as the new great powers compete for dwindling energy supplies and raw materials.

“Africa is becoming the new ‘grand chessboard’ on which the world’s great powers manoeuvre. China, the US, Australia, India and Malaysia are more and more pushing elbow to elbow to take control of mineral, oil and gas deposits in Africa,” EU Aid and Development Commissioner Louis Michel warned ahead of the summit.

And while some African leaders fear that their continent risks becoming the renewed battleground of the world’s rising powers, their European counterparts worry that those same powers could sideline Europe on major international issues.

“In terms of its broader foreign policy, Europe does need more allies, and certainly Africa represents the best opportunity,” Kotsopoulos said.

Indeed, in many ways a united Africa would be the logical partner for a united Europe in global debates: Europe is Africa’s largest trade partner and aid donor, as EU officials regularly point out.

And the two continents have something else in common: neither is home to any of the half-dozen mega-states which look set to dominate the coming century, such as China, India, the US, Russia and Brazil.

The largest state in Africa, Nigeria, with an estimated population of some 120 million, is dwarfed by states such as the US (301 million), let alone China and India, with over a billion each.

And even the largest economy in Europe, Germany, looks likely to slip down the global rankings in the next decade as China and India continue to expand at white-hot pace.

Given the gradual eclipse of European power, and the resurgence of great-power games in Africa, it is no wonder that the idea of a strategic alliance between the EU and AU has won its supporters on both continents.

But one immense problem remains. Both the EU and the AU are clubs of sovereign states, fiercely jealous of their prerogatives and quick to resent what they see as interference from supra-national bureaucracies.

The organizations are often deadlocked over key issues, as member states block joint decisions to protect their national interests.

And that being the case, no matter how much the institutions in Brussels and Addis Ababa might wish to carve out a place in a new world order, their members look more likely to prefer doing deals with the great powers of the old one.

“It’s far easier to deal with a China that can mobilize massive capital with few conditions, than with a bloc of 27 countries that’s still a patchwork of members,” Kotsopoulos pointed out.

“The Chinese don’t talk for a long time, they just do it, and very fast, very fast, very fast,” Senegalese President Maitre Abdoulaye Wave added.

EU and NAFTA: Towards tyranny and the New World Order

British National Party | Dec 8, 2007

The North American Union is up and running in all but name, with about as much chance of not being officially ratified as Gordon Brown, or David Miliband, not signing the Lisbon Constitution… sorry, Treaty. This North American counterpart of the European Union was born out of the same mould. It started with the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) – the American doppelganger of the Common Market – and, whilst remaining under the legislative radar of the American people, became a new entity controlling transportation, law enforcement, banking, manufacturing, education, construction, military and, not unsurprisingly, immigration between the three former nations at the SPP (Security & Prosperity Partnership) Summit in Banff, Canada in September 2006.

The agreement gives U.S. corporations, amongst other things, the right to break-up and exploit Mexico’s nationalised oil industry, PEMEX, in return for mass immigration of unskilled Mexican workers into the U.S. and its economy. Cheap labour and fat profits all round. Of course, there are losers; American workers find themselves out of work and unable to survive when competing for jobs with people prepared to work for pitifully low wages – a scenario with which many Britons are acquainted – and, in addition, the Mexicans just get exploited. But who cares? Profits are up, costs are down and it’s trebles all round for the fat cats!

The Canadian and Mexican armed forces helped out with the aftermath of hurricane Katrina, and are now available to assist U.S. civil enforcement agencies to deal with domestic disturbances (read as: the anticipated mass demonstrations as the American people begin to realise what’s happened whilst their backs were turned). But we know where they got that idea from, don’t we? Enter Eurogendfor (European Gendarmerie Force) which, according to its own website, was set up to “respond to the need to rapidly conduct all the spectrum of civil security actions, either on its own or in parallel with the military intervention, by providing a multinational and effective tool.” That, in case you don’t know, is EU-speak for crushing anti-EU demonstrations.

It’s no coincidence that these two ‘Unions’ are so similar. And if you wish to know what the common denominator is, then you need look no further than our old friend, the Bilderberg Conference! Once a year these arrogant leaders and business high-flyers, all of whom have undergone democracy bypass surgery, meet up and decide how to ruin ordinary peoples lives in order to line their own pockets even further. And when they have enough control (and they’re just about there) they will play the ace up their sleeve and trigger a global economic collapse. At that point a lot of people will acquiesce to their will in return for scraps of food – but not all. A sizeable majority will rebel against the New World Order (yes, we can mention that now because George Bush and Gordon Brown do). The author of the book of the same name, H.G. Wells, wrote:

“Countless people will hate the New World Order and will die protesting against it.”

He wasn’t wrong (despite being in favour of it). Democracy is ebbing away from us, the people, day by day. To be pro EU is to be pro dictatorship. The LibLabConmen are just that. And if you are a casual visitor to this site, and think that the BNP is the last party you’d vote for, then it probably will be – because you won’t be voting at all in the near future!

Lou Dobbs interviewed by Amy Goodman on Democracy Now

Lou Dobbs interviewed by Amy Goodman on Democracy Now discussing the North American Union, immigration and other issues.

Symposium in Cuba to study the history of Freemasonry in Latin America


Cuban revolutionary and Freemason Jose Marti giving the Masonic sign of the Hand on Heart signifying loyalty to the Craft

Cuba Headlines | Dec 4, 2007

A historic approximation to the freemasonry “allows a better understanding, a better rapprochement between the institutions and above everything else a better comprehension of our cultures, because, undoubtedly the freemasons has an important role in Latin America”, Cuba will gather together for the first time experts from Europe and Latin America in an academic meeting that will debate the history of the freemasonry in Latin America and its relationship with equivalent institutions, explained to EFE, the Cuban historian Eduardo Torres Cuevas.

According to Torres Cuevas, president of the Department of Historic Studies of the Cuban Freemasonry of the Havana University, which is the organizer of the event, it is about an “academic” meeting with the goal of creating the Center of Studies of the Latin American Freemasonry.

Freemason Salvador Allende, Socialist president of Chile (1970-1973), of the Progreso Lodge No. 4, Valparaíso

The writer, in an interview with EFE, indicated that the meeting, which is expected to be held between the 5th and the 8th of December, will count with the presence of important researchers, such as the director of the Center of Historic Studies of the Spanish Freemasonry José Antonio Benemelis, Aldo Mola, the most important historian of the Italian Freemasonry, as well as freemasons and academics from Europe and Latin America.

“The main objective is to give a boost to these studies, since we consider that the freemasonry has an important role, a role debated and debatable in the history of the Latin American Independence movement, specially the Cuban one”, specified the 2000 Social Sciences National Price Winner who is also the director of he National Library “Jose Marti”.

H believes that it is necessary to systematize this kind of meetings to discuss the role of the institution in the Latin American independence. Freemasonry “is a non political institution, it is not religious, but it is ethical, therefore their projection joins together religious and politicians and is the nucleus to understand the intellectual, social, political and cultural world of Latin America”, emphasized.

Freemason Simón Bolívar, president of Venezuela, Colombia, Bolivia, & Peru, of the Order and Liberty Lodge No. 2, Peru, giving the Masonic sign of the Hidden Hand

In this symposium “we are not going to interfere in any internal projection of the freemasons bodies”, affirmed the author of “Historia de la Masonería Cubana”.

“We are going to help to enrich the culture of everybody, freemasons and not freemasons, about a topic, many times even the freemasons do not known a lot about the history, with the vision have had that institution and what was its role in our history”, he said.

South African president, Knight of the Order of St John and of the Order of St Michael and St George, Thabo Mbeki inducted into the Order of Jose Marti by Cuban dictator Fidel Castro

A historic approximation to the freemasonry “allows a better understanding, a better rapprochement between the institutions and above everything else a better comprehension of our cultures, because, undoubtedly the freemasons has an important role in Latin America”, he added.

Cuban dictator Fidel Castro inducts the billionaire Emir of Qatar Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani into the Order of Jose Marti

According to my criteria, the freemasonry is in a moment “of deep reflection” out of which “there will be a new, very necessary, strengthening projection to adequate it to the current times”. The Cuban freemasonry was founded in 1859 and is one of the oldest from Latin America and many famous personalities have been freemasons, such as the independents heroes Carlos Manuel de Céspedes, Antonio Maceo, José Martí, Ignacio Agramonte and Máximo Gómez. In the last 50 years, the freemasonry in Cuba have had difficult moments, although, according to Cuevas, “notwithstanding the real difficulties they have been functioning on a regular basis”.

After a decline period, he insisted, the Cuban freemasonry is moving through a “development moment with excellent relationships between the State and the Institution”, with a growing number of their members, who have grow from 14,000 to 30,000 in 341 lodges.

A bust of Jose Marti set on a Masonic pyramid in Coral Gables Florida

Their “reactivation” starts from “a younger generation that based on the force and the experience of the older ones is really giving a more important social air”, he indicated.

Torres Cuevas believes that, as an ethical institution, the freemasonry can play a “very important and positive role” in the Cuban society.

. . .

Related

Grand Lodge of Cuba – Logia Havana