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Monday, February 24, 2014

Crimes against Humanity: Whose lives count, whose do not?

Against Humanity
International affairs expert ponders most-told history
An article worth reading in full
Excerpt, editing, brief comment by
Carolyn Bennett

Drones on Pakistanis
Why have the Western media and academia placed such importance and focus on Jewish deaths in World War II? Are Jewish deaths more tragic than non-Jewish deaths? Does Jewish suffering trump that of non-Jewish peoples? Are Jewish lives worth more than non-Jews’ lives? Canada-based international affairs specialist Brandon Martinez ponders these questions in an article published today at Press TV. “Whether they realize it or not,” Martinez says, “commentators who advance the primacy of Jewish suffering are enabling the Zionists’ continued genocidal subjugation of the Palestinians.”

Whose numbers?

Decades of intense Zionist propaganda on the subject of “The Holocaust” blinds most people, including media personalities, and prevents them from “overcom[ing] their brainwashing; or they are just too proud to admit they were wrong. …For 45 years, the standard histories told us [that] four million people died at Auschwitz. When the communist iron curtain disintegrated in 1990, the figure was revised downwards to 1.5 million; but the real death total remains a mystery. 

“Some historians estimate less than 100,000 people died in that [Auschwitz] camp, primarily from disease and starvation caused by Allied bombing.  Official sources have likewise reduced significantly the death totals at other major German camps.
“The Majdanek and Mauthausen camps were at one time claimed to be the resting places of 3.5 million Jews and others. Establishment sources now contend that around 74,000 Jews died in those two facilities combined.”


“Genocidal policies of the Soviet Bolsheviks, a large portion of whom were Jewish, led to the deaths of at least 40 million people, a number far exceeding even the greatest myths about the Jewish holocaust.

Palestinian woman and child
“In 1932 alone, the Soviet secret police (the Cheka) orchestrated the demise of more than seven million Ukrainians in what is now known as the Holodomor, an artificial famine-genocide sponsored by Moscow.  In 2009, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported that Ukraine’s security service ‘is pressing the case against a list of former Soviet officials accused of committing the Holodomor, which caused the deaths of millions in Ukraine in 1932-33 … (most names on the list Jewish).’”

This “country founded upon ethnic cleansing and genocide,” Martinez recalls, “committed egregious war crimes against Germany and Japan during the Second World War, starving to death more than 1.5 million German POWs in concentration camps after the end of the war, and dropping two atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.” This added to “the Allied carpet-bombing of German cities during the war, killing hundreds of thousands of German civilians in a matter of hours.

“The Allied Powers fully aided and abetted Stalin’s crimes against humanity and took part in post-war massive ethnic cleansing of Germans from territory stripped from Germany and given to surrounding countries. …” Between 1944 and 1950, more than nine million Germans died because of “deliberate Allied-Soviet expulsion and starvation tactics.”  Invading Soviet Red Army troops “mass raped and tortured…more than two million German women” [Ref. historian James Baque].
 Labor or homicide camps

“In reality,” Martinez writes, “Auschwitz was a labour camp. “Arbeit macht frei (Work makes you free),” read the sign over the gated entrance to the camp. Inmates worked in the nearby factories to produce armaments, synthetic rubber and other materials for the German war effort.

“It makes no practical sense [that] the German government would waste so much time and resources [killing] off their labour force, especially when they were fighting a war on two fronts against formidable enemies.” Acknowledging that the labor camps were reprehensible, Martinez continues, “but when put into context, the practice was not particularly unusual. The Soviets established a vast network of forced labour camps (known as the Gulag) long before the Germans set up their labour facilities during the war; yet there is far less criticism or condemnation of the Soviets, even though their camps were far more inhumane than those of their German counterparts.”

 Gulag Russian ‘Chief Administration of Corrective Labour Camps’), system of Soviet labour camps and accompanying detention and transit camps and prisons that, from the 1920s to the mid-1950s, housed the political prisoners and criminals of the Soviet Union. Inmates filled the Gulag in three major waves: 1929–32, the years of the collectivization of Soviet agriculture; 1936–38, at the height of Stalin’s purges; and in the years immediately following World War II. Solzhenitsyn reported ‘some forty to fifty million people served long sentences in the Archipelago between 1928 and 1953.’ The Gulag administration’s supposedly compiled figures (released by Soviet historians in 1989) showed they has sent 10 million people to the camps in the years 1934 to 1947. The true figures remain unknown [Britannica Deluxe Edition 2013]

Martinez continues citing studies

Leuchter Report challenge 

“The gassing stories form the foundational myths of the holocaust,” he writes, but… “Experts contend that gassing is the most inefficient and dangerous method for executions.” Researcher Ernst Zundel in 1988 “commissioned an expert to examine the rooms in Auschwitz and Majdanek which were claimed to have functioned as gas chambers for killing mass amounts of people.

“Fred Leuchter, a specialist who designed execution equipment including gas chambers for American prisons, did a forensic examination of these facilities. Going into the endeavor, Leuchter fully believed the official story about gassings but was quickly amazed at how implausible it would have been for these rooms to function as mass execution gas chambers.…

"Leuchter took brick samples of the walls of the alleged gas chambers and sent them to a chemical laboratory in Massachusetts. The test results revealed the brick samples contained negligible traces of cyanide residue, these results contrasted with other samples taken from walls of delousing chambers (rooms where Zyklon B was sprayed on clothing and mattresses to kill lice), and found these samples contained high traces of cyanide residue.” Leuchter writes in his 1988 Leuchter Report, Martinez quotes:

‘It is the best engineering opinion of this author that the alleged gas chambers at the inspected sites could not have [been] utilized or seriously considered to function as execution gas chambers.’

Rudolf Report challenge

“Another problem with the gassing story,” Martinez references chemist Germar Rudolf in a 1993 Rudolf Report, “is the issue of blue staining caused by Zyklon B. ‘[T]he walls within the buildings in which Zyklon B is proved to have been used to delouse inmate clothing exhibit massive, blotchy, bluish discoloration… Massive blue staining is visibly present in rooms used for delousing, but no such stains are visible in any of the rooms claimed to have been ‘homicidal gas chambers. For chemical-physical reasons, the claimed mass gassings with hydrocyanic acid in the alleged gas chambers in Auschwitz did not take place.…. …The supposed gas chambers in Auschwitz and Birkenau did not come into contact with Zyklon B. In legal language: the weapon was not loaded.’”

Britannica Deluxe Edition 2013: Beginning in June 1941 with the German invasion of the Soviet Union, Jews in the newly conquered areas were rounded up and taken to nearby execution sites, such as Baby Yar, in Ukraine, and killed. Initially, mobile killing units were used. This process was disquieting to local populations and also difficult for the units to sustain. The idea of the extermination camp was to reverse the process and have mobile victims—transported by rail to the camps—and stationary killing centres where large numbers of victims could be murdered by a greatly reduced number of personnel: e.g., the staff of Treblinka was 120, with only 20–30 personnel belonging to the SS, the Nazi paramilitary corps. The staff of Belzec was 104, with about 20 SS personnel. Killing at each of the centres was by poison gas. Chelmno, the first of the extermination camps, where gassing began on December 8, 1941, employed gas vans whose carbon-monoxide exhaust asphyxiated passengers. Auschwitz, the largest and most lethal of the camps, used Zyklon-B.

Majdanek and Auschwitz were also slave-labour centres, while Treblinka, Belzec, and Sobibor were devoted solely to killing.
The Nazis murdered between 1.1 million and 1.5 million people at Auschwitz, 750,000–900,000 at Treblinka, and at least 600,000 at Belzec during its 10 months of operation. The overwhelming majority of the victims were Jews. Treblinka, Sobibor, and Belzec were closed in 1943, their task completed as the ghettos of Poland were emptied and their Jews killed. Auschwitz continued to receive victims from throughout Europe until Soviet troops approached in 1945.

U.S. foreign policy: FDR –

Martinez resumes

“The pressure of the Jews on [U.S.] President [Franklin Delano] Roosevelt (1933-1945) and on the State Department is becoming ever more powerful,” Martinez references then-Polish Ambassador in Washington Count Jerzy Potocki’s pre-war warnings that the American public was being subjected to increasingly alarming propaganda that was ‘feverishly inciting war with Germany….’ He continues Potocki’s comments:

‘The Jews are right now the leaders in creating a war psychosis which would plunge the entire world into war. … This international Jewry exploits every means of propaganda to oppose any tendency towards any kind of consolidation and understanding between nations.

‘…I have repeatedly come up against the inexorable and convinced view that war is inevitable.

‘…Roosevelt has been given the foundation for activating American foreign policy, and simultaneously has been procuring enormous military stocks for the coming war….’

World War II
he “good guys” caused the deaths of  “40,000,000–50,000,000 in that war.” According to a Britannica article, World War II was the "bloodiest conflict, as well as the largest war, in history.” However, the full record of wars executed and deaths (crimes against humanity) caused by war powers in the years from World War II forward has not yet been written.  

Martinez concludes 

Fast forward to today. “The media’s obsession with the holocaust is part and parcel of the Zionist campaign to cast a spell over the collective consciousness of the Western world in order to desensitize the public to the suffering of the Palestinians and shield Israel from criticism. The Orwellian attempt to stifle unfettered debate about questionable aspects of the holocaust story and censor skeptics by enshrining laws that punish dissenting opinions only fortifies the revisionist position.

War on Iraq

'm in no position to critique Zionists or historians, but I do agree that the mind of Americans is being warped using a variety of pretexts and non-stop government and mass media propaganda. The tactic has been in force ever since and likely before World War II. It has fueled U.S. wars and animosities from Southeast Asia to Southwest Asia, the Near East, north into the Caucasus, Central and Eastern Europe, and right the way across Africa. In these wars, invasions, provocations, and occupations, crimes against human beings have been committed constantly and with impunity and the mass media have been essentially mum. If you don't think there is something seriously wrong with this, you are living on some terribly distant planet. .

Sources and notes

“Zionist exceptionalism, fears WW2 truth,” February 24, 2014, http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2014/02/24/352028/zionist-exceptionalism-fears-ww2-truth/

Brandon Martinez is a freelance writer and journalist from Canada. His areas of expertise are foreign policy, international affairs, and 20th and 21st century history. His writings focus on subjects such as Zionism, Israel-Palestine, American and Canadian foreign policy, war, terrorism, and deception in media and politics.

Britannica Deluxe Edition 2013 Articles notes

Majdanek (also spelled  Maidanek , also called  Lublin-Majdanek): Nazi German concentration and extermination camp on the southeastern outskirts of the city of Lublin, Poland. In October 1941, it received its first prisoners, mainly Soviet prisoners of war, virtually all of whom died of hunger and exposure. Within a year, however, it was converted into a death camp for Jews, transported first from Bohemia and Moravia (now in the Czech Republic) and then from Poland, The Netherlands, and Greece. Like Auschwitz, Majdanek was not a death camp alone but also a prison camp and a work camp. With seven gas chambers, two wooden gallows, and some 227 structures in all, it was among the largest camps. In September 1943, the Nazis added a large crematorium containing five ovens.

Mauthausen: one of the most notorious Nazi concentration camps, located near the village of Mauthausen, on the Danube River, 12 miles (20 km) east of Linz, Austria. It was established in April 1938, shortly after Austria was annexed to Nazi Germany. Starting as a satellite of Dachau, in Germany, it became an independent camp in the spring of 1939, operated by the SS (the Nazi paramilitary corps) and acquiring satellite camps of its own throughout Austria, all collectively called Mauthausen. The camp provided slave labour to work previously abandoned stone quarries nearby. During its first year, the camp received prisoners transferred from Dachau—mainly convicted criminals, but also so-called ‘asocial elements,’ including political prisoners, homosexuals, and others. The camp later became a detention centre for anti-Nazis from all over Europe, including 10,000 Spanish Republicans. In November 1941, Soviet prisoners of war began arriving. The first Jews arrived in May 1941, but Jews were a small minority of the camp prisoners until 1944, when Jews from Poland (especially from Plaszow) and Hungary greatly increased the camp population. Still later, Mauthausen absorbed survivors of the infamous death marches from evacuated extermination camps.

The images I compiled to offer an enlightening post-World War II counterpoint or supplemental to Martinez's Holocaust Nazi era focus.


Bennett's books are available in New York State independent bookstores: Lift Bridge Bookshop: www.liftbridgebooks.com [Brockport, NY]; Sundance Books: http://www.sundancebooks.com/main.html [Geneseo, NY]; Mood Makers Books: www.moodmakersbooks.com [City of Rochester, NY]; Dog Ears Bookstore and Literary Arts Center: www.enlightenthedog.org/ [Buffalo, NY]; Burlingham Books – ‘Your Local Chapter’: http://burlinghambooks.com/ [Perry, NY 14530]; The Bookworm: http://www.eabookworm.com/ [East Aurora, NY] • See also: World Pulse: Global Issues through the eyes of Women: http://www.worldpulse.com/ http://www.worldpulse.com/pulsewire http://www.facebook.com/#!/bennetts2ndstudy


Friday, February 21, 2014

Made rich, made poor by war: World Social Justice Day 2014

ILO without mentioning war, divided humanity sees “Recovery” without work
Editing, commentary by Carolyn Bennett

Copenhagen, Denmark, 1995 hosted the World Summit for Social Development. In the ‘Copenhagen Declaration’ more than 100 political leaders pledged to make these their overriding objectives: the conquest of poverty and full employment; stable, safe, and just societies; and to put people at the center of development plans.

But the West (NATO) was at war then.
It still is at war. Nevertheless, in its 2014 global employment report the International Labour Organization (ILO) never once mentions war or conflict even as the text of the report makes clear that the people suffering most are those in zones where the Western world is engaged in endless provocation, war and protracted conflict.

MENA: Middle East and North Africa

The ILO reports, “Youth unemployment in MENA countries remains the highest in the world” (2013 percentages):

27.2 percent in the Middle East;
More than 29 percent in North Africa

More than twice the global average: e.g., youth unemployment
Morocco 19 percent
Algeria and Lebanon over 22 percent
Egypt 25 percent
Jordan and Saudi Arabia closer to 30 percent
Occupied Palestinian Territory around 40 percent
 Tunisia over 42 percent

“In many MENA countries, educational attainment actually increases the risk of joblessness, e.g., unemployment rates for those with tertiary (higher or post-secondary) education

Saudi Arabia over 43 percent
Occupied Palestinian Territory 24 percent
United Arab Emirates and in Morocco 22 percent
Tunisia 14 percent
Algeria over 11 percent

“…Education systems in other countries, such as Egypt and Jordan, struggle to deliver graduates with the necessary skills for finding productive jobs. Overall many young people in the (MENA) region are both overqualified and under-qualified for available positions compared to countries in other regions at similar levels of development.

Sub-Saharan Africa
In Lebanon 38 percent of surveyed firms showed labour skill levels “to be one of the key constraints”; and the same finding in the Syrian Arab Republic 36 percent; in Jordan 33 percent; in Egypt 31 percent. [Ref. World Bank’s Enterprise Surveys]

The region of Sub-Saharan Africa, also affected by wars and conflict, foreign exploitation and plunder and internal corruption, is even worse off in terms of education, opportunity, and advancement and infrastructural development than the MENA region. Though “some progress has been made in reducing the proportion of people living in poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa,” the report says, this region “has seen a steady rise in the absolute number of extremely poor people.”

Conflict, Forced Migration, Enforced Inequality

“Skills mismatches in most MENA countries are worsened because the educational systems are characterized by significant inequalities. Students coming from a disadvantaged background have less chance of completing their primary education. They also have a lower probability of gaining access to better quality education. Therefore, they will be less able to access university educations.

“This inequality is aggravated by the rapid decline in public investment in education. The unequal distribution and – on average – inadequate quality of education reduce the returns that many people receive from their education and prevent the region from benefiting from the large overall investment they make in education. At the same time, the fact that only a few possess the skills actually required by local businesses creates substantial wage premiums, such as may be earned, for instance, by returning migrants in Egypt, who are often perceived as being more adequately educated.”

At war in MENA, U.S. feeds 1 percent, neglects 99 percent

“The rise in corporate profits and inexpensive borrowing did not spark an investment boom in the real economy. Rather, companies have decided to pay larger and larger dividends to their shareholders. …Taking advantage of ultra-low interest rates to buy back shares and increasing dividend payments to shareholders alongside persistently weak hiring [is] seen as a choice to invest an increasing proportion of available corporate funds into financial capital, as opposed to into physical capital or into expanding the workforce. In the United States these trends have further worsened income inequality.

“Between 2009 and 2012 in the United States, average family incomes of the top 1 percent of households grew by 31.4 percent while the incomes of the bottom 99 per cent of households grew by only 0.4 percent.” Accordingly, “the top 1 percent in the United States captured 95 percent of aggregate income gains in the first two years of the recovery” [Ref. Saez (2013)].

ILO Report concludes

June 2009 was in the midst of the sharpest downturn in global economic activity since the Great Depression of the 1930s and “[f]our and a half years later… the global labour market remains deeply scarred by this crisis. … [R]ecent years have seen a tendency towards aggressive fiscal consolidation and overreliance on expansionary monetary policy, with far less international coordination. Not surprisingly, the economic recovery has weakened, and many labour markets remain deeply distressed. Inequality continues to increase in many parts of the world.”
World Day of Social Justice?

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said some nice words this week as he always does on such commemorative occasions. “Social justice is more than an ethical imperative,” he said, “it is a foundation for national stability and global prosperity. Equal opportunity, solidarity and respect for human rights – these are essential to unlocking the full productive potential of nations and peoples.” But does the few super rich who are also at war with the world want the world’s peoples to realize their potential? I don’t think they do.

ILO Director-General Juan Somavia also reportedly expressed some nice words. “Achieving a fair globalization,” he said, “calls for a new vision of society and economy, with a balanced approach to the role of state, markets and society and a clear understanding of the possibilities and limitations of individual action in that framework. Action must go beyond simply recovering growth – we will not get out of the crisis with the same policies that led to it. We need to move toward a new era of social justice.”

ice words all round but you cannot speak seriously of justice without talking about the violence that is being perpetrated endlessly on the world by powers who traffic arms, promote conflict, engage in war, corrupt leaders, constantly intimidate citizens, deny their advancement and force them from their homes, further impoverishing them and their homelands.

Last month in issuing the report “Humanity divided,” Helen Clark, head of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), said, “It is only through the action and voices of many that we will be able to curb one of the greatest moral and practical challenges of our times: the quest for equality, shared prosperity, and human well-being.”

All these years and we are still questing. Why is that? Because those in inordinate power have a vested interest in maintaining this unconscionable state of inequality, that's why. 

Sources and notes

“GLOBAL EMPLOYMENT TRENDS 2014: Risk of a Jobless Recovery” International Labour Organization report
Copyright © International Labour Organization 2014
First published 2014
Publications of the International Labour Office enjoy copyright under Protocol 2 of the Universal Copyright Convention. Nevertheless, short excerpts from them may be reproduced without authorization, on condition that the source is indicated. For rights of reproduction or translation, application should be made to ILO Publications (Rights and Permissions), International Labour Office, CH-1211 Geneva 22, Switzerland, or by email: pubdroit@ilo.org. The International Labour Office welcomes such applications.
Libraries, institutions and other users registered with reproduction rights organizations may make copies in accordance with the licences issued to them for this purpose. Visit www.ifrro.org to find the reproduction rights organization in your country.


World day of Social Justice 2014, http://www.ilo.org/global/about-the-ilo/who-we-are/ilo-director-general/statements-and-speeches/WCMS_235779/lang--en/index.htm
ILO Director-General: 'We are faced with a deep social crisis, a crisis too of social justice'

As the world marks the Day of Social Justice, ILO Director-General Guy Ryder urges 'policy-makers to converge on the ambition of a real global socio-economic recovery – a recovery for all – and a Post-2015 Development Agenda that helps lift all out of poverty.'

February 20: World Day of Social Justice
World Day of Social Justice Observances,

Copenhagen, Denmark, in 1995 hosted the World Summit for Social Development out of which emerged “the Copenhagen Declaration and Programme of Action.” More than 100 political leaders pledged to make the conquest of poverty and full employment, as well as stable, safe and just societies, their overriding objectives. They also agreed on the need to put people at the center of development plans.

On November 26, 2007, the UN General Assembly named February 20 as the annual World Day of Social Justice, scheduled for its first observance in 2009.
See also

“Warning of ‘humanity divided,’ UN urges job creation, inclusive growth strategies” http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=47039&Cr=inequality&Cr1=#.Uwe8-2JdV7I

January 29, 2014 – Raising the alarm against deepening income disparities in countries around the world, the head of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) called for a shift to more inclusive growth patterns – supported by redistributive polices and changes in social norms.… “‘Inequalities on today’s levels are unjust… and they also impede human progress,’” Helen Clark said in releasing the agency’s new report ‘Humanity Divided: Confronting Inequality in Developing Countries’ that reveals income inequality increased by 11 percent in developing countries over the decades 1990-2010.


Bennett's books are available in New York State independent bookstores: Lift Bridge Bookshop: www.liftbridgebooks.com [Brockport, NY]; Sundance Books: http://www.sundancebooks.com/main.html [Geneseo, NY]; Mood Makers Books: www.moodmakersbooks.com [City of Rochester, NY]; Dog Ears Bookstore and Literary Arts Center: www.enlightenthedog.org/ [Buffalo, NY]; Burlingham Books – ‘Your Local Chapter’: http://burlinghambooks.com/ [Perry, NY 14530]; The Bookworm: http://www.eabookworm.com/ [East Aurora, NY] • See also: World Pulse: Global Issues through the eyes of Women: http://www.worldpulse.com/ http://www.worldpulse.com/pulsewire http://www.facebook.com/#!/bennetts2ndstudy


Thursday, February 20, 2014

Stunning life remembered: jazz great who rose from U.S. south

Thelonious Sphere Monk October 10, 1917 – February 17, 1982
Editing, comment by
Carolyn Bennett

I don’t particularly care for remembering death. I prefer remembering life and though 32 years ago this week an uncommon talent and renowned international musician Thelonious Monk died, his is a musical legacy that lives and is worth remembering. Most of us could live a thousand years and never come close to his accomplishments.  

azz pianist and composer Thelonious Sphere Monk is among American music’s giants, with an unmatched creative style of improvisation (e.g., ‘Epistrophy’, ‘Round Midnight’, ‘Blue Monk’, ‘Straight, No Chaser’ and ‘Well, You Needn’t’). His recorded jazz compositions, second only to Duke Ellington, left a lasting imprint on the standard jazz repertoire. Monk composed 70 works filled with difficult dissonance and angular melodic twists. Reviewers called his approach to the piano — a style combining highly percussive attack with abrupt, dramatic use of silence and hesitation — “unorthodox”.

Monk was born in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, grew up and grew musically in New York City, began playing piano at the age of six, and was touring in his teens. In his 20s and 30s, he was house pianist at the Manhattan nightclub, Minton’s Playhouse. Despite suffering abuses along the way from U.S. law enforcement’s finest, Thelonious Monk stacked up a lifetime of accomplishments. In 1944 came his first studio recordings with the Coleman Hawkins Quartet. In 1947 came his first recordings as leader for Blue Note, a showcase of the composer’s genius with melody and improvisation (later anthologized on Genius of Modern Music, Vol. 1).

He makes recordings for American jazz record label Blue Note in the late 40s and early 50s then signs with Prestige Records. In 1954, he joins a Christmas Eve session that produces albums with Miles Davis. In 1954, Monk goes international with his first performances and recordings in Paris, France. In the summer of 1957, he assumes a six-month residency at the Five Spot Cafe in New York, leading a quartet with John Coltrane on tenor saxophone, Wilbur Ware on bass, and Shadow Wilson on drums.

By the turn of the sixties, Monk is renowned. Riverside has taken over his Prestige contract and he records two jazz standards albums (e.g., “Thelonious Monk Plays the Music of Duke Ellington” and “Brilliant Corners,” mainly performing his own works) and further heightens his profile. Together with live performances and European live recordings, Monk in 1962 signs with Columbia Records in a contract that lasts through1970.

n the years following his career, to honor and celebrate his tremendous contributions and to enable generations of musicians and performers to receive this torch, rose a center of learning. The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz is founded in 1986 by the Monk family and the late Maria Fisher, an opera singer and lifelong devotee of music. The mission of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, according to its website, “is to offer the world’s most promising young musicians college level training by internationally acclaimed jazz masters and to present public school-based jazz education programs for young people around the world. All of these programs are offered free of charge to the students and schools, filling a tremendous void in arts education. The Institute’s programs encourage children to develop imaginative thinking, creativity, curiosity, a positive self-image, and a respect for their own and others’ cultural heritage.”

Since 1989, the Institute’s “Jazz in the Classroom” program has entered public schools around the world, “introducing millions of young people to jazz and its rich history.” The program “provides daily music instruction and instrument training sessions for public school students in Los Angeles, New Orleans, and Washington, D.C., along with master classes and assembly programs for tens of thousands of students in urban, rural, and remote areas of the country. One hundred percent of students in the instrument training programs graduate from high school and more than 90 percent go on to college. Leading jazz musicians and educators teach and serve as role models, helping students enhance their creativity and self-esteem.”

In the years following its inaugural, the Institute has hosted an annual International Jazz Competition; and through its partnership with UNESCO began the April 30 designation of “International Jazz Day.” In 2009, the birthplace of Thelonious Sphere Monk inducted him into the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame.

Sources and notes

Minton’s Playhouse: 21O West 118th Street, New York: Tenor saxophonist Henry Minton opened Minton’s Playhouse in 1938. In 1940, former bandleader Teddy Hill took over the club’s management and “concentrated much of his energy on regular Monday-night jam sessions in which visiting musicians took part. Among the guest performers who played there often were Dizzy Gillespie, Hot Lips Page, Roy Eldridge, Charlie Christian, and Don Byas. The resident musicians included Thelonious Monk (from 1939), Kenny Clarke, Joe Guy (who led the house band), and Rudy Williams (1945).  http://www.pbs.org/jazz/places/spaces_mintons_playhouse.htm


Bennett's books are available in New York State independent bookstores: Lift Bridge Bookshop: www.liftbridgebooks.com [Brockport, NY]; Sundance Books: http://www.sundancebooks.com/main.html [Geneseo, NY]; Mood Makers Books: www.moodmakersbooks.com [City of Rochester, NY]; Dog Ears Bookstore and Literary Arts Center: www.enlightenthedog.org/ [Buffalo, NY]; Burlingham Books – ‘Your Local Chapter’: http://burlinghambooks.com/ [Perry, NY 14530]; The Bookworm: http://www.eabookworm.com/ [East Aurora, NY] • See also: World Pulse: Global Issues through the eyes of Women: http://www.worldpulse.com/ http://www.worldpulse.com/pulsewire http://www.facebook.com/#!/bennetts2ndstudy


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Criminal Intel Exchange Conspiracy in Violence: torture legitimized

APT report: Beware Gift of Poison Fruit, Information sharing with States that torture
Excerpt, editing by Carolyn Bennett

In the post-2001 years, there has been a well-documented expansion of cooperation between intelligence and security agencies. In the endless ‘war on terror’, agencies have justified a huge amount of information sharing and use of information in circumstances where individuals likely have obtained the information by torture.

Agencies have shared information with international partners in circumstances that have led to torture of people held overseas.

The Association for the Prevention of torture has released its latest report on the subject. Based in Geneva, Switzerland, the APT is a leading organization in the field of preventing torture and other ill treatment and offers its expertise and advice to international organizations, governments, human rights institutions and other actors. The nonprofit has played a key role in establishing international and regional standards and mechanisms to prevent torture, among them the Optional Protocol to the United Nations Convention against Torture. These are edited excerpts from its “Beware the Gift of Poison Fruit: Sharing information with States that torture” report.

“‘Information’ or ‘intelligence’ is used by a variety of executive actors for a number of purposes. It may be used to establish a basis for criminal investigation, justify administrative detention, influence immigration decisions or sanctions, drive government policy, or direct military or intelligence actions overseas. The variety of uses for information or intelligence leads to some serious questions about the reliability of the underlying information, and the manner in which it is collected, shared and used.

“Over the last ten years in the aggressive war against terrorism, intelligence and security agencies have been under extreme pressure to obtain answers and information. As a result, if they received the information they needed from foreign agencies, there has been a tendency not to raise concerns or delve too deeply into the source or its reliability. Inevitably, such practices led to some of the tragic abuses that have been widely reported. …”
Rights of Human Beings as Human Being Breached

“The European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) has documented several cases of torture in Europe as part of their ’10 years after 9/11 publication series’.

“They note that Murat Kurnaz, Mohammed Zammer, and Khaled El Masri were all tortured by or at the behest of American (U.S.) agents and that German agencies obtained information during interviews by the German Federal Intelligence Service, the BND, with each of the men; in each case, information was collected, received and shared between the BND and American agents. A parliamentary commission of inquiry established to investigate Germany’s secret cooperation with the USA and other states in countering international terrorism in 2006 was unable to conclude to what extent information passed by the German BND was responsible for the treatment of the men.” The inquiry “did (however) consider that the intelligence shared was not checked for reliability prior to its transfer, and that information shared with the United States led directly to the arrest of at least one of the men, Khaled El Masri.

‘El Masri’s case is one of the best documented extraordinary renditions by the CIA to date. In 2012, the European Court of Human Rights determined El Masri had been tortured and that Macedonia was responsible both for abusing him while in their custody and for the abuse he received in Afghanistan at the hands of the Americans.’

Despite abuses and errors, “The war on terror continues to serve as a justification for the indiscriminate exchange of large amounts of highly sensitive information; and those providing the information have no overview of who it is that receives the information and to what uses or misuses this information is put.”

Right of Human beings to unbiased rule of law Breached

“Torture,” the APT report continues, “is an abhorrent practice and absolutely prohibited.” International treaties, customary international law, and constitutional guarantees of almost every State prohibit torture. “Yet despite its blatant illegality, torture continues to be practiced in States around the world.

“In the years since the terrorist attacks in 2001, intelligence cooperation between States has expanded significantly. Police, security and intelligence agencies ( viz., executive agencies) in several States have demonstrated a willingness to rely on information obtained through torture, and have shared information that later was used to abuse detainees overseas. Such cooperation, particularly among States that systematically use torture, leaves executive agencies and their agents vulnerable to allegations of complicity. In some cases, executive agencies have appeared actively to participate in torture, in ways that extend beyond complicity into direct perpetration of the abuse. …”

Crime disguised as crime stopper
Torture-tainted information perpetuating torture

“Using the fruits of torture encourages it, and gives torture an ill-deserved credibility. Accepting, using, and placing value on such intelligence ‘legitimizes’ the torture used for its collection. It is hypocritical of States to condemn torture committed by others while accepting its products.…By encouraging torture, agencies create a market where States that torture are rewarded for their trade.

“Torture-tainted information is inherently unreliable. Pain and suffering caused to victims destroys their will, causing them to say anything to end the pain.… Using torture-tainted information which has a high risk of unreliability is contrary to the interests of police, security and intelligence agencies, who require accurate information in order to operate effectively.”

Tainted Intel
Counterproductive conspiracy in crime 

Waste: “Torture necessarily generates false positives, as interrogators only accept information they want to hear. Based on unreliable information obtained by torture, investigations are diverted and more information is sought, again repeating the cycle of torture. Such tactics wastes time and diverts attention from proper investigations and real threats.”

Immorality/criminality: Torture, use of torture-tainted information and perpetuation of torture are immoral and illegal acts. “In all stages of the intelligence cycle, ethical questions must be carefully balanced against the national requirements of intelligence, security, and police services.… Torture is an international crime, punishable in any State; and where action by an executive agent constitutes torture, either by direct perpetration or some form of complicity, every State has a duty to prosecute the crime.”
Prohibition absolute: Principles enforced, Breaches prosecuted

“The absolute prohibition against torture ‘entails a continuum of obligations – not to torture, not to acquiesce in torture, and not to validate the results of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment’.…”

“State actors who commit violations of the UN Convention against Torture, or in the absence of treaty ratification, violate the comparable customary standards, commit an internationally wrongful act resulting in State responsibility. As well as direct commission of internationally wrongful acts, the Draft Articles on the Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts adopted by the International Law Commission (ILC) provide for forms of commission by complicity.

The Draft Articles, which were intended to codify existing customary rules, additionally require that no State should provide aid or assistance to an internationally wrongful act (articles 16–18) and should not recognize as lawful a situation created by a serious breach and to cooperate to bring the breach to an end (articles 40–41).  

In supplementing the absolute prohibition provided in the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, various treaties, and in customary international law, articles 1 and 4 of the UNCAT (the UN Convention against Torture) provide that a breach of the obligation is possible both by direct participation and complicity.

APT’s report concludes

“Where there are serious breaches, gross or systematic violations of peremptory norms of international law, such as the prohibition against torture, the special regime of rules described in Draft Article 41 comes into effect. Breaches of such rules immediately attach additional consequences, not only for the responsible State, but also for all other States. 

“All States must cooperate to end the breach and not recognize it as lawful, nor render aid or assistance to maintain the situation.”

Sources and notes

“Beware The Gift Of Poison Fruit: Sharing information with States that torture” Report, http://www.apt.ch/content/files_res/beware-the-gift-of-poison-fruit-en.pdf

The report author and publisher the Association for the Prevention of Torture (APT) holds to a vision of a world free from torture, a world where respect of all people’s rights and dignity is the norm.

Founded in 1977 by Swiss banker and lawyer Jean-Jacques Gautier, the APT is Geneva-based independent non-governmental organization that works throughout the world in preventing torture and other ill-treatment. The Association for the Prevention of Torture (APT) is a leading organization in the field of preventing torture and other ill treatment and offers its expertise and advice to international organizations, governments, human rights institutions and other actors. The APT has played a key role in establishing international and regional standards and mechanisms to prevent torture, among them the Optional Protocol to the United Nations Convention against Torture. Report Copyright © 2012, Association for the Prevention of Torture (APT). All rights reserved. Materials contained in this publication may be freely quoted or reprinted, provided credit is given to the source. Requests for permission to reproduce or translate the publication should be addressed to the APT. ISBN 978-2-940337-65-1


“Experts consider the use of torture-tainted information,” November 21, 2013, http://www.apt.ch/en/news_on_prevention/experts-consider-the-use-of-torture-tainted-information/#.Uv3g9V7zTyA

On November 4, the APT hosted an experts meeting with the Special Rapporteur on torture Juan Mendez and other distinguished experts from a variety of disciplines. They considered legal standards and practical challenges in the use of torture-tainted information; a potential gap in the absolute prohibition on torture – how executive agencies collect, use and share information obtained by torture; and whether further guidance would be appropriate.


Bennett's books are available in New York State independent bookstores: Lift Bridge Bookshop: www.liftbridgebooks.com [Brockport, NY]; Sundance Books: http://www.sundancebooks.com/main.html [Geneseo, NY]; Mood Makers Books: www.moodmakersbooks.com [City of Rochester, NY]; Dog Ears Bookstore and Literary Arts Center: www.enlightenthedog.org/ [Buffalo, NY]; Burlingham Books – ‘Your Local Chapter’: http://burlinghambooks.com/ [Perry, NY 14530]; The Bookworm: http://www.eabookworm.com/ [East Aurora, NY] • See also: World Pulse: Global Issues through the eyes of Women: http://www.worldpulse.com/ http://www.worldpulse.com/pulsewire http://www.facebook.com/#!/bennetts2ndstudy

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Tormentors of Muslims must face indictment, impartial jury in open court

 Horrors at U.S. Guantanamo Bay prison
Excerpt, editing, commentary by Carolyn Bennett

“[U]sing sexual humiliation in order to undermine Muslim ‘enemies’ serves different purposes depending on the circumstance. The sad reality is that this is not something new to the Muslim world. The current rape of Muslim women in Syria, the mass rapes in Bosnia, and other degrading treatment meted out over the years of repression and conflict in the Muslim world has seen the use of sexual violence and humiliation as being a cornerstone in the method of subjugating Muslim communities. (e.g., Ahmed Abou El-Maati in Syria, MoazzamBegg in Afghanistan made to believe that their fiancé and wife were being violently abused in the rooms next to them exposes the deepest fears that Muslims have: that it is not just them but their families who will suffer the most depraved degradation). 

Sexual humiliation has become a part of the instruments of the ‘War on Terror’, by preying on our sensitivities as Muslims, the U.S. decided to play an extremely deadly game, one in which the horror of their actions will only serve to alienate and disaffect Muslims worldwide. The honor and dignity of Muslims is considered inviolable yet this very concept has been attacked through the policies that have been practiced by the United States. This continued humiliation will only last so long, for as the Arab Spring has shown us all, there is only so much that the people can take.” [Writer: Asim Qureshi]

From Qureshi’s “Sexual Humiliation of Muslims in the ‘War on Terror’”

Sex in Islam is a matter that carries with it a great deal of modesty and shame [and] – the ban on extramarital relations is clear and unequivocal.

[Sex] is considered a private matter between husband and wife, whether in monogamous or polygamous relationship. … According to the shari’ah (Islamic law), covering oneself to maintain a minimum level of dignity, even when alone, is recommended. …

he culture and practices of other peoples may not be what is publicly known of Americans’ culture or practices or what they claim to be their “culture” and preferences, but that does not mean that the culture of other peoples is either wrong or inferior; and it certainly does not mean that it should be used to torment people with different cultural or religious beliefs or practices. The wrong in this situation is not one who embodies a particular cultural trait but those who use it to inflict unspeakable harm. Whose is the perverted behavior, at least in my view, is unambiguous.

U.S.-Guantanamo doubly abuses Muslims
Illegally abducts and detains them (denying due process of any law)
Kills with impunity
Uses their culture to torment them

In “The Sexual Humiliation of Muslims in the ‘War on Terror,’” Asim Qureshi reports (and re-reports), “The ‘Tipton Three’ (ShafiqRasul, Asif Iqbal and Rhuhel Ahmed) were among the first to detail the forms of sexual humiliation being suffered by detainees in Guantanamo. ShafiqRasul described a cavity search that was conducted on him soon after his arrival in Guantanamo as being, ‘both painful and humiliating.’”

On April 4, 2012, “the Zelikow torture memo (previously thought to have been destroyed) was released. [It] effectively confirmed that years after criticism of the way in which torture had been systematically used against detainees — enforced nudity is still considered an acceptable practice in interrogations:

‘The control conditions, such as nudity, sleep deprivation, and liquid diet, may also be sustain[ed], depending on the circumstances and details of how these techniques are used.’

hese practices are not only perversions that only terribly sick minds would endorse, practice, employ or order but they are unconscionable breaches of the human dignity and rights of human beings as human beings.  Only a beast would do this, but then a beast, a wild animal, would not; and if a leader or sundry animal rights activists got wind of such acts being perpetrated on animals, there’d be no end to their “righteous” outrage.  

The report continues

“In their statement, the men highlighted the case of one of the Algerians, one of whom was treated to a particularly horrific incident:  
‘We were told by one Algerian (not one of the Bosnian Algerians) that he had been taken to interrogation and been forced to stand naked. He also told us he had been forced to watch a video supposedly showing two detainees dressed in orange, one sodomizing the other and was told that it would happen to him if he didn’t cooperate.’

America’s Ivy League implicated in unconscionable perversion

“The notion that Arabs are particularly vulnerable to sexual humiliation became a talking point among pro-war Washington conservatives in the months before the March 2003 invasion of Iraq. One book frequently cited was the 1973 The Arab Mind, a study of Arab culture and psychology” written by Columbia University and Princeton University professor in cultural anthropology, Raphael Patai.

Referencing reporter Seymour Hersh, Qureshi writes that an academic told Hersh, “The Patai book … was the ‘bible’ of the neocons on Arab behavior.” In their discussions, he said, two themes emerged – ‘one, that Arabs only understand force; and, two, that the biggest weakness of Arabs is shame and humiliation.’

“The government consultant said that there might have been a serious goal, in the beginning, behind the sexual humiliation and the posed photographs.…  ‘I was told that the purpose of the photographs was to create an army of informants, people you could insert back into the population.’ The idea was that they would be motivated by fear of exposure and [would] gather information about pending insurgency action…. [However] If so, it wasn’t effective. The insurgency continued to grow.’” 

Former interrogator U.S. Army Sgt. Erick R Saar referenced

A female interrogator fails in the use of sexual perversion to get what she wants from a prisoner so she leaves the room and consults “a Muslim linguist,” asking “how she could break the prisoner’s reliance on God”. The “linguist” tells her “to tell the detainee that she [is] menstruating, touch him; then make sure to turn off the water in his cell so that he cannot wash.”

Strict interpretation of Islamic law forbids physical contact with women other than one’s wife or family; and forbids contact with any menstruating women — ‘who are considered unclean’.

The interrogator smears ink from a red pen on her hands to fool the detainee, the reports continues Saar’s account. She returns to the interrogation room and starts “to place her hands in her pants” as she walks behind the detainee. She moves around the detainee and he can see that she is taking her hand out of her pants. He then sees what appears to be “red blood on her hand” and she returns to her earlier interrogatory, “‘Who sent you to Arizona?’” The man glares at her “with a piercing look of hatred.” The female interrogator then wipes “the red ink on his face”  causing the man to shout “at the top of his lungs.” He spits at her and “lunges forward — so fiercely that he breaks loose from an ankle shackle.” The prisoner reportedly then cries “like a baby” as the interrogator leaves the room lobbing a final cruelty: “‘Have a fun night in your cell without any water to clean yourself.’”

Asim Qureshi concludes noting the U.S. government’s denial of this incident; but, he writes, “the reporting of the incident by Saar matches perfectly an incident that was described by Juma al-Dossary (another prisoner) who was eventually released to Saudi Arabia.”

Qureshi says, “Sexual humiliation has become part of the instruments of the ‘War on Terror’, by preying on our sensitivities as Muslims. The U.S. decided to play an extremely deadly game, one in which the horror of their actions will only serve to alienate and disaffect Muslims worldwide.

The honor and dignity of Muslims is considered to be inviolable, but it is this very concept that has been attacked through the policies that have been practiced by the U.S.

This continued humiliation will only last so long, for as the Arab Spring has shown us all, there is only so much that the people can take.
hen moral conscience fails to constrain, what societal mechanism serves redress, to right the wrong?  Given the state of affairs Qureshi describes, who is more deserving of a horse whipping?

Of course, we Americans don’t horse whip, do we? Horse whipping went out with barbarisms in the eras of slavery, lynching and the Wild, Wild West. But those who have endorsed, ordered, performed barbarous acts on prisoners must be brought to defend themselves before an independent court of law. If citizens of the world fail to indict and publicly judge offenders at the highest levels of governments, related organizations, and industry, the deterioration of human rights and rule of law will become total. There will be no more universal rights and law; society itself, global and domestic, will break down entirely. I don’t know about you but I don’t want this ever to happen.  

Sources and notes

“The sexual humiliation of Muslims in the War on Terror” written by Asim Qureshi, http://www.cageuk.org/article/sexual-humiliation-muslims-war-terror

See also



Bennett's books are available in New York State independent bookstores: Lift Bridge Bookshop: www.liftbridgebooks.com [Brockport, NY]; Sundance Books: http://www.sundancebooks.com/main.html [Geneseo, NY]; Mood Makers Books: www.moodmakersbooks.com [City of Rochester, NY]; Dog Ears Bookstore and Literary Arts Center: www.enlightenthedog.org/ [Buffalo, NY]; Burlingham Books – ‘Your Local Chapter’: http://burlinghambooks.com/ [Perry, NY 14530]; The Bookworm: http://www.eabookworm.com/ [East Aurora, NY] • See also: World Pulse: Global Issues through the eyes of Women: http://www.worldpulse.com/ http://www.worldpulse.com/pulsewire http://www.facebook.com/#!/bennetts2ndstudy