United Nations Declaration (Articles 1 - 30):

Article 1: All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Article 2: Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.

Incoming UN chief names three women to top posts

Incoming UN chief names three women to top posts
Nigerian Minister of the Environment Amina Mohammed, seen in 2015, will be the UN's number two official (AFP Photo/Mireya ACIERTO)

Sustainable Development
"A Summary" – Apr 2, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Religion, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Intelligent/Benevolent Design, EU, South America, 5 Currencies, Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Middle East, Internet, Israel, Dictators, Palestine, US, Japan (Quake/Tsunami Disasters , People, Society ...), Nuclear Power Revealed, Hydro Power, Geothermal Power, Moon, Financial Institutes (Recession, Realign integrity values ..) , China, North Korea, Global Unity,..... etc.) -
"The Timing of the Great Shift" – Mar 21, 2009 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) - (Text version)

“ … Here is another one. A change in what Human nature will allow for government. "Careful, Kryon, don't talk about politics. You'll get in trouble." I won't get in trouble. I'm going to tell you to watch for leadership that cares about you. "You mean politics is going to change?" It already has. It's beginning. Watch for it. You're going to see a total phase-out of old energy dictatorships eventually. The potential is that you're going to see that before 2013. They're going to fall over, you know, because the energy of the population will not sustain an old energy leader ..."
"Update on Current Events" – Jul 23, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) - (Subjects: The Humanization of God, Gaia, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Benevolent Design, Financial Institutes (Recession, System to Change ...), Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Nuclear Power Revealed, Geothermal Power, Hydro Power, Drinking Water from Seawater, No need for Oil as Much, Middle East in Peace, Persia/Iran Uprising, Muhammad, Israel, DNA, Two Dictators to fall soon, Africa, China, (Old) Souls, Species to go, Whales to Humans, Global Unity,..... etc.)
(Subjects: Who/What is Kryon ?, Egypt Uprising, Iran/Persia Uprising, Peace in Middle East without Israel actively involved, Muhammad, "Conceptual" Youth Revolution, "Conceptual" Managed Business, Internet, Social Media, News Media, Google, Bankers, Global Unity,..... etc.)

The Declaration of Human Freedom

Archangel Michael (Via Steve Beckow), Feb. 19, 2011

Every being is a divine and eternal soul living in a temporal body. Every being was alive before birth and will live after death.

Every soul enters into physical life for the purpose of experience and education, that it may, in the course of many lifetimes, learn its true identity as a fragment of the Divine.

Life itself is a constant process of spiritual evolution and unfoldment, based on free choice, that continues until such time as we realize our true nature and return to the Divine from which we came.

No soul enters life to serve another, except by choice, but to serve its own purpose and that of the Divine from which it came.

All life is governed by natural and universal laws which precede and outweigh the laws of humanity. These laws, such as the law of karma, the law of attraction, and the law of free will, are decreed by God to order existence and assist each person to achieve life’s purpose.

No government can or should survive that derives its existence from the enforced submission of its people or that denies its people their basic rights and freedoms.

Life is a movement from one existence to another, in varied venues throughout the universe and in other universes and dimensions of existence. We are not alone in the universe but share it with other civilizations, most of them peace-loving, many of whom are more advanced than we are, some of whom can be seen with our eyes and some of whom cannot.

The evidence of our five senses is not the final arbiter of existence. Humans are spiritual as well as physical entities and the spiritual side of life transcends the physical. God is a Spirit and the final touchstone of God’s Truth is not physical but spiritual. The Truth is to be found within.

God is one and, because of this, souls are one. They form a unity. They are meant to live in peace and harmony together in a “common unity” or community. The use of force to settle affairs runs contrary to natural law. Every person should have the right to conduct his or her own affairs without force, as long as his or her choices do not harm another.

No person shall be forced into marriage against his or her will. No woman shall be forced to bear or not bear children, against her will. No person shall be forced to hold or not hold views or worship in a manner contrary to his or her choice. Nothing vital to existence shall be withheld from another if it is within the community’s power to give.

Every person shall retain the ability to think, speak, and act as they choose, as long as they not harm another. Every person has the right to choose, study and practice the education and career of their choice without interference, provided they not harm another.

No one has the right to kill another. No one has the right to steal from another. No one has the right to force himself or herself upon another in any way.

Any government that harms its citizens, deprives them of their property or rights without their consent, or makes offensive war upon its neighbors, no matter how it misrepresents the situation, has lost its legitimacy. No government may govern without the consent of its people. All governments are tasked with seeing to the wellbeing of their citizens. Any government which forces its citizens to see to its own wellbeing without attending to theirs has lost its legitimacy.

Men and women are meant to live fulfilling lives, free of want, wherever they wish and under the conditions they desire, providing their choices do not harm another and are humanly attainable.

Children are meant to live lives under the beneficent protection of all, free of exploitation, with unhindered access to the necessities of life, education, and health care.

All forms of exploitation, oppression, and persecution run counter to universal and natural law. All disagreements are meant to be resolved amicably.

Any human law that runs counter to natural and universal law is invalid and should not survive. The enactment or enforcement of human law that runs counter to natural and universal law brings consequences that cannot be escaped, in this life or another. While one may escape temporal justice, one does not escape divine justice.

All outcomes are to the greater glory of God and to God do we look for the fulfillment of our needs and for love, peace, and wisdom. So let it be. Aum/Amen.

Pope Francis arrives for historic first US visit

Pope Francis arrives for historic first US visit
Pope Francis laughs alongside US President Barack Obama upon arrival at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland, on September 22, 2015, on the start of a 3-day trip to Washington (AFP Photo/Saul Loeb)

Today's doodle in the U.S. celebrates Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I have a dream" speech on its 50th anniversary (28 Aug 2013)

'Love is love': Obama lauds gay marriage activists in hailing 'a victory for America'

'Love is love': Obama lauds gay marriage activists in hailing 'a victory for America'
The White House released this image, of the building colored like the rainbow flag, on Facebook following the supreme court’s ruling. Photograph: Facebook

Same-sex marriage around the world

"The Recalibration of Awareness – Apr 20/21, 2012 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Old Energy, Recalibration Lectures, God / Creator, Religions/Spiritual systems (Catholic Church, Priests/Nun’s, Worship, John Paul Pope, Women in the Church otherwise church will go, Current Pope won’t do it), Middle East, Jews, Governments will change (Internet, Media, Democracies, Dictators, North Korea, Nations voted at once), Integrity (Businesses, Tobacco Companies, Bankers/ Financial Institutes, Pharmaceutical company to collapse), Illuminati (Started in Greece, with Shipping, Financial markets, Stock markets, Pharmaceutical money (fund to build Africa, to develop)), Shift of Human Consciousness, (Old) Souls, Women, Masters to/already come back, Global Unity.... etc.) - (Text version)

… The Shift in Human Nature

You're starting to see integrity change. Awareness recalibrates integrity, and the Human Being who would sit there and take advantage of another Human Being in an old energy would never do it in a new energy. The reason? It will become intuitive, so this is a shift in Human Nature as well, for in the past you have assumed that people take advantage of people first and integrity comes later. That's just ordinary Human nature.

In the past, Human nature expressed within governments worked like this: If you were stronger than the other one, you simply conquered them. If you were strong, it was an invitation to conquer. If you were weak, it was an invitation to be conquered. No one even thought about it. It was the way of things. The bigger you could have your armies, the better they would do when you sent them out to conquer. That's not how you think today. Did you notice?

Any country that thinks this way today will not survive, for humanity has discovered that the world goes far better by putting things together instead of tearing them apart. The new energy puts the weak and strong together in ways that make sense and that have integrity. Take a look at what happened to some of the businesses in this great land (USA). Up to 30 years ago, when you started realizing some of them didn't have integrity, you eliminated them. What happened to the tobacco companies when you realized they were knowingly addicting your children? Today, they still sell their products to less-aware countries, but that will also change.

What did you do a few years ago when you realized that your bankers were actually selling you homes that they knew you couldn't pay for later? They were walking away, smiling greedily, not thinking about the heartbreak that was to follow when a life's dream would be lost. Dear American, you are in a recession. However, this is like when you prune a tree and cut back the branches. When the tree grows back, you've got control and the branches will grow bigger and stronger than they were before, without the greed factor. Then, if you don't like the way it grows back, you'll prune it again! I tell you this because awareness is now in control of big money. It's right before your eyes, what you're doing. But fear often rules. …

Merkel says Turkey media crackdown 'highly alarming'

Merkel says Turkey media crackdown 'highly alarming'
Reporters Without Borders labels Erdogan as 'enemy of press freedom'

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Monday, February 28, 2011

Canada's ex-defense minister: U.S. knows how aliens can make us greener

Former Canadian defense minister Paul Hellyer says U.S. knows about UFOs and has even developed new forms of energy using technology from outer space invaders. These forms can allegedly save our planet.

CNet News, Chris Matyszczyk

Somehow, freaky sci-fi movies don't seem to be favored by Oscar voters.

However, I think I may have found some subject matter that Peter Guber, the great Golden State Warriors owner and producer of "The Kids Are Alright," might want to get a budget behind.

Apparently, the United States already knows quite a lot about UFO technology. Apparently, there are secret "black ops" installations somewhere in--oh, I'm guessing Arizona--where new forms of energy have been created using technology that has been gleaned from those up there, rather than us down here.

Please, you know not to take my word for it. Hark the words of former Canadian defense minister Paul Hellyer. According to AOL News, Hellyer will be speaking this week at the International UFO Conference. (You will feel a chill to hear that this event is in Arizona too.)

Hellyer believes that humans have always fired on alien craft rather than attempt to approach their inhabitants and understand them. The aliens, he said in a previous speech in 2008, want to stop us from destroying ourselves.

In that speech, Hellyer declared: "Decades ago, visitors from other planets warned us about where we were headed and offered to help. But instead we, or at least some of us, interpreted their visits as a threat, and decided to shoot first and ask questions after," he told the conference.

Planes were lost, he said, either because of retaliation or stupidity.

Hellyer insists he has seen UFOs. In his book, "Light at the End of the Tunnel," he said he also believes that the U.S. has a "shadow government" that has black ops installations that have already created new forms of energy using extra-terrestrial technology.

"I do not have proof of that," he told AOL News. "But I believe that they have developed energy sources, and publicly I'm saying that if they do not exist in commercial form, that extraterrestrials would certainly give us that information if we would ask them for it and stop shooting at them."

I am fascinated. What kind of new alien-inspired energy sources might have already been created? Might they have something to do with San Francisco Giants' pitcher Brian Wilson and his strange, constant companion, The Machine?

And is it possible that, some day, somehow, the aliens might be able to bypass our government's alleged reluctance to go public with its knowledge of our friends out there? Why, indeed, haven't these clever aliens spoken to us directly?

I see Liam Neeson as the scientist who finally persuades the government that aliens are friendly and want to help us become, well, greener. I see Maria Bello as his love interest, a fellow scientist who lures the president to a secret location (in Arizona) to affect a summit with a friendly alien being.

But who might play the leader of the aliens? My first instinct says Charlie Sheen. Boyish, friendly, vulnerable.

One of the first of many UFO photographs taken by Carlos Diaz-Mexico.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

UN slaps sanctions on Libyan regime

Security Council unanimously orders travel and assets ban on Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and his inner circle.

Aljazeera, 27 Feb 2011

The council demanded a Libya take 'steps to address the legitimate
demands of the population' [Reuters]

The UN Security Council has unanimously imposed travel bans and asset freezes on Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, members of his family and inner circle.

Saturday's resolution adopted by the 15-nation council also called for the immediate referral of the deadly crackdown against anti-government demonstrators in Libya to the International Criminal Court in The Hague for investigation and possible prosecution of anyone responsible for killing civilians.

Susan Rice, US Ambassador to UN: "This is a clear
warning to the Libyan Government" (BBC News)
The council demanded an "immediate end to the violence and for steps to address the legitimate demands of the population" in Libya.

It called for Libyan authorities to act "with restraint, respect human rights and international humanitarian law," and facilitate immediate access for international human rights monitors.

The council called for an immediate lifting of restrictions "on all forms of media" and for the safety of foreign nationals to be assured and their departure facilitated.

Under the arms embargo, UN members will take immediate and necessary measures to "prevent the direct or indirect supply, sale or transfer to Libya ... of arms and related material of all types, including weapons and ammunition, military vehicles and equipment".

Libya would be prohibited from importing all arms and related material and all UN members should prevent their nationals from exporting them.

The travel ban and assets will target the 68-year-old Libyan leader, his adult children, other family members and top defence and intelligence officials accused of playing a role in the bloodshed.

'Moral support'

Sixteen names are on the sanctions list.

The council said its actions were aimed at "deploring the gross and systematic violation of human rights, including the repression of peaceful demonstrators".

And members expressed concern about civilian deaths, "rejecting unequivocally the incitement to hostility and violence against the civilian population made from the highest level of the Libyan government".

The day was consumed mainly with haggling behind closed doors over language that would refer Libya's violent crackdown on protesters to the International Criminal Court, or ICC, at the Hague.

All 15 nations on the council ultimately approved referring the case to the permanent war crimes tribunal.

Council members did not consider imposing a no-fly zone over Libya, and no UN-sanctioned military action was planned.

The Libyan deputy UN envoy described the adoption of sanctions as "moral support" to those resisting Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

Ibrahim Dabbashi, one of the first Libyan diplomats to denounce Gaddafi and defect, said the council's move "will help put an end to this fascist regime which is still in existence in Tripoli".

Related Articles:

By Alex Wong, Getty Images

Obama, Clinton: Gadhafi should leave Libya 'now'

By David Jackson, USA TODAY, Feb 26, 2011

President Obama told German Chancellor Angela Merkel today that Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi should surrender power immediately because of the attacks he has made on his own people.

By Alex Wong, Getty Images
"The President stated that when a leader's only means of staying in power is to use mass violence against his own people, he has lost the legitimacy to rule and needs to do what is right for his country by leaving now," said a White House readout of the Merkel call.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton echoed Obama's demand in a statement saying that Gadhafi's government would he held "accountable for its violation of human rights"

"Moammar Gadhafi has lost the confidence of his people and he should go without further bloodshed and violence," Clinton said in her statement.

Obama spoke with Merkel a day after the U.S. placed unilateral economic sanctions on Libya, and as the U.S. works with allies like Germany on a set of international sanctions.

The White House readout of the Merkel call:

  • The President spoke today with Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, as he has done with many of his international counterparts this week, to discuss the situation in Libya and coordinate our urgent efforts to respond to developments and ensure appropriate accountability.

    The President and the Chancellor shared deep concerns about the Libyan government's continued violation of human rights and brutalization of its people.

    The President stated that when a leader's only means of staying in power is to use mass violence against his own people, he has lost the legitimacy to rule and needs to do what is right for his country by leaving now.

    The leaders reaffirmed their support for the Libyan people's demand for universal rights and a government that is responsive to their aspirations, and agreed that Gadhafi's government must be held accountable.

    They discussed appropriate and effective ways for the international community to respond. The President welcomed ongoing efforts by our allies and partners, including at the United Nations and by the European Union, to develop and implement strong measures.

    The President and the Chancellor also discussed the global economic recovery and the need for effective tools to promote economic stability in the Eurozone.

Here is Clinton's statement:

  • The United States strongly condemns the ongoing violence and human rights violations committed by the government of Libya against its own people. As President Obama said, these actions violate international norms and every standard of common decency. They must stop.

    We are moving quickly on a series of steps to hold the Libyan government accountable for its violation of human rights and to mobilize a strong response from the international community.

    ast night the United States took action to limit the ability of senior officials of the Gadhafi regime to travel. As Secretary of State, I signed an order directing the Department to revoke U.S. visas held by these officials, others responsible for human rights violations in Libya, and their immediate family members. As a matter of policy, new visa applications will be denied.

    his step followed President Obama's Executive Order freezing assets and imposing financial sanctions on members of the regime responsible for abuses against their own people and the suspension of the very limited defense trade we have had with Libya, including pending sales of spare military parts and other licenses allowing private companies to sell military equipment there.

    he United States is also working with our friends and partners to mobilize a strong and unified response from the international community to hold accountable the perpetrators of these unacceptable violations of universal human rights. This afternoon I continued close consultations with our European allies, including EU High Representative Catherine Ashton. Negotiations are underway at the United Nations Security Council on a resolution that would impose new sanctions and restrictions. On Monday, I will meet with a number of counterparts in Geneva and address the UN Human Rights Council, which on Friday recommended suspending Libya's membership. We are also working with partners to determine how to provide humanitarian assistance to those in need. Consistent with the President's guidance, we will continue to look at the full range of options to hold the Libyan government accountable and support the Libyan people.

    We have always said that the Qadhafi government's future is a matter for the Libyan people to decide, and they have made themselves clear. When a leader's only means of staying in power is to use mass violence against his own people, he has lost the legitimacy to rule and needs to do what is right for his country by leaving now. Moammar Gadhafi has lost the confidence of his people and he should go without further bloodshed and violence. The Libyan people deserve a government that is responsive to their aspirations and that protects their universally recognized human rights.

Related Article:

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Libya: United States announces sanctions

BBC News, 25 February 2011

The United States is to impose unilateral and multilateral sanctions on Libya, including halting operations from the US embassy in Libya.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said the US
was acting "to put pressure on the regime"
The US was acting "to put pressure on the regime" to cease the violence, White House spokesman Jay Carney said.

The move was made "in concert with our international partners," he added.

It was announced after reports from the Libyan capital said anti-government protesters in Tripoli had come under heavy gunfire.

There are reports of deaths and injuries, but no reliable information about casualties.

Protests in the city resumed as those seeking the overthrow of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi emerged from mosques following Friday prayers.

The people of Libya have expressed that Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's continued use of "deadly violence" is unacceptable, Mr Carney said.

'Violence or atrocities'

The White House also said it was acting to cut off limited military assistance to Libya and had placed financial institutions on notice to watch for the sudden movement of funds from the country.

The US would not take any options off the table in regard to its response to the violence in Libya, including potential US military action, Mr Carney said.

"The United States is committed to utilizing the full extent of its capabilities to monitor the Gaddafi regime's behaviour to ensure that evidence is gathered of further violence or atrocities committed against the Libyan people," Mr Carney said.

"Colonel Gaddafi has lost the confidence of his people," he added, saying the leader's legitimacy has been "reduced to zero".

The Obama administration has been criticised for not responding swiftly enough to the turmoil in Libya, and Mr Carney's announcement is being seen as a significant shift in Washington's stance on the violence.

The news by the White House came as the last known US citizens in Libya were evacuated from the country.

A boat chartered by the US carrying more than 300 evacuees reached the safe shores of the Mediterranean island of Malta, and a chartered plane also flew US citizens out of the country and to Turkey.

Britain and India have also sent warships to Libya to carry foreign nationals to safety, while hundreds of sub-Saharan Africans are said to be fleeing southern Libya into Niger.

Isolating military leaders

The UN Security Council is due to meet later on Friday in New York to discuss options to respond to Libya's repression against its people.

Diplomats say Britain and France have drawn up a draft resolution with a package of measures aimed at isolating Libya's political and military leaders.

Meanwhile, Libyan state television has shown pictures of Col Gaddafi addressing a large crowd in Tripoli's Green Square.

He was shown speaking from the old city ramparts and urging the crowd to arm themselves and defend the nation and its oil against anti-government protesters who have taken control of large parts of the country.

"This is the people that brought Italy to its knees," he said, referring to the overthrow of Libya's colonial rulers. "I am amid the masses, and we shall fight, and we shall defeat them."

Friday, February 25, 2011

Libyan Opposition Leaders Slam U.S. Business Lobby's Deals With Gaddafi

The Huffington Post, First Posted: 02/24/11

NEW YORK -- A broad coalition of interests from oil companies, defense manufacturers and well-connected lobbying firms to neoconservative scholars and Harvard Business School professors has worked in recent years to advance a rapprochement with Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and take advantage of business opportunities in the country, even in the face of the longtime international pariah's brutal repression of his people and his legendary belligerence.

Yet Libya's opposition leaders say that such efforts have harmed the interests of the North African country by helping enrich Gaddafi's family and close allies at the expense of the majority of Libyans, serving only to prolong Gaddafi's brutal reign. They also blame U.S. policy for prioritizing national security interests over issues of reform and human rights, the lack of which helped fuel the country's ongoing violent upheaval.

Soon after U.S. President George W. Bush dropped sanctions against Libya in 2004, when Gaddafi announced that he intended to give up weapons of mass destruction and expressed his eagerness to join the war on terror, U.S. and British oil producers and business interests jumped at the chance to expand into the country, which has been ruled with an iron fist by the unstable leader for some 40 years.

Some of the biggest oil producers and servicers, including BP, ExxonMobil, Halliburton, Chevron, Conoco and Marathon Oil joined with defense giants like Raytheon and Northrop Grumman, multinationals like Dow Chemical and Fluor and the high-powered law firm White & Case to form the US-Libya Business Association in 2005. The members of its executive advisory council each pay $20,000 in annual dues to the group, which is managed by the National Foreign Trade Council, a coalition that seeks to facilitate international opportunities for U.S. companies. Most of the group's members have lobbied the U.S. government since 2004 to protect their investments in Libya or to iron out business problems with the regime.

The role of the USLBA, which calls itself the only U.S. trade association focusing solely on the United States and Libya, combines lobbying for the former outlaw state with advancing the commercial aims of the association's member groups. The nonprofit has sponsored policy conferences, briefing sessions and events featuring senior U.S. and Libyan officials.

On its now-offline website, the group said it seeks to promote Libya by educating the White House and Congress about the country's "growing importance in maintaining stability in North Africa as well as Libya's potential as an expanding commercial market for American business." The website also touts the USLBA's proximity to Gaddafi, stating that "we were the only U.S. business group to meet privately" with the leader during Gaddafi's "historic first visit" to the United Nations in 2009.

As one measure of the group's influence, founding chairman David Goldwyn was appointed the State Department's coordinator for international energy affairs by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. On a visit to Libya in December 2008, Goldwyn waxed rhapsodic about the "fantastically warm reception" he and eight U.S. executives received from senior Libyan officials.

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Another Runaway General: Army Deploys Psy-Ops on U.S. Senators

Rolling Stone, By Michael Hastings, FEBRUARY 23, 2011

The U.S. Army illegally ordered a team of soldiers specializing in "psychological operations" to manipulate visiting American senators into providing more troops and funding for the war, Rolling Stone has learned – and when an officer tried to stop the operation, he was railroaded by military investigators.

Sen. John McCain walks with Lt. Gen. William Caldwell
at Camp Eggers in Kabul, Afghanistan on January 6, 2009.

The orders came from the command of Lt. Gen. William Caldwell, a three-star general in charge of training Afghan troops – the linchpin of U.S. strategy in the war. Over a four-month period last year, a military cell devoted to what is known as "information operations" at Camp Eggers in Kabul was repeatedly pressured to target visiting senators and other VIPs who met with Caldwell. When the unit resisted the order, arguing that it violated U.S. laws prohibiting the use of propaganda against American citizens, it was subjected to a campaign of retaliation.

"My job in psy-ops is to play with people’s heads, to get the enemy to behave the way we want them to behave," says Lt. Colonel Michael Holmes, the leader of the IO unit, who received an official reprimand after bucking orders. "I’m prohibited from doing that to our own people. When you ask me to try to use these skills on senators and congressman, you’re crossing a line."

The list of targeted visitors was long, according to interviews with members of the IO team and internal documents obtained by Rolling Stone. Those singled out in the campaign included senators John McCain, Joe Lieberman, Jack Reed, Al Franken and Carl Levin; Rep. Steve Israel of the House Appropriations Committee; Adm. Mike Mullen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; the Czech ambassador to Afghanistan; the German interior minister, and a host of influential think-tank analysts.

The incident offers an indication of just how desperate the U.S. command in Afghanistan is to spin American civilian leaders into supporting an increasingly unpopular war. According to the Defense Department’s own definition, psy-ops – the use of propaganda and psychological tactics to influence emotions and behaviors – are supposed to be used exclusively on "hostile foreign groups." Federal law forbids the military from practicing psy-ops on Americans, and each defense authorization bill comes with a "propaganda rider" that also prohibits such manipulation. "Everyone in the psy-ops, intel, and IO community knows you’re not supposed to target Americans," says a veteran member of another psy-ops team who has run operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. "It’s what you learn on day one."

When Holmes and his four-man team arrived in Afghanistan in November 2009, their mission was to assess the effects of U.S. propaganda on the Taliban and the local Afghan population. But the following month, Holmes began receiving orders from Caldwell’s staff to direct his expertise on a new target: visiting Americans. At first, the orders were administered verbally. According to Holmes, who attended at least a dozen meetings with Caldwell to discuss the operation, the general wanted the IO unit to do the kind of seemingly innocuous work usually delegated to the two dozen members of his public affairs staff: compiling detailed profiles of the VIPs, including their voting records, their likes and dislikes, and their "hot-button issues." In one email to Holmes, Caldwell’s staff also wanted to know how to shape the general’s presentations to the visiting dignitaries, and how best to "refine our messaging."

Congressional delegations – known in military jargon as CODELs – are no strangers to spin. U.S. lawmakers routinely take trips to the frontlines in Iraq and Afghanistan, where they receive carefully orchestrated briefings and visit local markets before posing for souvenir photos in helmets and flak jackets. Informally, the trips are a way for generals to lobby congressmen and provide first-hand updates on the war. But what Caldwell was looking for was more than the usual background briefings on senators. According to Holmes, the general wanted the IO team to provide a "deeper analysis of pressure points we could use to leverage the delegation for more funds." The general’s chief of staff also asked Holmes how Caldwell could secretly manipulate the U.S. lawmakers without their knowledge. "How do we get these guys to give us more people?" he demanded. "What do I have to plant inside their heads?"

Related Article:

Thursday, February 24, 2011

UN ends goodwill envoy deal with Kadhafi daughter

Antara News, Thu, February 24 2011

Related News

Aisha Kadhafi
United Nations (ANTARA News/AFP) - The United Nations has sacked Moamer Kadhafi`s daughter as a goodwill ambassador because of the deadly strife in the nation, a spokesman said Wednesday.

Aisha Kadhafi was named a UN Development Program national goodwill ambassador in July 2009 to speak out on violence against women and HIV/AIDS in Libya, UN spokesman Martin Nesirky said.

"Following the recent events UNDP has terminated the agreement with Ms Kadhafi based on article 30 of the UN guidelines for the designation of goodwill ambassadors and messengers of peace," Nesirky told a briefing.

He added that UNDP goodwill ambassadors do not get paid and do not hold UN travel documents.

Aisha Kadhafi is a law professor who was part of the defense team for late Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein after his downfall. Her father has been widely criticized for a crackdown on democracy protesters in Libya.

Editor: Aditia Maruli

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Gaddafi's Dutch millions

RNW, 23 February 2011, by RNW News Desk

(photo: Flickr/hans&carolyn)

Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi keeps part of his billion dollar empire in the Netherlands. Tamoil, the Libyan state oil company, which has around 160 petrol stations in the Netherlands, is located in the town of Ridderkerk.

An investigation by Dutch newspaper de Volkskrant shows that Tamoil is a subsidiary of Oilinvest, which is headquartered in Monaco and is active in other European countries. The company trades in crude oil and refined petroleum products, transport, refineries, storage and distribution of oil. It also markets and sells lubricants.

Tamoil Petrol Station in The Netherlands
A company which extracts oil and gas for Colonel Gaddafi in Libya, France and Canada is also registered at the same address. 35 people work in the offices in Ridderkerk. In 2009 Tamoil made a nett profit of 26 million euros on a turnover of 7.7 billion euros.

Another substantial part of Gaddafi’s fortune is in Italy, the former colonial power in Libya. Tamoil, for example, is the biggest player is the fuel market there. Colonel Gaddafi also owns shares in UniCredit, one of the biggest Italian banks, and in Finmeccanica, which produces defence equipment. Financially less impressive, but still worth mentioning, is the Libyan leader's stake in football club Juventus.

All the Colonel’s assets are bundled in the umbrella investment company Great Socialist Peoples Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, which has been headed by Gaddafi himself since 1969. De Volkskrant estimates his total financial worth at 60 billion euros. The lion’s share, over 40 billion, is located in Libya itself.

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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Human Rights Council holds a Special Session on The situation of human rights in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya

UN Human Rights, 23 February 2011

The Human Rights Council will hold a Special Session on "The situation of human rights in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya” on Friday, 25 February, starting at 10 a.m. in Room XX of the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

The holding of the Special Session comes at the request of Hungary, which was received by the Council on 23 February 2010. The request is signed by the following 47 States, both members and non-members of the Council, from all regions of the world: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Maldives, Malta, Mexico, Moldova, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Norway, Palestine, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Senegal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States of America and Uruguay.

An organizational meeting will be held on Wednesday, 23 February at 5 p.m. in Room XX of the Palais des Nations to discuss the conduct and organization of the Special Session. In conformity with paragraph 10 of General Assembly resolution 60/251, which established the Human Rights Council, the support of one-third of the membership of the Council (16 members or more) is required for a Special Session to be convened.

This will be the 15th Special Session of the Council. Previous Special Sessions have been held on the human rights situations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, in Lebanon, in Darfur, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in Myanmar, and in Sri Lanka, as well as on the world food crisis, the economic and financial crisis and support for the recovery process in Haiti. The last Special Session was on the situation of human rights in Cote d’Ivoire after the elections, and it was held on 23 December 2010.

It should be noted that this is the first time a Council member will be the subject of a Special Session.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

UN security council to meet on Libya: Ban

Antara News, Tue, February 22 2011

Related News

Los Angeles (ANTARA News/AFP) - The UN Security Council will meet Tuesday to discuss the crisis in Libya, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said, noting he had spoken to Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi and called for restraint.

"I urged him that the human rights and freedom of assembly and freedom of speech must be fully protected," Ban said of his 40-minute telephone conversation with the man who has ruled Libya for 41 years.

"I forcefully urged him to stop the violence against demonstrators and I again strongly underlined the importance of respecting human rights of those demonstrators," he said.

The UN chief stressed that "the aspirations and concerns of the people should be fully respected and heard by the authorities of the countries concerned."

He spoke to a small group of reporters in Los Angeles shortly after issuing a statement saying he was "outraged" over reports that Libyan security forces fired on demonstrators from war planes and helicopters.

"Such attacks against civilians, if confirmed, would constitute a serious violation of international humanitarian law and would be condemned by the secretary-general in the strongest terms," UN spokesman Martin Nesirky said.

Ban "once again calls for an immediate end to the violence," added the statement, which said he has been in close touch with key states over the crisis.

In his conversation with Kadhafi, Ban also called on the longest-serving Arab ruler to "immediately" halt violence in the North African country and launch a broad-based dialogue with the opposition.

Protesters meanwhile took control of several Libyan cities and a growing number of regime figures defected. International rights groups estimate the unrest has left up to 400 people dead.

Kadhafi, in his first comments since protests erupted last Tuesday in the east of the oil-rich nation, denied he had fled his country amid claims of a "massacre" in the capital Tripoli.

Ban stressed the need to "ensure the protection of the civilian population under any circumstances," Nesirky said.

Editor: Aditia Maruli

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Tony Blair, Colonel Gaddafi and the myth of an "ethical foreign policy"

International Business Times, By William Dove, February 21, 2011

The chaos and violence currently ravaging Libya has raised questions about the conduct of Britain and especially its former Prime Minister, Tony Blair, towards a regime that now stands accused of killing 400 of its own citizens.

Vanity of Libyan leader Gaddafi revealed in latest
documents from Wikileaks (Reuters)
Mr Blair famously became Prime Minister in 1997 promising an "ethical foreign policy", as opposed to what was presumably the unethical one of John Major. His record in fulfilling this is perhaps best described as patchy.

As with much of what Mr Blair said, the words sounded good but were of little use in knowing what he meant, especially when one considers that what is considered ethical varies from person to person.

The early efforts of the Blair government to implement his "ethical" foreign policy passed with very little controversy despite making ethical judgements that were far from clear cut.

One of the earliest of these efforts was the Good Friday Agreement. This deal is widely regarded as being one of the few genuine achievements of Mr Blair and one cannot deny that Irish terrorism has, if not disappeared, become something of a rarity.

The fact that the deal does appear to have been successful in this regard might be taken as proof that it was a success for ethics. However not everything about the deal could be considered ethical. It did for example involve the release of hundreds of unrepentant criminals, such as the Brighton Bomber, Patrick Magee.

In addition while the British government initiated a lengthy and expensive inquiry into Bloody Sunday, which shed light on the less than ethical actions of British servicemen and their superiors, Sinn Fein and the IRA have never been compelled to reveal many of their dark secrets. There will be no inquiry into who ordered Mr Magee to plant the bomb which killed five people, permanently disabled others and nearly assassinated an elected Prime Minister, nor is it likely that the full truth of Gerry Adams' involvement in the IRA will ever be known.

Perhaps the reason there has been relative peace in Northern Ireland since the Agreement was signed is that the IRA, which according to former Conservative minister Norman Tebbit, was on the run by the early to mid 1990's, was offered startlingly good terms by a government that could have all but destroyed them if it had the will to do so. It was, say the small number of critics, an act of appeasement and surrender by the British government. Was it so ethical after all? That depends on whether you value justice or peace more highly.

Mr Blair's other attempts at implementing an "ethical" foreign policy were significant only in that they laid the ground work for his most controversial act as Prime Minister, the invasion of Iraq.

The principle that it is moral and ethical to invade another country in order to free it from tyranny was not dreamt up in 2003 by Mr Blair while his henchman Alastair Campbell was busy sexing up intelligence dossiers. Mr Blair had already articulated and acted upon that principle in Kosovo, Sierra Leone and East Timor.

So long as the countries involved were small, the interventions limited and the local population broadly friendly, this principle did not find itself being seriously challenged by many. However the same principle applied to Saddam Hussein's Iraq proved too much for many to handle.

Mr Blair argues to this day that the invasion was a moral thing to do as it removed a bloodstained tyrant from power and led to the introduction of democracy in Iraq. This he claims is ethical and few can dispute that removing Saddam Hussein is desirable. Yet equally it was argued that it is unethical in the extreme to remove Saddam Hussein if it meant (as it did) killing many thousands of people.

The invasion of Iraq was of course a watershed moment in the region and is to some extent behind the current turmoil in the Middle East and of course Libya. The demands for an end to autocracy sweeping the Middle East at the moment have been attributed by some to the sight of Iraqi's going to the polls for the first time in 2005. However in the shorter term, very quickly after the fall of Saddam Hussein, Colonel Gaddafi said he was putting an end to his own ambitions to create weapons of mass destruction.

This in its turn allowed Mr Blair to begin the process of bringing the "mad dog" in from the cold where he had been residing with Saddam Hussein and other unsavoury characters. By opening up Libya Mr Blair and later his successor Gordon Brown helped pave the way for billions of pounds worth of business deals, but as with Northern Ireland this rapprochement came at the expense of justice.

The murderer of WPC Yvonne Fletcher, who was killed in 1984 by shots fired from the Libyan embassy, has never even identified, while the Lockerbie bomber, Abdelbaset al-Megrahi was released last year after serving only eight years for the murder 270 people.

Even the release of al-Megrahi has been defended as ethical on the grounds that it would show the compassionate values that Britain has, even towards its worst enemies. The previous government, although not directly responsible for releasing al-Megrahi, could have taken and promoted that view, but instead they chose to work for the release of al-Megrahi covertly in the hope that no one would notice. If they really thought the release was "ethical" then they would and should have said openly that it was their wish was to release al-Megrahi as a demonstration of compassion, rather than sullenly try to pin all the blame on the Scottish government.

The sacrificing of justice for peace and business prospects may be defended by some as ethical, others will take the opposite view. Similarly those who advocate foreign wars of intervention must do so with the deaths of those who die in them on their consciences, while those who shy away must live with human rights abuses by tyrants on theirs.

The third option is to support tyrants. This of course has been the policy of Britain and the West for a considerable amount of time and has been defended on the grounds that it promotes stability. While this may be true few in the West are prepared to stick to this policy when bad regimes are opposed by the people they repress, as in Egypt. That would be unethical.

We see this most brutally in Libya, where the warming of relations begun by Mr Blair and his ethical foreign policy allowed the sale of arms by Britain to Libya. It is all too likely that those arms have been used to kill some of the 400 plus protestors slain by Libyan security forces.

An ethical foreign policy, perhaps like a world without poverty, is a utopian idea. Whether governments chose to oppose or ignore evil regimes there will be unexpected consequences and a cost to pay, often in the blood of innocents. However one thing we should not be doing if we want to describe ourselves as ethical is supporting those rulers who at best we will be embarrassed by and at worst will use our support to butcher and oppress their own people.

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Russia only halfway on the road to democracy - Gorbachev

RT, 21 February 2011

The last leader of the Soviet Union and the father of Perestroika said that Russia still had many unsolved problems with democracy and human rights.

RIA Novosti / Valeriy Melnikov
Speaking at a press conference in Moscow on Monday, Mikhail Gorbachev remarked that the existing problems with human rights in the Russian Federation were an indicator of the country’s current state of democracy. “We have everything – a parliament, courts, a president and a prime minister, but these all are to a larger extent an imitation. There is no effective work,” the former Soviet President said.

Gorbachev criticized the domination of the United Russia party in the parliament saying that any monopoly leads to stagnation, hampering the development of the democratic processes. “United Russia reminds me of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in its worst years,” Gorbachev said. He also said that in his view any elected official must stay in office for no more than two terms.

This was in response to a reporter’s question about the political situation in the Central Asia, but Russia’s leaders also received their share of criticism from Gorbachev. Conveying his opinion on President Medvedev and Prime Minister Putin, Gorbachev said he did not like their approach to the forthcoming presidential elections. “I think it is far from being modest when Vladimir Vladimirovich [Putin] says that they will sit down with Dmitry Anatolievich [Medvedev] and choose who will run for president. This is for the voters to decide, not Putin,” Gorbachev said.

Gorbachev answered more questions on the current political climate in Russia and around the globe. In particular, he said that he supported the removal of Vladimir Lenin’s body from the Mausoleum on the Red Square, but said that this should be done at some later stage. “We should settle down, remain calm and part with a great man – and he was a great man of our nation, the builder of our state,” Gorbachev said about Lenin.

He also said that he never made any promises to hand over the Kuril Islands to Japan and the two countries must solve their territorial spat at the negotiation table. At the same time, Gorbachev said that Russian President Boris Yeltsin had made some promises to Japan on the Kuril issue, but these promises were only valid, if Japan signed a peace treaty with Russia. “Let us go all the way and see what happens then. It is possible that we form a confederation,” the former Soviet leader said.

Also Gorbachev ruled out the possibility that the current riots and revolutions in Arab states had been instigated from abroad. He said that the main reason of the events was the main human factor – the will for freedom.

In the end, the former Soviet President said that he planned to celebrate his 80th anniversary in Moscow and that all “top bosses” were invited. “It is up to them whether they choose to come, but I will invite them,” Gorbachev said and expressed hope that his anniversary will give different people a chance to meet and communicate.