News Items – 02.09.17

Here’s the show from Democracy Now for February 9th, 2017.

Here’s Reuters on how Trump’s further endangering the world by rescinding nuclear treaties that he just learned of: “In his first call as president with Russian leader Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump denounced a treaty that caps U.S. and Russian deployment of nuclear warheads as a bad deal for the United States, according to two U.S. officials and one former U.S. official with knowledge of the call. When Putin raised the possibility of extending the 2010 treaty, known as New START, Trump paused to ask his aides in an aside what the treaty was, these sources said. Trump then told Putin the treaty was one of several bad deals negotiated by the Obama administration, saying that New START favored Russia. Trump also talked about his own popularity, the sources said.”

Reuters: “The company building [a $3.8 billion] oil pipeline that has fueled sustained public protests said on Thursday it has started drilling under a North Dakota lake despite a last-ditch legal challenge from a Native American tribe leading the opposition. … Public opposition drew thousands of people to the North Dakota plains last year including high-profile political and celebrity supporters. Large protest camps popped up near the site, leading to several violent clashes and some 700 arrests. A few hardy protesters have remained camped out near the lake, braving sub-freezing temperatures.”

Politico, 2010: “Robert Pape, a University of Chicago political science professor and former Air Force lecturer, will present findings on Capitol Hill on Tuesday that argue that the majority of suicide terrorism around the world since 1980 has had a common cause: military occupation.”

Here is Stephen Cohen – Professor Emeritus of Russian History/Studies at Princeton University and New York University – on Ukraine, Russia, and ways to move forward via the John Bachelor Show.

Jeremy Scahill’s podcast, Intercepted:

Trump’s Cabinet of Killers and Why Orange is the New Anti-Black

“The following selections represent only a fraction of the false alarms that have been reported on the American side. Many probably remain unreported, or are hidden in records that remain classified. There are likely to have been as many on the Soviet Side which are even more difficult to access…”

“20 Mishaps that Might’ve Started Accidental Nuclear War,” by the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation

Canadian Journal of Communication, 2003: “Orson Welles’ use of fictional news reports as the narrative framework for what now seems an obviously hyperbolic radio drama uncannily anticipated the reportage of more recent tragedies such as the assassination of JFK, the death of Britain’s Princess Diana, and the attacks of September 11. As the world stood on the threshold of the Second World War, so convincing was Welles’ use of the medium that even some listeners who found the idea of a Martian invasion ridiculous nonetheless assumed the attack (which we would today unhesitatingly label terrorist) to be the result of German military aggression. They reacted to the broadcast with equal horror to those who took it at face value, believing that either the announcer had made an interpretive mistake or the invading German forces themselves were disguised as Martians.”

New England Journal of Medicine, 1998: “U.S. and Russian nuclear-weapons systems remain on high alert. This fact, combined with the aging of Russian technical systems, has recently increased the risk of an accidental nuclear attack. As a conservative estimate, an accidental intermediate-sized launch of weapons from a single Russian submarine would result in the deaths of 6,838,000 persons from firestorms in eight U.S. cities. Millions of other people would probably be exposed to potentially lethal radiation from fallout. … The risk of an accidental nuclear attack has increased in recent years, threatening a public health disaster of unprecedented scale.”

On the inability of Trump & Company to conceive of a world without profit as an eternal central objective: “I own some of it,’ [Kellyanne Conway] said of Ivanka Trump’s clothing line.  ‘I’m … going give it a free commercial here. Go buy it today, everybody. You can find it online.'” (USA Today)

USA Today: “According to a recent Cato Institute report, out of more than 3 million refugees admitted to the U.S. from 1975 to 2015, three committed terrorist acts that killed Americans. They were Cuban refugees in the 1970s.”

Glomar Disclosure: “[Dr. Louis Jolyon West] Wanted to Continue MKULTRA Research for CIA While Treating Jack Ruby,” who was a longtime suspect in the assassination of JFK. (More on Dr. Jolyon West at Metanoia Films)

Here’s Peter Maass on “what Slobodan Milosevic taught [him] about Donald Trump” via The Intercept.

The Intercept: “Activists Plan Emergency Actions Across the Country to Protest Approval of Dakota Access Pipeline”

The Intercept: “Newly released documents from the Transportation Security Administration appear to confirm the concerns of critics who say that the agency’s controversial program that relies on body language, appearance, and particular behaviors to select passengers for extra screening in airports has little basis in science and has led to racial profiling. Files turned over to the American Civil Liberties Union under the Freedom of Information Act include a range of studies that undermines the program’s premise, demonstrating that attempts to look for physical signs of deception are highly subjective and unreliable. Also among the files are presentations and reports from the TSA and other law enforcement agencies that put forth untested theories of how to profile attackers and rely on broad stereotypes about Muslims.”

Democracy Now: “In a highly unusual move, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) was silenced during a Senate debate Tuesday over the confirmation of Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions for attorney general, after Warren read a 1986 letter written by Coretta Scott King, who was then opposing Sessions for a federal judgeship.”

This is an interview by Democracy Now of “the ACLU attorney that was interrogated by border agents about her work, nationality and more,” Hina Shamsi.

Nicolette Waldman of Amnesty International on Democracy Now: “This ban against Syrian refugees, I think, has to be understood in the context of what Syrians are going through. They are going through systematic starvation sieges. They are being bombed in their homes, in their schools, in illegal attacks on civilians and civilian targets, such as hospitals, which are rampant. And in the jails in Syria, civilians are being systematically targeted, civilians who just show any sign of dissent. And this is a systematic policy that has happened since 2011. This is widespread, and this is a calculated policy by the Syrian authorities. And I want to be very clear that while we at Amnesty have documented abuses on every side—and, actually, it also helps create the picture of how much civilians are suffering in Syria. But in the context of detention in particular, the Syrian authorities are carrying out the vast majority of violations. So, if you think about a population that has been terrorized—they have been arrested, disappeared, tortured and killed, on the scale of tens of thousands of people, and all of those people have family members—it does make sense to me that you might want to flee your country in that kind of circumstance. And many people don’t want to go. They end up going because they feel they have to. They’re running for their lives. And then to have that answered with a strict ban, it just doesn’t make any sense to me. And at Amnesty, we are very concerned about this ban for people who are refugees deserving of protection, not of being blocked and sent back into circumstances where they and their families can be treated in this just monstrous way.”

Chase Iron Eyes (“lead attorney for the Lakota People’s Law Project and an enrolled member of the Standing Rock Tribe”) on Democracy Now calling for global mass activist mobilization: “…the Trump administration is making it very clear that they intend to destroy our only drinking water resource on the Standing Rock Nation and the tens—the 10 million people who live south of the proposed pipeline. Drilling can begin any minute. And we are looking at the potential of an armed raid or a forcible raid after February 22nd, when the Army Corps said that they would declare us trespassers on our own land, the same as the United States Army said they would declare us hostile if we didn’t return to the reservations in 1875.”


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