Professional Scam Artists – part 32

Michael Posner

“After Gaza slaughter, Obama officials met with Israeli generals to counter ‘poisonous’ Goldstone Report and get ‘Israeli story out’” by Philip Weiss (Mondoweiss)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

This is the tenth anniversary of “Cast Lead,” Israel’s three-week-long onslaught on Gaza that took nearly 1,400 lives, 318 of them children, and that as much as anything helped shift the American view of the conflict and caused progressives to side with Palestinians.

During those three weeks of horrifying images, President-elect Obama had nothing critical to say and Israel did him a favor in return: it ended the bombing/invasion two days before he was inaugurated.

Then in September 2009 the UN Human Rights Council issued a bombshell of its own, the Goldstone Report, which documented war crimes and possible crimes against humanity during the campaign, chiefly the Israeli pattern of deliberately striking civilian targets, including schools, mosques, homes, and a flour mill and a chicken farm.

The Obama administration worked to stymie the report at international bodies, and in the end the report went nowhere (defused by its author, Judge Richard Goldstone, who under huge pressure from his own community retracted the allegation that civilians were intentionally targeted).

From CBC:
Israeli air force cadets toss their caps into the air during a graduation ceremony at the Hatzerim air force base in southern Israel in 2014. A Canadian charity that funds projects in Israel has faced claims that some of its charitable donations have gone to support projects on Israeli military bases in violation of Canadian tax rules. (Tsafrir Abayov/Associated Press)

“Canadian charity used donations to fund projects linked to Israeli military” by Evan Dyer (CBC)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

=== == =
The Jewish National Fund of Canada, one of the country’s long-established charities, has been the subject of a Canada Revenue Agency audit over a complaint that it used charitable donations to build infrastructure for the Israel Defence Forces (IDF), in violation of Canada’s tax rules.

The JNF funds numerous projects in Israel, such as reforestation efforts in areas hit by wildfires and the construction of playgrounds for special needs children.

However, it has also funded infrastructure projects on Israeli army, air and naval bases. While no law bars a Canadian citizen from writing a cheque directly to Israel’s Ministry of Defence, rules do ban tax-exempt charities from issuing tax receipts for such donations, and also ban donors from claiming tax deductions for them…

Canada Park was JNF Canada’s first large project in Israel and the West Bank, built on the site of three Palestinian villages left empty after 1967’s Six Day War.

Retired physician Ismail Zayid of Halifax was born in one of those villages, Beit Nuba. He has been complaining to CRA about JNF’s charitable status for 40 years.

“I wrote to (the CRA) repeatedly,” he said. “They would say they are conducting an investigation of (the) complaint, and then I would write again and say, ‘What are the findings of your investigation?’ And they would say, ‘The findings are confidential.'”…

The CRA declined to be interviewed for this story, citing confidentiality. But JNF Canada’s Davis said in an email to CBC News the charity is “currently engaged in ongoing confidential discussions with CRA.” Davis dismissed the complaint as “a rehash” and called IJVC “a longstanding opponent of JNF.”…

Kate Bahen heads Charity Intelligence, a Toronto-based NGO that produces a report rating Canadian charities on their transparency and efficiency in spending donors’ money.

“When you look at JNF Canada, it’s fine for cost efficiency,” said Bahen. “It really falls down on financial transparency and accountability. For financial transparency, it gets zero.”

“We have absolutely no information on how much it’s spent planting trees, how much goes for irrigation, or education, or how much is diverted to military bases. And that information, I think, is critical, and it’s not provided to Canadian donors.”
= == ===

Note that CRA isn’t approaching funding for the JNF from a principled position. “The logic behind the CRA’s guidance to charities is that issuing Canadian tax receipts for contributions to foreign militaries effectively reduces the revenue available to support Canada’s own defence spending,” notes Dyer. If that was so, other less politically-sensitive transgressions by our Canadian government, in this area, would have been dealt with when pointed out. When Dimitri Lascaris brought to the government’s attention the fact that the Liquor Control Board of Ontario was in violation of Canadian law over its selling of Israeli wines produced on occupied Palestinian land, the government was uninterested. See “Trudeau Government Allows Wines Produced in Israel’s Illegal West Bank Settlements to be Fraudulently Labelled.” It’s a little harder for our fascist government to dismiss complaints about the JNF from people like Megan McKenzie, who’s grandmother was Jewish and who’s husband is “a Canadian soldier and lives at CFB Shilo in Manitoba.”

“US Military Apologizes For Posting Uncomfortably Honest Tweet” by Caitlin Johnstone (Rogue Journalist)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

US Strategic Command (or “Stratcom” if you’re trying to make a nuclear-capable arm of the US Defense Department sound cool) has issued an apology for a poorly received New Year’s Eve tweet which has since been deleted.

“#TimesSquare tradition rings in the #NewYear by dropping the big ball…if ever needed, we are #ready to drop something much, much bigger,” the offending tweet read, with an attached video featuring B-2 stealth bombers flying all stealth bombery and causing gigantic explosions with bunker buster bombs while words like “STEALTH”, “READY”, and “LETHAL” flashed across the screen. The tweet concluded with the ostensibly unironic hashtag “#PeaceIsOurProfession”.

“Health Canada rejects bid for an independent review of Roundup” by ? (Friends of the Earth Canada)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

There is something wrong with Canada’s regulation of pesticides.

A year and a half ago Friends of the Earth filed what’s called a Notice of Objection questioning Health Canada decision to re-register glyphosate for 15 years – glyphosate is a key component of Monsanto’s herbicide RoundUp. As usual Health Canada investigated itself, concluded it was right and dismissed our objection. This is how it always goes. Every time Friends of the Earth and other organizations have filed objections Health Canada has refused to establish an independent review. The only difference in this case was the speed of the response. Our neonicotinoid objections took three years to be rejected. Glyphosate only took a year and a half.

As our Notice of Objection pointed out there are growing concerns about Roundup especially how Monsanto (now owned by Bayer) has attempted to manipulate the registration process in both Canada and the United States. A U.S. Jury awarded over $200 million to a Dwayne Johnston who contracted cancer after being exposed to Roundup in the course of his work.

In June 2015, the International Agency on Research on Cancer (IARC) of the World Health Organization determined that Glyphosate is probably carcinogenic to humans. This designation, also known as Group 2A carcinogen, is the second highest carcinogenic rating just below designating a substance as a known human carcinogen. Given these developments you’d expect a significant rethinking by Health Canada. Instead it went into industry reassurance mode. After all, Health Canada would have to admit it made a mistake if Roundup were found to cause cancer.

From The Greanwille Post:
Daily Kos’ Markos Moulitsas presenting flowers to Pelosi. The WaPo editors chose this pic to illustrate something they think admirable, but it actually shows the Daily Kos bankruptcy as a platform for any progressive, let alone intelligent politics. As aptly opined, the DK chief spent more than $83,000 for what is essentially a photo op.

“Markos Moulitsas and the Daily Cult: the Nadir of Journalism; the Death of Activism” by Teodrose Fikre (The Greanville Post)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

Every time I think it can’t get any worse when it comes to the cult of personality society has become, I’m proven wrong by the latest political development. Jumping sharks have become the norm as carnival barkers wearing the guise of journalists and courtiers pretending to be activists are engaged in a persistent race to the bottom of absurdity.

“This is why his humiliating outreach to Nancy Pelosi is such an affront; instead of speaking truth to power, Moulitsas chose to literally throw roses at the status quo…”

Two days ago, Markos Moulitsas, the founder of the Daily Kos, galvanized his massive netroots following to purchase 25,000 roses for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. When I first saw the headline on Facebook, I really thought that some enterprising satirist [had] used Photoshop to take a swipe at Moulitsas. It took a tweet from Glenn Greenwald lambasting this most outlandish story for me to realize that this embarrassing event actually took place. Not only did Moulitsas proudly proclaim this moronic stunt, he actually pinned the story on his Twitter timeline like it’s something to be proud of. (See below)

The Daily Kos was founded on the principle of “crashing the gates” and shaking up entrenched political interests. Moulitsas rose to prominence by pretending to be against the establishment and feigning outrage at the grotesque domestic and foreign policies of the Bush administration.

For readers who aren’t clear on who Nancy Pelosi is, the following will at least give you an idea what ‘kind of’ person she is: “Is there anything Nancy Pelosi would impeach a president, vice president, or justice for?” by David Swanson

Top Photo | Peter Benenson, left, with George Ivan Smith at a 1966 Nordic Africa Institute Seminar. Uppsala-Bild | Creative Commons

“Amnesty International’s Troubling Collaboration with UK & US Intelligence” by Alexander Rubinstein (Mint Press News)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

LONDON — Amnesty International, the eminent human-rights non-governmental organization, is widely known for its advocacy in that realm. It produces reports critical of the Israeli occupation in Palestine and the Saudi-led war on Yemen. But it also publishes a steady flow of indictments against countries that don’t play ball with Washington — countries like Iran, China, Venezuela, Nicaragua, North Korea and more. Those reports amplify the drumbeat for a “humanitarian” intervention in those nations.

Amnesty’s stellar image as a global defender of human rights runs counter to its early days when the British Foreign Office was believed to be censoring reports critical of the British empire. Peter Benenson, the co-founder of Amnesty, had deep ties to the British Foreign Office and Colonial Office while another co-founder, Luis Kutner, informed the FBI of a gun cache at Black Panther leader Fred Hampton’s home weeks before he was killed by the Bureau in a gun raid.

These troubling connections contradict Amnesty’s image as a benevolent defender of human rights and reveal key figures at the organization during its early years to be less concerned with human dignity and more concerned with the dignity of the United States and United Kingdom’s image in the world.


“Amnesty International’s Kangaroo Report on Syria” by Rick Sterling (American Herald Tribune)

“AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL: Humanitarian Spin Merchants and Propaganda Peddlers – UPDATED” by ? (21st Century Wire)

“Amnesty International Admits Syrian “Saydnaya” Report Fabricated Entirely in UK” by Tony Cartalucci (Land Destroyer)

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