surveillance

 Whistleblower Reveals NSA Spied on Obama Before 2004

In 2005, NSA whistleblower Russ Tice exposed illegal and unconstitutional NSA involvement in widespread surveillance against lawmakers, the Supreme Court and the American public. In the video below, he reveals the NSA was spying on Barack Obama long before his 2004 election to the senate.

Back in 2005, the corporate media dismissed Tice’s allegations, based on NSA assertions he was mentally ill and a liar. Now, based on Edward Snowden’s momentous disclosures, he feels 75% of his claims have been vindicated. He promises there are even more shocking disclosures to come.

Tice states that the Washington Post informed the NSA two weeks before Snowden went public that they had a leak, necessitating Snowden’s urgent flight from Hawaii to Hong Kong.

He also reveals that NSA was already spying on Obama and his family and staff long even before he ran for the US senate. He hypothesizes the NSA may be blackmailing the President, just as former FBI director J Edgar Hoover used his extensive files on Kennedy’s sex life to blackmail John F Kennedy.

According to Tice, this may explain why Obama has reversed himself on so many of his campaign promises, especially those related to the restoration of constitutional civil liberties.

Former intelligence insider Wayne Madsen and other pundits have speculated that Obama is being blackmailed over gay sexual activity in his past.

photo credit: sea turtle via photopin cc

 

  me and lee

Me & Lee: How I came to know, love and lose Lee Harvey Oswald
Judyth Vary Baker (2010 Trine Day)

Book Review

Me and Lee is a memoir by the only surviving member of a top secret New Orleans research team (described at length in Ed Haslam’s 2007 Dr Mary’s Monkey) which attempted, in 1963, to develop a biologic warfare agent to assassinate Castro. Baker’s memoir has a forward by Haslam (see * below) and an afterward by longtime assassination researcher Jim Marrs. It’s extensively footnoted and cross referenced with photos, news clippings and other documents from Baker’s personal records, Warren Commission testimony, and other records from the JFK archives.

A science prodigy, Judyth Vary Baker was only nineteen when she joined this biological warfare project. Baker arrives in New Orleans in the summer of 1963 believing she will be doing research on a cancer vaccine. Instead she finds herself assisting Dr Mary Sherman and CIA pilot David Ferrie in trying to create a cancer-causing virus. Her job is to harvest fifty or so mice every week which have been injected with SV-40 viruses mutated by exposure to radiation. She then grinds up the most aggressive tumors, extracts the viruses and delivers them to Dr Sherman’s lab to be re-exposed to high intensity radiation.

Baker’s Relationship with Lee Harvey Oswald

Lee Harvey Oswald is assigned to serve as her escort, riding the bus to and from work with her. They eventually become lovers. In addition to her lab research, Ochsner asks her to take a cover job at the Reily Coffee Company, where her immediate boss is a former FBI agent involved with the anti-Castro movement. Baker’s cover at the coffee company is that of secretary, though her main role is to ensure that Oswald, who also has a cover job at Reily’s, gets his time card clocked in and out when the CIA or FBI sends him on other assignments.

Although Baker knows that Oswald gets paychecks from both the FBI and CIA, she’s never totally clear what his assignment is. He seems to be a kind of errand boy, both for the CIA and the Mafia. Oswald has relatives with the Mob and introduces Baker to New Orleans Mafia boss Carlos Marcello. The Mafia has lost lucrative Cuban casinos in the revolution and is an eager participant in various conspiracies to get rid of Castro. Oswald also introduces her to Jacob “Sparky” Rubenstein (also known as “Jack Ruby”), whom Oswald has known from childhood.

Inside the Head of Lee Harvey Oswald

As Baker portrays him, Oswald comes across as an immature, bookish geek who loves James Bond spy thrillers and frequently quotes from obscure literary works. According to Baker, his strong views on civil rights frequently led him to sit in the rear, the colored section of buses.

Baker reveals he was fully aware his CIA handlers didn’t trust him following his return from the Soviet Union. Apparently fake defectors are never fully trusted, owing to the possibility they might have became double agents. According to Oswald, this pattern of being assigned a number of minor, unrelated tasks without being clear who he was working for was typical for agents suspected of being “dangles” (double agents).

One assignment Baker was aware of involved a shipment of weapons Oswald smuggled into New Orleans for the anti-Castro Cubans the CIA was training as paramilitaries. In another, he posed as a pro-Castro member of Fair Trade for Cuba to collect names of Castro sympathizers to turn over to the FBI.

Ochsner Fires Baker

By mid-1963 Sherman, Ferrie and Baker succeed in isolating a tumor virus capable of producing “galloping” cancer in mice. In August 1963, Clay Shaw (the CIA co-sonspirator Jim Garrison prosecuted in 1967 for his involvement in the JFK assassination), Oswald and Ferrie transport the virus to the East Louisiana State Mental Hospital, where they inject it into a “volunteer” from the Angola Penitentiary. Baker is initially told the inmate already suffers from terminal cancer

She learns she’s been lied to and sends an angry memo informing Ochsner that involuntary experimentation on human subjects is unethical. He immediately terminates her employment and forbids her, on pain of death, from any further contact with Oswald. Although Baker returns to her husband in Florida, she and Oswald make plans to leave their respective spouses and elope to Mexico after Oswald smuggles the fatal virus into Cuba.

Oswald Realizes He is Being Set Up

Oswald, meanwhile learns that his assignment is changed, that he is only to transport the virus to Mexico City and hand it off to a second courier. When his contact fails to show in Mexico City, he makes an unsuccessful attempt to get a Cuban visa to deliver the virus himself, which is denied. He becomes genuinely concerned about his own safety – the information he possesses makes him a clear liability to his CIA handlers unless they have a specific use for him. He tells Baker the CIA is trying to set him up to look like a pro-Castro agent in the plot against JFK.

Despite their promise to transfer him to Mexico City, his superiors order him to return to Dallas to spy on “right wing nuts” interested in killing Kennedy. He and Baker continue to maintain phone contact, using pay phones and a complex phone wheel to synchronize call scheduling.

On October 19th, Oswald is invited to join the assassination conspiracy – planned for three alternative locations – Miami (a right-wing informant blows the whistle on the Miami plot, which leads Kennedy’s motorcade to be called off), Chicago and Dallas. Oswald plays along, believing he can pass details of the conspiracy to trusted FBI agents who can foil the assassination.

In late October he makes an anonymous tip to the FBI about an assassination threat, and JFK’s November 2 visit to Chicago is canceled (records released under the 1992 JFK Records Collection act confirm this anonymous tip-off). On November 16, he tells Baker he has passed information regarding the Dallas assassination plot to an FBI contact. Oswald’s wife Marina later confirms this in a letter to the Chairman of the JFK Assassination Records Review Board. According to an FBI clerk Garrison interviewed during his investigation, the FBI contact telexed the information to the Dallas FBI field office, where it mysteriously vanished.

Validating Baker’s Story

Edward Haslam, author of Dr Mary’s Monkey, has exhaustively investigated Baker’s  story and defends her for the following reasons:

1. He has confirmed her identity and her claims about doing cancer research in high school through the microfilm file at The Bradenton Herald, while employed there managing their market research.

2. He has sighted the W2 slip she provides for her period of employment at the Reily Coffee Company and confirms that they are genuine.

3. He has personally interviewed Anna Lewis, wife of CIA agent David Lewis, who worked with Oswald, Jack Martin and Guy Bannister in New Orleans’ anti-Castro movement. She confirms that Baker and Oswald were romantically involved in 1963.

* To protect her five children, Baker kept silent about her involvement with Oswald until her last child left home. When she broke her silence in 1998, her revelations provoked a firestorm of controversy, both from pro-conspiracy researchers and Warren Commission diehards, who accuse her of fabricating her story from the wealth of detail on the JFK assassination circulating on the Internet. For her own safety and sanity, she lives in exile (in an undisclosed location in Europe).

Judyth Vary Baker blogs at http://judythbaker.blogspot.com/

stuartbramhall:

 

How events in Ukraine illustrate the declining effectiveness of Anglo-Saxon propaganda.

Originally posted on Libya 360°:

The Anglo-Saxon Empire is based on a century of propaganda. It managed to convince us that the United States is “the land of the free” and that it engaged in wars to defend its ideals. But the current crisis over Ukraine has changed the rules of the game. Now Washington and its allies are not the only speakers. Their lies are openly challenged by the government and media of another major state, Russia. In the era of satellites and the Internet, Anglo-Saxon propaganda no longer works.

By Thierry Meyssan

Barack Obama speaks well. In fact, President Obama does not write his own texts but spends his days reading speeches written on prompters for him. Meanwhile, others govern in his place.

Barack Obama speaks well. In fact, President Obama does not write his own texts but spends his days reading speeches written on prompters for him. Meanwhile, others govern in his place.

Rulers have always tried to convince their subjects of the correctness of their actions, because crowds never follow men they know to be bad. The twentieth century has seen…

View original 1,370 more words

dr mary's monkey

Dr. Mary’s Monkey

Edward T. Haslam (2007 TrineDay)

Book Review

How the unsolved murder of a doctor, a secret laboratory in New Orleans and cancer-causing monkey viruses are linked to Lee Harvey Oswald, the JFK assassination and an emerging cancer epidemic

Dr Mary’s Monkey provides a detailed history of how the Salk and Sabin polio vaccines administered to three million baby boomers were accidentally contaminated with a cancer causing monkey virus known as Simian Virus 40 (SV-40). It also describes the massive cover-up initiated by the American Cancer Society and National Institutes of Health (NIH), which encouraged doctors to continue administering the contaminated vaccine.

The book skillfully interweaves the history of SV-40 with new information about Lee Harvey Oswald’s intelligence career released under the 1992 JFK Records Collection Act. Haslam focuses considerable attention on David Ferrie, a CIA pilot and Oswald’s long time friend and mentor. It’s believed that Ferrie first recruited Oswald to the CIA when he joined Ferrie’s Civil Air Patrol troop as a high school student.

Why Did Ferrie Keep Hundreds of Mice?

Haslam’s memoir clears up a mystery that has troubled assassination researchers for nearly 40 years – namely the discovery, by New Orleans district attorney Jim Garrison, that Ferrie was performing medical research on hundreds of mice in his apartment

Dr May’s Monkey also relies on police reports, Freedom of Information Act records and the secret files of ex-FBI agent Guy Bannister (who played a key role with Oswald and Ferrie in a secret CIA program involving anti-Castro emigres), as well interviews with scientific and medical experts and acquaintances of orthopedist Dr Mary Sherman*, who was conducting secret SV-40 research at Tulane at the time of her apparent murder.

SV-40**  and the Current Cancer Epidemic

SV-40, the monkey virus Dr. Mary Sherman and Ferrie were experimenting with, was first discovered in 1957. Originally known as “polyoma virus” (referring to its ability to cause multiple of tumors in mice), it was first identified by Drs Bernice Eddy and Sarah Stuart at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). In 1960 Eddy discovered that the monkey kidney cells used to prepare the Salk and Sabin polio vaccines were contaminated with SV-40.

Instead of withdrawing the vaccine, the NIH destroyed Eddy’s career. A year later two other virologists replicated Eddy’s findings, and two polio vaccine manufacturers voluntarily withdrew their vaccine. Although NIH reportedly took steps to ensure that batches coming to market after 1963 were SV-40-free, they allowed doctors to inoculate a million more children (worldwide) with contaminated vaccine.

The New Orleans Medical “Manhattan Project”

Haslam believes the top secret experiments Sherman, Ferrie and Baker conducted in 1963 involved irradiating SV-40 virus with a linear accelerator, with the intention of a creating a biological warfare agent. Their hope was to create a mutated virus that would cause a “galloping cancer” that would kill its victim within weeks. It was Ferrie’s job to sacrifice the mice, dissect the tumors and identify and extract viruses that seemed the most virulent.

Sherman was working under the direction of Dr Alton Ochsner, a staunch anticommunist and known FBI and CIA asset. Freedom of Information act records reveal the FBI released him in 1959 to take a “sensitive position” at Tulane. The position, Haslam believes, involved running a kind of medical Manhattan Project to create cancer causing viruses. Ochsner’s stated mission was to find a vaccine against SV-40, presumably to prevent an epidemic of soft tissue cancers in children exposed to SV-40 via the polio vaccine. Numerous documents and witness statements suggest the true intention was to create a cancer causing virus for use in the assassination of Fidel Castro.

Oswald (on both the CIA and FBI payroll in 1963) comes into the story as a chaperone for Judyth Baker, a 19 year old girl genius who was assisting Sherman and Ferrie in their experiments. According to Haslam, Oswald was also the courier assigned to smuggle the fatal virus into Cuba. This meant Baker had to train him to look after the special culture medium that kept it alive.

Although Haslam’s original intention was to identify Dr Mary Sherman’s killer, in the end he concludes she most likely died from accidental electrocution while operating the high voltage linear accelerator. The top secret nature of her biological warfare research made it essential to conceal the circumstances of her death. Thus her body was massively mutilated (to make it look like a sex crime) secretly removed to her apartment.

*A Farewell to Justice by Joan Mellen confirms Sherman’s role in secretive experiments at Tulane, in which viruses were bombarded with a linear accelerator.

**Haslam devotes an entire chapter to the likely role SV-40 exposure, via the polio vaccine, has likely played in the current epidemic of soft tissue cancers. He cites National Cancer Institute Data showing a 50% increase between 1973 and 1988 in skin, lymphoma, prostate and breast cancer.

The SV-49 Foundation maintains a website devoted to the collation of SV-40 research. Except for a rare cancer known mesothelioma and a type of brain cancer, the official position of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is “more research is needed” to establish a definitive link between SV-40 and human cancers.

 

when a billion

When a Billion Chinese Jump: How China Will Save Mankind – Or Destroy it

 By Jonathan Watts (2010 Faber and Faber)

 Book Review

 (Yesterday the Wall Street Journal reported that nearly 1/5 of China’s farmland is contaminated with heavy metals, such as arsenic and cadmium, that are absorbed by rice and very damaging to human health.) 

The major premise of When a Billion Chinese Jump is the enormous threat China’s burgeoning middle class poses to climate stability with their insatiable demand for gas-guzzling cars and energy-intensive homes and consumer goods.

The reader comes away with an overall impression of an environmental war zone: severely contaminated rivers, aquifer depletion, clear cut forests, smog, landslides, toxic waste-related cancer villages, and mass species extinction

Watts makes no secret of his belief that catastrophic climate change can’t be prevented – no matter what the rest of the world does – unless China drastically curbs its reliance on coal for energy production.

China: the West’s Industrial Cesspool

Watts traces a variety of political, economic, and philosophical influences that have led to China’s current ecological disaster. Ironically the key factor behind the country’s rapid development – the outsourcing of western industry – is number one on the list. For the past thirty years, western companies have been exporting their industrial base to China and other Asian countries to exploit low labor costs. They have simultaneously exported the major ecological damage associated with heavy industry – along with mountains of defunct electronic devices for end-of-life disposal.

The second major cause of China’s ecological nightmare is the reality that most of provincial China operates outside the law. Despite China’s “totalitarian” central government real power, according to Watts, rests in a middle band of local party chiefs, factory owners, and foreign investors and outsourcers.

He believes centralized control of China began its decline with Mao’s death. In his view, each successive government is more politically “timid” than the previous. The Ministry of Environmental Protection has developed many far-sighted environmental regulations that the Politburo is afraid of enforcing at a regional and local level. They are terrified of imposing any measures that might impair development. Without elections, the central government has no popular mandate. This means that surging development and nationalism are the only source of their legitimacy.

An interesting side effect of this endemic corruption is that illegal protests and riots – usually over crop and health damage caused by pollutions – are extremely common. In most cases, rioting is the only way to ensure environmental protections are enforced.

The Chinese Environmental Movement

The book’s most interesting chapter concerns the Chinese environmental movement. When Beijing shut down the pro-democracy movement after the 1989 Tienanmen Square massacre, many pro-democracy advocates found it was safer to transplant their activism to the environmental movement. Especially after President Hu Jintao explicitly called for greater public, NGO (non-governmental organization) and journalistic oversight to expose companies that breach environmental regulations.

Despite nominal central support for greater openness and transparency, Chinese environmentalists still play a cat and mouse game with government authorities. National environmental networks have been forbidden since 2008, owing to deep Politburo suspicion of the role the CIA played in instigating the 2004-2005 color revolutions in Eastern Europe.

Watts talks about an invisible line circumscribing acceptable activism – activists, journalists and lawyers don’t know where the line is till they cross it and local security officials beat them up and throw them in jail.

farewell to justice

A Farewell to Justice: Jim Garrison, JFK’s Assassination, and the Case that Should Have Changed History

by Joan Mellen (2013 Skyhorse Publishing)

Book Review

 A Farewell to Justice is an exhaustive review of the only arrest and trial stemming from the 1963 murder of President John F Kennedy. The late New Orleans district attorney Jim Garrison describes the 1967 grand jury investigation and prosecution of long time CIA officer Clay Shaw in his 1988 bestseller On the Trail of the Assassins. In 1992, the public outcry prompted by JFK, Oliver Stone’s screen version, led Congress to pass the JFK Records Collection Act. A Farewell to Justice uses classified documents released under this Act to update Garrison’s original case against Shaw and other CIA co-conspirators.

A revised version of the 2005 edition, the new 647 page A Farewell to Justice is a virtual encyclopedia of the JFK assassination. The book leaves no doubt that high level CIA officials authorized the murder and provides a complete list of the cast of characters who played roles in the assassination and/or cover up.

The new edition makes use of documents Mellen obtainedvia a 2011 Freedom of Information (FOIA) request and personal  interviews with surviving assassination witnesses. The most startling new evidence relates to Robert Kennedy’s systematic efforts to obstruct both the Warren Commission investigation and Jim Garrison’s efforts to identify the real culprits behind his brother’s murder.

Oswald’s FBI Pay Slips

According to Mellen, it was Warren Commission member Hale Boggs who first encouraged Garrison to investigate the assassination. Boggs himself first became concerned about government involvement in the conspiracy when the Warren Commission examined Oswald’s FBI pay slips in January 1964.

As well as providing a detailed outline of the entire grand jury investigation, Mellen also explores the role the FBI, CIA and Robert Kennedy played in sabotaging it. In addition to murdering and threatening assassination witnesses, the FBI/CIA wiretapped Garrison’s office, infiltrated his investigation team, stole files, fabricated witness statements, blocked subpoenas and the extradition of witnesses from other states and used CIA moles at the TV networks and major newspapers and magazines to portray Garrison as a self-centered, publicity mad lunatic.

Garrison initially intended to try Dave Ferrie, who he believed recruited Oswald to US intelligence as a high school student when he belonged to Ferrie’s Civil Air Patrol squadron. Garrison had witness testimony linking Ferrie, a known CIA pilot, to both Oswald and anti-Castro Cubans the CIA was training at a secret camp north of Lake Pontchartrain. Many of the same Cubans, training for roles in a CIA plot to assassinate Fidel Castro, would play parallel roles in Kennedy’s murder. When Ferrie suddenly turned up dead, Garrison moved to arrest Clay Shaw, based on witness statements linking Shaw to Oswald, Ferrie and the secret training facility.

Jurors Believe Government Played Some Role

Although Shaw was ultimately acquitted, Garrison succeeded in convincing the jury that the government played some role in the assassination. As they later told assassination researcher Mark Lane, without proof Shaw worked for the CIA, they felt there was reasonable doubt that he participated. His CIA personnel records wouldn’t be released until the mid-seventies.

Garrison would continue investigating the JFK assassination until his death. He made his findings available to the Church Committee (which concluded in 1976 that Oswald was a CIA operative engaged in counterintelligence) and the 1978 House Select Committee on Assassinations (which concluded there was more than one shooter and that Shaw was one of the high level planners).

According to Mellen, the CIA decided in the early 1970s to sacrifice Shaw (who would die in 1974 of lung cancer) as a limited hangout* by releasing his CIA employment records to HSCA. They reveal that Shaw worked for both the Domestic Operations Division and Clandestine Services between 1949 and 1972 and had strong links to PERMINDEX a shadowy CIA front that financed assassination attempts against French president Charles De Gaulle, as well as Kennedy.

Why Robert Kennedy Obstructed the Investigation

The classified documents released in Mellen’s FOIA suit establish that Attorney General Robert Kennedy was personally running the CIA operation to assassinate Castro and well aware of Oswald’s links to the operation. In 1961 Kennedy was directly responsible for the demotion, harassment and persecution of a State Department security officer named Otto Otepka for investigating Oswald’s potential security risk as a former Soviet defector. Kennedy also ordered Oswald’s release following his arrest for firing shots at General Edwin Walker in April 1963.

In the summer of 1963 several Cuban exiles, who were deeply devoted to Bobby, informed him of Oswald’s involvement in a plot to assassinate his brother. According to Mellen, who interviewed one of them, Kennedy claimed that Oswald wasn’t a threat because he was on the payroll of the New Orleans FBI field office and they were monitoring him.

According to Mellen, the younger Kennedy played a direct role, through his investigator Walter Sheridan, in sabotaging Kennedy’s autopsy, the Warren Commission investigation and Garrison’s investigation. Following Bobby’s assassination in 1968, Sheridan continued to protect his  interests by obstructing the release of documents for the 1978 HSCA investigation.

Mellen’s hypothesizes that Bobby’s interest and intervention on behalf of Oswald indirectly implicated him in the assassination conspiracy. It would have destroyed his political career for any of his prior links to Oswald to become public.

*Limited hangout is intelligence jargon for a form of propaganda in which a selected portion of a criminal conspiracy is revealed to protect the main perpetrators.

 

sudan refugees

 

60,000 African Refugees and 70,000 Bedouin Affected

Israel‘s obsession with Jewish ethnic purity has led to the enactment of open ethnic cleansing by the current Netanyahu government.

Aside from Israel’s genocidal policies towards Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, new legislation affects 60,000 African refugees and 70,000 Bedouin living within Israel proper. The latter are, by law, Israeli citizens and many have served in the Israeli Defense Force.

Officials in the Netanyahu government justify their racial purity laws as essential to prevent “demographic” problems.

Ensuring that Israel remains both a Jewish state and a democracy requires that non-Jewish populations must be strictly controlled. Allowing non-Jewish Israelites, either singly or jointly, to acquire a sizable voting block would pose a major threat to maintaining Judaism as the official state religion.

In 1948, this resulted in nearly a million Palestinians being driven from their homes and farms by force, to take up residence in refugee camps in Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon. Following the 1967 war, Israel seized the areas of Gaza (in Egypt) and the West Bank (in Jordan) that housed the Palestinian refugee camps.

Since then, they have made no secret of their intention to drive the Palestinians from these areas, as well, and repopulate them with Jewish settlers.

Africans Called Cancer on Jewish State

Receiving less attention are Netanyahu’s brutal policies towards 60,000 African refugees, who fled ethnic cleansing in Eritrea and Sudan to resettle in Israel. As journalist David Sheen describes in Journalists Blistering Indictment, leaders in Netanyahu’s government describe them as a “cancer” on the Jewish state.

It has become official government policy to deny them work permits and health care, and a state sponsored rabbi group has called on landlords not to rent to Africans. In 2012, the Netanyahu government amended the 1954 Prevention of Infiltration Law. The original law was intended to bar Palestinians from returning to family property Israel confiscated in 1948. The new amendment allowed the Israeli government to criminalize and detain African refugees for up to three years prior to deporting them.

Knesset Circumvents Israeli Supreme Court

Last year, Israel’s supreme court unanimously struck down the amendment. Under international law, it’s illegal for any country’ to deport asylum seekers back to countries where they will experience persecution. The Knesset responded by passing a new law ordering the indefinite imprisonment and the detainment of any foreign person caught trying to cross into Israel.

Under the new legislation, hundreds of African refugees are required to live in the “open” Holot detention center in the Negev Desert. Refugees are permitted to leave the detention center briefly during daytime hours. However they must return three times a day for roll call and must sleep there at night. Human rights groups have also appealed the new law to the Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, as shown in the video below, the government is organizing state sponsored protests in which Israel’s Jewish citizens are encouraged to trash African refugees’ homes and assault them. If Israel can’t legally deport them, they hope they will leave voluntarily if the government makes their lives as miserable as possible.

Ethnically Cleansing 70,000 Bedouin

Israel’s ethnic purity policies aren’t limited to Palestinians and Africans. Israel is also determined to displace 70,000 Bedouins through the Begin-Prawer law enacted in 2013.

If fully implemented, the Prawer-Begin Plan will result in the destruction of 35 “unrecognized” Arab Bedouin villages, the forced displacement of up to 70,000 Arab Bedouin citizens of Israel, and the dispossession of their historical lands in the Naqab.

Palestine Applies to join International Criminal Court

Genocide and ethnic cleansing are crimes against humanity under international law. Serbian and African leaders suspected of ethnic cleansing have faced prosecution by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, Netherlands.

At the beginning of April, the Palestinian ambassador to the UN announced that the Palestinian Authority had sought membership in the ICC and 12 other UN conventions, due to continuing Israeli obstruction in current peace talks. When the UN General Assembly recognized a state of Palestine in October 2012, Palestinians gained the right to seek membership in UN institutions and treaty bodies and possibly take their complaints over Israeli settlement-building on occupied land (also illegal under international law) to the ICC.

On April 12, the UN announced that the state of Palestine had been admitted to the 13 conventions as of July 2, including membership in the ICC and the convention against genocide.

Photo credit: EU Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection via photopin cc

Originally published in Veterans Today