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The Top 25 Censored Stories of 2008-9 - Page 2 PDF Print E-mail
News/Features - Feature Stories
Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 12 November 2009 06:32

11. Private Corporations Profit from the Occupation of Palestine

Israeli and international corporations are directly involved in the occupation of Palestine. Along with various political, religious and national interests, the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, Gaza, and the Golan Heights is fueled by corporate interests. These occupying companies and corporations lead real-estate deals, develop the Israeli colonies and infrastructure, and contribute to the construction and operation of an ethnic-separation system, including checkpoints, walls, and roads. They also design and supply equipment and tools used in the control and repression of the civilian population under occupation.

An extensive, ongoing grassroots investigation, which exposes hundreds of international companies and corporations involved in the occupation, is being conducted and posted online at WhoProfits.org by the Israeli group Coalition of Women for Peace. The project currently focuses on three main areas of corporate involvement in the occupation: the settlement industry, economic exploitation, and control of the population.

12. Mysterious Death of Mike Connell -- Karl Rove's Election Thief

Karl Rove's chief IT consultant, Mike Connell -- who was facing subpoena in connection with 2004 presidential-election fraud in Ohio -- mysteriously died in a private-plane crash in 2008. Connell was allegedly the central figure in a longstanding plot to electronically flip votes to Republicans.

In July 2008, Connell was named as a key witness in the case known as King Lincoln Bronzeville Neighborhood Association V. Blackwell, which was filed against Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth J. Blackwell on August 31, 2006, by Columbus attorneys Clifford Arnebeck and Robert Fitrakis. It initially charged Blackwell with racially discriminatory practices -- including the selective purging of voters from the election rolls and the unequal allocation of voting machines to various districts -- and asked for measures to be taken to prevent similar problems during the November 2006 election.

On October 9, 2006, an amended complaint added charges of various forms of ballot rigging as also having the effect of "depriving the plaintiffs of their voting rights, including the right to have their votes successfully cast without intimidation, dilution, cancellation, or reversal by voting machine or ballot tampering." A motion to dismiss the case as moot was filed following the November 2006 election, but it was instead stayed to allow for settlement discussions.

The case took on fresh momentum in July 2008 when Arnebeck announced that he was filing to "lift the stay in the case and proceed with targeted discovery in order to help protect the integrity of the 2008 election." The new filing was inspired in part by the coming forward as a whistleblower of GOP IT security expert Stephen Spoonamore, who said he was prepared to testify to the plausibility of electronic vote-rigging having been carried out in 2004. The stay was lifted September 19, 2008, and Connell was served a subpoena on September 22.

Spoonamore, a conservative Republican who works for big banks, international governments, and the Secret Service as an expert in the detection of computer fraud, found evidence that Karl Rove, with the help of Mike Connell and his company GovTech Solutions, electronically stole the Ohio 2004 election for Bush.

Spoonamore testified that the "vote tabulation system [which Connell designed] allowed the introduction of an additional single computer between computer A and computer B." This is called a "man in the middle" attack. According to Spoonamore, "This centralized collection of all incoming statewide tabulations would make it easy for a single operator, or a preprogrammed 'force balancing computer,' to change the results in any way desired by the team controlling the Computer C." Spoonamore further testified that the only purpose for such "man in the middle" architecture is to commit crime.

Despite Connell's efforts to quash his subpoena to testify, he was ordered to appear for a two-hour, closed-door deposition on November 3, 2008, just eighteen hours before the 2008 national election. Though Connell had expressed willingness to testify, he was reticent after receiving threats from Rove.

Election-fraud analyst and author Mark Crispin Miller notes that the timing and circumstances of Connell's death -- between deposition and trial -- are too suspicious and convenient for Rove and the Bush administration not to merit a thorough investigation.

Connell was an experienced pilot. His plane had been recently serviced. He had been in the nation's capital on still-unknown business before his single-engine plane crashed December 22, 2008 on the way home, just three miles short of the runway in Akron, Ohio. The cause of the crash remains unknown.

13. Katrina's Hidden Race War

A report in The Nation magazine exposes how white vigilante groups patrolled the streets of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, shooting at least 11 African-American men.

While most of New Orleans was deluged in the wake of Katrina, word spread that Algiers Point was dry. The National Guard designated the Algiers Point ferry landing an official evacuation site, where flood victims were to be loaded onto buses headed for safety in Texas. Facing an influx of refugees, a group of heavily armed white residents sought to seal the area and to rid the neighborhood of "those who didn't belong."

While white vigilantes killed an estimated total of 11 African-American victims, local police have never conducted investigations. So far, the crimes have gone unpunished.

14. Congress Invested in Defense Contracts

The nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics has calculated that more than 151 members of Congress have up to $195 million invested in major defense contractors that are earning profits from the U.S. military occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In 2006, the investment portfolios of 151 current members -- more than a quarter of Congress -- had between $78.7 million and $195.5 million invested in companies that received major defense contracts (over $5 million). The portfolios include holdings in companies paid billions of dollars each month to support America's military. These companies provided almost everything the military uses, from aircraft and weapons to medical supplies and soft drinks.

15. World Bank's Carbon Trade Fiasco

In the name of environmental protection, the World Bank is brokering carbon-emission-trading arrangements that destroy indigenous farmlands around the world.

The effort to coordinate global action to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions began with the Kyoto Protocol, which was adopted in 1997 and now has been ratified by 183 nations. While many of the strategies established in the protocol are encouraging, some are proving to have fatal flaws. One such program, known as Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) investment, has become a means by which industrialized countries avoid reducing their own emissions through the implementation of "emissions reduction" projects in developing nations.

Because of a myopic focus on greenhouse-gas reduction, and a lack of accountability to local communities, many projects in Latin America are producing other environmental and social ills that are diametrically opposed to the program's stated objectives.

Wood and pulp industries have shown great interest in harnessing the carbon market to justify and finance projects that involve expropriating indigenous farm and grazing land for planting of enormous monospecific plantations. These plantations threaten the area's biodiversity and can severely deplete water resources. Author Mary Tharin warns, "From an ecological standpoint, planting large-scale plantations of non-native species in this area is clearly a step in the wrong direction. From a societal standpoint, this could spell cultural genocide."

16. U.S. Repression of Haiti Continues

The U.S. government plans to expropriate and demolish the homes of hundreds of Haitians in the shantytown of Cité Soleil to expand the occupying UN force's military base. The U.S. government contractor DynCorp, a quasi-official arm of the Pentagon and the CIA, is responsible for the base expansion. The base will house the soldiers of the UN Mission to Stabilize Haiti (MINU.S.TAH). Cité Soleil is the most bullet-ridden battleground of the foreign military occupation, which began after U.S. Special Forces kidnapped and exiled President Jean-Bertrand Aristide on February 29, 2004. Citizens have since been victimized by recurring massacres at the hands of MINU.S.TAH.

DynCorp's $5-million contracts include expansion of the principal base and the rebuilding of the Cité Soleil police station and two other militarized outposts, as well as training support and procurement of equipment.

According to Cité Soleil Mayor Charles Joseph and a DynCorp foreman at the site, the State Department's U.S. Agency for International Development provides funding for the base expansion -- an unorthodox use of development aid.

17. The ICC Facilitates U.S. Covert War in Sudan

The United States promoted the International Criminal Court (ICC) indictment of Sudan President Omar al-Bashir for war crimes in Darfur in order to justify continuing Western exploitation and military interventions in the resource-rich region.

"America is an opportunist country," explains Sudanese Ambassador Abdalmahmood Abdalhaleem Mohamad. "They want to use the ICC without being a party to it." In effect, he said, U.S. soldiers can have immunity, but not the president of Sudan.

18. Ecuador's Constitutional Rights of Nature

In September 2008 Ecuador became the first country in the world to declare constitutional rights to nature, thus codifying a new system of environmental protection.

Reflecting the beliefs and traditions of the indigenous peoples of Ecuador, the constitution declares that nature "has the right to exist, persist, maintain, and regenerate its vital cycles, structure, functions, and its processes in evolution." This right, the constitution states, "is independent of the obligation on natural and juridical persons or the State to indemnify the people that depend on the natural systems."