Archive for July, 2009

McKinney Released

July 6, 2009

McKinney released, returning to United States
By RHONDA COOK, LARRY HARTSTEIN
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Sunday, July 05, 2009

Cynthia McKinney’s mom said she’s learned that her daughter is on the way home.

Leola McKinney said a friend who contacted the U.S. Embassy in Israel reported that the former congresswoman was released from Israeli custody and taken to Ben Gurion International Airport.
See the McKinney video

Recent headlines:

* Atlantans’ business geared toward curvy jeans fits
* McKinney, still in jail, expected to see judge Sunday
* Man drowns at Stone Mountain park

• DeKalb County news

“We finally got word that she was released,” Leola McKinney said late Sunday afternoon. “We don’t know what time she is supposed to fly out. All we know is that they took her to the airport.

“I would be more relieved when I know she’s on the flight,” Leola McKinney added. “But I am relieved that she’s away from there.”

McKinney had been in custody since Tuesday, when she and 20 others were swept up by the Israeli Navy while allegedly trying to sail through a navy blockade. The group says it was attempting to deliver humanitarian supplies to Gaza.

McKinney and the rest of her group could have been released soon after they were taken into custody but they refused to sign a document admitting they violated Israel’s blockade, according to McKinney’s parents. The group was due to appear in an Israeli court Sunday.

Leola McKinney said she had no information about the court hearing.

Leola McKinney said she had not spoken with her daughter since shortly after she was taken into custody.

Cynthia McKinney and other members of the “Free Gaza Movement ” left Cyprus Tuesday on the Greek-registered ship Arion.

Their ship was stopped when they tried to pass through the Israeli Navy’s security blockade at Ashdod. The group was taken into custody and their ship was seized. Israel officials promised to deliver by ground all of the humanitarian supplies that were on the boat.

Family, friends and supporters say Cynthia McKinney believed she was in international waters and was free to pass.

“The Israelis hijacked us because we wanted to give crayons to the children of Gaza,” Cynthia McKinney said in a recorded statement delivered via telephone and posted on the internet site YouTube [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JkPvzSZRuDo].

The office of the Consulate General of Israel in Atlanta said in a statement released Friday, “According to Israeli law Ms. McKinney and her fellow crew members were suggested to sign a form acknowledging their deportation… Since Ms. McKinney has refused to do so, she is expected to appear before an Israeli judge on Sunday, July 5, and afterwards be returned home as soon as possible.”

Civil rights leader the Rev. Joseph Lowery, head of the Atlanta-based Coalition for the People’s Agenda, said he and others have spoken by phone with the Consulate General of Israel.

“Whatever happened, there was no harm done,” Lowery said. “She was not carrying munitions, but medicine. We hope Israel will show compassion and release her and let her go on to deliver the much-needed medicine to the Gaza Strip. … If she were carrying guns, that would be a different thing. [But] she was carrying humanitarian aid.”

Israeli officials blame McKinney and her group for the controversy, saying they were looking for confrontation to attract publicity. The officials note that Palestinian Authority and the rest of the international community had agreed to the off-shore blockade to prevent arms smuggling into Gaza. Gaza is controlled by Hamas, which is classified by the U.S. and European Union as a terrorist organization.

Leola McKinney said the trip would have received no “publicity if they had been allowed to deliver supplies to Gaza. They [Israel] made an issue out of it by taking the boat and escorting them into Israel.”

Billy McKinney, Cynthia McKinney’s father and a former state legislator, said his daughter was only trying to show “the devastation in Gaza… Anybody who has a humanitarian spirit would not want to see those people live in those conditions.”

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Cybersecurity

July 6, 2009

Cybersecurity Plan to Involve NSA, Telecoms
July 3, 2009, Washington Post
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/02/AR2009070202771.html

The Obama administration will proceed with a Bush-era plan to use National Security Agency assistance in screening government computer traffic on private-sector networks, with AT&T as the likely test site, according to three current and former government officials. President Obama said in May that government efforts to protect computer systems from attack would not involve “monitoring private-sector networks or Internet traffic,” and Department of Homeland Security officials say the new program will scrutinize only data going to or from government systems. But the program has provoked debate within DHS, the officials said, because of uncertainty about whether private data can be shielded from unauthorized scrutiny, how much of a role NSA should play and whether the agency’s involvement in warrantless wiretapping during George W. Bush’s presidency would draw controversy. Each time a private citizen visited a “dot-gov” Web site or sent an e-mail to a civilian government employee, that action would be screened for potential harm to the network. Under a classified pilot program approved during the Bush administration, NSA data and hardware would be used to protect the networks of some civilian government agencies. Part of an initiative known as Einstein 3, the plan called for telecommunications companies to route the Internet traffic of civilian agencies through a monitoring box that would search for and block computer codes designed to penetrate or otherwise compromise networks. AT&T, the world’s largest telecommunications firm, was the Bush administration’s choice to participate in the test. AT&T officials declined to comment. The prospect of NSA involvement in cybersecurity … fuels concerns about unwarranted government snooping into private communication.”

Terror Policy

July 6, 2009

To Critics, New Policy on Terror Looks Old
July 2, 2009, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/02/us/02gitmo.html

Civil libertarians recently accused President Obama of acting like former President George W. Bush, citing reports about Mr. Obama’s plans to detain terrorism suspects without trials on domestic soil after he closes the Guantánamo prison. It was only the latest instance in which critics have argued that Mr. Obama has failed to live up to his campaign pledge “to restore our Constitution and the rule of law” and raised a pointed question: Has he, on issues related to fighting terrorism, turned out to be little different from his predecessor? Mr. Obama’s critics say that … the core problem with Mr. Bush’s approach … was that it trammeled individual rights. And they say Mr. Obama’s policies have not changed that. “President Obama may mouth very different rhetoric,” said Anthony D. Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union. “He may have a more complicated process with members of Congress. But in the end, there is no substantive break from the policies of the Bush administration.” Mr. Obama has also drawn fire from human rights advocates for fighting to prevent detainees in Afghanistan from having habeas corpus rights. Mr. Obama has also continued other Bush-era policies … like the C.I.A.’s “extraordinary rendition” program … and the invocation of the “state secrets” privilege to shut down some lawsuits. Jack Balkin, a Yale Law School professor, said Mr. Obama’s ratification of the basic outlines of the surveillance and detention policies he inherited would reverberate for generations. By bestowing bipartisan acceptance on them, Mr. Balkin said, Mr. Obama is consolidating them as entrenched features of government. “What we are watching,” Mr. Balkin said, “is a liberal, centrist, Democratic version of the construction of these same governing practices.”

Cynthis McKinney imprisoned in Israel

July 6, 2009

Israelis intercept Gaza aid ship
June 30, 2009, BBC News
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8127145.stm

Israeli forces have boarded a ship trying to carry aid and pro-Palestinian activists to the Gaza Strip in defiance of Israel’s blockade of the territory. The 20 passengers include former US congresswoman Cynthia McKinney and Nobel Prize winner Mairead Maguire. Ms McKinney described it as “an outrageous violation of international law”, as the boat was on a humanitarian mission and was not in Israeli waters. The US-based Free Gaza Movement has breached the blockade five times since August 2008. Two other attempts by the activist group were stopped by Israeli warships during Israel’s three-week military offensive in Gaza in December and January. The mission is the latest by the Free Gaza Movement, which has renamed the ferry Spirit of Humanity. “This is an outrageous violation of international law against us. Our boat was not in Israeli waters, and we were on a human rights mission to the Gaza Strip,” said Ms McKinney in a statement. “President [Barack] Obama just told Israel to let in humanitarian and reconstruction supplies, and that’s exactly what we tried to do. We’re asking the international community to demand our release so we can resume our journey.” On Monday, a report by the International Committee of the Red Cross described the 1.5 million Palestinians living in Gaza as people “trapped in despair”, unable to rebuild their lives after Israel’s offensive. Donors have pledged $4.5 billion for reconstruction and rehabilitation in Gaza following the 22-day offensive which left more than 50,000 homes, 800 industrial properties and 200 schools damaged or destroyed, as well as 39 mosques and two churches.

MLK – Civil Rights Museum

July 6, 2009

Museum Gives Voice to Doubts on Dr. King’s Killer
October 16, 2002, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2002/10/16/us/museum-gives-voice-to-doubts-on-dr-king-s-killer.html

James Earl Ray, a drifter and ex-convict, shot and killed the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with a single bullet here on an April evening in 1968. That is the official story, the reason Mr. Ray spent the last three decades of his life in prison. Everybody knows it. But not everybody accepts it. Almost as soon as Dr. King was cut down — and even more so after Mr. Ray recanted his guilty plea — conspiracy theories abounded. Some said the assassin was an army sniper. Mr. Ray insisted he had been framed by a man named Raul, hired by the C.I.A. There was even a report that one of Dr. King’s entourage had helped to kill him. Now … the conspiracy theories have stirred to life again at the National Civil Rights Museum, in the former Lorraine Motel where Dr. King was shot. The museum recently opened an exhibit in a new $11 million wing primarily to document the assassination and the mystery that still surrounds it, at least in some people’s minds. On display are 200 pieces of evidence, freshly unsealed from police archives. The gun. The 30.06-caliber bullet tweezed out of Dr. King’s body. A fake passport and guidebook to Rhodesia found on Mr. Ray, curious artifacts for an unemployed ex-convict supposedly working solo. Questions are stamped on the wall, in bold letters. “Did Ray have help? Did someone else do it? Was the Memphis Police Department part of the conspiracy?” The King family believes that Mr. Ray, who died of liver disease in 1998, was not the killer. Dexter King, Dr. King’s son, visited Mr. Ray on his deathbed. The government killed my father, Dexter King told him, not you. Mr. Ray’s family said they were finally getting the vindication they deserved.

Note: In one of the biggest media cover-ups ever, the government was found guilty of consipiring to murder King in a 1999 civil trial in Memphis. The press strangely boycotted the historic trial. For more on this amazingly well kept secret, click here. For many revealing reports on the major US political assassinations, which consistently cast doubts on the official accounts of how they occurred, click here

Happy 4th of July!!!

July 5, 2009

Let’s celebrate our freedom.