Especially after World War II, the prize committee, which is appointed by the Norwegian Parliament, has widened the scope of the prize to include environmental, humanitarian and other efforts, he said.
For example, in 2007 the prize went to climate activist Al Gore and the U.N.’s panel on climate change, and in 2009 the committee cited Obama for “extraordinary efforts” to boost international diplomacy.
“Do you see Obama as a promoter of abolishing the military as a tool of international affairs?” Heffermehl asked rhetorically.
Nobel said the peace prize should be awarded by a Norwegian committee, and the other Nobel Prizes by committees in Sweden. The two Scandinavian nations were in a union at the time.
“Fighting climate change is definitely closely related to fraternity between nations. It even concerns the survival of some states,” he told AP.
Still, the County Administrative Board decided to sent a letter to the Stockholm-based Nobel Foundation, which manages the prize assets, requesting a formal response to the allegations.
“We have no basis to suggest that they haven’t managed it properly. But we want to investigate it,” Wiman said.
|Protesters affiliated with Occupy Wall Street demonstrate during an Occupy the Courts protest outside Thurgood Marshall U.S. Courthouse on January 20, 2012 in New York City|
Anonymous promised that after hacking the intelligence firm Stratfor, called by some a “shadow CIA,” they’d prove that they were more than just a consulting firm.
Now it looks like the private company worked along with law enforcement in attempting to bring down the Occupy movement.
In some of the latest pieces of correspondence made public, however, information that many had already suspected about the role law enforcement played in infiltrating the Occupy Wall Street movement is brought to light. In an exchange of emails between Stratfor executives that has been published by hackers involved in the matter, employees of the firm go back-and-forth with one another in detail over information that Texas law enforcement supplied the firm after investigating an Austin Occupy meet-up.
In the emails, Strafor employees discuss intel about the Occupy movement that was supplied to them by a “Texas DPS agent,” or an officer within the ranks of the Lone Star State’s Department of Public Safety. The DPS is a state-wide law enforcement agency that investigates suspicious activity and allegations of terrorism within Texas. The question of why state law enforcement shared that email with a private intelligence firm is open to interpretation, but certainly suggests that attempts to understand and perhaps undermine the local OWS chapter was more than just a minor operation.
According to the documentation, which includes correspondence from late 2011, Stratfor employees discuss both Occupy Austin and the Deep Green Resistance, or DGR. While DGR is not directly affiliated with Occupy Wall Street, it is a similar movement — to a degree — that encourages environmental activism that isn’t present in more mainstream campaigns. In a press release, the DGR attacks both Texas authorities and Strafor for their newly revealed roles.
“Deep Green Resistance condemns the surveillance and infiltration of activist groups by law enforcement and private corporations and calls on activists and their allies to expose and protest this violation of all of our constitutional rights,” the group says in a statement published Thursday.
Rachel Meeropol, a staff attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights, adds that she is outraged over how Stratfor and the DPS were in cahoots over infiltrating Occupy Austin.
“Law enforcement sharing information about local activism with private intelligence firms should be a huge scandal,” writes Meeropol in Thursday’s statement. “Privately funded surveillance and infiltration of activist groups is especially chilling, as time and again we see such corporations operate as if they are above the law and accountable to no one.”
In the emails, Stratfor staffers discuss how one of their own men went undercover to an Occupy Austin General Assembly and attempted to gain insight into how the group operates. Stratfor’s Scott Stewart writes that the movement is considered by some to be “a terrible threat to corporations,” but adds, “in reality, due to the history of anarchists, animal rights, anti-war and anti-globalization protesters, companies are well prepared for such hippy hijinks.” As the Occupy movement continues to thrive more than three months after Stewart shared such words with other Stratfor employees, it is clear that that isn’t the case.
In a separate email sent a month later in November, Korena Zucha of Stratfor writes that a Texas DPS agent has shared information about both movements. In it, Deep Green is linked with Occupy Austin, which DGR shrugs off as speculation. Representatives for DGR believe that the correspondence suggests that surveillance of both groups was ongoing.
In the back-and-forth, Stratfor staffers suggest that sources within Occupy Austin describe some of the DGR members as crazy, to which one adds, “that bothers me, because these Occupy people will tolerate just about anything.”
Stratfor’s Marc Lanthemann, who signs his email as a “Watch Officer” for the firm, suggests that coordination between the DGR and Occupy movement could have dire consequences. Lanthemann writes in one email that he thinks Deep Green is an “eco-terror group is focused on creating a situation where violent confrontation will be the ultimate outcome.”
“It doesn’t require an agent to get simple facts correct. Both of these assertions are just plain false,” responds DGR.
A few months ago as you can see from the first date on his messages befriended me on Facebook, I get a lot of requests and added him. After I did he sent me the first message. I didn’t reply to it for two reasons, firstly Iw as very busy and secondly I don’t give out that kind of information to people that I do not know personally or have dealings with, you just don’t know who they are not matter what they tell you on Facebook!
What I want or should I say would like is for you to read everything and give me your opinion.
Here are his messages and my answer
Elliot Collier lives in Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA.
• Al-Rashid 8/March/2011
Mr Yahia, I hope this message finds you and is not dismissed by an assistant. My name is Elliot Collier; back in 2005 and 2006 I lived at the former Al-Rashid training facility in Baghdad described in your book (I was not a soldier). I am writing to inquire if you would be willing to provide some basic information about the facility such as former uses of the various buildings and things of that nature. If so I have several maps I can send for reference. I appreciate you taking the time to read this, I am a big fan of your books and blog, and I would be honored to have your assitance in this matter. Sincerely, Elliot Collier PS: I have also sent a request through your website via Mr. Rolls.
After I posted a photo on my Facebook page and on Twitter that I received from a Solider in the American Army today, he sent me this message.
I’m ashamed of you Mr. Yahia. I sympathized with your past experiences, but even still, how can you of all people attack America like this without pause? You know better than anyone that the actions of certain leaders, agencies, or persons are not a reflection of their country. Look at the atrocities committed by Iraqis, Afghanis, Iranians, and other people in the middle east; yet you are not posting pictures of their soldiers with dead bodies or slamming their governments. Why are you not outraged about insurgents decapitating civilians? Why are you not protesting Al-Jazira for broadcasting these murders? These pictures and videos do exist… why are you not posting them and condemning the terrorists? Why are we not to assume all Iraqis are murderous, barbaric monsters because of what Uday did? You criticize the US for invading Iraq but might I remind you if we hadn’t Saddam would still be in power, and Uday would still be alive. You claimed it was Iraq’s war to fight and the US shouldn’t have been involved, but do you really think anything would have happened? Who would have stepped up to challenge his power? I will admit war crimes were committed, on both sides; but these are not the actions of a whole people. I spent a year being shot at (by whom?) in Iraq yet never fired a shot myself. We were all taught to take the diplomatic approach first. I have befriended many Iraqis and even assisted several in immigrating to the United States. Does this place me in the same lot as the man in that picture because of our birthplace? Not all Americans are evil, just as not all Iraqis are terrorists. You cannot judge a country based on the perverse actions of a few deranged individuals (which again, exist on BOTH sides). Your hatred and negativity is what is preventing you from finding asylum in another country. Who would want a man who continually spouts off hatred at every government he does not agree with? Yes, you’ve been through some terrible situations that I personally cannot even imagine, but positive actions will carry you a lot further in life. You claim that out of you, Saddam, and Uday, you were the only one left standing… but are you? You claim to support peace, but nothing you do supports this claim. You are a bitter, resentful man that has no future if you don’t follow your own teachings and start practicing tolerance and not hatred. You are different than Uday… but are you any better?
Here is my answer to Mr. Collier.
I am ashamed of you Mr. Collier. To spout off at me with no regard or understanding of what I am saying to you or the world except your own vision, that I am attacking all the people in America. If you had truly read anything that I have written you would know that I continually repeat that I am not against American people, but I am most definitely against American foreign policy.
You say that you have been shot at yet did not return fire, that is because you are not a soldier, but I ask the question what were you doing in Iraq? Why would you risk your life in a barbaric country like Iraq, if it were not for the love of your country or maybe the huge wage that you were being paid to be there, I guarantee it was not because you loved Iraq, the Iraqi people or wanted to see us a free nation. Ask yourself this, how can we be a free nation when we were invaded by a foreign force without provocation?
Yes, it was for Iraqi people to depose Saddam, how can you tell me that we would not have had an “Arab Spring” ? Who would have thought that Mubarak would have been brought down by his own people? I cannot say the same for Libya as we all know foreign hands were a part of that also.
If America had not invaded and Saddam was still in power there would not be Sunni on Shia killings, people would not be being beheaded, murdered or paid to change their name from Sunni to Shia, Under Saddam no matter how much I hated his regime, people had electricity, clean water and medicines, the only time that they did not was under sanctions, yet another weapon used by foreign hands against the people of Iraq.
You accuse me of being bitter etc. I am not bitter, I am telling the truth, just because you don’t like it doesn’t mean that I am wrong and maybe you should take your own advice. As for the people you helped to Immigrate to America, well done to you I hope that they make you proud.
As for Al-Jazeera TV if you don’t know who is behind them and paying their wages ask your government. All of these insurgents and militias were made after America invaded.
Ask yourself this, if I had posted a picture of Iraqis standing with “job well done” smiles outside of a car with dead Americans inside how would you feel?, no matter what your politics or feeling for your government? Why is it that every other life has more value and is entitled to more feelings of outrage than an Iraqis?? Also if I had posted that type of picture you would have accused me of being a supporter of the insurgents, so really it’s a no win situation for me isn’t it? the best example would have been the photos that were put on the internet of insurgents who had killed Mercenaries in Fallujah, what did the American army do to Fallujah? They fired everything legal and illegal at it until it was not much more than powder in the ground, anyone who survived will see generations of their children disfigured and deformed from the chemical weapons that were used and until now Fallujah has the highest cancer level in Iraq. Those mercenaries were not even American or legally attached to the US forces. So again many were killed for a few.
So I stay true to myself Mr. Collier no matter what you think of me.
If you want to tell me that Iraq is safer today under the puppets that have been installed by America and it is not controlled by Iran then I think you need to take a step back and let yourself see things clearly.
Where do you think that I get these photos? I get them from other Americans who disagree with what is going on with their own people but are not in a position to do anything about it.
This is a quote from your message above:
Firstly I am not seeking asylum, I have lived 20 years in the west and what I am seeking is Citizenship which I am entitled to by law. I do not spout off hatred at governments and even if I did what about freedom of speech or is that only for Western people? And if so, what is the point of bringing Democracy to the middle east if we are not truly allowed to practice it? Your words prove that anyone who had some sort of authority in Iraq be you a soldier/fireman etc (because let’s face it anyone who went to Iraq had authority over the Iraqi people) believes that anyone who had an opinion different to your American one is wrong! You see what I have learned in my 20 years in the West is that it is fine to criticize dictators, despots and tyrants but not democracies, which is strange because that is truly what democracy is all about isn’t it? So, although I understood perfectly well before, I am thankful that somebody finally said it out loud. It is more than clear now why people like Uday’s pimps, murderers from militias etc have attained Citizenship in the West, they are able to put their heads down and say Yes, yes, yes, that is until they get the citizenship and then you see them on Arabic TV (because after years they still can’t speak the language of their new country) saying things like “Uday was a Martyr” and “down with America”. What you see is what you get with me, I am not two faced.
As I said earlier, I HOPE THE IRAQIS THAT YOU HELPED TO IMMIGRATE TO THE US DO YOU PROUD.
Good day Sir.
|Same shit different ass, they both have Damaged the World.|
The human rights group Amnesty International called on Canadian authorities Wednesday to arrest former President George W. Bush when he attends an economic summit in the province of British Columbia next week.
The group accused Bush of “responsibility for crimes under international law including torture.”Amnesty International asked that Canada either prosecute or extradite Bush for violations that they allege took place during the CIA’s secret detention program between 2002 and 2009. The organization wrote a 1,000 page memorandum addressed to Canadian authorities to make the case for human rights violations by the 43rd president.“Canada is required by its international obligations to arrest and prosecute former President Bush given his responsibility for crimes under international law including torture,” Susan Lee, Americas Director at Amnesty International, said in a statement. The Canadian government responded to the request with critical words for Amnesty International. “I cannot comment on individual cases… that said, Amnesty International cherry picks cases to publicize based on ideology. This kind of stunt helps explain why so many respected human rights advocates have abandoned Amnesty International,” Canadian Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Jason Kenney told POLITICO, noting that Amnesty International had never sought a court order to bar Cuban dictator Fidel Castro or Tongolese dicator Gnassingbé Eyadema from Canada. “Perhaps this helps to explain why Salman Rushie has said that ‘it looks very much as if Amnesty’s leadership is suffering from a kind of moral bankruptcy,’ and why Christopher Hitchens has written about the organization’s ‘degeneration and politicization,’” Kenney added. Bush cancelled a visit to Switzerland in February after facing similar public calls for his arrest by the other human rights groups. Amnesty International said that Canada was obligated to arrest Bush under its commitments to the UN Convention Against Torture. The human rights organization objected to the Bush administration’s “enhanced interrogation techniques” and violations they characterized as “cruel, inhuman and degrating treatment and enforced disappearances.” “A failure by Canada to take action during his visit would violate the UN Convention against Torture and demonstrate contempt for fundamental human rights,” said Lee.
by: Michael J. Totten
Uday Hussein pushes drug abuse, sex, and impulsive violence to their extremes. He doesn’t just blow cocaine up his nose; he snorts it off the tip of a dagger. He likes to kill people when he gets drunk and even disembowels one of his father’s best friends at a party. We see him prowling the streets of Baghdad in his sports car and abducting young girls in school uniforms—including one still wearing braces—and taking them back to his bedroom to drug and rape them. He rapes another woman on her wedding day while she is wearing her wedding dress; a few minutes later, he is annoyed when she throws herself off a balcony. The man is pure id, scoffing at the Muslim saying “Allahu akbar” (“God is great”) and insisting that God never gave him anything. “Everything I want, I just take for myself,” he says. He sure does. “You should have been killed at birth,” his furious father says, holding him down and aiming a long curved sword at his genitals. You ought to know you’ve gone off the rails when Saddam Hussein is appalled by your behavior.
Poor Latif Yahia. Not only is he forced to become Uday’s body double; he must also effectively erase his identity and become Uday. The official story is that he was killed on the front lines in the war against Iran. Even his family believes this for a while. He undergoes plastic surgery so that he’ll look even more like Uday than he already does, and he’s expected to adopt Uday’s facial expressions, mannerisms, and tones of voice. Uday even wants him to kill, and Latif gets himself into serious trouble when he refuses. Presumably the only reason that Uday doesn’t kill Latif is that Uday desperately needs him to survive. He also seems to love Latif in a twisted sort of way—at least when he’s not beating and torturing him. Latif is seriously injured in an assassination attempt when the would-be killer mistakes him for the dictator’s son. (Of course, that’s the whole point of having a double in a place like Iraq.) The real-life Latif escaped from Iraq in the 1990s and spent years in therapy to soothe the emotional trauma of witnessing so much rape, murder, torture, and mayhem at the hands of the brutal man he had no choice but to serve. To this day, he says, he can’t fall asleep until five or six in the morning.
Dominic Cooper brilliantly plays both Uday and Latif. Despite the fact that the characters look the same, I never had any doubt which character was on screen; Cooper’s subtle shifts in body language and facial expression—a wild or soft look in the eyes, for instance—made it abundantly clear which role he was playing at every moment.
I don’t want to give anything away, but I can say at least that the film eventually departs from what took place in the real world to tack on an entirely fictional (though emotionally satisfying) ending. The writers presumably thought the departure made for a better story. Despite the modification, the film is well worth seeing for its vivid, accurate depiction of the viciousness of Uday Hussein and of the filthy regime he was born into.
The Devil’s Double is also blessedly free of even the tiniest anti-American jab, something that can be said of few feature films Hollywood has produced that take place in Iraq. (The only others worth watching are Three Kings and The Hurt Locker.) It would be a mistake, however, to assume that the film was made to justify the 2003 invasion of Iraq by the American-led coalition. Latif doesn’t seem to be a fan of the war himself, for one thing. And though Uday Hussein did meet his end at the hands of American soldiers in Mosul in 2003, The Devil’s Double isn’t about the United States, even peripherally. Latif’s book was written before the invasion, and hardly anyone knew it existed until after the overthrow of Saddam’s regime. So few copies of the first edition were published that if you want to buy one from Amazon, you’ll have to pay $1,000, as of this writing. The most expensive copy costs over $100,000.
A story about Iraq written by an Iraqi is refreshing. Events in that country are far too often analyzed as though the United States were always at their center. Even during the darkest days of the insurgency, between 2004 and 2006, far more Iraqis were injured and killed by other Iraqis than by American forces. And many more Iraqis were killed and traumatized during the period in which The Devil’s Double takes place than after the American-led invasion.
If you’re inclined to view this film as a justification for the war in 2003, you’ll have a case. At least the invasion prevented Uday from ruling the country even more viciously than his father did. But the genre that the movie truly belongs to is Totalitarian Studies. If absolute power corrupts absolutely, which it did in the case of Saddam Hussein, what happens when a boy is raised with absolute power before he has a chance to mature? The Devil’s Double answers that question with the force of a punch to the stomach.
Michael J. Totten is a contributing editor of City Journal and author of The Road to Fatima Gate and In the Wake of the Surge. Visit his blog at www.michaeltotten.com.
By : Latif Yahia
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…..
I had better stop there or I’ll be charged with plagiarism, but, it is definitely an interesting time, especially for the Middle East. The spark that ignited that whole region of the world and gave hope to the idea of democracy or at least regime-leader change, has fully taken hold and now and there is no turning back.
As I watched the events unfold on television, I was struck by a mixture of elation at the fact that after forty or more years of rule, the people had had enough of their masters and were –for the most part- protesting peacefully for their removal and a sadness that this “liberation” was not the kind that Iraq had been able to achieve for itself.
Having said that Iraq had played it’s part in recent events, Iraq was held up to the rest of the Arab world as a ‘cautionary tale’ and example of ‘how Not to do it’ and when outside help was offered, the nations replied ‘No thanks, we’ll do this ourselves’ a lesson hard learned by Iraqis.
I send out my greatest respect to Tunisia and Egypt, who have made effective change without the loss of too many citizens and I send my deepest sympathies and respect to the families of those that did lose their lives in the protests.
I know that Tunisia and Egypt especially are open minded and progressive countries and will be strong enough to continue on their path to democracy, I can only hope that the other countries that are following in their footsteps –like Libya- will not succumb to extreme Islamists, something that is quite possible. Maybe that is why the drums are beating for Ghadaffi in a way that they didn’t for Ben Ali or Mubarak, add to that the fact that Libya holds nearly 5% of the world’s petrol and you have a recipe for America to go in there and secure it’s position. Unilateral sanctions only punish the people, not the regime. The regime have enough money outside the country to still be able to do and buy what they want, it is only the man on the street that feels the lack. It is estimated that Ghadaffi has 20 billion in London alone. While I am writing this, his money – 40 Billion in America and god knows how much in Switzerland- is being frozen.
Which leads me neatly on to my next point, an International court needs to be set up not just to hold Dictators, Tyrants and Despots to account, but those who supported the regime and I’ll explain this point clearly, a regime cannot function if it does not have suppliers, weapons, banking, business. A petrol filled country with a tyrannical leader cannot make money from it’s petrol if there is no-one who is willing to do business with them, they cannot keep control of their population if they cannot buy arms and their money is of no use if they cannot keep it somewhere safe outside their own country.
So often we are shown people like Saddam, held up high for us to despise and point at, but could or would he have survived so long if he didn’t have ‘friends’, let’s be clear here, business is the agenda of the day. Big business. It’s too easy to point the finger and say ‘Dictator, Despot, Tyrant’ but then under the table sell them billions of dollars worth of weapons so you can buy the oil cheap, the people who suffer are the citizens of that country.
But let’s also take a look at how these people get power, it could be argued that they took it by force, yes, but how did they get that “force”? somebody had to support and supply them.
I was a participant in a peace mission five years ago, and one of the other participants was a retired Colonel from the US Army, during this mission he tried to explain simply what the policy of the US was with regard to Non-US leaders, his explanation went something like this:
A country has a leader who is a bad guy, the US doesn’t like this Bad guy so we decide that he needs to go. He has an enemy who is not a really good guy, so we support the not good guy against the bad guy to get him out. But then after the not so good guy gets power he turns out to be a really bad guy.
Does that make sense?
My case in point is Noori Al Maliki, you only have to look at Iraq, the corruption (yet another Minister ran form Iraq yesterday with the best part of 100 million dollars), lack of any sign of progression since the installation of Democracy, the damning fact that 80 people have died in Iraq while protesting for change of the governing system, not the government. The fact also that none of this is getting any coverage in the Western media, why? Because, America doesn’t want to look like it has failed. But it has, America made so much noise about not letting Iran get it’s hands on Iraq but then handed the leadership over to people that it Knew were supported by Iran, Noor Al Maliki stood up a few days ago and said that nowhere in the world had democracy like Iraq, Iraq had the best democracy in the world, well if you call handing Ministries and positions of power over to people who haven’t been elected by the people Democratically, then I don’t know what the Yemenis, Bahrainis, Saudis or Libyans are demonstrating against, they already have democracy!
The leaders in the Middle East are in a state of panic, most of these leaders be they Presidents, Kings or dictators acquired their power with the help of Britain or America 40 or more years ago, the King of Saudi for instance has made an offer of 150 Billion dollars to buy Facebook! Why? Because he knows that through social networking the people are exacting change, they can mobilize and exchange ideas faster than the country’s intelligence service can track them. If he was a good leader why should he worry? If his people were happy why would they need to protest against him? As with most countries in the Middle East the power is held by the few, it is designed that way.
I wish all those who want change the best and send them my heartfelt support, I hope that those who succeed always keep in mind what it was to be downtrodden and instill in their children and the generations to come a sense of responsibility for their democracies. When we are complacent, tyranny has the opportunity to reign, when we say ‘ what can I do? I am only one’ we forget that that we are many and it is our voices that should be heard. When we say ‘ Uh, I‘m not going to vote, they’re all the same anyway’ then we let down not only ourselves and our country but the ones that had to fight and die for us to have these rights.
Never take your right to be heard for granted, you have heard the phrase ‘Use it or lose it’ and it is far easier to lose it than it was to get it in the first place.