Empire Versus Democracy and Freedom. Will The Espionage Act Displace the US Constitution?

Global Research, April 18, 2019

The public interest, and democratic political economies, both domestic and internationally, are poison to Empire. But this must be hidden from view, hence war propaganda/fake news is protected by legislation, while Constitutionally-protected, evidence-based real journalism, a dying phenomenon, continues to be attacked.

The First Amendment of the US Constitution, adopted on December 15, 1791,

“prevents the government from making laws which respect an establishment of religion, prohibit the free exercise of religion, or abridge the freedom of speech, the freedom of the press, the right to peaceably assemble, or the right to petition the government for redress of grievances.” [1]

However, the Constitution is under constant assault by US oligarch[2] ruling classes.

Freedom of the press has been negated by ruling class monopoly ownership and pervasive propaganda. Criminal propaganda is protected while “freedoms of speech” are under constant assault.

The fakery of the news stories is protected by (unconstitutional) laws embedded in the National Defense Authorization Act which blur the lines between reality and spectacle. In an earlier article I wrote,

According to an amendment to the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the House Bill H.R 5736 (now law), the federal government of the United States can now legally propagandize the domestic public.

Arguably, this makes staged theatrical presentations, featuring crisis-actors, and purporting to be ‘reality’, legal.

And, as if that isn’t enough, Don North writes in “US/NATO Embrace Psy-ops and Info-War” that,

“As reflected in a recent NATO conference in Latvia and in the Pentagon’s new ‘Law of War’ manual, the U.S. government has come to view the control and manipulation of information as a ‘soft power’ weapon, merging psychological operations, propaganda and public affairs under the catch phrase ‘strategic communications.’ “[3]

The Espionage Act[4] also contradicts the US Constitution, but it is being invoked with regard to the indictment against Julian Assange.

Ubiquitous classification of information beneath the mantle of “National Security” serves to sustain the illusion that Empire serves the public interest. Hence, as author and veteran journalist Naomi Wolf asserts, whistleblowers are necessary, as is the transmission of their leaks. This, she says, has been journalism practice for years. It is what real journalists are supposed to do.

The Daniel Ellsbergs and Chelsea Mannings of the world are necessary — Ellsberg is now considered to be a hero.  The Assanges of the world who transmit the truth are also necessary.

If the Espionage Act, the NDAA, and other legislation were to completely displace the U.S Constitution and its First Amendment, then the prospect of real journalism would finally be extinguished. And ruling classes feigning concern for the public interest would be delighted.

In the following video, Wolf walks us through the indictment[5] against Assange and demonstrates the paucity of evidence against him in the government’s on-going efforts to frame him and destroy the messenger with a view to protecting the Supreme International War Criminals currently guiding the Neo-con Imperial Shipwreck.

Notes:

[1] Wikipedia, “First Amendment to the United States Constitution.” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution) Accessed 18 April, 2019.

[2] Daniel Kreps, “Jimmy Carter: U.S. Is an ‘Oligarchy With Unlimited Political Bribery.’ “ (https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-news/jimmy-carter-u-s-is-an-oligarchy-with-unlimited-political-bribery-63262/) Accessed 18 April, 2019.

[3] Mark Taliano, “Fake threats and engineered fears.” 16 July, 2016. (https://ahtribune.com/politics/1073-engineered-fears.html?fbclid=IwAR0qHlFivL8c1QIqMxZsiQO43qYN0R-ITQCPa9jUXAWjU9v8_LjzMFiGlJE) Accessed 18 April, 2019.

[4] Cornell Law School, Legal Information Institute, “18 U.S. Code CHAPTER 37—ESPIONAGE AND CENSORSHIP.” (https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/part-I/chapter-37) Accessed 18 April, 2019.

[5] “In The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, United States of America v. Julian Paul Assange.” 6 March, 2018. (https://www.justice.gov/usao-edva/press-release/file/1153481/download) Accessed 18 April, 2019.

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I’m Jumping Off the Trump Train: Assange Was the Last Straw

I’m Jumping Off the Trump Train: Assange Was the Last Straw

I’m Jumping Off the Trump Train: Assange Was the Last Straw

On March 6, 2016, this Deplorable issued a statement formally endorsing Donald J. Trump for the presidency of the United State.

I now hereby withdraw that endorsement.

No doubt this declaration from your Working Boy will be greeted with the same deafening indifference as my earlier less than earth-shattering announcement of support.

Keep calm. The planet will continue to spin on its axis at a 23.44 degree tilt.

As I tweeted on April 4, when it appeared that Ecuadorian President Lenín [sic] Moreno was going to cough up Julian Assange:

“If this comes to pass & #JulianAssange is brought to #US in chains like a Gaulish chieftain in a Roman triumph can we definitively declare that any possible #Trump revolution is over & the #DeepState won?”

A quick perusal of social media since Assange’s arrest shows that many others have reached a similar conclusion.

But why? To be sure, there have been other betrayals. The two strikes on Syria on phony chemical warfare accusations come immediately to mind. Or Trump’s failure to build the Mexican wall, coupled with repeated humiliating defeats in Congress with the predictability of Charlie Brown’s getting suckered by Lucy into trying to kick the football.

At the same time there were excuses. On Syria, maybe the President was fed false intelligence. Or maybe Ivanka was upsetDaaaddyyy, you have to dooo something! Or maybe Trump knew the CW accusations against Damascus were fake but felt he had to act (an ominous sign in itself) to deflect charges of being Putin’s puppet, hence what could be deemed deliberately pinprick pro forma strikes. On the wall, well you can’t trust lawyers’ advice, he just doesn’t understand his legal authority well enough, or maybe he…

But the Assange arrest and his upcoming renditi– – oops! – extradition to the United States are different.  There’s no nuance. No excuse. No false intel report. No poor legal advice.

It’s plain and simple. The same entities (Deep State, permanent government, the oligarchy, the Borg, whatever term you like) that targeted Trump with the phony Russia collusion narrative  want Assange’s scalp nailed to the wall. It’s one thing for favored outlets like the Washington Post and CNN to disseminate classified information that favors the Deep State, quite another to reveal information contrary to its interests. As the premier dispenser of embarrassing secrets that facilitates online dissidence from the established narrative (also under attack by governments and their tech giant accomplices) an example must be made of Assange pour encourager les autres. He can count on being sentenced to rotting for decades in a nasty Office Space federal prison (the US will gladly waive the death penalty to spare the Brits’ prissy Euro-consciences) but may very well die soon enough of natural causes, perhaps like Slobodan Milošević.

An essential role in Assange’s betrayal by Moreno was played by Trump’s Veep Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Former President Rafael Correa says a direct condition of Moreno’s getting a $4.2 billion IMF loan was Assange’s head on a platter. That’s a lot more plausible than establishment media reports that Assange was ejected for transgressing the Ecuadorians’ fastidious hygiene standards, which (whether based in fact or not) are just cynical defamations to justify his upcoming lynching.

It’s irrelevant whether Trump – who theoretically is the boss of all US agency operatives working with their Brit colleagues to get their mitts on Assange – let the nab go forward because he was unwilling to order his minions to stand down or was powerless to do so. In that regard, it’s similar to pointlessly asking why he has the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad national security team he does. Is it because of “Javanka”? Is it because he’s beholden to a gaggle of oligarchs? (Supposedly his being a self-financed billionaire made him immune from such influences.)  Is it areflection of a personality disorder?

In the end it doesn’t matter why, all that matters is what is. With Assange’s arrest Trump is now exposed as the wholly owned subsidiary of the Swamp he ran against.  He’s now just a wheel fixed to an axle. All he can do now is it spin.

In my 2016 endorsement I asked the questions – only questions, not predictions – of what Trump might hopefully accomplish:

‘Can we trust Trump? Will he build his wall and secure our borders? Renovate our deteriorating infrastructure? Restore our manufacturing base? Audit the Federal Reserve and defenestrate the banksters? Restore the GOP’s long-lost reputation (now hardly remembered by anyone) as the “Peace Party” that got us out of wars the Democrats started? Sign a bill to defund Planned Parenthood, as long as they continue to perform abortions (which they will)? Exclude actual or potential Islamic terroristsDump our freeloading so-called “allies”? Cease the PC trashing of every tradition in which Americans once took pride? Reunite a nation sundered by Barack Obama and the GOP mandarins, with their divide et impera Punch and Judy show of class and racial discord?

‘Can Trump really “Make America Great Again”? Or at least slow our decline and give our country another chance?

‘I don’t know.  But I do know that none of the more mannerly politicians served up by the oligarchy will.

“Trust not in princes…” (Ps. 146:3) Neither Trump nor any other politician should be accepted on blind faith. Who really can say if Trump can win or if he does how he would govern. Who can say what’s really in his mind and heart or if, in God’s eyes, he’s a good man or a bad one. But given the dire warning from the likes of Mitt Romney, I like the odds with Trump better than with any of the available alternatives. When the character of his enemies is considered – particularly Warfare State neoconservatives (some of whom at least have the honesty to defect openly to Hillary) – my willingness to gamble on him only increases.’

Even in retrospect it was then a gamble worth taking, indeed the only responsible choice given the horrifying alternative. More, given what Trump promised that departed from the usual nonsense served up by the GOP, the fact that Trump got the nomination instead of the NPCs on the shelf was itself perhaps a sign of that the historic American nation still had a fighting chance.

As for what we hoped he might deliver to “Make America Great Again,” we can see now that the answers to all of the above questions are and will remain an emphatic No. Sure, we got a marginally better tax bill passed, something that any Republican White House and Congress would have done. He may have made minor progress on trade.  If we are really lucky, he’ll get another Supreme Court pick and Roe v. Wade will be overturned – marvelous to be sure, but it won’t same this country.

Trump has utterly failed to control the border, much less deal with related issues like remittances, birthright citizenship, and aliens illegally voting. As retired Army Colonel Douglas Macgregor observes: “Surely, Trump should have concluded by now that without an Executive Order that commits the U.S. Army to the defense of the southern border and limits cross-border traffic to legitimate commercial activity, mass illegal immigration will not stop… In a word, Trump refuses to take command and match rhetoric with action, then he will join the pantheon of failed presidents that promised the world only, this time, the American Republic’s existence hangs in the balance.”

Unfortunately, Trump’s appointees – uniformly neoconservatives, Bush-era warmongers, and GOP apparatchiki – have better things for our military to do than defending our own country, to which they are at best indifferent. We can be thankful that Trump hasn’t started any new wars, yet, but his underlings’ dogged commitment to regime change in Venezuela and Iran may change that. His outreach to North Korea hangs by a thread in the face of blatant attempts to sabotage it.

One hopes that at least some animal-level gut instinct will preclude Trump’s crossing that dark river and ruining what’s left of his presidency as George W. Bush did in Iraq. If his lunatics are reckless enough to stumble us into a war with Russia, Trump’s reelection will be the least of anyone’s concerns.

Even without a war his remaining time in office will not be the revival of America that he promised. Let’s keep in mind that for many decades now transformative Democratic presidents have not left this country the same way they found it: FDR, LBJ, Clinton, Obama. By contrast, Republican presidents’ tenures have been at best plateaus along our decline (Eisenhower, Reagan) or positively contributed (Nixon, the two Bushes) to the march of what the Left regards as “Progress” toward their abolition of the historic America and birth of a dystopian Cultural Marxist dictatorship of victims: a borderless, multiethnic, multilingual, multireligious, multisexual, ahistorical, fake country.

Perhaps the saddest thing is that even if he survives in office until the 2020 vote (and he might not) Trump still will almost certainly be the lesser of two evils, in the manner to which we have become accustomed. Despite his no longer representing a threat to the Swamp, the critters will continue to hate him anyway as an avatar of the America they seek to destroy: European ethnicity, Christian (culturally if not spiritually or morally), English-speaking, toxically masculine. He might even win, given the Wall Street and Democratic Socialist Democrats’ ripping each others’ guts out and the solid 35 to 40 percent of the folks who think from Trump’s tweets and stump speeches he’s actually delivering on his promises.

Either way, though, the outcome will be the same. The man who had what is almost certainly to have been the last peaceful, political chance save what’s left of the American republic will thrash around for a few more years, having become little more than a catalyst for our nation’s demise and perhaps its dissolution.

This is not to say that there is no hope. Maybe tomorrow Trump will pardon Assange. Maybe he’ll decide to militarize the Mexican border. Maybe he’ll fire his whole national security team and, for good measure, pull us out of Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq – and NATO. Maybe Barr really will hold the FISA miscreants to account. Maybe…

…maybe there will be an outpouring of miracles that match the one that occurred when Trump improbably was elected in the first place. But as is the case with miracles, the odds are not good.

Ecuador SITREP: How Corrupt History Repeats Itself

April 12, 2019

by Stephen Karganovic for The Saker Blog

Ecuador SITREP: How Corrupt History Repeats Itself

The expulsion of Julian Assange from the Ecuadorian embassy in London, scarcely a surprise after many heavy hints were being dropped that it was in the works, is outrageous on many counts. Not the least of those is the fact that Assange was made citizen of Ecuador by the government preceding that of the almost offensively misnamed current President, Lenin Moreno. Ecuador has, in effect, handed over its own citizen, who had taken refuge on its sovereign territory in London, to the tender mercies of a foreign power which sought to physically capture him on vague and probably legally unsustainable charges. In the process it has further humiliated and abased itself by giving permission to the police force of the host country to invade the sovereign premises of its diplomatic mission in order to consummate the previously agreed upon abduction.

Think about the precedents that this sinister operation is setting.

The Ecuadorian government was no doubt subjected by the world’s leading “democracies” to unimaginable pressure to agree to this dastardly act which, along with the self-proclaimed “presidency” of Juan Guaido, may have been conceived to set a new normal in international relations. But the venal, utterly corrupt nature of this scandal is most clearly reflected in the fact, published simultaneously with the execution of the criminal kidnapping, that a $4.2 billion IMF loan to Ecuador’s government was finally approved, no doubt by pure coincidence.

“This money will create work opportunities for those who have not found something stable,” Moreno gushed shamelessly. He forgot to mention for the edification of his people that the illusory opportunities he referred to will have to be repaid to international banks by Ecuador’s impoverished masses with hefty interest and that, in addition to moral ignominy, as a result his country has now sunk several billion dollars’ deeper into debt slavery.

Historical analogy buffs will recall that in 1993, as the Security Council of the United Nations was presented with Resolution 827 to establish, contrary to the provisions of the UN Charter, the illegal Hague Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, the hand of Yeltsin’s delegate was never raised to veto it. If anyone is wondering about the reason, it was the expectation of a promised Western loan to cover a huge shortfall in the Russian budget and to give a new lease on life to the compliant Yeltsin regime.

Remarkable, isn’t it, how bad history repeats itself?

 

Jewdas Lies Again

March 11, 2019  /  Gilad Atzmon

jewdas.jpg

By Gilad Atzmon

In August 2017 Jewdas,  a bunch of self- proclaimed ‘alternative’ Diaspora Jews were exposed as merely a brand of dishonest Zionist merchants. They picketed my concert at the Vortex and handed out flyers presenting a pile of fabrications and misquotes attributed to me.

They were filmed and exposed as liars.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TKMITv5ZPdw

Watch Jewdas lying through their teeth…

But Jewdas did not learn their lesson. They are attempting to repeat their failure. This time they call to Shut Down Nazi Apologist Jazz with a plan to picket my concert at the Vortex on Friday.

I am not a Nazi apologist. I am an opponent of all forms of racism and discrimination. Jewdas does not even attempt to explain why they call  me a ‘Nazi apologist,’ Instead they provide a  link to a Zionist write-up on Rationalwiki that is in itself a set of quotes taken out of context in an intentionally misleading manner. Here is Rationalwiki’s takedown of me:  “Atzmon has been accused of denying the Holocaust; he objects to this. ‘I have never denied the Holocaust or any other historical chapter,’ he says. ‘I also find the notion of ‘holocaust denial’ to be meaningless, and on the verge of idiotic.’

Here is the actual quote of my talk delivered in Freiburg, Germany in 2011. “Needless to say, I have never denied the Holocaust or any other historical chapter. I also find the notion of ‘holocaust denial’ to be meaningless, and on the verge of idiotic. However, I do indeed insist, as I did here today, that history must remain an open discourse, subject to changes and revision, I oppose any attempt to seal the past, whether it is the Nakba, the  Holocaust, the Holodomor or the Armenian genocide. I am convinced that an organic and ‘elastic’ understanding of the past is the true essence of a  humanist discourse, universalism and ethics.”https://www.gilad.co.uk/writings/gilad-atzmon-being-in-time.html)

One may wonder, if there was any truth in their  claim, why those Zionists and their so-called ‘alternative’ twins see the need to attribute to me fabricated quotes and misquotes in an attempt to deceive? One possible answer is that I brought to light a truth which they can’t handle let alone suppress.

In my work I repeatedly argue that history must be open to discussion. Revisiting and rethinking history is at the core of universal ethical thinking and the aspiration for a better future! If the English speaking empire had been brave enough to face its past conduct, it might have saved itself from repeating its crimes in Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. If Israel and its Lobby were honourable enough to examine Jewish history, it would probably attempt to prevent its enthusiastic Lobby from causing more harm. If Jewdas were simply able to re-visit its recent past or just watch the above expose of themselves caught in their lies, one would think they would want to avoid re-exposure as an authoritarian intolerant Jewish thought police dedicated to harassing a non-political music venue.

Given Britain’s present economic and political woes, perhaps the Jewdas warriors for their own particular brand of correct ‘alternative’ Jewish thought would be wise to support elementary freedoms and civilized debate. Jewdas might even wish to allow the Brits a night off from the toxic political environment to just enjoy music. The music might even soothe the self-righteous arrogance of those whose satisfaction is gained by calling me and others names.

 Defy the oppressive, duplicitous and dictatorial forces. Join us at the Vortex this weekend

To Book on line:

Fri March 15 click here

Sat March 16 Click here

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Marzieh Hashemi, an International Role Model

By Stephen Lendman
Source

Released by the FBI after enduring cruel and unusual mistreatment in illegal detention for 10 days, Marzieh, a US and Iranian citizen, was joyously welcomed home by supporters on arrival at Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport Wednesday evening.

Arrested and detained under harsh conditions on the spurious pretext of being a material witness in a criminal case her family knows nothing about. 

Flagrantly abusing her was most likely all about US hostility toward Iran for its sovereign independence and opposition to Washington’s imperial agenda.

It was also related to how Press TV and Marzieh operate, truth-telling their mandate on vital issues, standing for peace, equity and justice, polar opposite US-led Western major media managed news misinformation and disinformation – the official narrative drowning out what everyone most needs to know.

The Trump regime’s scheme backfired. Marzieh’s arrest and mistreatment became an international cause celebre, attracting major media attention. Supportive public demonstrations were held in her behalf, what very likely saved her, along with her son witnessing her unlawful arrest.

Otherwise the FBI could have disappeared her, never to be seen or heard from again, no one knowing what happened – what can happen to anyone US authorities target anywhere worldwide, what did happen and continues happening to thousands of innocent victims of US imperial viciousness.

Nearly all Guantanamo detainees committed no crimes, unlawfully held uncharged and untried, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR earlier saying:

“The vast majority of the men at Guantanamo should never have been detained in the first place…seized in broad sweeps and sold to the US (for) substantial bounties.”

The same goes for nearly all detainees at other US torture prisons, operating globally, individuals unjustly abducted and wrongfully imprisoned, held longterm, grossly mistreated, denied habeas rights, due process, and equal protection under law.

Americans are as vulnerable as others abroad. The Bush/Cheney regime targeted people’s lawyer, civil and human rights champion, justice warrior Lynne Stewart for defending a client they wanted imprisoned, falsely charging him with a crime he didn’t commit.

Lynne was wrongfully charged under the 1996 Antiterrorism Act on four counts of aiding and abetting a terrorist organization, along with violating Special Administrative Measures (SAMS) imposed by the US Bureau of Prisons.

Her show trial was a travesty of justice. At the time, then-National Lawyers Guild President Michael Avery said the Justice Department “was resolute from day one in making a symbol out of Lynne Stewart in support of its campaign to deny people charged with crimes of effective legal representation.”

Her case was precedent-setting, chilling, and according to former Center for Constitutional Rights President Michael Ratner, sent “a message to lawyers who represent alleged terrorists that it’s dangerous to do so.”

Her attorney Michael Tigar called her conviction and imprisonment “an attack on a gallant, charismatic and effective fighter for justice,” adding: “I have never seen such an abuse of government power.”

Sentenced to 10 years imprisonment by the imperial state for doing the right thing, she was freed on December 31, 2013 by a compassionate release order because of her terminal breast cancer diagnosis, at the time given months to live – surviving until March 7, 2017.

In 2010, neuroscientist Aafia Siddiqui was convicted and imprisoned for being a Muslim in America at the wrong time, a war OF terror victim, brutally tortured and mistreated in detention. She committed no crimes. No evidence suggested any. 

She remains imprisoned longterm, the life and well-being of a brilliant, soft-spoken, religious Pakistani/American destroyed by the imperial state.

She was falsely called an al-Qaeda operative and facilitator, outrageously accused of involvement in biochemical warfare, including (nonexistent) planned attacks against the Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge, Empire State Building, and Wall Street – along with terrorist recruiting and other phony charges, not a shred of evidence supporting any of them.

She was disappeared for over a year with no information on her whereabouts released, brutally tortured and raped in captivity, transformed into a zombie from her horrific ordeal.

FBI arrests Marzieh – who of us at PressTV is next?

January 24, 2019

by Ramin Mazaheri for The Saker BlogFBI arrests Marzieh – who of us at PressTV is next?

Like illegally jailed PressTV anchor Marzieh Hashemi, I am a journalist at Iran’s PressTV and also a dual-citizen of Iran and the US, with family in both countries. So should I cancel my next trip to the United States, then?

Well, I refuse to.

I visit the US at least once a year, and nothing could possibly prevent me from returning whenever I want – full stop.

So I take a special interest in the illegal and immoral 10-day detention of my PressTV colleague by the United States FBI, and not merely because it would certainly start my next vacation on the wrong foot.

Frankly, I was not terribly worried for Marzieh, and you – kind reader – should not worry for me: Marzieh and I have both surely always known that working for Iran would cause us problems in the West eventually. We would be naive to think otherwise, given the West’s brutal, deadly, illegal, inhumane, four-decade war on Iran – we knew what we were getting into (and were proud to do so).

I wish it had been me instead of Marzieh, but the US really took on the harder case: Marzieh is 59 years old, and in journalism that is very rare these days, given the fact that young, cheap labor is prioritised over experienced, difficult, knowledgeable, older journalists who are much more difficult for editors to control. I was certain that Marzieh would remain principled during her detention: in fact, I imagined Marzieh’s attitude towards her captors was akin to Clint Eastwood in the Dirty Harry movies: “Go ahead – make my day.”

Such is the combative, defiant, principled outlook of a good journalist, and Marzieh certainly is that. Her place is empty at PressTV, but, Insh’Allah, she will return soon.

So who among us is next to be arrested?

Is it me? Is it one of my PressTV colleagues working in the United States? Is it one of our journalists working in a country allied with the US?

Or what about journalists for Russia’s RT or Venezuela’s Telesur? The leftist press in the US is certainly never found in any of their Mainstream Media – they are usually “fake-leftist” – but are American anti-imperialist & anti-capitalist journalists going to be chilled into silence?

Perhaps. Producing this chilling effect is the only plausible motivation I can come up with for Washington’s decision. Arresting Marzieh was only a major disgrace on the international level – but the US simply does not care.

I think that was the real motive behind the arrest: when it comes to Iran, the US simply does not care and will do anything, no matter how unprincipled. Look at Washington’s pulling out of the JCPOA on Iran’s nuclear energy agreement after years of multinational work and promises – Washington’s word means nothing. They have no honor. Indeed, they will arrest a grandmother if it can possibly hurt Iran; or if it can embolden other Western nations to similarly harass PressTV journalists.

Washington behaves without honor precisely because they are so very, very desperate to hurt Iran – obviously, the US has lost, is losing, and feels it will continue to lose in its undemocratic and shameful efforts to topple the popular 1979 Iranian Islamic revolution.

The US wants to show Iran it can act with impunity. News flash: Iranians already knew that! But Washington keeps willfully ignoring Iran’s collective response: Iran will not stop, no matter how many of our commercial airliners are shot down, how many foreign groups are encouraged to wage terrorism inside Iran, no matter how inhuman the economic siege, no matter how many journalists are arrested, etc.

The Iranian Revolution is not strong just because of the massive economic and democratic redistributions it undoubtedly created and cemented – it is strong because of its culture. This culture of resisting fear, intimidation, oppression, imperialism and arrogance is up, down and all around Iran and has been since 1979. Marzieh has discussed, defended, criticised and encouraged revolutionary social-economic-political culture during her work at PressTV – these acts of political modernity are the only reasons why the US arrested her. Indeed, there are very few people like her in the US! This is why Iran wants her back right away – Iran appreciates how special she is.

Iran is not so very unique: false sonic attacks in Cuba, napalm in Vietnam, bombing dikes to force agricultural famine in North Korea, funding fascists in China, economic sabotage in the USSR…any country which had a revolution after 1917, and is thus socialist-inspired and opposed to backwards, 1%-protecting Liberal Democracy, has faced or is still facing war from Washington.

It’s important to note that I write “Washington”, because Iran is not at war with the American People. That would mean that they are at war with Marzieh and myself – we ARE American! I will never not return to the US because I am American! I simply must re-connect with it periodically, and if it means a stay in jail…well, jails are a huge part of American culture, after all.

Especially for African-Americans, and that only added another layer of disgrace in their treatment of Marzieh. The aspect of racism in this case is noted from top to bottom in Iran and elsewhere, even if US media is too cowardly and intimidated to even mention it. Israel doesn’t like to mention their own Apartheid, either. Iran, however, freed the African-American embassy workers and diplomats during the hostage crisis in 1979 because their oppression has been appallingly obvious for not just decades but centuries.

My work at PressTV (and I think Marzieh feels the same) is in order to benefit ALL people and not just Iranians. It is not a crime. My work from France is not anti-French, either: it is expressly designed to benefit the French most of all! What PressTV allows me to do is to give voice to those many, many French people who say that Paris is pursuing economic and foreign policies which are against French values and which hurt not just France but the entire world. Alas, just like Washington, France’s elite calls such people “propagandists”, “agitators” or sometimes even “terrorists” – it is nonsensical, sad, and doomed to failure.

If Iran was the one crushing the US with sanctions and Cold War – doing everything it could on a macroeconomic level to cause the most suffering possible to the greatest number of people – I would certainly be working for PBS or National Public Radio. Marzieh and I, and the other dual-citizens of PressTV, are NOT disloyal – it is the US government which betrays their People with their treatment of Iran (but, of course, not only Iran).

The US has not made and cannot make a criminal out of Marzieh – they have proven she is a true patriot of both Iran AND the US.

I always knew she was.

And I see no contradiction whatsoever. Those who do foolishly conflate “patriotism” with “jingoism”. Marzieh, allegedly arrested for her role as a journalist filming a Black Lives Matter demonstration in St. Louis, was doing what any patriotic American with her training would do: documenting injustices which are not only anti-American but against Americans themselves.

So whatever nefarious plots the US has in store for me upon my next return: I am aware of history, I read the paper and I am quite lucky to say that I have talked with, learned from and been inspired by Marzieh Hashemi – I am neither surprised nor afraid. I will continue to work for the cause of humanity and the related causes Iran stands for: Muslim democracy, anti-imperialism, anti-capitalism, anti-privileges, Islamic feminism and anti-sectarianism (racial, ethnic, religious, etc.).

The arrest of Marzieh proves to us Americans that Washington is not defending our uniquely American morals, laws and priorities: freedom of the press, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom from unlawful search and seizure, freedom of due process, the guarantee to equal protection under the law for all citizens and other rights which are both found in our US Constitution, American law and American custom.

If Washington would adopt Iran’s modern political struggles and actually defend America’s beliefs – instead of attacking both – what a wonderful world it could be!

Marzieh Hashemi has been freed, finally – that was the first step Washington had to take. The second necessary step is to listen to her.

Stop the West’s war on Iran!

Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for PressTV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. His work has appeared in various journals, magazines and websites, as well as on radio and television. He can be reached on Facebook.

Marzieh Hashemi Freed from FBI Prison

Local Editor

The US government released without charge Press TV anchor Marzieh Hashemi after 10 days of illegal detention at an FBI facility, her family announced.

Hashemi appeared before a grand jury in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday morning, when her testimony was expected. The Associated Press cited the people familiar with her case as saying that she was released after her testimony concluded Wednesday afternoon.

Hashemi, a 59-year-old American-born Muslim convert who has lived in Iran for years, was detained at St. Louis Lambert International Airport in Missouri on January 13th while in the US to visit her ill brother and other family members.

She was transferred to a detention facility in Washington, DC, where she was initially forced to remove her hijab and only offered non-halal food.

The FBI declined to comment on her arrest, but the US government confirmed that she had been arrested as a “material witness.”

Following the release, her family issued a statement that included the following:

“Marzieh Hashemi has been released from her detention without charge and is with her family in Washington DC.

Marzieh and her family will not allow this to be swept under the carpet. They still have serious grievances and want answers as to how this was allowed to happen.”

The family wants assurances that this won’t happen to any Muslim – or any other person – ever again.

Just as America is aware of the harassment of the Black community by the police, America needs to start talking about the harassment of the Muslim community by the FBI.

Marzieh Hashemi will be remaining in Washington DC for the protest on Friday and calls for all cities across the world to keep their protest.

This was never just about Marzieh Hashemi. This is about the fact that anyone of us, Muslim or non-Muslim can be imprisoned without charge in the United States.

Marzieh will be making comment in due course.

Media contact marziehenquiries@gmail.com

Source: Press TV, Edited by website team

The Cowardly Abduction of Journalist: The FBI Abducts Journalist Marzieh Hashemi

Marwa Osman

A journalist has been kidnapped inside US territories without any charge or crime. On Sunday January 13, the FBI abducted American-born journalist and anchor Marzieh Hashemi , born Melanie Franklin, upon arrival at St. Louis Lambert International Airport in St. Louis, Missouri, , according to her family and friends.

Marzieh Hashemi, a journalist and anchor working for Iran’s English-language Press TV television news network, has been detained and imprisoned in the United States for unspecified reasons and is reportedly being treated badly by the authorities who abducted her. Press TV reported that Marzieh had arrived in the US to visit her ill brother and other family members. Her relatives were unable to contact her, and she was allowed to contact her daughter only two days after her arrest.

Hashemi, who has been living in Iran for years and is a Muslim revert, has told her daughter that she was handcuffed and shackled and was being treated like a criminal. The journalist also said that she had her hijab forcibly removed, and was photographed without her headscarf upon arrival at the prison.

As if forcing her hijab off was not enough humiliation for Hashemi, she has only been allowed to wear a T-shirt, and is currently using another one to cover her head. Furthermore, she has been offered only pork as meal – which is forbidden under Islamic law – and even denied bread and any other halal food after refusing to consume the meat. Hashemi told her daughter that the only food she has had over the past two days has been a packet of crackers.

The United States of America, which likes to remind us daily how it is amongst the few countries around the globe to respect human rights, freedom of speech and tolerates religious differences, has showed the world the absolute opposite by abducting Marzieh. Not only did the FBI illegally detain a person without any charges, they also resided to humiliating her by forcing her to remove what every pious Muslim woman holds sacred, her Hijab. To add salt to the injury, they offered only the type of food, which they knew for sure she wouldn’t eat because it contains pork which is considered ill-gotten in Islam.

Just think about it for a second, if a this is how an American citizen is treated while in FBI custody without any charge then imagine the cases inside US illegal detention centers which are spread across the globe to torture “suspects” whom the US “ believes” are a “threat to national security”. Who’s to say that Marzieh will get to have legal presentation to defend her? Who’s to say she will ever go to court? Who’s to say if we ever see Marzieh again?

The FBI or whichever US authority that had Marzieh abducted had only one thing in mind by incarcerating her. They want to punish Hashemi for being a beacon of truth at times of fake news peak and to intimidate all other journalist especially in English speaking TV channels in order to stay silent and not report what the US believes to be against its imperial agenda.

Violence against journalists which the US usually accuses other states of conducted has become the bread of the US authorities.  What the US has shown its own citizen Marzieh now is simply hatred because of her voice and her activism, which was amplified on social networks by Press TV’s viewers who now became the loudest defenders of Hashemi.

These expressions of hatred by US authorities against Marzieh legitimize violence against journalists all across the world, thereby undermining journalism, and democracy itself. The same democracy that the US wages wars and commits war crimes in order to impose on other “less fortunate countries”.

At a time when the US supposedly a “democracy” that has made “tolerance” its number one social goal, is failing miserably at both democracy and tolerance because the US is slowly but surely killing Freedom of Speech. The US allows journalists to say what they want, as long as their words don’t cause tangible harm to the empire’s agendas and interests.

Where the concept of Freedom of Speech is absent, people believe they are entitled to kill others who say things they find offensive or that may threaten their interests. Without Freedom of Speech, we would literally be living in the Dark Ages and that is exactly where the US government wants to take all of us who dare challenge the empire’s narrative and who dare expose the empire’s complicity in crimes all over the world.

However, we shall not be silenced, neither shall Marzieh. We shall be Marzieh’s voice and we shall make sure her message will be heard, one of tolerance, righteousness and sympathy with the oppressed. We can all voice our support to Marzieh Hashemi and our contempt to the illegal actions of the US authorities against Marzieh by tweeting, posting and writing about her story. Marzieh’s family members and media activists have launched a social media campaign with the hashtags #FreeMarziehHashemi and #Pray4MarziehHashemi in support of the detained journalist. Let us all use these hashtags and raise our voices to end violence against journalists everywhere.

Source: Al-Ahed News

The Cowardly Abduction of Journalist Marzieh Hashemi by the US Regime

Harun Elbinawi

News reached us of the cowardly abduction of prominent Journalist and Press TV news anchor Marzieh Hashemi by the Trump regime. Hashemi was born in the US and she is a US citizen. She went to visit her sick brother and other relatives in the US and was abducted. She is presently held in a FBI detention facility in Washington DC with no formal charge press against her.

Hashemi’s hijab was forcefully removed and they denied her halal food in the detention facility. Dear Friends, these are the barbarians that are always fraudulently parroting freedom and respect for Human Rights.

The abduction of an innocent Journalist is part of the Trump regime obsession with Iran. Trump and gang want the resistance axis to recognize the existence of the illegal and illegitimate Zionist regime occupying Palestine. The Trump gang are ignorant of the fact that the Political Earthquake that happened in Iran in 1979 is today bigger than Iran. Millions around the world are inspired by that glorious Revolution with hundreds of thousands of them in the US itself. That Revolution changed the course of history forever and the sanctions and savage barbarism of the Trump gang can never be able to alter this.

Marzieh Hashemi is a big fan of the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky, and a strong supporter of the Islamic Movement. When I was in Iran I was informed that she organized workshops to highlight the extreme savagery and barbarism of Zaria Genocide by the Buhari regime.

Hashemi went to visit her sick brother and she was abducted be the desperate Trump regime. My blood brother is a US citizen but I cut all contacts with him when he became a US citizen. He protested but I told him I did that to protect him. I am already marked by them. They know me. They will try to use him to get at me. Murderous imperialists are genocidal savages.

God willing, we will mount campaign for the freedom of Hashemi from the dungeon of the Trump regime on all social media platforms. The Hash Tags are:

#FreeMarziehHashemi #Pray4MarziehHashemi

Source: elbinawi.wordpress.com, Edited by website team

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