Archive for the ‘Civil rights’ Category

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100 reasons for the Irish to vote NO on Lisbon

September 10, 2009




For myself, I think that reason #100 is compelling: why are citizens of the EU NOT allowed to vote on Lisbon in so many countries? A second compelling reason is that the EU presidency has shoed in Tony Blair or Nicholas Sarkozy as candidates. What would it be like for the Irish to be ruled by either of these two despots without even a vote for two and one half years?

I simply cannot give away the sovereignity of Ireland (or the EU people) by ratifying such a document in its present form. I have highlighted my concerns below. If even one tenth of my concerns are valid…my vote must be NO. Let the EU break this monstrous treaty into parts the people can understand and individually ratify if it wants my vote.

Last time I voted YES….I was wrong. This time I will vote NO.

Ireland’s 100 Reasons to Vote ‘No’ to the Lisbon treaty

09/01/2009
Source

1. The European Union has already created massive pockets of unemployment, with countries such as Spain – who have ratified Lisbon – suffering with unemployment rates of 18%. Why should Ireland sign up to a failing European Union?

2. About 450,000 people are unemployed, crushed by cuts, taxes, mortgage payments, on top of public bank-bail-outs and yet, the politicians who brought this upon Ireland are also asking for trust over the Lisbon treaty.

3. MEPs claim up to €1,000,000 in expenses each term, while massive job losses continue on an everyday basis.

4. Ireland remains a full member of the EU without the Lisbon treaty, and is in fact economically and politically better off without the treaty.

5. If Ireland votes No, she will continue to have access to Europe’s single market – the Lisbon treaty is concerned more with intensifying European government, using a constitutional document, which will crush trade, jobs and industry in Ireland .

6. Foreign investment has actually increased since Ireland voted No last year.

7. Under the Lisbon treaty, the EU can levy taxes on Ireland for the first time.

8. 150,000 Irish jobs, at least, are under threat through direct employment in multinational companies. Since Lisbon will interfere in taxation and the low corporate tax rate, those multinationals will simply leave for lands with lower corporate tax rates.

9. Lisbon will not aid the recession – to the contrary, it will make it worse.

10. The Lisbon treaty allows big business to import cheap labour and undercut Irish workers, in much the same way as it has done in labour disputes in the UK and the Nordic countries.

11. The EU has created a programme for Ireland to cut public spending, enforcing tough cuts on ordinary people who are trying to make a living wage in difficult times.
12. As Minister Brian Lenihan has said, massive and uncontrolled immigration of EU labour into Ireland helped to cause the crash. Overseas workers now make up almost 20% of Ireland ’s unemployed.

13. Lisbon hands full control over immigration and asylum policy to the EU, under Article 79, for workers inside and outside the EU – from England to India .

14. EU politicians have falsely assured people that on Lisbon, they are protected from EU changes to the law on abortion, taxation and defence, but those assurances are not part of the Lisbon treaty (Judge Frank Clark, Chairman of the Referendum Commission) and are not EU law – so Lisbon would in fact lead to changes on abortion, taxation and defence.

15. Under the Charter of Fundamental Rights, attached to the treaty, the EU Court will decide on laws relating to abortion, raising children, marriage and euthanasia. It removes the voice of the Irish people on those issues.

16. Lisbon weakens Ireland in the European Union: while countries such as Germany double their voting power to 17%, Ireland ’s voting power will be reduced from 2% to 0.8%. It means Ireland will have no say over key issues.

17. Lisbon would drastically reduce Ireland ’s place in the European Union. It would reduce Ireland ’s representation leaving her completely isolated. There are new provisions to put EU law-making on a pure population size basis, just as in any unitary or federal state. At present, big states have 29 votes each in making EU laws and Ireland has 7 – a ratio of 4 to 1. Under Lisbon , EU laws would be made by a majority of the EU member states as long as they have 65% of the total EU population between them. Instead of the big states having 4 times Ireland’s voting weight, as it is now, this change to a pure population basis would give Germany 20 times Ireland’s weight and France, Britain and Italy 15 times each.

18. Lisbon means that Ireland loses the right to veto harmful measures in over 60 areas. If a proposal comes up that Ireland cannot abide by, it will not have the power to block it, as she will have given up her veto.

19. The treaty is a new European Constitution, which by law, will have superiority over the Irish Constitution. If it is accepted, the Irish people will give up their constitutional rights under the Irish Constitution and be subject to very different constitutional arrangements under the European Constitution.

20. Under Lisbon, Europe assumes a new position over Irish national security: Article 61F pushes for the development of Super-Union cooperative arrangements, under which, the drive towards federalist cooperation is first supported actively by the Union for measures going beyond EU law, and second that such super-Union cooperative agreements will in turn become EU law.

21. Ireland will abandon its traditional criminal justice procedures, since the Lisbon treaty will establish a massive and “fundamental change” to the structure of the European Union: it will abolish the pillar structure and move police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters to the EC treaty, thus enabling Ireland’s police and justice system to be fully subject to Union interference. This will have serious implications bec au se decision-making on police and judicial cooperation would no longer be intergovernmental and it will be subjected to European decisions.

22. European Commission proposals on inheritance law would prevent farmers passing on family farms as a single working unit. If the Lisbon treaty is ratified, that will come into effect.

23. The loss of the state’s veto on trade and services such as health and education in the Lisbon treaty would lead to a significant weakening of the protection for public services.
24. Ireland ’s EU Commissioner Charlie McCreevy claimed that that 95% of EU member states would have voted No like Ireland did, had the treaty been put to a vote in other countries.

25. A Yes vote would not only jeopardise farm succession rights but would also lead to a massive influx of Turkish farmers into the European Union.

26. The Lisbon vote is also a vote on Turkish accession. It allows for a country of 75 million people to enter the EU, which would in fact double the number of farmers Ireland has, while also retaining the Common Agricultural Policy budget at existing levels.

27. The Secretary-General of the Commission, who is an Irishwoman, Catherine Day, was instrumental in concealing from the general public the intention of the European Commission to harmonise inheritance and succession law.

28. The European Commission interfered directly throughout Irelands’ referendum process and even through the use of a web-site, particularly with critical comments on the ‘Farmers for No’, a group breaking away from the Irish Farmers’ Association, which is backing a Yes vote.

29. Is a Yes vote not merely a reflection of big finance from companies such as US multinational, Intel, spending several hundred thousand euros backing the Yes campaign?

30. Irish fishermen will continue to having to struggle to survive financially while being forced to dump their catches at sea bec au se of fishing quotas, and have higher operating costs bec au se of the rules under the Common Fisheries Policy.

31. Brussels ’ fishery policies blatantly favour non-EU imports and fleets of larger EU member states.

32. The Lisbon vote is not about being at the heart of Europe or about being good Europeans. It is about the kind of Europe that Ireland wants.

33. Lisbon will be implemented to limit Ireland ’s right to encourage Foreign Direct Investment, interfering in both tax advantages offered to foreign companies as well as conditions on state aid. Given the substantial number of Irish people employed by foreign companies in Ireland , handing over all this power to the EU is a dangerous step for Ireland .

34. Declaration 17 on Primacy, attached to the Lisbon treaty, makes transparent that EU law succeeds Irish law in all existing and new areas covered by the Treaties, giving away and transferring Ireland ’s historic and democratic constitutional rights and freedoms.
35. The increased militarisation of Europe is of great concern to many people who would prefer to see Ireland retain neutrality. In the referendums on Nice , Ireland was assured that a European Army would never happen, but now the basis for a common defence policy and EU battlegroups are in place. Lisbon looks toward a ‘progressive framing of a common Union defence policy’.

36. Pro-life laws will be overruled if Lisbon is passed, as it will only take one court case (such as the D case, funded by the Irish Family Planning Association) to come before the European Court of Justice. The ECJ will overrule on this. The Irish Government will have its hands tied since there would be absolutely nothing it could do to reverse the European decision, or indeed reverse Lisbon .

37. Ireland already has the the Maastricht protocol, drafted to protect Ireland’s pro-life amendment (Article 40.3.3), but this would be knocked down in the European Court, whose heightened powers under the Lisbon treaty would rule over that, or other, protocols, once the Charter of Rights attached to Lisbon came into effect.

38. Lisbon threatens the freedom of conscience, expression and worship. The Bishops of England, Wales and Scotland have already denounced the European Commission’s planned Equal Treatment Directive as “wholly unacceptable” bec au se they said it would force Christians to act against their consciences. The Catholic Bishops say the Directive will result in sharply curtailing the rights of religious liberty and freedom of expression.

39. Voters should reaffirm the decision they had made in the first referendum in June last year because “nothing had changed” in the treaty. People voted for a better deal for Ireland and Europe . Almost 1,000,000 people or 53% of the electorate rejected the Lisbon treaty on June 12th 2008. The Treaty was itself already abandoned by Europe, as the EU Constitution, in 2005, when both France and the Netherlands rejected it in referendums. It is entirely undemocratic.

40. Lisbon expands the range of political situations in which European military forces can intervene. Under Article 28B, Lisbon will represent another grave step towards the federalist vision of a European fighting force.

41. The European Commission’s trade agenda promotes free trade, yet irrespective of the costs to European family farms and rural communities, or the world poorest communities and countries. Lisbon gives the EU exclusive competence over commercial policy, including the negotiating of international trade agreements.

42. Ryanair Chief, Michael O’Leary, provided comments in support of the Lisbon treaty, but Irish voters need to ask themselves, does Ireland really want a Ryanair Europe?

43. A second No vote would strengthen the hand of any Irish government seeking to negotiate a better deal for Ireland and the EU.

44. The Lisbon treaty is the work of Bertie Ahern and Charlie McCreevy, along with Silvio Berlusconi, Jose Manuel Barroso and Nicolas Sarkozy.

45. What would happen to employees of companies such as Waterford Glass or SR Technics, given that the Lisbon treaty imposes restrictions on state aid which might supposedly ‘distort’ the market?

46. Since concerns over Irish neutrality and European militarisation were a key reason for voting No in the first referendum, according to the Irish Times and TNS surveys in May and June 2008, why should the Irish people accept the Lisbon treaty take two?

47. Ireland is voting, in reality, on behalf of 500 million Europeans. Ireland is the only state, out of the 27 EU member states, to have a referendum.

48. The reason why Ireland has a referendum is important: if the treaty is ratified it would transfer powers from the Irish Constitution to the EU and Irish law requires that any changes to the Constitution must be subject to a referendum. The Irish people gained this right bec au se an ordinary Irish citizen, Raymond Crotty, took his case to the Supreme Court in 1986 to guarantee this right, in the case of EU treaties.

49. The Charter rolls back workers’ rights by failing to include a clause requiring the recognitions of trade unions.

50. Ordinary Irish people would be denied their basic rights in the workplace. The ECJ, basing its judgements on the Charter, has recently ruled against Swedish workers’ rights. In the Vaxholm case, the Latvian company Laval wanted to use Latvian workers in Sweden but would not agree to Swedish pay and conditions. Swedish unions opposed this treatment. The Euoprean Court ruled that the union could only act to ensure the Swedish minimum wage was paid and go no further. Other Swedish employment agreements could not be imposed. It puts pressure on Irish workers to move towards minimum wage levels or risk losing their jobs. A No vote to Lisbon can be used to obtain a social Protocol which would outlaw these unjust verdicts of the EU Court .

51. Under the terms of Lisbon , the European judicial body, Eurojust has now had its remits and powers hugely increased, affecting Ireland ’s own power over judicial investigations. The Lisbon treaty introduces an Article which increases Eurojust’s remit and powers. The body’s mandate is also extended into the types of crime it can investigate.

52. Lisbon expressly provides that the European judicial body, Eurojust may have the power and the responsibility to initiate criminal investigations and also the power to initiate prosecutions, even though the prosecution would be conducted by the Irish national authorities, under the supervision of the European Public Prosecutor.

53. The Lisbon treaty provides for the creation of a super-prosecutor, a European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO), to combat crimes affecting the financial interests of the Union . It will have the power to order national police forces to initiate investigations. It will assemble all the evidence in favour or against the accused and will be responsible for conducting and coordinating prosecutions. It will have jurisdiction over the Irish enforcement au thorities.

54. The treaty stresses that national parliaments will be under a definite European legal obligation to ensure that they comply with proposals and legislative initiatives in judicial cooperation in criminal policy and police. Is this the future of Irish justice?

55. A new Article under Lisbon proves that whilst the European Union is willing to freely pass on the personal crime-related data of Irish citizens around the 27 member states, it will not allow for sufficient data protection safeguards.
56. A new provision allows the Union to establish super cooperation involving all the member states’ competent authorities, including police, customs and other specialised law enforcement services in relation to the prevention, detection and investigation of criminal offences (Article 69f), above and beyond Irish control over law enforcement.

57. Lisbon confirms the EU commitment to the development of common asylum policy expressly stating on Article 63 that “The Union shall develop a common policy on asylum …”. Since there is no veto power and the measures are adopted through the co-decision procedure, the Irish suffer a reduced influence in not only having a say in the development of an EU common asylum policy, but in being barred from developing its own independent asylum procedures.

58. Lisbon weakens Parliament as it formalises the fact that Irish legislators will be unable to act in a particular area once the European Union has already acted. Since that is the case, Irish parliamentarians will not be able to legislate under key areas specified under Article 2C, such as internal market practices, social policy, economic, social and territorial cohesion, agriculture and fisheries, environment, consumer protection, transport, trans-European networks, energy, areas of freedom, security and justice, common safety concerns in public health matters, research & technological development, international development cooperation and humanitarian aid. What voice will Ireland have to change those polices after Lisbon ? A vast range of activity, which should be under the remit of the Irish Government, will be handed over to EU control.

59. Lisbon threatens higher energy bills, since the basic control of national energy policy is actively transferred from member states to the EU. The new Article 176A specifies the European Union’s massive push toward a harmonised common energy policy. Such a move is bad for Ireland and bad for Europe , and the global marketplace of energy resources. It does nothing to serve in the interests of further liberalisation of the energy market – in fact, anti-competitive measures have been shown to have an obvious effect on increased business costs and consumer bills.

60. Lisbon will threaten Ireland ’s energy security given that Lisbon will have a huge impact on the ability for Ireland to determine its own competitive energy policy. This will prevent it from being able to guarantee flexibility to US contracts and interests in the UK , as it will for any other member state. This will lead to huge instability in (rather than guaranteeing) the security of supply and also insecurities in the foreign policies of both the EU and the US in terms of their cooperation and agreements with oil-rich Middle Eastern countries.

61. The detailed entitlement of rights – embodied in the Articles of the Lisbon treaty and the new Charter of Fundamental Rights – will represent a massive change in the way in which the Irish people are governed and who they are governed by.
62. There is a new definition of European citizenship in the Lisbon treaty which will provide each citizen with a real dual citizenship: Union citizens and citizens of their national states. However, Irish citizens do not trust the European institutions, there is no European demos, nor could the Irish people have loyalty to it, or identify with the creation of a European-wide demos. A Yes vote is a vote against democracy.

63. Irish policy on Iraq , Afghanistan and Kosovo will be transferred to a new European foreign minister. Ireland will not have a say on key foreign policy issues. The High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy represents a severe danger to an independent Irish foreign policy. He or she will be appointed by the European Council, acting by a qualified majority vote and with the agreement of the President of the Commission. It is an immense threat to the independence of Ireland in determining its own foreign policy, since this treaty essentially creates a European Foreign Minister, claiming to work on Ireland ’s behalf throughout the European Union. Negotations on behalf of the Irish people will be held on the other side of Europe without the slightest involvement of an Irish representative or official.

64. The major role played by the Union itself in the international arena has now been consolidated with the Lisbon treaty, in contrast to Ireland and other member states, whose power on foreign policy is now reduced to a secondary au thority of a subsidiary province.

65. The Lisbon treaty establishes the post of a new EU Foreign Minister, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. The new post changes the nature of the relationship between Ireland , the other member states and the EU. Heads of State and Government will no longer represent their countries on the international stage.

66. There will be a new President of Europe, sitting in the European Council – such a substantial transfer of more political power to EU level, through the new President of the European Council eliminates the ability of member states to conduct their own independent foreign policy. The top 2 candidates are Tony Blair and Nicholas Sarkozy – FOR 2 1/2 years!

67. Lisbon places an obligation on member states that they uphold EU “common positions” in UN forums. Ireland will be obliged to present the common foreign policy position as its own position, when attending the UN Security Council. Ireland would be on the UN Security Council primarily to represent the EU’s position, not its own interests.

68. The intention of the European Union to develop a common European army is obvious.

69. Lisbon turns the EU into a global political actor in its own right. It transfers Ireland ’s powers to sign treaties with other states over to the Union . It will allow the Union to increase the role it plays on the international stage and to promote its interests above Ireland ’s values. The Union acquires the right to conclude international agreements. The Union will gain the rights to conclude treaties, to submit claims or to act before an international court, to become a member of an international organisation, and to enjoy certain immunities.

70. Ireland will in fact sign a blank cheque if it gives the go-ahead to the treaty. Lisbon introduces “simplified revision procedures”, meaning that the treaty is self-amending. Ireland will no longer have referendums bec au se amendments will be made without any further need for treaties or ratification procedures. Article 48 (6) has been called the “ratchet cl au se” and allows treaty amendments to be made without the necessity of a new, amending treaty and ratification. The supposed intention of this provision is to simplify the revision of the treaties. It will completely remove the Irish people from their say over Europe . The simplified but wholly undemocratic revision procedures represent a significant increase in the power of the Union, at the expense of Ireland .

71. The Union will further interfere with Irish employment and social policies. It is not a surprise that Ireland records low (and stagnated) growth, since Europe already coordinates a number of economic and employment policies. The agreement to certain provisions in this treaty is to put the opportunities and jobs (now and in the long term) of the Irish people at great risk.

72. The EU will gain powers over controlling Irish industry, health, education, sport, culture, civil protection and tourism. This is an intolerable state of affairs for the Irish people, which will cost the Irish economy billions.

73. Lisbon reduces the meaning of a green passport to a mere symbol. Under the EU’s freedom of movement legislation, Lisbon provides the right for Ireland to adopt provisions concerning passports, identity cards, residence permits and other documents applying to the movement of EU citizens.

74. Lisbon is entirely contrary to Ireland ’s wishes, given that in economic turmoil, when Ireland may have difficulty implementing one-size-fits-all EU legislation, the European Commission now gains the power to immediately impose penalty payments. The European Court of Justice will impose a lump sum on Ireland when she has not implemented a Directive.

75. If Ireland does sign up to Lisbon , it will not then be able to opt-out of super-Union policies which have been developed between a select number of member states. Lisbon demands that a number of member states can work ever-closer in “enhanced cooperation” on a particular policy (based largely on existing Article 10 TEU). If Ireland is not involved in the enhanced cooperation, she will be compelled to adopt the measures as if they were normal Union measures – Ireland will have had no say in the binding nature or the content of the measure.

76. Lisbon really is a blank cheque in more ways than one – one provision allows the Union to create its own powers (beyond the Treaties) in order to pursue Union objectives, under Article 308, so that if the Treaties have not provided the necessary powers for a certain action, the Council, acting on a proposal from the Commission can adopt any appropriate measures it feels necessary. Quiet often, they will not be in Ireland ’s interest. Lisbon states that the Commission only has “to draw national Parliaments’ attention to proposals based on this Article”, rather than requiring any form of proper national agreement or consent. Ireland will be writing a blank cheque on policies, it can ill afford to sign up to.

77. How can Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and Foreign Minister Brian Cowen have agreed to such a bad deal when they signed up to the EU Constitution in 2004, now repackaged as the Lisbon treaty?

78. Instead of the Irish Government deciding who Ireland ’s Commissioner is, under Lisbon , it will be Germany , France and the United Kingdom deciding. Lisbon results in a shift from a bottom-up process for appointing EU Commissioners to a top-down one that benefits other and larger EU states. The Irish Government’s White Paper ignored that fact. The promise of EU Prime Minister’s or Presidents that every member state will continue to have its own national Commissioner after Lisbon is false.

79. Lisbon , by law, would give the European Union a Constitution in the order of a supranational European federal state. It would be superior to the Irish Constitution and laws in all the areas covered by the Treaties.

80. Lisbon puts the competition rules of the EU market above the right of Irish trade unions to enforce pay standards higher than the minimum for migrant workers – so whilst it reduces the power of Irish labour, it reinforces the power of migrant workers.

81. Those who vote Yes for Lisbon often warn of Ireland ’s isolation in Europe . This is false on every count. The political reality is that if Ireland votes No, the Czech Republic and Poland will, in turn, halt ratification of the treaty, since they are waiting to see what Ireland does. Given the status of legal challenges, Germany may not have ratified the treaty either. The next UK Government, which must be elected by next May, will also introduce a Bill on its first day in office to hold a referendum on Lisbon in the UK and recommend a No vote to it. That will give Ireland ’s fellow neighbours in Northern Ireland the chance to vote on Lisbon too.

82. A No vote on Lisbon would open to a new and genuinely more democratic EU, to be embodied in a new set of arrangements which would repatriate powers back to the member states, as Europe ’s original 2003 Laeken Declaration envisaged, along democratic lines.

83. A No vote would stop the march towards an EU federal superstate that would be run on most undemocratic lines, under the total dominance of the elites of the larger EU states, namely Germany , in tandem with their officials in the Brussels Commission.

84. The European Commission is spending some 1.5 million euros on a spurious information campaign in Ireland , supposedly aimed at giving Irish people more information on the EU, but in fact swaying their votes in the Lisbon referendum re-run on Friday 2 October toward a Yes vote.

85. The European Commission has created a massive bill-board advertising campaign across Ireland, cinema advertising that is directed especially at Irish women and young voters, the holding of meetings and seminars and the use of web-sites. Does Ireland , a free county, support the indoctrination of its youth with political messages?

86. The European Commission’s supposed “information campaign” is programmed to go on into 2010, as if it were an everyday exercise, but its l au nch in Ireland recently was set up to taint and influence the outcome of the Lisbon referendum in Ireland .

87. Those involved in the Yes campaign, such as the Commission itself and Irish Foreign Minister Michael Martin writing in the Irish Independent, seem to have given advice under the mistaken impression that a “double majority” of number of member states plus a qualified majority of votes does not exist already for making EC/EU laws, when it actually does. Their statements have thereby concealed the reduction of Ireland ’s voting weight.

88. The European Commission, in supporting the Yes campaign in Ireland, has been wrong to suggest that human rights matters such as inheritance rights for Irish farmers would or could not be affected in a European Union, after it signed up to Lisbon. Farmers’ inheritance rights would be affected.

89. On human rights in general, the Irish people will have their rights set out in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, which along with the treaty, will be made legally binding for EU citizens. This means that all human rights issues would in principle fall within the remit of the European Court of Justice in the immediate future.

90. Ireland ’s ratification of the Lisbon treaty would give the 27 judges of the EU Court of Justice the power to decide sensitive matters over human rights, property rights and inheritance rights for the first time, as a consequence of new EU citizenship, entailing EU citizens’ rights and duties within the new European Union after Lisbon .

91. Czech President Vaclav Kl au s has stated that the treaty would undermine Czech sovereignty, and so refuses to sign it. The same is true of Irish sovereignty. Kl au s later said, in respect of the Irish people, “… the Lisbon treaty is dead, bec au se it was rejected in a referendum in one of the member states.” Irish democracy and sovereignty are paramount. Are the Irish people prepared to give it away?

92. Ireland would have great support if it does say No. For example, Poland ’s President Lech Kaczynski says he will not sign the treaty until it is passed in Ireland .
93. The Government has wrongly claimed it has assurances on important Irish concerns – they are not assured at all and will be pushed through in the distant future without any treaty ratification now. The Irish Government is claiming that the Decision of the European Council on 19 June 2009 and the promised Protocol incorporating that Decision which is to be attached at some future date, will significantly limit the effect of the treaty of Lisbon on certain provisions of the Irish Constitution and will define what the effects of that treaty are on future Union competence in relation to key Irish assurances. The Decision does not change the Lisbon treaty, as it stands, and it imposes such a restriction on the European Court of Justice in the future without proper treaty ratification now.

94. The Irish Decision of the European Council on 19 June 2009 states that the future Protocol “will clarify but not change either the content or the application of the treaty of Lisbon” , but the Lisbon treaty is not yet in force and if the treaty of Lisbon does comes into force, the European Court of Justice would be free to interpret the Irish Decision in the opposite sense – for example, it would insist that the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights can affect the articles relating to the right to life, the rights of the family and rights in respect of education set out in the Irish Constitution. A Protocol, even if it is to be attached to some future treaty, indicates that a substantive treaty change is intended (in contrast to say a Declaration, which does not). This dishonesty must be met with a No vote.

95. The Irish Decision of the European Council on 19 June 2009 is not a real or legal assurance as the European Court of Justice will rule over the terms of this Decision, that the treaty makes no changes on taxation, for example, unless the member states have agreed to that by a normal treaty ratification process. The Irish Decision is a substantive treaty change requiring re-ratification of the Lisbon treaty.

96. The Irish Decision of the European Council on 19 June 2009 falsely claims to be in Ireland ’s interest by limiting the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice in relation to specific aspects of the Lisbon treaty, even though the Court is the only legal body competent to decide on the interpretation and application of the Treaties. The Irish people have been deceived on this and should vote No on the basis of this disturbing but substantial confusion.

97. Despite Ireland ’s economic turmoil, the Irish people will be subject to changes and notable increases in direct and indirect taxation, even though false assurances have been made to the contrary. Under Lisbon , Article 311 TFEU would allow the EU to impose its own taxes by unanimous agreement. Article 113 TFEU requires harmonisation of legislation on indirect taxation for a new purpose, “to avoid distortion of competition”, and would enable the European Court of Justice to rule on tax matters accordingly. Any assurances made by the Irish Government on taxation are false and have no legal effect.

98. The Irish Government will be limited in its power over tax measures in difficult economic times because of Lisbon . The treaty asserts, under Protocol No 27 (On the Internal Market and Competition), that the EU could vote down national tax measures if they can be regarded as c au sing distortion of competition on the internal market.

99. Ireland needs obvious constitutional safeguards from Lisbon and cannot sign up until it has achieved them. For example, on 30 June, the German Constitutional Court in judging concerns over the Lisbon treaty has forbidden the German President from signing the treaty until the German Parliament adopted a law which would safeguard the involvement of their Parliament in future EU decision-making. Other EU countries have sought constitutional safeguards. Should Ireland not also reject Lisbon until it can insist upon the protection of its own Parliament, the voice of the Irish people?

100. Democracy.

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Police Brutality USA – Interactive map

June 21, 2009



Since the recent infamous Grandma tasering, I have found many incidents of similar brutality by police. The following links are VIDEOS of such events.

Girl shoes cop – Cop beats girl

Then they came for me….and there was noone…

Police Overreact with a Taser Gun – AGAIN!

Ambulance driver brutalized by police: cops did it right!

Grandma tasered update – Police: we did it right!

Grandma tasered – Unedited video from dash cam

Ambulance driver brutalized by police

SWAT bust down wrong door

I had wondered how long it would take to compile a relatively complete list of all the incidences. Luckily I found that someone has done this already and presented it neatly in an interactive map.

I spent hours examining incidences from the map – it was horrifying and enlightening to see how widespread abuse of civil rights is in the USA – and how many innocent people have been killed or irreparably damaged.

Take a look if you dare.

An interactive map of botched SWAT and paramilitary police raids, released in conjunction with the Cato policy paper “Overkill: The Rise of Paramilitary Police Raids,” by Radley Balko.

Related:

Medals for Botched SWAT Raid Officers

Police SWAT teams: Overused?

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Recruiting children to kill and die

June 14, 2009

California towns face off with federal government

in court over military recruiting of minors

military_recruitment children

Source
June 12, 2009

Two towns nestled in the rugged coastline and the liberal politics of Northern California have fought the federal government by banning the U.S. military from recruiting minors within their city limits. Now the federal government is fighting back.

Arcata — a town known for taking a stand against the USA Patriot Act and repeatedly passing symbolic measures to impeach President George W. Bush — approved in November an ordinance that would limit Armed Forces recruiters’ ability to contact people under 18. And so did nearby Eureka, the Humboldt County seat.

The Department of Justice took the towns to court in December over their Youth Protection Acts, alleging they were attempting to interfere with the government’s ability to raise an army and protect the country. The department has said the ordinances are believed to be the only ones in the country with such blanket restrictions.

A federal judge is expected to rule on the case in coming days.

“We fully expected a challenge, and we got it,” said David Meserve, 60, a builder of environmentally friendly homes and former Arcata City Council member who spearheaded the measure. “But more importantly, people are becoming aware there is a problem — and the problem is the recruiting of minors.”

Although people must be 18 to enlist — or 17 with parental permission — recruiting manuals cited in the cities’ court filings show that contact with much younger children is encouraged.

“You will find that establishing trust and credibility with students, even seventh- and eighth-graders, can positively impact your high school and post-secondary school recruiting effort,” reads The Recruiter Handbook, published in 2008 by the United States Army Recruiting Command.

The push to reach the young makes sense. A 2007 Department of Defense study found that at 16 years old, more than 25 percent of students considered joining the Armed Forces. By the time they were 21, only 15 percent considered joining.

Towns and high school campuses around the country have tried to thwart the military’s access to their underage students. Berkeley declared that recruiters positioned within view of its high school were “unwelcome intruders.” San Francisco school board members moved to rid public schools of Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps but this week restored the program.

Counter-recruiters across the country have sought to inform students of their perspective on military service in times of war. They also tell parents how to opt out of having their child’s contact information released to recruiters — a requirement for schools receiving federal funds under the No Child Left Behind Act.

military recruitment-748648

Allen Weiner, a senior lecturer in law at Stanford Law School, said he knows of no other cities besides Arcata and Eureka that have passed ordinances banning military officials within their boundaries from initiating contact with minors with the intent of attracting them to any branch of the military.

The law is clear, Weiner said, that recruitment is under the purview of the federal government.

“As a legal fight, it’s pretty clear to me who wins,” he said.

Department of Justice officials did not respond to calls for comment. But in written arguments, government attorneys said the local measures violate the Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution, which establishes the Constitution, federal statutes and treaties as the supreme law of the land.

“State and local governments lack the power to regulate the activities of the federal government,” said their motion to block the ordinances. “Even apart from this obvious constitutional flaw, the ordinances purport to legislate in a field that is committed to the sole discretion of the United States, namely, the Congressional power to raise armies.”

Local advocates such as Meserve remain undaunted.

Meserve said he took up the fight one morning while sitting in a coffee shop and overhearing a National Guard recruiter giving three high school girls a hard sell. The sharply dressed young man bought them fancy coffee drinks and pitched the career opportunities, the scholarships, the camaraderie, while assuring them there was virtually no chance they would end up in a war zone, Meserve said.

This was in 2005, when members of the National Guard were regularly being sent to Iraq, he said.

He found a supporter in Brad Yamauchi, an attorney working pro bono on the case.

The lawyer argues the ordinances prevent abuses without interfering with the federal government’s ability to fill the ranks of the military. Anyone, independent of age, can still reach out to the military, he said, and recruiters are free to contact adults.

“If they don’t contact minors, they can still meet their goals,” Yamauchi said. “We believe there are limits to the federal power to recruit children.”

Related articles

Non military options for youth

DC-area parents don’t want military survey for students

Military Recruiting Vans Draw Fire

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Rationalisations of the torturers

June 13, 2009

How do ordinary people come to justify torture?  It is impressive to read something written in 2000 that so accurately predicts events in 2009.  It would be a fair guess that these ‘predictions’ also describe many other countries besides Great Britain in 1971…i.e. the Bush Thugs in 2009.  I have edited the article to emphasize the principal thrusts of justification for torture.  Read the entire article here.

Unspeakable Acts, Ordinary People

by John Conroy
University of California Press, 2000, paper
Source
… It takes no genius to see a pattern … and that pattern is repeated throughout the world: torturers are rarely punished, and when they are, the punishment rarely corresponds to the severity of the crime.

When a dictatorship is overthrown by a democratic regime, torture squads typically elude punishment because the new government is not entirely secure.

Furthermore, it is often difficult to mount an effective prosecution. Torture usually occurs in a closed room without independent witnesses. Sometimes the victims have been blindfolded or they are dead..

A prosecutor’s task is made more difficult by the fact that torturers are often decorated soldiers or policemen who have served their country in time of need, men who often represent popular belief: they were tough on crime, or they were saving the country from subversion or immorality….

Consider, for example, the British reaction to the revelations that they were torturing the Northern Irish in 197I.

The first stage of response was absolute and complete denial, accompanied by attacks on those who exposed the treatment. Northern Irish Prime Minister Brian Faulkner announced that there had been “no brutality of any kind.”

The London Sunday Times was denounced for printing “the fantasies of terrorists.”

The second stage was to minimize the abuse….

A third stage is to disparage the victims. Lord Carrington judged them to be “thugs and murderers,” while Reginald Maulding proclaimed, “It was necessary to take measures to fight terrorists, the murderous enemy….
A fourth stage is to justify the treatment on the grounds that it was effective or appropriate under the circumstances. Lord Balniel, junior minister of defense, said that there was no evidence of torture, ill-treatment, or brainwashing, and that the methods employed had produced “invaluable” information about a brutal, callous, and barbaric enemy.

A fifth component of a torturing society’s defense is to charge that those who take up the cause of those tortured are aiding the enemies of the state….

A sixth defense is that the torture is no longer occurring, and anyone who raises the issue is therefore “raking up the past.”…

A seventh component of a torturing bureaucracy is to put the blame on a few bad apples….

A final rationalization of a torturing nation is that the victims will get over it.
It is perhaps understandable that public officials accused of a crime as heinous as torture would react defensively and follow a predictable route of denial. What is perhaps more difficult to understand is the rampant indifference that grips most societies in the face of revelations of torture.

Does this sound uncomfortably current?

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BILL of RIGHTS – Can you name them?

June 11, 2009



Do you know what your rights under under the constitution? Errrr….what your rights were?
(Since many are gone now and try not to look surprised.) Here they are…. were. When you are finished reading them, have a look at the article at the end and see which right is going bye bye now…(unless you are already in the know, in which case just proceed to the article.)

Congress of the United States begun and held at the City of New York, on Wednesday the fourth of March, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-nine. The Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution expressed a desire in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution.

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, two thirds of both Houses concurring that the following Articles be proposed to the Legislatures of the several states as Amendments to the Constitution of the United States, all or any of which articles, when ratified by three fourths of the said Legislatures to be valid to all intents and purposes as part of the said Constitution. viz: Articles in addition to, and Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, proposed by Congress and Ratified by the Legislatures of the several States, pursuant to the fifth Article of the original Constitution.

The First Amendment

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

The Second Amendment

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

The Third Amendment

No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

The Fourth Amendment

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

The Fifth Amendment

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

The Sixth Amendment

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.

The Seventh Amendment

In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

The Eighth Amendment

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

The Ninth Amendment

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

The Tenth Amendment

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.


Ready? Which right does this law violate? Or does it?

Government Demands Inventory of All VFW Weapons

Kurt Nimmo
Prisonplanet.com
June 9, 2009

An Infowars reader has passed along an email sent to VFW commanders by the Assistant Adjutant of the Department of Texas Veterans of Foreign Wars indicating the U.S. Army TACOM (Tactical Army Command) is demanding an inventory of all weapons held by VFW posts.

Email sent to VFW commanders
Inventory form

“While you may have had possession of this equipment for 20, 40, 60 or 100 years,” the email states, “it still belongs to the U.S. Military.”

The email arrived with an inventory attachment where all weapons are to be listed and the document sent to the Department of Texas Veterans of Foreign Wars. “This form will then be bounced off of the central database of all Texas VFW Posts at U.S. Army TACOM to verify serial numbers of each item that has been issued. This is a very extensive list and goes back to before the VFW was founded. So if you have a cannon from the Spanish-American War — it’s on the list.”

Many VFW halls around the country have decommissioned military weapons on their properties along with uniforms, statues and flags from every era. It is a common practice for VFW honor guard units to use M-1 rifles made into blank firing devices for salutes at parades and funerals. Weapons held by VFW posts are generally kept under lock and key in storage rooms.

TACOM is not simply interested in blank firing devices and antique rifles and pistols, however. “Weapons and Equipment consist of but is not limited to, Rifles, Pistols, Mortars, Artillery, Tanks, Vehicles, Aircraft, Missiles, Aircraft Carriers (sic), etc, from any period.”

According to the email, any attempt “hide” the items will be dealt with severely. “Please do not try and hide this as all weapons and equipment not accounted for will be reported to the FBI and BATF as stolen military equipment,” writes Dan West, retired Sgt. USMC. “I am hopeful that I need not remind anyone of the severity of punishment that can be administered or the legal bills resulting from individuals or elected officers of the Post having possession of stolen military weapons.”

The inventory of weapons at VFW posts is further evidence the government does not trust veterans, even with antiquated and non-functioning military equipment used primarily for display and historical purposes.

Last month the government took the unprecedented step of requiring soldiers at Fort Campbell in Kentucky to disclose all of their privately owned weapons and gun licenses.

“Military officials insist the policy is not connected to a recent controversial Department of Homeland Security report that warned disgruntled veterans could pose a national security threat. Rather, the inventory of private guns is aimed at stemming what the Army claims is an increasing number of accidental discharges by gun-toting soldiers,” NewsMax reported on May 5. WorldNetDaily reported that Fort Bliss in Texas had informed soldiers who live off the premises to provide descriptions, serial numbers, calibers, makes and models of any of the guns they own privately.

For a really interesting read….go to the url and read the comments.

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Eugenics comes to the USA

June 9, 2009


Yet another article confirming eugenics data being legally required of all babies born in the USA. I have blogged on this before: Baby’s DNA now stored in National Database – It’s the law.

Now I do not have a particular position on eugenics: I do, however, wonder why so many Americans do not know about the recently passed federal laws which mandate that all newborns will have their DNA stored in a national database. Once they find out, they can figure out what, if anything they want to do about it. At least we know Minnesota doesn’t like it.

DNA databases prelude to return of eugenics?
Warning issued over ‘full genomic scans’ on babies

by Bob Unruh
Global Research, June 8, 2009
World Net Daily – 2009-05-02
Source

An organization that has been battling Minnesota state procedures in which DNA from every newborn is collected and warehoused says virtually all states do the same thing, and the alarming trend eventually could lead the United States back into eugenics.

The report from Twila Brase, president of the Citizens’ Council on Health Care, says, “Throughout history, proponents of eugenics have focused on the reproduction of children, either through encouraging the ‘healthy’ to reproduce or discouraging the ‘unhealthy’ from procreation. This focus has been evidenced in history by 29 state sterilization laws … and the horrific Nazi campaign aimed at ridding Germany of the ‘unfit’ – the Jews, the physically deformed, the mentally retarded, the ‘feebleminded,’ the inferior, the epileptic, the deaf, the blind, ‘those suffering from hereditary conditions,’ the deviant ‘asocial’ and the politically dissident.”

The report then continued, “That the focus on reproduction still exists today is more than troubling.

“The authors of a 2001 study ‘were struck’ by the large number of state government officials who agreed with a specific statement regarding assessment of ua child’s suitability for future reproduction,” the report said. “Nineteen (54 percent) of 35 … respondents who routinely provide counseling – mostly newborn genetic screening follow-up staff at state health departments across the country – thought it important when giving advice to parents to ‘identify children who might be, for genetic reasons, unsuitable choices for future reproduction,'” the report said.

The concept of “identifying” those who would be “unsuitable” for reproduction is enough reason for parents to be alarmed, and people should start demanding fully informed consent requirements, Brase said.

“To protect every American’s right to self-determination, genetic privacy, and DNA property rights, it is time to require informed written parent consent for all facets of the newborn genetic screening program, including storage and use of genetic test results and newborn DNA,” Brase said.

She said most states do not require parental consent for newborn genetic testing now or for the government to keep the genetic results. Most states now keep DNA results for a period of time – some extending indefinitely.

“Most parents have no idea that government is doing the testing or retaining the data and DNA,” the report said.

“It is important for policymakers to look beyond the current newborn screening programs which test infants for only 21 to 60-some rare genetic conditions. Supporters of newborn screening appear to be planning for full genomic scans on every baby at birth,” warned Brase.

The organization’s website posted a report from a new grandmother who documented the medical industry’s insistence on taking that information, with or without permission.

In Minnesota, the CCHC has been battling the state Department of Health, which has been taking the DNA samples and warehousing but apparently not following “written consent requirements.”

The anonymous new grandmother there wrote:

“My daughter signed a paper stating she did not want the PKU test done because of the DNA stealing (I was there when she did that). The nurse huffed out of the room saying that stuff doesn’t happen. After my grandchild was born, a different nurse took the baby. My daughter her my granddaughter start crying. She found out her heel was getting pricked. My daughter became furious stating that she signed off on not getting the test. The nurse said there was nothing in her chart saying that. My daughter demanded the blood sample back. The nurse said they’d destroy it, but my daughter demanded it back and got it.”

Brase’s report warns the collection and assembly of DNA on an entire generation of citizens largely is unnoticed, but such newborn screening “represents the largest single application of genetic testing in medicine.”

“Suppose … expanded screening of an infant reveals not a fatal and incurable disease but instead a host of genetic variants, each of which merely confers elevated risk for some condition or other,” the report said. “Who is to say at what point an uncovered defect becomes serious enough to warrant preventing the birth of other children who might carry it? At what point have we crossed the line from legitimate family planning to capricious and morally dubious eugenics?”

The report said the concept that a population of people can be “improved” by eliminating those with any “defects” is relatively ignored these days. But, it said, “proponents are newborn genetic screening are moving toward eugenics – not away from it.”

In the United States, it was in 1927 when the U.S. Supreme Court opined, from Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.’s pen, “It is better for all he world, if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime, or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind. The principle that sustains compulsory vaccination is broad enough to cover cutting the Fallopian tubes.”

Even now, similar beliefs exist, the report said.

“Is it thus noteworthy that the government-funded Sickle Cell Trust in Jamaica is now providing fifth and sixth grade students with the results of their sickle cell tests on a laminated card with the hope that they will ‘select partners with normal genes and avoid having a child with sickle-cell disease,'” the report said.

“Twenty states store newborn blood samples from one to 23 years,” the report said. ” With four million babies born each year and at least 10 states retaining newborn blood indefinitely, the repository of infant DNA is large and growing. The baby’s DNA is considered state government property.”

That’s even though surveys show one quarter of parents are unwilling to allow the government to use infant DNA information for research even with parental permission, and more than 70 percent oppose it when parents did not give permission.

Within the last month, lawsuits have been filed in both Minnesota and Texas by parents objecting to government collection and use of infant DNA.

If such information was limited to the parents, and eventually the individual person, there probably would be few complications. But the report raises the concern that’s not what would happen.

“Even the baby’s potential for behavioral problems and political proclivities could become a part of the government’s sequenced – and recorded – findings,” it said.

“It is not hard to imagine the day when any discovered but non-symptomatic condition could become a ‘pre-existing condition’ for which private insurers would not pay. The eugenic implications are obvious. Thus, the growing collection of genetic test results and newborn DNA could easily enable a eugenics agenda on the part of government agencies and private industry,” it said.

In an interview at the time the dispute over newborns’ DNA in Minnesota was heating up, Brase said it’s no longer just about diabetes, asthmas and cancer.

“It’s also about behavioral issues,” she said.

“In England they decided they should have doctors looking for problem children, and have those children reported, and their DNA taken in case they would become criminals,” she said.

In fact, published reports in the U.K. note that senior police forensics experts believe genetic samples should be studied, because it may be possible to identify potential criminals as young as age 5.

“If we have a primary means of identifying people before they offend, then in the long-term the benefits of targeting younger people are extremely large,” Gary Pugh, director of forensics at Scotland Yard, was quoted saying. “You could argue the younger the better. Criminologists say some people will grow out of crime; others won’t. We have to find who are possibly going to be the biggest threat to society.”

The U.K. database already has 4.5 million genetic samples and reportedly is the largest in Europe, but activists want to expand it. Pugh said that it is not possible right now to demand everyone provide a DNA sample but only because of the costs and logistics.

One published report cited the Institute for Public Policy Research, which is suggesting children from 5-12 in the U.K. be targeted with cognitive behavioral therapy, and Pugh has suggested adding the children in primary schools to the database, even if they have not offended.

“Not all research is great,” Brase said. “There is research that is highly objectionable into the genetic propensities of an individual. Not all research should be hailed as wonderful initiatives.”

The Heartland Regional Genetics and Newborn Screening is one of the organizations that advocates more screening and research.

It proclaims in its vision statement a desire to see newborns screened for 200 conditions. It also forecasts “every student … with an individual program for education based on confidential interpretation of their family medical history, their brain imaging, their genetic predictors of best learning methods…”

Further, every individual should share information about “personal and family health histories” as well as “gene tests for recessive conditions and drug metabolism” with the “other parent of their future children.”

Still further, it seeks “ecogenetic research that could improve health, lessen disability, and lower costs for sickness.”

“They want to test every child for 200 conditions, take the child’s history and a brain image, and genetics, and come up with a plan for that child,” Brase said. “They want to learn their weaknesses and defects.

“Nobody including and especially the government should be allowed to create such extensive profiles,” she said.

The next step is obvious: The government, with information about potential health weaknesses, could say to couples, “We don’t want your expensive children,” Brase said.
Global Research Articles by Bob Unruh

Related:

The Rabbit Hole Doesn’t End Here

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No Fly List = US Madness

May 1, 2009

I am never leaving Ireland: the appeal of foreign lands does not seduce me. For those who choose to travel to North America, you will be horrified by the following stories. These are not just news items – once you are detained by Homeland Security, you have no rights and no options.

I recall meeting a retired US military commander stationed in Scotland for years at my local market. Naturally, we discussed the news from the US. In the course of the conversation, I asked him about the Draconian methods used by Homeland Security agents at airports – he assured me all my suspicions about the dangers were not only correct, but underestimated. And these policies have been in effect for more than a decade. I believe him. He was part of the military establishment his entire life and had no reason to lie me in casual conversation.

The truth is that if you are on the No Fly List and don’t know it (and indeed you can’t know because the list is secret), and try to enter the US or fly over it, you could find yourself in an American Gulag with no way out.

Unbelievable isn’t it? Fair enough. Read below and listen to the video. Then you can decide whether this blog is conspiracy propaganda; or, a word to the wise. And feel free to add your own story in comments.


No flight for you

If you are planning on flying US Airways, make sure you are either grumpy, perturbed, unhappy, or uncomfortable- anything but ‘angry’. As reader James learned, ‘angry’ people get grounded on a No-Fly list.

James wanted to see if he could price match a ticket he bought earlier to the current, lower price. When he attempted to call customer service, he was informed that not only couldn’t he match his tickets to the cheaper price, but that by describing himself as angry he would be considered a security issue. James paraphrased:

CS: “Did you say you were going to be angry on the flight?”
James: “I totally did. If I know that the guy sitting next to me spent $150 less for his seats than me, you better believe I’m not going to be happy.”
CS: “Well, if you’re telling me you’re going to be angry I’m going to notify security.”

James escalated his complaint, and the Executive Relations (ER) representitive backed up this claim:

James: “You can’t tell me you’re going to put me on a no-fly list because I said I was going to be grumpy on a flight.”
ER: “But you said you were going to be angry, and that’s one of the words we look out for.”

Sounds like at least one Airline is telling it’s representatives to look for very vague keywords. These could apply to anyone – I’m sure many of us have had an experience at an airport that made us angry, but that doesn’t mean we qualify for a watch-list. As for price matching the tickets, there is always US airways executive customer service.

On the Terrorist Watch List?
Don’t Even Try to Fly Over the U.S.:

Air France Flight Diverted Because a Journalist,
Who Is Critical of U.S. Foreign Policy, Was On Board

April 28th, 2009
Via: Progreso Weekly:
Source

Air France Flight 438, from Paris, was to land at Mexico City at 6 p.m. on Saturday, April 18. Five hours before landing, the captain’s voice announced that U.S. authorities had prohibited the plane from flying over U.S. territory. The explanation: among the passengers aboard was a person who was not welcome in the United States for reasons of national security.

A few minutes later, the same voice told the startled passengers that the plane was heading for Fort-de-France, Martinique, because the detour the plan needed to take to reach its destination was too long and the fuel was insufficient.

The stopover in that French territory in the Caribbean would be only to refuel the plane. Exhaustion was becoming an issue among the passengers. But the central question, spoken in undertones, was the identity of the “terrorist” passenger, because if the “gringos” say it, “it must be because he must be a terrorist.”

Looking at those of us sitting in the back of the plane, two passengers said no terrorist could be there because “nobody there looks like a Muslim.”

Again in the air, and preparing for another four hours of travel, a man who identified himself as the copilot came to me. Trying to look discreet, he asked if I was “Mr. Calvo Ospina.” I told him yes.

“The captain wants to sleep, that’s why I came here,” he said, and he invited me to accompany him to the back of the plane. There, he told me that I was the person “responsible” for the detour. I was astonished.

My first reaction was to ask him: “Do you think I’m a terrorist?” He said no, that’s the reason I’m telling you this. He also assured me that it was strange that this was the first time it happened on an Air France plane.

Research Credit: ltcolonelnemo

Definition: No Fly List

Source
The No Fly List, sometimes called the terrorist watch list, is a secret list created and maintained by the United States government of people who are not permitted to board a commercial aircraft for travel in or out of the United States. The list has also used been used to divert aircraft not flying to or from the US away from US airspace. It includes approximately 44,000 names as of October 2008[update].[1] The list – along with the Secondary Security Screening Selection, which tags would-be passengers for extra inspection – was created after the September 11, 2001, attacks.[2]

The list has raised civil liberties and due process concerns, due in part to the potential for ethnic, religious, economic, political, or racial profiling and discrimination. It has also raised concerns about privacy and government secrecy, as well as drawing criticism from the media. The list has also been used to target political activists opposing the death penalty and the Iraq war.

Here is a chilling article about what can happen in an airport:
Airport Detention Death Surveillance Pictures

Bobby Fischer, chess champion, detained for 7 months in airport jail on instructions from USA


Unlikely Terrorists On No  Fly List
Steve Kroft Reports List Includes President Of Bolivia,
Dead 9/11 Hijackers

June 10, 2007 Daniel Schorn
Source

Steve Kroft reports on the government’s inaccurate and sloppy list of people who possibly pose a threat to civilian aviation.

Video This segment was originally broadcast on Oct. 8, 2006. It was updated on June 7, 2007.

Anyone who has passed through an airport in the last five years and has been pulled aside for extra screening knows that the government and the airlines keep a list of people they consider to be security threats. Every time you check in at the ticket counter your name is run through a computer to make sure you are not on something called the “No Fly List.” It’s part of a secret government database compiled after 9/11 to prevent suspected terrorists from getting on airplanes. As correspondent Steve Kroft reports, if your name is on the list or even similar to someone on the list, you can be detained for hours.

It began as a project of the highest priority. In 2003, President Bush directed the nation’s intelligence agencies and the FBI to cooperate in creating a single watch list of suspected terrorists. A version of that list is given to the airlines and the Transportation Security Administration to prevent anyone considered a threat to civilian aviation from boarding a plane. The government won’t divulge the criteria it uses in making up the list or even how many names are on it. But in the spring of 2006, working with a government watchdog group called the National Security News Service, 60 Minutes was able to obtain a copy of the No Fly List from someone in aviation security who wanted us to see what the bureaucracy had wrought.

The first surprise was the sheer size of it. In paper form it is more than 540 pages long. Before 9/11, the government’s list of suspected terrorists banned from air travel totaled just 16 names; today there are 44,000. And that doesn’t include people the government thinks should be pulled aside for additional security screening. There are another 75,000 people on that list.

With Joe Trento of the National Security News Service, 60 Minutes spent months going over the names on the No Fly List. While it is classified as sensitive, even members of Congress have been denied access to it. But that may have less to do with national security than avoiding embarrassment.

Asked what the quality is of the information that the TSA gets from the CIA, the NSA and the FBI, Trento says “Well, you know about our intelligence before we went to war in Iraq. You know what that was like. Not too good.”

“This is much worse,” Trento argues. “It’s awful, it’s bad. I mean you’ve got people who are dead on the list. You’ve got people you know are 80 years old on the list. It makes no sense.”

60 Minutes certainly didn’t expect to find the names of 14 of the 19 9/11 hijackers on the list since they have been dead for five years. 60 Minutes also found a number of high profile people who aren’t likely to turn up at an airline ticket counter any time soon, like convicted terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui, now serving a life sentence in Colorado, and Saddam Hussein, who at the time was on trial for his life in Baghdad.

One person who was not surprised is former FBI agent Jack Cloonan, who was retiring from the bureau’s al Qaeda task force just as the list was being put together.

“I did see Osama bin Laden on the list both with an “O” in the first name and a “U” in the second name. I was glad to see that. But, some of the other names that I see here, you know, I just have to scratch my head and say, ‘My good, look what we’ve created,'” Cloonan says.

Intended to be a serious a serious intelligence document, Cloonan says the No Fly List soon became a “cover your rear end” document designed to protect bureaucrats and make the public feel more secure.

“I know in our particular case they basically did a massive data dump and said ‘Ok anybody that’s got a nexus to terrorism, let’s make sure they get on the list,'” Cloonan explains. “And once that train left the station, or once that bullet went down range. There was no calling it back. And that is where we are.”

The person who oversaw the project is Donna Bucella, who has run the FBI’s Terrorist Screening Center since it began operations in 2003. Her group is responsible for evaluating the information submitted by the various intelligence agencies and actually compiling the list.

Asked if she is confident that the list is complete and accurate, Bucella says, “It’s like painting a bridge. Once you finish one end, you gotta come back. So we endeavor to get the list as current and accurate and thorough as possible.”

“We got a look at the No Fly List from March. And included on that list were 14 of the 19 September 11th hijackers. How do you explain that?” Kroft asks.

“Well, just because a person has died doesn’t necessarily mean that their identity has died. People sometime carry the identities of people who have died,” she says.

“What you are saying is that you have no information that this person is alive and poses a threat. It’s just a name in the database,” Kroft asks.

“In order fort the name to get in the data base there has to be information that they are a known suspected terrorist,” Bucella says.

“So you are saying it’s just a coincidence that there are 14 names in the computer that match the names of 9/11 terrorists. I mean, how do you account for that?” Kroft asks.

Bucella asked how recent this watch list was. When told it was from March, she said, “For some reason the agency might not necessarily want to have taken the name off the list. I can’t explain that.”

“Also on the list is Francois Genoud, who was a Nazi sympathizer and financier of Arab terrorism. Been dead for ten years,” Kroft remarks.

“Well, when you said his – this is what we’re doin’ a quality review on our watch list,” Bucella replies.

So far that quality review has missed a few other people who don’t seem to pose a threat to aviation security, including international dignitaries like Nabih Berri, the head of the Lebanese parliament who recently met with Condoleezza Rice. The list also includes head of state Evo Morales, the president of Bolivia.

“I mean, do you think that the president of Bolivia’s gonna highjack an airplane?” Kroft asks Bucella.

“I don’t know if what you’re talking about is true ’cause I haven’t had an opportunity to take a look at it. And quite frankly, I’m not sure if that is accurate,” she replies.

It would certainly seem to be. The Evo Morales on the No Fly List has three variations of his name listed along with a date of birth, all matching the president of Bolivia.

The names on the list are Evo Morales, Juan Evo Morales Aima and Evo Morales Ayma, all born on Oct. 26, 1959.

“We’ve been told by a number of different people that what happened under the tight deadlines was that the CIA and various agencies just took all the names that they had floating around for one reason or another and just dumped ’em into your computer,” Kroft says.

“And that’s why we are undergoing the record by record review,” Bucella states.

Jack Cloonan says in the headlong rush to get a list, they forgot quality control. “And, we forgot what this was about. This is to prevent an Islamic terrorist who is associated with al Qaeda from getting on a plane. It lacks efficiency and, it makes us, look ineffective and ill equipped,” he says.

It also has created enormous frustration and aggravation for thousands of innocent travelers who have the misfortune of sharing a name with someone on the list and some of the names are among the most common in America. Like Gary Smith, John Williams or Robert Johnson. 60 Minutes found 12 of them and brought them to New York for an interview.

In New York, Kroft spoke to the group, all of them named Robert Johnson; all said they have trouble getting on airplanes.

They don’t look like a very dangerous group. There is a politician, a soccer coach, businessmen, even a member of the military. Yet they say they are pulled aside and interrogated, sometimes for hours until someone at the Transportation Security Administration decides they are not the Robert Johnson on the No Fly List. And they say it happens nearly every time they go to the airport.

“Oh, at least – at least 15 to 20 times. At least,” one of the Robert Johnsons tells Kroft.

“Probably for close to 100 segments, every time I would go to get onto an airplane, I would have to go through the process,” another says.

“I had my military ID and you know, I go on military bases all the time,” Robert Johnson says. “So I can get on any base in the country, but I can’t fly on a plane, because I am on the No Fly List.”

The Robert Johnson meant to be on the No Fly List would seem to be the known alias of a 62-year-old black man who was convicted of plotting to bomb a Hindu temple and a movie theatre in Toronto. After serving 12 years, he was deported to Trinidad. But the airlines ticket agents don’t have any of that information on their computer screens. They just have the name, not even a date of birth.

“There’s gotta be some common sense in there. Somebody behind that desk has to say, ‘This isn’t the guy they’re looking for.’ Come on,” one remarks.

Asked what is the worst part of the experience, one of the Johnsons tells Kroft, “The humiliation factor. And, I get calls on my cell phone from my coworkers saying, ‘You gonna make the flight? You gonna make the flight?’ And, I’m sitting here in a panic sweatin’ and, you know, to an extent he’s thinking like ‘Or, am I traveling with a criminal here?'”

One of the Robert Johnsons was even strip-searched. “I had to take off my pants, I had to take off my sneakers, then I had to take off my socks. I was treated like a criminal.”

And there is not much they can do about it. Right now their only recourse is to apply to get on another list of people who shouldn’t be on the list. Donna Bucella of the Terrorist Screening Center says the inconvenience is regrettable, but it’s a price society and anyone named Robert Johnson has to pay for security.

“Well, Robert Johnson will never get off the list,” Bucella states.

And she acknowledges that the inconvenience won’t go away. “Well, they’re gonna be inconvenienced every time they try to go to the kiosk or try to do a curbside check-in because they do have the name of a person who’s a known or suspected terrorist,” she says.

But not all suspected terrorists are on the government’s No Fly List. Joe Trento, while researching his book “Unsafe at Any Altitude” about airline security found what he thought was an obvious omission.

“Now Dawud Sallahuddin, real name David Belfield, lives in Tehran. He carried out the first assassination in Washington on behalf of Ayatollah Khomeini. Dress up as a mailman and shot somebody. He’s allowed to fly,” Trento says.

And neither are the original eleven British suspects recently charged with plotting to blow up ten commercial airliners with liquid explosives, even though they had reportedly been under surveillance for more than a year. A subject that Kip Hawley, the director of the Transportation Security Administration wanted to avoid.

Asked if the suspects were they on the list, Hawley tells Kroft, “I’m not going to get into all of the investigation or related to that investigation except to say that. With absolute confidence that anyone turned up in that investigation would not be allowed to actually get on an aircraft.”

“The British say these people have been under investigation, surveillance for more than a year. But we managed to get a copy of the No Fly List for March, and none of these people were on the list,” Kroft states.

“Well, I’m not going to confirm is and who isn’t,” Hawley replies.

What Kip Hawley wouldn’t tell 60 Minutes is that some of the some of most dangerous terrorists never even end up on the No Fly List, because the intelligence agencies that supply the names don’t want them circulated to airport employees in foreign countries for fear that they could end up in the hands of the terrorists.

Cathy Berrick, the Director of Homeland Security and Justice Issues for the General Accounting Office told Kroft that the lists that the airlines get have been sanitized of the most sensitive information.

“They’re not given all of the names for security reasons because the government doesn’t want to have that information outside of the government,” Berrick says.

“But if the point of the system is to keep dangerous people from getting on airplanes, why would you leave some of the potentially most dangerous people off the list?” Kroft asks.

“Yeah, it’s a concern. And I think if you talk with the Department of Homeland Security they would agree with that,” Berrick says.

The Transportation Security Administration has been trying to fix some of these problems for the past three years with a program called “Secure Flight.” It would take the job of screening passengers on the No Fly List away from the airlines and place it in the hands of TSA employees with the necessary security clearances.

“Secure Flight” would also make available more information on suspected terrorists so screeners could tell the difference between 14-year-old Susan Becker and a Bader Meinhof terrorist who uses the same name as an alias but is really named Susanne Albrecht. And between Robert Johnson the convict and the Robert Johnsons 60 Minutes interviewed in New York.

But Cathy Berrick says things are not going well. “So it’s three years later and the program still isn’t fielded,” she says.

She says an estimated $144 million has been spent on Secure Flight. Asked what taxpayers got for their money, Berrick says “nothing tangible yet.”

“If you look at the perfect world we’re not there. But if the fundamental thing is to be able to say to the people who fly: ‘Is the government letting people on my plane who they know is a terrorist, who, who is a bad guy?’ And the answer is ‘No,'” Kip Hawley says. “All of these other issues —particularly on convenience for people with the same name as terrorists, that is unfortunately where we are. That’s the down side of it the upside is that two million passengers are not flying with a terrorist.”

After Kroft’s story aired, Kip Hawley told Congress he would review all 44,000 names and cut the list by half. Meanwhile, the FBI announced that Bolivian President Evo Morales and Lebanon’s Nahbi Berri are not on the current list. As for Donna Bucella, she has left the FBI for a job in the private sector.