Julian Assange has done us all a service. He needs support

EAMON MCCANN - BELFAST TELEGRAPH

Sympathy seems in short supply for Julian Assange, the Australian-born founder of WikiLeaks currently holed up in the Ecuadorean embassy in London.

Swedish authorities want to talk to Assange about allegations of sexual assault in Stockholm. He says he fears that, if he travels to Sweden, he might be extradited to the US on charges of espionage arising from WikiLeaks' publication of 250,000 classified diplomatic documents.

Assange's supporters insist the allegations are spurious. The robust feminist and anti-war campaigner Naomi Klein says: "Rape is being used in the Assange prosecution in the same way that women's freedom was used to invade Afghanistan. Wake up."

Whatever the truth of what happened in Stockholm, Assange's apprehensions about what might happen in the US are far from fanciful.

The head of the US Senate's intelligence oversight committee, California Democrat Dianne Feinstein, told the Sydney Morning Herald last weekend that, "I believe that Julian Assange has knowingly obtained and disseminated classified information which could cause injury to the United States ... He has caused serious harm to US national security and should be prosecuted accordingly."

In light of that, and given seemingly permanently heightened US anxieties about 'homeland security', Assange's nightmare glimpse of himself shuffling in a jump-suit in Guantanamo Bay can hardly be dismissed as an invented ploy for evading the Swedish police. So it's puzzling that few in the mainstream media seem concerned about his plight.

Assange's team worked for almost a year, with others, sifting through and annotating the leaked archive prior to launching publication in November 2010.

His partners were the New York Times, the Guardian, Le Monde, El Pais and Der Spiegel - publications held in the highest esteem, not least by themselves. (Hundreds of the leaked State Department cables have since been published in the Belfast Telegraph.)

Israel deploys nuclear weapons on german submarines.

Der Spiegel has reported that German-built submarines for Israel are capable of carrying nuclear weapons.
Why did the German government not forbid this?

Why is there no call for sanctions against Israel, which has been stockpiling nuclear weapons for decades, as there has been against Iran? 
We all know the answer!
Another question is: will the Irish government make a protest to both Germany and Israel over these dangerous new developments?

http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/israel-deploys-nuclear-weapons-on-german-submarines-a-836671.html

What NATO can't hide: everyone but US and UK wants to jump Afghanistan ship now

What NATO can't hide: everyone but US and UK wants to jump Afghanistan ship now

The NATO conference will be nothing but spin to hide the facts: the war in Afghanistan is lost, the only purpose now is to save the face of the warmongers who started it.


Nigel Morris
The Independent
19 May 2012

NATO soldier killed by uniformed Afghan army recruit.

Barack Obama is the most militarily aggressive president in decades

Most Democrats are perfectly aware of Obama's military aggression. They don't support him despite that, but rather, that's one of the things they love about him.

Peter Bergen, the Director of National Security Studies at the Democratic-Party-supportive New America Foundation, has a long Op-Ed in The New York Times today glorifying President Obama as a valiant and steadfast “warrior President”; it begins this way:

THE president who won the Nobel Peace Prize less than nine months after his inauguration has turned out to be one of the most militarily aggressive American leaders in decades.

Just ponder that: not only the Democratic Party, but also its progressive faction, is wildly enamored of “one of the most militarily aggressive American leaders in decades.” That’s quite revealing on multiple levels.

Bergen does note that irony: he recalls that Obama used his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech to defend the justifications for war and points out: “if those on the left were listening, they didn’t seem to care.” He adds that “the left, which had loudly condemned George W. Bush for waterboarding and due process violations at Guantánamo, was relatively quiet when the Obama administration, acting as judge and executioner, ordered more than 250 drone strikes in Pakistan since 2009, during which at least 1,400 lives were lost.”

Iraq war criminals line up to wage war on Iran

Marina Hyde - The Guardian

The creatures of the US military-industrial complex, have somehow managed to pick themselves up from what should have been career-ending humiliation in Iraq and call for more of the same.

The thing about a supertanker is that at least you can turn it round. It takes a while, by all accounts, but you have to think any such vessel has the turning circle of a London taxi compared with the US war machine, which – like its erstwhile willing passenger Tony Blair – appears to relish its lack of a reverse gear.

Are we moving inexorably towards a strike on Iran? There is "a smell of fresh chum in the waters" again, as the rip-roaring journalist Matt Taibbi put it recently.

This week, not a decade after the Iraq invasion, several former officials of the International Atomic Energy Agency accused its head of mishandling the Iranian crisis. They levelled charges of western bias, relying on dodgy intelligence, and sidelining sceptics.

This may sound vaguely familiar. In fact, the situation has all the charmless nostalgia of those I Love 1982-style shows, which saw "expert" talking heads such as Vernon Kay and Kate Thornton reminisce about everything from deely-boppers to the Falklands with no modulation of tone.

Sweden helping Saudi Arabia on secret arms factory

Sweden has in secret been helping Saudi Arabia plan the construction of an arms factory to produce anti-tank missiles, public broadcaster Swedish Radio reported Tuesday.

The Swedish Defense Research Agency (FOI) has helped Saudi Arabia since 2007, though construction on "Project Simoom" has yet to begin, the radio said citing hundreds of classified documents and interviews with key players.

Sweden has in the past sold weapons to Saudi Arabia, but classified government documents state that Project Simoom "pushes the boundaries of what is possible for a Swedish authority," the radio said.

"The fact that an authority such as FOI is involved in the planning of a weapons factory for a government in a dictatorship such as Saudi Arabia is quite unique," the radio said.

FOI director general Jan-Olof Lind denied the existence of the project.

"We do not have a project agreement with that country," he told the radio.

Asked specifically if there has been a Project Simoom with Saudi Arabia, Lind replied: "No. And I do not wish to comment on discussions that may or may not have occurred between Sweden and Saudi Arabia. These discussions are classified."

But several former FOI employees confirmed the existence of the project to Swedish Radio, including Dick Straeng who led the project until 2010 and was one of Lind's closest colleagues.

The SIPRI Top 100 arms-producing and military services companies, 2010

The SIPRI Top 100 arms-producing and military services companies, 2010 The SIPRI Top 100 lists the world’s 100 largest arms-producing and military services companies (excluding Chinese companies), ranked by their arms sales in 2010. The list is based on the comprehensive SIPRI Arms Industry Database, which contains financial and employment data on the world’s major arms-producing and military services companies. The SIPRI Top 100 for 2010 is the 23nd edition of the SIPRI Top 100—earlier versions are available here. Full Article http://www.sipri.org/research/armaments/production/Top100