The Evening Blues - 2-23-24



eb1pt12


The day's news roundup + tonight's musical feature: Canned Heat

Hey! Good Evening!

This evening's music features blues rock band Canned Heat. Enjoy!

Canned Heat - So Sad The World's In A Tangle

"I'm afraid, based on my own experience, that fascism will come to America in the name of national security."

-- Jim Garrison


News and Opinion

Chris Hedges: Julian Assange’s Grand Inquisitor

The prosecution for the U.S., which is seeking to deny Julian Assange’s appeal of an extradition order, begun by the Trump administration and embraced by the Biden administration, grounded its arguments on Wednesday in the dubious affidavits filed by a U.S. federal prosecutor in the Eastern District of Virginia, Gordon Kromberg. The charges articulated by Kromberg — often false — to make the case for extradition did not fly with the two High Court judges, Jeremy Johnson and Dame Victoria Sharp, who are overseeing Julian’s final appeal in the British courts. The prosecuting attorneys, under questioning from the judges, were knocked off balance when challenged about the veracity of several of the claims which Kromberg made in support of the indictment against Julian. This was especially the case when the attorneys argued that the classified documents Julian released in 2010 — known as the Iraq and Afghan war logs — were not redacted. These unredacted documents, they told the court, jeopardized the lives of those named in the documents and caused some to “disappear.”

As defense lawyers Edward Fitzgerald KC and Mark Summers KC made clear, and the judges seemed to acknowledge, the documents were indeed redacted by Julian as he worked with media partners, such as The Guardian and The New York Times, when WikiLeaks published classified military documents concerning the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, along with U.S. State Department cables. The unredacted versions were first published by the website Cryptome after two reporters from The Guardian published a book with the passcode to the documents, leading to their publication by other online organizations. Julian contacted the US government, as Summers told the court, and spoke to them at length, in an attempt to prevent the unredacted cables from being published. In the end, the U.S. State Department chose not to act. U.S. officials have sheepishly admitted they have no evidence of anyone named in the documents being harmed. Other allegations — such as that Julian tried to help Chelsea Manning, who leaked the documents, decode a password hash to access documents or protect her identity, or that he sought to conspire with computer hackers — have also been debunked.

A report provided to Judge Baraitser by a U.S. military forensic expert found that even if Manning was able to decode the password hash (which neither she nor anyone at WikiLeaks ever did) it would not have provided access to documents, it would not have provided her with anonymity and it would not have given her access to documents which she did not already have. The expert also described that someone with Manning’s technical knowledge, skill and experience, as well as her lawful access to Top Secret materials, would have known this. But these Kromberg-inspired canards are all the U.S. has, so it uses them.

By the end of the day, it seemed likely that, probably by April, since requested written briefs have to be turned into the judges in March, the two judges will permit an appeal on at least a few of the points. This will, conveniently for the Biden administration — which I expect does not want to take on the contentious issue of extraditing Julian while fueling the genocide in Gaza — mean that any extradition would occur after the election. ...

The CIA seeks Julian’s imprisonment in the U.S. because of the release of the documents known as Vault 7, which exposed hacking tools that permit the CIA to access our phones, computers and televisions, turning them — even when switched off — into monitoring and recording devices. The formal extradition request does not include charges based on the release of the Vault 7 files, but the U.S. request also only came after the release of the Vault 7 material. The CIA usually gets what it wants. But for the near future I expect Julian to continue to rot in HM Prison Belmarsh, where he has been imprisoned for nearly five years as he deteriorates physically and psychologically. This slow motion execution is intentional.

Press Freedom on Trial: Julian Assange’s Lawyer on Extradition Case & Criminalizing Journalism

Claims of Israeli sexual assault of Palestinian women are credible, UN panel says

UN experts say they have seen “credible allegations” that Palestinian women and girls have been subjected to sexual assaults, including rape, while in Israeli detention, and are calling for a full investigation.

The panel of experts said there was evidence of a least two cases of rape, alongside other cases of sexual humiliation and threats of rape. Reem Alsalem, the UN special rapporteur on violence against women and girls, said the true extent of sexual violence could be significantly higher.

“We might not know for a long time what the actual number of victims are,” said Alsalem, who was appointed special rapporteur by the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in 2021.

She noted that reticence in reporting sexual assault was common because of the fear of reprisals against victims. She said that in a wave of detentions of Palestinian women and girls after the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas war on 7 October, there was an increasingly permissive attitude towards sexual assault in Israeli detention centres.

“I would say that, on the whole, violence and dehumanisation of Palestinian women and children and civilians has been normalised throughout this war,” Alsalem said.

Aaron Maté : Netanyahu Wants to Own Gaza

US intelligence casts doubt on Israeli claims of UNRWA-Hamas links

A US intelligence assessment of Israel’s claims that UN aid agency staff members participated in the Hamas attack on 7 October said some of the accusations were credible, though could not be independently verified, while also casting doubt on claims of wider links to militant groups. ... Earlier this year, Israel accused 12 employees of the United Nations Reliefs and Works Agency (UNRWA) of participating in the 7 October attacks alongside Hamas. It also said 10% of all UNRWA workers were affiliated with Hamas.

The bombshell accusation led several countries, including the US, to cut off funding for the agency, which was a crucial vehicle for getting aid to Gaza in what has widely been described as a humanitarian crisis.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the intelligence report, released last week, declared it had “low confidence” in the basic claim that a handful of staff had participated in the attack, indicating that it considered the accusations to be credible though it could not independently confirm their veracity.

It cast doubt, however, on accusations that the UN agency was collaborating with Hamas in a wider way. The Journal said the report mentioned that although the UNRWA does coordinate with Hamas in order to deliver aid and operate in the region, there was a lack of evidence to suggest it partnered with the group. It added that Israel has not “shared the raw intelligence behind its assessments with the US”.

In addition, the report notes Israel’s dislike towards the UNRWA, two sources familiar with it told the Journal. “There is a specific section that mentions how Israeli bias serves to mischaracterize much of their assessments on UNRWA and says this has resulted in distortions,” one source reportedly said.

State Dept 'NOT CHECKING ISRAEL'S HOMEWORK' As Taxpayers Fund Potential Rafah Invasion

Israel Intensifies Airstrikes in Rafah as Invasion Looms

Israel intensified airstrikes in Rafah on Wednesday as Israeli officials are threatening to invade the city, which is packed with an estimated 1.5 million Palestinians.

Reuters reported that the Israeli bombardment in Rafah killed over a dozen members of the al-Noor family, including a one-and-a-half-year-old girl. At the site of the bombed house, Palestinians criticized the US for vetoing a ceasefire resolution at the UN Security Council and for its support of the Israeli onslaught. ...

Gaza’s Health Ministry said a total of 118 Palestinians were killed in Gaza from February 20-21, bringing the total death toll up to 29,313, with 69,333 others wounded. About two-thirds of the casualties are women and children.

Gaza Food Trucks AMBUSHED Amid Widespread Starvation

Israeli Knesset Overwhelmingly Backs Netanyahu’s Rejection of a Palestinian State

The Israeli Knesset has overwhelmingly backed a resolution put forward by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that rejects a “unilateral” creation of a Palestinian state.

Ninety-nine lawmakers out of 120 in the Knesset voted in favor of the resolution. According to Ynet, Israel’s Labor Party boycotted the vote, and 11 Arab lawmakers voted against it. The majority of the leading opposition parties, National Unity and Yesh Atid, voted in favor.

Netanyahu celebrated the strong support for his legislation. “I commend the Knesset members, including those from the opposition, who today voted overwhelmingly in favor of my proposal that Israel opposes being unilaterally dictated to establish a Palestinian state,” he said.

One Key Reason Behind Israel’s War on Gaza? Gas

The terrifying scale of the destruction Israel’s war machine has wrought in Gaza indicates that the goal of this onslaught is not merely to destroy Hamas.

Rather, we can infer that this aggression has been a long time coming, as Israel waited for an opportune time to unleash its full military force against the besieged Palestinian territory.

Some have argued that Israel’s goal is to push the population of Gaza into the Sinai, and the October 7 Hamas attack provided a pretext for this operation to begin in earnest. Zionism as an ideology is based on the displacement of landowners through intimidation and cutting off vital infrastructure, paving the way for Israeli settlers to move in.

But there is another, more important reason behind Israel’s current war: the promising natural gas wealth found in the Eastern Mediterranean, specifically off the coast of Gaza.

The Levant gas field includes the shores of historic Palestine (Israel and Gaza), Syria, Lebanon, and, on the opposite side, the island of Cyprus. This field is estimated to contain about 122 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

As for the Palestinian shores of Gaza, British Gas confirmed in 1999 that the reserves in Gaza Marine are estimated at 1.1 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. That same year, the Palestinian Authority granted British Gas a 25-year contract to exploit the Gaza Marine natural gas field. Until now, after 25 years, the Palestinians have never benefited from it.

This is due to the obstacles that Israel placed under many pretexts, including for example the fear that the revenues will go to “finance terrorism” against Israel.

Several Israeli governments from Ehud Barak to Benjamin Netanyahu have given approval to the Palestinians on several occasions to begin exploiting the Gaza Marine. However, every time Israel retracted its approval.

It is obvious Israel is keen not to give the Palestinians any sense of sovereignty over their land or territorial waters, which is further evidence of Israel’s premeditated intentions to displace the Palestinians from their historical lands and confiscate their natural resources.

After NH Primary, 'Vote Cease-Fire' Push Kicks Off in Washington State

The push for Americans to use their leverage as primary voters and demand a cease-fire in Gaza has spread to Washington state, where the grassroots campaign Vote Cease-Fire on Thursday urged residents to write "cease-fire" on their ballots.

Ballots will be mailed to voters starting Friday, and Washington residents have until March 12 to vote.

Vote Cease-Fire called on voters to write "cease-fire" on the blank lines below candidates' names on their primary ballots in order to make it clear to President Joe Biden that more than three-quarters of Democratic voters want him to demand that Israel stop its bombardment of Gaza and halt funding for the Israel Defense Forces.

The campaign came to Washington a month after more than 1% of New Hampshire Democratic voters wrote "cease-fire" on their primary ballots, after Vote Cease-Fire had had just a week to organize the effort.

Early voting is already underway in Michigan and next week, some voters in the key swing state—home to about 200,000 Muslim voters and 300,000 people with Middle Eastern and North African ancestry—plan to vote "uncommitted" in the primary, signaling to Biden that they will not commit to supporting him in the general election in November unless he takes action to save the lives of Palestinians in Gaza.

Legal experts green light Russian asset seizure. Medvedev, F16 warning

US, UK and Germany endorse Dutch PM Mark Rutte as next Nato chief

The US, UK and Germany have endorsed the candidacy of the Dutch prime minister, Mark Rutte, to become the next secretary general of Nato, at a time when the alliance faces major challenges amid Russia’s war in Ukraine and renewed questions about the future of the US commitment to the transatlantic relationship.

“President Biden strongly endorses PM Rutte’s candidacy to be the next secretary general of Nato,” a US official told Reuters on Thursday.

A UK official said London “strongly backs” Rutte to succeed Jens Stoltenberg. “Rutte is well respected across the alliance, has serious defence and security credentials and will ensure that the alliance remains strong and ready to defend and deter.”

Many other Nato members have signalled they would back the Dutch leader for the post, which requires unanimous support from all alliance members. On Thursday afternoon, a spokesperson for the German government said the chancellor, Olaf Scholz, also supported Rutte’s candidacy.

Rutte is one of Europe’s longest-serving heads of government, having been prime minister since 2010, and is considered a safe pair of hands who could be well positioned to grapple with the challenges of Donald Trump’s possible return to the White House.

INTEL Roundtable w/ Johnson & McGovern: Ukraine/Israel Intel Wrap

Progressives lambast Biden over potential move to restrict asylum

Progressive lawmakers and advocates on Thursday pushed back strongly against Joe Biden amid reports that the White House is weighing unilateral action to sharply restrict access to claim asylum at the US-Mexico border – comparing the move to the hardline strategies of Donald Trump when he was president.

The leading progressive congressional representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Pramila Jayapal criticized the US president for considering such executive action, while legislative efforts are stalled on Capitol Hill amid Republican resistance, after CNN first reported that Biden was considering the unilateral move. ...

The White House is reportedly considering actions aside from congressional legislation to restrict migrants’ access to the right to ask for asylum in the US if they cross the border from Mexico between official ports of entry, usually without the right papers or an appointment with US authorities.



the evening greens


Bleaching fears along 1,000km stretch of the Great Barrier Reef

Scientists are reporting corals are bleaching white and dying from rising ocean temperatures across a more than 1,000km stretch of the Great Barrier Reef.

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and the Australian Institute of Marine Science were preparing on Thursday to carry out surveys from a helicopter across the southern section of the reef.

Guardian Australia heard reports of bleaching at Lizard Island in the north and at Heron Island in the south – a distance of more than 1,100km (740 miles) along the Queensland coast.

The reef has been through six previous mass bleaching events caused by global heating where rising ocean heat has turned corals white across large sections of the reef. The latest event, in 2022, was the first to occur in a usually cooler La Niña year.

The authority has not declared a mass bleaching event for 2024 and said it would wait for further monitoring and the helicopter survey before deciding if reef-wide surveys were needed.

US supreme court seems skeptical about letting EPA enforce pollution rule

The supreme court’s conservative majority seemed skeptical on Wednesday as the Environmental Protection Agency sought to continue enforcing an anti-air-pollution rule in 11 states while separate legal challenges proceed around the country.

The EPA’s “good neighbor” rule is intended to restrict smokestack emissions from power plants and other industrial sources that burden downwind areas with smog-causing pollution.

Three energy-producing states – Ohio, Indiana and West Virginia – challenged the rule, along with the steel industry and other groups, calling it costly and ineffective. The rule is on hold in a dozen states because of the court challenges. ...

A lawyer for the EPA said the “good neighbor” rule was important to protect downwind states that receive unwanted air pollution from other states. Besides the potential health impacts, the states face their own federal deadlines to ensure clean air, said the deputy US solicitor general, Malcolm Stewart, representing the EPA.

States such as Wisconsin, New York and Connecticut can struggle to meet federal standards and reduce harmful levels of ozone because of pollution from power plants, cement kilns and natural gas pipelines that drift across their borders. Judith Vale, New York’s deputy solicitor general, said as much as 65% of some states’ smog pollution comes from out of state. The EPA plan was intended to provide a national solution to the problem of ozone pollution, but challengers said it relied on the assumption that all 23 states targeted by the rule would participate.


Also of Interest

Here are some articles of interest, some which defied fair-use abstraction.

Patrick Lawrence: Guilt and Responsibility

DAY TWO: US Reinforces Grand Assange Deception

Rugs, cosmetics, motorbikes: Israeli soldiers are looting Gaza homes en masse

New Israeli report alleging ‘systematic and intentional rape’ by Hamas relies on debunked Western media reports

Ex-Guardian Editor Alan Rusbridger on Julian Assange Extradition Case


A Little Night Music

Canned Heat - My Time Ain't Long

Canned Heat - Rich Woman

Canned Heat - Rollin’ And Tumblin’

Memphis Slim, Canned Heat, The Memphis Horns - Black Cat Cross My Trail

John Lee Hooker, Canned Heat - Cuttin' Out

Canned Heat - Long Way From L A

Blind Owl Wilson – On The Road Again

Canned Heat - Bullfrog Blues

Memphis Slim, Canned Heat, The Memphis Horns - Whizzle Wham

Canned Heat - Let's Work Together


Share
up
11 users have voted.

Comments

-
-
a bit of canned heat
that heat in a can
can help her swallow
this cold reality
like sterno only
different

PS. on the road again former theme song, used to be a balm for the soul

up
5 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@QMS

heh, glad you're digging the tunes. here's a little more canned heat for you:

up
6 users have voted.

@joe shikspack
-
thanks for that!

up
4 users have voted.

up
6 users have voted.

@gjohnsit
that's Armando and ek hornbeck, from back in the day.

up
7 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@gjohnsit

heh, sounds all-too-familiar from my days at the great orange satan.

have a great weekend!

up
6 users have voted.
Sima's picture

@gjohnsit
Thanks!

up
3 users have voted.

If you're poor now, my friend, then you'll stay poor.
These days, only the rich get given more. -- Martial book 5:81, c. AD 100 or so
Nothing ever changes -- Sima, c. AD 2020 or so

snoopydawg's picture

.
He says that Christophe shouldn’t bear the guilt of what the previous generation did, but

Christophe was in his mid–40s—born, then, in the 1960s—and there he was bearing the anguishing psychological weight of an inescapable guilt.

Those who served the Reich, even those who didn’t but turned away their faces—they were guilty, and if they are still alive they are still guilty.

In Germany’s case, Berlin’s policy toward Israel would turn upside down as neatly as an hourglass. There would be no supporting or condoning Israel’s criminal conduct, weakly proposing the Israelis tone it down, or acquiescing silently to it. Germany’s leaders would stand and say, “Those who came before us did what you are doing once—to those who came before you. We condemn your crimes. We must, this is our responsibility, just as we have condemned the crimes that disfigure our past.”

doesn’t every American bear the guilt of what our country is currently doing and what it did just a few short years ago when we killed millions of Iraqi, Syrian and Libyan civilians and when Obama deliberately double tapped drone strikes? How many people do you think ever even considers that? I’m one, but I know that I have no say in what our government does. I’ve written letters of protest, but I don’t think there is anything I can do to stop our murderous ways. I’ve stopped voting for either party because they are both the same when it comes to war.

Caitlin of course says it best.

The difference between democrats and republicans

up
8 users have voted.

Which AIPAC/MIC/pharma/bank bought politician are you going to vote for? Don’t be surprised when nothing changes.

@snoopydawg Perfect summation.

up
6 users have voted.

"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

joe shikspack's picture

@snoopydawg

i've been thinking a bunch lately about being made complicit in genocide by my "representative" government. my sense at this point is that my responsibility for the actions of my "representatives" should be proportionate to my ability to compel them to act differently. i will probably fire off a long-overdue letter to my misrepresentative soon to ask them what i can do to make them cease their sinning and their low-down ways.

up
9 users have voted.

@snoopydawg

The difference between Republicans and Democrats is that Republicans promise to end civil rights if you vote Republican, whereas Democrats promise to let Republicans end civil rights if you vote Republican.

thanks for the link!

up
6 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@QMS

that was my favorite too. But she once again nailed the uniparty and their bogus claim that they are on opposing sides.

up
4 users have voted.

Which AIPAC/MIC/pharma/bank bought politician are you going to vote for? Don’t be surprised when nothing changes.

Pluto's Republic's picture

@snoopydawg

...for the atrocities this government has committed against humanity around the world. Had I worked harder, or smarter, or more creatively I could have been part of the solution that put a stop to it. I believe I had the necessary gifts to do so, if I had focused on developing them. I believe that anyone who has ever voted after 1970, or paid taxes, aided in those atrocities. I never lived in a democracy, so voting to me was just some weird thing that US people did, like going to church. But I did pay taxes.

Those who have gifts also have a moral obligation to leave a positive contribution to society and for all humankind. I don't feel guilt, whatever that is. Just tremendous disappointment in myself for the opportunities and challenges I did not prepare for, given how perspicacious I am.

up
3 users have voted.

____________________

The political system is what it is because the People are who they are. — Plato
enhydra lutris's picture

canned heat. Some I haven't heard in quite some time. Meanwhile, genocide Joe's Juggernaut keeps rolling along with his mad ukie sidecar wherein generations of ukies are committing suicide to please his sick psychopathy. Congress has proven itself to by on autopilot, but, luckily, it's at least semi-dysfunctional, and we have judges actually citing the bible.

This is not being done with the consent of the governed because it is so irrational that nobody could possibly consent to it because nobody can really get a grip on what it is and what is next.

have a wonderful weekend, be well and have a good one

up
4 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

joe shikspack's picture

@enhydra lutris

heh, i keep wondering if the government will just decide to elect itself a new public since they're being utterly irrational these days and nobody seems to like them very much except for rich sociopaths, military contractors, lobbyists and christian nutcases.

have a great weekend!

up
5 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

.

It's actually very disturbing that the last young lady to speak, seems to be suggesting that what happens in Gaza is more important than what happens in her own country, and she will vote on that basis.

How can a country stand, if a good portion of its citizens care more about every other nation... than their own?

Do any of these miscreants know that Biden is backing Israel’s genocide and the bombs that he sends them are what’s killing the Palestinians? Maybe there should be an IQ test for people to vote after all.

up
7 users have voted.

Which AIPAC/MIC/pharma/bank bought politician are you going to vote for? Don’t be surprised when nothing changes.

joe shikspack's picture

@snoopydawg

just wow.

up
6 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@joe shikspack

Just wow. And there were many more in that vein. And shitlibs are singing the praises of Biden’s economy even though it’s failing in so many ways. I’d think a 12% increase in homelessness would get their attention, but I haven’t seen one person say anything about it. Inflation and shrinkflation is costing us buko bucks at the store. And gas is heading up again and Biden has almost drained the strategic reserve. Hey remember when democrats wouldn’t let Trump refill it when oil was below $70?

Oh yeah and millions have been kicked off Medicaid and food stamps and then there are the number of people who have died from Covid on Biden’s watch. He let corporations reduce the number of days people had to be off work from 10 to 5 and now 1. I guess that’s called following the speed of science. But just wait till Trump is back in office and all those things will matter to them again.

Caitlin called this out in her essay. Shitlibs ride republican ass, but once democrats take over again they go to brunch. Still wish 1-800-bitchslap was working.

up
8 users have voted.

Which AIPAC/MIC/pharma/bank bought politician are you going to vote for? Don’t be surprised when nothing changes.