Journalist Roxana Saberi freed by Iranian appeal court verdict

Dandelion Salad

By Damien McElroy, Foreign Affairs Correspondent
Telegraph
Last Updated: 7:25PM BST 11 May 2009

Roxana Saberi, an American journalist convicted in Iran on spying charges, is to be freed after an appeals court downgraded her sentence.

Lawyers for the 32-year old said the court had reduced the eight-year jail sentence to a suspended two-year term and she would soon be freed.

The Iranian-American television reporter had lived in Iran for six years before she was charged with “cooperating with a hostile state” after her arrest in January. The harsh sentence provoked an international backlash that prompted Iran’s hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to express concern that she had received due process. After his intervention the head of the Iranian judicary asked for the appeal court review.

“The verdict of the previous court has been quashed,” lawyer Saleh Nikbakht said. “Her punishment has been changed to a suspended two-year sentence and she will be out of prison.”

[…]

via Journalist Roxana Saberi freed by Iranian appeal court verdict – Telegraph.

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Did America Lose It’s Moral High Ground With The Bush Torture Policies?

Dandelion Salad

VOTERSTHINKdotORG

http://earth2obama.org/

May 11, 2009 BBC World

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Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi Has Died In A Libyan Prison by Andy Worthington

Even In Cheney’s Bleak World, The Al-Qaeda-Iraq Torture Story Is A New Low by Andy Worthington

Obama’s First 100 Days: Mixed Messages On Torture by Andy Worthington

New Chief Prosecutor Appointed For Military Commissions At Guantánamo by Andy Worthington

Obama Returns To Bush Era On Guantánamo by Andy Worthington

Torture on Dandelion Salad

Getting Personal – On Turning Points, Change, Action and the Universal By Gaither Stewart

Gaither Stewart
by Gaither Stewart
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
11 May 2009

(Rome) One of my favourite writers, Paul Bowles, lived much of his life in Morocco. His major theme is the clash between civilized man and an alien environment. His Westerner is inevitably defeated by primitive man. In the jungle or in the desert the Westerner is not only lost but also a victim of the primitive environment. Natural man is superior and defeats the neurotic product of technological society. The Westerner searches for primitive society, loves it, needs it, but in the end is defeated by it.

Years ago in Tangier, Bowles told me that he wanted to show how badly prepared the average Westerner is when he comes into contact with cultures he doesn’t know—or thinks he knows. The more he tries to penetrate it, the worse it gets, Bowles believed primitive man has retained things that western man has lost and can operate in natural surroundings. “Americans are less prepared than Europeans in such circumstances,” Bowles believed, “because they think everyone must do it the American way. Therefore it is hard for them to establish real contact with others. It is a paradox that self-subsistent primitive man is more adapted for communal life than is dependent western man, whose attempts at communal life are disasters. Primitives have a communal life. No one owns anything. Everything belongs to all. This couldn’t work in advanced societies. As soon as personal property appears, you have to invent another system.”

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Obama’s Middle East Imperialism by Shamus Cooke

Dandelion Salad

by Shamus Cooke
Global Research, May 10, 2009

middle east map

view larger size

The velvet gloves are off and the reality of Obama’s Middle East plans are being revealed: a bare-fisted pummeling of Afghanistan and Pakistan — with Iraq’s fate yet to be determined.

The media have been preparing this for months, with incessant talk about the alleged “troop drawdown” in Iraq, the “surge” in Afghanistan and the “immediate threat” that supposedly is represented by Pakistan.

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Seth Godin on the tribes we lead

Dandelion Salad

TEDtalksDirector

http://www.ted.com Seth Godin argues the Internet has ended mass marketing and revived a human social unit from the distant past: tribes. Founded on shared ideas and values, tribes give ordinary people the power to lead and make big change. He urges us to do so.

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Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi Has Died In A Libyan Prison by Andy Worthington

by Andy Worthington
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
www.andyworthington.co.uk
11 May 2009

The Arabic media is ablaze with the news that Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, the emir of an Afghan training camp — whose claim that Saddam Hussein had been involved in training al-Qaeda operatives in the use of chemical and biological weapons was used to justify the invasion of Iraq — has died in a Libyan jail. So far, however, the only English language report is on the Algerian website Ennahar Online, which reported that the Libyan newspaper Oea stated that al-Libi (aka Ali Abdul Hamid al-Fakheri) “was found dead of suicide in his cell,” and noted that the newspaper had reported the story “without specifying the date or method of suicide.”

This news resolves, in the grimmest way possible, questions that have long been asked about the whereabouts of Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, perhaps the most famous of “America’s Disappeared” — prisoners seized in the “War on Terror,” who were rendered not to Guantánamo but to secret prisons run by the CIA or to the custody of governments in third countries — often their own — where, it was presumed, they would never be seen or heard from again.

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Does Obama recycle George W. Bush’s plans? Chomsky interview

Dandelion Salad

RussiaToday

What are the perspectives of NATO expansion? Is U.S. policy in Afghanistan escalating the war in the region? To discuss this and much more, RT interviews Professor Noam Chomsky, political activist, philosopher, and author.

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Sri Lanka: Arrested Tamil editor speaks to the WSWS + Human toll of Sri Lankan conflict rises

Dandelion Salad

By Nanda Wickremasinghe
http://www.wsws.org
11 May 2009

N. Vithyatharan, chief editor of the Tamil newspaper Sudar Oli, was released from detention on April 28, four days after police admitted in court that there were no grounds to charge him. His treatment further exposes the lawless character of the Sri Lankan government of President Mahinda Rajapakse.

Vithyatharan had been accused of aiding a Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam LTTE air raid on Colombo on February 20. Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse had declared: “We have definite evidence that this person is a Tiger accomplice. He is a Tiger. We will charge him on his crimes. We consider anyone who defends him, also to be a Tiger.” The subsequent police admission showed these claims to be false.

[…]

via Sri Lanka: Arrested Tamil editor speaks to the WSWS.

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Warning

This video may contain images depicting the reality and horror of war/violence and should only be viewed by a mature audience.

Human toll of Sri Lankan conflict rises – 11 May 09

AlJazeeraEnglish

The United Nations says a “bloodbath” is taking place in northern Sri Lanka, as government troops launch attacks on Tamil Tiger separatists.

One medic in the war zone has reported that 370 bodies were delivered to his hospital over the weekend.

Each side accuses the other of inflicting the casualties – claims that are impossible to verify.

Al Jazeera’s Harry Fawcett reports.

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Grim scenes at Sri Lankan camps

Interview: Both sides of the Sri Lankan conflict + Sri Lankan army hits hospital

Becoming What We Seek to Destroy by Chris Hedges

by Chris Hedges
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
Truthdig
May 11, 2009

The bodies of dozens, perhaps well over a hundred, women, children and men, their corpses blown into bits of human flesh by iron fragmentation bombs dropped by U.S. warplanes in a village in the western province of Farah, illustrates the futility of the Afghan war. We are not delivering democracy or liberation or development. We are delivering massive, sophisticated forms of industrial slaughter. And because we have employed the blunt and horrible instrument of war in a land we know little about and are incapable of reading, we embody the barbarism we claim to be seeking to defeat.

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Drug lords have friends in high places + Opium is king in Afghanistan

Dandelion Salad

TheRealNews

Drug lords have friends in high places

Tom Lasseter: Afghan drug trade thrives with help, and neglect, of officials.

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Desperate Pakistanis flee violence in Swat

Dandelion Salad

AlJazeeraEnglish

The Pakistani military has ordered hundreds of thousands of people in Swat valley to leave the area, ahead of an expected assault on Taliban fighters there.

This exclusive raw footage from Al Jazeera shows some of those fleeing the fighting in Pakistan’s North West Frontier Province.

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Desperate Pakistanis flee violence in Swat – 10 May 09 Continue reading

Eben Moglen: Free and Open Software: Paradigm for a New Intellectual Commons (must-see)

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talkingsticktv
May 10, 2009

Talk by Eben Moglen with the Software Freedom Conservancy on “Free and Open Software: Paradigm for a New Intellectual Commons” given at the Law of the Commons Conference March 13, 2009 at Seattle University and sponsored by the Seattle Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild.

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