GITMO Detainee Calls Al Jazeera From Inside Prison! + ‘Toxic waste’ behind Somali piracy

Dandelion Salad

VOTERSTHINKdotORG

http://earth2obama.org/

April 14, 2009 MSNBC Rachel Maddow

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‘Toxic waste’ behind Somali piracy

By Najad Abdullahi
ICH
April 15, 2009 “Al Jazeera”

Somali pirates have accused European firms of dumping toxic waste off the Somali coast and are demanding an $8m ransom for the return of a Ukranian ship they captured, saying the money will go towards cleaning up the waste.

The ransom demand is a means of “reacting to the toxic waste that has been continually dumped on the shores of our country for nearly 20 years”, Januna Ali Jama, a spokesman for the pirates, based in the semi-autonomous region of Puntland, said.

[…]

via Information Clearing House – ICH.

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Guantanamo detainee claims abuse

Al Jazeera English
April 15, 2009

An inmate in the US prison facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, has told Al Jazeera that he has been beaten while in custody and had tear gas used on him after refusing to leave his cell.

Mohammad al-Qurani, a Chadian national, said in a phone call to Al Jazeera that the alleged ill-treatment “started about 20 days” before Barack Obama became US president and “since then I’ve been subjected to it almost every day”.

“Since Obama took charge he has not shown us that anything will change,” he said.

[…]

via Al Jazeera English – Americas – Guantanamo detainee claims abuse.

h/t: CLG

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Farce at Guantánamo, as cleared prisoner’s habeas petition is denied by Andy Worthington

The Story of Ayman Batarfi, a Doctor in Guantánamo by Andy Worthington

Obama Takes Bush Position On Habeas Corpus

Gitmo

You Are Being Lied to About Pirates By Johann Hari

You Are Being Lied to About Pirates By Johann Hari

Dandelion Salad

By Johann Hari
ICH
April 12, 2009 “Huffington Post

Who imagined that in 2009, the world’s governments would be declaring a new War on Pirates? As you read this, the British Royal Navy – backed by the ships of more than two dozen nations, from the US to China – is sailing into Somalian waters to take on men we still picture as parrot-on-the-shoulder pantomime villains. They will soon be fighting Somalian ships and even chasing the pirates onto land, into one of the most broken countries on earth. But behind the arrr-me-hearties oddness of this tale, there is an untold scandal. The people our governments are labeling as “one of the great menace of our times” have an extraordinary story to tell — and some justice on their side.

Pirates have never been quite who we think they are. In the “golden age of piracy” – from 1650 to 1730 – the idea of the pirate as the senseless, savage thief that lingers today was created by the British government in a great propaganda-heave. Many ordinary people believed it was false: pirates were often rescued from the gallows by supportive crowds. Why? What did they see that we can’t? In his book Villains of All nations, the historian Marcus Rediker pores through the evidence to find out. If you became a merchant or navy sailor then – plucked from the docks of London’s East End, young and hungry – you ended up in a floating wooden Hell. You worked all hours on a cramped, half-starved ship, and if you slacked off for a second, the all-powerful captain would whip you with the Cat O’ Nine Tails. If you slacked consistently, you could be thrown overboard. And at the end of months or years of this, you were often cheated of your wages.

[…]

via You Are Being Lied to About Pirates

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

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Obama administration ends Somalian pirate standoff with lethal force

Somali pirates overpowered by US crew but captain still held prisoner

Obama claims credit for killing Somalis

Obama administration ends Somalian pirate standoff with lethal force

Dandelion Salad

By Joe Kishore
http://www.wsws.org
13 April 2009

US special operations forces carried out a commando operation Sunday against Somali pirates holding the captain of a US freight vessel. The captain, Richard Phillips, was freed and military sharpshooters killed three of the Somalis.

Piracy has become increasingly common in the waters off the coast of Somalia—in the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden—as the political and social situation in the country has deteriorated. However, this is the first hijacking involving a US-flagged vessel. Most of these incidents are resolved peacefully, and the ransom demanded by hostage-takers is seen by freight companies as a cost of doing business.

In this case, the hostage-taking was quickly transformed into a standoff between the pirates and the US military. As international media attention focused on the incident, the Obama administration saw it as an opportunity to reassert US military power and demonstrate Obama’s own willingness to make the “tough decision” to use lethal force.

[…]

via Obama administration ends Somalian pirate standoff with lethal force.

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

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Somali pirates overpowered by US crew but captain still held prisoner

Somali pirates overpowered by US crew but captain still held prisoner

Dandelion Salad

by Ewen MacAskill in Washington and Xan Rice in Nairobi
guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 8 April 2009 21.08 BST

When Somali pirates skimmed across the Indian Ocean and muscled their way aboard a US food aid ship today, it had all the hallmarks of a depressingly familiar scene: a hostage cargo ship, a vulnerable crew and a well-organised team of brigands with the firepower and knowhow to seize a ship and demand a fat ransom.

But as a dramatic tussle on the high seas played out tonight, it became clear this was a startlingly different confrontation to the regular string of hijackings and hostage-takings that have plagued the waters off the Horn of Africa in recent months.

The standoff was apparently defused when the 20-man crew turned on their captors and managed to overpower them, seizing one pirate and sending three others fleeing for their dinghy.

[…]

The drama began when the Maersk Alabama, a container vessel owned by the Danish shipping giant, was hijacked 280 miles southeast of Eyl off Somalia’s eastern coast this morning. It was the pirates’ sixth successful strike in the past fortnight. It was also the first US ship, and crew, to be seized by Somali pirates. Although hostages are seldom hurt while ransoms are negotiated, the kidnapping of Americans would pose serious concern in the White House.

Obama and the White House team had only arrived back in Washington at about 3am (EST) after a week-long tour of Europe and Iraq, but they monitored the crisis, facing the prospect of paying millions in ransom money, as other countries have done, or ordering military action.

[…]

via Somali pirates overpowered by US crew but captain still held prisoner | World news | guardian.co.uk

h/t: CLG

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Latest On Somali Pirates Hijacked Ship

VOTERSTHINKdotORG

http://earth2obama.org/

April 08, 2009 CNN

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Destroyer USS Bainbridge Headed To Hijacked Ship In Somalia (talking about insurance against pirate attacks)

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Maritime Terror (video; 2004)

Dandelion Salad

journeymanpictures

Sep 2004

Security analysts are increasingly worried that organisations like Al Qaeda are planning to target commercial shipping.

The Malacca strait between Indonesia and Malaysia has long been a haven for pirates. Last year 21 seamen were killed and a further 71 are missing presumed dead following pirate attacks. “We have seen rocket-propelled grenades being fired at the vessel to force it to stop,” states Captain Pottengal Mukundan from the International Maritime Bureau. But the biggest fear is of a terrorist attack. “This is a relatively narrow passageway which provides certain operational advantages to the attackers,” explains security analyst Brian Jenkins. Mukundan agrees: “You could have a major maritime terrorist incident.” The attacks on the USS Cole and The Limburg demonstrate just how vulnerable even warships are to attacks. Analysing the nature of the maritime threat has become a growing industry. But it’s not just security analysts taking the threat seriously. Earlier this year, the US suggested sending the marines to patrol the Malacca Strait. The threat was enough to galvanise the Indonesian, Malay and Singaporean navies into action. They’re now jointly patrolling the Straits. But whether this will be enough to deter terrorists remains to be seen.