imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Subscribe Calendar Publish RSS
Tell the NSA: StopWatching.US

Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

CopWatch LA

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List





IMC Network: www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech
printable version - js reader version - email this article - view hidden posts - tags and related articles
link:

Good News and Bad

by Stephen Lendman Saturday, Nov. 03, 2012 at 8:49 PM

police state

Good News and Bad

by Stephen Lendman

A personal note: As a writer and radio host, I'm often asked why I don't discuss good news. My answer is when I find some I will. Today I did, and here it is.

Two previous articles discussed suppressing free expression in Greece. Targeting dissent and media freedom continues.

Journalists revealing information government authorities want suppressed are suspended, fired, and/or arrested and prosecuted.

Costas Vaxevanis and Spiros Karatzaferis were targeted. Karatzaferis remains in custody on libel charges. He claimed to have information on how Greece manipulated its deficit to seek bailout help at the expense of ordinary people.

He said he'd present it on air October 31. He was arrested to prevent him from doing it. He added that he wasn't apprehended for having the information. Authorities used an old warrant against him.

It related to accusations he made against judges. He accused them of trying to form a para-state outside government. "I am being condemned for libel," he said. He added that he'll go to jail before paying a fine if assessed one. He may end up there.

Vaxevanis was arrested for publishing the "Lagarde List." It contained names of 2,059 wealthy Greeks with secret HSBC Swiss accounts.

Secreting wealth offshore in tax havens makes them suspect. Vaxevanis and former Greek finance minister George Papaconstantinou wanted them investigated for possible criminality.

Current Greek finance minister Evangelos Venizelos did nothing. Papaconstantinou said authorities didn't act because they're covering for elite tax cheats. Greece is notorious for high-level ones. Its longstanding system is "broken and corrupt," he added.

Vaxevanis was arrested, brought to Athens magistrate court for a hearing, released pending trial, then rushed through one on November 1.

Initially it was scheduled for later. Perhaps a national uproar got it moved up to dispense with it quickly. A packed court watched it.

All's far from well in Greece, but ended that way for Vaxevanis. Lawyers representing him convinced judges that accusations against him were politically motivated.

On November 1, the London Guardian headlined "Greek editor Kostas Vaxevanis acquitted over Swiss bank list."

Before testifying in his own defense, he said:

"My job is simply to tell the news and tell it straight. My job is to tell the truth." In Athens magistrate court, proceedings took 12 hours. A "three-member panel of judges (presided) stony-faced throughout" them.

Prosecutor Iraklis Pasalidis called no witnesses. Symbolically it confirmed baseless state accusations. Nonetheless, he argued that Vaxevanis should be convicted of violating state privacy laws and defamation without proof of guilt. Judges didn't buy it.

Vaxevanis was vindicated. He was acquitted and freed. Relieved, he said:

"Journalism for far too long has been a hostage to political forces that don’t allow it to work. This decision sets a precedent that allows my colleagues to do their jobs without political handcuffs."

"Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed. Everything else is public relations. As such it was my duty to reveal this list."

"The political system has been hiding the truth for so long."

"It is quite clear the political system did everything not to publish this list. If you look at the names, or the offshore companies linked to certain individuals, you see that these are all friends of those in power. Phony lists had also begun to circulate. It was time for the truth."

"We live in a country where, on the one hand, tax evasion is rampant and, on the other, people are eating out of rubbish trucks because of salary cuts, because they can't make ends meet."

Attorney Nikos Kostantopouloulos represented Vaxevanis. "We have a schizophrenic situation," he said, "where, on the one hand, a journalist is being penalized for revealing a document in the interests of informing public opinion and, on the other, the parliament itself is now saying the handling of the list should be investigated."

"Right down to the way the prosecutor so hastily issued the charge sheet without even bothering to stamp it, it has been handled very badly. Furthermore, none of those on the list have even filed a complaint about privacy violation."

International Federation of Journalists president Jim Boumela flew from London to testify for Vaxevanis. He's a national hero. Exonerated, he's free. If convicted and imprisoned, he'd have risen to martyr status.

Transparency International co-founder, Frank Vogl, said Greece's government is tarnished.

"Internationally, the case will serve as a blunt reminder to Greece’s international official creditors that it is hopeless to accept the pledges of the Greek authorities that they will sharply curb their budget deficit so long as they fail to act meaningfully against corruption and tax evasion."

Now the bad news.

America's Justice Department bagged another innocent victim. It specializes in creating terror plots, not busting them. At issue is lawless FBI entrapment. It's happened so many times before. US prisons are filled with men and women who should be free.

Confining them to gulag incarceration constitutes police state injustice. Tyrannical regimes prioritize it. They never say they're sorry. They're too preoccupied bagging others on the false pretext of fighting terrorism.

America is the world's leading terror state. No one's safe anywhere domestically or abroad. Guilt by accusation is policy. Innocence is no defense. That's how police states operate.

In September 2011, Rezwan Ferdaus was indicted on six counts. They included alleged plans to attack the Pentagon and Capitol Hill, as well as provide aid to a foreign terrorist organization.

At the time, National Lawyers Guild president Heidi Boghosian said, "It deeply concerns us. It is another in a pattern of high-profile cases. Would this person have conceived or executed" anything without FBI involvement?

Council on American-Islamic Relations' Ibrahim Hooper said, "There is a big, big difference between a plot initiated by the FBI and a plot initiated by a suspect, and it seems this (likely was) initiated by the FBI."

On November 1, the FBI's Boston Division headlined "Man Sentenced in Boston for Plotting Attack on Pentagon and US Capitol and Attempting to Provide Detonation Devices to Terrorists," saying:

Rezwan Ferdaus was sentenced to "17 years in prison, to be followed by 10 years of supervised release."

On July 20, 2012, he was pressured to accept a plea bargain guilty plea despite having committed no crime or planning one. In return, four charges were dropped. None should have been made in the first place.

Prosecutorial pressure is unprincipled. Ferdaus perhaps was told either take 17 years or face life in prison without parole or perhaps the death penalty. Terrified victims, often poorly represented, choose the lesser of two bad options.

Ferdaus is 27 years old. If he survives, he'll be middle-aged when released. Hampered by a criminal record, his future prospects will be grim.

Charges against him are absurd. He was convicted of plotting to blow up the Pentagon "by means of an improvised explosive device (IED) using mobile phones."

The alleged plot sounded more like a bad film script. No self-respecting producer would touch it. Ferdaus will spend some of his best years in gulag confinement.

At issue is lawless entrapment. Paid informants are used. Witnesses are paid to lie. Secret evidence unavailable to defense attorneys is used. Muslims are America's target of choice.

Praying to the wrong God is hazardous. War on terror targeting snares unsuspecting victims. Media scoundrels convict them in the court of public opinion. Justice is denied every time.

On November 2, Reuters headlined "Massachusetts man sentenced to 17 years after FBI terrorism sting," saying:

Ferdaus was convicted for planning to use "remote-control(led) model airplanes" to blow up the Pentagon. Reading from a two-page statement, he said:

"I, the other, the uniquely dressed, the lone man in these hours, I speak of humanity. No dehumanization can serve as justification for inhumanity in other places."

He left unexplained what he meant. Judge Richard Stearns said, "Your statement convinced me that you have the character and capacity to search your own soul."

Non-Mainstream News headlined:

"FREE REZWAN FERDAUS. Day 400 of Solitary Confinement. Arrested on September 28, 2011, and Accused of a Terror Plot 'Orchestrated and Facilitated by the Government."

His mother, Ana Maria Ferdaus, told reporters, "My son is innocent. We are the best family that America will ever have….Investigate your government."

Public defender Miriam Conrad said Ferdaus had no interest in terrorism. FBI operatives manipulated him.

"There was no evidence ever produced that (he) sought out contact with any outside groups before the government became involved or even after the government became involved," she said.

She added that prior to his arrest, he got psychiatric help for depression and anxiety. His parents said he became depressed during his senior college year. In 2009, they thought he was mentally ill.

They urged him to seek professional help. At first he refused. They added, "We took a very cautious approach. After all, he was over 18 and we could not force him to see a doctor….We felt helpless."

Ferdaus was a 2008 Northeastern University physics graduate. On November 1, NU's The Huntington News discussed him perfunctorily.

Instead of explaining FBI entrapment, it regurgitated prosecutorial charges and 17 year prison sentence. What should have been explained was omitted.

There was no plot, crime or intention to commit one. Ferdaus was entrapped, manipulated, and pressured to accept a plea bargain guilty plea.

Another innocent victim of America's war on terror will spend some of his best years in prison. Given his depressed state, he may not survive it emotionally.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

His new book is titled "How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War"

http://www.claritypress.com/Lendman.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour
Report this post as:
Share on: Twitter, Facebook, Google+

add your comments


Local News

Dutchman Opens Limited Engagement at Edgemar Center for the Arts on July 15 J01 9:21AM

KPFK in Pacifica's meeting - more descriptions J29 2:57PM

KPFK hosted PACIFICA's board in LA. Missed it? here's some for ya J29 2:16PM

5 Reasons to Support RAC-LA This Month J20 11:10PM

Viacom CBS' Sumner Redstone Promotes Brutal Treatment Of Pot Smokers J19 1:20PM

Summer 2015 National Immigrant Solidarity Network Monthly News Alert! J15 12:33PM

Housing Board Member is an Evicter! J11 11:37PM

KPFK & PAPCIFICA forum in LA J11 5:45PM

LA Times goes to bat for killer cops in Salinas J10 10:34PM

NUCLEAR SHUTDOWN NEWS MAY 2015 J04 12:48PM

Los Angeles Uranium Film Festival J04 7:18AM

KPFK difficulties continue J01 4:22PM

KPFK buys premiums to re-sell them for donations -so J01 4:00PM

Latest Long Beach Police Execution: Murder of Youth In Mental Distress J01 8:19AM

How can california deal with this water crisis? M31 1:46PM

Four Winds of March Against Monsanto Los Angeles Take The Streets of Hollywood M27 2:49PM

Foreclosure Victims Occupy Senate Stump Speech of Kamala Harris M21 4:58AM

LA Nakba Anniversary protest at the Israel Consulate M19 12:56AM

Long Beach Police Execute Unarmed Teen Hector Morejon on Suspicion Of Trespassing M15 6:08AM

Eagle-Con 2015 at Cal State L.A. M13 4:15PM

Brendon Glenn Dies and Venice S/Weeps M08 7:45PM

JOIN CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT AGAINST RONALD L. HAVNER JR's PREDATORY BUSINESS, PUBLIC STORAGE M08 4:48PM

Councilmember Bonin Calls People of Venice Outraged by Police Murder “Outside Agitators" M08 10:45AM

May Day March, LA 2015 M07 7:33PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

"Margaret Sommers" Public Storage’s Corporate Cunt of the Year J04 5:14PM

GA AS P J04 3:33PM

ACT: Ask Oprah Winfrey to Renounce Leviev’s Angolan Blood Diamonds and Israeli Settlements J04 2:39PM

Video: Rise of the Robots, 1 hr J04 1:27PM

White Supremacists tied to human trafficking and a series of unsolved murders J04 1:22PM

Thoughts on Independence Day Weekend J04 12:20PM

US-Orchestrated Coup Attempt in Ecuador J04 10:31AM

Tentative Deal on Iran Sanctions Relief? J04 10:07AM

Hillary Clinton Warns of Nonexistent Iranian Threat to Israel J04 7:25AM

American Torture Story J04 4:27AM

Scare-mongering Greeks to Vote "Yes" on Sunday J04 3:24AM

Outlaws Are Better Company Than The Community of Cops J03 8:11PM

Caution Re Outdoor Grills, Fireworks And Other Holiday Events J03 2:45PM

Human Rights in Venezuela v. America J03 12:32PM

Israel Falsely Claims Hamas Supports ISIS in Sinai J03 10:04AM

Greece: Ground Zero for Global Pillage J03 6:36AM

UN Declares Highest Humanitarian Emergency Level in Yemen J03 3:23AM

Anarchie et anarchisme J02 10:37PM

The Shortwave Report 07/03/15 Listen Globally! J02 4:48PM

politikang sekswual sa pilipinas J02 12:10PM

Sunday's Referendum in Greece J02 11:31AM

Troika Plan for Greece: Endless Pillage and Regime Change J02 10:07AM

More Proof of Israeli Ruthlessness J02 6:28AM

Pentagon Calls Russia, China, Iran and North Korea Threats to Global Peace J02 3:46AM

Ukraine: Rogue State Deadbeat J01 11:52AM

Happy Canada Day! The TPP and Canada, 4 pp J01 9:43AM

Trans-Pacific Partnership Guarantee J01 9:34AM

Former Science Ed of London Times: Smallpox Vaccine Triggered Aids J01 9:32AM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2003 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy