Nepal – the country of the Buddha and the Mt. Everest

Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without – Buddha

Posts Tagged ‘Gayane Chichakyan’

US could put Assange to death if it gets him – former senior NSA official

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on July 10, 2012

If America gets its hands on the WikiLeaks founder, they may go as far as execute him, a known National Security Agency whistleblower Thomas Andrews Drake told RT, adding that in the US, security has become a state religion.

An expert on electronic eavesdropping, Drake sacrificed his career to blow the whistle on perceived wrongdoings within the NSA. He was charged under the Espionage Act, though the charges were dropped only last year.

He told RT that in America’s ‘soft tyranny’, everyone is subject or suspect in terms of surveillance.

RT: What was the potential harm of the program that you challenged while working with the NSA?

Thomas Drake: There was a very large flagship program called Trailblazer that was designed to catapult the NSA into the twenty first century to deal with the vast amounts of data generated by the digital age. Given the massive fraud and abuse that the NSA had created with the Trailblazer program, as well as the super secret surveillance program, the NSA completely violated the Constitution and the Fourth Amendment. In particular, the stature called the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which was the first commandment at the NSA: you did violate Americans’ privacy without a warning, and if you did – there is a criminal penalty for doing so. And I found this out to my horror and shock, that shortly after 9/11, the NSA entered a secret agreement with the White House in which the NSA would become the executive agent for this secret surveillance program. Read the rest of this entry »

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Obama’s new fairytale: Peace and prosperity for war-bent US

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on January 25, 2012

As the US presidential race picks up pace ahead of November’s vote, Barack Obama is trying to ratchet up support for re-election. In his third State of the Union speech, he pledged another program for change.

President Obama’s Tuesday night address to Congress was his final State of the Union speech before he runs for re-election. It was crafted by the White House to set the tone for the 2012 congressional session, and for the re-election campaign. Obama’s goal was to highlight his achievements, and lay out his promises.

The president started his address praising those who fought in Iraq, “generation of heroes” who “have made the United States safer and more respected around the world.”

Indeed, the speech was full of success stories.

“For the first time in nine years, there are no Americans fighting in Iraq. For the first time in two decades, Osama bin Laden is not a threat to this country. Most of al-Qaeda’s top lieutenants have been defeated. The Taliban’s momentum has been broken, and some troops in Afghanistan have begun to come home,” the president said.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Obama’s new Pentagon strategy: strip benefits and buy more weapons

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on January 6, 2012

Pensions and health care plans for US troops will be drastically reduced under a new budget presented by US President Barack Obama on Thursday. Not all aspects of the DoD will be annihilated, however.

The DoD will ditch medical benefits for troops but continue to spend on its expensive arsenal of doom.

President Obama joined Defense Secretary Leon Panetta from the Pentagon early Thursday in a rare public address from the two to talk changes made to the ledger in regards to the operation of the US military. As the US begins to scale back on foreign operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Obama administration is finding less of a need for the servicemen and women that have been on the battlefronts for the last decade. In order to cut costs, the new budget will thus eliminate positions from the armed forces and initiate changes to the pension and health care plans for military vets.

Those changes will help balance the Defense Department’s budget as the Pentagon unveils that it will continue to invest billions in cutting edge weaponry and cyberspace capabilities.

Citing the end of the war in Iraq and a drawdown of troops in Afghanistan, the president said Thursday that the US must strategize on how to successfully prepare for future conflicts. In order to do such, said Obama, boots on the ground will be needed less and less. Instead, the US will rely more heavily on an agile, dispersed arsenal of troops and increased surveillance space age weaponry presence. Read the rest of this entry »

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A Sleepy Campus In Crisis: Pepper Spray at UC Davis Sparks Online Uproar, Calls for a Chancellor’s Resignation

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on November 21, 2011

By JENS ERIK GOULD

In this image made from video, a police officer uses pepper spray as he walks down a line of Occupy demonstrators sitting on the ground at the University of California, Davis on Friday, Nov. 18, 2011.

When campus police demanded that 21-year-old Sophia Kamran and her fellow protesters dismantle the tents they had pitched on the quad at the University of California, Davis to protest tuition increases, they refused. Instead, as online videos of the incident depict, they sat peacefully with arms crossed as officers marched up to the protest line, one brandishing a can of pepper spray to those gathered, before dousing students repeatedly at point blank range. Protesters who covered their faces were sprayed under their shirts, and Kamran said one student vomited profusely after being sprayed directly in the mouth. “It was such an intense feeling. It felt like acid was being poured on our faces,” said Kamran, a philosophy and comparative literature major. “I was basically immobile and in a lot of pain.”

Friday’s pepper spray incident — which quickly went viral over the weekend after videos of the confrontation appeared online — seems to have only emboldened Occupiers at Davis, and some say it may fortify similar protests across the country. In Davis, protesters are using the well-publicized incident to focus attention on their pleas to end tuition hikes and to bring an end to heavy-handed police action at student protests. Students say they now expect thousands of people to show for a rally and general assembly on Monday, at which they will call for the resignation of the school’s chancellor and the UC Davis police chief. If Chancellor Linda Katehi declines, students plan to force the issue at an upcoming meeting of the UC Regents. “Students are much more engaged right now than we’ve ever seen,” said Nick Perrone, a graduate student and union organizer who is part of the movement at Davis. “I’ve heard from faculty that they’ve never seen Davis activated the way it is today.”(See a video of the confrontation at UC Davis.) Read the rest of this entry »

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Congress slaps Obama on the wrist over Libyan war

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on June 25, 2011

A majority of the US House of Representatives voted against a motion to cut funding for US military involvement in Libya. This came directly after the very same lawmakers refused to grant President Barack Obama approval to carry on the campaign.

The House of Representatives voted to deprive Obama of the authority to continue the US military campaign in Libya, a symbolic move intended mostly to reprimand the commander-in-chief for his policies. The motion carried 295 votes to 123 against.

However, the move of the House of Representatives seemed more like a message of rebuke sent to Obama rather than an actual war-stopper, because when it came to voting on cutting off funds for the war, a majority voted “no.”

Earlier this month, on June 3, the House voted 268 to 145 to rebuke Obama for failing to provide a “compelling rationale” for the Libyan mission and for deploying US military forces without congressional approval.

Some analysts say it is a way for Congress to show their frustration over the White House’s refusal to come to the lawmakers to seek authorization for the military actions in Libya. Under the US Constitution, only Congress can declare war. The Obama administration does not define the ongoing hostilities in Libya as war.

Earlier this month they had a chance to send an even stronger message, as the House debated a resolution from Congressman Dennis Kucinich, who called for an immediate end to the US involvement in Libya. The majority voted “no” to that proposal. Read the rest of this entry »

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Washington may arm Al-Qaeda-linked Libyan rebels

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on March 31, 2011

The United States has a long and mixed record of supporting rebels in internal conflicts, so it should know that helping out anti-government forces can sometimes backfire. However, history may be about to repeat itself.

The international community permitted intervention in Libya to protect civilians from Colonel Gaddafi, but Washington wants to go further than that and is considering arming the rebels.

While officially denying that toppling Gaddafi is the objective of its involvement in Libya, President Obama has reportedly signed a secret order authorizing covert American support for rebel forces seeking to oust the Libyan leader. Read the rest of this entry »

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Mubarak Leaves Cairo for Sharm el-Sheikh as Protesters Keep Up Pressure

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on February 11, 2011

Military Vows to End Hated Emergency Law When Security Situation Improves

BY CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, TERRY MORAN, NASSER ATTA, BRIAN HARTMAN AND HUMA KHAN

Egypt’s embattled President Hosni Mubarak left the presidential palace in Cairo today but remains in Egypt, sources told ABC News, as protesters kept the pressure on the government to force Mubarak out of office.

Read the rest of this entry »

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US Senate approves New START

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 26, 2010

After months of intense partisan wrangling on Capitol Hill, the US Senate finally ratified the new START nuclear arms reduction treaty with Russia by a 71-26 vote.

With the ratification, Russia and the US will start the New Year with a treaty that has become a symbol of trust and cooperation between the two nuclear superpowers.

Presidents Barack Obama and Dmitry Medvedev both signed the agreement in April in Prague, but it has since been bogged down by delays across the Atlantic. Read the rest of this entry »

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