Archiv: authoritarianism / absolutism / totalitarianism


14:59 [ Washington Post ]

Benny Gantz just sold out Israel’s perilously ill democracy

A criminal defendant will stay prime minister. Netanyahu has been rewarded, not punished, for his misuse of power in recent days. The exclusion of the Arab minority continues. And more than a million Israelis who voted for Blue and White have received a brutal lesson in political cynicism.

In all of this, Gantz is now Netanyahu’s partner.

14:57 [ CNBC.com ]

Israel heads for unity government as Netanyahu rival Gantz puts coronavirus over politics

„The coronavirus pandemic appears to be accomplishing something that three elections couldn’t — it’s forcing Israel’s deeply divided leaders to put the health and safety of the nation ahead of their own political fortunes,“ Israeli-American political analyst and author Joel Rosenberg told CNBC over the weekend.

12:32 [ Spiked ]

The frightening crackdown on Covid ‘fake news’

Most concerning is that this could lead to the censorship of those who disagree with the government’s line on coronavirus – and the extraordinary measures it has put in place to tackle it.

There is a great deal of disagreement among experts on a whole range of questions related to the coronavirus outbreak, such as over the death rate of the virus or the necessity of a society-wide shutdown. Members of the public have every right to weigh in on these debates on social media, too.

12:15 [ Spiked ]

Britain is sliding into dystopia

(26.03.2020)

Derbyshire Police have tweeted a menacing video warning the public to stay away from the Peak District during the coronavirus lockdown.

The video shows police drone footage of unsuspecting members of the public hiking, walking their dogs and watching the sunset. All totally harmless behaviour, which is now deemed ‘non-essential’ – and by implication illegal – by the authorities.

12:08 [ Spiked ]

Coronavirus Bill: the greatest loss of liberty in our history

(25.03.2020)

The Coronavirus Bill, having sailed through the House of Commons, is expected to become law today. The Bill gives the government and the authorities unprecedented new powers, unheard of in a democracy during peacetime.

30.03.2020 - 10:38 [ New Yorker ]

How Dreams Change Under Authoritarianism

At times, “The Third Reich of Dreams” also echoes Hannah Arendt, who saw totalitarian rule as “truly total the moment it closes the iron vice of terror on its subjects’ private social lives.”

29.03.2020 - 11:12 [ Telegraph.co.uk ]

Donald Trump decides against quarantine for New York region

Donald Trump decided late on Saturday against imposing a broad lockdown on New York and its neighbours after a strong pushback from local political leaders and warnings of the panic it could spark.

29.03.2020 - 10:55 [ New York Times ]

Military Force Against Americans

(9. September 2019)

After the Sept. 11 attacks, an American citizen who had been arrested in Chicago and accused of terrorism links was deemed to be an “enemy combatant” and transferred to military custody. He was held in wartime detention without trial for years, then transferred back to the civilian justice system before the Supreme Court could resolve his case. In 2011, an American drone strike targeted and killed an American citizen who had been deemed to be an operational terrorist leader whose capture was infeasible, but who had not been charged or convicted in a trial. In 2019, the executive branch was reported to be considering invoking the Insurrection Act to deploy military forces on domestic soil to enforce immigration laws.

Are any of these examples unlawful? Under what circumstances, if any, may a president use military force within the United States or against Americans?

29.03.2020 - 10:03 [ i24news.tv ]

Report: Gantz to support law keeping Netanyahu minister despite indictments

Israel Resilience party leader Benny Gantz will reportedly support a new law allowing incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to serve in the government despite multiple indictments against him, according to Hebrew media.

Current Israeli Parliament (Knesset) legislation bars elected officials from serving as government ministers while being charged with a crime.

29.03.2020 - 09:59 [ i24news.tv ]

‚Black flag‘ protesters decry ‚corrupt‘ unity deal near Gantz’s home

The activists say they use the black flag, pinning them to the back of vehicles, to symbolize the danger a prime minister under indictment poses to Israeli democracy, according to The Times.

Netanyahu was indicted last year on three charges following a years-long corruption investigation, including breach of public trust, bribery, and fraud.

29.03.2020 - 09:19 [ New York Times ]

Armed Israeli Troops to Help Enforce Coronavirus Lockdown

(27.03.2020)

Israel will deploy armed troops to support police on street patrols in enforcing a lockdown against the coronavirus epidemic, the military said on Friday.

About 500 troops will join police squads from Sunday to help „in patrolling, isolating and securing certain areas, blocking routes and additional similar assignments“, the military said in a statement.

29.03.2020 - 08:11 [ Fox News ]

Trump says coronavirus quarantine on New York, New Jersey, Connecticut not necessary, CDC issues 14-day ‚travel advisory‘

„A quarantine will not be necessary,“ he tweeted, noting that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) would issue a „travel advisory“ later in the evening.

The CDC shortly after issued a Domestic Travel Advisory urging against „non-essential domestic travel“ in the tri-state area for 14 days.

29.03.2020 - 07:54 [ theAtlantic.com ]

Martial Law Would Sweep the Country Into a Great Legal Unknown

n 1946, after the war ended, the Supreme Court ruled in Duncan v. Kahanamoku that the statute authorizing martial law in Hawaii did not enable military trials of civilians, and it warned against the “subordination of executive, legislative and judicial authorities to complete military rule”—but it offered no further guidance about the circumstances that would justify a declaration of martial law, or about the consequences of such a declaration. Nor has Congress ever tried to clarify the criteria for or limits of martial law.

29.03.2020 - 07:52 [ CNN / Youtube ]

Cuomo says possible NY quarantine ‚would be chaos and mayhem‘

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo responds to President Donald Trump considering a short-term quarantine of coronavirus „hot spots,“ including New York.

29.03.2020 - 07:41 [ CNN ]

Cuomo: Quarantine would be federal declaration of war on states

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo reacts to President Donald Trump floating the idea of a temporary quarantine for New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

29.03.2020 - 07:36 [ theHill.com ]

Trump considering quarantine for New York and parts of New Jersey, Connecticut

Trump suggested the quarantine would be travel based, meaning people inside the quarantine area couldn’t travel to other places in the country. He also said he would talk to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) about the possible quarantine.

Cuomo said he had talked to the president Saturday morning but that they hadn’t discussed a quarantine.

28.03.2020 - 13:24 [ Wall Street Journal ]

How Epidemics Change Civilizations

Measures developed for the plagues of the 14th century are helping authorities fight the coronavirus now says Yale historian Frank Snowden.

25.03.2020 - 08:34 [ Ansa.it ]

Coronavirus: Govt ups sanctions for breaking lockdown

The measures are expected to include 4,000 euro fines and the confiscation of motor vehicles, sources said.

25.03.2020 - 04:09 [ i24news.tv ]

Netanyahu’s Likud accuses Blue and White of ’stealing the Parliament‘

Other special committees to be established will focus on education, violence in Israeli Arab communities and labor and welfare; the four special panels will need to be approved by the plenum Tuesday.

These included Finance and Foreign Affairs and Defense panels, with the latter set to establish a special committee that will supervise the contentious Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency)-led coronavirus patients surveillance program.

24.03.2020 - 11:26 [ Caitlin Johnstone ]

Hollywood Celebrities Are Psyops Wrapped In Human Skin

It is an absolute guarantee that powerful people will use this pandemic to advance authoritarian measures which they have no intention of rolling back once the pandemic is over. They are working to do this currently. This is not a possibility, this is an absolute certainty.

24.03.2020 - 09:52 [ Axios.com ]

Location data likely to play limited role in fighting coronavirus

As COVID-19 worsens, though, expect to see a greater willingness to trade privacy for effective health surveillance, just as 9/11 led to a tightening of security around airports and other public spaces.

„A situation like the pandemic creates a fundamental shift in how people react to technology. This is the direction we are going to be moving in.“

— Labhesh Patel, chief technology officer at Jumio, an ID verification company

The bottom line: We’ve already given up so much in the fight against COVID-19. Some elements of personal privacy may be the next to go — and don’t expect the surveillance to end when the pandemic does.

24.03.2020 - 09:44 [ Forbes ]

Coronavirus, Surveillance And The Redefinition Of The Social Contract

We should listen to somebody who grew up in a society where there were no civil rights, Angela Merkel, talk about how the current situation justifies restricting our movements. And matters will not stop there: people might have been shocked when they saw China use apps and geolocation to control the movements of its population during the spread of the infection, but we now see Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan following suit: their success is being used to justify population control measures that would be completely unacceptable under normal circumstances.

23.03.2020 - 11:55 [ Alec Pollard / Twitter ]

Lawmakers arrive at first session of Israeli #Knesset greeted by protesters demanding to replace speakers of the parliament @YuliEdelstein . @Likud_Party say if he is replaced they will scuttle unity government .

23.03.2020 - 10:49 [ Haaretz ]

Coronavirus Crisis Accelerates Israel’s Slide Into Erdogan-style Authoritarianism

Monday is an important test for Israeli democracy. The Knesset is due to resume its deliberations amidst the political crisis and the spread of the coronavirus.

If the Knesset chairman Yuri Edelstein, backed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his political hatchetmen from Likud, continue with their delay tactics to prevent the legislative branch performing its duty, Israel will win the dubious title of the only „parliamentary democracy“ to fail to recognize the results of its last democratic general election and to be governed by an inoperative parliament.

23.03.2020 - 10:39 [ Haaretz ]

Netanyahu Has Hijacked Israel’s Coronavirus Response, Sidelining Top Health Experts

He said Bar Siman Tov, who as the ministry’s director general should be leading this process, is instead collaborating with Netanyahu and stifling anyone opposed to Netanyahu’s approach.

Since Bar Siman Tov has no medical training, the ministry’s top medical authority is its deputy director general, Prof. Itamar Grotto. Its other key official is Dr. Boaz Lev, a former director general at the ministry who now heads its epidemic task force.

But anyone talking to these two men in recent days has had trouble getting clear answers. The reason, according to Health Ministry sources, is that they don’t know the answers because the decisions are being made without them.

23.03.2020 - 09:11 [ Newsweek.com ]

Exclusive: Inside The Military’s Top Secret Plans If Coronavirus Cripples the Government

(18.03.2020)

According to new documents and interviews with military experts, the various plans – codenamed Octagon, Freejack and Zodiac – are the underground laws to ensure government continuity. They are so secret that under these extraordinary plans, „devolution“ could circumvent the normal Constitutional provisions for government succession, and military commanders could be placed in control around America.

„We’re in new territory,“ says one senior officer, the entire post-9/11 paradigm of emergency planning thrown out the window. The officer jokes, in the kind of morbid humor characteristic of this slow-moving disaster, that America had better learn who Gen. Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy is.

23.03.2020 - 08:51 [ theTimes.co.uk ]

General Terrence O’Shaughnessy: Secret plan to install general if law breaks down

The United States would then be placed under the authority of Terrence O’Shaughnessy, a four-star general and former fighter pilot who is the designated “combatant commander”, according to Newsweek.

General O’ Shaughnessy, 56, leads the US Northern Command (Northcom), a military authority responsible for homeland defence, created after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

23.03.2020 - 08:49 [ Pentagon ]

Northcom Commander Calls for 21st Century Tools to Defeat Current Threats

(11.03.2020)

The command will continue to partner with the U.S. defense and commercial industries a „to transform rapidly evolving scientific information into leading-edge digital age technology,“ he said.

The command is building a SHIELD — the Strategic Home and Integrated Ecosystem for Layered Defense — to defend the homeland.

„Our layered defense needs to establish awareness in all domains; from below the oceans to the highest levels of space, including the unseen cyber domain, which are all at risk,“ he said.

23.03.2020 - 08:47 [ Politico.com ]

De Blasio asks Trump to send military to New York

“The military is the best logistical organization in the nation. If there are ventilators being produced anywhere in the country, we need to get them to New York. Not weeks from now or months from now, in the next 10 days.“

“Why are they at their bases? Why are they not being allowed to serve?“ de Blasio said. “I guarantee you, they’re ready to serve. But the president has to give the order.“

23.03.2020 - 07:58 [ Washington Post ]

Don’t let constitutional rights be a victim of this virus

But the Justice Department’s request doesn’t stop there. Instead, the department has also included an idea that should be immediately rejected: letting federal court chief judges halt all court proceedings during an emergency. This provision would apply to “any statutes or rules of procedure otherwise affecting pre-arrest, post-arrest, pre-trial, trial, and post-trial procedures in criminal and juvenile proceedings and all civil process and proceedings.”

23.03.2020 - 07:52 [ CNN ]

In the battle against coronavirus, personal privacy is at risk

When Declan Chan arrived in Hong Kong from Zurich on March 17 after six weeks overseas, city officials made him put on a plain-looking white wristband and download an app called StayHomeSafe before he exited the airport.
He was told to register on the app once he got home, which would start a 14-day countdown, and walk to all four corners of his apartment so it could capture the location and confines of his home.

22.03.2020 - 13:15 [ Washington Post ]

With a pandemic as cover, Netanyahu is carrying out a coup in Israel

(19.03.2020)

Under the cover of a pandemic, he is transforming himself from lame-duck prime minister to unelected strongman. He and his henchmen have shut down parliament, enacted extreme “security” measures without legislative oversight and shelved the courts just as Netanyahu was about to go on trial for corruption.

I don’t use the word “coup” lightly. But any weaker description of Netanyahu’s assault on Israeli democracy is a refusal to absorb and report the truth.

22.03.2020 - 12:56 [ Politico ]

DOJ seeks new emergency powers amid coronavirus pandemic

“Not only would it be a violation of that, but it says ‘affecting pre-arrest,’” said Norman L. Reimer, the executive director of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. “So that means you could be arrested and never brought before a judge until they decide that the emergency or the civil disobedience is over. I find it absolutely terrifying. Especially in a time of emergency, we should be very careful about granting new powers to the government.”

22.03.2020 - 10:48 [ Haaretz ]

Knesset Speaker Edelstein and His Puppet Master Netanyahu, Free Israel’s Parliament

Since a majority of Knesset members – 61 out of 120 – oppose the government, Edelstein was dispatched to block the activity of the legislature and prevent it from voting in a new speaker. It is inconceivable that a temporary speaker would use his authority to set the agenda in order to prevent the selection of a permanent speaker. It is parliamentary bullying, and it must stop immediately.

20.03.2020 - 21:17 [ Haaretz ]

How to Stop Netanyahu From Destroying What’s Left of Israel’s Democracy

The government is doing all it can to fight the coronavirus, while the premier moves to demolish Israel’s democracy. Only if the center-left parties are in the coalition will they be able to contain Netanyahu

20.03.2020 - 17:10 [ Haaretz ]

Americans Beware: Trump Could Emulate Netanyahu’s Coronavirus Coup

The United States is facing greater coronavirus upheavals than Israel, led by a president who has less respect for democracy and the rule of law

19.03.2020 - 21:57 [ Haaretz ]

Raise the Black Flag at Home. Stand Up to the Tyrant Netanyahu

For years and years, we wondered when the occupation would come home.

It happened this week.

As the settlers once said in a different context: Yesha Zeh Kan – Judea, Samaria and Gaza are here.

One set of laws for the tyrant’s allies. Another set of laws for everyone else. Innocent civilians hounded. Their persecutor – never held accountable.

Raise the black flag. Stand up to the tyrant.

This is the fitting flag for this new Israel.

19.03.2020 - 21:53 [ Haaretz ]

Netanyahu Is Using Coronavirus to Hold Onto Power

Panic over the coronavirus, justified as it may be, mustn’t blind the public from seeing how the temporary prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and members of his party are exploiting the crisis to hold onto power. Through their management of the coronavirus crisis, Netanyahu and his government are neutralizing the justice system and quarantining the legislature.

19.03.2020 - 21:50 [ Haaretz ]

‚Total Suspension of Individual Freedom‘: Inside Israel’s Secret Coronavirus Debate

These special means include gathering data about a person’s location via their cellphone and additional technological information using secret tools, and cross-referencing all of the data.

The process identifies all of the contacts coronavirus patients have had and the places they were, whether they are aware of it or not.

19.03.2020 - 15:06 [ Noa Landau נעה לנדאו / Twitter ]

Israeli police tries to stop thousands of cars raising black flags on their way to Jerusalem, to protest anti-democratic measures in midst of #Covid_19 outbreak, such as closure of Knesset. When asked ‘why’, this policeman said ‘because!’

19.03.2020 - 15:04 [ Haaretz ]

Police Arrest Protesters Against ‚Assault on Democracy‘ at Knesset

Protesters said they were angry at anti-democratic measures being taken to fight the coronavirus outbreak, such as this week’s decision to use cyber measures to track the location of people diagnosed with the virus as well as suspected coronavirus patients, in addition to strict restrictions to achieve social distancing, such as barring thousands of people from leaving their homes.

Further, Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein dispersed parliament on Wednesday, deepening the paralyzation of Israel’s legislative body, which critics have seen as an attack on the checks and balances within Israel’s democratic institutions.

18.03.2020 - 19:48 [ Haaretz ]

Netanyahu’s Coronavirus Coup: Israelis’ Basic Rights Are Now on Life Support

We are about to let the government gain absolute control over our lives – and thus know who we are, where we have been, when and with whom and who we speak to and when – without any form of consent or restriction.

17.03.2020 - 20:55 [ Haaretz ]

Netanyahu Exploits Coronavirus Fears to Consolidate Authoritarian Hold on Power

Fear is the tyrant’s best friend – and liberty’s worst enemy. The human instinct for survival is more powerful than any social commitment to decency, due process, separation of powers or the nuances of democracy. As philosopher Bertrand Russell wrote: “Neither a man, nor a crowd, nor a nation can be trusted to act humanely or to think sanely under the influence of a great fear.”

Fear was the instrument wielded most by 20th century tyrants, dictators and authoritarians. It provided them with pretext to remove restrictions, expand authority and to diminish, if not destroy, checks and balances.

17.03.2020 - 20:52 [ i24NEWS English / Twitter ]

#Israel’s supreme court rejected a request to halt Shin Bet’s use of cyber-monitoring to track citizens with #COVID-19

17.03.2020 - 20:41 [ i24news.tv ]

Gantz slams decision to track infected citizens for lacking ‚transparency and oversight‘

Taking to Twitter, Gantz wrote that “exceptional times, unfortunately, call for exceptional measures. [However,] Blue & White will insist that the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, along with a special corona sub-committee, the Finance Committee and other sub-committees be enlisted immediately to oversee the process and approve the type of oversight regulation so critical at this juncture.”

He added that “a functional parliament, even and especially in states of emergency, is a hallmark of democracy and we will be steadfast in preserving it.”

17.03.2020 - 20:36 [ Haaretz ]

In Dead of Night, Israel Approves Harsher Coronavirus Tracking Methods Than Gov’t Stated

The Israeli government unanimously passed in the early hours of Tuesday new emergency regulations for tracking the cellphones of coronavirus patients or those suspected of being infected, circumventing the approval of the Knesset in the process.

07.03.2020 - 20:00 [ Wall Street Journal ]

Saudi Authorities Widen Security Crackdown After Detaining Two Rivals to Crown Prince

Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has embarked on a broad security crackdown by rounding up royal rivals, government officials and military officers in an effort to quash potential challenges to his power, Saudi royals and advisers familiar with the matter said Saturday.

03.03.2020 - 05:51 [ Haaretz ]

Elections Results: Israel Said Yes to Netanyahu’s Message: Everything Is Allowed

Still, it’s worth mulling for a moment the choice that was made, considering the admiration of Netanyahu’s cruelty, the worshipping of his dictatorial aggressiveness and the enthusiastic support for his campaign that included unbridled racism, lies, mudslinging and a descent into a moral abyss.

The people who worship him for these qualities have been joined by people who had enough of all the elections and the uncertainty, preferring to submit to his power.

03.03.2020 - 04:42 [ Haaretz ]

Election Results: The Night They Tore Old Israel Down – and Seven More Comments on Netanyahu’s Stunning Triumph

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s scored a stunning victory in Monday’s elections, the sweetest and potentially most momentous in his long and illustrious career. His triumph, despite the albatross of three criminal indictments hanging around his neck, is undeniably stupendous. He has fully justified his reputation as the all-time master magician, if not supreme sorcerer, of Israeli politics.

02.03.2020 - 15:28 [ Haaretz ]

Israel Election 2020: Facebook Deletes Netanyahu Video After He Violates Election Law Again

„Attempts are being made across the web to suppress the participation of Arab citizens of Israel,“ said Morshed Bebar, who led the Democratic Bloc investigation.

Bebar said that publication patterns by these fake accounts indicate an organized and systematic operation.“

02.03.2020 - 11:41 [ Haaretz ]

Zero Hour for Israeli Democracy

Netanyahu’s ever-changing campaign slogans and the self-praise he exudes in every rally and interview barely mask the prime minister’s real goal: to avoid prosecution for bribery, fraud and breach of trust. The “judicial reforms” promised by the right-wing parties are aimed at aiding one particular, privileged defendant, to save him from facing justice, from the humiliation of appearing in court and perhaps even from imprisonment. To obtain that goal, they will turn the entire legal system into an obedient arm of a right-wing government.

02.03.2020 - 11:05 [ MintPressNews.com ]

In Israel, Corruption and Political Turmoil Mark Netanyahu’s Desperate Bid to Stay in Power

It is no secret that Netanyahu’s political behavior is almost entirely shaped by his desire to survive in office for as long as possible in order to avoid possible jail time.

01.03.2020 - 17:30 [ CNN ]

Netanyahu is fighting for power like his freedom depends on it — and it might

Two weeks after the elections, Netanyahu’s criminal trial on charges of bribery and breach of trust begins. He doesn’t have to resign unless he is convicted and if that conviction is upheld through the appeals process.

25.02.2020 - 21:06 [ Walker Bragman / Twitter ]

Michael Bloomberg in 2010 on government: He begins with, „I’m not suggesting we shouldn’t have democracy, BUT…,“ lamenting the lack of qualifications required to seek public office. Then he says progress depends on executives having „far and away“ more power than legislatures.

23.02.2020 - 16:57 [ solidus / Twitter ]

Germany prepares for reprisal attacks after Muslim massacre in Hanau. Security being stepped up, authorities monitoring far-left and Islamic groups

19.02.2020 - 17:26 [ theIntercept.com ]

Mike Bloomberg Ran Stasi-Style Police and Surveillance Operations Against Muslim Americans

New York University professor Nikhil Pal Singh, author of “Race and America’s Long War,” dissects Bloomberg’s record, his “racial terror” tactics in New York City, and what his candidacy says about the state of electoral politics in the U.S. Attorney Diala Shamas of the Center for Constitutional Rights, who fought Bloomberg over his Muslim surveillance program, describes the New York Police Department’s “Demographics Unit” that targeted Muslim Americans and their businesses, houses of worship, and restaurants. Shamas compares the surveillance program to some of the activities of the East German Stasi secret police and says Bloomberg’s use of the program should be seen as an ominous sign of what he might do as president.

18.02.2020 - 17:18 [ ABC News ]

Israeli court says Prime Minister Netanyahu corruption trial to begin March 17, two weeks after national elections

Israeli court says Prime Minister Netanyahu corruption trial to begin March 17, two weeks after national elections.

15.02.2020 - 17:41 [ Caitlin Johnstone ]

Propagandists Cry About Bernie’s Online Base Because It’s Effective, Not Because It’s Mean

Power is the ability to control what happens. Absolute power is controlling what people think about what happens.

13.02.2020 - 12:30 [ MSNBC ]

Experts warn democracies facing autocracy: Protect your institutions

Rachel Maddow looks at what has turned out to be prescient advice from Masha Gessen and Timothy Snyder about the necessity of institutions in preserving democracy, and the necessity of engaged citizens in protecting those institutions from a threatening autocracy like the Donald Trump presidency.

27.01.2020 - 09:37 [ Reid Ribble / Twitter ]

We are slipping into the very thing the revolution was fought on. We are moving to a monarchy. Americans really want a king – as long as it’s their king. Who’s left to stand for truth, justice or in many cases our republican system of government? They stand up for their party.

27.01.2020 - 09:22 [ ForeignAffairs.com ]

The Imperial Presidency Is Alive and Well

Don’t Mistake Impeachment for a Congressional Effort to Claw Back Power

16.01.2020 - 23:37 [ Tim Kaine, Mike Lee / Washington Post ]

Why we’re introducing a resolution on war with Iran

James Madison, the principal drafter of the Constitution, wrote that the history of mankind showed that the executive branch is “most interested in war, & most prone to it.”

For this reason, he noted that the Constitution, “with studied care, vested the question of war” in the legislature. Once initiated, the power to carry out military action does flow to the president as commander in chief. And the president always has the power to defend the nation from imminent attack. But even when the president acts unilaterally in response to an attack, that action must be brief and limited to addressing a specific threat. Any action beyond that scope requires an authorization by Congress.

16.01.2020 - 23:24 [ William Smith / the Hill ]

Why Congress is not serious about the war powers in the Constitution

We are living in serious times, but these are not serious people. The House could have reasserted itself by repealing or rewriting the 2001 and 2002 authorizations for use of military force. This would have signaled that lawmakers take their responsibility in the Constitution seriously, but still they have done nothing, and they will continue to do nothing on this.

16.01.2020 - 23:20 [ History.com ]

US Presidents and Congress Have Long Clashed Over War Powers

When the Constitution was being written and debated, the framers clearly wanted to break from the British political tradition of investing all war powers in the executive (the king), but they also knew that legislatures could be dangerously slow to respond to immediate military threats. So instead of granting Congress the power to “make” war, as was first proposed, founders like James Madison changed the language to “declare” war.

Madison was no fan of executive overreach—“the Executive is the branch of power most interested in war and most prone to it,” he wrote to Thomas Jefferson—but that change of wording in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution implied that the president, as commander in chief (Article II, Section 2), retained certain powers to “make” war, if not declare it himself.

03.01.2020 - 15:53 [ Haaretz ]

Will the Knesset Speaker Be Loyal to the Country or to the Man Holding It Hostage?

As Knesset Speaker, Yuli Edelstein has the authority to block the Knesset Arrangements Committee from meeting, thereby blocking the convening of the House Committee and preventing it from discussing the immunity request.

This is Edelstein’s most important test as an elected official: Will he be faithful to his position as Knesset speaker, or will he be faithful to the man who has decided to hold the country hostage?

03.01.2020 - 10:53 [ Haaretz ]

Requesting Immunity, Master Manipulator Netanyahu Gave One of the Worst Performances of His Life

By requesting immunity Netanyahu hopes to postpone all of this until after the March 2 election. But he knows from all the incessant polling he has carried out that this is a hard sell, even among his right-wing base. In recent days, he tried to float his “immunity is a cornerstone of democracy” canard, but it didn’t fly.

01.01.2020 - 22:52 [ Haaretz ]

Netanyahu Announces He Is Requesting Immunity From Prosecution in Three Criminal Cases

According to Israeli law, the Knesset House Committee is to discuss his request and should it be approved, the request will need to pass a vote by the Knesset plenum.

However, since the House Committee has not been appointed since the April general election, and is not expected to be assembled before the upcoming March election, the discussion will only take place in several months. Until the committee makes a decision, an indictment against Netanyahu can’t be handed officially to the court.

01.01.2020 - 12:12 [ i24news.tv ]

Netanyahu expected to seek immunity as Wednesday deadline looms

Israel’s incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s deadline to formally request immunity from Knesset (Israeli parliament) Speaker Yuli Edelstein expires Wednesday night.

It is expected that Netanyahu will opt for protection from prosecution in three corruption cases against him, Hebrew media reported.

30.12.2019 - 13:43 [ Times of Israel ]

Poll finds narrow majority oppose Knesset immunity for Netanyahu in graft cases

Netanyahu has said he will announce this week whether he will seek parliamentary immunity from prosecution. The survey found that just 33 percent supporting such a move and 51% oppose it — indicating that there is significant objection even within the right.

30.12.2019 - 13:39 [ Haaretz ]

Netanyahu’s Campaign for Immunity

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has added a new definition to the language he’s invented, which he is using to distort reality. On Saturday night he said that his appeal to the Knesset to grant him immunity “would not be avoiding standing trial.” As is his wont, Netanyahu is trying to confuse the public and plant doubts regarding what is self-evident, whether this applies to norms of governance, social norms or dictionary definitions. All of this is meant to garner public support for his reckless conduct and his flight from the arm of the law.

29.12.2019 - 15:17 [ Caitlin Johnstone ]

Why Everything Is Fucked

The most powerful early humans were the cleverest humans, the ones who understood how to use this new capacity for language and abstract thought to their own advantage. They realized that by simply saying something is true in a sufficiently confident way, they could persuade the less clever humans to treat it as true.

Those clever humans used this newfound ability to place themselves in charge, and to make a bunch of rules to be passed down from generation to generation proclaiming that the less powerful humans must submit to the more powerful humans. Over the generations these rules became more and more numerous and complex, weaving in moralism, codes of filial piety, and insane, power-serving religions glorifying meekness, obedience and poverty.

(…)

But then, I believe in miracles.

29.12.2019 - 13:08 [ Jerusalem Post ]

The triumvirate: Avigdor Liberman, Avichai Mandelblit & Aviv Kochavi

For a decade, Netanyahu dominated Israel like few others since founding prime minister David Ben-Gurion, leaving a huge imprint on every sphere: diplomatic, economic, military.

But in 2019 – Netanyahu’s own annus horribilis, as Queen Elizabeth II referred to her own “horrible year” in 1992 – his utter dominance began to fade.

27.12.2019 - 16:00 [ NewsFromUkraine / Youtube ]

Joint Soviet-Nazi military parade in Poland. The history of Russian aggression.

The Battle of Brest-Litovsk took place between 14 and 17 September 1939. After three days of heavy fights for the stronghold in the town of Brześć, the Germans captured the fortress and the Poles withdrew. According to the terms of the 1939 German-Soviet Nonaggression Pact the territory around Brest as well as 52% of the then Poland was assigned to the Soviet Union. The Soviet 29th tank brigade under Brigadier Semyon Krivoshein reached the area of Brześć on September 21st and took over the fortress from the Wehrmacht. During that event a joint German-Soviet parade was held in the town, after which the German forces left the area. The XIX motorized Corps of Wehrmacht and the 29th Tank Brigade of the Red Army participated in the parade.

27.12.2019 - 15:59 [ learning-history.com ]

German-Soviet Military Parade in Brest-Litovsk

The German-Soviet military parade in Brest-Litovsk was an official ceremony held by the troops of Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union on September 22, 1939, during the invasion of Poland in the city of Brest-Litovsk.

It marked the withdrawal of German troops to the demarcation line secretly agreed to in the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, and the handover of the city and its fortress to the Soviet Red Army.

27.12.2019 - 15:51 [ Haaretz ]

Putin Says Poland, Western Leaders Cooperated With Hitler

Putin cast the Molotov-Ribbentrop treaty as a move the Soviet Union was forced into following nonaggression agreements some other European nations had signed with Hitler.

He cited a 1938 agreement reached by Germany, Britain, France and Italy that allowed Hitler to annex Czechoslovakia as an example of Western leaders’ alleged “collusion” with Hitler.

26.12.2019 - 19:19 [ Spiked ]

In 2020, we need to fight the new thoughtpolice

In the United States, there is a growing industry of consultants who advise organisations about how to rid themselves of their supposed ‘white-supremacy culture’. According to these zealots, some of the attitudes and behaviours associated with white-supremacy culture include ‘individualism’, ‘a sense of urgency’ and ‘perfectionism’.

In other words, those who take their work too seriously may be tainted by white supremacy. Thinking logically is basically thinking white.

18.12.2019 - 12:30 [ New York Times ]

A Surveillance Net Blankets China’s Cities, Giving Police Vast Powers

The authorities can scan your phones, track your face and find out when you leave your home. One of the world’s biggest spying networks is aimed at regular people, and nobody can stop it.

10.12.2019 - 22:27 [ NPR ‏/ Twitter ]

A new U.N. report argues many of the street protests popping up around the globe are driven by a growing sense that societies are rigged to favor the powerful — and trap the masses in low-wage, dead-end lives.

22.11.2019 - 17:27 [ Ford Fischer ‏/ Twitter ]

219 Dems voted in favor of fully reauthorizing the PATRIOT Act enabling the federal government’s mass surveillance of citizens. Only 10 Repubs voted for it. The “squad” (AOC, Omar, Pressley, Tlaib) joined most Repubs in voting “no.” Gabbard didn’t vote.

(20.11.2019)

22.11.2019 - 17:19 [ Evan Greer / Twitter ]

Wow. House Democrats are ignoring civil liberties & including a three month straight re-authorization of the PATRIOT Act (with zero reform) in the Continuing Resolution. Very cool way to resist Trump by ensuring he continues to have terrifying authoritarian surveillance powers.

17.11.2019 - 09:24 [ Bernie Sanders, candidate for President / Twitter ]

When I am president, the United States will lead not in war-making but in bringing people together to take on authoritarianism and corporate greed.

02.11.2019 - 14:07 [ Haaretz ]

Mendelblit, Don’t Delay

(14.02.2018)

The police announcement Tuesday – that the investigations into two cases involving Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had been completed – came 13 months after Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit decided that a “preliminary examination” of the allegations, which itself took six months, should become full-fledged criminal investigations.

02.11.2019 - 14:04 [ i24news.tv ]

Israel’s attorney general scheduled talks regarding Netanyahu indictment

Israeli Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit will be holding talks in the coming week with aims to reach a decision at the end of November on whether or not to …

01.11.2019 - 12:32 [ Business Insider ]

Russia officially introduced a ’sovereign internet‘ law to let Putin cut the entire country from the rest of the web

It requires Russian internet providers to install hardware to allow authorities to locate the source of traffic and block it.

01.11.2019 - 12:29 [ theRegister.co.uk ]

China and Russia join to battle ‚illegal internet content,‘ which means what you fear it does

(09.10.2019)

More disturbing were the extraordinary technical capabilities that were used to remove – in real time – any mention of the death of Chinese dissident and Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo.

Russia wishes to be equally restrictive although it does not appear to have the technical capabilities and it has not put itself behind a national firewall, at least not yet – it is working on it. It has instead focused on removing people’s ability to access information anonymously.

29.10.2019 - 08:07 [ Haaretz ]

Gantz Says No Progress Achieved in Talks on Unity Government With Netanyahu’s Likud

Yair Lapid, the No. 2 on the Kahol Lavan roster, said at the party meeting that a government can’t be created in the space of 48 hours, and that all Netanyahu had to agree to was to be second in the rotation – i.e., to agree that Gantz serve as prime minister first, then Netanyahu. But what Netanyahu wants is a third election, Lapid said.

“That’s what his lawyers suggested to him, that’s what he needs because of the indictments,” Lapid said.

26.10.2019 - 16:44 [ Intercept ]

The FBI Has a Long History of Treating Political Dissent as Terrorism

While terrorism in the U.S. is relatively rare, over the last decade most politically motivated violence has come at the hands of far-right extremists. Despite that reality, the FBI has devoted disproportionate resources to the surveillance of nonviolent civil society groups and protest movements, particularly on the left, using its mandate to protect national security to target scores of individuals posing no threat but opposing government policies and practices.

24.10.2019 - 00:05 [ junge Welt ]

Proteste in Chile: Vorgetäuschte Reue

Für den gestrigen Mittwoch sowie den heutigen Donnerstag riefen zahlreiche Gewerkschaften – darunter der Dachverband CUT – zu einem landesweiten Generalstreik und zu Kundgebungen gegen die Repression auf. Zudem erklärten die indigenen Mapuche im Süden des Landes, sich der Bewegung anschließen zu wollen. Unterdessen setzt die Regierung weiter auf brutale Repression. Laut neuesten Zahlen hat diese mittlerweile 17 Menschen das Leben gekostet, schon fast 5.500 Protestierende wurden festgenommen.

23.10.2019 - 07:15 [ Haaretz ]

The End of Israel’s Free Press

The indecent acts committed as a result of the relationship between government, money and the media in Cases 2000 (the Yedioth quid-pro-quo affair) and Case 4000 (the Bezeq-Walla affair) are extremely serious. Even if proving criminality is stymied by “legal difficulties,” a term Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit loves to use to describe any complex matter, we’re talking about a complete undermining of the last remaining shred of public confidence in politicians and media outlets.

23.10.2019 - 07:05 [ Haaretz ]

Palestinian Authority Blocks 59 Palestinian Websites, Social Media Channels Critical of Abbas

The decision was made at the request of the Palestinian prosecution, but it is widely assumed that senior PA officials were behind the move. The prosecution, in its petition to the court, argued that the sites disseminate harmful content about the PA and its officials and are likely to be used to incite lawlessness.

21.10.2019 - 17:53 [ Kreml ]

Telephone conversation with Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu

The officials also discussed current bilateral topics and Syria.

Vladimir Putin also sent a message of greetings to Benjamin Netanyahu.

The message reads, in part:

05.10.2019 - 10:04 [ Economist.com ]

Binyamin Netanyahu’s last chance to avoid indictment

Even if he is indicted, Mr Netanyahu intends to stay on as prime minister. The law does not require him to step down until a final conviction.

02.10.2019 - 18:52 [ Haaretz ]

Short and to the Point, Attorney General Mendelblit

The hearing of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the criminal cases against him will begin Wednesday, nearly three years after they were opened. (Cases 1000 and 2000 came first, followed later by Case 3000.) That is an unreasonable period of time, including in comparison to investigations of and legal steps taken against other public figures. Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit is responsible for this.

30.09.2019 - 20:57 [ CNN ]

Trump circulates quote invoking ‚civil war-like fracture‘ if he’s removed from office

President Donald Trump spent the weekend on Twitter defending himself against Democrats‘ upcoming impeachment inquiry by quoting his supporters on cable news, including a pastor’s inflammatory prediction that the country could be destroyed and a civil war would ensue if the President was removed from office.
Evangelical pastor and Fox News contributor Robert Jeffress claimed on the network, „Democrats don’t care if they burn down and destroy the nation in the process“ of impeachment.

30.09.2019 - 20:49 [ New York Times ]

Trump Raises Idea of Arresting House Chairman for Treason

President Trump on Monday questioned whether the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Representative Adam B. Schiff, should be arrested for treason for his description of a phone call Mr. Trump had with the president of Ukraine during a recent congressional hearing.

A day earlier, Mr. Trump called for Mr. Schiff — the California Democrat who is the de facto head of an impeachment inquiry into the call — to be “questioned at the highest level for Fraud & Treason.”

29.09.2019 - 12:15 [ Haaretz ]

Israel’s Attorney General Agrees to Hold Netanyahu’s Pre-indictment Hearing Over Four Days

After being asked by the attorney general to submit the basis of his plea in advance of the hearings last week, Netanyahu sent Mendelblit one page void of explanations to back his statement that he is innocent.

„We regret that instead of complying with this directive, you have found it appropriate to submit a very short document with no actual content,“ Mendelblit’s office wrote in a letter published Thursday.