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(en) Anarchist Age Weekly Review No. 625 2nd January-16th January 2005

From philmcc@optusnet.com.au
Date Wed, 12 Jan 2005 08:57:15 +0100 (CET)


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´MACHIAVELLIAN´ --- The extraordinary humanitarian response to the devastation caused by the
Southern Asian tsunami displayed by ordinary Australians, stands in sharp
contrast to the tightly targeted Australian government aid package announced
by the Prime Minister. Throwing their customary caution to the wind about
whether money donated will reach their intended target, Australians continue
to reach into their pockets and donate generously to the Red Cross and many
other Aid agencies. They want to do what they can to ensure that the human
tragedy that has unfolded before their eyes, irrespective of whether it
happened in India, Indonesia, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Thailand or the Maldives
is addressed.

In contrast, the Howard´s government $500 million direct aid program and its
$500 million 40-year interest free redevelopment loan program is primarily
directed at Indonesia. John Howard has brokered a deal with the Indonesian
President that will see the President and the Prime Minister of Australia
decide how the Australian aid package will be spent.

Aceh, Indonesia´s rebellious northern Sumatran province, will, after the
initial phase of the relief operation is completed, draw the Australian
government directly into the continuing brutal military campaign directed at
the Free Aceh movement by the Indonesian authorities.

The United Nations and outside Aid agencies will, once the relief phase is
over, be asked to leave what only a fortnight ago was a province that was
closed off to foreigners. Ironically, although GAM is a Muslim
fundamentalist movement, it has never posed a threat to Australia or
Australians, as its aim has been to achieve independence for the Acehnese.
Over 40,000 Acehnese have died over the past two decades as a result of this
independence struggle at the hands of the Indonesian military in a province
that before the tsunami had a little over 2 million residents.

The Indonesian military is working on a number of fronts during the relief
operations to take military advantage of the devastation. It has refused to
observe a ceasefire that the Free Aceh government in exile in Sweden has
called, to allow relief operations to continue unimpeded. It has air lifted
hundreds, possibly thousands of Indonesian nationalist Muslim
fundamentalists thugs into the province (the very same people that helped to
create the conditions that led to the Bali outrage) to try to steal the
political initiative in Banda Aceh from the Free Aceh movement.

Last but not least, when all the fuss dies down and Aceh once again becomes
a military controlled enclave that is off limits to the scrutiny of
foreigners, the Indonesian government has $500 million interest free
redevelopment dollars in its back pocket courtesy of the Australian taxpayer
(that it does not need to repay for 40 years) that it will use to build
military infrastructure that will allow it to maintain its military
occupation of Aceh.

PATHETIC AND THEN SOME
Mark Latham´s chameleon like performance since the devastation caused by the
Boxing Day tsunami is an indictment on the presidential nature of Australian
politics. It´s extraordinary to think that the alternative government
couldn´t even get together to issue a statement about this unprecedented
tragedy. Mark Latham´s illness does not absolve the opposition from the
task of getting its act together and acting like an opposition, not a rabble
that´s gone AWOL when things get a little rough.

The Labor Party´s silence is an indication that processes don´t exist within
the party that allow parliamentary representatives to make statements on
major issues if the leader is not available. The ALP´s lack luster election
campaign pales into insignificance when compared to its no show over the
past 2 weeks. Ordinary Australians have through their actions shown they
are able to rise to the occasion. They want something to be done to address
this tragedy.

Faced with a politically opportune performance from the Howard government
that´s almost exclusively tailored to curry favour with the Indonesian
leadership and an opposition that doesn´t even have the structure to comment
on the disaster, let alone offer some ideas about how to best ease the
suffering, tens of thousands of Australians have taken matters into their
own hands and have raised tens of millions of dollars to be used directly by
non-government organizations in all the affected areas to provide immediate
assistance in these difficult times.

The Howard government and the opposition have on this occasion, as on many
other important occasions, led from the rear. Their performance has in the
Howard government´s case been political motivated, while in Mr. Latham´s
case the ALP´s no show has been driven by Mr. Latham´s concerns about his
shaky leadership position. In contrast, the greater outpouring of emotion
and practical support that´s been provided by ordinary Australians has been
mainly motivated by humanitarian concerns.

IT´S OFFICIAL
It´s official, money increase intelligence. I can´t understand what all the
fuss is about, it seems that some people are upset that the entry score to
university courses in many Australian universities is much lower for people
who are able to pay up front fees than those who pay their fees later on in
life through the HECS scheme.

Bleeding heart liberals across the country are crying out it´s not fair,
even that august neo-conservative journal the Herald Sun ran a poll that
showed that over 90% of its readers thought it was not fair. Keeping things
in context, this is the very same mob that doesn´t want any of those ugly
refugee types from Southern Asia lobbying on our doorstep because they´ve
lost everything including friends and families in the recent tsunami.

Now getting back to the topic, papers that have appeared in learned
scientific journals around the world have shown that money increases brain
capacity and also intelligence. Haven´t you noticed the big heads attached
to the world´s richest people? Scientific studies have shown the more money
you have salted away in your back pocket, the bigger your cranial capacity.
Learned scientific studies in the late 19th and early 20th century had shown
that criminal types including anarchists had specific cranial patterns,
that´s why they couldn´t tolerate authority. Getting back to the main
question, why shouldn´t people who have the money to buy the best education
money can buy, be denied access to the course of their choice because some
scumbag without money may have a much better chance of completing the course
successfully?

I reckon we should all race off to the banks or our enterprising local
loan-sharks (not much difference between them), get our hands on oodles of
money, go to bed, surround ourselves with all that money and wait for our
brain to grow. While we´re at it, we can pray to God to stop the next
destructive earthquake, we can pray to the Prime Minster to increase the
refugee intake and you, we can pray that the ALP (Alternative Liberal Party)
shows a little bit of fight.

On second thoughts, we´d be better off just lying in our bed of $100 notes,
as the chance of our intelligence soaring because we´ve got your hands on
that filthy lucre, is much greater than our prays being answered.

REAP WHAT YOU SOW!!
I was saddened but not surprised by the result of the Herald Sun´s Voteline
(31/12) poll which showed that over 60% of Herald Sun readers stated they
did not want to take refugees from the tsunami hit areas. Over the past
week, page after page of the Herald Sun has been devoted to the tragedy that
has engulfed our region. Stories about the kindness of locals towards
tourists have featured prominently in the pages of the newspaper.

The divisive refugee debate and the Howard government´s unprincipled stand
towards those who seek asylum on our shores seem to have had a negative
impact on the national psyche. You really have to wonder about what type of
society we have become when Australians vehemently reject the idea of taking
refugees from neighbours who are trying to cope with the most extraordinary
and overwhelming disaster.

Paradoxically, while the Howard government has rallied against increasing
immigration levels, it has almost doubled the number of migrants who have
entered this country in the past decade. Unfortunately the number of
refugees in the migration intake has remained at around 10% of current
immigration quotas.

Australia strips its neighbours of talented educated skilled workers while
refusing to significantly increase its refugee quota. It refuses to outlay
the revenue to train its own while allowing increasing numbers of guest
workers to come into the country to do work that could easily be done by
Australians. Many of these guest workers are accepted as immigrants after
their 3-year contracts are finished. This scheme has allowed the Howard
government to secretly increase immigration levels without public debate and
scrutiny.

Increasing the refugee quota in the migration intake is not only a matter of
compassion; it´s a way of carrying favour in the region. Stealing highly
qualified workers from impoverished neighbouring countries while refusing to
increase the number of refugees taken from these countries, does little to
improve Australia´s image and reputation in the region in a period when
Australia´s role is coming under increasing international scrutiny.

Opening our borders to tsunami refugees is one way of helping to improve
Australia´s image with our neighbours. It helps them cope with the disaster
and most importantly of all, it gives those worst hit by the tsunami a much
needed chance to start a new life in a new country.

´THE SOLOMONS REVISITED´
The murder of Australian Federal Police officer Mr. Adam Dunning in the
Solomon Islands and the news that the militant who has been charged with his
murder, Mr. John Hen Ome, has close ties with the relatives of Solomon
Islands Health Minister Mr. Benjamin Una (The Age 29/12), raises important
questions about Australia´s involvement in the region.

Australia´s armed intervention in the Solomon Islands was greeted with
almost universal approval in Australia and was supported by many Solomon
Islanders who had grown tired of the tit for tat violence that had made life
impossible for them. Many Solomon Islanders believed that intervention by
Australian military, police, judicial authorities and senior bureaucrats
would give them the breathing space and provide the country with the
infrastructure to broker a Solomon Island solution to the political problems
that had torn apart their society.

Eighteen months later, the window of opportunity that Australian
intervention created is rapidly disappearing. The murder of Mr. Adam
Dunning and the growing opposition to Australian intervention in the Solomon
Islands by some senior political figures is an ominous sign that the Howard
government´s strategy of attempting to solve the Solomon Islands political
crisis by an overwhelming show of force is starting to unravel.

The Federal government´s intervention in the Solomon Islands is beginning to
take on the same fantasyland appearance, as the Coalition of the willing´s
intervention in Iraq. The Howard government and the fourth estate continue
to regale the Australian public with tales of thugs, bandits and acts of
random violence. Little, if any rational debate, about the problems that
caused the disintegration of the Solomon Islands State and the political
steps that need to be taken by Solomon Islanders to arrive at a political
solution to the problems that have been temporarily papered over by
Australia´s armed intervention in the region, has occurred.

Those Solomon Islanders, who are becoming disillusioned with Australia´s
attempts to impose a solution on them that does not reflect their wishes or
takes into account the reasons for the current crisis, are beginning to have
an impact around the country. The murder of Mr. Adam Dunning should not be
dismissed as the act of a few isolated thugs, it should be viewed in a wider
political context and be seen as a warning of the violence that could occur
if Australia´s intervention is not tailored to help Solomon Islanders find
their own political solutions to the problems that have created the current
crisis.

ANARCHIST QUESTION AND ANSWER
Q. ANARCHIST ECONOMICS IS BASED ON BARTERING?
A. Garbage! Barter, the trade in goods without using money, has like
capitalist economics nothing to do with anarchism. The absence of money as
a medium of exchange does not change the relationship that exists between
individuals and groups involved in the bartering process. Bartering labour
for goods is no different than exchanging labour for money. The
relationships are essential the same. Capitalist economics, whether it´s
based on money or barter, is about generating an advantage for one party in
the exchange process. The surplus value inherent in the exchange is profit
irrespective of whether it appears as figures in a bank account or whether
you find you have a brand spanking new agricultural harvester in the barn.
Both exchanges depend on invested private capital and profit making.
Anarchist economics is based on the satisfaction of human need, not the
generation of profit. Individuals and groups within an anarchist community
work to produce the goods and services that are necessary for that community
to survive and prosper. Excess production is shared with surrounding
communities. It´s quite possible that one community may produce only one
item. That item would then be distributed to surrounding communities.
Those communities would share what they produce with the community that
produced that item.
The production and distribution process in an anarchist society does not
occur in a vacuum. Delegates from the communities that make up a federation
come together to draw up plans about what needs to be produced, what
resources are available locally and what resources are required outside the
federation to met the needs of the federation. Plans are taken back to
local assemblies, discussed, tinkered with, and eventually agreed to. An
anarchist federation´s strength and the personal security of the people that
make up that federation, is dependent on the active participation in the
decision making process of the people who make up that federation.
In an era of rapidly diminishing resources and increasing population
pressures, an economic system that is based on the satisfaction of human
need is much more likely to be able to protect non renewable resources and
provide the necessities of life for the greatest number of people, than an
economics system that needs to increase profits irrespective of the human
and social costs.

ACTION BOX
MY NEW YEAR´S RESOLUTION
My New Year´s resolution is very simple, I´d like to see one of Australia´s
most endangered species - the rebel, regain the prominence it enjoyed in the
Australian community in the 19th and the 20th century. Together with the
radical, the rat-bag and the larrikin, the rebel made a significant
contribution to the creation of a progressive egalitarian community that
unfortunately today seems just a faint memory for most Australians.
Over the past few decades, both the Alternative Liberal Party (ALP) and the
´you beaut I´m all right´ Jack Liberal / National Coalition have almost
succeeded in driving the rebel to the brink of extinction. Paradoxically,
as the ´evil´ rebel has been confined to the margins of the popular
imagination by a homogenised fourth estate, the gains that were made by
significant sections of the Australian community in the rights and liberties
they were able to exercise, their progressive social attitudes to minorities
and the disadvantaged, the wages they received for hours worked and the
working conditions they enjoyed, have come under increasing external
pressures.
The changing nature of Australian society has to a large degree been brought
about by macro and micro economic reforms that have turned a strong secure
community into one that is riddled with insecurity. The casualisation of
the workforce, short term contracts, increasing household debt, the need for
two adult members of a family to work to support their children, increasing
personal debt, the privitisation of public health and education services and
the saddling of a generation with an enormous HECS debt as they embark on a
lifetime of work, has had a profound impact on the Australian psyche.
Rebels have become moderates, moderates have become conservatives, an open
community has become insular, self interest has become the predominant
feature of Australian life in the 21st century. Insecurity breeds
insecurity, rights and liberties, wages, working conditions and progressive
social attitudes are gladly traded for a spurious security which is bought
at the expense of those rebellious national characteristics that have served
this country and the Australian people so well for so long.

AUSTRALIAN RADICAL HISTORY
THE EUREKA SERIES 2005-No. 1
Q. What happened to the men that were acquitted of High Treason? PART C
JOHN MANNING
John Manning was brought to the Supreme Court on the 28th February 1855 to
face the charge of High Treason. Although 12 witnesses appeared for the
prosecution, Manning was acquitted by the jury. Manning and Joseph´s
acquittal were more than Chief Justice a´ Beckett could stomach; he fell ill
and was replaced by the notorious Justice Redmond Barry, whose statue still
adorns the forecourt of the State Library of Victoria. Two sharp pieces of
steel adorn his cranium to protect him from the indignity of having pigeon
droppings run down his sculptured visage.
John Manning, born in Ireland, educated in New York was a reporter for the
Ballarat Times during the Eureka rebellion. He immigrated to New Zealand in
1860 and co-founded the New Zealand Celt; a radical paper that was launched
in October 1867 that openly supported the Irish Nationalist struggle.
Manning was arrested in 1868 and charged with seditious libel after the
assassination attempt on the Duke of Edinbury in Sydney by an Irish
nationalist. Manning left New Zealand in August 1868 as a consequence of
the passing of the Treason Felony Act. He moved back to the US and made a
living by contributing articles about life in Australia and about the New
Zealand Maoris for US papers. The last reference to Manning is in an
article published in the Overland Monthly in July 1892.
JACOB SORENSEN
Sorensen described as being ´heavily tattooed and illiterate´ was tried and
acquitted of High Treason on the 27th March 1855. He had been charged with
´divers other false traitors at present unknown, fire upon attack and kill
certain troops of our Sovereign Lady the Queen´. Nothing seems to be known
about what happened to Sorenson after his acquittal of High Treason.
NEXT WEEK: - More stories about what happened to the 13 miners who were
acquitted of High Treason.
SOURCE OF INFO: - The Eureka Encyclopaedia, John Cortfield, Dorothy Wickham,
Clare Gervasoni, Ballarat Heritage Services 2004, ISBN 1876478616
email:info@ballaratheritage.com.au
THE 22ND FEBRUARY 2005 MARKS THE 150TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE ACQUITTAL OF JOHN
JOSEPH THE 1ST OF THE 13 MINERS TRIED FOR HIGH TREASON IN THE MELBOURNE
SUPREME COURT. THE ´ANARCHIST MEDIA INSTITUTE´ WILL BE ORGANISING A PUBLIC
CEREMONY TO MARK THIS IMPORTANT EVENT. KEEP YOUR EYES GLUED ON THE
´ANARCHIST AGE WEEKLY REVIEW´ AND LISTEN TO THE ´ANARCHIST WORLD THIS WEEK´
TO FIND OUT HOW WE WILL BE MARKING THIS IMPORTANT OCCASION.

BOOK REVIEW
´DISCOVERING KING ISLAND
- Western Bass Strait´
By Jean Edgecombe, ISBN 0646152335, Published by J.M.Edgecombe 1993,
Review Copy 2004 Edition.
For some reason, I´ve always had a fascination about the islands in Bass
Strait. King Island is a compact island about 60 kilometres by 25
kilometres, sitting in the western portion of Bass Strait. It has a long
and colourful history, its coastline soaked in blood. Today, it is home to
around 2000 people who are involved in the dairy, beef, tourist and kelp
industries. Mining came to a grinding halt in 1990 when the Scheelite
mining industry went belly up, throwing over a quarter of the population out
of work.
In the 21st century, mass tourism has reduced travel to a fleeting meeting
of disinterested minds. Many, if not most tourists have little if any
interest in the history, geology, geography, landscape, people, animals,
birds and vegetation of the part of world they´ve travelled to. I´ve always
made it a habit of getting my hands on a good local book about places I´m
visiting.
Arriving in Currie, the main town on King Island, a town of about 400 or 500
people that´s blessed with 2 supermarkets, a bakery, a hospital, 2
hairdressers, a café, a real estate agent, a pharmacy, a post office, a
bank, the ubiquitous elders store, 2 service stations, 2 hotels and a few
other bits and pieces, I made a beeline for the newsagency, nothing.
Undaunted, I looked into a tiny souvenir shop and asked if they had any
books about King Island, I was directed to a shelf with a half a dozen
offerings, 5 on the shipwrecks that litter the Island and ´Discovering King
Island´, an interesting looking 150-page compilation about all the bits and
pieces I was interested in. I looked at the Preface, saw that it had been
written in 2004 and thought to myself this is the book I need to get hold of
to make the visit worthwhile. I parted with $22 and over the next hour or
so was able to garner the knowledge I required to make the visit to King
Island memorable. In 11 brief chapters, Geology, Prehistory, Indigenous and
European History, Exploration, Discovery, Communications, Industry, Birds,
Mammals, Amphibians, Reptiles and Plants, the author gives the visitor
enough background to make the most of their visit.
One word of warning, although the book was reprinted in 2004 with a new
Foreword, the author has not updated the content that appeared in the 1993
edition. King Island, the home of broken dreams, has moved on since 1993,
things have changed since the book was first published, businesses have gone
bankrupt and the much expected tourist boom has never really taken off. The
information contained in Chapter 5 ´Exploring King Island Today´ is so out
of date, it´s not funny. Otherwise this is an excellent book for a first
time visitor who wants to gain more from their visit than what´s printed on
the slim tourist brochures that are available.
I suggest you write to J. M. Edgecombe, 7 Oakleigh Ave, Thornleigh NSW 2120
AUSTRALIA if you want to get hold of a copy of this book.

PERSONAL OBSERVATION
Gravel road, dust settled by a light drizzle, rolling hills clothed in
browning pasture, the wind forces millions of blades of grass to bow to the
sea. First gate, a simple structure, unlatch the catch, watch it swing
open, drive through, stop, close the gate. The gravel road, narrows into a
2-track gravel path. The car bumps through a puddle, skirts a rut and a
kilometre down the track, stops at another gate. It doesn´t take long to
unlatch it, drive through it and close it. The gravel track changes into a
sandy tract, the ruts grow deeper, tufts of grass play musical notes with
the fuel tank. The sea juts between the jagged rocks hugging the coast, 2,
3 steps from the track the water ebbs onto the sand, shells litter the
pristine landscape, a scene from a tourist brochure, without the ubiquitous
tourist. The car swerves off the track to miss a pothole filled with water,
2 wheels up, 2 wheels down, the sea beckons, the car bounces back on what´s
left of the track. How much further? A kilometre, maybe 2, eventually a
sign erected by the local Lions Club on the 5th August 1995 appears on the
right. We stop, have a look at it, examine the rocks and the sea, move on
to view the cairn we´d come so far to find.
A hundred metres to the left, a slight rise, the car comes to a halt with a
shudder. There it is, on a small mound, made of local rocks, a small man
made cairn, a plaque erected on the 5th August 1995. 206 men, women and
children buried beneath our feet, 40 other bodies scattered in individual
graves around us, nothing to mark their presence. 177 bodies buried in 4
unmarked graves dot the landscape. The only acknowledgement of their
existence, swaging pastures, that are trampled by cows awaiting execution.
The wind howls, the sea whispers, 413 bodies buried within 100 metres of
where we stand. The Cataraque was doing 10 knots in pouring rain, bringing
62 immigrant families from England to Melbourne when in the early hours of
the 5TH August 1845, it hit the rocks off Boggy Creek on King Island in Bass
Strait less than 100 metres from where we are standing. 2 travellers, 413
spirits in a cow paddock on the windswept southwest coast of King Island in
Bass Strait.
David Howie, the Constable of the Straits, arrived at the shipwreck site 2
days after the ship disintegrated. The Cataraque wedged on the rocks,
disintegrated over a 34-hour period. People died slow agonising deaths from
exposure only 100 metres from salvation. 413 died, 8 crew and 1 passenger
Solomon Brown survived, his wife and 4 children perished in the storm.
David Howie and 3 men on a whaleboat picked up the survivors. Howie
returned later, 50 pounds in his pocket and the tools in his kit to retrieve
the bloated, decomposed bodies and bury them. Day after day, night after
night, camped at this very spot, he fished out bodies from the seas, picked
them off the beach, dragged those wedged between the rocks, fighting off the
birds feasting on this unexpected bounty, digging holes where he found some,
collecting others and stuffing them into mass graves, half were children,
camped at night between the corpses, until his duty was done.
How long does it take to retrieve and bury 413 decomposing bodies?
Hundreds, thousands take weeks to bundle 4000 or 5000 corpses in Thailand.
I wonder how long it took David Howie? I doubt it took him long. This
stretch of coast drips in loneliness. A loneliness compounded by the task
Howie faced. Francis Nixon, the Bishop of Tasmania, on a pastoral visit to
King Island 9 years later in 1854, remembers Howie telling him with tears in
his eyes ´that he walked among the rocks at first, as though he had been on
a mad oppressive dream´.
We turn the car on the only spot available in this claustrophobic landscape,
the bodies of the dead and make our way back to the gravel ground touched by
the banality of existence, a feeling shared by millions of survivors across
South Asia, as they try to make sense of a moment in time that has scarred
their lives for eternity.

STOP PRESS
GOD?
Misha Schubert´s musings in the Sunday Age (2/1) about peoples reaction to
God as a consequence of the Southern Asian tsunami that have touched so many
lives, raises important questions about the role God plays in the human
story. Both the Reverend Tim Costello´s non-interventionist supernatural
God and the religious fundamentalist vengeful interventionist God leave me
cold.
Tim Costello´s God reminds me of a sperm donor who has, for reasons only
known to himself, forgotten to leave his details so that his offspring are
not able to contact him if they need his help in the future. The
fundamentalist vengeful God (the person in whose name mass murder continues
to be committed around the world) reminds me of the psychopath who, not
satisfied with the power of deciding who will have eternal bliss and who
will suffer eternal damnation, still loves to pull the wings off live
insects.
I don´t really care about what type of God people choose to believe in or
whether they don´t believe in God; my concern is the post modern capitalist
God-Mammon. The destruction caused by natural disasters like the recent
tsunamis, last year´s earthquake in Bam in Iran and the Bangladesh floods
that killed over half a million people in the early 1970´s, pales into
insignificance when compared with the human tragedy that is played out every
day on the planet as the world´s poor - the victims of Mammon, die every
year in their millions as a consequence of starvation, of lack of access to
clean water and adequate shelter, of the failure to treat preventable
diseases, of being worked to death in the drive to create ever increasing
profits for those who own the means of production, distribution and
exchange.
Even this daily tragedy will pale into insignificance when compared with
what will happen when the finite resources that are available to the human
race are burned on the altar of Mammon, in a world where economic, social
and cultural life is dominated by the needs of a few hundred transnational
corporations to generate ever increasing profits irrespective of the human
and social costs.
Joseph TOSCANO / Libertarian Workers
For A Self-Managed Society.


ANARCHIST PUBLICATIONS RECEIVED SINCE LAST ISSUE
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ALL THE NEWS THAT FITS
The Fed govt has announced a $30million reduction of funding for the next 5
years for homeless assistance in an effort to shift the burden on to the
States. The announcement came a day after the announcement of a $6.2billion
Fed surplus. According to the Vic Council for Social Service, there´s more
than 20,000 homeless people in Vic alone, 26% of whom are children. (Source:
Melb Indymedia)
US drug manufacturers are planning a New Year's push to pressure Canberra to
unwind initiatives to cut medicine prices. A senior US pharmaceutical
industry source said US drug companies would ask the US govt to use a
mechanism in the new free trade agreement - which takes effect on Sat - to
pressure Aust to retreat on 2 decisions. Labor amendments that impose
penalties on "ever-greening" patents (manipulating the patent system to keep
control of a process for longer than the usual 20 years), & a Coalition
election promise to cut the cost of patented drugs by 12.5% once an
equivalent generic comes on to the market, have generated significant
opposition from US companies. (Source: news.com.au)
A US jet with fictional owners is being used to deliver terror suspects to
countries that use torture, according to the Washington Post. The Gulfstream
V turbojet had been seen at US military bases around the world, often
loading hooded & shackled suspects & delivering them to countries known to
use torture, a process the CIA calls "rendition". The jet with the tail
number N379P, had been seen in Afghanistan, Indonesia, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait,
Libya, Morocco, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia & Uzbekistan. The executives of the
plane's corporate owner, Premier Executive Transport Services, were all
listed with dates of birth in the 1940s, 50s and 60s, but with social
security numbers issued since 1998. The Post was unable to locate any
further business or credit info on them or the company. The CIA refused to
comment, but such "proprietary" or front corporations were standard
procedure for the agency, ex operatives told the newspaper. (Source:
news.com.au)
FBI agents are increasingly complaining about what they consider abusive
physical and mental torture by military officials against prisoners held in
Iraq and Cuba, including beatings and strangulation, according to new
documents released today. The records obtained by the American Civil
Liberties Union show that the FBI believes that military interrogators have
broken the Geneva Conventions prohibiting torture and have followed an
apparently new executive order from President Bush that permits the use of
dogs and other techniques to harass prisoners. According to FBI officials,
the Bush order approved interrogation tactics that include "sleep
deprivation and stress positions," as well as "loud music, interrogators
yelling at subjects and prisoners with hoods on their heads." In a June
"Urgent Report" to the FBI director from the Sacramento field office, for
example, a supervising special agent described abuses such as
"strangulation, beatings, placement of lit cigarettes into the detainees'
ear openings and unauthorized interrogations." In a June "Urgent Report" to
the FBI director from the Sacramento field office, for example, a
supervising special agent described abuses such as "strangulation, beatings,
placement of lit cigarettes into the detainees' ear openings and
unauthorized interrogations." The supervisor added that some officials "were
engaged in a cover-up of these abuses." In other instances, a female
prisoner "indicated she was hit with a stick," according to a memo from last
May, and in July, Army criminal investigators were reviewing "the alleged
rape of a juvenile male detainee at Abu Ghraib prison." In June an agent
from the Washington field office reported that an Abu Ghraib detainee was
"cuffed" and placed into a position the military called "The Scorpion" hold.
Then, according to what the prisoner told the FBI, he was doused with cold
water, dropped onto barbed wire, dragged by his feet and punched in the
stomach. In Cuba, a detainee in May, 2002, was reportedly spat upon and then
beaten when he attempted to roll onto his stomach to protect himself. At one
point, soldiers apparently were "beating him and grabbed his head and beat
it into the cell floor," knocking him unconscious. Another agent reported
this past August that while in Cuba he often saw detainees chained hand and
foot in a fetal position on the floor "with no chair, food or water." "Most
times they had urinated or defecated on themselves, and had been left for
18-24 hours or more," the agent wrote. Sometimes, he reported, the room was
chilled to where a "barefooted detainee was shaking with cold." Other times,
the air-conditioning was turned off and the temperature in the unventilated
room rose to well over 100 degrees. "The detainee was almost unconscious on
the floor, with a pile of hair next to him," the agent reported. "He had
apparently been literally pulling his own hair out throughout the night."
The FBI documents also included a report about a prisoner in Cuba whose legs
were injured and who said he lied about being a terrorist for fear that
otherwise the U.S. military would amputate him. "He indicated he was injured
severely and in a lot of pain," the FBI wrote. Yet the prisoner constantly
was being asked whether he had attended a terrorist camp in Afghanistan. The
agent wrote that the prisoner "stated he wanted to receive decent medical
treatment, and felt the only way to get it was to tell the Americans what
they wanted to hear." (Source: Los Angeles Times)
One of NSW's most prestigious government schools, Hurlstone Agricultural
High School, maintains a "tradition of bullying", according to a review by
the Department of Education. The government-run selective boarding school
gave older students rights to the first use of facilities, meaning that
younger students were "preferenced" out of using the laundry and "could not
ensure basic hygiene". In extreme cases parents had removed their children
after receiving an inadequate school response to complaints of physical and
psychological harm. (Source: Sydney Morning Herald)
Quote of the Week: "Freedom is about authority. Freedom is about the
willingness of every single human being to cede to lawful authority a great
deal of discretion about what you do." Rudolf Giuliani, ex Mayor of NYC.
(more quotes - www.apolitical.info/quotes)
ATNTF weekly anarchist news report www.apolitical.info

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