A graphic video of police repeatedly using a Taser on an unarmed man has rekindled debate in Australia about whether they are being overused.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States apologized on Friday for an experiment conducted in the 1940s in which U.S. government researchers deliberately infected Guatemalan prison inmates, women and mental patients with syphilis.
In the experiment, aimed at testing the then-new drug penicillin, inmates were infected by prostitutes and later treated with the antibiotic.
“The sexually transmitted disease inoculation study conducted from 1946-1948 in Guatemala was clearly unethical,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a statement.
“Although these events occurred more than 64 years ago, we are outraged that such reprehensible research could have occurred under the guise of public health. We deeply regret that it happened, and we apologize to all the individuals who were affected by such abhorrent research practices,” the statement said.
Guatemala condemned the experiment as a crime against humanity and said it would study whether there were grounds to take the case to an international court.
“President Alvaro Colom considers these experiments crimes against humanity and Guatemala reserves the right to denounce them in an international court,” said a government statement, which announced a commission to investigate the matter.
Guatemalan human rights activists called for the victims’ families to be compensated, but a U.S. official said it was not clear there would be any compensation.
President Barack Obama called Colom to offerhis personal apology for what had happened, a White House spokesman said.
The experiment, which echoed the infamous 1960s Tuskegee study on black American men who were deliberately left untreated for syphilis, was uncovered by Susan Reverby, a professor of women’s studies at Wellesley College in Massachusetts.
Corporal Jeremy N. Morlock is one of five GI’s charged with pre-meditated murder in a case that includes allegations of widespread drug use, the collection of body parts and photos of the U.S. soldiers holding the Afghan bodies like hunter’s trophies. Here, the 22-year-old corporal from Wasilla, Alaska casually describes on a video tape made by military investigators how his unit’s “crazy” sergeant allegedly chose three unarmed, innocent victims at random to be murdered in Afghanistan. (ABC News)
Dressed in a t-shirt and Army shorts, a 22-year-old corporal from Wasilla, Alaska casually describes on a video tape made by military investigators how his unit’s “crazy” sergeant randomly chose three unarmed, innocent victims to be murdered in Afghanistan.
Corporal Jeremy N. Morlock is one of five GI’s charged with pre-meditated murder in a case that includes allegations of widespread drug use, the collection of body parts and photos of the U.S. soldiers holding the Afghan bodies like hunter’s trophies.
All five soldiers were part of the 5th Stryker Combat Brigade, of the 2nd Infantry Division, based at Ft. Lewis-McChord, Washington. In charging documents released by the Army, the military alleges that the five, Staff Sgt. Calvin R. Gibbs, Spec Adam C. Winfield, Spec. Michael S. Wagnon II, Pfc. Andrew H. Holmes and Morlock were involved in one or more of three murders that took place between January and May of this year.
Lawyers and family members of the soldiers say they all intend to fight the charges.
Brigadier Lyn McDade, the Director of Military Prosecutions, said today that the special forces soldiers face multiple charges including manslaughter, dangerous conduct and failing to comply with a lawful general order.
The charges relate to a February 2009 raid on a compound in southern Uruzgan province that was believed to harbour Taliban insurgents.
Six Afghans, including five children, were killed, and another two children and two adults were wounded.
The soldiers were not identified.
• Death threats and murders silence traditional reports
• Catalogue of horror posted by bloggers and on Twitter
A small army of bloggers and tweeters is filling the gaps left by traditional media in Mexico that are increasingly limiting their coverage of the country’s drug wars because of pressure from the cartels.
“Shots fired by the river, unknown number of dead,” read one recent tweet on a busy feed from the northern border city of Reynosa, #Reynosafollow. “Organized crime blockade on San Fernando road lifted,” said another. “Just saw police officers telling a group of narcos about the positions of navy checkpoints,” ran a third.
Nothing of this kind appeared in the city’s papers which, along with most media outlets in the north-eastern state of Tamaulipas, have become better known for what they do not publish than for what they do.
Tamaulipas is one of the most intense battlegrounds of the drug wars being fought in Mexico between the federal forces and at least seven cartels.
Gun fights lasting hours, grenade attacks in shopping streets, military swoops on suspected kingpins – all ignored. Six local journalists in one city disappeared in two days, and there was hardly a word from their terrified colleagues.
One editor on a regional paper – who does not want to be named for security reasons – has meticulously followed directives from the dominant local traffickers ever since a story she published about a shoot-out, based on an official report, earned her a death threat a couple of months ago.
She does not even dare complain too openly about this to colleagues, in case they are in the pay of the gang. But every now and then she cannot resist tweeting. “Sometimes the emotion of a story gets to me and I put it on Twitter,” she says. “Especially when I know it won’t get out otherwise.”
Earlier this month, she revealed the kidnapping of a former local mayor who is also a cousin of Mexico’s biggest media magnate.
Mao Zedong, founder of the People’s Republic of China, qualifies as the greatest mass murderer in world history, an expert who had unprecedented access to official Communist Party archives said yesterday.
Speaking at The Independent Woodstock Literary Festival, Frank Dikötter, a Hong Kong-based historian, said he found that during the time that Mao was enforcing the Great Leap Forward in 1958, in an effort to catch up with the economy of the Western world, he was responsible for overseeing “one of the worst catastrophes the world has ever known”.
Mr Dikötter, who has been studying Chinese rural history from 1958 to 1962, when the nation was facing a famine, compared the systematic torture, brutality, starvation and killing of Chinese peasants to the Second World War in its magnitude. At least 45 million people were worked, starved or beaten to death in China over these four years; the worldwide death toll of the Second World War was 55 million.
Mr Dikötter is the only author to have delved into the Chinese archives since they were reopened four years ago. He argued that this devastating period of history – which has until now remained hidden – has international resonance. “It ranks alongside the gulags and the Holocaust as one of the three greatest events of the 20th century…. It was like [the Cambodian communist dictator] Pol Pot’s genocide multiplied 20 times over,” he said.
Between 1958 and 1962, a war raged between the peasants and the state; it was a period when a third of all homes in China were destroyed to produce fertiliser and when the nation descended into famine and starvation, Mr Dikötter said.
His book, Mao’s Great Famine; The Story of China’s Most Devastating Catastrophe, reveals that while this is a part of history that has been “quite forgotten” in the official memory of the People’s Republic of China, there was a “staggering degree of violence” that was, remarkably, carefully catalogued in Public Security Bureau reports, which featured among the provincial archives he studied. In them, he found that the members of the rural farming communities were seen by the Party merely as “digits”, or a faceless workforce. For those who committed any acts of disobedience, however minor, the punishments were huge.
State retribution for tiny thefts, such as stealing a potato, even by a child, would include being tied up and thrown into a pond; parents were forced to bury their children alive or were doused in excrement and urine, others were set alight, or had a nose or ear cut off. One record shows how a man was branded with hot metal. People were forced to work naked in the middle of winter; 80 per cent of all the villagers in one region of a quarter of a million Chinese were banned from the official canteen because they were too old or ill to be effective workers, so were deliberately starved to death.
Sept. 19 — In at least one attack, a soldier threw a grenade to pretend they were being ambushed as a pretext to then shoot dead an innocent villager.
The soldiers also dismembered and photographed bodies and kept bones and skulls as trophies in some of the most grisly accusations against US troops since the invasion in 2001
All were reported to deny wrongdoing and military investigators will hold a pre-trial hearing at their home base in Washington later this year.
American commanders fear details of the incidents could cause widespread anger in Afghanistan, where civilian deaths have fostered deep resentment against coalition forces.
Five soldiers are accused of forming a “kill team” and murdering three people in Kandahar province between January and May this year.
Seven others are charged with attempting to impede the investigation and beating up a private who blew the whistle on their activities, as well as smoking hashish.
The relatives of one accused have also said the military failed to prevent the latter killings.
The father of one soldier said he had tried to contact the Army after his son had talked of his comrades’ actions and warned they were looking for another victim, but his fears had been rebuffed.
Horned Hand or The Mano Cornuto: this gesture is the Satanic salute, a sign of recognition between and allegiance of members of Satanism or other unholy groups.
More Freemasons and Satanists here:
More information about ‘Pedophile’s Paradise’ (=The Catholic Church) at the end of the following article.
How on earth is it possible that such criminals can get away with all these horrible crimes?
What would happen if an ordinary citizen would commit them?
Some people think Ratzinger’s critics are holding him responsible for acts that were carried out before he became Pope, simply because he is the head of the institution involved. This is an error. For over 25 years, Ratzinger was personally in charge of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the part of the Vatican responsible for enforcing Catholic canonical law across the world, including on sexual abuse. He is a notorious micro-manager who, it is said, insisted every salient document cross his desk. Hans Küng, a former friend of Ratzinger’s, says: “No one in the whole of the Catholic Church knew as much about abuse cases as this Pope.”
We know what the methods of the church were during this period. When it was discovered that a child had been raped by a priest, the church swore everybody involved to secrecy, and moved the priest on to another parish. When he raped more children, they too were sworn to secrecy, and he was moved on to another parish. And on, and on. Over 10,000 people have come forward to say they were raped as part of this misery-go-round. The church insisted all cases be kept from the police and dealt with by their own “canon” law – which can only “punish” child rapists to prayer or penitence or, on rare occasions, defrocking.
Ratzinger was at the heart of this. He refuses to let any police officer see the Vatican’s documentation, even now, but honourable Catholics have leaked some of them anyway. We know what he did. We have the paper trail. Here are three examples.
In Germany in the early 1980s, Father Peter Hullermann was moved to a diocese run by Ratzinger. He had already been accused of raping three boys. Ratzinger didn’t go to the police, instead Hullermann was referred for “counselling”. The psychiatrist who saw him, Werner Huth, told the Church unequivocally that he was “untreatable [and] must never be allowed to work with children again”. Yet he kept being moved from parish to parish, even after a sex crime conviction in 1986. He was last accused of sexual abuse in 1998.
In the US in 1985, a group of American bishops wrote to Ratzinger begging him to defrock a priest called Father Stephen Kiesle, who had tied up and molested two young boys in a rectory. Ratzinger refused for years, explaining that he was thinking of the “good of the universal Church” and of the “detriment that granting the dispensation can provoke among the community of Christ’s faithful, particularly considering the young age” of the priest involved. He was 38. He went on to rape many more children. Think about what Ratzinger’s statement reveals. Ratzinger thinks the “good of the universal Church” – your church – lies not in protecting your children from being raped, but in protecting the rapists from punishment.
In 1996, the Archbishop of Milwaukee appealed to Ratzinger to defrock Father Lawrence C Murphy, who had raped and tortured up to 200 deaf and mute children at a Catholic boarding school. His rapes often began in the confessional. Ratzinger never replied. Eight months later, there was a secret canonical “trial” – but Murphy wrote to Ratzinger saying he was ill, so it was cancelled. Ratzinger advised him to take a “spiritual retreat”. He died years later, unpunished.
These are only the cases that have leaked out. Who knows what remains in the closed files? In 2001, Ratzinger wrote to every bishop in the world, telling them allegations of abuse must be dealt with “in absolute secrecy… completely suppressed by perpetual silence”. That year, the Vatican actually lauded Bishop Pierre Pican for refusing to inform the local French police about a paedophile priest, telling him: “I congratulate you for not denouncing a priest to the civil administration.” The commendation was copied to all bishops.
Andrew Holmes, Michael Wagnon, Jeremy Morlock and Adam Winfield are four of the five Stryker soldiers who face murder charges. Photograph: Public Domain
Twelve American soldiers face charges over a secret “kill team” that allegedly blew up and shot Afghan civilians at random and collected their fingers as trophies.
Five of the soldiers are charged with murdering three Afghan men who were allegedly killed for sport in separate attacks this year. Seven others are accused of covering up the killings and assaulting a recruit who exposed the murders when he reported other abuses, including members of the unit smoking hashish stolen from civilians.
In one of the most serious accusations of war crimes to emerge from the Afghan conflict, the killings are alleged to have been carried out by members of a Stryker infantry brigade based in Kandahar province in southern Afghanistan.
According to investigators and legal documents, discussion of killing Afghan civilians began after the arrival of Staff Sergeant Calvin Gibbs at forward operating base Ramrod last November. Other soldiers told the army’s criminal investigation command that Gibbs boasted of the things he got away with while serving in Iraq and said how easy it would be to “toss a grenade at someone and kill them”.
They rise up high above the sun-scorched countryside, looking out over hilltop villages, palm trees, neatly-tended vineyards and olive groves.
But for all their promises of a clean, green future, Italy’s windfarms have now acquired a somewhat dirtier whiff – as the latest industry to be infiltrated by the country’s mobsters.
Attracted by the prospect of generous grants designed to boost the use of alternative energies, the so-called “eco Mafia” has begun fraudulently creaming off millions of euros from both the Italian government and the European Union.
And nowhere has the industry’s reputation become more tarnished than Sicily, where windmills now dot the horizon in Mafia strongholds like Corleone, the town better known as the setting for the Godfather films.
“Nothing earns more than a wind farm,” said Edoardo Zanchini, an environmental campaigner who has investigated Mafia infiltration of the industry. “Anything that creates wealth interests the Mafia.”
It is not just Italian criminals, however, who have spotted the potential for corruption. Recent research by Kroll, the international corporate security firm, has discovered examples all over Europe of so-called “clean energy” schemes being used to to line criminals’ pockets rather than save the planet. Some involve windmills that stand derelict or are simply never built, while others are used to launder profits from other crime enterprises.
“Renewable energy seems like a good thing, run by saintly people saving the world,” said Jason Wright, a senior director with Kroll, which performs background checks on renewable energy schemes on behalf of legitimate investors, and which has documented a sharp rise in the number of wind farms with suspect ownership.
“But a lot of people want to jump on board a sure-fire revenue spinner. I wouldn’t say the entire sector is corrupt, but there is a small percentage of corrupt projects.”
The level of fraud has prompted calls for tighter restrictions on the use of public money in funding renewable energy, for which EU bureaucrats have grand ambitions. Brussels has ordered all 27 EU nations to ensure that one-fifth of their energy is renewable by 2020, and in recent years has given out an average of €5 billion (£4.1 billion) annually in loans and grants. The levels of subsidy allow some wind farm owners to claim generous premiums for every watt of electricity they generate.
In Italy, for example, power from wind farms is sold at a guaranteed rate of €180 per kwh – the highest rate in the world. In a country where the Mafia has years of expertise at buying corrupt politicians and intimidating rivals, the result is perhaps inevitable, creating a new breed of entrepreneur known as the “lords of the wind”.