Tag Archives: North America

Film review: Oliver Stone’s new JFK documentary


A review by Michael McCaffrey in RT.com

Stone’s new documentary, ‘JFK Revisited: Through the Looking Glass’, isn’t perfect, but it’s vitally important. He goes back into the assassination case with a fervor and has produced an insightful film that’s well worth a watch.

Trailer of film

Stone’s ‘JFK’ hit theaters in 1991 and sent shockwaves through Washington and the corporate media because it was a compelling cinematic counter-myth to the equally fantastical Warren Report.

The Praetorian Guards of the establishment in the halls of power and press met the film with ferocity as they set out to debunk and defang it, because it directly challenged their narrative and thus their authority. They failed. ‘JFK’ was nominated for eight Academy Awards and brought in over $200 million at the box office. More importantly, though, it broke the spell of public indifference and somewhat loosened establishment obstruction with regard to JFK’s assassination.

In the film’s wake, the President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992 was passed, and the Assassination Records Review Board set up and funded.

Now, some 30 years later, Oliver Stone is back, this time with a documentary streaming on Showtime, ‘JFK Revisited: Through the Looking Glass’, which sticks its thumb in the eye of those who mindlessly espouse the ‘official’ story of JFK’s assassination as the truth.

As someone interested in the assassination, and who has read a multitude of books on the subject across the spectrum, from Gerald Posner’s ‘Case Closed’ and Vincent Bugliosi’s ‘Reclaiming History’ to Jim Marrs’ ‘Crossfire’ and James W. Douglass’ ‘JFK and the Unspeakable’, finding a decent documentary worthy of a watch on the topic is a challenge.

Thankfully, Stone has stepped up to the plate with ‘JFK Revisited’ – a serious and worthy work that offers a coherent, if limited, counter-theory to the official assassination line.

The film runs to a brisk two hours, features a bevy of talking heads – including John M. Newman (whose ‘JFK and Vietnam’ and ‘Oswald and the CIA’ are terrific), David Talbot (who wrote ‘The Devil’s Chessboard’ – also fantastic), Robert F. Kennedy Jr., James K. Galbraith, Dr. Cyril Wecht, and Dr. Henry Lee – and is a well-paced primer that would be a useful launchpad for anyone interested in diving even deeper into the case.

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Question related to this article:
Free flow of information, How is it important for a culture of peace?

What are some good films and videos that promote a culture of peace?

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There’s a four-hour cut of the film that will purportedly be made available to the public in the new year, and I’m looking forward to seeing that version, as I assume it gets more into the specifics of who did the actual shooting – a subject the at-times-rushed two-hour version foregoes in favor of more foundational topics.

The film does examine a plethora of fascinating JFK assassination topics, though, including the following: Assassin Lee Harvey Oswald’s numerous and obvious connections to the intelligence community. The Warren Commission’s, intel community’s, and media’s knowing distortions and deceptions regarding the assassination. The fantasy of the magic-bullet theory. The contradictory medical evidence from Parkland Hospital in Dallas, and the autopsy at Bethesda Naval Hospital in Maryland. The remarkably similar plots to kill Kennedy in Chicago and Tampa, leading up to Dallas, which included other Oswald-esque patsies Thomas Arthur Vallee and Gilberto Lopez. And the story of Abraham Bolden, the first black secret service agent, who allegedly tried to inform the authorities of the Chicago plot, but instead of being hailed a hero, was railroaded and sent to prison.

‘JFK Revisited’ also spotlights the struggle between Kennedy and the political establishment. His famed American University speech of June 1963, where he laid out his vision for a new, peaceful US foreign policy, opens the film. This vision is foundational to ‘the why’ of Stone’s theory regarding the assassination, as it provides a motive for the intelligence agencies and military to act to remove a president they deemed soft on communism and weak in general.

Kennedy wanted to promote anti-colonialism, normalize relations with Cuba, not make the same mistake as the French in Vietnam, and have détente with the Soviets, even including combining efforts in the space race.

The intelligence community and the Pentagon had a very different and much more nefarious agenda. They were busy eliminating Lumumba in the Congo, fomenting a military coup in France, conjuring both the Bay of Pigs and Operation Northwoods – which would use false-flag terror attacks on US targets to force a war in Cuba – and pushing for American escalation in Vietnam.

This is why Kennedy moved to reduce the CIA budget by 20%, fired CIA warhorse Allen Dulles (who, curiously enough, would become a powerful member of the Warren Commission), and famously declared he would shatter the CIA into a million pieces. According to Stone, the CIA beat Kennedy to the punch, as it shattered his skull into a million pieces in Dealey Plaza, on November 22, 1963.

The gaping, gangrenous wound at the heart of America, which rots our national soul, was born on that fateful day, and it still festers and it still matters.

Unlike both malignant political parties and the shameless corporate media, Oliver Stone – whose status as pariah is the fuel that powers all his documentaries – understands this, and he’s trying to heal that wound by seeking out the truth about JFK’s killing.

While the establishment may ignore ‘JFK Revisited’, the general public shouldn’t. It’s a useful and insightful film for anyone who wants to understand their government and what it’s willing to do to maintain both its grip on power and the lucrative status quo.

Seek out and watch ‘JFK Revisited’. It isn’t perfect, but it’s vitally important.

Pittsburgh : Black leaders seek ‘city of peace’


An article from the Post Gazette

A month ago, a group of African American lawmakers announced an initiative to curb the wave of gun violence and violent crime throughout Allegheny County.

The group, which calls itself the Black Elected Officials Coalition, announced it would begin a series of community events to promote peace in the streets. Democratic state Rep. Ed Gainey, who represents Lincoln-Lemington and is favored to win the Pittsburgh mayoral race next week, acted as the primary spokesman for the group, raising dramatically the expectations for the BEOC’s access to resources and cooperation across bureaucracies.

Mr. Gainey said the lawmakers, in cooperation with partners in government, the nonprofit sphere and law enforcement, would work together with at-risk young people to “create a city of peace” and promote a culture of nonviolence. This is a tall order, but not an impossible one, especially when elected officials are willing to stand behind their work with their names and reputations attached.

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Question related to this article:
How can culture of peace be developed at the municipal level?

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Even before BEOC was formed, Pittsburgh City Councilman Ricky Burgess, whose district includes Homewood, East Liberty and Garfield, had been working with Councilman Daniel Lavelle, whose district includes Downtown, the Hill District and Oakland, on the Stop the Violence Trust Fund.
Both councilmen are deeply involved in the effort to give $9 million to the Center that CARES, a Hill District nonprofit that deploys a dozen outreach workers to seven neighborhoods where most of the violence has been centered. All studies show that early intervention before neighborhood beefs escalate is the key to curbing conflicts.

This initiative will be one part of the strategy that these elected officials will lean on in the coming years. What BEOC proposes goes far beyond the usual “throw money at the problem and hope for the best.” These are elected officials who understand the nature of the problem and are heartbroken by the disappointing results of previous efforts.

This is too important to be left to law enforcement to figure out. The BEOC believes it has the empathy and motivation required to make this initiative a game changer.

Others on the coalition are Allegheny County Council members Olivia Bennett and DeWitt Walton and state Rep. Jake Wheatley, D-Hill District.

For their willingness to put their names and reputations on the line, the Black Elected Officials Coalition deserves our respect and appreciation. If the coalition succeeds, it will help Pittsburgh to serve all of its people, including those formerly without hope and left to settle scores on their own, in the streets.

USA: Women Rally for Abortion Justice Amid ‘Unprecedented Attack’ on Reproductive Rights


An article from Common Dreams (licensed under Creative Commons – CC BY-NC-ND 3.0. )

Amid an escalating Republican assault  on reproductive rights and a looming U.S. Supreme Court reckoning, women and allies across the United States and around the world took to the streets Saturday to #RallyForAbortionJustice and defend Roe v. Wade.

(frame from video by @Molly JongFast

Tens of thousands of demonstrators marched in Washington, D.C, New York City, Los Angeles, and more than 600 other cities and towns, according to Women’s March, the event organizer.

“No matter where you live, no matter where you are, this moment is dark—it is dark—but that’s why we’re here,” Alexis McGill Johnson, president of Planned Parenthood, told  participants at the Washington, D.C. protest. “It is our job to imagine the light, even when we can’t see it. It is our job to turn pain into purpose. It is our job to turn pain into power.”

At the Houston rally—where signs read “Abort Abbott” in protest of S.B. 8, Texas’ draconian abortion law signed earlier this year by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott—more than 10,000 people turned out, with many chanting, “Our bodies, our choice.”

In Washington, D.C., Women’s March executive director Rachel O’Leary Carmona described the wave of GOP anti-choice laws in at least 16 states as an “unprecedented attack” on reproductive rights.

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Questions related to this article:

The struggle for human rights, is it gathering force in the USA?

How effective are mass protest marches?

Abortion: is it a human right?

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“For a long time, groups of us were ringing the alarm bell around abortion access and many of us were told we were hysterical and Roe v. Wade will never be overturned,” Carmona told  USA Today. “But now it’s clear that our fears were both rational and proportional.”

Women’s March  says  that by refusing to block the Texas law—which bans abortions after six weeks  without  exceptions for rape or incest, and offers $10,000 bounties for vigilantes who successfully sue anyone who “aids or abets” the medical procedure—the Supreme Court “effectively took the next step towards overturning Roe v. Wade.”

In May, the Supreme Court announced it will hear a challenge to Mississippi’s near-total abortion  ban , a case that author Lauren Rankin  warned  “may very well be the death knell for Roe v. Wade” given the high court’s conservative supermajority.

 Nearly all  House Democrats  came together  last week to pass the  Women’s Health Protection Act  (WHPA) in response to the Texas law and amid  mounting fears  that the Supreme Court will overturn Roe.  According to  the advocacy group Equal Access to Abortion, Everywhere, the WHPA would establish “a statutory right for health care providers to provide, and their patients to receive, abortion care free from medically unnecessary restrictions, limitations, and bans that delay, and at times, completely obstruct, access to abortion.”

However, the bill faces an uphill battle in an evenly split Senate in which anti-choice Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.)  oppose  the measure.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren tweeted Saturday that Americans “support the right to a safe, legal abortion.”

Speakers at Saturday’s rallies emphasized the harm caused by anti-choice laws. Planned Parenthood of Illinois senior director of public policy Brigid Leahy  told  the Associated Press at the Springfield march that women started traveling to Illinois two days after the Texas law took effect.

“They are trying to figure out paying for airfare or gas or a train ticket, they may need hotel and meals,” she said. “They have to figure out time off of work, and they have to figure out childcare. This can be a real struggle.”

United States and Canada : International Day of Peace


A survey by CPNN

Here are 159 events for the International Day of Peace located in all the United States except West Virginia and Wyoming, as well as 5 events in Canada in four provinces. In order to save space, one event is given in detail for each state and province and internet links are provided for the others.
The events were listed in Google during the week of September 21-28 this year under the key words “International Day of Peace,” “peaceday” or “Journée Internationale de la Paix” or were listed on the following websites:
Campaign Nonviolence
International Cities of Peace Facebook
In addition to the above events, there were several hundred singing events listed on the websites of One Day One Choir and Montessori schools singing for peace, but it was not possible to distinguish events of 2020 from events in previous years.

Here are excerpts from the articles.

* * * CANADA * * *


MANITOBA: The week of September 15–21, 2021 has been proclaimed as “Peace Days” in Manitoba by the Honourable Minister of Education, Cliff Cullen. It is with hope, that the celebration of Peace Days in Manitoba will encourage educators, students, parents, and community members to participate in activities that promote peace and compassion throughout the year.


HALIFAX : Peace Halifax is a day-long festival offered as a gift to the people of Halifax in honour of the United Nations International Day of Peace. Events at Halifax Central Library. Click here for video


TIMMINS: People are invited to attend the opening of the Schumacher International Peace Park on Tuesday, Sept. 21. . . The new park, located near Little Pearl Lake, includes a peace garden and decorated peace poles. Each pole will have “May Peace Prevail on Earth” written in a different language. . . . The unveiling ceremony is at noon on Tuesday, Sept. 21 at the Schumacher Lions Club Park behind the McIntyre Arena



ST MALACHIE: La Grande Marche pour la Vie (Sept 6-Oct 14) We will be marching from all 4 directions in the province of Québec towards the provincial capital. This will be a marche for the protection of all forms of life – plants, animals, soil, humans, water, air, trees. We will be walking through many towns giving room for kids and youth to speak about the life they want on earth. This is a walk to give voice to action for protecting our only home – earth and it’s beings.(Survey continued in right column)

* * * UNITED STATES * * * *


OPELIKA : We will all meet up and gather in our Samford Community with everyone family an friends invited and guests.Starting off with a devotional and song scripture. After that get our young people lined up for the Peacemarch and in our city. Then Ready for the Rally and Celebrate Peace Day with City Officials! Have fun with music and snacks will be provided.




SEDONA: Sedona celebrated International Day of Peace with the fifth year of the Sedona Human Library – 15 Human Books and 100 readers dissolving our biases and prejudices and creating understanding – Unjudging someone. Also with our Meditation Mondays – in four locations – people collectively meditating for peace – for there to be workd peace we need to transform our own inner conflict – Inner peace. And on Tuesday we celebrated our connection in community with Sedona Dances for Peace honoring all the work of peacemakers throughout the world in so many ways!
Many of also participated in the Ekam World Peace Festical Launch and our peacemaker Sherab Shey Khandro continues Follow the Peace Trail online. These events are in partnership with sponsors Sedona Public Library, Rotary Club of Sedona, City of Sedona, Arizona Community Foundation and local community partners (El Rincon, Vino De Sedona, Sedona Arts Academy, Yoga/meditation/healing studios and more!



FAYETTEVILLE: The Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra will accompany a rare public screening of the silent anti-war film classic All Quiet on the Western Front, at the U of A’s Faulkner Performing Arts Center, in recognition of this year’s Sept. 21 observance of the United Nations International Day of Peace. The musical score was arranged by Mont Alto’s pianist and director, Rodney Sauer, and this is only the third time it will have been performed in public.  This special screening of All Quiet on the Western Front will be held at the Faulkner Performing Arts Center on the U of A campus at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 21, and is free and open to the public. The celebration is sponsored by the Department of Communication Film Appreciation Society; the OMNI Center for Peace, Justice & Ecology; and the Center for Multicultural and Diversity Education.



SANTA BARBARA: Join us for a special night on September 21st, the United Nations designated International Day of Peace as we award the UNA Santa Barbara Peace Prize 2021 to Roger Durling! Roger Durling has put our community on the world map as a destination for important international film world premieres. We’ve noticed many of the films in the SBIFF are on important topics in the world. They are artistically compelling, to be sure, but they are also enlightening and help people connect more to the world, to issues and struggles across it. Peter Yeo, president of A Better World campaign, will be our special guest speaker. Live music performance from Jackson Gillies too!



MONTROSE: Week of Unity and Peace. A peace prayer gathering will be held at the Peace Pole in Ute Indian Park.



MYSTIC: Join us for a reflective walk at the Peace Sanctuary as we observe the International Day of Peace. Please note this walk is of moderate difficulty over uneven terrain. Meet at the bottom of the driveway at the Peace Sanctuary, located at 233 River Road, Mystic.





DC PEACE TEAM : 9/22 We will offer an ONLINE Restorative Justice Conversation with Native American Anita ‘JoJo’ Shifflett from 7-9pm EDT. 9/25 We will offer an ONLINE Spirituality and Restorative Justice



WINTER PARK: The International Day of Peace, Sept. 21, marks the start of the 19th Annual Global Peace Film Festival, which presents a selection of feature-length and short films at various locations in Winter Park. Themes include civil and human rights, environmental and social justice, immigration, LGBTQ+, and music. There will be both ticketed and free opportunities to watch a virtual rendition Sept. 27-Oct. 1 on the website. peacefilmfest.org



ATLANTA: In recognition of the International Day of Peace, the Rotary Club of Gwinnett County and the Ismaili Council for the Southeastern USA invite you to attend their peace and unity program. Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms will deliver the keynote address virtually. Dr. Mahmoud Eboo, Aga Khan Development Network Diplomatic Representative to Canada, will also deliver a virtual address as a distinguished speaker for the event.



HAWAII: The Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawai‘i and its network of Buddhist temples across the state, along with the United Nations Association of Hawai‘i and the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa KTUH radio station will celebrate this year’s Ring Your Bell for Peace Day at 9:01am local time (7:01pm UTC) on 21 September. Invitations to participate in the event were sent to the governors of all 50 US states, as well as mayors of all of the Hawai‘ian islands. People from around the world can also join by completing a registration form at the Honpa Hongwanji website.. . .Buddhist temples in Hawai‘i, including the West Kaua‘i Hongwanji, Lihu‘e Hongwanji, and Kapa‘a Hongwanji, will participate in Peace Day by ringing their bells.



BOISE : Gates of Hope.


DEERFIELD: Please join the Bahá’is of Deerfield at the Deerfield train station garden on Tuesday, September 21st at noon as we dedicate a new public bench and commemorate the UN’s International Day of Peace. We’ll say a prayer for peace and unveil a new public bench. This event will take place outside. We ask that all participants wear a mask. We hope to see you there!



HUNTINGTON : Our Lady of Victory Missionary Sisters. We will be observing Action Week September 18-26, 2021 by holding a Prayer gathering for Non-violence Wednesday, September 22nd.



IOWA CITY: At 4:30 p.m., visit the Blackhawk Mini Park in the Ped Mall for the dedication of a stainless-steel peace pole, a new piece of art that features the word peace in several languages on its sides. This dedication is in honor of International Day of Peace, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year and is themed “Recovering Better for a Sustainable and Equitable World.”



WICHITA: Global Village (radio show) marks International Day of Peace. The program highlights topical tunes from a variety of artists from around the world, including Third World, Vieux Farka Touré, Sameer Gupta, The Holmes Brothers, Edwin Starr, and more.



NONVIOLENT OWENSBORO : at 9/11 Memorial; Nonviolence Conflict Resolution in Education with Robin Wildman; International Day of Peace Celebration on the Riverfront.



NEW ORLEANS: Academy of the Sacred Heart. September 21. This morning, Preschool and Lower School gathered together in the Philippine courtyard to observe the United Nations International Day of Peace. We kicked off our all-school Red & White Spirit Day with prayers in hopes that peace may be realized among all people.


SOUTH PORTLAND: Mahoney Middle School continued its tradition of celebrating International Peace Day. We again studied the origins of the day in Connections groups while we learned how our own attitudes toward peace complement out school’s commitment to kindness and respect for all people. Thanks once again to Mrs. Pitt for her energy, enthusiasm and faith in peace and to Mrs. McQuinn and Mr. Kozaka for their help organizing our “Stand for Peace” activity. Click here for their video


ACCCOKEEK : Little Friends for Peace will be doing a week-long Peace Week at the Chance Academy in DC. We want to provide teachers, students & support staff with the tools and practices for conflict resolution by building a culture of peace at the school.


Question for this article

What has happened this year (2021) for the International Day of Peace?

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WORCESTER : The Center for Nonviolent Solution has three events planned for Campaign Nonviolence:
Tuesday, September 21, Peace Vigil at Lincoln Square in downtown Worcester.
Tuesday, September 21 7:00 p.m.-8:30 p.m. Robin Wildman of Nonviolent Schools Rhode Island presents on Kingian Nonviolence in Education, virtual.
Sunday, October 3: 2:00 -3:30 p.m. – A walking tour of Worcester’s peace history.. . .



LANSING : For those of us in Greater Lansing, one way we can celebrate peace is by taking part in an annual event known as PeaceQuest, which happens during the entire month of September. PeaceQuest is a series of peace-related events to not only celebrate our oneness as a people, but also mark the 40th anniversary of the United Nations International Day of Peace, which was adopted by the UN on Sept. 21, 1981. Events will highlight the efforts of individuals, organizations and governments that take action to end conflict and promote peace, as well as encourage others to do the same. For a full list of PeaceQuest events, visit peacequestgreaterlansing.org/events-schedule/.



MINNEAPOLIS : Friends for a Nonviolent World. Join artist and educator Susanne Crane as we take a thoughtful walk through the art on Nicollet Mall. Leah Robshaw Robinson of Friends for a Non-Violent World and her associates will present mini workshops on peace & conflict resolution. Singer-songwriter Elisha Marin will also perform for us!


SOUTHAVEN : 9/21, 2:15 PM to 4:00 PM at the Olive Branch Senior Center. Yogis perform 108 Sun Salutation for peace and enlightenment on the solstices and equinoxes.


UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI: The local community is invited to join us for our 2021 International Day of Peace Commemoration on Tuesday, September 21!


HELENA : Oregon City UMC


GRAND ISLAND : Nebraskans for Peace


RENO : Reno’s Weekly Peace Presence Vigil. Since the first week of October, 2001, when the United States began bombing Afghanistan in response to the 9/11 attacks, a group of peace-minded people in Reno has gathered weekly. . . We will reflect on the 20 years of purposeful public witness to peace and nonviolence at this final Peace Presence Vigil. 400 S Virginia St. / corner of Liberty & S Virginia St.



CONCORD : New Hampshire Peace Action. September 20, 7 pm: Peace & Justice Conversations: Palestine Education Network Two peace activists, Will Thomas and Sandra Yarne, who have visited Palestine and Israel will discuss how the United States supports the oppression of Palestinians. . .



MAHWAH : Event listing from Mahwah Public Library – Teen and Tween Schedule: Tuesday, September 21 from 3:45 PM to 5:00 PM, Today is International Day of Peace, and teens in grades 5 & up can join us and help spread messages of hope and positivity by making a beautiful pinwheel for peace!


ALBUQUERQUE: Albuquerque Center for Peace and Justice and community members gather to celebrate World Peace Day September 21.



United Nations Events :
International Day of Peace Youth Observance
Friday, 17 September 2021, 10:00-11:30 a.m. EDT
A youth observance for the 2021 International Day of Peace will take place online on 17 September 2021 at 10:00 -11:30 a.m. EDT, with the participation of UN Secretary-General António Guterres, Messengers of Peace and students from around the world.
— Peace Bell Ceremony
Friday, 17 September 2021, 3:00-3:30 p.m. EDT
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres and the President of the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly Abdulla Shahid will celebrate the International Day of Peace (21 September) in the Peace Garden at United Nations Headquarters by ringing the Peace Bell and observing a minute of silence
Secretary-General’s message
This year’s International Day of Peace comes at a crisis point for humanity. COVID-19 has turned our world upside-down. Conflicts are spinning out of control. The climate emergency is worsening. Inequality and poverty are deepening. And mistrust and division are driving people apart at a time when solidarity and collaboration are needed more than ever. As a human family, we face a stark choice — Peace or perpetual peril. We must choose peace. That is why I call for a 24-hour ceasefire today. And by working in solidarity for a lasting, sustainable peace every day, we can tackle the issues facing us. We need peace to urgently deliver lifesaving vaccines and treatment for COVID-19. We need peace to recover from the pandemic and re-build shattered systems and shattered lives. We need peace to level the playing field and reduce inequalities. We need peace to renew trust in one another — and faith in facts and science. And we need to make peace with nature — to heal our planet, build a green economy, and achieve our net-zero targets. Peace is not a naïve dream. It’s a light in the darkness. Guiding us to the only pathway to a better future for humanity. Let’s walk the pathway of peace as if our lives depended on it. Because they do.


NEW YORK CITY : Walk of Shame with CODEPINK. We will be hosting a walk from the BlackRock headquarters to the UN on the International Day of Peace. Along the way, we will stop at corporations in New York City to call out their role in the war machine and environmental destruction across the world and “award” them their very own War Machine Walk of Shame Star. Our event will conclude at the UN, where we will make a plea for peace, for the safety of ourselves and our planet. Join us on this powerful and educational event that shows us how the war machine is everywhere–including in our very own neighborhoods. WHEN September 21, 2021 at 12:00pm – 2:00pm (EDT) WHERE March route starting at BlackRock Headquarters NYC, 45 E 51st,



MOORESVILLE: Students at The Brawley School created a display with pinwheels in recognition of International Day of Peace.


FARGO: International Day of Peace . Event starts on Tuesday, 21 September 2021 and happening at Fargo Public Library, Fargo, ND.


DAYTON : The Peace Museum will be celebrating the International Day of Peace by gathering in front of the new Museum location on downtown Dayton’s Courthouse Square. With guest speakers and live music from the World House Choir, the museum will give a sneak peek of our new home at 10 North Ludlow Street downtown. The Museum is expected to open to the public in late fall of this year.



NORMAN : Norman Peace Team. Light a Candle for Peace, 7:00 p.m., September 21st. We will hold a candlelight vigil to commemorate the International Day of Peace. The location will be at the recently-erected Peace Pole at Rotary Park in Norman, OK. In addition to a candle-lighting vigil, the evening will include readings of peace, music, and a moment of silence for those who gave their lives in the pursuit of peace.



SALEM : Oregon PeaceWorks & Association for Communal Harmony. Tuesday, September 21, 2021, 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.; We will mark the 41st International Day of Peace with a symposium entitled “Making Peace Happen: Working for an Equitable & Sustainable World”



PHILADELPHA -PEACEDAY PHILLY: – Listing of all events
Fliers for specific events:
Walking while Black:L.O.V.E.is the answer; Concerting peace; Peace in the Streets; Restorative justice; Roots and Branches program



WESTERLY : Members of the Artists’ Cooperative Gallery of Westerly will share their interpretations on the theme of peace during the month of September in honor of the International Day of Peace. Ten of the works on display will be selected for cash awards courtesy of a group from the Westerly-Pawcatuck International City of Peace.. . . “Visitors to the gallery and to the gallery’s website will be invited to consider each peace-themed work and to vote for their favorites,” says gallery member and artist Lois Lawrence, writing in her monthly email about upcoming shows at the gallery, noting that September will also feature the works of photographers Ardie Harrison and Nancy Nielsen.



COLUMBIA : Carolina Peace Resource Center


SIOUX FALLS : One Book Siouxland


OAK RIDGE : The International Friendship Bell and Peace Pavilion in Oak Ridge will serve as a gathering place for activities observing the United Nations International Day of Peace on Tuesday, Sept. 21. With a featured Music for Peace program presented by the Oak Ridge Civic Music Association, the evening will include a “Gardens for Peace” design raked into the gravel karesansui garden at the Bell. The program also includes comments about the peace garden project and from Peace Pavilion architect Ziad Demian on the tradition and technology in the Pavilion design. Oak Ridge Girl Scouts, who began organizing and participating in the Day of Peace observation in 2015, will lead singing and present quotes for peace. They will also have activities for children, including raking a small personal Japanese rock garden to take home.



AUSTIN : Each day from Sept 18-26, Nonviolent Austin will hold a daily vigil at noon in front of the state capitol. We’ll have a different vigil theme and musician each day. Nonviolent Austin will also join the Texas Poor People’s Campaign Rally on Sept 20th on the capitol grounds.



SALT LAKE CITY : Utah Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons. SEPT. 20th @ 6PM, We are having a celebration for the end of nuclear weapons. It will be a potluck picnic in the north central section of Liberty Park. All are welcome!



VERMONT COUNCIL ON WORLD AFFAIRS: The Vermont Council on World Affairs will observe the International Day of Peace on Tuesday with speakers talking about peace locally and globally, with a “sub-theme” focusing on current events in Afghanistan, organizers said. . .. The schedule includes several other events related to Afghanistan, including: A celebration of Lida Nadery, the Vermont Council on World Affairs 2021 person of the year. Nadery is an Afghan woman who works on peace-building in Afghanistan, specifically with women and girls. A panel on current events in the country featuring Ronald E. Neumann, former U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, and Paula Nirschel, founder of the nonprofit Action for Afghan Women.A keynote speech from Jim Sciutto, CNN’s chief national security correspondent, who will bring insights from his time reporting in Kabul 20 years ago and analysis on the U.S. response to Afghanistan. He also plans to speak on the link between journalism and peace in the age of disinformation.



NORFOLK : Members of the Hampton Roads Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons held a Vigil for Nuclear Disarmament at the US Federal Building in downtown Norfolk, VA.



TACOMA: On the United Nations International Day of Peace, Tacoma events will take place at Thea’s Park, 405 Dock St., 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Among the presentations, music and food, numerous dignitaries will be there including Mayor Victoria Woodards, Pierce County Councilman Ryan Mello, Hilltop Action Coalition Board President Brendan Nelson, Tacoma Sister Cities President Clare Petrich, Tacoma Refugee Choir, Steve and Kristi Nebel, and 2021/22 Tacoma Peace Laureate Marilyn Kimmerling will be presented with a medallion for the Greater Tacoma Peace Prize. . . . The highlight of the day will be the dedication of a new 12-foot stainless steel peace pole that bears the message “May Peace Prevail on Earth” in the languages of Tacoma’s 13 sister cities. . .



EAU CLAIRE : Community Coalition for Non-violence

United States Conference of Mayors Calls on the United States to Welcome the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and to Act Now to Prevent Nuclear War and Eliminate Nuclear Weapons


An article from Pressenza (reprinted by permission)

At the close of its 89th Annual Meeting, held virtually due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, on August 31, 2021, the United States Conference of Mayors (USCM) Executive Committee unanimously adopted a bold new resolution Calling on the United States to Welcome the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons [TPNW] and to Act Now to Prevent Nuclear War and Eliminate Nuclear Weapons.

The resolution calls on the United States government “to welcome the Treaty as a positive step towards negotiation of a comprehensive agreement on the achievement and permanent maintenance of a world free of nuclear weapons.” It continues: “The United States Conference of Mayors welcomes the June 16, 2021 Joint Statement by President Biden and Russian President Putin in which they ‘reaffirm the principle that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought’; and calls on the Biden Administration to reduce nuclear tensions through intensive diplomatic efforts with Russia and China, and to actively pursue a verifiable agreement among nuclear-armed states to eliminate their nuclear arsenals in conformity with requirements of international law preceding the TPNW by decades.”

Observing that, “according to a report by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, in 2020, the nine nuclear-armed states spent $72.6 billion on nuclear weapons, with the U.S. leading at $37.4 billion, or $70,881 per minute,” the USCM resolution opens with a stark warning from the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists:

WHEREAS, on January 27, 2021, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists announced it is keeping the hands of its Doomsday Clock at 100 seconds to midnight, the closest we’ve ever been to global annihilation, stating: “By our estimation, the potential for the world to stumble into nuclear war-an ever-present danger over the last 75 years-increased in 2020,” and noting: “the existential threats of nuclear weapons and climate change have intensified in recent years because of a threat multiplier: the continuing corruption of the information ecosphere on which democracy and public decision-making depend…[T]he COVID-19 pandemic is a wake-up call.”

The USCM resolution underscores that “tensions between the United States and Russia and between the United States and China have increased dramatically, with flashpoints in Ukraine and Taiwan that could potentially spawn nuclear confrontations.”

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Question related to this article:
Can we abolish all nuclear weapons?

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The USCM expresses its concern that “President Biden’s budget request for Fiscal Year 2022 increases military expenditures by $11 billion and extends funding for all nuclear warhead and delivery system upgrades in his predecessor’s budget, as well as its massive investment in the nuclear weapons infrastructure, to project nuclear weapons research, development, production, and deployment well into the 21st century, in violation of United States disarmament obligations under the 1970 Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.”

The USCM resolution reports that “the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) entered into force on January 22, 2021, prohibiting the development, acquisition, possession, use or threat of use of nuclear weapons for those countries that have ratified it.” But it points out that, “while the TPNW represents the total repudiation of nuclear weapons by most of the states that do not possess them, the United States, the eight other nuclear-armed states and almost all of the countries under the U.S. nuclear umbrella boycotted the negotiations and have not joined the treaty.”

The USCM makes several concrete policy recommendations in its new resolution:

“call[ing] on the Biden Administration to fully incorporate United States obligations regarding non-use and elimination of nuclear weapons under international law into its forthcoming Nuclear Posture Review”;

“call[ing] on the President and Congress to cancel the plan to replace the entire U.S. nuclear arsenal with enhanced weapons and to redirect funds currently allocated to nuclear weapons and unwarranted military spending to address decades of inaction on infrastructure, poverty, the growing climate crisis, and rising inequality”; and

“call[ing] on the President and Congress to elevate arms control and disarmament as a federal priority by reestablishing the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency.”

As recognized in the resolution, “Mayors for Peace, founded in 1982 and led by the Mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, is working for a world without nuclear weapons, safe and resilient cities, and a culture of peace, as essential measures for the realization of lasting world peace;” and “Mayors for Peace has grown to 8,043 cities in 165 countries and regions, with 219 U.S. members, representing in total over one billion people.”

Noting that, “The United States Conference of Mayors has unanimously adopted Mayors for Peace resolutions for sixteen consecutive years,” the USCM “urges all of its members to join Mayors for Peace to help reach the goal of 10,000 member cities.”

The 2021 USCM resolution was sponsored by Mayors for Peace U.S. Vice-President Frank Cownie, Mayor of Des Moines, Iowa, and co-sponsored by Nan Whaley, Mayor of Dayton, Ohio and current President of the USCM; Steve Benjamin, Mayor of Columbia, South Carolina and past President of the USCM; Patrick L. Wojahn, Mayor of College Park, Maryland; Roy D. Buol, Mayor of Dubuque, Iowa; J. Christian Bollwage, Mayor of Elizabeth, New Jersey; Jon Mitchell, Mayor of New Bedford, Massachusetts; and William Peduto, Mayor of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

The United States Conference of Mayors  is the official nonpartisan association of more than 1,400 American cities with populations over 30,000. Resolutions Adopted at annual meetings become USCM official policy.

Click here for the full text of the resolution.

58 Years After Historic Rally, Thousands March on Washington for Voting Rights, DC Statehood


An article by Julia Conley from Common Dreams (licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). to republish and share widely)

A summer marked by rallies, motorcades, and pressure campaigns targeting lawmakers standing in the way of voting rights legislation culminated on Saturday in the 2021 March on Washington, where thousands demanded that Congress pass far-reaching measures to protect and expand the right to vote. 
Demonstrators traveled  from across the country to mark the 58th anniversary of the historic 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.

As groups including the Poor People’s Campaign, Stand Up America, and Public Citizen have for months, thousands of protesters called on Congress to pass the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and to eliminate the legislative filibuster to do so if necessary.

The  For the People Act  would grant statehood to Washington, D.C.; ban partisan gerrymandering; implement automatic voter registration for federal elections, and take other major steps to expand voting rights.

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Questions related to this article:

The struggle for human rights, is it gathering force in the USA?

How should elections be organized in a true democracy?

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The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act would restore full anti-discrimination protections to the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign, was among  those who spoke  at the event—officially  called  “March On for Washington and Voting Rights”—as well as Reps. Cori Bush (D-Mo.) and Mondaire Jones (D-N.Y.), relatives of the late Rep. John Lewis, and family members of George Floyd.
Addressing the crowd about statehood for Washington, D.C., Barber said the district’s nearly 700,000 residents have “been robbed” for more than 200 years.
“I didn’t say a thief came in,”  said  the reverend. “A thief is different than a robber. A thief is sneaky. But a robber takes your rights right in front of you.”
While right-wing Democrats including Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) are threatening the passage of far-reaching voting rights legislation with their support for the filibuster and claims that the bills are too “partisan,” Republican state legislators have  introduced  more than 360 bills restricting the right to vote, and dozens are moving towards passage. 
Speakers including the Rev. Liz Theoharis, who co-chairs the Poor People’s Campaign with Barber, connected ongoing attacks on voting rights to the climate emergency, economic justice, and the recent actions of the right wing-led Supreme Court—which gutted the Voting Rights Act in 2013 and this week  blocked  the Biden administration’s extended eviction moratorium.

“We must protest, we must rally, we must organize and mobilize and sit in and stand up,” said Theoharis. “Not just for a day. Not just for a summer. But until all people are housed, until all people are fed, until all people earn a living wage.”

The cost of the global war on terror: $6.4 trillion and 801,000 lives


An article from Brown University

Nearly two decades after New York’s Twin Towers fell on 9/11, the estimated cost of America’s counterterrorism efforts stands at $6.4 trillion.

That’s according to a Nov. 13 report released by the Costs of War project based at the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University.

According to the report, since late 2001, the United States has appropriated and is obligated to spend $6.4 trillion on counterterrorism efforts through the end of 2020. An estimated $5.4 trillion of that total has funded, and will continue to fund, counterterrorism wars and smaller operations in more than 80 countries; an additional minimum of $1 trillion will provide care for veterans of those wars through the next several decades.

“The numbers continue to accelerate, not only because many wars continue to be waged, but also because wars don’t end when soldiers come home,” said Catherine Lutz, co-director of Costs of War and a Brown professor of international and public affairs and anthropology. “These reports provide a reminder that even if fewer soldiers are dying and the U.S. is spending a little less on the immediate costs of war today, the financial impact is still as bad as, or worse than, it was 10 years ago. We will still be paying the bill for these wars on terror into the 22nd century.”

In a separate report released on the same day, Lutz and Neta Crawford, another Costs of War co-director and a professor of political science at Boston University, estimate that between 770,000 and 801,000 people have died in post-9/11 wars. The total estimate includes civilian deaths — some 312,000 or more — as well as deaths of opposition fighters (more than 250,000), members of the U.S. military (7,014) and journalists and humanitarian workers (1,343).

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Question for this article:

Does military spending lead to economic decline and collapse?

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The Costs of War project, a joint effort between Brown’s Watson Institute and Boston University’s Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future, was launched in 2011 with the goal of comprehensively documenting the costs of the United States’ counterterrorism wars in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Unlike accounts of war costs released by the Pentagon, Costs of War financial reports take into account not only Department of Defense (DOD) spending but also spending by the departments of state, veterans affairs and homeland security, as well as the cost of interest paid on borrowed funds. The Costs of War death toll is calculated based on casualty reports released by the DOD and Department of Labor, figures provided by the United Nations, and obituaries and other news stories.

“If you count all parts of the federal budget that are military related — including the nuclear weapons budget, the budget for fuel for military vehicles and aircraft, funds for veteran care — it makes up two thirds of the federal budget, and it’s inching toward three quarters,” Lutz said.

“I don’t think most people realize that, but it’s important to know. Policymakers are concerned that the Pentagon’s increased spending is crowding out other national purposes that aren’t war.”

This month’s new reports are among the first to be published in the Costs of War project’s “20 Years of War” series, which recognizes the anniversary of the beginning of the global war on terror with new research and updates to existing papers. The research series launched thanks to a $450,000 grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, along with support from the Watson Institute and the Pardee Center.

All three of the Costs of War co-directors — Lutz, Crawford and Watson Institute Senior Research Associate Stephanie Savell— kicked off the “20 Years of War” series with a visit to Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, Nov. 13, where they presented their latest findings to the U.S. Senate Committee on Armed Services and an international pool of journalists.

“We have already seen that when we go to Washington and circulate our briefings, they get used in the policymaking process,” Lutz said. “People cite our data in speeches on the Senate floor, in proposals for legislation.

The numbers have made their way into calls to put an end to the joint resolution to authorize the use of military force.

They have real impact.”

UNAC statement: Ban nuclear weapons starting with the US! Remember Hiroshima and Nagasaki


A statement from the United National Antiwar Coalition

On August 6, we will once again recognize one of the most horrendous events ever to take place in human history. On August 6, 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the largely residential city of Hiroshima. Three days later they dropped a second nuclear bomb on the city of Nagasaki. As many as 250,000 people, men, women and children were annihilated and many more died subsequently from the wounds, radiation poisoning and radiation-induced cancers. The United States is the only country to ever drop a nuclear bomb on people.

The stated reason for this barbaric act was to hasten the end of World War II. But many historians believe that Japan was ready to surrender before the dropping of the bomb especially once the Soviet Union entered the war against Japan and moved its forces into Manchuria. Germany had already surrendered, and Japan stood alone. At the time, some argued that the bomb should be dropped in Tokyo Bay in the water where it would have done far less damage and Japan’s leaders could see its destructive potential, but the decision was made to drop it on Hiroshima and then Nagasaki. Once was not enough, they had to do it twice.

Many people now believe that the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was not to end WWII, which was in its final days but to start the Cold War and show the Soviet Union and the world what the US could do if any country dared to oppose it.

One also wonders if dropping the bomb on non-white people played a role. Were Japanese lives valued less by the white supremacist US government, which maintained a segregated military during World War II? After all, people of Japanese descent, including US citizens were put in internment (concentration) camps in the US while people of German descent were not.

There was also serious consideration by the US of using nuclear weapons in the Korean war. The US actually sent the B29 bombers used to drop the bombs on Japan to a military installation in Okinawa along with the nuclear bombs and the fissile cores needed to make them work. This was in preparation for their possible use in the war. President Truman told a press conference in November 1950 that he would take whatever steps were necessary to win in Korea, including the use of nuclear weapons. General Douglas MacArthur, who was the “supreme commander” of the US led forces in Korea disagreed with Truman on the use of nuclear weapons in the war. So, Truman fired MacArthur and replaced him with General Matthew Ridgway, who was given “qualified authority” to use the bombs if he felt they were necessary.

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Question related to this article:
Can we abolish all nuclear weapons?

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The problem the US administration faced with in the use of the atomic bomb in Korea were two-fold. The first was that the US public and certainly the people of the world were horrified after seeing the effects of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Much of this horror was accredited to the book Hiroshima by John Hershey which was published in its entirety in the New Yorker magazine in 1949. The book described the destruction and told the story of 6 survivors of the bombing. It led to a groundswell of opposition to nuclear weapons. The second problem for the US administration was that in 1949 the Soviet Union conducted their first tests of an atomic bomb, and the assessment was that they soon would have a workable weapon. Although nuclear weapons were not used in Korea, the military did several test-runs with their B29 bombers carrying conventional bombs.

Unlike WWII, the United States has consistently refused to end the Korean war. To the US government, it is still going on and they still intend to win. The US maintains a large troop presence in Korea at the border with the North and has conducted annual “war games,” which many consider practice invasions of the Democratic People Republic of Korea (DPRK), AKA, North Korea. These “war games,” typically include scenarios in which the US uses nuclear weapons against the DPRK. In recent years the US has provocatively sent nuclear capable bombers within 75 miles of the border with the DPRK. Yet in the upside-down logic of US Imperialism and its corporate media it is not the war games, the US troops on the border, or the nuclear capable flights that are provocative but the clearly defensive nuclear program of the DPRK.

The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki opened the nuclear arms race that has led to today’s reality where it is possible to kill off the entire population of the world several times over. This is supposed to make us safer.

But the nuclear arms race was always one-sided, with the US making the new and more advanced systems, and then the Soviet Union and later China taking steps to do the same to gain parity. After the development of the atomic bomb, the US made the more powerful hydrogen bomb, then the Soviets did the same. The US then made missile delivery system and multiple warhead missiles, nuclear submarines, etc. and then others scrambled to gain parity. And now the US has announced it will develop a space force, so other countries feel the need to find a way to counter or do the same. Without the investment of money and effort that was put into these weapons of mass destruction, the world may have been able to address global warming, hunger, poverty, etc. That would have made us safer.

In recent years the U.S. has unilaterally withdrawn from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, has initiated a $1.5 Trillion program to modernize the US nuclear arsenal and started the creation of the new military space force.

For these reasons, the United National Antiwar Coalition sees the main danger of nuclear war coming from the United States and believes that we in the US have a special obligation to the world to oppose that danger.

Ban nuclear weapons starting with the US!
Remember Hiroshima and Nagasaki

US: Why Daniel Hale Deserves Gratitude, Not Prison


An article by Kathy Kelly in Transcend Media Service

“Pardon Daniel Hale.” These words hung in the air on a recent Saturday evening, projected onto several Washington, D.C. buildings, above the face of a courageous whistleblower facing ten years in prison.

The artists aimed to inform the U.S. public about Daniel E. Hale, a former Air Force analyst who blew the whistle on the consequences of drone warfare. Hale will appear for sentencing before Judge Liam O’Grady on July 27th.

Image of Daniel Hale projected on a building in Washington, D.C. on June 26, 2021. Photo credit:  Nick Mottern

The U.S. Air Force had assigned Hale to work for the National Security Agency. At one point, he also served in Afghanistan, at the Bagram Air Force Base.

“In this role as a signals analyst, Hale was involved in the identifying of targets  for the US drone program,” notes Chip Gibbons, policy director for Defending Rights and Dissent, in a lengthy article about Hale’s case. “Hale would tell the filmmakers of the 2016 documentary National Bird  that he was disturbed by ‘the uncertainty if anyone I was involved in kill[ing] or captur[ing] was a civilian or not. There’s no way of knowing.’”

Hale, thirty-three, believed the public wasn’t getting crucial information about the nature and extent of U.S. drone assassinations of civilians. Lacking that evidence, U.S. people couldn’t make informed decisions. Moved by his conscience, he opted to become a truth-teller.

The U.S. government is treating him as a threat, a thief who stole documents, and an enemy. If ordinary people knew more about him, they might regard him as a hero.

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Question for this article:

Drones (unmanned bombers), Should they be outlawed?

Free flow of information, How is it important for a culture of peace?

The courage of Mordecai Vanunu and other whistle-blowers, How can we emulate it in our lives?

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Hale was charged  under the Espionage Act for allegedly providing classified information to a reporter. The Espionage Act is  an antiquated World War I era law, passed in 1917, designed for use against enemies of the U.S. accused of spying. The U.S. government has dusted it off, more recently, for use against whistle blowers.

Individuals charged under this law are not allowed  to raise any issues regarding motivation or intent. They literally are not allowed to explain the basis for their actions.

One observer of whistleblowers’ struggles with the courts was himself a whistleblower. Tried and convicted under the Espionage Act, John Kiriakou spent  two and a half years in prison for exposing government wrongdoing. He says  the U.S. government in these cases engages in “charge stacking” to ensure a lengthy prison term as well as “venue-shopping” to try such cases in the nation’s most conservative districts.

Daniel Hale was facing trial in the Eastern District of Virginia, home to the Pentagon as well as many CIA and other federal government agents. He was   up to 50 years in prison if found guilty on all counts.

On March 31, Hale pled guilty  on one count of retention and transmission of national defense information. He now faces a maximum of ten years in prison.

At no point has he been able to raise before a judge his alarm about the Pentagon’s false claims that targeted drone assassination is precise and civilian deaths are minimal.

Hale was familiar with details of a special operations campaign in northeastern Afghanistan, Operation Haymaker. He saw evidence that between January 2012 and February 2013, “U.S. special operations airstrikes killed  more than 200 people. Of those, only 35 were the intended targets. During one five-month period of the operation, according to the documents, nearly 90 percent of the people killed in airstrikes were not the intended targets.”

Had he gone to trial, a jury of his peers might have learned more details about consequences of drone attacks. Weaponized drones are typically outfitted with Hellfire missiles, designed for use against vehicles and buildings.

Living Under Drones, the most complete documentation  of the human impact of U.S. drone attacks yet produced, reports:

“The most immediate consequence of drone strikes is, of course, death and injury to those targeted or near a strike.  The missiles fired from drones kill or injure in several ways, including through incineration, shrapnel, and the release of powerful blast waves capable of crushing internal organs.  Those who do survive drone strikes often suffer disfiguring burns and shrapnel wounds, limb amputations, as well as vision and hearing loss.”

A new variation of this missile can hurl about 100 pounds of metal through the top of a vehicle or building; the missiles also deploy, just before impact, six long, whirring  blades intended to slice up any person or object in the missile’s path.

Any drone operator or analyst should be aghast, as Daniel Hale was, at the possibility of killing and maiming civilians through such grotesque means. But Daniel Hale’s ordeal may be intended to send a chilling message to other U.S. government and military analysts: keep quiet.

Nick Mottern, of the Ban Killer Drones  campaign, accompanied artists projecting Hale’s image on various walls in D.C. He engaged people who were passing by, asking if they knew of Daniel Hale’s case. Not a single person he spoke with had. Nor did anyone know anything about drone warfare.

Now imprisoned at the Alexandria (VA) Adult Detention Center, Hale  awaits sentencing.

Supporters urge people to “stand with Daniel Hale.” One solidarity action involves writing Judge O’Grady to express gratitude that Hale told the truth about the U.S. use of drones to kill innocent people.

At a time when drone sales and usage are proliferating worldwide and causing increasingly gruesome damage, President Joe Biden continues to launch  killer drone attacks around the world, albeit with some new restrictions.

Hale’s honesty, courage, and exemplary readiness to act in accord with his conscience are critically needed. Instead, the U.S. government has done its best to silence him.

Key witness in Assange case admits to lies in indictment


An article from Stundin (Iceland)

A major witness in the United States’ Department of Justice case against Julian Assange has admitted to fabricating key accusations in the indictment against the Wikileaks founder. The witness, who has a documented history with sociopathy and has received several convictions for sexual abuse of minors and wide-ranging financial fraud, made the admission in a newly published interview in Stundin where he also confessed to having continued his crime spree whilst working with the Department of Justice and FBI and receiving a promise of immunity from prosecution.


The man in question, Sigurdur Ingi Thordarson, was recruited by US authorities to build a case against Assange after misleading them to believe he was previously a close associate of his. In fact he had volunteered on a limited basis to raise money for Wikileaks in 2010 but was found to have used that opportunity to embezzle more than $50,000 from the organization. Julian Assange was visiting Thordarson’s home country of Iceland around this time due to his work with Icelandic media and members of parliament in preparing the Icelandic Modern Media Initiative, a press freedom project that produced a parliamentary resolution supporting whistleblowers and investigative journalism.

The United States is currently seeking Assange’s extradition from the United Kingdom in order to try him for espionage relating to the release of leaked classified documents. If convicted, he could face up to 175 years in prison. The indictment has sparked fears for press freedoms in the United States and beyond and prompted strong statements in support of Assange from Amnesty International, Reporters without borders, the editorial staff of the Washington Post and many others.

US officials presented an updated version of an indictment against him to a Magistrate court in London last summer. The veracity of the information contained therein is now directly contradicted by the main witness, whose testimony it is based on.

No instruction from Assange

The court documents refer to Mr Thordarson simply as “Teenager” (a reference to his youthful appearance rather than true age, he is 28 years old) and Iceland as “NATO Country 1” but make no real effort to hide the identity of either. They purport to show that Assange instructed Thordarson to commit computer intrusions or hacking in Iceland.

The aim of this addition to the indictment was apparently to shore up and support the conspiracy charge against Assange in relation to his interactions with Chelsea Manning. Those occurred around the same time he resided in Iceland and the authors of the indictment felt they could strengthen their case by alleging he was involved in illegal activity there as well. This activity was said to include attempts to hack into the computers of members of parliament and record their conversations.

In fact, Thordarson now admits to Stundin that Assange never asked him to hack or access phone recordings of MPs. His new claim is that he had in fact received some files from a third party who claimed to have recorded MPs and had offered to share them with Assange without having any idea what they actually contained. He claims he never checked the contents of the files or even if they contained audio recordings as his third party source suggested. He further admits the claim, that Assange had instructed or asked him to access computers in order to find any such recordings, is false.

Nonetheless, the tactics employed by US officials appear to have been successful as can be gleaned from the ruling of Magistrate Court Judge Vanessa Baraitser on January 4th of this year. Although she ruled against extradition, she did so purely on humanitarian grounds relating to Assange’s health concerns, suicide risk and the conditions he would face in confinement in US prisons. With regards to the actual accusations made in the indictment Baraitser sided with the arguments of the American legal team, including citing the specific samples from Iceland which are now seriously called into question.

Other misleading elements can be found in the indictment, and later reflected in the Magistrate’s judgement, based on Thordarson’s now admitted lies. One is a reference to Icelandic bank documents. The Magistrate court judgement reads: “It is alleged that Mr. Assange and Teenager failed a joint attempt to decrypt a file stolen from a “NATO country 1” bank”.

Thordarson admits to Stundin that this actually refers to a well publicised event in which an encrypted file was leaked from an Icelandic bank and assumed to contain information about defaulted loans provided by the Icelandic Landsbanki. The bank went under in the fall of 2008, along with almost all other financial institutions in Iceland, and plunged the country into a severe economic crisis. The file was at this time, in summer of 2010, shared by many online who attempted to decrypt it for the public interest purpose of revealing what precipitated the financial crisis. Nothing supports the claim that this file was even “stolen” per se, as it was assumed to have been distributed by whistleblowers from inside the failed bank.

More deceptive language emerges in the aforementioned judgment where it states: “…he [Assange] used the unauthorized access given to him by a source, to access a government website of NATO country-1 used to track police vehicles.”

This depiction leaves out an important element, one that Thordarson clarifies in his interview with Stundin. The login information was in fact his own and not obtained through any nefarious means. In fact, he now admits he had been given this access as a matter of routine due to his work as a first responder while volunteering for a search and rescue team. He also says Assange never asked for any such access.

Revealing chat logs

Thordarson spoke with a journalist from Stundin for several hours as he prepared a thorough investigative report into his activities that include never before published chat logs and new documents.

The chat logs were gathered by Thordarson himself and give a comprehensive picture of his communications whilst he was volunteering for Wikileaks in 2010 and 11. It entails his talks with WikiLeaks staff as well as unauthorized communications with members of international hacking groups that he got into contact with via his role as a moderator on an open IRC WikiLeaks forum, which is a form of live online chat. There is no indication WikiLeaks staff had any knowledge of Thordarson’s contacts with aforementioned hacking groups, indeed the logs show his clear deception.

The communications there show a pattern where Thordarson is constantly inflating his position within WikiLeaks, describing himself as chief of staff, head of communications, No 2 in the organization or responsible for recruits. In these communications Thordarson frequently asks the hackers to either access material from Icelandic entities or attack Icelandic websites with so-called DDoS attacks. These are designed to disable sites and make them inaccessible but not cause permanent damage to content.

Stundin cannot find any evidence that Thordarson was ever instructed to make those requests by anyone inside WikiLeaks. Thordarson himself is not even claiming that, although he explains this as something Assange was aware of or that he had interpreted it so that this was expected of him. How this supposed non-verbal communication took place he cannot explain.

Furthermore, he never explained why WikiLeaks would be interested in attacking any interests in Iceland, especially at such a sensitive time while they were in the midst of publishing a huge trove of US diplomatic cables as part of an international media partnership. Assange is not known to have had any grievances with Icelandic authorities and was in fact working with members of parliament in updating Iceland’s freedom of press laws for the 21st century.

On the FBI radar

Thordarson’s rogue acts were not limited to communications of that nature as he also admits to Stundin that he set up avenues of communication with journalists and had media pay for lavish trips abroad where he mispresented himself as an official representative of WikiLeaks.

He also admits that he stole documents from WikiLeaks staff by copying their hard drives. Among those were documents from Renata Avila, a lawyer who worked for the organization and Mr. Assange.

Thordarson continued to step up his illicit activities in the summer of 2011 when he established communication with “Sabu”, the online moniker of Hector Xavier Monsegur, a hacker and a member of the rather infamous LulzSec hacker group. In that effort all indications are that Thordarson was acting alone without any authorization, let alone urging, from anyone inside WikiLeaks.

What Thordarson did not know at the time was that the FBI had arrested Sabu in the beginning of June 2011 and threatened him into becoming an informant and a collaborator for the FBI. Thus, when Thordarson continued his previous pattern of requesting attacks on Icelandic interests, the FBI knew and saw an opportunity to implicate Julian Assange.

Later that month a DDoS attack was performed against the websites of several government institutions.

That deed was done under the watchful eyes of the FBI who must have authorized the attack or even initiated it, as Sabu was at that point their man. What followed was an episode where it seems obvious that Icelandic authorities were fooled into cooperation under false pretenses.

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Question related to this article:
Julian Assange, Is he a hero for the culture of peace?

Free flow of information, How is it important for a culture of peace?

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Ögmundur Jónasson was minister of interior at time and as such the political head of police and prosecution and says of the US activities: “They were trying to use things here [in Iceland] and use people in our country to spin a web, a cobweb that would catch Julian Assange”.

“They were trying to use things here [in Iceland] and use people in our country to spin a web, a cobweb that would catch Julian Assange”

Jónasson recalls that when the FBI first contacted Icelandic authorities on June 20th 2011 it was to warn Iceland of an imminent and grave threat of intrusion against government computers. A few days later FBI agents flew to Iceland and offered formally to assist in thwarting this grave danger. The offer was accepted and on July 4th a formal rogatory letter was sent to Iceland to seal the mutual assistance.. Jónasson speculates that already then the US was laying the groundwork for its ultimate purpose, not to assist Iceland but entrap Julian Assange:

“What I have been pondering ever since is if the spinning of the web had already started then with the acceptance of the letter rogatory establishing cooperation that they could use as a pretext for later visits,” says Jónasson.

Icelandic policemen were sent to the US to gather further evidence of this so-called imminent danger and Jónasson says he does not recall anything of substance coming out of that visit and no further attacks were made against Icelandic interests.

But the FBI would return.

Icelandic officials deceived by the US

Towards the end of August, Thordarson was being pursued by WikiLeaks staff who wished to locate the proceeds of online sales of WikiLeaks merchandise. It emerged Thordarson had instructed the funds be sent to his private bank account by forging an email in the name of Julian Assange.

Thordarson saw a way out and on August 23d he sent an email to the US Embassy in Iceland offering information in relation to a criminal investigation. He was replied to with a call and confirmed that he was offering to be an informant in the case against Julian Assange.

The prosecutors and FBI were quick in responding and within 48 hrs a private jet landed in Reykjavik with around eight agents who quickly set up meetings with Thordarson and with people from the Icelandic State Prosecutors office and the State Police Commissioner.

Mid day, Mr. Jónasson, then Minister of Interior got wind of this new visit and requested confirmation that this related to the same case as earlier in the summer. “I asked on what rogatory letter this visit was based and if this was exactly the same case”, Jónasson says in an interview with Stundin. “I then found out that this was of a totally different nature than previously discussed”. He says he put two and two together and said it was obvious that the intention was to lay a trap in Iceland for Assange and other staff members of WikiLeaks.

Such actions were according to Jónasson way outside the scope of the agreement and thus he ordered that all cooperation with the agents be stopped and that they would be informed they were acting in Iceland without any authority. Only days later he learned that the agents and prosecutors had not yet left the country so the Ministry of Foreign Affairs contacted the US embassy with the demand they halt police work in Iceland and leave the country.

They did, but left with the new informant and “star witness”, Sigurdur Ingi Thordarson who flew with them to Denmark.

Not a hacker but a sociopath

Thordarson has been nicknamed Siggi the hacker in Iceland. That is actually an antonym as several sources Stundin has talked to claim that Thordarson’s computer ability is menial. This is supported by several chat logs and documents where he is requesting assistance from others doing rather uncomplicated computer jobs. Once he even sought FBI expert help in uploading a video from his own phone.

The meeting in Denmark was the first of a few where the FBI enthusiastically embraced the idea of co-operation with Thordarson. He says they wanted to know everything about WikiLeaks, including physical security of staff. They took material he had gathered, including data he had stolen from WikiLeaks employees and even planned to send him to England with a wire. Thordarson claimed in interviews he had refused that particular request. It was probably because he was not welcomed anymore as he knew WikiLeaks people had found out, or were about to firmly establish, that he had embezzled funds from the organization.

After months of collaboration the FBI seem to have lost interest. At about the same time charges were piling up against Thordarson with the Icelandic authorities for massive fraud, forgeries and theft on the one hand and for sexual violations against underage boys he had tricked or forced into sexual acts on the other.

After long investigations Thordarson was sentenced in 2013 and 2014 and received relatively lenient sentences as the judge took into account that he changed his plea at court and pleaded guilty to all counts.

According to a psychiatric assessment presented to the court Thordarson was diagnosed as a sociopath, incapable of remorse but still criminally culpable for his actions. He was assessed to be able to understand the basic difference between right and wrong, He just did not seem to care.

Incarceration did not seem to have an intended effect of stopping Thordarson from continuing his life of crime. It actually took off and expanded in extent and scope in 2019 when the Trump-era DoJ decided to revisit him, giving him a formal status as witness in the prosecution against Julian Assange and granting him immunity in return from any prosecution.

The New York Times Problem

In the month following Assange’s arrest in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London on April 11th 2019 a new rogatory letter arrived in the Ministry of Justice in Iceland. This time the request was to take a formal statement from Thordarson in Iceland in the presence of his lawyer. The Ministry had a new political head at the time, who had limited knowledge of the prior history of the case.

Although the Department of Justice had spent extreme resources attempting to build a case against Julian Assange during the Obama presidency, they had decided against indicting Assange. The main concern was what was called “The New York Times Problem”, namely that there was such a difficulty in distinguishing between WikiLeaks publications and NYT publications of the same material that going after one party would pose grave First Amendment concerns.

Sigurdur Ingi Thordarson and Julian Assange

President Donald Trump’s appointed Attorney general William Barr did not share these concerns, and neither did his Trump-appointed deputy Kellen S. Dwyer. Barr, who faced severe criticism for politicizing the DoJ on behalf of the president, got the ball rolling on the Assange case once again. Their argument was that if they could prove he was a criminal rather than a journalist the charges would stick, and that was where Thordarson’s testimony would be key.

In May 2019 Thordarson was offered an immunity deal, signed by Dwyer, that granted him immunity from prosecution based on any information on wrong doing they had on him. The deal, seen in writing by Stundin, also guarantees that the DoJ would not share any such information to other prosecutorial or law enforcement agencies. That would include Icelandic ones, meaning that the Americans will not share information on crimes he might have committed threatening Icelandic security interests – and the Americans apparently had plenty of those but had over the years failed to share them with their Icelandic counterparts.

In any event, Assange has never been suspected of any wrongdoing in Iceland. Stundin has seen confirmation of this from the District Prosecutor in Iceland, the Reykjavik Metropolitan Police. Assange has no entry in the LÖKE database of any police activity linked to an individual collected by the Icelandic State Police Commissioner from 2009-2021.

Assange’s lawyer also inquired in the Icelandic Foreign Ministry if the points in his updated indictment where Iceland is referred to as NATO country 1 meant that his case had any relevance to Icelandic membership to NATO, the bilateral defense agreement between USA and Iceland or any national security interests. All such connections were dismissed in a reply from the defense attache at the Ministry.

Immunity and a new crimespree

According to information obtained by Stundin the immunity deal between DoJ and Thordarson was presented at the Headquarters of the Reykjavik police where the only role of the Icelandic policeman was to confirm the identity of Thordarson before leaving him alone with his lawyer in the back room where he met the US delegation.

It is as if the offer of immunity, later secured and sealed in a meeting in DC, had encouraged Thordarson to take bolder steps in crime. He started to fleece individuals and companies on a grander scale than ever; usually by either acquiring or forming legal entities he then used to borrow merchandise, rent luxury cars, even order large quantities of goods from wholesalers without any intention to pay for these goods and services.

Thordarson also forged the name of his own lawyer on notices to the Company House registry, falsely claiming to have raised the equity of two companies to over 800 thousand US dollars. The aim was to use these entities with solid financial positions on paper in a real estate venture.

The lawyer has reported the forgery to the police where other similar cases, along with multiple other reports of theft and trickery, are now piling up.

When confronted with evidence of all these crimes by a Stundin journalist he simply admitted to everything and explained it away as normal business practice. He has not yet been charged and is still practicing this “business”. Local newspaper DV reported last week that Thordarson had attempted to order merchandise on credit using a new company name, Icelandic Vermin Control. Despite using a fake name and a COVID face mask he was identified and the transaction was stopped. He was last seen speeding away in a white Tesla, according to DV.