US Judge Sentences US Citizen Based on Israeli Military Documents

Published on Truthout, 16 March 2015.

In September 2014, Truthout reported on 67-year-old Rasmea Odeh, a Palestinian woman who sought refuge in the United States more than 20 years ago after having been tortured horrifically by Israel Defense Forces (IDF) personnel.

The story, titled “Tortured and Raped by Israel, Persecuted by the United States,” outlined how Odeh, who has now been a US citizen for more than a decade, was essentially framed by the Israelis when she was a victim of a mass detention exercise that took place in the wake of a supermarket bombing.

After testifying to the UN at Geneva, Switzerland, about her treatment at the hands of the Israelis, detailing how she was beaten with metal rods, sexually assaulted, kicked, threatened and abused in other ways, Odeh eventually managed to join her father in the United States, where she has lived in Chicago, working as a productive community member and activist for Palestinian rights.

In 2013, Odeh was indicted by the US government and charged with immigration fraud, a charge stemming from other charges pulled from her then 35-year-old IDF file. The first judge in her case had to step down, due to an overt and strong pro-Israel bias.

On March 12, stunningly, Odeh was sentenced to 18 months in prison, fined $1,000 and had her US citizenship revoked.

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Domestic Military Expansion Spreads Through the US, Ignites Dissent

Published on Truthout, 9 March 2015.

What if you lived in a country that allowed its Navy to fly the loudest aircraft in the world over your home day and night, generating sonic booms that rattled the windows of people living in a neighboring country, and test new weapons in areas that would knowingly harm, or possibly kill, humans and wildlife?

Welcome to the United States, which has a military with an increasing domestic expansion that may soon be coming to your town, city or national forest.

That the US military knowingly tested new weapons on US citizens (possibly in the thousands), wildlife or even its own soldiers is nothing new. Publicly available documents reveal how the US military has even released nerve gas in public areas, as well as farms, to see the effects on civilians and animals. This occurred during the 1960s, when the United States secretly tested both chemical and biological weapons on US soil, including releasing deadly nerve agents in Alaska and spraying bacteria over Hawaii.

Hence, the fact that in recent years the US Navy moved ahead with increasing its sonar testing (which is presently ongoing, off the coasts of California, Hawaii and the Gulf of Mexico), despite reams of evidence showing its extremely harmful impact on whales and dolphins, is but one example of the military’s tendency to expand in any way it pleases, damn the consequences.

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The “Mega-Drought Future,” Disappearance of Coral Reefs and Our Unwillingness to Listen

Published on Truthout, 2 March 2015.

Scientists are now mapping a world that is changing rapidly in often terrifying ways. Climate disruption and world leaders’ unwillingness to act have put us at risk of experiencing mega-droughts, the disappearance of coral reefs and other ecological impacts of an anthropogenically warming planet.

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Addressing Population Growth – Through Freedom, Not Control – Is Crucial to Confronting Climate Disruption

Published on Truthout, 22 February 2015.

Arguments about overpopulation often target black and brown people, especially in developing countries, and are used to defend killings, forced sterilization and the mass denial of reproductive justice. In reality, population-related problems, which exacerbate climate disruption, stem from overuse of resources in the West.

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