NSA Whistle-blower William Binney: The Future of FREEDOM
A 36-year veteran of America’s Intelligence Community, William Binney resigned from his position as Director for Global Communications Intelligence (COMINT) at the National Security Agency (NSA) and blew the whistle, after discovering that his efforts to protect the privacy and security of Americans were being undermined by those above him in the chain of command.
The NSA data-monitoring program which Binney and his team had developed — codenamed ThinThread — was being aimed not at foreign targets as intended, but at Americans (codenamed as Stellar Wind); destroying privacy here and around the world. Binney voices his call to action for the billions of individuals whose rights are currently being violated.
William Binney speaks out in this feature-length interview with Tragedy and Hope’s Richard Grove, focused on the topic of the ever-growing Surveillance State in America.
On January 22, 2015: (Berlin, Germany) – The Government Accountability Project (GAP) is proud to announce that retired NSA Technical Director and GAP client, William “Bill” Binney, will accept the Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence Award today in Berlin, Germany. The award is presented annually by the Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence (SAAII) to a professional who has taken a strong stand for ethics and integrity. http://whistleblower.org/press/nsa-wh…
NSA Whistle-blower: Everyone in US under virtual surveillance, all info stored, no matter the post
Former NSA Head Exposes Agency’s Real Crimes
Edward Snowden, v 1.0: NSA Whistleblower William Binney Tells All
“Where I see it going is toward a totalitarian state,” says William Binney. “You’ve got the NSA doing all this collecting of material on all of its citizens – that’s what the SS, the Gestapo, the Stasi, the KGB, and the NKVD did.”
Binney is talking about the collection of various forms of personal data on American citizens by the National Security Agency (NSA), where he worked for 30 years before quitting in 2001 from his high-placed post as technical leader for intelligence. A registered Republican for most of his life, Binney volunteered for military service during the Vietnam War, which led to his being hired by the NSA in the early ’70s.
In 2002 – long before the revelations of Edward Snowden rocked the world – Binney and several former colleagues went to Congress and the Department of Defense, asking that the NSA be investigated. Not only was the super-secretive agency wasting taxpayer dollars on ineffective programs, they argued, it was broadly violating constitutional guarantees to privacy and due process.
The government didn’t just turn a blind eye to the agency’s activities; it later accused the whistleblowers of leaking state secrets. A federal investigation of Binney – including an FBI search and seizure of his home and office computers that destroyed his consulting business – exonerated him on all charges.
“We are a clear example that [going through] the proper channels doesn’t work,” says Binney, who approves of Edward Snowden’s strategy of going straight to the media. At the same time, Binney criticizes Snowden’s leaking of documents not directly related to the NSA’s surveillance of American citizens and violation of constitutional rights. Binney believes that the NSA is vital to national security but has been become unmoored due to technological advances that vastly extend its capabilities and leadership that has no use for limits on government power. “They took that program designed [to prevent terrorist attacks] and used it to spy on American citizens and everyone else in the world,” flatly declares Binney (33:30).
Binney sat down with Reason TV’s Nick Gillespie to discuss “Trailblazer”, a data-collection program which was used on American citizens (1:00), why he thinks the NSA had the capability to stop the 9/11 attacks (7:00), his experience being raided by the FBI in 2007 (12:50), and why former President Gerald Ford, usually regarded as a hapless time-server, is one of his personal villians (41:25).
NSA Whistle-Blower Tells All: The Program | Op-Docs | The New York Times
William Binney: NSA had 9/11 foreknowledge
NSA Whistleblower Supports 9/11 Truth – William Binney and Richard Gage on GRTV
“The NSA Is Lying”: U.S. Government Has Copies of Most of Your Emails Says NSA Whistleblower
William Edward Binney is a former highly placed intelligence official with the United States National Security Agency (NSA) turned whistleblower who resigned on October 31, 2001, after more than 30 years with the agency. He was a high-profile critic of his former employers during the George W. Bush administration.
Binney continues to speak out during Barack Obama‘s presidency about the NSA’s data collection policies, and continues interviews in the media regarding his experiences and his views on communication intercepts by governmental agencies of American citizens. In a legal case, Binney has testified in an affidavit that the NSA is in deliberate violation of the U.S. Constitution.
Binney grew up in rural Pennsylvania and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics from the Pennsylvania State University in 1970. He said that he volunteered for the Army during the Vietnam era in order to select work that would interest him rather than be drafted and have no input. He was found to have strong aptitudes for mathematics, analysis, and code-breaking, and served four years from 1965–1969 at the Army Security Agency before going to the NSA in 1970. Binney was a Russia specialist and worked in the operations side of intelligence, starting as an analyst and ending as Technical Director prior to becoming a geopolitical world Technical Director. In the 1990s, he co-founded a unit on automating signals intelligence with NSA research chief Dr. John Taggart. Binney’s NSA career culminated as Technical Leader for intelligence in 2001. Having expertise in intelligence analysis, traffic analysis, systems analysis, knowledge management, and mathematics (including set theory, number theory, and probability), Binney has been described as one of the best analysts in the NSA’s history. After retiring from the NSA he founded “Entity Mapping, LLC”, a private intelligence agency together with fellow NSA whistleblower J. Kirk Wiebe to market their analysis program to government agencies. NSA continued to retaliate against them, ultimately preventing them from getting work, or causing contracts they had secured to be terminated abruptly.
Binney sitting in the offices ofDemocracy Now! in New York City, prior to appearing with hosts Amy Goodman, Juan Gonzalez, and guest Jacob Appelbaum. Photo taken byJacob Appelbaum.
In September 2002, he, along with J. Kirk Wiebe and Edward Loomis, asked the U.S. Defense Department to investigate the NSA for allegedly wasting “millions and millions of dollars” on Trailblazer, a system intended to analyze data carried on communications networks such as the Internet. Binney had been one of the inventors of an alternative system, ThinThread, which was shelved when Trailblazer was chosen instead. Binney has also been publicly critical of the NSA for spying on U.S. citizens, saying of its expanded surveillance after the September 11, 2001 attacks that “it’s better than anything that the KGB, the Stasi, or the Gestapo and SS ever had” as well as noting Trailblazer’s ineffectiveness and unjustified high cost compared to the far less intrusive ThinThread. He was furious that the NSA hadn’t uncovered the 9/11 plot and stated that intercepts it had collected but not analyzed likely would have garnered timely attention with his leaner more focused system.
After he left the NSA in 2001, Binney was one of several people investigated as part of an inquiry into the 2005 New York Times exposé on the agency’s warrantless eavesdropping program. Binney was cleared of wrongdoing after three interviews with FBI agents beginning in March 2007, but one morning in July 2007, a dozen agents armed with rifles appeared at his house, one of whom entered the bathroom and pointed his gun at Binney, still towelling off from a shower. In that raid, the FBI confiscated a desktop computer, disks, and personal and business records. The NSA revoked his security clearance, forcing him to close a business he ran with former colleagues at a loss of a reported $300,000 in annual income. In 2012, Binney and his co-plaintiffs went to federal court to get the items back. Binney spent more than $7,000 on legal fees.
During interviews on Democracy Now! in April and May 2012 with elaboration in July 2012 at 2600’s hacker conference HOPE and at DEF CON a couple weeks later,Binney repeated estimates that the NSA (particularly its Stellar Wind project) had intercepted 20 trillion communications “transactions” of Americans such as phone calls, emails, and other forms of data (but not including financial data). This includes most of the emails of US citizens. Binney disclosed in an affidavit for Jewel v. NSA that the agency was “purposefully violating the Constitution”. Binney also notes that he found out after retiring that the NSA was pursuing collect-it-all vs. targeted surveillance even before the 9/11 attacks.
Binney was invited as a witness by the NSA commission of the German Bundestag. On July 3, 2014 the Spiegel wrote, he said that the NSA wanted to have information about everything. In Binney’s view this is a totalitarian approach, which had previously been seen only in dictatorships. Binney stated the goal was also to control people. Meanwhile, he said it is possible in principle to survey the whole population, abroad and in the US, which in his view contradicts the United States Constitution. In October 2001, shortly after the 9/11 attacks, the NSA began with its mass surveillance, he said. Therefore, he left the secret service shortly afterwards, after more than 30 years of employment. Binney mentioned that there were about 6000 analysts in the surveillance at NSA already during his tenure. According to him, everything changed after 9/11. The NSA used the attacks as a justification to start indiscriminate data collection. “This was a mistake. But they still do it”, he said. The secret service was saving the data as long as possible: “They do not discard anything. If they have anything they keep it.” Since then, the NSA has been saving collected data indefinitely. Binney said he deplored the NSA’s development of the past few years, to collect data not only on groups who are suspicious for criminal or terrorist activities. “We have moved away from the collection of these data to the collection of data of the 7 billion people on our planet.” Binney said he argued even then, to only pull relevant data from the cables. Access to the data was granted to departments of the government or the IRS.
Similar in name to the Medal of Freedom, but much closer in meaning and precedence to the Medal for Merit: the Presidential Medal of Freedom is currently the supreme civilian decoration in precedence, whereas the Medal of Freedom was inferior in precedence to the Medal for Merit; the Medal of Freedom was awarded by any of three Cabinet secretaries, whereas the Medal for Merit was awarded by the president, as is the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Another measure of the difference between these two similarly named but very distinct awards is their per-capita frequency of award: from 1946 to 1961 the average annual incidence of award of the Medal of Freedom was approximately 1 per every 86,500 adult U.S. citizens; from 1996 to 2011 the average annual incidence of award of the Presidential Medal of Freedom was approximately 1 per every 20,500,000 adult U.S. citizens (so on an annualized per capita basis, 240 Medals of Freedom have been awarded per one Presidential Medal of Freedom).
President John F. Kennedy established the current decoration in 1963 through Executive Order11085, with unique and distinctive insignia, vastly expanded purpose, and far higher prestige. It was the first U.S. civilian neck decoration and, in the grade of Awarded With Distinction, is the only U.S. sash and star decoration (the Chief Commander degree of the Legion of Merit – which may only be awarded to foreign heads of state – is a star decoration, but without a sash). The Executive Order calls for the medal to be awarded annually on or around July 4, and at other convenient times as chosen by the president, but it has not been awarded every year (e.g., 2001, 2010). Recipients are selected by the president, either on his own initiative or based on recommendations. The order establishing the medal also expanded the size and the responsibilities of the Distinguished Civilian Service Awards Board so it could serve as a major source of such recommendations.
Medal andaccoutrementsincluding undress ribbon, miniature, and lapel badge.
Graphical representation of the Presidential Medal of Freedom with Distinction
The badge of the Presidential Medal of Freedom is in the form of a golden star with white enamel, with a red enamel pentagon behind it; the central disc bears thirteen gold stars on a blue enamel background (taken from the Great Seal of the United States) within a golden ring. Golden American bald eagles with spread wings stand between the points of the star. It is worn around the neck on a blue ribbon with white edge stripes.
A special grade of the medal, known as the Presidential Medal of Freedom with Distinction, has a larger execution of the same medal design worn as a star on the left chest along with a sash over the right shoulder (similar to how the insignia of a Grand Cross is worn), with its rosette (blue with white edge, bearing the central disc of the medal at its center) resting on the left hip. When the medal With Distinction is awarded, the star may be presented depending from a neck ribbon and can be identified by its larger size than the standard medal (compare size of medals in pictures below; President Reagan’s was awarded With Distinction).
Both medals may also be worn in miniature form on a ribbon on the left chest, with a silver American bald eagle with spread wings on the ribbon, or a golden American bald eagle for a medal awarded With Distinction. In addition, the medal is accompanied by a service ribbon for wear on military service uniform, a miniature medal pendant for wear on mess dress or civilian formal wear, and a lapel badge for wear on civilian clothes (all shown in the accompanying photograph of the full presentation set).
Through a PRISM, Darkly – Everything we know about NSA spying [30c3]
Published on Dec 30, 2013
Through a PRISM, Darkly
Everything we know about NSA spying
From Stellar Wind to PRISM, Boundless Informant to EvilOlive, the NSA spying programs are shrouded in secrecy and rubber-stamped by secret opinions from a court that meets in a faraday cage. The Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Kurt Opsahl explains the known facts about how the programs operate and the laws and regulations the U.S. government asserts allows the NSA to spy on you.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation, a non-profit civil society organization, has been litigating against the NSA spying program for the better part of a decade. EFF has collected and reviewed dozens of documents, from the original NY Times stories in 2005 and the first AT&T whistleblower in 2006, through the latest documents released in the Guardian or obtained through EFF’s Freedom of Information (government transparency) litigation. EFF attorney Kurt Opsahl’s lecture will describe how the NSA spying program works, the underlying technologies, the targeting procedures (how they decide who to focus on), the minimization procedures (how they decide which information to discard), and help you makes sense of the many code names and acronyms in the news. He will also discuss the legal and policy ramifications that have become part of the public debate following the recent disclosures, and what you can do about it. After summarizing the programs, technologies, and legal/policy framework in the lecture, the audience can ask questions.
Speaker: Kurt Opsahl
Event: 30th Chaos Communication Congress [30c3] by the Chaos Computer Club [CCC]
Location: Congress Centrum Hamburg (CCH); Am Dammtor; Marseiller Straße; 20355 Hamburg; Germany
Glenn Becks “SURVEILLANCE STATE”
Inside the NSA
Ed Snowden, NSA, and Fairy Tales
AT&T Spying On Internet Traffic
For years the National Securities Agency, has been spying on each & every keystroke. The national headquarters of AT&T is in Missouri, where ex-employees describe a secret room. The program is called “Splitter Cut-In & Test Procedure.”
NSA Whistle-Blower Tells All – Op-Docs: The Program
The filmmaker Laura Poitras profiles William Binney, a 32-year veteran of the National Security Agency who helped design a top-secret program he says is broadly collecting Americans’ personal data.
NSA Whistleblower: Everyone in US under virtual surveillance, all info stored, no matter the post
He told you so: Bill Binney talks NSA leaks
William Benny – The Government is Profiling You (The NSA is Spying on You)
‘After 9/11 NSA had secret deal with White House’
The story of Whistleblower Thomas Drake
Whistleblowers, Part Two: Thomas Drake
NSA Whistleblower Thomas Drake speaks at National Press Club – March 15, 2013
Meet Edward Snowden: NSA PRISM Whistleblower
The Truth About Edward Snowden
N.S.A. Spying: Why Does It Matter?
Inside The NSA~Americas Cyber Secrets
NSA Whistleblower Exposes Obama’s Dragnet
AT&T whistleblower against immunity for Bush spy program-1/2
AT&T Whistleblower Urges Against Immunity for Telecoms in Bush Spy Program
The Senate is expected to vote on a controversial measure to amend the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act tomorrow. The legislation would rewrite the nation’s surveillance laws and authorize the National Security Agency’s secret program of warrantless wiretapping. We speak with Mark Klein, a technician with AT&T for over twenty-two years. In 2006 Klein leaked internal AT&T documents that revealed the company had set up a secret room in its San Francisco office to give the National Security Agency access to its fiber optic internet cables.
AT&T whistleblower against immunity for Bush spy program-2/2
Enemy Of The State 1998 (1080p) (Full movie)
Background Articles and Videos
Stellar Wind was the open secret code name for four surveillance programs by the United States National Security Agency (NSA) during the presidency of George W. Bush and revealed by Thomas Tamm to The New York Times reporters James Risen and Eric Lichtblau. The operation was approved by President George W. Bush shortly after the September 11 attacks in 2001. Stellar Wind was succeeded during the presidency of Barack Obama by four major lines of intelligence collection in the territorial United States, together capable of spanning the full range of modern telecommunications.
The program’s activities involved data mining of a large database of the communications of American citizens, including e-mail communications, phone conversations, financial transactions, and Internet activity. William Binney, a retired Technical Leader with the NSA, discussed some of the architectural and operational elements of the program at the 2012 Chaos Communication Congress.
There were internal disputes within the Justice Department about the legality of the program, because data are collected for large numbers of people, not just the subjects of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants.
During the Bush Administration, the Stellar Wind cases were referred to by FBI agents as “pizza cases” because many seemingly suspicious cases turned out to be food takeout orders. According to Mueller, approximately 99 percent of the cases led nowhere, but “it’s that other 1% that we’ve got to be concerned about”. One of the known uses of these data were the creation of suspicious activity reports, or “SARS”, about people suspected of terrorist activities. It was one of these reports that revealed former New York governor Eliot Spitzer’s use of prostitutes, even though he was not suspected of terrorist activities.
In March 2012 Wired magazine published “The NSA Is Building the Country’s Biggest Spy Center (Watch What You Say)” talking about a vast new NSA facility in Utah and says “For the first time, a former NSA official has gone on the record to describe the program, codenamed Stellar Wind, in detail,” naming the official William Binney, a former NSA code breaker. Binney went on to say that the NSA had highly secured rooms that tap into major switches, and satellite communications at both AT&T and Verizon. The article suggested that the otherwise dispatched Stellar Wind is actually an active program.
PRISM is a clandestine national security electronic surveillance program operated by the United States National Security Agency (NSA) since 2007.[Notes 1]PRISM is a government codename for a data collection effort known officially as US-984XN. It is operated under the supervision of the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court pursuant to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). The existence of the program was leaked by NSA contractor Edward Snowden and published by The Guardian and The Washington Post on June 6, 2013.
A document included in the leak indicated that the PRISM SIGAD was “the number one source of raw intelligence used for NSA analytic reports.” The President’s Daily Brief, an all-source intelligence product, cited PRISM data as a source in 1,477 items in 2012. The leaked information came to light one day after the revelation that the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court had been requiring the telecommunications company Verizon to turn over to the NSA logs tracking all of its customers’ telephone calls on an ongoing daily basis.
According to the Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, PRISM cannot be used to intentionally target any Americans or anyone in the United States. Clapper said a special court, Congress, and the executive branch oversee the program and extensive procedures ensure the acquisition, retention, and dissemination of data accidentally collected about Americans is kept to a minimum. Clapper issued a statement and “fact sheet” to correct what he characterized as “significant misimpressions” in articles by The Washington Post and The Guardian newspapers.
Slide showing that much of the world’s communications flow through the US
Details of information collected via PRISM
PRISM is a “Special Source Operation” in the tradition of NSA’s intelligence alliances with as many as 100 trusted U.S. companies since the 1970s. A prior program, the Terrorist Surveillance Program, was implemented in the wake of the September 11 attacks under the George W. Bush Administration but was widely criticized and had its legality questioned, because it was conducted without approval of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC). PRISM was authorized by an order of the FISC. Its creation was enabled by the Protect America Act of 2007 under President Bush and the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, which legally immunized private companies that cooperated voluntarily with US intelligence collection and was renewed by Congress under President Obama in 2012 for five years until December 2017. According to The Register, the FISA Amendments Act of 2008 “specifically authorizes intelligence agencies to monitor the phone, email, and other communications of U.S. citizens for up to a week without obtaining a warrant” when one of the parties is outside the U.S.
PRISM was first publicly revealed on June 6, 2013, after classified documents about the program were leaked to The Washington Post and The Guardian by American Edward Snowden. The leaked documents included 41 PowerPoint slides, four of which were published in news articles. The documents identified several technology companies as participants in the PRISM program, including (date of joining PRISM in parentheses) Microsoft (2007), Yahoo! (2008), Google (2009), Facebook (2009), Paltalk (2009), YouTube (2010), AOL (2011), Skype (2011), and Apple (2012). The speaker’s notes in the briefing document reviewed by The Washington Post indicated that “98 percent of PRISM production is based on Yahoo, Google and Microsoft.”
The slide presentation stated that much of the world’s electronic communications pass through the United States, because electronic communications data tend to follow the least expensive route rather than the most physically direct route, and the bulk of the world’s internet infrastructure is based in the United States. The presentation noted that these facts provide United States intelligence analysts with opportunities for intercepting the communications of foreign targets as their electronic data pass into or through the United States.
According to The Washington Post, the intelligence analysts search PRISM data using terms intended to identify suspicious communications of targets whom the analysts suspect with at least 51 percent confidence to not be United States citizens, but in the process, communication data of some United States citizens are also collected unintentionally. Training materials for analysts tell them that while they should periodically report such accidental collection of non-foreign United States data, “it’s nothing to worry about.”
Response from companies
The original Washington Post and Guardian articles reporting on PRISM noted that one of the leaked briefing documents said PRISM involves collection of data “directly from the servers” of several major internet services providers.
Initial Public Statements
Corporate executives of several companies identified in the leaked documents told The Guardian that they had no knowledge of the PRISM program in particular and also denied making information available to the government on the scale alleged by news reports. Statements of several of the companies named in the leaked documents were reported by TechCrunch and The Washington Post as follows:
Slide listing companies and the date that PRISM collection began
Microsoft: “We provide customer data only when we receive a legally binding order or subpoena to do so, and never on a voluntary basis. In addition we only ever comply with orders for requests about specific accounts or identifiers. If the government has a broader voluntary national security program to gather customer data we don’t participate in it.”
Yahoo!: “Yahoo! takes users’ privacy very seriously. We do not provide the government with direct access to our servers, systems, or network.” “Of the hundreds of millions of users we serve, an infinitesimal percentage will ever be the subject of a government data collection directive.”
Facebook: “We do not provide any government organization with direct access to Facebook servers. When Facebook is asked for data or information about specific individuals, we carefully scrutinize any such request for compliance with all applicable laws, and provide information only to the extent required by law.”
Google: “Google cares deeply about the security of our users’ data. We disclose user data to government in accordance with the law, and we review all such requests carefully. From time to time, people allege that we have created a government ‘back door’ into our systems, but Google does not have a backdoor for the government to access private user data.” “[A]ny suggestion that Google is disclosing information about our users’ Internet activity on such a scale is completely false.”
Apple: “We have never heard of PRISM. We do not provide any government agency with direct access to our servers, and any government agency requesting customer data must get a court order.”
Dropbox: “We’ve seen reports that Dropbox might be asked to participate in a government program called PRISM. We are not part of any such program and remain committed to protecting our users’ privacy.”
In response to the technology companies’ denials of the NSA being able to directly access the companies’ servers, The New York Times reported that sources had stated the NSA was gathering the surveillance data from the companies using other technical means in response to court orders for specific sets of data.The Washington Post suggested, “It is possible that the conflict between the PRISM slides and the company spokesmen is the result of imprecision on the part of the NSA author. In another classified report obtained by The Post, the arrangement is described as allowing ‘collection managers [to send] content tasking instructions directly to equipment installed at company-controlled locations,’ rather than directly to company servers.” “[I]n context, ‘direct’ is more likely to mean that the NSA is receiving data sent to them deliberately by the tech companies, as opposed to intercepting communications as they’re transmitted to some other destination.
“If these companies received an order under the FISA amendments act, they are forbidden by law from disclosing having received the order and disclosing any information about the order at all,” Mark Rumold, staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, told ABC News.
Slide showing two different sources of NSA data collection. The first source the fiber optic cables of the internet handled by the Upstream program and the second source the servers of major internet companies handled by PRISM.
On May 28, 2013, Google was ordered by United States District Court Judge Susan Illston to comply with a National Security Letter issued by the FBI to provide user data without a warrant. Kurt Opsahl, a senior staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, in an interview with VentureBeat said, “I certainly appreciate that Google put out a transparency report, but it appears that the transparency didn’t include this. I wouldn’t be surprised if they were subject to a gag order.”
The New York Times reported on June 7, 2013, that “Twitter declined to make it easier for the government. But other companies were more compliant, according to people briefed on the negotiations.” The other companies held discussions with national security personnel on how to make data available more efficiently and securely. In some cases, these companies made modifications to their systems in support of the intelligence collection effort. The dialogues have continued in recent months, as General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has met with executives including those at Facebook, Microsoft, Google and Intel. These details on the discussions provide insight into the disparity between initial descriptions of the government program including a training slide which states “Collection directly from the servers” and the companies’ denials.
While providing data in response to a legitimate FISA request approved by FISC is a legal requirement, modifying systems to make it easier for the government to collect the data is not. This is why Twitter could legally decline to provide an enhanced mechanism for data transmission. Other than Twitter, the companies were effectively asked to construct a locked mailbox and provide the key to the government, people briefed on the negotiations said. Facebook, for instance, built such a system for requesting and sharing the information. Google does not provide a lockbox system, but instead transmits required data by hand delivery or secure FTP.
Post-PRISM Transparency Reports
In response to the publicity surrounding media reports of data-sharing, several companies requested permission to reveal more public information about the nature and scope of information provided in response to National Security requests.
On June 14, 2013, Facebook reported that the U.S. Government had authorized the communication of “about these numbers in aggregate, and as a range.” In a press release posted to their web site, Facebook reported, “For the six months ending December 31, 2012, the total number of user-data requests Facebook received from any and all government entities in the U.S. (including local, state, and federal, and including criminal and national security-related requests) – was between 9,000 and 10,000.” Facebook further reported that the requests impacted “between 18,000 and 19,000″ user accounts, a “tiny fraction of one percent” of more than 1.1 billion active user accounts.
Microsoft reported that for the same period, it received “between 6,000 and 7,000 criminal and national security warrants, subpoenas and orders affecting between 31,000 and 32,000 consumer accounts from U.S. governmental entities (including local, state and federal)” which impacted “a tiny fraction of Microsoft’s global customer base”.
Google issued a statement criticizing the requirement that data be reported in aggregated form, stating that lumping national security requests with criminal request data would be “a step backwards” from its previous, more detailed practices on its site transparency report. The company said that it would continue to seek government permission to publish the number and extent of FISA requests.
Response from United States government
Shortly after publication of the reports by The Guardian and The Washington Post, the United States Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, on June 7 released a statement confirming that for nearly six years the government of the United States had been using large internet services companies such as Google and Facebook to collect information on foreigners outside the United States as a defense against national security threats. The statement read in part, “The Guardian and The Washington Post articles refer to collection of communications pursuant to Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. They contain numerous inaccuracies.” He went on to say, “Section 702 is a provision of FISA that is designed to facilitate the acquisition of foreign intelligence information concerning non-U.S. persons located outside the United States. It cannot be used to intentionally target any U.S. citizen, any other U.S. person, or anyone located within the United States.” Clapper concluded his statement by stating “The unauthorized disclosure of information about this important and entirely legal program is reprehensible and risks important protections for the security of Americans.” On March 12, 2013, Clapper had told the United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence that the NSA does “not wittingly” collect any type of data on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans. In an NBC News interview, Clapper said he answered Senator Wyden’s question in the “least untruthful manner by saying no”.
Clapper also stated that “the NSA collects the phone data in broad swaths, because collecting it (in) a narrow fashion would make it harder to identify terrorism-related communications. The information collected lets the government, over time, make connections about terrorist activities. The program doesn’t let the U.S. listen to people’s calls, but only includes information like call length and telephone numbers dialed.”
On June 8, 2013, Clapper said “the surveillance activities published in The Guardian and The Washington Post are lawful and conducted under authorities widely known and discussed, and fully debated and authorized by Congress.” The fact sheet described PRISM as “an internal government computer system used to facilitate the government’s statutorily authorized collection of foreign intelligence information from electronic communication service providers under court supervision, as authorized by Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) (50 U.S.C. § 1881a).”
The National Intelligence fact sheet further stated that “the United States Government does not unilaterally obtain information from the servers of U.S. electronic communication service providers. All such information is obtained with FISA Court approval and with the knowledge of the provider based upon a written directive from the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence.” It said that the Attorney General provides FISA Court rulings and semi-annual reports about PRISM activities to Congress, “provid[ing] an unprecedented degree of accountability and transparency.”
The President of the United States, Barack Obama, said on June 7 “What you’ve got is two programs that were originally authorized by Congress, have been repeatedly authorized by Congress. Bipartisan majorities have approved them. Congress is continually briefed on how these are conducted. There are a whole range of safeguards involved. And federal judges are overseeing the entire program throughout.” He also said, “You can’t have 100 percent security and then also have 100 percent privacy and zero inconvenience. You know, we’re going to have to make some choices as a society.”
In separate statements, senior (not mentioned by name in source) Obama administration officials said that Congress had been briefed 13 times on the programs since 2009.
In contrast to their swift and forceful reactions the previous day to allegations that the government had been conducting surveillance of United States citizens’ telephone records, Congressional leaders initially had little to say about the PRISM program the day after leaked information about the program was published. Several lawmakers declined to discuss PRISM, citing its top-secret classification, and others said that they had not been aware of the program. After statements had been released by the President and the Director of National Intelligence, some lawmakers began to comment:
Senator John McCain (R-AZ)
June 9 “We passed the Patriot Act. We passed specific provisions of the act that allowed for this program to take place, to be enacted in operation,”
Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee
June 9 “These programs are within the law”, “part of our obligation is keeping Americans safe”, “Human intelligence isn’t going to do it”.
June 9 “Here’s the rub: the instances where this has produced good — has disrupted plots, prevented terrorist attacks, is all classified, that’s what’s so hard about this.”
June 11 “It went fine…we asked him[ Keith Alexander ] to declassify things because it would be helpful (for people and lawmakers to better understand the intelligence programs).” “I’ve just got to see if the information gets declassified. I’m sure people will find it very interesting.”
Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), member of Senate Intelligence Committee and past member of Homeland Security Committee
June 11 “I had, along with Joe Lieberman, a monthly threat briefing, but I did not have access to this highly compartmentalized information” and “How can you ask when you don’t know the program exists?”
Representative John Boehner (R-OH), Speaker of the House of Representatives
June 11 “He’s a traitor” (referring to Edward Snowden)
Representative Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI), principal sponsor of the Patriot Act
June 9, “This is well beyond what the Patriot Act allows.” “President Obama’s claim that ‘this is the most transparent administration in history’ has once again proven false. In fact, it appears that no administration has ever peered more closely or intimately into the lives of innocent Americans.”
Representative Mike Rogers (R-MI), a Chairman of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
June 9 “One of the things that we’re charged with is keeping America safe and keeping our civil liberties and privacy intact. I think we have done both in this particular case,”
June 9 “Within the last few years this program was used to stop a program, excuse me, to stop a terrorist attack in the United States we know that. It’s, it’s, it’s important, it fills in a little seam that we have and it’s used to make sure that there is not an international nexus to any terrorism event that they may believe is ongoing in the United States. So in that regard it is a very valuable thing,”
Senator Mark Udall (D-CO)
June 9 “I don’t think the American public knows the extent or knew the extent to which they were being surveilled and their data was being collected.” “I think we ought to reopen the Patriot Act and put some limits on the amount of data that the National Security (Agency) is collecting,” “It ought to remain sacred, and there’s got to be a balance here. That is what I’m aiming for. Let’s have the debate, let’s be transparent, let’s open this up”.
Representative Todd Rokita (R-IN)
June 10 “We have no idea when they [ FISA ] meet, we have no idea what their judgments are”,
Senator Rand Paul (R-KY)
June 6 “When the Senate rushed through a last-minute extension of the FISA Amendments Act late last year, I insisted on a vote on my amendment (SA 3436) to require stronger protections on business records and prohibiting the kind of data-mining this case has revealed. Just last month, I introduced S.1037, the Fourth Amendment Preservation and Protection Act,”
June 9 “I’m going to be seeing if I can challenge this at the Supreme Court level. I’m going to be asking the Internet providers and all of the phone companies: ask your customers to join me in a class-action lawsuit.”
Representative Luis Gutierrez (D-IL)
June 9 “We will be receiving secret briefings and we will be asking, I know I’m going to be asking to get more information. I want to make sure that what they’re doing is harvesting information that is necessary to keep us safe and not simply going into everybody’s private telephone conversations and Facebook and communications. I mean one of the, you know the terrorists win when you debilitate freedom of expression and privacy.”
The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) has not acknowledged, denied or confirmed any involvement in the PRISM program at this time. It has not issued any press statement or release relating to the current situation and uncertainty.
Applicable law and practice
On June 8, 2013, the Director of National Intelligence issued a fact sheet stating that PRISM “is not an undisclosed collection or data mining program”, but rather computer software used to facilitate the collection of foreign intelligence information “under court supervision, as authorized by Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) (50 U.S.C. § 1881a).” Section 702 provides that “the Attorney General [A.G.] and the Director of National Intelligence [DNI] may authorize jointly, for a period of up to 1 year from the effective date of the authorization, the targeting of persons reasonably believed to be located outside the United States to acquire foreign intelligence information.” In order to authorize the targeting, the A.G. and DNI need to get an order from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) pursuant to Section 702 or certify that “intelligence important to the national security of the United States may be lost or not timely acquired and time does not permit the issuance of an order.” When asking for an order, the A.G. and DNI must certify to FISC that “a significant purpose of the acquisition is to obtain foreign intelligence information.” They do not need to specify which facilities or property that the targeting will be directed at.
After getting a FISC order or determining that there are emergency circumstances, the A.G. and DNI can direct an electronic communication service provider to give them access to information or facilities to carry out the targeting and keep the targeting secret. The provider then has the option to: (1) comply with the directive; (2) reject it; or (3) challenge it to FISC.
If the provider complies with the directive, it is released from liability to its users for providing the information and reimbursed for the cost of providing it.
If the provider rejects the directive, the A.G. may request an order from FISC to enforce it. A provider that fails to comply with FISC’s order can be punished with contempt of court.
Finally, a provider can petition FISC to reject the directive. In case FISC denies the petition and orders the provider to comply with the directive, the provider risks contempt of court if it refuses to comply with FISC’s order. The provider can appeal FISC’s denial to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review and then appeal the Court of Review’s decision to the Supreme Court by a writ of certiorari for review under seal.
The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and the FISA Courts had been put in place to oversee intelligence operations in the period after the death of J. Edgar Hoover. Beverly Gage of Slate said, “When they were created, these new mechanisms were supposed to stop the kinds of abuses that men like Hoover had engineered. Instead, it now looks as if they have come to function as rubber stamps for the expansive ambitions of the intelligence community. J. Edgar Hoover no longer rules Washington, but it turns out we didn’t need him anyway.”
Involvement of other countries
The Australian government has said it will investigate the impact of the PRISM program and the use of the Pine Gap surveillance facility on the privacy of Australian citizens.
Canada’s national cryptologic agency, the Communications Security Establishment, said that commenting on PRISM “would undermine CSE’s ability to carry out its mandate”. Privacy Commissioner Jennifer Stoddart lamented Canada’s standards when it comes to protecting personal online privacy stating “We have fallen too far behind,” Stoddart wrote in her report. “While other nations’ data protection authorities have the legal power to make binding orders, levy hefty fines and take meaningful action in the event of serious data breaches, we are restricted to a ‘soft’ approach: persuasion, encouragement and, at the most, the potential to publish the names of transgressors in the public interest.” And, “when push comes to shove,” Stoddart wrote, “short of a costly and time-consuming court battle, we have no power to enforce our recommendations.”
Germany did not receive any raw PRISM data, according to a Reuters report.
Israeli newspaper Calcalist discussed the Business Insider article about the possible involvement of technologies from two secretive Israeli companies in the PRISM program – Verint Systems and Narus.
In New Zealand, University of Otago information science Associate Professor Hank Wolfe said that “under what was unofficially known as the Five Eyes Alliance, New Zealand and other governments, including the United States, Australia, Canada, and Britain, dealt with internal spying by saying they didn’t do it. But they have all the partners doing it for them and then they share all the information.”
In the United Kingdom, Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) has had access to the PRISM program on or before June 2010 and wrote 197 reports with it in 2012 alone. PRISM may have allowed GCHQ to circumvent the formal legal process required to seek personal material.
The neutrality of this section is disputed. Please do not remove this message until the dispute is resolved. (June 2013)
The New York Times editorial board charged that the Obama administration “has now lost all credibility on this issue,” and lamented that “for years, members of Congress ignored evidence that domestic intelligence-gathering had grown beyond their control, and, even now, few seem disturbed to learn that every detail about the public’s calling and texting habits now reside in a N.S.A. database.”
Republican and former member of Congress Ron Paul said, “We should be thankful for individuals like Edward Snowden and Glenn Greenwald who see injustice being carried out by their own government and speak out, despite the risk…. They have done a great service to the American people by exposing the truth about what our government is doing in secret.” Paul denounced the government’s secret surveillance program: “The government does not need to know more about what we are doing…. We need to know more about what the government is doing.” He called Congress “derelict in giving that much power to the government,” and said that had he been elected president, he would have ordered searches only when there was probable cause of a crime having been committed, which he said was not how the PRISM program was being operated.
In response to Obama administration arguments that it could stop terrorism in the cases of Najibullah Zazi and David Headley, Ed Pilkington and Nicholas Watt of The Guardian said in regards to the role of PRISM and Boundless Informant interviews with parties involved in the Zazi scheme and court documents lodged in the United States and the United Kingdom indicated that “conventional” surveillance methods such as “old-fashioned tip-offs” of the British intelligence services initiated the investigation into the Zazi case. An anonymous former CIA agent said that in regards to the Headley case, “That’s nonsense. It played no role at all in the Headley case. That’s not the way it happened at all.” Pilkington and Watt concluded that the data-mining programs “played a relatively minor role in the interception of the two plots.” Michael Daly of The Daily Beast stated that even though Tamerlan Tsarnaev had visited Inspire and even though Russian intelligence officials alerted U.S. intelligence officials about Tsarnaev, PRISM did not prevent him from carrying out the Boston bombings, and that the initial evidence implicating him came from his brother Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and not from federal intelligence. In addition Daly pointed to the fact that Faisal Shahzad visited Inspire but that federal authorities did not stop his attempted terrorist plot. Daly concluded “The problem is not just what the National Security Agency is gathering at the risk of our privacy but what it is apparently unable to monitor at the risk of our safety.” In addition, political commentator Bill O’Reilly criticized the government, saying that PRISM did not stop the Boston bombings.
In a blog post, David Simon, the creator of The Wire, compared the NSA’s programs, including PRISM, to a 1980s effort by the City of Baltimore to add dialed number recorders to all pay phones to know which individuals were being called by the callers; the city believed that drug traffickers were using pay phones and pagers, and a municipal judge allowed the city to place the recorders. The placement of the dialers formed the basis of the show’s first season. Simon argued that the media attention regarding the NSA programs is a “faux scandal.” George Takei, an actor who had experienced Japanese American internment, said that due to his memories of the internment, he felt concern towards the NSA surveillance programs that had been revealed.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), an international non-profit digital-rights group based in the U.S., is hosting a tool, by which an American resident can write to their government representatives regarding their opposition to mass spying.
On June 11, 2013, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit against the NSA citing that PRISM “violates Americans’ constitutional rights of free speech, association, and privacy”.
Reactions of Internet users in China were mixed between viewing a loss of freedom worldwide and seeing state surveillance coming out of secrecy. The story broke just before US President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping met in California. When asked about NSA hacking China, the spokeswoman of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China said “China strongly advocates cybersecurity”. The party-owned newspaper Liberation Daily described this surveillance like Nineteen Eighty-Four-style. Hong Kong legislators Gary Fan and Claudia Mo wrote a letter to Obama, stating “the revelations of blanket surveillance of global communications by the world’s leading democracy have damaged the image of the U.S. among freedom-loving peoples around the world.”
Sophie in ‘t Veld, a Dutch Member of the European Parliament, called PRISM “a violation of EU laws”.
Protests at Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin
The German Federal Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information, Peter Schaar, condemned the program as “monstrous”. He further added that White House claims do “not reassure me at all” and that “given the large number of German users of Google, Facebook, Apple or Microsoft services, I expect the German government […] is committed to clarification and limitation of surveillance.” Steffen Seibert, press secretary of the Chancellor’s office, announced that Angela Merkel will put these issues on the agenda of the talks with Barack Obama during his pending visit in Berlin.
The Italian president of the Guarantor for the protection of personal data, Antonello Soro, said that the surveillance dragnet “would not be legal in Italy” and would be “contrary to the principles of our legislation and would represent a very serious violation”.
William Hague, the foreign secretary of the United Kingdom, dismissed accusations that British security agencies had been circumventing British law by using information gathered on British citizens by Prism saying, “Any data obtained by us from the United States involving UK nationals is subject to proper UK statutory controls and safeguards.” David Cameron said Britain’s spy agencies that received data collected from PRISM acted within the law: “I’m satisfied that we have intelligence agencies that do a fantastically important job for this country to keep us safe, and they operate within the law.” Malcolm Rifkind, the chairman of parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee, said that if the British intelligence agencies were seeking to know the content of emails about people living in the UK, then they actually have to get lawful authority. The UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office was more cautious, saying it would investigate PRISM alongside other European data agencies: “There are real issues about the extent to which U.S. law agencies can access personal data of UK and other European citizens. Aspects of U.S. law under which companies can be compelled to provide information to U.S. agencies potentially conflict with European data protection law, including the UK’s own Data Protection Act. The ICO has raised this with its European counterparts, and the issue is being considered by the European Commission, who are in discussions with the U.S. Government.”
Ai Weiwei, a Chinese dissident, said “Even though we know governments do all kinds of things I was shocked by the information about the US surveillance operation, Prism. To me, it’s abusively using government powers to interfere in individuals’ privacy. This is an important moment for international society to reconsider and protect individual rights.”
Kim Dotcom, a German-Finnish Internet entrepreneur who owned Megaupload, which was closed by the U.S. federal government, said “We should heed warnings from Snowden because the prospect of an Orwellian society outweighs whatever security benefits we derive from Prism or Five Eyes.” The Hong Kong law firm representing Dotcom expressed a fear that the communication between Dotcom and the firm had been compromised by U.S. intelligence programs.
Russia has offered to consider an asylum request from Edward Snowden.
Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid said “We knew about their past efforts to trace our system. We have used our technical resources to foil their efforts and have been able to stop them from succeeding so far.”
A parallel program, code-named BLARNEY, gathers up metadata as it streams past choke points along the backbone of the Internet. BLARNEY’s summary, set down in the slides alongside a cartoon insignia of a shamrock and a leprechaun hat, describes it as “an ongoing collection program that leverages IC [intelligence community] and commercial partnerships to gain access and exploit foreign intelligence obtained from global networks.”
A related program, a big data visualization system based on cloud computing and free and open-source software (FOSS) technology known as “Boundless Informant”, was disclosed in documents leaked to The Guardian and reported on June 8, 2013. A leaked, top secret map allegedly produced by Boundless Informant revealed the extent of NSA surveillance in the U.S.
ThinThread is the name of a project that the United States National Security Agency (NSA) pursued during the 1990s, according to a May 17, 2006 article in The Baltimore Sun. The program involved wiretapping and sophisticated analysis of the resulting data, but according to the article, the program was discontinued three weeks before the September 11, 2001 attacks due to the changes in priorities and the consolidation of U.S. intelligence authority. The “change in priority” consisted of the decision made by the director of NSA General Michael V. Hayden to go with a concept called Trailblazer, despite the fact that ThinThread was a working prototype that protected the privacy of U.S. citizens.
ThinThread was dismissed and replaced by the Trailblazer Project, which lacked the privacy protections. A consortium led by Science Applications International Corporation was awarded a $280 million contract to develop Trailblazer in 2002.
Trailblazer was a United States National Security Agency (NSA) program intended to develop a capability to analyze data carried on communications networks like the Internet. It was intended to track entities using communication methods such as cell phones and e-mail. It ran over budget, failed to accomplish critical goals, and was cancelled.
NSA whistleblowers J. Kirk Wiebe, William Binney, Ed Loomis, and House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence staffer Diane Roark complained to the Department of Defense’s Inspector General (IG) about waste, fraud, and abuse in the program, and the fact that a successful operating prototype existed, but was ignored when the Trailblazer program was launched. The complaint was accepted by the IG and an investigation began that lasted until mid-2005 when the final results were issued. The results were largely hidden, as the report given to the public was heavily (90%) redacted, while the original report was heavily classified, thus restricting the ability of most people to see it.
The people who filed the IG complaint were later raided by armed Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents. While the Government threatened to prosecute all who signed the IG report, it ultimately chose to pursue an NSA Senior Executive — Thomas Andrews Drake — who helped with the report internally to NSA and who had spoken with a reporter about the project. Drake was later charged under the Espionage Act of 1917. His defenders claimed this was retaliation. The charges against him were later dropped, and he agreed to plead guilty to having committed a misdemeanor under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, something that Jesselyn Radack of the Government Accountability Project (which helped represent him) called an “act of civil disobedience”.
Trailblazer was chosen over a similar program named ThinThread, a less costly project which had been designed with built-in privacy protections for United States citizens. Trailblazer was later linked to the NSA electronic surveillance program and the NSA warrantless surveillance controversy.
In 2002 a consortium led by Science Applications International Corporation was chosen by the NSA to produce a technology demonstration platform in a contract worth $280 million. Project participants included Boeing, Computer Sciences Corporation, and Booz Allen Hamilton. The project was overseen by NSA Deputy Director William B. Black, Jr., an NSA worker who had gone to SAIC, and then been re-hired back to NSA by NSA director Michael Hayden in 2000. SAIC had also hired a former NSA director to its management; Bobby Inman. SAIC also participated in the concept definition phase of Trailblazer.
Redacted version of the DoD Inspector General audit, obtained through the Freedom of Information Act by the Project on Government Oversight and others. 
The NSA Inspector General issued a report on Trailblazer that “discussed improperly based contract cost increases, non-conformance in the management of the Statement of Work, and excessive labor rates for contractor personnel.” 
In 2004 the DoD IG report criticized the program (see the Whistleblowing section below). It said that the “NSA ‘disregarded solutions to urgent national security needs'” and “that TRAILBLAZER was poorly executed and overly expensive …” Several contractors for the project were worried about cooperating with DoD’s audit for fear of “management reprisal.” The Director of NSA “nonconcurred” with several statements in the IG audit, and the report contains a discussion of those disagreements.
In 2005, NSA director Michael Hayden told a Senate hearing that the Trailblazer program was several hundred million dollars over budget and years behind schedule. In 2006 the program was shut down, after having cost billions of US Dollars. Several anonymous NSA sources told Hosenball of Newsweek later on that the project was a “wasteful failure”.
The new project replacing Trailblazer is called Turbulence.
According to a 2011 New Yorker article, in the early days of the project several NSA employees met with Diane S Roark, an NSA budget expert on the House Intelligence Committee. They aired their grievances about Trailblazer. In response, NSA director Michael Hayden sent out a memo saying that “individuals, in a session with our congressional overseers, took a position in direct opposition to one that we had corporately decided to follow … Actions contrary to our decisions will have a serious adverse effect on our efforts to transform N.S.A., and I cannot tolerate them.”
In September 2002, several people filed a complaint with the Department of Defense IG’s office regarding problems with Trailblazer: they included Roark (aforementioned), ex-NSA senior analysts Bill Binney, Kirk Wiebe, and Senior Computer Systems Analyst Ed Loomis, who had quit the agency over concerns about its mismanagement of acquisition and allegedly illegal domestic spying. A major source for the report was NSA senior officer Thomas Andrews Drake. Drake had been complaining to his superiors for some time about problems at the agency, and about the superiority of ThinThread over Trailblazer, for example, at protecting privacy. Drake gave info to DoD during its investigation of the matter. Roark also went to her boss at the House committee, Porter Goss, about problems, but was rebuffed. She also attempted to contact William Renquist, the Supreme Court Chief Justice at the time.
Drake’s own boss, Maureen Baginski, the third-highest officer at NSA, quit partly over concerns about the legality of its behavior.
In 2003, the NSA IG (not the DoD IG) had declared Trailblazer an expensive failure. It had cost more than $1 billion.
In 2005, the DoD IG produced a report on the result of its investigation of the complaint of Roark and the others in 2002. This report was not released to the public, but it has been described as very negative. Mayer writes that it hastened the closure of Trailblazer, which was at the time in trouble from congress for being over budget.
In November 2005, Drake contacted Siobhan Gorman, a reporter of The Baltimore Sun. Gorman wrote several articles about problems at the NSA, including articles on Trailblazer. This series got her an award from the Society of Professional Journalists.
In 2005, President George W. Bush ordered the FBI to find whoever had disclosed information about the NSA electronic surveillance program and its disclosure in the New York Times. Eventually, this investigation led to the people who had filed the 2002 DoD IG request, even though they had nothing to do with the New York Times disclosure. In 2007, the houses of Roark, Binney, and Wiebe were raided by armed FBI agents. According to Mayer, Binney claims the FBI pointed guns at his head and that of his wife. Wiebe said it reminded him of the Soviet Union. None of these people were ever charged with any crime. Four months later, Drake was raided in November 2007 and his computers and documents were confiscated.
In 2010 Drake was indicted by the U.S. Department of Justice on charges of obstructing justice, providing false information, and violating the Espionage Act of 1917, part of President Barack Obama’s crackdown on whistleblowers and “leakers”. The government tried to get Roark to testify to a conspiracy, and made similar requests to Drake, offering him a plea bargain. They both refused.
In June 2011, the ten original charges against Drake were dropped, instead he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor.
Boundless Informant is a big data analysis and data visualization system used by the United States National Security Agency (NSA) to give NSA managers summaries of NSA’s world wide data collection activities. It is described in an unclassified, For Official Use Only Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) memo published by The Guardian. According to a Top Secret heat map display also published by The Guardian and allegedly produced by the Boundless Informant program, almost 3 billion data elements from inside the United States were captured by NSA over a 30-day period ending in March 2013.
Data analyzed by Boundless Informant includes electronic surveillance program records (DNI) and telephone call metadata records (DNR) stored in an NSA data archive called GM-PLACE. It does not include FISA data, according to the FAQ memo. PRISM, a government codename for a collection effort known officially as US-984XN, which was revealed at the same time as Boundless Informant, is one source of DNR data. According to the map, Boundless Informant summarizes data records from 504 separate DNR and DNI collection sources (SIGADs). In the map, countries that are under surveillance are assigned a color from green, representing least coverage to red, most intensive.
Slide showing that much of the world’s communications flow through the US.
Intelligence gathered by the United States government inside the United States or specifically targeting US citizens is legally required to be gathered in compliance with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (FISA) and under the authority of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA court).
NSA global data mining projects have existed for decades, but recent programs of intelligence gathering and analysis that include data gathered from inside the United States such as PRISM were enabled by changes to US surveillance law introduced under President Bush and renewed under President Obama in December 2012.
Boundless Informant was first publicly revealed on June 8, 2013, after classified documents about the program were leaked to The Guardian. The newspaper identified its informant, at his request, as Edward Snowden, who worked at the NSA for the defense contractor Booz Allen Hamilton.
According to published slides, Boundless Informant leverages Free and Open Source Software—and is therefore “available to all NSA developers”—and corporate services hosted in the cloud. The tool uses HDFS, MapReduce, and Cloudbase for data processing.
Legality and FISA Amendments Act of 2008
The FISA Amendments Act (FAA) Section 702 is referenced in PRISM documents detailing the electronic interception, capture and analysis of metadata. Many reports and letters of concern written by members of Congress suggest that this section of FAA in particular is legally and constitutionally problematic, such as by targeting U.S. persons, insofar as “Collections occur in U.S.” as published documents indicate.
The ACLU has asserted the following regarding the FAA: “Regardless of abuses, the problem with the FAA is more fundamental: the statute itself is unconstitutional.”
Senator Rand Paul is introducing new legislation called the Fourth Amendment Restoration Act of 2013 to stop the NSA or other agencies of the United States government from violating the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution using technology and big data information systems like PRISM and Boundless Informant.
ECHELON is a name used in global media and in popular culture to describe a signals intelligence (SIGINT) collection and analysis network operated on behalf of the five signatory states to the UKUSA Security Agreement (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States, referred to by a number of abbreviations, including AUSCANNZUKUS and Five Eyes). It has also been described as the only software system which controls the download and dissemination of the intercept of commercial satellite trunk communications.
ECHELON, according to information in the European Parliament document, “On the existence of a global system for the interception of private and commercial communications (ECHELON interception system)” was created to monitor the military and diplomatic communications of the Soviet Union and its Eastern Bloc allies during the Cold War in the early 1960s.
The system has been reported in a number of public sources. Its capabilities and political implications were investigated by a committee of the European Parliament during 2000 and 2001 with a report published in 2001, and by author James Bamford in his books on the National Security Agency of the United States. The European Parliament stated in its report that the term ECHELON is used in a number of contexts, but that the evidence presented indicates that it was the name for a signals intelligence collection system. The report concludes that, on the basis of information presented, ECHELON was capable of interception and content inspection of telephone calls, fax, e-mail and other data traffic globally through the interception of communication bearers including satellite transmission, public switched telephone networks (which once carried most Internet traffic) and microwave links.
Bamford describes the system as the software controlling the collection and distribution of civilian telecommunications traffic conveyed using communication satellites, with the collection being undertaken by ground stations located in the footprint of the downlink leg.
The UKUSA intelligence community was assessed by the European Parliament (EP) in 2000 to include the signals intelligence agencies of each of the member states:
the Government Communications Headquarters of the United Kingdom,
the National Security Agency of the United States,
the Communications Security Establishment of Canada,
the Defence Signals Directorate of Australia, and
the Government Communications Security Bureau of New Zealand.
the National SIGINT Organisation (NSO) of The Netherlands
The EP report concluded that it seemed likely that ECHELON is a method of sorting captured signal traffic, rather than a comprehensive analysis tool.
The ability to intercept communications depends on the medium used, be it radio, satellite, microwave, cellular or fiber-optic. During World War II and through the 1950s, high frequency (“short wave”) radio was widely used for military and diplomatic communication, and could be intercepted at great distances. The rise of geostationary communications satellites in the 1960s presented new possibilities for intercepting international communications. The report to the European Parliament of 2001 states: “If UKUSA states operate listening stations in the relevant regions of the earth, in principle they can intercept all telephone, fax and data traffic transmitted via such satellites.”
The role of satellites in point-to-point voice and data communications has largely been supplanted by fiber optics; in 2006, 99% of the world’s long-distance voice and data traffic was carried over optical-fiber. The proportion of international communications accounted for by satellite links is said to have decreased substantially over the past few years[when?] in Central Europe to an amount between 0.4% and 5%. Even in less-developed parts of the world, communications satellites are used largely for point-to-multipoint applications, such as video. Thus, the majority of communications can no longer be intercepted by earth stations; they can only be collected by tapping cables and intercepting line-of-sight microwave signals, which is possible only to a limited extent.
One method of interception is to place equipment at locations where fiber optic communications are switched. For the Internet, much of the switching occurs at relatively few sites. There have been reports of one such intercept site, Room 641A, in the United States. In the past[when?] much Internet traffic was routed through the U.S. and the UK, but this has changed; for example, in 2000, 95% of intra-German Internet communications was routed via the DE-CIX Internet exchange point in Frankfurt. A comprehensive worldwide surveillance network is possible only if clandestine intercept sites are installed in the territory of friendly nations, and/or if local authorities cooperate. The report to the European Parliament points out that interception of private communications by foreign intelligence services is not necessarily limited to the U.S. or British foreign intelligence services.
Most reports on ECHELON focus on satellite interception; testimony before the European Parliament indicated that separate but similar UK-US systems are in place to monitor communication through undersea cables, microwave transmissions and other lines.
See also: Industrial espionage
Intelligence monitoring of citizens, and their communications, in the area covered by the AUSCANNZUKUS security agreement has caused concern. British journalist Duncan Campbell and New Zealand journalist Nicky Hager asserted in the 1990s that the United States was exploiting ECHELON traffic for industrial espionage, rather than military and diplomatic purposes. Examples alleged by the journalists include the gear-less wind turbine technology designed by the German firm Enercon and the speech technology developed by the Belgian firm Lernout & Hauspie. An article in the US newspaper Baltimore Sun reported in 1995 that European aerospace company Airbus lost a $6 billion contract with Saudi Arabia in 1994 after the US National Security Agency reported that Airbus officials had been bribing Saudi officials to secure the contract.
In 2001, the Temporary Committee on the ECHELON Interception System recommended to the European Parliament that citizens of member states routinely use cryptography in their communications to protect their privacy, because economic espionage with ECHELON has been conducted by the US intelligence agencies.
Bamford provides an alternative view, highlighting that legislation prohibits the use of intercepted communications for commercial purposes, although he does not elaborate on how intercepted communications are used as part of an all-source intelligence process.
According to its website, the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) is “a high technology organization … on the frontiers of communications and data processing”. In 1999 the Australian Senate Joint Standing Committee on Treaties was told by Professor Desmond Ball that the Pine Gap facility was used as a ground station for a satellite-based interception network. The satellites were said to be large radio dishes between 20 and 100 meters in diameter in geostationary orbits. The original purpose of the network was to monitor the telemetry from 1970s Soviet weapons, air defence radar, communications satellites and ground based microwave communications.
The European Parliament’s Temporary Committee on the ECHELON Interception System stated: “It seems likely, in view of the evidence and the consistent pattern of statements from a very wide range of individuals and organisations, including American sources, that its name is in fact ECHELON, although this is a relatively minor detail.” The U.S. intelligence community uses many code names (see, for example, CIA cryptonym).
Former NSA employee Margaret Newsham claims that she worked on the configuration and installation of software that makes up the ECHELON system while employed at Lockheed Martin, for whom she worked from 1974 to 1984 in Sunnyvale, California, US, and in Menwith Hill, England, UK. At that time, according to Newsham, the code name ECHELON was NSA’s term for the computer network itself. Lockheed called it P415. The software programs were called SILKWORTH and SIRE. A satellite named VORTEX intercepted communications. An image available on the internet of a fragment apparently torn from a job description shows Echelon listed along with several other code names.
The 2001 European Parliamentary (EP) report lists several ground stations as possibly belonging to, or participating in, the ECHELON network. These include:
Likely satellite intercept stations
The following stations are listed in the EP report (p. 54 ff) as likely to have, or to have had, a role in intercepting transmissions from telecommunications satellites:
Hong Kong (since closed)
Australian Defence Satellite Communications Station (Geraldton, Western Australia)
Menwith Hill (Yorkshire, U.K.) Map (reportedly the largest Echelon facility)
Misawa Air Base (Japan) Map
GCHQ Bude, formerly known as GCHQ CSO Morwenstow, (Cornwall, U.K.) Map
Pine Gap (Northern Territory, Australia – close to Alice Springs) Map
Sugar Grove (West Virginia, U.S.) Map
Yakima Training Center (Washington, U.S.) Map
GCSB Waihopai (New Zealand)
GCSB Tangimoana (New Zealand)
CFS Leitrim (Ontario, Canada)
Teufelsberg (Berlin, Germany) (closed 1992)
Other potentially related stations
The following stations are listed in the EP report (p. 57 ff) as ones whose roles “cannot be clearly established”:
Ayios Nikolaos (Cyprus – U.K.)
BadAibling Station (BadAibling, Germany – U.S.)
relocated to Griesheim in 2004
deactivated in 2008
Buckley Air Force Base (Aurora, Colorado)
Fort Gordon (Georgia, U.S.)
Gander (Newfoundland & Labrador, Canada)
Guam (Pacific Ocean, U.S.)
Kunia Regional SIGINT Operations Center (Hawaii, U.S.)
Lackland Air Force Base, Medina Annex (San Antonio, Texas)
Room 641A is a telecommunication interception facility operated by AT&T for the U.S. National Security Agency that commenced operations in 2003 and was exposed in 2006.
Room 641A is located in the SBC Communications building at 611 Folsom Street, San Francisco, three floors of which were occupied by AT&T before SBC purchased AT&T. The room was referred to in internal AT&T documents as the SG3 [Study Group 3] Secure Room. It is fed by fiber optic lines from beam splitters installed in fiber optic trunks carrying Internet backbone traffic and, as analyzed by J. Scott Marcus, a former CTO for GTE and a former adviser to the FCC, who has access to all Internet traffic that passes through the building, and therefore “the capability to enable surveillance and analysis of internet content on a massive scale, including both overseas and purely domestic traffic.” Former director of the NSA’s World Geopolitical and Military Analysis Reporting Group, William Binney, has estimated that 10 to 20 such facilities have been installed throughout the United States.
The room measures about 24 by 48 feet (7.3 by 15 m) and contains several racks of equipment, including a Narus STA 6400, a device designed to intercept and analyze Internet communications at very high speeds.
The very existence of the room was revealed by a former AT&T technician, Mark Klein, and was the subject of a 2006 class action lawsuit by the Electronic Frontier Foundation against AT&T. Klein claims he was told that similar black rooms are operated at other facilities around the country.
Room 641A and the controversies surrounding it were subjects of an episode of Frontline, the current affairs documentary program on PBS. It was originally broadcast on May 15, 2007. It was also featured on PBS’s NOW on March 14, 2008. The room was also covered in the PBS Nova episode “The Spy Factory”.
Basic diagram of how the alleged wiretapping was accomplished. From EFF court filings
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed a class-action lawsuit against AT&T on January 31, 2006, accusing the telecommunication company of violating the law and the privacy of its customers by collaborating with the National Security Agency (NSA) in a massive, illegal program to wiretap and data-mine Americans’ communications. On July 20, 2006, a federal judge denied the government’s and AT&T’s motions to dismiss the case, chiefly on the ground of the States Secrets Privilege, allowing the lawsuit to go forward. On August 15, 2007, the case was heard by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and was dismissed on December 29, 2011 based on a retroactive grant of immunity by Congress for telecommunications companies that cooperated with the government. The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the case. A different case by the EFF was filed on September 18, 2008, titled Jewel v. NSA.
PRISM: A clandestine national security electronic surveillance program operated by the United States National Security Agency (NSA) which can target customers of participating corporations outside or inside the United States
Main Core: A personal and financial database storing information of millions of U.S. citizens believed to be threats to national security. The data mostly comes from the NSA, FBI, CIA, as well as other government sources.
Story 1: Baltimore Police Were Repeatedly Ordered To ‘Stand down, stand down, stand down! Back up, back up, retreat, retreat!’ — Videos
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Sheriff: ‘I Was Sick To My Stomach’ After Being Told To Stand Down
A Maryland sheriff who traveled to Baltimore to help law enforcement stop Monday’s riots told 105.7 The Fan that he was stunned when officers alerted him of the orders to stand down.
Michael Lewis is the Sheriff in Wicomico County, and was also a Sergeant with the Maryland State Police. He joined Ed Norris and Steve Davis on Thursday to talk about the alleged controversial orders the police were given during the riots.
Lewis said it wasn’t his intention to come to Baltimore, a drive of about two hours, but he felt it was his duty to help.
“I hadn’t planned to go to Baltimore at all. I watched the events unfold Saturday night like we all did, and was very concerned about what I saw, and the the lack of response Saturday night,” he said. “I immediately rallied up the troops. We made sure our MRAP was prepared and ready. … We were assigned to assigned to protect Baltimore City Police headquarters, all of E. Fayette Street up to City Hall, to include City Hall. There wasn’t a whole lot of activity taking place at all. We could smell that putrid smell of burning tires and a city on fire when as we came into the city. Had lots of concerns like everyone else. We maintained our post all night long until we were relieved.”
But what shocked him the most, he said, was when city police told him not to confront and accost the rioters.
“I was sick to my stomach like everybody else. … This was urban warfare, no question about it. They were coming in absolutely beaten down. The [city officers] got out of their vehicles, thanked us profusely for being there, apologized to us for having to be there. They said we could have handled this, we were very capable of handling this, but we were told to stand down, repeatedly told to stand down,” he said. “I had never heard that order come from anyone — we went right out to our posts as soon as we got there, so I never heard the mayor say that. But repeatedly these guys, and there were many high-ranking officials from the Baltimore City Police Department … and these guys told me they were essentially neutered from the start. They were spayed from the start. They were told to stand down, you will not take any action, let them destroy property. I couldn’t believe it, I’m a 31-year veteran of law enforcement. … I had never heard anything like this before in my life and these guys obviously aren’t gonna speak out and the more I thought about this, … I had to say a few things. I apologize if I’ve upset people, but I believe in saying it like it is.”
Lewis said though he didn’t hear the order to stand down come from the mayor, he did hear it from police officials.
“I heard it myself over the Baltimore City police radio that I had tethered to my body-armor vest, I heard it repeatedly. ‘Stand down, stand down, stand down! Back up, back up, retreat, retreat!’ I couldn’t believe those words. Those are words I’ve never heard in my law enforcement vocabulary,” he said. “Baltimore City police, all law enforcement agencies are very capable of handling that city. They’re trained to handle that city. These guys were hearing words that had never been echoed in their lives, in their careers.”
Lewis claims after the riots many officers told him they were done being cops in the city and how heartbroken they are that they were not allowed to defend their city and stop businesses from burning.
Story 1: Death Toll Mounts To Over 5,000 From Earthquake in Nepal That Shook Mount Everest Caused Avalanche — Landslides in Rural Area — More Than 100,000 Flee Kathmandu, Nepal — Deaths Could Exceed 10,000 –American People Provide Assistance To Survivors — Videos
Poster of the Nepal Earthquake of 25 April 2015 – Magnitude 7.8
The April 25, 2015
Nepal earthquake occurred as the result of thrust faulting on or near the main frontal thrust between the subducting India plate and the overriding Eurasia plate to the north. At the location of this earthquake, approximately 80 km to the northwest of the Nepalese capital of Kathmandu, the India plate is converging with Eurasia at a rate of 45 mm/yr towards the north-northeast, driving the uplift of the Himalayan mountain range.
The preliminary location, size and focal mechanism of the April 25 earthquake are consistent with its occurrence on the main subduction thrust interface between the India and Eurasia plates.
Although a major plate boundary with a history of large-to-great sized earthquakes, large earthquakes on the Himalayan thrust are rare in the documented historical era. Just four events of M6 or larger have occurred within 250 km of the April 25, 2015 earthquake over the past century.
One, a M 6.9 earthquake in August 1988, 240 km to the southeast of the April 25 event, caused close to 1500 fatalities. The largest, an M 8.0 event known as the 1934 Nepal-Bihar earthquake, occurred in a similar location to the 1988 event. It severely damaged Kathmandu, and is thought to have caused around 10,600 fatalities.
Nepalese officials have denied reports from some international charities that Western tourists were given priority during evacuations from around Mount Everest
About 210 foreign trekkers who were stranded in Langtang, north of Kathmandu, are reported to have been airlifted to the nearby town of Dhunche
At the scene: Sanjoy Majumder, BBC News, Kathmandu
There’s a rush to get out of Kathmandu. Thousands of people are trying to flee – some trying to head out to the remote districts to see how their families are, others including tourists trying to head towards India by road.
But there simply aren’t enough buses to take them out and the highways are choked with vehicles, people and relief convoys. Tempers are flaring. The police came to the bus station to restrain those trying to board crowded buses, which made it worse.
Outside Kathmandu airport, there are lines of tourists trying their best to get a ticket to fly home. The airlines have laid on extra flights but it’s not enough and also, the airport is finding it hard to cope with the additional rush as well as the influx of cargo aircraft bringing in relief material.
Rescue operations resumed on Wednesday following bad weather.
Bella Messenger, an NGO worker in an isolated area of Gorkha district, told the BBC that Chinese lorries had brought aid to the area, but many people remained cut off.
“You can’t get to some villages without a helicopter,” she said.
There was some good news when a man trapped in the rubble of a Kathmandu hotel for 82 hours was pulled to safety by Nepalese and French teams.
Rishi Khanal, 27, said he had been surrounded by dead bodies and drank his own urine to survive.
“I had some hope but by yesterday I’d given up. I was sure no-one was coming for me. I was certain I was going to die,” he told AP news agency from his hospital bed.
Areas worst affected
More than eight million people have been affected by the quake, the UN says. About 10,000 people have been injured.
Hundreds of thousands of people continue to live in temporary camps, in squalid conditions with very little food and water, says the BBC’s Sanjoy Majumder in Kathmandu.
Officials admit they have been overwhelmed by the scale of the disaster, but highlight the challenges it poses in one of Asia’s poorest countries.
“The government is trying its best to deliver the relief materials,” National Disaster Management chief Rameshwor Dangal told the BBC. “The problem is the level of disaster is very high and it’s spread over more than 20 districts.”
Renaud Meyer of the UN Development Programme said Kathmandu’s single-runway airport was struggling to accommodate the rush of aid flights, but teams were delivering supplies as quickly as possible.
On Mount Everest – where the quake triggered an avalanche that killed at least 18 people – all stranded climbers have now been evacuated from base camp.
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U.S. Air Force personnel and United States Agency for International Development members have arrived at the Kathmandu International Airport. Nearly 130 USAID members and approximately 55,000 pounds of aid and relief supplies will help support the local people in search and rescue efforts
U.S. Military In Nepal Earthquake Relief Effort – C-17 Loading With Vital Aid
U.S. Air Force personnel load relief supplies for victims of the Nepal earthquake in a USAF C-17 Globemaster III from Joint Base Charleston, S.C., April 26, 2015. The United States Agency to International Development relief efforts included eight pallets, 59 Los Angeles County Fire Department personnel and five search and rescue dogs. Video by Staff Sgt. Kathryn Lozier | 1st Combat Camera Squadron | Date: 04.26.2015
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Nepal Earthquake: Death Toll Passes 4,400 Amid Fears Over Remote Areas
BY CNN WIRE AND KAREEN WYNTER
Rescue and aid workers in Nepal are struggling to cope with the scale of the devastation dealt by Saturday’s powerful earthquake — digging through rubble by hand, performing surgeries in makeshift operating theaters, scouring notoriously difficult terrain for more victims.
But power blackouts in the capital city of Kathmandu, supply shortages and difficulties getting around complicated the efforts.
By Tuesday morning, more than 4,400 people were confirmed dead as a result of the earthquake, the overwhelming majority of them in Nepal. Over 8,000 people were reported to have suffered injuries.
The United Nations estimated that the disaster had affected 8 million people across the Himalayan nation. More than 1.4 million people are in need of food assistance, the world body said in a situation report Monday.
CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta said doctors at one Kathmandu hospital had moved patients from the 120-year-old building and into another structure, where they were operating on patients in rooms normally not used as operating theaters.
Hospitals were running short on supplies despite international efforts to bring in aid. Numerous aid groups and at least 16 nations rushed aid and workers to Nepal, with more on the way.
And across the region, thousands prepared to spend another night outdoors, fearing that damaged buildings could collapse if there are more aftershocks.
The destruction in Kathmandu, the capital, is stark: revered temples reduced to rubble, people buried in the wreckage of their homes, hospitals short on medical supplies and overflowing with patients. Serious damage is also reported in villages in the surrounding valley.
But farther out across Nepal’s rugged landscape — closer to the epicenter of Saturday’s magnitude-7.8 quake — the situation is disturbingly murky.
“Information about remote areas is severely lacking at this time,” said Devendra Singh Tak, an official with Save the Children, noting that roads were blocked and communications unreliable.
Reports of ‘total or near total destruction’
Patchy reports have filtered through of entire villages leveled by the quake or engulfed by landslides.
“Some of the initial surveys that we’re hearing of from the zones closer to the epicenter talk about total or near total destruction,” said Jeremy Konyndyk, director of the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance for the U.S. Agency for International Development.
Tak, who is in Kathmandu, said Save the Children and other aid groups were sending out teams Monday to more remote areas. The Nepalese government said it was flying helicopters to places it couldn’t reach by road.
“That’s where one needs to get out and conduct rescue and relief,” Tak said.
UNICEF, the U.N. children’s agency, said Sunday that nearly 1 million Nepalese children urgently need assistance.
China, India, France, Italy, Britain, Canada, the United States, Australia, Taiwan, Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates, Israel, Switzerland, Norway, Singapore and South Korea were among the nations sending aid and search and rescue crews. The European Union and the World Health Organization were also sending aid.
The United States announced Monday it would send $9 million, on top of the $1 million it had previously announced. That’s in addition to 45 tons of aid, a USAID disaster team and a search and rescue team already dispatched to Nepal. A U.S. Special Forces team in Nepal for high-altitude training was also helping out, according to the Pentagon.
Video shows survivor pulled from rubble
Despite lengthening odds, rescuers continued to look for survivors.
On Monday, video posted to Facebook showed rescuers pulling a boy out of debris after three hours of continuous digging.
“Look up, look up, open your eyes,” a rescuer says to the boy.
Hopes of finding many more people alive appeared to be fading as vital hours ticked by.
The death toll in Nepal stood at 4,352 Tuesday morning, according to the country’s Home Ministry. Another 72 people died in India, while China reported 25 deaths. More than 8,000 people have been injured, authorities said.
Most of the casualty numbers in Nepal are believed to have come mainly from Kathmandu and the surrounding area. They are expected to rise further as information emerges from more remote areas.
4 U.S. citizens among dead
Four U.S. citizens are among the dead, acting deputy State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke said Monday. He did not identify them. The State Department identified one as Vinh Truong, a Vietnamese-American who was on a 10-day hiking trip in Nepal. His body was found at the Mount Everest base camp, the State Department said.
The other three are:
Google executive Dan Fredinburg died in an avalanche on Mount Everest, according to an Instagram post by his sister on his account. Eve Girawong of New Jersey also died in an avalanche on Everest, according to Madison Mountaineering, the Seattle-based company that led her expedition. Girawong, a doctor, was at the Everest base camp when she was swept away to her death. Tom Taplin, a filmmaker from Santa Monica, California, was making a documentary on Everest climbers when wind stirred by the avalanche caused him to take a fall, CNN affiliate KABC reported.
The U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu remains open and is sheltering 305 U.S. citizens, Rathke said.
Panorama of devastation
The earthquake and its aftershocks have turned one of the world’s most scenic regions into a panorama of devastation.
“The journey towards my family home in Sitapaila was a map of quake destruction, with many houses — old and new — torn apart,” wrote freelance journalist Sunir Pandey.
“A high wall surrounding a monastery had collapsed and the nuns had run to a nearby field,” he wrote. “A mud-and-brick cottage had fallen on a blue motorbike but no trace could be found of its rider. Everywhere, survivors gathered wherever they could find open space — fields, private compounds, empty roadside lots.”
At night, many Nepalis slept outside, shivering in the frigid air of the Himalayan Mountains but at least safe from falling debris.
“Even people staying in hotels, they carried their blankets and pillows and were sleeping either on the ground floor or out in the open,” Tak of Save the Children said.
Residents of Kathmandu are banding together to get by, with stores shuttered and very few sources of food and drinkable water. People have independently set up communal kitchens for cooking.
Destruction of temples strikes spiritual blow
Many of the city’s centuries-old buildings, which had survived countless earthquakes over the generations and provided a sense of national pride, have been toppled.
The destruction of many important temples in the heart of Kathmandu has deepened the despair many Nepalis are experiencing. Religion is an important part of life in the mainly Hindu nation.
The iconic buildings, which are often the first stop of any tourist’s tour of the city, crumbled before the eyes of onlookers as the quake struck Saturday.
Police officers and volunteers continued to pick through the temples’ rubble on Monday, using their bare hands, shovels and pieces of metal. They shunned the use of heavier gear to dig through the wreckage for fear of harming any survivors, bodies or priceless artifacts buried within.
Tourism has been one of the few economic bright spots in Nepal, one of the poorest nations in the world. But now that industry is threatened after the earthquake, which set off deadly avalanches on Mount Everest, the country’s most famous attraction.
Damage to climbing infrastructure on the mountain, not to mention the overall situation in Nepal, means the climbing season is over for the year, climber Jim Davidson told CNN from the Everest base camp, where he was evacuated after spending two days on the mountain.
China has canceled all climbs on its side of the mountain, the Xinhua news agency reported Monday.
Tourism directly accounts for about 4% of Nepal’s gross domestic product and indirectly contributes to 8%, according to IHS Asia Pacific chief economist Rajiv Biswas.
All told, the earthquake could cost Nepal $5 billion, Biswas estimated Monday — a huge hit against its gross domestic product of $19.3 billion in 2014.
Relief effort faces challenges
Humanitarian workers say medical supplies are reported to be scarce. Doctors at Kathmandu’s overcrowded hospitals are appealing for help.
“I’ve seen a lot of situations around the world, and this is as bad as I’ve ever seen it,” said CNN’s Gupta, a neurosurgeon.
“They need more resources, they need more personnel here right now, and they’re expecting many more patients as these rescue operations go on.”
International efforts are well underway to send aid into Nepal, but it was unclear whether enough was trickling through to the places that needed it most.
Some aid flights were delayed Sunday after a big aftershock hit Nepal. The country’s mountainous terrain makes it harder to move supplies far beyond the capital.
A CNN team at Kathmandu’s main airport on Monday saw large numbers of cargo planes on the tarmac, but also witnessed chaotic scenes as officials struggled to cope with the influx of aid and the large numbers of people trying get out of the country.
The airport was also facing some of the shortages afflicting the disaster-hit nation.
“Even at the airport in Kathmandu, there is no drinking water or food or other provisions available, so one can imagine what might be happening in other parts of the country,” said Tak of Save the Children.
The death toll in Nepal’s earthquake could reach 10,000, Prime Minister Sushil Koirala has said, as survivors’ despair turned to anger at the government’s slow response to the humanitarian crisis unfolding in the country, with food, water and other essentials in desperately short supply.
“The government is doing all it can for rescue and relief on a war footing,” Koirala said in an interview with Reuters. “It is a challenge and a very difficult hour for Nepal.”
The death toll in Nepal alone rose to 5,057 on Tuesday, according to the country’s Emergency Operation Centre, which said more than 10,000 people have been injured. There are warnings the full extent of the tragedy will not be known until rescue teams have reached “flattened” villages in remote regions.
Nepalese police and volunteers clear the rubble while looking for survivors at the compound of a collapsed temple in Kathmandu.
Nepalese police and volunteers clear the rubble while looking for survivors at the compound of a collapsed temple in Kathmandu. Photograph: Danish Siddiqui/Reuters
“The death toll could go up to 10,000 because information from remote villages hit by the earthquake is yet to come in,” Koirala said.
In neighbouring India 61 people were killed and China’s official Xinhua News Agency said 25 people had died in Tibet. Eighteen others were killed in avalanches on Mount Everest.
Another avalanche hit a village in the district of Rasuwa, north of Kathmandu, on Tuesday, leaving up to 250 people missing. Ghodatabela, about a 12-hour walk from the nearest town, is along a popular trekking route, but it was not clear if the missing included trekkers.
Health workers said they feared a major health crisis was unfolding among survivors of the quake who are living in the open or in overcrowded tents with no access to sanitation or clean water.
On Tuesday helicopters crisscrossed the skies above Gorkha, close to the epicentre of Saturday’s magnitude 7.8 quake, ferrying the injured to clinics and taking emergency supplies back to remote villages. Aid workers who had reached the region described entire villages reduced to rubble.
“In some villages, about 90% of the houses have collapsed. They’re just flattened,” said Rebecca McAteer, an American physician. Udav Prashad Timalsina, the top official for Gorkha, warned that people were not getting food and shelter.
Nepal earthquake: what the thousands of victims share is that they are poor
That grim assessment was supported by World Vision aid worker Matt Darvas, who reached Gorkha on Monday. “It does not seem aid is reaching here very quickly,” he said.
“Further north from here the reports are very disturbing,” he said, adding that up to 75% of the buildings in Singla may have collapsed. There has been no contact with that village since Saturday night.
In the town of Dhulikhel, the main hospital, one of only two serving the Kabre district, with a population of 380,000, was due to run out of diesel fuel for its generator at midnight on Monday.
“We are trying to get more but it’s difficult. We’ve a little bit of solar but not enough to light the operating theatres and the wards,” said Dr Deepak Shrestha.
So far, police say they have 373 confirmed deaths in Gorkha. The death toll is expected to rise, though not “into the thousands”, said local officials. However vast numbers of homes have been destroyed, leaving tens of thousands at least exposed to chilly late spring Himalayan temperatures and frequent rain.
Victims of the earthquake rest inside an Indian Air Force helicopter as they are evacuated from Trishuli Bazar to the airport in Kathmandu. Facebook Twitter Pinterest
People rest inside an Indian Air Force helicopter as they are evacuated from Trishuli Bazar to Kathmandu. Photograph: Jitendra Prakash/Reuters
Efforts to distribute aid are proceeding at an agonisingly slow pace, sparking anger among frustrated survivors. The delay stems in part from the extent of damage caused by the quake and interruptions from strong aftershocks.
“Rescue operations are underway, and in many places where buildings have collapsed there might be people trapped,” said Rameshwor Dangal, head of disaster management at Nepal’s home ministry.
“We are also in the process of getting information from villages, and these will add to the death toll.”
If the toll does reach 10,000 it would be even higher than the 8,500 killed in a massive quake in 1934 – Nepal’s worst disaster to date.
Residents whose homes were flattened or badly damaged by the quake criticised poor organisation by the Nepalese authorities, saying they had been left to fend for themselves for too long, even using their bare hands to search through the rubble for survivors.
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Families in Kathmandu queue on Sunday to cremate their loved ones following the devastating earthquake
OP Singh, the head of India’s National Disaster Response Force, said finding survivors and the bodies of the dead would take time since the heavy equipment needed to clear rubble could not fit through many of Kathmandu’s narrow streets.
“You have to remove all this rubble, so that will take a lot of time … I think it’s going to take weeks,” he told Indian TV.
Anil Giri, who was helping volunteers search for two of his friends thought to be trapped beneath collapsed buildings, said: “The government has not done anything for us. We are clearing the debris ourselves with our bare hands.”
Nepal earthquake destroys Kathmandu valley’s architectural treasures
Officials conceded they were struggling to cope with the sheer scale of the disaster. “The big challenge is relief,” said the Nepalese government’s chief secretary, Leela Mani Paudel.
Despite reports that 90% of Nepal’s 100,000 troops are now involved in the search and rescue effort, Paudel said international help could not arrive quickly enough.
“We urge foreign countries to give us special relief materials and medical teams. We are really desperate for more foreign expertise to pull through this crisis.”
In a rare piece of positive news, mountaineers reported that all 140 climbers who had been stranded at camps high up Mount Everest have been taken to safety.
“Everest, above base camp, is now empty,” Danish climber Carsten Lillelund Pedersen posted on his Facebook page. Eighteen people were killed in avalanches unleashed by the earthquake.
The Mount Everest south base camp. Facebook Twitter Pinterest
Mount Everest’s south base camp. Photograph: 6summitschallenge.com/Reuters
The desperate poverty of the survivors is the thread that runs through the tragedy unfolding in Nepal.
Though many had predicted an earthquake in Kathmandu would bring the newly constructed cement apartment blocks tumbling down, it was the older, brick and wood homes that, almost exclusively, were reduced to rubble. Anyone who stayed in these could not afford better.
“Outside Kathmandu it’s the rural poor. But in the city it’s the people in the older precarious housing. It’s obvious: the wealthier you are, the stronger the house you have,” said Bhaskar Gautam, a local sociologist.
The aid situation is expected to improve as more planes packed with supplies arrive from India, China, the US, the UK, Australia, Pakistan and other countries, although that operation too is being held up by congestion at Kathmandu’s airport, and by a shortages of workers to unload cargo and vehicles to ferry supplies to where they are needed.
While the scale of the disaster is not yet fully known, aid workers said the humanitarian impact was likely to be overwhelming.
The United Nations estimates that as many as eight million of Nepal’s 28 million people have had their lives disrupted by the earthquake, adding that it was releasing US$15m from an emergency response fund to help the victims.
The UN said more than 1.4 million people need food assistance, including 750,000 who live near the quake’s epicentre in poor quality housing. Tens of thousands are thought to have been left homeless.
Temporary shelters for victims in Kathmandu. Facebook Twitter Pinterest
Temporary shelters in Kathmandu. Photograph: Cihan / Barcroft Media
As smoke from hundreds of funeral pyres filled the air in Kathmandu and the surrounding countryside, some survivors spoke of the near futility of attempting to reach anyone still alive in the rubble.
“We cannot look for missing people with a candle in our hands,” said Amarnath Prasad, 26, who was helping his best friend look for his mother. “She loved me like her son, and I think it is my duty to find her, dead or alive.”
Amid the destruction and chaos, parts of Kathmandu were coming back to life. Hawkers were selling limes and cabbage on pavements. One or two shops were open, even a bank. The city’s notorious traffic was still far from its usual level but was returning to congested normality.
Nepal earthquake: how to donate
Yet thousands are still camping in open spaces, too frightened to return to their homes. Some say they will wait until 72 hours have passed, but continuing aftershocks rekindled their fear.
Many, too, were still seeking treatment for serious injuries, some waiting outside hospitals. The morgue at Bir hospital, the capital’s biggest, was overflowing, with bodies lined up outside.
There was also the fear of disease. “Now there could be communicable illnesses, diarrhoea, flu and so forth. The earthquake will have broken all the sewers and pipes so the water supply will be contaminated,” said Dr Sameer Thapa, as he looked out over a car park and garden covered in tents sheltering patients at the Tribhuvan University teaching hospital.
The April 25, 2015 M 7.8 Nepal earthquake occurred as the result of thrust faulting on or near the main frontal thrust between the subducting India plate and the overriding Eurasia plate to the north. At the location of this earthquake, approximately 80 km to the northwest of the Nepalese capital of Kathmandu, the India plate is converging with Eurasia at a rate of 45 mm/yr towards the north-northeast, driving the uplift of the Himalayan mountain range. The preliminary location, size and focal mechanism of the April 25 earthquake are consistent with its occurrence on the main subduction thrust interface between the India and Eurasia plates.
Although a major plate boundary with a history of large-to-great sized earthquakes, large earthquakes on the Himalayan thrust are rare in the documented historical era. Just four events of M6 or larger have occurred within 250 km of the April 25, 2015 earthquake over the past century. One, a M 6.9 earthquake in August 1988, 240 km to the southeast of the April 25 event, caused close to 1500 fatalities. The largest, an M 8.0 event known as the 1934 Nepal-Bihar earthquake, occurred in a similar location to the 1988 event. It severely damaged Kathmandu, and is thought to have caused around 10,600 fatalities.
USGS Aftershock Forecast for the Magnitude 7.8 Nepal earthquake of April 25, 2015
(as of April 27, 2015)
In the coming week, the USGS expects 3-14 M≥5 aftershocks of the magnitude 7.8 Nepal earthquake. Additionally, the USGS estimates that there is a 54% chance of a M≥6 aftershock, and a 7% chance of a M≥7 aftershock during this one-week period. After this, in the following month and then the following year, USGS expects several M≥5 aftershocks, with a significant chance of M≥6 aftershock (greater than 50%). The potential for an aftershock larger than the mainshock remains, but is small (1-2% in each time period).
Felt earthquakes (i.e., those with M≥ 3 or 4) will be common over the next weeks to months. Based on general earthquake statistics, the expected number of M≥ 3 or 4 aftershocks can be estimated by multiplying the expected number of M>=5 aftershocks by 100 or 10, respectively. The expected location of the aftershocks will be in the zone of current activity and at its edges. Currently aftershocks are occurring in a zone extending approximately 200 km away from the mainshock epicenter.
This information is preliminary and subject to change.
Seismotectonics of the Himalaya and Vicinity
Seismicity in the Himalaya dominantly results from the continental collision of the India and Eurasia plates, which are converging at a relative rate of 40-50 mm/yr. Northward underthrusting of India beneath Eurasia generates numerous earthquakes and consequently makes this area one of the most seismically hazardous regions on Earth. The surface expression of the plate boundary is marked by the foothills of the north-south trending Sulaiman Range in the west, the Indo-Burmese Arc in the east and the east-west trending Himalaya Front in the north of India.
The India-Eurasia plate boundary is a diffuse boundary, which in the region near the north of India, lies within the limits of the Indus-Tsangpo (also called the Yarlung-Zangbo) Suture to the north and the Main Frontal Thrust to the south. The Indus-Tsangpo Suture Zone is located roughly 200 km north of the Himalaya Front and is defined by an exposed ophiolite chain along its southern margin. The narrow (<200km) Himalaya Front includes numerous east-west trending, parallel structures. This region has the highest rates of seismicity and largest earthquakes in the Himalaya region, caused mainly by movement on thrust faults. Examples of significant earthquakes, in this densely populated region, caused by reverse slip movement include the 1934 M8.0 Bihar, the 1905 M7.5 Kangra and the 2005 M7.6 Kashmir earthquakes. The latter two resulted in the highest death tolls for Himalaya earthquakes seen to date, together killing over 100,000 people and leaving millions homeless. The largest instrumentally recorded Himalaya earthquake occurred on 15th August 1950 in Assam, eastern India. This M8.6 right-lateral, strike-slip, earthquake was widely felt over a broad area of central Asia, causing extensive damage to villages in the epicentral region. The Tibetan Plateau is situated north of the Himalaya, stretching approximately 1000km north-south and 2500km east-west, and is geologically and tectonically complex with several sutures which are hundreds of kilometer-long and generally trend east-west. The Tibetan Plateau is cut by a number of large (>1000km) east-west trending, left-lateral, strike-slip faults, including the long Kunlun, Haiyuan, and the Altyn Tagh. Right-lateral, strike-slip faults (comparable in size to the left-lateral faults), in this region include the Karakorum, Red River, and Sagaing. Secondary north-south trending normal faults also cut the Tibetan Plateau. Thrust faults are found towards the north and south of the Tibetan Plateau. Collectively, these faults accommodate crustal shortening associated with the ongoing collision of the India and Eurasia plates, with thrust faults accommodating north south compression, and normal and strike-slip accommodating east-west extension.
Along the western margin of the Tibetan Plateau, in the vicinity of south-eastern Afghanistan and western Pakistan, the India plate translates obliquely relative to the Eurasia plate, resulting in a complex fold-and-thrust belt known as the Sulaiman Range. Faulting in this region includes strike-slip, reverse-slip and oblique-slip motion and often results in shallow, destructive earthquakes. The active, left-lateral, strike-slip Chaman fault is the fastest moving fault in the region. In 1505, a segment of the Chaman fault near Kabul, Afghanistan, ruptured causing widespread destruction. In the same region the more recent 30 May 1935, M7.6 Quetta earthquake, which occurred in the Sulaiman Range in Pakistan, killed between 30,000 and 60,000 people.
On the north-western side of the Tibetan Plateau, beneath the Pamir-Hindu Kush Mountains of northern Afghanistan, earthquakes occur at depths as great as 200 km as a result of remnant lithospheric subduction. The curved arc of deep earthquakes found in the Hindu Kush Pamir region indicates the presence of a lithospheric body at depth, thought to be remnants of a subducting slab. Cross-sections through the Hindu Kush region suggest a near vertical northerly-dipping subducting slab, whereas cross-sections through the nearby Pamir region to the east indicate a much shallower dipping, southerly subducting slab. Some models suggest the presence of two subduction zones; with the Indian plate being subducted beneath the Hindu Kush region and the Eurasian plate being subducted beneath the Pamir region. However, other models suggest that just one of the two plates is being subducted and that the slab has become contorted and overturned in places.
Shallow crustal earthquakes also occur in this region near the Main Pamir Thrust and other active Quaternary faults. The Main Pamir Thrust, north of the Pamir Mountains, is an active shortening structure. The northern portion of the Main Pamir Thrust produces many shallow earthquakes, whereas its western and eastern borders display a combination of thrust and strike-slip mechanisms. On the 18 February 1911, the M7.4 Sarez earthquake ruptured in the Central Pamir Mountains, killing numerous people and triggering a landside, which blocked the Murghab River.
Further north, the Tian Shan is a seismically active intra-continental mountain belt, which extends 2500 km in an ENE-WNW orientation north of the Tarim Basin. This belt is defined by numerous east-west trending thrust faults, creating a compressional basin and range landscape. It is generally thought that regional stresses associated with the collision of the India and Eurasia plates are responsible for faulting in the region. The region has had three major earthquakes (>M7.6) at the start of the 20th Century, including the 1902 Atushi earthquake, which killed an estimated 5,000 people. The range is cut through in the west by the 700-km-long, northwest-southeast striking, Talas-Ferghana active right-lateral, strike-slip fault system. Though the system has produced no major earthquakes in the last 250 years, paleo-seismic studies indicate that it has the potential to produce M7.0+ earthquakes and it is thought to represent a significant hazard.
The northern portion of the Tibetan Plateau itself is largely dominated by the motion on three large left-lateral, strike-slip fault systems; the Altyn Tagh, Kunlun and Haiyuan. The Altyn Tagh fault is the longest of these strike slip faults and it is thought to accommodate a significant portion of plate convergence. However, this system has not experienced significant historical earthquakes, though paleoseismic studies show evidence of prehistoric M7.0-8.0 events. Thrust faults link with the Altyn Tagh at its eastern and western termini. The Kunlun Fault, south of the Altyn Tagh, is seismically active, producing large earthquakes such as the 8th November 1997, M7.6 Manyi earthquake and the 14th November 2001, M7.8 Kokoxili earthquake. The Haiyuan Fault, in the far north-east, generated the 16 December 1920, M7.8 earthquake that killed approximately 200,000 people and the 22 May 1927 M7.6 earthquake that killed 40,912.
The Longmen Shan thrust belt, along the eastern margin of the Tibetan Plateau, is an important structural feature and forms a transitional zone between the complexly deformed Songpan-Garze Fold Belt and the relatively undeformed Sichuan Basin. On 12 May 2008, the thrust belt produced the reverse slip, M7.9 Wenchuan earthquake, killing over 87,000 people and causing billions of US dollars in damages and landslides which dammed several rivers and lakes.
Southeast of the Tibetan Plateau are the right-lateral, strike-slip Red River and the left-lateral, strike-slip Xiangshuihe-Xiaojiang fault systems. The Red River Fault experienced large scale, left-lateral ductile shear during the Tertiary period before changing to its present day right-lateral slip rate of approximately 5 mm/yr. This fault has produced several earthquakes >M6.0 including the 4 January 1970, M7.5 earthquake in Tonghai which killed over 10,000 people. Since the start of the 20th century, the Xiangshuihe-Xiaojiang Fault system has generated several M7.0+ earthquakes including the M7.5 Luhuo earthquake which ruptured on the 22 April 1973. Some studies suggest that due to the high slip rate on this fault, future large earthquakes are highly possible along the 65km stretch between Daofu and Qianning and the 135km stretch that runs through Kangding.
Shallow earthquakes within the Indo-Burmese Arc, predominantly occur on a combination of strike-slip and reverse faults, including the Sagaing, Kabaw and Dauki faults. Between 1930 and 1956, six M7.0+ earthquakes occurred near the right-lateral Sagaing Fault, resulting in severe damage in Myanmar including the generation of landslides, liquefaction and the loss of 610 lives. Deep earthquakes (200km) have also been known to occur in this region, these are thought to be due to the subduction of the eastwards dipping, India plate, though whether subduction is currently active is debated. Within the pre-instrumental period, the large Shillong earthquake occurred on the 12 June 1897, causing widespread destruction.
Story 1: Black Thug Gangs On Rampage in Baltimore — “A Space To Destroy” — Really — Arrest Them All — Failed Progressive Policies On Parade — Who Is Your Daddy? — Welfare State! — Videos
“It’s a very delicate balancing act. Because while we try to make sure that they were protected from the cars and other things that were going on, we also gave those who wished to destroy space to do that as well. And we worked very hard to keep that balance and to put ourselves in the best position to de-escalate.”
Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake
Baltimore Mayor: We Give Protesters Space to Destroy | Stephanie Rawlings-Blake Press Conference
FNN: Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake Responds to Riots, Sets Curfew
Baltimore mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake talks about riots
Baltimore Mayor Refuses Inciting, Giving Protesters ‘Space to Destroy’ |Press Conference VIDEO
Reaction To Rioting In Baltimore
Baltimore Riot Police Finally Respond as CVS Pharmacy Burns To the Ground Freddie Gray
Baltimore Bank Looting – People Loot Baltimore City Bank in Riots Freddie Gray Protest VIDEO
A look at the epicenter of the Baltimore riots in the US
FOOTAGE FREDDY GRAY BALTIMORE RIOTS POLICE CAR SMASHED WHILE DRIVING
Baltimore police clash with protesters after Freddie Gray funeral | Mashable
Baltimore Riot VIDEO Baltimore Protesters Attack Police and Attack Police Car for Freddie Gray
Blacks Riot In Baltimore Attack Whites And Police Do Nothing
Baltimore police officer loses his cool at the Freddy Gray protest.
Freddie Gray DIES After Baltimore Cops BREAK His SPINE In BRUTAL Police BEATING!!
Freddie Gray Protesters in Baltimore drop F-Bomb on Live TV!
Liberals Must Stop Enabling Crime | ZoNation
Please Stop Helping Us: How Liberals Make It Harder for Blacks to Succeed
In Please Stop Helping Us, Jason Riley examines how well-intentioned welfare programs are in fact holding black Americans back. Minimum-wage laws may lift earnings for people who are already employed, but they price a disproportionate number of blacks out of the labor force. Affirmative action in higher education is intended to address past discrimination, but the result is fewer black college graduates than would otherwise exist. And so it goes with everything from soft-on-crime laws, which make black neighborhoods more dangerous, to policies that limit school choice out of a mistaken belief that charter schools and voucher programs harm the traditional public schools that most low-income students attend.
Why Black Conservatives Are Hated By Liberals
John Stossel – The State Against Blacks
Walter Williams: Up From the Projects
Thomas Sowell — Dismantling America
Sheriff David Clarke: Failed Liberal Policies Behind Ferguson, Baltimore Riots
Baltimore Mayor Let Rioters And Vandals Run Rampant
Baltimore riot video: The gentrified crowd under attack.
RT Reporter Attacked By Youths in Baltimore- Baltimore Riots Looting Protesters Freddy Gray Protest
Baltimore Riots Looting Protesters Freddy Gray – Protest Erupts In Chaos A Police Cars [RAW FOOTAGE]
Scenes Of Chaos In Baltimore As Thousands Protest Freddie Grays Death
Cummings Downplays Baltimore Riots
Baltimore Police Commissioner: Racism Causes Pain, Violence in the Community
Walter E Williams – Black Families and The Welfare State
Race and Crime
Mass Incarceration in the US
Who Is Your Daddy? (1990) HD
You Belong to Me! (1990) HD
Kindergarten Cop loving scene
Police targeted, stores looted in Baltimore riots
Rioters looted stores and pelted police with rocks in Baltimore on Monday after the funeral of an African American man whose death in custody has reignited outrage over US police conduct towards blacks.
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan declared a state of emergency in the port city of 620,000 and activated the National Guard as rioters prowled in small groups, ransacking shops and trashing police vehicles. Other cars were set on fire.
At least seven officers were injured in the violence, and police said one was “unresponsive.”
Local and state police in riot gear struggled to restore order as the rioters veered off in different directions, refusing to heed dispersal orders.
“We have seven officers injured during the course of this. They have broken bones; one is unresponsive,” Baltimore police spokesman Captain Eric Kowalczyk told reporters.
“You’re going to see tear gas… We’re going to use appropriate methods to ensure that we’re able to preserve the safety of that community.”
NBC affiliate WBAL reported there had been at least one arrest, and the Baltimore Orioles baseball team postponed its evening game against the Chicago White Sox.
– ‘Absolutely inexcusable’ –
Rioting erupted soon after Gray was buried — possibly spurred by a cryptic message on social media declaring an after-school “purge,” which is street slang for random acts of lawlessness.
Fear of unrest prompted the University of Maryland’s downtown campus, corporate offices and the city’s famous Lexington Market to shut down early.
President Barack Obama was briefed on the rapidly evolving situation by his newly sworn in Attorney General Loretta Lynch and city mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, the White House said.
Thousands had converged on New Shiloh Baptist church in Baltimore’s poverty-ridden Sandtown neighborhood earlier Monday to pay final respects to Gray, who died on April 19 of severe spinal injuries apparently sustained during his arrest a week earlier.
His death was the latest in a string of high-profile confrontations between African Americans and police, including the fatal shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri last year.
Gray’s grieving family had explicitly asked for no protests.
“Today of all days, the family was clear this was a day of sacred closure,” pastor Jamal Bryant of the city’s Empowerment Temple mega-church, who delivered the eulogy, told reporters as the violence spiralled.
“So for us to come out of the burial and walk into this is absolutely inexcusable. I’m asking every young person to go back home.”
– Weekend unrest –
On Saturday, 34 people were arrested, and six police officers injured, when violence erupted after an orderly rally for Gray outside Baltimore city hall.
In the hours before Monday’s riots, police announced they had received a “credible threat” that criminal gangs in Baltimore had “entered into a partnership to ‘take out’ law enforcement officers.”
At the funeral, Gray’s body was in a white casket next to a Los Angeles Dodgers baseball cap and a sign reading “Peace y’all.”
Crowds swayed to hymns at the service, chanting, “Justice shall prevail, peace will prevail” in the church, where a photo of Gray — who had a record of petty drug offenses, in a grim part of Baltimore notorious for crime, poverty and joblessness — was displayed among floral wreaths.
Supporters, many dressed in all white, filled the building’s 2,200 seats and hundreds of others stood, with the words “Black lives matter and all lives matter” projected on the wall.
Civil rights activist Jesse Jackson denounced the “epidemic of murders in the country.”
“We have become too violent, too full of hate,” Jackson told reporters before the service. “We need training, employment, housing, access to health, a reconstruction project. Poverty is a weapon of mass destruction.”
– Tensions high –
Tensions have been on the rise in Baltimore since Gray’s death, which his family’s lawyers say was caused when 80 percent of his spine was severed following his arrest.
Six officers have been suspended with pay pending the outcome of a police investigation that is to be submitted to state prosecutors by Friday.
The US Justice Department, which was already looking into Baltimore’s use of force, has also opened its own civil rights probe.
Police confirmed Gray requested medical help and an inhaler after he was detained and acknowledged that he should have received medical attention sooner.
They also revealed that Gray, contrary to policy, was not buckled into his seat in a police van, which made at least three unexplained stops on its way to the city’s Western District station, now the scene of nightly protests.
Gray’s arrest was caught on video by bystanders, and he can be heard howling in apparent pain as his limp body is dragged into the van.
Officers Injured, Baltimore Businesses Shut Down Amid Violent Riots
Several officers have been injured as a large riot continues to grow violent Monday afternoon in Baltimore.
Baltimore Police sprayed mace at rioters, but say a large group of teenagers is continuing to throw bricks, rocks and other items at officers.
WNEW’s Karen Adams reports police have arrested two people so far. The protests started in the area of Mondawmin Mall have spilled into nearby streets and neighborhoods.
Police say the group has refused to follow orders and the department is continuing to deploy resources into the neighborhoods near the mall. Officers are also using fire extinguishers to put out small fires that rioters started.
Sometimes a protest is just a riot camouflaged in self-righteousness. It might not start that way, and the actors might not think that it is. But nonetheless, sometimes it is.
A few miles from my apartment, the Miami neighborhood Liberty City has yet to shake the aftereffects of the 1980 riots that sprang from the acquittal of four officers in the killing of a black man. In California, neighborhoods and property values remain scarred from the Watts Riots in 1965 and the Rodney King Riots in 1992. More recently in Ferguson, Mo., the long-term consequences of a few nights of looting and burning are starting to be felt by residents and property owners.
What no one expected is what Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake admitted in a press conference on Sunday: that she asked the Baltimore Police Department to “give those who wished to destroy space to do that.”
“We work very hard to keep that balance [between free speech and destructive elements], and to put ourselves in the best position to de-escalate,” she said.
Overall, Baltimore police said 34 arrests were made during Saturday’s main demonstration, and six officers were allegedly injured.
Several downtown storefronts were smashed, and some police cars were damaged.
But overall, the most of the damage was cosmetic, and it might not cost the city or property owners a fortune to fix. Either that, or it might have been worth the calculation from city officials to sacrifice a little public property for the sake of allowing protesters to vent their anger, hopefully quelling unrest in the long run.
Despite her comments about creating a “space” for more destructive elements in protests, Mayor Rawlings-Blake expressed disappointment on Sunday night at the “outside forces” who she said were “inciting some of the ‘shut this city down’ sort of messaging,” according to the Baltimore Sun.
Then, she made a call for peace, which might not be too far away. Gray will be buried on Monday, and the Baltimore Police Department’s full report on Gray’s death should be released before next weekend.
It could be very well that protests in Baltimore have already reached their peak of violence and destruction. Considering how volatile the situation looked going into last weekend, if it all pans out, there could be a case for other leaders to handle widespread protests like this differently.
Because sometimes, punching the punching bag really does take your anger away. And on the flip side, telling you not to punch the punching bag can only make you angrier.
—Today, Howard Libit, Director of Strategic Planning and Policy, issued the following statement regarding Mayor Rawlings-Blake’s comments on the rights of protesters:
“What she is saying within this statement was that there was an effort to give the peaceful demonstrators room to conduct their peaceful protests on Saturday. Unfortunately, as a result of providing the peaceful demonstrators with the space to share their message, that also meant that those seeking to incite violence also had the space to operate. The police sought to balance the rights of the peaceful demonstrators against the need to step in against those who were seeking to create violence.
The mayor is not saying that she asked police to give space to people who sought to create violence. Any suggestion otherwise would be a misinterpretation of her statement.”
This clarification is regarding comments made by Mayor Rawlings-Blake during a recent press conference. The mayor’s original quote follows (emphasis and clarification added):
“I’ve made it very clear that I work with the police and instructed them to do everything that they could to make sure that the protesters were able to exercise their right to free speech. It’s a very delicate balancing act, because, while we tried to make sure that they were protected from the cars and the other things that were going on, we also [as a result] gave those who wished to destroy space to do that as well. And we worked very hard to keep that balance and to put ourselves in the best position to deescalate, and that’s what you saw.”
Death of Freddie Gray
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This article is about a person who has recently died. Some information, such as the circumstances of the person’s death and surrounding events, may change as more facts become known. Initial news reports may beunreliable.
Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old African-American man, died of a spinal injury on April 19, 2015. A week earlier, police had taken Gray into custody in Baltimore, Maryland, United States. Within an hour of his arrest, police had transported him to a trauma clinic, and he was in a coma.
The incident has led to protests in Baltimore. Six Baltimore police officers have been suspended with pay.
Freddie Gray was 25 years old, and had two sisters. As children, he and his sisters were found to have lead poisoning in their blood levels. According to a 2008lawsuit against a Sandtown-Winchester housing complex where Gray and his sisters lived, the lead poisoning caused medical, behavioral, and educational problems for the children. Terms of the settlement were not publicly revealed. At the time of his death, Gray lived in the Gilmor Homes neighborhood. He stood 5 feet and 8 inches tall and weighed 145 pounds. Gray had a criminal record, mainly for drug-related offenses.
Police encountered Freddie Gray on April 12, 2015, in an area of Baltimore a police spokesman said was known for drug deals and violent crimes. He ran; according to court documents Gray “fled unprovoked upon noticing police presence”. Police chased and tackled Gray, found a switchblade in his pocket, and took him into custody at 8:40 a.m.
Two bystanders captured Gray’s arrest with video recordings.
According to the police timeline, Gray was in a transport van within 11 minutes of his arrest, and within 30 minutes “units request paramedics to the Western District to transport the suspect to an area hospital.” He was taken to the University of MarylandR. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center, in a coma within an hour of being taken into police custody.
The statement of charges filed by Officer Garrett Miller against Gray accused him of possessing a switchblade. Miller wrote, “The defendant was arrested without force or incident.” Officers also reported “that he suffered a medical emergency during transport”.
In the following week, according to the Gray family attorney, Gray died, was resuscitated, remained in a coma, and underwent extensive surgery in an effort to save his life. According to his family, he lapsed into a coma after his spine was “80% severed” at his neck, he had three fractured vertebrae, and his larynx was injured. He died the following Sunday, April 19, 2015.
Protestors at a police station near the site of Gray’s arrest
The Baltimore Police Department suspended six officers pending an investigation of Gray’s death. On April 24, 2015, Police Commissioner Anthony Batts said, “We know our police employees failed to get him medical attention in a timely manner multiple times.” Batts also acknowledged police did not follow procedure when they failed to buckle Gray in the van while he was being transported to the police station.
By April 21, 2015, according to Reuters, “[h]undreds of demonstrators gathered in Baltimore” to protest Gray’s death.
On April 25, 2015, protests were organized in downtown Baltimore. Protesters marched from the Baltimore City Hall to Inner Harbor. After the final stage of the official protest event, some protesters became violent. They damaged at least five police vehicles, and several people shoved police officers and threw various objects at the police. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said most protesters were respectful but a “small group of agitators intervened”. Rawlings-Blake said of those who destroyed property while protesting Gray’s death, “… we also gave those who wished to destroy space to do that as well…” At least 35 people were arrested, and six officers were injured.
A photographer for Baltimore City Paper, who filmed the protest, reported having been beaten by two police officers in riot gear. Thereafter, City Paper published a video on its website documenting the violence. A Reuters photographer with visible press credentials, who filmed the beating from a public sidewalk, was detained and received a citation for “failure to obey orders”.
On April 27, 2015, some lootings happened, some police vehicles put on fire and stones thrown into officers.
From 1990 to 1998, Rawlings-Blake served on the Baltimore City Democratic State Central Committee, and in 1993, she served as the Annapolis lobbyist for the Young Democrats of Maryland.
In 1997, Rawlings-Blake began serving as an administrative law attorney with the Baltimore City office of the Maryland Legal Aid Bureau, which offers free civil legal services to Maryland’s low-income residents. She went on to serve as a staff attorney with theMaryland Office of the Public Defender in its Southern District (District 1, Baltimore City) from 1998 to 2006.
Baltimore City Council
In 1995, Rawlings-Blake became the youngest person ever elected to the Baltimore City Council. She represented the council’s District 5 from 1995 to 2004 and District 6 from 2004 to 2007 (following a redistricting of the council).
From 1999 to 2007, Rawlings-Blake served as vice president of the Baltimore City Council.
City council president
Rawlings-Blake became President of the Council on January 17, 2007, when then-City Council President Sheila Dixon became mayor. The Charter of Baltimore City states that, “If it becomes necessary for the president of the City Council to fill the unexpired term of the mayor…the City Council, by a majority vote of its members, shall elect a new president for the unexpired term.”
On June 14, 2007, Rawlings-Blake announced that she would seek a full four-year term as council president. Her platform included improving education and reducing crime in the city. Rawlings-Blake won the Democratic primary with 49 percent of the vote. In the general election, Rawlings-Blake defeated her only opponent with 82 percent of the vote.
Mayor of Baltimore
On January 6, 2010, then-Mayor Sheila Dixon announced, following her conviction for embezzlement, that she would resign from office, effective February 4, 2010. Per the Charter of Baltimore City, in the case of a mayoral vacancy, the sitting city council president shall automatically succeed the vacating mayor and serve the remainder of the term. Consequently, following Dixon’s resignation on February 4, 2010, Rawlings-Blake became mayor of Baltimore City.
Rawlings-Blake went on to seek a full term as mayor, and in November 2011, she was elected to her first full term as mayor, receiving 87 percent of the vote in the general election.
Rawlings-Blake has stated that her goal as mayor is to grow Baltimore by 10,000 families.
Political positions and policies
On February 6, 2013, Baltimore City released a 10-year fiscal forecast, which the City had commissioned from independent financial consulting firm Public Financial Management, Inc. (PFM) at Rawlings-Blake’s direction. The report outlined a number of fiscal obstacles facing the City in subsequent years.
To address the challenges outlined in the fiscal forecast, Rawlings-Blake presented Change to Grow: A Ten-Year Financial Plan for Baltimore, the City’s first long-range financial plan. Among other major reforms, the plan outlined proposed changes to Baltimore City’s employee pensions and benefits system, City tax structure, and overall municipal operations. By implementing elements of this plan, Baltimore City has been able to extinguish $300 million from a cumulative budgetary shortfall forecasted at approximately $750 million.
At the time Rawlings-Blake took office, Baltimore City had approximately 16,000 vacant buildings, resulting from a half-century of population decline. In November 2010, in an effort to reduce urban blight caused by vacant structures, Rawlings-Blake introduced the Vacants to Value (V2V) initiative. The initiative’s strategies include streamlining code enforcement and disposition of City-owned vacant properties, offering incentives targeted at home buyers who purchase previously vacant homes, supporting large-scale redevelopment in deeply distressed areas, and targeting demolition to improve long-term property values.
In 2013, Baltimore Housing won the Urban Land Institute’s Robert C. Larson Workforce Housing Public Policy Awards for the V2V initiative. V2V has also been recognized by the Obama Administration, the Clinton Global Initiative, the U.S. Conference of Mayors, ABCD Network, and the Financial Times.
In 2015, Rawlings-Blake became the first mayor to appear in Chicago, saying “I am honored to be the first mayor to appear in Chicago—one of the most historic shows in Broadway history—and I want to reassure the cast and crew that I am already hard at work rehearsing my lines. I always love to show off the ‘razzle dazzle’ of Baltimore’s flourishing cultural scene, from expanding our Arts & Entertainment Districts, to growing Baltimore’s downtown theater corridor and all that jazz. I cannot wait to make my big debut in an amazing show like Chicago.” She appeared in a one night performance on March 4, 2015, as an ensemble performer throughout the night. The mayor later thanked the Nation of Islam for what she said was “for helping quash violence” despite NOI’s leaders calls to “Teach your baby how to throw the bottle if they can’t bite.”
Awards and honors
In in 2007 and 2011, Rawlings-Blake was honored by the Daily Record as one of Maryland’s Top 100 Women.
She is a recipient of the Fullwood Foundation Award of Excellence (2010), the National Forum for Black Public Administrators’ Distinguished Leadership Award (2012), the Maryland State Senate‘s First Citizen Award (2013), and the Baltimore Black Pride ICONS We Love Award (2013).
In 2014, Vanity Fair included Rawlings-Blake in its list of the Top 10 Best-Dressed Mayors.
Story 1: Remembering The Armenian Genocide — Genocides and Democides Past and Present — Government Kills People — Videos
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Among all the democide estimates appearing on this website, and in the table on the lower right, some have been revised upward. I have changed that for Mao’s famine, 1958-1962, from zero to 38,000,000. And thus I have had to change the overall democide for the PRC (1928-1987) from 38,702,000 to 76,702,000. Details here.
I have changed my estimate for colonial democide from 870,000 to an additional 50,000,000. Details here.
Thus, the new world total: old total 1900-1999 = 174,000,000. New World total = 174,000,000 + 38,000,000 (new for China) + 50,000,000 (new for Colonies) = 262,000,000.
Just to give perspective on this incredible murder by government, if all these bodies were laid head to toe, with the average height being 5′, then they would circle the earth ten times. Also, this democide murdered 6 times more people than died in combat in all the foreign and internal wars of the century. Finally, given popular estimates of the dead in a major nuclear war, this total democide is as though such a war did occur, but with its dead spread over a century.
Books on Democide
Lethal Politics: Soviet Genocides and Mass Murders 1917-1987, Rutgers, New Jersey: Transaction Publishers, 1990: Preface, References, and all tables of estimates, calculations and sources for each historical period.
China’s Bloody Century: Genocide and Mass Murder Since 1900. Rutgers, New Jersey: Transaction Publishers, 1991: Preface, Chapter 1, Methods Appendix, References, and all tables of estimates, calculations and sources for each historical period.
Democide: Nazi Genocide and Mass Murder. Rutgers, New Jersey: Transaction Publishers, 1992: Preface, Chapter 1, References, and the summary overall table of estimates, calculations and sources.
Death by Government: Genocide and Mass Murder in the Twentieth Century, New Jersey: Transaction Publishers, 1994: Preface; Chapters 1, 2, and 3; References; and the summary table for each megamurderer.
Statistics of Democide. Center on National Security and Law, University of Virginia, 1997: entire. Republished by Lit Verlag, MŸster, Germany in 1998 and distributed in North America by Transaction Publishers.
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Glenn Beck Salutes Armenian Genocide Upstander – Mehmet Celal Bey
Armenian Genocide 100 Year Commemoration Short Video Documentary
CBS 60 Minutes Past Report on the Armenian Genocide
The Armenian Journey – A Story Of An Armenian Genocide
The Armenian Genocide [ The Hidden Holocaust ] 1992 Documentary
BBC Documentary: Armenian Genocide – ‘The Betrayed’ – part 1/5
BBC Documentary: Armenian Genocide – ‘The Betrayed’ – part 2/5
BBC Documentary: Armenian Genocide – ‘The Betrayed’ – part 3/5
BBC Documentary: Armenian Genocide – ‘The Betrayed’ – part 4/5
BBC Documentary: Armenian Genocide – ‘The Betrayed’ – part 5/5
Geoffrey Robertson QC Discusses the Armenian Genocide on the Charlie Rose Show
Geoffrey Robertson: Armenia and the G-Word
The Untold Genocide: The Greek Genocide
Karl Marx: Father of Modern Genocide – Genocide Mac Daddy (NWO)
A little known historical fact is that Karl Marx, Founder of Communism, was also the father of modern genocide.
Hitler, Lenin, Stalin, were all guided by the writings of Marx, the first politician to publicly declare a need for political genocide, so Marx is the Mac Daddy of modern genocide.
This is to inform people who do not know that Communism does include genocide mass murder, genocides plots are not limited to the Illuminati.
The truth about Lenin and the Bolsheviks
Lenin regarded Europeans as animals
Stalin Mass Murder Documentary Ukraine 1933 Exterminations
Communist Genocide of 150 million 1917-1985
The Path to Nazi Genocide
Genocide: Worse Than War | Full-length documentary | PBS
Mao’s Great Famine HDTV great leap foward, history of china
Genocide is the deliberate and systematic destruction, in whole or in part, of an ethnic, racial, religious or national group. The term was coined in 1944 by Raphael Lemkin. It is defined in Article 2 of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (CPPCG) of 1948 as “any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the groups conditions of life, calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; [and] forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.”
The preamble to the CPPCG states that “genocide is a crime under international law, contrary to the spirit and aims of theUnited Nations and condemned by the civilized world” and that “at all periods of history genocide has inflicted great losses on humanity”.
Determining what historical events constitute a genocide and which are merely criminal or inhuman behavior is not a clear-cut matter. In nearly every case where accusations of genocide have circulated, partisans of various sides have fiercely disputed the details and interpretation of the event, often to the point of depicting wildly different versions of the facts. Alleged genocides should be understood in this context and such allegations cannot be regarded as the final word.
Legally, genocide is defined as any conflict that the International Criminal Court has so designated. Many conflicts that have been labeled genocide in the popular press have not been so designated.
M. Hassan Kakar argued that the definition should include political groups or any group so defined by the perpetrator. He prefers the definition Chalk and Jonassohn: “Genocide is a form of one-sided mass killing in which a state or other authority intends to destroy a group so defined by the perpetrator.”
Some critics of the international definition argued that the definition was influenced by Joseph Stalin to exclude political groups.
According to R. J. Rummel, genocide has multiple meanings. The ordinary meaning is murder by a government of people due to their national, ethnic, racial, or religious group membership. The legal meaning is defined by CCPG. This includes actions such as preventing births or forcibly transferring children to another group. Rummel created the term democide to include assaults on political groups.
In this article, atrocities that have been called genocide by some reliable source are included, whether or not they match one of these definitions. The acts may involve mass killings, mass deportations, withholding of food and/or other necessities of life, death by invasive infectious disease agents or combinations of these, whether or not specific evidence documents an intent by the perpetrators to destroy a people.
According to Adam Jones, if a dominant group of people has little in common with a marginalized group of people, it is easy for the dominant group to define the other as subhuman. As a result, the marginalized group might be labeled as a threat that must be eliminated. Jones continues: “The difficulty, as Frank Chalk and Kurt Jonassohn pointed out in their early study, is that such historical records as exist are ambiguous and undependable. While history today is generally written with some fealty to ‘objective’ facts, most previous accounts aimed rather to praise the writer’s patron (normally the leader) and to emphasize the superiority of one’s own gods and religious beliefs.”
Chalk and Jonassohn: “Historically and anthropologically peoples have always had a name for themselves. In a great many cases, that name meant ‘the people’ to set the owners of that name off against all other people who were considered of lesser quality in some way. If the differences between the people and some other society were particularly large in terms of religion, language, manners, customs, and so on, then such others were seen as less than fully human: pagans, savages, or even animals.”
Scholars of antiquity differentiate between genocide and gendercide, in which males were killed but the children (particularly the girls) and women were incorporated into the conquering group. Jones notes, “Chalk and Jonassohn provide a wide-ranging selection of historical events such as the Assyrian Empire‘s root-and branch depredations in the first half of the first millennium BCE, and the destruction of Melos by Athens during the Peloponnesian War (fifth century BCE), a gendercidal rampage described by Thucydides in his ‘Melian Dialogue‘”. The Old Testament documents the destruction of the Midianites, taking place during the life ofMoses in the 2nd millenium BC. The Book of Numbers chapter 31 recounts that an army of Isrealites kill every Midianite man but capture the women and children as plunder. These are later killed at the command of Moses, with the exception of girls who have not slept with a man. The total number killed is not recorded but the number of surviving girls is recorded as thirty two thousand.
Jared Diamond suggested that genocidal violence may have caused the Neanderthals to go extinct. Ronald Wright also suggested such a genocide. However, several scholars have formed alternative ideas as to why the Neanderthals died off, with there being no clear consensus viewpoint in the scientific community. Some academics have theorized that the beings were overly sensitive to the massive climate changes taking place, lacking advantages against cold that humans had.
Quoting Eric Margolis, Jones observes that in the 13th century the Mongol horsemen of TemüjinGenghis Khan were genocidal killers (génocidaires) who were known to kill whole nations, leaving nothing but empty ruins and bones. He ordered the extermination of the Tata Mongols, and all Kankalis males in Bukhara “taller than a wheel” using a technique called measuring against the linchpin. Rosanne Klass referred to the Mongols’ rule of Afghanistan as “genocide”.
Similarly, the Turko-Mongol conqueror Tamerlane was known for his extreme brutality and his conquests were accompanied by genocidal massacres. William Rubinstein wrote: “In Assyria (1393–4) – Tamerlane got around – he killed all the Christians he could find, including everyone in the, then, Christian city of Tikrit, thus virtually destroying Christianity in Mesopotamia. Impartially, however, Tamerlane also slaughtered Shi’ite Muslims, Jews and heathens.”
Between 1810 and 1828, the Zulu kingdom under Shaka Zulu laid waste to large parts of present-day South Africa and Zimbabwe. Zulu armies often aimed not only at defeating enemies but at their total destruction. Those exterminated included prisoners of war, women, children and even dogs. (Controversial) estimates for the death toll range from 1 million to 2 million.
A copy of Trotha’s Extermination Order survives in the Botswana National Archives. The order states “every Herero, with or without a gun, with or without cattle, will be shot. I will no longer accept women or children, I will drive them back to their people [to die in the desert] or let them be shot at.” Olusoga and Erichsen write: “It is an almost unique document: an explicit, written declaration of intent to commit genocide”. These mass killings were named as the first example of a 20th-century genocide in the 1985 Whitaker Report, commissioned but never adopted by the now defunct United Nations subcommittee ECOSOC.
From the 1490s when Christopher Columbus landed in the Americas to the end of the 19th century, the indigenous population of the Western Hemisphere declined, mostly from disease, to 1.8 million from around 50 million, a decline of 96%. In Brazil alone, the indigenous population declined from a pre-Columbian high of an estimated 3 million to some 300,000 (1997). Estimates of how many people were living in the Americas when Columbus arrived have varied tremendously; 20th century scholarly estimates ranged from 8.4 million to 112.5 million. However, Robert Royal stated, “estimates of pre-Columbian population figures have become heavily politicized with scholars who are particularly critical of Europe and/or Western civilization often favoring wildly higher figures.”
British commander Jeffery Amherst may have authorized the intentional use of disease as a biological weapon against indigenous populations during the Siege of Fort Pitt. It was the only documented case of germ warfare and it is uncertain whether it successfully infected the target population.
Some historians argue that genocide, as a crime of intent, does not describe the colonization experience. Stafford Poole, a research historian, wrote: “There are other terms to describe what happened in the Western Hemisphere, but genocide is not one of them. It is a good propaganda term in an age where slogans and shouting have replaced reflection and learning, but to use it in this context is to cheapen both the word itself and the appalling experiences of the Jews andArmenians, to mention but two of the major victims of this century.”Holocaust scholar and political scientist Guenter Lewy rejects the label of genocide and views the depopulation of the Americas as “not a crime but a tragedy”. Likewise, Noble David Cook writing about the Black Legend wrote “There were too few Spaniards to have killed the millions who were reported to have died in the first century after Old and New World contact.”
By contrast, David Stannard argued that the destruction of the American aboriginals from 76 million down to a quarter-million over 4 centuries, in a “string of genocide campaigns”, killing “countless tens of millions”, was the most massive genocide in world history. Several works on the subject were released around the year 1992 to coincide with the 500th anniversary of Columbus’ voyage.
Contemporary sources indicate that it was a deliberate genocide by the Argentine government. Others perceived the campaign as intending to suppress only groups of aboriginals that refused to submit to the government and carried out attacks on European settlements.
Jean-Jacques Dessalines, the first ruler of an independent Haiti, ordered the killing of the white population of French creoles on Haiti which culminated in the 1804 Haiti Massacre. According to Philippe Girard, “when the genocide was over, Haiti’s white population was virtually non-existent.”
The Caste War of Yucatán (approx. 1847–1901) against the population of European descent, called Yucatecos, who held political and economic control of the region. Adam Jones wrote: Genocidal atrocities on both sides cost up to 200,000 killed.”
In 1835, Don Ignacio Zuniga, commander of the presidios of northern Sonora, asserted that since 1820 the Apaches had killed at least five thousand settlers. The state of Sonora then offered a bounty on Apache scalps in 1835. Beginning in 1837 Chihuahua state also offered a bounty of 100 pesos per warrior, 50 pesos per woman and 25 pesos per child.
Statistics regarding deaths due to armed conflict between Native Americans and Europeans are sparse, as in many cases there were no records kept. A study by Gregory Michno concluded that of 21,586 tabulated casualties in a selected 672 battles and skirmishes, military personnel and settlers accounted for 6,596 (31%), while indigenous casualties totaled about 14,990 (69%) for the period 1850–90. Michno’s study almost exclusively uses Army estimates. His follow-up book “Forgotten Battles and Skirmishes” covers over 300 additional fights not included in these statistics. According to the U.S. Bureau of the Census (1894), “The Indian wars under the government of the United States have been more than 40 in number. They have cost the lives of about 19,000 white men, women and children, including those killed in individual combats, and the lives of about 30,000 Indians. The actual number of killed and wounded Indians must be very much higher than the given… Fifty percent additional would be a safe estimate…”
Chalk and Jonassohn claimed that the deportation of the Cherokee tribe along the Trail of Tears would almost certainly be considered an act of genocide today.The Indian Removal Act of 1830 led to the exodus. About 17,000 Cherokees—along with approximately 2,000 Cherokee-owned black slaves—were removed from their homes. The number of people who died as a result of the Trail of Tears has been variously estimated. American doctor and missionary Elizur Butler, who made the journey with one party, estimated 4,000 deaths.
The native population of the United States has been difficult to pin down due to the lack of reliable source materials. Historian and Information Scientist Dr. David Henige asserts that the modern trend of high population estimates is “pseudo-scientific number-crunching.” While he does not advocate a low population estimates, he argues that the scarce and uncomprehensive nature of the evidence renders broad estimates(eg.as high as the entire population of the US at the onset of World War I) to be somewhat suspect, saying “Examining the methodologies used by “high counters” have been particularly flagrant in their misuse of sources.”
Credible evidence exists that epidemic disease was the overwhelming cause of the population decline of the American natives because of their lack of immunity to new diseases brought from Europe. Contemporaneous accounts of the effects of smallpox, among the native population suggest an 80% to 95% mortality rate of the entire population effected. Governor William Bradford wrote, in 1633, about the second reported outbreak (e.g. 1617, 1633) in New England: “… for it pleased God to visit these Indians with a great sickness, and such a mortality that of a 1000. above 900.and a half of them died, and many of them did rot above ground for want of burial, …”
The Beothuks attempted to avoid contact with Europeans in Newfoundland by moving from their traditional settlements. The Beothuks were put into a position where they were forced from their traditional land and lifestyle into ecosystems that could not support them and that led to undernourishment and eventually starvation. While some scholars believe that the Beothuk primarily died out due to the elements noted above, another theory is that Europeans conducted a sustained campaign of genocide against them. They were officially declared “extinct” after the death of Shanawdithit in 1829 in the capital, St. John’s, where she had been taken.
The Ainu are an indigenous people in Japan (Hokkaidō). In a 2009 news story, Japan Today reported, “Many Ainu were forced to work, essentially as slaves, forWajin (ethnic Japanese), resulting in the breakup of families and the introduction of smallpox, measles, cholera and tuberculosis into their community. In 1869, the new Meiji government renamed Ezo Hokkaido and unilaterally incorporated it into Japan. It banned the Ainu language, took Ainu land away, and prohibited salmon fishing and deer hunting.” Roy Thomas wrote: “Ill treatment of native peoples is common to all colonial powers, and, at its worst, leads to genocide. Japan’s native people, the Ainu, have, however, been the object of a particularly cruel hoax, because the Japanese have refused to accept them officially as a separate minority people.” In 2004 the small Ainu community living in Russia wrote a letter to Vladimir Putin, urging him to recognize Japanese behaviour against the Ainu people as genocide, which Putin declined to do.
The Dzungar (or Zunghar), Oirat Mongols who lived in an area that stretched from the west end of the Great Wall of China to present-day eastern Kazakhstan and from present-day northern Kyrgyzstan to southern Siberia (most of which is located in present-day Xinjiang), were the last nomadic empire to threaten China, which they did from the early 17th century through the middle of the 18th century. After a series of inconclusive military conflicts that started in the 1680s, the Dzungars were subjugated by the Manchu-led Qing dynasty (1644–1911) in the late 1750s. According to Qing scholar Wei Yuan, 40 percent of the 600,000 Zunghar people were killed by smallpox, 20 percent fled to Russia or sought refuge among the Kazakh tribes and 30 percent were killed by the Qing army of Manchu Bannermenand Khalkha Mongols. Historian Michael Edmund Clarke has argued that the Qing campaign in 1757–58 “amounted to the complete destruction of not only the Zunghar state but of the Zunghars as a people.” Historian Peter Perdue has attributed the decimation of the Dzungars to a “deliberate use of massacre” and has described it as an “ethnic genocide”. Mark Levene, a historian of genocide, has stated that the extermination of the Dzungars was “arguably the eighteenth century genocide par excellence.”
According to research published from 2009, in 1789 the British deliberately spread smallpox from the First Fleet to counter overwhelming native tribes near Sydney in New South Wales. In his book “An Indelible Stain”, Henry Reynolds described this act as genocide. Many scholars disagree that the initial smallpox was the result of deliberate biological warfare and have suggested other causes.
The Black War was a period of conflict between British colonists and Tasmanian Aborigines in Van Diemen’s Land (now Tasmania) in the early 19th century. The conflict, in combination with introduced diseases and other factors, had such devastating impacts on the Tasmanian Aboriginal population that it was reported the Tasmanian Aborigines had been exterminated. Historian Geoffrey Blainey wrote that by 1830, “Disease had killed most of them but warfare and private violence had also been devastating.” In the 19th century, smallpox was the principal cause of Aboriginal deaths.
Lemkin and most other comparative genocide scholars present the extinction of the Tasmanian Aborigines as a textbook example of a genocide, while the majority of Australian experts are more circumspect. Detailed studies of the events surrounding the extinction have raised questions about some of the details and interpretations in earlier histories. Curthoys concluded, “It is time for a more robust exchange between genocide and Tasmanian historical scholarship if we are to understand better what did happen in Tasmania.”
On the Australian continent during the colonial period (1788–1901), the population of 500,000–750,000 Australian Aborigines was reduced to fewer than 50,000. Most were devastated by the introduction of alien diseases after contact with Europeans, while perhaps 20,000 were killed by massacres and fighting with colonists.
In 1835, some Ngāti Mutunga and Ngāti Tama from the Taranaki region of North Island invaded the Chathams. On 19 November 1835, the Rodney, a European ship hired by the Māori, arrived carrying 500 Māori armed with guns, clubs, and axes, followed by another ship with 400 more warriors on 5 December 1835. They proceeded to enslave some Moriori and kill and cannibalise others. “Parties of warriors armed with muskets, clubs and tomahawks, led by their chiefs, walked through Moriori tribal territories and settlements without warning, permission or greeting. If the districts were wanted by the invaders, they curtly informed the inhabitants that their land had been taken and the Moriori living there were now vassals.”
A council of Moriori elders was convened at the settlement called Te Awapatiki. Despite knowing of the Māori predilection for killing and eating the conquered, and despite the admonition by some of the elder chiefs that the principle of Nunuku was not appropriate now, two chiefs—Tapata and Torea—declared that “the law of Nunuku was not a strategy for survival, to be varied as conditions changed; it was a moral imperative.” A Moriori survivor recalled: “[The Maori] commenced to kill us like sheep…. [We] were terrified, fled to the bush, concealed ourselves in holes underground, and in any place to escape our enemies. It was of no avail; we were discovered and killed – men, women and children indiscriminately.” A Māori conqueror explained, “We took possession… in accordance with our customs and we caught all the people. Not one escaped…”
After the invasion, Moriori were forbidden to marry Moriori, or to have children with each other. All became slaves of the invaders. Many Moriori women had children by their Maori masters. A small number of Moriori women eventually married either Maori or European men. Some were taken from the Chathams and never returned. Only 101 Moriori out of a population of about 2,000 were left alive by 1862. Although the last Moriori of unmixed ancestry, Tommy Solomon, died in 1933 several thousand mixed ancestry Moriori are alive today.
In 1986, Reynald Secher argued that the actions of the French republican government during the revolt in the Vendée (1793–1796), a popular mostly Catholic uprising against the anti-clerical Republican government during the French Revolution was the first modern genocide. Secher’s claims caused a minor uproar in France and mainstream authorities rejected Secher’s claims. Timothy Tackett countered that “the Vendée was a tragic civil war with endless horrors committed by both sides—initiated, in fact, by the rebels themselves. The Vendeans were no more blameless than were the republicans. The use of the word genocide is wholly inaccurate and inappropriate.” However, historians Frank Chalk and Kurt Jonassohn consider the Vendée a case of genocide. Historian Pierre Chaunu called the Vendée the first ideological genocide. Adam Jones estimates 150,000 Vendeans died in what he also considers to be genocide.
Toward the end of the War of the Three Kingdoms (1639–1651) the English Rump Parliament sent the New Model Army to Ireland to subdue and take revenge on the Catholic population of the country and to prevent Royalists loyal to Charles II from using Ireland as a base to threaten England. The force was initially under the command of Oliver Cromwell and later under other parliamentary generals. The Army sought to secure the country, but also to confiscate lands of Irish families involved in the fighting. This became a continuation of the Elizabethan policy of encouraging Protestant settlement of Ireland, because the Protestant New Model army soldiers—could be paid in confiscated lands rather than in cash.
During the Interregnum (1651–1660), this policy was enhanced with the passing of the Act of Settlement of Ireland in 1652. Its goal was a further transfer of land from Irish to English hands. The immediate war aims and the longer term policies of the English Parliamentarians resulted in an attempt by the English to transfer the native population to the western fringes to make way for Protestant settlers. This policy was reflected in a phrase attributed to Cromwell: “To Hell or to Connaught” and has been described by historians as ethnic cleansing, if not genocide.
During the Irish Potato Famine (1845–1852), approximately 1 million people died and a million more emigrated from Ireland,causing the island’s population to fall by between 20% and 25%. The proximate cause of famine was a potato disease commonly known as potato blight. Although blight ravaged potato crops throughout Europe during the 1840s, the impact and human cost in Ireland – where one-third of the population was entirely dependent on the potato for food – was exacerbated by a host of political, social, and economic factors which remain the subject of historical debate.
During the Famine, Ireland produced enough food, flax, and wool to feed and clothe double its nine million people. When Ireland had experienced a famine in 1782–83, ports were closed to keep Irish-grown food in Ireland to feed the Irish. Local food prices promptly dropped. Merchants lobbied against the export ban, but government in the 1780s overrode their protests. There was no such export ban in the 1840s. Some historians have argued that in this sense the famine was artificial, caused by the British government’s choice not to stop exports.
The claims were contested by Peter Gray, who concluded that UK government policy “was not a policy of deliberate genocide”, but a dogmatic refusal to admit that the policy was wrong. James S. Donnelly, Jr., split the difference, writing, “while genocide was not in fact committed, what happened … had the look of genocide to a great many Irish”.
Cecil Woodham-Smith claimed that while the export policy embittered the Irish, this did not implicate the policy in genocide, but rather in excessive parsimony obtuseness, short-sightedness, and ignorance.
Irish historian Cormac O’ Grada rejects the term, stating that the English exhibited no desire to exterminate the Irish and that the challenges for providing relief were enormous.
W.D. Rubinstein also rejected the genocide claim.
The Russian Tsarist Empire waged war against Circassia in the Northwest Caucasus for more than one hundred years, trying to replace Circassia’s hold along theBlack Sea coast. After a century of insurgency and war and failure to end the conflict, the Tsar ordered the expulsion of most of the Muslim population of the North Caucasus. Many Circassians, Western historians, Turks and Chechens claimed that the events of the 1860s constituted one of the first modern genocides, in that a whole population was eliminated to satisfy the desires (in this case economic) of a powerful country.
Antero Leitzinger flagged the affair as the 19th century’s largest genocide. Some estimates cite that approximately 1-1.5 million Circassians were killed and most of the Muslim population was deported. Ossete Muslims and Kabardins generally did not leave. The modern Circassians and Abazins descend from those who managed to escape the onslaught and later returned another 1.5 million Circassians and others. This effectively annihilated (or deported) 90% of the nation.Tsarist documents recorded more than 400,000 Circassians killed, 497,000 forced to flee and only 80,000 were left in their native area. Circassians were viewed as tools by the Ottoman government, and settled in restive areas whose populations had nationalist yearnings- Armenia, the Arab regions and the Balkans. Many more Circassians were killed by the policies of the Balkan states, primarily Serbia and Bulgaria, which became independent at that time. Still more Circassians were forcefully assimilated by nationalist Muslim states (Turkey, Syria, Iraq, etc.) who looked upon non-Turk/Arab ethnicity as a foreign presence and a threat.
In May 1994, the then Russian PresidentBoris Yeltsin admitted that resistance to the tsarist forces was legitimate, but he did not recognize “the guilt of the tsarist government for the genocide.” In 1997 and 1998, the leaders of Kabardino-Balkaria and of Adygea sent appeals to the Duma to reconsider the situation and to apologize, without response. In October 2006, the Adygeyan public organizations of Russia, Turkey, Israel, Jordan, Syria, the USA, Belgium, Canada and Germany sent the president of the European Parliament a letter with a request to recognize the genocide.
On 5 July 2005 the Circassian Congress, an organisation that unites representatives of the various Circassian peoples in the Russian Federation, called on Moscow to acknowledge and apologize for the genocide.
On May 24, 1915, the Allied Powers (Britain, France, and Russia) jointly issued a statement that for the first time ever explicitly charged a government with committing a “crime against humanity” in reference to that regime’s persecution of its Christian minorities, including Armenians, Assyrians and Greeks. Many researchers consider these events to be part of the policy of planned ethnoreligious purification of the Turkish state advanced by the Young Turks.
This joint statement stated, “[i]n view of these new crimes of Turkey against humanity and civilization, the Allied Governments announce publicly to the Sublime Porte that they will hold personally responsible for these crimes all members of the Ottoman Government, as well as those of their agents who are implicated in such massacres.”
Armenian civilians, escorted by armed Ottoman soldiers, are marched through Kharpert to a prison in the nearby Mezireh district, April 1915.
Modern Turkey succeeded the Ottoman Empire in 1923 and vehemently denies that a genocide took place. It has resisted calls in recent years by scholars, countries and international organizations to acknowledge the crime. It is the second most-studied case of genocide after the Holocaust. Lemkin coined “genocide” to describe these events.
The Dersim Massacre refers to the depopulation of Dersim in Turkish Kurdistan, in 1937–38, in which approximately 65,000–70,000 Alevi Kurds were killed and thousands more were driven into exile. A key component of the Turkification process was a policy of massive population resettlement. The main document, the1934 Law on Resettlement, was used to target the region of Dersim as one of its first test cases, with disastrous consequences for the local population.
Many Kurds and some ethnic Turks consider the events that took place in Dersim to constitute genocide. A prominent proponent of this view is İsmail Beşikçi.Under international laws, the actions of the Turkish authorities were arguably not genocide, because they were not aimed at the extermination of a people, but at resettlement and suppression. A Turkish court ruled in 2011 that the events could not be considered genocide because they were not directed systematically against an ethnic group. Scholars such as Martin van Bruinessen, have instead talked of an ethnocide directed against the local language and identity.
Multiple documented instances of unnatural mass death occurred in the Soviet Union. These include Union-wide famines in the early 1920s and early 1930s and deportations of ethnic minorities.
Soviet diplomatic efforts removed the extermination of political groups from the United Nations Convention on Genocide. This left many of the Soviet atrocities outside the United Nations definition of genocide, because the atrocities targeted political or economic groups rather than the ethnic, racial, religious, or national groups listed in the UN convention.
During the Soviet famine of 1932–33 that affected Ukraine, Kazakhstan and some densely populated regions of Russia, the scale of death in Ukraine is referred to as the Holodomor and is recognized as genocide by the governments of Australia, Argentina, Georgia, Estonia, Italy, Canada, Lithuania, Poland, the USA and Hungary. The famine was caused by the confiscation of the whole 1933 harvest in Ukraine, Kazakhstan, the Kuban (a densely populated Russian region), and some other parts of the Soviet Union, leaving the peasants too little to feed themselves. As a result, an estimated ten million died, including over seven million in Ukraine, one million in the North Caucasus and one million elsewhere. American historian Timothy Snyder wrote of “3.3 million Soviet citizens (mostly Ukrainians) deliberately starved by their own government in Soviet Ukraine in 1932–1933″
In addition to the requisitioning of crops and livestock in Ukraine, all food was confiscated by Soviet authorities. Any and all aid and food was prohibited from entering the Ukrainian republic. Ukraine’s Yuschenko administration recognised the Holodomor as an act of genocide and pushed international governments to acknowledge this. This move was opposed by the Russian government and some members of the Ukrainian parliament, especially the Communists. A Ukrainian court found Joseph Stalin, Vyacheslav Molotov, Lazar Kaganovich, Stanislav Kosior, Pavel Postyshev, Vlas Chubar and Mendel Khatayevich posthumously guilty of genocide on 13 January 2010.As of 2010, the Russian government’s official position was that the famine took place, but was not an ethnic genocide; former Ukrainian presidentViktor Yanukovych supported this position. A ruling of January 13, 2010 by Kyiv’s Court of Appeal declared the Soviet leaders guilty of ‘genocide against the Ukrainian national group in 1932–33 through the artificial creation of living conditions intended for its partial physical destruction.'”
The event began on 23 February 1944, when the entire population of Checheno-Ingushetia was summoned to local party buildings where they were told they were to be deported as punishment for their alleged collaboration with the Germans. The inhabitants were rounded up and imprisoned in Studebaker trucks and sent to Siberia.
Many times, resistance was met with slaughter, and in one such instance, in the aul of Khaibakh, about 700 people were locked in a barn and burned to death. By the next summer, Checheno-Ingushetia was dissolved; a number of Chechen and Ingush placenames were replaced with Russian ones; mosques and graveyards were destroyed, and a massive campaign to burn numerous historical Chechen texts was nearly complete.
 Throughout the North Caucasus, about 700,000 (according to Dalkhat Ediev, 724297, of which the majority, 412,548, were Chechens, along with 96,327Ingush, 104,146 Kalmyks, 39,407 Balkars and 71,869 Karachais). Many died on the trip, of exposure in Siberia’s extremely harsh environment. The NKVD, supplying the Russian perspective, gives the statistic of 144,704 killed in 1944–1948 alone (with a death rate of 23.5% for all groups). Estimates for Chechen deaths alone (excluding the NKVD statistic), range from about 170,000 to 200,000, thus ranging from over a third of the total Chechen population to nearly half being killed (of those that were deported, not counting those killed on the spot) in those 4 years alone. Both the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria and the European Union Parliament marked it as genocide in 2004.
Deportations of Lithuanians, Latvians and Estonians
Lithuania began trials for genocide in 1997. Latvia and Estonia followed in 1998. Latvia has since convicted four security officers and in 2003 sentenced a former KGB agent to five years. Estonia tried and convicted ten men and is investigating others. In Lithuania by 2004 23 cases were before the courts, but as of the end of the year none had been convicted.
In 2007 Estonia charged Arnold Meri (then 88 years old), a former Soviet Communist Party official and highly decorated former Red Army soldier, with genocide. Shortly after the trial opened, it was suspended because of Meri’s frail health and then abandoned when he died. A memorial in Vilnius, Lithuania, is dedicated to genocidal victims of Stalin and Hitler, and the Museum of Genocide Victims in Lithuania, which opened on 14 October 1992 in the former KGB headquarters, chronicles the imprisonment and deportation of Lithuanians.
During the Nanking Massacre in the period of the Second Sino-Japanese War, the Japanese engaged in mass killings against the Chinese. Bradley Campbell described the Nanking Massacre as a genocide, because the Chinese were unilaterally killed by the Japanese en masse during the aftermath, despite the successful and certain outcome of their battle.
The Nazi Holocaust is universally recognized as genocide. The term appeared in the indictment of 24 German leaders. Count three of the indictment stated that all the defendants had “conducted deliberate and systematic genocide – namely, the extermination of racial and national groups…”
The term “the Holocaust” (from the Greekhólos, “whole” and kaustós, “burnt”) is often used to describe the killing of approximately six million European Jews, as part of a program of deliberate extermination planned and executed by the National Socialist German Workers Party in Germany led by Adolf Hitler. Many scholars do not include other groups in the definition of the Holocaust, reserving the term to refer only to the genocide of the Jews,
The Holocaust: Definition and Preliminary Discussion, Yad Vashem, The Holocaust, as presented in this resource center, is defined as the sum total of all anti-Jewish actions carried out by the German regime between 1933 and 1945: from stripping the German Jews of their legal and economic status in the 1930s, to segregating and starving Jews in the various occupied countries, to the murder of close to six million Jews in Europe. The Holocaust is part of a broader aggregate of acts of oppression and murder of various ethnic and political groups in Europe by the Germans.
The Holocaust was accomplished in stages. Legislation to remove the Jews from civil society was enacted years before the outbreak of World War II. Concentration camps were established in which inmates were used as slave laborers until they died. Where the Third Reich conquered new territory in eastern Europe, specialized units called Einsatzgruppen murdered Jews and political opponents in mass shootings. Jews and Romani were crammed into ghettos before being transported in box cars by freight train to extermination camps where, if they survived the journey, the majority were killed in gas chambers. Every arm of Germany’s bureaucracy was involved in the logistics of the mass murder, turning the country into what one Holocaust scholar has called “a genocidal nation.”
Men are forced to dig their own graves before being shot by SS troops.Šiauliai, Lithuania, July 1941
The following figures from Lucy Dawidowicz show the annihilation of the Jewish population of Europe by (pre-war) country:
This gives a total of over 3.8 million; of these, 80–90% were estimated to be Jews. These seven camps thus accounted for half the total number of Jews killed in the entire Nazi Holocaust. Virtually the entire Jewish population of Poland died in these camps.
Since 1945, the most commonly cited figure for the total number of Jews killed has been six million. The Yad VashemHolocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority in Jerusalem, writes that there is no precise figure for the number of Jews killed, but has been able to find documentation of more than three million names of Jewish victims killed,which it displays at its visitors center. The figure most commonly used is the six million attributed to Adolf Eichmann, a senior SS official.
There were about eight to ten million Jews in the territories controlled directly or indirectly by Germany (the uncertainty arises from the lack of knowledge about how many Jews there were in the Soviet Union). The six million killed in the Holocaust thus represent 60 to 75 percent of these Jews. Of Poland’s 3.3 million Jews, about 90 percent were killed. The same proportion were killed in Latvia and Lithuania, but most of Estonia‘s Jews were evacuated in time. Of the 750,000 Jews in Germany and Austria in 1933, only about a quarter survived. Although many German Jews emigrated before 1939, the majority of these fled to Czechoslovakia, France or the Netherlands, from where they were later deported to their deaths.
In Czechoslovakia, Greece, the Netherlands, and Yugoslavia, over 70 percent were killed. 50 to 70 percent were killed in Romania, Belgium and Hungary. It is likely that a similar proportion were killed in Belarus and Ukraine, but these figures are less certain. Countries with notably lower proportions of deaths include Bulgaria, Denmark, France, Italy, and Norway. Albania was the only country occupied by Germany that had a significantly larger Jewish population in 1945 than in 1939. About two hundred native Jews and over a thousand refugees were provided with false documents, hidden when necessary, and generally treated as honored guests in a country whose population was roughly 60% Muslim. Additionally, Japan, as an Axis member, had its own unique response to German policies regarding Jews; see Shanghai Ghetto.
In addition to those who died in extermination camps, at least half a million Jews died in other camps, including the major concentration camps in Germany. These were not extermination camps, but had large numbers of Jewish prisoners at various times, particularly in the last year of the war as the Nazis withdrew from Poland. About a million people died in these camps, and although the proportion of Jews is not known with certainty, it was estimated to be at least 50 percent. Another 800,000 to one million Jews were killed by the Einsatzgruppen in the occupied Soviet territories (an approximate figure, since the Einsatzgruppen killings were frequently undocumented). Many more died through execution or of disease and malnutrition in the ghettos of Poland before they could be deported.
Jewish Holocaust death toll as a percentage of the total pre-war Jewish population
In the 1990s, the opening of government archives in Eastern Europe resulted in the adjustment of the death tolls published in the pioneering work by Hilberg, Dawidowicz and Gilbert (e.g. compare Gilbert’s estimation of two million deaths in Auschwitz-Birkenau with the updated figure of one million in the Extermination Camp data box). As pointed out above, Wolfgang Benz has been carrying out work on the more recent data. He concluded in 1999:
The goal of annihilating all of the Jews of Europe, as it was proclaimed at the conference in the villa Am Grossen Wannsee in January 1942, was not reached. Yet the six million murder victims make the holocaust a unique crime in the history of mankind. The number of victims—and with certainty the following represent the minimum number in each case—cannot express that adequately. Numbers are just too abstract. However they must be stated in order to make clear the dimension of the genocide: 165,000 Jews from Germany, 65,000 from Austria, 32,000 from France and Belgium, more than 100,000 from the Netherlands, 60,000 from Greece, the same number from Yugoslavia, more than 140,000 from Czechoslovakia, half a million from Hungary, 2.2 million from the Soviet Union, and 2.7 million from Poland. To these numbers must be added all those killed in the pogroms and massacres in Romania and Transitrien (over 200,000) and the deported and murdered Jews from Albania and Norway, Denmark and Italy, from Luxembourg and Bulgaria.
—Benz, Wolfgang The Holocaust: A German Historian Examines the Genocide
Some scholars broaden the definition to include other German killing policies during the war, including the mistreatment of Soviet POWs, crimes against ethnic Poles,euthanasia of mentally and physically disabled Germans, persecution of Jehovah’s Witnesses, the killing of Romani, and other crimes committed against ethnic and political minorities. Using this definition, the total number of Holocaust victims is 11 million people. Donald Niewyk suggests that the broadest definition, including Soviet deaths due to war-related famine and disease, would produce a death toll of 17 million. Overall, about 5.7 million (78 percent) of the 7.3 million Jews in occupied Europe perished. This was in contrast to the five to 11 million (1.4 percent to 3.0 percent) of the 360 million non-Jews in German-dominated Europe.
In 1995 a paper published by M. V. Philimoshin at the Russian Academy of Scienceput the civilian death toll in the regions occupied by Germany at 13.7 million. Philimoshin cited sources from the Soviet era to support his figures, he used the terms “genocide” and “premeditated extermination” when referring to the deaths of 7.4 million civilians in the occupied USSR caused by the direct, intentional actions of violence. Civilians killed in reprisals during the Soviet partisan war account for a major part of the huge toll. The report of Philimoshin lists the deaths of civilian forced laborers in Germany as totaling 2,164,313. G. I. Krivosheev in the report on military casualties gives a total of 1,103,300 dead POWs. The total of these two figures is 3,267,613, which is in close agreement with estimates by western historians of about 3 million deaths of prisoners in German captivity. In the occupied regions Nazi Germany had a policy of forced confiscation of food that resulted in the famine deaths of an estimated 6% of the population, 4.1 million persons.
Soviet civilian war dead estimated by Russian Academy of Science
Deaths caused by the result of direct, intentional actions of violence
After the Nazi invasion of Yugoslavia, Nazis and fascists established the Croatian state known as the Nezavisna Država Hrvatska (Independent State of Croatia) or NDH. Immediately afterwards, the NDH began a terror campaign against Serbs, Jews and Romani people. From 1941 to 1945, when Josip Broz Tito‘s partisansliberated Croatia, the Ustaše regime killed approximately 300,000 to 350,000 people, mostly Serbs and almost the entire Jewish and Romani population, many of them in the Jasenovac concentration camp. Helen Fein estimated that the Ustaše killed virtually every Romani in the country. The Ustaše enacted a policy that called for a solution to the “Serbian problem” in Croatia. The solution was to “kill one-third of the Serbs, expel one-third, and convert one-third”. According to the United States Holocaust Museum, 320,000–340,000 ethnic Serbs were murdered under Ustaše rule. The Yad Vashem World Holocaust Museum and Research Center concludes that “more than 500,000 Serbs were murdered in horribly sadistic ways, 250,000 were expelled, and another 200,000 were forced to convert”. The Ustaše killed nearly 80,000 Roma and 35,000 Jews.
The massacres are recognized in Poland as ethnic cleansing with “marks of genocide.” According to IPN prosecutor Piotr Zając, the crimes have a “character of genocide”. However, according to Katchanovski, the actions in Volhynia lacked evidence of an intent to eliminate all or part of the Polish population, and the anti-Polish action was mostly limited to a small region.
The treatment of the Romani was not consistent in the different areas that Nazi Germany conquered. In some areas (e.g. Luxembourg and the Baltic countries), the Nazis killed virtually the entire Romani population. In other areas (e.g. Denmark, Greece), there is no record of Romanis being subjected to mass killings.
Donald Niewyk and Frances Nicosia write that the death toll was at least 130,000 of the nearly one million Romani in Nazi-controlled Europe. Michael Berenbaum writes that serious scholarly estimates lie between 90,000 and 220,000. A study by Sybil Milton, senior historian at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, calculated a death toll of at least 220,000 and possibly closer to 500,000, but this study explicitly excluded the Independent State of Croatia where the genocide of Romanies was intense. Martin Gilbert estimates a total of more than 220,000 of the 700,000 Romani in Europe.Ian Hancock, Director of the Program of Romani Studies and the Romani Archives and Documentation Center at the University of Texas at Austin, has argued in favour of a much higher figure of between 500,000 and 1,500,000, claiming the Romani toll proportionally equaled or exceeded that of Jewish victims.
Our starting-point is not the individual, and we do not subscribe to the view that one should feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty or clothe the naked—those are not our objectives. Our objectives are entirely different. They can be put most crisply in the sentence: we must have a healthy people in order to prevail in the world.
Between 1939 and 1941, 80,000 to 100,000 mentally ill adults in institutions were killed; 5,000 children in institutions; and 1,000 Jews in institutions. Outside the mental health institutions, the figures are estimated to number 20,000 (according to Dr. Georg Renno, the deputy director of Schloss Hartheim, one of the euthanasia centers) or 400,000 (according to Franz Ziereis, the commandant of Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camp). Another 300,000 were forcibly sterilized. Overall it has been estimated that over 270,000 individuals with mental disorders of all kinds were put to death, although their mass murder has received relatively little historical attention. Along with the physically disabled, people suffering from dwarfism were persecuted as well. Many were put on display in cages and experimented on by the Nazis. Despite not being formally ordered to take part, psychiatrists and psychiatric institutions were at the center of justifying, planning and carrying out the atrocities at every stage, and “constituted the connection” to the later annihilation of Jews and other “undesirables” in the Holocaust. After strong protests by the German Catholic and Protestant churches on 24 August 1941 Hitler ordered the cancellation of the T4 program.
The program was named after Tiergartenstraße 4, the address of a villa in the Berlin borough of Tiergarten, the headquarters of the General Foundation for Welfare and Institutional Care, led by Philipp Bouhler, head of Hitler’s private chancellery (Kanzlei des Führer der NSDAP) and Karl Brandt, Hitler’s personal physician.
After WWII ended at least 12 million Germans fled or were expelled from Germany’s former eastern provinces or migrated from other countries to what remained of Germany, the largest transfer of a single ethnic population in modern history. Estimates of the total number of dead range from 500,000 to 2,000,000, where the higher figures include “unsolved cases” of persons reported as missing and presumed dead. Many German civilians were sent to internment and labor camps, where they died. Rummel estimated that 1,585,000 Germans were killed in Poland and 197,000 were killed in Czechoslovakia. The German-Czech Historians Commission, on the other hand, established a death toll for Czechoslovakia of 15-30,000. The events are usually classified as population transfer, or as ethnic cleansing.Felix Ermacora, among a minority of legal scholars, equated ethnic cleansing with genocide, and stated that the expulsion of the Sudeten Germans therefore constituted genocide.
In 1937, Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo ordered the execution of Haitians living in the Dominican Republic. The Parsley Massacre, known in the Dominican Republic as “El Corte” (the Cutting), lasted approximately five days. Trujillo had his soldiers show parsley to suspected Haitians and ask, “What is this?” Spanish-speaking Dominicans would be able to pronounce the Spanish word for parsley (“perejil”) perfectly. In Haitian Creole, the word for parsley is “persil”. Those who mispronounced “perejil” were assumed to be Haitian and slaughtered. The program resulted in the deaths of 20,000 to 30,000 people.
Republic of China and Tibet
The Kuomintang‘s Republic of China government supported Muslim warlordMa Bufang when he launched seven expeditions into Golog, causing the deaths of thousands of Tibetans. Uradyn Erden Bulag called the events that followed genocidal, while David Goodman called them ethnic cleansing. One Tibetan counted the number of times Ma attacked him, remembering the seventh attack that made life impossible. Ma was anti-communist and he and his army wiped out many Tibetans in northeast and eastern Qinghai and destroyed Tibetan Buddhist Temples. Ma also patronized the Panchen Lama, who was exiled from Tibet by the Dalai Lama‘s government.
1951 to 2000
The CPPCG was adopted by the UN General Assembly on 9 December 1948 and came into effect on 12 January 1951 (Resolution 260 (III)). After the necessary 20 countries became parties to the Convention, it came into force as international law on 12 January 1951. At that time however, only two of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council (UNSC) were parties to the treaty, which caused the Convention to languish for over four decades.
Sir Ronald Wilson was once the president of Australia’s Human Rights Commission. He stated that Australia’s program in which 20-25,000 Aboriginal children were forcibly separated from their natural families was genocide, because it was intended to cause the Aboriginal people to die out. The program ran from 1900 to 1969. The nature and extent of the removals have been disputed within Australia, with opponents questioning the findings contained in the Commission report and asserting that the size of the Stolen Generation had been exaggerated. The intent and effects of the government policy were also disputed.
In 1964, towards the end of the Zanzibar Revolution—which led to the overthrow of the Sultan of Zanzibar and his mainly Arab government by local African revolutionaries—John Okello claimed in radio speeches to have killed or imprisoned tens of thousands of the Sultan’s “enemies and stooges,” but estimates of the number of deaths vary greatly, from “hundreds” to 20,000. The New York Times and other Western newspapers gave figures of 2-4,000; the higher numbers possibly were inflated by Okello’s own broadcasts and exaggerated media reports. The killing of Arab prisoners and their burial in mass graveswas documented by an Italian film crew, filming from a helicopter, in Africa Addio. Many Arabs fled to safety in Oman and by Okello’s order no Europeans were harmed. The violence did not spread to Pemba.Leo Kuper described the killing of Arabs in Zanzibar as genocide.
During the Guatemalan civil war, some thousands of people died and more than one million fled their homes and hundreds of villages were destroyed. The officially chartered Historical Clarification Commission attributed more than 93% of all documented human rights violations to Guatemala’s military government; and estimated that MayaIndians accounted for 83% of the victims. Although the war lasted from 1960 to 1996, the Historical Clarification Commission concluded that genocide might have occurred between 1981 and 1983, when the government and guerrilla had the fiercest and bloodiest combats and strategies, especially in the oil-rich area of Ixcán on the northern part of Quiché[disambiguation needed]. The total numbers of mortal victims was estimated to be around 200,000, although this is an extrapolation that was done by the Historical Clarification Commission based on the cases that they documented, and there were no more than 50,000.
In 1999, Nobel peace prize winner Rigoberta Menchú brought a case against the military leadership in a Spanish Court. Six officials, among them Efraín Ríos Monttand Óscar Humberto Mejía Victores, were formally charged on 7 July 2006 to appear in the Spanish National Court after Spain’s Constitutional Court ruled in 2005 that Spanish courts could exercise universal jurisdiction over war crimes committed during the Guatemalan Civil War. In May 2013, Rios Montt was found guilty of genocide for killing 1,700 indigenous Ixil Mayans during 1982–83 by a Guatemalan court and sentenced to 80 years in prison. However, on May 20, 2013, theConstitutional Court of Guatemala overturned the conviction, voiding all proceedings back to April 19 and ordering that the trial be “reset” to that point, pending a dispute over the recusal of judges. Officials have said that Ríos Montt’s trial will resume in January 2015.
An academic consensus holds that the events that took place during the Bangladesh Liberation War constituted genocide. During the nine-month-long conflict an estimated 300,000 to 3 million people were killed and that Pakistani armed forces raped between 200-400,000 Bangladeshi women and girls in an act ofgenocidal rape.
According to Sarmila Bose, 50-100,000 combatants and civilians were killed by both sides.[unreliable source?] Bose’s work and methodology were heavily critiqued. A 2008 study estimated that up to 269,000 civilians died in the conflict; the authors noted that this is far higher than two earlier estimates.According to Serajur Rahman, the official Bangladeshi estimate of “3 lahks” (300,000) was wrongly translated into English as 3 million.[unreliable source?]
A case was filed in the Federal Court of Australia on 20 September 2006 for alleged war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide during 1971 by the Pakistani Armed Forces and its collaborators:
We are glad to announce that a case has been filed in the Federal Magistrate’s Court of Australia today under the Genocide Conventions Act 1949 and War Crimes Act. This is the first time in history that someone is attending a court proceeding in relation to the [alleged] crimes of Genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity during 1971 by the Pakistani Armed Forces and its collaborators. The Proceeding number is SYG 2672 of 2006. On 25 October 2006, a direction hearing will take place in the Federal Magistrates Court of Australia, Sydney registry before Federal Magistrate His Honor Nicholls.
On 21 May 2007, at the request of the applicant the case was discontinued.
After Burundi‘s independence in 1962, two events were called genocide. The 1972 mass-killings of Hutu by the Tutsi army and the 1993 killing of Tutsi by the Hutu population that is recognised as an act of genocide in the final report of the International Commission of Inquiry for Burundi presented to the United Nations Security Council in 2002.
Several million in North Korea have died of starvation since the mid-1990s, with aid groups and human rightsNGOs stating often that North Korea has systematically and deliberately prevented food aid from reaching the areas most devastated by food shortages. A further one million have died in North Korea’s political prison camps that detain dissidents and their entire families, including children, for perceived political offences.
In 2004, Yad Vashem called on the international community to investigate “political genocide” in North Korea.
In September 2011, a Harvard International Review article argued that North Korea was violating the UN Genocide Convention by its systematic killing of half-Chinese babies and members of religious groups. North Korea’s Christian population, which included 25–30% of the inhabitants of Pyongyang and was considered to be the center of Christianity in East Asia in 1945, has been systematically massacred and persecuted; as of 2012 50,000–70,000 Christians were imprisoned in North Korea’s concentration camps.
Francisco Macías Nguema was the first President of Equatorial Guinea, from 1968 until his overthrow in 1979. During his presidency, his country was nicknamed “the Auschwitz of Africa”. Nguema’s regime was characterized by its abandonment of all government functions except internal security, which was accomplished by terror; he acted as chief judge and sentenced thousands to death. This led to the death or exile of up to 1/3 of the country’s population. From a population of 300,000, an estimated 80,000 had been killed, in particular those of the Bubi ethnic minority on Bioko associated with relative wealth and education. Uneasy around educated people, he had killed everyone who wore spectacles. All schools were ordered closed in 1975. The economy collapsed and skilled citizens and foreigners emigrated.
On August 3, 1979, he was overthrown by Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo. Macías Nguema was captured and tried for genocide and other crimes along with 10 others. All were found guilty, four received terms of imprisonment and Nguema and the other six were executed on September 29.
John B. Quigley noted at Macías Nguema’s trial that Equatorial Guinea had not ratified the Genocide convention and that records of the court proceedings show that there was some confusion over whether Nguema and his co-defendants were tried under the laws of Spain (the former colonial government) or whether the trial was justified on the claim that the Genocide Convention was part of customary international law. Quigley stated, “The Macias case stands out as the most confusing of domestic genocide prosecutions from the standpoint of the applicable law. The Macias conviction is also problematic from the standpoint of the identity of the protected group.”
East Timor was occupied by Indonesia from 1975 to 1999 as an annexed territory with provincial status. A detailed statistical report prepared for the Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation in East Timor cited a lower range of 102,800 conflict-related deaths in the period 1974–1999, namely, approximately 18,600 killings and 84,200 excess deaths from hunger and illness, including the Indonesian military using “starvation as a weapon to exterminate the East Timorese”,most of which occurred during the Indonesian occupation. Earlier estimates of deaths during the occupation ranged from 60,000 to 200,000.
According to Sian Powell a UN report confirmed that the Indonesian military used starvation as a weapon and employed Napalm and chemical weapons, which poisoned the food and water supply. Ben Kiernan wrote:
the crimes committed … in East Timor, with a toll of 150,000 in a population of 650,000, clearly meet a range of sociological definitions of genocide …[with] both political and ethnic groups as possible victims of genocide. The victims in East Timor included not only that substantial ‘part’ of the Timorese ‘national group’ targeted for destruction because of their resistance to Indonesian annexation…but also most members of the twenty-thousand strong ethnic Chinese minority.
West New Guinea/West Papua
An estimated 100,000+ Papuans have died since Indonesia took control of West New Guinea from the Dutch Government in 1963. An academic report alleged that “contemporary evidence set out [in this report] suggests that the Indonesian government has committed proscribed acts with the intent to destroy the West Papuans as such, in violation of the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide and the customary international law prohibition this Convention embodies”.
In September 2006, Miguel Osvaldo Etchecolatz, who had been the police commissioner of the province of Buenos Airesduring the Dirty War (1976–1983), was found guilty of six counts of murder, six counts of unlawful imprisonment and seven counts of torture in a federal court. The judge who presided over the case, Carlos Rozanski, described the offences as part of a systematic attack that was intended to destroy parts of society that the victims represented and as such was genocide. Rozanski noted that CPPCG does not include the elimination of political groups (because that group was removed at the behest of Stalin), but instead based his findings on 11 December 1946 United Nations General Assembly Resolution 96barring acts of genocide “when racial, religious, political and other groups have been destroyed, entirely or in part” (which passed unanimously), because he considered the original UN definition to be more legitimate than the politically compromised CPPCG definition.
Ethiopia‘s former Soviet-backed Marxist dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam was tried in an Ethiopian court, in absentia, for his role in mass killings. Mengistu’s charge sheet and evidence list covered 8,000 pages. The evidence against him included signed execution orders, videos of torture sessions and personal testimonies.The trial began in 1994 and on 12 December 2006 Mengistu was found guilty of genocide and other offences. He was sentenced to life in prison in January 2007. Ethiopian law includes attempts to annihilate political groups in its definition of genocide. 106 Derg officials were accused of genocide during the trials, but only 36 of them were present. Several former Derg members have been sentenced to death.Zimbabwe refused to respond to Ethiopia’s extradition request for Mengistu, which permitted him to avoid a life sentence. Mengistu supported Robert Mugabe, the long-standing President of Zimbabwe, during his leadership of Ethiopia.
Michael Clough, a US attorney and longtime Ethiopia observer told Voice of America in a statement released on December 13, 2006,
“The biggest problem with prosecuting Mengistu for genocide is that his actions did not necessarily target a particular group. They were directed against anybody who was opposing his government, and they were generally much more political than based on any ethnic targeting. In contrast, the irony is the Ethiopian government itself has been accused of genocide based on atrocities committed in Gambella. I’m not sure that they qualify as genocide either. But in Gambella, the incidents, which were well documented in a human rights report of about 2 years ago, were clearly directed at a particular group, the tribal group, the Anuak.”
An estimated 150,000 university students, intellectuals and politicians were killed during Mengistu’s rule.Amnesty International estimates that up to 500,000 people were killed during the Ethiopian Red TerrorHuman Rights Watch described the Red Terror as “one of the most systematic uses of mass murder by a state ever witnessed in Africa.” During his reign it was not uncommon to see students, suspected government critics or rebel sympathisers hanging from lampposts. Mengistu himself is alleged to have murdered opponents by garroting or shooting them, saying that he was leading by example.
On December 23, 2005 a Dutch court ruled in a case brought against Frans van Anraat for supplying chemicals to Iraq, that “[it] thinks and considers it legally and convincingly proven that the Kurdish population meets the requirement under the genocide conventions as an ethnic group. The court has no other conclusion than that these attacks were committed with the intent to destroy the Kurdish population of Iraq.” Because van Anraat supplied the chemicals before 16 March 1988, the date of the Halabja poison gas attack he was guilty of a war crime but not guilty of complicity in genocide.
From the facts stated above the following conclusions may be drawn: … (e) To examine all such evidence obtained by this Committee and from other sources and to take appropriate action thereon and in particular to determine whether the crime of Genocide – for which already there is strong presumption – is established and, in that case, to initiate such action as envisaged by the Genocide Convention of 1948 and by the Charter of the United Nations for suppression of these acts and appropriate redress;
The report of the International Commission of Jurists (1960) claimed that there was ‘only’ “cultural” genocide. ICJ Report (1960) page 346: “The committee found that acts of genocide had been committed in Tibet in an attempt to destroy the Tibetans as a religious group, and that such acts are acts of genocide independently of any conventional obligation. The committee did not find that there was sufficient proof of the destruction of Tibetans as a race, nation or ethnic group as such by methods that can be regarded as genocide in international law”.
The Central Tibetan Administration and other Tibetan in exile media claimed that approximately 1.2 million Tibetans have died of starvation, violence, or other indirect causes since 1950. White states “In all, over one million Tibetans, a fifth of the population, had died as a result of Chinese occupation up until the end of the Cultural Revolution.” This figure has been denied by Patrick French, the former Director of the Free Tibet Campaign in London.
In 2013 Spain’s top criminal court decided to hear a case brought by Tibetan rights activists who allege that China’s former President Hu Jintao committed genocide in Tibet. Spain’s High Court dropped this case in June 2014.
The Helmet Massacre of the Tikuna people took place in 1988 and was initially treated as homicide. During the massacre four people died, nineteen were wounded, and ten disappeared. Since 1994 the episode has been treated by Brazilian courts as genocide. Thirteen men were convicted of genocide in 2001. In November 2004, after an appeal was filed before Brazil’s federal court, the man initially found guilty of hiring men to carry out the genocide was acquitted, and the killers had their initial sentences of 15–25 years reduced to 12 years.
In November 2005 during an investigation code-named Operation Rio Pardo, Mario Lucio Avelar, a Brazilian public prosecutor in Cuiabá, told Survival Internationalthat he believed that there were sufficient grounds to prosecute for genocide of the Rio Pardo Indians. In November 2006 twenty-nine people were arrested with others implicated, such as a former police commander and the governor of Mato Grosso state.
In 2006 the [Brazilian] Supreme Federal Court (STF) unanimously reaffirmed that the crime known as the Haximu Massacre [perpetrated on the Yanomami Indians in 1993] was a genocide and that the decision of a federal court to sentence miners to 19 years in prison for genocide in connection with other offenses, such as smuggling and illegal mining, was valid.
Democratic Republic of Congo
During the Congo Civil War (1998–2003), Pygmies were hunted down and eaten by both sides in the conflict, who regarded them as subhuman. Sinafasi Makelo, a representative of Mbuti pygmies, asked the UN Security Council to recognize cannibalism as a crime against humanity and also as an act of genocide.Minority Rights Group International reported evidence of mass killings, cannibalism and rape. The report, which labeled these events as a campaign of extermination, linked the violence to beliefs about special powers held by the Bambuti. In Ituri district, rebel forces ran an operation code-named “Effacer le tableau” (to wipe the slate clean). The aim of the operation, according to witnesses, was to rid the forest of pygmies.
In 2010 a report accused Rwanda‘s Tutsi-led army of committing genocide against ethnic Hutus. The report accused the Rwandan Army and allied Congolese rebels of killing tens of thousands of ethnic Hutu refugees from Rwanda and locals in systematic attacks between 1996 and 1997. The government of Rwanda rejected the accusation.
In 2007 attacks on Somalia’s Bantu population and Jubba Valley dwellers from 1991 onwards were reported, noting that “Somalia is a rare case in which genocidal acts were carried out by militias in the utter absence of a governing state structure.”
In January 2010 a Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal (PPT) held in Dublin, Ireland found Sri Lanka guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity, but found insufficient evidence to justify the charge of genocide. The tribunal requested a thorough investigation as some of the evidence indicated “possible acts of genocide”. Its panel found Sri Lanka guilty of genocide at its December 7–10, 2013 hearings in Berman, Germany. It also found that the US and UK were guilty of complicity. A decision on whether India, and other states, had also acted in complicity was withheld. PPT reported that LTTE could not be accurately characterized as “terrorist”, stating that movements classified as “terrorist” because of their rebellion against a state, can become political entities recognized by the international community. The International Commission of Jurists stated that the camps used to intern nearly 300,000 Tamils after the war’s end may have breached the convention against genocide.
In 2015, Sri Lankan Tamil majority Sri Lanka’s Northern Provincial Council (NPC) “passed a strongly worded resolution accusing successive governments in the island nation of committing ‘genocide’ against Tamils.”  The resolution asserts that “Tamils across Sri Lanka, particularly in the historical Tamil homeland of the NorthEast, have been subject to gross and systematic human rights violations, culminating in the mass atrocities committed in 2009. Sri Lanka’s historic violations include over 60 years of state sponsored anti-Tamil pogroms, massacres, sexual violence, and acts of cultural and linguistic destruction perpetrated by the state. These atrocities have been perpetrated with the intent to destroy the Tamil people, and therefore constitute genocide.”
The Sri Lankan government denied the allegations of genocide and war crimes.
Ad hoc tribunals
In 1951 only two of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council (UNSC) were parties to the CPPCG: France and the Republic of China. The CPPCG was ratified by the Soviet Union in 1954, the United Kingdom in 1970, the People’s Republic of China in 1983 (having replaced the Taiwan-based Republic of China on the UNSC in 1971), and the United States in 1988. In the 1990s the international law on the crime of genocide began to be enforced.
In February 2007 the International Court of Justice (ICJ) returned a judgement in the Bosnian Genocide Case. It upheld by the findings by the ICTY that genocide had been committed in and around Srebrenica but did not find that genocide had been committed on the wider territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina during the war. The ICJ also ruled that Serbia was not responsible for the genocide nor for “aiding and abetting it”, although it ruled that Serbia could have done more to prevent the genocide and that Serbia failed to punish the perpetrators. Before this ruling the term Bosnian Genocide had been used by some academics and human rights officials.
German courts handed down convictions for genocide during the Bosnian War. Novislav Djajic was indicted for participation in genocide, but the Higher Regional Court failed to find that there was sufficient certainty for a criminal conviction for genocide. Nevertheless Djajic was found guilty of 14 cases of murder and one case of attempted murder. At Djajic’s appeal on 23 May 1997, the Bavarian Appeals Chamber found that acts of genocide were committed in June 1992, confined within the administrative district of Foca. The Higher Regional Court (Oberlandesgericht) of Düsseldorf, in September 1997, handed down a genocide conviction against Nikola Jorgic, a Bosnian Serb from the Doboj region who was the leader of a paramilitary group located in the Doboj region. He was sentenced to four terms of life imprisonment for his involvement in genocidal actions that took place in regions of Bosnia and Herzegovina, other than Srebrenica; and “On 29 November 1999, the Higher Regional Court (Oberlandesgericht) of Düsseldorf condemned Maksim Sokolovic to 9 years in prison for aiding and abetting the crime of genocide and for grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions”.
The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) is a court under the auspices of the United Nations for the prosecution of offenses committed in Rwandaduring the genocide that occurred there during April and May 1994, commencing on April 6. The ICTR was created on November 8, 1994 by the UN Security Council to resolve claims in Rwanda, or by Rwandan citizens in nearby states, between January 1 and December 31, 1994. Over the course of approximately 100 days from the assassination of President Juvénal Habyarimana on April 6 through mid-July, at least 800,000 people were killed, according to a Human Rights Watch estimate.
As of mid-2011, the ICTR had convicted 57 people and acquitted 8. Another ten persons were still on trial while one is awaiting trial. Nine remain at large. The first trial, of Jean-Paul Akayesu, ended in 1998 with his conviction for genocide and crimes against humanity. This was the world’s first conviction for genocide, as defined by the 1948 Convention. Jean Kambanda, interim Prime Minister during the genocide, pled guilty.
The Khmer Rouge, led by Pol Pot, Ta Mok and other leaders, organized the mass killing of ideologically suspect groups, ethnic minorities such as ethnic Vietnamese, Chinese (or Sino-Khmers), Chams and Thais, former civil servants, former government soldiers, Buddhist monks, secular intellectuals and professionals, and former city dwellers. Khmer Rouge cadres defeated in factional struggles were also liquidated in purges. Man-made famine and slave labor resulted in many hundreds of thousands of deaths. Craig Etcheson suggested that the death toll was between 2 and 2.5 million, with a “most likely” figure of 2.2 million. After 5 years of researching 20,000 grave sites, he concluded that “these mass graves contain the remains of 1,386,734 victims of execution.” However, some scholars argued that the Khmer Rouge were not racist and had no intention of exterminating ethnic minorities or the Cambodian people; in this view, their brutality was the product of an extreme version of communist ideology.
The investigating judges were presented with the names of five possible suspects by the prosecution on 18 July 2007.
Khieu Samphan at a public hearing before the Pre-Trial Cambodia Tribunalon 3 July 2009.
Kang Kek Iew was formally charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity and detained by the Tribunal on 31 July 2007. He was indicted on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity on 12 August 2008. His appeal was rejected on 3 February 2012, and he continued serving a sentence of life imprisonment.
Nuon Chea, a former prime minister, was indicted on charges of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and several other crimes under Cambodian law on 15 September 2010. He was transferred into the custody of the ECCC on 19 September 2007. His trial began on 27 June 2011.
Khieu Samphan, a former head of state, was indicted on charges of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and several other crimes under Cambodian law on 15 September 2010. He was transferred into the custody of the ECCC on 19 September 2007. His trial also began on 27 June 2011.
Ieng Sary, a former foreign minister, was indicted on charges of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and several other crimes under Cambodian law on 15 September 2010. He was transferred into the custody of the ECCC on 12 November 2007. His trial began on 27 June 2011. He died in March 2013.
Ieng Thirith, wife of Ieng Sary and a former minister for social affairs, was indicted on charges of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and several other crimes under Cambodian law on 15 September 2010. She was transferred into the custody of the ECCC on 12 November 2007. Proceedings against her have been suspended pending a health evaluation.
Some of the international jurists and the Cambodian government disagreed over whether any other people should be tried by the Tribunal.
The ongoing racial conflict in Darfur, Sudan, which started in 2003, was declared genocide by United States Secretary of StateColin Powell on September 9, 2004 in testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.Since that time however, no other permanent member of the UN Security Council has followed suit. In January 2005, anInternational Commission of Inquiry on Darfur, authorized by UN Security Council Resolution 1564 of 2004, issued a report to the Secretary-General stating that “the Government of the Sudan has not pursued a policy of genocide.”Nevertheless, the Commission cautioned that “The conclusion that no genocidal policy has been pursued and implemented in Darfur by the Government authorities, directly or through the militias under their control, should not be taken in any way as detracting from the gravity of the crimes perpetrated in that region. International offences such as the crimes against humanity and war crimes that have been committed in Darfur may be no less serious and heinous than genocide.”
In March 2005, the Security Council formally referred the situation in Darfur to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), taking into account the Commission report but without mentioning any specific crimes. Two permanent members of the Security Council, the United States and China, abstained from the vote on the referral resolution. As of his fourth report to the Security Council, the Prosecutor found “reasonable grounds to believe that the individuals identified [in the UN Security Council Resolution 1593] have committed crimes against humanity and war crimes”, but did not find sufficient evidence to prosecute for genocide.
In April 2007, the Judges of the ICC issued arrest warrants against the former Minister of State for the Interior, Ahmad Harun, and a Militia Janjaweed leader, Ali Kushayb, for crimes against humanity and war crimes.
On July 14, 2008, ICC prosecutors filed ten charges of war crimes against Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir, three counts of genocide, five of crimes against humanity and two of murder. The prosecutors claimed that al-Bashir “masterminded and implemented a plan to destroy in substantial part” three tribal groups in Darfur because of their ethnicity. On 4 March 2009 the ICC issued a warrant for al-Bashir’s arrest for crimes against humanity and war crimes, but not genocide. This is the first warrant issued by the ICC against a sitting head of state.
This list of genocides by death toll includes death toll estimates of all deaths that are either directly or indirectly caused by genocide.
The United NationsConvention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (CPPCG) defines genocide in part as “acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group”. Determining what historical events constitute a genocide and which are merely criminal or inhuman behavior is not a clear-cut matter. Some of accounts below may include ancillary causes of death such as malnutrition and disease, which may or may not have been intentionally inflicted.
The Holocaust was the systematic, bureaucratic, state-sponsored persecution and murder of approximately six million Jews by the Nazi regime and its collaborators. It was initially carried out in German-occupied Europe by Einsatzgruppenparamilitary death squads, later the primary method of extermination was gassing in extermination camps.Donald Niewyk and Francis Nicosia write in The Columbia Guide to the Holocaust that the term is commonly defined as the mass murder of more than five million European Jews by the Nazi regime. They further state that ‘Not everyone finds this a fully satisfactory definition.’According to British historian Martin Gilbert, the total number of victims is just under six million—around 78 percent of the 7.3 million Jews in occupied Europe at the time.The War Against the Jewswritten by Lucy Dawidowicz provides detailed listings by country of the number of Jews killed in World War II. Dawidowicz researched birth and death records in many cities of prewar Europe to come up with a death toll of 5,933,900 Jews. The higher figure of 11 million is a broader definition of the Holocaust, including the victims of the Romani Genocide, Soviet POWs, Poles, Germany’s eugenics program, Communists, and Homosexuals.
Between 1915-1923, an estimated 800,000 to 1.5 million Armenians, approximately half the Armenian population living in the Ottoman Empire, were killed in massacres or died as a consequence of military deportations, forced marches and mass starvations carried out by the Young Turks. The extermination of the Armenians coined the word “genocide”. The Armenian Genocide occurred alongside the Greek and Assyrian genocides. The State of Turkeydenies that a genocide occurred.
The Ethiopian Red Terror was a violent political campaign in Ethiopia and Eritrea that most visibly took place after Communist Mengistu Haile Mariam achieved control of the Derg, the military junta, on 3 February 1977. In December 2006, Mengistu Haile Mariam was convicted in absentia for his role in the Red Terror while leader of Ethiopia. He remains in hiding today under the protection of Zimbabwe.
Holodomor was a famine in Ukraine caused by the government of Joseph Stalin, a part of the Soviet famine of 1932–1933. Holodomor is claimed by the contemporary Ukrainian government to be a genocide of the Ukrainians.As of March 2008, Ukraine and nineteen other governments have recognized the actions of the Soviet government as an act of genocide. The joint statement at the United Nations in 2003 has defined the famine as the result of cruel actions and policies of the totalitarian regime that caused the deaths of millions of Ukrainians, Russians, Kazakhs and other nationalities in the USSR. On 23 October 2008 theEuropean Parliament adopted a resolution that recognized the Holodomor as a crime against humanity.On January 12, 2010, the court of appeals in Kievopened hearings into the “fact of genocide-famine Holodomor in Ukraine in 1932–33″, in May 2009 theSecurity Service of Ukraine had started a criminal case “in relation to the genocide in Ukraine in 1932–33″. In a ruling on January 13, 2010 the court found Stalin and other Bolshevik leaders guilty of genocide against the Ukrainians.
Since the independence of Nigeria in 1960 the 3 ethnic groups, the Hausa, Yoruba, and Igbo, had always been fighting over control in the political realm. The Igbos seemed to have control over most of Nigeria’s politics until the assassination of the then Igbo president Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi by Hausa general Yakubu Gowon. With this the Igbos seceded from Nigeria and created the Republic of Biafra. The Igbos had the upper hand until late 1967 when food supplies were cut off. By mid-1968 50% of Igbos were starving and thousands more were being slaughtered by Hausa and Yoruba soldiers. In 1970 the Igbos surrendered to the Nigerians and by then anywhere from 1 to 3 million Igbos had either starved or been killed.
The Qing dynastyQianlong emperor moved the remaining Zunghar people to the mainland and ordered the generals to kill all the men in Barkol orSuzhou, and divided their wives and children to Qing soldiers. The Qing soldiers who massacred the Zunghars were Manchu Bannermen and Khalkha Mongols. In an account of the war, Wei Yuan wrote that about 40% of the Zunghar households were killed by smallpox, 20% fled toRussia or the Kazakh Khanate, and 30% were killed by the army, leaving no yurts in an area of several thousands of li except those of the surrendered. Clarke wrote 80%, or between 480,000 and 600,000 people, were killed between 1755 and 1758 in what “amounted to the complete destruction of not only the Zunghar state but of the Zunghars as a people.” HistorianPeter Perdue has shown that the decimation of the Dzungars was the result of an explicit policy of extermination launched by Qianlong. Although this “deliberate use of massacre” has been largely ignored by modern scholars, Mark Levene, a historian whose recent research interests focus on genocide, has stated that the extermination of the Dzungars was “arguably the eighteenth century genocide par excellence.”
Although there is no legal continuity between the Russian Empire and the modern Russian Federation, and the concept of genocide was only adopted in international law in the 20th century, on 5 July 2005 the Circassian Congress, an organization that unites representatives of the various Circassian peoples in the Russian Federation, called on Moscow first to acknowledge and then to apologize for Tsarist policies that Circassians say constituted a genocide. Their appeal pointed out that “according to the official tsarist documents more than 400,000 Circassians were killed, 497,000 were forced to flee abroad to Turkey, and only 80,000 were left alive in their native area.” Other sources give much higher numbers, totaling 1 million- 1.5 million deported and/or killed. See also: Circassian Genocide
In the Russian Civil War that followed the October Revolution, the Cossacks found themselves on both sides of the conflict. Many officers and experienced Cossacks fought for the White Army, and some for the Red Army. Following the defeat of the White Army, a policy of Decossackization(Raskazachivaniye) took place on the surviving Cossacks and their homelands since they were viewed as a potential threat to the new regime. This mostly involved dividing their territory amongst other divisions and giving it to new autonomous republics of minorities, and then actively encouraging settlement of these territories with those peoples. This was especially true for the Terek Cossacksland. According to Michael Kort, “During 1919 and 1920, out of a population of approximately 3 million, the Bolshevik regime killed or deported an estimated 300,000 to 500,000 Cossacks”.
Mass murder and mass rape committed by Japanese troops against Nanking (current official spelling: Nanjing) during the Second Sino-Japanese War. During this period, hundreds of thousands of Chinese civilians and disarmed combatants were murdered by soldiers of the Imperial Japanese Army. Widespread rape and looting also occurred.
A reduction of the population of the Congo is noted by all who have compared the country at the beginning of Leopold’s control with the beginning of Belgian state rule in 1908, but estimates of the deaths toll vary considerably. Estimates of contemporary observers suggest that the population decreased by half during this period and these are supported by some modern scholars such as Jan Vansina. Others dispute this. Scholars at the Royal Museum for Central Africa argue that a decrease of 15% over the first forty years of colonial rule (up to the census of 1924). This depopulation had four main causes: “indiscriminate war”, starvation, reduction of births and diseases.Sleeping sickness was also a major cause of fatality at the time. Opponents of Leopold’s rule argue, however, that the administration itself was to be considered responsible for the spreading of the epidemic. In the absence of a census providing even an initial idea of the size of population of the region at the inception of the Congo Free State (the first was taken in 1924), it is impossible to quantify population changes in the period.Estimates of the death toll vary considerably, but the figure of 10 million deaths was obtained by estimating a 50% decline in the total population during the Congo Free State and applying it to the total population of 10 million in 1924. Assuming the validity of these estimates, it is controversial whether the depopulation would be considered genocide. While the crimes against humanity which occurred under the forced labour system of the Congo Free State are well documented, it is not considered by mainstream scholars to constitute a genocide under the legal definition.
Massacres, killings, rape, arson and systematic elimination of religious minorities (particularly Hindus), political dissidents and the members of the liberation forces of Bangladesh were conducted by the Pakistan Army with support from paramilitary militias—the Razakars, Al-Badr and Al-Shams—formed by the radical Islamist Jamaat-e-Islamiparty.
Francisco Macías Nguema led a brutal dictatorship in his country, most notably against the minorityBubi. It is estimated that his regime killed at least 20,000 people, while around 100,000 (one third of the population) fled the country. At his trial, Nguema was found guilty of genocide and crimes against humanity. He was executed in 1979.
A campaign by the Chinese government against theFalun Gong spiritual practice. It is estimated that since 1999, at least 2,000 Falun Gong adherents have died as a result of the suppression. Some courts and observers have likened the crackdown to genocide.
The genocidal persecution of the Yazidi people of Iraq by the terrorist group ISIL—including massacres, abductions and rape of Yazidis, expulsions, and forced conversion, is considered by the UN to amount to attempted genocide.
During the civil war between Adolph of Nassau andAlbrecht of Austria, German knight Rintfleischclaims to have received a mission from heaven to exterminate “the accursed race of the Jews”. Under his leadership, the mob goes from town to town destroying Jewish communities and massacring about 100,000 Jews, often by mass burning at stake. Among 146 localities in Franconia, Bavaria and Austria are Röttingen (20 April), Würzburg (24 July), Nuremberg (1 August).
Democide is the murder of any person or people by their government, including genocide, politicide and mass murder. Democide is not necessarily the elimination of entire cultural groups but rather groups within the country that the government feels need to be eradicated for political reasons and due to claimed future threats. According to Rummel, genocide has three different meanings. The ordinary meaning is murder by government of people due to their national, ethnic, racial or religious group membership. The legal meaning of genocide refers to the international treaty on genocide, the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. This also includes nonlethal acts that in the end eliminate or greatly hinder the group. Looking back on history, one can see the different variations of democides that have occurred, but it still consists of acts of killing or mass murder. A generalized meaning of genocide is similar to the ordinary meaning but also includes government killings of political opponents or otherwise intentional murder. In order to avoid confusion over which meaning is intended, Rummel created the term democide for the third meaning.
The objectives of such a plan of democide include the disintegration of the political and social institutions of culture, language, national feelings, religion, and the economic existence of national groups; the destruction of the personal security, liberty, health, dignity; and even the lives of the individuals belonging to such groups.
Rummel defines democide as “the murder of any person or people by a government, including genocide, politicide, and mass murder”. For example, government-sponsored killings for political reasons would be considered democide. Democide can also include deaths arising from “intentionally or knowingly reckless and depraved disregard for life”; this brings into account many deaths arising through various neglects and abuses, such as forced mass starvation. Rummel explicitly excludes battle deaths in his definition. Capital punishment, actions taken against armed civilians during mob action or riot, and the deaths of noncombatants killed during attacks on military targets so long as the primary target is military, are not considered democide.
He has further stated: “I use the civil definition of murder, where someone can be guilty of murder if they are responsible in a reckless and wanton way for the loss of life, as in incarcerating people in camps where they may soon die of malnutrition, unattended disease, and forced labor, or deporting them into wastelands where they may die rapidly from exposure and disease.”
Some examples of democide cited by Rummel include the Great Purges carried out by Joseph Stalin in the Soviet Union, the deaths from the colonial policy in theCongo Free State, and Mao Zedong‘s Great Leap Forward, which resulted in a famine killing millions of people. According to Rummel, these were not cases of genocide because those who were killed were not selected on the basis of their race, but were killed in large numbers as a result of government policies. Famine is classified by Rummel as democide if it fits the definition above.
For instance, Rummel re-classified Mao Zedong‘s Great Leap Forward as democide in 2005. He had believed that Mao’s policies were largely responsible for the famine, but that Mao was misled about it, and finally when he found out, he stopped it and changed his policies. Therefore, thought Rummel, it was not an intentional famine and thus not a democide. However, claims from Jung Chang and Jon Halliday‘s controversial Mao: the Unknown Story allege that Mao knew about the famine from the beginning but didn’t care, and eventually Mao had to be stopped by a meeting of 7,000 top Communist Party members. Based on the book’s claims, Rummel now views the famine as intentional and a democide. Taking this into account, the total for Chinese Communist Party democide is 77 million, more than the Soviet Union (62 million), Nazi Germany (21 million), or any other regime in the 20th century.
Research on democide
Rummel’s sources include scholarly works, refugee reports, memoirs, biographies, historical analyses, actual exhumed-body counts and records kept by the murderers themselves. He estimates the death-toll for each country over the course of a century, along with a low- and a high-end estimate to account for uncertainty. These high-end estimates might be considered absurd estimates by others.
Rummel’s counts 43 million deaths due to democide inside and outside the Soviet Union during Stalin’s regime. This is much higher than an often quoted figure of 20 million. Rummel has responded that the 20 million estimate is based on a figure from Robert Conquest‘s 1968 book The Great Terror, and that Conquest’s qualifier “almost certainly too low” is usually forgotten. Conquest’s calculations excluded camp deaths before 1936 and after 1950, executions from 1939–1953, the vast deportation of the people of captive nations into the camps and their deaths 1939–1953, the massive deportation within the Soviet Union of minorities 1941–1944 and their deaths, and those the Soviet Red Army and secret police executed throughout Eastern Europe after their conquest during 1944–1945. Moreover, the Holodomor that killed 5 million in 1932–1934 is also not included.
His research shows that the death toll from democide is far greater than the death toll from war. After studying over 8,000 reports of government-caused deaths, Rummel estimates that there have been 262 million victims of democide in the last century. According to his figures, six times as many people have died from the actions of people working for governments than have died in battle.
One of his main findings is that liberal democracies have much less democide than authoritarian regimes. He argues that there is a relation between political power and democide. Political mass murder grows increasingly common as political power becomes unconstrained. At the other end of the scale, where power is diffuse, checked, and balanced, political violence is a rarity. According to Rummel, “The more power a regime has, the more likely people will be killed. This is a major reason for promoting freedom.” Rummel concludes that “concentrated political power is the most dangerous thing on earth.”
Several other researchers have found similar results. “Numerous researchers point out that democratic norms and political structures constrain elite decisions about the use of repression against their citizens whereas autocratic elites are not so constrained. Once in place, democratic institutions — even partial ones — reduce the likelihood of armed conflict and all but eliminate the risk that it will lead to geno/politicide.”
For books, articles, data, and analyses regarding democide, see Rummel’s website. In particular, he has an extensiveFAQ. He has also made his many sources and the calculations used, from a pre-publisher manuscript of his book Statistics of Democide, available online.
Researchers often give widely different estimates of mass murder. They use different definitions, methodology, and sources. For example, some include battle deaths in their calculations. Matthew White has compiled some of these different estimates.
Story 1: The Mass Extinction of The Iran Nuclear Weapons Program — There Time Is Up — Celebrate Independence Day, July 4, 2015 With A Joint United States and Israel Air Strike Destroying All of Iran’s Nuclear Weapons Related Capability — All We Are Asking Is Give Bombing A Chance — Just Do It! — Corker Bill Is An April Fool’s Joke Or Corker Con Job On The American People — Shame On The US Senate Trashing The Treaty Clause of U.S. Constitution — Vote The Republican Traitors Including Bob Corker Out of Office! — Profiles in Deceit — Videos
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The Corker Bill Isn’t a Victory — It’s a Constitutional Perversion
by ANDREW C. MCCARTHY
As the Framers knew, we are unlikely to outgrow human nature. So what happens when we decide we’ve outgrown a Constitution designed to protect us from human nature’s foibles?
The question arises, yet again, thanks to Senator Bob Corker. The Tennessee Republican, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, is author — along with Robert Menendez (D., N.J.) and Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) — of a ballyhooed bipartisan bill that is being touted as the derailment of President Obama’s plan to trample congressional prerogatives en route to a calamitous “deal” that will facilitate jihadist Iran’s nuclear-weapons ambitions. (I use scare-quotes because the so-called deal is still a work in regress.)
So guess who now supports this stalwart congressional resistance to our imperial president? Why none other than . . . yes . . . Barack Obama! You think maybe, just maybe, the Corker bill isn’t quite what it’s cracked up to be? You’d be right. When you read the legislation, it becomes apparent that Senator Corker is simply channeling his inner Mitch McConnell.
Back in 2011, the Senate’s then-minority leader was flummoxed by the national debt. No, not by its enormous size. Afraid of being lambasted by the media for slowing the gravy train, he wanted to help Obama raise the debt by many additional trillions of dollars; but equally fearing the wrath of those who’d elected him precisely to slow the gravy train, he wanted to appear as a staunch opponent of such profligacy.
Senator McConnell’s problem was that meddlesome Constitution. On the theory that government borrowing and spending are best controlled by the elected officials most directly accountable to the taxpayers who foot the bill, the Constitution gives Congress, not the president, ultimate power over the debt.
This is inconsistent, of course, with a scheme to impose more crushing debt on the country without being held accountable for it. Consequently, the Constitution was thrown overboard.
McConnell and other GOP leaders hatched a plan under which Obama would appear to raise the debt unilaterally. Congress could then respond with a “resolution of disapproval.” As McConnell knew, either Democrats would defeat the resolution or Obama would veto it. That was $4 trillion ago. McConnell’s chicanery gave big-spending Republicans a windfall: They succeeded in extending our tapped-out country’s credit line but still managed to vote against the extension — i.e., they could tell the voters back home that they opposed something that actually could not have happened without their support.
American taxpayers did not fare quite as well. We are now on the hook for $18 trillion, soon to be several trillion more. If, as is inevitable, interest rates begin to approach modest historical norms, the government’s budget will be consumed by debt service. Our nation, having taken on lavish obligations of social welfare and global defense, will face a crisis that is at least transformative, if not existential.
A nuclear Iran would be a threat that is similarly transformative. To know that, we need only listen to the White House tut-tutting about how “unrealistic” it would be to expect the mullahs to renounce their support for terrorism in exchange for sanctions relief.
In Washington, you see, insisting that Iran act like a normal country is nutter stuff, but trusting Iran to enrich uranium only for peaceful purposes is totally logical. MORE IRAN COULD U.S. WEAKNESS INVITE UNPLANNED MILITARY CONFRONTATION WITH IRAN? CONGRESS SHOULD TRY TO KILL THE IRAN DEAL NOW DEM REP. SAYS IRANIAN ‘DEATH TO AMERICA’ CHANTS COULD BE READ IN ‘A COUPLE OF WAYS’
So Beltway Republicans are ready to put up a fight, right? About as much of a fight, it seems, as they were ready to make against mounting debt.
Cravenly elevating their own political interest over the national interest, many on the GOP side of the political class calculate that it is more important to avoid blame for frustrating Obama — this time, on his delusional Iran deal — than to succeed in actually frustrating Obama. But alas, that annoying Constitution is again an obstacle to shirking accountability. It does not empower the president to make binding agreements with foreign countries all on his own — on the theory that the American people should not take on enforceable international obligations or see their sovereignty compromised absent approval by the elected representatives most directly accountable to them.
Thus, the Constitution mandates that no international agreement can be binding unless it achieves either of two forms of congressional endorsement: a) super-majority approval by two-thirds of the Senate (i.e., 67 aye votes), or b) enactment through the normal legislative process, meaning passage by both chambers under their burdensome rules, then signature by the president.
The Corker bill is a ploy to circumvent this constitutional roadblock. That is why our post-sovereign, post-constitutional president has warmed to it.
Because it would require the president to submit any Iran deal to Congress, it is drawing plaudits for toughness. But like McConnell’s debt legerdemain, it’s a con job. Once the deal is submitted, Congress would have 60 days (or perhaps as few as 30 days) to act. If within that period both houses of Congress failed to enact a resolution of disapproval, the agreement would be deemed legally binding — meaning that the sanctions the Iranian regime is chafing under would be lifted. As Corker, other Republican leaders, and the president well know, passage of a resolution of disapproval — even if assured in the House with its commanding Republican majority — could be blocked by the familiar, lockstep parliamentary maneuvering of just 40 Senate Democrats. More significantly, even if enacted in the Senate, the resolution would be vetoed by Obama. As with the resolutions of disapproval on debt increases, it is nearly inconceivable that Obama’s veto would be overridden.
To summarize, the Constitution puts the onus on the president to find 67 Senate votes to approve an international agreement, making it virtually impossible to ratify an ill-advised deal. The Corker bill puts the onus on Congress to muster 67 votes to block an agreement. Under the Constitution, Obama’s Iran deal would not have a prayer. Under the Corker bill, it would sail through. And once again, it would be Republicans first ensuring that self-destruction is imposed on us, then striking the pose of dogged opponents by casting futile nay votes.
This is not how our system works. Congress is supposed to make the laws we live under. It is the first branch of government, not a rubber-stamping Supreme Soviet. We seem to have forgotten that the point of the Constitution is not to accomplish great things; it is to prevent government from doing overbearing or destructive things. The achievement of great things was left to the genius and ambition of free people confronting challenges without stifling constraints.
The Constitution’s constraints can indeed be stifling. Quite intentionally so: They are there to prevent legacy-hunting ideologues and feckless fixers from rolling the dice with our lives.
That a lawless president would undertake to eviscerate these constraints is to be expected. But is he really much worse than an entrenched political class that anxiously forfeits its powers to stop him?
The Barack Obama administration has estimated for years that Iran was at most three months away from enriching enough nuclear fuel for an atomic bomb. But the administration only declassified this estimate at the beginning of the month, just in time for the White House to make the case for its Iran deal to Congress and the public.
Speaking to reporters and editors at our Washington bureau on Monday, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz acknowledged that the U.S. has assessed for several years that Iran has been two to three months away from producing enough fissile material for a nuclear weapon. When asked how long the administration has held this assessment, Moniz said: “Oh quite some time.” He added: “They are now, they are right now spinning, I mean enriching with 9,400 centrifuges out of their roughly 19,000. Plus all the . . . . R&D work. If you put that together it’s very, very little time to go forward. That’s the 2-3 months.”
Brian Hale, a spokesman for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, confirmed to me Monday that the two-to-three-month estimate for fissile material was declassified on April 1.
Here is the puzzling thing: When Obama began his second term in 2013, he sang a different tune. He emphasized that Iran was more than a year away from a nuclear bomb, without mentioning that his intelligence community believed it was only two to three months away from making enough fuel for one, long considered the most challenging task in building a weapon. Today Obama emphasizes that Iran is only two to three months away from acquiring enough fuel for a bomb, creating a sense of urgency for his Iran agreement.
Back in 2013, when Congress was weighing new sanctions on Iran and Obama was pushing for more diplomacy, his interest was in tamping down that sense of urgency. On the eve of a visit to Israel, Obama told Israel’s Channel Two, “Right now, we think it would take over a year or so for Iran to actually develop a nuclear weapon, but obviously we don’t want to cut it too close.”
On Oct. 5 of that year, Obama contrasted the U.S. view of an Iranian breakout with that of Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, who at the time said Iran was only six months away from nuclear capability. Obama told the Associated Press, “Our assessment continues to be a year or more away. And in fact, actually, our estimate is probably more conservative than the estimates of Israeli intelligence services.”
Ben Caspit, an Israeli journalist and columnist for Al-Monitor, reported last year that Israel’s breakout estimate was also two to three months away.
A year ago, after the nuclear talks started, Secretary of State John Kerry dropped the first hint about the still-classified Iran breakout estimate. He told a Senate panel, “I think it is fair to say, I think it is public knowledge today, that we are operating with a time period for a so-called breakout of about two months.”
David Albright, a former weapons inspector and president of the Institute for Science and International Security, told me administration officials appeared to be intentionally unspecific in 2013, when the talking points used the 12-months-plus timeline. “They weren’t clear at all about what this one-year estimate meant, but people like me who said let’s break it down to the constituent pieces in terms of time to build a bomb were rebuffed,” he said. Albright’s group released its own breakout timetable that focused solely on the production of highly enriched uranium, not the weapon itself. It concluded Iran was potentially less than a month away.
When USA Today asked a spokeswoman for the National Security Council about Albright’s estimate, she responded that the intelligence community maintained a number of estimates for how long Iran would take to produce enough material for a weapon.
“They have made it very hard for those of us saying, let’s just focus on weapons-grade uranium, there is this shorter period of time and not a year,” Albright told me. “If you just want a nuclear test device to blow up underground, I don’t think you need a year.”
This view is supported by a leaked document from the International Atomic Energy Agency, first published by the Associated Press in 2009. Albright’s group published excerpts from the IAEA assessment that concluded Iran “has sufficient information to be able to design and produce a workable implosion nuclear device based upon (highly enriched uranium) as the fission fuel.”
Kenneth Pollack, a former CIA analyst who is now an Iran expert at the Brookings Institution, told me that most of the technical estimates about an Iranian breakout were not nearly as precise as they are sometimes portrayed in the press. “The idea there is such a thing as a hard and fast formula for this is nonsense,” he said. “All the physicists come up with different answers depending on what inputs they use.”
In this way, Obama’s new, more alarmist figure of two to three months provides a key selling point for the framework reached this month in Switzerland. When Obama announced the preliminary agreement on April 2, he said one benefit was that if it were finalized, “even if it violated the deal, for the next decade at least, Iran would be a minimum of a year away from acquiring enough material for a bomb.”
Hence the frustration of Representative Devin Nunes, the Republican chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. “We’ve been researching their claim that a deal would lengthen the breakout time for Iran from two to three months to a year,” he told me of the administration. “We’re just trying to confirm any of their numbers and we can’t confirm or make sense of what they are referencing.”
Nunes should hurry. The Iranian nuclear deal is scheduled to breakout in less than three months.
Congress and White House strike deal on Iran legislation
A Senate committee voted unanimously Tuesday to give Congress the power to review a potential Iran nuclear deal after a June 30 negotiating deadline, in a compromise with the White House that allows President Obama to avoid possible legislative disapproval of the pact before it can be completed.
The bipartisan bill is likely to move quickly to the full Senate after the Foreign Relations Committee voted 19 to 0 to approve the measure. It would give Congress at least 30 days to consider an agreement after it was signed, before Obama could waive or suspend any congressionally mandated sanctions against Iran.
During that period, lawmakers could vote their disapproval of the agreement. Any such resolution would have to clear a relatively high bar to become law, requiring 60 votes to pass and 67, or two-thirds of the Senate, to override a presidential veto.
The compromise avoided a potentially destructive showdown between the White House and Congress, as well as a possible free-for-all of congressional action that Obama has said could derail the negotiations while they are underway. It followed extensive administration lobbying on Capitol Hill, including phone calls from Obama and a closed-door Senate meeting Tuesday morning with Secretary of State John F. Kerry and other senior officials.
While the administration was “not particularly thrilled” by the final result, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said before the vote, it was “the kind of compromise that the president would be willing to sign.”
Congress and White House strike deal on Iran legislation deal(1:09)
Republicans and Democrats on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee reached a compromise Tuesday on a bill that would give Congress a say on any deal to curb Iran’s nuclear program. (AP)
In passing the legislation, Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) hailed the “true emergence” of bipartisanship on a crucial foreign policy issue, and he congratulated Congress for approving sanctions legislation in the first place that “brought Iran to the negotiating table.”
“Despite opposition from the White House all along,” Corker said in a statement released after the vote, he was proud of unanimous committee support for a measure that “will ensure the American people — through their elected representatives — will have a voice on any final deal with Iran, if one is reached.”
Responding to Jack Goldsmith on the Corker Bill & the Nature of Obama’s Iran Deal
by ANDREW C. MCCARTHY April 20, 2015 12:24 PM
I have great respect and admiration for Jack Goldsmith, especially when it comes to his mastery of international law and its complex interplay with constitutional law. At the Lawfare blog, Professor Goldsmith has penned a thoughtful critique of my weekend column, in which I objected to the Corker bill – the legislation proposed by Senator Bob Corker (R., Tenn.) and others that would govern congressional review of President Obama’s anticipated executive agreement on Iran’s nuclear program. Goldsmith claims that I have distorted both the Corker bill and the Constitution. Goldsmith and I have a fundamental disagreement about what Obama’s Iran deal is intended to accomplish – and as I shall explain, this is a situation where the de facto has to take precedence over the de jure. But let me state upfront that I do not question that the president (as I have argued many times) has plenary authority over the conduct of foreign affairs and that, as Thomas Jefferson opined, exceptions to that principle must be narrowly construed. Nor do I, as Goldsmith implies, blame the Corker bill for any deficiencies in the current statutory regiment of Iran sanctions. Indeed, I have argued that the president’s waivers of Iran sanctions are different in kind from, to take some prominent examples, his waivers of Obamacare provisions and of certain enforcement aspects of the federal immigration and narcotics laws. The latter are lawless (though the administration attempts to rationalize them by an untenable interpretation of the prosecutorial discretion doctrine). The former are entirely lawful and written into the sanctions bills themselves. The problem for Obama is that his sanctions waivers cannot be permanent – the pertinent statutes do not allow for that. (I use the word permanent advisedly. The word binding, which I might otherwise use, has a legal connotation that, as we shall see, can be confusing here.) That is, there are statutory sanctions that would apply to the Iranian government and (mainly) entities that do business for or with it if the president had not waived those sanctions; the statutes that prescribe the sanctions enable the president to waive them for fixed terms; they do not enable the president to provide permanent sanctions relief. That is a central issue in the administration’s negotiations with Iran (which are taking place within in the P5 + 1 framework – but obviously the U.S. is the principal player). Iran wants permanent sanctions relief. The president wants to give the regime permanent sanctions relief, but he does not have that authority. This, I think, moves us toward the nub of my disagreement with Goldsmith. He argues: the agreement the President is negotiating with Iran is by design not legally binding under international law and thus does not even implicate the domestic constitutional framework for approving binding international agreements. [Emphasis in original.] I have never suggested that the Constitution prevents presidents from making executive agreements with other governments. (Indeed, I wrote favorably about the Cotton letter, which made exactly this point.) I thus agree, in the abstract, that the president’s merely making an agreement with Ayatollah Khamenei would not be de jure binding under international law. But this omits two critical, concrete facts applicable to this particular negotiation: (a) The only deal the Iranians are interested in is one that is permanent – regardless of whether it can be said to be legally binding – i.e., they want complete sanctions relief, regardless of whether it is by obtaining (1) a guarantee that the sanctions will not be re-imposed (if not by law then by an arrangement that makes “snap-back” of the sanctions illusory as a practical matter); or (2) a substantial payday just for signing the agreement that makes the possibility of re-imposition even more illusory. (b) Obama’s intention is to submit the deal he cuts with Iran to the U.N. Security Council, where it would be endorsed by a resolution. Now, you can say all you want that what the president is trying to accomplish here is not technically a “legally binding” international agreement that enjoins our government from re-imposing sanctions. But the practical reality is that Obama is crafting an agreement that is structured to give Iran the equivalent of permanent sanctions relief (by providing so many carrots now that the sticks will no longer matter) and to give other nations the grist to argue that the Security Council resolution makes the agreement binding even if it does not have binding effect under U.S. law. The Iranian foreign minister has already made that contention in response to the Cotton letter. And, as Obama calculates, even if the agreement is not “legally binding,” it becomes very difficult politically for the U.S. to take a contrary position once other nations have acted in reliance on a Security Council resolution (by lifting their own sanctions and conducting significant commerce with Iran). The way Goldsmith describes the president’s Iran negotiations and the Corker bill, one has to conclude that the ongoing debate about the former is much ado about nothing and that the latter is a complete waste of time. By Goldsmith’s lights, Obama is simply exercising the discretionary waiver authority he indisputably already has, and he is not trying to strike any sort of “binding” arrangement. One wonders why so much effort over something of such apparently fleeting consequence. And for Senator Corker’s part, his bill is not designed to do anything Congress could not already do in its absence: It can approve, disapprove or take no action on Obama’s deal, and whatever it chooses to do would be subject to his veto. So what’s the big deal? The big deal only becomes apparent if you acknowledge the reality of what Obama is trying to accomplish: Permanent lifting of the sanctions in conjunction with illusory restrictions that will pave Iran’s way to becoming a nuclear-weapons power despite current American law and U.N. resolutions designed to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear-weapons power. Just as I do not believe the president is, in fact, only trying to make a non-binding agreement, I do not believe the Corker bill is a case of congressional idling. If the agreement is seen as, in effect, of such potentially lasting significance that it should be treated as a binding treaty, then the Constitution would require Obama to find 67 Senate votes to approve it. As I argued in the column, the Corker bill reverses this: requiring opponents of the agreement to find 67 votes to kill it. In effect, I take Goldsmith to be arguing that the Constitution’s treaty clause can be reduced to a nullity by simply calling an international pact an “executive agreement” rather than a “treaty.” As unappealing as that contention sounds, there is a good deal of history and practice to support it. This reflects a reality I’ve often addressed: We are more a political society than a legal one. The Constitution does not resolve with exactitude the division of authorities between the two political branches; nor does it vest the judiciary with clear authority to resolve inter-branch disputes. As a result, presidents trying to achieve particular results in particular circumstances, take whatever seems to be the path of least resistance. Sometimes Congress squawks, sometimes it doesn’t. When it does, there is debate over whether the agreement in question should be treated as a treaty, but I cannot say there is a firmly established legal test for when an agreement is so consequential that it must be treated as a treaty. I don’t think the framers intended it to be a legal determination – it’s a political one. On that score, I’ve pointed out that the framers assumed impeachment would be a real remedy if a president, in dealing with a foreign country, tried to do something dangerous or treacherous – especially if it involved cutting the Senate out of the loop. Over time, impeachment has become an illusory check on the president, so it should not surprise us that presidents are less concerned about offending Congress by proceeding unilaterally when they calculate there is little political risk in doing so. All that said, I do not contest, and never have, that there is constitutional license for the president, in his nearly plenary authority over international affairs, to make international agreements (which last only as long as the president chooses to honor the agreement). And Goldsmith is right that I don’t question congressional-executive agreements: If the president can make an executive agreement with another government, and Congress is persuaded to enact – by the normal process – any legislation necessary to implement the agreement, what is there to object to (as long as the agreement does not violate the constitutional rights of the states and individuals)? The treaty clause, however, is one of the most important, constitutionally explicit restraints on the president’s power over foreign policy. A transformative agreement that significantly impacts American sovereignty and the constitutional or statutory rights of Americans should go through the Constitution’s treaty process – and even a ratified treaty (much less an executive agreement) cannot trump the Constitution (as the Supreme Court held in Medellin v. Texas (2008)). One last point. Using an example of something I wrote several years ago in support of presidential authority to waive sanctions against countries that run afoul of U.S. prohibitions on trade with Iran, Goldsmith contends that I have reversed my position on presidential authority over foreign policy. I haven’t. As noted above, the sanctions-waivers we are actually dealing with here are authorized by statute, so this is not a situation where Congress has enacted sanctions that have no waiver provisions and that the president can attempt to trump only by relying on his constitutional authority over foreign affairs. But if we were in such a situation, I would argue that there are some things a president could unilaterally waive over Congress’s objection, and some that he could not. If Congress tried to impose sanctions directly on foreign governments, I think the president would have a very strong case. If Congress imposed sanctions on private corporations and individuals that did business with certain foreign governments, I think the president would have a less strong case – perhaps a lot less strong. It might also matter whether it was wartime or a time of some true national emergency. I believe, in any event, that it is out of deference to the president’s considerable constitutional authority over the conduct of foreign affairs that sanctions laws (and some other laws that implicate foreign affairs) contain explicit presidential waiver provisions. Congress does not want to provoke a constitutional dispute that may be detrimental to achieving policy ends that, very often, both political branches support. That is all the more reason, to my mind, that when an international agreement is of great consequence to American national security, the president should not provoke a constitutional dispute by attempting to act unilaterally. The president should treat the agreement as a treaty – and so should the Senate.