Taking Questionable Sides In A Foreign Civil War

It’s official, we’re no longer hiding behind the fictitious fig leaf of “responsibility to protect” civilians (R2P), we’re now showing our true colors. We’re in Libya for regime change. I’m not quite sure when the United Nations approved that?

US, allies formally recognize Libya rebels

The United States granted Libyan rebel leaders full diplomatic recognition as the governing authority of Libya yesterday, after five months of fighting to oust longtime ruler Moammar Khadafy.

The decision at a meeting here of more than 30 Western and Arab nations is the first step in giving the rebels access to Libya’s frozen US assets, worth more than $30 billion.

“I am announcing today that, until an interim authority is in place, the United States will recognize the TNC as the legitimate governing authority for Libya,’’ Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said, referring to the rebels’ Transitional National Council, prompting other ministers to break out in applause.

Who, exactly, are we now in bed with?

Rights group: Libyan rebels looted and beat civilians

Libyan rebels have looted and burned homes and abused civilians, a human rights group said Wednesday.

The New York-based Human Rights Watch said that, in “four towns captured by rebels in the Nafusa Mountains over the past month, rebel fighters and supporters have damaged property, burned some homes, looted from hospitals, homes, and shops, and beaten some individuals alleged to have supported government forces.”

See also:
U.S. recognition of the Libyan rebel government leaves many questions unanswered
US Formally Recognizes Libyan Rebels
United States recognizes Libyan rebels as legitimate government
U.S. recognizes Libyan rebels as ruling authority
Libyan Rebels Get U.S. Recognition, Await Cash
Libyan rebels win recognition and promise of financial support
Libyan Rebels Get U.S. Recognition Yet Must Wait for Cash
Mary E. Stonaker: What formal recognition given to Libyan rebels means for the oil markets
Rights Group: Libyan Rebels Loot Seized Towns
Rights group accuses Libyan rebels of abuse
Libya rebels loot seized towns, says rights group
Human Rights Watch criticizes Libyan rebels
Rights group exposes Libyan rebel abuses

Lets recap: The United States has now formally aligned itself with accused war criminals we hardly know, in a foreign civil war that we have absolutely no business being militarily involved with in the first place, and our mission creep to regime change isn’t even authorized or approved under international law. Is that about it?

/well played Obama administration, what are we now, a rogue nation?

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Beat Down In Belarus

It was a good day for Europe’s last dictator, not so much for democracy.

Belarus election ends in protests, police crackdown

Following a night of violence and mass arrests in Minsk, Belarus, the state-dominated media on Monday declared that Alexander Lukashenko, the Belarussian leader who’s often described as “Europe’s last dictator,” has been reelected to an unprecedented fourth term with a 79.7 percent majority of the votes. None of his eight opponents won more than 3 percent.

After state-conducted exit polls indicated the scope of Mr. Lukashenko’s triumph Sunday night, an estimated 20,000 opposition supporters attempted to rally on Minsk’s central Independence Square to protest what they allege to be systematic fraud in the electoral process – as they did under almost identical circumstances in previous presidential polls four years ago.

But this time, authorities reacted with a harshness unseen in the past. An attempt by some opposition supporters to storm the Central Electoral Commission headquarters failed to get past massed ranks of police. Special riot squads then charged into the crowd, using batons and stun grenades, arresting 600 and injuring dozens.

During the night, Belarus’s KGB security forces swept through Minsk, arresting six opposition candidates along with scores of their supporters in an operation that continued in full swing Monday. Two of the candidates, Nikolai Statkevich and Vladimir Neklyaev, claimed they were beaten by special police before being taken to prison. The arrested leaders could face jail terms of up to 15 years.

See also:
Alexander Lukashenko wins Belarus’ presidential election with 79.67% of the vote
U.S. Condemns Belarus Crackdowns, Rejects Election Results
Belarus President Lukashenko Clamps Down on Protests After Election Win
The Moscow Power Games Behind Belarus’ Election Crackdown
Belarus Leader Shrugs Off Accusations of Election Fraud, Violence
U.S. condemns Belarus violence, says poll in doubt
Belarus protests: Your views
Lukashenko, bogeyman for both West and Russia
Lukashenka uncovered
Belarus is a kleptocratic arms bazaar that the EU needs to tackle
Civil unrest in Minsk on 19 December ‘nothing to do with elections’

I’m not sure why countries like Belarus even bother to hold elections at all. It’s not like they’re fooling anyone into thinking the election is legitimate.

/our American democracy may not be perfect, but at least our losing electoral candidates don’t get thrown in prison

Who Does He See To Get His Reputation Back?

Navy SEAL not guilty of charges in Iraq

The first of three Navy SEALs accused of mishandling a suspect in the high-profile killings of contractors in Iraq was found not guilty at a court-martial Thursday.

A military jury cleared U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Julio Huertas of all charges, a military spokesman said.

Huertas and two other Navy SEALs — Petty Officer 2nd Class Jonathan Keefe and Petty Officer 2nd Class Matthew McCabe — have been facing charges in connection with the assault of Iraqi detainee Ahmed Hashim Abed.

U.S. authorities accuse Abed of being the mastermind in the slayings and mutilation of four U.S. contractors in Falluja in 2004, one of the Iraq war’s most notorious crimes against Americans.

During Huertas’ court-martial, Abed testified Wednesday that he was handcuffed, blindfolded and beaten.

Huertas and Keefe had been charged with dereliction of duty, based on the allegation that they failed to safeguard the detainee, according to the military. Huertas also was charged with impeding an investigation by attempting to influence the testimony of another sailor.

Keefe’s court-martial was supposed to have opened Monday, but it was delayed after defense attorneys were stuck in Europe because of flight delays due to ash from the Icelandic volcano. That court-martial is expected to begin Friday morning.

McCabe, who is charged with assault, will be tried May 3 in Norfolk, Virginia.

See also:
US Navy Seal cleared over attack on ‘Blackwater killer’
US Navy Seal cleared over beating of Iraqi terrorist suspect
Navy SEAL found not guilty of covering up assault
Local Navy SEAL Cleared in Court Martial
US Navy seal cleared of all prisoner abuse charges in Iraq
Court martial clears US sailor in Iraq: military
Navy SEAL cleared of beating suspect
Sailor not guilty of Iraq charges
Free All The SEALs From Travesty
Support The Navy SEALs who Captured Ahmed Hashim Abed

It’s absolutely disgusting that these three SEALs were, on the word of a scumbag terrorist, charged with these crimes in the first place. Instead of being court martialed, they should have been awarded medals for capturing, and not killing outright, the vile piece of Islamic [expletive deleted] responsible for this:

/one acquittal down, two to go, and this whole sordid episode of military command asshattery had better not ruin their careers either