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Before reporting on the declaration of sovereignty by the Kaurna people, one of the tribal groups indigenous to South Australia, I would like to put this action and many other evolutionary actions occurring around the globe in the context of OUR times.
Kaurna Lodge Sovereignty Declaration
The major forces fueling revolutionary social change are failures of governance and LAW -- the global collapse of free market capitalism is a symptomatic not causative failure. The single factor behind both the above failures is CORRUPTION on a MASSIVE (largely hidden) scale.
For example, why haven’t charges been laid against Bush/Cheney and Co. for the MANY HEINOUS CRIMES that regime is responsible for – most of which are recorded? What hope pursuing bankers if war criminals are allowed to flout the Law?
Not only is it impossible to avoid prosecuting the guilty but persistent denial and avoidance has now entered realms of the absurd. If Obama, as President and a fully trained lawyer, wishes to retain a shred of integrity as a man and LEADER then he simply MUST PURSUE THOSE GUILTY OF THE MOST HEINOUS CRIMES KNOWN TO CIVILISED SOCIETY.
Obama is behaving as though he is dealing with shoplifting misdemeanours instead of vile and repugnant criminal activity; his current attitude unfortunately reflects very badly on the ENTIRE NATION – the world waits impatiently for JUSTICE to be served. Where are the crowds Martin Luther King once brought to Washington – it wasn’t so long ago America had a conscience?
The degree of social dysfunction and the rapidity of moral decline in the USA is absolutely astonishing! But it’s not all bad, a number of States and groups in the US, and around the world, faced with dysfunctional leadership are withdrawing their subscriptions/support for what is CLEARLY the most CORRUPT AND INCOMPETENT LEADERSHIP THE WORLD HAS SEEN IN CENTURIES!
Most of us have heard pundits speaking wishfully of an economic “recovery” -- the current economic condition is terminal failure. If the capitalist system is the answer to all our problems why has it always suffered from gross inequities and disparities? And why does the market always fail and need to ‘recover?’ Surely that is indicative of a faulty model!
Consider for a moment how we were all led to believe in the infallibility of the capitalist system and how a free market would self-regulate and cure all the world’s economic woes when in the END it PROVED to be a TOOL/haven for thieves and ROGUES – most of whom REMAIN UNPUNISHED and AT LARGE. Blind Freddy and my toothless granny are able to detect widespread systemic insider criminal activity! But where are our leaders/politicians when we need them? [Actually, our unrepresentative ‘leaders’ continue to take orders from the rogues that have RUINED the global economy!]
Many groups around the world, faced with INCOMPETENT GOVERNMENT have chosen the non-violent course of declaring SOVEREIGNTY – what other options in the current circumstances are available to the disenfranchised masses, they and I would ask? Of course we are aware of the highly organised and extremely disciplined groups and organisations opting for assassinations and violent overthrow; but for those who seek a peaceful solution SOVEREIGNTY offers a possible alternative – providing that governments deal with these issues in a Just and Fair manner!
Texas and a number of US States have declared Sovereignty under the 10th Amendment of the American Constitution; various groups in other lands have lodged declarations to government officials -- God help our governments if they refuse legitimate requests and declarations! Nothing would please the groups espousing violent overthrow more than refusal of LEGITIMATE peaceful requests. Please understand that declarations of sovereignty at this stage do not include moves to secede, however, the wrong response from government would see future declarations accompanied by (possible) armed rebellion and moves for total SECESSION!
The people can no longer tolerate SYSTEMIC CORRUPTION, THIEVERY AND HEINOUS CRIMINAL ACTIVITY FROM OUR LEADERS!
The ‘let them eat cake’ dissociation displayed by the criminal elites not only begs a traumatic remedial response it continues to undermine social cohesiveness and unity. Where does an executive in Australia ‘get off’ with a $135 million severance package, which followed years receiving a salary in the tens of millions? This man was a banker and clearly his pay is NOT performance related; furthermore, this insider retired only weeks before the global financial collapse, of course he knew nothing of the impending financial disaster he helped create!
If the people fail to DEMAND EQUITY and JUSTICE or fail to peacefully apply pressure on government, then negative social outcomes are assured!
It is clear that pathological criminals, corrupt officials and banksters have no intention of accepting responsibility for their crimes and actions – we ALL know it! What to do?
Following is the quaint but no less legal Sovereignty Declaration by the Kaurna People of South Australia:
Kaurna Declare Sovereignty and $47.5 Million Dollar Rent Bill
Dressed in Possum-skin cloaks, Kaurna People declared their Sovereignty at the South Australian Government House Open Day. With solemn dignity, they handed His Excellency the Governor of SA an account for 47.5 million for 130 years of rent on Marble Hill, the former SA Governor’s summer vice-regal residency.
Governor Kevin Scarce accepted the speech titled, "I have come!" and is believed to have passed the speech on to the Premier of South Australia. The account details include that the SA Government has 90 days to pay for the start of Conciliation as opposed to Reconciliation, as proposed by the Government over a year ago.
The speech written by Samuel Rossi, a white fella and friend of ex President Ernie Mckenna of the Friends of Marble Hill, stated, "It is time that us White Fellows acknowledge that we can not have reconciliation where there was no conciliation to start!", as stated by Georgina Williams, the true and original Ngangkiburka, a name that was given to her in dreaming and now used with out authority by white fellas. Respect is what we are talking about here and it a time of bigger things to come. The speech also expressed the Native Title Claim to Warriparinga Living Kaurna Cultural Centre and a lot that is under control by the ILUA that needs to be returned under the South Australia Letters Patent 1836.
"I can not invite you on the land as you did not ask in the first place!" said Georgina Williams at the Kingston Community Cabinet in 2008 "and now we are claiming Sovereignty as of today 29th of March 2009. I am also not just asking the Kaurna Nation and People but all Aboriginal Nations to begin the process of Sovereign Declaration! It is a great day in our history when we see two young men stand here beside us and truly believe that we have the given rights to truly be a Sovereign People with the rights of the Traditional Custodianship on the land. Today, I have come and invite others to come before the land and start the process of healing of almost wiped out 50,000 years of history. We did not come to this land we are from the land and we are taking back our Traditional Custodian rights and sending out a message as a Sovereign People, payment and respect is due!"
Below is the speech given to the Governor on 29th March 2009 SA Government House Open Day:
To The Queen of England, Governor General of Australia, Governor of South Australia and South Australian Premier
Today, I have come to state our people’s culture that dates back over 50,000 years, is now reaching full circle on this land. We must accept the position as Traditional Custodians so that our Nation survives and flourishes, with our conciliation in which the European Invaders took by possession of the land and removed forcibly over 50,000 years of culture and tradition by calling us NATIVE FAUNA. It is only now in the 21st century that our Rights as Traditional Custodians are recognized by forward thinking Australians who cry out to stop the raping and pillaging of our land for profit by what are mainly multinational consortia, only interested it seems in their own wealth and Greed.
Today, I have come, no longer as a conquered and subjugated, subject people we are taking our birthright back! We are moving forward in a world that no longer truly accepts us for who we are as a people. Where you came in force, today I have come in peace for all men and women in Australia. Today marks a chapter in our life where we are moving toward conciliation. We seek conciliation due to the fact we could not reconcile with a nation or law that did not even recognize us as a people. We say conciliation in order to start the healing process and give the white man the chance to reflect on all the atrocities that have gone largely unnoticed by the Australians and the world.
Today, I have come not with spears or weapons of mass destruction we come here with words and silent action, written on paper to you people of the papers. We come here to demand what rightfully belongs to First Australians. Just like the First Nations of America and Canada and the Nations of South Africa, it is time to co-exist with the conquerors of our lands. It is time to bring about true and honest conciliation and work towards a bright and common ground.
Today, I have come taking back the land that over 50 000 years ago was given to us as Traditional Custodians and care takers by our spirit ancestors in the Munaintja (Dreaming) when all things began for us. We do this by acknowledging our rights as a Sovereign people. Not a people conquered by invaders but Sovereign people who have the right to self Governance under their own cultural powers and rights. The land that we stand on is not Crown dominated land but land that belongs to a people whose culture dates back past early recorded time and is told on the winds of song and winds of the land singing from a country with deep listening and deeper Munaintja (dreaming).
Today, I have come as it is time to move forward. To do this we are utilizing the same laws that have bound us and kept us from freely enjoying the land that is rightfully ours as a Sovereign Nation. We stand here legally and lawfully, to present you with a bill that allows us all to coexist but at the same time, Honours us as a Sovereign Nation and Cultural people. As a Sovereign People, we are above the WHITE MAN'S laws that constrain us but at the same time gather here today to bill you for the right to use the land that we call home.
Today, I have come to you for all the years of our oppression when all you had to do is ask to freely travel and share the riches of the land. Today we bill you as a starting point but we make a larger statement. We are a Sovereign People and thus have the rights as a free people to charge you for all the years that you took away our Natural Freedom.
Today, we have come and start by re-establishing our Native Title Claim over two areas of land that start the meaning for us as a Sovereign People. We are taking back not Native Title but our Sovereign Claim to the lands known as Marble Hill (your former Summer Vice Regal Residence) and the Living Kaurna Cultural Centre.
Today we have come for Marble Hill, we are billing you for over 130 years of usage and building on a land for which no permission was granted by its Sovereign People. We are billing you for the rights that were taken away from us as a Sovereign People when this land was declared terra nullius. You destroyed our culture, you have benefited from our culture, when you could not even look at us as equals, now from today, but unlike you we are treating you as equals.
Today, we have come to reclaim Living Kaurna Cultural Centre as a land that rightfully belongs to us as a people and we are acting on our Sovereign Rights to take the land back. We seek to reconcile with Marion Council and are willing to work with them to co-exist but make no mistake, we are the Sovereign People who have the rights and traditional title to the lands of the Living Kaurna Cultural Central. We are going to take possession and make the land free for people to come and experience the true nature of our land.
Today, I have come as NGANGKI-BURKA. A name that was given to me by my ancestors, I am a free spirit on the land and I have been bringing together all Kaurna peoples of our Nation. I am a spirit that was touched by the Tjilbruke Kaurna ancestral being, I am a spirit that is tired of all the infighting of our people and call for a cleansing fire to help our own people reconcile. I am a spirit that flows freely from Sister to Sister, Brother to Brother, Clan to Clan and is cross generational. To be recognized as our spiritual practice and religious observance.
Today, I have come to rightfully billing the white man through his laws to start the process of rebuilding a new future.
Today, we have come to the Grounds of the South Australian Governor, Government House, I am sending a message for all First Australians to Stand up for their Sovereign Rights and rebuild in culture and pride, what invaders tried to take away from us, our over 50 000 years of history.
Today, I have come as a survivor to say to all South Australians, “We are a Sovereign People who have been here for over those 50 000 years. Our Sovereignty is outside any laws that have been conceived by THE White Man’s laws for our oppression!
Europeans have massacred our Culture and ourselves by their ignorance, kept us oppressed since their arrival. It is time for Natural Justice to be omnipotent, thus, we assert our right over the land that belongs to its First People!”
Today, I have come on behalf of my people Governor, whether you are here or not, I give you our bill for $47.5 Million for 130 years of non payment of rent for a land that belongs to our Sovereign Nation.
By the time Attorney General Eric Holder took his seat before a Congressional subcommittee on Thursday, the Bush torture program had broken wide open. In the past week alone, hundreds of pages in declassified legal memos and Congressional reports had blown the lid off the previous administration's harsh interrogation policies to reveal -- in addition to grisly new details about what the U.S. government did to prisoners in its custody -- a chronology of the program's history that implicated the most senior government officials, including Condoleezza Rice, Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, and of course the former president. What's more, it appeared that the torture of high-value detainees in 2002 and 2003 was, at least in part, the direct consequence of Bush officials' need to extract a link -- fictitious or otherwise -- between al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq.
Damning stuff, to be sure. Yet watching Holder's testimony before the House Appropriations Committee, where his office was met with a coalition of activists delivering petitions carrying 250,000 signatures from Americans who support appointing an independent prosecutor to investigate Bush's crimes, it would be hard to guess that it came in a week that saw such a flood of evidence of human rights violations and war crimes come to light. Reiterating his contention (following the initial release of legal memos last week outlining the rationale for Bush era torture) that "those in the intelligence community who acted reasonably and in good faith are not going to be prosecuted," Holder also reassured the committee members that he "will not permit the criminalization of policy differences" -- an almost superfluous response to one of the bogus conservative talking points that has sprung up -- the notion that holding accountable lawyers who authorized flagrantly illegal techniques against U.S. held prisoners will have a "chilling effect" on advisers' opinions. But, he said, "it is my responsibility as attorney general to enforce the law. ... If I see evidence of wrongdoing I will pursue it to the full extent of the law." Very well, but with virtually no references to the avalanche of evidence that emerged this week, Holder's words, like President Obama's pep-rally style speech before the CIA last week and the hearing itself (which, in fairness, was held to discuss the 2010 budget of the DOJ), largely belied the severity of what has been revealed in the past week.
To recap: Holder's appearance came one week to the day after the release of the infamous OLC memos, which describe in chilling detail the methodology of the CIA's "enhanced interrogation" program. The documents sparked fresh revulsion in the media and blogosphere over the Bush administration's torture program, while also prompting renewed calls for the Obama administration to investigate and hold accountable those who authorized it. Despite President Obama's immediate announcement that CIA rank and file would not face charges -- "it is our intention to assure those who carried out their duties relying in good faith upon legal advice from the Department of Justice that they will not be subject to prosecution" -- online and in the pages of the New York Times, the call for accountability was deafening. From the push to impeach former OLC lawyer turned judge Jay Bybee, who currently enjoys a seat on the federal bench, to the heckling of former OLC attorney John Yoo (the veritable godfather of the OLC's pro-torture rationale) at a California college where audience members shouted "war criminal" as he took the stage, people were outraged.
Then, on Tuesday night, the Senate Armed Services Committee released its 263-page "Inquiry Into the Treatment of Detainees In U.S. Custody," an exhaustive look at the Bush administration's torture program following September 11th. Based on over 200,000 pages of classified and unclassified documents and interviews with more than 70 people (mostly Pentagon officials), the document is more than a catalog and condemnation of the torture program. It officially upends the dishonest narrative that has been used to excuse the abuse of prisoners in U.S. custody ever since the first photographs of hooded prisoners left Abu Ghraib. "The abuse of detainees in U.S. custody cannot simply be attributed to the actions of 'a few bad apples' acting on their own," read the report, using the very language Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld employed to dismiss the abuse in 2005. "The fact is that senior officials in the United States government solicited information on how to use aggressive techniques, redefined the law to create the appearance of their legality, and authorized their use against detainees. Those efforts damaged our ability to collect accurate intelligence that could save lives, strengthened the hand of our enemies, and compromised our moral authority."
The Senate Armed Services report revealed a number of other significant details, including a more complete chronology of the development and authorization of the torture program. Writing on the New Yorker website, investigative journalist Jane Mayer wrote that the Senate report makes clear that "the C.I.A. and the military were preparing a blueprint for brutality months before they even had captured a single high-level Al Qaeda operative." While the OLC memos have long been understood to have been designed to grant legal cover to practices already in place, this fact would seem to carry significant legal implications even if they are taken at face value.
The tortured case for invading Iraq
The night that the Senate Armed Services Committee report came out, McClacthy reporter Jonathan S. Landay published a story reporting that "harsh methods" were rolled out specifically to extract a fictitious connection between Iraq and al Qaeda, according to excerpts from an interview with a former military psychologist that was included in the report. "A former U.S. Army psychiatrist, Maj. Charles Burney, told Army investigators in 2006 that interrogators at the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, detention facility were under 'pressure' to produce evidence of ties between al Qaida and Iraq," Landay wrote.
"While we were there a large part of the time we were focused on trying to establish a link between al Qaida and Iraq and we were not successful in establishing a link between al Qaida and Iraq," Burney told staff of the Army Inspector General. "The more frustrated people got in not being able to establish that link ... there was more and more pressure to resort to measures that might produce more immediate results."
"I think it's obvious that the administration was scrambling then to try to find a connection, a link (between al Qaida and Iraq)," Senate Armed Services Chair Carl Levin told reporters in a conference call Tuesday. "They made out links where they didn't exist."
Landay also quoted a former intelligence official, who said, "There were two reasons why these interrogations were so persistent, and why extreme methods were used."
"The main one is that everyone was worried about some kind of follow-up attack (after 9/11). But for most of 2002 and into 2003, Cheney and Rumsfeld, especially, were also demanding proof of the links between al Qaida and Iraq that (former Iraqi exile leader Ahmed) Chalabi and others had told them were there."
As Landay pointed out, "It was during this period that CIA interrogators waterboarded two alleged top al Qaida detainees repeatedly -- Abu Zubaydah at least 83 times in August 2002 and Khalid Sheik Muhammed 183 times in March 2003 -- according to a newly released Justice Department document."
Knowingly seeking false confessions?
News of the Bush administration's use of torture to extract intelligence that would suit its war is especially troubling given what the Senate Armed Services Committee report reveals about the background of the interrogation techniques it devised. The report provides the detailed story of how, as early as December 2001 -- more than a month before President George W. Bush signed a memorandum declaring that those who could be linked to the terror attacks of September 11th would be stripped of the rights traditionally given to prisoners of war -- "the Department of Defense General Counsel's Office had already solicited information on detainee 'exploitation' from the Joint Personal Recovery Agency, an agency whose expertise was in training American personnel to withstand interrogation techniques considered illegal under the Geneva Conventions."
As the report explains:
The JPRA is the Pentagon agency that oversees the now famous Survival Evasion Resistance and Escape (SERE) training, which teaches U.S. military personnel to withstand "physical and psychological pressures" using methods that, according to one JPRA instructor, is "based on illegal exploitation (under the rules listed in the 1949 Geneva Convention Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War) of prisoners over the past 50 years."
The techniques used in SERE school, based, in part, on Chinese Communist techniques used during the Korean war to elicit false confessions, including stripping students of their clothing, placing them in stress positions, putting hoods over their heads, disrupting their sleep, treating them like animals, subjecting them to loud music and flashing lights, and exposing them to extreme temperatures. It can also include face and body slaps and until recently, for some who attended the Navy's SERE school, it included waterboarding.
Crucially, the report points out that the SERE methods were never designed to obtain reliable information, noting that "typically, those who play the part of interrogators in SERE school neither are trained interrogators nor are they qualified to be."
These role players are not trained to obtain reliable intelligence information from detainees. Their job is to train our personnel to resist providing reliable information from detainees.
The fact that the Bush administration adopted and aggressively used methodology designed to extract false confessions is a bit mind boggling -- unless one assumes that they weren't actually looking for a real rationale to begin with, just any statement that would justify invading Iraq.
Holder must investigate war crimes
"There are plenty of new names and details in the Armed Services Committee report," Jane Mayer wrote this week, "including a scene of two military men teaching the C.I.A. how to use Chinese torture techniques. One of the instructors, Joseph Witsch, played the 'beater,' while the other, Gary Percival, became the 'beatee.' By the mid-summer of 2002, beating was no longer just an academic exercise. Precisely when these tactics were used on live captives, and at what point top Bush officials endorsed them, may be a matter of serious interest to Attorney General Eric Holder."
Indeed, from the OLC memos to the Senate Armed Services Committee report, the sum total of everything that should be of serious interest to Eric Holder is overwhelming. Perhaps it is too soon to say what if anything will come of his vow this week "to follow the evidence wherever it takes us." But it would be a serious miscarriage of justice not to begin taking steps to investigate and prosecute these crimes of war. If Holder and the Obama DOJ do not, it will not be for lack of evidence.
As Eric Holder left the hearing room on Thursday, David Swanson, one of the most vocal activists calling for prosecutions for Bush's crimes, called out to him from his third-row seat.
"We need a special prosecutor for torture, Mr. Attorney General," Swanson said. "Americans like the rule of law. The rule of law for everybody."
He replied as he approached and walked by, surrounded by bodyguards:
"And you will be proud of your country.
"I was joined by others in replying simultaneously:
"Yes, we want to be proud of our country. We're ready. No need to wait."
It is good to see that this speech and photo (Source: Matthew Fowler) have found their way back to North America where King George III sought to consolidate the British Empire from fighting French with the Royal Proclamation 1763. Followed by His Majesty's British Admiralty Sealed Orders 1768 to Endeavour Master James Cook which led to him taking possession at Possession Island April 1770 without really negotiating with any "Natives" and thus breaching his Orders?
His Majesty's son King William IV Assented to the South Australia Act 1834 which described South Australia as a barren wasteland like terra nullius but by having Sealed the South Australia Letters Patent 1836 it recognised Natives enjoyment in perpetuity as a Treaty as did Captain South Australia Governor Hindmarsh as Commander-in-Chief on Proclamation Day 1836.
Those documents were handed to the SA Premier Mike Rann the very next day and a letter was delivered to Ngankiburka Georgina Yambo Willams. The importance of that letter was a deadline delivered to the Governor of June 29th. On this up and coming day, is a request to give back land that belongs to the Sovereign People of the Kaurna Nation along with a bill for $47.5 million for 130 years back rent on Marble Hill, the ex governors residence in the Adelaide Hills.
Now the Governor can return to Kaurna, land that is being sold under a Heads of Agreement out of our Premier Public Estate Property into a relatively unregulated private market and pay on Monday June 29 the 130 years back rent bill.