Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Zionist-Perverted Western Mainstream Media Ignore Horrendous US Alliance And Apartheid Israeli Child Abuse

Zionist-Perverted Western Mainstream Media  Ignore Horrendous US Alliance
And Apartheid Israeli Child Abuse
By Dr Gideon Polya
29 April, 2014
Horrifying  physical, emotional, intellectual  and/or sexual child abuse is variously inflicted by racist Zionists, by Apartheid Israel and by pro-Zionist US Alliance allies of the Apartheid rogue state on 6 million exiled Palestinian children, 4.3 million Occupied Palestinian children, 0.9 million Palestinian Israeli children, 2 million Jewish Israeli children, 5 million Jewish children in general worldwide,  750 million Muslim children, 3 billion Third World children and indeed potentially, through worsening climate genocide, all 3.5 billion children of the world [1]. However Mainstream media exercise extraordinary  censorship to hide horrendous Israeli child abuse, and, with some exceptions, also hide  British child abuse, American child abuse, Australian child abuse, Aboriginal child abuse, and Indigenous child abuse.  
Of course the evil of child abuse is present in all societies and decent people are absolutely obliged to speak out for the sake of the children.  Silence is complicity and indeed in Australia there is mandatory reporting with the occupations most commonly named as mandated reporters being those who deal frequently with children in the course of their work, namely : teachers, doctors, nurses, and police. Indeed in Australian's Northern Territory all adults are now obliged to report suspected child abuse to the authorities  [2].
However the sine qua non of Western mainstream media seems to be the minimizing,  ignoring, hiding or censoring out of the horrendous crimes of US Alliance countries [3-6] and in particular those of nuclear terrorist, racist Zionist-run, democracy-by-genocide, human rights-abusing and grossly child abusing Apartheid Israel. Indeed the worst child abuse these days is inflicted by high technology war applied to Third World countries. Thus deaths from violence from violently-imposed deprivation in post-1950 US Asian wars total about 40 million with about half the victims being children [3]. The UN Population Division, the World Health Organization and  UNICEF provide demographic data showing that 7 million under-5 year old infants die each year on Spaceship Earth with the Zionist-beholden US in charge of the flight  deck and that under-5 year old infant deaths  in the US-imposed Iraq Genocide, Afghan Genocide and Somali Genocide total about 2 million, 3 million and 1.3 million, respectively [7].
Set out below are estimates of the magnitude of Israeli child abuse and of child sexual abuse in  Apartheid Israel's allies Australia, the US, and the UK,  and analyses of how these horrendous realities are variously ignored and hidden by Neocon American and Zionist  Imperialist (NAZI)-perverted Mainstream media.  
Australian child abuse.
According to the Australian Institute of Criminology,  1 in 3 Australian girls  and 1 in 6 Australian boys will be sexually abused in some way before the age if 18 [8]. The “Little Children are Sacred”  Report into child abuse in Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory  of Australia quoted  a similar scholarly  estimate that 34% of Australian women and 16% of Australian men had been subject to child sexual abuse [9, 10]. There is no doubt from the shocking anecdotal accounts in the “Little Children are Sacred” Report that from a qualitative perspective Aboriginal child sexual abuse is occurring and must be urgently addressed. However the Report (p57) states that “it is not possible to accurately estimate the extent of child sexual abuse in the Northern Territory ”. In contrast to its inability to quantitate the extent of child abuse in Indigenous communities, the “Little Children are Sacred” Report (pp234-236) refers to studies in America indicating that 25% of females and 10% of males (an average of 17.5% of adult Americans) experienced childhood sexual abuse [11] and in Australia  indicating that 34% of females and 16% of males today (an average of 25% of adult Australians) had experienced child sexual abuse [12].
“Utopia”, a documentary  movie by outstanding  expatriate Australian journalist John Pilger, reveals the scandal of how a public servant made incorrect and horrifying assertions about child sexual abuse in Northern Territory Aboriginal communities that were broadcast by the Australian ABC TV Lateline program. These incorrect assertions led to a media frenzy that horribly defamed Indigenous Australians on the basis of false reportage and ultimately led to a military invasion of Northern Territory Aboriginal communities and removal of Northern Territory  Aborigines from the protection of  the 1975 Racial Discrimination Act [13]. The subsequent expert report entitled “Little Children Are Sacred”   found (p57) that “it is not possible to accurately estimate the extent of child sexual abuse in the Northern Territory's Aboriginal communities”, while reporting  (p235) that 34% of Australian women and 16% of Australian men have been subject to sexual abuse as children, the latter a shocking  matter that is remorselessly  ignored by politically correct racist  (PC racist) Mainstream media in Australia.
US child abuse.
The US National Center for Victims of Crime quotes studies by David Finkelhor, Director of the Crimes Against Children Research Center, showing that:1 in 5 American  girls (20%) and 1 in 20 American  boys (5%) (an average of 12.5% of Americans) is a victim of child sexual abuse [11, 14]. However child abuse in the US extends well beyond sexual abuse. Thus it can be estimated that about 21,000 under-5 year old American infants die preventably  each year linked to the immense Zionist -promoted fiscal perversion of committing  $6 trillion to killing 12 million Muslims abroad (half of them children) in the Zionist-promoted War on Muslims (that morphed into the War on Terror since 9/11) rather than keeping Americans alive at home [15-17].
UK child abuse.
In contrast, investigators of the UK National Society  for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) estimate that 1 in 20 children in the UK (5%) have been sexually abused [18]. Glasser et al have commented on the vagaries  of the methodology employed in such studies: “The incidence of child sexual abuse is usually based on retrospective recall by adults in studies mostly emanating from the USA (Smith & Bentovim, 1994). Estimates of prevalence are bedevilled by differences of definition and methods of study and are closely tied to the population source of the information. In his original study Finkelhor (1981) reported that 19% of females and 9% of male college students had been sexually abused as children. In the UK , Baker & Duncan (1985), using a Mori poll of those aged 15 years and older, calculated that 12% of women and 8% of men had had sexually abusive experiences. However, even such population surveys are open to criticism of either having used flawed methods or not being representative of the general population (Marcowe, 1988). Wyatt & Peters (1986), investigating methodological differences, demonstrated that low rates tended to be based on questionnaire surveys using broad questions. Higher rates were obtained from focused, direct interviews. Other studies have demonstrated that where less restrictive definitions are used allowing the inclusion of exhibitionism and/or touching, very high rates of abuse were reported in women (59%) and less than half of this in men (27%); when more restrictive definitions were used, the rates fell dramatically (Kelly et al, 1991). Based on the above, a cautious estimate of sexual victimisation in the male general population would be about 10%” [19].
Apartheid Israeli child abuse.
I have detailed horrendous physical, emotional, intellectual and/or sexual child abuse variously inflicted by racist Zionists, by Apartheid Israel and by pro-Zionist US Alliance allies of the Apartheid rogue state on 6 million exiled Palestinian children, 4.3 million Occupied Palestinian children, 0.9 million Palestinian Israeli children, 2 million Jewish Israeli children, 5 million Jewish children in general worldwide,  750 million Muslim children, 3 billion Third World children and indeed potentially all 3.5 billion children of the world through genocide. Thus 48.5 percent of Israeli children surveyed reported that they had suffered one or more kinds of physical, emotional or  sexual abuse and 18% reported  sexual abuse. However it must be noted that Occupied Palestinian children are violently confined to either the Gaza Concentration Camp or to West Bank Bantustans without human rights and 10% are stunted from Israeli-imposed deprivation  Abut 12 million Muslims, half of them children, have died from violence or from violently-imposed deprivation in the Zionist-backed US War on Muslims and 7 million under-5 year old infants die avoidably each year from deprivation on Spaceship Earth with the Zionist-perverted Neocon Americans in charge of the flight deck. Indeed it is predicted that 6 billion under-5 year old infants will perish this century due to the endlessly exploitative and  mendacious Neocon American and Zionist Imperialist (NAZI) One Percenters failing to act on man-made climate change  and ultimately near-terminal  climate genocide [1, 20].
How is this appalling litany of child abuse reported by the presstitutes of the Neocon American and Zionist Imperialist (NAZI) One Percenter-subverted and perverted  Western mainstream media?  With the exception of the UK BBC,  in the pro-Zionist  US,  the pro-Zionist UK , or pro-Zionist Australia , the major Mainstream media reportage on “Israeli child abuse”, “British child abuse”, and “American child abuse” is virtually zero. However in  pro-Zionist  Australia while Mainstream reportage on “Israeli child abuse”, “British child abuse”, “American child abuse” is virtually zero, there is notable reportage on “Australian child abuse” (due to the current Royal Commission into institutional Australian child abuse) , and substantial reportage on “Aboriginal child abuse” and “Indigenous child abuse”, the extent of which could not be determined by expert investigators. This malreportage is quantitated below.
Australian media ignore US Alliance and Apartheid Israeli child abuse.
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (the ABC, Australia 's equivalent of the  UK BBC) has an appalling record of censorship, lying by omission and malreportage [21-23].   A search of the ABC for the following terms yields the results given in parentheses: “Israeli child abuse”(0), “British child abuse” (0), “American child abuse” (0), “Australian child abuse” (5), “Aboriginal child abuse” (41) and “Indigenous child abuse” (132). The only 5 items for “Australian child abuse” is remarkable in that there is currently a Royal Commission into institutional child abuse (e.g. by the Catholic Church, the Salvation Army etc), albeit an inquiry that ignores the horrendous non-institutional abuse of about 4 million Australian children [10].
Searches of the major “serious” Australian newspapers The Age (Melbourne) and The Sydney Morning Herald for the phrases  “Israeli child abuse”, “British child abuse”, “American child abuse”, and “Australian child abuse” yielded zero (0) results whereas searches for  “Aboriginal child abuse” yielded 7 and 7 results, respectively, and searches for “Indigenous child abuse” yielded 34 and  32 results, respectively.
To reiterate, US lackey Australia  has been involved in the Zionist-backed US War on Muslims (2 million under-5 year old Iraqi infant deaths since 1990 and  3 million under-5 year old Afghan infant deaths since 2001 [7]), 4.4 million Australian adults have been sexually abused as children [10], and  the expert Report into Indigenous (Aboriginal) child abuse in the Northern Territory of Australia concluded “it is not possible to accurately estimate the extent of child sexual abuse in the Northern Territory” i.e. they could not determine how many Aboriginal children were being abused [9].  Australian Mainstream media reportage on child abuse ignores massive US Alliance and Apartheid Israeli  child abuse,  ignores massive non-institutional child sexual abuse and in stark contrast exaggerates child abuse in Aboriginal communities that has been subject to false reportage
US media ignore US Alliance and Apartheid Israeli child abuse.
Searches of the major US news organizations Fox News, CBS News, ABC News, MSNBC and CNN News for the phrases “Israeli child abuse”, “British child abuse”, “American child abuse”, “Australian child abuse”, “Aboriginal child abuse”, and “Indigenous child abuse” yielded zero (0) results except for some results from Fox News (3 British items), ABC News (1 American item), and CNN News (2 American items). So much for the childhood sexual abuse of about 12.5% of adult Americans, the preventable deaths of 21,000 under-5 year old American infants each year and the deaths from war-imposed deprivation of about 6 million Muslim children in the War on Muslims.  Under-5 year old infant deaths in the post-1990, Zionist-promoted US War on Muslims largely involve Iraqi infant deaths (2 million), Afghan infant deaths s (3 million)  and Somali infant deaths (1.3 million).
Searches of the major US papers The  New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Los Angeles Times for the phrases “Israeli child abuse”, “British child abuse”, “American child abuse”, “Australian child abuse”, “Aboriginal child abuse” , and “Indigenous child abuse” yielded zero (0) results.
UK media ignore US Alliance and Apartheid Israeli child abuse.
The British Broadcasting Corporation (the BBC) has an appalling record of censorship, lying by omission and malreportage [24]. However searches for the various  national “child abuse terms”  yielded the following numerous results:   “Israeli child abuse” (6), “British child abuse” (513; not all about British child abuse per se), “American child abuse” (249, not all about American child abuse per se), “Australian child abuse” (123 of which 88 were directly about Australian child abuse) , “Aboriginal child abuse” (27) , and “Indigenous child abuse” (29). The BBC does much better at reportage of child abuse than other Western Mainstream media but the reportage of Israeli child abuse is restricted to individual cases of child abuse and the BBC certainly does not report the horrendous extent of Israeli child abuse of which the least is the 49.5% of Israeli children subject to physical, emotional and/or sexual (17%) abuse [1].
Searches of the major UK paper The Times, for the various national “child abuse” phrases yielded the results “Israeli child abuse” (0), “British child abuse” (3) , “American child abuse” (1), “Australian child abuse” (0), “Aboriginal child abuse” (0) , and “Indigenous child abuse” (0). The same searches of The Guardian yielded the results “Israeli child abuse” (0), “British child abuse” (0) , “American child abuse” (0), “Australian child abuse” (1), “Aboriginal child abuse” (0) , and “Indigenous child abuse” (1).
Google reportage of US Alliance and  Apartheid Israeli child abuse.
While a Google Search (29 April 2014) for “child abuse” yields 118 million results, a Google Search for the various national “child abuse” phrases yields the results “Israeli child abuse” (61,000 that in reality becomes 18 actual linked articles), “British child abuse” (1,070,000) , “American child abuse” (444,000), “Australian child abuse” (140,000), “Aboriginal child abuse” (207,000) , and “Indigenous child abuse” (69,000).
Of the 18 actual Google Search results for “Israeli child abuse” only 5 refer to the horrendous extent of Israeli child abuse, specifically:
(1) an article in Countercurrents by Gideon Polya, entitled “ Horrendous Pro-Zionist, Zionist And Apartheid Israeli Child Abuse Exposed” [1];

(2). a comment on an article by Andy Fleming in the progressive Australian web magazine New Matilda that refers to the Countercurrents  article [1] but which was subsequently censored out by New Matilda while still leaving a Google Search trace [25] .

(3). another article linking to the Gideon Polya Countercurrents article [26].
(4). an article by Gideon Polya that details Australian backing of Apartheid Israel and “ Israeli child abuse, Israeli state terrorism: “Coalition-backed Apartheid Israel continues horrendous abuse of Palestinian children. Since 1936 Palestinian deaths from violence (0.1 million) or from violently-imposed deprivation (1.9 million) have totaled 2 million, of whom half have been of children. About half of the 12 million Palestinians are children and of these 3 million Palestinian children are forbidden to even step foot in their own country, 2.1 million are Occupied Palestinian children without any human rights, 1.3 million are Occupied Palestinian children living under highly abusive military rule in West Bank Bantustans, 0.8 million are Occupied Palestinian children highly abusively confined to the Gaza Concentration Camp (10% stunted from the Apartheid Israeli blockage) and 0.8 million are Palestinian Israeli children facing lifetime of existence as Third Class citizens under racist Israeli Apartheid laws. The salivating pro-Zionist Coalition recently voted at the UN General Assembly with 6 other pro-Zionist nations to oppose overwhelmingly UN General Assembly-supported motions for 2014 as the year of Palestinians, investigation of Palestinian rights, and for dialogue. Coalition-ruled Australia abstained from 2 further overwhelmingly UN General Assembly-supported motions demanding that the Geneva Convention should apply to the Occupied Palestinian Territories and condemning illegal Israeli settlement construction in occupied territory.” [27]; and  
[5]. a surviving comment on an article by Professor Stuart Rees in New Matilda [28] that refers to an article by Gideon Polya in Bellaciao about horrendous Israeli child abuse and entitled “Exposed: horrendous pro-Zionist, Zionist and Apartheid Israeli child abuse” [29] . An earlier submitted comment on the article and making the same reference was censored out. This Gideon Polya Bellaciao article on horrendous Israeli child abuse [29] came up on the Google Search for “Israeli child abuse” on 28 April 2014 but has evidently now been eliminated by Google.from its primary Search results (however it does comes up if you ask for “omitted results” as well).
This extraordinary Mainstream media censorship of horrendous Israeli child abuse - as well as Mainstream media censorship of other horrendous US Alliance child abuse - is due to perversion and subversion of Mainstream media by Neocon American and Zionist Imperialist (NAZI) One Percenters. It is rare that Mainstream media journalists  confess to this perversion but a notable example is the highly regarded and progressive Australian ABC radio journalist Terry Lane : “I have said publicly that I will never write or speak on the subject of Israel or Palestine ever again. Here is why: The Zionist lobby in this country is malicious, implacable, mendacious and dangerous. They have caused me a great deal of lost sleep – and in the end my insomnia has not contributed anything to the resolution of the conflict over Palestine . I might as well keep my mouth shut and get some sleep. What's more, once the expression “anti-Semite” hits the air, or, heaven forfend, the sacred formula “six million” is uttered, then I know from bitter experience that there is not one manager or editor in the country who will defend an underling. We are thrown to the jackals. In the end the truly tolerant have no defence against intolerance. I surrender. To the Zionists I say: you win. To the Palestinians: forgive my cowardice” [30].
One is also reminded of Sigmund Freud's fraud as described by Freud scholar Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson in his book “ The Assault on Truth: Freud's Suppression of the Seduction Theory” (1984) [31]. Masson's thesis was that Freud knew from his medical studies in Paris of the awful reality of child sexual abuse but after botching a nose operation on  a Viennese socialite Freud moved to Berlin and evidently felt that ignoring and denying the sickening reality of child sexual abuse would advance his career. Gore Vidal put the lot of Mainstream media presstitutes very  succinctly thus: "A writer must always tell the truth, unless he is a journalist" [32]. One can but reiterate the words of that wonderful Palestinian humanitarian Jesus: “ But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea ” [33].
What must decent people do? Silence is complicity.   Decent people must (a) speak out against all forms of child abuse and human rights  abuse, and (b) urge and apply Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Apartheid Israel and its US Alliance supporters who are complicit in horrendous Israeli child abuse. As Jesus said, we cannot walk by on the other side. Indeed in the Northern Territory of Australia it is now an offence for an adult not to report child abuse [2].
[1].   Gideon Polya, “ Horrendous Pro-Zionist, Zionist And Apartheid Israeli Child Abuse Exposed”, Countercurrents, 21 April, 2014: .
[2]. “Mandatory reporting of child abuse and neglect”, Australian Government, July 2013: .
[3]. Gideon Polya, “Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950”, this including an avoidable mortality-related history of every country since Neolithic times and now available  for free perusal on the web: .
[4]. Gideon Polya, “Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History”, now available for free perusal on the web: .
[5]. Edward Herman and David Peterson, “The Politics of Genocide”.
[6]. Gideon Polya, “Book Review: “The Politics of Genocide” by Edward Herman and David Peterson”, Countercurrents , 5 December, 2011: .
[7]. “Muslim Holocaust Muslim Genocide”: .
[8]. Australian Institute of Criminology, Second Conference on Violence, June 1993; “Child Sexual Assault: Facts and Statistics”: .
[10]. Gideon Polya, “Horrendous Australian child sexual abuse”, MWC News, 15 November 2012: .
[11]. Finkelhor, D. (1994), Current information on the scope and nature of child sexual abuse”, Future of Children, 4(2), pp31-53.
[12]. Dunne, M.P., Purdie, D.M., Cook, M.D., Boyle, F.M. & Najman, J.M.(2003), “Is child sexual abuse declining? Evidence from a population-based survey of men and women in Australia ”, Child Abuse & Neglect, vol. 27 (2), pp141-152.
[13]. Gideon Polya, “Film Review: “Utopia” by John Pilger exposes genocidal maltreatment of Indigenous Australians by Apartheid Australia ”, Countercurrents, 14 March 2014 : m .
[14].   National Center for Victims of Crime,  “Child sexual abuse statistics”, .
[15].  Gideon Polya, “Endless War on Terror. Huge cost for Australia & America ”, MWC News, 14 October 2012: .
[16]. Gideon Polya, “Gideon Polya, “One million Americans die preventably annually in USA ”, Countercurrents: .  
[17]. Gideon Polya, “ American Holocaust, Millions Of Untimely American Deaths And $40 Trillion Cost Of Israel To Americans”,  Countercurrents , 27 August, 2013: .
[18]. National Society  for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, “Facts and figures about child abuse in the UK ”: .
[19]. M. Glasser, I. Kolvin, D. Campbell, A. Glasser, I. Leitch and  S. Farrelly, “Cycle of child sexual abuse: links between being a victim and becoming a perpetrator”, British Journal of Psychiatry, (2001) 179: 482-494: .
[20]. “Climate genocide”: .
[21]. “Censorship by ABC Late Night Live”:   .
[23]. “ABC fact-checking unit & incorrect reportage by the ABC ( Australia 's BBC)”: .
[24]. “Censorship by the BBC”: .
[25]. Andy Fleming “Who's Behind The ADL's Racist Violence?” , New Matilda,  23 April 2014: .
[26] “King George Financial Corporation”:  .
[27] Gideon Polya, “Child abuse in Australia ” , MWC News, 3 December 2013: .
[28] Stuart Rees, “The Israel Lobby's goal is silence”, New Matilda, 15 April 2014:  .
[29]. Gideon Polya, “Exposed: horrendous pro-Zionist, Zionist and Apartheid Israeli child abuse”, Bellaciao, 21 April 2014: ). 
[30]. Terry Lane quoted in “Zionism and the press in Australia : two views”, Journal of Historical Review: .
[31]. Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson ,  “ The Assault on Truth: Freud's Suppression of the Seduction Theory”.
[32]. Gore Vidal quoted in the movie " Gore Vidal: The United States of Amnesia".
[33]. Jesus in  Matthew, Chapter 18, verses 1-6, The New Testament, The Holy Bible (King James Version).
Dr Gideon Polya has been teaching science students at a major Australian university for 4 decades. He published some 130 works in a 5 decade scientific career, most recently a huge pharmacological reference text "Biochemical Targets of Plant Bioactive Compounds" (CRC Press/Taylor & Francis, New York & London , 2003). He has published “Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950” (G.M. Polya, Melbourne, 2007: ); see also his contributions “Australian complicity in Iraq mass mortality” in “Lies, Deep Fries & Statistics” (edited by Robyn Williams, ABC Books, Sydney, 2007: ) and “Ongoing Palestinian Genocide” in “The Plight of the Palestinians (edited by William Cook, Palgrave Macmillan, London, 2010: ). He has published a revised and updated 2008 version of his 1998 book “Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History” (see: ) as biofuel-, globalization- and climate-driven global food price increases threaten a greater famine catastrophe than the man-made famine in British-ruled India that killed 6-7 million Indians in the “forgotten” World War 2 Bengal Famine (see recent BBC broadcast involving Dr Polya, Economics Nobel Laureate Professor Amartya Sen and others: ). When words fail one can say it in pictures - for images of Gideon Polya's huge paintings for the Planet, Peace, Mother and Child see: and .

Defending The Defensible: Jewish And Palestinian Boycotts By Vacy Vlazna

Defending The Defensible: Jewish And Palestinian Boycotts
By Vacy Vlazna
29 April, 2014
“The Boycott is a Moral Substitute for War”  - Bertha V Corets
Oh dear, poor Israel. Poor Israel - the world's 4th largest nuclear military power. Poor Israel - the serial war crimes, crimes against humanity, crimes of aggression violator. Poor barbaric Israel is being picked on by the non-violent  Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement which champions, out of simple human decency, Palestinian inalienable rights under international law.
As BDS gradually gains moral momentum the Zionists, in desperate retaliation, shamefully exploit the spectre of the holocaust and tediously daub (over and over and over ad nauseum) the pro-Palestine BDS efforts with the slanderous smear of a Nazi menace:
On April 1, 1933, 81 years ago, the Nazis carried out their first nationwide, coordinated action against the Jews: a boycott of Jewish businesses – today these activities are commonly known as BDS: Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions...And even today, that Nazi-inspired BDS tactic continues, directed at the Jewish state of Israel.( Jewish Press 
However, the Zionist insinuation that the Jews are eternal victims is false and dishonourable. The Jewish people in America rose heroically against the barbarism of Nazism with literally Nazi-inspired BDS tactics.
BDS tactics? Shock! Horror! Really? Oh yes. The proof is tucked away in the American Jewish Archives..let's shake off the dust and take a look in Box 1 . Mmmm, what have we here? A veritable trove of folders of the  detailed 1933-1943 documents of Bertha Vera Corets, an American-Jewish business-woman and tireless advocate and activist of the boycott of the importation and sale of German and Austrian goods prior to WWII.
The feisty Bertha eventually became National Boycott Chairman of the mens and ladies auxiliaries of the Jewish War Veterans of the US (JWV).
Seemingly unaware of their plunge into Nazi skullduggery, the JWV proudly stated in 1938, “The Boycott is the American individual's form of protest.” and in 1939, “The world is starting to realize that the boycott is the only remaining weapon we can use against the Nazi beasts.”
In a September 10, 1937 letter, Bertha sets out the motivation for the JWV anti-Nazi boycott campaign: 
The Boycott of Nazi-made goods and services is vitally imperative because Hitler has declared a war of extermination agains the Jews. Starting in Germany it has branded the Jews as a corrupt inferior people, it has boycotted and confiscated their business and closed all avenues of economic livelihood. Jews have been ousted from the free practice of all professions in Germany. The schools of education are denied' them; -they are expelled from citizenship, participation in sports" and even denied the right to reside in some towns...The Jews in Germany are in a trap and slowly being driven to suicide or or slow starvation.
Sound familiar? Israel's ethnic cleansing of Palestine, its racist and apartheid policies and practices (eg segregated schools), the ousting of Palestinian families from their lands and homes, the systematic economic impoverishment of Palestinians, denial of the Palestinian right of return to their confiscated towns and villages, a ‘trap'? - the debilitating siege of Gaza - instantly come to mind.
From 1933 to 1941, led by the highly respected Samuel Untermeyer, the JWV energetically organised posts in New York, Chicago, Detroit, Boston, and Philadelphia that were instructed to locate American businesses that imported or sold German and Austrian merchandise which were added to blacklists that were publicly circulated to the press, unions, church and interested organisations.
Well organised strategies, like those used by the Palestinian BDS, included letters and visits to businesses and politicians, conferences, exhibitions, questionnaires, fundraisers, lectures, dissemination of bulletins, posters and pamphlets, blocking of student exchanges between Germany and the US, picketing German cultural events, the prevention of ‘the floating of all loans to Germany', discouraging holidays in Germany and the use of German vessels for shipping and travel. There was also a quasi-academic boycott by “more than 100 prominent scientists of Harvard, MIT, and neighbouring colleges and industrial institutions announced yesterday they would boycott German-made  scientific  apparatus and supplies.”
On June 27, 1937, all groups came under the Non-Sectarian Anti-Nazi League [NSANL] established as the ‘national clearing house for the boycott of  all Nazi-made goods and services and all other anti-Nazi work.”
As with BDS today, Moshe Gottleib outlines the opposition by the  powerful American Jewish Committee, B'nai B'rith and the American Jewish Congress (which eventually joined up) as well as howling complaints of “It is unfair and an injustice.”
Popular targets were chain and 5 &10c. stores such as Woolworths, Macys, Sears Roebuck. By 1937, Macys stopped importing German goods and closed its Berlin office. Boycott shirkers were duly punished such as the Well Known Glove Co. that was fined $300 for removing “Made in Germany' from its gloves.
The German and Austrian products on the blacklists grew to include coal, yeast, candy, candy wrappers, mineral oil refined in Germany, Staedtler pencils, chemicals used in sugar and oil refineries, peat moss, Kayser and Max Mayer gloves, toys, embroidery machinery, onyx cameos, semi-precious stones, canaries, fancy metal foil, perfume, beauty supplies, photographic equipment, German securities and bonds, Sterling and Bayer drugs, Vicks Vaporub, Ipana toothpaste, beverages, books, Christmas decorations, bicycle parts, leather, hardware, cutlery, glassware and chinaware, musical supplies, and machinery.
In practical terms, the JWV and its Non-Sectarian Anti-Nazi League led the American non-violent fight against Nazism with the support of the majority of American Jews. Moshe Gottlieb concludes in his ‘The Anti-Nazi Boycott Movement in the United States: An Ideological and Sociological Appreciation,' with, 
“ one is tempted to speculate that a global air-tight boycott, if applied early enough, would have averted World War II, or even have toppled the Hitler regime. But while this shall always remain an imponderable of history, it must be said that the boycott forms the prologue of the resistance movement against a tyranny that was to produce the greatest catastrophe that the world and the Jews had ever experienced.”
For the Palestinians who are still ensnared in the trap of 66-plus years of ongoing Nakba (catastrophe), the global BDS movement is for them, the non-violent “prologue of the resistance movement against a tyranny” of daily cruelty and degenerate inhumanity that, inconceivably and monstrously, is executed by some descendants of the victims of the Shoah, by the Zionist exploiters of the holocaust and with the complicity of the same nations that fought Nazism.
Dr. Vacy Vlazna is Coordinator of Justice for Palestine Matters. She was Human Rights Advisor to the GAM team in the second round of the Acheh peace talks, Helsinki, February 2005 then withdrew on principle. Vacy was coordinator of the East Timor Justice Lobby as well as serving in East Timor with UNAMET and UNTAET from 1999-2001. 

South Asian Monsoons Increasingly Experience Extreme Wet And Dry Spells

South Asian Monsoons Increasingly Experience Extreme Wet And Dry Spells
By Countercurrents
29 April, 2014

Rain near a village in the Western Ghats , India . Credit: Stephane Pasteur
Since 1980 South Asian monsoons are increasingly experiencing extreme wet and dry spells.
Scientists from the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment have identified significant changes in the patterns of extreme wet and dry events that are increasing the risk of drought and flood in central India , one of the most densely populated regions on Earth.
The discoveries, detailed in the April 28 issue of the journal Nature Climate Change, are the result of a new collaboration between climate scientists and statisticians that focused on utilizing statistical methods for analyzing rare geophysical events.
These new approaches reveal that the intensity of extremely wet spells and the number of extremely dry spells during the South Asian monsoon season have both been increasing in recent decades.
"We are looking at rainfall extremes that only occur at most a few times a year, but can have very large impact," said senior author Noah Diffenbaugh, associate professor of environmental Earth system science and a senior fellow at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment. "Having these advanced statistical tests is a huge step forward, and has enabled the discovery of important changes in the observed record."
For the new study, Diffenbaugh and graduate student Deepti Singh collaborated with Bala Rajaratnam, assistant professor of statistics and of environmental Earth system science, and Michael Tsiang, a graduate student in Rajaratnam's research group.
The South Asian summer monsoon is an annual wind-driven weather pattern that is responsible for 85 percent of India 's annual precipitation and is vital for the country's agricultural sector. The monsoon season starts in June and lasts through September.
"The monsoon typically starts in southern India and moves across the subcontinent. By mid-July, it's established over the entire subcontinent," said Singh, who is the lead author of the new study.
Singh said that rainfall extremes during the months of the monsoon season can be as important as how much total water is received. For example, during critical crop growth stages, too many days without rain can reduce yields or lead to crop failure, which can reverberate through India 's agriculture-dependent economy. At the same time, short periods of very heavy rainfall can create humanitarian disasters, such as in 2005, when massive flooding killed thousands of people in Mumbai.
Because such extreme events are rare, it can be difficult to study them objectively. For the new study, Diffenbaugh and his team wanted to test whether the pattern of extreme wet and dry "spells" during the monsoon season had changed in recent decades. Wet and dry spells were defined as three or more consecutive days of extremely high or low rainfall, respectively.
The team compared rainfall data gathered by the Indian Meteorological Department and other sources over a 60-year period. They used rigorous statistical methods to compare peak monsoon rainfall patterns during two time periods: from 1951 to 1980, and from 1981 to 2011.
The scientists looked specifically at rainfall during the months of July and August, which is the peak of the South Asian summer monsoon.
Their analysis focused on central India , which is the core of the monsoon region and has extremely high population densities.
The team analyzed the Indian monsoon data using statistical tools that account for so-called spatial and temporal relationships, which are typically ignored in "classical" or "off-the-shelf" statistical tools that were originally designed for use in the fields of biology, medicine and agriculture.
Such "spatial-temporal dependencies" are particularly important when studying temperature, rainfall and other geophysical phenomena that can change over a daily scale, Rajaratnam said. For example, if it rains today, there's a higher chance that it will rain tomorrow because a storm system is already in place.
"I was intrigued when Noah approached us with the idea of a collaboration, because many studies published on this topic don't use statistical methods that account for spatial-temporal dependencies," said Rajaratnam, who is also an affiliated faculty member at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment.
When the team members analyzed the Indian monsoon data using their statistical methods, they discovered that although the average total rainfall during the monsoon season has declined, the variability of rainfall during the peak monsoon months has increased. In particular, the researchers observed increases in the intensity of wet spells and in the frequency of dry spells.
"The statistical techniques show that the changes in these characteristics are robust and that these changes are unlikely to happen purely by chance," Singh said.
The team's findings match stories told by Indian farmers in recent decades, said Singh, whose family lives in the region of the country affected by the monsoon.
"My grandfather grew up in a village that is primarily dependent on agriculture, and the farmers that live there say that the monsoon rainfall pattern has changed," she said. "They've noticed over the last decade that rainfall occurs in heavy bursts and comes earlier in the monsoon season, and that the dry spells last longer."
The team also found changes in the atmosphere -- such as winds and moisture -that are likely responsible for the changes in wet and dry spells. Diffenbaugh said that the next step is to investigate what might be causing the changes in the atmosphere.
"There are many predictions that global warming should cause heavier downpours and more frequent dry spells," Diffenbaugh said. "That's what we've found here, but India is a complex region, so we want to be sure before we point the finger at global warming or any other cause."
Story Source:
The story is based on materials provided by Stanford University . The original article was written by Ker Than.
Journal Reference:
Deepti Singh, Michael Tsiang, Bala Rajaratnam, Noah S. Diffenbaugh. Observed changes in extreme wet and dry spells during the South Asian summer monsoon season. Nature Climate Change, 2014; DOI: 10.1038/nclimate2208
Stanford University . "Extremes in wet, dry spells increasing for South Asian monsoons, scholars say." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 April 2014 .

Holding The Silent Killers Of Environmental Destruction Accountable By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers

Holding The Silent Killers Of Environmental Destruction Accountable
By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers
29 April, 2014
The findings of the most recent IPCC report are sobering. We have 15 years to mitigate climate disaster. It is up to us to make a major transition to a carbon-free, nuclear-free energy economy within that timeframe. Big Energy and our plutocratic government are not going to do it without effective pressure from a people-powered movement.
Earth Day is no longer about celebration. We are making Mother Earth sick by using extreme methods to extract fuels from her mountains and from beneath her surface and by massive spills of oil, chemicals and radiation. We must mobilize ourselves to take action now to create clean renewable energy and to restore the damage we have done.
More people are getting this concept. This year, there are several major campaigns around Earth Day, for example the Global Climate Convergence and the Cowboy Indian Alliance camp in Washington, DC. We celebrated Earth Day by launching a new national campaign to clean up the thousands of abandoned uranium mines (AUMs) scattered throughout the Great Plains and West Coast.
Uranium: The Invisible Killer
In the days leading up to the launch of Clean Up the Mines campaign , our team of eleven organizers toured Southwest South Dakota to learn more about the AUMs. Our tour was led by Charmaine White Face, a scientist and coordinator of Defenders of the Black Hills, who took us to various sites and brought her Geiger counters. There are 272 AUMs in South Dakota that continue to emit radiation, radon and toxic elements into the air, water and land. The mines were abandoned by corporations like Kerr McGee and Atlantic Richfield who walked away from them when the Uranium Rush that started in the early 1950s was over. We described this in more detail in our previous article about how uranium mines are poisoning the breadbasket of America .  
The Northern Great Plains Region of Colorado, Montana, Wyoming, North and South Dakota contain more than 3,000 AUMs. There are more than 1,000 AUMs in Arizona and New Mexico. In total, in the 15 western states there are estimated to be more than 10,000 AUMs One in 7 people in the western US live within 50 miles of an AUM, according to the EPA. This is a national environmental crisis – a silent Fukushima – for which responsibility needs to be taken.
Researchers have found that the Madison Aquifer, which provides drinking water to 90% of South Dakota's population, has been contaminated by uranium. In addition to South Dakota, the Madison Aquifer is beneath the ground in parts of Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota, and Nebraska. It is not only aquifers that are impacted, the water run-off from AUM's affect the Grand River, Moreau River, Belle Fourche River, Cheyenne River and Missouri River.
Due to uranium contamination in the Colorado River, the drinking water supply for half of the population of the Western US may already be radioactive. Mining near the Colorado River, which flows through the Grand Canyon, threatens the drinking water supplies of millions of people in cities like Phoenix, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas. Samples from 15 springs and 5 wells in the Grand Canyonexhibited dissolved uranium concentrations greater than the EPA maximum for drinking water.
Toxic, radioactive substances from AUMs take the form of dust which travels with the wind for hundreds of miles . Uranium is a silent health threat. As it breaks down, it releases radon, an odorless gas that causes lung disease and cancer. It also emits gamma radiation and radioactive alpha and beta particles, which can cause severe damage to cells if they are released from within the body after when a person drinks contaminated water or inhales contaminated dust. The dust can blow into streams or mix with nearby soil, spreading radioactive contamination.
The adverse health impacts of radiation include cancer and other organ damage, especially during fetal development and in young children. Higher incidences of childhood leukemia, respiratory failure and kidney disease have been recorded near uranium mine sites. Uranium in water has been associated with increased kidney disease .
The health impacts of this silent killer are widespread. Yet, where is the accountability for the corporations who profited from these mines? Where are the federal and state governments responsible for the environment and the health and safety of the population? Those responsible are not being held sufficiently accountable.
South Dakota Tour
Our first stop on the tour was Mount Rushmore which has 169 AUMs within a 50 mile range. We pulled over at a scenic area outside of the monument and measured the radioactivity in the soil which was 15 microrems/hour (52.5 Counts/minute). We entered the park and interviewed White Face in view of Presidents Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt and Lincoln. She told us that the more than 2 million people who visit Mt Rushmore each year are unaware that they are being exposed to radiation. In order to raise awareness, we donned hazardous material suits and walked with a large banner that said “It's time to clean up the mines!”
The next day we visited Riley Pass, located on National Forest Service land; it is one of the largest AUMs in South Dakota. The deadly effect of the mine was apparent from a distance. As we approached the bluff, the tree line ended abruptly at the edge of the mine. When we parked and walked towards the mine, we encountered a warning sign which said “Danger!” and “Stay out, Stay alive.”
The Forest Service acknowledges the risks at Riley Pass, writing that approximately 250 acres have been identified for needing reclamation and clean-up. They describe the site as containing elevated radioactive materials, and heavy metals including onsite mine waste, fine-grained particles which are readily dispersed by wind and surface water erosion. Concentrations of these dangerous toxins range up to “ten times higher for sediment samples in impacted drainages and several hundred times higher for mine waste samples.” They also note that livestock drink water and eat grasses that are toxic from the uranium mine.
2007 action memorandum on Riley Pass done by the Forest Service found that the site posed “an imminent and substantial endangerment to public health, or welfare or the environment.” There has been minimal inadequate action taken to contain the toxins from the AUMs.  The actions taken do not prevent leaching into the groundwater and are more akin to landscaping than to the type of action that is needed. A recent settlement of a lawsuit against Tronox , the corporations responsible for the AUM, will provide $179 million for Riley's Pass clean-up. This inadequate amount is the only funding for South Dakota out of the $5.2 billion settlement. It leaves the other 271 mines without any provisions for clean-up.
From Riley's Pass we went to Ludlow, a nearby town. An elementary school is located a short 200 meters from an AUM. We could see the high rounded wall of the open pit. Using the Geiger counter we measured radioactivity throughout the school are, the highest were in the soil next to a small picnic table at the children's playground. It read 44 microrems/hour (154 Counts/minute) and the air tested at 34 microrems/hour when the wind was still. We calculated that the radioactivity is close to four times the level allowed for families to return to Fukushima.
During the tour, we met people at road stops and during our visits to the mine areas. People from every community spoke of health problems which are commonly related to uranium exposure and their high level of concern over the lack of information about the AUMs and action to remediate them. Many said they had been reassured that the risks were low. However, based on the presence of the mines, the numerous reports of high rates of cancer and disease and the high readings that we measured, we believe that independent studies should be performed to accurately assess the magnitude of the risk and the health impacts.
The People Need to Mobilize to Clean Up The Mines!
On Earth Day, the launch of the Clean Up The Mines! campaign took place near Red Shirt Village on the banks of the dead and poisoned Cheyenne River. The 295 mile long Cheyenne River which runs through Wyoming and South Dakota is damaged by thousands of AUM's in Wyoming according to a 2006 study by the South Dakota Department of Environmental and Natural Resources Water Monitoring Program. The residents can't use the river and can't drink the water from their wells because of uranium and arsenic contamination.
White Face told us that she tested the river water previously for life and found one crayfish after dragging a net for a hundred feet. A local resident pointed to the dead Cotton Wood trees on the river banks and ranchers told us of their difficulty obtaining clean water for their livestock.
Dozens from the community joined with members of organizations including Defenders of Black Hills, Clean Water Alliance, Dakota Rural Action, Peace Pagoda, Veterans for Peace, the Global Climate Convergence and Popular Resistance at the Cheyenne River Bridge. We posted signs stating “Warning, Radioactive River” to raise awareness of the toxic contamination of the Cheyenne River caused by AUMs because there are no permanent signs.
White Face said: “For the American public to be exposed to radioactive pollution and not be warned by federal and state governments is unconscionable; shame on the American federal and state governments for allowing their citizens to be placed in such danger for more than 50 years and not stopping the source of the danger. It is a national travesty.”
In reaction to the Clean Up The Mines! project, a spokesperson for the South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources, told the Associated Press the state doesn't have an abandoned mine program. He refused to comment on the health impacts but claimed the uranium levels were low in South Dakota water. His statements are inconsistent with the experience of people living in the state.
Sandra Cuny Buffington, from the Red Shirt community, a rancher with cattle in the Bad Lands, lived at the river until it wasn't possible anymore because of contamination. She spoke of high rates of cancer in the area. “We know we are contaminated but where are we going to go? I don't know of any other life than the one that I have lived.”
“Abandoned uranium mines are devastating to the health of local populations,” explained Dr.  Jill Stein, former Green Party presidential candidate who is a physician specializing in environmental health issues, “The mines threaten not only our health but our economies and ecosystems as well.” Stein, who participated in the Earth Day event as part of the kick-off of the ten day Global Climate Convergence , went on to say “We are here to insist on cleaning up the mines and transitioning to a clean renewable energy system. This transition can put American back to work while vastly improving our health. The health savings alone will pay for the costs of this transition.”
 Tarak Kauff, a member of the Board of Directors of Veterans for Peace described uranium mining as part of a “war on Mother Earth” and said “It is up to us, an awakened public, ordinary black, brown, white and red people working together to demand, to insure that these toxic highly radioactive abandoned mines be cleaned up – for us and for future generations.”
Helen Jaccard, volunteer with Clean Up The Mines, described uranium, as a problem from “cradle to grave” saying “From mining, to milling and processing, to nuclear bombs and energy, with the left-over depleted uranium turned into weapons and the waste products that have no grave, the only safe place for uranium is in the ground.”  
White Face concluded, “Currently no laws require clean-up of these dangerous abandoned uranium mines. We are letting Congress know: It is time to clean up the mines! We value persistence. We will employ a variety of tactics including legislative and judicial avenues to hold the government and corporations accountable for their negligence and community-based actions to raise awareness and clean up the mines.”
The legal precedence set by the recent settlement with Tronox adds more legitimacy to this struggle. There needs to be greater accountability. You can get involved by joining Clean Up the Mines! Take action to spread awareness of the problem and write to your members of Congress to demand that accurate studies are performed, the mines and water supplies are cleaned up with citizen oversight and those who have been sickened receive the treatment they require.
Accountability for Silent Killers
Exploring the legacy of uranium mining – for Earth destroying weapons of mass destruction and risky nuclear energy – reminded us how far humans have come in environmental destruction. It also showed, once again, how all is related. The Gaia theory of the Earth as a living being where all is connected is evident in the uranium toxicity that spreads through water, air and food
There is a growing movement that links native peoples with the descendants of those who colonized them. Now, many non-natives follow the lead of native peoples against fossil fuel and mineral extraction throughout the continent. It is this kind of solidarity and unity that will not only clean up the mines but will also make even greater changes in our economy, environment and government.
The toxicity of AUMs also reminds us of the cost of living under the rule of an illegitimate government where money, not the people, rule; of big finance capitalism that puts profit ahead of people and planet – and is enabled by the corrupt corporate government. The experience of the uranium mines shows us that even if it means people will die younger than they should, profit is king when we live under the ‘rule of money.' It shows us we have an even larger task – ending a plutocratic oligarchy and creating a real democracy where the people rule.
AUMs are one example of many.  This week expert testimony before the National Transportation Safety Board said that oil traintanker leaks were inevitable . And, the nation is being covered in tar sands, gas and oil pipelines – all with terrible records of leaks. Yet, the federal agency that regulates pipelines and railroad transit of oil is cutting its already too small staff by 9%. The plutocrats will get their profits and the Earth will be plundered and polluted.
And, of course it is not only environmental destruction. This week we are seeing Obama's new chairman of the FCC, who has served as a telecom industry lobbyist for two decades, pushing the end of net neutrality and a tiered system of Internet access, one for those with the money to pay for fast service and a slow lane for those who cannot. ( Take action to stop the destruction of the Internet here; the next two weeks are critical .) The plutocrats will get wealthy while the Internet as we know it will be undermined.
Earth Day, which started out as part of an environmental movement that helped create major changes, has become a celebration of picnics, co-opted by corporations rather than education and mobilization to confront the environmental crisis. Even the Petroleum Institute pushes further environmental destruction under the Earth Day banner.  We need to remember how the first Earth Day linked labor to the environment and realize that the necessities of the people are connected to a healthy planet. At a time when we are seeing mass species die-off, destruction of the ocean and other water sources as well as a planet threatened by climate change, Earth Day needs to become about urgent transformation.
Robert Koehler writes about what we need to do in his reflection on how we have lost a decade of environmental collapse and cannot afford to lose another one:
“We need intense activism along with structural analysis and the building of alternative, sustainable lifestyles. We need wisdom, reverence and creativity that we pull up from the depths of our uncertainty. Author  Joanna Macy  calls it ‘the Great Turning.' It's a shift in consciousness that aligns social healing, economic fairness and an end to war with environmental sustainability. And the time to make it happen is running out. We can't afford to lose another decade, or another twenty minutes.”
It is time to face the destruction wrought by the human species on the planet; and take responsibility by mobilizing to reverse the destruction of Gaia. Together, is the only way we can do it.
This article is produced by  Popular Resistance  in conjunction with AlterNet .   It is a weekly review of the activities of the resistance movement. Sign up for the daily news digest of Popular Resistance, here.
Kevin Zeese, JD and Margaret Flowers, MD are organizers of ; they co-direct  It's Our Economy  and co-host  Clearing the FOG . Their twitters are  @KBZeese  and  MFlowers8 .

Over 4% of US Death Row Prisoners Are Innocent, Finds Study

Over 4% of US Death Row Prisoners Are Innocent, Finds Study
By Countercurrents
29 April, 2014
new study – “Rate of false conviction of criminal defendants who are sentenced to death” – estimated that no less than four percent of the approximately 3,000 US prisoners waiting to be put to death are in fact innocent of the crimes they committed.
The study report observed: “The number of innocents waiting for death is shocking, and it’s far less than the inmates who are freed before execution.”
Researchers and legal experts from Pennsylvania, Michigan, and other areas around the US examined the so-called “dark figure” that underscores the death penalty debate: how many of the people sentenced to die for their crime are actually innocent?
The result published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States, is described as a “deliberately conservative” number, which makes clear that wrongful convictions are not as uncommon as many would like to believe.
Authors of the study (published online before print April 28, 2014, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1306417111, PNAS April 28, 2014) are: Samuel R. Gross of the University of Michigan Law School, Ann Arbor; Barbara O’Brien, Michigan State University College of Law, East Lansing; Chen Hu, American College of Radiology Clinical Research Center, Philadelphia; and Edward H. Kennedy, Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia. The report was edited by Lee D. Ross of Stanford University.
The report said:
Legal teams determined that if all of those wrongfully convicted had their sentences cleared, the exoneration rate would jump from its current 1.6 percent to no less than 4.1 percent. The 4.1 percent is higher than previous estimates, although the researchers are confident that their method of “survival analysis” research was effective.
By that logic, around 340 prisoners should have been released over the 30 years analyzed in the study, whereas only 138 were exonerated in that time.
“This is a disturbing finding,” Samuel Gross, a law professor at the University of Michigan law school and the lead author of this study, told the Guardian. “There are a large number of people who are sentenced to death, and despite our best efforts some of them have undoubtedly been executed.”
“If you look at the numbers in our study, at how many errors are made, then you cannot believe that we haven’t executed any innocent person – that would be wishful thinking,” said Smith.
Statisticians investigating the matter were unable to accurately determine how many innocent men and women were executed, yet they took exception with a claim from US Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who previously suggested that criminal convictions have an “error rate of 0.27% - or, to put it another way, a success rate of 99.973%.”
“That would be comforting, if true,” the study authors wrote. “In fact, the claim is silly.”
Richard Dieter, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center, told journalist Ed Pilkington that “every time we have an execution, there is a risk of executing an innocent person. The risk may be small, but it’s unacceptable.”
Gross and his fellow academics said more prisoners than the number who were executed seem to have fallen between the cracks. In the years from 1993 to 2004 about 2,675 people were taken off death row when questions about their conviction were raised. That total represents more than one-third (36 percent) of all people sentenced to death over those three decades.
Instead of being exonerated, though, many of those thousands of people were given new sentences (more often than not life without parole) that will ensure their death behind bars anyway. Their situation is in some ways even more precarious because no longer being under threat of execution means they are no longer seen as a priority in the system, either by judges, prisoner advocate groups, or the department of corrections itself.
“The best efforts of the judicial system are only devoted to prisoners when they faced execution,” Gross explained. “In many cases when people are released from death row, little or nothing is done to deal with the equally bad injustice they now faced – that they will spend the rest of their lives in prison for a crime they didn’t commit.”
The researchers said:
“The rate of erroneous conviction of innocent criminal defendants is often described as not merely unknown but unknowable. There is no systematic method to determine the accuracy of a criminal conviction; if there were, these errors would not occur in the first place. As a result, very few false convictions are ever discovered, and those that are discovered are not representative of the group as a whole.
“In the United States, however, a high proportion of false convictions that do come to light and produce exonerations are concentrated among the tiny minority of cases in which defendants are sentenced to death. This makes it possible to use data on death row exonerations to estimate the overall rate of false conviction among death sentences.

“The high rate of exoneration among death-sentenced defendants appears to be driven by the threat of execution, but most death-sentenced defendants are removed from death row and resentenced to life imprisonment, after which the likelihood of exoneration drops sharply.
The researchers used survival analysis, and estimated that “if all death-sentenced defendants remained under sentence of death indefinitely, at least 4.1% would be exonerated.” Thus they concluded that “this is a conservative estimate of the proportion of false conviction among death sentences in the United States.”
The report said:
In the past few decades a surge of hundreds of exonerations of innocent criminal defendants has drawn attention to the problem of erroneous conviction, and led to a spate of reforms in
criminal investigation and adjudication. All the same, the most basic empirical question about false convictions remains unanswered: How common are these miscarriages of justice?
False convictions, by definition, are unobserved when they occur: If we know that a defendant is innocent, he is not convicted in the first place. They are also extremely difficult to detect after the fact. As a result, the great majority of innocent defendants remain undetected. The rate of such errors is often described as a
“dark figure”, an important measure of the
performance of the criminal justice system that is not merely unknown but unknowable.
However, there is no shortage of lawyers and judges who assert confidently that the number of false convictions is negligible.
The researchers quoted Judge Learned Hand. Judge Hand said in 1923:
“Our [criminal] procedure has always been haunted by the ghost of the innocent man convicted. It is an unreal dream”.
They also quoted Justice Antonin Scalia. In 2007, Justice Scalia wrote in a concurring opinion in the Supreme Court that American criminal convictions have an “error rate of [0].027 percent or, to put it another way, a success rate of 99.973 percent”.
This, the researchers said, would be comforting, if true. In fact, the claim is silly. Scalia’s ratio is derived by taking the number of known exonerations at the time, which were limited almost entirely to a small subset of murder and rape cases, using it as a measure of all false convictions (known and unknown), and dividing it by the number of all felony convictions for all crimes, from drug possession and burglary to car theft and income tax evasion.
They said:
The rate of exonerations among death sentences in the United States is far higher than for any other category of criminal convictions. Death sentences represent less than one-tenth of 1% of
prison sentences in the United States, but they accounted for about 12% of known exonerations of innocent defendants from 1989 through early 2012, a disproportion of more than 130 to 1.
The study report said: “The vast majority of criminal convictions are not candidates for exoneration because no one makes any effort to reconsider the guilt of the defendants. Approximately 95% of felony convictions in the United States are based on negotiated pleas of guilty (plea bargains) that are entered in routine proceedings at which no evidence is presented. Few are ever subject to any review whatsoever. Most convicted defendants are never represented by an attorney after conviction, and the appeals that do take place are usually perfunctory and unrelated to guilt or innocence.”
It added: “The rate of erroneous conviction of innocent criminal defendants is often described as not merely unknown but unknowable. We use survival analysis to model this effect, and estimate that if all death-sentenced defendants remained under sentence of death indefinitely at least 4.1% would be exonerated. We conclude that this is a conservative estimate of the proportion of false conviction among death sentences in the United States.”
The study report said: “[F]alse convictions are far more likely to be detected among those cases that end in death sentences than in any other category of criminal convictions.”
The study report said: “The high exoneration rate for death sentences suggests that a substantial proportion of innocent defendants who are sentenced to death are ultimately exonerated, perhaps a majority.”
It said: “[T]he proportion of death-sentenced inmates who are exonerated understates the rate of false convictions among death sentences because the intensive search for possible errors is largely abandoned once the threat of execution is removed.”
The study report said: “We know that 7,482 defendants were sentenced to death in the United States from January 1973 through December 2004, and we know when (if ever) each defendant was removed from death row by execution, death by other means, or legal action by courts or executive officials. In the study period, 4% died of suicide or natural causes.”
It said: “If the pattern for death sentences from 1973 through 1995 holds, over two-thirds of prisoners sentenced to death will have the judgments against them overturned. The majority will remain in prison for life.”
As example, the report cited the case of Ronald Williamson sentenced to death in Oklahoma in 1988. Ronald was awarded a new trial in 1997 because of constitutionally inadequate representation by his trial lawyer. He was exonerated by DNA testing 2 y later, in 1999, while awaiting a retrial at which he might have been sentenced to death again. His exoneration was under threat of execution.
The report said: “[A]ll prisoners who are sentenced to death do ultimately die in prison. They all start out on death row, some stay there until death by execution by other means, and the rest eventually are moved to the general prison population where they remain until they die.”
It said: “The most charged question in this area is different: How many innocent defendants have been put to death?”
It added: “In general, American courts are reluctant to reverse or even reconsider the guilt of convicted defendants.”