May 14, 2009

Elite IDF soldier confesses to looting Gaza home during war: Ha’aretz

An elite Israel Defense Forces soldier confessed on Tuesday to stealing a credit card from a home in northern Gaza during the recent offensive against Hamas and using it to withdraw NIS 1,600 in Israel. The soldier, who serves in the Givati infantry unit’s reconnaissance battalion, was arrested last week with one of his comrades. The second soldier was released after his friend confessed.Following the soldier’s confession, the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit relayed: “The IDF examines every incident that is not in line with the laws of the state and the principles of the IDF.” The army’s police investigative unit launched a probe into the allegations last month after receiving a complaint. A Palestinian residing in the northern Gaza Strip claimed his credit card was stolen during Operation Cast Lead, the codename for Israel’s offensive against Hamas. A short while later, his credit card statement revealed that a number of products were purchased in Israel. In the statement released Tuesday by the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit, the army further said: “In light of the nature of the complaint, the military prosecution ordered the Military Police Investigation unit to open probes in which they would take evidence in order to examine the claims.”

“As is customary,” the unit added, “the investigations are accompanied by prosecutors for operational matters who will check the findings and recommend steps to take, should this be found necessary. “Following these claims two soldiers were arrested for investigation by the Military Police Investigation unit.”

New report: The Electronic Police State

2008 National Rankings
Most of us are aware that our governments monitor nearly every form of electronic communication. We are also aware of private companies doing
the same. This strikes most of us as slightly troubling, but very few of us say or do much about it. There are two primary reasons for this:
1. We really don’t see how it is going to hurt us. Mass surveillance is certainly a new, odd, and perhaps an ominous thing, but we just
don’t see a complete picture or a smoking gun. 2. We are constantly surrounded with messages that say, “Only crazy people complain about the government.”
However, the biggest obstacle to our understanding is this: The usual image of a “police state” includes secret police dragging people out of their homes at night, with scenes out of Nazi Germany or Stalin’s USSR. The problem with these images is that they are horribly outdated. That’s how things worked during your grandfather’s war – that is not how things work now. An electronic police state is quiet, even unseen. All of its legal actions are supported by abundant evidence. It looks pristine. An electronic police state is characterized by this:
State use of electronic technologies to record, organize, search and distribute forensic evidence against its citizens.
The two crucial facts about the information gathered under an electronic police state are these:
1. It is criminal evidence, ready for use in a trial.
2. It is gathered universally and silently, and only later organized for use in prosecutions.
In an Electronic Police State, every surveillance camera recording, every email you send, every Internet site you surf, every post you make, every
check you write, every credit card swipe, every cell phone ping… are all criminal evidence, and they are held in searchable databases, for a long,
long time. Whoever holds this evidence can make you look very, very bad whenever they care enough to do so. You can be prosecuted whenever
they feel like it – the evidence is already in their database.

The list includes 52 states, and here are the first nine:

Here are the 52 states and their rankings:
1. China
2. North Korea
3. Belarus
4. Russia
5. United Kingdom: England & Wales
6. United States of America
7. Singapore
8. Israel

Surprise, surprise!

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