Monday, December 11, 2023

Bernardo Pantaleon

I am destroyed by the story of Bernardo Pantaleon (C.I. covered it in Monday morning's Iraq snapshot that I'll repost in just a moment).

Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Monday, December 11, 2023.  The slaughter of Gaza continues, the US voted Friday for further slaughter back vetoing a UN Security Council motion, many around the world are calling the US out and much more.

Bernardo Pantaleon.  He was a 30 year old man killed last month.  Where?  Palestine if Julianna Margulies is to be believed.  Remember her homophobic, racist and transphobic remarks at the end of last month?  See Ava and my "Media: Save us from the shallow, uninformed liars" and Ann's "Bald headed Karen Julianna Margulies is also a racist" and Mike's "Idiot of the week."  Despite the rhetoric (hate speech) from Julianna, Bernardo was killed in the US.   FOX 10 PHOENIX writes:

Investigators say the man was found dead in the area of a park near 7th Avenue and Cinnabar on Nov. 26.
"[The victim's] body was mutilated, postmortem, with a sharp-edged object," read a portion of the court documents.
Four people have been arrested in connection with the murder. The incident may involve an anti-LGBT element, as court documents state that a group chat involving the suspects had "derogatory remarks regarding the victim's sexuality, and a derogatory statement about homosexuals not being allowed in the northside."
In all, four people have been arrested, and one of the suspects is now linked by police to a second murder that happened months prior.

Might have an anti-LGBTQ+ component?  Are reporters in Arizona that stupid?  Or they that homophobic?  The man who is suspected of killing Bernardo, who was gay, is Leonardo Santiago and since his arrest for Bernardo's murder, it's been learned that Santiago, back in March, murdered Osvaldo Hernandez Castillo -- who was also gay -- murdered him by shooting him in the head while filming it on his camera and then posted it to social media.  And that part is not in question.  He admits/brags that he killed Osvaldo and the footage is on his phone.  

According to court documents, police were able to link Santiago to this murder when they accessed his cell phone following his arrest for the murder and mutilation of 30-year-old Bernardo Pantaleon.

Under questioning from police — and after being read his Miranda rights — Santiago claimed that he killed Pantaleon after “an unwanted advance made him uncomfortable.”

However, the investigation into [Osvaldo Hernandez] Castillo’s death uncovered information leading prosecutors to believe that Santiago lured Castillo through the popular Snapchat app by arranging a sexual encounter with his victim.

Both Bernardo and Osvaldo were murdered because they were gay.  And as bad as it is that Bernardo and Osvaldo were murdered, the November murder of Bernardo was even worse because, he wasn't just killed.  His body was mutilated, photos were taken of his body and sent to his family.  

Arizona police have arrested four men in connection with the death of a gay man, whose mutilated body was found near a Phoenix park, and of sending his family photos of the body.

Christopher Ibarra, 21, was the latest to be arrested on Wednesday in the death of 30-year-old Bernardo Pantaleon, KPHO-TV in Phoenix reported. Jose Rodriguez, 20, Leonardo Santiago, 21, and Manuel Carrasco-Calderon, 21, were arrested last Friday.

Though prosecutors say Santiago was the one who killed Pantaleon, all four men are facing murder charges, the KPHO reported. 

Imagine being the parent or sibling of Bernardo and being destroyed by his death and then receiving photos of his mutilated body?  Hate crimes.  

Bernardo was murdered November 26th.  CBS NEWS reported, "On Nov. 26, Pantaleon's body was found with "significant trauma" on a trail near Mountain View Park, CBS affiliate KPHO-TV reported. Pantaleon's family said he was found naked, beaten and brutally tortured, so bad that detectives asked loved ones not to see him in that condition."  Rey Covarrubias Jr. (ARIZONA REPUBLIC) reports:

On Nov. 30, Pantaleon's family received photos on Instagram of his mutilated body, and another of an unknown person flipping their middle finger with the body in frame.

A profile visible in one of the photos lead the police to Santiago, and later to the group chat where Santiago, Calderon and Rodriguez orchestrated Pantaleon's death. The chat contained messages that made derogatory remarks about Pantaleon's sexuality and that gay people were "not being allowed in the north side."

On Monday evening at the QuikTrip at Cactus and Cave Creek roads, Phoenix police arrested 21-year-old, Christopher Ibarra on one count of first-degree murder and a gang-related charge. Court documents revealed he knew about the social media group chat that planned the killing of Pantaleon.

Julianna Margulies?  "Lies" is right there in her last name, folks.  In Julianna's hate filled mind, these crimes don't take place in the US.  In her hate filled mind, Palestinians are not humans and deserve to be killed and wounded.  Palestinians are people like any other people anywhere else in the world.  And lies and propaganda -- even from the trashy mouth of Julianna -- do not change that reality.

But the hate she spews is no different than the hate that led to the murders of Bernardo and Osvaldo in the United States this year.

 This morning, ALJAZEERA reports:

UN Security Council envoys have arrived in Egypt to inspect the Rafah border crossing with Gaza amid the worsening crisis in the besieged enclave.

The daylong visit, organised by the UAE and Egypt, involves about a dozen ambassadors, including those from Russia and the UK. The US and France did not send any representatives.

“There is no justification for turning a blind eye to the pain and suffering inflicted on the Palestinian people in Gaza,” an Egyptian Foreign Ministry official told the envoys during a briefing following their arrival.

UAE’s ambassador to the UN, Lana Nusseibeh, asserted the countries participating were doing so in their “national and personal capacities” and the trip was aimed to “help understand not only the suffering and destruction experienced by the people of Gaza, but also their hope and their strength”.

In related news, ALJAZEERA notes, "The World Health Organization has agreed on a resolution, the first by any United Nations agency, calling for immediate access to vital humanitarian aid and an end to the fighting in Gaza. The resolution – calling for the 'immediate, sustained and unimpeded passage of humanitarian relief, including the access of medical personnel' – was adopted by consensus at the end of a special session of the WHO’s Executive Board on Sunday."

Why is that necessary?  Because of the US government, because of Joe  Biden, because of what took place Friday.  Mallory Moench (TIME) reported Saturday

The U.S. is facing criticism from the Palestinian Authority that governs the West Bank, and other global leaders and organizations, after it vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution calling for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war.

The security council held an emergency meeting on Friday after U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres invoked Article 99, a rare move to force a vote on the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Gaza, where two million people are displaced. The Hamas-run health ministry says 17,000 people have been killed under an Israeli campaign to eliminate the militant group after its Oct. 7 attack that killed 1,200 people and took an estimated 240 hostage. More than 100 remain in captivity. 

The U.S. vetoed a resolution calling for a ceasefire put forward by the United Arab Emirates and backed by more than 90 Member States at a meeting in New York City. Compared to 13 council members’ votes in favor, the U.S. was the sole veto. The U.K. abstained. 

Yes, the White House is facing criticism.  Even from Recep.

That's Recep Tayyip Erdogan, president of Turkey, and he's calling out the US.  Recep who does the same to the Kurds in Turkey  that is being done to the Palestinians is calling out the US.  Because anyone can now.  The US government is in the wrong -- completely -- and now even Recep can call the US government out.  And he can do it on strong ground.  There's no weak foundation that's about to crumble under him as he makes this call.

The vote on Friday resulted from Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, triggered the vote.  As noted in the December 7th snapshot:

Edith M. Lederer (AP) reports:

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres used a rarely exercised power to warn the Security Council on Wednesday of an impending “humanitarian catastrophe” in Gaza and urged its members to demand an immediate humanitarian cease-fire.

His letter to the council’s 15 members said Gaza’s humanitarian system was at risk of collapse after two months of war that has created “appalling human suffering, physical destruction and collective trauma,” and he demanded civilians be spared greater harm.

Article 99?  ALJAZEERA explains:

It’s a special power, and the only independent political tool given to the secretary-general in the UN Charter. It allows him to call a meeting of the Security Council on his own initiative to issue warnings about new threats to international peace and security and matters that are not yet on the council’s agenda.

In Article 99, the charter states, “the Secretary General may bring to the attention of the Security Council any matter which in his opinion may threaten the maintenance of international peace and security”.

Now Guterres will have the right to speak at the Security Council, without having to be invited to speak by a member state, as is usually the case.

THE NEW YORK TIMES notes that the veto "has sparked frustration among Arab governments that are pushing to end the conflict, with one group of regional officials expressing 'deep dissatisfaction' over the move. Mahmoud Abbas, the leader of the Palestinian Authority -- which Washington and others have floated as a potential governing body for postwar Gaza --  called the veto 'a mark of shame that will follow the United States for many years' and said that American officials' policy toward Israel had made their country 'a partner in genocide'."  As if the veto wasn't bad enough, there's the ongoing supply issue and the lack of Congressional oversight.  Wafaa Shurafa and Bassem Mroue (AP) report, "The sale of nearly 14,000 rounds of tank ammunition was announced a day after the U.S. vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution demanding an immediate cease-fire in Gaza, a measure that had wide international support. The U.S. said Secretary of State Antony Blinken determined that 'an emergency exists' in the national interest requiring the immediate sale, meaning it bypasses congressional review. Such a determination is rare."  Julia Connelly (COMMON DREAMS) adds, "The State Department notified congressional committees of the sale around 11:00 pm EST Friday, hours after a new Pew Research poll showed that only 35% of Americans support the Biden administration's backing of Israel's attacks on Gaza. The Israel Defense Forces have now killed more than 17,700 Palestinians in Gaza in just over two months, while claiming they are targeting Hamas."   Missy Ryan, Michael Birnbaum, Abigail Hauslohner and John Hudson (WASHINGTON POST) note:

The Biden administration faces mounting pressure over its provision of powerful weapons to Israel, with the spiraling death toll in Gaza deepening questions about whether the United States, as the country’s chief military backer, must do more to ensure civilians’ safety.

Rights groups, along with a growing bloc from within President Biden’s Democratic Party, are intensifying scrutiny of the arms flow to Israel that has included tens of thousands of bombs since Hamas militants’ bloody attacks of Oct. 7. Local authorities say that at least 17,700 people, many of them civilians, have been killed in Israel’s operation to dismantle the Palestinian group.


At the UN, the Americans duly vetoed this resolution calling for a ceasefire. For those concerned about the significant loss of life, that does sound a bit hollow - the Americans claim the Israelis are saying they will stick to the rules of war and avoid unnecessary civilian deaths. But, they say, there is a gap between what Israel says and what it does.

I think the strategy behind the secretary general's decision to bring a vote - which he knew would probably get vetoed - was to hurry up the inevitable moment when the Americans will say to Israel: "Enough is enough, you've had enough time and killed enough people and it's time for a ceasefire."

Some diplomats I have spoken to have said they might give the Israelis another month - I think Mr Guterres's strategy is to try and shorten that, partly by increasing international pressure and also partly by shaming the Americans into thinking that they cannot continue to hold this position as it becomes less and less tenable.

That pressure has also increased today with the publication of footage of prisoners in Gaza, held by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), stripped to their underwear and being driven away in trucks. It's a cruel image of war seeing these men, which local reports on social media suggest could be as many as 700.

Those same sources, including family of some of the men, say that they were taken from a UN school where they were sheltering, and where others tried to get away and were killed. 

Lee Ying Shan (CNBC) notes this morning:

Palestinian officials expressed resounding disappointment after the United States vetoed a United Nations resolution calling for an immediate humanitarian cease-fire in Gaza.

“It was the U.S. who failed the Palestinians,” Palestinian Ambassador to the United Kingdom Husam Zomlot told CNBC’s Dan Murphy on the sidelines of the Doha Forum in Qatar on Sunday. “The U.S. has stood between humanity and peace and security.” The White House did not immediately respond to a CNBC request for comment.

The U.S. on Friday vetoed a U.N. Security Council draft resolution that was backed by thirteen Security Council members, while the United Kingdom abstained. 

At ZNET, Ralph Nader observes:

The humiliation of the U.S. government, which is actively complicit in providing the weaponry, funding, and UN vetoes backing the Israeli government’s attack on the civilian Palestinians/Arabs in tiny Gaza, is in plain view daily. All in the name of the unasked American people and taxpayers.

Earlier this week, at a House of Representatives’ hearing, Trump toady Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) repeatedly assailed three University presidents with the question of would they discipline students calling for the genocide of Jews, without any evidence that this hateful speech is prevalent on campus.

Pursuing her fulminations, Stefanik was cruelly oblivious to the real ongoing genocide in Gaza with her support of unconditional shipment of American F-16s, 155mm. missiles and other weapons of mass destruction used to kill children, women and the elderly who had nothing to do with the preventable October 7th Hamas violence.

Meanwhile, a State Department spokesman continues to say that the Israeli government does not intentionally target civilians. With U.S. drones over Gaza daily, Secretary of State Antony Blinken has visual proof that the overwhelming bombing on civilian structures is killing innocent civilians.

The evidence is in the rubble of hospitals, health clinics, ambulances, schools, libraries, places of worship, marketplaces, water mains, homes, apartment buildings, and piles of unburied corpses being eaten by stray dogs.  All this information is in the possession of bomber Biden’s regime.

The Bidenites and their bloodthirsty cohorts in Congress were forewarned when the Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Galant and other Israeli officials on October 8th shouted these chilling genocidal orders to their army: “No electricity, no food, no fuel, no water.… We are fighting human animals and will act accordingly.” (See, Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide). Add an already illegal 16-year Israeli blockade of 2.3 Palestinians suffering from dire poverty, with 40% of their children down with anemia.

Now, about half of Gaza’s population are children, 85% of the entire population is homeless, wandering helplessly into nowhere, afflicted with pending starvation, sickened by spreading infectious diseases and dirty drinking water.  There is little or no medicines for diabetics and cancer patients. No surgery, no anesthesia, no emergency transport, no shelter from cold weather, only American-made bombs and missiles blowing up Palestinians into bits with Israeli snipers everywhere.

The assault on Gaza continues.  Binoy Kampmark (DISSIDENT VOICE) points out, "Bloodletting as form; murder as fashion.  The ongoing campaign in Gaza by Israel’s Defence Forces continues without stalling and restriction.  But the burgeoning number of corpses is starting to become a challenge for the propaganda outlets:  How to justify it?  Fortunately for Israel, the United States, its unqualified defender, is happy to provide cover for murder covered in the sheath of self-defence."   CNN has explained, "The Gaza Strip is 'the most dangerous place' in the world to be a child, according to the executive director of the United Nations Children's Fund."  ABC NEWS quotes UNICEF's December 9th statement, ""The Gaza Strip is the most dangerous place in the world to be a child. Scores of children are reportedly being killed and injured on a daily basis. Entire neighborhoods, where children used to play and go to school have been turned into stacks of rubble, with no life in them."  NBC NEWS notes, "Strong majorities of all voters in the U.S. disapprove of President Joe Biden’s handling of foreign policy and the Israel-Hamas war, according to the latest national NBC News poll. The erosion is most pronounced among Democrats, a majority of whom believe Israel has gone too far in its military action in Gaza."  The slaughter continues.  It has displaced over 1 million people per the US Congressional Research Service.  Jessica Corbett (COMMON DREAMS) points out, "Academics and legal experts around the world, including Holocaust scholars, have condemned the six-week Israeli assault of Gaza as genocide."  ABC NEWS notes, "In the Gaza Strip, at least 16,248 people have been killed and 42,000 have been wounded by Israeli forces since Oct. 7, according to the Hamas-run Palestinian Health Ministry."  In addition to the dead and the injured, there are the missing.  AP notes, "About 4,000 people are reported missing."  And the area itself?  Isabele Debre (AP) reveals, "Israel’s military offensive has turned much of northern Gaza into an uninhabitable moonscape. Whole neighborhoods have been erased. Homes, schools and hospitals have been blasted by airstrikes and scorched by tank fire. Some buildings are still standing, but most are battered shells."  Kieron Monks (I NEWS) reports, "More than 40 per cent of the buildings in northern Gaza have been damaged or destroyed, according to a new study of satellite imagery by US researchers Jamon Van Den Hoek from Oregon State University and Corey Scher at the City University of New York. The UN gave a figure of 45 per cent of housing destroyed or damaged across the strip in less than six weeks. The rate of destruction is among the highest of any conflict since the Second World War."  Max Butterworth (NBC NEWS) adds, "Satellite images captured by Maxar Technologies on Sunday reveal three of the main hospitals in Gaza from above, surrounded by the rubble of destroyed buildings after weeks of intense bombing in the region by Israeli forces."

Friday, on DEMOCRACY NOW!, Amy Goodman noted, "Video has emerged showing Israeli soldiers in Beit Lahia in northern Gaza detaining over 100 Palestinian men at gunpoint, forcing them to strip to their underwear while lined up, kneeling on the pavement. Among those detained was Diaa Al-Kahlout, a Palestinian journalist with the London-based pan-Arab newspaper Al-Araby Al-Jadeed. In a statement, the newspaper condemned the mistreatment of Al-Kahlout and other civilians, saying Israeli forces 'deliberately subjected the Gazans to degrading treatment, forcing them to disrobe, conducting intrusive searches, and subjecting them to humiliation upon arrest, before forcibly transporting them to undisclosed locations'."  Today, AP reports that they spoke with several of the detainees, "One of those freed, Osama Oula said troops ordered all men to come down to the street in their underwear. He said the men were were taken to a yard, handcuffed and dropped off at a warehouse. During days of questioning, the men were beaten and forced to walk or sleep on raw rice, causing great pain, he said."

I didn't watch the garbage that was HOMELAND and the reason why is I avoid it and all 'adventure' product based on Israeli entertainment is due to the fact that the Israeli government practices and promotes torture. I'm sure the Israeli government will deny that torture took place but their long history of practicing it makes any such claim hard to believe.  As AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL noted last month:

Israeli authorities have dramatically increased their use of administrative detention, a form of arbitrary detention, of Palestinians across the occupied West Bank; extended emergency measures that facilitate inhuman and degrading treatment of prisoners; and failed to investigate incidents of torture and death in custody over the past four weeks, Amnesty International said today.  

Since 7 October, Israeli forces have detained more than 2,200 Palestinian men and women, according to the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club. According to Israeli human rights organization HaMoked between 1 October and 1 November, the total number of Palestinians held in administrative detention, without charge or trial, rose from 1,319 to 2,070.  

Testimony from released detainees and human rights lawyers, as well as video footage and images illustrate some of the forms of torture and other ill-treatment prisoners have been subjected to by Israeli forces over the past four weeks. These include severe beatings and humiliation of detainees, including by forcing them to keep their heads down, to kneel on the floor during inmate count, and to sing Israeli songs.   

“Over the last month we have witnessed a significant spike in Israel’s use of administrative detention – detention without charge or trial that can be renewed indefinitely – which was already at a 20-year high before the latest escalation in hostilities on 7 October. Administrative detention is one of the key tools through which Israel has enforced its system of apartheid against Palestinians. Testimonies and video evidence also point to numerous incidents of torture and other ill-treatment by Israeli forces including severe beatings and deliberate humiliation of Palestinians who are detained in dire conditions,” said Heba Morayef, Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa.  

[. . .]

Amnesty International has for decades documented widespread torture by Israeli authorities in places of detention across the West Bank.  However, over the past four weeks, videos and images have been shared widely online showing gruesome scenes of Israeli soldiers beating and humiliating Palestinians while detaining them blind-folded, stripped, with their hands tied, in a particularly chilling public display of torture and humiliation of Palestinian detainees. 

War Crimes are taking place.  It's a moment that test humanity.  Jeffrey St Clair (COUNTERPUNCH) offers:

+ Americans are experiencing a rare chance to relive in real-time echoes of the darkest episodes of our own history–from the howitzering of the exhausted Nez Perce in the Bear Paws to the slaughter of nearly frozen Lakota women and children at Wounded Knee; from the internment of Japanese-Americans to the grotesqueries of Abu Ghraib–and seem to have decided it was all for the greater good.

+ Gaza 2023, not Iraq 2004…

+ The Financial Times reported this week that the retaliatory bombing of Gaza with American weapons and American consent may have already surpassed the death toll from the retaliatory bombing of Dresden by US and UK bombers during the waning days of WW II.


The following sites updated:

No comments: