Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Search

Military Industrial Complex - search results

If you're not happy with the results, please do another search

Trump’s Military Industrial Complex

This budget will be a public safety and national security budget. — President Donald J. Trump, February 27, 2017 Humming along the road of American empire...

Chris Coyne: What is the Military Industrial Complex?

When govt and private military contractors get too close, “People are shipped off to fight and die without making our...

The Coming End of the EU-USA Military Industrial Complex?

The hallmark of the months leading to today’s EU referendum has been horrifying censorship. One can but hope that Noam Chomsky’s dictum that censorship is...
video

Video: Bilderberg 2016: The military industrial complex mismanagers’ scramble to save the European Union

All credit to Luke Rudkowski for this http;//www.twitter.com/lukewearechange BBC Receives £71000 Of Secret EU Cash Each Month By Miles Goslett | 3:50 am, ... Via...

Ron Paul on NDAA 2017: Military Industrial Complex Wins, People Lose

Daniel McAdams The Defense Authorization bill is supposed to be an opportunity for Congress to shape national defense priorities and share the responsibility with the...

Military industrial complex: British Army teams up with big business to swell ranks

With recruitment in crisis, the British Army is teaming up with private firms to encourage...

US warning about terrorism is to justify funding military industrial complex: Analyst

The latest warning by the top US intelligence official about Daesh (ISIL) inspired extremists threatening the United States is a deceptive scheme to exaggerate...

40 years after Vietnam, the military industrial complex continues its rampage of war crimes

It was 40 years ago today that the last troops from America's criminal war against the people of Vietnam scurried ignominiously onto a helicopter...

Military industrial complex spends $120+ million a year on lobbying

The US is exceptional ... when it comes to war profiteering. Ever since the Supreme Court said that defense contractors can buy off politicians left...

Monsanto’s “Insidious” GM0 Food and its Dark Connections to the Military Industrial Complex

Steven MacMillan RINF Alternative News Monsanto, the world’s largest genetically modified (GM/GMO) seed producer, has been at the centre of controversy for decades as evidence of...

BLM Whistleblower: Reid Bunkerville And The Military Industrial Complex

You saw his proof. Now meet BLM Whistleblower Rusty Hill who uncovered the corporations and shady land deals connected to Reid Bunkerville LLC, Zion...

Fighting The Corrupt Military Industrial Complex – The Legacy of Tony Benn

Binoy Kampmark  RINF Alternative News Their scanning us for hidden socialism, you know. — Tony Benn to Nigel Nelson on going through a metal detector,The Daily Mirror,...

Why the Military Industrial Complex Needs Al-Qaeda, the Best Enemy Money Can Buy

Paul Joseph Watson Recent reports that Al-Qaeda militants have taken over parts of Iraq serve as a stark reminder that the United States has for...

Major General Smedley Butler — The Military Industrial Complex’s Original Whistleblower

Sigmund Fraud wakingtimes.com September 18, 2013 After marking the 12th anniversary of the terrible events of 9/11 and remembering the over 3000 lives that...

Obama’s Syria Attack: The Health of the Military Industrial Complex

Kurt NimmoInfowars.comAugust 31, 2013 Following twin war drum speeches by Secretary of State John Kerry and...

The University of California and the Military Industrial Complex

Department of Homeland Security secretary Janet Napolitano’s nomination to be the 22nd president of the University of California announced days ago has already provoked...

Is the NSA Blackmail Inc. for the military industrial complex?

Jon RappoportInfowars.comJune 29, 2013 Every director of the NSA is a general or an admiral. The NSA...

How the Pentagon’s Military Industrial Complex Corrupted Afghanistan

America’s post-9/11 conflicts have been wars of corruption, a point surprisingly seldom made in the mainstream media. Keep in mind that George W. Bush’s administration was a monster of privatization.

If War Comes, Don’t Blame the Military-Industrial Complex

As the drumbeat intensifies for what might turn out to be anything but a «splendid little war» against North Korea, it is appropriate to...

POLL: Americans Support Military-Industrial Complex Above All Else

Eric Zuesse A new Morning Consult/POLITICO survey, published on 26 April, indicates that most American voters support the military-industrial complex more than they support any...

Ron Paul: US Attack on Syria Is To Prop Up the Military-Industrial Complex

Interviewed Monday by Kennedy at Fox Business, Ron Paul challenged the contention that the United States government was acting in...
video

Video: Record US Aid to Israel Reflects Growing Influence of Military-Industrial Complex

Israel is likely to increase its arms exports now that it cannot use the aid on its own weapons industry, says Col. Lawrence Wilkerson...

Greed-War: The Power and Danger of the Military-Industrial Complex

President Dwight D. Eisenhower gave his most powerful speech as he left office in 1961. He warned the American people about an...

The military-industrial complex of Pakistan

Nauman Sadiq (RINF) - Before the signing of the Iran nuclear deal last year, BBC’s defense correspondent, Mark Urban, published a report that Pakistan’s...

Lost in the Military-Industrial Complex

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have ducked any serious discussion of America’s escalating military spending, suggesting that whoever wins will...

Hillary Clinton, Wall Street and military-industrial complex

US Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton can be the ideal president for Wall Street and military-industrial complex, says an American political analyst. According to a...

Feeding the Military-Industrial Complex

Exclusive: Because he had commanded Allied forces in World War II, President Eisenhower understood the excesses of the war industry and warned Americans about...

US engaged in fear mongering to feed military—industrial complex: Analyst

The United States is using scare tactics by exaggerating the power of Russia and China to justify bolstering its arms industry and feed the...

US military-industrial complex cannot survive without conflict: Analyst

The military-industrial complex in the United States would not be able to survive without military conflicts as the US steps up military tensions with China, says a US analyst.

Military tensions across the world are what the the US wants because “the military-industrial complex cannot survive without conflict,” said Dean Henderson.

Henderson made the comments in an interview with Press TV on Sunday when asked to give his take on a report by the Pentagon that shows its concern over China’s growing military capabilities.

The report specifically cited China’s growing drone arsenal which is set to surpass 40,000 unmanned units in the next years.

“I don’t think it should be any big surprise that the Chinese have drones,” Henderson said, “The US obviously has been using these for a long time to target so-called terrorists in Afghanistan and Yemen and Iraq and different places, killing mostly civilians in the process.”

Many Americans oppose their government's use of drones across the world. (AFP Photo)

Thousands of people have been victims in an ongoing drone war waged by the US government overseas for decades now.

“It’s another case of weapon developed by the US military-industrial complex and unleashed on the world,” Henderson said.

He slammed Washington and said that “a lot of countries have their own [drones] and if the US doesn’t want China to have drones maybe the US shouldn’t have drones.”

“It’s just like the US doesn’t want anyone to have nukes, so maybe the US shouldn’t have nukes, but  they just can’t seem to get their brains around the logic of that, even though its highly logical,” he added.

HDS/AGB

Facebook and the military industrial surveillance complex

Earlier this week the European Commission’s attorney Bernhard Schima told the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) the US-EU Safe Harbor framework...

The Military-Industrial Complex Gets Its Man

President Barack Obama has bungled the job of appointments to key national security positions for the past six years, and the nomination of Ashton...

The Military-Industrial Complex Blasts Its Way into the Civilian Market

Jim Hightower Don’t look now, but the overbearing power of America’s military-industrial complex has probably snuck into your town. The multibillion-dollar global armament giants have discovered...

The Disturbing Expansion of the Military-Industrial Complex

Mairead Maguire How can we explain that in the 2lst century we are still training millions of men and women in our armed forces and...

The Soaring Profits of the Military-Industrial Complex

There are two major beneficiaries of the two major wars launched by the US government: one domestic and one foreign. The three major domestic arms...

Passage of Budget Bill Is NOT a Victory for the American People … Only...

Washington's BlogDecember 27, 2013 Preface: D.C. and the mainstream media are trumpeting the passage of a...

Saving US military-industrial complex

As anyone exposed to a whiff of news media knows, Republicans and Democrats are more divided than ever. They just can�™t come together like...

The US “Military Industrial Media Complex” Controls President Obama

Press TV has conducted an interview with Soraya Sepahpour Ulrich, independent researcher and writer from Irvine, Cal. about the US' warmongering policy and its...

‘Nobody Wants This Except the Military-Industrial Complex’

John Nichols The Nation September 4, 2013 House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, backs President Obama’s request for authorization to intervene militarily in Syria, as does...

Ripe for Leftist Challenge, Nader Describes Clinton as 'Poster Child for Military-Industrial Complex'

“She hugs Kissinger. She hobnobs with Bob Rubin and the Wall Street crowd," said Ralph Nader of Hillary Clinton. "I mean it’s almost a...

Creating a Military-Industrial-Immigration Complex

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/creating_a_military-industrial-immigration_complex_20130711/ Posted on Jul 11, 2013 By Todd Miller,...

Blackmail, Inc., for the Military-Industrial Complex?

by Jon RappoportJon ...

NATO “Concerned by Russia’s Military Buildup Close to Our Borders”

Eric Zuesse The Secretary-General of NATO said this on October 9th, speaking in NATO member Romania, right across the Black Sea from Russia’s region of...

Mass Shootings: the Military-Entertainment Complex’s Culture of Violence Turns Deadly

Photo by Justin See (coming back) | CC BY 2.0 “Mass shootings have become routine in the United States and speak to a society that relies...

Mass Shootings: The Military-Entertainment Complex’s Culture of Violence Turns Deadly

by John W. Whitehead / October 4th, 2017 Mass shootings have become routine in the United States and speak to a society that relies on...

Corporate Power Reality Check: Organic vs Industrial Chemical-Dependent Agriculture – Philosophies and Practices

What follows is a summary of this article, 'A System of Food Production for Human Need, Not Corporate Greed', and is a preamble to...

The US Military, Like Ancient Rome's, Is Trying to Secure a Dying Empire

Recruiters from the Harrisburg Recruiting Company assisted with the Youth and Education Services (Y.E.S.) October 8, 2010, at the Maple Grove Raceway in Reading,...

McCain’s $5 Trillion Military Budget: Will It Make America Great Again?

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) wants to spend five trillion dollars over the next five years in a massive build-up of...

US Warns Syrian Military… Against Operating Inside Syria!

Just when you thought US foreign policy could not get more absurd. Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend, who is listed as...

Why It’s So Hard for Members of the Military to Speak Out

Originally posted at TomDispatch. How, I’ve often wondered, can people who have spent their lives working in an institution, particularly in the military...

Military Dissent Is Not an Oxymoron: Freeing Democracy From Perpetual War

Two US Army helicopters blow up dust around a soldier pointing a gun in Samarra, Iraq, on March 3, 2007. (Photo: US...

US-Saudi military ties violate many international laws: Academic

US support of Saudi Arabia’s war against Yemen is a violation of international laws and aimed at boosting the profits of the US military–industrial...

Ron Paul: Obama Caves To Neocons – Military Spending To Skyrocket

It looks like the neocons and the Beltway military-industrial complex are going to get their way, as President Obama’s plan to scale back a...

Suicide Mission: Why a War With Iran Will End in Another Defeat for the...

Timothy Alexander Guzman (RINF) - On Hardball with Chris Matthews, a U.S. mainstream media program interviewed President Barack Obama and was asked about Russia’s decision on...

Putin’s Possible Successor Explains Russia’s Military & Economic Plans

Eric Zuesse http://vineyardsaker.blogspot.ru/2014/09/dmitri-rogozin-interviewed-by-vladimir.html The Floridian blogger about Russia, "Vineyard of the Saker," posted an English translation on September 29th of an informative interview on Russian television....

Does Uncle Sam Have a God Complex?

Norman Solomon As a matter of faith, some people believe that God can see and hear everything. But as a matter of fact, the U.S....

The U.S. Military’s New Normal in Africa: A Secret African Mission and an African...

Nick Turse What is Operation New Normal? It’s a question without an answer, a riddle the U.S. military refuses to solve. It’s a secret operation in...

U.S. Army Propaganda: Less Suicides in the Military? Cooked Book Numbers Conceal The Real...

Joachim Hagopian  RINF Alternative News Hot off the press - suicide numbers are down dropping by more than 15 percent last year. For Active Duty military personnel! Hot off...

A Military Plot to Take Over America: Fifty Years Later, Was the Mission Accomplished?

“I’m suggesting Mr. President, there’s a military plot to take over the Government of these United States, next Sunday…”—Col. Martin ‘Jiggs’ Casey, Seven Days in May (1964) With a screenplay written by Rod Serling, creator of The Twilight Zone, director John Frankenheimer’s 1964 political thriller Seven Days in May is a clear warning to beware of martial law packaged as […]

Snowden Reveals Industrial Espionage Against China’s Huawei

Tom Carter  RINF Alternative News Documents released by National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden and published in the New York Times over the weekend confirm that the...

More Lies From the Military

Ron Paul  RINF Alternative News Last week Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel proposed an additional 40,000 reduction in active duty US Army personnel, down to 450,000 soldiers....

Police Profiling & Military Spying: Why I Am Suing the Olympia Police Department

Anonymous  RINF Alternative News I still remember where I was when Oscar Grant, an unarmed black man was shot at point blank range by a transit...

The Myth of Human Progress and the Collapse of Complex Societies

Chris Hedges  RINF Alternative News The most prescient portrait of the American character and our ultimate fate as a species is found in Herman Melville’s “Moby...

No Austerity for Military Budget in 2014

The NDAA includes a limited ease on transfers of Guantanamo Bay inmates to other countries but bans their transfer to the United States (Photo:...

No austerity for US military budget

The Pentagon is the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense. In an era of bipartisan agreement on austerity cuts to vital services and...

Military Spending Dodges Austerity Bullet… Again

The NDAA includes a limited ease on transfers of Guantanamo Bay inmates to other countries but bans their transfer to the United States (Photo:...

The US Military Presence in Australia. The “Asia-Pacific Pivot” and “Global NATO”

Through the ANZUS alliance, Australia, like Japan and South Korea, has been a key part of the United States “hub-and-spokes” Asia-Pacific alliance structure for...

Commemorating Chile’s Military Coup, September 11, 1973: Chile and Latin America Forty Years Later

by Carlos Torres On September 11, millions of Chileans commemorate 40 years since the coup d'état in which the Palace of La Moneda in Santiago...

Koreas agree to reopen Kaesong complex

North and South Korea agreed to reopen the Kaesong industrial complex on September 16.North and South Korea have agreed to reopen the Kaesong joint...

Military Repositions Nukes: “They Don’t Move All of These Assets Unless They Plan on...

Amid a widespread global mobilization of troops and equipment, an investigative report from Infowars indicates that the United States...

The Last Chance to Stop the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA): “Permits Military to...

 I and my fellow plaintiffs have begun the third and final round of our battle to get the courts to strike down a section...

Military-industrial body keen on Syria attack

President Obama, flanked by House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, left, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of Calif., speaks to media in the...

Koreas agree to reopen joint complex

South and North Korean officials have signed an agreement to form a new joint committee to reopen the shared industrial complex shut down in...

Harper Promotes Canadian Militarism: Introducing University Undergraduates to a Form of Military Service on...

The Conservatives’ militarism is unrelenting. Last month the Harper government launched a Civil Military Leadership Pilot Initiative at the University of Alberta. The program “allow...

Egypt is Bleeding, Thanks to US Dollars for Military Thugs

Do I single out the New York Times? No, it is a microcosm of the thinking, planning, and assumptions of US Imperialism, itself having...

We Are Legion: Anonymous’ Presence in the U.S. Military

Liberty Blitzkrieg August 13, 2013 Are we going to see more leaks?  Yes. A lot are mid- to high-rank NCOs. They are well-respected,...

The border-industrial complex

At last, both Republicans and Democrats are beginning to respond aggressively to economic needs. Å“It has been a tough time,” admits one Washington insider,...

Report: Monsanto Teaming up with US Military to target GMO Activists

A hard-hitting investigative report recently published by a prominent German newspaper has uncovered some shocking details about the tactics being used by chemical giant...

Groundbreaking Investigation Reveals Monsanto Teaming Up With US Military to Target GMO Activists

A hard-hitting investigative report recently published by a prominent German newspaper has uncovered some shocking details about the tactics being used by chemical giant...

US Military, Monsanto Targeting GMO Activists and Independent Scientists, New Investigation Alleges

A highly concerning new investigative report from the largest daily newspaper in Germany alleges that Monsanto, the US Military and the US government have...

America’s “Intelligence-industrial Complex”

An important aspect of the spying operations that have been exposed over the past month by National Security Agency (NSA) whistle-blower Edward Snowden is...

The intelligence-industrial complex

  15 July 2013 ...

New Investigation Alleges US Military, Monsanto Targeting GMO Activists and Independent Scientists

A shocking new investigative report from the largest daily newspaper in Germany alleges that Monsanto, the US Military and the US government have colluded...

S Koreans visit joint industrial complex

Lights are off at South Korea's border checkpoint in Paju on May 3, 2013 after the South withdrew its last remaining workers from the...

Gays, Marriage and the Military

DOMA’s demise was not due to activism; it was in spite of activism. The rise of the LGBT liberation movement was initially punctuated during the...

The National Security Industrial Complex and NSA Spying: The Revolving Doors Between State Agencies...

When Edward Snowden, an employee of Booz Allen Hamilton — a military contractor based in McLean, Virginia - blew the whistle on the extent of U.S. global electronic...

The Military’s 40-Year Experiment

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_militarys_40-year_experiment_20130510/ Posted on May 10, 2013 ...

The Privatization of War: Mercenaries, Private Military and Security Companies (PMSC)

The Privatization of War: Mercenaries, Private Military and Security Companies (PMSC)

Private military and security companies (PMSC) are the modern reincarnation of a long lineage of private providers of physical force: corsairs, privateers and mercenaries. Mercenaries, which had practically disappeared during the XIXth and XXth centuries, reappeared in the 1960’s during the decolonization period operating mainly in Africa and Asia. Under the United Nations a convention was adopted which outlaws and criminalizes their activities. Additional Protocol I of the Geneva Conventions also contains a definition of mercenary.

These non-state entities of the XXIst century operate in extremely blurred situations where the frontiers are difficult to separate. The new security industry of private companies moves large quantities of weapons and military equipment. It provides services for military operations recruiting former militaries as civilians to carry out passive or defensive security.

However, these individuals cannot be considered as civilians, given that they often carry and use weapons, interrogate prisoners, load bombs, drive military trucks and fulfill other essential military functions. Those who are armed can easily switch from a passive/defensive to an active/offensive role and can commit human rights violations and even destabilize governments. They cannot be considered soldiers or supporting militias under international humanitarian law either, since they are not part of the army or in the chain of command, and often belong to a large number of different nationalities.

PMSC personnel cannot usually be considered to be mercenaries for the definition of mercenaries as stipulated in the international conventions dealing with this issue does not generally apply to the personnel of PMSCs which are legally operating in foreign countries under contracts of legally registered companies.

Private military and security companies operate in a legal vacuum: they pose a threat to civilians and to international human rights law. The UN Human Rights Council has entrusted the UN Working Group on the use of mercenaries, principally, with the mandate: “To monitor and study the effects of the activities of private companies offering military assistance, consultancy and security services on the international market on the enjoyment of human Rights (…) and to prepare draft international basic principles that encourage respect for human rights on the part of those companies in their activities”.

During the past five years, the Working Group has been studying emerging issues, manifestations and trends regarding private military and security companies.  In our reports we have informed the Human Rights Council and the General Assembly about these issues. Of particular importance are the reports of the Working Group to the last session of the Human Rights Council, held in September 2010, on the Mission to the United States of America  (20 July to 3 August 2009), Document A/HRC/15/25/Add.3; on the Mission to Afghanistan (4-9 April 2009), Document A/HRC/15/25/Add.2, and the general report of the Working Group containing the Draft of a possible Convention on Private Military and Security Companies (PMSCs) for consideration and action by the Human Rights Council, Document A/HRC/15/25.

In the course of our research, since 2006, we have collected ample information which indicate the negative impact of the activities of “private contractors”, “private soldiers” or “guns for hire”, whatever denomination we may choose to name the individuals employed by private military and security companies as civilians but in general heavily armed. In the cluster of human rights violations allegedly perpetrated by employees of these companies, which the Working Group has examined one can find: summary executions, acts of torture, cases of arbitrary detention; of trafficking of persons; serious health damages caused by their activities; as well as attempts against the right of self-determination. It also appears that PMSCs, in their search for profit, neglect security and do not provide their employees with their basic rights, and often put their staff in situations of danger and vulnerability.

Summary executions

On 16 September 2007 in Baghdad, employees of the US-based firm Blackwater[1] were involved in a shooting incident in Nisoor Square in which 17 civilians were killed and more than 20 other persons were wounded including women and children. Local eyewitness accounts indicate the use of arms from vehicles and rocket fire from a helicopter belonging to this company.

There are also concerns over the activities and approach of PMSC personnel, their convoys of armored vehicles and their conduct in traffic, in particular their use of lethal force. This particular incident was not the first of its kind, neither the first involving Blackwater.

According to a congressional report on the behaviour of Xe/Blackwater in Iraq, Xe/Blackwater guards were found to have been involved in nearly 200 escalation-of-force incidents that involved the firing of shots since 2005. Despite the terms of the contracts which provided that the company could engage only in defensive use of force, the company reported that in over 80 per cent of the shooting incidents, its forces fired the first shots.

In Najaf in April 2004 and on several other occasions, employees of this company took part in direct hostilities, as well as in May 2007, where another incident involving the same company reportedly occurred involving guards belonging to the company and forces belonging to the Iraqi Ministry of the Interior allegedly exchanged gunfire in a sector of Baghdad.

Also in central Baghdad the shooting of employees of the PMSC, Unity Resources Group (URG)[2], protecting a convoy, left two Armenian women, Genevia Antranick and Mary Awanis dead on 9 October 2007 when their car came too close to a protected convoy. The family of Genevia Antranick was offered no compensation and has begun court proceedings against URG in the United States.

This company was also involved in the shooting of 72-year-old Australian Kays Juma. Professor Juma was shot in March 2006 as he approached an intersection being blockaded for a convoy URG was protecting. Professor Juma, a 25-year resident of Baghdad who drove through the city every day, allegedly sped up his vehicle as he approached the guards and did not heed warnings to stop, including hand signals, flares, warning shots into the body of his car and floodlights. The incident occurred at 10am[3].

Torture

Two United States-based corporations, CACI and L-3 Services (formerly Titan Corporation), were involved in the torture of Iraqi detainees at Abu Ghraib. CACI and L-3 Services, contracted by the Government of the United States, were responsible for interrogation and translation services, respectively, at Abu Ghraib prison and other facilities in Iraq.

Seventy two Iraqi citizens who were formerly detained at military prisons in Iraq, have sued L-3 Services, Inc. (“L-3”), a military private contractor which provided civilian translators for United States military forces in Iraq and Adel Nakhla, a former employee of L-3 who served as one of its translators there under the Alien Tort Statute. They allege having been tortured and physically and mentally abused during their detention and that they should be held liable in damages for their actions. The plaintiffs assert 20 causes of action, among which: torture; cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment; assault and battery; intentional infliction of emotional distress[4].

Arbitrary detention 

A number of reports indicate that private security guards have played central roles in some of the most sensitive activities of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) such as the arbitrary detention and clandestine raids against alleged insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan[5] and the involvement in CIA rendition flights[6] as well as joint covert operations[7]. Employees of PMSC would have been involved in the taking of detainees, from “pick up points” (such as Tuzla, Islamabad or Skopje) transporting them in rendition flights and delivering them to drop off points (such as Cairo, Rabat, Bucharest, Amman or Guantanamo) as well as in the construction, equipping and staffing of CIA’s “black sites”.

Within this context, the American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit in May 2007 against Jeppesen DataPlan Inc. (a subsidiary company of Boeing) on behalf of five persons who were kidnapped by the CIA disappearing in overseas prisons kept by USA secret services. Jeppesen would have participated in the rendition by providing flight planning and logistical support. The five persons were tortured during their arbitrary detention[8].

Health

The 2009 annual report of DynCorp International refers to four lawsuits concerning the spraying of narcotic plant crops along the Colombian border adjacent to Ecuador on behalf of 3 Ecuadorian Providences and 3266 plaintiffs[9].

From 1991, the United States Department of State contracted the private company DynCorp to supply services for this air-spraying program against narcotics in the Andean region. In accordance with the subscribed contract of 30 January 1998, DynCorp provides the essential logistics to the anti-drug Office of activities of Colombia, in conformity with three main objectives: eradication of cultivations of illicit drugs, training of the army and of personnel of the country, and dismantling of illicit drug laboratories and illicit drug-trafficking networks.

An NGO report indicated the consequences of the spraying carried out within the Plan Colombia had on persons living in the frontier region[10].  One third of the 47 women in the study exposed to the spraying showed cells with some genetic damage. The study established the relationship of the air fumigations of the Plan Colombia with damages in the genetic material. The study demonstrates that when the population is subjected to fumigations “the risk of cellular damage can increase and that, once permanent, the cases of cancerous mutations and important embryonic alterations are increased that prompt among other possibilities the rise in abortions in the area.

This example is particularly important given that Plan Colombia has served as the model for the arrangements that the United States would apply later to Iraq and Afghanistan. Plan Colombia provides immunity to the employees of the PMSC contracted (DynCorp) the same as Order 14 of the Coalition Provisional Authority did in Iraq.

Self-determination

The 2004 attempted coup d’état, which was perpetrated in Equatorial Guinea is a clear example of the link between the phenomenon of mercenaries and PMSCs as a means of violating the sovereignty of States. In this particular case, the mercenaries involved were mostly former directors and personnel of Executive Outcomes, a PMSC that had become famous for its operations in Angola and Sierra Leone. The team of mercenaries also included security guards who were still employed by PMSCs as was the case of two employees of the company Meteoric Tactical Systems providing security to diplomats of Western Embassies in Baghdad-among which to the Ambassador of Switzerland. It also included a security guard who had previously worked for the PMSC “Steele Foundation” and had given protection to President Aristide of Haiti and conducted him to the plane who took him to exile[11].

Trafficking in persons

In 2005, 105 Chileans were providing/or undergoing military training in the former army base of Lepaterique in Honduras. The instruction consisted in anti‐guerrilla tactics such as possible ambushes and deactivation of explosives and mortars how to avoid them. The Chileans had entered Honduras as tourists and were illegally in Honduras. They used high‐caliber weapons such as M‐16 rifles or light machine guns. They had been contracted by a subsidiary of Triple Canopy.

They were part of a group, which included also 189 Hondurans recruited and trained in Honduras. Triple Canopy had been awarded a contract by the United States Department of State. The strong contingent left the country by air from San Pedro Sula, Honduras, in several groups with a stopover in Iceland. Then reached the Middle East and were smuggled into Iraq[12].

The majority of the Chileans and Hondurans were engaged as security guards at fixed facilities in Iraq. They had been contracted by Your Solutions Honduras SRL, a local agent of Your Solutions Incorporated, registered in Illinois, United States of America, which in turn had been subcontracted by Triple Canopy, based in Chicago, United States of America. Some of the Chileans are presently working in Baghdad providing security to the Embassy of Australia under a contract by Unity Resources Group (URG).

Human rights violations committed by PMSC to their employees

PMSC often put the contracted private guards in situations of danger and vulnerability, such as the ‘private contractors’ of Blackwater, killed in Fallujah in 2004 allegedly due to the lack of the necessary safety means that Blackwater was supposed to provide in order to carry out the mission.

It should not be forgotten that this incident changed dramatically the course of the war and the occupation by the United States in Iraq. It may be considered as the turning point in the occupation of Iraq. This led to an abortive US operation to recapture control of the city and a successful recapture operation in the city in November 2004, called Operation Phantom Fury, which resulted in the death of over 1,350 insurgent fighters. Approximately 95 America troops were killed, and 560 wounded.

The U.S. military first denied that it has use white phosphorus as an anti-personnel weapon in Fallujah, but later retracted that denial, and admitted to using the incendiary in the city as an offensive weapon. Reports following the events of November 2004 have alleged war crimes, and a massacre by U.S. personnel, including indiscriminate violence against civilians and children.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fallujah – cite_note-17 This point of view is presented in the 2005 documentary film, “Fallujah, the Hidden Massacre”. In 2010, the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, a leading medical journal, published a study, which shows that the rates of cancer, infant mortality and leukemia exceed those reported in Hiroshima and Nagasaki[13].

The over 300 000 classified military documents made public by Wikileaks show that the “Use of Contractors Added to War’s Chaos in Iraq”, as has been widely reported by the international media recently.

The United States has relied and continues to rely heavily on private military and security contractors in conducting its military operations. The United States used private security contractors to conduct narcotics intervention operations in Colombia in the 1990s and recently signed a supplemental agreement that authorizes it to deploy troops and contractors in seven Colombian military bases. During the conflict in the Balkans, the United States used a private security contractor to train Croat troops to conduct operations against Serbian troops. Nowadays, it is in the context of its operations in Iraq and Afghanistan in particular that the State is massively contracting out security functions to private firms.

In 2009, the Department of Defense employed 218,000 private contractors (all types) while there were 195,000 uniformed personnel. According to the figures, about 8 per cent of these contractors are armed security contractors, i.e. about 20,000 armed guards. If one includes other theatres of operations, the figure rises to 242,657, with 54,387 United States citizens, 94,260 third country nationals and 94,010 host-country nationals.

The State Department relies on about 2,000 private security contractors to provide United States personnel and facilities with personal protective and guard services in Afghanistan, Iraq, Israel and Pakistan, and aviation services in Iraq. The contracts for protective services were awarded in 2005 to three PMSCs, namely, Triple Canopy, DynCorp International and the U.S. Training Center, part of the Xe (then Blackwater) group of companies. These three companies still hold the State Department protective services contracts today.

Lack of transparency

The information accessible to the public on the scope and type of contracts between the Government of the United States and PMSCs is scarce and opaque. The lack of transparency is particularly significant when companies subcontract to others. Often, the contracts with PMSCs are not disclosed to the public despite extensive freedom of information rules in the United States, either because they contain confidential commercial information or on the argument that non-disclosure is in the interest of national defense or foreign policy. The situation is particularly opaque when United States intelligence agencies contract PMSCs.

Lack of accountability

Despite the fact of their involvement in grave human rights violations, not a single PMSC or employee of these companies has been sanctioned.

In the course of litigation, several recurring legal arguments have been used in the defense of PMSCs and their personnel, including the Government contractor defense, the political question doctrine and derivative immunity arguments. PMSCs are using the Government contractor defense to argue that they were operating under the exclusive control of the Government of the United States when the alleged acts were committed and therefore cannot be held liable for their actions.

It looks as if when the acts are committed by agents of the government they are considered human rights violations but when these same acts are perpetrated by PMSC it is “business as usual”.

The human rights violation perpetrated by private military and security companies are indications of the threat posed to the foundations of democracy itself by the privatization of inherently public functions such as the monopoly of the legitimate use of force. In this connection I cannot help but to refer to the final speech of President Eisenhower.

In 1961, President Eisenhower warned the American public opinion against the growing danger of a military industrial complex stating: “(…) we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defence with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together”.

Fifty years later, on 8 September 2001, Donald Rumsfeld in his speech in the Department of Defence warned the militaries of the Pentagon against “an adversary that poses a threat, a serious threat, to the security of the United States of America (…) Let’s make no mistake: The modernization of the Department of Defense is (…) a matter of life and death, ultimately, every American’s. (…) The adversary. (…) It’s the Pentagon bureaucracy. (…)That’s why we’re here today challenging us all to wage an all-out campaign to shift Pentagon’s resources from bureaucracy to the battlefield, from tail to the tooth. We know the adversary. We know the threat. And with the same firmness of purpose that any effort against a determined adversary demands, we must get at it and stay at it. Some might ask, how in the world could the Secretary of Defense attack the Pentagon in front of its people? To them I reply, I have no desire to attack the Pentagon; I want to liberate it. We need to save it from itself.”

Rumsfeld should have said the shift from the Pentagon’s resources from bureaucracy to the private sector. Indeed, that shift had been accelerated by the Bush Administration: the number of persons employed by contract which had been outsourced (privatized) by the Pentagon was already four times more than at the Department of Defense.

It is not anymore a military industrial complex but as Noam Chomsky has indicated “it’s just the industrial system operating under one or another pretext”.

The articles of the Washington Post “Top Secret America: A hidden world, growing beyond control”, by Dana Priest and William M. Arkin (19 July 2010) show the extent that “The top-secret world the government created in response to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, has become so large, so unwieldy and so secretive that no one knows how much money it costs, how many people it employs, how many programs exist within it or exactly how many agencies do the same work”.

The investigation’s findings include that some 1,271 government organizations and 1,931 private companies work on programs related to counterterrorism, homeland security and intelligence in about 10,000 locations across the United States; and that an estimated 854,000 people, nearly 1.5 times as many people as live in Washington, D.C., hold top-secret security clearances. A number of private military and security companies are among the security and intelligence agencies mentioned in the report of the Washington Post.

The Working Group received information from several sources that up to 70 per cent of the budget of United States intelligence is spent on contractors. These contracts are classified and very little information is available to the public on the nature of the activities carried out by these contractors.

The privatization of war has created a structural dynamic, which responds to a commercial logic of the industry.

A short look at the careers of the current managers of BAE Systems, as well as on their address-books, confirms we are not any longer dealing with a normal corporation, but with a cartel uniting high tech weaponry (BAE Systems, United Defence Industries, Lockheed Martin), with speculative financiers (Lazard Frères, Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank), together with raw material cartels (British Petroleum, Shell Oil) with on the ground, private military and security companies[14].

The majority of the private military and security companies has been created or are managed by former militaries or ex-policemen for whom it is big business. Just to give an example MPRI (Military Professional Resources Incorporation) was created by four former generals of the United States Army when they were due for retirement[15]. The same is true for Blackwater and its affiliate companies or subsidiaries, which employ former directors of the C.I.A.[16]. Social Scientists refer to this phenomenon as the Rotating Door Syndrome.

The use of security contractors is expected to grow as American forces shrink. A July report by the Commission on Wartime Contracting, a panel established by Congress, estimated that the State Department alone would need more than double the number of contractors it had protecting the American Embassy and consulates in Iraq.

“Without contractors: (1) the military engagement would have had to be smaller–a strategically problematic alternative; (2) the United States would have had to deploy its finite number of active personnel for even longer tours of duty -a politically dicey and short-sighted option; (3) the United States would have had to consider a civilian draft or boost retention and recruitment by raising military pay significantly–two politically untenable options; or (4) the need for greater commitments from other nations would have arisen and with it, the United States would have had to make more concessions to build and sustain a truly multinational effort. Thus, the tangible differences in the type of war waged, the effect on military personnel, and the need for coalition partners are greatly magnified when the government has the option to supplement its troops with contractors”[17].

The military cannot do without them. There are more contractors over all than actual members of the military serving in the worsening war in Afghanistan.

CONCLUSIONS OF THE SENATE ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE impact of Private Security Contracting on U.S. Goals in Afghanistan[18]

Conclusion I: The proliferation of private security personnel in Afghanistan is inconsistent with the counterinsurgency strategy. In May 2010 the U.S. Central Command’s Armed Contractor Oversight Directorate reported that there were more than 26,000 private security contractor personnel operating in Afghanistan. Many of those private security personnel are associated with armed groups that operate outside government control.

Conclusion 2: Afghan warlords and strongmen operating as force providers to private security contractors have acted against U.S. and Afghan government interests. Warlords and strongmen associated with U.S.-funded security contractors have been linked to anti Coalition activities, murder, bribery, and kidnapping. The Committee’s examination of the U.S. funded security contract with ArmorGroup at Shindand Airbase in Afghanistan revealed that ArmorGroup relied on a series of warlords to provide armed men to act as security, guards at the Airbase.

Open-ended intergovernmental working group established by the HR Council

Because of their impact in the enjoyment of human rights the Working Group on mercenaries in its 2010 reports to the UN Human Rights Council and General Assembly has recommended a legally binding instrument regulating and monitoring their activities at the national and international level.

The motion to create an open ended intergovernmental working group has been the object of lengthy negotiations, in the Human Rights Council, led by South Africa in order to accommodate the concerns of the Western Group, but primarily those of the United States and the United Kingdom and of a lot a pressure exerted in the capitals of African countries supporting the draft resolution. The text of the resolution was weakened in order to pass the resolution by consensus. But even so the position of the Western States has been a “fin de non recevoir”.

The resolution was adopted by a majority of 32 in favour, 12 against and 3 abstentions. Among the supporters of this initiative are four out of the five members of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, China and South Africa) in addition to the African Group, the Organization of the Islamic Conference and the Arab Group.

The adoption of this resolution opens an interesting process in the UN Human Rights Council where civil society can participate in the elaboration of an international framework on the regulation, monitoring and oversight of the activities of private military and security companies.  The new open ended intergovernmental working group will be the forum for all stakeholders to receive inputs, not only the draft text of a possible convention and the elements elaborated by the UN Working Group on mercenaries but also of other initiatives such as the proposal submitted to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, the Montreux Document and the international code of conduct being elaborated under the Swiss Initiative.

However, the negative vote of the delegations of the Western Group indicates that the interests of the new staggering security industry – its annual market revenue is estimated to be over USD one hundred billion – have been quite well defended as was the case in a number of other occasions. It also shows that Western governments will be absent from the start in a full in-depth discussion of the issues raised by the activities of PMSC.

We urge all States to support the process initiated by the Council by designating their representatives to the new open-ended intergovernmental working group, which will hold its first session in 2011, and to continue a process of discussions regarding a legally binding instrument.

The participation of the UK and USA main exporters of these activities (it is estimated at 70% the industry of security in these two countries) as well as other Western countries where the new industry is expanding is of particular importance.

The Working Group also urges the United States Government to implement the recommendations we made, in particular, to:

support the Congress Stop Outsourcing Security (SOS) Act, which clearly defines the functions which are inherently governmental and that cannot be outsourced to the private sector;

rescind immunity to contractors carrying out activities in other countries under bilateral agreements;

carry out prompt and effective investigation of human rights violations committed by PMSCs and prosecute alleged perpetrators;

ensure that the oversight of private military and security contractors is not outsourced to PMSCs;
establish a specific system of federal licensing of PMSCs for their activities abroad;

set up a vetting procedure for awarding contracts to PMSCs;

ensure that United States criminal jurisdiction applies to private military and security companies contracted by the Government to carry out activities abroad; and

respond to pending communications from the Working Group.

The United Nations Human Rights Council, under the Universal Periodic Review, initiated a review in November 2010 in Geneva, focussing on the human rights record of the United States. The above article is an edited version of the presentation given by Jose L. Gomez del Prado in Geneva on 3 November 2010 at a parallel meeting at the UN Palais des Nations on that occasion.

Notes

[1] Blackwater Worldwide abandoned its tarnished brand name in order to shake its reputation battered by its criticized work in Iraq, renaming its family of two-dozen businesses under the name Xe’, see Mike Baker, ‘Blackwater dumps tarnished brand name’, AP News Break, 13 February 2009.

[2] URG, an Australian private military and security company, uses a number of ex military Chileans to provide security to the Australian Embassy in Baghdad. Recently one of those “private guards” shot himself, ABC News, reported by La Tercera, Chile, 16 September 2010.

[3]J.Mendes & S Mitchell, “Who is Unity Resources Group?”, ABC News Australia, 16 September 2010.

[4] Case 8:08-cv-01696-PJM, Document 103, Filed 07/29/10. Defendants have filed Motions to Dismiss on a number of grounds. They argue, among others, that the suit must be dismissed in its entirety because they are immune under the laws of war, because the suit raises non-justiciable political questions, and because they possess derivative sovereign immunity. They seek dismissal of the state law claims on the basis of government contractor immunity, premised on the notion that Plaintiffs cannot proceed on state law claims, which arise out of combatant activities of the military. The United States District Court for the district of Maryland Greenbelt Division has decided to proceed with the case against L-3 Services, Inc. It has not accepted the motions to dismiss allowing the case to go forward.

[5] Mission to the United States of America, Report of the Working Group on the use of mercenaries, United Nations document, A/HRC/15/25/Add.3, paragraphs 22.

[6] James Risen and Mark Mazzetti, “Blackwater guards tied to secret C.I.A. raids ”, New York Times, 10

December 2009.

[7] Adam Ciralsky, “Tycoon, contractor, soldier, spy”, Vanity Fair, January 2010. See also Claim No. HQ08X02800 in the High Court of Justice, Queen’s Bench Division, Binyam Mohamed v. Jeppesen UK Ltd, report of James Gavin Simpson, 26 May 2009.

[8]ACLU Press Release, UN Report Underscores Lack of Accountability and Oversight for Military and Security Contractors, New York, 14 September 2010.

[9] The reports also indicates that the Revenues of DynCorp for 2006 were of USD 1 966 993 and for 2009 USD 3 101 093

[10] Mission to Ecuador, Report of the Working Group on the use of mercenaries, United Nations document, A/HRC/4/42/Add.2

[11] A number of the persons involved in the attempted coup were arrested in Zimbabwe, other in Equatorial Guinea itself the place where the coup was intended to take place to overthrow the government and put another in its place in order to get the rich resources in oil. In 2004 and 2008 the trials took place in Equatorial Guinea of those arrested in connection with this coup attempt, including of the British citizen Simon Mann and the South African Nick du Toit. The President of Equatorial Guinea pardoned all foreigners linked to this coup attempt in November 2009 by. A number of reports indicated that trials failed to comply with international human rights standards and that some of the accused had been subjected to torture and ill-treatment. The government of Equatorial Guinea has three ongoing trials in the United Kingdom, Spain and Lebanon against the persons who were behind the attempted coup.
[12] Report of the Working Group on the use of mercenaries, Mission to Honduras, United Nations document A/HRC/4/42/Add.1.
[13] Wikipedia
[14] Mercenaries without borders by Karel Vereycken,  Friday Sep 21st, 2007
[15] Among which General Carl E. Vuono, Chief of the Army during the Gulf War and the invasion of Panama; General Crosbie E. Saint, former Commander in Chief of the  USA Army in Europe and General Ron Griffith. The President of MPRI is General Bantant J. Craddock.

[16] Such as Cofer Black, former Chief of the Counter Terrorism Center; Enrique Prado, former Chief of Operations and Rof Richter, second in command of the Clandestine Services of the Company
[17] Article published in the Spring 2010 issue of the University of Chicago Law Review, titled “Privatization’s Pretensions” by Jon D. Michaels, Acting Professor of Law at the UCLA School of Law
[18] INQUIRY INTO THE ROLE AND OVERSIGHT OF PRIVATE SECURITY CONTRACTORS IN AFGHANISTAN, R E P O R T TOGETHER WITH ADDITIONAL VIEWS OF THE COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES UNITED STATES SENATE, 28 September 2010

Sleazy Military Contractors Are Crying Foul Over Drones — They Stand to Lose Billions

A lot of very sleazy DoD contractors and their pet congressmembers have their own reasons for being so outraged over the threat of drone warfare.

February 27, 2013  |  

Like this article?

Join our email list:

Stay up to date with the latest headlines via email.

This article first appeared at Not Safe for Work Corporation.

All the talk about drones focusses on their “morality.” But there's a funny thing about morality talk: most of it seems to come down to money. This time's no different.

The worst thing about drones is that they’re cheap. That’s interfering with the vacation-home budgets of a lot of very sleazy DoD contractors and their pet Texas congressmen, and that’s why you’re hearing a consensus around how “immoral” drones are.

Remember this: Drones are a threat to the sleaziest acquisition program in the history of defense contracting: the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. There have been some pretty disgusting lemons in the sorry history of the DoD — you just have to think back to SDI, also known as “Star Wars,” to find a weapons system that not only didn’t work but was never meant to work — but I’d have to say that the F-35 is an even bigger con job than Star Wars.

Don’t just take it from me — serious hawks who actually know what they’re talking about when it comes to military aviation are saying this. John McCain, who crashed a few fighter jets in his time, joined Robert Gates when he was still SecDef to go public with what every Pentagon insider already knew: The F-35 is a godawful piece of boondoggle junk, and nobody wants it.

I can’t sum up the F-35 better  than McCain did:

"It has been an incredible waste of the taxpayers' dollar and it hurts the credibility of our acquisition process, our defense industry…[and]…reinforces the view of some of us that the military-industrial- congressional complex that President Eisenhower warned us about is alive and well."

So there’s the lineup: In the blue corner, everybody with any decency or sense. In the red corner, a bunch of Texas Congressmen who own stock in the companies involved. My money’s on the Texans, I’m sorry to say, because there’s just too much money to be made on the F-35 for these pigs to pass up.

I'm talking about more money than you can possibly imagine. Guess how much each F-35 is supposed to cost. (That’s not what it’s actually going to cost, which is always way more, just what they say it’ll cost.) You may think you know that fighters are expensive toys, but let’s play The Price Is Wrong — write down your guess.

Done?

The correct answer is “$200 million for the base model.” Two. Hundred. Million. For just one billion dollars, folks, you can get five of these dogs, which will do almost as well as an F-16 that cost about 8% of what we’re gonna pay for the F-35! That, folks, is what the F-35 backers consider a deal too wasteful to resist.

Now let’s move on to advanced math, with lots of extra zeroes, to figure out how much the whole program will cost. We’ll make it a story problem: “If the American people are stupid enough to pay $200 million for each barks-like-a-dog F-35, and they go through with the planned purchase of 2,443 of these flying cash dispensers, how many billions in treasury bonds will we have to sell to the Chinese just to line the pockets of some sleazy Texas congressmen and their contractor pals?”

Let’s see, that’s $200,000,000 X 2,443 = $488600000000. Call it five hundred billion dollars, with tax and gratuity. Half a trillion. Remember that scene in Austin Powers where the UN laughs when Dr Evil demands “one…MILLION…dollars”? Well, at DoD Procurement, they’d laugh even harder if he’d said, “One…BILLION…dollars.” They don’t even get excited until you’re into the hundred-billions. Millions and billions are for little people, like taxes.

Rogue Elements within US Military: Defense Nominee Hagel had warned Obama

The Washington Post today reports an interesting exchange that is said to have happened between the President in his first term, and Chuck Hagel, the nominee to be the next Secretary of Defense.

Bob Woodward writes in the Post that on a visit to the White House in 2009, Hagel warned Obama that he should look out for rogue elements within the Pentagon that were leading a ‘new world order’:

According to an account that Hagel later gave, and is reported here for the first time, he told Obama: “We are at a time where there is a new world order.

“We don’t control it. You must question everything, every assumption, everything they” — the military and diplomats — “tell you. Any assumption 10 years old is out of date. You need to question our role. You need to question the military. You need to question what are we using the military for.”

The Post states that Hagel warned Obama about becoming “bogged down” in the ongoing war in Afghanistan, saying it would define Obama’s first term. Hagel reportedly later privately questioned the wisdom of sending additional troops to join the conflict.

At the time, Obama had announced a proposed deployment of over 50,000 troops to Afghanistan, based on recommendations from the Pentagon.

In response, Hagel is said to have noted “The president has not had commander-in-chief control of the Pentagon since Bush senior was president.”

“If Hagel is confirmed, as appears likely, he and the president will have a large task in navigating this new world order.” The Post report concludes.

The assertion here seems less centered around the concept of ‘new world order’ and more towards the simple notion that the military industrial complex is driving perpetual war for its own ends; not really a major revelation in itself, and more an obvious statement.

Nevertheless, Hagel’s comments make for interesting reading.

However, there is no reason to believe that Obama, as president, would not already be aware of any form of ‘new world order’, be it rogue elements within the Pentagon or a vast elite shadow government structure, if Chuck Hagel, as a Senator, was aware of it.

This all begs the question, if Hagel knows the position of Secretary of Defense carries little meaningful influence over the military top brass, then will he attempt to do anything about it, or will he simply play along with the role?

Steve Watson is the London based writer and editor for Alex Jones’ Infowars.com, andPrisonplanet.com. He has a Masters Degree in International Relations from the School of Politics at The University of Nottingham, and a Bachelor Of Arts Degree in Literature and Creative Writing from Nottingham Trent University.

The Election-Industrial Complex

By Walter Smolarek | As the seemingly endless period of political campaigning in the United States will soon draw to a close, we on the...

David Swanson to Speak in Los Angeles, May 10, on Ending All War

Flyer: PDF.

Sign-up: go here.

David Swanson is working to end all war with WorldBeyondWar.org

His books include: War No More: The Case for Abolition, War Is A Lie, When the World Outlawed War, and The Military Industrial Complex at 50.  

He is the host of  Talk Nation Radio. He helped plan the nonviolent occupation of Freedom Plaza in Washington DC in 2011. He has worked as a newspaper reporter, as press secretary for Dennis Kucinich’s 2004 presidential campaign, and communications coordinator for ACORN. He blogs at DavidSwanson.org and WarIsaCrime.org and works for RootsAction.org Swanson is Secretary of Peace in the Green Shadow Cabinet.

Swanson will sign books.

Lila Garrett of KPFK will introduce him.

United University Church
817 W 34th Street
Los Angeles, CA, 90089

Exposition Light Rail: Jefferson / USC Station

Parking in the UUC lot and Lot M. Access to UUC parking is through Gate 5, McClintock/Jefferson entrance to USC. Get a parking permit at Gate 5 kiosk. Tell them you are going to the church. Turn left onto 34th Street and then next left onto Watt Way. Turn right into Lot M and go through Lot M to UUC Lot.

12:00 - 2:30 p.m. May 10, 2014

Free Admission, Open to All.

Wheelchair accessible.

Sponsored by: California Peace Alliance, Code Pink, Interfaith Communities United for Justice and Peace, KPFK, Military Families Speak Out, MLK Coalition LA, Office of the Americas, Peace Center of United University Church, Project Great Futures, Topanga Peace Alliance, United Teachers of Los Angeles Human Rights Committee, and Veterans For Peace.

CONTACT: Kathleen at 310-339-1770.

 

read more

JFK and 9/11: The Common Threads

Criminals leave signatures.  There is consistency in their motives, methods and alibis and they fine tune their techniques which they use repeatedly.  A detective from the Spanish National Police said that investigators knew within minutes of reaching the mangled remains of commuter trains in Madrid where almost  200 commuters were killed that the Basque terrorist group ETA had not carried out the attack-  a fact which was concealed by the Spanish government for several days in a vain attempt to save an election.  The investigators immediately saw that the signature was wrong.

President Kennedy was murdered on November 22, 1963 and less than two years later American Marines entered South Vietnam beginning the US intervention that would end ten years later with the fall of Saigon and millions dead.  Less than two years after the September 11th attacks in New York and Washington, the United States began the Iraq War, which would end eight years later with the withdrawal of the coalition forces, leaving Iraq destabilized and clearly within the sphere of Iranian influence.

Apart from the similar aftermaths, both events have common elements both in their buildup, and execution as well their social ramifications.

Precision Beyond the Apparent Capacity of the Perpetrators


The Warren Commission argues that Oswald fired on the President’s motorcade from a distance of about 80 meters, getting off three shots in 8.3 seconds with an Italian bolt action rifle made in 1940 which he bought for $19.95.  On behalf of the Warren Commission, Army rifleman were not able to reproduce Oswald’s feat and Italian tests on the rifle determined it would have been impossible to get the shots off in such a short time span.

The Marine Corp rates shooting ability on the following scale:

Expert: a score of 220 to 250.
Sharpshooter: 210 to 219.
Marksman: 190 to 209.

Oswald was last rated in 1959 and scored 191, barely reaching the lowest level of marksmanship.  Marine Colonel Allison Folsom interpreted the results by explaining that Oswald “was not a particularly outstanding shot”.  If Oswald did in fact fire all the shots, it was a highly unlikely, even extraordinary feat.

Hani Hanjour was considered a terrible pilot and neither he, nor any other of the other two pilots who successfully guided their jets into buildings on that day had ever flown a jet before.  According to 9/11 Commission Report, “To our knowledge none of them [the hijackers] had ever flown an actual airliner before.”  Yet they were able to commandeer the aircraft, and on their first time ever in the cockpit of an actual jetliner, navigate towards their destinations and maneuver the planes under extreme conditions in terms of velocity and altitude before guiding the airliners perfectly into their targets.

One of the air traffic controllers from Dulles said the following when describing Hani Hanjour’s maneuver which  brought American Airlines flight 77 into the Pentagon, “The speed, the maneuverability, the way that he turned, we all thought in the radar room, all of us experienced air traffic controllers, that that was a military plane. You don’t fly a 757 in that manner. It’s unsafe.”

CBS News described Hanjour’s maneuver this way:

“...flying at more than 400 mph, was too fast and too high when it neared the Pentagon at 9:35. The hijacker-pilots were then forced to execute a difficult high-speed descending turn. Radar shows Flight 77 did a downward spiral, turning almost a complete circle and dropping the last 7,000 feet in two-and-a-half minutes. The steep turn was so smooth, the sources say, it’s clear there was no fight for control going on. And the complex maneuver suggests the hijackers had better flying skills than many investigators first believed. The jetliner disappeared from radar at 9:37 and less than a minute later it clipped the tops of street lights and plowed into the Pentagon at 460 mph.”

And retired Navy pilot, Ted Muga, explained it this way:

"The maneuver at the Pentagon was just a tight spiral coming down out of 7,000 feet. And a commercial aircraft, while they can in fact structurally somewhat handle that maneuver, they are very, very, very difficult. And it would take considerable training. In other words, commercial aircraft are designed for a particular purpose and that is for comfort and for passengers and it's not for military maneuvers. And while they are structurally capable of doing them, it takes some very, very talented pilots to do that... to think that you're going to get an amateur up into the cockpit and fly, much less navigate, it to a designated target, the probability is so low, that it's bordering on impossible."

Yet Hani Hanjour, one month before the attacks, was not allowed to fly a Cessna alone after a test flight with instructors.  As reported by NewsDay, his instructors stated that “they found he had trouble controlling and landing the single-engine Cessna 172.”

Oswald could have hit the President in the upper body on two out of three shots fired within 8.3 seconds, and Hani Hanjour could have made an exceptional maneuver moments before his death the first time he ever flew an airliner, but it takes a leap of faith to believe amateurs actually carried out these actions with such professional precision.  More importantly, it casts enough doubt on the official version of events for a reasonable person to have reasonable doubts about the accepted view of what happened on those fateful days.

Immediate Identification of the Villains


Lee Harvey Oswald was apprehended seventy minutes after the assassination when his supervisor at The Texas School Book Depository alerted the police that he had gone missing.  By that evening he had been charged with killing police officer J.D. Tippit  and assassinating the President.  Oswald’s troubled and short life would end two days later when he was killed by Jack Ruby, a man with significant ties to organized crime.  This terrible murder with many potential culprits was solved in 90 minutes and justice was served in two days.  Oswald is a true enigma, so complex a figure, so multi-layered that it is almost impossible to separate the real from the surreal, the man from the hologram.

Two days after the 9/11 attacks Colin Powell identified Bin Laden as the key suspect in the attacks and the following day the FBI released the names of the hijackers.  Apparently, there was no need for an investigation, evidence or witnesses to tie Bin Laden to the crime.

The two most horrendous, violent, and nebulous events in American history are officially solved within hours, yet years later they continue to confound.

Silenced Suspects who are Never Tried


The institutions of government so clearly saw the truth that neither perpetrator was ever tried.  For a society based on rule of law, it’s ironic that Americas’s two greatest crimes were resolved by politically appointed commissions and not  courts of law.

Bin Laden released three tapes in the days and weeks after the 9/11 attacks, in the first of which he denied responsibility for the the attacks of 9/11 and in the subsequent two he took no responsibility for them.  Then, on November 9, 2001, American forces found a tape in a house in Afghanistan.  In the video tape Osama Bin Laden supposedly takes responsibility for the attacks though many have argued about the translation.  Finally, on October 29th,  just days before the 2004 US Presidential elections al Jazeera broadcast a tape of Bin Laden explaining to the American people why he had made the attacks.  The extremely fortunate timing and discovery of the self contradicting Bin Laden tapes has created much doubt and confusion.

What would Oswald have said if he had taken the stand?  Which Bin Laden would have appeared in court, the one who claimed innocence or the one who explained how he came up with the ideas of taking down the World Trade Center?  We will never know.

On May 2, 2011 American commandos captured Bin Laden and assassinated him.  Leon Panetta, CIA Director at the time, explained that capturing him alive was not considered, as he explained, “we always assumed from the beginning that the likelihood was that he was going to be killed.”  From details of the raid it seems clear that Bin Laden was not armed when he was captured.  So why wasn't he captured, brought to the United States and tried publicly for the crime he was accused of committing?

The American people were deprived of the opportunity to test the case the government had formed within days of the attack, a case whose consequences were two wars and hundreds of thousands killed.

Anomalies


The Magic Bullet - "According to the single-bullet theory, a three-centimeter (1.2″)-long copper-jacketed lead-core 6.5-millimeter rifle bullet fired from the sixth floor of theTexas School Book Depository passed through President Kennedy’s neck and Governor Connally’s chest and wrist and embedded itself in the Governor’s thigh. If so, this bullet traversed 15 layers of clothing, 7 layers of skin, and approximately 15 inches of tissue, struck a necktie knot, removed 4 inches of rib, and shattered a radius bone. The bullet was found on a gurney in the corridor at the Parkland Memorial Hospital, in Dallas, after the assassination." From Wikipedia

In October of 1963 someone claiming to be Lee Harvey Oswald called and went to the Soviet and Cuban embassies in Mexico City asking for a visa.  The problem was, it wasn’t the same Lee Harvey Oswald who was captured in Dallas.  Less than 24 hours after having supposedly killed the President, Lyndon Johnson had this conversation with J Edgar Hoover:

LBJ:  Have you established any more about the visit to the Soviet embassy in Mexico in September?
Hoover:  No, that’s one angle that’s very confusing, for this reason—we have up here the tape and the photograph of the man who was at the Soviet embassy, using Oswald’s name.  That picture and the tape do not correspond to this man’s voice, nor to his appearance.  In other words, it appears that there is a second person who was at the Soviet embassy down there.

And then there is this FBI report:

“The Central Intelligence Agency advised that on October 1, 1963, an extremely sensitive source had reported that an individual identified himself as Lee Oswald, who contacted the Soviet Embassy in Mexico City inquiring as to any messages.  Special Agents of this Bureau, who have conversed with Oswald in Dallas, Texas, have observed photographs of the individual referred to above and have listened to his voice.  These Special Agents are of the opinion that the above-referred-to-individual was not Lee Harvey Oswald…..”

The “extremely sensitive” source was the CIA itself as they were filming the visitors and tapping the phones of the two embassies Oswald visited. Why would the CIA want to make it appear that Oswald was colluding with the enemy a month before he kills the President?

Oswald, who had top secret clearance working for the CIA on U2 flights, defects to the Soviet Union, announces to US Embassy that he is renouncing his citizenship and going to reveal U2 secrets to the Soviets but later decides to leave the Soviet Union and  is welcomed with open arms and even given a loan to come back to the US.  Why wasn't he tried as a traitor?  He then moves to Texas where he is surrounded by people with connections to the the FBI and the CIA.

The incredible way Building 7 collapsed on 9/11, at almost free fall speed and very similar to the way buildings collapse in controlled demolition caused many to question the official version of events.  Building 7 wasn't hit by a plane and the BBC even reported it had collapsed twenty minutes before it actually did.  The lack of film footage of the attack on the Pentagon, which one can assume has extensive video surveillance, was also very surprising.

These are only a few of the outstanding quagmires embedded in these two crimes. None of this proves a conspiracy, but it does make it reasonable for a person to doubt the official  version of events.

 The Taboo of not Believing

Due to the many inconsistencies and oddities in the Warren Commission, more and more Americans in the late 1960’s began doubting the ‘lone shooter’ thesis it described.  This worried the CIA which created a “dispatch”,  numbered 1035-960 in order to counteract the growing skepticism and marginalize those who questioned the official story.  As Kevin R. Ryan explains:

“This cultural phenomenon goes back to 1967. At that time, in response to questions about the Warren Commission Report (which President Ford helped create), the CIA issued a memorandum calling for mainstream media sources to begin countering “conspiracy theorists.”  In the 45 years before the CIA memo came out, the phrase “conspiracy theory” appeared in the Washington Post and New York Times only 50 times, or about once per year. In the 45 years after the CIA memo, the phrase appeared 2,630 times, or about once per week.”

As a consequence, those that spoke out against the Warren Commission’s conclusions were tainted with the derogatory term of  ‘conspiracy theorist’ which implied they lacked  the psychological and intellectual capacity to the understand a complex world.  It became more mature, patriotic, and coherent to assume that a momentous crime with cataclysmic consequences was only within the purview of lone nut.  If a journalist or academic suggested that the CIA played a role in the assassination then they were considered outside the mainstream in spite of the fact that the CIA had a hand in the overthrows of Trujillo in the Dominican Republic, Mossadegh in Iran, Lumumba in the Congo, Jacob Arbenz in Guatemala, Joao Goulart in Brazil,  and Sukarno in Indonesia.  It was deemed socially and intellectually unsound to believe that such an organization would ever use its skills at home in order to move forward its agenda.

Following the the 9/11 attacks the meme repeated itself with an Orwellian flavor by calling those who doubted The 9/11 Commission Report ‘Truthers’.  No major American newspaper has an editorial writer that questions the official version of events on 9/11.  It’s a taboo topic that if breached, pushes one beyond the pale and into the margins of public  rhetoric.

Why was it so absurd to think that the CIA, which had been running Operation Mockingbird to manipulate the press in the United States from the 1950’s through the 1970’s and which, through its Project MKUltra, had tried to create ‘Manchurian Candidates’ would also stoop to violence against the American people to achieve it’s goals?

It’s perfectly acceptable in the mainstream to deny the existence of evolution, yet it is grounds for expulsion from major media if one doubts the official version of how Building 7 collapsed or if one implies that the CIA may have had a hand in the Kennedy assassination.

Kennedy himself spoke to the need for a free press to push the limits, but that same press ignored his words when they were confronted with the complexities of his death.

"Without debate, without criticism, no Administration and no country can succeed and no republic can survive. That is why the Athenian lawmaker Solon decreed it a crime for any citizen to shrink from controversy. And that is why our press was protected by the First Amendment-- the only business in America specifically protected by the Constitution--not primarily to amuse and entertain, not to emphasize the trivial and the sentimental, not to simply "give the public what it wants"--but to inform, to arouse, to reflect, to state our dangers and our opportunities, to indicate our crises and our choices, to lead, mold, educate and sometimes even anger public opinion.”

Lost and Senseless Wars: Cui Bono?


In the days previous to the Bay of Pigs fiasco the CIA knew that Castro had information regarding the invasion but they withheld it from Kennedy in the hopes that he would bow to their pressure to intervene-he didn't acquiesce.   In the aftermath Kennedy fired CIA Director Allen Dulles saying, "I want to splinter the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter it to the winds."   Dulles would later become a member of the Warren Commission which would establish the official narrative of the ‘lone gunman’ Oswald.

During the Cuban missile crisis the generals clamored for war, pushing their Commander and Chief to invade the island.  Curtis Lemay, Chief of Staff of the Air Force argued vehemently with the President:

"This is almost as bad as the appeasement at Munich…We don't have any choice but direct military action. I see no other solution. This blockade and political action I see leading to war."

As James Douglass eloquently argues in his book, JFK and the Unspeakable, Kennedy changed during his time in the White House from a hawk to man determined to establish peace and end the Cold War.  He had begun communicating with Khrushchev through back- channels  and had sent feelers out to do the same with Castro.  He became increasingly pessimistic about Vietnam and on Oct. 11, 1963 he signed directive NSAM-263 which called for the immediate withdrawal of 1,000 advisers from Vietnam and the removal of the remaining 15,000 by the end of 1965.  Four days after his death, his successor Lyndon Johnson signed directive NSAM 273 which overturned Kennedy’s directive and increased military involvement in Vietnam.

As Kennedy lost faith in his generals and the CIA, he moved away from military solutions and this evolution culminated in his American University speech where he laid out his plans for peaceful coexistence with the communist world- heresy to the military and the CIA.

"What kind of peace do I mean and what kind of a peace do we seek? Not a Pax Americana enforced on the world by American weapons of war. Not the peace of the grave or the security of the slave. I am talking about genuine peace, the kind of peace that makes life on earth worth living, and the kind that enables men and nations to grow, and to hope, and build a better life for their children—not merely peace for Americans but peace for all men and women, not merely peace in our time but peace in all time."

Kennedy was killed and the generals got their war.  They used the domino theory to justify it, arguing that if Vietnam fell to the communists, the rest of South East Asia would also fall,  threatening American security.  Vietnam fell in 1975 to the communists after millions were killed,  the domino theory long discredited.

In the 1990’s the Neo-Cons pushed for the invasion of Iraq.  In 2001, in the aftermath of 9/11, they also got their war.  They had their own version of the domino theory as they argued that if Saddam Hussein was ousted, the Iraqi Shiites would rise up, creating a vibrant democracy that would empower the Iranian and Syrian youth to overthrow their respective regimes.  Instead Iran wound up controlling Iraq and Assad remains in power in Syria.  Another theory was laid to waste over the corpses of hundreds of thousands.

Conclusion


The late 1950’s and late 1990’s had much in common.  America experienced prosperity, peace, wealth, the admiration of the world and clear military superiority over all nations.  They were by far the ‘best of times’ of the postwar period, guided by two term presidents who were blessed with such immense economic growth that their most important role was to keep their hands off the controls and let peace and prosperity bloom.  Both periods ended abruptly, violently, and were followed by long, ill conceived wars, the  expansion of the security state, internal strife, extreme partisanship, ballooning debt and inflated and an overextended military.

The only beneficiaries of these two violent turns were the military industrial complex.  In light of much of the transcripts and documents released from the Kennedy era, it’s clear that JFK was on a path of peace, not only in Vietnam, but with the Soviet Union and Cuba.  Similarly, it was hard to imagine in the year 2000 that the US would entangle itself in an two new wars lasting almost a decade, forgetting all the terrible lessons of Vietnam and once again descending into the hell of violence.  It was as if some dark hand swooped down in a malevolent fury, angry at the peace and prosperity the nation was enjoying.

No matter who committed these heinous crimes, what is clear is that their aftermaths were cataclysmic for the nation and the dissent of those seeing more than a lone gunman or a band of religious fanatics operating out of caves was met with fierce resistance and marginalization.  Why was this dissent shunned with such opprobrium?  Could it be that those who ventured beyond the strict confines of the mainstream of ideas might see the obvious and shout it out from the rooftops?

The most disturbing common thread in the aftermath of these two crimes was the reticence to thoroughly and openly investigate them.  Both crimes were ‘solved’ within hours, the basic outline of events decided on in days and etched in stone, never to be disturbed.  Even to  mention a doubt as to the perpetrators was to question the very essence of the nation because it seemed clear that to disbelieve the guilt of Oswald or the Bin Laden had one very dangerous consequence- the implosion of the modern myth upholding the entire state apparatus.

It’s hard not to make the comparison with a family ravaged by an abusive father, avoiding the obvious in a desperate attempt to maintain its existence as a unit.

The mystic Thomas Merton called it the ‘unspeakable’  and described it with sublime understanding in his 1965 essay:

“Those who are at present so eager to be reconciled with the world at any price must take care not to be reconciled with it under this particular aspect: as the nest of The Unspeakable. This is what too few are willing to see….

“You are not big enough to accuse the whole age effectively, but let us say you are in dissent. You are in no position to issue commands, but you can speak words of hope. Shall this be the substance of your message? Be human in this most inhuman of ages; guard the image of man for it is the image of God. You agree? Good. Then go with my blessing. But I warn you, do not expect to make many friends. As for the Unspeakable—his implacable presence will not be disturbed by a little fellow like you!”

Robert Bonomo is a blogger, novelist and esotericist.  Download his latest novel, Your Love Incomplete, for free here.

The Day John Kennedy Died

By James F. Tracy

When I first heard Lou Reed’s “The Day John Kennedy Died” while a sophomore at college, it momentarily bridged an otherwise broad, taken-for granted generational divide between my parents and I.

“I dreamed I was the president / Of these United States,” Reed began with his trademark awkwardness.

I dreamed I replaced ignorance
Stupidity and hate
I dreamed the perfect union
And a perfect law, undenied
And most of all I dreamed I forgot
The day John Kennedy died

Indeed, for a majority of Americans John Kennedy symbolized the intersection of national history and personal biography. This is evident, for example, in the “Where were you when you heard the news?” stories they guardedly shared. Those at once distant yet intimate junctures suggest something much larger—the possibilities Kennedy signified on a level transcending the personal means and desires of common people and yet determining their fate—particularly civil rights, economics, and foreign policy.

There is a strong likelihood that Kennedy’s guiding mission in the last months of his life involved the prospect of a world order subject to personal introspection on the significance of peace versus a dangerous and wasteful arms race and continued flirtation with nuclear catastrophe.

At the same time, much like Martin Luther King Jr. and his brother Robert came to realize several years later, John Kennedy understood in the last months of his life how the forces arrayed against him were far greater than he could overcome. To this day such forces remain unseen and hence, for a broad swath of the US public incessantly coaxed by its media minders, are ushered to the realm of the unspeakable.

Months after the world’ narrow escape from the Cuban missile crisis President Kennedy laid down his challenge to the military industrial complex by proposing the possibility of world peace in the famous speech to American University’s 1963 graduating class. “The nonviolent theme of the American University Address,” author James W. Douglas observes, “is that self-examination is the beginning of peace. Kennedy was proposing to the American University graduates (and the national audience behind them) that they unite this inner journey of peace with an outward journey that could transform the Cold War landscape.”

The discourse was a signal moment in Kennedy’s presidency that precipitated the achievement of the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. It was also significant in terms of world public opinion, being broadcast widely in the Soviet Union. Perhaps unsurprisingly the address received little fanfare in the American press, for it “was considered treasonous by forces in his own government.” Nevertheless, as Douglas notes, the wish and intent of the speech, the

call for an end to the Cold War, five and a one half months before his assassination, anticipates Dr. King’s courage in his April 4, 1967, Riverside Church address calling for an end to the Vietnam War, exactly one year before his assassination. Each of those transforming speeches was a prophetic statement provoking the reward a prophet traditionally receives. John Kennedy’s American University address was to his death in Dallas as Martin Luther King’s Riverside Church address was to his death in Memphis.[1]

Kennedy’s violent mediated demise traumatized an entire nation, constituting a form of mass coercion that—much like 9/11—disciplined the body politic into acceptance of the military-industrial complex’s ever-expanding psychic and material tyranny.

Like our parents and grandparents before us, the American people have been continually shocked and disciplined away from considering the prospects of peace and toward fulfillment of priorities that run counter to their own interests, and for which they (we) exercise no meaningful input.

Much as Kennedy’s brief time as president increasingly suggested the crystallization of a popular will toward peace and higher purpose, his public execution on November 22, 1963 demonstrated a fierce existential negation of such desires. Those aspirations become more and more remote as the possibilities for the broader public to recollect and apprehend the historical record are discouraged, lost, or otherwise rendered meaningless.

Public suspicion over the actual circumstances surrounding JFK’s killing was at one point difficult to subdue. Following President Richard Nixon’s resignation in 1974 and subsequent Congressional investigations into the US intelligence community thru the early 2000s, an overwhelming majority of the US public (75 to 80 percent) recognized serious flaws in the Warren Commission and mainstream media’s strongly imposed conspiracy theory that Lee Harvey Oswald was the sole assassin.[2] Today, however, only 50 to 60 percent question the bizarre account,[3] suggesting an increasingly depoliticized and ahistorical populace cultivated by mass public schooling and corporate media.

Those conscious of JFK’s assassination yet too young to recollect it firsthand may have encountered it in a multitude of vicarious ways. This was perhaps even more so the case in Irish-Catholic households. I once told my father that he reminded me of Ted Kennedy. I didn’t need to tell him why. Both were largely overshadowed yet also defined by their older brothers’ achievements—and tragedies. I recall my father often suggesting how he wished I could have known his older brothers, one of whom was killed in an auto accident at 31, and another from a heart attack at 50. Unlike dad, the wayward upstart of the three, each attended the best prep schools and universities and were destined for greatness—the former as an attorney and the latter a physician with political ambitions and boundless enthusiasm for the Kennedys. “You were short-changed,” my father would say, distantly. Like a host of other larger-than-life figures I never personally knew, his brothers were warmly resurrected in stories he would tell.

While going through dad’s personal effects several years ago, often imagining him beside me, I found a copy of Kenneth O’Donnell’s Johnny We Hardly Knew Ye: Memories of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, along with several complete copies of the Rochester, New York Democrat and Chronicle newspaper, dated November 23, 1963 and June 6, 1968. Implicit in the magic and promise eclipsed by loss was the intimate experience of biography and history, and the growing realization that we’ve all been short-changed.

Forgetting the day John Kennedy died requires an enduring awareness that the popular will JFK symbolized and envisioned 50 years ago was effectively vetoed by an unelected force, and the cascade of subsequent overlooked and unresolved deep events have allowed that America to be replaced by today’s war on terror, growing police state, and drive toward global corporate governance.

Notes


[1] James W. Douglas, JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters, New York: Simon and Schuster, 2008, 36, 46.

[2] Darren K. Carlson, “Most Americans Believe Oswald Conspired with Others to Kill JFK,” Gallup News Service, April 11, 2001.

[3] Art Swift, “Majority in U.S. Still Believe JFK Killed in a Conspiracy,” Gallup.com, November 15, 2013; Jim Williams, “Conspiracy Theory Poll Results,” Public Policy Polling, April 2, 2013.

Like this:

Like Loading...

From the Summer of Love to the Arab Spring

Those who believe that the world of being is governed by luck or chance and that it depends upon material causes are far removed from the divine and from the notion of the One.
— Plotinus

On May 27, 2010 the planet Uranus entered Aries and in December of that same year, in Tunisia, Tarek Bouazizi self-immolated himself after his electronic scale and the fruit he had bought on credit were confiscated from him by a corrupt policewoman.  That spark sent flames throughout the Middle East, toppling regimes from Libya to Yemen.  Uranus would make its definitive entry into Aries on the fateful day of March 11, 2011, coinciding almost to the hour with the earthquake and ensuing disaster at Fukushima.  Aries is the first sign of the zodiac and the most self driven while Uranus is the planet that represents revolution, innovation and change- together they make a radical, ego driven cocktail.

Uranus reflects many of the traits of the time it was discovered, 1781, when the American Revolution was in full bloom and the French variant was ready to boil over.  The last time the restless Uranus had passed through the cardinal sign of Aries was between 1927 and 1935, a time when two of the most revolutionary (Uranus), and megalomaniacal (Aries) leaders in history consolidated power.  Uranus will not definitively leave Aries until March 6, 2019,  by which time the world will have undergone profound changes.  We cannot say with certainty whether another calamitous dictator will appear on the world stage, but, at least in the West, we are devoid of inspired political, cultural and spiritual leadership and someone with exceptional qualities could become the focal point of a world thirsty for meaning and direction.

On one level, astrology is understanding cycles and knowing how to distinguish relevant themes from the noise.  Astrologically speaking, the synodic cycle between Uranus and Pluto lasts approximately 128 years, which means that it takes that much time for the two planets to circle each other once.  Since Uranus (84 year orbit around the sun) moves much faster than Pluto (245 year orbit around  the sun) the synodic cycle describes how long it takes Uranus to ‘lap’ Pluto in their ‘race’ around our star.  Astrologers measure these events from the moment the two planets are exactly together (conjunct) and pay special attention to when the two planets are at hard angles:  opposed to each other (180 degrees) and square (45 degrees).  The story begins with the conjunction and slowly unfolds at the first square, reaches a climax at the opposition, and resolves itself at the second square before coming full circle and beginning again.

The Pluto/Uranus Cycle


This current synodic cycle between Pluto and Uranus began when the two planets met between 1962 and 1968 in the sign of Virgo.  A conjunction in astrology refers to a more congenial blend of the planetary forces, but in the case of these two transpersonal superpowers, even when cooperating, their force can seem overwhelming.  Uranus is the symbol of revolt, change and technical innovation while Pluto is the lord of death and debt- the cosmic enforcer and the ultimate symbol of power.

When these two met in the 1960’s all hell broke loose.  Pluto waged war in Vietnam and set off the Cultural Revolution in China while Uranus instigated the sexual revolution, the Civil Rights Movement, the May of 1968 unrest in France, the Prague Spring, and the space age.  Some would say the dark Plutonian forces won out when the Prague Spring was crushed, the Kennedys and Martin Luther King were assassinated just as the Uranian energy was devolving into Mansonian madness.  The Apollo Program was one of the few areas where the Uranian revolutionary technology meshed well with Plutonian brute force.  But each planet also reached into the sphere of the other, the helicopter in Vietnam had a very Uranian flavor to it while the gods of Rock & Roll certainly had a Plutonian, underworld feel to them.

The key to unraveling where we are now is to uncover the seeds sown in the 1960’s and discover what fruits they have borne so far and how these forces will continue to interact, albeit in a more antagonistic and adversarial way as we pass through a long series of squares.  Pluto is now in Capricorn, the sign of governments, armies, corporations, bureaucracy and culture.  Pluto is certainly at home wielding all this power and the Plutonian compulsion to vaporize all that is weak, superfluous and temporary is implacable.  Just as Pluto entered Capricorn for the first time in January of 2008 the financial crisis began, and by his second entry into Capricorn in November of 2008 the world financial system was teetering on the edge of disaster.

As Pluto was shaking out the fraudulent bankers like a mafia Don knocking off underlings who had their hands stuck in the cookie jar, Uranus in Aries was creating a quirky brand of revolutionaries such as Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning and Eric Snowden.  The police state that emerged out of 9/11 has a very strong Plutonian flavor which is being opposed by this eccentric band of techno-freedom fighters very much in the Uranian mold.

On November 1, 2013 we reached the apex, or fourth of the seven direct squares between Pluto and Uranus, where the two planets will be at an exact 45 degree angles to each other.  Four was the number of endings, of life without spirit for the ancients, and dividing the 360 degree zodiac into four gives us the most malignant of aspects, the 90 degree square.  On the other hand, the zodiacal circle divided by the benefic number three gives us the most harmonious aspect of 120 degrees, or a trine.

Adding emphasis to the importance of this moment, we had a total solar eclipse on November 3, 2013 in the very Plutonian sign of Scorpio which could portend a resolution much like the one we had in the 1960’s.  The cosmic call to attention will become even more intense in December with the ominous entrance of the comet ISON, which could potentially put on a brilliant show across the winter nights. The last exact square of Pluto and Uranus will be in March of 2015, at which point the two planets will move apart and the cycle will look for new themes when the planets reach opposition in 2043.



What will be the outcome of this great battle?  One place to look is the last time Pluto was in Capricorn, over two hundred and thirty-years ago during the American Revolution.  At that time the strong hands were the colonists who overcame the weight of the of Capricornian British Empire, but they had someone on their side, which was Jupiter.  Jupiter is Zeus, the great benefic, giver of good fortune, opposing Pluto in Capricorn.  Jupiter was in Cancer during the American Revolution. Cancer is a very feminine, lunar sign representing the individual, the home, roots and directly opposes the authority and bureaucracy of Capricorn.

The United States has come full circle and once again, as in 1776, we have Jupiter in Cancer, and Pluto in Capricorn, only this time, instead of the enemy being the British Empire, the enemy is the US Government itself, with its NSA, CIA, Federal Reserve, and military sprawled across the world reeking havoc and chaos on the entire planet.  But it seems clear, especially after the failed attempt to attack Syria, that US power is on the wane and some major event will drive home the need for a change of the global guard.

The plan to attack Syria had a definite Plutonian flavor, not only through the gruesome massacres and filmed barbaric acts, but with the way many governments of the world quickly closed ranks to carry out the attack on Assad.  Only the Uranian rebelliousness of the British Parliament and the American voters stopped them short.  But as the sixties showed, Pluto can never be stopped, only momentarily diverted.  What started in Libya as Uranian restlessness wound up in a horrific, filmed and very Plutonian fratricide.  How will Pluto counterattack in Syria? We should remember that Pluto was discovered in 1930;  the historic background of the Depression and the rise of fascism should give us pause when considering the essence of Pluto’s meaning.

This tension will come to a head on April 20, 2014, when Jupiter in Cancer goes head to head in opposition (180 degrees) with Pluto in Capricorn, with both planets square (45 degrees) Uranus in Aires.  Astrologers refer to this aspect as a T-Square, and it is considered the most tense and conflictive aspect that three planets can form.  The Plutonian force is the NSA scooping up every email and phone conversation in the world; Pluto has no limits, and as he works his way through Capricorn, the sign of time and culture, he is shredding all the false claims of security and patriotism.  He is the Egyptian military storming its way back into power, he is the Saudis doing all that is necessary to oust the Assad regime in Syria.  Pluto doesn't do body counts.  It was Pluto who wiped Osama bin Laden off the face of the earth without trace.

Uranus is the Middle Eastern youth tired of oppression and corruption, facing down the old regime, he's the Occupy Movement and the mad rush for technology.  He’s Eric Snowden escaping to Moscow with thousands of Plutonian files.  Uranus is the upsurgent alternative media that refuses to believe the Plutonian mainstream propaganda.  Something has to give, and that is the beauty of three.


Esoterically, the unity of ones falls into the duality of two, which becomes the resolution of three.  Jupiter, the philosophical benefic, friend of man, is in Cancer where he is exalted.  Exaltation in astrology means the sign where a planet reaches its higher resonance.  The beauty and love of Venus becomes the love of God in Pisces.  The violence of Mars becomes a standing army in Capricorn, and Jupiter’s genius, philosophy and pride serve man in Cancer.  Maybe we saw Jupiter's hand in the diffusing of the American attack on Syria, though one shouldn't count Pluto out on that score;  he’ll be back to try to complete his agenda.  Jupiter is Zeus, the ruler of the Olympians, including Pluto, and through his higher thinking there still might be a way out.

The easy answer is to call for the much lauded happy medium- a little Uranian eccentric individualism, a smattering of Plutonian force behind Capricornian order, and of course the Jupiterian law and philosophy aiding the man in his Cancerian home.  But a battle of this magnitude will not end in a smoke filled room but rather a bloody, smoked covered battlefield.  The stakes have become too high.  The Capricornian financial system has created a Plutocracy never before witnessed and this regime will either conquer all or be conquered, there is no negotiating with Pluto; it will be winner take all.

The concentration of  power that we are witnessing in the world, financially, culturally and militarily, in many ways is a direct result of the Uranian technological advances of the 20th century.  We can see the Uranus/Pluto relationship perfectly in the Internet.  On one hand it’s anarchistic and liberating, but by the same token it allows the Plutonian Big Brother a clear view directly into almost every moment of our lives.

For the United States nothing captured the Uranus/Pluto conjunction of the Summer of Love better than the Uranian liberation of Haight-Ashbury and the Plutonian violence of the Vietnam War. The Uranian desire for change and innovation led spiritual seekers of the sixties to turn their acid trips into PC’s and the Internet, while the humbled military industrial complex bounced back, putting soldiers in over eighty countries and killing people by remote control.  Both of these forces have made enormous strides in the dehumanization of man, from Chinese factories to Wall Street speculators, even to the point where West Coast, Uranian hipsters are playing footsie with the NSA by giving them access to literally all of humanities digital communications.  The answer to this truly Cardinal T-Square is Jupiter, Lord of Olympus, wielding his thunderbolts from the very personal and human sign of Cancer.

Astrology is very much like Schrodinger's cat in that until we open the door, we don’t know whether the poor feline is alive or dead.  The same goes with this T-Square.  Only by actively seeking an answer in the cardinal sign of Cancer, temporary home to Jupiter, will the options begin to emerge.  The consciousness we bring to it will create not only the solutions but the synchronicities that confirm them.

We have lost a central belief that the ancients intrinsically understood- that the world is alive and has a soul. They felt the world breath and saw its life force reflected in the world’s soul, the Anima Mundi.  Our modern dogmatic religion, science, refuses to accept that the earth is alive and has a meaning interwoven with its existence just as each and every one of us knows that our lives have purpose.  For dogmatic materialists, astrology is as absurd as the idea of the soul itself.  For them, the world is a dead rock, an arbitrary spark in a meaningless sea of chaos.

The meaning we give, and the connection we make between our lives and the earth's life will finally confirm the reality we help create by unmistakable signs in the heavens and on earth.  We treat dogs differently then we do rocks and we approach a plant more subtly than we do a hill of sand.  What astrology is begging us to remember is that not only are we alive, but so is the earth, our solar system, our galaxy and our universe. When we finally see ourselves as living beings, fractals of what is above, reflections of what is below, only then will we find our way.

Cancer represents the most basic feminine principle of form and being.  By denying that our very home and common mother breaths the same life we do has allowed us to drift so far on this misguided, patriarchal adventure.  The wisdom of Jupiter illuminating the primeval feminine Cancer might awaken us again to this long forgotten truth.

As we feel more and more squeezed between the financial, militaristic, and corporate Plutocracy on one hand, and the gadgetized, ever evolving, egocentric and meaningless technological void of Uranus on the other, Jupiter in Cancer may well help us re-encounter our common soul, Anima Mundi.

One analogy used by Graham Hancock is that of televisions.  Are we all creating and watching our own programming, or are we receiving a cosmic signal and each decoding it in our own manner?  If we reject the unique separation model, than our true selves lie in the signal, not the dumb terminal of the mind.  Awakening to our unified soul against a materialistically dogmatic backdrop is the great challenge of our time. What type of cosmic event could change our focus, moving us away from the mundane to the cosmic?

If there is coherent meaning to our existence, then there are meaningful coincidences, or synchronicities, as Jung called them.  On February 11, 2013, with the Sun in the sign of Aquarius, which many modern astrologers designate as ruled by Uranus, Pope Benedict XVI announced that he was resigning.  The most widely recognized symbol of Western dogmatic spirituality would resign by his own accord for the first time in over 700 years.  The next day, as if for emphasis, a lightning bolt struck the top of St. Peter’s Basilica.  Four days after the papal resignation, a meteor exploded over the skies of  Chelyabinsk in the Russian Urals, shattering thousands of windows, sending over 1,400 people to the hospital and for a few moments creating a light brighter than the sun.  Uranus made its case in the opening salvos of the year in his sign, Aquarius, so what will Pluto bring us as the sun moves through Scorpio, the sign many consider to be ruled by him?

With the Sun in Scorpio, on November 1st we had the fourth exact square between Uranus and Pluto and on November 3rd a total solar eclipse.  What other events could await us as we reach the peak of activity for the current Solar cycle?  It wouldn't be surprising if in the final weeks of Scorpio we were given one more synchronicity, one more reminder that our souls lie beyond our heads, the circus that captivates us and the money we so desperately seek.  One more powerful synchronicity might reawaken the awareness of our common soul and liberate us from the prison of false isolation.  One potent sign born out of the cosmic duality that moves our attention upward and beyond the mundane with such a powerful force that few could doubt its significance.


Robert Bonomo is a blogger, novelist and esotericist.  Download his latest novel, Your Love Incomplete, for free here.

Canada’s Secret War: IRAQ — Ten Years After “Shock and Awe”

Iraq_War

On the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the Iraq War, the Global Research News Hour interviews Richard Sanders of the Coalition Opposed to the Arms Trade (COAT) about the myth of Canada’s non-involvement in Iraq.

There is a follow-up interview with former UN Humanitarian Coordinator Hans Von Sponeck about the deterioration of the social conditions in Iraq from before the 1991 Gulf War to the present and the potential for redress against these and future war crimes.

LISTEN TO THE SHOW


Length (58:55)
Click to download the audio (MP3 format)

_____________________________________________________________________________

Transcript- Richard Sanders Interview, March 21, 2013

Intro

March 19th marks the tenth anniversary of the day the US military and its allies began the offensive against Iraq known as Operation Iraqi freedom.

The military campaign that ensued coming on top of more than ten years of sanctions devastated the country and is estimated to have killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians as well as thousands of coalition troops, including over 4000 US troops.

Jean Chretien, prime minister at the time of the Iraq war has received praise for keeping Canada out of the Iraq war. A closer examination, however, reveals that far from withdrawing from that conflict, Canada actively supported it.

Ottawa-based Richard Sanders, coordinator of the Coalition Opposed to the Arms Trade, an anti-war group, has outlined in detail the ways in which Canada supported the Iraq war. He joins us now to explain his analysis.

Michael Welch: Well, Canada did not become an official member of the coalition of the willing, but yet Canada did, according to your research do quite a lot to support the war in Iraq. Could you maybe list off some of the ways that Canada was involved in that war?

Richard Sanders: Yeah, for sure, because we were very involved in many different ways. Okay, well one of the ways which we were involved was through our navy. We often hear that we didn’t have that many boots on the ground, that we didn’t have much of an army participation, and that seems to be the one and only criteria by which many people in the mainstream media want to decide whether Canada was involved, how many army people did we have on the ground.
So but Canadian participation through the navy was quite significant, we had thousands of people aboard numerous multi-billion dollar frigates and a destroyer that were involved in leading and protecting and supplying the coalition navy in the initial invasion in 2003, as well as many times since over the years. We also did have army generals, Canadian army generals, there were three different Canadian generals who held command positions leading the entire war, they were deputy commanders, so number two in command of the Iraq war. There were three of them and they each spent a year to a year and a half in Iraq. There was another Canadian general who led a US base where they trained thousands of us soldiers and sent them off to war in Iraq. We provided war planners which helped to organize the strategy for the wars, once it started.

Michael Welch: –the logistics?

Richard Sanders: …we helped conduct the air war, so we had can pilots and crew aboard these kinds of aircraft that coordinated the air strikes. It’s like a traffic controller– air traffic controllers– except instead of being in a tower, they’re in an air craft, which is like especially designed to coordinate all the different fighters and bombers. We provided airspace and re-fuelling for the US, thousands of US planes that were going to and from Iraq over the years since the war started. So, we basically let the US fly over our airspace, land in our airports in Newfoundland—two of them, possibly three, and then refuel there and then take off for the rest of the trip. We provided some air transport for the war, so we had C130 aircraft, with Canadian pilots flying US troops and their weapons into and out of Iraq. By taking over in Afghanistan, which we did, from the US, we helped free up US troops. We did supply some ground troops; three, four, five dozen troops at least…

Michael Welch: —was that part of–?

Richard Sanders: …on the ground. So there are some of the ways, but there are quite a few other ways. One of the ways I’ll just quickly mention is through the Canadian arms trade. We sell, Canada sells, 5-7.5 billion dollars of military equipment per year, every year, and 75% of that goes to the United States. In my research I found that about forty, at least forty different major US weapons systems that were used in Iraq, all of the major war planes for example, used in Iraq, have very important Canadian components. So these war planes, fighters and bombers that conducted the air strikes against Iraq, they would not have been able to do their missions unless they had the Canadian components in them, and there are quite a few other ways as well that we helped support. By training Iraqi police, training Iraqi troops, providing RADARSAT data, so we have this billion dollar satellite system orbiting the earth and it provides data for US weapons system. We facilitate US weapons training, testing in Canada, so they test their weapons systems that they used in Iraq, they tested them in Canada. So those are some of the ways that Canada was involved, and I think that pretty much proves that Canada was involved. I mean it’s pretty hard to deny it, there were so many ways that we were involved, I think it’s incredible that they can say “Canada was not involved, or Canada sat out the war, isn’t it great”. We’re asked to celebrate how Canada didn’t get involved. Well, we did get involved, we were very involved, and I find it really incredibly mind-blowing that they can pretend, they can put up this phony official narrative that says that we weren’t involved– we were so deeply involved. Very few other countries were as involved in Canada I mean, obviously the United States and Britain were more involved than we were. Australia had quite a few troops there, but they didn’t provide all these other things which Canada provided.

Michael Welch: Well if you include all the various ways in which Canada did help, I mean, where would we rank among the so-called coalition of the willing, did we actually contribute more than some who were listed amongst the coalition of the willing?

Richard Sanders: Oh, absolutely. We provided more than almost everyone in the whole world, I mean other than the US, Britain, and Australia, I think that a very good case can be made that Canada provided more than any country except for those three. So, I’d say we were at least in the top five. Now, its interesting the whole issue of the Coalition of the Willing, because when that was announced on March 18 2003, Secretary David Colin Powell said “We now have a coalition of the willing who have publicly said they could be included in such a listing”. And then he said, quote: “there are fifteen other nations, who, for one reason or another, do not wish to be publicly named, but will be supporting the coalition”, unquote. So in other words, the coalition of the willing is just a list of the countries that were participating in one way or another and were willing to publicly say that they were involved. And then he says, very clearly, that there are fifteen other countries that do not want to be publicly named but they were supporting the coalition. So Canada was obviously part of that group, they did not want to be publicly named as part of the coalition of the willing, so they were unwilling to be named as part of the coalition of the willing, but they were very willing to be involved.

Michael Welch: Now, you mention a lot of various ways in which Canada was involved, you did mention a few dozen people—boots on the ground—were there were actually Canadian soldiers there in Iraq, in a combat capacity… how was that possible when the official line was “We aren’t sending soldiers to Iraq?”

Richard Sanders: Okay, that’s done through having these soldiers working under the command of British or American forces, so they’re kind of on—it’s called an exchange—so it’s the same way that we had pilots flying US warplanes during the war. Flying, for example these massive transport planes that drop tanks, that carry tanks in, they’re C17– they’re called GlobeMasters, and we had Canadian pilots flying during the Iraq war, part of the Iraq war flying vast amounts of war material, weapon systems including huge tanks, flying them right into battle zones. So there were Canadians flying US war planes. And they do that by being “on exchange”, they’re on exchange missions. The other things is that these Canadian generals that are leading international forces of ground troops—they were on the ground. A general is not the guy that is back kicking doors in and running in and kidnapping people and shooting people, but he is overseeing. And, we had three Canadian generals that took turns overseeing that, they had boots on the ground, they were in Iraq. So that’s another way that we had Canadian boots on the ground, army guys—they were actual generals

Michael Welch: And these generals, how many people would you say they had oversight over?

Richard Sanders: That’s a good question, I can’t remember now, its been a few years since I researched it. Many thousands—let me see if I can very quickly find that. And, these guys received medals for their, for what they did.

Michael Welch: I believe one of those generals became-

Richard Sanders:– the Chief of Defense Staff. Walt Natynczyk- he led thirty-five thousand US troops in Iraq in 2004. He was there for over a year—sorry, about a year. So, from January 2004 to January 2005. He was given a medal by the Canadian governor general, Michaelle Jean, saying—and I can quote to you on what it said, the text that is associated with the medal, it said: “Major General Natynczyk led the corps ten separate brigades consisting of more than thirty-five thousand soldiers stationed throughout the Iraq theatre of operations. He also oversaw the planning and execution of all corps level commanding support and combat service support operations. His pivotal role in the development of numerous plans and operations resulted in a tremendous contribution by the multinational corps to operation Iraqi freedom”—that’s what they called the Iraq war—“… and has brought great credit to the Canadian forces and to Canada.” So, this is a medal that he receives for his leading role, commanding more than thirty-five thousand troops in Iraq, and then they have the gall to say that Canada wasn’t involved in the war. I mean, it’s just, it’s ludicrous.

Michael Welch: If you saw the—

Richard Sanders: We’re supposed to celebrate that Canada wasn’t involved? All we’re doing is celebrating that we’ve been deceived. That they’ve done a PR job, that they’ve been incredibly successful in their propaganda, and that they’ve been able to pull the wool over our eyes and deceive us and trick us in a psychological operation. Are we supposed to celebrate that? That’s incredible.

Michael Welch: Richard Sanders, I notice that many of the ways in which Canada was, as you say, supporting the war, it was in terms of components and all this sort of connections that seem to go right to the guts of the military. I’m wondering if it’s even possible for Canada to stay out of any US conflict given the level of, the tentacles between the Canadian and United States military industrial complex?

Richard Sanders: One of the examples I mentioned was the Canadian military exports, with the, the five billion a year or whatever to the US… that would be really hard, I mean, obviously we are so thoroughly integrated into the US war machine that Canadian parts are right in there on all these major weapons systems so if they called a war tomorrow, all of our, all of that stuff that Canadians made stuff, and these companies have received billions of dollars from the Canadian government to support their export industries… I mean, yeah, what can we do? We can say “we don’t want you to fly these planes because they have all that equipment in it?”, no, we couldn’t withdraw our support from that, it’s too late for that. So in whatever war they happen to be fighting, Canada is playing its part. But there are other things, many of the other examples—training Iraq police, training Iraqi troops, we set up the phony elections, Elections Canada was a major part in setting up phony democratic elections in Iraq. Providing RADARSAT data, sending in these exchange troops, they could be withdrawn, sending in the generals- we didn’t have to do that. Sending in our ships in the Persian gulf, we didn’t have to do that. We even had a Canadian commodore that was leading the entire multinational fleet of warships escorting the US warships into place for the initial bombardment of Iraq. And we didn’t have to do that—we could have called, we could have stopped all those things. And yeah, once you’ve sold them the equipment, you can’t stop them from using it. But they could have stopped—let’s say we found out that Canadian companies were selling weapons to oh, Syria. You don’t think that they could stop it? Of course they could. But, you’re right. We’re so thoroughly integrated into the US war machine it is very difficult to pull out.

Michael Welch: So why is this meme so pervasive, this idea that Canada said no to the war in Iraq. Why is it that people continue to believe this in spite of all the documentation that you’ve put forwards?

Richard Sanders: Well, all the research that I do and that other people do doesn’t mean anything in comparison to the mainstream media. Right, I mean I’ve got very little help from the mainstream media. The corporate media and also the… it fits into a huge mythology that we’ve had for a few decades, the whole myth of Canada as a great force for peace in the world, so it fits so nicely into that mythology that it was easy to sell this particular spin on that mythology because it fits in so nicely, so people will just go ‘yeah, that’s right, of course, because Canada is not a war-fighter, we’re a peace loving country, all that, blahblah” so it’s easy for the media to lie to us. The NDP was not much help, they basically went along with the mythology. They did do some work to expose the ways in which Canada was involved, but basically when the government said “Okay, so we’ve decided not to be involved” even though they were, they basically said “okay, we’re not involved” then the NDP was bending over backwards to congratulate itself for having pressured the government to not being involved in the war. So, they got credit, they got support from their membership.

Michael Welch: But you know Richard, it seems to me that even so-called progressive forces who are even instinctively suspicious of the mainstream media, they seem to buy into that message as well, don’t you find?

Richard Sanders: Many do. Many people don’t have, just haven’t seen the evidence. When you see it, it’s really hard to ignore, it’s really hard to not realize that we were involved when you see the list of all the things that we did. But somehow, there are peace activists- – I think there is an overlap with people who are big supports of the international criminal court, big supporters of the so-called responsibility to protect, this new doctrine that the US and NATO countries use as a pretext for going to war, you know, that used to be called humanitarian intervention. So there is an overlap between these different mythologies, or these different doctrines that are used to put a nice façade on war and participation in war. So you have people in the peace movement that are willing to go along with these pretenses, you have to ask them how they managed to wrap their minds among these things, because it seems to me that the cognitive dissonance that these contradictions would create in your mind would be so strong that you wouldn’t be able to keep such complete opposite idea going in your mind at the same time. How can you believe that Canada wasn’t involved, and at the same time know that we did this and this and this and this and this to help the war. I mean, it so completely contradictory, that you think it would cause some discomfort in your mind hat you wouldn’t be able to continue to believe these things. But somehow, they manage to. Or—the whole responsibility to protect thing, how can they believe that the United States can lead a war to protect human rights? Don’t they know anything about the long history of US wars? So, you have to ask, it would be good for you to interview people and question them about that… how do they support these ideas like the responsibility to protect and the idea that Canada is a great and wonderful peace-keeping country when it is engaged in war to the extent that it is?

Michael Welch: Well, Richard Sanders I want to thank you very much for shedding some light there on why there, on the reality of Canada’s involvement in Iraq , and I guess if people want more information about your publication or your website, where would you direct them?

Richard Sanders: Well, if you do a search for the Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade then you’ll find our website, and there is lots of detailed information there with references and footnotes and whatnot to prove beyond any shadow of a doubt to prove that Canada was very, very deeply involved in the Iraq war, not only during the initial invasion, but in the many years since.

Michael Welch: Richard Sanders has been involved with the Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade, and publishes Press for Conversion magazine. Thank you very much for joining us Richard.

Richard Sanders: Thank you very much for having me.

LISTEN TO THE SHOW


Length (58:55)
Click to download the audio (MP3 format)

The Global Research News Hour, hosted by Michael Welch, airs on CKUW 95.9FM in Winnipeg Thursdays at 10am CDT. The programme is now broadcast weekly by the Progressive Radio Network in the US, and is available for download on the Global Research website.

Hollywood History: CIA Sponsored “Zero Dark Thirty”, Oscar for “Best Propaganda Picture”

hollywood2

‘Hollywood history’ is all the rage these days, but it comes at a huge cost

One of the most pervasive trends in 21st century western culture has become somewhat of an obsession in America. It’s called “Hollywood history”, where the corporate studio machines in Los Angeles spend hundreds of millions of dollars in order to craft and precisely tailor historical events to suit the prevailing political paradigm.

‘Hollywood history’ is very much in fashion these days. From Linclon to Dubya, and from Blackhawk Down to The Iron Lady, they constitute a significant portion of today’s major releases. There’s only one problem however, with tailoring a story to fit neatly into a prevailing political paradigm… and over the last 100 years, the Germans and the Soviets did this too – with devastating effect, but back then we just called it propaganda.

No film embodies the Hollywood historical treatment more than the much celebrated cinema release of Zero Dark Thirty, directed by Kathryn Bigelow, and one of the favourites to grab an armful of Academy Awards this weekend in LA including Best Picture, Bigelow for best director, Mark Boal for best screenplay, and Jessica Chastain for Best Actress.

The film’s main premise is constructed around a female CIA officer, played by Chastain, and her dogged determination to find the highly elusive mastermind of 9/11 and the al Qaeda’s MVP, Osama bin Laden. Chastain’s performance, critics claim, has also ‘empowered women’ by showing how her film character caught bin Laden, but it didn’t actually happen that way.  We’ll get to that later… 

Where this film starts to take heat is with its sensational on screen CIA torture scenes. Unlike previously less celebrated but more integral, intellectual cinematic efforts at taking on torture – like Rendition and Lions for Lambs, Bigelow seemed incredibly bent on going the distance to glorify (through her attempt at Cinéma vérité) the troubling practice of torture by the CIA – as a means to glean intelligence about the whereabouts of various Islamic terrorists scattered throughout the
world’s third world cesspits.

Actor Jessica Chastain unaware that that ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ was a work of total fiction.

Bigelow and her writing team’s artistic license on the effectiveness of torture even prompted one screen legend, actor Susan Sarandon, to brand the film as a piece of manipulative political entertainment. The veteran human rights defender issued a written statement saying that when watching Zero Dark Thirty, “you should know that the movie has generated controversy because it leaves a mistaken impression: that the CIA’s torture of prisoners ‘worked’ by providing information that led to bin Laden.”

In fact, the US Senate Intelligence Committee spent four years investigating the CIA’s torture program, and according to Senators Diane Feinstein and John McCain, the CIA’s vaunted torture program under Obama did not lead to bin Laden (that’s the only true statement you will ever hear surrounding the government’s Osama bin Laden tale).

Zero Dark’s glorification of torture is merely the first level of moral descent however, because you see, there’s still the thorny issue of Osama bin Laden to deal with…

One thing was clear when watching this film, and also by the reactions of theatre goers at my screening in Brixton, South London, that Zero Dark marks a new low point in America’s now fashionable politicised culture, and Bigelow must be aware of this because she seemed to play this card shamelessly in her highly politicised film.

Never before in the history of cinema has there been such a break-neck rush to complete and release a motion picture so soon after the said event, to serialise the legendary “Hunt for Bin Laden”, and “the greatest manhunt in history” by a gallant Seal Team 6, ending in the siege of the terror kingpin’s alleged place of abode – a compound located in Abbotabad, Pakistan.

Apparently, Bigelow’s production was already in motion in May 2011 in advance of the White House’s announcement that Seal Team 6 had killed Bin Laden, and Bigelow it seems, was either persuaded or herself decided (it’s not clear which one it was), to rewrite the film’s script in order to theatrically chronicle what President Obama had put forward as his greatest achievement since taking office. This was the birth of Zero Dark Thirty. Others are investigating whether the movie’s filmmakers received quiet government funding to promote torture, since they did obtain classified information, according to many reports. Unfortunately for Bigelow, and as some of us learned with Iraq, so-called ‘classified’ information is only as credible as its source (US intelligence unfortunately has a spotty record of late).

Was bin Laden really killed by Seal Team 6 that day? Examine the evidence, if you can find any.

Hitler’s Reich relied on talent filmmakers like Leni Riefenstahl, to write the government’s version of Nazi history.

If Pentagon propaganda, or bolstering President Obama’s political trophy were the motives, then one could compare this film’s creators to  similarly well-paid cinematic forebears like Albert Speer, or Leni Riefenstahl.

Female cinematic icon Riefenstahl’s involvement in crafting Nazi government propaganda was eventually her undoing.  After the Reich fell in 1945, she still maintained that her films were ‘works of art’ and claimed that they had nothing to do with Nazi politics and propaganda. With all the lies and propaganda swirling around Washington’s own criminal class, it will be interesting to see how filmmakers like Bigelow will defend their own ‘art’ in years to come.

But it’s hardly the first time Hollywood has been accused of gross misuse of its creative license. It’s become the norm, rather than the exception.

Other Hollywood attempts to hold the government’s line on history include the box office debacle, “Flight 93″, which derived its plot, characters and production design solely from the federal government’s own Official 9/11 Report. Evidence fleshed out since points to the obvious scenario that Flight 93 was actually shot down by a US jet fighter, with its debris spread over 20 miles in and around Shanksville, PA in 2001. No matter, Hollywood kept to the government’s original outdated script of “let’s roll!”.

The sheer volume of mistruths which have been fed downwards by the US government and its corporate media apologists over the last decade is staggering, and has had quite of profound, polarising effect on media consumers North America and Western Europe. The avalanche of state-sponsored and corporation-sponsored propaganda over the last decade in particular, appears to have successfully divided society into two groups: those who believe official propaganda and government released narratives of major events – and those who question it.

It’s safe to say that the sort of people who would never admit in public to questioning the government’s official explanations about what happened on 9/11 – are generally the same section of the population who would accept a film like Zero Dark Thirty as recorded history. These might also be the same type of people who believed in advance of America’s bombing and invasion of Iraq – Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. The bin Laden mythology is powerful, however, and millions of people will walk away from this film feeling as if they’ve learned something about what its like working in gritty side the CIA.

Under normal circumstances, I would not pay for a ticket to see a historical production which I believe was based on a fictional narrative. I made an exception in this case because it was the only way I could review the film in time to write this piece. But the most profound realisation I got whilst watching the movie was a very sad one. I felt sorry for the director, the cast and all the production crew who put in their hard work and sweat, and probably believed that bin Laden was indeed in the Abbotabad compound in May 2011, and that they were reenacting a rare and proud piece of American history.

In order to believe this, they would also would have to have believed the somehow, that same bin Laden also masterminded a multi-pronged assault that managed to bypass the whole of the US Defense apparatus – all from his legendary cave in Tora Bora.

It’s no surprise how much both the Bush and Obama governments and the corporate military industrial complex has benefited from maintaining the mythology of a living Osama bin Laden since 2001. Unfortunately, the mythology does not measure up to reality, with multiple admissions in public by heads of state by Pervez Musharraf, and Benazir Bhutto, as well as by Madeline Albright and others, and even mainstream media reports going all the way back to 2001, stating that Osama bin Laden was dying, or had in fact died in late 2001.

Knowing all this, when I heard the news of Obama and the Navy Seal Team 6 raid on bin Laden, I knew immediately that not only was this  almost certainly a fiction, but that their would be no photographs and videos released, because a dead man cannot come back to life after 10 years for a photo session.

As predicted, a few days later the White House confirmed my suspicions, announcing that indeed, ‘no photos or video will be released’…

On top of that, we were also told that they dumped bin Laden’s body at sea 48 hours after allegedly killing him. Fancy that? But even that pillar of the official fell apart later when it was revealed that no US sailors aboard the USS Carl Vinson ever saw the alleged burial at sea, and that no images exist in any government records of bin Laden aboard the decorated US sea vessel. Hard to believe, but only if you believe the government’s official fiction on the fate of Osama bin Laden.

Also, unknown to Kathryn Bigelow and her crew at the time of production, there was no DNA identification of bin Laden by the Pentagon either, and no autopsy was done. It’s as if he was merely a ghost. Does that mean that White House announcements to the contrary back in May 2011 were lies? Yes, it does.

So let’s get that straight. There no evidence to prove that bin Laden was even there at Abbotabad in May 2011 (or alive for that matter), and Zero Dark Thirty is based on the idea that he was there because the CIA said he was. We can imagine Albert and Leni getting excited right about now.

These facts certainly give my own statements on the incident even more credibility, but that’s nothing to cheer about. We were lied to, again.

Zero Dark is also flanked this year by another historical effort which has relied heavy on Hollywood brand of artistic license is Ben Affleck’s Iranian hostage drama, Argo, which most analysts agree was heavily padded with imaginative characters, written-in backstories and invented obstacles, all woven together to create an ‘interesting’ and entertaining piece of film much the same way Charlie Wilson’s War was a jovial depiction of the CIA’s gun-running in the Soviet-Afghan War, painted by Hollywood as a story of American heroism for the ages. There are literally dozens of other examples of invented Hollywood history, these are only a few.

Rarely is ever – has Hollywood ever actually challenged the political paradigm or the power of the Pentagon in one of its ‘historical productions’. Argo and Charlie Wilson’s ‘semi-fiction’ might seem like harmless Hollywood history to many movie goers, but altering history for entertainment purposes is not just deceptive, besides the fact that it’s not true yet its being passed off as history, it also borders on mass brain washing, further distorting generational truths about what our nations’ governments actually get up to on tax payers’ time.

Rather than betting the farm on a quirky piece of historical trivia, will film goers ever see the day that a director like Affleck might try to tackle the Iran Contra Scandal and the CIA running guns to Nicaragua and Cocaine into Louisiana and Arkansas airports? Or reveal how the same CIA, with the help of the FBI, being responsible for introducing crack cocaine to the streets of Los Angeles during the 1980′s, or even about the CIA shipping heroin out of Afghanistan after 2001? Likewise, ignoring the true historical context that it was the very same CIA, with the help of Saudi oil money, who created and trained the present day al Qaeda by employing the likes of Osama bin Laden to handle the terror group’s finances over the decades.

Sadly, spending $150 million on a film production that could reveal actual history, and out govt corruption – is probably asking too much from Hollywood’s bold and beautiful. No, no, stick to quirky revisions of history, non-events, or outright inventions, and then bask in all the pomp of Oscar night.

Perhaps, upon doing a little research, Kathryn Bigelow might consider doing a sequel to Zero Dark Thirty – and tell us what happened to that famous “Navy Seal Team 6″ after the bin Laden raid. That would make a good story, and one many people would like to know more about.

In the end, Zero Dark can only be summed up as one big, expensive lie in celluloid, in the Riefenstahl and Speer tradition. Regardless of how many awards it wins this winter – that’s how history will eventually label Kathryn Bigelow’s latest piece of moving art.

The good news is the truth has no expiration date, and political propaganda eventually collapses under the weight of its own inflated sense of purpose.

All we are seeing here, is simply… Hollywood drifting further towards Washington DC.

Gunships Over Miami: “Machine Gun Fire, Strafing Runs, Troops Rappelling From Choppers, and...

Mac Slavo
January 28th, 2013
SHTFplan.com

Read by 20,780 people

Gun control advocates say deadly assault weapons have no business being on the streets of America.

But, apparently, those same people who would restrict you of your ability to defend yourself have no objections to fully loaded military gunships flying over American population centers.

That’s exactly what happened in Miami, Florida recently when the U.S. military, in conjunction with local law enforcement agencies, staged an “urban training exercise,” justifying the action as as preparation of our troops for deployment overseas.

If we’re supposedly pulling our military out of Afghanistan and Iraq, which urban environment is it that the military and local police are training for?

Military “exercises” in populated urban environments are now so routine, so commonplace, they are no longer reported by the national media and are left as “human interest” stories for local news stations.

For instance, in Miami last Thursday, units of the military industrial complex staged yet another training exercise.

“Diving Blackhawks, blank rounds of machine gun fire, strafing runs, troops rappelling from choppers, and road blockades,” writes Karen De Coster. “All over the skies of Miami at night, just a few days ago. According to this local TV clown in the video, this event was for the purposes of ‘meeting requirements,’ preparing for overseas military drills, and making sure the equipment is in check.”

In the above video, we hear the staccato of door guns pounding away as “military-style choppers” swooped a couple hundred feet above traffic on I-395 in downtown Miami.

From the local CBS disinfo ministry:

The training is designed to ensure that military personnel are able to operate in urban areas and to focus on preparations for overseas deployment. It also serves as a mandatory training certification requirement.

Source: Kurt Nimmo at Infowars.com

The U.S. military has remote training installations all over the world. Why, then, would it be necessary for them to be engaging in exercises over a major U.S. city?

We are being systematically desensitized to a domestic police state. From being violated by security agents at our nation’s airports, to heavily armed hybrid security teams being deployed in martial red zones around the country, the government is reshaping our perceptions of what  ”normal” means.

In this context it’s important to note that Homeland Security secretary Janet Napolitano recently said that we no longer need to worry about Al Queda as a threat to America. Rather, DHS security and intelligence resources are shifting to the domestic front:

“There’s been a lot of evolution over the past three years,” she said. “The thing that’s most noticeable to me is the growth of the lone wolf,” the single attacker who lives in the United States or elsewhere who is not part of a larger global conspiracy or network, she said.

She named no examples, but it’s a phenomenon that is increasingly the focus of international anti-terror operations.

As has been previously noted, the US military, including the National Guard, have been training for domestic policing actions for many years, and have been actively war gaming large scale economic collapse and civil unrest scenarios.

Make no mistake. The goal of this live environment exercise is not to stop a terrorist threat from Al Queda or some other rogue foreign element.

It’s to stop you.

Hat tip: Infowars, Beyond Collapse

Author: Mac Slavo
Views: Read by 20,780 people
Date: January 28th, 2013
Website: www.SHTFplan.com

Copyright Information: Copyright SHTFplan and Mac Slavo. This content may be freely reproduced in full or in part in digital form with full attribution to the author and a link to www.shtfplan.com. Please contact us for permission to reproduce this content in other media formats.

Pentagon’s New Massive Expansion of ‘Cyber-Security’ Unit is About Everything Except Defense

As the US government depicts the Defense Department as shrinking due to budgetary constraints, the Washington Post this morning announces "a major expansion of [the Pentagon's] cybersecurity force over the next several years, increasing its size more than fivefold."

The National Security Agency (NSA) headquarters in Fort Meade, Maryland. Among other forms of intelligence-gathering, the NSA secretly collects the phone records of millions of Americans, using data provided by telecom firms AT&T, Verizon and BellSouth. (Photo: NSA/Getty Images)

Specifically, says the New York Times this morning, "the expansion would increase the Defense Department's Cyber Command by more than 4,000 people, up from the current 900." The Post describes this expansion as "part of an effort to turn an organization that has focused largely on defensive measures into the equivalent of an Internet-era fighting force." This Cyber Command Unit operates under the command of Gen. Keith Alexander, who also happens to be the head of the National Security Agency, the highly secretive government network that spies on the communications of foreign nationals - and American citizens.

The Pentagon's rhetorical justification for this expansion is deeply misleading. Beyond that, these activities pose a wide array of serious threats to internet freedom, privacy, and international law that, as usual, will be conducted with full-scale secrecy and with little to no oversight and accountability. And, as usual, there is a small army of private-sector corporations who will benefit most from this expansion.

Disguising aggression as "defense"

Let's begin with the way this so-called "cyber-security" expansion has been marketed. It is part of a sustained campaign which, as usual, relies on blatant fear-mongering.

In March, 2010, the Washington Post published an amazing Op-Ed by Adm. Michael McConnell, Bush's former Director of National Intelligence and a past and current executive with Booz Allen, a firm representing numerous corporate contractors which profit enormously each time the government expands its "cyber-security" activities. McConnell's career over the last two decades - both at Booz, Allen and inside the government - has been devoted to accelerating the merger between the government and private sector in all intelligence, surveillance and national security matters (it was he who led the successful campaign to retroactively immunize the telecom giants for their participation in the illegal NSA domestic spying program). Privatizing government cyber-spying and cyber-warfare is his primary focus now.

McConnell's Op-Ed was as alarmist and hysterical as possible. Claiming that "the United States is fighting a cyber-war today, and we are losing", it warned that "chaos would result" from an enemy cyber-attack on US financial systems and that "our power grids, air and ground transportation, telecommunications, and water-filtration systems are in jeopardy as well." Based on these threats, McConnell advocated that "we" - meaning "the government and the private sector" - "need to develop an early-warning system to monitor cyberspace" and that "we need to reengineer the Internet to make attribution, geolocation, intelligence analysis and impact assessment - who did it, from where, why and what was the result - more manageable." As Wired's Ryan Singel wrote: "He's talking about changing the internet to make everything anyone does on the net traceable and geo-located so the National Security Agency can pinpoint users and their computers for retaliation."

The same week the Post published McConnell's extraordinary Op-Ed, the Obama White House issued its own fear-mongering decree on cyber-threats, depicting the US as a vulnerable victim to cyber-aggression. It began with this sentence: "President Obama has identified cybersecurity as one of the most serious economic and national security challenges we face as a nation, but one that we as a government or as a country are not adequately prepared to counter." It announced that "the Executive Branch was directed to work closely with all key players in US cybersecurity, including state and local governments and the private sector" and to "strengthen public/private partnerships", and specifically announced Obama's intent to "to implement the recommendations of the Cyberspace Policy Review built on the Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative (CNCI) launched by President George W. Bush."

Since then, the fear-mongering rhetoric from government officials has relentlessly intensified, all devoted to scaring citizens into believing that the US is at serious risk of cataclysmic cyber-attacks from "aggressors". This all culminated when Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, last October, warned of what he called a "cyber-Pearl Harbor. This "would cause physical destruction and the loss of life, an attack that would paralyze and shock the nation and create a profound new sense of vulnerability." Identifying China, Iran, and terrorist groups, he outlined a parade of horribles scarier than anything since Condoleezza Rice's 2002 Iraqi "mushroom cloud":

"An aggressor nation or extremist group could use these kinds of cyber tools to gain control of critical switches. They could derail passenger trains, or even more dangerous, derail passenger trains loaded with lethal chemicals. They could contaminate the water supply in major cities, or shut down the power grid across large parts of the country."

As usual, though, reality is exactly the opposite. This new massive new expenditure of money is not primarily devoted to defending against cyber-aggressors. The US itself is the world's leading cyber-aggressor. A major purpose of this expansion is to strengthen the US's ability to destroy other nations with cyber-attacks. Indeed, even the Post report notes that a major component of this new expansion is to "conduct offensive computer operations against foreign adversaries".

It is the US - not Iran, Russia or "terror" groups - which already is the first nation (in partnership with Israel) to aggressively deploy a highly sophisticated and extremely dangerous cyber-attack. Last June, the New York Times' David Sanger reported what most of the world had already suspected: "From his first months in office, President Obama secretly ordered increasingly sophisticated attacks on the computer systems that run Iran's main nuclear enrichment facilities, significantly expanding America's first sustained use of cyberweapons." In fact, Obama "decided to accelerate the attacks . . . even after an element of the program accidentally became public in the summer of 2010 because of a programming error that allowed it to escape Iran's Natanz plant and sent it around the world on the Internet." According to the Sanger's report, Obama himself understood the significance of the US decision to be the first to use serious and aggressive cyber-warfare:

"Mr. Obama, according to participants in the many Situation Room meetings on Olympic Games, was acutely aware that with every attack he was pushing the United States into new territory, much as his predecessors had with the first use of atomic weapons in the 1940s, of intercontinental missiles in the 1950s and of drones in the past decade. He repeatedly expressed concerns that any American acknowledgment that it was using cyberweapons - even under the most careful and limited circumstances - could enable other countries, terrorists or hackers to justify their own attacks."

The US isn't the vulnerable victim of cyber-attacks. It's the leading perpetrator of those attacks. As Columbia Professor and cyber expert Misha Glenny wrote in the NYT last June: Obama's cyber-attack on Iran "marked a significant and dangerous turning point in the gradual militarization of the Internet."

Indeed, exactly as Obama knew would happen, revelations that it was the US which became the first country to use cyber-warfare against a sovereign country - just as it was the first to use the atomic bomb and then drones - would make it impossible for it to claim with any credibility (except among its own media and foreign policy community) that it was in a defensive posture when it came to cyber-warfare. As Professor Glenny wrote: "by introducing such pernicious viruses as Stuxnet and Flame, America has severely undermined its moral and political credibility." That's why, as the Post reported yesterday, the DOJ is engaged in such a frantic and invasive effort to root out Sanger's source: because it reveals the obvious truth that the US is the leading aggressor in the world when it comes to cyber-weapons.

This significant expansion under the Orwellian rubric of "cyber-security" is thus a perfect microcosm of US military spending generally. It's all justified under by the claim that the US must defend itself from threats from Bad, Aggressive Actors, when the reality is the exact opposite: the new program is devoted to ensuring that the US remains the primary offensive threat to the rest of the world. It's the same way the US develops offensive biological weapons under the guise of developing defenses against such weapons (such as the 2001 anthrax that the US government itself says came from a US Army lab). It's how the US government generally convinces its citizens that it is a peaceful victim of aggression by others when the reality is that the US builds more weapons, sells more arms and bombs more countries than virtually the rest of the world combined.

Threats to privacy and internet freedom

Beyond the aggressive threat to other nations posed by the Pentagon's cyber-threat programs, there is the profound threat to privacy, internet freedom, and the ability to communicate freely for US citizens and foreign nationals alike. The US government has long viewed these "cyber-security" programs as a means of monitoring and controlling the internet and disseminating propaganda. The fact that this is all being done under the auspices of the NSA and the Pentagon means, by definition, that there will be no transparency and no meaningful oversight.

Back in 2003, the Rumsfeld Pentagon prepared a secret report entitled "Information Operations (IO) Roadmap", which laid the foundation for this new cyber-warfare expansion. The Pentagon's self-described objective was "transforming IO into a core military competency on par with air, ground, maritime and special operations". In other words, its key objective was to ensure military control over internet-based communications:

dod cyber

It further identified superiority in cyber-attack capabilities as a vital military goal in PSYOPs (Psychological Operations) and "information-centric fights":

dod cyber

And it set forth the urgency of dominating the "IO battlespace" not only during wartime but also in peacetime:

dod cyber

As a 2006 BBC report on this Pentagon document noted: "Perhaps the most startling aspect of the roadmap is its acknowledgement that information put out as part of the military's psychological operations, or Psyops, is finding its way onto the computer and television screens of ordinary Americans." And while the report paid lip service to the need to create "boundaries" for these new IO military activities, "they don't seem to explain how." Regarding the report's plan to "provide maximum control of the entire electromagnetic spectrum", the BBC noted: "Consider that for a moment. The US military seeks the capability to knock out every telephone, every networked computer, every radar system on the planet."

Since then, there have been countless reports of the exploitation by the US national security state to destroy privacy and undermine internet freedom. In November, the LA Times described programs that "teach students how to spy in cyberspace, the latest frontier in espionage." They "also are taught to write computer viruses, hack digital networks, crack passwords, plant listening devices and mine data from broken cellphones and flash drives." The program, needless to say, "has funneled most of its graduates to the CIA and the Pentagon's National Security Agency, which conducts America's digital spying. Other graduates have taken positions with the FBI, NASA and the Department of Homeland Security."

In 2010, Lawrence E. Strickling, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information, gave a speech explicitly announcing that the US intends to abandon its policy of "leaving the Internet alone". Noting that this "has been the nation's Internet policy since the Internet was first commercialized in the mid-1990s", he decreed: "This was the right policy for the United States in the early stages of the Internet, and the right message to send to the rest of the world. But that was then and this is now."

The documented power of the US government to monitor and surveil internet communications is already unfathomably massive. Recall that the Washington Post's 2010 "Top Secret America" series noted that: "Every day, collection systems at the National Security Agency intercept and store 1.7 billion e-mails, phone calls and other types of communications." And the Obama administration has formally demanded that it have access to any and all forms of internet communication.

It is hard to overstate the danger to privacy and internet freedom from a massive expansion of the National Security State's efforts to exploit and control the internet. As Wired's Singel wrote back in 2010:

"Make no mistake, the military industrial complex now has its eye on the internet. Generals want to train crack squads of hackers and have wet dreams of cyberwarfare. Never shy of extending its power, the military industrial complex wants to turn the internet into yet another venue for an arms race.

Wildly exaggerated cyber-threats are the pretext for this control, the "mushroom cloud" and the Tonkin Gulf fiction of cyber-warfare. As Singel aptly put it: "the only war going on is one for the soul of the internet." That's the vital context for understanding this massive expansion of Pentagon and NSA consolidated control over cyber programs.

Bonanza for private contractors

As always, it is not just political power but also private-sector profit driving this expansion. As military contracts for conventional war-fighting are modestly reduced, something needs to replace it, and these large-scale "cyber-security" contracts are more than adequate. Virtually every cyber-security program from the government is carried out in conjunction with its "private-sector partners", who receive large transfers of public funds for this work.

Two weeks ago, Business Week reported that "Lockheed Martin Corp., AT&T Inc., and CenturyLink Inc. are the first companies to sign up for a US program giving them classified information on cyber threats that they can package as security services for sale to other companies." This is part of a government effort "to create a market based on classified US information about cyber threats." In May, it was announced that "the Pentagon is expanding and making permanent a trial program that teams the government with Internet service providers to protect defense firms' computer networks against data theft by foreign adversaries" - all as "part of a larger effort to broaden the sharing of classified and unclassified cyberthreat data between the government and industry."

Indeed, there is a large organization of defense and intelligence contractors devoted to one goal: expanding the private-public merger for national security and intelligence functions. This organization - the Intelligence and National Security Alliance (INSA) - was formerly headed by Adm. McConnell, and describes itself as a "collaboration by leaders from throughout the US Intelligence Community" and " combines the experience of senior leaders from government, the private sector, and academia."

As I detailed back in 2010, one of its primary goals is to scare the nation about supposed cyber-threats in order to justify massive new expenditures for the private-sector intelligence industry on cyber-security measures and vastly expanded control over the internet. Indeed, in his 2010 Op-Ed, Adm. McConnell expressly acknowledged that the growing privatization of internet cyber-security programs "will muddy the waters between the traditional roles of the government and the private sector." Indeed, at the very same time McConnell published this Op-Ed, the INSA website featured a report entitled "Addressing Cyber Security Through Public-Private Partnership." It featured a genuinely creepy graphic showing the inter-connectedness between government institutions (such as Congress and regulatory agencies), the Surveillance State, private intelligence corporations, and the Internet:

Private-sector profit is now inextricably linked with the fear-mongering campaign over cyber-threats. At one INSA conference in 2009 - entitled "Cyber Deterrence Conference" - government officials and intelligence industry executives gathered together to stress that "government and private sector actors should emphasize collaboration and partnership through the creation of a model that assigns specific roles and responsibilities."

As intelligence contractor expert Tim Shorrock told Democracy Now when McConnell - then at Booz Allen - was first nominated to be DNI:

Well, the NSA, the National Security Agency, is really sort of the lead agency in terms of outsourcing . . . . Booz Allen is one of about, you know, ten large corporations that play a very major role in American intelligence. Every time you hear about intelligence watching North Korea or tapping al-Qaeda phones, something like that, you can bet that corporations like these are very heavily involved. And Booz Allen is one of the largest of these contractors. I estimate that about 50% of our $45 billion intelligence budget goes to private sector contractors like Booz Allen.

This public-private merger for intelligence and surveillance functions not only vests these industries with large-scale profits at public expense, but also the accompanying power that was traditionally reserved for government. And unlike government agencies, which are at least subjected in theory to some minimal regulatory oversight, these private-sector actors have virtually none, even as their surveillance and intelligence functions rapidly increase.

What Dwight Eisenhower called the military-industrial complex has been feeding itself on fear campaigns since it was born. A never-ending carousel of Menacing Enemies - Communists, Terrorists, Saddam's chemical weapons, Iranian mullahs - has sustained it, and Cyber-Threats are but the latest.

Like all of these wildly exaggerated cartoon menaces, there is some degree of threat posed by cyber-attacks. But, as Single described, all of this can be managed with greater security systems for public and private computer networks - just as some modest security measures are sufficient to deal with the terrorist threat.

This new massive expansion has little to do with any actual cyber-threat - just as the invasion of Iraq and global assassination program have little to do with actual terrorist threats. It is instead all about strengthening the US's offensive cyber-war capabilities, consolidating control over the internet, and ensuring further transfers of massive public wealth to private industry continue unabated. In other words, it perfectly follows the template used by the public-private US National Security State over the last six decades to entrench and enrich itself based on pure pretext.

© 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited

Glenn Greenwald

Pentagon’s New Massive Expansion of ‘Cyber-Security’ Unit is About Everything Except Defense

As the US government depicts the Defense Department as shrinking due to budgetary constraints, the Washington Post this morning announces "a major expansion of [the Pentagon's] cybersecurity force over the next several years, increasing its size more than fivefold."

The National Security Agency (NSA) headquarters in Fort Meade, Maryland. Among other forms of intelligence-gathering, the NSA secretly collects the phone records of millions of Americans, using data provided by telecom firms AT&T, Verizon and BellSouth. (Photo: NSA/Getty Images)

Specifically, says the New York Times this morning, "the expansion would increase the Defense Department's Cyber Command by more than 4,000 people, up from the current 900." The Post describes this expansion as "part of an effort to turn an organization that has focused largely on defensive measures into the equivalent of an Internet-era fighting force." This Cyber Command Unit operates under the command of Gen. Keith Alexander, who also happens to be the head of the National Security Agency, the highly secretive government network that spies on the communications of foreign nationals - and American citizens.

The Pentagon's rhetorical justification for this expansion is deeply misleading. Beyond that, these activities pose a wide array of serious threats to internet freedom, privacy, and international law that, as usual, will be conducted with full-scale secrecy and with little to no oversight and accountability. And, as usual, there is a small army of private-sector corporations who will benefit most from this expansion.

Disguising aggression as "defense"

Let's begin with the way this so-called "cyber-security" expansion has been marketed. It is part of a sustained campaign which, as usual, relies on blatant fear-mongering.

In March, 2010, the Washington Post published an amazing Op-Ed by Adm. Michael McConnell, Bush's former Director of National Intelligence and a past and current executive with Booz Allen, a firm representing numerous corporate contractors which profit enormously each time the government expands its "cyber-security" activities. McConnell's career over the last two decades - both at Booz, Allen and inside the government - has been devoted to accelerating the merger between the government and private sector in all intelligence, surveillance and national security matters (it was he who led the successful campaign to retroactively immunize the telecom giants for their participation in the illegal NSA domestic spying program). Privatizing government cyber-spying and cyber-warfare is his primary focus now.

McConnell's Op-Ed was as alarmist and hysterical as possible. Claiming that "the United States is fighting a cyber-war today, and we are losing", it warned that "chaos would result" from an enemy cyber-attack on US financial systems and that "our power grids, air and ground transportation, telecommunications, and water-filtration systems are in jeopardy as well." Based on these threats, McConnell advocated that "we" - meaning "the government and the private sector" - "need to develop an early-warning system to monitor cyberspace" and that "we need to reengineer the Internet to make attribution, geolocation, intelligence analysis and impact assessment - who did it, from where, why and what was the result - more manageable." As Wired's Ryan Singel wrote: "He's talking about changing the internet to make everything anyone does on the net traceable and geo-located so the National Security Agency can pinpoint users and their computers for retaliation."

The same week the Post published McConnell's extraordinary Op-Ed, the Obama White House issued its own fear-mongering decree on cyber-threats, depicting the US as a vulnerable victim to cyber-aggression. It began with this sentence: "President Obama has identified cybersecurity as one of the most serious economic and national security challenges we face as a nation, but one that we as a government or as a country are not adequately prepared to counter." It announced that "the Executive Branch was directed to work closely with all key players in US cybersecurity, including state and local governments and the private sector" and to "strengthen public/private partnerships", and specifically announced Obama's intent to "to implement the recommendations of the Cyberspace Policy Review built on the Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative (CNCI) launched by President George W. Bush."

Since then, the fear-mongering rhetoric from government officials has relentlessly intensified, all devoted to scaring citizens into believing that the US is at serious risk of cataclysmic cyber-attacks from "aggressors". This all culminated when Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, last October, warned of what he called a "cyber-Pearl Harbor. This "would cause physical destruction and the loss of life, an attack that would paralyze and shock the nation and create a profound new sense of vulnerability." Identifying China, Iran, and terrorist groups, he outlined a parade of horribles scarier than anything since Condoleezza Rice's 2002 Iraqi "mushroom cloud":

"An aggressor nation or extremist group could use these kinds of cyber tools to gain control of critical switches. They could derail passenger trains, or even more dangerous, derail passenger trains loaded with lethal chemicals. They could contaminate the water supply in major cities, or shut down the power grid across large parts of the country."

As usual, though, reality is exactly the opposite. This new massive new expenditure of money is not primarily devoted to defending against cyber-aggressors. The US itself is the world's leading cyber-aggressor. A major purpose of this expansion is to strengthen the US's ability to destroy other nations with cyber-attacks. Indeed, even the Post report notes that a major component of this new expansion is to "conduct offensive computer operations against foreign adversaries".

It is the US - not Iran, Russia or "terror" groups - which already is the first nation (in partnership with Israel) to aggressively deploy a highly sophisticated and extremely dangerous cyber-attack. Last June, the New York Times' David Sanger reported what most of the world had already suspected: "From his first months in office, President Obama secretly ordered increasingly sophisticated attacks on the computer systems that run Iran's main nuclear enrichment facilities, significantly expanding America's first sustained use of cyberweapons." In fact, Obama "decided to accelerate the attacks . . . even after an element of the program accidentally became public in the summer of 2010 because of a programming error that allowed it to escape Iran's Natanz plant and sent it around the world on the Internet." According to the Sanger's report, Obama himself understood the significance of the US decision to be the first to use serious and aggressive cyber-warfare:

"Mr. Obama, according to participants in the many Situation Room meetings on Olympic Games, was acutely aware that with every attack he was pushing the United States into new territory, much as his predecessors had with the first use of atomic weapons in the 1940s, of intercontinental missiles in the 1950s and of drones in the past decade. He repeatedly expressed concerns that any American acknowledgment that it was using cyberweapons - even under the most careful and limited circumstances - could enable other countries, terrorists or hackers to justify their own attacks."

The US isn't the vulnerable victim of cyber-attacks. It's the leading perpetrator of those attacks. As Columbia Professor and cyber expert Misha Glenny wrote in the NYT last June: Obama's cyber-attack on Iran "marked a significant and dangerous turning point in the gradual militarization of the Internet."

Indeed, exactly as Obama knew would happen, revelations that it was the US which became the first country to use cyber-warfare against a sovereign country - just as it was the first to use the atomic bomb and then drones - would make it impossible for it to claim with any credibility (except among its own media and foreign policy community) that it was in a defensive posture when it came to cyber-warfare. As Professor Glenny wrote: "by introducing such pernicious viruses as Stuxnet and Flame, America has severely undermined its moral and political credibility." That's why, as the Post reported yesterday, the DOJ is engaged in such a frantic and invasive effort to root out Sanger's source: because it reveals the obvious truth that the US is the leading aggressor in the world when it comes to cyber-weapons.

This significant expansion under the Orwellian rubric of "cyber-security" is thus a perfect microcosm of US military spending generally. It's all justified under by the claim that the US must defend itself from threats from Bad, Aggressive Actors, when the reality is the exact opposite: the new program is devoted to ensuring that the US remains the primary offensive threat to the rest of the world. It's the same way the US develops offensive biological weapons under the guise of developing defenses against such weapons (such as the 2001 anthrax that the US government itself says came from a US Army lab). It's how the US government generally convinces its citizens that it is a peaceful victim of aggression by others when the reality is that the US builds more weapons, sells more arms and bombs more countries than virtually the rest of the world combined.

Threats to privacy and internet freedom

Beyond the aggressive threat to other nations posed by the Pentagon's cyber-threat programs, there is the profound threat to privacy, internet freedom, and the ability to communicate freely for US citizens and foreign nationals alike. The US government has long viewed these "cyber-security" programs as a means of monitoring and controlling the internet and disseminating propaganda. The fact that this is all being done under the auspices of the NSA and the Pentagon means, by definition, that there will be no transparency and no meaningful oversight.

Back in 2003, the Rumsfeld Pentagon prepared a secret report entitled "Information Operations (IO) Roadmap", which laid the foundation for this new cyber-warfare expansion. The Pentagon's self-described objective was "transforming IO into a core military competency on par with air, ground, maritime and special operations". In other words, its key objective was to ensure military control over internet-based communications:

dod cyber

It further identified superiority in cyber-attack capabilities as a vital military goal in PSYOPs (Psychological Operations) and "information-centric fights":

dod cyber

And it set forth the urgency of dominating the "IO battlespace" not only during wartime but also in peacetime:

dod cyber

As a 2006 BBC report on this Pentagon document noted: "Perhaps the most startling aspect of the roadmap is its acknowledgement that information put out as part of the military's psychological operations, or Psyops, is finding its way onto the computer and television screens of ordinary Americans." And while the report paid lip service to the need to create "boundaries" for these new IO military activities, "they don't seem to explain how." Regarding the report's plan to "provide maximum control of the entire electromagnetic spectrum", the BBC noted: "Consider that for a moment. The US military seeks the capability to knock out every telephone, every networked computer, every radar system on the planet."

Since then, there have been countless reports of the exploitation by the US national security state to destroy privacy and undermine internet freedom. In November, the LA Times described programs that "teach students how to spy in cyberspace, the latest frontier in espionage." They "also are taught to write computer viruses, hack digital networks, crack passwords, plant listening devices and mine data from broken cellphones and flash drives." The program, needless to say, "has funneled most of its graduates to the CIA and the Pentagon's National Security Agency, which conducts America's digital spying. Other graduates have taken positions with the FBI, NASA and the Department of Homeland Security."

In 2010, Lawrence E. Strickling, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information, gave a speech explicitly announcing that the US intends to abandon its policy of "leaving the Internet alone". Noting that this "has been the nation's Internet policy since the Internet was first commercialized in the mid-1990s", he decreed: "This was the right policy for the United States in the early stages of the Internet, and the right message to send to the rest of the world. But that was then and this is now."

The documented power of the US government to monitor and surveil internet communications is already unfathomably massive. Recall that the Washington Post's 2010 "Top Secret America" series noted that: "Every day, collection systems at the National Security Agency intercept and store 1.7 billion e-mails, phone calls and other types of communications." And the Obama administration has formally demanded that it have access to any and all forms of internet communication.

It is hard to overstate the danger to privacy and internet freedom from a massive expansion of the National Security State's efforts to exploit and control the internet. As Wired's Singel wrote back in 2010:

"Make no mistake, the military industrial complex now has its eye on the internet. Generals want to train crack squads of hackers and have wet dreams of cyberwarfare. Never shy of extending its power, the military industrial complex wants to turn the internet into yet another venue for an arms race.

Wildly exaggerated cyber-threats are the pretext for this control, the "mushroom cloud" and the Tonkin Gulf fiction of cyber-warfare. As Singel aptly put it: "the only war going on is one for the soul of the internet." That's the vital context for understanding this massive expansion of Pentagon and NSA consolidated control over cyber programs.

Bonanza for private contractors

As always, it is not just political power but also private-sector profit driving this expansion. As military contracts for conventional war-fighting are modestly reduced, something needs to replace it, and these large-scale "cyber-security" contracts are more than adequate. Virtually every cyber-security program from the government is carried out in conjunction with its "private-sector partners", who receive large transfers of public funds for this work.

Two weeks ago, Business Week reported that "Lockheed Martin Corp., AT&T Inc., and CenturyLink Inc. are the first companies to sign up for a US program giving them classified information on cyber threats that they can package as security services for sale to other companies." This is part of a government effort "to create a market based on classified US information about cyber threats." In May, it was announced that "the Pentagon is expanding and making permanent a trial program that teams the government with Internet service providers to protect defense firms' computer networks against data theft by foreign adversaries" - all as "part of a larger effort to broaden the sharing of classified and unclassified cyberthreat data between the government and industry."

Indeed, there is a large organization of defense and intelligence contractors devoted to one goal: expanding the private-public merger for national security and intelligence functions. This organization - the Intelligence and National Security Alliance (INSA) - was formerly headed by Adm. McConnell, and describes itself as a "collaboration by leaders from throughout the US Intelligence Community" and " combines the experience of senior leaders from government, the private sector, and academia."

As I detailed back in 2010, one of its primary goals is to scare the nation about supposed cyber-threats in order to justify massive new expenditures for the private-sector intelligence industry on cyber-security measures and vastly expanded control over the internet. Indeed, in his 2010 Op-Ed, Adm. McConnell expressly acknowledged that the growing privatization of internet cyber-security programs "will muddy the waters between the traditional roles of the government and the private sector." Indeed, at the very same time McConnell published this Op-Ed, the INSA website featured a report entitled "Addressing Cyber Security Through Public-Private Partnership." It featured a genuinely creepy graphic showing the inter-connectedness between government institutions (such as Congress and regulatory agencies), the Surveillance State, private intelligence corporations, and the Internet:

Private-sector profit is now inextricably linked with the fear-mongering campaign over cyber-threats. At one INSA conference in 2009 - entitled "Cyber Deterrence Conference" - government officials and intelligence industry executives gathered together to stress that "government and private sector actors should emphasize collaboration and partnership through the creation of a model that assigns specific roles and responsibilities."

As intelligence contractor expert Tim Shorrock told Democracy Now when McConnell - then at Booz Allen - was first nominated to be DNI:

Well, the NSA, the National Security Agency, is really sort of the lead agency in terms of outsourcing . . . . Booz Allen is one of about, you know, ten large corporations that play a very major role in American intelligence. Every time you hear about intelligence watching North Korea or tapping al-Qaeda phones, something like that, you can bet that corporations like these are very heavily involved. And Booz Allen is one of the largest of these contractors. I estimate that about 50% of our $45 billion intelligence budget goes to private sector contractors like Booz Allen.

This public-private merger for intelligence and surveillance functions not only vests these industries with large-scale profits at public expense, but also the accompanying power that was traditionally reserved for government. And unlike government agencies, which are at least subjected in theory to some minimal regulatory oversight, these private-sector actors have virtually none, even as their surveillance and intelligence functions rapidly increase.

What Dwight Eisenhower called the military-industrial complex has been feeding itself on fear campaigns since it was born. A never-ending carousel of Menacing Enemies - Communists, Terrorists, Saddam's chemical weapons, Iranian mullahs - has sustained it, and Cyber-Threats are but the latest.

Like all of these wildly exaggerated cartoon menaces, there is some degree of threat posed by cyber-attacks. But, as Single described, all of this can be managed with greater security systems for public and private computer networks - just as some modest security measures are sufficient to deal with the terrorist threat.

This new massive expansion has little to do with any actual cyber-threat - just as the invasion of Iraq and global assassination program have little to do with actual terrorist threats. It is instead all about strengthening the US's offensive cyber-war capabilities, consolidating control over the internet, and ensuring further transfers of massive public wealth to private industry continue unabated. In other words, it perfectly follows the template used by the public-private US National Security State over the last six decades to entrench and enrich itself based on pure pretext.

© 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited

Glenn Greenwald

Old Struggles, Shifting Awareness in a New Age

This past week’s presidential inauguration on Martin Luther King Day finds us as a nation and people at a remarkable crossroads. Before us we have the same daunting issues we have faced for years yet there is something different. There is a developing shift in our consciousness and responsibility. We are witnessing a new awareness of the challenges and necessity of addressing them. What is needed is the collective will and steadfastness of effort to realize the opportunities that are upon us.

This year commemorates profound social events in history, from the 150th Anniversary of the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation to Dr. King’s “I have a Dream” speech 50 years ago. That dream and challenge is alive and vital today, and recent events have made the need to realize it ever more apparent. It is not enough to simply pay homage and then move on. Our work is before us and demands action.

From Hurricane Sandy to Sandy Hook, the challenges we face loom large. They range from climate change, gun control, immigration reform, to mass incarceration, war and social and environmental justice. On our shared planet, there is a demand for environmental sustainability, social justice and spiritual fulfillment. We must recognize that these issues are all connected. Not one can be had without the others. The tipping point on these issues is at hand.

Daily we witness the devastating effects of climate change, from year over year record temperatures with 2012 being the warmest year on record for the lower 48 U.S. states. We see the catastrophic global storms and record melting of the Artic Sea ice. People are making the connection of extreme weather and climate change. The storms affect everyone though poor and underdeveloped communities and civilizations feel a disproportionate brunt with resultant environmental injustice.

Gun violence is a public health threat and national disgrace. Averaging 87 gun related deaths per day the United States saw over 30,000 of our citizens die last year. Gun related deaths are the leading cause of death among inner city black children and teens. This ‘war’ rages on everyday right here on our soil. Deaths from these weapons of mass destruction will soon overtake annual auto fatalities. This public health threat has gone on for far too long. As with any public health threat, prevention is key. A sad and paradoxical outcome of the Sandy Hook shootings and the loss of innocent white school children and teachers is that previous congressional adversaries to gun control are starting to evolve recognizing that there is no “safe” population and are seeing the need for some sensible control of our current insane gun policy.

Immigration reform has long been ignored or used as political issue. Yet immigration is a reality in our society and how we respond will address social and economic justice. Our economy is dependent on the labor of these “non-recognized” people who we so often overlook and treat as non-entities. This is a complex and international issue that demands compassion and leadership to resolve.

Mass incarceration that flows from the “War on Drugs” finds 2.3 million people in the U.S. behind bars. With 5% of the world’s population the U.S. has 25% of the worlds incarcerated making the U.S. the “incarceration nation”. Fifty percent of this population is men of color and has been referred to as the new “Jim Crow”. This institutionalized racism tears apart the social fabric of our communities.

Finally as the U.S. prepares to withdraw combat forces from Afghanistan it is imperative upon us to look closely to addressing and eliminating the root causes of war. All war has the possibility of going nuclear either by intent or mistake. In a world that remains wired for instantaneous nuclear annihilation stemming from outmoded cold war thinking the time at long last has come to make real progress in abolishing these weapons. The cost of war and the military industrial complex to our society and world in lives, treasure and opportunity is incomprehensible. The entire war economy demands a complete review as we face the finite fragile future of our planet.

With a majority of U.S. citizens supporting these initiatives, the time for action is now.

How we deal with these and so many issues speaks volumes to who we are as a nation. The president spoke of many of these issues in his inaugural address. However he can not resolve these issues alone. It is not enough for us as citizens to say we are in favor of something and then sit back and expect someone else to make it happen. How often do we hear or express that “they” didn’t get the job done. In reality “they” is us! In our democracy, we the people must persevere and demand that our elected officials abide by the peoples will. We must not give up until the result we demand is realized. Let us move forward together in this renewed season of opportunity. In the words of Martin Luther King, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

Robert Dodge

Dr. Robert Dodge is a family practice physician in Ventura, California. He became active in the peace movement as a college student at the University of Colorado, Boulder in the 1970′s where he majored in molecular, cellular and developmental biology. He is a Board Member and Nuclear Ambassador of, Physicians for Social Responsibility Los Angeles (www.PSRLA.org),and Board Member of Beyond War (www.beyondwar.org).

I Hate to Bother You: Is Justice Right Side Up?

I Hate to Bother You: Is Justice Right Side Up?

Is justice right side up?

Has world justice been frozen in an upside-down position?

The shoe-thrower of Iraq, the man who hurled his shoes at Bush, was condemned to three years in prison. Doesn’t he deserve, instead, a medal?

Who is the terrorist? The hurler of shoes or their recipient? Is not the real terrorist the serial killer who, lying, fabricated the Iraq war, massacred a multitude, and legalized and ordered torture?

Who are the guilty ones–the people of Atenco, in Mexico, the indigenous Mapuches of Chile, the Kekchies of Guatemala, the landless peasants of Brazil—all being accused of the crime of terrorism for defending their right to their own land? If the earth is sacred, even if the law does not say so, aren’t its defenders sacred too?

According to Foreign Policy Magazine, Somalia is the most dangerous place in the world. But who are the pirates? The starving people who attack ships or the speculators of Wall Street who spent years attacking the world and who are now rewarded with many millions of dollars for their pains?

Why does the world reward its ransackers?

Why is justice a one-eyed blind woman? Wal-Mart, the most powerful corporation on earth, bans trade unions. McDonald’s, too. Why do these corporations violate, with criminal impunity, international law? Is it because in this contemporary world of ours, work is valued as lower than trash and workers’ rights are valued even less?

Who are the righteous and who are the villains? If international justice really exists, why are the powerful never judged? The masterminds of the worst butcheries are never sent to prison. Is it because it is these butchers themselves who hold the prison keys?

What makes the five nations with veto power in the United Nations inviolable? Is it of a divine origin, that veto power of theirs? Can you trust those who profit from war to guard the peace?

Is it fair that world peace is in the hands of the very five nations who are also the world’s main producers of weapons? Without implying any disrespect to the drug runners, couldn’t we refer to this arrangement as yet another example of organized crime?

Those who clamor, everywhere, for the death penalty are strangely silent about the owners of the world. Even worse, these clamorers forever complain about knife-wielding murderers, yet say nothing about missile-wielding arch-murderers.

And one asks oneself: Given that these self-righteous world owners are so enamored of killing, why pray don’t they try to aim their murderous proclivities at social injustice? Is it a just a world when, every minute, three million dollars are wasted on the military, while at the same time fifteen children perish from hunger or curable disease? Against whom is the so-called international community armed to the teeth? Against poverty or against the poor?

Why don’t the champions of capital punishment direct their ire at the values of the consumer society, values which pose a daily threat to public safety? Or doesn’t, perhaps, the constant bombardment of advertising constitute an invitation to crime? Doesn’t that bombardment numb millions and millions of unemployed or poorly paid youth, endlessly teaching them the lie that “to be = to have,” that life derives its meaning from ownership of such things as cars or brand name shoes? Own, own, they keep saying, implying that he who has nothing is, himself, nothing.

Why isn’t the death penalty applied to death itself? The world is organized in the service of death. Isn’t it true that the military industrial complex manufactures death and devours the greater part of our resources as well as a good part of our energies? Yet the owners of the world only condemn violence when it is exercised by others. To extraterrestrials, if they existed, such monopoly of violence would appear inexplicable. It likewise appears insupportable to earth dwellers who, against all the available evidence, hope for survival: we humans are the only animals who specialize in mutual extermination, and who have developed a technology of destruction that is annihilating, coincidentally, our planet and all its inhabitants.

This technology sustains itself on fear. It is the fear of enemies that justifies the squandering of resources by the military and police. And speaking about implementing the death penalty, why don’t we pass a death sentence on fear itself? Would it not behoove us to end this universal dictatorship of the professional scaremongers? The sowers of panic condemn us to loneliness, keeping solidarity outside our reach: falsely teaching us that we live in a dog-eat-dog world, that he who can must crush his fellows, that danger is lurking behind every neighbor. Watch out, they keep saying, be careful, this neighbor will steal from you, that other one will rape you, that baby carriage hides a Muslim bomb, and that woman who is watching you–that innocent-looking neighbor of yours—will surely infect you with swine flu.

In this upside-down world, they are making us afraid of even the most elementary acts of justice and common sense. When President Evo Morales started to re-build Bolivia, so that his country with its indigenous majority will no longer feel shame facing a mirror, his actions provoked panic. Morales’ challenge was indeed catastrophic from the traditional standpoint of the racist order, whose beneficiaries felt that theirs was the only possible option for Bolivia. It was Evo, they felt, who ushered in chaos and violence, and this alleged crime justified efforts to blow up national unity and break Bolivia into pieces. And when President Correa of Ecuador refused to pay the illegitimate debts of his country, the news caused terror in the financial world and Ecuador was threatened with dire punishment, for daring to set such a bad example. If the military dictatorships and roguish politicians have always been pampered by international banks, have we not already conditioned ourselves to accept it as our inevitable fate that the people must pay for the club that hits them and for the greed that plunders them?

But, have common sense and justice always been divorced from each other?

Were not common sense and justice meant to walk hand in hand, intimately linked?

Aren’t common sense, and also justice, in accord with the feminist slogan which states that if we, men, had to go through pregnancy, abortion would have been free. Why not legalize the right to have an abortion? Is it because abortion will then cease being the sole privilege of the women who can afford it and of the physicians who can charge for it?

The same thing is observed with another scandalous case of denial of justice and common sense: why aren’t drugs legal? Is this not, like abortion, a public health issue? And the very same country that counts in its population more drug addicts than any other country in the world, what moral authority does it have to condemn its drug suppliers? And why don’t the mass media, in their dedication to the war against the scourge of drugs, ever divulge that it is Afghanistan which single-handedly satisfies just about all the heroin consumed in the world? Who rules Afghanistan? Is it not militarily occupied by a messianic country which conferred upon itself the mission of saving us all?

Why aren’t drugs legalized once and for all? Is it because they provide the best pretext for military invasions, in addition to providing the juiciest profits to the large banks who, in the darkness of night, serve as money-laundering centers?

Nowadays the world is sad because fewer vehicles are sold. One of the consequences of the global crisis is a decline of the otherwise prosperous car industry. Had we some shred of common sense, a mere fragment of a sense of justice, would we not celebrate this good news?

Could anyone deny that a decline in the number of automobiles is good for nature, seeing that she will end up with a bit less poison in her veins? Could anyone deny the value of this decline in car numbers to pedestrians, seeing that fewer of them will die?

Here’s how Lewis Carroll’s queen explained to Alice how justice is dispensed in a looking-glass world:

“There’s the King’s Messenger. He’s in prison now, being punished: and the trial doesn’t begin until next Wednesday: and of course the crime comes last of all.”

In El Salvador, Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero found that justice, like a snake, only bites barefoot people. He died of gunshot wounds, for proclaiming that in his country the dispossessed were condemned from the very start, on the day of their birth.

Couldn’t the outcome of the recent elections in El Salvador be viewed, in some ways, as a homage to Archbishop Romero and to the thousands who, like him, died fighting for right-side-up justice in this reign of injustice?

At times the narratives of History end badly, but she, History itself, never ends. When she says goodbye, she only says: I’ll be back.

Eduardo Galeano is the sage of the Americas. Galeano’s classics include: Open Veins of Latin America and Genesis.

Canada’s First Nations: A History of Resistance

idle no more

Much has been said recently in the media about the relationship between the inspiring expression of Indigenous resurgent activity informing the #IdleNoMore movement and the heightened decade of Native activism that led Canada to establish the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (RCAP) in 1991. I offer this short analysis of the historical context that led to RCAP in an effort to get a better sense of the transformative possibilities in our present moment of struggle.

The federal government was forced to launch RCAP in the wake of two national crises that erupted in the tumultuous “Indian summer” of 1990.

Elijah Harper’s filibuster

The first involved the legislative stonewalling of the Meech Lake Accord by Cree Manitoba MLA Elijah Harper. The Meech Lake Accord was a failed constitutional amendment package negotiated in 1987 by then prime minister of Canada, Brian Mulroney, and the ten provincial premiers. The process was the federal government’s attempt to bring Quebec “back in” to the constitutional fold in the wake of the province’s refusal to accept the constitutional repatriation deal of 1981, which formed the basis of the The Constitution Act, 1982. Indigenous opposition to Meech Lake was staunch and vocal, in large part due to the fact that the privileged white men negotiating the agreement once again refused to recognize the political concerns and aspirations of First Nations. In a disruptive act of legislative protest, Elijah Harper initiated a filibuster in the days immediately leading up to the accord’s ratification deadline, which ultimately prevented the province from endorsing the package. The agreement subsequently tanked because it failed to gain the required ratification of all ten provinces within three years of reaching a deal.

The Oka conflict

The second crisis involved a 78-day armed “standoff” beginning on July 11, 1990 between the Mohawk nation of Kanesatake, the Quebec provincial police (SQ), and the Canadian armed forces near the town of Oka, Quebec. On June 30, 1990 the municipality of Oka was granted a court injunction to dismantle a peaceful barricade erected by the people of Kanesatake in an effort to defend their sacred lands from further encroachment by non-Native developers. The territory in question was slotted for development by a local golf course, which planned on extending nine holes onto land the Mohawks had been fighting to have recognized as their own for almost 300 years. Eleven days later, on July 11, one hundred heavily armed members of the SQ stormed the community.

The police invasion culminated in a 24 second exchange of gunfire that killed SQ Corporal Marcel Lemay. In a display of solidarity, the neighbouring Mohawk nation of Kahnawake set up their own barricades, including one that blocked the Mercier Bridge leading into the greater Montreal area. Galvanized by the Mohawk resistance, Indigenous peoples from across the continent followed suit, engaging in a diverse array of solidarity actions that ranged from leafleting to the establishment of peace encampments to the erection of blockades on several major Canadian transport corridors, both road and rail.

Although polls conducted during the stand-off showed some support by non-Native Canadians outside of Quebec for the Mohawk cause, most received their information about the so-called “Oka Crisis” through the corporate media, which overwhelmingly represented the event as a “law and order” issue fundamentally undermined by Indigenous peoples’ anger and resentment-fuelled criminality.

For many Indigenous people and their supporters, however, these two national crises were seen as the inevitable culmination of a near decade-long escalation of Native frustration with a colonial state that steadfastly refused to uphold the rights that had been recently “recognized and affirmed” in section 35 (1) of the The Constitution Act, 1982. By the late 1980s, this frustration was clearly boiling over, resulting in a marked rise in First Nations’ militancy and land-based direct action. The following are some well-documented examples from the time:

The Innu occupation and blockade of the Canadian Air Force/NATO base at Goose Bay, Labrador

The occupation was led largely by Innu women to challenge the further dispossession of their territories and the destruction of their land-based way of life by the military industrial complex’s encroachment onto the Innu peoples’ homeland of Nitassinan;

The Lubicon Cree struggle against oil and gas development on their traditional territories in present day Alberta

The Lubicon Cree have been struggling to protect a way of life threatened by intensified capitalist development on their homelands since at least 1939. Over the years, the community has engaged in a number of very public protests to get their message across, including a well-publicized boycott of the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics and the associated Glenbow Museum exhibit, The Spirit Sings;

First Nations blockades in British Columbia

Throughout the 1980s, First Nations in B.C. grew extremely frustrated with the painfully slow pace of the federal government’s comprehensive land claims process and the province’s racist refusal to recognize Aboriginal title within its its borders.  The result was a decade’s worth of very disruptive blockades, which at its height in 1990 were such a common occurrence that Vancouver newspapers felt the need to publish traffic advisories identifying delays caused by First Nation roadblocks in the province’s interior. Many of the blockades were able to halt resource extraction on Native land for protracted periods of time;

The Algonquins of Barriere Lake

By 1989, the Algonquins of Barrier Lake were embroiled in a struggle to stop clear-cut logging within their traditional territories in present day Quebec because these practices threatened their land and way of life. Under the leadership of customary chief, Jean-Maurice Matchewan, the community used blockades to successfully impede clear-cutting activities affecting their community.

The Temagami First Nation blockades of 1988 and 1989 in present-day Ontario.

The Temagami blockades were set up to protect their nation’s homeland from further encroachment by non-Native development. The blockades of 1988-89 were the most recent assertions of Temagami sovereignty in over a century-long struggle to protect the community’s right to land and freedom from colonial settlement and development.

From the vantage point of the colonial state, by the time the 78-day standoff at Kanesatake had begun things were already out of control in Indian Country. If settler-state stability and authority are required to ensure “certainty” over lands and resources to create a climate friendly for expanded capitalist accumulation, then the barrage of Indigenous practices of disruptive counter-sovereignty that emerged with increased frequency in the 1980s was an embarrassing demonstration that Canada no longer had its shit together with respect to managing the so-called “Indian Problem.” On top of this, the material form that these expressions of Indigenous sovereignty took on the ground – the blockade, explicitly erected to impede constituted flows of racialized capital and state power from entering and/or leaving Indigenous territories — must have been particularly troubling to the settler-colonial elite.

All of this activity was an indication that Indigenous people and communities were no longer willing to wait for Canada (or even their own leaders) to negotiate a just relationship with them in good faith. There was also growing concern that Indigenous youth in particular were no longer willing to play by Canada’s rules – especially regarding the potential use of political violence – when it came to advancing their communities’ rights and interests. As then national chief of the Assembly of the First Nations, Georges Erasmus, warned in 1988: “Canada, if you do not deal with this generation of leaders, then we cannot promise that you are going to like the kind of violent political action that we can just about guarantee the next generation is going to bring to you.” Consider this “a warning,” Erasmus continued: “We want to let you know that you’re playing with fire. We may be the last generation of leaders that are prepared to sit down and peacefully negotiate our concerns with you.”

In the wake of having to engage in one of the largest military operations since the Korean War, the federal government announced on Aug. 23, 1991 that a royal commission would be established with a sprawling 16-point mandate to investigate the abusive relationship that had clearly developed between Aboriginal peoples and the Canadian state. Published two years behind schedule in Nov. 1996, the 58 million dollar, five-volume, approximately 4,000 page Report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples includes 440 recommendations which call for a renewed relationship based on the core principles of “mutual recognition, mutual respect, sharing and mutual responsibility.” The material conditions that informed the decade of Indigenous protest that led to the resistance as Kanesatake created the political context that RCAP’s call for recognition and reconciliation was supposed to pacify — namely, the righteous anger and resentment of the colonized transformed into an insurgent reclamation of Indigenous difference that threatened to unsettle settler-colonialism’s sovereign claim over Indigenous people and lands.

The power of economic disruption

With respect to the emergent #IdleNoMore movement, although many of the conditions that compelled the state to undertake the most expensive public inquiry in Canadian history are still in place, a couple of important ones are not. The first condition that appears to be absent is the clear threat of political violence that was present in the years leading to the resistance at Kanesatake. #IdleNoMore is an explicitly non-violent movement, which accounts for its relatively wide spectrum of both Native and non-Native support at the moment.

However, if the life of Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence continues to be recklessly put in jeopardy by a prime minister who negligently refuses to capitulate to her reasonable demands, I predict that the spectre of political violence will re-emerge in Indigenous peoples’ collective conversations about what to do next. The responsibility for this rests solely on the state.

The second condition that differentiates #IdleNoMore from the decade of Indigenous activism that lead to RCAP is the absence (so far) of widespread economic disruption unleashed by Indigenous direct action. If history has shown us anything, it is this: if you want those in power to respond swiftly to Indigenous peoples’ political struggles, start by placing Indigenous bodies (with a few logs and tires thrown in for good measure) between settlers and their money, which in colonial contexts is generated by the ongoing theft and exploitation of our land and resource base. If this is true, then the long term efficacy of the #IdleNoMore movement would appear to hinge on its protest actions being distributed more evenly between the shopping malls and front lawns of legislatures on the one hand, and the logging roads, thoroughfares, and railways that are central to the accumulation of colonial capital on the other. For better and for worse, it was our peoples’ challenge to these two pillars of colonial sovereignty that led to the recommendations of RCAP: the Canadian state’s claim to hold a legitimate monopoly on use of violence and the conditions required for the ongoing accumulation of capital.

In stating this I don’t mean to offer an unqualified endorsement of these two approaches, but rather a diagnosis of our present situation based on an ongoing critical conversation about how these differences and similarities ought to inform our current struggle.

Postscript

On January 4, 2013, the Prime Minister’s Office issued an official statement saying that Prime Minister Stephen Harper, along with Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan, have agreed to participate “in a working meeting with a delegation of First Nations leaders coordinated by the Assembly of First Nations on January 11, 2013.” “This working meeting,” the statement continued, will focus on two areas emphasized in the “historic” meeting between First Nations and the Crown last January 11: “the treaty relationship and aboriginal rights, and economic development.” Although the PMO statement doesn’t explicitly indicate that Harper’s decision came as a direct result of pressure placed on his administration by the explosion of activism associated with #IdleNoMore and Chief Theresa Spence’s hunger strike, it clearly indicates a change of direction in the federal government’s approach to managing the fallout of these events.

My prediction is that this ostensible gesture of inclusion and dialogue is too little and too late. In the ever delicate balancing act of having to ensure that one’s social conservative contempt for First Nations doesn’t overwhelm one’s neoconservative love of the market, the Prime Minister erred by letting the former outstrip his commitment to the latter. This is a novice mistake that Liberals like Jean Chrétien and Paul Martin learned how to manage decades ago. As a result, the federal government has invigorated a struggle for Indigenous self-determination that will continue to challenge both colonial racism and free-market fundamentalism in a way that will not be easily co-opted by offering scraps of recognition and the cheap gift of inclusion.

Glen Coulthard is a member of the Yellowknives Dene First Nation and an assistant professor in the First Nations Studies Program and the Department of Political Science at the University of British Columbia, traditional and unceded territories of the Musqueam First Nation.

DOD Conference Bill Passed… Yet We’re Less Safe and More Poor – Antiwar.com Blog

Ron Paul breaks down the massive DoD spending bill Conference Report that has just passed Congress. More money for Ukraine?...

Trump’s Pivot to Asia: An Arms Sales Bonanza

President Trump’s 5-country Asia tour has nothing to do with seeking peace anywhere. It has not even to do with diplomacy – it is...

How America Spreads Global Chaos – Consortiumnews

The U.S. government may pretend to respect a “rules-based” global order, but the only rule Washington seems to follow is...

The Simulacra Democracy | Dissident Voice

… a nation in which 87 percent of eighteen- to twenty-four year olds (according to a 2002 National Geographic Society/Roper Poll survey) cannot locate...

The Simulacra Democracy

Photo by William Brawley | CC by 2.0 … a nation in which 87 percent of eighteen- to twenty-four year olds (according to a 2002...

The Violence Comes Home Again

In the wake of the Las Vegas massacre, as in the wake of all the high-profile mass shootings that preceded it, the big question...

How To End the Korean Crisis

The CIA and Its Ally Al-Qaeda

The Paradox of Cyclical Ingenuity and Virtual Democracy

In Hellenic times, theatre was regarded as the institution that held all other institutions up to public examination and scrutiny. Its’ function was to...

Capitalism and Its Discontents: What Are We Living For?

Whoever is not prepared to talk about capitalism should also remain silent about fascism. — Max Horkheimer, from the essay “The Jews and Europe”, December...

Capitalism and Its Discontents: What Are We Living For?

Photo by Metro Centric | CC BY 2.0 “Whoever is not prepared to talk about capitalism should also remain silent about fascism?” -Max Horkheimer, from the...

Trump, Veto Congress

APPIP ERROR:nodata[ (0) NO DATA APPIP ERROR:nodata[ (0) NO DATA APPIP ERROR:nodata[ (0) NO DATA APPIP ERROR:nodata[ (0) NO DATA APPIP ERROR:nodata[ (0) NO...

Pulp Friction

Do the righteous amongst us choose formulaic thinking over science-based deductive observation? Pulp Fiction, released in 1994 as an American black comedy neo-noir crime film...

‘Brought to you by agency which produced Al-Qaeda & ISIS' – Assange trolls CIA...

Published time: 14 Apr, 2017 09:23 Julian Assange has responded to CIA Director Mike Pompeo’s accusation that...

A Changing of the Guard

The Russians are everywhere! Prepare! Rip out your hair! Didn’t you hear? The Russians are here! And the Big Orange Toad God Emperor of Man...

Trump vs. the Deep State

As President-elect Donald Trump fights off fierce assaults by the massed national security apparatus, Democrats, the neocon Praetorian Guard, and a host of other...

The Obama Regime Seeks Last-Minute War With Russia

In the final days of Barack Obama’s presidency, the warmongers in Washington, DC are hell-bent on causing as much chaos as possible. If they...

The Spirit of Christmas

“I think there must be something wrong with me, Linus. Christmas is coming, but I’m not happy. I don’t feel the way I’m supposed...

Making Russia ‘The Enemy’

Exclusive: Despite conflicting accounts about who leaked the Democratic emails, the frenzy over an alleged Russian role is driving the U.S....

Curious Alliances: Truth as Casualty in the US Presidential Election

The curious foursome of Chuck Schumer and Jack Reed, along with the Dr. Strangelove twins (John McCain and Lindsay Graham) have called for cooperation...

The Rejection of Wall Street’s Globalization Project: Ding Dong, the Witch is Dead!

“There’s no place like home.” That’s the lesson. Even when home is Kansas. The real meaning of this election is not, as bitterly disappointed Hillary supporters...

Love Him or Hate Him

The U.S. Elections: The Latest Crack in the System The 2016 U.S. presidential elections are unprecedented: I don’t believe we have ever witnessed before a...

The Real Enemy of Both Koreas

Warring hotspots all over the world are flaring up in 2016 in what amounts to preparation for World War III between the military forces...

No proof, but ‘Russian hackers’: CNN blunders with report on ‘breach’ at NYT –...

Another round of hysteria blaming shady Kremlin hackers has taken over western media after CNN reported...

Could Trump Hurt Both Parties?

Hillary Clinton, Queen of Chaos, Queen of War, Golden Goldman Girl, for all practical purposes, is now the official bipartisan candidate of US neocons...

‘You Don’t Get the Full Picture of What a Devastating Trade This Is’ –...

Janine Jackson interviewed William Hartung about US arms sales for the August 5, 2016, episode of CounterSpin. This is a lightly edited transcript. William Hartung:...

Comrade Vladimir and Comrade Donald

It is a dark night in New York, a city that knows how to keep its secrets. But on the top floor of Trump...

Comrade Vladimir and Comrade Donald

by John V. Walsh / July 29th, 2016 It is a dark night in New York, a city that knows how to keep its secrets....

How Obama, Clinton, & the DNC forced fracking on the world

This week’s decision by a federal judge to strike down the Obama administration's efforts to regulate,...

Trump as the ‘Relative Peace Candidate’

Hillary Clinton has shown no real remorse over her support for neocon “regime changes,” aggressive wars and belligerence toward Russia,...

Leading Antiwar Progressives Speak Favorably of Aspects of Trump’s Foreign Policy

by John V. Walsh / June 20th, 2016 Until recently the progressive mind has been resolutely closed and stubbornly frozen in place against all things...

Memorializing the Horrors of War With 10 Must-See War Films

“The horror… the horror…” – Apocalypse Now (1979) “You can’t show war as it really is on the screen, with all the blood and gore....

Memorializing the Horrors of War

“The horror… the horror…”—Apocalypse Now (1979) “You can’t show war as it really is on the screen, with all the blood and gore. Perhaps it...

Women and War

This month we’ve seen a strange confluence of developments, anniversaries, and events bringing the subject of “women and war” to the editorial pages of...

Australia’s French Connection: The Submarine Saga

It was all a funny business, but it is very clear that the Australian relationship with France, at least when it comes to matters...

PROPAGANDA AS A WEAPON OF MASS DESTRUCTION

Denis A Conroy If "the medium is the message"...a phrase coined by Marshall McLuhan...existentialism could be the means of delivering grist to the psychic mill...

Propaganda as a Weapon of Mass Destruction

by Denis A. Conroy If “the medium is the message” — a phrase coined by Marshall McLuhan — existentialism could be the means of delivering...

Noam Chomsky on Germany's Weapons Exports to Israel, Saudi Arabia and the Refugee Crisis

In this video, MIT professor, anarchist, political philosopher and renowned linguist Noam Chomsky discusses the impacts of German arms and weapons exports...

Trump sparks NATO debate: ‘Obsolete’ or ‘tripwire that could lead to World War III’?

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump slammed NATO on the campaign trail this week, saying he can...

An American Big Lie About ‘Terrorism’

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org Micah Zenko is a blogger who posts on a main site of America’s foreign-policy establishment, the Council on Foreign...

New World Disorder

“The easiest way to gain control of a population is to carry out acts of terror. will clamor for such laws if their...

A College Education Instead of Mindless Militarization

Adam Vogal (Common Dreams) - As the United States military continues to sell the idea of joining its ranks to high school students throughout the nation...

2015 Memorial Day: Praying for Peace While Waging Permanent War?

(Common Dreams) - Memorial Day is, by federal law, a day of prayer for permanent peace. But is it possible to honestly pray for peace...

Ron Paul: Nobody wants to be Obama’s defense secretary

The Obama administration is currently in the midst of finding a new secretary of defense to replace outgoing Pentagon chief Chuck Hagel — but...

The CIA torture cover-up continues

One of the numerous issues being carefully avoided by the political establishment in the US midterm elections, now less than one week away, is...

The Ongoing Propaganda War Behind GMOs Exposed

The United States has been paying farmers for over two decades to NOT produce food, yet biotech would have us believe that genetically modified organisms are...

Filling The Voidistan

Norman Ball RINF Alternative News “This craving… tries in vain to fill with everything around him, seeking in things that are not there the help he cannot...

The US’ Unauthorised Air Strikes in Syria: Against or Favouring Wahhabism and the Islamic...

Peter Custers Since the night of September 22/23, US fighter planes have been carrying out strikes with missiles and drones against targets in and around...

“Lies”, says Cameron, as he launches another war

Ian Fantom RINF Alternative News Britain is again on the verge of war. Every time they say it’s different this time, and it never is....

New investigation links anthrax plotters to 911

Ian Henshall  RINF Alternative News There are many problems with the official account of the September 11 mass murder, but in recent years campaigners have focused...

Militarism Is a Public Safety Crisis

David Swanson RINF Alternative News Peace and justice organizations in St. Louis, Mo. and across the country are calling for collective action this Saturday, August 16, 2014 at...

Local Police and Much Else Will Be Militarized As Long As Federal Government Is

David Swanson RINF Alternative News “Groups on the ground in St. Louis are calling for nationwide solidarity actions in support of Justice for Mike Brown and the end...

The Dumbing Down of America — By Design

Joachim Hagopian This presentation focuses on the myriad ways in which the powers-that-be in the United States have been systematically dumbing down Americans as a...

Why was MH17 flying through a war zone where 10 aircraft have been shot...

Tony Gosling Put yourself in the position of a certain passenger boarding the Malaysian Airlines flight at Amsterdam for the twelve hour trip to Kuala...

What I Don’t Like About Life in the American Police State

John Whitehead There's a lot to love about America and its people: their pioneering spirit, their entrepreneurship, their ability to think outside the box, their...

The CIA spying scandal and the disintegration of American democracy

Tom Carter Last Thursday, the US Department of Justice quietly announced that it would not launch a criminal investigation following the revelation in March that...

I’m Speaking in England This Week and You’re Invited

David Swanson from the Coordinating Committee of WorldBeyondWar.org will be visiting London from the United States on July 2nd before heading up to speak in Northern England with CAAB.org.uk on the Fourth of July.  Swanson is an author whose book...

Insidious Mass Media – Propaganda, Psychology, Mind Control

Kenneth Anton Edward Bernays speaks of “the invisible government which dictates our thoughts, directs our feelings and controls our actions.” Also known as the godfather of...

Media Propaganda and the Ukraine Crisis

Paul Rogov Whereas Western corporate journalists are claiming the fate of the Ukraine crises is the greatest geo-political catastrophe since 9/11, a recent Gallop poll shows...

Ron Paul: The Ukraine Fuse Has Been Lit

Ron Paul and Charles Goyette discuss the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, including a new Senate bill that seeks to push the US to the very brink...

Ukraine: America In Search of a Good War

David Swanson RINF Alternative News The U.S. public is not longing for a U.S. war in Ukraine. Seven percent want military options considered (poll by McClatchy-Marist, April...

In Search of a Good War

The U.S. public is not longing for a U.S. war in Ukraine. Seven percent want military options considered (poll by McClatchy-Marist, April 7-10), up from six percent a bit earlier (Pew, March 20-23), or 12 percent for U.S. ground troops and 17 percent f...

The Art of Satyagraha

Michael Nagler has just published The Nonviolence Handbook: A Guide for Practical Action, a quick book to read and a long one to digest, a book that's rich in a way that people of a very different inclination bizarrely imagine Sun Tzu's to be.  Th...

War Makes Us Poor

Washington's Blog Reprinted with permission Top Economists Say War Is Bad for the Economy Preface: Many Americans — including influential economists and talking heads - still wrongly assume that war is good for...

The Down and Out Make More Sense than Any Billionaire

So why aren’t we listening, shaping policy around what the downtrodden know and see? Paul K. Haeder  RINF Alternative News I’m receiving the All-American love channels. You...

Austerity and the “Economic Destabilization Agenda”. Impoverishing America’s Middle Class

Joachim Hagopian RINF Alternative News The destabilization agenda currently driving US foreign policy to target and attack any national government that resists American Empire imperialism...

Al Qaeda: Friend or Foe? The US Cannot Have It Both Ways

Joachim Hagopian RINF Alternative News The US government needs to be confronted with the untenable position of maintaining al Qaeda as America’s enemy while for decades...

Going to England

Here's a chance to get together in London, or in Northern England, to discuss plans for ending all wars.David Swanson from the Steering Committee of WorldBeyondWar.org will be visiting London from the United States on July 2nd before heading up to spea...

World Has No Idea How U.S. Decides on Wars

David Swanson  RINF Alternative News People from Yemen and Pakistan and elsewhere have told me, and have testified in the U.S. Congress, that they have a...

World Has No Idea How U.S. Decides on Wars

People from Yemen and Pakistan and elsewhere have told me, and have testified in the U.S. Congress, that they have a hard time convincing their neighbors that everyone in the United States doesn't hate them.  There are buzzing killer robots flying...

Ukraine and the “Presstitute Media”: “Converting Western Public Opinion into Mindless Puppets”

Peter Koenig  Peter Koenig talked to the Voice of Russia about the crisis in Ukraine, the biased coverage of the Western media and the “meaningless”...

Thermonuclear Monarchy and Revolution

So now we (or at least the 0.03% of us who care to hunt for it) discover that U.S. military spending is not actually being cut at all, but increasing. Also going up: U.S. nuclear weapons spending.  Some of the new nukes will violate treaties, but ...

New War Budget & Strategy Announced by Obama Team

Bruce K. Gagnon RINF Alternative News Secretary of War Chuck Hagel yesterday announced the Obama administration's Pentagon budget proposal for the coming year. Despite mandates...

One Who Raged Against the Machine – Remembering Gerald Berreman

David Price RINF Alternative News A few mornings ago I saw an announcement that anthropologist Gerald Berreman died this last December. Berreman was a professor...

Medical Price Gouging

An epidemic of sky-rocketing medical costs has afflicted our country and grown to obscene proportions. Medical bills are bloated with waste, redundancy, profiteering, fraud...

115 years of US Domination

In recent weeks, we've seen signs of an empire that refuses to cease its worst behavior. The drone strikes, preparations for a new military...

The Years of Living Stupidly

“Who can kill a general in his bed? Overthrow dictators if they're Red? …CIA man…Who can train guerillas by the dozens? Send them out...

The Real Grand Chessboard and the Profiteers of War

“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The...

The Devil Came Up to Vermont

According to the tale called The Iliad, the Greek god of war, named Ares, was “The most hateful of all gods….” Indeed, his father...

Invest in People, Not War

Earlier this month, a delegation of activists took to Capitol Hill to demand a decrease in the massive, out-of-control military budget. As millions of...

Peace in the Pentagon

I'm a huge fan of peace studies as an academic discipline that should be spread into every corner of what we call, with sometimes unclear justification, our education system.  But often peace studies, like other disciplines, manages to study only ...

MAY THE ODDS EVER BE IN YOUR FAVOR – HOPE & DEFIANCE

In the 1st installment of this article – May the Odds Ever Be in Your Favor – The Reaping, I addressed how wealth inequality created by men rigging the system and utilizing media propaganda ultimately leads to rebellion. In Part … Continue reading

MAY THE ODDS EVER BE IN YOUR FAVOR – HOPE & DEFIANCE was originally published on Washington's Blog

Spying Spooks Throw It In Americans’ Faces With New Octopus-Engulfing-World Logo

Intelligence head tweets badge stating “Nothing is beyond our reach” Steve Watson Following this year's further revelations on the NSA actively spying on Americans' communications, along...

Nelson Mandela: Icon of Africa’s Liberation Struggle, Creation of the Real Movers and Shakers...

Nelson Mandela has become one of the most publicised icons of liberation struggle in modern times, in Africa certainly, but even in Asia and...

A Pre-Conspiracy Theory

I'm going to engage here in a thought experiment which may make some readers a little queasy, but bear with me. It's been half a...

Is Monsanto’s Glyphosate RoundUp the New Agent Orange?

While it was our own government who did the spraying, they colluded with Monsanto, one of the nine government contractors who made the toxic...

US companies to benefit from Iran deal

Iran�™s nuclear deal will have �œmany positive economic benefits” for US companies after removal of illegal sanctions against Iran, an analyst says. �œAnytime you expand...

“We’re Going to Need to Go Outside of the Law… to Stop Obeying the...

SHTFplan Editor's Note: Forget left and right, republican and democrat. Some issues transcend political lines. This is one of them. Via SGT Report and Daily...

Can Karzai Save Us?

Ron PaulInfowars.comNovember 25, 2013 After a year of talks over the post-2014 US military presence in Afghanistan, the US administration announced last week that a...

The Day John Kennedy Died

When I first heard Lou Reed's “The Day John Kennedy Died” while a sophomore at college, it momentarily bridged an otherwise broad, taken-for granted...

US ‘won’t loosen’ sanctions against Iran

American investigative journalist Wayne Madsen says the Obama administration, under the influence of the Israel lobby and military industrial complex, is not likely to...

Texans to Protest Censorship of Free Speech in Dallas JFK Events

Alex Jones to lead demonstrations against censorship of First Amendment in Dallas Adan SalazarInfowars.comNovember 19, 2013 The anniversary of the death of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the...

Is Monsanto’s RoundUp (Glyphosate) the New Agent Orange?

Christina Sarich Monsanto has been in the poison game for a long time. All the propaganda in the world can't erase the fact that they...

Focusing Hiroshima

Hiroshima was targeted in part for it's “focusing effect.” The hills surrounding the city, according to a secret memo prepared by Leslie Grove, “would...

The JFK Assassination: Beware of the Coverup of an Obvious Plot

This year the most important November date is the 22nd, the event that changed the course of world history – is the 50th...

Global Warming and the Ideology of Anthropogenic (Human Caused) Climate Change

The purpose of this work is to provide an investigation into the ideology of anthropogenic (human caused) climate change. It has been written with...

GOP Establishment Blames Tea Party for Election Failures

"A thing moderately good is not so good as it ought to be. Moderation in temper is always a virtue; but moderation in principle...

Caterpillar’s CEO Sounds Off!

The CEO of Caterpillar recently spoke at Georgia State University's World Affairs Council of Atlanta. Mr. Doug Oberhelman talked about the state of manufacturing...

Killing Peace

In time, an insidious practice assumes the property of custom. It might seem barbaric and archaic, but as the great Sophist Protagoras claimed,...

Killing Children: America’s Undeclared Drone War on the People of Pakistan

This week saw the most extraordinary scene materialize in Washington DC. Nine-year-old Nabeela ur Rehman, from North Waziristan in the remote tribal region of...

Eisenhower’s Drones

President Dwight Eisenhower is often admired for having avoided huge wars, having declared that every dollar wasted on militarism was food taken out of the mouths of children, and having warned -- albeit on his way out the door -- of the toxic influenc...

Victims of drone strike testify before Congress

Published time: October 29, 2013 18:16 Nabila Rehman (L), 9, who was injured by a US drone strike in Pakistan,speaks as her brother...

ENDING ALL WAR: An Idea Whose Time Has Come — For Our Children and...

By David Swanson and David Hartsough with input from George Lakey, Jan Passion, Mike Ferner, Colleen Kelly, Ruth Benn, Leah Bolger, Nathan Schneider, Hakim, Paul Chappell, Colin Archer, Kathy Kelly, et alia. (none of whom are to blame for shortcomings ...

The Shutdown of the U.S. Government and “Debt Default”: A Dress Rehearsal for the...

The “shutdown” of the US government and the financial climax associated with a deadline date, leading to a possible “debt default” of the federal...

Artificial Intelligence and Death by Drones: the Future of Warfare will be “Decided by...

The technocratic nightmare born out of trans humanism and eugenics receives another gift from the military industrial complex at the expense of humanity. Drones will...

Kings, Warlords and Theocrats Have No Place in America…

We The People are supposed to have the power in America. That was the idea of the Founders, but it has been taken from us. Since...

Beginning the Ending of War

This article is the Introduction to the new book War No More: The Case for Abolition, published in October 2013. As I write this, in...

Congressional War Criminals. Society under Corporate Technological Militarized Control

The war criminals of Congress are protected by the ignorance of the public. As Americans waste time watching their favorite sports teams compete with...

Giant Pentagon Budget Is Unauditable

The federal government is currently in a state of shutdown thanks to a small faction of extremist Republicans who vehemently bellow that the Affordable...

Giant Pentagon Budget Is Unauditable

The federal government is currently in a state of shutdown thanks to a small faction of extremist Republicans who vehemently bellow that the Affordable...

Congressional War Criminals

The war criminals of congress are protected by the ignorance of the public. As Americans waste time watching their favorite sports teams compete with one...

These Are Not the Normal Activities of a Government Planning for Peace and Stability

Something is amiss. Most Americans know this — they can feel it deep down inside — even if they don't know what it is,...

From NSA Spying and VIPR Sweeps to Domestic Drones: A Round-Up of the Police...

Like clockwork, we’ve ticked back to the annual government shutdown scare that invariably dominates news headlines and sends stocks seesawing for a few scant weeks until, at the very last moment, the nation is miraculously pulled from the brink of disaster. It’s always an entertaining show, with both Republicans and Democrats doing their best to […]

Worldwide Militarization and the Weapons Industry: America’s Surveillance and Targeted Assassination Machine

Perpetual mass-media deception and pervasive surveillance encompass a never ending train of abuse that won't end any time soon. As long as armaments factories...

Washington Will Only Continue Its Crimes

Perpetual mass-media deception and pervasive surveillance encompass a never ending train of abuse that won't end any time soon. As long as armaments factories...

‘Israel striving to nip US-Iran talks’

A US political commentator says Israel is striving to nip the possible talks between the United States and Iran before they even bud. Danny Schechter,...

Why does the Music Industry keep “Underground Hip-Hop Music” Underground?

Music is everybody's possession . It's only publishers who think that people own it. John Lennon The Corporate Music industry has had a...

Is Capitalism to Blame For the Syrian War Drive?

Obama's push for war in Syria seemed so deeply irrational, so crazed, that many people naturally asked, “Why is this happening?” And “who” wants...

Is Capitalism to Blame for the Syrian War Drive?

Obama’s push for war in Syria seemed so deeply irrational, so crazed, that many people naturally asked, “Why is this happening?” And “who” wants it to happen? Few Americans actually believed that Nobel Peace Prizing winning Obama suddenly wanted to bomb Syria because “Assad gassed his own people” (especially when zero evidence was given to […]

Syria: Has Obama Finally Forsaken the Insurgency?

Current events surrounding the Syrian conflict appear to be on the brink of a partial agreement toward peace. Brokered by the United States and...

Stopping Barry O’Bomber’s Rush to War

Dear President Obama: Little did your school boy chums in Hawaii, watching you race up and down the basketball court, know how prescient they were...

Is It Time for Obama to Exchange His Nobel Peace Prize for an Emmy?

Politics is the entertainment division of the military industrial complex ~ Frank ZappaRecently, Maria Rodale, the CEO of the publishing company Some of our readers may ask, isn't...

Buying The Senate & Selling Fear

Infowars.comSeptember 7, 2013 Obama passes his first hurtle toward Congressional approval with the support of Senators...

‘Israel orchestrating US war on Syria’

A political analyst says Israel is orchestrating a potential US strike against Syria despite strong opposition from the US military and the American public. In...

Video: Forum on Preventing an Attack on Syria

Videos filmed by Les Solomon. The Charlottesville Forum on Preventing a U.S. Attack on Syria was held in Charlottesville VA at the Friends Meeting House...

Jobs, Healthcare, Schools, Not War.

By Charlene Muhammad Your money, war money equal fewer services (FinalCall.com) — Over the years, cable TV and internet newscasts have shown images of war-torn...

Exclusive: High Level Source Confirms Secret US Nuclear Warhead Transfer to East Coast

Anthony Gucciardi & Alex JonesInfowars.comSeptember 3, 2013 A high level source inside the military has now...

Why is the Left Confused About Bombing Syria?

   Why does Obama want to bomb Syria? Some on the Left seem confused.  Recently Tariq Ali and Robert Fiske, both well-informed, articulate and brilliant intellectuals, have...

The Stampede of Lies That’s Pushing the West Towards War in Syria

Low-empathy political leaders and media propagandists have abandoned principle in the 21st century. “It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most...

Charlottesville Forum on Preventing a U.S. Attack on Syria

A free, public, town-hall forum on Preventing a U.S. Attack on Syria: why and how. Wednesday, September 4, 6:30 p.m. Sign up to attend on FaceBook...

Syria: Obama’s Pretext for War? The “Rebels” are in Possession of Chemical Weapons

It seems many have forgotten the last two and a half years of western sabre-rattling and covert military aggression against the Syrian state. It...

Borders Without Scruples

“International borders are never completely just. But the degree of injustice they inflict upon those whom frontiers force together or separate makes an enormous...

Reddit co-founder sought work with shadowy intelligence firm, WikiLeaks reveals

A popular co-founder of the social news site Reddit previously attempted to gain employment as a consultant for Stratfor, a shadowy private geopolitical intelligence...

US Israeli lobbies pushing for Syria war

Scott Rickard, an American activist, believes that Å“pro-Israel lobbies” in the US are pushing Washington into waging a war on Syria. Å“All the pro-Israel committees...

CIA Plans to Close Office That Declassifies Documents Due to Budget Cuts

JG Vibes Intellihub August 24, 2013 The CIA is blaming budget cuts on their new effort to close the department that releases declassified documents to the public. Motherboard...

End racism, materialism, and militarism

50 years later: We march on Washington to end racism, materialism, and militarismDr. Martin Luther King, JrAfter Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.â„¢s historic and...

DC, the War Crime Capital

Washington D.C. is the capital of a war criminal class that harvests the blood of Americans to fight wars abroad for resource control and...

Leslie Gelb on Egypt: Hold Your Nose and Back the Junta!

Daniel McAdamsLew Rockwell BlogAugust 19, 2013 Long-time foreign policy insider Leslie Gelb, president emeritus of the...

Marine Corps Colonel: Homeland Security Building “Domestic Army”

Fallujah veteran says government is afraid of its own citizens Paul Joseph WatsonInfowars.comAugust 15, 2013

Rand Paul Sells Out

Senator Rand Paul is widening the difference between his father, the long-time former Congressman from Texas whose “no” votes on principle, whether you agree...

Pentagon eyes $2.7bn in Iraq arms sales

Amid the most deadly month in Iraq in five years, the Pentagon has notified Congress of $2.7 billion in new arms sales to the...

CIA Gun-running, Qatar-Libya-Syria.

A report from CNN’s Jake Tapper has reintroduced “Benghazi-Gate” to the US media spotlight. The report claims that “dozens” of CIA operatives were on...

The Hegelian Dialectic and its use in Controlling Modern Society

General Maddoxrealnewsaustralia.comApril 8, 2013 What exactly is the Hegelian Dialectic? Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel was...

Rand Paul Slams NPR Host: “Don’t You Have Something Better To Read Than A...

Senator hits back over tired “racist” jibes. Steve Watson Infowars.com Aug 7, 2013 Kentucky Senator Rand Paul blasted an NPR radio host Tuesday...

Conscientious Objection by a Former Soldier and Defense Contractor

Infowars.comAugust 5, 2013 Brandon Toy enlisted into the military in 2003. He served in Baghdad...

Israeli lobby behind Pentagon war plans

A political analyst said that the Å“Israeli lobby” and the Å“military industrial complex” are behind the Pentagonâ„¢s plans to launch possible military assaults against...

Doubts on Iranian Nuke Program: Ex-Envoy’s Account Clarifies Iran’s 2003 Nuclear Decision

Newly published recollections by the former French ambassador to Iran suggest that Iran was not running a covert nuclear weapons programme that it then...

Reps Who Voted Against Amash Got Millions in Defense Industry Donations

"Follow the money." That was the infamous counsel given by the informant “Deep Throat” to the reporters investigating the Watergate scandal. That direction seems to...

Senate to Vote Wednesday on Paul Proposal to Cut Aid to Egypt

Sometime today (Wednesday, July 31), the U.S. Senate is scheduled to a vote on a measure introduced by Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) aimed at...

Waging the Battle of Syria

Waging the Battle of Syria by Stephen Lendman Syria's conflict began in March 2011. Resolving it remains elusive. Previous articles explained it's Washington's war. It was...

‘US does not want a War — they want Regime Change in North Korea’

The Obama administration has adopted a policy of provocation and escalation when it comes to North Korea, Brian Becker, the director of the anti-war...

Brandon Toy's Act of Conscience

Truthout doesn’t take corporate funding - that’s how we’re able to confront the forces of greed and regression, with no strings attached. Instead, we...

Under America’s Surveillance Dome

The greatest threat to America’s “national security” is the American people, not an endless array of Al-Qaeda-type “terrorists” hyped by our own government. “National...

Top U.S. General Warns: “The Decision To Use Force Is No Less Than An...

For those politicians in Washington and their supporters who think engaging the Syrian army with a “kinetic action” akin...

Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP): The Terrible Plutocratic Plan

Thanks to Michael Feikema and Doug Hendren for inviting me. Like most of you I do not spend my life studying trade agreements, but...

The Terrible Plutocratic Plan

Thanks to Michael Feikema and Doug Hendren for inviting me. Like most of you I do not spend my life studying trade agreements, but...

Black Humanity on Trial in America, Again

“Let us banish from our minds the thought that this is an unfortunate victim of injustice. The very concept of injustice rests upon the...

"Stasi-Like": Obama's Program to Thwart Unwanted Leaks Not Only Creepy, It Won't Work

(Image: Danny Dougherty/McClatchy Washington Bureau)What's worse than a government program that "creates a culture of intimidation," "represses creative thinking," and acts to subvert the...

Booz Allen Hamilton: What You Don’t Know About Snowden’s Former Employer

Tommy Paine Daily Paul June 24, 2013 Let’s take another trip down the rabbit hole, shall we? Lost in the Edward Snowden...

‘US colonial empire sees its last days’

The United States is witnessing its final days as a colonial empire, with the so-called ËœWar on Terrorâ„¢ failing to rally support and harvest...

Skynet rising: Google acquires 512-qubit quantum computer; NSA surveillance to be turned over to...

Mike Adams Natural News June 20, 2013 Most people don’t know about the existence of quantum computers. Almost no one understands how they...

Hollywood Legend Ed Asner: Snowden is a Hero

Infowars.comJune 17, 2013 Legendary Hollywood film star and voice actor Ed Asner called in...

Chemical Weapons: Building the Case for Further US Aggression against Syria

The US Government is claiming it has definitive ‘evidence’ to prove the Assad Government has used chemical weapons (CW) “against its own people”. Chemical...

US, Israel aim to delegitimize Iran vote

The United States and Israel are trying to delegitimize Iran presidential election in order to destabilizing the country as part of their Ëœregime changeâ„¢...

Why Was JFK Murdered?

Donna Coelewrockwell.comJune 9, 2013 Photo: JFK Library A few years ago while traveling to Connecticut...

Why Was JFK Murdered?

Donna Coelewrockwell.comJune 9, 2013 Photo: JFK Library A few years ago while traveling to Connecticut...

Lindsey Graham Celebrates the Death of the Constitution

Kurt NimmoInfowars.comJune 8, 2013 Jeff Greenwald takes Senator Lindsey Graham to task for defending...

Obama: The Most Effective of Two Evils

Part I: “Cuban Democracy” versus “American Democracy” Arnold August is a political scientist, author and lecturer living in Montreal. He is the author of Democracy in Cuba and...

The Middle East According to Tony Blair

Tony Blair, one of the Chief architects of the wholly illegal, and barbaric act of aggression put upon the state of Iraq and its...

War Criminal Tony Blair Continues to Push the Neo-Con Agenda.

A recent article in the Mail on Sunday penned by Mr. Blair, reveals how very little this man truly thinks of the public’s collective and individual ability to see straight through his ‘liberal’ veneer and blatant war propaganda.

Boston and the CIA ‘Snafu’: The grey eminence behind Turkey’s Erdogan and AKP

Part I: Graham Fuller, Uncle Ruslan, the CIA and the Boston Bombings Graham Fuller (foreground) and Turkish Muslim guru Fetullah Gülen who has dark ties...

Boston and the CIA ‘Snafu’: The grey eminence behind Turkey’s Erdogan and AKP

Part I: Graham Fuller, Uncle Ruslan, the CIA and the Boston Bombings Graham Fuller (foreground) and Turkish Muslim guru Fetullah Gülen who has dark ties...

Intimidation act against AP shows 'real fear in House of Power'

The rights of the US citizens are increasingly under attack, as the US is intimidated by the press, which may expose some of the...

The Pattern Of A False Flag? Boston Bomb ‘Drill’ Exercise

If whistleblower Ali Stevenson is correct, it appears that yet again a terrorist attack, this time the Boston bomb, occurred at the same time as an official exercise was taking place.

Jesse Watters Chides Bob Beckel for Saying Europeans Exterminated American Indians

I'm not sure how someone this stupid manages to find employment anywhere, much less on a television network with millions of viewers, but it's Fox, so this is the sort of idiocy we've come to expect from that network. On this Friday's The Five, gues...

America’s Faustian Deal with the Devil of War

The United States made a deal long time ago that has sealed our nation's fate today. German folklore tells a story of a man named Faust, who, bored with his life as a scholar and seeking unlimited knowledge, power and pleasure, makes a deal with the d...

Great Fallout: NDAA Chinese tunnel scare ‘smokescreen for US nuclear intentions’

A US defense report has called for contingency planning to neutralize a vast Chinese tunnel network with both “conventional and nuclear forces.”

DoD employs Blackwater for population stabilization

Susanne Posel, Occupy Corporatism | The Department of Defense (DoD) has announced that conducting stability operations is the crux and meaning of all military missions as defined...

Court Documents Shed Light on CIA Illegal Operations

Sibel Edmonds State Secrets Gallery Connects Pipeline Politics, Madrassas & the Turkish Proxies By Lukery  In a recent immigration court case involving Turkish Islamic Leader, Fetullah...

Top 25 Censored Stories of 2008

#1 No Habeas Corpus for “Any Person” Sources: Consortium, October 19, 2006 Title: “Who Is ‘Any Person’ in Tribunal Law?” Author: Robert Parry http://consortiumnews.com/2006/101906.html Consortium, February 3, 2007 Title: “Still No...

Judge Orders Conspiracy Re-Education For Lauryn Hill

Singer told to undergo counseling over ‘conspiracy theory’ that music industry strangles real talent Paul Joseph WatsonInfowars.com May 8, 2013 Grammy award-winning singer Lauren Hill has...

Judge Orders Conspiracy Re-Education For Lauryn Hill

Singer told to undergo counseling over ‘conspiracy theory’ that music industry strangles real talent Paul Joseph WatsonPrison Planet.com May 8, 2013 Grammy award-winning singer Lauren Hill...

Top NSA Whistleblower Claims ‘Russiagate’ a Fake to Increase War-Spending

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org William Binney is the mathematician and Russia-specialist, who quit the NSA in 2001 as its global Technical Director for...

Dennis Kucinich Discusses the ‘Permanent Government’ Behind US Foreign Intervention – Antiwar.com Blog

In a recent interview with host Wilmer Leon at the Inside the Issues show, former presidential candidate and United States House of Representatives...

Trump Adds to Washington’s ‘Swamp’ – Consortiumnews

Exclusive: President Trump’s vow to “drain the swamp” was just one more empty promise as he adds to the muck...

The Biggest Threat to World Peace Is NATO

Eric Zuesse On November 8th, Britain’s Daily Mail bannered “NATO tells Europe to prepare for 'rapid deployment’:” and sub-headed “Defence chiefs say roads, bridges and...

James Clapper Wants Us to Trust Him: So Does Politico

In a recent piece published on Politico, former director of national intelligence James Clapper, that “crusty ex-cargo pilot,” makes us privy to another of...

How the U.S. Aristocracy Deceive the U.S. Public

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org The progressive former Democratic U.S. Senator Ted Kaufman wrote at Forbes, on 22 July 2014: Another year has passed with...

NATO Criticism of Russia’s Ukraine Policy Is Answered by Putin

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org A NATO supporter criticized Russia’s President Vladimir Putin for Russia’s Ukraine policy, on October 19th, at the Valdai Discussion...

Does Russia Produce ‘Fake News’? Or Does America? Or Both?

Eric Zuesse The biggest difference between American and Russian news-reporting has been a simple factual issue between the two sides, on what incident started the...

Trump’s Hate-Iran Campaign

Eric Zuesse On October 19th, the far-right Foundation for Defense of Democracy (FDD) held a “National Security Summit” which featured as speakers both Donald Trump’s...

Should Mike Pence Become the President?

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org On August 26th, Morning Consult headlined “More Voters Want Pence as President Than Trump, Poll Shows” and reported that...

US Navy unveils newest Tomahawk-capable Virginia-class nuclear sub — RT America

The US Navy has just commissioned its newest Virginia-class nuclear attack submarine at a General Dynamics...

The Great Communicator, Vietnam Syndrome and Another Mass Atrocity

Photo by betancourt | CC BY 2.0 Empire equals militarism. In order to maintain an empire, a nation must make either threats of violence or...

"They Don't Care Who the Guns Go To": Experts Warn Trump Administration Plans to...

AMY GOODMAN: We turn now to international efforts around guns. I'm Amy Goodman, with Juan González. JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Well, we turn now to efforts by President Donald Trump to...

The Trump Presidency

  David Barsamian: You have spoken about the difference between Trump’s buffoonery, which gets endlessly covered by the media, and the actual policies he is...

Merging the Popular Politics of Mass Mobilization in Kashmir with the Institutional Politics of...

Before I go on to expound on my rationale and motive for this compendium as well as my political stance, I would like to...

How America’s Corrupt Government Wastes Its Taxpayers’ Money

Eric Zuesse First, just look at these billions of dollars of U.S.-taxpayer-purchased weapons being exploded — simply wasted — in Ukraine, instead of killing people...

Gallup: 71% of Americans are “Dissatisfied with the way the nation is governed”

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org A Gallup poll headlined on September 17th, "Seven in 10 Dissatisfied With Way U.S. Is Being Governed”, and reported...
Pro-worker, anti-racist organization, Redneck Revolt. The Left Calls Out The Left

The Left Calls Out the Left

As an antiwar activist, I feel a responsibility to denounce the conduct of many of my colleagues with whom I generally share common ideologies. Their actions,...

An Empire Upside Down

In the early months of the Trump administration, high-profile White House visits from foreign leaders from Europe, Asia, and the Middle East garnered headlines...

Should Mike Pence Become America’s President?

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org On August 26th, Morning Consult headlined “More Voters Want Pence as President Than Trump, Poll Shows” and reported that...

Understanding Trump’s Foreign Policies

Eric Zuesse According to both the Washington Post and Politico, U.S. President Donald Trump is now in the thrall of the U.S. military-industrial complex, because...

Capitalist Economies Create Waste, Not Social Value

(Photo: hroe / iStock / Getty Images Plus) What would a truly just, equal and ecologically sustainable future look like? Why would it require a...

Vassal Aristocracies Increasingly Resist Control by U.S. Aristocracy

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at The Saker The tumultuous events that dominate international news today cannot be accurately understood outside of their underlying context, which...

U.S. Government and Press Lie Constantly, with Total Impunity

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org The U.S. press don’t report this fact, but that doesn’t mean it’s not true. The following will document its...

Polls: U.S. Is ‘the Greatest Threat to Peace in the World Today’

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org It has happened again: yet another international poll finds that the U.S. is viewed by peoples around the world...

How War Became a Lucrative, Global Industry

I cannot recommend the new documentary Shadow World highly enough. It packs an enormous punch in 90 mins, providing a devastating account of the...

Trump Signs Sanctions Bill – Another Deep State Victory

With the new Russia sanctions bill passed and signed into law, President Trump’s room to improve relations with Russia is...

A Manual for a New Era of Direct Action

Movement manuals can be useful. Marty Oppenheimer and I found that out in 1964 when civil rights leaders were too busy to write a...

Auguries of Innocence & Navel-Gazing

Does our understanding of freedom depend on how we respond to two contra cosmological paradigms…namely the interaction between the ‘particular’ and the ‘universal’ …or...

Trump’s Road to Debacle in the Greater Middle East

The superhighway to disaster is already being paved. From Donald Trump’s first days in office, news of the damage to America’s international stature has come...

The Destructiveness of America’s Alliances

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org Alliances between nations are military. Without being military, they would be nothing. Trade agreements don’t require any alliances at...

Putin: U.S. Routinely Meddles in Russian and Other Nations’ Elections

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org In a Showtime interview of Russian President Vladimir Putin by American film-maker Oliver Stone, which started airing on June...

Derangement and Danger on the Potomac

APPIP ERROR:nodata[ (0) NO DATA APPIP ERROR:nodata[ (0) NO DATA The horrific shooting spree on the practice field of the GOP’s congressional baseball team...

An Interesting View of Foreign Politics

Eric Zuesse For many years, I have been reading — but not yet citing as documentation for my own articles regarding U.S. international policies —...

Dangerous Discourse: When Progressives Sound Like Demagogues

The Trump administration has already done enormous harm to the United States and the planet. Along the way, Trump has also caused many prominent...

Veterans On the March: Memorial Day actions in DC

by Brian J. Trautman / May 25th, 2017 The United States is the most militarized and jingoistic nation on earth. Its foreign policy is guided...

Does the Washington Post Have Fake News?

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org There are two kinds of fake news: One is a report of something that actually didn’t happen, which for...

William Astore on America’s ‘Beautiful’ Weapons

President Trump is hawking weapons in the Middle East. After concluding a deal with the Saudis for $110 billion in weaponry, he sought out...

NATO’s Biggest Challenge – Make ‘Frightened’ Europe Pay Up!

The Baltic countries, and some of their Scandinavian neighbors, are mortally terrified of Russia. Or so they would have us believe. They clamored to...

War, Militarism, and Middling Opposition

In the run-up to budget discussions, the Trump Administration floated various proposals for a dramatic increase in military spending on top of the already...

Bigoted Americans Far More Supportive of War Against Syria

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org —— On April 23rd, the U.S. mega-corporate and government-funded National Public Radio network, NPR, interviewed voters about their views on...

Who Benefits From Prolonged Warfare?

In The Art of War the Chinese General Sun Tzu asserted that “There is no instance of a nation benefitting from prolonged warfare” and many of...

Democratic Voters Have Been Duped to Hate Putin

Eric Zuesse The campaign by the Obama-Clinton Democratic Party establishment to blame their electoral failures upon Russian leader Vladimir Putin is shown in a recent...

Mad-Dog Mattis Going Rabid

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org On Monday, April 25th, the AP headlined, "US general in Afghanistan suggests Russia arming the Taliban” and reported that...

Climate Change as Genocide

Not since World War II have more human beings been at risk from disease and starvation than at this very moment. On March 10th,...

Shadow Brokers hackers release NSA hacking tools to punish Trump for ‘abandoning’ his base

Hacking group Shadow Brokers has released the password to a trove of NSA exploits in what...

Caligula with Orange Hair

So maybe this is how the U.S. demilitarizes, or the American public at least returns to the consciousness of the late ’60s, when protests...

The Deep State, Explained

As the daily drip of information about possible links between Trump’s campaign and Russia trickles on, Democrats, commentators and at least some officials in...

The Choice: Traitor to Empire, or Traitor to Mankind

I envy you. You North Americans are very lucky. You are fighting the most important fight of all. You live in the belly of...

Trump Is Hurting the Pentagon! (By Giving It Too Much Money)

Anyone who’s been in the military knows what happens as the end of a fiscal year approaches: wild spending. Any money that’s left in...

Ron Paul on Neocons Striking Back: Kagan Family on the Warpath (Again)

The neocons may have backed Hillary Clinton for the presidency, but that doesn’t stop them from demanding the right to...

The Dance of Death

The ruling corporate elites no longer seek to build. They seek to destroy. They are agents of death. They crave the unimpeded power to...

What makes it tick?

L. Reichard White Posted on March 13, 2017 EXACTLY how the MilitaryIndustrialCongressionalComplex operates and why it MUST keep the U.S....

The Deep State vs. President Trump

Corporate media like CNN, MSNBC, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and elements within the intelligence community are singing from the same hymnal...

Fake News & Fake Values

It appears that America has little awareness of the value of awareness since fake news and fake values arrived to take possession of the...

Trump Boosts Most Wasteful Department, Reduces All Others

Eric Zuesse On February 27th, Reuters headlined “Trump seeks 'historic' increase of 9 percent in U.S. military's budget” and reported that "Trump will ask Congress to boost...

Sleepwalking into a New Arms Race

The West’s current hysteria about “Russian aggression” ignores the long history of real Western aggression against Russia, now underscored by...

More Reds Under Our Beds

President Dwight Eisenhower’s warning about the dangers of the military-industrial complex made half a century ago ring as loud and clear today.  The soft...

Resisting Trump: The Great American Awakening

Old wounds break open. Deep, encrusted wrongs are suddenly visible. The streets flow with anger and solidarity. The past and the future meet. The news...

Is The New Cold War Just Beginning Or Ending?

Eric Zuesse U.S. President Donald Trump made unequivocally clear, on February 14th, that the new Cold War between the U.S. and Russia will continue until...

The U.S. Politician Who Could Become Second Abraham Lincoln

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org There are several reasons why the progressive Tulsi Gabbard stands an extraordinarily good likelihood of repeating the extraordinary achievement...

Al Qaeda Funded by Royal Sauds, U.S. Gov’t. Documents

Eric Zuesse, supplemented from original post at strategic-culture.org The chief source of funds to Al Qaeda and other jihadist groups is Saudi Arabia’s royal family. Documentation...

Down the Rabbit-Hole to Trump’s Victory

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org There are several key reasons why Donald Trump won, such as that he achieved a 1,405,004 nationwide popular-vote victory in...

The Ongoing War Against Trump

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org The Obama-Clinton (and Democratic Party newsmedia) war against Donald Trump — a war to delegitimize him as the U.S....

U.S.-ISIS Alliance on Verge of Conquering Major Syrian City

Eric Zuesse (RINF) - The important city of Der Zor in Syria is surrounded now by U.S.-backed ISIS jihadists who are on the verge of...

Donald Trump v. the Spooks

Exclusive: President-elect Trump is in a nasty slugfest with U.S. intelligence agencies as they portray him as a Russian tool...

The Thorniest Policy-Question that President Trump Will Face

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org A decision must be made at the start of Donald Trump’s Presidency on one issue, which will shape both...

The Deep State Goes to War on Trump

IN JANUARY, 1961, Dwight Eisenhower delivered his farewell address after serving two terms as U.S. president; the five-star general chose to warn Americans of this...

Pushing for a Lucrative New Cold War

The New Cold War promises untold riches for the Military-Industrial Complex, causing hawks inside the Obama administration to push for...

Situation with Russia proves America is an oligarchy

Eric Zuesse (RINF) - The U.S. government’s plan to conquer Russia is based upon a belief in, and the fundamental plan to establish, “Nuclear Primacy”...

How Close Is the US to Revolution?

Egypt has a 6000-year history of good mining that pretty much came to an abrupt end when Colonel Nasser staged a revolution in 1952...

The Bloodthirsty Hawks Want To See The Cold War Boil Over

Eric Zuesse (RINF) - Was the Cold War against communism, or against Russia? Russia was our ally in World War II, and we’d have a...

Warmongering 99 – Common Sense 0: the Senate’s Unanimous Renewable of Iran Sanctions Act

The Senate just renewed the Iran Sanctions Act of 1996 for another ten years. President Obama has indicated that he will not veto the...

Ron Paul on Gen. Mattis: Can Trump Leash His Pentagon ‘Mad Dog’?

Gen. James “Mad Dog” Mattis will make his way from the board of directors of major defense contractor General Dynamics...

New Navy Ship Leaking Tax Dollars

Exclusive: The New Cold War with Russia provides a stronger budgetary lifeline for the Military-Industrial Complex than the War on...

Washington Post Peddles Tarring of Ron Paul Institute as Russian Propaganda

The Washington Post has a history of misrepresenting Ron Paul’s views. Last year the supposed newspaper of record ran a feature article by...

Trump’s Peace Democrat

Two weeks after Donald Trump’s shocking upset of Hillary Clinton, the imperious and imperial neoconservatives and their liberal interventionist understudies may finally be losing...

The Real and Wannabee Elite

Recently I made a few comments about the world’s self-identified “elite”, and also about the migrants that are plaguing Europe. Happily, I was able to...

The Noose that Obama Had Wanted to Hand to President Hillary to Hang...

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org INTRODUCTION This will be a summary, update, and extension from, a 25,000-word masterpiece of historical writing: the obscure, little-noticed, but...

If Trump Wins

There are disturbing signs that a digital 9/11 terror attack is being readied for election day in the US to ensure that Donald Trump...

Who Gains from Colombia’s Vote for Permanent War?

(Photo: medea_material / Flickr) In early October, the Colombian people voted NO to peace. Or to be exact, 50.2 percent of 37 percent of the eligible...

Failed weapons systems cost Pentagon $58 billion over two decades

The Pentagon loves to throw good money after bad ‒ to the tune of nearly $60...

At the Pentagon, Nothing Succeeds Like Failure

When it comes to the Pentagon, nothing succeeds like failure. That is the message of William Hartung’s latest article at TomDispatch.com. The Pentagon, Hartung...

Adam Curtis: Another Manager of Perceptions

Adam Curtis’ new, near three-hour documentary HyperNormalisation, showing on BBC iplayer, is being garlanded with predictable praise from liberal commentators. ...

Donald Trump’s Anti-War Pedigree

Recently, I saw a lovely work by one of my favourite artists, Alexander Calder, called ‘McGovern for President’. The art was created in support of...

Is Trump Ready to Go Nuclear?

Photo by _Gavroche_ | CC BY 2.0 Donald Trump, with nothing to lose, may be finally ready to go nuclear. Not literally, of course; this...

Seeds of Occupation: India’s Stockholm Syndrome

Colin Todhunter Stockholm syndrome, or capture-bonding, is a psychological phenomenon described in 1973 in which hostages express empathy and sympathy and have positive feelings toward their...

Bring Back the Cold War

Pundits have declared a “New Cold War.” If only! The Cold War was a time when leaders focused on reducing tensions between nuclear powers....

Bring Back the Cold War

Pundits have declared a “New Cold War.” If only! The Cold War was a time when leaders focused on reducing tensions between nuclear powers....

Bring Back the Cold War

Pundits have declared a “New Cold War.” If only! The Cold War was a time when leaders focused on reducing tensions between nuclear powers....

I’m a Bernie Sanders Voter: Here’s Why I’ll Vote Trump

By Eric Zuesse Sometimes, things in politics are the opposite of the way they seem. The Presidential contest between the ‘liberal’ Hillary Clinton’ and the...

Trump’s Debate for Peace

For all Hillary Clinton’s reputation as a policy wonk, her debate performance consisted almost entirely of personal attacks. And while our media is out...

President Clinton?

I’m afraid I’ve got some bad news for all of you. Hillary Clinton is going to be the next president of the Dis-United States....

Election or Revolution? An Open Letter to the People of the United States

Robert J. Burrowes As citizens of the USA with a presidential election approaching you have a wonderful opportunity to ponder whether to participate in this...

US Rewards Israel’s Bad Behavior

Benjamin Netanyahu has been perhaps the most anti-Palestinian Israeli prime minister in a large rogue’s gallery dedicated to driving the aggrieved ...

Red-Light Warning on Now, About Hillary Clinton

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org Hillary Clinton, on September 19th, was endorsed for President, by the most historically important, intelligent, and dangerous, Republican of...

Why Are We Sending $38 Billion to Rich and Powerful Israel?

Last week’s announcement of a record-breaking US aid package for Israel underscores how dangerously foolish and out-of-touch is our interventionist ...

Israel Is Rich, Powerful, and Armed With 100s of Nukes

Last week’s announcement of a record-breaking US aid package for Israel underscores how dangerously foolish and out-of-touch is our interventionist foreign policy. Over the...

Contesting the U.S.-Saudi Bromance With 1,000 Cuts

Human rights campaigners protest against Farnborough International arms fair courtesy of Campaign Against Arms Trade via Flickr. On September 8, Senators Rand Paul (R-KY), Chris...

US Arms Makers Invest in a New Cold War

Exclusive: Behind the U.S. media-political clamor for a new Cold War with Russia is a massive investment by the Military-Industrial...

Ron Paul on The USS Gerald Ford – A $13 Billion Boondoggle?

What is $3 billion over budget, two years overdue, and not combat ready? The new USS Gerald Ford “super” aircraft...

Hillary and the Clinton Foundation: Exemplars of America’s Political Rot

Hillary Clinton may be enjoying a comfortable lead in national polls, but she is far from enjoying a comfortable night’s sleep given the ever-widening...

The Yankee Empire

Every society has a segment of its population that obsesses over totalitarian control of others.  They are called “politicians” or “political activists.”  (There are...

"I Didn't Serve, I Was Used": How Veterans Are Losing the War at Home

New schemes are seeking to use veterans for corporate interests and dismantle the VA system in the name of privatized profits. (Photo:...

ISIS was MADE IN THE USA

Judicial Watch proved it. Under a Freedom of Information Act request, Judicial Watch was able to obtain a (heavily redacted) copy of the Defense...

US Weapons Fuel Saudi Slaughter in Yemen

The Saudis have purchased more than $100 billion in weapons from the US during the Obama presidency. Much of it...

America’s Aristocracy Facing Resistance from American Public Regarding Russia

Eric Zuesse, updated from strategic-culture.org The subterranean reality of U.S. foreign policy is that it serves the U.S. aristocracy, the owners of controlling blocs of...

Waiting on Putin, The Dream Candidate

It’s interesting that accusations that Putin is trying to swing the election to Trump peaked, for now, in the midst of the Democratic Convention,...

The Myth of Trump’s Alternative Worldview

Donald Trump may be a bigot and a bully, but it’s hard not to applaud when he pisses off the stuff shirts at the...

Israel to US: ‘Give Us More!’

Washington is preparing to increase US aid to Israel by billions of dollars, with a ten-year ironclad agreement that couldn’t...

I’m Paying Taxes, But What Am I Buying?

Acclaimed author and vice-president of the American Anti-Imperialist League, Mark Twain, popularized the expression, “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and...

Libertarian What-Me-Worryism

As elderly people get older they tend toward feeble-mindedness. Not in every case, of course, but as a general rule applicable to any given...

How to Arm a ‘Volatile’ Planet

Originally posted at TomDispatch. As is often the case, I opened the Monday newspaper curious to find out how the weekend had gone...

How Disinformation Feeds The War Machine

According to recent polls by both Pew and Gallup, when Americans understand the actual level of US military spending they by a large margin...

How Disinformation Feeds The War Machine

How Disinformation Feeds The War Machine Daniel McAdams, July 14, 2016 According to recent polls by both Pew and Gallup, when Americans understand...

On July 4th Demand Freedom, Don’t Celebrate The State

As we gather with family and friends to celebrate the July 4th holiday we should remember that we are not celebrating...

Lament for Humanity: A 50 Year Reflection

Robert J. Burrowes Deeply affected by the death of my two uncles in World War II, on 1 July 1966, the 24th anniversary of the...

A ‘Brexit’ Blow to the Establishment

Exclusive: British voters turned a deaf ear to scary warnings about leaving the E.U. and struck a blow against an out-of-touch,...

How Much Blame Should Hillary Clinton Bear for Libya?

The biggest blot on Hillary Clinton’s record as secretary of state – Libya – may have been a symptom of her stubbornness. (Photo: RedPepperCo.ug) Can...

Is ISIS Converting Two-Thirds of Humvees Given to Iraq Into Car Bombs?

We may have achieved peak military-industrial complex: the U.S. is in part supplying both sides of the Iraq-Islamic State conflict and through that, creating...

Hillary Clinton’s ‘Entangled’ Foreign Policy

Exclusive: Besides bashing Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton offered few specifics in her big foreign policy speech which stressed the value of “friends.”...

Got Milked? US ‘Defense’ Spending 2017

“The White House said Tuesday that President Barack Obama will veto the Senate’s version of the annual defense policy bill,” Richard Lardner of...

De-Incarceration, a Different Drum so Needed

Along with VCNV companions, I’m part of a 150 mile walk from Chicago to Thomson, IL, a small town in Northwest IL where the...

Next Time Someone Says Nothing Is Made in the USA Anymore, Show Them This

Who says nothing is made in the USA anymore? Certainly not the well-heeled denizens of the State Department’s diplomatic corps. And they should...

America Excels in Business of Death

America may lag behind the developed world in many areas, but it is No. 1 in the “merchant of death” business, experiencing...

Hillary Comes Out as the War Party Candidate

On June 2, a few days before the California primary, Hillary Clinton gave up trying to compete with Bernie Sanders on domestic policy. Instead,...

Hard Times Ahead for the Israel Lobby (Thank Sanders and Trump)

Nobody knows yet what will become of the Republican Party after Donald Trump is through with it. He probably doesn’t know himself what he...

Hawks Hand Hillary A Foreign Policy Blueprint: Will She Bite?

Daniel McAdams The neoconservative, Democrat-heavy Center for a New American Security (CNAS) has created a foreign policy blueprint for what they hope is a future...

Preparing for the Next Memorial Day

Memorial Day weekend was replete with parades, American flags, and tributes to our war dead, but little reflection on war, particularly the tragic fact...

Preparing for the Next Memorial Day

Memorial Day weekend was replete with parades, American flags, and tributes to our war dead, but little reflection on war, particularly the...

Slush funds, secrets and splurges: How Pentagon budgets keep getting bigger

Despite unprecedented levels of funding, the US Department of Defense says it is not getting enough...

Revisionist History Day, 2016

Monday was Revisionist History Day, what others call Memorial Day. Americans are supposed to remember the country’s war dead while being thankful that they...

Obama in Vietnam: Diplomacy Or Deep State Duplicity?

Obama in Vietnam: Diplomacy Or Deep State Duplicity? Daniel McAdams, May 23, 2016 Ron Paul’s Liberty Report: President Obama’s visit to Vietnam...

The Privatization of the Public Sphere

a katz | Shutterstock.com   The Republican Party is consolidating behind Donald Trump and, on May 12th, House Speaker Paul Ryan kissed the ring of the party’s presumptive...

Hillary Clinton’s Neocon Resumé

Liberal Democratic Hillary Clinton supporters get defensive when they hear that Mrs. Clinton is favored over Donald Trump by right-wing billionaires like Charles Koch...

Escalations in a New Cold War

Exclusive: The Obama administration poked Russia in the eye again by activating a missile defense site in Romania while building...

Ron Paul on US Escalation in Afghanistan: A ‘Recipe For Disaster’

Ron Paul on US Escalation in Afghanistan: A ‘Recipe For Disaster’ Daniel McAdams, May 10, 2016 The recently-released Pentagon report on...

The Pentagon’s Medal Inflation

Like grade inflation in college, the Pentagon has engaged in medal inflation, diluting awards for actual heroism by proliferating ribbons...

Big Oil Isn’t Going Down Without a Fight

(Photo: Yann Caradec / Flickr) An extreme weather event hits Norway. Finally shocked into doing something radical about climate change, Norwegian citizens propel the Green...

Big Money in Politics Doesn’t Just Drive Inequality. It Drives War.

Khalil Bendib / OtherWords.org The 2016 presidential elections are proving historic, and not just because of the surprising success of self-proclaimed socialist Bernie Sanders, the...

Wartime Washington Lives in Luxury… Guess Who Pays the Bills?

Daniel McAdams Washington war contracts have enriched northern Virginia at a level equal to the total budgets of countries like Belgium and Sweden. That post-9/11...

The Pentagon’s Twisted Potlatch

The world spent $1.7 trillion on weapons in 2015, with the U.S. leading the pack by a factor of 3. (Photo: U.S. Army /...

As Saudis Continue Bombing Yemen, Is Obama Trading Cluster Munitions for Riyadh's Loyalty?

President Obama's fourth visit to Saudi Arabia for a meeting with leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council comes as human rights organizations...

Obama flies to Saudi Arabia amid rising tensions

Via WSWS. This piece was reprinted by RINF Alternative News with permission or license. Bill Van Auken US President Barack Obama arrives in Saudi Arabia today...

Enemies Everywhere – The US War On The World

Enemies Everywhere – The US War On The World Daniel McAdam The USS Donald Cook, equipped with the Aegis combat system, recently found the Russian air...

A Short History of the Pentagon Wasting Your Money

The Pentagon spent $6 billion on not auditing itself, according to the Project on Government Oversight. (Photo: Mariordo Camila Ferreira & Mario Duran/Wikimedia Commons) From...

Donald Trump: Foreign Policy’s Useful Idiot?

Donald Trump may be a bigot and a bully, but it’s hard not to applaud when he pisses off the stuff shirts at the...

Hillary Clinton’s Neo-Conservative Foreign Policy

Eric Zuesse Newly released Hillary Clinton emails clarify the depth of her foreign-policy neo-conservatism, and the closeness of her views to the views of the...

Should Progressives Back Sanders?

Though Bernie Sanders – as a “democratic socialist” – is the most progressive presidential candidate in years, some progressives are rejecting...

In Case You Missed…

Some of our special stories in February focused on the early U.S. presidential race, the continuing U.S.-Russian tensions, and the...

Hillary Clinton’s Support for the Iraq War Was No Fluke  

(Photo: Zimbio) In March 2003, just before the U.S. invasion of Iraq, about 100 CODEPINK women dressed in pink slips weaved in and out of...

When Google Meets the Pentagon

The United States is, indisputably, the world’s foremost killing entity, and it has been since its genocidal inception., The killing is relentless — in...