Friday, June 24, 2016

(This Is News Reporting?)  Indentured Studentitude  (Obama/Wall Street Push Passage of TPP During Lame Duck Session)   Obama's TPP/TTIP Trade Deals His Lasting Legacy?  ($31 Trillion Lost in 2008 Dwarfed Today)  Not Islam at All?  (Bezos Hopes Sanders Gone)  Brexit Yet?  (D.C.'s Expensive Global Grandeur Footprint Threatened by Trump)



For days or weeks on end, a single place - call it Newtown, San Bernardino, or Orlando (one school, one gathering of government workers, one club) - is the center of our universe. The rest of the world?  Not so much.  However significant the 24/7 event may be, it blots out just about everything else and so plays havoc with our sense of what’s important and what isn’t.  It also ensures that, at least in the mainstream, ever fewer reporters cover ever fewer non-24/7 stories.
For so much that's basic to our world and will matter far more in the long run than local slaughters, no matter how horrific, there are few or no reporters and next to no coverage.  This means, for instance, that in the distant reaches of the imperium, much of the time the U.S. military can operate remarkably freely, without fear of significant scrutiny. Which is why, on the subject of the U.S. military’s “pivot” to Africa, it’s lucky that Nick Turse has been on the beat (almost alone) for "TomDispatch." Otherwise in our new media universe, what we don’t know could, in the end, hurt us. Tom
Read more here.

Students are the new indentured slaves? Sounds good to the guys holding their paper.

New Student Debt Scheme Turns Students Into Stock Options

Benjamin Balthaser, Truthout:  Purdue President Mitch Daniels recently received national praise for his "Back a Boiler" initiative, ostensibly meant to address the skyrocketing student debt load. Proposed by Milton Friedman in the 1970s, "Back a Boiler" is less like a student loan and more like an investment in a stock portfolio. It defies the principle that higher education is a social good, not something to be engaged in solely for private gain.
Purdue President Daniels is no stranger to slashing budgets or increasing tuition. During his term as governor of Indiana, he slashed $150 million from higher education. Tuition at Purdue increased nearly 100 percent due to those cuts, inflating the student debt burden to an all-time high of more than $26,000. As Dr. Harry Powell, faculty liaison to the governing board of the University of California system, summarized one legislature's views:  "The student is your ATM. They're how you should balance the budget."
Daniels' previous mission as governor of Indiana included waging war on teachers' unions, denying them collective bargaining rights, pushing non-union charter schools and even banning books -- demanding in 2010 that Howard Zinn not be taught in any public school or university school of education. 
. . . I would suggest that Daniels' new plan has little to do with lowering student debt burdens, just as attacking teachers' unions has little to do with accountability. It is about turning a public resource into a private source of investment. To Daniels, not all human stock portfolios are created equal. If you are engineering student, according to his plan, then your interest rate is 4.23 percent. Major in something deemed more risky, such as English, and a student would look at a whopping 10 percent interest rate. Should an English major make a yearly income equivalent to an engineering major, the additional charge could come out to an extra $4,000 per (year).
. . . these human capital contracts are part of a larger trend to use the soaring price of higher education to further political goals. In North Carolina, tuition reductions are being deployed as a means to dramatically cut funds for historically Black colleges.

President Obama's higher education plan, announced last year in his State of the Union address, also used the crisis of student debt and rising tuition to introduce a "rating system" that would rank college graduates' salaries as a means to award or withhold public university funds. Like Daniels' plan, President Obama's rating system would emphasize the role of college as a financial investment, rewarding students who were able to maximize profits from their increased human capital.
It's no accident that public higher education, like health care, has become the site of struggle within the Democratic Party. It has become symbolic for a wider struggle over a vision of the United States -- one in which we are private consumers, maximizing our rational self-interest in a competitive market place, or part of a larger social fabric built on solidarity and principles of broad, inclusive democracy.
Which in the end, is likely why Daniels wants to do the public university in for good -- at least a university that does anything other than train people, in George Carlin's words, to be just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork, but just dumb enough to passively accept the status quo. In other words, be a good return on someone's investment.
Comment:
The trend toward complete indentured servitude is escalating at an enormous rate. The exploitative schemes of the looney-libertarian class that were once laughed at are the new normal.
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Obama and Wall Street Push for Passage of TPP During "Lame Duck" Session
Dave Johnson, Campaign for America's Future:  Leaders should care deeply about the will of the public, not scheme to subvert it. This push to hold a vote on the Trans-Pacific Partnership after the election is an insult to democracy. It is an insult to our economy. It is an insult to voters.
Nick Turse, TomDispatch:  At a time when the number of US troops, bases, and - perhaps - missions in Africa are increasing, along with the number of terrorist groups and terror attacks on the continent, hundreds of already murky missions have apparently been purged from the command's rolls.
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While the media focused on photo-ops during Barack Obama’s trips to Europe and Asia, the president tried to cement his legacy with trade deals that please only multinationals.
President Barack Obama’s recent trips to Europe and Asia were more than farewell tours with photo ops. While the media focused on an admittedly cute picture of the president shaking hands with Prince George, and dutifully reported his official remarks in Vietnam and Hiroshima, Obama was busy pushing some of the policies he sees as integral to his “legacy.”
These include a military buildup against a newly assertive China and beating the drums for two international trade deals that are increasingly opposed in the United States, Europe and Asia as being too corporate-friendly.
To understand what is driving the opposition to both the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), "WhoWhatWhy" spoke to experts on the countries Obama visited.
Britain is the second largest economy in the EU. This is not lost on Obama, who sees a unified Europe as more receptive to American economic and political interests. So says Robert Gulotty, a University of Chicago political science professor and author of “America and Trade Liberalization:  The Limits of Institutional Reform.”
“Few tariffs actually remain between the UK and US, so it is not a surprise that Obama’s push is actually an effort to sustain the European project,” Gulotty told "WhoWhatWhy." “A US goal in TTIP is greater access to European markets which have political barriers against, for example, American meats.”
Obama’s support for TTIP and for a Europe that remains unified comes at a shaky time for the EU. Recently, several member countries elected leaders that oppose EU-mandated austerity measures enacted after the 2008 financial crisis. Governments in Greece and Spain have faced off with the richer EU countries and other lenders, resulting in near expulsion from the bloc for Greece.

Read the entire essay here.

And I shouldn't go here now as this piece is long enough already, but I have never been very good about holding my heart-felt desires unactionated. Remember the good ole days of taking advantage and making huuuge bucks off of those newly independent USSR satellite countries? They're baaaack. Anew.

. . . I recalled a recent news item about Slovakia.  Just two months prior to the President’s visit, Slovakia initiated a plan to divert nine per cent of workers’ wages into private investment accounts laden with corporate stocks and bonds as an alternative to a government run social security program.
This was similar to a plan that President Bush had peddled under the banner of the “ownership society.” Fortunately, this was one of the rare occasions when the President was rebuked by Congress.
Today in the U.S., with both corporate bonds and stocks suffering massive losses and over $2 trillion of taxpayers’ dollars doled out by the Federal Reserve to shore up Wall Street firms in various stages of insolvency, we finally grasp the true meaning of “the ownership society:”  the Wall Street execs absconded with the so-called profits; the little people own the losses; the next generation owns the bailout debt. This scheme makes Ponzi artist Bernie Madoff look like a piker.
The Slovakia plan was modeled after the program set up in Chile in 1980 and 28 other countries thereafter. According to actuarial studies of the plans in Chile and Mexico, it was an asset stripping operation that allowed Wall Street firms like Citigroup to strip away as much as 20 to 25 per cent of the workers’ wages in fees to “manage” the money.
The Chilean plan was the brainchild of Jose Pinera, who served as Labor Minister under the brutal military dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet. Pinera later emerged as the global pied piper of private accounts to replace government run social security systems and peddled his pension reform mantra around the globe.
. . . According to Pinera’s web site, www.pensionreform.org (which is registered not to him but to the Cato Institute, a free market think tank), Pinera sat down in the Austin home of George W. Bush, then Governor of Texas, and mapped out his vision.
I had a chance to personally observe this worker-capitalist dynamic in action in August 1994.  I was working for the Wall Street brokerage firm, Smith Barney (which had been taken over by the large insurance company, Traveler’s) and was called to an employee meeting by the branch manager and a visiting V.P. from the corporate headquarters. Employees were shown a new benefits plan that deferred anything we might hypothetically get in deferred compensation invested in company stock into the distant future while dramatically increasing our expenses in the present.
While the room was fuming, one of my colleagues spoke up.  He said since we’re getting deferred stock over time in the publicly-traded parent company (Traveler’s), and reducing company expenses will boost profits and push the stock price higher, isn’t this something we should support. The room immediately calmed. They had sipped the Kool Aid of shareholder capitalism. (Traveler’s would eventually merge with Citicorp to become Citigroup and in 2008 require a backstop of hundreds of billions of taxpayers’ dollars to prevent the company from collapsing.)

The uproar at "The Post" was over a weekend confab that saw the Federal Reserve guarantee upwards of $300 billion of taxpayer money to bail out Citigroup for the second time in a month and a half. Of that amount, $20 billion was for a paltry equity stake for taxpayers when the whole company could have been bought for $20.5 billion at the prior Friday’s closing price, and that was $4.5 billion less than taxpayers had dumped into the company in October. (It’s not a good omen that the man who helped put this deal together, Tim Geithner, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, has been selected by President-elect Barack Obama to be the new U.S. Treasury Secretary; neither is it promising that Robert Rubin was standing at the elbow of the President-elect in his first press conference, signaling he’s a key advisor.)

. . . More than $31 trillion was lost globally in stocks from January 1 to December 2, 2008 while much of this country is stumbling around dazed, afraid to open their 401(k) and IRA statements, repeating the imposed mantra “I’m in it for the long haul.”

. . . We’ve arrived at the finish line in the race to the bottom and it’s clear there are few winners:  once the little fish were eaten, the big fish fed on each other (Madoff’s Ponzi scheme and assorted hedge fund frauds against the wealthy). Now the big fish have nowhere else to feed but at the government’s bailout trough, transferring the debt-ownership society to our children.

Our own money is also being used against us in electing our President and members of Congress. After subsidizing our corporate health care plan to boost corporate profits or paying for it outright and funding our contribution to our 401(k) plan, which provides a steady stream of cheap capital to boost corporate profits, we have little left to donate to political campaigns. That makes it possible for Wall Street to fund the candidates of both major parties.

Don't ya think it's about time for Lyin Ryan, the poorly-educated "Finance Wiz Kid," to whip the privatization-of-Social-Security-in-order-to-secure-its-future-monetarization scam out again?

He doesn't have that many tricks left to pull out of his moldy old bag now (did you see his trying-to-maintain-order clown show as Speaker today?), and some new grift scheme has got to be found to refill the owners' funds after the coming market downturn takes full effect.

On another sad tangent, I've heard that some po' folks are starting to miss the "W" days.

So many fans still wish they could go to his favorite bar and have a beer with that AA sweetheart (and talk over fond old times?).
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So, on to current day misapprehensions.

Of course it wasn't about Islam. Not even by half. No matter what those NSA/Homeland/terrorist-fighting funders are touting.

The young man went to a sex club. Haven't you read anything about Islam yet?

This event was fairly obviously the story of a gay person who had some type of issue (herpes, AIDS?) against someone or many ones at this sex club.

He definitely wasn't going to admit to such, thus the lame ISIS rant (from a self-proclaimed Hezbollah follower) right before he was cut down in a hail of bullets.

Or perhaps it was a G4S/Securicor/Wackenhut maneuver where he wasn't supposed to be killed after he declared it an ISIS affair, shot up the club, and got the country moving to fight all those enemies overseas (and domestic!) again.

And the sex club setting was just for window dressing/PR? It worked exceptionally well as it did get the country mobilized.

May be.

This Was Not About Islam:  Getting It Wrong About the Orlando Massacre

Though it seems to fit the political agendas of both Republicans and Democrats, the assertion that the shooter responsible for the Orlando massacre was motivated by the Islamic State (ISIS) is certainly wrong. This conclusion is supported by the recent testimony of CIA Chief John Brennan before the Senate intelligence committee. He said that the CIA has found no connection between Omar Mateen, the man who gunned down over one hundred people at a gay nightclub in Orlando Florida on 13 June 2016, and any  terrorist group. Thus, it makes more sense that this was a hate crime against gay people facilitated by gun laws that are demonstrably not in the interest of the citizens of the United States.
If this is so, why would Mateen claim on a 911 call, and later on a call to a television station, that he was slaughtering all these people in the name of ISIS? Can we take him literally on this? I don’t think so. Just ask yourself, Why would an alleged ISIS-inspired radical “Islamist” shoot up a gay nightclub full of Puerto Ricans?

Orlando Massacre Was "Revenge," Not Terrorism, Says Man Who Claims He Was Gunman's Lover

Mateen was "very sweet" and liked to be "cuddled," the man told Univision. But he was upset about the way gay men responded to him.
Omar Mateen, the Muslim gunman who committed the Pulse nightclub massacre in Orlando, was "100 percent" gay and bore a grudge against Latino men because he felt used by them, according to a man who says he was his lover for two months.
“I’ve cried like you have no idea. But the thing that makes me want to tell the truth is that he didn’t do it for terrorism. In my opinion he did it for revenge,” he told Univision Noticias anchor Maria Elena Salinas in an exclusive interview in English and Spanish on Tuesday.

He said Mateen was angry and upset after a man he had sex with later revealed he was infected with the HIV virus.

Asked why he decided to come forward with his story, he said: “It’s my responsibility as a citizen of the United States and a gay man.”

The man said he had approached the FBI and been interviewed three times in person by agents.

Univision was unable to independently verify his account. The FBI confirmed to Univision that it had met with him.

The man, who did not want his true identity revealed, agreed to an interview wearing a disguise and calling himself Miguel. Speaking in fluent Spanish and accented English, he said he met Mateen last year through a gay dating site and began a relationship soon after. He and Mateen were "friends with benefits," he said.

He described Mateen as “a very sweet guy" who never showed a violent side. He loved to be cuddled. "He was looking for love," he said.

When Miguel heard about the massacre on the news he said he was stunned. “My reaction was that can’t be the man I know. It’s impossible that the man I know could do that,” he said.

Mateen opened fire with a semi-automatic rifle during a Latin-themed night at Pulse in the early hours of June 12, killing 49 people and wounding dozens more. He was killed in a shootout with police hours later. Most of the dead were Hispanic.

Investigators are still looking into the motives for his rampage.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch told reporters on Tuesday that investigators may never be able to pinpoint a single motive and have not ruled out witness reports suggesting Mateen might have had gay interests. "While we know a lot more about him in terms of who he was and what he did, I do not want to definitively rule out any particular motivation here," she said.

In a 911 call from the club, Mateen pledged solidarity with the Islamic State group, and officials say he had explored websites of armed Islamic extremists.

Miguel recalled on one occasion Mateen expressed his criticism of the U.S. war on terrorism and the killing of innocent women and children. "'I told him, you're totally right,'" said Miguel.

Mateen never revealed his name to him, saying only that he was 35 years old and married with a son, Miguel told Univision. He said they met 15-20 times, the last occasion in late December. He said he believed Mateen's second wife knew he frequented gay bars and that his marriage was a smoke screen to hide that he was "100 percent" gay.

“He adored Latinos, gay Latinos, with brown skin – but he felt rejected. He felt used by them – there were moments in the Pulse nightclub that made him feel really bad. Guys used him. That really affected him,” Miguel said. "I believe this crazy horrible thing he did – that was revenge."

Mateen, who liked to drink, expressed frustration over his father's extreme views on homosexuality, which included a belief that "gay people [are] the devil and gay people have to die," Miguel said.

Mateen was especially upset after a sexual encounter with two Puerto Rican men, one of whom later revealed he was HIV positive, he added.

"He [Omar] was terrified that he was infected," he said. "I asked him, 'Did you do a test?' Yes. He went to the pharmacy and did the test … it came out negative but it doesn't come out right away. It takes 4, 5 months."

"When I asked him what he was going to do now, his answer was 'I'm going to make them pay for what they did to me.'"

Transcript of interview with man who claims to be former lover of Orlando gunman
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Pay no attention to the man who bought the "Washington Post" for his personal handrag when he speaks in heavy seriousity about the actions of truly honorable public servants.

An article in the "Washington Post" yesterday continued the paper’s unrelenting efforts to marginalize Senator Bernie Sanders and his effort to press forward on his call for a political revolution in America. The "Post" article brandished its most preposterous cudgel yet:  the cost of Senator Sanders’ continuing protection by the Secret Service, which it suggested was a drain on taxpayers. Calling Sanders the “now-vanquished Democratic presidential candidate,” the "Post"’s John Wagoner laments that even though “Hillary Clinton has clinched the party’s nomination,” Sanders is still receiving Secret Service protection which could be costing taxpayers more than $38,000 a day.

In fact, Clinton hasn’t clinched anything until there is an official vote taken at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, July 25-28, no matter how much corporate media might wish otherwise. And since there has never been a Presidential candidate like Clinton, who is under an active criminal FBI investigation for violating State Department policy and transmitting classified material over a private server in her home, anything is possible before the July convention — or thereafter.

. . . If this was an isolated smack down of Sanders at the "Washington Post," it wouldn’t trigger speculation about an underlying agenda. But it comes on the heels of an endless series of efforts to marginalize Bernie Sanders at the newspaper.

On March 8, the media watchdog, FAIR, reported that in “what has to be some kind of record,” the "Washington Post" had published “16 negative stories on Bernie Sanders in 16 hours,” a period which included the “crucial Democratic debate in Flint, Michigan.”

The FAIR report noted that billionaire Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon, the online retailer, had purchased the "Washington Post" in 2013. It called attention to reasons Bezos might wish to send another establishment candidate to the White House:

“… Bezos has enjoyed friendly ties with both the Obama administration and the CIA. As Michael Oman-Reagan notes, Amazon was awarded a $16.5 million contract with the State Department the last year Clinton ran it. Amazon also has over $600 million in contracts with the Central Intelligence Agency, an organization Sanders said he wanted to abolish in 1974, and still says he “had a lot of problems with.”

John Spaid of TheStreet.com says Amazon (like the government’s own books) is known “for its fairly opaque accounting practices.” Spaid also says the success of  Amazon’s stock “has been based on slim or nonexistent profits” and punctuates his overall analysis with this:  “Amazon’s unusual and obtuse financial presentations should be a very bright red flag to all investors….”

In January of this year, the Editorial Board of the "Washington Post" launched an assault on the accuracy of Senator Bernie Sander’s talking points, calling them “his own brand of fiction.” The editorial specifically called out Sanders for creating the “tale” that Wall Street is playing a pivotal role in why “working Americans are not thriving.” It says Sanders needs a “reality check” because “Wall Street has already undergone a round of reform, significantly reducing the risks big banks pose to the financial system.”

It’s actually the "Washington Post"’s editorial board that needs a reality check. It’s among a tiny minority that thinks Wall Street risks have been adequately constrained. A poll conducted by Greenberg, Quinlan Rosner Research in mid 2014 found that nearly 90 percent of voters believe the Federal government has failed to rein in Wall Street. The poll was conducted among voters across the political spectrum. The poll also found that 64 percent of all voters and 62 percent of voters that own stock believe that “the stock market is rigged for insiders and people who know how to manipulate the system.”

Just this past April, the Wall Street Journal reported that exit polls following the New York primary found that 63 percent of Democrats and 49 percent of Republican voters “said Wall Street hurts the economy more than it helps.” And that’s in a state that Wall Street calls home.

It should also be noted that Bezos has multiple reasons to want to kick to the curb any candidate that poses a threat to his financial enablers on Wall Street. Wall Street banks have underwritten over $8 billion of Amazon debt offerings. The same banking behemoths have analysts on their payroll that can make or break a company with a buy or sell stock rating. For example, Morgan Stanley has been an underwriter of Amazon debt dating back to at least 1999. Last November, Morgan Stanley’s research analysts suggested that Amazon’s stock price could reach $800 (the stock opened at $663.25 that day). Morgan Stanley reaffirmed its “overweight” rating on the stock. Morgan Stanley, which took over the retail brokerage firm Smith Barney, has over 15,000 retail brokers that can, and frequently do, push the stocks that the firm is recommending.

. . . Rigged Wall Street research was a key component leading to the dot.com bubble bust in 2000 that erased about $4 trillion from investors’ brokerage statements. In 2001, Fortune Magazine published a highly critical analysis of Morgan Stanley research analyst, Mary Meeker, and her deeply conflicted role . . . .

In one year alone, 1999, Morgan Stanley paid Meeker $15 million.  But after all the hand-wringing back then about corrupted analysts on Wall Street, the same practices continue today. President Obama’s Dodd-Frank reform legislation left Wall Street banks able to underwrite stocks and bonds for their corporate clients while their analysts put buy ratings on the company’s stock.  One can also be assured that Hillary Clinton, who has promised to follow in the footsteps of Obama, won’t be touching this sacred cash cow on Wall Street either.

Amazon stock is also traded in dark pools (unregulated quasi stock exchanges) run by major Wall Street banks which have participated in underwriting debt deals for Amazon. This practice is allowed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The SEC is headed by Mary Jo White, who came to the SEC from one of Wall Street’s major go-to law firms, Debevoise and Plimpton. Between White and her husband, John White, who works for law firm Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP, every major Wall Street bank has been a client of one or the other’s firms. Under Federal regulations, the conflicts of the spouse become the conflicts of the Federal agency head. None of this stopped President Obama, who enjoyed heavy campaign funding from Wall Street law firms, from nominating Mary Jo White to lead the Wall Street watchdog.

The "Washington Post"’s January editorial stated that “Mr. Sanders’s success so far does not show that the country is ready for a political revolution.”  In fact, his success shows exactly that. As Senator Sanders told his supporters in a live-streamed video (see below) last Thursday evening:

“During this campaign, we won more than 12 million votes. We won 22 state primaries and caucuses. We came very close – within 2 points or less – in five more states. In other words, our vision for the future of this country is not some kind of fringe idea. It is not a radical idea. It is mainstream. It is what millions of Americans believe in and want to see happen…

“In virtually every state that we contested we won the overwhelming majority of the votes of people 45 years of age or younger, sometimes, may I say, by huge numbers. These are the people who are determined to shape the future of this country. These are the people who are the future of this country.”

Sanders’ rallies around the country frequently had in excess of 5,000 people in attendance and at times, over 20,000. Hillary Clinton’s rallies were mostly attended by hundreds – not thousands — of supporters.

This election will decide not only the future of the Democratic Party but the future of democracy in America. Billionaires have every reason to fear Bernie Sanders; regular Americans have every reason to listen carefully to his message as presented directly by him and not through the self-serving lens of billionaire-owned media outlets.
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Need some insight on today's vote in the UK on whether to stay or go from the EU?

Yes, that's what BREXIT! means.

If you read the presstitute media, Brexit — the referendum tomorrow on the UK’s exit from the EU — is about racism. According to the story line, angry rightwing racists of violent inclinations want to leave the EU to avoid having to accept more dark-skinned immigrants into England.

Despite the constant propaganda against exit, polls indicated that more favored leaving the EU than remaining until a female member of Parliament, Jo Cox, was killed by a man that a witness said shouted “Brexit.” Cox was an opponent of leaving the EU.

The UK government and presstitute media used Cox’s murder to drive home the propaganda that violent racists were behind Brexit. However, other witnesses gave a different report. The Guardian, which led with the propaganda line, did report later in its account that “Other witnesses said the attack was launched after the MP became involved in an altercation involving two men near where she held her weekly surgery.” Of course, we will never know, because Cox’s murder is too valuable of a weapon against Brexit.

There is no doubt that many in the UK are disturbed at the transformation of their country. One doesn’t have to be a racist to feel that one’s country is being stolen from them by people of alien cultures. The British have a long history of fighting off invaders, and many believe they are experiencing an invasion, although not an armed one. An armed one, of course, would not have the government’s and media’s support.

When British people hear pundits pronounce that immigrants contribute more to the UK than they absorb in social payments, what they hear is inconsistent with their experience. Moreover, many British are tired of having to avoid entire sections of their cities, including London, because of safety concerns.

It is a propaganda choice to call these concerns racism rather than cultural defense, and the UK political establishment has made that propaganda choice. Little wonder so many British citizens no longer believe that the British Establishment represents Britain.

But let’s give the propagandists the benefit of the doubt and for sake of argument assume that Brexit is about racism. What is the opposition to Brexit really about? Most certainly it is not about helping the refugees from Washington’s wars that the UK government has enabled. If the British establishment cared so much for the Muslims seeking refuge from America’s invasions, bombs, and drones, the British establishment would not have supported Washington’s attacks on these people.

Opposition to Brexit is based on two powerful interests of Washington.

One is the interests of the New York banks and Wall Street to eliminate the UK as a financial center competitor. This blatant fact has escaped the notice of the City and the Bank of England.

The British have forgotten that they only have one foot in the EU, because the UK was permitted to keep its own currency. The UK does not use the euro and, thus, retains the power to finance the British government. Greece, Portugal, Spain, Italy, France, Germany, etc., do not have this capability. They are dependent on private banks for financing.

In order to trick the UK into joining the EU, the British were given special privileges. However, these privileges cannot last forever. The EU process is one of political integration. As I reported years ago, Jean-Claude Trichet, at that time the president of the European Central Bank, said that to complete the political integration of Europe, the fiscal policies of member states would be centralized. It is impossible to centralize fiscal policies if the UK is an independent financial center with its own central bank and currency.

Wall Street understands that the defeat of Brexit means a shortened lifespan for London as a financial center, as it is impossible to be a financial center unless a country has its own currency and central bank. As it is impossible for the UK to be a member of the EU and not operate under the European Central Bank, once the Brexit referendum is defeated, the process of gradually forcing the UK into the euro will begin.

The other powerful interest is the interest of Washington to prevent one country’s exit from
leading to the exit of other countries. As CIA documents found in the US National Archives make clear, the EU was a CIA initiative, the purpose of which is to make it easy for Washington to exercise political control over Europe. It is much easier for Washington to control the EU than 28 separate countries.

Moreover, if the EU unravels, so likely would NATO, which is the necessary cover for Washington’s aggression.

The EU serves Washington and the One Percent. It serves no one else. The EU is a murderer of sovereignty and peoples. The intent is for the British, French, Germans, Italians, Greeks, Spanish, and all the rest to disappear as peoples. Brexit is the last chance to defeat this hidden agenda, and apparently the British will vote tomorrow without having a clue as to what is at stake and what the vote is about.
Haven't heard much lately about ignorant politicians?

Dreamer.

In Praise Of Ignorant Politicians…..Unschooled In Beltway Delusions

By David Stockman
June 22, 2016
Contra Corner
The Imperial City deserves to be sacked by insurgent politicians of the very ignorant kind. That is, outsiders unschooled in its specious groupthink and destructive delusions of grandeur.

That’s why Donald Trump’s challenge to the beltway’s permanent bipartisan ruling class is so welcome. He is largely ignorant of the neocon and war hawk catechisms and sophistries propounded by joints like the Council on Foreign Relations.

But owing to his overweening self-confidence, he doesn’t hesitate to lob foreign policy audibles, as it were, from the Presidential campaign’s line of scrimmage.

It is these unpredictable outbursts of truth and common sense, not his bombast, bad manners and bigotry, that has the Acela Corridor in high dudgeon. The Donald’s establishment bettors are deathly afraid that he might confirm to the unwashed electorate of Flyover America what it already suspects.

Namely, that Washington’s hyper-interventionism and ungodly expensive imperial footprint all around the globe has nothing at all to do with their security and safety, even as it saddles them with massive public debts and the threat of jihadist blowback to the homeland.

For Trump’s part, the fact is that most of his wild pitches — the Mexican Wall, the Muslim ban, waterboarding — are basically excesses of campaign rhetoric that would likely get fashioned into something far more palatable if he were ever in a position to govern. By contrast, the fundamental consensus of our bipartisan rulers is a mortal threat to peace, prosperity and democratic rule.

Worse still, the beltway consensus is so entombed in groupthink that the machinery grinds forward from one folly to the next with hardly a peep of dissent. Nothing could better illustrate that deleterious dynamic, in fact, than the NATO warships currently trolling around the Black Sea.

For crying out loud, the very thought that Washington is sending lethally armed destroyers into the Black Sea is an outrage. That eurasian backwater harbors no threat whatsoever to the security and safety of the citizens of America — or, for that matter, to those of Germany, France, Poland or the rest of NATO, either.

The shrunken remnants of the Russian Navy — home-ported at Sevastopol on the Crimea, as it has been since Catherine The Great — could not uncork the Dardanelles with war-making intent in a thousand years. Not in the face of the vast NATO armada implacably positioned on the Mediterranean side of the outlet.

So what is possibly the point of rattling seaborne missile batteries on Russia’s shoreline? It assumes a military threat that’s non-existent and a hostile intent in Moscow that is purely an artifact of NATO propaganda.

In truth, these reckless Black Sea naval maneuvers amount to a rank provocation. With one glance at the map, even the much maligned high school educated voters who have rallied to Trump’s cause could tell you that much.

The same can be said for the 31,000 NATO troops conducted exercises in Poland and the Baltic republics right alongside the border with Russia. These are not isolated cases of tactical excess or even far-fetched exercises in “deterrence”.

Instead, they directly manifest Imperial Washington’s hegemonic raison d'etat.

Indeed, these utterly pointless maneuvers on Russia’s doorsteps are just a further extension of the same imperial arrogance that stupidly initiated a fight with Putin’s Russia in the first place by igniting a Ukrainian civil war on the streets of Kiev in February 2014.

Washington not only sponsored and funded the overthrow of Ukraine’s constitutionally elected government, but did so for the most superficial and historically ignorant reason imaginable. To wit, it objected to the decision of Ukraine’s prior government to align itself economically and politically with its historic hegemon in Moscow.

So what?

There was nothing at stake in the Ukraine that matters. During the last 700 years, it has been a meandering set of borders in search of a country. In fact, the intervals in which the Ukraine existed as an independent nation have been few and far between.

Invariably, it rulers, petty potentates and corrupt politicians made deals with or surrendered to every outside power which came along. These included the Lithuanians, Turks, Poles, Austrians, Czars and commissars, among others.

Indeed, in modern times Ukraine functioned as an integral part of Mother Russia, serving as its breadbasket and iron and steel crucible under czars and commissars alike. Crimea itself was actually Russian territory from 1783, when Catherine The Great purchased it from the Turks, until the mid-1950’s, when in a fit of drunken stupor the newly ascendant Khrushchev gifted it to his Ukrainian compatriots.

Given this history, the idea that Ukraine should be actively and aggressively induced to join NATO was just plain nuts. You might wonder what bantam brains actually came up with the scheme, but only until you recall that NATO itself has been a vestigial organ since 1991.

It’s now in the business of self-preservation and concocting missions, not securing the peace of anyone, anywhere on the planet.

The Ukraine intervention has already caused NATO, the IMF and Washington to pony up more than $40 billion of aid, which has gone straight down the proverbial rathole. The part that wasn’t stolen by the thieving oligarchs Washington installed in Kiev has been used to prosecute an horrific civil war which has killed and wounded tens of thousands of civilians caught in the cross-fire and destroyed what is left of the Ukrainian economy.

Indeed, it was the neocon meddlers from Washington who crushed Ukraine’s last semblance of civil governance when they enabled ultra-nationalists and crypto-Nazi to gain government positions after the putsch. In one fell swoop that inexcusable stupidity re-opened Ukraine’s blood-soaked modern history.

That includes Stalin’s re-population of the Donbas with “reliable” Russian workers after his genocidal liquidation of the Kulaks in the early 1930s. It also encompasses the large-scale collaboration by Ukrainian nationalists in the west with the Nazi wehrmacht as it laid waste to Poles, Jews, gypsies and other undesirables on its way to Stalingrad.

And then there was the equal and opposite spree of barbaric revenge as the victorious Red Army marched back through Ukraine on its way to Berlin.

What beltway lame brains did not understand that Washington’s triggering of “regime change” in Kiev would re-open this entire bloody history of sectarian and political strife?

Moreover, once they had opened Pandora’s box, why was it so hard to see that an outright partition of Ukraine with autonomy for the Donbas and Crimea, or even accession to the Russian state from which these communities had originated, would have been a perfectly reasonable resolution?

Certainly that would have been far preferable to dragging all of Europe into the lunacy of the current anti-Putin sanctions and embroiling the Ukrainian factions in a suicidal civil war.

After all, the artificial country of Czechoslovakia, created on a political whim at Versailles, was peacefully and inconsequently devolved into its separate Czech and Slovakian nations. The same of true of Yugoslavia.

In that instance, it was American bombers which forced the partition of Kosovo from its Serbian parent. And even then, this Washington sanctioned partition ended up in the hands of a criminal mafia that makes Putin appear sainted, to boot.

In short, the current spat of NATO saber-rattling exercises on Russia’s borders is living proof that Washington is enthrall to a permanent ruling class of educated fools and power-obsessed apparatchiks,

Is it any wonder, therefore, that the Imperial City continues to squander scarce fiscal resources on the obsolete machinery of NATO and the bloated cold war military establishments of its members that have no legitimate purpose.

No wonder Trump’s establishment bettors scolded and harrumphed when he had the temerity to suggest that NATO was too expensive and possibly obsolete.

But of course it is!

It’s mission ended 25 years ago when Boris Yeltsin mounted a soviet tank vodka flask in hand and stood done the Red Army. The very geopolitical earth parted right there and then.

Indeed, two years earlier, President Bush 41 and his able Secretary of State, James Baker, had promised Gorbachev that in return for acquiescing in the reunification of Germany that NATO would not be expanded “by a single inch”.

Time and again that promise has been betrayed for no good reason except imperial aggrandizement. Now a military alliance which had no purpose other than to contain 50,000 Soviet tanks on the central front has been joined by the likes of Albania, Croatia, Latvia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Bulgaria, too.

Has the ascension of these micro-states added to the security and safety of the citizens of Lincoln NE or Springfield MA?

No it hasn’t. It has actually subtracted from national security by threatening a third rate power with a GDP no larger than that of the New York SMSA and an annual defense budget amounting to less than 30 days of Pentagon spending.

As to the necessity of the current naval maneuvers, even the leaders of Bulgaria—-a nation check-by-jowl to Russia’s Black Sea fleet — have demurred, pointing out the obvious.

To wit, the Black Sea is a place for sailboats and vacationers, not NATO warships.

In fact, that is so obvious that it is no wonder our beltway bettors are frothing at the mouth about Donald Trump. He just might mobilize the country against the threadbare predicates of their ruinous rule.

Prime Minister Boiko Borisov said he would not join a proposed NATO fleet in the Black Sea “because it should be a place for holidays and tourists, not war.”

“I always say that I want the Black Sea to see sailboats, yachts, large boats with tourists and not become an arena of military action … I do not need a war in the Black Sea,” Reuters cited Bulgaria’s Prime Minister as saying at a media briefing. “To send warships as a fleet against Russian ships exceeds the limit of what I can allow,” Borisov told reporters in Sofia on Thursday, as cited by Bloomberg. “To deploy destroyers, aircraft carriers near [the resort cities of] Bourgas or Varna during the tourist season is unacceptable.”
That’s the beginning of good sense. Disbanding NATO would be the next rational step forward.

But who would be willing to bet on that?


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Greater or Lesser Evilism  (FBI Lured Mateen?) Con Vs. Con?  (EPA Raises Radiation Levels)  Bilderberg Looking Glass  (Healthcare Profits Wrung Out in NC)  Dismissing Widespread Election Fraud?  (Implosion of House of Saud)



Howell Says CIA and Four Other Suspects were Involved in Planned Sunday Massacres

Is this a joke on US?

Not that funny.

Before Omar Mateen Committed Mass Murder, the FBI Tried to 'Lure' Him into a Terror Plot

BDS:  Security Company G4S Announces Plans to Exit Israeli Market
“It looks like it's pretty much standard operating procedure for preliminary inquiries to interview the subject or pitch the person to become an informant and/or plant an undercover or informant close by to see if the person bites on the suggestion,” Coleen Rowley, a former FBI agent and division counsel whose May 2002 memo to the FBI Director exposed some of the FBI’s pre-9/11 failures, told AlterNet. “In the case of Mateen, since he already worked for a security contractor [G4S], he was either too savvy to bite on the pitch or he may have even become indignant that he was targeted in that fashion. These pitches and use of people can backfire.”
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The Return of Lesser Evilism

Government Reacts to Fukushima Radiation Crisis By Raising Acceptable Radiation Standards … Instead of Fixing Anything
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Con vs. Con

By Chris Hedges
June 20, 2016
"Truth Dig"
During the presidential election cycle, liberals display their gutlessness. Liberal organizations, such as MoveOn.org, become cloyingly subservient to the Democratic Party. Liberal media, epitomized by MSNBC, ruthlessly purge those who challenge the Democratic Party establishment. Liberal pundits, such as Paul Krugman, lambaste critics of the political theater, charging them with enabling the Republican nominee. Liberals chant, in a disregard for the facts, not to be like Ralph Nader, the “spoiler” who gave us George W. Bush.
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From the Asheboro, North Carolina "Courier-Tribune:"

Wringing More Profit Out of Healthcare
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Iraq Calls for Clarity After Saudi Arabia Admits Fundraising for Daesh

The US Is Sleepwalking Towards A Nuclear Confrontation
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Are we witnessing a dishonest election? (Shock! Aw . . . .)

Given the stakes in the outcome of the American presidential elections, ensuring the integrity of the electoral process is of the utmost importance.

Are the results we are witnessing in the 2016 primary elections trustworthy? While Donald Trump enjoyed a clear and early edge over his Republican rivals, the Democratic contest between former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Senator Bernard Sanders has been far more competitive. At present, Secretary Clinton enjoys an apparent advantage over Sanders. Is this claimed advantage legitimate? We contend that it is not, and suggest an explanation for the advantage:  States that are at risk for election fraud in 2016 systematically and overwhelmingly favor Secretary Clinton. We provide converging evidence for this claim.

First, we show that it is possible to detect irregularities in the 2016 Democratic Primaries by comparing the states that have hard paper evidence of all the placed votes to states that do not have this hard paper evidence. Second, we compare the final results in 2016 to the discrepant exit polls. Furthermore, we show that no such irregularities occurred in the 2008 competitive election cycle involving Secretary Clinton against President Obama. As such, we find that in states wherein voting fraud has the highest potential to occur, systematic efforts may have taken place to provide Secretary Clinton with an exaggerated margin of support.

Different outcomes in primary states with paper trails and without paper trails

Odds Hillary Won Without Widespread Fraud:  1 in 77 Billion Says Berkeley, Stanford Studies

After applying various statistical models to subsets of 2016 primary voting data several academic researchers conclude Hillary Clinton’s win was only possible through widespread vote fraud.
(Click on photos to enlarge.)

http://alexanderhiggins.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Hillary-Fraud-One-in-77-Billion.png

Widespread allegations of election fraud and voter suppression across the United States during the 2016 Democratic Primary has sparked the interest of several academic researchers and what they discovered in their research is disturbing.

The researchers each performed independent studies in which a few different statistical was applied to analyze various subsets of vote data and of the studies came to the same conclusion.

Namely that Hillary’s win was could have only been possible a result of widespread election fraud.

In fact, one of the statistical models applied by Stanford University researcher Rodolfo Cortes Barragan to a subset of the data found that the probability of the “huge discrepancies”  of which “nearly all are in favor of Hillary Clinton by a huge margin” was “statistically impossible” and that “the probability of this this happening was is 1 in 77 billion”.

Furthermore, the researchers found that the election fraud only occurred in places where the voting machines were hackable and that did not keep an paper trail of the ballots.

In these locations Hillary won by massive margins.

On the other hand, in locations that were not hackable and did keep paper trails of the ballots Bernie Sanders beat Hillary Clinton.

Analysis also showed repeatedly irregularities and statistically impossible reverses in reported live votes in several locations across the country.

In commenting on the research, Barragan stated that some of the models are rock solid and 59 years old and the results seen here have never been witnessed in non-fraudulent election during that time period.

To summarize, at least four different independent studies were conducted with various statistical models applied.

The researchers applied the different statistical models to:
  1. Actual vote counts as they were reported
  2. Discrepancies in polling data verse actual counts.
  3. Various subsets of demographic polling data verse actual vote counts
The results of each study corroborated the with the results of the others and some of the researchers have review the work of the others’ and go onto to confirm the findings in those studies.
It will take months for the studies to undergo peer review.

However, all of their research statistically proved there there must of been widespread fraud to create the discrepancies in the vote counts that exist in all 3 subsets of the data analyzed.
The research of Barragan done collaboratively with Axel Geijsel of Tilburg University in The Netherlands.

That research corroborates independent mathematical research conducted by Richard Charnin.

Further independent research was conducted by Beth Clarkson of Berkeley who also not only corroborated the two previous studies but reviewed them and after her research was done and confirmed their results.

A PDF Summary of the Barragan/Geijsel study “Are we witnessing a dishonest election? A between state comparison based on the used voting procedures of the 2016 Democratic Party Primary for the Presidency of the United States of America” can be found here.

The meat of the study is contained in the Appendix, Supplemental Analyses, and References to Barragan’s Study and in the attachments which follow.


Attachment:  Page 1

This report summarizes the results of our review of the GEMS election management system, which counts approximately 25 percent of all votes in the United States. The results of this study demonstrate that a fractional vote feature is embedded in each GEMS application which can be used to invisibly, yet radically, alter election outcomes by pre-setting desired vote percentages to redistribute votes. This tampering is not visible to election observers, even if they are standing in the room and watching the computer. Use of the decimalized vote feature is unlikely to be detected by auditing or canvass procedures, and can be applied across large jurisdictions in less than 60 seconds. 

They allow “weighting” of races. Weighting a race removes the principle of “one person-one vote” to allow some votes to be counted as less than one or more than one. Regardless of what the real votes are, candidates can receive a set percentage of votes. Results can be controlled. For example, Candidate A can be assigned 44% of the votes, Candidate B 51%, and Candidate C the rest.

Instead of “1” the vote is allowed to be 1/2, or 1+7/8, or any other value that is not a whole number.

Fractions in results reports are not visible.Votes containing decimals are reported as whole numbers unless specifically instructed to reveal decimals (which is not the default setting). All evidence that fractional values ever existed can be removed instantly even from the underlying database using a setting in the GEMS data tables, in which case even instructing GEMS to show the decimals will fail to reveal they were used.

– from http://blackboxvoting.org/fraction-magic-1/
(Click on photo to enlarge.)



The amount of support Clinton receives among blacks is far higher in states without a paper trail, than the states with a paper trail.

Bilderberg Seen Through the Looking Glass

So the annual Bilderberg meeting placidly came and went behind heavily secured doors (and fence) at the Hotel Taschenbergpalais Kempinski in Dresden – conveniently upstaged by the murky story of a US-born Muslim and registered Democrat, with a steady job in global security firm 4GS and no previous criminal record, suddenly converting into an alleged Daesh-inspired urban jihadi unleashing hell on LGBT targets.

Some of the usual Masters of the Universe – but mostly their selected paperboys – did hit Bilderberg in a jolly Goldman Sachs-meets-Google mix. Feel free to enjoy drawing the possible connections among the official participants, all of them lavishly welcomed by organizer Airbus.

What really matters at Bilderberg is what is discussed only by selected masters and messengers behind closed doors – not those steering committee «sessions» with invited guests (and that includes media reps from "The Economist," "Bloomberg," the "FT" or the "Wall Street Journal"). Bilderberg is like a redux, ultra-selected version of Davos, more akin to the meetings of the Trilateral Commission.

Bilderberg follows an extremely strict «Chatham House Rule»; if you are a participant you may use any information you receive from your fellow gatherers, as long as you don’t reveal your source. That’s pretty much how the Beltway/Wall Street axis operates.

So what do these up to 150 exponents of what Zygmunt Bauman would define as the cream of the crop of (transatlantic) liquid modernity elites – two thirds from Western Europe, the rest from North America – talk about?

Predictably, what finance ministers and mega-corporate CEOs talk about; the preservation of what Immanuel Wallerstein describes as the «world system», as in turbo-financial capitalism; and the necessity to change a few things so nothing substantial changes at all. Think of it as seven-star groupthink.

As my (European diplomat) mole told me, this year some key items in the New World Order (NWO) agenda were imperatively discussed, such as how to block both Donald Trump in the US and Brexit in the UK by all means necessary, as well as how to shove the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) over European public opinion’s throats, also by all means necessary.

But other globalist imperatives were as relevant, such as the creation of a virtual online passport – an Internet ID – without which no one will be able to say, or buy, anything. The excuse for it is to promote «cybersecurity». The idea, not surprisingly, came out of the Orwellian European Commission (EC).

Plutocracy X precariat

It’s been a long and winding road since the inaugural 1954 meeting at the Hotel De Bilderberg in Oosterbeek, Netherlands.
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The Implosion of the House of Saud

Pepe Escobar | 14.04.2016 | Opinion
The Panama Papers psyops revealed that – ailing – King Salman of Saudi Arabia is among a roast of notorious offshore profiteers «in relation» to «associates».

The House of Saud used British Virgin Islands shell companies to take out at least $34 million in mortgages for lavish houses in London and «a luxury yacht the size of a football field». And yet Western corporate media has given it a glaring pass. Quite predictable:  House of Saud notables feature heavily among prime Western vassals.

As it stands, a major disconnect is also in effect. The House of Saud is busy spinning the need for austerity at home even as it is now positioned as the world’s third-largest spender on weapons, ahead of Russia.

«Austerity» is a bit rich when I revealed earlier this year that the House of Saud not only unleashed an oil price war – against Russia, Iran and the US shale oil industry – but also was busy unloading at least $1 trillion in US securities on the market to balance its increasingly disastrous budget.

And now we have a major PR offensive in Western corporate media by Warrior Prince Mohammad bin Salman, 30, the lead conductor of the disastrous, illegal and crammed with civilian collateral damage war on Yemen. Young Salman is selling himself as an Arab David Bowie – the Man Who Changed the World, mostly because of his desire to partially privatize Aramco and partially extract Saudi Arabia from its strict role as an oil hacienda by creating a $2 trillion fund.

For the US, UK and France, especially, Saudi Arabia is the proverbial «key ally». It’s not only the – again proverbial – second-largest oil reserves in the world, and the notorious Mob-style 1945 «protection» deal struck between Roosevelt and Ibn Saud. It’s the House of Saud as the key anchor for the petrodollar; and the House of Saud consistently buying over $100 billion in weapons from the West in the past few years.

Yet, in parallel, Saudi Arabia – a mix of theocracy and absolute monarchy, complete with a gaggle of intolerant, fundamentalist imams – keeps perpetuating its role of ideological matrix to all strands of Salafi-Jihadism, including of course its latest incarnation:  the phony ISIS/ISIL/Daesh «Caliphate». The House of Saud, directly and indirectly, has lavished over $100 billion all across the lands of Islam – and beyond – to spread its fundamentalist Wahhabi «vision».

A glimpse behind the velvet curtains

For a while there have been incessant rumors, from London to New York, and across the Middle East, of possible coup in Riyadh.

Now a policy-making source with intimate knowledge not only of the House of Saud but its real masters in the Washington/Wall Street axis has offered an unprecedented glimpse into the current, groundbreaking power play in the Kingdom.

According to the source,«Prince Mohammed bin Salman really does realize what is happening. He is being set up. He is surrounded by consultants going over the entire Saudi economic system aiming for its reorganization – which is certainly necessary. And some of these consultants at the same time are organizing the data for the CIA. This would make any transition away from the monarchy – which the CIA loathes – much easier, towards a favored military officer».

And this would also imply that some of Aramco’s Western employees – hired to hold the place together – are your proverbial CIA agents; a classic cover for clandestine ops.

The whole process started a while ago, in April 2014, when there were rumblings in Riyadh about a move to get rid of King Abdullah. Eventually a compromise was struck; Bandar bin Sultan, a.k.a. Bandar Bush – who badly bundled the war in Syria via his sponsorship of an army of Jihadis – was fired as the real culprit in this Saudi-led war of terror. And Prince Mohammed bin Nayef was promoted to number two in the Kingdom – duly under the orders of His Masters’ Voice in Washington. As he was anointed Crown Prince, Nayef was all but enshrined as the next King in the succession of King Salman.

What the publicity-savvy young Salman wants is to turn the tables. He sees himself as his father’s successor. Yet internal resistance is fierce. According to the source, «it does not play well among the poor masses of the Kingdom that he brags about a two-trillion-dollar stock value of Aramco when they are suffering the removal of House of Saud subsidies». As for the Saudi oil wealth, the young Salman deceptively does not believe «the decline in oil prices poses a threat to us, for us it’s a free market that is governed by supply and demand».

Our source is adamant that «Mohammed bin Nayef is very capable and a very effective fighter against terrorism. He is mature, stable, capable and talented. The problem is there is growing discontent in the Kingdom over the oil price war ordered by Washington. Consultants meanwhile are pressing Mohammed bin Salman to cut subsidies. That is certain to disorient the masses towards him. And this gives, then, a justification for any coup whereby the population is neutralized».

Which brings us to the all-important massive weapons purchases angle: «This has to do with the efforts of Mohammed bin Salman to create a strong Saudi army, in combination with military alliances with Pakistan and Egypt, which are paid for allies. Money is being thrown around all over, while subsidies are to be cut. This will only add more pressure on the monarchy».

The military front is not exactly a win for the Salmans, father and son. Sisi in Cairo certainly balks at the notion of having Egyptian troops trapped in a Yemen quagmire. Same with Sharif in Islamabad – who refused to send a Pakistani contingent.

So King Salman was forced to turn towards India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi. After all there are 3 million Indian workers in Saudi Arabia, and India imports 20% of its oil from Saudi Arabia. Still, no Indian troops.

Both India and Pakistan clearly see, this is all part of Riyadh’s extensive, paranoid anti-Iran campaign. India and Iran are partners in the expansion of the New Silk Roads across Eurasia. And Iran-Pakistan are key partners in Pipelineistan – via the IP gas pipeline.

Time to line up for a cab?

The possibility of a coup in Riyadh further on down the road still remains. It boils down to Exceptionalistan’s control. Saudi Arabia under the Warrior Prince cannot possibly be trusted, according to influential sectors in the Beltway. Turkey is now considered out of control; Sultan Erdogan being snubbed in Washington by Obama could even turn out to be the prelude for his eventual removal by the Turkish military, which are really under Exceptionalistan’s control. Iran cannot be counted on – because for Tehran the priority is Eurasia integration and a closer strategic relationship with both Russia and China.

Arguably the House of Saud could turn things around by raising the oil price to $100 a barrel, via a 10% cutback in production worked out with Russia at the upcoming meeting in Doha; and realign their policies with Russia as a balancing power. Forget it; it’s not bound to happen.

What’s fascinating in this running Saudi "House of Cards" plot is that, according to our source, «King Abdullah was someone that could be argued to be useful to the United States to maintain the stability of oil supply». But influential Beltway players do not regard Salman or his son that way; especially the son is thought of as «erratic and unstable».

Once again:  control, control, control. Our source explains how «the West has educated Saudi Arabia’s military officers – who are often Western intel agents. That’s why Crown Prince Sultan never trusted them and purposely kept the military weak when he was Defense Minister. He feared them as the privileged source in a takeover of the country. And he was certainly correct. In the CIA’s eyes, the Saudis need outside supervision. And this is one of the reasons for the CIA’s desire for regime change, as the place is spiraling out of control».

Yet here’s another key disconnect. The CIA believes the House of Saud to be the chief sponsors of global terrorism. But that’s not true. Most of these terror ops are 21st century remixes of Operation Gladio. And that implies the hand of NATO/Pentagon. This disconnect partially explains why the Pentagon and the CIA are at each other’s throats.

It’s still unclear which US intel faction will eventually prevail in Riyadh – and that may further change depending on who will be the tenant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue next year.

For the moment, quite a few influential players are fond of imagining an astonishing House of Saudi fortune, including Thousand-and-One nights-style assets of the extended royal family, all frozen overseas, from the US to Panama. With the inevitable corollary of thousands of princes lining up for cab driver jobs in London and New York.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

(America At War With Itself?) Middle Class Death March  (Politics of Disposability)  Taxpayer Is Unicorn Meat? (Nazi USA Coming Up) Missing 28 Pages Explains 9/11 Origins?



America at war with itself? (Max, say it ain't so!)

That would explain all the other wars the U.S. is involved in as semi guilt relief with all that murder and mayhem assauging the fact that U.S. neoliberal leaders have been waging war against the Middle Class (and all the people living in their now nonexistent trickle-down stream) for the last 40 years.

Hello Reaganism Reborn! Yeah. I still remember Obama trotting out his name with a big knowing smile like it was a good-luck talisman after he was first elected. (Another bright Morning in America? Ask Donald Trump - who is probably finished - as predicted here - according to polls this week. Don't forget your sunglasses!)

[KR928] Keiser Report:  America at War with Itself
Posted on June 16, 2016 by Stacy Herbert
We show how many millions of voters having only $10 to their name can lead to disastrous societal consequences and that orange-flavoured meth will not save the day. In the second half, Max interviews Henry Giroux, author of the forthcoming book, America at War with Itself. They discuss the descent into madness as demonstrated by the latest presidential clown show.

MI-6 Gets Off Scot-Free Over Rendition of Suspected Islamists to Libya
We Buried the Disgraceful Truth - Steve Coll
The Wrong Conversation About Terrorism
A Different Migrant Story​
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I read the following essay in a somewhat neutral emotional tenor. On one hand it's telling that Hillary Clinton, the chosen, MSM-designated Democratic nominee before she has gained enough pledged delegates to actually be such before the July 25 Convention, has had an intimate association for a long time with someone possessing serious family connections to major events like 9/11 (considering all that gung-ho war talk against the evil Islamists for which she is famous). On the other hand, when did she think this information would be disseminated and by whom? It seems that it would have been better to have heard it from her campaign first (assuming she offers a steel-gauge defense). Or did she think the Colgate invisible shield would continue to work on everyone as well as it had on her warbling legion of unblinking followers? Read the article at the following link and try to come up with your own alternate version of recent history. (Unless it's all a joke, of course, and . . . none of it is true . . . and our treasured representative Weiner didn't have to resign or anything that severe due to his frustration, obvious bad judgment and photography fixation.)

It's Time America Got Some Answers About Huma Abedin

I always draw a sigh of relief (of a kind) looking forward to my country's eventual escape from authoritarian captivity back to sanity, saving it from the seemingly assured path of terminal loss of respect and leadership among civilized nations up to now when I read an article like the one below. Too bad there are so few of them being touted publicly, but this one is excellent.

Cornel West:  Why There Is a Serious Danger of a Right-Wing Revolution in the US

By George Souvlis, openDemocracy
16 June 16
In this exclusive, Cornel West talks Bernie Sanders’ neo-populism, Donald Trump’s neo-fascism – and sweeping away the myopic careerism and chronic narcissism that prevented any serious critique of Obama's neo-liberalism.
Last year, when Bernie Sanders announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for the US presidency, few believed that it would have any success. Many assumed that the public endorsement of ideas like ‘democratic socialism’ or ‘political revolution’ would alienate the American political electorate. But what followed was a series of surprising victories in several states.

Few are more appropriate to explain such developments, along with the troubling rise of Donald Trump, than the American philosopher and public intellectual Cornel West. His work on the role of race, gender and class in American society, and his political experience as prominent member of the Democratic Socialists of America gives him an insightful understanding of today's political momentum, and its meaning for the left. His voice has even greater significance within the current American political scene, considering that Sanders selected him to be part of the Democratic Party platform-writing body.

George Souvlis (GS):  What is the legacy of the Obama administration?

Cornel West (CW):  We are at a crossroads in American history. We must choose between a neo-fascism in the making (Trump), neo-liberalism in the decaying (Clinton), and a neo-populism in the ascending (Sanders). The establishments in both the Democratic and Republican parties are disintegrating.

Obama is the last gasp of the neo-liberalism that emerged under Carter:  a massive response to the structural crises of the global economy in the mid-70s. This attempt to financialize, privatize, and militarize our way through deep problems – from the economy, education, incarceration, security and communication – has produced vast wealth inequality, cultures of superficial spectacle, and pervasive corruption in every sphere. Both political parties have been complicitous. Much hangs on how the Sanders campaign is treated in July, and what we critical Sanders-supporters do after July.

GS:  How do you view the Trump phenomenon?

CW:  Donald Trump is a billionaire pseudo-populist with an autocratic sensibility, narcissistic personality, and hence a neo-fascist in the making. His project brings together a lethal mixture of big banks, huge corporations, xenophobic scapegoating (Mexicans, women, Muslims, Blacks, and non-straights), economic anxiety and national malaise tied to militaristic aspirations abroad. This is what US-style fascism looks like – echoes of Sinclair Lewis' It Can't Happen Here (1935), the classic novel of American fascism.

GSBernie Sanders calls himself a democratic socialist, what does that political tradition mean to you?

CW:  Despite Sanders' self-definition as a democratic socialist, his platform is vintage neo-populist:  principled use of the government to come to the rescue of working and poor people crushed by Wall Street greed and upper middle-class indifference to the disappearing opportunities of vulnerable fellow citizens. We saw the government come to the rescue of Wall Street and we see how lobbyists ensure the security of the well-to-do. Sanders' neo-populist appeal is timely and understandable. As a democratic socialist for 35 years and hence a comrade to my dear Brother Bernie, there is no doubt that he is running on a neo-populist, not democratic socialist, platform.

GSIf Sanders fails, how do you think a social movement can emerge out of his campaign?

CW:  Political campaigns are not social movements. Even great campaigns like those of Jackson in the 80s, Obama in the recent past or Sanders today are not social movements. We must distinguish between social momentums, social rebellions and social movements. Given the massive national security state and the pervasive carceral state, social movements are rare – past, present and future.

The American Empire is more ripe for a counter-revolution than revolution, for right-wing movements than left-wing ones. This is so primarily because of the deep xenophobic roots in the country and profound militaristic sentiments in the culture. Hence, progressive social momentums and chaotic social rebellions are more likely to reshape our priorities and gain some concessions from greedy elites and callous citizens. This is why moral and spiritual dimensions of social activism are crucial – to sustain our will to fight inside and outside the system with little chance of immediate victory!

GSWhat do you make of the debates about why Bernie Sanders’ message doesn’t seem to be resonating as well with some black voters?

CW:  Black people are the most progressive voting bloc on issues of the economy, racism and education. Bernie Sanders is the most progressive candidate on these issues. So far, Black people remain tied to the familiar neo-liberal project of Clinton than to the relatively unknown Sanders. Black people fear Trump. They are reluctant to make a change with the much less known Sanders. But as many of us have argued – like Adolph Reed, Jr. and Michelle Alexander – Clinton's neo-liberal and militaristic policies have done much damage to working and poor people here and abroad.

The high visibility of neo-liberal Black politicians, corporate media pundits and intellectuals make it difficult for us to have strong impact. Yet evidence is mounting that the Clinton machine – wrapping itself in Obama's costume – is running out of gas. The neo-liberal sleepwalking in Black America is coming to an end!

GS:  What kind of organisational form do you see "Black Lives Matter" taking in the future?

CW:  The emergence of "Black Lives Matter" momentum is a marvelous new militancy that is the early signs of the shattering of the neo-liberal sleepwalking in Black America. This emergence exposes the spiritual rot and moral cowardice of too much of Black leadership – political, intellectual and religious.

The myopic careerism and chronic narcissism that prevented any serious critique of Obama's neo-liberalism are now out in the open, owing to the courageous young people who stood in the face of military tanks in order to show their love of those shot down by unaccountable police under a Black president, Black attorney general and Black homeland security cabinet member. What an indictment of neo-liberal Black power in the face of massive Black suffering, highlighted by "Black Lives Matter" activists. And this is just the peak of an iceberg melting for Black elites, who went silent and opted for symbolic crumbs, when precious poor Black people were being crushed. Martin King, Malcolm X, and Fannie Lou Hamer cry out from the grave – then smile at the "Black Lives Matter" activists.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _

I guess we shouldn't be surprised (or amazed) at learning that Nazi Germany provided a perfect behavior standard for what the intelligence agencies in the USA! USA! USA! deeply (cravenly) desired to become after the end of World War II.

Although it might (still) be to those who continue watching reality TV for their required hit of "shock and awe."

There’s one word to describe the FBI’s covert tactics, it’s creepy.

The agency’s biometric database has grown to massive proportions, the largest in the world, encompassing everything from fingerprints, palm, face and iris scans to DNA, and is being increasingly shared between federal, state and local law enforcement agencies in an effort to target potential criminals long before they ever commit a crime.

This is what’s known as pre-crime.

If it were just about fighting the “bad guys,” that would be one thing. But as countless documents make clear, the FBI has no qualms about using its extensive powers in order to blackmail politicians, spy on celebrities and high-ranking government officials, and intimidate dissidents of all stripes.

It’s an old tactic, used effectively by former authoritarian regimes.

In fact, as historian Robert Gellately documents, the Nazi police state was repeatedly touted as a model for other nations to follow, so much so that Hoover actually sent one of his right-hand men, Edmund Patrick Coffey, to Berlin in January 1938 at the invitation of Germany’s secret police. As Gellately noted, “[A]fter five years of Hitler’s dictatorship, the Nazi police had won the FBI’s seal of approval.”

Indeed, so impressed was the FBI with the Nazi order that, as the New York Times revealed, in the decades after World War II, the FBI, along with other government agencies, aggressively recruited at least a thousand Nazis, including some of Hitler’s highest henchmen, brought them to America, hired them on as spies and informants, and then carried out a massive cover-up campaign to ensure that their true identities and ties to Hitler’s holocaust machine would remain unknown. Moreover, anyone who dared to blow the whistle on the FBI’s illicit Nazi ties found himself spied upon, intimidated, harassed and labeled a threat to national security.

So not only have American taxpayers been paying to keep ex-Nazis on the government payroll for decades but we’ve been subjected to the very same tactics used by the Third Reich: surveillance, militarized police, overcriminalization, and a government mindset that views itself as operating outside the bounds of the law.

This is how freedom falls, and tyrants come to power.

The similarities between the American police state and past totalitarian regimes such as Nazi Germany grow more pronounced with each passing day.

Secret police. Secret courts. Secret government agencies. Surveillance. Intimidation. Harassment. Torture. Brutality. Widespread corruption. Entrapment. Indoctrination. These are the hallmarks of every authoritarian regime from the Roman Empire to modern-day America.

Yet it’s the secret police — tasked with silencing dissidents, ensuring compliance, and maintaining a climate of fear — who sound the death knell for freedom in every age.

Crimes of the War on Terror, Should George Bush, Dick Cheney, and Others Be Jailed?

By Rebecca Gordon, "TomDispatch"
07 June 16
[Note for TomDispatch Readers:  Just a reminder that you can still get a signed, personalized copy of Rebecca Gordon’s powerful new book, American Nuremberg:  The U.S. Officials Who Should Stand Trial for Post-9/11 War Crimes, for a contribution of $100 or more ($125 if you live outside the United States) to this website. Check out our donation page for the details.  Tom]
If you happen to be a potential American war criminal, you've had a few banner weeks. On May 9th, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter presented former Secretary of State and National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger with the Department of Defense Distinguished Public Service Award, that institution's “highest honorary award for private citizens.”

In bestowing it on the 92-year-old who is evidently still consulting for the Pentagon, he offered this praise:  “While his contributions are far from complete, we are now beginning to appreciate what his service has provided our country, how it has changed the way we think about strategy, and how he has helped provide greater security for our citizens and people around the world.”

Certainly people “around the world” will remember the “greater security” offered by the man who, relaying an order from President Richard Nixon for a “massive” secret bombing campaign in Cambodia, used a line that may almost be the definition of a war crime:  “Anything that flies on anything that moves.”  The resulthalf a million tons of bombs dropped on that country between 1969 and 1973 and at least 100,000 dead civilians.  And that’s just to start down the well-cratered road to the millions of dead he undoubtedly has some responsibility for. Public service indeed.

Meanwhile, speaking of American crimes in the Vietnam era, former Nebraska Senator Bob Kerrey, who ran for president of the U.S. and then became the president of the New School in New York City, was just appointed to “lead” Fulbright University Vietnam, the first private American-backed school there. Its opening was announced by President Obama on his recent visit to that country.

Only one small problem:  we already know of some children who won’t be able to apply for admission. I’m thinking of the progeny-who-never-were of the 13 children killed by a team of U.S. SEALs under Kerrey’s command and on his orders in South Vietnam in 1969 (along with a pregnant woman, and an elderly couple whose three grandchildren were stabbed to death by the raiders) -- all of whom were reported at the time as dead Vietcong guerillas.

It seems that if you are a distinguished citizen of the most exceptional country on the planet, even war crimes have their rewards. Consider, for instance, the millions of dollars that were paid for memoirs by top Bush administration officials responsible for creating an American offshore torture regime at CIA “black sites” around the world.  Must-reads all!  With that in mind, turn to "TomDispatch" regular Rebecca Gordon, author most recently of American Nuremberg:  The U.S. Officials Who Should Stand Trial for Post-9/11 War Crimes, to consider what “justice” for such figures might look like in a different and better world.
-Tom Engelhardt
"TomDispatch"

Crimes of the War on Terror

Should George Bush, Dick Cheney, and Others Be Jailed?
The cold was terrible but the screams were worse," Sara Mendez told the BBC. "The screams of those who were being tortured were the first thing you heard and they made you shiver. That's why there was a radio blasting day and night."

In the 1970s, Mendez was a young Uruguayan teacher with leftist leanings. In 1973, when the military seized power in her country (a few months before General Augusto Pinochet’s more famous coup in Chile), Mendez fled to Argentina. She lived there in safety until that country suffered its own coup in 1976. That July, a joint Uruguayan-Argentine military commando group kidnapped her in Buenos Aires and deposited her at Automotores Orletti, a former auto repair shop that would become infamous as a torture site and paramilitary command center. There she was indeed tortured, and there, too, her torturers stole her 20-day-old baby, Simón, giving him to a policeman’s family to raise.

Mendez was an early victim of Operation Condor, a torture and assassination program focused on the region’s leftists that, from 1975 to 1986, would spread terror across Latin America’s southern cone. On May 27th, an Argentine court convicted 14 military officers of crimes connected with Operation Condor, issuing prison sentences ranging from 13 to 25 years. Among those sentenced was Reynaldo Bignone, Argentina’s last military dictator, now 88. (He held power from 1982 to 1983.)

Those convictions are deeply satisfying to the surviving victims and their families, to the legal teams that worked for more than a decade on the case, and to human rights organizations around the world. And yet, as just as this outcome is, it has left me with questions -- questions about the length of time between crime and conviction, and about what kinds of justice can and cannot be achieved through prosecutions alone.

Operation Condor

Operation Condor was launched by the security forces of five military dictatorships: Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, and Bolivia. Brazil soon joined, as did Ecuador and Peru eventually. As a Cold War anti-communist collaboration among the police, military, and intelligence services of those eight governments, Condor offered an enticing set of possibilities. The various services could not only cooperate, but pursue their enemies in tandem across national borders. Indeed, its reach stretched as far as Washington, D.C., where in 1976 its operatives assassinated former Chilean ambassador to the U.S. Orlando Letelier and his young assistant, Ronni Moffitt, both of whom then worked at the Institute for Policy Studies, a left-wing think tank.

How many people suffered grievously or died due to Operation Condor? A definitive number is by now probably beyond recovery, but records from Chile’s secret police suggest that by itself Argentina’s “dirty war” -- the name given to the Argentine junta’s reign of terror, “disappearances,” and torture -- took the lives of 22,000 people between 1975 and 1978. Thousands more are thought to have died before that country’s dictatorship ended in 1983. It’s generally believed that at least another 3,000 people died under the grimmest of circumstances in Chile, while thousands more were tortured but lived. And although its story is less well known, the similar reign of terror of the Uruguayan dictatorship directly affected the lives of almost every family in the country. As Lawrence Wechsler wrote in a 1989 article in the "New Yorker:"
“By 1980, one in every fifty Uruguayans had been detained at some point, and detention routinely involved torture; one in every five hundred had received a sentence of six years or longer under conditions of extreme difficulty; and somewhere between three hundred thousand and four hundred thousand Uruguayans went into exile. Comparable percentages for the United States would involve the emigration of thirty million people, the detention of five million, and the extended incarceration of five hundred thousand.”

And what was the U.S. role in Operation Condor? Washington did not (for once) plan and organize this transnational program of assassination and torture, but its national security agencies were certainly involved, as declassified Defense Department communications indicate.

In his book The Condor Years, Columbia University journalism professor John Dinges reported that the CIA provided training for Chile’s secret police, computers for Condor’s database, telex machines and encoders for its secret communications, and transmitters for its private, continent-wide radio communications network. Chilean Colonel Manuel Contreras, one of Condor’s chief architects (who was then on the CIA payroll), met with CIA Deputy Director Vernon Walters four times. And what did the CIA get in return? Among other things, access to the “results” of interrogation under torture, according to Dinges. "Latin American intelligence services," he added,

“considered U.S. intelligence agencies their allies and provided timely and intimate details of their repressive activities. I have obtained three documents establishing that information obtained under torture, from prisoners who later were executed and disappeared, were provided to the CIA, the FBI and the DIA (Defense Intelligence Agency). There is no question that the U.S. officials were aware of the torture.”
Justice Delayed

Why did it take 40 years to bring the architects of Operation Condor to justice? A key factor: for much of that time, it was illegal in Argentina to put them on trial. In the first years of the new civilian government, the Argentine congress passed two laws that granted these men immunity from prosecution for crimes committed in the dirty war. Only in 2005 did that country’s supreme court rule that those impunity laws were unconstitutional.  Since then, many human rights crimes have been prosecuted. Indeed, Reynaldo Bignone, the former dictator, was already in jail when sentenced in May for his role in Operation Condor. He had been convicted in 2010 of kidnapping, torture, and murder in the years of the dirty war. As of March, Argentina’s Center for Legal and Social Studies (CELS) had recorded 666 convictions for participation in the crimes of that era.

But there’s a question that can’t help but arise: What’s the point of bringing such old men to trial four decades later? How could justice delayed for that long be anything but justice denied?

One answer is that, late as they are, such trials still establish something that all the books and articles in the world can’t:  an official record of the terrible crimes of Operation Condor. This is a crucial step in the process of making its victims, and the nations involved, whole again. As a spokesperson for CELS told the "Wall Street Journal," “Forty years after Operation Condor was formally founded, and 16 years after the judicial investigation began, this trial produced valuable contributions to knowledge of the truth about the era of state terrorism and this regional criminal network.”

It took four decades to get those convictions.  Theoretically at least, Americans wouldn’t have to wait that long to bring our own war criminals to account. I’ve spent the last few years of my life arguing that this country must find a way to hold accountable officials responsible for crimes in the so-called war on terror. I don’t want the victims of those crimes, some of whom are still locked up, to wait another 40 years for justice.

Nor do I want the United States to continue its slide into a brave new world, in which any attack on a possible enemy anywhere or any curtailment of our own liberties is permitted as long as it makes us feel “secure.” It’s little wonder that the presumptive Republican presidential candidate feels free to run around promising yet more torture and murder. After all, no one’s been called to account for the last round. And when there is no official acknowledgement of, or accountability for, the waging of illegal war, international kidnapping operations, the indefinite detention without prospect of trial of prisoners at Guantánamo, and, of course, torture, there is no reason not to do it all over again. Indeed, according to Pew Research Center polls, Americans are now more willing to agree that torture is sometimes justified than they were in the years immediately following the 9/11 attacks.


Torture and the U.S. Prison System

In a recent piece of mine, I focused on Abu Zubaydah, a prisoner the CIA tortured horribly, falsely claiming he was a top al-Qaeda operative, knew about a connection between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda, and might even have trained some of the 9/11 pilots. “In another kind of world,” I wrote, Abu Zubaydah “would be exhibit one in the war crimes trials of America’s top leaders and its major intelligence agency.” Although none of the charges against him proved true, he is still held in isolation at Guantánamo.

Then something surprising happened. I received an email message from someone I’d heard of but never met. Joseph Margulies was the lead counsel in "Rasul v. Bush", the first (and unsuccessful) attempt to get the Supreme Court to allow prisoners at Guantánamo to challenge their detention in federal courts. He is also one of Abu Zubaydah’s defense attorneys.

He directed me to an article of his, “War Crimes in a Punitive Age,” that mentioned my Abu Zubaydah essay. I’d gotten the facts of the case right, he assured me, but added, “I suspect we are not in complete agreement” on the issue of what justice for his client should look like. As he wrote in his piece,

”There is no question that Zubaydah was the victim of war crimes. The entire CIA black site program [the Agency’s Bush era secret prisons around the world] was a global conspiracy to evade and violate international and domestic law. Yet I am firmly convinced there should be no war crimes prosecutions. The call to prosecute is the Siren Song of the carceral state -- the very philosophy we need to dismantle.”
In other words, one of the leading legal opponents of everything the war on terror represents is firmly opposed to the idea of prosecuting officials of the Bush administration for war crimes (though he has not the slightest doubt that they committed them). Margulies agrees that the crimes against Abu Zubaydah were all too real and “grave” indeed, and that “society must make its judgment known.”  He asks, however, “Why do we believe a criminal trial is the only way for society to register its moral voice?”

He doubts that such trials are the best way to do so, fearing that by placing all the blame for the events of those years on a small number of criminal officials, the citizens of an (at least nominally) democratic country could be let off the hook for a responsibility they, too, should share.  After all, it’s unlikely the war on terror could have continued year after year without the support -- or at least the lack of interest or opposition -- of the citizenry.

Margulies, in other words, raises important questions.  When people talk about bringing someone to justice they usually imagine a trial, a conviction, and perhaps most important, punishment. But he has reminded me of my own longstanding ambivalence about the equation between punishment and justice.

Even as we call for accountability for war criminals, we shouldn’t forget that we live in the country that jails the largest proportion of its own population (except for the Seychelles islands), and that holds the largest number of prisoners in the world. Abuse and torture -- including rape, sexual humiliation, beatings, and prolonged exposure to extremes of heat and cold -- are routine realities of the U.S. prison system. Solitary confinement -- presently being experienced by at least 80,000 people in our prisons and immigrant detention centers -- should also be considered a potentially psychosis-inducing form of torture.

Every nation that institutionalizes torture, as the United States has done, selects specific groups of people as legitimate targets for its application. In the days of Operation Condor, Chilean torturers called their victims “humanoids” to distinguish them from actual human beings. Surely, though, the United States hasn’t done that? Surely, there’s no history of the torture of particular groups? Sadly, of course, such a history does exist, and like so many things in this country, it’s all about race.

The practice of torture in the U.S. didn’t start with those post-9/11 “enhanced interrogation techniques,” nor with the Vietnam War’s Phoenix Program, nor even with the nineteenth century U.S. war in the Philippines. It began when European settlers first treated native peoples and enslaved Africans as subhuman savages. As southern farmers started importing captured Africans to augment their supply of indentured English labor, they quickly realized that there was little incentive for those slaves to work -- none but the pain of whippings, mutilations, and brandings, and the threat of yet more pain. Torture and slavery, in other words, were fused at the root. From the first arrival of black people on this continent, it has been permissible, even legal, to torture them.

And it didn’t stop with emancipation. After the end of slavery, southern states began the practice of convict leasing -- arresting former slaves and then their descendants, often on trumped-up charges, and renting them out as labor to farmers and later coal mine owners who had the power and legal right to whip and abuse them as they chose.

Then there’s lynching. Many people think of it as an extrajudicial death by hanging. As it was practiced in the Jim Crow South, however, it was a form of public, state-approved torture, often involving the castration or disembowelment of the living victim, sometimes followed by death by fire. Lynching thus continued the practice of treating black minds and bodies as legitimate targets of torture. So maybe we shouldn’t be surprised that, of the more than two million prisoners in the United States today, 40% are black, while the U.S. population is only 13% black.

Here’s the problem, then. When we say that putting George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and other top officials in their administration in prison for war crimes would be justice, we endorse a criminal justice system that is more criminal than just, and where torture is a daily occurrence.

Do we want to do to Bush, Cheney, and their accomplices essentially what they did to their victims?  There is, of course, a certain appeal to the idea of someday seeing such powerful white men among the suffering, tortured millions in our prison system, or even -- like the supposed “dirty bomber” José Padilla and Abu Zubaydah -- in perpetual solitary confinement.

And yet, would this truly provide even a facsimile of justice, given that American prisons are hardly instruments of justice to begin with? Those opposed to the acts at the heart of America’s never-ending war on terror were heartened when President Obama ordered the CIA “black sites” dismantled globally. We continue to demand the closing of Guantánamo (something that looks increasingly unlikely to happen in his presidency). How, then, can we find justice through a prison system that uses similar methods on an everyday basis here in the U.S.?


Forty Years to Go?

And then, of course, there is the question:  Whom should justice truly serve?

The first answer is:  the victims of the "war on terror," including those who were tortured, those detained without trial, the civilian "collateral damage" of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the "unintended" victims of drone assassinations. Then there are all those in the rest of the world who have to live with the threat of a nuclear-armed superpower that has in these years regularly refused to recognize the most basic aspects of the rule of law.

Many who work with survivors of organized repression like Operation Condor say that their primary desire is not the punishment of their oppressors but official acknowledgement of what happened to them. In his New Yorker article, Wechsler, for instance, pointed out that, for the victims of torture, accountability may not be identical to punishment at all.

“People don't necessarily insist that the former torturers go to jail -- there has been enough of jail -- but they do want to see the truth established... It's a mysteriously powerful, almost magical notion, because often everybody already knows the truth -- everyone knows who the torturers were and what they did, the torturers know that everyone knows, and everyone knows that they know.”
Seeing “the truth established” was the purpose behind South Africa’s post-apartheid Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Torturers and murderers on both sides of the anti-apartheid struggle were offered amnesty for their crimes -- but only after they openly acknowledged those crimes. In this way, a public record of the horrors of apartheid was built, and imperfect as the process may have been, the nation was able to confront its history.

That is the kind of reckoning we need in this country. It started with the release of a summary of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on the CIA’s torture program, which brought many brutal details into the light. But that’s just the beginning. We would need a full and public accounting not just of the CIA’s activities, but of the doings of other military and civilian agencies and outfits, including the Joint Special Operations Command. We also would need a full-scale airing of the White House’s drone assassination program, and perhaps most important of all, a full accounting of the illegal, devastating invasion and occupation of Iraq.

Justice would also require -- to the extent possible -- making whole those who had been harmed. In the case of the “war on terror,” this might begin by allowing torture victims to sue their torturers in federal court (as the U.N. Convention against Torture requires). With one exception, the Obama administration has until now blocked all such efforts on national security grounds. In the case of the Iraq War, justice would undoubtedly also require financial reparations to repair the infrastructure of what was once a modern, developed nation.

We’re unlikely to see justice in the “war on terror” until that cruel and self-defeating exercise is well and truly over and the country has officially acknowledged and accounted for its crimes. Let’s hope it doesn’t take another 40 years.

(Rebecca Gordon, a TomDispatch regular, teaches in the philosophy department at the University of San Francisco. She is the author of American Nuremberg:  The U.S. Officials Who Should Stand Trial for Post-9/11 War Crimes (Hot Books). Her previous books include Mainstreaming Torture:  Ethical Approaches in the Post-9/11 United States and Letters from Nicaragua.)

Follow "TomDispatch" on Twitter and join us on Facebook. Check out the newest Dispatch Book, Nick Turse’s Next Time They’ll Come to Count the Dead, and Tom Engelhardt's latest book, Shadow Government:  Surveillance, Secret Wars, and a Global Security State in a Single-Superpower World.


Comments:

# RMDC 2016-06-07 12:56

The US has run torture camps since its foundings. At first it was for African slaves and Native Americans. At the time of the founding of the US torture was rampant in Europe and it was brought to the US, planted here, and flourished. Early anti-torture works like Cesare Beccari's On Crimes and Punishment were not known or cared about in the US. They still are not. Even the 8th amendment's prohibition against cruel and unusual punishments was only intended to protect the wealthy and white. It was never invoked to stop the torture of slaves or Indians.

Torture is linked to ideas about white supremacy. It is an act of power and sadism. Torture is what makes the US a great state in the minds of its rulers. The ability to torture enemies of the state is hugely important to the rulers.

So of course, there will be no trials for American torture generals like Kissinger, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Obama, Hillary. Rather, they will all receive medals for their great distinction and service to the nation. They are the national heroes precisely for the torture they authorized in the state's name.

# grandlakeguy 2016-06-07 14:25

Absolutely they should all be prosecuted and what a horrifying turn of events it is that another war criminal is on the verge of being nominated by the Democratic party to be our next President.

I would like to believe that the legions of Hillary Clinton supporters simply are not aware of the trail of death and destruction she has left in her wake while serving as SOS.

Those who only get their "news" from the main steam media are automatically low information voters. I must, however, express my disappointment that Bernie was too civilized in his campaign and did not adequately focus on the horrors caused by HRC in Libya, the Middle East and in Central America.

While she ran on her so-called experience and judgement she should have been exposed in the fact that her judgement was almost always wrong and lead to chaos in so many countries that were so unfortunate to get the Hillary touch.

Hillary's mentor and advisor, Henry Kissinger belongs on trial along with all of those in the Bush/Cheney administration who were involved in their campaign of terrorism.

They should all be rounded up and sent to the World Court to stand trial.

Until this type of criminality by our elected officials and their appointees is punished it will never end.

Speaking of Kissinger's great intellect and trustworthiness (based on the well-known history of his words and actions), do you really want to trust his judgment about your Social Security?

Aw, come on. We bet most of you do as you keep voting for his enablers.

If the past is any guide.

Is Kissinger credible? It’s true that he’s popular among media and political elites, but that sad fact only serves to remind us that some memories are short – and that, for some people, the ties of social status outweigh those of morality and decency.
It was Kissinger who reportedly fed confidential information to then-candidate Richard Nixon – information that was used to sabotage the Vietnam peace talks, extracting a massive toll in human lives just to boost Nixon’s election chances.
It was Kissinger who delivered the illegal order to bomb Cambodia and Laos. More bomb material rained down on these tiny nations than was used in all of World War II. His actions cost countless lives and gave rise to the mad, massacring Pol Pot regime.
It was Kissinger who ignored the pleadings of a US diplomat and gave the green light to Pakistani atrocities in what is now Bangladesh, praising Pakistan’s dictator for his “delicacy and tact” while ridiculing those who “bleed” for “the dying Bengalis.”
“Yahya hasn’t had so much fun since the last Hindu massacre!” Kissinger said of Pakistani dictator Yahya Khan. (The government of Bangladesh reported that 3,000,000 people died in the “fun.”)
Kissinger supported the violent overthrow of the Chilean government by a right-wing dictator. Kissinger gave the go-ahead to the Indonesian government’s massacre of from 100,000 to 230,000 people in East Timor. (Estimates vary.) Kissinger’s other offenses and blunders are too numerous to list here. 
His intellect is overrated, too. Princeton professor Gary Bass writes that “Kissinger’s policies were not only morally flawed but also disastrous as Cold War strategy.”

Would you really trust this man to make decisions about the maintenance of the social safety net programs of the U.S.? Do you think he’d make wise and humane decisions about society’s spending priorities for the 99%?

You might want to review some of the new info now available about those missing 28 pages of the 9/11 Report first.

Consider the events stemming from his 1980's - 1990's inputs (we won't even go into the 1960's - 1970's).

The tragic events of September 11, 2001 constitute a fundamental landmark in American history, a decisive watershed, a breaking point. Millions of people have been misled regarding the causes and consequences of 9/11.

September 11 2001 opens up an era of crisis, upheaval and militarization of American society.

A far-reaching overhaul of US military doctrine was launched in the wake of 9/11.

Endless wars of aggression under the humanitarian cloak of “counter-terrorism” were set in motion.

9/11 was also a stepping stone towards the relentless repeal of civil liberties, the militarization of law enforcement and the inauguration of “Police State USA”.

September 11, 2001 marks the onslaught of the “Global War on Terrorism” (GWOT), used as a pretext and a justification by the US and its NATO allies to carry out a “war without borders”, a global war of conquest.

At eleven o’clock, on the morning of September 11, the Bush administration had already announced that Al Qaeda was responsible for the attacks on the World Trade Center (WTC) and the Pentagon. This assertion was made prior to the conduct of an in-depth police investigation.

CIA Director George Tenet stated that same morning that Osama bin Laden had the capacity to plan  “multiple attacks with little or no warning.”

Secretary of State Colin Powell called the attacks “an act of war” and President Bush confirmed in an evening televised address to the Nation that he would “make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them”.

Former CIA Director James Woolsey, without mentioning Afghanistan, pointed his finger at “state sponsorship,” implying the complicity of one or more foreign governments. In the words of former National Security Adviser, Lawrence Eagleburger, “I think we will show when we get attacked like this, we are terrible in our strength and in our retribution.”

That same evening at 9:30 pm, a “War Cabinet” was formed integrated by a select number of top intelligence and military advisors. And at 11:00 pm, at the end of that historic meeting at the White House, the “War on Terrorism” was officially launched.

The tragic events of 9/11 provided the required justification to wage war on Afghanistan on “humanitarian grounds”, with the full support of World public opinion and the endorsement of the “international community”.  Several prominent “progressive” intellectuals made a case for “retaliation against terrorism”, on moral and ethical grounds. The “just cause” military doctrine (jus ad bellum) was accepted and upheld at face value as a legitimate response to 9/11.

In the wake of 9/11, the antiwar movement was completely isolated. The trade unions and civil society organizations had swallowed the media lies and government propaganda. They had accepted a war of retribution against Afghanistan, an impoverished country in Central Asia of 30 million people.

The myth of the “outside enemy” and the threat of “Islamic terrorists” was the cornerstone of the Bush administration’s military doctrine, used as a pretext to invade Afghanistan and Iraq, not to mention the repeal of civil liberties and constitutional government in America.

Amply documented but rarely mentioned by the mainstream media, Al Qaeda is a creation of the CIA going back to the Soviet-Afghan war. This was a known fact, corroborated by numerous sources including official documents of the US Congress, which the mainstream media chose to either dismiss or ignore. The intelligence community had time and again acknowledged that they had indeed supported Osama bin Laden, but that in the wake of the Cold War:  “he turned against us”.

The 9/11 Commission Report has largely upheld the “outside enemy” mythology, heralding Al Qaeda as the “mastermind” organization behind the 9/11 attacks.

The official 9/11 narrative has not only distorted the causes underling the collapse of the World Trade Center buildings, it has also erased the historical record of US covert support to international terrorism, while creating the illusion that America and “Western Civilization” are threatened.

Without an “outside enemy”, there could be no “war on terrorism”. The entire national security agenda would collapse “like a deck of cards”. The war criminals in high office would have no leg to stand on.

After 9/11, the campaign of media disinformation served not only to drown the truth but also to kill much of the historical evidence on how this illusive Al Qaeda “outside enemy” had been fabricated and transformed into “Enemy Number One”.

VIDEO:  AFTER 9/11:  TEN YEARS OF WAR

Special GRTV Feature Production

- by James Corbett – 2011-09-08



The "911 Reader" is composed of a carefully selected collection of key articles published by Global Research in the course of the last eleven years.

Within this collection of more than 60 chapters, we have included several important reports from our archives, published by Global Research in the immediate aftermath of the attacks. These articles provide a focus on issues pertaining to the 9/11 Timeline, foreknowledge of the 9/11 attacks, the attack on the Pentagon, the issue of insider trading on Wall Street in the days preceding 9/11 pointing to foreknowledge of the attacks.

What prevails is a complex web of lies and fabrications, pertaining to various dimensions of the 9/11 tragedy. The falsehoods contained in the official 9/11 narrative are manifold, extending from the affirmation that Osama bin Laden was the mastermind, to the assertion by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) that the WTC buildings collapsed due to the impacts of fire. (see Part III).

Where was Osama bin Laden on September 11, 2001?

Is there any proof to the effect that Osama bin Laden, the bogeyman, coordinated the 9/11 attacks as claimed in the official 9/11 narrative?

According to CBS news (Dan Rather, January 28, 2002), “Enemy Number One” was admitted to the urology ward of a Pakistani military hospital in Rawalpindi on September 10, 2001, courtesy of America’s indefectible ally Pakistan. He could have been arrested at short notice which would have “saved us a lot of trouble”, but then we would not have had an Osama Legend, which has fed the news chain as well as presidential speeches in the course of the last eleven years.

DAN RATHER. As the United states and its allies in the war on terrorism press the hunt for Osama bin Laden, CBS News has exclusive information tonight about where bin Laden was and what he was doing in the last hours before his followers struck the United States September 11.

This is the result of hard-nosed investigative reporting by a team of CBS news journalists, and by one of the best foreign correspondents in the business, CBS`s Barry Petersen. Here is his report.



(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) BARRY PETERSEN, CBS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over):  Everyone remembers what happened on September 11. Here`s the story of what may have happened the night before. It is a tale as twisted as the hunt for Osama bin Laden.

CBS News has been told that the night before the September 11 terrorist attack, Osama bin Laden was in Pakistan. He was getting medical treatment with the support of the very military that days later pledged its backing for the U.S. war on terror in Afghanistan.

(transcript of CBS report, see http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/CBS203A.html, see also http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2002/01/28/eveningnews/main325887.shtml

The foregoing CBS report which is of utmost relevance indicates two obvious facts:

1. Osama bin Laden could not reasonably have coordinated the 9/11 attacks from his hospital bed;

2. The hospital was under the jurisdiction of the Pakistani Armed Forces, which has close links to the Pentagon. Osama bin Laden’s whereabouts were known to both the Pakistani and US military.

U.S. military and intelligence advisers based in Rawalpindi. were working closely with their Pakistani counterparts. Again, no attempt was made to arrest America’s best known fugitive. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld claimed, at the time, that the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden were unknown. According to Rumsfeld:  “Its like looking for a needle in a stack of hay”.

October 7, 2001: Waging America’s 9/11 War of Retribution against Afghanistan

The immediate response of the US and its allies to the 9/11 attacks was to the declare a war of retribution against Afghanistan on the grounds that the Taliban government was protecting “terror mastermind” Osama bin Laden. By allegedly harboring bin Laden, the Taliban were complicit, according to both the US administration and NATO, for having waged an act of war against the United States.

Parroting official statements, the Western media mantra on September 12, 2001 had already approved the launching of “punitive actions” directed against civilian targets in Afghanistan. In the words of William Safire writing in the New York Times: “When we reasonably determine our attackers’ bases and camps, we must pulverize them — minimizing but accepting the risk of collateral damage” — and act overtly or covertly to destabilize terror’s national hosts”.

This decision was taken by the Bush-Cheney war cabinet in the evening of September 11, 2001. It was based on the presumption, “confirmed” by the head of the CIA that Al Qaeda was behind the attacks.

On the following morning, September 12, 2001, NATO’s Atlantic Council meeting in Brussels, endorsed the Bush administration’s declaration of war on Afghanistan, invoking Article 5 of the Washington Treaty.

An act of war by a foreign nation (Afghanistan) against a member of the Atlantic Alliance (the USA) is an act of war against all members under NATO’s doctrine of collective security.

Under any stretch of the imagination, the attack on the World Trade Center and Pentagon cannot be categorized as an act of war by a foreign country. But nobody seemed to have raised this issue.

Meanwhile, on two occasions in the course of September 2001, the Afghan government – through diplomatic channels – offered to hand over Osama Bin laden to US Justice.

These overtures were turned down by president Bush, on the grounds that America “does not negotiate with terrorists”.

The war on Afghanistan was launched 26 days later on the morning of October 7, 2001. 
The timing of this war begs the question:  how long does it take to plan and implement a major theater war several thousand miles away.

Military analysts will confirm that a major theater war takes months and months, up to a year or more of advanced preparations.

The war on Afghanistan was already in the advanced planning stages prior to September 11, 2001, which begs the question of foreknowledge of the 9/11 attacks.

The repeal of civil liberties in America was launched in parallel with the bombing and invasion of Afghanistan, almost immediately following 9/11 with the adoption of the PATRIOT legislation and the setting up of a Homeland Security apparatus, under the pretext of protecting Americans. This post-911 legal and institutional framework had been carefully crafted prior to the 9/11 attacks.

Al Qaeda is a US Intelligence Asset

Important to the understanding of 9/11, US intelligence is the unspoken architect of “Islamic terrorism” going back to the heyday of the Soviet-Afghan war.

Bin Laden was 22 years old and was trained in a CIA sponsored guerrilla training camp. Education in Afghanistan in the years preceding the Soviet-Afghan war was largely secular. With religious textbooks produced in Nebraska, the number of CIA sponsored religious schools (madrasahs) increased from 2,500 in 1980 to over 39,000.

“Advertisements, paid for from CIA funds, were placed in newspapers and newsletters around the world offering inducements and motivations to join the [Islamic] Jihad.” (Pervez Hoodbhoy, Peace Research, 1 May 2005)

”The United States spent millions of dollars to supply Afghan schoolchildren with textbooks filled with violent images and militant Islamic teachings….The primers, which were filled with talk of jihad and featured drawings of guns, bullets, soldiers and mines, have served since then as the Afghan school system’s core curriculum. Even the Taliban used the American-produced books,..”, (Washington Post, 23 March 2002)

Under the Reagan administration, US foreign policy evolved towards the unconditional support and endorsement of the Islamic “freedom fighters”. This endorsement has not in any way been modified.

In a twisted irony, throughout the post 911 era,  US intelligence in liaison with Britain’s MI6, an Israel’s Mossad, continues to provide covert support to the radical Islamist organization allegedly responsible for the 9/11 attacks.

Al Qaeda and its various affiliated groups including the Libya Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) and factions within the Free Syria Army (FSA) are directly supported by the US and NATO.

In a bitter irony, the US and its allies claim to be waging a “war on terrorism” against the alleged architects of 9/11, while also using Al Qaeda operatives as their foot-soldiers.

Based on the findings of Richard Gage of Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, the collapse of the World Trade Center buildings was not caused by fire resulting from the crash of the planes:

In more than 100 steel-framed, high-rise fires (most of them very hot, very large and very long-lasting), not one has collapsed, ever. So it behooves all of us, as your own former chief of NIST’s Fire Science Division, Dr. James Quintiere, said, “to look at real alternatives that might have been the cause of these collapses.”

Let’s start with temperatures – 1,340° F. temperatures, recorded in thermal images of the surface of the World Trade Center rubble pile a week after 9/11 by NASA’s AVIRIS equipment on USGS overflights. Such temperatures cannot be achieved by oxygen-starved hydrocarbon fires. Such fires burn at only 600 to 800° F. Remember, there was no fire on the top of the pile. The source of this incredible heat was therefore below the surface of the rubble, where it must have been far hotter than 1,340 degrees.
Mark Loizeaux, president of Controlled Demolition, Inc., who was hired for the Building 7 cleanup, said that “molten steel was found at 7 WTC.” Leslie Robertson, World Trade Center structural engineer, stated that on October 5, “21 days after the attacks, the fires were still burning and molten steel was still running.” Fire department personnel, recorded on video, reported seeing “molten steel running down the channel rails… like you’re in a foundry – like lava from a volcano.” Joe O’Toole, a Bronx firefighter, saw a crane lifting a steel beam vertically from deep within a pile. He said “it was dripping from the molten steel.” Bart Voorsanger, an architect hired to save “relics from the rubble,” stated about the multi-ton “meteorite” that it was a “fused element of molten steel and concrete.”

Steel melts at about 2,850 degrees Fahrenheit, about twice the temperature of the World Trade Center Tower 1 and 2 fires as estimated by NIST. So what melted the steel?

Appendix C of FEMA’s BPAT Report documents steel samples showing rapid oxidation, sulfidation, and intergranular melting. A liquid eutectic mixture, including sulfur from an unknown source, caused intense corrosion of the steel, gaping holes in wide flange beams, and the thinning of half-inch-thick flanges to almost razor-sharpness in the World Trade Center 7 steel. The New York Times called this “the deepest mystery uncovered in the investigation.”

NIST left all of this crucial forensic evidence out of its report. Why? Because it didn’t fit in with the official conspiracy theory.

Last year, physicist Steven Jones, two other physicists, and a geologist analyzed the slag at the ends of the beams and in the samples of the previously molten metal. They found iron, aluminum, sulfur, manganese and fluorine – the chemical evidence of thermate, a high-tech incendiary cutting charge used by the military to cut through steel like a hot knife through butter. The by-product of the thermate reaction is molten iron!

There’s no other possible source for all the molten iron that was found.

One of thermate’s key ingredients is sulfur, which can form the liquid eutectic that FEMA found and lower the melting point of steel.

In addition, World Trade Center 7′s catastrophic structural failure showed every characteristic of explosive, controlled demolition. … The destruction began suddenly at the base of the building.

Several first responders reported explosions occurring about a second before the collapse.

There was the symmetrical, near-free-fall speed of collapse, through the path of greatest resistance – with 40,000 tons of steel designed to resist this load – straight down into its own footprint. This requires that all the columns have to fail within a fraction of a second of each other – perimeter columns as well as core columns. There was also the appearance of mistimed explosions (squibs?) at the upper seven floors on the network video recordings of the collapse. And we have expert testimony from a European demolitions expert, Danny Jowenko, who said “This is controlled demolition… a team of experts did this… This is professional work, without any doubt.”

Fire cannot produce these effects. Fire produces large, gradual deformations and asymmetrical collapses. Thermate can produce all of these effects used in conjunction with linear shaped charges. If the thermate is formed into ultra-fine particles, as has been accomplished at Los Alamos National Laboratory, it is called super-thermate, and is very explosive.(Richard Gage, January 2008)

The following AE911Truth Video provides evidence that the WTC center towers were brought down through controlled demolition.



According to David Ray Griffin:

“The official theory of the collapse, therefore, is essentially a fire theory, so it cannot be emphasized too much that fire has never caused large steel-frame buildings to collapse — never, whether before 9/11, or after 9/11, or anywhere in the world on 9/11 except allegedly New York City — never.”  See David Ray Griffin).
According to Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, based on solid scientific analysis and evidence, the collapse of the WTC towers was engineered through controlled demolition. While AE11Truth does not speculate on who might be behind the conspiracy to bring down the WTC buildings, they nonetheless suggest that the carrying out such an operation would require a carefully planned course of action with prior access to the buildings as well as an advanced level of expertise in the use of explosives, etc.

The Collapse of WTC Building Seven

The most grotesque lie pertains to the BBC and CNN announcement in the afternoon of September 11, that WTC Building Seven (The Solomon Building) had collapsed.

The BBC report went live at 5.00pm, 21 minutes before the actual occurrence of the collapse, indelibly pointing to foreknowledge of the collapse of WTC 7.

CNN anchor Aaron Brown announced that the building “has either collapsed or is collapsing” about an hour before the event.

(See WTC7.net the hidden story of Building 7: Foreknowledge of WTC 7′s Collapse)

CNN anchor Aaron Brown seems to struggle to make sense of what he is seeing one minute after announcing that WTC Building 7, whose erect facade is clearly visible in his view towards the Trade Center, has or is collapsing.

Coverup and Complicity

The "911 Reader" presents factual information and analysis which points to cover-up and complicity at the highest levels of the US government.

This body of articles by prominent authors, scholars, architects, engineers, largely refutes the official narrative of the 9/11 Commission Report, which is reviewed in Part IV. It  dispels the notion that America was attacked on September 11, 2001 on the orders of Osama bin Laden.

This is a central issue because US military doctrine since 9/11 has been predicated on “defending the American Homeland” against Islamic terrorists as well as waging pre-emptive wars against Al Qaeda and its various “state sponsors”. Afghanistan was bombed and invaded as part of the “war on terrorism”. In March 2003, Iraq was also invaded.

War Propaganda

Fiction prevails over reality. For propaganda to be effective, public opinion must firmly endorse the official 9/11 narrative to the effect that Al Qaeda was behind the attacks. A well organized structure of media disinformation (Part XI) is required to reach this objective.

Perpetuating the 9/11 Legend also requires defying as well smearing the 9/11 Truth Movement.

Throughout the post 9/11 era, a panoply of Al Qaeda related events and circumstances is presented to public opinion on a daily basis. These include terrorist threats, warnings and attacks, police investigations, insurgencies and counter-insurgencies, country-level regime change, social conflict, sectarian violence, racism, religious divisions, Islamic thought, Western values, etc.

In turn, 9/11, Al Qaeda – War on Terrorism rhetoric permeates political discourse at all levels of government, including bipartisan debate on Capitol Hill, in committees of the House and the Senate, at the British House of Commons, and, lest we forget, at the United Nations Security Council.

September 11 and Al Qaeda concepts, repeated ad nauseam have potentially traumatic impacts on the human mind and the ability of normal human beings to analyze and comprehend the “real outside World” of war, politics and the economic crisis.

What is at stake is human consciousness and comprehension based on concepts and facts.

With September 11 there are no verifiable “facts” and “concepts”, because 9/11 as well as Al Qaeda have evolved into a media mythology, a legend, an invented ideological construct, used as an unsubtle tool of media disinformation and war propaganda.

Al Qaeda constitutes a stylized, fake and almost folkloric abstraction of terrorism, which permeates the inner consciousness of millions of people around the World.

Reference to Al Qaeda has become a dogma, a belief, which most people espouse unconditionally.

Is this political indoctrination? Is it brain-washing? If so what is the underlying objective?

People’s capacity to independently analyse World events, as well as address causal relationships pertaining to politics and society, is significantly impaired. That is the objective!

The routine use of 9/11 and Al Qaeda to generate blanket explanations of complex political events is meant to create confusion. It prevents people from thinking.

All of these complex Al Qaeda-related occurrences are explained by politicians, the corporate media, Hollywood and the Washington think tanks under a single blanket “bad guys” heading, in which Al Qaeda is casually and repeatedly pinpointed as “the cause” of numerous terror events around the World.

The Alleged Role of Iraq in the 9/11 Attacks

9/11 mythology has been a mainstay of war propaganda. In the course of 2002, leading up to the invasion of Iraq in March 2003, “Osama bin Laden” and “Weapons of Mass Destruction” statements circulated profusely in the news chain. While Washington’s official position was that Saddam Hussein was not behind the 9/11 attacks, insinuations abounded both in presidential speeches as well as in the Western media.

According to Bush, in an October 2002 press conference:

The threat comes from Iraq. It arises directly from the Iraqi regime’s own actions — its history of aggression, and its drive toward an arsenal of terror. ...  We also must never forget the most vivid events of recent history. On September the 11th, 2001, America felt its vulnerability — even to threats that gather on the other side of the earth. We resolved then, and we are resolved today, to confront every threat, from any source [Iraq], that could bring sudden terror and suffering to America. President Bush Outlines Iraqi Threat, October 7, 2002)

Barely two weeks before the invasion of Iraq, September 11, 2001 was mentioned abundantly by President Bush. In the weeks leading up to the March invasion, 45 percent of  Americans believed Saddam Hussein was “personally involved” in the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. (See The impact of Bush linking 9/11 and Iraq / The Christian Science Monitor – CSMonitor.com, March 14, 2003)

Meanwhile, a new terrorist mastermind had emerged: Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi.

In Colin Powell’s historic address to the United Nations Security Council, in February 2003, detailed “documentation” on a sinister relationship between Saddam Hussein and Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi was presented, focusing on his ability to produce deadly chemical, biological and radiological weapons, with the full support and endorsement of the secular Baathist regime. The implication of Colin’s Powell’s assertions, which were totally fabricated, was that Saddam Hussein and an Al Qaeda affiliated organization had joined hands in the production of WMD in Northern Iraq and that the Hussein government was a “state sponsor” of terrorism.

The main thrust of the disinformation campaign continued in the wake of the March 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq. It consisted in presenting the Iraqi resistance movement as “terrorists”. The image of “terrorists opposed to democracy” fighting US “peacekeepers” appeared on television screens and news tabloids across the globe.

Iran:  Alleged State Sponsor of 9/11

In the wake of the Iraq invasion, the same alleged “state sponsorship” of terrorism accusations emerged in relation to Iran.

In December 2011, the Islamic Republic of Iran was condemned by a Manhattan court, for its alleged role in supporting Al Qaeda in the 9/11 attacks.

The investigation into Tehran’s alleged role was launched in 2004, pursuant to a recommendation of the 9/11 Commission “regarding an apparent link between Iran, Hezbollah, and the 9/11 hijackers”. The 91/11 Commission’s recommendation was that the this “apparent link” required  “further investigation by the U.S. government.” (9/11 Commission Report, p. 241). (See Iran 911 Case ).

In the December 2011 court judgment (Havlish v. Iran)  “U.S. District Judge George B. Daniels ruled that Iran and Hezbollah materially and directly supported al Qaeda in the September 11, 2001 attacks and are legally responsible for damages to hundreds of family members of 9/11 victims who are plaintiffs in the case”.

According to the plaintiffs attorneys “Iran, Hezbollah, and al Qaeda formed a terror alliance in the early 1990s. Citing their national security and intelligence experts, the attorneys explained “how the pragmatic terror leaders overcame the Sunni-Shi’a divide in order to confront the U.S. (the “Great Satan”) and Israel (the “Lesser Satan”)”. Iran and Hezbollah allegedly provided “training to members of al Qaeda in, among other things, the use of explosives to destroy large buildings.” (See Iran 911 Case ).

This judicial procedure is nothing more than another vicious weapon in the fabricated “War on Terror” to be used against another Muslim country, with a view to destabilizing Iran as well as justifying ongoing military threats. It also says a lot more about the people behind the lawsuit than about the accused. The expert witnesses who testified against Iran are very active in warmongering neocon circles. They belong to a web of architects of the 21st century Middle-Eastern wars, ranging from high profile propagandists to intelligence and military officers, including former U.S. officials.


But what makes this case absurd is that in September 2011, a few months before the judgment, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has questioned the official 9/11 narrative, was accused by Al-Qaeda leaders of “spreading conspiracy theories about the 9/11 attacks”. The semi-official media outlet of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, insisted that al-Qaeda “had been behind the attacks and criticised the Iranian president for discrediting the terrorist group.” (See Julie Levesque, Iran Accused of Being Behind 9/11 Attacks. U.S. Court Judgment, December 2011 (Havlish v. Iran), Global Research, May 11, 2012)

Al Qaeda: US-NATO Foot-soldiers

Ironically, while Washington accuses Iran and Afghanistan of supporting terrorism, the historical record and evidence indelibly point to the “state sponsorship” of Al Qaeda by the CIA, MI6 and their counterparts in Pakistan, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

Al Qaeda death squads have been recruited to wage America’s humanitarian wars throughout the Middle East and North Africa.

In Syria Al Qaeda units were recruited by NATO and the Turkish High command: “Also discussed in Brussels and Ankara, our sources report, is a campaign to enlist thousands of Muslim volunteers in Middle East countries and the Muslim world to fight alongside the Syrian rebels.”

(http://www.debka.com/article/21255/  Debkafile, August 31, 2011).

In Libya, jihadists from Afghanistan trained by the CIA were dispatched to fight with the “pro-democracy” rebels under the helm of “former” Libya Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) Commander Abdel Hakim Belhadj:

Western policy

Western policy makers admit that NATO’s operations in Libya have played the primary role in emboldening Al Qaeda’s AQIM faction (Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb). The Fortune 500-funded Brookings Institution’s Bruce Riedel in his article, “The New Al Qaeda Menace,” admits that AQIM is now heavily armed thanks to NATO’s intervention in Libya, and that AQIM’s base in Mali, North Africa, serves as a staging ground for terrorist activities across the region.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/al-qaeda-and-natos-pan-arab-terrorist-blitzkrieg/

Table of Contents of the "9/11 Reader"

In Part I, the "911 Reader" provides a review of what happened on the morning of 9/11, at the White House, on Capitol Hill, the Pentagon, at Strategic Command Headquarters (USSTRATCOM), What was the response of the US Air Force in the immediate wake of the attacks?

Part II focusses on “What Happened on the Planes” as described in the 9/11 Commission Report.

Part III sheds light on what caused the collapse of the World Trade Center buildings. It also challenges the official narrative with regard to the attack on the Pentagon.

Part IV reviews and refutes the findings of the 9/11 Commission Report.

Part V focusses on the issue of foreknowledge by Western intelligence agencies. Part VI examines the issue of how foreknowledge of the attacks was used as an instrument of insider trading on airline stocks in the days preceding September 11, 2001. The bonanza financial gains resulting from insurance claims to the leaseholders of the WTC buildings is also examined.

Part VII focusses on the history and central role of Al Qaeda as a US intelligence asset. Since the Soviet-Afghan war, US intelligence has supported the formation of various jihadist organizations. An understanding of this history is crucial in refuting the official 9/11 narrative which claims that Al Qaeda, was behind the attacks.

Part VIII centers on the life and death of 9/11 “Terror Mastermind” Osama bin Laden, who was recruited by the CIA in the heyday of the Soviet Afghan war. This section also includes an analysis of the mysterious death of Osama bin Laden, allegedly executed by US Navy Seals in a suburb of Islamabad in May 2011.

Part IX focusses on “False Flags” and the Pentagon’s “Second 9/11.″

Part X examines the issue of “Deep Events” with contributions by renowned scholars Peter Dale Scott and Daniele Ganser.

Part XI examines the structure of 9/11 propaganda which consists in “creating” as well “perpetuating” a  “9/11 Legend”. How is this achieved? Incessantly, on a daily basis, Al Qaeda, the alleged 9/11 Mastermind is referred to by the Western media, government officials, members of the US Congress, Wall Street analysts, etc. as an underlying cause of numerous World events.

Part XII focusses on the practice of 9/11 Justice directed against the alleged culprits of the 9/11 attacks.

The legitimacy of 9/11 propaganda requires fabricating “convincing evidence” and “proof” that those who are accused actually carried out the attacks. Sentencing of Muslims detained in Guantanamo is part of war propaganda. It depicts innocent men who are accused of the 9/11 attacks, based on confessions acquired through systematic torture throughout their detention.

Part XIII focusses on 9/11 Truth.  The objective of 9/11 Truth is to ultimately dismantle the propaganda apparatus which is manipulating the human mindset. The 9/11 Reader concludes with a retrospective view of 9/11 ten years later.