7/14 Not 'Concealment', Complicity & Continuity; 'Finding the Limits of U.S. Power"; Unprecedented Crimes & Propaganda


Continuing the Bush/Cheney Assassination Program
By Jeremy Scahill
The politically inconvenient truth, however, is this: An actual investigation would require the Democrats pounding Cheney over his concealment of an assassination program to focus investigation on how President Obama actually implemented and expanded that very assassination program .

lies exposed
Cheney Is Linked to Concealment of C.I.A. Project
 The Central Intelligence Agency withheld information about a secret counterterrorism program from Congress for eight years on direct orders from former Vice President Dick Cheney, the agency’s director, Leon E. Panetta, has told the Senate and House intelligence committees, two people with direct knowledge of the matter said Saturday.

"Congressional leaders have been notified as required, the officials said."
Bush Has Widened Authority of C.I.A. to Kill Terrorists
WASHINGTON, Dec. 14 ? The Bush administration has prepared a list of terrorist leaders the Central Intelligence Agency is authorized to kill, if capture is impractical and civilian casualties can be minimized, senior military and intelligence officials said.
The previously undisclosed C.I.A. list includes key Qaeda leaders like Osama bin Laden and his chief deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, as well as other principal figures from Al Qaeda and affiliated terrorist groups, the officials said. The names of about two dozen terrorist leaders have recently been on the lethal-force list, officials said. "It's the worst of the worst," an official said.
President Bush has provided written legal authority to the C.I.A. to hunt down and kill the terrorists without seeking further approval each time the agency is about to stage an operation. Some officials said the terrorist list was known as the "high-value target list." A spokesman for the White House declined to discuss the list or issues involving the use of lethal force against terrorists. A spokesman for the C.I.A. also declined to comment on the list.
Despite the authority given to the agency, Mr. Bush has not waived the executive order banning assassinations, officials said. The presidential authority to kill terrorists defines operatives of Al Qaeda as enemy combatants and thus legitimate targets for lethal force.
Mr. Bush issued a presidential finding last year, after the Sept. 11 attacks on New York and Washington, providing the basic executive and legal authority for the C.I.A. to either kill or capture terrorist leaders. Initially, the agency used that authority to hunt for Qaeda leaders in Afghanistan. That authority was the basis for the C.I.A.'s attempts to find and kill or capture Mr. Bin laden and other Qaeda leaders during the war in Afghanistan.
The creation of the secret list is part of the expanded C.I.A. effort to hunt and kill or capture Qaeda operatives far from traditional battlefields, in countries like Yemen.
The president is not legally required to approve each name added to the list, nor is the C.I.A. required to obtain presidential approval for specific attacks, although officials said Mr. Bush had been kept well informed about the agency's operations.
In November, the C.I.A. killed a Qaeda leader in a remote region of Yemen. A pilotless Predator aircraft operated by the agency fired a Hellfire antitank missile at a car in which Qaed Salim Sinan al-Harethi, also known as Abu Ali, was riding. Mr. Harethi and five other people, including one suspected Qaeda operative with United States citizenship, were killed in the attack.
Mr. Harethi, a key Al Qaeda leader in Yemen who is suspected of helping to plan the bombing of the American destroyer Cole in 2000, is believed to have been on the list of Qaeda leaders that the C.I.A. had been authorized to kill. After the Predator operation in Yemen, American officials said Mr. Bush was not required to approve the mission before the attack, nor was he specifically consulted.
Intelligence officials said the presidential finding authorizing the agency to kill terrorists was not limited to those on the list. The president has given broad authority to the C.I.A. to kill or capture operatives of Al Qaeda around the world, the officials said. But officials said the group's most senior leaders on the list were the agency's primary focus.
The list is updated periodically as the intelligence agency, in consultation with other counterterrorism agencies, adds new names or deletes those who are captured or killed, or when intelligence indicates the emergence of a new leader.
The precise criteria for adding someone to the list are unclear, although the evidence against each person must be clear and convincing, the officials said. The list contains the names of some of the same people who are on the Federal Bureau of Investigation's list of most wanted terror suspects, although the lists are prepared independently....

Under current intelligence law, the president must sign a finding to provide the legal basis for covert actions to be carried out by the C.I.A. In response to past abuses, the decision-making process has grown into a highly formalized review in which the White House, Justice Department, State Department, Pentagon and C.I.A. take part.
The administration must notify Congressional leaders of any covert action finding signed by the president. In the case of the presidential finding authorizing the use of lethal force against members of Al Qaeda, Congressional leaders have been notified as required, the officials said.

It's not just about the past, but the ONGOING and EXPANDING surveillance of Obama admin's CYBERCOM program
“Main Core” Massive Illegal Surveillance
The President's Surveillance Program"
Inspectors General Confirm Bush Admin Carried Out Massive Illegal Surveillance, More Than Previously Known:
 A congressionally-mandated report by Inspectors General of five separate intelligence agencies confirms that the Bush administration carried out “unprecedented,” massive surveillance activities beyond the warrantless wirteapping program that had previously been revealed.... Update: In an interview with the AP, former CIA Director Michael Hayden claimed that top members of Congress were kept well-informed all along the way. "One of the points I had in every one of the briefings was to make sure they understood the scope of our activity 'They've got to know this is bigger than a bread box,' I said," said Hayden...

As ThinkProgress previously reported, former Deputy Attorney General James Comey’s testimony before Congress implied that “other programs exist for domestic spying” outside of the NSA program....Most of the intelligence leads generated under what was known as the “President’s Surveillance Program”, which began shortly after 9/11, did not have any connection to terrorism, the report said....While the IGs’ report does not yield any details about the secret programs, Radar reported in 2008 that a program called “Main Core” was engaged in massive data collection of Americans: According to a senior government official… ”There exists a database of Americans, who, often for the slightest and most trivial reason, are considered unfriendly, and who, in a time of panic, might be incarcerated. The database can identify and locate perceived ‘enemies of the state’ almost instantaneously.” … One knowledgeable source claims that 8 million Americans are now listed in Main Core as potentially suspect. In the event of a national emergency, these people could be subject to everything from heightened surveillance and tracking to direct questioning and possibly even detention.

Update: Spencer Ackerman questions: "Does the legal architecture of the original [surveillance program] still remain in place? I suppose if it does, one vehicle for calling attention to it — and perhaps doing something about it — is the debate over reauthorizing sections of the Patriot Act that will take place later this year."

the 'secrecy' was designed to keep it from us, potential "terrorists", like the people everywhere, the real "enemies" of U.S. state terror
The Bush administration authorized secret surveillance activities as he was launching the massive warrantless wiretapping program, described as the "President's Surveillance Program.", that still have not been made public, according to a new government report that questions the legal basis for the unprecedented anti-terrorism program.... The report said the president consistently gave that authorization for the surveillance activity, and that both CIA chief Tenet and his successor, Porter Goss, never withheld their signatures from threat assessment memoranda...The inspectors general of the CIA, Justice Department, Defense Department, National Security Agency and Office of the National Intelligence Director also reviewed the Bush-era surveillance program.

The new Report on illegal spying is not a real investigation
Glenn Greenwald
The Inspectors General report (.pdf) on Bush's NSA activities released on Friday afternoon -- mandated by the FISA Amendments Act of 2008 in lieu of a real investigation -- highlights how rampant and blatant was the lawlessness that pervaded the Bush administration.

Nonetheless, because the Obama administration is actively blocking any real investigation -- Obama opposes all Congressional investigations into Bush-era crimes and is engaged in extraordinary efforts to block courts from adjudicating the legality of Bush's surveillance activities claiming that even long-obsolete and clearly criminal programs are "state secrets" -- it is quite likely... there will be no consequences for any of it.... it's irrelevant how severe is the lawbreaking by high government officials. They know they will face no consequences even when, as here, they deliberately commit felonies -- precisely why criminality is so rampant in our political class.

George Bush gets caught red-handed breaking long-standing laws in how he spies on Americans. The "opposition party" which controls the Congress not only blocks any investigations and attempts to impose accountability. Far worse, they proceed to legalize the very criminal programs that were exposed and to vest even greater surveillance powers in the very administration that got caught deliberately breaking the law....

So here we have proof of clear presidential criminality as blatant as can be imagined: knowing his own DOJ believed these surveillance activities were criminal, Bush ordered them to continue anyway (and then only ordered them to cease once the entire top-level of his DOJ, in an election year, was on the verge of resigning in protest). Yet we still have no idea what these illegal activities were. The IG Report does nothing to illuminate this central question. And President Obama continues to actively impede the only meaningful avenues for disclosure and accountability: a Congressional investigation armed with subpoena power and/or a judicial adjudication of the legality of these acts....

When the Democratic-led Congress -- with Barack Obama on board -- responded to the NSA scandal by enacting a law (the FISA Amendments Act of 2008) to legalize Bush's criminal surveillance programs and retroactively immunize the private-sector telecom lawbreakers, many of us wrote at the time that the law Obama supported actually authorized even broader eavesdropping powers than the illegal Bush program itself asserted. The IG Report confirmed this to be the case:...

We still have absolutely no idea what the Government was doing regarding domestic spying ("Other Intelligence Activities") that -- even in the eyes of Far Right, Bush-appointed legal theorists who approved of the program the NYT revealed -- were so blatantly illegal that they would quit if they did not cease. Given that these programs allegedly stopped in 2004 once the DOJ refused to certify their legality, what possible justification is there for continuing to conceal blatantly criminal acts by our high government officials?...

US: CIA destroyed nearly 100 interrogation tapes, far more than previously thought
March 2nd 2009
Ex-CIA Director Michael Hayden revealed in late 2007 that the agency had videotaped Al Qaeda interrogations only in 2002.
Hayden told CIA staffers it was done "after it was determined they were no longer of intelligence value and not relevant to any internal, legislative, or judicial inquiries - including the trial of Zacarias Moussaoui."
The ACLU has sued for documents related to the agency's discontinued "enhanced interrogation program" - which ex-President Bush ordered as a covert action, a source said.
The tapes were shredded in November 2005, just as controversies arising over possible torture - involving techniques such as waterboarding used on three Al Qaeda prisoners - led some CIA officials to fear prosecution.
"I would not support, obviously, an investigation or a prosecution of those individuals," Leon Panetta, the new CIA director, told reporters last week. "I think [the interrogators] did their job, they did it pursuant to the guidance that was provided them."

Pervasive Surveillance Continuing Under Obama
New DHS-NSA-AT&T "Cybersecurity" Partnership
Under the rubric of cybersecurity, the Obama administration is moving forward with Bush regime program to screen state computer traffic on private-sector networks, including those connecting people to the Internet, The Washington Post revealed July 3.
That project, code-named “Einstein,” may very well be related to the much-larger, ongoing and highly illegal National Security Agency (NSA) communications intercept program known as “Stellar Wind,” disclosed in 2005 by The New York Times.
There are several components to Stellar Wind, one of which is a massive data-mining project run by the agency. As USA Today revealed … (Full article …)

Privacy [SIC] May Be a Victim in Cyberdefense Plan
administration officials have begun to discuss whether laws or regulations must be changed to allow law enforcement, the military or intelligence agencies greater access to networks or Internet providers when significant evidence of a national security threat was found....Under plans being completed at the Pentagon, the new cybercommand will be run by a four-star general, much the way Gen. David H. Petraeus runs the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq from Central Command in Tampa, Fla. But the expectation is that whoever is in charge of the new command will also direct the National Security Agency, an effort to solve the turf war between the spy agency and the military over who is in charge of conducting offensive operations.While the N.S.A.’s job is chiefly one of detection and monitoring, the agency also possesses what Michael D. McConnell, the former director of national intelligence, called “the critical skill set” to respond quickly to cyberattacks. Yet the Defense Department views cyberspace as its domain as well, a new battleground after land, sea, air and space.[...]

...NSA surveillance of journalists. On December 28, 2005, we reported: “WMR has learned that the National Security Agency (NSA), on the orders of the Bush administration, eavesdropped on the private conversations and e-mail of its own employees, employees of other U.S. intelligence agencies – including the CIA and DIA – and their contacts in the media, Congress, and oversight agencies and offices. The journalist surveillance program, code named ‘FIRSTFRUITS,’ was part of a Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) program that was maintained at least until October 2004 and was authorized by then-DCI Porter Goss. FIRSTFRUITS was authorized as part of a DCI ‘Countering Denial and Deception’ program responsible to an entity known as the Foreign Denial and Deception Committee (FDDC). Since the intelligence community’s reorganization, the DCI has been replaced by the Director of National Intelligence headed by John Negroponte and his deputy, former NSA director Gen. Michael Hayden.”

Since the revelation of the NSA journalist monitoring database, which later added communications intercepts of journalists’ phone calls, emails, and faxes to its database, NSA Security has, according to information received by WMR, conducted physical surveillance of journalists it deems to be threats to the operations of the agency. The top targeted journalists, who make up a virtual “rogues’ gallery” at NSA Security, complete with photographs and other personal information, are: former Baltimore Sun and current Wall Street Journal reporter Siobhan Gorman, Washington Times reporter Bill Gertz, former Baltimore Sun and current New York Times reporter Scott Shane, Baltimore Sun reporter Phil McGowan, author James Bamford, New York Times reporters James Risen and Eric Lichtblau, and this editor, Wayne Madsen.
In addition to the aforementioned, FIRSTFRUITS also contained the names of former Washington Post reporter Vernon Loeb, New Yorker journalist Seymour Hersh, and UPI’s John C. K. Daly.

Ironically, NSA Security allegedly has its own connections in the news media. A Washington Times source revealed that the paper’s writer of the “Inside the Beltway” column, John McCaslin, has a relative inside NSA Security – Robert McCaslin, the chief of NSA Security counter-intelligence and the chief “sting” agent against Ford. Robert McCaslin, according to the Times source, is the brother of the paper’s columnist.

NSA Security is also able to utilize the agency’s most sophisticated electronic surveillance systems to monitor the activities of journalists. The cell phones of journalists are routinely used as listening devices, even when turned off. And what was considered a sure-fire method of avoiding having a cell phone used as a transmitter, removing the batteries in what has become known as “batteries out” conversations, is no longer safe. Even when the batteries are removed, the global positioning system (GPS) chip in cell phones continues to have enough residual power that two to three pings from satellites can give away a person’s location and what other uniquely identifiable cell phones are at the same location.

The bottom line is that a number of NSA personnel who were on duty in the months leading up to 9/11, the day of the attacks, and subsequent weeks and months, are aware of undeniable facts that point to a massive cover-up by the Bush-Cheney administration of the circumstances surrounding 9/11, including what actually befell United Airlines flight 93 and who was issuing direct military orders from the White House.
The Obama administration, rather than lessen the pressure on the NSA personnel, has turned up the heat and is resorting to even more draconian methods to ensure silence...

excerpt from Wayne Madsen Biography:
Wayne Madsen is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist, author and syndicated columnist
Madsen has some twenty years experience in security issues. As a U.S. Naval Officer, he managed one of the first computer security programs for the U.S. Navy. He subsequently worked for the National Security Agency, the Naval Data Automation Command, Department of State, RCA Corporation, and Computer Sciences Corporation.
Madsen is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE), Association for Intelligence Officers (AFIO), and the National Press Club.

From COINTELPRO to the illegal targeting of antiwar activists and Muslim-Americans , the FBI is America’s premier political police agency. And now, from the folks who brought us Wi-Fi hacking , viral computer spyware and al-Qaeda triple agent Ali Mohamed comes the Bureau’s Department of Precrime!
A chilling new report by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF ) reveals the breadth and scope …
(Full article …)


With Big Profit, Goldman Sees Big Payday Ahead
Goldman Sachs Earns [sic] $3.44 Billion in 2nd. Quarter
Even on Wall Street, the land of six- and seven-figure incomes, jaws dropped at the news on Tuesday: After all that federal aid, a resurgent Goldman Sachs is on course to dole out bonuses that could rival the record paydays of the heady, bull-market years. Goldman posted the richest quarterly profit in its 140-year history and, to the envy of its rivals, announced that it had earmarked $11.4 billion so far this year to compensate its workers. Goldman employees could, on average, earn roughly $770,000 apiece this year — nearly what they did at the height of the boom. Senior Goldman executives and bankers would be paid considerably more. Only three years ago, Goldman paid more than 50 employees more than $20 million apiece. In 2007, its chief executive, Lloyd C. Blankfein, collected one of the biggest bonuses in corporate history -- nearly $70 million. The latest headline results — $3.44 billion in profits — were powered by earnings from the bank’s secretive trading operations and exceeded even the most optimistic predictions... Goldman executives acknowledged that the bank’s stunning profits, coming at a time when so many Americans are grappling with a deep, painful recession, present something of a public relations challenge... some lawmakers warned that a quick return to high pay on Wall Street would stoke public anger as the Obama administration tries to overhaul financial regulation. They warned that Wall Street lobbyists were already trying to unpick the Obama administration’s plans on financial reform. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/15/business/15goldman.html?hp

Wall Street White House
Robert Hormats, Vice Chairman of Goldman Sachs, is to be installed as Under Secretary of Economics, Business, and Agricultural Affairs.

Glenn Greenwald, Salon, July 13, 2009
Events preceding Goldman Sachs' new "blowout profits"

MSNBC, October 3, 2008:
President Bush signed into law Friday a historic $700 billion bailout of the financial services industry, promising to move swiftly to use his sweeping new authority to unlock frozen credit markets to get the economy moving again. . . .

Wall St. Journal, October 6, 2008:
Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson is expected to tap Neel Kashkari, a key adviser on whom he has come to rely heavily during the financial crisis, to oversee Treasury's $700 billion program to buy distressed assets from financial institutions, according to people familiar with the matter. Mr. Kashkari, 35 years old, a Treasury assistant secretary for international affairs and a former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. banker, is expected to be named interim head of Treasury's new Office of Financial Stability as early as Monday. The position confers substantial power on Mr. Kashkari. . . .

USA Today, January 27, 2009:
WASHINGTON — Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner picked a former Goldman Sachs lobbyist as a top aide Tuesday, the same day he announced rules aimed at reducing the role of lobbyists in agency decisions. Mark Patterson will serve as Geithner's chief of staff at Treasury, which oversees the government's $700 billion financial bailout program.

Reuters, March 16, 2009:
President Barack Obama's nominee to oversee U.S. futures markets, who has confessed he should have done more to rein in exotic financial instruments that have battered global markets, was approved by the Senate Agriculture Committee on Monday. The approval of Gary Gensler, a former Goldman Sachs executive, clears the way for a Senate vote putting him in charge of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. He was approved by a roll-call vote.

Glenn Greenwald, Salon, 4/30/2009
Former Barney Frank staffer now top Goldman Sachs lobbyist
Goldman Sachs' new top lobbyist was recently the top staffer to Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., on the House Financial Services Committee chaired by Frank. Michael Paese, a registered lobbyist for the Securities Industries and Financial Markets Association since he left Frank's committee in September, will join Goldman as director of government affairs, a role held last year by former Tom Daschle intimate, Mark Patterson, now the chief of staff at the Treasury Department. This is not Paese's first swing through the Wall Street-Congress revolving door: he previously worked at JP Morgan and Mercantile Bankshares, and in between served as senior minority counsel at the Financial Services Committee.

Elizabeth Coleman, inspector general of the Federal Reserve of the United States (" the Fed."), is "responsible for preventing and detecting waste, fraud, and abuse." In videotaped Congressional testimony, Federal Inspector General Coleman acknowledged that she can't account for many trillions of taxpayer money. Coleman acknowledges the Fed is missing many trillions of taxpayers' dollars. In the video clip she says she knows nothing about nine trillion dollars ($9,000,000,000,000) that is claimed to be unaccounted for. That's $63,000 for each taxpayer. It's also three times the amount of the entire annual federal budget . Not really federal nor a true reserve, members of the Fed's board of governors are appointed by the president, yet during their 14-year terms the U.S. president and Congress have no power over them. The Fed is actually owned by the largest banks in the U.S. .
- Article five-minute clip of Fed Inspector General Elizabeth Coleman's testimony www.legitgov.org

The More Things "Change"...
By Tim Gatto
July 12, 2009
Let’s start with the two political parties that supposedly “run” this country. The truth is that political parties don’t run this country, money does.... During the last presidential election, money coming from “ordinary folks” in a “populist surge of donations” put Barack Obama over the top and supposedly carried the day. It never happened.
What really happened is that the people who controlled the financial sector of the economy saw a massive train wreck about to happen and they needed someone malleable and ambitious enough to work with them to clean up the mess that would follow. At that time, A junior Senator from Illinois with his golden tongue a good understanding of quid pro quid, stepped into the batter’s box. The financial sector then showered him with campaign funds in order to minimize the catastrophe that was, beyond a shadow of doubt, going to happen. The truth was that everyone in government, and those working in the financial sector, knew that the only recourse available to prevent a financial meltdown, was for the Federal Government to bail out the bankers, the stock exchange, the real estate market and the hedge fund people, mortgage lenders and the manufacturing base (Automobile manufacturers and the defense industry).
Let’s take a look at campaign financing sources:[...] http://informationclearinghouse.info/article23032.htm

Making the tapes / cover-ups the issue -- not the crimes they conceal and promote
CIA and Pentagon Deploy RFID “Death Chips.” Coming Soon to a Product Near You
by Tom Burghardt / June 11th, 2009
What Pentagon theorists describe as a “Revolution in Military Affairs” (RMA) leverages information technology to facilitate...command decision-making processes and mission effectiveness, i.e. the waging of aggressive wars of conquest. It is assumed that U.S. technological preeminence, referred to euphemistically by Airforce Magazine as “compressing the kill chain,” will assure American military hegemony well into the 21st century. 2001 study , Understanding Information Age Warfare, brought together analysts from a host of Pentagon agencies as well as defense contractors Boeing, Booz Allen Hamilton, the MITRE Corp. and consultants from ThoughtLink, Toffler Associates and…

Obama admin: No grounds to probe Afghan war crimes:
 Obama administration officials said they had no grounds to investigate the 2001 deaths of Taliban prisoners of war who human rights groups allege were killed by U.S.-backed forces.
A former U.S. ambassador for war crimes issues, Pierre Prosper, told the NYT the Bush administration was reluctant to investigate the deaths, even though Dostum was on the payroll of the CIA and his soldiers worked with U.S. special forces in 2001. Dostum was suspended from his military post last year on suspicion of threatening a political rival, but Afghan President Hamid Karzai recently rehired him, the Times reported. http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gjc2gjOKXqk3dgB6yvfHT9... http://snipurl.com/n3vrd

In case you missed it:
Afghan Massacre - The Convoy of Death: Video
The film tells the story of thousands of prisoners who surrendered to the US military's Afghan allies after the siege of Kunduz. According to the film, some three thousand of the prisoners were forced into sealed containers and loaded onto trucks for transport to Sheberghan prison. When the prisoners began shouting for air, U.S.-allied Afghan soldiers fired directly into the truck, killing many of them. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article20740.htm

"House of War: The Uprising at Mazar-i-Sharif" containing footage shot during the rampage by international journalists, was aired by CNN on August 3, 2002
New York Times on Northern Alliance war crimes: A cover-up of US massacre at Mazar-i-Sharif
By Barry Grey
July 13, 2009
The New York Times on July 11 published a lengthy front-page article recalling the murder of hundreds of captured Taliban fighters by the US-allied Northern Alliance at the end of November, 2001, during the final days of the American-led invasion that toppled the Taliban regime....
The article cites "several senior officials" who suggest that the Obama administration "might not be hostile to an inquiry" into the mass deaths of Taliban POWs at the hands of Dostum and the Northern Alliance. This statement has the character of a threat directed at convincing Karzai to reverse his appointment of Dostum.
However, the Times indicates the limited and self-serving parameters of any such investigation, were it to take place, as foreseen by it and the Obama administration. The newspaper quotes a "senior" State Department official as saying, "We believe that anyone suspected of war crimes should be thoroughly investigated." This statement is belied by the remarkable fact that the article omits any mention of another war crime that occurred over the same period as the mass killing of Taliban POWS in the desert near Shibarghan.

At the end of November, 2001, US Special Forces, CIA operatives and US Army troops, backed by British commandos and working with Dostum’s militia, carried out a horrific three-day bombardment and mass execution of foreign Taliban POWs at Dostum’s Qala-i-Janghi prison fortress near Mazar-i-Sharif. In fact, the Taliban from Kunduz who died in metal containers were originally slated to be shipped to Qala-i-Janghi, but were diverted because of the US-led slaughter that was then underway at the fortress. The exact number of defenseless POWs who were slaughtered at Qala-i-Janghi remains unknown, but most estimates place the toll in the many hundreds....

Unlike the mass murder of Taliban in the desert near Shibarghan, the carnage at Qala-i-Janghi is well documented. News video at the time showed US jets and helicopter gunships dropping bombs on the prison compound, Northern Alliance troops firing from ridges into the prison yard, and dozens of corpses and body parts littering the grounds of the fortress.
Under US direction, Northern Alliance forces poured gasoline into basement hideouts where Taliban prisoners had sought refuge and ignited them, burning scores of people alive. They followed this by flooding the basements with freezing water. On December 1, after three days of mass murder, some 85 survivors surrendered. Most of these were subsequently shipped to the US prison camp at Guantanamo. Dead POWs were found after the attack with bullets to their heads and their hands tied behind their backs, making clear that they had been executed. A documentary film entitled House of War: The Uprising at Mazar-i-Sharif, containing footage shot during the rampage by international journalists, was aired by CNN on August 3, 2002.... this war crime recalls the My Lai massacre in Vietnam and atrocities carried out by Nazi forces in Europe during World War II....

The Times deliberately excludes mention of the massacre at Mazar-i-Sharif because that raises directly the question of war crimes by the United States and top US officials, beginning with George W. Bush, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Powell, Rice, Cheney and their lieutenants. The Times itself has systematically sought to cover up these crimes, and supports the Obama administration’s policy of opposing any serious investigation into them, as well as its continuation, in all essentials, of the illegal policies of the previous administration.
www.uruknet.info?p=5594 www.wsws.org/articles/2009/jul2009/nyag-j13.shtml

Abuse [SIC] Photos Part of Agreement on Military Spending:
The deal was concluded after Rahm Emanuel, the White House chief of staff, went to the Capitol to assure Senate Democrats that President Obama would use all administrative and legal means to prevent the photos’ release. At the same time, a federal court issued a ruling effectively ensuring that the photos would not be released for months, if ever.

The NYT calls Iranian interrogation tactics "torture": Techniques it refuses to call "torture" when used by the U.S.

"While this loss is raw and extraordinarily painful, we also know this: Those who stand up for justice are always on the right side of history."
PRESIDENT OBAMA, on Iranian demonstrators, including a 26-year-old woman who was shot on a Tehran street. NYT 6/24/9

I've Seen 1,200 Torture Photos ... shown to members of Congress in 2004...
By David Swanson
July 13, 2009
This moment, in which the Attorney General of the United States claims to be considering the possibility of allowing our laws against torture to be enforced seems a good one in which to reveal that I have seen over 1,200 torture photos and a dozen videos that are in the possession of the United States military. These are photographs depicting torture, the victims of torture, and other inhuman and degrading treatment. Several show a prisoner intentionally slamming his head face-first very hard into a metal door. Guards filmed this from several angles rather than stop it.
The Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) of Australia revealed several of these photographs, video of the head slamming, and video of prisoners forced to masturbate, as part of a news report broadcast in 2006. But the full collection has not been made available to the public or to a special prosecutor, although it was shown to members of Congress in 2004...

In January 2004, the military seized photos and videos that were on computers and cell phones at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. Those related to the abuse of prisoners amounted, as far as I know, to those in the collection I've looked at. So, this collection does not include images of torture or mistreatment that may have taken place at Abu Ghraib after that date or at other locations at any time. I have reason to believe that such photos also exist in large quantity and depict types of abuses we have not yet seen.

Most people have seen fewer than 100 photographs from Abu Ghraib.... many of those posted online have been made public. These are not a bad representative sample of the whole, but they are far from complete. There are, among the more than 1,200 photos, images of prisoners and of military personnel that have not been published. There are gruesome scenes here that we have not publicly seen a single image of. And the images that we have seen are, in most cases, a single image or two from a long series of photos of an incident. In many cases, the collection includes multiple series of images from one event shot with multiple cameras. The public images have in many cases been cropped and/or censored to hide faces or genitals. In the uncropped versions there are, in some cases, additional people in the frame.

Were these Abu Ghraib photos all made public, but those from other times and places kept hidden, and were we unaware of the executive orders, Justice Department memos, presidential signing statements, congressional reports, Red Cross reports, presidential and vice presidential televised confessions, and so forth, the military could still claim this was the isolated work of a few "bad apples". But we would have a better understanding of what that work was. And making these images available to the public, or merely to a special prosecutor, would suggest an interest in seeking accountability for those responsible but not present in the photographs. On the other hand, hiding the evidence while prosecuting the soldiers who posed in some of the photos looks increasingly like scapegoating for the benefit of the Military Intelligence, CIA, and contractors who instructed the soldiers, as well as the commanders all the way up to the Secretary of Defense who encouraged torture, the lawyers who sought to provide immunity, and the president and vice president who gave the authorizations. Remember, for Attorney General Eric Holder to decide that our laws against torture can be enforced, he does not need to wait until each new piece of evidence is revealed and then respond appropriately. He already has all of this evidence and much more that we know about but have not seen.

The over 1,200 images that I've seen add to some stories sketched out before. We've seen the body of murdered prisoner Manadel al-Jamadi packed in ice. We've seen Spc. Charles Graner posing with it, and Spc. Sabrina Harman doing the same. But the fuller collection shows the process of cleaning the body up. A giant gash in the top of the man's head is stitched up, his eye patched... floors covered with the blood of this victim... a few images (one, two, three) of a man attacked and bitten by dogs. But the larger series of photos shows us much more of the wounds on his legs and arms, as well as his identification number: 153863.

Another prisoner with an ID (153399) is shown missing a good portion of his head. This is one of a number of dead bodies shown in the photographs. SBS (the Australian news outlet) found an Army report on his death and concluded that these dead prisoners had likely been shot by guards during a riot or murdered by guards in other circumstances. Others have claimed mortar attacks from outside the prison are to blame....There are lots of photos among the over 1,200 showing naked prisoners, sometimes chained to bunk beds or with their legs stuck through bars. There's a naked prisoner face-down on the ground with blood beside him, and with an MP on his back and two more watching.

We have previously seen and heard about a prisoner who had lost his sanity and covered himself with feces, earning the moniker "shit boy." In the larger collection, we see him naked in the shower from the front, wearing white latex gloves. We see him pinned between stretchers but also standing, sandwiched between foam mattresses chained on him like a robe, with bags tied over his hands, and in other positions. And he is reportedly the same man shown slamming his head against a door.

We see a naked, hooded prisoner standing on two MRE boxes and bent over. We see photos shot from a balcony of two prisoners sitting or squatting with their hands behind their heads, one of them on the floor and the other on an MRE box. We see a prisoner with his ID number written across his naked chest in red marker, and red marker smiley faces drawn on his nipples. (His number, obscured by his hood, is 200_ _ 4, where the first missing number is 1 or 7 and the second is 9 or 4.)

Of course, we also see the simulated electrocution photos of a hooded prisoner standing on an MRE box with wires attached to him. And we see a prisoner forced to stick a banana in his anus. We see a young woman lifting her shirt up, without the cropping, fuzzing, and blacked-out eyes, see her together with another young woman. We see a bunch of photos of these young women posing, fully clothed... According to SBS the two prisoners were picked up on the charge of prostitution.

There are three photos of a little boy, naked, in a robe, and fully dressed. While it is very disturbing to see this little child's photos in the middle of this revolting collection, I have no idea what they are doing there...But I do know the leading lawyer who facilitated our national torture campaign and famously said that a U.S. president has the right to crush a child's testicles is a professor at a prestigious university, while his boss is sitting as a life-time judge in the Ninth Circuit because Congress refuses to impeach him. The current excuse for delay is that the Justice Department plans to release its internal report (from the Office of Professional Responsibility) very soon, just as it has been promising for many months....

Tamil death toll ‘is 1,400 a week’ at Manik Farm camp in Sri Lanka
by Rhys Blakely, Mumbai, Times
July 10, 2009
About 1,400 people are dying every week at the giant Manik Farm internment camp set up in Sri Lanka to detain Tamil refugees from the nation’s bloody civil war, senior international aid sources have told The Times.The death toll will add to concerns that the Sri Lankan Government has failed to halt a humanitarian catastrophe after announcing victory over the Tamil Tiger terrorist organisation in May. It may also lend credence to allegations that the Government, which has termed the internment sites "welfare villages", has actually constructed concentration camps to house 300,000 people...
Mangala Samaraweera, the former Foreign Minister and now an opposition MP, said: "There are allegations that the Government is attempting to change the ethnic balance of the area. Influential people close to the Government have argued for such a solution."...
The Manik Farm camp was set up to house the largest number of the 300,000 mainly Tamil civilians forced to flee the northeast as army forces mounted a brutal offensive against the Tigers, who had been fighting for an ethnic Tamil homeland for 26 years....
President Rajapaksa is known for not tolerating dissent; a trait that human rights organisations say was demonstrated this week when five Sri Lankan doctors who witnessed the bloody climax of the country’s civil war and made claims of mass civilian deaths recanted much of their testimony.The doctors said at a press conference on Wednesday that they had deliberately overestimated the civilian casualties. As government officials looked on, they claimed that Tigers had forced them to lie. The five men added that only up to 750 civilians were killed between January and
mid-May in the final battles of the war. They were then taken back to prison, where they have been held for the past two months for allegedly spreading Tiger propaganda.The number was far below the 7,000 fatalities estimated by the United Nations. An investigation by The Times uncovered evidence that more than 20,000 civilians were killed, mostly by the army. The doctors denied other former testimony, including the government shelling of a conflict-zone hospital in February for which there are witnesses from the UN and the Red Cross....

US invites [SIC] Gulf Arab investment:
Speaking in the Saudi port city of Jeddah Timothy Geithner invited greater Arab investment in the US economy, saying that previous blocks to such investment were now no longer an issue.

Obama's job: push the 'limits' worldwide under the guise of U.S. friendship and 'change'
Finding the Limits of U.S. Power
By ALAN COWELL, International herald Tribune

How can America change the bellicose behavior of those who do not wish to be changed, least of all at Washington's behest?
... Last Sunday, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. vouchsafed that “the United States cannot dictate to another sovereign power what they can and cannot do.” He was referring to the question of whether Washington would restrain Israel from a military strike at Iranian nuclear facilities, and his remarks may have been no more than a casual misstatement, soon disowned by the White House. But Mr. Biden’s nostrum raised a possibly mischievous question: if Washington does not feel able to restrain its friends, what can it hope to achieve with its enemies?

Visiting Moscow this week, President Barack Obama spoke of those same interlocking themes of power and sovereignty. “In 2009, a great power does not show strength by dominating or demonizing other countries,” he said. “The days when empires could treat sovereign states as pieces on a chess board are over.” So much for the New American Century that neo-conservatives believed would become an era of untrammeled power after the decades of ideological and military competition with the Soviet Union....But, beyond the nuclear arsenals, the notion of parity was always flawed. In so many ways, Moscow was not the economic, political or social equal of the United States. And, 20 years after the crumbling of the Soviet empire, that imbalance has not been redressed any more than diplomacy has devised a new set of global rules.“What kind of future are Russia and America going to have together?” Mr. Obama asked in Moscow. “What world order will replace the Cold War? Those questions still don’t have clear answers.”In other words, who will police the planet at a time when the nuclear debate entwines worries about terrorism and the resurgence of what was once described as a crescent of crisis stretching from Afghanistan and Pakistan through Iran and the Gulf to the Horn of Africa? ...

Indeed, without the support of Russia and China in the international politics of nuclear enforcement, the United States cannot hope for the leverage it needs to pressure Pyongyang or Tehran.“If we fail to stand together” to press for nuclear nonproliferation, Mr. Obama said in Moscow, “international law will give way to the law of the jungle.”

But there are many dark holes in the calculation. Consider for a moment how power is acquired and exercised: through economic might and military strength, through demographic resilience and access to natural resources, through the ability to display resolve and instill fear without showing it. By all those measures, the United States is so much more powerful than those who taunt Washington with impunity, demanding to know why Washington countenances a nuclear Israel but denies others the same trust. If this were a game of poker rather than a deadly debate, it would be seem oddly asymmetric.

North Korea and Iran test-fire missiles, calculating that no one will fire back. Iran’s clerical hierarchy, its legitimacy drawn from a revolution 30 years ago defined by twin poles of faith and anti-Americanism, senses that Mr. Obama’s commitment to engagement strips him of the bully’s power to enforce.

The weak may seem strong if they sense that the strong are constrained. America’s wild card lies in its insistence that, in dealing with Iran, no option has been removed from the table — code for a potential military strike against the Natanz nuclear facilities. But Mr. Obama’s reflex has been to say that “if countries like Iran are willing to unclench their fist, they will find an extended hand from us.” (This week, by way of response, Iran offered a “united fist.”) The post-election unrest in Iran perhaps reminded Iranian leaders of the uncomfortable truth that the exercise of power in open societies requires the consent of the people. But that is not the calculation in Pyongyang or in the Tehran that cracked down so harshly on post-election protest.
Regimes that tighten their grip on their people by invoking a threat from beyond their borders cannot survive by embracing that same perceived foe, even if the adversary offers a prospect of dialogue and benefit. The safer response is bluster and threat.
According to the new Moscow rules laid out this week, yesterday’s enemies may become tomorrow’s partners in the benign exercise of power. But then, as Mr. Obama quoted a Russian student as saying, “The real world is not so rational as on paper.”

"No business wants to invest in a place where the government skims 20 percent off the top, or the head of the port authority is corrupt. No person wants to live in a society where the rule of law gives way to the rule of brutality and bribery. That is not democracy, that is tyranny, and now is the time for it to end."
PRESIDENT OBAMA, on the need for reform in Africa

"a rapt Africa": U.S. controlled Ghana, one small country of nearly 60 in the African continent it plans to dominate under US AFRICOM
Obama Delivers Call for Change to a Rapt Africa
...The visit of the first African-American president, the son of a onetime Kenyan goat herder, electrified this small coastal nation and much of the region.... In Cairo last month, he said pointedly that even as America needed to better understand the Muslim world, Muslims needed to confront their own anti-American elements. As in Cairo, he used personal history to soften stern language. “After all,” the president said, “I have the blood of Africa within me, and my family’s own story encompasses both the tragedies and triumphs of the larger African story.... But Mr. Obama’s ties to Africa barely go beyond biography. He met his father only once as a child, and was raised largely by his white mother and grandparents....
With a functioning democracy [editor: e.g. installed by and obedient to U.S.] that has managed several peaceful transitions of power, this nation of 23 million is the favorite American success story in sub-Saharan Africa. But the choice of Ghana illustrated how few models there are. Both Mr. Clinton and President George W. Bush came here too. By contrast, Mr. Obama bypassed his father’s native Kenya, a reflection of the instability plaguing it recently.
Both Mr. Clinton and President George W. Bush came here too. By contrast, Mr. Obama bypassed his father’s native Kenya, a reflection of the instability plaguing it recently.
His approach follows that of Mr. Bush, who was widely credited with doing more for Africa than any previous president. Like Mr. Obama, Mr. Bush tried to frame policy by rewarding good governance and building institutions through programs like the Millennium Challenge Corporation, an antipoverty effort that gave Ghana $547 million in 2006. Mr. Obama, who typically talks about the problems his administration inherited, said he was “building on the strong efforts of President Bush” in Africa

Saviors and Survivors: Darfur, Politics and the War on Terror
The Darfur Deception
In Errol Morris’s 2004 film The Fog of War, former US Defense Secretary Robert McNamara recalls General Curtis LeMay, the architect of the fire-bombings of Japan during WWII, says “if we’d lost the war, we’d all have been prosecuted as war criminals.” LeMay was merely articulating an unacknowledged truism of international relations: power bestows, among other things, the right to label. So it is that mass slaughter perpetrated by the big powers, from Vietnam to Iraq and Afghanistan, is normalized through labels such as “counterinsurgency,” “pacification” and “war on terror,” while similar acts carried out by states out of favor result in the severest of charges. It is this politics of naming that is the subject of Mahmood Mamdani’s explosive new book, Saviors and Survivors: Darfur, Politics and the War on Terror .
Like the Middle East, parts of Africa have been engulfed in conflict for much of the post-colonial period...To the extent that there is [media] coverage, the emphasis is on the dramatic or the grotesque. When the subject is not war, it is usually famine, disease or poverty — sometimes all together, always free of context. The wars are between “tribes” led by “warlords,” that take place in “failed states” ruled by “corrupt dictators.” Driven by primal motives, they rarely involve discernible issues. The gallery of rogues gives way only to a tableau of victims, inevitably in need of White saviors. A headline like “Can Bono save Africa?” is as illustrative of Western attitudes towards the continent as the comments of Richard Littlejohn, Britain’s highest-paid columnist, who wrote at the peak of the Rwandan genocide “Does anyone really give a monkey’s about what happens in Rwanda? If the Mbongo tribe wants to wipe out the Mbingo tribe then as far as I am concerned that is entirely a matter for them.” (Full article …)

Biden Says His Trip Proves Iraq Remains a U.S. Priority ...
as in permanent political-economic domination...
Eager to Tap Iraq's Vast Oil Reserves, Industry Execs Suggested Invasion
Jason Leopold
Two years before the invasion of Iraq, oil executives and foreign policy advisers told the Bush administration that the United States would remain "a prisoner of its energy dilemma" as long as Saddam Hussein was in power. That April 2001 report, "Strategic Policy Challenges for the 21st Century," was prepared by the James A. Baker Institute for Public Policy and the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations at the request of then-Vice President Dick Cheney....
Two years after the Baker report, the United States invaded Iraq. Now, more than six years after that, the U.S. oil industry appears to be in a strong position relative to Iraq's oil riches.
pubrecord.org/nationworld/978-eager-to-tap-iraqs-vast-oil-reserves-industry-execs-suggested-invasion.html http://www.uruknet.de/?s1=1&p=55632&s2=03

u.s. unable to stop Iraqi national liberation resistance
Forget the Headlines: Iraqi Freedom Deferred
Ramzy Baroud
As US combat troops redeployed to the outskirts of Iraqi cities on June 30, well-staged celebrations commenced. The pro-US Iraqi [AKA QUISLING] government declared “independence day” as police vehicles roamed the streets of war-weary Iraq in an unpersuasive show of national rejoicing. US mainstream media joined the chorus, as if commemorating the end of an era....
Talk of exiting Iraq indeed preceded the entrance of Obama...US army redeployment is not the brainchild of the Obama administration, but a provision of a November 2008 agreement signed between the Iraqi government of Nouri Al Maliki and the Bush administration....
“Many studying Iraq believe the US will end up negotiating with Baghdad to establish a couple of permanent military bases,” writes Matt Schofield. “Those could be essential to leaving behind a stable government, a military loyal to the nation and capable of defending it, and a country that has the backing of the people.” Those who wish to decipher such deceptive language should comprehend the permanent US military presence as permanent occupation. Indeed, the US doesn’t have to be present on every Iraqi street corner to officially occupy the country. The sectarian Iraqi army and police — US armed and trained — should be enough to carry out US wishes in Iraq (under the guise of fighting terrorists), while the US will “stand ready, if asked and if helpful, to help in that process,” as explained by Biden....

“Biden Warns Iraq About Reverting to Sectarian Violence,” read a New York Times headline. “What will it take to make a good exit from Iraq?” inquired a Kansas City Star analysis. But missing from news headlines and commentary was any indication of direct US responsibility for the genocide befallen Iraq...

130,000 US soldiers remain in the country; that the US has complete control over Iraqi airspace and territorial water; that there is not yet a reason to celebrate and move on...
recall comments made by Admiral Mike Mullen last February: “Mr. Obama plans to leave behind a ‘residual force’ of tens of thousands of troops to continue training Iraqi security forces, hunt down terrorist cells and guard American institutions.” (Full article …) http://www.burbankdigest.com/node/179 http://www.burbankdigest.com/node/114

"the future course of American foreign policy, American world leadership, and American security is at stake. Failure in Iraq would be a devastating blow to everything the US hopes to accomplish, and must accomplish, in the decades ahead."
The Weekly Standard, April 2004

March 16, 2004
WASHINGTON -- A majority of people living in Jordan, Morocco, Pakistan and Turkey say they believe the U.S. is conducting its campaign against terrorto control Mideast oil and to dominate the world, according to an international poll released Tuesday. The governments in all four Muslim-majority countries have strong ties with the U.S. government.... A sizable number of people in France, Germany and Russia also have these suspicions about the campaign against terror, according to the Pew Global Attitudes Project.
The polls were taken in February, before the train bombings in Spain claimed the lives of at least 200 people....
When people in the nine countries - including Britain and the United State- were asked if the campaign against terrorism was a sincere effort to reduce international terrorism, majorities in France, Germany and the four Muslim-majority countries felt it was not. Almost half in Russia felt it was not, while majorities in Britain and the United States said they believe the campaign is a sincere effort to fight terrorism.

U.S. National Security Strategy for world domination rests on success in Iraq

US National Security Strategy
NSS: www.whitehouse.gov/nsc/nss.html

The Soldiering Ethos
By Michael Vlahos
America has fought a war for two years with its peacetime military. Moreover this is what both the nation and the military have wanted. But the situation is changing. Effective insurgency in Iraq is just the first step moving America's military into long-term wartime...
The situation in Iraq today is much more difficult. If winning is no longer uncertain, then neither is the precedent of new war that Iraq presents. It promises that future campaigns in the Muslim World will put a premium on a new kind of American soldiering. We earnestly hope that Iraq will soon be put to bed, but possible US occupation of Arabia or Egypt, an invasion of Syria or
Iran, is creating a new standard for battlefield performance. But just what does battlefield performance really mean in a war of quick campaigns and long counter-insurgency? [...]

Report: Disappearing the Dead: Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Idea of a "New Warfare":
War and Perception: the battle to enable American power.

u.s. freedom of the press and information...
Pentagon launches new propaganda network
" ... intended to allow small media outlets in the United States and elsewhere to bypass what the Pentagon views as an increasingly combative press corps."
Associated Press, 3/04
The U.S. military will launch its own news service in Iraq and Afghanistan to send military video, text and photos directly to the Internet or news outlets. The $6.3 million project, expected to begin operating in April, is one of the largest military public affairs projects in recent memory, is intended to allow small media outlets in the United States and elsewhere to bypass what the Pentagon views as an increasingly combative press corps.
U.S. officials have complained that Iraq-based media focuses on catastrophic events like car bombs and soldiers' deaths, while giving short shrift to U.S. rebuilding efforts.
The American public "currently gets a pretty slanted picture," said Army Capt. Randall Baucom, a spokesman for the Kuwait-based U.S.-led Coalition Land Forces Command.
The project, called Digital Video and Imagery Distribution System or DVIDS, will give the Pentagon more control of the coverage when calamities do happen.
Army camera teams will be able to use their access to battle zones or military bases to film the aftermath of rebel attacks on U.S. troops -- or U.S. raids on insurgent targets -- then offer free pictures to news outlets within two hours....

"The Army wants to get their view across and they are using a technique as old as any public relations maneuver ever devised," said Aly Colon, an ethics group leader at the Poynter Institute, the journalism research and education center in St. Petersburg, Fla....

"This is the kind of news that people get in countries where the government controls the media. Why would anybody here want to buy into it?" Mac McKerral, president of the Society of Professional Journalists, told The AP...

The military brass was surprised and impressed with the speed and immediacy of the coverage of journalists embedded with U.S. combat units during the war, and wanted to develop the same capabilities, Thomas said. Television crews demonstrated their equipment for Army public affairs teams, and Thomas said his staff compiled a list of equipment needed to cover breaking news.
The Army already has dozens of its own reporters in Iraq and Afghanistan writing for internal newsletters and magazines. Thomas said he hopes civilian media can reuse the same stories, or at least the Army's photos and video. The military's reporters will transmit their stories and video to servers at Third Army headquarters in Atlanta, and allow access to them over a password-protected Internet site, Baucom said. Accredited news organizations will be allowed to register for free access... he said the military also plans to use the equipment for internal video, such as beaming pictures from an aircraft's gun camera to a Pentagon briefing.
The DVIDS units will make it easier to get positive stories published, Thomas said. "There are numerous good news stories that aren't told that do provide a better balance on the overall successes we achieved in Iraq," he said. "We'll be able to provide the option for those types of stories. They're no going to lead in a major daily newspaper, but they'll play well in smaller daily papers and especially weekly papers." ... "We think we can give them some more focused copy. We can shoot video of someone from, say, Tupelo, Miss., and they've got what looks like a very good hometown piece." http://www.unknownnews.net/040310ppn.html

Muslim orgs: FBI planting spies in U.S. mosques
FBI sent undercover agents posing as worshippers into mosques
Ten U.S. Muslim organizations threatened this week to cease working with the FBI, citing "McCarthy-era tactics" by the agency, including efforts to covertly infiltrate California mosques. The groups claim the FBI has sent undercover agents posing as worshippers into mosques, pressured Muslims to become informants, labeled civil rights advocates as criminals and spread misinformation. www.legitgov.org

another 'new' Obama hire: Bush 'psywar diplomat'
US to employ new [SIC] approach to win over Muslims: Envoy
Former president George W. Bush hired Ms Pandith in early 2007 as his senior adviser for Muslim engagement in the European and Eurasian region...an experienced diplomat... She has also worked for the US National Security Council and with the US Agency for International Development in Kabul. Last week, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton appointed her America’s first special envoy to Muslim communities around the world.... the administration made no public announcement when it created a new office of a Special Representative to Muslim Communities. News of its debut was buried in an internal State Department memo last week, and it was only after spokesman Ian Kelley was questioned by reporters that the State Department arranged a public briefing by Pandith.

"Religious enlightenment"
U.S. Working to Reshape Iraqi Detainees
Moderate Muslims Enlisted to Steer Adults and Children Away From Insurgency
By Walter Pincus
September 19, 2007
The U.S. military has introduced "religious enlightenment" and other education programs for Iraqi detainees, some of whom are as young as 11, Marine Maj. Gen. Douglas M. Stone, the commander of U.S. detention facilities in Iraq, said yesterday. Stone said such efforts, aimed mainly at Iraqis who have been held for more than a year, are intended to "bend them back to our will" and are part of waging war in what he called "the battlefield of the mind." Most of the younger detainees are held in a facility that the military calls the "House of Wisdom."....
As a result of the increased U.S. troop presence in Iraq this year, the number of Iraqis in U.S. detention has swelled from about 10,000 last year to more than 25,000. The effort to reshape attitudes among the growing detainee population is aimed at addressing a problem that has vexed U.S. troops in Iraq for the past four years: Military detention facilities have served as breeding grounds for extremist views, transforming some prisoners into hard-core insurgents, according to military analysts. Stone wants to identify "irreconcilables" -- those detainees whose views cannot be moderated -- and "put them away" in permanent detention facilities. Psychiatrists, psychologists, counselors and interrogators help distinguish the extremists from others, he said....
After reassessments and interrogations, Stone said, some detainees are recommended for release. "If a detainee is an imperative security risk . . . then I'm going to reduce that risk and I'm going to replace that destructive ideology," he said. "And then when he's assessed to no longer be a threat, I'm going to release the detainee being less likely to be a recidivist."...
Other initiatives at the facilities include vocational training and basic education programs for about 7,000 detainees. Stone said he believes his approach is "compelling because it's how you win this war, not only the one in Iraq, but the one on a greater basis." He quoted Iraqi Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi as saying that "America could win the war if they just applied the exact process that you're putting in detention to the rest of the entire nation," in Stone's words.
The 25,000 detainees now being held in U.S. facilities in Iraq include more than 820 juveniles, Stone said, most of whom are held in the House of Wisdom, which opened last month and is located at the Camp Victory military base near Baghdad's airport. He said that six additional young people had been sent to him just yesterday, and that "the trend is towards the youth," including 11-, 12- and 13-year-olds. He described older juveniles -- the 15-, 16- and 17-year-olds -- as "harder nuts" and said that 50 to 60 of them have been removed from U.S. detention facilities and turned over to Iraqi authorities for trial.

The new religious training, Stone said, helps U.S. forces pinpoint the hard-core extremists. "I want to know who they are," he said. "They're like rotten eggs, you know, hiding in the Easter basket." Stone said his staff conducts polygraph tests for detainees who promise to change after undergoing the religious training program. "We were trying to figure out if they're messing with us. . . . You're not talking about radicals going to choirboys." But he also added that they're succeeding in countering extremists in the facilities. "We're busting them down, we're making whole moderate compounds that didn't exist before."

Stone described a sort of religious insurgency that occurred at one detention facility on Sept. 2. "We had a compound of moderates for the first time overtake . . . extremists. It's never happened before. Found them, identified them, threw them up against the fence and shaved their frickin' beards off of them. . . . I mean, that is historic." Jack Holt, the spokesman for the Pentagon's new media operations, said that 60 people were invited to join the Stone interview yesterday but that only four bloggers did so. Of those four, at least two appear to be active-duty military, but as of yesterday evening none so had discussed Stone's presentation online.
Other elements of Stone's program are being developed. He said he has created a "transition-out barracks" where detainees being released discuss civics and human rights. He has also begun a "huge, expensive" Rand Corp. research study on detainee motivation and morale and has plans for a major communication campaign....

Re-educating Armed Occupation Resisters
Iraq Detention 'counter-insurgency' Imams Work for $2 Billion Private Equity Fund
By Nick Mottern and Bill Rau
When Iraqi imams sit down with prisoners at a US detention center in Iraq to discuss Islam, they are working for a subsidiary of Global Innovation (GI) Partners LLP, a California- and London-based private equity firm that claims to have “$2 billion in capital under management”. GI Partners sells, among other things: base maintenance for US military forces in Iraq; psychiatric care in the United Kingdom; in-room television and movies for hotels; wine; movie production studios and pubs. GI Partners also manages hundreds of millions of dollars for California and Oregon public employees pension funds and, according to the GI Partners website, pension funds in the Netherlands and the Middle East.
The imams...“certified, trusted and moderate Islamic clerics” offering “detainees a broader understanding of Islam"... work in a “counter-insurgency” program apparently intended to undermine religious arguments that have provided underpinning for armed resistance to the US invasion and occupation of Iraq and to the US-Iraqi government. (See Truthout October 14, 2008.) The imams join the GI Partners world when they go to work for Russian and East European Partnerships (REEP) Inc., the GI Partners subsidiary hired by the US military to run Islamic discussion, civics, and vocational programs in its Iraq detention centers. These centers now hold about 16,600 Iraqis and are under the command of Multi-National Force – Iraq’s Task Force 134 (MNF-I/TF-134).
REEP, which does business under the trade name Operational Support and Services (OSS), “advises DoD (Department of Defense) personnel on all local nationals (Imams and Social Workers) that may be hired to work in TF-134 programs,” according to a TF-134 spokesman.... the work of the imams, which is shrouded in secrecy, appears to violate international principles protecting religious freedom. It is work that may be unwelcome news to GI Partners investors, such as public employee pension funds reeling from the economic downturn that is traceable in significant measure to the Iraq War.

US military to teach Iraqi prisoners how to be moderate Muslims
The Wall Street Journal reports US commanders in Iraq have begun releasing hundreds of Iraqi prisoners after concluding the military’s detention policy might be harming US goals in Iraq. The US is currently holding about 23,000 Iraqis, many without charge. The US military has begun building a pair of large halfway houses in Taji and Ramadi, where detainees will undergo vocational training. The Wall Street Journal reports the US military also plans to teach religious courses to the former prisoners about how to be a moderate Muslim. Imams will be brought in by the military to teach courses that highlight the Islamic precepts that bar the killing of innocents and offer alternative interpretations of jihad... The reality in the detention system is that, according to TF-134, participation in the Islamic Discussion Program and other courses is likely to help speed a prisoner’s release. Religious discussion with and “education” of a person who is a prisoner and whose resistance has a religious base can be described as a form of coercion.The use of a private contractor for religious work in US detention facilities, says international human rights lawyer Karen Parker, provides the US government with a layer of protection against charges of human rights violations: “They try to hide behind yet another wall.”
Full article: http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/node/37762

PAKISTAN: Stop bombing us: Osama isn’t here
Washington does not directly acknowledge its missile attacks on Pakistani territory by unmanned drone aircraft but Pakistani officials say the US has carried out more than 40 attacks inside its borders in the past 10 months, killing (countless) hundreds of people. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article6689741.ece

US House passes limited Iran sanctions, increases 'aid' to Israel
The House bill includes $2.22b military aid to Israel, on top of the $555 million allocated earlier this year, as part of the 10-year agreement governing US assistance to Israel...
The Palestinians [SIC] are slated to receive $400.4m. in economic aid, plus $100m. for US Lt.-Gen. Keith Dayton's program for training and reforming the [U.S. PROXY]Palestinian Authority's security forces.... The American Israel Public Affairs Committee strongly backed the House bill. "AIPAC strongly applauds the House for passing the annual foreign aid bill," AIPAC President David Victor said in a statement. "This year's package holds heightened significance with the United States, the region and Israel facing renewed challenges from Iran's drive to dominate the Middle East, acquire nuclear weapons and its support for Islamic terrorist movements."
But not all interest groups were pleased with the legislation.Patrick Disney, acting legislative director for the National Iranian American Council, said the organization supports the Obama administration's approach and is concerned about the enactment of new sanctions. "Members of Congress and government wanting to rush to the aid of the Iranian people could do more harm than good," he said, warning that such moves could help bolster Teheran's charges that the US is behind the recent demonstrations and that therefore they must be stamped out. http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1246443778558&pagename=JPost%... http://snipurl.com/n3vzm

Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. suggested the U.S. would not stand in the way of Israeli military action aimed at Iran’s nuclear program.
The United States, Mr. Biden said on ABC’s “This Week,” “cannot dictate to another sovereign nation what they can and cannot do.”... George Stephanopoulos, the program’s host [ who has been traveling in Baghdad with Biden the last few days] asked: “But just to be clear here, if the Israelis decide Iran is an existential threat, they have to take out the nuclear program, militarily the United States will not stand in the way?” Mr. Biden replied: “Look, we cannot dictate to another sovereign nation what they can and cannot do when they make a determination — if they make a determination — that they’re existentially threatened and their survival is threatened by another country.” ... the disputed Iranian election result has raised concerns in Israel. Officials there say that the victory by Mr. Ahmadinejad, who has called for the destruction of Israel, underscored the Iranian threat and bolstered the argument for tough action. The Israeli government has said that it hopes to see the Iranian nuclear program halted through diplomacy, but it has not ruled out a military strike. Talk of such a strike flared episodically during the Bush presidency....In May, Mr. Obama told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel during a meeting at the White House that “we’re not going to have talks forever” with Iran; in the absence of cooperation from Tehran, the administration would not rule out “a range of steps.”

Israel: the U.S. regional bridgehead in the mideast
Brzezinski’s Geostrategic Chess Game
In his 1997 book “The Grand Chessboard ”, former national security advisor under the Carter administration and informal Obama advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski highlights the importance of Eurasia for global US primacy:
"Geopolitics has moved from the regional to the global dimension, with preponderance over the entire Eurasian continent serving as the central basis for global primacy. The United States, a non-Eurasian power, now enjoys international primacy, with its power directly deployed on three peripheries of the Eurasian continent […]. But it is on the globe’s most important playing field – Eurasia – that a potential rival to America might at some point arise". (Brzezinski, Zbigniew (1997): The Grand Chessboard. P.39)
From Brzezinski’s point of view, to retain its supremacy in Eurasia, the US has to prevent potential rivals, such as Russia, China, Iran and Turkey from gaining control or influence in the region. Since the Cold War, the US has maintained a strong presence in what Brzezinski calls “continental bridgeheads” that enabled it to contain the Soviet threat during the Cold War. One such bridgehead on the southern front was the wider Middle Eastern region. The US assistance of the mujahidin in the Soviet- Afghan war was a move that was designed to check the southward expansion of Soviet influence on the continent. Indeed all past interventions in Muslim countries of the Middle East during the Cold War, including the 1953 coup d’état against Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadeq of Iran, can be seen as a checking of Soviet influence.

Since the geopolitical aspirations of Russia and Iran in Central Asia have become obvious during the past few years, the geostrategic importance of the Middle East for the US has only increased. The regional bridgehead still stands: Israel, close ally of the US still has the best equipped armed forces in the region and the US now maintains a military presence in Iraq, Afghanistan, Turkey and Qatar. It is therefore in a formidable position to check the excessive geopolitical aspirations of other players in the region.

With all the hopes of a new multilateralism that includes the Muslim world, it is clear that the US will hold on to its presence and influence in the Middle East. There should also be no doubt about the willingness of the US to use its hard power to ensure its continuity. After all, if one believes in Mackinder - and many American strategic thinkers do – nothing less than world domination is at stake.
By Ken Egli, ISN Special Issue June 2009 Geopolitics and US Middle Eastern Policy
International Relations and Security Network (ISN) - Managing information, sharing knowledge
The ISN is a service of the Center for Security Studies (CSS) at the ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich).
The International Relations and Security Network (ISN) is the world’s leading open access information service for international relations and security professionals.

u.s. state terrorist proxy and partner
The Israel Project’s Secret Hasbara Handbook Exposed
By Richard Silverstein
The Israel Project (TIP) is an international non-profit organization devoted to educating the press and the public about Israel while promoting security, freedom and peace. The Israel Project provides journalists, leaders and opinion-makers accurate information about Israel.
"We’re at a time in history when Jews in general (and Israelis in particular) are no longer perceived as the persecuted people. In fact, among American and European audiences—sophisticated, educated, opinionated, non-Jewish audiences—Israelis are often seen as the occupiers and the aggressors. With that kind of baggage, it is critical that messages from the pro-Israel spokespeople not come across as supercilious or condescending" ... "“We may disagree about politics...But there is one fundamental principle that all peoples from all parts of the globe will agree on: civilized people do not target innocent women and children for death.”... "Remind people – again and again – that Israel wants peace. Reason One: If Americans see no hope for peace—if they only see a continuation of a 2,000-year-long episode of “Family Feud”—Americans will not want their government to spend tax dollars or their President’s clout on helping Israel."...

1996 A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm
A policy blueprint for incoming Israeli president Benjamin Netanyahu prepared by The U.S. Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies’ "Study Group on a New Israeli Strategy Toward 2000."
Benjamin Netanyahu’s government comes in with a new set of ideas. While there are those who will counsel continuity, Israel has the opportunity to make a clean break; it can forge a peace process and strategy based on an entirely new intellectual foundation, one that restores strategic initiative and provides the nation the room to engage every possible energy on rebuilding Zionism, the starting point of which must be economic reform. To secure the nation’s streets and borders in the immediate future, Israel can:
Work closely with Turkey and Jordan to contain, destabilize, and roll-back some of its most dangerous threats. This implies clean break from the slogan, "comprehensive peace" to a traditional concept of strategy based on balance of power.

Change the nature of its relations with the Palestinians, including upholding the right of hot pursuit for self defense into all Palestinian areas and nurturing alternatives to Arafat’s exclusive grip on Palestinian society.

Forge a new basis for relations with the United States—stressing self-reliance, maturity, strategic cooperation on areas of mutual concern, and furthering values inherent to the West. This can only be done if Israel takes serious steps to terminate aid, which prevents economic reform.
This report is written with key passages of a possible speech marked TEXT, that highlight the clean break which the new government has an opportunity to make. The body of the report is the commentary explaining the purpose and laying out the strategic context of the passages.

A new strategy to seize the initiative can be introduced:

We have for four years pursued peace based on a New Middle East. We in Israel cannot play innocents abroad in a world that is not innocent. Peace depends on the character and behavior of our foes. We live in a dangerous neighborhood, with fragile states and bitter rivalries. Displaying moral ambivalence between the effort to build a Jewish state and the desire to annihilate it by trading "land for peace"will not secure "peace now." Our claim to the land —to which we have clung for hope for 2000 years--is legitimate and noble. It is notwithin our own power, no matter how much we concede, to make peace unilaterally. Only the unconditional acceptance by Arabs of our rights, especially in their territorial dimension, "peace for peace," is a solid basis for the future.


US TV blackout hits litany of war dead:
Almost a quarter of households in the US will be prevented tonight from seeing an ABC TV network news programme that is to broadcast a list of American servicemen and women killed in action in Iraq. http://media.guardian.co.uk/site/story/0,14173,1207089,00.html

any bets on results of upcoming PA 'review'?
Patriot Act Suppresses News Of Challenge to Patriot Act
By Dan Eggen
washingtonpost.com April 29, 2004

State Dept. partners with Howcast's Instructional social networking ...
Howcast’s young executives ... a handful of Google and YouTube veterans... Howcast.com jump into the bustling and fast-growing crowd of Web sites offering how-to content... making sure that any branding effort is in a supporting role, rather than a starring one, in its instructional videos....They are forging relationships with the State Department as it looks for ways to use social networks and other media to communicate directly with people around the world. Among the videos they’ve produced for it are “How to Protest Without Violence” and “How to Launch a Human Rights Blog.”... also quickly signing deals with the likes of Google, Facebook and Hulu to spread their videos across the Internet.

Keep Your Eyes On the Prize: Protest US Aggression
by Ron Jacobs / July 13th, 2009

Should the US antiwar movement be attending rallies sponsored by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) claiming to support the opposition movement in Iran? According to the group Stop War on Iran, this is exactly what United for Peace and Justice (UFPJ) and other antiwar groups are doing... the fact that some Iranian dissident groups in Iran and in exile take their money and guidance from the NED and other US-propaganda operations compromises the antiwar groups’ position. An even closer connection to the NED funds is that of the apparent US organizer of the United for Iran rallies, Hadi Ghaemi. Mr. Ghaemi is is the director of the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. This group is a project of the Dutch Foundation for Human Security in the Middle East. More important as regards his NED connection is Ghaemi’s role as a former board member of the National Iranian American Council, which has received over a quarter million dollars in NED grants. While this is not an indictment of the desire for greater freedoms in Iran... one would think these connections would give pause to a US antiwar group whose leadership knows only too well the role groups funded by the NED and other US special funds played in the period leading up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

The last time I wrote a piece regarding the NED, some readers wrote me asking what was wrong with this organization. To answer them, I quoted former CIA agent Philip Agee, who certainly knew a good deal about the true nature of Washington’s concern for democracy in nations it considers enemies. “In November 1983,” said Agee. “Congress created the National Endowment for Democracy and gave it an initial $18.8 million for building civil society abroad during the fiscal year ending September 30, 1984…Whereas the CIA had previously funneled money through a complex network of `conduits,’ the NED would now become a `mega-conduit’ for getting U.S. government money to the same array of non-governmental organizations that the CIA had been funding secretly…. There is really nothing private about it, and all its money comes from the Congress. ” NED and similar organizations are not interested in democracy as much as they are interested in maintaining and expanding US imperialism.

In addition to the NED funds are $20 million in USAID funds provided under George Bush to fund Iranian dissidents that meet Washington’s criteria. Despite the belief by many US citizens that USAID is a government organization designed to help locals in other countries, it has served as a front for CIA activities from Laos to Venezuela and is part of the effort to rebuild Fallujah into a tightly-controlled hamlet after the US military destroyed the Iraqi city in 2004.

[State] response to the protests in Seattle in 1999 against the WTO.... certainly rivaled those coming out of Iran in terms of police violence. For a more recent example, one need only look at the total repression of the antiwar protests in Minneapolis during the Republican Party convention in 2008. Participants in those protests came back telling stories of police beatings of protesters, preventive detention, and a police presence so intimidating that many protesters decided to stay home.... the bottom line is that the antiwar movement in the United States should be focusing on demanding that the government in Washington end the wars it is currently waging. Equally important is opposing threats of war against Iran from Washington and Tel Aviv. By helping to organize protests against the repressive actions of the Iranian government instead of focusing on ending the wars of Washington, UFPJ and other antiwar supporters of the United for Iran rallies are not only minimizing the aggression of Washington, they are tacitly providing cover for that aggression.