8/11 Clinton Confesses Support for Iran 'Protesters'; New Made-in-USA Iraq 'Civil War'; Africom Menace; Dead Men Talking

digest: Clinton Confesses what most of the world knows and u.s. apologists deny

Clinton: US Supported Iran Protesters ‘Behind the Scenes’
Sun. August 9, 2009
In an interview August 10, 2009, on CNN’s GPS with Fareed Zakaria [http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0908/09/fzgps.01.html] Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that while the US didn’t want to come out too publicly in favor of the protesters in the wake of Iran’s disputed June elections, the State Department was “doing a lot” behind the scenes to support the opposition. Secretary Clinton said it was a difficult situation because there was concern that US backing might lead Iran’s leaders “to use us to unify the country against the protesters.” Still, she insists the State Department “were doing a lot to really empower the protesters”... “Now, behind the scenes, we were doing a lot,” said Clinton, noting that the State Department had urged the social networking service, Twitter, to postpone a planned maintenance shutdown, so that it remained available for use by Iranians....
The exact extent to which the US has funded, and continues to fund, Iran’s opposition will likely never be known, but in the midst of the June rallies the Obama Administration did move to provide millions of dollars in grants to dissident factions, suggesting Clinton’s concern to keep the action “behind the scenes” was far from universal....
Clinton added the US doubted Iran was going to enter into talks about its nuclear program, and suggested the US was going to “take stock” of the offer in September, insisting the US isn’t going to continue waiting for a reply....
In Tehran, Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Hassan Qashqavi, today voiced “regret” over America’s support for “rioters and terrorist groups”, reports the official IRNA news agency.

Revealing: 'superb' propaganda from pro-U.S. shah exile now working for Obama state dept.
Into the Eye of a Storm
Roger Cohen book review
Bloodied youths have supplanted aged fanatics in the American national consciousness. Iran’s revived democratic movement ... an authoritative and accessible overview of this pivotal Middle Eastern power is now available in the form of Ray Takeyh’s superb “Guardians of the Revolution: Iran and the World in the Age of the Ayatollahs.” Mr. Takeyh, an Iranian-American whose family fled Iran in 1979...
No greater diplomatic challenge presents itself to the Obama administration than Iran, where the threat of an Israeli military strike on the country’s nuclear facilities imposes a tight timetable on the president’s attempts to normalize America’s single most traumatic international relationship. Ever since the Islamic Revolution of 1979, followed quickly by the 444-day seizure of United States hostages in Tehran, Iran has occupied a dark place in the American psyche....
Can Iran do what China did in 1972: normalize relations with the United States, despite ideological differences, while maintaining its system? [digest: in fact China's 'capitalist roaders', just as Mao warned would happen if the revolution wasn't deepened and grown, overthrew the socialist revolution and restored capitalism...with U.S. 'help']
Mr. Takeyh, a State Department adviser to the Obama administration, provides an invaluable guide to the forces on either side of that vexed question.
Mr. Takeyh writes, “A combination of righteousness and victimization constitutes a core part of Iranians’ national identity, and they are acutely sensitive to perceived slights.” Among such “slights,” of course, none loom larger than America’s... C.I.A.-backed 1953 coup that overthrew Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh and the mistaken 1988 shooting-down of Iran Air Flight 655, in which 290 people perished... weekly vilification of the United States at Friday prayers — has been a pillar of the revolution since the shah was overthrown.... today an election widely viewed as a sham has again pitted Mr. Rafsanjani and Mr. Khatami, now joined by former Prime Minister Mir Hussein Moussavi, against Mr. Ahmadinejad and the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Mr. Takeyh is particularly persuasive, if disheartening, on Ayatollah Khamenei, who has been in power 20 years, and for whom Iran is not simply an Islamist state but also one that could be in the vanguard of the developing world’s struggle against American domination...

"Military men are just dumb stupid animals to be used as pawns in foreign policy"
Henry Kissinger http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Military

General Jim Jones Obama’s national security adviser, 2002, 2003 head of EUCOM, European Command, Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, now heads U.S. AFRICOM...

Gen. Jones's Remarks to the Munich Security Conference By James Jones National Security Adviser Obama Administration
Hotel Bayerischer Hof Munich, Germany February 9, 2009
"I take my daily orders from Dr. Kissinger " National Security Advisor Gen. James Jones
Thank you for that wonderful tribute to Henry Kissinger yesterday.... As the most recent National Security Advisor of the United States, I take my daily orders from Dr. Kissinger, filtered down through General Brent Scowcroft and Sandy Berger, who is also here. We have a chain of command in the National Security Council that exists today.
I think my role today is a little bit different than you might expect. Following the speech of the Vice President and the presence of our distinguished members from the U.S. House of Representatives, I thought that I would spend my time talking to you about how taking the President's guidance and the Vice President's comments yesterday...to discuss how the U.S. National Security Council intends to reorganize itself... as the President has detailed, a comprehensive approach to our national security and international security in the 21st century must identify and understand the wider array of existing threats that threaten us.... And an economic crisis that serves as the foundation of our strength....(emphasis added)...
The President has made clear that to succeed against 21st century challenges, the United States must use, balance, and integrate all elements of national influence: our military and our diplomacy, our economy and our intelligence, and law enforcement capacity, our cultural outreach, and as was mentioned yesterday, the power of our moral example, in short, our values. Given this role, the NSC is by definition at the nexus of that effort.

Kissinger: global upheaval presents 'great opportunity' -- Obama primed to create 'New World Order'
January 18, 2005 Henry Kissinger on Charlie Rose TV program, talked about a “New International Order” being created by George W. Bush Jr. and his administration... that within the next few years humanity will see the emergence of the beginning of a “New International Order.”...

Dec. 2008 Kissinger told Charlie Rose
"The president-elect is coming into office at a moment when there is upheaval in many parts of the world simultaneously," Kissinger responded. "You have India, Pakistan; you have the jihadist movement. So he can't really say there is one problem, that it's the most important one. But he can give new impetus to American foreign policy partly because the reception of him is so extraordinary around the world. His task will be to develop an overall strategy for America in this period when, really, a new world order can be created. It's a great opportunity, it isn't just a crisis." "I think that when the new administration... will see a huge crisis and terrible problems, but... it could see a glimmer in which it could construct an international system out of it," ... The jihadist crisis is bringing home to everybody, that international affairs cannot be conducted entirely by drawing borders and defining international politics by who crosses what borders with organized military force," he said. "This has now been reinforced by the financial crisis, which... has spread around the world. It limits the resources each country has for a foreign policy geared to an assertion of its own interests." [more at http://www.burbankdigest.com/node/158 Kissinger added that Obama's cabinet is an "extraordinarily able group of people."...

The following video was aired on CNBC on Jan. 5, 2009. http://rawstory.com/news/2008/Henry_Kissinger_Obama_should_act_to_0106.h...
Kissinger reply to question re: international crises facing Obama administration,. interview with CNBC "Squawk on the Street" hosts Mark Haines and Erin Burnett at the New York Stock Exchange,


“Africa has turned decisively against the notion of 'Responsibility to Protect.'”
“Responsibility to Protect” Warmed-Over Imperialism
07/27/2009 Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
“R2P allows Washington to act unilaterally whenever it decides that military intervention is in the best interest of humanity.”
The United Nations last week began what will become a protracted debate over the doctrine “Responsibility to Protect,” or R2P. The doctrine is a warmed-over version of so-called “humanitarian” military intervention – another excuse for big powers to make war on weaker nations. Its primary champion in the Obama administration is UN ambassador Susan Rice, who would use the “Responsibility to Protect” doctrine to justify U.S. military action in Somalia, Sudan and elsewhere. One important opponent of R2P is Rev. Miguel D’Escoto, of Nicaragua, president of the UN General Assembly.
“Responsibility to Protect” is reminiscent of the term “protectorate” – a legalism for a country that is run as a virtual colony of one of the big powers. That’s how the UN’s predecessor, the League of Nations, took the colony of South West Africa away from the defeated Germans, after World War One, and gave it to white-ruled South Africa, under whom it would remain until emerging as the independent Republic of Namibia, in 1990.
A “protectorate” is what the British and French established in much of the Middle East on the ashes of the Ottoman Empire, after World War One, so they could “protect” the oil and ports and other resources of the region from the people who lived there. Palestine was a British protectorate, but that didn’t protect the Arab majority from the Zionists, who stole the land in 1948.
Haiti is now a de facto “protectorate” of the United Nations, which fronts for the United States, France and Canada. In fact, the new version of protectorates – buttressed by the doctrine “Responsibility to Protect” – was refined specifically to deny Haitians sovereignty over their own country after the [U.S.] ouster of Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, in 2004.

“Africa has turned decisively against the notion of 'Responsibility to Protect.'”
UN General Assembly president D’Escoto rejects the doctrine of protectorates, under the guise of R2P. His country, Nicaragua, was viewed, like all of Central America, as a protectorate of the United States. The U.S. once considered Nicaragua as a dumping ground for freed Black American slaves, and in the 1980s funded Contra terrorists and mined Nicaraguan harbors in defiance of the World Court, which was unable to provide protection from the Americans.
Africa has turned decisively against the notion of “Responsibility to Protect,” as it has witnessed the lopsided protectionist “justice” of an International Criminal Court that indicts only Africans, but does nothing to protect Africa from U.S. and European neocolonialism.
Among those participating in the UN debate on R2P, is Noam Chomksy, who describes the doctrine as “humanitarian imperialism.” That certainly is what it would amount to in the hands of the United States. Susan Rice’s version of R2P allows Washington to act unilaterally whenever it decides that military intervention is in the best interest of humanity. In practice, that’s no different than the Bush doctrine, or all the other previous American doctrines that have justified regime change at Washington’s political whim.
What the planet really needs protection from, is the United States, which remains, as Dr. Martin Luther King said more than 40 years ago, “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world.”
For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Glen Ford. On the web, go to www.BlackAgendaReport.com Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com

Somalia and Africom
There was an understated news report on the BBC yesterday which informed viewers that Hillary Clinton was threatening Eritrea with 'action'. The US is accusing Eritrea of supporting the insurgents against what the BBC characterises as Somalia's 'unity government', and promising more weapons for its clients. Clinton claims that the 'al-Shahab' insurgents are liable to become a "threat" to the United States and "launch attacks against countries far and near". That rootless, worldwide conspiracy against freedom just will not go to bed.

It's important to clarify a couple of terms here, though. First, many of the 'insurgents' were once the government of Somalia, but overthrown by CIA-funded warlords and a US-backed Ethiopian invasion....that created a humanitarian catastrophe... Secondly, the 'unity government', as the BBC acknowledges, only controls a small section of Mogadishu - which means it isn't a government, and unites no one. (It seems rather odd that an entity backed by the immense power of the United States could be placed in such a difficult position by Eritrea. They've given millions of dollars and over forty tonnes of weapons to their clients, and yet are undone by the alleged illicit activities of a tiny neighbouring state?) The only thing that makes it a 'unity government' is that it incorporates 'moderate' elements of the old Islamic Courts Union. Apart from that, it evidently has no popular support whatsoever. Ironically, given the hysteria about Somali pirates, this 'unity government' is far less effective at dealing with piracy than their Islamist opponents were.

The 21st Century scramble for Africa is taking us to some very strange and ugly departures. The US estimates that in six years, a quarter of its oil will come from Africa, but the trouble is that - as the establishment Committee on Foreign Relations complained some years back - China is doing a good job of getting its foot in the door. America responded by forming Africom, initially as a subdivision of Eucom and then, by October last year, as an independent command... Africom is specifically charged with running military operations in 53 African states. That is it's job. It's formation consolidated a conscious drive to increase military intervention into the continent. Now the main vector for US aggression in Africa, it was initially justified by [the official] 'war on terror' conspiracy theory. The anthropologist Jeremy Keenan points out that, while Africom clearly represents a militarised drive to control strategically important, resource-rich areas of the continent, the initial rationale for its creation was a lie. Specifically, it was set up allegedly in response to a faked 'terrorist' kidnapping that was actually carried out by Algerian intelligence, and which the Bush administration used to prove that there was a 'swamp of terror' that need drained. That spurious policy justification established, the US has been able to plant its troops at strategic points on the continent the better to intimidate and terrorise anyone who gets in their way. And now little Eritrea is threatened with having its lights punched out. www.uruknet.info?p=5677 leninology.blogspot.com/2009/08/somalia-and-africom.html

Obama’s neocolonial mission in Africa
Ann Talbot
Last week, President Barack Obama flew from the G8 summit in Italy to Accra, the capital of Ghana in West Africa, for his first visit to Sub-Saharan Africa since becoming president. “I have the blood of Africa within me,” he told his Ghanaian audience, “and my family’s history reflects the tragedies and triumphs of the larger African story.”
The value of Obama’s family background was recognised early in his bid for the presidency by Zbigniew Brzezinski, the national security adviser to President Jimmy Carter and a key figure in the formulation of Obama’s foreign policy. In August 2007, Brzezinski declared that Obama “recognizes that the challenge is a new face, a new sense of direction, a new definition of America’s role in the world.” Brzezinski was among major figures in the US foreign policy establishment who saw in Obama a means of giving the United States a “new face” to the rest of the world, something they deemed critical after the blunders and setbacks to American imperialism under Bush....

Obama has shifted the emphasis of the “war on terror” from Iraq to Afghanistan and Pakistan. But the place of Africa in US global strategy remains essentially the same. First, it is a vital source of strategic resources such as oil and gas, but also many key minerals. Second, a high proportion of the world’s shipping lanes run close to Africa’s shores. It follows that any American administration must make the establishment of US domination of Africa a priority.... to re-establish US hegemony in the face of increasing competition from Europe, India and China. The old colonial European powers are long-standing rivals in Africa. Both France and Britain have their interests in West Africa. China is a relative newcomer. Trade between Africa and China was worth $10 billion in 2001. By 2008 it had increased to $107 billion. Ghana is a new oil producer. The first supplies came on tap this year. It is valuable both for its modest supply of oil and because it may offer a military staging post to give the US reach over the whole West African region.
Obama’s insistence that Ghana and other African governments achieve “good governance” is a demand for more of the free-market measures that are already being imposed with disastrous results for the social conditions of the population... This situation is set to worsen dramatically. The recession has hit Africa hard. Ghana was among those countries granted debt relief in 2005, but with the value of its currency falling, it is rapidly sliding into debt once more. The government’s response has been to impose an austerity budget in an attempt to balance the books....

The purpose of the Africom bases is to provide facilities that will allow the rapid deployment of highly mobile troops. Djibouti has provided a valuable base for this kind of action in Somalia. US special forces from Djibouti took part in the Ethiopian invasion of Somalia in 2006 to support the Transitional Federal Government, plunging the country into another round of civil war. Obama has recently increased military aid to the US-backed regime in Somalia. A network of such bases would enable the US to intervene at will under the cover of proxy forces, while cynically claiming that Africans are sorting out their own problems along the lines of Obama’s rhetoric in Ghana.
http://www.wsws.org/articles/2009/jul2009/pers-j16.shtml http://www.uruknet.de/?s1=1&p=56041&s2=16

Somalia: Obama administration sends arms to prop up Islamist government
By Brian Smith
The Obama administration has been sending weapons to Somalia since early May to support the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) against a rebel insurgency that threatens to overwhelm the government.State Department spokesman Ian Kelly confirmed the shipments in late June, following an urgent plea by the TFG for international aid, including troops, as heavy fighting engulfed the capital Mogadishu....Kelly offered no details of the military aid sent by Washington, claiming that it is in accordance with relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions aimed at curbing arms traffic to Somali combatants. However, Reuters cited an anonymous senior State Department official saying that Washington had spent around $10 million providing approximately 40 tonnes of small arms and ammunition to the Somali government, and making payments to other nations to train Somali government forces. The official told reporters that the US began providing arms soon after Somali insurgents started a major offensive against the TFG in early May. The US also asked the AU’s Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) peacekeeping force in the country to give their weapons to the government, which it would then reimburse, the official said, adding that Washington set aside money to pay the AMISOM units to train government forces rather than have US troops conduct the training. Washington is aware of the inflammatory effect its own troops would have in the country following the Black Hawk Down incident of 1993 when it was chased out of Somalia. It has also sought to limit the role played by its proxy Ethiopia for fear that its re-entry would increase support for the insurgency. At US bidding Ethiopian troops were forced to withdraw in January, following the failure of its invasion of Somalia in 2006 aimed at propping up a previous incarnation of the TFG. “Given the long-standing enmity between Somalis and Ethiopians I will encourage the Ethiopians not to re-engage in Somalia,” Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Johnnie Carson told Reuters in early July. “It is not in their interest to do so and their efforts might in fact prove counterproductive to the government.” Despite this official stance, there have been several sightings of Ethiopian soldiers in Somalia during the past two months. These reports were initially denied by Addis Ababa, but later acknowledged as “reconnaissance” missions. Ethiopia has said that it would need an international mandate before it would send troops back into Somalia to fight Islamists rebels. But if there was “a clear and present danger then we will deal with a clear and present danger in any way we can,” Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi announced.

“Ethiopia has a right to defend its borders, should do so vigorously if individuals cross into their territory, and their efforts should be directed at defence of their territory and not necessarily involvement inside of Somalia,” Carson said. His comments are some of the first statements by the Obama administration on the Horn of Africa in general and on Somalia in particular. Washington remained silent on the January election of President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed, an Islamist and former colleague of the rebels who was previously hunted by Washington, though the US embassy in neighbouring Kenya welcomed him as a “moderate” who had signed the US-backed peace agreement in Djibouti.

The US administration now acts as though Sharif is a long-time ally, with Carson telling reporters that the US would send more arms....A few days after Washington disclosed that it had supplied arms to Somalia, it sent a further shipment. TFG officials revealed that at least two military planes landed at Mogadishu airport, which was closed to commercial flights.
In a breathtaking revision of history, which denies the US role in plunging the country into interminable chaos, Kelly sought to justify the recent arms shipments in humanitarian terms. He said, “This kind of violence is causing real suffering for the Somali people, and it’s just prolonging the chaos and preventing the country from getting on stable footings.”...

Tons of Imperial Fun: Hellfire Hillary Pours Oil on Somalia's Fire
Chris Floyd
There is apparently no path blazed by George W. Bush that Barack Obama will not eagerly follow. Surges, assassinations, indefinite detention, defense of torture, senseless wars and rampant militarism -- in just a few short months, we've seen it all. To this dismaying record of complicity and continuity, we can add an increasing direct involvement in the horrific, hydra-headed conflict in Somalia, whose latest round of fiery hell was instigated by the American-backed invasion of Somalia by Ethiopia in late 2006. Under Bush, U.S. forces were deeply and directly enmeshed in the murderous action, dropping bombs on fleeing refugees, "renditioning" other refugees to the tender mercies of Ethiopia's notorious prisons, and even sending in death squads to clean up after missile strikes and bombings. (For background, see "Silent Surge: Bipartisan Terror War Intensifies in Somalia.")

The result of that intervention has been the deaths of thousands of innocent people, the displacement and ruination of hundreds of thousands, and the creation of what many experts call the most dire humanitarian crisis in the world today. It has also resulted in the empowerment of violent sectarian groups and criminal gangs, who have stepped forth to fill the gaps of the fledgling state that the American-Ethiopian "regime change" operation destroyed.

So what do we see from the administration of "hope and change"? ... a new "surge" of direct American involvement in the war, with Obama's most [sic] ferocious war hawk -- sorry, his top diplomat -- Hillary "The Obliterator" Clinton leading the charge....Clinton pledged to double the recently announced supply of American weapons to Somalia's "transitional government" -- a weak reed cobbled together by Western interests from various CIA-paid warlords and other factions, and now headed, ironically, by the former leader of the aforementioned fledgling state overthrown by Washington....

Clinton, bellicose as ever, accompanied the shipment of 80 tons of death-dealing hardware with a heavy dose of the wild fearmongering rhetoric we've come to know so well in this New American Century. As AP reports, she declared that the radical faction al-Shabab, now leading the insurgency against the transitional government, has only one goal in mind: bring in al Qaeda and destabilizing the whole entire world.... once again the survival of the planet -- not to mention the sacred American way of life -- is under imminent threat from a gang of evil maniacs... The interim Somali president, Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed -- an Islamist who only a few years ago was considered by Washington an evil maniac in league with al Qaeda -- agreed with Clinton, saying that al-Shabab aims to "make Somalia a ground to destabilize the whole world." This would be the same al-Shabab that Ahmed has spent most of his presidency trying to negotiate a power-sharing agreement with.... new American assistance... also includes U.S. military "advisors" to help "train" the forces of the ever-collapsing transitional government.
Clinton also shook a sword at neighboring Eritrea accusing it of supporting al-Shabab and "interfering" in Somalia's internal affairs...while she was announcing the delivery of 80 tons of American weapons to be poured into Somalia's internal affairs....an echo of the continual Bush-Obama warnings against "foreigners" interfering in Iraq...denouncing foreign interference while standing on mountains of corpses produced by the endless American "interference" in other countries...

Cui Bono? Sectarian Bombings Beseiging Iraq since U.S. 'withdrawal': bombings in four cities of Mosul and Baghdad killing dozens, a day after similar explosions in the city of Kirkuk and other parts of Iraq, left many dead and wounded....
"...raising serious concerns about the Iraqi government’s ability to maintain security..."
The string of attacks, the most serious since June 30, when Iraqis officially took the lead on national security and American troops largely withdrew to their bases, also highlighted the underlying conflicts that continue to fuel violence. These include the rift between Arab and Kurdish leaders in northern Iraq and the continued disenfranchisement felt by many Sunni Arabs who remain unreconciled with the Shiite-led central government.


October 2002: U.S. Considers Dividing Iraq Into Three Separate States After Saddam

Former CIA Analyst: Western Intelligence May Be Behind Mosque Bombing

http://www.burbankdigest.com/node/179 http://www.burbankdigest.com/node/114

and again...

Iraq attacks kill at least 52
A series of attacks largely targeting Shiite Muslims killed at least 52 people Friday, most in a powerful car bombing at a mosque on the northern edge of the volatile city of Mosul.
47 Killed in Sectarian Bombings in Baghdad and Northern Iraq
Nearly 100 people in Baghdad and the northern city of Mosul have been killed in attacks since Friday, raising serious concerns about the Iraqi government’s ability to maintain security...
The area has been particularly tense since provincial elections in January. A mainly Sunni Arab coalition won the elections, but Kurdish groups have refused to recognize their authority in areas they claim should be included in the nearby and semi-autonomous Kurdish region.
The sprawling, seething city of Mosul, among the most violent places in Iraq, is home to militants with ties to Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, the mostly homegrown insurgent group that is known to have some foreign leadership. The city is also the home to insurgents linked to the Baath Party. Most American forces withdrawn from posts within Mosul are now garrisoned at a base.

u.s. capitalism's deadly, hated 'freedoms'
Criminal investigation into CIA treatment of detainees expected
U.S. Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. is poised to appoint a criminal prosecutor to investigate alleged CIA abuses committed during the interrogation of terrorism suspects, current and former U.S. government officials said. A senior Justice Department official said that Holder envisioned an inquiry that would be narrow in scope, focusing on "whether people went beyond the techniques that were authorized" in Bush administration memos that liberally interpreted anti-torture laws. Current and former CIA and Justice Department officials who have firsthand knowledge of the interrogation files contend that criminal convictions will be difficult to obtain because the quality of evidence is poor and the legal underpinnings have never been tested.
The Justice Department authorized waterboarding in an August 2002 memo that contained a caveat that could prove crucial to any criminal investigation. Although it allowed the approved methods to be "used more than once," the memo stipulated that "repetition will not be substantial because the techniques generally lose their effectiveness after several repetitions."...
The U.S. anti-torture statute requires proving that an interrogator "specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering" -- a daunting legal threshold. Officials said it wasn't clear that any CIA interrogators were ever informed of the limits laid out in the Justice Department memo....

Other potentially criminal abuses have already come to light, including the waterboarding of prisoners in excess of Justice Department guidelines, and the deaths of detainees in CIA custody in Afghanistan and Iraq in 2002 and 2003.

Current and former CIA and Justice Department officials who have firsthand knowledge of the interrogation files contend that criminal convictions will be difficult to obtain because the quality of evidence is poor and the legal underpinnings have never been tested. Opening a criminal investigation is something Holder "has come reluctantly to consider," the Justice Department official said, emphasizing that Holder had not reached a final decision..
CIA Inspector General John L. Helgerson, who recently retired, also produced a dozen or more follow-up reports that could motivate the Justice Department investigation.
Among them are examinations of other cases that involved prisoners' deaths while in agency custody[SIC] In 2002, an Afghan prisoner died of hypothermia after being stripped, doused with water and left overnight in a frigid CIA lockup near Kabul, the Afghan capital. One CIA officer faced internal sanctions over the episode, but the undercover operative in charge of the facility was later promoted to chief of station in Baghdad, former CIA officials said... an Iraqi prisoner died of asphyxiation after being captured in a raid by Navy SEALS and having his arms chained behind his back in a CIA interrogation cell at the notorious Abu Ghraib prison outside Baghdad. The leader of the SEAL team was later acquitted of criminal charges. The CIA interrogator, Mark Swanner, has not faced prosecution. The two cases are believed to have been among 19 examined by a Justice Department task force set up in Alexandria, Va., in 2004 to investigate possible CIA abuses [AKA murder]... Former Justice officials familiar with the effort said 17 of the cases were rejected by mid-2006. It is not clear what became of the other two. Official cited a host of problems, including difficulty locating witnesses and identifying documents -- such as clinical examinations or autopsies -- that could withstand scrutiny in federal court.

U.S. military accused of atrocities against Iraqi gays
Refugee tells stunned audience that soldiers detained, executed gay civilians
A fundraising event to benefit an LGBT community center in Lebanon last week took a surprise turn when stunned audience members were shown graphic photographs and images purportedly depicting U.S. soldiers preparing to execute gay Iraqis...Hussam said U.S. service members had detained Iraqi civilians perceived to be gay and executed them...Hussam discussed his personal experiences as a gay man living in Iraq with the Blade before the start of the Nellie’s fundraiser Sunday. "I was involved with the LGBT community in Iraq before and after the war" ...he said gays were far better off under Saddam’s regime...

Erik Prince, "views himself as a Christian crusader tasked with eliminating Muslims and the Islamic faith from the globe". State Dept. extended a contract with Blackwater [now Xe] for more than $20 million "security services" contract in Iraq scheduled to run through September 3. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article67407...

Ex-employees claim Blackwater pimped young Iraqi girls
By David Edwards and Muriel Kane
Since the revelation earlier this week of allegations by two former employees of security firm Blackwater that its owner was complicit in murder in order to cover up the deliberate killing of Iraqi civilians, explosive charges continue to emerge. Perhaps the most shocking — quoted by MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann on Thursday from the employees’ sworn declarations — is that Blackwater was guilty of using child prostitutes at its compound in Baghdad’s fortified Green Zone and that owner Erik Prince knew of this activity and did nothing to stop it...

Iraqis speak of random killings committed by Blackwater:
Guards employed by Blackwater, the US security company, shot Iraqis and killed victims in allegedly unprovoked and random attacks, it was claimed yesterday.

Obama Arrives in Mexico for Start of Summit
President Obama and his Mexican and Canadian counterparts are expected to touch on issues including climate change and immigration...“I think the summit is going to be a step in the continuing dialogue from which agreements will undoubtedly come,” Gen. James L. Jones, Mr. Obama’s national security adviser, said{on behalf of Kissinger & co.] ...
The American aid package for Mexico says that 15 percent of the funds can be disbursed only if the State Department decides that the Mexican government meets certain human rights conditions. Reports that Mexico’s army has engaged in torture and other abuses while carrying out the drug war have prompted some in Congress to oppose releasing those funds [u.s. torture and genocide has never 'prompted' the MFs to 'oppose releasing' u.s. state terror war funds]

Chavez accused Colombia of sending soldiers across the border into his country's territory, escalating tensions between the Latin American neighbours.

Chavez: US, Colombia 'threaten war'
..."The winds of war are beginning to blow… I am not going to allow them to do to Venezuela what they did to Ecuador," Hugo Chavez said on Monday at the Union of South American Nations (Unasur) talks in Quito, referring to a 2008 Colombian raid on a guerrilla camp in Ecuador. "We would respond militarily and decisively if the pro-war forces in Colombia, egged on by the United States, dare to launch aggression against Venezuela." Alvaro Uribe, the Colombian president, did not attend the talks, which came after he toured several South American nations to win support for the troops deal....

Chavez's criticism of the US-Colombia dominated the summit, Dima Khatib, Al Jazeera’s correspondent in Quito, said. "President Chavez of Venezuela, just before the group photo opportunity, broke the protocol to speak about Colombia," she said. "The vice foreign minister of Colombia defended the decision to find an agreement with the US on the military bases - he said that the bases are not going to be US bases; they are Colombian bases that would be used by the US. "Colombia thinks this is not a threat to anybody, while Chavez and Raphael Correa both said that letting the US use those bases does represent a threat - not only to Venezuela and Ecuador, but all the Unasur members."
Washington's plans to send troops to seven Colombian military bases has also been questioned by Bolivia, Chile, Cuba and Brazil.

U.S. Connection: The Honduran Coup
By Conn Hallinan
... The Obama Administration condemned the coup, but when Zelaya journeyed to the Honduran-Nicaragua border, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton denounced him for being “provocative.”... a strange statement, since the State Department said nothing about a report by the Committee of Disappeared Detainees in Honduras charging 1,100 human rights violations by the coup regime, including detentions, assaults and murder....

Zelaya... is at best a liberal reformer whose major accomplishment was raising the minimum wage. “What Zelaya has done has been little reforms,” Rafael Alegria, a leader of Via Campesina told the Mexican daily La Jornada. “He isn’t a socialist or a revolutionary, but these reforms, which didn’t harm the oligarchy at all, have been enough for them to attack him furiously.”
One of those “little reforms” was aimed at ensuring public control of the Honduran telecommunications industry... The first hint that something was afoot was a suit brought by Venezuelan lawyer Robert Carmona-Borjas claiming that Zelaya was part of a bribary scheme involving the state-run telecommunication company, Hondutel. Carmona-Borjas has a rap sheet that dates back to the April 2002 coup against Chavez It was he who drew up the notorious “Carmona decrees,” a series of draconian laws aimed at suspending the Venezuelan constitution and suppressing any resistance to the coup. As Chavez supporters poured into the streets and the plot unraveled, he fled to Washington DC.
There he took a post at George Washington University and brought Iran-Contra plotters Otto Reich and Elliott Abrams to teach his class on “Political Management in Latin America.” He also became vice-president of the right-wing Arcadia Foundation, which lobbies for free market policies. Weeks before the June 28 Honduran coup, Carmona-Borjas barnstormed the country accusing Zelaya of collaborating with narco-traffickers.
Reich, a Cuban-American with ties to right-wing factions all over Latin America, and a former assistant secretary of state for hemispheric affairs under George W. Bush, has been accused by the Honduran Black Fraternal Organization of “undeniable involvement” in the coup....This is hardly surprising. Reich’s priors makes Carmona-Borjas look like a boy scout....
One of the charges that Reich levels at Zelaya is that the Honduran president is supposedly involved with bribes paid out by the state-run telecommunication company, Hondutel. Zelaya is threatening to file a defamation suit over the accusation. Reich’s charges against Hondutel are hardly happenstance....

But meddling in Honduras is a bi-partisan undertaking... “If you want to understand who is the real power behind the [Honduran] coup, you need to find out who is paying Lanny Davis,” says Robert White, former U.S. ambassador to El Salvador and current president of the Center for International Policy.Davis, best known as the lawyer who represented Bill Clinton during his impeachment trial, has been lobbying members of Congress and testifying before the House Foreign Affairs Committee in support of the coup.... Davis represents the Honduran chapter of CEAL, the Business Council of Latin America, which strongly backed the coup....

The U.S. is also involved in the coup through a network of agencies that funnel money and training to anti-government groups. The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and the US Agency for International Development (USAID) contribute to right-wing organizations that supported the coup, including the Peace and Democracy Movement and the Civil Democratic Union. Many of the officers that bundled Zelaya off to San Jose were trained at the Western Hemispheric Institute for Security Cooperation, the former “School for the Americas’ that has seen torturers and coup leaders from all over Latin America pass through its doors. Reich served on the Institute’s board....the fingerprints of U.S. institutions like the NED, USAID and School for the Americas—plus bipartisan lobbyists, powerful corporations, and dedicated Cold War warriors—are all over the June takeover....

Honduras is Only Part of the Story: The Conservative Counter-Attack in Latin America
By Miguel Tinker Salas
Honduras is only part of the equation. Colombia's decision to accept as many as 7 new U.S. military bases (3 airbases, including Palanquero, 2 army bases, and 2 naval bases one on the Pacific and one on the Caribbean), dramatically expands the U.S. military's role in the country and throughout the region. The Pentagon has been eyeing the airbase at Palanquero with its complex infrastructure and extensive runway for some time. This is a very troubling sign that will alter the balance of forces in the region, and speaks volumes about how the Obama administration plans to respond to change in Latin America. A possible base on the Caribbean coast of Colombia would also offer the recently reactivated U.S. Fourth Fleet, a convenient harbor on the South American mainland. In short, Venezuela would be literally encircled. However, Venezuela is not the only objective. It also places the Brazilian Amazon and all its resources within striking distance of the U.S. military, as well as the much sought after Guarani watershed. After public criticism from Bachalet of Chile, Lula of Brazil and Chávez of Venezuela, Uribe refused to attend the 10 August meeting of UNASUR, the South American Union, where he would be expected to explain the presence of the U.S. bases. The meeting of the UNASUR security council was scheduled to take up the issue of the bases and Bolivia's suggestion for a unified South American response to drug trafficking. Instead, Uribe has launched his own personal diplomacy traveling to 5 different countries in the region to explain his actions. In addition, Obama's National Security Advisor James Jones is in Brazil trying to justify the U.S. position on the bases.
The recent media war launched by Uribe against Ecuador and Correa once again claiming financing of the FARC and the more recent offensive against Venezuela concerning 30 year old Swedish missiles, that like, the Reyes computers, cannot be independently verified, have filled the airwaves in Venezuela, Colombia and the region. The current Colombian media campaign was preceded by Washington's own efforts to condemn Venezuela for supposed non-compliance in the war against drug trafficking. In addition, Israel's foreign minister Avigdor Liberman also traveled throughout Latin America in July claiming that Venezuela is a destabilizing force in the region and in the Middle East...

These developments could begin to redraw the political map of the region. Correa of Ecuador has already expressed concern about being the target of a coup and Bolivia will undoubtedly come under intense pressure as they are also preparing for an election later this year.

All this is occurring with an increased U.S. military commitment in Mexico with Plan Mérida which seeks to build on the lessons of Colombia; maintain in power a president whose economic and social policy are highly unpopular, but who relies on conflict, in this case the so-called war on the drug cartels, to maintain popularity....

None of these developments are forgone conclusions, but they nonetheless speak to the fact that conservative forces in Latin America and their allies in the U.S. are mounting a concerted counter offensive that could increase the potential for conflict in the region.
Miguel Tinker Salas is Professor of History at Pomona College. He is the author of The Enduring Legacy: Oil, Culture and Society in Venezuela.

it's capitalist political economy, stupid
the state represents the interests of finance and corporate capital
Honduras: Military Coup Engineered By CIA and Two US Companies?
By John Perkins
Chiquita Brands International Inc. (formerly United Fruit) and Dole Food Co had severely criticized Zelaya for advocating an increase of 60% in Honduras’s minimum wage, claiming the policy would cut into corporate profits were joined by a coalition of textile manufacturers and exporters, companies that rely on cheap labor to work in their sweatshops.Memories are short in the US, but not in Central America.... people claim it was a matter of record that Chiquita (United Fruit) and the CIA had toppled Guatemala’s democratically-elected president Jacobo Arbenz in 1954 and that International Telephone & Telegraph (ITT), Henry Kissinger, and the CIA had brought down Chile’s Salvador Allende in 1973. The big companies are determined to stop what they call a ‘leftist revolt’ in this hemisphere. ... a collective sign of relief at Barack Obama’s election in the U.S., hope ...that the unfair trade agreements, privatizations, draconian IMF Structural Adjustment Programs, and military intervention would slow-down, perhaps even fade away...was turning sour. http://informationclearinghouse.info/article23211.htm

Chavez called on Obama not to increase the U.S. military presence in Colombia. Obama said this was a myth...."We have had a security agreement with Colombia for many years now. We have updated that agreement. We have no intent in establishing a U.S. military base in Colombia," Obama said. "This is continuation of [security agreement] assistance that we had been providing them. We have no intention of sending large numbers of additional troops into Colombia, and we have every interest in seeing Colombia and its neighbours operate peacefully." The new security arrangement would allow the Pentagon to lease access to seven Colombian military bases for U.S. support in fighting drug traffickers and guerrillas involved in the cocaine trade. The agreement would also increase the number of American troops in Colombia above the current total of less than 300 but not more than 800, the maximum permitted under the existing pact. http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2009/08/07/world/international-uk-colombi...

U.S. Taliban Have Upper Hand in Afghanistan
Taliban have gained the upper hand in Afghanistan, inflicting record losses on the US-led troops and forcing the US to change its strategy, the top US commander in Afghanistan admitted. "It's a very aggressive enemy right now," Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who will soon present his assessment of the war to Washington, told the Wall Street Journal on Monday, August 10. He noted that Taliban are now advancing from their traditional strongholds in southern Afghanistan to threaten formerly stable areas in the north and west. McChrystal said Taliban are launching a record number of sophisticated attacks on Afghan and foreign forces, causing significant number of causalities...

IMF Adds $3.2B to Pakistan Loan; Total Aid At $11.3B

Gallup Pakistan poll: 59% say U.S. is 'biggest threat'

Obama "Not Ruling... Out", "open to the idea of sending more combat troops to Afghanistan": The president's National Security Adviser General Jim Jones
[Jones channeling H. Kissinger - see above]
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/08/09/obama-not-ruling-out-more_n_254... http://snipurl.com/pj45z

Dead men talking
Baitullah Mehsud and Hakimullah Mehsud say they are very much alive despite disinfo

Afghanistan will take 40 years
Michael Evans, Times
Britain’s mission in Afghanistan could last for up to 40 years, the next head of the Army warns today in an exclusive interview with The Times. General Sir David Richards, who becomes Chief of the General Staff on August 28, said: "The Army’s role will evolve, but the whole process might take as long as 30 to 40 years." He emphasised that British troop involvement, currently 9,000-strong, should only be needed for the medium term, but insisted that there was "absolutely no chance" of Nato pulling out...

US to deploy 1,000 marine commandoes at Islamabad’s American Embassy
Farooq Hussain
Pakistan’s Foreign Office Spokesman Abdul Basit Khan has said that 1,000 US Marines will be coming to Pakistan to be deployed at US Mission. He said that there was no restriction on the number of personnel that a foreign mission could station at its mission but it is done through mutual understanding...Washington is planning to spend a whopping one billion dollars for revamping its main embassy building in Islamabad and increase the strength of its staff.
The Obama Administration is about to spend 405 million dollars for the reconstruction and refurbishment of the main embassy building and 111 million dollars for constructing a new complex for 330 personnel. A further 197 million dollars for construction of a housing unit for about 250 personnel....the United States is also planning to give its consular buildings in Lahore and Peshawar a new look...
A former Pakistan diplomat had objected to the US plans to have a bigger presence in Pakistan in the pursuit of its strategic interests in the region.Former Foreign Secretary Shamshad Ahmed Khan said that it is evident that America wants to remote control the region from Islamabad. Experts believe that this is a clear cut strategy of the US to augment its presence and establish control over the region.

Karzai in His Labyrinth
The Afghan president is isolated and distrusted, and even if he is re-elected this month, that’s not likely to change.

A Precarious Election in Afghanistan
Little more than three weeks before the presidential election, problems that include insecurity and fears of fraud are raising concerns about the credibility of the race

Mounting popular opposition to the war in Afghanistan
Stefan Steinberg and Barry Grey
A series of recent polls have shown growing popular opposition in Europe to the US-NATO war in Afghanistan.One recent poll puts opposition in Germany to the presence of German troops in Afghanistan at 85 percent. The latest poll in France shows 55 percent opposed to the war and in favor of the immediate withdrawal of French soldiers.In Britain, according to the latest ComRes poll, more than half of the people (52 percent) want troops to be withdrawn straight away, while some 64 percent say British forces should be removed "as quickly as possible."
Former British Foreign Office minister Kim Howells recently warned that the tide was definitively turning against the war. "I don’t think the public are up for it anymore," he told the BBC.
US Defense Secretary Robert Gates said last month in an interview: "After the Iraq experience, nobody is prepared to have a long slog where it is not apparent we are making headway. The troops are tired; the American people are pretty tired."
Popular anti-war sentiment, however, finds no expression in the policies of governments... The broad mass of the people are effectively disenfranchised...an expression of a terminal decay of bourgeois democracy. The US and European governments are making clear that their military intervention in the war-torn land is open-ended. Within the framework of official politics and the media, they are being criticized by their political opponents for not pursuing the war with sufficient ruthlessness...

The war in Afghanistan has already lasted two years longer than the US-led war against Iraq, and is ever more nakedly revealing itself to be a shabby and brutal attempt by the major powers to establish control over a country strategically situated in oil-rich Central Asia. Launched in 2001 following the 9/11 hijack-bombings in the US, the operation in Afghanistan was originally justified as a reprisal against Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda, held to be responsible for the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington. The Taliban regime was targeted for overthrow on the grounds that it had rejected a US ultimatum to extradite bin Laden and his top lieutenants to the US.

In fact, the US-led invasion was the implementation of pre-existing plans to establish American hegemony over Afghanistan, for which 9/11 served as a convenient pretext. The current war is the culmination of US machinations that go back at least 30 years, beginning with CIA funding for the anti-Soviet mujahedeen, whose numbers included bin Laden. Washington and its NATO allies have long since ceased justifying the war as a hunt for bin Laden. He is rarely mentioned, as is Al Qaeda. Instead, the all-purpose enemy is the Taliban, the name serving as a catch-all for all those in Afghanistan and Pakistan who are resisting foreign intervention....

Another argument thrown up by "leftist" supporters of the war, such as the German Greens, was the necessity to liberate Afghan women from the tyranny of the Taliban. The fact is, however, the situation for Afghan women under the occupation has worsened. In a statement published in May, the Afghan women’s organization RAWA declared, "The so-called 'new’ strategy of Obama’s administration" has only brought "increased killings and ever more horrifying oppression," and has "proved itself as much more war-mongering than Bush."
Having sidelined the legal and ideological pretexts used to launch the war,.. to suppress popular resistance to imperialist domination and the poverty and tyranny that go with it. the Obama administration is left with nothing other than fear-mongering that...those regions will serve as bases for new attacks on the US homeland...

While the political establishment excludes any expression of popular anti-war sentiment, it is bolstered by the decision of the middle-class "left" groups and publications that organized anti-war protests against Bush to wind up their anti-war activity under Obama....even as Obama maintains 140,000 US troops in Iraq, plans to keep tens of thousands there indefinitely, expands US military violence in Afghanistan and spreads it into Pakistan— and in the face of continuing mass popular opposition to the wars in the US and Europe—there is virtually no organized expression of anti-war sentiment.... In February of 2003, millions took to the streets all over the world to oppose the imminent US invasion of Iraq. It was the biggest international anti-war protest in history...The anti-war movement was aborted through its political subordination to capitalist parties and politicians. Those who led it have since largely joined the camp of imperialist war. The struggle against war can be developed only on the basis [of struggle against] the capitalist system itself, which is the root cause of imperialist war. The connection between the struggle against war and the struggle against capitalism will become increasingly clear as the working class moves into battle against the impact of the deepest economic crisis since the Great Depression.

America's Brutal Pipe Dream in Afghanistan
Chris Floyd, Empire Burlesque
11 Aug 2009
Looks like the "Good War" in Afghanistan is morphing even more directly into the "Drug War" that the U.S. government has been waging all over the world -- and especially against its own people -- for almost 40 years now, with all the attendant aggrandizement of authoritarian powers and degradation of civil liberties and human rights. As The Times reports, and Pentagon brass confirmed, the "continuity government" of the Obama Administration has drawn up yet another "hit list" of people to be arbitrarily assassinated: 50 "drug lords" allegedly associated with the Taliban ... a loose conglomeration of factions given the conveniently misleading monolithic moniker of "the Taliban"... No doubt the many drug lords associated with the American-installed Afghan government -- and those cooperating directly with the Western occupation -- are exempt from this dirty laundry list.
Of course, the runaway cultivation of opium in Afghanistan -- which is now flooding not only the West but also vast swathes of Central Asia with cheap heroin -- is a direct result of the American invasion in 2001: an operation ostensibly designed to capture Osama bin Laden, who somehow curiously slipped away from the Americans' curiously porous encirclement, never to be seen again (except of course for a few curiously timed transmission that seemed, curiously enough, to be geared to the domestic political needs of America's militarist factions). Of course, before the invasion, the Taliban had largely -- if ruthlesssly -- eliminated the cultivation of opium in the areas under its control. But the American military -- and its gung-ho CIA operatives ("We're killing people!" as one CIAer exulted to the Boston Globe) -- instead empowered the Northern Alliance: the Russian-backed conglomerate of warlords and druglords who were freely growing opium in their territories.

gee whiz what makes those crazy capitalist 'commies' think he's another u.s. /Soros destabilizing 'democracy' agent?!
Arrest in China Rattles Backers of Legal Rights
According to Gongmeng [China Law Center at Harvard U.] Xu Zhiyong.. a soft-spoken and politically shrewd legal scholar ...is being held at the Beijing No. 1 Detention Center, although public security officials have not confirmed that he is in their custody. Peng Jian, a lawyer who is advising Gongmeng, said the authorities had imposed a $208,000 penalty for nonpayment of taxes due on funds received from Yale for cooperative research projects....

Mr. Xu did not shy away from cases that were bound to upset China’s power elite. Last May Gongmeng published a study challenging the official verdict that blames the Dalai Lama for the 2008 riots in Tibet. The report, disseminated online and sent to government leaders, said legitimate grievances born from failed government policies were largely responsible for the unrest...
“What makes his detention particularly disturbing is that he’s a special figure in so many ways,” said Paul Gewirtz, director of the China Law Center at Yale Law School, which helped Mr. Xu establish his legal center, known here by its Chinese name, Gongmeng. “He’s at the forefront of advancing the rule of law, which is something everyone agrees China needs for its ongoing development.”... He Weifang, a law professor and legal adviser to Gongmeng, said conservative forces in the Communist Party were increasingly wary of lawyers they suspect of ultimately seeking to challenge one-party rule. Their greatest fear, Mr. He said, is that advocacy lawyers and civil society organizations could one day lead a pro-democracy movement among the poor and disenfranchised citizens they represent....
...China's capitalist restoration apparently U.S. 'justice system' copycat...
...as lawyers here discover, there are limits to China’s embrace of judicial reform. The Constitution, which includes guarantees of free speech and human rights, is unenforceable in court. Judges routinely ignore evidence, making determinations based on political considerations. And when it comes to vaguely defined offenses like “subversion of state power” or the invoking of “state secrets” laws, even the best-trained lawyers are powerless to defend the accused... http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/10/world/asia/10rights.html?th=&emc=th&pa...

Keeping Track of the Empire's Crimes
By William Blum
We already know that the United States has been assassinating non-believers, or suspected non-believers, with regularity, and impunity, in recent years, using unmanned planes (drones) firing missiles, in Yemen, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Somalia, if not elsewhere. - These murders apparently don't qualify as "assassinations" ... killing "terrorists" from 2000 feet is morally and legally superior to doing so from two feet away. http://informationclearinghouse.info/article23202.htm

Obama's approval rating drops sharply again ... to 50%

us: heroic patriots - them: ' bad 'terrorists'
Our Suicide Bombers: Thoughts on Western Jihad
By John Feffer
In America's first war against Islam, we were the ones who introduced the use of suicide bombers. Indeed, the American seamen who perished in the incident were among the U.S. military's first missing in action. It was September 4, 1804. The United States was at war with the Barbary pirates along the North African coast. The U.S. Navy was desperate to penetrate the enemy defenses. Commodore Edward Preble, who headed up the Third Mediterranean Squadron, chose an unusual stratagem: sending a booby-trapped U.S.S. Intrepid into the bay at Tripoli, one of the Barbary states of the Ottoman empire, to blow up as many of the enemy's ships as possible. U.S. sailors packed 10,000 pounds of gunpowder into the boat along with 150 shells.... The crew of the boat then guided the Intrepid into the bay at night. So as not to be captured and lose so much valuable gunpowder to the enemy, they chose to blow themselves up with the boat. The explosion didn't do much damage -- at most, one Tripolitan ship went down -- but the crew was killed just as surely as the two men who plowed a ship piled high with explosives into the U.S.S. Cole in the Gulf of Aden nearly 200 years later. Despite the failure of the mission, Preble received much praise for his strategies. "A few brave men have been sacrificed, but they could not have fallen in a better cause," opined a British navy commander. The Pope went further: "The American commander, with a small force and in a short space of time, has done more for the cause of Christianity than the most powerful nations of Christiandom have done for ages!" ...
The heroic sacrifices of the twentieth century are, of course, commemorated in film. Today, you can buy several videos devoted to the "suicide missions" of American soldiers. World War II propaganda films -- er, wartime entertainments -- often featured brave soldiers facing certain death. In Flying Tigers (1942), for example, pilot Woody Jason anticipates the Japanese kamikaze by several years by flying a plane into a bridge to prevent a cargo train from reaching the enemy. In Bataan (1943), Robert Taylor leads a crew of 13 men in what they know will be the suicidal defense of a critical position against the Japanese...

We have our suicide bombers -- we call them heroes. We have our culture of indoctrination -- we call it basic training. We kill civilians -- we call it collateral damage. ...our soldiers are indoctrinated into a culture of heroic sacrifice just as are the suicide bombers of Hamas... the basic-training techniques of instilling the instinct to kill, the readiness to follow orders, and a willingness to sacrifice one's life are part of the warrior ethic everywhere....
Suicide missions are a military technique that armies use when outmatched and that guerrilla movements use, especially in occupied countries, to achieve specific objectives.... the hypocrisy of our black-and-white depictions of our noble efforts and their barbarous acts, of our worthy goals and their despicable ends. We -- the inhabitants of an archipelago of supposedly enlightened warfare -- have been indoctrinated to view the atomic bombing of Hiroshima as a legitimate military target and September 11th as a heinous crime against humanity. We have been trained to see acts like the attack in Tripoli as American heroism and the U.S.S. Cole attack as rank barbarism. Explosive vests are a sign of extremism; Predator missiles, of advanced sensibility....Yes, "they" sometimes have dismaying cults of sacrifice and martyrdom, but we do too.... We should realize that our soldiers in the countries we now occupy may look no less menacing and unintelligible than those obviously malevolent, science-fiction creatures. And the presence of our occupying soldiers sometimes inspires similar, Will Smith-like acts of desperation and, dare I say it, courage. The fact is: Were we to end our occupation policies, we would go a long way toward eliminating "their" suicide bombers. But when and how will we end our own cult of martyrdom? http://informationclearinghouse.info/article23218.htm

as if it's continuity and expansion of A TACTIC, not entire U.S. 'national security' agenda and as if, having done requisite venting PR job, congress will not go along with the bipartisan program
Obama’s Embrace of Bush Tactic Riles Congress
In the presidential campaign, Mr. Obama called Mr. Bush’s use of signing statements an “abuse” ...President Obama has issued signing statements claiming the authority to bypass dozens of provisions of bills enacted into law since he took office, provoking mounting criticism by lawmakers from both parties. President George W. Bush, citing expansive theories about his constitutional powers, set off a national debate in 2006 over the propriety of signing statements — instructions to executive officials about how to interpret and put in place new laws — after he used them to bypass laws like a torture ban and provisions of the USA Patriot Act.... http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/09/us/politics/09signing.html?th&emc=th

War "Hero" Tackles US Over Degrading Prison Conditions
By Rupert Cornwell
When it comes to sending people to jail, America is the undisputed world champion. In 1970, a mere 200,000 people were behind bars. Last year, 2.3 million were held in federal, state and county prisons, more than 1 per cent of all adults in the US and five times the international average. Blacks, predictably, bear the brunt of this compulsion to incarcerate, accounting for 40 per cent of the prison population. This punishment industry gives work to more than two million, more even than the 1.7 million employed in higher education.

Tortured Logic: In The Government’s Own Words
By Christy Hardin Smith
The torture memos produced by the OLC were not meant to be seen and parsed by the public. These memos used incredibly tortured logic to justify acts which the United States prosecuted as war crimes in others' wars. The ACLU put together a video of these words of tortured logic being read aloud. Watch it here http://informationclearinghouse.info/article23236.htm

Obama administration reverses itself to block detainee photos
The Obama Administration is asking the Supreme Court to block the public release of detainee abuse photos that were the subject of a high-profile reversal by President Barack Obama earlier this year. On Friday afternoon, the Justice Department filed a petition with the Supreme Court asking it to overturn an appeals court decision requiring the Pentagon to disclose the photos, which depict alleged abuse of prisoners in U.S. military custody in Iraq and Afghanistan...: http://www.uruknet.de/?p=56768

Judge: CIA interrogation techniques not relevant to the accused's sanity:
U.S. military defense lawyers for accused 9/11 conspirator Ramzi bin al Shibh cannot learn what interrogation techniques CIA agents used on the Yemeni before he was moved to Guantánamo to be tried as a terrorist, an Army judge has ruled. http://www.miamiherald.com/news/americas/guantanamo/story/1179756.html

The Obama administration is fighting on multiple fronts - in courts in San Francisco, Washington and London - to keep an official veil of secrecy over the treatment of a former prisoner who says he was tortured at Guantanamo Bay.

No Letup In Political Witch-Hunts Under Obama
by Stephen Lendman / August 10th, 2009
For eight years, the Bush administration relentlessly targeted Muslim as national security or terrorist threats.... Obama continues the same practice... based on suppositions and unfounded claims but no clear evidence of intent to commit or support violent crimes. The defendants are being used to instill fear, justify the Iraq occupation, the escalated offensive in Afghanistan and spillover into Pakistan, and expanded US military presence globally, including on US streets if ordered. It’s happening at a time when we’re all as vulnerable as the Newburgh 4 and North Carolina 7. http://dissidentvoice.org/2009/08/no-letup-in-political-witch-hunts-unde...

Fascism with a friendly face: indoctrination and disinformation from the cradle, church, school and 'culture' to the grave
Militarizing the Homeland
Dahr Jamail and Jason Coppola, t r u t h o u t
... the US military blatant use of the Media and entertainment industry to indoctrinate the young American mind is common knowledge.... perhaps gone unnoticed is how the military is insidiously infiltrating our social and public lives.... Microsoft Xbox game "Close Combat: First to Fight," originally a training tool developed for the US Marine Corps... "was created under the direction of more than 40 active-duty Marines, fresh from the frontlines of combat in the Middle East side-by-side with the development team to put the exact tactics they used in combat into "First Fight." "... The game is typical of a recently emerging trend that has melded the video game industry (and entertainment industries more broadly) with the US military in a set of symbiotic relationships that literally immerse civilian gamers in a virtual world of war while training soldiers using the hottest gaming technology available. ... the creation of a digital cradle-to-grave concept in which games created by or for the military are used as recruiting tools and also, as it were, to pre-train youngsters. Then, when they are old enough to enlist, these kids find themselves using video game-like controllers to pilot real military vehicles and are taught tactics and are trained in strategy using specially designed video games and commercially available, off-the-shelf games that have been drafted into service by the military. That civilian-created, military-aided training tool was then recycled into a civilian first-person shooter, rated 'T' for "teen," with a marine on the game's packaging and a blurb that exclaims, "Based on a training tool developed for the United States Marines."...
A story in The New York Times describes the new Explorers program, a coeducational affiliate of the Boy Scouts of America as "training thousands of young people in skills used to confront terrorism, illegal immigration and escalating border violence - an intense ratcheting up of one of the group's longtime missions to prepare youths for more traditional jobs as police officers and firefighters."...
'G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra' joins a host of recent summer blockbusters, like both of the 'Transformers' movies and 'Iron Man,' for example, in selling the US military to America's kids."
The list of Hollywood films that have helped the military garner wide support from the American public for large-scale conflict is long. By glamorizing and sentimentalizing warfare and camouflaging the truth behind unprovoked aggression, these films have served their purpose well. To name a few of these, we have: "Pearl Harbor," "Behind Enemy Lines," "Letters From Iwo Jima," "We Were Soldiers," "Saving Private Ryan," "Black Hawk Down," "Clear and Present Danger," and a host of others. If one looks at Hollywood's history of films that glamorize the US military, there are literally hundreds more. ... entering WW I, the US established the Committee of Public Information, to develop guidelines for the media to promote domestic support for the war. In 1941, during WW II, there was a prolific production of war dramas and documentaries to boost the American war effort by Hollywood studios in association with the Pentagon. In 1948, the Pentagon established a special movie liaison office. Producers and directors who are willing to adapt their movies to Pentagon directives are given substantial financial and technical help, besides ready access to important defense locales and resources. Less obliging movie-makers are pointedly denied any assistance by the DoD. The objective is to encourage movies that inspire youth and, therefore, boost recruitment and not let negative portrayals of the army dissuade people from joining.
"While the US military has long had a relationship with Hollywood, the ad hoc arrangements of old are over. Today, the air force operates airforcehollywood.af.mil, the official Web site of the US Air Force Entertainment Liaison Office. The military has even set up a one-stop shop-on one floor of a Los Angeles office building - where the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, and Department of Defense itself have film liaison offices. Additionally, the DoD runs an entire 'entertainment media division' from the Pentagon."

As an example, the first "Transformers" film released in July 2007 used a variety of Air Force assets, and for the latest iteration of the film, DreamWorks and Paramount studios partnered with all four US military services to highlight America's military members and combat power on the big screen. Special military "advisers" are appointed to ensure the desirable changes are retained by the film makers. The Air Force was so happy to work with Hollywood on the movie "Iron Man," that it had Capt. Chris Hodge as the DoD's project officer for the film. He is said to have gloated about the movie, "The Air Force is going to come off looking like rock stars."...

The militarization of US culture [e.g. imperialism] has grown ubiquitous. All available avenues have been explored by the Pentagon .... Social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter or seeking out young recruits and spreading its message [digest: and spreading u.s. disinfo propaganda worldwide, as in current Iran destabilization project]...
www.uruknet.info?p=56772 www.truthout.org/080609A

a liberal lament: as if amerika isn't based on genocide, criminalizing and impoverishing peoples and nations worldwide to expand its filthy bloody empire
Is it a Crime to be Poor?
By Barbara Ehrenreich
...By far the most reliable way to be criminalized by poverty is to have the wrong-color [SIC] skin. Indignation runs high when a celebrity professor encounters racial profiling, but for decades whole communities have been effectively “profiled” for the suspicious combination of being both dark-skinned and poor, thanks to the “broken windows” or “zero tolerance” theory of policing popularized by Rudy Giuliani, when he was mayor of New York City, and his police chief William Bratton.... our staggering level of incarceration [is] the highest in the world....the same number of Americans — 2.3 million — reside in prison as in public housing....
Flick a cigarette in a heavily patrolled community of color and you’re littering; wear the wrong color T-shirt and you’re displaying gang allegiance. Just strolling around in a dodgy neighborhood can mark you as a potential suspect, according to “Let’s Get Free: A Hip-Hop Theory of Justice,” an eye-opening new book by Paul Butler, a former federal prosecutor in Washington. If you seem at all evasive, which I suppose is like looking “overly anxious” in an airport, Mr. Butler writes, the police “can force you to stop just to investigate why you don’t want to talk to them.” And don’t get grumpy about it or you could be “resisting arrest.”

There’s no minimum age for being sucked into what the Children’s Defense Fund calls “the cradle-to-prison pipeline.” In New York City, a teenager caught in public housing without an ID — say, while visiting a friend or relative — can be charged with criminal trespassing and wind up in juvenile detention, Mishi Faruqee, the director of youth justice programs for the Children’s Defense Fund of New York, told me. In just the past few months, a growing number of cities have taken to ticketing and sometimes handcuffing teenagers found on the streets during school hours.

In Los Angeles, the fine for truancy is $250; in Dallas, it can be as much as $500 — crushing amounts for people living near the poverty level. According to the Los Angeles Bus Riders Union, an advocacy group, 12,000 students were ticketed for truancy in 2008. Why does the Bus Riders Union care? Because it estimates that 80 percent of the “truants,” especially those who are black or Latino, are merely late for school, thanks to the way that over-filled buses whiz by them without stopping. I met people in Los Angeles who told me they keep their children home if there’s the slightest chance of their being late. It’s an ingenious anti-truancy policy that discourages parents from sending their youngsters to school.

The pattern is to curtail financing for services that might help the poor while ramping up law enforcement: starve school and public transportation budgets, then make truancy illegal. Shut down public housing, then make it a crime to be homeless. Be sure to harass street vendors when there are few other opportunities for employment. The experience of the poor, and especially poor minorities, comes to resemble that of a rat in a cage scrambling to avoid erratically administered electric shocks. [...]

"Get control over radio, press, cinema and theatre"
Joseph Goebbels
Anti-Arab brainwashing by the US media
Paul J. Balles
Those who control the media control the mental attitudes of the population; Americans have been programmed to hate Arabs and Muslims, and to love Israelis. How could compassionate Americans be nonchalant about their slaughter of a million Arabs in Iraq, even though they know it was based on lies? Decades of propaganda and brainwashing....
Steven Salaita correctly observed: The flippancy with which US media apply the word "terrorism" to Arab populations reinforces the notion that violence in the Arab world is ahistorical and therefore senseless. Arabs in turn become a people without narratives who belong to a culture incapable of rationality.

"Closer look", e.g. psy ops to better create public support for expanding police state via 'information warfare strategic communications'
"It described the Pentagon approach as "overly cautious" for fear of violating law that bars films and articles produced by the State Department from being circulated in the U.S".
Congress takes a closer look at Pentagon PR
Communications programs designed to win public support are costing too much and growing outside what they're supposed to do, lawmakers say.
By Walter Pincus, The Washington Post
WASHINGTON — Lawmakers are voicing concerns about the Pentagon's strategic-communications programs, through which the military aims to win over civilians and erode support for adversaries in countries around the world. The programs have grown too fast and are spread through the Defense Department budget in a way that hampers oversight, complain the House and Senate Armed Services committees and the House Appropriations Committee. They also suggest that the military is producing propaganda and other materials that mask U.S. government sponsorship and focus "far beyond traditional military information operations."

In Iraq, the military has awarded $100 million contracts to support elections and the aims of the Baghdad government. A recent multimillion-dollar contract in Afghanistan tried to bolster public support for the Kabul government's efforts in its fight against makeshift bombs. The Pentagon spends nearly $1 billion a year on its strategic communications, its contribution to the "war of ideas" that until recent years had been the sole province of the State Department's public-diplomacy effort.

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have resulted in the military getting money more easily than the diplomatic corps, and the dominance of military personnel in those countries has led to an increasing military role in information operations. State Department special envoy Richard Holbrooke told journalists in March that "the information issue — sometimes called psychological operations or strategic communications" — has become a "major, major gap to be filled" before U.S.-led forces can regain the upper hand in Afghanistan.

Last week, the House Appropriations Committee, in approving the fiscal 2010 defense-funding bill, said that it had identified 10 strategic-communications programs that had grown from $9 million in fiscal 2005 to a "staggering $988 million request for fiscal 2010." ...and it threatened to withhold funding for all 10 for next year until Defense Secretary Robert Gates reports to the committee about their "target audiences, goals, and measures of effectiveness." The Senate Armed Services Committee, meanwhile, directed the Pentagon last week to come up with separate budget materials for fiscal 2011 "that clearly articulate and document Defense Department objectives and funding levels for strategic communications and public diplomacy."
Without such documentation, the Senate panel said, it could not "oversee adequately the funding for the multitude of programs.
The House Armed Services Committee said last month that the Pentagon's "planning" for strategic communications "is insufficient compared to the needs," and it directed Gates to report within four months on the department's "strategic communications workforce."
Despite their criticisms, each of the committees see merit in the programs. Senate Armed Services described strategic communications as "important" but said it was "not able to determine whether these efforts are integrated within the Defense Department or with the broader U.S. Government, nor is the committee able to oversee adequately the funding for the multitude of programs."The committee nonetheless urged Special Operations Command to use its "linguistic and cultural expertise" to increase its strategic communications activities linked to military operations.
The House Armed Services Committee said "online strategic communications," such as Web sites now run by the Defense Department in the Balkans and North Africa, "are essential tools for the department to effectively counter the violent extremist groups abroad."
It described the Pentagon approach as "overly cautious" for fear of violating law that bars films and articles produced by the State Department from being circulated in the U.S.

9/11 Mind Swell
by Joel S. Hirschhorn
As we approach the eighth anniversary of 9/1: In the post 9-11 years the scientific evidence for disbelieving the official government story has mounted incredibly...the number of highly respected and credentialed professionals challenging the official story has similarly expanded. Yet, to the considerable disappointment of the international 9/11 truth movement, the objective fact is that there are no widespread, loud demands for a new government-backed 9/11 investigation. The 9/11 truth movement is the epitome of a marginalized movement...

it's the capitalist political-economic system, stupid
30 nation survey of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in 2008 placed the poverty rate of the U.S.A. only above Mexico and Turkey.

indispensable electoral politics pretenses to obscure and salvage the actual source of the 'problem' --- an irreparable political-economic system: blame the 'healthcare' problem and mass opposition to the dem's 'overhaul' racket on the 'bad guy' flip side of same capitalist coin
The White House Adapts New Playbook in Health Care Debate
at risk of losing control of the public debate over health care reform, is playing defense

The Town Hall Mob
A close look at recent protesters indicates that cynical political operators are exploiting cultural and racial anxiety in the health care reform debate.

Rancid Deal with Big Pharma:
The drug industry agrees to deliver $80 billion in future savings and the president promises the government will not use its awesome purchasing power to negotiate lower drug prices... roughly the same deal that George W. Bush cut with the drug makers when he was legislating Medicare's new coverage of drug purchases. It is the same bargain that Democrats in Congress universally condemned as wasteful and corrupt. http://www.thenation.com/doc/20090817/greider

Battered women shelters closed
As California officials wrestle with a $26.3 billion state budget deficit, their continued cuts to social service programs have forced the closure of 96 battered women's shelters across the state

Experts: Women are drinking more, DUIs are up
AP: It seemed too horrendous even to imagine. But the case of the mother who caused a deadly wrong-way crash while drunk and stoned is part of a disturbing trend: Women in the U.S. are drinking more, and drunken-driving arrests among women are rising rapidly while falling among men....The problem has caught the attention of the federal government. The Transportation Department's annual crackdown on drunken driving, which begins later this month, will focus on women...
When women act like men, children die
Kate Harding
Let me begin by saying that the last thing on earth I want to do is minimize the seriousness of drunk driving or the devastation it can wreak... I am, however, a feminist, which makes me immediately skeptical of articles like one today from the Associated Press, identifying "disturbing trends" that happen to further extremely trendy Bad Mommy narratives and include such trenchant sociological analysis as "Women are picking up some of the dangerously bad habits of men"...
"Younger women feel more empowered, more equal to men, and have been beginning to exhibit the same uninhibited behaviors as men." Reader, you heard it hear first: Equality kills.
"Arrests of drunken mothers with children in the car remain rare, but police officers can generally list a few." ...
The numbers, however, tell a much less alarming story.... what we have here is a trend of statistically significant increases in the number of women arrested for drunk driving and the number of women who say they abuse alcohol -- neither of which is a solid indicator of the number of drunk women on the road, given police discretion in making arrests and the notorious unreliability of self-reported data -- which is being spun into a socially significant trend: Women are turning into a bunch of alcoholic narcissists who must be stopped! Think of the children!... That image is reinforced by anecdotes about women who have driven with extremely high blood alcohol levels and children on board -- including one who'd been clubbing with her teenage daughter, the harlot! -- and a lot of hand-wringing about how male that sort of behavior is...whipping up alarm over a "disturbing trend" of women drinking more, driving drunk and taking their kids along for the ride, based on sketchy evidence -- that, even when taken at face value, shows that fewer than 3 percent of women overall report abusing alcohol and fewer than 20 percent of DUI arrests are of women -- serves no real purpose other than gender policing. Bad Mommies must be called out at every possible opportunity, reminding us all that they are everywhere, and the rest of us have a moral duty to save today's kids from their own selfish mothers. Women who behave "like men" must be reminded not only that this is unacceptable, but it can have deadly consequences! And we all must be reminded of what causes such reckless behavior: Women who "feel more empowered, more equal to men." Obviously, we must put a stop to that crap before anyone else dies. Thank god we can always find statistics to help.

Slimy recalibrator -in chief's killer capitalist 'healthcare'
Obama Reverses Stand on Drug Industry Deal
The full terms of the White House agreement with the drug makers, like a similar deal with the hospital industry, have never been disclosed.... after contending for two days that the Senate Democrats had misunderstood the White House aide’s comments, the White House appeared Friday night to back away. Linda Douglass, a White House spokeswoman on health matters, said the question of government drug-price bargaining “was not discussed during the negotiations.” Asked if that meant such a provision was excluded, as the top drug lobbyists had previously said, Ms. Douglass declined to comment, repeating, “It was not discussed.” White House officials said Friday that Mr. Messina, the deputy chief of staff who sent the e-mail message, had not intended to confirm that the deal ruled out price negotiations.
The drug industry lobbyists appeared to make peace with the White House over the terms the deal as well. Perhaps capitalizing on his leverage as the political battle heated up over the health care measure, Mr. Tauzin insisted early this week that the deal clearly precluded drug price negotiations as well as any other additional costs. Drug companies have long opposed government price negotiations on the grounds that they would effectively set prices and cripple the industry. As Mr. Tauzin spoke up, the White House initially chose not to argue. But faced with a chorus of Congressional complaints, the administration appears to have recalibrated its position. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/08/us/08lobby.html?_r=1&th&emc=th

It is lamentable, that to be a good patriot one must become the enemy of the rest of mankind

Paulson and Goldman Sachs: A dirty secret of the Wall Street bailout
Barry Grey
An article in Sunday’s New York Times on the behind-the-scenes dealings between Henry Paulson, treasury secretary under President George W. Bush, and Goldman Sachs, the giant investment bank Paulson headed before joining the Bush administration, sheds a measure of light on the corrupt relationship between government officials and the banks which underlies the multi-trillion-dollar bailout of Wall Street. The article, based on Paulson’s officia l schedules for 2007 and 2008, obtained by the Times through a Freedom of Information filing, documents the close collaboration between Paulson and his successor as chief executive of Goldman, Lloyd C. Blankfein, in the course of the financial crisis of the past two years. It focuses on mid-September of 2008, the high point of the crisis, when the government decided to allocate $85 billion to bail out the failing insurance and financing firm American International Group (AIG)...


New Loan Promises To Save USA, Global Capital
The international banking firm of Soros, Tsuris and Soros has joined with Goldman, Ponzi and Sachs in announcing plans to finance a one hundred fifty trillion dollar ($150,000,000,000,000) loan to the USA, made possible through a complex arrangement involving OPEC, the Bulgarian Central Bank, Cosa Nostra , the Colombian Drug Cartel, Albania, the Vatican Zionist Minion , and the Little Sisters of the Poor....
“Though there are neither bonds nor investors at the moment,” said firm spokesperson Bernardo Batista de Rothschild. “we know that the incredibly high interest rates we will offer - 30-35% - assure that very soon there will be many rushing to our doors, their brokers, our banks, their keyboards, or other text devices , with thumbs, checkbooks, credit
cards, and promissory notes at the ready." The American stock market rose to its highest level in two hundred years at this news, while unemployment dropped from its previous high of 44% to its lowest point in months; 39%. “Things are finally looking up,” said president Palin, “and our long recession may finally be over. Again.”

New Court Assures Continuity with Old Court
The congress overwhelmingly approved the Supreme Court’s first autistic lesbian arab american atheist member, GloriaGus Fatima AntiCristo who will join recently appointed Chief Justice Glitzy Morales, the online gossip celebrity and nation’s first english speaking illegal immigrant on the court. “We are close to reaching the American dream on this court, with servants for minority capital coming from representatives of the great majority of our people, all divided into identity and ethnic groups but united in their dedication to maintain the system of identity
and ethnic groups united in support of finance capital” said court spokesperson and former Mafia lawyer, Vito Nunzio Lieberman Chan...
Frank Scott frankscott@comcast.net writes political commentary which appears in the Coastal Post, The Independent Monitor and on his shared blog at: http://legalienate.blogspot.com