9/27 'U.S.Knew of Iranian Plant for Years'; Martial Law in Pittsburg; A Real Iranian Myth; Info. War to Control 'Perceptions'

digest commentary

Major media world news of meticulous but transparent propaganda with the usual set-up Q&As between anchor and 'experts' to sell U.S. line as 'news and info. Iran's 'violation of international agreements' narrative is a desperately needed storyline tauting U.S./ Obama statesmanship - coincidentally of course, 'political capital' for better arm-twisting major capitalist rivals Russia and China into joining a U.S. dominated 'international community' 'united front' - Iran being the centerpiece in the broader USRAELI global agenda.
Altering facts, alongside whole-cloth lies, the basic storyline goes: U.S. exposed [what it knew for years] Iran's 'buried deep underground' [from much-threatened possible USRAELI attack] second nuclear 'bomb' site, but obama's masterful leadership 'demanded' Iran's sudden agreement to allow in inspectors...
after Iran publicly announced their welcome 3 days earlier. This flimsily fabricated drama was enhanced by a new made-in-usa 'successful counter-terror' op. - all fodder for the increasingly weakened admin. to sell the planned expanded 'AfPak' war to the disenchanted - who are very clear that imperialist 'liberators' cannot defeat the growing resistance called 'taliban/alqaeda'.
Missing as always from this obscene media propaganda war is how savagely U.S international and domestic fascist terror - aka national security - are 'protecting the people of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Amerika ... and the rest of the world from anti-imperialist liberation.

'U.S. knew of secret Iranian nuclear plant for years': Sr. US Official

NB: Obama, executor-in-chief of #1 state of mass murder, including the use of nuclear WMD, for global domination
"The size and configuration of this facility is inconsistent with a peaceful program"

Obama Statement on Iran
June 20, 2009
The Iranian government must understand that the world is watching. We mourn each and every innocent life that is lost. We call on the Iranian government to stop all violent and unjust actions against its own people. The universal rights to assembly and free speech must be respected, and the United States stands with all who seek to exercise those rights.

U.S. grants support Iranian dissidents
The Obama administration is moving forward with plans to fund groups that support Iranian dissidents, records and interviews show, continuing a program that became controversial when it was expanded by President Bush.The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), which reports to the secretary of state, has for the last year been soliciting applications for $20 million in grants to "promote democracy, human rights, and the rule of law in Iran," according to documents on the agency's website.
"Let's be clear: The United States does not fund any movement, faction or political party in Iran. We support … universal principles of human rights, freedom of speech, and rule of law."

Street Report from the G20: How pitifully fearful our leaders have become
 By Bill Quigley
 For days, downtown Pittsburgh, home to the G20, was a turned into a militarized people-free ghost town. Sirens screamed day and night. Helicopters crisscrossed the skies. Gunboats sat in the rivers. The skies were defended by Air Force jets. Streets were barricaded by huge cement blocks and fencing. Bridges were closed with National Guard across the entrances. Public transportation was stopped downtown. Amtrak train service was suspended for days.

Obama times calling out Iran for impact
White House long knew of a second nuclear site
PITTSBURGH | President Obama's decision to confront Iran with evidence of a secret nuclear production site Friday was the culmination of a deliberate strategy over the past nine months to gain maximum impact from the disclosure by building up to it with other steps on the world stage. A high-ranking administration official told The Washington Times that while the White House knew about Iran's construction of a second uranium enrichment plant before Mr. Obama took office in January, it waited to drop the bombshell until U.S. officials had conducted extensive diplomatic advance work. The preparations go back to Mr. Obama's inaugural promise to engage in meaningful dialogue with Iran to two letters he sent to Iran's supreme leader, which led to Tehran's agreeing to sit down with negotiators from the U.S. and other world powers on Oct. 1. Mr. Obama has lobbied or spoken to key leaders for months, including Mohamed ElBaradei, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
Last week the White House scrapped a missile defense plan that had infuriated Russia, smoothing the way for closer cooperation. That was followed by a progression of moves that played out at the United Nations. Mr. Obama gave a broad speech to the General Assembly that included an appeal to strengthen the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. He then bolstered the treaty procedurally with the passage of a Security Council resolution at a meeting he chaired, the first U.S. president to do so.
In between the speech and the council vote, Mr. Obama held meetings with Chinese President Hu Jintao and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, whose governments are key to further U.N. sanctions against Iran. [...]

G20 Summit Brings Martial Law to Pittsburgh
...People look at totalitarian regimes and get angry but this is happening with the consent of Obama.... before the Republican National Convention activists were preemptively detained...still facing charges of “conspiracy to riot in furtherance of terrorism.”...a strategy carefully calculated by military, police, and government officials specifically allows for the criminalizing and suppressing of dissent. Security in Pittsburgh is really a military occupation and martial law is being enforced in the city of Pittsburgh.... Military helicopters hovered over areas with tanks of tear gas that they could drop on protesters ...heavy enough to not blow over.... nearly twenty million dollars had been spent on security.
This is martial law Pittsburgh is under military occupation.... aimed at making sure there is no way for people to dissent... access to downtown... the city has been completely shut off ....from the airport to the city (which is about 10-20 miles) every on ramp has police squad cars. Bridges have been shut down to make it easier to organize the military and police. Military helicopters are flying over and Humvees are everywhere. Coast guard are patrolling the rivers. This is on a scale never seen before....the media has promoted a state of fear ...Local people are afraid to be out participating ...all largely a part of a very comprehensive strategy to shut down protests....

Think back to this summer when reports were coming from Iran on Ahmadinejad suppressing those who were rising up against the results of the election. Americans were outraged that the Iranian government would attack protests, target students, and prohibit press and media from operating inside the country... how Twitter was directly benefiting the people of Iran. Nobody would have thought that what was happening there could happen here (unless you pay close attention to U.S. government policies and actions), but Alex Lohorto, an organizer with Student Power in the Face of Empire explained that what Americans found to be despicable in Iran months ago is happening in Pittsburgh right now.... National Guard are snatching kids and throwing them in cars... student space raided where people were using Twitter. The police [ed: preemptively] tear gassed students who were preparing to conduct actions during the G20 summit....Students who were trying to go to their dorms were blocked from going into their rooms. They were told to go home and leave the campus. Police even used mace on students who were standing outside of a bar who were not acting against the G20 in any way at all. Throughout Thursday, the police were using all kinds of equipment aimed at controlling protests.

For the first time on U.S. soil, a device that had been used in South Korea called a long-range acoustic device (LRAD) was used.... a blasting siren noise that makes it impossible for you to hear anything.... [ed: actually used mainly as psych. warfare weapon]...

The UK Guardian reported: :
Sonic weapons or long-range acoustic devices have been used by the US military overseas, notably against Somali pirates and Iraqi insurgents .
But US security forces turned the piercing sound on their own citizens yesterday to widespread outrage. Pittsburgh officials told the New York Times that it was the first time "sound cannon" had been used publicly .

the enemy knows it even if you don't...
U.S. Army To Buy $6 Million Of Riot Equipment
The U.S. Army War College in November released a white paper "Known Unknowns: Unconventional ‘Strategic Shocks’ in Defense Strategy Development". The report warned that the military must be prepared for a “violent, strategic dislocation inside the United States,” which could be provoked by “unforeseen economic collapse,” “purposeful domestic resistance,” “pervasive public health emergencies” or “loss of functioning political and legal order.” The “widespread civil violence,” the document said, “would force the defense establishment to reorient priorities in extremis to defend basic domestic order and human security.”
The U.S. Army Contracting Agency based at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, post on the Federal Business Opportunities website
https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=41c48b2062a9df4df4e... requesting the equipment has received several notices of interest from potential vendors....

Solidarity Reigns Despite Police Repression at Pittsburgh G20
...The protesters were brave, standing up against overwhelming repression, policing themselves and sending the message that capitalism has failed them and billions of others around the world. Equally encouraging were the actions of residents of Pittsburgh. Many extended solidarity to the protesters — opening their homes for relief, providing overnight housing free of charge and disregarding work rules to provide a tired demonstrator with a free glass of water or a seat to rest for a moment. Such acts of solidarity offer a basis to think about a different kind of society, one which moves beyond acoustic attacks and tear gas and towards democracy and freedom.

U.S. to Demand Inspection of New Iran Plant
From the White House to Europe, senior officials were pushing to exploit the disclosure of the covert facility as a turning point. “This is the most important development in the three and a half years since the U.S. has offered negotiations with Iran,” said R. Nicholas Burns, a Harvard professor who served as the Bush administration’s chief strategist on Iran. Mr. Burns said Mr. Obama “now has much greater leverage to organize an international coalition to confront” the country’s leaders with sanctions should the negotiating effort fail.... “My personal opinion is that the Iranians have the intention of having nuclear weapons,” Mr. Gates concluded, though he said it was still an open question... http://www.nytimes.com/services/xml/rss/yahoo/myyahoo/2009/09/27/world/m...

Sources: U.S. was aware of ‘new’ Iranian nuke site for years
WASHINGTON (CNN) — The United States was aware of Iran’s unfinished uranium enrichment site for several years, senior U.S. officials told CNN on Friday. U.S. officials have known about the facility since President George W. Bush’s administration, according to the officials who declined to be identified because of the sensitive nature of the negotiations.Iran came to realize fairly recently that the facility was no longer secret, so Washington found itself in a race with Iran to reveal the facility to the international community, the officials said.Iran revealed the site’s existence in a letter to the International Atomic Energy Agency on Monday, the agency confirmed Friday. That letter led the Obama administration to provide intelligence on the site to its allies — including China and Russia, in an attempt to get the two countries to support sanctions on Iran. It was also the impetus for Washington to work with Britain, France and Germany to put together a highly-detailed presentation to the International Atomic Energy Agency on Thursday, the officials said. www.uruknet.info?p=58298

conflating Zionism with Jewry: standard imperialist-zionist deception....
Obama and the West’s Double Standards on Iran
by Kim Petersen / September 26th, 2009
...On 23 September, many western delegates walked out of the United Nations General Assembly chambers during Ahmadinejad’s speech. The United States accused Ahmadinejad of using “hateful, offensive and anti-Semitic rhetoric.” .. A JTA article stated, “The lowlight, I suppose, would be this portion, where he attacks the ‘Zionist regime,’ accuses Jews of controlling the world and then blasts the United States, too.”2 ...
First, Ahmadinejad never mentions the word “Jewish” in his speech. Second, the only time he uses the word “Jews” is when he talked about “prepar[ing] a conducive ground for all Palestinian populations, including Muslims, Christians and Jews to live together in peace and harmony…” Third, as for “genocide,” Ahmadinejad said: “How can the crimes of the occupiers against defenseless women and children and destruction of their homes, farms, hospitals and schools be supported unconditionally by certain governments, and at the same time, the oppressed men and women be subject to genocide and heaviest economic blockade being denied of their basic needs, food, water and medicine.”...
JTA mentions an “apparent reference to Jews, ‘It is no longer acceptable that a small minority would dominate the politics, economy and culture of major parts of the world by its complicated networks, and establish a new form of slavery, and harm the reputation of other nations, even European nations and the U.S., to attain its racist ambitions.’”3 ... JTA conflates Zionism with Jewry....

Cui bono: the political benefits of framing imperialist-zionist genocidal crimes as abstract, normalized & decontextualized 'human rights' issues
The risks of de-contextualizing Gaza war crimes
...Through myopic attention on the symptom of the problem -- the Gaza onslaught -- the root cause is obscured, and the Israeli occupation is stripped of its true context and gravity....by focusing on one "drastic" period in the Israeli occupation, might in fact have the effect of overshadowing or downplaying the harsh and ongoing reality of the last 43 years of Israeli occupation. By drawing attention to one short but bloody outburst of violence, an outburst cast and investigated as unusual, other periods may implicitly be rendered normal...'normal" periods...are the deeply implicated historical and contextual backdrop for all of the events that follow... longstanding and profoundly soul-crushing policies pursued by the Israeli state... Human rights violations have to be placed in a larger factual and moral context.... http://www.uruknet.de/?s1=1&p=58307&s2=27

israeli proxy intel input
Iran admits second uranium enrichment plant, overturning Western weapon-fuel estimates
DEBKAfile Special Report September 25, 2009
...The disclosure follows the revelation by Iranian dissident exiles in Paris Thursday that Iran was developing detonators for setting off a nuclear bomb....

The Iran nuclear revelation
Marc Lynch
So this is not a story of the sudden discovery of an urgent new threat requiring whatever red-blooded solution the hawks will be peddling today.  The interesting question is why Obama chose to go public with this information now, how it fits into the administration's diplomatic strategy.... the U.S. has reportedly known about this facility for "years," a period which coincides with the development and release of the the 2007 NIE on Iran's nuclear program which found that the Iranians were not actively seeking a nuclear weapon. If that timing is right... its existence does not actually prove Iran is moving past the break-out capability.... Iran is no closer to a nuclear weapon now than they were before this intelligence was released. The last point about this facility is that its mere existence strongly debunks the notation that a military strike would prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon...According to the New York Times the administration went public because the Iranians had discovered Western intelligence had "breached the secrecy surrounding the project."  Perhaps.  But it seems more likely the administration chose to go public as part of a calculated effort to ratchet up the credibility of the threat ahead of the October 1 meeting between Iran and the P5+1 in Geneva...  So despite what I expect to see swarming the media in the next few days -- wanna bet John Bolton or John Bolton-equivalent oped is already in production at the Washington Times Washington Post...I think this public revelation makes war less rather than more likely.  The timing of the announcement, immediately following the consultations at the UN and the G-20 and just before the Geneva meetings, makes it extremely likely the Obama administration has been waiting for just the right moment to play this card...It strengthens the P5+1 bargaining position ahead of October 1... http://www.uruknet.de/?s1=1&p=58294&s2=26  lynch.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2009/09/25/the_iran_nuclear_revelation

Iran's top leader: US [knows it's] 'wrong' on nuke threat
TEHRAN,Iran -- Iran's supreme leader says U.S. officials are "wrong" about his country's nuclear program and the threat Iran's missiles pose. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on state-run radio Sunday that U.S. officials who have raised concerns about Iran's missiles and say "Iran intends to build a nuclear bomb, they know these words are wrong."

  Iran defends new enrichment plant
...Ali Akbar Saleri, the head of Iran's nuclear agency, told the AFP news agency that the facility was never "secret"... we announced its existence to the IAEA," he said. "When I took over the job in July I committed myself to accelerate co-operation [with the IAEA] and within the existing framework of regulations of our cooperation with the IAEA we announced the existence of this installation to the agency."... http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2009/09/200992581942180430....

Iran: IAEA rules apply to new nuclear site
Iran's nuclear chief confirms that the small newly-announced under-construction uranium enrichment facility will be in full compliance with the country's treaty obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). "In line with the preservation and enjoyment of its obvious rights to the peaceful use of nuclear energy, in a new and successful step, the Islamic Republic of Iran has moved to construct a semi-industrial-scale plant for the enrichment of nuclear fuel," the director of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization said in a statement on Friday, Mehr News Agency reported.Ali-Akbar Salehi said. "As with Iran's other nuclear facilities, the activities of the facility will be within the framework of the IAEA regulations."

Iran's announcement of the new plant has been seized upon by a number of Western leaders slamming the country of "deception" in its nuclear program. The announcement comes as Western powers are pressuring Iran in the run-up to talks on October 1 between Iran and the P5+1 -- the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany. The US and a number of its allies have accused Iran of seeking nuclear weapons, but Iran has repeatedly rejected the charges. The Tehran government has stated that it seeks nuclear technology for electricity generation and has opened its facilities to inspection by the IAEA. After years of intrusive inspection, the IAEA declares that it has found no evidence of a diversion of nuclear material from the civilian to military use.

Iran offers U.S. access to its nuclear scientists Sept. 23, 2009
 Iran is willing to have its nuclear experts meet with scientists from the United States and other world powers as a confidence-building measure aimed at resolving concerns about Tehran's nuclear program, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Wednesday....At international talks next week on its nuclear ambitions, Iran also will seek to buy from the United States enriched uranium needed for medical purposes, Ahmadinejad told reporters and editors from The Washington Post and Newsweek...."These nuclear materials we are seeking to purchase are for medicinal purposes. . . . It is a humanitarian issue," Ahmadinejad said in the interview. "I think this is a very solid proposal which gives a good opportunity for a start" to build trust between the two countries and "engage in cooperation." Nuclear research reactors are used to create radioactive isotopes for the diagnosis and treatment of diseases. The Iranian president said that about 20 medical products are created at a reactor in Tehran but that more fuel is needed...On Oct. 1, a senior Iranian diplomat will meet counterparts from the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany in Geneva to discuss the nuclear program, and Ahmadinejad said he will bring the new proposal....

China Opposes Iran Sanctions Sought by U.S.
 China will not support increased sanctions on Iran as a way to curb its nuclear program, a government spokesman said Thursday.

"It is not a matter of what is true that counts, but a matter of what is perceived to be true."
Henry Kissinger

Pentagon launches new propaganda network
" ... intended to allow small media outlets in the United States and elsewhere to bypass what the Pentagon views as an increasingly combative press corps."
Associated Press, 3/2004
The U.S. military will launch its own news service in Iraq and Afghanistan to send military video, text and photos directly to the Internet or news outlets. The $6.3 million project, expected to begin operating in April, is one of the largest military public affairs projects in recent memory, is intended to allow small media outlets in the United States and elsewhere to bypass what the Pentagon views as an increasingly combative press corps.
U.S. officials have complained that Iraq-based media focuses on catastrophic events like car bombs and soldiers' deaths, while giving short shrift to U.S. rebuilding efforts.
The American public "currently gets a pretty slanted picture," said Army Capt. Randall Baucom, a spokesman for the Kuwait-based U.S.-led Coalition Land Forces Command.
The project, called Digital Video and Imagery Distribution System or DVIDS, will give the Pentagon more control of the coverage when calamities do happen.
Army camera teams will be able to use their access to battle zones or military bases to film the aftermath of rebel attacks on U.S. troops -- or U.S. raids on insurgent targets -- then offer free pictures to news outlets within two hours....

US to launch media war in AFPAK
August 22nd, 2009
According to the New York Times, President Barack Obama’s Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Richard C. Holbrooke, will direct the effort within the State Department, which will focus on the use of cell phones, FM radio and video...According to Holbrooke, the United States is losing the information war in Afghanistan and Pakistan as far as the Taliban is concerned... establishing a new unit for countering militant propaganda in Afghanistan and Pakistan, in an effort to win the war of ideas against Islamist extremists.
Local journalists are to be trained at State Department expense (with a proposed budget of 150 million dollars) to attack and denigrate militants and their messages.

Pentagon sets sights on public opinion

Obama: We Need To Bail Out Newspapers Or Blogs Will Run The World and that would be a threat to democracy
He said he would be happy to look a bills that could give newspapers tax-breaks if they were to restructure as 50 (c) (3) educational corporations."I am concerned that if the direction of the news is blogosphere, all opinions, no serious fact-checking, no serious attempts to put stories in context, what you will end up getting is people shouting at each other across the void but not a lot of mutual understanding,"... http://www.businessinsider.com/john-carney-obama-we-need-to-bailout-news...

6% in U.S. get 'news' from TV, the state already has that 'education' covered. Plans are underway to scrap the internet as it is for a 'secure internet 2' see http://www.burbankdigest.com/node/153

"The internet needs to be dealt with as if it were an enemy 'weapons system'..."
Information Operation Roadmap Part 3: "We Must Fight the Net"

expanding internet "information operations"
Pentagon launches foreign news websites
WASHINGTON — The Pentagon is setting up a global network of foreign-language news websites, including an Arabic site for Iraqis, and hiring local journalists to write current events stories and other content that promote U.S. interests and counter insurgent messages.... Content for the news sites is written by local journalists hired to write stories that fit the Pentagon's goals for the sites, such as promoting democracy, security, good government and the rule of law. Military personnel or contractors review the stories to ensure they are consistent with those goals. Reporters are paid only for work that is posted to the sites. The news sites are part of a Pentagon initiative to expand "Information Operations" on the Internet. Pentagon officials say the sites are a legitimate and necessary way to promote U.S. policy goals and counter the messages of political and religious extremists. They also note that the United States and its allies have been outgunned in the battle to get information to audiences in Iraq and elsewhere. "It's important to … engage these foreign audiences and inform," says Michael Vickers, the assistant secretary of Defense in charge of special operations and stabilization efforts. "Our adversaries use the Internet to great advantage, so we have the responsibility of countering (their messages) with accurate, truthful information...
The Mawtani site is named for the Iraqi national anthem and means "my homeland." It is available in Arabic, Farsi and Urdu — but not in English — and is supervised by the Pentagon's Iraq command. The U.S. Southern Command is building a similar site for Latin American audiences. The Pacific Command, which covers Asia, is interested in setting up a news site, says Navy Lt. Cmdr. Amy Derrick-Frost, a spokeswoman....
For decades, influencing foreign audiences has been the purview of Voice of America, the U.S. radio and TV service. VOA is under the Broadcasting Board of Governors, an eight-member, presidentially appointed board that oversees all U.S. foreign-language broadcasts, including Radio Sawa and Al Hurra television in the Middle East... The [ Mawtani] site, which has operated since October, is modeled on two long-established Pentagon-sponsored sites that offer native-language news for people in the Balkans and North Africa.... The new websites follow the Pentagon's launch last year of a "Trans Regional Web Initiative" expected to lead to "a minimum of six" news sites run by military commands around the globe, according to a Special Operations Command notice for contractors interested in running the sites. The initiative has its roots in the Balkans, where U.S. commanders set up a website in 1999 to rebut then-Yugoslavian president Slobodan Milosevic's nationalist rhetoric in the Kosovo conflict.

Pentagon Channel Launched by Time Warner in San Diego
Updated 5/1/2008
The Pentagon Channel broadcasts military news and information for and about the 2.6 million members of the U.S. Armed Forces - Active Duty, National Guard and Reserve. The channel is available on-base to more than 1.3 million service members who live and work on more than 368 military bases, camps and installations in the U.S. The channel is also available to the 800,000 service members and their families serving overseas in 178 countries via the American Forces Radio and Television Service (AFRTS). The channel also reaches more than 16 million households through commercial distribution on satellite and cable systems nationwide.In addition, the channel programming is streamed live 24/7 at http://www.pentagonchannel.mil, is available via Video on Demand, and podcast - both audio and video - from this website...
The Pentagon Channel brings live Department of Defense news briefings in full, interviews with top Defense officials, short stories about the work of our military, important information about military benefits, and programs from each branch of the services to service members, their families and other interested viewers. The channel also reaches more than 16 million households through commercial distribution on satellite and cable systems nationwide.In addition, the channel programming is streamed live 24/7 at http://www.pentagonchannel.mil, is available via Video on Demand, and podcast - both audio and video - from this website.

U.S. 'soft power' NGOs service u.s. 'news' source (ex: NYT lede blog below)
U.S. grants support Iranian dissidents
The Obama administration is moving forward with plans to fund groups that support Iranian dissidents, records and interviews show, continuing a program that became controversial when it was expanded by President Bush.The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), which reports to the secretary of state, has for the last year been soliciting applications for $20 million in grants to "promote democracy, human rights, and the rule of law in Iran," according to documents on the agency's website.
"Let's be clear: The United States does not fund any movement, faction or political party in Iran. We support … universal principles of human rights, freedom of speech, and rule of law."

The Iran Human Rights Documentation Center believes that the development of an accountability movement and a culture of human rights in Iran are crucial to the long-term peace and security of the country and the Middle East region. As numerous examples have illustrated, the removal of an authoritarian regime does not necessarily lead to an improved human rights situation if institutions and civil society are weak, or if a culture of human rights and democratic governance has not been cultivated. By providing Iranians with comprehensive human rights reports, data about past and present human rights violations and information about international human rights standards, particularly the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the IHRDC programs will strengthen Iranians’ ability to demand accountability, reform public institutions, and promote transparency and respect for human rights. Encouraging a culture of human rights within Iranian society as a whole will allow political and legal reforms to have real and lasting weight. The IHRDC welcomes donations or grants for human rights promotion from governments, non-governmental organizations, and private persons. [digest: including...]
The U.S. State Department Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs and Human Rights and Democracy Fund

Reporters Without Borders
* Human Rights Watch
Amnesty International
Physicians for Human Rights
Freedom House

NYT blogs The Lede
U.S. and Allies Warn Iran Over Nuclear ‘Deception’
“Iran is on notice that when we meet with them on Oct. 1 they are going to have to come clean and they will have to make a choice,” he said. The alternative to giving up their program, he warned, is to “continue down a path that is going to lead to confrontation.”... Iranians were aggressively arguing that the plant was a “semi-industrial fuel enrichment facility” that they had voluntarily made its existence public. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on his annual visit to he United Nations insisted the effort was entirely legal, even if Iran had failed to declare its existence to international inspectors until days ago. “We have no fears,” he said. “What we did was completely legal. The agency will come and take a look and produce a report and it is nothing new.” He added: “What business is it of yours to tell us what to do or not?”...
But to the West, there was a sense that Iran had stumbled. “They have cheated three times,” one senior administration official said of the Iranians. “And they have now been caught three times.”...referring to information unearthed by an Iranian dissident group that led to the discovery of the underground plant at Natanz in 2002 [contradicting itself: "... For years, American intelligence agencies have been searching Iran for evidence of the kind of plant that Iran was accused Friday of building..."] and evidence developed two years ago — after Iran’s computer networks were infiltrated by American intelligence agencies — that the country had sought to design a nuclear warhead. American officials believe that effort was halted in late 2003.... http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/26/world/middleeast/26nuke.html?hp=&pagew...

A Ribbon of Green Thursday, protesters marched against Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, unfurling a mile-long green banner across the Brooklyn Bridge. The report features an interview with Hadi Ghaemi, the director of the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran

Two days after Iran’s opposition returned to the streets of Tehran and other major cities, using a day designated for demonstrations against Israel to protest their own government instead, the country’s ruling cleric sought to counter the mass movement by completely ignoring it. In a speech on Sunday, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei insisted last Friday’s annual Quds Day (Quds is the Persian word for Jerusalem) was “a day of clear shouts against the deadly cancer of Zionism.” He did not mention or try to account for the fact that dozens of videos posted on YouTube showing large crowds of green-clad protesters refusing to chant slogans against Israel and the United States... defying a government cheerleader’s repeated urgings to chant slogans against Israel or the United States — published on the web site of Human Rights Activists in Iran ... Ayatollah Khamenei tried to blame “foreign media” for “poisoning Iran’s atmosphere” in recent months, in what may have been an oblique reference to the social networking services that have allowed Iranian citizen journalism to flourish....Six days earlier, during the latest mass trial of dissidents, a prosecutor in Tehran charged that the social networking sites... wage a psychological war against Iran....

Israeli terrorist intel on the 'homeland's' great state terror war against 'homegrown terror'....
No Homegrown US Islamist Terror Network proven by FBI arrests
DEBKAfile Special Report
A deceptive impression has been gained from the rash of FBI (preventive) arrests in recent weeks that a home-grown network of Islamist terrorists is raising its head to strike in the US... The main difficulty with the Zazi case, the biggest of the three, is that it rests on intent rather than actual wrongdoing, such as the construction of a finished bomb or proven choices of targets...If the American Afghan terror suspect does not lose his nerve under questioning and insists on his innocence, he has a good chance of getting away with a light sentence at worst.

The Nuremberg Tribunal defined a war of aggression as follows:
"To initiate a war of aggression, therefore, is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole".

Benjamin H. Friedman, a research fellow at the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank, writes in World Politics Review that the projected increase shouldn't come as a surprise. "Many Americans believe that Barack Obama and the Democratic majority in Congress will lower defense spending and restrain the militaristic foreign policy it underwrites," Friedman notes. "The coming years should destroy that myth."
Backgrounder: The Fine Print on Defense Spending, CFR, http://www.nytimes.com/cfr/world/slot1_20090226.html

A Balanced Strategy
Reprogramming the Pentagon for a New Age
By Robert M. Gates
From Foreign Affairs , January/February 2009
The United States cannot take its current dominance for granted and needs to invest in the programs, platforms, and personnel that will ensure that dominance's persistence.... Other nations may be unwilling to challenge the United States fighter to fighter, ship to ship, tank to tank. But they are developing the disruptive means to blunt the impact of U.S. power, narrow the United States' military options, and deny the U.S. military freedom of movement and action....

  Classified McChrystal Report: 500,000 Troops Required Over Five Years in Afghanistan

What matters for the Pentagon is that the minute any sectarian outfit or bandit gang decides to collude with the Pentagon, it's not "Taliban" anymore; it magically morphs into a "Concerned Local Citizens" outfit. By the same token any form of resistance to foreign interference or Predator hell from above bombing is inevitably branded "Taliban".

Balochistan is the ultimate prize
By Pepe Escobar
PART 1: Obama does his Bush impression

The "lasting commitment" Washington war-time summit/photo-op between United States President Barack Obama and the AfPak twins, "Af" President Hamid Karzai and "Pak" President Asif Ali Zardari was far from being an urgent meeting to discuss ways to prevent the end of civilization as we know it. It has been all about the meticulous rebranding of the Pentagon's "Long War". In Obama's words, the "lasting commitment" is above all to "defeat al-Qaeda". As an afterthought, the president added, "But also to support the democratically elected, sovereign governments of both Pakistan and Afghanistan." To have George W Bush's man in Kabul and former premier Benazir Bhutto's widow defined as "sovereign", one would be excused for believing Bush is still in the White House....Possibly moved by the obligatory "deep regret" expressed by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Karzai refrained from throwing a tantrum in Washington concerning the latest "precise" US air strike in ultra-remote Farah province in western Afghanistan which, according to local sources, may have incinerated over 100 Afghans, 70% of them women and children....

Obama's opium war
By now it's clear that the upcoming, Pentagon-enabled, summer surge in the "Af" section of Obama's war in AfPak will be deployed essentially as Obama's new opium war. In a spicy historic reversal, the British Empire (which practically annexed Afghanistan) wanted the Chinese to be hooked on its opium, while now the American empire wants Afghans to stop cultivating it. The strategy boils down to devastating the Pashtun-cultivated poppy fields in southern Helmand province - the opium capital of the world. In practice, this will be yet another indiscriminate war against Pashtun peasants, who have been cultivating poppies for centuries. Needless to say, thousands will migrate to the anti-occupation rainbow coalition/motley crew branded "Taliban".

Destroying the only source of income for scores of poor Afghans means, in Pentagon spin, "to cut off the Taliban's main source of money", which also happens to be the "main source of money" for a collection of wily, US-friendly warlords who will not resign themselves to being left blowing in the wind.
The strategy is also oblivious to the fact that the Taliban themselves receive scores of funding from pious Gulf petro-monarchy millionaires as well as from sections in Saudi Arabia - the same Saudi Arabia that Pentagon supremo Robert Gates is now actively courting to ... abandon the Taliban. Since the Obama inauguration in January, Washington's heavy pressure over Islamabad has been relentless: forget about your enemy India, we want you to fight "our" war against the Taliban and "al-Qaeda".

Thus, expect any Pashtun opium farmer or peasant who brandishes his ax, dagger, matchlock or rusty Lee-Enfield rifle at the ultra-high tech incoming US troops to be branded a "terrorist". Welcome to yet one more chapter of the indeed long Pentagon war against the world's poorest....

As for the "Pak" component of AfPak, it is pure counter-insurgency (COIN). As such, His Master's Voice has got to be Central Command commander and surging General David "I'm always positioning myself for 2012" Petraeus. Enter the Pentagon's relentless PR campaign. Last week, Gates warned the US Senate Appropriations Committee that without the approval of a US$400 million-worth Pakistan Counter-insurgency Capability Fund (itself part of a humongous, extra $83.5 billion Obama wants to continue prosecuting his wars), and under the "unique authority" of Petraeus, the Pakistani government itself could collapse. The State Department was in tune: Clinton said Pakistan might collapse within six months. Anyone is excused for believing this tactic ---- just gimme the money and shut up ------ is still Bush "war on terror" territory; that's because it is (the same extraordinary powers, with the State Department duly bypassed, just as with the Bush administration). The final song, of course, remains the same: the Pentagon running the show, very tight with the Pakistani army.

For US domestic consumption purposes, Pentagon tactics are a mix of obfuscation and paranoia. For instance, Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell says, about Pakistan, "This is not a war zone for the US military." But then Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff ----- who's been to Pakistan twice in the past three weeks ---- says the Taliban in AfPak overall "threaten our national interests in the region and our safety here at home". He was echoing both Clinton and Gates, who had said that the Taliban are an "existential threat" to Pakistan. Finally, Petraeus closes the scare tactics circle - stressing in a letter to the House Armed Services Committee that if the Pakistani Army does not prevail over the Taliban in two weeks, the Pakistani government may collapse.
That unveils the core of Pentagon's and David "COIN" Petraeus' thinking: they know that for long-term US designs what's best is yet another military dictatorship...
The money quote still is Obama's appraisal of Pakistan: "We want to respect their sovereignty, but we also recognize that we have huge strategic interests, huge national security interests in making sure that Pakistan is stable and that you don't end up having a nuclear-armed militant state." Pakistani "sovereignty" is a joke; Pakistan is now openly being run from Washington.

obama -lovers eviscerate liberal electoral delusions
The Afghan Imperative
By Op-Ed Columnist David Brooks
... The record suggests what Gen. Stanley McChrystal clearly understands — that only the full counterinsurgency doctrine offers a chance of success. This is a doctrine, as General McChrystal wrote in his remarkable report , that puts population protection at the center of the Afghanistan mission, that acknowledges that insurgencies can only be defeated when local communities and military forces work together... for America’s Afghanistan policy — all out or all in, surrender the place to the Taliban or do armed nation-building... not an easy call. The costs and rewards are tightly balanced. But in the end, President Obama was right: “You don’t muddle through the central front on terror. ... You don’t muddle through stamping out the Taliban.”...
Afghanistan is central to this effort partly because it could again become a safe haven to terrorists, but mostly because of its effects on the stability of Pakistan. As Stephen Biddle noted in a recent essay in The American Interest, the Taliban is a transnational Pashtun movement active in both Afghanistan and Pakistan. It is part of a complex insurgency trying to topple the Pakistani regime... We have tried to fight the Afghan war the easy way, and it hasn’t worked. Switching now to the McChrystal strategy is a difficult choice... But Obama was also right a few months ago when he declared, “This will not be quick, nor easy. But we must never forget: This is not a war of choice. This is a war of necessity. ... This is fundamental to the defense of our people.” http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/25/opinion/25brooks.html?em

u.s. imperialism well-exposed outside usa
Anti-U.S. Wave Imperiling Efforts in Pakistan
 A new wave of anti-American sentiment in Pakistan has slowed the arrival of hundreds of U.S. civilian CIA and military officials charged with implementing assistance programs, undermined cooperation in the fight against al-Qaeda and the Taliban, and put American lives at risk, according to officials from both countries..."We recognize that Pakistani public opinion on the United States is still surprisingly low, given the tremendous effort by the United States to lead an international coalition in support of Pakistan," Richard C. Holbrooke, the administration's special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, said after Thursday's meetings. As Obama grapples with U.S. military proposals to greatly increase the number of American troops fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan, other options on the table include a stepped-up counterterrorism campaign against al-Qaeda strongholds in Pakistan that would require more -- rather than less -- Pakistani support... In recent weeks, Pakistan has rejected as "incomplete" at least 180 U.S. government visa requests... to deny visas or to conduct "rigorous, intrusive and obviously crude surveillance" of journalists and nongovernmental aid organizations including the Congress-funded International Republican Institute and National Democratic Institute....

Tension has been fueled by widespread media reports in Pakistan of increased U.S. military and intelligence activity -- including the supposed arrival of 1,000 Marines and the establishment of "spy" centers in houses rented by the U.S. Embassy in the capital, Islamabad. U.S. Ambassador Anne W. Patterson has publicly labeled the reports false, and she told local media executives in a recent letter that publishing addresses and photographs of the houses "endanger[s] the lives of Americans in Pakistan." ...In particular, Patterson objected to Mazari's "baseless and inaccurate allegation" that Washington-based Creative Associates International, a contractor for the U.S. Agency for International Development with offices in Africa, Central Asia and the Middle East, was a "CIA front-company."...
Pakistanis, who are extremely sensitive about national sovereignty, oppose allowing foreign troops on their soil and have protested U.S. missile attacks launched from unmanned aircraft against suspected Taliban and al-Qaeda targets inside Pakistan. Much of the recent upheaval has focused on U.S. plans to expand the U.S. Embassy complex in Islamabad, a heavily guarded, 38-acre compound with nearly 1,500 employees, two-thirds of them Pakistani nationals. About 400 employees are to be added, half of them Americans. Reports of the expansion have led to rumors that at least 1,000 Marines also would be arriving, along with new contingents of U.S. spies.

1,013 Afghan Civilians Killed in First Half of 2009
RAIM Global Digest 5 Sept 22, 2009
A U.N. mission has reported that 1,013 civilians have been killed in combat in Afghanistan during the first half of the year, up 24% from the same period in 2008. Civilian deaths have not been restricted to Afghanistan. On January 23rd, less than three days after his inauguration, President Barack Obama ordered a drone attack into Pakistan which locals say killed three civilians.
Much of the world has been bamboozled by the Obama presidency. However, the people of Afghanistan and Pakistan are finding out that Obama is just another imperialist butcher. They likely won’t be the last as the Obama administration continues to redirect the “War on Terror.” The people of the Third World will not take such aggression lying down. This past July was the bloodiest month for occupation forces in Afghanistan since the start of the October 2001 invasion. Sources: http://www.azstarnet.com/sn/related/303214

U.S. Pledges to Quash Goldstone Recommendations
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- The Obama administration will not allow the Goldstone report recommendations on Israel's conduct in the Gaza war to reach the International Criminal Court.
A top White House official told Jewish organizational leaders in an off-the-record phone call Wednesday that the U.S. strategy was to "quickly" bring the report -- commissioned by the U.N. Human Rights Council and carried out by former South African Judge Richard Goldstone -- to its "natural conclusion" within the Human Rights Council and not to allow it to go further, Jewish participants in the call told JTA. The report said the U.N. fact-finding mission investigating Israel's conduct during the January 2009 war found evidence of Israeli war crimes. Israel has denied the allegations and said the report's mandate was biased -- an opinion echoed by U.S. officials. The Obama administration is ready to use the U.S. veto at the U.N. Security Council to deal with any other "difficulties" arising out of the report, the White House official said Wednesday. The administration also has made clear to the Palestinian Authority that Washington is not pleased with a P.A. petition to bring the report's allegations against Israel to the International Criminal Court....

Goldstone’s Report: A Different Look
by Dr. Elias Akleh / September 26th, 2009
Goldstone’s report, incriminating Israel for war crimes, has been optimistically received by many as a sign of dismantling Israel’s impunity from legal actions for her war crimes and violations of international laws. Yet, at the same time, it is full of political booby-traps that Israel could use to indemnify herself and turn the blame onto Palestinians. Besides equating the Palestinian victims with the genocidal Israeli criminals, and denying them of their moral humanitarian right of self-defense, the report also grossly ignores historical events, distorts reality, and legalizes Israeli occupation of Palestine. Let us remember, here, that the UN … (Full article …) http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article23579.htm
... When they deny the “myth of the Holocaust”, they are not talking about whether the historical events of the Holocaust really happened, they are denying that Zionism is entitled to do what it does to the Palestinians because of what Nazism and its collaborators did to European Jewry. In short, "the myth of the Holocaust" says that Shoah justifies Nakba, and Ahmadinejad and Akef are saying, “No, it doesn’t”.... Zionism has made a “myth of the Holocaust”... mean[s] that Zionism tells the story of the Holocaust with the purpose of justifying what it has done to Palestine and its inhabitants. The underlying truth that the myth is meant to convey is that Jewish suffering in Europe justified the establishment of a Jewish state in a land whose population was 1. not Jewish, but overwhelmingly Muslim and Christian and 2. not responsible for European anti-Semitism or the Holocaust. Ahmadinejad and Akef are saying this myth is a fake; that it is not an explanation of an underlying truth, but an appropriation of the Holocaust in order to further a political agenda....

Akef and Ahmadinejad... have both made it clear their questions about the Holocaust aren’t about the Jewish genocide in Europeper se, but specifically about why the Palestinians should be the ones to pay for it. If you read the context  in which Ahmedinejad said “they ave made a myth of the Holocaust”, you find that the subject he is discussing is not whether the Holocaust took place, but rather “why the Palestinian nation should pay for the crimes the Europeans have committed” (which – if you think about it - kind of takes for granted already that those crimes really did happen):
"If the Europeans are telling the truth in their claim that they have killed six million Jews in the Holocaust during the World War II - which seems they are right in their claim because they insist on it and arrest and imprison those who oppose it, why the Palestinian nation should pay for the crime [?]. Stressing that "the same European countries have imposed the illegally-established Zionist regime on the oppressed nation of Palestine", he said, "If you have committed the crimes so give a piece of your land somewhere in Europe or America and Canada or Alaska to them to set up their own state there. Then the Iranian nation will have no objections, will stage no rallies on the Qods Day and will support your decision."

Similarly, Muhammad Akef explicitly denied  that his comments were anything to do with Holocaust denial: The leader of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood has said that when he called the Holocaust a myth this week, he did not mean to say it never happened but wanted to highlight the West's attitude towards democracy...

 In a message on Thursday, Akif said: "Western democracy has attacked everyone who does not share the vision of the sons of Zion as far as the myth of the Holocaust is concerned."… on Saturday, his office said: "Some media gave this a meaning which he [Akif] did not intend [and read it as] a denial that the Holocaust of the Jews by the Nazis during World War Two happened. The fact is that he did not deny that it took place."

When we hear an inflammatory claim being pushed by our corporate media about Iran and its president like “Ahmadinejad denies the Holocaust!!!” we would do well to remember the sad performance of our news media in laying the foundation for war in 2003, and to ask ourselves whether each new revelation is real news, or manufactured “news” designed to mobilize public opinion for a new war. The same people who brought us the spectacular failure that is the Iraq war, would now like to try their luck in Iran. Paul Wolfowitz explained in May 2003 that, in the absence of a clear and present danger from Saddam Hussein, the Bush Administration had looked around for a justification for invading Iraq and settled on WMDs
 as the rationale everyone could agree on. This time around, the U.S. needs a new excuse for invading a country that clearly is not going to invade us, and... the new focus in large part on the person of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad....
1. He’s a Holocaust denier! That’s what we are meant to understand from the reporting of his “myth of the Holocaust” statements...
2. He wants to wipe Israel off the map! That’s what we're told in our news media’s hysterical reporting of Ahmadinejad's speech to the “World Without Zionism” conference in Tehran on 26 October 2005. Except it turns out that, when correctly translated he didn’t say Israel must be wiped off the map, but that "the occupation regime over Jerusalem should vanish from the page of time", which is not a threat of war or annihilation, but an expression of hope for regime change.

the reality ... of u.s. capitalist political-economic democracy
Curtain Call: Grim Glimpses of the World's True Workings
"...the criminal underworld ­ and the even more criminal "upperworld" of big business and politics ­ have fused in a deadly symbiosis that underlies the nation's power structure... gangland's rap sheet looks like a hymnbook next to the genocidal record of the upperworld...."
Two particularly telling glimpses came through this week, throwing harsh, glaring light on the all-pervasive corruption of American political system – and on the collusion of governments, business and the underworld in killing the poor and poisoning the planet to maintain the comfort and privilege of the "developed" world. ....

Obama to bypass Congress to continue indefinite "preventive detention" of suspects
President Obama will continue to detain terrorism suspects without charges under the current system used by Bush/Cheney: allows the president to unilaterally hold "combatants" without habeas corpus -- a legal term literally meaning "you shall have the body" -- which forces prosecutors to charge a suspect with a crime to justify the suspect's detention.
http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2009/09/24/detention/index.html http://rawstory.com/blog/2009/09/obama-will-bypass-congress-to-detain-su...

as if the state bureaucracy's jobs aren't to protect capitalist corporations
F.D.A. Reveals It Fell to a Push by Lawmakers
The Food and Drug Administration said that four congressmen and its former commissioner influenced the process that led it to approve...

Police State Raids against Immigrants
by Stephen Lendman / September 25th, 2009
Post-9/11, the Bush administration initiated them [the raids], and they continue under Obama. In 2003, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) established its largest investigative and enforcement branch – the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement arm (ICE) “as a law enforcement agency for the post-9/11 era, to integrate enforcement authorities against criminal and terrorist activities, including the fights against human trafficking and smuggling violent transnational gangs and sexual predators on children criminal terrorist” threats to the nation. [digest: Arabs, Blacks, Latinos -- primarily political repression in religious drag, and] Muslims are its prime targets, often using militarized unconstitutional tactics against vulnerable, defenseless [digest: usually suspected resistance] people.... http://dissidentvoice.org/2009/09/police-state-raids-against-immigrants/

Biden visits Ga. storm victims; more rain expected
"It's not Katrina in its scope, by any stretch of the imagination, but the impact on their lives, on your lives, we understand it is Katrina," Biden said. President Barack Obama was closely monitoring the situation from the G-20 economic summit in Pittsburgh, Biden said... Federal Emergency Management Agency/FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano traveled with Biden, along with U.S. Sens. Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson, Republicans from Georgia. "I have to say this administration responded in a very magnificent way and in a very quick way," Chambliss said. "For Vice President Biden to take the time to come down here today ... we, as Georgians, just say thank you for your commitment to helping people right here in our part of the state. With your help we're going to survive this and come out better."
The American Red Cross said shelters in Georgia and Tennessee on Thursday night took in nearly 400 people whose homes were affected by the recent flooding. The Red Cross said they have sheltered more than 650 people since the flood began.

Obama had not issued the order as of Wednesday afternoon, but the president reportedly discussed the flooding with Perdue in a phone call Tuesday evening

Top 1% got 2/3 of all U.S. income gains - 2002-07:
 Gap between top 1% and bottom 90% now worse than at any time since 1928... incomes of the top 1/10th of 1% of U.S. households grew by 94% or by $3.5 million between 2002 and 2007.
The overall share of the total national income flowing to the top 1/10th of 1% rose from 7.3% in 2002 to 12.3% in 2007.