2/21/8 "U.S. Struggles to Tutor Iraqis in Rule of Law" Remember Malcolm X

In honor of Malcom X: Truth and Revolutionary Struggle
The U.S. struggle to tutor the world in capitalism's rule of law, its white supremacist 'manifest destiny', for hundreds of years has wrought unimaginable degradation, destruction and death, but more vital for the future, the magnificent courage and resistance of millions, leaders, heritage and hope.
Malcolm X, former Muslim, one of our great revolutionary leaders, was murdered On Feb. 21, 1965, at 39 years old, by U.S. assassins as he was about to address a rally in Harlem, NYC, so fearful were the cowardly oppressors of the political movement his truth inspired.
Malcolm stripped the system bare naked for us. We need to learn from him today. 'They can kill revolutionaries', as BPP Fred Hampton another, great Black leader murdered by the state, said, 'but they can't kill the revolution'.
Will we?


what 'exporting democracy' capitalist style means follows in stark relief
U.S. Struggles to Tutor Iraqis in Rule of Law
Col. Steven David, the chief military defense lawyer for the Guantánamo cases, who must provide detainees with military lawyers, said he did not have six lawyers available to take the cases, which the Pentagon described as a milestone in the war on terror. In addition, he noted, a tangle of questions are unanswered in the military commission system, which has yet to begin a single trial. They include whether waterboarding constitutes torture, how statements obtained by coercion are to be handled, whether detainees may be so psychologically damaged that they may not be able to assist in their defense and exactly what the rules of the trials are to be..... Mr. Mohammed and most of the other detainees charged Monday are not believed to have had any contact with a lawyer....Military judges in Guantánamo have acknowledged that basic legal concepts require that defense lawyers review most of the government’s evidence, though the rules remain unclear and some material is to be kept from the defense under national security rules... The prosecutors’ decision to seek the death penalty must be reviewed by a Pentagon official with broad power over the military commission system...

Malcom Lagauche
On the morning of February 14, 1991, when I turned the TV on to see the latest lies being told to the public about the U.S. bombing of Iraq, I saw a chaotic situation in Baghdad. The Amiryah bomb shelter had just been struck by two 2,000-pound superbombs. Information was sketchy, but it was evident that many people lost their lives. The first statement from the U.S. administration was that the U.S. hit an Iraqi command and control post and the dead were military. Shortly after, the cameras showed charred bodies of women and children, so the U.S. story had to be revised. The administration then said that the building was a military target in which Saddam Hussein placed civilians to protect the military personnel. Remember that the current vice-president of the U.S., Dick Cheney, was the U.S. Secretary of War in 1991. He said, "We blame the Iraqi leadership for putting civilians in harm’s way." That statement was not only a lie, but one of the most absurd allegations one could make because it denigrated the hundreds of humans who lost their lives... http://www.uruknet.de/?p=41089

A Crime We'll Never Forget
Treasure of Baghdad
On this day but Seventeen years ago, hundreds of innocent Iraqi civilians were hiding from the American terror bombardments in a bomb shelter in Amiriya neighborhood west of Baghdad. They didn’t know that the craws were hovering over the building. They children were playing, women were chatting and praying for safety and the elderly were either reading or praying too. Then, a sudden shock, huge fire and then everyone melted on the floor and the walls. The shelter was destroyed with the people hiding in it by two American laser-guided "smart bombs" on 13-14 February 1991 during the Gulf War, killing more than 408 civilians. Seventeen years have passed and that tragedy never left Iraqis’ minds. It never made them forget the brutality and the crime. Seventeen years ago, the whole world stood silent. The world let America lead them to make the remaining living Iraqis they didn’t kill starve for twelve years. Twelve years of deprivation of food and medicine. Twelve years of thousands of tragedies.... http://www.uruknet.de/?p=41104

Firm That Paid Iraq Papers Gets New Deal
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - A public relations company that participated in a
controversial U.S. military program that paid Iraqi newspapers for stories
favorable to coalition forces has been awarded another multimillion-dollar
media contract with American forces in Iraq.
Washington-based Lincoln Group won a two-year contract to monitor a number
of English and Arabic media outlets and produce public relations-type [SIC]
products like talking points or speeches for U.S. forces in Iraq, officials
"Lincoln Group is proud to be trusted to assist the multinational forces in
Iraq with communicating news about their vital work," Lincoln Group
spokesman Bill Dixon said in a statement. Details about the contract were
confirmed by the U.S. military spokesman in Iraq, Lt. Col. Barry Johnson

puppets perform to masters' music
Iraqi Interior Ministry Major Khalaf orders police to round up beggars, mentally disabled:
The decision came after a series of suicide attacks, including two female bombers who struck pet markets in Baghdad on Feb. 1, killing nearly 100 people. Iraqi and U.S. officials have said the women were mentally disabled ('incorrect' according to NBC news 2/20/8] and apparently unwitting bombers.... Khalaf was not more specific about how those taken into custody would be selected. The U.S. military said the Interior Ministry intends to transfer those detained to the Ministry of Work and Social Affairs.http://tinyurl.com/26tako

the family values of imperialist genocide
US occupation forces air strikes kill 8 in Iraqi family including a woman and five children

The Pentagon’s Proactive, Preemptive Operations Group (P2OG)
Fomenting the Civil War in Iraq
Into the Dark: The Pentagon Plan to Provoke Terrorist Attacks
by Chris Floyd
November 1, 2002

Darkness Visible: The Pentagon Plan to Foment Terrorism Now in Operation
From the Moscow Times, Jan. 25, 2005.

This fight has nothing to do with soldierly gallantry or principles of the Geneva Convention. If the fight against the partisans is not waged with the most brutal means, we will shortly reach the point where the available forces are insufficient to control the area. It is therefore not only justified, but it is the duty of the troops to use all means without restriction, even against women and children, so long as it ensures success.
Wilhelm Keitel, chief of staff of the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces of Germany [Dec. 16, 1942]

Diplomats told to defend seeking death penalty for 9/11 detainees
U.S. justifies tribunal as similar to trials of Nazis
By MATTHEW LEE. Associated Press
The Bush administration has instructed U.S. diplomats abroad to defend its decision to seek the death penalty for six Guantanamo Bay detainees accused in the Sept. 11 terror attacks by recalling the executions of Nazi war criminals after World War II...the U.S. administration sees Nuremberg as a historic precedent in asking for the Sept. 11 defendants to be executed. The cable is written in a question-and-answer format in anticipation of inquiries that diplomats may get from foreigners about the Pentagon's Monday announcement of the trial and charges. "Posts are asked to draw from the points provided below in responding to foreign government and media requests regarding this announcement," it says in a one-paragraph summary under the subject heading: "Q and A — Guantanamo Detainees Charged for 9/11."... The Nuremberg reference is in the response offered to the sample question: "Doesn't the application of the death penalty to these defendants violate international law? The one-word answer provided before the explanation that invokes Nuremberg: "No." ... The cable makes no link between the scale of the crimes perpetrated by the Nazis, which included the Holocaust that killed some 6 million European Jews and other minorities, and those allegedly committed by the Guantanamo detainees, who are accused of murder and war crimes in connection with 9/11, in which nearly 3,000 people died.

Counter Terrorism Evaluation Group
The Counter Terrorism Evaluation Group (CPEG), created shortly after the events of September 11, 2001, by Douglas J. Feith, the under secretary of defense for policy

The "Group"
In the April 28, 2004, New York Times, James Risen described the "Group" as "a two-man intelligence team [that] set up shop in a windowless, cipher-locked room at the Pentagon, searching for evidence of links between terrorist groups and host countries."
Risen wrote that "Feith created his team a few weeks after the September 11, 2001, attacks to study links between terrorist groups and potential state sponsors around the world. F. Michael Maloof and his colleague, David Wurmser began work in October 2001 in a 15-by-15-foot space on the third floor of the Pentagon. The pair spent their days reading raw intelligence reports, many from the Central Intelligence Agency, in the Pentagon's classified computer system." The "Group" reported weekly to Steven A. Cambone, "then Mr. Feith's principal deputy."
Maloof said that the "men culled classified material, much of it uncorroborated data from the C.I.A. ... They recorded and annotated their evidence on butcher paper hung like a mural around their small office. By the end of the year, as the rubble was being cleared from the World Trade Center and United States forces were fighting in Afghanistan, the men constructed a startling new picture of global terrorism." (all emphases added)
"Old ethnic, religious and political divides between terrorist groups were breaking down, the two men warned, posing an ominous new threat. They saw alliances among a wide range of Islamic terrorists, and theorized about a convergence of Sunni and Shiite extremist groups and secular Arab governments. Their conclusions, delivered to senior Bush administration officials, connected Iraq and Al Qaeda, Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden." [...] Also see "A Small Intelligence Cell's Connections" graphics, NYT, April 27, 2004.

Debating torture and counterinsurgency—a century ago.
...In 1902 United States soldiers were torturing Filipinos with water.

US Pays Iraqis Not to Fight U.S.
U.S. pays Sunni insurgents $800,000 a day not to attack U.S. forces...80,000 members of an "Awakening group," the "Sons of Iraq," a newly formed "U.S.-allied security force" are paid $10 a day each not to attack U.S. troops.

Richard Perle: 'We’ve Already Won’ Iraq War ...But It's ‘Far From Over’
Think Progress
Exploring the question "Iraq: What if we win?" in the latest issue of The American Interest, neoconservative Iraq war architect Richard Perle offers a series of false, incoherent, contradictory and misleading statements to distance himself from the disastrous Iraq war he helped create but also to tout the war’s successes. In his article headlined "We Won Years Ago," Perle claims that the Iraq war — which he argues was "imposed on us" — is "far from over" ...but later, he claims "we have already won in Iraq" because "Saddam will not be sharing WMD with anyone." Missing of course, is that Saddam never had any WMD to share...
Read the full article / Leggi l'articolo completo: http://www.uruknet.de/?p=41327

destroying the nation, its culture and history is the plan...
Historic sites being trampled by foreign troops in Iraq
Malaysia Sun
An Iraqi minister criticised U.S-led multinational troops who continue to set up military camps on historic sites in Iraqi cities. The Minister of Antiquities and Tourism, Mohammed Abbas, told the al-Mada newspaper that foreign military troops are causing damage to sites in Samarra and Nasiriyah.
Read the full article / Leggi l'articolo completo: http://www.uruknet.de/?p=41330

'Europeans Hide Behind the Unpopularity of President Bush': An Interview with Henry Kissinger
We are in a war against radical Islam that is trying to overthrow the moderate elements in the Islamic world and which is fundamentally challenging the secular structures of Western societies. All this is happening at a difficult period in European history.

VIDEO: The Trials of Henry Kissinger: The Making Of A War Criminal


US wants attack on Gaza :
The Israeli operation in Lebanon had left Kissinger unimpressed, and he made this clear to Harel. Even worse: Kissinger told him that Israel's erratic progress was undermining U.S. interests. http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/956442.html

US lauds death of Hezbollah resistance leader :
The United States applauded the killing of Hezbollah leader Imad Moughniyah in a car bomb in Damascus, calling him a cold-blooded murderer

Israeli minister hails killing of Hezbollah leader:
"I, of course, do not know who carried out the assassination of Imad, but he should be blessed," said Environment Minister Gideon Ezra

Israel accused of Hezbollah leader's killing:
Iran blamed its Israel for the killing of Hezbollah leader Imad Moughniyah in Damascus and condemned it as an act of "state terrorism"

Amnesty International 'Human Rights Org.' Mourns Rabid Zionist Monster
Amnesty International USA will miss Congressman Lantos as a steadfast ally in Congress for the human rights movement. Our hearts are heavy today with his ...

Since 9/11, and seemingly without the notice of most Americans, the federal government has assumed the authority to institute martial law, arrest a wide swath of dissidents (citizen and noncitizen alike), and detain people without legal or constitutional recourse in the event of "an emergency influx of immigrants in the U.S., or to support the rapid development of new programs."
Beginning in 1999, the government has entered into a series of single-bid contracts with Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg, Brown and Root (KBR) to build detention camps at undisclosed locations within the United States. The government has also contracted with several companies to build thousands of railcars, some reportedly equipped with shackles, ostensibly to transport detainees.
According to diplomat and author Peter Dale Scott, the KBR contract is part of a Homeland Security plan titled ENDGAME, which sets as its goal the removal of "all removable aliens" and "potential terrorists." [see below]

Sect. 1042 of the 2007 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), "Use of the Armed Forces in Major Public Emergencies," gives the executive the power to invoke martial law. For the first time in more than a century, the president is now authorized to use the military in response to "a natural disaster, a disease outbreak, a terrorist attack or any other condition in which the President determines that domestic violence has occurred to the extent that state officials cannot maintain public order."

The Military Commissions Act of 2006, rammed through Congress just before the 2006 midterm elections, allows for the indefinite imprisonment of anyone who donates money to a charity that turns up on a list of "terrorist" organizations, or who speaks out against the government's policies. The law calls for secret trials for citizens and noncitizens alike.

Also in 2007, the White House quietly issued National Security Presidential Directive 51 (NSPD-51), to ensure "continuity of government" in the event of what the document vaguely calls a "catastrophic emergency." Should the president determine that such an emergency has occurred, he and he alone is empowered to do whatever he deems necessary to ensure "continuity of government." This could include everything from canceling elections to suspending the Constitution to launching a nuclear attack. Congress has yet to hold a single hearing on NSPD-51.

U.S. Rep. Jane Harman, D-Venice (Los Angeles County) has come up with a new way to expand the domestic "war on terror." Her Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007 (HR1955), which passed the House by the lopsided vote of 404-6, would set up a commission to "examine and report upon the facts and causes" of so-called violent radicalism and extremist ideology, then make legislative recommendations on combatting it. According to commentary in the Baltimore Sun, Rep. Harman and her colleagues from both sides of the aisle believe the country faces a native brand of terrorism, and needs a commission with sweeping investigative power to combat it.
A clue as to where Harman's commission might be aiming is the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, a law that labels those who "engage in sit-ins, civil disobedience, trespass, or any other crime in the name of animal rights" as terrorists. Other groups in the crosshairs could be anti-abortion protesters, anti-tax agitators, immigration activists, environmentalists, peace demonstrators, Second Amendment rights supporters ... the list goes on and on. According to author Naomi Wolf, the National Counterterrorism Center holds the names of roughly 775,000 "terror suspects" with the number increasing by 20,000 per month. What could the government be contemplating that leads it to make contingency plans to detain without recourse millions of its own citizens?...Lewis Seiler is the president of Voice of the Environment, Inc. Dan Hamburg, a former congressman, is executive director.

RAND Arroyo Center Research Programs:
Strategy, Doctrine, and Resources seeks to determine the implications of the changing security environment for the Army’s future roles, structure, and doctrine.
Force Development and Technology assesses technological advances and new operational concepts to improve Army mission performance by seeking opportunities in new technologies, evaluating alternative force structures, and identifying efficiencies from acquisition reform.
Military Logistics conducts high-quality, objective analyses to help the Army improve support to operational forces, enhance the effectiveness of its business processes, and optimize the industrial base and support infrastructure.
Manpower and Training applies sophisticated economics and social science methodologies to Army personnel and training issues. It stresses quantitative analysis and testing of alternative policies and resource mixes, all oriented toward choosing appropriate strategies for manning, training, and structuring the Army for the future.

More information about the type of research carried out in the four programs can be found in the RAND Arroyo Center Annual Report 2006 - Meeting Today's Demands, Shaping Tomorrow's Choices.
Click here to see earlier Annual Reports that are also available online.

Current Research
Improving Strategic Planning at the Department of Defense — Feb. 14, 2008
The Department of Defense works continuously to improve its strategic planning for future forces. An enhanced approach utilizing portfolio-analysis methods should be particularly helpful in high-level reviews seeking to integrate requirement-setting, technology assessments, and cost analyses.
Full DocumentResearch BriefNational Security Research Area

United States Lacks the Capability to Counter Insurgency in the Muslim World — Feb. 11, 2008
Iraq and Afghanistan have revealed serious shortfalls in the capabilities of the U.S. to counter insurgency in the Muslim world. Instead of relying predominantly on military occupation, the U.S. must become more able to bolster the ability of threatened states to win the contest for the support of their people.
Full DocumentNews ReleaseResearch BriefTerrorism and Homeland Security Research Area

10-Year U.S. Strategic Plan For Detention Camps Revives Proposals From Oliver North
New America Media, Feb 21, 2006
Editor's Note: A recently announced contract for a Halliburton subsidiary to build immigrant detention facilities is part of a longer-term Homeland Security plan titled ENDGAME, which sets as its goal the removal of "all removable aliens" and "potential terrorists."
The Halliburton subsidiary KBR (formerly Brown and Root) announced on Jan. 24 that it had been awarded a $385 million contingency contract by the Department of Homeland Security to build detention camps. Two weeks later, on Feb. 6, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff announced that the Fiscal Year 2007 federal budget would allocate over $400 million to add 6,700 additional detention beds (an increase of 32 percent over 2006). This $400 million allocation is more than a four-fold increase over the FY 2006 budget, which provided only $90 million for the same purpose.
Both the contract and the budget allocation are in partial fulfillment of an ambitious 10-year Homeland Security strategic plan, code-named ENDGAME, authorized in 2003. According to a 49-page Homeland Security document on the plan, ENDGAME expands "a mission first articulated in the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798." Its goal is the capability to "remove all removable aliens," including "illegal economic migrants, aliens who have committed criminal acts, asylum-seekers (required to be retained by law) or potential terrorists."...

Significantly, both the KBR contract and the ENDGAME plan are open-ended. The contract calls for a response to "an emergency influx of immigrants, or to support the rapid development of new programs" in the event of other emergencies, such as "a natural disaster." "New programs" is of course a term with no precise limitation. So, in the current administration, is ENDGAME's goal of removing "potential terrorists."

It is relevant that in 2002, Attorney General John Ashcroft announced his desire to see camps for U.S. citizens deemed to be "enemy combatants." On Feb. 17 of this year, in a speech to the Council on Foreign Relations, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld spoke of the harm being done to the country's security, not just by the enemy, but also by what he called "news informers" who needed to be combated in "a contest of wills." Two days earlier, citing speeches critical of Bush by Al Gore, John Kerry, and Howard Dean, conservative columnist Ben Shapiro called for "legislation to prosecute such sedition."
Since 9/11 the Bush administration has implemented a number of inter-related programs, which had been planned for secretly in the 1980s under President Reagan. These so-called "Continuity of Government" or COG proposals included vastly expanded detention capabilities, warrantless eavesdropping and detention, and preparations for greater use of martial law. Prominent among the secret planners of this program in the 1980s were then-Congressman Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, who at the time was in private business as CEO of the drug company G.D. Searle.
The principal desk officer for the program was Oliver North, until he was forced to resign in 1986 over Iran-Contra.

When planes crashed into the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, Vice President Cheney's response, after consulting President Bush, was to implement a classified "Continuity of Government" plan for the first time, according to the 9/11 Commission report. As the Washington Post later explained, the order "dispatched a shadow government of about 100 senior civilian managers to live and work secretly outside Washington, activating for the first time long-standing plans."

What these managers in this shadow government worked on has never been reported. But it is significant that the group that prepared ENDGAME was, as the Homeland Security document puts it, "chartered in September 2001." For ENDGAME's goal of a capacious detention capability is remarkably similar to Oliver North's controversial Rex-84 "readiness exercise" for COG in 1984. This called for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to round up and detain 400,000 imaginary "refugees," in the context of "uncontrolled population movements" over the Mexican border into the United States. North's exercise, which reportedly contemplated possible suspension of the United States Constitution, led to questions being asked during the Iran-Contra Hearings. One concern then was that North's plans for expanded internment and detention facilities would not be confined to "refugees" alone.[...]

The Biggest Police Operation in U.S. History
by Richard D. Vogel
The recent Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids that paralyzed Swift and Company across the heartland of America were part of Endgame, a massive immigration enforcement operation launched by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in 2003. Ultimately, it promises to be the biggest police operation in U.S. history. The stated objective of Endgame is to "remove all removable aliens" from the U.S. by the year 2012. This DHS goal could eventually entail the arrest, detention, and deportation of 12-15 million undocumented migrants, mostly Mexicans and Central Americans, currently residing and working in the U.S. Once Endgame is in full swing and receives mass media coverage, the intimidation effect will likely spark substantial voluntary repatriation and significantly reduce the number of police actions required to execute the operation.
Though the stated objective of Endgame is clear enough, the hidden agenda of the operation remains officially undeclared -- that agenda is to capture the undocumented migrants working in the U.S. and recruit serviceable individuals in a so-called "guest worker" program that will reduce them to a condition of transient servitude and further undercut the value of all labor in the U.S....

The infrastructure that will be needed to execute Endgame is already in place or under development.

Click on the map for a larger view.
Department of Homeland Security Facilities

Map 1 shows the location of the existing Detention and Removal Operations (DRO) facilities of the DHS. Most of them are located along U.S. Interstate Highway 10 that runs parallel to the U.S.-Mexican border from the Pacific Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico. In these formidable DRO facilities, apprehended undocumented migrants will be detained and either recruited into the U.S. guest worker program by U.S. labor contractors or summarily deported to their country of origin.
The locations of the DROs at Miami, Guantanamo Bay, and Aquadilla suggest that they will be used to process migrant workers from Central America and the Caribbean.

In addition to infrastructure development, ICE is currently recruiting and training the substantial manpower that will be required for the execution of Endgame at the various Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers (FLETC) located primarily in the American South and Southwest.The current training and equipping of ICE reflect the increasing militarization of U.S. immigration policy. While the U.S. Border Patrol was reorganized along military lines and outfitted in smart military style uniforms in preparation for Operation Wetback, ICE conducts its operations as special forces units, dressed in black uniforms and armed with state-of-the-art assault weapons. The immigration reform proposals that embrace a guest worker program pending in the U.S. Congress accommodate the expansion of U.S. Border Patrol, ICE, and DRO facilities needed to enforce the program.

Senator Calls "Error Unprecedented"
The chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., told Air Force officers the loading of nuclear-tipped missiles on a B-52 bomber at a U.S. air base last August was an unprecedented and significant security failure.Three investigations explored the incident in which the B-52 was inadvertently loaded with six nuclear-tipped cruise missiles and flown from Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota to Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana.The warheads were supposed to have been removed from the missiles before the missiles were carried to the Louisiana base. ...most of the 132 recommendations produced by the three investigations have not been implemented....noting that each warhead had 10 times the power of the atom bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, in World War II, Levin called the loading of nuclear-tipped missiles on the bomber "a significant failure." "While historically there have been nuclear weapons accidents, with varying degrees of severity, no breach of nuclear procedures of this magnitude has ever occurred," Levin said.He called inattention to security, "with few exceptions," pervasive within the Defense Department [NB: but democrats will continue to fund all its requests]

CIA Attacks Inside Pakistan Without Approval
Unilateral Strike Called a Model For U.S. Operations in Pakistan
By Joby Warrick and Robin Wright
Independent actions [SIC] by U.S. military forces on another country's sovereign territory are always controversial, and both U.S. and Pakistani officials have repeatedly sought to obscure operational details that would reveal that key decisions are sometimes made in the United States, not in Islamabad.

The Unholy Trinity: Death Squads, Disappearances and Torture - From Latin America to Iraq
By Greg Grandin
...Throughout the second half of the Cold War, Washington's anti-communist allies killed more than 300,000 civilians, many of whom were simply desaparecido - "disappeared." The expression was already well known in Latin America when, on accepting his 1982 Nobel Prize for Literature in Sweden, Colombian novelist Gabriel García Márquez reported that the region's "disappeared number nearly one hundred and twenty thousand, which is as if suddenly no one could account for all the inhabitants of Uppsala."
When Latin Americans used the word as a verb, they usually did so in a way considered grammatically incorrect - in the transitive form and often in the passive voice, as in "she was disappeared." The implied (but absent) actor/subject signaled that everybody knew the government was responsible, even while investing that government with unspeakable, omnipotent power. The disappeared left behind families and friends who spent their energies dealing with labyrinthine bureaucracies, only to be met with silence or told that their missing relative probably went to Cuba, joined the guerrillas, or ran away with a lover. The victims were often not the most politically active, but the most popular, and were generally chosen to ensure that their sudden absence would generate a chilling ripple-effect.
An Unholy Trinity
Like rendition, disappearances can't be carried out without a synchronized, sophisticated, and increasingly transnational infrastructure, which, back in the 1960s and 1970s, the United States was instrumental in creating. In fact, it was in Latin America that the CIA and U.S. military intelligence agents, working closely with local allies, first helped put into place the unholy trinity of government-sponsored terrorism now on display in Iraq and elsewhere: death squads, disappearances, and torture.
Death Squads: Clandestine paramilitary units, nominally independent from established security agencies yet able to draw on the intelligence and logistical capabilities of those agencies, are the building blocks for any effective system of state terror. In Latin America, Washington supported the assassination of suspected Leftists at least as early as 1954, when the CIA successfully carried out a coup in Guatemala, which ousted a democratically elected president. But its first sustained sponsorship of death squads started in 1962 in Colombia, a country which then vied with Vietnam for Washington's attention.
Having just ended a brutal 10-year civil war, its newly consolidated political leadership, facing a still unruly peasantry, turned to the U.S. for help. In 1962, the Kennedy White House sent General William Yarborough, later better known for being the "Father of the Green Berets" (as well as for directing domestic military surveillance of prominent civil-rights activists, including Martin Luther King Jr.). Yarborough advised the Colombian government to set up an irregular unit to "execute paramilitary, sabotage and/or terrorist activities against known communist proponents" - as good a description of a death squad as any.
As historian Michael McClintock puts it in his indispensable book Instruments of Statecraft, Yarborough left behind a "virtual blueprint" for creating military-directed death squads. This was, thanks to U.S. aid and training, immediately implemented. The use of such death squads would become part of what the counterinsurgency theorists of the era liked to call "counter-terror" - a concept hard to define since it so closely mirrored the practices it sought to contest.
Throughout the 1960s, Latin America and Southeast Asia functioned as the two primary laboratories for U.S. counterinsurgents, who moved back and forth between the regions, applying insights and fine-tuning tactics. By the early 1960s, death-squad executions were a standard feature of U.S. counterinsurgency strategy in Vietnam, soon to be consolidate into the infamous Phoenix Program, which between 1968 and 1972 "neutralized" more than 80,000 Vietnamese - 26,369 of whom were "permanently eliminated."
As in Latin America, so too in Vietnam, the point of death squads was not just to eliminate those thought to be working with the enemy, but to keep potential rebel sympathizers in a state of fear and anxiety. To do so, the U.S. Information Service in Saigon provided thousands of copies of a flyer printed with a ghostly looking eye. The "terror squads" then deposited that eye on the corpses of those they murdered or pinned it "on the doors of houses suspected of occasionally harboring Viet Cong agents." The technique was called "phrasing the threat" - a way to generate a word-of-mouth terror buzz.
In Guatemala, such a tactic started up at roughly the same time. There, a "white hand" was left on the body of a victim or the door of a potential one.
Disappearances: Next up on the counterinsurgency curriculum was Central America, where, in the 1960s, U.S. advisors helped put into place the infrastructure needed not just to murder but "disappear" large numbers of civilians. In the wake of the Cuban Revolution, Washington had set out to "professionalize" Latin America's security agencies - much in the way the Bush administration now works to "modernize" the intelligence systems of its allies in the President's "Global War on Terror."
Then, as now, the goal was to turn lethargic, untrained intelligence units of limited range into an international network capable of gathering, analyzing, sharing, and acting on information in a quick and efficient manner. American advisors helped coordinate the work of the competing branches of a country's security forces, urging military men and police officers to overcome differences and cooperate. Washington supplied phones, teletype machines, radios, cars, guns, ammunition, surveillance equipment, explosives, cattle prods, cameras, typewriters, carbon paper, and filing cabinets, while instructing its apprentices in the latest riot control, record keeping, surveillance, and mass-arrest techniques.
In neither El Salvador, nor Guatemala was there even a whiff of serious rural insurrection when the Green Berets, the CIA, and the U.S. Agency for International Development began organizing the first security units that would metastasize into a dense, Central American-wide network of death-squad paramilitaries.
Once created, death squads operated under their own colorful names - an Eye for an Eye, the Secret Anticommunist Army, the White Hand - yet were essentially appendages of the very intelligence systems that Washington either helped create or fortified. As in Vietnam, care was taken to make sure that paramilitaries appeared to be unaffiliated with regular forces. To allow for a plausible degree of deniability, the "elimination of the [enemy] agents must be achieved quickly and decisively" - instructs a classic 1964 textbook Counter-Insurgency Warfare - "by an organization that must in no way be confused with the counterinsurgent personnel working to win the support of the population." But in Central America, by the end of the 1960s, the bodies were piling so high that even State Department embassy officials, often kept out of the loop on what their counterparts in the CIA and the Pentagon were up to, had to admit to the obvious links between US-backed intelligence services and the death squads.
Washington, of course, publicly denied its support for paramilitarism, but the practice of political disappearances took a great leap forward in Guatemala in 1966 with the birth of a death squad created, and directly supervised, by U.S. security advisors. Throughout the first two months of 1966, a combined black-ops unit made up of police and military officers working under the name "Operation Clean-Up" - a term US counterinsurgents would recycle elsewhere in Latin America - carried out a number of extrajudicial executions.
Between March 3rd and 5th of that year, the unit netted its largest catch. More than 30 Leftists were captured, interrogated, tortured, and executed. Their bodies were then placed in sacks and dropped into the Pacific Ocean from U.S.-supplied helicopters. Despite pleas from Guatemala's archbishop and more than 500 petitions of habeas corpus filed by relatives, the Guatemalan government and the American Embassy remained silent on the fate of the executed.
Over the next two and a half decades, U.S.-funded and trained Central American security forces would disappear tens of thousands of citizens and execute hundreds of thousands more. When supporters of the "War on Terror" advocated the exercise of the "Salvador Option," it was this slaughter they were talking about.
Following U.S.-backed coups in Brazil, Uruguay, Chile, and Argentina, death squads not only became institutionalized in South America, they became transnational. Throughout the late 1970s and 1980s, the CIA supported Operation Condor - an intelligence consortium established by Chilean dictator General Augusto Pinochet that synchronized the activities of many of the continent's security agencies and orchestrated an international campaign of terror and murder.
According to Washington's ambassador to Paraguay, the heads of these agencies kept "in touch with one another through a U.S. communications installation in the Panama Canal Zone which covers all of Latin America." This allowed them to "co-ordinate intelligence information among the southern cone countries." Just this month, Pinochet's security chief General Manuel Contreras, who is serving a 240-year prison term in Chile for a wide-range of human rights violations, gave a TV interview in which he confirmed that the CIA's then-Deputy Director, General Vernon Walters (who served under director George H.W. Bush), was fully informed of the "international activities" of Condor.
Torture: Torture is the animating spirit of this triad, the unholiest of this unholy trinity. In Chile, Pinochet's henchmen killed or disappeared thousands - but they tortured tens of thousands. In Uruguay and Brazil, the state only disappeared a few hundred, but fear of torture and rape became a way of life, particularly for the politically engaged. Torture, even more than the disappearances, was meant not so much to get one person to talk as to get everybody else to shut up.
At this point, Washington can no longer deny that its agents in Latin America facilitated, condoned, and practiced torture. Defectors from death squads have described the instruction given by their U.S. tutors, and survivors have testified to the presence of Americans in their torture sessions. One Pentagon "torture manual" distributed in at least five Latin American countries described at length "coercive" procedures designed to "destroy [the] capacity to resist."
As Naomi Klein and Alfred McCoy have documented in their recent books, these field manuals were compiled using information gathered from CIA-commissioned mind control an

Bolivia Charges US Embassy Diplomat With Espionage -AFP :
Bolivia's government has charged Vincent Cooper, a security adviser at the U.S. embassy in La Paz, with spying, Interior Minister Ruben Gamarra confirmed Wednesday in local media.
http://tinyurl.com/22qzml d electric-shock experiments conducted in the 1950s. Just as the "torture memos" of today's war on terror parse the difference between "pain" and "severe pain," "psychological harm" and "lasting psychological harm," these manuals went to great lengths to regulate the application of suffering. "The threat to inflict pain can trigger fears more damaging than the immediate sensation of pain," one handbook read.
"Before all else, you must be efficient," said U.S. police advisor Dan Mitrione, assassinated by Uruguay's revolutionary Tupamaros in 1970 for training security forces in the finer points of torture. "You must cause only the damage that is strictly necessary, not a bit more." Mitrione taught by demonstration, reportedly torturing to death a number of homeless people kidnapped off the streets of Montevideo. "We must control our tempers in any case," he said. "You have to act with the efficiency and cleanliness of a surgeon and with the perfection of an artist."
Greg Grandin, author of a number of books, most recently Empire's Workshop: Latin America, the United States, and the Rise of the New Imperialism, teaches history at NYU.

Undermining Bolivia
February 09, 2008 By Ben Dangl
... Declassified documents and interviews on the ground in Bolivia prove that the Bush Administration is using U.S. taxpayers’ money to undermine the Morales government and coopt the country’s dynamic social movements—just as it has tried to do recently in Venezuela and traditionally throughout Latin America.
Much of that money is going through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). In July 2002, a declassified message from the U.S. embassy in Bolivia to Washington included the following message: “A planned USAID political party reform project aims at implementing an existing Bolivian law that would . . . over the long run, help build moderate, pro-democracy political parties that can serve as a counterweight to the radical MAS or its successors.” MAS refers to Morales’s party, which, in English, stands for Movement Toward Socialism.
Morales won the presidency in December 2005 with 54 percent of the vote, but five regional governments went to rightwing politicians. After Morales’s victory, USAID, through its Office of Transition Initiatives, decided “to provide support to fledgling regional governments,” USAID documents reveal.

Luis Gonzalez, an economics student at the University of San Simon in Cochabamba, describes a panel he went to in 2006 that was organized by the Millennium Foundation. That year, this foundation received $155,738 from the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) through the Center for International Private Enterprise, a nonprofit affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce....“The panelists said that foreign investment and production in Bolivia will diminish if the gas remains under partial state control,” says Gonzalez. “They advocated privatization, corporate control, and pushed neoliberal policies.”
That same year, the NED funded another $110,134 to groups in Bolivia through the Center for International Private Enterprise to, according to NED documents, “provide information about the effects of proposed economic reforms to decision-makers involved in the Constituent Assembly.” According to documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request by muckraker Jeremy Bigwood, the NED also funded programs that brought thirteen young “emerging leaders” from Bolivia to Washington between 2002 and 2004 to strengthen their rightwing political parties. The MAS, and other leftist parties, were not invited to these meetings.
The U.S. Embassy appears to be using Fulbright scholars in its effort to undermine the Bolivian government. One Fulbright scholar in Bolivia, who wished to remain anonymous, explained that during recent orientation meetings at the embassy in La Paz, “a member of the U.S. Embassy’s security apparatus requested reports back to the embassy with detailed information if we should encounter any Venezuelans or Cubans in the field.” Both Venezuela and Cuba provide funding, doctors, and expertise to support their socialist ally Morales. The student adds that the embassy’s request “contradicts the Fulbright program’s guidelines, which prohibit us from interfering in politics or doing anything that would offend the host country.”
Benjamin Dangl is the author of “The Price of Fire: Resource Wars and Social Movements in Bolivia.” He received a 2007 Project Censored Award for his coverage of U.S. military operations in Paraguay.

John McCain funded by Soros since 2001
In 2001, McCain founded the Alexandria, Va.-based as a vehicle to receive funding from George Soros' Open Society Institute and Teresa Heinz Kerry's Tides Foundation and several other prominent non-profit organizations. Candidate's Reform Institute also accepted funds from Teresa Kerry 's Tides Foundation and several other prominent non-profit organizations... http://worldnetdaily.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=56177

George Soros -- a profile
by Neil Clark New Statesman (UK), June 2, 2003
Soros likes to portray himself as an outsider, an independent-minded Hungarian emigre and philosopher-pundit who stands detached from the US military-industrial complex. But take a look at [a few of] the board members of the NGOs he organises and finances. At Human Rights Watch, for example, there is Morton Abramowitz, US assistant secretary of state for intelligence and research from 1985-89, and now a fellow at the interventionist Council on Foreign Relations... Paul Goble, director of communications at the CIA-created Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (which Soros also funds). Soros’s International Crisis Group boasts such “independent” luminaries as former national security advisers Zbigniew Brzezinski, Richard Allen, and General Wesley Clark, once NATO supreme allied commander for Europe....
Take a look also at [a few of] Soros’s business partners. At the Carlyle Group, where he has invested more than $100m, they include the former secretary of state James Baker and the erstwhile defence secretary Frank Carlucci, George Bush Sr and, until recently, the estranged relatives of Osama Bin Laden. Carlyle, one of the world’s largest private equity funds, makes most of its money from its work as a defence contractor.

Soros may not, as some have suggested, be an official paid-up CIA agent. But that his companies and NGOs are closely wrapped up in US expansionism cannot seriously be doubted.

So why is he upset with Bush? The answer is simple. Soros is angry not with Bush’s aims — of extending Pax Americana and making the world safe for global capitalists like himself — but with the crass and blundering way Bush is going about it.... Soros knows a better way — armed with a few billion dollars, a handful of NGOs and a nod and a wink from the US State Department, it is perfectly possible to topple foreign governments that are bad for business, seize a country’s assets, and even to get thanked for your benevolence afterwards. Soros has done it.
The conventional view... that socialism collapsed in eastern Europe because of its systemic weaknesses and the political elite’s failure to build popular support.... may be partly true, but Soros’s role was crucial. From 1979, he distributed $3m a year to dissidents including Poland’s Solidarity movement, Charter 77 in Czechoslovakia and Andrei Sakharov in the Soviet Union. In 1984, he founded his first Open Society Institute in Hungary and pumped millions of dollars into opposition movements and independent media. Ostensibly aimed at building up a “civil society”, these initiatives were designed to weaken the existing political structures and pave the way for eastern Europe’s eventual colonisation by global capital. Soros now claims, with characteristic immodesty, that he was responsible for the “Americanisation” of eastern Europe.
The Yugoslavs remained stubbornly resistant and repeatedly returned Slobodan Milosevic’s unreformed Socialist Party to government. Soros was equal to the challenge. From 1991, his Open Society Institute channeled more than $100m to the coffers of the anti-Milosevic opposition, funding political parties, publishing houses and “independent” media such as Radio B92, the plucky little student radio station of western mythology which was in reality bankrolled by one of the world’s richest men on behalf of the world’s most powerful nation. With Slobo finally toppled in 2000 in a coup d'etat financed, planned and executed in Washington, all that was left was to cart the ex-Yugoslav leader to the Hague tribunal, co-financed by Soros along with those other custodians of human rights Time Warner Corporation and Disney. He faced charges of crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide, based in the main on the largely anecdotal evidence of (you’ve guessed it) Human Rights Watch.

... Soros’s “open societies” don’t tend to be open in practice... Soros deems a society “open” not if it respects human rights and basic freedoms, but if it is “open” for him and his [U.S. capitalist] associates to make money. And, indeed, Soros has made money in every country he has helped to prise “open”. In Kosovo, for example, he has invested $50m in an attempt to gain control of the Trepca mine complex, where there are vast reserves of gold, silver, lead and other minerals estimated to be worth in the region of $5bn. He thus copied a pattern he has deployed to great effect over the whole of eastern Europe: of advocating “shock therapy” and “economic reform”, then swooping in with his associates to buy valuable state assets at knock-down prices.

More than a decade after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Soros is the uncrowned king of eastern Europe....The Soros strategy for extending Pax Americana differs from the Bush model, particularly in its subtlety. But it is just as ambitious and just as deadly. Left- liberals, admiring his support for some of their favourite issues such as gay rights and the legalisation of soft drugs, let him off lightly. ...
Asked about the havoc his currency speculation caused to Far Eastern economies in the crash of 1997, Soros replied: “As a market participant, I don’t need to be concerned with the consequences of my actions.”...

Who is behind Human Rights Watch?
Ruthless billionaire financier George Soros, for one...an elite-controlled dialogue on "human rights" is used to justify US interventionism...


"We will wage information warfare, but we will fight with infantry"

[For special digest issue on INTERNET 'INFORMATION WARFARE ROADMAP' see http://www.burbankdigest.com/node/69]

"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" (below)

pretexts for 'internet 2 trusted computer' mount
DNI sees cyber threats aimed at core U.S. intelligence systems
Director of National Intelligence Michael McConnell is focusing U.S. intelligence community resources on countering the threat posed to U.S. information and infrastructure from computer attacks. McConnell told Congress last week that the cyber threat is evolving from passive intelligence collection to the danger of crippling cyber strikes on computer networks and infrastructure. “Threats to our information technology infrastructure are an important focus for this community,” McConnell told the House Intelligence Committee. “We assess, as we have assessed for a long time, nations such as Russia and China long have had the technical capability to target U.S. information infrastructure for intelligence collection, and what I want to emphasize here — intelligence collection.”

the huge subject of "trusted computing" still buried
Of All the Hurdles to a Merger, View on Technology Is the Highest
A smooth integration will not be a matter of simply swapping one set of software or hardware for another...[but] hinge on changing deep-seated mind-sets....Ellen Siminoff, former Yahoo executive now chairwoman of a search engine marketing firm Efficient Frontier, said...Yahoo employees would be more likely to stay and embrace the takeover if it were blessed by Yahoo’s well-loved founders: Jerry Yang, the chief executive, and David Filo, one of the company’s key technologists.... “When a country is invaded, people don’t necessarily think they want to embrace the conqueror. There will be some element of resistance.” http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/18/technology/18integrate.html?th&emc=th

US customs agents can examine, copy data from searched laptops
02/11/2008 @ 1:24 pm
Filed by David Edwards and Mike Sheehan
Customs agents have the prerogative to examine and even copy data from traveling citizens' laptops they search, CNN's American Morning reports.
"A new alert for travellers: be careful what you store on your laptop or your BlackBerry when entering the United States," warns CNN's John Roberts. "Customs agents can examine your computer and even keep your private information." CNN reporter Jeanne Meserve adds, "Your banking records, your music choices, your emails, your business contacts -- all can be examined, copied and stored by the government when you enter the country, if they're in an electronic device."
One Pakistani-American IT consultant says that U.S. agents searched his computer on five occasions upon returning from overseas trips, even forcing him to give them access to confidential corporate inform

Facebook forever: data mining gold
After Stumbling, Facebook Finds a Working Eraser
Facebook.com, by the wrath of members who want to sever their relationships, tripped again when it tried to let them do so.

NYT advocates u.s. govt. as privacy protector
One Friend Facebook Hasn't Made Yet: Privacy Rights
What Web sites need to do is give users as much control over their identities online as they have offline.
Facebook was in the news this month for its disturbing policy of making it all but impossible for users to quit the site and erase their personal information. The issue was presented as one of privacy, which it is, but it is more precisely a matter of what the sociologist Erving Goffman called “identity management,” which takes on whole new levels on the Internet....growing inclination of [social networking] Web sites to spread personal information without users’ consent. Facebook was rightly pilloried last fall when it introduced its Beacon service, which notified users’ friends — without the users’ consent — about online purchases. Google Reader crossed a similar line when it began automatically sharing the news stories users read with their instant-messaging contacts.... Technology companies are also stockpiling personal information. Google has fought hard for its right to hold on to users’ searches in a personally identifiable way.
What Web sites need to do — and what the government should require them to do — is give users as much control over their identities online as they have offline.

info. warfare means speaking with one voice
Broadcaster Sues to Force Buyout Deal
Clear Channel Communications sued a unit of Providence Equity Partners to force a completion of a $1.billion purchase of 56 television stations.

Business spies for FBI eyes
By Jerry Mazza
Online Journal Associate Editor
...more than 23,000 members of private industry working quietly with the FBI and Department of Homeland Insecurity under the banner of InfraGard, i.e., the joint government/business program to guard ...our infrastructure... This story was also picked up by The Progressive in a report, titled “Exclusive! The FBI Deputizes Business.” Editor Matthew Rothschild wrote, “InfraGard is ‘a child of the FBI,’ says Michael Hershman, the chairman of the advisory board of the InfraGard National Members Alliance and CEO of the Fairfax Group, an international consulting firm.“InfraGard started in Cleveland back in 1996, when the private sector there cooperated with the FBI to investigate cyber threats “'Then the FBI cloned it,' says Phyllis Schneck, chairman of the board of directors of the InfraGard National Members Alliance, and the prime mover behind the growth of InfraGard over the last several years.
“InfraGard itself is still an FBI operation, with FBI agents in each state overseeing the local InfraGard chapters. (There are now eighty-six of them.) The alliance is a nonprofit organization of private sector InfraGard members. “'We are the owners, operators, and experts of our critical infrastructure, from the CEO of a large company in agriculture or high finance to the guy who turns the valve at the water utility,' says Schneck, who by day is the vice president of research integration at Secure Computing.” [*digest note: see below]

The ACLU’s ‘Surveillance-Industrial Complex” Study:
How the American Government Is Conscripting Businesses and Individuals in the Construction of a Surveillance Society.
Table of Contents includes . . .
Recruiting Individuals
"Watch" programs
Citizen vigilance
Recruiting Companies
Voluntary sharing of data
Purchasing data on the open market
Plentiful legal powers to demand private-sector data
Building in surveillance
The Patriot Act: Drafting industry into the government’s surveillance net
Enlistment in the government’s surveillance web hurts business
Mass Data Use, Public and Private
Data mining
Data aggregators
The advantages of private surveillance
Pro-Surveillance Lobbying and Six Conclusions

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

"If the people are not convinced (that the Free World is in mortal danger) it would be impossible for Congress to vote the vast sums now being spent to avert danger. With the support of public opinion, as marshaled by the press, we are off to a good start. It is our Job - yours and mine -- to keep our people convinced that the only way to keep disaster away from our shores is to build up America's might."
Charles Wilson, GE Board Chair and Truman appointee to head the Office of Defence Mobilization, speech to Newspaper Publishers Association, 1950

“Think of the press as a great keyboard on which the government can play.”
Joseph Goebbels

"The CIA owns everyone of any significance in the major media."
former CIA Director William Colby, 1977 Oct. Rolling Stone interview with Carl Bernstein

Moderator and a Panelist Ousted at 'Fox News Watch'
"Fox News Watch," one of two weekly television shows that assess the national news media, has fired its longtime moderator and let go one of its more liberal panelists.

concentration of propaganda power as well as capital
Big Media and The New World Order: The Murdoch Empire
Stephen Lendman
...Murdoch News Corporation operations:
-- Filmed entertainment: 20th Century Fox, 20th Century Fox Espanol, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, 20th Century Fox International, 20th Century Fox Television, Fox Searchlight Pictures, Fox Studios Australia, Fox Studios Baja, Fox Studios LA, Fox Television Studios, and Blue Sky Studios;
-- Television: Fox Broadcasting, Fox Sports Australia, Fox Television Stations, FOXTEL, MyNeworkTV, STAR; and the newest entry, Fox Business, to compete with CNBC and Bloomberg;
-- Cable: Fox Business Network (just launched), Fox Movie Channel, Fox News Channel, Fox Sports Channel, Fox College Sports, Fox Sports Enterprises, Fox Sports En Espanol, Fox Sports Net, Fox Soccer Channel, Fox Reality, Fuel TV, FX, National Geographic, Channel United States, Channel Worldwide, Speed, and Stats, Inc.;
-- Direct broadcast satellite television: BSkyB, DirectTV, and Sky Italia;
-- Magazines and Inserts: Big League, Inside Out, donna hay, ALPHA, News America Marketing, Smart Source, The Weekly Standard, and Gemstar - TV Guide International Inc.;
-- Newspapers: 21 in "Australasia" including the Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph, Herald Sun and Sunday Herald Sun, Post-Currier, Sunday Mail, Sunday Times, The Australian, The Mercury, and the Weekly Times; 6 in the UK including The Times, The Sunday Times, The Sun, and News International; and two in the US - the New York Post (the Columbia Journalism review calls "a force for evil") and Wall Street Journal as of December 13 when News Corporation announced the completion of its acquisition of Dow Jones & Company;
-- Books: HarperCollins Publishers, Australia, Canada, Children's Books, United States, United Kingdom, Zondervan;
-- Other assets: 25 are listed including Broadsystem, Fox Interactive Media, IGN Entertainment, FoxSports.com, Fox.com, News Outdoor and others. [...]

Lawless Wazirestan Is Not so Lawless as They Have You believe
By Andres Kargar (galileo19@hotmail.com)
Watching the news the other day and thinking about the lies and distortions of the US media, I was wondering “how can you tell a suicide bomber that has just blown himself or herself up to smithereens was a woman – much less a handicapped woman?” I mean in the middle of this whole mess and chaos in Iraq, the forensic capabilities of the Iraqi police must be phenomenal, or is this yet another story planted by the US propaganda machine mindlessly repeated by corporate reporters without any questions asked? Remember when the corporate media tried... calling waterboarding "simulated drowning"? Well, there's no simulation there. The victim can actually suffocate and drown if the torture drags on. The phrase was simply invented to soften the effect and make waterboarding sound like an innocent act. How about when the media described the destruction of the CIA tapes. They got you so preoccupied with the illegal act of destroying the evidence that you accepted the premise that the tapes dealt with torture of Al-Qaeda prisoners ...not that perhaps the tapes were destroyed because they documented much more horrific crimes on the part of the US intelligence, or that they perhaps exposed the fallacies and lies of the Bush regime about Al-Qaeda and the war of terror... now the press talk is about the "lawless land of Wazirestan": the need for the United States to pressure Pervez Musharraf to risk mass opposition by accepting U.S. Special (terrorist) Forces] in that “lawless land of Wazirestan.”...The real truth is that Wazirestan is not as lawless and mysterious as they have you believe.

Wazirestan is a mountainous region in northwest Pakistan bordering Afghanistan that covers about 4500 square miles. It is known for its rugged terrain and has few roads. It is precisely because of the terrain that the population is quite sparse (about a million) in a country that has a population of about 164 million. The inhabitants of Wazirestan are mostly Waziri tribes, independent-minded people who live by their own laws and traditions and who have never accepted the rule or the presence of foreign forces, be they the British, the Pakistani army or the Taliban. Foreign fighters have been historically planted in Wazirestan by the Pakistani Intelligence services (ISI), and the Pakistani army has suffered heavy casualties in attempting to bring the Waziri tribes under its influence and control. When the US media mention Al-Qaeda or the Taliban forces easily slipping back and forth between Afghanistan and Wazirestan, they are talking pure nonsense....The Pentagon and the corporate media fully utilize the people’s lack of knowledge of the area in spreading false propaganda. It seems that since September 11, 2001, Muslims have acquired magical powers.
Wazirestan is a fig leaf for the "war on terror": which, according to the US government propaganda, hides Osama bin Laden, the mythical Al-Qaeda militias, and the Taliban forces. Without Wazirestan, the official 9/11 account comes undone.... never forget US corporate media’s collaboration and crucial role in the fairy tales that have helped justify the Bush administration’s bellicose and disastrous policies towards the Middle East. Anything that one hears from them, one should take with a grain of salt and a great deal of suspicion and caution.

Police can now use Taser guns on children and possibly pregnant women
British Police have been given the go-ahead to use Taser stun guns against children...relaxing restrictions on the use of the weapons despite warnings that they could trigger a heart attack [not to mention death as in adults] in youngsters... Government scientists were also asked to test whether the weapons could cause a miscarriage if used on a pregnant woman. While not saying whether police would be allowed to Taser an expectant mother, the Home Office said the DSAC committee had "specifically asked" for computer simulations to be carried out to analyse the effect on "a pregnant female". Amnesty International claims Tasers have been responsible for 220 deaths in America since 2001....Taser International, the American firm that makes the device, said tests on pigs [the 4 legged ones] suggested the weapons were safe. http://tinyurl.com/2s2cs6

Tasers, Torture and Terror Tactics: America Becomes a Police State
Len Hart, The Existentialist Cowboy
Torture and atrocities are not confined to Abu Ghraib. In and out of the nation's 'out-sourced' penal institutions, perverts with badges terrorize the nation, threatening innocent children, , women and the handicapped. Everyone is a target. Being an innocent bystander, a model citizen, a Rotarian is not enough to keep you safe from rogue cops, tin-horn sheriffs, or other so-called law enforcement personnel. Who let these dogs out? ... http://www.uruknet.de/?p=41161

Gang-Rape Victim Says She And Others Silenced by Halliburton
Jones Says They Are Forced To Argue Their Sexual Assault Cases in Secretive Arbitration
A Houston, Texas woman, who says she was gang-raped by her co-workers at a Halliburton/KBR camp in Baghdad, says 38 women have come forward through her foundation to report their own tragic stories to her, but that cannot speak publicly due to arbitration agreements in their employment contracts. Jamie Leigh Jones is testifying on Capitol Hill this afternoon. She says she and other women are being forced to argue their cases of sexual harassment, assault and rape before secretive arbitration panels rather than in open court before a judge and jury...

Arab-Americans And Obama’s False Hope
Remi Kanazi
...Senator Obama is not anti-war, nor does he genuinely seek appropriate alternatives to militarism in the Middle East. Arab-Americans and putative leftists naively, and sometimes willfully, overlook the fact that he is an ardent supporter of the invasion, bombing, and ongoing occupation of Afghanistan. One also cannot dismiss that his views are consistent with the Democratic Party platform, which aspires to refocus on Afghanistan. Such views bode well with Obama’s plan to deploy additional troops and increase funding, but as with the case in Iraq, it will only intensify the struggles of the civilian population of Afghanistan. Obama fully supported the Lebanon war (even as the Israeli military killed hundreds of Lebanese civilians and leveled civilian infrastructure with tens of thousands of US-shipped cluster bombs), and played up his pro-Israel rhetoric nearly as much as his current democratic opponent, Hilary Clinton. As with nearly every other candidate, Obama fully supports Israel’s 40 year occupation of Palestinian land and dutifully endorsed the besiegement of Gaza. Surprisingly, this is a politician who once curried favor with prominent members of the Palestinian community, attending a community fundraiser in which Edward Said was the keynote speaker, dining with Rashid Khalidi in Chicago, and receiving praise from Ali Abuminah during his time as a state senator. Domestically, his shift to the right is glaringly apparent, reflecting weaker stances on undocumented residents, the patriot act, gay rights, and a host of other domestic issues....
Obama may have voiced opposition to the Iraq war five years ago, but his "courage" came at a time when it minimally affected his political aspirations. Since entering the senate, he has voted in favor of nearly 300 billion dollars in war appropriations and will continue to appropriate billions more if elected president. Obama is already playing up his ability to be hawkish on foreign policy (e.g. his illustrious declaration that he’d bomb Pakistan on "actionable intelligence") and has tried to validate himself as a "tough when necessary" type of leader.
Obama squarely blames Iraqis for their own misery, focusing little attention on the US campaign. The incessant mantra that Iraqis refuse to pull themselves up by their bootstraps and accept democracy [SIC] ...
Arab-Americans should not be confused... Many of the organizations that purportedly speak for us have become part of the system...If the system is broken and the game of Washington politics is corrupt, then playing it with a weak hand only strengthens that system.
[...] http://www.uruknet.de/?s1=1&p=41056&s2=12

Problems in Blood Drug Lead to Halt by Factory
Gardiner Harris
February 12, 2008
A major maker of heparin, a blood thinner used widely in surgery and dialysis, has stopped making it after hundreds of patients reported severe allergic reactions to the drug, which is made from pig intestines. At least four people died. Shortages of the drug are all but certain, federal regulators said. Although alternatives exist, doctors warned of serious consequences if heparin became truly scarce... Baxter supplies about half the nation’s heparin. Most of the cases were reported in late December or January; 40 percent were deemed serious. The reactions included difficulty breathing, nausea, vomiting, excessive sweating and rapidly falling blood pressure that in some cases led to life-threatening shock.
Baxter continues to make single-dose vials. Dr. John Jenkins, director of the Food and Drug Administration’s office of new drugs, said the agency decided to allow the company to continue distributing the multidose vials that it had made because a full recall “would result in an immediate and severe shortage of this medically necessary drug.” APP Pharmaceuticals in Schaumburg, Ill., manufactures much of the rest of the heparin supply. Its president, Tom Silberg, said APP was rapidly increasing production. (emphasis added)
Dr. Christina Beckwith, a drug information specialist at University of Utah Hospital, said newer versions of heparin, all far more expensive, could be used.[...] http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/12/health/12drug.html?th&emc=th

One Thousand Lives A Month, Researcher Estimates Trasylol Cost 22000 Lives
Two years - during which it's estimated Trasylol was contributing to the loss of one ... Trasylol was put in Joe's IV and kept flowing for four hours. ...

NYT's Krugman / neoliberal democrat pimps pretend the problems produced and reproduced by this class-race based political-economic system can be the solution as the crisis of capital drives its deepening assaults globally
Poverty Is Poison
To be poor in America today, even more than in the past, is to be an outcast in your own country. And that, the neuroscientists tell us, is what poisons a child’s brain....(not to mention the rest of the body) Poverty rates are much lower in most European countries than in the United States, mainly because of government programs that help the poor and unlucky...if a progressive wins this election, it will be by promising to ease the anxiety of the middle class rather than aiding the poor. And for a variety of reasons, health care, not poverty, should be the first priority of a Democratic administration.

just a teeny-weeny possibility...
A Rip-Off by Health Insurers?
An investigation into the health industry's process for calculating "reasonable and customary" rates raises the possibility that they may be rigged to shortchang beneficiaries... UnitedHealth owns the company whose database will affect its costs and profitability, so both have a strong financial interest in keeping reimbursement rates low. Even Ingenix seems unwilling to stand behind its numbers. In licensing its database to insurers, it stresses that the data is “for informational purposes only” and does not imply anything about “reasonable and customary” charges. Yet that is precisely what the health insurers use the data for...http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/18/opinion/18mon1.html?th&emc=th

In case you hadn't noticed, FDA exists to protect medical industry... can drugs be far behind?
Justices Shield Medical Devices From Lawsuits
Makers of medical devices like implantable defibrillators are immune from liability for personal injuries as long as the F.D.A. approved the device before it was marketed. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/21/washington/21device.html?th&emc=th