6/21/08 I Freed Millions From Barbarism, Says President Bush

I Freed Millions From Barbarism, Says President Bush
Bush defends his legacy, issues a stern warning to Iran ... and reveals his plans for a freedom institute devoted to 'universal values'

1,225,898 Iraqis Slaughtered In US State Terrorist War And Occupation

ANOTHER: Over half the UN estimated 10,000,000 refugees in the world are children. What the UN does not say is that u.s. imperialist aggression, war and domination is the primary cause of unprecedented genocidal crimes against humanity.
...Iraq was the biggest source of the world's newest refugees for the third year in a row, according to the latest annual report of the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI) released here Thursday. Last year's exodus was absorbed mostly by Syria, which took in some 500,000 Iraqis during the year -- or nearly half of the more than a million people who sought refuge by crossing an international border during 2007. Tens of thousands more Iraqis also found th eir way to Lebanon, Egypt, Yemen, Turkey, and even Sweden and Germany, which took in, respectively, 10,000 and 6,700 Iraqis during the year. The report, "World Refugee Survey 2008", said more than two million Iraqis are currently living outside their homeland, the vast majority in Syria and Jordan. Somalia -- also caught up in Washington's "global war on terror" -- ranked second as a source of new refugees during the year... http://www.uruknet.de/?p=45038

U.S. still #1 war-monger, #1 in military expenses last year: United States ($547 billion), United Kingdom ($59.7 billion), China ($58.3 billion).

"War is nothing but a continuation of politics by other means."
von Clausewitz

"The United States must cultivate a mental view toward world settlement after this war which will enable us to impose our own terms, amounting perhaps to a pax-Americana."
U.S. Department of State - Source: Minutes S-3 of the Security Subcommittee, Advisory Committee on Postwar Foreign Policy, 6 May, 1942, Notter File, Box 77, Record Group 59, Records of the Department of State, National Archives, DC.

"After years of disclosures by government investigations, media accounts and reports from human rights organizations, there is no longer any doubt as to whether the current administration has committed war crimes. The only question that remains to be answered is whether those who ordered the use of torture will be held to account…The commander-in-chief and those under him authorized a systematic regime of torture."
Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba – forced out of the army in 2006 for trying to investigate Abu Ghraib atrocities– in his statement in a new report by Physicians for Human Rights:

"I often get questions about impeachment at town hall meetings. And I've often said, I do not think that would be something that would be fruitful to pursue. I think impeachment should be reserved for exceptional circumstances."
Barack Obama


Military defense lawyers attack system
When he speaks publicly, Lt. Cmdr. William Kuebler, a military lawyer for a Guantanamo detainee, is careful to say his remarks do not reflect the views of the Pentagon....The Bush administration's war crimes system "is designed to get criminal convictions" with "no real evidence," says Kuebler, who is representing a terrorism suspect named Omar Khadr.... military prosecutors "launder evidence derived from torture."
"You put the whole package together and it stinks," he said in an interview.[...]

Broken Laws, Broken Lives: The Consequences of Torture
Review of Physicians for Human Rights' Report
Physicians for Human Rights, based in Washington, D.C., has just published a report entitled Broken Laws, Broken Lives: Medical Evidence of Torture and its Impact. It presents a very detailed and exhaustive study of the medical evidence of torture by U.S. personnel and its impact on the victimized detainees...The opening paragraph of the preface sets a powerful tone for the rest of the report: "This report tells the largely untold human story of what happened to detainees in our custody when the Commander-in-Chief and those under him authorized a systematic regime of torture. This story is not only written in words: It is scrawled for the rest of these individual’s lives on their bodies and minds. Our national honor is stained by the indignity and inhumane treatment these men received from their captors". The report focuses on the experiences of 11 former detainees who were subjected to degrading and humiliating treatment as well as barbaric physical and sexual abuse. It is worth noting that none of these individuals were ever charged with a crime and no reparations have been made to them. Among other things, these men were subjected to a wide variety of sadistic indecencies, including: prolonged isolation, sensory deprivation, sleep deprivation, forced nakedness, beatings, sodomy, electric shocks, severe stress positions, being forced to drink urine, and witnessing the desecration of the Koran...

Detainees scarred by imprisonment years after release
Medical examinations of former terrorism suspects held by the U.S. military at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, found evidence of torture and other abuse that resulted in serious injuries and mental disorders. One Iraqi prisoner...reported being subjected to electric shocks three times and being sodomized with a stick. His thumbs bore scars consistent with shocking, according to the report obtained by The Associated Press. He would not allow a full rectal exam. Another Iraqi...reported he was forced to wear women's underwear, stripped naked and paraded in front of female guards and was shown pictures of other naked detainees. The psychological exam found that Rahman suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and had sexual problems related to his humiliation, the report said. It came as the Senate Armed Services Committee revealed documents showing that military lawyers warned the Pentagon that methods it was using post-9/11 violated military, U.S. and international law. Those objections were overruled by the top Pentagon lawyer. President Bush and other U.S. officials have consistently denied that the U.S. tortures its detainees. The abuse of some prisoners by their American captors at both Guantanamo Bay and at Abu Ghraib is well documented by the government's own reports.[...]

Israel's Guantanamos
Khaled Amayreh
Israeli maltreatment of Palestinian captives and political prisoners has reached unprecedented levels of brutality, according to lawyers, human rights groups and newly-released prisoners. There are currently as many as 12,000 Palestinian detainees languishing in Israeli detention camps, many of them without charge or trial. They include hundreds of university professors, engineers, school teachers as well as religious and civic leaders, students, resistance fighters and women activists. Two years ago, the Israeli occupation authorities abducted hundreds of democratically- elected officials, including mayors, members of local city councils, law-makers, and cabinet ministers, many associate with Hamas's political wing....
Normally, the harsh treatment meted out to Palestinian detainees starts in earnest with crack Israeli soldiers raiding a given Palestinian home in the quiet hours before dawn. There, the undisciplined soldiers normally ransack the house, vandalise property and furniture, smash house appliances and terrorise the entire family, before blindfolding and handcuffing their victim and dragging him away to a military truck that takes him to one of the dozens of interrogation centres all over Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories. Upon arrival at the interrogation centre, the detainee is instantly subjected to an array of harsh treatment techniques designed to shock him and destroy his psychological immunity. These include sleep deprivation and solitary confinement as well as sporadic beating. Then the victim is made to go through the routine technique called shabh whereby he is forced to sit on a 25cm high stool, with his hands tied to his back. He can be kept in this extremely uncomfortable position for weeks or even months except for short periods to go to the toilet and eat.
The main purpose behind the harsh treatment is ostensibly to extract confessions from the victim. On many occasions, the victims confess to having committed fictitious violations only to escape the harsh and intolerable torture. Eventually, however, if no confessions are extracted, the detainee is sentenced to administrative detention, or open-ended captivity without being charged or tried.

Torture, which the Israeli judicial authorities euphemistically refer to as "moderate physical and psychological pressure", is officially sanctioned by Israel's law. Indeed, several Palestinian detainees have recently died in Israeli jails either due to torture or medical negligence. According to the Palestinian Prisoner Club, which monitors Israeli treatment of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, 167 Palestinians have died in Israeli custody since 1967.

However, while torture was normally performed on detainees mainly in order to extract confessions, the Israeli prison authorities have been using torture for the purpose of simply tormenting and humiliating Palestinian detainees. "Their goal is to make us suffer, to torment us, to humiliate us. They want to punish us further for our survival, for refusing to die and disappear as a people, for refusing to collapse. Perhaps they think that by tormenting us, they get the feeling that they are avenging the holocaust, at least vicariously," said Mohamed Abu Zneid, from Dura, who was released recently from an Israeli detention camp near the Egyptian borders. "But I can say that such behaviour can only come from a sick people, a sadistic people. Otherwise, why would normal people behave this way? ...

The so-called "death ride" is one of the most agonising and nightmarish experiences a detainee undergoes. It starts with a sudden raid of a given ward by the notorious Nahshon squad, which is specialised in repressing Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. Then a prisoner or several prisoners are ordered to board an extremely filthy, hot and nearly hermetically sealed white vehicle, allegedly in order to appear before a judge several hundred kilometres away. The hateful vehicle would move very slowly from one prison to the other to carry additional prisoners, including dangerous Jewish criminals. The car would stop every hour for refreshment, while the inmates are sweating in the back chamber.
The nightmarish journey, which could last for 24 hours, is first and foremost meant to make the prisoners suffer as much as possible in the oven-like metal chamber where there is very little oxygen. The prisoners are barred from using toilets for close to 16 hours, and some are forced to urinate and defecate inside the lock-up car.Saed Yassin, a human rights activist describes the "death ride" as "an intolerable and unbearable form of torture. They don't treat you as a human being but as cattle or a piece of luggage. People are left to rot and suffer in these oven- like chambers for up to 24 hours without food, without water, and with very little oxygen. And if they want to torment a given person, he is forced to undergo this nightmare every few days."

In addition to the death ride, the Israeli Prison Authority has been introducing additional forms of punishments, aimed at breaking the prisoner's will.... the Israeli occupation authorities have been barring family visits for more than 900 Gazan prisoners in Israeli jails under the pretext of the 18-month harsh blockade which Israel has been imposing in Gaza. The Red Cross asked Israel on several occasions to allow Gazans to visit their beloved ones, but to no avail.

Israel recently resorted to "unorthodox tactics" to harass Palestinian prisoners, including raiding and vandalising their homes and mistreating their wives and children, imposing hefty financial fines on them, and carrying out surprise searches usually after midnight. Last week, lawyers and newly-released prisoners reported that the Israeli Prison Authorities have naked Jewish women, probably prostitutes, harass prisoners, especially religious inmates, through sexually suggestive behaviour. A spokesman for the prison authorities refused to confirm or deny the revelation.

Israeli siege claimed lives of 116 patients since beginning of 2008
BRUSSELS, (PIC)-- A report issued by the European campaign to lift the siege stated that the number of the siege victims has risen to 116 Palestinian patients including children since the beginning of 2008 which indicates the Gaza Strip is witnessing a notable rise in the death toll of patients.According to the report, the total number of the siege victims since the Israeli siege imposed about a year ago, thus, has reached 192 patients... the specter of death is threatening a long list of patients who suffer chronic and serious diseases due to the lack of medicines and the Israeli restrictions imposed on travel for medical treatment outside the besieged Gaza Strip.
The campaign underlined that the statute of the international criminal court defines "genocide" in article no. six as any action that would deliberately inflict on a group of people conditions of life calculated to bring about physical destruction in whole or in part.

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

“We are on the verge of global transformation. All we need is the right major crisis and the nations will accept the New World Order.”
David Rockefeller in a 1994 Statement to the United Nations Business Council

Lawmaker takes 9/11 doubts global
In a September 2003 article for The Guardian newspaper, Michael Meacher, who served as Tony Blair's environment minister from May 1997 to June 2003, shocked the establishment by calling the global war on terrorism "bogus." Even more controversially, he implied that the U.S. government either allowed 9/11 to happen, or played some role in the destruction wrought that day. Besides Meacher, few politicians have publicly questioned America's official 9/11 narrative — until Diet member Yukihisa Fujita....
In January 2008 Fujita, a member of the Democratic Party of Japan, asked the Japanese Parliament and Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda to explain gaping holes in the official 9/11 story... While some label that claim "wacky" and label critics of the official 9/11 story "conspiracy theorists," Fujita has impressive company. For one, former Maj. Gen. Albert Stubblebine, who was commanding general of U.S. Army Intelligence and Security until 1984, is quoted on the "Patriots Question 911" Web site as saying, "I look at the hole in the Pentagon and I look at the size of an airplane that was supposed to have hit the Pentagon. And I said, 'The plane does not fit in that hole.'... a few notable [Japanese] individuals besides Fujita have disputed the U.S. government's version, including Akira Dojimaru, a Japanese writer living in Spain. In his book, written in Japanese, "The Anatomy of the WTC Collapses: Flaws in the U.S. Government's Account," he uses photos, drawings and blueprints of the WTC buildings to back up his claim that buildings one and two could not have fallen in the manner they fell due to the plane crashes and subsequent fires....a New York Times article in January quoted Thomas Kean, the chairman of the 9/11 Commission, as saying that "the CIA destroyed videotaped interrogations of Qaeda operatives," and concluded that that "obstructed our investigation."

Following the lead of Fujita, Karen Johnson, a conservative Republican senator from Arizona, has publicly voiced her doubts about 9/11 before the U.S. Senate. Inspired by Blair Gadsby — who on May 27 started a hunger strike to bring attention to the 911 Truth Movement — Johnson, like Fujita, is encouraging politicians to conduct a thorough, independent investigation...
Fujita, who worked for more than 20 years for the international conflict resolution NGO group MRA and the Japanese Association for Aid and Relief (AAR), has become something of a global cause celebre since his extraordinary questioning at the Diet. In February 2008, he participated in a conference at the European Parliament led by EMP Guilietto Chiesa calling for an independent commission of inquiry into 9/11. While in Europe, he met with NGOs from 11 European countries to discuss 9/11. While in Europe, Fujita met British former MP Meacher, who dared to question the official story when it was still considered gospel.[...]

Drafting of U.S.-Iraq Security Agreement Began Nearly Five Years Ago
By National Security Archive
Documents obtained by the National Security Archive under the Freedom of Information Act indicate that the U.S. started drafting the agreement in November 2003. - These preliminary planning documents show that from the outset U.S. aspirations for conducting military operations based in Iraq were essentially without limit... the plan would give the U.S. more than 50 military bases in Iraq, provide complete freedom of action to conduct military operations, allow complete freedom to arrest and detain Iraqis, and grant U.S. forces and contractors total immunity from Iraqi law. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article20138.htm

U.S. Says Exercise by Israel Seemed Directed at Iran
A large-scope Israeli military exercise underscored the seriousness with which it views Iran's nuclear program U.S. officials said. Over the past three decades, Israel has carried out two unilateral attacks against suspected nuclear sites in the Middle East. In 1981, Israeli jets conducted a raid against Iraq’s nuclear plant at Osirak after concluding that it was part of Saddam Hussein’s program to develop nuclear weapons. In September, Israeli aircraft bombed a structure in Syria that American officials said housed a nuclear reactor built with the aid of North Korea. The United States protested the Israeli strike against Iraq in 1981, but its comments in recent months have amounted to an implicit endorsement of the Israeli strike in Syria. Pentagon officials said that Israel’s air forces usually conducted a major early summer training exercise, often flying over the Mediterranean or training ranges in Turkey where they practice bombing runs and aerial refueling. But the exercise this month involved a larger number of aircraft than had been previously observed, and included a lengthy combat rescue mission.Much of the planning appears to reflect a commitment by Israel’s military leaders to ensure that its armed forces are adequately equipped and trained, an imperative driven home by the difficulties the Israeli military encountered in its Lebanon operation against Hezbollah.[...]

Secret US air force team to perfect plan for Iran strike
By Sarah Baxter, Washington
September 23, 2007
The United States Air Force has set up a highly confidential strategic planning group tasked with “fighting the next war” as tensions rise with Iran.Project Checkmate, a successor to the group that planned the 1991 Gulf War’s air campaign, was quietly reestablished at the Pentagon in June. It reports directly to General Michael Moseley, the US Air Force chief, and consists of 20-30 top air force officers and defence and cyberspace experts with ready access to the White House, the CIA and other intelligence agencies. Detailed contingency planning for a possible attack on Iran has been carried out for more than two years by Centcom (US central command), according to defence sources. Checkmate’s job is to add a dash of brilliance to Air Force thinking by countering the military’s tendency to “fight the last war” and by providing innovative strategies for warfighting and assessing future needs for air, space and cyberwarfare. It is led by Brigadier-General Lawrence “Stutz” Stutzriem, who is considered one of the brightest air force generals. He is assisted by Dr Lani Kass, a former Israeli military officer and expert on cyberwarfare.
The US president faces strong opposition to military action, however, within his own joint chiefs of staff. “None of them think it is a good idea, but they will do it if they are told to,” said a senior defence source. General John Abizaid, the former Centcom commander, said...: “Every effort should be made to stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, but failing that, the world could live with a nuclear-armed Iran.” Critics fear Abizaid has lost sight of Iran’s potential to arm militant groups such as Hezbollah with nuclear weapons. “You can deter Iran, but there is no strategy against nuclear terrorism,” said the retired air force Lieutenant General Thomas McInerney of the Iran policy committee. “There is no question that we can take out Iran. The problem is the follow-on, the velvet revolution that needs to be created so the Iranian people know it’s not aimed at them, but at the Iranian regime.”
Checkmate’s freethinking mission is “to provide planning inputs to warfighters that are strategically, operationally and tactically sound, logistically supportable and politically feasible”. Its remit is not specific to one country, according to defence sources, but its forward planning is thought relevant to any future air war against Iranian nuclear and military sites. It is also looking at possible threats from China and North Korea. Checkmate was formed in the 1970s to counter Soviet threats but fell into disuse in the 1980s. It was revived under Colonel John Warden and was responsible for drawing up plans for the crushing air blitz against Saddam Hussein at the opening of the first Gulf war.

Iranians don't believe that military strikes are coming
Anne Penketh
Saturday, 21 June 2008
Iran has become accustomed to Israeli threats of military action aimed at halting its nuclear programme. The Iranians have adopted a two-track response: to warn of the regional conflagration that would ensue, and to try to persuade the world that its intentions are purely peaceful, while insisting on its right to enrich uranium which is enshrined by treaty. To that end, they point out that Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a fatwa banning Iran from holding weapons of mass destruction. A senior Iranian official admitted to visiting journalists that his country is well aware that, "if we attack Israel with one bomb, America would attack us with thousands of bombs. It's suicide". They also know that a renewed Iranian threat to close the Strait of Hormuz would raise record oil prices still higher. The supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has warned that Iran would target US interests around the world in case of military attack. "If there is any attack, the whole region will be in flames," said an Iranian diplomat yesterday. "There would be a very, very strong response."
It is presumed that the targets the Iranians have in mind are the 150,000 US soldiers in Iraq and the 23,500 in Afghanistan. The Israelis must also be prepared for Iran to reactivate its Hizbollah allies in Syria, and Hamas in Gaza, which began observing a truce with Israel last Thursday.
But privately, Iranian officials continue to believe that the talk of military strikes is part of the West's carrot-and-stick pressure tactics aimed at coercing Iran into halting its uranium enrichment programme. They think the US is too tied down in Iraq to risk another military adventure with uncertain consequences. While the Israelis wield the stick, the Europeans and the US are dangling a carrot of a guaranteed fuel supply for a civil nuclear programme, which is what the Iranians say they want, although they insist on a domestic fuel cycle which is still not on offer from a West that fears a possible diversion towards a nuclear bomb.
The latest diplomatic offer to Tehran, endorsed by the US, contains a promise to renounce military action in case of an Iranian suspension. If Iran did agree to halt enrichment, the big powers would reaffirm "the obligation under the UN charter to refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state...", the offer addressed to the Foreign Minister, Manouchehr Mottaki, states.
Although no official response to the New York Times report was forthcoming yesterday, the religious establishment lost no time before hitting back. "If the enemies, particularly Israel and its American backers, adopt a language of force against Iran, they can be sure that they will receive a strong slap on the face from Iran," said a conservative cleric, Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami. "The Iranian nation is a logical and brave nation and its reply to logical methods will be logical."

Is Israel Really Preparing to Attack Iran? Col. Gardiner Says No
Is Israel really preparing to attack Iran? The New York Times today describes a June Israeli military exercise U.S. officials say "appeared to be a rehearsal for a potential bombing attack on Iran's nuclear facilities." A "senior Pentagon official" said a goal of the exercise "was to send a clear message to the United States" and Europe that Israel was prepared to act militarily if U.S. pressure to stop Iran from enriching uranium continued to fail. retired Air Force Colonel Sam Gardiner didn't get the message. "The signal I received is that Israel does NOT have the capability to effectively attack Iran's nuclear facilities," Col. Gardiner says.... "An Israeli strike would not be much of a strike," Gardiner says. Israel would hit approximately 100 aim points, single weapons on a single part of the target. "I would call the Israeli strike 'disruptive' rather than 'destructive,'" he says. It has taken three to five years to build the three facilities. "You would have to destroy most of the facilities to come close to setting back the program three to five years." The US probably thinks in terms of about 10 times more aim points for a similar strike, Gardiner notes. "President Bush likes beehive analogies," Gardiner points out. " An Israel-only strike would stir up the bees and leave the hives with only limited damage."
If Gardiner's analysis is correct, then Michael Gordon's New York Times article is deceptive, perhaps deliberately so. It's part of a campaign of pressure on Congress and European governments - likely orchestrated with the Cheney faction of the Bush Administration - to forego real negotiations with Iran, and to push towards U.S. military escalation. If we don't act, the Israelis will, the argument will be - neglecting the fact that no Israeli action is possible without a green light from Washington.
Next week, Congress may consider on its suspension calendar a resolution promoted by AIPAC that effectively endorses a naval blockade against Iran - an act of war....

Resistance in Afghanistan takes it up a notch
For the first time since the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, the U.S. military and its allies suffered more combat deaths in Afghanistan than in Iraq over the course of a month...According to a CNN report, attacks by the resistance against occupation forces in Afghanistan have been on the rise over the last four years. There were 50 percent more attacks in 2007 than there were the year before—7,143 and 5,174, respectively. This year, resistance forces carried out 2,999 attacks through June 6...The imperialists, as history has shown, fail to take into account the desire of a people for self-determination when calculating military maneuvers. The U.S. assumed that overwhelming military superiority would determine the outcome of the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq. To their dismay, the resistance forces, which come from the occupied people, are able to strike against the occupation forces and dissolve into the population from which they are drawn... http://uruknet.info/?p=m45034&hd=&size=1&l=e

Each side gets its way in revamped war bill
$162 billion to fund troops also provides flood relief, GI benefits
President Bush would win $162 billion in long-overdue funding to carry out military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan into next year under a bipartisan agreement sealed on Capitol Hill on Wednesday. The agreement reached between House Democrats and Republicans and the White House -- if passed into law as expected -- would finally put to rest Bush's long-standing battles with congressional Democrats over war funding....The latest installment of war funding would bring to well over $600 billion the amount of money provided by Congress to conduct the war in Iraq. It would also give Bush's successor several months to set Iraq policy after taking office in January -- and spares lawmakers the need to cast another war-related vote closer to Election Day.[...]

still think there's democratic electoral opposition?
Carte blanche to illegally spy on Americans
Telecoms Flex Their Muscles: FISA "Compromise" Locks-in Lawless Spying
by Tom Burghardt
...House and Senate leaders in a bipartisan Washington love-fest, stooped to new lows of dissimulation as they reached agreement on a bill that gives the nation's spy agencies and their outsourced "partners" in the telecommunications industry carte blanche... Senator Christopher "Kit" Bond (R-MO) who led Republicans during negotiations, told The New York Times, "I think the White House got a better deal than even they had hoped to get."... Virtually guaranteeing that U.S. citizens won't have their day in court, H.R. 6304, the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, grants immunity to giant telecom companies who participated in the Bush administration's lawless surveillance programs. Congressman Roy Blunt (R-MO) told the Times without skipping a beat, "The lawsuits will be dismissed." And in the best tradition of totalitarians everywhere, Bond, defending immunity provisions for lawless telecoms told Dow Jones Newswires,"I'm not here to say that the government is always right, but when the government tells you to do something, I'm sure you would all agree that I think you all recognize that is something you need to do." Ponder those words and then consider the loathsome depths reached by the Democrats and Republican partners in crime...
As ACLU Washington Legislative director Caroline Fredrickson said in her denunciation of the proposed "compromise,"
"This bill allows for mass and untargeted surveillance of Americans' communications. The court review is mere window-dressing -- all the court would look at is the procedures for the year-long dragnet and not at the who, what and why of the spying. Even this superficial court review has a gaping loophole -- 'exigent' circumstances can short cut even this perfunctory oversight since any delay in the onset of spying meets the test and by definition going to the court would cause at least a minimal pause. Worse yet, if the court denies an order for any reason, the government is allowed to continue surveillance throughout the appeals process, thereby rendering the role of the judiciary meaningless. In the end, there is no one to answer to; a court review without power is no court review at all."
"The Hoyer/Bush surveillance deal was clearly written with the telephone companies and internet providers at the table and for their benefit. They wanted immunity, and this bill gives it to them." ("ACLU Condemns FISA Deal, Declares Surveillance Bill Unconstitutional," American Civil Liberties Union, Press Release, June 19, 2008)

As Fredrickson outlined above, this onerous legislative flotsam grants immunity to telecoms currently being sued for breaking federal wiretapping laws by handing over billions of Americans' call records to state and private data-miners whilst giving agencies such as the NSA and FBI access to phone and internet infrastructure inside the United States itself. Under terms of the "compromise" the bill strips away the right of a federal district court to decide whether these multinational privateers violated federal laws prohibiting wiretapping without a court order....

Consider this: if the White House can unrestrictedly spy on Americans based on the merest of "exigent circumstances," will future "exigencies"--an external terrorist attack or internal provocation--spearhead a martial law regime with full suspension of civil liberties and the detention of domestic dissidents, the "other persons who may pose a threat to national security," referred to by National Security Presidential Directive 59?
In the final analysis, whatever temporary divisions may exist amongst the twin parties of capitalist reaction, none of the leading Democrats have any interest in challenging the fundamental fraud of the so-called "war on terror." Indeed, "terrorism" is but a convenient pretext for a bipartisan attack on democratic rights as a decaying American Empire launch "preemptive" wars in a quixotic quest to shore-up its crumbling edifice. http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=9406

Obama Supports FISA Legislation, Angering Left
By Paul Kane
Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) today announced his support for a sweeping intelligence surveillance law that has been heavily denounced by the liberal activists who have fueled the financial engines of his presidential campaign.[...] http://blog.washingtonpost.com/the-trail/2008/06/20/obama_supports_fisa_...

Presidential Directive: "Biometrics for Identification and Screening to Enhance National Security"
by Michel Chossudovsky

The latest Big Brother police state measure...with virtually no press coverage, is NSPD 59 (HSPD 24) entitled Biometrics for Identification and Screening to Enhance National Security [Complete text of NSPD 59 (HSPD 24) in Annex below] ...
NSPD 59 goes far beyond the issue of biometric identification, it recommends the collection and storage of "associated biographic" information, meaning information on the private lives of US citizens, in minute detail, all of which will be "accomplished within the law"...

The directive uses 9/11 as an all encompassing justification to wage a witch hunt against dissenting citizens...It also calls for the integration of various data banks as well as inter-agency cooperation in the sharing of information, with a view to eventually centralizing the information on American citizens. In a carefully worded text, NSPD 59 "establishes a framework" to enable the Federal government and its various police and intelligence agencies to: "use mutually compatible methods and procedures in the collection, storage, use, analysis, and sharing of biometric and associated biographic and contextual information of individuals in a lawful and appropriate manner, while respecting their information privacy and other legal rights under United States law." The Directive recommends: "actions and associated timelines for enhancing the existing terrorist-oriented identification and screening processes by expanding the use of biometrics".

"Other Categories of Individuals"
...The Directive is not limited to KSTs, which in Homeland Security jargon stands for "Known and Suspected Terrorists": "The executive branch has developed an integrated screening capability to protect the Nation against "known and suspected terrorists" (KSTs). The executive branch shall build upon this success, in accordance with this directive, by enhancing its capability to collect, store, use, analyze, and share biometrics to identify and screen KSTs and other persons who may pose a threat to national security...
NSPD 59 calls for extending the definition of terrorists to include other categories of individuals "who may pose a threat to national security". In this regard, it is worth noting that in the 2005 TOPOFF (Top officials) anti-terror drills, two other categories of individuals were identified as potential threats: "Radical groups" and "disgruntled employees", suggesting than any form of dissent directed against Big Brother [the state] will be categorized as a threat to America.

In a previous 2004 report of the Homeland Security Council entitled Planning Scenarios, the enemy was referred to as the Universal Adversary (UA). The Universal Adversary was identified in the scenarios as an abstract entity used for the purposes of simulation. Yet upon more careful examination, this Universal Adversary was by no means illusory. It included the following categories of potential "conspirators":
. "foreign [Islamic] terrorists" ,
."domestic radical groups", [antiwar and civil rights groups]
."state sponsored adversaries" ["rogue states", "unstable nations"]
."disgruntled employees" [labor and union activists].

According to the DHS Planning Scenarios Report :"Because the attacks could be caused by foreign terrorists; domestic radical groups; state sponsored adversaries; or in some cases, disgruntled employees, the perpetrator has been named, the Universal Adversary (UA). The focus of the scenarios is on response capabilities and needs, not threat-based prevention activities." (See Planning Scenarios )

In the text of NSPD 59, these other categories of people have been conveniently lumped together with the KSTs ("known and suspected terrorists"), confirming that the so-called anti-terror laws together with the Big Brother law enforcement apparatus and its associated data banks of biometric and biographic information on US citizens are intended to be used against all potential domestic "adversaries" including those who oppose the US led war in the Middle East and the derogation of the Rule of Law in America....
ANNEX Biometrics for Identification and Screening to Enhance National Security [Complete text of NSPD 59 (HSPD 24) in Annex below] [...]

Why Are... Koreans Dissin' Our Beef?
By Mike Whitney
You wouldn't know it from reading the newspapers, but the streets of Seoul are packed with tens of thousands of angry protestors who've brought business and government to a standstill. The demonstrations have dragged on for more than a month and show no sign of ending anytime soon... Koreans still don't believe the government's assurances that the meat is safe and they may have a point. According to the LA Times the USDA tests less than 1% of cattle. (USDA Mad Cow Madness" LA Times) In contrast, Japan tests every cow that enters the food chain. Also, according to the Associated Press: "Restricted imports of U.S. beef reached South Korean supermarkets last year, but further shipments were put on hold in October after banned parts, such as bones, were found in a shipment. Scientists believe mad cow disease, or bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), spreads when farmers feed cattle recycled meat and bones from infected animals. In humans, eating meat products contaminated with the illness is linked to variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, a rare and fatal malady."...
According to AFP: "Seoul insists it cannot meet protesters' demands to renegotiate the beef deal, saying it would jeopardize a separate, wider free trade agreement and cast doubt on South Korea's good faith as a negotiator....The US apparently fears any official endorsement would breach World Trade Organization rules."...

"Eight people have died from probable Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease in the US in the last nine months...Do trade officials know something we don't know? In May the Bush administration urged a federal appeals court to reverse a lower court ruling that allowed Arkansas City, KS-based Creekstone Farms Premium Beef to conduct advanced mad cow testing on its animals--presumably because it would raise consumer questions and make other packers look bad. "This is the government telling the consumers, 'You're not entitled to this information,'" protested Creekstone attorney Russell Frye, according to the AP, a charge also heard in March when USDA refused to name companies selling 143 million pounds of recalled Westland/Hallmark beef because the information was "proprietary." ("Do South Korean Meat Protesters Know Something We Don't", Martha Rosenberg)

In 2003 Dave Louthan wrote an article for counterpunch where he identified himself as one of the crew that was working at Vern's Moses Lake Meats when tests came back on a cow that had BSE.(Mad cow) The USDA swooped in and tried to hush the whole thing up, but Louthan blew the whistle. He said: "They asked me "was the cow in the food chain?" I told them of course it was, it's meat. Where else would it be? They asked me if the cow was a downer. I told them no, it was just an old cow....(Uh, oh) How many other walkers have BSE? We will never know. The USDA only tested the downers and cripples and only at our plant." (Now here's the kicker) "When the USDA said no more downers would be slaughtered, they essentially said no more BSE testing would be done. Vern's and every other slaughterhouse kept right on killing and selling Holstein meat from the same area as the mad cow with no BSE testing whatsoever. This is true and easily verifiable." (Dave Louthan, "They are Lying about your Food", counterpunch, 2003)... Louthan estimates that "there are over a million mad cows in this country" but we'll never know for sure because the government is determined to limit testing to a very small percentage of the cows. The Bush administration would rather bully our trading partners into taking dodgy beef then do what's necessary to keep the public safe. [...]

Spring floods leave 1.27 million Chinese homeless
More rain on way as damage reports top $1.5 billion
BEIJING -- Not long ago, Chinese officials sat across conference tables from American officials and got an earful. The Americans scolded the Chinese on mismanaging their economy, from state subsidies to foreign investment regulations to the valuation of their currency. Your economic system, the Americans strongly implied, should look a lot more like ours.... Senior Chinese officials are publicly and loudly rebuking the Americans on their handling of the economy and defending their own more assertive style of regulation... galled by the apparent hypocrisy of Americans telling them what to do while the American economy is at best stagnant. China, on the other hand, has maintained its feverish growth. Some officials are promoting a Chinese style of economic management that they suggest serves developing countries better than the American model, in much the same way they argue that they are in no hurry to copy American-style multiparty democracy. In the last six weeks alone, a senior banking regulator blamed Washington's "warped conception" of market regulation for the subprime mortgage crisis that is rattling the world economy; the Chinese envoy to the World Trade Organization called on the United States to halt the dollar's unchecked depreciation before the slide further worsens soaring oil and food prices; and Chinese agencies denounced a federal committee charged with vetting foreign investments in the United States, saying the Americans are showing "hostility" and a "discriminatory attitude," not least toward the Chinese....
The Chinese attitude is no doubt bolstered by the lame-duck status of the Bush administration and by the fact that the United States is widely seen as having squandered its political and military leadership during the war in Iraq, which China opposed. Likewise, Chinese officials and state news media have suggested that their relatively quick mobilization of the Chinese army during the recent earthquake in Sichuan province contrasts favorably with the Bush administration's reaction to Hurricane Katrina.[...]

FEMA flood-risk maps failed residents in Midwest
...local officials assured townspeople in 1999 that the levee was sturdy enough to withstand a historic flood, and FEMA agreed...some relieved homeowners dropped their flood insurance, and others applied for permits to build new houses and businesses. "They all told us, 'The levees are good. You can go ahead and build,' " said Parks, who did not buy flood coverage because her bank no longer required it. "We had so much confidence in those levees." Around the country, thousands of residents who relied on risk maps from the Federal Emergency Management Agency may unknowingly face similar dangers. "People put all their hopes in those levees, and when they do fail, the damage is catastrophic," said Paul Osman, the National Flood Insurance Program coordinator for Illinois. "New Orleans is the epitome; a lot of those people didn't even realize they were in a floodplain until the water was up to their roofs."...

For Bush, a New Town, a New Disaster, but Always the Memory of New Orleans
President Bush toured flood-stricken areas in Iowa on Thursday, the latest in a string of disaster-zone visits he has made in his role as comforter in chief. “I’m sorry we’re going through this,” the president said, against the backdrop of the swollen Iowa River, in a lovely middle-class neighborhood called Parkview Terrace near the University of Iowa, where homes were so submerged it looked as if they were accessible only by boat. “Tell people that oftentimes you get dealt a hand you didn’t expect to have to play, and the question is not whether you’re going to get dealt the hand; the question is how do you play it.”...he was joined by two Democratic members of Iowa’s Congressional delegation, Senator Tom Harkin and Representative Dave Loebsack, a freshman who had only kind words for the president....Always, the question of Hurricane Katrina hovers, with its enduring image of a seemingly detached Mr. Bush, peering out at the devastation from the window of Air Force One. “That was the biggest event of his presidency outside 9/11,” said John Feehery, a Republican strategist, “and he can no more escape Katrina than he can escape 9/11.”http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/20/us/20bush.html?th&emc=th

Racist Genocide in New Orleans Continues: "Like 911 But Add Water"
by liz burbank
[edited version originally published 9/3/05 "A Catastrophic Success": A Holocaust Shaped by Race]
full article at http://lizburbankdigest.blogspot.com/2006/03/racist-genocide-in-new-orle...

Myanmar storm victims doing well despite aid delay Government inaction less lethal than feared
YANGON, Myanmar -- More than six weeks have passed since Cyclone Nargis swept through the Irrawaddy delta, leaving a trail of flattened villages and broken lives and arousing international sympathy that turned to anguish as the military government obstructed foreign aid.
Now doctors and aid workers returning from remote areas of the delta are offering a less pessimistic picture of the human cost of the delay in reaching survivors. They say they have seen no signs of starvation or widespread outbreaks of disease. While it is estimated that the cyclone may have killed 130,000 people, the number of lives lost specifically because of the junta's slow response to the disaster appears to have been smaller than expected....Relief workers continue to criticize the government's secretive posture and obsession with security, its restrictions on foreign aid experts and the weeks of dawdling that left bloated bodies befouling waterways and survivors marooned with little food. But the specific character of the cyclone, the hardiness of villagers and aid efforts by private citizens helped prevent further death and sickness, they say.
Most of the people killed by the cyclone, which struck on May 2-3, drowned. But those who survived were not likely to need urgent medical attention, doctors say. "We saw very, very few serious injuries," said Frank Smithuis, manager of the mission of Doctors Without Borders in Myanmar. "You were dead or you were in OK shape....
"The Burmese people are used to getting nothing," said Shari Villarosa, the highest-ranking U.S. diplomat in Myanmar, formerly Burma. "I'm not getting the sense that there have been a lot of deaths as a result of the delay."..."It's been overwhelmingly impressive what local organizations, medical groups and some businessmen have done," said Ruth Bradley Jones, second secretary in the British Embassy in Yangon.

US in military misstep over African oil
By Antonia Juhasz
The number of Americans who believe that the war in Iraq was a mistake has surpassed the number who felt the same way about Vietnam during that war. At the same time, a much quieter US military build-up is underway on another continent. The ultimate objective of the two efforts is the same: securing Big Oil's access to the regions' oil. The impact in Africa will likely be the same as in Iraq: perpetual occupation, instability, and growing anti-Americanism. In recognition of "the emerging strategic importance of Africa", President George W Bush in February 2007 ordered the creation of AFRICOM, the US Africa Command. AFRICOM centralizes all authority for the US military operating in the African region under one command structure. It also transfers many duties that previously belonged to nonmilitary US agencies - such as building schools and digging wells - to the jurisdiction of the Department of Defense. While fighting terrorism in Africa is the primary reason given for the establishment of AFRICOM, oil appears to be the more pressing motivator. "A key mission for US forces [in Africa] would be to insure that Nigeria's oilfields, which in the future could account for as much as 25% of all US oil imports, are secure," explains General Charles Wald, deputy commander of US forces in Europe in an interview with Wall Street Journal writer Greg Jaffe....
Under the rubric of the Global War on Terror, the Bush administration has implemented the greatest realignment of US forces since the end of the Cold War. With a map of Big Oil's overseas operations, the world's remaining oil reserves, and oil transport routes, one can now track the realignment and predict future deployments of the US military.

Africa, with almost 10% of the world's remaining oil, is an area of increasing activity for both Big Oil and the US military. Between 2000 and 2007, US imports of oil from Africa increased by 65%, from 1.6 million to 2.7 million barrels a day, according to the US Department of Energy. These imports, in turn, accounted for a growing percentage of all US oil imports: increasing from 14.5% in 2000 to 20% in 2007. Both trends are expected to accelerate in the future.

Oil giants increase presence
Not only is the United States importing more African oil, but US oil companies are also increasing their African reserves and their presence on the continent. According to SEC tax filings, in 2000, ExxonMobil operated in just three African nations - Angola, Equatorial Guinea, and Nigeria - and its production there was negligible relative to the rest of the world. Today, ExxonMobil also operates in Cameroon and Chad and is set to begin work in Libya. Its African holdings account for nearly 17% of the company’s global oil reserves. According to 2008 SEC Tax Filings, Chevron, ConocoPhillips and Marathon, among other US oil companies, are also increasing their presence, with each operating in three or more of the following countries: Algeria, Angola, Cameroon, Chad, the Republic of Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Libya, and Nigeria. According to US Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman, US companies hope to expand their operations further, with Madagascar, Benin, Sao Tome and Principe, and Guinea-Bissau among potential future targets. Shell and BP, both with large US affiliates that are active in both US political campaigns and domestic lobbying efforts, are also expanding their already sizeable African operations.

The Bush administration has increasingly turned to the Department of Defense to ensure more stable governments in Africa that are supportive of both the US government and US (and US-affiliated) oil corporations and to guarantee an amenable (some would argue, subdued) populace.The Administration has increased the provision both of arms and direct military services and training to Africa, such that today Angola, Algeria, Botswana, Chad, Cote d’Iviore, the Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Kenya, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Sudan, and Uganda are all direct recipients of such assistance. General James Jones, EUCOM (European Command) Commander, announced that US Navy carrier battle groups would shorten future visits to the Mediterranean and "spend half the time going down the west coast to Africa". The former French Foreign Legion base, Camp Lemonier in Djibouti, became home to the US military's Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa in 2003.
AFRICOM, at present headquartered in Germany, intends to "establish a presence" on the African continent this year. There are several options for new US military bases, including a naval base and deepwater port on the tiny island of Sao Tome off the coast of Gabon, West Africa. The Pentagon is also considering new bases in Senegal, Ghana and Mali. [...]

"The principal beneficiary of America's foreign assistance programs has always been the United States."
US Agency for International Development Source: "Direct Economic Benefits of U.S. Assistance Programs," 1999

NOT FOOLED BY U.S./NGOs: Support nationalist anti-imperialist resistance!
Oil Field Operation Suspended After Attack by Nigerian Rebels
Militants from the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, a shadowy rebel group that has carried out an escalating series of attacks on oil installations in the creeks of the Niger Delta over the last few years, claimed responsibility for the strike. But the latest attack was on a rig 75 miles offshore, which requires much better equipment and military-style coordination. It was the first time militants had managed to hit Shell’s deep offshore platform, Ms. Thomas said.
Jomo Gbomo, a spokesman for the group, said in an e-mail statement to journalists that the attack was intended to show that no oil installations would be spared. “The location for today’s attack was deliberately chosen to remove any notion that offshore oil exploration is far from our reach,” he said....
Nigeria is Africa’s top oil producer, exporting more than a million barrels a day to the United States alone, according to Energy Department statistics. The Bonga field produces about 225,000 barrels a day. Previous militant attacks had already cut Shell’s daily production in Nigeria by 400,000 barrels a day.Nigeria is seeking to increase production and is relying heavily on offshore operations to meet those goals, in part because rigs far offshore seem less vulnerable than the highly exposed pipelines and flow stations that dot the Niger Delta region. The oil giants Chevron and Total have large offshore fields that are scheduled to begin production this year.[...]

Tougher Security Needed For Nigeria's Offshore Oil
...Security sources described the Bonga attack as astonishingly bold. The militants used small boats to travel by night, through notoriously strong currents, a distance more than three times the width of the Strait of Dover separating England and France.The distance alone of deepwater sites like Bonga from the Nigerian coast meant that oil companies had assumed they would not be subjected to the level of attacks that have cut output in the shallow creeks of the Niger Delta in recent years. "At the moment, the main operators who are really putting a lot of time, money and effort into security are those relatively close to the shore, up to around 10 km," said a security expert working in the oil industry...."It is an indication that these kind of attacks are going to become a trend," said Rolake Akinola, senior West Africa analyst with independent risk consultancy Control Risks. "It is about the militants being able to adapt themselves to the changing strategies of the oil companies," she told Reuters....
The militants said they would target oil and gas tankers in the area next. They said the oil companies should pull their foreign staff out of Nigeria until the long-simmering conflict in southern Nigeria is resolved. The United States, which is a top customer of Nigeria's easily refined crude, has offered to help Nigeria calm its waters and has sent naval vessels on training missions to the Gulf of Guinea, which is Africa's offshore oil heartland...

"Military men are just dumb stupid animals to be used as pawns in foreign policy"
Henry Kissinger

Only 6% of Vets Claims for Secret Govt. Tests Granted
The Veterans Affairs Department has granted only 6 percent of health claims filed by veterans of secret Cold War chemical and germ warfare tests conducted by the Pentagon. During the tests thousands of service members were exposed, often without their knowledge, to real and simulated chemical and biological agents, including sarin and VX.The tests were conducted at sea and above a half-dozen U.S. states from 1962-1973 to see how U.S. ships would withstand chemical and germ assaults and how such weapons would disperse.The Defense Department says 6,440 service members took part in the experiments called Project 112 and Project SHAD, and 4,438 veterans have been notified of their participation. Others could not be located or have died... The Pentagon only began to disclose details of the tests publicly in 2001, after pressure from veterans and lawmakers. Two years later Defense officials stopped looking for additional project participants...

Star Wars Or Social Progress?
by Bruce Gagnon
June 21, 2008
It’s all about two things - power and money. Star Wars technology will give the U.S. “control and domination” of space and the Earth below as the Space Command planning document Vision for 2020 has outlined. On the second point the aerospace industry acknowledges that Star Wars will be the largest industrial project in the history of the planet Earth - necessitating near total control of the federal budget by the Pentagon. Recently Col. Robert Suminsby Jr., commander of Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, New Mexico told community leaders that social spending is problematic because it is impacting the Air Force’s ability to buy new high-tech weapons systems. “As a military officer, my big concern is fixing Social Security and Medicare,” Suminsby said. “If we don’t fix [defund] those things, there won’t be anything left for a defense budget.”... http://dandelionsalad.wordpress.com/

Louisiana's Cagier Attempt to Sneak Religion into Evolutionary Theory
In the 1980s, Louisiana passed an infamous “Creationism Act” that prohibited the teaching of evolution unless it was accompanied by instruction in “creation science.” That effort to gain essentially equal time for creationism was slapped down by the United States Supreme Court as an unconstitutional endorsement of religion. State legislators, mimicking scattered efforts elsewhere, responded with a cagier, indirect approach. The new bill doesn’t mention either creationism or its close cousin, intelligent design. It explicitly disavows any intent to promote a religious doctrine. It doesn’t try to ban Darwin from the classroom or order schools to do anything. It simply requires the state board of education, if asked by local school districts, to help create an environment that promotes “critical thinking” and “objective discussion” about not only evolution and the origins of life but also about global warming and human cloning, two other bêtes noires of the right. Teachers would be required to teach the standard textbook but could use supplementary materials to critique it. That may seem harmless. But it would have the pernicious effect of implying that evolution is only weakly supported and that there are valid competing scientific theories when there are not. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/21/opinion/21sat4.html?ei=5070&em=&en=1c9...

How to Train Death Squads and Quash Revolutions from San Salvador to Iraq
From Wikileaks

How to covertly train paramilitaries, control the press, ban unions, employ terrorists, conduct warrantless searches, suspend habeas corpus, conceal breaches of the Geneva Convention and make the population love it

JULIAN ASSANGE (investigative editor)
Wikileaks has released a sensitive 219 page US military counterinsurgency manual. The manual, Foreign Internal Defense Tactics Techniques and Procedures for Special Forces (1994, 2004), may be critically described as "what we learned about running death squads and propping up corrupt government in Latin America and how to apply it to other places". Its contents are both history defining for Latin America and, given the continued role of US Special Forces in the suppression of insurgencies, including in Iraq and Afghanistan, history making. The leaked manual, which has been verified with military sources, is the official US Special Forces doctrine for Foreign Internal Defense or FID.
FID operations are designed to prop up a "friendly" government facing a popular revolution or guerilla insurgency. FID interventions are often covert or quasi-covert due to the unpopular nature of the governments being supported ("In formulating a realistic policy for the use of advisors, the commander must carefully gauge the psychological climate of the HN [Host Nation] and the United States.")

The manual directly advocates training paramilitaries, pervasive surveillance, censorship, press control and restrictions on labor unions & political parties. It directly advocates warrantless searches, detainment without charge and (under varying circumstances) the suspension of habeas corpus. It directly advocates employing terrorists or prosecuting individuals for terrorism who are not terrorists, running false flag operations and concealing human rights abuses from journalists. And it repeatedly advocates the use of subterfuge and "psychological operations" (propaganda) to make these and other "population & resource control" measures more palatable.

The content has been particularly informed by the long United States involvement in El Salvador. In 2005 a number of credible media reports suggested the Pentagon was intensely debating "the Salvador option" for Iraq.[1]. According to the New York Times Magazine: The template for Iraq today is not Vietnam, with which it has often been compared, but El Salvador, where a right-wing government backed by the United States fought a leftist insurgency in a 12-year war beginning in 1980. The cost was high — more than 70,000 people were killed, most of them civilians, in a country with a population of just six million. Most of the killing and torturing was done by the army and the right-wing death squads affiliated with it. According to an Amnesty International report in 2001, violations committed by the army and associated groups included ‘‘extrajudicial executions, other unlawful killings, ‘disappearances’ and torture. . . . Whole villages were targeted by the armed forces and their inhabitants massacred.’’ As part of President Reagan’s policy of supporting anti-Communist forces, hundreds of millions of dollars in United States aid was funneled to the Salvadoran Army, and a team of 55 Special Forces advisers, led for several years by Jim Steele, trained front-line battalions that were accused of significant human rights abuses.
The same article states James Steele and many other former Central American Special Forces "military advisors" have now been appointed at a high level to Iraq.

In 1993 a United Nations truth commission on El Salvador, which examined 22,000 atrocities that occurred during the twelve-year civil war, attributed 85 percent of the abuses to the US-backed El Salvador military and its paramilitary death squads. It is worth noting what the US Ambassador to El Salvador, Robert E. White (now the president for the Center for International Policy) had to say as early as 1980, in State Department documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act:

The major, immediate threat to the existence of this government is the right-wing violence. In the city of San Salvador, the hired thugs of the extreme right, some of them well-trained Cuban and Nicaraguan terrorists, kill moderate left leaders and blow up government buildings. In the countryside, elements of the security forces torture and kill the campesinos, shoot up their houses and burn their crops. At least two hundred refugees from the countryside arrive daily in the capital city. This campaign of terror is radicalizing the rural areas just as surely as Somoza's National Guard did in Nicaragua. Unfortunately, the command structure of the army and the security forces either tolerates or encourages this activity. These senior officers believe or pretend to believe that they are eliminating the guerillas.[2]

Selected extracts follow. Note that the manual is 219 pages long and contains substantial material throughout. These extracts should merely be considered representative. Emphasis has been added for further selectivity. The full manual can be found at US Special Forces counter-insurgency manual FM 31-20-3.

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.


"The demand to give up illusions about the existing state of affairs is the demand to give up a state of affairs which needs illusions.”
Karl Marx, Contribution to the Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Law.