Hurrah, the worm has turned! Or has it? The corporatist controlled mass media love affair with the puppet spinmeister seems to be on the rocks. For progressive propagandists, the profession of journalism has long sunk into the sewer. Withal, the elitist snobbery of the self-appointed gatekeepers for the globalist power structure got a slap in the face and a wakeup call, from Associated Press spy-gate. The reporter darlings for the Obama “Chicago Outfit” protection racket just got a taste of unexpected payback appreciation. Slow on the uptake, Obama Lapdog Andrea Mitchell on IRS Scandal: “One of the most outrageous excesses I’ve seen in all my years in journalism” “Wait until this fossil finds out about AP records being seized.”
This sentiment typifies the insincere shock from the hypocrites that ignored the criminal pattern of governance for the last four plus years. Just listen to their temper tantrum in the YouTube video, Media turn on Obama in response to AP probe. Oh, woe is I, how can our esteemed profession be treated in such a way by our celebrity creation rock star? How could he betray us, after we covered for him at every turn?
Well, the fact that the “Chicago Gangster Organization” of the Obama crew targeted the electronic communications of the press should not be a shock in the age of the Patriot Act. The real bombshell is that the Justice Dept. Wiretapped the House of Representative’s Cloak Room. “California congressman Devin Nunes made the claim yesterday that the Justice Department wiretapped telephones in the House of Representative’s Cloak Room, an exclusive part of the Capitol where members are able to privately interact with one another.
“Will the newly invigorated and hardy souls of the “Fourth Estate” become bloodhounds and sniff out the ugly stories behind the headlines? Before the long beleaguered news consumer regains confidence that the muckraker tradition of theWashington Merry-Go-Round has returned, consider who really benefits from this miraculous turn of conscience.
Let’s get right down with the despicable truth that most mainstream news is simply a product of disinformation that benefits the shadowy forces that control the editorial content of the spin. Polite company is supposed to ignore that Zionism and the Mediahas an Israel-First agenda in reporting. The direct links of tribe ownership, editorial approval and journalists staffing is simply a fact within the industry.
The linkage of a systemic slanted viewpoint and sympathy for an ideology that conflicts with traditional Americanism is a reality that cannot be denied by any honest observer. Prodigious lies from politicians are expected, but repeating the prevarications, while professing a claim that objective journalism is their trade, is a primary reason whypresstitutes are so despised.
In order to understand the current media scorn towards the Obama regime needs a shot of bold courage for analysis of the geo-political influence that dictates the perspective that goes into print. Since the mass media is a top down cabal of groupthink, it is entirely explicable that some political objective is at the core of the “so called” fabricated media outrage.
The Obama administration has demonstrated a reluctance to do the bidding of the most bellicose pro Zionists. The significance that an illegal preempted strike on Iran, a priority for Benjamin Netanyahu’s ruling coalition, has not received approval from Barry Soetoro means that the string is running out on Obama usefulness. Interminable media speculation has been registered about Barack Hussein Muslim sympathies. Leaving the extent of such motivations aside, the critical question is whether a teleprompt reader, tutored by the CIA to become an asset for the agency, is really making foreign policy decisions.Consider that the red line has passed for Obama, and that operations for false flag distractions are firmly in the hands of his controllers. Stripping the imposter in chief of his political capital and placing blame on his inept and gonzo behavior is a natural for the skilled character blackwash of media assassins.
The most reasonable conclusion from an analysis of the sudden turn by a uniform media is that the order, from on high, went forth that ignoring greater Israel interests, has consequences. From none other than the oracle of Zionist supremacy, the New York Times editorial board Spying on The Associated Press, expresses their new found denigration.
“For more than 30 years, the news media and the government have used a well-honed system to balance the government’s need to pursue criminals or national security breaches with the media’s constitutional right to inform the public. This action against The A.P., as the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press outlined in a letter to Mr. Holder, “calls into question the very integrity” of the administration’s policy toward the press.”
The mere mention of the Attorney General from the Department of Injustice, mildly stated is just a little late. “Fast And Furious” Eric Holder is the poster boy for careerist corruption going back to the Oklahoma City Bombing. Why now is the media turning on an AG that makes one longing for the resurrection to office of John Mitchell?
The POTUS proclaims, I Have ‘Complete Confidence’ In Holder.
“President Barack Obama continues to back Attorney General Eric Holder following the fallout over the Justice Department secretly obtaining two months of telephone records of reporters and editors for The Associated Press.
During a Rose Garden press conference, the president stated that he has “complete confidence” in the job Holder is doing.”
And why would Obama not back his buffoon sibling in law-breaking? Know NothingHolder is either the minister of incompetence or the sheriff of selective memory.
“Attorney General Eric Holder used the phrase “I don’t know” or some variation, at least 57 times during a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee today as House Republicans grilled him over controversies including the IRS’ targeting of Tea Partiers, the Justice Department’s seizure of journalist phone records, and the security lapses surrounding the Boston bombing.
Holder, who says he has recused himself from an intelligence leak probe in which the Department of Justice subpoenaed phone records from Associated Press reporters, repeatedly dodged questions about the growing scandal.
When asked whether the DOJ attempted to work with the AP before seizing the phone records, Holder said, “I don’t know what happened. I was recused from the case.”
The Daily Mail expands in the article, Eric Holder points finger at his DEPUTY, “Holder said that he recused himself from the making the controversial decision to subpoena the phone records of Associated Press journalists, saying that it was made by Deputy Attorney General James Cole.”For all those remaining Obama supporters, why isn’t Eric Holder indicted for obstruction of justice as a prelude to impeachment of his boss?
Already we are hearing that many more disclosures are about to break. One such disgrace, coming out of a broadcaster, notable for their ESPN coverage, is the account of the IRS Official in Charge During Tea Party Targeting Now Runs Health Care Office.
“Sarah Hall Ingram served as commissioner of the office responsible for tax-exempt organizations between 2009 and 2012. But Ingram has since left that part of the IRS and is now the director of the IRS’ Affordable Care Act office, the IRS confirmed to ABC News today.”
The sport of network political coverage has been more about entertainment than accountability coverage. The application of investigative inquiry and objective criteria is mostly absent from the half-truths and feel good treatment of favored political causes and personalities. Quality investigatory reporting of a Robert Novak, Seymour Hersh or a Jack Anderson is very rare today. The standards that they practiced need to be applied by the Washington press corps.
Will the media demonstrate the same intensity of scrutiny, when querying Press Secretary Jay (Ron Ziegler, Jr) Carney as they did during Watergate? Dream on folks, the asymptomatic embellishment in reporting by the progressive media is embedded in their genes. Their function is to enable the collectivist cover-up that has a primal goal of dismantling our constitutional republic.
Independent news organizations need to get down to veracity and confront the power structure with the same vigor and intensity of John Peter Zenger. The publishing trade honed by Benjamin Franklin is dishonored by the journalists that grovel for career recognition from media conglomerates that write deliberate falsehoods.
Journalists know that their editor can strip out any item that does not conform to the “PC” policy of the publisher. The real Associated Press scandal is that the moguls of media stories are in the business of serving the political agenda of their ownership masters.
The reason that alternative news sites are dangerous to the establishment version of information is that the internet readers obtain none filtered content and are able to assess their own conclusions. The rightful contempt due for government political propaganda also applies to the slick talking heads that mouth the scripts of their internationalist overlords. Whom do you trust? The globalist adaptation of reality has no credibility.
It’s not hard to find critics of the Assad government in the Governorate (Muhafazat) of Homs or for that matter, to varying degrees in Syria’s other thirteen Governorates according to Syrian analysts interviewed by this observer and reports from human rights groups including lawyers representing dissidents in Syria. However, after nearly 27 months of turmoil, the public opinion pendulum is markedly shifting back in support of the current regime.
One international political result was registered at the United Nations this past week when a US-Qatari-Saudi drafted General Assembly Resolution that was designed to increase pressure on the Assad government stumbled badly and fell far short of what the Saudi Ambassador to the UN and other US allies predicted would be an overwhelming vote in favor.
Effect of shift in popular opinion in Syria
Over the past four or five months it has become increasingly clear that public opinion in Syria is shifting for reasons that include, but are not limited to the following:
While inflation at the grocery stores in probably the most common complaint heard from a cross-section of society here, the population is adapting somewhat to higher prices and it appears to credit the government for efforts, some successful, to soften the impact of the illegal US-led sanctions that target this same Syrian population for purely political reasons to achieve regime change.
While Syrians demand dignity and freedom from oppressive security forces and an end to corruption, as all people do in this region and beyond, they are witnessing a return to near normalcy with respect to supplies of electricity, benzene, mazout fuel oil, bus schedules, schools, and a host of public services such as garbage collection, street sweeping, park maintenance, and sympathetic traffic cops who are rather understanding of short-cuts taken by drivers and pedestrians due to “the situation”.
In addition, public service announcement and even text messages demonstrate that the government is aware of the degree of suffering among the population, accept partial blame, and are focusing on remedial measure and crucially, ending the crisis with its horrific bloodshed. One observes here a definite trend of the pulling together of a high percentage of Syrians who share a very unique history and culture and who are deeply connected to their country and who are increasingly repelled by the continuing killing from all sides including the recent barbarisms of body mutilations and summary executions videotaped and broadcast on utube by jihadist elements. The latter who these days come from nearly three dozen countries, paid for and indoctrinated by enemies of Syria’s Arab nationalism and deep rooted pillar of resistance to the occupation of Palestine.
In addition, many among Syria’s 23 million citizens, who initially supported the uprising following government reaction to event in Deraa in March 2011, now have serious second thoughts about who exactly would replace the current government. Events in Syria are also making plain that the army is still loyal to the Assad government, and according to Jane’s Defense Weekly, is actually gaining experience and strength as well as the well-known fact that as western diplomats are admitting, the “opposition militias” are hopelessly fractured, turning one another, many essential mafia outfits, and beginning to resemble their fellow jihadists from Libya, Chechnya and in between.
Opinion in Damascus and surrounding areas visited this past week, confirms this observers experience the past five months of a sharp and fairly rapid shift in opinion that now strongly favors letting the Syrian people themselves decide, without outside interference, whether the Assad regime will stay, and indeed, whether, the Baathist party will continue to represent majority opinion, not through wanton violence but rather via next June’s election. Many express confidence in the run up to this critical vote, noting that the election will be closely monitored by the international community to assure fairness.
Perhaps aided by the current glorious May weather, a certain optimism, that was more scarce in the past, pervades many neighborhoods.
For different reasons, foreign powers, including the USA, Turkey, European Union, the UK Jordan and even the majority population of the six Gulf Cooperation Council family run countries, according to Pew Research, are shifting their earlier positions which were based in part of the US administration, NATO, and Israeli assurances that the Assad government would surely fall quickly, “A matter of days, not weeks” US President Obama promised. That was two years ago.
As noted above, this trend has accelerated since the UN General Assembly vote with last weeks which did not go as planned on the biased and politicized non-binding draft resolution on Syria.
The public reaction in Syria and across the Middle East is substantially that the “Friends of Syria” non-binding GA resolution contradicts the reality on the ground, backs terrorism in Syria and hinders the international efforts to help achieve a political solution to the crisis in this country. Only 107 states voted in favor of the resolution, 12 against while 59 countries, mostly from Africa and Latin America, abstained from voting.
One reason the vote fell short of the 130 favorable votes that the basically same resolution garnered the past two times is that it is widely viewed as ignoring the crimes and atrocities committed by the armed jihadist groups in Syria and the flow of thousands of international terrorists backed by the West, the Gulf states and Turkey who provide them with weapons and money. According to the Russian delegate, backed by several other speakers, “the resolutions ignores all the terrorists’ heinous crimes and denounces what it called the escalation of the attacks by the Syrian government”. Afterward one Latin American Permanent Representative told Inner City Press that the count would have been below 100 if not for some “last minute arm-twisting.” As it turned out, 15 countries didn’t vote at all, opting to “get coffee,” as one African Permanent Representative put it before the vote.
Syria’s Ambassador al-Jaafari exposes a hoax in the Gulf
Syria’s permanent Envoy to the UN Bashar al-Jaafari said his country regretted the adoption of a biased and unbalanced UN resolution, thanking the countries that rejected the resolution “for their responsible positions which support the UN principles and the international law articles”. He noted that the decrease in the number of countries that voted in favor and the increase of numbers of those who abstained from voting indicates the growing international understanding of the reality of what is happening in Syria due to the foreign interference, support of terrorism, the spread of extremism and incitement besides the refusal of dialogue.
“We rely on the UN and its member states to support Syria and its people against the culture of extremism and terrorism, and to encourage the comprehensive national dialogue to peacefully resolve the Syrian crisis.” he said. In a statement released after the vote on the UN draft resolution on Syria, al-Jaafari He said that the French delegation had foiled the issuance of a number of UN press releases to condemn the terrorist acts committed by al-Qaeda-linked armed groups in Syria which claimed the lives of thousands of Syrians as it foiled a UN release to condemn the attempt of assassination of the Syrian Premier.
After Qatar’s ambassador spoke in favor of the resolution his country drafted (and re-drafted several time), Ja’afari revealed that there existed an e-mail, from the representative of the Syrian opposition given to Syria’s embassy in Qatar, showing Qatar’s involvement in the kidnapping of UN peacekeepers by the Yarmouk Martyrs Brigade. He read out a phone number from the e-mail as several Gulf diplomats grimaced or scowled, and three left the Chamber.
Visibly stunned, the UK Permanent Representative Lyall Grant called the whole matter “deeply confusing”. Another Permanent Representative, from a militia contributing country, said that if true, it’s “very problematic.” The reasons include the fact that UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon had just thanked Qatar for its roles in the release of the UN Peacekeepers the earlier kidnapping of whom the Qatari government may have planned, paid for and executed.
Meanwhile, Ban Ki-moon’s spokesperson Martin Nesirky said he would not disclose any more about the “negotiations to free the peacekeepers or who was behind the crime.”
Score a major diplomatic victory for Syria’s UN Ambassador as public opinion shifts in favor of the Assad government and pressure as well as certain optimism builds in the run-up to the Geneva II conference being organized by the White House and the Kremlin.
What does the mainstream media do when they don’t want to discuss a real issue that diverts away the topic from political theater? Simply deem it a wild ‘conspiracy theory’ and pretend it doesn’t exist.
It’s a tried and true method. It has worked for a long line of question-dodging politicians, with both Bush and Obama each speaking out against ‘conspiracy theories’ and those who warn against corruption and tyranny in government. As I detailed last week, in fact, Obama recently spoke to the graduating class of Ohio State University and repeated such warnings. He told the class to ignore and reject those warning of government tyranny, and went on to praise the new United States government system he called ‘brave’ and ‘unique’.
And anyone who decides to attack this ‘brave and unique’ government, or anyone who even questions reports by the government? They must be conspiracy nuts. I joined John B. Wells of Coast to Coast AM a couple weeks ago to discuss how this media tactic works and how I decided to turn to reality over media theater:
GOVERNMENT CRITICISM NOW EQUALS ‘CONSPIRACY THEORIES’
The easiest way to deal with real issues certainly isn’t to refute the questions or discuss the information. No, it’s to brand those asking questions as conspiracy theorists. That, or just censor them altogether. Even Google employees have issued warnings on the official company blog regarding the continued requests initiated by governments around the globe to ‘pull’ content from Google’s massive search and blog service. From Google Plus (their Facebook equivalent) posts to legitimate search rankings, Google says that governments are demanding all forms of government criticism be taken down immediately.
Right now, over 24,000 pieces of content may disappear if Google caves. That’s 24,000 pieces of content that likely includes my articles and other alternative news pieces that criticize our ‘brave’ new government. And expect thousands to be added to that list very quickly.
But of course we must ask: What do they have to fear? I mean after all, if the questions I ask regarding the mega banks admittedly funding the Mexican drug cartels and terror cells are fake (even though NBC reports it’s confirmed along with other news sources), then why be worried? If it’s all just ‘conspiracy’ bunk, then it sure would be easy to go ahead and dispel the rumors once and for all. Obama himself could go on air and break down how ‘conspiracy theories’, like the well-respected eyewitness coach asking questions about the Boston bombing drill that occurred the morning of the race (and not even slightly insinuating anything) are not real.
But, of course, it is because the media cannot refute legitimate questions regarding mega banks and government corruption. Instead, they lump them in with things that no one in the alternative news actually believes like conspiracy theories about Elvis and other silly things. It all ties in to the well-scripted media theater that must run without interruption — no questions allowed!
Anthony Gucciardi is the creator of Storyleak, accomplished writer, producer, and seeker of truth. His articles have been read by millions worldwide and are routinely featured on major alternative news websites like the infamous Drudge Report, Infowars, NaturalNews, G Edward Griffin’s Reality Zone, and many others. He is also a founding member of the third largest alternative health site in the world, NaturalSociety.com.
Source: Anthony Gucciardi | Story Leak
The United Nations Special Rapporteur for Palestine, Professor Richard Falk, came to Lebanon last week on an unofficial visit to survey opinion while fact finding the condition in Palestinian refugee’s camps.
It was the Professors first visit to Lebanon since the fateful summer of 1982. Back then, en route by sea to Beirut, which was under Israeli siege and blockade, Falk was Vice-Chair of the Sean McBride Commission of Inquiry into Israeli crimes against Lebanon. Mid –way between Cyprus and Lebanon, the Zionist navy, in a blatant act of piracy on the high seas, intercepted, circled and demanded the passenger list from the vessel.
Eventually, under reported American pressure via US Envoy Morris Draper’s telephoned profanity to Tel Aviv, the pirates allowed Falk’s delegation to disembark at the port of Jounieh, just north of Beirut. Draper, who like so many US diplomats, claims he finally “saw the light after retiring”, told this observer that “I never swore so much in my life as I did at those SOBS during that summer of 1982 and after I learned the details of Ariel Sharon’s choreography of the Sabra-Shatila massacre!” Ambassador Draper added, “The world will never know the extent of Israeli crimes committed against Lebanon and its refugees until Washington threatens to cut off all aid until Tel Aviv opens up its archives on this period.”
Professor Falk, as he mentioned during several events here, including a first-rate conference on the status of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon and their struggle for the most elementary civil rights to work and to own a home, organized by the Institute of Palestine Studies, came to Lebanon not to offer counsel to Lebanon’s sects or even to the Palestinians. (The IPS, (http://www.palestine-studies.org) founded in 1969, is considered by this observer and many others, as the most reliable and authoritative source of information on Palestinian affairs and the Arab-Israel conflict.)
Falk came to listen and to learn. He did both. He listened intently to each speaker, scribing hurried notes regarding the current conditions of Palestinian refugee, including education and health status, in Lebanon’s 12 camps and two dozen “gatherings,” reports that were presented by several academics and NGO’s based here.
Falk and others in attendance at the briefings found the findings sobering and alarming. They included but are not limited to, the following.
There are currently 42,000 Palestinian refugees from Syria who have been forced into Lebanon as a result of the crisis in Syria. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East – UNRWA -reported to the IPS workshop, that they expect 80,000 Palestinians by the end of the year. Others estimate the December 2013 number will exceed 100,000. According to figures, forwarded to Professor Falk by the Palestine Civil Rights Campaign, supplied by refugee camp committees, approximately 6,000 Palestinians who fled Syria remain in Lebanon’s Bekaa |Valley, close to the Syrian borders, in two main gatherings, al-Jalil (4,216 refugees) and central Bekaa (2,352). In the North, Baddawi camp hosts 4,116 and Nahr al Bared 2,016. In Beirut, Burj al-Barajneh camp hosts 2,928 additional refugees from Syria, Shatila and the surrounding areas 2,800, and Mar Elias 862. In the South, 8,549 refugees arrived to Ain al-Hilweh and 2,400 are dispersed around Saida. Mieh Mieh camp hosts 1,512, with an additional 2,160 in Wadi al-Zaineh. Further south to Tyre, Palestinian refugees from Syria are distributed among Shabriha (184), Rashidieh (1,370), Al Bass (478), Burj al-Shemali (2,800), Qasimiyeh (372), and Jal al-Bahr (128).
Falk knew, before gracing Lebanon with his visit, that UNWRA is basically out of money and cannot continue to meet its mandate for aiding Lebanon’s Palestinians even less those arriving from Syria at the rate of more than two dozen families per day. On 5/5/13, the popular committee representative at Jalil Camp near Baalbec reported that they receive on average 8 additional families per day, with dozens now living in the Jalil camp cemetery.
Palestinian children in Lebanon, Falk was advised, unfortunately provide textbook examples of the fact of life that it is difficult to concentrate on school when ones stomach is growling with hunger. And it’s even harder to stay in school when there’s even a remote chance to work odd jobs and earn money for food – something education doesn’t immediately offer. One new local initiative is the Meals for Schools, whose organizers hope serve food to impoverished schoolchildren in Lebanese slum areas. One idea is to give coupons for meals to schools. Unfortunately the scope will not include Palestinian children “at this time due to limited funding”, according to one AUB student hoping to help children stay in school by helping them to have breakfasts.
Palestinian refugee children have limited access to the public educational system in Lebanon. Only 11 per cent these “foreign” children can access free public education in Lebanon while most refugees can’t afford the high tuition fees of private schools. Palestinian refugees who attend one of the 58 UNRWA begin at age seven since UNWRA cannot afford pre-school level education. Consequently, for Palestinians here, while the elementary sector comprises more than 60% of students, the number drops to 28% in intermediate and only 10% at the secondary level. While the attendance rate for 7 year olds is 98.6%, by the time they reach age 11 attendance falls to 93.4%. But from this level, the primary level school completion rate cascades to only 37%, due to astronomical dropout rates. The above figures reveal that Palestinian education levels have been indeed progressively dropping in recent years. This is further supported by the passing rate in the Brevet Official exams (official diploma qualifying entry into secondary) which was in some schools as low as 13.6% in some schools according to the UNRWA results of Brevet exams, despite the average passing rate in UNRWA schools being 43% for the 2009-10 academic year.
Professor Falk was briefed on myriad realities including the fact that Palestinians camps in Lebanon remain sites of control and surveillance by the Lebanese Army. People’s mobility and access to construction materials have been restricted by the army check points at the entrance of camps. Palestinian refugees are forbidden by law – since 2001 – to own or inherit real estate in Lebanon; consequently when a Palestinian dies, even if she or he inherited property between 1948-2001, before a wave of revenge led to the 2001 racist law, the property goes to Sunni Muslim Dar al-Fatwa one of the richest real estate holding entities in Lebanon. Accused of deep corruption by some, their leadership has a history of opposing full civil rights for Palestinian refugees here remain opposed to home ownership.
The UN’s humanitarian chief, Valerie Amos, reported this week that seven million people need humanitarian assistance in Syria. “The needs are growing rapidly and are most severe in the conflict and opposition-controlled areas” of the civil-war ravaged country, the global body’s humanitarian chief Valerie Amos told the U.N. Security Council. Amos cited data showing there are 6.8 million people in need — out of a total population of 20.8 million — along with 4.25 million people internally displaced and an additional 1.3 million who have sought refuge in neighboring countries.
Falk was briefed on most recent household surveys of Palestinian refugees carried out by the American University of Beirut which show that two thirds of Palestine refugees are poor. The extreme poverty rate in camps (7.9%) is almost twice of that observed in gatherings (4.2%). The study also developed a Deprivation Index based on components of welfare which included components such as good health, food security, and adequate education, access to stable employment, decent housing, and ownership of essential household assets. The Deprivation Index showed that 40% of Palestine Refugees living in Lebanon are deprived. The study reported that 56% of refugees are jobless and only 37% of the working age population is employed (Hanafi et al. 2012). It is unsurprising that the poor socio-economic situation often encourages students to leave school to get a paid job.
Despite the importance of education fewer Palestinian refugee students are actually interested in continuing their higher education. Lack of motivation to learn, is believed to be one of the main reasons for the high dropout rates. Palestinian refugees’ access to Lebanon’s public university is limited by their status as foreigners, and their access to private universities is restricted by a lack of resources to pay tuition fees (Hroub, 2012).
The old cliché that stated that “The Palestinians are the most educated Arab nation”, is just a myth today. This educational hemorrhage among young Palestinians has been attributed to a number of factors such as the deteriorating socio-economic conditions amongst Palestinian refugees and the growing disillusionment with schooling and the benefits it brings. Palestinian students also suffer from an education acculturation as they are forced to learn only the Lebanese curriculum without being able to access the country’s system. The following section examines these three main challenges.
Statistics indicate that just under half of the classrooms in public schools have less than 15 students per class while 20 % are overcrowded with 26 to 35 students per class. However, in UNRWA schools, the average number of students per classroom is 30 making them the most crowded classrooms in Lebanon.
With respect to the UN refugee agency, (UNHCR) the current situation in both Syria and among the more than 450,000 Syrian in Lebanon is only marginally better than the conditions of arriving Palestinians. As Maeve Murphy, UNHCR’s Senior Field Coordinator in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley, explained to this observer and others during a visit on 5/5/13, near the Nicolas Khoury Center in Zahle, Lebanon, amidst sea of hundreds of Syrians, some waiting for three months or longer just to get registered, the UN refugee agency is also unable to meet its mandate for the same reason as UNRWA and the World Food Program and others. Ms. Murphy reported that over 453,000 Syrians have either registered with the U.N. agency or are waiting to register. An additional several hundred thousand people are thought to be refugees but haven’t approached the U.N.
Complicating the desperate situation of Palestinian and Syrian refugees seeking sanctuary in Lebanon is the fact that millions of Syrian refugees face food rationing and cutbacks to critical medical programs because oil-rich Gulf states have failed to deliver the funding they promised for emergency humanitarian aid, an investigation by James Cusick for The Independent on Sunday has found. Pledges for $ 650 minion in donations from various sources including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Bahrain, made during the January 2013, Kuwait UN emergency conference, have yet to materialize.
The World Food Program (WFP), the food aid arm of the UN, says it is spending $19m a week to feed 2.5 million refugees inside Syria and a further 1.5 million who have fled to official camps in Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon and Iraq. By July, the WFP says, there is no guarantee that its work on the Syrian crisis can continue. A spokesman told the UK Independent, “We are already in a hand-to-mouth situation. Beyond mid-June – who knows?”
The emergency conference in Kuwait – hosted by the Emir of Kuwait and chaired by Mr Ban Ki Moon – promised to bring a “message of hope” to the four million Syrian refugees. Mr Ban proclaimed the outcome a shining example of “global solidarity in action”. The reality has been markedly different. Oxfam recently issued an appeal: “The League of Arab States must urge all Arab countries that have pledged to the Syrian crisis, to be transparent and to share information about their commitments, and mechanisms for fulfilling their pledges.”
Mousab Kerwat, Islamic Relief’s Middle East institutional funding manager, said: “It’s better for countries to stay away from donor conferences than to attend and make pledges they don’t intent to keep. As a minimum, they should communicate where their pledges have gone in a transparent process.
If Professor Falk was weary as he left Lebanon from all the data, visits, and wrenching experiences he was presented with, it would be understandable. But the humanitarian and scholar he showed no signs of fatigue but rather appeared to be energized by the experience. Given his history as a supporter of resistance to occupation and oppression, Richard Falk’s assurances that he will continue his work armed with the above sampling of data offers new hope for Palestinian and Syrian refugees from Syria and to those who support their Right and Responsibility to Return to Palestine.
As the debate on distraction-tier issues rages on between the political left and the political right, more and more individuals are turning to the ‘third party’ of reality for answers.
There’s a reason that the mainstream media is continually losing viewers and readers to alternative news publications and aggregators like never before, and it comes down to the newly emerging ‘third party’ of reality. Of course this third party is so far away from the entire charade of left vs. right distraction-based debate that it really isn’t even within the confides of the part system, however it’s a suiting title for the mass number of individuals who find themselves going beyond Democrats and Republicans and into the search for truth.
People are discovering that it doesn’t matter if the current President identifies with blue or red, but instead what actions are taken to combat corruption and restore liberty. And now they’re looking beyond the blue and red, only to discover that the ‘bipartisan’ issues swept under the rug are in fact the reason this nation is being destroyed.
The reason for this grassroots movement towards reality really has to do with the growing realization of many ‘bipartisan issues’ that continue to sit at the bottom of the mainstream news articles — if they’re ever included at all. Bipartisan items like the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which allows for the President to indefinitely detain individuals from around the world under virtually any circumstance.
Bipartisan items like the recent renewal of the Bush-era Patriot Act by Obama, highlighting that ‘bipartisan’ issues include the warrantless searches of United States citizens. And a few more ’bipartisan issues’ to add to the list that citizens are forced to fight without the aid of the two party system:
- The backing of the Federal Reserve banking system
- Bailouts to mega banks funded with billions in taxpayer funding each year
- Non-stop wars in the Middle East and beyond
- Internet censorship and anti-privacy bills like CISPA and SOPA
- The use of drones on US soil to track and potentially kill US citizens
- The support of companies like Monsanto
And the list goes on. It’s these issues and many others that sit between the cracks of the two party system that are actually the most important. While countless hours of debate rages on over gender issues and slightly higher or lower taxes, the Federal Reserve banking system and the mega bankers make out like fat cats as they continue to do their work in the shadows. It’s already happening with post haste acceleration, but we must understand our ideological enemy is not the opposing party members — it’s those who support these ‘bipartisan’ items that endanger our freedom. The rest is either a distraction or horribly distorted — for example the idea that murdering children in the womb is an issue of ‘women’s rights’.
This image describes the space between the current two party system:
Anthony Gucciardi is the creator of Storyleak, accomplished writer, producer, and seeker of truth. His articles have been read by millions worldwide and are routinely featured on major alternative news websites like the infamous Drudge Report, Infowars, NaturalNews, G Edward Griffin’s Reality Zone, and many others. He is also a founding member of the third largest alternative health site in the world, NaturalSociety.com.
The title of today’s column, “There Is A Conspiracy,” is a direct quote from Ezekiel 22:25. In this passage, God instructed Ezekiel to blow the whistle on the conspiracy of Israel’s prophets to deny people truth, to devour people’s souls, to defraud people’s substance, and to destroy people’s lives. I dare say this conspiracy is still alive and well today. Many pastors and religious leaders in 2013 America are as guilty of Ezekiel’s charges as were Israel’s ancient prophets.
However, use the word “conspiracy” today and even most Christians will roll their eyes in disbelief. And, of course, the mainstream media is so paranoid of the word conspiracy that one has to speculate that the reason for this aversion to objectively dealing with the subject is simply due to the fact that they are among the co-conspirators.
But once in awhile, someone in the media has the guts to broach the subject of conspiracy. My friends at TruthAlliance.net recently covered a report written by Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone Magazine. Taibbi begins his report saying, “Conspiracy theorists of the world, believers in the hidden hands of the Rothschilds and the Masons and the Illuminati, we skeptics owe you an apology. You were right. The players may be a little different, but your basic premise is correct: The world is a rigged game. We found this out in recent months, when a series of related corruption stories spilled out of the financial sector, suggesting the world’s largest banks may be fixing the prices of, well, just about everything.”
Speaking of the LIBOR and other Wall Street scandals, Taibbi goes on to write, “All of these stories collectively pointed to the same thing: These banks, which already possess enormous power just by virtue of their financial holdings–in the United States, the top six banks, many of them the same names you see on the Libor and ISDAfix panels, own assets equivalent to 60 percent of the nation’s GDP–are beginning to realize the awesome possibilities for increased profit and political might that would come with colluding instead of competing. Moreover, it’s increasingly clear that both the criminal justice system and the civil courts may be impotent to stop them, even when they do get caught working together to game the system.
“If true, that would leave us living in an era of undisguised, real-world conspiracy, in which the prices of currencies, commodities like gold and silver, even interest rates and the value of money itself, can be and may already have been dictated from above. And those who are doing it can get away with it. Forget the Illuminati–this is the real thing, and it’s no secret. You can stare right at it, anytime you want.”
See the report at:
Hallelujah! Just about everybody with an IQ over 80 knew it; so it’s about time someone finally said it: gold and silver prices are “rigged.” So is the Petro-Dollar. So is the ammo shortage. So are the headlines on ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, and MSNBC. And so are many of our national catastrophes.
Back in 2011, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis was added to the list of “conspiracy nuts” when tapes that were recorded within months of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination, which had been sealed in a vault at the Kennedy Library in Boston, were released. In the tapes, former First Lady Jackie Kennedy revealed that she believed Vice President Lyndon Baines Johnson and other “influential individuals” orchestrated the Dallas shooting that killed her husband.
Wow! Jackie Kennedy didn’t believe the official government story that her husband was killed by a “lone gunman.” She believed there was a conspiracy of “influential individuals” who colluded in killing her husband.
I’m with Jackie! Even though I was only a little boy when President Kennedy was assassinated, I could never wrap my head around the “lone gunman” theory. And the older I got, and the more I studied that tragedy, the more I became convinced there was a giant conspiracy involved in both killing the President and covering it up after he had been killed. I still believe that today.
While we are talking about conspiracies, let’s talk about a few more.
TWA Flight 800 “Explosion”
Do you really believe the official story of the crash of TWA flight 800 in 1996? What if an American missile accidentally shot down that jetliner? Do you really think the federal government would come clean about it?
Read this report from The Washington Weekly, if you are willing to be enlightened:
Oklahoma City Bombing
Do readers really believe the official story that Timothy McVeigh acted alone in igniting the explosion that took down the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and that there was no cover-up as to what actually happened? I don’t.
Here is where you can get started on this one:
9/11 Twin Towers and Pentagon Attacks
There has been so much written on this subject, I will let readers fend for themselves as to personal research on the matter. Without wading too deeply into this discussion (and for the sake of column space), let me ask just one simple question. Pray tell, what took down Building 7? To this good hour, I have not heard one single plausible explanation proffered by any government or media representative that explains why Building 7 collapsed.
Do I know what really happened on 9/11? No. But do I believe that the government is purposefully keeping the American people in the dark as to what really happened on 9/11/01? You bet I do! Do I believe that there is a cover-up of crucial evidence related to 9/11 by both the federal government and the national news media? You bet I do!
Another event that the official version is just completely unbelievable to me is the earthquake in Haiti in January of 2010. I will always believe that there was so much to this story that we were not being told. It didn’t “smell” right to me when it happened; it doesn’t “smell” right to me now. If you’re interested, try perusing through some of this information:
Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria Wars
Let me be so blunt as to say I don’t believe the official story about any of the wars America is waging in the Middle East. I believe virtually every reason George W. Bush gave the American people for attacking and invading Iraq was a premeditated, bald-faced lie! And I believe every reason Barack Obama gives for staying at war in the Middle East is a premeditated bald-faced lie!
I believe the so-called “War on Terror” which justifies endless wars abroad and endless surveillance at home is completely manufactured by those in government and business for personal economic and political interests. In the name of fighting for freedom overseas, the central government in Washington, D.C., is turning America’s homeland into a giant prison-camp. Pray tell, what good does it do to send American troops overseas to fight a war for freedom, then turn around and use the war for freedom overseas as an excuse to expunge the freedoms of the American people here at home? If that doesn’t smell of conspiracy, nothing does!
Ron Paul was right! “Blowback” truly is a reality; and America’s “War on Terror” is actually making the United States less safe, not more. In fact, if you really want to get sick to your stomach over what this so-called “War on Terror” is accomplishing and why so many people around the world are coming to hate us, take a look at this report:
The Boston Bombings
Noted researcher and analyst, Joel Skousen, recently wrote a detailed and lengthy exposé on the Boston Bombings in his excellent World Affairs Brief (which I highly recommend). Here is just a short clip:
“It seems very suspicious that the FBI would release so many photos and video excerpts (including even partial and grainy shots as if they are presenting everything possible) showing the brothers [accused bombers] in the area, but then they fail to produce the most conclusive evidence that matches what the indictment says.
“This narrative is so specific that it would be very risky for a federal official to make such detailed reference to video evidence if they did not actually possess it–unless they already had a legal strategy worked out where the claimed evidence would be suppressed under the government’s habitual use of the State Secrets doctrine or via a compliant judge who has agreed in advance to seal the evidence. The suppression of key evidence has been a central part of every major government cover-up including the JFK and Martin Luther King assassinations, Oklahoma City bombing and both WTC attacks.”
To subscribe to Skousen’s World Affairs Brief, go to:
Skousen is right to be suspicious. Agencies of the federal government have long-facilitated terrorist plots in this country. Even the New York Times carried an editorial outlining a long list of examples of how the FBI hatches and then “discovers” terrorist plots.
See the Times editorial at:
Furthermore, writing for Infowars.com, Paul Joseph Watson chronicles the long-established pattern of central governments in creating national terror as a vehicle with which to blame other groups and set in motion whatever predetermined plan had been previously concocted.
See Watson’s report at:
The Connecticut School Shootings, The Colorado Theater Shootings, etc.
There are so many inconsistencies, changed stories, and conflicting reports with virtually every official report regarding these mass shootings, so much so that it is difficult for any rationally thinking person to believe them. Unfortunately, the absence of true objective investigative reporting by the national news media means the vast majority of the American people will never have the information they need and, thus, they will never know the truth about any of these mass shootings. All the news media does today is simply regurgitate the official government story, without question. (That’s why, if you truly want to be informed, you must abandon the controlled propaganda press corps and research independent sources. But even there, one must be careful. Not every independent source is reliable. Plus, government propagandists are at work planting bogus information on the Internet and elsewhere in an attempt to make government critics appear foolish.) But there is one constant that surrounds every mass shooting: the push for increased gun control by anti-freedom politicians. Yes, I realize we could put this under the “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste” (Rahm Emanuel) category. But I’m so cynical now that I’m seeing the potential for the dark side of government behind every mass shooting.
Speaking of defending the Second Amendment, there is a brand new film being produced entitled, MOLON LABE: How The Second Amendment Guarantees America’s Freedom, based on the masterful research of attorney Edwin Vieira, Jr., in his book, The Sword and Sovereignty. The film features people such as Ron Paul, Pat Buchanan, Larry Pratt, G. Edward Griffin, Alex Jones, Stewart Rhodes, and yours truly. This film has the potential to be a “game-changer” in the attacks against the preservation of our right to keep and bear arms. Acclaimed producer James Jaeger is nearing final editing and could really use the support of thousands of freedomists around the country. Your contributions to this project could pay off mightily in helping to preserve the Second Amendment. I highly encourage readers to seriously consider donating to the completion of this terrific film. It is a film that Barack Obama and Dianne Feinstein hope will never be seen. Here is the trailer along with information on how you can contribute:
So, Matt Taibbi at Rolling Stone Magazine, the late Jackie Kennedy Onassis, and the Prophet Ezekiel all agree: “There is a conspiracy.” I believe it.
“Wherever private property disappears, man’s liberty is gone. Man is placed completely at the mercy of the state. Wherever private ownership is weakened, man’s liberty is weakened also. There is an essential relationship between liberty and property.” R. J. Rushdoony
The Heritage Foundation provides an excellent summary of property rights. They describe a rating of 100 this way: “Private property is guaranteed by the government. The court system enforces contracts efficiently and quickly. The justice system punishes those who unlawfully confiscate private property. There is no corruption or expropriation.” At 50, “The court system is inefficient and subject to delays. Corruption may be present, and the judiciary may be influenced by other branches of government. Expropriation is possible but rare.” At 0, “Private property is outlawed, and all property belongs to the state. People do not have the right to sue others and do not have access to the courts. Corruption is endemic.
In 1995 world property rights were rated at 56. In 2013 they are rated at 43, a reduction of over 20 percent. (See the graph in the Heritage Link below.)
Though freedom is tending down throughout the world it remains highest in Western nations and lowest in the Third World.
The Heritage link rates the United States of America tenth behind Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland, Canada, Chile, Mauritius, and Denmark.
Click here for the Heritage Foundation Property Rights link.
The U. S. Government now owns over 50 percent of the nation’s land and the incremental incursion of United Nation’s Agenda 21 continues to add to the coffer. On Michael Shaw’s “Freedom Advocates”page he writes, “Agenda 21 seeks to transform America while eliminating the middle class. It plans to reach these goals on several fronts: by restructuring agriculture, creating broad wildlife corridors void of human activity, determining where and how people live, controlling human reproduction and human movement, constraining and controlling energy consumption and water use—in short, by eliminating private property.”
“The institution of private property makes possible three things essential to our liberty: It encourages productive activity, allowing us to turn our ideas into actions and to realize the benefits of those actions. It allows us to engage in voluntary trade with others, multiplying the benefits of individual action a thousand-fold. It enables us to safeguard and develop our resources responsibly and to secure peace and prosperity as a result. To appreciate the importance of private property in your own life, you need only to consider the significance of these two facts: Private property represents everything you obtain through productive effort or voluntary trade. Its essence is your right to determine its use”
The right to private property is being eroded in the United States and around the world. World government seeks to exert absolute control; treating people like herds of cattle to be used as labor on the world plantation. Like a bee hive the world will be filled with worker bees whose sole task is to provide an opulent leisure for the ruling class. National pride will give way to a multicultural social order with intermarriages blurring racial identities. Only the Nation of Israel will remain intact. Other nations and races are destined to become worker bees indistinguishable from one another. This is the plan. It is the logic behind the deliberate dumbing down of America and the massive push for multicultural integration. It is the impetus for the destruction of Christianity with its emphasis on the individual. The plan is diabolical, a direct download from Satan himself.
The snake of humanism is very prolific when it invades a society rationality disappears and as humans stray farther and farther from their Creator, foolishness grows with exponential rapidity.
We live with and have accepted an increasing number of social insanities: Our president who may be Constitutionally ineligible has been elected to a second term; our government has enslaved its citizens with a national debt of $16 trillion dollars which amounts to over $50 thousand per citizen; in direct defiance of the natural order we are training women to fight against men in defense of our nation and sanctioning homosexual marriage; the hallowed halls of our educational institutions have accepted the weakening results of multiculturalism as a desirable goal; our citizens have been convinced that relatively weak and militarily insignificant nations in the Arab world are a danger to us; with text book insanity Americans continue to participate in a political system that is progressively enslaving them; and while all this subterfuge goes on our government supports an international court that prosecutes crimes against humanity while they are the biggest perpetrator.
Most Americans harbor a lackadaisical confidence that things will improve. They ignore the world debt crisis and fail to consider that ultimately the lenders will call on the citizens of the United States to pay the debt their government has accumulated. Think of the austerity required for an American family of four to pay off a debt of $200,000.00. That figure is quickly rising as our politicians continue to use the public credit card. The debtor is a slave to the lender and the United States of America is a plantation populated by slaves whose willful ignorance allows them to go about their daily tasks as if all were well.
The One True God is at odds with the new world order; it seeks to tyrannize us while He seeks to free us through obedience to His Commandments. When God and His Law are forsaken despotism is inevitable. We were not created to govern ourselves and since we have failed to encode this truth we are experiencing the results of our failure.
Partisan politics warned us about the dictatorial nature of the Obama Administration but the erstwhile Bush cabal was equally malignant. Changing political partoes is useless. We have long ago lost control of our government and our opinions no longer matter. Congress persons and senators vote the will of the money powers and the money powers reward them with re-election.
In Boston and Watertown, Massachusetts local, state, and federal authorities deployed a frightening array of coordinated force to apprehend two young men they described as terrorists. Acting as judge and jury they violated the legal rights of the suspects and encroached on property rights by invading homes and restricting the movement of their occupants. The entire operation resembled aiming a howitzer at a house fly.
The citizens of the United States of America have been put on notice that neither they nor their properties can claim protections from the unrestrained power of those that rule them.
Several times I have written that Americans need to repent from theirs and their father’s wicked ways. This admonition has fallen on deaf ears and some have advised me that I should stop writing about it because it will never happen.
In a recent email from American Vision Dr. Joel McDurmon wrote that “a corrupt government is the product of a corrupt people”. He quoted H. L. Mencken, “Democracy is the theory that the common people know what They want, and deserve to get it good and hard.” and went on to contend that God often punishes a wicked populace by exposing them to their own sins. “Thus do the politically deluded live in a denial which dismisses even God’s Word in favor of the assertion of human wisdom. So often do men shelter their pet political beliefs from even divine criticism. So often do men deny God’s Word to advance their own desires. So often do men rest on false assurances built on their own godless dreams. And just as often do societies weather and decay from the blights of human vanity.” Read here.
America and its people have supported illegal aggression and encouraged murderous wars. We have pride fully maintained our national superiority and encouraged the use of weapons of mass destruction. We have supported our government in the role of a deity and now, since we have granted it that role, it has begun reflecting it in action. We have winked at sin, dallied in its fringes, and taken an occasional bath. Dishonest measurements have been accepted for decades; our buildings are constructed with dishonest two-by-fours that are actually only one and a half by three and three quarters. Now even our Pound Cakes weigh only fourteen ounces. Dishonesty has permeated our culture! Our media uses lies, gross omissions, and misrepresentations in reporting the news and our government regularly distorts facts and figures. While all this defiance of God continues our churches disregard their proper function by seeking peace and respectability. Abortion is a horrendous sin but it is only one sin; our cancerous pride covers scores of others.
One of my nieces is married to a lawyer. He employs a logical mind that makes conversation interesting. He is a Democrat who supports Obama and believes he is doing a reasonably good job. His approach to life is pragmatic, he considers himself moral, and understands that there is room for disagreement. We did not set parameters for our talk but I believe he would agree with Democrat Harry Reid that government is inherently good and with Libertarian Jacob Hornberger that it should be constrained by natural law.
Natural law alone would never have created the freedom and order the United States of America has enjoyed. It was Christianity and the Laws God gave to Moses that buttressed a secular government and made our nation great. Though not always pronounced it was almost universally supported even by many whose personal beliefs were different. Pragmatism is a pagan procedure that allows compromise with evil and the end to justify the means. Freedom is always endangered by pragmatism.
Because we are no longer a righteous nation we are quickly losing our freedom. The longer we linger in secular humanism the greater the constraints. Private property was flagrantly invaded in Watertown, Massachusetts. When tyrants are successful in exercising inordinate power they will continue to do so.
We no longer have private property in America. The internet is devoid of privacy with everything subject to the prying eyes and ears of big brother. Private homes are no longer sanctuaries but can now be invaded by heavily armed, jack booted government troops who can kill with impunity. Public safety trumps individual rights leaving citizens without privacy or even the right to occupy of their own property.
Life is no longer restrained by absolutes. Power prevails and the full force of the United States military can be used to enforce the whims of those that wield it.
When we forsake God’s Law we subject ourselves to the whims of human power!
Drone Contractor caught exposing himself in Taunton, MA, two days after Boston Marathon Explosion near Boston
John B. (Jack) Douglas, an attorney and author of the long touted,“Reebok Rules,” famously filled with advice on how to make it as a corporate counsel, caught in ‘the act,’ told the off-duty officer what he was doing was a family tradition. Officer McGowan did not find the argument compelling.
Douglas exposed himself to Officer McGowan’s wife and children as the family ate a meal together at Olive Garden Restaurant on County St, Taunton, MA.
Some will chuckle. Others will be outraged. A few will talk about the beauty of the human body and their support of nudity. But Jack Douglas revealed something about his real values and operating principles, there, between Dunkin’ Donuts and the Olive Garden, something he would prefer was not transparent to the world.
When we can see and understand the actions of those, who otherwise, we would automatically trust, we are far better able to ensure our trust is not misused.
Jack knows perfectly well what the prevailing standards are for nudity, legally and culturally. He is a seasoned and sophisticated graduate of Harvard. On June 7th Douglas will face pre-trial in Taunton District Court.
Covert behavior which gratifies or profits individuals flies underneath a system of law and the original American culture which, localized and community based, allowed us to know each other well enough to know the predilections and motives of those around us. We knew who we could trust and how much we could extend that trust.
Modifications in our form of government and business took place over time. But this form of ‘security,’ knowing about the operating principles of those around us, which are not enumerated in their resumes and CVs, is exactly what the burgeoning centralization of government and corporations has worked diligently to suppress.
When you look at Jack’s smiling face in the line up of his fellow team members from the corporation for which he is Vice President, the last thing you would think about is him is the I image of him lifting his kilt to expose himself to a family eating their garlic bread.
But what you don’t know about those in corporations and government can, and is, killing people around the world and reducing all of us, who struggle to do the right thing, to poverty and ill-health.
Jack Douglas is Senior Vice-President for Green Hills Software, Inc., a company which provides software for war drones to the military. Using drones in an illegal, undeclared war in Pakistan which is, daily killing innocent civilians, is good for their bottom line. But this policy of death for profits both violates our Constitution and is is making America a nation, hated for its disregard of human rights, across the globe.
Green Hills took off for the big bucks in 2003 when the War in Iraq was just getting under way, at the same time they supplied uncertified documents to individuals closely associated with the Bush Administration in an attempt to protect one of their operatives, John Fund.
Look closely at these photos of the Management Team. You are going to learn some interesting things about them which will change your perception of the sheen of respectability which the presentation of their images and resumes create.
The President and CEO of Green Hills is Dan O’Dowd. Dan owns 97% of the company with his wife, Amy Chang. O’Dowd, whose life ambition is to be wealthier than Bill Gates owns other companies, purchased with his profits. Covert should be Dan’s middle name.
Unlike Gates, O’Dowd did not have a wealthy father. Dad O’Dowd was a psychologist.
Dan was a poor graduate from CalTech when, in 1982, with the financial backing of another very successful CalTech graduate, Glenn Hightower, they founded Green Hills.
Despite claims, it was not an immediate success. In fact, in 1985 it seemed likely they would have to return to Hightower for more funding, diluting his shares. It was then Craig Franklin entered Dan’s life. Franklin, ignoring Dan’s marketing, read the code and recommended it to friends in the industry, saving Dan’s equity position. Making Franklin an offer he could not refuse, Dan hired Franklin on as vice president of advanced products development in 1986.
The two men each have much to hide.
In 1998 it was Franklin who organized the walk-out of critical employees which, part of a carefully orchestrated plan, allowed O’Dowd to buy out the company from Hightower at a fraction of its real value. Hightower had been an active participant in the company, not a passive investor.
The deal between Franklin and O’Dowd was of the, “Throw Mama from the Train,” variety. Franklin assisted in defrauding Hightower and O’Dowd made sure Franklin’s wife did not receive her marital share of the stock options issued to Franklin the year before. Their actions callously, and intentionally, left her disabled, destitute, and struggling to care for a completely disabled son, who Franklin had adopted.
Today, Craig Franklin, is widely known to engage in bizarre sexual behavior and to have exposed himself to his adopted daughters. The focus of his sexual drive is young girls, and his fantasies turn on incest. Franklin’s son, Jonathan Scott Franklin, is presently serving time for the attempted murder, by hitman, of his wife.
Green Hills provides software for aerial guidance systems, high level encryption, and covert surveillance, directly to government and to other government contractors, among other products.
Today, we must openly confront the fact government contractors and other multi-national corporations have become a powerful partner in government. Therefore, the operating principles of the real, flesh and blood people who determine their corporate strategies and policies must be transparent to us, the people who supply the money which has allowed them to ramp up to billion dollar enterprises.
Those on corporate management teams, officers of the company, and members of their boards, are not private individuals. Our need to know supersedes their privacy, as it would for elected or appointed officials. The American people supply the money which pays for their corporate jets and income. On our behalf, they are making decisions which are impacting all of us.
We have it in our power to provide the transparency in this sector which is so desperately needed. The responsibility is ours, each of ours, as individuals. When we see wrong being done we need to speak out, informing others as we demand justice be done.
This was true in Nazi Germany. It is true now.
Today, it is obvious just how deep and wide the corruption of our institutions has gone. Read, “Everything Is Rigged: The Biggest Price-Fixing Scandal Ever,“ by Matt Taibbi, now published in Rolling Stone Magazine, if you still doubt. It is not just war contractors. From the highest level of banking down to the seemingly honest faces of the men above, the need for transparency screams to us like a man dying for want of air, lost in an ocean of deceit, all undertaken for profit, without a shred of integrity.
As we continue the campaign to ‘get to know,’ the Management Team for Green Hills Software, remember there are 2,500 drone companies which are members of the Association for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Systems International, of which Green Hills is a Silver member.
Forget their attempts to look honest, normal and respectable. Remember how much they have hidden, tolerated, and the murders committed in the name of money in their pockets. Character, and values, do matter. The lack of integrity, the real thing, not Dan’s ironically named software, can destroy all of us unless we, as individuals step up and take action.
We are the ones we have been waiting for.
Visit: DroneFreeZone.info for updates.
John B. Douglas, III Police Report I received the report from an anonymous source. Checked it with the local police who pointed out the article in the paper, which included the date for the pre-trial.
Historically, what separated American society from most other countries was a healthy distrust of government and a tradition of civil liberties. The Bill of Rights is a unique safeguard embodied within the constitutional structure of a road map for governmental restraint. One of the most important restrictions placed upon the police powers of the central government is exemplified in Posse Comitias. The militarization of domestic law enforcement is fundamentally in conflict with individual rights and natural law.
The basic character of the American spirit envisioned narrow intrusion into the personal affairs of citizens. The federal government is burdened with thoughtful and precise limitations on its powers for the essential reason to inhibit the aggressive expansion of despotic tendencies. Once upon another era, the people of the Republic understood this vital social construct of control against the destruction of liberty, by the very government entrusted to preserve the essence of the union.
Fifty years ago, the nation entered into a morass of a foreign conflict that altered the very fabric and substance of the post World War II mentality. As the Viet Nam war expanded, the consciousness of a youthful generation exploded into a fundamental counter cultural resistance against the mindset that built the military-industrial-complex and perpetuated an interventionist global foreign policy.
The campuses and streets of America were filled with swarms of dissenters opposing the war and the repression of a burgeoning police state. The gambit of defiant speeches to civil disobedience saw the corridors of power crumple in the wake of a nation galvanized against the Sovietization of our authorities, when the war, was supposedly fought, to stop the spread of Communism.
Even with the incomplete success in ending the Viet Nam hostilities, the political loss of that war, did not prevent the uninterrupted march toward the Orwellian collectivist state, that we now live under and the oppressive compliance that Homeland Security so aptly represents.
Corrosive incrementalism of totalitarian policies developed in an environment of gradual apathy, over the last half century. Dissenting opposition movements, persistently confrontational against the establishment became less organized and vocal. As a result, institutions of influence descended into deeper depths of moral corruption, as the agencies of bureaucratic dominance expanded their reach and scope of tyranny.
The generations of the post Viet Nam period, developed a materialistic career oriented motivation, at the expense of abandoning the search for spiritual and social responsibility, toward their fellow neighbor and their country. The flower power experienced at the opposite end of a National Guard bayonet is now replaced with a corporatist stock option in a company that builds the drone surveillance society.
With the spread of “Politically Correct” urbanity, political debate has become restrictive, sterile and punitive. The primary ingredient out of the corporate news media is a filtered mush that leads to a permanent blockage in the excretion track. These gatekeepers protect careerist criminal politicians, while serving the global interests of their Wall Street masters. The seldom-interrupted path towards government worship homogenization is a main accomplishment of the systematic dismantling of the principles of inherent autonomy.
Woefully, the plastic patriots of Bean Town demonstrated their retardation, from drinking of the dirty water, offered by the storm troopers. Accepting an arbitrary and capricious “Judge Dredd” martial law decree for an area wide lockdown is repulsive and antithetical to the noble tradition of a community, who squared off against the red coats.
The phony war on terror is actually a contrived policy and false flag drill exercises, to strip away the last vestiges of constitutional inhibitions and restraints. The “so called” terrorism that the government would have you believe threatens the nation, is but an elaborate deception to justify the methodical enslavement of unsophisticated and easily fear induced denizens.
As the connection between the patties, blamed for the Boston Marathon panic, with intelligence communities operatives and fronts become known, the official FBI version of the investigation unravels. Deployment of battalions of military vehicles with SWAT assassins poses a far greater danger to the citizenry than a nineteen-year-old “so called” Jihadist recruited into the cause by the very government, who claims to be in charge of keeping us all safe.
With the surrender of our cherished civil liberties to a ruthless DHS internal police force, martial law is now the rule of the land. Many Bostonians deserve the shame of their forbearers. Where are protests with every knock at the door? This precedent does not bode well. It is doubtful that the populace will resist in mass, when it becomes their time for transfer to their designated FEMA concentration camp.
That day is coming, and with the lack of courage in the veins of the mediocre public, the state will face little resistance, when the financial collapse hits the households of all the government dependent. This reincarnated empire of a “King George” assault, is seizing the spirit of the Bunker Hill memorial. Homeland insecurity is designed to eliminate the Gadsden flag so that it has no place to fly.
The hard-learned lessons of Viet Nam are lost to the self-absorbed and dumbed down civil servants, who pledge their loyalty to an illegitimate government, as they sell their souls to an evil empire. The mere hint of reviving a counter-culture resistance against the globalist matrix labels one an enemy of the state. Just maybe, too many people are drinking Sam Adams beer and drunk with lethargy, to heed the call of Paul Revere.
The underground press was alive and vibrant in the 1960’s. Now the internet is being groomed to be clipped with CISPA. During the confrontations with authority in a time long ago, the best within Americans emerged as defenders of core political values, while pushing the envelope of personal freedom discovery. Now the children of that generation are in seats of official authority. Lost in the education process; both in government schools and often in the family home, is a vigorous suspicion of the abuse of power and a duty to resist oppression.
Without a renaissance in traditional revolutionary commitment, the American experiment will end as every other botched and immoral imperium. The colonial civilization that rose up the original Tea Party rebels against the Crown has sunk into docile disciples of obedience to state fascist brutality.
The founding fathers were men of wisdom and courage. The survivors of the Viet Nam campaign grew in understanding over the decades in the knowledge that their battle for national survival just began with their return home. The enemy they fought in the rice paddies were fighting a civil war. Back on home soil, these veterans learned that their true foe became a tyrannical government, bent upon destroying the very civil liberties that every real American pledges upon their allegiance and sacred honor.
Until people develop the guts to face up to the 911, excuse for the terrorism fraud and the false security measures designed to destroy essential legal protections of individual rights, the organized government terror will continue.
The call goes out to rekindle the defiant spirit and resistance to the ever-growing police state. The sincere patriot opposes any bureaucratic and administrative edict that violates your natural rights. The next time belligerent and suspect authorities demand a lockdown on your neighborhood, hold a block party. The enforcement mercenaries have neither the moral mandate nor the practical efficiency to arrest and sequester the minuteman multitude with the willful daring to “just say no“ to tyranny.
Where are the Thoreauvian moralists, willing to defend their local Walden Ponds in their own communities? The reason the herds of the timid are so unwilling to challenge the supermax prison that Amerika has become is due to the fact, that so few have the fortitude to join the-strike-the-root inspiration that speaks to the character of a corrupt society.
Soon the infamous disturbed Colonel Kurtz will look like a sane expedient of military violence as the entire nation is transformed into an Apocalypse Now before our eyes. The best way to combat the thugs that violate every universal decency and common law right is to practice civil disobedience at any opportunity. Resisting oppression is a necessary step in the liberation of society from subjugation.
First responders need to stand down, when they are commanded to follow illicit orders. Boston needs to repent from their authoritarian progressive state worship. As a center of creative cutting edge protest during the Viet Nam war, the Bostonian Bluebloods of globalist indoctrination have succeeded into transmuting independent thinkers into lock step zombies.
Liberation from trumped up jingoism has been a difficult task for well over a century. At stake now is the very fabric of our own country. Surrendering our precious heritage, for a delusive and faux sense of security, plays directly into the hands of the fascists. Protest the dictatorship of the establishment. Learn from the majesty of dissent, that when the emperor is exposed as wearing no cloths, he is naked for all to see. The essential issue is whether the American public has any eyesight left, and what actions will they undertake to restore their dignity.
What more time-honored practice in the long history of state sponsored servitude than the institutionalization of prisoners? Incarceration for offenses against government laws is a cornerstone for power and survivability of any regime. Prisons may have been hellholes over the centuries, but seldom has the internment of convicted lawbreakers been a growth industry for private profit. It almost makes one wonder exactly who are the crooks. While most hard-pressed citizens want a safe and secure society, few ever give even a passing thought to the insatiable corporatist criminalization of the criminal justice system. Just how many Americans agree with the proposition, if you did the crime, you need to serve the time.
All loyal law and order proponents can take pride in the one area where the imperium of government discipline still ranks first among nations. A Global Research article - The Prison Industry in the United States: Big Business or a New Form of Slavery? – points out some staggering facts.
“There are approximately 2 million inmates in state, federal and private prisons throughout the country. According to California Prison Focus, “no other society in human history has imprisoned so many of its own citizens.” The figures show that the United States has locked up more people than any other country: a half million more than China, which has a population five times greater than the U.S. Statistics reveal that the United States holds 25% of the world’s prison population, but only 5% of the world’s people. From less than 300,000 inmates in 1972, the jail population grew to 2 million by the year 2000. In 1990 it was one million. Ten years ago there were only five private prisons in the country, with a population of 2,000 inmates; now, there are 100, with 62,000 inmates. It is expected that by the coming decade, the number will hit 360,000, according to reports.”
Just imagine the hidden solution to the high unemployment economy is staring in our faces without even a hint of public reaction. The ultimate entrepreneurial partnership allows for corporate security firms to house government dissenters or rebellious non-conformers.
“Private prisons are the biggest business in the prison industry complex. About 18 corporations guard 10,000 prisoners in 27 states. The two largest are Correctional Corporation of America(CCA) and Wackenhut, which together control 75%. Private prisons receive a guaranteed amount of money for each prisoner, independent of what it costs to maintain each one. According to Russell Boraas, a private prison administrator in Virginia, “the secret to low operating costs is having a minimal number of guards for the maximum number of prisoners.” The CCA has an ultra-modern prison in Lawrenceville, Virginia, where five guards on dayshift and two at night watch over 750 prisoners. In these prisons, inmates may get their sentences reduced for “good behavior,” but for any infraction, they get 30 days added – which means more profits for CCA.”
The dramatic increases in prison population are not from violent convicts or rapists and killers. The majority of offense categories are property, drug and especially public-order related. The goal of social rehabilitation is a quaint concept of another era. The pretense of reclamation from a conviction of prosecutorial discretion is a standard that few DA’s or judges ever consider. Sentencing guidelines are based upon retribution and punishment, in order to keep the prisons filled with a growing number of new inmates. The supposition is that if you are charged with a crime, the suspect will plea bargain or the jury will follow the directions of the government and convict.
For 2011, the US Department of Justice reported a 93% conviction rate. Such a record implies a culture of criminalization or a hard road for an innocent suspect to navigate. No wonder, the private company screws are such staunch supporters of the transgression and disorder society.
The video, Private prisons - the most profitable real estate in the US? – provides a distressing analysis of the consequences of incentivizing revenue return motivated companies as the jailer overseers.
From the report Prison Labor and Crime in the U.S. - Industry, Privatization, Inmate Facts and Stats – Prison Industries and Inmate Labor – section:
“Many companies are now directly involved in some form of profiting off of incarceration or the labor of inmates. Since 1980 when there was only one prison industry operating as a privatized entity, there are now thirty eight states and at least five county jails with privatized prison industry productions or factory operations. Together state and federal factories now number over three hundred nationwide with between six hundred thousand and one million inmates working in some form of manufacturing or services. Hundreds of companies using inmate labor for manufacturing, services and other duties are now partnered with these operations. This is done under the federal Prison Industries Enhancement Certification Program (PIECP) under 18 USC 1761(c).
Clearly companies, businesses and corporations have become heavily invested in, and dependent upon incarceration for cheap labor and profit. In 2009 total sales of prisoner made products totaled $2.4 billion. Some research places that figure as high as $5 billion and this is in addition to the “prison industry” figure of $34 billion used previously.”
Another RT video details the Prison labor booms in US as low-cost inmates bring billions. Is society really safer from the dramatic increase in the prison population, or is this method of crowding a growing herd of cheap labor simply a strategy to enrich politically connected companies?
As the rapid implosion of the economy accelerates, the prospect of even greater numbers of government prosecutions will surely increase. How many Jean Valjean’s are there in Les Misérables penal confines baking bread?
Now if you are sympathy challenged and are as hard as the rocks that need to be broken, why is the political class virtually exempt from accountability. Remember the once popular bumper sticker; “I’ll Buckle Up When Ted Bundy Does”. Well, no compassion for a serial killer is certainly understandable and proper.
However, where is the justice when a professional bankster felon like Jon Corzine skates after his crimes in the MF Global theft? The rules for ex Goldman Sacks predators allows for financing publicly traded private jail companies, but are exempt of ever working on the assembly line making license plates. What is next: a hedge fund totally devoted to the management of a privatized infrastructure of FEMA camps.
Michael Snyder writes in The Economic Collapse article, Private Prisons: The More Americans They Put Behind Bars The More Money They Make.
“If you can believe it, three of the largest private prison companies have spent approximately $45,000,000 combined on lobbying and campaign contributions over the past decade.
Just look at what has happened to the U.S. prison population over the past several decades. Prior to 1980, there were virtually no private prisons in the United States. But since that time, we have seen the overall prison population and the private prison population absolutely explode.
For example, between 1990 and 2009 the number of Americans in private prisons grew by about 1600 percent.
Overall, the U.S. prison population more than quadrupled between 1980 and 2007.”
Hard core criminals that violate civic community standards and endanger public safety should pay a price for their transgressions. Conversely, political prisoners that challenge the crony corruption within the governmental hierarchy do not deserve a sentence in a sweatshop.
With the abandonment of a police ethic that was dedicated to keeping the peace for an apparatus of law enforcement for arbitrary and dishonest statutes, which only serve the privileged elites; our society is sentenced to a death penalty. Slavery was eliminated a century ago, right? Thus far, that message has not filtered down to the penal plantation. An inmate deserves the solitude of solitary confinement.
The most effective private prison is the one that interns the personal guilt of wicked deeds. If public officials would act upon the moral judgments of their conscience, the perversion within the laws that they pass, adjudicate or administer, would exempt or reduce the unequal application of legitimate legislation, now deemed as criminal acts.
Human nature being what it is; evil acts are instinctive within malevolent souls. Accepting a corrosive punitive system, that enriches private companies, is a horrible departure that prison is a valid tool that protects society. The most dangerous and violent forfeit their social freedom by their predatory actions. However, the sheer numbers of confined prisoners does not justify a structure that exploits a captured population for forced labor.
Do we really need to criminalize society as the price to coexist in the era of Guantanamo justice? America once strived to maintain a balance among competing factions. Today there are only Statists that absolve government transgressions as acceptable and the dissenters that are now in the sights for retribution and eventual arrest. The criminalization of citizens for capricious infractions is the sign of a doomed society. When the hacks patrol the halls to enforce proper public behavior, the entire country becomes a prison.
Last night, the people of San Cristobal de las Casas in Chiapas gathered in the town square to witness the traditional burning of Judas. The burning of Judas in effigy is a local custom taking place at the end of Holy Week (“Semana Santa”). The square behind the Palacio Municipal was packed with thousands of locals, who climbed onto stairways and shimmied up columns in order to get a better look at the symbolic end of evil.
Earlier in the day, ten large plastic sculptures by local artists, depicting perpetrators of social and political injustice, were placed on display in the square. The theme for this year’s depiction of our current Judases was “Mistreatment of babies.” Not to be harnessed by literal constraints, the artwork depicted a wide range of perpetrators of harm and injustice, including Uncle Sam, a bankster holding aloft a large bag of money and a reptilian sort of dragon which seemed intent on global domination.
At the stroke of ten, the burnings commenced. One by one, each piece of art was pyrotechnically exploded into flames, while pinwheels of fireworks arched up into the sky above the square. The crowd itself exploded into applause, while depictions of oppression and corporate greed transmogrified into ten pyres of burning annihilation.
One of the art works was apparently seeded too heavily with explosives and at the time of detonation, huge sparks rained down on the crowd. A stampede ensued, as the crowd rushed for the cover of the Palacio Municipal. There were no reports of injuries sustained.
Symbolically, the destruction of evil and the triumph of good laces all our myths, our religious texts and our modern day political constructs, not to mention the celluloid outspewings of Hollywood. The thirst for justice and the conquest of evil seems basic to the human story. In the United States, this thirst for justice has assumed again a nearly mythic stature, as our populace is waking up to history: Our history, the truth behind the dream of America, the truth of imperial greed and slaughter, the killing of the indigenous, the enslavement of people of color, of wars based on lies and contempt for human life and the mockery of justice which is now taking place every day in our halls of justice.
But behind this thirst for justice lies a deeply disturbing question. How does one conquer evil without oneself using the tools and methods of evil? Does a guillotine chopping off the head of a king or prince actually end the reign of corruption or does it simply confirm and perpetuate violence as a means of asserting self- will? And —this question cuts to the core–does the one manning the guillotine soon use this power to become the very oppressor he sought to defeat?
In a recent interview (http://youtu.be/BKCVmJoS2PU), Howard Nema and I discussed the burning of Judas and also some recent revelations of corruption in a county in Southern California, as well as the apparently successful intimidation of a brave and beloved San Bernardino county activist by ….well, those manning the guillotine. These days, one sees lights being extinguished, dampened and diminished everywhere one looks. Telling the truth and acting upon that knowledge of right vs. wrong is becoming an increasingly perilous endeavor.
The light we should seek and applaud is not, to my way of thinking, the pyre of a burning Judas. The flames that should be drawing us into town squares, into virtual meeting places on the web, into our spiritual sacred spaces and into our political meeting halls are the lights carried by each and every one of us who still knows wrong from right and has the courage to speak out. These are the sparks of the Divine flame which need to be honored and these are the lights which will be passed and carried through the generations.
Fear has a way of darkening the light. If it is any comfort, no one gets out of here alive. Not a Judas, not a Christ, and certainly not you or me. What will remain behind us is our light and what we have done during our brief tenure on this embattled planet. Whether this legacy pushes back the darkness or, out of fear and a sense of self preservation instead solidifies and strengthens the darkness is entirely up to us.
Yes, there is indeed a battle going on and the battlefield is in the hearts and minds of every one of us. As the old Indian legend tells it, each of us contains two wolves—the good wolf and the bad wolf. Which wolf gains ascendancy depends on which one we feed. The Judas burning last night in the central square may have been the externalization of the Judas that lurks in each of us. It may be time to confront him, face to face and without illusions.
One variant of a well-known law of bureaucracy says that the amount of time spent discussing a budgetary decision is inversely proportional to the magnitude of the budget in question. Judging by what I witnessed on March 20 at the European Parliament—at the Committee on Budgets’ hearing on the “Financing of the Eastern Partnership”—the Brussels machine functions entirely in accordance with this adage.
The money involved is substantial: 2.8 billion euros ($3.6 billion) over 5 years. The project’s stated purpose is to promote “shared values”—democracy, human rights and the rule of law—in six former Soviet states deemed to be of “strategic importance” to the European Union: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, andUkraine. Promoting the principles of market economy, sustainable development, civic society and “good governance” is also among the objectives.
In their opening remarks, the officials involved in running the Eastern Partnership Program were self-congratulatory about its alleged achievements. That much was to be expected: lots of sinecures, cushy jobs and expense-padded missions can be extracted from a few billion. Nevertheless, the entire construct’s numerous problems and shortcomings could not be concealed:
- Conceptually, there is no clear consensus within the EU on what exactly it is trying to promote in its eastern neighborhood under the bombastic slogans of “shared values, collective norms and joint ownership.” What does it all mean, if anything, in the real world?
- Empirically, the program has followed, and still follows, a “top-down” approach of deciding in Brussels what are the goals, then telling the eastern “partners” what they need to do, and finally rewarding them accordingly—rather than developing genuine partnerships based on those countries’ real needs and attainable objectives.
- Managerially, in order for the funds allocated to the “Partnership” to be optimally utilized, they would require elaborate apparatuses of deployment, supervision and evaluation. On the basis of the presentations last Wednesday, it is clear that the EU has neither the institutional mechanisms nor the supervisory bodies capable of insuring that this is the case.
- Substantially, the elephant in the room was the issue of EU enlargement—or, rather, the extreme unlikelihood of further enlargement after Croatia’s accession next July. Without the realistic prospect of an eventual path to full membership, the EU lacks meaningful leverage over the political elites in the six eastern countries to make them change their ways.
Far from being addressed, these problems are bypassed by the tendency of the EU bureaucracy to close its eyes to the reality on the ground in the countries concerned—or, worse, still, to misrepresent that reality for reasons of institutional self-preservations. The result, to put it succinctly, is that billions of European taxpayers’ cash are poured into a bottomless pit of post-Soviet corruption, graft, and pork-barrel politics. “We pretend to work, and they pretend to pay us,” went the old Soviet joke. Its modern-day “Eastern” equivalent should be “We pretend to reform, and they pretend that we are doing a good job.” Instead of being properly perceived as part of the problem, terminally corrupt political “elites” are treated as partners in finding solutions.
Moldova is the prime example. On per-capita basis, this backwater squeezed between Romania and Ukraine—the poorest country in Europe—has received far more money than the other five “partners,” and the EU pretends that its objectives are being met. While I was at the European Parliament, the European Commission presented its own regional report on the implementation of the Eastern Partnership. It asserted that “significant progress was made in the implementation of the Eastern Partnership” and singled out Moldova for “showing significant progress,” “stepping up efforts to implement judicial and law enforcement reform,” and “continuing to implement reforms in the areas of social assistance, health and education, energy, competition, state aid and regulatory approximation to the EU acquis.” Moldova’s government was asked to “continue to vigorously advance reforms in the justice and law enforcement systems” as well as intensify the fight against corruption.
This is surreal, on par with the Soviet Communist Party congresses exalting the great and glorious achievements of socialism in the years of terminal decline under Brezhnev. In reality, Moldova is one of the most corrupt countries in Europe, according to independent analysts, who also claim that the majority of EU assistance is being misused by local officials. The Warsaw-based EaP Institute warns that the EU is devoting considerable sums to Moldova for very little return in terms of progress in the country’s reform process: “It begs the question: Why is the EU throwing money like this at a black hole of corruption, when there is so much to do in the EU’s own member states?”
It does, indeed. Moldova has already received some €482m from the EU Eastern Partnership, which is about 110 euros ($145) for every man, woman and child in the dirt-poor country—the equivalent of an average two-weekly wage. Nobody knows for certain where it went, but we have a fair idea. Recent opinion polls say that the majority of citizens of Moldova consider their current coalition government as “totally corrupt.” According to the Transparency International 2012 report, Moldova is among the most corrupt places in Europe, with Kosovo, Albania and Bosnia topping the list. But the EU says it is doing well, because an unhealthy symbiotic relationship has been developed between the unelected and mostly unaccountable bureaucrats managing enormous funds earmarked for nebulous purposes and their foreign “clients” who gloat at the mouth-watering prospect of placing a major portion of those funds into their own pockets.
After last Wednesday’s introductory presentations, several experts and members of European Parliament (MEPs) expressed misgivings about the Eastern Partnership policy. Olaf Osica, director of the centre for eastern studies in Warsaw, declared that “in four years the policy had failed to produce any tangible political or social results.” A prominent Polish MEP and former senior government minister, Jacek Saryusz-Wolski, said the entire edifice should be “completely revised”:
There are a whole multitude of projects which, as we have heard at the hearing, no one seems able to follow or understand… What we are doing is creating the illusion that the EU is helping to transform these eastern European countries when, in fact, the naked truth is that the EU is losing its eastern neighbors. What is actually needed is for the EU—and that means both the Commission and Parliament—to totally revise and revisit its Eastern Partnership policy.
All this was in stark contrast to the earlier assurances by senior officials that the current picture was “confused,” but the EU was nevertheless “doing quite well” in addressing concerns about the transparency and accountability of its funding for the six countries (Marcus Cornaro); or that the EU was determined to push ahead with closer cooperation with those countries that have “demonstrated a commitment to the reform process” (Richard Tibbels).
The lenient attitude of EU officials regarding the patchy record of their “Eastern partners” on corruption, democratisation, and the rule of law is in stark contrast with the ever-moving goal posts for a half-dozen aspiring EU members in the Western Balkans. None of them will join the EU for a decade at least, of course, and a realistic reassessment of their political and economic policies is long overdue. The EU is in a state of chronic institutional and financial crisis, and trying to get on board at this point is equal to betting on Romney last November 5. Alternatives do exist, but they call for the cold-blooded diversification of long-term strategies. Belgrade and Kiev in particular should take note.
If you watched NBC’s anchor Lester Holt on Saturday evening’s news, he reported that Portland State University in Portland, Oregon, features a “food pantry” for students who cannot afford to feed themselves while attending college. Further into the report, Holt announced that 50 colleges across the United States feature “food pantries” that give donated food stuffs out to destitute college students barely able to make their way through college.
The whole report sickened me. NBC’s Brian Williams last week reported that this month is the 10 year anniversary of invading Iraq with “Shock and Awe” from former President George W. Bush. We suffered 4,750 dead young men and women, 32,000 hideously wounded and $2 trillion in expenditures. Brian also announced that no “Weapons of Mass Destruction” existed in Iraq. We also killed over 150,000 Iraqi citizens.
As I sat there in my chair watching the news, I felt an overwhelming disgusting feeling that a band of 535 lunatics and one lunatic former president and the present incompetent president lack any ability to deal with reality and create solutions that solve American’s problems.
No one in his right mind would invade a sandbox country run by an idiot dictator over 10,000 miles away. Iraq posed no threat whatsoever to our country.
Yet, we feed 47.7 million Americans with food stamps because those individuals cannot find a job or are too illiterate to hold a job. We suffer 14 million unemployed Americans looking for work. Our infrastructure and bridges crumble right before our eyes. We stand eye-ball deep in $16.5 trillion in debt. Our educational systems spit out functionally illiterate and welfare-dependent kids by the hundreds of thousands every year.
A mind-numbing 13.4 million American children live below the poverty level in conditions that sicken any middle-American. Some one million Americans remain homeless night after night in the city streets of America. One in six Americans face hunger. www.feedingAmerica.org “In many ways, America is the land of plenty. But for 1 in 6 people in the United States, hunger is a reality. Many people believe that the problems associated with hunger are confined to small pockets of society, certain areas of the country, or certain neighborhoods, but the reality is much different. Right now, millions of Americans are struggling with hunger. These are often hard-working adults, children and seniors who simply cannot make ends meet and are forced to go without food for several meals, or even days.”
Yet, our Congress just gave Egypt $250 million dollars in aid this month. We send billions of dollars that we borrow from other countries to give to dozens of countries around the world in foreign aid. Yet, our own country rides on the thin margins of pretention.
That same Congress imports 100,000 legal, unskilled, undereducated, welfare-prone, food stamp and assisted housing recipients every 30 days into America. Those same immigrants along with illegals cost American taxpayers $346 billion annually across 15 federal agencies. (Source: Edwin Rubenstein, ESR, www.TheSocialContract.com )
It’s so beyond the realm of stupidity that it morphs into the realm of insanity—but Congress carries out this level of insanity as a normal method of day to day business.
We flounder at saving ourselves on the margins of our national debt by waiting until the last minute to pass a bill to raise the debt ceiling. Yet, we never solve the debt problem at the cause. We continue with endless wars that cost us trillions of dollars, but we march right into new wars that provide no security or freedom—but plenty of death and debt. Our children suffer with educational systems bankrupting, but we add more to our military budgets where we must train poorly educated citizen soldiers.
We stagger into the future without a plan. Specifically, President Barack Obama staggers forward without a plan and our Congress waltzes into the financial and social abyss with him.
The American people become victims of our leaders’ incompetence, their corruption and their outright greed. For those 535 Congress critters to continue their pretenses of leading this country, it’s appalling that they can sleep at night knowing they fail us and fail us utterly.
One reader said, “Your latest article regarding immigration expresses what I’ve been saying for years. Neither Bush nor Obama care about securing the borders. All the talk about creating jobs is smoke and mirrors and rhetoric. Congress is still allowing 100,000 people to come here legally each month. How can we possibly put Americans to work at this rate? Looking at the whole picture, I firmly believe our country is finished, and it’s not going to return to what it was when we were younger. We will not out-vote those whose gave Obama a second term. He is bent on destroying our way of life, and succeeding. Morality and a belief in our Creator have been severely weakened. The U.S.A. is controlled by a despotic president, and parasites in Congress.”
The descent was gradual—a slide into the tawdry, the trivial and the inane, into the charade on cable news channels such as Fox and MSNBC in which hosts hold up corporate political puppets to laud or ridicule, and treat celebrity foibles as legitimate news. But if I had to pick a date when commercial television decided amassing corporate money and providing entertainment were its central mission, when it consciously chose to become a carnival act, it would probably be Feb. 25, 2003, when MSNBC took Phil Donahue off the air because of his opposition to the calls for war in Iraq
Donahue and Bill Moyers, the last honest men on national television, were the only two major TV news personalities who presented the viewpoints of those of us who challenged the rush to war in Iraq. General Electric and Microsoft—MSNBC’s founders and defense contractors that went on to make tremendous profits from the war—were not about to tolerate a dissenting voice. Donahue was fired, and at PBS Moyers was subjected to tremendous pressure. An internal MSNBC memo leaked to the press stated that Donahue was hurting the image of the network. He would be a “difficult public face for NBC in a time of war,” the memo read. Donahue never returned to the airwaves.
The celebrity trolls who currently reign on commercial television, who bill themselves as liberal or conservative, read from the same corporate script. They spin the same court gossip. They ignore what the corporate state wants ignored. They champion what the corporate state wants championed. They do not challenge or acknowledge the structures of corporate power. Their role is to funnel viewer energy back into our dead political system—to make us believe that Democrats or Republicans are not corporate pawns. The cable shows, whose hyperbolic hosts work to make us afraid self-identified liberals or self-identified conservatives, are part of a rigged political system, one in which it is impossible to vote against the interests of Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, General Electric or ExxonMobil. These corporations, in return for the fear-based propaganda, pay the lavish salaries of celebrity news people, usually in the millions of dollars. They make their shows profitable. And when there is war these news personalities assume their “patriotic” roles as cheerleaders, as Chris Matthews—who makes an estimated $5 million a year—did, along with the other MSNBC and Fox hosts.
It does not matter that these celebrities and their guests, usually retired generals or government officials, got the war terribly wrong. Just as it does not matter that Francis Fukuyama and Thomas Friedman were wrong on the wonders of unfettered corporate capitalism and globalization. What mattered then and what matters now is likability—known in television and advertising as the Q score—not honesty and truth. Television news celebrities are in the business of sales, not journalism. They peddle the ideology of the corporate state. And too many of us are buying.
The lie of omission is still a lie. It is what these news celebrities do not mention that exposes their complicity with corporate power. They do not speak about Section 1021 of the National Defense Authorization Act, a provision that allows the government to use the military to hold U.S. citizens and strip them of due process. They do not decry the trashing of our most basic civil liberties, allowing acts such as warrantless wiretapping and executive orders for the assassination of U.S. citizens. They do not devote significant time to climate scientists to explain the crisis that is enveloping our planet. They do not confront the reckless assault of the fossil fuel industry on the ecosystem. They very rarely produce long-form documentaries or news reports on our urban and rural poor, who have been rendered invisible, or on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan or on corporate corruption on Wall Street. That is not why they are paid. They are paid to stymie meaningful debate. They are paid to discredit or ignore the nation’s most astute critics of corporatism, among them Cornel West, Medea Benjamin, Ralph Nader and Noam Chomsky. They are paid to chatter mindlessly, hour after hour, filling our heads with the theater of the absurd. They play clips of their television rivals ridiculing them and ridicule their rivals in return. Television news looks as if it was lifted from Rudyard Kipling’s portrait of the Bandar-log monkeys in “The Jungle Book.” The Bandar-log, considered insane by the other animals in the jungle because of their complete self-absorption, lack of discipline and outsized vanity, chant in unison: “We are great. We are free. We are wonderful. We are the most wonderful people in all the jungle! We all say so, and so it must be true.”
When I reached him by phone recently in New York, Donahue said of the pressure the network put on him near the end, “It evolved into an absurdity.” He continued: “We were told we had to have two conservatives for every liberal on the show. I was considered a liberal. I could have Richard Perle on alone but not Dennis Kucinich. You felt the tremendous fear corporate media had for being on an unpopular side during the ramp-up for a war. And let’s not forget that General Electric’s biggest customer at the time was Donald Rumsfeld [then the secretary of defense]. Elite media features elite power. No other voices are heard.”
Donahue spent four years after leaving MSNBC making the movie documentary “Body of War” with fellow director/producer Ellen Spiro, about the paralyzed Iraq War veteran Tomas Young. The film, which Donahue funded himself, began when he accompanied Nader to visit Young in the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Washington, D.C.
“Here is this kid lying there whacked on morphine,” Donahue said. “His mother, as we are standing by the bed looking down, explained his injuries. ‘He is a T-4. The bullet came through the collarbone and exited between the shoulder blades. He is paralyzed from the nipples down.’ He was emaciated. His cheekbones were sticking out. He was as white as the sheets he was lying on. He was 24 years old. … I thought, ‘People should see this. This is awful.’ ”
Donahue noted that only a very small percentage of Americans have a close relative who fought in Iraq or Afghanistan and an even smaller number make the personal sacrifice of a Tomas Young. “Nobody sees the pain,” he said. “The war is sanitized.”
“I said, ‘Tomas, I want to make a movie that shows the pain, I want to make a movie that shows up close what war really means, but I can’t do it without your permission,’ ” Donahue remembered. “Tomas said, ‘I do too.’ ”
But once again Donahue ran into the corporate monolith: Commercial distributors proved reluctant to pick up the film. Donahue was told that the film, although it had received great critical acclaim, was too depressing and not uplifting. Distributors asked him who would go to see a film about someone in a wheelchair. Donahue managed to get openings in Chicago, Seattle, Palm Springs, New York, Washington and Boston, but the runs were painfully brief.
“I didn’t have the money to run full-page ads,” he said. “Hollywood often spends more on promotion than it does on the movie. And so we died. What happens now is that peace groups are showing it. We opened the Veterans for Peace convention in Miami. Failure is not unfamiliar to me. And yet, I am stunned at how many Americans stand mute.”
Chris Hedges, whose column is published Mondays on Truthdig, spent nearly two decades as a foreign correspondent in Central America, the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans. He has reported from more than 50 countries and has worked for The Christian Science Monitor, National Public Radio, The Dallas Morning News and The New York Times, for which he was a foreign correspondent for 15 years.
A government whistleblower, disclosing classified secrets, risks criminal charges. Defining restricted material usually includes a broad scope of information that casts officials or agencies in a compromising embarrassment. The idea that public servants may be engaged in violating laws is no excuse for blowing the whistle on such abuses if it involves “National Security”. This protect the state attitude at all cost argument, is the very definition of institutional cover-up. In war, truth is the first casualty, so said Aeschylus.
So throwing the book at Bradley Manning comes as no surprise. Why should anyone be concerned about the intentional dissemination of raw evidence about war crimes, committed in the name of the War of Terror? Most would fail to be moved by the motivations of a stoic prisoner, who uploaded secured computer files to WikiLeaks. Many would cheer his interminable incarceration for disclosing military records.
Yet, before you slam the jail shut, reflect upon the Secretly Recorded Audio Leaked of Bradley Manning’s Court Statement. Listen to the Full Statement.
Also, view the YouTube video, Bradley Manning Tells Court Public Have the Right to Know About US War Crimes.A cogent reaction from another renowned whistleblower, Daniel Ellsberg of the Pentagon Papers fame, carries the weight of a brave man from another era.
“It’s important to remember through all this that Manning has already pled guilty to ten charges of violating military regulations (few of which, if any would be civilian crimes) and faces twenty years in jail. Yet the prosecutors are still going ahead with the absurd charge of “aiding the enemy,” a capital offense, of which the prosecutors are asking for life in prison.
Nixon could have brought that charge against me too. I was revealing wrongdoing by our government in a public way, and that information could have been read by our enemies in Vietnam. Of course, I never had that intent and Manning didn’t either. We both leaked information to provoke a domestic debate about military force and government secrecy. And to say we did so to aid the enemy is absurd.”
In any political trial, the spirit of the law is sacrificed for the expediency of protecting a debased regime. Balance in prosecution is a concept unknown to a government consumed with punishing any perceived enemy of the state.
Attorney Floyd Abrams and Professor Yochai Benkler provide a thoughtful perspective and legal opinion in The New York Times editorial - Death to Whistle-Blowers?
“Under the prosecution’s theory, because Private Manning knew the materials would be published and that Al Qaeda could read them once published, he indirectly communicated with the enemy. But in this theory, whether publication is by WikiLeaks or The Times is entirely beside the point. Defendants are guilty of “aiding the enemy” for leaking to a publishing medium simply because that publication can be read by anyone with an Internet connection.
Private Manning’s guilty plea gives the prosecution an opportunity to rethink its strategy. The extreme charges remaining in this case create a severe threat to future whistle-blowers, even when their revelations are crystal-clear instances of whistle-blowing. We cannot allow our concerns about terrorism to turn us into a country where communicating with the press can be prosecuted as a capital offense.”
No such mercy from the imperial empire, Manning must suffer the supreme wrath for his transgressions. His admissions acknowledge expected official sanctions, but the sentiment of Daniel Ellsberg reflects the standpoint of many Manning supporters.
“…For the third straight year, Manning has been nominated for the Noble Peace Prize by, among others, Tunisian parliamentarians. Given the role the WikiLeaks cables played in the Arab Spring, and their role in speeding up the end of the Iraq War, I can think of no one more deserving who is deserving of the peace prize.
He’s also deserving of the Congressional Medal of Honor. This medal, awarded by Congress-and not the executive branch-is given to military personnel, who during wartime, do what they should do for their country and their comrades, at the greatest risk to themselves.”
Another target of recrimination, seen in the Sibel Edmonds dismissal is a classic example of punishing the whistleblower. Edmonds took a job as a translator at the FBI shortly after 9-11. Her story, stated in the YouTube interview, The Government Is Raping You: Sibel Edmonds, is compelling.
“Edmonds found at the FBI translation unit almost entirely two types of people. The first group was corrupt sociopaths, foreign spies, cheats and schemers indifferent to or working against U.S. national security. The second group was fearful bureaucrats unwilling to make waves. The ordinary competent person with good intentions who risks their job to “say something if you see something” is the rarest commodity. Hence the elite category that Edmonds found herself almost alone in: whistleblowers.”
This characterization of morally challenged federal employees is a direct consequence of a system that protects the cover-ups, while punishing disclosure of conflicting evidence of outright corruption. The silent culture of concealment or the worse incentive system of collusion runs the governing bureaucracies.
The presstitutes in the establishment media enable the warmongering protection racket as a condition of employment. Their lack of investigative reporting is only superseded by their ominous distortion of real patriotic loyalty. Whistleblowers function as detectives doing the job that reporters abdicate. Woefully, so few citizens of conscience are willing to jeopardize their individual circumstance for the courage of genuine national security.
The always insightful, William F. Jasper of the New American writes in Sibel Edmonds’ “Classified Woman”.
“Unfortunately, most of Edmonds’ contributing editors at BoilingFrogs are decidedly left of center, and their anti-globalist, anti-war, anti-police-state arguments and analyses tend to range from the “progressive” to the Marxoid. However, when she went public and came under attack, it wasn’t Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh who came to her defense; it was the anti-Bush Left that rallied to her aid. In fact, the faux conservatives at FOX, National Review, and the radio talk show universe alternately ignored and attacked her; they were busy cheerleading George W. Bush’s unconstitutional wars abroad and his unconstitutional police-state measures at home. Sympathetic coverage for Edmonds from alternative media on the Right has been woefully lacking, with a few exceptions.
In April 2011, Sibel Edmonds submitted her manuscript for Classified Womanto the FBI for review, as required by terms of her employment agreement. Under that agreement, the FBI has 30 days to approve and/or require deletions and revisions. After waiting over 340 days with no response from the bureau, Edmonds took the path that few others have taken; she published anyway. However, with every publisher afraid to touch it, she was forced to publish it on her own. She knows that any day now the Obama administration, which has prosecuted more whistleblowers than all previous administrations combined, may come after her.”
Forget about the false left-right paradigm. The “War of Terror” being waged by the imperium empire is designed to crush whistleblowers, and keep the brain dead in a zombie trance. Just consider the impact on the Afghanistan campaign if the FBI acted upon the evidence unclosed by Sibel Edmonds that cuts to the heart of the 911 myth assumptions.
The military-industrial-security-intelligence complex closes ranks to protect their “Splendid Little Wars“. The whistleblowers that expose the lies out of the War Party establishment are only a minor distraction, as long as the public sleeps in their self-induced coma. The Army Times item, Hagel to order review of drone medal precedence, is one such interlude, while the control and command structure continues to aim their weapons at imaginary threats.
Who would doubt that the Bradley Mannings and Sibel Edmonds, squealers of state secrets, would be prime quarries for the hunt to eliminate enemies of the state? The only good government snitch is a Gitmo captive. So goes the claims of the governance prosecutors.
How many people have actually examined the information in the Manning WikiLeak disclosures or read the Edmonds account of 911-treason complicity? Oh no, the discomfort of confronting the fake reality of the official story of make believe is too disturbing for most people.
Loyalty of country is a very dangerous attitude, when your government sponsors state terrorism as a normal activity. The fear to face up to the horrors of administration deceit is the prime activity of the flag waving drones that cheer for more carnage.
When Edmonds describes the traitors within the national security structure, the fearful bureaucrats facilitate the ongoing treachery that passes for nationalism. When Manning exposes the documents that prove a genocide policy is in effect, the penalty demanded by the bellicose command is his execution.
An honorable whistleblower is a citizen hero. Disobeying dishonest laws is true patriotism. In the end, A Different Philosophy of Civil Disobedience, is needed. Complacency is the countrywide disease of choice. Real patriots oppose jingoistic orders. Stand down.
US and UK Drowned Iraq in Blood…
All forms of political media — in print, on line, on the air — have been awash in recent weeks with retrospectives on the tenth anniversary of the American-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003. Amidst the mountainous heap of drivel and falsehood such an occasion inevitably produces among the vast and vapid army of analysts who happily spend their days chewing the cud of whatever happens to be the conventional wisdom of the day, there have been a few outstanding pieces that put this continuing war crime in stark perspective.
One of the better short pieces I’ve seen on the subject comes from — of all people — an actual Iraqi. Sami Ramadani, a dissident forced into exile by Saddam, has been one of the most insightful observers — and vociferous opponents — of the atrocities inflicted on his country by Western elites and their local collaborators (including, of course, for many decades, Saddam Hussein). From the Guardian:
Ten years on from the shock and awe of the 2003 Bush and Blair war – which followed 13 years of murderous sanctions, and 35 years of Saddamist dictatorship – my tormented land, once a cradle of civilisation, is staring into the abyss.
Wanton imperialist intervention and dictatorial rule have together been responsible for the deaths of more than a million people since 1991. And yet, according to both Tony Blair and the former US secretary of state Madeleine Albright, the “price is worth it”. Blair, whom most Iraqis regard as a war criminal, is given VIP treatment by a culpable media. Iraqis listen in disbelief when he says: “I feel responsibility but no regret for removing Saddam Hussein.” (As if Saddam and his henchmen were simply whisked away, leaving the people to build a democratic state). It enrages us to see Blair build a business empire, capitalising on his role in piling up more Iraqi skulls than even Saddam managed.
As an exile, I was painfully aware of Saddam’s crimes, which for me started with the disappearance from Baghdad’s medical college of my dearest school friend, Hazim. The Iraqi people are fully aware, too, that Saddam committed all his major crimes while an ally of western powers. On the eve of the 2003 invasion I wrote this for the Guardian:
“In Iraq, the US record speaks for itself: it backed Saddam’s party, the Ba’ath, to capture power in 1963, murdering thousands of socialists, communists and democrats; it backed the Ba’ath party in 1968 when Saddam was installed as vice-president; it helped him and the Shah of Iran in 1975 to crush the Kurdish nationalist movement; it increased its support for Saddam in 1979…helping him launch his war of aggression against Iran in 1980; it backed him throughout the horrific eight years of war (1980 to 1988), in which a million Iranians and Iraqis were slaughtered, in the full knowledge that he was using chemical weapons and gassing Kurds and Marsh Arabs; it encouraged him in 1990 to invade Kuwait…; it backed him in 1991 when Bush [senior] suddenly stopped the war, exactly 24 hours after the start of the great March uprising that engulfed the south and Iraqi Kurdistan…”
But when it was no longer in their interests to back him, the US and UK drowned Iraq in blood.
…We haven’t even counted the dead yet, let alone the injured, displaced and traumatised. Countless thousands are still missing. Of the more than 4 million refugees, at least a million are yet to go back to their homeland, and there still about a million internal refugees. On an almost daily basis, explosions and shootings continue to kill the innocent. … Lack of electricity, clean water and other essential services continues to hit millions of impoverished and unemployed people, in one of the richest countries on the planet. Women and children pay the highest price. Women’s rights, and human rights in general, are daily suppressed.
And what of democracy, supposedly the point of it all? The US-led occupying authorities nurtured a “political process” and a constitution designed to sow sectarian and ethnic discord. Having failed to crush the resistance to direct occupation, they resorted to divide-and-rule to keep their foothold in Iraq. Using torture, sectarian death squads and billions of dollars, the occupation has succeeded in weakening the social fabric and elevating a corrupt ruling class that gets richer by the day, salivating at the prospect of acquiring a bigger share of Iraq’s natural resources, which are mostly mortgaged to foreign oil companies and construction firms.
Warring sectarian and ethnic forces, either allied to or fearing US influence, dominate the dysfunctional and corrupt Iraqi state institutions, but the US embassy in Baghdad – the biggest in the world – still calls the shots. Iraq is not really a sovereign state, languishing under the punitive Chapter VII of the UN charter.
Yes, it has certainly been, as Barack Obama memorably characterized it, a “remarkable achievement.” It is also, more and more, a forgotten “achievement.” America’s amnesia regarding the war crime in Iraq and its continuing ramifications — not only the repression and death still going on there, but also the catastrophic impact of this atrocity on America itself, including the tsunami of suicide, homelessness and PTSD among its soldiers, and the back-breaking costs of this orgy of corruption and war-profiteering — is indeed remarkable. It is no longer a reality — a living, anguished, ongoing human tragedy — but simply fodder for commentary, for partisan point-scoring, for barroom blather. This has always been the case with our misbegotten wars of imperial domination (for an especially acute and egregious example of our chronic amnesia, see this review of Nick Turse’s new book, Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam), going back to the 19th century. And the “paradigm-changing” iadvent of the internet has done nothing to change that; despite today’s easy access to unprecedented levels of information about the realities of the Iraq war (and other high crimes and atrocities), the amnesia and willful ignorance remains as profound as ever.
So here we are. Ten years on from the frenzied paroxysm (or was it an orgasm?) of mass violence — which was itself the culmination of years of the bipartisan war-by-sanctions that American officials have openly acknowledged killed more than half a million Iraqi children — what is the central “moral” issue of our national politics today? This once-unimaginable, horribly depraved and obscene question: Should the president be allowed to murder any American citizen he chooses, or should there perhaps be be some kind of secret Congressional oversight of the secret killing program? (The idea of restricting the president’s power to kill any filthy foreignerhe chooses is not in question anywhere in our national politics, of course; Rand Paul wasn’t filibustering against that idea. No, any debate on the “ethics” of state murder is restricted to its application to Americans, who, as we know, are the only fully human beings on the face of the earth.)
Given the current trajectory of our plunge into barbarism, I predict that in just a few years we’ll be “debating” whether the president has the right to stick the severed heads of “terrorists” on spikes outside the White House, or if the heads should be passed around discreetly to members of the relevant Senate committees before being dumped in the ocean.
Source: Empire Burlesque