Sunday, June 12, 2011

Police arrest 5 more activists for feeding homeless

Marchers scale Blair Mountain
Protesters rally at Labor's 'Gettysburg,' vow mountaintop-removal fight
Lawrence Pierce
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. speaks to anti-mountaintop mining protesters on Saturday. The protesters made a weeklong, 50-mile march to the summit of Blair Mountain to raise awareness about the controversial mining practice.
Lawrence Pierce
Hundreds of protesters march along W.Va. 17 near the Logan-Boone county line to the summit of Blair Mountain on Saturday, ending a weeklong demonstration against mountaintop-removal mining.
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BLAIR, W.Va. -- Hundreds of protesters reached the summit of Blair Mountain on Saturday, marking the end of a weeklong, 50-mile march to raise awareness of mountaintop-removal mining and labor rights in West Virginia.

The protesters came from far and wide to participate in the journey, hailing not only from West Virginia, but also Kentucky, Utah, North Carolina, Tennessee, Australia and Japan. The five-day march was an effort to preserve Blair Mountain as a historical site and to prevent coal companies from using it for mountaintop-removal mining.

Environmental attorney Robert F. Kennedy Jr., country music singer and West Virginia native Kathy Mattea, former congressman Ken Hechler and West Virginia activist Larry Gibson joined the protesters Saturday.

"This is the Gettysburg of the union movement," Kennedy said during a rally before the protesters reached the summit.

Kennedy, who just released the anti-mountaintop-removal mining documentary "The Last Mountain," said legislators and the state Department of Environmental Protection are too controlled by the interests of coal companies.

"Everything this industry does is illegal, it's a criminal enterprise," he said. "If you came to the Hudson River and you tried to fill 25 feet of a Hudson River tributary, we would put you in jail, I guarantee it. If you tried to blow up a mountain in the Berkshires, the Adirondacks, or a mountain in Colorado, California or Utah, you would go to jail."

Mattea said she was compelled to attend the protest because she is from South Charleston and has immediate family members who are strong supporters of coal miner unions and environmental protections. She performed a song by folk singer Jean Ritchie called "Black Waters."

"I came to stand here on this ground, on this day, with all of you because what we are attempting to save here echoes the values in my own life," Mattea said. "In 1921, thousands of people stood on this mountain, miners and ordinary people from all walks of life. . . . They stood together to say, 'No more.'"

In 1921, the march on Blair Mountain was the biggest armed conflict in American labor history. More than 10,000 union miners marched from Marmet to help organize non-union coal mines in Southern West Virginia. After several days of battles, federal troops arrived and ended the conflict.

In 2009, the site was added to the National Register of Historic Places. Nine months later, after pressure from coal companies on state agencies, it was removed from the register.

Today, labor and environmental groups are backing a lawsuit that seeks to restore Blair Mountain's place on the list.

Alpha Natural Resources, which bought Massey Energy last month, and Arch Coal now own much of Blair Mountain.

Joe Stanley, a retired United Mine Workers union miner from Prichard, said the state has been sucked dry of wealth by coal companies whose only concern is making money and not sharing it with the people of West Virginia.

"Why is it that West Virginia is the richest state in natural resources, yet we remain at the bottom of everything?" he asked.

Christian Torp, 31, of Lexington, Ky., said he felt called on by God to attend the rally, to represent those who have been impoverished by the coal companies. He cited a Bible verse from Micah 6:8.

"What does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly," he said.

The protest has been empowering and unifying to watch, said Kara Dotson, 21, of Blacksburg, Va. She traveled from Virginia to attend the march's final leg.

"We have to stand up for the environmental integrity of our community," she said, "because we can't live without clean water or air."

Psera Newman, 34, also of Lexington, held a sign depicting a barren coalfield with the message, "This is no future." Her 13-year-old son, Cosmos, painted it for her.

"The corporations take advantage of people in Appalachia, and this is happening all over Appalachia, not just West Virginia," Newman said. "We have to save one mountain at a time."

Chinese Ratings Agency Says The US Has Already Defaulted

Chinese Ratings Agency Says The US Has Already Defaulted

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China's Dagong credit ratings agency is at it again, now saying the U.S. is already in default, according to the AFP. The firm said last year that the U.S. and European countries should have credit ratings below China, and announced its own rankings to back up its statements.

Their reason for default, however, is a little suspicious.

From AFP:

“In our opinion, the United States has already been defaulting,” Guan Jianzhong, president of Dagong Global Credit Rating Co. Ltd., the only Chinese agency that gives sovereign ratings, was quoted by the Global Times saying.

Washington had already defaulted on its loans by allowing the dollar to weaken against other currencies — eroding the wealth of creditors including China, Guan said.

If that's Dagong's reason for the downgrade, doesn't that imply that China too, frequently devaluing its currency to keep pace with the dollar, is also in default to foreign creditors?

Nevertheless, certainly adds to the current fire coming from China, in terms of the U.S. debt position.

10 Signs That Wall Street Is About To Go Into Panic Mode

10 Signs That Wall Street Is About To Go Into Panic Mode

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panic

Image: Wikimedia Commons

Can you smell the fear? Right now world financial markets are visibly nervous and many are worried that Wall Street is about to go into panic mode. It really is eerie how 2011 is shaping up to be so similar to 2008.

Click here to see the signs >

Major Wall Street banks are laying off workers in droves, oil prices are at very high levels, pessimism is permeating the financial markets, debt ratings are being downgraded all over the place and consumer confidence is stunningly low.

Sadly, none of the fundamental things that were wrong with the financial markets back in 2008 have been fixed. In fact, many believe that Wall Street is even more vulnerable now. A ton of bad economic numbers have come pouring in lately and that has put investors in a really sour mood. All it would probably take is for one really significant "trigger event" to take place for Wall Street to go into full-fledged panic mode.

Let us hope and pray that we do not see another Wall Street disaster this year. But right now things do not look promising. Japan has been absolutely devastated, Europe is struggling with the Greek debt crisis and the U.S. economy resembles a dead horse at this point. Meanwhile, world financial markets are getting more bad news on an almost daily basis. Many investors are holding their breath and hoping that a worst case scenario does not play out.

The following are 10 signs that Wall Street is about to go into panic mode....


Nearly all of the major Wall Street banks are planning huge layoffs

A "negative feedback loop" has "taken control" on Wall Street meaning that bad economic news is creating an "environment of pessimism" which creates even more bad economic news, etc. etc.

A "negative feedback loop" has "taken control" on Wall Street meaning that bad economic news is creating an "environment of pessimism" which creates even more bad economic news, etc. etc.

Image: MyEyeSees via flickr

Source: CNBC

OPEC announced oil production levels will not be raised which will likely increase prices in the coming weeks. For the first time since 2008, U.S. energy expenditures have reached 9% of GDP

Pimco's co-chief investment officer, Bill Gross, is telling investors that for the Fed it will "be difficult to initiate a QE3," but without artificial stimulation the U.S. economy may start really struggling again

Pimco's co-chief investment officer, Bill Gross, is telling investors that for the Fed it will "be difficult to initiate a QE3," but without artificial stimulation the U.S. economy may start really struggling again

Image: why pamper life's complexity via Flickr

Source: CNBC

Moody's recently warned that it may downgrade the debt ratings of Bank of America, Citigroup and Wells Fargo

Moody's recently warned that it may downgrade the debt ratings of Bank of America, Citigroup and Wells Fargo

Image: AP

Source: CNBC

On April 18th, Standard & Poor’s changed its outlook on U.S. government debt from "stable" to "negative" and warned that the U.S. could soon lose its AAA rating and China has been dumping short-term U.S. government debt

U.S. consumer confidence is lower than it was back in September 2008 when Lehman Brothers collapsed

U.S. consumer confidence is lower than it was back in September 2008 when Lehman Brothers collapsed
Source: Zerohedge

Mike Riddell, of M&G Investments in London, told CNBC, "It seems that almost every bit of data about the health of the US economy has disappointed expectations recently."

Economist Nouriel Roubini recently warned about the next financial crisis

Economist Nouriel Roubini recently warned about the next financial crisis

Image: Wikipedia

Source: Bloomberg

According to a new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll, 48% of Americans believe that it is either "very likely" or "somewhat likely" that the United States will experience a "depression" within the next 12 months

According to a new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll, 48% of Americans believe that it is either "very likely" or "somewhat likely" that the United States will experience a "depression" within the next 12 months
Source: CNN

Obama’s endless wars

Washington’s endless wars

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US military forces are now waging simultaneous drone missile attacks, bombings, special forces assassination raids and ground combat in five separate countries: Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya and Yemen.

President Barack Obama, who owed his 2008 election victory in large measure to the popular revulsion felt by millions of Americans toward the wars of aggression launched by the Bush administration in Afghanistan and Iraq, has more than fulfilled George W. Bush’s predictions concerning the “wars of the 21st century.”

He has gone his Republican predecessor at least one better. Bush proclaimed an infamous doctrine that asserted the right of US imperialism to wage war against any country that it perceived as a potential threat, now or at any time in the future. In doing so, he embraced the principle of “preventive war,” a form of aggressive war for which the surviving leaders of the Third Reich were tried at Nuremberg.

In justifying the war against Libya, Obama has promulgated his own doctrine, which dispenses with even the pretense of a potential threat as the justification for war. Instead, he claims that the US is within its rights to wage war wherever it deems its “interests and values” to be at stake, even if the targets for attack pose no conceivable threat to US security.

In his speech on Libya, Obama included among these inviolable American values “maintaining the flow of commerce,” i.e., the flow of profits into the coffers of US oil companies and other corporations.

Even as US cruise missiles rained down upon Libya nearly three months ago, Obama cynically asserted that Washington had launched the war for fear that repression carried out by the Libyan government of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi would extinguish the “Arab Spring.”

What hypocrisy! Washington’s real attitude toward the democratic aspirations of the peoples of the Middle East and North Africa have found unmistakable expression over the past several days in a series of actions.

Obama welcomed to the White House the crown prince of Bahrain, a monarchical dictatorship which, with tacit US support and the open military backing of Washington’s principal ally in the region, Saudi Arabia, has ruthlessly suppressed a mass movement for democratic rights, killing hundreds, detaining thousands and routinely torturing detainees.

The prince arrived just days after the regime began a military trial of doctors and nurses. Arrested for treating protesters wounded by security forces, these medical workers have been compelled by means of electric shocks and beatings with boards embedded with nails to sign false confessions.

In an official statement, Obama “reaffirmed the strong commitment of the United States to Bahrain”—whose regime hosts the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet—and praised its monarch for his embrace of “dialogue” and “reform.” The US president helpfully advised that “the opposition and the government”—the tortured and the torturers alike—“must compromise to forge a just future for all Bahrainis.”

On the other side of the Arabian peninsula it was revealed by the New York Times that the US is “exploiting a growing power vacuum” created by five months of mass upheavals against the US-backed dictatorship in Yemen to launch a new war in this, the most impoverished country of the region, using drone missile and jet fighter attacks.

While allegedly directed against Al Qaeda elements, there is every indication that the attacks are aimed at salvaging the regime of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, even while easing the dictator out of the presidency he has occupied for 33 years.

The first reported strike in this new theater of war opened up by the Pentagon killed at least four civilians along with several alleged “militants.”

In Libya, the US-NATO war approaches the end of its third month with an intensification of the relentless terror bombings that have claimed the lives of hundreds of civilians and an untold number of Libyan soldiers. Launched under the cynical pretense of protecting civilians, Washington and its European allies make no bones about their real aim being “regime-change,” i.e., the installation of a puppet state that will ensure the domination of imperialism and the major Western oil companies.

This is the real response of US imperialism to the “Arab Spring”—an explosion of militarism in the Middle East and North Africa, a desperate attempt to bolster the dictatorships that serve its interests in the region, and a determination to strangle the revolutionary struggles of the Arab workers and youth.

These new military interventions come on top of the nearly decade-old wars and occupations in Afghanistan and Iraq, which, it becomes increasingly clear, are to continue indefinitely.

In a Senate confirmation hearing Thursday, CIA Director Leon Panetta, who has been picked by Obama to replace the outgoing Pentagon chief, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, allowed that he had “every confidence” that the regime in Iraq will soon request that Washington keep tens of thousands of US troops on Iraqi soil after a December 31, 2011 withdrawal deadline.

Panetta made it clear that Washington is prepared to keep the troops in place “to make sure that the gains we’ve made in Iraq are sustained.” That the overwhelming majority of the Iraqi people, for whom the American occupation has meant the death, maiming and displacement of millions, want all 47,000 US troops out of the country now is beside the point.

The man that Panetta is replacing, Defense Secretary Gates, has repeatedly stressed over the last several days that the July 2011 deadline that Obama set for beginning the withdrawal from Afghanistan should spell no significant reduction in the deployment of nearly 100,000 American troops.

After meeting with military commanders in Afghanistan over the weekend, Gates stressed that any drawdown would be “modest,” telling NATO defense ministers in Brussels that “there will be no rush for the exits on our part.” Meanwhile, every week brings new atrocities, with civilian casualties inflicted by bombings, special forces night raids and drone missile attacks across the border in Pakistan.

American workers, students and youth are increasingly forced to bear the burden of a policy of endless war aimed at forging a global empire to serve the interests of the US financial oligarchy. Election after election and poll after poll have demonstrated that a substantial majority of the population opposes these wars, yet this opposition finds no expression within the two-party political system or the corporate-controlled media.

Working people are well aware that trillions of dollars are spent on these wars and the US military-industrial complex, even as federal, state and local governments, led by Democrats and Republicans alike, declare that no money can be found to pay for jobs, decent wages, health care, education or other vital social services.

Moreover, the attempt by the American ruling elite to use militarism to offset the decline in US capitalism’s global economic position generates increasingly dangerous international tensions and the threat of far bloodier wars to come.

Even as mass hostility to these wars grows, antiwar protest has faded almost entirely from the scene, smothered by a middle-class ex-left layer that supports Obama and has largely integrated itself into the Democratic Party.

A new movement against war can be built only on the basis of an irreconcilable break with the Democrats and the independent mobilization of the working class against the Obama administration and the capitalist profit system, the source of war and militarism.

The Elite, the ‘Great Game’, & World War III

The Elite, the ‘Great Game’, & World War III

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The control of the US, and of global politics, by the wealthiest families of the planet is exercised in a powerful, profound and clandestine manner. This control began in Europe and has a continuity that can be traced back to the time when the bankers discovered it was more profitable to give loans to governments than to needy individuals.

These banking families and their subservient beneficiaries have come to own most major businesses over the two centuries during which they have secretly and increasingly organised themselves as controllers of governments worldwide and as arbiters of war and peace.

Unless we understand this we will be unable to understand the real reasons for the two world wars and the impending Third World War, a war that is almost certain to begin as a consequence of the US attempt to seize and control Central Asia. The only way out is for the US to back off – something the people of the US and the world want, but the elite does not.

The US is a country controlled through the privately owned Federal Reserve, which in turn is controlled by the handful of banking families that established it by deception in the first place.

In his interesting book The Secret Team, Col. Fletcher Prouty, briefing officer of the US President from 1955-63, narrates a remarkable incident in which Winston Churchill made a most revealing utterance during World War II: “On this particular night there had been a heavy raid on Rotterdam. He sat there, meditating, and then, as if to himself, he said, ‘Unrestricted submarine warfare, unrestricted air bombing – this is total war.’ He continued sitting there, gazing at a large map, and then said, ‘Time and the Ocean and some guiding star and High Cabal have made us what we are’.”

Prouty further states: “This was a most memorable scene and a revelation of reality that is infrequent, at best. If for the great Winston Churchill, there is a ‘High Cabal’ that has made us what we are, our definition is complete. Who could know better than Churchill himself during the darkest days of World War II, that there exists, beyond doubt, an international High Cabal? This was true then. It is true today, especially in these times of the One World Order. This all-powerful group has remained superior because it had learned the value of anonymity.” This “High Cabal” is the “One World Cabal” of today, also called the elite by various writers.

The High Cabal & What They Control

The elite owns the media, banks, defence and oil industry. In his book Who’s Who of the Elite Robert Gaylon Ross Sr. states: “It is my opinion that they own the US military, NATO, the Secret Service, the CIA, the Supreme Court, and many of the lower courts. They appear to control, either directly or indirectly, most of the state, county, and local law enforcement agencies.”

The elite is intent on conquering the world through the use of the abilities of the people of the United States. It was as far back as 1774 that Amschel Mayer Rothschild stated at a gathering of the twelve richest men of Prussia in Frankfurt: “Wars should be directed so that the nations on both sides should be further in our debt.” He further enunciated at the same meeting: “Panics and financial depressions would ultimately result in World Government, a new order of one world government.”

The elite owns numerous “think tanks” that work for expanding, consolidating and perpetuating its hold on the globe. The Royal Institute of International Affairs (RIIA), the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), the Bilderberg Group, the Trilateral Commission, and many other similar organisations are all funded by the elite and work for it. These think tanks publish journals, such as Foreign Affairs, in which these imperialist and anti-mankind ideas are edified as publications, and then, if need be, expanded in the form of books that are given wide publicity.

Zbigniew Brzezinski and Henry Kissinger et al, as well as the neo-con “thinkers,” owe their positions and good living standards to the largesse of the elite. This is an important point that must be kept in full view at all times. These thinkers and writers are on the payroll of the elite and work for them. In case someone has any doubts about such a statement, it might help to read the following quotes from Professor Peter Dale Scott’s comprehensively researched book The Road to 9/11 – Wealth, Empire, and the Future of America (University of California Press, 2007):

…Bundy’s Harvard protégé Kissinger was named to be national security adviser after having chaired an important “study group” at the Council on Foreign Relations. As a former assistant to Nelson Rockefeller, Kissinger had been paid by Rockefeller to write a book on limited warfare for the CFR. He had also campaigned hard in Rockefeller’s losing campaign for the Presidential nomination in 1968. Thus Rockefeller and the CFR might have been excluded from control of the Republican Party, but not from the Republican White House. (Page 22)

The following quote from page 38 of the book is also very revealing:

The Kissinger-Rockefeller relationship was complex and certainly intense. As investigative reporter Jim Hougan wrote: “Kissinger, married to a former Rockefeller aide, owner of a Georgetown mansion whose purchase was enabled only by Rockefeller gifts and loans, was always a protégé of his patron Nelson Rockefeller, even when he wasn’t directly employed by him.”

Professor Scott adds:

Nixon’s and Kissinger’s arrival in the White House in 1969 coincided with David Rockefeller’s becoming CEO of Chase Manhattan Bank. The Nixon-Kissinger foreign policy of detente was highly congruous with Rockefeller’s push to internationalise Chase Manhattan banking operations. Thus in 1973 Chase Manhattan became the first American bank to open an office in Moscow. A few months later, thanks to an invitation arranged by Kissinger, Rockefeller became the first US banker to talk with Chinese Communist leaders in Beijing.

How They Manipulate Public Opinion

In addition to these strategic “think tanks” the elite has set up a chain of research institutes devoted to manipulating public opinion in a manner the elite desires. As pointed out by John Coleman in his eye opening book The Tavistock Institute on Human RelationsShaping the Moral, Spiritual, Cultural, Political and Economic Decline of the United States of America, it was in 1913 that an institute was established at Wellington House, London for manipulation of public opinion. According to Coleman:

The modern science of mass manipulation was born at Wellington House London, the lusty infant being midwifed by Lord Northcliffe and Lord Rothmere. The British monarchy, Lord Rothschild, and the Rockefellers were responsible for funding the venture… the purpose of those at Wellington House was to effect a change in the opinions of British people who were adamantly opposed to war with Germany, a formidable task that was accomplished by “opinion making” through polling. The staff consisted of Arnold Toynbee, a future director of studies at the Royal Institute of International Affairs (RIIA), Lord Northcliffe, and the Americans, Walter Lippmann and Edward Bernays. Lord Northcliffe was related to the Rothschilds through marriage.

Bernays was a nephew of Sigmund Freud, a fact never mentioned, and developed the technique of “engineering consent.” When Sigmund Freud moved to Britain he also, secretly, became associated with this institute through the Tavistock Institute. According to Coleman, Bernays “pioneered the use of psychology and other social sciences to shape and form public opinion so that the public thought such manufactured opinions were their own.”

The Tavistock Institute has a 6 billion dollar fund and 400 subsidiary organisations are under its control along with 3,000 think tanks, mostly in the USA. The Stanford Research Institute, the Hoover Institute, the Aspen Institute of Colorado, and many others, devoted to manipulation of US as well as global public opinion, are Tavistock offshoots. This helps explain why the US public, by and large, is so mesmerised as to be unable to see things clearly and to react.

Bilderberg researcher Daniel Estulin quotes from Mary Scobey’s book To Nurture Humanness a statement attributed to Professor Raymond Houghton, that the CFR has been clear for a very long time that “absolute behaviour control is imminent… without mankind’s self realisation that a crisis is at hand.”

Also keep in mind that currently 80% of US electronic and print media is owned by only six large corporations. This development has taken place in the past two decades. These corporations are elite owned. It is almost impossible for anyone who is acquainted with what is going on at the global level to watch, even for a few minutes, the distortions, lies and fabrications, incessantly pouring out of this media, a propaganda and brainwashing organ of the elite.

Once your picture is clear it is also easy to notice the criminal silence of the media on crimes being perpetrated against humanity at the behest of the elite. How many people know that the cancer rates in Fallujah, Iraq are higher than those in Hiroshima and Nagasaki because of the use of depleted uranium, and maybe other secret nuclear devices, by US forces? Fallujah was punished for its heroic resistance against the American forces.

The Importance of Eurasia

Why is the US in Central Asia? In order to understand this, one has to look at the writings of the stooges of the elite – Brzezinski, Kissinger, Samuel P Huntington, and their likes. It is important to note that members of these elite paid think tanks publish books as part of a strategy to give respectability to subsequent illegal, immoral and predatory actions that are to be taken at the behest of the elite. The views are not necessarily their own – they are the views of the think tanks. These stooges formulate and pronounce policies and plans at the behest of their masters, through bodies like the Council on Foreign Relations, Bilderberg Group, etc.

In his infinitely arrogant book The Grand Chessboard, published in 1997, Brzezinski spelled out the philosophy behind the current US military eruption. He starts by quoting the well-known views of the British geographer Sir Halford J Mackinder (1861–1947), another worker for the elite. Mackinder was a member of the ‘Coefficients Dining Club’ established by members of the Fabian Society in 1902. The continuity of the policies of the elite is indicated by the fact Brzezinski starts from Mackinder’s thesis first propounded in 1904: “Who rules East Europe commands the Heartland: Who rules the Heartland commands the World-Island: who commands the World-Island commands the world.”

Brzezinski argues that for the first time in human history a non-Eurasian power has become preeminent and it must hold sway over the Eurasian continent if it is to remain the preeminent global power: “For America the chief geopolitical prize is Eurasia… About 75 percent of the world’s people live in Eurasia… Eurasia accounts for about 60 percent of the world’s GNP and about three fourths of the world’s known energy resources.”

It is not just the geostrategic location of this region – it is also its wealth, “both in its enterprises and beneath its soil,” that holds such attraction for the elite whose greed for money, and lust for power, remain insatiable, as if there was a sickness afflicting it.

Brzezinski writes: “But it is on the globe’s most important playing field – Eurasia – that a potential rival to America might at some point arise. This focusing on the key players and properly assessing the terrain has to be a point of departure for the formulation of American geostrategy for the long-term management of America’s Eurasian geopolitical interests.”

These lines were published in 1997. Millions of people have died in the past two decades and millions have been rendered homeless in this region but it remains a “playing” field for Brzezinski and his likes! In his book Brzezinski has drawn two very interesting maps – one of these has the caption The Global Zone of Percolating Violence (page 53) and the other (page 124) is captioned The Eurasian Balkans. The first of these encircles a region which includes the following countries: Sudan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Iran, all Central Asian states, Afghanistan, Pakistan and parts of Russia as well as India. The second one has two circles, an inner circle and a wider circle – the outer circle encloses the same countries as in the first map but the inner circle covers Iran, Afghanistan, eastern Turkey and the former Soviet Republics in Central Asia.

“This huge region, torn by volatile hatreds and surrounded by competing powerful neighbours, is likely to be a major battlefield…” writes Brzezinski. He further writes: “A possible challenge to American primacy from Islamic fundamentalism could be part of the problem of this unstable region.” These lines were written at a time when this kind of fundamentalism was not a problem – subsequently the US manipulated things and chose to make it one by its provocative and deceptive tactics. According to its strategic thinkers, the US might face a serious challenge from a coalition of China, Russia and Iran and must do whatever it can to prevent such a coalition from forming.

For Brzezinski, “terrorism” – a Tavistock-type concept – is just a well planned and well thought out strategy, a lie and a deception, to provide cover for a military presence in the Central Eurasian region and elsewhere. It is being used to keep the US public in a state of fear, to keep Russia in a state of insecurity about further breakup (the US has trained and supported Chechen fighters, “terrorists,” throughout) and to justify presence of US troops in and around Central Asia.

The Concocted War on Terrorism

Terrorism provides justification for transforming the United States into a police state. According to the Washington Post of 20 & 21 December 2010, the US now has 4,058 anti-terrorism organisations! These are certainly not meant for those so-called terrorists who operate in Central Asia – the number far exceeds the number of so-called terrorists in the entire world. Unbridled domestic spying by US agencies is now a fact of life and the US public, as always, has accepted this because of the collusion of media and Tavistock type institutes owned by the elite.

The US historian Howard Zinn puts it very well: “The so-called war on terrorism is not only a war against innocent people in other countries, but also a war on the people of the United States: a war on our liberties, a war on our standard of living. The wealth of the country is being stolen from the people and handed over to the superrich. The lives of our young are being stolen. And the thieves are in the White House.” Actually the thieves control the White House and have been doing so for a very long time.

In his outstanding book Crossing the Rubicon, Michael Ruppert points out that much of the violence in the Central Asian region as well as in Pakistan, which has been encircled in two maps in Brzezinski’s book, was “initiated by the US proxies.” “Given that these maps were published a full four years before the first plane hit the World Trade Centre, they would fall in a category of evidence I learned about at LAPD [Los Angeles Police Department]. We called them ‘clues’.” This means that the eruption of US militarism after 9/11, and the event itself, were part of a pre-planned and coherent strategy of global domination in which the people of the US were also “conquered” through totalitarian legislation carried out in the wake of 9/11.

As Brzezinski puts it:

America is too democratic at home to be autocratic abroad. This limits the use of America’s power, especially its capacity for military intimidation. Never before has a popular democracy attained international supremacy. But the pursuit of power is not a goal that commands popular passion, except in conditions of a sudden threat or challenge to the public’s sense of domestic well-being… The economic self-denial (that is, defence spending) and the human sacrifice (casualties even among professional soldiers) required in the effort are uncongenial to democratic instincts. Democracy is inimical to imperial mobilisation.

Certainly post 9/11 legislation, the extraordinary expansion of agencies and surveillance of the US public is a cause of great satisfaction for the elite – the US can hardly be called a democracy now. As reported by the Washington Post, the National Security Agency intercepts over 1.7 billion emails, phone calls and other communications every day and stores them. No wonder Bush called 9/11 “a great opportunity” and Rumsfeld saw it analogous to World War II to “refashion the world.”

In order to achieve the objectives of the elite, the US destroyed Yugoslavia while Russia stood by mesmerised and impotent, carried out regime changes in Central Asia, set up military bases in East Europe and Central Asia, and staged highly provocative military exercises testing Russia’s and China’s will. It set up a military base in Kyrgyzstan that has a 500 mile or so border with China. When the Chinese protested recent naval exercises with South Korea were too close to Chinese territory, a US spokesman responded: “Those determinations are made by us, and us alone… Where we exercise, when we exercise, with whom and how, with what assets and so forth are determinations that are made by the United States Navy, by the Department of Defence, by the United States government.” As journalist Rick Rozoff notes: “There is no way such confrontational, arrogant and vulgar language was not understood at its proper value in Beijing.”

The US has acquired bases in Romania, Bulgaria, Poland, and the Czech Republic – and set up the largest military base ever built in the region, Camp Bondsteel, in Kosovo. According to a report in the Russian Kommersant newspaper on 3 March 2011, a four-phase plan for deployment of a US missile system in Europe is to be fully implemented by the end of 2020. The US is also busy setting up bilateral military ties in Russia’s backyard with Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and is pursuing the goal of a “Greater Central Asia” from Afghanistan right up to the Middle East, a great corridor from where the oil, gas, and great mineral wealth of this region will flow to the coffers of the US elite, at bloody expense to the local people.

As remarked by the Indian career diplomat M.K. Bhadrakumar: “The time is not far off before they begin to sense that ‘the war on terror’ is providing a convenient rubric under which the US is incrementally securing for itself a permanent abode in the highlands of Hindu Kush, the Pamirs, Central Asian steppes and the Caucasus that form the strategic hub overlooking Russia, China, India and Iran.” The scene for a great war involving the great powers of the time – US, Russia and China – is now set, by design of the elite. It is just a matter of time.

Time and again the US elite has taken its good people into great wars through documented and proven deceptions – the sinking of the Lusitania during World War I, Pearl Harbour in World War II, and so on. The elite considers us “human garbage” – a term first used by the French in Indo-China. It is also generating a good deal of “human garbage” in the US. A World Bank report points out that in 2005, 28 million Americans were “insecure” – in 2007 the number had risen to 46 million! One in every five Americans is faced with the possibility of becoming “destitute” – 38 million people receive food coupons!

Michael Ruppert laments:

My country is dead. Its people have surrendered to tyranny and in so doing, they have become tyranny’s primary support group; its base; its defender. Every day they offer their endorsement of tyranny by banking in its banks and spending their borrowed money with the corporations that run it. The great Neocon strategy of George H.W. Bush has triumphed. Convince the America people that they can’t live without the ‘good things’, then sit back and watch as they endorse the progressively more outrageous crimes you commit as you throw them bones with ever less meat on them. All the while lock them into debt. Destroy the middle class, the only political base that need be feared. Make them accept, because of their shared guilt, ever-more repressive police state measures. Do whatever you want.

A global economic system erected on inhuman and predatory values, where a few possess more wealth than the billions of hungry put together, will end, but the end will be painful and bloody. It is a system in which the elite thrives on war and widespread human misery, on death and destruction by design. As Einstein said, “I do not know how the Third World War will be fought, but I can tell you what they will use in the Fourth – rocks!”

Wall Street's Latest Manufactured Outrage

Wall Street's Latest Manufactured Outrage

The Fed and other regulators have proposed a set of rules that would put new limits on home mortgages: Borrowers would have to put 20 percent down and would have to show that their mortgage payments would amount to no more than 28 percent of their gross monthly income. The Washington Post makes this sound like doomsday:

Nearly three out of every five U.S. borrowers who bought homes last year would not have met the proposed restriction on total debt, according to an analysis by mortgage research firm CoreLogic....If the rules were in effect now, Todd Pearson of Ashburn predicts he'd be shut out of the market. Pearson wants to sell his house and buy another in Chevy Chase. He says he has no debts other than his mortgage. But he figures his mortgage payment alone would exceed the threshold proposed by the new rules.

You have to admit, these rules do sound pretty tough. In fact, they'd pretty much shut down the entire mortgage industry. So what's going on?

Answer: Lots of financial industry whining. As it turns out, regulators aren't saying that mortgage originators can't make any kind of loan they want. 20 percent down, 10 percent down, 5 percent down, whatever. Go to town. What they are saying is that if mortgage loans are bundled up into securities and resold, they want the issuer of the security to retain 5 percent of the total offering. That's part of Dodd-Frank, and it's designed to give issuers an incentive to make sure their mortgage securities aren't full of toxic waste. If they have to keep a piece of the action on their own books, they'll want to make sure their securities are safe and sound.

However, there's an exception: If your mortgages all conform to the new rules, you don't have to retain that 5 percent chunk. That's all that's happening. You can make any kind of loan you want, but if it's anything other than super safe, you have to keep a piece of it on your books.

The financial industry is in an uproar over this, claiming that it would shut millions of people out of the housing market. That's nonsense. Neither Todd Pearson nor anyone else is being denied a loan on whatever terms they can get one. All that's happening is that when their mortgages get bundled up and resold, the ABS issuer has to keep a 5 percent stake. The mortgage industry is on a rampage over this, claiming that it will dramatically raise the cost of mortgages, but that's nonsense too. Being forced to keep a 5 percent stake probably will have an impact on ABS issuers—that's the whole intent, after all—but the financial impact is almost certainly pretty minuscule. Tom Lawler at Calculated Risk roughly estimates it at perhaps 20 basis points at most on a nonconforming loan. In other words, the rate on nonconforming mortgages might go up 0.2 percentage points. At most. Something on the order of 0.1 percentage points or less is probably closer to reality.

This is yet another case of the financial industry biting the hand that's trying to help it out. The truth is that it would probably be a good idea to require ABS issuers to retain a 5 percent stake in every mortgage bundle they sell. But Dodd-Frank threw them a bone in the form of an exemption for loans that were transparently high quality and virtually certain not to default. And the result? Endless whining, a massive lobbying effort, and glossy four-color demagoguery about hardworking middle-class families being shut out of the mortgage market. Welcome to Wall Street.

Chemical Illness Epidemic in the Wake of the BP Blowout

Chemical Illness Epidemic in the Wake of the BP Blowout

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ecently Kenneth Feinberg, the lawyer overseeing the $20 billion Gulf Coast Claims Facility to "make it right" for people harmed by the British Petroleum oil blowout disaster, told a Louisiana House and Senate committee that he had not seen any claims, or any scientific evidence, linking BP's oil and dispersant release to chemical illnesses. Feinberg also stated that chemical illnesses take years to show up - conveniently well after his tenure with the compensation fund.

Instead of tossing the media a juicy bone, Feinberg tossed a red herring. He is wrong at worst, or intentionally misleading at best, on all points.

The GCCF process makes it difficult for people to be compensated for medical claims or even raise illness claims, while making it easy to release claims and rights to future medical care and benefits for chemical illnesses or other medically-proven illness related to the BP blowout and disaster response.

In fact the GCCF process is so blatantly egregious in terms of protecting corporate liability at the expense of human rights and health that a bill was introduced in the Louisiana state legislature, specifically targeting the BP oil disaster, to declare such "contractual releases are invalid as against public policy" and the release of claims to future medical care and related benefits null and void. In Louisiana. BP lobbyists are reportedly out in force, trying to gut the legislation.

Further, the pro-industry bias in the GCCF process turned thousands of people away. Over 130,000-plus claimants have filed lawsuits, now consolidated in Louisiana federal court under Judge Carl Barbier. According to one of the law firms involved, many of these claimants have indicated concerns about health and desire medical monitoring.

Feinberg's downplay of chemical illnesses and other medical issues stemming from the BP oil disaster - with full knowledge of the parallel court proceedings - shows that he and his boss, BP, have no intention of "making it right" for people in the Gulf.

"Not recognizing that there is a problem - that's the problem," said Joey Yerkes, a former Florida cast net fisherman who became sick from chemical exposure while doing cleanup work during summer 2010. He filed a medical illness claim for compensation through the GCCF in early 2011 despite the obstacles. He had to file all his paperwork for medical claims twice because the GCCF employees could not find his initial paperwork. Joey undertook a rigorous treatment under medical care to detoxify his body - but he exhausted his finances before completing treatment. Now he is forced to wait for the BP-controlled GCCF to pay, while his health steadily deteriorates. It's all he can do, he says, "just to chase my 2-year-old daughter around the park when we play."

Unlike Joey Yerkes, Monette Wynne has not filed medical claims through the GCCF. Her entire family - herself, husband, 4-year-old twins, and 6-year-old child - all tested positive for oil in their blood after spending last summer in their seaside home in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida. Wynne was so upset about her sick family that she and her husband drove to Atlanta, Georgia, and presented the family's test results to seven toxicologists with the federal agency, Center for Disease Control.

"We were told the levels of oil were of no concern," Wynne said. The federal scientists told them their levels of oil in blood were typical of urban dwellers who breathe traffic exhaust. Wynne didn't believe it - her family's blood work shows they have more oil in their blood than most people, and her family is all sick with symptoms like those of Joey Yerkes - symptoms that became widespread in Gulf communities during summer 2010; symptoms that are not going away. Wynne is considering borrowing money to treat her family. She and her husband had exhausted their savings to buy their dream home, a home that is now for sale.

Unfortunately for Joey Yerkes and the Wynne family - and the legions of other Gulf residents and visitors with similar medical issues from summer 2010, British Petroleum is the "responsible party" for its disaster, but BP is actually responsible, by law, to its shareholders, not the injured people in the Gulf. This inherent conflict of interest means Feinberg is nothing more than a well-paid sock puppet for BP. He can be expected to act to minimize liability and financial damages for the "responsible party" by covering up the chemical illness epidemic in the Gulf.

Further, the federal laws and regulations designed to protect public health, worker safety, and the environment from oil and chemical poisoning are so riddled with exemptions that they cannot deliver their promise of protection - as people near oil drilling and hydrologic fracturing ("fracking") operations have discovered. Social documentaries such as Gaslands and Split Estate exposed chemical illnesses and symptoms similar to the Gulf injuries and independent studies documented groundwater contamination, but the federal government still denies there is a problem.

Similarly, the federal government is also in denial about the horrific-and-federally-sanctioned poisoning of the Gulf people and wildlife, despite prior and post knowledge of the extent of contamination and the health impacts of oil and chemicals used to drill or disperse oil.

As Joey pointed out, denial of the problem is the problem. At the root of the issue of oil and chemical poisoning in the Gulf and elsewhere in America lies the problem of corporate constitutional rights - transnational corporations claiming human rights. The challenge for all Americans is to reclaim our democracy and end corporate rule.

Bagram prison, bigger than Guantanamo, its prisoners in limbo, cries out for some news coverage

Bagram prison, bigger than Guantanamo, its prisoners in limbo, cries out for some news coverage

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Some 1,700 detainees are being held with no charges, no trial, no way to prove their innocence despite a Marine Corps general's 2009 report saying many should be released. In addition, there has been almost no in-depth news coverage of practices that, if widely known, would no doubt add to the call for removal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan and criticism of the government’s conduct of the war.

Under a U.S. military system straight out of Kafka’s “The Trial” and Heller’s “Catch-22”, some 1,700 detainees at the Bagram U.S. Air Base in Afghanistan are being held without charges or a trial, primarily on the basis of secret evidence that they never get to see or challenge.

A still-classified 2009 Marine Corps general's report concluded that many, probably a majority, were wrongly held then. But it was virtually impossible then and now for innocent detainees to prove they are not allied with insurgents.

The system of dealing with Bagram prisoners through detainee review boards (DRB), although improved upon since President Obama took office, violates universal standards on detention in that it “does not provide detainees the minimum level of due process required by international law,” according to a human rights organization’s recent report. Thus far, the report, issued May 10 by New York- and Washington, D.C.-based non-profit organization Human Rights First (HRF), has been ignored by almost all the mainstream print and broadcast news media.

As Human Rights First states, the ever-growing number of Bagram detainees – most of whom are Afghans – have far fewer rights than their counterparts at the much more controversial Guantanamo Bay prison. Thanks to a 2008 Supreme Court decision, Guantanamo detainees “have the right to challenge their detention in a U.S. court and to representation by a lawyer,” something Bagram prisoners are denied, the report notes.

The system has resulted in detainees being incarcerated at Bagram for eight years or more, “based largely on evidence they have never seen and with no meaningful opportunity to defend themselves,” the report says. Additionally “a significant number” of the approximately 41 non-Afghan detainees “have been recommended for release by a Detainee Review Board but remain in detention at...[Bagram]..without explanation.”

In an interview with Nieman Watchdog, the HRF report’s author, Daphne Eviatar, put that figure of 1,700 detainees into context, noting that it is “almost triple the number of detainees who were at Bagram when President Obama came into office two years ago, and is 10 times greater than the number of prisoners currently being held at Guantanamo.” In addition, it is more than twice the total number of detainees – 779 – who were ever held at Guantanamo. More than 1,300 individuals were arrested and incarcerated in Bagram in 2010 alone, compared to some 500 in 2009. Eviatar is senior associate in Human Rights First’s law and security program. (Click here for a video on Bagram by Eviatar.)

Besides violating international law, the current system “flies in the face of the well-founded wisdom of our top military leaders in the region who have warned repeatedly of the dangers of denying Afghan detainees due process,” Eviatar said in releasing the report. “Beyond the imprisonment of many likely innocent people, the lack of due process erodes support for U.S. forces in Afghanistan and ultimately undermines U.S. goals there.”

There have been past indications that a majority of the Bagram detainees are being wrongfully held. In August 2009, various news outlets reported that U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Major General Douglas M. Stone had been assigned to investigate detention practices in Afghanistan and had issued a still-unreleased 700-page classified report. As National Public Radio reported at the time, Stone told senior military officials that as many as 400 of the 600 detainees then held at Bagram could be released. “Many of these men were swept up in raids – have little connection to the insurgency,” NPR reported.

While Guantanamo’s abusive operations, including allegations of torture, provoked much controversy, international condemnation and hundreds of news stories, the Bagram facility has received less scrutiny in the press, despite past allegations of torture, homicide and other abuses there. This makes the Human Rights First report a significant, newsworthy starting point for news organizations to more fully inform the public about the U.S. military’s treatment of detainees. Such reporting would be especially important at a time when public and congressional calls to end the war in Afghanistan are intensifying. Following up on General Stone’s 2009 statement, one question the mainstream press could pursue, in addition to the due process issue, is: How many of the current Bagram detainees have no connection to the insurgency?

The Human Rights First report is based on more than eight months of research, including observations the U.S. military allowed it to make of seven review board hearings at Bagram (also referred to as Parwan, or DFIP) in September 2010 and February 2011, and on interviews with 18 former detainees, 12 of whom had had Detainee Review Board hearings and all of whom had been released from Bagram within the previous year. The report summarizes several of these interviews, which suggest the arbitrariness of the basis for their arrest and detention in the first place. Former detainees repeatedly emphasized “that they believed they were wrongly imprisoned based on false information provided to U.S. forces by personal, family or tribal enemies.”

Additionally, Human Rights First conducted numerous interviews in Afghanistan with prison officials, international human rights and assistance organizations and defenses attorneys, as well as drawing on interviews with, and documentation provided by, U.S. military and State Department personnel. The report makes the following points:

  • Within 60 days of a detainee’s transfer to the Bagram detention facilities, Pentagon rules require that he have a hearing before a Detainee Review Board (DRB), consisting of three field-grade military officers, to determine whether he has committed acts showing him to be an “enemy belligerent,” and “whether he poses a future danger to U.S. forces." Under rules of the DRB proceedings, detainees do not have the right to legal representation or to see any classified evidence being used against them. The DRB has authority to recommend the detainee’s release; recommend the detainee be held for another six months, at which time he’ll receive another hearing; or recommend he be “transferred to Afghan authorities for criminal prosecution, or for participation in a reconciliation program.” (The Los Angeles Times has reported that about 63 percent of the detainees remain in U.S. custody after the hearings, while 30 percent get referred to the Afghan court system, and only 7 percent are released initially.)
  • Although forensic evidence is not classified and can be presented in open sessions, all other evidence against the detainee – intelligence reports, accusations by informants, hearsay, etc. – is classified and is presented in a secret hearing that the detainee is not allowed to attend. Nor is he allowed to find out what was said or presented as classified evidence in that secret hearing. As the report states: “These informants are never questioned or cross-examined in court, so their veracity is never tested. It is also impossible to know if the classified evidence includes statements elicited from the detainee or from witnesses by coercion, torture, or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, despite the military’s rule excluding tortured evidence.”
  • In changes to procedures instituted since President Obama came into office, Bagram detainees are now allowed to appear at the DRB public proceedings and be represented by “personal representatives.” These representatives are “uniformed U.S. soldiers with no legal background or training in the culture or language of the detainees they represent” and their lone qualification is that they have completed a 35-hour training course, the report says. In the seven DRB hearings that Human Rights First staffers were allowed to witness, the report says, none of the personal representatives “seemed to have independently investigated the case, collected evidence on the detainee’s behalf, demanded that the government produce evidence, or asked even the most obvious questions challenging the evidence that the government presented.”
  • Additionally, in none of the seven hearings that HRF witnessed did the personal representative “introduce any evidence or call a single witness to the events being discussed in the case in an effort to challenge the government’s factual assertions, even in cases where it was obviously called for.” Whatever the reason for the personal representatives’ ineffectual performances, the result was that “each detainee was left to fend for himself,” which amounted generally to making a statement “denying the charges and insisting that he does not support the Taliban” or that he would not speak ill of U.S. and NATO forces to his neighbors. As of February, there were only 15 personal representatives – meaning each one had to serve more than 100 detainees.
  • Although a detainee’s personal representative can attend the secret portion of the hearing while the detainee cannot, the representative is not allowed to divulge to the detainee any classified information – including informants’ statements – that he learns in such sessions. This, of course, puts the detainee in a position in which it is “nearly impossible...to challenge that evidence or refute it with other evidence.”
  • When first brought into custody, detainees go to “screening facilities” at Bagram or elsewhere in Afghanistan where they are supposed to be kept for no more than 14 days before being sent on to the Bagram detention facility. Although information about these facilities is classified, HRF said that based on journalists’ reports, findings by the Open Society Institute and HRF’s own interviews with former detainees, “it is clear that the treatment of prisoners and detention conditions” at these screening facilities “is significantly worse” than at Bagram. Associated Press intelligence writer Kimberly Dozier in April broke a story describing these theretofore secret 20 “temporary” jails in Afghanistan, including one at Bagram, in which detainees were held for questioning in excess of 14 days – some up to nine weeks – before being released or transferred into the main Bagram facility. Dozier reported that these detainees underwent “harsh treatment” – including forced nudity – “that some human rights groups claim borders on inhumane.”
  • Eviatar said HRF heard no evidence of current torture such as waterboarding at the Bagram prison. However, some detainees who had been released said they were held in isolation for two weeks or more, some kept in cells that were extremely cold, were denied natural light and had difficulty sleeping because an electric light was on 24-hours-a-day in each cell. Some were also interrogated in the middle of the night, suggesting that they may have been subjected to intentional sleep disruption and deprivation.
  • Former detainees interviewed by Human Rights First said they were “not compensated for what they viewed as a wrongful imprisonment,” nor were they reimbursed for any damage to their homes, or damage or theft of other property at the time of arrest by U.S. and/or Afghan military personnel.
  • While noting the improvements in Bagram’s procedures under President Obama compared to “the completely secret process used during the Bush administration,” the report cites applicable international law that it contends the U.S. government continues to violate at Bagram – including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which the U.S. Senate ratified in 1992. Among other things, the report says, this covenant “provides that detention not be arbitrary...” and that the detainee have in a timely manner ”the right to challenge the detention before an impartial judicial body authorized to order a detainee’s release.”
Despite the powerful findings of the Human Rights First report, Nieman Watchdog has found only a few articles that mentioned it, and only one of those – in the Los Angeles Times (whose story was also used by the Chicago Tribune) – explored the lack of due process issue that was at the heart of the report. A New York Times article also mentioned the report, but only as part of a larger story that focused more on the intelligence problem for NATO in determining who is and is not a reliable informant or connected to the Taliban. We found no indication of any U.S. television or radio coverage of the report, and Eviatar told us she was unaware of any.

The Los Angeles Times reporter, Molly Hennessy-Fiske, queried Air Force Colonel Peter R. Masciola, whom she described as a military lawyer who supervised defense attorneys at Guantanamo and has been overseeing the Bagram review board hearings. Masciola said at one point: “When you detain someone on the battlefield, what sort of due process do you give them?” And: “What you’re trying to determine is if you release this person, will they return to the fight? Our mandate is not to be an adversary, it’s to be fair.”

Although specific details are classified about where the 1,700 prisoners were picked up, Eviatar said almost all of the former detainees HRF interviewed had been seized by U.S. and Afghan forces in night raids at their homes or compounds – and not in any armed combat situation. The HRF report also told of one former detainee being imprisoned when he went to the U.S. military to inquire about his son, who himself had been arrested. It also discussed one current detainee who had been picked up while leaving a mosque.

As the HRF report notes, the U.S. government and particularly the Pentagon’s Office of Detainee Affairs “have repeatedly stated that they do not believe that detainees in U.S. custody in Afghanistan have a right to legal counsel” and have insisted that the use of a personal representative “is an adequate substitute for a legal representative.”

Hennessy-Fiske quoted Masciola as saying that it made sense to keep classified information from detainees. “This is still an armed conflict,” he reportedly said. “That information could be used by our enemies against us.” Eviatar responded: “We deal with classified evidence in the U.S. all the time and there’s ways of dealing with that, to declassify portions and make it usable.”

On this same point, the HRF report states that the Afghanistan war is not unique in some way that would permit the United States to deprive detainees of rights guaranteed under international law: “Other democracies that face grave security threats from terrorism, such as Israel, provide independent judicial review, a right to counsel, and appeals to suspected terrorists, and view these as required by international humanitarian law. We see no reason why the United States, which prides itself on respect for the rule of law and human rights, cannot meet the same standards.”

Towards a World War III Scenario.

Towards a World War III Scenario.

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The World is at a critical crossroads. The Fukushima disaster in Japan has brought to the forefront the dangers of Worldwide nuclear radiation.

Coinciding with the onset of the nuclear crisis in Japan, a new regional war theater has opened up in North Africa, under the disguise of a UN sponsored "humanitarian operation" with the mandate to "protect civilian lives".

These two seemingly unrelated events are of crucial importance in understanding both the nuclear issue as well as the ongoing US-NATO sponsored war, which has now extended its grip into Libya. The crisis in Japan has been described as "a nuclear war without a war". Its potential repercussions, which are yet to be fully assessed, are far more serious than the Chernobyl disaster, as acknowledged by several scientists.

The crisis in Japan has also brought into the open the unspoken relationship between nuclear energy and nuclear war. Nuclear energy is not a civilian economic activity. It is an appendage of the nuclear weapons industry which is controlled by the so-called defense contractors. The powerful corporate interests behind nuclear energy and nuclear weapons overlap. In Japan at the height of the disaster, "the nuclear industry and government agencies [were] scrambling to prevent the discovery of atomic-bomb research facilities hidden inside Japan's civilian nuclear power plants".[1] The media consensus is that the crisis at Fukushima's five nuclear power plants has been contained. The realties are otherwise. The Japanese government has been obliged to acknowledge that "the severity rating of its nuclear crisis ... matches that of the 1986 Chernobyl disaster". Moreover, the dumping of highly radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean constitutes a potential trigger to a process of global radioactive contamination. Radioactive elements have not only been detected in the food chain in Japan, radioactive rain water has been recorded in California:

"Hazardous radioactive elements being released in the sea and air around Fukushima accumulate at each step of various food chains (for example, into algae, crustaceans, small fish, bigger fish, then humans; or soil, grass, cow's meat and milk, then humans). Entering the body, these elements - called internal emitters - migrate to specific organs such as the thyroid, liver, bone, and brain, continuously irradiating small volumes of cells with high doses of alpha, beta and/or gamma radiation, and over many years often induce cancer".[2]

A New War Theater in North Africa

The War on Libya was launched within days of the Fukushima disaster. As we go to press, a dangerous process of military escalation is ongoing. NATO warplanes are hitting civilian targets in Libya including residential areas and government buildings in violation of international law.

The war on Libya is an integral part of the broader military agenda in the Middle East and Central Asia which until recently consisted of three distinct areas of conflict : Afghanistan and Pakistan (the AfPak War), Iraq, Palestine. A fourth war theater has opened up in North Africa, which raises the issue of escalation over a vast geographical area. These four war theaters are interrelated. They are part of a broader region of conflict, which extends from North Africa and the Middle East, engulfing a large part of the Mediterranean basin, to China's Western frontier with Afghanistan, and Northern Pakistan.

How does the war on Libya relate to this broader US-NATO military agenda?

Is a World War III scenario unfolding?

Is the use of nuclear weapons contemplated in North Africa?

With regard to nuclear doctrine, the concept of a US sponsored pre-emptive nuclear attack applies to a number of countries or "rogue states" including Libya. An all out war against the Qadhafi regime has been on the drawing board of the Pentagon for more than 20 years, Moreover, Libya was the first country to be tagged for a preemptive attack using tactical nuclear weapons.[3] The Clinton administration's plan to nuke Libya had been announced in no uncertain terms in a 1996 Department of Defense press briefing:

"[The] Air Force would use the B61-11 [nuclear weapon] against Libya's alleged underground chemical weapons plant at Tarhunah if the President decided that the plant had to be destroyed. 'We could not take [Tarhunah] out of commission using strictly conventional weapons,' Smith told the Associated Press. The B61-11 'would be the nuclear weapon of choice,' he [Assistant Secretary of Defense Harold P. Smith] told Jane Defence Weekly.[4]

Clinton's Defense Secretary William Perry had confirmed in a statement to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that "the U.S. retained the option of using nuclear weapons against countries [e.g. Libya] armed with chemical and biological weapons."[5] The Department of Defense's objective was to fast track the "testing" of the B61-11 nuclear bomb on an actual country and that country was Libya: "Even before the B61 came on line, Libya was identified as a potential target".[6]

While the 1996 plan to bomb Libya using tactical nuclear weapons was subsequently shelved, Libya was not removed from the "black list": "The Qadhafi regime" remains to this date a target country for a pre-emptive ("defensive") nuclear attack. As revealed by William Arkin in early 2002, "The Bush administration, in a secret policy review... [had] ordered the Pentagon to draft contingency plans for the use of nuclear weapons against at least seven countries, naming not only Russia and the "axis of evil" Iraq, Iran, and North Korea but also China, Libya and Syria.[7]

Operation Odyssey Dawn. Nuclear Weapons against Libya? How Real is the Threat?

Has the project to nuke Libya been definitively shelved or is Libya still being contemplated as a potential target for a nuclear attack? (This preface serves as an update on the potential dangers of a nuclear war against a defenseless non-nuclear State). The air campaign directed against Libya commenced on March 19, 2011. America deployed its Bat-shaped B-2 Spirit Stealth bombers operating out of the Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri. Described as "deadly and effective", the B-2 was used as an instrument of "humanitarian warfare".

Barely two weeks after the commencement of the war, the Pentagon announced the testing of the B61-11 nuclear bomb using the same B-2 Stealth bombers which had been deployed to Libya at the very outset of Operation Odyssey Dawn. The B-2 Spirit Stealth bomber is the US Air Force's chosen "carrier" for the delivery of the B61-11 nuclear bomb. These timely tests pertained to the installed equipment, functionality and weapon's components of the B61-11 nuclear bomb. The tests were conducted by the B-2 bombers operating out of the same Air Force base, from which the B-2 bombing raid on Libya were conducted.[8]

Is the timing of these tests in any way related to the chronology of the Libya bombing campaign?

The U.S. Air Force Global Strike Command was in charge of both the JTA tests of the B61-11 as well as the deployment of three B-2 Spirit Stealth bombers to Libya on March 19 under operation Odyssey Dawn. Both the deployment of the B-2s to the Libya war theater as well as the tests of the equipment of the B61-11 (using the B-2 bomber for delivery) were coordinated out of Whiteman Air Force base.

America's Long War: The Global Military Agenda

The US has embarked on a military adventure, “a long war”, which threatens the future of humanity. The first two chapters of this E-book focus on the "Cult of Death and Destruction" underlying this global military agenda. US-NATO weapons of mass destruction are portrayed as instruments of peace. Mini-nukes are said to be "harmless to the surrounding civilian population". Pre-emptive nuclear war is portrayed as a "humanitarian undertaking". Nuclear war has become a multibillion dollar undertaking, which fills the pockets of US defense contractors. What is at stake is the outright "privatization of nuclear war".

US nuclear doctrine is intimately related to "America's War on Terrorism" and the alleged threat of Al Qaeda, which in a bitter irony is considered as an upcoming nuclear power. Under the Obama administration, Islamic terrorists are said to be preparing to attack US cities. Proliferation is tacitly equated with “nuclear terrorism”. Obama's nuclear doctrine puts particular emphasis on “nuclear terrorism” and on the alleged plans by Al Qaeda to develop and use nuclear weapons.

Chapter III focusses on America's Holy Crusade and the Battle for Oil. The “Global War on Terrorism” requires going after the terrorists, using advanced weapons systems. US foreign policy upholds a pre-emptive religious-like crusade against evil, which serves to obscure the real objectives of military action. In the inner consciousness of Americans, the attacks of September 11, 2001 justify acts of war and conquest against evil-doers. The Global War on Terrorism is presented as a “clash of civilizations”, a war between competing values and religions, when in reality it is an outright war of conquest, guided by strategic and economic objectives. The lies behind 9/11 are known and documented. The American people’s acceptance of this crusade against evil is not based on any rational understanding or analysis of the facts. "The American inquisition" purports to extend Washington’s sphere of influence. Military intervention is justified as part of an international campaign against “Islamic terrorists”. Its ultimate intention, which is never mentioned in press reports, is territorial conquest and control over strategic resources. Ironically, under the Global War on Terrorism, these plans of conquest are instrumented by covertly supporting Islamic paramilitary armies, which are then used to destabilize non-compliant governments and impose Western standards of "governance" and "democracy".

World War III Scenario

The contours of a World War III scenario are discussed in Chapter IV. The Pentagon’s global military design is one of world conquest. The military deployment of US-NATO forces is occurring in several regions of the World simultaneously. Militarization at the global level is instrumented through the US military's Unified Command structure: the entire planet is divided up into geographic Combatant Commands under the control of the Pentagon. According to (former) NATO Commander General Wesley Clark, the Pentagon’s military road-map consists of a sequence of war theaters: “[The] five-year campaign plan [includes]... a total of seven countries, beginning with Iraq, then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Iran, Somalia and Sudan.”

Chapter V focusses on war preparations pertaining to Iran, including the launching of a pre-emptive nuclear attack on the Islamic Republic. While Iran remains on the Pentagon's drawing board, a fundamental shift in the sequencing of military operations has occurred. The US-NATO-Israel alliance realizes that Iran has significant capabilities to respond and retaliate. With the onset of the US-NATO led war in North Africa, Washington and its allies have chosen to wage war on countries with lesser military capabilities. This factor in itself has been crucial in the decision by the US and its allies to put "the Iran operation" on hold, while launching a "humanitarian war" on Libya.

How to Reverse the Tide of War

Chapter VI focusses on antiwar actions directed against this diabolical military agenda. Central to an understanding of war, is the media campaign which grants it legitimacy in the eyes of public opinion. A good versus evil dichotomy prevails. The perpetrators of war are presented as the victims. Public opinion is misled: “We must fight against evil in all its forms as a means to preserving the Western way of life.” Breaking the "big lie" which upholds war as a humanitarian undertaking, means breaking a criminal project of global destruction, in which the quest for profit is the overriding force. This profit-driven military agenda destroys human values and transforms people into unconscious zombies.

The holding of mass demonstrations and antiwar protests is not enough. What is required is the development of a broad and well organized grassroots antiwar network, across the land, nationally and internationally, which challenges the structures of power and authority. People must mobilize not only against the military agenda, the authority of the state and its officials must also be challenged. This war can be prevented if people forcefully confront their governments, pressure their elected representatives, organize at the local level in towns, villages and municipalities, spread the word, inform their fellow citizens as to the implications of a nuclear war, initiate debate and discussion within the armed forces.

The object of this E-Book is to forcefully reverse the tide of war, challenge the war criminals in high office and the powerful corporate lobby groups which support them.

Break the American Inquisition.

Undermine the US-NATO-Israel military crusade.

Close down the weapons factories and the military bases.

Members of the armed forces should disobey orders and refuse to participate in a criminal war.

Bring home the troops.

Notes

1. See Yoichi Shimatsu, Secret Weapons Program Inside Fukushima Nuclear Plant? Global Research, April 12, 2011
2. Helen Caldicott, Fukushima: Nuclear Apologists Play Shoot the Messenger on Radiation, The Age, April 26, 2011
3. See Michel Chossudovsky, America's Planned Nuclear Attack on Libya, Global Research, March 25, 2011.
4. Federation of American Scientists, The Nuclear Information Project: the B61-11
5. Ibid, See also Greg Mello, The Birth Of a New Bomb; Shades of Dr. Strangelove! Will We Learn to Love the B61-11? The Washington Post, June 1, 1997
6. Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists - September/ October 1997, p. 27. For further details see Michel Chossudovsky, America's Planned Nuclear Attack on Libya, Global Research, March 25, 2001
7. See William Arkin, "Thinking the Unthinkable", Los Angeles Times, March 9, 2002.
8. In late March or early April (prior to April 4), the B-2 Spirit Stealth bomber from the 509th Bomber Wing operating out of Whiteman Air Force Base, was used in the so-called "Joint Test Assembly" (JTA) of the B61 Mod 11 nuclear bomb.
The announcement of these tests was made public on April 4; the precise date of the tests was not revealed, but one can reasonably assume that it was in the days prior to the April 4 press release by the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA. Press Release, NNSA Conducts Successful B61-11 JTA Flight Test, April 4, 2011. For further details see Michel Chossudovsky, Dangerous Crossroads: Is America Considering the Use of Nuclear Weapons against Libya? Global Research, April 7, 2011