Thursday, November 5, 2009

Resistance is NOT Futile — The Rise of “Resistance Journalism”

The enemies of freedom have standard weapons at their disposal that they have used throughout history. These principally include propaganda, whatever high technology of the time period (including science and medicine), legislative bodies cooperating with their agenda, and enforcers willing to enslave their own people. Many tyrannies of the past came in full force without much subtlety. What we see today, however, is a carefully measured, softer approach that is aided by advanced knowledge in social engineering and mass manipulation. But, lately we are beginning to see the brutal elements being brought to the fore in order to set the stage for a physical crushing of any perceived resistance. The tactic of physical intimidation works even better in our modern era, as very few people alive in America today have first-hand experience with physical violence, and are not trained for such encounters. It is obvious that the firepower of The New World Order is impossible to match as they have now employed technological advances to create a stunning array of surveillance equipment and weaponry. It does not make sense that The Second American Revolution should take place on a traditional battlefield.

The battlefield of today has been correctly labeled by Alex Jones as the “Infowar.” Knowing that information is knowledge, and knowledge is power, the wielder of the pen over the mightiness of the sword has actually never stood a better chance of resistance to tyranny than we see today. We the resistance have very powerful tools at our disposal, but we need to employ them in a massive, coordinated effort with a mission to work within the system and clog it with the tools the system itself employs. Now that people have awakened, and the tyranny is more obvious by the day, now is the time for us to break through our passive natures and become active working to stop this growing oppression. We have had our diversions for long enough: we have watched enough soap operas and sitcoms; watched enough sports; read enough books; and have attended enough lectures. There is no more time for hoping that all of this will just go away. It will not; it only will intensify as we sit around and watch it happen. The only people now who can deny what is taking place are the willfully ignorant, or the people that actually enjoy the oppression. It is harsh to say, but these two groups can no longer be our concern.

Nearly every American has a camera. The government now has us under constant surveillance by satellite, cameras in nearly all public places, and they even have suggested that cameras should be installed in homes “to protect the children.” Fine, if we are going to be on camera 24/7, then so should they. Everyone should be carrying their camera at all times — not to document our neighbors as TV has taught us to do, but to document authority. When you are in front of a federal building, corporate headquarters, police department, or any place where you are now likely to be confronted by private or public security thugs; get it on camera (or preferably video). Then, use it as evidence to file a law suit immediately for the violation of your civil rights. Be sure to know your constitutional rights, quote them on camera, and ask the official why they are violating your rights under the Constitution.

Recently, a series of “checkpoint confrontation” videos have been released, started by Terry Bressi from CheckpointUSA. Border control checkpoints are in fact constitutional. The only problem is that most of them are up to 100 miles inland! They can call this border control, but it is really an illegal checkpoint, Gestapo style, within the U.S. and must be resisted. In these videos you will see him adopt a tone that is anything but acquiescent. He knows his rights, states them firmly, refuses to give his name (as protected by the 5th amendment), and continues to ask, “Am I being detained?” These agents have no authority to detain someone without probable cause. Driving in your car and stumbling across a random checkpoint is NOT probable cause. Know your rights, get it on film, and be strong. And do not allow them to enter your vehicle; make them do it forcibly and violate your 4th amendment rights.

I’m suggesting that this type of journalism be termed “resistance journalism.” Groups like We are Change are engaged in “ambush journalism” which is a nice thorn in the side to the specific targets of this type of disruptive questioning during public appearances, but the group has a name, and their tactics are isolated. What I’m suggesting, is a loosely organized, grassroots group of people that is essentially “on call” to respond when someone encounters blatant tyranny. For instance, imagine not one car with a video camera documenting abuse at a checkpoint, but 100 cars arriving at the same time armed with cameras — non-violent and completely legal. This would clog the system as they are forced to respond with more personnel. Imagine one hundred pieces of evidence, and 100 simultaneous law suits to follow. This group, in fact, should have a civil rights attorney on call to respond to any questioning by authorities. This will be a real show of resistance that will spread as people see real action and courage. Since the group will have no formal name, it will be difficult for government to infiltrate and disrupt the movement.

The other weapon we have is the computer, or at least the pen. Instead of screaming at one another, and preaching to the choir, we must be writing letters to all levels of the system telling them not that we are upset, but that we are resisting and will absolutely not cooperate with their illegal legislation. In the case of products we don’t like, write and tell them you are not buying it, and tell them exactly why. The new vaccine? Tell law makers and anyone involved in production and distribution that you will not take that vaccine under ANY circumstances — even if it becomes mandatory. We have to tell them that none of their contingency plans will work. Now we have our airports becoming medical facilities — testing for disease, power to quarantine, power to inject people. Write to your airlines and tell them you are no longer traveling due to these policies. They don’t often listen to arguments based on morals, ethics, or human rights, but they WILL answer to money. Hit them where it hurts. Write to the American government; tell them you are no longer traveling due to their illegal restriction of your rights. Tell them you are not afraid of terrorists, you are afraid of the loss of freedom and the destruction of the Constitution. And above all, when they spew their propaganda to your children, like in the recent episode of Sid the Science Kid, tell the show creators and PBS Teachers just how inappropriate it is that vaccines should be portrayed in a good light to children who are not able to separate fact from fiction, or to research the mountain of evidence that shows the dangers of this H1N1 vaccine. If you don’t care about your own freedom, at least stand up for the freedom of your children and future generations who are going to be forced to live in a world where they are managed like animals.

Now is the time for action. Our greatest weapon is non-cooperation in all of its forms. It is time to finally take Nancy Reagan’s recommendation: JUST SAY NO.

Source: Pyramids of Control

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Why there is no CHANGE; Government simply running afoul of the people across party lines

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The Case for Treason: Has our Government grown Despotic?

(originally posted in July)

We are living in dangerous, uncertain times. The economic collapse deepens each day, wars are raging all around us, terrorism is now a household word in America, flu pandemics are being declared, and under the influence of all of these concerns, government is tightening the bands around our civil liberties in a most permanent way. The question is, "how much is too much?"

This is somewhat of a complex problem. It is my greatest hopes that many of you will read this entire article, and take the time to digest what I put forth here. I believe that it was inevitable that our government become tyrannical. The permission we have given to our politicians has created a class of citizens above ourselves. This has happened quite contrary to the idea that these very citizens now placed above us, who run our country on their own whims and in secrecy from us, were intended to be our servants.

The one protection put into the Constitution to prevent this from fully happening was the Bill of Rights. It is IMPERITIVE that we understand that those first ten amendments were the result of the bickering and outright opposition raised by the anti-federalists during the Constitutional debates in 1788. The anti-federalists argued that there were no provisions that would effectively secure the individual rights of Americans in the original Constitution. The resultant ten amendments outline our precious individual rights, and only in conjunction with each other do those rights prevent government from growing fully despotic. That is why there is major cause for alarm today as we see these civil rights being legislated away in Congress and abused on the streets.

During those debates surrounding the ratification of the Constitution in 1788, many voices were heard in favor of, and opposing this radical new government that would govern the United States. One of the loudest voices of opposition was Patrick Henry. It is not that he was not loyal to America, no, not in the least. In fact, his opposition was based upon his very dedication to liberty and freedom. It was in the designs of our then forming government that Henry seen the makings of despotism. If we take a close look at a few points made by Henry, and compare them to our modern dilemma, we can see not only how correct his concerns were, but how factually prophetic they have become.

Most telling of these speeches was the one made by Patrick Henry on June 5, 1788. He objected to the overreaching authority of the proposed federal government specifically because he feared the abuse of power by our Representatives.

"But we are told that we need not fear, because those in power being our Representatives, will not abuse the powers we put in their hands: I am not well versed in history, but I will submit to your recollection, whether liberty has been destroyed most often by the licentiousness of the people, or by the tyranny of rulers? I imagine, Sir, you will find the balance on the side of tyranny."

Henry could envision the flaws in a Representative democracy based upon the inevitability of men to become corrupt. Do we not see this today? Yes, we certainly do. Our Representatives, many of whom have been in Washington for three or four decades, repeatedly deny our voices any merit. They pass massive bills without even reading them. They alter bills at the last minute before votes. They attach amendments to bills that are completely unrelated, (such as the current unConstitutional Hate Crimes bill being attached to the "must pass" Defense Fund bill for 2010.) They propose, and often pass, bills that fly in complete defiance to the Constitution and Bill of Rights (Patriot Act, Military Commissions Act, John Werner Act, and proposed H.R. 45, H.R. 2159, H.R. 2647, Cap and Trade, etc.) The nation's people screamed in opposition to the "bail outs", yet they overwhelmingly passed it, only to benefit certain banks while leaving the rest of us to continue to suffer in worsening conditions.

How does this happen? How can the Bill of Rights guarantee a right to privacy, yet the Patriot Act says you don't have it? How can it guarantee a right to due process, yet the Patriot Act says you don't have that either? How are our rights to privacy, private property, due process, keep and bear arms, free speech, and other rights protected by the Constitution continually under assault by these Representatives?

Patrick Henry was keen to point this problem out over 200 years ago, "However uncharitable it may appear, yet I must tell my opinion, that the most unworthy characters may get into power and prevent the introduction of amendments: Let us suppose (for the case is supposeable, possible, and probable) that you happen to deal these powers to unworthy hands; will they relinquish powers already in their possession, or agree to amendments? Two-thirds of the Congress, or of the State Legislatures, are necessary even to propose amendments: If one-third of these be unworthy men, they may prevent the application for amendments; but what is destructive and mischievous is, that three-fourths of the State Legislature, or of State Conventions, must concur in the amendments when proposed: In such numerous bodies, the must necessarily be some designing bad men: To suppose that so large a number as three-fourths of the States will concur, is to suppose they will possess genius, intelligence, and integrity, approaching to miraculous...It is, Sir, a most fearful situation, when the most contemptible minority can prevent the alteration of the most oppressive Government."

Although today's situation involves the passing of bills, as our government simply does not see the need to amend the Constitution in order to change or override it, Henry's words still ring true. A small contemptible minority are in control, and they do not hear our voices. Even our president now tells us that he will not obey our laws. Obama's signing statement given while signing the recent war funding bill strictly pertained to his ignoring of restrictions put on the executive branch within the bill. He signed the law, as he was telling us he himself would not follow it. Amazing.

When government ceases to listen to us; ceases to give us redress to our grievances, what can we do? The federal government has grown beyond belief. We actually do not even know how big it is! So much of it is now kept secret from the American People, and new bureaucracies are created all the time, expanding the federal while indebting us in taxes to pay for it all.

As Henry put it, "My great objection to this Government is, that it does not leave us the means of defending our rights; or, of waging war against tyrants: It is urged by some Gentlemen, that this new plan will bring us an acquisition of strength, an army, and the militia of the States: This is an idea extremely ridiculous: Gentlemen cannot be in earnest. This acquisition will trample on your fallen liberty: Let my beloved Americans guard against that fatal lethargy that has pervaded the universe: Have we the means of resisting disciplined armies, when our only defence, the militia is put into the hands of Congress?"

As Henry clearly points out, without a Second Amendment, there is no security for liberty.

Today, many Americans fear the government. They are continually trying to disarm us, and in many ways have succeeded incrementally. Now, especially under the Obama administration, they are criminalizing dissent. The MIAC report of Homeland Security, H.R. 2159, H.R. 2647, and on and on. Anyone who speaks out against government is basically considered a terrorist, including gun owners, tax protesters, Constitutionalists, etc. (I have posted the links to these government documents so many times, if you have any doubts as to the truth to what I am saying, read previous blogs and check the links for yourself.) These fears are well grounded, for many of us know that tyranny is upon us once again in this great nation.

The most chilling of Henry's statements concerning this matter was driven by his sharp understanding of the history of liberty and tyranny,

"The Honorable Gentleman who presides, told us, that to prevent abuses in our Government, we will assemble in Convention, recall our delegated powers, and punish our servants for abusing the trust reposed in them. Oh, Sir, we should have fine times indeed, if to punish tyrants, it were only sufficient to assemble the people. Your arms wherewith you could defend yourselves, are gone; and have no longer a aristocratical; no longer democratical spirit. Did you ever read of any revolution in any nation, brought about by the punishment of those in power, inflicted by those who had no power at all? You read of a riot act in a country which is called on of the freest in the world, where a few neighbours cannot assemble with the risk of being shot by a hired soldiery, the engines of despotism. We may see such an act in America. A standing army we shall have also, to execute the execrable commands of tyranny: And how are you to punish them? Will you order them to be punished? Who shall obey these orders? Will your Mace-bearer be a match for a disciplined regiment? In what situation are we to be?

The clause before you gives a power of direct taxation, unbounded and unlimited: Exclusive power of Legislation in all cases whatsoever, to ten miles square; and over all places purchased for the erection of forts, magazines, arsenals, dock-yards, etc. What resistance could be made? The attempt would be madness. You will find all the strength of this country in the hands of your enemies: Those garrisons will naturally be the strongest places in the country. Your militia is given up to Congress also in another part of this plan: They will therefore act as they think proper: All power will be in their own possession: You cannot force them to receive their punishment: Of what service would militia be to you, when most probably you will not have a single musket in the State; for as arms are to be provided by Congress, they may or may not furnish them.

Let me here call your attention to that part which gives the Congress power, "To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the appointment of the officers, and the authority of training the militia, according to the discipline prescribed by Congress." By this, Sir, you see that their control over our last and best defence, is unlimited. If they neglect or refuse to discipline or arm our militia, they will be useless.
[auth. note: today they have criminalized our militia]: The States can do neither, this power being exclusively given to Congress; The power of appointing officers over men not disciplined or armed, is ridiculous; So that this pretended little remains of power left to the States, may, at the pleasure of Congress, be rendered nugatory.

Our situation will be deplorable indeed: Nor can we ever expect to get this government amended, since I have already shewn, that a very small minority may prevent it; and that small minority interested in the continuance of the oppression: Will the oppressor let go of the oppressed? Was there ever an instance? Can the annals of mankind exhibit one single example, where rulers overcharged with power, willingly let go the oppressed, though solicited and requested most earnestly?"

Now is the time for each one of us to sit down, and quietly ask ourselves, what is really happening here? With this new administration building upon the Patriot Act type of legislation set before it, we are in big trouble. We now have a "no-fly" list with over a million names on it of Americans who are not allowed to move about freely, though they have not been charged with a crime and given due process of law. We have a president talking about "preventative detention", which is indefinite imprisonment without any due process or representation. We have a chief of staff, Emanuel, talking about a mandatory, forced civilian service for all Americans beginning in middle school, and who is also pushing for those million plus Americans stripped of their mobility to be stripped of their Second Amendment rights without due process as well.

Right now, this month, we have foreign troops in the U.S. participating in FEMA's martial law exercise NLE 09 (don't believe it? google it: NLE 09). That means, under martial law, you could have foreign troops in your living room barking orders at your family in broken English.

It is actually dangerous to be outspoken about tyranny now. Dissent is criminalized. Militia activity is demonized and criminalized. Is Patrick Henry's vision of an America where neighbors could not assemble without risk of being shot by hired soldiery becoming a reality?

If we do not heed these warnings, the very arguments that gave birth to our Bill of Rights, we shall surely perish as subjects, not a free people. These rights have been infringed, and are under continuous assault RIGHT NOW!


Its time to Fire Washington, and put some people on that hill that know what being American is all about.

Source: The Fading American Dream: The Constitution Circumvented

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SHUT UP AND PAY YOUR TAXES SLAVE! 100 years of abuse

Hillary Clinton, our Secretary of State, told Pakistan recently that their taxes are too low. "In the United States," she boldly stated, "we tax everything that moves and doesn't move."

People, we are taxed to death. These brazen bastards work us 6 months of the year for taxes alone. That is half of the fruits of our labor. What would the colonists have done if the King's messenger had arrived on our shore and stated, "Subjects of the colonies, the King of England hereby orders you to work 6 months out of the year to pay him. The King will graciously allow you to keep the fruits of your labor of the second 6 months only."

They would have corked the messenger in a bottle and let the tide carry him back to the King.

Are the fruits of our labor theirs to do with as they wish? Is 6 months of pay less labor slavery? Do we really need government to create bureaucracy upon bureaucracy to micro-manage our lives and force us to pay for it all?

The answer to all of these is a loud and resounding NO! For nearly 100 years the federal government has been abusing authority, leveling unConstitutional regulations upon us, and moving us toward slavery at gun point. I say 'gun point' because if you disagree with this system, no matter how unConstitutional, you will receive a very nasty visit from machine-gun-toting IRS agents kicking in your door to take you and everything you own away.

If you disagree with the phony war on drugs, maybe grow some harmless marijuana, a very vicious DEA will smash down your door with military force, scream at your entire family to hit the floor under the threat of machine gun fire, and drag you out. You should have known that drugs are limited to the deadly drugs pushed legally by Big Pharma!

If you disagree with the unConstitutional federal interpretation of the Second Amendment, the militarized BATF will descend upon you with violent precision and change your life forever.

If you are of the ilk of being just overall unhappy with the federal government, and choose to protest taxes, gun control, federal intrusion, or demand adherence to the Constitution, the the mothership of federal force, The Department of Homeland Security, will place you on a secret list of domestic terrorists.

Congress was supposed to, according to the Constitution, coin and regulate our money. Instead, they gave our money and our economy over to a group of private world bankers who now operate as the highest authority in the U.S.; even the federal government cannot audit or impose upon the Federal Reserve. It is a private, for-profit institution that robs us and taxes us through inflation, and never has to answer to us.

Shut Up and Be a Good Slave

Basically, you better just shut up, go to work, pay the King, and keep that single-shot shotgun quietly locked up in your closet. Are you getting the picture? The Constitution forbade government from imposing any direct unapportioned tax upon the People. The did it. It forbade them from infringing upon the "right of the People" to keep and bear arms. They did that too. The Constitution clearly defined only three enumerated law enforcement duties given to federal government--piracy on the high seas, counterfeiting, and treason--and left all other duties to the States or to the People, respectively. Then why do we have the DEA, ATF, IRS, FDA, EPA and now the all powerful DHS?

This is bigger than health care. This is bigger than Obama. It is time we settled this once and for all and demand complete adherence to the Constitution. We do not need candidates who will go to Washington and oppose Democrats and health care. We need people who will stand up for us and REPEAL LAWS.

IT'S TIME TO PUSH THE LEVIATHAN BACK INTO IT'S CAGE. In 1776 those powerful chains of bondage were given to us by the forefathers, and now it's time we used them again.

Source: The Fading American Dream: The Constitution Circumvented

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Having burned out the pejorative phrase “anti-Semite” though overuse and endless misapplication, Israel’s defenders of late have been resorting to their last and most powerful rhetorical weapon of mass distraction, “Holocaust Denier”, to silence critics or at the very least to deprive them of an objective audience ready to give the critic a fair hearing.

“Holocaust Denier” is being hurled hither and yon, and the reality is that hardly anybody being labeled a “holocaust denier” denies anything. They just want to ask a few specific questions about specific historical events, or simply defend the right of all people in this post “Saddam has nookular bombs” era to re-examine everything we have ever been taught by the state-operated schools and media. Nobody is denying that war crimes took place. But that there have been hoaxes and false claims made in the aftermath of WW2 is beyond question.

However, ’sauce for the goose’ etc. and I have decided that from here on out, I will identify all defenders of Israel’s actions in Palestine and all those who are fighting to block the bringing of war crimes charges against Israel for Operation CAST LEAD as “Goldstone Deniers”.

I feel that this is perfectly appropriate because the “Holocaust Denier” label is used to claim that the denier is trying to conceal NAZI Germany’s atrocities. Therefore, those who are trying to conceal Israel’s atrocities should be accorded the same treatment. After all, they are indeed trying to deny the atrocities which took place inside Palestine.

So, that is it. They are all “Goldstone Deniers” from here on out!

Source: Desert Peace

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For Everyone Who Wants HR 1207 to Happen, A Must Read By Edwin Vieira.

Edwin Vieira is a Constitutional lawyer that supports Ron Paul.

This is from his article Smashing the Axis of Financial Fraud

{ A snip }
Even earlier, Thomas Jefferson had predicted the reason for such a sorry state of affairs:

From the conclusion of the [W]ar [of Independence] we shall be going down hill. It will not then be necessary to resort every moment to the people for support. They will be forgotten, therefore, and their rights disregarded. They will forget themselves, but in the sole faculty of making money, and will never think of uniting to effect a due respect for their rights.[2]

Jefferson was all too prescient. Ever since his day, the political class has looked elsewhere than to the American people for support—and always found it from the financial class.

The financial class has arrayed itself on the side of the political class, and the political class has arrayed itself on the side of the financial class—not just in an incestuous coupling, but in the veritable fusion of a political-cum-financial hermaphrodite: the full integration and consolidation of bank and state.

This unholy alliance has always centered around a mechanism by means of which the financial class can create ersatz “money” out of nothing tangible—through a monopolistic national bank (the First and Second Banks of the United States), then a national banking conglomerate (the National Banks of the Civil War), and finally a fully corporative-state banking apparatus (the modern Federal Reserve System), all operating on the basis of “reserves” so increasingly fractional that they have now become essentially fictional. Through the General Government, the political class has guaranteed the continuance of this scheme, in one form or another, for more than two hundred years.
By so doing, the political class has always been able to count on the support of the financial class—but only at the cost of enabling the financial class to exercise exorbitant influence over the General Government, and through the General Government over the American people themselves.

The true name of this system is financial fascism......much more at link:

Source: News With Views

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Dash cam video catches yet another Taser-happy cop

By Carlos Miller

Rolando Ruiz clearly had his hands on the hood of a police car when a Minneapolis police officer walked up behind him and applied his Taser gun to his neck, forcing Ruiz to fall down in an incident caught on a dash cam.

The two men then fall out of view for several seconds but Ruiz’s screams do not stop, giving the impression that the officer is continually tasing him.

Ruiz was arrested for allegedly throwing a brick through the windshield of a cop car. He is now suing for $75,000 in damages.

Source: Photography is Not A Crime

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Rendition trial ends with Milan CIA chief given eight years

Italian court convicts Robert Lady and 23 others in absentia

First prosecution for US abduction of suspects to torture states

The former head of the CIA in Milan has been given an eight-year jail sentence for kidnapping at the end of the first trial anywhere in the world involving the agency’s “extraordinary rendition” programme.

Robert Lady was tried in his absence and convicted of helping to organise the seizure of Osama Moustafa Hassan Nasr, known as Abu Omar, from a Milan street in February 2003. His superior, Jeff Castelli, the head of the CIA in Italy at the time, was acquitted on the grounds that he was covered by diplomatic immunity. Most of the other 23 alleged CIA operatives on trial were given five-year jail sentences in their absence.

via Rendition trial ends with Milan CIA chief given eight years | World news |

h/t: CLG


Italian courts sentence CIA agents in extraordinary renditions program

November 04, 2009

Italian courts have convicted 23 Americans for abducting an Egyptian cleric and torturing him as part of an interrogation. This is the first trial in the extraordinary renditions program and many wonder if this will urge the Obama administration to prosecute and investigate other members of the program too.

more about “Italian courts sentence CIA agents in…“, posted with vodpod


Craig Murray: UK/USA made use of Uzbek torture Pt2

Tortured in far-off Countries: Obama Resuming G. W. Bush’s “Extraordinary Renditions” by Sherwood Ross

Torture on Dandelion Salad


Source: Dandelion Salad

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How many countries do you have to be at war with to be disqualified from receiving the Nobel Peace Prize?

The Anti-Empire Report

“It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.” — Voltaire

Question: How many countries do you have to be at war with to be disqualified from receiving the Nobel Peace Prize?

Answer: Five. Barack Obama has waged war against only Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq and Somalia. He’s holding off on Iran until he actually gets the prize.

Somalian civil society and court system are so devastated from decades of war that one wouldn’t expect its citizens to have the means to raise serious legal challenges to Washington’s apparent belief that it can drop bombs on that sad land whenever it appears to serve the empire’s needs. But a group of Pakistanis, calling themselves “Lawyers Front for Defense of the Constitution”, and remembering just enough of their country’s more civilized past, has filed suit before the nation’s High Court to make the federal government stop American drone attacks on countless innocent civilians. The group declared that a Pakistan Army spokesman claimed to have the capability to shoot down the drones, but the government had made a policy decision not to. 1

The Obama administration, like the Bush administration, behaves like the world is one big lawless Somalia and the United States is the chief warlord. On October 20 the president again displayed his deep love of peace by honoring some 80 veterans of Vietnam at the White House, after earlier awarding their regiment a Presidential Unit Citation for its “extraordinary heroism and conspicuous gallantry”. 2 War correspondent Michael Herr has honored Vietnam soldiers in his own way: “We took space back quickly, expensively, with total panic and close to maximum brutality. Our machine was devastating. And versatile. It could do everything but stop.” 3

What would it take for the Obamaniacs to lose any of the stars in their eyes for their dear Nobel Laureate? Perhaps if the president announced that he was donating his prize money to build a monument to the First — “Oh What a Lovely” — World War? The memorial could bear the inscription: “Let us remember that Rudyard Kipling coaxed his young son John into enlisting in this war. John died his first day in combat. Kipling later penned these words:

“If any question why we died,
Tell them, because our fathers lied.”

“The Constitution supposes what the history of all governments demonstrates, that the executive is the branch of power most interested in war, and most prone to it. It has accordingly with studied care vested the question of war in the legislature.” — James Madison, in a letter to Thomas Jefferson, April 2, 1798.

A wise measure, indeed, but one American president after another has dragged the nation into bloody war without the approval of Congress, the American people, international law, or world opinion. Millions marched against the war in Iraq before it began. Millions more voted for Barack Obama in the belief that he shared their repugnance for America’s Wars Without End. They had no good reason to believe this — Obama’s campaign was filled with repeated warlike threats against Iran and Afghanistan — but they wanted to believe it.

If machismo explains war, if men love war and fighting so much, why do we have to compel them with conscription on pain of imprisonment? Why do the powers-that-be have to wage advertising campaigns to seduce young people to enlist in the military? Why do young men go to extreme lengths to be declared exempt for physical or medical reasons? Why do they flee into exile to avoid the draft? Why do they desert the military in large numbers in the midst of war? Why don’t Sweden or Switzerland or Costa Rica have wars? Surely there are many macho men in those countries.

“Join the Army, visit far away places, meet interesting people, and kill them.”

War licenses men to take part in what would otherwise be described as psychopathic behavior.

“Sometimes I think it should be a rule of war that you have to see somebody up close and get to know him before you can shoot him.” — Colonel Potter, M*A*S*H

“In the struggle of Good against Evil, it’s always the people who get killed.” — Eduardo Galeano

After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, a Taliban leader declared that “God is on our side, and if the world’s people try to set fire to Afghanistan, God will protect us and help us.” 4

“I trust God speaks through me. Without that, I couldn’t do my job.” — George W. Bush, 2004, during the war in Iraq. 5

“I believe that Christ died for my sins and I am redeemed through him. That is a source of strength and sustenance on a daily basis.” — Barack Obama. 6

Why don’t church leaders forbid Catholics from joining the military with the same fervor they tell Catholics to stay away from abortion clinics?

God, war, the World Bank, the IMF, free trade agreements, NATO, the war on terrorism, the war on drugs, “anti-war” candidates, and Nobel Peace Prizes can be seen as simply different instruments for the advancement of US imperialism.

Tom Lehrer, the marvelous political songwriter of the 1950s and 60s, once observed: “Political satire became obsolete when Henry Kissinger was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.” Perhaps each generation has to learn anew what a farce that prize has become, or always was. Its recipients include quite a few individuals who had as much commitment to a peaceful world as the Bush administration had to truth. One example currently in the news: Bernard Kouchner, co-founder of Medecins Sans Frontieres which won the prize in 1998. Kouchner, now France’s foreign secretary, has long been urging military action against Iran. Last week he called upon Iran to make a nuclear deal acceptable to the Western powers or else there’s no telling what horror Israel might inflict upon the Iranians. Israel “will not tolerate an Iranian bomb,” he said. “We know that, all of us.” 7 There is a word for such a veiled threat — “extortion”, something normally associated with the likes of a Chicago mobster of the 1930s … “Do like I say and no one gets hurt.” Or as Al Capone once said: “Kind words and a machine gun will get you more than kind words alone.”

The continuing desperate quest to find something good to say about US foreign policy

Not the crazy, hateful right wing, not racist or disrupting public meetings, not demanding birth certificates … but the respectable right, holding high positions in academia and in every administration, Republican or Democrat, members of the highly esteemed Council on Foreign Relations. Here’s Joshua Kurlantzick, a “Fellow for Southeast Asia” at CFR, writing in the equally esteemed and respectable Washington Post about how — despite all the scare talk — it wouldn’t be so bad if Afghanistan actually turned into another Vietnam because “Vietnam and the United States have become close partners in Southeast Asia, exchanging official visits, building an important trading and strategic relationship and fostering goodwill between governments, businesses and people on both sides. … America did not win the war there, but over time it has won the peace. … American war veterans publicly made peace with their old adversaries … A program [to exchange graduate students and professors] could ensure that the next generation of Afghan leaders sees an image of the United States beyond that of the war.” 8 And so on.

On second thought, this is not so much right-wing jingoism as it is … uh … y’know … What’s the word? … Ah yes, “pointless”. Just what is the point? Germany and Israel are on excellent terms … therefore, what point can we make about the Holocaust?

As to America not winning the war in Vietnam, that’s worse than pointless. It’s wrong. Most people believe that the United States lost the war. But by destroying Vietnam to its core, by poisoning the earth, the water, the air, and the gene pool for generations, the US in fact achieved its primary purpose: it left Vietnam a basket case, preventing the rise of what might have been a good development option for Asia, an alternative to the capitalist model; for the same reason the United States has been at war with Cuba for 50 years, making sure that the Cuban alternative model doesn’t look as good as it would if left in peace.

And in all the years since the Vietnam War ended, the millions of Vietnamese suffering from diseases and deformities caused by US sprayings of the deadly chemical “Agent Orange” have received from the United States no medical care, no environmental remediation, no compensation, and no official apology. That’s exactly what the Afghans — their land and/or their bodies permeated with depleted uranium, unexploded cluster bombs, and a witch’s brew of other charming chemicals — have to look forward to in Kurlantzick’s Brave New World. “If the U.S. relationship with Afghanistan eventually resembles the one we now have with Vietnam, we should be overjoyed,” he writes. God Bless America.

One further thought about Afghanistan: The suggestion that the United States could, and should, solve its (self-created) dilemma by simply getting out of that god-forsaken place is dismissed out of hand by the American government and media; even some leftist critics of US policy are reluctant to embrace so bold a step — Who knows what horror may result? But when the Soviet Union was in the process of quitting Afghanistan (during the period of May 1988-February 1989) who in the West insisted that they remain? For any reason. No matter what the consequences of their withdrawal. The reason the Russians could easier leave than the Americans can now is that the Russians were not there for imperialist reasons, such as oil and gas pipelines. Similar to why the US can’t leave Iraq.

Washington’s eternal “Cuba problem” — the one they can’t admit to.

“Here we go again. I suppose old habits die hard,” said US Ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, on October 28 before the General Assembly voted on the annual resolution to end the US embargo against Cuba. “The hostile language we have just heard from the Foreign Minister of Cuba,” she continued, “seems straight out of the Cold War era and is not conducive to constructive progress.” Her 949-word statement contained not a word about the embargo; not very conducive to a constructive solution to the unstated “Cuba problem”, the one about Cuba inspiring the Third World, the fear that the socialist virus would spread.

Since the early days of the Cuban Revolution assorted anti-communists and capitalist true-believers around the world have been relentless in publicizing the failures, real and alleged, of life in Cuba; each perceived shortcoming is attributed to the perceived shortcomings of socialism — It’s simply a system that can’t work, we are told, given the nature of human beings, particularly in this modern, competitive, globalized, consumer-oriented world.

In response to such criticisms, defenders of Cuban society have regularly pointed out how the numerous draconian sanctions imposed by the United States since 1960 have produced many and varied scarcities and sufferings and are largely responsible for most of the problems pointed out by the critics. The critics, in turn, say that this is just an excuse, one given by Cuban apologists for every failure of their socialist system. However, it would be very difficult for the critics to prove their point. The United States would have to drop all sanctions and then we’d have to wait long enough for Cuban society to make up for lost time and recover what it was deprived of, and demonstrate what its system can do when not under constant assault by the most powerful force on earth.

In 1999, Cuba filed a suit against the United States for $181.1 billion in compensation for economic losses and loss of life during the first 39 years of this aggression. The suit held Washington responsible for the death of 3,478 Cubans and the wounding and disabling of 2,099 others. In the ten years since, these figures have of course all increased. The sanctions, in numerous ways large and small, make acquiring many kinds of products and services from around the world much more difficult and expensive, often impossible; frequently, they are things indispensable to Cuban medicine, transportation or industry; simply transferring money internationally has become a major problem for the Cubans, with banks being heavily punished by the United States for dealing with Havana; or the sanctions mean that Americans and Cubans can’t attend professional conferences in each other’s country.

These examples are but a small sample of the excruciating pain inflicted by Washington upon the body, soul and economy of the Cuban people.

For years American political leaders and media were fond of labeling Cuba an “international pariah”. We don’t hear much of that any more. Perhaps one reason is the annual vote in the General Assembly on the resolution, which reads: “Necessity of ending the economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed by the United States of America against Cuba”. This is how the vote has gone:

Blum table

How it began, from State Department documents: Within a few months of the Cuban revolution of January 1959, the Eisenhower administration decided “to adjust all our actions in such a way as to accelerate the development of an opposition in Cuba which would bring about a change in the Cuban Government, resulting in a new government favorable to U.S. interests.” 9

On April 6, 1960, Lester D. Mallory, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs, wrote in an internal memorandum: “The majority of Cubans support Castro … The only foreseeable means of alienating internal support is through disenchantment and disaffection based on economic dissatisfaction and hardship. … every possible means should be undertaken promptly to weaken the economic life of Cuba.” Mallory proposed “a line of action which … makes the greatest inroads in denying money and supplies to Cuba, to decrease monetary and real wages, to bring about hunger, desperation and overthrow of government.” 10 Later that year, the Eisenhower administration instituted the suffocating embargo.


  1. The Nation (Pakistan English-language daily newspaper), October 10, 2009
  2. Washington Post, October 20, 2009
  3. Michael Herr, “Dispatches” (1991), p.71
  4. New York Daily News, September 19, 2001
  5. Washington Post, July 20, 2004, p.15, citing the New Era (Lancaster, PA), from a private meeting of Bush with Amish families on July 9. The White House denied that Bush had said it. (Those Amish folks do lie a lot you know.)
  6. Washington Post, August 17, 2008
  7. Daily Telegraph (UK), October 26, 2009
  8. Washington Post, October 25, 2009
  9. Department of State, “Foreign Relations of the United States, 1958-1960, Volume VI, Cuba” (1991), p.742
  10. Ibid., p.885
Source: Dandelion Salad
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Military Commissions Revived: Don’t Do It, Mr. President!

I was so delighted that the Defense Authorization Act, signed into law by President Obama last Wednesday, included a hard-won concession that the administration can transfer prisoners from Guantánamo to the mainland to face trials (even though the legislation still bears the fingerprints of interfering lawmakers, and still, scandalously, prevents any innocent man from being rehoused in the country that falsely imprisoned him) that I overlooked two other distressing facts.

Firstly, the Act authorizes 680 billion dollars to be spent — a mind-boggling amount of money — and secondly, it includes amendments to the Military Commissions Act of 2006, authorizing the revival of the much-maligned “terror trials” that were first dragged from obscurity by Dick Cheney and his close advisors in November 2001.

I have spent much of the last two and a half years railing against the folly and injustice of the Commissions, and, like human rights groups and lawyers, am not remotely assured that the Commissions’ latest incarnation is either prudent or necessary.

Statements derived from torture — key to the initial proposals back in 2001 — are, apparently, long gone, supposedly removed from any dealings with “War on Terror” prisoners in the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005. When the Commissions were ruled illegal by the Supreme Court in June 2006 and revived by Congress in the Military Commissions Act just a few months later, all forms of coercion were supposed to have been outlawed, but in reality, the military judges were allowed to use their discretion to decide where a line should be drawn.

In this latest incarnation of the “terror trials”, statements are required to be “voluntary”, bringing the system much more in line with federal court rules, although in reality a loophole still remains. Involuntary statements — in other words, those derived through some form of coercion — will be allowed if “the statement was made incident to lawful conduct during military operations at the point of capture or during closely related active combat engagement, and the interests of justice would best be served by admission of the statement into evidence.”

The new legislation also tightens the rules on the admissibility of hearsay evidence — or, as it should really be called, information obtained through hearsay. Both the prosecution and the defense must now be allowed time to investigate the information, and the military judges are empowered, like the federal court judges ruling on the Guantánamo prisoners’ habeas corpus petitions, to “take into account all of the circumstances surrounding the taking of the statement, including the degree to which the statement is corroborated, the indicia of reliability within the statement itself, and whether the will of the declarant was overborne.” They are also empowered to decide whether such statements are relevant and probative of the facts, and to reach their own conclusions about whether “the general purposes of the rules of evidence and the interests of justice will best be served by admission of the statement into evidence.”

Protections have also been provided in capital cases, in which the defendants — now, interestingly, identified as “unprivileged enemy belligerents,” rather than the notorious “enemy combatants” of the Bush administration — are entitled to be represented by defense lawyers with experience in handling capital cases.

More troubling are three particular aspects of the new Commissions: the fact that there is no lower age limit on those who can be charged (an omission which may have been included specifically to target Omar Khadr, the Canadian who was just 15 years old when he was seized in 2002); the fact that, despite proposals made by the administration, the legislation has no “sunset clause,” which means, as Daphne Eviatar explained in the Washington Independent, that, “[al]though Obama has promised to use the commissions sparingly, the new law sets up a parallel justice system that could outlive [his] administration and leave an indelible stamp on its legacy”; and the fact that two dubious war crimes — “conspiracy” and “providing material support for terrorism” — are still included in the legislation.

This is perhaps unsurprising, as it was Congress that introduced “material support for terrorism” in the Military Commissions Act, but its inclusion in the new legislation flies in the face of warnings by senior Obama administration officials that it might not withstand legal challenges. In testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee in July, Assistant Attorney General David Kris urged lawmakers to drop “material support” from the pending legislation, noting (PDF):

While this is a very important offense in our counterterrorism prosecutions in Federal Court … there are serious questions as to whether material support for terrorism or terrorist groups is a traditional violation of the rules of war … our experts believe that there is a significant risk that appellate courts will ultimately conclude that material support for terrorism is not a traditional law of war offense, thereby reversing hard-won convictions and leading to questions about the system’s legitimacy.

Kris was more enthusiastic about retaining the other charge used most frequently in the Commissions — “conspiracy,” a legacy of Dick Cheney’s original Commissions — but this, too, is fraught with problems. In Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, the case in which the Supreme Court shut down the Commissions’ first incarnation, Justice John Paul Stevens, in an opinion in which he was joined by three other justices, made a point of mentioning that “conspiracy” has not traditionally been considered a war crime, and Shayana Kadidal, senior managing attorney of the Guantánamo Global Justice Initiative at the Center for Constitutional Rights, told Daphne Eviatar that, as a result, lawyers may well be able to argue that Congress has crafted an unconstitutional ex post facto law, in attempting to justify war crimes charges after the crime in question was committed.

The irony, therefore, is that, although Obama’s Commissions have moved closer to the standards required in federal court trials, the administration has found itself unable to take the logical next step and scrap them completely, pursuing cases in venues with a long history of successfully prosecuting terrorism cases, where well-established rules are already in place to handle “conspiracy” and “material support for terrorism.”

As Lawyers at Human Rights First have been explaining for many years — most recently in an update to their report, “In Pursuit of Justice: Prosecuting Terrorism Cases in the Federal Court” — in the last 20 years, federal courts have handled approximately 135 real-life terrorism prosecutions, and have secured convictions in over 90 percent of those cases. When the updated report was issued in July, Elisa Massimino, Human Rights First’s Chief Executive Officer, explained, “Politicians have spent eight years trying to reinvent the wheel when it comes to prosecuting terrorism and that approach has failed miserably. This report makes clear that the best way forward is to rely on our existing legal system. Its track record of successfully prosecuting criminals, safeguarding national security, and addressing the complex legal issues of our time is unmatched.”

What is particularly sad about the Obama administration’s decision to cling onto the Commissions is that, elsewhere, senior officials have recognized the power of traditional courts. Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, a “high-value detainee” at Guantánamo, who spent two years in secret CIA prisons, was actually indicted for his alleged involvement in the 1998 African embassy bombings before the Bush administration began its destructive “War on Terror,” and when he was moved to the US mainland to face a federal court trial in May this year, the Justice Department issued a press release explaining that it has “a long history of … successfully prosecuting terror suspects through the criminal justice system,” and, to prove it, attached a list of successful prosecutions over the last 16 years.

If Ghaliani can be successfully prosecuted in federal court, there is surely no valid reason why a two-tier judicial system is required, especially given the ongoing problems with the Commissions identified above, and I can only conclude that the administration is unwilling to take this route because officials are not satisfied with the federal courts’ 90 percent success rate in terrorist cases, and fear that, in some cases, trials might lead to acquittals.

This is actually how justice works — and how it should work — but as a result of the Bush administration’s “War on Terror,” it seems that fear has eroded reason to an unprecedented extent, and that acquittals are as unacceptable as the alleged recidivism of even a single prisoner released from Guantánamo.

With this in mind, senior officials would do well to recall that one of the reasons that Col. Morris Davis, the former chief prosecutor of the Commissions, resigned in October 2007 was the following exchange with William J. Haynes II, the Pentagon’s chief counsel, which took place in August 2005.

According to Col. Davis, Haynes “said these trials will be the Nuremberg of our time” — a reference to the 1945 trials of Nazi leaders, “considered the model of procedural rights in the prosecution of war crimes,” as an article in the Nation described them. Col. Davis replied that he had noted that there had been some acquittals at Nuremberg, which had “lent great credibility to the proceedings,” and added, “I said to him that if we come up short and there are some acquittals in our cases, it will at least validate the process. At which point, his eyes got wide and he said, ‘Wait a minute, we can’t have acquittals. If we’ve been holding these guys for so long, how can we explain letting them get off? We can’t have acquittals. We’ve got to have convictions.’”

As published exclusively on Truthout.

Source: Dandelion Salad

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What Would Anne Frank Think About Jewish War Crimes In Gaza?

I know what you are thinking, shouldn't I be referring to these as Israeli war crimes? Well no, to do so would impugn the character of 2 million Israeli Arabs who had nothing to do with the Gaza slaughter. You see Arabs are not allowed to serve in the Israeli military. Arabs are second class citizens in the Jewish democracy. Their citizenship is little more than window dressing for this fraudulent Israel is a liberal democracy claim. These war crimes committed against the people of Gaza are Jewish war crimes plain and simple.

My daughter is the one who got me thinking about Anne Frank. She is reading The Diary of Anne Frank in school. She expressed her outrage to me about what happened to Anne not long ago. I told her her feelings were perfectly understandable and that any decent human being would feel compassion for her. At the same time I wondered, if Anne Frank had survived the war, would she be a Zionist today? Would she feel that it was perfectly acceptable to do to others, what others had tried to do to her? Would she have joined this Zionist supremacist death cult? I hope not. I would like to think the compassion we feel for her is justified.

Source: Liberal WHite Boy
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