Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Accused Terrorist Explains: 9/11 “Heroic” Because Wall Street Is Center Of Evil

This is how accused terrorist Mustafa Kamel Mustafa, currently on trial in Manhattan, said Americans should view Osama bin Laden and his 9/11 gang—like white-hatted cowboys who rode into the evil little town of Wall Street, to punch it in the face. That might be a hard sell in the USA, but it is worth noting that at least some of Mustafa's critique of Wall Street, and specifically the old World Trade Center—whose towers were the Qaeda target—sound a lot like critiques of many Americans concerned about the growing inequality between the vast majority of Americans and the Wall Street elites.
In a statement that sounds a lot like it could have come from many Americans, especially ones who view Wall Street antagonistically, accused terrorist, Mustafa Kamel Mustafa (AKA Abu Hamza al-Masri), on trial in New York City for aiding terrorism, says that the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center was “heroic”, because (according to an AP report):

“[Wall Street is] the center of evil. Political and financial evil for the whole world.”

AP says Mustafa, on trial for his alleged role in terrorist activities in the USA and in Yemen, viewed Wall Street as the main perpetrator of globalization, an effort to establish Western and especially American economic dominion over the whole world.

Mustafa, whose comments were made on a video interview that was introduced into evidence by prosecutors in his trial, explained that Americans should be able to understand that motives of the Muslims who attacked the USA on 9/11:
“This is what you teach your people in cowboy films when you see the aggressors being, doing bad things, and then the hero comes and gives him a couple of punches in his face. That's exactly like [9/11].”
Mustafa for many years operated as an Islamic cleric in London, and constantly presented the British government with a challenge to free speech, in light of Mustafa essentially being Qaeda’s spokesperson in the UK. Speaking in English, Mustafa provided a very different point of view of the events of the Terror Wars, and it is no surprise that the British and Americans wished to have his voice silenced.

However, many of Mustafa’s statements are available online on YouTube and elsewhere, for people to examine. A number of Mustafa’s theories about 9/11 are conspiratorial in tone, and he has rejected the idea that the 9/11 terrorists operated alone, or without American government officials either knowing of their attack (and letting it happen), or even aiding the Qaeda operatives in the plot.

Such theories have been advanced by others, including Americans, in the past, to help explain the seemingly implausible outcome of a few disciplined but essentially unarmed terrorists achieving such devastation against an American intelligence and military establishment that literally just sat and watched it on television.

The United States, to this day, has failed to come to grips with the motives and the implications of the 9/11 attacks. In an effort to avoid any investigation into the failures of the US government, under his watch, to stop Qaeda on 9/11, George W. Bush dumbed down the motives and attitudes of the terrorists, saying they hated the freedom of America. If Bush meant by this, the freedom to economically and politically exploit Muslim nations, that might have been a fair assessment, but Bush implied there was a kind of “them”, uniformed in Muslim extremism, that was so opposed to the freedom and safety of all Americans, understanding the specifics of their grievances was not relevant.

In fact, critics who asked the USA to think about these matters, the notion that poor and exploited peoples of the world, had good cause to feel hatred against America, were denounced as traitors in the early years of Bush’s wars.

It is useful to consider that, at least in part, what motivated the 9/11 terrorists was attacking an imperialistic brand of inequality and injustice they viewed the USA as perpetrating against the world. Unlike many political activists in the USA, who see economic inequality as largely a problem of society and politics, and not as a feature of a religious conflict, Qaeda used the very real anger of poor Muslims, aimed at the USA as an economic oppressor and a supporter of pro-American puppet regimes (for example in Egypt and Saudi Arabia), to advance their religious-based mission of rebuilding the Caliphate.

The complexities of these issues was generally ignored as the USA sought to simplistically demonize Qaeda and other Islamic groups and clerics promoting the interests of Muslims against those of the USA.

In short order, and quite ironically, George W. Bush would reveal his own personal motives for going to war, which had little to do with getting Osama bin Laden (whom Bush soon forgot about), and had everything to do with Bush obtaining personal vengeance against Saddam Hussein, a man who had inconveniently failed to be destroyed by Bush’s father in the Gulf War and its aftermath. The result was the disastrous Iraq War, the consequences of which has been so damaging to the USA, it far outstrips the harm done to the USA by Qaeda on 9/11.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Torture Regime Was Attack Against Americans—Perpetrated By Bush Gang Criminals

This is a clarified quotation, which, while Michael Hayden (former head of NSA and CIA) did not exactly ever say that (in public), is a fair summary of Hayden's publicly stated positions. These include one of the most startling, disturbing, and disgusting displays of arrogance and pure hatred for the Constitutional rights of American citizens, ever expressed by an official of the United States government. I will get to that in a future article, but let us say for now that Michael Hayden is the finest exemplar of what is absolutely disastrous about the amount of power and contempt for the American people concentrated in the intelligence (and torture and murder) services of the USA.
Every activity we engage in is aimed at ensuring the safety, security, and liberty of our fellow citizens.—NSA Core Values brochure.

As we learn more about the brutal, idiotic, and utterly anti-American behavior of deep-secret US government agencies charged, ironically, with protecting America from threats, it is good to consider the 1984-level of mind-twisting, being engaged in by the US government, as it tries to explain how it is those same government agencies are not the biggest threat of all to American citizens.

And yet, to mention 1984 (actually Nineteen Eighty-Four), to an increasingly non-literate audience, who hasn't even seen the movie, is a kind of filter announcing that one is going to talk more allusively (or deeply) about the topic of civil liberties abuses in the USA, than the people who need to listen can be bothered with.

To the rest of you:

Republicans, who generally have fallen all over themselves to embrace fascism in various forms (hyper-nationalism, hyper-militarism, hyper-racism, flag as a cult of worship), have lately been, because of the politics of our current situation, in the forefront of criticizing Barack Obama's stewardship of the heinous spy-thug state apparatus.

Of course, it is only some Republicans, such as Representative Justin Amash (R-MI), and US Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), joining with some Democrats, such as Representative John Conyers (D-MI) and US Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), who have stood up to at least suggest there are still people in Congress who think civil liberties should not be a joke. Many others in Congress have formed a block, chiefly represented by allegedly "centrist" figures, such as the soon-to-be-exiting Representative Mike Rogers (R-MI), Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, and Representative Peter King (R-NY), who are solidly opposed to any criticism or reform of the nation's spy-thug regime. 

On the side of the spy-thugs, pro-NSA pundits and politicians, with roots in an ideological enterprise Gore Vidal called "the national security state", constantly preach to the people that the billions of dollars invested every year, to make the US intelligence (and torture) services the best in the world, is paying off with greater security at the minimum cost to liberty. In fact, in general, the whole creepy display of honor and respect poured out to the intelligence service's monsters, is a way of laughing about the sheeple's continuing toleration of any prick and its payload shoved up the collective butthole of the American people (and yes, I know, many of you prefer that method of punctuation).

Whitebread Fascist Drivel A-Team, the scarily stupid Joe and Mika. Naturally, the Mansplainer Joe Scarborough (amazingly, the brains of the outfit) is contemplating a run for public office—possibly even President of the USA. Scarborough winning that office, would be a fitting outcome of the now utterly discredited American experiment in democracy.
If you watch the whitebread-fascist drivel peddled on the networks (Fox News and MSNBC are EOO—equal opportunity offenders), they constantly trot out creeps like Michael Hayden (NSA chief during 2001-2005, CIA chief from 2006-2009) to argue about how the Fourth Amendment and the Geneva Convention and rights in general were cute ideas back in the day, but are no longer relevant in the modern, maniac world. Hayden is like a one-man Ministry of Truth, constantly telling Americans the most outrageous lies in order to make torture, kidnapping, and universal spying on everybody for everything, seem like reasonable points of argument and policy—worth defending!

One of the worst examples of the total contempt for American ideals of liberty and civil rights displayed by the cynical simpleton, George W. Bush, was when Bush awarded CIA head, George Tenet, the nation's highest civilian recognition, the Medal of Freedom, WHILE Tenet was torturing people and running the CIA paramilitary murder operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Critics noted it seemed the bar for entry to getting the honor had been lowered in Tenet's case. Yeah, actually the bar was tossed in the dirt, and Tenet took a giant dump on it.

This comfy cynicism is so easily perp'd because the war pigs, who control the USA, want the American people to believe that a regular (normal) regime of vast disrespect for and violation of constitutional liberty is making them freer—or if not that, then much safer—instead of what is really happening: that the spy-thug regime is processing Americans into fearful, ovine proles.

If you look at the track record of the NSA/CIA, examining their ability (or willingness) to actually accomplish the thing they're supposed to do, and which they always claim to be doing so fantastically well, protecting America from bad guys, it is good to focus on their greatest accomplishment: 9/11.

Accomplishment? Yeah. And no, I'm not one of those conspiracy nuts, who think Bush was in on it. He didn't have to be. The world is full of compliant nuts. A willing purveyor of terror is not hard to find. And so, Osama bin Laden slithered forth to fulfill a mission of multipurpose utility for all sides.

SEPTEMBER 11, 2001

President of the United States: George W. Bush (still at large)
Director of Central Intelligence: George J. Tenet (still at large)
Director of National Security Agency: Michael V. Hayden (still at large)

Event: Highly successful attack on the United States mainland, carried out by a handful of Qaeda operatives, armed with primitive weapons. The plan was simple, brutally effective, and highly predictable—indeed, it had been predicted for a very long time, and was suggested in part to George W. Bush, a few weeks before the attack. Bush was busy with his month-long vacation—down in Texas during the worst part of the Texas heat (right there people should have gathered that Dubya was nuts).

Effect: In addition to the thousands of people killed on 9/11, the attacks so shocked the USA, that it went into a kind of stupor for years, where a majority of Americans embraced the previously disliked and distrusted, fake president, George W. Bush, and cheered for every stupid, horrific, policy that ghastly nincompoop could dredge up in his neocon meetings of similarly deranged minds. The soul and spirit of America, at least that which had been retained by people still naive enough to believe that the Bill of Rights mattered, were ground up and fed to the war pigs. A shroud of palpable cynicism, hatred, and deep division (all basically rooted in desperate fear of everything and everybody—especially dark-skinned and foreign), fell upon the USA like Cobalt-Thorium G. On the good side, for the war pigs, the American people were stripped of all their faith in some American exceptionalism regarding their immunity from being attacked. Also, Americans were filled to the brim with hatred. More than anything, after 9/11, Americans wanted to see the enemy (which turned out to be whomever Bush and later, Obama, would tell them was the enemy) captured, tortured, slaughtered, their families and their cities and whole nations—destroyed, and remade as American tools. And Bush had just the people to perpetrate such madness, at the CIA and the NSA and the nation's soon to be physically and morally ground-down military forces.

Now, with an effect like that, somebody might have suggested that—you know—the people who were in charge (for the USA, not Qaeda) at the moment of the event, might maybe lose a job or two. After all, Tenet's and Hayden's agencies, whose supposed mission was to stop things like 9/11 from happening, had failed to see the Qaeda guys coming. Or anyway, mostly they did. Later, Tenet would rightly point out, after it had been leaked, that his agency did present to George W. Bush, a report warning of Osama bin Laden's desire to hijack airplanes in some kind of terrorist attack. The report was entitled: "Bin Ladin Determined To Strike in US".

The question we now face, and have always faced since 9/11, is what that warning generated in the minds of the war pigs, and particularly in the head of their silly little puppet, George W. Bush.

Was Bush's reaction: "OH NO! Find the terrorists! Stop the strike!" Nope.

Was Bush's reaction more like: "Well, that could be useful."

It is alleged by some historians that Franklin Roosevelt had concluded pretty much the same thing as that, when told of potential threats to Pearl Harbor from the Imperial Japanese Navy, shortly before December 7, 1941. Roosevelt, unlike Bush, was supposedly hoping, by not trying too hard to stop the Japanese, to encourage a quicker, deeper, commitment for a war, that the Democratic president believed the USA would have to fight to save the world (for US capitalism).

Bush, on the other hand, seems to have had only one idea in mind, from the time he got into office—get revenge against Saddam Hussein. And so driven was Bush to get Hussein, the suggestion is, that somewhere in the back of his mind—or maybe right out front—he decided to just not care too much if Osama should strike the US. That is not the same thing as saying Bush actively encouraged or assisted the plot. Nobody, including Osama bin Laden, imagined the 9/11 attack would succeed so horribly well. But if you think about it—this hypothesis of how things might have gone, does nicely explain why the severe, bizarre, left turn into Iraq from Afghanistan occurred.

9/11 was a means to a number of ends—not a provocation, but a liberation for the nation's anti-liberty forces (who no doubt worship at the dual altars of global US-enforced stability and business).

There is no way to begin healing the deep damage done to the USA, until Americans demand that the perpetrators of this additional attack on America, the real attack on America's freedom, be held accountable for their crimes.

Since both dominant political parties have had players and presidents involved in committing these crimes, that is just one reason there has been no stomach for investigating, and prosecuting, the criminals.

For example, one of the very first decisions Barack Obama made after becoming President, was determining that disclosing the evidence of torture by the Bush regime's intelligence officers was not in the security interest of the USA. As the New York Times, and many other news outlets, pointed out back in February of 2009, Obama had not waited very long to betray the Americans who had voted for him, expecting him to be different than George W. Bush:
"Voters have good reason to feel betrayed if they took Mr. Obama seriously on the campaign trail when he criticized the Bush administration’s tactic of stretching the state-secrets privilege to get lawsuits tossed out of court...the Obama administration should not be invoking state secrets to cover up charges of rendition and torture."
But the Obama administration would end up doing a great deal more than that, including amping up the killer drone operations run by the CIA—which have killed many innocent people, including children. In addition to assassinating Osama bin Laden, Barack Obama has assassinated American citizens—without any judicial process whatsoever—as if Obama were a dictator. AND of course Obama fully embraced the Bush-era, anti-Constitutional, NSA spy regime, absolutely making a mockery of Obama's campaign promises to stop these illegal practices.

As I have been saying for a long time now, all the bad behavior of government officials and their terrible, terroristic, operatives, cannot be solely blamed on the criminals running the operations. The American people continue to elect politicians who continue these criminal programs.

Unless and until Americans voters hold their politicians accountable for the disasters those politicians perpetrate on the people, things will only get worse—much worse.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

US Corporations Pay No US Taxes On Trillions Of Dollars Of Income

Foreign IRE assets are "indefinitely reinvested earnings", or effectively permanently reinvested earnings in foreign countries, which US corporations use to keep huge amounts of their earnings out of the United States, and so immune from US federal taxation. Some US corporations, such as Microsoft, keep over half their assets offshored as IRE. This tax strategy, or anti-tax strategy, enables US corporations to pay extremely low effective income tax rates, even though corporate taxes in the US top out at 35%. In the case of General Electric, whose effective tax rate for 2013, was 4%, the company has for years paid little or nothing in federal income taxes. The table above shows that the top 8 US corporations in IRE assets were responsible for about 25% of the total foreign IRE for 2013, which was over $2 trillion.
At a time when millions of American citizens could not (and still cannot) find a job, and were losing homes, families, and futures, and at the same time the nation was experiencing a huge budget deficit, as bank bailouts and stimulus spending were used to partially alleviate the suffering, American corporations were making record overseas profits, keeping the money out of the USA to avoid paying taxes.

A new audit of what is known as “permanently reinvested foreign earnings”, i.e., profits American corporations keep away from the USA, by investing it in operations, and jobs, in foreign countries, shows that this tax strategy of keeping trillions of dollars untaxed, is one way in which major American companies not only survived the Great Recession, but came through it making record amounts of money.

The problem is, the amount they made and kept from being taxed by the US government is so large—$2.119 trillion* in 2013 alone for the top 1000 corporations—that now Congress and even the Department of Homeland Security are investigating the corporations to see if the tax avoidance strategies are having a negative impact on the economic health, and the national security, of the United States.
*—This amount is double what it was in 2008.

Certainly, rich Americans are likely happy about the untaxed trillions American corporations are keeping out of the USA. Rich taxpayers employ similar strategies to keep from paying income taxes on vast amounts of money themselves. Additionally, most rich people are heavily invested in stocks of major corporations, which generally do better as the corporations increase profitability.

For example, the stock price of General Electric has more than tripled since 2009. Investors with large holdings in these corporations stand to make huge amounts of money, just because of the increased profitability of the companies, obtained by their keeping trillions of dollars away from contributing to the revenue of the United States Government.

This of course increases the burden of revenue payments on all other Americans, and on American companies which do not have foreign investments.

The current national debt of the USA is $17.5 trillion.

The current number of unemployed Americans is 10.5 million persons, including 3.7 million who have been jobless for more then 6 months. However, millions more Americans are employed in jobs paying wages that cannot support them and their families, and millions more than that have become so hopeless during the Great Recession, and its alleged recovery, they have permanently left the work force.

The political impact of the considerable and growing inequality in the United States has yet to be seen, except in a few cases—for example, the election of Bill De Blasio as mayor of New York City.

However, the growing mounds of data showing the extremist tactics of American corporations and wealthy tax avoiders, can only help to cement the view for the vast majority of non-rich Americans that the system is fundamentally fixed against their interests.

Electing the same politicians who have enabled the situation hardly seems like a reasonable course for the electorate to follow.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

DNA Science Proves Poverty Is Slow-Motion Mass Murder—Perpetrated By The Rich

DNA is politics! It is hardly surprising, given how fundamentally important DNA is in shaping our lives, and establishing our chances, that the stress of poverty attacks the DNA of poor children, demonstrating scientifically how bad economic conditions doom poorer kids to bad health, worse educational performance, and shorter lives. This is slow-motion mass murder of millions, perpetrated by rich people against the most vulnerable human beings. Only basic political and economic revolutions (in our thinking and our systems of distribution of power and wealth) can stop the carnage of these terrible crimes against humanity.
Yep, the wealthy, the winners, the capitalist elites—mass murderers all.

You think that sounds like an exaggeration?

Read this, and then tell me how an attack on the most fundamental biological component of millions of poor children—just because they are poor—does not constitute mass murder. A new study shows that children from poorer families suffer genetic damage, caused by the stress of being poor.

How can that be true?

First, a scientific definition. Don’t nod off. Yes, science, that thing invented by Satan to attack the notion that God’s will—for the rich to deservedly lord it over everyone else—is anything other than a fairy tale.

TELOMERE—According to Wikipedia: “A telomere is a region of repetitive nucleotide sequences at each end of a chromatid, which protects the end of the chromosome from deterioration or from fusion with neighboring chromosomes.”

Cool, but what does that mean? Think of the telomere as a buffer, like a rubber end on your DNA strands, that protects them from damage. Shorten or erode the telomeres, and the DNA strands are left vulnerable. To what exactly?

Well, “decrepit” telomeres of the type studied are associated with all kinds of negative health effects, like depression, bipolarism, cancer, and even advanced aging.

In other words, children with decreased telomeres, are exposed to mental disorders and physical deterioration, that can produce serious health problems, and explains issues like a decreased ability to control behavior, a component in the lack of success generally in school, compared to children from wealthier homes.

We have known for—thousands of years—that being a child of poverty is debilitating to one’s prospects for success, as well as health and longevity, but now we are discovering that the deadly attack on the most vulnerable humans, begins very early for poor children at the level of their DNA, and this damage helps to shape the terribly negative outcomes experienced by poor people.

As always, there is no excuse for this in a vastly wealthy society. However, there is an explanation: the continued hatred displayed by American politicians, especially Republicans, towards poorer Americans, is an intentional policy on the part of rich masters, a policy whose intended outcome is not merely to hobble the upward mobility of poor people in America, but far worse—to economically assault and destroy millions of American children.

Inequality is not just a matter of unfairly distributing wealth. It is a matter of life and death and vast crimes against humanity.

Monday, April 7, 2014

When Will America Confront The Bush-Cheney-CIA War Crimes?

Joe Scarborough, MSNBC host of the Morning Joe political talk show, has been one of the most prolific defenders of the CIA and its kidnap and torture regime. Repeatedly, Scarborough has talked about how, in his view, torture such as "waterboarding", works. Indeed, Scarborough has claimed the majority of useful intelligence gotten by the USA in the Terror Wars, came from "enhanced interrogation" or torture.
The New York Times today ran a likely little-read article about an old man, a torture victim under the fascist regime of Spanish dictator Francisco Franco, finally getting his day in court to confront his torturer.

Of course, because of the decision made many years ago in Spain, during the move to democracy, to not seek "reconciliation" and to not hold accountable the criminals of the Franco tyranny, the old man and other victims have not been able to seek justice in Spain itself. Rather, as the Times explains:
“Mr. Galante and others have taken their complaints to Argentina, invoking the legal principle of universal jurisdiction under which certain crimes, because of their magnitude, transcend borders.”
And so a question arises, will America finally have the courage to confront the war crimes perpetrated by the Bush-Cheney regime, including the CIA and its kidnap and torture operations, or will American citizens have to take their complaint to Argentina?

As the US Senate prepares to issue what is called a “scathing” report on the CIA and its Terror Wars operations, including the use of torture against detainees, many Republicans, especially, are claiming that Democrats and liberals are unfairly attacking the American torturers and their bosses for having protected America after 9/11.

This is the same excuse all tyrants and criminal regimes use—they only did what was necessary to protect the state and the people from dangerous threats. 

But were the American people safer because the CIA was kidnapping and torturing people? There is no evidence to suggest they were—in addition to the fact that even if it could be shown they were safer, torturing people is an unconstitutional behavior on the part of the US government, and it also violates international law.

That law was mocked by the Bush-Cheney regime as “quaint” after 9/11, as they sought, through the Patriot Act, to redefine the relationship between government and the people, such that government was in not merely the dominant position, but in the absolute position to erase the rights of the people—including their lives—without any judicial process whatsoever.

Bush, who had bragged about wanting to be a dictator, had Congress pass laws that effectively made him one. And when he decided to invade Iraq, where Bush would kill thousands of Americans and Iraqis without any good reason whatsoever, questions about the advisability of the war, and the behavior of US troops—often engaged in horribly counterproductive actions against Iraqi citizens—were attacked as unpatriotic.

Further, questions about the behavior of Bush’s regime, and the CIA under his control, were shelved, because it was demanded that such questions were inappropriate during a war. Even questions asking about the accountability of the Bush regime for allowing 9/11 to happen—if not knowingly, then through an intentional indifference to stark evidence suggesting the level of danger shortly before the attacks—were dismissed.

Repeatedly we were told: it’s too soon to ask questions about 9/11, Iraq, Afghanistan, and who or what to blame about the horrible number of things that have gone so terribly wrong for the USA in the Terror Wars. No, many Republicans say, it is too late to ask these all important questions. The wars have wound done, and it's all "ancient history" to most Americans.

Republicans will never want Bush’s and his regime’s war behavior to be closely scrutinized. In spite of this, the American people deserve to know the facts, and they need to know the facts to correctly assess the political acts and motives of national leaders who took the nation to war, and who fought it so badly.

Let us hope we do not have to wait decades—time enough for Bush to get good at painting perhaps—to finally have a hearing where the American people can confront the perpetrators of America’s stupidest and most shameful wars.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Speaking Of Conspiracies, Did You Hear The One About Putin Taking Back Sonoma County?

Proud Sonoma County vintner, Vladimir Putin, peddles his stock in front of newly annexed Sonoma County, California, yet another place Russia USED TO own, and which Vladdy just might try to retake while Barack Obama is making appeals to Europeans to get ready for war—or you know at least war posturing.
So, you have probably heard how Vladimir Putin totally punked all the little Western dweebs, whose statesman (in Europe) is some elderly ex-East-German-Commie who hates dogs! (actually a point in Angela’s favor)), into thinking Vladdy was some kind of post-commie, Draculacrat, who would have been a regular addition to the European Unity movement, except for his having grown up to be a KGB colonel who, totally unexpectedly, was secretly intending on rebuilding the Russian empire (which included Alaska, as well as bits of Hawaii and California).

Speaking of the latter, ever heard of Fort Ross, California? Or the Russian River—which Russians back in the day (when they owned the land and named stuff in California) called the Slav River?

Now, what if Vladimir Putin decides, along with Crimea, he would like to reclaim that long-lost bit of California? Just so you know, when Vladdy does that, he’ll be reclaiming modern-day Sonoma County—“No Chardonnay for YOU!”

In fact, here is what Wikipedia says about Sonoma County:
“Much of central and northern Sonoma County is in the watershed of the Russian River and its tributaries.”
Close your eyes and imagine they are talking about an empire, instead of just a river.

And now for the scary bit: Barack Obama is in charge of defending Sonoma County, California from invasion by unmarked Russian troops.

Great.

Might as well start handing out the ushankas and balalaikas right now.

But that isn’t the conspiracy theory I wish to discuss with you today.

Nope, it’s this.

See, every time the world-wide military-industrial complex (we’ll call ‘em The Complex) takes a hit, like from the USA winding down the Terror Wars, and with most people not so crazily afraid any longer that Osama bin Badguy is going to plant a bomb in their underwear, the aforementioned Complex is frantic because it is about to lose a LOT of influence and money.

That is already happening in the USA, as the military is doing the usual postwar budget slashing and preparing to be relatively peacetime in its size and scope.

Well, we can’t have that, can we?

Let’s see, who was that all-purpose, ever-scary, evil empire that we were never seriously going to go to war against (because the world would have joker-burned to dust in a couple of hours), but which we could dangle in front of the Western dweeb club to get them to toss tons of money on military power?

Oh right, that was the Russians! They were always such good enemies, weren’t they?

And, after all, Vladdy Putin is an honest-to-Stalin ex-commie KGB colonel and everything. And the fact is, even if Vladdy isn’t any longer a commie, and has instead gone back to being a kind of (democratically anointed) Czar, that doesn’t make Russia any less nuclear-tipped scary.

And just so we take this shocking view seriously, there are people out there, people whose credentials are supposed to be very credible, telling us that if Vladdy overplays his hand right now, and marches into Ukraine, it’s gonna be very doomy Dr. Strangelove.

For example, this is Dr. Jeffrey Sachs, on Morning Joe two days ago, telling us that Armageddon was packing its bags for a possible visit to Kiev:
“War…I think if Putin were to march into Kiev, this would be absolutely—we would be on the precipice for global disaster. If Putin is marching into Kiev, I hope we have a quick show, because it is going to have to be a quick one.”
In plain terms, Sachs is warning that Russian tanks and paratroopers in Kiev, Ukraine, might invite the kind of nuclear exchange between the West and Russia that could be an ELE—extinction level event. Very scary, isn’t it?

But, here’s the thing. What if Dr. Sachs, and all the blither-blathering pundits, who are telling us this and that about what is going on, are just playing us, or are getting played by The Complex? What if, among other sources of income, Vladdy Putin is getting a big, healthy, check from people like Lockheed Martin, who might all of sudden be getting a lot more orders for F35 Yancy-Fancy fighter jets?

Because, you know, in all fairness, Putin should be getting a check from them, and from all the other weapons makers, military commanders, and war-pushers.

For example, in what basically amounts to a war speech yesterday, Barack Obama chided fellow NATO members to increase their military spending to “step up” to the challenge presented by the new Russian threat:
“Today, NATO planes patrol the skies over the Baltics, and we’ve reinforced our presence in Poland.  And we’re prepared to do more.  Going forward, every NATO member state must step up and carry its share of the burden by showing the political will to invest in our collective defense, and by developing the capabilities to serve as a source of international peace and security.”
Two kinds of Flanders. But most Americans only know about Ned. One gets the impression, listening to President Obama stumble repeatedly trying to say "Flanders Field", that Obama had probably only become acquainted with the words in the drive over to an American war memorial. There, Obama said he would never forget seeing the graves of 368 Americans, who died fighting to liberate Belgium—nope, not in World War II, but in World War I. Altogether, 117, 000 Americans died in World War I. How many will die in World War III?
AND, in what seems like a coordinated effort between the White House and its American media partners, the New York Times this morning published an article, “Military Cuts Render NATO Less Formidable as Deterrent to Russia”.

In this article, the President’s message is bolstered by pointing out how the European NATO members have always been overwhelmingly dependent upon the US financial and military commitment to NATO, and should now be expected to do more.

In addition, the article offers a disturbing analysis of how difficult it would be for the United States to fight and win a war in Ukraine. It does not take long for the phrase “a higher level of intensity” to be employed, meaning that one side or the other might be tempted to use nuclear weapons to obtain a quick victory that would not come in any protracted conventional struggle.

Seriously, the New York Times is ALREADY explaining the logistics of the coming war with Russia in Ukraine.

And, parse this statement from the article:
“Even if Russia moves into eastern Ukraine, senior administration officials said, there should be absolutely no expectation that American troops would head to Kiev.”
Again, “eastern Ukraine”, no problem. But “moves into Kiev”, maybe it will be the biggest problem you can possibly imagine.

There are a lot of things the current current events are about—but mainly it is about recapturing lost territory, whether that is in Crimea, Sonoma County, or the banks accounts of The Complex.

So remember—do your part as well—spread the conspiracy.

It’s good for the economy!

And, the way things are going, the economy may not be around all that much longer. Or you either.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

When Rumsfeld Knew The Known: That He OWNED The MSM

Donald Rumsfeld delighted in telling the American people they were a bunch of stupid saps, who didn't rate straight answers from the government goons sending their relatives off to die in wars, and to kill so many thousands of other people in those wars. Rumsfeld hasn't spent one day in prison for his war crimes—because Rummy was right about the American people and especially right about the disgusting, slimeball sellouts in the war-mongering, corporate-owned MSM.
There a moment, maybe the creepiest moment in the very creepy Salem’s Lot, Tobe Hooper’s 1979 TV movie, made from Stephen King’s book, where James Mason, who plays the villainous vampire’s human servant and curator, tells the hero, played by David Soul, that the human’s “Master”, Mr. Barlow the vampire, will soon be there, and a meeting would be mutually beneficial.

Mason encourages the prospective victim with a big smile:

“You’ll enjoy Mr. Barlow. And he’ll enjoy you.”

When former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld would speak to the American people, via the assortment of hacks the media corporations would send up to the Pentagon to be lied to by the war perps, he sounded a lot like the creepy curator of a vampiric obsession:

“You’ll enjoy the Iraq War. And it’ll enjoy you.”—Rumsfeld would say to the American people.

Today, the New York Times starts a four-part series, “The Certainty of Donald Rumsfeld”, where Errol Morris, who examined another vampire from another era, Robert S. McNamara, in the documentary, The Fog of War, looks at the strange, still deeply disturbing, story of how the American press simply went to sleep, dealing with Rumsfeld, and the rest of the Bush gang, during the Terror Wars.

Of course, Morris isn’t setting out to make that case exactly. What he is examining today are what Morris calls Rumsfeld’s most famous words, spoken in a Pentagon press briefing, back on February 12, 2002. (see video)

After being asked a fairly straightforward question by NBC Pentagon correspondent, Jim Miklaszewski:
“Is there any evidence to indicate that Iraq has attempted to or is willing to supply terrorists with weapons of mass destruction?”
Rumsfeld went off on a silly, evasive anti-response, not in any attempt to answer that question of course, but rather as a way of punishing Miklaszewski’s stupidity and cowardice, in adding this bit to the end of his question:
“Because there are reports that there is no evidence of a direct link between Baghdad and some of these terrorist organizations.”
As all the Pentagon reporters, whose memoirs of this incident are reviewed by Morris in his article, the last thing any Pentagon reporter wanted to do, in questioning Rumsfeld, was to try to armor up his question with bullshit. The fact “there are reports” is absolutely irrelevant. There could be reports claiming lots of dubious things, after all, or even claiming sound things. But saying that gave Rumsfeld what former UPI Pentagon reporter Pam Hess, called an “exit ramp”, or an escape from having to answer the real question.

Instead Rumsfeld said the following infamous gibberish:
“Reports that say that something hasn’t happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns—the ones we don’t know we don’t know. And if one looks throughout the history of our country and other free countries, it is the latter category that tend to be the difficult ones.”
As you can see, Rumsfeld leaped right over the actual question to attack, in gayly sophistic terms, the strawman of crappy journalism, which while definitely an evasion, had the beneficial aspect for Rumsfeld of being a fair criticism. People who watched Rumsfeld manage the Pentagon reporters, like he was herding dumb sheep, were definitely watching a bunch of hacks, seemingly elevated to their positions on the basis of their willingness to comply with the post-9/11 rules of journalistic integrity—100% erased in service to the Bush regime's war crimes machine.

For example, after Rumsfeld turned to his gal pal, Pam Hess, to make a joke about the silly question involving “reports”, Miklaszewski managed to get a followup.

Now, you might think a proper followup would be something like:
“Mr. Secretary, if the Administration has evidence Saddam Hussein is handing out WMD to terrorists, the American people deserve to know this. When I asked you a straightforward question about this, you evaded by focusing on the part of my question you preferred to ridicule, instead of the question the American people need answered by their government.”
And then Rumsfeld would probably have said something like:
“Excuse me, Jim, did somebody appoint you the spokesman for the American people, and their interests?”
HAHAHAHA!!!

And that is when a good journalist would have said:
“Actually, that is exactly what we are supposed to be, Mr. Secretary. And getting the facts, instead of arrogant spin, out of government officials, is precisely what our job is all about. SO, why don’t you actually answer the question about the evidence you have or don’t have about Saddam giving out WMD to terrorists?”
Then they would have escorted Miklaszewski out of the room, and had him shot. But at least he would have reminded that bunch of cowardly doofuses, including himself, how to deal with a serial evading killer, like Donald Rumsfeld.

Instead, Miklaszewski tried to outsmart Rumsfeld, by asking him if the evidence situation on Iraq’s WMD was one of the “unknown unknowns”. In other words, having seen Rumsfeld treat the question as a joke, Miklaszewski wanted to score some smartass joke points of his own.

Eventually, Jamie McIntyre would come back to paring down the question again—are you aware of any evidence?

But Rumsfeld wasn’t have any of it:
“Yeah, I am aware of a lot of evidence involving Iraq on a lot of subjects. And it is not for me to make public judgments about my assessment or others’ assessment of that evidence. I’m going to make that the last question.”
At one point in Morris’ article, Pam Hess, who Morris calls “my favorite” (she seems to have been Rumsfeld's favorite too), makes the following defense of her reporter crew at the Pentagon:
“The anti-war crowd really wanted the reporters in that room to take up their fight. And that is something that we couldn’t do, professionally or ethically. We’re not there as antiwar protesters. We’re there as reporters, trying to assemble a public record.”
Actually, Hess seems to have “reporter” confused with “stenographer”.

But on the point about reporters being professionally and ethically bound not to be in league with “the anti-war crowd”—she might as well have called them a stupid mob—is that really true?

Because, by only being concerned to create this “public record”, as supplied by the Bush gang, Hess and her comfy colleagues were failing to do their jobs—which is to pull apart the ivory tower to find the facts, NOT JUST for the public record, but to supply some idea of the truth to the American people. Remember them? Because they just might have been interested to know the case for war in Iraq was so dubious, and not a slam dunk, before the USA went off to lose, and to cause Iraq to lose, thousands of lives with no justifiable reason.

But, as Morris’ article makes quite clear, Hess and the other reporters were pleased to think that Rumsfeld, who should have been their adversary, was instead somebody who liked them, and who respected them as “people who [were] saying what they thought”.

Uh-huh.

Well, that’s really the problem. Because the press corps in the Bush years, at least up to the time of Katrina, simply changed the definition of what it meant to be a journalist. Very little discussion takes place in Morris' article about the right of the American people, through reporters, to confront and challenge the confident claims of public officials.

Morris does say that he at one point asked Rumsfeld to address this question, to finally explain to the American people why the US went to war in Iraq. Morris admits his frustration in being unable, in 33 hours of interviews!, to get a straight answer from Rumsfeld to that question.

Does it really take 33 hours to ask the only question that matters:
“You’re a war criminal, right, Rummy?”
Not that we need Rummy’s answer to that, to know the truth, but you know, it might be instructive to see if he even bothers to spin it. My guess is he would smile and say “Next question, little doggy. What’s buried in Baghdad stays buried in Baghdad.”