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Posts Tagged ‘White House’

Will Obama send U.S. citizens to Guantanamo? Outrage as President signs off law to detain home-grown terror suspects indefinitely

Posted by Admin on December 21, 2011

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2074576/President-Obama-signs-law-detain-terror-suspects-indefinitely.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

  • Drops his threat of a veto against the defence bill even though he didn’t like certain controversial provisions
  • Now American citizens can be arrested within the U.S. and sent to Guantanamo if they’re linked to Al Queda or Taliban
  • Senate voted 86-13 to pass the massive $662billion defence bill

By MEGHAN KENEALLY

Last updated at 2:00 PM on 16th December 2011

President Barack Obama faced a civil liberties backlash today after he  signed a law that will allow terror suspects to be held indefinitely- even raising the prospects of U.S. citizens being sent to Guantanamo Bay.

The controversial move, revealed last night, effectively extends the laws of the battlefield to American soil.

The move shows a clear hardening of Mr Obama’s anti-terror policies, and a major shift from the liberal stance that helped him sweep into power three years ago.

Under fire: President Obama is expected to sign the defence authorization bill, in spite of stipulations that allow prisoners to be held indefinitely

After campaigning heavily on the need to close the controversial terrorist detention base at Guantanamo Bay, he failed to deliver when met with legal obstacles.

Now, showing that he has truly moved to the opposite end of the spectrum, he is endorsing the tools and civil powers that he once rallied against.

‘It’s something so radical that it would have been considered crazy had it been pushed by the Bush administration,’ said Human Rights Watch spokesman Tom Malinowski.

‘It establishes precisely the kind of system that the United States has consistently urged other countries not to adopt. At a time when the United States is urging Egypt, for example, to scrap its emergency law and military courts, this is not consistent,’ Mr Malinowski continued.

Considering he is now in the midst of running for re-election, comparisons between Mr Obama and Mr Bush are certainly not something the President wants going into the 2012 race.

Civil rights groups are outraged after he dropped the threat of a veto Wednesday, meaning the bill will become a law and implement several controversial provisions, like the ability to keep all terror suspects imprisoned.

Though there are already 46 ‘indefinite detainees’ at Guantanamo currently, this new provision would allow the government to consider  Americans with close ties to Al Queda or the Taliban.

Controversial: The military base at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba has always been a divisive topic because of the limited rights given to prisoners

One part of the debate has been whether terror suspects should be prosecuted as criminals and tried in a civilian court, as Mr Obama would like, or if they are deemed ‘enemy combatants’ and given trials in military courts which have less civil liberties for the defendants, which Republican lawmakers would prefer.

The defence bill with the controversial position shows that in light of the continued setbacks in the push for closure of Guantanamo, the Republicans are seemingly winning the fight.

Head office: Mr Obama has consistently wanted the ability to have prisoners tried in civilian courts

‘While we remain concerned about the uncertainty that this law will create for our counter-terrorism professionals, the most recent changes give the president additional discretion in determining how the law will be implemented, consistent with our values and the rule of law, which are at the heart of our country’s strength,’ the White House statement said.

Congress passed the massive $662 billion defence bill Thursday , the Senate voting 86-13 for the measure. It would also authorize money for military personnel, weapons systems, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and national security programs in the Energy Department for the financial year beginning October 1.

The legislation is $27billion less than Obama wanted and $43billion less than Congress gave the Pentagon this year, a reflection of deficit-driven federal budgets, the end of the Iraq war and the drawdown in Afghanistan.

In a rare show of bipartisanship, the House voted 283-136 for the measure late on Wednesday. Sen. John McCain of Arizona, the senior Republican on the Armed Services Committee, said Thursday the cooperation was a ‘little ray of sunshine’ in a bitterly divided Washington.

It also shows some foreign-policy muscle in pre-emptively freezing hundreds of millions of dollars tentatively headed to Pakistan in aid unless the defence department gets firm assurances that the country will help cut off the production and proliferation of homemade bombs.

In addition to the concerns over a curtailing of civil liberties, some critics speculate that the bill may give leeway to Republicans in next year’s presidential elections by highlighting Mr Obama’s flip-flopping on the issue.

 ‘It’s really distressing that the White House clearly shares the concerns of the national security establishment [against the bill], but feels like a veto is not politically sustainable,’ said Heather Hurlburt, executive director of the non-profit National Security Network.

CAMP OF CONTROVERSY: THE SAGA OF GUANTANAMO

The camp, which he once called a ‘sad chapter in American history’ seems to be one that will be going on for longer as his plans to close the controversial camp have failed his repeated attempts.

Different rules: Military and civilian courts give detainees different rights, and the new bill will allow the military rules to continue without civilian trials

Originally opened by President George Bush in January 2002, the camp was originally used as a place to store particularly dangerous prisoners as they were not given any rights granted under the Geneva Conventions.

Though their legal standing has changed slightly throughout the years, the camp is widely seen as a symbol of diminishing civil rights standards.

During the 2008 campaign, Mr Obama promised to close the camp within his first year in office. He first took action within his first two days in office, issuing a suspension of prosecutions at the camp.

Even though he followed up with an executive order, his efforts were thwarted by bureaucracy and legal posturing.

First, they found the proper legal files on individual prisoners were not kept up to date, preventing a quick reassignment to other prisons elsewhere.

The next problem was where to put them when moved out of Cuba: options in Kansas, Michigan and Illinois were exhausted after the local legislators put up fights because their constituents didn’t want to be living near terrorists.

The biggest blow to the effort came in January of this year, when President Obama signed the Defence Authorization Bill stopping the talk of transferring the prisoners to mainland America or foreign countries who had offered to house the prisoners.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2074576/President-Obama-signs-law-detain-terror-suspects-indefinitely.html#ixzz1hBrp61XG

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25 years later, how ‘Top Gun’ made America love war

Posted by Admin on September 30, 2011

http://vigilantcitizen.com/latestnews/25-years-later-how-%E2%80%98top-gun%E2%80%99-made-america-love-war/

By  | September 19th, 2011 | Category: Latest News | 102 comments

Here’s an interesting article from the Washington Post about the heavy influence of the Pentagon on the funding and production of Hollywood movies, making them a little more than propaganda disguised as entertainment.

Americansare souring on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The military budget is under siege as Congress looks for spending to cut. And the Army is reporting record suicide rates among soldiers. So who does the Pentagon enlist for help in such painful circumstances?Hollywood.

In June, the Army negotiated a first-of-its-kind sponsorship deal with the producers of “X-Men: First Class,” backing it up with ads telling potential recruits that they could live out superhero fantasies on real-life battlefields. Then, in recent days, word leaked that the White House has been working with Oscar-winning director Kathryn Bigelow on an election-year film chronicling the operation that killed Osama bin Laden.

A country questioning its overall military posture, and a military establishment engaging in a counter-campaign for hearts and minds — if this feels like deja vu, that’s because it’s taking place on the 25th anniversary of the release of “Top Gun.”

That Jerry Bruckheimer blockbuster, made in collaboration with the Pentagon, came out in the mid-1980s, when polls showed many Americans expressing doubts about the post-Vietnam military and about the constant saber rattling from the White House. But the movie’s celebration of sweat-shined martial machismo generated $344 million at the box office and proved to be a major force in resuscitating the military’s image.

Not only did enlistment spike when “Top Gun” was released, and not only did the Navy set up recruitment tables at theaters playing the movie, but polls soon showed rising confidence in the military. With Ronald Reagan wrapping military adventurism in the flag, with the armed forces scoring low-risk but high-profile victories in Libya and Grenada, America fell in love with Maverick, Iceman and other high-fivin’ silver-screen super-pilots as they traveled Mach 2 while screaming about “the need for speed.”

Today, “Top Gun” lives on in cable reruns, in the American psyche and, most important, in how it turned the Hollywood-Pentagon relationship into a full-on Mav-Goose bromance that ideologically slants films from their inception.

The 1986 movie, starring Tom Cruise and Kelly McGillis, was the template for a new Military-Entertainment Complex. During production, the Pentagon worked hand-in-hand with the filmmakers, reportedly charging Paramount Pictures just $1.8 million for the use of its warplanes and aircraft carriers. But that taxpayer-subsidized discount came at a price — the filmmakers were required to submit their script to Pentagon brass for meticulous line edits aimed at casting the military in the most positive light. (One example: Time magazine reported that Goose’s death was changed from a midair collision to an ejection scene, because “the Navy complained that too many pilots were crashing.”)

Although “Top Gun” was not the first movie to exchange creative input for Pentagon assistance and resources, its success set that bargain as a standard for other filmmakers, who began deluging the Pentagon with requests for collaboration. By the time the 1991 Persian Gulf War began, Phil Strub, the Pentagon’s liaison to the movie industry, told the Hollywood Reporter that he’d seen a 70 percent increase in the number of requests from filmmakers for assistance — effectively changing the way Hollywood works.

As Mace Neufeld, the producer of the 1990 film “The Hunt for Red October,” later recounted to Variety, studios in the post-“Top Gun” era instituted an unstated rule telling screenwriters and directors to get military cooperation “or forget about making the picture.” Economics drives that directive, Time magazine reported in 1986. “Without such billion-dollar props, producers [have to] spend an inordinate amount of time and money searching for substitutes” and therefore might not be able to make the movie at all, the magazine noted.

Emboldened by Hollywood’s obsequiousness, military officials became increasingly blunt about how they deploy the carrot of subsidized hardware and the stick of denied access to get what they want. Strub described the approval process to Variety in 1994: “The main criteria we use is . . . how could the proposed production benefit the military . . . could it help in recruiting [and] is it in sync with present policy?”

Robert Anderson, the Navy’s Hollywood point person, put it even more clearly to PBS in 2006: “If you want full cooperation from the Navy, we have a considerable amount of power, because it’s our ships, it’s our cooperation, and until the script is in a form that we can approve, then the production doesn’t go forward.”

The result is an entertainment culture rigged to produce relatively few antiwar movies and dozens of blockbusters that glorify the military. For every “Hurt Locker” — a successful and critical war film made without Pentagon assistance — American moviegoers get a flood of pro-war agitprop, from “Armageddon,” to “Pearl Harbor,” to “Battle Los Angeles” to “X-Men.” And save for filmmakers’ obligatory thank you to the Pentagon in the credits, audiences are rarely aware that they may be watching government-subsidized propaganda.

Until this year, this Top Gun Effect seemed set in stone. But a quarter-century after that hagiographic tribute to the military’s “best of the best,” an odd alignment of partisan interests has prompted some in Congress to question the arrangement.

Rep. Peter T. King (R-N.Y.), who chairs the House Homeland Security Committee, recently sent letters to the CIA and the Defense Department demanding an investigation of the upcoming Bin Laden movie. He criticized the practice of granting ideologically compliant filmmakers access to government property and information that he says should be available to all. The “alleged collaboration belies a desire of transparency in favor of a cinematographic view of history,” he argued.

Considering King’s previous silence on such issues, it’s not clear whether he’s standing on principle; more likely, he is trying to prevent a particular piece of propaganda from aiding a political opponent. Yet, even if inadvertent, King’s efforts make possible a broader look at how the U.S. government uses taxpayer resources to suffuse popular culture with militarism.

If and when King holds hearings on the matter, we could finally get to the important questions: Why does the Pentagon treat public hardware as private property? Why does the government grant and deny access to that hardware based on a filmmaker’s willingness to let the Pentagon influence the script? And doesn’t such a practice violate the First Amendment’s prohibition against government abridging freedom of speech?

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Why the Death of the Man Who Was Not Behind 9/11 Was Announced on May 1st

Posted by Admin on August 3, 2011

http://vigilantcitizen.com/vigilantreport/binladen-mayfirst/

By  | May 2nd, 2011


After the announcement of Bin Laden’s death, hundreds of people gathered in front of the White House chantingUSA! USA!”.

It is in times like these that a line is drawn between critical thinkers and those who get swiped by media crap-storms; Between those who understand the complexity of a situation and those who’d rather not know; Between those who comprehend the underlying motives of the elite and those who go outside chanting “USA! USA!”.

On the evening of May 1st 2011, Barak Obama’s statement was one of triumph and celebration. He claimed that, with the death of Osama Bin Laden, “justice was served”. The media spin following the announcement was equally as celebratory: “It is a great day for America and the world”…”The biggest piece of news since 9/11″…”We’ll all remember where we were when we’ve heard this news”…The entire “event” was artificially inflated, exaggerated and glorified.

Should the death of a man cause happiness and celebrations? Since when have we devolved into such a barbaric state? Because he perpetrated 9/11? Did he also cause the Building 7 to implode? Damn you Osama and your team of engineers!

I’ll spare you the entire “9/11 was an inside job” speech, as I know most of this site’s readers are all too aware of it. In this case, why should we care if Ben Laden is dead or not? Is he really dead? Did he die nine years ago? Who really knows? We’re living in an era of artificial, fully staged, media-generated events. Why was Bin Laden’s death announced on the evening of May 1st?  Because it was the required sacrifice of the “most magical time of the year”, which was launched with the Royal Wedding.

Beltane

A Wicker Man burnt during the Beltane Festival 2004

May 1st, or May Day, was considered by several cultures to be an important holiday, especially in occult circles due to celestial alignments. In Illuminati lore, it is regarded as the second most important day of the year. In fact, the Order of the Bavarian Illuminati was founded on May 1st 1776.

In Europe, it is called the Beltane festival, an ancient Gaelic celebration of sexuality, fertility…and blood sacrifices.

“Supposedly, animal sacrifices would be made each Beltane to ensure the fertility of their crops, however, every five years the Highland Celts would sacrifice humans, the numbers being made up of convicted criminals and prisoners of war. They would be sacrificed by the Druids, though the manner of their death would vary. Many were supposedly shot with arrows, but descriptions of Gaulish Celt ceremonies have them being burnt alive in huge wicker men.”
– Source

The origins of the Beltane festival can be traced back to the celebration of the Sumerian God Enlil – who is known to us as Baal. The name Beltane (pronounced “B’yal-t’n”) is said to originate from the word Baal. Celebrations of the Beltane festival are very similar to ancient rituals celebrating the ancient god. The mysterious similarities between these seemingly distant cultures could be the subject of an entire article. One thing is for sure: Baal is an important figure in Illuminati lore.

“In Middle-Eastern lore, Baal was killed and descended into the underworld, whereupon he was returned to life by the powers of his sister-lover, Anat. Baal is thus associated with the seasonal cycles and the coming of spring and crops. This was reflected in Beltane festivals, which culminated with the symbolic marriage of the Winter God and Spring Goddess (or King Winter and Queen May). Queen May, in the festivals, was a mother earth figure. The word Baal means lord or husband. In the mating of King Winter and Queen May, earth and sky were joined, and fertility and life were symbolically rekindled in animals, people, and nature.”
– Jane Adams, The Selected Papers of Jane Adams

“Through analogy and through the belief that one can control or aid the powers of nature by the practice of magic, particularly sympathetic magic, sexuality might characterize part of the cult of the Baʿals and ʿAshtarts. Post-Exilic allusions to the cult of Baʿal Pe’or suggest that orgies prevailed. On the summits of hills and mountains flourished the cult of the givers of increase, and “under every green tree” was practised the licentiousness which was held to secure abundance of crops. Human sacrifice, the burning of incense, violent and ecstatic exercises, ceremonial acts of bowing and kissing, the preparing of sacred cakes (see also Asherah), appear among the offences denounced by the post-Exilic prophets; and show that the cult of Baʿal (and ʿAshtart) included characteristic features of worship which recur in various parts of the Semitic (and non-Semitic) world, although attached to other names.”
– W. Robertson Smith and George F. Moore, Baal

Ancient beliefs and rituals are an intricate part of today’s Illuminati’s occult practices. As their symbolism and modus-operandi are slowly infused into society, their previously secret rituals are now conducted on a mass scale. The masses become clueless participants of their occult festivities, not knowing they actually adding their potency.

In Conclusion

The Mujahideen were recruited and formed in the late 70′s by Zbigniew Brzezinski, the United States National Security Advisor of Jimmy Carter (Brzezinski is today Obama’s main policy advisor). The military group was trained by the United States in order to repel Russian forces from Afghanistan. Bin Laden was trained by the CIA to fight the Communists and
the Taliban are a by-product of this US created movement.

Since the fall of the USSR, Bin Laden and his Taliban served a new agenda: providing an excuse for the invasion of key middle-eastern countries under the guise of a “war on terror”. In 2001, about 15 minutes after the second plane hit the WTC, the image of Bin Laden was shown on television. He was the ideal patsy on who to blame the attacks and the perfect boogey-man to scare the American people. This scapegoat allowed the unquestioned invasion of Afghanistan, of Iraq. He even facilitated the enactment of the aberration called the Patriot Act.

In 2011, Bin Laden’s usefulness to the Agenda has ran its course. Furthermore, the Obama administration needed an exploit to boost its poll ratings until the next elections. Consequently, in a classic combination of occult rituals with pragmatic politics, the death of Bin Laden was announced on May 1st 2011 with triumph and jubilation. Through CNN, NBC, CBS, ABC and FOX, millions of viewers rejoiced at the death of man in the same matter ancient peasants rejoiced at the offering of human sacrifices to Baal. In a dumbed-down, politicized and “Illuminati-sed” version of the Beltane Festival, the masses have celebrated the ritual sacrifice of a man and, without even realizing it, partook in one of the Illuminati’s most important holidays.

Beltane Fire Festival, May 1st
Hooray Osama is dead! May 1st.

Posted in Conspiracy Archives, Truthout Articles, War Quotient | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Why the Death of the Man Who Was Not Behind 9/11 Was Announced on May 1st

There Is Much More to Say

Posted by Admin on May 24, 2011

Monday 23 May 2011

After the assassination of bin Laden I received such a deluge of requests for comment that I was unable to respond individually, and on May 4 and later I sent an unedited form response instead, not intending for it to be posted, and expecting to write it up more fully and carefully later on. But it was posted, then circulated. It can now be found, reposted, at http://www.zcommunications.org/my-reaction-to-osama-bin-laden-s-death-by-noam-chomsky.

That was followed but a deluge of reactions from all over the world. It is far from a scientific sample of course, but nevertheless, the tendencies may be of some interest. Overwhelmingly, those from the “third world” were on the order of “thanks for saying what we think.”  There were similar ones from the US, but many others were infuriated, often virtually hysterical, with almost no relation to the actual content of the posted form letter. That was true in particular of the posted or published responses brought to my attention. I have received a few requests to comment on several of these. Frankly, it seems to me superfluous. If there is any interest, I’ll nevertheless find some time to do so.

The original letter ends with the comment that “There is much more to say, but even the most obvious and elementary facts should provide us with a good deal to think about.” Here I will fill in some of the gaps, leaving the original otherwise unchanged in all essentials.

Noam Chomsky

May 2011

On May 1, 2011, Osama bin Laden was kil­led in his vir­tual­ly un­protec­ted com­pound by a raid­ing mis­s­ion of 79 Navy Seals, who en­tered Pakis­tan by helicopt­er. After many lurid sto­ries were pro­vided by the govern­ment and with­drawn, of­fici­al re­ports made it in­creasing­ly clear that the op­era­tion was a plan­ned as­sas­sina­tion, multi­p­ly violat­ing elemen­ta­ry norms of in­ter­nation­al law, be­ginn­ing with the in­vas­ion it­self.

There ap­pears to have been no at­tempt to apprehend the un­ar­med vic­tim, as pre­sumab­ly could have been done by 79 com­man­dos fac­ing no op­posi­tion – ex­cept, they re­port, from his wife, also un­ar­med, who they shot in self-defense when she “lun­ged” at them (ac­cord­ing to the White House).

A plausib­le re­construc­tion of the events is pro­vided by veteran Mid­dle East cor­res­pondent Yochi Dreaz­en and col­leagues in the At­lantic (http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2011/05/goal-was-never-to-capture-bin-laden/238330/). Dreaz­en, for­mer­ly the milita­ry cor­res­pondent for the Wall Street Journ­al, is sen­ior cor­res­pondent for the Nation­al Journ­al Group co­ver­ing milita­ry af­fairs and nation­al secur­ity. Ac­cord­ing to their in­ves­tiga­tion, White House plann­ing ap­pears not to have con­sidered the opt­ion of cap­tur­ing OBL alive: “The ad­ministra­tion had made clear to the military’s clan­destine Joint Speci­al Op­era­tions Com­mand that it wan­ted bin Laden dead, ac­cord­ing to a sen­ior U.S. of­fici­al with know­ledge of the dis­cuss­ions. A high-ranking milita­ry of­fic­er briefed on the as­sault said the SEALs knew their mis­s­ion was not to take him alive.”

The aut­hors add: “For many at the Pen­tagon and the Centr­al In­tel­lig­ence Agen­cy who had spent near­ly a de­cade hunt­ing bin Laden, kill­ing the militant was a neces­sa­ry and just­ified act of ven­gean­ce.” Further­more, “Cap­tur­ing bin Laden alive would have also pre­sen­ted the ad­ministra­tion with an array of nettlesome legal and polit­ical chal­lenges.” Bet­t­er, then, to as­sas­sinate him, dump­ing his body into the sea with­out the auto­psy con­sidered es­senti­al after a kill­ing, wheth­er con­sidered just­ified or not – an act that pre­dic­tab­ly pro­voked both anger and skep­tic­ism in much of the Mus­lim world.

As the At­lantic in­qui­ry ob­ser­ves, “The de­cis­ion to kill bin Laden out­right was the clearest il­lustra­tion to date of a little-noticed as­pect of the Obama ad­ministration’s co­un­terter­ror poli­cy. The Bush ad­ministra­tion cap­tured thousands of sus­pec­ted militants and sent them to de­ten­tion camps in Afghanis­tan, Iraq, and Guan­tanamo Bay. The Obama ad­ministra­tion, by contra­st, has focused on eliminat­ing in­dividu­al ter­ror­ists rath­er than at­tempt­ing to take them alive.” That is one sig­nificant dif­fer­ence bet­ween Bush and Obama. The aut­hors quote form­er West Ger­man Chan­cellor Hel­mut Schmidt, who “told Ger­man TV that the U.S. raid was ‘quite clear­ly a viola­tion of in­ter­nation­al law’ and that bin Laden should have been de­tained and put on trial,” contra­st­ing Schmidt with US At­torney Gener­al Eric Hold­er, who “de­fen­ded the de­cis­ion to kill bin Laden al­though he didn’t pose an im­mediate threat to the Navy SEALs, tell­ing a House panel on Tues­day that the as­sault had been ‘law­ful, legitimate and approp­riate in every way’.”

The dis­pos­al of the body with­out auto­psy was also criticized by al­l­ies. The high­ly re­gar­ded British bar­rist­er Geoffrey Robertson, who sup­por­ted the in­ter­ven­tion and op­posed the ex­ecu­tion lar­ge­ly on prag­matic grounds, nevertheless de­scribed Obama’s claim that “just­ice was done” as an “ab­surd­ity” that should have been ob­vi­ous to a form­er pro­fes­sor of con­stitution­al law (http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2011-05-03/osama-bin-laden-death-why-he-should-have-been-captured-not-killed/). Pakis­tan law “re­quires a col­oni­al in­quest on violent death, and in­ter­nation­al human rights law in­s­ists that the ‘right to life’ man­dates an in­qui­ry whenev­er violent death oc­curs from govern­ment or police ac­tion. The U.S. is therefore under a duty to hold an in­qui­ry that will satis­fy the world as to the true cir­cumstan­ces of this kill­ing.” Robertson adds that “The law per­mits crimin­als to be shot in self-defense if they (or their ac­complices) re­s­ist ar­rest in ways that end­ang­er those striv­ing to apprehend them. They should, if pos­sible, be given the op­por­tun­ity to sur­rend­er, but even if they do not come out with their hands up, they must be taken alive if that can be ac­hieved with­out risk. Ex­act­ly how bin Laden came to be ‘shot in the head’ (es­pecial­ly if it was the back of his head, execution-style) therefore re­quires ex­plana­tion. Why a hasty ‘buri­al at sea’ with­out a post mor­tem, as the law re­quires?”

Help Trut­hout close out the year strong! Make a tax-deductible con­tribu­tion to brave, in­depen­dent jour­nal­ism today.

Robertson attributes the murd­er to “America’s ob­ses­sive be­lief in capit­al punishment—alone among ad­vanced nations—[which] is re­flec­ted in its re­joic­ing at the man­n­er of bin Laden’s de­m­ise.” For ex­am­ple, Na­tioncol­umn­ist Eric Al­ter­man writes that “The kill­ing of Osama bin Laden was a just and neces­sa­ry un­der­tak­ing.”

Robertson useful­ly re­minds us that “It was not al­ways thus. When the time came to con­sid­er the fate of men much more steeped in wic­ked­ness than Osama bin Laden — name­ly the Nazi leadership — the British govern­ment wan­ted them han­ged with­in six hours of cap­ture. Pre­sident Truman de­mur­red, cit­ing the con­clus­ion of Just­ice Robert Jackson that sum­ma­ry ex­ecu­tion ‘would not sit eas­i­ly on the American con­sci­ence or be re­mem­bered by our childr­en with pride…the only co­ur­se is to de­ter­mine the in­noc­ence or guilt of the ac­cused after a hear­ing as dis­pas­sionate as the times will per­mit and upon a re­cord that will leave our rea­sons and motives clear’.”

The editors of the Daily Beast com­ment that “The joy is un­derstand­able, but to many out­sid­ers, un­attrac­tive. It end­or­ses what looks in­creasing­ly like a cold-blooded as­sas­sina­tion as the White House is now for­ced to admitthat Osama bin Laden was un­ar­med when he was shot twice in the head.”

In societ­ies that pro­fess some re­spect for law, sus­pects are apprehen­ded and brought to fair trial. I stress “sus­pects.” In June 2002, FBI head Robert Muell­er, in what the Was­hington Post de­scribed as “among his most de­tailed pub­lic com­ments on the origins of the at­tacks,” could say only that “in­ves­tigators be­lieve the idea of the Sept. 11 at­tacks on the World Trade Cent­er and Pen­tagon came from al Qaeda lead­ers in Afghanis­tan, the ac­tu­al plott­ing was done in Ger­many, and the fin­anc­ing came through the Uni­ted Arab Em­irates from sour­ces in Afghanis­tan…. We think the mas­terminds of it were in Afghanis­tan, high in the al Qaeda leadership.” What the FBI be­lieved and thought in June 2002 they didn’t know eight months ear­li­er, when Was­hington dis­mis­sed ten­tative of­f­ers by the Taliban (how seri­ous, we do not know) to extra­dite bin Laden if they were pre­sen­ted with evi­d­ence. Thus it is not true, as the Pre­sident claimed in his White House state­ment, that “We quick­ly lear­ned that the 9/11 at­tacks were car­ried out by al Qaeda.”

There has never been any rea­son to doubt what the FBI be­lieved in mid-2002, but that leaves us far from the proof of guilt re­quired in civilized societ­ies – and whatev­er the evi­d­ence might be, it does not war­rant mur­der­ing a sus­pect who could, it seems, have been eas­i­ly apprehen­ded and brought to trial. Much the same is true of evi­d­ence pro­vided since. Thus the 9/11 Com­miss­ion pro­vided ex­ten­sive cir­cumstan­ti­al evi­d­ence of bin Laden’s role in 9/11, based primari­ly on what it had been told about con­fess­ions by prison­ers in Guan­tanamo. It is doubt­ful that much of that would hold up in an in­depen­dent court, con­sider­ing the ways con­fess­ions were elicited. But in any event, the con­clus­ions of a con­gres­sional­ly aut­horized in­ves­tiga­tion, howev­er con­vinc­ing one finds them, plain­ly fall short of a sen­t­ence by a credib­le court, which is what shifts the cat­ego­ry of the ac­cused from sus­pect to con­vic­ted. There is much talk of bin Laden’s “con­fess­ion,” but that was a boast, not a con­fess­ion, with as much credibil­ity as my “con­fess­ion” that I won the Bos­ton marat­hon. The boast tells us a lot about his charact­er, but noth­ing about his re­spon­sibil­ity for what he re­gar­ded as a great ac­hieve­ment, for which he wan­ted to take credit.

Again, all of this is, trans­parent­ly, quite in­depen­dent of one’s judg­ments about his re­spon­sibil­ity, which seemed clear im­mediate­ly, even be­fore the FBI in­qui­ry, and still does.

It is worth add­ing that bin Laden’s re­spon­sibil­ity was re­cog­nized in much of the Mus­lim world, and con­dem­ned. One sig­nificant ex­am­ple is the dis­tin­guis­hed Lebanese cleric Sheikh Fad­lallah, great­ly re­spec­ted by Hiz­bollah and Shia groups general­ly, out­side Lebanon as well. He too had been tar­geted for as­sas­sina­tion: by a truck bomb out­side a mos­que, in a CIA-organized op­era­tion in 1985. He es­caped, but 80 oth­ers were kil­led, most­ly women and girls, as they left the mos­que – one of those in­numer­able crimes that do not enter the an­n­als of ter­ror be­cause of the fal­la­cy of “wrong agen­cy.” Sheikh Fad­lallah sharp­ly con­dem­ned the 9/11 at­tacks, as did many other lead­ing figures in the Mus­lim world, with­in the Jihadi move­ment as well. Among oth­ers, the head of Hiz­bollah, Sayyid Has­san Nas­rallah, sharp­ly con­dem­ned bin Laden and Jihadi ideology.

One of the lead­ing special­ists on the Jihadi move­ment, Fawaz Ger­ges, sug­gests that the move­ment might have been split at that time had the US ex­ploited the op­por­tun­ity in­stead of mobiliz­ing the move­ment, par­ticular­ly by the at­tack on Iraq, a great boon to bin Laden, which led to a sharp in­crease in ter­ror, as in­tel­lig­ence agen­cies had anti­cipated. That con­clus­ion was con­fir­med by the form­er head of Britain’s domes­tic in­tel­lig­ence agen­cy MI5 at the Chil­cot hear­ings in­ves­tigat­ing the background for the war. Con­firm­ing other an­alyses, she tes­tified that both British and US in­tel­lig­ence were aware that Sad­dam posed no seri­ous threat and that the in­vas­ion was li­ke­ly to in­crease ter­ror; and that the in­vas­ions of Iraq and Afghanis­tan had radicalized parts of a genera­tion of Mus­lims who saw the milita­ry ac­tions as an “at­tack on Islam.” As is often the case, secur­ity was not a high prior­ity for state ac­tion.

It might be in­struc­tive to ask our­selves how we would be rea­ct­ing if Iraqi com­man­dos lan­ded at Geor­ge W. Bush’s com­pound, as­sas­sinated him, and dum­ped his body in the At­lantic (after pro­p­er buri­al rites, of co­ur­se). Un­controver­sial­ly, he is not a “sus­pect” but the “de­cid­er” who gave the ord­ers to in­vade Iraq — that is, to com­mit the “sup­reme in­ter­nation­al crime dif­fer­ing only from other war crimes in that it con­tains with­in it­self the ac­cumulated evil of the whole” (quot­ing the Nurem­berg Tri­bun­al) for which Nazi crimin­als were han­ged: in Iraq, the hundreds of thousands of de­aths, mill­ions of re­fugees, de­struc­tion of much of the co­unt­ry and the nation­al heritage, and the mur­der­ous sec­tarian con­flict that has now spread to the rest of the re­g­ion. Equal­ly un­controver­sial­ly, these crimes vast­ly ex­ceed an­yth­ing attributed to bin Laden.

To say that all of this is un­controver­si­al, as it is, is not to imply that it is not de­nied. The ex­ist­ence of flat earth­ers does not chan­ge the fact that, un­controver­sial­ly, the earth is not flat. Similar­ly, it is un­controver­si­al that Stalin and Hitl­er were re­spon­sible for hor­rend­ous crimes, though loyal­ists deny it. All of this should, again, be too ob­vi­ous for com­ment, and would be, ex­cept in an at­mosphere of hyst­eria so ex­treme that it blocks ration­al thought.

Similar­ly, it is un­controver­si­al that Bush and as­sociates did com­mit the “sup­reme in­ter­nation­al crime,” the crime of aggress­ion, at least if we take the Nurem­berg Tri­bun­al serious­ly. The crime of aggress­ion was de­fined clear­ly en­ough by Just­ice Robert Jackson, Chief of Co­un­sel for the Uni­ted States at Nurem­berg, re­iterated in an aut­horitative Gener­al As­semb­ly re­solu­tion. An “aggres­sor,” Jackson pro­posed to the Tri­bun­al in his op­en­ing state­ment, is a state that is the first to com­mit such ac­tions as “In­vas­ion of its armed for­ces, with or with­out a de­clara­tion of war, of the ter­rito­ry of an­oth­er State….” No one, even the most ex­treme sup­port­er of the aggress­ion, de­n­ies that Bush and as­sociates did just that.

We might also do well to re­call Jackson’s eloquent words at Nurem­berg on the prin­ci­ple of uni­ver­sal­ity: “If cer­tain acts of viola­tion of treat­ies are crimes, they are crimes wheth­er the Uni­ted States does them or wheth­er Ger­many does them, and we are not pre­pared to lay down a rule of crimin­al con­duct against oth­ers which we would not be will­ing to have in­voked against us.” And el­sewhere: “We must never for­get that the re­cord on which we judge these de­fen­dants is the re­cord on which his­to­ry will judge us tomor­row. To pass these de­fen­dants a poisoned chalice is to put it to our own lips as well.”

It is also clear that al­leged in­ten­tions are ir­relevant. Japanese fasc­ists ap­parent­ly did be­lieve that by ravag­ing China they were labor­ing to turn it into an “earth­ly para­d­ise.” We don’t know wheth­er Hitl­er be­lieved that he was de­fend­ing Ger­many from the “wild ter­ror” of the Poles, or was tak­ing over Czec­hoslovakia to pro­tect its popula­tion from ethnic con­flict and pro­vide them with the be­nefits of a super­ior cul­ture, or was sav­ing the glo­ries of the civiliza­tion of the Greeks from bar­barians of East and West, as his acolytes claimed (Mar­tin Heidegg­er). And it’s even con­ceiv­able that Bush and com­pany be­lieved that they were pro­tect­ing the world from de­struc­tion by Sad­dam’s nuc­lear weapons. All ir­relevant, though ar­dent loyal­ists on all sides may try to con­vin­ce them­selves ot­herw­ise.

We are left with two choices: eith­er Bush and as­sociates are guil­ty of the “sup­reme in­ter­nation­al crime” in­clud­ing all the evils that fol­low, crimes that go vast­ly be­yond an­yth­ing attributed to bin Laden; or else we de­clare that the Nurem­berg pro­ceed­ings were a farce and that the al­l­ies were guil­ty of judici­al murd­er. Again, that is en­tire­ly in­depen­dent of the ques­tion of the guilt of those char­ged: es­tablis­hed by the Nurem­berg Tri­bun­al in the case of the Nazi crimin­als, plausib­ly sur­mised from the out­set in the case of bin Laden.

A few days be­fore the bin Laden as­sas­sina­tion, Or­lando Bosch died peaceful­ly in Florida, where he re­sided along with his ter­ror­ist ac­complice Luis Posada Caril­les, and many oth­ers. After he was ac­cused of dozens of ter­ror­ist crimes by the FBI, Bosch was gran­ted a pre­siden­ti­al par­don by Bush I over the ob­jec­tions of the Just­ice De­part­ment, which found the con­clus­ion “in­es­cap­able that it would be pre­judici­al to the pub­lic in­terest for the Uni­ted States to pro­vide a safe haven for Bosch. ”The co­in­cid­ence of de­aths at once calls to mind the Bush II doctrine, which has “al­ready be­come a de facto rule of in­ter­nation­al re­la­tions,” ac­cord­ing to the noted Har­vard in­ter­nation­al re­la­tions special­ist Graham Al­lison. The doctrine re­vokes “the sovereignty of states that pro­vide sanctua­ry to ter­ror­ists,” Al­lison writes, re­ferr­ing to the pro­noun­ce­ment of Bush II that “those who har­bor ter­ror­ists are as guil­ty as the ter­ror­ists them­selves,” di­rec­ted to the Taliban. Such states, therefore, have lost their sovereignty and are fit tar­gets for bomb­ing and ter­ror; for ex­am­ple, the state that har­bored Bosch and his as­sociate — not to men­tion some rath­er more sig­nificant can­didates. When Bush is­sued this new “de facto rule of in­ter­nation­al re­la­tions,” no one seemed to notice that he was call­ing for in­vas­ion and de­struc­tion of the US and murd­er of its crimin­al pre­sidents.

None of this is pro­blematic, of co­ur­se, if we re­ject Just­ice Jackson’s prin­ci­ple of uni­ver­sal­ity, and adopt in­stead the prin­ci­ple that the US is self-immunized against in­ter­nation­al law and con­ven­tions — as, in fact, the govern­ment has frequent­ly made very clear, an im­por­tant fact, much too lit­tle un­derstood.

It is also worth think­ing about the name given to the op­era­tion: Op­era­tion Geronimo. The im­peri­al men­tal­ity is so pro­found that few seem able to per­ceive that the White House is glorify­ing bin Laden by call­ing him “Geronimo” — the lead­er of co­urage­ous re­sis­tance to the in­vad­ers who sought to con­sign his peo­ple to the fate of “that hap­less race of native Americans, which we are ex­ter­minat­ing with such mer­ciless and per­fidi­ous cruel­ty, among the hein­ous sins of this na­tion, for which I be­lieve God will one day bring [it] to jud­ge­ment,” in the words of the great grand strateg­ist John Quin­cy Adams, the in­tel­lectu­al architect of man­ifest de­stiny, long after his own con­tribu­tions to these sins had pas­sed. Some did com­prehend, not sur­prising­ly. The re­mnants of that hap­less race pro­tes­ted vigorous­ly. Choice of the name is re­minis­cent of the ease with which we name our­murd­er weapons after vic­tims of our crimes: Apac­he, Blackhawk. Tomahawk,… We might react dif­ferent­ly if the Luftwaf­fe were to call its fight­er planes “Jew” and “Gypsy”.

The ex­am­ples men­tioned would fall under the cat­ego­ry “American ex­cep­tional­ism,” were it not for the fact that easy sup­press­ion of one’s own crimes is vir­tual­ly ubiquit­ous among power­ful states, at least those that are not de­feated and for­ced to acknow­ledge rea­l­ity. Other cur­rent il­lustra­tions are too numer­ous to men­tion. To take just one, of great cur­rent sig­nifican­ce, con­sid­er Obama’s ter­ror weapons (drones) in Pakis­tan. Sup­pose that dur­ing the 1980s, when they were oc­cupy­ing Afghanis­tan, the Rus­sians had car­ried out tar­geted as­sas­sina­tions in Pakis­tan aimed at those who were fin­anc­ing, arm­ing and train­ing the in­sur­gents – quite pro­ud­ly and op­en­ly. For ex­am­ple, tar­get­ing the CIA sta­tion chief in Is­lamabad, who ex­plained that he “loved” the “noble goal” of his mis­s­ion: to “kill Soviet Sol­diers…not to li­berate Afghanis­tan.” There is no need to im­agine the rea­c­tion, but there is a cruci­al dis­tinc­tion: that was them, this is us.

What are the li­ke­ly con­sequ­ences of the kill­ing of bin Laden? For the Arab world, it will pro­bab­ly mean lit­tle. He had long been a fad­ing pre­s­ence, and in the past few months was ec­lipsed by the Arab Spr­ing. His sig­nifican­ce in the Arab world is cap­tured by the head­line in the New York Times for an op-ed by Mid­dle East/al Qaeda special­ist Gil­les Kepel; “Bin Laden was Dead Al­ready.” Kepel writes that few in the Arab world are li­ke­ly to care. That head­line might have been dated far ear­li­er, had the US not mobilized the Jihadi move­ment by the at­tacks on Afghanis­tan and Iraq, as sug­gested by the in­tel­lig­ence agen­cies and scholarship. As for the Jihadi move­ment, with­in it bin Laden was doubtless a venerated sym­bol, but ap­parent­ly did not play much more of a role for this “net­work of net­works,” as an­alysts call it, which un­der­take most­ly in­depen­dent op­era­tions.

The most im­mediate and sig­nificant con­sequ­ences are li­ke­ly to be in Pakis­tan. There is much dis­cuss­ion of Was­hington’s anger that Pakis­tan didn’t turn over bin Laden. Less is said about the fury in Pakis­tan that the US in­vaded their ter­rito­ry to carry out a polit­ical as­sas­sina­tion. Anti-American fer­vor had al­ready rea­ched a very high peak in Pakis­tan, and these events are li­ke­ly to ex­acer­bate it.

Pakis­tan is the most dan­ger­ous co­unt­ry on earth, also the world’s fas­test grow­ing nuc­lear power, with a huge ar­sen­al. It is held togeth­er by one st­able in­stitu­tion, the milita­ry. One of the lead­ing special­ists on Pakis­tan and its milita­ry, An­atol Li­ev­en, writes that “if the US ever put Pakis­tani sol­di­ers in a posi­tion where they felt that honour and pat­riot­ism re­quired them to fight America, many would be very glad to do so.” And if Pakis­tan col­lap­sed, an “ab­solute­ly in­evit­able re­sult would be the flow of large numb­ers of high­ly trained ex-soldiers, in­clud­ing ex­plosive ex­perts and en­gine­ers, to ex­trem­ist groups.” That is the prima­ry threat he sees of leakage of fis­sile materi­als to Jihadi hands, a hor­rend­ous even­tual­ity.

The Pakis­tani milita­ry have al­ready been pus­hed to the edge by US at­tacks on Pakis­tani sovereignty. One fac­tor is the drone at­tacks in Pakis­tan that Obama es­calated im­mediate­ly after the kill­ing of bin Laden, rubb­ing salt in the wounds. But there is much more, in­clud­ing the de­mand that the Pakis­tani milita­ry co­operate in the US war against the Afghan Taliban, whom the over­whelm­ing major­ity of Pakis­tanis, the milita­ry in­cluded, see as fight­ing a just war of re­sis­tance against an in­vad­ing army, ac­cord­ing to Li­ev­en.

The bin Laden op­era­tion could have been the spark that set off a con­flag­ra­tion, with dire con­sequ­ences, par­ticular­ly if the in­vad­ing force had been com­pel­led to fight its way out, as was anti­cipated. Per­haps the as­sas­sina­tion was per­ceived as an “act of ven­gean­ce,” as Robertson con­cludes. Whatev­er the motive was, it could hard­ly have been secur­ity. As in the case of the “sup­reme in­ter­nation­al crime” in Iraq, the bin Laden as­sas­sina­tion il­lustrates that secur­ity is often not a high prior­ity for state ac­tion, contra­ry to re­ceived doctrine.

There is much more to say, but even the most ob­vi­ous and elemen­ta­ry facts should pro­vide us with a good deal to think about.

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Imperialism: Bankers, Drug Wars and Genocide Mexico’s Descent in the Inferno

Posted by Admin on May 24, 2011

by Prof. James Petras

Global Research, May 19, 2011

In May 2011, Mexican investigators uncovered another mass clandestine grave with dozens of mutilated corpses; bringing the total number of victims to 40,000 killed since 2006 when the Calderon regime announced its “war on drug traffickers”. Backed by advisers, agents and arms, the White House has been the principal promotor of a ‘war’ that has totally decimated Mexico ’s society and economy.

If Washington has been the driving force for the regime’s war, Wall Street banks have been the main instruments ensuring the profits of the drug cartels. Every major US bank has been deeply involved in laundering hundreds of billions of dollars in drug profits, for the better part of the past decade.

Mexico ’s descent into this inferno has been engineered by the leading US financial and political institutions, each supporting ‘one side or the other’ in the bloody “total war” which spares no one, no place and no moment in time. While the Pentagon arms the Mexican government and the US Drug Enforcement Agency enforces the “military solution”, the biggest US banks receive, launder and transfer hundreds of billions of dollars to the drug lords’ accounts, who then buy modern arms, pay private armies of assassins and corrupt untold numbers of political and law enforcement officials on both sides of the border.

Mexico’s Descent in the Inferno

Everyday scores, if not hundreds, of corpses – appear in streets and or are found in unmarked graves; dozens are murdered in their homes, cars, public transport, offices and even hospitals; known and unknown victims in the hundreds are kidnapped and disappear; school children, parents, teachers, doctors and businesspeople are seized in broad daylight and held for ransom or murdered in retaliation. Thousands of migrant workers are kidnapped, robbed, ransomed, murdered and evidence is emerging that some are sold into the illegal ‘organ trade’. The police are barricaded in their commissaries; the military, if and when it arrives, takes out its frustration on entire cities, shooting more civilians than cartel soldiers. Everyday life revolves around surviving the daily death toll; threats are everywhere, the armed gangs and military patrols fire and kill with virtual impunity. People live in fear and anger.

The Free Trade Agreement: The Sparks that lit the Inferno

In the late 1980’s, Mexico was in crisis, but the people chose a legal way out: they elected a President, Cuahtemoc Cardenas, on the basis of his national program to promote the economic revitalization of agriculture and industry. The Mexican elite, led by Carlos Salinas of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) chose otherwise and subverted the election: The electorate was denied its victory; the peaceful mass protests were ignored. Salinas and subsequent Mexican presidents vigorously pursued a free trade agreement (NAFTA) with the US and Canada , which rapidly drove millions of Mexican farmers, ranchers and small business people into bankruptcy. Devastation led to the flight of millions of immigrant workers. Rural movements of debtors flourished and ebbed, were co-opted or repressed. The misery of the legal economy contrasted with the burgeoning wealth of the traffickers of drugs and people, which generated a growing demand for well-paid armed auxiliaries as soldiers for the cartels. The regional drug syndicates emerged out of the local affluence.

In the new millennium, popular movements and a new electoral hope arose: Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO). By 2006 a vast peaceful electoral movement promised substantial social and economic reforms to ‘integrate millions of disaffected youth’. In the parallel economy, the drug cartels were expanding and benefiting from the misery of millions of workers and peasants marginalized by the Mexican elite, who had plundered the public treasury, speculated in real estate, robbed the oil industry and created enormous privatized monopolies in the communication and banking sectors.

In 2006, millions of Mexican voters were once again denied their electoral victory: The last best hope for a peaceful transformation was dashed. Backed by the US Administration, Felipe Calderon stole the election and proceeded to launch the “War on Drug Traffickers” strategy dictated by Washington .

The War Strategy Escalates the Drug War: The Banking Crises Deepens the Ties with Drug Traffickers

The massive escalation of homicides and violence in Mexico began with the declaration of a war on the drug cartels by the fraudulently elected President Calderon, a policy pushed initially by the Bush Administration and subsequently strongly backed by the Obama – Clinton regime. Over 40,000 Mexican soldiers filled the streets, towns and barrios – violently assaulting citizens – especially young people. The cartels retaliated by escalating their armed assaults on police. The war spread to all the major cities and along the major highways and rural roads; murders multiplied and Mexico descended further into a Dantesque inferno. Meanwhile, the Obama regime ‘reaffirmed’ its support for a militarist solution on both sides of the border: Over 500,000 Mexican immigrants were seized and expelled from the US ; heavily armed border patrols multiplied. Cross border gun sales grew exponentially .The US “market” for Mexican manufactured goods and agricultural products shrank, further widening the pool for cartel recruits while the supply of high powered weapons increased. White House gun and drug policies strengthened both sides in this maniacal murderous cycle: The US government armed the Calderon regime and the American gun manufacturers sold guns to the cartels through both legal and underground arms sales. Steady or increasing demand for drugs in the US – and the grotesque profits derived from trafficking and sales— remained the primary driving force behind the tidal wave of violence and societal disintegration in Mexico .

Drug profits, in the most basic sense, are secured through the ability of the cartels to launder and transfer billions of dollars through the US banking system. The scale and scope of the US banking-drug cartel alliance surpasses any other economic activity of the US private banking system. According to US Justice Department records, one bank alone, Wachovia Bank (now owned by Wells Fargo), laundered $378.3 billion dollars between May 1, 2004 and May 31, 2007 (The Guardian, May 11, 2011). Every major bank in the US has served as an active financial partner of the murderous drug cartels – including Bank of America, Citibank, and JP Morgan, as well as overseas banks operating out of New York , Miami and Los Angeles , as well as London .

While the White House pays the Mexican state and army to kill Mexicans suspected of drug trafficking, the US Justice Department belatedly slaps a relatively small fine on the major US financial accomplice to the murderous drug trade, Wachovia Bank, spares its bank officials from any jail time and allows major cases to lapse into dismissal.

The major agency of the US Treasury involved in investigating money laundering, the Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, deliberately ignored the blatant collaboration of US banks with drug terrorists, concentrating almost their entire staff and resources on enforcing sanctions against Iran . For seven years, Treasury Undersecretary Stuart Levey used his power as head of the Department for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence to pursue Israel ’s phony “war on terrorism” against Iran , rather than shut down Wachovia’s money-laundering operations with the Mexican drug terrorists. In this period of time an estimated 40,000 Mexican civilian have been killed by the cartels and the army.

Without US arms and financial services supporting both the illegitimate Mexican regimes and the drug cartels – there could be no “drug war”, no mass killings and no state terror. The simple acts of stopping the flood of cheap subsidized US agriculture products into Mexico and de-criminalizing the use and purchase of cocaine in the US would dry up the pool of ‘cartel soldiers’ from the bankrupted Mexican peasantry and the cut back the profits and demand for illegal drugs in the US market.

The Drug Traffickers, the Banks and the White House

If the major US banks are the financial engines which allow the billion dollar drug empires to operate, the White House, the US Congress and the law enforcement agencies are the basic protectors of these banks. Despite the deep and pervasive involvement of the major banks in laundering hundreds of billions of dollars in illicit funds, the “court settlements” pursued by US prosecutors have led to no jail time for the bankers. One court’s settlement amounted to a fine of $50 million dollars, less than 0.5% of one of the banks (the Wachovia/Wells Fargo bank) $12.3 billion profits for 2009 (The Guardian, May 11, 2011). Despite the death of tens of thousands of Mexican civilians, US executive branch directed the DEA, the federal prosecutors and judges to impose such a laughable ‘punishment’ on Wachovia for its illegal services to the drug cartels. The most prominent economic officials of the Bush and Obama regimes, including Summers, Paulson, Geithner, Greenspan, Bernacke et al, are all long term associates, advisers and members of the leading financial houses and banks implicated in laundering the billions of drug profits.

Laundering drug money is one of the most lucrative sources of profit for Wall Street; the banks charge hefty commissions on the transfer of drug profits, which they then lend to borrowing institutions at interest rates far above what – if any – they pay to drug trafficker depositors. Awash in sanitized drug profits, these US titans of the finance world can easily buy their own elected officials to perpetuate the system.

Even more important and less obvious is the role of drug money in the recent financial meltdown, especially during its most critical first few weeks.

According to the head of United Nation’s Office on Drugs and Crime, Antonio Maria Costa, “In many instances, drug money (was)… currently the only liquid investment capital…. In the second half of 2008, liquidity was the banking system’s main problem and hence liquid capital became an important factor…interbank loans were funded by money that originated from drug trade and other illegal activities… (there were) signs that some banks were rescued in that way.” (Reuters, January 25,2009. US edition). Capital flows from the drug billionaires were key to floating Wachovia and other leading banks. In a word: the drug billionaires saved the capitalist financial system from collapse!

Conclusion

By the end of the first decade of the 21st century, it has become clear that capital accumulation, at least in North America, is intimately linked to generalized violence and drug trafficking. Because capital accumulation is dependent on financial capital, and the latter is dependent on the industry profits from the multi-hundred-billion dollar drug trade, the entire ensemble is embedded in the ‘total war’ over drug profits. In times of deep crises the very survival of the US financial system – and through it, the world banking system – is linked to the liquidity of the drug “industry”.

At the most superficial level the destruction of Mexican and Central American societies – encompassing over 100 million people – is a result of a conflict between drug cartels and the political regimes of the region. At a deeper level there is a multiplier or “ripple effect” related to their collaboration: the cartels draw on the support of the US banks to realize their profits; they spend hundreds of millions on the US arms industry and others to secure their supplies, transport and markets; they employ tens of thousands of recruits for their vast private armies and civilian networks and they purchase the compliance of political and military officials on both sides of the borders

For its part, the Mexican government acts as a conduit for US Pentagon/Federal police, Homeland Security, drug enforcement and political apparatuses prosecuting the ‘war’, which has put Mexican lives, property and security at risk. The White House stands at the strategic center of operations – the Mexican regime serves as the front-line executioners.

On one side of the “war on drugs” are the major Wall Street banks; on the other side, the White House and its imperial military strategists and in the ‘middle’ are 90 million Mexicans and 40,000 murder victims and counting.

Relying on political fraud to impose economic deregulation in the 1990’s (neo-liberalism), the US policies led directly to the social disintegration, criminalization and militarization of the current decade. The sophisticated narco-finance economy has now become the most advanced stage of neo-liberalism. When the respectable become criminals, the criminals become respectable.

The issue of genocide in Mexico has been determined by the empire and its “knowing” bankers and cynical rulers.

Global Research Articles by James Petras

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US government shutdown averted

Posted by Admin on April 10, 2011

http://www.headlinenewsbureau.com/siterun_data/news/world/doc2fa834423f237f573e3b8514aac1b352.html

US government shutdown averted

Obama and Democrats forced to accept $39bn package of cuts while Republicans gave way on healthcare for women

A shutdown of the US federal government scheduled to begin on Saturday was averted after the Democrats and Republicans reached agreement only hours before midnight on budget spending cuts.

The shutdown would have triggered major disruptions across the country and could have set back the country’s fragile economic recovery. Hundreds of federal agencies would have closed down and about 800,000 federal staff faced suspension.

The deal came after days of negotiation between Obama and the Republican House Speaker, John Boehner, and the Democratic leader in the Senate Harry Reid. A deal had appeared to be tantalisingly close several times but was not finalised, until Friday night.

Boehner, an hour before midnight, told journalists in Congress: “I am pleased that Senator Reid and the White House have come to an agreement that will cut spending and keep government open.”

It would have been the first federal government shutdown since 1995-96 when there was a stand-off between the Republicans and the Clinton White House.

Barack Obama tore up his schedule for Friday, including the start of a family weekend break in Virginia, to concentrate on negotiations with Republicans. He had hoped to reach a compromise Friday morning but discussions dragged out throughout the day.

Obama portrayed the compromise as a tribute to US democracy as he said: “Tomorrow … the entire federal government will be open for business.”

Reid, like Obama, paid tribute to the Republicans in spite of the repeated clashes over the last week. “This has been a long process,” Reid said. “It has not been an easy process. Both sides have had to make tough choices.”

The Republicans forced the Democrats to agree to $39bn (£23bn) in spending cuts in this year’s budget to September, $6bn more than the Democrats were prepared to accept earlier this week. In return, the Republicans dropped a demand to cut funding for Planned Parenthood, an organisation providing healthcare for women. Republicans objected to the organisation’s links to abortion.

Boehner had as many problems in negotiations with his own Republican party as he did with the White House and Democratic members of the House. Many Republicans were elected in November with the support of the Tea Party movement who have demanded huge reductions in the federal deficit.

After reaching a deal with the White House and the Congressional Democrats, Boehner had to take the proposal to Congressional Republicans for final approval.

Boehner said Congress would pass a temporary spending measure to keep the government open until mid-way through next week. This would allow time for passage of the budget bill covering spending up until the end of the fiscal year in September.

The deal came after Obama spoke twice by phone Friday with Boehner.

The Republicans faced being blamed for the disruption if they had not reached a deal. But Obama could have suffered too, accused of weak leadership, unable to prevent a government shutdown.

About 800,000 federal employees would have been suspended without pay from Monday, more than a million troops at home and abroad would not have received pay, tax offices would have been disrupted and, in Washington DC, rubbish collection, parking control and other services would have ceased.

Pollution checks by the Environmental Protection Agency would have stopped across the US, as would monitoring of Wall Street transactions.

The White House, Congress, the Pentagon and hundreds of other bodies would have had to reduce staff.

The immediate impact of a shutdown would have been felt by tourists hoping to visit some of America’s most popular attractions, the 400 national parks, monuments and historic sites.

Queues grew at passport offices on Friday as tourists and people travelling for business or other reasons put in their applications afraid of a closedown.

The dispute offers a glimpse of bigger battles to come over the 2012 budget, in which Republicans are likely to seek much bigger cuts.

A Gallup poll published on Friday showed 58% of those surveyed favoured a compromise in this week’s row, with 33% backing the Republicans to hold out.

US federal government shutdown US politics Barack Obama John Boehner Republicans US Congress Democrats Obama administration United States US economy Ewen MacAskill Guardian News & Media Limited 2011

 

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Obama cautions Mubarak not to use force against protesters

Posted by Admin on January 29, 2011

Official photograph of Egyptian President Hosn...

Egypt President - Hosni Mubarak

http://in.news.yahoo.com/obama-cautions-mubarak-not-force-against-protesters-20110128-222340-713.html

By ANI | ANI – Sat, Jan 29 11:53 AM IST

Washington, Jan.29 (ANI): US President Barack Obama has put his embattled Egyptian counterpart leader, Hosni Mubarak, on notice that he should not use his soldiers and police in a bloody crackdown on opposition protesters.

Addressing the nation from the White House, Obama said that he had spoken with Mubarak and had told him “to refrain from any violence against peaceful protesters” and to turn a “moment of volatility” into a “moment of promise.”

Declaring that the protesters have universal rights, the New York Times quoted Obama, as saying that the “The United States will continue to stand up for the rights of the Egyptian people.”

Obama’s brief remarks came as a blunt reply to Mubarak, who spoke to his own people just one hour before and mixed conciliation with defiance as he dismissed his government, but vowed to stay in office to stabilize Egypt.

The Obama administration has moved from tentative support to distancing itself from Mubarak, its staunchest Arab ally, saying it would review the 1.5 billion dollar in American aid and warning him that he must confront the grievances of his people.

Obama said that Mubarak’s promise of expanding democracy and economic opportunity needed to be enforced with meaning and responsibility.

He called on Mubarak to open a dialogue with the demonstrators, though he did not go as far as to urge free and fair elections.

Illustrating the delicate balance that the administration faces with Egypt, Obama referred to the joint projects of the two countries. He also urged the demonstrators to “express themselves peacefully.”

Egypt is the fourth-largest recipient of American foreign aid, after Afghanistan, Pakistan and Israel, and just ahead of Iraq.

It is also a critical partner on issues like the Israel-Palestinian peace process and a bulwark against Islamic extremism in the Arab world. (ANI)

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Cabbages and Kings

Posted by Admin on October 11, 2010

Godfather of Exopolitics

Godfather of Exopolitics

On Cabbages and Kings
By Ed Komarek
11/19/09
Copy and Distribute Freely
My blog: http://exopolitics.blogspot.com/

I wanted to put people onto a few recent important developments that relate to exopolitics. All these bits and pieces add up for researchers who try to put them all together into a context that is more or less accurate. It’s flying by the seat of ones pants of course, and the more talent and experience one has at intelligence gathering and analysis, the better one gets at developing a fairly accurate model of what is going on. Discernment is really important as a few bad apples can spoil the whole barrel unless they are identified and removed for the data base.

I just watched Clay and Shawn’s interview by Bill and Kerry and it was excellent. http://projectcamelot.org/audio_interviews.html There is also considerable discussion on the disclosure process later in the interview that is some of the best I have seen. I am glad to see past information as well as new information all together in a neat package. Previously the information on the UFO Working Group has been scattered all over the threads at Open Minds Forum since the Pickering’s went public.

This is a long interview but well work watching for the serious UFO/ET investigator. For those with concerns about the discernment of the interviewers its important to realize that, yes some of the whistle-blowers being interviewed by Project Camelot are bad apples determined to spoil the good apples in the Camelot barrel, but to their credit Bill and Kerry are sincere and they have done good interviews with some real whistle-blowers. As I wrote in a previous article let the buyer beware.http://exopolitics.blogspot.com/2009/11/buyer-beware.html

As usual both Clay and Shawn try to be very clear what they and their source know and what is speculation on their part. I have been involved in this case since it came out in public on the Open Minds Forum and have written about it. I have communicated personally with Clay and Shawn by email and by phone. As indicated in the interview the information is very sensitive and I try to clear what I write about them before publishing. I have even received a phone call once cutting me off at the pass not to publicize a cognition that I had not even had yet. 🙂

Folks need to keep in mind that the Military UFO Working Group is not a official group but a kind of pro-disclosure insurgency within the military. It’s strong enough to leak information but when attacked it must pull back and regroup. The anti-disclosure forces watch the UFO community very closely so it really matters how sensitive information gets released into the public domain. Some of these military folks are putting their lives at risk for disclosure and things can get dangerous very quickly. We in the public need to understand this.

With the death of Tony Dodd, Bill and Kerry were able to recognize him as the source for a past interview under a code name. I was very interested in this short interview on government death squads who target, hunt down, interrogate, torture and even kill infiltrating extraterrestrials.http://www.projectcamelot.org/john_robie.html

There is complementary information on this subject. Wendelle Stevens has had extensive pre-death interviews on tape with one of these alleged assassins that Bill and Kerry should get and put on the Internet. I seem to remember that this alleged assassin claimed to have killed a extraterrestrial and that was what caused him to question what he was being ordered to do. This initiating a chain of events that ended in his murder but not before confessing to Wendelle.

A good contactee friend of mine died last year who’s name was Mary Ann Shriver. I could not report on what follows previously while she was alive. Her brother told her he was a CIA assassin and that he had met two human extraterrestrials at the White House. She also was privy to a phone conversation when her brother was drunk. He gave the military base the proper codes over the phone to gain access to a general. He woke this general up in the middle of the night and proceeded to cuss him out for a long time. (I suspect that the military brass is not happy with this sort of behavior by CIA employees. 🙂 )

The following experiences of Swann as related in this article by Gary Beckum adds further collaborating evidence on CIA squads tracking infiltrating human extraterrestrials.
http://ufoexperiences.blogspot.com/2006/08/ingo-swann.html

“Sometime in the late summer of 1976, Swann made several trips between SRI and Los Angeles to spend time with friends. Little did he know, but he was about to encounter Axelrod’s operatives again. During an ordinary trip to a Hollywood supermarket he was attracted to a super-sexy woman. As he stood near the scantily clad beauty, he experienced an ‘electric-shock’ that sent waves of goosebumps over his entire body, and stood his hair on end. Swann interpreted this psychic alert as a warning that all was not right with this woman.In fact, he decided that she must be an extraterrestrial.”

“Swann had little time to react, however, as his shock turned to panic. Looking down the aisle he saw both of Mr. Axelrod’s operatives, real-life men in black; dressed not like the character played by Will Smith, in suit and tie, but more like Arnold Schwarzenegger in “The Terminator,” dressed in black jeans, boots and tank tops. They were watching the strange, unearthly woman.

Swann quickly left, knowing that Axelrod would soon be calling. The renewed phone contact by Axelrod was far from ordinary. First Swann received a mysterious phone call from a female operative, directing him to a different phone. The call ended in dead silence, suggesting that the phone line had been cut and spliced into. Once he reached the designated phone, Swann engaged in a scrambled conversation with Axelrod, asking about the strange sexy woman in the supermarket. Axelrod warned, “I feel obliged to tell you that she is really dangerous.”Apparently Swann believed that Axelrod’s warning had confirmed his worst fear. Not only were extraterrestrials on the moon, but they had operatives here on Earth, among the ordinary people. If Axelrod was to be believed, they were to be avoided at all possible cost.”

Bob Dean has also commented on human extraterrestrial infiltration. “…Out of the four different groups, all humanoid, one group was so human-looking, just like us, they could sit next to us in a restaurant, they could sit next to you in a theater, and you would never know.”That was the ones that bothered the admirals and the generals the most. That these guys could be walking up and down the corridors of SHAPE headquarters… or the Pentagon… or the White House.”

On the political front there have been some interesting new developments. I have learned of a pro-disclosure initiative apparently ongoing in the House Intelligence Committee but cannot report on what I know because it could interfere with this initiative. My political source thinks that I should wait till around December 15 when this initiative may be winding down before publishing. This is the same kind of situation I found myself in with the Pickerings as I don’t want to blow up the work of other pro-disclosure advocates by prematurely releasing information. I don’t like this any more that my readers do but we are all in the same boat and we have to work together.

I found the following article by Bill Knell that seems to confirm that pro-disclosure political activities are much more widespread than just in the House Intelligence Committee and the Obama administration and includes the Congressional leadership. I suspect that this sort of thing is not just going on in the USA but in executive branches and parliaments around the world. Remember the ruckus about UFOs in the Japanese Parliament awhile back.

I am told by my political source that Bill’s source was wrong about Shirley being Chelsea’s godmother. My source says that Shirley and Hilliary don’t get along. My source did say that one of Dennis Kucinich’s children had Shirley as a godmother and this must have lead to the confusion by Bill’s source. My source does confirm the political activity discussed below. I have excerpted the relevant passages from Bill’s article.
http://parabook.wordpress.com/2008/06/15/an-alien-captured-on-video-democrats-and-ufos-and-glowing-little-people/

Bill says, “I Got DEM old Kosmic Blues Again Mama. It’s the title of an album by the late Janis Joplin, but it may also describe an amazing discussion that is going on within the Democratic Party in the USA. Their Cosmic blues were first brought to light by Shirley MacLaine’s revelation that former U.S. Presidential Candidate Dennis Kucinich had a UFO sighting while he was visiting her home in Graham, Washington, about fifteen years ago.
Dem blues continued after the news media mentioned that the Bill Clinton Presidential Library released a number of documents related to UFOs from his administration. That occurred because Shirley MacLaine happened to be Chelsea Clinton’s godmother and because Hillary Clinton, another U.S. Presidential Candidate, mentioned the threat of an Alien Invasion during one of her speeches.

Bill continues, “According to a Democratic Insider and UFO buff that sent me an email recently, high ranking members of the Democratic Party are concerned about how their party members and candidates will handle the UFO question. “If something happens like the Kucinich thing or aliens are in the news, they don’t want pundits and politicians verbally stumbling around,” he said.

He also claims that the Democrats agree changes need to be made in the way the subject is handled and the changes had better come fast. “They expect big UFO news on the horizon. They won’t say what that might be. My guess is some kind of announcement or major sightings after the busy year we’ve had (for sightings) so far… They are trying to come up with a kind of policy statement…something that everyone can accept.””

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New Obama security adviser clashed with military

Posted by Admin on October 8, 2010

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama named close aide Tom Donilon as his top security adviser on Friday, elevating a skeptic of the U.S. troop surge in Afghanistan to coordinate a major review of the war.

Donilon, 55, was among Obama’s advisers reported to have counseled the president last year to resist Pentagon requests for a larger troop increase to combat Taliban militants. Obama eventually agreed to send an extra 30,000 soldiers.

“Those of us who support the war effort maybe should be a wee bit concerned,” said Michael O’Hanlon, a senior fellow at the BrookingsInstitution.

The president told congressional leaders in a letter this week he had no plans for any major changes in his Afghanistan war strategy, at least for now. A comprehensive review of that strategy is set for December.

Obama ordered the extra 30,000 troops to Afghanistan last December but also announced they would start coming home in July 2011. His plan calls for stepped-up training of Afghan forces to take over increasing responsibility from foreign troops in the war that began in late 2001.

At a White House ceremony, Obama praised outgoing national security adviser Jim Jones, a former Marine general, calling him a dedicated public servant who had held one of the most difficult jobs in the administration.

Naming Donilon as his replacement, Obama said: “We have some huge challenges ahead. We remain a country at war.”

At a Pentagon briefing, Defense Secretary Robert Gates tried to play down suggestions of tensions with Donilon, after he was quoted as saying in a new book that Donilon would be a “disaster” as national security adviser.

“I have and have had a very productive and very good working relationship with Tom Donilon, contrary to what you may have read, and I look forward to continue working with him,” Gates said.

The resignation of Jones had been expected as part of a mid-term reshuffle at the White House, although he was thought to be going after the November 2 congressional election.

Gates has signaled his intention to resign sometime in 2011. Admiral Mike Mullen, the top U.S. military officer, is also expected to retire.

The series of departures will give Obama an opportunity to reshape his national security team as the United States tries to find an exit strategy from the unpopular war in Afghanistan, to wind down the war in Iraq and to pursue a multi-pronged strategy to end nuclear standoffs with Iran and North Korea.

(Additional reporting by Caren Bohan and David Alexander; Editing by John O’Callaghan)

 

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Emanuel gone, Rouse in as chief of staff

Posted by Admin on October 2, 2010

The White House

The White House Makeover?

Barack Obama, Rahm Emanuel

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama on Friday said a bittersweet goodbye to the energetic and fierce manager of his White House, chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, and elevated a quiet and seasoned adviser, Pete Rouse, to the most important gate-keeping job in American politics.

“We could not have accomplished what we’ve accomplished without Rahm’s leadership,” Obama said. Emanuel is departing after nearly two grueling years to run for Chicago mayor.

The announcement was such a poorly kept secret that Obama joked it was “the least suspenseful announcement of all time,” but it represented an important moment of transition for the presidency.

What Emanuel leaves behind is more than a staff job. It is the most demanding and influential position in the White House — save for Obama’s. The person who holds it is entrusted to help shape thepresident’s thinking, prioritize his time, manage scores of egos and issues and keep the White House focused on its goals.

The mood at the White House reflected that this was no ordinary staff change. Cabinet members and senior staff members packed the ornate East Room, a setting often reserved for visits of heads of state, for the official word that Emanuel, the hard-charging leader of the staff, was on his way out.

Rouse, named interim chief of staff, is a calm, trusted senior adviser to Obama who has spent much of his career as a chief of staff in the Senate.

“There is a saying around the White House: `Let’s let Pete fix it,'” Obama said. “And he does.”

In a nod to the political sensitivities of Emanuel’s move, he never directly mentioned that he was running for mayor, and Obama didn’t touch that, either. Emanuel, sure to be cast as an outsider by his competitors in the upcoming mayoral campaign, did not want to announce his run from Washington.

But Emanuel did call Chicago “the greatest city in the greatest country in the world.” And he told Obama, “I’m energized by the prospect of new challenges, and eager to see what I can do to make our hometown even greater.” The president and Emanuel, confidants and friends, hugged three times during the event.

“Mr. President, I thought I was tough,” Emanuel told Obama. “I want to thank you for being the toughest leader any country could ask for in the toughest times any president has ever faced.”

In an unusual display of emotion, Emanuel appeared to choke up as he spoke of his family’s immigrant background, and the opportunities he himself has been afforded.

Rouse, befitting his style, stood quietly by the president and never spoke. Obama described him as never seeing a television camera or a microphone that he liked — unlike the boisterous Emanuel. The differences were even apparent on stage — Rahm with his trademark hands on hips, Rouse still and stoic.

Obama’s choice of a permanent chief of staff will come in the context of a personnel reorganization, with some key players already planning to leave the White House grind and others likely seeing changes in their portfolios. The results of the Nov. 2 House and Senate midterm elections will also be a factor.

The mantra in the West Wing is that no one who works for the president is irreplaceable. And yet that’s how they described Emanuel, a whirling force of ideas and energy with expertise in foreign policy, political campaigns, communications and the legislative process. Obama’s aides talk of an unquestioned loss.

More than 150 staff members filled the seats of the East Room, snapping photos. The atmosphere was more joyful than sad, though the mood turned sober as Obama ticked through the list of problems they tackled together in the first 20 months of the administration.

Any feel-good reflection came in contrast to the political realities of the day. No sooner had Washington veteran Rouse been introduced than the Republican National Committee condemned the president for the choice, calling it an expansion of an “insular and out of touch White House.”

Emanuel’s move pits him against a growing field of local politicians vying for the job that will be vacated next spring by Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, who announced in early September that he will not seek a seventh term. Emanuel’s victory in the race is no given, with rivals certain to attack the longtime political operative and former congressman as a brusque outsider who belongs more to Pennsylvania Avenue than Michigan Avenue.

___

Associated Press writers Erica Werner and Julie Pace contributed to this story.

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