Monday, January 30, 2012

NYPD Secret Police Operation Helps Finger Targets For Death

A somewhat amazing- or at least it should be amazing, in a normal society it would be amazing- revelation occurred on a radio program today. The New York City National Public Radio affiliate WNYC has a show, the Brian Lehrer show, which consists mostly of political and other issues chats with guests. Today's guest was one  Mitchell Silber, "director of Intelligence Analysis" for the New York Police Department (NYPD). Silber proved to be a typical apparatchik of the "counterterrorism" bureaucracy, low key in manner, not a rabble-rousing threat-monger of the private sector right (although the two are allied with one another and have numerous linkages).   [1]

Silber was on to promote a book written under his name,  "The Al Qaeda Factor: Plots Against the West." From his description, it's basically a rehash of various plots that have already been obsessively covered by the media (the shoe bomber, the underwear bomber, the Times Square bomber, London bombers, etc.)

Silber is a smooth operator, which makes him an effective mouthpiece for the secret police state. 

About ten minutes into the interview, they took a call from a listener, who if he's not already on the U.S. shitlist, just put himself there with his angry call. A Muslim, he attacked the U.S. wars abroad and basically said "You carpetbomb entire Iraqi villages" and the orphans grow up "and take revenge, and then you call them terrorists."

Brian Lehrer cleared his throat and then blunted the question, rephrasing it as "are there things that the NYPD does, that the military-industrial complex does," like drone strikes, that "radicalize some people now, that have backlash effects, that you have to be careful of." (A reasonable "pragmatic" question for the U.S. side in the "terror war" to ask.)

Silber starts by conceding some "tactics are a double edged sword," than says drone strikes are effective "in taking top Al-Qaeda leadership off the battlefield," but "collateral damage" when you "take out" some Al-Qaeda target can cause a backlash, so there has to be "a cost-benefit analysis." Very clinical and calculating. A cunning guy, Silber says U.S. has to avoid "triggering events" that cause a radicalization. He's keen to make sure his "analytic cadre" and "our detectives" don't miss anything and be sure to pick up on something "that's triggering a radicalization  we're unaware of." All this spying and surveillance he calls "keeping on eye on the trendlines."

So Lehrer asks if he or NYPD Commissioner Kelly ever spoke to the Feds and said the U.S. "war policy" "may actually endanger New York [City] more than protect it."

Silber replies:  "You know we have ongoing and frequent conversations with the Federal Government on a variety of different levels. I think one of the things that we're useful in that we see these trendlines on the ground and we can [his emphasis] pass that  to the Federal Government in essentially seeing an individual like an Anwar al-Awlaki we picked up someone like that and his  radicalizing ability and passed that on to the Federal Government. So we are seeing trendlines at the local level and passing that on on a regular basis." I.e. fingering people addition to the Federal shitlists of the police state, which at a minimum means all records about you are searched, a life history of you constructed, and at the other extreme, your murder. So the NYPD is in the business of helping finger people for the U.S. to assasinate.

This is not mere "analysis." This is surveillance, harassment, persecution, entrapment, and assassination.

Lehrer then took a station break. He never asked Silber about this targetting of an American citizen for assassination based on "his radicalizing ability." In other words, the U.S. has a policy of killing anyone they regard as an enemy propagandist in the "war on terror."

Back from the break, Silber took a swipe at Samir Khan (another American citizen assassinated by drone) for writing an article about bombmaking and working on Inspire magazine (the Al-Qaeda agitprop publication). His point was that the danger is everywhere, since Khan came from Queens. 

Neither Lehrer nor Silber even bother offering justification for killing people based on speech, if indeed loathsome speech, even "inciting" speech.  Again, Lehrer sees no mention to discuss whether it's okay to kill people for publishing things the Government regards as potentially threatening.

So we really are in the realm of thought crimes here. And the U.S. Government is assasinating people it convicts in secret, convictions done by secret policemen in their lairs, for committing these thought crimes.

That should make anyone fearful, not just jihadists.

And "mistakes" happen. All the time. Lethal ones. But being a secret policeman or military assassin means never having to say you're sorry.

Of course, right wingers for years have had an extensive literature of bombmaking instructions, "How To Kill" books (there's a whole series of exactly that title), and nobody's assassinating them, or even "detaining" them.

Basically Silber is a technician of the secret police state, big on "data analysis" under a pretext of neutral, objective, non-ideological facts.

Which is a fraud, as Silber and his ilk definitely have an ideology. Furthermore, some of his "facts" aren't. Like claiming that the NYPD isn't infiltrating mosques (a well-established fact at this point) but is merely "following leads." (Lehrer didn't question or challenge this falsehood.)

Also there is the usual omission of significant facts leading to disingenuousness, for example a lame set-up in which the NYPD set up a loser-schlup (Jose Pimentel) to assemble a pipe bomb in an apartment rigged up with camera to which he was lured by an agent provocateur. It took the provocateur an entire year to goad and groom the victim to play his assigned role in this local production of Political Terrorism Theater. (The FBI rebuffs two attempts by the NYPD to have them join in the fun. Supposedly the reason was the FBI thought the case was weak- which is ironic, since the FBI does exactly the same thing all the time. Maybe they just didn't want to share credit with the NYPD, a more likely explanation.) Silber mentioned this "case" as part of his litany of "terrorist plots." Lehrer said nothing in demurral.

The point of the show apparently was to justify and reinforce the whole repressive regime of an endless "war on terrorism." Are there real threats? Of course. But promoting a freak-out every time some malcontent tries to plant a bomb is disproportionate and politically motivated. Almost daily people are blown up in places like Pakistan, Nigeria, Afghanistan. Other than the spectacular plane kamikaze attacks of 9/11/01, the casualties in the West of these attacks has never been more than a few hundred, and more often ZERO. Plus the foiled attacks have mostly been foiled by average citizens combined with the bungling of the terrorists.

And as to the extent of the threat, Silber sites two dozen New Yorkers who allegedly became jihadists. Two dozen, out of a population of 8 million people. Somehow that justifies a massive, permanent, secret police state. 

In terms of our lives and liberties, we'd probably be better off completely ignoring this threat. Not that I recommend that course. There should be a balance between need to protect against real dangers, and our human rights, instead of hollow lip service to civil rights and law, which is all that exists now. For example, having radiation monitors checking incoming cargo is fine. No problem with that. Or keeping one's ears open and monitoring some people, as opposed to instigating "plots" that are creations of the Government staged for political gain and ongoing ideological indoctrination and fear-mongering.

1]  Getting Good Intel, Brian Lehrer Show, WNYC, 1/30/12WNYC has been playing games with accessing this program. That page doesn't play the episode. Here are alternative URLs to try that as of 6/16/16 lead to the segment. (The original URL was deleted by WNYC since I originally posted this.)

First try another station owned by WNYC, WQXR, which has the episode. Here is the URL of the WNYC podcast player you can also try.  This podcast link has the title "NYPD Intel" but it's the same episode. NYPD Intel. Finally just search Mitchell Silber at or When I tested the podcast for "Getting Good Intel," it plays a completely unrelated episode of the Brian Lehrer show! 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

How The U.S. Marines Are Like The Waffen-SS

[Besides the similar extreme rightwing ideology, that is. For a peek into the ideological affinity for fascism of at least some Marines, and the institutional tolerance of it, see "U.S. Marines Really ARE Like the Waffen-S.S."]

The Haditha, Iraq, massacre of unarmed civilians in their homes by U.S. Marines unavoidably looks just like the behavior of the Third Reich's military in World War Two. The defenders of this and other atrocious war crimes by the U.S. military, after the initial stonewall of flat denials and lies gets penetrated, typically fall back on justifications of “scared soldiers in unfamiliar territory” who can't tell who the enemy is, and their comrades were just killed (usually by a planted explosive), so they were angry and upset, which somehow excuses and justifies cold blooded murder. (Funny, that doesn't work when you or I get angry and kill someone. And we aren't trained, disciplined soldiers under someone's command, so that should be an even better excuse for us civilians.)

Typically the Germans would take small numbers of casualties at the hands of resistance fighters- just as some U.S. military unit would suffer a small number of casualties- in the case of the Haditha war crime, one death. In retaliation, the enraged Germans would murder whatever civilians they could get their hands on in the vicinity, typically killing multiples of their own casualties. Likewise, the enraged Marines avenged their comrade's death by attacking and slaughtering two dozen residents of the nearest village in their homes. This is exactly what the Germans did in World War II in the countries they occupied. Nor was Haditha a unique event.

Self-defense is also trotted out as justification for the U.S. Military killing civilians. Of course that doesn't wash under the rules of war. And the U.S. brands it a war crime when its enemies do it. (It's almost redundant to accuse the U.S. of hypocrisy on this score: hypocrisy is so routine for the U.S. in almost everything, it practically can go without saying. Perhaps we should just assume that the U.S. is being hypocritical at all times unless otherwise stated.) Self-defense as justification is no more valid for the U.S. than for the Wehrmacht or Waffen-SS, which could also use it as an excuse.

The U.S. Army behaves the same way in many war crimes- in fact sometimes they just kill for pleasure, as in the infamous joy killing of Reuters employees, and other defenseless civilians walking down the street in Baghdad by a helicopter gunship manned by murderers, as revealed in the infamous video dredged up out of U.S. military secrecy and  brought to the world thanks to WikiLeaks and, possibly, the persecuted scapegoat Bradley Manning. In such cases, after the stonewall of denial and lying falls apart, excuses other than “payback” for casualties have to be invented. Like: Videos lie, or are being “taken out of context.” Or those cameras the slain reporters carried looked like guns. (No they don't.) Or the pilots couldn't see what was plainly visible on the video. (So why are they so eager to mow down some people just walking down the street in broad daylight? And to shoot up a van full of children which stopped to pick up the dead and dying to take them to hospital? And then sneer “they shouldn't take their children into combat”?) And the act of murder is called “engagement” by both the Marines and Army. The civilians being “engaged” refers to the moment when the trigger is pulled- a chilling, emotionally distancing, morally dishonest and despicable euphemism designed to evade reality, evade truth, evade recognition of their own evil, that they are murdering defenseless CIVILIAN human beings.

No, the uniformed killers are NOT honorable. They are NOT “misunderstood,” they SHOULD BE reviled, not feted as “heroes” “defending the nation” (or Reich, as the case may be- at least the Germans honestly called themselves an Empire- Reich- not just a “nation”).

To U.S nationalists, that probably makes me a “traitor.” No, not really. I don't support or work for the U.S.' chosen enemies (although smearing dissidents as foreign agents has long been U.S. standard procedure). I pledge no allegiance to any nation or group, “terrorist” or otherwise. But I sure don't owe a debt of loyalty to an empire which commits mass murder- and has for centuries- and has oppressed me personally for my entire adult life, because I happened to be born here. I didn't get to decide where to be born. (Any sensible person, if given such a choice, would surely choose a Scandinavian nation.)

Soon of course they will be consigning people like me to their global military gulag, their own gulag archipelago, in secret dungeons all around the world, even on ships at sea, as happened to a Somali pirate recently. Like I said, who with any humanity would choose to be born in and stuck in this self-proclaimed “Greatest Nation On Earth”? (It sure can't claim to be the most modest, or modest at all. Notice how they claim the U.S. Has the Best of Everything, even things that are glaringly, patently inferior to some others, like its health care system. And phone system.  Internet access. And legal system.  And their Congress- with the ridiculous U.S. Senate, in which the 21 least populous states, which combined have fewer people than California, have 42 Senators, to California's 2. And lots of things in which the U.S. is patently nothing to brag about, yet brag the jingoists and national chauvinists do.)

Well, one comfort is realizing that nothing lasts forever, including empires. And this one is so badly screwing up its finances that it seems to be slowly self-destructing. The Arab Spring shows that unexpected upsurges of the suppressed human spirit inevitably occur some places, sometimes.

The historian David Kennedy warned some years ago that the U.S. Empire could go the way of the British empire by bankrupting itself through wars of Imperial control and overreach. As trillions of debt, present and future, has been created by the ruinous wars of the Bush-Obama era (including future costs of maimed vets) this looks to becoming at least possibly true. Of course the American bourgeoisie never believed it. Narcissistic and egotistical, they truly believe in “American exceptionalism,” that the U.S. is unique and different, (and Americans are supermen, I guess, somehow different from other peoples). (Didn't a delusion of superiority get the Germans in trouble? Oh, but America is exceptional. No Imperialism, no militarism, no delusions, and certainly no fascists here!)

U.S. military vets should use their skills to train others, so someday there could be a basis for resistance to the inevitably death squad military police state the U.S. is going to have to become. That would be the best way for them to redeem themselves for serving U.S. Imperialism.

Cynical apologists for war crimes say that armies have always done nasty things. If the Bible is to be believed, armies have been slaughtering civilians “since time immemorial.” (Which doesn’t make it right, whatever Bible-thumpers think. Their Holy Book gives its seal of allegedly-divine approval to slavery, genocide, and incest. It should be a scandal, not revered and beyond reproach.)

Postscript: the last murderous war criminal in the Haditha massacre was let off virtually scot-free. [Unlike Bradley Manning, who after a year in solitary confinement- stripped of all clothes- in the notorious Marine brig at Quantico, a domestic version of the Guantanamo Bay political prison, is now being put through a sham Army court-martial that will result in a life sentence unless he cooperates with framing up Julian Assange of WikiLeaks. More below. (1)]

I originally wrote this essay in December 2011 while musing on the Haditha massacre, a U.S. atrocity that haunts me. Now I will summarize what happened with the “case.”

As I said, the Marines invades homes and slaughtered the inhabitants to “avenge” the death of their comrade by a roadside bomb. Shortly thereafter, an Iraqi approached a Time magazine reporter with video of the aftermath. Time approached the Marines, and sat on their story while the Marines “investigated.” The Marine Corps story was that the residents were all killed outside by the road by the bomb that killed the Marine- a preposterous lie in light of the physical evidence, blood-soaked rooms, bodies in bedclothes, and so forth. More Marine lies followed, like they were shot at, etc.

The Marines dragged the matter out for years. Eventually 6 of the culprits had their charges dropped, a seventh of acquitted at “trial,” and now a Sergeant, who rolled a grenade into a bedroom and gunned down terrified families at point blank range, was left, facing only involuntary manslaughter for premeditated murder (he had arranged in advance with his squad to go on such a rampage if one of their number were killed) had his charges reduced to “dereliction of duty,” with a possible penalty of 3 whole months in lockup. His sentence- zippo. So the last murderous war criminal gets off virtually scot-free. (Maybe the Marines figured he’d already “suffered” enough.)

Now, this shows why the Iraqis were right to demand that for U.S. soldiers to remain in Iraq past December 2011, they must not have immunity to prosecution under Iraqi law. Obama tried hard until the last minute to get the Iraqis to grant continuing immunity to U.S. soldiers so he could keep U.S. troops in Iraq, but failed. Cynically, he then claimed “credit” for “ending the war in Iraq” and withdrawing the troops he had tried to leave there. Amazingly, or cynically, the U.S. media went along with this obvious falsehood, even though the facts I just mentioned were in the U.S. media itself.

Just as My Lai was no aberration in the Vietnam War, but a common event, so the Haditha massacre was unusual only in that it received attention through the accident of an interested American journalist with a normal human conscience. (Had a Vietnamese or Iraqi journalist reported these stories, no doubt they would be dismissed to this day as mere enemy propaganda. Just like U.S. germ warfare during the Korean War is. Hey, was that real or not? I don’t even know.)

1)     The reason I call the Marine prison at Quantico, VA, a political prison is the history of its use to psychologically break- indeed destroy- political prisoners. Before Manning was sent there for special treatment, political prisoner Jose Padillo, a civilian, was kept there for years and mentally destroyed. Padillo, a U.S. citizen by birth, was seized upon arrival at Chicago’s O’Hare airport by the Bush regime. That regime, for propaganda purposes, sought scalps it could brandish in public, both as evidence of its fearless terrorist-fighting prowess, and to keep the public in a state of fear in order to have a fertile climate in which to continue to ram through draconian repressive legislation and expand executive power by fiat a la Hitler, following the Cheney “doctrine.” Attorney General John Ashcroft, a fanatic reactionary and ex-Missouri U.S. Senator, claimed Padillo was planning to detonate a “dirty bomb” in a U.S. city. (A bomb of conventional explosives laden with radioactive material, which would spread contamination.) Padillo was imprisoned, incommunicado and completely illegally, in the Marine Corps brig at their base in Quantico for years, not actually legally charged with anything, and unable to communicate with anyone, until finally his mind was destroyed.

On the eve of the case being taken up by the Supreme Court (there were lawyers challenging this illegal imprisonment using a writ of habeas corpus) the Bush regime mooted the case by suddenly bring an indictment against Padillo and transferring him into the civilian Federal prison system, in order to avoid a judgment setting a precedent in the matter. The indictment said nothing about any dirty bomb. Instead Padillo was charged with ‘terrorist” offenses for – remember?- aiding Muslims being killed by Serbs in the Balkans. Duly convicted and sentenced to a long prison term, no one remembers Jose Padillo, victim of a cynical regime who victimized him for propaganda purposes.

One can remark on the irony of Padillo being viciously punished for defending the Balkan Muslims when it was precisely to defend them that was part of the reason the U.S. militarily intervened against the Serbs. That’s just another one of those infuriating mind-fucks you get so often from the U.S. Following the changing political line of the U.S. is kind of like playing Simon Says. Saddam Hussein kills Commies in Iraq- Friend! Saddam Hussein invades Iran- Friend! Saddam Hussein invades Kuwait- Enemy! Mujahideen fight Soviets- Allies! Brave Freedom Fighters! Mujahideen give sanctuary to Al-Qaeda- Evil Terrorists! Get caught on the wrong side of Simon’s latest instruction, go to prison.

In the Third Reich, those who conspired against Hitler were traitors and executed. War criminals were honored for their “heroism” and devotion to “duty.” In the U.S., Bradley Manning is a “traitor” who “aided the enemy,” and was threatened with the death penalty, although for political reasons they probably won’t execute him. Julian Assange, who exposed just a few U.S. war crimes, is under full scale assault by the U.S. Not a U.S. citizen, a number of U.S. citizens still consider him a traitor and have publicly called for his death. Murderers are heroes and patriots; those who expose their misdeeds are evil scum worthy of death, or life imprisonment.

Thus do criminal empires invert the natural moral order.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Obama Kills 9 Somalis To Aid Reelection Campaign

In the hours before delivering his State of the Union address, Obama cleverly ordered an attack by Navy SEALs on a Somali camp where “pirates” were holding 2 Western aid workers hostage. This enabled Obama to publicly congratulate Secretary of War Leon Panetta inside Congressional chambers before the Congresspeople assembled for his speech and on camera in front of millions of viewers. That left it to the media to whisper breathlessly what the congratulations were for. Smooth, Barack!

The two hostages, a Dane and an American, were seized way back in October. So I don’t think the timing of this mission was mere coincidence. According to the BBC, the captors were stoned on quat, and as it was the middle of the night, were asleep. The SEALs dispatched 9, described as “gunmen” by the NY Times. The NY Times also claims that ransom negotiations had “broken down” after the Somalis rejected $1.5 million in ransom. However the BBC interviewed their employer, the head of the aid agency, who said that they were in the middle of negotiating, but he had previously asked for U.S. help.

Personally, I don’t care for hostage takers. These aid workers were part of a demining operation. It doesn’t help Somalis in general when hoodlums target do-gooders trying to make their miserable lives better. On the other hand, I don’t feel like celebrating another U.S. death squad operation. Obama more and more is relying of assassination to get his sorry ass reelected. That should chill anyone’s blood.

His state of the Union speech was extremely militaristic. Both the opening and closing paragraphs, as well as some in the middle, consisted of military jingoism and boasting of his great victories over Al-Qaeda. I suppose that befits the head of an Empire.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

No Surprise Supreme Court “Surprised” Over Citizens' United Case Backlash

There's continuing grumbling about the Citizens' United decision, even a movement to amend the Constitution to overturn it. Protests have been staged outside the Supremes’ Temple of Justice and at other Federal courthouses around the U.S.

This is said to be surprising to the Court.

Well why shouldn't at least the five GOP apparatchiks on the Supreme Court be surprised that there's so much ferment and continuing opposition to the oppressive Citizens' United decision, that gives even more power to corporate money? They figured it would be just another esoteric decision that the sheeplike public wouldn't even know about.

Here's why it's no surprise they're surprised- people took it LYING DOWN when those reactionary buzzards STOLE THE 2000 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION. If people swallowed that, why would the “Justices” think they'd get aroused over some campaign finance case decision?

The Grotesque Economic Demagoguery Of The GOP

Say anything about the superrich, you're attacked for waging “class warfare” and practicing “the politics of envy.” (Mitt Romney recently played the latter rhetorical card.)

Meanwhile, blacks are still demonized as lazy welfare-cheating parasites who'd rather live off food stamps than work. (Newt Gingrich.)

Class envy? For decades, white racist politicians have been stoking sick envy against those on the very bottom of the class pyramid. Even though “welfare” was always a pittance, which to obtain required and requires undergoing repeated humiliation rituals, a system of abasement. And since Clinton there is a lifetime limit of five years for receiving it. So how can they still run that tired demagoguery?

Wait, there's more. Talking about the class divide between the superrich and the majority is “dividing us,” says Romney and others.

Constantly stoking racism isn't divisive, right? And bashing Hispanic immigrants? Not divisive, huh?

Cynical bastards are expert at protecting the superrich by pitting ignorant whites against blacks and Hispanics, and generating hatred and contempt for the poor.

Maybe when the 99% are submerged into poverty, they'll look for another explanation of the world they live in.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Gingrich Vows To Create Constitutional Crisis On First Day As President

Newt Gingrich promised a gang of anti-abortion fanatics in South Carolina that on his very first day in office, he'll set up a showdown with the Supreme Court by ordering the military to defy court rulings on the extremely limited rights for "terrorism suspects/enemy combatants/terror war detainees,"  meaning no lawyers, no limits on torture, no releasing anybody, ever.

Gingrich also hinted that he would tear up Roe v. Wade, claiming the right to ignore court decisions that he decides are legally flawed- in effect appointing himself as a one-made Ultimate Court.

"If the court makes a fundamentally wrong decision, the president can in fact ignore it," said Gingrich, eliciting cheers from the abortion-haters.

This madman's worse than Bush, Reagan, Obama, and Nixon. And the corporate media is so pro-authoritarian now, that they treat this matter-of-factly, instead of raining a chorus of denunciation and outrage down on this would-be dictator's head.

["Newt Gingrich: I would ignore supreme court as president" -the guardian]

Gingrich Blasts “Liberal Media” For Not Muzzling His Ex-Wife

One of Newt Gingrich’s two ex-wives (Marianne) sat for interviews with ABC News’ Nightline, NBC’s Today, and the Washington Post, to expose his hypocrisy and general loathsome sleaziness. Seems that he wanted her to join in the fun of swingin’ sex. He told her they should have an open marriage so he wouldn’t have to hide his mistress from her anymore. This was 6 years into his affair with Callista, his third and current wife. Gingrich was married to Marianne Gingrich from 1981 to 2000.

Gingrich was committing adultery at the same time he was publicly excoriating Clinton over the Lewinsky affair.

Marianne told the Washington Post that Gingrich called to ask for a divorce in 1999, as she was eating dinner with her mother on her 84th birthday.
“Is there anybody else?” she asked him. “He was quiet. Within two seconds, when he didn’t immediately answer, I knew.”
The next day, the shameless Gingrich gave a speech titled  “The Demise of American Culture” before  a GOP womens’ group.
Gingrich dumped the killjoy square Marianne shortly after she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, which is worsened by stress. (A doctor helpfully advised her to avoid stress. Thanks doc! Great tip!)

But here’s the kicker: Gingrich is taking the high road (riiight) by saying he won’t publicly criticize his ex-wife. "I'm not going to say anything negative about Marianne," Gingrich gallantly avowed. (Not in public anyway. That would be a boneheaded political move.)

Instead he’s blaming dat old debbil media for doing this: "My two daughters Kathy and Jackie have sent a letter to the president of ABC News, saying from a family perspective they think this is totally wrong," Gingrich said. "They think ABC should not air anything like this and that intruding into family things that are more, that are more than a decade old are simply wrong." 

And it was “wrong” for NBC to air an interview too, he indignantly harrumphed, in high moral dudgeon.

In other words, they should not have allowed Marianne to speak, to be heard. They should not air interviews with her. Presumably the Washington Post should not allow her words to be read by the public.

Newt Gingrich is attacking the “liberal media” for not censoring and blacking out his ex-wife, for not making her an unperson, for not denying her the right to communicate with the public.

Way to go, King Newt, Emir of Washington. Thus are all those with a will to power innate enemies of human rights and freedom of speech.

One thing about that greased eel Gingrich- he’s never at a loss for a slippery comeback that obfuscates the real issue. Another example is how he dealt with Juan Williams very mild challenge to his racist food stamp demagoguery during a recent debate.

Oh, I forgot to tiresomely remind you that Gingrich blows a lot of the typical “conservative” smoke about “family “values” “traditional values”  “moral values” “values values values blah blah blah blah blah.” (And those damn gays threatening the “sanctity” of marriage with their demands to be allowed to marry! That would destroy the institution!)

Democrats Betray Their “Base” Once Again

For the umpteenth time, the Democratic Party, under their latest slick con artist of a leader, Obama (how like Bill Clinton he actually is) is selling out the interests of a segment of the populace they purport to “represent.”

The Republicans in Congress want to slash the maximum unemployment insurance coverage for discarded workers from 99 weeks to 59 weeks. (The maximum isn’t even available in all states.) The Democrats counteroffer? Cut it to 79 weeks. 

So at a minimum a cut in unemployment is already baked into the cake. If the GOP even agrees to 79 weeks. And they'll "trade" away a demand for drug testing of applicants as their

This is what is called “compromise” in U.S. political discourse- the Democrats making unilateral concessions to reactionary proposals. 

Here’s what the Dems should have done, and would have, if they really represented the interests of the unemployed, and workers generally. Told the GOP We need to increase the coverage to 119 weeks, and make it mandatory in all states. Then if they want to compromise, they can agree to keep the status quo.
But the Democrats, contrary to their cowboys like The Nation magazine crowd (chronic Nader-haters) who exist to corral progressives and whoever into the Democratic party pen, are not “for” the people, do not represent anything except a lesser evil. Which is evil. Which means that, if decade after decade, all you ever do is exhort, browbeat, and guilt-trip people into voting for evil, you are part of the problem.

Oh, I forgot: “Think of the Supreme Court!” Think of this: a DEMOCRATIC Senator, by the name of Joe Biden chaired the Judiciary committee in a DEMOCRAT-controlled Senate, and rammed through Clarence “Pubic Hair” Thomas, lying to other Senators about Anita Hill. (See Jane Mayer and Jill Abramson’s devastating book, Strange Justice : The Selling of Clarence Thomas.) And Antonin Scalia was confirmed 98-0- including a “yea” by DEMOCRATIC Senator Al Gore- who got his just desserts when Scalia was part of the 5 person GOP cabal on the court that stole the Presidential election from him in 2000.

Sure, it makes a difference which party is in power temporarily. Like when LBJ kept the U.S. out of war in Vietnam, as he promised. Oh wait, that’s not what happened. (There’s a tradition of double-crossing Democratic presidents. Woodrow Wilson also ran in 1916 promising to stay out of WWI, and guess what? Another policy switcheroo. Hey, presidents have to be flexible to respond to changing conditions! And Obama has pulled too many double-crosses to cram into parentheses.)

 But seriously, there are differences between the two parties. But unless you except lifetime imprisonment in a political straitjacket and submission to the rule of corporate oligarchy and a bourgeois class dictatorship, there is no alternative to building a genuine opposition movement. You don’t see reactionary fanatics selling out their principles- they force the GOP to give them what they want. If progressives can’t do that- and there’ no evidence that they can- the only principled thing to do is decisively break with the corrupt corporate party. Stop being a battered political wife.

When you look at the contemptuous treatment dished out to progressive supplicants by Obama, his various spokesmen, and Jim Messina, a truly despicable operative, one is struck by the parallels to abused wife syndrome. It’s the psychology of entrapment, feeling that one has “no where else to go,” and continually self-delusional hopes that “he’ll change” and “this time it’s different.”

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me fifty times, shame on my pathetic ass.

Oh, About That History-Making Achievement By Mitt Romney...

You remember, that feat that the media breathlessly reported as The First Candidate Even To Win Both The Iowa Caucus And New Hampshire Primary! Better add an asterisk to it. Turns out Romney didn't  “win” (by 8 whole votes- actually a virtual tie with anti-gay scourge & abortion-smasher Santorum) but lost- by 35 votes.

But there's more. There's no “official” result because some votes are missing.  So it’s even more meaningless.

Anyway, the delegates these caucusers voted for can vote for any candidate they like- and the delegates haven't even voted yet.

But who cares! Rick Perry is throwing his support to Newt Gingrich! That’s another 4% in South Carolina for Gingrich! (If the polls are accurate and Perry’s partisans obey him like robots.)  Isn't this exciting? I can hardly wait to see which fanatical reactionary finally wins!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Israeli False Flag Terror Ops In Iran; Pakis Extended Terrorism to Iran

Amazing articles in Haaretz and Foreign Policy. The Mossad ran a false flag operation where they posed as CIA officers and recruited Pakistani terrorists to commit assassinations and other attacks inside Iran in2007-8. (I wonder of the self-proclaimed “newspaper of record,” the NY Times, will report it, or the rest of the U.S. corporate media.)

Working mostly in London, Mossad agents with U.S. passports  posed as CIA officers to recruit members of “Jundallah,” a Pakistan-based Sunni terrorist group. (One of Pakistan's leading industries is the creation of Sunni terrorist organizations. Religious fanatic factories called “madrassas” were set up under military dictator Zia ul-Haq, one of Reagan's favorite dictators. And the ISI mentors, protects, and directs various terror orgs. Pakistan's permanent military oligarchy sponsors and provides sanctuary for Islamic terrorists as a matter of bedrock strategic policy.)

An unnamed U.S. “intelligence officer” told Foreign Policy: "It's amazing what the Israelis thought they could get away with.""They apparently didn't give a damn what we thought."

Well, they've gotten away with worse than that. They got away with trying to sink the U.S. Navy spy ship U.S.S. Liberty in 1967. [See the book Assault On The Liberty, by a former Navy officer who was part of the crew during the attack.] And in the 1950s they bombed U.S. Installations in Egypt to make it look like the Egyptians did it and thus turn the U.S. against Egypt. They suffered no punishment for that either. So what's the big deal about using stolen/forged U.S. passports to masquerade as CIA agents to run terror ops inside Iran? Worse that can happen, Iran will blame the U.S. and the U.S. And Iran will end up in a war. (Hey, that's good for Israel! It's a no-lose situation for them! No wonder they did it!)

The Israelis would have had to assume that the Pakis military terror-masters, the ISI, would have found out about this since they host “Jundallah.” Did they calculate that the Pakis would figure this would put the U.S. In their debt, another chit to call in in the U.S.' “War on Terror”? As the U.S. secret police official said, the Israelis “apparently didn't give a damn what we thought.” [“Jundallah” probably means something like “We Are Holier Than You So We Need To Kill You.”]

And why should they? Israel actually controls the U.S. Congress. American politicians heartily endorse Israeli killings of U.S. Citizens who act in solitarity with Palestinians (such as on the aid flotillas attacked by Israel) or totally ignore such murders. (Rachel Corrie, assassinated by Caterpillar bulldozer when she wouldn't stand aside from a Palestinian home being destroyed by Israel. And a young Jewish-American artist had her eye shot out by Israeli troops for protesting with Palestinians. You'll have to go to the Village Voice to read about that one.) American Congressmen act like members of Saddam Hussein's Baath party, trying to outdo one another in their proclamations of fealty to Israel, as the Baathists would loudly roclaim loyalty to Hussein. Apparently losing an election is death to an American politician.

No one should blame Israel for this. Why shouldn't Israel pursue its own national interests to the max? That's what nations are expected to do. The blame is entirely on the U.S., for being Israel's BITCH.

The irony is that the U.S. expects every other nation on earth to subordinate its own interests to the U.S.,' yet submits almost completely to Israeli domination. It's kind of like rich and powerful men who pay dominatrixes to lord it over them and abuse them. Is some kind of weird dominance-submission thing going on here? Does overweening power create a need for submission in some powerful men and nations? Interesting question.

Of course, there are simple political and economic explanations for this strange phenomenon. American Jewish money, organization, and media/entertainment industry dominance power “hydraulics” explanation. No need for psychoanalysis. (But I bet you could have fun doing a psychoanalysis!)

Question for historians: are there any other known cases of a much smaller nation dominating a much more powerful one?

By the way, Israel denied the story. So the alternative explanation would have to be that the CIA deliberately planted disinformation hostile to Israel in Foreign Policy, a major publication aimed at the U.S. foreign policy nomenklatura, complete with forged documents. This would trick U.S. policymakers. I rather doubt U.S. Congresspeople, so slavishly subservient to Israel, would stand for this. Nor would it help Obama, facing reelection and already vilified by the GOP and rightwing Zionists as an Israel-hater.(Absurd, I know, but crazy people are a dominant force in U.S. Politics.)  I rather doubt that Obama's new CIA head, General Petraeus, would be such an ingrate. So I credit the FP article.

(A recent example of Congress' subordination to Israel is the over-the-top fan club type reception Congress gave Israeli PM Binyamin Netanyahu when he addressed them- more standing ovations than Obama got during his most recent speech to them. By the way, it is Binyamin, not “Benjamin.” Similarly, Rudolph Giuliani, not “Rudy.” Marion G. Robertson, not “Pat.” Malcolm Stevenson Forbes, not “Steve.” These aren't “regular guys,” U.S. media propagandists.)

[“False Flag” -Foreign Policy.]

[“Jundallah:Profile Of A Sunni Extremist Group” -Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty]

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Israel (Backed By U.S., As Usual) Murders 4th Iranian Scientist In 2 Years

To celebrate the second anniversary of the bombing assassination of Iranian nuclear scientist Majid Shahriari, Israel killed (or murdered,* one has to say, if you can’t find the part of international law that gives one nation the right to assassinate civilian citizens of another nation it is not at war with- and not “war” in some metaphorical or rhetorical sense, but the legal state of declared war) another Iranian scientist, Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, age 32, a professor at Tehran’s technical university, and a department supervisor at the Natanz uranium enrichment plant.  As in the previous cases, motorcyclist hitmen attached a magnetic bomb to his car door in traffic and blew him up, also killing his driver. (BBC and NPR reports.)

[“Blaming U.S. and Israel, Iran ReportsKilling of Nuclear Scientist” -NY Times] [“Iranian scientist involved in nuclear program killed in Tehranbomb attack” –Washington Post]


Far from denying the assasinations, Lieutenant-General Benny Gantz, Israel’s military chief of staff, said yesterday that Iran should expect more "unnatural" events this year. How’s that for a not-too-subtle threat? (1)

Israel is in the process of training Iranian terrorists in Iraq to attack Iran. (Also known as “guerrillas” or “paramilitaries” or “freedom fighters,” depending on your political and ideological agenda- personally, mine is objectivity. People who assassinate civilians and plant bombs in cities are terrorists. If they aren’t, then the word has no meaning whatsoever except as a political curse word applied to dissidents and protesters, as the FBI, Bashar Assad of Syria, and U.S.-trained death squads do, and to armed political enemies. Or you can use the cynical term “assets,” as the professional secret policemen, military cutthroats, “commentators” and “statesmen” do. Of course, these Iranian clients/Israeli cat’s paws have their own agenda, to overthrow the Iranian regime. Hard to see how terrorist acts further that goal. If anything, they strengthen the regime, creating unity or at least conformity against the violent foreign assault. If there was a movement fighting back against the oppression of the regime that needed arms, for example when the regime was repressing masses of Iranians protesting the crooked election a few years back, that would be different. But neither Israel nor the U.S. was interested in that, just as the Syrian people are currently left to suffer their fate at the hands of the sado-murder Assad regime.)


Haaretz, citing the French paper Le Figaro, reports that Israel is training these Iranians in the Kurdish-controlled area of Iraq to carry out bombing attacks in Iran.

Prior to the previous round of planned negotiations, two Iranian scientists were attacked in Tehran with car bombs, one fatally. This attack also precedes feelers towards negotiations. You have to wonder if “hawks” in Israel and the U.S. are deliberately sabotaging any chance of a non-military resolution to the Western-created crisis.

[TIMELINE / Mysterious deaths and blasts linked to Iran'snuclear program” –]

So let’s get this straight: a country of Islamic lunatics, Pakistan, has an actual nuclear arsenal, a military that sponsors terrorist attacks against two neighboring countries and, according to testimony to Conress by former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen, against U.S. troops and even the U.S. embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan. Plus it’s been a major proliferator of nuclear weapons technology to countries the U.S. doesn’t like, like Syria and North Korea. Yet the sky will fall if Iran gets nuclear weapons. I don’t think so. The U.S., Israel, France, Britain, all united, have nuclear arsenals, and unlike the deranged Taliban, the Iranian mullahs aren’t suicidal. What’s “intolerable” to Israel and its Western patrons is a shift in the balance of power in the Middle East. That’s all it’s about.

Oh, by the way, here’s more evidence that Israel can do whatever it wants, from Haaretz: [“Israel subsidizesWest Bank housing, breaking promise to U.S.”] This is in “retaliation” for the Palestinians joining UNESCO, a grave crime in the eyes of Israel and the U.S.



*Of course, assassinating people in these cases isn’t called “murder” in Western media reports. For some reason, when their own Governments do it, assassinations aren’t murder to these “journalists.” It’s only “murder” when enemy regimes kill people, and oftentimes the “courts” of these countries demand reparations of hundreds of millions of dollars for the deaths.

U.S. courts have entered judgments of hundreds of millions of dollars in political cases against the PLO, Iran, and Cuba for shooting down exile terrorist planes over Havana. On the other hand, Israel isn’t dragged into court over killing sailors when they tried to sink the U.S.S. Liberty in 1967, although they paid “compensation”- over which they did a lot of haggling- nor are they forced to pay for murdering U.S. citizens like Rachel Corrie, killed by U.S.-supplied Caterpillar armored bulldozer, or the American-Turkish citizen murdered by Israeli commandos raiding a relief flotilla trying to break the Gaza blockade. In fact the U.S. Government and media voiced full-throated support for that and other attacks on aid flotillas.

The Qaddafi regime paid reparations for bombing airliners, which it should have. The point here is the self-righteously moralistic double-standards of Western and especially U.S. courts. If the U.S. had to pay hundreds of millions for each civilian death/murder it committed, directly or indirectly, it would be on the hook literally for hundreds of trillions of dollars.

It’s not “objective” to avoid the proper word, “murder,” and substitute “killing.” It is a tacit moral endorsement to not use the proper word. (On the other hand, the U.S. media does apparently think abortion is “murder,” as it uses the anti-abortion movement’s verbiage in its “objective” reporting, calling these fanatics- who include terrorists- “pro-life,” and pro-human rights position the right to control one’s own body, the right not to be forced to bear offspring like some captive farm animal, the right of choice, “pro-abortion.”)

Now, if the media thinks it’s justified for their countries to kill people for reasons of state, they should just say so. They could run editorials or op-eds titled “Why We Murder” or “Our Need To Murder” or “When Is Murder Justified?” (answer: when “we” do it) if they like. But their intellectual dishonesty and moral bad faith are illuminated by their refusal to do that, the honest thing. And I’m sure there are plenty of reactionaries who’d be happy to make the case (“we are killing a few bad people to prevent a nuclear holocaust that would kill millions” would be one specious argument they’d no doubt make) just as there have long been rightists who justify torture. 

For example, Harvard Law Professor and Zionist shill Alan Dershowitz wants “torture courts” to issue “torture warrants” to legalize and, presumably, remove the moral stench from torturing Muslims. And as long ago as 1982, loathsome professor Michael Levin was given a whole page in Newsweek- a criminal enterprise involved in trying to protect the murderers of Orlando Letelier and Ronni Moffitt by terrorist bombers in Washington, D.C., among many other crimes- to run a straightforward defense of torture, “the Case For Torture.” Even now Brandeis University maintains a webpage for Levin to put forth noxious sophistry justifying torture. I won’t put the link here- you can google “Michael Levin torture” and you’ll find it.]

(1)    Apparently more Iranians have been assassinated than just the 4 scientists. Israel has a covert ops campaign against Iran that is now 12 or more years old. Haaretz published an article in 2009, citing the U.K. Daily Telegraph, with details of this. [“Is Israel assassinating Iran nuclear scientists?

Daily Telegraph: Israel using hitmen, double agentsto disrupt project as alternative to military strike.”]

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

As Dixville Notch Goes, So Goes The Nation

The U.$. corporate media is so clueless it doesn't even realize it acts like a caricature of itself out of a satirical novel. Now they're all over the microscopic hamlet of Dixville Notch, New Hampshire, claiming that it correctly predicts the winner of GOP Presidential contests. How many (white) voters are we talking about?

Nine. Three of those for Obama, two apiece for Romney and Huntsman, one for Gingrich, one for Paul, zero for the mighty Comeback King Santorum, zero for Perry, the Texas Prairie gunslinger.

So really the "big" news from Dixville Notch is that Obama beat all the GOP candidates. In fact, he got 50% more votes than the nearest challenger!

Unbelievably, while Nigeria is coming apart at the seams, and Assad continues his slaughter in Syria, just about all you can hear this morning on the U.S. media is this incredible trivial.

Truly the U.S. media is pathetic rubbish.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Reflections On Herman Cain’s Weak Defense Against Sexual Harassment Charges

When you think back on it, it seems a bit strange that hard chargin’ Herman Cain bowed out of the Presidential race after only a mere four women accused him of sexual harassment or molestation. Especially since he denied all. And you’d think that since he claimed God had instructed him to run, he’d be fearful of running afoul of “His” wrath. Remember what God did to Lot’s wife? And the gruesome death “He” arranged for “His” own son? And how about the time “He” almost forced Abraham to murder his own son? Doesn’t sound like a Bastard you want to cross. And Cain didn’t say he was quitting because “God” told him to. And surely, with God behind him, mere temporal forces like “the media” and “liberals” and Rick Perry’s campaign staff, even with the shadowy “them” as allies, wouldn’t have been able to stop Cain’s inevitable election.

Maybe Cain could have hung in there if he’d had a stronger defense. Let’s look at what he said:

“For every one person that comes forward with a false accusation…there are thousands who would say none of that sort of activity ever came from Herman Cain.”

Really, couldn’t he have made a stronger defense than that? Why didn’t he say instead:

“For every one person that comes forward with a false accusation…there are BILLIONS who would say none of that sort of activity ever came from Herman Cain.”

Big difference, right?

Unless…a troubling thought occurs. What if there were actually more than the four women who spoke up? What is there were a LOT more? A LOT LOT more??!!

Why would he say there are only “thousands” of women he didn’t hit on or molest for every one he did? Could it be that there are millions of women Herman Cain has hit on?

Could Herman Cain himself be a God in disguise? Namely Priapus?

He did say that “God” told him to run. Maybe the God who told him was Zeus! That would be an order from his superior God. And these Greek Gods are fond of assuming various disguises.

It’s worth considering.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Undecided Fades In Final Stretch In Iowa Caucus

It's Romney by a nose- or a nosehair. Just 8 votes out of about 120,000 separated him from Placehorse Santorum, Hater of Gays and Abortion. Each had 25% of the small town bitter old white person vote.

So 30,000 is a Very Big Deal.

Ron Paul was the Showhorse, with either 21% or 22% (the front page of the NY Times for Jan. 4 couldn't decide, so they gave two different numbers in side by side articles).

Bachmann, an Iowa native who promised to wave a magic Presidential wand and lower gasoline taxes to $2.00 a gallon if elected, is calling it quits. Good riddance, McCarthyite harridan. (Remember when she wanted a witchhunt of Democratic members of Congress? You don't? Maybe that's because the media never reminds you of how fanatic and extreme the "conservatives" are.)

Pious Rick Perry, he of the quick trigger finger and tied tongue, slunk back to Texas to lick his wounds and "decide" what to do.

What happened was, fanatical religious fundamentalist imams- I mean pastors- rallied their robots behind Santorum, in violation of their tax-free status as "religions." They're not supposed to engage in blatant, partisan political activity in their pulpits. They do it anyway, because everyone is afraid of them. Like in the Middle East. Different religion, same principle.

Seventh Place Jon Huntsman Jr., yet another scion of yet another very rich Mormon, was ignored. No one says he's finished.

Bizarrely, NY Times reporter Jeff Zeleny thinks Santorum and Romney  have views that “represent polar sides of the party.” Like there’s more than an inch of difference between their stated positions.

Santorum showed once again what a deranged fanatic he is during his "victory" speech. He waxed mystical about how "God" gave America to "us" (white people) and then abruptly swung into a non sequitur attacking abortion. So he neatly eliminated from history how "we" actually got this territory- through the killing of millions of people who had been living here for the 15,000 previous years before the European conquest. Then without a seque he's griping that abortion is murder. You could call it unintentional irony, but despicable is the word that springs to mind. Deny completely a genocide, more completely than voicing a denial, just act like it actually never happened, then attack the basic human right to control one's own body in the name of moral revulsion towards murder.