Sunday, June 30, 2013

Obama Regime Sentences Lynne Stewart to Die in Prison

If anything should strip the benign veneer off Cool Hand Barack, it is the denial of compassionate release to the dying, disbarred lawyer Lynne Stewart. The warden of her Federal prison in Texas six weeks ago recommended compassionate release  to Stewart, who has metastatic breast cancer and only months or weeks to live. (Had she received proper medical care in prison, she probably would have lived longer, perhaps years longer. Her supporters lined up treatment for her at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, a premier cancer treatment hospital. Maybe the Obama regime feared they'd prolong her life.)

The warden's recommendation for release sat on the desk of the boss of Federal prisons in the empire's capital, Washington D.C., all this time, I guess to prolong the anxiety of Lynne, her family, and supporters.

To briefly review her "crime," she issued a public statement from her imprisoned "terrorist" client, "the blind Egyptian sheik" as he is universally called in the U.S. media. (A thorn in the side of the U.S.-backed Mubarak dictatorship, he was oddly allowed sanctuary in the U.S., apparently to spy on him and troll for information about his followers both in the U.S. and Egypt. An infiltrator was paid a million dollars to help trap him in a plot, complete with phony FBI "safehouse" and FBI-supplied barrels of chemicals. Not that these guys were innocents, but the Sheik's role seemed tangential at best. But all that is separate from Stewart's case.)

Instead of being banned from further contact with the prisoner for breaking prison rules demanding that he be held incommunicado for life, she was tried and convicted on felony charges and sentenced to two years, and disbarment. Unsatisfied with that, the Government took it to the Federal Appeals court in NYC, which issued a blistering excoriation to the trial judge and demanded a harsher sentence. The trial judge duly complied, quintupling her sentence to 10 years.

Well, at least she won't have to serve the whole ten years.

It is gratuitously cruel and vindictive, and revealing of the level of political fanaticism within the U.S. Government (in this case both its executive and, earlier, judicial branches) that they insist she die in prison, alone. It should also disabuse any progressives of the "good guy" nature of the Democratic Party and its leaders.

As if what we've already seen of the Democrats isn't enough, such as Clinton's mass murders in Haiti, Rwanda and Sudan, his causing the 2008 global economic collapse with his repeal of Glass-Steagall and another law to bar regulation of financial derivatives, Carter's initiation of wars in Central America and empowering jihadists in Afghanistan, LBJ's Vietnam War and accompanying massive domestic repression,  JFK's torture training program for Latin America, Truman's initiation of the purges and mass repression of the so-called "McCarthy era," FDR's imprisonment of Japanese-Americans in concentration camps, or the racist Wilson's purging of the Federal government of all black employees and the "Espionage Act," which he used to imprison opponents of U.S. entry into World War I, a gift to Obama which he relishes using today on complainers and critics within the secret police surveillance establishment. How much more evidence do you need? How about the fact that the Democrats are, like the GOP, a party that represents and is mostly funded by big corporate interests?

If you want to go the peaceful route for change, first you must build an alternative political party. Ralph Nader made a worthy effort running as the Green Party candidate, for which he was violently assailed  by such auxiliaries of the Democrats as The Nation magazine.

But I digress. What makes Obama (and before him, Clinton, and Reagan is another good example) so sinister is that in personal presentation he doesn't seem at all evil. Yet he is a ruthless, heartless man, a killer. (Like Clinton and Reagan.) In U.S. politics, to rise to the pinnacle, one has to project a non-threatening image, which is what those top politicians do (and did) so adeptly. It fools most of the people most of the time. Good enough for the oligarchy's purposes.

See also : "U.S. Government-Obama Regime Murdering Lynne Stewart in Slow Motion."

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Sinister Doings In Edward Snowden NSA Expose Case

Notice I said "expose," not "leak." This wasn't a leak, some anonymous transfer of info to the public by an insider. This was an expose by a courageous, principled, and in terms of his personal fate, unfortunately foolish or self-sacrificing, depending on how you view it, person in a position to reveal scary police state surveillance.

In the Saturday June 29 edition of the Wall Street Journal, the leading U.S. paper of high finance and a consistently utterly reactionary editorial line, Obama is attacked for not "demanding" and "forcing" the Chinese and Russians to hand over Snowden. (Snowden has been in the Moscow airport arrival lounge for several days now.) They excoriate Obama for not picking up the phone and reading the riot act to Putin (and the Chinese boss too).

Even more sinister, there's an op-ed by known CIA operative Edward J. Epstein, who played a role in Nixon's overthrow (set up by the CIA) and in the frame-up of Lee Harvey Oswald for the JFK assassination. His op-ed darkly insists that Snowden "penetrated" Booz Allen Hamilton (and thus the NSA) according to an advance "plan" to infiltrate and "steal" "secrets." He accuses Glenn Greenwald and the documentarian Laura Poitras of possible involvement in a conspiracy to "steal" "national security secrets" namely "communications intelligence." This is very threatening to all three.

Already, deranged U.S. House Representative Peter King on TV has called for Greenwald's prosecution and slandered him by falsely claiming Greenwald threatened to reveal CIA officers' identities. Greenwald responded by pointing out that that's a flat falsehood- I would say probably a lie, that is, King probably knew it was false. King certainly hasn't corrected the public record or issued a retraction.

Poitras already is subject to fairly severe persecution by the U.S. Government, and has been for several years, for making documentaries on such subjects as Iraqi and Yemeni suffering at the hands of the U.S. Agree or disagree, she SHOULD have the right to pursue those topics, and the U.S. establishment PRETENDS she does, in fact they claim her right to do so is "guaranteed" by their Holy Constitution. Too bad their oaths to "defend and uphold it" are so much empty prattle. It really reveals the cynicism of their constant invocation of "legality" and "rule of law" and justifying their police state by saying it's "lawful." Their Blessed Constitution is supposed to be foundational law. And yet the parts that get in the way of their exercise of repressive power is trampled by their goons and enforcers daily. [The details on Poitras' persecution by U.S. police state goons are in her interviews at and elsewhere. Do a search.]

Monday, June 24, 2013

Watch Out Ecuador, the U.S. Is Gonna Get You Now!

Once again, tiny Ecuador is stepping up to the plate to defend human rights- indeed the rights of most people on this planet, who are entitled to information about what is being done to them.

First they granted asylum to victim of U.S. persecution Julian Assange (currently trapped in the Ecuadorean embassy in London thanks to the threats of U.S.-stooge nation “Great” Britain to arrest him if he dares step outside). Assange's “crime” was helping to reveal dirty U.S. secrets (aka "classified information") to the world via WikiLeaks. (WikiLeaks itself came under attack by U.S. corporations such as Visa, Mastercard, and Pay”pal,” which blocked donations to the website.)

Now Edward Snowden, the self-sacrificing ex-National Security Agency contractor who revealed to the world parts of the massive and pernicious U.S. spying on its own citizens, is apparently on his way to Ecuador via Russia. WikiLeaks helped arrange things for the confused Snowden, who thought he'd be safe in Hong Kong, which isn't even a signatory to the international convention on asylum. (Another reason for the U.S. to hate WikiLeaks and thirst for revenge on Julian Assange.)

Ecuador can expect the standard U.S. treatment for third world countries, especially ones in “it's” hemisphere (which it calls “our hemisphere,” as in “we own it”) that step out of line. President Correa of Ecuador has been demonized by the U.S. propaganda system from day one because he's a leftist. (Snowden better hope rightists never take over Ecuador again if he plans on staying there long!) The U.S. has a 54 year long grudge against Cuba, for example, for seizing U.S. mobsters' casinos.

The U.S. is already hurling abuse at Hong Kong and Russia for failing to knuckle under to imperious U.S. diktat. The U.S. demanded that Hong Kong arrest and hand over Snowden, even though it was perfectly legal for Snowden to leave the city. This lawless U.S. demand was refused, which prompted the U.S. to tongue-lash Hong Kong. (The U.S., after all, is used to kidnapping people and flying them around the world to secret torture prisons.) [1]

U.S. Secretary of “State” (maybe that should be called the Department of Global Domination from now on) John Kerry told loathsome NBC “News,” We continue to hope that the Russians will do the right thing. We think it’s very important in terms of our relationship. We think it’s very important in terms of rule of law. We have returned seven criminals that they requested for extradition over the last two years. So we really hope that the right choice will be made here.” (Wow! Seven whole petty criminals handed over in two years! That's like, three and a half per year, on average. Now that's cooperation, U.S.! Bravo! The Russians owe you, big time!)

This from the nation that seized Russian arms dealer Victor Bout in Thailand and threw him into a U.S. prison. The Russians complained mightily about that, to no avail. So now the U.S. demands a favor, as its lawful right, from Russia. Gall, thy name is U.S.A. [2]

Since the US. can be expected to abuse Snowden if they get him in their clutches, under international law no nation should hand him over to the U.S. The U.S. is known for harsh abuse of political prisoners, as their treatment of Bradley Manning just reminded us, and the Obama regime's current refusal to release the dying Lynne Stewart from prison on compassionate release, as the warden of her prison recommended six weeks ago. [See “U.S. Government-Obama Regime Murdering Lynne Stewart in Slow Motion.]

It's past time for more nations to ban together to stand up to the power of the U.S. superbully. It is really unhealthy for all of humanity (that's us, including Americans, who are too stupid to realize their proper identification is with the human race, not a vicious empire they happen to live in) to have one nation so overwhelmingly powerful. A healthier state of the world would be a more even distribution of power between different nations (and peoples). No good can come from a musclebound thug nation domineering the planet. (This does not imply that all other nations are virtuous. Indeed most are awful. But a balance of awfulness between rivals would be an improvement. No credence should be granted to the bogus U.S. propaganda claim that it defends freedom and democracy. Even a cursory review of history- i.e. actual facts- refutes that.)

Kerry has also just joined the chorus calling Snowden a “traitor.” That's the epithet du jour the U.S. government and media elites have rolled out to rain down on Snowden's head.

Kerry is a creepy, dull, assiduously ambitious ladder-climber who has managed, thanks in part to marrying into the Heinz food fortune, to climb high up in the political hierarchy, worming his way into ranking membership in the nomenklatura. Ironically he's a guy who's been on the receiving end of that “traitor” epithet- from which he's learned nothing, apparently, except that he should cozy up to smearers by being one.

First off, if “America” is the people of America, than Snowden is a hero for trying to tell them what is being done to them. He is like Paul Revere, sounding the alarm. (See his video interviews with the Guardian at But obviously that isn't the rulers' definition of America. Their definition is the state, the permanent political power structure consisting of themselves. Snowden doesn't owe this oppressive state any loyalty, contrary to what anyone, including Snowden himself, may believe.

We're all born somewhere. We come into a world where the land is divided up between political entities called nation-states. We get no choice where we are born, and can only gain the “right” to live in the geographical territory claimed by another nation-state with great difficulty (unless you're rich). We have NO intrinsic obligation to a nation-state just because we were born on this planet and these power entities claim all the territory. (And parts of the seas to boot!)

Furthermore, the evildoers of the U.S. political establishment and their massive secret police state are the enemies of humanity and insofar as they strip the American people of all their basic rights (to privacy and, increasingly, to protest, which is what the massive surveillance is designed to quash- Karl Rove of all people just let that cat out of the bag when he alluded to future mass unrest stemming from the planned gutting of Social Security by these mega-looters) they are the real traitors- if by America you mean the people. But as I said, that's not what the power elites mean by “America.”

No one owes any nation-state loyalty, and certainly not an imperialist one like the U.S., an evil empire founded on the twin pillars of genocide and slavery which likes to strut the world bullying others to submit to its will while it spews the most sickening self-aggrandizing propaganda about how all it's doing is spreading freedom and democracy to all corners of the globe, like some veritable Johnny Appleseed of human liberation!

The great Frederick Douglass called out the U.S. on its deranged, self-adulating rhetoric back in 1852, and it turns out to be absolutely as true today:

What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July? I answer; a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sound of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciation of tyrants brass fronted impudence; your shout of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanks-givings, with all your religious parade and solemnity, are to him, mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy -- a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages. There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody than are the people of the United States, at this very hour.

Worship such a nation? “Owe” it loyalty? Bullshit.

So remember, wherever you live: Your only duty is to the human race.

1] See, for example, the horrible thing the U.S. did to Lakhdar Boumediene, a Red Crescent worker with children and a citizen of Bosnia, who was kidnapped from there by the CIA and its local accomplices after the Bosnian Supreme Court ordered him freed, and held in the Guantanamo Bay torture prison for seven and a half years.

Here's an excerpt from the Wikipedia entry, which also shows how dangerous it is to have the NSA do data-mining to find “terrorist links.” If you happen to be acquainted with someone else who makes too many (in the eyes of the U.S.) phone calls to the “wrong” countries (even if they're “allied” ones like Pakistan and Afghanistan) and you can be locked up and tortured for years.

In early October 2001, less than a month after al Qaeda's attack on September 11, 2001 in the United States, intelligence analysts in the United States Embassy in Sarajevo became concerned that an increase in chatter was a clue that al Qaeda was planning an attack on the embassy. At their request, Bosnia arrested Bensayah Belkacem, the man they believed had made dozens of phone calls to Afghanistan and Pakistan, and five acquaintances of his, including Boumediene. All six were Algerian-born residents of Bosnia, and five were Bosnian citizens; one had permanent residency status. They all worked for charities and non-profits.

"In January 2002, the Supreme Court of Bosnia ruled that there was no evidence to hold the six men, ordered the charges dropped and the men released. American forces, including troops who were part of a 3,000-man American peace-keeping contingent in Bosnia, were waiting for the six men upon their release from Bosnian custody. They immediately seized the six and transported them to Guantánamo Bay detention camp on a US Navy base on Cuba. They were detained and interrogated without being charged.”

So in June of 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court got around to ruling that the 6 prisoners in the Boumedienne suit (outside lawyers had to bring a case to court- remember, the U.S. government had no case against its “terrorist” victims) had a right to habeas corpus, which means they could challenge their imprisonment. Just to get the “right” to challenge their imprisonment took that long! And even that was a squeaker: the Court ruling was 5-4. The U.S. dumped him in France after 11 more months of torture. He's been unemployed ever since, and is no doubt deeply damaged by the vicious torment inflicted on him. Of course he was separated from his family, and there are no visitation or telephone “privileges” for “the worst of the worst,” and almost no mail from families allowed.

I recommend reading the rest of the article here.

2] The Bout case was a particularly brazen example of the U.S. crowning itself boss of the world and imposing its own “law” on the entire planet. It sent DEA agents to Thailand, pretending to be arms buyers for FARC (Colombian) guerrillas, and recorded Bout going along with a fantasy-scheme to sell weapons to “FARC” (the DEA pretending to be FARC) to “kill Americans.” (I.e. the American Special Forces and CIA thugs in Colombia who are helping the Colombian government try and crush the guerrillas.) Thus the U.S. manufactured the “crime” of “providing material support to terrorism” (i.e. DEA agents masquerading as FARC) and “conspiring to kill Americans” (the “conspiracy” being the conversation with the DEA agent about the make-believe arms deal). Notice that self-defense by FARC from U.S. attack in Colombia is “terrorism” against the U.S. (Well, the Nazis called the resistance fighters in the countries they occupied “terrorists.” I guess that's just one more thing the U.S. learned from the Nazis, along with all the great Gestapo torture methods the CIA studied after World War II.)

Remember, all this took place in Thailand. And the DEA is the Drug Enforcement Administration. What, a normal person might wonder, is a bunch of U.S. narcs doing in Thailand entrapping a Russian arms dealer into a bogus arms deal pretending they're from the FARC? Good question. It's not a question that the U.S. Government or media ever answered- or in the case of the media, even asked.

"He broke our laws," is the only answer you ever get. I see.

"And he's a bad man." (The U.S. media made a big deal harping on that. I can think of some bad men the U.S. media glorifies, but we'll skip that for now.)

Victor Bout is not a savory character, to be sure. (Which didn't stop the U.S. from using his services in the past before they turned on him. Shades of Noriega!) Nor is the U.S.-favored arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi particularly admirable, for one. Don't see the U.S. throwing him in prison, for example.

So now the U.S. is demanding that Russia hand over an American whistle-blower. What arrogance. Apparently the U.S. rulers are too blinded by their power to be able to imagine another nation's point of view. If I were Putin, I'd tell the U.S. to go pound salt.

And insofar as one thing Snowden did was to provide a timely reminder to the Russians and the Chinese how much the NSA is spying on them too, I can't imagine why they'd want to do the U.S. the favor of handing Snowden over to their tender mercies.

To parse Kerry's self-righteous blather: As always, “the right thing” is what the U.S. wants. And “rule of law” means “global rule of U.S. law, as interpreted by the U.S. government.” And those interpretations are infinitely flexible.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Aljazeera Joins Attack on NSA Leaker

Aljazeera has joined the assault on Edward Snowden, the cashiered Booz Allen Hamilton Corporation computer systems administrator who exposed a couple of the “National Security” Agency's hidden, massive surveillance programs that surreptitiously seize the phone and Internet records of the American public en masse.

Their Washington correspondent, Kimberly Dozier, joining the U.S. media offensive against Snowden, piled on, calling him a “liar,” because some U.S. politician says so. The story was headlined by Aljazeera calling Snowden a “liar.” (There's no substance to the smear.)

Yet Alajzeera doesn't call obvious, proven liars, like James Clapper Jr, U.S. “Director of National Intelligence,” liars. Clapper lied in Congressional testimony in March when Senator Ron Wyden asked him directly if the NSA was collecting data of Americans. Clapper said no. Then nervously added “not advertently,” another lie. (Now that he was caught lying, although the establishment media is too polite to point out the blatant lie, Clapper says his lie was the “least untruthful” thing he could have said, whatever the hell that is supposed to mean. When the true answer is “yes” and you say “no,” that is the MOST untruthful thing you can say. It is the exact opposite of the truth.)

People like Clapper, and every head of the NSA, ever, lie every time they speak. Their counterparts at the major national and international secret police agencies, the FBI and CIA, also chronically lie. Right now, the FBI boss, Robert S. Mueller, III, is lying, claiming terrible damage to U.S. “security” has been done, which is obvious nonsense. [1]

Aljazeera is owned by the monarchy of Qatar, a U.S. ally. Nice of them to join the U.S. government side in this, especially considering how the U.S. treats Aljazeera, bombing their offices, kidnapping their employees, and much else. Ironically, the NSA is part of the Pentagon, it's a military agency, always headed by a general, and it's the U.S. military that keeps bombing Aljazeera, in Kabul and Baghdad, and almost in Doha, Qatar- Tony Blair managed to talk George Bush the Younger out of doing that. The U.S. also reviles Aljazeera as terrorist propaganda, and U.S. corporations have bent over backward to keep Aljazeera television out of the U.S. But not out of Washington, D.C. Apparently the U.S. Imperialist elite, including past Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, rely on it for information!

Kind of like if Heinrich Himmler had kept a secret copy of the Torah for reference.

1] Mueller was also boss of the FBI when the Al-Qaeda airliner kamikaze attacks of 9/11/01 occurred, so most likely he was part of the conspiracy that was watching the hijackers and deliberately allowed the attacks to occur, to enable the subsequent power grab by the secret police agencies. To mention just a few of the many facts that make this conclusion inescapable: Zacarias Moussaoui, the “20th hijacker,” was arrested before 9/11. French intelligence had told the U.S. he was a “terrorist.” The Minnesota FBI asked FBI headquarters in Washington for a FISA warrant to search Moussaoui's computer. HQ said getting a warrant would be impossible. WHAT?! The FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) court virtually never says no to warrant requests. In its history (1979-2012 data) it has granted almost 34,000 warrants and refused- hang on- eleven. That's right, less than one out of every 3,000 get turned down.

Two of the hijackers were living in California. Their landlord was an FBI informer. After 9/11, Congress asked the FBI to present the informer and his FBI handler for questioning. The FBI flatly refused. Congress slinked off with its tail between its legs. Obviously the FBI had a lot to hide. The incident also proves that the secret police are more powerful than the national legislature. That's one definition of a police state. (The FBI has always been more powerful than Congress. Historically, part of that has been due J. Edgar Hoover's practice of assembling blackmail dossiers on politicians. Another factor is the repressive laws that Congress passes, and the way the FBI si allowed to ride roughshod over alleged “Constitutional rights.”)

Mueller just came out with a stunningly cynical and dishonest statement. Testifying to Congress on June 13th, he invoked the 9/11/01 attacks, claiming that if the just revealed NSA spy programs had been in effect then, they might have stopped the attacks. He admitted that “intelligence agencies” (in the description of the New York Times) was tracking one of the hijackers [ of the ones living in the FBI informer-landlord's place] and also looking at an Al-Qaeda safehouse in Yemen, and if only they could have connected the two by seizing the phone records of everyone in the U.S., they could have made the connection. How's that for brazenness! First of all, the NSA has ALWAYS spied on all overseas communications as that is their official mission. So any phones in that “safehouse” would have been automatically covered. And since the FBI had set up the San Diego hijackers in their informers pad, their phones no doubt were tapped, and probably the house was bugged too. Of course, the U.S. media won't mention any of this.

And Mueller knows that, which is what gives him the confidence to display such breathtaking chutzpah. [The NY Times pretty much hid what happened in the committee hearing Mueller appeared at. They buried the details in a long article about NSA boss Alexander allegedly promising more openness. There is no hint in the NYT's version of Mueller's appearance of conflict at the hearing between Mueller and the Congressmen. I had to go to foreign media to find that out- namely the Guardian. See “FBI chief Mueller says spy tactics could havestopped 9/11 attacks, June 13th.]

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Birds Gotta Fly, Fish Gotta Swim, Liars Gotta Lie


“National Security” Agency boss General Keith B. Alexander used a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing to claim that the just-exposed NSA spy programs had foiled “dozens” of so-called “terrorism threats”- not all of them in the U.S. Funny that the oppression establishment waited three days to make this claim. And just what constitutes a “threat”? Sounds like something less than a plot, say, much less an actual action. [1]

Anyway there is no reason to believe him, especially about such a vague claim without any details. Who knows what he's talking about?

Experience shows us that when they claim to have foiled “terrorist plots,” there's a lot of exaggeration involved.

And the secret police bosses lie every single time they make a public statement.

Yet the establishment media, which must know better, accords a presumption of believability and authority to these liars' statements.[2]

He also claimed Congress “authorized” his activities- even though “Congress,” that is, MOST MEMBERS OF CONGRESS, have NO IDEA what the NSA is up to. And the few who know more than most, the members of the so-called “Intelligence” Committees in the House and Senate, are not allowed to tell anyone what they know, including other members of Congress, on pain of imprisonment.

Alexander also repeated the same lies that others in the Obama regime are spouting, including Obama himself, claiming he welcomes “debate” - putting out lies and propaganda when caught is what they call “debate.” Alexander actually had the nerve to say “We aren't trying to hide it.” WHAT!!!

Like I say, the man has no credibility. It's like someone saying the world is flat.

Another whopper was his claim that the NSA is “protecting this nation and our civil liberties and privacy” under the alleged “oversight” of the “courts” (the secret rubber-stamping judges of the FISA court) and Congress. [My italics.] Congress conducts no meaningful oversight over secret police and secret military activities, which has been proven over and over for years now. The NSA's blatant violation of Americans' rights and illegal spying (now “legalized” at least to some degree by the FISA rubber-stamps, which for some reason the Bush regime couldn't be bothered to obtain) is what forced NSA whistleblowers like William Binney, Thomas Drake, and others to complain internally and finally to Congress, resulting in FBI terror raids on their homes and heavy criminal charges, which they were eventually, at great expense and energy and psychic wear and tear, able to escape from, thanks in part to their visibility and political support from concerned citizens.

FBI secret police chief Robert Mueller also chimed in today, with the standard “national security” and “protection” racket bullshit.

Senator Dianne Feinstein, chair of the Senate “Intelligence” Committee, participated in the pacification track of the oppression establishment's response to the disclosures, claimed that the telephone records secret vacuumed up under the particular program Snowden revealed involving those records, are destroyed after five years. Believe her if you want.

Feinstein also let slip that the purloined data records aren't used just for counterterrorism. No kidding.

There are four main tracks to the eatablishment's counterattack. One track is justification of the spying, couched both in terms of protection of the American people and of “national security,” and claims of legality and oversight. Second is piteous cries of grave harm to their power to spy- absurd on its face, yet this claim persists. A third track is pacification, issuing soothing words like Obama's “no one is listening to your phone calls,” a completely disingenuous and dishonest claim typical of Obama. No, this particular NSA spy program doesn't collect the voice content of the calls. That is done under other programs. And of course various secret police and regular police agencies listen to the calls of many tens of thousands of people every year.

More pertinently to this particular spy program, the information contained in the metadata in fact is incredibly intrusive, as some people concerned with the increasing evisceration of civil liberties and privacy have pointed out. Dianne Feinstein and others contributed to Obama's minimization by claiming the NSA is merely taking the same stuff as is on your phone bill. (You might want to check your bill to see if it shows your location for every call you made and the location of the other party for every call, among other things that ARE NOT on your bill that the NSA is collecting and saving.) [3]

The fourth track is reviling Edward Snowden, calling him a traitor, and includes character assassinations by the likes of David Brooks and Thomas Friedman in their New York Times columns, and by Jeffrey Toobin, one of these fake New Yorker magazine liberals. [4]

Another liar, vicious GOP Congressman Peter King from Long Island, NY, slandered Glenn Greenwald, the Guardian columnist who broke the story, claiming Greenwald threatened to reveal the names of covert CIA officers. Greenwald called that a lie, and referenced King's support for the Irish Republican Army, officially a “terrorist” organization. King is a guy who revels in murder, wants to murder Julian Assange, and was glad to see the murder of the 16 year old son of Anwar al-Awlaki by U.S. drone, along with his teenage cousins, in a restaurant two weeks after al-Awlaki's assassination.

Murdoch's propaganda organ Fox “News,” provided the platform for King's smear. King also called for the prosecution of Greenwald and other journalists who publish the information revealed by Edward Snowden, the former Booz, Allen Hamilton Corp. systems administrator who “went rogue.”

By the way, “national security” is code for U.S. power. That is very important to remember whenever you hear them invoke that term.

1] Alexander is also the commander of the U.S. Cyber Command, the military arm that conducts cyberwarfare, both offensive as against Iran, and defensive, as in trying to stop Chinese cyberespionage.

2] Apparently I'm not alone in my doubts about the veracity of Alexander. The NY Times described unnamed members of the Appropriations Committee as “skeptical” during his testimony. [“N.S.A. Chief Says Phone Record Logs Halted Terror Threats,” 6/13/13, p. A18.] No word if he was testifying under oath.

The article also quoted former high ranking secret policeman Philip Mudd saying it's very hard for “terrorists” to function without using electronic communications, and that there's no way to do that without leaving a digital trail. So much for the “grave damage to our capabilities” line James R. Clapper, Jr, Obama's mendacious Director of National Intelligence is pushing, as are others. He's the guy who lied in Congress in March when Senator Ron Wyden asked him to his face if the NSA was collecting Americans' data and he said no. Now he says that lie was the “least untruthful” answer he could have given, whatever that means. These people never cease to amaze with their shifty circumlocutions.

3] For more on the uses of metadata and the long corporate media coverup of the massive NSA spying, these are good starting places with a number of links: Daily Kos, and the Government Accountability Project. Also Jesselyn Radack has been giving interviews on this topic. (She's a lawyer who represents persecuted whistleblowers. She had her consciousness raised when she was at the Department of “Justice” and warned that John Walker Lindh shouldn't be interrogated without his lawyer, and shouldn't be tortured. Of course both were done, and then she herself became a target of persecution, criminal investigation, and was put on the no-fly list. Some of the details of her persecution are at Wikipedia; also in interviews at

4] One key leg of the character assassination of Snowden is sneering at his lack of a high school diploma. Thus do these bourgeois professional polemicists insult millions of people who never graduated high school. I guess those millions are collateral damage in the propagandists' smear campaign. Nothing like a little class snobbery by bourgeois blatherers.

Ironic thing is that a good number of the very smartest people leave the U.S. educational system before graduating high school because of its mind-numbing, stultifying nature. But as far as these privileged prattlers are concerned, they're all losers. Economically, most high school “dropouts” are, but not Snowden: he was making a low six figure salary before the age of 30.

{PSST! Buddy! Over here! I got a secret to tell you....

There's this special box on the top of this webpage. You put in your email address, click Submit, and you get confidential messages that the FBI and the CIA reads and the NSA collects and stores. And you can read them too! They tell you whenever there's a new essay posted here.

What? I told you. The top of the page. On the right side. I said, it's called “Follow By Email” I told you that already. Yes I did. I did so tell you! Well I'm telling you now, OK?! Don't be such a ballbuster, I'm doing you a favor here!! What are you, an ingrate? Hey, I didn't have to tell you!! Don't tell me to take it easy!!! Who do you think you're dealing with!!!! Okay Okay I'm calm I'm calm! Just hurry up and do it before they take it away. Whadda ya mean, “Who's gonna take it away?”! WHOEVER! DON'T ASK SO MANY QUESTIONS AND JUST DO IT, OK?

Sheesh! Some people just like to be difficult!}

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

In Latest Expose of Massive Police State Surveillance of Everyone, Many Liars' Pants on Fire

The same government and corporate honchos who run a secret secret police state are acting true to character, lying their heads off about the exposure in The Guardian of yet another “secret” NSA total surveillance program. (The NSA has numerous programs that vacuum up all the world's communications. This has been well-known, and documented, for decades in books and articles, yet for some reason this latest example is being treated as some kind of revelation.)

Two programs in particular, one that routes the data from Internet companies to the NSA, called Prism, the other that orders phone companies to turn over all their “metadata” on phone calls to the NSA, and not tell anyone about it, were revealed by a systems administrator at Booz, Allen Corp. (which just fired him) named Edward J. Snowden. [1]

Let's start with Obama's “intelligence czar,” the “Director of National Intelligence,” a lifelong apparatchik by the name of James R. Clapper, Jr. Just a few months ago, in March, he was asked a direct question in Congressional testimony by Senator Ron Wyden. Wyden asked the crooked Clapper if NSA was collecting data on Americans. Clapper lied through his teeth and said no. (It's been a known fact for years that the NSA does precisely that, and several former NSA employees have recently blown the whistle on such programs, which the Obama regime responded to by persecuting them, including William Binney, Thomas Drake, and several others.) Now three months later Clapper is proved a liar.

So does Congress demand his resignation? Impeach him? Naah! They mostly call for the scalp of Ed Snowden.

So what does Clapper do now? He goes out and tell more lies- this time with indignation. It's “reprehensible” what Snowden did. (It's admirable what Clapper and his secret police ilk do.) That's not a lie- that's Clapper's opinion. (Like the Nazis felt the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich was reprehensible.) Clapper claims finding out about this stuff “can render great damage to our intelligence capabilities” and moans about “the huge, grave damage it does to our intelligence capabilities.”

NONSENSE. It doesn't affect in the slightest the NSA capability to keep right on stealing all the data that passes over the transmission networks they tap with the cooperation of the big U.S. telephone and Internet corporations. (3 billion phone records a day, according to 30 year NSA veteran William Binney, plus the ability to record chosen calls at will.- June 10 interview,

The heads of the various Internet companies all came out almost simultaneously with the same lies, denying what the Prism documents clearly state- that the NSA has “direct access” to their systems. These liars are at Google, Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Apple, and Microsoft (which has long built backdoors into its operating system software for the convenience of the NSA). Maybe they're just playing a secret wordplay game. Maybe they have their own covert definition of the words “direct access,” the way Obama has his own secret definition of “imminent threat” for the people he assassinates, or like his twin Bill Clinton had his own definition of “sex.” (And of “is,” for that matter- “it depends on what 'is' means” he said at one point when he was cornered during the Monica Lewinsky sex scandal.)

Non-American power-insiders are lying too. After the Guardian exposed NSA's sharing of the massive daily data trove with its U.K. counterpart [see “UK gathering secret intelligence via covert NSA operation,” Guardian, June 7, 2013. ] British Foreign Secretary William Hague insisted that Britain's own NSA, called G.C.H.Q. (for Government Communications Headquarters) hadn't broken British law, and wasn't getting data on British citizens from the NSA- a flat, bald-faced lie he told Parliament in person. As anyone who has ever read a book about the NSA knows, there is a long-standing arrangement (going back decades) between the electronic secret police agencies of the English-speaking Angle-Saxon nations, the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand to spy on each others' citizens and then give each other the data, so that each can pretend to not be eavesdropping on its own citizens. He also made the slippery statement that “to intercept the content of any individual's communications in the U.K. requires a warrant signed personally by me.”

Clever, Hague. We're not talking about a single individual. We're talking about everybody, wholesale. Everybody's communications are seized and stored, every day. After they run the data through their software screens and find “persons of interest,” then they can always get a warrant to make it look nice and legal. (But legality is really besides the point. Police states all have laws, always, that grant the oppressors crushing power. Sure it's “legal,” mostly. Except for the “off the books” stuff.)

Hague also made the same kind of noises about “oversight” that U.S. politicians and apparatchiks have been making. So the fact that the swine at the top are “overseeing” our oppression is supposed to make us feel better, I suppose.

Hague's master, Prime Minister David Cameron, belched forth the same kind of rhetoric that U.S. politicians have been spewing: “I see every day the vital work they [referring to the secret police- aka “intelligence” agencies] do to keep us safe, but it is vital work that is done under a legal framework within the law [redundant, David] and subject to proper scrutiny by the intelligence and security committee.” Furthermore, “The intelligence services [i.e. secret police] operate within the law, within the law that we have laid down, and they are also subject to proper scrutiny by the intelligence and security committee of the House of Commons,” he repeated himself, for the hard of hearing, I guess.

Sounds like a case of methinks thou doth protest too much, to paraphrase the Bard.

Well, if that “oversight” is anything like the see no evil approach of the U.S. Congressional “Intelligence” Committees, that ain't exactly reassuring.

Finally, one mustn't overlook the biggest liar of all, Barack Hussein Obama, President of the U.S.A. He says- after doing everything in his power to suppress the knowledge of even the existence of the institutionalized and apparently permanent spying, including repression of leakers and soon, apparently, reporters- that he welcomes discussion of such police state omni-surveillance programs- a claim even the establishment NY Times finds hard to believe, as reflected in such headlines as “Debate on Secret Data Looks Unlikely, Partly Due to Secrecy” (June 11, 2013, p. A1) and the lead editorial the same day, “A Real Debate on Surveillance.” (Posted on the NYT website a day earlier.)

The editorial is dismissive of “blithe assurances that the government can be trusted,” an amazing statement for the quintessential Establishment newspaper, and the first two paragraphs say:

For years, as the federal surveillance state grew into every corner of American society, the highest officials worked to pretend that it didn’t exist. Now that Americans are learning what really takes place behind locked doors, many officials claim they are eager to talk about it. 'That's a conversation that I welcome having' President Obama said on Saturday. Senator Dianne Feinstein, chairwoman of the Intelligence Committee, said on Sunday that she was open to holding a public hearing on the subject now, a hearing next month, a hearing every month.

This newfound interest in openness is a little hard to take seriously, not only because of the hypocrisy involved but because neither official seems to want to do more than talk about being open. If the president wants to have a meaningful discussion, he can order his intelligence directors to explain to the public precisely how the National Security Agency’s widespread collection of domestic telephone data works. Since there’s not much point in camouflaging the program anymore, it’s time for the public to get answers to some basic questions.

So far, no one at the White House seems interested in a substantive public debate.” [2]

This is a welcome change from their credulous praise that followed Obama's cynical May 23rd speech at the "National Defense College," in which he once again played his game of rhetorical judo, throwing his opponents off-balance by saying "I'm on your side! I agree with you!"

For seven long years Obama has made sure to block the possibility of a “discussion,” getting lawsuits by the ACLU and others thrown out of court on “national security” grounds, and now he claims he “welcomes a discussion.” Oh really!

Speaking of Feinstein, she is such a pathetic stooge and shill for the secret police that she can't even get redacted versions of the secret “court” decisions “legalizing” this permanent NSA dragnet! [3] But she's a trooper; accepting her debased position in the power structure, she loyally yaps like a Chihuahua lapdog in defense of the power structure, now branding Snowden a “traitor.” (The traditional penalty for treason is death, by the way.) On her rounds on the Sunday morning political propaganda TV shows, she invoked the “World Trade Center.” Twelve years on, still milking that! Still using it as an excuse for every one of their crimes! Cunning of the CIA and FBI to deliberately allow the attack to go through. That's been paying political dividends for the system ever since!

Feinstein's political rise got a big boost from the fascist* assassin Dan White, who murdered San Francisco Mayor George Moscone (and Supervisor Harvey Milk). Feinstein immediately stepped into his shoes as Mayor, and she was off to the races. She's married to a so-called “investment banker” (finance capitalist parasite) and is thus filthy rich.

*By “fascist,” I mean violent right-winger.

1] By the way, the NY Times reported that the police came by Snowden's house in Hawaii last Wednesday, the same day the Guardian first published the story, and asked where he was. Snowden's identity wasn't publicly revealed by the Guardian until four days later on Sunday. That shows how hot and heavy they are about constantly spying on Glenn Greenwald, the Guardian commentator who broke the story and who is a persistent critic of Obama's crimes, and Laura Poitras, the documentary filmmaker who shot an interview in Hong Kong with Greenwald and Snowden on Sunday. She has been harassed by the U.S. for years, which seizes her computer and cellphone and etc. every time she crosses a U.S. border.

Or maybe the NSA merely checked its own treasure trove of stolen emails and phone calls and data logs and etc. etc. etc. The NY Times reports that the NSA started looking for the “leaker” on the same day the Guardian story came out, last Wednesday. Fighting terrorism, keeping America strong!

The specifics of the phone spying centers around a renewal of a 7 year old warrant by the FISA court under which Verizon is ordered to turn over all the metadata for its business phone customers. That would include cellphone location, numbers called from and to, length of calls. The NSA no doubt has similar court orders for all the telephone companies. Furthermore, the NSA does surreptitously capture all the voice content (and texts, and faxes) of phone calls, under separate “compartmented” programs, but is still pretending it doesn't. The U.S. media is going along with this ridiculous lie. The NSA also collects all your emails. Yes, yours. You really want this ruthless killer government to have all that?

2] One of the NYT's two resident reactionary columnists, David Brooks, contributed to the “discussion” with an op-ed opposite the editorial which in its entirety is a character assassination of Snowden. He repeatedly intones the word “betrayed” to describe Snowden's relationship to everyone and everything in his life, painting him as a social destroyer. It's a nasty, twisted hit-job from start to finish.

3] The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court- FISA court- isn't a real court, but a windowless room inside the Department of “Justice” edifice in Washington, D.C., inside which a rotating group of 11 reactionary judges appointed by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court (a series of rightists, Warren Burger, William Rehnquist, and now John Roberts Jr.) are on call to rubber-stamp warrant requests from the secret police agencies. There is no one there to contest the secret police warrant requests in the court. From its inception in 1979 through 2012, the “court” has granted about 34,000 secret spy warrants, while rejecting a grand total of 11. That's right, it says “no” once in about every 3,000 requests. (The Electronic Privacy Information Center has a table broken down by year, with a link to the Federation of American Scientists. The Federation website has copies of the annual reports to Congress on the numbers of applications submitted and granted, and rejected (usually none). A small number of applications are modified by the “court.” The warrants are for electronic surveillance and physical searches.

I tallied up the yearly totals and it's almost exactly 34,000, so I don't know why people still toss around numbers in the 20,000 range. That is an old, outdated total.

There are more applications granted than submitted in some years, which may be attributable to multiple warrants granted on a single application. Or maybe, like doting grandparents, the judges just like showering presents on the secret police.

For the first quarter century of its existence, the “court” didn't say “no” to the secret police even once.

Saturday, June 08, 2013

Paki PM Summons U.S. Ambassador To Demand End To Drone Attacks

Nawaz Sharif, the new Pakistani Prime Minister, is at least putting on a good show of opposing drone attacks on Paki territory. He's summoned the U.S. ambassador to demand an end to the strikes after the latest one killed 9 people in North Waziristan. [Not 7 as the NY Times reported earlier. See "Pakistan summons US ambassador to protest against latest drone killings," Guardian, 8 June 2013.]

The Paki Foreign Ministry claims that today "It was conveyed to the US chargé d' affaires that the government of Pakistan strongly condemns the drone strikes, which are a violation of Pakistan's sovereignty and territorial integrity."

"The importance of bringing an immediate end to drone strikes was emphasized." This according to a statement the Ministry issued.

We've been through this before. See "Pakistan Reissues Its Usual Objections About Drones-- Again." Any time Pakistan wants to stop the drones, all it has to do is shoot one down. It had a chance yesterday, it had a chance ten days before that, it will have another chance in a week or two, no doubt.

Actions speak louder than words, Pakistan.

Obama claims these drone strikes are ONLY against threats that are "imminent." Obama long ago redefined "imminent" to me "possible, someday," without informing anyone of his own idiosyncratic definition. But it is obvious that that is what he means.

Either that, or he's a shameless, bald-faced liar.

No one is making him lie and claim the people he's killing thousands of miles away (like the 16 year old son of Anwar al-Awlaki and a group of teenaged cousins, killed in Yemen along with nobody else, or the 35 women and children Obama killed in his first attack on Yemen in 2009, using a cruise missile, in order to "take out" a retired jihadist who had fought in the U.S.-Pakistani-Saudi war against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan 3 decades ago) are an "imminent" threat. Seems virtually none are. Some are enemies of the U.S., mostly because they're fighting in Afghanistan, or in Somalia. Claiming an "imminent threat" is pure propaganda, to scare the American public into supporting his Murder, Inc. operations. Probably most Americans would support his executions of many of the victims of his attacks (even I would, in the case of Taliban and Al-Qaeda terrorist leaders). But he refuses to make his case honestly and openly, while spouting off about how much he loves "transparency" and "dialogue" whenever there's a mini-uproar. He's like a philandering husband who coos sweet nothings at his wife every time she raises her suspicions with him.

We see the same pattern of saying the opposite of what he's doing with the massive police state surveillance program he's instituted, the persecution of whistleblowers and leakers, now moving on to target reporters, and the repression of the Occupy Movement.

He has proven more and more dishonest over time. He adamantly refuses to justify his actions, even to Congress, while unctuously claiming Congress is "informed." With breathtaking chutzpah, he claims to welcome "discussion" when in fact he moves heaven and earth to keep everything a secret, and goes after leakers, whistleblowers, and increasingly reporters, with the full might of the Federal government, kicking down their door in FBI raids, indicting them under the Espionage Act and other legal clubs the repressive U.S. Government has at its disposal.

U.S. Replies To New Paki PM Complaint About Drones With Another Drone Attack

Yesterday, Friday, June 7th, the U.S. fired a Hellfire missile from a drone at a house in Pakistan, killing at least 7 people. (Presumably "terrorists.")

This comes after the new Paki Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, has made several public statements already calling for an end to drone strikes. (See previous essay, below.) Sharif spent the day announcing his new cabinet. It's smaller than you might expect, because Sharif anointed himself as Defense Minister and Foreign Minister, in addition to already being Prime Minister. What a go-getter!

Actually a power-hog, just like he's a money-hog.

{WOW! Look at all the great new features on the right side of this blog! You can Subscribe to it! You can Follow it By Email! You can even Translate the whole page into another language! Have you ever seen anything like that before???

You have? On every other blog there is?... Oh..... I see...... Okay........Ummm..
So nothing special then.
Sorry to waste your time. Go back to your reading.}

Thursday, June 06, 2013

New Liar Prime Minister of Pakistan Again Whines About Drones

Nawaz Sharif of the “Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz” (yes, that's the egotistical name of his party) has repeated his call against U.S. drone strikes- with an intriguing weasel-word.

Sharif is quoted (in the New York Times for example) as announcing to the Paki Parliament: “The chapter of daily drone attacks should stop.” Notice that word, daily. So would attacks every other day be okay? How about weekly? Or does he mean all attacks should stop? According to U.S. media, the attacks aren't “daily,” although the drones are apparently omnipresent in the skies over the terrorist-dominated regions that border Afghanistan.

Now here's the part where Sharif lies: “We respect the sovereignty of other countries, but others should also respect our sovereignty.”

No you don't. You launch terrorist attacks against India. You sponsor terrorist attacks inside Afghanistan, such as inside Kabul, including against sovereign diplomatic targets such as the Indian embassy. Your pants are on fire, man.

As I have previously pointed out, the Pakis could shoot down the drone any time they want, if they were serious. [See “Pakistan Reissues Its Usual Objections About Drones-- Again"]

Here's how the NY Times interprets Sharif's words: “His comment on drone strikes suggested a firm, and perhaps more distant tone in relations with the United States, whose alliance with Pakistan has frequently been stormy in recent years.” [“Pakistan's New Premier Calls for Drone Strike Halt,” NYT, 6/6/13, p. A6.] Stormy indeed!

So perhaps the tone will be more distant. What does that mean? It implies the relationship is currently friendly. How do you go from “stormy” to “distant”? Stormy is angry. Will it be angry from farther away? Less angry and more coldly contemptuous? There's no clue.

NY Times “news” articles are frequently larded with vague speculations like this, oblique hints that the reader is left to puzzle over. Maybe more facts an less attitude would make for better journalism. So much of what is in the NYT is about transmitting the NYT's attitude about a subject, person, or country to the reader. It's an underhanded form of indoctrination, hiding under cover of pseudo-objectivity,

By the way, this is the third time Sharif has been Prime Minister, which is a symptom of how tiny and inbred the Paki ruling elite is.

Last time he was PM, General Pervez Musharraf overthrew him in 1999 in one of the routine military coups that are standard practice in Pakistan. He was lucky, however; Musharraf didn't execute him, as a previous dictator, the loathsome General Zia ul-Haq, (one of Ronald Reagan's favorite dictators) did to the civilian ruler he overthrew, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. (Benazir Bhutto's father. Benazir herself was murdered with the connivance of Musharraf and indeed of the U.S., which refused her request for protection after a bombing killed many of her followers at a rally.) Ali Bhutto was President, and then PM, when ul-Haq overthrew him in 1977.

Like all the civilian bosses of Pakistan, Sharif is a theft and a crook. The oh-so-genteel NY Times, which hates to cast disrespect on any national boss, obliquely references this in a sentence fragment buried 3/4ths of the way down in their article (paragraph 17 of 24), mentioning that during Sharif''s previous term, “Back then, Mr. Sharif had little public support because of accusations of corruption and mismanagement, while the coup received a broad, if short-lived, welcome.” That's all you get in the way of facts- there were some “allegations.” Actually there was common knowledge of routine corruption, graft, and indifference to running a real government that provides services to the people- like an educational system (hence the rise of terrorist incubation centers, aka “madrassas”) or a health care system.

The NYT has rarely if ever given a detailed account of the massive thievery and governmental negligence of the Paki elites. This particular article wouldn't be the place for that, but a total whitewash is dishonest and far from objective. They couldn't minimize it any more unless they entirely omitted any mention whatsoever, which they almost did.

{I'll bet I know what you're thinking right now. You're thinking: Isn't there an easier way to find out when there's a new, trenchant essay here, instead of having to check the website constantly, day in and day out? All day I sit here, chained to my computer like a slave, checking and hoping, hoping and checking, without end. Surely life is not meant to be like this? There has to be a better way!

Well my friend, now there is a better way. It's called FOLLOW BY EMAIL. And it will liberate you at last from your crushing burden of endless checking. Just head to the top right of the webpage, type in your email, and click on “Submit.” Then breathe in the intoxicating air of freedom you have yearned for!


Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Pentagon Moves To Protect Military Rapists

I guess the U.S. military and its nominal civilian bosses in the Department of "Defense" are incorrigible. It's not enough that  rape and sexual assault in the U.S. military has been a simmering scandal for at least a year now. It's not enough that a documentary film about it forced the previous Secretary of "Defense," Democratic Party nomenklatura member and lifelong politician Leon Panetta to open his mouth and pretend to be "concerned" and to make some fake public relations moves that changed nothing (by design- he figured it would blow over and anyone he'd be gone soon so why rock the boat?). It's not enough that an Air Force general threw out the sexual criminal conviction of another officer under his command, for no reason at all except upholding the Bonds of Brotherhood among professional macho killers. It's even not enough that several officers or NCOs who were put in charge of sexual harassment policy enforcement were caught committing sexual crimes themselves.

No, none of this is enough to force the military and its civilian supervisors to reform. Now that Congress, under pressure from the public, from media exposure, and from female members of Congress, are talking about actual steps that are necessary to be imposed, like taking away the right of base commanders to throw out convictions at their whim, and creating a separate investigatory unit for sex crimes with real power, that is outside the chain of command (the same chain of command that protects and indeed promotes sexual criminals, while subjecting their victims to harassment and retaliation), the Pentagon (Do"D" and military branches) is OPPOSING THOSE CHANGES as going "too far."

Right. Actually trying to stop rape and other sexual assaults in the military would be going "too far."

Well, what do you expect from institutions that commit war crimes and atrocities routinely (probably on a daily basis)? What can you expect when they protect and promote butchers like the killer pilots in the "Collateral Murder" video (available for viewing in many places online, including made available to the world by WikiLeaks, while that military is now in the process of imprisoning for life the soldier who revealed the evidence of the crime, Bradley Manning? These are not normal human beings with moral ethical standards. And as macho killers, naturally they are sexist, deeply contemptuous of women.

Nor is any of this new. The U.S. military has been committing atrocities since it nearly exterminated the Native American inhabitants of the nation, and in most of its wars since. As for rape and other sexual crimes, do an online search of "Tailhook Scandal," which occurred several decades ago, involving U.S. Navy pilots and at least one admiral, engaging in a drunken debauchery where they forced women to run a gauntlet of group groping.

But that's nothing compared to what U.S. troops do to women who are NOT their own comrades-in-arms. Such as the young Iraqi girl who was gang-raped, and then murdered along with her family and their bodies burned. (That was a bit much for even the U.S. military to overlook, after it was publicized.) And there were so many horrendous atrocities committed in Vietnam, such as the women who were gang-raped, spread eagles, and executed by having flares rammed into their vaginas and set off (according to the testimony of American veterans.)

Just saying "war is hell" to brush it all off won't do.

{Do you ever get that gnawing feeling in your brain when you find yourself asking: I wonder if Jason Zenith posted another commentary yet?

Don't suffer in silence. Now, relief is at hand. Get free email alerts whenever there's another essay! Merely go to the upper right side of this very webpage, and “Subscribe.” Or “Follow By Email,” and click “Submit.” It couldn't be easier.

Okay, that wasn't strictly true. It could be easier, at least hypothetically. You could just think it, and get alerts, for example. And even better, the alerts could go straight into your brain, instead of to your email. For that matter, entire posts could go straight into your brain! But that might feel a bit intrusive...

Look, I'm sorry I lied. But at least I'm admitting I lied, and before you caught me too, so go easy on me, okay?}