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US Hawks Want War on Iran

iran war

Neocons infest Washington. Norman Podhoretz is one many loathsome examples. On December 11, he headlined a Wall Street Journal op-ed “Strike Iran Now to Avert Disaster Later.”

No respectable editors would touch this trash. Responsible ones would denounce it. Journal editors embrace it. More on this below.

Podhoretz isn’t America’s only lunatic hawk. Others favor cruise missile diplomacy. In April 2008, a Wall Street Journal editorial headlined “Bush and Iran, Again.” It spuriously said Tehran “is contributing to the death of GIs, is arming our enemies in Iraq, and is proceeding to ignore the world by enriching uranium for a nuclear weapon.”

“Is the Bush Administration merely going to slink out of office with that legacy,” it asked?

“The Iranians aren’t likely to stop unless the US starts doing something about it,” it claimed.

In 2008, then presidential candidate John McCain advocated bombing Iran. “Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran,” he sang on his “Straight Talk” tour. He did so to the tune of a popular Beach Boys song.

Then presidential aspirant Hillary Clinton was just as abhorrent. She remains a deplorable profile of imperial arrogance and lawlessness. She threatened to murder around 75 million people, saying:

I want the Iranians to know that if I’m president, we will attack Iran.

In the next 10 years, during which they might foolishly consider launching an attack on Israel, we would be able to totally obliterate them.

Iranophobe Dick Cheney wants war on Iran. He urged it as vice president. He does again now. He favors cruise missile diplomacy. He gets major media air time promoting it.

Podhoretz met privately with Bush when he was president. He urged him to strike Iran’s nuclear facilities. He lied saying:

You have an awesome responsibility to prevent another holocaust. You’re the only one with the guts to do so.

Now he says he agrees with McCain, saying “the only thing worse than bombing is letting Iran get the bomb.”

He claims “hardly anyone disagrees with those who say” this. His notion of consensus is what neocons say. Rule of law supporters don’t matter. Nor do anti-war advocates.

Podhoretz claimed Iran “l(ied) when it denied that its nuclear facilities were working to build a bomb.”

After all, with its vast reserves of oil and gas, the country had no need for nuclear energy.

Fact check

In 1957, Reza Shah Pahlevi signed an Atoms for Peace agreement with the Eisenhower administration.

In 1967, Washington provided a research reactor. In 1974, the Shah created the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran.

It was tasked with developing commercial nuclear power. Doing so got America’s blessing. Don’t expect Podhoretz to explain. He promotes his own version of history. He reinvents it with evil intent.

He claims Iran is ruled by “fanatical Shiite mullahs.” He quoted Islamophobe Professor Emeritus Bernard Lewis saying Muslim fanatics aren’t deterred by “mutual assured destruction.”

It’s “an inducement. We know they do not give a damn about killing their own people in great numbers. They are giving them a quick free pass to heaven and all its delights.”

Iranian leaders aren’t “deterred by the fear that their country would be destroyed in a nuclear war,” claims Podhoretz.

Fact check

Podhoretz’s ideas reflect lunatic fringe fanaticism. He’s a poor liar. He makes stuff up. He does so supporting his case. He gets his facts wrong. Myths substitute for truth. Racist hate defines his world view. So does supporting the worst of imperial lawlessness.

Iran’s nuclear program is entirely peaceful. It has no military component. US officials know it. So do Israelis.

Podhoretz knows full well Iran threatens no one. He claims otherwise. He does so maliciously.

He one-sidedly supports Israel. He turns a blind eye to its worst crimes. He ignores its regional threat. It’s the only Middle East country with nuclear weapons.

It’s a formidable arsenal. Neighboring countries have reason to worry. Israel’s military threat hasn’t triggered a regional nuclear arms race. Podhoretz spuriously claims Iran’s (peaceful) nuclear program will.

…Saudi Arabia, Egypt and (other countries) throughout the region (are) terrified at the prospect of being lorded over and held hostage by an Iran ruled by their ancestral enemies the Shiites, (so) those regimes would rush to equip themselves with their own nuclear arsenals.

False! Iran threatens no one. It seeks friendly relations will all regional nations. It does so globally. Podhoretz knows it. He lied claiming otherwise.

No regional arms race exists. Israel alone might spark one. It’s intentions are menacing.

It’s the only nation without fixed borders. It wants them extended. It wants Arab states Balkanized and controlled. It wants regional hegemony. Don’t expect Podhoretz to explain.

He wants Iran’s sovereignty destroyed. Claiming an Iranian nuclear threat rings hollow. He said he once belonged to the give diplomacy and sanctions camp. No longer.

Iran won’t “be stopped either by increasingly harsh sanctions – or by endless negotiations,” he claims.

The Obama administration tells us that (Geneva) puts Iran on a track that will lead to the abandonment of its quest for a nuclear arsenal.

But the Iranians are jubilant because they know that the only abandonment going on is of our own effort to keep them from getting the bomb.

Containing Iran is “impossible,” he added. One choice alone remains, he maintains. Either “a conventional war now or a nuclear war later.” He sees no in between.

Given Obama’s current reluctance to attack, “the only hope rests with Israel,” he claims. “If (it) fails to strike now, Iran will get the bomb.”

And when it does, the Israelis will be forced to decide whether to wait for a nuclear attack and then to retaliate out of the rubble, or to pre-empt with a nuclear strike of their own.

He claims Iranians face “the same dilemma. Under these unprecedentedly hair-trigger circumstances, it will take no time before one of them tries to beat the other to the punch.”

Podhoretz is a longstanding neocon lunatic. He’s not alone. America has many others like him. Earlier ones were notorious. General Curtis LeMay stands out.

In July 1961, he called nuclear war with Soviet Russia inevitable. He said it would erupt later that year.

He argued for preemptively launching thousands of missiles to destroy Russia’s nuclear capability.

He urged doing it despite likely retaliatory strikes against major US cities.

At the same time, General Lyman Lemnitzer prepared a surprise nuclear attack strategy. He urged Kennedy to back it.

He chose the wrong president. In disgust, he told Secretary of State Dean Rusk: “And we call ourselves the human race.”

In his book, Brothers: The Hidden History of the Kennedy Years, David Talbot wrote about former Defense Secretary Robert McNamara saying:

LeMay’s views w(ere) very simple. He thought the West, and the US in particular, was going to have to fight a nuclear war with the Soviet Union, and he was absolutely certain of that.

Therefore, he believed that we should fight it sooner rather than later, when we had a greater advantage in nuclear power, and it would result in fewer casualties in the United States.

Kennedy categorically rejected the idea. So did McNamara and other cooler heads. A potential nuclear holocaust was averted.

America’s lunatic fringe remains alive and well. So does Israel’s. Current extremists resemble earlier ones.

Global war remains possible. Nuclear weapons could end life on earth. Imagine their potential use risking it. Imagine a leader taking that great a chance.

Today is the most perilous time in world history. As long as nuclear weapons and other mass destruction ones exist, humanity’s survival is very much up for grabs.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at [email protected] His new book is titled How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War. Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening. http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour/

Fukushima’s Catastrophic Aftermath Continues

 Fukushima

In her book titled “No Immediate Danger: Prognosis for a Radioactive Earth,” nuclear power/environmental health expert Rosalie Bertell (1929 – 2012) said:

“Should the public discover the true health cost(s) of nuclear pollution, a cry would rise from all parts of the world and people would refuse to cooperate passively with their own death.”

In her article titled “Radioactivity: No Immediate Danger,” she coined a new word. “Omnicide” describes the ultimate human rejection of life. It’s “difficult to comprehend,” but it’s happening, she said.

She called industrial radioactive pollution “cumulatively greater than Chernobyl. We are now in a no-win situation with radioactive materials, where (it’s) acceptable to have cancer deaths, deformed children and miscarriages.”

Industry propaganda falsely claims nuclear power is clean and green. The nuclear fuel cycle discharges significant amounts of greenhouse gases.

It’s also responsible for hundreds of thousands of curies of deadly radioactive gases and elements in the environment annually.

“Claiming nuclear production of energy is ‘clean,’ ” said Bertell, “is like dieting but stuffing yourself with food between meals.”

Separately, she said:

“There is no such thing as a radiation exposure that will not do damage. There is a hundred per cent possibility that there will be damage to cells. The next question is: which damage do you care about?”

All toxic hazards are serious, she explained. Nuclear radiation is worst of all. It threatens all human life. “Our present path is headed toward species death – whether fast with nuclear war or technological disaster, or slow, by poison.”

Global suicide is certain. Continued nuclear proliferation and Fukushima accelerated it.

March 11 marked its second anniversary. It’s perhaps the worst ever environmental disaster. Reliable experts call large parts of Japan unsafe. They’re too hazardous to live in.

According to Professor Hiroaki Koide, Tokyo’s as contaminated as Fukushima. Thousands of city residents protested. They oppose nuclear power. They want safe energy sources replacing it.

Radiation contamination is widespread. East Asia, North America, Europe and other areas are affected.

Hazardous air, water and land readings across many areas globally are many multiples too high. Future epidemic cancer levels are certain. It occurs when body cells divide and spread uncontrollably. If untreated, it metastasizes and kills.

 Michel Chossudovsky calls Fukushima “a nuclear war without a war.” It’s an “unspoken crisis of worldwide nuclear contamination.”

Tens of thousands of children have confirmed thyroid abnormalities. They reflect the tip of the iceberg. Children are especially vulnerable. No radiation dose is safe.

Karl Grossman wants planet earth made a “nuclear free zone.” We barely made it through the last century without a “major nuclear weapons exchange,” he said.

Nuclear energy in all forms is unsafe. Safe, clean, renewable solar, wind, geothermal, and other energy sources are readily available.

Admiral Hyman Rickover (1900 – 1986) was the father of America’s nuclear navy. In January 1982, he told a congressional committee that until a few billion years ago, “it was impossible to have any life on earth.”

“There was so much radiation on earth you couldn’t have any life, fish or anything.” Gradually the amount subsided. “Now, we are creating something which nature tried to destroy to make life possible.”

“Every time you produce radiation, (a) horrible force” is unleashed. “In some cases (it’s) for billions of years, and I think the human race is going to wreck itself.”

“I am talking about humanity. The most important thing we could do is start having an international meeting where we first outlaw nuclear weapons to start off with. Then we outlaw nuclear reactors, too.”

“The lesson for history is when a war starts, every nation will ultimately use whatever weapons are available. That is the lesson learned time and again.” ”

“Therefore, we must expect, if another war, a serious war breaks out, we will use nuclear energy in some form. We will probably destroy ourselves.” Widespread contamination acts in slow motion.

Disturbing reports explain. In early April, around 120 tons of contaminated water leaked from Fukushima’s No. 1’s underground storage tank. It contained an estimated 710 billion becquerels of radioactivity.

Water around the affected tank is highly radioactive. It’s about 800 meters from the Pacific. Government and Tokyo Electric (Tepco) claimed it won’t likely reach it. Numerous previous reports suggest otherwise.

Tepco general manager Masayuki Ono said “(w)e cannot deny the fact that our faith in the underwater tanks is being lost.”

In November 2012, Nature.com headlined “Ocean still suffering from Fukushima fallout,” saying:

“Radioactivity is persisting in the ocean waters close to Japan’s ruined nuclear power plant at Fukushima Daiichi.”

New data show high contamination levels. “The Fukushima disaster caused by far the largest discharge of radioactivity into the ocean ever seen.”

Radiation levels aren’t dropping. “The implications are serious for the fishing industry.”

On December 26, CleanEnergy.org headlined “Japan Continues Struggle with Aftermath from the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster,” saying:

“….an estimated 160,000 (Japanese) citizens still have not returned home. Reports of illness in humans and livestock continue to underscore the far reaching and difficult to predict impacts that a nuclear accident can cause.”

In July 2012, 36% of Japanese children screened had abnormal thyroid growths. Months later an illness called the “Fukushima syndrome” was killing cattle throughout Fukushima Prefecture.

Mutations were found in butterflies and other insects. Their shorter life cycles allow genetic disruptions to show up sooner than in humans or other mammals.

On April 11, Bloomberg.com headlined “Tepco Faces Decision to Dump Radioactive Water in Pacific,” saying:

“Leaks were found in three of seven pits in the past week….” Options for moving contaminated water are limited.

“With Japan’s rainy season approaching, contaminated water levels are likely to increase…”

“Yesterday, Tepco reported another leak of radiated water, this time from a pipe.”

“Pacific bluefin tuna caught off San Diego in August 2011 was found to contain radioactive cesium 10 times higher than fish seized in previous years….” Perhaps its much higher now.

On April 15, Science Daily headlined “The Fukushima Dai-Ichi Power Plant Accident: Two Years On, the Fallout Continues,” saying:

“….(S)cientists are still trying to quantify the extent of the damage.” Most important is “determining just how much hazardous material escaped into the atmosphere….”

Japan Atomic Energy Agency researchers now say previously estimated “137C and 131l” release rates were too low.

On March 11, 2013, nuclear expert Arnie Gundersen said “(t)here’s definitely a large crack, perhaps five inches in diameter, in Fukushima reactor 2.”

Containment is sorely lacking. Pacific Ocean leakage continues.

On April 24,  Natural News headlined “Massive, uncontained leak at Fukushima is pouring over 710 billion becquerels of radioactive materials into atmosphere,” saying:

It’s the largest ever plant leakage. Fukushima’s disaster never ends. It “keeps on giving.”

“(N)ew reports indicate that a wealth of new radioactive materials have been spewed into the atmosphere.”

It’s spreading globally. Nuclear radiation is forever. It doesn’t dissipate or disappear. No safe level exists. Every dose is an overdose. Bertell was right. “Omnicide” threatens everyone.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected]. His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.” www.claritypress.com/LendmanII.html Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network. It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening. www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour

FBI Responsibility for US Terror Plots

FBI Responsibility for US Terror Plots

Boston’s marathon bombings leave disturbing questions unanswered. Official accounts lack credibility. Mounting evidence suggests FBI responsibility. It doesn’t surprise.

 Project Censored’s fourth top 2013 censored story headlined “FBI Agents Responsible for Majority of Terrorist Plots in the United States.” More on that below.

Post-9/11, George Bush declared war on terrorism. It continues under Obama. America needs enemies. When none exist, they’re invented.

Muslims are America’s target of choice. Numerous innocent victims are entrapped. It occurs when law enforcement officials or agents induce, influence, or provoke crimes that otherwise wouldn’t be committed.

Project Censored discussed Russia Today’s report. It headlined “FBI organizes almost all terror plots in the US.”

 Mother Jones covered the same issue. Its article titled “The Informant” said “(T)he FBI has built a massive network of spies (allegedly) to prevent another domestic attack. But are they busting terrorist plots – or leading them?”

The FBI employs around 15,000 undercover agents. In 1975 they numbered 1,500. In 1980 it was 2,800. By 1986 it was 6,000.

They’re involved in sting operations designed to entrap. They’re well paid. They earn around $100,000 per assignment or more.

Law-abiding people are targeted. According to Mother Jones, “in case after case, the government provides the plot, the means, and the opportunity.”

FBI informants target Muslim communities. They seek members unhappy with America’s imperial war agenda. Mother Jones said their names are “cross-referenced with existing intelligence data, such as immigration and criminal records.”

“FBI agents may then assign an undercover operative to approach the target by posing as a radical. Sometimes” a plot is proposed. Explosives and/or other weapons are provided.

Once “enough incriminating information” is gotten, an arrest follows. A press conference announces another “foiled plot.”

The process repeats ad nauseam. From fall 2010 – fall 2011 alone, Mother Jones and the Investigative Reporting Program at UC-Berkeley examined 508 alleged terrorism prosecutions. They found:

• nearly half involved paid informants;

• sting operations targeted 158 defendants;

• agent provocateurs were involved in 49 plots;

• “with three exceptions, (all) high-profile domestic terror plots of the last decade were actually FBI stings;”

• most often, “key encounters” between informants and targets aren’t recorded;

• proving entrapment is hard to impossible; and

• even when evidence is suspect or lacking, beating terrorism-related charges in court rarely happens.

According to defense attorney Martin Stolar:

“The problem with the cases we’re talking about is that defendants would not have done anything if not kicked in the ass by government agents.”

The FBI “create(s) crimes to solve crimes so they can claim a victory in the war on terror.”

Attorney General Eric Holder defends entrapment. He’s done so publicly. He’s done it by calling provocative targeting terrorism stings. He’s unapologetic.

In March 2012, he spoke at Northwestern University School of Law. “We are a nation at war,” he said.  “And, in this war, we face a nimble and determined enemy that cannot be underestimated.”

Justice Department lawyers and agents aim to “detect and disrupt terrorist plots, to prosecute suspected terrorists, and to identify and implement the (so-called) legal tools necessary to keep the American people safe.”

He defended disturbing practices involved, as well as military commissions and targeted assassinations of individuals alleged to be “imminent threat(s).”

He justified lawless practices on grounds of national security.

Earlier in December 2010, he addressed a San Francisco area Muslim audience. He called tactics used an “essential law enforcement tool in uncovering and preventing terror attacks.” He did so despite evidence many times they’re used to entrap.

Attendees weren’t pleased. Muslim Advocates president, Farhana Khera said entrapment operations “may be getting people involved in (alleged) terrorism who otherwise would not have done anything.”

“These operations also divert investigators from actual threats and provoke widespread anti-Muslim sentiment,” she added.

According to Council on American-Islam Relations spokesman Ibrahim Hooper:

“We maintain concerns about FBI policies regarding informants in mosques and provocateurs in our community.” 

“There’s a sense of being under siege in many Muslim communities. People just assume there are agents or informants in their mosque now. It’s a fact of life.”

Law Professor David Cole says beating terrorism-related charges is near impossible. He told Mother Jones:

“The plots people are accused of being apart of – attacking subway systems or trying to bomb a building – are so frightening that they can overwhelm a jury.”

It dares not convict. Members are intimidated to do so. Disturbing unconstitutional issues aren’t addressed. Prosecutorial and FBI claims about keeping Americans safe don’t wash. Many cases explain why.

In December 2010, the Washington Post headlined “Tension grows between Calif. Muslims, FBI after informant infiltrates mosque,” saying:

Craig Monteilh, aka Farouk al-Aziz, code name Oracle, spied on dozens of Irvine Islamic Center Muslims. He did so “in a quest for potential terrorists….But the FBI’s approach has come under fire from some Muslims.”

“In the Irvine case, Monteilh’s mission….backfired. Muslims were so alarmed by his talk of violent jihad that they obtained a restraining order against him.”

They reported him to the same FBI office that recruited him. He helped build terrorism charges against a mosque member. It collapsed.

The Justice Department “took the extraordinary step of dropping charges against the worshipper, who Monteilh had caught on tape (allegedly) agreeing to blow up buildings, law enforcement officials said.”

“Prosecutors (falsely) portrayed the man as a dire threat.”

Monteilh went public. He revealed FBI tactics. He said his “handlers” trained him to entrap Muslims in mosques, at home and at work.

He was a well-paid informant. Court records and other documents showed he got $177,000 tax free in 15 months.

Southern California Muslims cited a pattern of pervasive surveillance and entrapment. According to Islamic Shura Council of Southern California Executive Director Shakeel Syed:

“The community feels betrayed. They got a guy, a bona fide criminal (just out of prison for grand theft), and obviously trained him and sent him to infiltrate mosques.”

“And when things went sour, they ditched him and he got mad. It’s like a soap opera, for God’s sake.”

Most FBI informants are either charged suspects, convicted felons, or undocumented immigrants facing deportation. In return for cooperation, leniency is offered.

Monteilh was a convicted felon. He was involved in ripping off cocaine dealers. He became a Drug Enforcement Administration asset. He later agreed to be an FBI informant.

According to Mother Jones, informants’ “first assignment is often a fishing expedition.” They’ve testified in court that “FBI handlers tasked them with infiltrating mosques without a specific target….”

They’re “directed to surveil law-abiding Americans with no indication of criminal intent.”

They’re told to infiltrate mosques without probable cause. They look for likely targets to entrap. Muslims are America’s target of choice. Innocence is no defense.

Guilt by accusation works. Prosecutors claim another war on terror victory. Innocent people suffer.

Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaeve is Washington’s latest victim. Media scoundrels convicted him in the court of public opinion. Authorities claim he confessed. His last Facebook message said:

“This will be the last message before the police get me. I never ‘done’ it. They set me up. Father please forgive me. I am sorry it has come to this.”

It bears repeating. Innocence is no defense. Lies substitute for truth. Imperial priorities matter most.

America’s war on terror shows no mercy. It’s institutionalized. Everyone’s harmed. Freedom is fast disappearing.

America’s war on humanity continues. Full-blown tyranny looms.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected]. His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.” www.claritypress.com/LendmanII.html Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network. It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening. www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour

Torture Remains Official US Policy

 torture

International law is clear and unequivocal. Torture is illegal at all times, under all circumstances with no allowed exceptions.

It violates constitutional protections. They include the 8th Amendment’s guarantee against “cruel and unusual punishments.”

Treaties America signed prohibit torture and other forms of ill-treatment. They’re binding under the Constitution’s Supremacy Clause.

It states:

“….all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding.”

Earlier Supreme Court rulings condemned force and other forms of ill-treatment amounting to torture. They include harsh interrogations, threats, sleep and food deprivation, prolonged isolation, whipping, slapping, beatings, and other forms of abuse.

Laws prohibiting torture are jus cogens. They’re higher, compelling laws. No nation may pass legislation permitting it. No courts may justify it. Jus cogens prohibitions allow no immunity from criminal liability.

On April 16, The New York Times headlined “US Engaged in Torture After 9/11, Review Concludes,” saying:

The Constitution Project’s (CP) “sweeping, 577-page report says that while brutality has occurred in every American war, there never before had been ‘the kind of considered and detailed discussions that occurred after 9/11 directly involving a president and his top advisers on the wisdom, propriety and legality of inflicting pain and torment on some detainees in our custody.’ ”

It’s “indisputable that the United States engaged in the practice of torture.”

CP’s report is titled “Task Force on Detainee Treatment.” It followed “two years of intensive study, investigation and deliberation.”

It was undertaken “to provide an accurate and authoritative account of how the United States treated people its forces held in custody as the nation mobilized to deal with a global terrorist threat.”

“The events examined in this report are unprecedented in US history.”

“In the course of the nation’s many previous conflicts, there is little doubt that some US personnel committed brutal acts against captives, as have armies and governments throughout history.”

Nothing matched post-9/11 policies. They were authorized at the highest levels of government. Bush, Cheney and others around them did so.

“Despite this extraordinary aspect, the Obama administration declined, as a matter of policy, to undertake or commission an official study of what happened, saying it was ‘unproductive’ to ‘look backwards’ rather than forward.”

Crimes of war and against humanity were committed during the Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations. Extraordinary renditions began on Clinton’s watch.

Courts, including the nation’s highest, largely looked the other way. Instead of condemning war on terror lawlessness, they did little judicially to stop it.

On June 11, the Supreme Court denied certiorati for seven Guantanamo detainees. Doing so violated the Constitution’s Article 1, Section 9, Clause 2. It states:

“The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public safety may require it.”

CP’s report said it’s “indisputable” that America practices torture. The nation’s highest officials bear full responsibility. What began earlier continues. Torture is globalized. Snatch and grab is policy.

In Afghanistan, dozens of abductions occur monthly. Imprisonment and torture follow. Guantanamo represents America’s public face. It’s the tip of the iceberg. It symbolizes US lawlessness.

Dozens of “black sites” operate globally. They do so extrajudicially. They do it out of sight and mind. “Enhanced interrogation techniques” became code language for torture and other forms of abuse.

Suspects are snatched and disappeared. Foreign governments are complicit. What began under Clinton intensified under Bush. Obama continues the worst of his practices.

CP discussed the following topics:

• Detention at Guantanamo

• Afghanistan

• Iraq

• Washington’s Post-9/11 “Legal Process”

• Rendition and “black sites”

• Medical professionals’ involvement in detention and interrogation practices

• True and false confessions – most are forcibly extracted

• Effects and consequences of US policies

• Recidivism

• The Obama administration

• The role of Congress

Guilt at the highest levels of government is shared. They include the executive, congressional and judicial branches. The CIA and Pentagon are complicit. Torture and other forms of abuse became official policy. It remains so extrajudicially.

America crossed the line. CP called doing so unjustifiable. It violated fundamental rule of law principles. It damaged the nation’s standing. It’s legally, morally and ethically compromised.

It “reduced our capacity to convey moral censure. (It) potentially increased the danger to US military personnel taken captive.”

On April 14, Samer Naji al Hasan Moqbel explained his ordeal. “Gitmo is killing me,” he said. He’s been there 11 years and three months.

He threatens no one. He committed no crime. He hasn’t been charged or tried. He never should have been abducted in the first place. He should have been released long ago.

Military officials said he was a “guard” for bin Laden. Samir called saying so “nonsense.” He thinks his captors no longer believe it. “But they don’t seem to care how long I sit here, either,” he explained.

He remains because Yemeni prisoners aren’t sent home. “This makes no sense,” said Samir. “I am a human being, not a passport, and I deserve to be treated like one.”

He’s aged 35. He wants to go home and see his family. He wants one of his own. Conditions are “desperate,” he said. Detainees are suffering horrifically. There’s no end in sight to their imprisonment.

He and around 130 others are hunger striking for justice. He’s being force-fed. He described the ordeal. He’s bound hands and feet to his bed.

An IV is forcibly inserted into his hand. He spent 26 hours this way “tied to his bed.” He was denied permission to go to the toilet. He wasn’t allowed to pray.

He’ll “never forget the first time they passed the feeding tube up (his) nose. I can’t describe how painful it is to be force-fed this way,” he said.

“As it was thrust in, it made me feel like throwing up. I wanted to vomit, but I couldn’t. There was agony in my chest, throat and stomach. I had never experienced such pain before. I would not wish this cruel punishment upon anyone.”

“I am still being force-fed. Two times a day they tie me to a chair in my cell. My arms, legs and head are strapped down. I never know when they will come. Sometimes they come during the night, as late as 11 p.m., when I’m sleeping.”

“During one force-feeding the nurse pushed the tube about 18 inches into my stomach, hurting me more than usual, because she was doing things so hastily.”

“I called the interpreter to ask the doctor if the procedure was being done correctly or not.”

“It was so painful that I begged them to stop feeding me. The nurse refused to stop feeding me.”

“As they were finishing, some of the ‘food’ spilled on my clothes. I asked them to change my clothes, but the guard refused to allow me to hold on to this last shred of my dignity.”

He hopes because of what all detainees suffer, “the eyes of the world will once again look to Guantanamo before it’s too late.”

The Times gave Samer op-ed space. Two days later, its own editorial followed. It headlined “Indisputable Torture,” saying:

CP’s report confirmed it. It’s “the fullest independent effort so far to assess the treatment of detainees at Guantanamo Bay, in Afghanistan and Iraq, and at the CIA’s secret prisons.”

Defending or denying it doesn’t wash. A detailed appendix includes dozens of legal cases. They provide clear evidence that Washington prosecuted similar treatment or denounced what other countries commit.

CP’s assessment “is a good step in (the right) direction,” said Times editors. A separate 6,000-page Senate Intelligence Committee report remains classified.

“The next step should be its release. There is no excuse for further delay.”

Current and former Times editors have much to answer for. They’ve been far less than forthright on torture. Harvard JFK School of Government students explained. Their paper was titled “Torture at Times: Waterboarding in the Media.”

It’s cruel and inhuman punishment. It’s indisputably torture. Harvard students called it:

“….the practice of intentionally inducing the sensation of drowning in the victim.”

It’s “achieved in a number of ways, including but not limited to (1) placing a cloth or plastic wrap, (2) pouring water directly into the mouth and nose of the victim, (3) placing a stick between the victim’s teeth and pouring water into his or her mouth, often until the victim’s stomach becomes distended, then forcing the water back out of the victim’s mouth, and (4) dunking and holding the victim’s head under water.”

They documented how America’s four largest broadsheets covered the practice over the past century. They included the Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, USA Today (because it’s the nation’s most widely circulated newspaper), and The New York Times.

From 1901 – 1925, Times editors, columnists and contributors seldom called it torture. They did so in 11.9% of their articles.

From 1931 – 2002, they affirmed or implied torture in 81.5% of them.

From 2002 – 2008, they did so twice. It reflected 1.4% of published columns or commentaries. Neither one discussed America.

Bush administration torture was sanitized. Occasionally it was called “harsh” or “coercive.” The word “torture” was systematically avoided.

It wasn’t admitted or denounced. It continues under Obama. It remains official policy. Don’t expect Times editors to explain.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected]. His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.” www.claritypress.com/LendmanII.html Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network. It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening. www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour

Terrorists “R” Us

 war on terror

State-sponsored terrorism defines US policy. Doublespeak duplicity conceals it. Doublethink manipulates public opinion to ignore inconvenient truths.

Howard Zinn once asked: “How can you make war on terrorism if war is terrorism?” Waging war on terrorism “gives government a perpetual war and a perpetual atmosphere of repression.”

“And it generates perpetual profits for corporations. But it’s going to make the world a far more unstable and dangerous place.”

“Terrorism replaced communism as the rationale for the militarization of the country, for military adventures abroad, and for the suppression of civil liberties at home.”

Since WW II, “there has not been a more warlike nation in the world than the United States.”

Zinn added that “(g)overnments are terrorists on an enormously large scale.” None in world history match America. Waging war on humanity is official policy.

US law calls “international terrorism” activities involving:

(A) “violent acts or acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State, or that would be a criminal violation if committed within the jurisdiction of the United States or of any State;”

(B) are intended to –

(i) “intimidate or coerce a civilian population;

(ii) influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or

(iii) affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and

(C) occur primarily outside the territorial jurisdiction of the United States….”

The US Army Operational Concept for Terrorism (TRADOC Pamphlet No. 525-37, 1984) called it “the calculated use of violence or threat of violence to attain goals that are political, religious, or ideological in nature….through intimidation, coercion, or instilling fear.”

Merriam-Webster calls it “the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion.”

The Oxford Dictionary calls it “the use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims.”

In his book “Terrorism, Theirs and Ours,” Eqbal Ahmad called state-sponsored terrorism most important of all. It includes “torture, burning of villages, destruction of entire peoples, (and) genocide” on a massive scale.

It’s called “self-defense,” protecting “national security,” and/or “promoting democracy.” Doing so conceals America’s dark side. War on humanity follows.

“Who will define the parameters of terrorism, or decide where terrorists lurk,” asked Ahmad? “Why none other than the United States, which can from the rooftops of the world set out its claim to be sheriff, judge and hangman, all at one and the same time.”

In his book “The Real Terror Network: Terrorism in Fact and Propaganda,” Edward Herman discussed US-backed authoritarian states advancing a free-market “development model.” It’s done for corporate gain through state-sponsored terror on homegrown resistance.

Earlier it was about protecting the “free world” from communism. Always it involves manufactured threats, fear-mongering, and creating enemies when none exist. Terrorists are them, not us.

Martin Luther King called America “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today.” He did so for good reason. Today it’s more menacing than ever. Humanity’s survival is at stake.

In his book “The Culture of Terrorism,” Noam Chomsky cited the “Fifth Freedom.” He called it “the freedom to rob, to exploit and to dominate society, to undertake any course of action to insure that existing privilege is protected and advanced.”

Doing so entails manufacturing consent. Fear-mongering replaces truth. Patriotism and democratic values are highlighted. People are manipulated to support what harms their own self-interest.

Imperial aggression is called humanitarian intervention. Civil liberties are suppressed for our own good. Patriotism means going along with state-sponsored lawlessness.

Myths substitute for truth. So do big lies. They’re weapons of mass deception. They’re key in advancing America’s imperium. Post-9/11 policies headed the nation toward full-blown tyranny. Last week’s Boston bombings perhaps advanced it closer.

People are manipulated to go along. Gore Vidal once said:

“As societies grow decadent, the language grows decadent, too. Words are used to disguise, not to illuminate, action.”

“You liberate a city by destroying it. Words are used to confuse, so that at election time people will solemnly vote against their own interests.”

Orwell envisioned a dark future. He called it “a boot stamping on a human face – forever.” America’s war on terror reflects it. The fullness of time will explain what’s next.

 Michel Chossudovsky asked:

“Do the Boston Bombings constitute a point of transition, a watershed which ultimately contributes to the gradual suspension of constitutional government?”

This type threat is real. In 1933, Nazism replaced Weimer republican democracy. In 1973, Augusto Pinochet’s reign of terror followed Salvador Allende’s social democracy.

In his book  “Friendly Fascism,” Bertram Gross described a slow, powerful “drift toward greater concentration of power and wealth in a repressive Big Business-Big Government,” Big Brother alliance.

Its friendly face conceals raw power heading America “toward a new and subtly manipulative form of corporatist serfdom.”

In his 1935 novel titled, “It Can’t Happen Here,” Sinclair Lewis discussed a self-styled reformer/populist/demagogue exploiting human misery during hard times.

Candidate Merzelium “Buzz” Windrip promised prosperity. Doing so hid his dark side. In office he established militarism and unconstitutional governance.

He convened military tribunals for civilians. He called dissenters traitors. He institutionalized tyranny. He put political enemies in concentration camps. He created Minute Men paramilitaries. They terrorized public opposition.

He destroyed democracy, declared martial law, usurped dictatorial powers, and circumvented Congress. He made himself supreme ruler. Indeed it can happen here. Perhaps it’s closer than most people realize.

Events post-Boston Bombings demand close scrutiny. Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev were convicted in the court of public opinion.

Obama pronounced guilt asking “why did young men who grew up and studied here….resort to such violence? How did they plan and carry out these attacks, and did they receive any help?”

Mossad-connected DEBKAfile called both brothers “double agents.” They were “hired by US and Saudi intelligence to penetrate the Wahhabi jidadist networks which….spread across the restive Russian Caucasian.”

“Instead, the two former Chechens betrayed their mission and went secretly over to the radical Islamist networks. (They became) the first terrorist operatives to import al Qaeda terror to the United States through a winding route outside the Middle East – the Caucasus.”

The so-called Chechen connection and claims about both brothers having links to radical Islam don’t wash. They reflect media manipulated deception. No evidence suggests it.

They were born in Kyrgyzstan. They moved to Dagestan. Over 10 years ago, they came to America with their family. They were too young to have ties back home.

A previous article said Senators Lindsey Graham (R. SC), John McCain (R. AZ) and Kelly Ayotte (R. NH), as well as Rep. Peter King (R. NY) want Dzhokhar held as an “enemy combatant.” They want him denied fundamental rights.

In Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, the Supreme Court ruling said:

“There is no bar to this Nation’s holding one of its own citizens as an enemy combatant.”

Earlier, Francis Boyle said the four Geneva Conventions superseded the “long-defunct World War II” designation. Bush administration officials targeted “unlawful enemy combatants.” Obama calls them “unprivileged enemy belligerents.” Language changed but not intent or lawlessness.

King also wants more surveillance. He claims “It keeps us ahead of the terrorists who are constantly trying to kill us.” Big lies repeated enough are believed.

Monday headlines claimed both brothers planned other attacks. No credible evidence suggests they planned any. None except for what’s fabricated. Doing so links them to Boston. Without cold, hard, verifiable facts, it doesn’t wash.

It doesn’t matter. They’re both pronounced guilty. Dzhokhar hasn’t a chance in court if he gets there. Jurors will be intimidated to convict.

On April 21, The New York Times headlined “Suspects Seemed Set for Attacks Beyond Boston,” saying:

Both brothers “were armed with a small arsenal of guns, ammunition and explosives when they first confronted the police early Friday, and were most likely planning more attacks, the authorities said Sunday.”

Planting incriminating evidence reflects longstanding police policy. Doing so conceals their own crimes. Anzoro Tsarnaev said both his sons had nothing to do with terrorism.

They had no training or knowledge of explosives or firearms, he said. They were set up. US “special services went after them because my sons are Muslims and don’t have anyone in America to protect them.”

Zubeidat Tsarnaev called her sons innocent. She said FBI operatives hounded Tamerlan for perhaps five years. They monitored his actions. They knew what Internet sites he accessed. Without justification, they called him an extremist leader. He was being set up for what followed.

What happened begs the question. How could both brothers plan a terrorist act without FBI operatives knowing?

Numerous times they entrapped Muslims. They did so illegally. Charges alleged they were planning what they never intended. Always the FBI and/or local authorities intervened in time to stop them. Why not Boston? Evidence suggests neither brother was involved. Previous articles explained.

If Dzhokhar survives, he’ll likely face life in prison or the death penalty. It won’t be the first time injustice substituted for judicial fairness. It’s longstanding US policy.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected]. His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.” www.claritypress.com/LendmanII.html Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network. It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening. www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour

The Bloom Is Off Gold

 gold

It is for now. Don’t bet against it longer term. Value eventually wins out. Gold’s secular bull market continues. Experts believe it has a long way to go.

Market manipulation bears full responsibility for recent market action. A previous article explained. It called gold a global thermometer. It reflects monetary, geopolitical and economic conditions. It’s driven by supply and demand considerations.

It’s the longstanding hedge against uncertainty. It’s bought to do so against inflation, the declining value of fiat money, and disturbing global geopolitical conditions.

It has real value. It’s the ultimate safe haven. It’s been so for thousands of years. It’s track record is unmatched.

What goes up, goes down. On the one hand, doing so reflects normal market action. On the other, much more is involved. All markets are manipulated.

Governments, central bankers, and Wall Street collude. Manipulation is longstanding. Major players profit up or down.

Gold’s had a great run. Market analyst Richard Russell dates it from August 1999. Gold then cost $252 an ounce. It rose nearly eightfold before declining.

Russell calls it the most emotional of all investments. Some love it. Others hate it. Western central bankers and governments deplore it.

It’s real money. It’s an antidote to fiat currencies. They’re created out of thin air. Money printing madness erodes their value.

Gold stood the test of time. Russell sees it eventually selling for thousands of dollars. Currently it’s troubled. Prices could go a lot lower before rising.

Longtime investor Jim Rodgers owns gold. He’s not selling. He’s not buying more. He hasn’t hedged his position. He calls 30 – 35% corrections normal.

He expects gold prices to fall further for the “foreseeable future.” Eventually he expects them to go higher “over the decade.” His best guess low is perhaps $1,200 an ounce. Lower still wouldn’t surprise him.

From 2001 – 2007, gold rallied hugely. At the same time, the dollar plunged 41%. It’s now at a three year high. At issue is how long it holds.

QE debases dollar value. Bail-ins add more risk. Safe havens are more valued than ever. Fear drives investors to seek them. Savvy ones were stunned by the Friday and Monday selloff. Some called it unprecedented.

Momentum moves prices up and down. Manipulation drives them most. Price action is volatile. It closed the week at $1,395.60 an ounce. It could plunge again any time. Manipulators have final say. They take full advantage. They profit either way.

Economist David Rosenberg called the Friday/Monday selloff “quite a sight.” Gold mining stocks did worse. Global economic conditions look “shaky,” he said. Structural impediments “swamp vast monetary largesse.”

“Ordinarily, this should be (positive) for gold.” Its crash showed something very wrong. TV talking heads and other mainstream pundits didn’t explain.

Historical peak-to-trough declines are 32%. Rosenberg recommends not chasing the first oversold bounce. A large speculative long position needs to be unwound, he said.

At the same time, he believes the secular bull market continues. Negative sentiment adds to gold’s longer-term allure. He advises patience awaiting a buying opportunity.

Analyst Graham Summers suggests Bernanke’s worst nightmare looms. He and other central banks tried inflating their way out of debt. It’s “beginning to look like they failed.”

Copper took out its “recovery” trendline. Oil is breaking down. So is gold. The “Fed is literally running out of bullets.” Economic conditions are contracting.

“China’s recent GDP miss is just the latest in a series of economic surprises to the downside.” Stocks are “always” last to react.

The latest Global Europe Anticipation Bulletin (GEAB) headlined “Global Systemic Economic Crisis: The economic-political world versus financial banking interests,” saying:

“….our team has closely watched the unusual coincidence of all the market indicators collapsing….even and especially gold.”

“There is a clearance sale of paper gold which is leading the dance….We are probably at the beginning of a panic in which all speculative positions are sold off.”

Naked Capitalism’s Yves Smith said “Gold Crash Signals End but End of What?”

What to do near-term isn’t simple. Past is often prologue. The early 1980s “saw a blowout and plunge over a mere three day period.” Recovery didn’t follow. Perhaps stiff headwinds remain. Who knows for sure?

Money and Markets analyst Larry Edelson called gold’s “whopping 14.7 percent” two-day plunge “historic.” It’s “NOT over.”

Expect a bounce. “(D)on’t buy into it.” Gold’s heading lower. So are silver, copper, platinum, palladium, crude oil and other commodities.

Edelson believes gold won’t bottom “until it hits major long-term support at $1,028.”

He thinks QE lost impact. Too much bad debt remains. Money printing madness can’t offset it. Austerity’s hitting hard. Confiscatory bail-in policy is most important, he believes.

It “turned the world upside down.” Money no longer is safe in Europe, America, and Canada. Perhaps it’s not anywhere.

“Panicked capital is going into hiding, but in cash and equities in the US and Japan, not in gold.”

When investors realize that America is as troubled as Europe, gold fundamentals should “flip back” to bullish. That time isn’t now. Patience brings rewards.

The late Bob Chapman strongly recommended gold and silver. He did so for safety and capital appreciation. He explained fiat currency debasement. He was a Progressive Radio News Hour regular.

He predicted an eventual dollar decline. He explained how Western central bankers and financial giants manipulate precious metals. They do so to suppress their value.

Money printing madness means eventual higher prices. Hold on, buy more and be rewarded, he recommended. He said it on air many times. It remains good advice.

Central banks are hoarding gold. According to the World Gold Council, 2012 global demand reached an all-time high. “In value terms,” it was $236.4 billion. Q IV year-over-year was 6% higher.

Central bank buying year-over-year rose 17%. Global ETF investment rose 51%.

“China and India remain the world’s gold power houses.” Central bank buying worldwide is the highest “for almost half a century.”

 Zero Hedge called the gold selloff “a massive wealth transfer from our pockets to the banks.” Federal Reserve naked short selling drove prices down.

Zero Hedge explained how Wall Street does it, saying:

“(1) Amass a huge short position early in the game.

(2) Begin telling everyone to go short…to get things moving along in the right direction by sowing doubt in the minds of the longs.

(3) Begin testing the late night markets for depth by initiating mini raids (that also serve to let experienced traders know that there’s an elephant or two in the room).

(4) Wait for the right moment and then open the floodgates to dump such an overwhelming amount of paper gold and silver into the market that lower prices are the only possible result.

(5) Close their positions for massive gains and then act as if they had made a really prescient market call.

(6) Await their big bonus checks and wash, rinse, repeat at a later date.”

On April 12, turbulence began. Shock & awe naked short selling hammered prices. Gold buyers and holders were told “you are long and wrong.”

Spot prices plunged. Physical purchases rose. Large dealers ran out of coins. Fed naked shorting aims to protect dollar value. Short-term it’s working. Longer-term watch out.

Money printing madness debases dollar value. What can’t go on forever, won’t. Gold represents real value.

Why else would central banks hoard it? Savvy investors hold it. They await a major buying opportunity. It may arrive when least expected.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected]. His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.” www.claritypress.com/LendmanII.html Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network. It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening. www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour

Targeting Iran

 Targeting Iran

Hostile US/Israeli rhetoric is longstanding. Obama and Netanyahu consider Iran an existential threat. Claiming it turns truth on its head.

AIPAC‘s no better. It calls Iran “the world’s leading state sponsor of terror and is racing toward a nuclear weapons capability.”

“Through its proxy armies of Hizballah in southern Lebanon and Hamas in the Gaza Strip, the Iranian regime is supporting terrorists that have carried out attacks on American troops and Israeli civilians.”

Fact check: America and Israel are the world’s most egregious human rights abusers and sponsors of state-sponsored terrorism.

On March, the Foreign Policy Initiative (formerly the Project for the New American Century – PNAC) headlined “FPI: As Obama visits Israel, Iran’s Nuclear Threat Grows,” saying:

Iran’s “technical potential (can) produce nuclear explosive material for its first nuclear weapon in a matter of a few months.” If “undeclared” uranium sites exist, its timeline “could further shorten.”

“(A)s the window rapidly closes for the United States, Israel, and other responsible members of the international community to halt Iran’s destabilizing nuclear ambitions, it’s urgent that Mr. Obama not give up his end to obtain his means.”

PNAC/now FPI promotes US global military dominance. It opposes governments against American interests. It urges replacing them with pro-Western ones. It considers war a way to achieve it.

On April 13, Israel National News headlined “Peres: Obama Will Attack Iran if Diplomacy Fails,” saying:

He believes it, he said. “I have no doubt that if diplomatic talks fail with Iran and Tehran doesn’t stop accelerating its nuclear development – US President Barack Obama will conduct a military attack against Iran.”

“Preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon isn’t only an Israeli interest, but a global and an American interest. As long as the US is in the lead – why shouldn’t we use its assistance?”

Secretary of State John Kerry told Peres that “Obama is not bluffing when he says he will stop Iran’s nuclear program.”

“We understand the nature of the threat of Iran. And as the President has said many times, he doesn’t bluff. He is serious.”

“We will stand with Israel against this threat and with the rest of the world, who have underscored that all we are looking for is Iran to live up to its international obligations. No option is off the table. No option will be taken off the table.”

Kerry, Obama, other US officials, and Israeli ones know Iran’s nuclear program is peaceful. False accusations persist. War may follow. The threat is real.

Permanent war is US policy. America and Israel are modern-day Spartas. Saber-rattling and hostile rhetoric continue. Anything ahead is possible.

The American Enterprise (AEI) Institute exerts enormous influence on US policy. Ronald Reagan once called it “a revolution in ideas of which I, too, have been a part.”

“(Its) remarkably distinguished body of work is testimony to the triumph of the think tank. For today the most important American scholarship comes out of our think tanks – and none has been more influential than the American Enterprise Institute.”

Post-9/11, AEI was one of the Bush administration’s leading foreign policy architects. It was influential in promoting regime change in Iraq. It urged war. Perhaps it wants one on Iran.

On April 17, it headlined “Africa: Iran’s final frontier?”

“….Tehran sees many of Africa’s 54 countries as easy pickings in a zero-sum game for influence.”

It’s “forging ties….to leverage aid and soft power in exchange for diplomatic favors and to use Africa as cover for military or nuclear objectives.”

Its outreach “will increasingly challenge US aims across Africa and in its surrounding waters.” AEI suggested the importance of US intervention. It stopped short of urging war. Doing so may follow.

On April 23, AEI  headlined “Iran unveiled: How the Revolutionary Guards is turning theocracy into military dictatorship.”

It’s the title of AEI resident fellow Ali Alfoneh’s new book. He asks:

“Is Washington prepared to tailor its strategy based on an evolving Iranian power structure?”

“The rise of the IRGC (Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corp) is bound to challenge the interests of the United States in the Middle East and beyond.”

He falsely claims Iran attacked US regional diplomats. It supports Iraqi and Afghan “armed insurgents,” he added. Doing so, he claims, reflects “the IRGC’s increasing adventurism and risk taking.”

AEI calls his book “essential” to “understand the inner workings of the regime in Tehran if they are to effectively counter the threats it poses.”

None exist. America, Israel, the Israeli Lobby, and right-wing think tanks invent one. What follows bears close scrutiny. Hostile rhetoric remains ongoing.

On April 18, the Jerusalem Post headlined “PM: Israel’s self-defense not open for debate,” saying:

Netanyahu told the BBC that “Israel’s right to defend its existence is not subject to a traffic light. We don’t need anyone to give us the right to prevent a new holocaust.”

“Without a direct military threat, Iran will not stop.” He added that Iran approaches crossing his red line. “They have sort of crept up, but not crossed it,” he said.

He falsely claimed Iran’s determined to build a bomb. He knows no such intention exists.

“The threat of Iran’s getting nuclear weapons is a direct threat to the existence of Israel,” he added, “but I think that it is a supreme pivot of history. It threatens the peace of the world.”

He repeats what he knows is false. What follows remains to be seen.

Moshe Arens is a former Israeli defense minister and US ambassador. On April 21, he headlined “As North Korea blusters, the Iranian nuclear clock ticks away,” saying:

“It’s only a small mental leap from the current crisis with nuclear North Korea to a potential future crisis with a nuclear Iran.”

“In this scenario, Iran – after having achieved nuclear weapon capability, and in possession of medium and long-range ballistic missiles – issues threats against Israel and the US.”

“In Jerusalem, no one is going to just shrug off the threat.”

“It is a real, present danger, and it will be weighing the advantages and disadvantages of a first strike against Israel.”

“The threat will be taken seriously, as it should be. And the world will be looking into the face of a nuclear catastrophe.”

“It’s clear now that economic sanctions aren’t hindering the Iranian race for the bomb. The Iranian nuclear clock keeps ticking. How much time is left before it’s too late?”

Netanyahu often threatens war on Iran. Arens barely stopped short of urging it. Inventing an Iranian threat advances the possibility. Doing so threatens the region and humanity.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected]. His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.” www.claritypress.com/LendmanII.html Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network. It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening. www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour

The Bush Legacy

 george bush

Throughout his tenure, media scoundrels were largely supportive. They ignored his 2000 electoral theft. In 2004, they did so again.

They backed his imperial wars. They turned a blind eye to police state injustice. They ignored torture on a global scale. They mischaracterized the measure of the man.

Early on, The New York Times praised his “new gravitas.” It was days after he attacked Afghanistan. It was premeditated lawless aggression. It was two weeks before he signed the Patriot Act. Times editors called him “confident” and “determined.”

He showed “statesmanship.” “It was heartening to hear him say” America will fight in Afghanistan “as long as it takes.” They ignored an imperial war planned long before 9/11.

They called him “a leader whom the nation could follow in these difficult times.” They’re comfortable with his legacy. Two recent articles feature his new presidential library and museum. More on them below.

Bush’s true legacy reflects underachievement, sadism and lawlessness. His dark side emerged early on. As a young boy, he enjoyed blowing up frogs for sport. He progressed to replicating it on nations.

He had problems with alcohol and drugs. As Texas governor, he presided over more executions than any other state executive since the Supreme Court reinstated capital punishment in 1976.

His close aids said he enjoyed killing. He abused others for his own amusement. He was born into wealth and power. His family dynasty goes back four generations.

It’s connected to America’s military-industrial complex. George H. Walker and Samuel Prescott Bush were its founding fathers. They created a criminal enterprise.

Walker was a St. Louis financier. SP Bush was a major Ohio industrialist. He became a close Herbert Hoover advisor. Bush’s grandfather, Prescott, was a Wall Street investment banker.

Over a century ago, the Bush family was connected to John D. Rockefeller, later with various Wall Street firms, as well as US intelligence since WW I.

Strong ties to wealth and power define it. Its members include a former US senator, two governors, a congressman, vice president, CIA director and two presidents.

During WW II, Prescott was a Union Banking Corporation director. The firm represented German industrialist Fritz Thyssen. It traded with the enemy. It bought and shipped millions of dollars worth of gold, oil, steel, coal, and US Treasury bonds to Germany. Doing so supported the Nazi war machine.

Prescott’s Brown Brothers Harriman did business with Hitler. It did so until its assets were seized in 1942. Trading with the Enemy Act charges were filed.

Prescott wasn’t alone. Rockefeller’s Chase Bank and Standard Oil, Ford, General Motors, IBM, and other major US corporations had no political or ideological problem doing business with Nazi Germany.

Before he became president, GHW Bush was involved in numerous criminal activities. As Gerald Ford’s CIA chief, he suppressed knowledge of the Agency’s involvement in coups and assassinations of foreign leaders.

As vice president, he was involved in the Iran-Contra scandal. He helped get GW elected Texas governor. His record was deplorable. In return for generous political contributions, he supported the state’s worst polluters.

He lobbied for a national radioactive waste dump. He lied saying it was mostly for x-rays and other hospital waste. He solicited nuclear power waste from other states. He corrupted Texas’ environmental standards. He did so to accommodate corporate friends.

He permitted industrial pollution, air toxins, and hazardous wastes. He acted secretly. He stripped municipalities of local control over land use and environmental protections.

He let state parks languish in decay and disrepair. He was staunchly pro-business, anti-civil rights, and uncaring about public needs. Close aides considered him untrustworthy.

He served two presidential terms. He did so without being elected. In 2000, he lost to Al Gore. Not according to America’s Supreme Court. It annulled the popular vote. It stopped the Florida recount. It highjacked the electoral process to install him.

Election 2004 was worse. Kerry won. Bush got a second term. He did so with electronic ease. Corporate controlled electronic voting machines manipulated his illegitimate “reelection.”

Throughout his tenure, he waged war on humanity. He called imperial wars liberating ones. He ignored rule of law principles. He mocked democracy. He made torture official US policy. He suppressed civil liberties for our own good.

He targeted Muslims, Latino immigrants, and others. He did so for political advantage. He built Homeland Security mass detention camps. He deployed paramilitary enforcers on US streets.

He waged war on dissent. He furthered social decay at home. He institutionalized spying and police state repression. His war on terrorism was a scheme for world dominance.

In his first State of the Union address, he declared war on a “terrorist underworld (in) at least a dozen countries.” They ranged from “remote jungles and deserts (to) centers of large cities.”

He asked “all nations (to) heed our call and eliminate the terrorist parasites who threaten their countries and our own.”

He said “(i)f they do not act, America will.” He designated North Korea, Iran and Iraq an “axis of evil.” He falsely claimed their “weapons of mass destruction posed a grave and growing danger.” Only to admit after demolition Iraq, that there were none.

 

His Bush Doctrine declared war on “terrorist” states, as well as on others harboring or aiding them. His 2002 and 2006 National Security Strategy (NSS) usurped a unilateral right to wage preventive, preemptive, and proactive wars against perceived enemies (real or invented).

He sought unchallenged control of global energy and other resources. He targeted key regions. They include the Middle East, Eurasia, Latin America, Africa and the Arctic.

He lied saying “(w)e may face no greater challenge from a single country than Iran.” His 2006 National Space Policy embraced unchallenged control.

He ignored rule of law principles. He abandoned restrictive treaties. He militarized more than the rest of the world combined. He rescinded the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention. He did so to develop biowarfare weapons illegally.

He renounced the 1989 Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act. It prohibits the development, production, and stockpiling of bacteriological and toxic weapons. At the time, Francis Boyle said doing so made “a catastrophic biowarfare or bioterrorist incident a statistical certainty.”

He established a homeland police state apparatus. Repressive national security and war on terrorism became imperial priorities.

He usurped unconstitutional “unitary executive” power. Chalmers Johnson called it “a ball-faced assertion of presidential supremacy dressed up in legalistic mumbo jumbo.”

He signed secret presidential findings. He issued military orders, presidential directives and executive orders. He established unprecedented continuity of government powers. Doing so violated constitutional restraints.

His “ownership society” transferred trillions of public and private dollars from millions of ordinary Americans to corporate giants and super-rich elites. He waged war on labor. He stripped workers of bargaining rights. He targeted the nation’s most vulnerable. He did so shamelessly.

He authorized warrantless spying. He trashed other constitutional protections. He subverted justice. He did so to defend privilege. He waged global war on humanity. He headed America on a fast track toward tyranny.

On April 23, CODEPINK headlined “Don’t Let Bush Get Away With Murder!” Thousands are “converging in Dallas, Texas for the dedication of the Library named for George W. Bush, including President Obama, former presidents Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, and George H.W. Bush.”

“Local laws and barricades will keep any dissent miles away from the celebration. Help us raise voices globally to say ‘Justice is Overdue.’ ”

“We attempted to say it in the Dallas Morning News after a 30+ page supplement ran in their Sunday edition, but our ad was rejected.”

“Join CODEPINK, Vets for Peace and the Backbone Campaign’s Thunderclap during the official ceremony to share the ad, celebrate free speech and express your desire to have Justice for All.”

Separately CODEPINK’s co-founder Jodie Evans and Charles Davis headlined “Bush’s Legacy Ought to Be on Trial – Instead, It’s Put on Display,” saying:

He “presided over an international network of torture chambers and, with the help of a compliant Congress and press, launched a war of aggression that killed hundreds of thousands of men, women and children.”

“However, instead of the bloody details of his time in office being recounted at a war crimes tribunal, the former president has been able to bank on his imperial privilege – and a network of rich corporate donors that he made richer while in office – to tell his version of history at a library in Texas being opened in his name.”

On April 25, he’ll dedicate his $500 million George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum. Doing so reinvents a war criminal. It whitewashes his criminal legacy. Who said crime doesn’t pay?

On April 15, The  New York Times headlined “With Grandchild and Library, a New Chapter,” saying:

“For a former president, it does not get much better than this.” Since leaving office, he’s “remained largely removed from the spotlight.”

On April 25, he’ll host four past presidents and other dignitaries. He told the Dallas Morning News he has no regrets. “I’m comfortable with what I did,” he said.

“I’m comfortable with who I am. Much of my presidency was defined by things that you didn’t necessarily want to have happened.”

He, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and other rogue neocons made them happen. Imperial war plans predated his incumbency. 9/11 became the pretext for waging them.

On April 20, The Times headlined “Rewinding History, Bush Museum Lets You Decide,” saying:

His Presidential Library and Museum reflects “his eight years as president and six as governor of Texas.”

It’ll “be turned over to the National Archive and Records Administration, while the former president will retain control of a public policy institute that promotes his priorities.”

“As president, he rarely had a chance to rest given the endless cascade of crises as visitors will experience in the Decisions Points Theater.”

He hopes to “enhance the reputation of a president who left office with historically low approval ratings, but he denied that was his goal.”

“I don’t view the post-presidency as burnishing any legacy,” he said. “I view it as living life to the fullest. The challenge when you’re a former president is how do you use your God-given talents?”

He’s a multimillionaire. He earns up to $200,000 per speech. The 1958 Former Presidents Act authorizes generous lifetime benefits. His annual pension is $200,000.

He receives “suitable office space, appropriately furnished and equipped,” as well as a small staff. It’s in Dallas. It’s 8,000 square feet. Rental cost last year was $401,000.

Travel, postage and other expenses are paid for. In FY 2012, he received $1.3 million. He gets lifetime Secret Service protection. He’s rich enough to pay all costs himself.

His war criminal record doesn’t matter. America honors its worst.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected]. His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.” www.claritypress.com/LendmanII.html Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network. It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening. www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour

Target Syria: Allegations of Chemical Weapons Use

syriaNew allegations claim Syrian chemical weapons use. We’ve heard similar ones before. Obama calls using them a “game changer.” He also said their use crosses a “red line.”

Syrian officials are unequivocal. Weeks earlier, Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Miqdad spoke for others saying:

“Syria stresses again, for the 10th, the 100th time, that if we had such weapons, they would not be used against our people. We would not commit suicide.”

Alleging Syrian chemical weapons use resembles bogus claims about Saddam’s nonexistent WMDs. It’s similar to false charges against all US enemies.

Big Lies launch wars. They facilitate them. They perpetuate them. Gore Vidal once said:

“Our rulers for more than half a century have made sure that we are never to be told the truth about anything that our government has done to other people, not to mention our own.”

Syria is Washington’s war. It was planned years ago. It’s objective is regime change. America’s been involved from inception. Independent governments aren’t tolerated.

So-called “non-lethal” aid represents America’s tip of the iceberg. The CIA’s involved in facilitating weapons shipments. Huge amounts flow in. US-backed death squads are well supplied.

At issue is whether Obama plans direct intervention. About 200 US forces were deployed in Jordan. They’re positioned along Syria’s border. John Kerry announced doubling US aid to insurgents.

On the one hand, NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen says no intervention is planned. On the other, he’s hinted about possibly doing so. NATO commander Admiral James Stavridis said he’s ready to act if asked.

Perhaps the North Atlantic Treaty’s article five will be invoked. It considers an attack (real or otherwise) against one or more members an attack against all. It calls for collective action.

Is a staged incident planned? Are chemical weapons charges crossing Obama’s “red line.” Will NATO invoke article five? Will imperial aggression follow? Perhaps Obama has that in mind. He prioritizes war. He deplores peace. He preconditions negotiations on regime change.

In early April, unnamed US intelligence officials claimed Syria used chemical weapons. Two alleged Damascus incidents were cited.

In a March address, Obama said “We will not tolerate the use of chemical weapons against the Syrian people. The world is watching, and we will hold you accountable.”

In late March, credible evidence of insurgent chemical weapons use surfaced. Syria’s military said a home-made locally-manufactured rocket was fired.

It contained CL17. It’s a form of chlorine. It induces vomiting, fainting, suffocation and seizures. Those in the immediate area are affected.

Khan al-Asal was attacked. It’s southwest of Aleppo. Government forces control it. Jihadists struck a Syrian army-controlled checkpoint.

A local hospital source said he personally witnessed Syrian army personnel helping those harmed. Over two dozen deaths were reported. They included Syrian soldiers.

European diplomats acknowledged what happened. They lied claiming “friendly fire.”

Britain and France said Syria used chemical weapons more than once since last December. Unnamed senior diplomats claim soil samples, witness interviews, and opposition sources say nerve agents were used in and around Aleppo, Homs and possibly Damascus.

According to Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, allegations are being evaluated. Some US intelligence officials are skeptical. Without US censors in Syria, determining chemical weapons use is hard enough. Harder still is deciding who’s responsible if credible evidence is found.

According to an unnamed US defense official, anyone could plant evidence of chemical weapons use. “Catching them when we don’t own the ground is very difficult, especially when we are talking about non-persistent agents.”

“We can’t be sure the samples aren’t tainted by people who have an interest in trying to get the international community involved.”

He added that tests Britain conducted weren’t definitive. Details weren’t provided on where samples were taken and who provided them. Significant use of chemical agents wasn’t found.

So-called eyewitness accounts blamed Assad. Later they proved false. Israel made new ones. On April 23, Haaretz headlined “Israel confirms Syria regime used chemical weapons against rebels.”

According to Military Intelligence Research Division head General Itai Brun:

“To the best of our professional understanding, the regime has used lethal chemical weapons on a number of occasions, including the incident on March 19.”

He cited photo evidence. Whose he didn’t say. They’re easy to fabricate. Allegedly they show victims foaming at the mouth with pupils contracted. He claims the weapon used was sarin-based.

“The regime has increasingly used chemical weapons,” he alleges. “The very fact that they have used chemical weapons without any appropriate reaction – this is a very worrying development, because it might signal that this is legitimate.”

He claims Syria has a “large arsenal of chemical weapons, more than 1,000 tons of chemicals, thousands of aerial bombs and quite a lot of warheads and surface-to-surface missiles that can be armed with chemical weapons.”

“How this develops is a good question. We need to be very concerned with the fact chemical weapons might reach less responsible hands that don’t consider the consequences of their actions.” They “don’t undertake normal cost-benefit calculations.” He calls that “worrying.”

At the same time, he’s uncertain whether regional conflict will include widespread chemical weapons use. He stressed the “need to see how the situation develops in the short term.”

Days earlier, Netanyahu addressed the issue, saying:

“We are prepared to defend ourselves if the need arises and I think people know that what I say is both measured and serious.”

“We have to be very bothered by the possibility that chemical weapons are going to get into the hands of less responsible actors.”

“It is certainly possible that there will be other incidents of attack against Israel by other organizations that obtain different types of weapons.”

At a Brussels NATO foreign ministers meeting, John Kerry urged members to respond if it’s determined that Syria used chemical weapons.

“We should carefully and collectively consider how NATO is prepared to respond to protect its members from a Syrian threat, including any potential chemical weapons threat,” he said.

At the same time, he spoke to Netanyahu by phone. “He was not in a position to confirm (chemical weapons use) in the conversation that I had.”

“I don’t know yet what the facts are. I don’t think anybody knows what they are.”

Separately, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said intelligence regarding chemical weapons use remains inconclusive. His press secretary George Little added:

“We reiterate in the strongest possible terms the obligations of the Syrian regime to safeguard its chemical weapons stockpiles, and not to use or transfer such weapons to terrorist groups like Hezbollah.”

Events going forward demand close scrutiny. Obama may be planning more war. Make no mistake. He’ll take full advantage of Boston’s marathon bombings. He’ll do so at home and abroad. Rogue states operate that way.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected]. His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.” www.claritypress.com/LendmanII.html Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network. It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening. www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour

Anatomy of a False Flag

 false flags

False flags are an American tradition. They go way back. The Boston bombings appear the latest. More on that below.

Notable earlier false flags or incidents approximating them include:

In 1845, America lawlessly annexed Texas. It was Mexican territory. President James Polk deployed US troops. A future president led them. General Zachary Taylor paraded them along the disputed border.

In May 1846, Polk told cabinet officials that if Mexican forces retaliated, he’d ask Congress to declare war. He wanted it whether or not Mexico attacked. After an incident occurred, Polk told Congress:

“Mexico has passed the boundary of the US and shed American blood on American soil.” The Mexican War followed.

Half of Mexico was annexed. Included were California, Utah, Nevada, as well as parts of New Mexico, Arizona, Wyoming and Colorado. The Rio Grande became the Texas-Mexico border.

In 1898, Cubans neared freeing themselves from Spanish colonial rule. US President William McKinley promised to respect its sovereignty.

In January 1898, the USS Maine entered Havana harbor. Allegedly it was to protect US Consul Fitzhugh Lee and other American citizens.

On February 15, a huge explosion sank the Maine. Doing so killed 266 crew members. The Spanish-American war followed.

At the time, publisher William Randolph Hearst hyped the big lie. He claimed Spain sunk the Maine. An internal coal bunker explosion caused it.

Notably Hearst told his Havana illustrator: “You furnish the pictures, and I’ll furnish the war.” Big lies launch them. Doing so enlists public support.

America became Cuba’s colonial power. The Philippines, Guam, Samoa, Hawaii, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Canal Zone, Puerto Rico and other territories were annexed.

In May 1915, a German U-boat sank the Lusitania. It carried US munitions for Britain. Over 100 Americans on board died. US newspapers expressed outrage. Congress authorized increasing US military forces.

In 1916, Woodrow Wilson was reelected after pledging: “He Kept Us Out of War.” Straightaway he planned US involvement. The Lusitania incident and British allegations about Germany seeking to ally with Mexico to regain lost territory were used advantageously.

In April 1917, Wilson established the Committee on Public Information (CPI or Creel Committee). It operated through August 1919. Its mission was enlisting public support for war.

Undermining opposition sentiment was essential. It succeeded. He turned pacifist Americans into raging German haters. Propaganda worked as intended. Wilson got the war he wanted.

Franklin Roosevelt manipulated Japan to attack Pearl Harbor. Doing so let him wage war. He had to convince Congress and a pacifist public to go along.

What better way than by manufacturing terror. Japan’s fleet was tracked across the Pacific. Pearl Harbor’s Admiral HE Kimmel wasn’t warned. He was denied intelligence. Waging war demanded mass casualties. WW II followed.

Complicit with Washington, numerous 1949/1950 South Korean cross-border incursions provoked Pyongyang’s June 1950 response. Truman got the war he wanted.

In 1962, Kennedy rejected a proposed US Joint Chiefs of Staff false flag. Operation Northwoods was part of a covert anti-Castro scheme. Called Operation Mongoose, a document titled “Justification for US Military Intervention in Cuba” explained.

Plans included assassinating Cuban Americans, manufacturing fake “Communist Cuban terror” in US cities, shooting down one or more US commercial airliners, blowing up a US ship in Cuban waters, attacking Guantanamo, and blaming Castro for what happened as reason for war.

Full-scale war against North Vietnam followed the fake August 1964 Gulf of Tonkin incident. Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution. Doing so authorized war without declaring it.

In October 1983, US forces invaded Grenada. Allegedly it was to rescue American medical students. Operation Urgent Fury’s mission reflected US imperialism, Cold War politics, and replacing the leftist New Jewel Movement government with a pro-Western one.

In December 1989, manufactured incidents precipitated America’s Panama invasion. Former US ally Manuel Noriega was deposed. At issue was forgetting who’s boss.

Operation Just Cause killed thousands. Crimes of war and against humanity included mass murder, indiscriminate destruction, extrajudicial assassinations, illegal weapons use, arbitrary detentions, and replacing Noriega with pro-American Guillermo Endara.

In August 1990, Washington colluded with Kuwait’s al-Sabah monarchy. Saddam Hussein was entrapped to invade. In January 1991, the Gulf War followed. Over two decades of sanctions, war, occupation, and destruction of the “cradle of civilization” followed.

911 false flagThe 9/11 false flag launched over a decade of imperial wars against Afghanistan, Iraq, parts of Pakistan, Libya, Syria, Palestine allied with Israel, as well as numerous proxy wars and homeland ones against Muslims, Latino immigrants and working Americans.

Post-WW II, CIA operatives targeted over 50 foreign leaders for removal. Some died. Others lived. Fidel Castro survived hundreds of assassination attempts.

Hugo Chavez replaced him as America’s top hemispheric bete noire. His death likely wasn’t accidental. America had opportunity and motive.

CIA rogues operate globally. They’re expert killers. They’ve had decades of experience.

Investigative journalist  Wayne Madsen said the Agency “pioneered” cancer-causing agent experiments. Focus was on infecting victims multiple ways. They include “injection, inhalation, (and) skin contact through contaminated clothing, especially underwear.”

There are many other false flags, that go without mention in this article.

On April 19, America’s latest black ops ended. Boston police discovered Dzhokar Tsarnaeva’s whereabouts. He was shot, seriously wounded and hospitalized.

Media scoundrels rejoiced. A  Washington Post headline was typical, saying: ” ‘WE GOT HIM.’ ” Post editors said:

“….Americans and their homeland security forces are better prepared to respond to terrorism than they were a decade ago.” Surveillance camera videos enabled “singl(ing) out the Tsarnaev brothers in just three days….”

Wall Street Journal editorial headlined “The Brothers Tsarnaev. The terrorist suspects next door,” saying:

We’ll “learn more about their motives, their training and whether they acted alone or as part of a network.” Journal editors suggested  their Chechen roots “turned to jihad.”

It wasn’t “the first time. The radicalization of young Muslims in the West….is by now a familiar story.”

“The Tsarnnaev brothers may be an example….The ‘homegrown’ radical threat is really an argument for vigilance….This means surveilling foreign student groups in the US, certain immigrant communities….even mosques and other Muslim venues.”

“As the week’s events in Boston show, the cost of doing otherwise are too high.”

Numerous op-eds reflected similar sentiments. None explained what matters most. Vital information was suppressed. Lies and distortion substituted for truth and full disclosure.

It’s standard scoundrel media practice. A previous article explained. Tsarnaev brothers were patsies. They were set up. Reports falsely suggested they’re Islamofascist terrorists.

Their father, Anzor, said his sons had nothing to do with the bombings. US “special services went after them because my sons are Muslims and don’t have anyone in America to protect them.”

“I’m sure about my children, in their purity. I don’t know what happened or who did this….I fear for my son, for his life.”

He feared police would kill him and claim he had a gun. Older son Tamerlan died that way. Younger son Dzhokar was shot and seriously wounded. It’s unclear if he’ll survive.

He added that neither son was trained or had knowledge of explosives or firearms.

Their mother, Zubeidat, told Russia Today (RT) both sons were set up. FBI operatives followed them for years. Her eldest son Tamerlan “was controlled by the FBI, like for three, five years,” she said.

“They knew what (he) was doing. They knew what actions and what sites on the Internet he was (accessing). They used to come (to our) home.”

“They used to talk to me. They were telling me that (Tamerlan) was really an extremist leader and that they were afraid of him.”

“They told me whatever information he is getting, he gets from these extremist sites.”

“They were controlling him. They were controlling his every step (and) now they say that this is a terrorist act. Never ever is this true. My sons are innocent.”

Asked if they had secret aspirations and dark secrets, she said “That’s impossible. My sons would never keep a secret.”

Russian Alpha Special Forces team veteran and vice president of its International Association, Aleksey Filatov, told RT much more is going on than meets the eye.

Everything was premeditated and planned, he said. He pointed fingers the right way. “Putting a young Chechen in those shoes was top-notch professionalism in distracting everyone from the true identity and motives of the planner.”

“The executors were chosen to confuse the American public and simultaneously untie the White House’s hands in a way that would justify a departure from the rhetoric of non-involvement in military action on foreign territories.”

Post-9/11 2.0 may follow. Perhaps greater new world order harshness will unfold. State-sponsored terror facilitates it. Forewarned is forearmed.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected]. His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.” www.claritypress.com/LendmanII.html Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network. It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening. www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour

Hagel in Israel

 Hagel in Israel

On April 20, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel began a weeklong Middle East trip.

Planned stops include Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Republic (UAE).

Late Sunday morning, he arrived in Israel. Discussions will focus on Iran, Syria, and weapons sales to regional allies.

A major arms deal with Israel sends a “very clear signal” to Tehran, he said. Asked if it suggests a potential military strike, he told reporters:

“I don’t think there’s any question that’s another very clear signal to Iran.”

“Israel will make the decision that Israel must make to protect itself, to defend itself in a very dangerous, combustible region of the world.”

“I think it’s important that we keep our eye focused on the objective. And there is no daylight at all (between Washington and Israel) – that Iran is prevented from acquiring a nuclear capacity.”

He acknowledged “some differences” between both countries. At the same time, he stressed a “very special relationship.” He ignored  America’s latest Iranian intelligence assessment.

On March 12, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told Senate Intelligence Committee members what he’s said before. No evidence suggests an ongoing Iranian nuclear weapons program.

“We do not know if Iran will eventually decide to build nuclear weapons,” he said. Despite “technical expertise in a number of areas….we assess Iran could not divert safeguarded material and produce a weapon-worth of WGU (weapons grade uranium) before this activity is discovered.”

None has been so far. Iran “wants to advance its nuclear and missile capabilities and avoid severe repercussions – such as a military strike….”

Annual US intelligence assessments say no evidence suggests an Iranian nuclear weapons program. US and Israeli officials know it. Targeting Iran unjustly continues. What follows remains to be seen.

According to Hagel, “military options ought to be the last option.” At the same time, he disingenuously calls Iran “a threat, a real threat.”

His visit began at Israel’s Yad Vashem holocaust museum. Sunday night, he met with Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon.

He’ll also meet with Netanyahu and Shimon Peres. Washington’s expected to sell $10 billion worth of advanced missiles and aircraft to Israel, the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

Israel’s expected to get radar for fighter jets, upgraded KC-135 refueling tankers, Osprey V-22 tilt-rotor transport aircraft, and anti-radiation missiles. They’re designed to knock out enemy air defenses.

The UAE will get two dozen F-16 fighter jets. Saudi Arabia and the Emirates will be sold sophisticated air-to-ground missiles. US officials said new arms sales should not be taken as tacit approval for Israel to attack Iran.

Israeli officials say new weapons in part preserve the IDF’s military superiority. Israel gets preferential treatment. It gets inordinate amounts of aid.

Adjusted for inflation, it’s over $230 billion since 1948. Included are $3 billion or more in annual congressional allocations, special trade advantages, preferential contracts, hidden amounts, weapons and munitions, interest free loans, and various other exclusive Israeli benefits.

Most often, what Israel wants it gets. As a percent of GDP, it’s the biggest defense spender. It’s for offense, not defense. Israel has no regional enemies. It invents them to hype fear.

Washington does the same thing. They’re rogue partners in crime. US-supplied aid funds regional instability, settlements, and other forms of occupation harshness.

It also made Israel a modern-day Sparta. Politics and militarism are wedded to create a militaristic view of reality. It’s institutionalized. Military solutions are considered legitimate, desirable, and often top option.

Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion once called the nation “an army and the whole land (a) front.” It’s the world’s fourth most powerful military. It’s nuclear armed and dangerous. It’s equipped with other state-of-the-art weapons.

It’s got an active space and satellite program, as well as biological and chemical weapons capability. It’s generously support by Washington. Both countries menace the region and humanity.

According to Netanyahu diplomatic advisor Ron Dermer, Israeli aid will increase following the Boston bombings. Most Americans “stand firmly with Israel and identify with Israel,” he said.

“If you can look historically, there was a big change after 9/11, and I am sure that (post-Boston), people will identify more with Israel and its struggle against terrorism, and we can maintain that support.”

Dermer claims “Netanyahu is very prudent in the use of force.” Palestinians know otherwise. State terror is policy. Netanyahu heads Israel’s worst ever government. He’s Israel’s most extremist ever leader. He governs lawlessly and recklessly.

He spurns peace. It’s hard knowing what he plans next. Allied with Washington, anything ahead is possible. Days earlier, Hagel told Senate Armed Service Committee members that 200 US 1st Armored Division troops are being deployed in Jordan.

They’ll be positioned along the Syrian border. They’ll include intelligence specialists and special forces. Expect others to follow. They’re part of Washington’s “robust military planning for a range of contingencies.”

It’s unclear if invading Syria is planned. NATO’s been seeking a pretext to intervene. Obama called evidence of Assad using chemical weapons a “red line” America won’t tolerate.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said US plans to send 200 soldiers to Jordan “are incompatible with the political commitments and the stances which were agreed upon by all the main foreign parties active in settling the crisis in Syria in Geneva last year.”

Russia urges “drop(ping) these dangerous practices and mov(ing) towards meeting those political commitments adopted by all of us with regard to finding a solution to the crisis.”

Moscow rejects “humanitarian corridors” and “buffer zones.” Establishing them “overstep(s) the Syrian government.”

“It’s clear that those extremists who are now fighting their first battles in Syria could appear with their full skills in other countries,” he added.

Hagel said US intervention “could have the unintended consequence of (embroiling America in) a broader regional conflict or proxy war.” It could involve “a significant, lengthy, and uncertain military commitment.”

At the same time, Israeli Defense Minister Ya’alon warned that Israel must consider attacking Iran on its own. “The world must lead the campaign,” he said, “but Israel must prepare for the possibility that it will have to defend itself with its own powers.”

On April 21,  Israel National News headlined “Israel, Turkey Quietly Discuss Possible Strike on Iran?”

Israeli envoy Yaakov Amidror began “to raise the issue of Iran in delicate talks in Ankara….” Discussions focus on possibly “parking Israeli fighter jets at an airbase near Ankara.”

A key deterrent to attacking is “the distance between Israel and Iran.” Amidror may offer “advanced weapon systems to Turkey” in exchange for permission to position Israeli fighter jets near Ankara.

Turkey’s Acinci Airbase was mentioned. It’s northwest of Ankara.

According to Hurriyet Daily News, Turkey dismissed reports “suggesting that an Israeli delegation set to arrive in Ankara on April 22 would hold talks to use a Turkish airbase to train for a possible attack on Iranian nuclear facilities.”

An unnamed Turkish official said:

“We have already said that the normalization of our relations will be step by step. Talking about the prospects of a military cooperation at this stage would be irrelevant. We are not there yet. We haven’t even yet appointed a new ambassador to Israel.”

Events going forward bear close watching. Updated reports will explain more.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected]. His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.” www.claritypress.com/LendmanII.html Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network. It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening. www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour

Boston Bombing Suspect Charged

 

Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev


Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was captured by police on Friday.
Photograph from AP

Unequivocal, verifiable evidence is absent. Reports are largely hearsay. Some later contradict earlier ones. Dzhokkar Tsarnaev faces unsubstantiated charges. America operates that way.

Authorities claim both brothers used pressure cookers packed with metal and ball bearings rigged to explode. How they fit in their back packs wasn’t explained. Ones they wore weren’t large enough.

Other disturbing questions remain unanswered. What possible motive did they have? What could they gain? What evidence suggests they had bomb-making expertise? Why didn’t authorities intervene before marathon day?

FBI operatives monitored older brother Tamerlan for years. Suspicions alone should have warranted intervention. Most likely, there was no reason to do so.

They were set up. They were convenient patsies. One brother’s dead. The other’s the living dead. Denying him judicial fairness is certain. He’s guilty by accusation.

On April 22, a Department of Justice press release headlined “Suspect in Boston Marathon Attack Charged with Using a Weapon of Mass Destruction,” saying:

Attorney General Eric Holder announced it. An unsealed US District Court for the District of Massachusetts criminal complaint charged Tsarnaev with:

• “one count of using and conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction (namely, an improvised explosive device or IED) against persons and property within the United States resulting in death, and

• one count of malicious destruction of property by means of an explosive device resulting in death.”

If convicted, potentially he faces “death,” “imprisonment for life or any term of years.” He “had his initial court appearance today from his hospital room.”

Holder said “our investigation is ongoing….(T)oday’s charges bring a successful end to a tragic week for the city of Boston, and for our country.”

He praised state and local police, as well as federal law enforcement and intelligence officials.

“(O)nce again,” he said, “those who target innocent Americans and attempt to terrorize our cities will not escape from justice. We will hold those who are responsible for these heinous acts accountable to the fullest extent of the law.”

Media misreporting called Tsarnaev an ethnic Chechen. Doing so suggests Islamic extremism. He’s a 19-year old college student. He’s a naturalized US citizen.

He was a young boy on arrival. No evidence suggests links to terrorist groups. Supposedly, a throat injury prevents him from speaking.

An unnamed US official said his wound “had the appearance of a close-range, self-inflicted style.” He claimed he tried to kill himself. Unanswered was why by shooting himself in the throat? Effective ways are through the mouth or temple – the flat area on either side of the head between the forehead and the ear.

Reports suggest he’s communicating silently. Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis doesn’t dispute it. He added that he has no “specific information.”

White House spokesman Jay Carney said he’ll be prosecuted in civilian court. US Attorney for the District of Massachusetts Carmen Ortiz will be chief prosecutor.

Months earlier, she was admonished for aggressively targeting Internet activist Aaron Swartz. She did so before his death. She’s a potential Massachusetts gubernatorial candidate.

She let Assistant US Attorney Stephen Heymann aggressively pursue Internet fraud. He did so unjustly. Swartz advocated online freedom. He had every right to do so. He sought a better open world. He believed information should be freely available.

A 2004 court decision also showed then assistant prosecutor Ortiz used overly aggressive tactics. Expect the worst employed against Dzhokkar Tsarnaev. His trial will get national coverage. It’s too early to know when it’s likely.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected]. His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.” www.claritypress.com/LendmanII.html Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network. It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening. www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour

Post-Boston Bombings Fear-Mongering

 roger wicker

On April 17, major media reported Obama and Senator Roger Wicker (R. MI) receiving letters containing suspicious substances.

FBI testing continues. Initial evaluations confirmed ricin. A subsequent statement reported “inconsistent results.” Further analysis is being conducted.

Ricin is poisonous if inhaled, injected or ingested. It’s deadliest if inhaled. It’s potentially lethal. It’s not contagious. There’s no antidote.

Both letters had similar markings. A separate report said Senator Richard Shelby (R. AL) received a suspicious package. Parts of Senate office buildings were cleared.

Around midday April 17, the FBI’s National Press Office headlined “FBI Response to Reports of Suspicious Letters Received at Mail Facilities,” saying:

“A second letter containing a granular substance that preliminarily tested positive for ricin was received at an offsite mail screening facility.”

“The envelope, addressed to the President, was immediately quarantined by US Secret Service personnel, and a coordinated investigation with the FBI was initiated.”

“It is important to note that operations at the White House have not been affected as a result of the investigation.”

“Additionally, filters at a second government mail screening facility preliminarily tested positive for ricin this morning. Mail from that facility is being tested.”

“Any time suspicious powder is located in a mail facility, field tests are conducted. The field and other preliminary tests can produce inconsistent results.”

” Any time field tests indicate the possibility of a biological agent, the material is sent to an accredited laboratory for further analysis.”

“Only a full analysis performed at an accredited laboratory can determine the presence of a biological agent such as ricin. Those tests are currently being conducted and generally take 24 to 48 hours.”

“The investigation into these letters remains ongoing, and more letters may still be received. There is no indication of a connection to the attack in Boston.”

Investigations remain ongoing. Senator Claire McCaskill (D. MO) said police have a suspect. “The person that is a suspect writes a lot of letters to members,” she said.

Reports now say an arrest was made. Another one contradicted it. Perhaps one is imminent.

What’s happening is reminiscent of post-9/11 anthrax attacks. Five people died. Seventeen others were infected.

Then Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D. SD) and Senator Patrick Leahy (D. VT) received letters containing extremely high levels of anthrax.

Domestic terrorism was charged. Bio-weapons expert Steven Hatfill was wrongfully charged. Later he was exonerated.

Bruce Edwards Ivins became a key suspect. No evidence linked him to the incidents. In July 2008, he overdosed and died. He did so after learning criminal charges were likely. None were filed. Other lives were disrupted. Humanity paid a big price.

Anthrax attacks heightened fear. They facilitated what followed. Francis Boyle explained more. Bush officials wanted Patriot Act legislation passed.

Daschle and Leahy held it up. The first draft suspended habeas rights. “All of a sudden out of nowhere came these anthrax attacks,” said Boyle.

They were “super-weapons grade.” Special electro-static treatment created a trillion spores per gram. Only a government lab could produce it.

Boyle contacted counterterrorism expert Spike Bowman. He met him earlier at a University of Michigan Law School conference. Bowman said the FBI was working with Fort Detrick on the matter.

Each Pentagon branch is represented among its 7,800 military, federal and contractor employees. Four cabinet level agencies are represented.

They include the Department of Homeland Security, Department of Agriculture, Department of Health and Human Services, and Department of Defense. Laboratories conduct various research projects.

Post-9/11 anthrax was military grade. Subsequent reports confirmed it. In May 2002, the  New Scientist said:

“The DNA sequence of the anthrax sent through the US mail in 2001 has been revealed and confirms suspicions that the bacteria originally came from a US military laboratory.”

Data released used “code names for the reference strains against which the attack strain was compared.”

“But New Scientist can reveal that the two reference strains that appear identical to the attack strain most likely originated at the US Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases at Fort Detrick (USAMRIID), Maryland.”

After Boyle informed Bowman, FBI officials ordered the AMES cultural anthrax database destroyed.

Boyle called doing so a “blatant destruction of evidence as it means that there was no way of finding out which strain was sent to who to develop the larger breed of anthrax used in the attacks.”

“The trail of genetic evidence would have led directly back to a secret but officially-sponsored US government biowarfare program that was illegal and criminal.”

Coverup became official policy. Boyle later learned that Bowman “was the same FBI agent who sabotaged the FISA warrant for access to Zacarious Moussaoui’s computer, which contained information that could have facilitated the prevention of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.”

He was later “promoted and given a decoration.” The Patriot Act passed overwhelmingly. Other police state laws followed. So did Bush and Obama wars on humanity.

Everything that happened was pre-planned. Boyle said repressive laws “are the precursors to a military dictatorship.”

Bush, Cheney and other top administration officials “knew a terrorist attack was coming….(T)hey wanted a war and they wanted a police state….”

“(A)ll the elements for a war against Afghanistan were there in place, even the military force in the gulf….in the Atlantic, in the Mediterranean, in the Arabian Ocean” pre-9/11.

Multiple aggressive direct and proxy wars followed. More are planned. Repressive police state laws subverted constitutional freedoms.

Obama’s likely got more in mind. He’ll take full advantage of the Boston bombings. Investigators say they identified a suspect. Reportedly he’s dark-skinned.

A security video allegedly showed a man depositing a bag near where one explosion occurred. Authorities say they’re “very close” in their investigation.

We’ve heard these type reports before. Media scoundrels hype fear. They regurgitate official lies. Innocent people are framed. The court of public opinion convicts them. Accusations follow.

Guilty parties remain free. Global wars continue. New ones are planned. Tougher police state laws are enacted. Today is perhaps the most perilous time in world history.

What’s happening should scare everyone. Boston’s bombings are very suspicious. We’ve seen this all before. It suggests state-sponsored terrorism. It won’t surprise if later evidence confirms it.

Media scoundrel fear-mongering clouds clear thinking. People accept what they should oppose. America heads closer to full-blown tyranny. Obama likely planned it that way. He’s waging war on humanity. He may end up destroying it.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected]. His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.” www.claritypress.com/LendmanII.html Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network. It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening. www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour

Destabilizing Venezuela

 

venezuelan elections

Venezuelas CNE Rejects Oppositions Destabilizing Plans Photo: AVN

On April 14, Venezuelans elected Nicolas Maduro president. He won fair and square. It’s official. A nationally televised Monday ceremony announced it.

Opposition candidate Henrique Capriles cried foul. He called Maduro “illegitimate.” He refuses to recognize election results. He demands a recount. He wants “every vote” counted. National Electoral Council (CNE) president Tibisay Lucena responded.

A manual recount of all votes isn’t needed to confirm accuracy, she said. Proper auditing checks were implemented. It’s routine. They’re done before, during and post-elections.

Over half the Sunday vote total was checked. She called doing so “a statistical proportion that in any part of the world (would be) considered excessive.”

Fourteen audits were conducted. They assure a free, open and fair process. America takes no precautionary steps. Corporate-controlled electronic voting machines choose winners and losers.

People have no say. They get the best democracy money can buy. Venezuelans get the real thing. Not according to Capriles.

He “announced demands upon the Electoral Power since last night and has refused to recognize the results announced by this body,” said Lucena.

“That is his decision, but in Venezuela a state of law exists which must be respected.”

She warned that “harassment, threats or intimidation” won’t be tolerated.

Maduro said opposition forces implemented a destabilizing strategy. He accused Capriles of calling for a coup d’etat.

“(I)n Venezuela, preparations are under way for an attempt to de-recognize democratic institutions,” he explained.

He urged unity. He reached out to opposition supporters. He promised to advance Chavez’s legacy.

He faces major challenges. They include crime, government inefficiency, inflation, corruption, a weak currency, overreliance on imports, making Venezuela less oil-dependent, maintaining economic growth, as well as countering internal and Washington-directed destabilizations schemes.

Capriles resents oligarch power. He has close ties to Washington. On April 16, Hands Off Venezuela headlined “Venezuela: a developing coup attempt – URGENT ACTION NEEDED.”

Spain’s government refuses to recognize election results. Opposition forces plan disruptive actions. They organized “riots in the streets, road blocks, and burning barricades….”

“Prominent opposition leaders spread rumours that ballot boxes and ballot papers were being burnt to prevent a recount….”

Photos shown lacked credibility. Opposition journalist Nelson Bocaranda falsely said Cuban doctors participated in burning ballots.

Dozens of Diagnosis Health Centres (CDIs) were attacked nationwide. “Gangs of armed opposition thugs” roamed city streets post-election.

Four Bolivarian supporters were killed. Some were by drive-by shootings. A “pattern” seen “last week and on election day” repeated.

PSUV offices in several states were attacked. Other targets were chosen.

They included buildings housing Simoncito pre-school nurseries, Mercal, PDVAL state-run supermarkets, the Carabobo-based Petrocasa housing program, Caracas-based Telesur, La Radio del Sur, and VTV state media buildings, as well as private homes of state officials.

Communication Minister Andrez Izarra said Lucena’s home was targeted.

Maduro’s right explaining what’s happening as a “developing coup d’etat.” Bolivarian symbols and Chavistas were attacked. Venezuela’s electrical grid was targeted.

Salvadorian and Colombian mercenaries were caught red-handed. They were stockpiling C4 explosives, weapons and munitions. They came to incite violence.

They “came to kill,” said Maduro. “They want to kill me.”

A Caracas-based friend emailed the following overnight:

“Several leaders were shot to death. Several Barrio adentro hospitals were set on fire. Personal attacks and harassment targeted PSUV members….Nicolas activated an anti-coup plan.”

“Worker organizers went on TV voicing their opposition to a silent strike. They say they will seize factory control if the situation goes that way.”

“Six deaths and 61 injuries were reported. A business owner reported being called by the opposition. They told him to close and join a silent strike. He said he needed to stay open. They same night, his store was set on fire.”

“Chief prosecutor Luisa Ortega Diaz plans speaking on national TV. She’ll announced measures against violence.”

“She’ll determine whether actions were orchestrated in order to impose higher penalties to the perpetrators.”

“So far, 135 people have been detained.”

Latin American leaders and many others recognized Maduro’s election straightaway. They sent congratulatory messages. Obama’s done neither. He’s noticeably silent.

Opposition forces lost. They refuse to accept what happened. Destabilization plans remain ongoing. Washington’s very much involved. Maduro, other PSUV officials, and Bolivarianism are targeted. Updated reports will follow.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected]. His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.” www.claritypress.com/LendmanII.html Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network. It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening. www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour

Gold Drops Most in 30 Years

gold

It’s getting hammered. In August 2011, it rose above $1,900 an ounce. It was an all-time high. At midday April 15, it was $1,364. It’s a 28%+ decline.

Silver’s also hit hard. In 2011, it exceeded $48 an ounce. It plunged to its midday April 15 $23.45 level. It’s more than a 50% decline.

What’s next for both metals remains to be seen. Volatility characterizes them. Major factors drive them.

Gold is a global thermometer. It reflects monetary, geopolitical and economic conditions. It’s driven by supply and demand considerations.

It’s the longstanding hedge against uncertainty. It’s bought to do so against inflation, the declining value of fiat money, and disturbing global geopolitical conditions.

It has real value. It’s the ultimate safe haven. It’s been so for thousands of years. It’s track record is unmatched. Views differ on what’s happening now.

Wall Street manipulates all markets. Pumping and dumping reaps enormous profits. Bankers and insiders win. Ordinary investors lose out.

Market-rigging mechanisms are longstanding. On March 18, 1989, Ronald Reagan’s Executive Order 12631 created the Working Group on Financial Markets (WGFM). It’s called the Plunge Protection Team (PPT).

Its officials or designees include:

• the President;

• the Treasury Secretary as chairman;

• the Fed chairman;

• the SEC chairman; and

• the Commodity Futures Trading Commission chairman.

Its “Purposes and Functions….Recognize the goals of enhancing the integrity, efficiency, orderliness, and competitiveness of our Nation’s financial markets….”

They focus on “maintaining investor confidence….”

“(T)he Working Group shall identify and consider:

(1) the major issues raised by the numerous studies on the events (pertaining to the) October 19, 1987 (market crash and consider) recommendations that have the potential to achieve the goals noted above; and

(2)….governmental (and other) actions under existing laws and regulations….that are appropriate to carry out these recommendations.”

Government and Wall Street collude. They manipulate markets doing so. They move them up and down. Enormous profits are made both ways. Most people don’t know what goes on.

Manipulation is as commonplace as investing. Tools get increasingly sophisticated. Market prices and true worth often diverge. Claiming markets move randomly doesn’t wash.

In 1999, the Counterparty Risk Management Policy Group (CRMPG) was established. It came in the wake of the Long Term Capital Management (LTCM) crisis.

It’s used to manipulate markets. It lets financial giants collude through large-scale program trading. They move markets up or down as they wish.

They bail out troubled members. They eliminate others. They do so to consolidate to greater size. They do what ordinary investors don’t understand. Many lose out and get trampled.

Financial history is strewn with examples. Big players win. Small ones get crushed. Profits are privatized. Risks are socialized. Wealth is increasingly distributed up.

Financial oligarchs benefit most. Free lunch benefits are gotten at the public’s expense. Wealth gets more than ever concentrated.

Paul Craig Roberts  explained more. He discussed Fed market rigging. He was the first to do so. Among other reasons, it’s done “to protect the US dollar’s exchange value…”

Fed QE threatens it. By increasing dollar supply faster than demand, its “price or exchange value….is set up to fall.”

Doing so raises import prices. Domestic inflation follows, “and the Fed would lose control over interest rates.”

“The bond market would collapse, and with it the values of debt-related derivatives on the ‘banks too big too fail’ balance sheets. The financial system would be in turmoil, and panic would reign.”

Rising gold prices reflect declining dollar valuation confidence. Fed-used “paper gold market” “naked shorts” offset “rising demand for bullion possession.”

They drive prices lower. Naked shorts reflect what sellers don’t have. They sell short regardless. “In the paper gold market,” they don’t plan taking gold delivery. They want cold hard cash.

Dumping hundreds gold tons on the market affects it greatly. It “drives down the price.” Unwary holders lose out big. If things go as planned, naked short sellers benefit enormously. The dirty game works that way.

Roberts expects gold prices to fall further. It’s hard knowing for sure. Plans perhaps could backfire. Generally, as gold goes, silver follows.

China, Russia and other central banks are loading up on gold. They’ll likely jump in at bargain prices. Doing so would pressure “the dollar’s exchange value.”

Manipulative attempts to protect it may end up “hastening (its) demise.” The fullness of time alone will tell.

It hasn’t happened so far. On April 15, gold plunged more than $140 an ounce. Its 9.3% decline was the biggest one-day drop since February 1983. It settled at $1,361.10 an ounce.

What’s a holder to do?

Investor  Marc Faber “love(s) the fact that gold is finally breaking down because that will offer an excellent buying opportunity.”

“The bull market in gold is not completed.”

He expects a “major low in gold within the next couple of weeks.”

“(Y)ou should actually buy (it) as a trade.”

Before Friday’s decline, it was way overbought. Faber now thinks we’re “as oversold” as during the 1987 stock market crash. It proved a major buying opportunity.

For now, Faber recommends treading carefully. “From a longer term perspective, (he’d) give it some time.” He maintains his longterm bullish outlook. He’s not alone. He’s not selling.

Market analyst Graham Summers blames the selloff largely “on institutional liquidation in Asia where Japanese bonds are being sold.”

Doing so followed the Bank of Japan’s massive QE announcement. It’s doubling down on previous policy. It’s high-risk. What failed for over 20 years is being repeated.

“With this in mind,” said Graham, “the move in gold looks to be several large institutions liquidating positions to meet margin calls or redemptions due to the plunge in Japanese bonds.”

China’s slowdown is another factor, he says. Its growth stimulated post-2009 recovery. Heading south now bodes ill. Graham expects an eventual financial market “bloodbath.” It could come anytime, he believes. Commodities could crash with it.

Gold’s technical damage is “severe.” Prices may decline further. They’ve had a great run. Nothing goes up forever. Stay tuned for what follows. No one knows for sure.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected]. His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.” www.claritypress.com/LendmanII.html Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network. It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening. progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour

Boston Black Ops: Manufacturing Terror

 Boston Black Ops: Manufacturing Terror

Mounting evidence suggests state-sponsored terrorism. Expect more later to confirm it. Cui bono matters most. Powerful interests benefit hugely. Ordinary people lose out.

War on terror 2.0 looms. Innocent people will suffer. Expect more repressive laws. Military spending will increase. Homeland security will be boosted. Fundamental freedoms will die. Full-blown tyranny may follow. It’s already a hair’s breath away.

Imperial wars on humanity will continue. New targets will be chosen. Independent governments will be attacked. New world order rules demand unchallenged global dominance. The worst of all possible outcomes may follow. State-sponsored terror facilitates it.

What’s ongoing resembles post-9/11 events. Media scoundrels misreport. They do so round-the-clock. Readers and viewers are willfully misinformed.

Fear-mongering, lies and damn lies replace truth and full disclosure. Muslims became public enemy number one. Who’ll suffer most with them this time?

Vital information is suppressed. Fingers point the wrong way. Innocent victims are blamed for state-sponsored terror. More on that below.

National emotions are aroused. At issue is enlisting public support. Post-9/11, Bush addressed an Episcopal National Cathedral prayer and remembrance ceremony.

“(O)ur country was attacked with deliberate and massive cruelty,” he said. “We have seen the images of fire and ashes and bent steel.”

He omitted what’s most important. Washington bore full responsibility. The worst of all possible worlds followed.

On April 18, Obama addressed a Holy Cross Cathedral interfaith prayer service. “(I)n an instant, the day’s beauty was shattered,” he said. “A celebration became a tragedy. And so we come together to pray and mourn and measure our loss.”

“We will find you,” he added. “And yes, you will face justice. We will hold you accountable.” Truth and full disclosure always loses out.

Early Friday, newly released FBI photos showed alleged bombing suspects. They’re brothers. They were called “armed and extremely dangerous.” Allegedly they had “explosives and guns.” Official reports lack credibility.

One suspect was arrested. The other fled. He’s now hospitalized in serious condition. Police discovered his whereabouts and shot him. Officials later said the one taken into custody died. Allegedly he was killed in a “violent standoff.” Cold-blooded murder is more likely.

A “massive manhunt” continues. Officials said suspects came from Chechnya or nearby. Doing so implies Islamofascists. MSNBC’s Chris Matthews alleged they’re Arabs. Perhaps from Yemen, he said. Media scoundrels feature this type misreporting ad nauseam.

Mossad-connected DEBKAfile called them “Chechen Wahhabi cell” members. Saudi Arabia funds it, it said. Older brother Tamerlan was 26. Police likely killed him in cold blood. He was a boxer and Bunker Hill Community College engineering student.

Younger brother Dzhokhar fled. He’s 19 years old. He’s a Cambridge Rindge and Latin School graduate. His father calls him a “true angel.” He’s a Greater Boston League all-star wrestler.

He won a city of Cambridge $2,500 scholarship. He’s a second year medical student. His father said both brothers were “set up.” They “killed my older son Tamerlan,” he added.

Over 10 years ago, both brothers came to America with their family. They’re not terrorists.

Officials said greater Boston public transportation shut down. The FAA ordered a no-fly zone over a 3.5 mile radius of the bombing site. Watertown, Cambridge, Newton, Brookline, Waltham, Belmont, and other suburban area residents were advised to stay home.

Colleges and universities closed for the day. Local businesses were told not to open. Thousands of officers made house-to-house searches. Swat teams are involved. Some areas were evacuated. Helicopters patrol overhead. Police cars are everywhere.

Greater Boston’s never seen anything like this before. It’s surreal. It resembles a bad film plot. It gets round-the-clock coverage. Managed news misinformation substitutes for cold hard facts.

 Infowars headlined “Did Boston Bombing Suspect Try to Surrender?” An image showed him lying prone with his arms outstretched. He held no weapon. None appeared near him.

One suspect killed. Perhaps another to follow. What better way to bury truth. Dead men tell no tales. Exculpating evidence perhaps won’t surface. Media scoundrels won’t report what does.

Lots more went on. On marathon day, eyewitnesses reported bomb drills, training exercises and rooftop snipers. Authorities denied them.

University of Mobile cross country coach Alastair Stevenson contradicted them, saying:

“At the starting line this morning, they had bomb sniffing dogs and the bomb squad out there. They kept announcing to runners not to be alarmed, that they were running a training exercise.”

On April 17, Anthony Gucciardi headlined “Craft International Private Military Forces at Boston Marathon?”

Images showed two men “with earpieces and military-esque gear….(T)hey may likely be employees of the Blackwater-style private military/security firm Craft International.”

Their attire was later “revealed to be standard issue Craft International clothing.” The skull logo on one man’s cap identifies Craft.

Why were both men and others with them in Boston? Images show around 10 wearing similar attire. Nearly all had on black backpacks. They resembled those alleged to contain pressure cooker bombs.

Investigators said they contained explosives, nails and ball bearings. They detonated moments apart.

Four or more Craft operatives wore tan combat boots, tan BDUs (battle dress uniforms), black jackets, and had tactical communications gear. At least one had an “inspector radiation alert.” It’s used to detect dirty bomb or nuclear attack emissions.

Why were they near the marathon’s finish line? Perhaps their mission was a black ops. They’re experts in these type operations.

Why did FBI operatives join them? Images show them talking. An FBI truck was visible. Why were FBI agents searching for one bombing suspect before the incident took place?

Why have media scoundrels ignored this? These and related questions demand answers. Coverup and denial reflect official policy. Vital facts are suppressed. What’s most important isn’t reported. Misinformation substitutes.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected]. His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.” www.claritypress.com/LendmanII.html Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network. It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening. www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour

Venezuela: Post-Election Sour Grapes

nicholas maduro

Throughout his tenure, America’s scoundrel media vilified Chavez relentlessly. They did so straightaway.

After his December 1998 election, New York Times Latin American correspondent Larry Roher, called him a “populist demagogue, an authoritarian….caudillo (strongman).” He lied saying so.

In death as in life, denunciation continued. Chavez was hemispheric villain number one. Independent leaders aren’t tolerated. The threat of a good example concerns Washington and media scoundrels most. They go all-out against it.

Candidate Nicolas Maduro was treated the same way. Following his electoral victory, expect unjustifiable condemnation to follow. It’s standard scoundrel media practice.

Pre-election, The New York Times quoted Washington Office on Latin America’s (WOLA) David Smilde, saying:

“He’s known as a yes man, and he’s somebody that has never shown an independent streak.”

Joy Olson is WOLA’s executive director. She’s a frequent scoundrel media commentator. She avoids discussing what matters most.

Smilde is a senior WOLA fellow. He specializes in Venezuela. He and Olson distort reality. They claim Venezuela’s “oil-financed social policies are of questionable sustainability.”

“Lack of transparency and accountability threaten them.” Venezuela’s “enormous fiscal deficit (needs) to be addressed.”

The Times quoted an unnamed diplomat, saying:

“I always saw (Maduro) glued to Chavez. I always saw him as a messenger, and I never had a signal that would make me think he was a leader.”

The Times said it’s “not clear what path (he’ll) follow on his own.”

“Critics say” as foreign minister, he “judged” people “by their loyalty to Mr. Chavez.”

Anti-Chavista Eloy Torres was quoted saying “(t)he diplomatic profession was politicized in the extreme. Today there are no more professionals; there are propagandists of the revolutionary process.”

On April 11,  Washington Post editors headlined “The reckoning after Venezuela’s election,” saying:

Maduro’s “manifestly lacking in charisma….(He’ll) go to extreme lengths to link himself to his mentor….”

Declaring him acting president after Chavez’s death “g(ave) him far-reaching powers over spending and state media.”

“He regularly….hurls slanders at opposition leader” Capriles.

“The armed forces and the state oil company….unabashedly mobilized behind” him.

“The national election commission….ignored complaints about these obvious misuses of state resources, just as the sworn-to-Chavez supreme court has repeatedly enabled blatant constitutional violations.”

Maduro “recently declared that the response (to him losing) would be a ‘popular uprising.’ ”

“He may come to rue his expected triumph. Mr. Chavez left behind an extraordinary mess.”

Throughout his tenure, Chavez endured this type vilification. Managed news misinformation and lies substituted for truth and full disclosure. Expect Maduro to fare no better. Independent leaders are scorned.

Doing the right thing isn’t tolerated. Media liars attack relentlessly. Chavez challenged them straightaway. Expect Maduro to follow suit.

On April 12, Chicago Tribune editors headlined “Chavez gone but candidates ensure he’s not forgotten,” saying:

“So what’s his face doing on all those campaign posters?” Why do political rallies “begin with a recording of (him) singing the national anthem.”

“What’s with the television ad (showing his) smiling visage winks from the heavens?”

“It’s all designed (to help his) hand-picked successor, interim President Whatsisname.”

“We get it, we get it. He’s marketing himself as the second coming of Hugo Chavez.”

“We just don’t get why voters would buy it.”

Tribune editors scorned Chavez viciously. They’re treating Maduro the same way. It doesn’t surprise. Expect much more vilification ahead.

Pre-election,  Miami Herald editors headlined “Venezuela’s chance to move forward,” saying:

Sunday’s election “promises to open a tumultuous new chapter” in Venezuela’s history. Chavez’s name isn’t on the ballot, “but his presence is everywhere.”

“This election is all about him and the legacy of a decade-and-a-half of misrule.”

A litany of misinformation, exaggeration, and lies followed. It didn’t surprise. It’s standard scoundrel media practice.

“For Venezuelans, the choice is clear,” Miami Herald editors claimed.

“They can move forward, restoring the democracy that Venezuela once was, or they can watch their country continue to deteriorate under a Chavez apprentice like the official candidate, Nicolas Maduro, the hand-picked political heir….”

Chavez “created a political machine that sharply curtailed the possibility that the official presidential candidate could lose.”

“The way (he won) and consolidated his grip on Venezuela is not secret. He controlled all the levers of political power….”

“He stifled the independent news media and systematically dismantled the independent institutions that could restrain his power, including the judiciary.”

“(H)e failed to create a path to prosperity for anyone except his political cronies….”

Miami Herald editors matched the worst of Rupert Murdoch’s demagoguery, right-wing extremism, and deplorable misinformation. Hopefully their readers took note.

Wall Street Journal ones endure this type treatment daily. Mary O’Grady’s their America’s commentator. She’s a notorious right-wing attack dog. Journalism isn’t her long suit. Nor is truth and full disclosure.

She’s beholden to monied interests. They own her. Her credibility is sorely lacking. She substitutes disinformation for facts. She formerly worked for Advest, Inc., Thomson McKinnon Securities and Merrill Lynch before its demise.

She’s a Journal editorial board member. She’s closely linked to the Heritage Foundation. It’s a notorious right-wing think tank. It supports neoliberal harshness. Wealth, power and privilege alone matter. O’Grady marches in lockstep.

She wins awards for commentary deception. Lying pays well. Truth-telling is orphaned. It doesn’t surprise.

Her columns appear Mondays. Her latest headlined “Venezuela’s Cuban Election,” saying:

“….Cuba-trained ideologue” Maduro represented the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV).

“As we went to press, returns were not yet in.”

“The chavistas have been using state power to cheat, intimidate and spend themselves first across the finish line for more than a decade.”

“International observers were prohibited from sending missions to Venezuela, and Mr. Capriles was denied access to almost all television and radio stations during the campaign.”

Fact check

Venezuela’s the hemisphere’s most open society. America pales by comparison. Free expression is cherished. It’s constitutionally mandated.

Venezuela’s Law of Social Responsibility affirms it. Censorship doesn’t exist. Dissent is tolerated. So is responsible programming and journalism.

Corporate owners dominate Venezuela’s media. Short of advocating sedition or treason, they’re free to publish or air what they wish. They take full advantage. They do irresponsibly. They get away with it repeatedly. Press freedom is cherished.

Maduro was unfairly criticized. His Bolivarian message got short shrift. Capriles got lots of coverage. It’s standard corporate media practice.

Sunday’s election was closely monitored. The Carter Center sent a delegation. So did 170 international organizations. Over 3,400 observers participated. O’Grady lied claiming otherwise.

She falsely said “Havana made sure it held considerable sway over” Sunday’s election.

She quoted Spanish newspaper ABC. It’s scandalously right-wing. Maduro calls it “Franco-ist.” Its anti-Chavista reports are scurrilous.

It claimed Cuba “sen(t) a detachment of agents for electoral control that could reach 2,500 officers….”

Election monitors called Sunday’s process open, free and fair. It’s the hemisphere’s best. Jimmy Carter calls it the world’s best. It shames America’s sham process.

Voters get the best democracy money can buy. Venezuelans get the real thing. Don’t expect O’Grady and other media scoundrels to explain.

She claims Cuban doctors, nurses, other medical professionals, teachers, and others performing volunteer services provide “cover to hide” Cuba’s control.

She blew her own cover quoting Cuba’s chief of missions. He said they’re there “to ensure our commitment; up until now we have been giving our all. (We) now are ready to give even our lives, our blood, if (it’s) needed for this revolution.”

Bolivarianism’s real. It’s vital. It’s revolutionary. It’s participatory democracy at its best. It’s social democracy benefits everyone. Don’t expect O’Grady or other media scoundrels to explain.

She said in “a fair fight,” Capriles “might have won easily….The Maduro campaign relied heavily on emotion to counteract apathy for its candidate.”

She falsely claimed the PSUV had pass codes able “to sabotage the voting process….The head of the opposition coalition said (it wouldn’t) affect vote tallies, but it could be used to slow the process.”

At 11:20PM Sunday night, 99.2% of millions of votes were tallied. O’Grady’s predicted slowdown didn’t happen.

“Electronic voting machines provide plenty of other opportunities for shenanigans,” she said. America’s corporate-controlled ones for sure do.

Manipulation controls things. Vetting isn’t done. Verifiable receipts aren’t provided. Reliable recounts aren’t possible. Votes cast for candidate A can count twice for candidate B. There’s no way to check.

Corporate run machines are inherently flawed. They’re designed that way. They’re used to steal.

Venezuela uses Smartmatic touchscreen electronic voting machines. They’re reliable. They’re designed to eliminate tampering.

They provide verifiable paper ballot receipts. They’re a permanent record. CNE saves them. They’re available if credible recounts are needed.

O’Grady claims otherwise. Sunday’s election “told us very little about the real preferences of the Venezuelan electorate,” she said.

Her commentaries are deplorably disingenuous. Her readers are systematically lied to. Why they follow her, they’ll have to explain.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected]. His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.” www.claritypress.com/LendmanII.html Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network. It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening. www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour