an environmental and economic savior. If you're hoping the natural gas boom means we've solved our environmental and economic woes, you're going to be disappointed. While natural gas produces less nitrogen oxides and carbon dioxide, when burned, compared to coal or oil, the end product is only part of the story. The natural gas boom in recent years has been fueled by extreme extraction methods like fracking, that are posing a new slurry of environmental problems before the gas even makes it to consumers. If you look at the complete picture of how we extract natural gas today, you begin to realize pretty quickly that we aren't going to be able to drill our way out of the climate crisis, without creating an even bigger mess in the process. The list of impacts from fracking is huge, but here are five to kick off the conversation: 1. Methane: Natural gas may release less pollution when burned, but it still may be a significant contributor to global warming pollution after all, because we must take into account what happens during extraction too. "Scientists are once again reporting alarmingly high methane emissions from an oil and gas field, underscoring questions about the environmental benefits of the boom in natural gas production that is transforming the US energy system," writes Jeff Toliefson for Nature. He explains: The researchers, who hold joint appointments with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the toxic soup of hundreds of chemicals, including carcinogens and volatile organic compounds like benzene, toluene, ethyl-benzene and xylene. Companies aren't required to disclose what chemicals they are using either, so it makes it difficult to test for leaks and spills, and for people to be treated for health problems that may arise from exposure. University of Colorado in Boulder, first sparked concern in February 2012, with a study suggesting that up to 4% of the methane produced at a field near Denver was escaping into the atmosphere. If methane, a potent greenhouse gas, is leaking from fields across the country at similar rates, it could be offsetting much of the climate benefit of the ongoing shift from coal to gas fired plants for electricity generation. Industry officials and some scientists contested the claim, but at an American Geophysical Union (AGU) meeting in San Francisco, California last month, the research team reported new Colorado data that supported the earlier work, as well as preliminary results from a field study in the Uinta Basin of Utah, suggesting even higher rates of methane leakage, an eye popping 9% of the total production. That figure is nearly double the cumulative loss rates estimated from industry data, which are already higher in Utah than in Colorado. Oh yeah, and fracking is exempt from the Safe Drinking Water Act, thanks to Dick Cheney!
As the majority of Washington's political and media establishments concentrate their firepower on Senator Chuck Hagel's nomination for US Defense Secretary, John Brennan is doing what he does best, and slipping through the shadows. Rumored since President Barack Obama secured his second term in office, Brennan has finally received a formal nomination to replace the scandalized David Petraeus, and advanced his work at the CIA. Disturbingly but not surprisingly, many American pundits have welcomed Brennan's promotion as a logical choice for the CIA's Directorship, and expect a smooth confirmation. They generally avoid real discussions over the areas of operations affected and afflicted by US counter terrorism,, instead of preferring the glamorous statistics of high profile kills, and Brennan's alleged construction of a "legal framework" for drones, as recently claimed by the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (SDNY). Brennan's positives are easy to list: "More al Qaeda leaders and commanders have been removed from the battlefield than at any time since 9/11."He has applied his extensive influence to literally building" and leading the National Counter-terrorism Center, which entailed the coordination of various military, intelligence and civilian departments across the globe. In the process Brennan has become one of Obama's most trusted advisers, so close that, I don't think we have had a disagreement. "For the last four years," Obama announced from the East Room, "As my Adviser for Counter-terrorism and Homeland Security, John developed and has overseen our comprehensive counter terrorism strategy, a collaborative effort across the government, including intelligence and defense and homeland security,and law enforcement agencies." However this fantasy hits a steel wall in Yemen, where Brennan's promotion has been overwhelmingly negative for good reason, as he reinforces the single mindedness and unaccountability, that drives an assortment of US counter terrorism platforms being constructed around the nation. Brennan now inherits Petraeus's secret agreement with Yemen's former dictator, Ali Abdullah Saleh, and was even deployed to Sana'a on multiple occasions during the country's ongoing revolution. He would assist Feierstein in facilitating the Gulf Cooperation Council's (GCC) unpopular power sharing agreement, when a drone strike didn't require overseeing.
Will the Jewish Bullies Intimidate Congress and Humiliate America Again? I had been expecting a Uri piece on Hagel. All the usual components were there, like a chance to expose the American Israeli Lobby for the disloyal Americans they are. Oh, you think that is nasty? Ask the state department to give you the statistics of young Jews who serve in the American military, versus those that go into the IDF. Ask Jewish parents which they would prefer, but call me first to make a bet, so we can arrange a third party to hold the money. The traditional Lobby is losing steam. Endless years of calling everybody from the milkman to the pool boy anti Semites has worn a little thin. Their bullying is not even done with finesse anymore. It is delivered Russian mob style, bluntly. I spotted the continuing shift initially, when Abe Foxman was quoted with his very measured and prepared words, that Hagel would not have been his first choices, but he respected the President's perogative to pick his cabinet. Billy Cristol had led the charge, but that is what Israeli media Intel assets are supposed to do. It's their job. I expected to see some of the older ones in attack mode, those with careers over, established safety nets, and expecting to be gone away soon with the grim reaper. Elliot Abrams seems to have drawn the short stick. Abrams has a very shady reputation in the Intel community, despite his Council of Foreign Relations cover. It's a very incestuous organization, which most all of our CIA directors and Pentagon chiefs enjoy their rites of passage along side Israel's most up and coming penetration choices. They often end up serving side by side. Elliot Abrams, American, Jewish Council, Heritage. Foundation, Hudson Institute, Project for a New American Century. Abrams claim to fame was the Iran Contra scandal, where we were selling Tow missiles to Iran, after Rumsfeld had given Saddam chemical weapons to field test on Iranians. During the post Iran invasion period, some of these chemical weapons were found buried, and created a buzz that the WMD had finally been found, until the American manufacturer markings were reported to be on them. They were quietly removed and disposed of. John McCain and South Carolina's Lindsey Graham were the first and most eager to bend over and grab a fence rail, to once again show their loyalty to Israel. The Intelligence community, which is well aware of the deep penetrations of Israeli Intel into capital hill, just cringes at this overt willingness to put their allegiance to Israel on display. But AIPAC demands prostration, to put on a show to get the dough. All of them, each and every political hooker that serves Israel, is not fit to spend another day here, but alas they have their hooks in deep, and it will take a hell of a lot of work to get rid of them!
We got Osama bin Laden, and now, for millions of Americans, we'll get him again on screen as Zero Dark Thirty hits your neighborhood multiplex. Lauded and criticized, the film's the talk of the town, but it's hardly the only real life CIA film that needed to be made. Here, for the record, are five prospective films, all potentially suspenseful, all involving CIA daring do, and all with plenty of opportunities for blood and torture, that are unlikely to make it into those same multiplexes in your lifetime. Let's start with the CIA's 1953 coup against Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh, whose democratically elected government had nationalized the country's oil industry. What a story! It couldn't be oilier, involving BP in an earlier incarnation, the CIA, British intelligence, bribery, secretly funded street demonstrations, and lest you think there would be no torture in the film, the installation of an autocratic regime, that would create a fearsome secret police, and torture opponents for decades to come. All of this was done in the name of what used to be called "the Free World." That "successful" coup was the point of origin for just about every disaster and bit of "blowback", a term first used in the CIA's secret history of the coup, in US Iranian relations to this day. Many of the documents have been released, and what a story it turned out to be! Hollywood, where are you? Or here is another superb candidate: the CIA's Phoenix Program in Vietnam. Boy, if you want a little torture porn, try that baby. Meant to wipe out the Vietcong's political infrastructure, it managed to knock off an estimated 20,000 Vietnamese, remarkably few of whom were classified as "senior NLF cadres." Reportedly, the program was regularly used by locals to settle grudges. It was knee, maybe waist deep in blood, torture, assassination, and death. It's the Agency we have come to know and love. But hold your breath waiting for Good Evening, Vietnam. For a change of pace, how about a CIA inspired comedy? We are talking about the rollicking secret kidnapping of a radical Muslim cleric off the streets of Milan in early 2003, his transport via US airbases in Italy and Germany to Egypt, and there, evidently with the CIA station chief for Italy riding shotgun, directly into the hands of Egyptian torturers. What makes this an enticing barrel of laughs, was the way the CIA types involved in the covert operation rang up almost $150,000 in five star hotel bills as they gallivanted around Italy, ate at five star restaurants, vacationed in Venice after the kidnapping, ran up impressive tabs on forged credit cards for their fake identities, and were such bunglers that they were identified and charged for the abduction in "absentia" by the Italian government.
between India and Pakistan. Target: India Pakistan Visa on arrival & the growing bonhomie between the two countries: The killings of the 2 Indian & 1 Pakistani soldier at the LOC, and the rising tensions & rhetoric need to be analyzed. The killings of the 3 soldiers have an agenda to target India Pakistan relations and that is obvious. On the 15th of January onwards India & Pakistan were going to start issuing "Visas on Arrival" for Senior Citizens. This was the first major path breaking step, that would finally lead to ordinary Indians & Pakistanis having an opportunity to meet each other, and this would definitely lead to a process of normalization of relations on either side of the border. There are clearly right wing religious fanatics on either side, both within the Military establishment and more important within the Intelligence establishment, (IB-RAW-India & Pakistan), both of which are closely intertwined with CIA-Mossad. There is also a pattern to these false flag terror attacks, targeting India Pakistan peace talks. Thus, the terror attacks in Jaipur of 13th May 2008 and the Pune German Bakery Terror attack on 11th February 2010, were both engineered 10-12 days before the Foreign Secretaries of the two countries were to undertake a process of dialogue, despite the prevailing unpopular sentiment. These terror attacks were obviously meant to ensure that the talks were sabotaged. There are very strong vested interests to ensure that the tensions continue, and both the nations continue to buy weapons and security equipment from the West. There is certainly no reason at all for the civilian government in Pakistan to engineer this incident, and even the Pakistani military leadership wants to reduce tensions on their eastern border, so as to deal with the threat from the western border, as well as the rampant jihadist militancy within, that threatens to destroy Pakistan in a veritable implosion along sectarian and ethnic lines. This is again there for all to see. Similarly, the Indian political class in general is pursuing a serious peace process with Pakistan, as there are numerous benefits for India, which again are obvious by all strategic and economic counts.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu draws a red line on a graphic of a bomb, while discussing Iran during an address to the United Nations General Assembly on September 27, 2012 in New York City. "In fact, the actual origin of Israel's nuclear arsenal is, in fact, credited to stolen weapons grade uranium and plutonium from the United States, France, and Britain." "There is no record, in fact, of Israel ever buying one ounce of uranium ore for processing." Are the United States and Israel obsessed with accusing others of "nuclear violations" out of real concerns or out of a need to keep the mantra of the "blame game" going to hide their own crimes? Is the world really quaking in fear at the thought of an Iranian nuke? This month, the "Six Major Powers" are said to be scheduling "talks" with Iran, demanding "assurances" that Iran's nuclear energy program is peaceful. The radical difference between the mythology of news reports and history books, and what the intelligence community knows knows makes all discussions of "nuclear proliferation" beyond hypocrisy. History tells us that the only nuclear weapons that have been used, were by the United States during World War II, Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This is a total and absolute lie. The most undeniable use of a nuclear weapon in recent years was during the invasion of Iraq, the "Oil War of 2003." The United States used a "nuclear demolition device" against the Iraqi forces at Baghdad Airport in April 2003. The telltale signs, the huge flash, the cars burned blocks away, just like in Manhattan on 9/11/2001, were there for all to see. We will get back to 9/11 later. We have more business to discuss. Dr. Chris Busby has incontrovertibly proven that nuclear weapons were used in Fallujah a year later. The nuclear power lobby has criticized his study, which found not only weapons grade enriched uranium in the hair follicles of those living in the area, but also has more than proven a massive spike in birth defects in the area, that can only be attributed to nuclear weapons use. It took years to get permission to visit the Fallujah site. What is more frightening, however, is that newer generation nukes, those that are laser fired, a technology developed during the 1990's but "denied" by the weapons labs, leave behind no radiation after 72 hours. Hiding the use of nuclear weapons is now "Child's play."
Strategic Stage in the Pentagon's Covert War on Iran. Since the kindling of the conflict in Syria in 2011, it was recognized by friend and foe alike, that the events in that country were tied to a game plan that ultimately targets Iran, Syria's number one ally. De linking Syria from Iran and unhinging the Resistance Bloc that Damascus and Tehran have formed has been one of the objectives of the foreign supported anti government militia's inside Syria. Such a schism between Damascus and Tehran would change the Middle East's strategic balance in favor of the US and Israel. If this cannot be accomplished, however, then crippling Syria to effectively prevent it from providing Iran any form of diplomatic, political, economic, and military support in the face of common threats has been a primary objective. Preventing any continued cooperation between the two republics has been a strategic goal. This includes preventing the Iran Iraq Syria energy terminal from being built, and ending the military pact between the two partners. Regime change in Damascus is not the only or main way for the US and its allies to prevent Syria from standing with Iran. Destabilizing Syria, and neutralizing it as a failed and divided state is the key. Sectarian fighting is not a haphazard outcome of the instability in Syria, but an assisted project that the US and its allies have steadily fomented, with a clear intent to balkanise the Syrian Arab Republic. Regionally, Israel above all other states, has a major stake in securing the outcome. The Israelis actually have several publicly available documents, including the Yinon Plan, which outline that the destruction of Syria into a series of smaller sectarian states, is one of their strategic objectives. So do the American planners. Like Iraq next door, Syria does not need to be formally divided. For all intents and purposes, the country can be divided like Lebanon was alongside various fiefdoms, and stretches of territory controlled by different groups during the Lebanese Civil War. The goal is to disqualify Syria as an external player.
Never ending War on Terror. What started as a War on Terror in Afghanistan, has now become the front for an Orwellian never ending War of Terror, which is rapidly draining the heart, resources and spirit of America. As George Orwell had once reported: War against a foreign country only happens when the moneyed classes think they are going to profit from it. Wikipedia defines Perpetual war as such "Perpetual war refers to a lasting state of war, with no clear ending conditions. It also describes a situation of ongoing tension that seems likely to escalate at any moment, similar to the Cold War." The obvious goal of Obama's perpetual war is economic control and manipulation, which has been more than borne out by the neo colonialism war of terror being waged by the west in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria and eventually Iran, with the obvious intent of Regime Change. As Peter Symond's correctly points out in WSWS, "Afghanistan has been the testing ground for 21st Century neo-colonialism. The occupation has set the pattern for US led operations in Iraq, Libya and now Syria, as Washington seeks to extend its economic and strategic dominance in the energy rich regions of the Middle East and Central Asia." In the landmark George Orwell novel Nineteen Eighty Four, Eurasia is described as having "always been at perpetual war with Eastasia", a fictional super state in Orwell's novel, but far from fictional in America's current war of terror in the Middle East. Obviously, the model for 21st century neo-colonialism is Afghanistan, America's current longest standing occupation, and so called 12 year war on terror. Claims that the US occupation will end in 2014 are most certainly refuted by obvious plans for an indefinite American military presence in Afghanistan. According to the New York Times, "General Allen, the top commander in Afghanistan, has submitted three options to the Pentagon for the period after the supposed withdrawal of "combat troops" at the end of 2014. One is to maintain US troop levels at 6,000, another calls for 10,000 soldiers, and the third is based on a force of 20,000.
On January 6, Assad called for "comprehensive national dialogue in the near future." He rules out negotiating "with a puppet made by the West." He advocates responsibility engaging opposition elements and other political parties. "Syria want peace and reconciliation," he stressed. "Armed groups must halt terrorist acts." Since early 2011, Washington waged war on Syria. Proxy death squads are used. They're recruited abroad. They're heavily armed, funded, trained and directed. They infiltrate across borders. Syria was invaded. Nothing civil reflects protracted conflict. Syrians depend on Assad for protection. He's vilified for doing his job. He's blamed for death squad crimes. Propaganda wars target him. Media scoundrels are merciless. They march in lockstep with imperial US policy. They turn truth on its head. Doing so violates fundamental journalistic ethics. They do it anyway. They're paid liars. They mock legitimate journalism. Their reports and commentaries don't rise to the level of bad fiction. They embarrass themselves shamelessly. More on their comments below. Assad's speech was comprehensive, thoughtful, and responsible. He addressed what needs to be said. He correctly called foreign death squads "armed criminals, terrorists, enemies of God, and puppets of the West." State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland lied. She turned truth on its head. She ignored Washington's responsibility for nearly two years of conflict. She accused Assad of "yet another attempt by the regime to cling to power, and does nothing to advance the Syrian people's goal of a political transition." "His initiative is detached from reality, undermines the efforts of Joint Special Representative Lakhdar Brahimi, and would only allow the regime to further perpetuate its bloody oppression of the Syrian people." She called legitimate self defense "brutalizing his own people." He "lost all legitimacy," she claimed. He "must step aside to enable a political solution and a democratic transition that meets the aspirations of the Syrian people." She ignored rule of law principles. No nation may interfere in the internal affairs of others. America's Constitution prohibits it. She denied reality. Most Syrians support Assad. They condemn foreign invaders. They deplore Western meddling. They alone should decide who will govern.
into submitting to corporate dominance: Shannon McLeish of Florida is a 45 year old married mother of two young children, She is a homeowner, a taxpayer and a safe driver. She votes in every election'. She attends a Unitarian Universalist church on Sundays. She is also, like all who have a relationship with the Occupy movement in the United States, being monitored by the federal government. She knows this, because when she read FBI documents obtained by the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund (PCJF) through the Freedom of Information Act, she was startled to see a redaction, that could only be referring to her. McLeish's story is the story of hundreds of thousands of people, perhaps more, whose lives are being invaded by the state. It is the story of a security and surveillance apparatus, overseen by the executive branch under Barack Obama, that has empowered the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security to silence the voices and obstruct the activity of citizens who question corporate power. Mara Verheyden Hilliard, executive director of the PCJF, said in a written statement about the released files: "This production of information, which we believe is just the tip of the iceberg, is a window into the nationwide scope of the FBI's surveillance, monitoring and reporting on peaceful protesters organizing with the Occupy movement. These documents, show that the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security are treating protests against the corporate and banking structure of America as potential criminal and terrorist activity. "These documents also show these federal agencies functioning as a de facto intelligence arm of Wall Street and Corporate America." The FBI documents are not only a chilling example of how widespread this surveillance and obstruction has become, they are an explicit warning by the security services to all who consider dissent. Anyone who defies corporate power, even if he or she is nonviolent, and acting within constitutional rights, is a suspect. These documents are part of a plan to make us fearful, compliant and disempowered. They mark, I suspect, a government attempt to end peaceful mass protests, by responding with repression to the grievances of Americans. When the corporate financed group Freedom Works bused in goons to disrupt Democratic candidates' town hall meetings about the federal health care legislation in August 2009, Eric Zuesse of the Business Insider notes, "there was no FBI surveillance of those corporate organized disruptions of legitimate democratic processes. There also were no subsequent Freedom Works applications for Freedom of Information Act releases of FBI files regarding such surveillance being used against them, because there was no such FBI campaign against them."
The History of America's Death Squads. The recruitment of death squads is part of a well established US military intelligence agenda. There is a long and gruesome US history of covert funding and support of terror brigades, and targeted assassinations going back to the Vietnam war. As government forces continue to confront the self proclaimed "Free Syrian Army" (FSA) the historical roots of the West's covert war on Syria, which has resulted in countless atrocities, must be fully revealed. From the outset in March 2011, the US and its allies have supported the formation of death squads, and the incursion of terrorist brigades in a carefully planned undertaking. The recruitment and training of terror brigades in both Iraq and Syria, was modeled on the "Salvador Option", a "terrorist model" of mass killings by US sponsored death squads in Central America. It was first applied in El Salvador, in the heyday of resistance against the military dictatorship, resulting in an estimated 75,000 deaths. The formation of death squads in Syria builds upon the history and experience of US sponsored terror brigades in Iraq, under the Pentagon's "counterinsurgency" program. The Establishment of Death Squads in Iraq: US sponsored death squads were recruited in Iraq, starting in 2004-2005, in an initiative launched under the helm of the US Ambassador John Negroponte, who was dispatched to Baghdad by the US State Department in June 2004. Negroponte was the "man for the job". As US Ambassador to Honduras, from 1981 to 1985, Negroponte played a key role in supporting and supervising the Nicaraguan Contras based in Honduras, as well as overseeing the activities of the Honduran military death squads. "Under the rule of General Gustavo Alvarez Martinez, Honduras's military government was both a close ally of the Reagan administration, and was "disappearing" dozens of political opponents in classic death squad fashion." In January 2005, the Pentagon that it was considering "forming hit squads of Kurdish and Shia fighters to target leaders of the Iraqi insurgency, in a strategic shift borrowed from the American struggle against left wing guerrillas in Central America 20 years ago". Under the so called El Salvador option, Iraqi and American forces would be sent to kill or kidnap insurgency leaders, even in Syria, where some are thought to shelter.
On January 6, Assad called for "comprehensive national dialogue in the near future." He rules out negotiating "with a puppet made by the West." He advocates responsibly engaging opposition elements and other political parties. "Syria wants peace and reconciliation," he stressed. "Armed groups must halt terrorist acts."Since early 2011, Washington waged war on Syria. Proxy death squads are used. They're recruited abroad. They're heavily armed, funded, trained and directed. They infiltrate across borders. Syria was invaded. Nothing civil reflects protracted conflict. Syrians depend on Assad for protection. He's vilified for doing his job. He's blamed for death squad crimes. Propaganda wars target him. Media scoundrels are merciless. They march in lockstep with imperial US policy. They turn truth on its head. Doing so violates fundamental journalistic ethics. They do it anyway. They're paid liars. They mock legitimate journalism. Their reports and commentaries don't rise to the level of bad fiction. They embarrass themselves shamelessly. More on their comments below. Assad's speech was comprehensive, thoughtful, and responsible. He addressed what needs to be said. He correctly called foreign death squads "armed criminals, terrorists, enemies of God, and puppets of the West." State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland lied. She turned truth on its head. She ignored Washington's responsibility for nearly two years of conflict. She accused Assad of "yet another attempt by the regime to cling to power, and does nothing to advance the Syrian people's goal of a political transition." "His initiative is detached from reality, undermines the efforts of Joint Special Representative Lakhdar Brahimi, and would only allow the regime to further perpetuate its bloody oppression of the Syrian people." She ignored rule of law principles. No nation may interfere in the internal affairs of others. America's Constitution prohibits it. She denied reality. Most Syrians support Assad. They condemn foreign invaders. They deplore Western meddling. They alone should decide who'll govern. The Syrian National Coalition for the Forces of the Opposition and the Revolution (SNC 2.0) said Assad's speech: confirms his incompetence as a head of state, who realizes the grave responsibilities he carries during this critical time in Syria's history."
Shannon McLeish of Florida is a 45 year old married mother of two young children. She is a homeowner, a taxpayer and a safe driver. She votes in every election. She attends a Unitarian Universalist church on Sundays. She is also, like nearly all who have a relationship with the Occupy movement in the United States, being monitored by the federal government. She knows this, because when she reads FBI documents obtained by the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund (PCJF) through the Freedom of Information Act, she was startled to see a redaction that could only be referring to her. McLeish's story is the story of hundreds of people, perhaps more, whose lives are being invaded by the state. It is the story of a security and surveillance apparatus, overseen by the executive branch under Barack Obama, that has empowered the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security to silence the voices and obstruct the activity of citizens who question corporate power. Mara Verheyden Hilliard, executive director of the PCJF, said in a written statement about the released files: "This production of information, which we believe is just the tip of the iceberg, is a window into the nationwide scope of the FBI's surveillance, monitoring and reporting on peaceful protesters organizing with the Occupy movement. These documents show that the FBI, and the Department of Homeland Security are treating protests against the corporate and banking structure of America as potential criminal and terrorist activity. These documents also show these federal agencies functioning as a de facto intelligence arm of Wall Street and Corporate America." The FBI documents are not only a chilling example of how widespread this surveillance and obstruction has become, they are an explicit warning by the security services to all who consider dissent. Anyone who defies corporate power, even if he or she is nonviolent, and acting within constitutional rights, is a suspect. These documents are part of a plan to make us fearful, compliant and disempowered. They mark, I suspect, a government attempt to end peaceful mass protests, by responding with repression to the grievances of Americans.
against humanity. In light of the fact that it transpires that twenty seven Foreign Office lawyers concluded unanimously that the invasion of Iraq was illegal, I write to draw attention to just a few of the chilling events currently taking place in Iraq under the US UK's despotic, imposed puppet Prime Minister. First, here is a list of prisons, detention facilities, interrogation centers and numbers of those held in each, as far as can be ascertained in the circumstances. As you will surely know, people are routinely arbitrarily detained for weeks, months, even years, often without trial, and with one, usually under a totally inadequate or corrupt legal system. On 3rd January 2013, Nur al Maliki carried out the death sentence on Ahmed al Samarrai, and two other men from Mosul, on charges of his resisting the US and Iran occupation. Resisting an unlawful occupation is, of course, a legal right. His body was not delivered to his family. A funeral will take place in his honor in Anbar and elsewhere in Iraq. Should you question the US occupation since they pulled out last December, just see the Vatican City size US embassy and its thousands of mercenaries, intelligence operators, and nefarious other spooks and enforcers. Early this 4th January, al Maliki forces, wearing all black clothing, entered Taji Prison, and took one hundred prisoners from the western city of Ramadi to an unidentified place. Death squads come to mind again. Al Maliki has also ordered an on sight shoot to kill policy toward protesters. By August 31st there had been ninety six executions in 2012, with twenty six people reportedly being executed on both the 27th and 29th August. Few details of those executed or their identities were released. They are simply the disappeared in the tradition of all despots. Iraq has a huge problem with torture and unfair trials, Human Rights Watch, who produced the report, pointed out. Thousands of women are detained, and subject to near routine torture and rape. They are often held with their children, and even with infants. Britain as co architect, and liar in chief on the reasons for the invasion has an absolute duty, with America, to bring to heel their out of control tyrannical government. Both countries have large embassies and the wherewithal to exert such pressure. Maliki is heading towards an incredibly destructive dictatorship, and it looks to me as though the Obama administration is waving him across the finishing line, Toby Dodge, Iran expert at the London School of Economics said earlier this year.
From theory to practicality, it seems that there isn't a different between the way souls deal, or the states. Looking closely, it gets obvious that the similarity or the connection is in no way a coincidence, but in fact it's a soul or a collection of them, which steers the states as well, providing the similar nature of actions, reactions and repercussion. The Greek were smart enough to draw out boundaries on interaction between souls, and later the states. As per them which stand very much valid till date, the biggest misdeed in interaction, relation or understanding remains pretending. Though a simple word, deep within it holds a world of ambitions, misperceptions and wickedness, locked away cleverly with an outlook to fool not only in the proximity, but the source as well. A relation having this feature, whether between states, or the soul has two things guaranteed ie neither it will be withstanding nor it will benefit any involved subjects, qualifying it to be an affair of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD). The dilemma stated above, although confusing as it may seem, is a true reflection of how America and Pakistan are conducting themselves in Afghanistan and the surrounding area. The 11 year odd mutual assistance, intelligence sharing, joint operations etc, can be summed up in the paradigm of absolute role play toward each other, as well as the millions involved. In the week gone by a strange silence has gripped Washington and Islamabad, following a drone strike, which killed Taliban decorated commander Mullah Nazir. As per the agreed custom, we usually hear condemnations from Islamabad and triumph from Washington, but this time around it has been calculated. It happened a few times, notably in Salala, Abbotabad May 2nd in this association that both sides have been caught pretending, and this id being done by no other than themselves precisely. To Pakistan, Nazir was no alien. He stood by the state, when they were sent packing by the unseen, unnoticed Taliban in its Tribal Areas and Swat especially. His control over a massive territory, a categorical stance over Pakistani forces, and his resources across the Durand were vital for ending the war within, truly and solely caused by the Allied invasion into Afghanistan after 9/11. If this raises your eyebrows, let me make things simple for you. How did Americans pull a graceful end to the Iraqi onslaught? Let's not fool ourselves by crowning Mr Petreaus surge surge, or Mr Maliki's exemplary governance. In fact, it was Americans realizing that like a body under threat from viruses, a calculated insertion of the same virus, though tamed, can act as a shield against another virus.
Heralded as a Neo-liberal "Success Story", a model for Europe and the US? A generation ago, the Chicago Boys and their financial supporters applauded General Pinochets anti labor Chile as a success story, thanks mainly to its transformation of their Social Security into Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs) that almost universally were looted by the employer grupos by the end of the 1970's In the last decade, the Bush Administration, seeking a Trojan Horse to privatize Social Security in the United States, applauded Chiles disastrous privatization of pension accounts, turning many over to US financial institutions, even as that nations voters rejected the Pinochetistas, largely out of anger at the vast pension rip off by high finance. Today's most highly celebrated anti labor success is Latvia. Latvia is portrayed as the country where labor did not fight back, but simply emigrated politely and quietly. No general strikes, nor destruction of private property or violence, Latvia is presented as a country where labor had the good sense to make a fuss when faced with austerity. Latvians gave up protest and simply began voting with emigration as the economy shrank, wage levels were scaled down, and where tax burdens remained decidedly on the backs of labor, even though recent token efforts have been made to increase taxes on real estate. The World Bank applauds Latvia and its Baltic neighbors,, by placing them high on its list of business friendly economies, even though at times scolding their social regimes as even too harsh for the Victorian tastes of the international financial institutions. Can this really be a model for the United States, or Europe's remaining social democracies? Or is it simply a cruel experiment, that cannot be emulated in larger countries, un traumatized by Soviet era memories of occupation? One can only dream! But the dream is attractive enough. In a page one The New York Times feature article accompanying, that papers celebration of the Obama Administrations Fiscal Cliff commitment to budget cutting, Andrew Higgins provides the latest attempt to applaud Latvia's economic and demographic plunge as the Latvian Miracle.
9/11 cover up. CIA officer John Kiriakou is imprisoned to protect 9/11 cover up. Former CIA Case Officer John C Kiriakou is facing 30 months in the federal pen. According to the New York Times, Kiriakou's crime was passing the identity of an undercover CIA officer to a journalist. But a quick peek behind the scenes, reveals the real reason Kiriaku is being crucified. He revealed information about CIA officials in torturing innocent 9/11 patsy Khalid Sheik Mohammed (KSM) into endorsing a pre scripted false confession. Kiriakou is being railroaded to send a message to the intelligence community: Don't mess with 9/11 torture, the framing of patsies, and forced confessions! As VT readers know, the intelligence community leaks "classified" information like a proverbial sieve, as it should. Almost all "classified" information ought to be made public. Of the tens of thousands of leaks that occur each year, only a tiny fraction are ever punished, legally or extra legally. So when a former CIA Case Officer is sent to prison for a relatively innocuous leak, we must ask ourselves: Why was this guy singled out? Kiriakou's "leak" was about as innocuous as it gets. Scott Shane, a New York Times journalist working on CIA torture stories, asked for names of those who knew something about the water-boarding of KSM and Abu Zubaydah, the mentally retarded "al Qaeda kingpin" who was tortured into naming KSM. Kiriakou, like all honest intelligence community folks, was presumably dismayed that those who tortured the false confessions out of KSM later destroyed all of the tapes and notes detailing the torture sessions, and then lied through his teeth about what happened. So he gave Shane the business card of Deuce Martinez, a former undercover CIA agent who was involved in the frame up of al Qaeda's Retard in Chief Abu Zubaydah and innocent 9/11 patsy KSM. Shane is baffled by the government's contention that mentioning Martinez's name constituted a security breach: Mr. Martinez, an analyst by training,was retired and had never served under cover. That is, he had never posed as a diplomat, or a businessman while overseas. He had placed his home address, his personal e mail address, his job as an intelligence officer, and other personal details on a public Web site for the students of his alma mater. Abu Zubaydah had been captured six years earlier, Mr Mohammed five years earlier. Their stories were far from secret!
Israeli militants, American gangsters, shaking the pillars of our United States: American's "pop culture" news is filled with stories of Iran suffering financially under sanctions. Sitting in a nation, long bankrupt, $16 trillion dollars in debt, bleeding cash into Israel, money spent to push America into another losing war, and all our press can talk about is Iran. It would be fair to talk about the worldwide financial meltdown, but even then some difficult questions might be asked, such as, "Who caused it?" Nobody wants those answers, because then they would have to do something about it. Thus, the drowning man, going down for the last time, points a finger and laughs at the man on shore, who is running short of drinking water and feels smug. His enemy is finally feeling "sanctions",even though the drowning man may never live long enough to enjoy the moment of empty triumph. No one wants to talk about how the War on Terror turned out to be a terror campaign on America. The old America was blown up by the Bush NeoCons, freedoms gone, constant surveillance, a generation of wealth stolen with help of our own Congress, the Money Mullahs. A page of this history will be the recent scathing Senate report on the billions wasted by the Department of Homeland Security Fusion Centers on make believe Counter Intel programs. It got it's one day of publicity, but all the reporting I have read about it so far has a huge missing item. The billions wasted on the Intel sharing Fusion Center program is just the tip of the iceberg. Sixty billion was admitted to just WoT contractor fraud alone this Spring. The whole war on terror has ended up being a cash cow, that has has funded those who have turned out to be our most dangerous enemies. Bankers and gangsters teamed up teamed up mortgage fraud crooks and Neo Colonialism hustlers to terrorize America on a scale that no Jihadi ever dreamed possible. Bush lied to us, when he said the Muslims hated us for our freedom, and wanted to take that away. The proof? After 911, the State Department did a world wide survey of Muslim attitudes on America. The results were startling, with upwards to 90% liking the American people, and most wanting to move there if they could. The majority of their negative comments all focused around the American 'government policies' in the Mid East, not its people. Bush was of course aware of this study, but he went ahead and shamed our country by lying through his teeth about the Muslims all wanting to come after us. Why did he do it? He knew the report was on record that totally refuted what he was saying.
Reporting on the final US presidential campaign debate on foreign policy, The Wall Street Journal observed that "the only country mentioned more than Israel was Iran, which is seen by most nations in the Middle East as the gravest security threat to the region. The two candidates agreed, that a nuclear Iran is the gravest threat to the region, if not the world, as Romney explicitly maintained, reiterating a conventional view. On Israel, the candidates vied in declaring their devotion to it, but Israeli officials were nevertheless unsatisfied. They had hoped for more 'aggressive' language from Mr Romney, according to the reporters. It was not enough that Romney demanded that Iran not be permitted to "reach a point of nuclear capability." Arabs were dissatisfied too, because Arab fears about Iran were debated through the lens if Israeli security, instead of the region's while Arab concerns were largely ignored, again the conventional treatment. The Journal article, like countless others on Iran, leaves critical questions unanswered. Among them: Who exactly sees Iran as the gravest security threat? And what do Arabs, and most of the world think can be done about the threat, whatever they take it to be? The first question is easily answered. The "Iranian threat" is overwhelmingly a Western obsession, shared by Arab dictators, though not Arab populations. As numerous polls have shown, although citizens of Arab countries generally dislike Iran, they do not regard it as a very serious threat. Rather, they perceive the threat to be Israel and the United States,, and many, sometimes considerable majorities, regard Iranian nuclear weapons as a counter to these threats. In high places in the US, some concur with the Arab populations' perception,, among them General Lee Butler, former head of the Strategic Command. In 1998 he said" "It is dangerous in the extreme that in the cauldrone of animosities that we call the Middle East," one nation, Israel, should have a powerful nuclear weapons arsenal, which "inspires other nations to do so." Still more dangerous is the nuclear deterrent strategy of which Butler was a leading designer for many years. Such a strategy, he wrote in 2002, is "a formula for unmitigated catastrophe," and he called on the United States and other nuclear powers to accept their commitment under the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) to make "good faith" efforts to eliminate the plague of nuclear weapons. Nations have a legal obligation to pursue such efforts seriously, the World Court ruled in 1996: "There exists an obligation to pursue in good faith, and bring to a conclusion negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament in all aspects under strict and effective international control." In 2002, George W Bush's administration declared that the United States is not bound by the obligation.
Last night, Congress passed a watered down fiscal cliff package that will raise taxes on everyone, but the worst is yet to come, and this deficit cutting measure contains some surprises. Economist Jack Rasmus highlights Obama's comments after passage, which signal what we can expect: "I am very open to compromise. Medicare is the biggest contribution to the deficit. In fact, Medicare does not contribute to the deficit, because it is funded by a separate tax, but Obama has signaled expect cuts to Medicare and Medicaid. Obama has been laying the groundwork to cut social insurances since 2010. The deal only cut the deficit by $620 billion of the bi-partisan goal of $4 trillion, so there are a lot of budget cuts ahead, and they will not come from the military or national security state, they will come from the necessities of the people. Even if the US had gone over the cliff, cuts to the military were minimal, "DoDcuts" scheduled to take effect in 2013 were only $24 billion, according to the Congressional Budget Office, much less than the oft mentioned $500 billion reported by the media. The $500 billion are cuts over ten years, mostly back-loaded to the out years. Thus these are cuts the military would likely never see. The reason that the deal cut the deficit so little, is because Obama backed off his campaign promise to raise taxes on the top 2%, and instead only repealed the Bush tax cuts on the top 1.5%, those earning over $400,000. As a result, rather than raising $1.2 trillion in revenue, the deal only raised $600 billion, and part of that came from working people, as payroll taxes were re-instated. The result will be more cuts on the rest of us, so later this year the bi-partisan cut to corporate tax rates can be passed. The deal was not all about cuts, as Matt Stoller writes, the deficit cutters were very generous to Goldman Sachs: Goldman got $1.6 billion in tax free financing for its new massive headquarters through Liberty Bonds. Another gift to big finance and multi-nationals to not pay taxes on income earned abroad at a cost $1.5 billion to the budget, and the people will need their circuses, as austerity hits, so NASCAR got $43 million in tax breaks over two years, to build race tracks and associated facilities. Hollywood studios received $150 million in tax breaks for 2010 and 2011. People facing foreclosure, and living in underwater houses, lost the small foreclosure relief programs that existed, and tax laws were set to treat any write down on a mortgage as income!
In 1983, the CIA and British MI6 supplied a long list of Tudeh Party members to Khomenei. The Ayatollah unleached a reign of terror against the left, assassinating, torturing and imprisoning over 10,000 Tudeh members and supporters. In 1989, many of those imprisoned were sentenced to death. Under the iron fisted rule of the US puppet Shah of Iran, who came to power after the 1953 BP sponsored Mossadegh coup, Chase Manhattan, which later merged with JP Morgan to become JP Morgan Chase, issued letters of credit for all Iranian oil exports, and monopolized deposits from the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), even after Iran nationalized Four Horsemen oil interests to create NIOC. Chase controlled the Pahlevi Foundation, which owned an oil company, twelve Iranian sugar refineries, electronics firms, cemeteries, mines, industrial bakeries, the country's General Motors franchise, and a slew of banks, including the Shah's personal piggy bank, the Bank Omran. While "Omran" means "development", the Pahlevi Foundation focused only on developing the fortunes of both the Shah and Chase Manhattan. David Rockefeller, whose family controls majority interest in the bank, chaired Chase. The Rockefeller's added to their fortune during the Shah's reign, taking in far more oil deposits in the country than it made in loans. By 1978 Iran had become the world's fourth largest oil producer, supplying 18% of both Japan's and West Germany's oil, 50% of Israel's and 100% of the South African apartheid regime's. Yet the average Iranian worker languished in poverty. Other Western banks behaved in similar fashion. This did not go unnoticed by Iran's Central Bank Governor, Al Reza Nobari, who watched as his country sank deeper into debt, while the Shah and his American bankers got filthy rich. Nobari declared, "All the banks knew that the Bank Omran was the Shah's personal repository for his pocket money, but they went on lending to Bank Omran. Citibank lent, for example, $55 million to the Shah's sister, Princess Ashraf, for a housing project. On the site of the housing project, she built a palace." The Shah bought a share in Krupps, the huge German arms manufacturer. He owned numerous hotels in Tehran, houses in Beverly Hills, Manhattan, Acapulco and the Swiss Alps. He bought entire islands in the Seychelles, and owned a race horse stud on a farm in Surrey, England. The standard of living of the average Iranian continued to head south.