The Whitehouse Coup (1933) Plus War is a Racket by Smedley Butler and Ron Paul

War is a Racket by Smedley Butler is a famous speech denouncing the military industrial complex. This anti-war speech by two-time Congressional Medal of Honor recipient exposes war profits that benefit few at the expense of many. Throughout his distinguished career in the Marines, Smedley Darlington Butler demonstrated that true patriotism does not mean blind allegiance to government policies with which one does not agree. To Hell with war. Continue reading

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We don’t intend to build nukes, Israel told US in 1975

Prime minister Yitzhak Rabin accompanied by Henry Kissinger on their way to a meeting with president Ford at the White House, June 1975. (photo credit: Yaakov Saar/GPO)

Newly published documents also shed light on Rabin, Peres visits to Tehran in 1976 and Dayan plan to give citizenship to Palestinians in Ramallah and Bethlehem

(Times of Israel) Israel’s leaders, in private exchanges with senior US officials in 1975, flatly denied that Israel possessed nuclear weapons, and foreign minister Yigal Allon also claimed Israel had no intention to build such weapons, according to diplomatic cables published this week by whistle-blower website WikiLeaks.

This despite the fact that, according to foreign reports, Israel is now believed to have begun full-scale production of nuclear weapons soon after the 1967 war, and to have stockpiled a number of nuclear weapons by the early 1970s.

The cables are part of a trove of more than 1.7 million US diplomatic cables sent between 1973 and 1976. Among the 5,000-plus documents that deal with Israel are messages that shine light on the development of Israel’s nuclear program, as well as on Israel’s relationship with pre-revolutionary Iran and a 1973 plan by then-defense minister Moshe Dayan to extend Israeli citizenship to Palestinian residents of Ramallah and Bethlehem.

In May 1975, senator Howard Baker asked prime minister Yitzhak Rabin and defense minister (today President) Shimon Peres about speculation that Israel had acquired nuclear weapons.

“Rabin told senator Baker that GOI [the government of Israel] had made a commitment not to be the first state to introduce nuclear weapons into the area. Israel had kept its word,” states the document, which was quietly declassified in 2006 but only published now by WikiLeaks.

In the document, which the US Embassy in Tel Aviv sent to the embassy in Turkey, Peres is quoted as saying that Israel’s introduction of nuclear weapons into the Middle East would lead to a conflict with Washington and would encourage the Soviet Union to give similar devices to the Arab nations in the region, which “would bring [the] Middle East to [the] point of no return.

“Peres, in reply to [a] direct question, states that Israel has not constructed a military nuclear device,” the document continued. Baker asked whether that meant Jerusalem had not constructed an explosive device, and Peres answered affirmatively.

Israel has always pursued a policy of nuclear ambiguity, neither denying nor confirming the possession of atomic weapons. Yet the existence of an Israeli nuclear-weapons program has been widely reported in the foreign media, and it is widely believed that Jerusalem has had such devices since at least 1973.

Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Rabin (photo credit: courtesy GPO)

In one of the cables from the summer of 1975, Rabin said that Israel has not signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty “because it regarded this as part of [an] arms race issue in [the] area and of an eventual overall political settlement” of the Middle East conflict.

The Israeli prime minister also commented on repeated American requests to inspect the nuclear facilities in Dimona, telling Baker that Jerusalem and Washington had in 1969 — “and rightly so” — agreed that such visits had been “terminated.”

“The Dimona facility was not open for inspection,” the document states.

A few months earlier, in January 1975, a cable that the US Embassy in Tel Aviv sent to Washington quotes US senator Charles Mathias asking foreign minister Yigal Allon about Israel’s nuclear capabilities.

“Allon replied that Israel had the capability to manufacture nuclear weapons. However, he said that [the government of Israel] did not currently possess nuclear weapons, nor did it intend to manufacture them.”

The senator then remarked that the secrecy surrounding the Dimona reactor and Jerusalem’s refusal to allow inspection “were a public relations problem for Israel in the US.” Allon agreed in principle, but offered no immediate remedies.

In November 1976, a dozen American senators visited Israel, with “one of their principal interests” being an inspection of the Dimona nuclear reactor, according to another US Embassy cable. Jerusalem denied the senators’ requests. “When asked regarding the reason for this decision,” the document states, “we were simply told that adequate attention would be given to Israel’s energy situation in briefings and a visit to Dimona would not be considered useful.”

The US Government suspected Israel of having nuclear weapons since 1970 and, according to foreign media reports, Israel assembled more than a dozen nuclear warheads during the 1973 Yom Kippur War. In 1986, former Dimona nuclear technician Mordechai Vanunu gave detailed information about the country’s “secret nuclear arsenal” to the London Sunday Times. In 2008, former US president Jimmy Carter saidthat Israel had at least 150 nuclear weapons.

The diplomatic documents, which WikiLeaks dubbed the “Kissinger Cables,” also reveal that, in the 1970s, military legend Dayan — serving as defense minister — planned to grant Israeli citizenship to Palestinian residents of Bethlehem and Ramallah, while retaining full control over the West Bank.

cable from May 1973 quotes former minister Gad Yaacobi, who was a close ally of Dayan, saying that Dayan was preparing to expand the degree of autonomy for Arab municipalities in the West Bank, which Israel had captured in the Six-Day War.

Yaacobi said Dayan encouraged Israeli settlements everywhere in the West Bank except in “Arab metropolitan areas.” The two exceptions to that rule were Ramallah and Bethlehem, which Dayan considered parts of the “greater Jerusalem area.”

“As for Dayan’s thinking on [an] ultimate peace settlement with Jordan, Yaacobi said Dayan would only return one or two small enclaves of the West Bank,” the cable states. “But Dayan, according to Yaacobi, envisages [the] rest of [the] West Bank population though living under Israeli sovereignty as being full-fledged Jordanian citizens, with [the] exception [of] inhabitants of Ramallah and Bethlehem, who would become Israeli citizens.”

‘What the Iranians and Israelis are specifically cooking up in the arms field remains to be ascertained, but the Shah has a complex game going’

The Kissinger Cables, named after former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger, also shed light on Israel’s close military ties with Iran prior to the 1979 Islamic Revolution, which turned the two countries into bitter enemies.

In 1976, several top Israeli government officials, including Rabin, Peres and Allon, secretly visited the Shah in Tehran, writes then-US ambassador to Iran and former director of the Central Intelligence Agency Richard Helms in acable.

Rabin’s visit, in July of that year, was clouded in particular secrecy, Helms writes. It was followed by a trip to Israel by Iranian vice minister of war Hassan Toufanian, ostensibly to discuss several joint military projects, such as the 1977 Project Flower.

“What the Iranians and Israelis are specifically cooking up in the arms field remains to be ascertained, but the Shah has a complex game going with both the Israelis and the Egyptians, the obvious purpose of which is to exchange or at least have available certain kinds of ammunition and weapons which are not subject to US Congressional control or veto,” Helms writes.

In a separate cable, Helms reports to the State Department in Washington that the Shah complained to Peres during a visit to Tehran about Jerusalem’s efforts to dissuade the US from selling arms to Iran.

In a third cable, Helms says that Toufanian told him that his trip to Israel and Peres’s visit to Tehran “were basically get-acquainted sessions.” The Iranian official said that “ways will be explored to expand military cooperation between the two countries, but that it is important [for] the prime personalities to get to know each other first and to come to understand each other’s particular problems.”

Communists Stand in Defiance of Bill of Rights

(fromthetrenchesworldreport.com) The communist insurgents within the United States continue their push to disarm we American nationals, even to the point of presenting poll numbers which have been proven to be false via their own previous admissions.  Captain Mark Kelly, the husband of ex-Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, was making the rounds over the weekend, spouting his sedition while trying to present himself as some kind of American hero.

Let’s look at this logically and ask the question. Does the government grant the people their rights?  Was the Bill of Rights written by the government to outline the privileges they were to bestow upon us, said privileges of course to be revoked, altered, or regulated at the government’s whim?

This is the position the government would like to establish.  It is however absolutely a fiction.  This government did not grant us our rights, as all power within this nation resides in the people.  We granted the government limited power, which they have distorted.  Our rights are inalienable, they cannot be removed as we are born with them and they stay with us until our deaths.

The 2nd Article to the Bill of Rights states in part: “The right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”  This is an absolute statement and there is no way it can be misconstrued.

Infringe is defined as: “Act so as to limit or undermine; encroach on”, therefore any government action that alters, in the smallest degree, any American nationals right to arm, as he or she sees fit, is by definition an infringement and is not law, but rather an act of sedition.

The infringements that have been levied upon our Bill of Rights are too numerous to count.  These infringements have in fact brought us to the precipice of slavery.  The only thing standing in the way of a complete takeover of the people by the government is our possession of our firearms which have not yet been made a part of the infringements.

This is not just about our 2nd Article right.  This is about our freedom and liberty, et.al.  A person who is governed by another person is not free.  This is why our Republic emphasizes self governess of, by, and for the individual.

Mark Kelly spouted the lie that 92% of the American people support universalbackground checks, which can only be accomplished through universal registration.  Again, this is a lie, but even if it were not, it would not matter.  If 99.999% supported it, no one of us can alter the rights of another.

Our employees in the government are forbidden by law to advocate in any way to alter our Bill of Rights. The 1934 Gun Control Act was and is an infringement, and tell me how bold would these actors within this police state be in attacking our homes, if we still had our machine guns and hand grenades?  The 1968 Gun Control Act was and is an infringement, as the 2nd Article to the Bill of Rights does not say “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed except for those who are felons. “

These communists are parasites of the lowest degree and have sleazed their way into our lives in taking our kindness for weakness, said kindness fostered in reality via stupidity as the most feared threat to our safety is an armed government wielding tyranny over an unarmed population.

These present infringements have been put forth for no other reason than to segment another portion of our population to be without their inalienable rights.  And with the new mental health aspect, hell you do not even have to be accused of harming anyone.  Now, instead of being dispossessed of our rights via conviction, which again is unconstitutional, we are to be disarmed for what could happen: an ‘if’ or a ‘maybe’.

We must stand firm in our defiance of universal background check registration and let these communists know that not only are they going to cease and desist in their attempt at further infringement, but we demand that all past infringements be removed as a precursor to their trials for sedition.

God bless the Republic, death to the international corporate mafia, we shall prevail.

The Anger Phase Of Humanity Is Coming

DHS Use Police Depts to Gather Intel on Citizens & Label Them Extremist Threats

(From the Trenches) According to the White House Blog website, the Obama administration is working to “counter online radicalization” by “violent extremist groups” such as “al-Qaeda and its affiliates and adherents, violent supremacist groups, and violent ‘sovereign citizens’.”

The White House claims that “these groups use the Internet to disseminate propaganda, identify and groom potential recruits, and supplement their real-world recruitment” with “resources to propagate messages of violence and division.” Through the exploitation of “popular media, music videos and online video games”, allegedly there are “countless opportunities “to draw targets into private exchanges” and provide “violent extremists with access to new audiences and instruments for radicalization.”

The US government stated they will combat these extremist groups by “raising awareness about the threat and providing communities with practical information and tools for staying safe online.” They are solidifying their relationships with private sector corporations involved in technology to implement “policies, technologies, and tools that can help counter violent extremism online.”

The 2011 document entitled “Empowering Local Partners to Prevent Violent Extremism in the United States” outlines how a “comprehensive strategy” to counter the influence of al-Qaeda is being championed by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) with digital information sharing and coordinating intelligence with local law enforcement to thwart terrorist plots and “save many American lives”.

Using propaganda, under the guise of “local partners in their grassroots efforts to prevent violent extremism” the federal government is building a network with local law enforcement against the threat of radicalization online and in the real-world.

The document names plots devised by neo-Nazis, anti-Semitic hate groups, racial supremacists, international and domestic terrorists inspired by al-Qaeda as a threat to the US. The federal government is utilizing local police departments to build a “local level . . . resilience against violent extremism.”

DHS trains local police officers at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provides funding to local police departments to send their officers to FLETC to receive militarized education in tactical operations.

FLETC has locations in Georgia, New Mexico, South Carolina, andWashington DC. This federal militarization of local police extends tointernational policing agencies which “develops, coordinates, manages, and delivers international training and technical assistance that promotes the rule of law and supports U.S. foreign policy.”

Another report the White House is using to justify the demonization of US citizens as radical extremists is entitled “Strategic Implementation Plan for Empowering Local Partners to Prevent Violent Extremism in the United States”. This report, published in December of 2011, further reinforces the role of local police departments to ‘address community needs and concerns, including protecting rights and public safety.”

The federal government acquires platforms to infiltrate communities they have identified as potentially under threat of violent extremist groups. Across the nation, senior officials are deployed with the assistance of fake grassroots propaganda to partner with “Governor-appointed Homeland Security Advisors, Major Cities Chiefs, Mayors’ Offices, and local partners.”

Training of local police department officers to paramilitarize and integrate them into military tactical operations is the key to combating localized extremism.
Over the last few years the DHS have been indoctrinating local police departments into “non-Federal law enforcement agencies” as outlined in the DHS directive from the Office for State and Local Law Enforcement (SLLE).

DHS is successful in their relationship with local police departments all across the nation because they are contracted private security firms (or hired armed guards) that are placed in a city or town to secure the population and generate revenue for the local government.

In early 2012, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released a reportentitled “Homeland Security and Intelligence: Next Steps in Evolving the Mission” which outlined in part on how to redirect efforts of the federal government from international terrorism toward home-grown terrorists and build a DHS-controlled police force agency that would control all cities and towns through the use of local police departments.

DHS maintains that “the threat grows more localized” which necessitates the militarization of local police in major cities in the US and the training of staff from local agencies to make sure that oversight is restricted to the federal government.

Countering online extremism is a task allocated to the DHS who have identified “behaviors, tactics, and other indicators that could point to potential terrorist activity.” DHS will host conferences for local police departments and federal partners to attend that will provide education on countering extremism.

Other “training initiatives” include “hundreds of thousands of front line officers” who are the ground-force infantry needed by DHS to “prevent” extremist activities.

The “If You See Something, Say Something” campaign is specifically designed to target local communities to turn ordinary citizens into a Stasi for the federal government with the local police department allocated as their first line of intelligence gathering.

Intelligence on citizens who are supposed to be extremists is gathered from multiple avenues such as:

• Local government
• Local law enforcement
• Parent/Teacher Associations
• School district officials
• Influential members of local communities
• Religious leaders

These collaborations provide “critical information” and real-time “assessments of [any] threat” to local communities and incorporate this information into training programs and federal initiatives.

Obama reaches out to a repressive Putin

(Washington Post) PRESIDENT OBAMA is preparing to reach out once again to Russian ruler Vladi­mir Putinin the hope of striking a new agreement to reduce nuclear arms. The president mentioned the initiative in his State of the Union address; according to a senior Russian legislator, national security adviser Thomas Donilon will soon travel to Moscow with a letter outlining Mr. Obama’s ideas. The reduction of nuclear stockpiles is a top priority of this president and a worthy one. But what’s striking about Mr. Obama’s strategy is its seeming detachment from the reality of how Mr. Putin has governed Russia since his return to the presidency last year.

Mr. Obama’s first nuclear-arms agreement with Mr. Putin, in 2010, came about in the context of a warming of U.S.-Russian relations. The new proposal will hit Moscow in the middle of a Putin-directed campaign against both his domestic political opposition and the United States, which in his mind are linked. In recent months Mr. Putin has expelled the U.S. Agency for International Development, placed new restrictions on local nonprofit organizations receiving foreign funds, bumped U.S.-funded Radio Liberty from domestic airwaves and overseen a propaganda campaign that accuses the United States of orchestrating anti-government demonstrations.

Editorials represent the views of The Washington Post as an institution, as determined through debate among members of the editorial board. News reporters and editors never contribute to editorial board discussions, and editorial board members don’t have any role in news coverage.

The regime, meanwhile, has steadily escalated a campaign against the leaders of the peaceful, pro-democracy demonstrations that erupted in Russia in late 2011. For Russians, the cynical tactics are bone-wearyingly familiar: Transparently trumped-up criminal cases are being brought against the activists, with the promise of lengthy prison terms. Alexei Navalny, the founder of an anti-corruption organization, has himself been charged with corruption. Last week leftist firebrand Sergei Udaltsov was placed under house arrest ahead of his upcoming trial on charges of organizing an anti-Putin rally in May.
Some Russian analysts believe that the regime is well on its way to crushing the opposition movement, which attracted the support of much of the urban middle class. Others regard the repression as the death spasms of an exhausted autocracy. “There are classical criteria of a dying regime and its key signs are evident in Russia,” Lilia Shevtsova of the Carnegie Endowment’s Moscow office wrote recently, citing “the Kremlin’s inability either to preserve the status quo or begin changes.” Either side might be right, though our bet is with Ms. Shevtsova.

What’s strange is that the Obama administration would seek to undertake a major new piece of business with Mr. Putin without regard for this ugly climate. New U.S.-Russian nuclear warhead reductions, while welcome, are hardly urgent: The big challenges of nuclear weapons lie elsewhere in the world. At the same time, the survival of a pro-democracy movement in Russia is an important and pressing U.S. interest, just as Mr. Putin’s growing hostility to the United States threatens U.S. initiatives in the Middle East and elsewhere. Maybe offering Mr. Putin a new nuclear weapons deal is the best way to counter his noxious policies — but it is hard to see how.

U.N. Drone Investigator: If Facts Lead to U.S. War Crimes, So Be It

 Ben Emmerson wants to be clear: He’s not out to ban flying killer robots used by the CIA or the U.S. military. But the 49-year-old British lawyer is about to become the bane of the drones’ existence, thanks to the United Nations inquiry he launched last week into their deadly operations.

(Wired.com) Emerson, the United Nations’ special rapporteur for human rights and counterterrorism, will spend the next five months doing something the Obama administration has thoroughly resisted: unearthing the dirty secrets of a global counterterrorism campaign that largely relies on rapidly proliferating drone technology. Announced on Thursday in London, it’s the first international inquiry into the drone program, and one that carries the imprimatur of the world body. By the next session of the United Nations in the fall, Emmerson hopes to provide the General Assembly with an report on 25 drone strikes in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and Palestine where civilian deaths are credibly alleged.

That carries the possibility of a reckoning with the human damage left by drones, the first such witnessing by the international community. Accountability, Emmerson tells Danger Room in a Monday phone interview, “is the central purpose of the report.” He’s not shying away from the possibility of digging up evidence of “war crimes,” should the facts point in that direction. But despite the Obama administration’s secrecy about the drone strikes to date, he’s optimistic that the world’s foremost users of lethal drone tech will cooperate with him.

In conversation, Emmerson, who’s served as special rapporteur since 2011, doesn’t sound like a drone opponent or a drone skeptic. He sounds more like a drone realist. “Let’s face it, they’re here to stay,” he says, shortly after pausing to charge his cellphone during a trip to New York to prep for his inquiry. “This technology, as I say, is a reality. It is cheap, both in economic terms and in the risk to the lives of the service personnel who are from the sending state.

“And for that reason there are real concerns that because it is so cheap, it can be used with a degree of frequency that other, more risk-based forms of engagement like fixed-wing manned aircraft or helicopters are not,” Emmerson says. “And the result is there’s a perception of the frequency and intensity with which this technology is used is exponentially different, and as a result, there is necessarily a correspondingly greater risk of civilian casualties.”

Russia’s Forces Are Ready for War – Army Chief

(RIA Novosti) – Russia’s armed forces are ready for a major war, Chief of the military’s General Staff Col. Gen. Valery Gerasimov said on Saturday.

“No one rules out the possibility of a major war, and it cannot be said that we are unprepared,” Gerasimov said, speaking at an Academy of Military Sciences meeting.

Russia’s Forces Are Ready for War - Army ChiefHis address covered key issues the armed forces face today – including outsourcing. Col.Gen Gerasimov conceded that outsourcing was necessary, in order to relieve soldiers of certain functions, but added that “outsourcing is only needed in peacetime and only at permanent bases.” He also stressed that these activities would be carried out by troops during combat or training.

President of the Academy of Military Sciences, Army General Makhmut Gareev said that the Russian Army’s approach to outsourcing needed to be completely reviewed.

“We think that the outsourcing system needs to be given a root-and-branch review: laws should be passed covering combat scenarios, their transfer to a war footing, and their full subordination to unit commanders,” Gareev explained. He also warned that unless this was done, then logistics and technical support systems would collapse.

Turning his attention to the issue of military education, Gareev slammed the current baccalaureate system involving a basic training component delivered in colleges which is supplemented by additional training in the armed forces’ academies, as entirely unsuited to military service.

He said that officers’ training is the most important challenge the high command currently faces. “Only the high command, with its highly qualified specialists, is in a position to ensure that higher educational institutions have the most sophisticated teaching and material resources, curricula and academic literature,” Gareev said.

U.S. Drone Pilot: ‘Did We Just Kill A Kid?’

(PekinTimes)

After Barack Obama joined the rest of us in mourning the slaughter of innocent children in Newtown, Conn., Sanford Berman, a Minnesota civil liberties activist, wrote me: “Obama’s tears for the dead Connecticut kids made me sick. What about weeping over the 400 or more children he killed with drone strikes?”

Indeed, our president has shown no palpable concern over those deaths, but a number of U.S. personnel — not only the CIA agents engaged in drone killings — are deeply troubled.

Peggy Noonan reports that David E. Sanger, in his book “Confront and Conceal: Obama’s Secret Wars and Surprising Use of American Power,” discovered that “some of those who operate the unmanned bombers are getting upset. They track victims for days. They watch them play with their children.” Then what happens: “‘It freaks you out’” (“Who Benefits From the ‘Avalanche of Leaks’?” Wall Street Journal, June 15).

For another example, I introduce you to Conor Friedersdorf and his account of “The Guilty Conscience of a Drone Pilot Who Killed a Child” (theatlantic.com, Dec. 19).

The subtitle: “May his story remind us that U.S. strikes have reportedly killed many times more kids than died in Newtown — and that we can do better.”

The story Friedersdorf highlights in the Atlantic first appeared in Germany’s Der Spiegel about an Air Force officer (not CIA) who “lamented the fact that he sometimes had to kill ‘good daddies’” … (and) “even attended their funerals” from far away.

And dig this, President Obama: “as a consequence of the job, he collapsed with stress-induced exhaustion and developed PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).” Yet these drones, “Hellfire missiles,” are President Obama’s favorite extra-judicial weapons against suspected terrorists.

Getting back to the Air Force officer, Brandon Bryant, with the guilty conscience. Friedersdorf’s story quotes extensively from Der Spiegel’s article, which recalls that, when Bryant got the order to fire, “he pressed a button with his left hand and marked the roof (of a shed) with a laser. The pilot sitting next to him pressed the trigger on a joystick, causing the drone to launch a Hellfire missile. There were 16 seconds left until impact …

“With seven seconds left to go, there was no one to be seen on the ground. Bryant could still have diverted the missile at that point. Then it was down to three seconds …

“Suddenly a child walked around the corner, he says. Second zero was the moment in which Bryant’s digital world collided with the real one in a village between Baghlan and Mazar-e-Sharif. Bryant saw a flash on the screen: the explosion. Parts of the building collapsed. The child had disappeared.

“Bryant had a sick feeling in his stomach.

“‘Did we just kill a kid?’ he asked the man sitting next to him.

“‘Yeah. I guess that was a kid,’ the pilot replied.

“‘Was that a kid?’ they wrote into a chat window on the monitor.

“Then someone they didn’t know answered, someone sitting in a military command center somewhere in the world who had observed their attack. ‘No. That was a dog,’ the person wrote.

“They reviewed the scene on video. A dog on two legs?”

Friedersdorf adds: “The United States kills a lot of ‘dogs on two legs.’ The Bureau of Investigative Journalism reported last August that in Pakistan’s tribal areas alone, there are at least 168 credible reports of children being killed in drone strikes.” As for those in other countries, he adds, that’s “officially secret.”

He writes: “Presidents Bush and Obama have actively prevented human-rights observers from accessing full casualty data from programs that remain officially secret, so there is no way to know the total number of children American strikes have killed in the numerous countries in which they’ve been conducted, but if we arbitrarily presume that ‘just’ 84 children have died — half the bureau’s estimate from one country — the death toll would still be more than quadruple the number of children killed in Newtown, Conn.”

Are you proud, as an American, to know this?

After reading about Obama’s silence in “The Guilty Conscience of a Drone Pilot Who Killed a Child,” does the conscience of those of us who re-elected Obama ache?

As Friedersdorf writes, Obama has never spoken of these deaths as he did about the ones in Newtown, when he said: “If there’s even one step we can take to save another child or another parent … then surely we have an obligation to try. … Are we really prepared to say that dead children are the price of our freedom?”

Do you mean, Mr. President, only the dead children of Newtown?

These targeted killings continue in our name, under the ultimate authority of our president — as the huge majority of We The People stays mute.

Nat Hentoff is a nationally renowned authority on the First Amendment and the Bill of Rights. He is a member of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, and the Cato Institute, where he is a senior fellow.

Illusion of Choice By George Carlin, Ron Paul, and Judge Napolitano

Sweeping new gun laws proposed by influential liberal think tank

Washington Post – by Philip Rucker

With President Obama readying an overhaul of the nation’s gun laws, a liberal think tank with singular influence throughout his administration is pushing for a sweeping agenda of strict new restrictions on and federal oversight of gun and ammunition sales.The Center for American Progress is recommending 13 new gun policies to the White House — some of them executive actions that would not require the approval of Congress — in what amounts to the progressive community’s wish list.

CAP’s proposals — which include requiring universal background checks, banning military-grade assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition clips, and modernizing data systems to track gun sales and enforce existing laws — are all but certain to face stiff opposition from the National Rifle Association and its many allies in Congress.Obama, as well as Vice President Biden, who is leading the administration’s gun violence task force, has voiced support for many of these measures. Yet it is unclear which policies he ultimately will propose to Congress. Biden is planning to present his group’s recommendations to Obama on Tuesday.CAP’s recommendations, presented Friday to White House officials and detailed in an 11-page report obtained by The Washington Post, establish a benchmark for what many in Obama’s liberal base are urging him to doafter last month’s massacre at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn.

“There’s nothing here that interferes with the rights of people to have a gun to protect themselves,” CAP President Neera Tanden said. But, she added, “We have daily episodes where it seems that guns are in the wrong hands, and that’s why we think it’s important that the president acts.”

On Monday, Tanden will moderate a public discussion with three Democrats who have played leading roles in the gun debate: Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who during the Clinton administration helped get the 1994 assault-weapons ban passed; Sen. Charles E. Schumer (N.Y.), who helped write that bill as a House member; and Rep. Mike Thompson (Calif.), who chairs the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force.

One of CAP’s suggestions to toughen federal regulation of gun sales is to make the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, which is currently an agency within the Department of Justice, a unit of the FBI. CAP says absorbing the ATF into the FBI would better empower the ATF to combat gun crime and illegal trafficking.

“It is a beleaguered agency lacking leadership and resources,” said Winnie Stachelberg, senior vice president of CAP. “It needs to be a well-functioning federal law enforcement agency, and we need to figure out ways to ensure that happens.”

CAP’s top recommendation is to require criminal background checks for all gun sales, closing loopholes that currently enable an estimated 40 percent of sales to occur without any questions asked. The organization also wants to add convicted stalkers and suspected terrorists to the list of those barred from purchasing firearms.

CAP is urging the Obama administration to back Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s proposal to ban assault weapons. The California Democrat wants to prohibit the sale, transfer, importation and manufacturing of military-style assault weapons and ammunition magazines that carry more than 10 bullets.

The group also suggests requiring firearms dealers to report to the federal government individuals who purchase multiple semiautomatic assault rifles within a five-day period. Current law requires reporting multiple purchases of handguns, but not semiautomatic assault rifles.

CAP also wants the administration to free public health research agencies, including the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to study the impact of gun violence on injuries and deaths. For years, lawmakers, urged by the NRA, have placed riders on spending bills that restrict these and other agencies from conducting such research.

Pentagon quietly reimburses $688 million to Pakistan

 

a1obdrone

(GEOTV) -The Pentagon quietly notified Congress this month that it would reimburse Pakistan nearly $700 million for the cost of stationing 140,000 troops on the border with Afghanistan, an effort to normalise support for the Pakistani military after nearly two years of crises and mutual retaliation, The New York Times reported.

According to the report, the United States also provides about $2 billion in annual security assistance, roughly half of which goes to reimburse Pakistan for conducting military operations to fight terrorism.

Until now, many of these reimbursements, called coalition support funds, have been held up, in part because of disputes with Pakistan over the Bin Laden raid, the operations of the CIA, and its decision to block supply lines into Afghanistan last year

. The $688 million payment – the first since this summer, covering food, ammunition and other expenses from June through November 2011 – has caused barely a ripple of protest since it was sent to Capitol Hill on Dec 7.

The absence of a reaction, American and Pakistani officials say, underscores how relations between the two countries have been gradually thawing since Pakistan reopened the NATO supply routes in July after an apology from the Obama administration for an errant American airstrike that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers in November 2011.

Empire strikes: White House to respond to Death Star petition

(CNET) -Isn’t it about time the White House had a distraction from the fiscal cliff (whatever that is)? How about the feasibility of building a real-world Death Star?

As of today, a petition calling for the government of the United States to begin construction on a Death Star by 2016 has more than 25,000 signatures on the administration’s official public suggestion page, surpassing the threshold that triggers a required response from the White House.

The petition hit the mark today, just a day before reaching its 30-day expiration date. Conveniently, petition creator “John D.” of Longmont, Colo., even provided some politician-friendly talking points to promote the idea:

By focusing our defense resources into a space-superiority platform and weapon system such as a Death Star, the government can spur job creation in the fields of construction, engineering, space exploration, and more, and strengthen our national defense.

Indeed, and since it would take 800,000 years to produce the amount of steel needed for a Death Star, we won’t have to worry about unemployment rates for the next several epochs.

 

But despite all the common sense arguments in favor of building a moon-size mega-weapon, the petition is about as likely to gain political traction as some of the other popular suggestions on the White House site, which include allowing Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, and North Carolina to secede; impeaching the president; and deporting “everyone who signed a petition to withdraw their state from the United States of America.”

Wow, one of those might actually be even more awesome than the Death Star petition.

Obama Plans African Wars

AfricanWars

(BFP) -Obama’s war-making appetite exceeds all his predecessors and then some. He’s already waging multiple direct and proxy wars.

His rhetoric about winding them down rings hollow. He wants to make the most of the next four years.

No targeted country left behind reflects his agenda. He’s ravaging the world multiple countries at a time. He’s out-of-control. He governs like a serial killer.

He plans more war on Iran, perhaps Lebanon, and full-scale intervention against Syria. He has other targets in mind. He’s insatiable. Africa dreaming explains what’s on his mind.

On December 15, 2006, the United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) was authorized. On February 6, 2007, it was announced. On October 1, 2007, it was established, and on October 1, 2008, it became operational.

It’s based in Stuttgart, Germany, not Africa. It’s responsible for warmaking and military relations throughout the continent. It’s comprised of 53 countries. Many potential targets are represented.

Washington wants the entire continent colonized and controlled. It’s resource rich. It has large amounts of oil, gas, water, gold, silver, diamonds, iron, cobalt, uranium, copper, bauxite, manganese, other valued minerals, and rich agricultural land.

In early July 2009, Obama visited sub-Saharan Africa. He signaled his intentions. In Accra, Ghana, he said:

“We have a responsibility to support those who act responsibly and to isolate those who don’t, and that is exactly what America will do.” He said Ghana and other African governments must achieve “good governance.”

His message was clear. Open the continent to Western investment and development. Privatize, privatize, privatize. Forget about providing healthcare, education, and other vital services.

Give US and other Western corporate predators free reign. Play the game the way Washington demands or suffer the consequences. Ghana got the message. Why else would Obama show up.

Libya didn’t. Gaddafi paid with his life. The country became another NATO trophy. Africa’s most developed country became a charnel house.

Egypt’s on the boil. Morsi is Washington’s man in Cairo. Street protests strongly contest his dictatorial governance. As long as he maintains US support, he can rule any way he wishes.

On December 7, the Wall Street Journal headlined “Terror Fight Shifts to Africa,” saying:

Obama may ask Congress to wage America’s war on terror against Mali, Nigeria, Libya, “and possibly other countries where militants have loose or nonexistent ties to al Qaeda’s Pakistan headquarters.”

Washington’s war on Libya created out-of-control violence and instability. Tribes, rebel gangs, and green resistance fighters battle for dominance. Puppet leaders America installed have little or no authority. No end of conflict looms.

Mali’s late March military coup appears fallout from Libya. It may be replicated elsewhere in North Africa and other areas. Niger’s endangered.

There’s more involved than meets the eye, including controlling regional resources. Besides oil, Libya, Mali, and Niger have valuable uranium deposits. Washington seeks control.

In October, EU Foreign Affairs and Security Policy head, Catherine Ashton, was involved in developing a Mali mission within 30 days. According to EU diplomats, it involves deploying 150 European military experts to train Malian and other African forces over a four to six month period.

On October 12, the Security Council approved an international military mission to Mali. Ban Ki-moon was enlisted to help develop military intervention plans. Finalizing them was planned for end of November.

France drafted the UN resolution. It was Washington’s lead attack dog on Libya. It may have the same role on Mali. In late March, monsoon season starts. Expect something early next year in advance. African troops will be involved.

Germany agreed to participate. Britain likely also. Washington remains in charge. Whatever is coming will be another Obama war. Officially it’s because Islamists seized power in northern Mali. The area replicates France in size.

Before his ouster, Gaddafi was a stabilizing force. Investments and mediation efforts prevented conflict between governing authorities and Tuareg rebels.

Things change a year ago. Heavy armed rebels mobilized. In March 2012, Long-time Malian President Amadou Toumani Toure was deposed.

Local Islamists controlled northern areas with Tauregs. Islamists with Al Qaeda ties drove them out. According to the Wall Street Journal, Obama wants congressional approval to intervene. With or without it, he’ll do what he wants.

US special forces and drone attacks may be planned. Operations may be similar to Washington’s proxy wars on Somalia and Yemen.

Administration officials call Mali a “powder keg” able to destabilize surrounding countries. They have to invent some reason to intervene. AFRICOM head General Carter Ham said:

“The conditions today are vastly different than they were previously. There are now non-Al Qaeda associated groups that present significant threats to the United States.” He urges intervention.

An unnamed official added:

“Everyone is committed to taking on violent extremism in Africa. There is a healthy debate in the administration about how best to counter the threat in the region.”

Ham said Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) raises most concern. It’s also called “the Salafist Group for Call and Combat.” Other regional groups include “the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa.”

“It is clear to me they aspire to conduct events more broadly across the region, and eventually to the United States,” claimed Ham.

“That is the ideology. That is the campaign plan. Establish the caliphate and spread the ideology. Attack Western interests. Attack democrat forms of government. We are certainly seeing it.”

It’s hard imagining anyone with command or lower authority saying these things with a straight face. America’s only enemies are ones it invents.

Real ones haven’t existed since Japan formally surrendered in August 1945. America waged permanent direct and/or proxy wars from then to now.

Multiple ones followed September 14, 2001 congressional Authorization for Use of Military Force. Some analysts believe it permits attacking any nation or group administration officials say have terrorist links.

Al Qaeda and groups with close ties are mentioned most often. Claiming it, of course, doesn’t mean it’s so. ACLU senior legislative council, Christopher Anders, expressed grave concerns. He calls another authorization for force alarming.

“This is the kind of thing that Americans could end up regretting,” he said. “We could end up in another decade long war if this crazy idea isn’t stopped.”

Obama and administration hardliners want complete freedom to invent whatever pretexts they wish to keep waging permanent wars.

Some congressional members feel the same way. An unnamed aide to one said:

“You can make a plausible case that (new threats are) in gestation and therefore we need to act now decisively to deal with (them).”

Nigeria is also mentioned. America and the IMF stoke internal violence. Western oil giants largely control its energy resources.

China made inroads with exploration and infrastructure deals. It wants more. It puts Beijing at odds with Washington and other Western interests.

Currency wars are in play. Nigeria’s foreign reserves are 80% in dollars. The rest are in euros and sterling. Russia, China, India, Iran, and other countries increasingly want less dollar dependence.

Moving away enough threatens it as the dominant world reserve currency. Washington is determined to prevent it. What’s ahead bears watching.

The more China becomes a major Nigeria player, the less dominant dollars in the country become. The same holds elsewhere in the region and other parts of the world. Destabilizing violence may be initiated to prevent it.

Washington wants unchallenged control over Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia. They’re stepping stones to global dominance. Resource rich areas are most valued.

War is America’s option of choice to secure them. With or without congressional authorization, expect continued conflicts ahead.

Expect force-fed austerity at home to pay for them. Both sides of the isle agree. So does Obama.

US admits to imprisoning Afghan children

(Digital Journal) – The United States has admitted to imprisoning  hundreds of Afghan children as ‘enemy combatants’ in a report to the United  Nations.

The Associated Press reports  that the State Department informed the world body of the detentions as part of  compliance with the UN  Convention on the Rights of the Child.

More than 200 children, who were mostly  16-year-olds according to the United States’ admission, have been captured  during the ongoing 11-year-long US invasion and occupation in Afghanistan. They  are held for about a year each at the Parwan Detention Facility, a military  prison next to Bagram  Airfield where detainees are held without charge or trial and where Afghan  President Hamid Karzai and former prisoners claim they are held in  “Guantanamo-like conditions” and tortured.

Pentagon documents report at least two  detainee homicides  committed by US troops at Bagram.

The US has been imprisoning the Afghan  children “to prevent a combatant from returning to the battlefield,” according  to the report.

“Many of them have been released or  transferred to the Afghan government,” the report states.

While the military admits that the  average age of the captured detainees is around 16, human rights advocates claim  that much younger children have been rounded up and imprisoned by US forces.

“I’ve represented children as young as  11 or 12 who have been at Bagram,” Tina M. Foster, executive director of the International Justice Network, a group that  represents Bagram detainees, told the Associated Press. Foster also questioned  the number of children imprisoned by the United States.

“I question the number 200, because  there are thousands of detainees at Parwan. There are other children whose  parents have said these children are under 18 at the time of their capture, and  the US doesn’t allow the detainees or their families to contest their age.”

Jamil Dakwar of the American Civil  Liberties Union also believes that younger children are being held in the  prison.

“It is highly likely that some children  were as young as 14 or 13 years old when they were detained by US forces,”  Dakwar told the Associated Press.

Dakwar said that imprisoning youngsters  for lengthy periods “exposes children in detention to greater risk of physical  and mental abuse, especially if they are denied access to protections guaranteed  to them under international law.”

In its last report to the United  Nations, filed in 2008, the US admitted that the military held around 500 Iraqi  children. According to that report, the US imprisoned around 2,500 children,  most of them in Iraq, during the course of the War on Terror. Children  as young as 12 were also jailed in the US military prison at Guantanamo Bay,  Cuba.

At the notorious Abu Ghraib prison  outside Baghdad, former commander Gen. Janis Karpinski said she visited child  detainees, including one boy who “looked like he was eight years old.”

Children  as young as 11 were imprisoned at Abu Ghraib. Girls, as well as boys, were  held. Both girls and boys were raped and sexually assaulted, as were older  women, by US troops and contractors at the prison; Maj. Gen. Anthony  Taguba’s scathing 2004 report  compiled in the wake of the torture  photo scandal tells of an Army translator who raped  a teenage boy while a female soldier photographed the attack.

Sadly, the vast  majority of prisoners held by the US in Iraq– as many as 90 percent of  them, according to US intelligence estimates– were innocent. Many innocent  Iraqis, especially women, were imprisoned as bargaining  chips in the hope that male relatives suspected of resisting the US-led  invasion and occupation would turn themselves in, another clear violation of  international law.

Gen. Karpinski, who was in charge of  Abu Ghraib at the time of the torture photo scandal, told the BBC that a  superior officer told her he didn’t care about innocent civilians imprisoned by  mistake.

“I don’t care if we’re holding 15,000  innocent civilians,” Maj. Gen. Walter Wodjakowski, then the second-highest Army  general in Iraq, allegedly told Karpinski. “We’re winning the war.”

Although the United States is  submitting its report in compliance with the UN Convention on the Rights of the  Child, the  US and Somalia are the only two nations which have not ratified the treaty.

The Obama administration also indirectly  supports the use of child soldiers by repeatedly granting waivers from the  Child Soldiers Protection Act, signed into law by George W. Bush in 2008, to  countries in Africa and the Middle East which use children in their armed  forces. The waivers, personally  authorized by President Barack Obama, allow war-torn nations such as Libya,  Yemen, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Sudan to receive hundreds  of millions of dollars in US military aid despite the fact that they are known  to use child soldiers.

Breaking Point: 17 US Warships And Thousands of US Soldiers Near Syrian Shore

(StratRisks) -The U.S. aircraft carrier “Dwight D Eisenhower” has arrived off the shores of Syria.

The multipurpose nuclear attack carrier the U.S.S. Dwight D Eisenhower is leading the naval assault group which has arrived in the eastern Mediterranean.

It is in close proximity to the coast of Syria. On board the ship are 70 fighter-bombers and a total 8,000 US servicemen.

The Dwight D Eisenhower joined the amphibious assault helicopter carrier Iwo Jima, which has been in the area for almost two weeks.

In all there are now 17 American warships off the Syrian coast.

Thousands of American troops near Syrian shore on USS Eisenhower

The USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, a large US Navy aircraft carrier that holds fighter bomber squadrons and 8,000 men on board, has appeared off Syrian coast yesterday amid arising speculations that the US is ready to attack Syria though there was no official announcement so far.

Media have already put forward suggestions that if Syrian President Bashar al-Assad decides to use chemical weapons against the opposition, the US will intervene the country militarily “within days”.

According to Jerusalem-based website DEBKAfile, the US has already near Syria at its disposal 10,000 fighting men, 17 warships, 70 fighter-bombers, 10 destroyers and frigates.

“The muscle is already there to be flexed,” a US official told the London Times about the US military’s presence outside of Syria.

“It’s premature to say what could happen if a decision is made to intervene. That hasn’t taken shape, we’ve not reached that kind of decision. There are a lot of options, but it [military action] could be launched rapidly, within days.”

U.S. Africa Command Now Has Permanent Spec Ops Unit

(Defense News) -Just weeks after the deadly assault on the U.S. consulate and CIA station in Benghazi, Libya, the head of the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) was for the first time given operational control over a dedicated special operations company that could be tasked with handling similar incidents in the future.

The commander’s in-extremis force (CIF) was stood up on Oct. 1, AFRICOM chief Gen. Carter Ham revealed during a talk at George Washington University’s Homeland Security Policy Institute on Dec. 3.

Until now, AFRICOM had been alone among the six U.S. geographic combatant commands without its own CIF. Before this, AFRICOM relied on the CIF assigned to the commander of the European Command.

One of the reasons given for the lack of military response during the attack on the American consulate and CIA station in Benghazi on Sept. 11 was that the special operations quick reaction unit staged in Europe was unable to get there in time.

The European-based CIF was on a training mission in Croatia when the call from the Pentagon came in, but within hours they had positioned to Sigonella Naval Air Station in Sicily, Italy, where they gathered up pre-positioned stocks and prepared to fly the 500 miles to Libya.

“Those forces worked as advertised, and they were in position,” Special Operations Command (SOCOM) deputy commander Lt. Gen. John Mulholland told a special operations conference in Washington Nov. 28. “I’ll leave it at that because other decisions came into play that perhaps aren’t privy to SOCOM.”

Coming back to the subject later in his talk, Mulholland would only say that once the CIF landed at Sigonella, “other decisions took place subsequent to that that other commanders can speak to.”

The unit designation and location of the AFRICOM CIF is unclear, but the 10th Special Forces Group is assigned to Africa and operates out of Stuttgart, Germany, and Fort Carson, Colo.

Ham’s speech otherwise avoided Benghazi, which was unsurprising given the political powder keg the subject remains.

Ham downplayed any active combat role for U.S. forces on the continent, however, saying “it’s best to think of us in a supporting and an enabling role.”

He did offer stark warnings about the radical Islamist threat in Mali, where a military coup dissolved the government, allowing radical elements to take over the northern portion of the country.

“As each day goes by, al-Qaida and other organizations are strengthening their hold in northern Mali,” the general said. “So there is a compelling need for the international community, led by Africans, to address that.”

His comments on the security situation in North Africa’s Sahara and Sahel region were no less stark, however.

There is a “growing linkage, a growing network and collaboration and synchronization among the various violent extremist organizations” in the region, he warned, “which I think poses the greatest threat to regional stability, more broadly across Africa, certainly into Europe, and to the United States,” he said.

And those threats are growing. Carter added that Boko Haram, an Islamic group in northern Nigeria, “is receiving financial support, some training, probably some explosives from al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, in a relationship that goes both ways.”

The al-Qaida franchise is among the most well-funded among the international terror group’s branches, Ham said, raising money from kidnappings, extortion and illicit trafficking in fuel and other commodities, including running illegal drugs north to Europe.

On Nov. 13, the African Union agreed to send approximately 3,000 troops to northern Mali to battle the rebels.

Ham is preparing to leave Africa Command as soon as Army Gen. David Rodriguez, who has been tapped to replace him, is approved by the Senate. Rodriguez was nominated by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on Oct. 18 to replace Ham, who has served at AFRICOM commander since March, 2011.

U.S. to Iran: We captured your game-show host

dronepic

(Dirk Would?) In what appears to be the latest phase in the “I’m better than you” saga, Dirk Would? of Citizens Awareness Vanguard has learned from whispers around the bend, that the U.S is claiming to have captured popular Iranian game-show host, Vinjeh Osi-Linivu Smith.

Smith is famously known and beloved for hosting Iran’s most popular game show, “Wheel of Misfortune.”

Leon Panetta and several military specialists confirmed that they indeed have captured Smith earlier this week. CAV has learned that Panetta and his droners are pissed about Iran taking down their predator drone. Although the United States denies that this has happened.

Iran counter-punched those denials by telling them go check your shit then and see if the count is the same as it was when it left the drone garage.

Sources confirmed that the United States won’t release Smith until Iran simply cries uncle and recants their statements about shooting down their drone. According to those familiar with the situation, Panetta is also demanding that Iran buy Israel a vowel and scale back their syllables.

Chief of Television Game Show Operations, Sharif Aran Jones, has not returned any of CAV’s phone calls to either deny or confirm these reports. However, someone close to the person nearest to this saga told CAV that they could care less about the game show host and that the show was doing terrible in ratings.

More on this situation as it developes.

Learn more at: Another tall tale told by Derek Wood.com

Rand Paul Votes in Favor of $631 Billion U.S. Defense Legislation

(EPJ) Rand Paul’s To Do List before officially running for president:

Visit is Israel (scheduled for January)
Make sure Military-Industrial Compex is funded (Check)

The Senate, by a 98-0 vote, authorized $525.3 billion in baseline military spending, trimming only a small chunk from the administration’s $525.4 billion request. Thebill also authorizes $88.5 billion more for ongoing wars.

The bill supports the Pentagon’s plans for the Air Force to spend $3.7 billion on the F-35 fighter program and the Navy to spend $3.2 billion, on what is the biggest weapon program in history.

The Military Corp Times reports:

The legislation also largely endorses the Army’s vehicle and helicopter programs. plans. It authorizes the Army to enter into a five-year procurement contract for CH-47 Chinook helicopters made by Boeing.

The upper chamber’s bill also endorses the Army’s plans to spend $639.9 million in 2013 to develop its envisioned Ground Combat Vehicle. (GCV). The legislation also fully supports the ground service’s $373.9 million Paladin Integrated Management effort and its $318 million plan to buy 58 Stryker vehicles.

The Army request for ed $1.3 billion to buy UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters also was approved. Sure, said the Senate.

US Senate Recommends Studying Syria No-Fly Zone

(StratRisks) -The US Senate recommended that US President Barack Obama study the possibility of imposing the no-fly zone over Syria in an amendment approved on Wednesday.

The senators have voted 92-6 to require the Pentagon to report on options for using U.S. military assets to prevent Syrian President Bashar al-Assad from using air power against opposition forces.

“This amendment is simply a way of saying we in the Senate are concerned, care about the slaughter going on in Syria and agitated that those in the rest of the world are not doing more,” Senator from Connecticut Joseph Lieberman said introducing the amendment.

The amendment gives Defense Secretary Leon Panetta 90 days after the enactment of the National Defense Authorization Act to report back to the House and Senate defense committees what options the US has to try to contain the Syrian conflict.

The US administration earlier said it opposed the move. The White House said, however, that it was ready to study all options for ending the Syrian conflict.

Attack of the Drones

by Scott Creighton

You gotta watch this. Drone pilots in New Mexico training by locking on civilian cars driving down the road in New Mexico. They wear flight suits in their trailers while “flying” the drones so they “feel” more like pilots. They black out their names during the press call so people can’t look them up and send them hate mail I guess. And we now train more of these guys than we do actual pilots cus its cheaper and the drones can fly around in the air over occupied areas much longer than fighter jets, thus constantly terrifying the indigenous people of the area.

Global Governance Begins on December 14

(americanthinker.com) The International Telecommunications Union (ITU), an imprint of the UN, is holding its World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) from December 3-14, 2012. The stated purpose of the WCIT is to update the UN’s “global treaty” on telecommunications to deal more directly and comprehensively with the internet. Knowing who controls the UN, it is not hard to see that a primary aim of the updated “treaty” will be to give credence to the regulation and monitoring of online activity in ways that are desirable to the (authoritarian) majority of member states.

Here is a portion of the ITU’s official explanation of the need for a new regulatory regime, in its Resolution 146:

[T]he International Telecommunication Regulations (ITRs) were last amended in Melbourne in 1988.

[T]he international telecommunications environment has significantly evolved, both from the technical and policy perspectives, and… it continues to evolve rapidly.

[A]dvances in technology have resulted in an increased use of IP-enabled infrastructure and relevant applications presenting both opportunities and challenges for ITU Member States and Sector Members.

[I]n order for ITU to maintain its pre-eminent role in global telecommunications, it must continue to demonstrate its capacity to respond adequately to the rapidly changing telecommunication environment.

[I]t is important to ensure that the ITRs [International Telecommunications Regulations] are reviewed and, if deemed appropriate, revised and updated in a timely manner in order to facilitate cooperation and coordination among Member States and to reflect accurately the relations between Member States, Sector Members, administrations and recognized operating agencies.

In case you missed a few classes of Regulatory Bureaucracy Speak 101, please allow me to translate:

Since we last updated our global telecommunications regulations, the internet, operating in a relatively unregulated environment, has grown by leaps and bounds, as human productive endeavors when left unregulated have an annoying tendency to do. Therefore, in order to keep this wildly successful communications network from getting any farther ahead of our regulatory apparatus, it is time to develop a strong, binding framework to limit internet growth, use, and activity in ways deemed necessary by those UN member states, such as China, Russia, and Iran, that are opposed on principle to unrestricted international communication, on the grounds that it tends to foster an informed and rebellious population.

In sum, authoritarian regimes with a vested interest in limiting public access to the outside world, or monitoring and censoring communications for “sensitive” content, are beginning to question whether the ITU is a sufficient guarantor of their control over their inmates with regard to global communication. If we do not act now to “demonstrate our capacity to respond adequately,” our “pre-eminent role in global telecommunications” — i.e., our role as facilitator of the statist status quo — will be challenged. In other words, if Vladimir thinks we are not serving his interests anymore, he will get angry, and no one wants to see Vladimir angry.

Is this translation of mine all just a lot of conservative fear-mongering about an innocent UN agency going about its daily business of fostering “supportive, transparent, pro-competitive, and predictable policies,” as Resolution 146 says?

Well, one easy way to check on that would be to read through the WCIT meeting’s official agenda. Unfortunately, that agenda, though linked on the ITU website, is password-protected to restrict access to members of the global bureaucracy. Specifically, the agenda may officially be read only by those government administrators, relevant apparatchiks, and contributing academics who are members of the Telecommunication Information Exchange Service. Yes, that is TIES — you could not invent a more suitable acronym for the “information service” of a global regulatory agency.

Internet users and providers, including even some, such as Google, that have a spotty history of resisting government encroachments into their industry, are expressing grave concerns about the ITU’s intentions. However, the ITU’s secretary-general, Hamadoun I. Touré, seeks to reassure us that this meeting of the UN’s telecommunications regulatory agency has nothing to do with regulating communication. Asked on Al-Jazeera why, given the extraordinary success of the internet as an unregulated domain, the ITU is choosing to write regulations now, he said:

The ITRs that is going to take place in Dubai is not about that. The ITRs is not about internet regulation. I’m very much surprised that all the debate is about this. The ITRs is revising the 1988 treaty that set the stage for the information society we are in today. But at the time, in 1988, it was only telephone communications, mainly, and back then, the settlement between operators was based on time, distance, and location. Today, we have a very significant growth of voice, video, and data, and therefore there is a need to fine tune the business model so that there is more investment in the infrastructure, to cope with the exponential growth in voice, video, and data traffic…. It’s not about internet freedom. Nobody today would dare to go against the freedom of the internet.

Lesson One on how to recognize a liar: if absolutely everything a man says is provably untrue, he is probably lying. (Merely ignorant people speak the truth occasionally, just by accident.)

“The ITRs” — that is, the International Communications Regulations — are “not about regulation.” So when we read, as in Resolution 146 above, that the International Telecommunications Regulations must be “revised and updated in a timely manner,” this revision and updating (of “Regulations”) is somehow unrelated to regulation. Well, that’s comforting.

The purpose of this conference — which the chief regulator, cutting to the chase, does not refer to by its actual name (WCIT), but by its primary objective, the ITRs that will be produced there — is to revise “the 1988 treaty that set the stage for the information society we are in today.” What a perfect self-revelation of the power-mad soul of a globalist regulator. The UN treaty on telecommunications, Touré claims, “set the stage” for the internet revolution in mass communications. Brilliant researchers, technological whiz kids, and adventurous entrepreneurs did not make it happen; UN bureaucrats did.

And we must put this absurd self-aggrandizement in the context of Touré’s very next sentence: “But at the time, in 1988, it was only telephone communications, mainly.” So the 1988 UN regulations “set the stage” for the internet boom, even though they had nothing to do with the internet. To be fair, this statement is undoubtedly true, though not in a way that Touré would ever concede: it was indeed the lack of UN regulations regarding the internet that made its exponential growth possible.

And this unfettered growth, of course — the sense that the internet is expanding “out of control” — is precisely the “challenge” that the new ITRs will be designed to address. Note, as well, how reminiscent Touré’s words are of another famous anti-freedom globalist, who, in his well-known “You didn’t build that” remarks, offered the following:

The internet didn’t get created on its own; government research created the internet, so that all the companies could make money off the internet.

By “on its own,” in that sentence, President Obama means “by individuals.” His point, like the ITU secretary-general’s, is that coercive regulatory authorities are ultimately responsible for the existence and success of the internet, as they are responsible for the existence and success of everything. This makes government the ultimate proprietor of all things, thus authorizing government to insert itself into these things at its own discretion.

Another Obamaesque point from Touré: the development of new communications technology creates “a need to fine tune the business model so that there is more investment in the infrastructure.” Market forces, you see, could never develop “infrastructure” to meet the needs of business expansion — rather, government, observing current conditions, must determine what people need, and make or arrange the appropriate “investments” to provide it. Again, this reinforces the notion of government as sole proprietor of the underlying conditions of commerce — that is, of the market itself. Government creates the terms and conditions, and then “allows” people to carry out their business on its well-regulated turf. The “free market,” the roads, the internet — all of these are, in the authoritarian’s view, “infrastructure,” and we all know that “infrastructure” is in the public domain. The need for “infrastructure” is now the left’s euphemistic argument for government regulation of everything.

The best part of Touré’s lying clinic, however, is saved for last: “Nobody today would dare to go against the freedom of the internet.” If a sixth grade naïf said such a thing, a responsible adult would smile kindly, and then gently explain that there are, sadly, many people in the world who do not believe men should be free. If the chief regulator of the UN’s telecommunications agency says it, you should feel like the humans in the movie Mars Attacks as the aliens recite their memorized English sentence — “Don’t run, we are your friends” — while zapping everyone in sight.

The UN agenda is dominated by national governments that certainly would, and do, dare to “go against the freedom of the internet.” (Ask a Chinese exchange student if she has a Facebook account, and see what response you get. Actually, don’t ask — those kids don’t need any added fear in their lives.) Of course Touré knows this. His explicit denial of the obvious proves him a (bad) liar. “Freedom of the internet,” as defined by the UN, has precisely the same validity and purpose as the word “Democratic” in the name Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

So what is this all about? It is often said that the first task in a modern military occupation is to take control of the means of mass communication, thereby to control the dissemination of information. The internet, by virtue of its having spread throughout the world so quickly, and of its being largely immune to national boundaries, creates a special problem for authoritarian governments which are, in effect, occupying forces in their own nations.

Certain governments have taken many steps to curtail internet activity within their own borders, of course. The problem is that the very free nature of the internet itself tends to shine a bright spotlight on the oppressiveness of such national policies. Far preferable for such suppressors of speech, then, would be an “international treaty” reached by “global consensus” that creates a system of loopholes for the suppression of speech on grounds of “national security” and the “prevention of foreign interference in a sovereign nation’s political process.”

In short, suppression of undesirable political speech, both within and between nations, would be much easier and less subject to scrutiny if it could be undertaken with the imprimatur of a UN treaty full of deliberately vague language about “protecting the integrity of a nation’s self-determination,” for example. Furthermore, once such a treaty — i.e., set of regulations — becomes the agreed upon standard for all or most nations, its euphemisms will begin to sound more palatable and reasonable to an inattentive public. (“After all, it isn’t right that foreigners should be stirring up civil discord and anti-government sentiment, is it?”) Before you know it, today’s critics of the ITU’s agenda will be echoing John Boehner’s post-election capitulations on ObamaCare — “it’s the law of the land.”

No surprise, then, that the main impetus behind the implementation of new regulations, and the granting of greater authority to the ITU itself, comes from Russia and China. (See Declan McCullagh’s observations on this threat here, and L. Gordon Crovitz’ Wall Street Journal piece here.) Online fraud, spam, and issues of protecting public morals will all be used as convenient cover for creating international authority for national authoritarianism.

It seems likely that the new ITRs — ushered in under the guise of modernizing “infrastructure” — will have as their main purpose and effect the whitewashing of despotic suppression of free speech, monitoring of users, and restriction of users’ access to information not approved for dissemination by the state. These methods are already used by some governments without (official) UN approval. The formal go-ahead from UN headquarters, however, will make the job of crushing internet age resistance movements (think of Iran’s Green Revolution) much easier, by allowing the oppressive regime to file formal grievances against groups or governments that it deems to be violating its national sovereignty or undermining its political system.

This quiet UN takeover of the internet is the important first step in a new kind of occupation. The globalists, with the help of the re-elected Obama administration, are going to move forward quickly with their plans for what Al Gore and Herman van Rompuy call “global governance.” A key part of this process is the reduction of the world’s last defense against authoritarianism — the United States of America — to the status of just another mild-mannered vote at the UN. Enter Barack Obama, with his hyper-conciliation to the Muslim Brotherhood, his promise to Vladimir Putin to finish dismantling America’s defenses after his re-election, and his remaking of a prosperous constitutional republic as an economically doomed leftist regulatory state.

Just as hyper-regulation within a nation subverts representative government, by creating a panoply of bureaucratic directives that supervene upon changing electoral tides, so international hyper-regulation will have the effect of nullifying any transnational voice of unified dissent — specifically, any voice speaking on behalf of the free exchange of ideas.

The range of speech, both with regard to content and dissemination, will be curtailed by the ITU’s proposed regulations. That will be the point of these regulations. They will help authoritarians preserve their power, prevent the oppressed from organizing from a distance, and restrict the much needed influx of moral support from abroad.

Now, Mr. Obama, if you will just sign one more executive order, Agenda 21 in its entirety will become “the law of the land,” and the forced migration may proceed — gently at first, as we don’t want to startle anyone. But don’t worry, if the objections get too boisterous, we can always assert the national security provisions of the International Telecommunications Regulations to tamp things down a little. Those ITRs are proving very effective for normalizing conditions in China, Russia, and Iran. And your Department of Homeland Security has already anticipated this eventuality by introducing into its guidelines on domestic terrorism language identifying people who revere liberty as potential security threats.

In any case, as November 6 proved, at least 140 million American adults can be effectively subdued by repeatedly chanting, “Don’t run, we are your friends.”

Obama Covertly Signs Directive Authorizing Military to Control the Internet

(Occupy Corporatism) -Last week, the Senate failed to pass hurried cybersecurity legislation. To ensure privacy on the Web, the Electronic Communications Privacy Act was revised. Senator Harry Reid explained: “The bill that was and is the most important to the intelligence community and the Pentagon was just killed, and that was cybersecurity. Mr. President, I had a number of people come to me during the day and say ‘Are you going to allow relevant minutes on this?’ I said, ‘Sure.’ They said, ‘How about five?’ I said, ‘Fine.’ But Mr. President, whatever we do on this bill isn’t enough for the [U.S.] Chamber of Commerce. Not enough. So everyone should understand cybersecurity is dead for this Congress.”

Senators Lieberman and Collins concocted the “SECURE IT Act” that restricted the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) from new authority to govern cybersecurity and digital controls over privately owned power grids and internet service providers.

In another move by the Senate, the Federal Trade Commission was given jurisdiction (again) to fight internet fraud.

The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) filed a Freedom of Information Act (FIOA) request to obtain a copy of Presidential Policy Directive 20 (PPD20) or the new cybersecurity declaration from the executive branch of our US gover nment.

Obama has outlined a protocol that explains procedures that enable the military industrial complex to prevent digital attacks from foreign nations, hackers and any other definable threat to national security by specifying “constitutes an “offensive” and a “defensive” action in the rapidly evolving world of cyberwar and cyberterrorism, where an attack can be launched in milliseconds by unknown assailants utilizing a circuitous route.”

It is said that PPD20 directs the military to take over the internet in the event a cyber-attack is acknowledged by the President. Obama has outlined a protocol that explains procedures that enable the military industrial complex to prevent digital attacks from foreign nations, hackers and any other definable threat to national security on the internet. This “secret law” allows the National Security Agency (NSA) and Pentagon to employ armed forces to ensure American cyber-infrastructure and digital communications.

In March, to convince Congress to vote for legislation (that was subsequently voted down) that would empower the DHS to protect the US government against cyber-attacks, Obama staged hacker attack to US infrastructure with the intention “to provide all senators with an appreciation for new legislative authorities that would help the U.S. government prevent and more quickly respond to cyber-attacks.”

A classified briefing on the “hypothetical cyber-attack against United States critical infrastructure networks” was held as well.

The focus of attack was:

• U.S. banks
• Power grids
• Telecommunications systems

The blame for the lack of cohesive cybersecurity is placed on public and private corporations because of their lack of cooperation with the federal government, according to Mark Weatherford, deputy undersecretary for cybersecurity of DHS. At a Security Innovation Network conference Weatherford asserts: “It’s not a technical issue. The governance of security is equally as important as the technology.”

However these systems are not connected to the internet and therefore that argument is moot. In fact, the power grid and public water systems “are rarely connected directly to the public internet. And that makes gaining access to grid-controlling networks a challenge for all but the most dedicated, motivated and skilled — nation-states, in other words.”

The NSA’s involvement in cybersecurity has been covert which makes Congressional legislation difficult because pin-pointing the NSA’s exact authority is nearly impossible.

The PPD20 is beyond an executive order. This is a declaration by the first American Dictator-in-Chief who plans to use military force to ensure over-reaching governmental control over the Web.

The UN has offered to assist sovereign countries in internet surveillance for anti-terrorism purposes. In a recently published report entitled “The Use of the Internet for Terrorist Purposes” (UITP), the UN claims that social media sites are used for terroristic schemes in terms of organization and recruitment; specifically Skype, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

The International Telecommunications Union (ITU), an extension of the UN, became the UN’s official move toward totalitarian control over the internet. And in December of this year, Dubai, India will be hosting their conference which will decide the globalist stance on the free flow of information on the Web.

Hamadoun Toure, the ITU secretary-general, stated that: “When an invention becomes used by billions across the world, it no longer remains the sole property of one nation, however powerful that nation might be.”

The UN’s ITU proclaims that because the internet is a “global entity” that the UN should have jurisdiction over it, manage its abilities according to global UN standards and engage restrictions that could be installed at the fundamental level of the internet to prevent any infractions of international mandates. The UN wants to include the domain-name system along with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which is currently a privately owned US non-profit organization.

It is expected that the ITU would begin a sort of taxation that international telecommunications corporations would be expected to pay for the ITU’s handling of web traffic as it flows across the world. ITU members would be privy to the new-found cash flow that would be in the hands of international governance; which could begin to line the pockets of the UN in record time.

In October, Janet Napolitano, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) claims that unspecified reports coming from US financial institutions assert that hackers are “actively” attacking them. Napolitano said: “Right now, financial institutions are actively under attack. We know that. I’m not giving you any classified information… I will say this has involved some of our nation’s largest institutions. We’ve also had our stock exchanges attacked over the last [few] years, so we know… there are vulnerabilities.”