Organizing Notes

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....

My Photo
Location: Brunswick, ME, United States

The collapsing US military & economic empire is making Washington & NATO even more dangerous. US could not beat the Taliban but thinks it can take on China-Russia-Iran...a sign of psychopathology for sure. We must all do more to help stop this western corporate arrogance that puts the future generations lives in despair. @BruceKGagnon

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Peace in the New Year!

Checking in from the Crooked River State Park next to the King's Bay nuclear submarine base on the Georgia-Florida border.  We vigiled at the front gate of the navy base yesterday as workers were going home.  I handed out quite a few leaflets to drivers as I stood in the concrete strip in the middle of the road in the lane exiting the base.  Folks had to wait at a traffic light so it was hard to avoid me.  About a dozen of us were spread out on various corners with signs, banners, and leaflets.  I only received 3-4 negative responses as I kept wishing the drivers a Happy New Year.  It was more positive than I would have anticipated.

Our crowded retreat (25 of us) inside a cabin at the state park began this morning with me speaking about the work of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space.  We had a lively question and answer session following my talk.

After lunch some of us walked on the nature trails through the woods to the marsh so we could get a view of the back side of the navy base where the nuclear killing machines are docked.  Then we went back to the cabin and had an interesting discussion about the current state of the Catholic church - one active and three former Catholic priests led the discussion.

Tonight after dinner we go back to the gate of the navy base for a candlelight vigil to bring on the new year.  Can't think of a better place to be than here and so glad to be back with so many long-time peace friends and co-workers.  Thirty-four years this annual event has happened here at the base - a lesson in stick-to-it-ivness and a statement that we will not ignore the waste, insanity, and immorality of the nuclear arms machine.

Best in the new year to all of you - or as they say here down south - 'happy new year y'all'.  Love and peace to you and your families and best wishes in your work for justice and real peace.

Stay active and remember that you are not alone - you don't have to do it all - just do your bit and see how an engaged global citizenry adds up to something powerful!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Walking for Our Future

The Navajo Nation sits on one of the richest energy corridors in the United States, and for close to a century, we have been on the frontline on resource colonization to provide cheap energy and water to the cities in the Southwest. Since the 1920's, our land and people have been sacrificed for energy extraction for oil, gas, uranium, and coal, which is poisoning our land, water, air, and people. Despite being at the forefront of energy extraction, our people do not see its benefits; approximately 1/4 of our people today live without electricity and running water on the Navajo Nation, while our economy functions at an unemployment rate of about 60%, and our young people are leaving due to lack of opportunity. Now our people and land are facing the onset fracking and a proposed pipeline, which will transport crude oil through 130 miles in Dinétah, the emergence place of our people, in the name of "economic development".

As young Diné people, we realize that we can't continue on like this. We need clean air, water, and a viable lifeway for our people and for all human beings. In facing this crisis of our future, the idea of walking to raise awareness was born.

We are walking to honor the legacy of our ancestors during Hwééldi, who, a 150 years ago, were forced to walk hundreds of miles in the winter during away from our homelands in the winter to be imprisoned for four years in the name of American colonization. During this time of great suffering, our ancestors thought of our homeland, mountains, and prayed that future generations would carry on our way of life. It is in their memory and out of this profound love for the land that we are walking. It is time to heal from the legacy and trauma of colonization that we having been living under for too long.

It is our intention to walk throughout the Navajo Nation to document both the beauty of land and people and how this is being desecrated by resource extraction. We will do this through a social media campaign and a documentary films. Along our route, we will visit communities to listen to the issues our people are facing and share information about the state of water, air, land, and health, as our communities often have very little access to media or information about these issues. Our hope is that we can help to inspire our people to become engage in the care our land, air, and water, and culture so that we will have a future as Diné.

On January 6, 2015, we will start from the fireplace and doorway of Diné Bikéyah, at Dził Nahodiłii (Huerfano, NM) and Ch'ool'i'i , the emergence place of our people, which is threatened by fracking. There are over 400 proposed drill sites and within the past couple months over 100 have been started in the region. From there we will walk to communities through the Eastern Agency, and then to Tsoodzil (Mt. Taylor, Grants, NM) which also threaten by uranium mining. This first leg of our journey will be nearly 300 miles, and will take us approximately 3 weeks.

In the seasons to come, we will extend our walk to the other mountains and regions of Diné Bikéyah. To Doo'o'k'osliid (San Francisco Peak, Flagstaff, AZ) in the Spring, the Dibé Ntsáá (Hesperus, CO) in the Summer, and in the fall we will go all the way to Sisnajiní (Blanca Peak, Alamosa, CO). All combined, we will be walking over 1000 miles in 2015.

We are asking for support to cover the expenses of this journey through 2015 including gear, food, media/outreach and educational materials.

Gear - It is our intention to use as little fossil fuels as possible during our journey, so we want to carry as much as possible, therefore we are asking for funding for packs and lightweight gear including sleeping bags, tents, etc... We will also be facing extreme weather during this walk, so funding will also be used for jackets, thermals, and other cold/extreme weather clothing. We also will be needing socks, good shoes, and first aid supplies to keep us going.

Food - food to feed our walkers daily and our support crew.

Media/Outreach - a major component of this walk is to raise awareness about the issues we are facing and document the impacts of resource colonization, so we need funding for media equipment and too get the word out via internet, newspaper, radio, and television.

Educational Materials - this is to cover the expense of printing materials and documents to distribute to communities as we pass through. We want to share as much information as possible.

Axhé'hee! Thank you for your support!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Exploding Navy Budget Threatens Food Stamps

I leave early Monday for St. Mary's, Georgia where I will join the annual King's Bay nuclear submarine base protest vigil on New Year's Eve.  This alternative New Year event has been going on for something like 35 years.  While I lived in Florida I must have attended more than 20 of these.  Folks hold a retreat, share food, and review their activism at the Crooked River State Park which is located next door to the nuclear sub base.  I've missed these events since we moved to Maine in 2003 and was excited to be invited to come and speak during the retreat this year.

(President Jimmy Carter built the nuclear submarine base in his home state of Georgia. During his campaign for the presidency he often declared, "The arms race is a disgrace to the human race.")

Once I get home on January 3 I will just have a chance to catch my breath before repacking and heading to Seattle for the Nipponzan Myohoji annual peace walk to the nuclear submarine base at Bangor in Washington state.  So I will go from the east coast nuke sub base - back home in Maine to Bath where the Navy builds destroyers - then to the west coast nuke sub base.  So my ears are tuned these days to Navy shipbuilding issues.

Along those lines came an article today called Navy Tries to Cover Up New Carrier’s Exploding Cost.

The story begins with:

Recently, the Project On Government Oversight reported on the unaffordability of the Navy’s long-term shipbuilding budget and on the fact that its acquisition plans will actually cost much more than the service expects. According to the Congressional Budget Office, which uses a more realistic way of evaluating long-term acquisition plans, the Navy will need $76 billion more than it has budgeted for over the next three decades. This is on top of a preexisting $60 billion budget shortfall resulting from the forthcoming Ohio-class replacement submarine program.

The cost overruns in Navy shipbuilding are massive.  The profits for the weapons corporations are huge.  But even with the Pentagon's damn near total control of the federal budget there is still even more $$$ needed for the expensive Navy warships, new fighter jets, satellites, and launch vehicles the military industrial complex wants to build. Bottom line is that there is not enough $$$ to go around.  They are cutting troop levels and benefits for military personnel.  But that is chump change compared to the cost of these big-ticket items.

Construction of a dozen Ohio-class submarines – a major component of the Navy’s nuclear strategy – is projected to cost between $79 billion and $92 billion alone.  One new aircraft carrier will cost $13 billion.  The standard destroyers built here in Bath were costing $1.5 billion per copy but the new Zumwalt 'stealth' destroyers are going to cost more than $4 billion each.

How will Congress pay for all these high-tech weapons programs?  One solution is to cut food stamps.  I read the other day that all incoming Republican senators have pledged to eliminate the food stamp program.  One out of every six Americans now receive food stamps. The average monthly food stamp benefit is $135. White people across the US are the largest recipients of food stamps.

What else will the 'warriors' try to cut so they can keep building the empire's war machines?  It's no wonder that the country is falling apart as so much money is wasted on these very expensive weapons systems that do nothing to preserve life nor help us prepare for climate change or growing global poverty.

The freight train called 'endless war' is heading for a collision with the train called 'social progress'. 

I will be honored to stand with local peaceniks on both coasts in protest of these obscene Navy programs.

History Lesson: 'The Negro Problem' in St. Louis

From KETC, Living St. Louis Producer Jim Kirchherr looks back at the ethnic, political and social conflicts taking place in East St. Louis in the early 1900s. These tensions erupted into violence on July 1, 1917, after police officers were shot.

Sunday Song

Saturday, December 27, 2014

NSA Abuse of Spy Power

On Christmas Eve, the National Security Agency released a trove of documents detailing 12 years’ worth of illegal activity by the spy agency. Included in the files are stories of employees using electronic surveillance tools to snoop on spouses, the collection of American citizens’ communications and other widespread abuses. RT’s Lindsay France breaks down the documents.

Friday, December 26, 2014

North Korea Didn't Do It

Seeing Behind the Corporate Spin

  • There have been some rumblings from officials in Russia in recent days.  I caught something like "the US needs to take another look at the real story behind the shooting down of Malaysian passenger jet over Ukraine last July."  The US-NATO were quick to blame Russia after the plane was shot down - the same kind of campaign we now see with North Korea over the Sony 'comedy' that I believe is truly aimed at creating more antipathy towards that nation.  Today I stumbled upon this fascinating story about an eye witness who claims that it was a Ukrainian military jet that accidentally took down the Malaysian airliner.  The witness alleges that he saw the Ukrainian pilot step from the fighter and heard him say: 

The phrase he said after he was taken out of the jet: “The aircraft, it was not the one”. And in the evening there was a phrase, a question from a pilot for him, to the same Voloshin: “What about the aircraft?”. And he answered: “The aircraft got on a wrong time to a wrong place”.

The witness also claims that this Ukranian plane was armed with air-to-air missiles and had been used.  Maybe there is something to this..... you can see the whole story here

  • Over the years I've learned to question all the big announcements - our government has a particular MO (Method of Operation) and after awhile its not so hard to read between the lines.  Many people share this view of our government and are often called conspiracy theorists as a result.  (I am OK with being tagged as a conspiracy buff. Who can argue that the corporate oligarchy doesn't make plans quietly behind the curtains to increase their wealth and power and to keep down the working class and poor?  Who can argue that they are not playing the grand chessboard for global control. Mr. Big likely calls it all 'good planning'.)
  • The alleged Sony hack job, blamed on North Korea, is one such instance where I instantly paused.  You can smell false flag all over it.  But I'm no computer expert and am just operating on instinct and previous experience (which is nothing to sneeze at).  What would the experts say?  I ran across an article called "No, North Korea Didn't Hack Sony" written by Marc Rogers (principal security researcher for CloudFlare, the website optimization and security company that’s looking to save the Internet. He has worked in the security industry for almost 20 years, including a decade managing security in the U.K. operator Vodafone plc and five years as CSO for a real estate and asset management conglomerate in South Korea. Marc sees himself as a security evangelist who has a positive outlook on how security should be implemented in today’s global organizations. It’s this outlook that Marc used when he helped put together the award winning BBC series The Real Hustle. He is also the head of security at DEF CON, the world’s largest hacker conference.)  So Rogers wrote in part:

All the evidence leads me to believe that the great Sony Pictures hack of 2014 is far more likely to be the work of one disgruntled employee facing a pink slip.

I may be biased, but, as the director of security operations for DEF CON, the world’s largest hacker conference, and the principal security researcher for the world's leading mobile security company, Cloudflare, I think I am worth hearing out.

The evidence used to attribute a nation state in such a case should be solid enough that it would be both admissible and effective in a court of law. As it stands, I do not believe we are anywhere close to meeting that standard.
  • Looking at the map above please note Vladvostic, Russia just north of the Korean border.  I am reminded that during the Korean War the US sent bombers to Vladvostic and hit Russian airfields trying to draw Moscow into that war.  It is clear that significant operators in the US government were itching then, and still are, for a military confrontation with the Russian bear.  Yes it is crazy but I've never claimed that the oligarchy was sane.  
  • Just think about this.  The US-NATO are coming at Russia from at least three strategic points at this time.  One via Europe through military operations in Ukraine, the Baltics and Scandinavia.  The second point is the Caspian Region (Georgia) and Central Asia (one key reason why the US-NATO don't want to leave Afghanistan).  The third is to destabilize North Korea and expand US military operations particularly in South Korea and Japan.  The introduction of so-called 'missile defense' in all these areas is a serious provocation by the US and its cancerous NATO 'partners' against Russia and China. 
  • The success of all of this is incumbent on the global public buying the public relations spin that Russia is the new 'Hitler.  Quickly blaming the Russians for the Malaysian jet take down (what ever happened to the voice recorders that were sent to England after they were recovered at the crash site?) and the North Koreans for the Sony hacking are essentially major public relations campaigns.  The sooner we see the writing on the wall the better chance for world peace.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

We Can Stop War

100 years ago - Amid the darkness of World War I came an isolated but beautiful moment where peace, faith, hope and humanity overcame the bonds of war, and, even if for a night and a day, peace became possible.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Holiday Song

Holiday Prayer

'Can do whatever
I want
whenever I want to'
prevailing consciousness
of the USA
mad hatters
that we are

The corporatists
that run this
don't feel
like they
have to pay
any consequences
of power
'we are the dominant
and we can dictate'

The logic of domination
and empire
is absurd
a bad poker player
with a bad hand

How do we
counter this
dark empire?

What can
one person
actually do?

We each
are an interdependent
living creature
with tremendous beauty
and diversity

must take
greater strides
on the path toward
resistance to global corporate empire
resistance to arrogance

full spectrum nonviolent resistance
part of our lives
like breathing
and heartbeat
every cell
focused on

this time,
to build
the fires of light
to reverse
the darkness

best wishes to all
I can see
your fire in the

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Trouble Loading the Blog?

I've been hearing from a few people that my blog has lately been difficult to pull up.  When we did some testing from various locations we found that in fact Internet Explorer was extremely slow to load this blog - to the point that a few folks gave up entirely, thinking it was not working at all.

People who used Firefox had no loading problems nor did those using Google Chrome.

I appreciate your visits to this blog and hope you can get the full view of it without troubles.  I did reduce the numbers of posts on the homepage so that it might not take so long to load. 

Christmas in Post-War Germany

US occupation forces inside Germany on Christmas, 1945

We got a nice holiday card today from our local PeaceWorks activist Christine DeTroy.  I was struck by the enclosed letter that I'd like to share below:

Christmas Memories

Return with me to the past - to December, 1945, the first post-war Christmas in Germany.

Picture yourself in a large room, part of the downstairs of a former spacious art gallery that had been converted into several apartments, one of which was my family's for a number of years.  American officers had occupied the downstairs and upstairs of the large house -- part of the post-war occupation forces -- since May of 1945.

It is mid-morning, probably the third Sunday in the Advent Season, when a few girls and I - some of us were teenagers, others were younger - went to the officers' quarters to present them with a gift of singing Christmas carols.  We wanted to bring a bit of cheer to them and music and singing was what we could offer.

I knew that the large front door of the gallery would be open.  I also knew of the grand piano in the room, which could accompany our singing.  I recall that we walked in very quietly and gathered around the piano.  My friend Kathe accompanied our small singing group of perhaps five or six girls.

Can you hear us singing?  I believe we started off timidly, but our volume grew as our spirit increased - we wanted to bring joy.  Except for our singing there was no sound in the large house.

Although no one came downstairs to listen to us we continued singing for half an hour or so - we had learned a number of carols and wanted to sing all of them.

Suddenly we heard the sound of feet coming downstairs and one by one the group of soldiers stood by the door facing us.  They were silent.  They did not look happy.  The looked sad.  It was a shock to us.  We ended singing and quietly exited, embarrassed by our intrusion into their lives.

We walked home singly, thinking about what had transpired.

I realized then that what we had considered a gift of cheer was most likely a reminder to the men of what they were missing being so far from home and their families.  Perhaps they had been away from home for several years?  Had they been in battle and seen and experienced the death of a comrade amid the killing and wounding of war? Perhaps they had witnessed the horror of the concentration camps as they entered Germany?

How could we have been so naive to think that our few carols would bring the joy of Christmas into their lives?

So many years have passed since that day in December of 1945 - so many wars, so much killing and maiming has continued across the whole world.  I try to think of today's children in the warring countries.  Perhaps some of them are gathering to sing carols or folks songs to cheer each other and strangers up?

I'm no longer naive - yet I live with hope and love for peace among all the children and their families throughout the world.

Please join me in working for such a peace - for the sake of the world's children - for all of us.

Christine A. DeTroy
Brunswick, Maine

A Light in the Middle of Darkness

About 200 people on Monday night marched along Preble Street to Monument Square, where they lit candles in memory of the 35 homeless persons who died this year in Portland, Maine.

Abnormal Prosecution

The St. Louis county prosecutor will not file charges against any witnesses who lied to the the grand jury that was deciding whether to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson. With several individuals who took the stand now being scrutinized for having potentially perjured themselves, outrage is once again beginning to grow over the fairness of the proceedings. Andrew Goldberg, managing editor of The Smoking Gun, details the situation to RT’s Ben Swann.

Monday, December 22, 2014

We Will Not Be Silenced

DECEMBER 22, 2014


New York, NY — Activists issued a scathing statement this afternoon in response to recent attempts by the NYPD to silence the efforts of citizens seeking justice for victims of police violence.  The letter, drafted by Ferguson Action, and cosigned by over a dozen grassroots organizations takes aim at PBA president Patrick Lynch and Commissioner Bratton for their reckless attempts to conflate constitutionally protected protest activities with the tragic murders of officers Ramos and Liu:

“The events of this weekend are tragic.

“We renew our condolences to the families and friends of those injured and killed this weekend. As those who stand with the victims of police violence, we know all too well the deep sense of loss that a community feels when they lose a loved one. They are in our thoughts and prayers as we continue our movement for justice.

“This is not a time for political grandstanding and punditry. Unfortunately, we continue to see elected officials and police leadership twist this tragedy into an opportunity for them to silence the cries for justice from families who have lost their loved ones to police violence. Our families matter, too.

“Those exercising their First Amendment rights to secure a justice system that works for ALL are being thrown under the bus by police departments and their union leaders who want to skirt their responsibility to our communities.

“This weekend, Patrick Lynch used his role as the President of the largest police union in New York to essentially declare war on Black communities. This is unacceptable and should be condemned. Under his leadership, the police union has resisted nearly every positive criminal justice reform— including the end of discriminatory stop and frisk practices, protecting the Miranda rights of those arrested, and inviting community input in the creation of policies that govern the police.

“Commissioner Bratton must also immediately end his shameful attempts to use the deaths of these officers to attack democracy by advancing unfounded claims to connect this tragedy to protests. A troubled young man who began his day by attempting to kill his ex-partner, shot two officers and then killed himself has nothing to do with a broad non-violent movement for change. The NYPD is conveniently ignoring the facts surrounding this tragedy in order to score cheap political points.

“Commissioner Bratton and Patrick Lynch must immediately apologize to New Yorkers who desperately want change in the city. Mayor DeBlasio and other elected officials should condemn these opportunistic distractions that attempt to avoid meaningful reform.

“A concerted attempt to defame the millions who have acted on behalf of those lost to police violence proves that the NYPD leadership has no intention of creating any trust between this department and the communities they purport to serve.

“Our communities are in crisis. We’ve responded by meeting in our homes, offices, and schools— and walking out of them, with our hands up. Thousands of others have organized small actions that when woven together have tremendous impact. The problem isn’t the diverse voices that participate in dissent, a cornerstone of our democracy.

“The problem is a discriminatory pattern of police violence that continues unabated and that police brass don’t care to stop it.

“This movement was sparked by the grief that millions across the country have felt. Joining Eric Garner, Mike Brown and Tamir Rice are the thousands of lives lost in the last decade to police shootings. We are in the streets because we are fighting for the right to live our lives fully and with dignity, without the threat of unconstitutional police violence and repression.

“Our work continues and we invite those who stand on the side of justice to join us.”

  • Ferguson Action
  • Black Lives Matter
  • Brooklyn Movement Center
  • Black Alliance for Just Immigration
  • Hands Up United
  • National Domestic Workers Alliance
  • Dignity & Power Now
  • Dream Defenders
  • Organization for Black Struggle
  • Million Hoodies Movement for Justice
  • Concerned Citizens for Justice
  • PICO Network
  • Southerners on New Ground
  • TransAfrica
  • Project South
  • Audrey Lorde Project
  • Hello Racism
  • Youth United for Change
  • Baltimore Algebra Project

Managing Our Collapse

There is
no doubt
in decline
massive debt
violent driven
coming apart
at seams

South Africa
rival to
World Bank

US solution?
Stick a gun
into face

Dodge City
the OK corral
Boot Hill
it's what
we know
and how
we solve
here in
the Wild

The question
the US
the world

Or does
just pass
the night
a quiet

The world

Israel Helping to Attack Syria

Syrian military officials claim they've managed to take down an Israeli drone in its airspace. It was downed while flying over the Druze village of Hadar, which is one of the Assad-forces stronghold.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Question & Answer: You Decide......

Russian President Putin had a three-hour news conference the other day where he took alot of questions from what I'd call unfriendly (unscripted) sources.  Here is one from the BBC and Putin's response:

JOHN SIMPSON, BBC: Western countries almost universally now believe that there’s a new Cold War and that you, frankly, have decided to create that. We see, almost daily, Russian aircraft taking sometimes quite dangerous manoeuvres towards western airspace. That must be done on your orders; you’re the Commander-in-Chief. It must have been your orders that sent Russian troops into the territory of a sovereign country – Crimea first, and then whatever it is that’s going on in Eastern Ukraine. Now you’ve got a big problem with the currency of Russia, and you’re going to need help and support and understanding from outside countries, particularly from the West. So can I say to you, can I ask you now, would you care to take this opportunity to say to people from the West that you have no desire to carry on with the new Cold War, and that you will do whatever you can to sort out the problems in Ukraine? Thank you!

VLADIMIR PUTIN: Thank you very much for your question. About our exercises, manoeuvres and the development of our armed forces. You said that Russia, to a certain extent, contributed to the tension that we are now seeing in the world. Russia did contribute but only insofar as it is more and more firmly protecting its national interests. We are not attacking in the political sense of the word. We are not attacking anyone. We are only protecting our interests. Our Western partners – and especially our US partners – are displeased with us for doing exactly that, not because we are allowing security-related activity that provokes tension.

    Let me explain. You are talking about our aircraft, including strategic aviation operations. Do you know that in the early 1990s, Russia completely stopped strategic aviation flights in remote surveillance areas as the Soviet Union previously did? We completely stopped, while flights of US strategic aircraft carrying nuclear weapons continued. Why? Against whom? Who was threatened?

    So we didn’t make flights for many years and only a couple of years ago we resumed them. So are we really the ones doing the provoking?

    So, in fact, we only have two bases outside Russia, and both are in areas where terrorist activity is high. One is in Kyrgyzstan, and was deployed there upon request of the Kyrgyz authorities, President Akayev, after it was raided by Afghan militants. The other is in Tajikistan, which also borders on Afghanistan. I would guess you are interested in peace and stability there too. Our presence is justified and clearly understandable.

    Now, US bases are scattered around the globe – and you’re telling me Russia is behaving aggressively? [The US has well over 800 military bases around the world and is increasingly forcing local governments in places like South Korea, Australia and Philippines to allow Pentagon forces to use those nation's bases.] Do you have any common sense at all? What are US armed forces doing in Europe, also with tactical nuclear weapons? What are they doing there?

    Listen, Russia has increased its military spending for 2015, if I am not mistaken, it is around 50 billion in dollar equivalent. The Pentagon’s budget is ten times that amount, $575 billion, I think, recently approved by the Congress. [Actually the Pentagon budget is about $1 trillion per year when you add up all the various pots of gold where the military budget is hidden such as Department of Energy, NASA, NSA, NRO, Homeland Security, CIA, etc] And you’re telling me we are pursuing an aggressive policy? Is there any common sense in this?

    Are we moving our forces to the borders of the United States or other countries? Who is moving NATO bases and other military infrastructure towards us? We aren’t. Is anyone listening to us? Is anyone engaging in some dialogue with us about it? No. No dialogue at all. All we hear is “that’s none of your business. Every country has the right to choose its way to ensure its own security.” All right, but we have the right to do so too. Why can’t we?

    Finally, the ABM system – something I mentioned in my Address to the Federal Assembly. Who was it that withdrew unilaterally from the ABM Treaty, one of the cornerstones of the global security system? Was it Russia? No, it wasn’t. The United States did this, unilaterally. [George W. Bush pulled the US out of this treaty in 2001 that banned 'missile defense' systems.] They are creating threats for us, they are deploying their strategic missile defence components not just in Alaska, but in Europe as well – in Romania and Poland, very close to us. And you’re telling me we are pursuing an aggressive policy?

    If the question is whether we want law-based relations, the answer is yes, but only if our national economic and security interests are absolutely respected.

    We negotiated WTO accession for 19 years or so, and consented to compromise on many issues, assuming that we are concluding cast-iron agreements. And then… I will not discuss who’s right and who’s wrong (I already said on many occasions that I believe Russia behaved the right way in the Ukrainian crisis, and the West was wrong, but let us put this aside for now). Still, we joined the WTO. That organisation has rules. And yet, sanctions were imposed on Russia in violation of the WTO rules, the international law and the UN Charter – again unilaterally and illegitimately. Are we in the wrong again?

    We want to develop normal relations in the security sphere, in fighting terrorism. We will work together on nuclear non-proliferation. We will work together on other threats, including drugs, organised crime and grave infections, such as Ebola. We will do all this jointly, and we will cooperate in the economic sphere, if our partners want this.

Navy Liars & Thieves Want Entire Village

Protest banners are hung inside the village . This banner reads, “Navy! you are the outside power that destroys our hometown, Gangjeong!

An urgent cry from Gangjeong village on Jeju Island, South Korea: We should not allow the navy swallow our village.

The below is the rough translation of a banner by the anti-naval base committee of the Gangjeong village, hung inside the village.

The navy plans to station about 7,000 people in the Jeju naval base that is currently being built. You may remember that the whole population of the Gangjeong villagers is less than 2,000. The banner explains the urgency of the struggle to stop the navy’s current project to build 72 households of military residence outside of the base but inside the village.
The other photo is on one of the many banners that villagers and peace activists have currently hung in and outside of the village. The banner in this photo reads, ‘How we can live with thieves? The Gangjeong villagers can never get along with the navy

    - The anti-naval base committee of the Gangjeong village.

Gureombi, The Wind is Blowing - 구럼비 바람이 분다 (영어자막 )러프컷 from cho sung bong on Vimeo.

A Look Back: Truth to Power

Sunday Song

Saturday, December 20, 2014

I Didn't Sell Out My People

Friday, December 19, 2014

Coke, Drugs, Pickup Trucks & War

Despite the torture
by half
say CIA
cruelty is

How could
that be a surprise?
We are a war
addicted nation
our economy
runs off
blood money
the signs
are everywhere

We are proud
to plant flags
(made in China)
in cemeteries
those formerly
working class
their lives
on behalf
Mr. Big

We uncritically
salute the flag
Hitler would
have been
by how
our 'blitzkrieg'
has seeped
deeper into
our culture
'Sieg Heil'
did into his

We are
we fabricate
and then
deny it all
before god
and the

We've been
like rats
to take
the cheese

It's time
to spit out
the poison
that eats
away at
our souls

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Battles of Corporate Empire

  • The Mayor De Blasio in New York City is asking the federal Circuit Court for the authority to engage in the mass arrest of protesters when they take to the streets peacefully, just as they have been doing recently against police brutality. This request for the legal authority to engage in wholesale mass sweeps of demonstrators would allow the police to do so without any notice or warning to them that they are even allegedly in violation of any law. In the Occupy Wall Street case at issue the NYPD trapped and mass arrested 700 people after police commanders led and escorted them onto the Brooklyn Bridge.  "This is the most significant and most defining legal case on protesters' rights in the last 40 years, since the mass arrests of May Day 1970," said Carl Messineo, Partnership for Civil Justice Fund Legal Director. "Mayor De Blasio seeks the authority to arrest today's protesters in the same manner Mayor Bloomberg falsely arrested Occupy Wall Street protesters by the hundreds."
  •  Peter Koenig writes:
The world is still hell-bent for hydrocarbon-based energy. Russia is the world’s largest producer of energy. Russia has recently announced that in the future she will no longer trade energy in US dollars, but in rubles and currencies of the trading partners. In fact, this rule will apply to all trading. Russia and China are detaching their economies from that of the West. To confirm this decision, in July 2014 Russia’s Gazprom concluded a 400 billion gas deal with China, and in November this year they signed an additional slightly smaller contract – all to be nominated in rubles and yuan.

The remaining BRICS – Brazil, India and South Africa – plus the members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) – China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kirgizstan, Uzbekistan and considered for membership since September 2014 are also India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran and Mongolia, with Turkey also waiting in the wings – will also trade in their local currencies, detached from the dollar-based western casino scheme. A host of other nations increasingly weary of the decay of the western financial system which they are locked into are just waiting for a new monetary scheme to emerge. So far their governments may have been afraid of the emperor’s wrath – but gradually they are seeing the light. They are sensing the sham and weakness behind Obama’s boisterous noise. They don’t want to be sucked into the black hole, when the casino goes down the drain.

To punish Russia for Ukraine, Obama is about to sign into law major new sanctions against Russia, following Congress’s unanimous passing of a recent motion to this effect. – That is what the MSM [mainstream media] would like you to believe. 

Now – as a consequence of declining oil prices and of western ‘sanctions’ – of course, what else? - Russia’s economy is suffering and the ruble is in free fall. Since the beginning of the year it lost about 60%; last week alone 20%. As a result and after serious consideration, says MSM, the Russian Central Bank decided a few days ago to increase the interest of reference from 10.5% to 17% to make the ruble more attractive for foreign investors. It worked only for a few hours. Raising the interbank interest was Putin’s reply to Obama’s bluff – feeding at the same time western illusion about Russia’s decline. 

Lockheed Martin Corp , the Pentagon's No. 1 weapons supplier, has rarely felt the need to blow its horn about its secrecy-shrouded crown jewel - until now.

"Skunk Works," Lockheed's business for developing weapons outside the company's main chain of command, is starting to lift the veil in a sign of fierce pressure to win new orders and protect its brand as military budgets shrink.

The pride of Lockheed, Skunk Works has been celebrated since it developed the first jet fighter in 143 days during World War Two to battle the Nazis. But its logo was kept off buildings and employees were barred from saying where they worked.

Now, the company has published a glossy brochure with a 10-point "Skunk Works 2015" agenda focused on keeping costs down, working closely with government, and building prototypes. Its officials are meeting in small groups with all 3,300 employees, or "Skunks" as they are known, to underscore the importance of staying competitive.

Challenging Skunk Works are such newcomers as Space Exploration Technologies Corp, or SpaceX, which operate more like commercial firms than legacy weapons makers. Their costs are lower due to a younger staff - the average age of SpaceX's engineers is 27, while Lockheed expects half its employees to retire in the next five years - and their ability to leverage commercial orders.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

America: An Imaginary Place

Football Player Stands Up

Cleveland Browns football receiver Andrew Hawkins says he should not have to apologize for wearing a T-shirt that called for "Justice for Tamir Rice and John Crawford," two Ohio victims of recent police killings.

Hawkins' shirt, which he sported while walking onto the field before Sunday's game against the Cincinnati Bengals, spurred ire from the head of the Cleveland Police Union, who called the statement "pathetic" and demanded an apology from the Browns organization.

The numbers of professional athletes speaking out against police violence continues to grow and spurs positive debate across the land.

Ukrainian Nazis & Chechen Wahabis Linked in US-NATO War on Russia

Chechen fundamentalist terrorist Khasan Zakaev
Big story at The Vineyard of the Saker today.  While most of the western media sleeps under the watchful eyes of Mr. Big, the US-NATO are expanding their economic war on Russia and slowly introducing more internal destabilization terror tactics.

Interesting news this morning: Khasan Zakaev, one of the terrorist which organized and executed the 2002 attack against the Dubrovka theater in Moscow and an aid to Shamil Basaev was arrested in Crimea when he tried to enter from the Ukraine with false documents.

I very much doubt that Zakaev wanted to visit Crimea to enjoy the beautiful sights, sample the local cuisine or to relax on the seashore.  Not coming from the Ukraine.  Not with fake documents.  In fact, I would argue that it is pretty darn obvious that if he took the huge risk of entering not just any Russian territory, but a highly monitored and secured one, he was there on a mission.

Considering the quasi-official Ukrainian support for Wahabism in Chechnia, it is also superlatively likely that the SBU knew about this mission and, at the very least, gave its tacit support for it.  After all, since members of the Ukrainian Rada did openly support the recent terrorist operation in Grozny, and since a former commander of the Azov death squad and now Member of the Rada openly called for the murder of Ramzan Kadyrov, it only makes sense for the Ukrainian Nazis to be sending Chechen Wahabis into Russia to commit more terrorist attacks.
Beautiful, no?  The US, the EU, NATO and their allies are now openly supporting a Nazi-Wahabi alliance against Russia.
Ramzan Kadyrov [Head of the Chechen Republic and a former Chechen rebel] always calls the Wahabi terrorists "shaitans", or devils.  I think that this also fully applies to the rabid Ukrainian Nazis.  But if we want to be logical here, shouldn't this apply first and foremost to their masters?

Was the late Ayatollah Khomeini not absolutely spot-on when he spoke of the "shaitan-e bozorg", the "Great Satan"?

Would "Hizb-Shaitan" (Party of the Devil) not be an accurate descriptor for the AngloZionist Empire today?

The Saker

Obama Must Give Peltier Clemency

Please watch this short video regarding clemency for Leonard Peltier and then call the White House at:

Comments: 202-456-1111

Switchboard: 202-456-1414

Release the Full CIA Report to the Public

On the Senate floor last week, outgoing Democratic Sen. Mark Udall called for a purge of top CIA officials implicated in the torture program and cover-up, including current Director John Brennan. But as he enters the final days of his Senate term, Udall is facing calls to take action of his own. The Senate findings released last week amount to only a fraction of the full report — 480 heavily redacted pages out of more than 6,000 pages total. The White House has blocked the report’s full release in deference to the CIA’s wishes. That’s sparked demands that Udall invoke a rarely used congressional privilege and make the report public.

There is precedent for him to follow: In 1971, then-Alaska Senator Mike Gravel entered more than 4,000 pages of the 7,000-page Pentagon Papers into the Senate record, insisting the public had a right to know the truth behind the Vietnam War. More than four decades later, Gravel joins Democracy Now to talk about his historic action and why he is now calling on Udall to follow in his footsteps with the full Senate report on CIA torture.

You can call the office of Sen. Udall in Colorado and urge him to make the CIA report public.  Dial  303-650-7820.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

This is What Solidarity Looks Like

"Yesterday, we, a coalition of Black folks+Asian Allies+White Allies shutdown the Oakland Police Headquarters. Allies locked themselves to multiple entrances, blocked off all surrounding intersections, and raised a "Black Lives Matter" flag, while Black folk held space to honor the lives that have been stolen from us.

"We shut it down for over 4hrs 28min. 4 hours is the time that Mike Brown's body was left on the ground after being murdered by Ferguson PD, and 28 mins symbolizes that every 28 hrs a black person is murdered by polices, security officers, or vigilantes.

"We will continue shutting it ALL down, until we get justice. Until we get our freedom. So much LOVE to all the allies who threw down with Black Liberation today. this is what solidarity looks like. This is what resistance looks like."

They Want It All

Military madness
wants it all
Pentagon complaining
'ain't got enough'

Nuclear subs
going to cost
17% more
12 new ones
(why you say?)
going to cost $92 billion

$$$ is extracted
from the hides
of the people

be sure
that collapsing
won't get funded
nor the unraveling
web of
human life

War is a sickness
a sign of the
dark and broken

Cleanse my heart
heal my soul
douse my fire
and rage
in the healing
waters of justice
and true peace

Oh great spirit
please give me
to keep
bearing witness
to my own
and to the
of us all

let us retreat
into the arms
of our trembling
mother earth

More Machine Than Man

Iris Scans at Syrian Refugee Camps: A Brave New World?

Syrian refugees in Jordan get cash payments from the UN Refugee Agency through an eye scan

The Daily Star (Lebanon) reports:

Biometric scanning: Earlier this year, aid workers started adding all Syrian refugees arriving in Jordan to a biometric database upon registration. As well as improving the accuracy and efficiency of records and avoiding duplication, the biometric system has enabled cash payments to be issued through Hollywood-movie-style iris scans. It is the first time UNHCR has distributed cash this way.

In partnership with Cairo Amman Bank, refugees eligible for cash handouts from UNHCR can collect their money from over 100 locations in Jordan. Instead of using a debit card, they simply have their eye scanned at the ATM machine.

That allows aid agencies to map where refugees are and assess how long they have to travel to access the banking services. One of the biggest problems for refugees in Jordan in need of assistance was the cost of transport.

UNHCR plans to use biometric refugee registration at sites throughout the region. For example, it will start applying iris scan and fingerprinting during registration in Iraq early next year.
While I would acknowledge that this eye scanning process is likely highly efficient in dealing with refugees it is also a very troubling introduction of a new technology that we should all be deeply concerned about.  Imagine just for a moment that people across the US who get government assistance had to use this technology to get their monthly support.  In these days of mass protest against police abuse the government could use iris scan technology to quickly identify legions of protesters and just shut off their ability to get their assistance.  Talk about crowd control......

Or maybe some very wealthy person is part of the protests and the government could use the iris scan technology to shut off their access to their bank accounts because they had been "bad".  Who knows where this could all go?

Who would be next?  This whole thing needs much debate before it gets any bigger.  Are the desperate refugees no more than guinea pigs? What do you think?

War by Media Propaganda Machine

From John Pilger’s address to the Logan Symposium, "Building an Alliance Against Secrecy, Surveillance & Censorship," organized by the Centre for Investigative Journalism, London, December, 2014.

“The suppression of the truth about Ukraine is one of the most complete news blackouts I can remember. The biggest Western military build-up in the Caucasus and eastern Europe since World War II is blacked out. Washington's secret aid to Kiev and its neo-Nazi brigades, responsible for war crimes against the population of eastern Ukraine, is blacked out. Evidence that contradicts propaganda that Russia was responsible for the shooting down of a Malaysian airliner is blacked out.

And again, supposedly liberal media are the censors. Citing no facts, no evidence, one journalist identified a pro-Russian leader in Ukraine as the man who shot down the airliner. This man, he wrote, was known as The Demon. He was a scary man who frightened the journalist. That was the evidence.

Many in the western media haves worked hard to present the ethnic Russian population of Ukraine as outsiders in their own country, almost never as Ukrainians seeking a federation within Ukraine and as Ukrainian citizens resisting a foreign-orchestrated coup against their elected government.

What the Russian president has to say is of no consequence; he is a pantomime villain who can be abused with impunity. An American general who heads NATO and is straight out of Dr. Strangelove - one General Breedlove - routinely claims Russian invasions without a shred of visual evidence. His impersonation of Stanley Kubrick's General Jack D. Ripper is pitch perfect.

Forty thousand Ruskies were massing on the border, according to Breedlove. That was good enough for The New York Times, The Washington Post and the Observer - the latter having previously distinguished itself with lies and fabrications that backed Blair's invasion of Iraq, as its former reporter, David Rose, revealed.”

Read it all at here

Monday, December 15, 2014

Wall Street Loves Cheap Labor

John R. MacArthur of Harper’s Magazine says that Republicans and Democrats alike are abandoning the republic in pursuit of big bucks.

Great Film

Mary Beth and I went to see the new film about Edward Snowden this past weekend and it was fantastic.  Filmmaker Laura Poitras did a great job of telling the story about the incredible bravery of Snowden (who is a very humble guy and did his act of NSA whistleblowing for all the right reasons).

The behind the scenes media scrambling to deal with the story that was dumped into their laps makes the film even more valuable and interesting,  The role that Glenn Greenwald played in the whole release of information was instrumental and moving as well.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Best Sign of the Weekend

This sign from a protest this weekend in Boston is the best one I've seen yet from the various events that were held across the nation.

See a good news round-up about the police militarization protests here

Sunday Song

Saturday, December 13, 2014

U.S. Sending Heavy Weapons to Latvia

Just 300 km from the Russian border.  Ain't no doubt that Washington continues to stir the war pot in the region. 

Friday, December 12, 2014

Selling Space

Today is my space day for sure.  I began the morning by having a one hour meeting with a Danish woman via Skype who is writing her academic dissertation on the moral/ethical consequences of private space flight and planetary colonization.  She was refreshingly aware of most of the nuances of corporate driven space technology issues today. I can't wait to see her final paper.

Following that I began work on the Global Network's next newsletter called Space Alert!  As I was sorting through various documents I came across the video above.  This is a promo piece for the annual Space Symposium in Colorado Springs.

Colorado boasts the nation's third-largest aerospace economy and is home to more than 400 companies and bases (including Air Force Space Command HQ at Peterson AFB in Colorado Springs) that create nearly 170,000 Colorado jobs.

Each spring, the Colorado-based Space Foundation hosts the annual Space Symposium — the world's largest gathering of 11,000 space decision-makers from across the globe for a week long orgy on the future of aerospace policy.  The local peace group called Citizens for Peace in Space organizes protests each year during the space confab.  The next symposium will be held on April 13-16, 2015.

Begin to imagine the costs and profit potential of military and civilian space technology.  Where do you think the $$$ comes from to pay for these programs?

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Undercover Cops Busted by Crowd in Oakland

An undercover cop last night in a Berkeley, California protest was caught flashing his gun at protesters after he and another undercover operative were outed when someone pulled his mask off his face.  Some witnesses claimed the two cops were previously seen banging on bank windows and trying to incite protesters to commit violence.  The two cops were eventually identified as California Highway Patrol sent into Oakland supposedly unknown to the Oakland Police Department.

This makes total sense.  If police are going to put agent provocateurs inside of protests then it would be wise to use guys from other departments so they are unknown to local cops or at least there is deniability for local cops if they get caught.

I have no doubt that much of the so-called violent protests across this country are to some degree or another initiated by such undercover cops.  Local activists often make such reports.

I've had personal experience with such an undercover cop trying to take over a protest I organized.  On March 8, 1983 Ronald Reagan came to Orlando, Florida to deliver his famous "evil people" speech before the National Association of Evangelicals. He called the then Soviet Union the root of all that was wrong in the world.  Referring to the Soviets, Reagan said, "Yes, let us pray for the salvation of all those who live in that totalitarian darkness - pray they will discover the joy of knowing God.  But until they do, let us be aware that while they preach the supremacy of the state, declare the omnipotence over individual man, and predict its eventual domination of all peoples on the Earth, they are the focus of evil in the modern world."

For several weeks before the event I worked hard to build a protest at the Sheraton Twin Towers where Reagen was to speak.  We got the unions, women's groups and the growing numbers of people moving into the peace movement involved.

Just as the Reagan caravan was pulling into the vast hotel parking lot a young guy rushed up to me and urged me to help him get people to block the caravan's path to the hotel entrance.  I had never seen this guy before (Orlando then had a fairly small and predictable activist community) and I had made a fatal organizing error by earlier giving him my only megaphone when he had approached me and asked if he could use it to help lead chants.  He now was using the megaphone to try to whip up the crowd to descend on the Reagan caravan.  In a moment of clarity I took back the megaphone and next thing I knew the guy had vanished into thin air.  I looked for him throughout the remaining time of the protest but never saw him again.  It was evident to me that he was part of an attempt to create an escalating situation that would be met by a fierce police response and would have then been shown on the national news since all the Washington media was there covering the Reagan speech.

It would have been the perfect story - Reagan caravan attacked by crowd of leftists as the president was going to talk to 'religious leaders' about how evil the left was.  

Laser Wars

Time reports:

The Navy announced that it had deployed and fired a laser weapon this fall aboard a warship in the Persian Gulf. During a series of test shots, the laser hit and destroyed targets mounted atop a small boat, blasted a six-foot drone from the sky, and destroyed other moving targets.

“This is the first time in recorded history that a directed energy weapons system has ever deployed on anything,” Rear Admiral Matthew Klunder, chief of naval research, told reporters at the Pentagon. “A lot of people talk about it—we decided to go do it.”

The Navy’s laser weapon system—LaWS, in sea-service jargon—was fired from the USS Ponce, a one-time amphibious ship that was converted to an “afloat forward staging base” in 2012 and assigned to the 5th Fleet in Bahrain. Firing a laser from the surface of the Persian Gulf is challenging because heat, humidity, dust and salt water can reduce its power.

The Navy spent about $40 million over the past seven years developing LaWS, which actually consists of six commercial welding lasers lashed together and aimed at the same point. It has proven effective at ranges of up to about a mile.

Bush To The Hague

International Criminal Court Complaint Filed Against
Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Tenet, Rice and Gonzales


Professor Francis A. Boyle of the University of Illinois College of Law in Champaign, U.S.A. has filed a Complaint with the Prosecutor for the International Criminal Court (I.C.C.) in The Hague against U.S. citizens George W. Bush, Richard Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, George Tenet, Condoleezza Rice, and Alberto Gonzales (the “Accused”) for their criminal policy and practice of “extraordinary rendition” perpetrated upon about 100 human beings. This term is really their euphemism for the enforced disappearance of persons and their consequent torture. This criminal policy and practice by the Accused constitute Crimes against Humanity in violation of the Rome Statute establishing the I.C.C.

The United States is not a party to the Rome Statute. Nevertheless the Accused have ordered and been responsible for the commission of I.C.C. statutory crimes within the respective territories of many I.C.C. member states, including several in Europe. Consequently, the I.C.C. has jurisdiction to prosecute the Accused for their I.C.C. statutory crimes under Rome Statute article 12(2)(a) that affords the I.C.C. jurisdiction to prosecute for I.C.C. statutory crimes committed in I.C.C. member states.

The Complaint requests (1) that the I.C.C. Prosecutor open an investigation of the Accused on his own accord under Rome Statute article 15(1); and (2) that the I.C.C. Prosecutor also formally “submit to the [I.C.C.] Pre-Trial Chamber a request for authorization of an investigation” of the Accused under Rome Statute article 15(3).

For similar reasons, the Highest Level Officials of the Obama administration risk the filing of a follow-up Complaint with the I.C.C. if they do not immediately terminate the Accused’s criminal policy and practice of “extraordinary rendition,” which the Obama administration has continued to implement.

The Complaint concludes with a request that the I.C.C. Prosecutor obtain International Arrest Warrants for the Accused from the I.C.C. in accordance with Rome Statute articles 58(1)(a), 58(1)(b)(i), 58(1)(b)(ii), and 58(1)(b)(iii).

In order to demonstrate your support for this Complaint you can contact the I.C.C. Prosecutor by letter, fax, or email as indicated below.

The Honorable Luis Moreno-Ocampo
Office of the Prosecutor
International Criminal Court
Post Office Box 19519
2500 CM, The Hague
The Netherlands
Fax No.: 31-70-515-8555

~ Francis A. Boyle is a leading American expert in international law. He was responsible for drafting the Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989, the American implementing legislation for the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention. He served on the Board of Directors of Amnesty International (1988-1992), and represented Bosnia-Herzegovina at the World Court. He served as legal adviser to the Palestinian Delegation to the Middle East peace negotiations from 1991 to 1993. In 2007, he delivered the Bertrand Russell Peace Lectures. Professor Boyle teaches international law at the University of Illinois, Champaign and is author of, inter alia, The Future of International Law and American Foreign Policy, Foundations of World Order, The Criminality of Nuclear Deterrence, Palestine, Palestinians and International Law, Destroying World Order,  Biowarfare & Terrorism. He holds a Doctor of Law Magna Cum Laude as well as a Ph.D. in Political Science, both from Harvard University. 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Kiev is a U.S. Colony

Vineyard of the Saker reports:

Well, we all knew that the last floor of the SBU (the Ukrainian terror police) building in Kiev was fully occupied by US CIA agents and that no Ukrainians have access to it.  But this is even better.  Apparently, the US decided to fly its flag on the building's main entrance, just next to the Ukrainian one. 

CIA is Lying

Sen. Mark Udall accused the CIA of "lying" about the effectiveness of torture, called for the resignation of its director and blasted President Barack Obama's handling of the spy agency on the Senate floor Wednesday.
In a 48-minute speech, the Colorado Democrat called on Obama to "purge his administration" of CIA officials, including Director John Brennan, involved in the interrogation techniques detailed in a new Senate Intelligence Committee report.

Seeking a Unified Movement in Maine

Not the 'Exceptional Nation' After All

The just released CIA torture report drives the final deadly stake through the dark heart of American exceptionalism.  The US is a corrupt, brutal, depraved, mob-run, bankrupt, greedy, warlike corporate entity.  Any claims that "USA is #1" or "We are the greatest country in the history of the planet" have now been forever put to rest.  It just ain't so.

The report indicates that these were just some of the 'techniques' used to interrogate prisoners:

  • Rectal feeding and rehydration - a ‘lunch tray’ consisting of hummus, pasta with sauce, nuts and raisins was ‘pureed and rectally infused’ into a prisoner
  • Confinement in a box - The use of insects inside the box was also approved
  • The use of cold water -  One prisoner died of hypothermia inside a CIA black site north of Kabul known as the Salt Pit.  He had been left in a cold cell, stripped from the waist down and had been doused in water
  • Waterboarding - One prisoner underwent the process 83 times, while another of the CIA’s highest-value detainees was subjected to waterboarding 183 times
  • Beatings and threats - Even threatened harm to prisoner's families...including their children
  • Stress positions
  • Sleep deprivation - Including forced standing for 66 hours
  • Forced nudity and restricted diets
  • Life in solitary - One prisoner threatened with being incommunicado for the rest of his life 
  • CIA tortured innocent people - Of the 119 known detainees that were in CIA custody during the life of the program, at least 26 were wrongfully held. Detainees often remained in custody for months after the CIA determined they should not have been detained
  • Contract pscyhologists devised the techniques - The report shows that contract psychologists devised the CIA's enhanced interrogation techniques and played a central role in the operation, assessments, and management of the detention and interrogation program. In 2006, the value of the CIA’s base contract with the company formed by the psychologists with all options exercised was in excess of $180 million; the contractors received $81 million prior to the contract’s termination in 2009.
  • Lies to justify torture - Bush Justice Department official Jay Bybee, who is now a federal judge, told Congress the torture of Al Qaeda detainees led to the US capture of Jose Padilla. That wasn't true
  • CIA lies to rest of government - The secretary of state wasn't informed when the CIA made secret deals to open detention facilities abroad
The fundamental question now is what will Congress do to reign in the enormous power of the CIA to make foreign policy and war on its own without any real oversight?  The answer is virtually nothing.  In fact this public disclosure is only 7% of the documents the Senate received -  93% has not been disclosed to the media or the public. What else was in there?  The public has a right to see all of it.  After all we are paying for it whether we like it or not.

In an article that largely justifies continued CIA freedom to operate as it wishes the Washington Post reports:

Indeed, the CIA is in many ways at a position of unmatched power. Its budgets have been swollen by billions of dollars in counterterrorism expenditures. Its workforce has surged. Its overseas presence has expanded. And its arsenal now includes systems, including a fleet of armed drones, that would have made prior generations of CIA leaders gasp.

Many of these CIA or US military intelligence agents who carried out these torture programs end up going into domestic 'law enforcement' when they return to the civilian world.  I remember Orange County, Florida Sheriff Lawson Lamar (the guy who ordered surveillance of our peace work in Orlando back in the early 1980's) used to brag that he was a prisoner interrogator in Vietnam.  I once heard a first-hand report that he had been drunk at a party in the Orlando-area and was describing to fellow partiers that he used to string up Vietnamese prisoners on a wall and peel their skin off with knives in order to get them to talk.  These guys get arrogant as hell working in military 'intelligence' and then think they can do anything when they return home. So these unrestrained CIA operations do indeed bleed into our increasingly militarized society.

This report, as little as we are shown anyway, is further glaring evidence that the US has turned into a fascist state where the CIA and the Pentagon are storm-trooper agents of the corporations that run this government.  The days of "by the people and for the people" are sadly nostalgia and long gone.