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....

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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

Saturday, December 31, 2016

A Look Inside Liberated Aleppo

French reporter Charlotte d'Ornellas shares what she learned from Aleppo.

What she saw there is not what western mainstream media have been saying in the last weeks.

New Year Resolution: Stop Ignoring the Obvious

Friday, December 30, 2016

Punching a Hole in the CIA Deception

Who Runs the Show?

I'll never forget while living in Florida watching former Gov. Jeb Bush (R-FL) stand amongst the state government buildings in the capital city of Tallahassee delivering his first speech after winning election.  He pointed to the state offices and said, "My dream is that someday all these buildings will be shut down."

That is the corporate oligarchy talking.  Like the graphic above so well points out, the goal of the top 1% is to kill any 'regulation' of their corrupt business dealings.  They don't want environmental regulations, labor wage & hour regulations, they don't want the people's government regulating their criminal banking operations.  They surely don't want any people's government to monitor the outrageous spending appetite of the Pentagon nor do they want the public to be engaged in any debate about foreign policy - especially since the Pentagon and NATO are nothing more than the military arm of corporate globalization.

While in power Obama played a magicians act - appearing to be on the side of the people while in reality essentially serving as a bag man for Wall Street.  Now with Trump coming into office the veil is pulled off the brides face and the public will get a clearer picture of this corporation domination of Washington and the rest of the nation.   Trump will continue to tweet his little rallying words out to his followers but those he is putting into power to run the government are so arrogant they don't usually even try to hide the truth about who they are working for.

Hopefully the American people begin to see that the ruling corporate elite run two horses in every race.  They don't intend to lose control of the White House or Congress.  It would be more than smart for folks to come to grips with the way the oligarchy runs our country and much of the world.  Only when that happens can we even hope to change things for the better.


Thursday, December 29, 2016

Peace Work in the 'Solid South'

Rocket park in Huntsville, Alabama. Huntsville will be the site of the Global Network's 25th annual space organizing conference and protest on April 7-9, 2017.

  • I've been working for the last couple of days to wrap up our April 7-9, 2017 space conference promo brochure.  Our layout person Nancy Randolph (who also does a fabulous job on our newsletter Space Alert!) did a quick turn-around on this one as I am anxious to get it done and to the printer before Mary Beth and I head to Taiwan for my son's wedding there next week.
  • Even though we are still working to confirm all of the speakers and co-sponsors for the event I want to get the brochure (along with a cover letter) in the mail on Trump's inauguration day - January 20.  I also set up a Facebook page for the event which you can see here
  • Things are falling into place quite nicely as we now have the location of the meeting secured as well as a hotel for folks to stay in.  Local activists in Huntsville have been super helpful to us suggesting the meeting site and one of the caterers we'll use.  One local supporter has also offered to help set in motion our home hospitality requests.  So all that takes a huge load off my back.  Thanks Huntsville!
  • Yesterday I had a call from an old friend in Florida who volunteered to help promote the conference among peace people in her state and across the southeast.  There will be an annual Kings Bay, Georgia nuclear submarine base protest vigil on New Years Eve in St. Marys near the Georgia/Florida border.  Folks gather from across the southeast and she is helping to organize that annual event which has been going on for more than 30 years.  I can't think of a better way to bring in the new year than holding hands with other dear souls outside a nuclear submarine base.  Always a spiritual experience.  I might add that former President Jimmy Carter (who had been governor of Georgia) had the base built while he was president.  I voted for Carter when he first ran because during the campaign he said, "The arms race is a disgrace to the human race."  Fool me once......
  • When my friend called from Florida one of the first things she said was that she felt the Global Network's Huntsville conference in April was important because not many national peace events are held in the 'solid south'.  If one looks at the voting patterns of those in Congress it is generally the southern states that provide the bulwark of support for the military industrial complex.  Having lived and organized in Florida for more than 25 years I fully agree that most peace groups pay little attention to the south - largely because many activists feel it would be a waste of time to hold events down yonder.  But how will we ever change that power dynamic in the country unless we show support for those who live and do peace work in the south?  
  • So in the final analysis I am thrilled that we are getting such great support from people in the Huntsville area and I'm going to work hard to get folks to head south for the April 7-9 events.  In the meantime I have a trip to Taiwan ahead of me which will be followed by one week in Okinawa where I will join with monks and nuns from the Nipponzan Myohoji Buddhist order who are planning to hold peace walks and vigils at the numerous US military bases on that beleaguered island.
  • It's one thing to go protest at US bases overseas and demand they be closed. It is quite another thing to hold protests back home in our own communities (like Bath, Maine or Huntsville, Alabama) where the warships and missiles are built and then deployed at these overseas bases.  I want to connect all these dots.  If we are truly going to help shut down the US imperial war machine then we must consistently take on the tough job of calling for the conversion of the US military production system to sustainable technologies that would help us deal with the coming reality of global warming. 
  • A double thumps up and peace sign to all those across the country who protest at US bases and weapons factories - Creech, Beale and Hancock drone bases come to mind as well as those this weekend at Kings Bay nuclear sub base in Georgia.  

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

An American Goes to Russia

Mainer Regis Tremblay recently visited Russia to film for his upcoming documentary, "Thirty Seconds to Midnight".

He decided to make an off-shoot short doc from the film taken there. 

This 39 minute documentary, "Je Suis Russia," is a counter-narrative to the U.S. and western media lies and propaganda about Russia and President Putin. He interviewed ordinary Russians, educators, former military officers, activists, students, and even members of the Communist Party.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

The Hangings in Mankato

In the spring of 2005, Jim Miller, a Native spiritual leader and Vietnam veteran, found himself in a dream riding on horseback across the great plains of South Dakota. Just before he awoke, he arrived at a riverbank in Minnesota and saw 38 of his Dakota ancestors hanged. At the time, Jim knew nothing of the largest mass execution in United States history, ordered by Abraham Lincoln on December 26, 1862. "When you have dreams, you know when they come from the creator... As any recovered alcoholic, I made believe that I didn't get it. I tried to put it out of my mind, yet it's one of those dreams that bothers you night and day."

Four years later, embracing the message of the dream, Jim and a group of riders retraced the 330-mile route of his dream on horseback from Lower Brule, South Dakota to Mankato, Minnesota to arrive at the hanging site on the anniversary of the execution. "We can't blame the wasichus anymore. We're doing it to ourselves. We're selling drugs. We're killing our own people. That's what this ride is about, is healing."

This is the story of their journey- the blizzards they endured, the Native and Non-Native communities that housed and fed them along the way, and the dark history they began to wipe away.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Regis Tremblay's New Film

A shocking documentary that traces the origins of American genocides, military interventions and wars from the 15th Century when the white, colonial explorers first came to the Americas to the very present. American Exceptionalism, Manifest Destiny and the right to claim the land and its resources as their own are the foundation of American foreign policy in the 21st Century that have humanity on the brink of extinction.

Christmas in Maine

  • It's cold in Maine today with snow on the ground.  Tomorrow it is predicted to be much warmer with snow turning to rain.  It's been like that alot this winter - cold and warm - back and forth.  Our bodies get confused as they begin to adapt to the cold and then it turns warm again.  Lots of people we know are sick including MB who can't seem to shake her rough cough.

  • We had a lovely Christmas day made particularly special by a lunch date with our high school neighbor Leann who we befriended soon after moving to Bath nine years ago.  She so kindly took the money her parents gave her for Christmas and bought gifts for all her friends.  She's learned to have a sharing heart.  In the evening we went to the home of friends in nearby Brunswick for dinner and little skits.  Three of us from the Addams-Melman House sang a homemade song that introduced the carrot cake we brought along with us.
  • It was a pleasant surprise to see the outgoing Obama administration go off the rails and abstain on the UN Security Council resolution condemning Israel for their illegal settlements in Palestine.  Less surprising was the response to the US abstention by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) who vowed Saturday to not allow the US to give any more money to the United Nations until it reversed its Friday decision. The Hill newspaper in Washington reported Cruz tweeted that he spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, adding, "No US $ for UN until reversed."  It is this kind of talk coming from supremely arrogant Republicans in Congress that is going to make for some very interesting times during the next four years.  My guess is that these prima donnas are going to help drive the US empire right over the cliff into the abyss.

  • It was encouraging to see this short video below of Christians in Aleppo celebrating their liberation from the US-Saudia Arabia-Qatar-Israel-Turkey funded, armed and directed ISIS terrorists just in time for the holy holidays.  It has been a tragic several years to watch the US and its allies try to turn Syria into another Iraq, Afghanistan or Libya.  There can be no doubt that one reason the US has been demonizing Russia is due to the fact that Moscow has determined that it will not allow another nation in the Middle East to be turned into a failed state.  For the deep background story on why Syria was being punished by the US and its allies read Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s piece here   
  • Bruce

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Extra Bonus Song for the Holidays

Thinking of my son Julian today.  He was born just days after John Lennon was killed in 1980.  We named Julian Gagnon after John's son Julian.

Julian lives in Taiwan now.... MB and I will be going there just after the first of the year to attend his wedding to a wonderful woman named Emily.

Paul McCartney wrote this song for Julian Lennon after his parents were divorced.  It's a beautiful tune that always makes me cry.

Happy holidays to all of you!


Sunday Song

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Gonna Go Absolutely Ape

Holiday Bonus Song

Arresting Mary, Joseph & Baby Jesus

Four activists dressed as Mary, Joseph and two Shepherds were arrested at the front gate of the Drone Warfare Center at Hancock AFB in Syracuse, NY.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

U.S. Taxpayers Subsidizing Vile Treatment of Palestinians

Israeli Occupiers spraying disgusting waste water at Palestinian homes and civilians in Kafr Qaddum Town in the Occupied West Bank.

In the next 10 years US taxpayers will hand $38 billion in military aid to the corrupt and brutal Israeli government.  This is a moral and ethical crime because most of the money will be used to continue stealing land from the Palestinian people and to keep them caged inside refugee camps and behind walls.

Wake up America.  Our soul is rotting.


Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Global Network History in Pictures

During most of our 25 years of operation artist Will Park from Florida has provided us with art work to illustrate our concerns. 

These photos below are from past Global Network (GN) annual conferences. They are not in any particular order (was just too hard to put them that way on this blog). Each year we try to meet in a different country and place where the US has a space weapons base or a weapons production facility.

We thank all of our members and friends over these last 25 years for helping spread the message of Keep Space for Peace!

(Click on any of the photos for a better view.)


GN members joined Gangjeong village leaders in 2012 on Jeju Island for a news conference to denounce the construction of the Navy base in their village.

At the conclusion of our 2011 annual conference in Andover, Massachusetts we posed outside of Merrimack College for a group shot.

GN founding member journalism professor Karl Grossman spoke at our 2005 event in New York City inside the Musician's Union Hall.

Founding member Bill Sulzman from Colorado speaking during our 2006 annual event in Vancouver, Canada held in conjunction with the World Peace Forum.

In 2003 we joined Australian activists for a protest against their president the day before our annual GN conference in Melbourne.

In 2002 we held our annual conference in Berkeley, California and kicked things off with a protest outside of Lockheed-Martin space production center in Sunnyvale.

Our 2001 annual confab was held in Leeds, England and was hosted by Yorkshire CND.

When we met in Leeds in 2001 one of the speakers was Jeremy Corbin who today serves as leader of the Labour Party in the UK.  He has long been an active peacenik.

Lindis Percy from England spoke during our rally in front of the US Treasury Department during a protest the day before our 2000 conference was held at American University.

In 1998 we held our annual conference in Colorado Springs and went to Falcon AFB ('Space Warfare Center') for a protest the day before the conference began.  As we stood along the desolate country road outside the base snow began to fall.

GN board member Agneta Norberg (left) stands alongside Norwegian journalist Bard Wormdal during our 2013 conference in Kiruna, Sweden - up in the high north where the US-NATO have created a major space operations center.

In 2009 we met in Seoul, South Korea and during the conference made a side trip to Kadena AFB to protest the US deployment of PAC-3 'missile defense' (MD) system that is aimed at China.

In 2004 the GN met in Maine.  We gathered for a protest in Bath and then held our conference at a church in Portland.

Korean-war veteran Tom Sturtevant joined our protest in Bath, Maine in 2004.  His sign showed that he understood the provocative nature of US deployments of 'missile defense' in the Asia-Pacific long before it became a well-known issue.

During the 2004 protest in Bath, Maine we marched to the Bath Iron Works shipyard where Navy Aegis destroyers are being built and outfitted with MD systems.  We called for the conversion of the shipyard to sustainable production.

Some of the participants enjoying the warm Santa Barbara, California weather during our 2014 conference held at a beautiful Catholic retreat center..

GN board convener (and webmaster) Dave Webb from the UK spoke during our protest outside Vandenberg AFB, California prior to our 2014 conference.  The base is a major space operations center.

Our protest in front of the White House in 2000 the day before our conference began.

In 2007 we met for the 3rd time in our history in Darmstadt, Germany.  Board member Regina Hagen suggested we wear eye patches and hold white cranes as we stood outside the European Space Agency headquarters as workers arrived in the morning.  We were suggesting they were not clearly seeing the dangers of the growing militarization of European space programs.

Mary Beth Sullivan spoke at our 2007 conference in Darmstadt, Germany.  She served as our outreach coordinator for a couple years before returning to her career as a social worker.  MB still often speaks about the need to convert the military industrial complex to peaceful purposes.

GN founding member Dr. Michio Kaku delivered the keynote address at our 2005 meeting in New York City.

A crowd shot of the participants during the 2005 GN confab in New York City.

Protesting outside Raytheon in Andover, Massachusetts prior to our 2011 annual conference.  Raytheon is a big Star Wars contractor.

Lynda Williams (left) and Lindis Percy (right) outside the US's NSA spy base at Menwith Hill in Yorkshire, England prior to the start of our 2001 conference.

In 2015 the GN met in Kyoto, Japan for our conference.

We timed our 2005 GN conference to coincide with a large disarmament march directed at the UN's NPT Review conference in New York City.   

Some of our GN gang as we joined the 2005 disarmament march through the streets of New York the day after our annual conference.

Our 2015 conference in Kyoto, Japan included a bus ride to the coast where we had a meeting with Ukawa villagers who continue to protest against the recent deployment of a Pentagon MD radar that would help direct missiles toward China.

In 2010 the GN was invited to co-sponsor a space conference in Nagpur, India that drew students from all over the country.

Sung-Hee Choi briefed us before we crawled under the razor wire on sacred Gureombi rock along the Jeju Island coast in 2012.  Minutes later 16 people, including many from the GN, were arrested for trying to non-violently interfere with Navy base construction operations.

A group of our international GN delegation in Gangjeong village on Jeju Island, South Korea during the 2012 conference.

Standing in the freezing cold in 2008 we kicked-off our annual GN conference with a protest outside the gates of Offutt AFB where Strategic Command (StratCom) is based.  StratCom is now in charge of nuclear missiles, bombers, space operations, missile defense, and cyber warfare.  Activists in Nebraska say that StratCom's new mission is 'Offensive'.

Board member Regina Hagen (Germany) speaks during our 2008 conference in Omaha, Nebraska.

Tim Rinne (left) from Nebraska and I in Darmstadt, Germany during our 2007 conference.

In 2015 prior to our GN meeting in Kyoto a delegation from our organization went to Okinawa for a solidarity visit with people fighting against US military bases on their island.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Challenging the 'Democracy Now' Narrative

Good on you Professor Stephen Cohen!

Russian Ambassador Killed in Turkey

A few initial short thoughts on the murder of the Russian Ambassador to Ankara

By The Saker

Okay, so tonight we have the name of the assassin, it is Mevlut Mert Aydintas, a 22 year old policeman who had been recently fired following the anti-Gulenist crackdown of Erdogan against the forces which had attempted to overthrow him recently. We also have a very useful video of the murder.

That video of the attack also shows something very important: the only shots fired are those fired by the assassin.

What this means is one of two things:

Version 1: there was nobody in charge of security at this exhibition

Version 2: the room where this murder happened was considered ‘safe/sterile’ because it was inside an outer security perimeter which we don’t see in this video.

I find version 2 far more likely.  That would also explain why and how Mevlut Mert Aydintas so easily got it: he simply flashed his police ID and was let through.

When such an event occurs it is also important to ask cui bono – whom does it benefit?

Erdogan? No.

I see absolutely no imaginable reason why Erdogan would want the Russian Ambassador murdered in Ankara, but I can easily imagine a long list of reasons why he would not want that to happen at all.  Some will correctly say that the fall of Aleppo is a humiliating defeat for Turkey and Erdogan, and I agree.  But I would remind everybody that Erdogan clearly had a deal going with the Russians and the Iranians when he moved his forces across the border and occupied northern Syria.  There is *no way* he would have risked such a move against the will of Moscow and Tehran.  So what was this deal?  We will probably never know, but it clearly included a provision which limited Turkey’s actions to a narrow strip in the north.  If that hypothesis is correct, then Aleppo would have to be considered outside the “Turkish sphere of interest” in Syria, at least by the tripartite Turkish-Iranian-Russian understanding.  Did Erdogan know that Aleppo would fall and would fall so fast?  Probably not.  It appears that Erdogan got outmaneuvered by the Russians and the Iranians.  But he most definitely had better options to retaliate against the liberation of Aleppo than to have the Russian Ambassador murdered in Ankara.  The fact is that the Turks did precious little when Aleppo was liberated, at most they helped the Russian evacuate part of the “good terrorists”.

Even if Erdogan is a lunatic, he is smart enough to understand that if he has the Russian Ambassador murdered in Ankara NATO will do nothing to protect him and that the Russians can fire a cruise missile right into his bedroom window.  Erdogan might be crazy, but he is clearly not *that* crazy.

Finally, let’s remember the disastrous consequences for Turkey following the shooting down of the Russian SU-24 and the fact that, by numerous corroborated accounts, the Russian intelligences services saved Erdogan, probably literally, by warning him of the coup against him.

So, for all these reasons, Erdogan is not on my current list of suspects.  Never say never, new facts might come to light, especially with a maniac like Erdogan, but right now I will assume that he has nothing to do with what happened.

Daesh & Co?  Maybe.

Well, it is rather obvious that the Daesh & Co. had an extremely long list of reasons to want to kill a high profile Russian official.  So yes, they sure had the motive.  Considering how successful radical Islamist extremists have been at penetrating the Turkish deep (and not so deep) state, Daesh and Co. also had the means.  As for the opportunity, the video above clearly shows that not only did Mevlut Mert Aydintas have the time to shoot the Russian Ambassador many times (I counted 9 shots), but after that he still had the time to just stand there and scream all sorts of slogans about Syria, Aleppo and God.  While we don’t know all the details yet, this is already very strong evidence that security at this event was dismal.

Gulen, the CIA, Obama & Co?  Maybe.

Yes, they are also on my list of suspects.  The Gulenists have nothing to lose, the CIA has gone crazy with anger and fear at the election of Trump, and the Obama Administration is full of angry, offended, deeply vindicative and otherwise plain nasty characters who would love to trigger a new crisis between Russia and Turkey or make the Russian pay in some way for humiliating the AngloZionist Empire in Aleppo.  Keep in mind that this is exactly how the CIA always kills foreign dignitaries: by subcontracting the murder to a local fanatic so as to preserve what they call “plausible deniability”.

During the Cold War the Soviets and the Americans had an unwritten understanding that “we don’t kill each other”.  It was never formally mentioned or otherwise acknowledged, but I assure you that it was real: neither side wanted an open ended escalation of assassinations and counter-assassinations.  But today’s CIA is a pathetic joke compared to the CIA of the Cold War, and with hodge-podge of mediocre dimwits now in the Executive branch I would not put it past some idiot in Langley to approve of the murder of a Russian Ambassador.  Besides, if the Americans were crazy and reckless enough to attempt to overthrow Erdogan, why would they not try to murder a Russian Ambassador?

What about the lone gunman hypothesis?

Well, it is impossible to prove a negative. Mevlut Mert Aydintas did lose his job in a recent purge, he did have police credentials and his actions on the video seem to be a textbook example of the kind of fanatical behavior a lone nutcase would display.  So yes, it is possible that Mevlut Mert Aydintas acted alone.  After all, all he needed was a gun and a police ID.  Let’s see what the Turks, and the Russians, find out about him.  Still, I doubt it.  That kind of personality is usually identified by state sponsoring terrorism and then activated when needed.  My gut tells me that he did not just act alone.  Somebody probably used Mevlut Mert Aydintas.

Painful questions

Here I really hope that I am wrong, but if I want to be honest I have to admit that I am completely unable to find an excuse of the lax security around Ambassador Andrey Karlov.  And I am not referring to the Turks here, I am referring to the Russian security services.  Here is why.

Even if we assume that the Turks had told the Russians that they had established a ‘safe/sterile’ perimeter around the exhibit and that the general public would not be let in, the footage shows what appears to be only a few guests, there is no excuse for the Russian not to have at least one bodyguard in the immediate proximity to the Ambassador.  Turkey is not only a country at war, but Russia is a party to that war, the Takfiris have made a very long list of threats against Russia and, finally, Turkey is a country which has suffered from terrorism for years and which has just suffered a bloody attempted coup.  In a country like that a top official like an Ambassador should have been protected by an entire group of bodyguards, but in this case there was clearly nobody.  Oh sure, the Russian can blame the Turks for having set up a crappy perimeter, but as professionals they should know that the Turks are already having extreme difficulties in dealing with their own terrorists and that following the massive purges the security services are in a state of chaos.  Would one bodyguard have made a difference?

Yes, possibly.  Probably in fact.

From the video it appears that Mevlut Mert Aydintas was standing about 5 meter behind Ambassador Karlov when he opened fire.  Apparently, not a single of the shots hit the Ambassador’s head.  If Ambassador Karlov had been wearing a flack jacket or any other type of body armor he would have probably survived that first volley of bullets (unless one hit the cervicals).  One single bodyguard could then have easily killed Mevlut Mert Aydintas and evacuated the ambassador to safety.  Evidently Karlov was not wearing any kind of body armor that day.  Why?  He did not have a single bodyguard next to him.  Why?  No Russian voices are heard on the video, so there appears to have been no Russian security anywhere near the ambassador.  Why?

Normally, ambassadors are a very easy target.  Everybody knows them, their routine is public and, contrary to what many seem to think, most of them have no security detail.  I am absolutely amazed that more ambassadors are not killed regularly.  In high risk countries, however, ambassadors are normally protected, especially ambassadors representing countries involved in a war or who are likely targets of terrorist attacks.  True, as a rule, the Russians, including diplomats, tend to be more brave/reckless (pick the term) than their western counterparts: they don’t scare easy and they like to show that they are not afraid.  But that kind of attitude needs to be kept in check by professionals.

Frankly, it makes me angry to see how many Russians have been killed by that lax attitude towards personal risk and security.  Yes, it is very noble to be courageous, but to die killed by a manic is also plain dumb.  I would feel much better if Russian officials and politicians would be a little less courageous and a little more careful.  Because what happened today begs the question: who will it be the next time?


What happened today is a tragedy made twice as painful by the fact that it could probably have been avoided.  The Turkish security services will probably arrest overnight pretty much anybody and everybody Mevlut Mert Aydintas has ever met, and they will get lots of confessions.  I am pretty sure that they will share a lot of that data with the Russians, if only to show how sorry they are.  Alas, both the Turks and the Russians have an long tradition of secrecy and we might never find out who, if anybody, really was behind Mevlut Mert Aydintas.

The only thing I am sure of is that Putin will do nothing harsh regardless of who is behind this murder.  If it is the Takfiris, then the people involved will die in the next couple of years.  If the CIA is involved, however, the Russians will be much more careful and might chose to act in a very different way, possibly through the next Administration.  The murder of Ambassador Karlov will not succeed in derailing the Russian and Iranian efforts at getting some kind of a regional solution to the war in Syria, nor will it change the Russian determination to prevent the AngloZionst Empire of turning Syrian into yet another Takfiristan.

As for Russia and Turkey, as long as Erdogan remains in power they will continue to try to collaborate against the odds and in spite of deep and fundamental differences.  Neither Russia nor Turkey, which have fought each other in twelve wars, have any other option.

The Saker

Monday, December 19, 2016

Peace in Space Conference Building Support

I am back home now after my weekend trip to Huntsville, Alabama to do advance work for our Global Network 25th annual space organizing conference and protest.  The event will be held on April 7-9, 2017.

I was in the 'rocket city' to look for a conference meeting site and think we've found a good one.  Details still to be worked out.  I also needed to find a suitable hotel and to begin working on leads to get home hospitality for folks who can't afford a hotel or would rather spend quality time with local Huntsville activists.  So all that is heading in the right direction.

While in Huntsville Donald Trump came to Alabama for one of his victory lap appearances.  He has already appointed ultra-conservative Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) to be the next Attorney General of the nation.  Sessions is also serving as a major adviser to Trump on space issues - so Alabama will be central to the new administration in Washington.

This morning I felt great energy to work on the program for the conference - it will be a day long event on Saturday, April 8.  We are starting to hear from some of our Global Network board members who are signing up for various speaking slots.  It's exciting to think about them passing on their years of wisdom when it comes to peace in space issues.  Plus over these 25 years we have become family - and each time we hold a conference in a new place our family grows.  All good - especially at a time like this where we see our own government in the US coming apart at the seams - it helps to be part of a positive and loving movement.

Veterans For Peace (VFP) members from around the country are going to be heavily involved in the conference.  In fact our keynote speaker at the event will be Col. Ann Wright - retired Army and diplomat who now is a leader in VFP.  She resigned from the government after George W. Bush's 'shock and awe' attack on Iraq in 2003.

At the same time I am working with folks in Sweden, Finland and Denmark to plan a speaking tour for Dave Webb (GN board convener and Chair of CND in the UK) and I in February.

GN board member Agneta Norberg in Stockholm is organizing a one-day space conference on February 4 in her community.  Three GN board members will be attending (Dave Webb, Regina Hagen from Germany and myself).  The conference will highlight the dangerous security situation in Sweden. Sweden´s military installations are currently being adapted to NATO´s needs. NATO will be able to attack Russia from Swedish territory. US-NATO Air Force planes and Navy warships will have permanent access to bases and ports in Sweden.  

There is growing resistance and action groups have formed all over Sweden to oppose these dangerous and provocative US-NATO operations. One problem though is that the movement doesn’t know much about how space technology is directing all warfare today and Sweden’s growing role in the space warfare technology program.  So Agneta is taking the bull by the horns and holding an educational event for the public.

Then following the conference Dave Webb and I will do the 10-day speaking tour.  


Sunday, December 18, 2016

Love You Father Mun!

[Dec. 16] 'Love you, Father Mun' People sending messages to Fr. Mun in celebration of the 50 yr for Fr. Mun to be ordained as a Catholic priest in South Korea.

Fr. Mun has been one of the leaders of the resistance against the construction of a Navy base on Jeju Island that will be used to port US warships that are part of the Pentagon's 'pivot' into the Asia-Pacific.

Video editing by Grace Kim

Sunday Song

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Privatizing Water - The Next Gold

Huntsville: Visiting the Rocket City to Plan GN 2017 Conference

I flew from Boston to Huntsville, Alabama on Friday to do a weekend of advance work for the Global Network's 25th annual space organizing conference that will be held in this 'rocket city' on April 7-9, 2017.  Huntsville these days is called the 'Pentagon of the South' and serves as the 'directorate' for the Pentagon's provocative 'missile defense' program.

I am staying in the home of a local couple who have long been peace workers in this heavily militarized city.

When I arrived at the Huntsville airport I was taken aback by the loads of corporate space technology advertisements plastered along the walls as I made my way to baggage claim.  There can be no doubt that Boeing (the largest Star Wars contractor of all) and a host of other aerospace corporations are making big money off the plans to move the arms race into the heavens.

This morning I joined five other local activists on a busy street corner for their weekly peace rally that has been going on here in Huntsville for many years.  Surprisingly there were quite a few honks from cars driving by - mostly from younger people.

After the event two of the activists took me to lunch and we discussed the Global Network's plan to hold our annual event here next April.  They were very helpful pledging the support of the North Alabama Peace Network and the Green Party of Madison County. One of the two activists told me she was excited about the conference coming to her city because local activists feel so isolated.  It will be good to meet others from around the world and across the US who share their desire for peace.

My biggest task this weekend is to find a suitable meeting place for our day-long conference that will be held on April 8 here in the city.  On April 7 we'll have a news conference and a protest vigil at the Redstone Arsenal where the work on 'missile defense' is being directed as the Pentagon deploys these destabilizing systems near the Russian and Chinese borders.

I went to look at a couple potential meeting places and I am feeling confident that we've found a suitable place - with the good help of local folks.

I met one man later in the day who is a retired Redstone Arsenal engineer.  He knows alot about the US 'missile defense' program and told me that he feels it is really an offensive program.  He said he fears that the US wants war with Russia but can't quite seem to figure out why.  I told him that I believe it is because Russia has the world's largest supply of natural gas and because of the melting Arctic Sea ice due to climate change.  I've seen several references in the last year or so from corporate interests claiming that they want regime change in Moscow so they can 'balkanize' (break Russia into smaller nations) due to the fact that Russia has the planet's largest land border with the Arctic.  The fossil fuel mega-corporations want to get at the now exposed Arctic treasures.

In the morning I'll head to the large (and growing) Space and Rocket Museum here in Huntsville.  I fly home in the early afternoon.

It's been a good trip to visit the 'Pentagon of the South'.  I'm told the region has more engineers than any other place in the country.  With the billions of dollars being pumped into Huntsville to help build US 'control and domination' of space this community is on a major growth spurt.

The signs in the airport reveal this reality of Huntsville's addiction to military spending.  Like my own community of Bath, Maine (dependent on federal dollars to build Navy warships outfitted with 'missile defense' interceptors) more and more of America has become reliant on endless war in order to create jobs so workers can feed their families.

What does it say about the soul of our nation that we must remain in a state of endless war in order to drive our economy?  These are questions we will discuss next April 7-9 when we hold the Global Network's 25th annual conference in the 'rocket city'.  We invite you to join us for this important event.


Thursday, December 15, 2016

It's a Victory

Veterans For Peace member Tarak Kauff from Woodstock, NY has been to Standing Rock in North Dakota three times.

Here is an interview with him upon his most recent visit there earlier this month along with the couple thousand of other US military veterans.

Tarak comes to Maine frequently and was arrested with the Zumwalt 12 here in Bath, Maine last June 18 when we blocked the entrance to the 'christening' ceremony for the latest Zumwalt 'stealth' destroyer at Bath Iron Works.

Jury selection in the trial of the Zumwalt 12 will be January 5 in West Bath District Court. 

Poland as New U.S. Agent in Eastern Europe

The US strategy to force regime change in Russia is becoming more obvious.  Taking a look at the map one can see the strategic position of Poland - essentially a bridge between Europe and Russia.

Former Stratfor CEO George Friedman has written:  "Poland hasn't been a great power since the sixteenth century. But it once was-and, I think, will be again. Two factors make this possible. First will be the decline of Germany. Its economy is large and still growing, but it has lost the dynamism it has had for two centuries. In addition, its population is going to fall dramatically in the next fifty years, further undermining its economic power. Second, as the Russians press on the Poles from the east, the Germans won't have an appetite for a third war with Russia."

Essentially Friedman is making the point that Germany does not have the will to serve as the US agent (or bludgeon) for making war with Russia.  Germany would rather trade with Russia. Thus Poland enters the equation.  In the video below Friedman states, "Poland must become too much trouble."

The US plan is to turn Poland into its military center of operations in eastern Europe - close to Russia.  In order to encourage this relationship (and to sweeten the pot) the US is working hard to turn Poland into a regional economic power like it did in South Korea.  Poland has it all - location, location, location including Baltic Sea access.

Poland has considerable influence in Ukraine and Belarus and has taken it upon itself to champion expansion of the European Union eastward. Furthermore, the US military could eventually use Poland as a base from which to threaten the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad along with Belarus, Ukraine and the Baltic Sea. Russia does not want to see the US-Polish alliance blossom, allowing the United States -- once it extricates itself from the Middle East -- to reposition itself on Russia's borders.

In 2016 the US built an Aegis Ashore missile defense (MD) base in Romania aimed at Russia.  In the coming year a similar MD base will be built in Poland.  (The Pentagon has already deployed a Patriot missile battery in Poland.) All of these installations would play a key role in US first-strike attack planning on Russia - after a US attack on Russian underground missile silos the MD systems in Poland and Romania would be used as the 'shield' to pick-off any Russian retaliatory strikes giving the US a 'successful' first-strike capability.  Added to that would the the US Navy Aegis warships (also outfitted with MD interceptors) that would be stationed in the Mediterranean, Black and Baltic Seas.

One other key role that Poland is now playing is the destabilization of Belarus.  Belarus is a loyal member of the Russian Federation and also sits in a strategic position along the Russian border.  Poland's job, on behalf of their puppet masters in Washington, is to serve notice to Belarus that they must swing toward the west (NATO) or consider experiencing a similar fate as Ukraine did during the 2014 coup d'état sponsored by the US State Department under the guidance of Victoria Nuland and Hillary Clinton.

George Friedman lays out the plan for Poland in this video.  He begins focusing on the 'Poland vision' about nine minutes into the talk.


Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Love It......

Latest Space Alert Available Online & in Print

Our latest Global Network Space Alert newsletter is at the print shop and available online at the link here

Special note is our announcement on page two about our 25th annual space organizing conference to be held Huntsville, Alabama on April 7-9, 2017.  We hope you can join us there.

If you’d like to receive multiple copies of the print version for local distribution let us know and we can send you some.  All we ask is that you reimburse the GN for postage.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Syria From Someone Who Knows

Canadian freelance journalist Eva Bartlett totally schools a mainstream reporter on what’s actually going on in Syria during a recent news conference at the United Nations in New York City.

Eva has lived for three years in Gaza, spent time in Lebanon and visited Syria three times since April 2014.

Just in Case You Forgot the CIA's History

A Beautiful Story

Monday, December 12, 2016

Who Would Trust the CIA?

US Intel Vets Dispute Russia Hacking Claims
December 12, 2016

As the hysteria about Russia’s alleged interference in the U.S. election grows, a key mystery is why U.S. intelligence would rely on “circumstantial evidence” when it has the capability for hard evidence, say U.S. intelligence veterans.

Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity


Allegations of Hacking Election Are Baseless

A New York Times report on Monday alluding to “overwhelming circumstantial evidence” leading the CIA to believe that Russian President Vladimir Putin “deployed computer hackers with the goal of tipping the election to Donald J. Trump” is, sadly, evidence-free. This is no surprise, because harder evidence of a technical nature points to an inside leak, not hacking – by Russians or anyone else.

Monday’s Washington Post reports that Sen. James Lankford, R-Oklahoma, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, has joined other senators in calling for a bipartisan investigation of suspected cyber-intrusion by Russia. Reading our short memo could save the Senate from endemic partisanship, expense and unnecessary delay.

In what follows, we draw on decades of senior-level experience – with emphasis on cyber-intelligence and security – to cut through uninformed, largely partisan fog. Far from hiding behind anonymity, we are proud to speak out with the hope of gaining an audience appropriate to what we merit – given our long labors in government and other areas of technology. And corny though it may sound these days, our ethos as intelligence professionals remains, simply, to tell it like it is – without fear or favor.

We have gone through the various claims about hacking. For us, it is child’s play to dismiss them. The email disclosures in question are the result of a leak, not a hack. Here’s the difference between leaking and hacking:

Leak: When someone physically takes data out of an organization and gives it to some other person or organization, as Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning did.

Hack: When someone in a remote location electronically penetrates operating systems, firewalls or any other cyber-protection system and then extracts data.

All signs point to leaking, not hacking. If hacking were involved, the National Security Agency would know it – and know both sender and recipient.

In short, since leaking requires physically removing data – on a thumb drive, for example – the only way such data can be copied and removed, with no electronic trace of what has left the server, is via a physical storage device.

Awesome Technical Capabilities

Again, NSA is able to identify both the sender and recipient when hacking is involved. Thanks largely to the material released by Edward Snowden, we can provide a full picture of NSA’s extensive domestic data-collection network including Upstream programs like Fairview, Stormbrew and Blarney. These include at least 30 companies in the U.S. operating the fiber networks that carry the Public Switched Telephone Network as well as the World Wide Web. This gives NSA unparalleled access to data flowing within the U.S. and data going out to the rest of the world, as well as data transiting the U.S.

In other words, any data that is passed from the servers of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) or of Hillary Rodham Clinton (HRC) – or any other server in the U.S. – is collected by the NSA.  These data transfers carry destination addresses in what are called packets, which enable the transfer to be traced and followed through the network.

Packets: Emails being passed across the World Wide Web are broken down into smaller segments called packets. These packets are passed into the network to be delivered to a recipient. This means the packets need to be reassembled at the receiving end.

To accomplish this, all the packets that form a message are assigned an identifying number that enables the receiving end to collect them for reassembly. Moreover, each packet carries the originator and ultimate receiver Internet protocol number (either IPV4 or IPV6) that enables the network to route data.

When email packets leave the U.S., the other “Five Eyes” countries (the U.K., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand) and the seven or eight additional countries participating with the U.S. in bulk-collection of everything on the planet would also have a record of where those email packets went after leaving the U.S.

These collection resources are extensive; they include hundreds of trace route programs that trace the path of packets going across the network and tens of thousands of hardware and software implants in switches and servers that manage the network. Any emails being extracted from one server going to another would be, at least in part, recognizable and traceable by all these resources.

The bottom line is that the NSA would know where and how any “hacked” emails from the DNC, HRC or any other servers were routed through the network. This process can sometimes require a closer look into the routing to sort out intermediate clients, but in the end sender and recipient can be traced across the network.

The various ways in which usually anonymous spokespeople for U.S. intelligence agencies are equivocating – saying things like “our best guess” or “our opinion” or “our estimate” etc. – shows that the emails alleged to have been “hacked” cannot be traced across the network. Given NSA’s extensive trace capability, we conclude that DNC and HRC servers alleged to have been hacked were, in fact, not hacked.

The evidence that should be there is absent; otherwise, it would surely be brought forward, since this could be done without any danger to sources and methods. Thus, we conclude that the emails were leaked by an insider – as was the case with Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning. Such an insider could be anyone in a government department or agency with access to NSA databases, or perhaps someone within the DNC.

As for the comments to the media as to what the CIA believes, the reality is that CIA is almost totally dependent on NSA for ground truth in the communications arena. Thus, it remains something of a mystery why the media is being fed strange stories about hacking that have no basis in fact. In sum, given what we know of NSA’s existing capabilities, it beggars belief that NSA would be unable to identify anyone – Russian or not – attempting to interfere in a U.S. election by hacking.

For the Steering Group, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)

~ William Binney, former Technical Director, World Geopolitical & Military Analysis, NSA; co-founder, SIGINT Automation Research Center (ret.)

~ Mike Gravel, former Adjutant, top secret control officer, Communications Intelligence Service; special agent of the Counter Intelligence Corps and former United States Senator

~ Larry Johnson, former CIA Intelligence Officer & former State Department Counter-Terrorism Official

~ Ray McGovern, former US Army infantry/intelligence officer & CIA analyst (ret.)

~ Elizabeth Murray, Deputy National Intelligence Officer for Middle East, CIA (ret.)

~ Kirk Wiebe, former Senior Analyst, SIGINT Automation Research Center, NSA (ret.)

What Happened to the 'Fiscal Conservatives'?

It's Advent season which means we are holding our weekly vigils at Bath Iron Works (BIW) here in Maine declaring our desire to see the Navy shipyard converted to build sustainable technologies like commuter rail systems, wind turbines, tidal power systems and solar power.

The military has the largest carbon bootprint on Mother Earth and if the future generations are going to have a future we need to stop waging endless war and instead build for the future.  But it won't happen unless we keep making the demand and continue to build support for the idea.

Mary Beth Sullivan wrote an excellent article a couple years ago on the conversion issue that was printed in The Humanist magazine.  I highly recommend reading it here.  Please help spread the word on this important concern by sharing the article.  Even though it is a couple years old it remains a fresh and vital story.

News today here in Bath, Maine is that Trump's pick for Secretary of War, General 'Mad Dog' Mattis, serves on the Board of Directors of the General Dynamics weapons corporation that just so happens to own Bath Iron Works.  Our local paper ran the story along with a quote from Mattis that reads:

“With the cutbacks to the Army and Air Force and fewer forces around the world, military aspects of our strategy will inevitably become more naval in character,” said Mattis. “Today I question if our shipbuilding budget is sufficient, especially in light of the situation in the South China Sea.”
Thus many local folks I am certain are cheering and thinking that BIW is in hog heaven.  Nothing like a new enemy (China) to keep the very expensive warships rolling off the production line.

I can't help but wonder what happened to all the 'fiscal conservatives' who were so worried about the massive debt the nation is piling onto the backs of our children.  Recent disclosures indicate that the Pentagon buried an internal study that reported $125 billion could be saved in military contracting costs if simple administrative changes were made.  Or maybe the fiscal conservatives might want to call for an audit of the Pentagon since several trillion $$$$ are reported 'missing' in the bowels of the war machine.  Somebody must have shrink wrapped the money and shipped it out on pallets to some war zone.  I can imagine a bunch of lower level officers stuffing the wads of cash into their ruck sacks to be used for a deposit on their very own Shangri-La when they got home.

Just imagine the good that could be done with all that wasted money!  We could obviously retool the military industrial complex and change our entire energy system to one that would allow for life rather than the greenhouse gases from fossil fuels.

Many ask: what about the corporate executives who keep doing all these terrible things that are killing life on this planet?  Don't they worry about their own families and how they are impacted?

It's a good question and the only answer that makes any sense to me is that these cats are so blinded by their love for the dollar bill that they can't see anything else - their spiritual connection to our Mother Earth is broken - snapped like a twig.  What else could it be?