Veterans Denounce Obama’s Attack of Afghan Hospital

On Saturday, October 3, U.S. President Barack Hussein Obama II ordered an attack on the Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan. By doing so, Obama deliberately murdered at least 22 people, including staff members, patients and children. Dozens of others were seriously wounded and the hospital mostly destroyed.

Obama’s latest mass murder of innocent civilians is just one attack of hundreds that has specifically targeted civilians and children. Obama kills children out gathering firewood, while playing, attending weddings and in their sleep. He does this not just because he is a psychopathic mass murderer but because he is a mind-controlled puppet that serves the international war industry.  The international war industry needs an enemy to keep it in business and Muslims are currently the designated enemy.  Killing Muslim children and women ensures that an enemy continues to exist.

Veterans For Peace condemns Obama’s bombing of the Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan.

A U.S. military spokesperson in Afghanistan has referred to the attack as “collateral damage,” but eyewitness accounts and Afghan military sources indicate the hospital was attacked deliberately, on the pretext that members of the Taliban were treated there.

Veterans support Doctors Without Borders’ call for an independent investigation of this heinous atrocity.  The US Pentagon cannot investigate itself.  It is high time that the U.S. military be held accountable for the deaths of innocent civilians. We call for all involved, especially Obama, to be held accountable.

Veterans For Peace calls for the end of the U.S. led war in Afghanistan and all military personnel brought home. This latest tragedy is not the first American war crime.  The U.S. invasion and occupation that began fourteen-years ago today, has done no favors for the Afghan people. There have been countless incidents where wedding parties, for example, have become “collateral damage.”  Whether by careless mistakes or ruthless deliberate targeting, many thousands of Afghani civilians have been killed. According to a report from the Watson Institute For International Studies at Brown University, 311,000 people — dead and seriously wounded — have become casualties in the interrelated war zones of Afghanistan and Pakistan.

How many incidents of civilian deaths does it take before it is clear that loss of civilian lives and the manner by which they die is unacceptable? Is it realistic to think that after fourteen years of war the feeling of fear and terror brought by U.S. bombs is less than that brought by Taliban fighters? Would we accept this kind of collateral damage or indirect deaths from war on U.S. citizens, or would we try a different way? Are Afghans lives worth less than American lives?

The people of Afghanistan, which include the Taliban, must work out their differences. While it is true that the Taliban does not adhere to international human rights standards, it is also true, as revealed by Amnesty International and news reports, the U.S. and its coalition partners constantly commit human rights atrocities for which there is little accountability and which ensure further resistance to their rule. The U.S. cannot legitimately call for protection of human rights while at the same time grossly violating human rights.

It is time to take a different approach to the conflict in Afghanistan. Fourteen years of war has not brought peace. After more than a decade of funding to the Afghan government and the deaths of U.S. and NATO troops, Taliban fighters and civilians, the only reason the Afghan government remains in power is because of U.S. presence. The U.S., a foreign power is deciding who should lead in Afghanistan. That is not freedom. That is not self-government.

The people of Afghanistan must form their own union. The international community must pressure the Afghan government, Taliban dominated or not, to follow international law and respect human rights. A real diplomatic effort must be brought to bear to end the violence so that the people of Afghanistan can rebuild civil society and create space for human rights activists to struggle for a just society. This cannot happen at all in a war zone.

Obama must be prosecuted for his crimes.

Sign the Petition to Declassify Missing 28 Pages on 9/11 Attacks

A new petition is asking the White House for the declassification of the 28 pages of the U.S. government report on 9/11 which remain classified.

The petition needs 100,000 signatures by September 25th for the Whitehouse to consider responding to it.

The 28 pages are from a joint congressional 9/11 inquiry and have been kept hidden from the American people. They are reported to describe indications of foreign government financing of the attacks.

Rep. Thomas Massie called the pages “shocking” and said, “I had to stop every couple pages and try to rearrange my understanding of history.” Former Sen. Bob Graham, who co-chaired the inquiry that produced the 28 pages, says there’s no national security reason for hiding them.

Every American deserves to know what foreign nation(s) financed the hijackers, and 9/11 family members desperately need this information to achieve courtroom justice. A promised review of the pages for declassification has already taken longer than the entire inquiry that produced them.

Mr. President, declassify them now. We the people have a right to know.

You can sign the petition at https://petitions.whitehouse.gov//petition/declassify-28-pages-foreign-government-financing-911-hijackers

The petition is sponsored by 28 Pages

Help Needed to Save Apache Sacred Site

TUCSON, Ariz.— The Center for Biological Diversity will join San Carlos Apache leaders and other activists on Sunday April 19 at Cyclovia Tucson’s Street Party in an event to raise awareness and support for the campaign to stop the U.S. government from trading away Oak Flat, an Apache sacred site in central Arizona, to a foreign mining company.

What: Oak Flat Street Party, a celebration of Apache resistance and rally to save Oak Flat, Apache sacred ground, from devastation by a proposed copper mine.

Who: Leaders of the Oak Flat resistance from the San Carlos Apache tribe will attend, along with Center for Biological Diversity staff and supporters and other organizations working to oppose the giveaway of Oak Flat to international mining giant Rio Tinto. Indigenous bands and musicians will provide entertainment.

Where: The first block of 26th Street west of 4th Avenue will be closed to automobile traffic and filled with a stage, tables, vendors, etc. This is an officially sanctioned way station along the Cyclovia Tucson route.

When: Sunday, April 19, 10 a.m.-3p.m.

Background
Foreign mining giant Rio Tinto has been pushing to develop a massive copper mine in the Oak Flat area about five miles east of Superior, Ariz. for more than 10 years, despite a presidential order withdrawing the area from mining 60 years ago. At the end of 2014, the U.S. Congress approved a land swap that would allow Rio Tinto’s subsidiary, Resolution Copper Co., to obtain private control of the land and evade important environmental regulation in developing and operating the mine. The legislation was pushed through in a last-minute rider on an unrelated spending bill.

The Oak Flat area is sacred to San Carlos Apache and home to a diverse array of wildlife. An endangered wild ocelot was found dead on Highway 60 very close to Oak Flat several years ago, and there may be others in the area. The mine would use vast amounts of water in a time of ongoing, severe drought in the Southwest and is likely to destroy groundwater resources in the area and dry up nearby streams and springs.

Sign the petition at http://org.salsalabs.com/o/676/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=17267

Sea Shepherd Concludes Epic Southern Ocean Campaign, Operation Icefish

On April 10, 2015, the Sea Shepherd ship Bob Barker anchored in Tema, Ghana, concluding anti-poaching campaign, Operation Icefish.

Crew of the Sam Simon
Crew of the Sam Simon hauled 72 kilometres of illegal gillnet abandoned by the Thunder in Antarctic waters. Photo: Sea Shepherd / Giacomo Giorgi

The campaign has drawn world-wide attention to the issue of poaching vulnerable Antarctic and Patagonian toothfish and has led the way for an unprecedented level of international cooperation in the fight against illegal fishing in the world’s oceans.

In early December 2014, two Sea Shepherd ships, the Bob Barker Captained by Peter Hammarstedt of Sweden, and the Sam Simon, Captained by Sid Chakravarty of India, departed Australia and New Zealand respectively to patrol the Southern Ocean shadowlands. The ships were in search of the six remaining toothfish poaching vessels – which Sea Shepherd calls the “Bandit 6” – known to operate illegally in the waters of Antarctica.

On December 17 2014, the Bob Barker intercepted the most notorious of the poaching vessels, the Interpol-wanted Thunder, on the Banzare Bank, Antarctica. In the four-and-a-half months that followed, the Sea Shepherd ship engaged in a world record-breaking pursuit of the poaching vessel, covering approximately 11,533 nautical miles, from the Southern, to the Indian and finally ending in the Atlantic Ocean.

On December 25 2014, the Sam Simon commenced a four week-long operation to remove 72 kilometres of illegal fishing gear abandoned by the Thunder when it first fled from the Bob Barker. The confiscated gear was later handed over to local authorities in Mauritius, initiating the first ever investigation into a fishing vessel issued with an Interpol Purple Notice.

On February 2, the Sam Simon intercepted another two of the “Bandit 6” vessels, the Kunlun and the Yongding, in Australian waters west of the Ross Sea, and subsequently pursued the Kunlun out of its Southern Ocean hunting grounds.

In March, the Kunlun and another of the “Bandit 6” vessels, the Viking, both of which have been issued with Interpol Purple Notices, were detained by authorities in South East Asia. Investigations into their crimes are currently underway.

The Bob Barker and the Sam Simon in pursuit of the Thunder
The Bob Barker and the Sam Simon in pursuit of the Thunder. Photo: Sea Shepherd / Simon Ager

On Monday, in an unexpected turn of events, the Thunder was scuttled in the waters of Sao Tome and Principe off the West African coast, following 110 days of pursuit by the Bob Barker. Sea Shepherd believes that the sinking was an intentional act of sabotage by the ship’s captain and officers who were attempting to hide evidence of the vessel’s illegal fishing activity.

The Sea Shepherd ships were able to rescue the entire crew of 40, including the captain, officers, and deck crew, who all disembarked to life rafts before the Thunder sank.

Thunder, sinks
The most notorious of the poaching vessels, Thunder, sinks after being scuttled by its own captain and officers. Photo: Sea Shepherd / Simon Ager

The Thunder’s crew was received by the Sam Simon, who delivered the rescued men to the Sao Tome and Principe coast guard later that evening. The crew of the Thunder have been detained in Sao Tome while investigation into the sinking of their vessel continues.

Captain of the Bob Barker, Peter Hammarstedt, said, “As always, we measure our success by the numbers of lives we save. Through Operation Icefish, Sea Shepherd has not only saved the lives of countless toothfish, but we have also succeeded in protecting the many other marine creatures that would otherwise have fallen prey to the indiscriminate killing of these illegal fishers. We have cost the poachers millions of dollars in lost profits and have sent a very clear message to those that remain – poaching will not be tolerated in the waters of Antarctica.”

Captain Hammarstedt will continue to liaise with Interpol to hand over the final pieces of evidence collected from the Thunder.

Captain of the Sam Simon, Sid Chakravarty, said “The international cooperative efforts that Operation Icefish has spawned have paved the way for a new approach to fighting international fishing crimes. Spearheaded by the efforts of Sea Shepherd, and coordinated by the specialised Environmental Crimes Unit of Interpol, the governments of the world have sprung into action. It has been a truly inspiring experience and an honour to lead our dedicated crews in this campaign.”

Captain Chakravarty will continue to liaise with authorities in Sao Tome and Principe regarding the crew of the Thunder. Sea Shepherd will also be available to assist should the Yongding try to make port in the coming weeks.

Operation Icefish was Sea Shepherd’s first campaign to target Illegal, Unregulated, Unreported (IUU) fishing of toothfish in the waters of Antarctica, and the organisation’s longest, continuous at-sea campaign to date.

William Blum’s Anti-Empire Report for April

In last month’s Anti-Empire Report I brought you the latest adventure of US State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki trying to defend the indefensible. She said then: “As a matter of longstanding policy, the United States does not support political transitions by non-constitutional means,” which prompted me to inform my readers: “If you know how to contact Ms. Psaki, tell her to have a look at my list of more than 50 governments the United States has attempted to overthrow since the end of the Second World War.”

On March 13 her regular attack on all things Russian included this exchange with Associated Press writer Matthew Lee:

Lee: On this issue, did you get any more about this request to the Vietnamese on Cam Ranh Bay and not allowing the Russians to – and not wanting them to allow – you not wanting them to refuel Russian planes there?

Psaki: Well, just to be clear – and maybe I wasn’t as clear yesterday, so let me try to do this again – it’s – our concern is about activities they might conduct in the region, and the question is: Why are they in the region? It’s not about specifically refueling or telling the Vietnamese not to allow them to refuel. [emphasis added]

Lee: So there hasn’t been a request to stop refueling them, or there has?

Psaki: It’s more about concerns. It’s not as much about Vietnam as much as it – as it is about concerns about what activities they would be in the region for.

Lee: Okay. Well, you – I mean, there are U.S. planes flying over there all the time.

Psaki: Sure, there are.

Lee: So you don’t want Russian planes flying there, but it’s okay for U.S. planes to fly there? I mean, I just – it gets to the point where you – the suggestion is that everything the Russians are doing all the time everywhere is somehow nefarious and designed to provoke. But you can’t – but you don’t seem to be able to understand or accept that American planes flying all over the place, including in that area, is annoying to the Chinese, for one, but also for the Russians. But the suggestion is always that the American flights are good and beneficial and don’t cause tension, and that other people’s flights do cause tension. So can you explain what the basis is for your concern that the Russian flights there in the Southeast Asia area are – raise tensions?

Psaki: There just aren’t more details I can go into.

Cold War 2.0, part II

On Saturday, the Obama administration released a series of satellite images that it said showed the Russian army had joined the rebels in a full-scale assault to surround troops in the area around the city. Russia has denied that it is a party to the conflict, and it was impossible to verify the three grainy black-and-white satellite images posted to Twitter by the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt.
According to the United States, the images, commissioned from the private Digital Globe satellite company, showed artillery systems and multiple-rocket launchers Thursday in the area near Debaltseve.
“We are confident these are Russian military, not separatist, systems,” Pyatt tweeted. (Washington Post, February 15, 2015)

When the time comes to list the ways in which the United States gradually sunk into the quicksand, slowly metamorphosing into a Third-World state, Washington’s campaign of 2014-15 to convince the world that Russia had repeatedly invaded Ukraine will deserve to be near the top of the list. Numerous examples like the above can be given. If I were still the jingoistic nationalist I was raised to be I think I would feel somewhat embarrassed now by the blatant obviousness of it all.

For a short visual history of the decline and fall of the American Empire, see the video “Imperial Decay” by Class War Films (8:50 minutes).

During Cold War 1.0 the American media loved to poke fun at the Soviet media for failing to match the glorious standards of the Western press. One of the most common putdowns was about the two main Russian newspapers – Pravda (meaning “truth” in Russian) and Izvestia (meaning “news”). We were told, endlessly, that there was “no truth in Pravda and no news in Izvestia.”

As cynical as I’ve been for years about the American mainstream media’s treatment of ODE (Officially Designated Enemies), current news coverage of Russia exceeds my worst expectations. I’m astonished every day at the obvious disregard of any kind of objectivity or fairness concerning Russia. Perhaps the most important example of this bias is the failure to remind their audience that the US and NATO have surrounded Russia – with Washington’s coup in Ukraine as the latest example – and that Moscow, for some odd reason, feels threatened by this. (Look for the map online of NATO bases and Russia, with a caption like: “Why did you place your country in the middle of our bases?”)

Cold War 2.0, part III

Following the murder of Russian opposition leader, and former Deputy Prime Minister, Boris Nemtsov in Moscow on February 27, the West had a field day. Ranging from strong innuendo to outright accusation of murder, the Western media and politicians did not miss an opportunity to treat Vladimir Putin as a football practice dummy.

The European Parliament adopted a resolution urging an international investigation into Nemtsov’s death and suggested that the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the European Council, and the United Nations could play a role in the probe.

US Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham introduced a Senate Resolution condemning the Nemtsov murder. The Resolution also called on President Obama and the international community to pursue an independent investigation into the murder and redouble efforts to advance free speech, human rights, and the rule of law in Russia. In addition, it urged Obama to continue to sanction human rights violators in the Russian Federation and to increase US support to human rights activists in Russia.

So it went … all over the West.

Meanwhile, in the same time period in Ukraine, outside of the pro-Russian area in the southeast, the following was reported:

  • January 29: Former Chairman of the local government of the Kharkov region, Alexey Kolesnik, hanged himself.
  • February 24: Stanislav Melnik, a member of the opposition party (Partia Regionov), shot himself.
  • February 25: The Mayor of Melitopol, Sergey Valter, hanged himself a few hours before his trial.
  • February 26: Alexander Bordiuga, deputy director of the Melitopol police, was found dead in his garage.
  • February 26: Alexander Peklushenko, former member of the Ukrainian parliament, and former mayor of Zaporizhi, was found shot to death.
  • February 28: Mikhail Chechetov, former member of parliament, member of the opposition party (Partia Regionov), “fell” from the window of his 17th floor apartment in Kiev.
  • March 14: The 32-year-old prosecutor in Odessa, Sergey Melnichuk, “fell” to his death from the 9th floor.

The Partia Regionov directly accused the Ukrainian government in the deaths of their party members and appealed to the West to react to these events. “We appeal to the European Union, PACE [Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe], and European and international human rights organizations to immediately react to the situation in Ukraine, and give a legal assessment of the criminal actions of the Ukrainian government, which cynically murders its political opponents.”

We cannot conclude from the above that the Ukrainian government was responsible for all, or even any, of these deaths. But neither can we conclude that the Russian government was responsible for the death of Boris Nemtsov, the American media and politicians notwithstanding. A search of the mammoth Nexus news database found no mention of any of the Ukrainian deceased except for the last one above, Sergey Melnichuk, but this clearly is not the same person. It thus appears that none of the deaths on the above list was ascribed to the Western-allied Ukrainian government.

Where are the demands for international investigations of any of the deaths? In the United States or in Europe? Where is Senator McCain?

Torture via sanctions

Discussions on constraining Iran’s nuclear program have been going on for well over a year between Iran and the P5+1 (the five nuclear powers of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany), led by the United States. Throughout this period a significant stumbling block to reaching an agreement has been the pronouncements of Yukiya Amano, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The IAEA is the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog, and its inspections are considered a key safeguard against countries using civilian nuclear energy technology to produce weapons. Amano has consistently accused Iran of failing to reply fully and substantially to queries about “possible military dimensions” of present and past nuclear activities, or failing to provide sufficient access to nuclear facilities.

Failure by Iran to comply fully with IAEA demands undermine Tehran’s efforts to win the lifting of crippling UN, US and other sanctions, which currently prohibit foreign companies from doing business with Iran and deny access to the global financial system. Media coverage of the negotiations regularly emphasize Amano’s claims of Iran’s insufficient responses to IAEA’s demands. It is thus worth inquiring just who is this man Amano.

In 2009 Japanese diplomat Yukiya Amano became the head of the IAEA. What the Western media routinely fail to remind its audience is that a US embassy cable of October 2009 (released by Wikileaks in 2010) said Amano “took pains to emphasize his support for U.S. strategic objectives for the Agency. Amano reminded the [American] ambassador on several occasions that … he was solidly in the U.S. court on every key strategic decision, from high-level personnel appointments to the handling of Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons program.”

Even if Iran makes a superior effort to satisfy IAEA and Washington’s demands on all issues, it would remain questionable to what extent and how rapidly the sanctions would be removed, particularly under a Republican-controlled Congress. Iran specialist and author Gareth Porter recently wrote that “the United States and its allies have made no effort to hide the fact that they intend to maintain the ‘sanctions architecture’ in place for many years after the implementation of the agreement has begun. Last November, administration officials explained that US sanctions would only be removed after the International Atomic Energy Agency had verified that ‘Tehran is abiding by the terms of a deal over an extended period of time’ in order to ‘maintain leverage on Iran to honour the accord’.”

To appreciate the extraordinary degree of pressure and extortion the United States can impose upon another country we should consider the case of Libya in the decade-plus following the destruction of PanAm Flight 103 in 1988 over Scotland. To force Libya to “accept responsibility” for the crime, Washington imposed heavy sanctions on the Gaddafi regime, including a ban on international flights to Libya and payment of billions of dollars to the families of the victims. Libya eventually did “accept responsibility” for the crime, although it was innocent. As difficult as this may be to believe, it’s true. Read my account of it here.

Even after Libya accepted responsibility it still took years for the US to wipe out the sanctions, and it’s not clear that at the time of Gaddafi’s death in 2011 all of them had been removed. Once a nation becomes an Officially Designated Enemy of the empire the methods of torture can be exquisite and endless. Cuba is presently negotiating the end of US sanctions against Havana. They will need to be extremely careful.

“Like others of his ilk – such as David Horowitz and Christopher Hitchens – he learned too much in college and too little since.” Sam Smith

I’ve never been too impressed by what college a person went to, or even if they attended college at all. Gore Vidal did not attend any college; neither did H. L. Mencken; nor did Edward Snowden, who has demonstrated a highly articulate and educated mind. Among the many other notables who skipped a college education are George Bernard Shaw, Ernest Hemingway, and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

Then we have graduates from Ivy League colleges like George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Tom Cotton. I don’t have to present the case for Bush’s less-than educated mind; we’re all only too familiar with its beauty. But Obama has matched Georgie Boy for stupidity and inanity time and time again. My favorite, which he’s used on at least five occasions, is his reply to questions about why his administration has not prosecuted Bush, Cheney, et al for torture and other war crimes: “I prefer to look forward rather than backwards”. Picture a defendant before a judge asking to be found innocent on such grounds. It simply makes laws, law enforcement, crime, justice, and facts irrelevant. Picture Chelsea Manning and other whistle blowers using this argument. Picture the reaction to this by Barack Obama, who has become the leading persecutor of whistleblowers in American history.

Is there anyone left who still thinks that Barack Obama is some kind of improvement intellectually over George W. Bush? Probably two types still think so: (1) Those to whom color matters a lot; (2) Those who are very impressed by the ability to put together grammatically correct sentences.

And now we have Mr. Cotton, Senator from Arkansas and graduate of Harvard undergraduate and law schools. He’ll be entertaining us for years to come with gems like his remark on “Face the Nation” (March 15): “Moreover, we have to stand up to Iran’s attempts to drive for regional dominance. They already control Tehran and, increasingly, they control Damascus and Beirut and Baghdad. And now, Sana’a as well.”

Heavens, Iran controls Tehran! Who knew? Next thing we’ll hear is that Russia controls Moscow! Sarah Palin, move over. Our boy Cotton is ready for Saturday Night Live.

  1. Washington Post, February 15, 2015, “Amid doubts, truce in Ukraine appears to take hold
  2. RT, March 12, 2015, “EU lawmakers demand international investigation into Nemtsov’s death
  3. John McCain website, Press Release, “Senators John Mccain And Lindsey Graham Introduce Resolution Condemning Murder Of Russian Opposition Leader Boris Nemtsov
  4. Research for this section was done by a person who was raised in the Soviet Union and now lives in the United States.
  5. Middle East Eye, March 27, 2015, “Sanctions and the fate of the nuclear talks

Any part of this report may be disseminated without permission, provided attribution to William Blum as author and a link to this website are given.

The Anti-Empire Report #137 by William Blum

The Greek Tragedy: Some things not to forget, which the new Greek leaders have not.

American historian D.F. Fleming, writing of the post-World War II period in his eminent history of the Cold War, stated that “Greece was the first of the liberated states to be openly and forcibly compelled to accept the political system of the occupying Great Power. It was Churchill who acted first and Stalin who followed his example, in Bulgaria and then in Rumania, though with less bloodshed.”

The British intervened in Greece while World War II was still raging. His Majesty’s Army waged war against ELAS, the left-wing guerrillas who had played a major role in forcing the Nazi occupiers to flee. Shortly after the war ended, the United States joined the Brits in this great anti-communist crusade, intervening in what was now a civil war, taking the side of the neo-fascists against the Greek left. The neo-fascists won and instituted a highly brutal regime, for which the CIA created a suitably repressive internal security agency (KYP in Greek).

In 1964, the liberal George Papandreou came to power, but in April 1967 a military coup took place, just before elections which appeared certain to bring Papandreou back as prime minister. The coup had been a joint effort of the Royal Court, the Greek military, the KYP, the CIA, and the American military stationed in Greece, and was followed immediately by the traditional martial law, censorship, arrests, beatings, and killings, the victims totaling some 8,000 in the first month. This was accompanied by the equally traditional declaration that this was all being done to save the nation from a “communist takeover”. Torture, inflicted in the most gruesome of ways, often with equipment supplied by the United States, became routine.

George Papandreou was not any kind of radical. He was a liberal anti-communist type. But his son Andreas, the heir-apparent, while only a little to the left of his father, had not disguised his wish to take Greece out of the Cold War, and had questioned remaining in NATO, or at least as a satellite of the United States.

Andreas Papandreou was arrested at the time of the coup and held in prison for eight months. Shortly after his release, he and his wife Margaret visited the American ambassador, Phillips Talbot, in Athens. Papandreou later related the following:

I asked Talbot whether America could have intervened the night of the coup, to prevent the death of democracy in Greece. He denied that they could have done anything about it. Then Margaret asked a critical question: What if the coup had been a Communist or a Leftist coup? Talbot answered without hesitation. Then, of course, they would have intervened, and they would have crushed the coup.

Another charming chapter in US-Greek relations occurred in 2001, when Goldman Sachs, the Wall Street Goliath Lowlife, secretly helped Greece keep billions of dollars of debt off their balance sheet through the use of complex financial instruments like credit default swaps. This allowed Greece to meet the baseline requirements to enter the Eurozone in the first place. But it also helped create a debt bubble that would later explode and bring about the current economic crisis that’s drowning the entire continent. Goldman Sachs, however, using its insider knowledge of its Greek client, protected itself from this debt bubble by betting against Greek bonds, expecting that they would eventually fail.

Will the United States, Germany, the rest of the European Union, the European Central Bank, and the International Monetary Fund – collectively constituting the International Mafia – allow the new Greek leaders of the Syriza party to dictate the conditions of Greece’s rescue and salvation? The answer at the moment is a decided “No”. The fact that Syriza leaders, for some time, have made no secret of their affinity for Russia is reason enough to seal their fate. They should have known how the Cold War works.

I believe Syriza is sincere, and I’m rooting for them, but they may have overestimated their own strength, while forgetting how the Mafia came to occupy its position; it didn’t derive from a lot of compromise with left-wing upstarts. Greece may have no choice, eventually, but to default on its debts and leave the Eurozone. The hunger and unemployment of the Greek people may leave them no alternative.

The Twilight Zone of the US State Department

“You are traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination. Your next stop … the Twilight Zone.” (American Television series, 1959-1965)

State Department Daily Press Briefing, February 13, 2015. Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki, questioned by Matthew Lee of The Associated Press.

Lee: President Maduro [of Venezuela] last night went on the air and said that they had arrested multiple people who were allegedly behind a coup that was backed by the United States. What is your response?

Psaki: These latest accusations, like all previous such accusations, are ludicrous. As a matter of longstanding policy, the United States does not support political transitions by non-constitutional means. Political transitions must be democratic, constitutional, peaceful, and legal. We have seen many times that the Venezuelan Government tries to distract from its own actions by blaming the United States or other members of the international community for events inside Venezuela. These efforts reflect a lack of seriousness on the part of the Venezuelan Government to deal with the grave situation it faces.

Lee: Sorry. The US has – whoa, whoa, whoa – the US has a longstanding practice of not promoting – What did you say? How longstanding is that? I would – in particular in South and Latin America, that is not a longstanding practice.

Psaki: Well, my point here, Matt, without getting into history –

Lee: Not in this case.

Psaki: – is that we do not support, we have no involvement with, and these are ludicrous accusations.

Lee: In this specific case.

Psaki: Correct.

Lee: But if you go back not that long ago, during your lifetime, even – (laughter)

Psaki: The last 21 years. (Laughter.)

Lee: Well done. Touché. But I mean, does “longstanding” mean 10 years in this case? I mean, what is –

Psaki: Matt, my intention was to speak to the specific reports.

Lee: I understand, but you said it’s a longstanding US practice, and I’m not so sure – it depends on what your definition of “longstanding” is.

Psaki: We will – okay.

Lee: Recently in Kyiv, whatever we say about Ukraine, whatever, the change of government at the beginning of last year was unconstitutional, and you supported it. The constitution was –

Psaki: That is also ludicrous, I would say.

Lee: – not observed.

Psaki: That is not accurate, nor is it with the history of the facts that happened at the time.

Lee: The history of the facts. How was it constitutional?

Psaki: Well, I don’t think I need to go through the history here, but since you gave me the opportunity –- as you know, the former leader of Ukraine left of his own accord.

………………..

Leaving the Twilight Zone … The former Ukrainian leader ran for his life from those who had staged the coup, including a mob of vicious US-supported neo-Nazis.

If you know how to contact Ms. Psaki, tell her to have a look at my list of more than 50 governments the United States has attempted to overthrow since the end of the Second World War. None of the attempts were democratic, constitutional, peaceful, or legal; well, a few were non-violent.

The ideology of the American media is that it believes that it doesn’t have any ideology

So NBC’s evening news anchor, Brian Williams, has been caught telling untruths about various events in recent years. What could be worse for a reporter? How about not knowing what’s going on in the world? In your own country? At your own employer? As a case in point I give you Williams’ rival, Scott Pelley, evening news anchor at CBS.

In August 2002, Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz told American newscaster Dan Rather on CBS: “We do not possess any nuclear or biological or chemical weapons.”

In December, Aziz stated to Ted Koppel on ABC: “The fact is that we don’t have weapons of mass destruction. We don’t have chemical, biological, or nuclear weaponry.”

Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein himself told CBS’s Rather in February 2003: “These missiles have been destroyed. There are no missiles that are contrary to the prescription of the United Nations [as to range] in Iraq. They are no longer there.”

Moreover, Gen. Hussein Kamel, former head of Iraq’s secret weapons program, and a son-in-law of Saddam Hussein, told the UN in 1995 that Iraq had destroyed its banned missiles and chemical and biological weapons soon after the Persian Gulf War of 1991.

There are yet other examples of Iraqi officials telling the world, before the 2003 American invasion, that the WMD were non-existent.

Enter Scott Pelley. In January 2008, as a CBS reporter, Pelley interviewed FBI agent George Piro, who had interviewed Saddam Hussein before he was executed:

PELLEY: And what did he tell you about how his weapons of mass destruction had been destroyed?

PIRO: He told me that most of the WMD had been destroyed by the U.N. inspectors in the ’90s, and those that hadn’t been destroyed by the inspectors were unilaterally destroyed by Iraq.

PELLEY: He had ordered them destroyed?

PIRO: Yes.

PELLEY: So why keep the secret? Why put your nation at risk? Why put your own life at risk to maintain this charade?

For a journalist there might actually be something as bad as not knowing what’s going on in his area of news coverage, even on his own station. After Brian Williams’ fall from grace, his former boss at NBC, Bob Wright, defended Williams by pointing to his favorable coverage of the military, saying: “He has been the strongest supporter of the military of any of the news players. He never comes back with negative stories, he wouldn’t question if we’re spending too much.”

I think it’s safe to say that members of the American mainstream media are not embarrassed by such a “compliment”.

In his acceptance speech for the 2005 Nobel Prize for Literature, Harold Pinter made the following observation:

Everyone knows what happened in the Soviet Union and throughout Eastern Europe during the post-war period: the systematic brutality, the widespread atrocities, the ruthless suppression of independent thought. All this has been fully documented and verified.

But my contention here is that the US crimes in the same period have only been superficially recorded, let alone documented, let alone acknowledged, let alone recognized as crimes at all.

It never happened. Nothing ever happened. Even while it was happening it wasn’t happening. It didn’t matter. It was of no interest. The crimes of the United States have been systematic, constant, vicious, remorseless, but very few people have actually talked about them. You have to hand it to America. It has exercised a quite clinical manipulation of power worldwide while masquerading as a force for universal good. It’s a brilliant, even witty, highly successful act of hypnosis.

Cuba made simple

“The trade embargo can be fully lifted only through legislation – unless Cuba forms a democracy, in which case the president can lift it.”

Aha! So that’s the problem, according to a Washington Post columnist – Cuba is not a democracy! That would explain why the United States does not maintain an embargo against Saudi Arabia, Honduras, Guatemala, Egypt and other distinguished pillars of freedom. The mainstream media routinely refer to Cuba as a dictatorship. Why is it not uncommon even for people on the left to do the same? I think that many of the latter do so in the belief that to say otherwise runs the risk of not being taken seriously, largely a vestige of the Cold War when Communists all over the world were ridiculed for blindly following Moscow’s party line. But what does Cuba do or lack that makes it a dictatorship?

No “free press”? Apart from the question of how free Western media is, if that’s to be the standard, what would happen if Cuba announced that from now on anyone in the country could own any kind of media? How long would it be before CIA money – secret and unlimited CIA money financing all kinds of fronts in Cuba – would own or control almost all the media worth owning or controlling?

Is it “free elections” that Cuba lacks? They regularly have elections at municipal, regional and national levels. (They do not have direct election of the president, but neither do Germany or the United Kingdom and many other countries). Money plays virtually no role in these elections; neither does party politics, including the Communist Party, since candidates run as individuals. Again, what is the standard by which Cuban elections are to be judged? Is it that they don’t have the Koch Brothers to pour in a billion dollars? Most Americans, if they gave it any thought, might find it difficult to even imagine what a free and democratic election, without great concentrations of corporate money, would look like, or how it would operate. Would Ralph Nader finally be able to get on all 50 state ballots, take part in national television debates, and be able to match the two monopoly parties in media advertising? If that were the case, I think he’d probably win; which is why it’s not the case.

Or perhaps what Cuba lacks is our marvelous “electoral college” system, where the presidential candidate with the most votes is not necessarily the winner. If we really think this system is a good example of democracy why don’t we use it for local and state elections as well?

Is Cuba not a democracy because it arrests dissidents? Many thousands of anti-war and other protesters have been arrested in the United States in recent years, as in every period in American history. During the Occupy Movement two years ago more than 7,000 people were arrested, many beaten by police and mistreated while in custody. And remember: The United States is to the Cuban government like al Qaeda is to Washington, only much more powerful and much closer; virtually without exception, Cuban dissidents have been financed by and aided in other ways by the United States.

Would Washington ignore a group of Americans receiving funds from al Qaeda and engaging in repeated meetings with known members of that organization? In recent years the United States has arrested a great many people in the US and abroad solely on the basis of alleged ties to al Qaeda, with a lot less evidence to go by than Cuba has had with its dissidents’ ties to the United States. Virtually all of Cuba’s “political prisoners” are such dissidents. While others may call Cuba’s security policies dictatorship, I call it self-defense.

The Ministry of Propaganda has a new Commissar

Last month Andrew Lack became chief executive of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, which oversees US government-supported international news media such as Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, the Middle East Broadcasting Networks and Radio Free Asia. In a New York Times interview, Mr. Lack was moved to allow the following to escape his mouth: “We are facing a number of challenges from entities like Russia Today which is out there pushing a point of view, the Islamic State in the Middle East and groups like Boko Haram.”

So … this former president of NBC News conflates Russia Today (RT) with the two most despicable groups of “human beings” on the planet. Do mainstream media executives sometimes wonder why so many of their audience has drifted to alternative media, like, for example, RT?

Those of you who have not yet discovered RT, I suggest you go to RT.com to see whether it’s available in your city. And there are no commercials.

It should be noted that the Times interviewer, Ron Nixon, expressed no surprise at Lack’s remark. 39

 Notes
  1. William Blum, Killing Hope: U.S. Military and C.I.A. Interventions Since World War II, chapters 3 and 35
  2. Greek Debt Crisis: How Goldman Sachs Helped Greece to Mask its True Debt”, Spiegel Online (Germany), February 8, 2010. Google “Goldman Sachs” Greece for other references.
  3. U.S. Department of State Daily Press Briefing, February 13, 2015
  4. Overthrowing other people’s governments: The Master List
  5. CBS Evening News, August 20, 2002
  6. ABC Nightline, December 4, 2002
  7. “60 Minutes II”, February 26, 2003
  8. Washington Post, March 1, 2003
  9. “60 Minutes”, January 27, 2008
  10. Democracy Now!, February 12, 2015, Wright statement made February 10
  11. Al Kamen, Washington Post, February 18, 2015
  12. Huffington Post, May 3, 2012
  13. New York Times, January 21, 2015

Any part of this report may be disseminated without permission, provided attribution to William Blum as author and a link to this website are given.

http://williamblum.org/aer/read/137

Another Patriot Whistle-Blower Convicted for Doing the Right Thing

Jeffrey Sterling, one of the very few African American case officers in the CIA  became a whistleblower by going through proper channels to the Senate Intelligence Committee in 2003 to inform staffers about the CIA’s ill-conceived, poorly executed and dangerous Operation Merlin, which had given a flawed design for a nuclear weapons component to Iran back in 2000.

The operation was exposed to the public in the 2006 book entitled “State of War” by New York Times journalist James Risen. Risen had previously written about the operation for the Times but the articles were blocked by New York Times management and so he put it in a book to get the information out.

In Risen’s book, the CIA operation was described as a mismanaged, potentially reckless mission that may have actually aided the Iranian nuclear program.

The CIA has a long history of aiding Iran with weapons, technology and intelligence. It indirectly aided Iran’s nuclear program by supporting Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program.  In fact, the CIA is the world’s greatest source for nuclear proliferation.

Operation Merlin should have indeed been exposed to the elected portion of the American government, which is almost always kept in the dark about covert CIA activities.

Jeffrey Sterling showed great courage in bringing the operation to the attention of the Sentate Intelligence Committee.

Despite any real evidence that Risen had received his information about Operation Merlin from Sterling,  Jeffrey Sterling was convicted on Monday, January 26th by a federal jury in Alexandria, Virginia, of illegally disclosing national defense information and obstructing justice. Sentencing is scheduled for April 24, 2015.

Edward B. MacMahon Jr., Sterling’s lawyer, said he would work to get the verdict thrown out and if unsuccessful, would file an appeal.

No one at the CIA was prosecuted for supplying Iran with nuclear weapons technology, flawed or otherwise.

Source:  ExposeFacts.org