Tag Archives: Federal government of the United States

Anonymous OpJuly4th/NSA/Prism

While, admittedly, this video is a couple of weeks old but it is and shall remain relevant as well as timely. We need to encourage people every day to focus on liberty and freedom not just once a year. The tyranny we now face from the United States Government is far worse than that faced by the colonists from King George of England in the 18th century.

It is time for a new revolution. Peaceful, quiet and below the radar. How we do that I will leave to those techies and others who have already deserted the ranks of the oppressor government bureaucracies. The oppressors have stated a desire to pull the plug on the internet. Perhaps pulling their plugs would be an option to consider. I have no idea how that could be accomplished but if it can it may need to be considered.

Take out their technology and communication capabilities and they would be severely disabled. I am no leader and I am not telling anyone what they should do. BUT do what your conscience dictates.

And above all we pray for guidance and wisdom in all things. Not to go beyond what is necessary nor hold back from what needs to be done to once again light the torch of liberty but this time for all people. Not only the landowners and other wealthy individuals but for every individual who desires to pursue happiness and live at liberty from those who would attempt to rob them of their right to live as they see fit.

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Assata is Not a Terrorist: She is a Freedom Fighter like Harriet Tubman, Malcolm X & Martin L. King [#Feminist Friday]

While I don’t agree with all of the sentiments here I do agree that the way the American government has treated Blacks and other minorities is unwarranted and oppressive. Things need to change for all Americans who are not among the racists or elitists. (E)

Moorbey'z Blog

 

The attack on Sister Assata Shakur is an attack on the right of the Black masses and the Black liberation movement to resist oppression.  The U.S. government and all of its branches have always persecuted, jailed, exiled and murdered Black activists and revolutionaries no matter their philosophies or tactics-communism, Pan Africanism, separation, revolutionary nationalism, integration; nonviolence, armed self-defense, running for political office.

Assata, who was unarmed and shot 5 times with the intent to kill by the New Jersey state police, was a victim of the U.S. government COINTEL program, similar to the now so-called war on terrorism. It is designed pass new laws to justify murderous attacks of Black activists and revolutionaries, that saw the assassinations of Malcolm X, Martin L. King, Black Panthers and the frame-ups, jailing and forced exile of many named and unnamed activists that occurred under COINTELPRO.

The labeling of Sister Assata as a…

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Welfare Rights are Wrong

As I post this, I do so with some inner conflict as is always the case with these types of principled arguments  I am on SSI and Medicaid because of disabling medical conditions. My principles though, run counter to this. I hate using other people’s money when it is taken from them by force. I believe Social Security Taxes and Income Taxes are intrinsically evil and cannot remember a time when I did not think so.

Yet, here I am needing them, in part because those same taxes are a disincentive for voluntary charity. I have always believed that Churches and local organizations would be much better at helping those in need than any government ever could. Individuals are even better.  (E)

By Tibor Machan

Dr. Tibor Machan

Ever since John Locke developed the theory of natural individual human rights, there has been an ongoing attempt to change his idea to something very different.

For Locke the natural rights all human beings have are basically prohibitions. They forbid people from intruding on other people − from killing, assaulting, kidnapping, robbing them and so forth. In the field of political theory they are referred to as negative rights. They hold up a sign to all concerning invading people’s lives and spheres and insist: “Halt! You need permission to enter!”

This can be well appreciated when one considers that throughout much of history ordinary folks had been viewed as subjects, not sovereign citizens. A subject is one who must follow the dictates of some master or superior. Kings have subjects who must obey their will! Once this fiction is abandoned, it becomes clear that all adult human beings are independent agents, no one’s subject!

But, of course, many insist that such sovereignty is highly objectionable because it leaves it to the individual whether he or she will give support to others and their various projects. Involuntary servitude is ruled out if we are all sovereign citizens rather than subject to the will of a king, tsar, or ruler. Even the majority may not ignore this fact about us, so democracy is properly limited to some very few matters once the sovereignty of individuals is acknowledged.

But by introducing the idea of welfare or positive rights, we are back in the old system since a positive right imposes an enforceable obligation on one to provide others with goods and services, never mind what one chooses to do. Thus, if people have a positive right to health care or insurance or education or housing or a job, they must be provided with this, just as when their right to life or liberty is recognized, they must not be interfered with.

One’s basic rights impose obligations on everyone not to violate them. But negative rights only impose an obligation to treat others without resorting to coercion, without using them against their will. Involuntary servitude counters this and sanctions violating such rights as to one’s life, liberty, property, etc., holding that we are born with enforceable obligations of various sort of services to others − God, the state, our neighbors, etc. Instead of seeing us all as free and independent persons, the positive rights doctrine re-affirms the ancient idea that we do not have a life of our own.

The more modern idea is that while we ought to be generous and charitable, this has to be something we choose! The only way our moral nature is protected and preserved is if the right things we ought to do are done voluntarily, not forcibly imposed by others.

The basic point here is that the doctrine of positive or welfare rights stands on its head John Locke’s insight about the status of an adult human being in a human community, an insight that had been growing in influence in America and the West until recently. But instead of relying on people’s good will and generosity to help out those in need of various goods and services, the positive or welfare rights doctrine reintroduces the old regime that people in society aren’t free agents but serfs. (Here is the main point of F. A. Hayek‘s superb book, The Road to Serfdom [Routledge, 1944] in which he critiques the modern welfare state!)

Tibor R. Machan holds the R.C. Hoiles Chair in Business Ethics and Free Enterprise at the Argyros School of Chapman University.


News & Analysis From The Daily Bell

I would encourage all of my readers to subscribe to The Daily Bell™. Click on he Banner below to be taken to their site. (E)

News & Analysis

MONDAY, MARCH 04, 2013

Brilliant Polemic Defends US Freedom … and Demands Appropriate Incarcerations

By Staff Report

Americans – Like Nazi Germans – Don’t Notice that All of Our Rights Are Slipping Away … Americans Are Acting Like Slowly Boiling Frogs … The German citizens were boiling frogs … the water heating up so gradually that they didn’t realize they had to jump out of the pot to safety. Because the exact same thing is happening to Americans (fear of terror makes people stupid no matter what country they live in), let’s remember exactly what we’ve lost in recent years … – Washington’s Blog

Dominant Social Theme: US freedoms are slipping away and they must be brought back again by the people themselves, using all due enforcement tools.

Free-Market Analysis: In another brilliant polemic, the famous Washington’s Blog lays out a substantial litany of what the US has lost in terms of rights, and from this article’s point of view it is mostly everything. It is an article containing both truth and sincerity.

We agree with it on numerous levels and are most in agreement with the idea that a kind Nazi fascism is overtaking the US. It began long ago but was immeasurably increased under the reign of George W. Bush whose family was enmeshed in Nazi funding until public rage forced the US government to strip the family of German investment assets in 1942.

Bush’s efforts, nakedly pursued but rarely reported, included the leveraging of a police state, the creation of “Homeland Security” with its overtones of the Nazi Fatherland and the repositioning of the US’s various intelligence and policing agencies as the sword of the state to be turned aggressively against the American people.

Under Bush, various trends noted by Washington’s Blog were immensely exacerbated. Washington’s Blog points out that currently the US government “is arresting those speaking out … and violently crushing peaceful assemblies which attempt to petition the government for redress.”

He also points out that the government is flying spy drones over the American homeland. “The domestic use of drones to spy on Americans clearly violates the Fourth Amendment and limits our rights to personal privacy.”

And he adds, “Even without drones, Americans are the most spied on people in world history … The American government is collecting and storing virtually every phone call, purchases, email, text message, internet searches, social media communications, health information, employment history, travel and student records, and virtually all other information of every American.”

The article enumerates many other areas where rights are being lost, including the right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure and the right to travel from place to place without harassment. The end of the article provides a powerful summation, pointing out that “powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

Today, most Americans believe that the government is threatening – rather than protecting – freedom … and that it is no longer acting with the “consent of the governed.” And the federal government is trampling the separation of powers by stepping on the toes of the states and the people.

The article closes by reminding us that both the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency “competed to weaken federal regulation and [tried] to prevent state investigations … against fraudulent mortgage lenders.”

This is an odd close and not the summation we were looking for. It leads to our one question: If the federal government is over-reaching horribly, then why is it wrong to “weaken federal regulation”? We’ve noted this contradiction. We don’t understand how one can be against the neo-fascism of the US Leviathan but still enthusiastic about bringing the US’s horrible and corrupt criminal justice system to bear … no matter the nature of the crime.

The prison-industrial complex, like the military-industrial complex, is a great US evil. It includes an illegally globalized FBI, an out-of-control civil policing establishment (at both the state and federal level) and of course, a penal-industrial complex that incarcerates more than half of those in jail around the world, increasingly in “privatized” penitentiaries.

Conclusion: Does not advocating its use – rather than its reform – perhaps undermine the very points that US patriots wish to make?

 


The Price of Liberty is Eternal Vigilance

“But you must remember, my fellow-citizens, that eternal vigilance by the people is the price of liberty, and that you must pay the price if you wish to secure the blessing.  It behooves you, therefore, to be watchful in your States as well as in the Federal Government.” ~Andrew Jackson, Farewell Address, March 4, 1837


Financial Illiteracy of Those Who Mock Conspiracy Theorists

 Saturday, January 28, 2012 – by Anthony Wile

Anthony Wile

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From Social Psychological and Personality Science (SPPS), a journal from the independent publisher Sage Publications, comes an article that has predictably seen wide distribution on the Internet. It implies that those who believe in globalist conspiracy theories are illogical – even downright nutty.

The article is entitled  “Dead and Alive: Beliefs in Contradictory Conspiracy Theories” and the thesis of the article is that people who believe in conspiracy theories eventually become so immersed in them and so mesmerized that they do not realize they are holding contradictory beliefs.

“Conspiracy theories can form a monological belief system: A self-sustaining worldview comprised of a network of mutually supportive beliefs. The present research shows that even mutually incompatible conspiracy theories are positively correlated in endorsement.”(SPPS Abstract)

“Conspiratorialists” become so distrustful of “government” and “authority” that they will impute any and every kind of malevolence to them.

Thus it is that people can claim, on the one hand, that Osama bin Laden is “dead” and died years ago, while simultaneously claiming that bin Laden remains alive and that US and Pakistan government authorities are not being truthful about him and his physical state.

Of course, I’ve never run into anyone, who claims that bin Laden is ALIVE. But it’s true that here at the Daily Bell we’ve run articles explaining that bin Laden probably died years ago. See, for instance, “Osama bin Laden is Dead Again?

The SPPS article would likely have you believe this is an outrageous conspiracy theory. But given that FOX news ran a report on bin Laden’s death in 2001, and given that Pakistan’s former president Benazir Bhutto herself claimed that bin Laden died in the early 2000s (supposedly as the result of an assassination), it doesn’t seem so far-fetched to speculate that bin Laden didn’t die as the result of a US raid in 2011.

But that’s almost minor stuff. Articles like this, despite their scientific patina, are deeply illiterate. Why so? Because invariably such articles won’t deal with the bedrock financial illiteracy of current economic and political paradigms.

Imagine if the world were based on lies. Well, unfortunately, that’s the truth. The lies go far beyond “who shot JFK” or whether the US government was directly or indirectly involved in 9/11.

When one uses the logical framework of Austrian, free-market analysis to analyze the Way the World Works in the modern age, one inevitably comes to the conclusion that modern society is built around fundamental untruths.

The first one is economic: It is the idea that central bankers can efficiently and effectively set the price of money. They cannot.

Every time central bankers decide on how much money to print or where short interest rates should be, the decisions are “fixing” prices – and price-fixing never works. Price-fixing distorts economies and causes a wealth shift from those who create it to those who don’t and may not know what to do with it. Over time, aggressively mis-priced money causes first recessions and then depressions.

The second lie is that laws and regulations are necessary and that they can save society from “anarchy.” In fact, anarchy is only the absence of government. That’s the real definition. And absence of government does not necessarily imply “chaos.” Just as setting interest rates fixes the price of money, so every law and regulation is a price fix as well, preventing someone from doing something within the context of the marketplace. This also constitutes a wealth transfer.

One can have a perfectly adequate and satisfying society without formal government, certainly without the kinds of intrusive and murderous governments we’ve got today. History is full of examples of societies that flourished with at least minimal government, especially societies where power truly flowed from the bottom up.

The third lie is that government is essential for purposes of defense and defending its citizens. But a quick survey of modern wars shows a disturbing tendency of governments – especially certain Western governments – to foment the very wars that citizens believe they’re being protected from.

War is the “health of the state” – the way that those in power consolidate their hold while punishing their enemies using phony pretexts having to do with “treason” and “leaking classified information.” Sound familiar?

It is what we call the Internet Reformation that has gradually shed light on the fundamental untruths permeating modern society in both the developed and developing world.

The Internet, like the Gutenberg Press before it, is a revolutionary device that has allowed people access to information that was hitherto denied or covered up, especially in the 20th century when the power elite‘s control over society was perhaps at its apex.

A conspiracy likely DOES exist. The Internet easily reveals not just facts that illuminate it, but also PATTERNS that show the same command-and-control strategies implemented throughout history, over and over.

It is easy, unfortunately, to mock those who believe in so-called “conspiracy theories” because the truth of what has occurred in this weary world is so extreme and shocking that most people simply cannot believe it. What truly horrifies us becomes a target for mockery. It’s a defense mechanism.

Here’s the seeming hard truth: A tiny group of Anglosphere banking families controlling most if not all of the world’s major central banks have used the trillions to which they have access in order to foment what can be called a “New World Order.”

This tiny group of intergenerational plotters and their enablers and associates have apparently built a seamless matrix of control around the entire globe to implement their schemes. They are building world government and are putting in place its building blocks.

What is it about the UNIMFWorld BankInternational Criminal CourtWorld Health Organization and hundreds of others lesser known globalist facilities that people who deny or decry modern “conspiracy theory” don’t understand?  

An entire gamut of globalist entities has been superimposed on the world in the past 75 years. Most recently − only this past week, in fact − the US military held a formal exercise over the skies of Los Angeles using the same black helicopters that conspiracy theorists were mocked for mentioning not a decade ago.

But the biggest issue by far – bigger than even the establishment of the facilities of the New World Order – is the fundamental illiteracy of those who choose to support modern society as it is today and as it has evolved over the past 100 years.

While human societies have always been based on fairly bizarre rituals, it is safe to say that the current crop of behind-the-scenes leaders have raised statist insanity to a new level.

Every part of modern society, from its basic economic building blocks to its liturgical belief in dysfunctional “laws and regulations” to its deep-seated reverence for the manipulated destruction of war, is questionable on a factual basis.

The reality of modern society is increasingly pathological – and the ones with the pathology are those who lead the rest of us along using paradigms that are evidently and obviously dishonest and dysfunctional.

Articles that mock the looniness of “conspiratorialists” need to deal with the fundamental economic and sociopolitical dishonesty of their own assumptions. They should begin by admitting the evident and obvious logical fallacies of the “modern” society they celebrate.

I’m not holding my breath.

Anthony Wile:   View Bio 

Internet Reformation :   View Glossary Description 

Gutenberg Press :   View Glossary Description 


Feds Charge Man As Enemy Combatant Supporting Terrorism For Uploading Youtube Video

http://www.prisonplanet.com/feds-charge-man-as-enemy-combatant-supporting-terrorism-for-uploading-youtube-video.html

Alexander Higgins Blog
Saturday, September 3, 2011

Take freedom of speech and other personal liberties — including protections against cruel and unusual punishment, right to face your accuser, and right to trial by jury — and throw them right out the window. All for the crime of uploading a YouTube.

That is what a 24-year-old Virginia man, Jubair Ahmad, faces as the feds charge him with providing support for terrorism for allegedly uploading a propaganda video. The crime comes with the dubious distinction that the accused are treated as if they are actually terrorists or as the U.S. government labels them “enemies combatants”. With the declaration of being an enemy combatant the rights and protections engraved into the Constitution with the full force of our founding father’s very own flesh and blood are instantly nullified.

That’s right. The Department of Justice of the great United States of America has charged a Jubair Ahmad, a 24-year-old Woodbridge, Virginia man, of providing support for terrorism because he allegedly uploaded a propaganda video to YouTube. The accusation alone instantly classifies the man as an ‘enemy combatant’  and ‘clear and present danger’. Such persons who are a ‘threat to national security’ have absolutely no rights. To make matters worse, businesses and nations aren’t allowed to do business with such so-called ‘terrorists’ or they will be declared a terrorist themselves. That means a lawyer who takes up his case can be charge with providing support for terrorism. That is  if the United States government  even decides to honor habeas corpus and give the man a trial in the first place. Our beloved supreme court has ruled that ‘enemy combatants’ can be abductedtortured,assassinated, and even detained for ever without a trial because the constitution does not apply to them. Even worse, the lucky few who are released after being declared innocent have no right to legal recourse because revealing the details of their detention and torture is also a threat to national security.

This is what the ‘war on terror’ has escalated to, which we have been brainwashed by our government is necessary to protect our liberties from our enemies.

The video in question reportedly showed the leader of a group designated as a terrorist organization along with other purported “jihadi martyrs” and clips armored trucks exploding from the detonation of IEDs.

The Feds by uploading the propaganda video the man has committed the crime of providing support to terrorists organization, which qualifies the man to have all constitutional rights to be suspended and to be detained indefinitely without trial. As we have seen in past cases, the suspension of the constitutional “inalienable rights” for the so-called enemy combatants allows the executive branch of the federal government, including the military and CIA, to become the judge, jury and executioner in such cases. Of course without the constitutional right to the protection against cruel and unusual punishment the feds are now free to beat and torture the man to death, as they have done in past cases.

To reinforce their charges, the feds further allege Ahmad received ‘religious training’ from the ‘Lashkar-e-Taiba’ ‘terrorist group’ when he was a teenager while he still lived in Pakistan before moving to the United States. The State Department claims the group operates in the disputed Kashmir territory along the Pakistan and India border.

MSNBC reports:

Virginian accused of making YouTube terror video

Federal officials allege he trained with militants behind Mumbai attack

A Virginia man who came to the US from Pakistan has been charged with supporting Lashkar-e-Taiba, the radical Islamist terrorist group behind the 2008 shooting attack in Mumbai, India.

Justice Department officials said Friday that Jubair Ahmad, 24, of Woodbridge, received religious training from the terrorist group as a teenager in Pakistan and later attended one of its training camps.

He came to the United States in 2007 with his family. He’s been under investigation for two years, ever since the FBI got a tip that he might be connected to the group, the officials said.

Court documents say that last fall, he produced and uploaded a propaganda video to YouTube on behalf of the group, showing its leader and purporting to show “jihadi martyrs” and armored trucks exploding after having been hit by improvised explosive devices. Investigators say when asked about the video, Jubair falsely denied having anything to do with it.

The State Department has designated Lashkar-e-Taiba as a terrorist group. It is among nearly a dozen rebel groups operating in the disputed Himalayan territory of Kashmir.

[…]

Source: MSNBC


These Things Should Bother You!

Warning the video below contains Offensive language. Offensive images and, perhaps, offensive Ideas. Do Not Watch if you Do not want to be offended.

However, if you want to be challenged and want to learn to think for yourself go ahead and watch but beware-You may not be the same afterwards.  Pleas don’t give me a bunch of drivel about conspiracy theories and crazy people who believe this stuff since I is one of them and I think you are crazy if you don’t believe your government is out to get you. I am not going to argue the point since it does no good to argue with those who are mentally deluded (you).

Have a Good Day :()

Thanks to Joe Rogan: War Machine 


They’re Coming to Take You Away!

 Ron Paul: “They’re Setting The Stage For Violence In This Country”

Presidential candidate responds to question about detention camps for civil unrest 

Paul Joseph Watson 

Infowars.com

 Saturday, August 20, 2011

In a response to a question asked by Infowars correspondent Robert Wanek at Iowa State University during the recent Ames straw poll, Ron Paul said that the federal government was preparing for civil unrest and martial law in the United States.

 Paul was asked for his opinion on whether H.R. 645 (The National Emergency Centers Establishment Act) could lead to Americans being incarcerated in detention camps during a time of martial law.

“Yeah, that’s their goal, they’re setting up the stage for violence in this country, no doubt about it,” responded Paul.

The National Emergency Centers Act or HR 645, first introduced in January 2009, mandates the establishment of “national emergency centers” to be located on military installations for the purpose of providing “temporary housing, medical, and humanitarian assistance to individuals and families dislocated due to an emergency or major disaster,” according to the bill.

The legislation also states that the camps will be used to “provide centralized locations to improve the coordination of preparedness, response, and recovery efforts of government, private, and not-for-profit entities and faith-based organizations”.

Ominously, the bill also states that the camps can be used to “meet other appropriate needs, as determined by the Secretary of Homeland Security,” an open ended mandate which many fear could mean the forced detention of American citizens in the event of widespread rioting after a national emergency or total economic collapse.

The legislation was referred to Committee and did not proceed any further, but it was not rejected in a vote and can be re-introduced at any time in a new session of Congress.

As we reported yesterday, in the aftermath of the UK riots, police departments in the United States are being trained to deal with rioting and civil unrest.

Back in 2008, U.S. troops returning from Iraq were earmarked for “homeland patrols” with one of their roles including helping with “civil unrest and crowd control”.

 In December 2008, the Washington Post reported on plans to station 20,000 more U.S. troops inside America for purposes of “domestic security” from September 2011 onwards, an expansion of Northcom’s militarization of the country in preparation for potential civil unrest following a total economic collapse or a mass terror attack.

The United States has continuity of government plans in place should martial law be declared by the President. However, the details of those plans have been so tightly guarded that even Congressman and Homeland Security Committee member Peter DeFazio (D – OR), who has the necessary security clearance, was denied access to view the material when he requested to do so back in July 2007.

“I just can’t believe they’re going to deny a member of Congress the right of reviewing how they plan to conduct the government of the United States after a significant terrorist attack,” DeFazio told the Oregonian at the time, adding, “Maybe the people who think there’s a conspiracy out there are right.”

Congressman Paul has warned about preparations for martial law before, telling the Alex Jones Show, “They’re putting their back up against the wall and saying, if need be we’re going to have martial law.”

Watch Alex Jones’ special comment on this issue below.

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Paul Joseph Watson is the editor and writer for Prison Planet.com. He is the author of Order Out Of Chaos. Watson is also a regular fill-in host for The Alex Jones Show.


Obama officials caught deceiving about WikiLeaks

From: http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2011/01/19/wikileaks/index.html

WEDNESDAY, JAN 19, 2011

BY GLENN GREENWALD

 

AP Thorny issues: Obama and Bush in November 2008.

 

(updated below)

Whenever the U.S. Government wants to demonize a person or group in order to justify attacks on them, it follows the same playbook:  it manufactures falsehoods about them, baselessly warns that they pose Grave Dangers and are severely harming our National Security, peppers all that with personality smears to render the targeted individuals repellent on a personal level, and feeds it all to the establishment American media, which then dutifully amplifies and mindlessly disseminates it all.  That, of course, was the precise scheme that so easily led the U.S. into attacking Iraq; it’s what continues to ensure support for the whole litany of War on Terror abuses and the bonanza of power and profit which accompanies them; and it’s long been obvious that this is the primary means for generating contempt for WikiLeaks to enable its prosecution and ultimate destruction (an outcome the Pentagon has been plotting since at least 2008).

When WikiLeaks in mid-2010 published documents detailing the brutality and corruption at the heart of the war in Afghanistan, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Michael Mullenheld a Press Conference and said of WikiLeaks (and then re-affirmed it on his Twitter account) that they “might already have on their hands the blood of some young soldier or that of an Afghan family.”  This denunciation predictably caused the phrase “blood on their hands” to be attached to WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange, in thousands of media accounts around the world.  But two weeks later, the Pentagon’s spokesman, when pressed, was forced to admit that there was no evidence whatsoever for that accusation:  “we have yet to see any harm come to anyone in Afghanistan that we can directly tie to exposure in the WikiLeaks documents,” he admitted.  Several months later, after more flamboyant government condemnations of WikiLeaks’ release of thousands of Iraq War documents, McClatchy‘s Nancy Youssef — in an article headlined:  “Officials may be overstating the danger from WikiLeaks” — reported that “U.S. officials concede that they have no evidence to date” that the disclosures resulted in the deaths of anyone, and she detailed the great care WikiLeaks took in that Iraq War release to protect innocent people.

The disclosure of American diplomatic cables triggered still more melodramatic claims from government officials (ones faithfully recited by its servants and followers across the spectrum in Washington), accusing WikiLeaks of everything from “attacking” the U.S. (Hillary Clinton) and “plac[ing] at risk the lives of countless innocent individuals” and “ongoing military operations” (Harold Koh) to being comparable to Terrorists (Joe Biden).  But even Robert Gates was unwilling to lend his name to such absurdities, and when asked, mocked these accusations as “significantly overwrought” and said the WikiLeaks disclosures would be “embarrassing” and “awkward” but would have only “modest consequences.”

Since then, it has become clear how scrupulously careful WikiLeaks has been in releasing these cables in order to avoid unnecessary harm to innocent people, as the Associated Press reported how closely WikiLeaks was collaborating with its newspaper partners in deciding which cables to release and what redactions were necessary.  Indeed, one of the very few documents which anyone has been able to claim has produced any harm — one revealing that the leader of Zimbabwe’s opposition privately urged U.S. officials to continue imposing sanctions on his country — was actually released by The Guardiannot by WikiLeaks.

To say that the Obama administration’s campaign against WikiLeaks has been based on wildly exaggerated and even false claims is to understate the case.  But now, there is evidence that Obama officials have been knowingly lying in public about these matters.  The long-time Newsweekreporter Mark Hosenball — now at Reuters — reports that what Obama officials are saying in private about WikiLeaks directly contradicts their public claims:

 

Internal U.S. government reviews have determined that a mass leak of diplomatic cables caused only limited damage to U.S. interests abroad, despite the Obama administration’s public statements to the contrary.

A congressional official briefed on the reviews said the administration felt compelled to say publicly that the revelations had seriously damaged American interests in order to bolster legal efforts to shut down the WikiLeaks website and bring charges against the leakers. . . .

“We were told (the impact of WikiLeaks revelations) was embarrassing but not damaging,” said the official, who attended a briefing given in late 2010 by State Department officials. . .

But current and former intelligence officials note that while WikiLeaks has released a handful of inconsequential CIA analytical reports, the website has made public few if any real intelligence secrets, including reports from undercover agents or ultra-sensitive technical intelligence reports, such as spy satellite pictures or communications intercepts. . . .

National security officials familiar with the damage assessments being conducted by defense and intelligence agencies told Reuters the reviews so far have shown “pockets” of short-term damage, some of it potentially harmful. Long-term damage to U.S. intelligence and defense operations, however, is unlikely to be serious, they said. . . .

Shortly before WikiLeaks began its gradual release of State Department cables last year, department officials sent emails to contacts on Capitol Hill predicting dire consequences, said one of the two congressional aides briefed on the internal government reviews.

However, shortly after stories about the cables first began to appear in the media, State Department officials were already privately playing down the damage, the two congressional officials said.

 

In response to Hosenball’s story, Obama officials naturally tried to salvage the integrity of their statements, insisting that “there has been substantial damage” and that there were unspecified “specific cases where damage caused by WikiLeaks’ revelations have been assessed as serious to grave.”  But the only specific cases anyone could identify were ones where the U.S. was caught by these documents lying to its own citizens or, at best, concealing vital truths — such as the far greater military role the U.S. is playing in Yemen and Pakistan than Obama officials have publicly acknowledged.

And this, of course, has been the point all along:  the WikiLeaks disclosuresare significant precisely because they expose government deceit, wrongdoing and brutality, but the damage to innocent people has been deliberately and wildly exaggerated — fabricated — by the very peoplewhose misconduct has been revealed.  There is harm from the WikiLeaks documents, but it’s to wrongdoers in power, which is why they are so desperate to malign and then destroy the group.

Just as was true in 2003 — when the joint, falsehood-based government/media demonization campaign led 69% of Americans tobelieve that Saddam Hussein participated in the planning of the 9/11 attacks(the Bush era’s most revealing fact about American politics) — this orgy of anti-WikiLeaks propaganda has succeeded, with polls reliably showing the American public largely against the group and even favoring its prosecution (citizens in countries not subjected to this propaganda barrageview the group far more favorably).  As has been demonstrated over and over, when the U.S. Government and its media collaborate to propagandize, its efficacy is not in doubt.  And as Marcy Wheeler notes, these lies were told not only to distort public opinion and justify prosecuting WikiLeaks for doing nothing more than engaging in journalism, but also to coerce private corporations (MasterCard, Amazon, Visa, Paypal) to cut all services to the group.

The case against WikiLeaks is absolutely this decade’s version of the Saddam/WMD campaign.  It’s complete with frivolous invocations of Terrorism, grave public warnings about National Security negated by concealed information, endlessly repeated falsehoods, a competition among political and media elites to advocate the harshest measures possible, a cowardly Congress that (with a few noble exceptions) acquiesces to it all on a bipartisan basis and is eager to enable it, and a media that not only fails to subject these fictions to critical scrutiny, but does the opposite:  it takes the lead in propagating them.  One might express bewilderment that most American journalists never learn their lesson about placing their blind faith in government claims, but that assumes — falsely — that their objective is to report truthfully.

 

UPDATE:  Kevin DrumDan Drezner and Daniel Larison all cite this report as evidence that the WikiLeaks disclosures have been insignificant.  They seem to equate a finding of “no harm to national security” with “nothing of significance,” but not only are those two concepts not the same, they’re hardly related.  Many revelations are very significant even though they do not harm national security.

When The New York Times revealed that the Bush administration was eavesdropping on Americans’ communications without the warrants required by law, that revelation was extremely important even though it entailed no national security harm.  The same is true of The Washington Post‘s exposure of the CIA “black site” program, or David Barstow’s exposé on the Pentagon’s propaganda program, and countless other investigative reports.  The WikiLeaks disclosures — like most good investigative journalism — harm those in power who do bad things (by exposing their previously secret conduct), but do not harm the national security of the United States.  I’d be interested in hearing anyone who wants to argue that the WikiLeaks disclosures contain “nothing new” dismiss the actual revelations (here and here).

As for the comparison of this deceit to Saddam/WMD:  obviously, the magnitude of the consequences are not similar, but the misleading tactics themselves — for the reasons I enumerated — are.  Moreover, prosecution of WikiLeaks would hardly be inconsequential; it would likely be the first time in history that a non-government employee is convicted of “espionage” for publishing government secrets and, as such, would constitute one of the greatest threats to press freedom in the United States in a long time.

 

 


What the State Fears Most: Information

by Jonathan M. Finegold Catalán

An MP3 audio file of this article, read by Steven Ng, is available for download.

History tells a cyclical story of man versus state: man persistently creating new ideas and the state tirelessly laboring to destroy them. Bureaucracy has never been a friend to the ideas that undermine its artificial legitimacy.

All too often, history provides us with examples of state-enforced book burnings and other forms of extreme censorship. Many of us today take our so-called freedom of speech for granted, and few realize just how pervasive government censorship remains. It is true that not many of us living today in the industrially advanced world have experienced the worst kinds of censorship[1] – few have memories, for example, of the Nazi book burnings that took place throughout the 1930s, which claimed over 18,000 works.

By and large, efforts to censor were relatively successful until only very recently. Book burnings, especially in more modern times, failed to completely eliminate a book from worldwide circulation, but they most definitely limited circulation within the borders of the governments in question. How many copies of Human Actioncirculated within Nazi Germany between 1940 and 1945? I would venture to guess very few.

The battle has always been between the state and market, or man’s ability to circumvent the tentacles of government through economic progress. Until only very recently, man has been at a technological disadvantage. The ability to evade book burnings amounted to the ability to hide the book. The end of censorship in Germany, for example, came only with the end of the Nazi regime.[2]

Presently, our ability to attain knowledge is threatened because said knowledge represents a threat to the state – not to “national security,” as is claimed, but to the legitimacy of the state itself. Julian Assange, through WikiLeaks, has made available to society a vast collection of information that undermines the state’s legitimacy. Assange cracked the government’s veil of benignity and brought into question the state’s tactics. His website undermines its moral authority.

The threat posed by Assange is underscored by the government’s seemingly disproportionate response. Senator Joe Lieberman, chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, successfully used the power of the state to shut down part of WikiLeaks.[3] He did so by threatening to sanction Amazon, which at the time hosted that part of Assange’s operation.

Amazon’s acquiescence to Lieberman’s demand has brought about a round of recrimination. Most of those upset are justifiably angry at Lieberman, and some have even supported a boycott against Amazon proper (for collusion with the state) – showing that Amazon has more to lose by acting against the will of its customers than it has to gain from complying with government.[4]

Both sides of the debate may have merit. The purpose of the present essay lies elsewhere, however. There is something positive that both sides have neglected to take notice of – WikiLeaks won.

WikiLeaks was only shut down for one dayThe service found a new host, outside the immediate reach of the American government. Bureaucracy has been stumped by a new obstacle that, ironically, it helped to create (although the market let it flourish) – the Internet. Now it is the state that finds itself one step behind. Book burning has been rendered obsolete.

The Internet knows no borders, jurisdictions, or physical limitations. A server in Nigeria can be accessed from the United States. One simply has to look at the number of pirating websites seemingly immune to intellectual-property laws. This global network of information dispersion has made irrelevant the state’s tools of repression: How can a nation’s costume-sporting thugs effectively stop something that does not physically exist within their geographic jurisdiction? How can a government threaten with regulation an entity that operates outside its ability to enforce its laws? The state has been left behind.

True, governments have had some success censoring the Internet through security blocks and similar tactics, but just how effective these means have been is up for scrutiny. Even China’s vast army of “Internet police” has been ineffective at stopping the less technically challenged individuals from evading their firewalls.

How many times has an individual brought about such a reaction to a blatant attack on the state? How many times has that individual gotten away with it? More importantly, how many times has the government responded with force and failed? The recent events illustrate that government is losing and the market is winning.

One hundred years ago, or even 40 or 50 years ago, such a tyrant as Lieberman would have most likely been a feared man in whatever country he could enforce his censorship. Today men like Lieberman are nearing irrelevancy. What greater satisfaction can there be than seeing a despot stripped of his power?

Some may fear that the uncontrollable nature of the Internet might stimulate more pervasive forms of government intervention and regulation. That is, that the Internet may force the state to grow at a faster pace than it already is. Perhaps an “Internet police” is in the United States’ future (if it doesn’t already exist).

I say bring it. It is worthwhile to consider the following passage from Ludwig von Mises’s Human Action,

In the long run there is no such thing as an unpopular government. Civil war and revolution are the means by which the discontented majorities overthrow rulers and methods of government which do not suit them.[5]

What Mises meant is that government’s legitimacy stems from the people it purports to rule. Government can survive only to the extent that it exists without creating overbearing costs for the citizenry it lives on. The nature of government as an ever-growing bureaucracy suggests its incompatibility with society, since government growth undermines its own authority. Thus, the faster it does this the better – and because the relevant growth will take place in an area that all Americans hold dear, it will make government’s crookedness all the more obvious.

The revolution that Mises spoke of has been occurring since time immemorial – it is the perpetual clash between man and state. Historically, man has been limited by strength. A revolution could only succeed if it physically overpowered the state’s thugs. Such means of revolution are beginning to be outmoded, because technological advances, such as the Internet, have made the state’s thugs powerless.

We are above emulating the state’s tactics. The role of ideas has become so comprehensive that even government-empowered gangsters are susceptible once they realize just how ridiculous they have been made to look.

Just how extensive or important the role of the Internet is in the fight against tyranny will be for the historian to tell. It might be the case that man has not yet developed the necessary tools to protect his interests against the hegemonic relationship he is forced to accept with the state. The purpose of this essay is not to exaggerate current events. It is meant to bear witness to how the rules are changing. In human history, the state has rarely failed in the short run in its endeavors to deprive its citizens of knowledge – and it has been the task of bloody revolution to spread this knowledge.

Bloody revolution is no longer with the times, because government’s armies are becoming more and more immaterial. As this WikiLeaks episode unfolds, and as government sows the seeds of its own humiliation, we will see government combated, not by force of arms, but by the supremacy of the market.

Today we have seen bureaucracy in retreat. Once the state is fully denied the use of its force, through the market, we will witness a complete rout.

Notes

[1] This is a general observation, made mostly from an American perspective. Some industrially advanced nations did relatively recently experience extreme censorship. For example, Francisco Franco’s authoritarian regime ended in Spain only 35 years ago.

[2] For East Germany, extreme censorship did not end until 1989.

[3] Rachel Sladja, “How Lieberman Got Amazon to Drop WikiLeaks,” in Talking Points Memo.

[4] The anti-Amazon movement has received mixed reactions from the libertarian community (perhaps a sign of a lack of sufficient strength to make much of an impact). In support of the boycott, see Justin Raimondo, “Defend WikiLeaks – Boycott Amazon,” and Eric Garris, “Boycott Amazon.com.” In opposition, see Lew Rockwell, “Should We Boycott Amazon.com?,” and Robert P. Murphy, “Some Concerns with the Amazon Boycott” and “Still Not Convinced on Amazon Boycott.”

[5] Mises, Ludwig von (1998), Human Action (Auburn, Alabama: Ludwig von Mises Institute), pp. 149–50.

Reprinted from Mises.org.

December 15, 2010

Jonathan M. Finegold Catalán [send him mail] writes from San Diego and studies political science and economics. He blogs at economic thought.net.





Watch Out! False Flag Ahead…

TSA now needs false flag security incident to convince Americans to accept obscene pat-downs

TSA

Sunday, November 21, 2010
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
Editor of NaturalNews.com

http://www.naturalnews.com/030471_TSA_false_flag_operation.html

(NaturalNews) With the grassroots backlash over the TSA’s obscene pat-downs growing by the day, it’s becoming fairly obvious that the only way the U.S. government is going to get the public to accept these Fourth Amendment violations is if there is another “terrorist incident” that’s stopped by the TSA and its naked body scanners. 

So far, the TSA is molesting children, teens and grannies without being able to demonstrate that this gross violation of Americans’ Fourth Amendment rights is having any effect whatsoever on improving air travel safety. But if there’s anything to be learned from 9/11, it’s that the sheeple are always willing to give up their rights if they can be scared into doing so. (http://www.naturalnews.com/030452_R…)

“After 9/11 people were scared and when people are scared they’ll do anything for someone who will make them less scared,” said Bruce Schneier, a Minneapolis security technology expert, in an AP story (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20101121…). “But [this TSA] is particularly invasive. It’s strip-searching. It’s body groping. As abhorrent goes, this pegs it.”

TSA is fighting for its survival

The TSA is being threatened right now in a big way: One airport in Florida is already planning to ditch the agency and hire private contractors to run security. A NYC lawmaker has called for the “dismantling” of the TSA, and Rep Ron Paul has introduced legislation that would result in TSA agents being arrested for felony crimes if they touched peoples’ junk.

The TSA, in other words, is fighting for its very survival right now. What it desperately needs is some new terrorist incident to remind the American people how much they need to give up their freedoms in exchange for security.

Now, I’m not saying the TSA is going to plot to blow up an airplane or anything, but if there’s anybody who has the access to sneak something past airport security, it’s the TSA.

How false flag operations achieve government goals

The United States government has a long and detailed history of “staging” events in order to sway public opinion. The Gulf of Tonkin event in the Vietnam War era was deliberately staged by U.S. government officials in order to justify an escalation of military attacks on the North Vietnamese. Documents that were finally declassified just this year prove beyond any doubt that the U.S. government conspired to stage this “false flag” event. (http://www.prisonplanet.com/de-clas…)

Operation Northwoods was a similar plot. As Wikipedia relates:

The planned 1962 Operation Northwoods plot by the U.S. Department of Defense for a war with Cuba involved scenarios such as hijacking or shooting down passenger and military planes, sinking a U.S. ship in the vicinity of Cuba, burning crops, sinking a boat filled with Cuban refugees, attacks by alleged Cuban infiltrators inside the United States, and harassment of U.S. aircraft and shipping and the destruction of aerial drones by aircraft disguised as Cuban MiGs. These actions would be blamed on Cuba, and would be a pretext for an invasion of Cuba and the overthrow of Fidel Castro’s communist government. It was authored by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, nixed by John F. Kennedy, came to light through the Freedom of Information Act and was publicized by James Bamford. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_…)

On the conspiracy theory front, there have long been accusations that the 9/11 attacks were an “inside job” staged as a pretext to clamp down on Americans’ freedoms and roll out the Patriot Act — the very law that coincidentally gives TSA agents the right to have anybody arrested and detained for 48 hours without cause, without a warrant and without legal representation. The evidence surrounding the collapse of the WTC 7 building now has literally thousands of engineers, scientists and citizens realizing the building was obviously brought down by demolition explosions (http://buildingwhat.org) and not an “office fire” as was the official explanation.

The point of all this is that when governments are cornered but don’t want to give in, they will sometimes resort to falsifying events in order to continue moving their agendas forward. As David Icke explains, it’s the old “problem-reaction-solution” approach. First, create the problem, then wait for the public reaction that allows you to enact the government solution.

The formula works like a charm for everything from pushing flu vaccines to justifying a war.

In fact, there is evidence that U.S. agents may already be working on this plan. The fake bomb recently found on board a German passenger jet, we now know, was manufactured by a U.S. company (http://www.prisonplanet.com/fake-bo…).

How government agencies keep themselves alive (and get more funding)

Is the TSA at that point of desperation yet? I’m not sure, but it would certainly be easy for high-level TSA operatives to find some patsy who hates the government, convince him that he should carry some liquid explosives onto an airplane, and then “catch” him at a TSA security checkpoint, thereby proving that we need to keep giving up our freedoms in the name of security.

The mainstream media would have a field day with that story, and for the next two weeks on the news, we’d all hear how important the TSA is and what a great job they’re doing, and how this “terrorist” was caught by the naked body scanner machine, and so on.

Don’t be surprised to see such a scenario unfold. It’s not that I personally distrust the TSA in particular, because there are some good people who work there and who are not to blame for all this, but at the same time I’ve been around long enough and studied enough true history to know that government organizations will do practically anything to stay in power.

The DEA, for example, is desperately fighting against marijuana legalization not because marijuana is some highly dangerous drug (it isn’t), but because it’s job security for DEA agents.

The CDC, likewise, went completely out of its way last year to spread fear about the H1N1 Swine Flu for the same reasons: Job security. There’s nothing quite like declaring a stage-six pandemic to keep the Congressional funding flowing your way, huh?

The CDC also has a fascinating history of completely distorting the AIDS epidemic in order to boost its own funding, by the way. Watch this eye-opening video from House of Numbers to learn more: http://naturalnews.tv/v.asp?v=4FE73…

Every government agency — the TSA, CDC, FDA, USDA, FTC and so on — fights for its survival every year. That’s because in an era of budget cuts, every agency knows it could potentially be on the chopping block for severe cuts. And funding cuts translate into job losses. So the unspoken rule at all government agencies is to “make ourselves important” in order to keep the money flowing.

This is also why the food contamination scares have been hyped up beyond all reason over the last two years: The FDA wants new powers to control the food supply, and the best way to do that is to latch onto stories about e.coli and salmonella and blow those all out of proportion in order to pass reactionary legislation called Senate Bill 510 (http://www.naturalnews.com/030461_S…).

The truth about this food safety situation is that right now something like 80% of the chickens sold in grocery stores are contaminated with salmonella (http://www.naturalnews.com/021258.html), yet you don’t hear a peep about that story. And the FDA is making no effort whatsoever to “ban chicken meat” from grocery stores. Their fear mongering about food contamination is very selective, it seems.

Perhaps the TSA has been learning its lessons from the FDA. Simply stage a false flag attack and you, too, can have increased Congressional funding to “fight terror” or whatever.

We do need protections, but we need our rights even more

All this isn’t to say that America doesn’t have enemies who really do want to destroy us. It’s true that there are really bad people out there — people and groups who want to bring America down.

There are some good people in Washington who are fighting for our safety behind the scenes. Yes, the FBI, CIA and NSA all have “a few good men” who are doing things around the world that you and I don’t even want to know about. Stuff that would make you cringe if you knew about it.

The sacrifices being made by some of these individuals in the name of protecting America’s interests on the international stage will never be fully known, nor recognized by anyone in the mainstream. The everyday American people who go about their lives shopping, watching TV, collecting a paycheck and surfing the ‘web have no idea what goes on behind the scenes to give them the luxury of pursuing such a carefree lifestyle.

That’s why nothing I print here is intended to disrespect the front-line warriors who are fighting for America’s interests — soldiers, the few “good” feds, etc. But at the same time that there are some “good men” (and women) in these agencies, there are also some rotten apples (like in any organization, I suppose). There are some people working in the government who absolutely would not hesitate to stage a false flag attack if it meant increasing their power, their pay and their importance.

And those people must be scratching their heads right now, thinking, “Gee, it sure would be easy to pull off a staged event of some kind that keeps us all in power.”

I just hope they come to their senses and realize they should not be at war with the American people. They’re supposed to be fighting to protect our freedoms, not to take away our freedoms. The real war is with the true enemies of America — those state-sponsored terrorist groups that genuinely want to destroy America and everything it stands for.

Certainly, we must not let the terrorists win. But neither must we allow freedom to perish in the process.

Reasonable security is fine

As a freedom-loving American who values both my freedom and my safety, I will gladly submit to having my luggage X-rayed and walking through a metal detector. I will gladly sit beside an armed Air Marshal on the flight, captained by an armed pilot on the flight deck who hopefully has a couple of spare mags along with his Colt 1911, too (pilots carry firearms on airplanes right now, most people don’t even know..).

Yet as much as those security precautions seem reasonable, I refuse to subject myself to a body X-ray that emits ionizing radiation, and I refuse to give in to an obscene pat-down that involves government personnel feeling up my genitals, with or without a latex glove.

At that point, “security” has become tyranny. And the terrorists have already won.

We need to rise up and stop this. Just as some of our undercover federal agents (and active soldiers) are fighting for America’s interests overseas, you and I need to be fighting for our freedom right here at home, on American soil, with this airport security issue.

We are not subjects. We are not cattle. We are sovereign citizens and we will not surrender our bodies to be fondled by government agents with the excuse that “it’s for our own good.”

And be on the watch for a “staged” security event designed to convince the American people that they need to give up yet more freedoms in the name of police-state security. I’m willing to bet that precisely such a plot is on the drawing board in Washington D.C. right now.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Ray McGovern on WikiLeaks Assault

*

By RT America
October 27, 2010

The U.S. news media is framing the debate about the WikiLeaks revelations of the Iraq War‘s savagery as a story about the alleged misconduct of WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange, in an attempt to destroy the message by discrediting the messenger, says former CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

In an interview with RT America, McGovern criticized the U.S. media‘s focus on Assange and whether he should be prosecuted for releasing the secrets, rather than on the grisly details about the war contained in nearly 400,000 secret military field reports that WikiLeaks released last weekend.

(The story summary continues below.)

*

McGovern suggests that the reason for this concentration on Assange instead of what the documents reveal is that otherwise the U.S. press corps would have to come to grips with the fact that the U.S. government committed “the supreme international crime” by invading Iraq and thus touching off the barbarity that the documents recount.

*


Why The Drug War Must End

Your Government Dealing Drugs

By Jesse Ventura with Dick Russell

Drugs, Guns, and Government

The heroin epidemic that ravaged our cities during the 50s and 60s basically originated with the CIA out of Southeast Asia. Almost from the moment of their founding in 1947, the CIA was giving covert support to organized drug traffickers in Europe and the Far East, and eventually the Middle East and Latin America. During the Vietnam War—hold onto your hats!—heroin was being smuggled into this country in the bodies of soldiers being flown home, coded ahead of time so they could be identified at various Air Force bases and the drugs removed.

Toward the end of American involvement over there in 1975, a former Green Beret named Michael Hand arranged a 500-pound shipment of heroin from Southeast Asia’s “Golden Triangle” to the U.S. by way of Australia. That’s where Hand had set up shop as vice chair of the Nugan Hand Bank, which was linked by the Australian Narcotics Bureau to a drug smuggling network that “exported some $3 billion [Aust.] worth of heroin from Bangkok prior to June 1976.” Several CIA guys who later came up in the Iran-Contra affair (Ted Shackley, Ray Clines and Edwin Wilson) used the Nugan Hand bank to channel funds for covert operations. By 1979, the bank had 22 branches in 13 countries and $1 billion in annual business. The next year, chairman Frank Nugan was found shot dead in his Mercedes, a hundred miles from Sydney, and the bank soon collapsed. Two official investigations by Australia uncovered its financing of major drug dealers and the laundering of their profits, while collecting an impressive list of “ex”CIA officers.

Drugs Funding Reagan’s War in Nicaragua

After the CIA’s involvement with the Southeast Asian drug trade had been partly disclosed in the mid-1970s, and the U.S. left Vietnam to its fate, the Agency started distancing itself from its “assets.” But that only left the door open to go elsewhere. Which the Reagan Administration did big-time, to fund its secret war in Nicaragua. The 1979 Sandinista revolution that overthrew Anastasio Somoza, one of our favorite Latin dictators, was not looked upon fondly by Ronnie and his friends. He called the counterrevolutionary Contras “freedom fighters,” and compared them to America’s founding fathers. In his attempt to get Congress to approve aid for the Contras, Reagan accused the Sandinista government of drug trafficking. Of course, Nancy Reagan had launched her “Just say no” campaign at the time, but I guess she hadn’t given the word to her husband. After his administration tried to mine the Nicaraguan harbors and got a hand slap from Congress, it turned to secretly selling missiles to Iran and using the payments—along with profits from running drugs—to keep right on funding the Contras. Fifty thousand lost lives later, the World Court would order the U.S. to “cease and to refrain” from unlawful use of force against Nicaragua and pay reparations. (We refused to comply.)

The fact is, with most of the cocaine that flooded the country in the 80s, almost every major drug network was using the Contra operation in some fashion. Colombia’s Medellin cartel began quietly collaborating with the Contras soon after Reagan took office. Then, in 1982, CIA Director Casey negotiated a little Memorandum of Understanding with the attorney general, William French Smith. Basically what this did was give the CIA legal clearance to work with known drug traffickers without being required to report it, so long as they weren’t official employees but only “assets.” This didn’t come out until 1998, when CIA Inspector General Frederick Hitz issued a report that implicated more than 50 Contra and related entities in the drug trade. And the CIA knew all about it. The trafficking and money laundering tracked right into the National Security Council, where Oliver North was overseeing the Contras’ war.

Here’s what was going on behind the scenes: In the mid-1980s, North got together with four companies that were owned and operated by drug dealers, and arranged payments from the State Department for shipping supplies to the Contras. Michael Levine, an undercover agent for the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration), later said that “running a covert operation in collaboration with a drug cartel . . . [is] what I call treason.” The top DEA agent in El Salvador, Celerino Castillo III, said he saw “very large quantities of cocaine and millions of dollars” being run out of hangars at Ilopango air base, which was controlled by North and CIA operative Felix Rodriguez (he’d been placed in El Salvador by Vice President Bush’s office, as a direct overseer of North’s operations). The cocaine was being transshipped from Costa Rica through El Salvador and on into the U.S. But when Castillo tried to raise this with his superiors, he ran into nothing but obstacles.

Iran-Contra Affair: Drugs, Arms and Hostages

Early in 1985, two Associated Press reporters started hearing from officials in D.C. about all this. A year later, after a lot of stonewalling by the editors, the AP did run Robert Parry and Brian Barger’s story on an FBI probe into cocaine trafficking by the Contras. This led the Reagan Administration to put out a three-page report admitting that there’d been some such shenanigans when the Contras were “particularly hard pressed for financial support” after Congress voted to cut off American aid. There was “evidence of a limited number of incidents.” Uh-huh. It would be awhile yet before an Oliver North note surfaced from July 12, 1985, about a Contra arms warehouse in Honduras: “Fourteen million to finance came from drugs.”

Contra rebels

Also in 1986, an FBI informant inside the Medellin cartel, Wanda Palacio, testified that she’d seen the organization run by Jorge Ochoa loading cocaine onto aircraft that belonged to Southern Air Transport, a company that used to be owned by the CIA and was flying supplies to the Contras. There was strong corroboration for her story, but somehow the Justice Department rejected it as inconclusive.  Senator John Kerry started looking into all this and said at one closed-door committee meeting: “It is clear that there is a network of drug trafficking through the Contras…We can produce specific law-enforcement officials who will tell you that they have been called off drug-trafficking investigations because the CIA is involved or because it would threaten national security.”

What became known as the Iran-Contra affair came to light in November 1986. We were selling arms to Iran, breaking an arms embargo in order to fund the contras. Fourteen Reagan Administration officials got charged with crimes and eleven were convicted, including Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger. Of course, Poppa Bush pardoned them all after he got elected president. And do you think a word about drug-running came up in the televised House committee hearings that made Ollie North a household name? Fuhgedaboutit.

[Watch Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura on truTV.]

The thousand-page report issued by Senator Kerry about his committee’s findings did discuss how the State Department had paid more than $800,000 to known traffickers to take “humanitarian assistance” to the Contras.  The New York Times then set out to trash Kerry in a three-part series, including belittling him for relying on the testimony of imprisoned (drug-running) pilots. The Washington Post published a short article heavy on criticisms against Kerry by the Republicans. Newsweek called him “a randy conspiracy buff.” (Wonder what they were snorting.)

But are we surprised? In 1987, the House Narcotics Committee had concluded there should be more investigation into the Contra drug allegations. What was the Washington Post‘s headline? “Hill Panel Finds No Evidence Linking Contras to Drug Smuggling.” The paper wouldn’t even run Chairman Charles Rangel’s letter of correction! That same year, a Time correspondent had an article on this subject blocked and a senior editor privately tell him: “Time is institutionally behind the Contras. If this story were about the Sandinistas and drugs, you’d have no trouble getting it in the magazine.”

Drugs, Panama and Beyond

The list of government skullduggery goes on, and it’s mind-boggling. Remember when Poppa Bush ordered our military to invade Panama back in 1990? The stated reason was that its leader, Colonel Manuel Noriega, had been violating our laws by permitting drugs to be run through his country. In fact, Noriega had been “one of ours” for a long time. After Noriega was brought to the U.S. and convicted by a federal jury in Miami and sentenced to 40 years, filmmaker Oliver Stone went to see him in prison. There Noriega talked freely about having spied on Castro for the U.S., giving covert aid to the Contras and visiting with Oliver North. Noriega and Bush Sr. went way back, to when Bush headed the CIA in 1976. The brief prepared by Noriega’s defense team was heavily censored, but it did reveal significant contact with Bush over a 15-year period. In fact, Bush had headed up a special anti-drug effort as vice president called the South Florida Task Force, which happened to coincide with when quite a few cargoes of cocaine and marijuana came through Florida as part of the Contra support network. So why did we finally go after Noriega? Some said it’s because he knew too much and was demanding too big a cut for his role in the Agency’s drug dealing.

It’s a proven fact that the CIA’s into drugs; we even know why. It’s because they can get money to operate with, and not have to account to Congress for what they’re doing. All this is justified because of the “big picture.” But doesn’t it really beg for a massive investigation and trials and a whole lot of people going to jail? This includes the big banks that allow the dirty money to be laundered through them.

Go back to Chicago and Prohibition, when Al Capone became more powerful than the government because we’d outlawed the selling of liquor. Legalize marijuana and you put the cartels out of business! Instead, we’re going to further militarize our border and go shoot it out with them? And if a few thousand poor Mexicans get killed in the crossfire, too bad. I don’t get that mentality. I don’t understand how this is the proper way, the adult answer, when they could do it another way. Eventually, after thousands more people get killed, they’ll probably arrive at the same answer: legalization. Because there’s nothing else that will work. 

And legalization would go a long way toward giving us a more legitimate government, too—a government that doesn’t have to shield drug dealers who happen to be doing its dirty work. There are clearly people in government making money off drugs. Far more people, statistically, die from prescription drugs than illegal drugs. But the powers that be don’t want you to be able to use a drug that you don’t have to pay for, such as marijuana. Thirteen states now have voted to allow use of medical marijuana. Thank goodness Barack Obama just came out with a new policy stating that the feds are not going to interfere as long as people are following state law. That’s a great step toward legalization.

‘You can’t legislate stupidity’ is an old saying I used in governing. Just because you make something illegal doesn’t mean it’s going away; it just means it’ll now be run by criminals. But is using an illegal drug a criminal offense or a medical one? I tend to believe medical, because that’s customarily how addictions are treated; we don’t throw you in jail for them. In a free society, that’s an oxymoron—going to jail for committing a crime against yourself.

The government is telling people what’s good for them and what’s not, but that should be a choice made by us, not those in power. Look at the consequences when it’s the other way around.

A neat little Graphic that illustrates the article above perfectly (E):

Thanks to:

The Truth About Terrorism, and the U.S. Government

by Scott Lazarowitz

Recently by Scott Lazarowitz: The Choice Between Two Americas

My writing this was inspired by Paul Craig Roberts’s great article The War on Terror, in which he tells the truth about what’s really going on, and I wanted to expand more on this terrorism subject.

There are many reasons why the U.S. government needs to place itself on the Terrorist Watch List, but since there isn’t enough space to include all that here, I’ll just touch on the most important points.

To begin, millions of Americans report their income and employment status to the U.S. government out of fear, and for no other reason. It certainly isn’t out of the goodness of their hearts (except for the most naïve amongst us). Most Americans who are required to pay a certain percentage of their income to the feds aren’t really paying – it is being taken from them under the threat of various intrusions, such as garnishing their wages or putting a lien on their homes (like a lien on one’s home really matters anymore now in the time of ForeclosureGate). For many Americans, the taking is automatic, directly from their paychecks. So employers as well as workers must submit to the threat of brute force if they don’t comply with the demand for information on employment status and payment. Millions of Americans are terrorized by the federal government, not only for what might happen to them if they don’t comply with the demands, but if a mistake is made. There have been horror stories told by many Americans of what happened to them because a mistake was made – including mistakes made by the government.

And many owners of businesses, especially of small businesses, are terrified that they will be persecuted by some government bureaucrat for not following one of the many thousands of regulations that businesses must obey, regulations that exist for no good reason – only to protect larger businesses’ profits. (Thanks, Herr Lincoln.) And especially because of the unstable economic environment now, millions of businesses are afraid to take risks, make any new investments, or hire new workers because they don’t know what the situation will be for them even months from now, let alone years. And Congress won’t even let people know whether or not the Bush tax cuts will be extended or allowed to expire after January 1st, 2011. No one knows what to do. (I’m sure businesses and workers all across America would prosper, if we could only abolish Congress.)

Regarding the War on Terrorism and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), I am now terrified of flying. This is not because a terrorist might hijack the plane, but because of the intrusiveness of what people now have to endure when going through security checkpoints: the pornographic X-rays, the frisking and groping, the searching of my clothing and belongings, the harsh interrogations. Out of their blind faith in the State, the American sheeple have assumed that there should be no alternative to the State’s monopoly in territorial protection, and have passively accepted the constantly growing intrusions by the State against the people and their Liberty. As an experienced pilot has suggested, the airlines should be responsible for their security, not the government. And arm the pilots as well. And arm the passengers as well. In the meantime, I won’t fly.

And then there are the anti-civil liberties, anti-Due Process presidential powers that the Bush Administration had usurped, and that the Obama Administration seems to enjoy having, of apprehending and detaining individuals without actual suspicion, of extraordinary rendition, torture, even presidentially-directed assassinations of individuals deemed by the president and his agents to be “terrorists” without due process or trial. And, given that the whole world, including U.S. territory, is considered to be part of the Global Battlefield in the Global War on Terror, and given that Homeland Security secretary Janet Napolitano has issued warnings against “right-wing extremists,” essentially those who disagree with Obama’s policies, and given that I happen to be one who disagrees with just about all of Obama’s policies from his war crimes to his communist social policies, then obviously no place in America is safe, and it really is terrifying now.

And regarding the federal government’s intrusions into Americans’ private health matters, I know someone who has said that, because of the new ObamaCare medical intrusions, he will not have his follow-up medical procedures as long as ObamaCare is in place. He just doesn’t want his medical details being scrutinized by government officials. And I also have some health situations for which I rely very much on OTC vitamins and supplements. But, because the Obama FDA wants to crack down on OTC supplement makers, that really is a direct threat to me. I am literally terrified that these bureaucratic misfits in Washington want to take away my only real means of keeping me in (somewhat) good health, and all on behalf of Big Pharma. It’s disgusting how so many people in various federal agencies are on the boards of large pharmaceutical industries, and the cahoots between Big Pharma and Big Government, with lobbyists and campaign donations to legislators to vote Big Pharma’s way, is downright scary.

Also, because the U.S. government has done nothing but provoke Muslims in Middle Eastern countries to act against Americans, I am terrified of another major terrorist attack in the U.S. It would be solely because of what the U.S. government has been doing, especially since 1990. The U.S. government’s actions of terrorism against innocents in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and other parts of the Middle East, and its intrusions into just about every aspect of daily life, have been making me less safe, as well as all other Americans.

Presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama and Bush’s father George H.W. Bush actually should all be tried for war crimes and terrorism, especially against Muslims in the Middle East. The IRS, the FDA, the TSA, and other extensions of the federal Leviathan also need to be held accountable for their actions. If we can’t have that, then at the very least, the U.S. government must place itself on the Terror Watch List, as it is the one organization that has been most responsible for terrorizing the most people, ever.

October 20, 2010

Scott Lazarowitz [send him mail] is a commentator and cartoonist at Reasonandjest.com.

Copyright © 2010 by LewRockwell.com. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.

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