The Militant Libertarian

I'm pissed off and I'm a libertarian. What else you wanna know?

Saturday, August 15, 2009

So, you want to replace profit-driven health care with politics-driven medicine?

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The Pentagon Wants Authority to Post Almost 400,000 Military Personnel in U.S.

by Matthew Rothschild [seriously, I can't make this up]

The Pentagon has approached Congress to grant the Secretary of Defense the authority to post almost 400,000 military personnel throughout the United States in times of emergency or a major disaster.

This request has already occasioned a dispute with the nation’s governors. And it raises the prospect of U.S. military personnel patrolling the streets of the United States, in conflict with the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878.

In June, the U.S. Northern Command distributed a “Congressional Fact Sheet” entitled “Legislative Proposal for Activation of Federal Reserve Forces for Disasters.” That proposal would amend current law, thereby “authorizing the Secretary of Defense to order any unit or member of the Army Reserve, Air Force Reserve, Navy Reserve, and the Marine Corps Reserve, to active duty for a major disaster or emergency.”

Taken together, these reserve units would amount to “more than 379,000 military personnel in thousands of communities across the United States,” explained

Paul Stockton, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense and America’s Security Affairs, in a letter to the National Governors Association, dated July 20.

The governors were not happy about this proposal, since they want to maintain control of their own National Guard forces, as well as military personnel acting in a domestic capacity in their states.

“We are concerned that the legislative proposal you discuss in your letter would invite confusion on critical command and control issues,” Governor James H. Douglas of Vermont and Governor Joe Manchin III of West Virginia, the president and vice president of the governors’ association, wrote in a letter back to Stockton on August 7. The governors asserted that they “must have tactical control over all . . . active duty and reserve military forces engaged in domestic operations within the governor’s state or territory.”

According to Pentagon public affairs officer Lt. Col. Almarah K. Belk, Stockton has not responded formally to the governors but understands their concerns.

“There is a rub there,” she said. “If the Secretary calls up the reserve personnel to provide support in a state and retains command and control of those forces, the governors are concerned about if I have command and control of the Guard, how do we ensure unity of effort and everyone is communicating and not running over each other.”

Belk said Stockton is addressing this problem. “That is exactly what Dr. Stockton is working out right now with the governors and DHS and the National Guard,” she said. “He’s bringing all the stakeholders together.”

Belk said the legislative change is necessary in the aftermath of a “catastrophic natural disaster, not beyond that,” and she referred to Katrina, among other events.

But NorthCom’s Congressional fact sheet refers not just to a “major disaster” but also to “emergencies.” And it says, “Those terms are defined in section 5122 of title 42, U.S. Code.”

That section gives the President the sole discretion to designate an event as an “emergency” or a “major disaster.” Both are “in the determination of the President” alone.

That section also defines “major disaster” by citing plenty of specifics: “hurricane, tornado, storm, high water, wind-driven water, tidal wave, tsunami, earthquake, volcanic eruption, landslide, mudslide, snowstorm, or drought,” as well as “fire, flood, or explosion.”

But the definition of “emergency” is vague: “Emergency means any occasion or instance for which, in the determination of the President, Federal assistance is needed to supplement State and local efforts and capabilities to save lives and to protect property and public health and safety, or to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in any part of the United States.”

Currently, the President can call up the Reserves only in an emergency involving “a use or threatened use of a weapon of mass destruction” or “a terrorist attack or threatened terrorist attack in the United States that results, or could result, in significant loss of life or property,” according to Title 10, Chapter 1209, Section 12304, of the U.S. Code. In fact, Section 12304 explicitly prohibits the President from calling up the Reserves for any other “natural or manmade disaster, accident, or catastrophe.”

So the new proposed legislation would greatly expand the President’s power to call up the Reserves in a disaster or an emergency and would extend that power to the Secretary of Defense. (There are other circumstances, such as repelling invasions or rebellions or enforcing federal authority, where the President already has the authority to call up the Reserves.)

The ACLU is alarmed by the proposed legislation. Mike German, the ACLU’s national security policy counsel, expressed amazement “that the military would propose such a broad set of authorities and potentially undermine a 100-year-old prohibition against the military in domestic law enforcement with no public debate and seemingly little understanding of the threat to democracy.”

At the moment, says Pentagon spokesperson Belk, the legislation does not have a sponsor in the House or the Senate.

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Preparing for Martial Law: International Swine Flu Conference to Be Held in Washington

by Kurt Nimmo

n his show today, Alex Jones read an email sent by a listener. “I work at the National Institutes of Health and we received an email about the upcoming International Swine Flu Conference that will be occurring in Washington, D.C. Aug 19 – Aug 21, 2009,” the listener writes. “They’re talking about mass fatality management and continuity of government. They’re going to hit us with a massive biological false flag attack.”

The email contains a PDF attachment of a brochure for the Swine Flu Conference. Breakout sessions detailed on the brochure include discussions on mass fatality planning, business continuity planning, and COOP or Continuity of Operations and Continuity of Government Planning. Additional sessions cover enforced quarantines, mass vaccinations, and how to “control and diffuse social unrest and public disorder.” The brochure is also available for download on the International Swine Flu Conference website sponsored by ISFC New-Fields Exhibitions.

“Top leaders and key decision-makers of major companies representing a broad range of industries will meet with distinguished scientists, public health officials, law enforcers, first responders, and other experts to discuss pandemic prevention, preparedness, response and recovery at the 1st International Swine Flu Conference,” the website announces.

The conference is further evidence the government plans to launched a false flag attack under the cover of an engineered H1N1 flu pandemic and impose martial law.
Prison Planet and Infowars have covered the story of a manufactured flu pandemic in detail, including:

On July 25, the Los Angeles Times reported the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention expects the flu pandemic expected this autumn to kill hundreds of thousands. “The number of potential deaths is much higher than that usually seen in seasonal flu, which kills an estimated 36,000 Americans a year, and is even higher than the nation’s most recent pandemic.” The 1957 pandemic of Asian flu killed 70,000. The 1918 Spanish Flu claimed between 500,000 to 675,000 lives in the United States.

The CDC has announced that it will no longer keep track of the number of people killed by the virus. “Health officials from the CDC said the virus was too widespread to continue counting,” the Digital Journal reported. “Health experts say millions have likely been infected worldwide.”

The U.S. government has bought 195 million doses of H1N1 swine flu vaccine for a possible autumn vaccination campaign, a U.S. federal official told Reuters on July 23. The U.S. Health and Human Services Department has also contracted for 120 million doses of adjuvant, a compound to stretch the number of doses of vaccine.

In late 2007, the Bush administration issued a “directive” establishing a “National Strategy for Public Health and Medical Preparedness” based on Biodefense for the 21st Century. Prior to this, in May of 2007, the U.S. military had the foresight to “plan for a possible avian flu pandemic that could kill as many as three million people in the United States in as little as six weeks,” according to Yahoo News. Guidelines and “planning assumptions for US military services and combatant commands” were published in a document entitled “Implementation Plan for Pandemic Influenza.”

“Possible scenarios include US troops being called in to put down riots, guard pharmaceutical plants and shipments, and help restrict the movement of people inside the country and across its borders,” Yahoo summarizes. “The plan envisions fast moving, catastrophic waves of disease that would overwhelm health facilities and cripple the ability of state and local authorities to provide even basic commodities or services.”

The “hidden agenda consists in using the threat of a pandemic and/or the plight of a natural disaster as a pretext to establish military rule” and “suspend Constitutional government and allow the Military to intervene in civilian affairs in violation of the Posse Comitatus Act,” author Michel Chossudovsky wrote in 2005.

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Friday, August 14, 2009

Photo montage of Denver protest of Pelosi

AKA: Nancy and the Astroturfers

A member of the American Independent Party posted a series of videos from Denver recently. A group of ad hoc protesters had showed up to show Nancy Pelosi (visiting a hospital there) that they don't support universal health care.

What you'll see is a storyboard of what's happening nationally. The photography claimed no affiliation, so both sides of the aisle on the debate treated him as regular press. Thus, he got a candid view of how things operate and who is really doing the astro turfing...

Check out the great photo journalism of "El Marco" by clicking here.

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U.S. Government Stages a Fake Coupe!

This is a must-see, breaking news video! The U.S. government has staged a total coupe in order to change our government without our knowing!

Watch video and learn the details at this link!

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Three Good Reasons To Liquidate Our Empire and 10 Ways to Do It

by Chalmers Johnson

However ambitious President Barack Obama's domestic plans, one unacknowledged issue has the potential to destroy any reform efforts he might launch. Think of it as the 800-pound gorilla in the American living room: our longstanding reliance on imperialism and militarism in our relations with other countries and the vast, potentially ruinous global empire of bases that goes with it. The failure to begin to deal with our bloated military establishment and the profligate use of it in missions for which it is hopelessly inappropriate will, sooner rather than later, condemn the United States to a devastating trio of consequences: imperial overstretch, perpetual war, and insolvency, leading to a likely collapse similar to that of the former Soviet Union.

According to the 2008 official Pentagon inventory of our military bases around the world, our empire consists of 865 facilities in more than 40 countries and overseas U.S. territories. We deploy over 190,000 troops in 46 countries and territories. In just one such country, Japan, at the end of March 2008, we still had 99,295 people connected to U.S. military forces living and working there -- 49,364 members of our armed services, 45,753 dependent family members, and 4,178 civilian employees. Some 13,975 of these were crowded into the small island of Okinawa, the largest concentration of foreign troops anywhere in Japan.

These massive concentrations of American military power outside the United States are not needed for our defense. They are, if anything, a prime contributor to our numerous conflicts with other countries. They are also unimaginably expensive. According to Anita Dancs, an analyst for the website Foreign Policy in Focus, the United States spends approximately $250 billion each year maintaining its global military presence. The sole purpose of this is to give us hegemony -- that is, control or dominance -- over as many nations on the planet as possible.

We are like the British at the end of World War II: desperately trying to shore up an empire that we never needed and can no longer afford, using methods that often resemble those of failed empires of the past -- including the Axis powers of World War II and the former Soviet Union. There is an important lesson for us in the British decision, starting in 1945, to liquidate their empire relatively voluntarily, rather than being forced to do so by defeat in war, as were Japan and Germany, or by debilitating colonial conflicts, as were the French and Dutch. We should follow the British example. (Alas, they are currently backsliding and following our example by assisting us in the war in Afghanistan.)

Here are three basic reasons why we must liquidate our empire or else watch it liquidate us.

1. We Can No Longer Afford Our Postwar Expansionism

Shortly after his election as president, Barack Obama, in a speech announcing several members of his new cabinet, stated as fact that "[w]e have to maintain the strongest military on the planet." A few weeks later, on March 12, 2009, in a speech at the National Defense University in Washington DC, the president again insisted, "Now make no mistake, this nation will maintain our military dominance. We will have the strongest armed forces in the history of the world." And in a commencement address to the cadets of the U.S. Naval Academy on May 22nd, Obama stressed that "[w]e will maintain America's military dominance and keep you the finest fighting force the world has ever seen."

What he failed to note is that the United States no longer has the capability to remain a global hegemon, and to pretend otherwise is to invite disaster.

Read the rest here.

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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Let's talk about tasers

by Digby,

Like Glenn, I write a lot about civil liberties, which have been at the heart of the national conversation since the beginning of the War On Terror and the expansion of the national security state. But my interest in civil liberties predates 9/11 and until then was usually pointed at the far more prosaic issues of police and prosecutorial misconduct (and the inevitable conclusions any study of those things brings to the issue of the death penalty). Nowadays, the theme of civil liberties seem to be a sub-plot to a James Bond flick rather than "To Kill A Mockingbird." And yet, I think the two are intertwined much more closely that we think. In our apparent acceptance of torture as a legal method of interrogation, the bar of civilized official behavior has been lowered to the point where we are accepting torture in everyday life as if it's nothing. Indeed, we are using it as a form of entertainment.

I'm speaking of the ever more common use of the Taser, an electrical device used by police and other authorities to drop its victims to the ground and coerce instant compliance. The videos of various incidents make the rounds on the internet and you can see by the comments at the YouTube site that a large number of Americans find tasering to be a sort of slapstick comedy, the equivalent of someone slipping on a banana peel, with a touch of that authoritarian cruelty that always seems to amuse a certain kind of person. "Don't tase me bro" is a national catch phrase.

Tasers aren't benign however. They kill people. Nobody knows exactly why some people die from being tasered, and they certainly don't know how to tell in advance which ones are at risk. But there have been hundreds of deaths similar to the one below, which nobody can adequately explain:

A Detroit teenager who police say fled a traffic stop Friday died after being subdued with a Taser. He is the second Michigan teen to die following a Taser stun in less than a month. Warren Police say they don't know why the 15-year-old bailed out of a Dodge Stratus he was riding in during the stop on Eight Mile near Schoenherr, leading officers on a half-block chase that ended in an abandoned house on Pelkey in Detroit. The car was stopped for having an expired license plate. In the scuffle, officers shocked the teen one time with a Taser, police said. Shortly after, he became unresponsive and died.

Taser International has successfully defended themselves in lawsuits by attributing the deaths to drug use and if that doesn't work do to the fact that drugs were not present in the victim, they rely on an unrecognized medical condition called "excited delirium", a disease that only afflicts people who die in police custody. Juries apparently find this convincing. Taser has only lost one case.

But that isn't the real problem, although it may eventually be the path by which tasers are banned for use in civilized countries. As awful as the possibility of death is, tasers would be a blight on any free people even if they weren't so often deadly. Tasers were sold to the public as a tool for law enforcement to be used in lieu of deadly force. Presumably, this means situations in which officers would have previously had to use their firearms. It's hard to argue with that, and I can't think of a single civil libertarian who would say that this would be a truly civilized advance in policing. Nobody wants to see more death and if police have a weapon they can employ instead of a gun, in self defense or to stop someone from hurting others, I think we all can agree that's a good thing.

But that's not what's happening. Tasers are routinely used by police to torture innocent people who have not broken any law and whose only crime is being disrespectful toward their authority or failing to understand their "orders." There is ample evidence that police often take no more than 30 seconds to talk to citizens before employing the taser, they use them while people are already handcuffed and thus present no danger, and are used often against the mentally ill and handicapped. It is becoming a barbaric tool of authoritarian, social control.

Last week there were three taser episodes that made the rounds on the internet. (There may have been more, but these were the three most discussed.) The first was of a drunken, belligerent man at a baseball game who after 41 seconds of discussion was tasered while sitting in his seat. Indeed, the video shows that the taser threw him down onto the cement steps where he rolled down several. Since this scene must have happened literally thousands of times over the years, you have to wonder what they must have done in the past. Somehow I doubt they pulled out a gun and shot them.
The second incident was this sad tale of a man who allegedly refused to come out of a store restroom. Police blew pepper spray under the door, kicked it open and instantly tasered the man. It was only afterward that they discovered he was deaf. Police tried to book the man anyway, but the magistrate refused to accept the charges.

It was the third incident, however, that should get civil libertarians' serious attention. It featured an Idaho man on a bicycle who happened to ride past a police stop in progress on the side of the road. He had nothing to do with the stop, but was pulled over by the police and told to produce his ID. He said, correctly, that he had no legal obligation to produce ID and the police insisted he must. The situation escalated and he demanded that they call a supervisor to the scene when the police said they were going to arrest him. He ended up being tasered seven times -- you can hear him moaning in pain on the tape at the end. (In an especially creepy moment, the police try to confiscate the tape of the incident.)

Now, many people will say that he should have just showed his ID, that it's stupid to confront police, that like Henry Louis Gates you get what you deserve if you mouth off to the cops. And on a pragmatic level this is certainly true (although I would reiterate what I wrote here about a free people not being required to view the police in the same way they view a criminal street gang, which is to say in fear.) But the fact remains that there is no law against riding a bicycle without ID, and there is no law against mouthing off to the police. Certainly, there can be no rationale behind using a weapon designed to replace deadly force seven times against someone under these circumstances.

These are just three incidents that happened last week. There's nothing special about them. They happen every day.

Read the rest here.

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The Census Gestapo!

by Gary D. Barnett

Just when I thought the census invasions were over, at least until the actual count next spring, the census Gestapo, or "Complete Count Committees" (CCC) are forming all around this nation-state. Once again, the long arm of government is using state and local political types to form neighbor watching and neighbor invading "community" committees. One should not take this lightly, as this is a massive government-organized army out to invade the privacy of virtually everyone. The normal culprits will be involved in this idiocy, including government agencies, education, business, faith-based organizations, nosy community "leaders," local do-gooders, and of course the government-controlled media.

As I said in the past in my article, "In Preparation for the 2010 Census," the 2010 census count in my opinion will be the most aggressive ever. Not only has government become much more tyrannical in the past ten years, but towns, cities, counties and states are starving for more tax revenue due to this government-caused economic debacle. Although this census is being touted by the U.S. Census Bureau as a short-form only census, only 10 questions, don’t be fooled by this deceitful ruse. In the past, one out of every six households received the long form or "The American Community Survey" which is 52 pages long and very intrusive. It is simply used as a personal information gathering and monitoring tool for government. This practice has been scrapped in its present form, but now instead of being sent every ten years, will be mailed out to many every single year. What this means is that those sent the long form each year will now be under more pressure than ever to complete and send it in. Instead of the possibility of receiving one of these long forms every ten years, you could receive one in any given year. Since the state aggression is ratcheting up for these more intrusive invasions, some of us will have to defend ourselves from the Department of Commerce on a regular basis. This is absurd!

According to the CCC guide, [see here] "Determining congressional seats and federal funding is just a hint of the many important uses of census data." This must be news to those of us who can actually read and understand the constitution. The census was to be taken (an enumeration or simple head count) to establish the apportionment of representatives and direct taxes among the several states; nothing more. As I’ve mentioned in the past, no change in national representation has occurred in almost 100 years, and the apportionment of tax dollars has become nothing more than a tax redistribution scheme to enrich the elite few and to expand the socialist welfare state. In other words, a complete bastardization of the census process has taken place, and now it is nothing more than a scam!

But now, with Complete Count Committees in place, things have not only gotten worse, but much worse. First let’s look at some of the examples given for the many uses of the census. This comes under the very dubious heading: "Census data are widely and wisely used." Nothing could be further from the truth. Here are some of the uses:

Title 1 grants to educational agencies
Head Start programs
Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) (food grants)
Public transportation
Road rehabilitation and construction
Programs for the elderly
Emergency food and shelter
Empowerment zones (What in the world is this?)
The data help the private sector as well as state and federal governments determine where jobs and job programs are needed
Census data help potential homeowners research property values, median income, and other demographic information about a particular community.
Corporations use population data for market research to determine locations for commercial enterprises, such as food stores, pharmacies, and other essential services.

This of course is a short list. At the end of the guide, another 50 reasons are listed. And you thought the census was used to determine representative and direct tax apportionment only. No, quite the opposite is the case.

As should be obvious, local and state governments have been co-opted to help advance the Census Bureau’s reach and scope. Since the states and local communities depend so heavily on federal largess, this by design, and the census is the mechanism used to decide who gets what, they have become willing accomplices. In a local newspaper article recently, the statement was made that "$1,000.00 a year per person comes to communities based on census figures. Missing 10 people in a census can cost a community $100,000.00 over 10 years." Scare tactic? I would say so. No wonder the state and local governments are so heavily involved.

The Complete Count Committee is something I haven’t talked about in the past, but it is a very important aspect of the census count, and is based upon a co-opting or conscription of sorts of many state and local governments and communities. The CAC guide claims that the Census Bureau can’t do the census alone, and requires the assistance of individuals, groups and organizations across the nation. The CCC "is a voluntary committee established by tribal, state and local governments, and/or community leaders, to increase awareness about the census and motivate residents in the community to respond." While this language may seem benign to some, it is in fact descriptive of even a more intrusive venture.

These committees are run in a top down manner not that much unlike a military structure. I would call it the "chain-of-command" for census counts. The U.S. government via the Department of Commerce is the head, and then the governor of each state takes charge of his domain. He then is to appoint individuals as members to serve on the committee, creating in essence, a state Complete Count Committee. This committee will normally be chaired by an individual selected by the governor. "The operation of the Complete Count Committee flows from the highest elected official or community leader to the chairperson, the committee members, and/or to the community at large." This is based on a sub-committee structure, from highest to lowest, and sub-committees should include government, education, faith-based, media, community-based organizations, business, and recruiting. This is no innocent community project, but a planned government/private (fascist) partnership ready to assault the rest of us.

These committees are to use every possible method at their disposal to force compliance. They are to identify targets for aggressive outreach and set up strategic partnerships with counties, schools, state agencies, and community organizations. They will also set up non-response follow-up. They are to exhaust every avenue possible to promote the census count, including but not limited to stuffing all public utility and property tax bills with census propaganda. Banners, brochures, posters, parades, and newsletters are just a few other things mentioned to advance the count in the CCC guide; all paid for by tax dollars, of course.

In addition to the use of all public and community-based organizations, and municipalities, the census Nazis also are using the public (government) school system to help in this coercive effort. In the process, the state is indoctrinating kids attending these rotten institutions from "prekindergarten through twelfth grade, as well as postsecondary education institutions. (Ages 3 and up in other words) "Census in Schools" is also taking place in 2010, with an emphasis on kindergarten through eighth grade. The importance of this in-school census is to "educate all of the K-12 students about the importance of the 2010 census." No one should be surprised by this, but what an obvious totalitarian approach. Just how long will it be until the "Census in Schools" program is teaching kids to turn in parents who don’t cooperate with census takers? The "Hitler Youth" of socialist Germany comes immediately to mind! What an outrage!

The bottom line is this: The 2010 Census will be the most aggressive and the most intrusive we have seen. Threats of fines for non-compliance will be more evident this time around. Neighbors and friends will be encouraged by government to put pressure on any who refuse to go along with this invasion of privacy and destruction of rights. Neighbors will also become informants. There will be a "Nonresponse Follow-up" team, as I mentioned earlier, set up for those unwilling to give up their private information to these goons. "A field operation designed to obtain a completed interview from households where a questionnaire was not returned" will send "enumerators" to these households to obtain completed interviews. If attempts to contact the residents of a household are unsuccessful, an "enumerator" will obtain as much information as is possible from a neighbor, a building manager, or another reliable source. In other words, the government will use whatever method possible to get private information about you, your family, your personal finance, your cultural or ethnic background and any other information it wants.

What will it take before most get fed up with this oppressive and heavy-handed government? When will more stand against this despotic beast? I don’t know about the rest of you, but I have had enough!

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Why Are Internment Camps Being Built?

Chuck Baldwin Live Talk Radio

The Internet is abuzz with news about the construction of internment camps all across America. Of course, "mainstream" media outlets refuse to touch the subject; or if they do, they pooh-pooh the story; they do what Glenn Beck recently did: try to debunk the story as fallacious and impugn people who speak of it as "conspiracy nuts." The fact that the Becks, Hannitys, Limbaughs, and O'Reillys of the media circus refuse to deal with the construction of large numbers of internment camps does not make them disappear, however.

For starters, all anyone need do to begin a serious investigation of the subject of internment camps is Google the phrase "FEMA Camps." There is more than enough evidence in that search engine alone to keep one busy with some in-depth private investigation of the subject for quite a while.

Another URL to check out is this one from the June 2009 Idaho Observer:

As people read my columns all across America, I have had numerous readers contact me, saying that they have personally witnessed the transportation of construction materials used for internment camps, have actually worked in and around them, or have personally seen such camps. These eyewitness testimonies have come from very credible people, including law enforcement and military personnel, as well as airline pilots and construction workers.

Just a few weeks ago, I was aboard a cross-country flight when the passenger I was sitting next to (a total stranger) asked me to take a look out the window. He asked, "Do those look like internment camps to you?" I was astonished that the man (1) would even know to notice such a potentiality, and (2) would be so bold as to ask such a question of a total stranger. I must say, I was extremely happy to make his acquaintance. And we had a very warm and invigorating discussion the rest of the trip.

We were flying over Colorado, over extreme wilderness terrain, and, yes, right in the middle of nowhere, the buildings and surrounding features that I saw sure looked like internment camps to me. Of course, flying at over 30,000 feet in the sky makes it difficult for any kind of detailed analysis to take place; that is for sure.

Then, a friend recently brought this URL to my attention:

This is an advertisement by the National Guard promoting the Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) of "Internment/Resettlement Specialist." Question: why does the National Guard need to recruit Internment/Resettlement Specialists? What do they know that we should know?

Furthermore, I have had military personnel tell me that many of the US military bases that have been recently "closed" are also being prepared as large-scale "holding areas."

Obviously, the question that begs to be asked is, "Who is the US government planning to intern and resettle?" And another question is, "How many people are they planning to intern that would require the massive number of camps that are apparently being constructed?"

Some suggest that these facilities are being prepared for large numbers of illegal immigrants. This seems extremely doubtful, however, considering the propensity of the federal government to (1) do next to nothing to seriously curtail the flood of illegal aliens into America, (2) do virtually nothing to apprehend illegals known to be in the US, and (3) do everything it can to facilitate the release of those illegals incarcerated by State and local authorities. To think that the federal government intends to place thousands of illegal aliens in internment camps borders on lunacy. If anything, the federal government (with either Democrats or Republicans in charge) has done everything it can to (1) entice illegals to come to America, and (2) provide every incentive for them to stay illegally in this country after having entered. I feel safe in saying that we can eliminate the possibility that these camps are being prepared for illegal aliens.

Others suggest that these internment camps are being constructed to accommodate "enemy combatants" from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Yet, the total number of these types of detainees is miniscule compared to the detention space being constructed. Can one really imagine the need to build facilities that could accommodate prisoners numbering in the tens of thousands to house a few hundred foreign troops? I don't think so.

Then, of course, there are those who continue to deny that these internment camps exist at all. But then, were there not thousands of Germans who denied the existence of concentration camps during World War II? These types of people would refuse to believe the sun came up in the east if the government spinmeisters told them it didn't.

That our federal government is building large numbers of "holding areas" or internment camps seems to be an established fact. The only questions that remain are "Why?" and "For whom?"

At this point, the imagination can take us anywhere, but it is not a little disconcerting when the same federal government that is building these internment camps begins categorizing Christians, conservatives, people who support the Second Amendment, people who oppose abortion and homosexual marriage, people who oppose the North American Union and the New World Order, people who oppose the United Nations and illegal immigration, and people who voted for Ron Paul or Chuck Baldwin as "extremists," or "potential dangerous militia members."

Anyone knows that before a government can begin persecuting and imprisoning large groups of people, they must first marginalize them. As someone said, "Just because you are paranoid does not mean they really aren't trying to get you."

In fact, an argument could be made that by today's politically correct definition, America's Founding Fathers would be categorized as "paranoid," "extremists," or "potential dangerous militia members." I would even go so far as to question the patriotism of anyone today that is not a little paranoid. This federal government has certainly earned whatever paranoia citizens feel.

Feelings of paranoia notwithstanding, why is the federal government constructing large numbers of internment camps, and who does the government plan on incarcerating in those camps? Those questions still need to be answered.

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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Single-Payer Groceries, Anyone?

by Thomas J. DiLorenzo

The American Socialist Party (ASP), whose members entertainingly call themselves "Democrats," is determined to use its control of the executive and legislative branches of government to destroy the private health insurance and healthcare industries in favor of "single-payer" healthcare. Of course, when government is the single payer that means government-run monopoly. Average people instinctively understand that monopoly is never in their best interest, but to politicians who will administer and benefit from the monopoly the thinking is apparently "it’s good to be the monopolist," as Mel Brooks might say.

Moreover, there is no reason to believe that they will stop there. If a government-run monopoly is good for healthcare, they will eventually argue, why not food, cars, and other essentials of modern life? They are socialists, after all.

Since I always try to keep a step ahead of the bad guys, it will be useful to think through how say, a single-payer grocery industry would work. Such an exercise will also teach us some lessons about what can be expected of a "single-payer," government-run healthcare monopoly.

Here’s my take on how central planning for the new American single-payer grocery industry monopoly would work: First, all groceries will be paid for by the taxpayers, who are sometimes confused with "government" by the media. Anyone at any time – even illegal aliens – can walk into a grocery store and walk out with whatever groceries and other items they "need." A national government I.D. will be needed so that the state can "track" our grocery purchases with it. It will be as easy to obtain for illegal aliens as it is for citizens, since illegal aliens are such an important voting block in support of the American Socialist Party. The government grocery stores will keep track of all food purchases so that they can better administer the state’s new anti-obesity/mandatory exercise campaign. The stated purpose of this "campaign" will be to cut healthcare costs by forcing us all into healthier lifestyles (as defined by the state). With government in charge of health and lifestyle planning, that old saying will be altered to say "a ton of prevention for an ounce of cure."

Since the laws of economics have not been repealed, one problem is that since groceries are free, many people will tend to consume far more than is necessary. Cats and dogs will dine on filet mignon, salmon, and sushi, for example, which might drive the pet food industry out of existence. Good riddance, some would say. In economics lingo, there will be an explosion of consumer demand, which will cause a subsequent explosion in costs in most of the food industries (these are called "increasing cost industries" by economists, since average costs of production tend to increase as they expand). Thus, "free" food will become expensive beyond belief. This phenomenon is what economists call "the moral hazard problem" of government subsidies.

In response to the government-created explosion of food costs, the government will wage nationwide propaganda campaigns to raise taxes, complete with televised pictures of starving babies, similar to the "feed the children" television commercials that raise charitable donations for starving children in the Third World. All opposition to the tax increases will be denounced by Nancy Pelosi and her comrades as "Hitler-like," and worse.

The booboisie will eventually recognize that the food cost explosion (and the healthcare cost explosion that will inevitably come with single-payer healthcare) cannot be paid for indefinitely by the Fed chairman’s announcements of the printing and/or borrowing of another trillion dollars this week, a trillion more next week, etc. They will demand that "something be done" about the out-of-control costs of food as their tax burden escalates, and the politicians will comply.

Politicians typically have only one response to the cost explosions that their own policies cause: price controls, usually euphemistically called "global budgeting," "price caps," or some other deceitful phrase. The new price controls on food will stimulate consumer demand even further, while stifling food production and supply, since they will take much of the profit out of farming, which for the time being will still be in private hands. Food shortages are the inevitable result, which of course will call for even more government intervention in the form of a new government food-rationing board, similar to what occurred during World War II when there were price controls on food and many other items. The more affluent will be able to bribe their way into adequate food purchases, while the poor will simply be out of luck, as they always are whenever government rations anything. The affluent always have more political influence than the poor.

I would expect the new government grocery stores to be unionized, as the American Socialist Party will change the labor laws to make it mandatory, just as the government did with airport employees after 9/11. This will give tremendous clout to the public grocery union since a strike can literally shut down food distribution. It will essentially transfer much of the power to tax to the public employee grocery union. Consequently, grocery industry workers will be among the highest paid people in America. This will be an additional cause of a further cost explosion, which will ignite more tax-increasing campaigns and the demonization of the taxpaying public whenever it resists the additional plunder.

With no genuine profit-and-loss statements in our new single-payer grocery industry there will be no way in the world to know whether or not agricultural resources are being used efficiently, that is, whether say, a million dollars in grain is turned into food products that are worth more than a million dollars. When that occurs, there is a profit in the private sector, but the private sector will be only a memory. Consequently, there will be perpetual economic chaos in the food industry. We are talking about socialism here, after all.

Since civil service regulations make it all but impossible to fire public employees, we can expect the highly paid food industry bureaucrats to be as inefficient, lazy, and unproductive as any government bureaucrats anywhere. They will have no incentive to acquire skills that enable them to be more efficient at serving their customers. Instead, the "skills" they will acquire will be political networking, scheming, and conniving skills. Politics will be the route to higher pay and perks, not customer service.

Not to mention management, who will all be political appointees whose jobs will be protected by their politician/benefactors. Bad management, spoiled food, high costs, filthy grocery stores, shortages, and all other costly problems will all be addressed with one strategy: more tax increases and more government demonization of tax resisters.

Since government-run monopolies are, well, monopolies, any competition between the government grocery stores will be strictly controlled or prohibited. The most likely means of doing this will be to assign each person to a certain neighborhood grocery store, just as the government schools assign everyone to a certain government monopoly school, and as the British nationalized healthcare bureaucracy assigns everyone to a specific hospital. That way, our new government-run grocery monopoly will have a truly captured audience of "customers."

Black markets for food will eventually crop up (no pun intended), but they would have to be harshly penalized by fines and even imprisonment for the more egregious offenses, war-on-drugs style. Single payer means single payer, the government will ominously preach. Black market gardening will draw resources away from the government-run grocery monopoly, which will be especially harmful to "the children," the state will inform us. This is the argument that is always made by the state in response to the creation of private schools, increased homeschooling, or even school voucher proposals, and it will be repeated if there is any competition for the new government grocery monopoly.

Some years ago I discussed this scenario in a class of undergraduate students and asked them if all of these characteristics reminded them of any particular industry in America. (It’s how public schools are organized). One student who had grown up in the Republic of China (Taiwan) immediately shouted, "Communism!" Having grown up in the shadow of Chinese communism he was very familiar with the subject, and he was right, of course. I’m sure he would have the same opinion of "single-payer healthcare."

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They're Trying it Again - 1933 Propaganda Film Explains how Inflation will bring Happy Days

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Turning the US Army Against Americans

by Dan Kennedy
An antiwar activist has been accused of spying for the US army, raising legal questions the Obama administration must answer

It was an odd little story, tucked well inside the front section of this past Sunday's New York Times.

An antiwar activist in the state of Washington had been exposed as an undercover informant for the US army, stationed at massive Fort Lewis, south of Tacoma. And in one of those Kafkaesque twists for which our government is renowned, the army is now investigating itself to determine how such an arrangement came to pass.

Although the Times gave no credit, the story had been broken on 28 July by Democracy Now!, a leftwing television programme co-anchored by Amy Goodman, a longtime progressive journalist. For nearly an hour, two former associates of John Towery – a civilian employee of the army – explained how they learned their fellow activist was in fact a military spy.

"We hung out," said Brendan Maslauskas Dunn, who filed the public-records request that inadvertently outed Towery, who had been going by the name John Jacob. "We gave workshops together on grassroots direct democracy and anarchist struggle. I mean, he was a friend."

Fellow activist Drew Hendricks offered a weird twist, telling Goodman that, as far back as 2007, Towery identified himself as an army employee and offered to provide Hendricks with "observations and inside knowledge of operations on Fort Lewis".

The picture that emerges is worthy of a cheap spy novel. If Maslauskas Dunn and Hendricks are correct, then Towery truthfully told antiwar activists that he worked for the army, but lied about his name and real purpose: gathering intelligence on his new associates and what threat they might have posed. (According to the Times, antiwar groups in Washington have attempted to "disrupt military shipments".)

Moreover, Towery's alleged activities would almost certainly have been illegal. According to two lawyers whom Goodman interviewed, Larry Hildes of the National Lawyers Guild and Mike German of the American Civil Liberties Union, such spying would violate the Posse Comitatus Act, which prohibits the use of American military forces for domestic law-enforcement operations. The law was weakened during the Bush years, though Hildes and German told Goodman that operations such as that attributed to Towery remain illegal.

Towery's alleged spying is yet another sign that Barack Obama's reluctance to come to terms with the legacy of George Bush and Dick Cheney's legacy is simply not tenable. By attempting to move on without accountability, Obama is becoming complicit in the very activities against which he ran.

The Bush-Cheney administration's obsession with running roughshod over constitutional and legal principles is by now well-established, with torture being just the most infamous example. Only a week ago, the New York Times revealed that Cheney had pushed hard in 2002 to send troops to suburban Buffalo in order to arrest several al-Qaida suspects. It's difficult to imagine why Cheney would want to do such a thing other than to set a precedent. In any event, Bush said no.

And as we know, Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz and their fellow neoconservatives weren't above casting institutions such as the military and even the CIA as weak and unpatriotic when it suited their purposes.

General Eric Shinseki, after all, was cashiered from his position as army chief of staff after he dared to tell the truth about how many troops would be needed to carry out a successful invasion and occupation of Iraq. (Shinseki is now Obama's secretary of veterans affairs.)

And when former diplomat Joseph Wilson, on a mission for the CIA, revealed he had found no evidence that Saddam Hussein sought to purchase uranium in Niger, Team Cheney retaliated by exposing his wife, Valerie Plame Wilson, as an agency operative.

The Towery allegations are not the first time it's been reported that the goverment has infiltrated the rather impotent antiwar movement. A little more than a year ago, for instance, it was revealed that the Maryland state police had spied on peace activists in that state. But the alleged misuse of the army places this on a different level, both ethically and legally.

Not to get ahead of the story, but if the Towery story bears out, then it's difficult to imagine he was alone. In that sense this could prove to be reminiscent of Cointelpro, the FBI's secret, illegal programme, which kept tabs on dissidents from 1956 to1971. We need to know the truth about what happened during the Bush-Cheney years, and what may still be happening, with or without Obama's knowledge.

Since his inauguration more than six months ago, Obama has been half-hearted, at best, about exposing his predecessor's wrongdoing. Maybe he's right – maybe he can't investigate the Bush White House and govern the country at the same time.

But if that is the case, then Obama should quietly encourage officials like Vermont senator Patrick Leahy, who has made it clear that he'd like to conduct a no-holds-barred investigation.

Much as Obama would like to put it all behind us, he can't. And he shouldn't.

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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

New Government Program? Cash for Lawyers

by John Stossel

America's trial lawyers believe they are not rich enough. The Washington Times says health care reform, rather than creating an opportunity to cut back on frivolous malpractice lawsuits, may instead provide a way to enrich lawyers.

(T)he one special interest that ought to be targeted is the only one that may get off scott-free -- trial lawyers. In fact, the lawyers want a tax cut... a sneak attack to secure a special tax break. According to Chris Rizo of, who reported from the association's annual meeting last week, the tax break would let plaintiffs' lawyers deduct certain expenses upfront rather than at the end of litigation -- thus encouraging frivolous lawsuits in search of jackpot justice. That would cost the Treasury billions...

(W)hen it comes to sharing in the cost of health care reform, the lawyers are off-limits. President Obama is against capping malpractice awards to reflect actual damage done to patients. He is against doing away with strict liability rules, which means doctors or medical companies still can be held liable for a bad outcome even if they do not create the problem.

No one manipulates the legal and tax system better than lawyers. Manipulating is what they do for a living. They get to be very good at it.

Mili Note: Obama is a lawyer...

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Tweet Your Way to a Lawsuit – Twitter Freedom of Speech

by Aaron Turpen

Amanda Bonnen didn’t mean to tweet her way to anything. In fact, she wasn’t even really a Twitter user, compared to many of us who tweet daily and RT hourly. When she sent the tweet that landed her in a cesspool of litigation, in fact, she had only 20 followers, was following 29 herself, and barely tweeted even once a day.

That didn’t matter to Horizon Realty, however. When Bonnen sent her ill-fated ill-fated tweet to her 20 followers on May 12th, she had no idea that each of those people was worth $2,500 in damages to Horizon. Not long after she’d sent that tweet, she was hit with a $50,000 lawsuit for it.

Given those numbers, I’m potentially worth millions...

Amanda’s tweet in question?

To a friend: “You should just come anyway. Who said sleeping in a moldy apartment was bad for you? Horizon realty thinks it’s okay.”

According to the news item in the Chicago Sun-Times, the realty company filed the $50,000 lawsuit for libel and damages at the Cook County Circuit Court. The now-defunct @abonnen user name was listed as an “alias” for Amanda Bonnen in the suit.

The apartment in question, in case you want to avoid it, is in Chicago. I suspect that by now, it’s the focus of a shrine to Bonnen’s potential losses. Perhaps it should also be a shrine to the new loss of freedom on Twitter that this could mean. Personally if I didn’t want people to know about the alleged issues in the apartment, I would have avoided a public lawsuit that disclosed the exact location of the apartment in question. All they did is enable millions around the world to become aware of issues with their properties instead of the few people this tenant told. They should sue themselves for the billions it probably relates to, in regards to the amount of eyes that have now come to see the address. Sometimes I wonder if people think things through. Not only will people avoid the building now, but they will avoid this real estate company, based upon their reactions.

Think about that. If this company wins the lawsuit, how will that affect how you or I tweet? Will we be as likely to say things openly? Could this destroy Twitter as we know it? Something to think about, anyway.

The whole thing is summed up in Mr. Michael’s sentiment to the Sun-Times:
“We’re a sue first, ask questions later kind of an organization.”


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Oppose Federal Climate Meddling?

You Must be a Crazy Denier, Say Liberal Psychologists
by Brian Roberts

Psychological barriers like uncertainty, mistrust and denial keep most Americans from acting to fight climate change, a task force of the American Psychological Association said on Wednesday.

Policymakers, scientists and marketers should look at these factors to figure out what might prod people take action, the task force reported at the association's annual convention in Toronto.

While most Americans -- 75 percent to 80 percent in a Pew Research Center poll -- said climate change is an important issue, it still ranked last in a list of 20 compelling issues such as the economy or terrorism, the task force said.

Despite warnings from scientists that humans need to make changes now if they want to avoid the worst effects of climate change, "people don't feel a sense of urgency," the association said in a statement.

Numerous psychological barriers are to blame, the task force found, including: uncertainty over climate change, mistrust of the messages about risk from scientists or government officials, denial that climate change is occurring or that it is related to human activity.

Other factors include undervaluing the risk. Even though an international study showed many people believe environmental conditions will worsen in 25 years, that could lead some to conclude that they don't have to make changes now.

Some people believe anything they do would make little difference and they therefore choose to do nothing.

Habit is the most important obstacle to pro-environment behavior, the task force found.

But habits can be changed, especially if changing saves money and people are quickly made aware of it. People are more likely to use energy-efficient appliances if they get immediate energy-use feedback, the task force said.

It identified other areas where psychology can help limit the effects of climate change, such as developing environmental regulations, economic incentives, better energy-efficient technology and communication methods.

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Monday, August 10, 2009

Do You Have a Permit, Kid?

City had "no choice" and had to "shut down" this 7 year old's lemonade stand. I guess she should be happy she didn't get raided by SWAT, tased, and accused of "resisting arrest." :/
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Anti-Arab brainwashing by the US media

by Paul J. Balles

Paul J. Balles shows how the US media’s application of Joseph Goebbels’s dictum – that a lie, if audacious enough and repeated enough times, will be believed by the masses – has produced a plethora of anti-Arab bigots, from the likes of Steve Emerson, Alan Dershowitz, Caroline Glick and Ruth Conniff to the racist ranting of brainless lumpen on the internet.

More insidious than the wars with tanks and guns, aircraft and bombs, missiles and guidance systems, shock and awe campaigns. The wickedest wars are the wars for people's minds – the propaganda campaigns that exercise thought control.

“Get control over radio, press, cinema and theatre,” said Joseph Goebbels, Adolf Hitler's propaganda minister. He perfected an understanding of the "Big Lie" technique of propaganda based on the principle that a lie, if audacious enough and repeated enough times, will be believed by the masses.

Western brainwashing comes from the media. Readers, listeners and viewers need to be aware of these propaganda sources. About the media in general, Steven Salaita correctly observed:

The flippancy with which US media apply the word "terrorism" to Arab populations reinforces the notion that violence in the Arab world is ahistorical and therefore senseless. Arabs in turn become a people without narratives who belong to a culture incapable of rationality.

Steve Emerson has a website and blog with as much anti-Arab ranting on it as any bigot might produce. Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz has implied that all Arabs are potential terrorists and therefore worthy of slaughter. American Israeli Caroline Glick, Deputy Managing Editor of The Jerusalem Post, writes two weekly syndicated columns preaching hard-line Israeli propaganda.

In The Progressive, Ruth Conniff validated the false but widespread notion that while violence exists among both Arabs and Israelis, terrorism is exclusive to the Arabs. When Arabs fight against Israelis, the Arabs are guilty of "terrorist violence" but the Israelis are engaging in “military reprisals”.

On anti-Arab radio you hear things like "Arabs love dictators" and "Obama is an Arab," as if being an Arab disqualifies one from humanity. If they aren’t referring to Arabs as "camel jockeys" or “rag heads”, they’re calling them as Islamo-fascists. Along with O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, Lou Dobbs and Glenn Beck give Fox news stable of anti-Arab propagandists.

Hollywood films have been vilifying Arabs for decades. Jack Shaheen revealed, in The TV Arab, how television stereotypes Arabs as "billionaires, bombers and belly dancers".

Even as a youngster, Shaheen was disturbed by the Arab stereotypes in children’s cartoon characters.

In Shaheen's Reel Bad Arabs, a long line of degrading images – from Bedouin bandits and submissive maidens to sinister sheikhs and gun-wielding "terrorists" – have vilified Arabs since the days of silent films.

In his research, Shaheen identified more than 1150 films that defile Arabs. His newest book, Guilty: Hollywood’s Verdict on Arabs after 9/11, reveals how the film industry continues to shape American understanding of Arabs and Arab culture.

Muslim scholar Ziauddin Sardar made it clear that anti-Islamic brainwashing is not new: "From the days of Voltaire right up to 1980, thanks largely to the efforts of Enlightenment scholars, it was a general Western axiom that Islam had produced nothing of worth in philosophy, science and learning."

That the propaganda has reached the masses should be clear from some of the slurs on the internet, examples of which are displayed here:


It wasn't enough to curse Arabs. He had to shout it, writing his message in uppercase letters, revealing how effective anti-Arab propaganda has been in America.

Those who control the media control the mental attitudes of the population; Americans have been programmed to hate Arabs and Muslims and to love Israelis. How could compassionate Americans be nonchalant about their slaughter of a million Arabs in Iraq, even though they know that it was all based on lies? Decades of propaganda and brainwashing.

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California Won't Accept Its Own IOUs

SAN FRANCISCO (CN) - Small businesses that received $682 million in IOUs from the state say California expects them to pay taxes on the worthless scraps of paper, but refuses to accept its own IOUs to pay debts or taxes. The vendors' federal class action claims the state is trying to balance its budget on their backs.

Lead plaintiff Nancy Baird filled her contract with California to provide embroidered polo shirts to a youth camp run by the National Guard, but never was paid the $27,000 she was owed. She says California "paid" her with an IOU that two banks refused to accept - yet she had to pay California sales tax on the so-called "sale" of the uniforms.

The class consists mostly of small business owners, many of whom rely on income from government contracts to keep afloat. They say California has used them as "suckers" as it looks for a way to bankroll its operations while avoiding its own financial obligations.

"Instead of seeking funds through proper channels, the State has created a nightmare," the class says. "Many of these businesses will not survive if they are required to wait until October 2009 to have these forced IOUs redeemed by the State."

The class claims the state is violating the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments. It demands that California be ordered to honor its own IOUs, plus interest. They are represented by William Audet.

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Sunday, August 09, 2009

Keeping Track of the Empire's Crimes

by William Blum

If you catch the CIA with its hand in the cookie jar and the Agency admits the obvious — what your eyes can plainly see — that its hand is indeed in the cookie jar, it means one of two things: a) the CIA's hand is in several other cookie jars at the same time which you don't know about and they hope that by confessing to the one instance they can keep the others covered up; or b) its hand is not really in the cookie jar — it's an illusion to throw you off the right scent — but they want you to believe it.

There have been numerous news stories in recent months about secret CIA programs, hidden from Congress, inspired by former vice-president Dick Cheney, in operation since the September 11 terrorist attacks, involving assassination of al Qaeda operatives or other non-believers-in-the-Empire abroad without the knowledge of their governments. The Agency admits to some sort of program having existed, but insists that it was canceled; and if it was an assassination program it was canceled before anyone was actually assassinated. Another report has the US military, not the CIA, putting the plan — or was it a different plan? — into operation, carrying out several assassinations including one in Kenya that proved to be a severe embarrassment and helped lead to the quashing of the program.1

All of this can be confusing to those following the news. And rather irrelevant. We already know that the United States has been assassinating non-believers, or suspected non-believers, with regularity, and impunity, in recent years, using unmanned planes (drones) firing missiles, in Yemen, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Somalia, if not elsewhere. (Even more victims have been produced from amongst those who happened to be in the same house, car, wedding party, or funeral as the non-believer.) These murders apparently don't qualify as "assassinations", for somehow killing "terrorists" from 2000 feet is morally and legally superior to doing so from two feet away.

But whatever the real story is behind the current rash of speculation, we should not fall into the media's practice of at times intimating that multiple or routine CIA assassination attempts would be something shocking or at least very unusual.

I've compiled a list of CIA assassination attempts, successful and unsuccessful, against prominent foreign political figures, from 1949 through 2003, which, depending on how you count it, can run into the hundreds (targeting Fidel Castro alone totals 634 according to Cuban intelligence)2; the list can be updated by adding the allegedly al Qaeda leaders among the drone attack victims of recent years. Assassination and torture are the two things governments are most loath to admit to, and try their best to cover up. It's thus rare to find a government document or recorded statement mentioning a particular plan to assassinate someone. There is, however, an abundance of compelling circumstantial evidence to work with. The list can be found here.

For those of you who collect lists about splendid US foreign policy post-World War II, here are a few more that, lacking anything better to do, I've put together: Attempts to overthrow more than 50 foreign governments, most of which had been democratically-elected.

After his June 4 Cairo speech, President Obama was much praised for mentioning the 1953 CIA overthrow of Iranian prime minister Mohammed Mossadegh. But in his talk in Ghana on July 11 he failed to mention the CIA coup that ousted Ghanian president Kwame Nkrumah in 19663, referring to him only as a "giant" among African leaders. The Mossadegh coup is one of the most well-known CIA covert actions. Obama could not easily get away without mentioning it in a talk in the Middle East looking to mend fences. But the Nkrumah ouster is one of the least known; indeed, not a single print or broadcast news report in the American mainstream media saw fit to mention it at the time of the president's talk. Like it never happened.

And the next time you hear that Africa can't produce good leaders, people who are committed to the welfare of the masses of their people, think of Nkrumah and his fate. And think of Patrice Lumumba, overthrown in the Congo 1960-61 with the help of the United States; Agostinho Neto of Angola, against whom Washington waged war in the 1970s, making it impossible for him to institute progressive changes; Samora Machel of Mozambique against whom the CIA supported a counter-revolution in the 1970s-80s period; and Nelson Mandela of South Africa (now married to Machel's widow), who spent 28 years in prison thanks to the CIA.4

Gross interference in democratic elections in at least 30 countries5
Waging war/military action, either directly or in conjunction with a proxy army, in some 30 countries
Dropping bombs on the people of more than 30 countries
Attempts to suppress dozens of populist/nationalist movements in every corner of the world6
The Myths of Afghanistan, past and present
On the Fourth of July, Senator Patrick Leahy declared he was optimistic that, unlike the Soviet forces that were driven from Afghanistan 20 years ago, US forces could succeed there. The Democrat from Vermont stated:

"The Russians were sent running as they should have been. We helped send them running. But they were there to conquer the country. We've made it very clear, and everybody I talk to within Afghanistan feels the same way: they know we're there to help and we're going to leave. We've made it very clear we are going to leave. And it's going to be turned back to them. The ones that made the mistakes in the past are those that tried to conquer them."7

Leahy is a long-time liberal on foreign-policy issues, a champion of withholding US counter-narcotics assistance to foreign military units guilty of serious human-rights violations, and an outspoken critic of robbing terrorist suspects of their human and legal rights. Yet he is willing to send countless young Americans to a living hell, or horrible death, or maimed survival.

And for what? Every point he made in his statement is simply wrong.

The Russians were not in Afghanistan to conquer it. The Soviet Union had existed next door to the country for more than 60 years without any kind of invasion. It was only when the United States intervened in Afghanistan to replace a government friendly to Moscow with one militantly anti-communist that the Russians invaded to do battle with the US-supported Islamic jihadists; precisely what the United States would have done to prevent a communist government in Canada or Mexico.

It's also rather difficult for the United States to claim that it's in Afghanistan to help the people there when it's killed tens of thousands of them simply for resisting the American invasion and occupation or for being in the wrong place at the wrong time; not a single one of the victims has been identified as having had any kind of connection to the terrorist attack in the US of September 11, 2001, the event usually cited by Washington as justification for the military intervention. Moreover, Afghanistan is now permeated with depleted uranium, cluster bombs-cum-landmines, white phosphorous, a witch's brew of other charming chemicals, and a population, after 30 years of almost non-stop warfare, of physically and mentally mutilated human beings, exceedingly susceptible to the promise of paradise, or at least relief, sold by the Taliban.

As to the US leaving ... utterly meaningless propaganda until it happens. Ask the people of South Korea — 56 years of American occupation and still counting; ask the people of Japan — 64 years. And Iraq? Would you want to wager your life's savings on which decade it will be that the last American soldier and military contractor leaves?

It's not even precise to say that the Russians were sent running. That was essentially Russian president Mikhail Gorbachev's decision, and it was more of a political decision than a military one. Gorbachev's fondest ambition was to turn the Soviet Union into a West-European style social democracy, and he fervently wished for the approval of those European leaders, virtually all of whom were cold-war anti-communists and opposed the Soviet intervention into Afghanistan.

There has been as much of the same "causes" for wars that did not happen as for wars that did.
Henry Allingham died in Britain on July 18 at age 113, believed to have been the world's oldest man. A veteran of World War I, he spent his final years reminding the British people about their service members killed during the war, which came to about a million: "I want everyone to know," he said during an interview in November. "They died for us."8

The whole million? Each one died for Britain? In the most useless imperialist war of the 20th century? No, let me correct that — the most useless imperialist war of any century. The British Empire, the French Empire, the Russian Empire, and the wannabe American Empire joined in battle against the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the Ottoman Empire as youthful bodies and spirits sank endlessly into the wretched mud of Belgium and Germany, the pools of blood of Russia and France. The wondrous nobility of it all is enough to make you swallow hard, fight back the tears, light a few candles, and throw up. Imagine, by the middle of this century Vietnam veterans in their 90s and 100s will be speaking of how each of their 58,000 war buddies died for America. By 2075 we'll be hearing the same stirring message from ancient vets of Iraq and Afghanistan. How many will remember that there was a large protest movement against their glorious, holy crusades, particularly Vietnam and Iraq?

Supreme nonsense
Senate hearings to question a nominee for the Supreme Court are a supreme bore. The sine qua non for President Obama choosing Sonia Sotomayor appears to be that she's a woman with a Hispanic background. A LATINA! How often that word was used by her supporters. She would be the first LATINA on the Supreme Court! Dios mio!

Who gives a damn? All anyone should care about are her social and political opinions. Justice Clarence Thomas is a black man. A BLACK MAN! And he's as conservative as they come.

Supreme Court nominees, of all political stripes, typically feel obliged to pretend that their social and political leanings don't enter into their judicial opinions. But everyone knows this is rubbish. During her Senate hearing, Sotomayor declared: "It's not the heart that compels conclusions in cases. It's the law."

The former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Charles Evans Hughes, would not agree with her. "At the constitutional level where we work," he said, "ninety percent of any decision is emotional. The rational part of us supplies the reasons for supporting our predilections."9

By Sotomayor's own account, which echos news reports, she was not asked about her position on abortion by either President Obama or his staff. But what if she is actually anti-abortion? What if she turns out to be the swing vote that overturns Roe vs. Wade?

What if she's a proud admirer of the American Empire and its perpetual wars? American dissidents, civilian and military, may depend on her vote for their freedom from imprisonment.

What does she think about the "War on Terror"? The civil liberties and freedom from torture of various Americans and foreigners may depend on her attitude. In his 2007 trial, Jose Padilla, an American citizen, was found guilty of aiding terrorists. "The jury did seem to be an oddly cohesive group," the Washington Post reported. "On the last day of trial before the Fourth of July holiday, jurors arranged to dress in outfits so that each row in the jury box was its own patriotic color — red, white or blue."10 No one dared to question this blatant display of patriotism in the courtroom; neither the defense attorney, nor the prosecutor, nor the judge. How can we continue to pretend that people's legal positions exist independently of their political sentiments?

In the 2000 Supreme Court decision stopping the presidential electoral count in Florida, giving the election to George W. Bush, did the politics of the five most conservative justices play a role in the 5 to 4 decision? Of course. Judges are essentially politicians in black robes. But should we care? Don't ask, don't tell. Sonia Sotomayor is a LATINA!

Given the large Democratic majority in the Senate, Sotomayor was in very little danger of being rejected. She could have openly and proudly expressed her social and political positions — whatever they may be — and the Democratic senators could have done the same. How refreshing, maybe even educational if a discussion ensued. Instead it was just another political appointment by a president determined to not offend anyone if he can help it, and another tiresome ritual hearing. The Republican senators were much less shy about revealing how they actually felt about important issues.

It didn't have to be that way. As Rabbi Michael Lerner of pointed out during the hearings: "Democratic Senators could use their time to ask questions and make statements that explain why a liberal or progressive worldview is precisely what is needed on the Supreme Court."

NATO and Eastern Europe resource
No one chronicles the rise of the supra-government called NATO like Rick Rozoff in his "Stop NATO" mailings. NATO has become an ever-expanding behemoth, making war and interfering in political controversies all over Europe and beyond. The United States is not the world's only superpower; NATO is another, as it surrounds Russia and the Caspian Sea oil reserves; although the distinction between the two superpowers is little more than a facade. This year marks the tenth anniversary of the NATO/US 78-day bombing of Yugoslavia. On April 23, 1999 missiles slammed into Radio Television Serbia (RTS) in downtown Belgrade, killing 16 employees. The station, NATO claimed, was a legitimate military target because it broadcast propaganda. (Certainly a novel form of censorship; not to mention the fact that NATO could simply have taken out the station's transmitter.) What apparently bothered the Western powers was that RTS was reporting the horrendous effects of NATO's bombing as well as passing footage of the destruction to Western media.

To mark the anniversary, Amnesty International recently issued a demand that NATO be held accountable for the 16 deaths. Amnesty asserts that the bombing was a deliberate attack on a civilian object (one of many during the 78 days) and as such constitutes a war crime, and called upon NATO to launch a war crimes probe into the attack to ensure full accountability and redress for victims and their families.

Readers might consider signing up for the "Stop NATO" mailing list. Just write to: rwrozoff [at] Rozoff scours the East European press each day and comes up with numerous gems ignored by the mainstream media. But a warning: The amount of material you'll receive is often considerable. You'll have to learn to pick and choose. You can get an idea of this by reading previous reports at

The Guardian (London) July 13, 2009 ↩
Fabian Escalante, "Executive Action: 634 Ways to Kill Fidel Castro" (Ocean Press, 2006) ↩
William Blum, Killing Hope, chapter 32↩
William Blum, Rogue State, chapter 23 ↩
Ibid., chapter 18 ↩
Rogue State, chapter 17, intermixed with other types of US interventions ↩
Vermont TV station WCAX, July 4, 2009, ↩
Washington Post, July 19, 2009 ↩
William O. Douglas, "The Court Years, 1939-1975" (1980), p.8 ↩
Washington Post, August 17, 2007 ↩

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Pelosi Tries to Dismiss Obamacare Opponents as Nazis

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Government Fines & Harassment For People Who Refuse To Answer Intrusive Survey Questions

by Paul Joseph Watson

Three million Americans are being forced to answer intrusive questions about their private lives under threat of home visits and fines by the government in the guise of The American Community Survey.

The survey, which is sent to 3 million random homes each year, is in addition to the census but demands far more invasive information from citizens, such as how many times they have been married, if they have a toilet that flushes, and how much is left outstanding on their mortgage.

According to one North Texas resident, “The questionnaire also wants answers about where she works, how much money she makes, and what time she leaves for work each day – the hour and minute! “I thought it was intrusive. I don’t have a high regard for the federal government collecting this information anyway,” the woman told CBS 11 News. “You don’t know what they’re going to do with it.”

“Why do they need to know this? They don’t, in my opinion,” the woman said, before further stating that she thinks the personal questions are un-American. “Do they really need to know if we have a mortgage and whether this house is free and clear? That’s intrusive.”

The U.S. Census Bureau claims the survey helps them “determine where to locate services and allocate resources.”

If the person refuses to respond to the the survey or merely skips one question, then the Census Bureau promises that they will be fined and harassed until they do, a process that includes telephone calls and home visits.

However, it’s all hot air as no one has ever been charged with a crime for refusing to answer the ACS survey, and indeed several members of Congress have denounced the invasive questions as a violation of the Right to Financial Privacy Act.

On its very face, this is also a flagrant violation of the 5th amendment. Any census form that goes beyond asking how many people live in the residence is a violation of the 5th amendment, and court cases have established this, yet the census becomes more and more invasive each time.

Despite the fact that refusal to respond to the survey carries no ultimate penalty, the vast majority of the millions who receive it will doubtless comply in the face of threats of harassment and fines.

Objections to the invasive information being demanded by the government in the form of the survey arrive on the back of similar concerns about the 2010 census itself, particularly how census workers are using GPS to electronically tag every home in America.

In February, the Obama administration moved control of the census out of the Department of Commerce and into the White House, a tactic slammed as a trick by Democrats to keep their majorities in Congress.

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