Global Research Editor’s Note

We bring to the attention of our readers the following text of Osama bin Laden’s interview with Ummat, a Pakistani daily, published in Karachi on September 28, 2001. It was translated into English by the BBC World Monitoring Service and made public on September 29, 2001.

The authenticity of this interview, which is available in recognized electronic news archives, is confirmed.

Osama bin Laden categorically denies his involvement in the 9/11 attacks.

Bin Laden’s statements in this interview are markedly different from those made in the alleged Osama video tapes.

In this interview, Osama bin Laden exhibits an understanding of US foreign policy. He expresses his views regarding the loss of life on 9/11. He also makes statements as to who, in his opinion, might be the likely perpetrator of  the September 11 attacks.

This is an important text which has not been brought to the attention of Western public opinion.

We have highlighted key sections of this interview. It is our hope that the text of this interview, published barely a week before the onset of the war on Afghanistan, will contribute to a better understanding of the history of Al Qaeda, the role of Osama bin Laden and the tragic events of September 11, 2001.

Michel  Chossudovsky, May 9, 2011

 

Full text of September 2001 Pakistani paper’s “exclusive” interview with Usamah Bin-Ladin

Ummat (in Urdu), Karachi, 28 September 2001, pp. 1 and 7.

Ummat’s introduction

Kabul: Prominent Arab mojahed holy warrior Usamah Bin-Ladin has said that he or his al-Qa’idah group has nothing to do with the 11 September suicidal attacks in Washington and New York. He said the US government should find the attackers within the country. In an exclusive interview with daily “Ummat”, he said these attacks could be the act of those who are part of the American system and are rebelling against it and working for some other system. Or, Usamah said, this could be the act of those who want to make the current century a century of conflict between Islam and Christianity. Or, the American Jews, who are opposed to President Bush ever since the Florida elections, might be the masterminds of this act. There is also a great possibility of the involvement of US intelligence agencies, which need billions of dollars worth of funds every year. He said there is a government within the government in the United States.

The secret agencies, he said, should be asked as to who are behind the attacks. Usamah said support for attack on Afghanistan was a matter of need for some Muslim countries and compulsion for others. However, he said, he was thankful to the courageous people of Pakistan who erected a bulwark before the wrong forces. He added that the Islamic world was attaching great expectations with Pakistan and, in time of need, “we will protect this bulwark by sacrificing of lives”.

Following is the interview in full detail:

Ummat: You have been accused of involvement in the attacks in New York and Washington. What do you want to say about this? If you are not involved, who might be?

Usamah [Osama bin Laden]: In the name of Allah, the most beneficent, the most merciful. Praise be to Allah, Who is the creator of the whole universe and Who made the earth as an abode for peace, for the whole mankind. Allah is the Sustainer, who sent Prophet Muhammad for our guidance. I am thankful to the Ummat Group of Publications, which gave me the opportunity to convey my viewpoint to the people, particularly the valiant and Momin true Muslim people of Pakistan who refused to believe in lie of the demon.

I have already said that I am not involved in the 11 September attacks in the United States. As a Muslim, I try my best to avoid telling a lie. I had no knowledge of these attacks, nor do I consider the killing of innocent women, children, and other humans as an appreciable act. Islam strictly forbids causing harm to innocent women, children, and other people.

Such a practice is forbidden ever in the course of a battle. It is the United States, which is perpetrating every maltreatment on women, children, and common people of other faiths, particularly the followers of Islam. All that is going on in Palestine for the last 11 months is sufficient to call the wrath of God upon the United States and Israel.

There is also a warning for those Muslim countries, which witnessed all these as a silent spectator. What had earlier been done to the innocent people of Iraq, Chechnya, and Bosnia?

Only one conclusion could be derived from the indifference of the United States and the West to these acts of terror and the patronage of the tyrants by these powers that America is an anti-Islamic power and it is patronizing the anti-Islamic forces. Its friendship with the Muslim countries is just a show, rather deceit. By enticing or intimidating these countries, the United States is forcing them to play a role of its choice. Put a glance all around and you will see that the slaves of the United States are either rulers or enemies of Muslims .

The US has no friends, nor does it want to keep any because the prerequisite of friendship is to come to the level of the friend or consider him at par with you. America does not want to see anyone equal to it. It expects slavery from others. Therefore, other countries are either its slaves or subordinates.

However, our case is different. We have pledged slavery to God Almighty alone and after this pledge there is no possibility to become the slave of someone else. If we do that, it will be disregardful to both our Sustainer and his fellow beings. Most of the world nations upholding their freedom are the religious ones, which are the enemies of United States, or the latter itself considers them as its enemies. Or the countries, which do not agree to become its slaves, such as China, Iran, Libya, Cuba, Syria, and the former Russia as received .

Whoever committed the act of 11 September are not the friends of the American people. I have already said that we are against the American system, not against its people, whereas in these attacks, the common American people have been killed.

According to my information, the death toll is much higher than what the US government has stated. But the Bush administration does not want the panic to spread. The United States should try to trace the perpetrators of these attacks within itself; the people who are a part of the US system, but are dissenting against it. Or those who are working for some other system; persons who want to make the present century as a century of conflict between Islam and Christianity so that their own civilization, nation, country, or ideology could survive. They can be any one, from Russia to Israel and from India to Serbia. In the US itself, there are dozens of well-organized and well-equipped groups, which are capable of causing a large-scale destruction. Then you cannot forget the American Jews, who are annoyed with President Bush ever since the elections in Florida and want to avenge him.

Then there are intelligence agencies in the US, which require billions of dollars worth of funds from the Congress and the government every year. This funding issue was not a big problem till the existence of the former Soviet Union but after that the budget of these agencies has been in danger.

They needed an enemy. So, they first started propaganda against Usamah and Taleban and then this incident happened. You see, the Bush administration approved a budget of 40bn dollars. Where will this huge amount go? It will be provided to the same agencies, which need huge funds and want to exert their importance.

Now they will spend the money for their expansion and for increasing their importance. I will give you an example. Drug smugglers from all over the world are in contact with the US secret agencies. These agencies do not want to eradicate narcotics cultivation and trafficking because their importance will be diminished. The people in the US Drug Enforcement Department are encouraging drug trade so that they could show performance and get millions of dollars worth of budget. General Noriega was made a drug baron by the CIA and, in need, he was made a scapegoat. In the same way, whether it is President Bush or any other US president, they cannot bring Israel to justice for its human rights abuses or to hold it accountable for such crimes. What is this? Is it not that there exists a government within the government in the United Sates? That secret government must be asked as to who made the attacks.

Ummat: A number of world countries have joined the call of the United States for launching an attack on Afghanistan. These also include a number of Muslim countries. Will Al-Qa’idah declare a jihad against these countries as well?

Usamah: I must say that my duty is just to awaken the Muslims; to tell them as to what is good for them and what is not. What does Islam says and what the enemies of Islam want?

Al-Qa’idah was set up to wage a jihad against infidelity, particularly to encounter the onslaught of the infidel countries against the Islamic states. Jihad is the sixth undeclared element of Islam. The first five being the basic holy words of Islam, prayers, fast, pilgrimage to Mecca, and giving alms Every anti-Islamic person is afraid of it. Al-Qa’idah wants to keep this element alive and active and make it part of the daily life of the Muslims. It wants to give it the status of worship. We are not against any Islamic country nor we consider a war against an Islamic country as jihad.

We are in favour of armed jihad only against those infidel countries, which are killing innocent Muslim men, women, and children just because they are Muslims. Supporting the US act is the need of some Muslim countries and the compulsion of others. However, they should think as to what will remain of their religious and moral position if they support the attack of the Christians and the Jews on a Muslim country like Afghanistan. The orders of Islamic shari’ah jurisprudence for such individuals, organizations, and countries are clear and all the scholars of the Muslim brotherhood are unanimous on them. We will do the same, which is being ordered by the Amir ol-Momenin the commander of the faithful Mola Omar and the Islamic scholars. The hearts of the people of Muslim countries are beating with the call of jihad. We are grateful to them.

Ummat: The losses caused in the attacks in New York and Washington have proved that giving an economic blow to the US is not too difficult. US experts admit that a few more such attacks can bring down the American economy. Why is al-Qa’idah not targeting their economic pillars?

Usamah: I have already said that we are not hostile to the United States. We are against the system, which makes other nations slaves of the United States, or forces them to mortgage their political and economic freedom. This system is totally in control of the American Jews, whose first priority is Israel, not the United States. It is simply that the American people are themselves the slaves of the Jews and are forced to live according to the principles and laws laid by them. So, the punishment should reach Israel. In fact, it is Israel, which is giving a blood bath to innocent Muslims and the US is not uttering a single word.

Ummat: Why is harm not caused to the enemies of Islam through other means, apart from the armed struggle? For instance, inciting the Muslims to boycott Western products, banks, shipping lines, and TV channels.

Usamah: The first thing is that Western products could only be boycotted when the Muslim fraternity is fully awakened and organized. Secondly, the Muslim companies should become self-sufficient in producing goods equal to the products of Western companies. Economic boycott of the West is not possible unless economic self-sufficiency is attained and substitute products are brought out. You see that wealth is scattered all across the Muslim world but not a single TV channel has been acquired which can preach Islamic injunctions according to modern requirements and attain an international influence. Muslim traders and philanthropists should make it a point that if the weapon of public opinion is to be used, it is to be kept in the hand. Today’s world is of public opinion and the fates of nations are determined through its pressure. Once the tools for building public opinion are obtained, everything that you asked for can be done.

Ummat: The entire propaganda about your struggle has so far been made by the Western media. But no information is being received from your sources about the network of Al-Qa’idah and its jihadi successes. Would you comment?

Usamah: In fact, the Western media is left with nothing else. It has no other theme to survive for a long time. Then we have many other things to do. The struggle for jihad and the successes are for the sake of Allah and not to annoy His bondsmen. Our silence is our real propaganda. Rejections, explanations, or corrigendum only waste your time and through them, the enemy wants you to engage in things which are not of use to you. These things are pulling you away from your cause.

The Western media is unleashing such a baseless propaganda, which make us surprise but it reflects on what is in their hearts and gradually they themselves become captive of this propaganda. They become afraid of it and begin to cause harm to themselves. Terror is the most dreaded weapon in modern age and the Western media is mercilessly using it against its own people. It can add fear and helplessness in the psyche of the people of Europe and the United States. It means that what the enemies of the United States cannot do, its media is doing that. You can understand as to what will be the performance of the nation in a war, which suffers from fear and helplessness.

Ummat: What will the impact of the freeze of al-Qa’idah accounts by the US?

Usamah: God opens up ways for those who work for Him. Freezing of accounts will not make any difference for Al-Qa’idah or other jihad groups. With the grace of Allah, al-Qa’idah has more than three such alternative financial systems, which are all separate and totally independent from each other. This system is operating under the patronage of those who love jihad. What to say of the United States, even the combined world cannot budge these people from their path.

These people are not in hundreds but in thousands and millions. Al-Qa’idah comprises of such modern educated youths who are aware of the cracks inside the Western financial system as they are aware of the lines in their hands. These are the very flaws of the Western fiscal system, which are becoming a noose for it and this system could not recuperate in spite of the passage of so many days.

Ummat: Are there other safe areas other than Afghanistan, where you can continue jihad?

Usamah: There are areas in all parts of the world where strong jihadi forces are present, from Indonesia to Algeria, from Kabul to Chechnya, from Bosnia to Sudan, and from Burma to Kashmir. Then it is not the problem of my person. I am helpless fellowman of God, constantly in the fear of my accountability before God. It is not the question of Usamah but of Islam and, in Islam too, of jihad. Thanks to God, those waging a jihad can walk today with their heads raised. Jihad was still present when there was no Usamah and it will remain as such even when Usamah is no longer there. Allah opens up ways and creates loves in the hearts of people for those who walk on the path of Allah with their lives, property, and children. Believe it, through jihad, a man gets everything he desires. And the biggest desire of a Muslim is the after life. Martyrdom is the shortest way of attaining an eternal life.

Ummat: What do you say about the Pakistan government policy on Afghanistan attack?

Usamah: We are thankful to the Momin and valiant people of Pakistan who erected a blockade in front of the wrong forces and stood in the first file of battle. Pakistan is a great hope for the Islamic brotherhood. Its people are awakened, organized, and rich in the spirit of faith. They backed Afghanistan in its war against the Soviet Union and extended every help to the mojahedin and the Afghan people. Then these are very Pakistanis who are standing shoulder by shoulder with the Taleban. If such people emerge in just two countries, the domination of the West will diminish in a matter of days. Our hearts beat with Pakistan and, God forbid, if a difficult time comes we will protect it with our blood. Pakistan is sacred for us like a place of worship. We are the people of jihad and fighting for the defence of Pakistan is the best of all jihads to us. It does not matter for us as to who rules Pakistan. The important thing is that the spirit of jihad is alive and stronger in the hearts of the Pakistani people.

Copyright Ummat in Urdu, BBC translation in English, 2001

Read about Osama Bin Laden in Michel Chossudovsky’s international best-seller

According to Chossudovsky, the  “war on terrorism” is a complete fabrication based on the illusion that one man, Osama bin Laden, outwitted the $40 billion-a-year American intelligence apparatus. The “war on terrorism” is a war of conquest. Globalisation is the final march to the “New World Order”, dominated by Wall Street and the U.S. military-industrial complex.

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THE 9/11 READER. The September 11, 2001 Terror Attacks

April 7th, 2014 by Prof Michel Chossudovsky

 

Note to Readers: Remember to bookmark this page for future reference.
Please Forward the GR I-Book far and wide. Post it on Facebook.



[scroll down for I-BOOK Table of Contents]

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GLOBAL RESEARCH ONLINE

INTERACTIVE READER SERIES

GR I-BOOK No.  7 

THE 9/11 READER

The September 11, 2001 Terror Attacks

9/11 Truth: Revealing the Lies,  Commemorating the 9/11 Tragedy

Michel Chossudovsky (Editor)

August 2012


The 911/ Reader is part of Global Research’s Online Interactive I-Book Reader, which brings together, in the form of chapters, a collection of Global Research feature articles, including debate and analysis, on a broad theme or subject matter.  To consult our Online Interactive I-Book Reader Series, click here.


 

INTRODUCTION

The tragic events of September 11, 2001 constitute a fundamental landmark in American history. a decisive watershed, a breaking point. Millions of people have been misled regarding the causes and consequences of 9/11.

September 11 2001 opens up an era of crisis, upheaval and militarization of American society.

A far-reaching overhaul of US military doctrine was launched in the wake of 9/11.

Endless wars of aggression under the humanitarian cloak of “counter-terrorism” were set in motion. 

9/11 was also a stepping stone towards the relentless repeal of civil liberties, the militarization of law enforcement and the inauguration of “Police State USA”.

September 11, 2001 marks the onslaught of the “Global War on Terrorism” (GWOT), used as a pretext and a justification by the US and its NATO allies to carry out a “war without borders”, a global war of conquest. 

At eleven o’clock, on the morning of September 11, the Bush administration had already announced that Al Qaeda was responsible for the attacks on the World Trade Center (WTC) and the Pentagon. This assertion was made prior to the conduct of an indepth police investigation.

CIA Director George Tenet stated that same morning that Osama bin Laden had the capacity to plan  “multiple attacks with little or no warning.”

Secretary of State Colin Powell called the attacks “an act of war” and President Bush confirmed in an evening televised address to the Nation that he would “make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them”.

Former CIA Director James Woolsey, without mentioning Afghanistan, pointed his finger at “state sponsorship,” implying the complicity of one or more foreign governments. In the words of former National Security Adviser, Lawrence Eagleburger, “I think we will show when we get attacked like this, we are terrible in our strength and in our retribution.”

That same evening at 9:30 pm, a “War Cabinet” was formed integrated by a select number of top intelligence and military advisors. And at 11:00 pm, at the end of that historic meeting at the White House, the “War on Terrorism” was officially launched.

The tragic events of 9/11 provided the required justification to wage war on Afghanistan on “humanitarian grounds”, with the full support of World public opinion and the endorsement of the “international community”.  Several prominent “progressive” intellectuals made a case for “retaliation against terrorism”, on moral and ethical grounds. The “just cause” military doctrine (jus ad bellum) was accepted and upheld at face value as a legitimate response to 9/11. 

In the wake of 9/11, the antiwar movement was completely isolated. The trade unions and civil society organizations had swallowed the media lies and government propaganda. They had accepted a war of retribution against Afghanistan, an impoverished country in Central Asia of 30 million people.

The myth of the “outside enemy” and the threat of “Islamic terrorists” was the cornerstone of the Bush administration’s military doctrine, used as a pretext to invade Afghanistan and Iraq, not to mention the repeal of civil liberties and constitutional government in America.

Amply documented but rarely mentioned by the mainstream media, Al Qaeda is a creation of the CIA going back to the Soviet- Afghan war. This was a known fact, corroborated by numerous sources including official documents of the US Congress, which the mainstream media chose to either dismiss or ignore. The intelligence community had time and again acknowledged that they had indeed supported Osama bin Laden, but that in the wake of the Cold War: “he turned against us”.

The 9/11 Commission Report has largely upheld the “outside enemy” mythology, heralding Al Qaeda as the “mastermind” organization behind the 9/11 attacks.

The official 9/11 narrative has not only distorted the causes underling the collapse of the World Trade Center buildings, it has also erased the historical record of US covert support to international terrorism, while creating the illusion that America and “Western Civilization” are threatened.

Without an “outside enemy”, there could be no “war on terrorism”. The entire national security agenda would collapse “like a deck of cards”. The war criminals in high office would have no leg to stand on.

After 9/11, the campaign of media disinformation served not only to drown the truth but also to kill much of the historical evidence on how this illusive Al Qaeda “outside enemy” had been fabricated and transformed into “Enemy Number One”.

Click to view video

VIDEO: AFTER 9/11: TEN YEARS OF WAR

Special GRTV Feature Production
- by James Corbett – 2011-09-08

***

The 911 Reader is composed of a carefully selected collection of key articles published by Global Research in the course of the last eleven years.

9/11 was an important landmark for Global Research. Our website was launched on September 9, 2001, two days prior to 9/11. Our coverage of 9/11 was initiated on September 12, 2001.

Within this collection of more than 60 chapters, we have included several important reports from our archives, published by Global Research in the immediate aftermath of the attacks. These articles provide a focus on issues pertaining to the 9/11 Timeline, foreknowledge of the 9/11 attacks, the attack on the Pentagon, the issue of insider trading on Wall Street in the days preceding 9/11 pointing to foreknowledge of the attacks.

What prevails is a complex web of lies and fabrications, pertaining to various dimensions of the 9/11 tragedy. The falsehoods contained in the official 9/11 narrative are manifold, extending from the affirmation that Osama bin Laden was the mastermind, to the assertion by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) that the WTC buildings collapsed due to the impacts of fire. (see Part III).

Where was Osama bin Laden on September 11, 2001?

Is there any proof to the effect that Osama bin Laden, the bogeyman, coordinated the 9/11 attacks as claimed in the official 9/11 narrative?

According to CBS news (Dan Rather, January 28, 2002), “Enemy Number One” was admitted to the urology ward of a Pakistani military hospital in Rawalpindi on September 10, 2001, courtesy of America’s indefectible ally Pakistan. He could have been arrested at short notice which would have “saved us a lot of trouble”, but then we would not have had an Osama Legend, which has fed the news chain as well as presidential speeches in the course of the last eleven years.

DAN RATHER. As the United states and its allies in the war on terrorism press the hunt for Osama bin Laden, CBS News has exclusive information tonight about where bin Laden was and what he was doing in the last hours before his followers struck the United States September 11.

This is the result of hard-nosed investigative reporting by a team of CBS news journalists, and by one of the best foreign correspondents in the business, CBS`s Barry Petersen. Here is his report.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) BARRY PETERSEN, CBS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Everyone remembers what happened on September 11. Here`s the story of what may have happened the night before. It is a tale as twisted as the hunt for Osama bin Laden.

CBS News has been told that the night before the September 11 terrorist attack, Osama bin Laden was in Pakistan. He was getting medical treatment with the support of the very military that days later pledged its backing for the U.S. war on terror in Afghanistan. (transcript of CBS report, see http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/CBS203A.html , see also http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2002/01/28/eveningnews/main325887.shtml

CBS News footage of the Rawalpindi, Pakistan, hospital where bin Laden was allegedly treated the day before 9/11. [Source: CBS News]

 

CBS News footage of the Rawalpindi, Pakistan, hospital where bin Laden was allegedly treated the day before 9/11.

CBS News footage of the Rawalpindi, Pakistan, hospital where bin Laden was allegedly treated the day before 9/11. [Source: CBS News]

The foregoing CBS report which  is of utmost relevance indicates two obvious facts:

1. Osama bin Laden could not reasonably have coordinated the 9/11 attacks from his hospital bed;

2. The hospital was under the jurisdiction of the Pakistani Armed Forces, which has close links to the Pentagon. Osama bin Laden’s whereabouts were known to both the Pakistani and US military.

 U.S. military and intelligence advisers based in Rawalpindi. were working closely with their Pakistani counterparts. Again, no attempt was made to arrest America’s best known fugitive. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld claimed, at the time, that the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden were unknown. According to Rumsfeld:  “Its like looking for a needle in a stack of hay”.

October 7, 2001: Waging America’s 9/11 War of Retribution against Afghanistan

The immediate response of the US and its allies to the 9/11 attacks was to the declare a war of retribution against Afghanistan on the grounds that the Taliban government was protecting “terror mastermind” Osama bin Laden. By allegedly harboring bin Laden, the Taliban were complicit, according to both the US administration and NATO, for having waged an act of war against the United States.

Parroting official statements, the Western media mantra on September 12, 2001 had already approved the launching of “punitive actions” directed against civilian targets in Afghanistan. In the words of William Saffire writing in the New York Times: “When we reasonably determine our attackers’ bases and camps, we must pulverize them — minimizing but accepting the risk of collateral damage” — and act overtly or covertly to destabilize terror’s national hosts”.

This decision was taken by the Bush-Cheney war cabinet in the evening of September 11, 2001. It was based on the presumption, “confirmed” by the head of the CIA that Al Qaeda was behind the attacks.

On the following morning, September 12, 2001, NATO’s Atlantic Council meeting in Brussels, endorsed the Bush administration’s declaration of war on Afghanistan, invoking Article 5 of the Washington Treaty.

An act of war by a foreign nation (Afghanistan) against a member of the Atlantic Alliance (the USA) is an act of war against all members under NATO’s doctrine of collective security. Under any stretch of the imagination, the attack on the World Trade Center and Pentagon cannot be categorized as an act of war by a foreign country. But nobody seemed to have raised this issue.

Meanwhile, on two occasions in the course of September 2001, the Afghan government –through diplomatic channels– offered to hand over Osama Bin laden to US Justice. These overtures were turned down by president Bush, on the grounds that America “does not negotiate with terrorists”.

The war on Afghanistan was launched 26 days later on the morning of October 7, 2001. The timing of this war begs the question: how long does it take to plan and implement a major theater war several thousand miles away. Military analysts will confirm that a major theater war takes months and months, up to a year or more of advanced preparations. The war on Afghanistan was already in the advanced planning stages prior to September 11, 2001, which begs the question of foreknowledge of the 9/11 attacks.

The repeal of civil liberties in America was launched in parallel with the bombing and invasion of Afghanistan, almost immediately following 9/11 with the adoption of the PATRIOT legislation and the setting up of a Homeland Security apparatus, under the pretext of protecting Americans. This post-911 legal and institutional framework had been carefully crafted prior to the 9/11 attacks.

Al Qaeda is a US Intelligence Asset

Important to the understanding of 9/11, US intelligence is the unspoken architect of “Islamic terrorism” going back to the heyday of the Soviet-Afghan war.

Bin Laden was 22 years old and was trained in a CIA sponsored guerrilla training camp. Education in Afghanistan in the years preceding the Soviet-Afghan war was largely secular. With religious textbooks produced in Nebraska, the number of CIA sponsored religious schools (madrasahs) increased from 2,500 in 1980 to over 39,000.

“Advertisements, paid for from CIA funds, were placed in newspapers and newsletters around the world offering inducements and motivations to join the [Islamic] Jihad.” (Pervez Hoodbhoy, Peace Research, 1 May 2005)

 ”The United States spent millions of dollars to supply Afghan schoolchildren with textbooks filled with violent images and militant Islamic teachings….The primers, which were filled with talk of jihad and featured drawings of guns, bullets, soldiers and mines, have served since then as the Afghan school system’s core curriculum. Even the Taliban used the American-produced books,..”, (Washington Post, 23 March 2002)

Under the Reagan administration, US foreign policy evolved towards the unconditional support and endorsement of the Islamic “freedom fighters”. This endorsement has not in any way been modified.

In a twisted irony, throughout the post 911 era,  US intelligence in liaison with Britain’s MI6, an Israel’s Mossad, continues to provide covert support to the radical Islamist organization allegedly responsible for the 9/11 attacks. Al Qaeda and its various affiliated groups including the Libya Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) and factions within the Free Syria Army (FSA) are directly supported by the US and NATO.

In a bitter irony, the US and its allies claim to be waging a “war on terrorism” against the alleged architects of 9/11, while also using Al Qaeda operatives as their foot-soldiers.


Front row, from left: Major Gen. Hamid Gul, director general of Pakistan’s
Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate (ISI), Director of Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
Willian Webster; Deputy Director for Operations Clair George; an ISI colonel; and senior CIA official,
Milt Bearden at a Mujahideen training camp in North-West Frontier Province of Pakistan in 1987.
(source RAWA)


Ronald Reagan meets Afghan Mujahideen Commanders at the White House in 1985 (Reagan Archives)

VIDEO (30 Sec.)

The Collapse of the World Trade Center Buildings

Based on the findings of  Richard Gage of Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, the collapse of the World Trade Center buildings was not caused by fire resulting from the crash of the planes:

In more than 100 steel-framed, high-rise fires (most of them very hot, very large and very long-lasting), not one has collapsed, ever. So it behooves all of us, as your own former chief of NIST’s Fire Science Division, Dr. James Quintiere, said, “to look at real alternatives that might have been the cause of these collapses.”

Let’s start with temperatures – 1,340° F. temperatures, recorded in thermal images of the surface of the World Trade Center rubble pile a week after 9/11 by NASA’s AVIRIS equipment on USGS overflights. Such temperatures cannot be achieved by oxygen-starved hydrocarbon fires. Such fires burn at only 600 to 800° F. Remember, there was no fire on the top of the pile. The source of this incredible heat was therefore below the surface of the rubble, where it must have been far hotter than 1,340 degrees.

Mark Loizeaux, president of Controlled Demolition, Inc., who was hired for the Building 7 cleanup, said that “molten steel was found at 7 WTC.” Leslie Robertson, World Trade Center structural engineer, stated that on October 5, “21 days after the attacks, the fires were still burning and molten steel was still running.” Fire department personnel, recorded on video, reported seeing “molten steel running down the channel rails… like you’re in a foundry – like lava from a volcano.” Joe O’Toole, a Bronx firefighter, saw a crane lifting a steel beam vertically from deep within a pile. He said “it was dripping from the molten steel.” Bart Voorsanger, an architect hired to save “relics from the rubble,” stated about the multi-ton “meteorite” that it was a “fused element of molten steel and concrete.”

Steel melts at about 2,850 degrees Fahrenheit, about twice the temperature of the World Trade Center Tower 1 and 2 fires as estimated by NIST. So what melted the steel?

Appendix C of FEMA’s BPAT Report documents steel samples showing rapid oxidation, sulfidation, and intergranular melting. A liquid eutectic mixture, including sulfur from an unknown source, caused intense corrosion of the steel, gaping holes in wide flange beams, and the thinning of half-inch-thick flanges to almost razor-sharpness in the World Trade Center 7 steel. The New York Times called this “the deepest mystery uncovered in the investigation.”

NIST left all of this crucial forensic evidence out of its report. Why? Because it didn’t fit in with the official conspiracy theory.

Last year, physicist Steven Jones, two other physicists, and a geologist analyzed the slag at the ends of the beams and in the samples of the previously molten metal. They found iron, aluminum, sulfur, manganese and fluorine – the chemical evidence of thermate, a high-tech incendiary cutting charge used by the military to cut through steel like a hot knife through butter. The by-product of the thermate reaction is molten iron! There’s no other possible source for all the molten iron that was found. One of thermate’s key ingredients is sulfur, which can form the liquid eutectic that FEMA found and lower the melting point of steel.

In addition, World Trade Center 7′s catastrophic structural failure showed every characteristic of explosive, controlled demolition. … The destruction began suddenly at the base of the building. Several first responders reported explosions occurring about a second before the collapse. There was the symmetrical, near-free-fall speed of collapse, through the path of greatest resistance – with 40,000 tons of steel designed to resist this load – straight down into its own footprint. This requires that all the columns have to fail within a fraction of a second of each other – perimeter columns as well as core columns. There was also the appearance of mistimed explosions (squibs?) at the upper seven floors on the network video recordings of the collapse. And we have expert testimony from a European demolitions expert, Danny Jowenko, who said “This is controlled demolition… a team of experts did this… This is professional work, without any doubt.”

Fire cannot produce these effects. Fire produces large, gradual deformations and asymmetrical collapses. Thermate can produce all of these effects used in conjunction with linear shaped charges. If the thermate is formed into ultra-fine particles, as has been accomplished at Los Alamos National Laboratory, it is called super-thermate, and is very explosive.(Richard Gage, January 2008)

The following AE911Truth Video provides irrefutable evidence that the WTC center towers were brought down through controlled demolition.

According to David Ray Griffin: “The official theory of the collapse, therefore, is essentially a fire theory, so it cannot be emphasized too much that fire has never caused large steel-frame buildings to collapse—never, whether before 9/11, or after 9/11, or anywhere in the world on 9/11 except allegedly New York City—never.” (See David Ray Griffin).

According to Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, based on solid scientific analysis and evidence, the collapse of the WTC towers was engineered through controlled demolition. While AE11Truth does not speculate on who might be behind the conspiracy to bring down the WTC buildings, they nonetheless suggest that the carrying out such an operation would require a carefully planned course of action with prior access to the buildings as well as an advanced level of expertise in the use of explosives, etc.

The Collapse of WTC Building Seven

The most grotesque lie pertains to the BBC and CNN announcement in the afternoon of September 11, that WTC Building Seven (The Solomon Building) had collapsed. The BBC report went live at 5.00pm, 21 minutes before the actual occurrence of the collapse, indelibly pointing to foreknowledge of the collapse of WTC 7.  CNN anchor Aaron Brown announced that the building “has either collapsed or is collapsing” about an hour before the event. (See WTC7.net the hidden story of Building 7: Foreknowledge of WTC 7′s Collapse)

The Collapse of WTC Building Seven.

CNN anchor Aaron Brown seems to struggle to make sense of what he is seeing one minute after announcing that WTC Building 7, whose erect facade is clearly visible in his view towards the Trade Center, has or is collapsing.

Coverup and Complicity

The 911 Reader presents factual information and analysis which points to cover-up and complicity at the highest levels of the US government.

This body of articles by prominent authors, scholars, architects, engineers, largely refutes the official narrative of the 9/11 Commission Report, which is reviewed in Part IV. It  dispels the notion that America was attacked on September 11, 2001 on the orders of Osama bin Laden.

This is a central issue because US military doctrine since 9/11 has been predicated on “defending the American Homeland” against Islamic terrorists as well as waging pre-emptive wars against Al Qaeda and its various “state sponsors”.  Afghanistan was bombed and invaded as part of the “war on terrorism”. In March 2003, Iraq was also invaded.

War Propaganda

Fiction prevails over reality. For propaganda to be effective, public opinion must firmly endorse the official 9/11 narrative to the effect that Al Qaeda was behind the attacks. A well organized structure of media disinformation (Part XI) is required to reach this objective. Perpetuating the 9/11 Legend also requires defying as well smearing the 9/11 Truth Movement.

Throughout the post 9/11 era, a panoply of Al Qaeda related events and circumstances is presented to public opinion on a daily basis. These include terrorist threats, warnings and attacks, police investigations, insurgencies and counter-insurgencies, country-level regime change, social conflict, sectarian violence, racism, religious divisions, Islamic thought, Western values, etc.

In turn, 9/11, Al Qaeda – War on Terrorism rhetoric permeates political discourse at all levels of government, including bipartisan debate on Capitol Hill, in committees of the House and the Senate, at the British House of Commons, and, lest we forget, at the United Nations Security Council.

September 11 and Al Qaeda concepts, repeated ad nauseam have potentially traumatic impacts on the human mind and the ability of normal human beings to analyze and comprehend the “real outside World” of war, politics and the economic crisis.

What is at stake is human consciousness and comprehension based on concepts and facts.

With September 11 there are no verifiable “facts” and “concepts”, because 9/11 as well as Al Qaeda have evolved into a media mythology, a legend, an invented ideological construct, used as an unsubtle tool of media disinformation and war propaganda.

Al Qaeda constitutes a stylized, fake and almost folkloric abstraction of terrorism, which permeates the inner consciousness of millions of people around the World.

Reference to Al Qaeda has become a dogma, a belief, which most people espouse unconditionally.

Is this political indoctrination? Is it brain-washing? If so what is the underlying objective?

People’s capacity to independently analyse World events, as well as address causal relationships pertaining to politics and society, is significantly impaired. That is the objective!

The routine use of  9/11 and Al Qaeda to generate blanket explanations of complex political events is meant to create confusion. It prevents people from thinking.

All of these complex Al Qaeda related occurrences are explained –by politicians, the corporate media, Hollywood and the Washington think tanks under a single blanket “bad guys” heading, in which Al Qaeda is casually and repeatedly pinpointed as “the cause” of numerous terror events around the World.

The Alleged Role of Iraq in the 9/11 Attacks

9/11 mythology has been a mainstay of war propaganda. In the course of 2002, leading up to the invasion of Iraq in March 2003,  “Osama bin Laden” and “Weapons of Mass Destruction” statements circulated profusely in the news chain. While Washington’s official position was that Saddam Hussein was not behind the 9/11 attacks, insinuations abounded both in presidential speeches as well as in the Western media. According to Bush,  in an October 2002 press conference:

The threat comes from Iraq. It arises directly from the Iraqi regime’s own actions — its history of aggression, and its drive toward an arsenal of terror. .,..  We also must never forget the most vivid events of recent history. On September the 11th, 2001, America felt its vulnerability — even to threats that gather on the other side of the earth. We resolved then, and we are resolved today, to confront every threat, from any source [Iraq], that could bring sudden terror and suffering to America. President Bush Outlines Iraqi Threat, October 7, 2002)

Barely two weeks before the invasion of Iraq, September 11, 2001 was mentioned abundantly by president Bush. In the weeks leading up to the March invasion, 45 percent of  Americans believed Saddam Hussein was “personally involved” in the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. (See . The impact of Bush linking 9/11 and Iraq / The Christian Science Monitor – CSMonitor.com, March 14, 2003)

Meanwhile, a new terrorist mastermind had emerged: Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi.

In Colin Powell’s historic address to the United Nations Security Council, in February 2003, detailed “documentation” on a sinister relationship between Saddam Hussein and Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi was presented, focussing on his ability to produce deadly chemical, biological and radiological weapons, with the full support and endorsement of the secular Baathist regime. The implication of Colin’s Powell’s assertions, which were totally fabricated, was that Saddam Hussein and an Al Qaeda affiliated organization had joined hands in the production of WMD in Northern Iraq and that the Hussein government was a “state sponsor” of terrorism.

The main thrust of the disinformation campaign continued in the wake of the March 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq. It consisted in presenting the Iraqi resistance movement as “terrorists”. The image of “terrorists opposed to democracy” fighting US “peacekeepers” appeared on television screens and news tabloids across the globe.

Iran: Alleged State Sponsor of 9/11

In the wake of the Iraq invasion, the same alleged “state sponsorship” of terrorism accusations emerged in relation to Iran.

In December 2011, the Islamic Republic of Iran was condemned by a Manhattan court, for its alleged role in supporting Al Qaeda in the 9/11 attacks.

The investigation into Tehran’s alleged role was launched in 2004, pursuant to a recommendation of the 9/11 Commission “regarding an apparent link between Iran, Hezbollah, and the 9/11 hijackers”. The 91/11 Commission’s recommendation was that the this “apparent link” required  “further investigation by the U.S. government.” (9/11 Commission Report , p. 241). (See Iran 911 Case ).

In the December 2011 court judgment (Havlish v. Iran)  “U.S. District Judge George B. Daniels ruled  that Iran and Hezbollah materially and directly supported al Qaeda in the September 11, 2001 attacks and are legally responsible for damages to hundreds of family members of 9/11 victims who are plaintiffs in the case”.

According to the plaintiffs attorneys “Iran, Hezbollah, and al Qaeda formed a terror alliance in the early 1990s. Citing their national security and intelligence experts, the attorneys explained “how the pragmatic terror leaders overcame the Sunni-Shi’a divide in order to confront the U.S. (the “Great Satan”) and Israel (the “Lesser Satan”)”. Iran and Hezbollah allegedly provided “training to members of al Qaeda in, among other things, the use of explosives to destroy large buildings.” (See Iran 911 Case ).

This judicial procedure is nothing more than another vicious weapon in the fabricated “War on Terror” to be used against another Muslim country, with a view to destabilizing Iran as well as justifying ongoing military threats. It also says a lot more about the people behind the lawsuit than about the accused. The expert witnesses who testified against Iran are very active in warmongering neocon circles. They belong to a web of architects of the 21st century Middle-Eastern wars, ranging from high profile propagandists to intelligence and military officers, including former U.S. officials.

But what makes this case absurd is that in September 2011, a few months before the judgment, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has questioned the official 9/11 narrative, was accused by Al-Qaeda leaders of  “spreading conspiracy theories about the 9/11 attacks”. The semi-official media outlet of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, insisted that al-Qaeda “had been behind the attacks and criticised the Iranian president for discrediting the terrorist group.” (See Julie Levesque, Iran Accused of being behind 9/11 Attacks. U.S. Court Judgment, December 2011 (Havlish v. Iran), Global Research,  May 11, 2012)

Al Qaeda: US-NATO Foot-soldiers

Ironically, while Washington accuses Iran and Afghanistan of supporting terrorism, the historical record and evidence indelibly point to the “state sponsorship” of Al Qaeda by the CIA, MI6 and their counterparts in Pakistan, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

Al Qaeda death squads have been recruited to wage America’s humanitarian wars throughout the Middle East and North Africa.

In Syria Al Qaeda units were recruited by NATO and the Turkish High command: “Also discussed in Brussels and Ankara, our sources report, is a campaign to enlist thousands of Muslim volunteers in Middle East countries and the Muslim world to fight alongside the Syrian rebels.” (http://www.debka.com/article/21255/  Debkafile, August 31, 2011).

In Libya, jihadists from Afghanistan trained by the CIA were dispatched to fight with the “pro-democracy” rebels under the helm of “former” Libya Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) Commander Abdel Hakim Belhadj:

Western policy makers admit that NATO’s operations in Libya have played the primary role in emboldening Al Qaeda’s AQIM faction (Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb). The Fortune 500-funded Brookings Institution’s Bruce Riedel in his article, “The New Al Qaeda Menace,” admits that AQIM is now heavily armed thanks to NATO’s intervention in Libya, and that AQIM’s base in Mali, North Africa, serves as a staging ground for terrorist activities across the region. http://www.globalresearch.ca/al-qaeda-and-natos-pan-arab-terrorist-blitzkrieg/

Table of Contents of the 9/11 Reader

In Part I, the 911 Reader provides a review of what happened on the morning of 9/11, at the White House, on Capitol Hill, the Pentagon, at Strategic Command Headquarters (USSTRATCOM), What was the response of the US Air Force in the immediate wake of the attacks?  Part II focusses on “What Happened on the Planes” as described in the 9/11 Commission Report.

Part III sheds light on what caused the collapse of the World Trade Center buildings. It also challenges the official narrative with regard to the attack on the Pentagon.

Part IV reviews and refutes the findings of the 9/11 Commission Report.

Part V focusses on the issue of foreknowledge by Western intelligence agencies. Part VI examines the issue of how foreknowledge of the attacks was used as an instrument of insider trading on airline stocks in the days preceding September 11, 2001. The bonanza financial gains resulting from insurance claims to the leaseholders of the WTC buildings is also examined.

Part VII focusses on the history and central role of Al Qaeda as a US intelligence asset. Since the Soviet-Afghan war, US intelligence has supported the formation of various jihadist organizations. An understanding of this history is crucial in refuting the official 9/11 narrative which claims that Al Qaeda, was behind the attacks.

Part VIII centers on the life and death of 9/11 “Terror Mastermind” Osama bin Laden, who was recruited by the CIA in the heyday of the Soviet Afghan war. This section also includes an analysis of the mysterious death of Osama bin Laden, allegedly executed by US Navy Seals in a suburb of Islamabad in May 2011.

Part  IX  focusses on “False Flags” and the Pentagon’s “Second 9/11″. Part X examines the issue of “Deep Events” with contributions by renowned scholars Peter Dale Scott and Daniele Ganser.

Part XI  examines the structure of 9/11 propaganda which consists in “creating” as well “perpetuating” a  “9/11 Legend”. How is this achieved? Incessantly, on a daily basis, Al Qaeda, the alleged 9/11 Mastermind is referred to by the Western media, government officials, members of the US Congress, Wall Street analysts, etc. as an underlying cause of numerous World events.

Part XII focusses on the practice of 9/11 Justice directed against the alleged culprits of the 9/11 attacks.

The legitimacy of 9/11 propaganda requires fabricating “convincing evidence” and “proof” that those who are accused actually carried out the attacks. Sentencing of Muslims detained in Guantanamo is part of war propaganda. It depicts innocent men who are accused of the 9/11 attacks, based on confessions acquired through systematic torture throughout their detention.

Part  XIII focusses on 9/11 Truth.  The objective of 9/11 Truth is to ultimately dismantle the propaganda apparatus which is manipulating the human mindset. The 9/11 Reader concludes with a retrospective view of 9/11 ten years later.


PART  I

Timeline: What Happened on the Morning of September 11, 2001

Nothing Urgent: The Curious Lack of Military Action on the Morning of September. 11, 2001
- by George Szamuely – 2012-08-12
Political Deception: The Missing Link behind 9-11
- by Michel Chossudovsky – 2002-06-20
On the morning of September 11, Pakistan’s Chief Spy General Mahmoud Ahmad, the alleged “money-man” behind the 9-11 hijackers, was at a breakfast meeting on Capitol Hill hosted by Senator Bob Graham and Rep. Porter Goss, the chairmen of the Senate and House Intelligence committees.
9/11 Contradictions: Bush in the Classroom
- by Dr. David Ray Griffin – 2008-04-04
9/11 Contradictions: When Did Cheney Enter the Underground Bunker?
- by David Ray Griffin – 2008-04-24
VIDEO: Pilots For 9/11 Truth: Intercepted
Don’t miss this important documentary, now on GRTV
- 2012-05-16

PART II

What Happened on the Planes

“United 93″: What Happened on the Planes?
- by Michel Chossudovsky – 2006-05-01
  Phone Calls from the 9/11 Airliners
Response to Questions Evoked by My Fifth Estate Interview
- by Prof David Ray Griffin – 2010-01-12
Given the cell phone technology available in 2001, cell phone calls from airliners at altitudes of more than a few thousand feet, were virtually impossible
Ted Olson’s Report of Phone Calls from Barbara Olson on 9/11: Three Official Denials
- by David Ray Griffin – 2008-04-01
Ted Olson’s report was very important. It provided apparent “evidence” that American 77 had struck the Pentagon.

 

PART III

What Caused the Collapse of

The WTC Buildings and the Pentagon?

The Destruction of the World Trade Center: Why the Official Account Cannot Be True
- by Dr. David Ray Griffin – 2006-01-29
The official theory about the Twin Towers says that they collapsed because of the combined effect of the impact of the airplanes and the resulting fires
Evidence Refutes the Official 9/11 Investigation: The Scientific Forensic Facts
- by Richard Gage, Gregg Roberts – 2010-10-13
VIDEO: Controlled Demolitions Caused the Collapse of the World Trade Center (WTC) buildings on September 11, 2001
- by Richard Gage – 2009-09-20
VIDEO: 9/11: The Myth and The Reality
Now on GRTV
- by Prof. David Ray Griffin – 2011-08-30
Undisputed Facts Point to the Controlled Demolition of WTC 7
- by Richard Gage – 2008-03-28
VIDEO: 9/11 Explosive Evidence: Experts Speak Out
See the trailer for this ground-breaking film on GRTV
- 2011-08-03
9/11: “Honest Mistake” or BBC Foreknowledge of Collapse of WTC 7? Jane Standley Breaks Her Silence
- by James Higham – 2011-08-18
The Collapse of WTC Building Seven.
Interview. Comment by Elizabeth Woodworth
- by David Ray Griffin – 2009-10-17
  Building What? How SCADs Can Be Hidden in Plain Sight: The 9/11 “Official Story” and the Collapse of WTC Building Seven
- by Prof David Ray Griffin – 2010-05-30
Besides omitting and otherwise falsifying evidence, NIST also committed the type of scientific fraud called fabrication, which means simply “making up results.”
VIDEO; Firefighters’ Analysis of the 9/11 Attacks Refutes the Official Report
- by Erik Lawyer – 2012-08-27
VIDEO: Pentagon Admits More 9/11 Remains Dumped in Landfill
- by James Corbett – 2012-03-01
The Pentagon revealed that some of the unidentifiable remains from victims at the Pentagon and Shanksville sites on September 11, 2001 were disposed of in a landfill.
9/11: The Attack on the Pentagon on September 11, 2001
The Official Version Amounts to an Enormous Lie
- by Thierry Meyssan – 2012-08-16

PART IV

Lies and Fabrications: The 9/11 Commission Report

A National Disgrace: A Review of the 9/11 Commission Report
- by David Ray Griffin – 2005-03-24
The 9/11 Commission Report: A 571 Page Lie
- by Dr. David Ray Griffin – 2005-09-08
September 11, 2001: 21 Reasons to Question the Official Story about 9/11
- by David Ray Griffin – 2008-09-11
911 “Conspiracy Theorists” Vindicated: Pentagon deliberately misled Public Opinion
Military officials made false statements to Congress and to the 911 Commission
- by Michel Chossudovsky – 2006-08-02
The 9/11 Commission’s Incredible Tales
Flights 11, 175, 77, and 93
- by Prof. David Ray Griffin – 2005-12-13
September 11, 2001: 21 Reasons to uestion the Official Story about 9/11
- by David Ray Griffin – 2008-09-11
9/11 and the War on Terror: Polls Show What People Think 10 Years Later
- by Washington’s Blog – 2011-09-10

PART  V

Foreknowledge of 9/11

  VIDEO: The SECRET SERVICE ON 9/11: What did the Government Know?
Learn more on this week’s GRTV Feature Interview
- by Kevin Ryan, James Corbett – 2012-04-10
9/11 Foreknowledge and “Intelligence Failures”: “Revealing the Lies” on 9/11 Perpetuates the “Big Lie”
- by Prof. Michel Chossudovsky – 2011-09-14
“Foreknowledge” and “Failure to act” upholds the notion that the terrorist attacks (“act of war”) “waged by Muslims against America” are real, when all the facts and findings point towards coverup and complicity at the highest levels of the US government.
Foreknowledge of 9/11 by Western Intelligence Agencies
- by Michael C. Ruppert – 2012-08-21

PART VI

Insider Trading and the 9/11 Financial Bonanza

9/11 Attacks: Criminal Foreknowledge and Insider Trading lead directly to the CIA’s Highest Ranks
CIA Executive Director “Buzzy” Krongard managed Firm that handled “Put” Options on UAL
- by Michael C. Ruppert – 2012-08-13
The 9/11 Attacks on the World Trade Center (WTC): Unspoken Financial Bonanza
- by Prof Michel Chossudovsky – 2012-04-27
SEPTEMBER 11, 2001: Insider Trading 9/11 … the Facts Laid Bare
- by Lars Schall – 2012-03-20
Osama Bin Laden and The 911 Illusion: The 9/11 Short-Selling Financial Scam
- by Dean Henderson – 2011-05-09

PART VII

9/11 and the “Global War on Terrorism” (GWOT)

Political Deception: The Missing Link behind 9-11
- by Michel Chossudovsky – 2002-06-20
On the morning of September 11, Pakistan’s Chief Spy General Mahmoud Ahmad, the alleged “money-man” behind the 9-11 hijackers, was at a breakfast meeting on Capitol Hill hosted by Senator Bob Graham and Rep. Porter Goss, the chairmen of the Senate and House Intelligence committees.
9/11 ANALYSIS: From Ronald Reagan and the Soviet-Afghan War to George W Bush and September 11, 2001
- by Michel Chossudovsky – 2010-09-09
Osama bin Laden was recruited by the CIA in 1979. The US spent millions of dollars to supply Afghan schoolchildren with textbooks filled with violent images and militant Islamic teachings.

 

  The Central Role of Al Qaeda in Bush’s National Security Doctrine
“Revealing the Lies” on 9/11 Perpetuates the “Big Lie”
- by Michel Chossudovsky – 2007-07-12
NATO’s Doctrine of Collective Security
- by Michel Chossudovsky – 2009-12-21
- by Michel Chossudovsky – 2010-08-30
What is now unfolding is a generalized process of demonization of an entire population group
Osamagate
- by Michel Chossudovsky – 2001-10-09
The main justification for waging this war has been totally fabricated. The American people have been deliberately and consciously misled by their government into supporting a major military adventure which affects our collective future.
The “Demonization” of Muslims and the Battle for Oil
- by Michel Chossudovsky – 2007-01-04
Muslim countries possess three quarters of the World’s oil reserves. In contrast, the United States of America has barely 2 percent of total oil reserves.
  Was America Attacked by Muslims on 9/11?
- by David Ray Griffin – 2008-09-10
Much of US foreign policy since 9/11 has been based on the assumption that America was attacked by Muslims on 9/11.
  New Documents Detail America’s Strategic Response to 9/11
Rumsfeld’s War Aim: “Significantly Change the World’s Political Map”
- by National Security Archive – 2011-09-12

PART VIII

The Alleged 9/11 Mastermind:

The Life and Death of  Osama bin Laden

Who Is Osama Bin Laden?
- by Michel Chossudovsky – 2001-09-12
  VIDEO: The Last Word on Osama Bin Laden
- by James Corbett – 2011-05-24
Osama bin Laden: A Creation of the CIA
- by Michel Chossudovsky – 2011-05-03
Interview with Osama bin Laden. Denies his Involvement in 9/11
Full text of Pakistani paper’s Sept 01 “exclusive” interview
- 2011-05-09
Where was Osama on September 11, 2001?
- by Michel Chossudovsky – 2008-09-11
On September 10. 2001, Osama was in a Pakistan military hospital in Rawalpindi, courtesy of America’s indefectible ally Pakistan
Osama bin Laden, among the FBI’s “Ten Most Wanted Fugitives”: Why was he never indicted for his alleged role in 9/11?
- by Michel Chossudovsky – 2006-09-17
Osama bin Laden: Already Dead… Evidence that Bin Laden has been Dead for Several Years
- by Prof. David Ray Griffin – 2011-05-02
The Mysterious Death of Osama bin Laden: Creating Evidence Where There Is None
- by Dr. Paul Craig Roberts – 2011-08-04
The Assassination of Osama bin Laden: Glaring Anomalies in the Official Narrative
Osama was Left Handed…
- by Felicity Arbuthnot – 2011-05-11
The Assassination of Osama Bin Laden
- by Fidel Castro Ruz – 2011-05-07
Dancing on the Grave of 9/11. Osama and “The Big Lie”
- by Larry Chin – 2011-05-05

PART  IX

 ”False Flags”: The Pentagon’s Second 9/11

The Pentagon’s “Second 911″
“Another [9/11] attack could create both a justification and an opportunity to retaliate against some known targets”
- by Michel Chossudovsky – 2006-08-10
The presumption of this military document, is that a Second 911 attack “which is lacking today” would usefully create both a “justification and an opportunity” to wage war on “some known targets
Crying Wolf: Terror Alerts based on Fabricated Intelligence
- by Michel Chossudovsky – 2006-08-20
This is not the first time that brash and unsubstantiated statements have been made regarding an impending terror attack, which have proven to be based on “faulty intelligence”.

PART X

“Deep Events” and State Violence

The Doomsday Project and Deep Events: JFK, Watergate, Iran-Contra, and 9/11
- by Prof. Peter Dale Scott – 2011-11-22
The Doomsday Project is the Pentagon’s name for the emergency planning “to keep the White House and Pentagon running during and after a nuclear war or some other major crisis.”
JFK and 9/11
Insights Gained from Studying Both
- by Dr. Peter Dale Scott – 2006-12-20
In both 9/11 and the JFK assassination, the US government and the media immediately established a guilty party. Eventually, in both cases a commission was set up to validate the official narrative.
Able Danger adds twist to 9/11
9/11 Ringleader connected to secret Pentagon operation
- by Dr. Daniele Ganser – 2005-08-27
Atta was connected to a secret operation of the Pentagon’s Special Operations Command (SOCOM) in the US. A top secret Pentagon project code-named Able Danger identified Atta and 3 other 9/11 hijackers as members of an al-Qaida cell more than a year before the attacks.
9/11, Deep State Violence and the Hope of Internet Politics
- by Prof. Peter Dale Scott – 2008-06-11
The unthinkable – that elements inside the state would conspire with criminals to kill innocent civilians – has become thinkable…
Al Qaeda: The Database.
- by Pierre-Henri Bunel – 2011-05-12

PART XI

Propaganda: Creating and Perpetuating the 9/11 Legend

September 11, 2001: The Propaganda Preparation for 9/11: Creating the Osama bin Laden “Legend”
- by Chaim Kupferberg – 2011-09-11
THE 9/11 MYTH: State Propaganda, Historical Revisionism, and the Perpetuation of the 9/11 Myth
- by Prof. James F. Tracy – 2012-05-06
  Al Qaeda and Human Consciousness: Al Qaeda, Al Qaeda…. An Incessant and Repetitive Public Discourse
- by Prof. Michel Chossudovsky – 2012-03-24
9/11 Truth, Inner Consciousness and the “Public Mind”
- by James F. Tracy – 2012-03-18

PART XII

Post 9/11 “Justice”

IRAN ACCUSED OF BEING BEHIND 9/11 ATTACKS.
U.S. Court Judgment, December 2011 (Havlish v. Iran)
- by Julie Lévesque – 2012-05-11
U.S. Court Judgment, December 2011 (Havlish v. Iran)
American Justice”: The Targeted Assassination of Osama Bin Laden
Extrajudicial executions are unlawful
- by Prof. Marjorie Cohn – 2011-05-10
ALLEGED “MASTERMIND” OF 9/11 ON TRIAL IN GUANTANAMO: Military Tribunals proceed Despite Evidence of Torture
- by Tom Carter – 2012-05-30
Self-confessed 9/11 “mastermind” falsely confessed to crimes he didn’t commit
- by Washington’s Blog – 2012-07-15
911 MILITARY TRIAL: Pentagon Clears Way for Military Trial of Five charged in 9/11 Attacks
- by Bill Van Auken – 2012-04-06
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s trial will convict us all
- by Paul Craig Roberts – 2009-11-25

PART XIII

9/11 Truth

Revealing the Lies,  Commemorating the 9/11 Tragedy

VIDEO: Commemorating the 10th Anniversary of 9/11
- by Prof. Michel Chossudovsky – 2011-09-01
VIDEO: AFTER 9/11: TEN YEARS OF WAR
Special GRTV Feature Production
- by James Corbett – 2011-09-08

*   *  *

Read about 9/11 in Michel Chossudovsky’s international best-seller America’s “War on Terrorism”

According to Chossudovsky, the  “war on terrorism” is a complete fabrication based on the illusion that one man, Osama bin Laden, outwitted the $40 billion-a-year American intelligence apparatus. The “war on terrorism” is a war of conquest. Globalisation is the final march to the “New World Order”, dominated by Wall Street and the U.S. military-industrial complex.

Order Directly from Global Research

America's War on Terrorism

Salafism and the CIA: Destabilizing the Russian Federation?

September 14th, 2012 by F. William Engdahl

Part I: Syria comes to the Russian Caucasus

On August 28 Sheikh Said Afandi, acknowledged spiritual leader of the Autonomous Russian Republic of Dagestan, was assassinated. A jihadist female suicide bomber managed to enter his house and detonate an explosive device.

The murder target had been carefully selected. Sheikh Afandi, a seventy-five-year old Sufi Muslim leader, had played the critical role in attempting to bring about reconciliation in Dagestan between jihadist Salafi Sunni Muslims and other factions, many of whom in Dagestan see themselves as followers of Sufi. With no replacement of his moral stature and respect visible, authorities fear possible outbreak of religious war in the tiny Russian autonomous republic.[1]

The police reported that the assassin was an ethnic Russian woman who had converted to Islam and was linked to an Islamic fundamentalist or Salafist insurgency against Russia and regional governments loyal to Moscow in the autonomous republics and across the volatile Muslim-populated North Caucasus region.

Ethnic Muslim populations in this region of Russia and of the former Soviet Union, including Uzbekistan, Kyrgystan and into China’s Xinjiang Province, have been the target of various US and NATO intelligence operations since the Cold War era ended in 1990. Washington sees manipulation of Muslim groups as the vehicle to bring uncontrollable chaos to Russia and Central Asia. It’s being carried out by some of the same organizations engaged in creating chaos and destruction inside Syria against the government of Bashar Al-Assad. In a real sense, as Russian security services clearly understand, if they don’t succeed in stopping the Jihadists insurgency in Syria, it will come home to them via the Caucasus.

The latest Salafist murders of Sufi and other moderate Muslim leaders in the Caucasus are apparently part of what is becoming ever clearer as perhaps the most dangerous US intelligence operation ever—playing globally with Muslim fundamentalism.

Previously US and allied intelligence services had played fast and loose with religious organizations or beliefs in one or another country. What makes the present situation particularly dangerous—notably since the decision in Washington to unleash the misnamed Arab Spring upheavals that began in Tunisia late 2010, spreading like a brushfire across the entire Islamic world from Afghanistan across Central Asia to Morocco—is the incalculable wave upon wave of killing, hatreds, destruction of entire cultures that Washington has unleashed in the name of that elusive dream named “democracy.” They do this using alleged Al-Qaeda groups, Saudi Salafists or Wahhabites, or using disciples of Turkey’s Fethullah Gülen Movement to ignite fires of religious hatred within Islam and against other faiths that could take decades to extinguish. It could easily spill over into a new World War.

Fundamentalism comes to Caucasus

Following the dissolution of the USSR, radical Afghanistani Mujahadeen, Islamists from Saudi Arabia, from Turkey, Pakistan and other Islamic countries flooded into the Muslim regions of the former USSR. One of the best-organized of these was the Gülen Movement of Fethullah Gülen, leader of a global network of Islamic schools and reported to be the major policy influence on Turkey’s Erdogan AKP party.

Gülen was quick to establish The International Dagestani-Turkish College in Dagestan. During the chaotic days after the Soviet collapse, the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation officially registered and permitted unfettered activity for a variety of Islamic foundations and organizations. These included the League of the Islamic World, the World Muslim Youth Assembly, the reportedly Al-Qaeda friendly Saudi foundation ‘Ibrahim ben Abd al-Aziz al-Ibrahim.’ The blacklist also included Al-Haramein a Saudi foundation reported tied to Al-Qaeda, and IHH, [2] a Turkish organization banned in Germany, that allegedly raised funds for jihadi fighters in Bosnia, Chechnya, and Afghanistan, and was charged by French intelligence of ties to Al Qaeda.[3] Many of these charities were covers for fundamentalist Salafists with their own special agenda.

As many of the foreign Islamists in Chechnya and Dagestan were found involved in fomenting the regional unrest and civil war, Russian authorities withdrew permission of most to run schools and institutions. Throughout the North Caucasus at the time of the Chechyn war in the late 1990’s, there were more than two dozen Islamic institutes, some 200 madrassas and numerous maktabas (Koranic study schools) present at almost all mosques.

The International Dagestani-Turkish College was one that was forced to close its doors in Dagestan. The College was run by the Fethullah Gülen organization.[4]

At the point of the Russian crackdown on the spread of Salafist teaching inside Russia at the end of the 1990’s, there was an exodus of hundreds of young Dagestani and Chechyn Muslim students to Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and other places in The Middle east, reportedly to receive training with the Gülen movement and various Saudi-financed organizations, including Salafists. [5] It is believed in Russia that the students trained by Gülen supporters or Saudi and other Salafist fundamentalist centers then were sent back to Dagestan and the North Caucasus to spread their radical strain of Islam.

By 2005 the situation in the Caucasus was so influenced by this Salafist intervention that the Chechen Salafist, Doku Umarov, cited by the UN Security Council for links to Al-Qaeda,[6] unilaterally declared creation of what he called the Caucasus Emirate, announcing he planned to establish an Islamic state under Sharia law encompassing the entire North Caucasus region including Dagestan. He modestly proclaimed himself Emir of the Caucasus Emirate. [7]

*  *  *

WWIII Scenario

*  *  *

 

Part II: Salafism at war with Sufi tradition

Salafism, known in Saudi Arabia as Wahhabism, is a fundamentalist strain of Islam which drew world attention and became notorious in March 2001 just weeks before the attacks of September 11. That was when the Salafist Taliban government in Afghanistan willfully dynamited and destroyed the historic gigantic Buddhas of Bamiyan on the ancient Silk Road, religious statues dating from the 6th Century. The Taliban Salafist leaders also banned as “un-islamic” all forms of imagery, music and sports, including television, in accordance with what they considered a strict interpretation of Sharia.

Afghani sources reported that the order to destroy the Buddhas was made by Saudi-born jihadist Wahhabite, Osama bin Laden, who ultimately convinced Mullah Omar, Taliban supreme leader at the time to execute the act.[8]

Before and…After Salafist Taliban …

While Sufis incorporate the worship of saints and theatrical ceremonial prayers into their practice, Salafis condemn as idolatry any non-traditional forms of worship. They also call for the establishment of Islamic political rule and strict Sharia law. Sufism is home to the great spiritual and musical heritage of Islam, said by Islamic scholars to be the inner, mystical, or psycho-spiritual dimension of Islam, going back centuries.

As one Sufi scholar described the core of Sufism, “While all Muslims believe that they are on the pathway to God and will become close to God in Paradise–after death and the ‘Final Judgment’– Sufis believe as well that it is possible to become close to God and to experience this closeness–while one is alive. Furthermore, the attainment of the knowledge that comes with such intimacy with God, Sufis assert, is the very purpose of the creation. Here they mention the hadith qudsi in which God states, ‘I was a hidden treasure and I loved that I be known, so I created the creation in order to be known.’ Hence for the Sufis there is already a momentum, a continuous attraction on their hearts exerted by God, pulling them, in love, towards God.” [9]

The mystical Islamic current of Sufism and its striving to become close to or one with God is in stark contrast to the Jihadist Salafi or Wahhabi current that is armed with deadly weapons, preaches a false doctrine of jihad, and a perverse sense of martyrdom, committing countless acts of violence. Little wonder that the victims of Salafist Jihads are mostly other pacific forms of Islam including most especially Sufis.

The respected seventy-five year old Afandi had publicly denounced Salafist Islamic fundamentalism. His murder followed a July 19 coordinated attack on two high-ranking muftis in the Russian Volga Republic of Tatarstan. Both victims were state-approved religious leaders who had attacked radical Islam. This latest round of murders opens a new front in the Salafist war against Russia, namely attacks on moderate Sufi Muslim leaders.

Whether or not Dagestan now descends into internal religious civil war that then spreads across the geopolitically sensitive Russian Caucasus is not yet certain. What is almost certain is that the same circles who have been feeding violence and terror inside Syria against the regime of Alawite President Bashar al-Assad are behind the killing of Sheikh Afandi as well as sparking related acts of terror or unrest across Russia’s Muslim-populated Caucasus. In a very real sense it represents Russia’s nightmare scenario of “Syria coming to Russia.” It demonstrates dramatically why Putin has made such a determined effort to stop a descent into a murderous hell in Syria.

Salafism and the CIA

The existence of the so-called jihadist Salafi brand of Islam in Dagestan is quite recent. It has also been deliberately imported. Salafism is sometimes also called the name of the older Saudi-centered Wahhabism. Wahhabism is a minority originally-Bedouin form of the faith originating within Islam, dominant in Saudi Arabia since the 1700’s.

Irfan Al-Alawi and Stephen Schwartz of the Centre for Islamic Pluralism give the following description of Saudi conditions under the rigid Wahhabi brand of Islam:

Women living under Saudi rule must wear the abaya, or total body cloak, and niqab, the face veil; they have limited opportunities for schooling and careers; they are prohibited from driving vehicles; are banned from social contact with men not relatives, and all personal activity must be supervised including opening bank accounts, by a male family member or “guardian.” These Wahhabi rules are enforced by a mutawiyin, or morals militia, also known as “the religious police,” officially designated the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice (CPVPV) who patrol Saudi cities, armed with leather-covered sticks which they freely used against those they considered wayward. They raid homes looking for alcohol and drugs, and harassed non-Wahhabi Muslims as well as believers in other faiths.” [10]

It’s widely reported that the obscenely opulent and morally-perhaps-not-entirely-of- the-highest-standards Saudi Royal Family made a Faustian deal with Wahhabite leaders. The deal supposedly, was that the Wahhabists are free to export their fanatical brand of Islam around to the Islamic populations of the world in return for agreeing to leave the Saudi Royals alone.[11] There are, however, other dark and dirty spoons stirring the Wahhabite-Salafist Saudi stew.

Little known is the fact that the present form of aggressive Saudi Wahhabism, in reality a kind of fusion between imported jihadi Salafists from Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and the fundamentalist Saudi Wahhabites. Leading Salafist members of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood were introduced into the Saudi Kingdom in the 1950’s by the CIA in a complex series of events, when Nasser cracked down on the Muslim Brotherhood following an assassination attempt. By the 1960’s an influx of Egyptian members of the Muslim Brotherhood in Saudi Arabia fleeing Nasserite repression, had filled many of the leading teaching posts in Saudi religious schools. One student there was a young well-to-do Saudi, Osama bin Laden.  [12]

During the Third Reich, Hitler Germany had supported the Muslim Brotherhood as a weapon against the British in Egypt and elsewhere in the Middle East. Marc Erikson describes the Nazi roots of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood thus:

…as Italian and German fascism sought greater stakes in the Middle East in the 1930s and ’40s to counter British and French controlling power, close collaboration between fascist agents and Islamist leaders ensued. During the 1936-39 Arab Revolt, Admiral Wilhelm Canaris, head of German military intelligence, sent agents and money to support the Palestine uprising against the British, as did Muslim Brotherhood founder and “supreme guide” Hassan al-Banna. A key individual in the fascist-Islamist nexus and go-between for the Nazis and al-Banna became the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin el-Husseini.[13]

After the defeat of Germany, British Intelligence moved in to take over control of the Muslim Brotherhood. Ultimately, for financial and other reasons, the British decided to hand their assets within the Muslim Brotherhood over to their CIA colleagues in the 1950s. [14]

According to former US Justice Department Nazi researcher John Loftus,  “during the 1950s, the CIA evacuated the Nazis of the Muslim Brotherhood to Saudi Arabia. Now, when they arrived in Saudi Arabia, some of the leading lights of the Muslim Brotherhood, like Dr Abdullah Azzam, became the teachers in the madrassas, the religious schools. And there they combined the doctrines of Nazism with this weird Islamic cult, Wahhabism.” [15]

“Everyone thinks that Islam is this fanatical religion, but it is not,” Loftus continues. “They think that Islam–the Saudi version of Islam–is typical, but it’s not. The Wahhabi cult has been condemned as a heresy more than 60 times by the Muslim nations. But when the Saudis got wealthy, they bought a lot of silence. This is a very harsh cult. Wahhabism was only practised by the Taliban and in Saudi Arabia–that’s how extreme it is. It really has nothing to do with Islam. Islam is a very peaceful and tolerant religion. It always had good relationships with the Jews for the first thousand years of its existence.” [16]

Loftus identified the significance of what today is emerging from the shadows to take over Egypt under Muslim Brotherhood President Morsi, and the so-called Syrian National Council, dominated in reality by the Muslim Brotherhood and publicly led by the more “politically correct” or presentable likes of Bassma Kodmani. Kodmani, foreign affairs spokesman for the SNC was twice an invited guest at the Bilderberg elite gathering, latest in Chantilly, Virginia earlier this year.[17]

The most bizarre and alarming feature of the US-financed  regime changes set into motion in 2010, which have led to the destruction of the secular Arab regime of Hosni Mubarak in Egypt and Muhammar Qaddafi in Libya, and the secular regime of President Ben Ali in Tunisia, and which have wreaked savage destruction across the Middle East, especially in the past eighteen months in Syria, is the pattern of emerging power grabs by representatives of the murky Salafist Muslim Brotherhood.

By informed accounts, a Saudi-financed Sunni Islamic Muslim Brotherhood dominates the members of the exile Syrian National Council that is backed by the US State Department’s Secretary Clinton and by Hollande’s France. The Syrian Muslim Brotherhood is tied, not surprisingly to the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood of President Mohammed Morsi who recently in a meeting of the Non-Aligned in Iran called openly for the removal of Syria’s Assad, a logical step if his Muslim Brothers in the present Syrian National Council are to take the reins of power. The Saudis are also rumored to have financed the ascent to power in Tunisia of the governing Islamist Ennahda Party,[18] and are documented to be financing the Muslim Brotherhood-dominated Syrian National Council against President Bashar al-Assad. [19]

Part III: Morsi’s Reign of Salafi Terror

Indicative of the true agenda of this Muslim Brotherhood and related jihadists today is the fact that once they have power, they drop the veil of moderation and reconciliation and reveal their violently intolerant roots. This is visible in Egypt today under Muslim Brotherhood President Mohammed Morsi.

Unreported in mainstream Western media to date are alarming direct reports from Christian missionary organizations in Egypt that Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood has already begun to drop the veil of “moderation and conciliation” and show its brutal totalitarian Salafist colors, much as Khomeini’s radical Sharia forces did in Iran after taking control in 1979-81.

In a letter distributed by the Christian Aid Mission (CAM), a Christian Egyptian missionary wrote that Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood “announced they would destroy the country if Morsi didn’t win, but they also said they will take revenge from all those who voted for [his opponent Ahmed] Shafiq, especially the Christians as they are sure we did vote for Shafiq. Yesterday they began by killing two believers in el Sharqiya because of this,” the missionary added, speaking on condition of anonymity.[20]

This report came only weeks after Egyptian State TV (under Morsi’s control) showed ghastly video footage of a convert from Islam to Christianity being murdered by Muslims. The footage showed a young man being held down by masked men with a knife to his throat. As one man was heard chanting Muslim prayers in Arabic, mostly condemning Christianity, another man holding the knife to the Christian convert’s throat began to cut, slowly severing the head amid cries of “Allahu Akbar” (“Allah is great”), according to transcripts. In the letter, the Egyptian missionary leader added that, “soon after Morsi won, Christians in upper Egypt were forcibly prevented from going to churches.” Many Muslims, the letter claimed, “also began to speak to women in the streets that they had to wear Islamic clothing including the head covering. They act as if they got the country for their own, it’s theirs now.” [21]

Already in 2011 Morsi’s Salafist followers began attacking and destroying Sufi mosques across Egypt. According to the authoritative newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm (Today’s Egyptian), 16 historic mosques in Alexandria belonging to Sufi orders have been marked for destruction by so-called ‘Salafis’. Alexandria has 40 mosques associated with Sufis, and is the headquarters for 36 Sufi groups. Half a million Sufis live in the city, out of a municipal total of four million people. Aggression against the Sufis in Egypt has included a raid on Alexandria’s most distinguished mosque, named for, and housing, the tomb of the 13th century Sufi Al-Mursi Abu’l Abbas.[22]

Notably, the so-called “democratically elected” regime in Libya following the toppling of Mohamar Qaddafi by NATO bombs in 2011, has also been zealous in destroying Sufi mosques and places of worhip. In August this year, UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova expressed “grave concern” at the destruction by Islamic Jihadists of Sufi sites in Zliten, Misrata and Tripoli and urged perpetrators to “cease the destruction immediately.” [23] Under behind-the-scenes machinations the Libyan government is dominated by Jihadists and by followers of the Muslim Brotherhood, as in Tunisia and Egypt. [24]

The explosive cocktail of violence inherent in allowing the rise to power of Salafist Islamists across the Middle East was clear to see, symbolically enough on the night of September 11,th when a mob of angry supporters of the fanatical Salafist group, Ansar Al-Sharia, murdered the US Ambassador to Libya and three US diplomats, burning the US Consulate in Bengazi to the ground in protest over a YouTube release of a film by an American filmmaker showing the Prophet Mohammed indulging in multiple sex affairs and casting doubt on his role as God’s messenger. Ironically that US Ambassador had played a key role in toppling Qaddafi and opening the door to the Salafist takeover in Libya. At the same time angry mobs of thousands of Salafists surrounded the US Embassy in Cairo in protest to the US film. [25]

Ansar Al-Sharia (“Partisans of Islamic law” in Arabic) reportedly is a spinoff of Al-Qaeda and claims organizations across the Middle East from Yemen to Tunisia to Iraq, Egypt and Libya. Ansar al-Sharia says it is reproducing the model of Sharia or strict Islamic law espoused by the Taliban in Afghanistan and the Islamic State of Iraq, a militant umbrella group that includes al-Qaeda in Iraq. The core of the group are jihadists who came out of an “Islamic state”, either in Afghanistan in the mid-1990s, or among jihadists in Iraq after the US-led invasion in 2003.[26]

The deliberate detonation now of a new round of Salafist fundamentalist Jihad terror inside Muslim regions of the Russian Caucasus is exquisitely timed politically to put maximum pressure at home on the government of Russia’s Vladimir Putin.

Putin and the Russian Government are the strongest and most essential backer of the current Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad, and for Russia as well the maintenance of Russia’s only Mediterranean naval base at Syria’s Tartus port is vital strategically. At the same time, Obama’s sly message to Medvedev to wait until Obama’s re-election to evaluate US intent towards Russia and Putin’s cryptic recent comment that a compromise with a re-elected President Obama might be possible, but not with a President Romney, [27] indicate that the Washington “stick-and-carrot” or hard cop-soft cop tactics with Moscow might tempt Russia to sacrifice major geopolitical alliances, perhaps even that special close and recent geopolitical alliance with China.[28] Were that to happen, the World might witness a “reset” in US-Russian relations with catastrophic consequences for world peace.

F. William Engdahl*  is the author of Full Spectrum Dominance: Totalitarian Democracy in the New World Order

Notes:

[1] Dan Peleschuk, Sheikh Murdered Over Religious Split Say Analysts, RIA Novosti, August 30, 2012, accessed in

http://en.rian.ru/russia/20120830/175517955.html.

[2] Mairbek  Vatchagaev, The Kremlin’s War on Islamic Education in the North Caucasus, North Caucasus Analysis Volume: 7 Issue: 34, accessed in http://www.jamestown.org/single/?no_cache=1&tx_ttnews[tt_news]=3334

[3] Iason Athanasiadis, Targeted by Israeli raid: Who is the IHH?, The Christian Science Monitor, June 1, 2010, accessed in http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Middle-East/2010/0601/Targeted-by-Israeli-raid-Who-is-the-IHH.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Mairbek Vatchagaev, op. cit.

[6] UN Security Council, QI.U.290.11. DOKU KHAMATOVICH UMAROV, 10 March 2011, accessed in http://www.un.org/sc/committees/1267/NSQI29011E.shtml. The UN statement reads: “Doku Khamatovich Umarov was listed on 10 March 2011 pursuant to paragraph 2 of resolution 1904 (2009) as being associated with Al-Qaida, Usama bin Laden or the Taliban for “participating in the financing, planning, facilitating, preparing, or perpetrating of acts or activities by, in conjunction with, under the name of, on behalf of, or in support of”, “recruiting for”, “supplying, selling or transferring arms and related materiel to” and “otherwise supporting acts or activities of” the Islamic Jihad Group (QE.I.119.05), the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (QE.I.10.01), Riyadus-Salikhin Reconnaissance and Sabotage Battalion of Chechen Martyrs (RSRSBCM) (QE.R.100.03) and Emarat Kavkaz (QE.E.131.11).”

[7] Tom Jones, Czech NGO rejects Russian reports of link to alleged Islamist terrorists al-Qaeda, May 10, 2011, accessed in http://www.ceskapozice.cz/en/news/society/czech-ngo-rejects-russian-reports-link-alleged-islamist-terrorists-al-qaeda?utm_source=tw&utm_medium=enprofil&utm_campaign=twennews.

[8] The Times of India, Laden ordered Bamyan Buddha destruction, The Times of India, March 28, 2006.

[9] Dr. Alan Godlas, Sufism — Sufis — Sufi Orders:

[10] Irfan Al-Alawi and Stephen Schwartz, Wahhabi Internal Contradictions as Saudi Arabia Seeks Wider Gulf Leadership, Center for Islamic Pluralism, May 21, 2012, accessed in http://www.islamicpluralism.org/2040/wahhabi-internal-contradictions-as-saudi-arabia

[11] Irfan Al-Alawi and Stephen Schwartz, Wahhabi Internal Contradictions as Saudi Arabia Seeks Wider Gulf Leadership, May 21, 2012, accessed in http://www.islamicpluralism.org/2040/wahhabi-internal-contradictions-as-saudi-arabia.

[12] Robert Duncan, Islamic Terrorisms Links to Nazi Fascism, AINA, July 5, 2007, accessed in http://www.aina.org/news/2007070595517.htm.

[13] Marc Erikson, Islamism, fascism and terrorism (Part 2), AsiaTimes.Online, November 8, 2002, accessed in http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/DK08Ak03.html.

[14] Ibid.

[15] John Loftus, The Muslim Brotherhood, Nazis and Al-Qaeda,  Jewish Community News, October 11, 2006, accessed in http://www.canadafreepress.com/2006/loftus101106.htm

[16] Ibid.

[17] Charlie Skelton, The Syrian opposition: who’s doing the talking?: The media have been too passive when it comes to Syrian opposition sources, without scrutinising their backgrounds and their political connections. Time for a closer look …, London Guardian, 12 July 2012, accessed in http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jul/12/syrian-opposition-doing-the-talking.

[18] Aidan Lewis, Profile: Tunisia’s Ennahda Party, BBC News, 25 October 2011, accessed in http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-15442859.

[19] Hassan Hassan, Syrians are torn between a despotic regime and a stagnant opposition: The Muslim Brotherhood’s perceived monopoly over the Syrian National Council has created an opposition stalemate, The Guardian, UK, 23 August, 2012, accessed in http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/aug/23/syrians-torn-despotic-regime-stagnant-opposition.

[20] Stefan J. Bos, Egypt Christians Killed After Election of Morsi, Bosnewslife, June 30, 2012, accessed in http://www.bosnewslife.com/22304-egypt-christians-killed-after-election-morsi.

[21] Ibid.

[22] Irfan Al-Alawi, Egyptian Muslim Fundamentalists Attack Sufis, Guardian Online [London],

April 11, 2011, accessed in http://www.islamicpluralism.org/1770/egyptian-Muslim-fundamentalists-attack-sufis

[23] Yafiah Katherine Randall, UNESCO urges Libya to stop destruction of Sufi sites, August 31, 2012, Sufi News and Sufism World Report, accessed in http://sufinews.blogspot.de/.

[24] Jamie Dettmer, Libya elections: Muslim Brotherhood set to lead government, 5 July, 2012, The Telegraph, London, accessed in http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/libya/9379022/Libya-elections-Muslim-Brotherhood-set-to-lead-government.html.

[25] Luke Harding, Chris Stephen, Chris Stevens, US ambassador to Libya, killed in Benghazi attack: Ambassador and three other American embassy staff killed after Islamist militants fired rockets at their car, say Libyan officials, London Guardian, 12 September 2012, accessed in http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/sep/12/chris-stevens-us-ambassador-libya-killed.

[26] Murad Batal al-Shishani, Profile: Ansar al-Sharia in Yemen, 8 March 2012, accessed in  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-17402856.

[27] David M. Herszenhorn, Putin Says Missile Deal Is More Likely With Obama, The New York Times, September 6, 2012, accessed in http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/07/world/europe/putin-calls-missile-deal-more-likely-if-obama-wins.html. According to an interview Putin gave on Moscow’s state-owned RT TV, Herszenhorn reports, “Mr. Putin said he believed that if Mr. Obama is re-elected in November, a compromise could be reached on the contentious issue of American plans for a missile defense system in Europe, which Russia has strongly opposed. On the other hand, Mr. Putin said, if Mr. Romney becomes president, Moscow’s fears about the missile system — that it is, despite American assurances, actually directed against Russia — would almost certainly prove true.

“Is it possible to find a solution to the problem, if current President Obama is re-elected for a second term? Theoretically, yes,” Mr. Putin said, according to the official transcript posted on the Kremlin’s Web site. “But this isn’t just about President Obama. “For all I know, his desire to work out a solution is quite sincere,” Mr. Putin continued. “I met him recently on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Los Cabos, Mexico, where we had a chance to talk. And though we talked mostly about Syria, I could still take stock of my counterpart. My feeling is that he is a very honest man, and that he sincerely wants to make many good changes. But can he do it? Will they let him do it?”

[28] M.K. Bhadrakumar, Calling the China-Russia split isn’t heresy, Asia Times,  September 5, 2012, accessed in http://www.atimes.com/atimes/China/NI05Ad01.html.

 

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December 30th, 2012 by Global Research News

A deluge of articles have been quickly put into circulation defending France’s military intervention in the African nation of Mali. TIME’s article, “The Crisis in Mali: Will French Intervention Stop the Islamist Advance?” decides that old tricks are the best tricks, and elects the tiresome “War on Terror” narrative.TIME claims the intervention seeks to stop “Islamist” terrorists from overrunning both Africa and all of Europe. Specifically, the article states:

“…there is a (probably well-founded) fear in France that a radical Islamist Mali threatens France most of all, since most of the Islamists are French speakers and many have relatives in France. (Intelligence sources in Paris have told TIME that they’ve identified aspiring jihadis leaving France for northern Mali to train and fight.) Al-Qaeda in Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), one of the three groups that make up the Malian Islamist alliance and which provides much of the leadership, has also designated France — the representative of Western power in the region — as a prime target for attack.”

What TIME elects not to tell readers is that Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) is closely allied to the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG whom France intervened on behalf of during NATO’s 2011 proxy-invasion of Libya – providing weapons, training, special forces and even aircraft to support them in the overthrow of Libya’s government.

As far back as August of 2011, Bruce Riedel out of the corporate-financier funded think-tank, the Brookings Institution, wrote “Algeria will be next to fall,” where he gleefully predicted success in Libya would embolden radical elements in Algeria, in particular AQIM. Between extremist violence and the prospect of French airstrikes, Riedel hoped to see the fall of the Algerian government. Ironically Riedel noted:

Algeria has expressed particular concern that the unrest in Libya could lead to the development of a major safe haven and sanctuary for al-Qaeda and other extremist jihadis.

And thanks to NATO, that is exactly what Libya has become – a Western sponsored sanctuary for Al-Qaeda. AQIM’s headway in northern Mali and now French involvement will see the conflict inevitably spill over into Algeria. It should be noted that Riedel is a co-author of “Which Path to Persia?” which openly conspires to arm yet another US State Department-listed terrorist organization (list as #28), the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK) to wreak havoc across Iran and help collapse the government there – illustrating a pattern of using clearly terroristic organizations, even those listed as so by the US State Department, to carry out US foreign policy.Geopolitical analyst Pepe Escobar noted a more direct connection between LIFG and AQIM in an Asia Times piece titled, “How al-Qaeda got to rule in Tripoli:”

“Crucially, still in 2007, then al-Qaeda’s number two, Zawahiri, officially announced the merger between the LIFG and al-Qaeda in the Islamic Mahgreb (AQIM). So, for all practical purposes, since then, LIFG/AQIM have been one and the same – and Belhaj was/is its emir. “

“Belhaj,” referring to Hakim Abdul Belhaj, leader of LIFG in Libya, led with NATO support, arms, funding, and diplomatic recognition, the overthrowing of Muammar Qaddafi and has now plunged the nation into unending racist and tribal, genocidal infighting. This intervention has also seen the rebellion’s epicenter of Benghazi peeling off from Tripoli as a semi-autonomous “Terror-Emirate.” Belhaj’s latest campaign has shifted to Syria where he was admittedly on the Turkish-Syrian border pledging weapons, money, and fighters to the so-called “Free Syrian Army,” again, under the auspices of NATO support.

Image: NATO’s intervention in Libya has resurrected listed-terrorist organization and Al Qaeda affiliate, LIFG. It had previously fought in Iraq and Afghanistan, and now has fighters, cash and weapons, all courtesy of NATO, spreading as far west as Mali, and as far east as Syria. The feared “global Caliphate” Neo-Cons have been scaring Western children with for a decade is now taking shape via US-Saudi, Israeli, and Qatari machinations, not “Islam.” In fact, real Muslims have paid the highest price in fighting this real “war against Western-funded terrorism.”

….

LIFG, which with French arms, cash, and diplomatic support, is now invading northern Syria on behalf of NATO’s attempted regime change there, officially merged with Al Qaeda in 2007 according to the US Army’s West Point Combating Terrorism Center (CTC). According to the CTC, AQIM and LIFG share not only ideological goals, but strategic and even tactical objectives. The weapons LIFG received most certainly made their way into the hands of AQIM on their way through the porous borders of the Sahara Desert and into northern Mali.

In fact, ABC News reported in their article, “Al Qaeda Terror Group: We ‘Benefit From’ Libyan Weapons,” that:

A leading member of an al Qaeda-affiliated terror group indicated the organization may have acquired some of the thousands of powerful weapons that went missing in the chaos of the Libyan uprising, stoking long-held fears of Western officials.”We have been one of the main beneficiaries of the revolutions in the Arab world,” Mokhtar Belmokhtar, a leader of the north Africa-based al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb [AQIM], told the Mauritanian news agency ANI Wednesday. “As for our benefiting from the [Libyan] weapons, this is a natural thing in these kinds of circumstances.”

It is no coincidence that as the Libyan conflict was drawing to a conclusion, conflict erupted in northern Mali. It is part of a premeditated geopolitical reordering that began with toppling Libya, and since then, using it as a springboard for invading other targeted nations, including Mali, Algeria, and Syria with heavily armed, NATO-funded and aided terrorists.

French involvement may drive AQIM and its affiliates out of northern Mali, but they are almost sure to end up in Algeria, most likely by design.

Algeria was able to balk subversion during the early phases of the US-engineered “Arab Spring” in 2011, but it surely has not escaped the attention of the West who is in the midst of transforming a region stretching from Africa to Beijing and Moscow’s doorsteps – and in a fit of geopolitical schizophrenia – using terrorists both as a casus belli to invade and as an inexhaustible mercenary force to do it.

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On Wednesday night the crisis in the Ukraine became deadly, with 3 anti-coup rebels killed by National Guards in the Black Sea port city of Mariupol. The next day, in Geneva, the USA, Russia, EU and Ukraine reached an ‘agreement’ after just a few hours of negotiations. 

The text starts as follows:

“All sides must refrain from any violence, intimidation or provocative actions. The participants strongly condemned and rejected all expressions of extremism, racism and religious intolerance, including anti-Semitism.” Full text

How can the coup government keep a straight face and add its signature to this statement?

This is a regime that placed a fascist in charge of National Security. After the coup Andriy Parubiy was appointed secretary (the operational head) of the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine. Between 1998-2004 he was the leader of the Patriots of Ukraine, the paramilitary wing of what would go on to become the Svoboda party. In 2012, the British Sun newspaper exposed this groups involvement in training football hooligans. The group was offloaded by Svoboda in 2004 as part of the ‘Orange Revolution’ revamp of the Ukrainian fascist movement. This is a classic ruse by neo-nazi and fascist groups when they garner sufficient support to hold out the possibility of some form of power. The hair is grown out, the football hooligan element pushed to one side, the rhetoric and symbolism is ‘refreshed’ and ‘updated’ to reflect the new found ‘respectability’ of the movement. Prior to 2004, Svoboda was an out and out neo-nazi group – called the ‘Social National Party’. It had a modified ‘runic symbol’ as its party logo, restricted membership to ethnic Ukrainians, and actively recruited football hooligans and skinheads.

The current operational head of Ukrainian National Security was the co-founder of this nazi party and the leader of its paramilitary wing. It has three members in the government. If the government was serious about the Geneva agreement it would kick out the fascists. The reason it hasn’t is because they are a critical part of the regime’s support base.

The Geneva Text continues:

“All illegal armed groups must be disarmed; all illegally seized buildings must be returned to legitimate owners; all illegally occupied streets, squares and other public places in Ukrainian cities and towns must be vacated.

Amnesty will be granted to protestors and to those who have left buildings and other public places and surrendered weapons, with the exception of those found guilty of capital crimes.

It was agreed that the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission should play a leading role in assisting Ukrainian authorities and local communities in the immediate implementation of these de-escalation measures wherever they are needed most, beginning in the coming days. The U.S., E.U. and Russia commit to support this mission, including by providing monitors.”

The intention here is to disarm the Eastern rebels – the supposedly Russian ‘terrorists’ and ‘special forces’ that carried out a series of occupations and raids last week in South Eastern Ukraine. Three of these rebels were killed in an attack on the National Guard base in the Black Sea port city of Mariupol the night before the Geneva talks. AP reported that 63 of the rebels were detained and that 38 were later released. At time of writing this article, it is unknown how many of the remaining 25 are ‘Russian special forces’. The only rebel named in the AP report was identified as a ’40 year old business man from Donetsk’

(http://m.apnews.com/ap/db_306481/contentdetail.htm?contentguid=PrQIkBmS)

But what about the Maidan activists? What about the many organised groups of armed nationalists and fascists who took to the street, fought the Berkut and pushed the Yanukovych regime out – despite the February 21st agreement that had been signed by all the main opposition parties? Will they be disarmed? Probably not, because they are <em>being co-opted into the de jure legal coercive apparatus of the Ukrainian State.

On Tuesday last week, as the military offensive against the Eastern rebellion took shape, Andriy Parubiy, the fascist that the neo-liberal Yatsenyuk regime chose to do its dirty work, declared on Twitter:

“Reserve unit of National Guard formed #Maidan Self-defense volunteers was sent to the front line this morning.”

A revamped Ukrainian National Guard was announced in mid-March, and as commentators observed at the time, and Parubiy’s tweet confirms, this was essentially a move to incorporate the Maidan activists into the security/military structures of the State.

In addition, as recently as last Monday, Interior Minister Avakov announced the creation of special police divisions to preserve public order. Up to 12,000 members are to be recruited. How many of these will be Russian speakers from the East who are opposed to the coup regime? ( http://rt.com/news/ukraine-bounty-payouts-protesters-156/)

It is the anti-regime groups that are to be disarmed. The Maidan pro-regime groups are to be given uniforms.

The text then states:

“The announced constitutional process will be inclusive, transparent and accountable. It will include the immediate establishment of a broad national dialogue, with outreach to all of Ukraine’s regions and political constituencies, and allow for the consideration of public comments and proposed amendments.”

This is the section of the agreement that supposedly speaks to the demand of the Russians and the rebels for greater autonomy from Kiev.

According to the BBC report (http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-27072351):

“Russia has pushed for federalization of Ukraine – giving the country’s regions more power outside the central government, with the apparent aim of keeping the heavily Russian-speaking eastern regions within Moscow’s sphere of influence. Although the talks’ final document doesn’t specify federalization, it does speak of a “constitutional process (that) will be inclusive, transparent and accountable,” effectively meaning that federalization will remain a top issue.”

In fact the agreements wording is so general it is difficult to see how it could have any impact at all on federalisation.

The federalisation issue is simple – who decides? Does the whole of Ukraine decide whether any part of the Ukraine can have devolved powers, or does just the region in question decide? For example, does the Donbas region decide on whether it wants devolved powers, or does the whole of the Ukraine have to decide first whether the Donbas region has a right to even decide for itself. The regime has been framing the federal issue in terms of the latter approach. The agreement will have no impact on the resolution of this issue. The wording is extremely general and consistent with a number of conflicting approaches. It is designed to defuse the situation – not solve the problem.

In the meantime, in Brussels this week, NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen stated that the imperialist bloc would increase its presence in Eastern Europe, flying more sorties over the Baltic region and deploying allied warships to the Baltic and Eastern Mediterranean. General Philip Breedlove, NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander, raised the possibility of more ground forces at some stage.

The Geneva agreement changes nothing. The USA/EU/NATO will not accept any resolution of the Ukraine crisis that does not include the Ukraine being integrated into the USA/EU/NATO geopolitical space. They have been working for this outcome for 20 years, have spent $5 billion on it, and have caused a regional crisis with possible global implications in order to achieve it.

 They are determined they will not walk away empty handed.

Lionel Reynolds is an independent analyst and maintains the www.dispatchesfromempire.com blog.

 

Overland Park, a city of fewer than 200,000 in the heartland of the U.S. just south of Kansas City, is an unlikely setting for a terrorist attack. But on April 13, Frazier Glenn Cross, aka Frazier Glenn Miller, brought terror to Overland Park. With the intention to “kill him some Jews,” Miller, former Grand Dragon of the Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, and FBI informant showed up with weapons in hand at a Jewish community center and a retirement home and murdered three Christians whom he mistook as Jewish.

 While the authorities needed “more investigation” regarding Miller’s motive, the national media made the obvious connection characterizing the attack as a hate crime. But neither the media nor the authorities dared to call it what it was – a terrorist attack.

 For Miller, there was no ambiguity. Shouting “Heil Hitler” from the back of a police car, his intentions, and motivations were made clear. His was a political act with a political meaning that at its core was meant to not just intimidate, but terrorize a whole community. Strangely, however, when it comes to acts carried out by the racist, radical right, the media and state authorities seem loath to characterize them as acts of terror. The reluctance to identify the domestic terrorist threat from the radical right is also seen in the U.S. Congress.

In 2009, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a report on the growing threat of white supremacist extremist groups and their close connections with military personnel. The DHS report was based on data and analysis from an FBI report prepared under the Bush Administration in July of 2008 titled “White Supremacist Recruitment of Military Personnel since 9/11.” In that report, the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division found that white supremacist organizations were pushing their followers to join the military and enter either the Special Forces or the infantry, in order to gain the necessary skills to prepare them for the “coming race war.” As a result, the report found that:

“…military experience is found throughout the white supremacist extremist movement as the result of recruitment campaigns by extremist groups and self-recruitment by veterans sympathetic to white supremacist causes.”

And what was the response from Congress? Incredibly, the right wing in Congress alleged that the report was a partisan attack on them and as a consequence were able to have the report rescinded and wiped away from the DHS website – and out of the public’s awareness.

Burying the DHS report did not result in the elimination of the very real threat posed by the more violent wing of the radical right, a threat being played out by extremist forces throughout Europe, as well as the U.S.

The attack launched by F. Glen Miller should not have been unexpected. This individual has been around, and on law enforcement radar, for quite some time. He was at the infamous Klan attack in Greensboro, North Carolina in 1979 that resulted in the deaths of five anti-racist activists and has a long history with some of the most dangerous right-wing elements in the U.S.

 The real question that a reasonable person might ask and that the media and certainly state authorities would want to answer is, how many more of these individuals might be out there? And there are other questions – why is it that national state authorities fail to characterize acts like the Kansas shootings as domestic terrorism, and does that failure represent a conceptual inability to “see” the threat of radicalized white supremacists or a cynical political decision to downplay the existence of domestic terrorists?

 The rise of the racist, radical right is not a figment of the imagination, or a partisan political attack. When they show up at anti-Obama rallies with guns in hand or when they attack Jewish schools or gun down African Americans while wearing the uniforms of the police, all of us must recognize the very real threat that we face today in this period of intense anger, scapegoating, confusion and manipulation.

We all have a stake in the defeat of white supremacy in all of its expressions. If we fail to engage in the hard struggle to strip away the pretenses of whiteness and its distorted worldview, and prepare people for the ultimate reality that they are going to have to give up most of the privileges of being white and living at the center of the empire, the crazed terror attack carried out by the neo-Nazi in Kansas will be only a harbinger of what is to come.

Ajamu Baraka is a human rights activist and organizer. Baraka serves as Public Intervenor for Human Rights on the Democracy Branch of the Green Shadow Cabinet and is an editor and contributing columnist for the Black Agenda Report. He can be reached atwww.AjamuBaraka.com

World events permitting, I am going to take a few days off.

Many of you write to me asking for financial advice or for explanations of the pros and cons of different investments. I don’t give financial advice and cannot answer such a large number of individual inquiries.  However, I can call to your attention two books that provide different views from those available in the financial media. The Aftershock Investor by David Wiedemer, Robert A. Wiedemer, and Cindy S. Spitzer (John Wiley & Sons, 2014) explains the vulnerabilities of each kind of investment. The Money Bubble by James Turk and John Rubino (DollarCollapse Press, 2013) explains the possible consequences of the current economic policies. Both books are directed at a general audience and are readable.
As I have reported on several occasions, the US government pays foreign rulers to do Washington’s bidding. There is no such thing as an independent government in the UK, Europe or Japan. On top of all the other evidence, it has now come to light that the US Agency for International Development has a large slush fund “where millions are paid to political figures in foreign countries.” http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article38253.htm
If you have four hours, watch President Putin’s amazing open press conference with the Russia people and then try to imagine an American or European leader capable of such a feat. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article38254.htm  The Russians have a real leader. We have two-bit punks.
The Los Angeles Times has acquired its own Judith Miller. His name is Sergei L. Loiko.  An incompetent Obama regime has botched its takeover of Ukraine with its Kiev coup. The White House Fool is embarrassed that so many Ukrainians prefer to be part of Russia than part of Washington’s stooge “freedom and democracy” government in Kiev.  The prostitute American and European media have thrown the propaganda into overdrive, demonizing Russia and President Putin, in order to cover up Washington’s blunder.
The latest deception cooked up by Washington or by the anti-semitic neo-nazi Right Sector in western Ukraine consists of leaflets falsely issued under the name of one of the leaders of Russian secessionists in eastern Ukraine. The leaflet calls for Jews to sign a registration and list their property.  However, no such registration office exists. Washington’s ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt who assisted Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland in orchestrating the overthrow of the elected Ukrainian government and installing Washington’s stooges, declared the leaflets to be “the real deal.”  But the Jewish community is suspicious and has issued a statement that the leaflet “smells like a provocation.” Jewish residents of the Russian territories that Soviet leaders added to the Ukraine Soviet Republic say that anti-semitism has not been a feature of their lives in the Russian speaking areas. http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2014/04/17/jews-ordered-to-register-in-east-ukraine/7816951/   See also:
Washington and the prostitute media are purveyors of misinformation. Remember, Washington and its media prostitutes told you that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and was a threat to America. Washington and its media prostitutes told you that Syria’s President Assad used chemical weapons against his own people. Washington and its media prostitutes told you that “we are not spying on you.” Remember, the New York Times sat on the first leak from a top NSA official that Americans were being illegally spied upon for one year until George W. Bush was safely reelected.  
A government that relies on propaganda cannot be believed about anything. Americans misinformed by a prostitute media are in no position to protect the US Constitution and their liberty. Misinformed, they become tyranny’s allies and their own worst enemy.  

 

After an argument about a leave denied, Specialist Ivan Lopez pulled out a .45-caliber Smith & Wesson handgun and began a shooting spree at Fort Hood, America’s biggest stateside base, that left three soldiers dead and 16 wounded.  When he did so, he also pulled America’s fading wars out of the closet.  This time, a Fort Hood mass killing, the second in four and a half years, was committed by a man who was neither a religious nor a political “extremist.”  He seems to have been merely one of America’s injured and troubled veterans who now number in the hundreds of thousands.

Some 2.6 million men and women have been dispatched, often repeatedly, to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and according to a recent survey of veterans of those wars conducted by the Washington Post and the Kaiser Family Foundation, nearly one-third say that their mental health is worse than it was before they left, and nearly half say the same of their physical condition.  Almost half say they give way to sudden outbursts of anger.  Only 12% of the surveyed veterans claim they are now “better” mentally or physically than they were before they went to war.

The media coverage that followed Lopez’s rampage was, of course, 24/7 and there was much discussion of PTSD, the all-purpose (if little understood) label now used to explain just about anything unpleasant that happens to or is caused by current or former military men and women. Amid the barrage of coverage, however, something was missing: evidence that has been in plain sight for years of how the violence of America’s distant wars comes back to haunt the “homeland” as the troops return.  In that context, Lopez’s killings, while on a scale not often matched, are one more marker on a bloody trail of death that leads from Iraq and Afghanistan into the American heartland, to bases and backyards nationwide.  It’s a story with a body count that should not be ignored.

War Comes Home

During the last 12 years, many veterans who had grown “worse” while at war could be found on and around bases here at home, waiting to be deployed again, and sometimes doing serious damage to themselves and others.  The organization Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) has campaigned for years for a soldier’s “right to heal” between deployments.  Next month it will release its own report on a common practice at Fort Hood of sending damaged and heavily medicated soldiers back to combat zones against both doctors’ orders and official base regulations. Such soldiers can’t be expected to survive in great shape.

Immediately after the Lopez rampage, President Obama spoke of those soldiers who have served multiple tours in the wars and “need to feel safe” on their home base. But what the president called “that sense of safety… broken once again” at Fort Hood has, in fact, already been shattered again and again on bases and in towns across post-9/11 America — ever since misused, misled, and mistreated soldiers began bringing war home with them.

Since 2002, soldiers and veterans have been committing murder individually and in groups, killing wives, girlfriends, children, fellow soldiers, friends, acquaintances, complete strangers, and — in appalling numbers — themselves. Most of these killings haven’t been on a mass scale, but they add up, even if no one is doing the math.  To date, they have never been fully counted.

The first veterans of the war in Afghanistan returned to Fort Bragg, North Carolina, in 2002.  In quick succession, four of them murdered their wives, after which three of the killers took their own lives. When a New York Times reporter asked a Special Forces officer to comment on these events, he replied: “S.F.’s don’t like to talk about emotional stuff.  We are Type A people who just blow things like that off, like yesterday’s news.”

Indeed, much of the media and much of the country has done just that.  While individual murders committed by “our nation’s heroes” on the “home front” have been reported by media close to the scene, most such killings never make the national news, and many become invisible even locally when reported only as routine murders with no mention of the apparently insignificant fact that the killer was a veteran.  Only when these crimes cluster around a military base do diligent local reporters seem to put the pieces of the bigger picture together.

By 2005, Fort Bragg had already counted its tenth such “domestic violence” fatality, while on the West coast, the Seattle Weekly had tallied the death toll among active-duty troops and veterans in western Washington state at seven homicides and three suicides.  “Five wives, a girlfriend, and one child were slain; four other children lost one or both parents to death or imprisonment. Three servicemen committed suicide — two of them after killing their wife or girlfriend.  Four soldiers were sent to prison.  One awaited trial.”

In January 2008, the New York Times tried for the first time to tally a nationwide count of such crimes.  It found “121 cases in which veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan committed a killing in this country, or were charged with one, after their return from war.” It listed headlines drawn from smaller local newspapers:  Lakewood, Washington, “Family Blames Iraq After Son Kills Wife”; Pierre, South Dakota, “Soldier Charged With Murder Testifies About Postwar Stress”; Colorado Springs, Colorado, “Iraq War Vets Suspected in Two Slayings, Crime Ring.”

The Times found that about a third of the murder victims were wives, girlfriends, children, or other relatives of the killer, but significantly, a quarter of the victims were fellow soldiers.  The rest were acquaintances or strangers.  At that time, three quarters of the homicidal soldiers were still in the military.  The number of killings then represented a nearly 90% increase in homicides committed by active duty personnel and veterans in the six years since the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001.  Yet after tracing this “cross-country trail of death and heartbreak,” the Times noted that its research had probably uncovered only “the minimum number of such cases.”  One month later, it found “more than 150 cases of fatal domestic violence or [fatal] child abuse in the United States involving service members and new veterans.”

More cases were already on the way. After the Fourth Brigade Combat team of Fort Carson, Colorado, returned from Iraq later in 2008, nine of its members were charged with homicide, while “charges of domestic violence, rape, and sexual assault” at the base rose sharply. Three of the murder victims were wives or girlfriends; four were fellow soldiers (all men); and two were strangers, chosen at random.

Back at Fort Bragg and the nearby Marine base at Camp Lejeune, military men murdered four military women in a nine-month span between December 2007 and September 2008.  By that time, retired Army Colonel Ann Wright had identified at least 15 highly suspicious deaths of women soldiers in the war zones that had been officially termed “non-combat related” or “suicide.” She raised a question that has never been answered: “Is there an Army cover-up of rape and murder of women soldiers?”  The murders that took place near (but not on) Fort Bragg and Camp Lejeune, all investigated and prosecuted by civilian authorities, raised another question: Were some soldiers bringing home not only the generic violence of war, but also specific crimes they had rehearsed abroad?

Stuck in Combat Mode

While this sort of post-combat-zone combat at home has rarely made it into the national news, the killings haven’t stopped.  They have, in fact, continued, month by month, year after year, generally reported only by local media.  Many of the murders suggest that the killers still felt as if they were on some kind of private mission in “enemy territory,” and that they themselves were men who had, in distant combat zones, gotten the hang of killing — and the habit. For example, Benjamin Colton Barnes, a 24-year-old Army veteran, went to a party in Seattle in 2012 and got into a gunfight that left four people wounded.  He then fled to Mount Rainier National Park where he shot and killed a park ranger (the mother of two small children) and fired on others before escaping into snow-covered mountains where he drowned in a stream.

Barnes, an Iraq veteran, had reportedly experienced a rough transition to stateside life, having been discharged from the Army in 2009 for misconduct after being arrested for drunk driving and carrying a weapon. (He also threatened his wife with a knife.) He was one of more than 20,000 troubled Army and Marine veterans the military discarded between 2008 and 2012 with “other-than-honorable” discharges and no benefits, health care, or help.

Faced with the expensive prospect of providing long-term care for these most fragile of veterans, the military chose instead to dump them.  Barnes was booted out of Joint Base Lewis-McChord near Tacoma, Washington, which by 2010 had surpassed Fort Hood, Fort Bragg, and Fort Carson in violence and suicide to become the military’s “most troubled” home base.

Some homicidal soldiers work together, perhaps recreating at home that famous fraternal feeling of the military “band of brothers.” In 2012, in Laredo, Texas, federal agents posing as leaders of a Mexican drug cartel arrested Lieutenant Kevin Corley and Sergeant Samuel Walker — both from Fort Carson’s notorious Fourth Brigade Combat team — and two other soldiers in their private hit squad who had offered their services to kill members of rival cartels. “Wet work,” soldiers call it, and they’re trained to do it so well that real Mexican drug cartels have indeed been hiring ambitious vets from Fort Bliss, Texas, and probably other bases in the borderlands, to take out selected Mexican and American targets at $5,000 a pop.

Such soldiers seem never to get out of combat mode.  Boston psychiatrist Jonathan Shay, well known for his work with troubled veterans of the Vietnam War, points out that the skills drilled into the combat soldier — cunning, deceit, strength, quickness, stealth, a repertoire of killing techniques, and the suppression of compassion and guilt — equip him perfectly for a life of crime. “I’ll put it as bluntly as I can,” Shay writes in Odysseus in America: Combat Trauma and the Trials of Homecoming, “Combat service per se smooths the way into criminal careers afterward in civilian life.”  During the last decade, when the Pentagon relaxed standards to fill the ranks, some enterprising members of at least 53 different American gangs jumpstarted their criminal careers by enlisting, training, and serving in war zones to perfect their specialized skill sets.

Some veterans have gone on to become domestic terrorists, like Desert Storm veteran Timothy McVeigh, who killed 168 people in the Oklahoma federal building in 1995, or mass murderers like Wade Michael Page, the Army veteran and uber-racist who killed six worshippers at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, in August 2012. Page had first been introduced to the ideology of white supremacy at age 20, three years after he joined the Army, when he fell in with a neo-Nazi hate group at Fort Bragg.  That was in 1995, the year three paratroopers from Fort Bragg murdered two black local residents, a man and a woman, to earn their neo-Nazi spider-web tattoos.

An unknown number of such killers just walk away, like Army Private (and former West Point cadet) Isaac Aguigui, who was finally convicted last month in a Georgia criminal court of murdering his pregnant wife, Sergeant Deirdre Wetzker Aguigui, an Army linguist, three years ago. Although Deirdre Aguigui’s handcuffed body had revealed multiple blows and signs of struggle, the military medical examiner failed to “detect an anatomic cause of death” — a failure convenient for both the Army, which didn’t have to investigate further, and Isaac Aguigui, who collected a half-million dollars in military death benefits and life insurance to finance a war of his own.

In 2012, Georgia authorities charged Aguigui and three combat veterans from Fort Stewart with the execution-style murders of former Private Michael Roark, 19, and his girlfriend Tiffany York, 17.  The trial in a civilian criminal court revealed that Aguigui (who was never deployed) had assembled his own private militia of troubled combat vets called FEAR (Forever Enduring, Always Ready), and was plotting to take over Fort Stewart by seizing the munitions control point.  Among his other plans for his force were killing unnamed officials with car bombs, blowing up a fountain in Savannah, poisoning the apple crop in Aguigui’s home state of Washington, and joining other unspecified private militia groups around the country in a plot to assassinate President Obama and take control of the United States government.  Last year, the Georgia court convicted Aguigui in the case of the FEAR executions and sentenced him to life.  Only then did a civilian medical examiner determine that he had first murdered his wife.

The Rule of Law

The routine drills of basic training and the catastrophic events of war damage many soldiers in ways that appear darkly ironic when they return home to traumatize or kill their partners, their children, their fellow soldiers, or random strangers in a town or on a base.  But again to get the stories we must rely upon scrupulous local journalists. The Austin American-Statesman, for example, reports that, since 2003, in the area around Fort Hood in central Texas, nearly 10% of those involved in shooting incidents with the police were military veterans or active-duty service members. In four separate confrontations since last December, the police shot and killed two recently returned veterans and wounded a third, while one police officer was killed.  A fourth veteran survived a shootout unscathed.

Such tragic encounters prompted state and city officials in Texas to develop a special Veterans Tactical Response Program to train police in handling troubled military types.  Some of the standard techniques Texas police use to intimidate and overcome suspects — shouting, throwing “flashbangs” (grenades), or even firing warning shots — backfire when the suspect is a veteran in crisis, armed, and highly trained in reflexive fire.  The average civilian lawman is no match for an angry combat grunt from, as the president put it at Fort Hood, “the greatest Army that the world has ever known.”  On the other hand, a brain-injured vet who needs time to respond to orders or reply to questions may get manhandled, flattened, tasered, bludgeoned, or worse by overly aggressive police officers before he has time to say a word.

Here’s another ironic twist. For the past decade, military recruiters have made a big selling point of the “veterans preference” policy in the hiring practices of civilian police departments.  The prospect of a lifetime career in law enforcement after a single tour of military duty tempts many wavering teenagers to sign on the line. But the vets who are finally discharged from service and don the uniform of a civilian police department are no longer the boys who went away.

In Texas today, 37% of the police in Austin, the state capitol, are ex-military, and in smaller cities and towns in the vicinity of Fort Hood, that figure rises above the 50% mark.  Everybody knows that veterans need jobs, and in theory they might be very good at handling troubled soldiers in crisis, but they come to the job already trained for and very good at war.  When they meet the next Ivan Lopez, they make a potentially combustible combo.

Most of America’s military men and women don’t want to be “stigmatized” by association with the violent soldiers mentioned here.  Neither do the ex-military personnel who now, as members of civilian police forces, do periodic battle with violent vets in Texas and across the country.  The new Washington Post-Kaiser survey reveals that most veterans are proud of their military service, if not altogether happy with their homecoming.  Almost half of them think that American civilians, like the citizens of Iraq and Afghanistan, don’t genuinely “respect” them, and more than half feel disconnected from American life.  They believe they have better moral and ethical values than their fellow citizens, a virtue trumpeted by the Pentagon and presidents alike.  Sixty percent say they are more patriotic than civilians. Seventy percent say that civilians fail absolutely to understand them.  And almost 90% of veterans say that in a heartbeat they would re-up to fight again.

Americans on the “home front” were never mobilized by their leaders and they have generally not come to grips with the wars fought in their name. Here, however, is another irony: neither, it turns out, have most of America’s military men and women. Like their civilian counterparts, many of whom are all too ready to deploy those soldiers again to intervene in countries they can’t even find on a map, a significant number of veterans evidently have yet to unpack and examine the wars they brought home in their baggage — and in too many grim cases, they, their loved ones, their fellow soldiers, and sometimes random strangers are paying the price.

Ann Jones, a TomDispatch regular, is the author of Kabul in Winter, among other books, and most recently They Were Soldiers: How the Wounded Return From America’s Wars — The Untold Story, a Dispatch Books project (Haymarket, 2013).

President Obama, through his U.S. Solicitor General, arguing before the U.S. Supreme Court, has now stated that lying in political campaigns isn’t merely protected by the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech, but that it is an especially protected form of speech, which must not be hindered by any state government, such as by the state of Ohio. Ohio has outlawed such intentional deception of voters, and has established heavy criminal penalties against it, when it can be proven. The idea behind this law is that any democracy in which lying in political campaigns isn’t penalized by severe penalties, won’t remain a democracy much longer, but will instead descend into a kleptocracy: theft of elections themselves (via lies), so that they become just nominal “elections,” which are controlled by whatever aristocrats can put up the most money, to lie the most effectively, to the biggest number of voters: lying-contests.

It’s an important Supreme Court case. As Constitutional lawyer Lyle Denniston has noted, in his Argument preview: Attack ads and the First Amendment: “In all of the history of the First Amendment, the Court has never ruled that false statements are totally without protection under the Constitution.” However, this Supreme Court will have an opportunity to do that here, in the case SBA List v. Dreihaus; or else, to do the exact opposite — to open wide (even wider than they now are) the floodgates to political lies.

Public opinion (e.g., this), and the President of the United States (via his Solicitor General, to be discussed here below), seem to favor opening the floodgates. If that were to happen, then the recently unleashed outpouring of sheer corporate and billionaire cash (via the Citizens United decision, and the more recent McCutcheon decision) into political contests, will become even more unrestrained by (and disconnected from) any consideration of the truthfulness (or not) of this “free speech,” so that the U.S. public will naturally be inundated by torrents, not only of aristocratic money pouring over public opinions, but of outright and provable lies financed by the richest aristocrats, polluting and poisoning those torrents, which will drench voters’ minds, and will thus poison political outcomes (which is why that money is spent — to do precisely this).

U.S. Solicitor General Donald B. Verilli Jr., in this case, SBA List v. Dreihauswrote to the U.S. Supreme Court, defending political liars’ rights:

This case does not require the Court to determine precisely when an alleged chilling of speech [by the threat of being prosecuted for lying in a political campaign] constitutes hardship [being suffered by that liar], because it presents that issue in a unique election-related context that makes the hardship to petitioners [the liars] particularly clear. Petitioners [the liars] have sufficiently alleged that a credible threat of prosecution will chill them from engaging in [deceptive] speech relating to elections for public office, the very type of speech to which the First Amendment ‘has its fullest and most urgent application.’ Eu v. San Francisco Cnty. Democratic Cent. Comm., 489 U.S. 214, 223 (1989) (quoting Monitor Patriot Co. v. Roy, 401 U.S. 265, 272 (1971)). As petitioners explain (Br. 40), under Ohio law, candidates who are the subject of such [lying] speech can try to silence it by complaining to the [Electoral] Commission and thereby tying up the speaker [the liar] in administrative litigation during the short window of time in which the electoral speech [that person’s lie] would be most effective [at deceiving voters].4

The court of appeals largely disregarded these considerations in favor of focusing on evidence suggesting that the Commission proceedings [the investigation into the lie] did not actually deter [the liar] SBA List from disseminating its message [its lie]. Pet. App. 17a-18a. The court correctly recognized that evidence of how agency action [the investigation into that alleged lie] has affected a plaintiff’s conduct is an important factor in the hardship analysis. In this case, however, SBA List’s particular reaction to the Commission proceedings during the 2010 election cycle does not eliminate the objectively credible threat of prosecution that petitioners [SBA List] face if they engage in similar [lying] speech in future election cycles.

When Obama’s mouthpiece there, Verilli, quoted the phrase that’s quoted in “the First Amendment ‘has its fullest and most urgent application’,” in relation to this particular case and context, he was actually quoting from a case in which the court was saying in regard to “California’s prohibition on primary [party] endorsements by the official governing bodies of political parties,” that (as that ruling said), “Indeed, the First Amendment ‘has its fullest and most urgent application’ to speech uttered during a campaign for political office.” That statement didn’t refer at all to lying in political campaigns. However, this is the type of cheap shot that the President’s lawyer must take, in order to argue that lying is “the very type of speech to which the First Amendment ‘has its fullest and most urgent application.’’” He must lie in order to defend political lying as being protected by the U.S. Constitution.

I have earlier argued that President Obama lied with exceptional skill in order to win the White House – and I say this as a Democrat who is opposed to conservatives (supporters of lies) of all parties, including the Democratic Party. So: Obama is really defending here his own practices, which won him the White House. This conservative “Democrat” is so gifted a politician that he could probably have won it with no lies at all, but he took the easy path, and now he is defending it as a matter of alleged Constitutional principle.

He’s on the same side in this as the overt Republicans are. For example, the friend-of-court brief on behalf of the Koch brothers’ Cato Institute and their comedian P.J. O’Rourke, argued in this case that, “No one should be concerned that false political statements won’t be subjected to careful examination” (perhaps by historians, after the liar has been elected and long-since collected his reward, and the honest politician has sunk into obscurity). It’s a race to the bottom they want, and conservative Democrats want it just as much as Republicans do. Cato/O’Rourke then went on to say: “A prohibition on lying devalues the truth. ‘How can you develop a reputation as a straight shooter if lying is not an option?’” In other words: We must allow deception of voters, because otherwise all politics would be honest — and that would be bad (for crooks like them, because politics then wouldn’t continue to be a lying-contest: the type where any real ‘straight shooter’ can’t have even any realistic chance at all of winning). Champion liars want to continue maintaining their advantage, not to yield it; and any law that’s enforced against political liars will remove their existing huge political advantage. Conservatives would still have most aristocratic money on their side, but no longer an unrestrained freedom to spread lies financed by that cash-advantage that they naturally enjoy.

With Obama arguing on the Republican side, and the Republicans arguing on the Republican side, how will the Republican U.S. Supreme Court rule on this matter? Let’s guess.

It could be the final nail in the coffin of democracy in America: the official full implementation of aristocracy, plutocracy, oligarchy, crony capitalism, or whatever else one would call it. Maybe “fake democracy”? Oh, I forgot: we’re already there. But this would take us much farther there.

If the reader wants to know how deeply the public has already been duped, just check out, for starters (besides that piece where I earlier argued that President Obama lied with exceptional skill in order to win the White House), these:

Ukraine: Is Obama Channeling Cheney?

The Nazis Even Hitler Was Afraid Of

Ukrainian Neo-Nazis Declare that Power Comes Out of the Barrels of their Guns

Privatization Is A Ramp For Corruption, and Insouciance Is a Ramp for War

And the Ukraine matter is just the tip of the lying iceberg here, several other portions of which I’ve covered extensively at Huffington Post and elsewhere.

Lying in politics is toxic to democracy. It’s destroying not only this country, but the entire world. Obama wants to protect it, just like he protected the banksters from prosecution.

Global Cooling is Here

April 18th, 2014 by Prof. Don J. Easterbrook

Global Research Editor’s note

The following article represents an alternative view and analysis of global climate change, which challenges the dominant Global Warming Consensus.

Global Research does not necessarily endorse the proposition of “Global Cooling”, nor does it accept at face value the Consensus on Global Warming. Our purpose is to encourage a more balanced debate on the topic of global climate change.

[Article originally published by Global Research in November 2008]

INTRODUCTION

Despite no global warming in 10 years and recording setting cold in 2007-2008, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climatic Change (IPCC) and computer modelers who believe that CO2 is the cause of global warming still predict the Earth is in store for catastrophic warming in this century. IPCC computer models have predicted global warming of 1° F per decade and 5-6° C (10-11° F) by 2100 (Fig. 1), which would cause global catastrophe with ramifications for human life, natural habitat, energy and water resources, and food production. All of this is predicated on the assumption that global warming is caused by increasing atmospheric CO2 and that CO2 will continue to rise rapidly.

 

Figure 1. A. IPCC prediction of global warming early in the 21st century. B. IPCC prediction of global warming to 2100. (Sources: IPCC website)

However, records of past climate changes suggest an altogether different scenario for the 21st century. Rather than drastic global warming at a rate of 0.5 ° C (1° F) per decade, historic records of past natural cycles suggest global cooling for the first several decades of the 21st century to about 2030, followed by global warming from about 2030 to about 2060, and renewed global cooling from 2060 to 2090 (Easterbrook, D.J., 2005, 2006a, b, 2007, 2008a, b); Easterbrook and Kovanen, 2000, 2001). Climatic fluctuations over the past several hundred years suggest ~30 year climatic cycles of global warming and cooling, on a general rising trend from the Little Ice Age.

PREDICTIONS BASED ON PAST CLIMATE PATTERNS

Global climate changes have been far more intense (12 to 20 times as intense in some cases) than the global warming of the past century, and they took place in as little as 20–100 years. Global warming of the past century (0.8° C) is virtually insignificant when compared to the magnitude of at least 10 global climate changes in the past 15,000 years. None of these sudden global climate changes could possibly have been caused by human CO2 input to the atmosphere because they all took place long before anthropogenic CO2 emissions began. The cause of the ten earlier ‘natural’ climate changes was most likely the same as the cause of global warming from 1977 to 1998.

Figure 2. Climate changes in the past 17,000 years from the GISP2 Greenland ice core. Red = warming, blue = cooling. (Modified from Cuffy and Clow, 1997)

Climatic fluctuations over the past several hundred years suggest ~30 year climatic cycles of global warming and cooling (Figure 3) on a generally rising trend from the Little Ice Age about 500 years ago.


Figure 3. Alternating warm and cool cycles since 1470 AD. Blue = cool, red = warm. Based on oxygen isotope ratios from the GISP2 Greenland ice core.

Relationships between glacial fluctuations, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, and global climate change.

After several decades of studying alpine glacier fluctuations in the North Cascade Range, my research showed a distinct pattern of glacial advances and retreats (the Glacial Decadal Oscillation, GDO) that correlated well with climate records. In 1992, Mantua published the Pacific Decadal Oscillation curve showing warming and cooling of the Pacific Ocean that correlated remarkably well with glacial fluctuations. Both the GDA and the PDO matched global temperature records and were obviously related (Fig. 4). All but the latest 30 years of changes occurred prior to significant CO2 emissions so they were clearly unrelated to atmospheric CO2.


Figure 4. Correspondence of the GDO, PDO, and global temperature variations.

The significance of the correlation between the GDO, PDO, and global temperature is that once this connection has been made, climatic changes during the past century can be understood, and the pattern of glacial and climatic fluctuations over the past millennia can be reconstructed. These patterns can then be used to project climatic changes in the future. Using the pattern established for the past several hundred years, in 1998 I projected the temperature curve for the past century into the next century and came up with curve ‘A’ in Figure 5 as an approximation of what might be in store for the world if the pattern of past climate changes continued. Ironically, that prediction was made in the warmest year of the past three decades and at the acme of the 1977-1998 warm period. At that time, the projected curved indicated global cooling beginning about 2005 ± 3-5 years until about 2030, then renewed warming from about 2030 to about 2060 (unrelated to CO2—just continuation of the natural cycle), then another cool period from about 2060 to about 2090. This was admittedly an approximation, but it was radically different from the 1° F per decade warming called for by the IPCC. Because the prediction was so different from the IPCC prediction, time would obviously show which projection was ultimately correct.

Now a decade later, the global climate has not warmed 1° F as forecast by the IPCC but has cooled slightly until 2007-08 when global temperatures turned sharply downward. In 2008, NASA satellite imagery (Figure 6) confirmed that the Pacific Ocean had switched from the warm mode it had been in since 1977 to its cool mode, similar to that of the 1945-1977 global cooling period. The shift strongly suggests that the next several decades will be cooler, not warmer as predicted by the IPCC. 

Figure 5.Global temperature projection for the coming century, based on warming/cooling cycles of the past several centuries. ‘A’ projection based on assuming next cool phase will be similar to the 1945-1977 cool phase. ‘B’ projection based on assuming next cool phase will be similar to the 1880-1915 cool phase. The predicted warm cycle from 2030 to 2060 is based on projection of the 1977 to 1998 warm phase and the cooling phase from 2060 to 2090 is based on projection of the 1945 to 1977 cool cycle.

Implications of PDO, NAO, GDO, and sun spot cycles for global climate in coming decades

The IPCC prediction of global temperatures, 1° F warmer by 2011 and 2° F by 2038 (Fig. 1), stand little chance of being correct. NASA’s imagery showing that the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) has shifted to its cool phase is right on schedule as predicted by past climate and PDO changes (Easterbrook, 2001, 2006, 2007). The PDO typically lasts 25-30 years and assures North America of cool, wetter climates during its cool phases and warmer, drier climates during its warm phases. The establishment of the cool PDO, together with similar cooling of the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), virtually assures several decades of global cooling and the end of the past 30-year warm phase. It also means that the IPCC predictions of catastrophic global warming this century were highly inaccurate.

The switch of PDO cool mode to warm mode in 1977 initiated several decades of global warming. The PDO has now switched from its warm mode (where it had been since 1977) into its cool mode. As shown on the graph above, each time this had happened in the past century, global temperature has followed. The upper map shows cool ocean temperatures in blue (note the North American west coast). The lower diagram shows how the PDO has switched back and forth from warm to cool modes in the past century, each time causing global temperature to follow. Comparisons of historic global climate warming and cooling over the past century with PDO and NAO oscillations, glacial fluctuations, and sun spot activity show strong correlations and provide a solid data base for future climate change projections.

The Pacific Ocean has a warm temperature mode and a cool temperature mode, and in the past century, has switched back forth between these two modes every 25-30 years (known as the Pacific Decadal Oscillation or PDO). In 1977 the Pacific abruptly shifted from its cool mode (where it had been since about 1945) into its warm mode, and this initiated global warming from 1977 to 1998. The correlation between the PDO and global climate is well established. The announcement by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory that the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) had shifted to its cool phase is right on schedule as predicted by past climate and PDO changes (Easterbrook, 2001, 2006, 2007). The PDO typically lasts 25-30 years and assures North America of cool, wetter climates during its cool phases and warmer, drier climates during its warm phases. The establishment of the cool PDO, together with similar cooling of the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), virtually assures several decades of global cooling and the end of the past 30-year warm phase.

 

Figure 6. Switch of PDO cool mode to warm mode in 1977 initiated several decades of global warming. The PDO has now switched from its warm mode (where it had been since 1977) into its cool mode. As shown on the graph above, each time this has happened in the past century, global temperature has followed. The upper map shows cool ocean temperatures in blue (note the North American west coast). The lower diagram shows how the PDO has switched back and forth from warm to cool modes in the past century, each time causing global temperature to follow. Projection of the past pattern (right end of graph) assures 30 yrs of global cooling

Comparisons of historic global climate warming and cooling over the past century with PDO and NAO oscillations, glacial fluctuations, and sun spot activity show strong correlations and provide a solid data base for future climate change projections. As shown by the historic pattern of GDOs and PDOs over the past century and by corresponding global warming and cooling, the pattern is part of ongoing warm/cool cycles that last 25-30 years. The global cooling phase from 1880 to 1910, characterized by advance of glaciers worldwide, was followed by a shift to the warm-phase PDO for 30 years, global warming and rapid glacier recession. The cool-phase PDO returned in ~1945 accompanied by global cooling and glacial advance for 30 years. Shift to the warm-phase PDO in 1977 initiated global warming and recession of glaciers that persisted until 1998. Recent establishment of the PDO cool phase appeared right on target and assuming that its effect will be similar to past history, global climates can be expected to cool over the next 25-30 years. The global warming of this century is exactly in phase with the normal climatic pattern of cyclic warming and cooling and we have now switched from a warm phase to a cool phase right at the predicted time (Fig. 5)

The ramifications of the global cooling cycle for the next 30 years are far reaching―e.g., failure of crops in critical agricultural areas (it’s already happening this year), increasing energy demands, transportation difficulties, and habitat change. All this during which global population will increase from six billion to about nine billion. The real danger in spending trillions of dollars trying to reduce atmospheric CO2 is that little will be left to deal with the very real problems engendered by global cooling.

CONCLUSIONS

Global warming (i.e, the warming since 1977) is over. The minute increase of anthropogenic CO2 in the atmosphere (0.008%) was not the cause of the warming—it was a continuation of natural cycles that occurred over the past 500 years.

The PDO cool mode has replaced the warm mode in the Pacific Ocean, virtually assuring us of about 30 years of global cooling, perhaps much deeper than the global cooling from about 1945 to 1977. Just how much cooler the global climate will be during this cool cycle is uncertain. Recent solar changes suggest that it could be fairly severe, perhaps more like the 1880 to 1915 cool cycle than the more moderate 1945-1977 cool cycle. A more drastic cooling, similar to that during the Dalton and Maunder minimums, could plunge the Earth into another Little Ice Age, but only time will tell if that is likely.

Don J. Easterbrook is Professor Emeritus of Geology at Western Washington University. Bellingham, WA. He has published extensively on issues pertaining to global climate change. For further details see his list of publications

Ukrainian Secretary for National Security Andriy Parubiy.

As the post-coup regime in Ukraine sends troops and paramilitaries to crack down on ethnic Russian protesters in the east, the U.S. news media continues to feed the American public a steady dose of anti-Russian propaganda, often wrapped in accusations of “Russian propaganda.”

The acting president of the coup regime in Kiev announces that he is ordering an “anti-terrorist” operation against pro-Russian protesters in eastern Ukraine, while his national security chief says he has dispatched right-wing ultranationalist fighters who spearheaded the Feb. 22 coup that ousted elected President Viktor Yanukovych.

On Tuesday, Andriy Parubiy, head of the Ukrainian National Security Council, went on Twitter to declare, “Reserve unit of National Guard formed #Maidan Self-defense volunteers was sent to the front line this morning.” Parubiy was referring to the neo-Nazi militias that provided the organized muscle that overthrew Yanukovych, forcing him to flee for his life. Some of these militias have since been incorporated into security forces as “National Guard.”

Parubiy himself is a well-known neo-Nazi, who founded the Social-National Party of Ukraine in 1991. The party blended radical Ukrainian nationalism with neo-Nazi symbols. Parubiy also formed a paramilitary spinoff, the Patriots of Ukraine, and defended the awarding of the title, “Hero of Ukraine,” to World War II Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera, whose own paramilitary forces exterminated thousands of Jews and Poles in pursuit of a racially pure Ukraine.

During the months of protests aimed at overthrowing Yanukovych, Parubiy became the commandant of “Euromaidan,” the name for the Kiev uprising, and – after the Feb. 22 coup – Parubiy was one of four far-right Ukrainian nationalists given control of a ministry, i.e. national security.

But the U.S. press has played down his role because his neo-Nazism conflicts with Official Washington’s narrative that the neo-Nazis played little or no role in the “revolution.” References to neo-Nazis in the “interim government” are dismissed as “Russian propaganda.”

Yet there Parubiy was on Tuesday bragging that some of his neo-Nazi storm troopers – renamed “National Guard” – were now being sicced on rebellious eastern Ukraine as part of the Kiev government’s “anti-terrorist” operation.

The post-coup President Oleksandr Turchynov also warned that Ukraine was confronting a “colossal danger,” but he insisted that the suppression of the pro-Russian protesters would be treated as an “anti-terrorist” operation and not as a “civil war.” Everyone should understand by now that “anti-terror” suggests extrajudicial killings, torture and “counter-terror.”

Yet, with much of the Ukrainian military of dubious loyalty to the coup regime, the dispatch of the neo-Nazi militias from western Ukraine’s Right Sektor and Svoboda parties represents a significant development. Not only do the Ukrainian neo-Nazis consider the ethnic Russians an alien presence, but these right-wing militias are organized to wage street fighting as they did in the February uprising.

Historically, right-wing paramilitaries have played crucial roles in “counter-terror” campaigns around the world. In Central America in the 1980s, for instance, right-wing “death squads” did much of the dirty work for U.S.-backed military regimes as they crushed social protests and guerrilla movements.

The merging of the concept of “anti-terrorism” with right-wing paramilitaries represents a potentially frightening development for the people of eastern Ukraine. And much of this information – about Turchynov’s comments and Parubiy’s tweet – can be found in a New York Times’ dispatch from Ukraine.

Whose Propaganda?

However, on the Times’ front page on Wednesday was a bizarre story by David M. Herszenhorn accusing the Russian government of engaging in a propaganda war by making many of the same points that you could find – albeit without the useful context about Parubiy’s neo-Nazi background – in the same newspaper.

In the article entitled “Russia Is Quick To Bend Truth About Ukraine,” Herszenhorn mocked Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev for making a Facebook posting that “was bleak and full of dread,” including noting that “blood has been spilled in Ukraine again” and adding that “the threat of civil war looms.”

The Times article continued, “He [Medvedev] pleaded with Ukrainians to decide their own future ‘without usurpers, nationalists and bandits, without tanks or armored vehicles – and without secret visits by the C.I.A. director.’ And so began another day of bluster and hyperbole, of the misinformation, exaggerations, conspiracy theories, overheated rhetoric and, occasionally, outright lies about the political crisis in Ukraine that have emanated from the highest echelons of the Kremlin and reverberated on state-controlled Russian television, hour after hour, day after day, week after week.”

This argumentative “news” story spilled from the front page to the top half of an inside page, but Herszenhorn never managed to mention that there was nothing false in what Medvedev said. Indeed, it was the much-maligned Russian press that first reported the secret visit of CIA Director John Brennan to Kiev.

Though the White House has since confirmed that report, Herszenhorn cites Medvedev’s reference to it in the context of “misinformation” and “conspiracy theories.” Nowhere in the long article does the Times inform its readers that, yes, the CIA director did make a secret visit to Ukraine last weekend. Presumably, that reality has now disappeared into the great memory hole along with the on-ground reporting from Feb. 22 about the key role of the neo-Nazi militias.

The neo-Nazis themselves have pretty much disappeared from Official Washington’s narrative, which now usually recounts the coup as simply a case of months of protests followed by Yanukovych’s decision to flee. Only occasionally, often buried deep in news articles with the context removed, can you find admissions of how the neo-Nazis spearheaded the coup.

A Wounded Extremist

For instance, on April 6, the New York Times published a human-interest profile of a Ukrainian named Yuri Marchuk who was wounded in clashes around Kiev’s Maidan square in February. You have to read far into the story to learn that Marchuk was a Svoboda leader from Lviv, which – if you did your own research – you would discover is a neo-Nazi stronghold where Ukrainian nationalists hold torch-light parades in honor of Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera.

Without providing that context, the Times does mention that Lviv militants plundered a government weapons depot and dispatched 600 militants a day to do battle in Kiev. Marchuk also described how these well-organized militants, consisting of paramilitary brigades of 100 fighters each, launched the fateful attack against the police on Feb. 20, the battle where Marchuk was wounded and where the death toll suddenly spiked into scores of protesters and about a dozen police.

Marchuk later said he visited his comrades at the occupied City Hall. What the Times doesn’t mention is that City Hall was festooned with Nazi banners and even a Confederate battle flag as a tribute to white supremacy.

The Times touched on the inconvenient truth of the neo-Nazis again on April 12 in an articleabout the mysterious death of neo-Nazi leader Oleksandr Muzychko, who was killed during a shootout with police on March 24. The article quoted a local Right Sektor leader, Roman Koval, explaining the crucial role of his organization in carrying out the anti-Yanukovych coup.

“Ukraine’s February revolution, said Mr. Koval, would never have happened without Right Sector and other militant groups,” the Times wrote. Yet, that reality – though actually reported in the New York Times – has now become “Russian propaganda,” according to the New York Times.

This upside-down American narrative also ignores the well-documented interference of prominent U.S. officials in stirring up the protesters in Kiev, which is located in the western part of Ukraine and is thus more anti-Russian than eastern Ukraine where many ethnic Russians live and where Yanukovych had his political base.

Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland was a cheerleader for the uprising, reminding Ukrainian business leaders that the United States had invested $5 billion in their “European aspirations,” discussing who should replace Yanukovych (her choice, Arseniy Yatsenyuk became the new prime minister), and literally passing out cookies to the protesters in the Maidan. (Nuland is married to neoconservative superstar Robert Kagan, a founder of the Project for the New American Century.)

During the protests, neocon Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, took the stage with leaders of Svoboda – surrounded by banners honoring Stepan Bandera – and urged on the protesters. Even before the demonstrations began, prominent neocon Carl Gershman, president of the U.S.-funded National Endowment for Democracy, had dubbed Ukraine “the biggest prize.” [For more details, see Consortiumnews.com’s “What’s the Matter with John Kerry?”]

Indeed, in my four-plus decades in journalism, I have never seen a more thoroughly biased and misleading performance by the major U.S. news media. Even during the days of Ronald Reagan – when much of the government’s modern propaganda structure was created – there was more independence in major news outlets. There were media stampedes off the reality cliff during George H.W. Bush’s Persian Gulf War and George W. Bush’s Iraq War, both of which were marked by demonstrably false claims that were readily swallowed by the big U.S. news outlets.

But there is something utterly Orwellian in the current coverage of the Ukraine crisis, including accusing others of “propaganda” when their accounts – though surely not perfect – are much more honest and more accurate than what the U.S. press corps has been producing.

There’s also the added risk that this latest failure by the U.S. press corps is occurring on the border of Russia, a nuclear-armed state that – along with the United States – could exterminate all life on the planet. The biased U.S. news coverage is now feeding into political demands to send U.S. military aid to Ukraine’s coup regime.

The casualness of this propaganda – as it spreads across the U.S. media spectrum from Fox News to MSNBC, from the Washington Post to the New York Times – is not just wretched journalism but it is reckless malfeasance jeopardizing the lives of many Ukrainians and the future of the planet.

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his new book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon andbarnesandnoble.com). For a limited time, you also can order Robert Parry’s trilogy on the Bush Family and its connections to various right-wing operatives for only $34. The trilogy includes America’s Stolen Narrative. For details on this offer, click here.

Thousands marched in the streets of Port-au-Prince on Apr. 15 to demand that President Michel Martelly step down. The day before, 50 protestors picketed outside the military headquarters of the 9,000-soldier occupation force, the United Nations Mission to Stabilize Haiti or MINUSTAH, demanding that the troops leave Haiti by the May 28, 2014 deadline set by the Haitian Senate one year ago. And on Apr. 16, hundreds of peasants on the southern island of Ile à Vache (Cow Island) are planning to march against the police occupation of their communities, as well as a government plan to evict them and turn their island into a tourist resort.

This is just a small sampling of the growing daily protests around Haiti which has many questioning whether Martelly will be able to serve out his five year term without resigning.

The flames of rebellion around Haiti were fanned this week by Martelly himself when he declared in the southern city of Aux Cayes: “I’m going to announce some bad news… We have been doing so much work around the country, that the state coffers don’t have a penny.”

Despite unmistakable signs of massive government corruption since Martelly came to power in May 2011, the announcement came as a shock to the Haitian people. Former President René Préval left about $1.5 billion in the treasury when he stepped down, according to former Sen. Jean Hector Anacasis.

On Apr. 2, the government reshuffled and, ironically, expanded to 43 ministers and secretaries of state. This makes it larger than the government cabinets, for example, in France (16), the United States (23), and Venezuela (29).

Furthermore, according to Sen. Moïse Jean-Charles, the Martelly government has burned through about $3 billion in funds provided to Haiti through its PetroCaribe Accord with Venezuela, under which the Haitian state puts 40% of the money paid for about 20,000 barrels of Caracas-provided oil a day into a special discretionary fund. The oil revenues must be paid back to Venezuela in 25 years at 1% interest.

Earlier this year, the Haitian government announced that 94% of funding for projects it has undertaken comes from the PetroCaribe fund.

Meanwhile, President Martelly has illegally taxed (i.e. without Parliamentary approval) millions of international money transfers to Haiti at $1.50 each and international phone calls to and from Haiti at five cents a minute, which has generated hundreds of millions over the past three years. But the press and public don’t know exactly how much is in this highly resented mountain of collected fees because it has never been clearly accounted for. (Government officials once trumpeted that it was being spent on education, but with angry unpaid teachers and unschooled students in the streets every week, they now admit it wasn’t spent on that.)

Martelly also drastically hiked fees on passports and other government documents that Haitians must procure, generating more bitterness but also revenue which has only disappeared into a black hole.

“If Martelly now says the state coffers are empty, what did he do with what was in there?” asked Mirlande Manigat, the Secretary General of the Assembly of Progressive National Democrats (RNDP), who lost the Washington-rigged Mar. 20, 2011 run-off election to Martelly. “The public must demand a clear accounting.”

Economist Camille Chalmers of the Haitian Platform to Advocate Alternative Development (PAPDA) called Martelly’s remarks “totally irresponsible” and predicted they are the precursor to “a chaotic situation which suggests that the government cannot meet its obligations.” The desperate plight of Haiti’s hungry masses is likely to deepen, Chalmers said, especially in the arid Northwest which is already in the grips of a severe food shortage.

“President Martelly has all but admitted that he had been stealing money from the Haitian treasury and that now the public coffers have no more money,” said Biron Odigé, a leader of the Patriotic Forces for Respect of the Constitution (FOPARK), which called for the Apr. 15 march along with the Patriotic Democratic Movement (MOPOD). “There are no funds to do anything in the country. So today, our conviction is reinforced. More people in this mobilization are becoming conscious of the struggle being waged today. There is no alternative: Martelly must step down.”

Oxygène David, a leader of the Dessalines Coordination (KOD), a new party named after Haiti’s founding father, said that elections now announced for Oct. 26 are impossible under Martelly and the UN military occupation.

“Martelly has proven that he is too corrupt to run a government, to hold Carnaval, or especially to organize an election,” David said. “But he is just the hand connected to the imperialist arm, which is MINUSTAH. Ricardo Seitenfus, the former OAS [Organization of American States] Ambassador has made it clear that Washington and its allies, working through the OAS and UN, put Martelly in power. They will do the same thing again in any future elections they oversee. Therefore, if Haiti is to move forward and hold free, fair, and sovereign elections, both Martelly and MINUSTAH must go.”

Since Apr. 7, KOD has been holding a demonstration outside the MINUSTAH’s base at the Port-au-Prince airport every Monday morning. It is part of a larger coalition effort to mobilize international pressure to force the UN’s withdrawal from Haiti.

On Ile à Vache, the government has not backed down in the face of massive popular protests there since January. Following an interview he gave to Haïti Liberté last month, Kénold Alexis, a leader of the Organization of Ile à Vache Peasants (KOPI), came home from teaching in the island’s school on Mar. 27 to find his home had been ransacked by agents of the Haitian Police’s Motorized Intervention Brigade (BIM). Over 100 heavily-armed BIM agents now terrorize the 17-square-mile island, which used to have only two police officers.

“After the raid, I found that I was missing $4,000 Haitian (US$446) from where I had hidden it,” Alexis told Haïti Liberté. “My wife found she was also missing $2,500 Haitian (US$279).”

Last week, Haitian authorities issued an arrest warrant for Alexis because of his mobilizing against a May 10, 2013 government decree declaring the island of “public utility,” i.e. to be turned into hotels, golf courses, and casinos. Delegations from Port-au-Prince and other parts of Haiti are traveling to Ile à Vache to march in solidarity with the island’s 14,000 eviction-threatened residents in their demonstration planned for Apr. 16.

“If Haiti were a building, flames would be popping out from every window right now,” said Henriot Dorcent, another KOD leader. “Corruption, repression, impunity, and arrogance are coalescing to create a perfect storm which may well send Martelly packing, despite his well-honed art of buying off people. The next few months, as the economic and political scissors close, will prove decisive one way or the other.”

More than two-thirds of the pollen that honeybees collect from European fields is contaminated by a cocktail of up to 17 different toxic pesticides. These are the shocking findings of a new study released yesterday.

In addition to pesticides-related chemicals, the report also identifies substances used in insecticides, acaricides, fungicides and herbicides, produced by agrochemical companies like Bayer, Syngenta and BASF. To mark the release of the report and protest against the chemical industry’s role in bee decline, more than 20 activists unfurled a giant banner outside the headquarters of Bayer, in Germany.

The study, The Bees’ Burden: An analysis of pesticide residues in comb pollen (beebread) and trapped pollen from honey bees, is the largest of its kind, comprising more than 100 samples from 12 European countries. In total 53 different chemicals were detected.

The study is a snapshot of the toxicity of Europe’s current agricultural system. It demonstrates the high concentrations and wide range of fungicides found in pollen collected around vineyards in Italy, the widespread use of bee-killing insecticides in pollen from rape fields in Poland, the detection of DDE—a derivative of DDT—a pesticide banned decades ago, and the frequent detection of the insect nerve-poison Thiacloprid, a neonicotinoid, in many samples from Germany.

“This study on contaminated pollen reveals the unbearable burden of bees and other vital pollinators,” said Matthias Wüthrich, a Greenpeace ecological farming campaigner. “Bees are exposed to a cocktail of toxic pesticides. This is yet more proof that there is something fundamentally wrong in the current agricultural model which is based on the intensive use of toxic pesticides, large-scale monocultures and corporate control of farming by a few companies like Bayer, Syngenta & Co. It shows the need for a fundamental shift towards ecological farming.”

The report confirms the findings of a recent study carried out by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). In its study, EFSA acknowledges vast knowledge gaps related to the health of bees and pollinators, including on the effects of chemical “cocktails,” and calls on the EU and national governments to fill this gap with further scientific investigation.

 

In light of its findings on pollen contamination and following EFSA’s recommendations, Greenpeace calls on the European Commission and policy-makers across Europe to:

  • Extend the scope of restrictions already imposed on the use of certain pesticides harmful to bees, namely clothianidin, imidacloprid, thiamethoxam and fipronil, so that their use is completely banned.
  • Fully ban all other pesticides harmful to bees and other pollinators (including chlorpyrifos, cypermethrin and deltamethrin).
  • Set ambitious Europe-wide action plans to better assess pesticide impacts on pollinators and reduce their use.
  • Encourage research and development of non-chemical alternatives to pest management and promote the widespread implementation of ecological farming practices on the ground.

Kiev Declares War – Ukrainian Soldiers Refuse to Fight

April 18th, 2014 by Stephen Lendman

Western media headlined it. The New York Times said “Ukraine Push Against Rebels Grinds to a Halt.” Things “unraveled in disarray.”

An “entire contingent of 21 armored vehicles…surrendered or pull(ed) back…It was a glaring humiliation for the new government in Kiev. (Events) underscored (its) weakness.”

The Wall Street Journal said “Ukraine’s Efforts to Regain Control of East Sputter.” Locals “halted army columns.”

“The faltering ‘antiterrorist’ operation, launched a day earlier, leaves the government looking increasingly powerless in the face of separatists who are holding government buildings in as many as 10 cities close to the Russian border.”

“The stumbling start underscored difficulties faced by the new government…(It) leaves Kiev with narrowing options.”

“(M)uster(ing) more force…risk(s) further undermining its already shaky legitimacy in the east, as residents accuse it of sending soldiers against unarmed civilians.”

BBC headlined “Ukraine crisis: Armored vehicle(s) ‘rebranded as Russian.”

Russian flags were hoisted. Weapons were surrendered. Soldiers joined locals.

One resident asked: “Why did you come to our land? Why are you driving over our fields? We are peaceful people! And we just want our demands to be respected!”

Reuters said “pro-Moscow separatists took control of some of their armored vehicles and crowds surrounded another column, forcing the troops to hand over the pins from their rifles and retreat.”

Other reports highlighted elite Ukrainian units defecting. They refused to attack unarmed civilians.

Ukrainian forces were lied to. They were ordered to wage an “anti-terrorism operation.” One soldier perhaps spoke for others saying:

They were told “Russian invaders who have taken the local population hostage are waging war at us.” Orders said “free Donbas from occupants.”

“This morning, we started our attack, but the picture we saw (in Slavyansk and Kramatorsk) turned out to be completely different.”

“We saw in front of us a crowd of locals, mostly adults, women and men.”

“They explained to us that there are no occupants here and there is no one to fight. Instead, they gave us food and talked to us.”

Dozens of soldiers vowed “not to follow orders and shoot at these people.” Some sided with residents. Others stayed neutral.

APCs hoisted Russian flags. Elite units refused to obey orders. They fraternized with residents. They surrendered their weapons.

Following negotiations in Slavyansk, around 300 Ukrainian soldiers refused to fight. They agreed to go home. Locals cheered.

Mainstream media lied. They didn’t seize armored vehicles and weapons. Soldiers switched sides peacefully. A Slavyansk activist said:

“…Ukrainian troops arrived here flying a Russian flag. (T)hey have taken the side of the people.”

Photos showed women and children climbing atop APCs. They fraternized with soldiers. In Pchyolkino village, similar scenes occurred.

Ukrainian troops were exhausted. According to one soldier:

“They’ve had us running around for about two months now. We’re being sent to one city, then to the next. We cannot even wash, or eat normally or rest.”

Others complained about media propaganda. “(F)ake information is spread.” Doing so “creat(es) unnecessary tension.”

Soldiers found “no (local) aggression.” Peaceful locals weren’t threatening.

State-controlled Ukrainian media lied saying soldiers will “never surrender.”

Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reform (UDAR) leader Vitali Kitschko allies with illegitimate fascist putschists.

He lied claiming Eastern Ukrainian pro-Russian supports get “300 to 500 dollars a day.” Funds come “from abroad,” he said. Moscow sends them, he added.

No evidence whatever suggests it. State-controlled Ukrainian media featured his comments.

Separately, they claimed they claimed Russian “shock troops” massed on Ukraine’s border near Chernihiv, Sumy and Kharkov.

Ukrainian Center of Military and Political Studies head Dmytro Tymchuk lied, saying:

They consist of “airborne forces and special groups of the Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) of the Russian Federation.” They’re “battalion” sized tactical groups.

Another report said “(s)abotage and terrorist groups and local extremists have seized several armored vehicles of the Ukrainian Armed Forces in Kramatorsk, Donetsk region.”

“In the center of the town the column was blocked by locals, including representatives of Russian subversive and terrorist groups.”

So far, one exception proved the rule. Mariupol-based soldiers attacked unarmed civilians.

Illegitimate putschist interior ministry head Arsen Avakov lied. He called them “armed militant.” Three deaths were reported. Over a dozen others were injured.

Protesters approached the base peacefully. They posed no threat. They urged soldiers to support their struggle. They refused.

They fired on defenseless civilians. Whether this type incident repeats remains to be seen. So far, Kiev’s offensive failed.

Illegitimate putschist president Okeksandr Turchynov ordered Ukraine’s 25th separate airborne brigade “disestablished.”

It “showed cowardice and surrendered (its) arms,” he said. Its members “will stand trial,” he added. Kiev’s prosecutor-general was told to prepare charges.

Illegitimate putschist prime minister Arseny Yatsenyuk lied accusing Moscow of “exporting terrorism.”

“The Russian government must immediately call off its intelligence-diversionary groups, condemn the terrorists and demand that they free the buildings,” he said.

Eastern Ukrainian activists aren’t terrorists. “Who are you at war with,” they asked soldiers? “With which terrorists?” Local residents are peaceful. They threaten no one.

One perhaps spoke for others, saying:

“Today, Ukrainian troops sided with the people. (T)roops sent to our city to suppress ‘terrorism’ ” found none.

“We do not see any terrorism in our city. This means they have been sent to fight with peaceful civilians, with women and children…to fire at those women and elderly people who have gathered on the city’s square.”

“Before we had chance to talk with the boys, we had to feed them. It is because they threw those boys at us like kittens, to fire at us, but forgot to even provide them with food.”

One soldier called himself a 25th paratrooper division member. “We are all boys who won’t shoot our own people, he said.

Kathrin Hille is Financial Times Beijing correspondent. She shills for power. She headlined “Putin: Russia’s great propagandist,” saying:

He “annex(ed) Crimea.” On March 18, he “lashed out against a ‘fifth column’ of ‘national traitors’ enlisted by the West to subvert Russia.”

“He vowed to respond forcefully.” Hille called Russia’s “imperfect democratic institutions under severe threat.”

“Since the Crimea annexation, there have been frequent moves that symbolise a Soviet revival,” she claimed.

No evidence whatever suggests it. Invented misinformation substitutes for hard facts. Russian democracy shames America’s sham process.

Putin enjoys overwhelming popular support. Polls at times shows it tops 80%. Major Western leaders are scorned.

Hille didn’t explain. She claims “Putin is tightening his grip.”

“The Russian government is determined to control the internet as part of its quest to tighten the noose around free speech.”

Voice of Russia, RT International, RIAN, and other Russian media shame their Western counterparts.

They feature real news, information and analysis. Don’t expect Hille to explain.

She lied claiming “Putin brought almost all traditional media either directly under state ownership or into a position where they could be indirectly controlled…”

Western media feature Russia bashing. Putin is public enemy number one. He defends Russian sovereignty. He does so responsibly.

He opposes lawless US imperialism. He says what everyone needs to hear.

A separate article discusses his April 17 annual televised Q & A session. He holds them with ordinary Russians.

In 2013, it ran a record four hours, 48 minutes. No Western leader matches him. Rare US events are carefully scripted.

Regime supporters alone participate. They do so by invitation. Questions and answers resemble a love fest. Propaganda substitutes for straight talk.

Ongoing events are worrisome. Kiev wants direct NATO intervention. Putschist grip on power is weak without it.

Eastern resistance shows its vulnerability. So do military units refusing to fight. London’s Guardian said “large chunks of the east (are) in open revolt.”

“Ukraine is rapidly vanishing as a sovereign state. Its army is falling apart.”

“What was meant to be a show of strength” turned into a fiasco. Kiev declared war.

It did so on Washington’s orders. Soldiers refused to fight. It remains to be seen what follows.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected]

His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.”

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour

The primary reason CIA boss John Brennan went to Kyiv on Sunday was not to talk about intelligence sharing as the establishment media has reported. This was the paper thin cover story floated by Rep. Mike Rogers, the out-going chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. It is propaganda.

Brennan went to Ukraine to work on logistics for the next phase of the crisis – a proxy war against Russia similar to the successful one in Afghanistan that defeated the Soviet Union.

THe CIA, of course, denies this, and also denies it made the trip to spur the coup onward and upward to victory, a dim prospect at best due to the fact so many Ukrainians are less than thrilled about being ruled by ultra-nationalists and Right Sector brownshirts. Even Ukrainian soldiers are less not pumped up about attacking their fellow countrymen: they have surrendered to unarmed activists in Donetsk and Sloviansk.

“The claim that Director Brennan encouraged Ukrainian authorities to conduct tactical operations inside Ukraine is completely false. Like other senior U.S. officials, Director Brennan strongly believes that a diplomatic solution is the only way to resolve the crisis between Russia and Ukraine,” said aCIA spokesperson in a statement.

The Pentagon has officially announced it will provide the regime with “non-lethal aid.” The Obama administration is playing the same game in Syria while behind the scenes encouraging Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar to send in boatloads of cash, arms, and, most importantly, fanatical al-Qaeda and al-Nusra mercenaries willing to slaughter unarmed civilians and even Christian priests.

“The pull of getting involved in proxy wars is intoxicatingly strong for an obvious reason: proxies do all the work,” writes John Glaser. “Just provide surrogates cash and guns and voilà! The devil, as always, is in the details. Proxy wars are usually waged secretly and thus represent U.S. foreign policy that the American people (and indeed most of the U.S. government itself) has no say in. They usually involve supporting unscrupulous groups of people that often end up committing serious crimes (although, it’s by proxy so U.S. officials typically wiggle out of any responsibility).”

The CIA’s track record provides ample evidence this is precisely why Brennan personally traveled to Kyiv and rubbed elbows with the coup leaders. Since its inception, the agency has undermined, subverted, masterminded and directly orchestrated the overthrow of dozens of countries.

The Soviet Union fell for it in Afghanistan, but will it fall for it in Ukraine? The $6 billion Afghan operation beginning in 1979, the largest operation by the CIA to date, was designed to “humiliate the Soviets by arming anyone who would fight against them. The agency funneled cash and weapons to over a dozen guerrilla groups, many of whom had been staging raids from Pakistan years before the Soviet invasion,” writes Mark Zepezauer.

The operation also created a subset of new terrorists and phantom terrorists who are with us today and are routinely exploited as the war on manufactured terror drags on, likely forever, as promised, or until the bottom falls out in the United States financially.

Taking into consideration the CIA’s penchant for supporting the worst sort of sadists and fanatics, we can expect the covert proxy war now brewing below the surface in Ukraine, in Europe proper, to be excessively brutal.

It is doubtful Russia, recalling the humiliating defeat in Afghanistan, will merely sit idle on the sidelines and twiddle its thumbs.

Addendum

Leaflets ordering Jews to register in Donetsk are more than likely part of a CIA operation or one launched by the real anti-Semites in Kyiv (who are primarily members of Svoboda and Right Sector). This is an obvious disinformation campaign designed to dovetail with Kerry’s handshaking photo op with Lavrov in Geneva.

It has also provided one of the coup architects, Geoffrey Pyatt, the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine (the CIA notoriously uses embassies as staging platforms for coups), to make remarks customized for the establishment media, now plastering the obviously bogus story all over CNN and the rest of the corporate alphabet media.

The pro-Russian side has denounced the leaflets as brazenly obvious fakes. Jason Ditz writes:

The leadership of the self-proclaimed People’s Republic of Donetsk insist the official looking leaflets are fakes, and the signature of one of their leaders a forgery, designed to discredit the protest movement. The putative Jew registration service simply doesn’t exist, and Ukrainian Jews who show up at the government building expecting to have to pay a $50 “registration fee” are wasting their time.

So absurd and transparent is the story, Ditz could not restrain his sarcasm:

Lord knows following through on whether or not urban legends are true isn’t done in the US, which is why all the top stories in US papers today are either Jew registration that’s not happening, or a handful of kids in Tokyo wearing zentai, because that’s sure to be the new fad nationwide.

Photo: Saif al-Islam

The Libyan state this week began a mass trial, the focus of which are two of deposed leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s sons, his heir apparent Saif al-Islam, and Saadi, who was recently extradited from Niger where he had sought refuge from the US-led war in 2011.

Also facing trial are 36 top officials, including Gaddafi’s intelligence chief and right hand man Abdullah al-Senussi, deported from Mauretania in 2012, former Prime Ministers al-Baghdadi al-Mahmudi and Bouzid Dorda, and a former foreign minister Abdul Ati al-Obeidi.

They all face charges relating to their alleged role in suppressing the pro-Islamist movement in Benghazi that was utilised by NATO in order to topple Gaddafi.

What is underway has all the hallmarks of another lynching, sanctioned by a kangaroo court, like that of the Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein in 2006.

The trial is being held in al-Hadba prison in Tripoli. Angry scenes broke out when the authorities told the defendants’ families, journalists, lawyers and members of the public that the trial would not be open to the public. This was despite the fact that earlier, Libya’s justice minister Salah al-Merghani had insisted “I will not allow any crazy stuff, I will make sure it meets international standards … that is why we are having open trials.”

Eventually, a handful of international journalists, United Nations observers and family members were allowed in, after surrendering their cell phones.

Only 23 of the 38 defendants were present inside the court, and they were held inside the black iron cages. Gaddafi’s sons were absent. Saif al-Islam has been held by militias in Zintan who have refused to hand him over to the authorities in Tripoli without “proper rewards.”

A court has ruled that he can be tried via a video-link to his prison in Zintan. But in the event, the Zintan militia group holding him failed to produce him for the court hearing. Seven other defendants who are being held in Misrata demanded the same right to appear by video-link. A further nine, including Saadi Gaddafi, did not appear, without any reasons being given.

The defendants have been denied access to lawyers. Hanan Salah, Libya researcher in the Middle East and North Africa division at Human Rights Watch said that “Many of those on trial did not have a lawyer from the beginning—a cornerstone of a fair trial.”

He also said that “We have had many cases where the defendants’ lawyers were not allowed to review evidence and get access to court documents in the pre-trial phase (the pre-trial chamber) …” and that “In some other unrelated cases, judges and lawyers were harassed and there are allegations of forced confessions.”

Al-Senussi told the court he had only just got a lawyer to defend him against charges of murder, torture, kidnapping, false imprisonment, embezzlement and incitement to rape. The former intelligence official, looking thin and markedly different from that during his period in office, told the trial judge in a shaky voice, “Five days ago I signed a paper with a defence lawyer.”

After an hour, the judges adjourned the case until 27 April. They ruled that defence lawyers could examine, but not take away with them, copies of the evidence against their clients.

The mass trial exposes the chicanery and utter criminality of the Western powers. It stems from the charges of war crimes issued against Muammar Gaddafi, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi and Abdullah al-Senussi by the International Criminal Court (ICC) at the behest of the US, Britain and France in 2011.

Such claims were entirely hypocritical and ignored the thousands of criminal air sorties by the NATO powers on Tripoli and other locations with civilian populations. It was a crude attempt to bolster the illegal regime-change campaign being waged by the American, British and French governments.

After the gruesome murder of Gaddafi, and the capture of Saif al-Islam and al-Senussi by Libyan militias, it soon became clear that the western powers did not want to risk a repeat of the five-year trial of former Yugoslav ruler Slobodan Milosevic, whose self-defence exposed their bogus claims of “humanitarian intervention” in the Balkans in the 1990s.

A long drawn out trial in The Hague would reveal embarrassing details about the intimate relations between the Gaddafi regime and the Western powers between 2004 and 2011, when the dictator was brought in from the cold and Libya became open for business. Al-Senussi would undoubtedly testify on Washington and London’s global torture network, while Saif al Islam might call former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and other former associates as witnesses.

The spectacle of Blair acting as a witness in The Hague for crimes against humanity threatened to trigger an international outcry for Blair to be prosecuted on similar charges for his role in the illegal invasion of Iraq.

With the ICC indictment having served its purpose, the NATO powers and their proxies in Libya were determined not to transfer the two captives to The Hague. Instead, they sought to get around the legal obligation to hand over the two men by mounting a trial in Libya which the ICC would rubber stamp.

The trial takes place under conditions of complete lawlessness, without even the semblance of a functioning political and legal system, and in which the US-installed state is on the point of disintegration and all-out civil war. Rival right-wing terrorist militias promoted by the US, the European powers and the Gulf States, have plundered the country for their own enrichment.

The oil transnationals have stopped production due to the chronic instability and a number of the major international airlines have stopped flights to Tripoli, under the control of a Zintan militia, after rockets hit the runway last month.

According to Nouri Abu Sahmain, the speaker of parliament, Libya faces bankruptcy due to the blockade of the oil facilities in the eastern province of Cyrenaica by militias since last July, and more recently the cutting of one of Libya’s last remaining pipelines in the west of the country.

This has led the government to reach an agreement with the rebels’ leader, Ibrahim Jathran, who controls the eastern terminals, to end the blockade in return for dropping all charges against the rebels and paying their salaries.

Such is the chaos that on Sunday, interim Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni resigned following an attack on his family by one of Libya’s militia groups. Details of the attack are sketchy but it was believed to have occurred on the road to the airport in Tripoli, where there are nightly skirmishes between rival militias. The former defence minister was only appointed a few weeks ago following the Islamist-dominated Congress’ sacking of Prime Minister Ali Zeidan.

Zeidan, who subsequently fled to Germany, has called for direct foreign intervention in the country, telling CNN, “Any means to have security will be accepted in Libya. We should have forces that are part of the United Nations, regional or Middle Eastern troops.”

It is far from clear how Congress, which faces opposition from the oil-rich Cyrenaica province in the east and Fezzan in the south that seek autonomy within a federal state, will be able to find enough legislators to agree on a new prime minister. All but 76 have withdrawn from the 200-member Congress, which sought to extend its mandate which expired in February until the end of the year.

The aim was to allow time for the 60-member Constituent Assembly to approve a new constitution to be drafted by a committee, representing each of Libya’s three provinces. But barely 500,000 of the 3.4 million electorate turned out to vote for the Constituent Assembly on February 20. While Congress has now agreed to hold parliamentary elections this summer, without waiting for the new constitution, this leaves Libya without a functioning parliament.

Though Moscow distanced itself from protests in eastern Ukraine at talks in Geneva, US and European officials signaled yesterday that they would continue to ratchet up tensions with Russia amid continuing moves by the regime in Kiev to mobilize its armed forces against pro-Russian protesters.

The joint communiqué issued in Geneva by the United States, the European Union (EU), Ukraine and Russia called for an end to protests and building occupations in eastern Ukraine. Buildings currently occupied by protesters were to be returned to the control of the US puppet regime in Kiev installed by a fascist-led putsch in February.

The statement declared: “All sides must refrain from any violence, intimidation, or provocative actions. The participants strongly condemned and rejected all expressions of extremism, racism, and religious intolerance, including anti-Semitism. All illegal armed groups must be disarmed; all illegally seized buildings must be returned to legitimate owners; all illegally occupied streets, squares, and other public places in Ukrainian cities and towns must be vacated.”

The communiqué called for international monitors to oversee “de-escalation measures” and pledged to grant amnesty to protesters for non-capital crimes.

Despite Moscow’s decision to sign a document calling for an end to the pro-Russian protests, Western officials indicated they would maintain and intensify economic and military pressure on Moscow. At a press conference shortly after the Geneva talks ended, US President Barack Obama said the United States and its European allies would continue to prepare new economic sanctions against Russia.

He had discussed sanctions in a telephone call with German Chancellor Angela Merkel before giving the press conference. The two leaders agreed to enact further sanctions if Russia did not de-escalate the situation “in short order,” according to a White House statement.

“My hope is we do actually see follow-through over the next several days, but I don’t think, given past performance, that we can count on that, and we have to be prepared to potentially respond to what continue to be efforts of interference by the Russians in eastern and southern Ukraine,” Obama declared.

He repeated unsubstantiated US charges that the Kremlin has massed thousands of troops along the border with eastern Ukraine, accusing Russia of sowing “disruption and chaos.”

Obama’s denunciations of Russia for “interfering” in Ukraine continue the brazen lies and distortions that have characterized the statements of US and European officials, amplified by the media, since the onset of the crisis in Ukraine. Anyone who has been following the events knows that it is Washington, Berlin and the European Union that provoked the crisis by orchestrating the overthrow of the elected, pro-Russian government of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych—interfering in the affairs of Ukraine by carrying out a putsch and utilizing fascist parties and militia as their shock troops.

As the Geneva talks were ongoing, the Obama administration provocatively declared that it would step up aid to the armed forces of the Kiev regime, in line with a continuing NATO escalation in Eastern Europe announced the day before by NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced the increased aid after talks with his Polish counterpart, Tomasz Siemoniak, on boosting the NATO military presence throughout Eastern Europe. He said Washington would ship medical supplies, power generators, helmets and other equipment to the Ukrainian army.

Washington’s military support for Kiev is part of a continuing build-up across the region, aimed at encircling Russia. Hagel announced a new “air defense cooperative” between the United States, Poland, Romania and the Baltic states. It will see stepped-up deployments of US warplanes and missiles to Eastern Europe and of US warships to the Baltic and eastern Mediterranean Seas.

The Kiev regime also implemented a ban on travel by Russian males aged 16 to 60 into Ukraine. The Ukrainian State Border Guard Service told the Russian news service RIA-Novosti, “These temporary measures apply, primarily, to healthy males who could somehow influence the situation in eastern Ukraine.”

The Russian airline Aeroflot, which received early notification of the policy, warned: “Ukrainian females aged 20-35 years who are registered as residents of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol will be allowed to enter Ukraine only after special verification.”

Yesterday’s events undermine US and European claims that the Ukrainian crisis is due to an offensive by the Kremlin to conquer Ukraine by orchestrating protests in eastern Ukraine. In fact, the Kremlin is pulling back from the protests despite continuing threats and provocations from the West, even as the anti-Kiev protesters in eastern Ukraine succeed in blunting the first wave of military units sent from Kiev to attack them.

Eastern Ukrainian civilians have blocked armed convoys sent from Kiev, and pro-Russian activists have commandeered several Ukrainian armored vehicles whose drivers refused orders to attack civilians. The wider popular opposition to the Western-backed regime in Kiev and the refusal of soldiers to fire on Ukrainian civilians in recent days is acknowledged even in Western media.

“Ukrainian troops found themselves operating in often-hostile territory, while militants proclaiming loyalty to Russia were welcomed by cheering residents as defenders,” the W all Street Journal wrote on Thursday. “The Ukrainian army also appeared in bad shape. Some of the soldiers blocked by civilians were reservists with rusty vehicles, who eagerly accepted the food and water offered to them.”

The Kiev regime has pledged to try soldiers who refused to fire on the population for “cowardice.”

More broadly, these events expose the lies and hypocrisy underlying the entire Western intervention in Ukraine. The unelected regime in Kiev that emerged from pro-EU protests and the February 22 fascist-led putsch is not a new dawn for democracy, but an authoritarian regime trying to mount a bloody crackdown on widespread popular opposition. It is not the victim of Russian aggression, but the tool of an aggressive policy by the Western imperialist powers aimed at encircling and weakening Russia.

Despite the outcome of the Geneva talks and the initial failure of the Kiev regime to drown the protests in blood, the situation in eastern Ukraine is still teetering on the verge of a civil war that threatens to escalate into a conflagration drawing in Kiev, Moscow, and the NATO powers.

Deadly fighting broke out in the southeastern Ukrainian city of Mariupol yesterday after an attack on a Ukrainian army base by a group of some 300 fighters. Three of the assailants were killed, thirteen wounded, and 63 captured, but some of the Ukrainian soldiers also surrendered.

“The 25thAirborne Brigade, whose soldiers showed cowardice and laid down weapons, will be disbanded,” interim Ukraine President Oleksandr Turchynov said. “Guilty soldiers will stand before the court.”

Armed protesters are still in control of the city of Slavyansk, which forces loyal to the Kiev regime attacked earlier this week. Pro-Russian protesters continue to control state buildings in ten major cities in eastern Ukraine.

Russian President Vladimir Putin stressed the extremely tense situation, responding to a question in a prime-time interview on Russian television yesterday.

“The people in the eastern regions have started arming themselves,” Putin said. “And instead of realizing that something isn’t right in the Ukrainian state and moving toward a dialog, [the Kiev government] began threatening more force and even moved in tanks and planes against the peaceful population. This is yet another very serious crime of Ukraine’s current rulers.”

Noting that the Russian parliament had given him authorization to send troops into eastern Ukraine to protect ethnic Russians from attack, Putin added: “I really hope I won’t be forced to use that right.”

by Daria Chernyshova

The recent visit of CIA Director John Brennan to Ukraine was likely an attempt to initiate the use of force against pro-federalization protests, Brandon Turbeville, an American international affairs expert, told RIA Novosti.

“It’s clear that the CIA director’s presence in Kiev is much more than mere coincidence,” Turbeville said.

“Despite the denials by the White House, it seems that Brennan’s visit was an attempt to, at the very least, express support for a violent crackdown on pro-Russian protesters and militants in Eastern Ukraine. It is more likely, however, that Brennan’s trip was an attempt to formulate, encourage and initiate that use of force,” he added.

CIA Director John Brennan

CIA Director John Brennan visited Ukraine over the weekend, information that was confirmed by White House Press Secretary Jay Carney on Monday, after being reported by media on Sunday.

Over the same weekend, Kiev authorities cracked down on pro-federalization protests in eastern Ukraine. Regime troops advanced toward a number of cities in eastern Ukraine Tuesday to attack the protesters.

“Brennan’s appearance in Kiev just before the announcement of a violent crackdown in eastern Ukraine is just too timely to assume that it is a coincidence,” Turbeville said.

“Brennan, who has been actively involved in arming insurgents in Libya, Syria and Venezuela, has a reputation for using thuggish tactics in pursuit of CIA goals,” Wayne Madsen, an American investigative journalist told RIA Novosti.

“The reported presence of Greystone mercenaries in Ukraine is typical of the CIA using shadowy front companies with murky interconnecting relationships to carry out agency operations,” Madsen said.

Sreeram Chaulia, Professor and Dean at the Jindal School of International Affairs, believes the CIA director traveled to Kiev with promises of large sums of money “to create new special units and squads that can help in crushing the people’s uprisings in eastern Ukraine.”

“He must have gone in person rather than leave it to the local CIA station chief so as to give hope to the Ukrainian security agencies that a new Western-dominated reordering of the state is underway, and that they should hence stop being ambivalent about Russia,” Chaulia told RIA Novosti.

Chaulia said the visit was a US attempt to make Ukraine “more confrontational and aggressive toward Russia by showing a high level of Western commitment for counter-intelligence and sabotage.”

Several American organizations are known to be involved in meddling in domestic affairs of other countries, including staging revolutions. In Ukraine, the US held a series of so-called TechCamps over the past two years to train social activists. Similar workshops are regularly held in other states and often coincide with epicenters of revolutions and unrest.

“The involvement of organizations like the National Endowment for Democracy and the International Republican Institute should not be overlooked either, since John McCain, who is heavily involved with the IRI even went so far as to travel to Ukraine to express support for the neo-Nazis and fascists who were in the process of seizing power,” Turbeville said.

Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland has said the US spent $5 billion over the past 20 years to build up so-called pro-democracy forces in Ukraine and that Washington was ready to financially support Kiev if it implements necessary political reforms.

America has Become a Police State

April 18th, 2014 by Kourosh Ziabari

In the far past, I used to look skeptically at those who believed and maintained that the United States is moving in the direction of becoming a rogue, police state. After all, nearly every single American media outlet propagates this belief that the United States is a “beacon of freedom”, and many people around the globe tend to accept it. Moreover, every year, thousands of people from different parts of the world immigrate to the States in search of a better and more prosperous life, having believed in the hidden power of this beacon of freedom in revolutionizing their lives. But now, I’ve come to the understanding that this is not the whole story, and even those who wishfully move to America to realize their dreams, find after a while that their hopes were in vain.

It may be the case that the United States is a plural society, where people from different races, languages, nationalities and religions live and have learned to get along with each other. It’s also true that the American citizens enjoy a relative level of economic welfare provided to them by the government. But does this mean that social freedoms, civil liberties and human rights are protected and enshrined by the U.S. government equally for all the citizens living in the States, regardless of their faith, color, religion and nationality? The answer is a big NO.

It’s been a long time, at least since the deadly 9/11 attacks, that the U.S. government has embarked on a mission of militarizing the American society and suppressing the voices that challenge its hegemony and the military-industrial complex that pushes the White House to more and more wars and conflicts in different parts of the world. The U.S. government, either deliberately, or under the pressure of the multinational corporations and the interest lobbies, has stridden on a path that propels it to warmongering, bullying and law-breaking. The decisions made by the U.S. government in the years following the 9/11 attacks bespeak of a growing restriction of the social freedoms and unwarrantable violation of the essential human rights of the American people and other nationals living in the United States.

The persecution of Muslims under the pretext that they were the Muslims who attacked the twin towers of the World Trade Center on 9/11, and that they pose a serious threat to the U.S. national security is one of several instances showing that the United States is no longer a liberal and normal society which treats its citizens on equal footing and honorably. The American Muslims, which comprise a 3-million-strong community in the United States, have occasionally reported that they were subject to different types of harassment, unlawful searches and seizures, extrajudicial detention, espionage plots and entrapments.

 Khalifah al-Akili, a 34-year-old American Muslims from the Pittsburg area recounted in March 2012 the story of his being unintentionally involved in an entrapment case schemed by the FBI counterterrorism executives who wanted to lay the groundwork for arresting him, which they finally did. He was approached by a seemingly fellow Muslims while saying prayers in the district mosque. The so-called Muslim fellow called Shareef had offered to undertake the expenses for al-Akili to open a restaurant in a nearby district, and in return, he should have bought a rifle. Al-Akili refused to buy the gun, which he had considered a wrongdoing. Then Shareef tried several times to arrange a meeting between Al-Akili and someone introduced as Mohammed. Again he refused; but as soon as he obtained a phone number for Mohammed, he searched it on the web, and to his utmost surprise, found out that the number belonged to someone called Shahed Hussain, an undercover FBI operative. He called Hussain and asked him whether he worked with the FBI. Hussain hung up on him, and then disappeared from the district a few days later, leaving the home he owned there vacant.

An important report by the Mother Jones magazine and the Investigative Reporting Program in 2011 examined the prosecution of more than 500 defendants in terrorism-related cases in the United States. The report showed that “nearly half the prosecutions involved the use of informants,” motivated by money or “the need to work off criminal or immigration violations.” Moreover, “sting operations resulted in prosecutions against 158 defendants. Of that, 49 defendants participated in plots led by an agent provocateur — an FBI operative instigating terrorist action.” So, according to the report, “With three exceptions, all of the high-profile domestic terror plots of the last decade were actually FBI stings.”

Hence, it can be inferred that making efforts to portray Muslims as criminals or embroiling them in terrorist activities with the aim of demonizing and criminalizing them is a routine modus operandi of the U.S. government and military, intelligence apparatus. But this is not the entire story. The detention of Muslim citizens on baseless charges and without due judicial course, the destruction of mosques and preventing Muslim women from wearing headscarves are other examples of how the U.S. police state is treating the Muslims in a discriminatory manner. Many civil rights organizations in the United States have warned in the recent months against the intensification of furtive intelligence operations against the Muslims and espionage plots in the mosques and Muslim communities.

Muslims in the United States complain that they are not free to practice their religious rituals in public. They are repeatedly scorned and insulted and like the African-Americans who bear the brunt of being demoralized and derogated upon by the whites, the Muslims have become accustomed to being offended and called terrorists in the public sphere.

On September 9, 2011, the prominent Egyptian-American journalist Mona Eltahawy wrote an article in The Guardian and explained her plight as a Muslim living in the post-9/11 America. She said that after getting divorced from her American husband following the 9/11 attacks, she remained in the States and started a battle to defend her religion against those who intended to portray it a wicked and dangerous faith: “Ironically, he [her husband] now lives in Asia and I’ve stayed in the U.S. I stayed to fight. To say that’s not my Islam. To yell Muslims weren’t invented on 9/11. Those planes crashing again and again into the towers were the first introduction to Islam and Muslims for too many Americans but we – American Muslims – are sick and tired of explaining. None of those men was an American Muslim and we’re done explaining and apologizing. Enough.”

In her article, she narrates the “challenge” of being a Muslim in the post-9/11 America. She writes that President George Bush did everything he could to punish the Muslims for the crime they had not committed: “military trials for civilians, secret prisons, the detention of hundreds of Muslim men without charge, the torture and harsh interrogation of detainees and the invasions of two Muslim-majority countries.

“And the latest stain on the US civil liberties record: an Associated Press expose in August on ways the CIA and the NYPD are combining forces to spy on Muslims in New York City. The thought that someone could be following me to my favorite book shops or night clubs is as pathetic and sinister as when the Mubarak regime tapped my phone and had me followed when I lived in Egypt,” she added.

But as it can be easily guessed, they’re not only the Muslims who fall prey to the bigotry and prejudice of the U.S. police state. The U.S. government has taken a hard line on all of its citizens, not simply the Muslims or the non-American immigrants. In this light, the whistleblowers who remove the lid from the atrocities and crimes of the U.S. military and intelligence apparatus have come under the onslaught of the U.S. government, and aside from people such as Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning whose stories have made the headlines, there are audacious freedom fighters like John Kiriakou, who have not only been illegally arrested and sentenced to long terms in prison, but were and are being unlawfully tortured and finding their dignity and esteem being trampled underfoot.

 One of these whistleblowers is John Kiriakou, a former CIA analyst and case officer and senior investigator for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee who revealed that the United States government has authorized the use of brutal torture methods in the prisons for getting confession from the culprits. In a 2007 interview with the ABC News, John said that CIA was torturing prisoners and that this torture was official US government policy. Kiriakou was the first U.S. official who admitted that the Central Intelligence Agency has used the torturing method of waterboarding against the suspects kept at Guantanamo bay detention facility and other underground prisons maintained by the United States. On January 25, 2013, Kiriakou was sentenced to 30 months in prison, and his term began on February 28. There are conflicting reports that John Kiriakou, himself a former CIA employee, was tortured while being kept in jail.

In recent years, a growing number of authors, intellectuals, activists and even politicians in the United States who are concerned about the future of their country have been constantly warning that the United States is becoming a police state, and that the prospects of democracy and freedom in this country seems alarming and indeterminate.

John W. Whitehead, the President of The Rutherford Institute has extensively researched on and documented the evidence and cases which substantiate the idea that the United States is no longer a democratic and free society, but a rogue state. He has even written a book exclusively on this topic, entitled “A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State.”

“With each tragic shooting that is shrugged off or covered up, each piece of legislation passed that criminalizes otherwise legal activities, every surveillance drone that takes to the skies, every phone call, email or text that is spied on, and every transaction that is monitored, the government’s stranglehold over our lives grows stronger,” writes Whitehead in an article for The Blaze magazine published on November 5, 2013.

He narrates the heartrending story of the 13-year-old Andy Lopez, a Santa Rosa teen who was shot dead by two sheriffs as they suspected him to be carrying an illegal assault weapon directed at them, while what was in his hands was a toy BB gun he had just shopped.

Whitehead says that according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, every year around 400 to 500 innocent civilians are killed by the U.S. police in such foolish confrontations. He also notes that the U.S. government has allocated unnecessarily excessive budgets to the local police departments in the different states and equipped them with advanced military warfare and even unmanned drones. He notes that the military budget of the United States exceeds that of the next 10 countries combined, and this is what singles out the United States as a country that has an unusual voraciousness for warmongering and militarism.

 Militarism, expansionism and tyranny have become the hallmarks of the American civilization, and this is really sorrowful for a country whose leaders call a beacon of freedom. If we rely on Hollywood, Fox News and CNN to tell us what the United States is and what it is not, we will unquestionably come to believe that it’s the most flawless, progressive, advancing and democratic empire of the world in which injustice and inequality are totally irrelevant. But let’s open our eyes to find out what’s really happening behind the scenes and what the mainstream, corporate media don’t tell us about the emerging police state.

­Kourosh Ziabari is an Iranian journalist and media correspondent. He has interviewed more than 250 prominent world leaders, politicians, diplomats, academicians, public intellectuals, scientists, Nobel Prize laureates, authors, journalists and activists. His writings regularly appear on Tehran Times.

In the present confrontation between Russia and the West over the Ukrainian crisis, the image of the Cold War inevitably comes to mind and the media are obviously fond of it. However, contrary to what it gives us to understand, it’s not Russia that seeks the return of an iron curtain but really the US. An iron curtain separating the old powers and emerging nations; the world before and the world afterwards; debtors and creditors. And this in the crazy hope of preserving the American way of life and the US’ influence over “its” camp in the absence of being able to impose it on the whole world. In other words, go down with as many companions as possible to give the impression of not sinking.

For the US, these are the current stakes in fact: drag along the whole Western camp with them to be able to continue dominating and trading with enough countries. So, we are witnessing a formidable operation of turning round opinion and leaders in Europe to ensure docile and understanding rulers vis-à-vis the American boss, supported by a blitzkrieg to link them permanently with the TTIP and to cut them off from what could be their lifeline, namely the BRICS, their huge markets, their vibrant future, their link with developing countries, etc. We are analyzing all these aspects in this GEAB issue, as well as the subtle use of the fear of deflation to convince Europeans to adopt US methods.

In the light of the extreme danger of these methods used by the US, it goes without saying that leaving the US ship wouldn’t be an act of betrayal by Europe, but really a major step forward for the world as we have already extensively analyzed in previous GEAB issues (1).

Unfortunately, the most reasonable European leaders are completely paralyzed and the best strategy that they are still capable of currently putting into effect, in the best case scenario, seems to be simply to delay (2), certainly useful and welcome but hardly sufficient…

LOWER THE MASKS

With the internet and “leak” type issues, keeping a secret has become difficult for secret agents and countries with dirty hands. Besides Snowden’s or WikiLeaks disclosures, we have further learned recently that the US was behind a social network in Cuba targeting the destabilization of the government in power (3).

We have been able to watch this video opportunely leaked on YouTube (4) showing the Americans at work behind the coup d’état in the Ukraine. Or again, it would seem that they are not innocent in Erdoğan’s current destabilization in Turkey (5), a country whose situation we will go into in more detail in the next GEAB issue (6)…

The masks are falling… certainly on the evidence, but that nobody can ignore.

But the United States is no longer satisfied with developing countries or banana republics… In Europe, they are also managing to turn round the leaders one after the other, so that they obediently follow American interests. It’s no longer “what’s good for General Motors is good for America” as Charles Wilson (former GM CEO) said in 1953, but “what’s good for the US is good for Europe”. It already has Cameron, Rajoy, Barroso and Ashton’s support… It has succeeded in getting Donald Tusk’s Poland’s whilst he was strongly resistant at the beginning of his term of office (7), Italy’s thanks to Renzi’s opportunist coup d’état (8), and France’s Hollande/Valls thanks in particular to a ministerial reshuffle and a Prime Minister little suspected of anti-Americanism. Unlike the beginning of his term of office when he played the independence card on Mali or on other fronts, François Hollande seems to be completely submissive to the United States. What pressure has been put on him? As for Germany, it’s still resisting somewhat but for how long (9)? We will expand on these remarks in the Telescope.

Europe is thus dragged towards US interests that aren’t its own, neither in terms of politics, geopolitics, or trade as we will see. Whilst the BRICS have chosen an opposite path and are seeking to withdraw from the henceforth profoundly negative influence of the US at any price, Europe is now being taken for a ride. Evidenced, for example, by Belgium’s purchase of $130 billion worth of US Treasuries in three months from October 2013 to January 2040 (latest figures available (10)), being at an annual rate greater than its GDP (11)… It’s certainly not Belgium itself which is responsible for this aberration, but Brussels of course, that’s to say the EU as a little US soldier.

Politically Europe is stifled by the US which can take heart in the absence of any leadership. And the way to permanently seal this American stranglehold over Europe is called the TTIP…

QUICK A TTIP

We have already amply documented it: unlike the triumphant discussions of “recovery” based on rising real estate prices and the stock exchange which is at its highest, the real US economy is in dire straits. Food shortages are higher than in Greece.

On the right, percentage of the population which can't afford food, by country (on the left, change 2007-2012). Source : Bloomberg / OECD.

On the right, percentage of the population which can’t afford food, by country (on the left, change 2007-2012). Source : Bloomberg / OECD.

Shops, even good value ones, are closing through lack of customers (12). Demand for real estate loans are at their lowest, which bodes ill for what follows next and presages an imminent reversal, as we anticipated in the GEAB n°81.

[...]

But as we have already said, this isn’t the most important thing. The TTIP’s major stake is the Dollar’ s preservation in trade and keeping Europe in the US’ lap in order to avoid the constitution of a Euro-BRICS bloc able to counterbalance the US.

Thus, the Ukrainian crisis, under the pretext of Russian aggression and gas supply, is a good way, in the panic, of imposing the US and the lobbies’ agenda in the face of European leaders who are too weak to act. What wasn’t expected is that the lobbies’ interests are not necessarily going in the direction one thinks…

[...]

Notes :

1 And as China, in particular, asks Europe to do via its swap agreements, for instance.

2 Waiting especially for European elections.

3 Source : The Guardian, 03/04/2014.

4 Source : Reuters, 06/02/2014.

5 Following the US’ use of social networks in Cuba as previously mentioned, it’s not surprising that Erdoğan decided to cut off Twitter in Turkey. Moreover, Fethullah Gülen, founder of the Gülen movement opposed to the Erdoğan government, lives in… the US. Sources : Aljazeera (13/03/2014), Wikipédia.

6 A small digression: our team can’t help thinking that if de Gaulle, so admired in France, were in power today, he himself would also be considered as an autocrat to overthrow, like Erdoğan or Putin… Effective leadership in the interest of one’s country now seems to be considered incompatible with democracy in its current form, which must be weak…

7 Source : Wikipédia. Donald Tusk is now a fervent shale gas supporter in Poland and rising up against Russia. Sources : Wall Street Journal (11/03/2014), DnaIndia (05/04/2014).

8 Read also RT, 01/04/2014.

9 Source : EUObserver, 10/04/2014.

10 Source : US Treasury.

11 With its trade surplus of about 1% of GDP it will struggle to explain this purchasing power all by itself…

12 See, for example ABCNews, 10/04/2014.

 I watched Dr. Strangelove the other day. I have seen it perhaps a dozen times; it makes sense of senseless news. When Major T.J. “King” Kong goes “toe to toe with the Rooskies” and flies his rogue B52 nuclear bomber to a target in Russia, it’s left to General “Buck” Turgidson to reassure the President. Strike first, says the general, and “you got no more than 10 to 20 million killed, tops.”

 President Merkin Muffley: “I will not go down in history as the greatest mass-murderer since Adolf Hitler.”

General Turgidson: “Perhaps it might be better, Mr. President, if you were more concerned with the American people than with your image in the history books.”

The genius of Stanley Kubrick’s film is that it accurately represents the cold war’s lunacy and dangers.  Most of the characters are based on real people and real maniacs. There is no equivalent to Strangelove today, because popular culture is directed almost entirely at our interior lives, as if identity is the moral zeitgeist and true satire is redundant; yet the dangers are the same. The nuclear clock has remained at five minutes to midnight; the same false flags are hoisted above the same targets by the same “invisible government”, as Edward Bernays, the inventor of public relations, described modern propaganda.

In 1964, the year Strangelove was made, “the missile gap” was the false flag. In order to build more and bigger nuclear weapons and pursue an undeclared policy of domination, President John Kennedy approved the CIA’s  propaganda that the Soviet Union was well ahead of the US in the production of Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles. This filled front pages as the “Russian threat”. In fact, the Americans were so far ahead in the production of ICBMs, the Russians never approached them. The cold war was based largely on this lie.

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the US has ringed Russia with military bases, nuclear warplanes and missiles as part of its “Nato Enlargement Project”. Reneging a US promise to Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev in 1990 that Nato would not expand “one inch to the east”, Nato has all but taken over eastern Europe. In the former Soviet Caucuses, Nato’s military build-up is the most extensive since the second world war.

In February, the United States mounted one of its proxy “colour” coups against the elected government of Ukraine; the shock troops were fascists. For the first time since 1945, a pro-Nazi, openly anti-Semitic party controls key areas of state power in a European capital. No Western European leader has condemned this revival of fascism on the border of Russia.  Some 30 million Russians died in the invasion of their country by Hitler’s Nazis, who were supported by the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, the UPA, responsible for numerous Jewish and Polish massacres. The UPA was the military wing, inspiring today’s Svoboda party.

Since Washington’s putsch in Kiev — and Moscow’s inevitable response in Russian Crimea, to protect its Black Sea Fleet — the provocation and isolation of Russia have been inverted in the news to the “Russian threat”. This is fossilised propaganda. The US Air Force general who runs Nato forces in Europe  – General Breedlove, no less — claimed more than two weeks ago to have pictures showing 40,000 Russian troops “massing” on the border with Ukraine. So did Colin Powell claim to have pictures of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. What is certain is that Obama’s rapacious, reckless coup in Ukraine has ignited a civil war and Vladimir Putin is being lured into a trap.

Following a 13-year rampage that began in stricken Afghanistan well after Osama bin Laden had fled, then destroyed Iraq beneath a false flag, then invented a “nuclear rogue” in Iran, dispatched Libya to a Hobbesian anarchy and backed jihadists in Syria, the US finally has a new cold war to supplement its worldwide campaign of murder and terror by drone.

 A Nato Membership Action Plan or MAP — straight from the war room of Strangelove — is General Breedlove’s gift to the new dictatorship in Ukraine. “Rapid Trident” will put US troops on Ukraine’s Russian border and “Sea Breeze” will put US warships within sight of Russian ports. At the same time, Nato war games throughout eastern Europe are designed to intimidate Russia. Imagine the response if this madness was reversed and happened on America’s borders. Cue General “Buck” Turgidson.

And there is China. On 24 April, President Obama will begin a tour of Asia to promote his “Pivot to China”. The aim is to convince his “allies” in the region, principally Japan, to re-arm and prepare for the eventual possibility of war with China. By 2020, almost two-thirds of all US naval forces in the world will be transferred to the Asia-Pacific area. This is the greatest military concentration in that vast region since the second world war.

In an arc extending from Australia to Japan, China will face US missiles and nuclear-armed bombers. A strategic naval base is being built on the Korean island of Jeju less than 400 miles from the Chinese metropolis of Shanghai and the industrial heartland of the only country whose economic power is likely to surpass that of the US.  Obama’s “pivot” is designed to undermine China’s influence in its region. It is as if world war has begun by other means.

This is not a Strangelove fantasy. Obama’s defence secretary, Charles “Chuck” Hagel, was in Beijing last week to deliver a menacing warning that China, like Russia, could face isolation and war if it did not bow to US demands. He compared the annexation of Crimea with China’s complex territorial dispute with Japan over uninhabited islands in the East China Sea. “You cannot go around the world,” said Hagel with a straight face, “and violate the sovereignty of nations by force, coercion or intimidation”. As for America’s massive movement of naval forces and nuclear weapons to Asia, that is “a sign of the humanitarian assistance the US military can provide”.

Obama is currently seeking a greater budget for nuclear weapons than the historical peak during the cold war, the era of Strangelove. The United States is pursuing its longstanding ambition to dominate the Eurasian landmass, stretching from China to Europe: a “manifest destiny” made right by might.

www.johnpilgercom

 

Survival is the key word to understand the Saudi dynasty’s latest external and internal policies. These are designed to pre-empt change but paradoxically they are creating more enemies in a changing world order marked by turbulent regional geopolitics and growing internal demands for change.
 
The seventy-year old strategic oil for security US-Saudi alliance seemed about to crack on its 69th anniversary ahead of the summit meeting of US President Barak Obama and king Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz in March.
 
With the US now committed to pivoting east and possibly on track to become an oil exporter by 2017, American and Saudi policies are no longer identical.
 
Former US President George W. Bush’s democracy campaign, which Saudi opposed, alerted its rulers to be on guard. The Arab popular protests since 2011 pushed them into leading a regional defensive counterrevolution and ever since the gap in bilateral relations has been widening.
 
The Saudis could not trust the US’ “regime change” strategy in the region, which depends on the Muslim Brotherhood International (MBI) as an instrument of change, sponsored by a regional rival like Turkey and a co-member of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), like Qatar, which has been for long contesting the Saudi leadership of the GCC, the Saudi leading role in Arab politics and the Saudi political representation of Sunni Muslims.
 
This trilateral alliance of Qatar , Turkey and the MBI would develop into a real threat to Saudi’s survival if it was allowed to deliver change in Syria , Iraq , Egypt , Yemen , Lebanon , Tunisia , Libya and elsewhere in the region. It might quickly leave Saudi Arabia as the next target for “change.”
 
The US pillar of Saudi security now seems to be in doubt as the United States stands unable to meet Saudi expectations on almost all the most critical issues in the Middle East, from the Arab-Israeli conflict to the Saudi-Iran conflict and the ongoing bloody conflict in Syria, let alone the conflict with the MBI, especially in Egypt.
 
Within this context, using the MBI as an instrument for “regime change” in the region has created a Saudi MBI phobia. Change is overdue in the kingdom, but, after decades of intensive Islamic education, change could only come camouflaged in Islamist form.
 
“It might seem ironic for a Wahhabi theocracy to oppose so forcefully a party that mixes religion with politics. But it is precisely because the monarchy bases its legitimacy on Islam that it fears Brotherhood rivalry,” journalist Roula Khalaf wrote in the Financial Times in March.
 
Obama doesn’t seem capable of mending the bilateral fences. His refusal to fight Saudi regional wars reminds them that he is the same man who as a state senator back in 2002 stated that:
“Let’s fight to make sure our so-called allies in the Middle East – the Saudis and the Egyptians – stop oppressing their own people, and suppressing dissent, and tolerating corruption and inequality, and mismanaging their economies.”
However, as demonstrated by Obama’s visit to the kingdom on March 28, the bilateral differences will remain tactical, while the strategic alliance will hold until the kingdom finds a credible alternative to its American security guarantor, although this seems an unrealistic development in the foreseen future.
 
Regional Shifts
 
Regionally, the kingdom is not faring better. The US-promoted and Saudi–advocated anti-Iran “front” of regional “moderates,” with Israel as an undercover partner, seems now a forgone endeavor.
 
The Saudi call for converting the GCC “council” into a “union” is now dead.
 
Oman’s public threat to withdraw from the GCC should it transform into a union and the Saudi current rift with Qatar threaten the GCC’s very existence.
 
Saudi invitation to Jordan and Morocco to join the GCC was unwelcome by other GCC members and by Morocco .
 
In Bahrain , the kingdom has intervened militarily to squash a three-year old ongoing democratic uprising.
 
The latest Kuwait-hosted Arab summit meeting did not see eye to eye with Saudi on Syria .
 
Forming a Lebanese government without Hezbullah and its pro-Syria coalition has failed.
 
Egypt’s calls for a “political solution” in Syria and its refusal to give the Syrian Arab League seat to the opposition could not be interpreted as a friendly position from a country that Saudi Arabia has bailed out, in exchange for its transition away from a MBI rule.
 
Turkey is at odds with the Egyptian-Saudi newly found partnership.
 
Iraq is accusing the kingdom of waging a “war” against it, with Saudi now the only country to not have a permanent ambassador to Iraq .
 
Meanwhile, the kingdom continues to deal with Iran as an “existential threat.”
 
In the background, the Israeli threat could never be overlooked.
 
Self-confidence Challenged
 
Using petrodollars as soft power to gain influence abroad and secure loyalty internally, the kingdom seems self-confident enough, or overconfident, to feel secured on its own.
Speaking at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg , Virginia , on March 11, Prince Turki al–Faisal, chairman of the King Faisal Center for Research & Islamic Studies in Riyadh and former Saudi Ambassador to the US , said:
“Saudi Arabia represents over 20% of the combined GDP of the Middle East-North Africa (MENA) region (and over a quarter of the Arab World’s GDP) making it … an effective partner and member of the G20.
 “The Saudi stock market represents over 50% of the entire stock market capitalization of the MENA region.
 
“The Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA), the Kingdom’s central bank, is the world’s third largest holder of net foreign assets … Last but not least, Saudi Aramco, the Kingdom’s national oil company, is the world’s largest producer and exporter of petroleum and has by far the world’s largest sustained production capacity infrastructure.”
  However, veteran journalist Karen Elliot House, has presented a starkly ominous picture.
“Sixty percent of Saudis are 20 or younger, most of whom have no hope of a job,” House wrote in her 2012 book. “Seventy percent of Saudis cannot afford to own a home. Forty percent live below the poverty line. The royals, 25,000 princes and princesses, own most of the valuable land and benefit from a system that gives each a stipend and some a fortune. Foreign workers make the Kingdom work; the 19 million Saudi citizens share the Kingdom with 8.5 million guest workers.”
According to House, regional differences are “a daily fact of Saudi life.” Hejazis in the West and Shiites in the East resent the strict Wahhabi lifestyle. Gender discrimination is a growing problem. Sixty percent of Saudi college graduates are women but they account for only twelve percent of the work force.
 
Moreover, according to Anthony H. Cordesman, published by the Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) on April 21, 2011,
“There are serious gaps between ‘haves’ and ‘have nots,’ regional differences in wealth and privilege, and tensions between Saudi Shi’ites and Saudi Sunnis.”
The kingdom has been squandering billions upon billions of petrodollars in a lost battle to finance a regional counterrevolution. Some $20bn dollars were pledged to bailout Bahrain and the Sultanate of Oman out of the Arab Spring. Three billions more was pledged recently to buy French arms to prop up the Lebanese army against the Hezbullah-led pro-Syria coalition. Several billions more have been pledged to Egypt to reinforce the successors of the ousted former president Mohamed Morsi, let alone the reportedly other billions spent on financing “regime change” in Syria. Reportedly, Obama tried to convince King Abdullah during his latest visit to bail out the transition in Ukraine .
 
To contain the repercussions of the Arab uprisings internally, the Kingdom has already spent even more on buying the loyalty of its own people; for the same purpose twenty Royal Orders, which were economically dominated, were issued in March 2011.
 
In February 2011, King Abdullah pledged more than $35 billion for housing, salary increases for state employees, studying abroad and social security. The next month the king announced another financial package worth more than $70 billion for more housing units, religious establishment and salary increase for military and security forces.
 
Bailing the population out of protests economically seemed not enough to secure internal stability as the kingdom, instead of relaxing the internal situation, has recently tightened the screws with the issuing of the Penal Law for Crimes of Terrorism and Its Financing on last January 31, the Royal Decree No. 44, which criminalizes “participating in hostilities outside the kingdom,” three days later and on March 7 the Interior Ministry’s “initial” list of groups the government considers terrorist organizations, both inside and around the country and both Sunni and Shiite.
 
“These recent laws and regulations turn almost any critical expression or independent association into crimes of terrorism,” said Joe Stork, the deputy director of the Human Rights Watch for the Middle East and North Africa region. “These regulations dash any hope that King Abdullah intends to open a space for peaceful dissent or independent groups,” Stork added.
 
Internally and externally, the kingdom overconfidently seems intent on creating more enemies, neutralizing none, alienating world and regional powers, mainstream Sunni, Shiite, liberal, pan-Arab and leftist forces, wrecking regional havoc, all in what looks like an unbalanced reaction to threats, real and perceived, to the survival of the ruling dynasty. However, the kingdom seems like shooting its survival in the legs.

Nicola Nasser is a veteran Arab journalist based in Birzeit, West Bank of the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories ([email protected]). An edited version of this article was first published by Middle East Eye on April 15, 2014.

Bankers are Behind the Wars

April 18th, 2014 by Washington's Blog

All Wars Are Bankers’ Wars

Former managing director of Goldman Sachs – and head of the international analytics group at Bear Stearns in London (Nomi Prins) -  notes:

Throughout the century that I examined, which began with the Panic of 1907 … what I found by accessing the archives of each president is that through many events and periods, particular bankers were in constant communication [with the White House] — not just about financial and economic policy, and by extension trade policy, but also about aspects of World War I, or World War II, or the Cold War, in terms of the expansion that America was undergoing as a superpower in the world, politically, buoyed by the financial expansion of the banking community.

http://freedom-articles.toolsforfreedom.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/bankers-wars.jpg ***Image by Terry Robinson

In the beginning of World War I, Woodrow Wilson had adopted initially a policy of neutrality. But the Morgan Bank, which was the most powerful bank at the time, and which wound up funding over 75 percent of the financing for the allied forces during World War I … pushed Wilson out of neutrality sooner than he might have done, because of their desire to be involved on one side of the war.

Now, on the other side of that war, for example, was the National City Bank, which, though they worked with Morgan in financing the French and the British, they also didn’t have a problem working with financing some things on the German side, as did Chase

When Eisenhower became president … the U.S. was undergoing this expansion by providing, under his doctrine, military aid and support to countries [under] the so-called threat of being taken over by communism … What bankers did was they opened up hubs, in areas such as Cuba, in areas such as Beirut and Lebanon, where the U.S. also wanted to gain a stronghold in their Cold War fight against the Soviet Union. And so the juxtaposition of finance and foreign policy were very much aligned.

So in the ‘70s, it became less aligned, because though America was pursuing foreign policy initiatives in terms of expansion, the bankers found oil, and they made an extreme effort to activate relationships in the Middle East, that then the U.S. government followed. For example, in Saudi Arabia and so forth, they get access to oil money, and then recycle it into Latin American debt and other forms of lending throughout the globe. So that situation led the U.S. government.

Indeed, JP Morgan also purchased control over America’s leading 25 newspapers in order to propagandize US public opinion in favor of US entry into World War 1.

And many big banks did, in fact, fund the Nazis.

The BBC reported in 1998:

Barclays Bank has agreed to pay $3.6m to Jews whose assets were seized from French branches of the British-based bank during World War II.

***

Chase Manhattan Bank, which has acknowledged seizing about 100 accounts held by Jews in its Paris branch during World War II ….”Recently unclassified reports from the US Treasury about the activities of Chase in Paris in the 1940s indicate that the local branch worked “in close collaboration with the German authorities” in freezing Jewish assets.

The New York Daily News noted the same year:

The relationship between Chase and the Nazis apparently was so cozy that Carlos Niedermann, the Chase branch chief in Paris, wrote his supervisor in Manhattan that the bank enjoyed “very special esteem” with top German officials and “a rapid expansion of deposits,” according to Newsweek.

Niedermann’s letter was written in May 1942 five months after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and the U.S. also went to war with Germany.

The BBC reported in 1999:

A French government commission, investigating the seizure of Jewish bank accounts during the Second World War, says five American banks Chase Manhattan, J.P Morgan, Guaranty Trust Co. of New York, Bank of the City of New York and American Express had taken part.

It says their Paris branches handed over to the Nazi occupiers about one-hundred such accounts.

One of Britain’s main newspapers – the Guardian – reported in 2004:

George Bush’s grandfather [and George H.W. Bush's father], the late US senator Prescott Bush, was a director and shareholder of companies that profited from their involvement with the financial backers of Nazi Germany.

The Guardian has obtained confirmation from newly discovered files in the US National Archives that a firm of which Prescott Bush was a director was involved with the financial architects of Nazism.

His business dealings … continued until his company’s assets were seized in 1942 under the Trading with the Enemy Act

***

The documents reveal that the firm he worked for, Brown Brothers Harriman (BBH), acted as a US base for the German industrialist, Fritz Thyssen, who helped finance Hitler in the 1930s before falling out with him at the end of the decade. The Guardian has seen evidence that shows Bush was the director of the New York-based Union Banking Corporation (UBC) that represented Thyssen’s US interests and he continued to work for the bank after America entered the war.

***

Bush was a founding member of the bank [UBC] … The bank was set up by Harriman and Bush’s father-in-law to provide a US bank for the Thyssens, Germany’s most powerful industrial family.

***

By the late 1930s, Brown Brothers Harriman, which claimed to be the world’s largest private investment bank, and UBC had bought and shipped millions of dollars of gold, fuel, steel, coal and US treasury bonds to Germany, both feeding and financing Hitler’s build-up to war.

Between 1931 and 1933 UBC bought more than $8m worth of gold, of which $3m was shipped abroad. According to documents seen by the Guardian, after UBC was set up it transferred $2m to BBH accounts and between 1924 and 1940 the assets of UBC hovered around $3m, dropping to $1m only on a few occasions.

***

UBC was caught red-handed operating a American shell company for the Thyssen family eight months after America had entered the war and that this was the bank that had partly financed Hitler’s rise to power.

Indeed, banks often finance both sides of wars:
(The San Francisco Chronicle also documents that leading financiers Rockefeller, Carnegie and Harriman also funded Nazi eugenics programs … but that’s a story for another day.)

The Federal Reserve and other central banks also help to start wars by financing them .

The most decorated American military man in history said that war is a racket, and noted:

Let us not forget the bankers who financed the great war. If anyone had the cream of the profits it was the bankers.

The big banks have also been laundering money for terrorists. The big bank employee who blew the whistle on the banks’ money laundering for terrorists and drug cartels says that the giant bank is still aiding terrorists, saying:

The public needs to know that money is still being funneled through HSBC to directly buy guns and bullets to kill our soldiers …. Banks financing … terrorists affects every single American.

He also said:

It is disgusting that our banks are STILL financing terror on 9/11 2013.

And see this.

According to the BBC and other sources, Prescott Bush, JP Morgan and other leading financiers also funded a coup against President Franklin Roosevelt in an attempt – basically – to implement fascism in the U.S. See this, this, this and this.

Kevin Zeese writes:

Americans are recognizing the link between the military-industrial complex and the Wall Street oligarchs—a connection that goes back to the beginning of the modern U.S. empire. Banks have always profited from war because the debt created by banks results in ongoing war profit for big finance; and because wars have been used to open countries to U.S. corporate and banking interests. Secretary of State, William Jennings Bryan wrote: “the large banking interests were deeply interested in the world war because of the wide opportunities for large profits.”

Many historians now recognize that a hidden history for U.S. entry into World War I was to protect U.S. investors. U.S. commercial interests had invested heavily in European allies before the war: “By 1915, American neutrality was being criticized as bankers and merchants began to loan money and offer credits to the warring parties, although the Central Powers received far less. Between 1915 and April 1917, the Allies received 85 times the amount loaned to Germany.” The total dollars loaned to all Allied borrowers during this period was $2,581,300,000. The bankers saw that if Germany won, their loans to European allies would not be repaid. The leading U.S. banker of the era, J.P. Morgan and his associates did everything they could to push the United States into the war on the side of England and France. Morgan said: “We agreed that we should do all that was lawfully in our power to help the Allies win the war as soon as possible.” President Woodrow Wilson, who campaigned saying he would keep the United States out of war, seems to have entered the war to protect U.S. banks’ investments in Europe.

The most decorated Marine in history, Smedley Butler, described fighting for U.S. banks in many of the wars he fought in. He said: “I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high-class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.”

In Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, John Perkins describes how World Bank and IMF loans are used to generate profits for U.S. business and saddle countries with huge debts that allow the United States to control them. It is not surprising that former civilian military leaders like Robert McNamara and Paul Wolfowitz went on to head the World Bank. These nations’ debt to international banks ensures they are controlled by the United States, which pressures them into joining the “coalition of the willing” that helped invade Iraq or allowing U.S. military bases on their land. If countries refuse to “honor” their debts, the CIA or Department of Defense enforces U.S. political will through coups or military action.

***

More and more people are indeed seeing the connection between corporate banksterism and militarism ….

Indeed, all wars are bankers’ wars.

 A look at what utility companies, PUCs, and the former CIA director have to say about the ‘smart’ meters, data-mining, and surveillance — sans propaganda.

corporate-utility-propaganda

It’s always a drag to find out when a friend is saying one thing to your face, and another to your back.  As uncovered in our film Take Back Your Power, the way in which most utilities are now delivering the lies and propaganda — with your individual rights, security, and potentially health on the line — is elevating the trait of “two-faced” to a completely new level.

It’s important to note that the first 4 of these references have to do with the smart meters / grid infrastructure capabilities as of this time.  According to the sum of my research over the past 3 years, the plan involves achieving a greater and greater level of granularity and extraction of in-home data over time — see #5 and #6 below as examples (as well as my article on Google’s Nest acquisition).  So as far as privacy and surveillance go, according to utilities’ own documentation and writings, ‘smart’ meters are effectively a trojan horse.

1) US Congressional Research Service report,
”Smart Meter Data: Privacy and Cybersecurity” (February 2012) –

“With smart meters, police will have access to data that might be used to track residents’ daily lives and routines while in their homes, including their eating, sleeping, and showering habits, what appliances they use and when, and whether they prefer the television to the treadmill, among a host of other details.”

Source: https://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R42338.pdf – see page 7 (page 10 of the PDF)

2) Colorado Power Utility Commission report,
”Smart Metering & Privacy: Existing Law and Competing Policies” (Spring 2009) –

“First, the privacy concerns are real, and should be addressed proactively in order to protect consumers. Second and related, a salient privacy invasion—were it to happen and get press—could create significant opposition to smart grid deployment efforts.”

Source:
http://www.dora.state.co.us/puc/DocketsDecisions/DocketFilings/09I-593EG/09I-593EG_Spring2009Report-SmartGridPrivacy.pdf – see page 6

3) California Public Utility Commission press release,

    ”California Commission Adopts Rules to Protect the Privacy and Security of Customer
Electricity Usage Data” (July 2011) –

“Our action today will protect the privacy and security of customer usage data while enabling utilities and authorized third-parties to use the information to provide useful energy management and conservation services to customers.”

“I support today’s decision because it adopts reasonable privacy and security rules and expands consumer and third-party access to electricity usage and pricing information. I hope this decision stimulates market interest”

Source:
http://smartenergyportal.net/article/california-commission-adopts-rules-protect-privacy-and-security-customer-electricity-usage-d

4) SF Chronicle article, “California Utilities Yield Energy Use Data” (July 2013) –

California’s electric utilities last year disclosed the energy-use records and other personal information of thousands of customers, according to reports the companies filed with state regulators.

The vast majority of those disclosures – 4,062 – were made by one utility, San Diego Gas and Electric Co. In 4,000 of those cases, the information was subpoenaed by government agencies.

 

New digital smart meters being installed throughout the state can measure a home’s energy use hour by hour, showing when residents leave for work, go to sleep or travel on vacation. Older analog meters, which measured cumulative energy use over the course of a month, couldn’t do that.

“Before smart meters, what happened inside houses couldn’t be revealed unless there was a police officer inside with a warrant,” Ozer said.

Source: http://www.sfchronicle.com/business/article/Calif-utilities-yield-energy-use-data-4611159.php

5) Raab & Associates, Steering Committee report (February 2013) –

Under the heading “Strategic (3-10 years)”:

takebackyourpower.net

Under the heading “Transformational (10+ years)”:

“Centralized intel combined with widespread local/distributed intel”
and
“Data mining and analytics becomes core competency”

Source: http://magrid.raabassociates.org/articles/raab%20subcommittee%20update%20draft.ppt

View slide 17 only (PDF): http://www.takebackyourpower.net/documents/RaabDraft-17.pdf

6) Wired.com, “CIA Chief: We’ll Spy on You Through Your Dishwasher” (15 Mar 2012) –

“‘Items of interest will be located, identified, monitored, and remotely controlled through technologies such as radio-frequency identification, sensor networks, tiny embedded servers, and energy harvesters — all connected to the next-generation internet using abundant, low-cost, and high-power computing,’ Petraeus said, ‘the latter now going to cloud computing, in many areas greater and greater supercomputing, and, ultimately, heading to quantum computing.

“Petraeus allowed that these household spy devices “change our notions of secrecy” and prompt a rethink of “our notions of identity and secrecy.” All of which is true — if convenient for a CIA director.”

Source: http://www.wired.com/2012/03/petraeus-tv-remote/

* * *

Did we really think that the technocratic oligarchy would stop at collecting information about how we use our phones, who we call, and where we’re located?  If we did, we were naive.  Plainly, there is a corporate intention to effectively colonize your home.

 However, there is also a rising awareness, and resistance, as new solutions are uncovered.  The first step is to remove your consent, in writing.

The following is actually written into the California Civil Code. Not only do these provide a strong clue at how the corporatocracy functions (and gets away with what it does), but they also outline a basis for remedy: (notes in red italics)

California Civil Code (2009)

1619. A contract is either express or implied.  (If you didn’t say no, you said yes.)

3515. He who consents to an act is not wronged by it. (The way they do business is in writing. If you didn’t send them a letter or notice to remove your consent, you have agreed to their terms, and thus have agreed to a reduction in rights.)

3521. He who takes the benefit must bear the burden.  (Utilities and their executives – and many public servants – are taking the benefit.  They must, according to their law, accept the liability for all harm if the liability is enforced.)

3523. For every wrong there is a remedy.  (We are not bound into something which would have us be as slaves, if we do not want to be.)

3527. The law helps the vigilant, before those who sleep on their rights.

What statutes are YOUR utilities and governments bound by?

 Stay tuned, watch and share Take Back Your Power, and subscribe your email on our website to be informed of important developments and solutions.

 Josh del Sol is the director and producer of Take Back Your Power, a revelatory documentary feature film uncovering the worldwide ‘smart’ metering and grid agenda. Watch the film and subscribe to updates at www.takebackyourpower.net, and follow him via twitter @TBYPfilm.

 Related articles by Josh del Sol

Josh del Sol
Director & Producer,
Take Back Your Power
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Winner: AwareGuide 2013 Transformational Film of the Year

Is there anyone out there who still believes that Barack Obama, when he’s speaking about American foreign policy, is capable of being anything like an honest man? In a March 26 talk in Belgium to “European youth”, the president fed his audience one falsehood, half-truth, blatant omission, or hypocrisy after another. If George W. Bush had made some of these statements, Obama supporters would not hesitate to shake their head, roll their eyes, or smirk. Here’s a sample:

– “In defending its actions, Russian leaders have further claimed Kosovo as a precedent – an example they say of the West interfering in the affairs of a smaller country, just as they’re doing now. But NATO only intervened after the people of Kosovo were systematically brutalized and killed for years.”

Most people who follow such things are convinced that the 1999 US/NATO bombing of the Serbian province of Kosovo took place only after the Serbian-forced deportation of ethnic Albanians from Kosovo was well underway; which is to say that the bombing was launched to stop this “ethnic cleansing”. In actuality, the systematic deportations of large numbers of people did not begin until a few days after the bombing began, and was clearly a reaction to it, born of Serbia’s extreme anger and powerlessness over the bombing. This is easily verified by looking at a daily newspaper for the few days before the bombing began the night of March 23/24, 1999, and the few days following. Or simply look at the New York Times of March 26, page 1, which reads:

… with the NATO bombing already begun, a deepening sense of fear took hold in Pristina [the main city of Kosovo] that the Serbs would now vent their rage against ethnic Albanian civilians in retaliation. [emphasis added]

On March 27, we find the first reference to a “forced march” or anything of that nature.

But the propaganda version is already set in marble.

– “And Kosovo only left Serbia after a referendum was organized, not outside the boundaries of international law, but in careful cooperation with the United Nations and with Kosovo’s neighbors. None of that even came close to happening in Crimea.”

None of that even came close to happening in Kosovo either. The story is false. The referendum the president speaks of never happened. Did the mainstream media pick up on this or on the previous example? If any reader comes across such I’d appreciate being informed.

Crimea, by the way, did have a referendum. A real one.

– “Workers and engineers gave life to the Marshall Plan … As the Iron Curtain fell here in Europe, the iron fist of apartheid was unclenched, and Nelson Mandela emerged upright, proud, from prison to lead a multiracial democracy. Latin American nations rejected dictatorship and built new democracies … “

The president might have mentioned that the main beneficiary of the Marshall Plan was US corporations  , that the United States played an indispensable role in Mandela being caught and imprisoned, and that virtually all the Latin American dictatorships owed their very existence to Washington. Instead, the European youth were fed the same party line that their parents were fed, as were all Americans.

– “Yes, we believe in democracy – with elections that are free and fair.”

In this talk, the main purpose of which was to lambaste the Russians for their actions concerning Ukraine, there was no mention that the government overthrown in that country with the clear support of the United States had been democratically elected.

– “Moreover, Russia has pointed to America’s decision to go into Iraq as an example of Western hypocrisy. … But even in Iraq, America sought to work within the international system. We did not claim or annex Iraq’s territory. We did not grab its resources for our own gain. Instead, we ended our war and left Iraq to its people and a fully sovereign Iraqi state that could make decisions about its own future.”

The US did not get UN Security Council approval for its invasion, the only approval that could legitimize the action. It occupied Iraq from one end of the country to the other for 8 years, forcing the government to privatize the oil industry and accept multinational – largely U.S.-based, oil companies’ – ownership. This endeavor was less than successful because of the violence unleashed by the invasion. The US military finally was forced to leave because the Iraqi government refused to give immunity to American soldiers for their many crimes.

Here is a brief summary of what Barack Obama is attempting to present as America’s moral superiority to the Russians:

The modern, educated, advanced nation of Iraq was reduced to a quasi failed state … the Americans, beginning in 1991, bombed for 12 years, with one dubious excuse or another; then invaded, then occupied, overthrew the government, tortured without inhibition, killed wantonly … the people of that unhappy land lost everything – their homes, their schools, their electricity, their clean water, their environment, their neighborhoods, their mosques, their archaeology, their jobs, their careers, their professionals, their state-run enterprises, their physical health, their mental health, their health care, their welfare state, their women’s rights, their religious tolerance, their safety, their security, their children, their parents, their past, their present, their future, their lives … More than half the population either dead, wounded, traumatized, in prison, internally displaced, or in foreign exile … The air, soil, water, blood, and genes drenched with depleted uranium … the most awful birth defects … unexploded cluster bombs lying in wait for children to pick them up … a river of blood running alongside the Euphrates and Tigris … through a country that may never be put back together again. … “It is a common refrain among war-weary Iraqis that things were better before the U.S.-led invasion in 2003,” reported the Washington Post. (May 5, 2007)

How can all these mistakes, such arrogance, hypocrisy and absurdity find their way into a single international speech by the president of the United States? Is the White House budget not sufficient to hire a decent fact checker? Someone with an intellect and a social conscience? Or does the desire to score propaganda points trump everything else? Is this another symptom of the Banana-Republicization of America?

Long live the Cold War

In 1933 US President Franklin D. Roosevelt recognized the Soviet Union after some 15 years of severed relations following the Bolshevik Revolution. On a day in December of that year, a train was passing through Poland carrying the first American diplomats dispatched to Moscow. Amongst their number was a 29 year-old Foreign Service Officer, later to become famous as a diplomat and scholar, George Kennan. Though he was already deemed a government expert on Russia, the train provided Kennan’s first actual exposure to the Soviet Union. As he listened to his group’s escort, Russian Foreign Minister Maxim Litvinov, reminisce about growing up in a village the train was passing close by, and his dreams of becoming a librarian, the Princeton-educated Kennan was astonished: “We suddenly realized, or at least I did, that these people we were dealing with were human beings like ourselves, that they had been born somewhere, that they had their childhood ambitions as we had. It seemed for a brief moment we could break through and embrace these people.”

It hasn’t happened yet.

One would think that the absence in Russia of communism, of socialism, of the basic threat or challenge to the capitalist system, would be sufficient to write finis to the 70-year Cold War mentality. But the United States is virtually as hostile to 21st-century Russia as it was to 20th-century Soviet Union, surrounding Moscow with military bases, missile sites, and NATO members. Why should that be? Ideology is no longer a factor. But power remains one, specifically America’s perpetual lust for world hegemony. Russia is the only nation that (a) is a military powerhouse, and (b) doesn’t believe that the United States has a god-given-American-exceptionalism right to rule the world, and says so. By these criteria, China might qualify as a poor second. But there are no others.

Washington pretends that it doesn’t understand why Moscow should be upset by Western military encroachment, but it has no such problem when roles are reversed. Secretary of State John Kerry recently stated that Russian troops poised near eastern Ukraine are “creating a climate of fear and intimidation in Ukraine” and raising questions about Russia’s next moves and its commitment to diplomacy.

NATO – ever in need of finding a raison d’être – has now issued a declaration of [cold] war, which reads in part:

“NATO foreign ministers on Tuesday [April 1, 2014] reaffirmed their commitment to enhance the Alliance’s collective defence, agreed to further support Ukraine and to suspend NATO’s practical cooperation with Russia. ‘NATO’s greatest responsibility is to protect and defend our territory and our people. And make no mistake, this is what we will do,’ NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said. … Ministers directed Allied military authorities to develop additional measures to strengthen collective defence and deterrence against any threat of aggression against the Alliance, Mr. Fogh Rasmussen said. ‘We will make sure we have updated military plans, enhanced exercises and appropriate deployments,’ he said. NATO has already reinforced its presence on the eastern border of the Alliance, including surveillance patrols over Poland and Romania and increased numbers of fighter aircraft allocated to the NATO air policing mission in the Baltic States. … NATO Foreign Ministers also agreed to suspend all of NATO’s practical cooperation with Russia.”

Does anyone recall what NATO said in 2003 when the United States bombed and invaded Iraq with “shock and awe”, compared to the Russians now not firing a single known shot at anyone? And neither Russia nor Ukraine is even a member of NATO. Does NATO have a word to say about the right-wing coup in Ukraine, openly supported by the United States, overthrowing the elected government? Did the hypocrisy get any worse during the Cold War? Imagine that NATO had not been created in 1949. Imagine that it has never existed. What reason could one give today for its creation? Other than to provide a multi-national cover for Washington’s interventions.

One of the main differences between now and the Cold War period is that Americans at home are (not yet) persecuted or prosecuted for supporting Russia or things Russian.

But don’t worry, folks, there won’t be a big US-Russian war. For the same reason there wasn’t one during the Cold War. The United States doesn’t pick on any country which can defend itself.

Cuba … Again … Still … Forever

Is there actually a limit? Will the United States ever stop trying to overthrow the Cuban government? Entire books have been written documenting the unrelenting ways Washington has tried to get rid of tiny Cuba’s horrid socialism – from military invasion to repeated assassination attempts to an embargo that President Clinton’s National Security Advisor called “the most pervasive sanctions ever imposed on a nation in the history of mankind”.  But nothing has ever come even close to succeeding. The horrid socialism keeps on inspiring people all over the world. It’s the darnedest thing. Can providing people free or remarkably affordable health care, education, housing, food and culture be all that important?

And now it’s “Cuban Twitter” – an elaborately complex system set up by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) to disguise its American origins and financing, aiming to bring about a “Cuban Spring” uprising. USAID sought to first “build a Cuban audience, mostly young people; then the plan was to push them toward dissent”, hoping the messaging network “would reach critical mass so that dissidents could organize ‘smart mobs’ – mass gatherings called at a moment’s notice – that might trigger political demonstrations or ‘renegotiate the balance of power between the state and society’.”  It’s too bad it’s now been exposed, because we all know how wonderful the Egyptian, Syrian, Libyan, and other “Arab Springs” have turned out.

Here’s USAID speaking after their scheme was revealed on April 3: “Cubans were able to talk among themselves, and we are proud of that.”  We are thus asked to believe that normally the poor downtrodden Cubans have no good or safe way to communicate with each other. Is the US National Security Agency working for the Cuban government now?

The Associated Press, which broke the story, asks us further to believe that the “truth” about most things important in the world is being kept from the Cuban people by the Castro regime, and that the “Cuban Twitter” would have opened people’s eyes. But what information might a Cuban citizen discover online that the government would not want him to know about? I can’t imagine. Cubans are in constant touch with relatives in the US, by mail and in person. They get US television programs from Miami and other southern cities; both CNN and Telesur (Venezuela, covering Latin America) are seen regularly on Cuban television”; international conferences on all manner of political, economic and social issues are held regularly in Cuba. I’ve spoken at more than one myself. What – it must be asked – does USAID, as well as the American media, think are the great dark secrets being kept from the Cuban people by the nasty commie government?

Those who push this line sometimes point to the serious difficulty of using the Internet in Cuba. The problem is that it’s extremely slow, making certain desired usages often impractical. From an American friend living in Havana: “It’s not a question of getting or not getting internet. I get internet here. The problem is downloading something or connecting to a link takes too long on the very slow connection that exists here, so usually I/we get ‘timed out’.” But the USAID’s “Cuban Twitter”, after all, could not have functioned at all without the Internet.

Places like universities, upscale hotels, and Internet cafés get better connections, at least some of the time; however, it’s rather expensive to use at the hotels and cafés.

In any event, this isn’t a government plot to hide dangerous information. It’s a matter of technical availability and prohibitive cost, both things at least partly in the hands of the United States and American corporations. Microsoft, for example, at one point, if not at present, barred Cuba from using its Messenger instant messaging service.

Cuba and Venezuela have jointly built a fiber optic underwater cable connection that they hope will make them less reliant on the gringos; the outcome of this has not yet been reported in much detail.

The grandly named Agency for International Development does not have an honorable history; this can perhaps be captured by a couple of examples: In 1981, the agency’s director, John Gilligan, stated: “At one time, many AID field offices were infiltrated from top to bottom with CIA people. The idea was to plant operatives in every kind of activity we had overseas, government, volunteer, religious, every kind.”

On June 21, 2012, the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) issued a resolution calling for the immediate expulsion of USAID from their nine member countries, “due to the fact that we consider their presence and actions to constitute an interference which threatens the sovereignty and stability of our nations.”

USAID, the CIA, the National Endowment for Democracy (and the latter’s subsidiaries), together or singly, continue to be present at regime changes, or attempts at same, favorable to Washington, from “color revolutions” to “spring” uprisings, producing a large measure of chaos and suffering for our tired old world.

Notes

  1. William Blum, America’s Deadliest Export – Democracy: The Truth About US Foreign Policy and Everything Else, p.22-5
  2. Walter Isaacson & Evan Thomas, The Wise Men (1986), p.158
  3. Washington Post, March 31, 2014
  4. NATO takes measures to reinforce collective defence, agrees on support for Ukraine”, NATO website, April 1, 2014
  5. Sandy Berger, White House press briefing, November 14, 1997, US Newswire transcript
  6. Associated Press, April 3 & 4, 2014
  7. Washington Post, April 4, 2014
  8. Associated Press, June 2, 2009
  9. George Cotter, “Spies, strings and missionaries”, The Christian Century (Chicago), March 25, 1981, p.321

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

 In 2012, the current British Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Secretary Owen Paterson called concerns over the use of GM foods “complete nonsense” in an outright attack on valid concerns about GMOs (1). Since then, through comments and speeches, he has consistently voiced unqualified support for the GM food industry.

MP Zac Goldsmith is a member of the Conservative Party to which Paterson also belongs and has accused his fellow party member of making “nonsensical” claims and as being a puppet of the industry. He has stated that Paterson has swallowed the industry line hook, line and sinker and fears that big agribusiness is framing the debate for the government in order to secure control over the food chain (2).

Paterson seems to be blissfully unaware of, or is content to ignore, the devastating, deleterious health, environmental, social and agricultural impacts of GMOs as detailed in this article: http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-realities-of-gmo-and-petro-chemical-agriculture-allergies-toxins-new-diseases/5367760

In a recent report by in the Daily Mail newspaper in Britain, it is claimed that Paterson’s support for GMOs is being carried out in partnership with the Agricultural Biotechnology Council (ABC), which is financed by GM companies such as Monsanto, Syngenta and Bayer CropScience (3). The revelations come weeks after it was revealed that a group of scientists behind an official government study backing GM all had links to the industry (4).

Evidence has emerged of meetings and briefings involving ministers and the ABC and its industry backers, despite no such meetings with groups worried about the impact of GM on human health and the countryside.

GeneWatch UK made a Freedom of Information request to find out what was said at the briefings, but Paterson’s department has refused to give details. As a result, GeneWatch UK has lodged a formal complaint with the Information Commissioner in the hope that ministers will be forced to admit how GM companies are driving government policy.

In a press release, GeneWatch Director Dr Helen Wallace says:

“The evidence strongly suggests the Government is colluding with the GM industry to manipulate the media, undermine access to GM-free-fed meat and dairy products and plot the return of GM crops to Britain. The public have a right to know what is going on behind closed doors… Ministers who should be protecting our environment have put Monsanto and Syngenta in the driving seat of policy on GM crops and foods.”

 Paterson’s department has refused to provide details of a telephone conference between the department and the ABC on June 10 last year. Ten days later, Paterson made a speech calling for opposition to be dropped and claiming GM crops and food were ‘probably safer’ than the conventional equivalent. We are left to draw our own conclusions.

Paterson’s ministerial department has also refused to release a “message on media suggestions” sent by the ABC to the ministry last April, or details of discussions between Monsanto and the ministry two months before. In addition, the ministry would not provide details of a meeting and emails between former environment minister David Heath and the ABC in January last year.

The GM biotech has already captured politicians and regulatory and policy-making bodies in the US (5). It is also in the process of doing so in India (6). It is clear that Britain faces a similar problem.

Corruption, whether institionalised or individual, has many faces and too often attempts to hide itself behind a veil of secrecy. Left unchallenged, the corruption soon becomes pervasive, accepted and no longer seen for what it actually is. Its outcomes too often become regarded as normal or part of the ‘natural’ course of events.

The GM biotech sector’s corrosive influences on governments must be challenged now, before it’s too late – before we end up eating and being poisoned by its products and before the sector and its backers in the US State Department (7) destroy each and every nation’s food sovereignty by weaponising food in order to control entire populations (8).

Be informed and take action:

http://www.stopthecrop.org/

http://corporateeurope.org/

http://www.genewatch.org/

http://www.gmwatch.org/

http://indiagminfo.org/?page_id=175

  Notes

1)      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/9733589/Food-minister-Owen-Paterson-backs-GM-crops.html

2)      http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/tory-mp-says-progm-environment-secretary-owen-paterson-is-industry-puppet-8686133.html

3)      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2605570/Ministers-covering-secret-meetings-GM-food-lobby-Owen-Paterson-refused-Freedom-Information-request-talks-Frankenfood.html

4)      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2581387/Scientists-hidden-links-GM-food-giants-Disturbing-truth-official-report-said-UK-forge-Frankenfoods.html

5)      http://rense.com/general33/fd.htm

6)      http://www.globalresearch.ca/india-the-devastating-social-impacts-of-gmo-killer-seeds/5372919

7)      http://documents.foodandwaterwatch.org/doc/Biotech_Report_US.pdf

8)      William Engdahl; ‘Seeds of Destruction’; 2007; page 143

 

Guerra de informação – o que será isso?

April 17th, 2014 by Mahdi Nazemoraya, Wayne Madsen

Governos e grandes corporações controlam, ou pelo menos tentam manipular, a opinião pública e os processos do debate na comunidade através da comunicação midiática. Os governos e as grandes corporações conduzem a guerra de informação através do uso de comunicações de massas da mídia. Como em outros acontecimentos geopolíticos esse foi o caso com o protesto anti-governamental na Ucrânia, seguido do golpe de estado de fevereiro 2014, em Quieve. Essa guerra de informação é uma disputa onde as redes internacionais de notícias, e os maiores jornais, agem como exércitos onde a mídia é usada como arma maior, sendo que a linha de frente é o espaço interactivo conhecido como a esfera pública. Frequências de radio, feeds de satélites, social mídia, fazer uploads de celulares, ou de telefones moveis, redes de comunicação, e a internet, tudo isso faz parte dessa guerra.

Guerra de informação – o que será isso?

Diferentes tecnologias e modos de comunicação são usadas para dar força a certos temas no conflito. O tipo de linguagem, as palavras selecionadas, particulares expressões, e imagens específicas, apresentações multimidiática, e comunicação, são as armas dessa guerra.

O objetivo dessa guerra é poder usar o discurso, ou seja as idéias e informação para influenciar populações através do mundo e estabelecer um total monopólio do fluxo da informação, da percepção das audiências, e do processo discursivo formando o mundo moderno. Aqui entra que nos seus fundamentos hoje em dia o poder e as relações estão sendo realizados através da comunicação midiática.

As mensagens e as ideias para a comunicação de massas são construidas por aqueles que controlam a mídia que irá então depois transmitir essas mensagens e idéias para construir as percepções das audiências. Como o conhecimento da maioria das pessoas, na maior parte das sociedades modernas, é formado pelos meios de comunicação de massas, a mídia está sendo usada para levar as audiências a formarem certas opiniões, isso sendo então porque as pessoas fazem suas decisões baseando-se nos seus conhecimentos. Isso  poderá ser feito de maneira súbtil, ou através da contínua repetição das mensagens.

As mensagens sendo passadas as audiências das correntes principais da mídia, e das redes de informação, são de uma maneira geral uma forma de ação porque a distribuição por esses canais toma em consideração as reações das suas audiências antes que a informação seja propagada. As reações que consideram incluem tanto reações físicas como outros processos materiais. Isso também inclui considerações a respeito de potenciais ações de protestos como uma reação a informação sendo distribuida, assim também como reações de considerações econômicas, como retiradas de investimentos, desvalorização de moedas e ou movimentos no mercado.

Monopolizar a narrativa sendo apresentada ao público, desacreditando narrativas alternativas ou rivais, sejam elas sanas ou falsas, é um aspecto importante da guerra de informação. Se bem que esse tipo de guerra não seja novo, essa está se tornando cada vez mais sofisticada e intensiva, tornando-se denominadamente então numa importante táctica usada como instrumento de guerra não convencional, o que está se apresentando cada vez mais como uma característica desse século.

O tipo de gerenciamento de informação que as maiores redes de notícias tentam criar, sejam essas redes particulares ou públicas, é o que cientistas sociais denominam como senso comum, o qual inclue por definição suposições, as quais irão [de acordo com o que a ciência do comportamente humano hoje acredita] dirigir as reações e ações das audiências, em direção a específicos objetos e situações. Esse senso comum que querem construir não se basearia então em fatos reais existindo no mundo real, mas seria formado [artificialmente] através do que a mídia vem, premeditadamente repetindo e apresentado como fatos reais e conhecimentos convencionais, quando não o são. A apresentação das situações internacionais, através de mensagens profundamente politizadas comunicadas as audiências, levaram a suposições e depois a atitudes baseadas no adquirido senso comum, que acabou por acreditar que os muçulmanos xiitas e sunitas são inimigos inconciliáveis, que Hugo Chavez foi um autocrata, ou de que existiria um abismo de profundo ódio entre sérvios e croatas. Nenhuma dessas suposições se baseiam na realidade, mas foram aos poucos sendo consolidadas como cânones, ou seja normas e regras a serem respeitadas. O objetivo que aqui foi alcançado implica que falsas suposições foram tomadas por verdades fundamentais, as quais agora dirigem então a compreensão de muitos segmentos da audiência internacional, quanto a questões globais fundamentais.

Ainda mais, em muitos casos essas mensagens, as quais são comunicadas abaixo do disfarce de uma neutral não política objetividade, impedem que grandes segmentos da sua audiência não se perguntem quanto aos motivos e implicações das notícias sendo transmitidas.

Correntemente a Ucrânia é uma frente de guerra, assim como o são também a Síria e a Venezuela, nessa global guerra de informação a qual se reflete através das batalhas das redes de notícias internacionais. O objetivo dessa guerra midiática é assegurar e gerenciar a opinião pública, tanto nacional como internacional, por ex. em apoio ao golpe realizado em Quieve e ao governo de transição resultante do mesmo.

Guerra Midiática Internacional: recuo da BBC World e CNN Internacional

Os Estados Unidos costumavam ter quase que o monopólio da disseminação da informação na mídia internacional, mas isso foi mudando no decorrer dos anos de quando países como a Rússia, Irã, China e Venezuela, respectivamente foram montando redes internacionais de notícias como a Russia Today, RT- (Rússia Hoje), Press TV, Televisão Central Chinesa (CCTV) e a panlatinoamericana La Nueva Televisora del Sur (teleSur) – para desafiar as redes midiáticas internacionais dos Estados Unidos e seus aliados. Tem-se então aqui agora que essas novas redes midiáticas internacionais antiestabelecimento – se assim puderem ser descritas – da Rússia, Irã, China, Venezuela, e de outros países, coletivamente começaram a desafiar o ”status quo” da mídia internacional.

As narrativas predominantes sendo apresentadas pelas dominantes redes de notícias internacionais, especialmente a em Atlanta baseada ”Cable News Network” (CNN) e a britânica estatal British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) que tinha quase que monopólio na cena internacional, foram lentamente desgastadas. Usando as palavras do Presidente da Rússia Vladimir Putin, do quando visitando os estúdios da RT em Moscou, em junho de 2013, ( Moscow studios of RT in June 2013 ) a tarefa das redes de notícias internacionais antiestabelecimento, como a RT, seria a de tentar quebrar o monopólio Anglo-Saxão nas correntes globais de informação.

As mais novas redes internacionais de notícias, como a RT e a Press TV, tornaram-se tão efetivas em desafiando o discurso e pontos de vista sendo propagados pelas principais redes de notícias como a CNN, BBC, Fox News, e Sky News, que personagens oficiais começaram a reconsiderar as suas estratégicas midiáticas e a examinar vias para desafiar e invalidizar as redes de notícias internacionais desafiando seu controle sobre o fluxo da informação. As medidas tomadas pelos Estados Unidos e seus aliados incluiram o bloqueio da versão em inglês da Press TV, ( the blocking of the English-language Press TV  )  a versão em lingua árabe da Al-Alam, e outras estações estatais do Irã na Europa e em outros lugares.

O quase monopólio que os Estados Unidos e a Inglaterra gozavam na arena internacional foi claramente quebrado de quando em 2011 muitos tele-expectadores começaram a diversificar suas fontes de informação. Estações como a CNN e BBC foram fortemente desacreditadas de quando das suas coberturas da US-liderada guerra da OTAN contra a Jamahriya Árabe da Líbia.

A de então sexagésimo-sétima secretária de estado dos Estados Unidos, Hillary Clinton, foi forçada a publicamente explicar o importante papél da comunicação de massas que as redes de notícias internacionais  tinham quanto ao sucesso, ou não, da política externa dos Estados Unidos. Enquanto frente a um comité do Congresso, encarregado da gestão dos negócios estrangeiro no Congresso dos Estados Unidos, em 2011, Clinton declarou que Washington estava perdendo a guerra de informação na arena internacional. Ela disse ao comité que estava testemunhando que os Estados Unidos tinham que retroceder ao estilo midiático das transmissões da Guerra Fria, e a outros métodos de alcance, enquanto requerindo-se a necessidade de aumento de fundos para as operações midiáticas dos Estados Unidos  para que essas pudessem  deslanchar uma guerra de informação contra a mídia estrangeira apresentando mensagens divergentes das dos Estados Unidos. Ela apontou para a RT, sem a denominar diretamente, descrevendo-a como o canal da lingua inglesa dos russos, acrescentando que isso seria então muito instrutivo.

A Secretária Clinton lamentou-se de que os Estados Unidos e a estatal BBC estavam diminuindo suas operações midiáticas internacionais e que Washington precisava reverter esse processo ”para conseguir anunciar a mensagem da América”. Entretanto, ela estava errada quanto a diminuições de atividades midiáticas dos Estados Unidos e da BBC. O problema não seria exatamente a falta de recursos. O número decrescente de audiências sintonizando, ou não, em estações como a CNN Internacional ou BBC World, esse sim é o real problema.

As declarações de Clinton estavam dando eco a Diretoria de Transmissão de Rádio e Televisão -(Broadcasting Board of Governors US federal Agency)-  uma agência federal dos Estados Unidos, a qual administra a Rádio Free Europa [Radio Europa Livre], Voice of America -VOA  [Voz da América], Alhurra  no Iraque, assim como todas as outras transmissões internacionais administradas pelo estado nos Estados Unidos. Walter Isaacson, presidente da Diretoria de Transmissão de Rádio e Televisão, acima mencionada, tinha declarado alguns meses antes que os Estados Unidos estavam empreendendo uma guerra de informação, e que a ”América não podia deixar que seus inimigos a deixassem por fora na área da comunicação” ”- America cannot let itself be out communicated by its enemies.”  Isaacson que é ex-diretor presidente da CNN também pôs ênfases no fato de que ”a distribuição de notícias, indo da direção ao público tinha de ser completada com uma nova abordagem que usasse as redes sociais como catalizadores.” É muito importante manter isso em mente de quando considerando as interrelações entre protestos antigovernamentais, as redes sociais, e as principais vertentes da mídia convencional.

Enquanto apresentando a declaração da Secretária Clinton em 2011 a respeito dos Estados Unidos estarem envolvidos numa guerra global de informação, a cobertura da mídia convencional nos Estados Unidos a respeito dessas declarações de Clinton foram selectivas e distorcidas, para dar uma imagem inocente e amigável do governo dos Estados Unidos trabalhando para se comunicar com o mundo exterior. Em vez de fazer qualquer reflexão a respeito, ou uma substancial análise de que o que estava acontecendo em Capitol Hill era um debate entre os representantes oficiais dos Estados Unidos a respeito de aguçar a propaganda dos mesmos no exterior, assim como a dominância da informação a qual deveria então, abaixo dessas condições, ficar disponível para o público internacional, a mídia dos Estados Unidos ou encobriu o conteúdo lógico das declarações da Secretária Clinton ao Congresso, ou completamente omitiu todo o acontecido.

O Washington Post (The Washington Post )  por exemplo, nem tentou fazer qualquer reportagem que analisasse o que Clinton e os senadores dos Estados Unidos estavam discutindo. Quando o Senador Richard Lugar, um conhecido gavião de guerra e expansionista militar, disse que as operações da Diretoria de Trasmissão de Rádio e Televisão ”continuava a ser uma importante força diplomática para colocar nossa mensagem no mundo”, Joby Warrick, reporter do Washington Post, ganhador do prêmio Pulitzer, nem mesmo elaborou, ou deu maiores detalhes que mostrassem que o que Lugar estava falando a respeito, era que os Estados Unidos exerciam seu poder sobre outras nações através de usar a mídia para influenciar esses governos através de um influxo de informação, feita sob medida, para as populações desses países.

A passividade demonstrada pelas principais vertentes da mídia de quando da cobertura do testemunho de Clinton frente ao Congresso é de maneira geral justificada por uma falsa objetividade. Isso é regra e norma quando se trata de questões importantes envolvendo governos, corporações, empresas, indivíduos, ou entidades, que essas vertentes da mídia não querem criticar, subverter, ou minar. Dizem então que os fatos estão simplesmente sendo reportados sem distorção, parcialidade, ou interpretações subjetivas.

A cobertura do evento nas principais vertentes da mídia nos Estados Unidos seria certamente muito diferente se fosse o caso de um representante oficial russo testemunhando frente a um comité do parlamento russo, a Duma, que falasse a respeito do uso da mídia russa para influenciar países estrangeiros. Não se aplicam os mesmos padrões quando tratando-se de entidades midiáticas rivais. Ao contrário, aqui tem-se de repente reportagens assertivas e dogmáticas a respeito das notícias sendo apresentadas, além de ataques diretos para subverter e minar as decisões, assim como as ações das entidades midiáticas rivais. Tudo isso então sendo feito em nome do jornalismo investigativo e da análise crítica.

A mídia ocidental ataca violentamente a iraniana, chinesa e russa pelo fracasso na Síria

Conquanto aqui já se tivesse uma guerra de informação em andamento, uma guerra midiática muito mais nítida e distinta surgiu em 2011. A guerra da OTAN contra a Líbia, (The NATO war on Libya ) onde as redes de notícias internacionais fizeram um importante papél, jogou luz alta nisso tudo. As novas redes de notícias anti-estabelecimento tinham amadurecido o suficiente para poder desafiar a propaganda dos Estados Unidos e providenciar interpretações alternativas que desafiavam a legitimidade das transmissões da CNN e BBC, chegando mesmo a ferir a credibilidade dessas o que veio a diminuir assim as suas audiências, tanto nacionais como internacionais. Entretanto, a Líbia foi só o começo do processo, enquanto a Síria veio a mostrar claramente que um conflito aberto e intenso entre as redes de notícias estava sendo lutado pelas suas versões em inglês, árabe e espanhol. A efetividade das redes midiáticas anti-estabelecimento em desafiando a perspectiva das redes como a CNN, BBC, Fox News, e Al Jazeera a respeito da Síria, demonstraram claramente que os dias do estrangulamento do fluxo de informação, liderado pelos Estados Unidos, já fazia parte do passado.

A mídia dos Estados Unidos, assim também como a britânica, começaram a criticar muito abertamente as redes midiáticas internacionais chinesas, iranianas, e russas, pelas suas reportagens sobre a Síria desde o começo de 2012. A BBC afirmou, erradamente, como um dos seus títulos ilustra, que ”Sómente a mídia chinesa e iraniana tinham apoiado o veto na ONU a respeito da Síria” (Chinese, Iranian press alone back UN Syria veto )  em 6 de fevereiro de 2012, enquanto Robert Mackey do New York Times era da opinião, como o título do seu texto ilustrava, que  ”A crise na Síria mostra-se muito diferente em canais de satélites pertencendo a Rússia e ao Irã” (Crisis in Syria Looks Very Different on Satellite Channels Owned by Russia and Iran ) isso sendo uns dias mais tarde, em 10 de fevereiro de 2012. Atacando violentamente as perspectivas da mídia chinesa, iraniana e russa, a mídia dos Estados Unidos, e a britânica, omitiram os segmentos da mídia africana, árabe, asiática, européia e latinoamericana que compartilhavam o mesmo ponto de vista que a iraniana, chinesa e russa em países como a Algéria, Argentina, Belio-Rússia, Bolívia, Brasil, Cuba, Equador, El Salvador, Índia, Iraque, Líbano, Namíbia, Sérbia, África do Sul, Ucrânia e Venezuela. Enquanto tentando deliberadamente minar e diminuir o apoio que a Síria gozava vindo de um segmento da comunidade internacional de quando falando as suas audiências, a mídia dos Estados Unidos, e a britânica, não só trairam seus senhores, como também mostraram a frustração das agendas políticas dos que controlavam seus discursos e ações.

A guerra midiática reflete as rivalidades entre atores poderosos no mundo real. Portanto, não deveria vir como uma surpresa que tenha sido no mesmo tempo em que Hillary Clinton tinha começado a publicamente exibir a frustração dos Estados Unidos contra a mídia russa e chinesa que ela tenha começado a instruir seus companheiros de diversos ministérios do exterior, ou seja os ministros do exterior de outros países os quais estavam reunidos na conferência internacional de apoio a mudança de regime e operações militares contra a Síria, dizendo a esses que os russos e chineses teriam que ”pagar um preço”  ( pay a price ) por se oporem as idéias dos Estados Unidos quanto ao significado do conceito ”progresso”.

Vale a pena rever a declaração de Clinton feita em julho de 2012 ( July 2012)  de quando ela disse que: ”Eu não penso que a Rússia e a China acreditem que teriam que pagar um preço – qualquer que fosse – por estarem apoiando o regime de Assad. O único caminho para mudar isso seria que cada país aqui representado [na conferência] direta e sem demora fizesse claro que a Rússia e a China irão pagar por isso, porque estão a impedir o progresso – o estão bloqueando – e isso já se tornou intolerável!” (no longer  tolerable).  A definição de progresso na Síria, para Clinton, e isso tem que ser mencionado, significa mudança de regime em Damasco assim como uma campanha de bombardeamento militar contra os sírios. Ela estava exprimindo a raiva de Washington, porque ela fez essa declaração depois de Moscou e Pequin terem recusado a deixar que os Estados Unidos, a Inglaterra, e a França conseguissem que o Conselho de Segurança da ONU autorizasse uma guerra contra a Síria.

Depois de Washington ter demonstrado a sua fúria contra a Rússia por essa ter impedido uma mudança de regime na Síria, os Estados Unidos começaram a sériamente examinar caminhos pelos quais esses pudessem aplicar sanções contra os russos, assim como métodos para fazer as redes midiáticas internacionais russas de alvos na guerra midiática sendo empreendida, por eles. Essas considerações estão agora se materializando, ou sendo activadas, com a crise na Ucrânia. Os apelos para sanções contra a Rússia, entretanto, não seriam simplesmente o resultado da crise na Ucrânia; elas fazem parte de uma inclinação que Washington já vinha alimentando, assim também como até mesmo por deliberações que oficiais americanos estavam fazendo de como ”minar o mega acordo do negócio petróleo-por-mercadorias” ( to undermine the mega oil-for-goods trade deal )  que os russos e iranianos tinham negociado.

Como a mídia ocidental está enquadrando os atores na crise ucraniana

As principais vertentes da mídia seleciona quais serão as narrativas, e as mensagens, que irão entrar em circuito e dominar as conversas. Algumas vozes são permitidas a só serem ouvidas rápidamente, outras são excluidas, ou completamente ignoradas na conversa, enquanto circunstâncias que poderiam desafiar o que as principais correntes estão tentando por como um ramo, dentro do qual as coisas deveriam ser compreendidas pelas suas audiências, são em muitos casos deixadas por fora da conversa, ou trivializadas e desacreditadas.

Uma narrativa manipulada apoiando uma expansão União Européia-OTAN na Ucrânia está sendo construida através de uma realidade distorcida e falsa que então apresentam como sana e refletindo o que aconteceu em Quieve. O uso das sequências do vocabulário, ou as palavras que se relatam umas as outras, determinam o tempo do discurso a respeito dos protestos antigovernamentais, o que apresenta-se como muito ilustrativo. O Presidente Viktor Yanukovych é constantemente apresentado como corrupto, como mostra o sempre presente e constante focus da mídia em sua riqueza e na sua mansão ( the constant media focus on his wealth and mansion present ) isso além de sempre sublinhar que ele é pro-Rússia. Entretanto, os que estão protestando são apresentados como ativistas e democratas, sem que se aprofundem no passado dos líderes dessa oposição. [..que como sabemos pode até dar medo a qualquer um.]

As palavras e as frases indicam, ou para por isso francamente, desvendam a posição política das redes midiáticas.

As descrições e as mensagens são formuladas em bases de julgamento que transportam as posições das supostamente objetivas fontes midiáticas. Esse massivo transporte está se tornando cada vez mais numa imposição psicológica. As apresentadas perspectivas, valores, e posições relacionadas a uma realidade distorcida são gradualmente aceitas pelas audiências, uma vez que essas estão sendo continuamente bombardeadas pelos mesmos pontos de vista e falsas narrativas a respeito dos protestos antigovernamentais na Ucrânia.

A narrativa apresentando os ramos para o discurso, e as conversas, é que um regime corrupto, e pro-Rússia, tinha sido derrubado por uma revolução democrática [observe-se aqui então a contradição entre os termos do conceito]. Isso não tem nada a ver com o que realmente aconteceu. As mesmas fontes midiáticas apresentando Yanukovych como um autocrata corrupto, assim como uma pessoa de grande avidez, não sucedem em mencionar que pessoas da oposição, que eles apresentam tão favoravelmente, também podem ser milionários ou mesmo bilionários, tendo mansões, objetos de arte impagáveis, piscinas, coleções de carros, e muito vastas riquezas, quase que difíceis de se conceber. Elas também não sucedem em ao menos mencionar que principais líderes da oposição já tinham estado no poder, o qual perderam por má gestão e corrupção. Nem tão pouco sucederam em mencionar que os que agora tomaram o poder, isso eles o tinham feito através de um golpe de estado, o que por definição é ilegal e não aceitável. Quanto a Yanukovich ser pro-Rússia, qualquer fonte que mencione isso ou estará mentindo ou é completamente ignorante a respeito da política ucraniana; o partido de Yanukovych, o Partido das Regiões, dirige-se mais, mas não sómente aos russos étnicos, ou que usem a lingua russa na Ucrânia,  (os quais realmente preferem a Rússia aos Estados Unidos),  mas o seu partido não é de maneira alguma pró-Rússia, e esteve até mesmo adiantando uma cooperação com a OTAN tendo também desapontado seus constituintes por ter levado a Ucrânia para mais perto da união Européia, em vez de para mais perto da Rússia, depois das últimas eleições.

A vilificante linguagem sendo usada contra a Rússia e Vladimir Putin nessas reportagens é muito reveladora também. Ela revela as convicções e atitudes que esses ramos da mídia desejam projetar a respeito da Federação Russa e seu representante, Vladimir Putin. O Presidente Vladimir Putin está sendo apresentado como um autocrata e um brutal militarista. O passado dele como ex-KGB oficial é frequentemente referido com o objetivo de o demonizar, enquanto o passado de ex-CIA oficial de George H. W. Bush, quase nunca se mencionava, e se isso o fizessem isso seria feito de maneira passiva, ou positiva. A linguagem negativa que reservaram para o presidente Vladimir Putin, de quando falando sobre uma suposta invasão da Criméia, nunca foi usada por redes como a CNN ou a BBC para descrever qualquer que fosse presidente dos Estados Unidos ou altos representantes britânicos, envolvidos nas reais e de-facto invasões, e guerras [ilegais] contra o Afeganistão, Iraque ou Líbia.

Essas atitudes de quando enquadrando a apresentação da Rússia e do presidente Vladimir Putin baseiam-se em posições hostís quanto a Rússia como um rival econômico e geopolítico. Essa hostilidade está estruturalmente enquadrada nas estruturas do poder que controlam a comunicação de massas da mídia nos Estados Unidos e na União Européia. Os jornalistas, assim como outros empregados do sector midiático, consciente ou inconscientemente trabalham circundando os contornos subentendidos e, ou sabendo disso ou não, servem o objetivo de vilificar a Rússia, fazendo-a ser vista como ”o outro”, a ser vista como adversária, ou pertencendo a estruturas alheias, e não como próxima e amiga.

A mídia ocidental fez a RT e a mídia russa de alvo para poder controlar as narrativas sobre a Ucrânia.

Durante o começo das crises na Líbia e na Síria os Estados Unidos e seus aliados se negaram a admitir que estivessem apoiando militantes com pontos de vista desviantes e intolerantes, que muitos viam como ou da Al Qaeda, ou de forças afiliadas a essa. Com o tempo os Estados Unidos e seus aliados foram gradativamente obrigados a admitir que essas forças intolerantes e desviantes estavam ativas sim, na Líbia e na Síria. Esse reconhecimento feito pelos Estados Unidos e seus aliados foi resultado da campanha de informação realizada com sucesso pelas redes midiáticas dos aliados da Síria como o Irã, a China e a Rússia. A rede Al Jazeera, baseada em Qatar,  com sua dominante posição no mundo árabe, saiu até chamuscada de quando canais como a Rusiya Al-Yaum, Al Manar, e Al-Mayadeen desafiaram a sua cobertura dos acontecimentos na Síria.

Foi o mesmo com o caso da Ucrânia, de quando os Estados Unidos e seus aliados tentaram negar envolvimentos ultranacionalistas no país e enquadrar a história de maneira a fazê-la beneficial para os interesses ocidentais na Ucrânia. Entretando, a mídia russa esteve, ao que tudo indica, enfiando espinhos a torturá-los, de quando então desafiando as falsas representações da realidade, feita pela mídia ocidental. Dessa maneira uma campanha foi iniciada pelos Estados Unidos, e seus aliados, contra a mídia russa. Isso foi feito da mesma maneira de quando expressaram sua frustação contra as redes internacionais russas pela sua cobertura na Síria. O objetivo das principais vertentes midiáticas dos Estados Unidos e da União Européia é agora o de apresentar as vertentes principais da mídia russa como não objetivas e confiáveis; foi por isso que Claire Bigg, da pelos Estados Unidos gerenciada RFE, fez a reportagem de um artigo em dezembro de 2013, ( RFE’s Claire Bigg reported in a December 2013  ) dizendo, de quando da abertura do programa, que os ”canais de televisão gestados pelo estado na Rússia não eram conhecidos pela sua imparcialidade”, tentando depois apresentar, de maneira conspiratória, uma imagem da mídia russa onde essas até iriam dizer que o mau tempo na Ucrânia estaria ligado aos protestos no país, isso o fazendo através de tirar as palavras de um meteorologista russo, para fora de seu contexto.

A campanha contra a mídia russa aponta particularmente para os segmentos internacionais da mídia russa em inglês, denominadamente então a RT America e a RT Internacional, que desafiaram as narrativas que Washington e Bruxelas queriam vender para a opinião pública a respeito do golpe de estado na Ucrânia. Comentários de dois empregados da RT, a respeito da questão da autonomia na Criméia, foram usados para ataques contra a RT America e a RT Internacional. Nesse último caso vale a pena notar que quando parecia que poderia haver uma possibilidade de que o golpe contra o governo ucraniano pudesse falhar (especulativamente falando, porque talvez tivessem esperado que o golpe se daria em 20 de fevereiro, depois de atiradores livre, com armas de fogo, terem matado demonstrantes), a mídia Atlanticista começou a publicar reportagens de como a parte ocidental da Ucrânia poderia seccionar-se, e isso então sem dar maiores sinais de preocupação, quanto a isso.

O ”The Guardian” apresentou o seguinte quanto a situação, em 21 de fevereiro de 2014- (February 21, 2014 ). ”Conquanto os protestos continuem nas ruas centrais de Quieve, as cidades no oeste da Ucrânia estão inclinadas a uma autonomia, com novos governos paralelos, e forças de segurança que abertamente admitiram que tinham se juntado aos protestos.” Apesar de que seja importante notar que essa reportagem não mencionava o papél das milícias ultranacionalistas em tomar as cidades do oeste, e intimidar seus políticos, o ponto a ser observado aqui é que o movimento da Criméia,  [com grande etnia russa, no sul do país],  para uma independência, foi tratado pela mídia Atlanticista de uma maneira completamente diferente. As principais vertentes da mídia dos Estados Unidos e da União Européia, que não tinham apresentado nenhum problema quanto a uma autonomia para o oeste da Ucrânia, agora apresentavam outros padrões quanto a Criméia, e se opunham a isso. Essa mesma mídia ignorava, ou diminuia, a capacidade do povo da Criméia de movimentar-se para sua própria independência, apresentando tudo o que acontecia como uma decisão tomada pelo Kremlin.

A RT foi atacada, súbtil ou abertamente, pelas principais vertentes da mídia dos Estados Unidos, e da União Européia, como um braço de propaganda do Kremlin, dizendo que a RT se recusava a apresentar ”honestamente” a ”invasão” da Criméia pela Rússia, da mesma maneira como a BBC, CNN, Fox News, Sky News e France 24. [aspas acrescentadas]. No entanto, é a CNN, assim também como muitas das outras redes de notícias dos Estados Unidos, entre outros, que têm uma muito bem conhecida história de distorcer e falsificar os fatos. Essas redes estão agora, sem parar, demonizando a população pró-Rússia na Criméia. Numa reportagem do ”The Telegraph”, em 21 de março de 2014 ( The Telegraph in a March 11, 2014 ) feita por Patrick Reevell e David Blair, foi tão longe quanto a dizer que na votação para uma República Autônoma da Criméia, só se apresentavam duas opções para a população: juntar-se a Rússia agora, ou depois. Elastificando a sua interpretação da questão da votação, o jornal britânico dizia que o referendo iria perguntar ao povo da Criméia se eles queriam juntar-se a Federação Russa diretamente. ou por vias parlamentares. Isso em vez de dizer diretamente que o referendo ia perguntar ao povo da Criméia se queriam juntar-se a Rússia, ou permanecer parte da Ucrânia, abaixo da Constituição da Criméia de 1994, o que  permitiria a possibilidade para uma votação parlamentar quanto a uma futura [re]integração com a Rússia. O jornal britânico tinha feito uso de uma linguagem contorcida como meio de desacreditar o referendo.

Um outro exemplo de demonizar através de reportagens da mídia apresenta-se com um artigo escrito por Nick Paton Walsh, Laura Smith-Spark, e Ben Brumfield – da CNN – onde logo perto do começo eles declaravam, ”Se você vier por trem espere ser escrutinado pelas milícias dos pró-russos. Se você quiser demonstrar apoiando o interím governo, pró-ocidente, colocado no poder na Ucrânia, espere ser aproximado por insistentes indivíduos pró-russos.” Nessa narrativa o povo que estaria sendo reprimido seria o mesmo que apoiava o não constitucional, pós-golpe governo em Quieve, enquanto as pessoas pró-Rússia são aqui convenientemente apresentadas como agressivas. Essa narrativa não só pinta a Rússia e os na Criméia que desejam juntar-se a ela negativamente, como também ignora o golpe de estado realizado em Quieve, além  do fato de que o escrutínio nas fronteiras são destinados a impedir que agentes armados ou ultranacionalistas venham a destabilizar a Criméia.

Tanto os meios de comunicação visual como verbal foram usados para desacreditar a RT. Por ex. a BBC declarava que a RT estava apresentando o leste e o sul da Ucrânia (regiões com uma grande maioria de etnicidade russa) como se fizessem parte da Rússia em suas reportagens. Isso a BBC o estava fazendo com bases num mapa que tinha sido tirado do seu contexto. Other claims showed a map of Crimea out of context.    Outras afirmações também mostram o mapa da Criméia fora de seu contexto original dizendo que a RT a tinha reconhecido como parte da Rússia. O indivíduo, ou indivíduos que se decidiram por reproduzir as imagens da RT fora de seu contexto original são sem sombras de dúvidas desonestos e sem princípios. Eles intencionalmente falsificaram o sentido das imagens e gráficos apresentando-as fora da sua realidade original.  Eles também omitiram o fato de que os mapas faziam parte de uma reportagem que mostrava divisões demográficas internas da geografia da Ucrânia e/ou diversas possibilidades que o povo da Criméia tinha a sua frente.

 

A BBC tem uma história de falsamente apresentar filmes e imagens. A BBC foi pega em flagrante com diversos tipos de fabricações muitas vezes, enquanto nunca houve algum caso da RT fazendo o mesmo. Monges tibetanos, abaixo de pancadas, dadas pelas forças de segurança da Índia, foram apresentados pela BBC como tibetanos sendo reprimidos pelo governo da China, em 2008. Um outro caso foi o de quando num comício de massas na Índia, onde essas esvaiavam suas bandeiras ondulantes, imagens as quais foram apresentadas pela BBC como massas na Líbia celebrando a derrubada do governo da mesma, em 2011.

Mais recentemente a BBC foi até pega em flagrante de novo quando usando uma só e a mesma gravação com diversas coberturas de diversas situações apresentando-as como se fossem ao vivo na Síria, em 2013. O ex-diplomata britânico Craig Murray merece ser quotado quanto a essa fabricação da BBC quanto a Síria: ( Craig Murray is worth quoting about the BBC’s Syria fabrication :)  ”O que é disturbante é que a sequência filmada da médica falando é exatamente a mesma o tempo todo. Essa foi editada de maneira a dar a impressão de que a médica estava falando em tempo real com sua própria voz – lá não havia nenhuma dos reconhecidos instrumentos usados para indicar que se tratava de uma transladação da sua voz. Mas tem que ser verdade, que em pelo menos uma, ou possivelmente duas das vezes, nos cortes feitos, ela não estaria falando em tempo real com sua própria voz.”

O que simples perguntas da mídia ocidental demonstram

O papél dos jornalistas na confrontação também não podem ser diminuidos. Por ex. numa reportagem da BuzzFeed, Rosie Gray apresentou para a diretora da RT Margarita Simonyan, as seguintes questões: ( BuzzFeed reporter Rosie Gray presented Margarita Simonyan, )

1) Você tem regularmente reuniões no Kremlin ou com representantes oficiais do governo russo? Você pode descrevê-los, se isso for o caso? Quanta influência direta tem o Kremlin sobre o que a RT apresenta?

2) Porque é o seu escritório, como me disse um empregado, seria localizado num outro andar do que o da redação?

3) Foi Anastasia Churkina empregada por causa de ser filha de quem é? Porque foi ela autorizada a entrevistar seu próprio pai, frente as câmaras?

4) Me disseram também que a RT árabe é administrada pelo/a responsável das traduções do Presidente Putin – seria essa a razão pela qual o posto foi ocupado como o foi?

É difícil dizer se essas questões seriam sérias, ou se deveriam ser vistas como insultos. Nenhum reporter nos Estados Unidos teria se atrevido a perguntar como foi que Mika Brzezinski teve seu posto na MSNBC, e seu pai teria qualquer coisa a ver com esse seu emprego. Se questões desse tipo forem feitas, isso o será feito de maneira muito mais súbtil. Entretanto, a mídia dos Estados Unidos, e seus jornalistas, não aplicam os mesmos padrões quando tratando com russos, ou membros de outras sociedades.

Independente da seriedade, ou não, dessas questões essas são erradas, ou destinadas a exigirem uma específica resposta por parte do respondente. Em primeiro lugar, as questões são dirigidas, e isso porque são destinadas a dirigir a resposta numa certa direção, aqui no caso para embaraçar ou desacreditar a RT como rede de notícias. Em segundo lugar, as questões não são neutras, são carregadas de suposições predestinadas a limitar as possibilidades da resposta., de modo a servir a agenda do entrevistador/a. Um exemplo modelo de uma tal pergunta seria: ”Você já parou de bater nos seus filhos?” A premissa da pergunta como tal seria aqui no exemplo baseada completamente numa suposição incorreta. Na maioria dos casos não importaria o que os respondentes dissessem, esses estariam já numa situação embaraçosa e ofereceriam a pergunta uma certa legitimidade simplesmente por tentar respondê-la de uma ou de outra maneira.

Em resposta, Margarita Simonyan simplesmente ridicularizou as não-neutrais e equívocas perguntas a ela apresentadas. [1]

Os perigosos abusos da comunicação midiática na Idade da Informação

As discórdias entre os Estados Unidos e a Rússia irão se petrificando enquanto a situação na Ucrânia continuar a ferver lentamente. As ramificações dessa crise serão sentidas globalmente indo da Síria, da Península da Coréia e da ONU até a mesa de negociações entre Tehran e os P5+1, a respeito do programa nuclear em questão.

No final, o deslanchar de uma guerra de informação entre os Estados Unidos e a Rússia poderá aparecer aproriada nessa juncção da história denominada como a Idade da Informação. O controle e a manipulação da informação pela comunicação de massas feita pela mídia impede aos indivíduos de ficarem autenticamente conscientes a respeito do mundo a sua volta, assim como das relações sociais que encontram-se por detrás das estruturas de suas vidas quotidianas e do seu poder de poder determinar as decisões que serão tomadas ou não. O poder da mídia quanto a poder socializar os indivíduos e de formar a cultura popular está sendo abusado.

A guerra de informação não é só empreendida entre poderes e blocos econômicos rivais. O controle e a manipulação da informação é usada internamente por governos e corporações contra os escalões da sociedade que se encontrem em posições de desvantagem. Isso atomiza também a informação que poderá então ser usada como um meio de criar um sistema cego, e fechado, que ignora as realidades sociais, os privilégios e a desigual destribuição de meios e poder da mesma.

Mesmo os que estão por detrás das falsas narrativas e fabricações podem ser pegos como reféns de uma não autêntica e desumanizante perspectiva do mundo. Os propagandistas podem tornar-se reféns do que suas próprias mãos semearam. O discurso a respeito do poder do Pentágono faz com que os dirigentes políticos nos Estados Unidos possam pensar que uma confrontação entre os Estados Unidos e a Rússia, ou a China, trariam pequenas consequências para eles e não implicaria a possibilidade de uma guerra nuclear. A Rússia e a China poderiam formam uma formidável aliança, com um mortal arsenal de armas nucleares além de vastos e importantes recursos militares. Um confronto entre os Estados Unidos com a Rússia ou a China poderia ter consquências apocalípticas para a vida nesse planeta.

Se a informação não for usada de maneira apropriada nessa Idade da Informação nós iremos retornar a Idade da Pedra, como Einstein realmente nos precaveu.

 Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya

 

Artigo em inglês:  Controlling the Lens: The Media War Being Fought Over Ukraine Between the Western Bloc and Russia, 27 de Março de 2014

Traduzido por Anna Malm 

 

Libertarian ideology favors privatization.  However, in practice privatization is usually very different in result than libertarian ideology postulates. Almost always, privatization becomes a way for well-connected private interests to loot both the public purse and the general welfare.

Most privatizations, such as those that have occurred in France and UK during the neoliberal era, and in Greece today and Ukraine tomorrow, are lootings of public assets by politically-connected private interests. 

Another form of privatization is to turn traditional government functions, such as prison operation and many supply functions of the armed services, such as feeding the troops, over to private companies at a large increase in cost to the public. Essentially, the libertarian ideology is used to provide lucrative public contracts to a few favored persons who then reward the politicians. This is called “free enterprise.”

The privatization of prisons in the US is an example of the extraordinary cost and injustice of privatization. Privatization of prisons requires ever higher rates of incarceration in order to build profitability. The US, supposedly “a land of liberty” has by     far the highest incarceration rates of all countries.  The “free” US has not only the highest percentage of its population in prison but also the highest absolute number.

“Authoritarian” China with four times the US population has fewer citizens in prison.

This article shows how well prison privatization works for well-connected private interests: http://www.globalresearch.ca/privatization-of-the-us-prison-system/5377824

It also shows the extraordinary shame, corruption, and discredit that prison privatization has brought to the US.

A few years ago I wrote about  the conviction of two judges who were paid by privatized juvenile detention facilities to sentence kids to their facilities.

As Alain of Lille and later Karl Marx said, “Money is all.” In America money is all that is

important to the political system and to the bulk of the population. Essentially, America has no other values.

Another great libertarian fantasy is Wall Street. In the libertarian mythology Wall Street is the mother of entrepreneurs and of the start-up companies that blossom into  industrial, manufacturing, and commercial giants. In actual fact, Wall Street is the mother of enormous corruption. As Nomi Prins shows in All The President’s Bankers, it has always been the case.

Recently, there has been a spate of Wall Street whistleblowers. Many are reported by Pam Martens on her site, Wall Street On Parade, http://wallstreetonparade.com/2014/04/insiders-tell-all-both-the-stock-market-and-the-sec-are-rigged/

Unlike libertarian ideologues, Prins and Martens are former Wall Street insiders and know what they are talking about.

All US financial markets are rigged for the benefit of a few. We have had the exposure of high frequency trading front-running buy and sell orders. We have had the exposure of the big banks rigging the LIBOR interest rate and the London gold price fix. We have had the exposure of the Federal Reserve rigging via its dependent bullion banks the price of gold in the futures market. We have had the exposure in Congressional hearings of the rigging of metal and commodity prices. The dollar’s exchange value is rigged.  And so forth.  Yet no heads have rolled. Recently a SEC prosecuting attorney, James Kidney, retired. Upon his retirement, he proclaimed that his cases against the criminal big banks have been suppressed by SEC higher ups who have their eyes fixed on big jobs with the banks they are protecting while in government service.

So there you have it. The United States government is so overwhelmingly corrupt that even the financial regulatory agencies have been corrupted by the money of the private capitalists they are supposed to regulate.

America the corrupted.  That is what we have become.

Not even Vladimir Putin understands how totally corrupt and insensitive to humanity Washington is.

Putin’s response to the Ukraine crisis created by Washington’s coup in Kiev is to rely on

“Russia’s Western partners,” the UN, the Obama regime, John Kerry, etc., to work out a reasonable solution to the crisis.

Putin’s hope for a diplomatic solution is unrealistic. The NATO governments are bought-and-paid-for by Washington. For example, Germany is not a country. Germany is a mere piece of Washington’s empire. The German government will do as Washington says.The German government represents Washington’s agenda. The European governments to whom Putin is speaking are not listening.

Paul Wolfowitz, the neoconservative who as Deputy Secretary of Defense presided over the orchestration of the false evidence used by the Bush regime to launch Washington’s wars in the Middle East, declared the minimization of Russian power as the “first objective” of US foreign and military policy:

“Our first objective is to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival, either on the territory of the former Soviet Union or elsewhere, that poses a threat on the order of that posed formerly by the Soviet Union. This is a dominant consideration underlying the new regional defense strategy and requires that we endeavor to prevent any hostile power from dominating a region whose resources would, under consolidated control, be sufficient to generate global power.”

What Wolfowitz means by “hostile power” is any power independent of Washington’s hegemony.

Washington overthrew the elected Ukraine government in order to orchestrate a crisis that would distract Russia from Washington’s adventures in Syria and Iran and in order to demonize Russia as an invader rebuilding an empire that is a danger to Europe. Washington will use this demonization in order to break-up growing economic relationships between Russia and Europe. The purpose of sanctions is not to punish Russia, but to break up economic relationships.

Washington’s strategy is audacious and brings risk of war.  If the West had an independent media, Washington’s plan would fail. But instead of a media, the West has a Ministry of Propaganda. The New York Times has even found a replacement for Judith Miller. As you might have forgot or never known, Judith Miller was the New York Times reporter who filled the Times with Bush regime neoconservative lies about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction.  Instead of examining and exposing the Bush regime’s false claims, the New York Times bolstered the regime’s case for war by using the newspaper’s credibility to advance the neoconservative war agenda.

The new Judith Miller is David M. Herszenhorn, with accomplices Andrew Roth, Noah Sneider, and Andrew Higgins.  Herszenhorn dismisses the totality of Russian media accounts of events in Ukraine as “an extraordinary propaganda campaign” designed to hide the fact from the Russian population that the entire Ukraine crisis is the fault of the Russian government: “And so began another day of bluster and hyperbole, of the misinformation, exaggerations, conspiracy theories, overheated rhetoric and, occasionally, outright lies about the political crisis in Ukraine that have emanated from the highest echelons of the Kremlin and reverberated on state-controlled Russian television, hour after hour, day after day, week after week.” http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/16/world/europe/russia-is-quick-to-bend-truth-about-ukraine.html?ref=davidmherszenhorn&_r=0

I have never read a more blatant piece of propaganda than Herszenhorn’s. He bases his report on two “authorities,” Lilia Shevtsova of the American-funded Carnegie Moscow Center, and Mark Galeotti, a NYU professor.

According to Herszenhorn, the widespread protests in eastern Ukraine are entirely the fault of the protesters who are putting on a show for propaganda purposes. The protests are not a response to words and deeds of the Washington-installed stooge government in Kiev. Herszenhorn dismisses reports of extreme nationalist neo-nazi Russophobia as “sinister claims” and regards the Washington-imposed unelected government in Kiev as legal. However, Herszenhorn regards governments formed as a result of referendums to be illegal unless approved by Washington.

If you place your faith in Herszenhorn, you will dismiss all reports such as those below as lies and propaganda:

http://rt.com/news/eu-no-russian-interference-ukraine-844/

http://news.antiwar.com/2014/04/15/poland-nato-must-ignore-russia-send-ground-troops/print/

http://news.antiwar.com/2014/04/15/eastern-offensive-ukraine-pounds-kramatorsk-killing-four/print/

http://news.antiwar.com/2014/04/15/white-house-endorses-ukraine-crackdown-on-protesters/

http://rt.com/news/ukrainian-tanks-kramatorsk-civilians-840/  

http://rt.com/news/putin-ukraine-military-operation-740/

http://www.globalresearch.ca/natos-pet-nazis-savage-ukrainian-presidential-candidate/5377948

http://rt.com/news/ukraine-troops-withdraw-slavyansk-940/

The Western World is the World of the Matrix protected by the Ministry of Propaganda.  Western populations are removed from reality. They live in a world of propaganda and disinformation. The actual situation is far worse than the “Big Brother” reality described by George Orwell in his book, 1984.

The ideology known as neoconservatism, which has controlled US governments since Clinton’s second term, has the world set on a path to war and destruction. Instead of raising questions about this path, the Western media hurries the world down the path. Read what medical doctors report will be the result of the neoconservative Obama regime’s belief that nuclear war can be won:  http://original.antiwar.com/lawrence-wittner/2014/04/14/your-doctors-are-worried/  

The Chinese government has called for “de-americanizing the world.” The Russian legislature understands that being part of the dollar payments system is a Russian subsidy to American Imperialism. The Russian legislator, Mikhail Degtyaryov told Izvestia that “The dollar is evil. It is a dirty green paper stained with blood of hundreds of thousands of civilian citizens of Japan, Serbia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Korea and Vietnam.”  http://rt.com/politics/russian-dollar-abandon-parliament-085/  

However, Russian industry spokesmen, possibly on Washington’s payroll but likely just people without a clue, said that Russia was bound by contracts to the dollar system and that perhaps in 10 or 15 years Russia could take a more intelligent approach.  That is assuming that Russia would still be capable of acting in its own interests after suffering 10 or 15 years more of US financial imperialism.

Every country that wishes to have an independent existence without living under Washington’s thumb should immediately depart the dollar payment system, which is a form of US control over other countries. That is the only purpose that the dollar system serves.

Many countries are afflicted by economists trained in the US in the neoliberal tradition.

Their US education is a form of brainwashing that ensures that their advice renders their governments impotent against Washington’s imperialism.

Despite the obvious threats that Washington poses, many do not recognize the threats because of Washington’s pose as “the greatest democracy.”  However, scholars looking for this democracy cannot find it in the US. The evidence is that the US is an oligarchy, not a democracy.  http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-u-s-is-not-a-democracy-it-is-an-oligarchy/5377765 

An oligarchy is a country that is run for private interests.  These private interests–Wall Street, the military/security complex, oil and natural gas, and agribusiness–seek domination, a goal well served by the neoconservative ideology of US hegemony.

The American Oligarchs win even when they lose.  Finally, Washington’s notorious torture prison, Abu Ghraib, has been closed.  But not by Washington. The Iraqi city fell last week to “defeated” al-Qaeda.  Remember, we won the war in Iraq.  $3 trillion wasted, but that’s not the way the military/security complex sees it.  The war was a great victory for profits. http://news.antiwar.com/2014/04/15/after-al-qaeda-expansion-iraqs-infamous-abu-ghraib-finally-closes/

How much longer will dumbshit americans fall for the flag-waving deception?

The Republicans used the wars in order to create huge budget deficits and national debt that are now being used to dismantle the social safety net, including Social Security and Medicare. There’s talk of privatizing Social Security and Medicare. More profits for Oligarchs in the offering. The gullibility of the American population is really without compare.

The gullibility of the American public will doom the world to extinction.

Fifty Ukrainian soldiers sent to the eastern town of Kramatorsk for military operations against pro-federalization protesters have defected to the side of the demonstrators, local self-defense activists told RIA Novosti Wednesday.

“We have seen that these people are neither separatists nor terrorists, but just ordinary people and we refuse to fight them,” one of the soldiers told RIA Novosti, as the military men took down Ukrainian flags and directed their vehicles to nearby Slaviansk.

The soldiers who switched allegiances are all from Dnepropetrovsk, and came from six crews of airborne combat vehicles, several crews of infantry combat vehicles and one armored carrier.

Some of them raised Russian flags and Air Force banners. Several of their vehicles are now stationed near the Slaviansk City Council, which has been under the control of federalization advocates for several days.

Local residents are taking pictures against the backdrop of the combat vehicles and talking freely with their crews.

Several military units in Kramatorsk still remain loyal to Kiev, including tanks. In Kramatorsk the protesters also control the city council, and have erected several roadblocks. No shooting between security forces loyal to Kiev and the opposition have been reported. Protesters still control Slaviansk, with no military loyal to Kiev present in the area.

The Ukrainian army started a special operation Tuesday to crack down on self-defense activists in eastern Ukraine. The operation targeted the cities of Kramatorsk and Slaviansk in the Donetsk region.

First Deputy Prime Minister Vitaliy Yarema said Wednesday the country’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, had signed off on operation.

Se a oposição venezuelana fosse francesa…

April 17th, 2014 by Salim Lamrani

Foto: A deputada María Corina Machado

Desde fevereiro de 2014, a Venezuela sofre com a violência orquestrada pela extrema-direita golpista. Contrariamente ao que mostram os meios de comunicação ocidentais, ela se limita a nove municípios dos 335 que do país e a tranquilidade reina na imensa maioria do território nacional, particularmente nos bairros populares. Alguns estudantes procedentes dos bairros acomodados — longe de se manifestar pacificamente como afirma a imprensa ocidental — tomam parte em graves ações criminosas. Mas estão longe de serem majoritários. Na verdade, a maioria das pessoas detidas tem graves antecedentes criminais e vários, inclusive, são procurados pela Interpol.[1]

A oposição dirige esses novos setores abastados. Ainda que essa violência tenha sido limitada em termos geográficos, vem sendo mortífera. De fato, ao menos 37 pessoas perderam a vida, algumas em condições particularmente atrozes: seis pessoas que circulavam de moto foram degoladas com arames nas ruas. Por outro lado, cinco membros da Guarda Nacional Bolivariana e um promotor da República foram assassinados por esses grupúsculos, e outras oito pessoas que tentavam abrir caminho nas ruas e desmontar as barricadas foram executadas. Cerca de 600 pessoas foram feridas, entre elas 150 membros das forças da ordem.[2]

Os danos materiais são incontáveis e superaram os 10 bilhões de dólares, com a multiplicação de atos de terrorismo e de sabotagem que miram em tudo o que representa a Revolução Bolivariana, democrática e social: ônibus queimados, estações do metrô saqueadas,  uma universidade — a UNEFA — completamente destruída pelas chamas, dezenas de toneladas de produtos alimentícios destinados aos mercados públicos reduzidos às cinzas, edifícios públicos e sedes ministeriais saqueadas, instalações elétricas sabotadas, centros médicos devastados, instituições eleitorais destruídas etc.[3]

María Corina Machado é uma das autoras intelectuais desses atos criminosos. Deputada da oposição, longe de respeitar a legalidade constitucional do país, lançou várias convocações públicas à violência: “O povo da Venezuela tem uma resposta: ‘Rebeldia, rebeldia’. Alguns dizem que devemos esperar eleições em alguns anos. Podem esperar os que não conseguem alimentos para os seus filhos? Podem esperar os funcionários públicos, os camponeses, os comerciantes, de quem tiram o direito ao trabalho e à propriedade? A Venezuela não pode esperar mais”.[4]

Prensa Miraflores/Divulgação

Maduro cumprimenta opositores na Venezuela, incluindo Henrique Capriles, derrotado nas eleições presidenciais

Corina Machado, inclusive, se aliou a uma potência estrangeira hostil ao representar o Panamá durante uma reunião da Organização dos Estados Americanos, em flagrante violação dos artigos 149 e 191 da Constituição. O primeiro estipula que “os funcionários públicos não poderão aceitar cargos, honras ou recompensas de governos estrangeiros sem a autorização da Assembleia Nacional”. O segundo, por sua vez, enfatiza que “os deputados ou deputadas da Assembleia Nacional não poderão aceitar ou exercer cargos públicos sem perder seu mandato, salvo em atividades docentes, acadêmicas, acidentais ou assistenciais, que não suponham dedicação exclusiva.”.[5]

A deputada acaba de perder a imunidade parlamentária e seu cargo de representante no Parlamento.[6]Se se nega a aceitar a sua nova situação jurídica afirmando que seu mandato só pode ser revogado em caso de “morte, renúncia, extinção ou destituição resultante de sentença tribunal”[7], a lei é, entretanto, muito clara: segundo o Regulamento Interior e de Debates da Assembleia Nacional, a imunidade parlamentária pode ser revogada com um voto majoritário dos deputados, o que foi o caso. Em relação ao seu cargo de deputada, ela o anulou automaticamente ao violar os artigos 149 e 191.[8]

O que aconteceria se María Corina Machado fosse francesa? Seria investigada em seguida sob os rigores da lei penal. De fato, a deputada destituída atentou contra os interesses fundamentais da nação, isto é, contra a “forma republicana de suas instituições” (artigos 410-1), ao convocar uma ruptura violenta da ordem constitucional[1].

Da mesma maneira, o artigo 411-4 estipula que “o fato de manter [relações de] inteligência com uma potência estrangeira, com uma empresa ou organização estrangeira ou sob controle estrangeiro ou de seus agentes, com vistas a suscitar hostilidades ou atos de agressão contra a França é sancionável com 30 anos de detenção criminal e 450 mil euros de multa. Se sanciona com as mesmas penas o fato de proporcionar a uma potência estrangeira, a uma empresa ou organização estrangeira ou [que esteja] sob o controle estrangeiro ou de seus agentes, os meios de empreender hostilidades ou realizar atos de agressão contra a França”. De fato, Corina Machado tem se reunido regularmente com o Departamento de Estado dos Estados Unidos, o qual desempenha uma papel-chave na desestabilização da Venezuela.

Corina Machado também teria infringido o artigo 412-2 do Código Penal e seria acusada de complô: “Constitui um complô a resolução tomada entre várias pessoas de cometer um atentado, quando essa resolução se concretiza mediante um ou vários atos materiais. O complô é punido com dez anos de prisão de 150 mil euros de multa. As penas chegam a vinte anos de detenção criminal e a 300 mil euros de multa, quando uma pessoa depositária de autoridade pública comete a infração.”

Corina Machado também teria violado os artigos 412-3 e 412-4 do Código Penal. Estes, estipulam que “constitui um movimento insurrecional toda violência natureza de coletiva que ponha em risco as instituições da República ou atente contra a integridade do território nacional. É punido com quinze anos de detenção criminal e 250 mil euros de multa o fato de participar de um movimento insurrecional: 1. Edificando barricadas, trincheiras ou todo tipo de obra como objetivo de impedir ou colocar travas à ação da força pública; 2. Ocupando abertamente ou mediante ardil ou destruindo todo edifício ou instalação; 3. Assegurando o transporte, a subsistência ou as comunicações dos insurgentes; 4.Provocando agrupamentos de insurgentes, qualquer que seja a forma; 5. Carregando uma arma. 6. Substiuindo uma autoridade legal”.

Se a ex-parlamentar María Corina Machado fosse francesa, estaria na prisão e seria acusada de graves crimes contra o Estado e as instituições da República. Aconteceria o mesmo os principais líderes da oposição venezuelana que participaram das violências mortíferas desde fevereiro de 2014.

Salim Lamrani

 

Doutor em Estudos Ibéricos e Latino-americanos, Salim Lamrani é professor-titular da Universidade de la Reunión e jornalista, especialista nas relações entre Cuba e Estados Unidos. Seu último livro se chama Cuba. Les médias face au défi de l’impartialité, Paris, Editions Estrella, 2013, com prólogo de Eduardo Galeano.
Contato: [email protected] ; [email protected]
Página no Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SalimLamraniOfficiel



[1] Agencia Venezolana de Noticias, «Delincuentes buscados por Interpol manejaban 18 barricadas en Táchira», 18 de março de 2014; Agencia Venezolana de Noticias, « Guarimbas: Instrumento de la ultraderecha que ha cobrado 36 vidas », 25 de março de 2014; Romain Migus, « Venezuela: la fabrique de la terreur », março de 2014. http://www.romainmigus.com/2014/03/la-fabrique-de-la-terreur.html (site consultado no dia 31 de março de 2014).

[2] Agencia Venezolana de Noticias, « Violencia derechista en Venezuela ha generado 37 muertos y 559 heridos », 31 de março de 2014; Telesur, « Más de 10 mil millones de dólares en pérdidas materiales por guaribas », 27 de março de 2014.

[3] Agencia Venezolana de Noticias, « Violencia derechista en Venezuela destruye 12 centros de atención médica y electoral”, 27 de março de 2014.

[4] Salim Lamrani, « 25 verdades sobre las manifestaciones en Venezuela », Opera Mundi, 23 de fevereiro de 2014.

[5] Constitución de la República Bolivariana de Venezuela. http://www.tsj.gov.ve/legislacion/constitucion1999.htm (site consultado no dia 31 de março de 2014)

[6] EFE, « Parlamento venezolano ratifica pérdida de investidura de diputada María Corina Machado », 26 de março de 2014.

[7] Agence France Presse, « Opositora Machado regresa el miércoles a Caracas y teme ser detenida », 24 de março de 2014.

[8] Asamblea Nacional de la República Bolivariana de Venezuela, « Reglamento Interior y de Debates de la Asamblea Nacional ». http://www.asambleanacional.gob.ve/uploads/secciones/sec_6a7eed3f20630c92288e98940921a89f5092c134.pdf (site consultado dia 31 de março de 2014).

[9] Code pénal français. http://www.legifrance.gouv.fr/affichCode.do?cidTexte=LEGITEXT000006070719(site consultado dia 31 de março de 2014).

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Saudi Arabia has replaced its intelligence chief, who is widely seen as the architect of the kingdom’s interventionist policy on the Syrian civil war. The government-owned Saudi Press Agency announced on Tuesday that prince Bandar bin Sultan had been “relieved of his post at his own request”. Bandar was born in 1946 to a concubine of crown prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz, 12th son of Saudi monarch King Abdulaziz.

In 1983, Bandar was appointed ambassador to the United States, a post he held until 2005. He developed numerous connections in Washington and rose to become a leading operator in Middle East affairs, enjoying to this day very close personal ties with Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush. In 2012 he was appointed director of the Saudi Intelligence Agency, the country’s primary intelligence organization.

Since that time, he has been the primary planner of Riyadh’s hawkish policy on the Syrian civil war, which has been to openly support the rebel groups fighting to oust the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Saudi Arabia began supplying weapons, cash and intelligence to the Syrian rebels as soon as Bandar took control of the country’s intelligence apparatus. But his once close relations with Washington went sour last year, when he described US President Barack Obama’s refusal to launch military strikes on Syria as a “major shift” in American Middle East policy.

He also angered the US by criticizing it’s rapprochement with the Islamic Republic of Iran, which is Riyadh’s major regional adversary. Perhaps most important of all, Bandar appears to have underestimated the strength of the al-Assad administration and over-confidently advising King Abdullah in 2012 that the Syrian government’s days were numbered. The stalemate in the Syrian civil war seems to have frustrated the Saudi government, which began to gradually distancing itself from Bandar’s musings since January.

The prince has spent most of 2014 in the United States and Morocco, ostensibly for “medical treatment”. According to Saudi government media, Bandar has been replaced “on an interim basis” by his deputy, Yousef al-Idrissi. Meanwhile, insiders report that the Syria file has been transferred to prince Mohammed bin Nayef, the kingdom’s minister of interior. It is worth noting, however, that Bandar remains secretary general of the National Security Council, an influential advisory board that directs Saudi Arabia’s national security, intelligence and foreign policy strategy.

Everything You Need to Know About Ukraine is Here

April 17th, 2014 by Global Research News

The Globalization of Poverty: Deconstructing the New World Order

April 17th, 2014 by Prof Michel Chossudovsky

In these unprecedented economic times, the world is experiencing as a whole what most of the non-industrialized world has experienced over the past several decades. For a nuanced examination of the intricacies of the global political-economic landscape and the power players within it, pick up your copy of:

The Globalization of Poverty and the New World Order
by Michel Chossudovsky

Michel Chossudovsky takes the reader through an examination of how the World Bank and IMF have been the greatest purveyors of poverty around the world, despite their rhetorical claims to the opposite. These institutions, representing the powerful Western nations and the financial interests that dominate them, spread social apartheid around the world, exploiting both the people and the resources of the vast majority of the world’s population.

As Chossudovsky examines in this updated edition, often the programs of these international financial institutions go hand-in-hand with covert military and intelligence operations undertaken by powerful Western nations with an objective to destabilize, control, destroy and dominate nations and people, such as in the cases of Rwanda and Yugoslavia.

To understand what role these international organizations play today, being pushed to the front lines and given unprecedented power and scope as ever before to manage the global economic crisis, one must understand from whence they came. This book provides a detailed, exploratory, readable and multi-faceted examination of these institutions and actors as agents of the ‘New World Order,’ for which they advance the ‘Globalization of Poverty.’

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Synopsis

Click here read the Preface to the Second Edition

In this expanded edition of Prof. Michel Chossudovsky’s international best-seller, the author outlines the contours of a New World Order which feeds on human poverty and the destruction of the environment, generates social apartheid, encourages racism and ethnic strife and undermines the rights of women. The result as his detailed examples from all parts of the world show so convincingly, is a globalization of poverty.

This book is a skillful combination of lucid explanation and cogently argued critique of the fundamental directions in which our world is moving financially and economically.

In this updated and enlarged edition – which includes ten additional chapters and a new introduction – the author reviews the causes and consequences of famine in Sub-Saharan Africa, the dramatic meltdown of financial markets, the demise of State social programs and the devastation resulting from corporate downsizing and trade liberalization.

“This concise, provocative book reveals the negative effects of imposed economic structural reform, privatization, deregulation and competition. It deserves to be read carefully and widely.”
- Choice, American Library Association (ALA)

“The current system, Chossudovsky argues, is one of capital creation through destruction. The author confronts head on the links between civil violence, social and environmental stress, with the modalities of market expansion.”
- Michele Stoddard, Covert Action Quarterly

Michel Chossudovsky is Professor of Economics at the University of Ottawa and Director of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG), which hosts the critically acclaimed website www.globalresearch.ca. He is a contributor to the Encyclopedia Britannica. His writings have been translated into more than 20 languages.

Get your copy “The Globalization of Poverty and the New World Order” today!

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Global Research Publishers, 2003 | ISBN 978-0973714708 | 400 pages with complete index



Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and Haitan President Michel Martelly.

The U.S, France and Canada aren’t the only countries engaged in stripping Haiti of its national sovereignty. “Even ‘progressive’ Venezuela is investing in Haiti tourism at Ile a Vache, instead of pushing to end the US occupation and the use of Haitian resources and lands to make foreigners wealthy.”

A few years ago, in “Haiti: Time to remember Kandyo, the Malfini and Mongoose,” I wrote about the United States Left/Right, Democrat/Republican racist solidarity against Haiti. But the forces against Haiti are not only a US-Left-Right white solidarity. The former colonized nations and current anti-imperialist nations also collaborate with white supremacy in Haiti. Cuba, Venezuela, Latin America, the African Union and CARICOM turn a blind eye to the US occupation of Haiti, even participating in the pillage and plunder. The US occupiers are privatizing Haiti, including Haiti offshore islands like Île a Vache. Is this United States and United Nations white supremacist/racist solidarity against Haiti what Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro calls “supporting revolutionary change?”

Black Independence threatens white beliefs of Superiority. This explains current US occupation, plunder and pillage and why the US and Europe constantly destroy and defame Haiti.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

On August 14, 1791 at Bwa Kayiman, the Vodun gathering that began the continuing Haiti revolution, the Haiti revolutionaries, addressed all the forces of white supremacy with this simple call: stop the Black collaborators, stop the white colonists, stop all their evil forces.

To win its freedom, Haiti fought against England, Spain and Napoleon’s colonial army. Napoleon’s army was made up of soldiers from conquered nations and colonial representatives from within the imperial government called – in the white gaze of things – the equivalent of today’s “progressive” forces.  Similarly, the US colonial army in Haiti is a multinational force of conquered nations, some of whom are anti-imperialistic and progressive, in the white gaze of things. These otherwise anti-imperialistic nations see nothing contrary or brutal about their racist participation in the United Nations’ colonial forces in Haiti. ALBA countries like Ecuador, Bolivia, Argentina, Uruguay and Chile willingly participate. For over 10-years now, although “progressive” Brazil has officially commanded the UN troops in Haiti, the foot soldiers for the UN-MINUSTAHtroops in Haiti are made up mainly of poor soldiers from Latin America, Asia, Africa with the top commanding officers mostly from the ranks of Europe and North America. This is the 21st century colonial army, exploiting and repressing Haiti’s black masses on behalf of the number one superpower in the world, the United States.

Three of their Black overseers, Ghanaian diplomat and Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan along with the United States’ Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice, played pivotal roles for the George W. Bush administration in 2004 to help obfuscate the blatant racism involved in taking down Haiti’s democratically elected government. Later on, after the earthquake, Bill and Hillary Clinton under the Obama administration – the husband at the UN as UN special envoy to Haiti, the wife as head of the Obama State Department – would surpass the three Black overseers along with Lula’s generals in Haiti in their “progressive” destruction of Haiti to abscond with $9billion in quake funds, while supervising the US/Euro yet-to-be unveiled amendments to the Haiti constitution. Amendments reminiscent of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s brutal and repressive Haiti actions during the first US occupation of Haiti from 1915 to 1934. This time, the purpose is to eliminate Haiti laws and mining prohibitions in favor of land grabs such the Ile a Vache with “tax waivers,” – thus taking from the traumatized and defenseless Haiti poor to give to the super-rich.

Haiti’s Washington advisors are conveniently making use of a little-known “investment code”that gives 15-year tax breaks to the owners of new hotels, many of whom are from the country’s powerful and wealthy families. This law also allows hotel owners to ship supplies through customs without paying taxes.”

White solidarity between the “anti-imperialist” nations against Haiti is evident in the current tourism push by Venezuela in Haiti and the blind eye of the rest of Latin America, CARICOM, African Union nations and the OAS to the brutal repression and dehumanization associated with the Ile a Vache land grab.

The right wing Haiti puppet government employs over 115 Motorized Intervention Brigade (BIM) police officers to forcefully evacuate residents of the Ile a Vache rural community in order to facilitate the Lamothe/Villedrouin cabinet’s acquisition of large parcels of coastal lands on the island.

Jean Lamy Matulnes, the Vice President of the Gathering of Ile a Vache Farmers (Konbit Peyizan Ilavach, or KOPI) has been put in prison for championing Ile a Vache peasant protests against land seizures for foreign “tourist” interests.  But part of the land being taken is for permanent housing for the wealthy, who can purchase the 1500 seaside luxury condos and 2500 villas that are to be built on lands previously inhabited by relatively poor Haitians. A mere 2,000 “new jobs” for local Haitians is projected for this massive disenfranchisement of the 20,000 Haitians living on the island. This new Haiti earthquake is being financed, in part, by Venezuela.

20,000 Haitians living on the Island have had their entire lives turned upside down. Resident are faced daily with the heavily armed Motorized Intervention Brigade (BIM) that is helping a Dominican Republic construction company, Ingenieria Estrella, bulldoze peasant properties.

The reign of terror has forced many community leaders into hiding. Protestors are brutally beaten, intimidated by BIM’s constant show of force, and KOPI members, in particular, are hunted.

The lie about “reconstructing Haiti back better” is no longer centered on raising funds for homeless quake victims, a con game mostly used to evict peasants in the North in order to build a Caracol sweatshop factory for the South Korean friends of the Clintons. The game is no longer about investing in for-profit hotels for tourists in Port au Prince. No. It’s about grabbing all of Haiti’s offshore islands, privatizing Île à Vache, evicting citizens to make room for tourists and calling the outrage, helping the Haitians.”

The Haiti media generally travels with the government officials pushing tourist projects. There is little international media reporting about the exploitation and brutalization of the population. And since most folks are trained to see tourism – which in Haiti is generally a reproduction ofDixieland plantations with Black and Brown as maids, sexual objects and servers – as Haiti development, Haitians who condemn and denounce the land grab and evictions are branded as short-sighted.

The fact that tourism at Ile a Vache about favoring mostly wealthy white folks to come live and play on Haiti lands taken unfairly from Blacks, escapes the Western-schooled and assimilated mindset. In fact, the colonial narrative is that white supremacy is development for Haiti. Even “progressive” Venezuela is investing in Haiti tourism at Ile a Vache, instead of pushing to end the US occupation of Haiti, the disenfranchisement of the people, the use of Haiti resources and lands to make foreigners wealthy.

Venezuela has invested invested $27 million directly into the Haiti’s tourism ministry that presides over projects such the Ile a Vache debacle.

Some say the Latin American/CARICOM/African Union nations with troops in the US colonial army in Haiti are just tramps. The UN jobs are just that – jobs for poor countries in the global South and Africa. It’s just about: take the other Negro master and leave us alone” – a cowardly position that will not work because vulture capitalism/white supremacy has to eat up everything in its path. But what is Cuba and Venezuela’s strategic, unprincipled reason for ignoring the imperialist occupation of Haiti, even participating? Is investing in a Haiti land grab what Venezuela’s president Nicolas Maduro calls “supporting equality, justice and participatory democracy for the masses?”

The Ile a Vache tourist project is nothing less than a corporate land grab to increase inequality, apartheid, create slums on the Island for the people and further contain them in poverty. Is this what the “Bolivarian” revolution is about? Investing in Haiti’s brutal repression, dehumanization? Dispossessing the local residents to further plunder the billions in Haiti’s underwater treasures at Ile a Vache?

Haiti is at ground zero, the laboratory for the global Left-Right white solidarity going on everywhere: either objectively championing U.S./Euro imperialist aggression or providing, like Venezuela and Cuba, tacit support for that aggression through silence. (Left-Right White Solidarity?-The new face of 21st century neo-fascism.)

But has it ever really been different for Haiti?

There’s been some rare times of brief solidarity over the years. There was the time when JP Patterson of Jamaica refused to be intimidated by Condi Rice’s ultimatum for Jamaica not to give asylum to Jean Bertrand Aristide in 2004.  There was the time when then South African President Thabo Mbeki, rejecting US warnings, attended the Haiti bicentennial.  Mbeki later sent weapons to the Aristide-Neptune government, weapons which would have reached Haiti the day (February 29, 2004) the US accomplished its regime change.  China also, once upon a time, helped veto UN colonial missions to Haiti.

But these rare moments are the exception to the rule, generally reversed quickly by Empire’s economic hitmen, its jackals and bureaucratic institutions and international financial establishments that are structurally racist. The lessons of history show that, in the long run, so-called progressive credentials are put on show to lull the agitated masses into accepting the lies and deliberate confusions spread by Empire. The intensity paralyzes you. You don’t want to charge the prestigious super leftists, like Cuba and Venezuela, with colluding with the very empire they’re fighting against that also denies Haiti the right to self-determination.

But a humorous Native American’s take on the matter is salient here:

“…every time we tried to attack their fortsthey had ‘Soul Brother‘ painted on them, and so we never got the job done.” — Custer Died for Your Sins: An Indian Manifesto by Vine Deloria, Jr.

The Haitian people identify as enemy, to varying levels and degrees, those who directly or indirectly treat them as less than human. Painting Cuba or Venezuela on the wall of Imperialism’s forts, so-to-speak, won’t stop Haiti’s masses from attacking the super-leftists role in today’s white supremacist occupation in Haiti.

It’s no coincidence that Ajamu Baraka recently addressed this topic from a more global perspective, maintaining that the Left-Right White solidarity is the most recent face of 21st century neo-fascism. He explained that racism/white supremacy is the foundation of Euro fascism which is always ready to explode:

Cross-class white solidarity in defense of ‘Western values,’ civilization and the prerogative to determine who has the right to national sovereignty …is at the base of the rationalization of the ‘responsibility to protect’ asserted by the white West.”

Haiti activists at Ezili’s HLLN have been pointing out the solidarity of the white saviors from the US/Euro Left and Right spectrum since the second US occupation of Haiti began in 2004. The Ile a Vache expropriation of lands, with the racist Dominican Republic as investor and Venezuela’s involvement, requires a critical look.

Venezuela cannot claim to be anti-imperialists while financing a right wing Haiti government selected by the US. Venezuelan money is partly sponsoring the illegal imprisonment of Jean Lamy Maltunes, the dispossession of peasant lands, the setting loose of police dogs on the people and other such brutal reprisals against Haiti peoples at Ile a Vache.

For over 10-years, since before the end of the Gerald Latorture’s barbaric reign in 2006, Haiti’s people have stood virtually alone, while most of Latin America and the CARICOM nations, along with the OAS, ALBA and the African Union, turns a blind eye to the Western imperialist project, neoliberalism, UN troop massacres and the general colonial whitening in Haiti.

These nations, especially the Latin American nations who mostly hide their large African populations in Favela-type conditions, claim that the UN is a peacekeeping force, a humanitarian force.

Cuba and Venezuela do not have troops in UN-MINUSTAH, but they simply seem not to want to understand, for their own geopolitical purposes and perhaps for strategic unity with the Latin American and Caribbean participants in Haiti’s occupation.

US propaganda maintains that Haiti needs to be ruled by foreigners. This is justified by focusing on Black fratricide and Black on black crime in Haiti, even though Haiti has less violence (6.9) than most nations in the Western Hemisphere, including the Dominican Republic (25.0), Jamaica (40.9), Bahamas (36.6), Brazil (21.8), Venezuela (45.1), Mexico (23.7) and El Salvador (69.2).  But these former colonized nations are not willing to accept that Haiti’s violence and corruption is as underdeveloped as its economic potential.

Cuba’s medical brigade is reputed to be doing good work in Haiti. But some observant Haitians have serious concerns.

These detractors say that Cuba’s medical brigade, just like the typical Western NGOs, cannot be deemed totally positive when it replaces or substitutes for a locally grown and sovereign Haiti public infrastructure.

Others point out that Cuba failed to protest when the US multinational forces invaded Haiti in 2004, and installing their military headquarters in the medical school in Port au Prince.

Even Eva Morales, leader of the Bolivian revolution, has troops in the US colonial army in Haiti.

The radical, anti-imperialists writing today do not ink any of this Haiti reality. These folks mostly laud the great good that Venezuelan PetroCaribe dollars are doing for the Haiti masses. The fact that the Haiti oligarchy charges over six dollars ($6) per gallon to the people of Haiti for this subsidize gasoline while selling it, in bulk, at cheaper prices to wealthy passing cruise ships does not garner their attention. Nor does the oligarchs’ monopoly on petrol in Haiti, their petrol farms warehousing supply to keep prices high.

“A June 13, 2008 Nouvelliste article alleges that then President Preval confided that “more than 40 to 50% of the imported rice that is subsidized by the Haitian State is CONSUMED in the DOMINICAN REPUBLIC… And that even Haitian clandestinely subsidized petroleum products, cheaper Haiti oil products, are also being consumed by wealthy foreign ships passing through Haitian waters, instead of the impoverished and starving Haitians these food and gas subsidies were intended to benefit…”— HLLN archives

For its part, the international media is too busy giving itself awards and winning corporate foundation grants to do any real reporting on Caribbean-Latin American institutionalized racism against Haiti. For instance, CARICOM requires Haitians – and only Haitians – to have visas to travel to other CARICOM countries.

The Dominican Republic is the only honest racist amongst the Latin American/Caribbean bunch. It straight out denationalized Dominicans of Haitian descent going back to 1929, to “purify” its country of Black blood, casually committing civil genocide with no great protest from the world’s nations.

True revolutionaries in Cuba and Venezuela must stop the abandonment of Haiti. A good beginning would be to lend a helping hand to the voiceless, vulnerable people of Ile a Vache who built and reforested the Island.  The people ask that the May 10, 2013 presidential decree unilaterally making Ile a Vache a zone of tourism development and public utility be rescinded. They want the unconditional release of Jean Maltunes Lamy and the withdrawal of the 115 militarized police from the Island.

We suggest that world citizens write the Venezuelan embassy in Haiti, write to President Nicolas Maduro, and contact Venezuelan activists to ask that Venezuela use its diplomatic powers to secure the immediately release of Jean Lamy Maltunes, and to halt the financing of the neofascist Martelly/Lamothe government. Tourism, an export economy, sweatshops and privatization of pubic assets are not development for Haiti, Africa, Latin America or the Caribbean. This is a concrete opportunity to stop colluding with Empire.

Ezili Dantò is an award winning playwright, a performance poet, author and human rights attorney. She was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and raised in the USA. She holds a BA from Boston College, a JD from the University of Connecticut School of law. She is a human rights lawyer, cultural and political activist and the founder and president of the Ezili’s Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network (HLLN). She runs the Haitian Perspectives on-line journal and the Ezili Dantò Newsletter. She can be contacted at http://www.ezilidanto.com/zili/contact-us/.

Talks on the construction of the Russia to India oil pipeline project should conclude by mid-2014, officials from ONGC said.

Thus, Russia is changing its energy export policy vector as strong demand for hydrocarbons, both in China and in India, one of the largest economies in the world, continues to grow. The benefits are obvious, including those in connection with India’s plans to become a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). China supports the pipeline oil supplies to India, which is not surprising. One of the project’s options is the construction of a pipeline from the Altai region through the north-west of China to the north of India. Director of the Center for Strategic Studies in Energy of the People’s Republic of China, Xia Yishan says, “The project is beneficial for both India and China, as it would allow China to become an oil transit in addition to its ‘status’ of recipient of the Russian oil.” For Russia, the project’s additional benefit is providing oil to the SCO market.

“Russia and India have agreed to establish a joint group to study the possibility of direct ground transportation of hydrocarbons” the joint statement by Vladimir Putin and Manmohan Singh in December. The discussion of such a project began back in 2005. At the end of last year, ONGC supported its implementation, by saying “The pipeline from Russia seems appropriate. The details of the project will be clarified with the Russian partners.”

According to the director of the Gas business agency Michael Yermolovich, the project may be associated with the creation of a Russian-Indian petrochemical joint venture in Gujarat. Investment in this venture is estimated at $450 million, its capacity is estimated at 100,000 tonnes of finished products per year.

In general, India is planning to significantly increase its reserves of the black gold, due to an increase in domestic demand. Secretary of the Indian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ajay Bisaria said that “in 2013, the oil purchases in Russia amounted to $176 million, but India intends to buy more. This requires an overland route.” Up to 35 percent of the pipeline falls in mountainous terrain. The project’s preliminary cost would be $30 billion and the completion of construction is planned for 2020-2022.

As for the Western market, due to the crisis in the Eurocurrency zone, the demand for oil there is very volatile. In addition, if they want to “put pressure” on Moscow, the EU can increases its import of crude from Norway, North Africa, the Gulf and even Trinidad, but this is the EU’s problem.

In addition to that, the EU complains about the low domestic prices for oil and gas in Russia, that is why many goods manufactured in Russia are taxed by antidumping restrictions. Timur Nigmatullin, analyst in Investkafe said, “The use of so-called energy corrections by the European Union looks like an attempt to level one of our economy’s key competition advantages. This approach introduced unjustified anti-dumping duties, which is why Russian businesses annually lose more than $600 million.”

In short, there is a need for new markets, especially those where integration processes with Russia’s participation are developed. This is primarily the SCO. “The growth of mutual investments by Russia and China is accompanied by greater activity of the Russian and Chinese business in other SCO countries, – said the president of the International Organization of Creditors Robert Abdullin. “Economic growth in these countries is more favourable than it is in the industrialized countries.” Countries like India, Pakistan, Mongolia, Vietnam and their neighbours would naturally be attracted to working in close partnership with the SCO, including a partnership in the energy sector.

First published in Russian in Rossiyskaya Gazeta.

Image: Huey P. Newton, African-American activist co-founder of the Black Panther Party with Bobby Seale in 1966.

Class and race oppression brings death by many means. “The person or movement partaking in revolutionary suicide has chosen to confront death by fighting for liberation.”

Death is central to the US capitalist system, especially in the form of state-sponsored murder. Without the murderous invasions, coups, and mercenary wars conducted by the US capitalist state and its allied countries, the entire system of finance speculation and profit accumulation would come undone. Mass murder is ”collateral damage” for securing markets, resources, geopolitical hegemony, and thus profit, for the capitalist class. This form of death is overlooked and understudied despite its centrality to the historical development of the United States.  The US project itself would not of been possible without murder in the name of capitalism.

The Euro-colonization of the Western hemisphere required the murder of indigenous peoples, and subsequently, the enslavement of Black Africans. Following the establishment of the US government, a rapid period of industrialization produced a powerful capitalist class. This capitalist class was special, for its entire existence depended not upon a transition from a feudal economic base, but rather from the stolen labor and wealth of enslaved Africans and slaughtered indigenous peoples. US colonialism continued into Mexico, Latin America, and western North America, displacing and eliminating native peoples to establish an industrial capitalist empire. The Civil War and the two World Wars that followed were indicative of the capitalist system’s tendency to monopolize after bloody wars of competition for colonial possessions.  When the US emerged as the capitalist super-power after the World Wars ravaged the European capitalist system, the stage was set for the transition from industrial capitalism to finance capitalism.  Since 1945, millions more have perished from US imperial incursions on sovereignty in the Middle East, Africa, Latin America and Asia on behalf of Wall Street and its international organizations: the World Bank, IMF, and World Trade Organization

Of course, a complete analysis of the murderous nature of US capitalism honors the resistance of its victims.  However many hundreds of millions, maybe billions, of people have been forced into premature death, it is critical we remember and learn from past and present freedom fighters.  Whether examining the resistance of slave rebellions in colonized North America or the socialist revolutions in China, Cuba, and Vietnam, the US ruling class has never experienced a day without a fight from workers, peasants, and nations exploited by the capitalist system.  The study and practice of resistance has the profound effect of transforming our collective consciousness toward all aspects of humanity, including death.

Mass murder is ‘collateral damage’ for securing markets, resources, geopolitical hegemony, and thus profit, for the capitalist class.”

Huey Newton, one of the founding leaders of the Oakland Black Panther Party (BPP), brought death and revolutionary activity together in his analysis of suicide. The BPP organized to unite the Black community against the forces that oppressed them in the United States and the world.  Huey Newton’s theory of suicide was informed by his experience as a historically enslaved and exploited subject of Black America, as well as the US government’s response to Black resistance.  As the Panthers organized self-defense initiatives and grassroots “survival” programs, the US government worked in collusion with local police departments to destroy the Party. The FBI’s COINTEPRO infiltrated every chapter of the BPP, murdering or imprisoning much of its leadership.  To this day, Black Panther members like Mumia Abu Jamal remain in prison while the Black population outside the walls experiences murder every 28 hours by some form of law enforcement.  This is the context in which Newton produced a theory of suicide that redefined the experience of death for the purposes of revolutionary change.

Newton’s examination brought him to analyze two forms of suicide: reactionary suicide and revolutionary suicide. Reactionary suicide is most commonly known as the act of killing oneself. The indignities of US capitalism produce severe internal strife.  Racism and patriarchy exacerbates class exploitation and tears apart communities. Reactionary suicide peaks during capitalist economic crises and imperialist wars, where economic conditions and trauma are most severe.  Huey Newton understood that Black America was a dispossessed community whose wealth, culture, and history were stolen as a result of racist and capitalist exploitation. This historical condition increased the tendency of reactionary suicide in the Black community. Thus, Newton and the BPP leadership organized with the intent of empowering the Black community through collective work.  Each concrete medical clinic, free breakfast program, and Panther school were organized to move community to confront the racist, capitalist power structure and embrace revolutionary socialism and communalism.  The BPP concluded that only confidence, discipline, and concrete political education could build a powerful movement against the forces that cause reactionary suicide.

The FBI’s COINTEPRO infiltrated every chapter of the BPP, murdering or imprisoning much of its leadership.”

Revolutionary suicide, in contrast, develops out of the recognition that one is a “doomed man” after making the conscious choice to participate in the struggle for self-determination and freedom. Newton’s theory of revolutionary suicide placed the utmost importance not on death itself, but how it occurs.  US government repression killed many Black Panther Party members in an attempt to weaken the growing spirit of resistance in the Black community.   Newton’s theory of revolutionary suicide connected suicide and death to the fight for a dignified, collective humanity.  The person or movement partaking in revolutionary suicide has chosen to confront death by fighting for liberation. Those who commit revolutionary suicide live on through the concrete fight for freedom, self-determination, socialism and Black Power.  In other words, a revolutionary can be killed, but not the revolution

Huey Newton’s work on suicide was produced in a period of time where revolutionary upheaval was at a high point in the US. Today, we must find a way to apply theories of suicide and pre-mature death in a way that fights the forces that cause them.  The potential of being brutally murdered by US imperialism while we struggle to meet our individual and collective needs creates the perfect conditions for reactionary suicide.  The US ruling class exploits feelings of purposelessness, depression, and confusion to manufacture consent to their rule.  Death and suicide are two of the most uncomfortable, yet inevitable, consequences of US capitalism. However, as Huey Newton teaches us, to confront the meaning of our mortality in the face of a powerful enemy can give us positive direction in the fight to free ourselves from the chains of this system.

Danny Haiphong is an activist and case manager in the Greater Boston area. You can contact Danny at: [email protected]

French Parliament Moves Beyond Monsanto, Bans GMO Corn

April 17th, 2014 by Brandon Baker

A decision Tuesday in France prevents the immediate cultivation of GMO corn. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

France moved beyond Monsanto Tuesday, approving a law with far-reaching applicability for genetically modified (GM)corn.

France’s lower house of Parliament banned GM corn in a sweeping fashion, Reuters reported. Now, no variety of GM corn can be cultivated because of its toxic threats to the soil, insects and human health.

Just a month ago France prohibited the sale, use and cultivation of Monsanto’s MON 810, the only GM crop that had been authorized in the European Union (EU).

 

“It is essential today to renew a widely shared desire to maintain the French ban,” Jean-Marie Le Guen, the minister in charge of Parliament relations told the National Assembly. “This bill strengthens the decree passed last March by preventing the immediate cultivation of GMO and extending their reach to all transgenic maize varieties.”

That means that future strains will be banned even if the EU approves them. That includes Pioneer 1507, a crop developed by DuPont and Dow Chemical that is still on the table for EU states and could be approved later this year.

The ban now heads back to the Senate, which rejected a similar one two months ago, calling it unconstitutional.

 

Monsanto's stock plummeted a day after Food Democracy Now! launched a public divestment campaign. Graphic credit: Yahoo!/Food Democracy Now!
Monsanto’s stock plummeted a day after Food Democracy Now! launched a public divestment campaign. Graphic credit: Yahoo!/Food Democracy Now!

 

Just a week ago, Food Democracy Now! launched a U.S. divestment campaign against Monsanto. It followed a six-month investigation that found that the three largest mutual fund shareholders, Vanguard, Fidelity and State Street, own nearly 16 percent of Monsanto stock.

A day later, Monsanto’s stock plummeted as the day carried on.

In separate statements in the US and Europe, President Obama and NATO secretary-general Anders Fogh Rasmussen ratcheted up the threats by US and European imperialism against Russia. Their statements came on the eve of four-party talks set for Thursday in Geneva, with the US, the European Union and their Ukrainian puppet regime facing off against Moscow.

Obama gave an interview to Major Garrett of CBS News, who asked a series of provocative questions suggesting that the White House should step up its campaign of economic warfare against Russia. Before the interview, the White House announced that a new round of economic sanctions had been “prepared” for use against Russia if there was no progress in resolving the crisis in Ukraine.

Obama told CBS that it was “absolutely clear” that Russia had violated Ukrainian sovereignty in annexing Crimea and that it was continuing to do so by supporting “non-state militias” in southern and eastern Ukraine, where there is overwhelming popular hostility to the US-backed right-wing regime in Kiev.

Offering no proof for his accusations against Russia, Obama declared: “What I’ve said consistently is that each time Russia takes these kinds of steps, that are designed to destabilize Ukraine and violate their sovereignty, that there are going to be consequences, and what you have already seen is the Russian economy weaker, capital fleeing out of Russia.”

In language that suggested possible US support for future Ukrainian membership in NATO—a radical break from previous policy—Obama said, “We don’t need a war. What we do need is a recognition that countries like Ukraine can have relationships with a whole range of their neighbors and it is not up to anybody whether it is Russia or anybody else to make decisions for them.”

This declaration is remarkable for its hypocrisy, since US government officials have been “making decisions” for Ukraine, including who should head its government. Tapes of phone conversations between the US ambassador and State Department official Victoria Nuland indicated that they had already selected the man who is now Ukrainian prime minister—Arseniy Yatseniuk, or “Yats”, as they familiarly termed him—during the US-backed protests that installed the current regime in Kiev.

More ominously, CIA Director John Brennan visited Kiev secretly last week for discussions on how to deal with the popular movement in eastern Ukraine. Coming out of those sessions, both interim president Oleksandr Turchynov and prime minister Yatseniuk denounced the anti-Kiev activists in the east as “terrorists” and ordered in the armed forces, commanded by a general who threatened the “destruction” of the opposition.

Given that Brennan heads the world’s largest organization dedicated to assassination and provocation, and previously worked at the Obama White House directing drone missile attacks on people identified as “terrorists”, his discussions in Kiev were undoubtedly focused on demonizing the political opposition to Kiev as criminals, and engineering a bloody outcome to the crisis.

The threat of military escalation came after a NATO meeting Wednesday in Brussels. NATO Secretary-general Anders Fogh Rasmussen said that the US-dominated military alliance would increase air patrols over the Baltic states of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia—all former Soviet republics that border on Russia. This would represent an escalation of previous actions, which included dispatching warplanes to Poland and the Baltic states, and deploying AWACS surveillance aircraft in Poland and Romania.

“You will see deployments at sea, in the air, on land to take place immediately—that means within days,” Rasmussen said. “We will have more planes in the air, more ships in the water, and more readiness on the land. More will follow, if needed, in the weeks and months to come.”

These deployments will include NATO warships off the coast of the Baltic states and in the eastern Mediterranean.

All indications are that the Geneva talks are not intended to resolve the crisis, but rather will be the occasion for further provocations against Russia. The acting foreign minister for the right-wing Ukrainian regime, Andriy Deshchytsia, said he would demand Russia return Crimea to Ukraine and rescind the decision of the Russian parliament authorizing Russian troops to deploy to Ukraine if President Vladimir Putin deemed it necessary to protect the Russian population in that country.

Claims by US, NATO and Ukrainian officials of “Russian involvement” in Ukraine are both completely hypocritical—given the record of US-EU subversion in Kiev—and deeply cynical. With the assistance of the compliant media in both the US and Europe, the imperialist powers are manufacturing a red herring to divert attention from their own operations and maneuvers.

Russia and Ukraine are deeply intertwined by common history, culture, economic ties and geography. In eastern Ukraine, particularly, where the majority of the population speaks Russian as its native tongue, and intermarriages are commonplace, to speak of ethnically distinct populations is absurd.

It is hardly surprising that the seizure of power by ultra-right Ukrainian nationalists, spearheaded by open fascists, anti-Russian chauvinists and anti-Semites, whose first significant policy decision was to prohibit official use of the Russian language, should provoke popular opposition, especially in the Russian-speaking east and south.

As for the claims that this popular opposition is “instigated” or “fomented” by Russia, the Putin regime, based on billionaire oligarchs, is hostile to any genuine popular movement in eastern Ukraine, a stronghold of the industrial working class, which might spill across the border and intensify the class struggle within Russia itself. If the Russian armed forces were eventually to intervene in eastern Ukraine, it would be to suppress such a popular movement before it could get out of control.

The imperialist powers and their stooges in Kiev regard the population of eastern Ukraine with undisguised loathing. It is worth recalling again the statement by interim president Turchynov on his website Tuesday, in which he admitted, “Apart from Russian Special Forces and terrorists, there’s hundreds of thousands of innocent Ukrainian people deceived by Russian propaganda.”

The military actions ordered by Kiev pose the danger of a full-scale bloodbath to crush broad sections of the eastern Ukrainian population who distrust and oppose the Kiev regime. Casualties have already been reported earlier this week in Kramatorsk and Slovyansk. On Wednesday, press reports indicated that Ukrainian soldiers opened fire on protesters in Mariupol, a city of 600,000 on the Sea of Azov, killing one person and wounding 12 more.

There were reports of Ukrainian troops balking at instructions to fire, and even fraternizing with the local population.

Such defections will only intensify the effort to mobilize ultra-right and neo-Nazi elements against the working class.

The head of the Ukrainian National Security Council, Andriy Parubiy, a leader of the anti-Semitic Svoboda party, sent out a message on Twitter saying that veterans of the coup in Kiev, many of whom were members of right-wing nationalist groups, being mobilized to join the fight. “Reserve unit of National Guard formed from #Maidan Self-defense volunteers was sent to the front line this morning,” he wrote.

All the principle political actors are being lined up in Detroit to browbeat workers over the next several weeks into accepting a bankruptcy restructuring plan, drafted by the Wall Street banks and their political servants, that contains sweeping attacks on the working class.

In advance of today’s deadline for legal challenges to the Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr’s “Plan of Adjustment,” two union-affiliated retiree associations agreed to drop lawsuits against the bankruptcy and endorse a deal that cuts pensions and health care benefits. Before the bankruptcy of Detroit—the largest municipal bankruptcy case in US history—such cuts would have been considered inconceivable because of constitutional protections for public employee pensions in many states, including Michigan.

If the deals are rammed through, some 6,500 retired firefighters and police—who do not qualify for Social Security benefits—will have their pensions frozen and cost of living adjustments cut by more than one half to one percent a year. Another 11,000 city workers in the city’s General Retirement System, who subsist on pension checks averaging $1,500 a month, will be hit with a 4.5 percent cut and lose inflation adjustments altogether.

Making matters even worse, retirees over 65 will be dumped onto the federal Medicare system and those under 65 will be forced to purchase private insurance on Obama’s health care exchanges—imposing impossible out of pocket costs for inferior care. Future medical coverage will be handled by a union-controlled Voluntary Employees’ Beneficiary Association (VEBA), which in the words of the Detroit Free Press, “is expected to deliver significantly reduced benefits to retirees.”

These cuts are part of a broader restructuring plan, which includes handing over the priceless collection of the Detroit Institute of Arts, owned by the people of Detroit for over a century, to private foundations. Other public assets and city services are being primed for privatization, including the water and sewerage system, public lighting, municipal parking facilities and the city-owned airport and convention center.

Low-income residents are being cleared out of downtown to make room for upscale housing and entertainment districts, which will benefit billionaire developers. At the same time, thousands of residents are being ruthlessly cut off from access to water.

The local and national news media have declared that the pension cuts are “minimal” and the result of compromises involving “equal sacrifice” from bondholders, the banks and retirees. This is a fraud. Workers are being stripped of hard earned, constitutionally guaranteed benefits, which will throw them into destitution.

Meanwhile, the bankruptcy court has agreed to pay big investors, which have fleeced the city for years, as much as 74 cents on the dollar. It has handed over an $85 million payoff to Bank of America and Swiss-based UBS to unwind a semi-illegal, if not outright criminal, interest rate swap deal.

From the beginning, the corporate and financial elite have relied on the unions, including the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees and the United Auto Workers, to help implement their plans. The unions have worked to prevent the outbreak of social opposition against the political conspirators who deliberately threw the city into bankruptcy in order to loot pensions and other public assets.

Far from mobilizing opposition to this social crime, the unions functioned as one of the competing creditors in the bankruptcy case, filing lawsuits to press for a larger share of the spoils from the threatened selloff of the DIA and other public assets.

Having taken the measure of the corrupt business executives who run AFSCME and the UAW, the federal mediators crafted a “grand bargain” to push through the restructuring plan. This included buying the support of the union officials by handing them control of multi-billion dollar VEBA trusts and reportedly allowing them to retain some influence over the investment of pension funds.

If no agreement with the unions was reached, Judge Steven Rhodes and Orr threatened to “cram-down,” their restructuring plan. Such a provocative action, Detroit News columnist Daniel Howes warned, would be “more socially divisive, to put it mildly.” That is why in the end, the corporate and financial elite and its political front men have relied on the unions to suppress opposition and impose its dictates.

What is happening in Detroit is a part of the social counter-revolution spearheaded by the Obama administration and both big business parties, Democrats and Republicans. Having rejected any bailout of Detroit, while providing trillions to Wall Street, Obama is using the city as a model for the gutting of government-paid pensions and health care benefits for millions of teachers, firefighters and other public sector workers around the country.

Following the example of Detroit, state and municipalities in Illinois, Pennsylvania, California and elsewhere have put public employee pensions and health care benefits on the chopping block. Throughout the US—just as in Greece, Spain and Portugal—the banks and political servants claim that society just does not have the resources to sustain “overly generous” retirement benefits.

The corporate and financial aristocracy is determined to destroy every achievement won by the working class in over a century of struggle.

With Detroit workers and retirees voting on the proposed packages beginning on May 1, they will be confronted by unions that will join the chorus of politicians, judges and media talking heads insisting that this is the “best they can get” and that resistance will lead to only deeper cuts.

This campaign of propaganda and intimidation must be rejected! The crafting of a “grand bargain” behind the bankruptcy makes clear that in fighting for its rights—including the right to pensions, health care, utilities and access to culture—the working class must be organized independently of all the institutions of official politics, including the unions and Democratic Party. The struggle of workers in Detroit must be connected to the mobilization of the working class throughout the metro Detroit area, across the US and internationally.

What workers lack is not the desire to fight, but the knowledge of the social, economic and political forces behind the bankruptcy and a leadership armed with a political program to fight. That is why the Socialist Equality Party organized the February 15 Workers Inquiry into the Bankruptcy of Detroit and the Attack on the DIA & Pensions and is continuing to organize opposition.

The entire framework of the bankruptcy must be rejected. The city’s debt must repudiated and the ill-gotten gains of the financial aristocracy confiscated for social use, including rebuilding the city for the working class, not the super-rich. This fight must be connected to the struggle to mobilize working class on an international and socialist program to put an end to war, dictatorship and the insane levels of social inequality produced by capitalism.

Polish media outlet Nie has published a bombshell account about direct Polish involvement in Ukraine’s destabilization. Its source alleges that the Polish Foreign Ministry had invited Ukrainian militants into the country and trained them outside of Warsaw in September 2013. Considering the destructive actions and fatalities they would later be responsible for during the EuroMaidan riots, such a connection would directly link Warsaw to the pandemonium. It would also implicate Poland in being the “Slavic Turkey” of NATO in Eastern Europe. The impact of Nie’s reporting can also affect domestic Polish politics, as it would prove that the political elite misled members of Parliament, which could later have direct political repercussions for Tusk’s ironically named “Law and Justice Party”. This scandal serves to highlight that Poland is starting to emulate the methods of its invited neo-colonial headmaster, the US, thereby deepening the puppet-master relationship between Warsaw and Washington.

According to the report, 86 Euromaidan militants, some of whom appeared to be over 40 years old, came to Poland under the invitation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The pretext for plausible deniability was that they were in the country to promote cooperation between the Warsaw University of Technology and the National Technical University in Kiev. In reality, however, these individuals were whisked away to Legionowo, a town on the outskirts of Warsaw. There, at the police training center, they spent four weeks engaged in a regiment of destabilization training.

Polish police academy “students” beating Ukrainian anti-riot police officer on Euromaidan in Kiev, January 2014.

The source goes on to state that pictures of the participants show them clothed in Nazi regalia and tattoos, with their Polish military instructors lacking any outward identification as such. At the facility, militants learned the following techniques: crowd management; target identification; tactics; leadership; behavioural management under stressful conditions; protection against police gasses; building barricades; and importantly, they engaged in shooting classes, which incidentally included sniper rifles. Quite clearly, the “students” who came to Warsaw were there for war, not academic work, and their training there resulted in the christening of Bandera’s spiritual descendants.

These revelations underline how the EuroMaidan militants had prior Western-backed training, and that Poland was chosen as the location for their instruction. Through its direct involvement and support in training the radicals, Poland is quickly living up to its reputation as NATO’s most important frontline state. When the Polish Sejm voted in early December, 2013 to show its “full solidarity with the citizens of Ukraine, who with great determination show the world their desire to ensure their country’s full membership in the EU”, little did they know that the violent vanguard which had just days before thrown Molotov cocktails and attacked police officers likely acquired their tactics less than an hour’s drive from where they casted their vote. Most members of parliament likely did not have a clue that their government was training those violent elements and would be shocked to know that this was the case.

The ultimate irony is that Poland is training fighters who honor a man that glorified in ethnically cleansing Poles from Ukraine in the most horrendous ways imaginable during World War II. For all of its blaring patriotism and nationalist sentiment, the Polish government is actually working against its long-term interests by backing such radical anti-Polish elements right next door. This “Bandera Brinksmanship” reminds one of the US’ foreign policy mentality of allying with and building dangerous radical forces that may later come back to harm them (i.e. Al Qaeda in the Soviet’s Afghan conflict and the Libyan and Syrian-based international jihadis of today). Through its greedy and nationalistically minded cooperation with the US in seeking to de-facto resurrect the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Poland has abandoned its European principles and blindly set itself on becoming America’s bulldog in Eastern Europe.

Andrew Korybko is the American Master’s Degree student at the Moscow State University of International Relations (MGIMO).

Attempts by democratic governments to ban books rarely work out well.  If the book is banned on grounds of public morality (Lady Chatterley’s Lover, Tropic of Cancer), then the writer nearly always wins in the end and the government that tried to suppress their work is likely to end up looking puritanical, cloven-footed and often pig-ignorant.

If,  like Peter Wright’s Spycatcher, the book is banned on ‘political’ or national security grounds then it is immediately going to attract a great deal more media interest than it might otherwise have done, so that if one publisher drops it another is likely to pick it up.   When the Thatcher government tried to ban Spycatcher under the Official Secrets it ended up looking ridiculous and impotent when the book was published abroad – even in Scotland – for three years before the ban was lifted, so that anyone who wanted to know what was in it could find out.

Rather than silencing books, such efforts tend to generate more curiosity about them.  And attempts at censorship and prohibition are almost guaranteed to attract attention when a government tries to ban a book that it has commissioned itself, as was the case last week, when the Ministry of Defense attempted to block the publication of An Intimate War – An Oral History of the Helmand Conflict 1978-2013, on the grounds that it breached the Official Secrets Act.

What makes this effort so extraordinary was the fact that the book was written by Dr. Mike Martin, a former captain in the Territorial Army, who was commissioned three years ago by the army to write a study of British military operations in Helmand.   That study became a Phd dissertation, which the MoD has had in its possession for 14 months.  Yet it is only in February that it raised objections to its content, to the point when Martin resigned his ten-year commission in order to be able to publish the book.

To its credit, Martin’s publisher Hurst & Co has gone ahead with publication, even though it was reduced to handing out flyers instead of hardbacks at the presentation of his book at Kings College London last Thursday.    I should confess at this point that I have a dog in this hunt.   Hurst is also my publisher, and I am proud to be associated with a company that has refused to buckle in the face of such idiotic and ham-fisted official pressure,  which shames the army and the British government.

I was also curious as to why the MoD would feel the need to go to such lengths, and undertake an effort that was bound to backfire.    The news about Martin’s book broke the day after I appeared in a BBC documentary about the Sergeant Blackman/Marine A case.  One of the recurring themes in that program was the idea that the Marines in Helmand were in Afghanistan in order to protect the population against ‘the  Taliban’.

Martin’s effectively destroys these simplistic representations.  His meticulous study, based on 150 interviews conducted over four years,  and his own experience as a serving officer in Helmand, presents a view of the war that is radically different from the one the British public has been hearing ever since Tony Blair ordered British troops to deploy in Helmand in 2006.

At various times over the last eight years we have heard from politicians and army spokesmen that British troops were engaged in counter-terrorism and counter-narcotics, that they were building democracy, providing security to the local population, ensuring development and protecting women’s rights, or – most fatuously of all – that they were there ‘to keep us safe.’

This last trope rested on the assumption that our troops were fighting ‘Taliban insurgents’,   allied to al Qaeda, who needed to be defeated in order to ensure that Helmand did not become a ‘terrorist base’ or a ‘springboard’ for 9/11 attacks.   During those years it was rarely, if ever,  explained who the Taliban were or where they came from or why they were fighting.   We simply assumed, as so many soldiers did, that they were killable ‘terrorists’ and ‘bad guys’ motivated by fanaticism and evil.

It is therefore astonishing and even breathtaking to see these representations blown out of the water by one of the army’s own.   Like US Lieutenant Colonel Daniel Davis’s searing  2012 report Dereliction of Duty,   Martin shows the Afghan war as it is, rather than how our political and military leaders would like us to see it, and the picture that he paints is often jaw-dropping.

What Martin reveals, in painstaking – and from the military’s point of view – painful detail,  is that British politicians and army officers did not have the remotest idea what they were doing in Helmand, and that the war was conducted with staggering naivete and ignorance.

Martin shows again and again that neither Britain, the United States, nor the various international institutions involved in the Afghan war really understood Afghanistan’s complex local politics, and that this incomprehension resulted in a series of mistakes and misjudgements that made the conflict worse.

In Helmand, it meant that the British were often manipulated by local warlords and politicians, to the point when they did not actually know who they were fighting against and on whose behalf.   In some cases, British troops took part in opium eradication programs only to find that they had been steered by opium growers connected to the Afghan police towards the destruction of crops owned by their rivals.

At other times air strikes or raids were carried out on ‘Taliban’ villages on the basis of intelligence supplied by elements within the Afghan police who were using the ‘Angrez’ – as Helmandis call the British – as instruments of an inter-tribal feud or clan vendetta.

Rather than protecting the population, the British army effectively became allies of a predatory Afghan police that was despised and feared by the local population, and whose depredations were instrumental in driving Helmandis to seek support from the various ‘Talibans’ in the province.  Rather than making things better, providing security, or reducing violence, Martin argues, the presence of the British army actually increased the level of violence from the moment it was deployed.

It is a military truism that armies should understand the nature of the enemy they are fighting.   If Martin’s analysis is correct, then the  British army did not understand the enemy it was fighting in Afghanistan.  It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that this is the main ‘secret’  that the government is now clumsily attempting to conceal from the British public.

So Hurst should be congratulated and supported for holding firm and seeking to ensure that these efforts fail.   And anyone interested in the truth, rather than propaganda,  about the disastrous and misconceived campaign that has killed more than 400 British troops and thousands of Afghans,  should get hold of this compelling and absolutely essential account of the war, and drink its bitter but salutary antidote to the dangerous delusions of the last eight years.

The Long War Journal reported in its post, “Former Guantanamo detainee killed while leading jihadist group in Syria,” that:

Ibrahim Bin Shakaran, a Moroccan who spent more than three years at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility before being released to Moroccan custody, has been killed while leading a jihadist group that fights Syrian government forces.

Bin Shakaran, who is also known as Abu Ahmad al Maghribi, Abu Ahmad al Muhajir, and Brahim Benchekroune, was “martyred, Insha’Allah, in battles for Hilltop # 45 in Latakia,” according to Kavkaz Center, a propaganda arm of the Islamic Caucasus Emirate.

Bin Shakaran led a jihadist group known as Sham al Islam, which is based in Latakia and is comprised primarily of fighters from Morocco, according to the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. Bin Shakaran created the group “not only to recruit fighters for the Syria war, but also to establish a jihadist organization within Morocco itself.”

Sham al Islam has been fighting alongside the al Qaeda’s Syrian branch, the Al Nusrah Front for the People of the Levant, as well as Ahrar al Sham and the Army of the Emigrants and Supporters in an ongoing offensive in the coastal province of Latakia.

Curiously absent from The Long War Journal’s report is any mention of how Bin Shakaran made it into northern Syria in the first place. Clearly this is because it would involve mentioning Turkey, a long-standing NATO member, with NATO being the organization that invaded and occupied Afghanistan, and whom Bin Shakaran had been fighting and ultimately fled from before being captured.

The Long War Journal also makes mention of the Kavkaz Center, calling it “a propaganda arm of the Islamic Caucasus Emirate.” Only the Kavkaz Center had been backed by the now defunct US National Endowment for Democracy-funded ”Russian-Chechen Friendship Society.” While The Long War Journal poses as a stalwart fighter of terrorism, its Western-backed counterpart, the Kavkaz Center is promoting terrorism in Russia.

The Long War Journal” itself is a project of the Neo-Con Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD). The FDD has counted among its membership US politicians and policy makers such as current US Vice President Joseph Biden, William Kristol, Steve Forbes, Charles Krauthammer, Paula Dobriansky – many of whom were signatories of the now notorious Project for a New American Century and who had been the chief proponents of the so-called “War on Terror” and the two costly conflicts fought in its name – the war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The detention center in Guantanamo is part of the “War on Terror’s” legacy, a continuous point of contention between the US government and rights activists, and clearly a failure in its alleged role of keeping dangerous terrorists off the battlefield.

A Pattern That Fits Conspiracy  

What Bin Shakaran’s case appears to prove, is that Guantanamo, and the larger “anti-terror” network maintained by the United States is instead redirecting terrorists from NATO theaters of operation to conflict zones NATO is currently unable to directly intervene in. In Bin Shakaran’s case, that conflict zone is northern Syria. Bin Shakaran is joined by fellow US detainees like Abdel Hakim Belhadj, who was fighting NATO troops in Afghanistan, was briefly captured  in Malaysia and tortured by the CIA in Thailand, before then leading a NATO-backed assault on the Libyan government of Muammar Qaddafi in 2011.

Other members of Bin Shakaran’s militant group were also Guantanamo inmates. This includes Moroccan-born Mohammed al Alami who Reuters reported on in their article, “Former Guantanamo prisoner killed in Syria after joining Islamist brigade.” In it, Reuters stated:

A former prisoner at the Guantanamo Bay U.S. naval base died fighting for anti-government rebels in Syria, according to an Islamist opposition group which posted a video of his funeral on YouTube. 

Reuters would add:

Alami, was the second known former Guantanamo detainee to be killed this year, Zelin added. A Saudi second-in-command of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) was killed in a U.S. drone attack in Yemen in July.

Throngs of terrorists, whose leaders are former inmates held in US custody, harbored, funded, and armed within NATO territory, and sent into Syria with NATO air and artillery cover fits the pattern of a conspiracy rather than a series of very unlikely coincidences.

It was in Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh’s 2007 article, “The Redirection: Is the Administration’s new policy benefiting our enemies in the war on terrorism?” that prophetically stated (emphasis added):
“To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush Administration has decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in the Middle East. In Lebanon, the Administration has coöperated with Saudi Arabia’s government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is backed by Iran. The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda.”

It is more clear than ever, with the West’s own warmongering policy makers admitting terrorists kept at their detention centers are now spearheading the fighting in a war of their own design, that the conspiracy described by Seymour Hersh in 2007 had been executed in earnest in 2011 and is continuing today.

The US and its axis partners are not waging a “War on Terror,” they are waging a “War of Terror.” While they will attempt to portray the appearance of Bin Shakaran and others in Syria as the unfortunate result of poorly planned policy, it was, by their own admission, all part of the plan, years before the so-called “Syrian Arab Spring” began.

Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine New Eastern Outlook”.

Over the last year, we’ve documented that – despite all of the mea culpas for horrible Iraq coverage – the U.S. media’s coverage of Ukraine and Syria is just as biased, superficial and pro-war.

Former Associated Press and Newsweek reporter Robert Parry – who broke several of the biggest stories regarding Iran-Contra, and recipient of the George Polk Award for National Reporting in 1984 - writes of U.S. media coverage of the conflict in Ukraine is even worse than Iraq:

In my four-plus decades in journalism, I have never seen a more thoroughly biased and misleading performance by the major U.S. news media. Even during the days of Ronald Reagan – when much of the government’s modern propaganda structure was created – there was more independence in major news outlets. There were media stampedes off the reality cliff during George H.W. Bush’s Persian Gulf War and George W. Bush’s Iraq War, both of which were marked by demonstrably false claims that were readily swallowed by the big U.S. news outlets.

But there is something utterly Orwellian in the current coverage of the Ukraine crisis, including accusing others of “propaganda” when their accounts – though surely not perfect – are much more honest and more accurate than what the U.S. press corps has been producing.

There’s also the added risk that this latest failure by the U.S. press corps is occurring on the border of Russia, a nuclear-armed state that – along with the United States – could exterminate all life on the planet. The biased U.S. news coverage is now feeding into political demands to send U.S. military aid to Ukraine’s coup regime.

The casualness of this propaganda – as it spreads across the U.S. media spectrum from Fox News to MSNBC, from the Washington Post to the New York Times – is not just wretched journalism but it is reckless malfeasance jeopardizing the lives of many Ukrainians and the future of the planet.

Media coverage of Syria is also  arguably worse than of Iraq.

After all, the American media trumpeted false claims about Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction.  But – with Syria – the American media is studiously ignoring the fact that:

Of course, the corporate media is always pro-war and pro-empire.  But now the large “alternative” media outlets – such as Drudge and Huffington Post – are also beating the war drums as loudly as they can.

So you’ll hear scary stories that terrorists in Syria are a threat to the U.S.  … but you won’t hear that the U.S. has been planning regime change in Syria for 20 years straight (and see this), or that the U.S. and its allies are the ones who pumped up those terrorists in the first place.

You’ll be told that Russia will start World War 3 if we don’t launch a military campaign in Ukraine … but you won’t hear that that the U.S. has planned on taking control of Ukraine since 1997, or that the former Ukrainian Security Chief alleges that the new neo-Nazi government was behind the sniper attacks which turned the West against the old regime in the first place.

You won’t hear any of that when the media is trying to sell a war …

http://cdn4.iheardin.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/Anthony-Freda-War-Box.jpg
Painting by Anthony Freda: www.AnthonyFreda.com

Boston Marathon Bombing Timeline Updated

April 16th, 2014 by James F. Tracy

The following timeline of the April 15, 2013 Boston Marathon bombing that killed three and injured many more provides a platform to better understand how the event was publicly presented by corporate and alternative news media. The chronological assemblage of coverage is not comprehensive of all reports published on the incident but is an ongoing project that also seeks to explain how the storyline was largely constructed by federal and state law enforcement, medical authorities and major media around the eventual theory that Dzokhar and Tamarlan Tsarnaev were the sole instigators of the bombing.

This scenario has become an established reality through the news media’s pronounced repetition of law enforcement’s narrative. This is underscored with the cultural tendency toward correlating non-Western and/or Muslim individuals with terrorism and related types of crime. This proposed scenario of deviant Muslim terrorists has also tended to obscure the possibility that the Tsarnaev brothers may have been tortured and Tamarlan murdered at the hands of federal and state law enforcement officers. Moreover, the April 18-19 search for Dzokhar Tsarnaev involved the removal of Constitutional protections against illegal searches and seizures throughout the Boston area and enactment of de facto martial law. Note: Times of occurrences referenced are Eastern Standard and in some instances signify time of publication rather than the specific incident cited. Time of publication does not always correlate with exact time of incident. Thus “n.t.” denotes “no time” of event or publication referenced in the given news article. An estimate of an approximate time is followed by “[estimate]”.

2008

Richard Serino, Director of Boston’s Emergency Medical Services, authorsMarathons – A Tale of Two Cities and the Running of a Planned Mass Casualty Event (PDF). As the title suggests, the document provides a detailed and fully operationalized plan for carrying out a mass casualty drill around the Boston Marathon. The 39-frame slide presentation details how emergency personnel and resources are to be coordinated and deployed. It also emphasizes “Working with the media.” “Their mission is to get a story,” frame 11 instructs. “Building a longstanding relationship with journalists and reporters ensures that they get the right story and that they serve as a resource when needed.” Several maps of downtown Boston “based on consistent grid coordinates” and including “zone designations for incident reporting” (frame 26) delineate the Marathon route and finish line area on Boylston Street. Specific procedures for medical providers, including electronic patient tracking via barcodes (frame 31) further indicate the scope and precision of the mock event. James F. Tracy, “Obama’s FEMA Director Planned Boston Mass Casualty Event in 2008,”Memoryholeblog.com, May 21, 2013. This observation was established earlier by another researcher. See Stephanie Sledge, “333 Disarray: One Foot in Heaven and One in Hell,” The Government Rag, April 28, 2013.

2009

  • October 22

n.t. Richard Serino retires from his post at Boston EMS upon being appointed Deputy Administrator at the Federal Emergency Management Administration by President Obama. “First of all, people need to understand what FEMA is and isn’t,’’ Serino tells the Boston Globe. “It provides support to states and localities – it is not there to dictate how the local EMS and first responders operate.” Christie Coombs, “Serino ‘Retires’ to Top-Level FEMA Post,” Boston.com, October 22, 2009.

2011

  • March 30

President Obama signs Policy Directive 8: National Preparedness. The edict “

is aimed at strengthening the security and resilience of the United States through systematic preparation for the threats that pose the greatest risk to the security of the Nation, including acts of terrorism, cyber attacks, pandemics, and catastrophic natural disasters … The Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism shall coordinate the interagency development of an implementation plan for completing the national preparedness goal and national preparedness system.

Barack H Obama, “Policy Directive 8: National Preparedness,” US Department of Homeland Security, March 30, 2011.

  • May 21

8:00AM-8:00PM [estimate] Operation Urban Shield Boston transpires throughout the city, the first major exercise to take place in Boston since 9/11. “The scenarios are fakes, but the response is real,” CBS’s Boston affiliate WBZ reports. “Terrorists hijack a boat in Winthrop. Firefighters search for victims in a Quincy building collapse. A bomb squad diffuses an explosive in Chelsea … A grant from the Department of Homeland Security makes the elaborate setups possible.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-VkVS3NRXZk The drills bring together emergency response teams from the around region and even some as far as California. There are a variety of scenarios carried out. In one, SWAT teams storm a boat at Winthrop Public Landing with the notion that a group of terrorists attacked the ship and took hostages. Other simulations included a gunmen running loose at the Boston Copley Marriott Place, a terrorist seizure of a control room in Everett, and an explosive device at Quincy High School. The last scheduled event, from 5PM to 8PM, recreated the Mumbai terror attacks at the Boston Marine Industrial Park. Actors pose as terrorists and victims while special effects teams set off fake gunshots and explosions. Alana Gomez, “Boston Area Holds Large Terror Drills As Part of Urban Shiled Training Program,” WBZ / CBS Boston, May 21, 2011.

  • October 7

3:58PM The Obama administration continues with the implementation of Presidential Policy Directive 8 by announcing “the first-ever National Preparedness Goal.” According to the White House the goal intends “[t]o have a secure and resilient Nation with the capabilities required across the whole community to prevent, protect against, mitigate, respond to, and recover from the threats and hazards that pose the greatest risk. There is emphasis on “stakeholder groups from around the nation.” The full 26 page document is available here. Craig Fugat, “PPD-8: Announcing the National Preparedness Goal,” The White House Blog, October 7, 2011. 2012 April 16 10:00AM Complete finish line video from 2012 Boston Marathon.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B_mXwnQJ8V0

  • October 31

n.t. Boston Mayor Thomas M. Merino announcers that Urban Shield: Bostonwill take place on November 3, 2012. Urban Shield is a US Department of Homeland Security-sponsored 24-hour training operation, and is part of the 2011 Presidential Policy Directive 8: National Preparedness and the National Preparedness Goal. The exercise that simulates large-scale public safety incidents scheduled to transpire in the metro-Boston area.  Urban Shield: Boston is to begin at 8AM November 3 and conclude at 8AM November 4. The wide-ranging operation is to include personnel from the following agencies:

  • the Boston Police Department;
  • the Brookline Police Department;
  • the Cambridge Police Department;
  • the Revere Police Department;
  • the Northeastern Metropolitan Law Enforcement Council (NEMLEC);
  • the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Association (MBTA) Police Department;
  • the Massachusetts State Police;
  • the Middlesex County Police Department;
  • the Metropolitan Law Enforcement Council;
  • the Manchester, NH Police Department 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYYKIM2AFO0 This exercise is intended to evaluate each agency’s ability to successfully respond to, and manage, public safety events and other emergencies occurring concurrently throughout the Boston area. Mayor Merino’s announcement emphasizes the following:

Urban Shield: Boston will run for a 24-hour period.  As a result residents in the area may hear simulated gunfire, observe officers responding to simulated emergencies, or see activity in the Boston Harbor.  Each scenario will be run multiple times, and organizers urge residents not to be alarmed. There is no danger to anyone in the area, and exercises will be done in cordoned-off areas away from the public.

“Training is vital for our first responders,” Mayor Merino says.

They are on the frontlines when an emergency occurs, and we want them trained in the best ways possible to handle any situation. Urban Shield: Boston displays the steps the metro-Boston region takes to prepare for all-hazards and sets a national example for cities around the country to create a coordinated full-scale training exercise.

Mayor Merino Announces Urban Shield: Boston Simulated 24-Hour Publc Safety Exercise,” City of Boston, October 31, 2012.

  • November 3

8:00AM The Department of Homeland Security-sponsored 24-hour emergency preparedness drill “Urban Shield,” incorporating police, firefighters and EMT’s from Boston and eight surrounding towns begins. Brookline Police Chief Daniel O’Leary says several simulated crisis events are to take place around the region simultaneously, including an emergency drill on the water. “The federal government has given us a lot of money to protect Boston Harbor, so we’re going to test the assets on different things,” O’Leary tells WBZ NewsRadio 1030. There will also be a mass casualty incident to test eight hospitals and simulated disasters on the subway to test Transit Police. Kim Tunnicliffe, “It’s Only a Drill: Simulated Emergencies in Boston Area,” CBS Boston, November 3, 2012.

  • December 24

n.t. A DHS whistle blower discusses the Obama administration’s plans to implement gun control with Doug Hagmann. “I can tell you to watch things this spring,” the insider tells Hagmann. “Watch the metals, when they dip. It will be a good indication that things are about to happen.” The Boston Marathon Bombing happened immediately upon the price of gold plunging $200, on Patriots Day and the first day of the week of the US Senate vote on gun control. Doug Hagmann “The Latest From DHS Insider Part II” Northeast Intelligence Network,” Northeast Intelligence Network, December 24, 2012. 2013

  • April 15

9:00AM

Mobility Impaired Division of 2013 Boston Marathon begins race at Hopkinton. 2013 Boston Marathon, Boston Athletic Association, n.d.

9:17AM

Wheelchair Division of 2013 Boston Marathon begins race at Hopkinton.2013 Boston Marathon, Boston Athletic Association, n.d.

9:22AM

Handcycle Participant Division of 2013 Boston Marathon begins race at Hopkinton. 2013 Boston Marathon, Boston Athletic Association, n.d.

9:32AM

Elite Women’s Division of 2013 Boston Marathon begins race at Hopkinton.2013 Boston Marathon, Boston Athletic Association, n.d.

10:00AM

Elite Men’s Division and Wave 1 of 2013 Boston Marathon begins race at Hopkinton. 2013 Boston Marathon, Boston Athletic Association, n.d.

10:20AM

Wave 2 of 2013 Boston Marathon begins race at Hopkinton. 2013 Boston Marathon, Boston Athletic Association, n.d.

10:40AM

Wave 3 of 2013 Boston Marathon begins race.

2:49PM

Two bombs explode 550 feet apart on Boylston Street in the proximity of the Boston Marathon finish line, killing three people and injuring over 140. The scene is reportedly punctuated by broken glass and severed limbs. Onlookers fear that terrorists have struck America again. A White House official says the attack was being treated as an act of terrorism. “They just started bringing people in with no limbs,” runner Tim Davey of Richmond, Virginia tells the Associated Press. Jimmy Golen, “Boston Marathon Bombing Kills 3, Injures Over 140,” Associated Press, April 16, 2013.

2:50PM

Carlos Arredondo, a Boston Marathon onlooker, quickly departs the finish line bleachers, runs across Boylston Street, vaults over security fencing and lands on a bloody sidewalk, the Washington Post reports. In front of him, two women are on the ground frozen. Another woman meanders about in the thick smoke, looking down at the fallen bodies. “Oh, my God,” Arredondo says she repeated, confused. “Oh, my God.” He carries a camera and a small American flag, drops the flag, takes four pictures, focusing specifically on a young man who lay on the sidewalk and had lost at least one leg as a result of the ordnance. Then Arredondo puts the camera away and asks the injured man his name. “Stay still,” he recalls saying. “The ambulance is here.” David A. Farenthold, “Boston Marathon Bystander Carlos Arredondo Says He Acted Instinctively,” Washington Post, April 16, 2013.

3:00PM [estimate]

Boston fireman Charles Buchanan Jr. comes upon the body of eight-year old Martin Richard and his sister whose leg is blown asunder. “We stopped an ambulance. The ambulance was full,” Buchanan tells CNN.

But we said, you have to take this girl. And they were great. They were Boston EMS. And this firefighter said, you know, she needs a tourniquet. We got a tourniquet small enough to — I mean her leg is as big as your arm. All right? So they put her inside the — the ambulance. But as you say, the only thing that I could see and see to this day are her little eyes looking up at me. That’s it. All right? And me thinking — thinking about my own grandson, Malachi. And my Malachi is the same age as this young girl who is six years old. Who is—first thing he did was give me a big hug when I went home.

Brooke Baldwin, “First Responder’s Emotional Story,” CNN, April 18, 2013.

3:00PM [estimate]

Iraq war veteran who also acts as a first responder Jim Assiante and an unidentified male first responder are on the scene administering first aid to bombing victims, CNN later reports. “We were triaging for at least half an hour, forty-five minutes, longer than I’m sure,” the unidentified man accompanying Assiante tells a CNN reporter. “I treated a double amputee, a young child, and I also treated a young woman [who] had a cardiac arrest … I personally touched 25 people, and there were at least twice that in hospitals.” Erin Burnett, “Boston First Responder: ‘It Was a Flashback to Iraq,’” CNN, April 15, 2013.

3:01PM

Boston graphic artist Aaron “Tango” Tang, whose second floor offices are located on Boylston Street about one half block from the first bomb detonation, sends out the second of several Tweets from the scene.

Boston bomb at marathon in front of my office#bostonmarathon http://t.co/SyIiGZOEFX — aaron tango tang (@hahatango) April 15, 2013

In the aftermath Tango will post dozens of photos he has taken in the immediate aftermath of the blast that collectively call into question the official narrative of the incident and are used selectively by major news media.

From the Sandy Hook Massacre Timeline: Two makeshift explosive devices detonate at the finish line of the famed Boston Marathon. The 2013 run is designed in honor of the 26 Sandy Hook Elementary School victims with its 26.2 mile course. It is also attended by several parents from Newtown participating in the event. Yet the six Sandy Hook families present are caught in a milieu of emergency vehicles and carnage. “It was all those same things, the police and fire and all of that. It’s severely traumatic,” says Lauren Nowacki, one of the Newtown parents in town for the April 15 marathon. “We thought things were finally getting to a good place from the first go-around, and now this.” Nowacki’s daughter was at Sandy Hook Elementary on December 14 but was not injured. Nowacki says all of the Newtown marathoners completed the run before the bombs detonated that purportedly injure 170 people and kill three. “Boston really reached out to us,” Nowacki notes. “Even after the bombing, the communications director from the race called to make sure all the kids were all right.” The Newtown group will now attempt to reciprocate by honoring the victims of the Boston bombings with their own annual race, the Sandy Hook 5k Run. Colleen Curry, “Sandy Hook Families at Boston Marathon Traumatized Again,” ABC News, April 16, 2013.

3:30PM [estimate]

Following the 2:49PM bombings two or more unexploded bombs are found near the finish line of the Boston Marathon and disarmed, according to an anonymous senior U.S. intelligence official. Jimmy Golen, “Boston Marathon Bombing Kills 3, Injures Over 140,” Associated Press, April 16, 2013.

4:00PM [estimate]

An eyewitness tells WMUR Channel 9 that the second bomb originated in a trash can. The interview is broadcast on India’s ABP News. “I saw the first explosion happen,” the eyewitness recalls, “and there was some commotion. I saw fire and smoke, and I didn’t know what it was. And then from about me to where that gentleman is standing over there I saw a trash can explode and people started throwing down the barricades and running over each other and I just ran in the other direction as fast as I could.” “So the second explosion came from a garbage barrel?” the reporter asks to confirm. “Yes,” the man responds, “it came from a—I literally saw the garbage barrel explode.” “Boston Blasts: Eyewitness Accounts,” APB News, April 15, 2013.

4:03PM

Boston CBS affiliate WBZ News 4 interviews two female medical personnel who have attended to Maraton spectators injured and killed by the bombing.

Anchor Jack Williams: … Almost across the street from the explosion, ah, when it took place. Let’s go back now to near where the emergency tents are. Are they still bringing victims in, by the way?

Reporter Michael Rosenfield: Jack, I think they’ve slowed. There’s no more victims coming in at this point. In fact, I’m standing now with some of the personnel—some of the emergency personnel who have been evacuated out of the tent. They wanted to basically go through and clear the tent. And I guess the law enforcement wanted to give it a once over. Alice Is joining me. She is a nurse as well. What happened in there?

“Alice”: When we were in there we just heard two very loud rumbling sounds—big bangs, twice. We weren’t sure what they were. We originally thought maybe a speaker had blown [or] something like that.  But I think we all had that feeling that it was something more than just that. and we had—there was an announcement, “All medical personnel to the end of the tent, and then they started rus—rushing people in [immediately] with bleeding.

Reporter: And you saw the injured?

“Alice”: Yes. Some of them were very profound. One woman had lost her leg—lots of bleeding. Some children were involved as well. And, ah, we took care of the ones we could and got them into the ambulances as soon as possible.

Reporter: And we saw—I was standing right across the street from where it went off—and I saw these injuries—and I could swear that a couple of people, for sure, were not going to make that trip and—

“Alice”: That-that’s correct. There were a few that didn’t—uhm—unfortunately make it and we—we do have those people here in the tent … So— Reporter: What was your immediate reaction when you heard the blast and then you started to see some of these injuries. I mean you’re used to dealing with blisters and people with shortness of breath.

“Alice”: That’s true. I kind of just had to—just collect myself a bit and prepare myself for what I was going to see. And, as just a team we really tried to work together and hold our own so we could take care of the people coming in. And that’s what we did.

Reporter: Are you doing OK?

“Alice”: Yeah, we’re doing OK. Reporter: How about you. [Moves with microphone in hand toward woman standing to right of first interviewee.] Same story?

Maureen: Uhm, pretty much, uhm. I’m Maureen Korato [sp] and I’m a nurse practitioner. So I actually was, you know, helping a runner at the time, uhm, and, uhm, he became pretty nervous as to what actually was going on, so my first focus was to take care of him and to reassure him and then—but then once his wife came in and another nurse came I then went up to the scene because I have some, you know, trauma experience. So I—I did go up the street.

Reporter: I—I gotta say I’ve been doing this business a long time and I’ve seen a lot of horrible stuff. That-that goes right to the top of the list.

Maureen: Yeah, it pretty much does. Uh, I think what really surprised me was, ah, the number of people, and just the, ah, really the amount of blood [and] the amount of injuries. Uhm, but everybody was really just working together as a team, uhm, it was chaotic but it was organized chaos.

Reporter: Right. Maureen: Uhm, so, and then once things were stabilized up there I ran back here to the tent.

Reporter: You’re going to run back into the tent as soon as they give you the green light.

Maureen: Absolutely. Reporter: Thank you so much. Thank you for your help as well. Thank you for your service. I know now that we’re hearing that two are dead and nearly two dozen have been injured from these two blasts.

Special Report: Interview with Medical Tent Personnel,” WBZCBSBoston.com, April 15, 2013.

4:19PM

CNN reports that two are dead and 119 injured. The cable news network’s anchor Erin Burnett conducts a live interview with eyewitness Cassidy Quinn Brettler. CNN fails to preface the interview by noting that Brettler is a self-described vlogger and professionally-trained freelance reporter and actor.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c4TO4lC0FsY “Blood everywhere,” Brettler tells Burnett. “Body parts that should never look in the state they were looking [sic]. Just total—I mean [it was] disturbing.” Erin Burnett, “Eyewitness: ‘Blood Everywhere’ in Boston,” CNN, April 15, 2013.

4:30PM [estimate]

President Obama speaks from the White House and vows to bring those responsible for the blast to justice. “We will get to the bottom of this,” the president says. “We will find who did this, and we will find out why they did this. Any responsible individuals, any responsible groups will feel the full weight of justice.” John Eligon and Michael Cooper, “Blasts at Boston Marathon Kill 3 and Injure 100,” New York Times, April 16, 2013.

7:00PM [estimate]

A procession of mourners carrying candles and flowers gather overnight and through the early morning hours of April 16, leaving bouquets, balloons, and stuffed animals on the front porch of eight-year-old decedent Martin Richard’s family. Over one thousand congregate with candles at a Dorchester playground in the evening, with many more gathering via the Internet. Richard’s mother and sister are reported as ­severely injured. A photograph of Martin Richard holding a hand-lettered sign “goes viral.” The boy’s father, Bill Richard endures the bombing with shrapnel injuries to his legs. “My dear son Martin has died from injuries sustained in the attack on Boston,” Bill Richard remarks in a written statement. “My wife and daughter are both recovering from serious injuries.” Evan Allen and Jenna Russell, “Photo of Victim Martin Richard Now a Symbol,” Boston Globe, April 16, 2013.

8:00PM [estimate]

Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis says the bombing’s death toll had risen to three. CNN tells its viewers:

Scores were injured at the scene. One of the dead was an 8-year-old boy, according to a state law enforcement source. Hospitals reported at least 144 people are being treated, with at least 17 of them in critical condition and 25 in serious condition. At least eight of the patients are children. At least 10 people injured had limbs amputated, according to a terrorism expert briefed on the investigation. Several of the patients treated at Massachusetts General Hospital suffered injuries to lower limbs that will require “serial operations” in the coming days, trauma surgeon Peter Fagenholz said Monday night. Some injuries were so severe amputations were necessary, Fagenholz adds.

Josh Levs and Monti Plott, “Boy, 8, One of Three Killed in Bombings at Boston Marathon,” CNN.com, April 18, 2013.

8:16PM

CNN reports three dead, including an eight year old boy, and more than 144 injured from the bombing. Erin Burnett, “Boston First Responder: ‘It Was a Flashback to Iraq,’” CNN, April 15, 2013.

8:55PM

Dan Bidondi, a freelance reporter working for alternative news outletInfowars.com, gains admittance to a press conference featuring federal, state, and local officials, asking,

Was there any prior knowledge though? Because according to Boston Globe dot com [law enforcement authorities] said they were doing drills this morning for the same exact thing to happen? Now was youz guyz given any prior warning ahead of time of this taking place?

Bidondi then asks, “Well, sir, why were loudspeakers telling people in the audience to be calm moments before the bomb[s] went off? Is this another false flag staged attack to take our civil liberties and put more Homeland Security sticking their hands down our pants on the streets?” After Bidondi persists, officials appear perturbed and apprehensive, apparently cutting the press conference short to avoid further queries on the nature of the event and its broader implications for civil liberties. Rob Dew, “Inside Boston Marathon Bombing Press Conferences,” Infowars Nightly News, April 16, 2013.

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Alternative news outlets including NaturalNews.com point out that a “controlled explosion” was underway in Boston on April 15, the same day as the marathon explosion. The Boston Globe tweeted on April 15, “Officials: There will be a controlled explosion opposite the library within one minute as part of bomb squad activities.” Some observers think one of the explosions might have been part of the demolition of another bomb. It seems unlikely, however, that a bomb at the library, one mile away, could be so quickly located and rigged to be exploded by the bomb squad in less than one hour following the initial explosions at the marathon. Furthermore, according to Local15TV.com, a University of Mobile’s Cross Country Coach attests how there were bomb-sniffing dogs at both the start and finish lines, long before any explosions went off. He said: “They kept making announcements on the loud speaker that it was just a drill and there was nothing to worry about. It seemed like there was some sort of threat, but they kept telling us it was just a drill.” Mike Adams, “Boston Marathon Bombing on Same Day as ‘Controlled Explosion Drill’ by Boston Bomb Squad,” NaturalNews.com, April 15, 2013.

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The 2:49PM bombing was at a time when the race had more or less concluded, with only amateurs making their way toward the finish line, according to a timeline put together for Marathon spectators in 2003 by ESPN columnist and comedy writer Bill Simmons.

“1:45 – This is my favorite group … the fifth tier. For the next 30 minutes, expect to see a variety of athletes running by, including the following groups: A. Average runners like my buddy Nez, who hope to finish around the four-hour mark but don’t mind stopping for a second to chat. B. Older guys chugging along nicely, even though they look like they could drop dead at any moment … 2:15 — Now we’ve entered the “freak” portion of the race: People trying to finish in four hours or less, running alongside college kids carrying fraternity flags, transvestites, people dressed in Viking garb and wackos wearing Larry Bird jerseys or multi-colored afros. There are some seriously strange people out there. This usually lasts for about 20-25 minutes. After that, you’ve seen enough and you’re probably buzzed enough to call it a day.

Bill Simmons, “Idiot’s Guide to the Boston [Marathon],” ESPN.com, April 18, 2003.

  • April 16

5:00AM The New York Times carries graphic front page accounts and disturbing images of the Boston Marathon bombing’s aftermath under the April 16 headline, “BLASTS AT BOSTON MARATHON KILL 3 AND INJURE 100.” “These runners just finished and they don’t have legs now,” Roupen Bastajian, 35, a Rhode Island state trooper and former Marine tells theTimes. “So many of them. there are so many people without legs. It’s all blood. There’s blood everywhere. You got bones, fragments. It’s disgusting … We put tourniquets on,” Mr. Bastajian said. “I tied at least five, six legs with tourniquets.” Another eyewitness, Deidre Hatfield, 27, claims to have been steps away from the finish line when she heard a blast. She sees bodies flying out into the street and a couple of children who appeared lifeless. She sees people without legs. “When the bodies landed around me I thought: Am I burning? Maybe I’m burning and I don’t feel it,” Ms. Hatfield says … She looked inside a Starbucks to her left, where she thought a blast might have occurred. “What was so eerie, you looked in you knew there had to be 100 people in there, but there was no sign of movement.” Tim Rohan, “War Zone at Mile 26; ‘So Many People Without Legs,’” New York Times, April 16, 2013.

9:38AM Cassidy Quinn Brettler is again interviewed on CNN, this time by reporter Chris Quomo. “What is the look through your lens? What kinds of things did you see?” Cuomo asks. “As I was walking and taking video,” Quinn Brettler recalls,

I walked past a restaurant on Newbury Street that I thought was giving out pitchers to water to people. So I looked down and there was actually a person bleeding on the street there, right off the sidewalk, just laying down and luckily the restaurant was helping them. It was great to actually see people teaming up together to help people in need. Everyone around me, no one knew what to do. That’s basically what I captured on video was this utter chaos.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4bWz2UIZ4Jk “Press Conference From Boston Regarding the Recent Bombings,” CNN, April 16, 2013. n.t. Federal authorities say the bombs were probably simple devices made from ordinary kitchen pressure cookers, only they were designed to shoot shrapnel consisting of nails and ball bearings into anyone within reach of their blast and maim them severely. Officials say the “pressure cooker bombs” were set off by “kitchen-type” egg timers. According to the New York Times, “The resulting explosions sent metal tearing through skin and muscle, destroying the lower limbs of some victims who had only shreds of tissue holding parts of their legs together when they arrived at the emergency room of Massachusetts General Hospital, doctors there said.” Law enforcement authorities surmise the devices were concealed inside dark nylon duffel bags or backpacks and left on the street or sidewalk close to the finish line. Forensic experts say that the design and components of the homemade devices were generic but that the marking “6L,” indicating a six-liter container, could help identify a brand and manufacturer and possibly provide details about the buyer. Katharine Q. Stellye, Eric Schmitt and Scott Shane, “Boston Bombs Were Loaded to Main,” New York Times, April 16, 2013.

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President Obama announces that the F.B.I. is investigating the attack as “an act of terrorism,” and plans to travel to Boston on April 18 for an interfaith service at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross. “The range of suspects and motives remains wide open,” the FBI’s Richard DesLauriers says. And, he adds, no one has claimed responsibility. “Someone knows who did this,” he says. “Cooperation from the community will play a crucial role.” Officials claims to have received over 2,000 tips from around the world. As marathoners left through Logan Airport on April 16, security personnel remind them to share relevant pictures with the FBI. Counterterrorism experts say authorities plan to use facial recognition software against numerous databases for visas, passports and drivers licenses. “It’s our intention to go through every frame of every video that we have to determine exactly who was in the area,” Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis tells journalists at a news briefing. “This was probably one of the most well-photographed areas in the country yesterday.” Katharine Q. Stellye, Eric Schmitt and Scott Shane, “Boston Bombs Were Loaded to Main,”New York Times, April 16, 2013.

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Law enforcement officials from Israel are reportedly sent to the United States to take part in the Boston Marathon bombing investigation, Israel papers report on April 15 and 16. Israel Police Chief Yohanan Danino says he dispatched officials to Boston where they will meet with Federal Bureau of Investigation agents and other authorities, according to the Times of Israel. An earlier report in the newspaper Maariv indicates that Danino sent police officers to participate in discussions that “will center on the Boston Marathon bombings and deepening professional cooperation between the law enforcement agencies of both countries.” Maariv notes that Israeli law enforcement made plans for the trip before the Marathon bombings, and the talks will now address how help from abroad can broaden the investigation. “Israeli Police Head to US to Aid in Boston Marathon Bombing Investigation,” RT.com, April 17, 2013.

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Harvard faculty members and students give eyewitness accounts of what they experienced on or around the Boston Marathon finish line when the explosions occurred. There were “lots of emergency responders,” one student recalls,

and I mean instantly hundreds and hundreds of ambulances and state police officers and things were headed in the direction of the finish line. But none of us—not myself or the folks around me—had any idea of what was going on. We’re all sort of—we’re in panic and shock and didn’t really know what to do. We were being told to sit against the wall and just sit there and wait for further instructions … [There was] no data service on my cellphone. No voice service. I could get limited text messages and I was getting lots of broken texts from my family.

Boston Marathon Bombing: Harvard Eyewitness Accounts,” The Harvard Crimson, April 16, 2013.

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Dr. George Velmahos of Boston General Hospital tells reporters that the bombs used in the April 15 bombing were created out of pressure cookers and packed with shrapnel consisting of metal, nails and ball bearings. “We removed pellets and nails,” Velmahos says. “[The injuries] are numerous, numerous, They have ten-twenty-thirty-forty of them in their body … or more.” “Doctors: Boston Victims Had Nails, Pellets,” Associated Press, April 16, 2013. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QtGuDHGbdck

  • April 17

5:28AM

Less than 48 hours after her death, family members of Boston Marathon bombing victim Krystle Campbell speak on camera to reporters. “She was the best,” Campbell’s mother, Patty, tells reporters. “You couldn’t ask for a better daughter.” The family is heartbroken and still in shock, Patty Campbell says, reading a statement on the family’s porch. “She had a heart of gold. She was always smiling,” Patty Campbell said as her son, Billy, clutched her with his right arm. Krystle’s grandmother observes that the 29-year-old was a special kind of person who nurtured deep friendships. “Oh, she was a beautiful girl,” Lillian Campbell tells CNN’s Jake Tapper. “She was very happy, outgoing, a hard worker.” Lillian Campbell said her granddaughter even lived with her for a year and a half and was “great with me.” Her granddaughter was always willing to help someone in need, she says. “And she was, she was just beautiful. She was a fun-loving girl.” Steve Almasy, “Boston Marathon Bombing Victims: Promising Lives Lost,” CNN, April 17, 2013.

  • 9:29AM

Susan L. Abbott, the attorney for James Gallagher, CEO and General Counsel of John Hancock, the US division of the Canadian-based Manufacturers Life Insurance Company, and Michael Sheehan, CEO of advertising firm Hill Holliday, file legal paperwork with the Massachusetts Secretary of State to establish The One Fund Boston, an anticipated 501c3 nonprofit to oversee fundraising activities on behalf of Marathon bombing victims. John Hancock and Hill Holliday are the primary corporate sponsors of the 2013 Boston Marathon. “Articles of Organization,” The One Fund Boston, n.d. Accessed January 16, 2014.

1:09PM

Alternative news outlet Infowars.com publishes numerous photos of the Boston bombing scene appearing on the 4chan.org website that showing images of questionable individuals donning large backpacks at the scene prior to the bombings. Three of the male figures look to be Arab or Middle Eastern in appearance, while another two of the individuals are white. The images show the persons looking away from the marathon runners, speaking on cellphones and absconding from the scene immediately after the blast. Paul Joseph Watson, “Potential Boston Bombing Culprits and Person of Interest Identified?” Infowars.com, April 17, 2013.

12:30PM [estimate]

Boston news media report that authorities have identified the image of a possible suspect through surveillance video, suggesting a potential turning point in a case where investigators are closely analyzing audio visual evidence from the scene. “Lord & Taylor Video Leads to Identification of Boston Marathon Bombing Suspect,” WCVB.com, April 18, 2013.

3:26PM

The FBI cancels a press conference as Special Agent Greg Comcowich of the FBI’s Boston division scolds news media for relying on “unofficial sources” and reporting earlier in the afternoon that an arrest had been made in the Boston Marathon bombing, says in a statement. “[T]hese stories often have unintended consequences. Contrary to widespread reporting,” Comcowich continues, “no arrest has been made in connection with the Boston Marathon attack.” “FBI Warns of Unintended Consequences From False Media Reports,” The Daily Caller, April 17, 2013.

8:09PM

A source inside CNN asserts that the cable news channel’s staff sense humiliation and remorse after their dubious reportage earlier in the day that an arrest was made in  the Boston Marathon bombings case. The sourcereveals that the network was first to report that a suspect had been identified. Anchor John King transmitted a report that a source “briefed” on the investigation had told King a positive identification had been made. CNN Washington bureau chief Sam Feist approves that report, according to the source. Brett Logiurato, “CNN Source: Everyone Went Silent for Fifteen Minutes After We Screwed Up the Boston Marathon Report,” Business Insider, April 17, 2013. 11:52PM Authorities identify a potential suspect Wednesday in the Boston Marathon bombings, CBS New York reports, noting that surveillance video may furnish a vital clue in apprehending the attacker. A newly released photo appears to show a bag that may contain an explosive device, behind a fence at the second explosion site. “Authorities Identify Potential Suspect In Boston Marathon Bombings,” CBS New York, April 17, 2013.

11:52PM

CBS New York reports that earlier in the day that a suspect was in custody in relation to the Boston bombings. This conclusion was attributed to an unidentified law enforcement official speaking to the Associated Press. Yet the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s office in Boston said that no arrests had been made. An official news briefing, originally scheduled for 5 p.m. and later for 8 p.m., was postponed. “Contrary to widespread reporting, there have been no arrests made in connection with the Boston Marathon attack,” the FBI said in a statement. “Authorities Identify Potential Suspect In Boston Marathon Bombings,” CBS New York, April 17, 2013.

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Independent journalist Anthony Gucciardi interviews key Boston Marathon eyewitness Alastair Stevenson. A veteran of marathons and track coach at the University of Mobile in Alabama, Steveonson confirms that drills were taking place the morning of the Boston Marathon that included bomb squads and rooftop snipers. “At the start at the event, at the Athlete’s Village, there were people on the roof looking down onto the Village at the start,” Stevenson recollects. “There were dogs with their handlers going around sniffing for explosives, and we were told on a loud announcement that we shouldn’t be concerned and that it was just a drill. And maybe it was just a drill, but I’ve never seen anything like that — not at any marathon that I’ve ever been to. You know, that just concerned me that that’s the only race that I’ve seen in my life where they had dogs sniffing for explosions, and that’s the only place where there had been explosions.” Anthony Gucciardi, “Interview With Boston Eyewitness Confirms Bomb Squad Drill,”Infowars.com, April 17, 2013.

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Dr. Peter Burke, Boston Medical Center’s Chief of Trauma Services, appears at a news conference to explain the care given to victims of the bombing.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fOqAtCFDHeI

Of the 19 patients that were admitted 16 received emergen[cy] operations within the first 18 hours and remain hospitalized at this time. Ah, 19 patients were–ah–remain hospitalized for the next 24 hours. At that point we considered ten of them critical, three serious and six were considered in fair condition. We operated on five of those patients yesterday, and, ah, they continue to improve. As of the 19 patients in the hospital, two are considered critical, ten are serious and seven are fair. We plan on operating on about eight of these patients today. We are looking to discharge one or two of these patients as well today. So things are moving along as expected and the patients are doing well.

Burke also tells reporters that some patients have been informed their limbs must be amputated, and he remarks on how the medical staff has “taken out large quantities of pieces of things” from the victims.” “Boston Doctor: Bomb Victims Had Much Shrapnel,” Associated Press, April 17, 2013.

  • April 18

5:00PM FBI Special Agent in charge of the Boston division Richard DesLauriers releases images and video captured from closed-circuit surveillance cameras that show Tamarlan and Dhzokhar Tsarnaev on the sidewalk in the proximity of the Boston Marathon finish line. “Today, we are enlisting the public’s help to identify the two suspects,” DesLauriers announces. “After a very detailed analysis of photo, video, and other evidence, we are releasing photos of the two suspects. They are identified as Suspect 1 and Suspect 2. They appear to be associated.” DesLauriers then warns against considering other photographic or video evidence. “For clarity, these images should be the only ones—the only ones—that the public should view to assist us. Other photos should not be deemed credible and unnecessarily divert the public’s attention in the wrong direction and create undue work for vital law enforcement resources.” Greg Comcowich, “Remarks of Special Agent in Charge Rick DeLauriers at Press Conference on Bombing Investigation,” FBI Boston, April 18, 2013.

7:00PM

26-yearl-old Boston bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev calls his uncle, initiating a five-minute conversation and asking for forgiveness, the uncle asserts. Alvi Tsarnaev tells The (Westchester County, N.Y.) Journal Newsthat his nephew calls for the first time in roughly two years. “He said, ‘I love you and forgive me.’” Alvi Tsarnaev resides in Montgomery Village, Md. “We were not talking for a long time because there were some problems,” he remarks. “We were not happy with each other.” They spoke about family and spiritual matters. “I told him I was praying to Allah, not drinking, not smoking, and he told me he was happy,” Alvi Tsarnaev says. “He was asking, ‘Did you pay your mortgage?’ I told him I was trying to pay. I asked him what he was doing. He said, ‘I fix cars, I got married, got a baby.’ ” Natalie DiBlasio and Shawn Cohen, “Tamarlan Tsarnaev Called, Asked for Forgiveness,” USA Today, April 19, 2013.

8:45PM

Three friends of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, Robel Phillipos, Dias Kadyrbayev, and Azamat Tazhayakov, visit Tsarnaev’s dorm room at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth, gathering after seeing photos of one of the suspects that resembled their classmate. According to a US government criminal complaint against the three filed in federal court in Boston, Tsarnaev, was not present and his roommate let the men in. While proceeding to watch a movie, they noticed a backpack containing fireworks emptied of powder. Dias Kadyrbayev, “knew when he saw the empty fireworks that Tsarnaev was involved in the marathon bombing,” FBI Special Agent Scott Cieplik says in a criminal complaint. Hours earlier the FBI had released images of the Tsarnaev brothers at the scene of the April 15 bombing. According to the complaint Asamat Tazhayakov “started to freak out” when they realized from news reports that Tsarnaev was implicated in the bombing. Eric Larson, David McLaughlin, and Janelle Lawrence, “Friends Land in Jail After Dumping Bomb Suspect Backpack,” Bloomberg News, May 2, 2013.

8:47PM [estimate]

Visiting Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s dorm room, Dias Kadyrbayev sends Tsarnaev a text message remarking that he looks like one of the suspects whose photos are in the news. Tsarnaev responded, “lol”, according to a criminal complaint against Robel Phillipos, Dias Kadyrbayev, and Azamat Tazhayakov filed by FBI Special Agent Scott Cieplik on May 1. In the messages Tsarnaev tells Kadyrbayev “you better not text me” and suggests his friend “come to my room and take whatever you want,” which the friend at first interprets as a joke. Kadyrbayev decides to remove the backpack “in order to help his friend Tsarnaev avoid trouble,” Agent Cieplik writes in the US complaint. He takes the laptop as well, “because he did not want Tsarnaev’s roommate to think he was stealing or behaving suspiciously by just taking the backpack,” according to the complaint. Eric Larson, David McLaughlin, and Janelle Lawrence, “Friends Land in Jail After Dumping Bomb Suspect Backpack,” Bloomberg News, May 2, 2013.

10:00PM

Carrying Tsarnaev’s backpack containing remnants of consumer fireworks and the laptop, Robel Phillipos, Dias Kadyrbayev, and Azamat return to the apartment near campus shared by Kadyrbayev and Tazhayakov and continue viewing news reports on the bombing. Then together they decide to throw the backpack and fireworks cartridges in the trash, the U.S. says in its complaint, citing Kadyrbayev’s version of events. Kadyrbayev places the backpack in a black plastic bag and put it in a Dumpster near the apartment building, the complaint reads. While the two other men didn’t assist in the disposal, they knew it was happening, according to the US officials’ allegations. Eric Larson, David McLaughlin, and Janelle Lawrence, “Friends Land in Jail After Dumping Bomb Suspect Backpack,” Bloomberg News, May 2, 2013.

10:27PM

Lingzi Lu, a Chinese graduate student pursuing mathematics at Boston University, is announced as one of the Boston Marathon bombing victims by the president of BU in an open letter published on the school’s website, also confirming that Lu’s friend was wounded. “Our hearts and thoughts go out to the family and friends of both victims,” writes college President Robert Brown. The university initially declined to release Lu’s name at her family’s request, but the school received permission from a family representative, according to BU spokesman Colin Riley. The university establishes the Lingzi Lu Scholarship Fund in her honor. The Chinese consulate in New York issues a statement of condolence. A wave of sympathy is generated on social media sites in China. By April 17, more than 17,000 comments are added to the victim’s last post on Weibo where she commented on her breakfast. Ben Brumfield and Steven Jiang, “Chinese Student Killed in Bombings Had Followed Her Passion to Boston,” CNN, April 18, 2013.

10:31PM

MIT Police officer Sean Collier is reported shot at 10:48PM near the Stata Center on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology campus and is transported to Massachusetts General Hospital where he is pronounced dead at 12:15AM April 19. At around 10:25PM a postdoctoral student working on campus contacts MIT Police to report loud noises that may be gunshots. At 10:31PM Collier is discovered and tended to by another MIT officer. Greg Steinbrecher, “MIT Officer Killed, Marathon Bombers Responsible,” The Tech, April 19, 2013.

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A Saudi “person of interest” is to be deported on “national security grounds” after President Obama has impromptu meeting with Saudi official. A terrorism expert notes that the move is “very unusual,” particularly in light of an unscheduled meeting yesterday between Obama and Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal.Abdul Rahman Ali Alharbi, the Saudi national with suspected involvement was put under armed guard in the hospital after the bombing, visited by Saudi diplomat Azzam bin Abdel Karim, and later had his apartment raided by federal and state law enforcement agents. Congressman Jeff Duncan asks DHS chief Janet Napolitano about the Saudi linked to the Boston bombings being deported for “national security” reasons. Napolitano denied any knowledge of the man being deported. Paul Joseph Watson, “Obama Covering Up Saudi Link to the Boston Bombing?Infowars.com, April 18, 2013.

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Jeff Bauman is interviewed by the FBI in his hospital bed. Despite being in intensive care after having lost both legs and under heavy sedation, Bauman informs the FBI that he encountered Tamerlan Tsarnaev and looked in his eyes as Tsarnaev planted the bomb, thereafter identifying him in a photograph the FBI produced. “He woke up under so much drugs [sic],” Bauman’s brother Chris tells reporters, “asked for a paper and pen and wrote, ‘bag, saw the guy, looked right at me’.” Chris Bauman attests that the account is emphatic and convincing. “I’ve had many times alone with him, and yes, he told me every single detail.” The FBI thus narrowed its inquiries down to two suspects who were related from tens of thousands of people pictured in the area before the attacks. Damien McElroy, “Boston Marathon Victim Jeff Bauman Helped Identify Bombers,” UK Telegraph, April 19, 2013.

  • April 19

12:10AM [estimate] Police encounter Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in the streets of Watertown, and Dzhokhar reportedly tosses bombs at officers as he drives out of their closing cordon, leaving the elder Tamarlan dying in the wake. Police are heard shouting over the police scanner, “Loud explosion, loud explosion, loud explosion, shots fired, shots fired.” One police officer was severely wounded in the confrontation. Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger, a member of the House intelligence committee, remarks, “They clearly amassed a small arsenal of explosives.” Police report carrying out one or more controlled explosions on Norfolk Street, in Cambridge, not far from where the bombers apparently share a home. Ray Sanchez, “Boston Bombs: The ‘Small Arsenal’ of Weapons Suspects ‘Used Against’ Police,” UK Telegraph, April 20, 2013.

12:20AM

Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital Emergency room physician Dr. David Schoenfeld, while catching up on paperwork at his Watertown residence, hears police sirens, then gunfire and explosions. He telephones the emergency room and tells staff to prepare for trauma patients. Schoenfeld arrives at the hospital at about 1:10AM. Fifteen minutes later an ambulance carrying Tamerlan Tsarnaev pulls up. According to Dr. Schoenfeld, Tsarnaev is handcuffed, unconscious, and in cardiac arrest. As a throng of police officers observe, Dr. Schoenfeld and a team of other trauma doctors and nurses began to perform CPR. “There was talk before the patient arrived about whether or not it was a suspect,” Dr. Schoenfeld recalls. “But ultimately it doesn’t matter who it is, because we’re going to work as hard as we can for any patient who comes through our door and then sort it out after. Because you’re never going to know until the dust settles who it is.” The trauma team puts a breathing tube in Tsarnaev’s throat, according to Dr. Schoenfeld, then cuts open his chest to check if blood or other fluid is collecting around his heart. His handcuffs are removed at some point during the resuscitation attempt, Schoenfeld says, because “when the patient is in cardiac arrest and we’re doing all these procedures, we need to be able to move their arms around.” The team’s attempts to resuscitate Tsarnaev are unsuccessful, and he is pronounced dead at 1:35AM. Only as they begin to turn the body over to the police does Schoenfeld recognize Tsarnaev as resembling one of the suspects whose pictures were released by the FBI hours earlier. “We all obviously had some suspicion given the really large police presence,” he says, “but we didn’t have a clear identification from the police.” Dr. Schoenfeld’s emergency room also treated a number of people injured in the bombings on Monday. “I can’t say what I’ll be feeling as I reflect on this later on,” he remarks in an interview before Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was captured. “But right now I’m more concerned with everybody who’s still out there and still in harm’s way … I worry about everybody in the city, that everyone’s going to be O.K.” Katharine Q. Steelye, William R. Rashbaum, and Michael Cooper, “2nd Bombing Suspect Caught After Frenzied Hunt Paralyzes Boston,” New York Times, April 19, 2013.

6:00AM

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, Robel Phillipos, Dias Kadyrbayev, and Azamat Tazhayakov see news reports identifying Tsarnaev and his older brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev as the bombers and stating that Tamarlan was killed during a shootout with police. Eric Larson, David McLaughlin, and Janelle Lawrence, “Friends Land in Jail After Dumping Bomb Suspect Backpack,”Bloomberg News, May 2, 2013.

7:00AM

Upon Zhokhar Tsarnaev escaping a substantial police gauntlet while hurling bombs out the window of a stolen SUV, his at-large status and authorities’ fears that he may possess additional explosives prompts an intense manhunt. SWAT teams and Humvees roll through residential streets with military helicopters hovering overhead and bomb squads ushered to several locations. Boston is effectively in lockdown. Transit service is suspended. Classes at Harvard, MIT, Boston University and other nearby colleges are canceled. Amtrak halts service into Boston. The Red Sox game and a concert at Symphony Hall are postponed. Gov. Deval Patrick of Massachusetts directs residents to stay behind locked doors all day, finally lifting the order shortly after 6PM as transit service resumes. Katharine Q. Steelye, William R. Rashbaum, and Michael Cooper, “2nd Bombing Suspect Caught After Frenzied Hunt Paralyzes Boston,” New York Times, April 19, 2013.

10:24AM

New Hampshire state representative Stella Tremblay posts on Facebook that the Boston Marathon bombing was “Top Down, Bottom UP.” “The Boston Marathon was a Black Ops ‘terrorist’ attack,” Tremblay write in a message to conservative commentator Glenn Beck. “One suspect killed, the other one will be too before they even have a chance to speak. Drones and now ‘terrorist’ attacks by our own Government. Sad day, but a ‘wake up’ to all of us. First there was a ‘suspect’ then there wasn’t.” Tremblay also posted a link to a video hosted on YouTube, titled “PROOF! Boston Marathon Bombing is Staged Terror Attack.” A news media frenzy ensues around the legislator. House Minority Leader Gene Chandler writes that Tremblay’s comments are “highly offensive, egregious, and irrational.” Jim Haddadin, “N.H. Rep Thinks Boston Marathon Bombing Was Done By the Government,” Foster’s Daily Democrat, April 23, 2013.

1:52PM

Tamarlan and Dhozhar Tsarnaev’s mother Zubeidat Tsarnaeva states her younger son is innocent and, similar to many of the brothers’ acquaintances, claims they were polite youths and model students – especially the younger 19-year-old Dzhokhar. Upset and saddened, Zubeidat expresses her shock at the allegations, pointing to how Dzhokar was an honors student and regarded fondly by many of his friends and teachers. Along these lines older brother Tamerlan was a star athlete and student, who dreamed of becoming a member of the US Olympic wrestling team. “’They Were Set Up: FBI Followed Them for Years’—Tsarnaev’s Mother to RT,” RT.com, April 19, 2013.

1:52PM

Tamarlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s mother Zubeidat Tsarnaeva remarks on the perpetual FBI surveillance she said her family was subjected to over the years. She finds it especially unusual that after such extensive surveillance the FBI had no idea the sons were supposedly planning a terrorist act. “They used to come [to our] home, they used to talk to me…they were telling me that he [the older, 26-y/o Tamerlan] was really an extremist leader and that they were afraid of him. They told me whatever information he is getting, he gets from these extremist sites… they were controlling him, they were controlling his every step…and now they say that this is a terrorist act! Never ever is this true, my sons are innocent!” When asked if maybe she didn’t know about some of her sons’ more secret aspirations and dark secrets, she said “That’s impossible. My sons would never keep a secret.” Finally, she says that if she could speak to her youngest – Dzhokhar, she would tell him, “Save your life and tell the truth, that you haven’t done anything, that this is a set up!” The brothers’ father Anzor Tsarnaev also believes that they are innocent and somebody might have set them up. “I’m sure about my children, in their purity. I don’t know what happened and who did this.  God knows and he will punish them,” he tells the Russian Zvezda channel. “Somebody might have set them up. I don’t know who and because of their cowardice killed the boy.” The father says he is unable to contact his sons or other relatives as communications to the US have been inoperable. “’They Were Set Up: FBI Followed Them for Years’—Tsarnaev’s Mother to RT,” RT.com, April 19, 2013.

1:52PM

Russian ‘Alpha’ Special Forces team-veteran and vice-president of the division’s International Association, Aleksey Filatov, thinks there is more to the case than meets the eye. He underscores, firstly, that the national origin and religious beliefs of the suspect, along with the specifics of the bombing, have all been carefully pre-meditated and planned by someone within the United States in order to distract the public from the true identity and long-term aims of the actual planners. “Putting a young Chechen in those shoes was top-notch professionalism in distracting everyone from the true identity and motives of the planner,” he explains to RT. “The executors were chosen to confuse the American public and simultaneously untie the White House’s hands in a way that would justify a departure from the rhetoric of non-involvement in military action on foreign territories.” “’They Were Set Up: FBI Followed Them for Years’—Tsarnaev’s Mother to RT,” RT.com, April 19, 2013.

6:44PM

CBS News reports that the FBI admits to having interviewed now-deceased Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev in 2011. The FBI interviewed the elder Tsarnaev at the request of a foreign government to see if he had any extremist ties, but failed to find any linkages. CBS News correspondent John Miller observes it is likely Russia asked to have the elder Tsarnaev vetted because of suspected ties to Chechen extremists. The FBI probably conducted a background check, running Tsarnaev’s name through all relevant databases, including those of other agencies, checking on his communications and all overseas travel, surmises Miller. Miller further reports that this culminated in a sit-down interview where they probably asked him a lot of questions about his life, his contacts, his surroundings. This was then likely written up and directed to the requesting government. “FBI Interviewed Dead Boston Bombing Suspect Years Ago,” CBS News, April 19, 2013.

6:30PM [estimate]

Dave Henneberry, the Watertown Massachusetts resident who owns the boat where Dzhokhar Tsarnaev took refuge to dodge a daylong dragnet, describes in an interview with a local television outlet how he discovered the bombing suspect, which he claims developed differently than has been reported. “I know people say there was blood on the boat — he saw blood and went in,” he says. “Not true.” When on April 19 Watertown residents were advised they could exit their homes, Henneberry went out to his boat, climbed three steps up the ladder, and when he could see into the boat, he looked on the floor and saw “a good amount of blood.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ixTkyI_Hpbg “And I said, wow, did I cut myself last time I was in the boat a couple of weeks ago and forget?” he said. “No, no.” Mr. Henneberry then saw the body — but not a face. “Oh my God,” is what went through his head, Mr. Henneberry recounted in his distinct Boston brogue. He jumped off the ladder, he said, and called 911. Mr. Henneberry refers to himself an “incidental hero,” explaining: “I wasn’t out on the prowl. I was out to see my boat.” An online fundraiser to replace the bullet-ridden ship has raised more than $10,000. “Boat Owner Calls Himself ‘Incidental Hero’ in Ending Terror,” WCVBtv 5 April 23, 2013.

8:41PM

Heavily armed police conclude a 22-hour manhunt for the surviving Boston bombing suspect, 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who is captured alive after being surrounded. Tsarnaev emerges from a boat in the backyard of a home in Watertown, Massachusetts, a small town near Boston. For roughly two hours Tsarnaev is surrounded by SWAT teams and hundreds of other police, surviving a barrage of gunfire and incendiary “flash” grenades. Authorities say Tsarnaev was injured in a shootout with police on April 18 and hence had significant blood loss. Police report he is in a serious condition in hospital. Boston mayor Thomas Menino says, “We got him.” A large crowd gathering close to the location of Tsarnaev’s arrest start clapping and shouting “Thank you” as a police ambulance carrying the suspect cruises by. Massachusetts police superintendent Colonel Tim Alben says, “We are so grateful to bring justice and closure to this case. We are grateful for the outcome here tonight. We’re exhausted, folks, but we have a victory here tonight.” Ed Pilkington, Adam Gabbatt, and Miriam Elder, “Boston Suspect Captured Alive After Dramatic Finish to Day-Long Manhunt,” UK Guardian, April 20, 2013.

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FBI investigators interview Asamat Tazhayakov, who says he became friends with Tsarnaev in 2011 and that the two became closer in 2012 when Tsarnaev began spending more time at their apartment. On April 18 at 4:00PM Tsarnaev had dropped Tazhayakov off at the apartment after they attended classes together. Eric Larson, David McLaughlin, and Janelle Lawrence, “Friends Land in Jail After Dumping Bomb Suspect Backpack,”Bloomberg News, May 2, 2013.

  • April 20

9:00AM Former United States Assistant Attorney General and Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick appears on NBC’s Meet the Press to provide his perspectives on the Boston Marathon bombing and its aftermath. In his observations Patrick reveals he has not been allowed to view the closed-circuit video that federal authorities used to designate Tamarlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev as the principal suspects. “Well, the videotape is not something I’ve seen but it’s been described to me in my briefings.” Patrick explains. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KhwUvaZzZU8 at 2:47

But it does seem to be pretty clear that, uh, that ah, [sic] this suspect took the backpack, uh, off, put it down, uhm, did not react when the first explosion went off and then, ah, moved away from the backpack for the time for the second, uh, explosion. So pretty, uh, pretty clear, uhm, about his, ah, involvement and pretty chilling, frankly, as it was described to me.

Deval Patrick, National Security Experts Give Latest Update on Boston Bombing,” Meet the Press with David Gregory, NBC News, April 20, 2013.

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Investigators report that they are now turning to what motivated the Tsarnaev brothers to carry out the attacks on the Boston Marathon. Federal investigators are reviewing a visit that one of the suspected bombers made to Chechnya and Dagestan, mainly Muslim republics in the north Caucasus region of Russia. Both have active militant separatist movements. Members of Congress expressed concern about the FBI’s handling of one request from Russian authorities before the trip to examine the man’s possible links to extremist groups in the region. Tamerlan Tsarnaev spent six months in Dagestan in 2012, and analysts think the trip may have been decisive in his alleged path toward the bombings. Eric Schmitt, Micahel S. Schmidt, and Ellen Barry, “Boston Marathon Inquiry Turns to Motive and Russian Trip,”New York Times, April 20, 2013.

  • April 21

6:47PM FBI Special Agent Daniel R. Genck files a request for a criminal complaint in United States District Court against Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev for his alleged role in bombing the Boston Marathon on April 15. The complaint accuses Tsarnaev of using a weapon of mass destruction and malicious destruction of property resulting in death. Agent Genck relies largely on analysis of video and photographic evidence depicting the April 15 scene at the Boylston Street Marathon finish line and testimony from law enforcement involved in the apprehension of Tsarnaev to develop his conclusions. Judge Marianne B. Bowler, United States of America versus Dzokhar A. Tsarnaev, Case No. 13-2106 MBB, United States District Court for the State of Massachusetts, April 21, 2013.

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A somewhat nervous-sounding woman identifying herself as Linda calls in to a talk show on WE97.3FM and describes the scene on Dexter Street in Watertown where Tamarlan Tsarnaev was killed. She claims to have seen the first suspect run over “by a police SUV, and then after he was hit [by the vehicle he was] shot multiple times. Minutes later an ambulance arrived. [They] put the suspect into the ambulance and then off [they went].”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2sjmjZjssnk The caller asserts that she didn’t believe the suspect was holding a pipe bomb or suicide vest. “Eyewitness: Suspect Run Over By Police: No Bombs,” Liveleak.com, April 21, 2013.

  • April 22

1:19PM Doctors announce that all of the over 180 people reportedly injured in the Boston Marathon blasts one week ago who made it to a hospital are likely to survive. This includes numerous people that arrived with legs attached by just a little skin, a 3-year-old boy with a head injury and bleeding on the brain, and a little girl wounded with nails. Even a transit system police officer whose heart had stopped and was close to bleeding to death after a shootout with the bombing suspects now appears headed for recovery. “All I feel is joy,” says Dr. George Velmahos, chief of trauma surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital, referring to that hospital’s 31 blast patients. “Whoever came in alive, stayed alive.” Marilynn Marchione, “Doctors: All Boston Bomb Patients Likely to Live,” NBC News/Associated Press, April 22, 2013.

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The New York Times reports that Boston Marathon bombing victims will face major financial burdens in addition to their physical injuries, and that there will be challenges to distributing the beneficiary funds collected. The monetary toll will likely be high for many because of trauma care, prosthetic limbs, drawn-out rehabilitation and future equipment to deal with everyday life with severe injuries and loss of limbs. Attorney Kenneth R. Feinberg, who has overseen compensation funds for victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the shootings at Virginia Tech and other disasters, will arrive in Boston on April 22 to determine who will be eligible for payouts from a new benefit fund, the One Fund Boston, and how much individuals wounded in the bombings and family of the deceased will be allotted. The One Boston Fund has already raised more than $10 million for victims and victims’ families. Individual victims have also set up donation pages on social media sites such as Facebook. Over 170 bystanders were wounded in the blasts, and presently more than 50 remain in hospital. Abby Goodnough, “For Wounded, Daunting Cost; for Aid Fund, Tough Decision,” New York Times, April 22, 2013.

  • April 23

2:41PM

Federal prosecutors experience difficulties attempting to put together a solid case that Tamarlan and Dzokhar Tsarnaev were motivated to carry out the Boston Marathon bombing because of radical Islamist or Chechen separatist beliefs. Tamerlan Tsarnaev is now the focal point of an international FBI investigation into whether an organised group or broader conspiracy lay behind the bombings. The 26-year-old Tamarlan is believed to have been the mastermind of the event. There is also no known link to any nationalist or Islamist group in the Caucasus region that the brothers regarded as their homeland. Such an association would suggest they were recruited as foot soldiers and given operational instructions to strike the Boston Marathon. US law enforcement and counter-terrorism experts increasingly think the brothers acted independently and that Tamarlan Tsarnaev was a “lone wolf,” mostly receiving personal motivation and training via the internet. Ed Pilkington, “Tamarlan Tsarnaev: Experts Puzzled as Hunt for Terror Links Yields Little,” UK Guardian, April 23, 2013.

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Defense attorneys ruminate on Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev’s fate, saying Tsarnaev might entirely avoid a trial and win a modicum of mercy. “We know he’s 19 years old, we don’t think he has a criminal record or been in trouble before. There are a lot of people out there that seem to have warm, positive things about him,” says Tamar Birckhead, whose client, Richard Reid, tried to blow an airliner out of the sky but received a life sentence through a plea bargain. “To predict he’ll get a life sentence is not unreasonable.” Stephen Jones, whose client was Oklahoma City bomber client Timothy McVeigh, notes how McVeigh received the death penalty, but he said he believes the baby-faced Tsarnaev may be able to seek mercy as an impressionable youth. “If the younger brother can shed any light on the circumstances of the older brother’s alleged involvement,” according to Jones, “that’s valuable information that the government would want.” Geoffrey Fieger, whose clients include assisted-suicide advocate Dr. Jack Kevorkian, says, “Nothing about the outcome is assured.” Fieger and the other major defense attorneys state the government’s case has many weak spots that a shrewd defense attorney can exploit, beginning with the possibility that federal officials failed to immediately Mirandize Tsarnaev. Chris Cassidy, “Experts: Feds Case vs. Dzokhar Tsarnaev Has Holes,” Boston Herald, April 23,2013.

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New Hampshire newspaper Foster’s Daily Democrat contacts state representative Stella Tremblay, who maintains that she questions the explanation of the bombings offered by police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Tremblay says she started questioning the official story shortly after the bombing transpired.

I was with, it was one of my constituents that sent me an email, and it went to a site where a, I think it was a major retired marine was speaking, and then he said, “Please go to Infowars,” and they had pictures of, what is it, black ops? With black backpacks. They show them at the scene, so they knew something was going on, because there wouldn’t have been that many of them.

The lawmaker also notes how a Saudi Arabian man at the bombing site received burn wounds. Tremblay notes how the man was questioned for nine hours, and the FBI created an “event file” about him. Thereafter, she says, when authorities went to search his apartment, Secretary of State John Kerry met with the Saudi Arabian ambassador behind closed doors. “There’s just too many things going on that, to me, doesn’t make any sense.” Jim Haddadin, “N.H. Rep Thinks Boston Marathon Bombing Was Done By the Government,” Foster’s Daily Democrat, April 23, 2013.

  • April 24

10:00PM A video cameraman and anchorperson Melissa Bagg from WPTV News Channel 5 accosts Florida Atlantic University professor James Tracy following his evening class. Tracy wrote an April 22 blog post questioning many aspects of what happened on Boylston Street the day of the bombings. “We have the official narrative that this was carried out by two individuals, two Chechen immigrants, but it could be more complex than that,” Tracy tells NewsChannel 5. “The government was carrying out drills on that day. We don’t know exactly what was taking place, what the dynamics were.” Marissa Bagg, “James Tracy, Boston Bombing Hoax? FAU Professor Defends Questioning if Boston Bombs Were Staged,” WPTV News Channel 5, April 24, 2013.

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Federal law enforcement authorities now admit that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was unarmed when he sustained a substantial barrage of police gunfire that repeatedly struck the boat where he was hiding, Police previously feared that Tsarnaev was heavily armed. The FBI declined to discuss what prompted the gunfire. Sari Horwitz and Peter Finn, “Officials: Boston Suspect Had No Firearms When Barrage of Bullets Hit Hiding Place,” Washington Post, April 24, 2013.

  • April 25

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The New York Police Department and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg announces that Tamarlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev were poised to travel to New York City to detonate their remaining explosives in Times Square. CBS New York reports that when New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly began heightening security measures after the Boston Marathon bombing it was more than mere precaution. “New York was next on the list of targets,” Bloomberg says. “The two brothers had at their disposal six improvised explosive devices,” Kelly similarly observes, “One was a pressure cooker bomb, similar to the two that had exploded at the marathon. The other five were pipe bombs.” Bloomberg: New York Was Next Target for Boston Bombing Suspects,” CBS New York, April 25, 2013.

  • April 26

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Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is transported from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center to the Federal Medical Center at Fort Devens in Ft. Devens, Mass., U.S. Marshals Service spokesman Drew Wade tells Fox News. The FMC Devens is a federal prisons facility for male inmates who necessitate specialized or long-term medical or mental health care, according to the facility’s website. “Boston Marathon Bombing Suspect Moved to Federal Medical Center,” FoxNews.com, April 26, 2013.

  • May 1

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Robel Phillipos, Dias Kadyrbayev, and Azamat Tazhayakov are charged by the US government with obstruction of justice and false statements. They all agree to voluntary detention. If convicted, they face as long as five years in prison for obstruction and eight years for false statements. Robert Stahl, a lawyer for Kadyrbayev, and Tazhayakov’s attorney, Harlan Protass, say their clients will plead not guilty. “As we’ve said from the very beginning, he assisted the FBI in this investigation,” Stahl says of Kadyrbayev outside the courtroom yesterday. “He was just as shocked by the violence in Boston as everyone else. He did not know this individual was involved with the bombing.” Eric Larson, David McLaughlin, and Janelle Lawrence, “Friends Land in Jail After Dumping Bomb Suspect Backpack,” Bloomberg News, May 2, 2013. See also “Lawyers on Charges Facing Bombing Suspect’s Friends” (video), Bloomberg News, May 1, 2013.

  • May 6

12:05AM [estimate]

Ibragim Todashev, 27, a Chechen man with ties to Boston bombing suspect Dzhokar Tsarnaev, is shot seven times by a Boston-based Federal Bureau of Investigation agent at his home in Orlando, Florida. The killing takes place during an interrogation by the FBI and two Massachusetts State Police officers regarding his ties to the Boston marathon bombing suspects and his role in a related 2011 triple murder in Massachusetts allegedly turns violent. Todashev purportedly wields a knife against the officers. The FBI releases a statement that the agent had acted on an “imminent threat” and shot the interview subject. The man being questioned was killed and the FBI agent was taken to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries. The FBI later releases a statement that does not specify which of the law enforcers fired the fatal shot killing Todashev. “FBI Shoots Chechen Dead in Florida, Man Questioned in Links to Boston Bombers,” RT.com, May 6, 2013.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MTC9J9qcI5k

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In excess of $1.2 million is raised for families of about two dozen victims of the Boston bombings on GiveForward. The donation website collects the assistances through credit and debit cards, then passes these on to the beneficiaries after deducting a 7 percent processing fee. Of the $1.2 million, over $700,000 is raised for a young couple, Patrick Downes and Jessica Kensky, who were both critically wounded and went to different hospitals. Some of the Web sites, and accompanying Facebook and Twitter accounts, provide an avenue into the lives and challenges that lie ahead for many of the victims. “Victims in Boston Marathon Bombing Turn to Crowdfunding for Support,” New York Times The Lede, May 6, 2013.

  • May 7

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Eyewitness accounts support the probability that MBTA Transit Police Officer Richard H. Donohue Jr. was shot and almost killed by a fellow officer in Watertown on April 19 in the midst of a barrage of gunfire directed at Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Donohue was felled in the early-morning hours as a dozen police ­officers or more from four departments exchanged up to 300 rounds of gunfire with Dzhokhar’s older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev. Jane Dyson, who lives 140 feet from where Donohue was shot on Dexter Avenue, says she saw the police officer collapse and fall to the ground near the end of the gunfight as 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev sped away. She says the officer ­appeared to be a victim of “friendly fire.” Sean P. Murphy and Todd Wallack, “Witnesses Suggest Friendly Fire Felled MBTA Officer,” Boston Globe, May 7, 2013.

  • May 8

Boston Police Commissioner Edward F. Davis testifies before the US House Committee on Homeland Security regarding the Boston Marathon bombings and funding for homeland security preparedness. In his remarks Davis discloses how Boston area law enforcement and emergency response personnel benefitted greatly in preparation for terror attacks through its collaboration with Israeli law enforcement and military personnel.

Representative Eric Swalwell: And you mentioned that you were able to work with international law enforcement agencies. Were you able to work with forces from Israel and antiterror departments from Israel? Police Commissioner Edward F. Davis: Yes, the Israeli military and police services have been very helpful to us in sending people over to train us. As a matter of fact, the tactic that Sargent Conley used in opening the bags up—the cut and tag tactic—was taught to us by the Israelis.

Swalwell and Boston Police Commissioner Praise Alameda County Training Program,” Congressman Eric Swalwell, May 9, 2013.

  • May 16

7:06AM

CBS News reports that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev wrote a note in the boat he was hiding in as he bled from gunshot wounds sustained in the April 19 shootout between himself, brother Tamarlan and police. The note is scrawled with a marker on the interior wall of the cabin, saying the bombings were retribution for U.S. military action in Afghanistan and Iraq. It called the Boston victims “collateral damage” in the same way Muslims have been in the American-led wars. “When you attack one Muslim, you attack all Muslims,” said Tsarnaev. “Boston Bombing Suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Left Note in Boat He Hid In, Sources Say,” CBS News, May 16, 2013.

  • May 17

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Special Agents Christopher Lorek and Stephen Shaw, members of the FBI’s elite counterterrorism unit, perish while practicing how to rapidly drop from a helicopter to a ship using a rope. The FBI announces the deaths on May 20 in a statement that was vague, other than to say the helicopter encountered unspecified difficulties and the agents fell a “significant distance.” The counterterrorism unit was involved in the arrest of Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. A law enforcement source says the incident happened about 12 nautical miles off the coast of Virginia Beach. The official blamed bad weather for the incident. Scott Daugherty, “FBI: Agents Died in Fall From Helicopter Off VA Coast,” PilotOnline.com, May 20, 2013.

  • June 3

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The Boston Fire Department announces on its Twitter account that Boston Fire Chief Steve Abraira submitted his letter of resignation following deputy chiefs’ criticism of Abraira’s handling of the Boston Marathon bombing aftermath. In an April 26 letter to Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, 13 deputy fire chiefs asserted no confidence in Abraira, arguing that he failed to assume command responsibility or show any leadership at the scene. “At a time when the city of Boston needed every first responder to take decisive action, Chief Abraira failed to get involved in operational decision-making or show any leadership,” the letter read. In the letter, the deputies describe an e-mail Abraira sent to all department members, noting that when he arrived at the scene, “it was clear that our Command Officer had the incident well in hand and that our department was fully active in a support role with our law enforcement partners.” The deputies call Abraira’s argument “illogical” and “mere rationalization to justify his behavior,” pointing out that when Abraira arrived, the Boston Fire Department was “still heavily involved in the incident” because of the possibility of “second explosions,” “additional suspicious packages” and “structural stability concern of buildings,” among other issues. Stephanie Gallman and Kristina Sgueglia, “Boston Fire Chief Resigns After Criticism of Bombing Response,” CNN, June 4, 2013.

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After 50 days Erika Brannock, hospitalized after bombs at the Boston Marathon wreak havoc with her legs, is the last of over 250 victims to be released from hospital. Monday was a long time coming — 50 days in fact. “I leave here today — after 11 surgeries, some pretty dark moments, and 50 days in this hospital — with nothing but admiration for this great city,” Brannock says upon leaving Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. On April 15 she, her sister and brother-in-law attended watch Brannock’s mother runThey were standing near the finish line when the bombs detonated. “I fell backwards, and I could see oranges and yellows,” Brannock tells CNN. “I could hear the sirens and people crying and screaming. But I never heard the actual boom.” “I had a conversation with God in my head, and I told him I wasn’t ready to go.” Just then a woman crawled over to Brannock and grabbed her hand, using her belt as a tourniquet on Brannock’s leg. “She had heard me screaming for help and she said, ‘My name is Joan from California, and I’m not going to let you go.’ And she stayed with me the whole time.” Brannock began having nightmares after she learned that surviving bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was at the same hospital as her, and dreamed he was going to blow up Beth Israel. Randi Kaye, Dana Puente, and Dana Ford, “’Ready to Go Home:’ Last Boston Bombing Victim Leaves the Hospital,” CNN, June 4, 2013.

  • June 8

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The Boston Globe reports that the entire April 15 Boston Marathon bombing and its aftermath played out in almost identical fashion to a Department of Homeland Security-sponsored terrorist drill scheduled for June. The drill scenario had been painstakingly planned: A terrorist group intending to injure scores of people around Boston leave backpacks filled with explosives at Faneuil Hall, the Seaport District, and in other towns, spreading waves of panic and fear. Detectives pursue and catch the culprits. “Operation Urban Shield” was developed to train dozens of detectives in the Greater Boston area to work together to thwart a terrorist threat. The hypothetical terrorist group was even given a name: Free America Citizens, a home-grown cadre of militiamen whose logo would be a metal skull wearing an Uncle Sam hat and a furious expression, according to a copy of the plans obtained by the Boston Globe. “The real thing happened before we were able to execute,” says a law enforcement official intimately aware of the planned exercise. “We’ve already been tested.” This would have been the third year for Urban Shield, a 24-hour federally funded training exercise meant to test the response of law enforcement and other public safety personnel in a major emergency. The training is funded by a $200,000 Homeland Security grant and will probably be rescheduled to early next year, Transit Police Chief Paul MacMillan, whose agency was slated to participate. The basic plot was this: Half a dozen members of Free America Citizens wanted to gauge police response to a bomb scare. They would plant hoax devices, then stay on the scene to watch and record the bomb squad and detectives as they responded, as a dry run to a larger attack. Yet the participating detectives would not have known they were being watched, only that they were responding to an urgent terrorist threat. The goal of the training was for them to figure out the motives of Free America Citizens as they investigated the case, the official said. The planned exercise has eerie similarities to the police investigation that led to the capture of the alleged Boston Marathon bombers, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, whose images were caught on video cameras and who were captured after a car chase and shoot-out with police. Officials intend to repeat the drill at a future date. A police spokeswoman, declined to say what a new training might look like. “We can’t talk about what we’re doing for emergency preparedness,” she says. “The people who participate in this don’t know what the scenario is.” Maria Cramer, “Police Response Training Planned, But Bombs Hit First,” Boston Globe, June 8, 2013.

  • June 19

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John Hancock Financial and the Boston Athletic Association announce that the 2013 Boston Marathon champion, Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia, will give his championship medal to the City of Boston  to honor the victims and families affected by the April 15, 2013 bombing. Desisa is scheduled to present his medal to Mayor Thomas M. Menino on June 23, 2013, at 10:00AM on the Boston Common. Desisa will make the tribute after competing in the Boston Athletic Association 10K, which begins at 8 a.m. In a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Ethiopia last month, Desisa announced his intention of returning to Boston to gift his medal to the City. “Tribute to Be Held on the Boston Common on June 23, 2013, at 10:00AM,” Boston Athletic Association, June 19, 2013.

  • June 24

7:00PM

During Game 6 of the Stanley Cup series at Boston’s TD Garden Boston bombing victim Jeff Bauman is wheeled out onto the ice with the help of his friend Carlos Arredondo, and stands up using two prosthetic legs, waving to the crowd. Arredondo gained national attention after the well-known photo of him running alongside Bauman following the April 15 attack. The duo were picked to be banner captains and raise a “Boston Strong” flag before the  game. Steve Annear, “Boston Victim Jeff Bauman Stands Up During Flag Ceremony at Bruins Game,” Boston Magazine, June 24, 2013.

  • July 10

9:00AM

Supporters of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev gather at the federal courthouse in Boston where Tsarnaev is to appear for his arraignment on charges of his direct involvement in bombing the Boston Marathon. Participants of the Freejahar movement contend that the suspect is innocent of all such charges. Pamela Engel, “Fans of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Show Up At Court to Support Boston Bombing Suspect–And One of Them is Wearing This Shirt,” Business Insider, July 10, 2013. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6uvoSpQrlUY

11:00AM [estimate]

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev appears in federal court in Boston and pleads not guilty to a broad terrorism indictment that may result in him receiving the death penalty. 30 bombing victims are in attendance, with some wearing the Boston Marathon gear. Tsarnaev articulated “not guilty” pleas in a thick accent seven times to assemblages of charges that include using a weapon of mass destruction. US Magistrate Judge Marianne B. Bowler orders Tsarnaev to answer himself when his attorney attempts to intercede. The judge also gave victims an opportunity to speak at the brief hearing, but no one did. Tsarnaev wears an orange prison jumpsuit with the top unbuttoned, and a black T-shirt underneath. His hair is shaggy and his face appears distorted at times as he fidgets in his seat. There was a visible scar beneath his throat and he wears what appears to be a cast on his left arm. Eric Moskowitz, David Abel, Milton J. Valencia, and John R. Ellement, “Marathon Bombing Suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Pleads Not Guilty to 30 Terror Charges at Arrainment in Federal Court in Boston,” Boston.com, July 10, 2013.

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Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, the mother of Tamarlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, tells ABC News that those who are angry with her son are only angry because they do not know he is innocent. One supporter of Tsarnaev’s said before the hearing that he believed Tsarnaev was framed. Tsarnaeva says that she and her husband will be monitoring the trial from their home in Makhachkala, the capital of Dagestan, in southern Russia. Michael McFee, John Haskell, and Kirit Radia, “Accused Boston Marathon Bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Smiles in Court, Pleads Not Guilty,” ABC News, July 10, 2013.

  • July 17

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The Federal Bureau of Investigation orders a Florida medical examiner’s office not suppress the autopsy of Ibragim Todashev, a 27-year-old Chechen man killed by an FBI agent during an interrogation in May concerning his ties to suspected Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. The interrogation which took place in his apartment on May 22 was set for release on July 8. Yet the FBI contends that an internal probe into Todashev’s death is ongoing. “The FBI has informed this office that the case is still under active investigation and thus not to release the document,” according to a public statement by Tony Miranda, forensic records coordinator for Orange and Osceola counties in Orlando. The forensic report is expected to clarify the circumstances of Todashev’s death. The Bureau’s statement issued on the day of the incident only says that the person being interviewed was killed when a “violent confrontation was initiated by the individual.” “FBI Withholds Autopsy of Tsarnaev’s Associate ‘Shot in Head’ During Questioning,” RT, July 17, 2013.

  • July 18

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With accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s being featured on the cover of the latest Rolling Stone magazine, a wave of harsh criticism is initiated in social media and boardrooms around the country. “THE BOMBER,” the cover reads. “How a popular, promising student was failed by his family, fell into radical Islam and became a monster.” The condemnation erupted on platforms including Twitter and Facebook and from political leaders in Boston. Still, some defended Rolling Stone‘s decision, arguing that the cover draws attention to the story of a young man who appeared as an unlikely terrorist. Julie Cannold, Mayra Cuevas, and Joe Sterling, “Rolling Stone Cover of Bombing Suspect Called ‘Slap’ to Boston,” CNN, July 18, 2013.

  • July 26

12:46PM

Sgt. Sean Murphy, regarded as heroic for leaking images of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s capture to offset what many see as a positive cover photo of the Boston bombing suspect, stays on the State Police force with a reassignment to administrative duties. “We have confidence that the State Police will do the right thing,” Murphy’s attorney Leonard Kesten says. “Yes, [Murphy] broke some rules. But he acted to ease the pain of victims and the outpouring of support has been palpable.” Michael Muskal, “Officer Who Leaked Boston Bombing Suspect Photos Now On Limited Duty,” Los Angeles Times, July 26, 2013.

  • July 31

9:00AM

Six law enforcement agents from the Joint Terrorism Task Force surround Long Island resident Michele Catalano’s family. The call is prompted by Catalano’s web searches for pressure cookers, her husband’s online quest for backpacks and her “news junkie” son’s desire for information on the Boston bombings, all of which coalesced in the internet ether to create a “perfect storm of terrorism profiling”. Catalano is away at work and says the raid is due to shopping for such a cooker to prepare vegetables. The authorities eventually explained how the investigation was prompted by online searches a family member had made for pressure cooker bombs and backpacks made at Mr. Catalano’s previous workplace. The former employer judged the searches suspicious and contacted police. Adam Gabbatt, “New York Woman Visited By Police After Researching Pressure Cookers Online,”UK Guardian, August 1, 2013.

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US Representative William Keating sends a letter to newly-inducted FBI Director James Comey, requesting information to determine whether there were security shortcomings in the events leading up to the Boston Marathon bombings. Martin Finucane, “Keating Calls for Answers From FBI on Marathon Bombings,” Boston Globe, August 1, 2013.

  • August 2

3:10PM

Andrea Gause, 26, is arraigned in Boston Municipal Court on charges of receiving almost half a million dollars from One Fund Boston, the nonprofit fund established for victims of the Boston Marathon bombings. Gause was arrested on July 19 in her hometown of Troy, New York, on a Massachusetts fugitive warrant, according to a statement from Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley. Gause is formally charged with larceny over $250, to which she pleads not guilty. Judge Thomas C. Horgan set her bail at $200,000 cash. The nonprofit — The One Fund Boston — began distributing nearly $61 million to 232 eligible claimants starting June 30. Gause was awarded $480,000 from the fund after claiming that as a result of the Boston Marathon bombing she suffered a traumatic brain injury resulting in long-term memory loss, impaired speech and loss of some motor function that would require future surgery. Elizabeth Landers, “N.Y. Woman Arraigned in One Fund Boston Scam,” CNN, August 2, 2013.

  • August 6

Abdulbaki Todashev, the father of 27-year-old Ibragim Todashev, the Chechen man fatally shot by a Boston FBI agent, arrives in the United States with the intent to file a lawsuit against the agency and investigate the mysterious death of his son. Todashev, who lived in Orlando, Florida at the time of the interrogation, had been friends with the suspected bomber when they both lived in Massachusetts. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xgXuSvyRgOQ After several hours of questioning, Todashev was shot dead by the FBI in a case that remains obscure and the FBI has sought to withhold information on. Abdulbaki Todashev, who lives in Chechnya, described the incident as an execution-style murder. “Killed Chechen’s Father Arrives in US to Sue the FBI,” RT, August 6, 2013.

  • August 8

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A federal grand jury indicts Dias Kadyrbayev and Azamat Tazhayakov, both 19 and from Kazakhstan, with conspiracy to obstruct justice and obstructing justice with the intent to impede the bombing investigation. If convicted, they each face up to 25 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, as well as deportation. According to the FBI complaint the two allegedly went to Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s room at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth on the evening of April 18 and at Tsarnaev’s suggestion removed his laptop computer and a backpack containing fireworks, a jar of Vaseline, a thumb drive and other items. Richard A. Serrano, “Tsarnaev Friends Indicted in Boston Marathon Bombing Case,” Los Angeles Times, August 8, 2013.

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The Boston Globe and other mainstream media report that Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamarlan Tsarnaev befriended a “conspiracy theorist” while Tsarnaev was his early 20s. Donald Larking, an elderly, invalid man and lifelong Catholic recently converted to Islam after attending a Cambridge mosque and meeting the elder Tsarnaev. “Tamerlan Tsarnaev was my friend and we talked about everything from politics to religion,” says Larking. “He was very, very religious. He believed that the Koran was the one true word and he loved it.” Major news media report Larking as a confidant of Tsarnaev. In 2012 he gave Tsarnaev a subscription to The American Free Press. Sally Jacobs, “Tsarnaev Friend Tells of Beliefs in Conspiracies,” Boston Globe, August 8, 2013.

  • August 9

Reporters and national counterterrorism correspondents from the Boston Globe and National Public Radio participate in a panel discussion to discuss “One of the worst domestic terrorism cases in years and how journalists covered it” at the annual conference of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication in Washington DC. “Analysis of Media Coverage of the Boston Bombing,” CSPAN, August 9, 2013.

  • August 14

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The father of one Dzhokar Tsarnaev’s college friends asserts that the US federal government is unfairly targeting his son because he is a foreign-born Muslim. Amir Ismagulov spoke after his incarcerated son pleaded not guilty to charges of interfering with a federal probe into the April 15 attack. “The entire family feels that the government is scapegoating them because they are Muslims and foreign students,” he says. “Dad of Accused Bombers Pal Says Son a Scapegoat,” Boston Herald, August 14, 2013,

  • August 15

7:31AM

Organizers of a celebration of India’s independence in Boston have canceled 2013′s event due to security measures put in place after the Boston Marathon bombings have made it prohibitively expensive. The annual event that draws as many as 20,000 people was scheduled for August 18. In a letter posted on the India Association of Greater Boston’s website, organizers say it’s been canceled until a new location can be found. The letter says the association would lose $20,000, “inappropriate for a nonprofit organization.” New security measures include bag checks at entrances and more police, meaning tens of thousands of dollars in overtime. “Boston’s India Day Canceled in Wake of Marathon Bombings,” MyFoxBoston.com, August 15, 2013.

11:04AM

Sgt. Sean Murphy, the Massachusetts state trooper who leaked arrest photos of the Boston Marathon bombing suspect is back on the job after serving a short suspension and then desk duty in July. Murphy leaked the photos in response to what many perceived as a laudatory photo of Tsarnaev on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine. Massachusetts State Police spokesman David Procopio, says Murphy’s assignment began last week and that investigation is ongoing.”Trooper Who Leaked Boston Bombing Suspect Photos Back on Patrol,” Newsmax/Associated Press, August 15, 2013.

3:15PM

The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth’s task force that reviewed the actions of the university following notification that accused Boston Marathon bomber Dhozhar Tsarnaev was a student at the school releases its findings in a report. The university handled most of the aftermath properly, the task force concluded, and recommends additional actions to be taken to strengthen the university in the future. Convened on May 20 by UMass Dartmouth’s Chancellor Divina Grossman, the committee includes Waded Cruzado, president of Montana State University; James Bueermann, president of the Police Foundation in Washington, D.C., and Susan Herbst, president of the University of Connecticut, and was asked to review three specific issues:

  • Emergency planning related to public safety and business continuity.
  • Academic and financial policies and procedures related to maintaining “student in good standing” status.
  • Policies and procedures related to international student immigration.

Marathon Bombing Task Force Report Offers Praise, Suggestions UMass Dartmouth’s Improvement,” Herald News, August 15, 2013.

8:14PM

The family of Jane Richard, 7, and the late 8-year-old Martin Richard say Jane is already dancing on her prosthetic leg she received after losing part of her leg in the Boston Marathon bombings. She “struts around on it with great pride,” a statement from the family reads. “While we have made progress with our physical injuries, the emotional pain seems every bit as new as it was four months ago” “Boston Bomb Survivor, 7, Dances on New Prosthetic Leg,” Associated Press/USA Today, August 15, 2013.

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The Forum restaurant closest to the second bomb that detonated at the Boston Marathon reopens exactly four months after the incident. Forum Restaurant is the last business to reopen its doors following damages from the April 15 explosions . On Thursday, Forum will host a charity event to celebrate their inaugural meal and on Friday, the upscale bar and restaurant will open up to the general public. On June 3 Euz Azevedo told the Boston Globe in June that he wanted to reopen but, “when this thing blew up, it blew shrapnel everywhere — all these little fragments went into the walls, all the wood, the floors and the ceiling.” Forum employees helped victims during the turmoil, two of whom were injured. “Restaurant at Epicenter of Boston Marathon Bombings Reopens,” NBC News, August 15, 2013.

  • August 19

Court documents are released showing the severe injuries that alleged Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev suffered before his capture, which include a skull fracture. Dr. Stephen Ray Odom, a trauma surgeon who treated Tsarnaev at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, describes the accused terrorist’s injuries during a court proceeding at the hospital in April, three days after his arrest. “He has multiple gunshot wounds, the most severe of which appears to have entered through the left side inside of his mouth and exited the left face, lower face,” Odom said, according to the transcript. “This was a high-powered injury that has resulted in skull-base fracture, with injuries to the middle ear, the skull base, the lateral portion of his C1 vertebrae, with a significant soft-tissue injury, as well as injury to the pharynx, the mouth, and a small vascular injury that’s been treated,” he noted. Tsarnaev also suffered “multiple gunshot wounds to the extremities” according to the documents. Travis Andersen, “Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Injuries Detailed in Documents,” Boston Globe, August 20, 2013.

  • August 22

Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer Sean Collier who authorities say was shot and killed by Tamarlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is sworn in posthumously as a Somerville police officer. Police from Somerville, MIT, Wilmington and other area departments, in addition to U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren U.S. Rep. Michael Capuano, Attorney General Martha Coakley and other legislators are in attendance at the ceremony at city hall. “In death,” Somerville Police Chief Thomas Pasquarello tells the crowd, “Sean achieved his dream.” “Being appointed after death doesn’t usually happen,” Collier’s brother Andrew remarks in a brief speech at the ceremony. “But Sean was not a normal officer. He was one of the best.” Dan Atkinson, “Posthumous Honor for MIT Policeman Slain by Marathon Bombers,” EnterpriseNews.com, August 23, 2013.

Amar Ibrahim, 27, discards a bottle of chocolate milk under a Boston municipal bus in Brigham Circle, causing a bomb squad investigation. His attorney subsequently argues that authorities, the bus driver, and passengers overreacted to Ibrahim, who wasn’t on board the Route 66 bus but was wearing a thobe, common garb for men in the Middle East, and a head covering. Ibrahim is released on his own recognizance after pleading not guilty to interfering with public transportation, disorderly conduct, and littering. Jasper Craven, “Man Who Discarded Bottle Under MBTA Bus Pleads Not Guilty,” Boston Globe, August 23, 2013.

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center CIO John Halamka states at a conference presentation at United Summit in Boston that the hospital was able to keep patient records safe in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings. This was done partly by drawing on lessons learned from a previous data breach related to a stolen laptop. Halamka explains in his addresss how Israel Deaconess ensured that its IT systems stayed online and kept the medical records of bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev from being leaked or hacked. Neal Ungerleider, “Data Triage for the Boston Bombing,”Fast Company, August 23, 2013.

  • August 28

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Additional photos are released by Boston Magazine originally taken by state police officer Sean Murphy showing Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev climbing out of a boat as heavily-armed officers wait for him to drop to the ground in surrender. Some images were published in July but the magazine has decided to release more. The newly-released images include more shots of Dzokhar coming out of the boat, his head bloody and a red laser from a policeman’s gun trained on his head. They also show him falling to the ground, where officers and medical crews rushed to treat him. Majid Mohamed, “Leaked Images Reveal Inside Story of Dramatic Capture of Boston Marathon Bombing Suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev,” The Independent, August 28, 2013.

  • August 29

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Chicago Marathon organizers announced increased security measures. Race officials say  runners will have to show identification when they pick up their bibs for the October 13 marathon. The race’s 45,000 runners also will be required to use clear bags for personal belongings and enter the race through designated gateways. The city is anticipating more than 1 million spectators. “Chicago Marathon Organizers Detail Increased Security Measures After Boston Marathon Bombing,” Associated Press / Washington Post, August 29, 2013.

  • September 2

Federal prosecutors argue in an indictment that, Robel Phillipos, a friend of the surviving Boston Marathon bombing suspect, is a liar who misled terrorism investigators. Phillipos’ lawyers say after his indictment that it would be eventually clear that authorities should not have charged him. Phillipos faces up to 16 years in prison in connection with two federal counts of lying to authorities investigating the deadly April attack. “Boston Marathon Bombing Suspect’s Friend Indicted,” Moscow Times / Associate Press, September 2, 2013.

  • September 5

Connecticut law enforcement authorities say that an unattended package that forced them to seal off a section of Seaside Park and evacuate buildings at the University of Bridgeport was a pressure cooker that appeared to be empty. The state police bomb squad detonated the pot. It had been discovered at about 11 a.m. along the shore in the eastern section of the park. “Any time we receive a report of a suspicious package, we respond with an abundance of caution,” Police Chief Joseph L. Gaudett Jr. says. “Today’s incident was no different. Obviously, considering the incident in Boston, we treated this as a credible threat, followed our protocols and requested the assistance of the state police.” “Package that Shut Part of Bridgeport Park Was Pressure Cooker,” Hartford Courant, September 5, 2013.

  • September 12

One Fund Boston takes in a $10 million wave of new donations and thus considers keeping itself open indefinitely for claimants. This prospect comes after compensation czar Kenneth Feinberg recommended in June that the fund be closed down after the first wave of payment distributions. The fund has already disbursed $61 million to 237 bombing victims, many of whom have complained of hearing loss or post traumatic stress disorder. One Fund Boston’s president is James Gallagher, executive vice president of financial services at John Hancock Financial Services, a principle sponsor of the 2013 Boston Marathon. Richard Weir, “One Fund’s Second Act ‘Uncharted Territory,’” Boston Herald, September 13, 2013.

  • September 12

The widow of Ibragim Todashev, Reni Todashev says that the FBI and the U.S. government have stonewalled the Todashev family’s attempts to find out what happened to her husband on May 22 of this year. On that date Todashev was killed in execution style by FBI agents while being interrogated at his Orlando Florida residence. Kurt Nimmo, “Wife of Man Executed by FBI Demands Justice,” Infowars.com, September 13, 2013.

  • September 13

Three friends of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev plead not guilty  to charges they hindered the investigation into the deadly attack.  Authorities allege that the friends went to Tsarnaev’s dorm room at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth three days after the bombings, soon after the FBI posted photographs of Tsarnaev and his older brother. The friends are accused in an indictment of removing several items from the room. Lawyers for Robel Phillipos, 19, declined to comment after the brief arraignment in U.S. District Court but said in a statement that Phillipos “had nothing to do whatsoever with the Boston Marathon bombing or destroying any evidence.” “Friends of Boston Marathon Bombing Suspect Plead Not Guilty to Hindering Investigation,” Washington Post / Associated Press, September 13, 2013.

  • September 16

New Boston FBI chief Vincent Lisi tells the Associated Press that the Boston Marathon bombings investigation remains a top priority. “We won’t rest until we are confident that anybody that had anything to do with that is brought to justice,” Lisi tells The Associated Press. Lisi was involved in the investigation into anthrax letters sent to Congressional leaders in 2001. He succeeds Richard DesLauriers, who retired in July after 26 years with the FBI. “New Boston FBI Head Says Marathon Investigation Still Active,” The Republic / Associated Press, September 16, 2013.

  • September 20

An internal review of what US intelligence agencies knew about the alleged Boston Marathon bombers before April 15, 2013 is being extended indefinitely. An September 20 joint letter from four inspectors general addressed to congressional committees overseeing national security says their final report on what intel agencies knew about Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev won’t be finished this month, as anticipated. “Information relevant to the review is still being provided to the review teams,” the letter reads. The investigation inside the Obama administration is being led by I. Charles McCullough III, the Intelligence Community Inspector General, working with the IGs from the CIA, Department of Homeland Security and Department of Justice. James Gordon Meek, “Intelligence Report on Boston Marathon Bombing Delayed Indefinitely,” ABC News, September 20, 2013.

Authorities arrest Ashurmamad Miraliev, a friend of Ibragim Todashev, the Chechen man shot to death by FBI agents on May 22 in his Orlando apartment during an eight-hour investigation. Miraliev is charged with tampering with a witness or informant. A sheriff’s spokeswoman says Miraliev’s arrest is unrelated to the Boston bombing probe or the FBI. The 20-year-old Miraliev was living in the same Orlando apartment where Todashev was fatally shot last May. “Friend of Man Killed by Boston Bombing Probe Arrested,” Seattle Times/Associated Press, September 20, 2013.

  • September 25

Head of the National Security Agency Gen. Keith Alexander steadfastly defends the agency’s collection of Americans’ phone records for counterterrorism purposes, proclaiming that the program is helpful in investigations of the Boston Marathon bombing and recent suspected plots against U.S. diplomatic outposts. “It provides us the speed and agility in crises, like the Boston Marathon tragedy in April and the threats this summer,” Gen. Alexander says. Ellen Nakashima, “NSA Chief Defends Collecting Americans’ Data,” Washington Post, September 25, 2013.

  • September 27

In a brief filed Friday with the U.S. District Court in Boston, attorneys for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzokhar Tsarnaev ask a federal judge for more time to prepare arguments that their client shouldn’t be subject to the death penalty. Tsarnaev’s lawyers say the current Oct. 24 deadline doesn’t allow a “reasonable opportunity” to make a case. Bob Salsberg, “Tsarnaev Lawyers Want More Time to Prepare,” Associated Press / NECM, September 27, 2013.

  • September 28

Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley’s office distributes surveys to charities and fundraisers who have raised money following the attack in an effort to ensure donations raised after the Boston Marathon bombing are being spent appropriately. The surveys will ask the groups how much money they raised, how they raised the money, and how the funds have been used. Coakley’s office intends to publish a report on the responses to the survey to maintain public accountability of the process. Coakley’s office has charged three individuals with attempting to defraud One Fund Boston. “Mass AG Coakley Seeking Information From Charities that Raised Money After Marathon Bombing,” Associated Press / The Republic, September 28, 2013.

  • October 1

Tatiana Gruzdeva, the former live-in girlfriend of Ibragim Todashev, is seized by federal agents and deported back to her native Moldova in eastern Europe. She had been granted a work visa with a year’s extension, but is taken from immigration offices by FBI officials during a standard meeting. Gruzdeva, 20, spent several months in detention in the immediate aftermath of Todashev’s killing, having been detained on suspicion of an expired work visa on May 30 of this year. During that time, she was repeatedly threatened and intimidated by FBI officials, including several days of solitary confinement. Representatives from the Council of American-Islamic Relations, a civil rights group, later say Gruzdeva had been deported because of an interview she had given to a Boston-based web magazine last month. “They told her ‘You have been talking to the reporters…and you have been saying that Ibragim was a good guy,’ ” says CAIR spokespeople. Gruzdeva had been denied access to a lawyer while in custody. Nick Barrickman, “Family of Boston Marathon Bombing Witness Killed by FBI Denounces Federal Harassment,” World Socialist Website, October 18, 2013.

  • October 10

Chicago police work behind the scenes to make the forthcoming Chicago Marathon the most closely monitored race in the city’s history. Police are increasing ostensible and undercover security as 45,000 runners get cheered on by more than a million spectators along a 26.2-mile route through the city’s neighbourhoods. Over a thousand uniformed and undercover officers, along with far more bomb-sniffing dogs than in years past, are expected to mix with the crowd. Inside a command post, officers will be monitoring images coming in from helicopters and some of the city’s 22,000 cameras, the most extensive surveillance system in the nation. “We are going to have eyes on the ground on just about every foot of the marathon route,” Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said. Officers will also be making more random searches of spectators’ bags than they have in the past. “Bomb-Sniffing Dogs Expected at Chicago Marathon,” Associated Press / Toronto CP24, October 10, 2013. City police and organizers of the October 12 Baltimore Running Festival increase security as a result of the Boston Marathon bombing event, joining other recent running events that have placed restrictions around the finish line. Officials say they are attempting to ensure public safety without detracting from the celebratory atmosphere that marks such events. Justin Fentin and Nayana Davis, “Baltimore Marathon Security to See Increased Security After Boston Attacks,” Baltimore Sun, October 10, 2013.

  • October 26

An study by IBM Research Labs in Delhi, India finds that of the millions of tweets sent out in the week following the bombing 29 percent of the top 20 tweets were “fake content” and inaccurate rumors. Further, 51% of marathon-related tweets were “generic opinions and comments,” while a mere 20% contained factual information. “Due to misinformation distributed by the thousands of inaccurate tweets, the researchers recommend an algorithm that can ‘solve and detect such content in real-time,’” BuzzFeed reports, “and said they are working on such a technology.” Rachel Zarrell, “Most of the Tweets During Boston Marathon Were Inaccurate,” BuzzFeed, October 26, 2013.

  • October 28

The New York City Marathon is scheduled to take place on November 3 with increased security measures.  There will be more barricades, bag screenings, and bomb-sniffing dogs. Runners  will wear special orange wristbands. The whole field will sport yellow and blue ribbons for the Boston victims. Race organizer New York Road Runners seek to recapture the innocence of marathons past. “We hope the day can be one that honors, remembers those hurt and still suffering, and we can provide for the city and for Boston and for people everywhere a back-to-basics celebrating the triumph of the human spirit,” NYRR President Mary Wittenberg says. “NYC Marathon Returns After Boston Attack,” Associated Press / Wall Street Journal, October 28, 2013.

  • October 31

A woman becomes the target of internet vigilantism when she dresses as a bloody Boston Marathon bombing victim for Halloween. Alicia Ann Lynch, 22, posts a photo of herself wearing the macabre Halloween costume on her Twitter account. The criticism was intense and she was later fired by her employer for the incident. Doyle Murphy, “Michigan Woman’s Boston Marathon Bombing Costume Sparks Outrage, Threats,” New York Daily News, November 3, 2013.

  • November 11

US prosecutors prosecutors say they are in the process of completing their written proposal to U.S. Attorney Eric Holder, who will make the decision on whether to seek the death penalty against the 20-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Tsarnaev’s lawyers complain that prosecutors are withholding evidence they need to defend him against the death penalty, including information on a 2011 triple slaying in Waltham in which Tsarnaev’s brother, Tamerlan, is a suspect. “Feds to Advise on Death Penalty in Marathon Attack,” Associated Press, WPVI / ABC Action 6 News, November 12, 2013.

  • November 15

Boston Mayor Thomas Menino chimes in on criticism of comedian Bill Maher, host of HBO’s provocative “Real Time” talk show, for comments he made about the Boston Marathon bombings. “It was, again, a bad day. Three people died — that’s terrible. More were maimed — that’s horrible, but unfortunately that happens every day in car accidents and everything else,” Maher said during last Friday’s show. “I mean, your city was not leveled by Godzilla.” “It’s very irresponsible,” Menino tells WBZ-TV in Boston. “I think he should be taken to task for that.” “Boston Mayor Slams Bill Maher For Outrageous Boston Marathon Bombing Comments,” The Blaze, November 15, 2013.

  • November 21

Associated press reports that a portrait of Boston Marathon bombing victim and former University of Massachusetts-Boston student Krystle Campbell is unveiled on the campus where she was a student from 2005 to 2007. The unveiling ceremony transpired last week Campbell’s father, William Campbell, tearfully called the portrait “beautiful.” “Portrait of Marathon Bombing Victim Krystle Campbell Unveiled,” Associated Press / WWLP.com, November 21, 2013.

  • December 6

Southwestern Illinois teenager Thomas Lee Stanton is sentenced to two and a half years in federal prison for possessing explosive devices just two days after the Boston marathon bombing, timing his father has said was poor for his son. Stanton pleaded guilty in August to a charge of unlawfully possessing destructive devices, also was ordered to spend three years on post-prison supervised release. Stanton’s father, Dan Stanton says he thinks law enforcement are making an example his son because of the Boston marathon bombings. “Teen Gets More Than 2 Years Prison on Bomb Charges,”SFGate.com, December 6, 2013.

  • December 13

Investigators in Florida say they will require more time to investigate the death of Boston Marathon bombing suspect’s associate Ibragim Todashev. Officials originally said the Chechen man lunged at an agent with a knife. They later said it was not clear what had happened. Florida state attorney Jeffrey Ashton remarks the investigation would likely conclude and be made public in early 2014. Todashev’s family, as well as the ACLU, have asked for an independent investigation into his death.”Todashev Death Investigation to Go Into 2014,” MyFoxBoston.com, December 13, 2013.

  • December 27

The Boston Marathon bombing is selected the US sports story of the year in an annual vote conducted by The Associated Press. Ninety-six ballots are submitted from US editors and news directors. Voters were asked to rank the top 10 sports stories of the year, with the first-place story receiving 10 points, the second-place story nine points and so on. The marathon attack receives 761 points and 67 first-place votes. It is also second in AP’s national/international story of the year poll. Nick Zaccardi, “Boston Marathon Bombing Voted AP Sports Story of the Year,”  NBCSports.com / Associated Press, December 27, 2013. 2014

  • January 3

One Fund, the Boston Marathon bombing victims’ fund, announces preparations for a second distribution of donations expected to take place in July. In has already distributed almost $61 million collected in the first three months after the April 15 explosions at the marathon finish line. There have been over 230 beneficiaries. Since then, more than $12 million more has been collected. Fund administrators anticipate a surge in donations as the anniversary of the bombings nears. “One Fund to Distribute More Donations,” MyFoxBoston.com / Associated Press, January 3, 2014.

  • January 13

The U.S. Department of Justice Department announces an $8.4 million grant to groups helping victims and first responders involved in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing event. Funding will go to organizations working with the 264 people apparently injured in the incident, in addition to witnesses, emergency responders and others affected by the blasts that authorities say killed three people. “US to Pay $8.4 Million to Victims, Responders at Boston Bombing,” Reuters, January 13, 2014.

  • January 27

Former federal prosecutors believe that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev will likely face a capital punishment for the crimes he is accused of. The decision rests with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, who must sign off on any attempt to seek execution for a federal capital crime. Holder is almost certain to seek death for the 20-year-old former college student, given the “heinous nature of the crime,” says Michael Kendall, previously a federal prosecutor in Boston and now a defense lawyer. “There won’t be a defense that he didn’t plant the bomb; the only thing there can be a real fight about is the death penalty.”Erik Larson, “Marathon Bombing Puts Death Decision in Holder’s Hands,”Business Week, January 27, 2014.

The White House announces that Boston Marathon bombing survivors Carlos Arredondo and Jeff Bauman are among the guests invited to sit with first lady Michelle Obama during Tuesday’s State of the Union address. Jaime Fuller, “Boston Bombing and Jason Collins Will Sit in First Lady’s Box at State of the Union,” Washington Post, January 27, 2014.

  • January 30
The Justice Department announces that it will seek the death penalty against Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, who is accused of killing and disfiguring people with homemade bombs at the Boston Marathon finish line on April 15, 2013. The decision is the highest profile federal death penalty case since that of Timothy McVeigh, accused of carrying out the truck bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. “Dzhokhar Tsarnaev targeted the Boston Marathon, an iconic event that draws large crowds of men, women, and children to its final stretch, making it especially susceptible to the act and effects of terrorism” prosecutors wrote in an eight-page document filed in federal court in Boston. Prosecutors further said that Tsarnaev displayed no remorse for the act. Matt Apuzzo, “U.S. Is Seeking Death Penalty in Boston Case,” New York Times, January 31, 2014.
  • February 12

District Court of Massachusetts Judge George O’Toole rules early Wednesday that the trial of accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev will commence begin November 3, 2014, disregarding requests from defense attorneys to postpone proceedings until at least 2015. “Boston Marathon Bombing Trial to Begin This November,” RT.com, February 12, 2014.

  • February 19

Runners and those supporting loved ones at the Little Rock Marathon will see heightened security this year in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing.”You’ll see a larger presence of Little Rock Fire Department and Police Department,” says Gina Pharis, Marathon Executive Director. “Our start line will be more secure this year; our finish line remains the same. You can still sit from the bleachers and watch your loved ones come through. If you carry in any sort of bag be prepared.” “Little Rock Marathon to Tighten Security,” WTHV CBS, February 18, 2014.

  • February 26

The Boston Athletic Association announces the 2014 Boston Marathon will have a “no bags” policy as part of stepped-up security following last year’s deadly bombing. Marathon runners are typically are allowed to bring bags or backpacks with personal items. This year, runners will not be allowed to bring backpacks or bags, which will also not be allowed in certain areas near the start or finish line, or along the 26.2-mile course.”Boston Marathon Ups Security By Banning Bags,” Associated Press / Sports Illustrated, February 26, 2014.

  • March 10

Tighter security measures for this year’s Boston Marathons are intended to help reduce the risk to runners and spectators, police said. “In this world, you never eliminate risk. You never bring it down to zero. But we are working very hard at reducing the risk,” Massachusetts State Police Colonel Timothy Alben said Monday. “Tighter Restrictions Announced for 2014 Boston Marathon,” UPI, March 10, 2014.

  • March 11

The New York Post lost a bid to throw out a defamation lawsuit by two men whose photo and the headline “BAG MEN” appeared on the paper’s front page last year during the manhunt for the Boston Marathon bombers. Suffolk County Superior Court Judge Judith Fabricant in Boston yesterday rejected the Post’s argument that the paper’s coverage constituted a “fair report.” Janelle Lawrence, “N.Y. Post Ordered to Face Suit Over Bombing Story Photo,” Bloomberg.com, March 11, 2014.

  • March 13

A congressional panel cancels plans to meet with Boston marathon bombing victims and local emergency responders in Massachusetts. The hearing scheduled for Boston this spring is being rescheduled for Washington DC. Congressional officials say Boston’s newly elected mayor, Martin Walsh, raised concerns that the hearing might politicize the attack. “The committee is moving forward with the hearing in Washington DC,” says Charlotte Sellmyer, the spokeswoman for the panel, which had been coordinating the Boston hearing with the mayor’s office. “For many reasons, we decided to have the hearing in DC.” “Congress Moves Boston Marathon Bombing Meeting to Washington DC,” Associated Press / UK Guardian, March 13, 2014.

  • March 15

The Boston Globe reports that former Boston Mayor Thomas Menino has been diagnosed with an advanced form of an unknown cancer. The newspaper says in a story on its website that doctors found “an advanced cancer of unknown origin” that had metastasized from an unknown source. The cancer was discovered in February by Menino’s primary physician. Boston’s longest serving mayor, Menino retired from office in 2013. “Thomas Menino Has Advanced Cancer,” Associated Press / Politoco.com, March 16, 2014.

  • March 22

The F.B.I. agent who fatally shot Ibragim Todashev is cleared of wrongdoing by a Florida prosecutor and an F.B.I. internal review. An almost-completed Justice Department review is also expected to conclude that the agent followed proper guidelines when he killed Todashev, according to the officials. Michael S. Schmidt and Matt Apuzzo, “F.B.I. Agent is Cleared in Fatal Shooting of Man Tied to Boston Suspects,” New York Times, March 22, 2014.

  • March 28
The legal defense team of accused Boston marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev say the FBI approached his brother Tamerlan about becoming an informant on the Chechen and Muslim community. In court filings lawyers for Dzhokhar demanded all information about alleged FBI contacts be made available for the court. “We seek this information based on our belief that these contacts were among the precipitating events for Tamerlan’s actions during the week of April 15, 2014, and thus material to the defence case in mitigation,” the filings say. “FBI Wanted Boston Bombing Suspect to Be Informant,” News Channel Africa, March 29, 2014.
  • April 3

A Harvard University report states that the manhunt for the Boston Marathon bombing suspects culminated in a chaotic gunfight that placed police and the public in danger because it lacked co-ordination and restraint, according to an otherwise largely positive report released Thursday by Harvard University on the emergency response to the event. “Control over fields of fire and authorization to fire is another critical micro-command issue in any rapidly-evolving, high-stress event, and it is dramatically more complicated in a sudden team of people from multiple agencies where there is no shared history and where, as a consequence, command is likely to be more tenuous,” the report said. “Report Finds Gunfight to Apprehend Boston Bombers Endangered Public,” Associated Press / UK Guardian, April 3, 2014.

  • April 10

An almost 12 month review by an inspector general of information the US intelligence community possessed prior to the Boston Marathon bombing finds that government agencies did not overlook any key details that could have prevented the incident. Rather, the report shifts blame to Russia, stating that the country’s government withheld vital information from the US. “Boston Marathon Bombing Review Says Russia Withheld Information,” Associated Press / UK Guardian, April 10, 2014.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts files a lawsuit in US District Court in Boston against the FBI and the US Attorney in Boston for failing to provide documents about a joint terrorism unit involved in the Boston Marathon bombing investigation including a man purportedly linked to one of the bombers. “Rights Group Sues for Boston Marathon Bombing Docs,” First Post, April 11, 2014.

Boston Marathon bombing survivor Adrianne Haslet-Davis, a dancer who claims to have lost part of one of her legs in the April 15 bombing, asserts she walked off the set of NBC’s Meet the Press in tears after a panel participant referred to one of the alleged Boston bombers by name.  Shuan Ganley, “Marathon Bombing Survivor Walks Off Set of Meet the Press,” WCVB, April 11, 2014.

  • April 12
Boston city officials release detailed public safety plans for the 2014 Boston Marathon during a press conference at City Hall. Mayor Martin J. Walsh and Boston Police Commissioner William Evans say runners and spectators will see a heightened police presence and more emergency medical services and emergency communications on marathon day. Meghan Colloton, “Improved Boston Marathon Public Safety Plans Announced,” Boston.com, April 12. 2014.
  • April 14

The Boston Globe wins the Pulitzer Prize in the category of breaking news for its coverage of the Boston Marathon bombing. The New York Times photo journalists receive two Pulitzers, one of which is for “feature photography” for images “of the painstaking recovery of a Boston Marathon bombing survivor,” the Times reports. Ravi Somaiya, “Pulitzer Prizes Awarded for Coverage of N.S.A. Secrets and Boston Bombing,” New York Times, April 14, 2014.

TO BE CONTINUED.

Republished at Global Research on August 18, 2013.

Submit story/event suggestions for possible inclusion in Boston Marathon Bombing Timeline here.

I’m confused. A few weeks ago we were told in the West that people occupying government buildings in Ukraine was a very good thing. These people, we were told by our political leaders and elite media commentators, were ‘pro-democracy protestors’.

The US government warned the Ukrainian authorities against using force against these ‘pro-democracy protestors’ even if, according to the pictures we saw, some of them were neo-Nazis who were throwing Molotov cocktails and other things at the police and smashing up statues and setting fire to buildings.

Now, just a few weeks later, we’re told that people occupying government buildings in Ukraine are not‘pro-democracy protestors’ but ‘terrorists’ or ‘militants’.

Why was the occupation of government buildings in Ukraine a very good thing in January, but it is a very bad thing in April? Why was the use of force by the authorities against protestors completely unacceptable in January, but acceptable now? I repeat: I’m confused. Can anyone help me?

Pro-Russian activists gather outside the secret service building in the eastern Ukrainian city of Lugansk on April 14, 2014. (AFP Photo / Dimitar Dilkoff) Pro-Russian activists gather outside the secret service building in the eastern Ukrainian city of Lugansk on April 14, 2014. (AFP Photo / Dimitar Dilkoff)

The anti-government protestors in Ukraine during the winter received visits from several prominent Western politicians, including US Senator John McCain, and Victoria Nuland, from the US State Department, who handed out cookies. But there have been very large anti-government protests in many Western European countries in recent weeks, which have received no such support, either from such figures or from elite Western media commentators. Nor have protestors received free cookies from officials at the US State Department.

Surely if they were so keen on anti-government street protests in Europe, and regarded them as the truest form of ‘democracy’, McCain and Nuland would also be showing solidarity with street protestors in Madrid, Rome, Athens and Paris? I’m confused. Can anyone help me?

A thousand people gather in front of fences blocking the street leading to the Spain's parliament (Las Cortes) during an anti-government demonstration in Madrid (AFP Photo / Javier Soriano) A thousand people gather in front of fences blocking the street leading to the Spain’s parliament (Las Cortes) during an anti-government demonstration in Madrid (AFP Photo / Javier Soriano)

A few weeks ago I saw an interview with the US Secretary of State John Kerry who said“You just don’t invade another country on phony pretexts in order to assert your interests.” But I seem to recall the US doing just that on more than one occasion in the past 20 years or so.

Have I misremembered the ‘Iraq has WMDs claim’? Was I dreaming back in 2002 and early 2003 when politicians and neocon pundits came on TV every day to tell us plebs that we had to go to war with Iraq because of the threat posed by Saddam’s deadly arsenal? Why is having a democratic vote in Crimea on whether to rejoin Russia deemed worse than the brutal, murderous invasion of Iraq – an invasion which has led to the deaths of up to 1 million people? I’m confused. Can anyone help me?

AFP Photo / Pool / Mario TamaAFP Photo / Pool / Mario Tama

We were also told by very serious-looking Western politicians and media ‘experts’ that the Crimea referendum wasn’t valid because it was held under “military occupation.” But I’ve just been watching coverage of elections in Afghanistan, held under military occupation, which have been hailed by leading western figures, such as NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen as a “historic moment for Afghanistan”and a great success for “democracy.” Why is the Crimean vote dismissed, but the Afghanistan vote celebrated? I’m confused. Can anyone help me?

An Afghan policeman keeps watch as Afghan voters line up to vote at a local polling station in Ghazni on April 5, 2014. (AFP Photo / Rahmatullah Alizadah) An Afghan policeman keeps watch as Afghan voters line up to vote at a local polling station in Ghazni on April 5, 2014. (AFP Photo / Rahmatullah Alizadah)

Syria too is rather baffling. We were and are told that radical Islamic terror groups pose the greatest threat to our peace, security and our ‘way of life’ in the West. That Al-Qaeda and other such groups need to be destroyed: that we needed to have a relentless ‘War on Terror’ against them. Yet in Syria, our leaders have been siding with such radical groups in their war against a secular government which respects the rights of religious minorities, including Christians.

When the bombs of Al-Qaeda or their affiliates go off in Syria and innocent people are killed there is no condemnation from our leaders: their only condemnation has been of the secular Syrian government which is fighting radical Islamists and which our leaders and elite media commentators are desperate to have toppled. I’m confused. Can anyone help me?

AFP Photo / Amr Radwan Al-HomsiAFP Photo / Amr Radwan Al-Homsi

Then there’s gay rights. We are told that Russia is a very bad and backward country because it has passed a law against promoting homosexuality to minors. Yet our leaders who boycotted the Winter Olympics in Sochi because of this law visit Gulf states where homosexuals can be imprisoned or even executed, and warmly embrace the rulers there, making no mention of the issue of gay rights.

Surely the imprisonment or execution of gay people is far worse than a law which forbids promotion of homosexuality to minors? Why, if they are genuinely concerned about gay rights, do our leaders attack Russia and not countries that imprison or execute gay people? I’m confused. Can anyone help me?

US President Barack Obama shakes hands with King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia (AFP Photo / Saul Loeb) US President Barack Obama shakes hands with King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia (AFP Photo / Saul Loeb)

We are told in lots of newspaper articles that the Hungarian ultra-nationalist party Jobbik is very bad and that its rise is a cause of great concern, even though it is not even in the government, or likely to be. But neo-Nazis and ultra-nationalists do hold positions in the new government of Ukraine, which our leaders in the West enthusiastically support and neo-Nazis and the far-right played a key role in the overthrow of Ukraine’s democratically elected government in February, a ‘revolution’ cheered on by the West. Why are ultra-nationalists and far-right groups unacceptable in Hungary but very acceptable in Ukraine? I’m confused. Can anyone help me?

Chairman of the far-right parliamentary JOBBIK (Better) party Gabor Vona (C) reacts for the result of the parliamentary election with his party members at Budapest Congress Center in Budapest on April 6, 2014. (AFP Photo / Peter Kohalmi)Chairman of the far-right parliamentary JOBBIK (Better) party Gabor Vona (C) reacts for the result of the parliamentary election with his party members at Budapest Congress Center in Budapest on April 6, 2014. (AFP Photo / Peter Kohalmi)

We are told that Russia is an aggressive, imperialist power and that NATO’s concerns are about opposing the Russian ‘threat’. But I looked at the map the other day and while I could see lots of countries close to (and bordering) Russia that were members of NATO, the US-led military alliance whose members have bombed and attacked many countries in the last 15 years, I could not see any countries close to America that were part of a Russian-military alliance, or any Russian military bases or missiles situated in foreign countries bordering or close to the US. Yet Russia, we are told, is the ‘aggressive one’. I’m confused. Can anyone help me?

A former leader of the Ku Klux Klan who founded his own militant racist group was arrested for shooting and killing three people at two Kansas City-area Jewish community centers on April 13. When he founded the White Patriot Party in 1980, Frazier Glenn Miller said its goal was “the creation of an all-white nation within the 1 million square miles of mother Dixie” (“White Patriot Party,” Terrorism Knowledge Base).

In 1986, Miller declared “total war” on Jews, blacks and the federal government (Intelligence ReportWinter/04). He served three years in prison on weapons charges and for running a paramilitary organization in violation of a court order (Hatewatch4/13/14) . He shouted “Heil Hitler” after being taken into custody after the Kansas City attacks (New York Times4/14/14).

But media are reluctant to label the shootings Miller is charged with as acts of terrorism, or even to raise the issue.

According to a search of the Nexis database, the word “terrorism” does not appear to have been used in connection with the Kansas shootings in the New York Times or the Washington Post. On much of the network news coverage, the killings were mostly discussed as hate crimes. NBC NightlyNews anchor Brian Williams (4/14/14) called it “a terrible outburst of violence.”

It would be difficult to see how the crimes Miller is accused of committing would not meet the conventional legal standard (FBI,gov, “Definitions of Terrorism in the U.S. Code”). But calling something an act of terrorism is not just a legal or law enforcement matter; it is also a political determination.

A year ago, the bombings at the Boston Marathon were immediately discussed as an act of terror, before any suspects were announced and any motives were understood (FAIR Blog4/16/13). The fact that early assumptions linked the act to Muslims might explain that media decision.

And there is a media pattern of downplaying acts of right-wing domesticterrorism. In 2011, Extra! (5/11) compared the effusive coverage afforded an amateur bomb set by a Muslim perpetrator in New York City’s Times Square to the sparse coverage of a much more sophisticated explosive device planted by a white supremacist at a Martin Luther King Day parade in Spokane, Wash. (Miller offered to set up a legal defense fund for Kevin Harpham, the far-right activist convicted in that bombing attempt–Talking Points Memo,  1/27/12.)  There is also a long history of anti-abortion terrorism not being labeled as such (FAIR Blog2/1/10).

There were some exceptions in the media coverage. Interviewing Heidi Beirich of the Southern Poverty Law Center, CNN host Jake Tapper (4/14/14) asked: ” I just wonder, if he had shouted ‘Allahu Akbar’ instead of ‘Heil Hitler,’ would be now facing terrorism charges instead of just hate crime charges?”

And the issue came up on the PBS NewsHour (4/14/14) when host Gwen Ifill interviewed Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center, asking him, “At what point do we begin to treat these kinds of attacks as domestic terrorism, not just as hate crimes or individual acts?” Potok replied:

They are domestic terrorism. Let’s be plain.

There is nothing to distinguish this from other forms of terrorism. It is a way in this case of terrorizing the Jewish community around Kansas City in particular, but around the country in general. And that’s what terrorism is. It’s a criminal act that is aimed at far more people than the immediate victims.

You know, the law enforcement has been off and on about being candid about the terrorist nature of these attacks. But I think, today, by and large, American law enforcement is perfectly well aware that there is a very serious domestic radical right and some people within that milieu are, in fact, terrorists.

Media can argue that they are simply following the lead of law enforcement officials, who are evidently calling the act a hate crime. But for journalists, the decision to avoid discussing this kind of violence in the context of terrorism is a political one.

The New York Times reported that Prime Minister Dmitri A. Medvedev wrote a Facebook post that said “Blood has been spilled in Ukraine again.” Mr. Medvedev was once favored in the West for playing good cop to the hard-boiled president, Vladimir V. Putin. “The threat of civil war looms.” According to the New York Times article ‘Russia Is Quick to Bend Truth About Ukraine’, Medvedev “pleaded with Ukrainians to decide their own future “without usurpers, nationalists and bandits, without tanks or armored vehicles — and without secret visits by the C.I.A. director.” The New York Times followed with a statement regarding Medvedev’s post. It said the following:

And so began another day of bluster and hyperbole, of the misinformation, exaggerations, conspiracy theories, overheated rhetoric and, occasionally, outright lies about the political crisis in Ukraine that have emanated from the highest echelons of the Kremlin and reverberated on state-controlled Russian television, hour after hour, day after day, week after week.

Now let’s look at the facts. First, blood has been spilled since the beginning of the crisis. Back in February, USA Today published a headline that declared many people were killed. The title read “As many as 100 killed in New Ukraine Clashes”  corroborates Mr. Medvedev’s claims. The Ukraine’s unelected government is made up of Nationalists and bandits. They are the same people who don’t even agree with each other as they resorted to violence during sessions of the Ukrainian parliament. Here are some of the photos below:

A common occurrence as violence erupts in the Ukrainian Parliament.

Followed by more violence.

A Ukrainian Official apparently lands on his face.

Seems like banditry to me. The New York Times states that “Conspiracy Theories” are coming out of“State-Controlled Russian Television” constantly. Well, Reuters did confirm that the head of the Central Intelligence Agency was in Kiev for high level consultations:

“We don’t normally comment on the CIA director’s travel but given the extraordinary circumstances in this case and the false claims being leveled by the Russians at the CIA we can confirm that the director was in Kiev as part of a trip to Europe,” White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters.”

How about that other conspiracy theory concerning the US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria “F**K the EU” Nuland and US Ambassador to the Ukraine Geoffrey R. Pyatt and their conversation on how they can install a “Puppet” government in the Ukraine by nominating Bat’kyvshchina Party leader Arseniy Yatseniuk as Deputy Prime Minister and have Udar Party leader and former Boxer Vitaly Klitschko step aside. At the same time, Nuland and Pyatt agreed to discredit the Svoboda party, a Neo-Nazi political party they originally backed. These are not conspiracy theories, these are the facts. However, the New York Times did admit that 

“There is no question that the new Ukrainian government and its Western allies, including the United States, have engaged in their own misinformation efforts at times, with officials in Kiev making bold pronouncements in recent days of enforcement efforts that never materialized. On Tuesday, some American officials were spreading unverified photographs allegedly showing Russian rocket launchers carried by pro-Russian demonstrators in eastern Ukraine.”

The anti-Russian crusade carried out by the American mainstream media is more apparent as the crisis continues. The media reports are even sometimes laughable. The New York Times is at least truthful in one sense; they do report “All The News That’s Fit To Print.” Nobody in the alternative media would ever disagree with that statement.

Gallup poll published on April 16th finds that about 5 out of every 6 Americans who had no health insurance before Obamacare, still do not have health insurance. This finding, of about 85% of the uninsureds remaining uninsured under Obamacare, is actually better, not worse, than the CBO’s projections; so it cannot be any surprise to him.

At the time when President Obama was merely Senator Obama running to win the White House, there were 46 million healthcare uninsureds. During his Presidential campaign, he promised to eliminate 100% of that number of uninsureds: He said that he would be “making health insurance universal.” Once he won the White House and was starting his Presidency, he was promising to cut 31 million off that number, which still would bring it down 67%. But instead, the health insurance plan that he initiated and signed into law has brought this number down only around 16%, and though the impact of the despicable and largely even racist Republican intransigence against Obama has accounted for a portion of that failure, the vast majority of this shortfall in the drop in the size of the uninsured population is due entirely to Obamacare, the Affordable Care Act, itself.

Whereas in states that had Republican control and where Obamacare’s Medicaid-expansion was rejected by the state’s governor, the decline in uninsureds was only around 4%; the states that had Democratic control and where the governor accepted the Medicaid-expansion experienced a decline in uninsureds of around 16% (which though much better was still far short of President Obama’s promised 67% decline, or of candidate Obama’s promised decline of 100% on which he had won the White House); so, even in the states that didn’t do anything to block Obamacare, the decline in uninsureds fell far short of Obama’s promised 67% decline in that number, when Obama first entered the White House.

At all periods throughout his campaign and subsequent Presidency, Obama was lying about the plan that he would propose to Congress, and about the plan that he would enact into law. Even his initial bargaining position with congressional Republicans started without including some important things that he had been campaigning on as promises to the American people, such as universal coverage, and such as universal availability of a public insurance option in the healthcare exchanges. Furthermore, his campaign language regarding the “public option” was cagily phrased so that after the earliest phase of his Democratic primary campaign against Hillary Clinton and John Edwards, it became essentially meaningless to anyone who examined it carefully: things like that were lies from him even very early on, and he contradicted himself on them when challenged on them by the few reporters who tried to dig beneath the surface.

This Gallup poll on 16 April 2014 headlines “Uninsured Rate Drops More in States Embracing Health Law,” and it reports that in Republican-controlled states, the “% Uninsured, 2013″ was 18.7%, and that it went down by only 0.8% to 17.9%. It also reports that the experience in Democratic-controlled states was that their “% Uninsured, 2013″ was 16.1%, and that it went down by 2.5% to 13.6%. Thus, though Republican governors tried to keep as many of the uninsureds from being insured as possible, they weren’t able to block completely a decline in uninsureds. Meanwhile, Democratic governors, almost all of whom did everything that they could to help bring down the number of uninsureds by getting signups to Obamacare and new enrollees to Medicaid, were able to reduce the number of uninsureds only down from an initial 16.1%, to 13.6% after the law was fully in force in their states.

Regarding the public option, or inclusion of an option for each American to choose a government-run insurance plan, that lie from Obama was rather fully documented by an anonymous blogger who headlined on 22 December 2009, “President Obama: ‘I Didn’t Campaign on the Public Option’,” where that lie from Obama was soundly and repeatedly exposed as being nothing but a lie. That blog-post had been precipitated by an interview with Obama that had just been published in the Washington Post headlining innocuously, “Obama Rejects Criticism on Health-Care Reform Legislation,” where the reporter wrote “‘I didn’t campaign on the public option,’ Obama said in the interview.” If that report wasn’t itself a lie, then the President’s assertion certainly was. While it’s true that Obama never even tried to get John Boehner or other Republicans to allow into the law a public option that the private insurance industry didn’t want to be included in the law, and that he accepted their opposition to that, right up front at the beginning of his “negotiations” on the matter, instead of using it even as just a bargaining chip with them; he did, actually, and repeatedly, campaign on the public option; he simply and boldly lied there.

The public option was something that was overwhelmingly popular among the American public (which is the reason why he had campaigned on it), but that he had no intention of actually delivering on. (Most polls showed support for the public option ranging from half to three-quarters of the American public who had an opinion on the matter. The health insurance companies didn’t want it to be included; so, he didn’t want it, either. It’s one of the main reasons why he chose the conservative Max Baucus, instead of the liberal Ted Kennedy, to draft Obamacare.)

One of the crucial unlinked-to sources in the lengthy blog-post “President Obama: ‘I Didn’t Campaign on the Public Option’,” was an Obama campaign document that (like virtually all of them) was soon removed from the Web because these promises by Obama were intended to be broken not fulfilled, and this document included the following statement, as copied here into a blog-post dated 30 May 2007, from very early in Obama’s primary campaign against Hillary Clinton and John Edwards:

“Through the Exchange, any American will have the opportunity to enroll in the new public plan or purchase an approved private plan.”

That blog-post from May 2007 opens by saying, “Senator Obama’s long-anticipated healthcare plan has finally been released.” The link provided there, to the then-Senator Obama’s just-released plan, produces only a blank now, presumably because Obama doesn’t want historians to have such an easy time tracking down the lies he had made while he was running for office. Of course, if he should subsequently decide that he doesn’t any longer want to impede the ability of historians to nail down the frauds he made against the voting public, then one way for him to repent of them (if he even has a conscience at all) would be for him to place back up onto the Web the documents, such as that one, that expose his fraudulence. Of course, unless the United States descends into total dictatorship such as in Russia or other countries that never were democracies to begin with, historians will ultimately come to recognize, anyway, that Barack Obama lied about many things, some of which were crucial. Presumably, he is merely trying to delay — not to prevent — this historical recognition.

Also on April 16th, the AP headlines, “Court to Weigh Challenge to Ban on Campaign Lies,” and reports that the Obama Administration is set to argue, before the U.S. Supreme Court, next week, that an Ohio law against lies in political campaigns should be overturned, because it supposedly violates the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and that any “credible threat of prosecution” for political lies would chill, instead of protect, “the very type of speech to which the First Amendment has its fullest and most urgent application.” This news report asserts that “Groups across the political spectrum are criticizing the law as a restriction on the First Amendment right to free speech,” and that P.J. O’Rourke, of the Republican Koch brothers’ Cato Institute, was even “ridiculing the law and defending political smear tactics as a cornerstone of American democracy.” So, President Obama is clearly with the Republican Party on that one.

Making light of political lies, or else asserting seriously that they’re a “free speech right” protected in our Constitution, reflects hardcore rule by the aristocracy, against even the hope that American democracy will even be able to function going forward. President Obama is with the aristocrats on that. The President of “Hope” thus joins with the Republican Party against any hope for democracy in this country. The First Amendment is being converted into a dagger, being plunged into the heart of democracy itself.

This isn’t to say that President Obama is necessarily the worst President the U.S. has ever had — George W. Bush, Warren Harding, and a few others might have been even worse. But he’s competing hard against James Buchanan, the most conservative and worst Democrat before Obama ever to have held the U.S. Presidency. Anyway, he’s in the running; and decisions such as the Keystone XL Pipeline are yet to be made that will decide the matter with finality.

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010,  and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

 

We pay tribute to Michael C. Ruppert, an outstanding author and friend, committed to 9/11 Truth.

Below is the transcript of Michael Ruppert’s interview on Guns and Butter, which was aired on KPFA, one month after the tragic events of 9/11. Ruppert was first to reveal the forbidden truth: speculative trade on airline stocks based on foreknowledge of the 9/11 attacks

The CIA’s Wall Street connections; with Michael C. Ruppert on Guns and Butter: The Economy Watch with Kellia Ramares and Bonnie Faulkner

FAULKNER: On September 29, The San Francisco Chronicle reported that investors had yet to collect more than $2.5 million in profits they made trading options in the stock of United Airlines before the Sept 11 terrorist attacks. The uncollected money raises suspicions that the unidentified investors had advance knowledge of the attacks. The securities and exchange commission is investigating high levels of short sales and purchases of “put” options, on the stocks of United Airlines and American Airlines in the three business days before the attacks. Short sales and put options are bets that a stock will fall in price.

Meanwhile, the Interdisciplinary Center, a counter-terrorism think tank headed by former Israeli intelligence officers, has issued a report on Osama bin Laden’s finances, saying insiders profited by nearly $16 million dollars on transactions involving the two airlines and the investment banking firm Morgan Stanley, which occupied 22 floors of the World Trade Center. And that report excluded other unusual trading activity involving insurance companies with significant exposure to damage claims resulting from the attacks.

Joining us by phone from Southern California is Michael C. Ruppert. Ruppert is a former Los Angeles Police Department field officer and narcotics investigator whom the CIA twice tried to recruit.

In the course of investigations in the mid 1970s, he came across information the CIA was trading drugs in order to fund covert operations. He was forced out of the LAPD in November 1978 after being shot at and threatened for speaking out about CIA drug activity.

At a Town Hall meeting on November 15, 1996, Ruppert publicly confronted then-CIA director John Deutsch with information about three specific CIA drug operations. The confrontation led to an invitation to appear before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, where he spoke and presented written evidence concerning the CIA’s infiltration of and illegal relationships with a number of police departments throughout the country.

Michael Ruppert publishes “From The Wilderness,” a magazine which deals with the effects of illegal covert operations on our society.

He’s here today to discuss his latest article for that magazine . . . about the CIA’s knowledge of, and connections to, the suspect trading that occurred in the days prior to the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

Michael Ruppert, welcome to “Guns and Butter: The Economy Watch.”

RUPPERT: Good to be here.

FAULKNER: Good to have you. Do you think the CIA had advance knowledge of the attacks? Did they know a specific attack was coming?

RUPPERT: I am absolutely convinced that the Central Intelligence Agency had complete and perfect foreknowledge of the attacks, down to date, time place and location, yes.

FAULKNER: Tell us how the CIA monitors the stock market.

RUPPERT: Well, I have written several stories about this over the years. One of the primary functions of the Central Intelligence Agency by virtue of its long and very close history of relationships with Wall Street, I mean to the point where the current executive vice president of the New York Stock Exchange is a retired CIA general counsel, has had a mandate to track, monitor, all financial markets worldwide, to look for anomalous trades, indicative of either economic warfare, or insider currency trading or speculation which might affect the US Treasury, or , as in the case of the September 11 attacks, to look for trades which indicated foreknowledge of attacks like we saw.

One of the vehicles that they use to do this is a software called Promis software, which was developed in the 1980s, actually 1979, by Bill Hamilton and a firm called INSLAW, in [the] Washington D.C. area. And Promis is very unique for two reasons: first of all, it had the ability to integrate a wide range of databases using different computer languages and to make them all into one readable format. And secondly, in the years since, Promis has been mated with artificial intelligence to even predict moves in markets and to detect trades that are anomalous, as a result of those projections. So, as recently as last year, I met with members of the RCMP [Royal Canadian Mounted Police] national security staff, who came down to Los Angeles where I am, who are investigating stolen applications of Promis software and its applications, and we reconfirmed at that time that, not only the US, but Israel, Canada, and many other countries use Promis-like software to track real-time trades in the stock markets to warn them of these events.

RAMARES: Kellia Ramares here. Mike, is it possible that the terrorists could have gotten hold of this software?

RUPPERT: Uh, no, it’s, well, it is and it isn’t. The key piece of evidence around September 11 is not that the software would have had any impact. The key evidence, as I heard you describing, was the trades themselves, the so-called put options and the short selling of American Airlines, United Airlines, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, and a couple of reinsurance companies in Europe, which are just really off the maps. You wouldn’t need software to look at these trades and say, “Oh my God, this is directly connected to World Trade Center.”

RAMARES: OK, but hindsight is 20–20. United Airlines had a lot of trouble last year: labor disputes, lots of cancellations. We were on a verge of a recession going into the attacks and Morgan Stanley’s an investment banking firm. Some day traders could have seen some activity and joined the party entirely innocently. How can you make a prediction of an attack?

RUPPERT: Herzliyah, International Policy Institute in Israel which tracks counter-terrorism, also tracks financial trading. That’s a clear cut sign about how closely the two are related. And their reports are very clear that between September 6 and 7 the Chicago Board Options Exchange, CBOE, saw purchases of 4,744 put options on UAL, but only 396 call options. On September 10, the day before the attacks, 4,516 put options were placed on American Airlines, against only 748 calls, calls being bets that the stock will go up, puts being that the stock will go down. No similar trading in any other airlines occurred on the Chicago Exchange in the days immediately preceding Black Tuesday. That means that someone had advance knowledge that only the stocks of these two airlines would be adversely impacted. Had it just been an industry-wide slump, then you would have seen the same kind of activity on every airline, not just these two. But what is also very anomalous, very out of whack here, is the fact that the number of put options placed, that the level of these trades was up by 1,200 percent in the three days prior to the World Trade Center attacks.

RAMARES: Give us a brief overview, really, of the connections between the CIA and the banking and investment community. Your article suggests there is a revolving door between Wall Street and the CIA.

RUPPERT: Oh, indeed there is. First of all, it’s very important to note right up front that European investigators, who are tracking trades in the insurance companies, as well as the Israeli institute, have disclosed that the UAL put options were primarily held by Deutsche Bank-A.B. Brown. And its very important to note that the current Number Three at CIA, the Executive Director, a man by the name of A.B. “Buzzy” Krongard, was, until 1998, the chairman of A.B. Brown. The company went from being owned by Banker’s Trust to being owned by Deutsche Bank. But this is a man effectively running CIA, who came from the bank that handled the trades.

Historically speaking, we go back to 1947, we look at Clark Clifford, who wrote the National Security Act, in 1947. He was a Wall Street banker, and a lawyer from Wall Street. He was the chairman of First American Bancshares that brought BCCI onto US shores in the late 1980s. He was given the design for the CIA by John Foster and Allen Dulles, two brothers: John Foster becoming Secretary of State, Allen becoming director of Central Intelligence, who was fired by John Kennedy. They were partners in what is until this day the most powerful law firm on Wall Street: Sullivan Cromwell. Bill Casey, the legendary CIA director from the Reagan/Iran Contra years, had been chairman of the Securities and Exchange commission under Ronald Reagan. He, in fact, was a Wall Street lawyer and a stockbroker. I’ve already mentioned Dave Doherty, the Vice President of NYSE [New York Stock Exchange] who is the retired CIA general counsel. George Herbert Walker Bush is now a paid consultant to the Carlyle Group, the 11th largest defense contractor in the nation, very influential on Wall Street. “Buzzy” Krongard is there. John Deutsch, the former CIA director, who retired a couple of years ago, a few years ago, is now on the board of Citibanc or Citigroup. And his number three, Nora Slatkin, the Executive Director at CIA is also at Citigroup. And Maurice “Hank” Greenburg, who is the chairman of AIG insurance, which is the third largest investment pool of capital in the world, was up to be the CIA director in 1995 and Bill Clinton declined to nominate him. So there is an inextricable and unavoidable relationship between CIA and Wall Street.

FAULKNER: Michael Ruppert, this is Bonnie Faulkner. Does the CIA itself invest in the stock market?

RUPPERT: That’s unknown. What is known, and what was disclosed by hearings chaired by Senator Frank Church in 1976, is that the CIA was known and proven in the Congressional Record to operate proprietary companies, some of which do trade their stock on Wall Street. One of these, Southern Air Transport, excuse me, was at it during the Iran Contra years. There are others: Evergreen Air, which may or may not be a proprietary, but has strong CIA connections; there are tons of these companies out there. It’s not known if CIA manipulates markets, although I really believe that they do.

FAULKNER: Is the CIA’s budget public knowledge?

RUPPERT: No. By law. Under the National Security Act of 1947 the CIA’s budget is hidden in the budgets of all the other departments of government. We’ve never been able to pin down, because it’s a secret, exactly how much money CIA gets. But the best estimates available—and these are from very good sources—are that it’s around 30 billion dollars a year.

FAULKNER: So I’m assuming then that no one knows where they keep their budget. I mean, do they keep it in the bank drawing interest? I guess we don’t know.

RUPPERT: Well, no, the way it would work under the NSA—National Security Act—is that if the budget is $30 billion , $10 billion may be in the Department of Defense, five in the Department of Justice, three in US Treasury. That’s how they hide the funds.

RAMARES: Michael, Kellia Ramares again. You’ve laid out a scenario which would suggest that the CIA is so involved in Wall Street, they knew these trades were happening; they knew why. Why would the CIA let such a horrendous thing happen if they knew about it? All the loss of life, all the economic damage that we led off our show with that’s going to happen to everyday people, state and local governments, small investors, businesses. Why did they let it happen if they knew?

RUPPERT: Well, first of all, let’s look at history. I’m a great addict of the History Channel and all this year on “The Secrets of World War II,” one of their series, they have run maybe three, four, five times, a documentary showing clearly that Franklin Roosevelt had absolute knowledge that the Japanese were going to attack Pearl Harbor on December the seventh. Navy had broken the codes. That information was made Top Secret. And Roosevelt allowed the attacks to happen with the express purpose of bringing the US into World War II. So there is historical precedent for this. What I have been writing in “From the Wilderness” for more than two years, and we’ve been publishing four years now, was of huge economic inconsistencies, bubbles that were about to burst, about a pending collapse of the US economy that was going to happen anyway.

Just two days before the attacks, I sent a bulletin to my subscribers saying there’s a monstrous derivatives bubble, to the tune of about 20 trillion dollars that’s about to burst. The price of gold has been manipulated, and the stock market’s ready to crash. And in fact, we had seen the Dow drop by almost 900 points in the three weeks prior to the attack. So, in point of fact, the economic crash was going to happen anyway. As a result of the attacks, now there are two benefits for the government: Number One, there is a convenient enemy upon whom to place the blame for the economic crash. And second, the legislation passed by Congress has unleashed a torrent of short term, and what are going to be extremely expensive, solutions which are keeping the US economic bubble inflated. This incentive: now it’s about 100 billion dollars so far I believe, between 40 for the military and another 60 in tax cuts, is robbing Peter to pay Paul. And I am absolutely convinced that Social Security is toast and this was their way to get their foot in the door on that.

RAMARES: Yes, but what about their plans to privatize Social Security? I don’t want my retirement in the stock market after what you’ve said and even what I saw before.

RUPPERT: I sure don’t either. You have to remember that the current Bush administration is a reincarnation of the administration we saw during Iran-Contra, and during the years of President Bush’s presidency from ’89 to ’93. These are the people who brought us the savings and loan crisis, which took $500 billion dollars out of US taxpayer pockets. These guys know how to loot an economy. There are very credible, well-documented stories from GAO [General Accounting Office] that have been written even in the Washington Times [a very conservative newspaper] showing that the Department of Defense has, and this is the right word, has lost more than three trillion dollars in the last two years. That money is not lost; it’s been stolen.

More than 59 billion dollars has been taken out of HUD [US Department of Housing and Urban Development]. There are monstrous economic costs which are going to fall on the American taxpayer. But they will not fall on the administration or its allies on Wall Street.

RAMARES: Speaking of Wall Street, it doesn’t feel like it’s a level playing field for the small investor, the person who has their kid’s college fund in something in Wall Street to try to make it grow.

RUPPERT: No. It absolutely is not. In 1929, some 15 percent of all the stock in circulation was owned by households. In 2001, 75 percent of the stock in circulation was owned by households. That tells you who’s carrying the burden.

If you look at some of the market activity in recent years, for example, two years ago, Goldman Sachs went public. And that means that households bought their stock but Goldman Sachs took the money and cashed out. There has been a strong trend in the movement of money by the very rich offshore, out of the country, into safe havens, so that when the bubble does break, it’ll be the taxpayer holding the bag.

RAMARES: Is Congress knocking on your door to look more into this? Are we going to see congressional hearings into possible knowledge of the CIA of the attacks? I mean we’re talking about they let mass murder happen.

RUPPERT: Yes . . . I have spoken confidentially to two members of the House of Representatives. And I have to tell you that my take on their view, and these are members who I consider to be allies and very progressive and awake: they’re basically frightened. The climate is one of near hysteria. There is an overwhelming attitude in the general public of wave the flag and kill the bad guys. And it’s not politically wise, I guess, in their viewpoint, to risk their careers by raising questions. But some of them have to and some of them must.

Everyday, there are more and more holes in all of the stories surrounding September 11, and this avoids people from looking at a broader agenda in Central Asia, which has to do with the drug trade and the oil. Bear in mind that Senator Carl Levin (D-Mich.) has documented that 300 billion dollars a year in drug money moves through the US banking system. And that was in a minority report to the Senate Banking Committee released this February, I believe it was. But that money is now an integral component to sustaining the bubble. And that’s why we’re seeing CIA operatives moving willy-nilly into Uzbekistan, to give us immediately another Laos, just like we had in the Vietnam era with Air America planes flying with tons of heroin to markets in the US and Western Europe. And that’s what’s coming out of this. Also, there’s a huge grab for oil and a major pipeline to run from Uzbekistan down to the Pakistani coast, which will weaken Russia’s grip on the region. And I believe, long term, the economic motive is to Balkanize Russia. But members of Congress now faced with this are kind of overwhelmed. There have been a few voices speaking up here and there to oppose civil rights legislation that was punitive, to address issues of the war-making powers. But Congress needs to find its legs and its lungs real quickly.

FAULKNER: Michael Ruppert, this is Bonnie Faulkner. We have one minute left. You’ve mentioned when the bubble is going to burst. A lot of people think that the bubble has already burst . . .

RUPPERT: Oh no.

FAULKNER: What do you expect to see?

RUPPERT: I was already predicting that the Dow would be at 8,000 or below by the end of October. Now the . . . who knows what the short-term impacts of all of the money that’s being poured out of the Treasury are going to have. But bear in mind there is still a huge bubble. According to Russian economists—I was in Russia in March—there’s 300 trillion dollars in derivatives waiting to pop. Now what that means is one more good terrorist attack and we could really understand what a bubble is.

RAMARES: And the FBI has said watch out for terrorist attacks in the next few days and the CIA says that we’re at 100 percent risk of terrorist attacks. Give us your web site and little bit about your magazine for those who might be interested in learning more.

RUPPERT: OK, the web site is www dot cop v like in Victor CIA dot com. Copvcia.com. “From the Wilderness” is a newsletter we publish 11 times a year. We’re read in 17 countries, by 16 members of the US Congress, including the Intelligence Committees of both houses, as well as by professors at 11 universities in the US and Canada. It’s a monthly subscriber. The web site is free; the subscribers get a little more information and a little newer. But we take great pride in the fact that we document everything that we publish so we don’t ask anybody to take anything on faith.

RAMARES: OK, Thank you very much for joining us. You have been listening to Michael C. Ruppert, publisher of “From the Wilderness” magazine and author of an article on the CIA, the stock market and the terrorist attacks. Again his web site is www.copvcia.com. Again, thank you for joining us.

RUPPERT: My pleasure.

On Sunday John Brennan, the CIA Director, paid a secret visit to the Ukraine 

Within 48 hours,  Ukrainian armed services launched a controlled assault against rebel positions in the Eastern Ukraine. Repeated claims by the Ukrainian regime and its sponsors in Brussels and Washington that this is an anti-terrorist operation are distortions of reality.

The rebellion in the East has genuine popular support, but the mainstream media, the US-NATO-EU axis,  and its puppet regime in the Ukraine cannot allow this fact to become widely known and understood because then people might start to ask questions, like:

‘Why did the “international community” sponsor and support a violent coup by a nationalist mob against an elected government when it knew all along that half of the population, together with a closely related and powerful neighbour, would NEVER accept the outcome?

So, rather than face the inconvenient truth – that the Ukrainian coup was a coup launched not just against the Yanukovych government, but also against a large section of the Ukrainian people – rather than allowing people to face this truth – they are being fed another lie. Supposedly the rebels are ‘terrorists’, they have no genuine popular support, they are all Russian ‘agents’ and ‘provocateurs’, it is not a war against Ukrainians but against fifth-columnists and stooges – it’s all the fault of the crazy Russian dictator – Putin.

Well, it seems that some of the members of the Ukrainian armed and security forces aren’t at all  ‘with the program’.  There are reports that soldiers and police are defecting from the regime and throwing in their lot with the rebellion . In fact, there are even reports that Ukrainian citizens – assuming that ‘Russian gun-men’ are not cleverly disguising themselves as unarmed working-class East Ukrainian men and women ranging in age from 16 to 60 – are confronting the Ukrainian troops. And with some interesting outcomes. When Ukrainian troops entered Kramatorsk, their tanks were stopped in their tracks by a crowd of angry citizens. Six of the tank crews then appear to have defected and flown the Russian flag. http://rt.com/news/ukrainian-tanks-kramatorsk-civilians-840/

So, for the sake of those who think this is all about ‘Russian gun-men’ and ‘plucky Ukrainian democrats’ let’s be very clear about what is happening:

With the full support of the USA and its close allies, the Ukrainian coup regime is deploying the army against sections of the Eastern Ukrainian people who have never, and never will, support a regime that the USA played a greater role in placing into power than they did.

Nor will they support a regime that turned its back on a beneficial Russian offer and sold them down the river to western bankers, that blocks Russian language television channels, downplays the Russian language, hands ministerial portfolios to  fascists, and is deeply embedded in a Galician historical self-consciousness that is completely at odds with the Russian speaking, Slavic historical self-consciousness of most people in the East and South of Ukraine.

When the USA/EU/NATO axis supported the February 22nd nationalist coup they sacrificed the unity of the Ukraine for their own geopolitical gain.  Once the deed had been done, and the national unity agreement of February 21st had been trodden under Pravy Sektor boots,  there would only be two options left for Ukraine -  fragmentation or federalism. And by supporting the coup, and abandoning the February 21st agreement, the USA/EU/NATO knew full well they were set on a collision course with Russia.

So NATO and the EU are, as they say, ‘making hay while the sun shines’.

On Tuesday, in a meeting in Luxembourg with EU defence ministers, NATO secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen laid down the need to strengthen co-operation between the trade bloc and the military association. According to reports, the two sides agreed that, faced with the ‘Russian threat’, it is vital that they extend and deepen their co-operation, continuing a process that began in earnest with the Berlin Plus agreement in 2002, in which NATO essentially made itself formally and institutionally available as a military capability for the EU.

According to the AP report:

‘Rasmussen told reporters that NATO is planning a three-fold response to Moscow’s actions in and around Ukraine: “reinforced defense plans, enhanced exercises and appropriate deployment” to reassure NATO member states nearest Russia that their allies have has their back.

Rasmussen said “Russia’s hand” is clearly visible in Ukraine.’

Well, if Russia does have a ‘hand’ in the Ukraine, then it at least has strong economic, cultural and historical reasons for doing so. Quite what business the USA/EU/NATO axis has in having the best part of an arm and a leg in the Ukraine, helping depose an elected regime and directing military assaults against its civilians, is another matter entirely.

And so, in the footsteps of Napoleon and Hitler, the new imperial masters continue their eastward march…
Lionel Reynolds is an independent analyst who maintains the Dispatches From the Empire blog www.dispatchesfromempire.com

Canada Plans to Invade Syria

April 16th, 2014 by Press TV

The pro-Israeli government of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is making diplomatic and military preparations for military intervention in Syria, leaked documents show.

Canada’s National Defense has drawn up at least five scenarios for the country’s military mission in Syria, according to documents obtained by the Ottawa Citizen.

In one scenario, Canada recognizes “a legitimate armed opposition group” fighting to overthrow the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

To justify a war on Syria, the National Defense alludes to “the rapidly deteriorating conditions in Syria, its impact on neighboring countries and … the importance of Middle East stability.”

Daniel Blouin, spokesman for the National Defense, has described such plans as “routine to significant international events.”

Separate documents reveal that Canada has been training alternatives to Assad’s government.

On Monday, the Syrian government said it holds the United States, Turkey, Israel and Saudi Arabia accountable for previous and potential chemical attacks in the Arab country.

In letters addressed to the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and President of the UN Security Council Joy Ogwu, Syria’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates stated that the countries involved in the conspiracy against Syria have sought excuses to justify their continued aggression.

Syria has been gripped by deadly violence since 2011. Over 150,000 people have reportedly been killed and millions displaced due to the violence fueled by Western-backed militants.

According to reports, the Western powers and their regional allies — especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey — are supporting the militants operating inside Syria.

I was invited by the organisers of the 2014 Winter Symposium of the third research group of the Nordic Summer University (NSU), devoted to the concept of crisis, as an Icelandic citizen and scholar to offer a concise picture of the events in our country, which experienced in the year 2008 a much-televised economic crisis or kreppa, as it is called locally. In what follows, I provide two succinct and inevitably selective pictures: one small, another big.

The small picture is a three-step account of what led essentially to the economic crisis, what this crisis consisted primarily in, and what followed it that induced a recovery. I focus upon the third step in particular, since it is less known abroad than the prior kreppa. The big picture is a brief twofold reflection on how the Icelandic experience fits within larger global trends, i.e. I assess it from an economic-historical perspective and from an axiological one. Under both perspectives, I make use of two chief intellectual reference points, both Canadian, namely the work and wisdom of the economist John Kenneth Galbraith and of the value theorist John McMurtry. Given that the audience at the symposium was not fluent in Icelandic, I made use of English-language sources alone and, as far as possible, given the electronic format of the journal in which the final version of this paper is going to be published (i.e. Nordicum-Mediterraneum), sources that are easily accessible online.

The Small Picture

What preceded the crisis was a fairly long phase of transformation of the country’s laws and economy, spearheaded by the governing Independence Party and its leader: “Prime Minister David Oddsson” (Gissurarsson, 2004). Writing in 2004, Oddsson’s personal friend, policy advisor, fellow Central Bank board member, Mont Pelerin Society vice-president and long-time university professor Hannes H. Gissurarsson describes him as “the longest serving leader in the Western world, having formed his first government in 1991”, to whom “[m]uch of the credit goes” for launching “a radical and comprehensive course of liberalization that mirrors similar reforms in Thatcher’s Britain, New Zealand and Chile” (Id.)

What Gissurarsson (2004) depicts and praises as a “[m]iracle on Iceland” is a set of policies truly analogous to those seen in Thatcher’s Britain and Pinochet’s Chile, such as:

“cut[ting] extensive direct and indirect government subsidies early on, mainly by dissolving some public investment funds and privatizing others”; “stabiliz[ing] the economy with monetary and fiscal restraint”; “privatizing… small companies, later turning to large fish-processing plants, factories and financial companies”; “deregulat[ing] the economy [by] target[ing] the special privileges of groups such as pharmacists, and, more importantly, allow[ing] the free transfer of capital in and out of the country and competition in the telecommunications sector… creating conditions for competition in Iceland’s hydro-electrical system by bringing in foreign investors”;  “reduc[ing] the corporate income tax to 30% from 50% and abolish[ing] a special tax on company turnover… [and later] further… cutting the corporate income tax to 18%… phas[ing out] [t]he net-wealth tax… and… greatly reduc[ing] the estate tax”; and “strengthening private property rights, both to capital and natural resources”.

Joining the European Economic Area and weakening the trade unions’ bargaining power could be added too, but Gissurasson (2004) laments that “much remains to be done”, since “[t]he health and education systems are publicly operated, and so are the utilities, some broadcasting stations, and the hydro-electric power system.” Between 2004 and 2008, part of what was left to be done was done, including tuition-charging private universities, which received State subsidies as well (OECD, 2008). Despite such a blatant example of corporate socialism (cf. Galbraith, 1967 & 1977), the ideological inspiration of the country’s transformation over the 1990s and early 2000s is described plainly as non-socialist: “Free-market economists like Friedrich von Hayek, Milton Friedman and James M. Buchanan all visited the country in the 1980s, influencing not only Mr. Oddsson but many of his generation. In the battle of ideas here, the right won.” The aim of this transformation is also not difficult to identify, i.e. to let Iceland be among “the richest countries in terms of GDP per capita”.

Gissurarsson’s article does not focus upon the privatisation of the country’s three largest banks, which was concluded in 2003 and that, five years later, proved to be the pivotal cause of the nation’s sudden and spectacular crisis (cf. Boyes, 2009; Jónsson, 2009). Back then, the privatisation of the largest banks in the country was opposed in Parliament by only one minor left-wing political party (the “Left-Green”) orbiting around 8% of the popular vote, which indicates a rather widespread popular approval of the self-declared free-market right-wing course of action that Gissurarsson (2004) dubs a “[m]iracle” (cf. Horn, 2012). Although Iceland enjoyed already in the 1980s very high standards in education, health, cultural and recreational life, most voting Icelanders might have dreamed of something else: fancy cars, high-tech gadgets, bigger houses and a life “American-style”, high private indebtedness included (Huijbens&Þorsteinsson, 2010: 21).

As commonplace in the history of several countries that underwent analogous transformations after the end of the Bretton Woods system, Iceland’s “miracle” (Gissurarsson, 2004) turned into a meltdown. Elaine Byrne and Huginn F. Þorsteinsson (2012: 135-6) write: “in October 2008. Within a span of less than a week, the entire financial sector, ten times the gross domestic product (GDP) of Iceland, went bust. The stock market was nearly wiped out. The economic outlook was not favourable. Interest rates and inflation were at 18 per cent. Unemployment sharply rose from 1 per cent to 9 per cent. Government revenue was rapidly evaporating but government expenditure had surged. The Icelandic króna (ISK) was in free fall and the reputation of the country was in absolute tatters. The entire financial sector had collapsed lock, stock and barrel.”

The Viking Tiger, just like the Asian, Latin-American, Baltic and Celtic ones, discovered itself to be a sacrificial lamb upon the altar of free trans-national capital trade. Rather than shining like a new wealthy “Luxembourg” (Gissurarsson, 2004), Iceland’s boom-bust cycle mirrored the events that have repeatedly taken place in a plethora of former Western colonies since the 1980s and a number of post-communist countries since the 1990s (cf. McMurtry, 1999 & 2013). In this specific case, the crash of the derivatives-filled financial market in the US—the private “toxic assets” that somehow have already disappeared from mainstream public discourse and the mass media in lieu of “public debt” and nations “living beyond their means”—produced a “credit crunch” (cf. Chand, 2009). In essence, not knowing how “toxic” another’s books could be, private banks stopped lending to each other for fear of facing major losses, both nationally and internationally. As a consequence, it became impossible to continue to refinance the massively leveraged (i.e. debt-based) and poorly collateralised growth of Iceland’s “three main banks, Glitnir, Kaupthing Bank and Landsbanki.” (Byrne &Þorsteinsson, 2012: 135)

Caught with their pants down, if you allow a crude but vivid expression worthy of a finance minister, the recently privatised banks “collapsed creating significant turmoil in the financial markets. This in effect shut down the foreign exchange market and caused a dramatic depreciation of the króna. The immediate consequences were the nationalisation of these three banks, which accounted for 85 per cent of the banking system. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) immediately intervened with a $2.1 billion package in order to avert a further meltdown of the Icelandic economy.”

Such a vertical and critical collapse led to a modicum of soul-searching, which found a bulky and permanent expression in the 2010 Report of the Special Investigation Commission of the Icelandic Parliament (SIC), part of which has been translated into English. In it, the technical details of the banks’ collapse are presented at length, as well as the many anti-competitive and anti-meritocratic practices occurring within the country’s financial sector, the impotence of under-funded regulatory bodies, and the unethical complacency of much of the nation’s media, academia and political class (cf. also Boyes, 2009; Jónsson, 2009). Among them, Time (2009) magazine singles out former “Prime Minister David Oddsson” (Gissurarsson, 2004) as one of “The 25 People to Blame for the Crisis” worldwide, since he had not only promoted the “experiment in free-market economics” discussed above, but also been at the helm of the country’s Central Bank since 2005, just in time to fail to prevent the meltdown from occurring (Time, 2009). Indeed, such a vertical and critical collapse led to street protests too and what was later named Iceland’s “Kitchenware Revolution”, which made us “[t]he first country to throw its government out of office as a result of the global financial crisis” (Thomas Jr., 2009).

The change of government meant that, for the first time in decades, the conservative party would not steer the course of the nation’s fate. A left-wing government was formed, inside which the formerly minor 8% political party opposing the privatisation of the State’s banking sector had grown into a two-digit strategic player, especially via “Iceland’s finance minister, Steingrimur J. Sigfusson, a lifelong leftist” (Id.). Iceland did not turn into a Nordic Cuba, though.

Quite the opposite, over the following three years, Iceland pursued economic policies “in close contact with the I.M.F.’s representative [t]here” that included “sharp cuts in health spending and higher gas prices… [h]igher interest rates”, cuts to culture and education, and further  “severe economic restrictions that the country has been forced to endure to qualify for more money from the I.M.F. and other Nordic lenders.” (Id.)

The tax revenue from the ballooning financial sector had evaporated, while the bill for unemployment benefits had soared at the same time: pressured by its historic Nordic partners, Norway in primis, the options on the government’s table seemed limited. Far from challenging orthodoxy, the new government followed “the fund’s recommendation that [they] maintain high interest rates as well as capital controls — a prescription [Steingrimur J. Sigfusson] describes as similar to wearing a belt and suspenders at the same time.” (Id.)

As peculiar as such a statement may sound, the pants were up this time; and so they have stayed thus far. As Elaine Byrne and Huginn F. Þorsteinsson (2012: 137) report: “in the three years since the 2008 Icelandic collapse, the Nordic country has made a remarkable and noteworthy economic recovery. The IMF approved the final loan tranche in August 2011, marking the end to a 33-month rescue package. The Finance Minister, SteingrímurSigfússon, subsequently announced that ‘All the program objectives have been achieved.’ NematShafik, IMF Deputy Managing Director and Acting Chair, likewise stated ‘Key objectives have been met: public finances are on a sustainable path, the exchange rate has stabilized, and the financial sector has been restructured.’ The economy has stabilised, fiscal adjustment has been successful, economic growth is picking up and the sovereign financed itself successfully in the bond market in May 2011 on what were considered good terms.”

Were high interest rates and severe budget cuts the crucial recipes of this second Icelandic miracle? Yes and no. Orthodoxy did play a role, but so did heterodoxy, starting with capital controls, which the IMF, a long-time enemy of them (cf. Chwieroth, 2009), regarded as necessary on this occasion. On top of these controls, which are still in place and make Iceland reminiscent of the Bretton Woods’ days, the new Icelandic government pursued: the re-nationalisation of the recently privatised banks; their dismantling into viable good banks (thus saving domestic depositors) and bankrupted bad banks (thus causing shareholders and foreign investors to lose their risk capital); the steering of the banks’ credit in support of domestic entrepreneurship and employment; the regular consultations among the government, the employers’ associations and the trade unions in order to keep joblessness under control; a new markedly progressive taxation of income; and the principle that the regressive measures, i.e. the many painful cuts to public investment, should be done in a progressive manner (cf. Johnstone&Ámundadóttir, 2011). Thus, unlike the 1st letter of intent with the IMF, which was passed before the “Kitchenware Revolution”, the 2nd letter of intent with the IMF made it clear that Iceland would retain its Nordic Welfare model (cf. Ágústsson&Johnstone, 2013). I believe this explicit reference to welfare qua conditionality for the IMF intervention to be the first and only in the IMF’s history.

Additional factors played an equally important role: the depreciated national currency led to a surge in the country’s export of goods and incoming tourism; the people of Iceland rejected twice the so-called Icesave agreements with Holland and the UK, which would have burdened the country’s public budget with new loans to repay the Dutch and British customers of foreign branches of now bankrupt Icelandic private banks (Icelanders voted the latter time against the advice of nearly all parties, both left and right of the political spectrum); and the curious fact that, as Huijbens and Þorsteinsson (2010) notice, the orthodox IMF recipes of sweeping liberalisation and privatisation could not be applied, since they had already taken place in the seventeen years before the eventual meltdown. What Time (2009) dubs “free-market economics” could not come to the rescue, for it had been the cause of the country’s shipwreck.[1]

The Big Picture

Sub sole nihilnovumest. On a national level, the Icelandic crisis did trod along the lines of the notorious 1929 Wall Street crash and successive US financial collapses (e.g. the savings & loans crises after the 1986 tax reforms, the 2000 dot-com bubble). All of the key-ingredients discussed in John Kenneth Galbraith’s 1954 classic study of the 1929 Great Crash were there: financial speculation prevailing over genuine productive investment; media-inflated irrational euphoria; private over-indebtedness by easy credit; blind, biased and bought punditry; irritated dismissal of critical voices; successful corporate lobbying for lax regulation; endemic corruption across private and public sectors; business-friendly legislation for businesses befriending legislators through generous campaign donations and revolving-doors incentives; reduced taxation on higher incomes (cf. Thorvaldsson, 2009). In truth, even Galbraith’s (1987) main fear vis-à-vis modern economies was there: the sheer ignorance of and/or wilful blindness to the lessons of economic history; could things be really different this time? Had Icelanders found a special, Viking way of doing business, as a colleague once told me with great pride before 2008?[2] As Galbraith (2000) would quip: “The oldest Galbraith rule is that when you hear that a new era has dawned, you should take cover.”

On an international level, the Icelandic crisis did trod along the lines of innumerable post-Bretton-Woods meltdowns (cf. McMurtry, 2013). Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa, Pakistan, South-East Asia and post-communist Europe have given ample testimony to the chaos that Cornelius Castoriadis (1996/2005: 82) predicted qua inevitable outcome of the re-introduction of free capital trade worldwide: only a “planetary casino” could emerge from “the absolute freedom of capital movements”.

As to the British and Dutch attempts to impose onto Iceland viaIcesave agreements a system of self-perpetuating debt, that is precisely what de Bernis (1999) calls the “usury model” of the third world, whereby national governments find themselves burdened by such amounts of debt that, apart from reducing all forms of public spending, they service their debt by taking on more debt, which in turn has to be serviced in the same way. That is analogous to current developments in southern Europe, where the governments of countries such as Greece and Italy are burdened by a considerable debt level, and yet keep increasing it in order to pay their creditors, while at the same time reducing the provision of human-rights-mandated public services to the population—to an extent that can be technically defined as cruel (cf. Baruchello, 2013b).

What is conspicuously different in the Icelandic case are some rather unusual outcomes of the crisis: banks i.e. shareholders were not bailed out (for once, the laws of competition were applied, though possibly out of inability to do the opposite, given the disproportion between the banks’ losses and the country’s GDP; cf. Byrne &Þorsteinsson, 2012); sweeping reforms were implemented (but in a protectionist sense, e.g. by re-nationalising recently privatised banks and protecting local depositors); free capital trade has been suspended since the emergency laws were passed in response to the 2008 meltdown (again, at least in part, out of sheer necessity); and further privatisations and fire-sale handovers to foreign investors have been avoided until now.

Do note however that performing a second miracle on Iceland was not enough for the 2009 governmental coalition to win the 2013 elections, which brought the so-called “crisis parties” back to power—Iceland’s Lutherans, unlike Catholics, are hard to sway with miracles, especially when the one saluted by Gissurarsson (2004) turned out to be rather dubious. Not to mention that the second miracle itself might have seemed dubious to many Icelanders, whose private debts have endured qua assets of the new “good” banks capitalised after the demise of the old “bad” ones, while their purchasing power has fallen together with the national currency and the dreams of a fancy way of life—the kind of life that so many TV programmes, movies and adverts have been showing to them on a daily basis (cf. Galbraith, 1967 & 2004). On top of that, many Icelanders might have wanted to reward the one and only party opposing the Icesave agreements on both national referenda, while also campaigning for a large-scale private-debt write-off (the “Progressive Party”; cf. Young, 2013).

As McMurtry (2013) observes in his latest book, Iceland and, for that matter, all meltdown countries are cases of societies turned into means to multiply the money demand of private money possessors as the supreme goal of the economy and society itself. In all these cases, with no exception whatsoever, the countries’ economy and, which is constitutionally worse, the State’s life-protective functions were and are turned into means to this lifeless end, whether by hijacking the State to re-set to business-serving functions (e.g. competitiveness-aimed new public management) or by selecting out life-serving functions not subordinated to this end (e.g. budget cuts to public care for the disabled and to public cultural activities). This macro-law of the money-sequence axiology is revealed whenever performance and success, both individual and collective (e.g. of States), are measured regularly and primarily in terms of money-value alone (e.g. American-style consumer goodies, pay-checks, bonuses, growth, RoE, FDI) rather than by well-being indicators (e.g. Bhutan’s pioneering 1972 Gross National Happiness [GNH] metrics, the UNDP’s 1997 Human Poverty Index, the Council of Europe’s 2005 Social Cohesion Indicators) or fulfillment of human-rights standards of sufficient nutrition, access to education and healthcare, democratic participation and freedom to form and/or join a trade union (cf. ICESCR, 1966).

As Gissurarsson’s (2004) reveals, what justified politically and axiologically the possibly miraculous transformation over the years 1991-2008 was to let Iceland be among “the richest countries in terms of GDP per capita” (emphasis added). When this reductio ad pecuniam happens, then money becomes de facto the guiding supreme value, which determines individual choices (e.g. one’s “sensible” studies and “rational” career moves) as well as collective ones (e.g. “sound” governmental policies), above and/or beneath cultural traditions and constitutional duties. It is not happiness that counts above all else; not health; not children’s well-being; not human rights; not nature’s pristine continuation and provision of life-supporting conditions; not stability; not secure and full employment. Money alone does (cf. McMurtry, 2013).

Iceland is not isolated in this modern form of fetishism, which Castoriadis (1996/2005) regarded as a token of pseudo-rationality; i.e. rational behaviour is assumed to be the one that promotes economic growth, but no valid rational justification is given for this unqualified growth to be taken as primary. McMurtry (2012: 49 & 59) dubs such a presupposed rationality “moronic” and poignantly remarks: “no place on the balance sheets is provided for doing good for others, or even providing for anyone’s life need.” The world at large testifies to this inane accounting deficit, which threatens the sustainability of civilisation itself (cf. Motesharrei, Rivas &Kalnay, 2014). Across today’s Europe, for one, States act regularly as though they were to serve money-value alone (e.g. recurrent references to the “will” and “sentiment” of “investors”, the TINA-esque must of “competitiveness”, the desirability of unqualified “growth”), while their citizens are either a resource (i.e. a means to an end) or an obstacle (e.g. “costs”, “expenditures”, “unproductive” classes).

However, the citizens’ wellbeing, as captured for instance in human-rights jurisprudence, is the actual aim and justification of State power under all existing constitutional arrangements: saluspopulisupremalex (Cicero, 1st c. BCE/n.y.: Book III, Part III, Par. VIII). People are meant to be safe, healthy, educated, socialised, acculturated and enjoying progressively better living conditions (cf. Baruchello &Johnstone, 2011). Money-value is a means to these ends, which embody and exemplify higher values (e.g. cultural identity, happiness, family life). In a successful society, people enjoy better and better psycho-physical well-being and opportunities for intelligent self-realisation. If the economy facilitates that, then it is good. It is bad if it hampers such goals, e.g. by making people’s livelihood insecure, their minds and bodies ill, their understanding bamboozled by media propaganda, i.e. regular features of today’s global consumer market societies (cf. Galbraith, 2004; McMurtry, 2013).

Not to mention the depletion of the Earth’s life support systems (UNESCO, 2002-14). Unlike actual people, money-value does not need pristine environments, clean air and potable water; hence it either turns them into priced goods that only moneyed consumers can purchase, or destroys them in the pursuit of other profitable activities (cf. McMurtry, 2013). Modern meltdowns, like the environmental crisis of our age, are not unforeseen natural disasters akin to tsunamis, but the inevitable result of an economic system that aims at money-value maximisation, not at life-sustenance and amelioration. As McMurtry (1999: 243) stated long before the 2008 crisis: “[F]inancial crises always follow from money-value delinked from real value, which has many names but no understanding of the principle at its deepest levels.”

 References

Ágústsson, H.O &Johnstone, R.L. (2013), “Practising what they Preach: Did the IMF and Iceland Exercise Good Governance in their Relations 2008-2011?”,Nordicum-Mediterraneum, Vol. 8, no. 1, available at: http://nome.unak.is/nm-marzo-2012/vol-8-n-1-2013/48-article/354-practicing-what-they-preach-did-the-imf-and-iceland-exercise-good-governance-in-their-relations-2008-2011

Bagus, P. &Howden, D. (2011), Deep Freeze. Iceland’s Economic Collapse, Auburn: Ludwig von Mises Institute.

Baruchello, G. (2013a), “The Hopeful Liberal. Reflections on Free Markets, Science and Ethics”, Nordicum-Mediterraneum, Vol. 8, no. 2, available at: http://nome.unak.is/nm-marzo-2012/vol-8-no-2-2013/58-conference-paper/395-the-hopeful-liberal-reflections-on-free-markets-science-and-ethics

Baruchello, G. (2013b), “Cruelty and Austerity. Philip Hallie’s Categories of Ethical Thought and Today’s Greek Tragedy”, Nordicum-Mediterraneum, Vol. 8, no. 3, available at: http://nome.unak.is/nm-marzo-2012/vol-8-no-3-2013/69-conference-paper/442-cruelty-and-austerity-philip-hallie-s-categories-of-ethical-thought-and-today-s-greek-tragedy 

Baruchello, G. &Johnstone, R.L. (2011), “Rights and Value: Construing the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights as Civil Commons”, Studies in Social Justice, Vol. 5, no. 1: 91-126.  

Boyes, R. (2009), Meltdown Iceland: Lessons on the World Financial Crisis from a Small Bankrupt Island, New York: Bloomsbury.

Byrne, E. &Þorsteinsson, H.F. (2012), “Iceland: The Accidental Hero”, in B. Lucey& C. Gurdgiev (eds.), What if Ireland Defaults?, Dublin: Orpen Press: 135-47.

Castoriadis, C. (1996/2005), “The Rationality of Capitalism”, Figures of the Thinkable, available at: http://www.notbored.org/FTPK.pdf

Chand, S.K. (2009), “The IMF, the Credit Crunch and Iceland: A New Fiscal Saga?”, Center for Monetary Economics at BI Norwegian School of Management, Working Paper 3/09, May 2009, available at: http://www.bi.edu/cmeFiles/wp%2009%203.pdf  

Chwieroth, J.M. (2009), Capital Ideas: the IMF and the Rise of Financial Liberalization, Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Cicero, M.T. (1st c. BCE / n.d.), De legibuslibritres, available at: http://www.thelatinlibrary.com/cicero/leg.shtml

De Bernis (1999), “Globalization: History and Problems”, ISMEA, December 1999, available at: http://www.ismea.org/asialist/Bernis.html

Galbraith, J.K. (1954; 7th ed. 2009), The Great Crash 1929, Boston: Mariner Books.

Galbraith, J.K. (1967; 1st Princeton ed. 2007), The New Industrial State, Princeton: Princeton University Press, The James Madison Library in American Politics.

Galbraith, J.K. (1977), The Age of Uncertainty, London: BBC.

Galbraith, J.K. (1987, January 1), “The 1929 Parallel”, The Atlantic, available at: http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1987/01/the-1929-parallel/304903/

Galbraith, J.K. (2000), “Interview”, The Progressive, available at: http://www.progressive.org/mag_amitpalgalbraith

Galbraith, J.K. (2004), The Economics of Innocent Fraud: Truth for Our Time, Boston: Houghton Mifflin.  

Gissurarsson, H.H. (2004, January 29), “Miracle on Iceland”, The Wall Street Journal, available at: http://courses.wcupa.edu/rbove/eco343/040Compecon/Scand/Iceland/040129prosper.htm

Horn, H. (2012, March 6), “Iceland Is Wrong to Blame Its Leaders for the Financial Crisis, and So Are We”, The Atlantic, available at: http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/03/iceland-is-wrong-to-blame-its-leadersfor-the-financial-crisis-and-so-are-we/254039/

Huijbens, E. &Þorsteinsson, H.F. (2010), “Letters from Iceland”, Political Insight, April 2010: 20-21.

International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR; 1966), available at: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/ProfessionalInterest/Pages/CESCR.aspx

Johnstone, R.L. &Ámundadóttir, A. “Defending Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in Iceland’s Financial Crisis”, Yearbook of Polar Law, Vol. 3: 454-77.

Jónsson, Á. (2009), Why Iceland? How One of the World’s Smallest Countries Became the Meltdown’s Biggest Casualty, New York: McGraw-Hill.

McMurtry, J. (1999; 2nd ed. 2013), The Cancer Stage of Capitalism, London: Pluto Press.

McMurtry, J. (2012), “Behind Global System Collapse: The Life-Blind Structure of Rationality”, Journal of Business Ethics 108(1): 49-61.

Motesharrei, S., Rivas, J. &Kalnay, E. (2014), “Human and Nature Dynamics (HANDY): Modeling Inequality and Use of Resources in the Collapse or Sustainability of Societies”, available at: http://www.atmos.umd.edu/~ekalnay/pubs/2014-03-18-handy1-paper-draft-safa-motesharrei-rivas-kalnay.pdf

OECD/Santiago, Paulo et al. (eds.; 2008), Tertiary Education for the Knowledge Society, vol. 1, Paris: OECD Publishing.

Special Investigation Commission (SIC; 2010), Report [partial English translation], available at: http://www.rna.is/eldri-nefndir/addragandi-og-orsakir-falls-islensku-bankanna-2008/skyrsla-nefndarinnar/english/

Time (2009, February 13), “The 25 People to Blame for the Crisis. The good intentions, bad management and greed behind the meltdown”, available at: http://content.time.com/time/specials/packages/completelist/0,29569,1877351,00.html

Thomas Jr., L. (2009, July 27), “A Debate Rages in Iceland: Independence vs. I.M.F. Cash”, The New York Times, available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/28/business/global/28iceland.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

Thorvaldsson, A. (2009), Frozen Assets. How I lived Iceland’s Boom and Bust, New York: Wiley.

UNESCO (2002-14), Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems (EOLSS), Paris & Oxford: Unesco, available at: www.eolss.net

Young, P.L (2013, May 1), “Iceland’s economic thaw a thorn in EU’s side”, RT News English, available at: http://rt.com/op-edge/iceland-parties-crisis-eu-685/

Notes 

[1] Just like old-time Marxists could claim the failures of “real socialism” not to be failures of Marxism, so can die-hard liberals of all stripes find ad hoc explanations getting their ideology off the hook whenever crises occur (e.g. individual cases of corruption, somehow unpredicted greed, faulty State regulation, national character), as I discussed in a previous contribution to the NSU research group #3 (cf. Baruchello, 2013a), but that demonstrates the unscientific nature of liberalism in assuming the free markets’ unique ability to bring about prosperity whilst refusing to face what so-called free-market economies have actually been like in their history (e.g. Bagus&Howden, 2011; cf. also Galbraith, 2004).

[2] This was not the only peculiar, highly revealing statement that I came across in conversations with local business experts. Another, whose name I also omit for reasons of professional courtesy, told me that some of the scholars in his university department had concerns about the country’s boom, but kept quiet: “we did not want to rock the boat and, above all, we did not want to be taken for leftists”. Ideological self-censorship runs deep in academe.

 

We pay tribute to Michael C. Ruppert, author and former LAPD detective, who passed away on April 13.

The following text by Michael C. Ruppert published on GR in October 2001 brings to the forefront the issue of foreknowledge and insider trading pertaining to airline listings on the Chicago Board Options Exchange including United Airlines and American Airlines.

Suppressed Details of 9/11 Criminal Insider Trading lead directly into the CIA`s Highest Ranks

CIA Executive Director “Buzzy” Krongard managed Firm that handled “put” Options on UAL

by Michael C. Ruppert

FTW Publications, 9 October 2001, Centre for Research on Globalisation, globalresearch.ca, 20 October 2001

Although uniformly ignored by the mainstream U.S. media, there is abundant and clear evidence that a number of transactions in financial markets indicated specific (criminal) foreknowledge of the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. That evidence also demonstrates that, in the case of at least one of these trades — which has left a $2.5 million prize unclaimed — the firm used to place the “put options” on United Airlines stock was, until 1998, managed by the man who is now in the number three Executive Director position at the Central Intelligence Agency. Until 1997 A.B. “Buzzy” Krongard had been Chairman of the investment bank A.B. Brown. A.B. Brown was acquired by Banker’s Trust in 1997. Krongard then became, as part of the merger, Vice Chairman of Banker’s Trust-AB Brown, one of 20 major U.S. banks named by Senator Carl Levin this year as being connected to money laundering. Krongard’s last position at Banker’s Trust (BT) was to oversee “private client relations.” In this capacity he had direct hands-on relations with some of the wealthiest people in the world in a kind of specialized banking operation that has been identified by the U.S. Senate and other investigators as being closely connected to the laundering of drug money.

Krongard (re?) joined the CIA in 1998 as counsel to CIA Director George Tenet. He was promoted to CIA Executive Director by President Bush in March of this year. BT was acquired by Deutsche Bank in 1999. The combined firm is the single largest bank in Europe. And, as we shall see, Deutsche Bank played several key roles in events connected to the September 11 attacks.

The Scope of Known Insider Trading

Before looking further into these relationships it is necessary to look at the insider trading information that is being ignored by Reuters, The New York Times and other mass media. It is well documented that the CIA has long monitored such trades – in real time – as potential warnings of terrorist attacks and other economic moves contrary to U.S. interests. Previous stories in FTW have specifically highlighted the use of Promis software to monitor such trades.

It is necessary to understand only two key financial terms to understand the significance of these trades. “Selling Short” is the borrowing of stock, selling it at current market prices, but not being required to actually produce the stock for some time. If the stock falls precipitously after the short contract is entered, the seller can then fulfill the contract by buying the stock after the price has fallen and complete the contract at the pre-crash price. These contracts often have a window of as long as four months. “Put Options,” purchased at nominal prices of, for example, $1.00 per share, are sold in blocks of 100 shares. If exercised, they give the holder the option of selling selected stocks at a future date at a price set when the contract is issued. Thus, for an investment of $10,000 it might be possible to tie up 10,000 shares of United or American Airlines at $100 per share, and the seller of the option is then obligated to buy them if the option is executed. If the stock has fallen to $50 when the contract matures, the holder of the option can purchase the shares for $50 and immediately sell them for $100 – regardless of where the market then stands.

A “call option” is the reverse of a put option, which is, in effect, a derivatives bet that the stock price will go up.

A September 21 story by the Israeli Herzliyya International Policy Institute for Counterterrorism, entitled “Black Tuesday: The World’s Largest Insider Trading Scam?” documented the following trades connected to the September 11 attacks:

  • Between September 6 and 7, the Chicago Board Options Exchange saw purchases of 4,744 put options on United Airlines, but only 396 call options… Assuming that 4,000 of the options were bought by people with advance knowledge of the imminent attacks, these “insiders” would have profited by almost $5 million.
  • On September 10, 4,516 put options on American Airlines were bought on the Chicago exchange, compared to only 748 calls. Again, there was no news at that point to justify this imbalance;… Again, assuming that 4,000 of these options trades represent “insiders,” they would represent a gain of about $4 million.
  • [The levels of put options purchased above were more than six times higher than normal.]
  • No similar trading in other airlines occurred on the Chicago exchange in the days immediately preceding Black Tuesday.
  • Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co., which occupied 22 floors of the World Trade Center, saw 2,157 of its October $45 put options bought in the three trading days before Black Tuesday; this compares to an average of 27 contracts per day before September 6. Morgan Stanley’s share price fell from $48.90 to $42.50 in the aftermath of the attacks. Assuming that 2,000 of these options contracts were bought based upon knowledge of the approaching attacks, their purchasers could have profited by at least $1.2 million.
  • Merrill Lynch & Co., which occupied 22 floors of the World Trade Center, saw 12,215 October $45 put options bought in the four trading days before the attacks; the previous average volume in those shares had been 252 contracts per day [a 1200% increase!]. When trading resumed, Merrill’s shares fell from $46.88 to $41.50; assuming that 11,000 option contracts were bought by “insiders,” their profit would have been about $5.5 million.
  • European regulators are examining trades in Germany’s Munich Re, Switzerland’s Swiss Re, and AXA of France, all major reinsurers with exposure to the Black Tuesday disaster. [FTW Note: AXA also owns more than 25% of American Airlines stock making the attacks a "double whammy" for them.]

On September 29, 2001 – in a vital story that has gone unnoticed by the major media – the San Francisco Chronicle reported, “Investors have yet to collect more than $2.5 million in profits they made trading options in the stock of United Airlines before the Sept. 11, terrorist attacks, according to a source familiar with the trades and market data.

“The uncollected money raises suspicions that the investors – whose identities and nationalities have not been made public – had advance knowledge of the strikes.” They don’t dare show up now. The suspension of trading for four days after the attacks made it impossible to cash-out quickly and claim the prize before investigators started looking.

“… October series options for UAL Corp. were purchased in highly unusual volumes three trading days before the terrorist attacks for a total outlay of $2,070; investors bought the option contracts, each representing 100 shares, for 90 cents each. [This represents 230,000 shares]. Those options are now selling at more than $12 each. There are still 2,313 so-called “put” options outstanding [valued at $2.77 million and representing 231,300 shares] according to the Options Clearinghouse Corp.”

“…The source familiar with the United trades identified Deutsche Bank Alex. Brown, the American investment banking arm of German giant Deutsche Bank, as the investment bank used to purchase at least some of these options…”

As reported in other news stories, Deutsche Bank was also the hub of insider trading activity connected to Munich Re. just before the attacks.

CIA, the Banks and the Brokers

Understanding the interrelationships between CIA and the banking and brokerage world is critical to grasping the already frightening implications of the above revelations. Let’s look at the history of CIA, Wall Street and the big banks by looking at some of the key players in CIA’s history. Clark Clifford – The National Security Act of 1947 was written by Clark Clifford, a Democratic Party powerhouse, former Secretary of Defense, and one-time advisor to President Harry Truman. In the 1980s, as Chairman of First American Bancshares, Clifford was instrumental in getting the corrupt CIA drug bank BCCI a license to operate on American shores. His profession: Wall Street lawyer and banker.

John Foster and Allen Dulles – These two brothers “designed” the CIA for Clifford. Both were active in intelligence operations during WW II. Allen Dulles was the U.S. Ambassador to Switzerland where he met frequently with Nazi leaders and looked after U.S. investments in Germany. John Foster went on to become Secretary of State under Dwight Eisenhower and Allen went on to serve as CIA Director under Eisenhower and was later fired by JFK. Their professions: partners in the most powerful – to this day – Wall Street law firm of Sullivan, Cromwell.

Bill Casey – Ronald Reagan’s CIA Director and OSS veteran who served as chief wrangler during the Iran-Contra years was, under President Richard Nixon, Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission. His profession: Wall Street lawyer and stockbroker.

David Doherty – The current Vice President of the New York Stock Exchange for enforcement is the retired General Counsel of the Central Intelligence Agency.

George Herbert Walker Bush – President from 1989 to January 1993, also served as CIA Director for 13 months from 1976-7. He is now a paid consultant to the Carlyle Group, the 11th largest defense contractor in the nation, and which shares joint investments with the bin Laden family.

A.B. “Buzzy” Krongard – The current Executive Director of the Central Intelligence Agency is the former Chairman of the investment bank A.B. Brown and former Vice Chairman of Banker’s Trust.

John Deutch – This retired CIA Director from the Clinton Administration currently sits on the board at Citigroup, the nation’s second largest bank, which has been repeatedly and overtly involved in the documented laundering drug money. This includes Citigroup’s 2001 purchase of a Mexican bank known to launder drug money, Banamex.

Nora Slatkin – This retired CIA Executive Director also sits on Citibank’s board.

Maurice “Hank” Greenburg – The CEO of AIG insurance, manager of the third largest capital investment pool in the world, was floated as a possible CIA Director in 1995. FTW exposed Greenberg’s and AIG’s long connection to CIA drug trafficking and covert operations in a two-part series that was interrupted just prior to the attacks of September 11. AIG’s stock has bounced back remarkably well since the attacks. To read that story, please go to http://www.copvcia.com/stories/part_2.html.

One wonders how much damning evidence is necessary to respond to what is now irrefutable proof that CIA knew about the attacks and did not stop them. Whatever our government is doing, whatever the CIA is doing, it is clearly NOT in the interests of the American people, especially those who died on September 11.

The original URL of this article is:
http://globalresearch.ca/articles/RUP110A.html

Copyright, 2001, Michael C. Ruppert and FTW Publications at http://www.copvcia.com.

Now you have the opportunity to watch the important testimonies from this conference. Order your DVD of “The Toronto Hearings on 9/11: Uncovering Ten Years of Deception” from Global Research and find out the latest research on the event that launched 11 years of war and aggression.

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Abby Martin gives a heartfelt tribute to investigative journalist and former LAPD detective, Michael C. Ruppert, highlighting his career from exposing CIA drug trafficking to his groundbreaking research on ‘Peak Energy’ and remember his sincere devotion to truth and justice.

Listen to Mike’s last broadcast, April 13, 2014.

http://lifeboathour.podbean.com/mf/web/s3wnvq/LifeboatHour_041314.mp3

Personnel From 6 Armored Transport Vehicles Sent To Kramatorsk In East Ukraine Switch To Side Of Pro-Federalist Activists.

SLAVIANSK, April 16 (RIA Novosti) – The personnel of six armored transport vehicles sent to the eastern Ukrainian city of Kramatorsk have switched sides and have joined the pro-federalist activists, witnesses told RIA Novosti on Wednesday.

“We found them at a square near the railway station. A group of women surrounded them, we started telling them we were peaceful residents who are just fighting for their rights and that there are no terrorists here,” the witness said, adding: “They won’t shoot us.”

“The main armored transport vehicle had a Russian flag on it and they left together with our [protesters] towards Slaviansk,” the witness said.

The number of personnel from the transport vehicles was not specified.

The Ukrainian army started a special operation Tuesday in a crackdown on self-defense activists in eastern Ukraine. The operation targeted the cities of Kramatorsk and Slaviansk in the Donetsk region. At least four protesters were killed and two others wounded Tuesday as Ukrainian troops stormed an airfield in Kramatorsk, local pro-federalization supporters said. Two others were wounded.

Eastern Ukraine has been swept by rallies beginning last month. Federalization supporters in Kharkiv, Donetsk, Gorlovka, Slaviansk and Kramatorsk refuse to recognize the legitimacy of the current Ukrainian government and are urging interim authorities to hold referendums similar to the one held in Crimea last month, which led to the republic’s reunification with Russia.

Russia condemned the decision by the new Ukrainian authorities to use force against the federalization supporters, saying it was an extremely unpleasant turn of events.

Supporters of federalization of Ukraine during a rally in Odessa.

KIEV, April 16 (RIA Novosti) – The Odessa region’s “Anti-Maidan” movement has declared the establishment of an Odessa People’s Republic and called on residents to block police and military troops from entering the city, a statement on the group’s website said Wednesday.

“Beginning today, the Odessa region becomes the People’s Republic of Odessa, where the power belongs only to the people living on its territory,” the statement said.

Activists also urged city residents to block traffic and prevent police and military forces from entering the city.

“At 4:00 p.m. tomorrow, Odessa must be blocked! Literally,” the appeal said.

On Tuesday, the Ukrainian army started a special operation to crackdown on self-defense activists in eastern Ukraine. At least four protesters were killed and two others wounded as Ukrainian troops stormed an airfield in Kramatorsk, local pro-federalization supporters said.

East Ukraine has been swept by pro-federalization rallies since last month. Demonstrators in Kharkiv, Donetsk, Gorlovka, Slaviansk and Kramatorsk refuse to recognize the legitimacy of the current Ukrainian government and are urging interim authorities to hold referendums similar to the one in Crimea last month, which led to the republic’s reunification with Russia.

Russia condemned the decision by the new Ukrainian authorities to use force against the federalization supporters, saying it was an extremely unpleasant turn of events.

British Media’s Regime Change Propaganda on Syria

April 16th, 2014 by Interventions Watch

The Committee to Protect Journalists have today published their annual list of states where the murders of journalists are likely to go unpunished.

Here’s the top 10 as of 2014:

1. Iraq
2. Somalia
3. Philippines
4. Sri Lanka
5. Syria
6. Afghanistan
7. Mexico
8. Colombia
9. Pakistan
10. Russia

The worst, then, is Iraq – a country the UK recently spent over six years occupying. The 6th worst is Afghanistan – a country the UK has been occupying for well over ten years.

You might think that a British newspaper would be interested in focusing on these countries, perhaps in the context of asking just what kind of ‘nations’ British armed forces have helped ‘build’ there over the past decade.

These figures don’t exactly chime with the pro-war narrative of Iraq and Afghanistan being transformed into flourishing, peaceful democracies, after all.

But no. Here’s the first two paragraphs from the commentary accompanying The Guardian’s datablog about the report (emphasis mine):

Syria has joined a list – compiled by the Committee to Protect Journalists – of countries where journalists’ murders are most likely to go unpunished.

The 2014 Impunity Index, published today by the committee, shows that Syria – which topped the world’s most dangerous country for journalists index – has been ranked the fifth worst country for where journalists’ murders are most likely to go unpunished. The CPJ say that Syria’s appearance on the list “highlights the rising number of targeted killings”.

And here is their concluding sentence:

Syria, which was named by the CPJ as the world’s most dangerous country for journalists, has joined the list for the first time this year’.

http://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2014/apr/16/where-are-the-murders-of-journalists-most-likely-to-go-unpunished-iraq-syria?CMP=twt_gu

So the focus is instead clearly on 5th placed Syria (no other country gets as many mentions), with Iraq being mentioned only once, and Afghanistan not at all.

The fact that Syria is the Official Bad Guy of the moment, and a current target for British subversion and regime change, is entirely co-incidental to that.

The US Is the World’s Worst Human Rights Violator

April 16th, 2014 by Joachim Hagopian

The US government has always been the first to call out other nations with poor track records on human rights abuses. Invariably they are the two nations viewed most threatening to America’s global hegemony and power – rivals Russia and China. Other loudly criticized countries are those less powerful Third World nations that most defy US dominance. Any nation on earth is at risk of America’s wrath that fights to protect its own self-interest over and above the American Empire’s in a noble effort to minimize economic exploitation in the plundering of precious natural resources and subjugating and locking its native population into permanent Third World serfdom. But any country going against the world’s most powerful nation is automatically deemed an enemy of the Empire and subject to such labels as axis-of-evil and a serious affront to human rights. No surprise that countries like Venezuela, Cuba, Iran, Syria and North Korea are all targeted in the crosshairs of the next war or next regime change living under decades of heavy-handed economic sanctions designed to break the will of these independent smaller nations bold enough to resist US aggression, superpower control and full frontal dominance.

On the other hand, when a country’s government encourages and willingly allows a strong US presence with active duty military installations numbering over 1000 globally accompanied by an army of private contractors and transnational corporations, corrupt dictators with the worst human rights records in the entire world are merely given a free pass, immune from any US criticism. As long as you succumb and are minimally complicit in the raping and pillaging of your own nation and people by the global bully, be assured America will have your back and always turn a blind eye to your heinous crimes against humanity and human rights violations of the most vile kind – that is until the US ultimately uses you up and turns on you (like it predictably does with all its past tyrannical friends Mubareck, Hussein and Gaddafi just to name a few).

The ethics card is arbitrarily used only out of self-serving, psychopathic convenience. Like the psychopathic corporations that exploit people around the world into cheap labor bondage, likewise the psychopathic US government’s only interest (aside from its own) is the corporate interests it is most beholding to and sworn to protect. Instead of our government operating “of the people, by the people and for the people,” since 9/11 no longer sworn to uphold the Constitution, the US government is now sworn to operate in the sole interest “of the corporation, by the corporation and for the corporation” – since higher courts have given corporations all the rights that used to belong to the people. Lincoln must be turning over in his grave now to see what his United States have become.

Since 2008 evaluating countries annually throughout the world on various human rights violations, a UK company called Maplecroft has been assessing and ranking nations for the most serious human rights offenses. In that first year 20 nations were listed as “extreme” offenders. Freedom of speech, press, religion and movement along with freedom from death, torture and slavery are all considered basic human rights. Another important criteria used is employment and work conditions. A total of 31 indices of measurement were generated to produce 197 individual nations’ scores and rankings from low in human rights violations to medium, high and extreme.

In December the group released its 2014 findings announcing a 70% increase in nations falling into the extreme category of worst human rights offenders. That original list of 20 rose to an alarming 34 countries this year. According to Maplecroft, the ten worst offenders of human rights around the globe in descending order are Syria, Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Pakistan, Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Myanmar, Yemen and Nigeria. Of all nations assessed, those measured with the most significant spikes this year in violating human rights are Syria, Egypt, Libya, Mali and Guinea-Bissau.

The US falls into the medium range for human rights while only Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the Scandinavian countries, United Kingdom, France, Switzerland, Austria and Germany are rated low on human rights abuse. Aside from the already specified ten worst offenders, other nations classified in the extreme category of abusers are Mexico and Columbia in the Western Hemisphere largely due to drug cartels, a number of small African nations along with global giants India, Russia and China. Maplecroft puts out its annual findings as valuable information as much for transnationals considering global expansion and investment as well as for public consumption. Prior to analyzing this particular data, it then seems worth exploring other findings and measures that may shed further light on this complex but important examination of current global trends in human rights.

Within the spectrum of nations systematically engaging in state sponsored executions of its own citizens, every year the US ranks within the top five nations in the world. Considering that many states have suspended their policy of executing death row prisoners due to DNA evidence proving that too many innocent people are convicted, it reflects an arrogant callousness to go on killing possibly innocent victims of a broken barbaric system of injustice. Yet the state of Texas continues to lead the way with 514 since 1976, nearly five times the number of the next state.

The top offender amongst national governments killing its own population by execution is China, although its secrecy in refusing to disclose numbers makes for a best guessed estimate of up to 5000 people a year. Amnesty International reports that China puts more people to death than the rest of the world combined. Other countries promoting capital punishment in recent years include the stalwart US ally Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Iraq, Iran, Yemen and North Korea.

With more than 2.2 million Americans currently in prisons, the incarceration rate of the United States is the highest in the entire world at 743 out of every 100,000 people, comprising 25% of the world’s total inmate population and near four times the rate of the next nation. All other countries on earth imprison far less with the next highest nation’s rate at just over 200 out of 100,000 people.

As of late an extremely hot topic in the news is the international human rights offense of torture. Last week’s US Senate Intelligence Committee’s findings are accusing the CIA under the Bush-Cheney regime from 2002-2006 of regularly engaging in a litany of appalling, internationally banned torture techniques on thousands of “war on terror” detainees. Though the committee can declassify its own report, it is urging President Obama to declassify and release the findings to the public charging the CIA with gross deception in holding back both the frequency and severity of its torture practices in dozens perhaps hundreds of secret detainment centers throughout the Middle East, Central Asia, Europe and of course Guantanamo.

Some of the Congressional report’s findings from its four year investigation were released to McClatchy, indicating that the CIA had previously lied to the committee in efforts to cover up its widespread use of “enhanced interrogation techniques” that included waterboarding, electrode shock to genitals, ripping out of fingernails, hanging upside down for hours on end.

Predictably the CIA still insists that its methods never constituted torture nor were ever illegal. But the Senate findings refute the CIA’s claims, concluding that the CIA willfully evaded all oversight mechanisms operating without approval from either the Department of Justice or even its own CIA headquarters. The bottom line to all the torture and abuse inflicted on so many innocent victims throughout the world is that the US produced next to no useful information in its war on terror.

Back in 2004 when General David Petraeus was first sent to Iraq to train Iraqi security forces, he was directly involved in Iraqi death squad commando units marauding through city streets engaging in sectarian killings and operating hundreds of police commando centers for torture and death. The story broke in March last year when the Guardian and BBC Arabic released a documentary with both American officers and Iraqi generals and government officials interviewed linking and implicating Petraeus’ direct and active involvement.

The Pentagon assigned to Iraq an infamous veteran of the 1980’s dirty wars in El Salvador and the Iran-Contra fiasco, an American Army colonel named James Steele to help train, consult and coordinate systematic murder, detainment and torture of thousands of Iraqis, many innocent civilians, contributing to Iraq’s descent into full blown sectarian civil war.

Another Army officer, Colonel Coffman, who reported directly to Petraeus, worked in unison with Colonel Steele in setting up Iraqi death squad commando units. Torture has always been believed to be a useful military tactic in counterinsurgency warfare to learn critical information about the enemy. So it was simply business as usual to the one who literally wrote the book on US counterinsurgency (the COIN Manual). The fact that conducting such torture in murderous dirty wars constitutes serious Geneva and human rights violations made no difference to the general, the Pentagon that sent the dirty war expert to Iraq, or the Bush administration that endorsed the use of torture and Iraqi death squads.

A spokesman for the ex-CIA Director Petraeus last year responded to the charges stating that everything the general learned and knew was passed onto to his chain of command in Washington as well as to top Iraqi leadership, thereby deploying the typical CYA strategy, when in doubt conveniently spread the blame onto others in order to make yourself look least bad. Clearly Bush, Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld all knew international laws that expressly forbid torture were being regularly violated. But then as proven liars and war criminals many times over, what else can be expected?

In the face of this latest incriminating evidence from the Senate, even the CIA’s historic ally and protector the Intelligence Committee chair Diane Feinstein believes the CIA has finally gone too far. Of course she only admitted this last month upon learning the CIA bugged her own committee. But up until that moment she had given the NSA and CIA carte blanche rights, endorsing all the invasive unconstitutional surveillance that for years has been systematically tracking all Americans. And only when she too felt violated herself did she begin to criticize the CIA at all.

Clearly these latest revelations show that the CIA systematically disregarded all protocol as well as international and Geneva convention rules prohibiting torture and inhumane treatment of detainees. The Abu Ghraib prison scandal in 2005 Iraq was just one tip of the iceberg, illustrating high profile example of US human rights abuses that have long been embedded as standard US foreign policy throughout the Middle East and North Africa.

But since those in the CIA, Pentagon and Washington all lie for a living every single day, the American public is not so naïve as to actually believe that the brutally illegal US torture practices ended in 2006. After all, a recent poll found that Ame