The moral depravity of the Iraq war

Watch this video. About seven or eight minutes in you can see bound detainees being forced off the top of a three story building. It appears that American soldiers are doing this, though you can't see them clearly from the video. People in military uniforms come and whisk away the detainees after they fall.

It would be nice to think that American soldiers are all wonderful, brave people who would never stoop to such depravity, but that is what we call a "fantasy." Given the many other sickening things that have broken through the media firewall (soldiers tossing puppies over cliffs, tormenting Iraqi children, testimonies of war crimes at Winter Soldier hearings, Haditha, drop weapons, etc.), it would be totally irresponsible and cowardly for any American to dismiss these actions as impossible. There it is on video. Somebody is doing it. Does that mean that everyone in the military is sick? Of course not. But the military, as an institution, has a civilian leadership; and those people are sick. The fish rots from the head.

Besides that, the fact remains that American soldiers are systematically trained to dehumanize 'the enemy' in order to be able to kill them. That is the purpose of having a military, after all. So let us not get all righteous and defensive when something like this comes out. It is time for Americans to get real and face the meat-grinding, dehumanizing machinery of the US military and see what it actually it does to people -- our people and other people.

We have a military to kill people so we don't have to do it ourselves. We subcontract the dirty job to others so we don't have to carry the psychological burden. It's just like buying steak all shrink-wrapped -- we are preserved from the trauma of killing the cow and carving up its flesh. But somebody does those things, and it's the same with the military. They are not all over there building schools and hugging babies, you know. Well over a million people have been killed in Iraq. Who is responsible for that? Why, we are. Did our people kill every single one? No, but we started the war, so let's not get persnickety. The possibility of innocent people dying never did bother us that much.

What happens when you take the military and put it under a mentally deranged civilian leadership? You get utter moral depravity. Institutionalized psychopathy, with weapons. If you don't like this, then stop glorifying the military and war. But don't deny it. Don't deny that we are all responsible for tossing bound detainees off the tops of buildings, murdering for fun, destroying an entire country that had nothing to do with 9/11, causing the untold suffering of millions and millions of people and the gruesome destruction of our own fellow citizens. We own it all because we don't pay attention, and we are lazy, and we let ourselves be led around like a bunch of stupid idiots. We are so incredibly stupid that we are on the verge of letting this all happen again, to Iran.

I fear we are truly lost and the moral compass has been smashed. An attack on Iran would be as unjust if not more so than what we did to Iraq. It will cause unforgivable destruction, including our own this time. For certain, and here in the 'homeland.' It is all lies, just like the last time.

Do you have the nagging doubts? You must listen to them. That is what's left of your conscience. If you can see the faint thread of truth, you must follow it. Pick up the thread and follow it quickly, as quickly as you can until you find the whole thing. Go now. Go.


Don't Slip

Watch interesting videos at Cryptogon and check out the comments. I have no particular insight except to say that it feels like something is imminent.

Something not pleasant.

BRUSSELS / AMSTERDAM (DFT) - Fortis expects within the next few days to weeks to complete the collapse of the U.S. financial markets.

That explains the bank insurers interventions of the series Thursday at dealing with € 8 billion.

“We are ready at the last minute. It goes in the United States much worse than thought, “said Fortis chairman Maurice Lippens, who maintains that CEO Votron to live. Fortis expects bankruptcies of 6000 U.S. banks that now lack coverage. “But Citigroup, General Motors, there begins a complete meltdown in the U.S..”

The trickiest thing about current events is figuring out which things are planned and/or under some hidden group's control, and which aren't. Most importantly, do events spinning out of the hidden group's control make us more or less vulnerable?

This is a great time to be a person of faith. I tap mine every day.


Holy crap, another unicorn.

Well, well, well. It appears that a little kerfluffle has broken out among some muckety-mucks over whether certain American Jews in the upper crust may have dual loyalties to Israel, and if so, whether or not these loyalties have anything to do with the shameful, immoral War in Iraq and some other stuff that may or may not happen.

They are flinging food. That's because this dual loyalty issue goes directly to the heart of the matter. You can read about the history and extent of the situation here. Dual-loyalty is the piece of the puzzle that explains everything. Take a look for yourself and see if you don't come away thinking, WTF?

Is this anti-semitic? Is it anti-semitic to notice that Israel's interests are constantly in our faces? Maybe we're just frikking annoyed. Enough already. Why do Americans have to constantly put Israel's interests before our own? It's not right. It's just not right, and it's as simple as that. If you are an American, be an American. If you're an Israeli, be an Israeli. But make a decision and be honest about it. Stop wanting it both ways, because the two things are not the same. As Americans we are under no obligation to adore Israel or any other country for that matter. And to be perfectly honest, I don't adore Israel. Not even a little teeny tiny bit. Actually, not at all. That is my prerogative, and I do not apologize for it. Why would I?

Much more about this at American Goy, including this:
As you donate money to the Jewish causes - a religious education, a Jewish school, a Jewish charity or... AIPAC... think of the effect.

I want you to be aware and pick your loyalty.

The retard, outgoing American president has said "You are either with us or against us!".

We, Jews and goyim, have not reached this phase (let us hope we won't).

We can all work together for the betterment of America and mankind (to me, the order is important).

Am I a bigot?
As an American Jew, with all the dual-loyalty brouhaha that accompanies that fact, are you a traitor?

It is all in the nuances, in my opinion.
Yes. There is not so much high ground here as some people would like to believe. I think that is a very good thing to think about.


Police State 2008?

You don't have to take my word for it. I'm nobody.

Paul Craig Roberts, on the other hand, has qualifications.
Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury during President Reagan’s first term. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal. He has held numerous academic appointments, including the William E. Simon Chair, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Georgetown University, and Senior Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He was awarded the Legion of Honor by French President Francois Mitterrand. He is the author of Supply-Side Revolution : An Insider's Account of Policymaking in Washington, Alienation and the Soviet Economy and Meltdown: Inside the Soviet Economy and is the co-author with Lawrence M. Stratton of The Tyranny of Good Intentions : How Prosecutors and Bureaucrats Are Trampling the Constitution in the Name of Justice . Click here for Peter Brimelow’s interview with Roberts about the recent epidemic of prosecutorial misconduct.
And when you're done watching that, please read The Coming Catastrophe? by David DeBatto, former U.S. Army Counterintelligence Special Agent and Iraqi war veteran.

I may be shrill from time to time.

OK OK... I'm shrill every day. But this is why. Should these things come to pass, they won't be easily undone.


Orwellian World 101: Case Studies in Problem-Solving

This is for all you hard-working, honest people who encounter problems in your professional lives.

Case Study #1: You are accused of war crimes

You are accused of leading a group of Marines who massacred 24 innocent Iraqi civilians, including women and children, in retaliation for a roadside bomb that killed one of your men and injured two others. No one disputes that the civilians were killed. Testimony draws a horrific picture of gratuitous violence and Marines run amok. All the charges against your other men have been dropped, but you are now being held accountable as squad leader. What do you do?

Redefine: Massacre.

Wuterich said that he didn’t consider killing 24 people a massacre and that he did what he did to protect his Marines from what he perceived to be a threat.

“I remember there may have been women in there, may have been children in there,” he told 60 Minutes. “My responsibility as a squad leader is to make sure that none of the rest of my guys died … and at that point we were still on the assault, so no, I don’t believe [I should have stopped the attack].”

Case Study #2: You want to use a controversial weapon

Your standard Hellfire antitank missiles are simply not getting the job done, going through buildings and out the other side without causing nearly enough casualties. You’d like to use the thermobaric missiles which suck the oxygen out of the air, shred internal organs and crush victims, but the weapons have been condemned by human rights organizations. Your Ministry of Defense spends 18 months debating whether they can be used without breaking international law. What do you do?

Redefine: Thermobaric.

Eventually, they decided to get round the ethical problems by redefining the weapons.

“We no longer accept the term thermobaric [for the AGM-114N] as there is no internationally agreed definition,” said an MoD spokesman. “We call it an enhanced blast weapon.”

The redefinition has allowed British forces to use the weapons legally, but is undermined by the publicity of their manufacturer, Lockheed Martin, which markets them as thermobaric.

Case Study #3: You want to sell some junk ammunition to the US government

You’re an up and coming star in the arms trading business. You have some ancient ammunition to sell to the DOD to fulfill your $300 million government contract, but it has a ‘made in China’ problem. You check with the US State Department, but there’s no way the US government can buy ammunition made in China. What do you do?

Redefine: China.

So he had one of his financial backers, Ralph Merrill, help take care of the problem.

On or about April 25,2007, RALPH MERRILL sent an electronic communication to EFRAIM DIVEROLI and DAVID PACKOUZ, which referenced attached photographs showing methods of “cleaning wooden crates.” Attached to the communication was a photograph showing a person scraping the words “MADE IN CHINA” off of a wooden crate.

Diveroli then filled out forms for the Army indicating that the ammo was from Hungary rather than China.

Class dismissed.

It's really about Russia

Lots of news about Iran has been floating around the past few days. Over the weekend some neocon flunkies did the tv circuit to helpfully explain that if we stupid Americans do something as reckless as vote for Obama, then Bush will be forced to attack Iran. (This is not to say I heart Obama, only to point out the incredibly blatant manipulation and fear-mongering.)

WALLACE: So, you’re suggesting that he might in fact, if Obama’s going to win the election, either before or after the election, launch a military strike?

KRISTOL: I don’t know. I mean, I think he would worry about it. On the other hand, you can’t — it’s hard to make foreign policy based on guesses of election results. I think Israel is worried though. I mean, what is, what signal goes to Ahmadinejad if Obama wins on a platform of unconditional negotiations and with an obvious reluctance to even talk about using military force.

Is this Israel's election or is it America's election?

There's even more juicy neocon wackiness coming out of John Bolton.
I think if they [Israel] are to do anything, the most likely period is after our elections and before the inauguration of the next President. I don’t think they will do anything before our election because they don’t want to affect it. And they’d have to make a judgment whether to go during the remainder of President Bush’s term in office or wait for his successor.
How sweet that they don't want to affect our elections. Of course, having neocon pundits like Bill Kristol and John Bolton -- who in all liklihood are dual US-Israeli citizens -- go around on weekend talk shows helpfully explaining what will happen if we don't make the 'correct' choice (for Israel), well I'm sure that doesn't affect our elections at all.

Do you see the psychopathy here? They are setting this up so that it can't be Bush's fault for attacking Iran. It would be our fault for picking the 'wrong' candidate in our very own democratic presidential elections. This is the 'you made me do it' excuse -- a favorite of psychopaths everywhere.

Meanwhile, I cannot urge you strongly enough to go and read this, and click through to the pdf and read the whole thing. Here is a highly condensed recap:

Russia has enormous energy reserves for oil and gas, along with pipelines and plenty of money. Pakistan, India, China and Iran are coming together in an Asian Energy Security Grid. This is America's worst nightmare -- a viable rival bloc of economic, political and military power. In particular, this new bloc dramatically decreases US naval superiority since the pipelines are primarily land based. It also threatens our currency and economy, and by extension, the spending available for our military-industrial complex. Therefore, the US must prevent this bloc from gaining strength. (Side note: Obama's top foreign policy counselor, Zbigniew Brzezinski, is all over controlling Russia and has been for years. There's no assurance that we would be any safer under Obama than McCain, scary as that sounds.)

Having a first strike nuclear capability is key to US dominance. Most importantly, the US wants the ability to strike first without fear of serious retribution. Iran is a great proxy and scapegoat for justifying various moves that will ensure this dominance over Russia. All the bluster over Iran's supposed nuclear capabilities is a smokescreen to cover the real target, Russia.

The pipeline between Iran, Pakistan and China must be stopped. The US will try to wrong-foot the Iranians into a response that allows them to be officially labeled 'terrorists'. By linking the Iranians to both Hezbollah and Hamas, the argument can be made that Israel's problems cannot ever be solved until Iran is dealt with first. See current events for details.


Cut Off at the Pass

We could be approaching the moment when everything will change (again).

We've got the economic unraveling in full swing, obviously affecting every American and being widely discussed in the corporate media. What to do....what do do?

That would be one thing for Bush to deal with, and he is trying to blame it on the Democrats; but there's more. There's all this torture business. Chris Floyd covers it here. And what does Bush have to counteract that? Nothing but a 'limited' hangout and a heavy reliance on corporate media shills to keep focusing on the elections. That's it. I mean, they'll do it; but it's a pretty flimsy cover-up. They'd like you to think you're seeing a size ten beauty in a size six bikini, but in reality this is more like a 350 pound hairy goon in an ill-fitting loincloth. People need to politely avert their eyes or else they might see things they really don't want to see...oops...too late.

Now this is serious because some people could be offended, and justifiably so. Perhaps a lot of people. There's no way of telling anymore now that the American people aren't in a perpetual swell mood thanks to their chronic and worsening economic insecurity. So the timing for this torture problem is not so good.

Meanwhile, our 'good friends' the Israelis have been preparing to go it alone on Iran, or at least to start it alone. Naturally, we've promised them the moon and the stars and the lives of our American service-people; so all they need do is break a nail and we'll be there to gallantly take over the fight, ill-advised as that may be. No matter. Israeli security is priceless...worth thousands, perhaps millions of lives - Iraqi, Lebanese, Palestinian, Syrian, Iranian...oh and don't forget American and even Jewish lives. It doesn't matter to the Israelis. They don't give a fuck. If they have to attack Iran to prevent it from having what they have - the advantage of nuclear weapons - even if there is no evidence that Iran has them, then they will. But remember. We're 'good friends' and we'll suck it up.

But nearby US forces in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Gulf provide a host of targets. Iran claimed last October that it could rain down 11,000 rockets upon "the enemy" within one minute of an attack and that rate "would continue."

Further afield, Israel is within range of Iran's Shahab-3 ballistic missiles, and Hezbollah claims its rockets – enhanced and resupplied by Iran since the 2006 war to an estimated 30,000 – can now hit anywhere in the Jewish state, including its nuclear plant at Dimona.

Closer to home, Iran has honed a swarming tactic, in which small and lightly armed speedboats come at far larger warships from different directions. A classified Pentagon war game in 2002 simulated just such an attack and in it the Navy lost 16 major warships, according to a report in The New York Times last January.

"The sheer numbers involved overloaded their ability, both mentally and electronically, to handle the attack," Lt. Gen. K. Van Riper, a retired Marine Corps officer who commanded the swarming force, told the Times. "The whole thing was over in five, maybe 10 minutes."

Now if this all comes to pass, you can believe that all hell will break loose. The Iranians are very smart people and they have had ample time to prepare. They won't take it lying down. Also, oil will become insanely expensive within minutes and the economy will be just over. Many people will be gruesomely killed. And make no mistake, if this happens, it will be Israel's fault. Our 'good friend.' I hope all the people that make such a big show of supporting Israel will be available to console us when their precious little monster touches off WW III.

Now of course this will buy the small convenience of diverting attention away from certain other scandals like torture, and it will allow for martial law which will tamp down the American people once and for all. And naturally, it will be an amazing financial shakedown for those positioned properly. So you could say there's a silver lining for a handful of well-placed people.

You have to wonder, how sick are they, the 'leaders' of the 'free world?' Are they sick enough to do it?

Tell me why not. What evidence would suggest that they wouldn't sacrifice innocent lives to save their own asses, even on such a horrific scale? What evidence would suggest that they wouldn't use the opportunity to institute Martial Law? If you don't yet comprehend that they would, you do not yet understand what kind of monsters we're dealing with here. And it seems to me that time is running out. Their time is running out, and therefore so is ours.


Things to do today

Go here.


Look at the pictures.

Click on all the links.

Find yourself on the State of Consciousness chart. Think about the people you interact with every day. Consider where they are on the chart. Consider whether it is better to move up the chart, or down the chart. Consider the many ways one might accomplish moving up or down the chart. Consider who encourages us to move up, and who encourages us to move down. Think about that carefully.

Act accordingly.


Wear Orange

There are some really great reads out on the interwebs today. You can browse my top ten picks here, but this one in particular deserves wide circulation.

You know all those nagging cognitive dissonances we live with every single day, like how the system seems to be totally broken and yet we feel compelled to participate so as not to give up 'hope'? Isn't that annoying? Don't you want to have some answers that will let you put down at least one heavy bag so you don't have to carry around both bags all day, every day, year after year?
If elections really were a solution, then why hasn’t the Democratic majority in Congress, ended the war, the torture, and the massive, warrantless surveillance over all of us and impeached the sorry excuses for human beings in the White House? Pelosi and Reid claim that they haven’t had the votes to stop the war. Nancy and Harry: that’s what your leadership posts are for. You don’t need the votes. All you have to do is block the funding bills from coming out of committee. If you don’t like the telecommunications amnesty bill or the spy-on-all-Americans bills, then all you have to do is keep the bills from coming up for a vote. You can kill these bills in the same way you’ve been killing the impeachment resolutions against Cheney and Bush. But then, Nancy and Harry already know this.
Isn't that the truth? They have the power to block impeachment, yet they claim they can't do anything about all these other horrible bills. In layman's terms, that is what we call having one's cake and eating it, too.
The Bush regime has been spearheading an extraordinary rupture from the norm, de jure and de facto, much of it in the shadows, but increasingly in the open, and the majority of people of this country are deeply disturbed by it.

This is in spite of the fact that only a fraction of the people are aware of the magnitude of this rupture because the mass media and the Democratic Party have been actively minimizing and/or concealing this.

In addition, all too many Americans are “opting out” of taking responsibility for the barbaric acts being committed in our names because they themselves are anesthetized by their material comforts.

The rupture’s dimensions, nonetheless, are so far-reaching that it is impossible for this country’s leadership class to conceal entirely the jagged rips and tears going on.

People know. They know that horrible things are happening, though they don't have the words to put around them. And they don't have time to figure it out and sort through all the false leads and conspiracy theories and tsunami of news since they have to work two or three jobs per family to keep the mortgage paid, etc. So they put compartmentalize all this anxiety about politics, and they put it into the election, which conveniently takes just one day of our time in November. There (brushing hands together). We're all set. Just mark that voting day on the calendar.

It’s deeply immoral for the Democratic Party and the mass media to countenance torture and “pre-emptive” wars based on fraudulent premises. Obama and Pelosi and McCain are fully aware of this. They want us to follow their lead and get us to act as if this isn’t the present reality – that we should ignore their collusion in crimes against humanity and support them as fellow colluders.

That is what these elections are really about: herding people into supporting crimes against humanity and declaring that it’s the people’s will.

Is that what you want? Is that the kind of person you are? Is this the legacy we want for our children and future generations - that we stood by and let tyrants and monsters ravage the planet?

Even if you now think that Obama should be “given some slack” for what he’s saying, do you think it is proper to put your faith in one person and faith in the same party that has betrayed us all? Even if you plan to vote for him, do you think that simply voting discharges your responsibility to protest, everyday from now until it is no longer necessary, the moral outrages being committed by our government?

...Every single person who reads this and who steps forward does so in the name of millions of others and creates the conditions for many, many others to step forward.

Don’t we as individuals have a personal responsibility to take a stand against grave injustice and not pass that responsibility on to others to take care of it for us? The people who many people think are supposed to take care of things are obviously not doing it.

So what are you waiting for? Yes, you.


Deal or No Deal?

Is there some possibility that the truth has leaked out enough over the interwebs that Bush/Cheney/Israel cannot execute their plans because 1) they’d have to really crack down hard to make it work and 2) that would prove all their critic absolutely correct…immediately…which would lead to 3) massive pushback and chaos and 4) their eventual but certain failure?

They really are in a bind. They want to start something nasty, but how will they get away with it? That’s the problem. If they can’t get away with it, they can lose everything. And they’ve already gotten away with a great deal. It’s still possible that they could walk now, go off in hiding somewhere with their billions, and live out their days chortling over us stupid saps. Personally I think it’s unlikely, but it’s definitely possible if they play their cards right.

But the ultimate prize of world domination is so close. It’s right…..there……….

It must be absolutely killing them to hold back.

Except they know that enough people are onto them that they can’t make a move without a bunch of people picking it apart and providing supporting links. The internet is like a gaseous blob oozing out of every crack and crevice, and they just can’t plug it all up. They have totally, completely lost the element of surprise.

Which is absolutely not to say that we should let up for one millisecond. By all means, redouble the efforts. But seriously, I don’t see how they can get away with anything at this point for long. They might do a heck of a job on us temporarily, but their evil plans are unsustainable. And they know it. And every person of conscience needs to know this too, because ultimately this is the power of good to triumph over evil.

Can I prove it? Of course not. But I know it in my bones.

The contemplative does not need to be systematic about anything, even about apparent madness. He is content with the wisdom of God, which is folly to men not because it is contrary to the wisdom of men, but because it entirely transcends it. - Thomas Merton, The Inner Experience, p. 109.


The Fallacy of Insufficient Cynicism

In a recently exchange with someone who vehemently disagreed with me, the person said, “It’s just baffling to me how anyone could misconstrue something like this.” Well, it is equally baffling to me how some people can still fail to suspect our government’s motives. Let us borrow this phrase to describe it: The Fallacy of Insufficient Cynicism.

Just in today’s news over at Global Research, you can read two pieces from established scholars that should bring a shadow across even the most trusting brow. My challenge to anyone who persists in believing that our government will not do horrible things to us, the American people, is this: show me what would prevent them? If it’s true that we have been operating under a Continuity of Government (COG) plan since 9/11, then our Constitution has been effectively suspended. Who is then capable of stopping NSPD 51 and the latest, NSPD 59? And even if that isn't true, what has stopped them from doing anything we don't like?


The national security crowd considers themselves sophisticated and tough, and they remind us that our government has to do certain dirty things to keep us safe. It’s the ‘real world’, the world Jack Nicholson screamed about when he said, “You can’t handle the truth!!” Some of those things are described here.

But in the next breath they insist that the government would never do anything to hurt us. This is where the Fallacy of Insufficient Cynicism kicks in. They admit conspiracies happen and are necessary, but they accuse the conspiracy theorists of being naive for thinking that some of the conspiracies are directed against the American people.

Now a quick observation on the state of the American people should confirm who is truly being naive here. Have our wages increased? No. Has our security increased? No. Do we enjoy greater leisure time and a safe food supply and better jobs? No. No. No. Is it all a coincidence or else the fault of brown people and/or liberals and/or terrorists? No. Those are the scapegoats. The people responsible for these giant problems are the people actually running the government. If things suck on a grand scale, and they do, it’s Washington’s fault. Remember all that talk about the ownership society we heard from the right? How about some ownership that the Bush Regime and it’s congressional enablers and Israeli handlers have run the USA into the ground?

Here is George Bush’s latest disgusting terrorist attack on the American people: NSPD 59. There is nothing here to prevent the executive branch from classifying Americans critical of the government as threats to national security. It is just another nail in the coffin of our Bill of Rights. And if Bush/Cheney/Israel decide to rustle up some new war with Iran, you can be sure that we will find out why Bush passed NSPD 51 and NSPD 59 — so they can come out of the authoritarian closet once and for all.

Our government clearly holds us in utter contempt. It is ultimately naive to refuse to recognize this.


Too much

Here are lots of pictures showing the reality of life in the Middle East, in Lebanon and in Gaza.

This carnage is wrought by Israel; and basically, we pay for it.

There are powerful people in America who never, ever, ever want you to see these things because then you might not be willing to pay for it anymore.

But just because you don't see it, that doesn't mean it isn't happening. And it doesn't mean we're all not paying. Everybody is paying for this. Much too much. Especially the people in the pictures.

At first I thought it was satire

You know we've turned some sort of hellish corner when the NYT has a big graphic titled "Six Points to Remember for your AIPAC Speech" and which is, naturally, full of Zionist propaganda.

Are they proud of this? Is it a cry for help? One can only hope that a few Americans will read it and have some sort of epiphany that there's something desperately wrong with our country.

This reminds me of the etiquette rules for meeting Queen Elizabeth.

Behold how the candidates for President of the United States have to grovel in front of AIPAC. And look, the NYT has helpfully illustrated how McCain and Obama have successfully accomplished this critical though humiliating ritual.

US pulls out of UN rights body

Shorter: "We can't control this body, so fu@% that sh^&."

In a State Department briefing on Friday, it was announced that the United States will no longer be regularly attending meetings held by the United Nations' Human Rights Council unless specifically compelled to, citing the Council's stance on relations between Israel and Palestine.

Read full story.


Kinda Busy

I won’t have too much time for blogging for a few weeks, starting now. I hope, at a minimum, to follow the news and at least call out a few worthwhile stories without necessarily adding my two cents. Today I pick this one, a Wayne Madsen story (subscription only) via Godlike Productions.

Between August 24 and September 6, 2007, the U.S. Air Force’s nuclear chain-of-command was severely compromised by a rival chain established out of Vice President Dick Cheney’s office and extending through the offices of the Air Force Secretary and Chief of Staff, the Air Force’s Cyber-Warfare element, and into the strategic bombing commands located at Minot and Barksdale Air Force Bases. In the weeks before and after this time period, there is ample evidence to suggest that the security of nuclear weapons, particularly at Minot, was placed in severe jeopardy by the rival chain-of-command.

…On April 21, 2008, Gates, speaking to young Air Force officers at the Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama, criticized the Air Force for refusing his orders to get more involved in wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Gates’ criticisms stunned the audience and reverberated throughout the Air Force. Here was a Secretary of Defense indicating that a subordinate service was insubordinate. Gates was likely hinting at the existence of the rival nuclear chain-of-command directed from Cheney’s office.

The rival nuclear chain-of-command that was responsible for the Minot nuclear incident, REX REDUX, and associated events is as follows:

Vice President Dick Cheney

– Chief of Staff David Addington

Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Michael Moseley

– Gen. Lawrence Stuztriem, Chief of Staff of the Air Force Strategic Studies Group - CHECKMATE

– Dr. Lani Kass, ex-Israeli Air Force, Cyber Warfare, US Air Force, CHECKMATE

Lt. Gen. Robert Elder, Commander 8th Air Force, Barksdale Air Force Base

Col. Bruce Emig, Commander 5th Bomb Wing, Minot Air Force Base (relieved of command after nuclear incident)

Maj. Gen. Stephen Goldfein, Commander Air Warfare Center, Nellis Air Force Base

Now that’s interesting. Check it out.


The Devil is in the Details

Richard Cook and George W Bush entered the same freshman class at Yale. Bush took one road, and Cook took another. How different would our world be had a man of Cook's caliber, instead of the insipid twit George W Bush, ascended to the US presidency? I cling to the hope that someday we will live in a world with worthy and honest leaders.

Meanwhile, I think Cook has touched upon an important detail in this recollection of Thomas Jefferson.
Today, back in Williamsburg , I can see even more clearly that Jefferson was one of the great men of history. He wrote in the Declaration of Independence the now-familiar words, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty , and the pursuit of Happiness.”

This statement has never been surpassed as a summary of democratic principles or in expressing our God-given right to freedom, whether from governments, tyrants, or the brutal financial oppression we see everywhere in the world today emanating from global finance capitalism.

Ever since he wrote it, Jefferson ’s formulation has resonated with those who love liberty, both for themselves and others, as has the clarity with which the Declaration of Independence expressed the right to choose our own form of government. Later Jefferson wrote, “I have no fear that the result of our experiment will be that men may be trusted to govern themselves without a master.” He also wrote, “Every generation needs a new revolution.”

I should point out that I never saw Jefferson ’s ideals as promoting “license” vs. “liberty,” or as supporting the idea of viewing any action of government as ipso facto evil. Jefferson favored a limited government elected by “We the People” and served in positions of public responsibility for most of his life. He saw government as a servant of the public, not its master. He saw the human individual as God’s highest creation, not some social, economic, or governmental collective. He also knew that constructive government actions, such as the peaceable acquisition of the Louisiana Territory , promoted freedom, whereas policies based on warfare and violence destroyed it.
To love liberty for yourself and for others -- it's an important detail. It's the detail that is so easy to overlook but which makes all the difference in the world. Literally.


Goodbye, Jim!

Many a time have I linked to James Howard Kunstler's wicked commentary on his blog, Clusterfuck Nation (link to the right...check it now because it's coming down). Sharp, brilliant, bitterly sarcastic, prophetic weekly posts.

Until this week. Evidently Jim has decided to 'come out' and reveal where his true loyalties lie: Israel. Who knew? And now we know that Jim has taken his amazing intellect, which has delighted so many for so long with his caustic analysis of American oil-consuming culture, and he has written a long post about 9/11 in which the State of Israel is studiously and meticulously avoided. He makes one mention of Israel, sandwiched in between Europe and Russia, as providing intelligence, some of which was wrong. Tsk tsk. You don't say.

Yes. Jim, brilliant though he may be, cannot see any connection whatsoever to Israel when he looks over the explanations of 9/11, aside from a few lapses in intelligence. Nope. It's all Arab, Iraq, Saddam Hussein, Arab, Afghanistan, Arab, Iraq, Iran, Arab, and so forth. You see, at the outset Jim quickly 'set aside the crank theories' of the utterly paranoid nonsensical kooks about 9/11. That freed him right up to see what was more convenient.

IF I didn't formerly have such a high opinion of Jim, THEN I would not be so bitterly disappointed in his obvious disregard for intellectual honesty on this matter. But since he's made his loyalties clear, all I can say now is goodbye, Jim! It was fun reading your blog while it lasted! I hope your Zionist masters paid you well for that last load of vomit you puked onto the internet.


How do we get out of here?

Rarely is the question asked, "Is our adults learning?" Sometimes I wonder that. Pretty much every day I wonder that. Occasionally I get a little testy and write things like this.

Today I found a nice post at George Washington's blog which deals with this very topic, and I hope you will go and read it.
Polls show that the overwhelming majority of Americans believe that our country is going in the wrong direction. That the Iraq war was a mistake. And polls show that the majority of Americans questions the government's version of 9/11 and other basic tenets of the "war on terror".

So why aren't people doing anything to fix things?

It is largely because people are hopeless . . . they don't think there is anything they can do to turn things around and improve our situation. Also, many people believe that they should just "lay low" until things get better, and that the only thing that standing up will accomplish is getting whacked in the head.
I think this laying low business is very important. People have a powerful urge for self-preservation, but laying low does not make us safer. We have safety in numbers. I frequently talk to people about what's going on and probably make a fool of myself because I believe we have safety in numbers. I want people to know that other people are out there questioning what's happening in our country and in our world. I want people to know they are not alone with their doubts. I want people to have the courage to question what we're being told. It's only dangerous if few people do it. The more people who openly question and ask and challenge, the safer we all are. You say you're a patriot? OK, well, this is what true patriotism is all about. Ask George Washington. Have courage and be stouthearted!

This is the way out: Open your eyes, and open your mouth.

Message Control

Welcome to America. Is there anything I can help you find, like a detention facility perhaps?

60 Minutes did a story on Raytheon's ray gun back in March, and now they just had to do another story on it. Now why would that be necessary, one might ask. Well, the Pentagon really needs this ray gun technology to enjoy the Walmart smiley face seal-of-approval with the American public. Because some people (cough) have suggested that this technology can be abused, and before that suggestion gets around, the DOD had better make sure that everybody knows that the US military is just a bunch of boy scouts who would never do anything to harm innocent civilians, and they only want to save lives, and...well...let's see what they say.
The Pentagon has been developing a raygun which can harmlessly repel enemies by causing a burning sensation in the top layer of the skin. However, according to CBS's 60 Minutes, the military is unwilling to actually trust this weapon enough to deploy it in Iraq.
It can 'harmlessly repel enemies', but the military is concerned about using this in Iraq. Mind you, over 1.2 million people have already been killed in Iraq, a fact which somewhat belies this grave concern about Iraqis.
Hymes demonstrated the weapon by staging what CBS somewhat oddly called "a scenario soldiers might encounter in Iraq" -- a handful of military volunteers, dressed as civilian protesters, who carried signs saying "peace not war" and threw objects at a small group of soldiers. A series of raygun blasts from half a mile away disrupted their chants and finally sent them running.
It doesn't get much more obvious than this. Watch the video. The gun is going to be used on protesters. American protesters. Anti-war protesters. Because the ray gun can 'harmlessly repel enemies'. Enemies...protesters...same difference.

Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisiton Sue Payton calls the Active Denial System a "huge game-changer" which "would save huge numbers of lives." She told CBS, "It could be used to read someone's mind, in effect. ... If they continue to come at you, then you're fairly sure ... they're probably a terrorist or an adversary who wants to do you harm."

The Active Denial System was developed in secret for ten years before being unveiled by the Pentagon in 2001. As of 2004, it was being described as ready for use in Iraq within the next 12 months. This has still not occurred, and according to Secretary Payton, use of the weapon in Iraq is now "not politically tenable" because after Abu Ghraib "you don't ever, ever, ever want a system like this to be thought of as a torture weapon."

These links contain a lot of information, and this technology has been around for some time. The Pentagon would like us all to believe that they would really love to use this technology because it's totally safe and would save lives, but unfortunately it carries dangerous political risks. People can claim that they have been tortured.

But, you know, torture is in the eye of the beholder. It's whatever George Bush says it is. You might think you're being tortured, but if George W Bush says you have not been tortured, well then you haven't. And anyway, we don't torture people. We might 'torture' them, but we don't actually torture them. Do you follow me?

If you click through the 'in secret' link, Wired did a story on this in December 2006. The technology had already been tested extensively. Some subjects did suffer burns, but the effects were not 'long lasting'.

The ADS was developed in complete secrecy for 10 years at a cost of $40 million. Its existence was revealed in 2001 by news reports, but most details of ADS human testing remain classified. There has been no independent checking of the military's claims.

The ADS technology is ready to deploy, and the Army requested ADS-armed Strykers for Iraq last year. But the military is well aware that any adverse publicity could finish the program, and it does not want to risk distressed victims wailing about evil new weapons on CNN.

You see, it's all ready to go, all except for the PR angle. It's been ready to go since 2006. Actually, if you click the 'described' link to a Boston Business Journal story in December 2004, the technology was even then set to be deployed in Iraq.

With U.S. casualties in Iraq rising, expectations are growing that Raytheon's weapon, called the Active Denial System, could be sent to Iraq in the next year, according to Charles "Sid'' Heal, commander of the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department. A former Marine, Heal headed nonlethal-weapons training for the U.S. military in Somalia in 1995 and advised Raytheon on the beam's development.

"It's there, it's ready,'' said Heal, who has felt the weapon's beam and compares it to having a hot iron placed on the skin. "It will likely be in Iraq in the next 12 months. They are very, very close.''

If you click on the 'unveiled' link, the NYT reported the weapon's debut back in March 2001.
Known in Pentagon patois as an "active denial system," the weapon is the fruit of 10 years of research and is intended to help American soldiers in the quasi-military roles they have increasingly been asked to play as peacekeepers or police in places like Kosovo and Ethiopia.
But now, June 2008, you are being asked to believe that the US military fears using this weapon in Iraq and has withheld using this weapon to avoid the possible backlash of the international community. And all this time it could have been saving lives. Obviously this is a tragedy caused by silly political correctness, so this is what we're gonna do. We're going to make sure that Americans demand that our military use this weapon to save lives in Iraq, even if we have to let them use it on us first. That's right. Because we are a decent and upright people, and if we have to fork over billions of taxpayer dollars for secret weapons technology and destroy countries around the world to bring them democracy, well, dammit, we can take a little martial law practice. That will be our sacrifice. In fact, we're going to volunteer those lefties over there for ray gun target practice.

However, the failure to deploy the weapon as planned has raised suspicions that the real intention is to use it for domestic crowd control.

In 2006, Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne was quoted as saying that the device should be used first on Americans, because "if we're not willing to use it here against our fellow citizens, then we should not be willing to use it in a wartime situation. ... If I hit somebody with a nonlethal weapon and they claim that it injured them in a way that was not intended, I think that I would be vilified in the world press."

And now for the final touch...a little cry of poor-mouth from the Air Force.

Raytheon, which developed the system for the Pentagon, is currently selling a more limited-range civilian version of the system, under the name "Silent Guardian," which it promotes as being suitable for "law enforcement, checkpoint security, facility protection, force protection and peacekeeping missions."

Commander Charles "Sid" Heal of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, who advised Raytheon in developing the raygun, told CBS that the real reason the system has not been deployed in Iraq is "cowardice." Heal, a former Marine, took a variety of non-lethal weapons to Somalia in 1995 and was dismayed to find that his superiors felt their supposedly humanitarian mission was better accomplished by killing. He would love to have the Pentagon's raygun available for such purposes as controlling prison riots.

The Pentagon is spending just $13.1 million on the raygun this year. Secretary Payton agrees this is "absolutely peanuts ... chump change," but she explained to CBS that with only a $475 billion annual budget, "we don't have enough money to do things that are the here and now." The raygun is seen as unproven because it has never been deployed in the field, and it has not been deployed in the field because it is unproven.

"Lethal weapons have an easier time getting into our system," acknowledges Colonel Hymes.

So do you feel guilty yet? Are you ready to volunteer so that this wonderful, non-lethal weapon can be used to save lives? Do you trust that it will always and everywhere be used properly? Will you demand that more of your tax dollars be given to the DOD to resolve their horrible budget shortfalls?

Me either.


The Things Done In Your Name

This is what happens when we’re too busy to pay attention and we let our government lie us into an illegal war with no clear mission. The ‘Rules of Engagement’ fade away, innocent people are murdered, American soldiers become haunted, and we are all diminished.

When will we learn?

You can’t be too busy to pay attention this time.

Kicking the Can: Just Another Bad Idea

Those of us who traipse around in the messy and bizarre alternative news world, also known as reality, must seem very strange to those sliding blissfully around the surface of the bubble. The people on the surface of the bubble, being so many and still essentially comfortable, can yet afford to look at us with a little pity, perhaps, or bemusement.

“Do you really think something bad will happen?”, they ask, incredulously. Why yes, yes I do. (Pause here to bang head against wall.)

Could it be any easier to find alternative news? I don’t know how, unless of course it comes over the television. Ha! Thousands of people organize alternative news into convenient lists every single day, and blog about it, and analyze it, and connect obscure events together for your convenience. The information has not been hidden. All one needs to do is sit at a computer and look around, and read, and think, and bear with the confusion and the discomfort of having your entire world view dismantled and reassembled into a hideously ugly arrangement that, though it makes you cringe and mourn, at least has the benefit of rationally explaining what has already happened. Furthermore, it has a track record of accurately predicting events. So it is that, having immersed myself in this disturbing but useful world of alternative news, I can confidently say yes, I do think something bad will happen. Haven’t many horrible things already happened?

But still many Americans don’t quite visualize it. A little economic pain has started to bite, but so far it seems tolerable. We’ve lived through recessions before. We’ve lived through wars before. Well, actually, we’ve lived through wars fought in other countries before, which is almost the same thing, right? People believe things will get better. The election nears. They can wait it out. Soon we will have new leaders and events will turn upward again. We just have to patient for a little while longer, and then our new leaders will fix the problems.

I would love to think that too, but far too many facts stand before me to indulge in a game of kick the can down the road.

There are many writers and pundits that constantly compare the American people to sheep. Anyone that has read political articles on the internet or in magazines has heard of the word “sheeple”. The word implies that the American people are led around like sheep, and that they are blissfully unaware of their surroundings, and like sheep, being led to slaughter, goes along peaceably to their doom. This is a great comparison, but like many other broad comparisons, it’s far too simplistic and doesn’t even come close to actually describing the mindset of the American people. The truth is that Americans do know what time it is, they do know what is being done in their name and they are very much aware of the erosion of individual liberties, they just don’t want to acknowledge it.

I could stop right here and make a simplistic statement such as the American people are in denial, that it is easier to go along to get along, that ignorance is bliss and hundreds of other statements that say basically the same thing, that it’s easier to deal with a problem if you refuse to admit there is a problem to begin with, if you don’t have a problem, than you don’t need a solution. This type of thinking is essentially the crux of the problem here in America. The simple truth is that many Americans simply don’t want to hear the truth. The admission of a problem is the admission that we need to find a solution. The quest of finding a solution to the problem is more daunting than just living with the problem. Of course this is not the only reason why many Americans stay in a state of denial, there are many reasons, one of which could possibly explain why so many Americans refuse to acknowledge the problem in the first place, and this is that the American model of a representative republic… has failed us miserably. In fact, our federal government is out of control. The truth is that at no time in the history of the United States, has a government so completely ignored the will of its people, as this government has. We have had Presidents ignore the will of the people before, but this President ignores not only the people, but Congress as well.

Lots of bad things can happen between now and the elections. Many of the people who have been wielding power these past eight years can no longer travel freely around the world lest they be detained for war crimes. That’s right. Why would we expect them to just walk away now and hand over the reins? Do you think they plan to spend one second answering for their crimes? Of course not. They have committed so many crimes, and so much evidence has been accumulated against them, and so much of it can be read by anyone with simply the will and the interest to look, that it’s inconceivable to me that they will voluntarily relinquish the relative safety and trappings of power. The risk of being held accountable is very great, and they don’t tolerate risks to their personal security. So something had better happen between now and then to insure that they don’t have to worry come January 2009.

That can you all keep kicking down the road? Do you even know what’s in the can? Do you even know what road we’re on? Do you know what the game is? Do you really think you should wait until January 2009 to stop playing this foolish game?

They are not playing kick the can, that’s for sure. They are playing different games: a numbers game, and a waiting game. They want you to keep playing kick the can. They want you to be forever distracted so they can finish their plans. They know their days are numbered; but if they can outlast your attention span by constantly distracting you with stupid television shows and make-believe bad guys and the Summer Olympics, they can get away with murder. They know their numbers are few, and ours many; but if they can keep you content with promises of economic security somewhere down the road — promises that haven’t been kept for decades — they can make their financial domination permanent.

The time to pay attention is right now. The time to get yourself caught up with 9/11, Israel, the War on Terror, Wall Street, domestic spying, the erosion of our civil liberties, etc. etc. etc., is now. Come on, people. Quit kicking the stupid can down the road already.

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