By HANNAH ROBERTS The Obama administration is building a ring of secret drone bases in the Horn of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula as part of an aggressive campaign against al Qaeda franchises in Somalia and Yemen. One base for the unmanned aircraft is being established in Ethiopia and another has been installed in the [...]
A RAW STORY investigation has revealed that a report released by the Pentagon last April on the progress of the Afghanistan “surge” included only a single passing reference to a survey that is now being touted as having discovered mineral resources in that nation potentially worth $1 trillion.
The lack of any mention of dramatic new discoveries is likely to reinforce suspicions that there is something bogus about the claim in last Sunday’s New York Times that “the United States has discovered nearly $1 trillion in untapped mineral deposits in Afghanistan, far beyond any previously known reserves and enough to fundamentally alter the Afghan economy and perhaps the Afghan war itself.”
By Robert Higgs When President Obama presented his budget recently for fiscal year 2011, he proposed that the Pentagon’s outlays be increased by about 4.5 percent beyond its estimated outlays in fiscal 2010, to a total of almost $719 billion. Although many Americans regard this enormous sum as excessive, few appreciate that the total amount [...]
When it comes to our nation’s military affairs, ignorance is not bliss. What’s remarkable then, given the permanent state of war in which we find ourselves, is how many Americans seem content not to know.
There are many reasons for this state of affairs. Our civilian leaders encourage us to be deferential toward our latest commander/savior, whether Tommy Franks in 2003, David Petraeus in 2007, or Stanley McChrystal in 2010. Our media employs retired officers, most of them multi-starred generals, in a search for expertise that ends in an unconditional surrender to military agendas. A cloud of secrecy and “black budgets” combine to obscure military matters, ranging from global strategy to war goals to weapons procurement. The taxpayer, forced to pony up about one trillion dollars yearly to fund our military, national security infrastructure, and wars, is sent a simple message: stay clear and leave it to the experts in uniform.
The powerlessness of ordinary Americans in military matters is no accident. Recall the one-word reply — “So?” — Dick Cheney offered in March 2008, when asked to comment on popular opposition to the war in Iraq. The former vice president was certainly far blunter than Washington usually is, and for that we may owe him a measure of thanks. By highlighting the arrogant dismissiveness of Washington’s warrior-elite when it comes to American public opinion, he revealed more than he intended.
By Jacob Hornberger
hat tip: Campaign for Liberty
However, there is one part of the WikiLeaks video that I wish to address — the reaction of the helicopter pilots upon learning that there were two children who were shot and injured during the melee. Their reaction, in fact, perfectly exemplifies the mindset that has long characterized U.S. officials, including those in the Pentagon.
When the pilots discovered that they had shot the two Iraqi kids, here was their exchange:
“Well it’s their fault for bringing their kids into a battle.”
No remorse, no anguish, no regret, no concern. Just callous indifference to the possibility that the lives of two innocent children might have just been snuffed out.
Two days after we warned that anti-government activists were about to be framed for violence, Californian man attacks police officers, media cites motivation as advocacy for 9/11 truth
Paul Joseph Watson
Friday, March 5, 2010
Just two days after we warned of false flag domestic attacks that would be blamed on the federal government’s political adversaries were all but inevitable, a Californian man attacked the Pentagon last night in a shooting that wounded two police officers and has since been blamed on the John Patrick Bedell’s advocacy for 9/11 truth.
On Wednesday we explained how a Southern Poverty Law Center report which demonized We Are Change 9/11 truth organizations in the same breath as violent racist skinhead groups was part of a preparatory set-up for violent domestic acts that would be blamed on anti-government extremists.
We pointed out that since examples of Americans committing violence in pursuit of their political beliefs, FBI patsy Timothy McVeigh aside, were thin on the ground, organizations like the SPLC were begging for such incidents to occur in order to provide the federal government with the pretext to crack down on dissent and silence free speech on the Internet.
by Paul Craig Roberts
The Washington Times is a newspaper that looks with favor upon the Bush/Cheney/Obama/neocon wars of aggression in the Middle East and favors making terrorists pay for 9/11. Therefore, I was surprised to learn on February 24 that the most popular story on the paper’s website for the past three days was the “Inside the Beltway” report, “Explosive News,” about the 31 press conferences in cities in the US and abroad on February 19 held by Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, an organization of professionals which now has 1,000 members.
I was even more surprised that the news report treated the press conference seriously.
How did three World Trade Center skyscrapers suddenly disintegrate into fine dust? How did massive steel beams in three skyscrapers suddenly fail as a result of short-lived, isolated, and low temperature fires? “A thousand architects and engineers want to know, and are calling on Congress to order a new investigation into the destruction of the Twin Towers and Building 7,” reports the Washington Times.
flickr image by wallyg
EXCERPT FROM SPEECH AT FIRST UNIVERSALIST CHURCH IN COLUMBUS, SUMMER OF 2007
Kennedy was also bucking the entire military industrial complex. In June, he announced that he wanted to end the cold war. He wanted to end the arms race. He said “we all breathe the same air, we all live in a world where we want our children to grow up in peace, we all drink the same water, and if we don’t get rid of nuclear weapons, we’re not going to have that world.” He said, “and we’re all mortal.” In October, he said he wanted to scatter the CIA to the four winds.
My mother was the highest paid woman in the Pentagon. She worked there 30 years, and she was a manpower analyst for the Joint Chiefs of Staff. She ended up in a GS-13, very high for a woman in those days – and came in ‘43 and left in ’73. She had been a pacifist between WWI and WWII – showed me her pacifist poetry – like much of the pacifists in the international community she came to believe that Hitler was so evil that we had to go to war to fight Hitler. About the only person that got it, and said anything, in 1936 was Thomas Merton. He said, “if America fights Hitler, it will become Hitler.”
Everyone knows that the too big to fails and their dishonest and footsy-playing regulators and politicians are largely responsible for trashing the economy.
But the military-industrial complex shares much of the blame.
Nobel prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz says that the Iraq war will cost $3-5 trillion dollars.
Sure, experts say that the Iraq war has increased the threat of terrorism. See this, this, this, this, this, this and this. And we launched the Iraq war based on the false linkage of Saddam and 9/11, and knowingly false claims that Saddam had WMDs. And top British officials, former CIA director George Tenet, former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill and many others say that the Iraq war was planned before 9/11. But this essay is about dollars and cents.
America is also spending a pretty penny in Afghanistan. The U.S. admits there are only a small handful of Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. As ABC notes:
U.S. intelligence officials have concluded there are only about 100 al Qaeda fighters in the entire country.
With 100,000 troops in Afghanistan at an estimated yearly cost of $30 billion, it means that for every one al Qaeda fighter, the U.S. will commit 1,000 troops and $300 million a year.
Sure, the government apparently planned the Afghanistan war before 9/11 (see this and this). And the Taliban offered to turn over Bin Laden (see this and this). And we could have easily killed Bin Laden in 2001 and again in 2007, but chose not to, even though that would have saved the U.S. hundreds of billions of dollars in costs in prosecuting the Afghanistan war. But this essay is about dollars and cents.
“Obama Has Kept the Machine Set on Kill”–Journalist and Activist Allan Nairn Reviews Obama’s First Year in Office
hat tip: Democracy NOW!
AMY GOODMAN: Well, why don’t you start off with a broad overview, as we move into this first anniversary of President Obama’s inauguration, of his term in office?
ALLAN NAIRN: Well, I think Obama should be remembered as a great man because of the blow he struck against white racism, the cultural blow. And he accomplished that on Election Day. That was huge. This is one of the most destructive forces in world history, and by simply—by virtue of becoming president, Obama did it major damage.
But once he became president, by virtue of his actions, just like every US president before him, just like those who ran other great powers, Obama became a murderer and a terrorist, because the US has a machine that spans the globe, that has the capacity to kill, and Obama has kept it set on kill. He could have flipped the switch and turned it off. The President has—turned it off. The President has that power, but he chose not to do so.
AMY GOODMAN: What do you mean? Explain more fully.
ALLAN NAIRN: Well, the machine. The US spends about half of all—almost half of all the military spending in the entire world, equal to virtually all the other countries combined. More than half of the weapons sold in the world are sold by the United States. The US has more than 700 military bases scattered across dozens of countries. The US is the world’s leading trainer of paramilitaries. The US has a series of courses, from interrogators to generals, that have graduated military people guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity in dozens upon dozens of countries. The US has a series of covert paramilitary forces of its own that get almost no attention. For example, right now in Iran, there are covert US paramilitaries attacking Iran from within, authorized by secret executive order. This was briefly reported, but it dropped from notice. In addition to that, there are the open attacks, the open bombings and invasions. Just in the recent period, the US has done this to Iran—to, I’m sorry, to Iraq, to Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Kenya. Currently in the Philippines, there are US troops in action in the south. And you could go on. This is the machine.
And then, in addition, there’s the support for a series of what the RAND Corporation itself—you know, RAND is an extension of the Pentagon—called US support for repressive non-democratic governments and for governments that commit aggression. There are about forty of them that the US backs. And I could run through the list. And the point is, Obama has not cut a single—cut off a single one of these repressive regimes. He has not cut off a single one of the terror forces. He has increased the size of the US Army, increased the size of US Special Forces. He has increased the level of overseas arms sales. In fact, the Pentagon, his Pentagon, was recently bragging about it. The same thing happened under the Clinton administration with then-Secretary of Commerce Ron Brown. He has tuned it up. But you could just run down the list of countries where civilians are being killed and tortured with US weapons, with US money, with US intelligence, with US political green lights.