Archive | April 5th, 2011

GOLDSTONE BASTARD CHILD OF ZIONISM

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Richard Goldstone now says IsraHell was not guilty of targetting civilians in Gaza.

I thought Operation Cast Lead was a BIG mistake, and the Netanyahu government culpable by neglect and mismanagement, but the article shows a certain degree of naivete, if not stupidity, that Richard Goldstone still holds onto:

“Some have charged that the process we followed did not live up to judicial standards. To be clear: Our mission was in no way a judicial or even quasi-judicial proceeding. We did not investigate criminal conduct on the part of any individual in IsraHell, Gaza or the West Bank. We made our recommendations based on the record before us, which unfortunately did not include any evidence provided by the IsraHell government. Indeed, our main recommendation was for each party to investigate, transparently and in good faith, the incidents referred to in our report. McGowan Davis has found that IsraHell has done this to a significant degree; Hamas has done nothing.

Some have suggested that it was absurd to expect Hamas, an organization that has a policy to destroy the state of IsraHell, to investigate what we said were serious war crimes. It was my hope, even if unrealistic, that Hamas would do so, especially if IsraHell conducted its own investigations. At minimum I hoped that in the face of a clear finding that its members were committing serious war crimes, Hamas would curtail its attacks. Sadly, that has not been the case. Hundreds more rockets and mortar rounds have been directed at civilian targets in southern IsraHell. That comparatively few IsraHellis have been killed by the unlawful rocket and mortar attacks from Gaza in no way minimizes the criminality. The U.N. Human Rights Council should condemn these heinous acts in the strongest terms.

In the end, asking Hamas to investigate may have been a mistaken enterprise. So, too, the Human Rights Council should condemn the inexcusable and cold-blooded recent slaughter of a young IsraHell couple and three of their small children in their beds.”

 

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ALAN DERSHOWITZ- YOU’RE NOT WELCOME HERE

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GILAD ATZMON


 

In a recent article, notorious Zionist Alan Dershowitz reveals the scale of rejection he faced on his recent visit to Norway:

Ahead of his visit to the country, Dershowitz’ lectures were offered (without any charge) at the three leading Norwegian universities.  These universities, who on earlier occasions had been happy to host Harvard Scholar Stephen Walt and Israeli historian Ilan Pappe, clearly said ‘no’ to Dershowitz.

The Dean of the Law Faculty at Bergen University told Dershowitz that he would be honoured to have him present a lecture on the O.J. Simpson case — as long as he was willing to promise not to mention Israel.

I guess that the message was clear — while the Dean of the Law Faculty thought that his students may benefit from learning about the legal advocacy of a ‘single murder suspect’ — he probably could not see any academic justification in educating them about the possible defense of a ‘murderous collective’ i.e. the Jewish State.

An administrator at the Trondheim school said that Israel was too ‘controversial.’ That is surely the most polite way possible to refer to a racist expansionist terrorist state — The University of Oslo simply said “no” without offering any excuse.

But then the shekel dropped: “It was then”, writes Dershowitz, “that I realized why all this happened. At all of the Norwegian universities, there have been efforts to enact academic and cultural boycotts of Jewish Israeli academics.”

Did I miss something here? Dershowitz is not exactly even an Israeli — he is, actually, an American Jew – so why should he regard himself as a ‘victim’ of the academic and cultural boycotts of ‘Jewish Israeli academics’?

I guess though, that Dershowitz grasps the inevitable truth here: the boycott against Israel is ethically driven — It obviously identifies Dershowitz and other Jewish lobbyists as an extension of the Israeli crime, and vice versa.

Seemingly, humanity and humanists are making an intensive effort to purify our cultural landscape of any traces of Zionist ideology and Zionist advocates: It is not just Israeli academics that we oppose — it is actually people who are affiliated with any form of Jewish supremacist ideology. Dershowitz can be assured that Jews and even Israelis are more than welcome in Norway — as long as they do not represent the Jewish State and its policies.

As you may have expected though, Dershowitz could not leave the scene without trying to dig up some ‘dirt’ – he found out that Trond Adresen (a professor at Trondheim who was amongst the leaders of the cultural Boycott of Israeli academics) had, on an earlier occasion, written that ‘there is something immensely self-satisfied and self-centered at the tribal mentality that is so prevalent among Jews.’

Apparently, Adresen’s words were taken out of context (as he himself explains here.)

Yet the most obvious fact here is that there surely is something ‘immensely self-satisfied’, ‘self-centered’ and tribally obsessed about Dershowitz himself: and since Dershowitz insists on representing Jewish interests on every possible platform (that would be lame enough to allow him to do so), Dershowitz should also be aware of the bad impression he gives of the Jewish people as a collective.

“This line of talk—directed at Jews, not Israel—is apparently acceptable among many in Norway’s elite,” complains Dershowitz.

One should remind the dull Zionist American lawyer that Israel does actually specifically define itself as the ‘Jewish State’, and therefore if Dershowitz wants others to differentiate between “Israel’ and the ‘Jews’ — he might also be kind enough to advise us where the demarcation line between the two begins and ends: where for instance does ‘Israel’ end and the ‘Jews’ start? Or more precisely, where exactly does ‘Israel’ end, and where does ‘Dershowitz’ start?

The world we are living in is becoming increasingly aware of the destructive power of Zionism. It is also becoming more and more aware of the role of the Jewish lobbies, and of their powers within the media.  The world we are living in is becoming allergic to Dershowitz, and for a damn good reason.

‘Jews you’re not welcome here’ was Dershowitz’s interpretation of his rejection in Norway.

He was obviously wrong. The clear, direct and unmistakable message was, ‘Dershowitz you’re not welcome here.’

But it goes further — sooner than you think, Dershowitz won’t be welcome anywhere.

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Lehi experts: MI5 paranoid

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by crescentandcross

Son of founder, former Lehi member both reject claim group wanted to assassinate Churchill

MI5 documents claiming the Lehi planned to assassinate former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill are a product of “British paranoia”, the son of the group’s founder told Ynet on Monday.

Britain’s Security Service uncovers files suggesting Eliyahu Bet-Zuri, who was hanged for murdering Lord Moyne, plotted to kill British prime minister, Foreign Secretary Bevin in 1944

Geula Cohen, a former MK and member of the famed underground group, also told Ynet she had never heard of such a scheme. “We had only begun working abroad in those days,” she said, referring to the mid-40s.

“I know because I heard from Yitzhak Shamir himself that there were two people being targeted at that time – the British high commissioner to the Middle East, who was assassinated, and Commissioner Harold McMichael, who we missed,” Cohen recounted.

“Aside from these two, I can’t recall any other targets in those days. I really can’t remember any intention of harming Churchill.”

Yair Stern, Chairman of the Lehi Veterans Association and the son of Avraham (Yair) Stern, founder and commander of the group, told Ynet that no information – documented or verbal – exists corroborating the claims.

“It’s paranoia. Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin seems like a preferable target, because he was said to have been anti-Semitic and one of the deciders of British policy that prevented concentration camp survivors from immigrating to Israel,” Stern explained.

“But I have never even heard of an intention to kill him, nor have I ever found documentation or testimony on the matter in the Lehi files.”

Stern chalked the claims up to panic. “Apparently there was no plan, maybe someone just threw out a comment,” he said, but added that the Lehi did indeed aim to assassinate certain British officials, generally police and military officers.

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Dean Henderson: Speculators, Cartels and Myths of Scarcity – How War Pushes up Price of Oil

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Speculators, Cartels and Myths of Scarcity: How War Pushes up the Price of Oil

By Dean Henderson

Last week, as if to justify his Libyan crusade, President Obama echoed the prevailing “peak oil” myth, stating that “we must accept the new reality that from here on out, demand for oil will always exceed supply”.  It was music to the ears of the Rockefeller/Rothschild energy cartel and tax-dodger oil traders in Zug, Switzerland alike.  Both know full well that oil companies pay around $18/barrel to get crude out of the ground.

Big Oil rings up its usual quarterly record profit, speculators led by Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley tack on another $50/barrel and people get gouged at the gas pump.  Governments “tighten their belts”, economies contract and the myth of scarcity (root word: scare) encourages a race to the bottom for the global masses, alongside an historical concentration of power and wealth by the well-fed and fueled global elite.

A day after Obama’s endorsement of concentrated corporate power and casino capitalism, the US Department of Energy reported that the main US oil stage depot at Cushing, Oklahoma was holding 41.9 million barrels of crude oil, very near its capacity of 44 million barrels.  In other words, the US is awash in crude oil.

Here in South Dakota, the USDA announced that farmers plan to plant an additional 850,000 acres of corn- the most since 1931.  According to a March 10 bulletin from USDA, Brazil’s corn crop is 2 million tons higher than last year.  Yet corn futures on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange trade at record prices.

According to the same USDA report, “U.S. wheat ending stocks for 2010/11 are projected higher this month on reduced export prospects. Projected exports are lowered 25 million bushels with increased world supplies of high quality wheat, particularly in Australia, and a slower-than-expected pace of U.S. shipments heading into the final quarter of the wheat marketing year.”  Yet wheat futures hover near record highs.

There is nothing alarming in the report about supplies of beef, poultry, eggs, milk, sugar or rice either.  Yet food prices continue to skyrocket.

The global elite know that both food and energy are paramount to life. Control over these two most basic needs means control over people.

After the 2008 acquisitions of Swift, Smithfield and National Beef Packers by Brazilian meat-packer JBS, there are three conglomerates that control over 80% of beef-packing in the US – Tyson, Cargill and JBS.  These same companies control most of the burgeoning cattle feedlot industry centered in SW Kansas and SE Colorado.  They also dominate the pork, chicken and turkey industries.  Cargill is the largest grain processor on the planet, handling a full one-half of global grain supplies.

Four giant companies are making a play to own not just all the oil, but virtually all energy sources on the planet.  In my book, Big Oil & Their Bankers…I dub them the Four Horsemen – Royal Dutch/Shell, Exxon Mobil, Chevron Texaco and BP Amoco.

These companies control crude oil from the Saudi well-head to the American gas pump and profit from every step of processing, shipping and marketing in between.  While reactionary Republicans blame environmentalists for the lack of US oil production, it was these oil giants who capped permitted wells in Texas and Louisiana and moved production to the Middle East – where Bangladeshi, Filipino and Yemeni workers are paid $1/day to work the oil rigs.

Royal Dutch/Shell and Exxon Mobil are the heaviest and most vertically integrated of the Four Horsemen. These behemoths have led the charge towards horizontal integration within the energy industry, investing heavily in natural gas, coal and uranium resources.

With the fall of the Berlin Wall, Eastern Europe, Russia, the Balkans and Central Asia were opened to Big Oil.  According to Kurt Wulff of oil investment firm McDep Associates, the Four Horsemen, romping in their new Far East pastures, saw asset increases from 1988-94 as follows: Exxon Mobil-54%, Chevron Texaco-74%, Royal Dutch/Shell-52% and BP Amoco-54%. The Rockefeller/Rothschild Oil Cartel had more than doubled its collective assets in six short years.

Russia and Central Asia contain over half of the world’s natural gas reserves. Royal Dutch/Shell has led the way in tapping these reserves, forming a joint venture with Uganskneftegasin at a huge Siberia gas field in which Shell owns a 24.5% stake. Shell has been the world’s #1 producer of natural gas since 1985, often via a joint venture with Exxon Mobil.

In the US retail natural gas sector Chevron Texaco owns Dynegy, while Exxon Mobil owns Duke Energy. Both were key players – alongside Enron – in the 2000 natural gas spikes that battered the economy of California and led to the bankruptcy of that state’s main utility provider, Pacific Gas & Electric. Exxon Mobil has extensive interests in power generation facilities around the world including full ownership of Hong Kong-based China Light & Power.

During the 1970s Big Oil invested $2.4 billion in uranium exploration. They now control over half the world’s uranium reserves, key to fueling nuclear power plants. Chevron Texaco and Shell even developed a joint venture to build nuclear reactors.

Exxon Mobil is the leading coal producer in the US and has the second largest coal reserves after Burlington Resources, the former BN railroad subsidiary which in 2005 was bought by the DuPont family-controlled Conoco Phillips.  Royal Dutch/Shell owns coal mines in Wyoming through its ENCOAL subsidiary and in West Virginia through Evergreen Mining. Chevron Texaco owns Pittsburgh & Midway Coal Mining.

Seven of the top fifteen coal producers in the US are oil companies, while 80% of US oil reserves are controlled by the nine biggest companies. Both Royal Dutch/Shell and Exxon Mobil are hastily buying up more coal reserves.

Concentration of power across the energy spectrum is not limited to the US. In Columbia, Exxon Mobil owns huge coal mines, BP Amoco owns vast oilfields and Big Oil controls all of the country’s vast non-renewable resources. In 1990 Exxon Mobil imported 16% of its US-bound crude from Columbia.

The Four Horsemen have invested heavily in other mining ventures as well. Shell holds long term contracts with several governments to supply tin through its Billiton subsidiary, which has mines in places like Brazil and Indonesia, where it is that country’s largest gold producer. Billiton merged with Australia’s Broken Hill Properties to become the world’s biggest mining conglomerate – BHP Billiton.

Shell also enjoys cozy relations with the world’s 2nd largest mining firm – Rio Tinto – through historically interlocked directorates. Holland’s Queen Juliana and Lord Victor Rothschild are the two largest shareholders of Royal Dutch/Shell.

Shell recently began investing heavily in the aluminum industry. Shell Canada is Canada’s top sulphur producer. Shell controls timber interests in Chile, New Zealand, Congo and Uruguay and a vast flower industry with farms in Chile, Mauritius, Tunisia and Zimbabwe.

Recently, Shell’s BHP Billiton tentacle announced a $38.6 billion hostile takeover attempt of Canada’s Potash Corp. BHP Billiton already owns Anglo Potash and Athabasca Potash. Ownership of Potash Corp. would give them control over 30% of the global potash market. Potash is a necessary component in growing any agricultural crop.

BP Amoco, through its ARCO subsidiary, has become one of the world’s top six producers of bauxite, from which aluminum is derived. It has mines in Jamaica and other Caribbean nations.

Chevron Texaco controls over 20% of the huge AMAX mining group, the leading producer of tungsten in the US with extensive holdings in South Africa and Australia.

Exxon Mobil owns Superior Oil and Falconbridge Mining, Canada’s largest producers of platinum and nickel, respectively. Exxon also owns Hecla Mining, one of the world’s top copper and silver producers, and Carter Mining, one of the top five phosphate producers in the world, with mines in Morocco and Florida. Phosphates are needed to process uranium, while phosphoric acid is key to petrochemical production, which the Four Horsemen also control.

Another vehicle for Four Horsemen hegemony in the energy sector is the joint venture. For decades before Chevron merged with Texaco in 2001, the companies had marketed petroleum products in 58 countries under the Caltex brand. They also operated Amoseas and Topco as joint ventures before merging.

Caltex owns refineries in South Africa, Bahrain and Japan. In the Philippines, Caltex and Shell control 58% of the oil sector. When Philippine strongman Ferdinand Marcos introduced martial law in 1972, Caltex Vice President Frank Zingaro commented, “Martial law has significantly improved the business climate.”

Exxon and Mobil also shared many joint ventures around the world prior to their 1999 merger, including PT Stanvav Indonesia. Royal Dutch/Shell and Exxon Mobil established a North Sea joint venture called Shell Expro in 1964, while in 1972 Shell tied up with Mitsubishi in Brunei to supply oil to Japan.

Shell owns 34% of Petroleum Development Oman in partnership with Exxon Mobil. Saudi ARAMCO, the Iranian Consortium, Iraqi Petroleum Company, Kuwait Oil Company and the ADCO in the United Arab Emirates all represent(ed) Four Horsemen collusion.

In Iran, Iraq and Libya these cartels were nationalized. That’s why the Rockefeller/Rothschild Oil Cartel billed US taxpayers to invade Iraq and Libya, while continuing to threaten Iran.  The first oil contract in Iraq went to Royal Dutch/Shell. The 2nd goes to BP and the 3rd to Exxon Mobil. You get the picture.

Both food and energy are paramount to life. That’s why Congress should shut down speculator casinos like the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and the NYMEX, while nationalizing the Four Horsemen and the monopoly food processors.  We should form a US Energy Company and a US Food Processing Company which would focus on renewable energy and healthier diversified diet.

All things are possible if we show political will and are not scared.  We should reject “peak oil” and its attenant myth of food scarcity and tackle the real problems – concentration of corporate power and speculation.

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Ban Ki-moon: “The Occupation that Started in 1967 is Morally and Politically Unsustainable”


Uruguay – PNN/UN Media Center – UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for a halt to Israel’s settlement building in the Palestinian territories, an end to all expressions of violence and the punishment of those perpetrating it, adding that Israel’s occupation is morally and politically unsustainable.

“Time is of the essence in realizing the two-state solution,” Ki-moon told Latin American and Caribbean delegates at a meeting in support of Israeli-Palestinian peace. “The occupation that started in 1967 is morally and politically unsustainable, and must end. The Palestinians have a legitimate right to the establishment of an independent and viable State of their own.”

The message was delivered in Montevideo, Uruguay by Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Oscar Fernandez-Taranco.

On the issue of realizing a Palestinian state in September, as agreed on by the internationally endorsed Road Map plan for a two-state solution, Ban said:

“The target dates for reaching an Israeli-Palestinian agreement on permanent status issues and completing the Palestinian Authority’s two-year State-building programme are fast-approaching. Yet, the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations remain at a worrying standstill. We must intensify efforts to break the deadlock.”

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UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon – Archive

Palestinian – Israeli talks were jump-started by the US last September. However, two weeks later the talks stopped when Israeli refused to freeze construction in West Bank settlements, a demand set forth by the Palestinians as well as the White House.

Secretary Ban appealed to the international donors to help building viable State and praised the efforts of the Palestinian Authrity, led by President Mahmoud Abbas for its work in achieving that goal. He also acknowledged the Palestinian security forces’ efforts to maintain security in areas under their control in the West Bank and called on Israel to take further steps to improve economic and security conditions by reducing obstacles to movement, halting military operations, and enabling the PA to control more West Bank areas.

As for Israel’s five year long siege of the Gaza Strip, Ki-moon said Israel must further ease its blockade of the costal enclave. The Secretary-General also condemned the home-made shells fired from Gaza at Israeli targets near the Strip as well as the killing and wounding of Gaza civilians, including children, in Israeli airstrikes.

“Israel has the right to live in peace and security within internationally recognized and secure borders,” he said. “A way must be found for Jerusalem to emerge as a capital of two States, Israel and Palestine, with arrangements for holy sites acceptable for all. And there must be a just and agreed solution to the prolonged plight of the Palestinian refugees.”

The two-day meeting will focus on issues linked to encouraging support from Latin American and Caribbean States for restarting the Israeli-Palestinian political process, including the impact of settlement expansion, the question of Jerusalem, building trust, and diplomatic recognition of Palestinian statehood by governments of the region, including Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay.

“The Committee welcomes such timely gestures and hopes that other regions will follow soon, thereby helping the Palestinian people carry through with their independence and sovereignty,” Committee Chairman Abdou Salam Diallo told the meeting.


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James Petras & Robin E. Abaya: The Euro-US War on Libya – Official Lies and Misconceptions of Critics

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Posted by: Sammi Ibrahem
Chair of West Midland PSC

The Euro-US War on Libya: Official Lies and Misconceptions of Critics

By James Petras and Robin E. Abaya

Introduction 

Many critics of the ongoing Euro-US wars in the Middle East and, now, North Africa, have based their arguments on clichés and generalizations devoid of fact. The most common line heard in regard to the current US-Euro war on Libya is that it’s “all about oil” – the goal is the seizure of Libya’s oil wells.

On the other hand Euro –U.S, government spokespeople defend the war by claiming it’s “all about saving civilian lives in the face of genocide”, calling it “humanitarian intervention”.

Following the lead of their imperial powers, most of what passes for the Left in the US and Europe, ranging from Social Democrats, Marxists, Trotskyists,Greens and other assorted progressives claim they see and support a revolutionary mass uprising of the Libyan people, and not a few have called for military intervention by the imperial powers, or the same thing, the UN, to help the “Libyan revolutionaries” defeat the Gaddafi dictatorship.

These arguments are without foundation and belie the true nature of US-UK-French imperial power, expansionist militarism, as evidenced in all the ongoing wars over the past decade (Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, etc.). What is much more revealing about the militarist intervention in Libya is that the major countries, which refused to engage in the War, operate via a very different form of global expansion based on economic and market forces. China, India, Brazil, Russia, Turkey and Germany, the most dynamic capitalist countries in Asia, Europe and the Middle East are fundamentally opposed to the self-styled “allied” military response against the Libyan government – because Gaddafi represents no threat to their security and they already have full access to the oil and a favorable investment climate. Besides, these economically dynamic countries see no prospect for a stable, progressive or democratic Libyan government emerging from the so-called ‘rebel’ leaders, who are disparate elites competing for power and Western favor.

(1) The Six Myths about Libya: Right and Left

The principle imperial powers and their mass media mouthpieces claim they are bombing Libya for “humanitarian reasons”. Their recent past and current military interventions present a different picture: The intervention in Iraq resulted in well over a million civilian deaths, four million refugees and the systematic destruction of a complex society and its infrastructure, including its water supplies and sewage treatment, irrigation, electricity grid, factories, not to mention research centers, schools, historical archives, museums and Iraq’s extensive social welfare system.

A worse disaster followed the invasion of Afghanistan. What was trumpeted as a ‘humanitarian intervention’ to liberate Afghan women and drive out the Taliban resulted in a human catastrophe for the Afghan people.
The road to imperial barbarism in Iraq began with ‘sanctions’, progressed to ‘no fly zones’, then de facto partition of the north, invasion and foreign occupation and the unleashing of sectarian warfare among the ‘liberated’ Iraqi death squads.

Equally telling, the imperial assault against Yugoslavia in the 1990’s, trotted out as the great “humanitarian war” to stop genocide, led to a 40-day aerial bombardment and destruction of Belgrade and other major cities, the imposition of a gangster terrorist regime (KLA) in Kosovo, the near-total ethnic cleansing of all non-Albanian residents from Kosovo and the construction of the largest US military base on the continent (Camp Bondsteel).

The bombing of Libya has already destroyed major civilian infrastructure, airports, roads, seaports and communication centers, as well as ‘military’ targets. The blockade of Libya and military attacks have driven out scores of multi-national corporations and led to the mass exodus of hundreds of thousands of Asian, Eastern European, Sub-Saharan African, Middle Eastern and North African skilled and unskilled immigrant workers and specialists of all types, devastating the economy and creating, virtually overnight, massive unemployment, bread-lines and critical gasoline shortages. Moreover, following the logic of previous imperial military interventions, the seemingly ‘restrained’ call to patrol the skies via “no fly zone”, has led directly to bombing civilian as well as military targets on the ground, and is pushing to overthrow the legitimate government. The current imperial warmongers leading the attack on Libya, just like their predecessors, are not engaged in anything remotely resembling a humanitarian mission: they are destroying the fundamental basis of the civilian lives they claim to be saving – or as an earlier generation of American generals would claim in Vietnam, they are ‘destroying the villages in order to save them’.

(2) War for Oil or Oil for Sale?

The ‘critical’ Left’s favorite cliché is that the imperial invasion is all about “seizing control of Libya’s oil and turning it over to their multi-nationals”. This is despite the fact that US, French and British multinationals (as well as their Asian competitors) had already “taken over” millions of acres of Libyan oil fields without dropping a single bomb. For the past decade, “Big Oil” had been pumping and exporting Libyan oil and gas and reaping huge profits. Gaddafi welcomed the biggest MNC’s to exploit the oil wealth of Libya from the early 1990’s to the present day. There are more major oil companies doing business in Libya than in most oil producing regions in the world. These include: British Petroleum, with a seven-year contract on two concessions and over $1 billion dollars in planned investments. Each BP concession exploits huge geographic areas of Libya, one the size of Kuwait and the other the size of Belgium (Libyonline.com). In addition, five Japanese major corporations, including Mitsubishi and Nippon Petroleum, Italy’s Eni Gas, British Gas and the US giant Exxon Mobil signed new exploration and exploitation contracts in October 2010. The most recent oil concession signed in January 2010 mainly benefited US oil companies, especially Occidental Petroleum. Other multi-nationals operating in Libya include Royal Dutch Shell, Total (France), Oil India, CNBC (China), Indonesia’s Pertamina and Norway’s Norsk Hydro (BBC News, 10/03/2005).

Despite the economic sanctions against Libya, imposed by US President Reagan in 1986, US multinational giant, Halliburton, had secured multi-billion dollar gas and oil projects since the 1980’s. During his tenure as CEO of Halliburton, former Defense Secretary Cheney led the fight against these sanctions stating, “as a nation (there is) enormous value having American businesses engaged around the world” (Halliburtonwatch.com). Officially, sanctions against Libya were only lifted under Bush in 2004. Clearly, with all the European and US imperial countries already exploiting Libya oil on a massive scale, the mantra that the “war is about oil” doesn’t hold water or oil!

(3) Gaddafi is a Terrorist

In the run-up to the current military assault on Tripoli,the US Treasury Department’s (and Israel’s special agent) Stuart Levey, authored a sanctions policy freezing $30 billion dollars in Libyan assets on the pretext that Gaddafi was a murderous tyrant (Washington Post, 3/24/11). However, seven years earlier, Cheney, Bush and Condoleezza Rice had taken Libya off the list of terrorist regimes and ordered Levey and his minions to lift the Reagan-era sanctions.

Every major European power quickly followed suite: Gaddafi was welcomed in European capitals, prime ministers visited Tripoli and Gaddafi reciprocated by unilaterally dismantling his nuclear and chemical weapons programs (BBC, 9/5/2008). Gaddafi became Washington’s partner in its campaign against a broad array of groups, political movements and individuals arbitrarily placed on the US’ “terror list”, arresting, torturing and killing Al Qaeda suspects, expelling Palestinian militants and openly criticizing Hezbollah, Hamas and other opponents of Israel. The United Nations Human Rights Commission gave the Gaddafi regime a clean bill of health in 2010. In the end Gaddafi’s political ‘turnabout’, however much celebrated by the Western elite, did not save him from this massive military assault. The imposition of neo-liberal ‘reforms’, his political ‘apostasy’ and cooperation in the ‘War on Terror’ and the elimination of weapons of mass destruction, only weakened the regime. Libya became vulnerable to attack and isolated from any consequential anti-imperialist allies. Gaddafi’s much ballyhooed concessions to the West set his regime up as an easy target for the militarists of Washington, London and Paris, eager for a quick ‘victory’.

(4) The Myth of the Revolutionary Masses

The Left, including the mainly electoral social democrat, green and even left-socialist parties of Europe and the US swallowed the entire mass media propaganda package demonizing the Gaddafi regime while lauding the ‘rebels’. Parroting their imperial mentors, the ‘Left’ justified their support for imperial military intervention in the name of the “revolutionary Libyan people”, the “peace-loving” masses “fighting tyranny” and organizing peoples’ militias to “liberate their country”. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The center of the armed uprising is Benghazi, longtime monarchist hotbed of tribal supporters and clients of the deposed King Idris and his family. Idris, until he was overthrown by the young firebrand Col. Gaddafi, had ruled Libya with an iron fist over a semi-feudal backwater and was popular with Washington, having given the US its largest air base (Wheeler) in the Mediterranean. Among the feuding leaders of the “transitional council” in Benghazi (who purport to lead but have few organized followers) one finds neo-liberal expats, who first promoted the Euro-US military invasion envisioning their ride to power on the back of Western missiles .They openly favor dismantling the Libyan state oil companies currently engaged in joint ventures with foreign MNCs. Independent observers have commented on the lack of any clear reformist tendencies, let alone revolutionary organizations or democratic popular movements among the ‘rebels’.

While the US, British and French are firing missiles, loaded with depleted uranium, at the Libyan military and key civilian installations, their ‘allies’ the armed militias in Benghazi, rather than go to battle against the regime’s armed forces, are busy rounding up, arresting and often executing any suspected members of Gaddafi’s “revolutionary committees”, arbitrarily labeling these civilians as “fifth columnists”. The top leaders of these “revolutionary” masses in Benghazi include two recent defectors from what the ‘Left’ dubs Gaddafi’s “murderous regime”: Mustafa Abdul Jalil, a former Justice minister, who prosecuted dissenters up to the day before the armed uprising, Mahmoud Jebri, who was prominent in inviting multi-nationals to take over the oil fields (FT, March 23, 2011, p. 7), and Gaddafi’s former ambassador to India, Ali Aziz al-Eisawa, who jumped ship as soon as it looked like the uprising appeared to be succeeding. These self-appointed ‘leaders’ of the rebels who now staunchly support the Euro-US military intervention, were long-time supporters of the Gaddafi’s dictatorship and promoters of MNC takeovers of oil and gas fields. The heads of the “rebels” military council is Omar Hariri and General Abdul Fattah Younis, former head of the Ministry of Interior. Both men have long histories (since 1969) of repressing democratic movements within Libya. Given their unsavory background, it is not surprising that these top level military defectors to the ‘rebel’ cause have been unable to arouse their troops, mostly conscripts, to engage the loyalist forces backing Gaddafi. They too will have to take ride into Tripoli on the coattails of the Anglo-US-French armed forces.

The anti-Gaddafi force’s lack of any democratic credentials and mass support is evident in their reliance on foreign imperial armed forces to bring them to power and their subservience to imperial demands. Their abuse and persecution of immigrant workers from Asia, Turkey and especially sub-Sahara Africa, as well as black Libyan citizens, is well documented in the international press. Their brutal treatment of black Libyans, falsely accused of being Gaddafi’s “mercenaries” , includes torture, mutilation and horrific executions, does not auger well for the advent of a new democratic order, or even the revival of an economy, which has been dependent on immigrant labor, let alone a unified country with national institutions and a national economy.

The self-declared leadership of the “National Transitional Council” is not democratic, nationalist or even capable of uniting the country. These are not credible leaders capable of restoring the economy and creating jobs lost as a result of their armed power grab. No one seriously envisions these ‘exiles’, tribalists, monarchists and Islamists maintaining the paternalistic social welfare and employment programs created by the Gaddafi government and which gave Libyans the highest per-capita income in Africa.

(5) Al Qaeda

The greatest geographical concentration of suspected terrorists with links to Al Qaeda just happens to be in the areas dominated by the “rebels” (see Alexander Cockburn: Counterpunch, March 24, 2011). For over a decade Gaddafi has been in the forefront of the fight against Al Qaeda, following his embrace of the Bush-Obama ‘War on Terror’ doctrine. These jihadist Libyans, having honed their skills in US-occupied Iraq and Afghanistan, are now among the ranks of the “rebels” fighting the much more secular Libyan government. Likewise, the tribal chiefs, fundamentalist clerics and monarchists in the East have been active in a “holy war” against Gaddafi welcoming arms and air support from the Anglo-French-US “crusaders” – just like the mullahs and tribal chiefs welcomed the arms and training from the Carter-Reagan White House to overthrow a secular regime in Afghanistan. Once again, imperial intervention is based on ‘alliances’ with the most retrograde forces. The composition of the future regime (or regimes, if Libya is divided) is a big question and the prospects of a return to political stability for Big Oil to profitably exploit Libya’s resources are dubious.

(6) “Genocide” or Armed Civil War

Unlike all ongoing mass popular Arab uprisings, the Libyan conflict began as an armed insurrection, directed at seizing power by force. Unlike the autocratic rulers of Egypt and Tunisia, Gaddafi has secured a mass regional base among a substantial sector of the Libyan population. This support is based on the fact that almost two generations of Libyans have benefited from Gaddafi’s petroleum-financed welfare, educational, employment and housing programs, none of which existed under America’s favorite, King Idris. Since violence is inherent in any armed uprising, once one picks up the gun to seize power, they lose their claim on ‘civil rights’. In armed civil conflicts, civil rights are violated on all sides. Regardless of the Western media’s lurid portrayal of Gaddafi’s “African mercenary forces” and its more muted approval of ‘revolutionary justice’ against Gaddafi supporters and government soldiers captured in the rebel strongholds, the rules of warfare should have come into play, including the protection of non-combatants-civilians (including government supporters and officials), as well as protection of Libyan prisoners of war in the areas under NATO-rebel control.

The unsubstantiated Euro-US claim of “genocide” amplified by the mass media and parroted by “left” spokespersons is contradicted by the daily reports of single and double digit deaths and injuries, resulting from urban violence on both sides, as control of cities and towns shifts between the two sides.

Truth is the first casualty of war, and especially of civil war. Both sides have resorted to monstrous fabrications of victories, casualties, monsters and victims.

Demons and angels aside, this conflict began as a civil war between two sets of Libyan elites: An established paternalistic, now burgeoning neo-liberal, autocracy with substantial popular backing versus a western imperialist financed and trained elite, backed by an amorphous group of regional, tribal and clerical chiefs, monarchists and neo-liberal professionals devoid of democratic and nationalist credentials – and lacking broad-based mass support.

Conclusion

If not to prevent genocide, grab the oil or promote democracy (via Patriot missiles), what then is the driving force behind the Euro-US imperial intervention?

A clue is in the selectivity of Western military intervention: In Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Jordan, Qatar and Oman ruling autocrats, allied with and backed by Euro-US imperial states go about arresting, torturing and murdering unarmed urban protestors with total impunity. In Egypt and Tunisia, the US is backing a conservative junta of self-appointed civil-military elites in order to block the profound democratic and nationalist transformation of society demanded by the protesters. The ‘junta’ aims to push through neo-liberal economic “reforms” through carefully-vetted pro-Western ‘elected’ officials. While liberal critics may accuse the West of “hypocrisy” and “double standards” in bombing Gaddafi but not the Gulf butchers, in reality the imperial rulers consistently apply the same standards in each region: They defend strategic autocratic client regimes, which have allowed imperial states to build strategic air force and naval bases, run regional intelligence operations and set up logistical platforms for their ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as their future planned conflict with Iran. They attack Gaddafi’s Libya precisely because Gaddafi had refused to actively contribute to Western military operations in Africa and the Middle East.

The key point is that while Libya allows the biggest US-European multi-nationals to plunder its oil wealth, it did not become a strategic geo-political-military asset of the empire. As we have written in many previous essays the driving force of US empire-building is military – and not economic. This is why billions of dollars of Western economic interests and contracts had been sacrificed in the setting up of sanctions against Iraq and Iran – with the costly result that the invasion and occupation of Iraq shut down most oil exploitation for over a decade.

The Washington-led assault on Libya, with the majority of air sorties and missiles strikes being carried out by the Obama regime, is part of a more general counter-attack in response to the most recent Arab popular pro-democracy movements. The West is backing the suppression of these pro-democracy movements throughout the Gulf; it finances the pro-imperial, pro-Israel junta in Egypt and it is intervening in Tunisia to ensure that any new regime is “correctly aligned”. It supports a despotic regime in Algeria as well as Israel’s daily assaults on Gaza. In line with this policy, the West backs the uprising of ex-Gaddafites and right-wing monarchists, confident that the ‘liberated’ Libya will once again provide military bases for the US-European military empire-builders.

In contrast, the emerging market-driven global and regional powers have refused to support this conflict, which jeopardizes their access to oil and threatens the current large-scale oil exploration contracts signed with Gaddafi. The growing economies of Germany, China, Russia, Turkey, India and Brazil rely on exploiting new markets and natural resources all over Africa and the Middle East, while the US, Britain and France spend billions pursuing wars that de-stabilize these markets, destroy infrastructure and foment long-term wars of resistance. The growing market powers recognize that the Libyan “rebels” cannot secure a quick victory or ensure a stable environment for long-term trade and investments. The “rebels”, once in power, will be political clients of their militarist imperial mentors. Clearly, imperial military intervention on behalf of regional separatists seriously threatens these emerging market economies: The US supports ethno-religious rebels in China’s Tibetan province and as well as the Uyghur separatists; Washington and London have long backed the Chechen separatists in the Russian
Caucuses. India is wary of the US military support for Pakistan, which claims Kashmir. Turkey is facing Kurdish separatists who receive arms and safe haven from their US-supplied Iraqi Kurdish counterparts.

The North African precedent of an imperial invasion of Libya on behalf of its separatist clients worries the emerging market-powers. It is also an ongoing threat to the mass-based popular Arab freedom movements. And the invasion sounds the death knell for the US economy and its fragile ‘recovery’: three ongoing, endless wars will break the budget much sooner than later. Most tragic of all, the West’s ‘humanitarian’ invasion has fatally undermined genuine efforts by Libya’s civilian democrats, socialists and nationalists to free their country from both a dictatorship and from imperial-backed reactionaries.

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Michel Chossudovsky: America’s Planned Nuclear Attack on Libya

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America’s Planned Nuclear Attack on Libya

By Prof. Michel Chossudovsky

A war on Libya has been on the drawing board of the Pentagon for more than 20 years. Using nukes against Libya was first envisaged in 1997.

On April 14th 1986, Ronald Reagan ordered a series of bombings directed against Libya under “Operation El Dorado Canyon”, in reprisal for an alleged Libya sponsored terrorist bombing of a Berlin discotheque. The pretext was fabricated. During these air raids, which were condemned by both France and Italy, Qadhafi’s residence was bombed killing his younger daughter.
Barely acknowledged by the Western media, a planned attack on Libya using nuclear weapons, had been contemplated by the Clinton Administration in 1997, at the height of the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

The Department of Defense had developed a new generation of bunker buster tactical nuclear weapons for use in the Middle East and Central Asia:

“Military officials and leaders of America’s nuclear weapon laboratories [had] urged the US to develop a new generation of precision low-yield nuclear weapons… which could be used in conventional conflicts with third-world nations.”(Federation of American Scientists, 2001, emphasis added)

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Paul Craig Roberts: Obama Raises American Hypocrisy To A Higher Level

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Posted by: Sammi Ibrahem
Chair of West Midland PSC

Obama Raises American Hypocrisy To A Higher Level

The Bush/ Cheney/ Obama Wars of Naked Aggression

By Paul Craig Roberts

Obama’s speech showed a person more capable of DoubleSpeak and DoubleThink than Big Brother and the denizens of George Orwell’s 1984. 


How does a person as totally absurd as Obama expect to be taken seriously?

What does the world think?  Obama has been using air strikes and drones against civilians in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, and probably Somalia.  In his March 28 speech, Obama justified his air strikes against Libya on the grounds that the embattled ruler, Gadhafi, was using air strikes to put down a rebellion.

 


Gadhafi has been a black hat for as long as I can remember.  If we believe the adage that “where there is smoke there is fire,” Gadhafi is probably not a nice fellow. However, there is no doubt whatsoever that the current US president and the predecessor Bush/Cheney regime have murdered many times more people in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia than Gadhafi has murdered in Libya.


Moreover, Gadhafi is putting down a rebellion against state authority as presently constituted, but Obama and Bush/Cheney initiated wars of aggression based entirely on lies and deception.


Yet Gadhafi is being demonized, and Bush/Cheney/Obama are sitting on their high horse draped in cloaks of morality. Obama described himself as saving Libyans from violence while Obama himself murders Afghans, Pakistanis, and whomever else.


Indeed, the Obama regime has been torturing a US soldier, Bradley Manning, for having a moral conscience. America has degenerated to the point where having a moral conscience is evidence of  anti-Americanism and “terrorist activity.”


The Bush/Cheney/Obama wars of naked aggression have bankrupted America.  Joseph Stiglitz, former chairman of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, concluded that the money wasted on the Iraq war could have been used to fix America’s Social Security problem for half a century. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/feb/28/iraq.afghanistan Instead, the money was used to boost the obscene profits of the armament industry.


The obscene wars of aggression, the obscene profits of the offshoring corporations, and the obscene bailouts of the rich financial gangsters have left the American public with annual budget deficits of approximately $1.5 trillion. These deficits are being covered by printing money.  Sooner or later, the printing presses will cause the US dollar to collapse and domestic inflation to explode. Social Security benefits will be wiped out by inflation rising more rapidly than the cost-of-living adjustments.  If America survives, no one will be left but the mega-rich.  Unless there is a violent revolution.


Alternatively, if the Federal Reserve puts the brake on monetary expansion, interest rates will rise, sending the economy into a deeper depression.


Washington, focused on its newest war, is oblivious to America’s peril. As Stiglitz notes, the costs of the Iraq war alone could have kept every foreclosed family in their home, provided health care for every American child, and wiped out the student loans of graduates who cannot find jobs because they have been outsoured to foreigners.  However, the great democratic elected government of “the world’s only superpower” prefers to murder Muslims in order to enhance the profits of the military/security complex.  More money is spent violating the constitutional rights of American air travelers than is spent in behalf of the needy.


The moral authority of the West is rapidly collapsing.  When Russia, Asia, and South America look at Europe, Australia and Canada, they see American puppet states that contribute troops to the aggressive wars of the Empire. The French president, the British prime minister, the “president” of Georgia, and the rest  are merely functionaries of the American Empire.  The puppet rulers routinely sell out the interests and welfare of their peoples in behalf of American hegemony. And they are well rewarded for their service. One year out of office former British prime minister Tony Blair had a net worth of $30 million.


In his war against Libya, Obama has taken America one step further into Caesarism. Obama did Bush one step better and did not even bother to get congressional authorization for his attack on Libya.  Obama claimed that his moral authority trumped the US Constitution.  The hypocrisy reeks.  How the public stands it, I do not know:


“To brush aside America’s responsibility as a leader and–more profoundly–our responsibilities to our fellow human beings under such circumstances would have been a betrayal of who we are. Some nations may be able to turn a blind eye to atrocities in other countries. The United States of America is different. And as president, I refused to wait for the images of slaughter and mass graves  before taking action.”

This from the Great Moral Leader who every day murders civilians in Afghanistan and Pakistan and Yemen and Somalia and now Libya and who turns a blind eye when “the great democracy in the Middle East,” Israel, murders more Palestinians.


The American president, whose drones and air force slaughter civilians every day of the year went on to say Libya stands alone in presenting the world with “the prospect of violence on a horrific scale.”  Obviously, Obama thinks that one million dead Iraqis, four million displaced Iraqis, and an unknown number of murdered Afghans is just a small thing.


The rest of Obama’s speech showed a person more capable of DoubleSpeak and DoubleThink than Big Brother and the denizens of George Orwell’s 1984.


How does a person as totally absurd as Obama expect to be taken seriously?

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Tom Burghardt: Orwell 2011 – Towards a Pervasive “Surveillance State” in America

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Orwell 2011: Towards a Pervasive “Surveillance State” in America

Biometrics, Facial Mapping, “Computer-Aided ID”….

By Tom Burghardt

Not since AT&T whistleblower Marc Klein’s 2006 revelations that U.S. telecommunications giants were secretly collaborating with the government to spy on Americans, has a story driven home the point that we are confronted by a daunting set of invisible enemies: the security and intelligence firms constellating the dark skies of the National Security State.

 

As echoes from last month’s disclosures by the cyber-guerrilla collective Anonymous continue to reverberate, leaked HBGary emails and documents are providing tantalizing insight into just how little daylight there is between private companies and the government.

The latest front in the ongoing war against civil liberties and privacy rights is the Pentagon’s interest in “persona management software.”

A euphemism for a suite of high-tech tools that equip an operative–military or corporate, take your pick–with multiple avatars or sock puppets, our latter day shadow warriors hope to achieve a leg up on their opponents in the “war of ideas” through stealthy propaganda campaigns rebranded as “information operations.”

A Pervasive Surveillance State

The signs of a pervasive surveillance state are all around us. From the “persistent cookies” that track our every move across the internet to indexing dissidents already preemptively detained in public and private data bases: threats to our freedom to speak out without harassment, or worse, have never been greater.

As constitutional scholar Jack Balkin warned, the transformation of what was once a democratic republic based on the rule of law into a “National Surveillance State,” feature “huge investments in electronic surveillance and various end runs around traditional Bill of Rights protections and expectations about procedure.”

“These end runs,” Balkin wrote, “included public private cooperation in surveillance and exchange of information, expansion of the state secrets doctrine, expansion of administrative warrants and national security letters, a system of preventive detention, expanded use of military prisons, extraordinary rendition to other countries, and aggressive interrogation techniques outside of those countenanced by the traditional laws of war.”

Continuing the civil liberties’ onslaught, The Wall Street Journal reported last week that Barack Obama’s “change” regime has issued new rules that “allow investigators to hold domestic-terror suspects longer than others without giving them a Miranda warning, significantly expanding exceptions to the instructions that have governed the handling of criminal suspects for more than four decades.”

The Journal points out that the administrative “revision” of long-standing rules and case law “marks another step back from [Obama’s] pre-election criticism of unorthodox counterterror methods.”

Also last week, The Raw Story revealed that the FBI has plans to “embark on a $1 billion biometrics project and construct an advanced biometrics facility to be shared with the Pentagon.”

The Bureau’s new biometrics center, part of which is already operating in Clarksburg, West Virginia, “will be based on a system constructed by defense contractor Lockheed Martin.”

“Starting with fingerprints,” The Raw Story disclosed, the center will function as “a global law enforcement database for the sharing of those biometric images.” Once ramped-up “the system is slated to expand outward, eventually encompassing facial mapping and other advanced forms of computer-aided identification.”

The transformation of the FBI into a political Department of Precrime is underscored by moves to gift state and local police agencies with electronic fingerprint scanners. Local cops would be “empowered to capture prints from any suspect, even if they haven’t been arrested or convicted of a crime.”

“In such a context,” Stephen Graham cautions in Cities Under Siege, “Western security and military doctrine is being rapidly imagined in ways that dramatically blur the juridical and operational separation between policing, intelligence and the military; distinctions between war and peace; and those between local, national and global operations.”

This precarious state of affairs, Graham avers, under conditions of global economic crisis in the so-called democratic West as well as along the periphery in what was once called the Third World, has meant that “wars and associated mobilizations … become both boundless and more or less permanent.”

Under such conditions, Dick Cheney’s infamous statement that the “War on Terror” might last “decades” means, according to Graham, that “emerging security policies are founded on the profiling of individuals, places, behaviours, associations, and groups.”

But to profile more effectively, whether in Cairo, Kabul, or New York, state security apparatchiks and their private partners find it necessary to squeeze ever more data from a surveillance system already glutted by an overabundance of “situational awareness.”

“Last October,” Secrecy News reported, “the DNI revealed that the FY2010 budget for the National Intelligence Program (NIP) was $53.1 billion. And the Secretary of Defense revealed that the FY2010 budget for the Military Intelligence Program (MIP) was $27.0 billion, the first time the MIP budget had been disclosed, for an aggregate total intelligence budget of $80.1 billion for FY 2010.”

This excludes of course, the CIA and Pentagon’s black budget that hides a welter of top secret and above Special Access Programs under a dizzying array of code names and acronyms. In February, Wired disclosed that the black budget “appears to be about $56 billion, the same as last year,” but this “may only be the tip of an iceberg of secret funds.”

While the scandalous nature of such outlays during a period of intense economic and social attacks on the working class are obvious, less obvious are the means employed by the so-called “intelligence community” to defend an indefensible system of exploitation and corruption.

Which brings us back to the HBGary hack.

“Operation MetalGear”

While media have focused, rightly so, on the sleazy campaign proposed to Bank of America and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce by the high-powered law firm and lobby shop Hunton & Williams (H&W) to bring down WikiLeaks and tar Chamber critics, the treasure trove of emails leaked by Anonymous also revealed a host of Pentagon programs pointed directly at the heart of our freedom to communicate.

In fact, The Tech Herald revealed that while Palantir and Berico sought to distance themselves from HBGary and Hunton & William’s private spy op, “in 2005, Palantir was one of countless startups funded by the CIA, thanks to their venture funding arm, In-Q-Tel.”

“Most of In-Q-Tel’s investments,” journalist Steve Ragan wrote, “center on companies that specialize in automatic collection and processing of information.”

In other words Palantir, and dozens of other security start-ups to the tune of $200 million since 1999, was a recipient of taxpayer-funded largess from the CIA’s venture capitalist arm for products inherently “dual-use” in nature.

“Palantir Technologies,” The Tech Herald revealed, was “the main workhorse when it comes to Team Themis’ activities.”

In proposals sent to H&W, a firm recommended to Bank of America by a Justice Department insider, “Team Themis said they would ‘leverage their extensive knowledge of Palantir’s development and data integration environments’ allowing all of the data collected to be ‘seamlessly integrated into the Palantir analysis framework to enhance link and artifact analysis’.”

Following the sting of HBGary Federal and parent company HBGary, Anonymous disclosed on-going interest and contract bids between those firms, Booz Allen Hamilton and the U.S. Air Force to develop software that will allow cyber-warriors to create fake personas that help “manage” Pentagon interventions into social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and blogs.

As Ragan points out, while the “idea for such technology isn’t new,” and that “reputation and persona management techniques have been used by the government and the private sector for years,” what makes these disclosures uniquely disturbing are apparent plans by the secret state to use the software for propaganda campaigns that can just as easily target an American audience as one in a foreign country.

While neither HBGary nor Booz Allen secured those contracts, interest by HBGary Federal’s disgraced former CEO Aaron Barr and others catering to the needs of the militarist state continue to drive development forward.

Dubbed “Operation MetalGear”, Anonymous believes that the program “involves an army of fake cyber personalities immersed in social networking websites for the purposes of manipulating the mass population via influence, crawling information from major online communities (such as Facebook), and identifying anonymous personalities via correlating stored information from multiple sources to establish connections between separate online accounts, using this information to arrest dissidents and activists who work anonymously.”

As readers recall, such tools were precisely what Aaron Barr boasted would help law enforcement officials take down Anonymous and identify WikiLeaks supporters.

According to a solicitation (RTB220610) found on the FedBizOpps.Gov web site, under the Orwellian tag “Freedom of Information Act Support,” the Air Force is seeking software that “will allow 10 personas per user, replete with background, history, supporting details, and cyber presences that are technically, culturally and geographacilly [sic] consistent.”

We’re informed that “individual applications will enable an operator to exercise a number of different online persons from the same workstation and without fear of being discovered by sophisticated adversaries.”

Creepily, “personas must be able to appear to originate in nearly any part of the world and can interact through conventional online services and social media platforms. The service includes a user friendly application environment to maximize the user’s situational awareness by displaying real-time local information.”

Aiming for maximum opacity, the RFI demands that the licence “protects the identity of government agencies and enterprise organizations.” An “enterprise organization” is a euphemism for a private contractor hired by the government to do its dirty work.

The proposal specifies that the licensed software will enable “organizations to manage their persistent online personas by assigning static IP addresses to each persona. Individuals can perform static impersonations, which allow them to look like the same person over time. Also allows organizations that frequent same site/service often to easily switch IP addresses to look like ordinary users as opposed to one organization.”

While Barr’s premature boasting may have brought Team Themis to ground, one wonders how many other similar operations continue today under cover of the Defense Department’s black budget.

Corporate Cut-Outs

Following up on last month’s revelations, The Guardian disclosed that a “Californian corporation has been awarded a contract with United States Central Command (Centcom), which oversees US armed operations in the Middle East and Central Asia, to develop what is described as an ‘online persona management service’ that will allow one US serviceman or woman to control up to 10 separate identities based all over the world.”

That firm, a shadowy Los Angeles-based outfit called Ntrepid is devoid of information on its corporate web site although a company profile avers that the firm “provides national security and law enforcement customers with software, hardware, and managed services for cyber operations, analytics, linguistics, and tagging & tracking.”

According to Guardian reporters Nick Fielding and Ian Cobain, Ntrepid was awarded a $2.76M contract by CENTCOM, which refused to disclose “whether the multiple persona project is already in operation or discuss any related contracts.”

Blurring corporate lines of accountability even further, The Tech Herald revealed that Ntrepid may be nothing more than a “ghost corporation,” a cut-out wholly owned and operated by Cubic Corporation.

A San Diego-based firm describing itself as “a global leader in defense and transportation systems and services” that “is emerging as an international supplier of smart cards and RFID solutions,” Cubic clocks in at No. 75 on Washington Technology’s list of 2010 Top Government Contractors.

Founded by Walter J. Zable, the firm’s Chairman of the Board and CEO, Cubic has been described as one of the oldest and largest defense electronics firms on the West Coast.

Chock-a-block with high-level connections to right-wing Republicans including Darrell Issa, Duncan Hunter and Dan Coates, during the 2010 election cycle Cubic officers donated some $90,000 to Republican candidates, including $25,000 to the National Republican Congressional Committee and some $30,000 to the National Republican Senatorial Committee, according to the Center for Responsive Politics’ OpenSecrets.org.

With some $1 billion in 2009 revenue largely derived from the Defense Department, the company’s “Cyber Solutions” division “provides specialized cyber security products and solutions for defense, intelligence and homeland security customers.”

The RFI for the Air Force disclosed by Anonymous Ragan reports, “was written for Anonymizer, a company acquired in 2008 by intelligence contractor Abraxas Corporation. The reasoning is that they had existing persona management software and abilities.”

In turn, Abraxas was purchased by Cubic in 2010 for $124 million, an acquisition which Washington Technology described as one of the “best intelligence-related” deals of the year.

As The Tech Herald revealed, “some of the top talent at Anonymizer, who later went to Abraxas, left the Cubic umbrella to start another intelligence firm. They are now listed as organizational leaders for Ntrepid, the ultimate winner of the $2.7 million dollar government contract.”

Speculation is now rife that since “Ntrepid’s corporate registry lists Abraxas’ previous CEO and founder, Richard Helms, as the director and officer, along with Wesley Husted, the former CFO, who is an Ntrepid officer as well,” the new firm may be little more than an under-the-radar front for Cubic.

Amongst the Security Services offered by the firm we learn that “Cubic subsidiaries are working individually and in concert to develop a wide range of security solutions” that include: “C4ISR data links for homeland security intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions;” a Cubic Virtual Analysis Center which promises to deliver “superior situational awareness to decision makers in government, industry and nonprofit organizations,” human behavior pattern analysis, and other areas lusted after by securocrats.

The Guardian informs us that the “multiple persona contract is thought to have been awarded as part of a programme called Operation Earnest Voice (OEV), which was first developed in Iraq as a psychological warfare weapon against the online presence of al-Qaida supporters and others ranged against coalition forces.”

“Since then,” Fielding and Cobain wrote, “OEV is reported to have expanded into a $200m programme and is thought to have been used against jihadists across Pakistan, Afghanistan and the Middle East.”

While CENTCOM’s then-commander, General David Petraeus told the Senate Armed Services Committee last year that the program was designed to “counter extremist ideology and propaganda,” in light of HBGary revelations, one must ask whether firms involved in the dirty tricks campaign against WikiLeaks have deployed versions of “persona management software” against domestic opponents.

While we cannot say with certainty this is the case, mission creep from other “War on Terror” fronts, notably ongoing NSA warrantless wiretapping programs and Defense Department spy ops against antiwar activists, also involving “public-private partnerships” amongst security firms and the secret state, should give pause.

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JULIANO MER-KHAMIS WAS MURDERED TODAY IN JENIN

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GILAD ATZMON


P

 

Palestinian genius film maker,  actor and political activist Juliano Mer-Khamis, 53, was shot dead on Monday in Jenin refugee camp in the West Bank.

According to Jenin police chief Mohammed Tayyim,  Mer-Khamis was shot five times by Palestinian militants, but that police were still investigating the circumstances of his murder. I would wait to learn more about the tragic incident; as we know, the IDF trains special units that are operating disguised as Palestinians militants.

Mer-Khamis was well-known as an actor for his film and theater roles, both in Israel and abroad, and had made a name for himself as a director and a political activist, as well.

Mer-Khamis was affiliated with the local theater in Jenin, established by his mother in the 1980s. In 2006, Mer-Khamis opened the Freedom Theater in Jenin, along with Zakariya Zubeidi, the former military leader of the Al-Aqsa Martyr Brigades in that West Bank city.

Mer-Khamis’ mother, Arna Mer, was an Israeli Jewish activist for Palestinian rights. His father, Saliba Khamis, was a Christian Palestinian. Mer-Khamis was born and raised in Nazareth.

Watch Mer-Khamis’ monumental Arna’s Children:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a6EXrA3UFwM



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