Archive | September 14th, 2013

The Threat to Attack Syria Is STILL Illegal


Continued claims by the Obama administration that it has the “authority” to bomb Syria subverts the rule of law at home and abroad

Unless President Obama would like to risk seeing Syria, at some point in the future, renounce its signature on the chemical weapons convention, which it has recently pledged to sign under the threat of attack by the United States, he should rescind the threat of force. This is because Article 52 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, “Coercion of a State by Threat or Use of Force,” stipulates: “A treaty is void if its conclusion has been procured by the threat or use of force in violation of the principles of international law embodied in the Charter of the United Nations.”A protestor stands outside the U.S. embassy in Syria in demonstration against possible attacks by the United States. (Photo: AHMAD YUSNI/EPA)

Whether or not this means that Syria’s signing and ratifying the chemical weapons ban under an illegal threat of force would be invalid, it is clearly the case that the president’s threat of force is illegal under international law.

Article 2(4) of the UN Charter prohibits “the threat or use of force” by states. Thus, both “threat” and “use” are prohibited. The only exceptions are the resort to force as national “self-defense” in response to an “armed attack,” or a threat or use of force pursuant to an authorizing resolution from the UN Security Council.

President Obama and high-ranking officials in his administration have repeatedly threatened to bomb Syria in response to the use of chemical weapons inside Syria. Even assuming that the government of Syria is the party responsible for the use of chemical weapons—a fact that has not yet been established—the use of chemical weapons in Syria does not constitute an armed attack on the United States. And the UN Security Council to date has not authorized the use of force against Syria. Under this set of circumstances, President Obama has illegally threatened to use force.

In his authoritative work, International Law and the Use of Force by States, Ian Brownlie said this about a “promise” by a state to use force (p. 364): “If the promise is to resort to force in conditions in which no justification for the use of force exists, the threat itself is illegal.”

The view expressed by Brownlie was supported in the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice in “Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons,” where a majority of the court’s judges asserted: “The notions of ‘threat’ and ‘use’ of force under Article 2, paragraph 4, of the Charter stand together in the sense that if the use of force in a given case is illegal—for whatever reason—the threat to use such force will likewise be illegal.”

Furthermore, the Nuremberg Principles stipulate that “Crimes against Peace” include the “planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances.” In his speech from the White House on Tuesday night (Sept. 10), Obama repeated an administration talking point that his threatened attacks on Syria involve plans and preparations to go beyond a “pinprick” attack. Thus, the president’s apparent “planning” and “preparation”—incorporated as they are into the illegal threats—may be “a crime against peace” under the Nuremberg Prnciples.

Likewise, the Draft Code of Offences against the Peace and Security of Mankind, issued by the UN’s International Law Commission, identified a threat of force in violation of the UN Charter as a crime: “Offences against the peace and security of mankind, as defined in this Code, are crimes under international law, for which the responsible individuals shall be punished.” The threat to use force is then listed as a criminal offense as follows: “Any threat by the authorities of a State to resort to an act of aggression against another State.” An authoritative UN General Assembly Resolution on the “Definition of Aggression” stipulated: “Aggression is the use of armed force by a State against the sovereignty, territorial integrity or political independence of another State, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Charter of the United Nations.”

These are not legal abstractions, and shouldn’t be treated as such. While in the past few decades we have witnessed the still ongoing massive transfer of public funds to the war-making machine and away from public infrastructure, public transportation, public education, and universal healthcare, there exists the parallel phenomenon of the transfer of law and legal interpetation almost exclusively to the executive branch to coverup and perpetuate ongoing lawless policies, at home and abroad.

In contrast, the law wielded by the public can preempt the war-making policies that bring about the threat of terrorism—the point of political leverage for nearly any unconstitutional measure or illegal use of force. It can thus act as a deterrent against fraudulent or overblown claims of threats to U.S. national security, including claims about moral imperatives that run cover for deceitful foreign policies that have the effect, if not the intent, of distracting the American public from other pressing concerns.

Herein lies the great utility of the president’s discretion to resort to an illegal threat of force at any time. In this instance, Obama’s threats to bomb Syria have suddenly jerked all heads from the president’s gargantuan violation of the Fourth Amendment rights of nearly all Americans, given the now endemic warrantless surveillance. And it has preempted, at least for now, the possibilities of the West’s détente with Iran, given the recent election there of a more rational and level-headed president, who has convincingly stated that he seeks a new paradigm for negotiations with the United States and Europe.

Instead, a major claim seeking to justify the bombing of Syria is the maintenance of the strategic deterrent against Iran—that is, the threat of force against Iran—to thwart its alleged nuclear weapons program, for which, to date, no confirmed evidence has been published. In this fashion, President Obama can keep the ball of moral claims to threats and force and war in the air to distract us from what is a surprisingly lawless presidency.

There is, clearly, a desperate humanitarian situation in Syria and its neighboring countries that must be addressed immediately by the international community through the UN Security Council, and not by any individual UN member state, including the United States, claiming a moral and legal right to bomb Syria.

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Five Ways a Wider Syrian War Could Go Nuclear


In the wake of an apparent break in the march to a wider war, the reality of a nuclear dimension in Syria remains largely unspoken.

(Illustration based on graphics from Wikimedia Commons)

There are at least five key reasons why American military intervention in Syria’s civil war could go nuclear:

(1) There’s a reactor near Damascus.

It is relatively small, by most accounts containing about a kilogram (2.2 pounds) of weapons-grade uranium. That’s not much in the scheme of things when it comes to building an atomic bomb. But as Alexsandr Lukashevich of the Russian Foreign Ministry puts it, “If a warhead, by design or by chance, were to hit the Miniature Neutron Source Reactor (MSNR) near Damascus, the consequences could be catastrophic.”

Of prime concern would be “contamination by highly enriched uranium” throughout the immediate environs. At the very least, it would be “a serious local radiation hazard,” according to Mark Hibbs of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, speaking on Russia Today.

Lukashevich also predicts that “it would no longer be possible to account for nuclear material, its safety and control.” Such material, he warns darkly, could fall into “the wrong hands.”

If the U.S. does ultimately attack Syria, it would want to avoid hitting that reactor. It’s also possible that in the ensuing chaos, one of the myriad unaccountable factions roaming through the civil war could target that nuke. Such a group could blame the U.S. or claim credit, depending on its particular orientation.

Whether it happens, that reactor is just another sitting atomic duck awaiting a random shooter and the cover of new chaos.

(2) Despite Secretary of State John Kerry’s promise of an “unbelievably limited” attack, once the U.S. military commits to action in Syria, it is unlikely to hold back any of its tactical arsenal. That would almost certainly include depleted uranium (DU).

When shells made of this super-hard material penetrate armored vehicles, hardened bunkers and other structures, the DU disperses into fine radioactive particulates that are easily inhaled. Wherever deployed—as in Yugoslavia, Iraq and Afghanistan—DU inflicts horrifying health consequences, including cancer among people of all ages and birth defects among children born well after its use. Uranium-238 has a half-life of 4.5 billion years, imposing virtually permanent contamination.

Should DU weaponry be used yet again, this time in Syria, the contamination would be widespread and irreversible. Many thousands of innocent people—including the countless unborn—would suffer greatly. As with all radioactive fallout, the lethal effects will stretch through the generations.

(3) When the world’s superpowers collide, nuclear war is always a possibility.

At this point, the U.S. and Russia appear to be coming together. But in this too-often irrational global tinderbox, the stakes could not be higher.

In such situations, we hope for the best, but can’t lose sight of the potential worst.

In Tuesday night’s speech, President Obama mentioned the use of chemical weapons during World War I. He might also recall that a bizarre assassination in Sarajevo by a tiny handful of young Serb nationals somehow touched off a four-year war that killed 10 million people outright, plus another 10 million—including 500,000 Americans—in the influenza epidemicthat followed.

To this day, the circumstances that sparked that war are virtually impossible to comprehend. They seem, indeed, to have somehow acquired a devastating momentum all their own.

Yet the instability of the Balkans back then pales before the flashpoint that is today’s Middle East. A protest in Syria turned into a civil war, and then a proxy war. It could easily expand into a regional and, in the worst case, global, conflict. Looming in the background of the tense, torturous negotiations yet to come is the reality that despite everyone’s best wishes, diplomatic failure is a distinct possibility—one that could ultimately become synonymous with the atomic unthinkable.

(4) In the bottomless turbulence that defines today’s Middle East, the Americans and Russians so far seem to retain some shreds of rationality. But given the Peaceful Atom’s half century of weapons-grade proliferation, we cannot know which nations or marginal groups might now have atomic devices and what random impulses might prompt their use.

In a profoundly unpredictable world, each of the more than 400 commercial-sized reactors still operating continues to produce radioactive materials that could fuel a nuclear weapon.

Each of those reactors is itself a profoundly vulnerable target. Should the situation in Syria devolve to a wider war, the likelihood of a freelance atomic “situation” becomes all too probable.

(5) While the world’s attention is focused on Syria, the global-scale disaster at Fukushima spirals out of control.

The more serious the crisis in Syria, the more it will divert attention from an existing nuclear disaster.

Millions of tons of heavily contaminated water continuously flow through the site in central Japan and into the Pacific Ocean. Millions more accumulate in flimsy tanks already breaking apart, all within the specter of the next earthquake.

The three melted cores at Fukushima Daiichi have yet to be found. The common radioactive waste pool near Unit Four is surrounded by buildings whose foundations are being undermined by the continuous flow of radioactive water.

Most terrifying, the entire core of Unit Four remains perched in a damaged fuel pool 100 feet in the air, atop a structure that’s sinking. Should it crash to the ground, that core could potentially spew into the ocean and atmosphere more than 20,000 times the radiation released at Hiroshima.

A sane species would be pouring all its resources into somehow healing the open apocalyptic wound that still festers at Fukushima.

Yet we are tied up in Syria. We can be deeply grateful that the situation there today seems at least slightly less dangerous than it did yesterday.

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Meanwhile, In America’s Longest Running War, Consulate Attacked in Afghanistan


With many efforts set on preventing deeper war in Syria, latest Afghan violence a reminder of other bloody conflict at heart of US foreign policy

– Common Dreams

Afghanistan security forces take up a position after an attack on the U.S. Consulate in Herat early Friday. (Photo: Aref Karimi / AFP-Getty Images)Though a steady focus on Syria may have left some forgetting that the U.S. remains involved in another civil war on the Asian continent, a Taliban attack on a U.S. consulate in the west of Afghanistan on Friday may send a bloody reminder.

According to reports, an armed group of Taliban-supported fighters—in what was described as a “brazen commando-style attack”—attempted to storm the U.S. consulate in Herat early Friday morning, detonating a car bomb and firing on security personnel as they tried to storm the building.

As Al-Jazeera America reports:

At least seven people — three security force members and four attackers — were reportedly killed.

A Twitter posting from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said that the consulate was secure after the gun battle, and that consulate security had defeated the attackers.

The assailants appeared to be “wearing suicide explosive devices,” according to a State Department release. No U.S. nationals have been reported killed.

McClatchy adds:

The attack came as the Taliban steps up attacks before foreign combat troops withdraw at the end of 2014. It follows an assault on the U.S. military’s Torkham base in eastern Afghanistan this month, which sparked a lengthy gun battle that saw three insurgents killed.

The consular attack took part in an area that has been relatively peaceful, underscoring the challenge for Afghan security forces as they take over responsibility from foreign troops.

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Amid Diplomatic Process on Syria, US Clings to Threat of Force


Even as Assad submits to chemical weapons treaty and cautious hope for settlement remains, US keeps finger on the triggger

– Jon Queally

President Bashar al-Assad of Syria has signed a letter formalizing his commitment to join the international treaty on chemicals weapons. (Image: PBS)The United Nations has confirmed receipt of a letter signed by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad of his country’s intention to sign the international chemical weapons treaty and submit to its protocols, but the Secretary of State John Kerry says the threat of U.S. military force remains.

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s office called the letter a “welcome development.” Referring to ongoing talks in Switzerland between the US and Russia that began on Thursday and continued Friday, the secretary general expressed “hopes that the current talks in Geneva will lead to speedy agreement on a way forward which will be endorsed and assisted by the international community.”

By joining the treaty, Syria—at least in theory—be compelled to divulge a catalog of its current chemical weapon stockpiles, their locations, and submit to a plan to hand them over for destruction. As many have pointed out, however, this will be no easy task, especially in the midst of an ongoing civil war and on U.S. demands that the process be done on shorter timeline than is usual.

In comments on Thursday from Geneva, Kerry reiterated that the U.S. position is that the threat of military force will continue to be used even as negotiations proceed.

From Al-Jazeera:

“There is nothing standard about this process,” Kerry said, because Assad has used his chemical weapons. “The words of the Syrian regime in our judgment are simply not enough.”

Kerry added, “Only the credible threat of force and the intervention of Putin and Russia … has brought the Syrian regime for the first time to acknowledge that it even has chemical weapons and will now relinquish them.”

“Together we will test the commitment of Assad to follow through with his promises,” Kerry added.

He cautioned that a U.S. military strike could occur if Assad doesn’t agree to dismantle his chemical arsenal properly.

“There ought to be consequences if it doesn’t take place,” Kerry said.

And as McClatchy describes,  the recent progress and dipomatic efforts make no promises for peaceful results:

The atmosphere of the talks couldn’t seem bleaker. Just a week ago, Putin had called Kerry a liar. On Thursday, he wrote a column published in The New York Times in which he warned that a U.S. strike would kill innocent Syrians, widen the conflict, undermine diplomacy on Middle East peace and Iran’s nuclear program, and “unleash a new wave of terrorism.”

For their part, U.S. officials have called Russia “obstructionist” and said that Moscow is siding with child killers. Administration officials also have begun repeating a Reagan-era slogan when it comes to Russia: “Trust, but verify.”

Meanwhile, on Russian television, Assad – accused of war crimes by U.S. officials – flatly said that he doesn’t trust the United States.

Such public discord, coupled with the complex maneuvering it would take to dismantle an arsenal said to contain chemical agents sarin, mustard gas and VX in the midst of a civil war, doesn’t portend a breakthrough in Geneva.

But responding to the U.S. stance that it retains authority to launch military strikes against Syria if it so chooses, legal experts say no such legal authority exists.

As author and journalist Howard Friel writes at Common Dreams on Friday:

President Obama and high-ranking officials in his administration have repeatedly threatened to bomb Syria in response to the use of chemical weapons inside Syria. Even assuming that the government of Syria is the party responsible for the use of chemical weapons—a fact that has not yet been established—the use of chemical weapons in Syria does not constitute an armed attack on the United States. And the UN Security Council to date has not authorized the use of force against Syria. Under this set of circumstances, President Obama has illegally threatened to use force.

In his authoritative work, International Law and the Use of Force by States, Ian Brownlie said this about a “promise” by a state to use force (p. 364): “If the promise is to resort to force in conditions in which no justification for the use of force exists, the threat itself is illegal.”

The view expressed by Brownlie was supported in the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice in “Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons,” where a majority of the court’s judges asserted: “The notions of ‘threat’ and ‘use’ of force under Article 2, paragraph 4, of the Charter stand together in the sense that if the use of force in a given case is illegal—for whatever reason—the threat to use such force will likewise be illegal.”

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Posted by J

support the troops you-dont-support-troops



by Jim Craven/Omahkohkiaaiipooyii

Evil is faceless strangers,
living in distant neighborhood.
Evil has a wholesome, hometown face,
with merry eyes and an open smile.
Evil walks among us, wearing a mask
which looks like all our faces.
(From “The Mask” in “The Book of Counted Sorrows”)


There is an old Yiddish joke that the definition and a prime example of “Chutzpah” (grandiosity, smug entitlement, nerve, audacity) is someone who murders his parents and then begs the Court for mercy on the grounds that he is an orphan.” Another definition might be anyone in the ruling circles of the U.S. Imperium daring to lecture anyone about “human rights” or about the evils of WMDs. This is like: naming a shelter for battered women after the serial killer Ted Bundy; or a B’nai Brith “Himmler Award” for “Contributions to the Jewish People”; or the Nobel Peace Prize to Henry Kissinger who sabotaged the 1968 Paris Peace Talks and prolonged the Vietnam War another 5 years while getting the Nobel for supposedly helping to end it; or indeed the Nobel Peace Prize to President Obama for “Continuation and Doubling-down on Bush Policies–Giving Bush a Fourth Term”…


President Obama recently said, in support of launching acts of war against Syria, that because of the special nature and indiscriminate mass destruction of chemical weapons, the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian Regime would constitute a crossing of a red line that would bring and justify U.S. military actions against Syria. Anyone ever heard of “Agent Orange”? What is that if not chemical warfare? And in Vietnam and other parts of S.E. Asia where the U.S. dumped Agent Orange to defoliate jungles, children are still being born with birth defects from it and many hundreds of thousands or people, Vietnamese as well as American and allied veterans are living with the legacies of Agent Orange. And why does the likes of Fort Detrick exist?

U.S. Huey-helicopter spraying Agent Orange in Vietnam

U.S. Huey-helicopter spraying Agent Orange in Vietnam

Areas sprayed with Agent Orange in Vietnam 1965-71

Areas sprayed with Agent Orange in Vietnam 1965-71

It is an obscenity given the U.S. track record on human rights and uses of WMDs (ABCs or Atomic, Biological and Chemical Weapons) since the time of the Pilgrims:

“Hitler’s concept of concentration camps as well as the practicality of genocide owed much, so he claimed, to his studies of English and United States history. He admired the camps for Boer prisoners in South Africa And for the Indians in the Wild West; and often praised to his inner circle the efficiency of America’s extermination—by starvation and uneven combat—of the ‘Red Savages’ who could not be tamed by captivity.” (John Toland, “Adolf Hitler” Vol II, p 802, Doubleday & Co, 1976)

“Hitler’s concept of concentration camps as well as the practicality of genocide owed much, so he claimed, to his studies of English and United States history. He admired the camps for Boer prisoners in South Africa And for the Indians in the Wild West; and often praised to his inner circle the efficiency of America’s extermination—by starvation and uneven combat—of the ‘Red Savages’ who could not be tamed by captivity.” (John Toland, “Adolf Hitler” Vol II, p 802, Doubleday & Co, 1976)

“Birds of a Feather Flock Together”

Some may feel that this composite flag suggests memes that are unfair in suggesting comparisons with and between Nazism and British Colonialism/Imperialism and American Imperialism. But as this essay will unfold, the evidence and sources referred to will show to most reasonable people I believe, that these comparisons are quite fair and even understate a wider and even more ugly totality.

It was U.S. and British governments and intelligence that shielded from prosecution, wanted Nazi and Japanese war criminals, some involved in “medical experiments” to produce chemical, biological and atomic WMDs, after World War II; it was these same services that put other wanted Nazi and Japanese war criminals in high positions in the governments and intelligence services of various nations only because of their anti-Communist “credentials” (“The enemy of my enemy is my friend”)

These wanted war criminals wound up as high level politicians (one a Prime Minister of Japan), at high levels of the Yakuza and other underground criminal conspiracies, as professors at prestigious universities and as “scientists” developing Anglo-American WMDs at places like Ft. Detrick. Md a notorious place for the development of biological as well as chemical weapons of mass destruction that then continued this work as well as covered-up where some of the “data” had come from and how it had been obtained.

“Medical” and “Delivery” Experiments to Develop Chemical and Biological Weapons Using Human Beings and even Whole Cities Started by Japanese and German Fascists Continued in the U.S. and Elsewhere Post-War


PLEASE SEE and SEE and SEE and SEE and SEE and SEE




CBW 7-17-1945 doc page 1 of 2

CBQ 7-17-1945 doc page 2 of 2 cropped

CBW Top Secret Letter  7-22-1945 doc page 1 of 2

CBW 7-22-1945 doc page 2 of 2 cropped


The origins of Nazi and Japanese fascist ideology, including “racial theories” have their origins of the imperial and colonial ideologies and racial theories of the British and American Imperiums. In fact both the Japanese and German fascist theorists, along with Hitler himself personally, acknowledged their “inspirations” to have been the historical experiences, policies and racial theories of British and American imperialism and colonialism in the above quotation from John Toland’s “Adolf Hitler Volumes I and II” and in “Hitler’s Secret Conversations” by Hugh Trevor-Roper.

From James Poole:

“He [Hitler] was very interested in the way the Indian population had rapidly declined due to epidemics and starvation when the United States government forced them to live on the reservations. He thought the American government’s forced migrations of the Indians over great distances to barren reservation land was a deliberate policy of extermination. Just how much Hitler took from the American example of the destruction of the Indian nations his hard to say; however, frightening parallels can be drawn. For some time Hitler considered deporting the Jews to a large ‘reservation’ in the Lubin area where their numbers would be reduced through starvation and disease.” (James Pool, Hitler and His Secret Partners: Contributions, Loot and Rewards, 1933-1945; Pocket Books, N.Y.op cit. p. 273-274).


“Having been a devoted reader of Karl May’s (sp?) books on the American West as a youth, Hitler frequently referred to the Russians as ‘Redskins.’ He saw a parallel between his effort to conquer and colonize land in Russia with the conquest of the American West by the white man and the subjugation of Indians or Redskins. ‘I don’t see why,’ he said, ‘a German who eats a piece of bread should torment himself with the idea that the soil that produces this bread has been won by the sword. When we eat wheat from Canada, we don’t think about the despoiled Indians.’[James Pool, Hitler and His Secret Partners: Contributions, Loot and Rewards, 1933-1945; Pocket Books, N.Y. 1997 pp. 272-75]

And from some more “primary” sources in Anglo-American History:

“The depiction of Indians as wild beasts was quite common among early English and American leaders, including George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. David E. Stannard writes:

‘As is so often the case, it was New England’s religious elite who made the point more graphically than anyone. Referring to some Indians who had given offense to the colonists, the Reverend Cotton Mather wrote:

“Once you have but got the Track of those Ravenous howling Wolves, then pursue them vigourously; Turn not back till they are consumed… Beat them small as the Dust before the Wind.”

Lest this be regarded as mere rhetoric, empty of literal intent, consider that another of New England’s most esteemed religious leaders, the ReverendSolomon Stoddard, as late as 1703 formally proposed to the Massachusetts Governor that the colonists be given the financial wherewithal to purchase and train large packs of dogs “to hunt Indians as they do bears.”‘[American Holocaust: Columbus and the Conquest of the New World (New York & Oxford: Oxford University Press (1992)), p. 241]“

From Amherst College named after “Lord” Jeffrey Amherst (after whom many towns and cities were named and with statues of him in them all:

AMHERST CHINA plate_back
Amherst College china plates depicting mounted Englishman with sword chasing Indians on foot were in use until the 1970′s.

War Against the Weak banner

And from some of the earliest known forms of calculated Biological Warfare that later inspired the Nazis (from their own mouths) “Lord” Jeffrey Amherst:

.. Captain Simeon Ecuyer had bought time by sending smallpox-infected blankets and handkerchiefs to the Indians surrounding the fort — an early example of biological warfare — which started an epidemic among them. Amherst himself had encouraged this tactic in a letter to Ecuyer. [p. 108] (Carl Waldman’s Atlas of the North American Indian [NY: Facts on File, 1985]. Waldman writes, in reference to a siege of Fort Pitt (Pittsburgh) by Chief Pontiac’s forces during the summer of 1763)


“Sir Jeffrey Amherst noted for his deliberate use of smallpox-infected blankets as a weapon against Indians. Amherst and his British lieutenants were a marked change from the French commanders at the forts throughout the Old Northwest and Canada. He made no effort to build goodwill with Indian peoples. He had no respect for Indian leaders, treated them contemptuously, and frequently described them as ‘wretched people’. He put an immediate end to the traditional French practice of giving Indians ball and powder when they ran short; he also prohibited emergency provisions if game was scarce, and clothing or gifts of goodwill. Lord Amherst (for whom Amherst College is named) initiated a genocidal new policy:‘Could it not be contrived’ he wrote to one of his officers, ‘to send the smallpox among the disaffected tribes of Indians? We must on this occasion use every strategem in our power to reduce them’. Blankets were taken from the crest of the Appalachian Mountains. It delineated Indian country as west of the line; colonists lands as east of the line.” [Judith Nies “Native American History: A Chronology of a Culture’s Vast Achievements and Their Links to World Events”, Ballantine Books, N.Y., 1996, pp. 190-192]


“The Seneca invaded forts in Pennsylvania. Delaware Indians attacking Fort Pitt (formerly Fort Duquesne, now Pittsburg) were presented with ‘gifts’ of blankets taken from the smallpox ward of the fort’s hospital. It started an epidemic that would rage through the Delaware villages and Shawnee towns of Ohio, decimating their populations. Still, by the end of 1763, eight out of 12 British posts had been captured and their garrisons ‘massacred’… Pontiac’s War became a major topic of debate in Britain. The English enlarged Sir Jeffrey Amherst’s powers to subdue the rebellion. (The smallpox blankets of Fort Pitt had been Lord Amherst’s inspiration).” [Judith Nies, Ibid, p. 195]


Bertolt Brecht summed-up the dangerous mentality of the smug elites who write checks with their mouths they pass on to others to cash with the blood and treasure of others.

Those who take the meat from the table,
teach contentment.
Those for whom the taxes are destined,
demand sacrifice.
Those who eat their fill, speak to the hungry,
of wonderful times to come.
Those who lead the country into the abyss,
call ruling too difficult,
for ordinary folk.

Bertolt Brecht

Whether it is an individual a group or whole government: Those who assert some kind of Exceptionalism, Triumphalism, “Manifest Destiny” over others, those who openly proclaim they are seeking “Full-Spectrum Dominance” (land, sea, air, space and cyberspace as well as “dominance” in all strategic and tactical weapons as well as in all forms and fields of warfare), and who do so invoking some kind of a supernatural force or deity as their authority, are psychopaths, megalomaniacs, malignant narcissists, poseurs and frauds, shallow and without real substance. And they are ultimately doomed to a good dose of Karma and Reality when those who are being dominated rise up and do what some celebrate every 4th of July in the U.S. or, this planet is doomed if these kinds of people, groups or nations seek global and national uni-polar rule and power and achieve it.

What could be more evil than Hitler or the Japanese fascists during World War II and the myriad atrocities they committed? How about what they said, from their own mouths and writings, “inspired” them? Imagine that both the Nazi and Japanese groups of fascists that developed and implemented laws, practices and policies in the areas of “Eugenics”, ABCW (atomic, biological and chemical warfare), mass deportations and massacres, slavery of occupied populations, torture, and all sorts of other crimes, all said and wrote, that their major “inspirations” came from their readings of U.S., Canadian, British histories of colonialism and imperialism; crimes so horrible that not even the likes of Hitler could come up with them on his own without some “inspiration”.

Yes, “credibility” is a strategic asset. But the “credibility” of a bully (to make good on his threats) is not the same thing as any kind of real credibility. Real credibility comes from walking one’s talk; from obeying the same laws that one asserts others must obey; from not making promises one has no business making and no prospects of keeping; from consistently standing on and acting in accordance with defensible principle and not rank and narrow “vested interests disguised as intellectual convictions” selectively supported by naked hypocrisy and pretexts that are clear and contrived lies; from being on the right side of history;




A Veteran CIA Analyst: CIA Fabricated Evidence to Lure US into War w/ Syria
Post Categories: Canada

By: Ray McGovern

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”CIA Fabricated Evidence to Lure US into War with Syria”: Ray McGovern

false-flaga (2)

The intelligence gathered against Syria’s Assad was manufactured by elements within the spy community in order to mislead the US President to take punitive action, Ray McGovern, a veteran CIA analyst, told RT.


McGovern was among the signatories to the letter from veteran intelligence professionals to Obama, warning the US president that Assad is not responsible for the chemical attack, and that “CIA Director John Brennan is perpetrating a pre-Iraq-War-type fraud on members of Congress, the media, [and] the public.”


RT: You were one of the signatories to that letter to the US President. Do you think it will influence Obama?

Ray McGovern: Well, the problem of course is getting into what they call the mainstream media. The media is drumbeating for the war just as before Iraq. And they don’t want to hear that the evidence is very very flimsy. They don’t want to hear that people within the CIA – senior people, with great access to this information – assure us, the veterans, that there’s no conclusive evidence that Assad ordered those chemical incidents on August 21. They don’t want to hear that. They want to process beyond that and just deal with what we must do. Now, you don’t assume those things – you need proof of them.

RT: In the letter, you cite evidence that the Syrian opposition and its allies carried out a chemical weapons provocation. Why do you think this has been ignored completely by Obama and Kerry?

RM: The reason that they don’t adduce the evidence is because it wouldn’t stand up not only in the court of law, it wouldn’t bear close scrutiny. We’ve been down this road before. It happened before in Iraq. What the president needs to do is to release the intercepted message, on which most of this depends. And once he’s done that, we could see what he’s got.

There’s precedent for this – Ronald Reagan in 1986, when the Libyans bombed a discotheque in Berlin, killing two US servicemen and wounding hundreds. He hit [Muammar] Gaddafi’s palace, killing his little daughter, 15 months old, and almost killing his son three years old.


Now, the world said: ‘You can’t do that! What’s your evidence that the Libyans did that?’ And Reagan came to us and said: ‘We have to release that intercepted message. And we said; ‘No! No! No! You can’t do that because you’ll blow our source.’ And he said: ‘Do it anyway.’

That was released and the world calmed down. I don’t defend killing little children, but at least Reagan gained some credibility from the fact that he saw that the interests of the state, of the US, superseded protecting sources and methods.

That’s what Obama has to do now. We’re very suspicious that if he’s unwilling to do that, since he sends his Chief of Staff before the camera and says: ‘Well, it wouldn’t stand up in a court of law, but, hey, intelligence is intelligence – you got to trust this. But we’re not going to trust him this time, especially when the head of the intelligence establishment is a self-admitted perjurer’.

RT: Why has it been so hard for Washington to sell to the world its case for intervention? Very few of their key allies explicitly support a military strike right now.

RM: I have to say that if you look at the ‘Cui Bono’ – the classic question: ‘who does this profit?’The only state, the only country that it profits is Israel. As long as, there’s an unending… looks like it’s going to be a 30-year war in Syria, a Shia against Sunni contest, not only in Syria, but in the whole Middle East area, now that Israel feels that the Sunni and the Shia aren’t going to be turning their swords and their guns on Israel. It’s that simple.

Now, [US Secretary of State] John Kerry has amply demonstrated that he’s under the influence of [Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin] Netanyahu. He made believe he was talking about Palestine in the last couple of months, but what he was really talking about was Syria and that shows in his behavior and even his demeanor.

So, what we have here is a situation where Israel and the tough guys – and tough gals now – in the White House, advising Obama, say, ‘you’ve got to do something’, and the only country that would profit from this is the state of Israel.

RT: We heard John Kerry backtrack a little yesterday, by saying that Obama hasn’t made a decision yet on Syria. The US President was much more certain about an attack on Syria a week ago. Why the softening of their stance?

RM: You know what happened a week ago. Last Friday, Kerry went before the cameras and said: ‘We got to do this. And here’s not the intelligence assessment, mind you – but the government’s assessment.’Meaning the White House had a chance to massage it, edit it. It didn’t hold up to scrutiny.

Now, what happened? Apparently the military got to the president, and I see some evidence of this. Next thing we know the president changes his mind on Saturday afternoon, and the only thing that really intervened was that the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey, telling the president: “Look. It’s going to be really hard to explain why we have to do it now. We could do it tomorrow, or next week, or next month. We don’t really have to do it now.”

And the president said that in justifying this delay. What’s more evidence? Lindsey Graham and John McCain the next day just took off after the Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman in a very personal and vindictive way.

Because they know the military leaders went to the president saying, “Look, we know you’re being told this is going to be easy and limited and all that – but these guys and gals don’t know a thing about war. We do. And we know that it’s not going to be so easy, so if you’re going to do this, you’d better gain wide support, because, otherwise, your presidency is over.”

RT: And who do you think the Congressional vote is going to play out?

RM: You know… I’m not a domestic political analyst. So, my opinion isn’t much better than anyone else’s. In Washington, within the beltway and in all the TV shows, it’s always “we’ve got to do something! We must protect the President!”

The odd thing is that this time the Democrats have drunk the Kool Aid [an American expression in business and politics, meaning to follow blindly]. This time we have to protect the President, he’s gone out on a limb here. He’s drunk the Kool Aid, and I talked to a Congressman last night for five minutes… and it was every clear that he pledged the House leader that he would vote according to what the President says, because “we have to protect the President”.

Are you going to say the President is lying? We don’t have to say [that]. What you do need to say, according to our information, is that the President is being given cooked-up intelligence because John Brennan, the head of the CIA, and James Clapper, the confessed perjurer, have thought it in their best interests to cater to the wishes of the White House, which have been very clear: ‘this time, we want to strike Syria.’It’s a terrible situation, it’s a political sort of thing now, and we’ll have to see how it plays out.

I have more hope than this time last week that it will be turned down. And then I don’t think the President would violate the constitution and the UN Charter both by starting a war.

By Ray McGovern, RT 

Global Research


‘Legally speaking’ Syria is now full member of anti-chemical weapons treaty – UN envoy

Syrian Ambassador to the United Nations Bashar Jaafari.(Reuters / Brendan McDermid)Syrian Ambassador to the United Nations Bashar Jaafari.(Reuters / Brendan McDermid).

After the UN accepted documents from Damascus concerning Syria joining the Chemical Weapons Convention, Syria has “legally” become a full member of the treaty, Syrian UN Ambassador Bashar Jaafari said.

“Legally speaking Syria has become, starting today, a full member of the convention,” Ambassador Bashar Jaafari told reporters in New York.

According to Jaafari, President Assad signed a legislative decree that “declared the Syrian Arab Republic approval to accede to the convention” and that Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moualem had written to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to notify it of Syria’s decision, which is enough to legally join the convention.

Earlier on Thursday, UN spokesman Farhan Haq confirmed that they had received the documents necessary for Damascus’ accession.

“In the past few hours we have received a document from the government of Syria that is being translated, which is to be an accession document concerning the Chemical Weapons Convention,” Haq said.

However, on condition of anonymity several UN diplomats expressed their doubts that Syria fulfilled all the conditions for legal accession. “I think there are a few more steps they have to take,” a UN official told Reuters.

Within a few days Damascus was expected to submit to the United Nations all documents required for joining the treaty and a month after the convention is signed, Syria will start handing over informationon its chemical weapons to international organizations, Syrian President Bashar Assad said earlier in an interview with Rossiya-24 TV channel.

“Syria is handing over its chemical weapons under international supervision because of Russia,” Assad said. “It doesn’t mean that Syria will sign the documents, fulfil the obligations and that’s it. It’s a bilateral process aimed, first of all, at making the US stop pursuing its policy of threats against Syria.”

Meanwhile, during the first day of Geneva talks between Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry in Geneva, Kerry has expressed doubts that Syria is ready to give up its chemical weapons stockpile and said President Assad has 10 days to join the treaty.

“There is nothing standard about this process [Syria joining the convention]” because Assad has used his chemical weapons, Kerry told reporters. “The words of the Syrian regime in our judgment are simply not enough.”

Russia-US talks on Syria are expected to resume on Friday with the US saying its earlier plan of a ‘limited’ military strike against Syria is still possible if Russia’s proposal for Damascus to put its chemical weapons under international control fails.

The Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) was adopted by member states in 1992 and became applicable 1997. 189 parties to the treaty are obliged not to use chemical weapons. It also requires the signatories to seize trade and production of chemical weapons as well as to destroy their stockpile within ten years of signing.

Damascus is not the only country in the world which has not signed the treaty. Angola, Egypt, North Korea and South Sudan are not members of the ban on chemical weapons. Israel and Myanmar signed the convention but so far have not ratified it.

As of 2013, more than 80 percent of chemical weapons stockpiles that have been declared have been destroyed, according to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which monitors the sites. As of July 31 this year, 71,196 tonnes of agents have been declared and 57,740 destroyed.

But even not being a member of the CWC, Syria still has an international obligation not to use chemical weapons, the monitoring watchdog says.

“Syria is not a party to the Chemical Weapons Convention, but it is a party to the Geneva (Protocol) of 1925 which prohibits the use of chemical and biological weapons,” Director-General of OPCW Ahmet Uzumcu was quoted as saying. “So they have a clear obligation not to use chemical weapons in any circumstances”

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NSA shares raw intelligence including Americans’ data with I$raHell



The National Security Agency routinely shares raw intelligence data withIsrael without first sifting it to remove information about US citizens, a top-secret document provided to the Guardian by whistleblower Edward Snowden reveals.

Details of the intelligence-sharing agreement are laid out in a memorandum of understanding between the NSA and its Israeli counterpart that shows the US government handed over intercepted communications likely to contain phone calls and emails of American citizens. The agreement places no legally binding limits on the use of the data by the Israelis.

The disclosure that the NSA agreed to provide raw intelligence data to a foreign country contrasts with assurances from the Obama administrationthat there are rigorous safeguards to protect the privacy of US citizens caught in the dragnet. The intelligence community calls this process “minimization”, but the memorandum makes clear that the information shared with the Israelis would be in its pre-minimized state.

The deal was reached in principle in March 2009, according to the undated memorandum, which lays out the ground rules for the intelligence sharing.

The five-page memorandum, termed an agreement between the US and Israeli intelligence agencies “pertaining to the protection of US persons”, repeatedly stresses the constitutional rights of Americans to privacy and the need for Israeli intelligence staff to respect these rights.

But this is undermined by the disclosure that Israel is allowed to receive “raw Sigint” – signal intelligence. The memorandum says: “Raw Sigint includes, but is not limited to, unevaluated and unminimized transcripts, gists, facsimiles, telex, voice and Digital Network Intelligence metadataand content.”

According to the agreement, the intelligence being shared would not be filtered in advance by NSA analysts to remove US communications. “NSA routinely sends ISNU [the Israeli Sigint National Unit] minimized and unminimized raw collection”, it says.

Although the memorandum is explicit in saying the material had to be handled in accordance with US law, and that the Israelis agreed not to deliberately target Americans identified in the data, these rules are not backed up by legal obligations.

“This agreement is not intended to create any legally enforceable rights and shall not be construed to be either an international agreement or a legally binding instrument according to international law,” the document says.

In a statement to the Guardian, an NSA spokesperson did not deny that personal data about Americans was included in raw intelligence data shared with the Israelis. But the agency insisted that the shared intelligence complied with all rules governing privacy.

“Any US person information that is acquired as a result of NSA’ssurveillance activities is handled under procedures that are designed to protect privacy rights,” the spokesperson said.

The NSA declined to answer specific questions about the agreement, including whether permission had been sought from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance (Fisa) court for handing over such material.

The memorandum of understanding, which the Guardian is publishing in full, allows Israel to retain “any files containing the identities of US persons” for up to a year. The agreement requests only that the Israelis should consult the NSA’s special liaison adviser when such data is found.

Notably, a much stricter rule was set for US government communications found in the raw intelligence. The Israelis were required to “destroy upon recognition” any communication “that is either to or from an official of the US government”. Such communications included those of “officials of the executive branch (including the White House, cabinet departments, and independent agencies), the US House of Representatives and Senate (member and staff) and the US federal court system (including, but not limited to, the supreme court)”.

It is not clear whether any communications involving members of US Congress or the federal courts have been included in the raw data provided by the NSA, nor is it clear how or why the NSA would be in possession of such communications. In 2009, however, the New York Times reported on “the agency’s attempt to wiretap a member of Congress, without court approval, on an overseas trip”.

The NSA is required by law to target only non-US persons without an individual warrant, but it can collect the content and metadata of Americans’ emails and calls without a warrant when such communication is with a foreign target. US persons are defined in surveillance legislation as US citizens, permanent residents and anyone located on US soil at the time of the interception, unless it has been positively established that they are not a citizen or permanent resident.

Moreover, with much of the world’s internet traffic passing through US networks, large numbers of purely domestic communications also get scooped up incidentally by the agency’s surveillance programs.

The document mentions only one check carried out by the NSA on the raw intelligence, saying the agency will “regularly review a sample of files transferred to ISNU to validate the absence of US persons’ identities”. It also requests that the Israelis limit access only to personnel with a “strict need to know”.

Israeli intelligence is allowed “to disseminate foreign intelligence information concerning US persons derived from raw Sigint by NSA” on condition that it does so “in a manner that does not identify the US person”. The agreement also allows Israel to release US person identities to “outside parties, including all INSU customers” with the NSA’s written permission.

Although Israel is one of America’s closest allies, it is not one of the inner core of countries involved in surveillance sharing with the US – Britain, Australia, Canada and New Zealand. This group is collectively known as Five Eyes.

The relationship between the US and Israel has been strained at times, both diplomatically and in terms of intelligence. In the top-secret 2013 intelligence community budget request, details of which were disclosed by the Washington Post, Israel is identified alongside Iran and China as a target for US cyberattacks.


While NSA documents tout the mutually beneficial relationship of Sigint sharing, another report, marked top secret and dated September 2007, states that the relationship, while central to US strategy, has become overwhelmingly one-sided in favor of Israel.

“Balancing the Sigint exchange equally between US and Israeli needs has been a constant challenge,” states the report, titled ‘History of the US – Israel Sigint Relationship, Post-1992′. “In the last decade, it arguably tilted heavily in favor of Israeli security concerns. 9/11 came, and went, with NSA’s only true Third Party [counter-terrorism] relationship being driven almost totally by the needs of the partner.

In another top secret document seen by the Guardian, dated 2008, a senior NSA official points out that Israel aggressively spies on the US. “On the one hand, the Israelis are extraordinarily good Sigint partners for us, but on the other, they target us to learn our positions on Middle East problems,” the official says. “A NIE [National Intelligence Estimate] ranked them as the third most aggressive intelligence service against the US.”

Later in the document, the official is quoted as saying: “One of NSA’s biggest threats is actually from friendly intelligence services, like Israel. There are parameters on what NSA shares with them, but the exchange is so robust, we sometimes share more than we intended.”


The memorandum of understanding also contains hints that there had been tensions in the intelligence-sharing relationship with Israel. At a meeting in March 2009 between the two agencies, according to the document, it was agreed that the sharing of raw data required a new framework and further training for Israeli personnel to protect US personinformation.

It is not clear whether or not this was because there had been problems up to that point in the handling of intelligence that was found to contain Americans’ data.

However, an earlier US document obtained by Snowden, which discusses co-operating on a military intelligence program, bluntly lists under the cons: “Trust issues which revolve around previous ISR [Israel] operations.”



The Guardian asked the Obama administration how many times US data had been found in the raw intelligence, either by the Israelis or when theNSA reviewed a sample of the files, but officials declined to provide this information. Nor would they disclose how many other countries the NSA shared raw data with, or whether the Fisa court, which is meant to oversee NSA surveillance programs and the procedures to handle US information, had signed off the agreement with Israel.

In its statement, the NSA said: “We are not going to comment on any specific information sharing arrangements, or the authority under which any such information is collected. The fact that intelligence services work together under specific and regulated conditions mutually strengthens the security of both nations.

“NSA cannot, however, use these relationships to circumvent US legal restrictions. Whenever we share intelligence information, we comply with all applicable rules, including the rules to protect US person information.”

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