Archive | November 22nd, 2016

The History of Dakota Resistance, The Crimes Committed against America’s First Nations (1492-2016)

NOVANEWS
From Columbus (1492) to Plymouth Rock (1620) to the Sioux Uprising (1862) to the Standing Rock Water Protectors Resistance Movement of 2016
 
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Why the First Nations People Regard Thanksgiving Day as a National Day of Mourning and Why Minnesota Governors Sibley and Ramsey Should Posthumously Stand Trial for Crimes Against Humanity.

What happened to the Dakota in 1862 and afterward was a grievous crime against humanity. If it had occurred in this present day and age the United Nations and the international community would condemn it and declare it to be ethnocide and genocide. A United Nations world court indictment would be issued and the perpetrators of this ethnocide and genocide would be rounded up, tried, convicted and punished for crimes against humanity. – Thomas Dahlheimer from his long essay, entitled, A History Of The Dakota People In The Mille Lacs Area

The Sioux (Dakota) Indians of Minnesota must be exterminated or driven forever beyond the borders of the state. – White Supremacist Alexander Ramsey, Minnesota’s second Governor

Glossary: According to the International Law Commission’s Draft Code of Crimes against the Peace and Security of Mankind (1996), Article 18, the definition of a crime against humanity is as follows: (all of which have been experienced by American aboriginals over the past 500 years.)

“…any of the following acts, when committed in a systematic manner or on a large scale and instigated or directed by a Government or by any organization or group:

(a) Murder;
(b) Extermination;
(c) Torture;
(d) Enslavement;
(e) Persecution on political, racial, religious or ethnic grounds;
(f) Institutionalized discrimination on racial, ethnic or religious grounds involving the violation of fundamental human rights and freedoms and resulting in seriously disadvantaging a part of the population;
(g) Arbitrary deportation or forcible transfer of population;
(h) Arbitrary imprisonment;
(i) Forced disappearance of persons;
(j) Rape, enforced prostitution and other forms of sexual abuse;
(k) Other inhumane acts which severely damage physical or mental integrity, health or human dignity, such as mutilation and severe bodily harm.

There seems to be no shortage of examples of why our First Nations brothers and sisters continue to suffer and naturally mourn the pseudo-spirit and the mythology of Thanksgiving and considering the many treaties that have been broken by the American government and the many wars of genocide that have been perpetrated upon them by America’s racist military confidently make good use of the following truism:

 “White Man Speaks With Forked Tongue”

We sports-addicted, shop-until-you-drop, over-entertained, historically-illiterate, don’t give a damn, drug-addicted, over-medicated, over-vaccinated, increasingly obese couch potato Americans have been the beneficiaries of 500 years of genocide and land grabs against the original inhabitants and possessors of the land, the Native Americans,. We seem to be oblivious of the crimes against humanity committed in our names by historical figures like Henry Hastings Sibley and Alexander Ramsey, both real estate speculators and businessmen who “served” Minnesota as the first and second state governors from 1858 through 1863. When the War Between the States began, Sibley entered the Union Army and led white troops in the murderous military suppression of the Sioux Indian revolt of 1862. Sibley tolerated the war crimes committed by his officers and soldiers and established the military tribunals that passed summary judgment upon the enemy combatants and innocent civilians that would have been condemned as war crime atrocities – and genocide – by the military justice standards of the 20th century.

So here it is Thanksgiving 2016 and it is obvious that white supremacist movements continue to thrive, both in the supposedly democratic political world and the anti-democratic corporate world, both of which have united, according to the unspoken agendas of both major political parties.

White supremacism is alive and well all over America, with a significant rearing of its ugly head in North Dakota, where white Christians have overwhelmingly (and perhaps unconsciously) joined the KKK, the cryptofascists,  the Islamophobes, the homophobes, the xenophobes and the Christian  supremacists that, “standing strong together”, gave the President-elect his 270+ electoral votes.

But what has been happening at Standing Rock over the past year started before the election. So one must ask “What is there about North Dakota’s 1) pro-corporate Republican Governor Jack Darlymple, 2) North Dakota’s law enforcement agencies, 3) the North Dakota National Guard leadership, 4) the CEO of Energy Transfer Partners Kelcy Warren, 5) Warren’s private security goon squads, 6) Warren’s attack dogs and 7) Energy Partners investors (like Enbridge, Phillips 66, Sunoco, Warren Buffet and Donald Trump) that fail to recognize the human rights of non-white American citizens that are exercising their traditional land rights and sacred beliefs?”

Should the members of these groups also be considered as perpetrators of crimes against humanity?

Here are a few of the powerful images that are everywhere on the internet.

And, to help the readers to get up to speed on the Standing Rock issue and why it is so important to the future of our democracy, I offer the following items:

The following quotes are from the following website:

https://libya360.wordpress.com/2016/09/13/all-eyes-on-dakota-access-all-eyes-off-bakken-genocide/

The Army Corps of Engineers issued permits authorizing the construction of segments of the pipeline in US waters, one of which is under Lake Oahe. The lake is a reservoir behind the Oahe Dam on the Missouri River; it is approximately  ½ mile upstream from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s reservation.

Although the pipeline will not cross Standing Rock’s land, the tribe claims that the pipeline’s route passes through the tribe’s ancestral lands and other areas of great cultural and spiritual significance. To the Standing Rock, the Missouri River and Lake Oahe are sacred. . . and legally owned by the tribe.

The tribe’s reservation is located in a small section of North and South Dakota, but the original boundaries as defined in the 1851 & 1868 Fort Laramie Treaties were much larger. After the treaties, however, the Black Hills were seized by the US and a series of statutes were passed that further parceled the land. In 1980, however, the Supreme Court held that the lands had been illegally seized from the tribe and ordered the payment of just compensation. The Sioux refused to accept the money, though, because they did not want to relinquish their claim to the land.

This proposed pipeline, it’s going to go right over the 1851 treaty land. That’s what we’re talking about being native domain land. And then of course the powers that be shortened the 1851 treaty down to the 1868 treaty and then said, ‘Here’s what the native people have on what is presently Standing Rock.’ But we’re going by the 1851 treaty land.”

And here is the text of a plaque that overlooks Plymouth Rock, the site where white supremacist Puritans first landed on Native American soil that explains why Thanksgiving has only negative connotations for non-whites:

Since 1970, Native Americans have gathered at noon on Cole’s Hill in Plymouth to commemorate a National Day of Mourning on the US Thanksgiving holiday. Many Native Americans do not celebrate the arrival of the Pilgrims and other European settlers. To them, Thanksgiving Day is a reminder of the genocide of millions of their people, the theft of their lands, and the relentless assault on their culture. Participants in a National Day of Mourning honor Native ancestors and the struggles of Native peoples to survive today. It is a day of remembrance and spiritual connection as well as a protest of the racism and oppression which Native Americans continue to experience.

Here are excerpts about Sibley’s role in that war. They were taken from the following website:

http://racism.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1644:colonial-calibrations&catid=121&Itemid=140&showall=&limitstart=2

 Once white blood was spilled…white supremacist attitudes quickly evolved into explicit calls for Dakota extermination…

When Dakota people declared war in 1862… they desired to drive the whites out of our homeland, they did not do so because of a general hatred of all white people everywhere, but because they were opposed to the white people who had invaded and occupied Dakota homeland. The Dakota people were against settler occupation and interference in the Dakota way of life.

One of the leaders responded to efforts to stop the war by saying: ‘I have no confidence that the whites will stand by any agreement they make…Ever since we treated with them, their agents and traders have robbed and cheated us. Some of our people have been shot, some hung; others placed upon floating ice and drowned; and many have been starved in their prisons.’

Once Sibley had accomplished his task of quelling Dakota resistance…he then worked to execute plans that shifted from standard war practices to practices that may be deemed genocidal…With surrendered Dakota people in custody, the troops separated the men from the women and children. To deceive the Dakota men into submission, the army told them they needed to be counted separately for disbursement of the long-overdue treaty annuities. Once separated, the army shackled them and tried them in an ad hoc military tribunal that remains one of the most egregious acts of injustice in the American legal system.

As legal scholar Carol Chomsky has demonstrated in her meticulous research on the 1862 trials, ‘the Dakota were a sovereign nation at war with the United States, and the men who fought the war were entitled to be treated as legitimate belligerents’ rather than as criminals.

When the tribunal had finished its dirty work, 303 Dakota men were sentenced to execution and another twenty sentenced to prison terms. As many as forty-two cases were tried in a single day, some taking as little as five minutes before condemning another Dakota man to death. Had the findings of Sibley’s tribunal been carried out as intended, it would have meant the immediate elimination of an estimated one-tenth of the total male population estimated to be in Minnesota at the time of the war, and probably a third of the able-bodied men. As it was, when the thirty-eight were hanged on December 26, 1862, in what remains the largest, simultaneous mass hanging from one gallows in world history, this was a spectacular way to implement an extermination policy under the guise of legality.

This genocidal campaign may be seen as intimately intertwined with the desire for the remaining Dakota resources. As Chomsky observed, the ‘settlers’ response to the war may also have been motivated by greed: Treating the Dakota as war criminals allowed the United States summarily to remove all the Dakota from the state, thereby opening to settlement land that the Minnesotans had coveted for years.’

Certainly, other examples of direct killing occurred in the fall and winter of 1862-1863 as the army force-marched or forcibly removed our ancestors (the women and children to Fort Snelling and the condemned men to Mankato) and imprisoned them in concentration camps. Through the Dakota oral tradition, we have accounts of grandmothers stabbed in the stomach or shot by white soldiers, babies ripped out of mothers’ arms and their heads bashed on the ground, and shackled men beaten to death by angry mobs. Furthermore, as will be discussed later, there were thousands more that were killed indirectly.

In this section, however, one more example of genocidal killing that must be mentioned is the bounty system implemented in 1863. That summer, Minnesota’s Adjutant General Oscar Malmros answered the call of…Minnesotans who wanted to use such a system to hasten Dakota extermination. The system he devised included payment to white civilians for combing the woods in search of Dakota people to exterminate and an additional payment for each scalp those Indian-hunters could provide to the state; the corps of scouts earned $1.50 per day for their searching and an additional $25 for each scalp. By the end of the summer, the price of bounty payment had reached $200, enough to buy a 160-acre homestead in 1862.

Republican Alexander Ramsey, who, as a real estate speculator, made a fortune cheating natives out of their land, was Minnesota’s second governor until his resignation on July 10, 1863 to became US Senator. Ramsey County, Minnesota, Ramsey County, North Dakota, the city of Ramsey, MN, the city of Ramsey, IL, Ramsey Park in Stillwater, MN, Ramsey Junior High School in Saint Paul, MN, Alexander Ramsey Middle School in Minneapolis, MN and Alexander Ramsey Park in Redwood Falls, MN (the largest municipal park in Minnesota) are all named after him.

The genocide started in 1492 when the racist, gold-hungry, white supremacist Christopher Columbus and his sex-starved sailors disembarked from their stinking ships (thinking that they had landed in India) and started pillaging the land and raping the most nubile female inhabitants. Having survived the trip, Columbus and his men eventually demanded, under the threat of having their hands cut off, that the natives produce allotments of gold from precious metal-less mines.

And then, when Native Americans refused to become slaves and cotton was becoming the economic king, our racist Southern ancestors “imported” millions of black Africans, millions of whom died in chains on the passage from Africa to the land that their slave-holding owners called “promised land” or the “New Jerusalem”.

Ironically, the psychopathic conquistadors, their sadistic soldiers and the religiously fanatic Puritans that followed Columbus were initially welcomed, tolerated and even nurtured (a la the mythical First Thanksgiving). Trusting the intruders to return their hospitality – in the spirit of the Christian “Golden Rule” – turned out to have been a huge mistake, for the slaughter never stopped, often performed in the name of Christ, with the blessings of the embedded priests, whose mission was to convert the heathen to Christianity  – or else.

Most of our earliest European ancestors were greatly enriched by the US Army’s massacres, the theft of their land, the exploitation of the resources and the destruction of their way of life. We pink-skinned progeny of those predators were then carefully taught to believe the Big Lies. Thanks to our cunningly censored history books and the myths learned in our Sunday Schools over the ages, we have been led to believe that the “nice” Pilgrims gratefully shared a feast with their new native neighbors – whom the invaders soon tried to annihilate). These illegal, undocumented, white immigrant-occupiers from Europe were obviously not averse to homicidal violence. Tragically, they were soon followed by a variety of other religious fanatics that perpetuated the genocide that resulted in a 90% de-population of the Native Americans over the first few centuries.

It’s no wonder that Thanksgiving will again not be celebrated at Standing Rock this year – for the 400thyear in a row.

The Myth of the First Thanksgiving

All the propaganda about the First Thanksgiving that I learned in school has probably been designed to make Americans believe that America is a gentle, non-aggressive, peace-loving nation that never hurt anybody. The myth about the gospel values of welcoming the stranger to our shores and being merciful to the oppressed has been laughed at by the vast majority of those who have wanted to emigrate here or are seeking refuge from terrorizing forces.

The myth of the merciful First Thanksgiving has attempted to absolve our ancestors (and of their guilt for the cruel bloodbaths that they either perpetrated or approved of when bloodthirsty white American soldiers repeatedly massacred the militarily weaker native population, (a pattern that American power-elites have perpetrated against weaker nations in every hemisphere of the world throughout our blood-stained history).

The following censored-out quotes from a few of our so-called “heroes” need to be told in the context of the true history of the American genocide of the First Nations people. Those “heroes” include Alexander Ramsey, Minnesota’s second governor.

“The Sioux (aka Dakota) Indians of Minnesota must be exterminated or driven forever beyond the borders of the state.” – Minnesota Governor Alexander Ramsey in a statement made on Sept. 9, 1862. Ramsey had made a fortune in real estate because of his dealings selling property to white settlers and businessmen after he himself had negotiated US-Dakota treaties that cheated the tribes out of their land.

(http://sites.mnhs.org/historic-sites/alexander-ramsey-house/history)

“I shall probably approve them (the executions of the 303 Dakota warriors) and hang the villains” — Colonel (and ex-Governor) Henry H. Sibley, whose troops had defeated Chief Little Crow in the Battle of Wood Lake on August 23, 1862. Sibley had appointed the five member military tribunal that tried, convicted and sentenced, via death by hanging, 303 Dakota warriors that had been captured in the battle that ended the 6 week US-Dakota War of 1862.

Sibley was commenting on the fate of the convicted warriors, all but 38 of whom had their death sentences commuted by President Lincoln. Many warriors were imprisoned at Camp McClellan, near Davenport, Iowa and more than 1,600 non-combatants were imprisoned at a concentration camp at Fort Snelling over the winter of 1862 – 63. Those that survived the cold, the starvation diets and the diseases were then deported to concentration camps in Nebraska and South Dakota (Pine Ridge).

(http://www.minnpost.com/minnesota-history/2012/09/150-years-ago-us-dakota-war-ends-battle-wood-lake)

Destroy everything belonging to them and force them out to the plains, unless, as I suggest, you can capture them.  They are to be treated as maniacs or wild beasts, and by no means as people with whom treaties or compromises can be made. – Civil war Major General John Pope, in a letter to Colonel Sibley – dated September 28, 1862.

As Europeans settled the East coast, they displaced eastern tribes who then migrated to get away from the White civilization, and they, in their turn, displaced weaker local tribes they encountered, and pushed many of those tribes farther from their homelands, as they took over their homelands.

Westward moving Europeans would give the displaced eastern tribes … guns and gun powder and they would then instigate fights between the newly arrived tribes and the long established tribes in order to force the long established tribes from their homelands; and in doing so, extinguish the long established tribes’ ancestral ties that they had with the land, their ancestors and the spirit world. Evidence of this practice has shown itself time and time again throughout the Americas.

Around 1750, a displaced East coast band of Ojibwe were pushed into the Dakota’s homeland and they then used French guns and gun powder to force the Dakota from their Mille Lacs Lake homeland.

This was the strategy the European colonists used to greatly diminish the number of Dakota in their Mille Lacs homeland, which encouraged and made it possible for a French weapons armed, alcohol manipulated band of Ojibwe to violently force the Dakota from their Mille Lacs homeland.” – Thomas Dahlheimer from his long essay, entitled, A History Of The Dakota People In The Mille Lacs Area

(http://www.towahkon.org/Dakotahistory.html)

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Video: The Syrian Government’s “War on Terrorism”

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Syrian government forces repelled ISIS attack in Jubb Al-Jarrah in eastern Homs after a day-long fight on Monday. Some 40 terrorists with 3 units of military equipment allegedly participated in the operation but failed to break the Syrian army’s defenses.

Meanwhile, an ISIS military convoy was destroyed by the Syrian Arab Air Force on the way to Aleppo where it was set to reinforce attacks on the government-controlled Kuweires Airbase.

An interesting fact is that the terrorist group has resources to conduct operations against the Syrian army in Aleppo province despite anti-ISIS efforts of Turkey-led forces and the predominantly Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in the area.

Turkey has set up a military base in Akhtarin in the province of Aleppo, according to local media activists. The Turkish army, Special Forces and intelligence agencies are expanding their presence in northern Syria amid ongoing clashes between pro-Turkey militant groups and the SDF over the possibility to seize from ISIS the key town of al-Bab. On November 21, Kurdish forces attacked pro-Turkey militant groups in Sheikh Nasir and seized the village. Earlier this year, reports appeared that the Turkish Armed Forces set up a military base south of al-Rai.

While Syrian government forces and warplanes attack Western-backed militants in the area of Aleppo city, the Russian Aerospace Forces focus on militant targets and supply lines in the province of Idlib, mostly controlled by Jabhat Fatah al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of Al-Qaeda) and linked groups. Militant supply lines along the Aleppo-Hama highway attract special attention of Russian warplanes. Local sources report that the Russians deliver about 15-20 air strikes in the area every day.

In turn, pro-militant [terrorist] media outlets report that alleged Russian warplanes continue to bomb schools and hospitals in the Idlib and Aleppo countryside. According to Step News Agency, Russian air strikes hit a school in the village of Has in Idlib on November 20.

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When It Comes to Fake News, the U.S. Government Is the Biggest Culprit

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United_States_Capitol_-_west_front

We Americans are the ultimate innocents. We are forever desperate to believe that this time the government is telling us the truth.”—Former New York Times reporter Sydney Schanberg

Let’s talk about fake news stories, shall we?

There’s the garden variety fake news that is not really “news” so much as it is titillating, tabloid-worthy material peddled by anyone with a Twitter account, a Facebook page and an active imagination. These stories run the gamut from the ridiculous and the obviously click-baity to the satirical and politically manipulative.

Anyone with an ounce of sense and access to the Internet should be able to ferret out the truth and lies in these stories with some basic research. That these stories flourish is largely owing to the general gullibility, laziness and media illiteracy of the general public, which through its learned compliance rarely questions, challenges or confronts.

Then there’s the more devious kind of news stories circulated by one of the biggest propagators of fake news: the U.S. government.

In the midst of the media’s sudden headline-blaring apoplexy over fake news, you won’t hear much about the government’s role in producing, planting and peddling propaganda-driven fake news—often with the help of the corporate news media—because that’s not how the game works.

Why?

Because the powers-that-be don’t want us skeptical of the government’s message or its corporate accomplices in the mainstream media. They don’t want us to be more discerning when it comes to what information we digest online. They just want us to be leery of independent or alternative news sources while trusting them—and their corporate colleagues—to vet the news for us.

Indeed, the New York Times has suggested that Facebook and Google appoint themselves the arbiters of truth on the internet in order to screen out what is blatantly false, spam or click-baity.

Not only would this establish a dangerous precedent for all-out censorship by corporate entities known for colluding with the government but it’s also a slick sleight-of-hand maneuver that diverts attention from what we should really be talking about: the fact that the government has grown dangerously out-of-control, all the while the so-called mainstream news media, which is supposed to act as a bulwark against government propaganda, has instead become the mouthpiece of the world’s largest corporation—the U.S. government.

As veteran journalist Carl Bernstein, who along with Bob Woodward blew the lid off the Watergate scandal, reported in his expansive 1977 Rolling Stone piece, “The CIA and the Media”:

More than 400 American journalists … in the past twenty‑five years have secretly carried out assignments for the Central Intelligence Agency… There was cooperation, accommodation and overlap. Journalists provided a full range of clandestine services… Reporters shared their notebooks with the CIA. Editors shared their staffs. Some of the journalists were Pulitzer Prize winners, distinguished reporters… In many instances, CIA documents show, journalists were engaged to perform tasks for the CIA with the consent of the managements of America’s leading news organizations.

Bernstein is referring to Operation Mockingbird, a CIA campaign started in the 1950s to plant intelligence reports among reporters at more than 25 major newspapers and wire agencies, who would then regurgitate them for a public oblivious to the fact that they were being fed government propaganda.

In some instances, as Bernstein shows, members of the media also served as extensions of the surveillance state, with reporters actually carrying out assignments for the CIA.

Executives with CBS, the New York Times and Time magazine also worked closely with the CIA to vet the news. Bernstein writes: “Other organizations which cooperated with the CIA include the American Broadcasting Company, the National Broadcasting Company, the Associated Press, United Press International, Reuters, Hearst Newspapers, Scripps‑Howard, Newsweek magazine, the Mutual Broadcasting System, the Miami Herald and the old Saturday Evening Post and New York HeraldTribune.”

For example, in August 1964, the nation’s leading newspapers—including the Washington Post and New York Times—echoed Lyndon Johnson’s claim that North Vietnam had launched a second round of attacks against American destroyers in the Gulf of Tonkin. No such attacks had taken place, and yet the damage was done. As Jeff Cohen and Norman Solomon report for Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, “By reporting official claims as absolute truths, American journalism opened the floodgates for the bloody Vietnam War.”

Fast forward to the early post-9/11 years when, despite a lack of any credible data supporting the existence of weapons of mass destruction, the mainstream media jumped on the bandwagon to sound the war drums against Iraq. As Los Angeles Times columnist Robin Abcarian put it, “our government … used its immense bully pulpit to steamroll the watchdogs… Many were gulled by access to administration insiders, or susceptible to the drumbeat of the government’s coordinated rhetoric.”

John Walcott, Washington bureau chief for Knight-Ridder, one of the only news agencies to challenge the government’s rationale for invading Iraq, suggests that the reason for the media’s easy acceptance is that “too many journalists, including some very famous ones, have surrendered their independence in order to become part of the ruling class. Journalism is, as the motto goes, speaking truth to power, not wielding it.”

If it was happening then, you can bet it’s still happening today, only it’s been reclassified, renamed and hidden behind layers of government secrecy, obfuscation and spin.

In its article, “How the American government is trying to control what you think,” the Washington Post points out “Government agencies historically have made a habit of crossing the blurry line between informing the public and propagandizing.”

Thus, whether you’re talking about the Cold War, the Vietnam War, the Gulf War, the government’s invasion of Iraq based upon absolute fabrications, or the government’s so-called war on terror, privacy and whistleblowers, it’s being driven by propaganda churned out by one corporate machine (the corporate-controlled government) and fed to the American people by way of yet another corporate machine (the corporate-controlled media).

“For the first time in human history, there is a concerted strategy to manipulate global perception. And the mass media are operating as its compliant assistants, failing both to resist it and to expose it,” writes investigative journalist Nick Davies. “The sheer ease with which this machinery has been able to do its work reflects a creeping structural weakness which now afflicts the production of our news.”

But wait.

If the mass media—aka the mainstream media or the corporate or establishment media—is merely repeating what is being fed to it, who are the masterminds within the government responsible for this propaganda?

Davies explains:

The Pentagon has now designated “information operations” as its fifth “core competency” alongside land, sea, air and special forces. Since October 2006, every brigade, division and corps in the US military has had its own “psyop” element producing output for local media. This military activity is linked to the State Department’s campaign of “public diplomacy” which includes funding radio stations and news websites.

This use of propaganda disguised as journalism is what journalist John Pilger refers to as “invisible government… the true ruling power of our country.”

As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American Peoplewe no longer have a Fourth Estate.

Not when the “news” we receive is routinely manufactured, manipulated and made-to-order by government agents. Not when six corporations control 90% of the media in America. And not when, as Davies laments, “news organizations which might otherwise have exposed the truth were themselves part of the abuse, and so they kept silent, indulging in a comic parody of misreporting, hiding the emerging scandal from their readers like a Victorian nanny covering the children’s eyes from an accident in the street.”

So let’s have no more of this handwringing, heart-wrenching, morally offended talk about fake news by media outlets that have become propagandists for the false reality created by the American government.

After all, as Glenn Greenwald points out, “The term propaganda rings melodramatic and exaggerated, but a press that—whether from fear, careerism, or conviction—uncritically recites false government claims and reports them as fact, or treats elected officials with a reverence reserved for royalty, cannot be accurately described as engaged in any other function.”

So where does that leave us?

What should—or can—we do?

I’ll close with John Pilger’s words of warning and advice:

Real information, subversive information, remains the most potent power of all — and I believe that we must not fall into the trap of believing that the media speaks for the public. That wasn’t true in Stalinist Czechoslovakia and it isn’t true of the United States. In all the years I’ve been a journalist, I’ve never known public consciousness to have risen as fast as it’s rising today…yet this growing critical public awareness is all the more remarkable when you consider the sheer scale of indoctrination, the mythology of a superior way of life, and the current manufactured state of fear.

[The public] need[s] truth, and journalists ought to be agents of truth, not the courtiers of power. I believe a fifth estate is possible, the product of a people’s movement, that monitors, deconstructs, and counters the corporate media. In every university, in every media college, in every news room, teachers of journalism, journalists themselves need to ask themselves about the part they now play in the bloodshed in the name of a bogus objectivity. Such a movement within the media could herald a perestroika of a kind that we have never known. This is all possible. Silences can be broken… In the United States wonderfully free rebellious spirits populate the web… The best reporting … appears on the web … and citizen reporters.

The challenge for the rest of us is to lift this subjugated knowledge from out of the underground and take it to ordinary people. We need to make haste. Liberal Democracy is moving toward a form of corporate dictatorship. This is an historic shift, and the media must not be allowed to be its façade, but itself made into a popular, burning issue, and subjected to direct action. That great whistleblower Tom Paine warned that if the majority of the people were denied the truth and the ideas of truth, it was time to storm what he called the Bastille of words. That time is now.

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USA: Republicans vs Democrats

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Republicans vs Democrats: Two Neoliberal War Parties With the same Economic and Foreign Policies: Two Neoliberal War Parties With the same Economic and Foreign Policies

 
Trump-Clinton

Perhaps it is time to step back a bit from the immediacy of this electoral moment to take in the broader picture.  Emotional responses to the prospect of a Trump presidency may offer a needed level of catharsis for some, but they certainly won’t help us understand how we got here.  A couple of questions are in order.  How is it that our two political parties engage in essentially the same economic and foreign policies, offering differentiation only in the realm of identity politics?  What are the dynamics of mass psychology and propaganda that have made this reality invisible to so many for so long?

If we hope to understand what is happening politically in this country today we must look beyond the obvious surface level of events.  We must examine how our perceptions, thoughts and behavior have been manipulated in ways most Americans are not consciously aware of.  During the presidencies of Bill Clinton and Barak Obama we have watched a continuous and rather exquisitely choreographed media dance between our two parties, brought to us, of course, by the corporations of our oligarchy.

If we allow corporate media to create the post-election narrative that is unfolding, we will remain as bewildered as we have been, all while surveying a dangerous strange new terrain.  The propaganda machine of our duopoly has kept us blind for too long.  Perhaps a little trip down memory lane can help.

If we look back on the eight-year presidency of Bill Clinton we cannot fail to recall the almost rabid hysterical non-stop attacks he suffered as the target of what appeared to be the total and complete hatred of the leading figures of the Republican Party.  That Clinton was impeached related to a sex act in the White House made for wonderfully emotional political theatre.  Who could resist?  It was headline grabbing material around the globe.

Lost at the time was that his impeachment, and very vocal Republican opposition to his presidency, were quite unrelated to Clinton’s actual policy decisions.  Democratic politicians and many rank and file Democratic supporters rallied around Clinton in large part due to how continually under siege he was by these obviously vile and odious Republican forces.

So what do we make of the fact that an even cursory examination of the Clinton political record from that period makes the very public passion play of his two term presidency seem almost incomprehensible in retrospect?  After all, Bill Clinton was essentially our first “Democratic” Republican President.  He effectively continued and implemented the Bush I political agenda of neoliberal economic policies and imperialist foreign policy.  From today’s vantage point it is clear that Clinton was essentially a Republican president who had run for office as a Democrat.

Clinton pushed NAFTA through.  He pushed through welfare reform.  He pushed for and achieved much more punitive crime legislation.  This included the infamous “three strikes” bill that helped make the private prison system complex, which he also supported, a shiny new investment opportunity for oligarchy.  For good measure Bill Clinton deregulated Wall Street on his way out the door by jettisoning the Glass-Steagall Act.

Why all the Republican hatred?

What did Bill Clinton actually do policy-wise that ever betrayed Republican political values?

He certainly had earlier clearly proved his national security bonafides to the Republican establishment.  Bill Clinton came to national political prominence out of nowhere, but only after having proved himself to the CIA and deep state actors of the Republican Reagan/Bush I administrations.  He did this by playing a crucial part in the illegal and sordid Iran Contra operation.  Bill Clinton performed a key role in that operation by warding off Arkansas State police investigations into the “drugs in / guns out” Republican White House and CIA operation that was being run out of the Mena, Arkansas airport.  Without Governor Bill Clinton running interference Mena simply couldn’t have functioned as the cocaine import hub in the government drugs for guns [Iran-Contra] operation.  Quite a loyalty test, but one Bill passed with flying colors as evidenced by his rise from nowhere to the presidency.

There are of course other implications to Clinton’s role at Mena that are worth contemplating as we consider his place in history as a Democratic president.  In simple ethical terms Bill Clinton shares direct responsibility, along with his predecessors Bush I and Ronald Reagan, for the many tons of cocaine that flooded US inner cities during the period.

Later as president, Clinton signed crime legislation which mandated expanded terms of incarceration that proved a huge boon to the private for-profit prison system he also championed.  The victims in this scenario were those who resided in poor disenfranchised communities, disproportionately African American, whose crime was simply to use the cocaine Clinton as Arkansas governor had ensured flooded US cities.  The level of moral corruption inherent in this sequence of events is quite breathtaking.  That American voters and corporate media have never come to honest terms with this history has only added another chapter in the untold story of the continuing moral corruption of our nation.

However, Clinton’s “Republican” presidency did not end there.  He continued both the sanctions and the bombing of Iraq initiated by his Republican predecessor Bush I.  These actions resulted in the death of over a million civilians, including half a million children.  Through Clinton’s “Plan Colombia” he continued US support and funding for the military and government of a nation that defined the phrase: death squad democracy.  His policies cost the lives of many thousands of civilians, labor organizers and those working in human rights and social justice organizations.

With our deep state establishment deciding to dismantle the last vestiges of socialism in post-Soviet Eastern Europe, Yugoslavia became a target for destabilization and destruction.  Continuing his service to the deep state Clinton was on board and dutifully did his part, including authorizing the NATO bombing campaign.  The policy planners of the West saw the natural resources of Africa as suddenly up for grabs in the new post-Cold War world. There was a need to get the right people in power in Rwanda to ensure unfettered corporate access to precious metal and mineral resources in the region.  Clinton was the man to paint a policy smiley face on the workings of empire by using the aftermath of the mass slaughter of civilians to create the new imperial mantra called “humanitarian intervention” or “responsibility to protect.”

The oligarchs and the deep state loved this guy, and for good reason.  What legitimate policy critique could the Republicans have?  I mean really, what’s a guy have to do to be made an “honorary Republican?”  He is quite arguably the most effective Republican president since Nixon, though he is far to the right of the “Tricky” one in many policy areas.

So the question begging to be asked is, if Clinton was essentially carrying out the Republican agenda of Bush I, why was he so loudly and publicly hated and vilified by those same forces?  The answer to that question requires that we explore and understand the media’s role in “how” our two party / media nexus creates what becomes our shared political “reality.”

Without those constant media attacks by Republicans, faithfully reported by the corporate media, rank and file Democrats would have had no reason to tolerate Clinton’s total betrayal of what had been long standing Democratic Party policies and ideals going back to the New Deal.  In other words, the vociferous Republican attacks related to Clinton’s sexual behavior acted to “legitimize” Clinton in the minds of large swaths of Democratic and Independent voters who otherwise would have looked critically and actually been appalled at his traitorous policy decisions.

Without these loud and public Republican attacks Clinton would have been essentially an emperor with no clothes.  The logic became, “well, if he is so roundly hated by the evil Republicans, he must be acting somehow in our best interests and therefore we must do our best to protect and defend him.”  I don’t doubt that such “reasoning” occurred for many on a quite unconscious level.  This is how propaganda operations work.  Since the Republicans were obviously the enemy, the Democratic base was left with what appeared to be the only reasonable response, to embrace the old adage of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.”  Clinton maintained credibility with his Democratic base because he was hated and constantly under attack by those whom Democrats knew were clearly the forces of darkness, those racist, homophobic, anti-choice, war-like Republicans.

If we fast forward to these final weeks of the eight- year Obama administration, we find, to quote Yogi Berra, that it’s “déjà vu all over again.”  Obama’s presidential acts have been unburdened by anything resembling fidelity to the campaign promises he made to his constituents.  He has in fact continued Bush II’s illegal wars in the Middle East, expanding them across the region in the process.  He has presided over illegal coups in the Ukraine and Honduras, and, one could argue, also played a role in Brazil.  In Libya, unleashing Hillary, he has destroyed a secular nation that had the highest standard of living in all of Africa.  His decisions as commander in chief then sent the same jihadi terrorists used to destroy Libya off to Syria to continue their work in service to our rather transparently bi-partisan US foreign policy.

Obama declined to prosecute any of the Bush II war criminals, instead welcoming some to new homes in his administration.  The comment “we tortured some folks” appears to be as close to justice and the rule of law as our Peace Prize president plans to get.

Obama pursued no prosecution of the amoral Wall Street financial criminals that destroyed the lives of millions of Americans.  In fact many of these odious human beings made their way quickly into the Obama cabinet where they continue managing the economic system to the benefit of the same elites who financed Obama’s rise to office.

Obama deported more illegal immigrants than any president in US history.  He prosecuted more whistleblowers than any president in US history.  He continued and may have expanded mass surveillance.  He failed to restore habeas corpus.  He is modernizing rather than reducing our nuclear arsenal, Peace Prize and promises be damned.  He fracked, he drilled, and he effectively continued Bush II Republican policies under the name of a Democratic presidency.

What’s not for Republicans to like?  What’s not for the oligarchy that owns and operates both parties to like?  What significant policy decisions distinguish Obama as a member of the Democratic Party rather than a member of the Republican Party?

Yet the Republicans despise Obama, do they not?  Ah yes, in no particular order: “Obama-care,”  “the birth certificate,” and the “he’s a closet Muslim” thing.  Of course!  How could we be so blind?

These attacks by the vile Republicans prove he is our benefactor and champion!  Look how our enemies despise and hate him!  So again the Democratic base defends Obama, right on cue, just as with Bill Clinton before him.  Not because he is acting in their interests or living up to campaign promises.  Instead, he is defended in large part because he is under unrelenting irrational public attack in the oligarch owned corporate media by the dreaded Republicans, which makes it appear that he must be standing up for us in some way shape or form yet to be determined.

These absurd Republican critiques of Obama have served the same propaganda function as the media circus surrounding the now legendary fellatio sessions of the Clinton presidency.  They provide the illusion of legitimacy to a political candidate and party no longer deserving of the support of Democratic voters.   While under the cover of this relentless Republican attack Obama has courageously and faithfully carried on the Bush II economic and foreign policy agenda in total betrayal of his supporters.  “Since the Republicans hate him so much, he must somehow be acting valiantly on our collective behalf,” or so the “truthiness,” passing as logic, appears to go for many in the base.

Routine police murders of unarmed Black men continue to take place with deadly regularlity.  The mentally ill are also shot and killed by police on a routine basis simply by virtue of being mentally ill, and therefore by definition unlikely to “follow police orders.”  In North Dakota police brutality aimed at Native American Dakota Access water protectors continues unabated, and screams for presidential intervention.  One can only conclude that the evil Republicans have confined Obama to the White House and cut off his access to all media, denying him even the lame duck “bully pulpit.”  Such monsters!  Know they no shame?

We have been had, folks.  We have been bamboozled, conned, taken for a ride, manipulated and deceived.  We have fallen, consciously or unconsciously, for the logic that the enemy of our enemy must indeed be our friend.  Not so much, it would appear.  At least if one considers the presidential policy record to contain any meaningful information worth assessing.  If these decades of fake party fights to the death related to sex scandals and birth certificates, played to the hilt in the corporate media, aren’t an actual CIA run operation, it should be.  It smells of all the subtle media manipulation the CIA used in Europe to shape public thought and opinion during the Cold War.  It has provided the only cover left for trying to hide the utter corruption of what amounts to two branches of a single neoliberal war party owned and operated by the oligarchy.  Given the direct CIA connections of both the Bush and Clinton families, we have had 24 of the last 32 years of the presidency clearly in the hands of the deep state.  The Bush family has been the Republican face of the CIA and the Clinton family the Democratic face.  Had Hillary been elected the charade would have continued.  Today all we are left with is the more and more desperate theater of the absurd attempts by corporate media to convince us we have political choices.  We do not.

What has the Democratic base received in payment for its diligent defense against the irrational and absurd Republican critiques of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama?  Quite simply, sixteen additional years of Republican policies on the domestic front and sixteen more years of deep state / Wall Street imperial foreign policy.  If actual policy means more than rhetoric, Bill Clinton will be remembered as the first “Democratic” Republican president and Barack Obama will be seen as the first “Black Democratic” Republican president.

What was apparent to some of us at the time is hopefully clearer to more of us today.  For the Democratic Party to effectively morph into its current form as simply one of two neoliberal war parties has required constant contrived political theater validated and echoed non-stop by the corporate media.  The vociferous, illogical and relentless attacks from the Republican Party against “liberal” Democratic presidents have acted as “cover” for the gutting of the Democratic Party itself. These attacks have served a propaganda function that has facilitated and helped conceal the Democratic party’s betrayal of its own constituents, while promoting the lie that it is valiantly fighting against the depredations of the Republicans.  It has been a decades long con job of the first order.  This year’s primary season and recent election pulled the curtain back to expose for the world to see the total amoral bankruptcy of both our parties and of our corporate media, all of which are owned by the oligarchy which rules us.

Meanwhile those of us who consider ourselves progressives, or, god forbid, radicals, have a good deal of soul searching to do in the wake of this election.  Many “progressive” people have gone to bed each night over the last eight years thinking that they are ethical and decent people because they support gay marriage, freedom of choice and multi-cultural values.  However, many of these same people lost no sleep due to concerns regarding the plight of those left behind by another eight years of brutal Democratically supported neoliberal economic policies.  The “deplorables,” to use the empathy-free language of the mass murderer who until last week was awaiting coronation as our nation’s “first female Democratic” Republican president.

Charles de Gaulle’s comment to an aide about how the American people would respond to the obvious State assassination of John Kennedy seems to describe the current mindset of many in the Democratic base regarding the corruption of their party and the role of the United States in continually fomenting global violence:

“They don’t want to know. They don’t want to find out. They won’t allow themselves to find out.”

There is a rather grotesque schism in the psyche of many “progressive” Democrats today.  Many ardent Obama and Hillary supporters, while acutely sensitive to identity politics in domestic issues, have ignored, rationalized or denied our ongoing imperial slaughter, directly and through proxy, of people of color across the planet.  Regarding US military and economic violence in the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Latin America, Obama has enjoyed a free pass from the same people who rightly applaud him for his stand on gay marriage.  Many have simply denied there is a problem and have not bothered to educate themselves about what their president and their country have been doing in the world.  Ignorance can only foster the illusion of “bliss” for so long.

Denial is the most brittle of all psychological defense mechanisms.  When denial finally breaks down it can feel as if one’s world is crumbling, when in fact that world had crumbled long ago, its disappearance simply hidden from awareness by our refusal to look, to see, to acknowledge what was right before our eyes.  Denial no longer works to protect us from the truth.

With the campaign of HRC the stage was set for not simply a continuation of the Obama regime but a return to the even more bizarre Dr. Strangelove neocon crazy of the Bush II years.  One could already imagine the strategy that would be used to deflect from her “Republican” policies.  It would be that the Republicans hate her “because she is a woman,” so of course we must support her and her policies no matter what.  No doubt a significant portion of the Democratic base would have watched her incinerate the planet before they’d dare question her policies, her being the first woman president and all.

If anyone is still harboring thoughts that include the possibility of “fixing” this neoliberal dumpster fire that is the Democratic Party, there is really little more to say.  First, the oligarchs aren’t going to put their cash cow up for sale because it’s too valuable to ensuring their interests.  Second, the Democratic base is a bit too cash strapped given all those profits going to the top 1% to really make a competitive bid now anyway, isn’t it?  Accepting reality at this point means accepting that the Democratic Party of many people’s fantasies or youth simply no longer exists.  Period.  Sorry, but the oligarchs aren’t going to get out of the way and let folks do a radical makeover so they can lose money on the deal.

It appears we’re going to have to actually work, sacrifice, organize, educate ourselves and each other, suffer, and resist, as hard and painful as all of that is going to be.  The alternative is exactly what we’ve gotten for the last 24 years – a count down to oblivion during which we all watch Tweedledum and Tweedledee mud wrestle each other on our video screens, 24/7, while much of the world is left to hope, desperately, that we will finally collectively wake up.

 

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Privacy Rights of Americans

NOVANEWS
Privacy Rights of Americans: Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) Sues FBI for Details on “Next Generation Biometric Data”
Controversy Surrounding “Next Generation Identification”
 
FBI-HQ-Sign

Privacy Organization Says FBI Director Shows “Reckless Disregard” for Privacy Rights of Americans 

The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) has sued the FBI to obtain a secret agreement with the Department of  Defense about “Next Generation Identification,” a biometric database containing detailed personal information on millions of Americans.

EPIC is a Washington-DC based civil liberties organization with a long history of successful Freedom of Information Act litigation against federal agencies. EPIC prevailed in a similar case against the FBI in 2014.

“Next Generation Identification” is one of the largest biometric databases in the world with digitized fingerprints, facial scans, and iris images on millions of Americans.

According to EPIC, the FBI has removed privacy safeguards even as the FBI has expanded the system.

“The FBI Director has shown a ‘reckless disregard’ for the privacy rights of Americans,” said Marc Rotenberg, President of EPIC. “Operating in secret, Director Comey has built a massive biometric database that places the privacy of all Americans at risk. And he has removed Privacy Act safeguards intended to ensure accuracy and accountability for the record system.”

In a previous FOIA lawsuit against the FBI, EPIC obtained documents which revealed that the FBI allows for an error rate of 20% in face recognition matches.

Jeramie Scott, Director of the EPIC Domestic Surveillance Project, said “The FBI biometric database raises significant privacy risks for Americans. Instead of fixing these problems and following the law, the Bureau has chosen instead to expand the program and remove barriers to data collection.”

Over the objections of EPIC and many organizations across the country, the FBI exempted itself from legal requirements for accuracy, relevancy, and transparency. EPIC said at the time, “Increasingly, the FBI is collecting information, including biometric information, for non-criminal reasons and keeping that data well beyond the original need for collection.” EPIC urged the FBI to comply with the federal law and limit data collection.

In June, a non-partisan coalition of 45 organizations asked Congress to undertake a comprehensive review of Next Generation Identification. Writing to leaders of both the House and Senate Judiciary Committees, the groups urged Congress to hold oversight hearings. The groups warned that “the FBI is retaining vast amounts of personal information and exposing millions of people to a potential data breach.”

In 2015 a breach of the Office Personnel Management record system compromised the personal information of 22 million federal employees, friends, and family members. The breach included 5 million digitized fingerprints (similar to the biometric identifiers stored by the FBI), and the form SF-86 used for sensitive background investigations.

EPIC has tracked the development of the FBI’s record systems for many years, urging the agency to comply with the federal Privacy Act and challenging the Bureau’s attempt to expand data collection practices.

In a similar open government case brought by EPIC against the FBI, a federal court ruled in EPIC’s favor in 2014, finding:

The dissemination of the material sought by EPIC, and the NGI system itself, are fairly within the public interest. The FBI’s own website proclaims that its current fingerprint identification system is the largest in the world. The implications of expanding this system to include multimodal biometric data and interoperability with existing and future technology are of significant public interest, whether in the form of EPIC’s concerns regarding liberty interests and privacy rights, the FBI’s concerns with more effectively combatting terrorism and crime, or otherwise.  . . .

There can be little dispute that the general public has a genuine, tangible interest in a system designed to store and manipulate significant quantities of its own biometric data, particularly given the great numbers of people from whom such data will be gathered.

In the most recent lawsuit, EPIC is seeking records pertaining to a memoranda of understanding between the FBI and DOD relating to biometric data transfers. EPIC sought these documents in a Freedom of Information Act request in April 2015. The FBI acknowledged receipt of the request but failed to provide the documents requested. EPIC then filed an administrative appeal.  In September 2015, the FBI acknowledged that 35 pages of responsive records were located, but none of the records were released to EPIC. The Bureau said it had to consult with other agencies before releasing any records.

More than a year has passed since the last response to EPIC from the FBI. In the past year, the FBI has continued to expand the biometric database, obtain Privacy Act exemptions, and make determinations with adverse consequences for Americans across the country.

The case is EPIC v. FBI, No. 16-2237. Representing EPIC are EPIC President Marc Rotenberg, EPIC Senior Counsel Alan Butler, EPIC Domestic Surveillance Project Director Jeramie Scott, and EPIC Open Government Project Director John Tran.

EPIC is a non-profit public interest research organization in Washington, DC. EPIC was established in 1994 to focus public attention on emerging privacy and civil liberties issues. EPIC has prevailed in more than 40 Freedom of Information Act lawsuits against the federal government.

REFERENCES

EPIC v. FBI , No. 16-2237

EPIC, “EPIC Sues FBI Over Biometric Data Program” (Nov 15, 2016)
https://epic.org/2016/11/epic-sues-fbi-over-biometric.htm lEPIC, Comments on Next Generation Identification, CPCLO Order No. 002-2016 (July 6, 2016)

https://www.epic.org/apa/comments/EPIC-CPCLO-FBI-NGI-Comments.pdf

EPIC, “EPIC v. FBI (Biometric Data Transfer Agreements)”
https://epic.org/foia/fbi/biometric-mou/default.html EPIC v. FBI , 72 F. Supp. 3d 338 (D.D.C. 2014) (“seeking to compel the FBI’s compliance with two Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) requests for the release of certain records related to the FBI’s Next Generation Identification (“NGI”) program.”)
EPIC, Next Generation Identification
http://epic.org/foia/fbi/ngi/ Letter from 45 NGOs to Congress On Next Generation Identification (June 23, 2016)
https://epic.org/privacy/fbi/NGI-Congressional-Oversight-Letter.pdf

Posted in USAComments Off on Privacy Rights of Americans

November 22,1963: Remembering JFK’s State-Sponsored Assassination

NOVANEWS
 
JFK_White_House_portrait_looking_up_lighting_corrected

I won’t ever forget hearing the news – working in Pittsburgh as a marketing analyst, returning from lunch with colleagues when we it was announced.

November 22, 1963 was a Friday. The working day ended once the news broke, everyone in my department stunned, unable to focus on anything else.

It was too early to know what evidence later revealed. Lee Harvey Oswald was a convenient patsy, uninvolved in what happened, a state-sponsored assassination, CIA and secret service dirty hands likely responsible.

Killing him mattered. Things might have been different had he lived, at least for a time. November 22, 1963 remains a stain on America’s deplorable legacy.

JFK’s body was flown to Washington from Dallas. On  Sunday, November 24, a horse-drawn caisson carried his flag-draped coffin to lie in state on Capitol Hill.

On November 25, officials from over 90 countries attended his state funeral. After a St. Matthew’s requiem mass, he was laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery.

The events of that time will stay with me always. JFK was assassinated for transforming himself from a warrior to peacemaker. 

Rejecting Pax Americana, wanting nuclear disarmament, rapprochement with Soviet Russia, all US forces out of Vietnam by December 1965, and other anti-establishment policies proved his undoing.

America’s deep state had other ideas – the challenge Trump faces if he follows through on wanting better relations with Moscow and President Vladimir Putin – perhaps favoring more diplomacy and less wars.

Plato once said “(s)trange times are these in which we live when old and young are taught falsehoods in school. And the person that dares to tell the truth is called at once a lunatic and fool.”

The Warren Commission whitewashed what happened. The Big Lie persists to this day. Extensive research James Fetzer conducted concluded the following:

“The weapon Oswald is alleged to have used cannot have fired the bullets that killed JFK. The ‘magic bullet’ theory is provably untrue and was not even anatomically possible.”

“JFK was hit four times – in the throat from in front, in the back from behind, and in the head from in front and behind.”

“X-rays were altered. A brain was substituted, and photos and films were faked to conceal the true causes of his death.”

Fetzer cited “more than 15 indications of Secret Service complicity in setting JFK up for the hit.”

“Two agents assigned to the limousine were left behind at Love Field. The flat-bed truck for reporters that should have preceded the limo was cancelled.”

“The motorcycle escort was cut down to four and was instructed not to ride ahead of the rear wheels. Open windows were not covered. The manhole covers were not welded, and the crowd was allowed to spill into the street.”

“…Vehicles were in the wrong order, with (Kennedy’s) Lincoln first, when it should have been in the middle.”

“This was such a blatant violation of protocol that any security expert would have detected it.” The Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB) destroyed the Presidential Protection Records to eliminate important evidence.

Kennedy’s route was changed days before he arrived. Included was a strictly prohibited 90 degree turn. After gunfire struck him, driver William Greer pulled to the left. He stopped the vehicle.

“At Parkland Hospital, (Secret Service) agents got a bucket of water and a sponge, and washed brains and blood from the crime scene.”

Kennedy’s “limousine was taken back to Ford. (It) was stripped to bare metal and rebuilt” – destroying important evidence.

Pseudo-documentaries air on TV, distorting what happened, concealing vital truths, sticking to the long ago discredited lone gunman explanation.

“As much thought was given to concealing the truth from the public as was given to executing the assassination itself,” Fetzer explained.

Had Kennedy lived, imagine the possibilities. He likely would have served two terms, perhaps RFK succeeding him in January 1969 had he lived. Maybe the Cold War would have ended and Southeast Asia war avoided.

We’ll never know what might have been, only the deplorable aftermath of JFK’s assassination, followed by RFK’s to keep another Kennedy from becoming president.

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Empire Perpetrates Its Dirty War on Syria Beneath the Protected Cover of Big Lies

NOVANEWS
US-Syria

The following text is an excerpt of a forthcoming E-Book entitled Voices From Syria, by Mark Taliano.

Taliano focusses on the broad issue of  Media Disinformation and America’s Wars: Liars Versus Truthers. According to the author, the  “Progressive Left” Has Been Coopted.

Voices From Syria is slated to be launched by Global Research Publishers in December.

*       *      *

Well-documented facts pertaining to the 9/11 wars, all supported by sustainable evidence, have barely made inroads into the collective consciousness of Western media consumers. 

The War on Syria is no exception.  Despite the presence of five years of sustainable evidence that contradicts the Western narratives, people still believe the “official” lies.

One of the more prevalent lies about the dirty war on Syria, for example, is that there are so-called “moderate rebels”.  This false cover for certain terrorists groups furnishes Western powers with pretexts for illegally arming and supporting terrorism in Syria.

Syrian resident Lilly Martin describes the crimes committed by the so-called “moderate” Free Syrian Army (FSA) on August 4, 2013, in Ballouta, a small village near Latakia, Syria:

The FSA went house to house killing everyone in their path.  Whole families were wiped out.  One pregnant woman was seized and her stomach cut open and the fetus hung in a tree.  There were many survivors, despite the fact that 220 dead bodies were later counted at the hospital in Latakia.  The survivors made their way to an empty school in Latakia and took shelter there until the village could be freed by the Syrian Arab Army on August 17, 2013.

During the sectarian massacre, 100 small children and a few females were kidnapped by the FSA.  They were taken as captives to Selma, which was and still is occupied and held by the FSA.  The children and females were tortured.  They were all held underground without sunlight.   One boy had his eyes gouged out, and another boy was shot through the head.

About 2 weeks later the FSA used those children to create a video.  They drugged the 100 children and arraigned them in poses on the floor to appear dead.  They created many videos using their captives as actors.  The video was sent via cell phone to a contact person in Damascus.  It was that person who later uploaded the famous Sarin Chemical attack video on YouTube.com

Martin explains further, that on May 7, 2014,

 after 9 months of captivity, 44 of the original 100 kidnap victims were released from Selma to a hospital in Latakia.  Their release was part of the deal which also released terrorists in the Old City section of Homs.  However, the remaining kidnap victims continue to be held in Selma.  On May 8th some of the captives began to give testimonies about their time in captivity in Selma with the FSA.  They said most of the terrorists were Syrian but that they did occasionally hear foreign languages spoken.  From other sources, we know that Selma was home to many Australian terrorists, especially from the Sydney area, which also had ties to Latakia.  Those Australians would be able to speak Arabic with a Syrian accent, and also speak English very well.

The notion that these un-Islamic murderers are somehow “moderate”, is patently absurd, yet the “Big Lie” is sustained in the West by a “consensus of ignorance” which is protected by what Prof Michel Chossudovsky describes as an “American Inquisition”. Beneath the protection of this psychological operation, the engineered enemy is Islam, and the Global War On Terrorism (GWOT) has become a brand to disguise imperial wars of aggression as “humanitarian”.

Thus, huge sums of public monies are diverted from worthwhile, domestic projects such as healthcare schools and roads, to support a criminal Project for a New American Century (PNAC) that is globalizing death, poverty, and destruction as the U.S led empire tries to impose a unilateral model of control over the world.

The U.S is said to be “exceptional”, and therefore the rightful ruler. Manifest Destiny writ large.

Dissent is suppressed within the framework of corporate media monopolies.  Predominant narratives are supported by corrupt “NGOs” – totally bereft of objectivity — and intelligence agency “fronts”. Real investigative journalism offering historical context and legitimate evidence are relegated to the fringes, far outside the domain of the broad-based “consensus of misunderstanding.”

The “Progressive Left” has been co-opted.  So-called “progressives” (presumably unwittingly) support Canada’s close relationships with Wahabbi Saudi Arabia, Apartheid Israel, and even the foreign mercenaries currently invading Syria (ie ISIS and al Nursra Front/al Qaeda, and all the “moderates”).

The foundational sources upon which the pretexts for war are built and perpetrated are taboo topics, despite longstanding evidence that the official narratives explaining the crimes of 9/11  – and the subsequent “Gladio B” operations — are flawed.  The truth is seen as “heresy”, and fact-based narratives are derided as “conspiracy theories”.

Thus, a firm foundation of lies that serves as a sanctified justification for global war and terror, remains strong.

But the stakes are high, as Western hegemony presses us closer and closer to a real prospect of widespread nuclear war.  Already, the use of nuclear weapons is being “normalized” through the introduction of “mini-nukes” into the equation, and the blurring of lines between conventional and nuclear war.

Chossudovsky explains in “Is the Bush Administration Planning a Nuclear Holocaust?|Will the US launch ‘Mini-nukes’ against Iran in Retaliation for Tehran’s ‘Non-compliance’?”  that

The Doctrine for Joint Nuclear Operations outlines the procedures governing the use of nuclear weapons and the nature of the relationship between nuclear and conventional war operations.

The DJNO states that the:

‘use of nuclear weapons within a [war] theater requires that nuclear and conventional plans be integrated to the greatest extent possible’ (DJNO, p 47, italics added, For further details see Michel Chossudovsky, Nuclear War against Iran, Jan 2006 )

The implications of this ‘integration’ are far-reaching because once the decision is taken by the Commander in Chief, namely the President of the United States, to launch a joint conventional-nuclear military operation, there is a risk that tactical nuclear weapons could be used without requesting subsequent presidential approval. In this regard, execution procedures under the jurisdiction of the theater commanders pertaining to nuclear weapons are described as ‘flexible and allow for changes in the situation …’ ”

The taboos need to be lifted, and all of the repeated lies need to be contradicted.

The War on Syria is not a “civil” war; the “uprising” was not “democratic”; Assad does not “starve his own people”; Assad does not “bomb his own people”, and, of course, there are no “moderate” terrorists.

The initial uprisings were marred by foreign-backed violence perpetrated against innocent people, soldiers, and police. Peaceful grassroots protests were hijacked by these murderous foreign-backed elements (as was the case in Ukraine) – all consistent with “hybrid war” as elaborated by Andrew Korybko.

The illegal sanctions imposed by the West – which benefit the terrorists and punish Syrian citizens – coupled with terrorist practices of theft and hoarding of humanitarian aid – are responsible for the starvation.

Assad is a democratically elected reformer, and hugely popular with Syrians, not a brutal dictator. Claims that he “kills his own people” were further debunked when the so-called “Caesar photos” evidence was proven to be a fraud. Many Syrians criticize Assad for not carpet bombing terrorist occupied areas (as US occupiers did in Fallujah, for example).  Syrians sometimes refer to Assad as “Mr. Soft Heart”.

Unfortunately, though, the well-documented truth is not yet widely accepted.  We need to shatter the “Inquisition” which serves to protect the criminal cabal perpetrating and orchestrating this global catastrophe.  Truth and justice must prevail over lies and crimes.  Currently, the opposite is the case.

 

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350 Palestinian Minors Held in Nazi camps Some Palestinian Children Slapped with Life Sentences

NOVANEWS
palestinian child israeli soldier

At least 350 Palestinian children are languishing in Nazi camps, a local Palestinian NGO said Saturday.

“Israeli authorities are holding 350 Palestinian children aged between 12 and 18,” the Palestinian Prisoners Society said in a statement on the occasion of the UN Universal Children’s Day.

It said twelve females were among jailed children in Nazi camps.

According to the NGO, more than 2,000 Palestinian minors have been detained by Nazi army since 2015.

“Israel has committed several violations against Palestinian children, including firing live ammunition against them, detaining them and [keeping them] without food and water in addition to beating and intimidation,” it said.

The NGO cited that Nazi investigators used threats to extract confessions from Palestinian children.

It said some Palestinian children were slapped with life sentences by Nazi courts, while others were sentenced to 10 years in prison.

The NGO went on to call on international organisations, particularly the UNICEF, to intervene to protect Palestinian children in Nazi camps.

According to Palestinian official figures, more than 7,000 Palestinians are currently held in detention facilities throughout the Nazi state.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, Human RightsComments Off on 350 Palestinian Minors Held in Nazi camps Some Palestinian Children Slapped with Life Sentences

Ron Paul Reveals Hit List of Alleged ‘Fake News’ Journalists

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Former congressman Ron Paul revealed a list of “fake news” journalists he claims are responsible for “bogus wars” and lies about Hillary Clinton’s chances of winning the election. Journalists from CNN, the New York Times, and the Guardian are included.

“This list contains the culprits who told us that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and lied us into multiple bogus wars,” according to a report on his website, Ron Paul Liberty Report. Paul claims the list is sourced and “holds a lot more water” than a list previously released by Melissa Zimdars, who is described on Paul’s website as “a leftist feminist professor.”

Ron Paul © Joe Skipper

Ron Paul © Joe Skipper / Reuters

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“These are the news sources that told us ‘if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor,’” he said. “They told us that Hillary Clinton had a 98% of winning the election. They tell us in a never-ending loop that ‘The economy is in great shape!’” Paul’s list includes the full names of the “fake news” journalists as well as the publications they write for, with what appears to be hyperlinks to where the allegations are sourced from. In most cases, this is WikiLeaks, but none of the hyperlinks are working at present, leaving the exact sources of the list unknown. CNN is Paul’s biggest alleged culprit, with nine entries, followed by the NY Times and MSNBC, with six each. The NY Times has recently come under fire from President-elect Donald Trump, who accuses them of being “totally wrong”on news regarding his transition team, while describing them as “failing.”

The publication hit back, however, saying their business has increased since his election, with a surge in new subscriptions.

Wow, the @nytimes is losing thousands of subscribers because of their very poor and highly inaccurate coverage of the “Trump phenomena”

@realDonaldTrump @nytimes fact: surge in new subscriptions, print & digital, with trends, stops & starts, 4 X better than normal.

CNN’s Wolf Blitzer is also amongst those named on the list. In an email from the Democratic National Committee (DNC) released by WikiLeaks, the DNC staff discusses sending questions to CNN for an interview with Donald Trump.

emails: Cozy with CNN, silencing journalists & pinning it on Putin http://on.rt.com/7u5k 

Photo published for Key #DNCLeak2 emails: Cozy with CNN, silencing journalists & pinning it on Putin — RT America
Key #DNCLeak2 emails: Cozy with CNN, silencing journalists & pinning it on Putin — RT America

WikiLeaks released 8,263 emails from key figures in the Democratic National Convention on Sunday, exposing CNN’s embarrassingly close relationship with the DNC, the party’s plan to pin it on Putin…

rt.com

Also listed is NY Times journalist Maggie Haberman, whom leaked emails showed working closely with Clinton’s campaign to present the Democratic candidate in a favorable light.

So-called ‘fake news’ has been recently attacked by US President Barack Obama, who claimed that false news shared online may have played a role in Donald Trump’s victory in the US presidential election.

Facebook head Mark Zuckerberg has now said that the social media site may begin entrusting third parties with filtering the news.

Posted in SyriaComments Off on Ron Paul Reveals Hit List of Alleged ‘Fake News’ Journalists

“Regime Change”? South Africa Targeted by Western Destabilization Efforts?

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Issues surrounding a minimum wage bill, education and services are being utilized in attempts to overthrow the African National Congress

South African President Jacob Zuma has come out publically to state that there are efforts underway by the West to undermine the African National Congress (ANC) government which has held power for over 22 years.

A myriad of challenges are facing the South African ruling party including an economic recession, the bringing of several allegations about corruption within the office of the presidency, a declining stock market and national currency along with increasingly worsening relations with the United States.

In Africa there are numerous examples from the post-colonial period of the last five decades where the intelligence and military apparatuses of the imperialist states have sought to reverse the forward progress of the masses of workers, farmers, youth and their leadership. In the recent period in the South American state of Brazil, the first woman President Dilma Rousseff of the Worker’s Party, was forcefully removed from office in a political coup.

In addition to the decline in the South African economy largely due to the overall world crisis which has driven down commodity prices and systematically disinvested from the emerging states, there has been a fracturing of the national democratic movement and the workers organizations over contentious debates surrounding a way forward. In an October report delivered at the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU) 17th Congress in Durban, South Africa, Dr. Blade Nzimande, the Secretary General of the South African Communist Party (SACP), placed these contradictions inside the national democratic revolution and the largest trade union federation, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), within a broader context of the desire by the imperialist states to reverse the advances of the liberation struggles.

In a recent article published by the Agence France Press (AFP), President Zuma emphasized that: “Western powers want to remove the ANC because they do not want the ANC to develop relations with those countries which helped the party in the anti-apartheid struggle.” This statement was made by President Zuma on Nov. 19 laid the blame directly on certain Western countries which do not wish the ruling African National Congress success.

Zuma spoke to ANC supporters at a rally in Bushbuckridge, Mpumalanga Province that the imperialist states were utilizing some ANC members to further their agenda, adding that some party members had been won over to the views of Western countries. The president said that those ANC members calling for his resignation were in fact serving the interests of the Western states.

The Political Economy of Destabilization

Since 1994 there have been substantial reforms initiated under the ANC government. There has been the construction of housing for the poor and working class, the expansion of healthcare, the breaking down of racial barriers in public facilities, along with access to household utilities and clean drinking water.

However, the fundamental relations and ownership of production remains under the control of the capitalist class. As a manifestation of modern-day capitalism, high unemployment, rising costs of living including education fees as well as problems associated with service delivery, have continued.

“In all other countries, the majority controls everything from politics, economy and defense . . . It’s only in this country (South Africa) where we don’t have economic freedom. It’s controlled by the minority and those who oppressed us,” Zuma stressed. (AFP, Nov. 21)

The president went on to say: “That is why they are scared that we will take away this economy. They want to take away the strength of the ANC because they know the ANC is the only organization trying to balance the scales.”

Zuma said that his government would not break ties with longtime friends internationally in order to win the approval of the imperialist governments. The president had also spoke at the WFTU 17th Congress noting that the capitalist system would not relinquish concessions to the working class without demands based upon mass struggle.

Recounting the history of the national liberation movement in South Africa, Zuma said: “Socialist countries like Russia and China helped the ANC, giving it military training and aid during the anti-apartheid struggle. The socialist countries came to our aid. It was Russia who trained us and helped us with the tools to fight. China and other socialist countries helped us.”

In addition Zuma said the Western states are retaliating against the ANC government due its affiliation with the Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) Summit. The advent of such blocs among the emerging states was a threat to Western hegemony of the world economy.

“They are fighting us because we joined BRICS. Some are in ANC gear but are in the company of the West. We are at war. We are going to protect the ANC,” Zuma emphasized.

In an article published by the South African Mail & Guardian in reference to the stock values of holdings traded on the local market, it noted: “Should South Africa avoid having its credit rating cut to junk in the next two weeks, it could just be staving off the inevitable. More than half of 12 economists surveyed by Bloomberg said S&P Global Ratings will strip the nation of its investment-level rating. The median probability of South Africa retaining its current assessment in December is 45%, falling to only 20% in 2017, the survey shows. The economy faces a cut to junk on its foreign-currency credit rating as output is forecast to expand at the slowest pace this year since a 2009 recession, delaying the government’s plans to narrow the shortfall on the budget and rein in debt.” (Nov. 18)

Debate Surrounds a National Minimum Wage Amid Allegation of Regime Change Agenda

The ANC government has proposed the adoption of a national monthly minimum wage of 3,500 rand which is approximately $242 U.S. dollars. 47 percent of the working population earns less than this proposed amount. (BBC, Nov. 21)

Despite the possible introduction of such legislation, it falls far short of what is actually needed to maintain a basic household. Prof. Chris Malikane of the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg suggested that 12,000 rand per month was essential in maintaining a decent home. (BBC, Nov. 21)

This issue is controversial among the business interests which claim that any significant government-mandated increase in the minimum wage would create further unemployment which stands officially at around 25 percent. Over the last few years there have been large-scale job losses in the mining sector which is impacting economic recovery.

Two years ago COSATU proposed a minimum wage of 4500 rand per month. With inflation since 2014 the amount would be at least 5000 today.

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa said the 3,500 rand per month figure was decided by a panel of experts. Ramaphosa said: “We are now a step closer to finalizing discussions on the national minimum wage. All social partners will now decide what their take is.” (BBC, Nov. 21)

The ANC must address the issues of joblessness, poverty and service delivery in order to win back its two-thirds majority electoral base inside the country. Local governmental elections which were held in August saw a decline in support for the ruling party by approximately ten points although it remains by far the most popular party in South Africa winning 54 percent of the votes in the August poll.

A commission report issued several weeks ago alleged that the government of President Zuma has been involved in corruption. Zuma has denied the charges and attempts to pass motions of no-confidence in parliament failed on numerous occasions. The current ANC leadership seems solidly committed to keeping Zuma in office until his term expires in 2019.

The party maintains that Washington through its embassy in Pretoria is pursuing a regime-change agenda. Party spokesperson Zize Kodwa stated in March: “They have taken about 45 young people to America to train them as part of their leadership program. What we got from those young people is not what they expected; they were trained on how to destabilize the country and regime change.” (Xinhua News Agency, March 16)

Posted in AfricaComments Off on “Regime Change”? South Africa Targeted by Western Destabilization Efforts?


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