A May Day 2014 Lament for American Labor

NOVANEWS
How Have We Fared?

by JACK RASMUS

Today, May 1, 2014, is International Labor Day. It is worth summing up how well American workers—and their unions—have fared over the past year; since the so-called economic recovery began in mid-2009; and for the recent decades preceding.

What’s happened to jobs, wages and incomes, health and retirement security, and other indicators of the quality of life for the more than 100 million non-supervisory wage and salary earners—the core of the working class in America—over the past decade and especially since 2009?

What a summary of the facts tell us is as follows:

*While jobs have been created for managers, supervisors, and highly skilled business and technical professionals since 2009, job levels for the core of the American working class—the category of the more than 100 million ‘Production & Non-Supervisory Workers’—is still 11 million below 2007 pre-recession levels. Manufacturing jobs are still 1.4 million fewer today than in 2007, and Construction jobs 1.3 million fewer.

*The real unemployment rate in the US is approximately 14%, when the ‘hidden unemployed’ are added to the ranks of the officially declared full time unemployed (U-3) and underemployed (U-6) estimates. That’s approximately 22 million still jobless after five years of so-called economic recovery.

*The quality of job creation since 2009 has been extremely poor by past historical standards. The US is ‘churning out’ high paying-good benefit jobs for low pay, increasingly part time/temp (contingent) jobs, with few if any benefits. 79% of jobs lost during the recent recession paid more than $14/hr., while 58% of the jobs created since recession were low pay (less than $14 and with a median of only $7.69hr.)

*While 5 million plus jobs have been added since the official ‘end’ of the recession in June 2009, more than 5 million have left the labor force or been unable to find work as new entrants—a 5+million ‘in’ and a 5+ million ‘out’ additional churn. As labor force participation has declined in general (from 66.2% to 62.9% since 2009), and has fallen especially rapidly for age groups 35 and below, previously retired workers are entering the labor force in record numbers as their savings are depleted and retirement benefits are being reduced. The fastest growing age groups entering the labor force are: age 65-69 (64% increase in participation), 70-74 (91%), and >75 (81%).

*The US economy is not only churning out high pay for low pay, and labor force drop-outs for new hires, but is also churning non-union for union jobs, in the process reducing private sector unionization to historic lows not seen since the 19th century.

*Union membership in the private sector has fallen to only 6.7% of the total labor force, or 7.3 million—down roughly 5 million since 1980 despite 45 million more wage workers having entered the labor force. And for the first time in decades, since 2009 union membership in the public sector has also begun falling since 2009, down by more than 2% points.

*The US is experiencing a chronic long-term problem in the 21st century creating jobs sufficient to keep up with the growth of its population, a structural problem in the US economy that clearly pre-dates the onset of the latest recession. Since just 2009, the ratio of employed to the US population has fallen from 63% to 58.7%. The population is growing much faster than the economy can create jobs.

*The US economy has developed a corresponding problem of inability to find jobs for the long term unemployed, whose numbers are growing as a percent of total jobless. The Employment to Population ratio has continued to decline through both recent recession and recovery, revealing a chronic structural problem of job creation in the US economy long term. The long term jobless as percent of total unemployed remains twice that (36%) of historical average (18%) today, five years into the recovery.

*Income inequality is growing in the US not only because the rich are getting richer, but because the US working class is locked into stagnant wage growth (in best of times) or declining wage growth (in recession or slow growth times) for the past 30 years.

*The real average hourly wage for the 100 million plus full-time employed core working class, adjusted for inflation, has declined despite nearly five years of ‘recovery’, from $8.86/hr. (adjusted in 1982-84 prices as per the US Government estimates) to $8.83/hr.

*But when adjusted for the core working class as a whole—not just full time employed—the decline in core working class income since 2009 has been precipitous—(i.e. when adjusted further for the rise of millions more part time/temp workers, unemployed, for millions of workers leaving the labor force, for millions rise of workers on disability, for millions’ expiration of unemployment benefits, and for workers’ rising share of healthcare benefits costs and reductions of pension benefits). The adjusted decline is at least 15%.

*Per US Government statistics (unadjusted per above), real median household income fell 4.1% under George W. Bush, collapsed by 9.6% since 2008 under Obama, recovering only 3.4% of the overall decline since 2012—i.e. a net loss of more than 10% since 2000.

*The share of wages & salaries of total National Income has declined steadily for 30 years, from 55.6% in 1983 to 52.0% in 2007 just prior to the recession. It has continued to fall during the recession period, 2007-09, as well as during the post-2009 recovery, to 49.1% today.

Concluding Comments

Much has been written over the past year about the growing income inequality in America, and how the wealthiest 1% households, who almost exclusively derive their income from returns on capital (capital gains from stock & bond trading, foreign exchange & derivatives speculation, interest, real estate, rents, etc.), have accrued 95% of all the national income gains in the US economy since the June 2009 so-called economic ‘recovery’ officially began.

Liberal economists like Paul Krugman, Robert Reich, James Galbraith and others have been writing numerous books and countless newspaper columns on the subject of income inequality in general over the past year. They have finally discovered in recent years the sad fact of accelerating income inequality in America, a developing trend that has been in progress for decades, at least since the early 1980s.

But while liberal economists today are finally focusing on why and how the wealthiest 1% are accruing more for themselves, not enough attention has been paid to why and how more than 100 million working class households in America have been doing so poorly—and increasingly so—during recent decades and in particular during the most recent period, 2004-2014. Nor have mainstream commentaries offered much in the way of correcting the historic decline in American working class conditions. How to improve the latter is just as important as taming the runaway capital incomes of the rich and super-rich. But only tepid and conservative proposals are forthcoming thus far from the mainstream economic profession, proposals that are long term and ‘safe’ for the owners of Capital today and do not embarrass their political friends and benefactors.

That condition of the 100 million plus working families in America today, International Labor Day 2014, is as lamentable as the accelerating accrual of income and wealth by the 1% is disgusting. Of course, the two trends are not mutually exclusive but directly related. The rich and very rich are becoming super-rich and mega-rich in large part at the direct expense of the rest.

(Note: A more detailed analysis of these trends is forthcoming in a public article by Dr. Rasmus under the title ‘An American Labor Balance Sheet: 1984-2014’. Look for a copy on his website below in coming weeks).

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Death of the I$raHell Lobby? It might be coming sooner than you think

NOVANEWS
IsraelLobby

By Philip Giraldi.

UNZ – The key component of the Israel Lobby, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), is the most powerful foreign policy lobby in Washington. It exists only to maintain and increase United States support for Israel, no matter what Israel does and no matter what the actual American interests might be. It has a budget of more than $70 million, an endowment in excess of $100 million, and it employs more than 200. One of its senior lobbyists once said that its power over congress was so great that he could circulate a napkin and have the signatures of 70 Senators on it within one day. Israeli former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, referring to the influence wielded by AIPAC, said that “We, the Jewish people, control America. And the Americans know it.”

AIPAC is only one of a constellation of Jewish and non-Jewish organizations whose raisons d’etre are to shield Israel from all criticism and to increase the United States government’s commitment to support Israel and Israeli policies. For the Christian Zionists it is a matter of their interpretation of the book of Revelation, which suggests that a return of the Jews to the Holy Land is a precursor for the second coming of Christ and the End Time. As Jews who do not convert will also be killed in the process has meant that the Israeli government holds its nose when dealing with its Christian allies but is quite willing to exploit them nevertheless.

For the Jewish groups, many of which were founded to fight prejudice against Jews but have now found themselves without a purpose due to the decline of anti-Semitism, it is a particular irony that they now find themselves playing lapdog to a nation which has institutionalized both racial and religious discrimination. They too often choose to hold their noses and look the other way but they are being increasingly challenged by liberal Jews who are finding the mixture a bit too toxic and also by Jewish scholars who insist that Judaism is a religion while Israel is a nation and the two concepts should never be confused.

AIPAC’s annual conference held early in March brought together 1,400 supporters and hosted most of Congress as well as Joe Biden and John Kerry. The conference highlighted the alleged Iranian threat and included denunciations of the Palestinians, making clear that Israel longs for peace but the Arabs do not. These have been familiar themes at all AIPAC gatherings but there was also more than a trace of unease over the growing boycott and divestment movements that are increasingly being used to put pressure on the Israeli occupation of the West Bank.

That Israel has become a rogue nation akin to South Africa under apartheid and is increasingly recognized as such is at the heart of Tel Aviv’s legitimacy problem and it is also the rotten core of the Israel Lobby’s message. While the friends of Israel might still have vast resources and the ear of every fearful politician, they have nevertheless found themselves defending the indefensible, meaning that they have lost the war of ideas and they know it. Few believe that Israel has any desire to make peace and most now accept that peace talks have been little more than a long running charade to permit continuous expansion on Arab land. Many have noted that Israel is any longer a beleaguered little democracy and most observers would instead conclude that it is the regional military super power bully that is rapidly becoming a country with a racist and supremacist ideology. The myth of Israel has crumbled. Benjamin Netanyahu is not Paul Newman anymore and Exodus is little more than theme music while charges of anti-Semitism are no longer working very well to silence critics.

The Israel Lobby’s has killed itself because of its own success. Failing to appreciate that Americans are tired of war and demanding retrenchment, it has suffered major defeats over the Hagel nomination, the bombing of Syria, and negotiations with Iran. Convinced that it was bullet proof and could get anything it wanted out of a spineless congress and a weak finger-in-the-air-testing-the-winds White House, it has continued to seek more and more for Israel even as the evidence grew that Israel is not exactly the kind of state that most Americans would have much sympathy with. Theocracies are not the American way and Israeli policies against Palestinians, reminiscent of racial discrimination in the Jim Crow South, are increasingly hard to justify. As long as the Lobby was able to dominate the media with its false narrative about Israel everything went its way, but the rise of the alternative media has permitted contrary views to surface and even become dominant.

AIPAC regularly claims that opinion polls demonstrate strong support for Israel. But asking simplistic questions about “who do you prefer, the Israelis or Palestinians” predictably continues to produce a pro-Israel result due to the relentless propaganda bombardment that the US public has been subjected to over the past fifty years. And when other less Manichean questions are asked, the results are somewhat different. Most Americans do not want to take sides in the Middle East and are strongly opposed to starting another war in that region. Many identify Israel as the major promoter of war with Iran. Increasingly, Americans are becoming aware that the United States has no real quarrel with the Iranians.

Regarding the Lobby itself, more Americans now understand how it has corrupted our political system through PAC money flowing to congress and in terms of how it plays domestic politics. The open Israeli support for Mitt Romney in 2012 was noted by many while, more recently, the push against politicians and journalists who are anti-intervention and therefore seen as unfriendly to Israel has been intensifying. The Emergency Committee for Israel, headed by Bill Kristol, recently decided against running an ad that it had bankrolled which attacked Representative Walter Jones of North Carolina because of his vote against Iran sanctions and his failure to support a 2012 bill pledging blanket support for Israel. The ad featured protesters burning Israeli and American flags, suggesting that Jones was encouraging such behavior and also pari passu linking Israeli security with that of the United States.

In spite of the opening of the door to criticize Israel and its Lobby which began with the publication of the Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer book The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy in 2006, one might well argue that groups like AIPAC continue to exercise great power, particularly over congress and the media, which might suggest that little has changed. Stephen Walt would agree but would also argue that the atmosphere today is much different in terms of the breadth and depth of the open criticism of Israel and the Lobby, much of it coming from prominent American Jews, while sentiment in many formerly sympathetic circles is shifting strongly against Israel. This is particularly true among those well informed on the issues and, inevitably, congress will figure out that knee jerk support of Israel is not an automatic ticket to reelection.

The recent media accounts regarding the Obama administration’s apparent willingness to free convicted Israel spy Jonathan Pollard demonstrate what I and others have been noting emerge in the mainstream media. A New York Times feature article on Pollard attracted 310 comments before it was closed. The comments ran about 20 to 1 against Pollard and, frequently, also against Israel and its wag the dog relationship with Washington. Some noted that the Israelis would accept Pollard as a gift from Washington, would celebrate him for spying against the United States and then would do absolutely nothing to return the favor. And bear in mind that the comments were moderated, which suggests that the more strongly expressed views reflecting genuine anger over the situation were likely suppressed. If one reviews similar stories about the Middle East in other outlets within the mainstream media the same imbalance almost always occurs in spite of moderation by editorial staffs that are likely to be inclined to be friendly to Israel. So that would suggest to me that opinion has shifted strongly, at least among the informed public.

Why are Israel and its Lobby so important? They are important not only because they have corrupted our politics but also because the so-called “special relationship” has created an entanglement that is without doubt a major impediment to a sane foreign policy on the part of the United States. Would the US have invaded Iraq if not for Israel? Possibly, but it would have been less likely. Would Washington be threatening to use force against Iran for a nuclear weapons program that does not exist? Undoubtedly “no.” Would there be a never ending war on terror or even a major terrorist problem for Americans if Washington were not seen as a surrogate for Israel? Again, “no.” So what America is today is sometimes a reflection of the imbalance that Israel brings to our political system. Will the Israel Lobby die soon? Undeniably, “no” again, but the writing is on the wall.

Posted in USA, ZIO-NAZI0 Comments

America’s Neo-Nazi Government in Kiev. Towards a Scenario of Military Escalation?

NOVANEWS
Global Research

The US-NATO sponsored Kiev coalition government is responsible for the killings perpetrated by Neo-Nazi Right Sector mobs and security forces in Odessa in which at least 43 people were killed.

In Odessa, Right Sector thugs set fire to the city’s Trade Union building leading to countless deaths of innocent civilians who were burnt alive within the building which had been set ablaze.

“Such actions are reminiscent of the crimes of the Nazis,” said Russia’s Ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin.

The “international community” has turned a blind eye, the Western media has described the Neo-Nazi Brown shirts as “freedom fighters”. In the words of Eric Sommers:

May 2, 2014 – the date that fascist forces supported by the U.S. government attacked and murdered helpless civilians in the Ukraine – is a day which will live in infamy”.

In recent developments, Obama has granted full support to the crackdown on so-called “pro-Russian” activists. This movement against America’s fascist regime in Kiev is widespread. It is not limited to “ethnic Russians” as conveyed by the media. The leaders of this movement are Ukrainians.

The Neo-Nazi mobs bear the hallmarks of US sponsored terrorism (e.g Syria) trained to commit atrocities against civilians. America’s Neo-Nazi Government in Kiev is a reality. Confirmed by Germany’s Bild: “Dozens of specialists from the US Central Intelligence Agency and Federal Bureau of Investigation are advising the Ukrainian government”

“Citing unnamed German security sources, Bild am Sonntag said the CIA and FBI agents were helping Kiev end the rebellion in the east of Ukraine and set up a functioning security structure.”

Escalation

The killings of civilians in Eastern and South Eastern Ukraine by Neo-Nazi mobs and members of the civilian militia opens up the possibility of a broader conflict within Ukraine, which could potentially lead to escalation. Moreover, prevailing divisions within Ukraine’s armed forces could lead to military action directed towards unseating the Kiev Neo-Nazi regime.

Known and documented, escalation is part of a longstanding scenario of military confrontation directed against the Russian Federation.

Protesters look at a fire in the trade union building in Odessa May 2, 2014. (Reuters/Yevgeny Volokin)

Trade Unions building set ablaze by Right Sector thugs (Reuters)

“The Anti-Terrorist Operation”

The killings are part of the so-called “anti-terrorist operation” initiated by the Kiev government with the support of the Pentagon.

The “anti-terrorist operation” is coordinated by the National Security and National Defense Committee (RNBOU). (Рада національної безпеки і оборони України), which is controlled by Svoboda and Right Sector. Dmytro Yarosh, Neo-Nazi leader of the Right Sector delegation in the parliament, oversees the National Guard, a loyal civilian militia created in March with the support of Western military advisers. Paramilitary training of the National Guard commenced in mid-March, north of Kiev.

While the media has presented the crisis as a confrontation between “pro-Russian” and “Ukrainian nationalists”, the grassroots movement in Eastern Ukraine has widespread support. It is largely directed against the Neo-Nazi Kiev regime supported by the West.

The National Guard

In the wake of the Coup, divisions have emerged within Ukraine’s regular military forces and police, which “can not be trusted” in carrying out an “anti-terrorist operation” on behalf of the Kiev regime directed against civilians:

Concerns over the loyalty of the Ukrainian army and security agencies have pushed Kiev to start forming an additional armed branch, which it will fully control.

The National Guard is designed to be 60,000-strong and completely independent from the country’s military and police.

Recruitment across Ukraine began on March 13, with around 20,000 people already joining the new uniformed service. RT

In eastern Ukraine, the National Guard has been given the mandate to “reinforce regular military units defending against a feared Russian invasion… it it is intended to act as a counterinsurgency force.”

Members of this civilian militia operating alongside Neo-Nazi mobs have been set loose in Eastern Ukraine and Odessa.

Right Sector can be identified by its members openly wearing Nazi insignia, as well as carrying crimson and black banners. Mobs supporting the Svoboda party are also present among recent clashes, wearing yellow armbands with the Nazi wolfangel symbol upon them. Odessa Massacre Pushes Ukraine to the Edge. Towards a Larger Destructive Conflict? By Tony Cartalucci, May 03, 2014

The actions of the National Guard are coordinated by the RNBOU. In turn, the riot police and units of the armed forces are also overseen by RBOU, which is controlled by the two Neo-Nazi parties.

These killings of civilians are part of a carefully planned military agenda involving both the National Guard as well organized armed Neo-Nazi mobs, casually described by the media as pro-Ukrainian activists. These are the foot soldiers of the Western military alliance. The Odessa killings bear the fingerprints of a US-NATO led intelligence operation, with both National Guard and Right Sector militants trained in paramilitary combat skills including the killings of innocent civilians.

Ironically, the Israeli media, while largely supporting the Kiev regime, has tacitly acknowledged that the threat of civil war emanates from the Neo-Nazi elements within the government: “Neo-Nazi Militia Leader Threatens ‘Civil War’” according to Israel National News.

Meanwhile, NATO has scheduled military exercises in Poland “as part of NATO reassurance measures in response to the Ukraine crisis”.

Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu has pointed to an extensive and unprecedented buildup of NATO forces within proximity of Russia’s borders.

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Is Obama Wrong on Ukraine?

NOVANEWS
By Patrick J. Buchanan

“What Would America Fight For?”

That question shouts from the cover of this week’s Economist. It is, asserts the magazine, “the question haunting its allies.”

While most agree that America would fight to defend her treaty allies and to protect vital interests if imperiled, the question is raised by President Obama’s reticence in Crimea, Ukraine and Syria.

Asked in Manila how he answers critics who say his foreign policy appears to be one of “weakness,” the president, stung, replied:

“Typically, criticism of our foreign policy has been directed at the failure to use military force. And the question … I would have is, why is it that everybody is so eager to use military force after we’ve just gone through a decade of war at enormous costs to our troops and to our budget?

“[M]ost of the foreign policy commentators that have questioned our policies would go headlong into a bunch of military adventures that the American people had no interest in participating in and would not advance our core security interests.

“[M]any who were proponents of … a disastrous decision to go into Iraq haven’t really learned the lesson of the last decade, and they keep on just playing the same note over and over again.”

One senator Obama surely had in mind was Lindsey Graham who told “Face the Nation” this weekend, “I would sanction the energy economy of Russia, the banking sector of Russia, and try to drive the Russian economy into the ground.”

But if you sanction her energy sector, Russia might retaliate by cutting off gas to Europe and Ukraine, causing a recession in the EU and a collapse in Kiev, requiring a massive bailout.

Some of those billions in U.S., EU and IMF aid to Ukraine might have to be redirected to Vladimir Putin to keep the Ukrainians from freezing to death next winter.

Lest we forget, the International Monetary Fund ranks Russia as the 8th largest economy while the World Bank ranks Russia No. 5.

And would driving “the Russian economy into the ground” cause the Russian people to rise up and overthrow Putin? Did such sanctions produce regime change in Cuba, North Korea or Iran?

Was Ronald Reagan a wimp for not imposing sanctions on Warsaw when Solidarity was crushed? Or was he a wise president who knew America would ultimately prevail in the Cold War?

But Sen. Graham was only warming up, “I would help arm the Ukrainian people … so they could defend themselves.”

The Wall Street Journal echoed Graham: “Defensive but lethal weapons for Ukraine — anti-tank mines or artillery, modern guns — would raise the cost and risk of this intervention.”

Yes, they would, and they would also increase the casualties on both sides. But would it affect the outcome of a Ukraine-Russia war?

No. Which is probably why Ike never considered sending weapons to the Hungarian rebels and LBJ never considered sending arms to the Czechs when Leonid Brezhnev’s tanks crushed the Prague Spring.

Another question arises: Would U.S. military transports landing in Kiev, with U.S. troops unloading mortars, mines and artillery pieces, be more likely to frighten Putin into paralysis, or provoke him into seizing Eastern Ukraine before the U.S. could make a NATO ally of Kiev?

Suppose Russia responded by sending “defensive” weapons, S-300 surface-to-air missiles to Damascus and Tehran?

Another question: Is it moral to send weapons to friends to encourage them to fight and die in a war we know they cannot win?

It is something of a paradox that while most Americans want us to stay out of Syria — “somebody else’s civil war,” said Obama — and out of Crimea and Ukraine, Obama, who has done as the people wished, is regarded as weak in foreign policy.

Still, one wonders why the Graham-McCain Republicans continue to push a reluctant president to get more militarily involved in Ukraine.

For it is almost an ironclad formula for failure to be led into a faraway war by a president who does not want to fight, and who leads a nation whose people do not want to be involved.

Undeniably, Sens. Graham and John McCain speak for a goodly slice of the Beltway elite that believes the Iraq war was the right thing to do and that now wants to confront Russia, overthrow Bashir al Assad, and bomb Iran if she does not give up uranium enrichment.

Yet most Americans want no part of this agenda.

Among the winning arguments Obama had in 2012 was that he wanted America to do her nation-building right here at home.

Yet, as the run up to 2016 nears, Hillary Clinton is not only more hawkish than Obama. She is more hawkish than her potential GOP rivals. Yet, other than Rand Paul, there appears to be no one in the Republican field who does not subscribe to the McCain-Graham line.

No wonder the neocons are already piling on the junior Senator from Kentucky.

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The Benghazi Scandal Is Obama’s Watergate But Worse

NOVANEWS
Global Research

A trail of emails released Tuesday appears to shed yet more light on the Benghazi cover-up story that continues to nag President Obama and then Secretary of State and current Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton. The latest exposure indicates that both Obama and Clinton knew that UN Secretary Susan Rice’s claim to the press that the attack on the Benghazi compound killing Libyan Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans was due to an anti-Moslem youtube video was a complete lie. This latest piece of incriminating evidence is what Republicans are now calling their “smoking gun” despite months that have stretched into years of the Congressional investigation led by Representative Darrel Issa (R-CA). His so called investigation that was supposed to uncover the truth behind that fateful day of September 11th, 2012 has often been labeled “a witch hunt” by Democrats and supporters of Obama and Hillary Clinton.

This week’s news may be the needed breakthrough that will ultimately lead to the unveiling of what many critics of the Obama administration have been claiming all along. And that is Obama and Hillary purposely withheld the truth from the American public for fear that it would derail Obama’s reelection less than two months after the death of the four Americans in Benghazi. In retrospect now Obama’s rush to war in Syria last September is far better understood when taking a hard look at the 2012 Benghazi embassy attack.

The so called Arab spring uprising revolts in Middle Eastern and North African nations in fact have been the result of covert manipulation by the CIA. After getting rid of our one time allies in Iraq’s Saddam Hussein and Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak, next on the US regime-change hit list came Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi. In 2007 retired General Wesley Clark revealed a neocon plan he became privy to a couple weeks after 9/11 of the ambitious Bush administration agenda to take down seven sovereign governments in the next five years that included Afghanistan, Iraq, Sudan, Somalia, Libya, Syria and Iran.

With gusto President Obama inherited this same agenda and proceeded to finish the job in removing Libya’s longtime dictator Gaddafi. And so began the NATO air bombardment of Libya killing many innocent victims that softened the resistance to an all out assault on Gaddafi’s military forces largely spearheaded by al Qaeda mercenaries from all over the Middle East as well as native Libyan al Qaeda affiliated militia groups, some from Benghazi.

In the spring of 2011 even prior to Gaddafi’s capture and killing, as an envoy to the rebel coalition the future Libyan Ambassador Christopher Stevens was sent to Benghazi, a city in eastern Libya that has long been a hotbed of Islamic extremism that includes various Al Qaeda affiliated groups and militias. Stevens spoke Arabic and had twenty years of foreign diplomatic service experience when he was selected to become the Ambassador after the fall of the Gaddafi government. The State Department resent him to work back in Benghazi rather than the Libyan capitol Tripoli to assist the area’s transition to the new puppet government the US had installed. But because Benghazi and eastern Libya had a history of resisting national governance, Stevens faced an uphill struggle and near impossible task. Beginning in June of 2012, a full three months prior to the Benghazi embassy compound attack that killed the Ambassador and three other Americans, Stevens’ requests for increased security began falling on deaf ears in Washington. Stevens’ boss, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, failed to heed any of his increasingly urgent calls. Just days prior to the embassy onslaught, the British consulate had been attacked and all its diplomatic staff were safely evacuated away.

Last year efforts to blame Stevens for irresponsibly turning down security offered in Benghazi were anonymously leaked, insisting that the ambassador twice had turned down offers of increased military security from AFRICOM commander General Ham.

For obvious reasons the now retired general refuses to discuss what he knew or did not know of the events leading up to the Benghazi attack. However, throughout the aftermath of the Americans’ deaths, Stevens’ own deputy ambassador Gregory Hicks in Tripoli has maintained that he never knew of any such alleged offers made to Stevens for more security.

Since the strategy targeting Ambassador Stevens as the sole reason for the lack of security at his embassy compound clearly backfired, a whitewashed report was released last year by the Accountability Review Board. The two men behind this report are Hillary’s buddies Ambassador Pickering and former Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mullens. Thus no surprise that they decided from the outset that it would not be necessary to even bother to interview Hillary, satisfied to blame it on lower level State Department bureaucrats’ error in judgment not to supply adequate security. The alleged failure to authorize proper military security was because the Benghazi compound was relegated to being a temporary outpost. Of course this is just another feeble attempt to shield Queen Hillary who sent Stevens herself to Benghazi fully aware of it being an al Qaeda trouble spot.

But Benghazi under the cover of the State Department was ideal for the covert CIA and Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) needed to coordinate arms smuggling that Obama, Hillary and then CIA Director Petraeus were knee deep in. Stevens ultimately may have felt he was being used as the convenient decoy for the clandestine activity he wanted no part of.

Years earlier as a former Peace Corps volunteer and a seasoned career diplomat, becoming a lookout for an immoral criminal gun running operation may not have been what he had signed on for as the Libyan Ambassador. Thus, he very likely voiced his objection to what his bosses in Washington were misusing him for, and as vindictive and petty as Obama and Hillary are, Stevens was likely punished for not going along with their program. Hence, all his urgent pleas that began as early as June 2012, a full three months prior to the September attack, requesting increased security were ignored, including his desperate cry for help moments before his murder on the night of the 11th. Meanwhile, as he and three other Americans lay dying, back in the States Obama was flying out West to another high brow fundraiser so he could self-servingly get reelected.

What is most certain is that this trouble spot region was the hub of activity for special ops units comprised of special forces and a large number of CIA operatives in conjunction with British MI6. The CIA safely defended annex in Benghazi a mere mile and a half from the embassy compound was the largest CIA station in North Africa. The annex housed 35 CIA personnel responsible for coordinating the large arms smuggling operation to Syria, circumventing Congress by calling the CIA mission a liaison operation.

Two former special ops operatives Brandon Webb and Jack Murphy, authors of Benghazi: The Definitive Report,’ have since claimed that a bureaucratic breakdown in communication between CIA and JSOC caused local Benghazi radicals to attack and kill Americans on 9/11/12. They believe that just days before an assassination carried out by Special Operations of a popular Libyan CIA informant had angered an al Qaeda affiliated militia called Ansar al-Sharia to launch the attack as retribution. The former Special Ops boys, one of whom was friends with one of the killed Americans Glen Doherty, speculated that the root cause of the American embassy deaths was the result of the left hand not knowing what the right hand was doing in the over-compartmentalized, ultra-guarded secrecy of competing clandestine intelligence operations and that this problem commonly serves as a major barrier and significant dysfunction of American foreign policy in general. They believe the Ambassador was probably only peripherally aware of the high presence of CIA and JSOC operations in the area but was never directly involved or looped in.

This claim appears to be a disinformation ploy to again absolve the higher ups Obama and Clinton of any responsibility. It did little to quiet the conjecture surrounding the attack that Stevens knew too much and had become a thorn in the side of the hierarchical status quo.

Though the former special ops authors may have offered small minor details on the Benghazi story, obviously far more was going down than they alluded to. On October 26th, 2012 a mere two weeks prior to the David Petraeus-Paula Broadwell affair broke as the scandalous headlines, Broadwell hyping her ‘All In’ biographyof the general spoke at the University of Denver divulging her inside scoop on the Benghazi attack that had taken place a month and a half earlier. She claimed the attack on the compound was probable payback for CIA detaining local members from the same Libyan militia responsible for the assault. Or that the attackers may have been attempting to free their prisoners. Though only one news reporter from Fox paid any attention to Paula at the time, once their tryst was exposed a short time afterwards, much speculation raised the issue that Broadwell unwittingly revealed classified information that could well have been leaked through her intimacy with the then CIA Director. That the mistress was privy to such insider lowdown compromising sensitive US intelligence operations headquartered at the CIA Benghazi annex is a very real possibility, especially since classified documents were later uncovered at her North Carolina home.

In view of the CIA’s fervent denial that any prisoners were detained in Benghazi and Obama’s January 2009 executive order outlawing the CIA business of holding prisoners, Paula shooting her mouth off as an insider know-it-all implicated her lover Petraeus and his CIA as criminals engaging in an unlawful operation. But then that illegal activity amounts to small peanuts in comparison to the much bigger crime being committed by her lover CIA boss Petraeus and his crime bosses Obama and Hillary for using the same Libyan al Qaeda militants who murdered the four Americans on 9/11/12 to smuggle guns from Benghazi across international borders to be used against Assad in Syria.

Despite Ambassador Stevens’ repeated requests for more security, it was never given. So when about 150 members of the local militia Ansar al-Sharia stormed the gates of the compound carrying machine guns and rocket propelled grenades (RPG’s), the handful of unarmed Libyan security contractors instantly fled and soon enough the building was engulfed in flames. The nearby annex in Benghazi where thirty-five CIA operatives worked was called during the crisis to assist those Americans at the embassy. CIA security officer Tyrone Woods convinced his supervisor at the annex with five other security personnel to rush to the embassy’s aid. Both Woods and Glen Doherty were former Navy Seals commandos who died from bullet wounds at the second attack at the annex killed by a mortar after Sean Smith, an information officer, and Ambassador Stevens had already died from smoke inhalation. According to authors Webb and Murphy, due to Woods and Doherty’s heroics along with four other CIA analysts, the remaining embassy staff were apparently able to safely escape the burning compound. An overhead surveillance drone had been dispatched above the compound prior to that second attack that occurred at the annex. President Obama, Secretary of State Clinton and CIA Director Petraeus were all informed of the crisis unfolding during the afternoon local Washington time. Yet they chose to not even bother contacting the Marines stationed in the capital Tripoli, allegedly figuring they would take too long to arrive on the scene in Benghazi. So after ignoring the Ambassador’s pleas urging for more security for three straight months, they coldly refused to order any further military assistance at the time the four Americans lost their lives.

Instead they ordered UN Ambassador Susan Rice to later lie to the American public claiming that the attack was instigated by that anti-Moslem youtube video. Under the increasing pressure of Benghazi questions, suddenly Hillary keeled over with a brain clot to conveniently dodge any more heat. And of course Petraeus was soon engulfed in scandal with his mistress Broadwell, retiring from the CIA and out of sight for months thereafter, conveniently ducking from his hot seat. And then soon enough Clinton was resigning as Secretary of State, evading any further scrutiny as the Ambassador’s boss most responsible for the deaths of the four Americans.

Another piece of incriminating evidence is that the FBI team sent in to investigate the Benghazi murders never even arrived at the crime scene until three weeks after the attack, making sure that vital forensic evidence could be conveniently lost, confiscated or destroyed. Despite having videotape that allowed individual attackers to be identified by name, they all still remain free to this day. Eleven months after the attack the US Justice Department last August in a hollow gesture officially charged the alleged suspects in asealed indictment. But without them in custody, it means nothing.

Clinton strategically figured she would lay low long enough out of the public spotlight to effectively distance herself from Benghazi to make another run for President in 2016. But while briefly still back on the job and those nagging Benghazi questions weren’t going away fast enough, she completely lost it, screaming, “What difference at this point does it make?” – obviously all the difference in the world to her and her buddy Barrack. On 9/11 the year before last, Obama, Clinton and Petraeus sacrificed four American lives that day to preserve their own careers as powerful evil despots who with blind ambition would stop at nothing to remain in power.

President Obama and Hillary Clinton have both gone to great lengths to make sure that their cover-up concealing the truth never gets exposed. With the attack taking place less than two months prior to Obama’s reelection, they are determined that the truth never sees the light of day. However, big cracks are looming in their wall of defense and their lies are falling like a house of cards. Mounting evidence indicates both Obama and Clinton were engaged in a highly covert and illicit arms smuggling operation moving weapons from Libya through Turkey to the anti-Assad rebels in Syria. And at stake for Obama and Clinton was their future plans to win the presidential election in 2012 and 2016.

On August 2nd, 2013 three full weeks prior to the sarin gas attack in the Damascus suburb killing scores of Syrian civilians including children, UK’s Telegraph reporter Damien McElroy wrote an article asserting that Obama and Hillary are guilty as charged, engaging in a gun-running operation that included surface to air missiles and even chemical weapons speculating that a “false flag operation” might occur as a deceptive ploy to make false accusations against Assad. Again, this article came out three weeks PRIOR to Obama accusing Assad of using chemical weapons. No coincidence in the timing. Since then renowned investigative reporter Seymour Hersh who broke the My Lai massacre story and cover-up during the Vietnam War and a host of other journalists have since provided convincing evidence that the chemical attack last August was committed by US backed al Qaeda rebels.

And those 35 CIA agents stationed at the nearby Benghazi annex, word came out that every month since the event they have been required to undergo polygraph tests just to ensure they keep quiet. One insider even told CNN last year, “You jeopardize your family as well if you talk to anyone about what happened.”

Aside from Obama, Hillary and Petraeus evading accountability at all cost, what is most incriminating is that the very same Al Qaeda jihadists armed, financed and supported with American taxpayer dollars during the Libyan regime-change are the exact same individuals who have gotten away with murdering those four Americans in Benghazi. For more than three years now America and Saudi Arabia have been sponsoring and funding al Qaeda affiliated militia groups from all over the Middle East and North Africa fighting Assad forces in Syria in the latest regime-change war. When the murders went down on 9/11/12, Hillary’s State Department had been acting as a cover supporting al Qaeda elements smuggling arms to Syria to fight in that so called civil war. Much of Gaddafi’s huge stash of arms had been looted, falling into the hands of American-backed rebel forces in Libya, including chemical weapons that were never accounted for. By pure accident, the Benghazi tragedy reveals the ongoing war by proxy that the US, Saudi Arabia and Israel have been waging against Syria and its strongest allies Iran and Russia.

As a side note, ex-CIA Director Petraeus was allowed to retain his full status as a retired four star general at full pay despite committing adultery while still serving as Afghanistan War commander when military personnel of lower rank are customarily demoted and forced to retire at a lower pension rate for the exact same offense of adultery. Mistress Paula Broadwell also suffered no formal consequence regarding her retention rank as major in the US Army Reserves. It seems obvious that Petraeus has been rewarded for his loyal silence on the Benghazi incident. Additionally, several days after Petraeus ducked out of sight in disgrace after resigning as CIA Director, Petraeus’ wife as the victim of his adulterous affair was suddenly being promoted by Obama to a new cushy position made especially for her earning near Petraeus’ retirement pension of $200,000 per year.

Then just over a week after his CIA resignation Petraeus was called in to testify before the House Intelligence Committee but given a free pass in his not having to testify under a sworn oath to disclose the full truth of what he knew. So he proceeded to lie before Congress claiming that he consistently said that an al Qaeda affiliated militia group was behind the attack. In fact Petraeus secretly flew to Libya immediately after the attack and upon his return to the US a couple days later Petraeus held the official administration line they knew to be false that the Benghazi attack was due to the bogus anti-Moslem video. Of course with the scandal causing his own presidential ambitions to be thoroughly shattered, Petraeus more recently has gone on public record stating that Hillary Clinton would make “an excellent president.” Clearly he is towing the line as a good little boy for keeping his mouth shut for Hillary and Barrack.

Obama lied when he promised to ensure that those guilty of the attack would be brought to justice. Now going on two years later not one of the attackers has even been apprehended or arrested. With the murderers in the Benghazi assault still at large, many of the attackers afterwards moved on with the arms they were helping to smuggle to join US-supported rebel forces fighting the Assad government in Syria. They may have been silenced by now, secretly killed by judge, jury and executioner President Obama in his lust to kill his enemies with drone missile attacks. In any event, rest assure none of the perpetrators behind the Benghazi attack will ever be captured alive or prosecuted. They simply know too much. Last 9/11/13 barely a peep was heard from the mainstream media on the very first anniversary of the Benghazi tragedy. The reason is all too obvious.

Many of the family members of the murdered Americans felt that Obama and his administration were responsible for their loved ones deaths. Some complained about Obama’s condolences as brusk, insincere and insensitive. They were disturbed further with Obama’s response on a 60 Minutes segment in late January 2013. Obama and Hillary were answering questions about Benghazi when Obama quoted Defense Secretary Robert Gates, “At this moment somewhere, somehow, somebody in the federal government’s screwing up” as he turned to Hillary laughing at his joke about their Benghazi screw-up that killed four Americans. They also had to be upset hearing the president on another occasion callously dismissing the Benghazi tragedy as “a sideshow.”

Not surprisingly, the US installed puppet government in Libya has been of no assistance in its lack of cooperation with revealing any further details of the attack. Last June the chaos, lawlessness and terror in Benghazi only continued as thirty-one Libyans protesting their grievances against an al Qaeda militia group were brutally massacred outside the al Qaeda headquarters. The entire eastern region of Libya today is still not under control of the national government, which has largely been taken over by US backed al Qaeda affiliates. Libya today is in complete shambles steeped in corruption, instability and violence.

Meanwhile, the two American criminals most responsible for the attack, President Obama and presidential heir-apparent Hilary Clinton need to be held accountable for their crimes along with their other partner-in-crime General Petraeus. With the belated truth behind Benghazi slowly coming out, Obama should be impeached and Hillary must never become president. Ironically the crime of Nixon’s Watergate cover-up that brought down the first and only president in US history forced to resign in disgrace pales in comparison to the crimes committed by the likes of the Obama administration.

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The Philanthropic Superpower

NOVANEWS

By Patrick J. Buchanan
 

 
 
If a single word could sum up the goal of Barack Obama’s Asia tour, it would be “reassurance.”

Obama went to Tokyo to reassure Japan that, should China attempt to seize its Senkaku Islands, America will fight at her side.

He reassured Seoul of our commitment to defend South Korea.

He went to Manila to reassure the Filipinos, who threw our Navy out of Subic Bay at the end of the Cold War, that America will be there in any clash with Beijing in the South China Sea.

Yet, as Clyde Prestowitz writes in the Financial Times, while we are committed to go to war to defend all three countries if attacked, none of them is obligated to go to war if we are attacked.

What Tokyo, Seoul and Manila get out of their alliances with the United States is easy to see — the security of a superpower’s pledge to come and fight their wars for them.

But what do we get out of these commitments, other than an obligation to go to war with a nuclear-armed China or North Korea over shoals, rocks and borders on the other side of the world that have nothing to do with the peace or security of the United States?

Saudis, Turks and Israelis are angry because Obama backed down from his “red line” warning to Bashar Assad, when Syria’s army allegedly used chemical weapons.

They were all counting on the United States to attack their enemy, Syria, and we let them down. Now after the red line fiasco and the U.S. failure to stop Vladimir Putin from annexing Crimea, our allies want reassurances that we will not fail in our obligations again.

But if Assad’s alleged use of sarin or chlorine is a moral outrage, why did his neighbors not punish him themselves?

Why is this America’s duty? Why is Syria America’s war?

Historically, great powers and empires exact tribute, exploit colonies, and demand conscripts of their protectorates.

America is something new in the way of world powers. We not only provide the legions to protect “allies,” but provide the tribute in the form of foreign aid, IMF and World Bank loans, and bailout billions.

Moreover, America has thrown open her home market, largest in the world at $17 trillion, to Europe, Japan, Canada, Mexico, and even China, and invited them to come and capture it from our manufacturers.

In a quarter century, these trade partners have run up $10 trillion in trade surpluses at our expense, eviscerating our industrial base to where Detroit looks like Dresden in 1945.

But while we preach free trade our partners practice protectionism.

The Chinese undervalue their currency to keep imports low and exports high. We are too timid to confront them. The Europeans put value-added taxes on imports from the USA, and rebate the VAT on exports to the USA.

The Japanese, who look on trade as a form of warfare, killed our TV industry and now own huge slices of our auto market.

Last year, Tokyo ran a $60 billion trade surplus at our expense. After our trade deal with South Korea, Seoul’s trade surplus at our expense shot up 25 percent to a record $20 billion. China ran a $318 billion trade surplus with us in 2013, up from $313 billion in 2012.

Our trade deficits finance both the growth of our allies and our adversaries.

For Beijing has used its hoard of dollars from trade surpluses with the U.S. to finance the military buildup that threatens us and our allies, whom Obama pledges to defend against China, with the lives of our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines.

Does this make sense?

We pay three-fourths of the cost of defending NATO Europe.

But why is the defense of Europe seemingly more important to us than to the Europeans themselves?

The EU is as rich as America. Why were U.S. F-16s and U.S. troops sent to the Baltics and Poland, and U.S. warships to the Black Sea? Russians occupying buildings in Luhansk and Donetsk are no threat to America.

Where are the French and German troops in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland?

Neither China nor Russia nor Iran nor Syria threatens us. Yet, we are constantly goaded by allies to confront them for reasons that have virtually nothing to do with our security and almost everything to do with their agendas.

This role of philanthropic superpower is simply not sustainable.

A Wall Street Journal/NBC Poll reveals that while only 19 percent of Americans want this country more active in world affairs, 47 percent want it to become less active. This confirms a Pew poll where 53 percent of Americans said the United States “should mind its own business internationally.”

As China’s military power grows, and U.S. armed forces shrink, our allies had best prepare for the day, not too distant, when America decides she will no longer play the philanthropic superpower, and gives up the role and goes home.

As all world powers eventually do. 

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The Stagnate “State of Black America”

NOVANEWS

I recently attended the release of the National Urban League’s Annual State of Black America Report at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. The Report is an extremely important document because it provides key indicators of Black progress in a number of social and economic areas in relationship to White Americans. This year’s Report, One Nation Underemployed: Jobs Rebuild America, focuses on the critical issues of joblessness, the wealth gap and economic inequality in Black America. The data explodes the myth that, because the United States has a Black President, we now live in a “post-racial” society — “race still matters” in America. According to the Report, the Median Household Income for Whites is $56,565 compared to $33,764 for Blacks; 11% of Whites live below the poverty line, 28.1% for Blacks; unemployment among Whites is 6.5%, 13.1% for Blacks; and, the critical “wealth-building” indicator of home ownership, Whites own their homes at a rate of 73.5% compared to 43% for Blacks — stunning disparities for a “post racial” society.

Even more alarming is the persistence of an enormous wealth gap between Blacks and Whites. According to a study co-authored by Dr. Thomas Shapiro, who spoke at the release of the State of Black America Report, the median wealth for White families in 2009 was $113,149 but only $5,677 for Blacks! The study defines wealth as “what we own minus what we owe.”  Not surprisingly, Dr. Shapiro and his associates draw a direct correlation between homeownership and wealth accumulation. Obviously the gap between Black and White home ownership is a major contributing factor to the abysmally low wealth accumulation in Black America. And, for those who think race is inconsequential, as George Fraser and many Black analysts have pointed out, huge amounts of wealth was loss during the “Great Recession” when African Americans were deliberately targeted for toxic sub-prime mortgage loans.  Racism in the mortgage industry led to the loss of Black wealth.

What is sobering and alarming about this data is that in relative terms it hasn’t changed very much in the past decades if not generations. Though I have not taken time to do the research, I am confident that a survey of past State of Black America Reports would show that the status of Blacks in comparison to Whites has remained relatively the same. For example, though income has increased for both groups, it is highly likely that the gap in the median income has remained about the same. Moreover, despite an expanded upper and middle class, the astonishing wealth gap between Blacks and Whites has not changed significantly. The other startling reality is that if the Black upper and middle classes have expanded and there is still a significant gap between the races, this suggests that those stuck at the bottom in Black America (poor and working people) have not progressed but stagnated. These are the Black folks who are imprisoned in America’s “Dark Ghettos.” As Malcolm X might put it, they are catching more hell than ever before!

Though the State of Black America Reports are important, given the unchanging status of Blacks relative to Whites, it’s almost as if you could just say ditto on the data year after year. What accounts for the stagnate state of Black America? I believe it is the legacy of the intergenerational deficits of enslavement and the persistence of structural/institutional racism.

The cold fact is that Africans in America never received a substantial stake in terms of land or capital for the generations of free labor that produced incredible wealth for plantation owners, the shipbuilding, textile manufacturing, whiskey distilleries and a range of related industries and occupations — industries and occupations that thrived off the European slave trade and cash crop production, e.g. cotton, rice, sugar, indigo.

In addition, there was the “Jim Crow” system in the South which “set-aside” certain jobs for Whites and paid higher wages to Whites in jobs where Blacks and Whites did the same work.  These material incentives were designed to ensure that White poor and working people would always fare better than their Black counter-parts. In modified form, this system of “affirmative action” for Whites existed all across the nation well into the 20th century. The benefits of “White privilege” were intended to drive a permanent wedge between Black and White poor and working people to prevent unified opposition to the manipulative, self-serving White ruling elites.  By and large the system has worked well. In no small measure the relative gap between Blacks and Whites in terms of income and wealth is a legacy of enslavement and structural/institutional racism. And, large numbers of White poor and working class people still see Blacks as enemies instead of allies in the struggle to achieve a better quality of life.

The question is, how is it possible to ever erase the income and wealth gap between Blacks and Whites without dealing with the root cause of persistent inequality – the failure to provide compensation to the formerly enslaved Africans for the centuries of free labor and cultural, spiritual and physical destruction that have severely hampered the quest for justice, socio-economic equity/parity, freedom and self-determination. The answer is clear, Reparations for the damages done to the sons and daughters in America are imperative if we are to achieve justice, equity/parity in the U.S. and the world for that matter. So, as we mobilize/organize to overcome the stagnate state of Black America, it is imperative that the demand for Reparations be an integral part of the agenda!

 

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Aussie Trades Unionist Exposes 9/11 Cover-up ”VIDEO”

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9/11: The Unidentified Murder Weapons ”VIDEO”

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Psychological Warfare and the “False Flag” Meme

NOVANEWS
Global Research

False flag operations and assassinations are a central component of the elaborate psychological warfare campaign waged on the American public to justify the so-called “global war on terrorism,” and the events of September 11, 2001 are this project’s cornerstone.

Major US news outlets turn a blind eye to a wide array of evidence “that Western covert operators were behind” events such as “Bali, Madrid, London 7/7, mosque bombings in Iraq and elsewhere and, of course, 9/11. Because the mainstream media are integral to the Industrial Military Academic Intelligence Media complex,” journalist Barrie Zwicker observes, “the cold-blooded technicians of death face no journalistic scrutiny. Without moral, legal, technical or financial constraints, the black operators range freely, executing the orders of the global oligarchies.”[1]

An undeniable effect of the Boston Marathon bombing was that the term “false flag”—meaning a typically illegal act carried out by a government against itself that is often blamed on another entity to justify its own policies—became a recognizable expression among a broader swath of the American public. For example, web-based searches for the phrase spiked in the wake of the April 15 event after a correspondent for the alternative news site Infowars questioned Massachusetts Governor Duval Patrick on the suspicious circumstances surrounding the bombing.[2] Some news outlets predictably moved to condemn any cogitation along these lines as “conspiracy theorizing.”[3]

In the United States the citizenry is especially well-indoctrinated through an overwhelming dependence on such corporate media. Yet for the peoples of many countries “false flag” has become a commonplace term. This is particularly so in the Middle East, where journalists and the broader public routinely witness inexplicable terror attacks on civilian populations. Placed in a broader historical context there is a concurrent understanding of such tactics as emblematic of military and intelligence-related meddling from Western nations.

For example, in the early 2000s waves of car bombings throughout Iraq were rumored to have been carried out by British or US intelligence. “The word on the street in Baghdad is that the cessation of suicide car bombings is proof that the CIA was behind them,” independent journalist Dahr Jamail wrote in 2004. “Why? Because as one man states, ‘[CIA agents are] too busy fighting now, and the unrest they wanted to cause by the bombings is now upon them.’ True or not, it doesn’t bode well for the occupiers’ image in Iraq.”[4]

Along these lines, in September 2005 Iraqi police arrested two British soldiers disguised in conventional Iraqi jallabahs [loose cloaks] and Arab headscarves after the costumed pair reportedly drove a car equipped with explosives while opening fire on Iraqi police. British armed forces then used several tanks and helicopters to liberate the masquerading combatants from the police barracks where they were detained.[5]

Similar to NATO’s Operation Gladio, or the FBI’s more recent efforts at generating newsworthy terrorist incidents in the US,[6] such black operations designed to cultivate terrorism were in fact authorized by the United States in 2002 to further perpetuate its “war on terror.” At that time military officials established the “Proactive, Preemptive Operations Group (P2OG).” P2OG’s overall strategy combined “CIA and military covert action, information warfare, intelligence and cover and deception” to execute terrorist acts on civilian populations in order to provoke and respond to such consequent indigenous terrorism.[7] In other words, this was an elaborate and deadly “make work” program by and for the military and intelligence communities.

With the above in mind, it is perhaps little wonder that “false flag” has become a standard term in the discourse of non-Western and especially Middle Eastern news outlets. Conversely, the expression is either absent from US-based news media, or carefully neutralized in editorial commentary and lighter entertainment or lifestyle-related coverage.

LexisNexis news searches for the dates April 15, 2004 to April 15, 2014 yields 1,012 newspaper items and more than 100 broadcast transcripts where “false flag” is used in the headline or text. An overwhelming majority of references appear in Pakistani and Iranian newspaper coverage and commentary, where the term is almost uniformly intended to denote instances of terrorist violence.

BBC Monitoring International Reports–52
Press TV (Iran)–51
Pakistan Observer–42
The Frontier Post (Pakistan)–28
The Nation (Thailand)–24
The Washington Post–20
Mail Online–19
The New York Times–18
McClatchey Tribune Syndicate–17
International New York Times–16
Mehr News Agency (Iran)–15
National Post (Canada)–15
The Washington Times–15
Daily News (Sri Lanka)–14
The Jerusalem Post–14
Daily Times (Pakistan)–13
Gold Coast Publications (Australia)–13
Sunday Times (Islamabad)–13
The Augusta Chronicle–12
FARS News Agency (Iran)–11
The Times (London)–10
The Guardian (London)–10

News Outlets and instances of “false flag” referenced in news and opinion articles or broadcast transcriptions, April 15, 2004 to April 15, 2014

“The Mumbai attacks indeed have been used to scuttle the composite dialogue bringing Pakistan under pressure, accusing it of abetting terror” an opinion piece in Thailand’s Nation reads. “Simultaneously, only days after a warning of an Israeli ‘false flag’ bombing against the US as being ‘in the works’, a car bomb is discovered in Time[s] Square!”[8]

Indeed, the false flag meme is routinely deployed in a wide swath of global news discourse, the top ones of which are listed above. A cross section of contextual usages from Middle Eastern-based publications is presented below.

“The way [Osama bin Laden] was hastily buried under mysterious circumstances gave rise to speculations that it was a false flag operation to undermine Pak[istan’s] Army, Air Force and ISI and to defame Pakistan,” states an analysis in Pakistan’s Frontier Post.[9]

False flag operations are covert operations designed to deceive the public at large. During Algeria['s] civil war and struggle for independence [the] French government had resorted to similar tactics to crush the freedom movement. Some investigating journalists and organizations had also described [the] 9/11 attacks as false flag operations conducted by the CIA, Mossad and the RAW to take on the Muslim world … Israel is known for such operations, as it deliberately attacked the USS Liberty with unmarked fighters and torpedo boats causing 174 American casualties in an attempt to blame Egypt and garner American support during [the] 1967 war.–Pakistan Observer[10]

The news claiming that Iran has launched a cyber attack on US banks is a sheer lie and an obvious false flag operation. With US President Barack Obama ready to sign an executive order to control the Internet in the name of cybersecurity, could it be more obvious that this ‘cyber attack’ is a total setup? … US news website Infowars reported.–FARS News Agency (Iran) [11]

Whenever and wherever a blood-dimmed tide is loosened in Pakistan, the government blames Al Qaeda or Taliban for it. What the people have witnessed at Rawalpindi is yet another false flag operation perpetrated by a group that has some ulterior motives for creating such turmoil. For their personal benefits they are sowing the wind without realising that they would ultimately harvest a hurricane.–The Nation (Thailand)[12]

On January 13th 2012, Mark Perry broke a story in Foreign Policy magazine, in which he laid bare a false flag operation that Israel’s Mossad ran for several years. It involved their agents posing as CIA operatives in London and contracting the new infamous Jundullah (Iran), to conduct cross-border terrorism from Pakistan into Iran.–Daily Times (Pakistan)[13]

However, Damascus categorically rejected the baseless claim, and announced later that the chemical attack had actually been carried out by the militants themselves as a false flag operation.–PressTV (Iran)[14]

On the other hand, the degree and nature of the idiom’s usage in US news outlets is telling. Indeed, to forthrightly discuss false flag operations as the above items do is to render them useless as psychological techniques. The term is thus almost entirely absent in US-based broadcast (ABC, CBS NBC, Fox, NPR) and cable news programming transcripts (CNN, MSNBC, Fox News). It is invoked a total five times over the past ten years on Fox News programs–three of which focus on University of Wisconsin Arabic Studies instructor Kevin Barrett, who was subjected to a relentless media frenzy for publicly questioning the US government’s explanation of September 11, 2001.[15]

 

MSNBC host Rachel Maddow references “false flag,” in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing, focusing on Infowars’ coverage of the event.[16] The phrase also appears in an ABC transcript of a 2011 George Stephanopoulos interview featuring former Minnesota Governor and author Jesse Ventura.[17]

As noted, the term’s appearance in major print news media is largely restricted to the editorial, entertainment, and lifestyle sections, with exceptional framing in news coverage generally proving the rule. For example, over the past decade the term appears in 20 items published in the Washington Post, yet only five such usages are in reference to primarily non-Western military or intelligence-related concerns, with the remainder involving editorial comment on politics and entertainment reviews or event listings, a few of which obliquely reference the Boston Marathon bombing aftermath. “But there are a few bold, determined [Republican congresspersons] who may rescue Obamacare,” Michael Gerson writes. “If I were prone to conspiracy theories, I’d suspect a false-flag operation. Since I’m not, there must be explanations that arise from within tea party ideology.”[18]

“[A] top [Iranian] Revolutionary Guard officer named Brig. Gen. Ali Reza Asgari vanished in Istanbul,” the Postreports. “The betting among spy buffs is that Asgari was recruited in what’s known as a “false flag” operation. His handlers may be Israelis posing as officers of another intelligence service, perhaps even during the debriefing.[19]

Another reference to “false flag” is used in describing the untimely demise of one of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s former associates.

Before he died, [Alexander[ Litvinenko blamed his impending demise on Putin, whose enemies tend to meet untimely deaths. Litvinenko was said to be on the verge of obtaining documents -- or maybe they were already in his possession; this part is unclear -- proving that Putin had staged attacks on Russian civilians and made it look as if Chechen separatists were responsible so that Putin would then be free to wage a brutal war of suppression against the Chechens. In the secret world, this sort of gambit is called a "false flag" operation.[20]

As noted, only one deployment of the term in the Washington Post since 2004 is in relation to US, British or Israeli covert practices, and here the exception indeed proves the censorial rule, for it is referenced in reportage describing sanctioned interrogation practices for Guantanamo detainees.

“[US Defense Secretary Donald] Rumsfeld then asked a working group of lawyers, intelligence officials and representatives of the Office of Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict to come up with permanent interrogation guidelines for Guantanamo,” the Post reports.

They looked at 35 techniques, including covering a suspect with wet towels to simulate drowning, and stripping detainees. Only 24 techniques survived, the result of a rancorous debate. Seven of those approved techniques are not included in U.S. military doctrine, and are listed as: “change of scenery up; change of scenery down; dietary manipulation; environmental manipulation; sleep adjustment (reversal) ; isolation for 30 days”; and a technique known as “false flag,” or deceiving a detainee into believing he is being interrogated by someone from another country.[21]

Usage of the term in the even more influential New York Times follows a similar course. Four of the eighteenTimes articles referencing “false flag” involve coverage of the episode in early 2010 when cyber-attacks against Google and other US-based corporations were traced to Chinese military and educational institutions. Times reporters cited speculations by western industry and government officials that Chinese “schools were cover for a ‘false flag’ intelligence operation being run by a third country.”[22] “Security experts caution that it is hard to trace online attacks and that the digital footprints may be a ‘false flag,’” the Timesinstructs in a follow-up story, “a kind of decoy intended to throw investigators off track.”[23]

Seven New York Times articles are found in the editorial, entertainment, or style sections and deal with the term in an expectedly playful and detached manner. For example, one writer addressing the topic of “conspiracy theories” remarks that “in recent years, it seems as if every tragedy comes with a round of yarn-spinning, as the Web fills with stories about ‘false flag’ attacks and crisis actors’ — not mere theorizing but arguments for the existence of a completely alternate version of reality.”[24]

Aside from the episode involving China’s would-be involvement in cyber-terrorism, only once does the Timesemploy the “false flag” phrase in the context of serious international news coverage—a somewhat depreciative story profiling Mother Agnes Mariam published in the wake of the 2013 chemical attacks on Syrian civilians. “When Russia’s foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov, wanted to bolster his argument that rebels had carried out the poison gas attacks near Damascus on Aug. 21,” the Times reports,

he pointed to the work of a 61-year-old Lebanese-born nun, [Mother Agnes Mariam of the Cross,] who had concluded that the horrifying videos showing hundreds of dead and choking victims, including many children, had been fabricated ahead of time to provide a pretext for foreign intervention … Through conversations with Syrians and clergy throughout the country, she said, she uncovered [sic] ”the false flag of the Arab Spring.” Instead of a popular uprising by citizens enraged by economic stagnation and political oppression, she said, she found a conspiracy cooked up by international powers to destroy Syria.[25]

The UK Guardian and Times of London each reference “false flag” ten times over the past decade, with articles equally apportioned between editorials (four), news stories (three), and entertainment or style pieces (three). Only a few of these relate the term to the methods of Anglo-American empire.

For instance, a Guardian article from 2006 sneeringly reviews a lecture on 9/11 by Professor David Ray Griffin who, alongside other “conspiracy theorists,” maintains “[t]he attacks … were not carried out by al-Qaida [sic] but were a ‘false flag’ event used to justify the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq.”[26]

The Times notably includes a report (buried on page 39 of the print edition) on Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan’s March 2014 censorship of YouTube after a recorded conversation between the NATO country’s top government officials was posted on the site. In the discussion “a false flag attack on Turkey” was considered as a pretext to move against “an al-Qaeda splinter group that controls sections of northern Syria bordering Turkey.”[27]

The above suggests how, much like the taboo topic of “conspiracy theories,” US news media broadly reject the subject of false flag terror as the stuff delusion or otherwise perceive it as being mainly restricted to fictional narratives. Indeed, within the acceptable parameters of public discourse such things are, quite literally, unspeakable. If one accepts the basis for reality established in corporate media outlets like theWashington Post, the New York Times, or their broadcast counterparts, the only strategies and policies deemed worthy of notice almost entirely take place in the clear light of day. This is because, the theory goes, we live in a democratic society where the public is adequately represented and its interests genuinely well-articulated.

Yet nations and peoples routinely impacted by false flag terror unequivocally recognize the phenomenon as a legitimate item of public knowledge and discussion. Here western doctrinal institutions entrusted to define acceptable discourse and opinion, not to mention forging the accepted historical record, do so to expressly mislead those who unwittingly pay for false flag terror and military aggression abroad— chiefly the American citizenry.

Despite a series of momentous political assassinations in the 1960s with proven government complicity alongside unmistakable “false flag” events such as the Tonkin Gulf incident, the USS Liberty, the 1995 Oklahoma City Murrah Federal Building bombing and the September 11, 2001 terror attacks, the above suggests the conscious and now-standard use of psychological warfare methods to contain most Americans’ political horizons and understandings, thereby perpetuating the broader geopolitical status quo.

Notes

[1] Barrie Zwicker, Towers of Deception: The Media Cover-up of 9/11, Gabriola Island, BC: New Society Publishers, 2006, 2, 3.

[2] Adan Salazar, “’What’s a “False Flag”?’ Google Trends Show Search Term Spike,” Infowars.com, April 18, 2013.

[3] Meghan Keneally, Conspiracy Theorists Claim Boston Was ‘False Flag’ Attack Arranged by the Government,” Daily Mail, April 16, 2013; Rachel Maddow, “The Rachel Maddow Show for April 24, 2013,” MSNBC, April 24, 2013; Infowars Confrontation: Boston Resident Blasts Dan Bidondi Over Marathon Bombing Conspiracy Theories,” Huffington Post, April 30, 2013.

[4] Dahr Jamail, “Dahr Jamail Blog From Baghdad,” The New Standard, April 20, 2004. Retrieved April 23, 2014 from http://www.countercurrents.org/iraq-jamail200404.htm

[5] Michel Chossudovsky, British Undercover Soldiers Caught Driving Booby Trapped Car,” Global Research, September 20, 2005.

[6] Daniele Ganser, NATO’s Secret Armies: Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe, London and New York: Frank Cass, 2005; Trevor Aaronson, The Terror Factory: Inside the FBI’s Manufactured War on Terrorism, New York: Ig Publishing, 2013. The American press has afforded almost no news coverage or commentary to Gladio, even though the US has figured centrally in subverting the political process in European countries since 1948. See James F. Tracy, False Flag Terror and Conspiracies of Silence,”Global Research,
August 10, 2012.

[7] David Isenberg, “’P2OG Allows Pentagon to Fight Dirty,” Asia Times, November 5, 2002.

[8] S. M. Hali, “Too Many Coincidences!” The Nation (Thailand), May 11, 2010.

[9] Asif Haroon Raja, “Uproar Over Leaked Abottabad Commission Report,” The Frontier Post, August 7, 2013.

[10] Mohammad Jamil, “False Flag Operation & Subterfuge,” Pakistan Observer, January 12, 2010.

[11] “US Website: Iran’s Cyber Attack on US Banks Obvious False Flag,” FARS News Agency, October 3, 2012.

[12] Ghulam Asghar Khan, “Rendezvous with Death,” The Nation (Thailand), January 1, 2008.

[13] Fundy Kasuri, “How Terrorists Fund Their Activities,” Daily Times, November 21. 2013.

[14] Iran Warns Against Military Intervention in Syria,” PressTV, August 27, 2013.

[15] See, for example, Bill O’Reilly, Impact: Update on UW Professor,” Fox News, October 11, 2006.

[16] Maddow, “The Rachel Maddow Show for April 24, 2013.”

[17] George Stephanopoulos,Secret Government Documents; Former Governor Speaks Out,” ABC News Transcript, April 4, 2011.

[18] Michael Gerson, A Custer for Our Time,” Washington Post, August 2, 2013, A15.

[19] Michael Ignatius, “15 Britons in a Sea of Intrigue,” Washington Post, March 30, 2007, A17.

[20] Eugene Robinson, “The Case of the Poisoned Spy,” Washington Post, November 28, 2006, A19.

[21] Dana Priest and Bradley Graham,Guantanamo List Details Approved Interrogation Methods,”Washington Post, June 10, 2004, A13.

[22] John Markoff and David Barboza, 2 China Schools Said to Be Tied to Online Attacks,” New York Times, February 18, 2010.

[23] David Barboza, Hacking Inquiry Puts China’s Elite in New Light,” New York Times, February 22, 2010, A1.

[24] Maggie Koerth-Baker, Why Rational People Buy Into Conspiracy Theories,” New York Times Magazine, May 26, 2013, 15.

[25] Ben Hubbard,A Nun Lends a Voice of Skepticism on the Use of Poison Gas by Syria,” New York Times, September 22, 2013, A11.

[26] Audrey Gillan, Full House as Leading 9/11 Conspiracy Theorist Has His Say,” Guardian (London), September 9, 2006.

[27] Alexander Christie-Miller, “Erdogan Blocks YouTube Over Leaked War Plans,” Times (London), March 28, 2014, 39.

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