Cops Who Killed 6-yo Boy Lied About his Dad Having a Warrant & Gun – He Had Neither

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By Johnny Liberty

Marksville, LA – On Tuesday, November 3rd, 6-year-old Jeremy Mardis was tragically gunned down after being unwittingly thrust into a police pursuit. Now, officials are acknowledging that there may have been no justification for the officers’ actions.

Initial reports claimed that Jeremy’s father, 25-year-old Chris Few, was being served a warrant by Ward 2 City Marshals. However, police now admit that Few was not only unarmed when officers opened fire, but may not have had a warrant at all.

During a press conference Thursday afternoon, Louisiana State Police Col. Mike Edmonson said:

“We have no evidence of any gun found in his car,” When asked about Few’s alleged warrant Col. Edmonson replied; “I am not aware of one but I have not been provided with anything that says otherwise.”

Upon being reached for comment regarding the existence of warrants for Mr. Few, the Clerk of Court for the City of Marksville stated they had “nothing” and that they had never had any warrants out on him, according to KATC TV.

Chris’ step-father, Morris German, has also been vocal in his disbelief of the original police account. He said that he strongly doubted his stepson was armed and that he could not believe he would flee authorities with his son in the vehicle.

“I can’t see him doing that with his son in the car,” He said. “That doesn’t sound like him at all.”

Officers initially claimed that Chris had backed up into a police cruiser several times when the chase ended on Martin Luther King Drive, but officials agree there is no evidence that this took place prior to officers opening fire. The Louisiana State Police are now investigating the incident and reviewing footage of the incident from a body camera one of the officers was wearing according to a source for WAFB.

The emergence of these details (while unsurprising to those that have followed the cases of Zachary Hammond and Samuel Dubose) certainly leave one with more questions than answers. There is no doubt that many of the deadly shootings we are currently seeing are a result of the 2014 supreme court decision (Plumhoff v. Rickard) which authorized the use of deadly force to end police pursuits.

Sadly, we are now witnessing the outcome of this decision. According to Avoyelles Parish Coroner Dr. L.J. Mayeux, Jeremy was shot by police five times and died from wounds to his head and chest. His father was also severely wounded and is currently in critical condition.

As history shows us. When agents of the state are given blanket authority to gun citizens down with impunity, the end result will always be tyranny. Is this the future we want for our children?

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Chinese Hackers? US Propagandists Should Look in the Mirror

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By Eric Draitser 

Like millions of Americans, this past week I was sitting on my couch, drinking a cold beer, watching Game 1 of the World Series – professional baseball’s hallowed championship. Suddenly the satellite feed went out, the screen went dark. Naturally, as FOX Sports scrambled to get their live feed fixed, many of my fellow Americans took to twitter to speculate as to what had caused the outage. I was, sadly, unsurprised to see that the most common joke people were making was that China must have hacked the World Series.

On the one hand, it is understandable given the barrage of propaganda about Chinese hackers as a threat to corporate and national security; seemingly every week there is a new news item highlighting the great red cyber-menace. On the other hand, it is a perfect illustration of the hypocrisy and ignorant arrogance of Americans who, despite being citizens of unquestionably the most aggressive nation when it comes to both cyber espionage and surveillance, see fit to cast China as the real villain. It is a testament to the power of both propaganda and imperial triumphalism that a proposition so disconnected from reality, and bordering on Orwellian Doublethink, is not only accepted, but is ipso facto true.

But there is a deeper political and sociological phenomenon at play here, one that begs further exploration. How is it that despite all the revelations of Edward Snowden regarding US intelligence and military snooping capabilities across the globe, Americans still cannot accept the culpability of their own government and corporate interests – the two work hand in hand – in global cyber-espionage? Even if they explicitly or implicitly know about the NSA, CIA, DIA, and Pentagon programs (among many others), their instinctive reaction is to blame China. Why? The answer lies in the complexity and effectiveness of the anti-China propaganda.

In his landmark book Public Opinion, the renowned writer, commentator, and theoretician of propaganda, Walter Lipmann, defined the term “stereotype” in the modern psychological sense as a “distorted picture or image in a person’s mind, not based on personal experience, but derived culturally.” In other words, the stereotype is an image in our mind’s eye, one that is constructed by outside forces; it is information filtered through a particular societal or cultural framework that then creates a picture of how something is to be understood. Lipmann went further, noting that carefully constructed propaganda could be used to shape stereotypes, thereby allowing the powers that be the ability to construct and manipulate information and narratives.

And this is precisely the phenomenon at work here. By repeating it endlessly, the US political and corporate media establishment have successfully convinced Americans that China is the real threat when it comes to cyberspace, playing on the stereotype of Chinese people in general, and the People’s Republic of China specifically. But, I would argue something far different: rather than seeing China as a threat, perhaps Americans, and westerners generally, should shine a light on what their own countries are doing, thereby gaining a broader perspective on the issue. For China’s moves in this field pale in comparison to those of the US, and are clearly a response to them.

China and the US: Comparing the Rap Sheets

The corporate media is replete with stories of Chinese hacking of US institutions. From alleged Chinese hacking of the University of Virginia employees connected with US government programs directed at China, to the infamous breach of the federal government’s Office of Personnel Management which resulted in the theft of the personal information of more than 20 million Americans, such stories help to construct an image of China as the world’s leading hacker-state. This week it is Chinese hackers targeting health care providers, last year it was stealing the secrets of Westinghouse and US Steel, and literally dozens of other such examples.

The purpose of this article is not to deny the veracity of these reports; I’m not a computer expert, nor do I have access to the information that an expert would need in making a determination. Instead, my purpose here is to show the grossly unbalanced, and utterly dishonest, way in which the issue is presented to Americans especially, and to probe why that might be. For any fair and balanced approach to the issue would present the simple fact that the US is the world leader in cyber-warfare, having actually conducted what are to date the only recorded live uses of cyberweapons.

Take for instance the joint US-Israel developed Stuxnet virus, a pair of highly complex and severely destructive, computer viruses launched at Iran’s nuclear facilities. According to a group of independent legal experts assembled at the request of NATO’s Cooperative Cyber Defense Center of Excellence, the Stuxnet cyberattack was “an act of force.” Their report noted that “Acts that kill or injure persons or destroy or damage objects are unambiguously uses of force [and likely violate international law].”

Indeed, the US and its Israeli partners launched the very first true cyberweapon. As cyber security expert Ralph Langer wrote inForeign Policy in 2013:

Stuxnet is not really one weapon, but two. The vast majority of the attention has been paid to Stuxnet’s smaller and simpler attack routine — the one that changes the speeds of the rotors in a centrifuge, which is used to enrich uranium. But the second and “forgotten” routine is about an order of magnitude more complex and stealthy. It qualifies as a nightmare for those who understand industrial control system security… The “original” payload… attempted to overpressurize Natanz’s centrifuges by sabotaging the system meant to keep the cascades of centrifuges safe.

Essentially, the US and Israel employed the world’s first cyberweapon without even fully knowing the potentially destructive consequences. As the virus migrated out of the Iranian nuclear facility at Natanz and onto the internet, innumerable variables could have come into play, with the potential for disastrous outcomes.

But of course Stuxnet was not alone. The US and Israel also deployed both the Gauss and Flame viruses, two more sophisticated cyberweapons designed to cause major damage to online infrastructure. The Gauss virus, discovered by Kaspersky labs, one of the world’s most highly respected cyber-security firms, was designed to steal sensitive data such as financial records. According to the US officials who spoke with the Washington Post, the Flame virus was a: massive piece of malware [which] secretly mapped and monitored Iran’s computer networks, sending back a steady stream of intelligence to prepare for a cyberwarfare campaign… “This is about preparing the battlefield for another type of covert action… Cyber-collection against the Iranian program is way further down the road than this.” said one former high-ranking U.S. intelligence official, who added that Flame and Stuxnet were elements of a broader assault that continues today.

Clearly the US and Israel were not merely interested in surveillance and information-gathering, but actually having the ability to manipulate and destroy vital computer infrastructure in Iran. Any reasonable reading of international law should hold that such actions are, in fact, an act of war, though of course war with Iran has not come to pass. But just the very use of such sophisticated weapons, far more elaborate, technical, and dangerous than mere hacking by humans, should call into question the weepy-eyed condemnations of China for its alleged stealing of corporate and government information.

And then of course there is the seemingly endless supply of revelations from Edward Snowden regarding the US surveillance infrastructure, how all-encompassing it truly is, how it is used to manipulate political outcomes, how it is used as a weapon against foreign governments, and much more.

Just to name a few of the countless programs and initiatives of the NSA and the surveillance state designed to capture information for political purposes:

PRISM – allows “The National Security Agency and the FBI [to tap] directly into the central servers of nine leading U.S. internet companies, extracting audio and video chats, photographs, emails, documents, and connection logs.”

BLARNEY – “Gathers up metadata from choke points along the backbone of the internet as part of an ongoing collection program the leverages IC (intelligence community) and commercial partnerships to gain access and exploit foreign intelligence obtained from global networks.”

Boundless Informant – “Details and even maps by country the voluminous amount of information it collects from computer and telephone networks.”

US & UK Target G20 Leaders – “The documents suggest that the operation was sanctioned in principle at a senior level in the government.”

US Spied on EU Offices – “America’s National Security Agency (NSA) not only conducted online surveillance of European citizens, but also appears to have specifically targeted buildings housing European Union institutions… in addition to installing bugs in the building in downtown Washington, DC, the European Union representation’s computer network was also infiltrated.”

But of course, the US has also specifically, and successfully, trained its cyber-espionage and cyber-warfare sights on China itself. Thanks to Snowden, we now know that US intelligence repeatedly hacked into Beijing’s Tsinghua University, China’s top education and research institute. As revealed in the South China Morning Post:

The information also showed that the attacks on Tsinghua University were intensive and concerted efforts. In one single day of January, at least 63 computers and servers in Tsinghua University have been hacked by the NSA… The university is home to one of the mainland’s six major backbone networks, the China Education and Research Network (CERNET) from where internet data from millions of Chinese citizens could be mined. The network was the country’s first internet backbone network and has evolved into the world’s largest national research hub.

But it wasn’t only Tsinghua University that was targeted. Snowden also revealed that Chinese University in Hong Kong was the victim of US hacking; the university is home to the Hong Kong Internet Exchange, the city’s central hub for all internet traffic. In addition, it came out that US intelligence has repeatedly hacked into Chinese mobile phone companies, spied on users, and stolen data, including text messages. These are, of course, only what we know about thus far from the Snowden revelations. The scope of US hacking operations against China is not known, but could be safely assumed to be far-reaching.

In fact, the depth of US hacking and other intelligence operations targeting China, including those taking place inside China itself, has been alluded to repeatedly. The New York Times noted in August 2015 that the Obama administration was cautious about any retaliation against China for the breach of the Office of Personnel Management because “Intelligence officials say that any legal case could result in exposing American intelligence operations inside China — including the placement of thousands of implants in Chinese computer networks to warn of impending attacks.”

It is clear that what we do know about US cyberwar programs and tactics is really only the tip of the iceberg. It is likely that Washington has myriad other China-specific hacking programs and initiatives, including the much discussed attempts to subvert the oft referenced “Great Firewall of China.” Put simply, the US is engaged in the most sophisticated forms of hacking and cyber-subversion, and much of it is directed at China (and Russia and Iran). This should now be beyond question.

Keep this information in mind the next time another story about Chinese hackers attacking US interests runs in the corporate media. While the hack may or may not be true, it is the context within which such actions take place that really needs to be understood.

There is a cyberwar going on, of this there can be no doubt. But who’s got the biggest guns? And who fired the first shot?

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Failed Syrian rebel training program cost US taxpayers $2 million per fighter

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Newly acquired documents show the Pentagon spent nearly $400 million, or $2 million per fighter, on its failed train-and-equip program, according to USA Today. The Pentagon claims the actual cost was $30,000 per trainee.

USA Today reported the train-and-equip program was abandoned after the department had already spent $384 million on it. “Of the 180 Syrians vetted, trained and equipped, 145 fighters [remained] in the program,” the report stated. Of those 145 fighters, 95 were in Syria.

When asked to comment on the findings, the Pentagon disputed that it had spent $2 million per fighter, saying the actual cost was far lower – $30,000 per trainee. They added that the “vast majority” of the funds had gone to buying weapons, equipment, and ammunition, of which some is still in storage.

“Our investment in the Syria train and equip program should not be viewed purely in fiscal terms,” Navy Commander Elissa Smith told the news outlet in an email. Smith said some of those trained fighters had been calling in air strikes, and that ammunition designated for trainees had been given to other forces fighting the Islamic State instead.

According to the documents outlining the program’s $501 billion budget, $204 million was supposed to be spent on ammunition, $77 million on weapons, $62 million on mobility, $47 million on services, $46 million on construction, $40 million on strategic lift/shipping, $13 million on equipment, $6 million on communications, and $6 million on facilities and maintenance.

The program was intended to graduate 3,000 trained and equipped New Syrian Forces fighters in 2015, and 5,000 annually afterwards, to combat Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL). However, President Barack Obama abandoned the program earlier this fall.

In documents and interviews, USA Today was able to confirm that two of the four training camps designed for the program never hosted even a single recruit.

In September, it was revealed that one group of trainees had surrendered one quarter of their US-supplied weapons, ammunition, and vehicles in exchange for safe passage through territory held by another rebel group, considered to be extremist.

While the training has stopped, the US will continue to give equipment and weapons to the leaders of ‘vetted’ groups of rebels who are already fighting IS “so that over time they continue to re-claim territory,” Smith told USA Today.

The rebel training program’s $500 million budget was in addition to the $42 million the Pentagon had already spent in 2014 to set it up.

The findings come as the Obama administration announced it was set to deploy up to 50 US special operations troops in northern Syria to assist in the fight against IS. It marked the first time the administration openly said it would send ground forces into Syria.

The Associated Press reported the White House has put no timetable on how long the American forces will stay in Syria, although Obama has previously said he expects the campaign against IS to last beyond his presidency.

Obama inherited two military conflicts and will hand off a third to his successor. He recently announced plans to maintain a troop presence in Afghanistan beyond 2015.

In July, the National Priorities Project, a non-profit, non-partisan federal budget research group, reported that America’s war in Afghanistan has cost taxpayers roughly $4 million an hour. Their research found more than $700 billion has been spent on the war since the George W. Bush administration authorized the invasion in 2001, including more than $35 billion in fiscal year 2015.

The initial budget for the Afghan war was over $20 billion for 2001/02. The budget dropped to $14 billion over the next two years as spending shifted to the war in Iraq. Expenditures on the Afghan war took a back seat to Iraq war spending before ballooning to more than $100 billion in 2010, when the cost of the Iraq war began to decline. Spending in Afghanistan continued to top $100 billion annually until 2013, when it began falling by increments of $10 billion, finally reaching its current budget of $35 billion.

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The “War On Terror” Is The Hoax Foundation Of “The Police Spy State”

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Les coûts de la « War on terror »

The “war on terror” was a hoax. Americans were deceived by policymakers, who are pursuing a hegemonic agenda. The American people were too trusting and too gullible and, consequently, Americans were easily betrayed by Washington and by the presstitute media.

The consequences of the deceit, gullibility, and betrayal are horrendous for Americans, for millions of peoples in the Middle East, Africa, Ukraine, and for Washington’s European vassals.

The consequences for Americans are an aborted Constitution, a police/spy state and rising resentment and hatred of America around the world.

The consequences for peoples in Somolia, Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Pakistan, Syria, Palestine, and Ukraine have been massive deaths and dislocations, infrastructure destruction, internal conflicts, birth defects, invasions, bombings, drones. Millions of peoples have been murdered by Washington’s pursuit of hegemony, and millions have been turned into refugees.

The consequences for Washington’s European vassals is that the millions of refugees from Washington’s wars are now overrunning Europe, causing social and political discord and threatening the European political parties that enabled, and participated in, Washington’s massive war crimes in eight countries.

The populations of the eight countries and Washington’s vassals are stuck with the consequences of Washington’s evil, vicious, and illegal actions. And Americans are stuck with the police/spy state and militarized police who murder three Americans each day and brutalize countless others.

The countries we have destroyed have no recourse to restitution.

Our European vassals will have to provide from their own pockets for the refugees that Washington’s wars are sending to them.

As for Americans, they seem to have settled into acquiescence to the brutal police/spy state that has crowded out freedom and democracy.

But Americans could do something about it.

It is a proven fact that the police/spy state rests on a foundation of lies and deceptions, and these lies and deceptions are now known. Even George W. Bush has admitted that Saddam Hussein had no weapons of mass destruction. Thousands of independent experts consisting of physicists, nanochemists, structural engineers, highrise architects, fire fighters and first responders, and military and civilian pilots have provided the detailed explanations of September 11, 2001, that Washington failed to provide. Today not even an idiot believes the official explanation. The corrupt neoconservative Bush regime created a false reality and sold it to a trusting population that was anxious to prove its patriotism.

The American electorate knew that the Bush/Cheney regime had deceived them about many things, and the people, believing Obama’s promises of change, put him in office to rectify the situation. Instead, Obama protected the criminal Bush/Cheney regime and continued with the neoconservatives agenda.

We don’t have to stand for this. We can turn off Fox “News,” CNN, NPR and all the rest of the presstitutes who lie for a living. We can cease purchasing the useless newspapers. We can demand that the police/spy state that was created entirely on the basis of lies and deceptions be rolled back.

Who can possibly believe that the massive PATRIOT Act was written so quickly in the aftermath of 9/11? It is not possible that every member of Congress and the staff does not know that such a massive document was sitting on the shelf waiting its opportunity.

Who can possibly believe that a handful of Saudi Arabians acting without the support of any state and any intelligence service could outwit the entire apparatus of the American National Security State and inflict a humiliating defeat on the world’s only superpower?

9/11 is the worst national security failure in world history. Who can possibly believe that not a single one of the national security officials who so totally failed in their responsibilities was held accountable for their failures that brought total humiliation to the proud United States?

Who can possibly believe that the Bush regime’s invasion and destruction of Iraq was a response to 9/11 when Bush’s Treasury Secretary publicly stated that the invasion of Iraq was the topic of the Bush regime’s first cabinet meeting long prior to 9/11?

Are the American people really such washed-up sheeple, such cowards, that they acquiesce to a police/spy state, the foundation of which consists of nothing but lies told by criminals and repeated endlessly by whores pretending to be journalists?

If so, the American people are not a people who any longer matter, and they will continue to be treated by Washington and by their local police as people who do not matter.

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The Blood on Obama’s Hands: Kunduz Hospital Attack Designed “to Kill and Destroy”

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“Patients burned in their beds, medical staff were decapitated and lost limbs, and others were shot by the circling AC-130 gunship while fleeing the burning building.”

So reads the opening of an initial review issued Thursday by Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors without Borders—MSF), documenting the horrifying October 3 US airstrike on the charitable agency’s hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan.

While spelling out the carnage inflicted upon wounded men, women and children as well as doctors, nurses and other medical staff that day, the report adds to the already overwhelming evidence that the attack was neither an accident nor a case of “collateral damage,” but rather a deliberate war crime ordered by the Pentagon to further US military objectives in Afghanistan.

Among the new information provided by the report is that, after repeatedly providing the Pentagon, the US Army in Kabul as well as the Afghan authorities with the coordinates of the well-known medical facility, MSF staff at the Kunduz hospital received a phone call two nights before the attack from a US government official in Washington. He asked whether it “had a large number of Taliban ‘holed up’ there.” The official was told that the hospital was functioning normally and at full capacity, with some wounded Taliban fighters among the patients.

The hospital, the report states, was well-lit and clearly marked, with MSF insignia on its roof. Based on interviews with some 60 staff members, the report establishes that there were no armed individuals in the facility and, indeed, there had been no fighting, gunshots or explosions in the vicinity of the hospital in the evening preceding the attack.

The attack by the slow-moving, propeller-driven AC-130 gunship lasted between an hour and an hour and 15 minutes, with the plane continuously circling the hospital, hitting it with its multiple rapid-fire cannon, precision bombs and missiles.

“The view from inside the hospital is that this attack was conducted with a purpose to kill and destroy,” Christopher Stokes, MSF’s general director, told reporters at a press conference in Kabul on Thursday. “A mistake is quite hard to understand and believe at this time.”

The MSF report gives a chilling sense of the brutality of this crime. It recounts that the first area to be hit was the Intensive Care Unit, where immobile patients, including two children, were killed outright or burned to death in their hospital beds.

The operating theaters were then destroyed, with at least two patients killed as they lay on operating tables.

“An MSF nurse arrived at the administrative building covered from head to toe in debris and blood with his left arm hanging from a small piece of tissue after having suffered a traumatic amputation in the blast,” the report recounts.

Staff members described people being mowed down as they tried to flee the airstrike. “MSF doctors and other medical staff were shot while running to reach safety in a different part of the compound,” the report adds.

“One MSF staff member described a patient in a wheelchair attempting to escape from the inpatient department when he was killed by shrapnel from a blast,” the report states. “Other MSF staff describe seeing people running while on fire and then falling unconscious on the ground. One MSF staff was decapitated by shrapnel in the airstrikes.”

The US airstrike turned what had been the principal medical facility for over one million people in northeastern Afghanistan into hell on earth. In addition to wantonly killing patients and medical staff, it left the region’s entire population without badly needed medical care.

There are two plausible theories that have been advanced to explain the attack. The first, based on reporting by AP, indicates that the strike was ordered out of suspicion that a Pakistani intelligence officer who was coordinating operations with the Taliban was present in the hospital. In other words, mass murder against innocent civilians was carried out as part of a “targeted assassination” against one man.

The other explanation is that the US military decided to obliterate the hospital because it was treating wounded Taliban fighters.

In either case, under international law the attack constitutes a war crime, the kind of offense for which Nazi officers were tried and convicted at Nuremberg.

But not so under the legal rationales for US criminal aggression fashioned under the Obama administration.

As the four-part series, “The Pentagon’s Law of War Manual,” being finalized on the World Socialist Web Site today establishes, the pseudo-legal doctrine that has been crafted for the US military, while giving a formal nod to international law’s prohibition against targeting civilians, makes clear that in practice such attacks are not only allowed but encouraged.

“Civilians may be killed incidentally in military operations; however, the expected incidental harm to civilians may not be excessive in relation to the anticipated military advantage from an attack,” the law of war manual states. In other words, the US military is allowed to kill civilians, and the greater the military objective, the more innocent men, women and children, not to mention doctors, nurses and patients, may be slaughtered.

Similarly, while stating that “feasible precautions” should be taken to “avoid” civilian casualties, the manual goes on to affirm that, if US commanders determine that “taking a precaution would result in operational risk (i.e., a risk of failing to accomplish the mission) or an increased risk of harm to their own forces, then the precaution would not be feasible and would not be required.” This is a clear mandate to US military officers to wipe out however many civilians they deem necessary to “accomplish the mission” or reduce their own casualties.

No doubt, within the US chain of command, such calculations were made to arrive at the decision to order an AC-130 to slowly and deliberately reduce a civilian hospital to rubble, killing at least 30 patients and medical staff and wounding many others.

The responsibility for this crime lies not merely with the crew of the flying gunship, the commanders on  the ground in Afghanistan or the top brass of the US military. It extends to the top of the US political establishment, including President Barack Obama and his top aides, who have done so much to make murderous violence around the world routine, from aggressive war, to drone assassinations to cold-blooded massacres.

The White House and the Pentagon have thus far stonewalled MSF’s demand for an independent investigation into the Kunduz hospital massacre.

Even more telling, Joanne Liu, president of MSF, reported this week that the agency had appealed to some 76 governments seeking support for an impartial investigation, but had received none. “The silence is embarrassing,” Liu told Reuters.

Behind this apparent indifference by capitalist governments around the globe to the horrors unleashed by the US military in Kunduz lies the recognition that this attack constituted not the exception, but the rule, not the product of a “tragic error” or “collateral damage,” but the inevitable expression of  the criminality of American imperialism.

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Looming Economic Collapse Scenarios facing the United States: Lessons from the Soviet Collapse

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Interview with Dimitry Orlov. Global Research News Hour Episode 90.

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Note: This episode of the Global Research News Hour was originally published in January 2015. Russian-American engineer Dmitry Orlov is featured in a fascinating discussion on the current state of macroeconomic thinking and the politics surrounding it.

They can’t really grasp the fact that everything they’ve built has stopped working, because their ideology forbids them from doing it. So that’s identical with what was going on in the Soviet Union.” -Dmitry Orlov

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 On the Global Research News Hour this week, we spend the hour discussing the looming collapse scenarios facing the United States with Russian-American engineer Dmitry Orlov.

Orlov’s perspective on collapse is informed by his extended trips to his former homeland before and during its collapse.

Orlov believes and states that the former Soviet Union was set up to be resilient in the face of collapse. This, he believes is not the case in the US or Canada.

In this interview, Orlov also comments on the current situation with low oil prices, peak oil and its impact on agriculture, Russian moves in alignment with China, overtures toward the EU, the politics of austerity, the Ukraine Civil War as Anglo-Imperialist Departure Strategy, and much more.

Dmitry Orlov has written two books, Reinventing Collapse: The Soviet Experience and American Prospects as well as the Five Stages of Collapse: Survivors’ Toolkit. Mr. Orlov is also the author of the blog cluborlov.com and is a much sought after geo-political analyst.

LISTEN TO THE SHOW

Length (59:24)

Click to download the audio (MP3 format)

 The Global Research News Hour airs every Friday at 1pm CT on CKUW 95.9FM in Winnipeg. The programme is also podcast at globalresearch.ca .

The show can be heard on the Progressive Radio Network at prn.fm. Listen in every Monday at 3pm ET.

Community Radio Stations carrying the Global Research News Hour:

CHLY 101.7fm in Nanaimo, B.C – Thursdays at 1pm PT

Boston College Radio WZBC 90.3FM NEWTONS  during the Truth and Justice Radio Programming slot -Sundays at 7am ET.

Port Perry Radio in Port Perry, Ontario –1  Thursdays at 1pm ET

Burnaby Radio Station CJSF out of Simon Fraser University. 90.1FM to most of Greater Vancouver, from Langley to Point Grey and from the North Shore to the US Border.

It is also available on 93.9 FM cable in the communities of SFU, Burnaby, New Westminister, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Surrey and Delta, in British Columbia Canada. – Tune in every Saturday at 6am.

CFRU 93.3FM in Guelph, Ontario. Tune in Wednesdays from 12am to 1am.

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The Pentagon’s Law of War Manual: Justification for War Crimes and Mass Repression

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Part IV

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This is the last of four articles analyzing the new US Department of Defense Law of War Manual. The first article was posted November 3The second article was posted November 4. The third was posted November 5.

Pentagon embraces “just following orders” justification for war crimes

As previous segments have noted, key conceptions advanced in the Pentagon’s Law of War Manual amount to little more than a rehash of authoritarian legal theories upheld by the Nazi regime and other fascist governments.

The Department of Defense (DOD) manual’s protocols for enforcing the law of war and establishing the legality of military orders fall into this category, bearing an eerie resemblance to the doctrine asserted by the main defendants at the Nuremberg Tribunal—that they were “just following orders.” In flat contradiction to the principles upheld at Nuremberg, subordinates are instructed to “presume” that commands are lawfully issued and are granted sweeping immunity from responsibility for war crimes committed under orders from the military brass.

US military personnel are instructed and trained to regard orders emanating from the command unit as legal by default, the DOD manual states. The document states: “Subordinates, absent specific knowledge to the contrary, may presume orders to be lawful. The acts of a subordinate done in compliance with an unlawful order given by a superior are generally excused.” (P. 1,148)

“Except in such instances of palpable illegality, which must be of rare occurrence, the inferior should presume that the order was lawful and authorized and obey it accordingly,” one footnote declares, citing Winthrop Military Law and Precedents in defense of this position. (P. 1,058f)

Image: Lt. Col. Oliver North testifying during the Iran-Contra congressional hearings in 1987

In cases of ambiguity, junior officers are encouraged to concoct an “interpretation” of orders that might render them more lawful. “Commands and orders should not be understood as implicitly authorizing violations of the law of war where other interpretations are reasonably available,” the manual states.

The authors write that the law is enforced through “military instructions, regulations and procedures” issued by the Pentagon. “The implementation of law of war treaties and obligations through military instructions, regulations, and procedures has the effect of making such rules enforceable because military personnel are required to comply with duly issued instructions, regulations, and procedures,” the manual states. (P. 1,069)

These formulations point to the fact that there is no real distinction between the decrees of the Pentagon bureaucracy and the DOD “Law of War”, which, far from being actual law, is merely a special collection of military orders issued by cabals of military lawyers and career defense officials.

Planning for mass repression at home

In addition to its international significance, the Law of War Manual summarizes and integrates plans for mass repression and martial law within the US itself that have been developed since the late 1960s by the US Defense Department in direct response to the political radicalization of the working class and layers of the middle class.

The procedures governing mass detention enumerated in the Law of War Manual have already been partially worked out by numerous agencies and programs run by the Department of Defense Civil Disturbance Directorate, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and the Department of Homeland Security, which now incorporates FEMA.

The driving impetus behind these preparations has been the threat of insurrectionary struggles by the working class and the associated growth of anti-war sentiment within the population.

In the aftermath of the 1967 urban upheavals, DOD established the Directorate of Civil Disturbance Planning and Operations as a permanent body to oversee plans for suppression of domestic unrest by federal troops.

Image: The Mochida family awaites evacuation to an internment camp in 1942

Beginning in 1968, US military planners developed frequent updates to the US Army Civil Disturbance Plan, codenamed “Operation Garden Plot.” Updated on an almost yearly basis since then, Garden Plot calls for the rapid deployment of federal military forces to every major city in the US, with initial contingents of troops scheduled to arrive within six hours of call-up. The plan was touted by its original architects as a “counterrevolutionary” response to the mass strikes, anti-war protests, ghetto uprisings, and radicalization of university campuses during this period.

Garden Plot operations were to be activated in response to “strikes, civil disturbances and labor disturbances which affect military installations or other strikes or labor and civil disturbances of sufficient magnitude to indicate a probable employment of Federal troops to preserve or restore order.”

The document continued:

“Civil disturbances which are beyond the control of municipal or state authorities may occur at any time. Dissatisfaction with the environmental conditions contributing to racial unrest and civil disturbances and dissatisfaction with national policy as manifested in the anti-draft and anti-Vietnam demonstrations are recognized factors within the political and social structure. As such, they might provide a preconditioned base for a steadily deteriorating situation leading to demonstrations and violent attacks upon the social order.”

Garden Plot called for “saturation of areas with police and military patrols,” continuous helicopter sorties over targeted areas, and deployment of artillery, tanks, tactical air support and psychological warfare against demonstrators in US cities.

“Disturbances requiring Federal intervention will occur simultaneously in up to 25 objective areas throughout the CONUS [continental United States], necessitating the employment in each objective area of up to five 2,000-man brigades plus supporting troops, with the exception of Washington, D. C., when forces totaling 30,000 troops may be employed,”

the plan stated. (Quoted from “US Department of the Army Civil Disturbance Plan ‘GARDEN PLOT’ 10-September-1968”).

Planning for Continuity of Government (COG), a euphemism for martial law, “assumed its current shape in response to the mobilization of US Army intelligence and the CIA against left-wing Americans during the civil disorder of the 1960s and 1970s,” as Peter Dale Scott noted in his study of the growth of the military-intelligence apparatus during the postwar era (9/11: Wealth, Empire and the Future of America, 11).

To provide intelligence for domestic counterinsurgency operations, during the 1960s and 1970s the DOD oversaw the establishment of Emergency Operations Centers (EOC), staffed by cells of federal military intelligence analysts maintaining constant communication with the Pentagon’s “domestic war room” in National Guard headquarters across the country.

These initiatives were jumpstarted in May 1971 with the establishment of the California Specialized Training Institute (CSTI), authorized by then-Governor Ronald Reagan. Between 1971 and May 1975, more than 4,000 officials from the National Guard, the Army, police agencies and private corporations received training in “emergency preparedness” at the CTSI in San Luis Obispo.

As the social counterrevolution gained steam after 1975, martial law planning was steadily embedded in the upper reaches on the state apparatus and institutionalized through further executive orders.

FEMA and REX 84

The past four decades have witnessed a feverish build-up of authoritarian legal and political instruments that have been entrenched as a permanent part of the executive branch. Virtually every year has seen new orders and protocols developing the scaffolding of a police state.

The duration and continuity in such planning demonstrates that it is not simply the initiative of this or that reactionary bourgeois politician, but rather something that emerges organically from class relations within the United States and the deteriorating position of American imperialism in the world.

The Law of War Manual expands upon existing DOD plans authorizing mass detention of US citizens, dating from at least the 1970s. The 1978 update of the US Army Civil Disturbance Plan called in no uncertain terms for DOD to prepare to establish detention camps in liaison with state and local agencies.

“Plans for detention assistance to civilian authorities will range from the absolute minimum, such as assisting civil police in the guarding of civilians apprehended and awaiting transfer or en route to detention facilities, to the establishment and operation of temporary detention facilities to supplement those operated by civil authorities,”

the document stated.

The civilian apparatus of the US government was increasingly remodeled over decades to serve as the administrative wing of the emerging military dictatorship-in-waiting. Executive decrees issued by the Carter administration consolidated civil and military planning for “national emergencies” under the control of the newly created Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Executive Order 12148, signed by President Carter in 1979, mandated continuous joint preparations by FEMA and DOD aimed at “civil defense planning.”

Image: The Miami Herald of July 5, 1987 documented the existence of a “parallel government behind the Reagan administration engaged in secret actions including … a contingency plan to suspend the Constitution and impose martial law in United States in case of nuclear war or national rebellion.”

In the early 1980s, the Reagan administration presided over a further entrenchment of martial law planning cadres within the highest levels of the executive branch. In 1981, CTSI lead planner Colonel Louis Giuffrida was appointed “emergency czar” by President Reagan.

Giuffrida had attracted favorable attention from political forces assembled around the future President Reagan for his role in the development of the CTSI and his US Army War College thesis paper, “National Survival/ Racial Imperative,” which envisioned plans for detention of millions of “American Negroes” in “assembly centers or relocation camps.”

In December 1982, Reagan approved the formation of the Emergency Mobilization Preparedness Board (EMPB) to serve as a planning body for an expanded “Civil/Military Alliance in Emergency Management,” headed by FEMA and DOD.

It was while sitting as a member of the EMPB that Lt. Colonel Oliver North of Iran-Contra notoriety developed the REX 84 plan, a major precursor to the 2015 Law of War Manual.

As described by Alfonzo Chardy, a journalist who exposed the plans in a 1987 article for the Miami Herald, REX 84 outlined procedures for “suspension of the Constitution, turning control of the government over to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, emergency appointment of military commanders to run state and local governments, and declaration of martial law during a national crisis.”

Public exposure of REX 84 by Chardy and its mention during a congressional hearing on the Iran-Contra scandal, which involved the secret and illegal funding of the Nicaraguan Contras by the US government, did not succeed in slowing the elaboration of the legal and political foundations for direct military rule.

Expanding upon the Carter administration’s Executive Order 12171, Executive Order 12681, signed by President George H. W. Bush in 1989, exempted FEMA’s National Preparedness Directorate from the National Labor Relations Act, authorizing FEMA to develop forced labor programs and oversee the direct takeover of sections of the economy by the military and intelligence agencies.

The twenty-five years since the dissolution of the Soviet Union have witnessed a further intensification of preparations for military occupation of the continental United States. The Bush I, Clinton, and Bush II administrations all oversaw large-scale mobilizations of the US military against the domestic population.

In April 1992, the Bush I administration ordered thousands of federal soldiers, Marines and intelligence agents to occupy Los Angeles in response to the riots that began on April 29. During the Republican National Convention in August of 2000, DOD placed federal military units on standby “to execute Operation Garden Plot and quell any serious civil disturbances,” according to confidential FEMA documents acquired by Wired News. (Declan McCullagh, US military poised to respond to attack on GOP convention, Wired News, August 2000)

In April 2002, the Bush administration authorized the creation of the US Northern Command (NORTHCOM) as part of a new “Unified Command Plan.” NORTHCOM, the first full-blown US military command focusing on the continental United States, was the descendant of military commands tasked with preparing and developing Garden Plot over the previous period. A NORTHCOM planning document leaked in 2010, titled CONPLAN 3501, showed that the command had rapidly developed a highly detailed division of labor for military occupation of the continental United States during the years following its formation.

Conclusion

The Law of War Manual is a watershed in the breakdown of American bourgeois democracy and the repudiation by the ruling elite of the democratic principles laid down in the Constitution. Outside of a brief protest by the New York Times, in a single editorial, the corporate-controlled media has said nothing about the new codification of Pentagon doctrine. Nor have any of the presidential candidates, Republican or Democratic, from the “libertarian” Rand Paul to the supposed “democratic socialist” Bernie Sanders.

As envisioned by the manual, the US military apparatus becomes the ultimate legal authority on the planet, making up and modifying its own “laws” in the course of military operations aimed at subjugating the entire world population to its dictates.

Rather than the outcome of megalomania on the part of US generals and officials, the manual flows from the objective logic of the development of capitalism as a world-historic social formation.

As Vladimir Lenin explained in his epochal work, The State and Revolution, beginning from the late 19th century, the development of the capitalist state in general has been characterized by the “perfecting and strengthening of the ‘executive power,’ its bureaucratic and military apparatus.”

Image: Military forces ding house-to-house searches during the Boston lockdown in April, 2013 [Photo: rilymoskal7]

Despite differences in the forms of government of various capitalist nations, Lenin explained, there remains a clear universal tendency toward the increasing centralization of power in the hands of the vast and permanent bureaucracies that constitute, in every capitalist state, a veritable “permanent government” that remains in power no matter which parties or individuals have won the latest round of elections.

In another of his central works, Imperialism: The Highest Stage of Capitalism, Lenin identified the essential economic processes driving this development. From the 1870s onward, the growth of monopolies and the extraction of super-profits from colonial or semi-colonial countries ensured the ever-greater concentration of wealth and power in the hands of financial oligarchies.

As Leon Trotsky, co-leader with Lenin of the Russian Revolution, explained in the Manifesto of the First Congress of the Comintern, the major US and European finance houses integrated themselves with the military agencies of the bourgeois state during and after the First World War. “Finance capital, which plunged mankind into the abyss of war, itself underwent a catastrophic change in the course of this war,” Trotsky wrote in 1919.

“During the course of the war, the regulating-directing role was torn from the hands of these economic groups and transferred directly into the hands of the military-state power. The distribution of raw materials, the utilization of Baku or Rumanian oil, Donbas coal, Ukrainian wheat, the fate of German locomotives, freight cars and automobiles, the rationing of relief for starving Europe—all these fundamental questions of the world’s economic life are not being regulated by free competition, nor by associations of national and international trusts and consortiums, but by the direct application of military force, for the sake of its continued preservation.

“If the complete subjugation of the state power to the power of finance capital had led mankind into the imperialist slaughter, then through this slaughter finance capital has succeeded in completely militarizing not only the state but also itself; and it is no longer capable of fulfilling its basic economic functions otherwise than by means of blood and iron.” (The First Five Years of the Communist International, Volume 1, P. 46)

With these conceptions, Trotsky and the Third International had already recognized the main tendencies of imperialist development that would dominate the interwar years and reach new heights during the post-World War II era.

With the passage of the National Security Act of 1947—legislation drawn up by Wall Street’s favored law firms that created the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Council, and the US Air Force—the major US banks laid the foundations for the growth of a permanent “national security state” on a scale far beyond anything that had existed when Lenin first wrote of the “perfecting” of the bourgeois state.

The closing decades of the 20th century and the first 15 years of the 21st have witnessed an explosive growth of social inequality, as the US ruling class turned to financialization and dismantled vast sections of industry. Under these conditions, the Law of War Manual amounts to nothing less than a call for “all hands on deck” in defense of the capitalist order. Engaged in a relentless counterrevolutionary offensive that is destroying the living conditions of the vast majority of the global population, and facing an American population that is increasingly hostile towards all of the official institutions, the military chiefs in Washington and their paymasters on Wall Street are preparing to defend their privileges by means of dictatorship at home and total war internationally.

Posted in USAComments Off on The Pentagon’s Law of War Manual: Justification for War Crimes and Mass Repression

Dear Fellow Americans: Do You Have Any Idea What’s Being Done In Your Name In Syria?

NOVANEWS
Global Research
Obama talks about bombing Syria (this time to fight the insurgents that the US created)

Americans have some vague understanding that the U.S. wants Syria’s Assad to go, while Russia wants him to stay.

And Americans know that the U.S. “war against ISIS” hasn’t done much, while the Russians have been pounding Syrian targets with jets.

But Americans have no idea that the U.S. is deploying fighter jets designed solely to engage in plane-to-plane dogfighting … in order tocounter the Russians.

And we don’t understand that the U.S. is arming the Syrian “rebels” with shoulder-fired anti-aircraft weapons. As the Wall Street Journal  reports:

The U.S. and its regional allies agreed to increase shipments of weapons and other supplies to help moderate Syrian rebels hold their ground and challenge the intervention of Russia and Iran on behalf of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, U.S. officials and their counterparts in the region said.

The deliveries from the Central Intelligence Agency, Saudi Arabia and other allied spy services deepen the fight between the forces battling in Syria, despite President Barack Obama’s public pledge to not let the conflict become a U.S.-Russia proxy war.

Saudi officials not only pushed for the White House to keep the arms pipeline open, but also warned the administration against backing away from a longstanding demand that Mr. Assad must leave office.

In the past month of intensifying Russian airstrikes, the CIA and its partners have increased the flow of military supplies to rebels in northern Syria, including of U.S.-made TOW antitank missiles, these officials said. Those supplies will continue to increase in coming weeks, replenishing stocks depleted by the regime’s expanded military offensive.

An Obama administration official said the military pressure is needed to push Mr. Assad from power.

“Assad is not going to feel any pressure to make concessions if there is no viable opposition that has the capacity, through the support of its partners, to put pressure on his regime,” the official said.

In addition to the arms the U.S. has agreed to provide, Saudi and Turkish officials have renewed talks with their American counterparts about allowing limited supplies of shoulder-fire man-portable air-defense systems, or Manpads, to select rebels. Those weapons could help target regime aircraft, in particular those responsible for dropping barrel bombs, and could also help keep Russian air power at bay, the officials said.

Mr. Obama has long rebuffed such proposals, citing the risk to civilian aircraft and fears they could end up in the hands of terrorists. To reduce those dangers, U.S. allies have proposed retrofitting the equipment to add so-called kill switches and specialized software that would prevent the operator from using the weapon outside a designated area, said officials in the region briefed on the option.

U.S. intelligence agencies are concerned that a few older Manpads may already have been smuggled into Syria through supply channels the CIA doesn’t control.

(This comes a week after ISIS may have used a Manpad to shoot down a Russian civilian airliner.)

Americans don’t know that sending Manpads into Syria and trying to establish a no-fly zone is what Al Qaeda leaders have been hoping for, and that ISIS and Al Qaeda will end up with all of the weapons which the U.S. sends to Syria.

Americans don’t know the history of American regime change in Syria:

Americans don’t know that it was the “rebels” – not the Syrian government – who carried out the chemical weapons massacre in Syria.

Americans don’t know that U.S. backed rebels told Christians, “Either you convert to Islam or you will be beheaded.”   Syrian rebels slit the throat of a Christian man who refused to convert to Islam, taunting his fiance by yelling: “Jesus didn’t come to save him!”  A former Syrian Jihadi says the rebels have a “9/11 ideology”.  Indeed, they’re literally singing Bin Laden’s praises and celebrating the 9/11 attack.

Americans don’t know that the U.S. and its allies are largely responsible for creating ISIS, that U.S., Turkey and Israel have all been acting as ISIS’ air force, and that influential American figures are callingfor openly arming Al Qaeda … and perhaps even ISIS.

Americans don’t know that Russia and China are catching up to the U.S. military, and that this isn’t a mere proxy war … but is “one step closer” to all out war between the U.S. and Russia.

And Americans don’t know that  history shows that empires collapse when they overextend themselves militarily … and fight one too many wars.

Postscript.  Americans also don’t know how close we’ve come to the worst-case scenario:

  • We came very close to nuclear war with Russia numerous times in the past … and only the courage of a handful of men to disobey the commands of their superiors saved the world
  • In 1962, the head of the U.S. Air Force – General Curtis LeMay – pushed president Kennedy to use the “opportunity” to launch a nuclear war against Russia, and was bitterly disappointed that Kennedy instead opted for peace.  As highly-regarded reporter David Talbot said recently:

The military in this country and the CIA thought that we could take, you know, Castro out. During the Cuban missile crisis, they were prepared to go to a nuclear war to do that. President Kennedy thought people like Curtis LeMay, who was head of the Air Force, General Curtis LeMay, was half-mad. He said, “I don’t even see this man in my—you know, in my sight,” because he was pushing for a nuclear confrontation with the Soviet Union. And even years later, Curtis LeMay, after years after Kennedy is dead, in an interview that I quote from in the book, bitterly complains that Kennedy didn’t take this opportunity to go nuclear over Cuba. So, President Kennedy basically, I think, saved my life—I was 12 years old at the time—saved a lot of our lives, because he did stand his ground. He took a hard line against the national security people and said, “No, we’re going to peacefully resolve the Cuban missile crisis.”

  • One of the world’s leading physicists (Michio Kaku) revealed declassified plans for the U.S. to launch a first-strike nuclear war against Russia in the 1987 book To Win a Nuclear War: The Pentagon’s Secret War Plans.  The forward was written by the former Attorney General of the United States, Ramsey Clarke
  • American, Russian and other experts warn that U.S. and Russian conflicts elsewhere could lead to nuclear war

Posted in USA, SyriaComments Off on Dear Fellow Americans: Do You Have Any Idea What’s Being Done In Your Name In Syria?

Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP): ‘Worse Than We Thought’. A Total Corporate Power Grab Nightmare

NOVANEWS

‘President Obama has sold the American people a false bill of goods,’ says Friends of the Earth

Global Research
tpp_worse_than_we_thought

“Worse than anything we could’ve imagined.”

“An act of climate denial.”

“Giveaway to big agribusiness.”

“A death warrant for the open Internet.”

“Worst nightmare.”

“A disaster.”

As expert analysis of the long-shrouded, newly publicized Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) final text continued to roll out on Thursday, consensus formed around one fundamental assessment of the 12-nation pact: It’s worse than we thought.

“From leaks, we knew quite a bit about the agreement, but in chapter after chapter the final text is worse than we expected with the demands of the 500 official U.S. trade advisers representing corporate interests satisfied to the detriment of the public interest,” said Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch.

In fact, Public Citizen charged, the TPP rolls back past public interest reforms to the U.S. trade model while expanding  problematic provisions demanded by the hundreds of official U.S. corporate trade advisers who had a hand in the negotiations while citizens were left in the dark.

On issues ranging from climate change to food safety, from open Internet to access to medicines, the TPP “is a disaster,” declared Nick Dearden of Global Justice Now.

“Now that we’ve seen the full text, it turns out the job-killing TPP is worse than anything we could’ve imagined,” added Charles Chamberlain, executive director of Democracy for America. “This agreement would push down wages, flood our nation with unsafe imported food, raise the price of life-saving medicine, all the while trading with countries where gays and single mothers can be stoned to death.”

‘Act of Climate Denial’

Major climate action groups, including 350.org and the Sierra Club, were quick to point out that the text was notable as much for what it didn’t say as what for what it did. “The TPP is an act of climate denial,said 350 policy director Jason Kowalski on Thursday. “While the text is full of handouts to the fossil fuel industry, it doesn’t mention the words climate change once.”

What it does do, however, is give “fossil fuel companies the extraordinary ability to sue local governments that try and keep fossil fuels in the ground,” Kowalski continued. “If a province puts a moratorium on fracking, corporations can sue; if a community tries to stop a coal mine, corporations can overrule them. In short, these rules undermine countries’ ability to do what scientists say is the single most important thing we can do to combat the climate crisis: keep fossil fuels in the ground.”

Furthermore, Friends of the Earth (FOE) said in its response to the final text, the agreement “is designed to protect ‘free trade’ in dirty energy products such as tar sands oil, coal from the Powder River Basin, and liquefied natural gas shipped out of West Coast ports.” The result, FOE warned, will be “more climate change from carbon emissions across the Pacific.”

“President Obama has sold the American people a false bill of goods,” said FOE president Erich Pica. “The TransPacific Partnership fails President Obama’s pledge to make the TPP an environmentally sound trade agreement.”

International observers were no less critical. Matthew Rimmer, a professor of intellectual property and innovation law at Australia’s Queensland University of Technology and trade policy expert, told Fairfax Media it looks like U.S. trade officials have been ”greenwashing” the agreement.

“The environment chapter confirms some of the worst nightmares of environmental groups and climate activists,” Rimmer told the news outlet. “The agreement has poor coverage of environmental issues, and weak enforcement mechanisms. There is only limited coverage of biodiversity, conservation, marine capture fisheries, and trade in environmental services.”

‘Attack Sensible Food Safety Rules’

With its provisions that tie the hands of food inspectors at international borders and give more power to biotechnology firms, “the TPP is a giveaway to big agribusiness and food companies,” said Wenonah Hauter, Food & Water Watch executive director. Such corporate entities, she said, want to use trade deals like the TPP “to attack sensible food safety rules, weaken the inspection of imported food, and block efforts to strengthen U.S. food safety standards.”

Last month, the Center for Food Safety outlined the top five reasons “eaters should be worried about Obama’s new trade deal.” At the top of the list was the TPP’s ability to undermine efforts to label GMO foods. “More broadly,” the Center wrote in October, “any U.S. food safety rules on labeling, pesticides, or additives that [are] higher than international standards could be subject to challenge as ‘illegal trade barriers’.”

Indeed, according to Food & Water Watch, the final text released Thursday indicates that under a TPP regime, “agribusiness and biotech seed companies can now more easily use trade rules to challenge countries that ban GMO imports, test for GMO contamination, do not promptly approve new GMO crops or even require GMO labeling.”

“The TPP food safety and labeling provisions are worse than expected and bad news for American consumers and farmers,” said Hauter. “Congress must reject this raw deal that handcuffs food safety inspectors and exposes everyone to a rising tide of unsafe imported food.”

‘Death Warrant for the Open Internet’

“If U.S. Congress signs this agreement despite its blatant corruption, they’ll be signing a death warrant for the open Internet and putting the future of free speech in peril,” stated Evan Greer, Fight for the Future (FFTF) campaign director.

Among the “several sections of grave concern” identified by FFTF are those covering trademarks, pharmaceutical patents, copyright protections, and “trade secrets.”

Section J, which addresses Internet Service Providers (ISPs) “is one of the worst sections that impacts the openness of the Internet,” according to the digital rights group, which explained further:

This section requires Internet Service Providers to play “copyright cops” and assist in the enforcement of copyright takedown requests — but it does not require countries to have a system for counter-notices, so a U.S company could order a website to be taken down in another country, and there would be no way for the person running that website to refute their claims if, say, it was a political criticism website using copyrighted content in a manner consistent with fair use.

Section J makes it so ISPs are not liable for any wrongdoing when they take down content—incentivizing them to err on the side of copyright holders rather than on the side of free speech.

‘Public Review Is Needed’

Like-minded groups in Canada, where newly elected Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been on the job for all of one day, are sounding similar alarms.

Citing concerns about how the deal would impact human rights, health, employment, environment, and democracy, the Council of Canadians on Thursday demanded a full public consultationincluding an independent human rights, economic, and environmental review of the document—before Trudeau goes any further. The group expressed particular concern over investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) provisions, which allow corporations to sue states for lost profits, asking that they be excised from the deal.

“Trudeau is under a lot of pressure to adopt this deal as soon as possible, with calls already coming in from U.S. President Barack Obama and Japanese President Shinto Abe,” acknowledged the Council’s national chairperson, Maude Barlow. “But a thorough public review is needed before he can establish whether the TPP is truly in Canada’s interest.”

Or anyone else’s, for that matter.

Posted in USAComments Off on Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP): ‘Worse Than We Thought’. A Total Corporate Power Grab Nightmare

Naziyahu’s New Spokesman Accused Obama of anti-Semitism

NOVANEWS

Ran Baratz’s harsh comments come to light days before Naziyahu is slated to meet with Obama for the first time in over a year.

President Barack Obama bows to applause at the end of his remarks on Jewish American History Month at the Adas Israel Congregation synagogue in Washington, May 22, 2015.Reuters

Barak Ravid

President Rivlin demands answers from Netanyahu over new hasbara chief’s comments
The incoming head of Israel’s National Public Diplomacy Directorate has previously accused U.S. President Barack Obama of anti-Semitism. Dr. Ran Baratz posted the remarks on Facebook a few hours after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the U.S. Congress on March 3.

Baratz’s harsh comments come to light days before Netanyahu is slated to meet with Obama at the White House. The two will convene on Monday for the first time in over a year, in the aftermath of the showdown between the White House and the prime minister’s bureau over the nuclear deal with Iran. Netanyahu seeks to reach an agreement with Obama over a defense aid package worth tens of billions of dollars that the U.S. would transfer to Israel over the course of the next decade.

“Allow me to be harsh, contrary to my moderate habits,” Baratz wrote in the March 3 post. “Obama’s reference to Netanyahu’s speech – this is what modern anti-Semitism looks like in Western and liberal countries. And it comes, of course, alongside much tolerance and understanding toward Islamic anti-Semitism. So much tolerance and understanding that they are willing to give [Iran] an atom[ic bomb].”

A slew of controversial comments made by Baratz in recent years have emerged over the past 24 hours, some addressing hot button issues vis-à-vis politics and security. In 2004, Baratz published an opinion piece on the NRG news site calling for the construction of the third temple on the Temple Mount, and to allow Muslims to pray there only if they recognize the mount as a Jewish holy site.

Only last week, Netanyahu had to release a series of statements in Hebrew and English, as part of the understandings reached with Jordan and the U.S., with regard to maintaining the status quo on Temple Mount. The prime minister even reprimanded Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely over a far more moderate remark, in which she said seeing the Israel flag on Temple Mount is her dream.

Ran Baratz – head of Public Diplomacy and Media at the Prime Minister’s Office, founder of Mida website. June 18, 2013. Olivier Fitoussi

Baratz’s appointment as the head of the public diplomacy agency caused tension between the prime minister’s bureau and the President’s Residence on Wednesday, after it emerged that he said President Reuven Rivlin “such a marginal figure that there is no concern” that he would be the target of an assassination. Baratz made the comment in a Facebook post less than two weeks ago, while in talks over the appointment.

Rivlin’s bureau sent a request to the Netanyahu’s bureau asking for explanations regarding remarks. Netanyahu’s aides released a statement early on Thursday, saying that the prime minister “wasn’t aware of the remarks Ran Baratz wrote against Rivlin, and views them as inappropriate.” It further said that Baratz has assured Netanyahu that he understands that his public position requires him to act in an official manner and with restraint, a requirement that didn’t apply to him as a private citizen.

Posted in USA, ZIO-NAZIComments Off on Naziyahu’s New Spokesman Accused Obama of anti-Semitism

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