COINTELPRO and Domestic Spying

COINTELPRO and Domestic Spying

Slippery Slope towards police state methods.

Mukasey Loosens Guidelines

The waning months of the Bush administration can be characterized by an avalanche of changes to long-standing rules governing domestic intelligence operations.

The revisions proposed by U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey and other top administration officials, represent the greatest expansion of executive power since the Watergate era and should been viewed as an imminent threat to already-diminished civil liberties protections in the United States.

The slippery slope towards open police state methods of governance may have begun with the 2001 passage of the USA PATRIOT Act, but recent events signal that a qualitative acceleration of repressive measures are currently underway. These changes are slated to go into effect with the new fiscal year beginning October 1, and are subject neither to congressional oversight nor judicial review.

Bush allies in Congress kicked-off the summer with the shameful passage by the House and Senate of the FISA Amendments Act, an unconstitutional domestic spying bill that gutted Fourth Amendment protections. With broad consensus by both capitalist political parties, the FISA Act eliminates meaningful judicial oversight of state surveillance while granting virtual immunity to law-breaking telecoms.

Despite posturing by leading Democrats, including the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Sen. Barack Obama, the FISA legislation legalized the Bush administration’s warrantless wiretapping program and set the stage for further assaults on the right to privacy and dissent.

Further attacks were not long in coming.

In the last month alone, mainstream media have reported that the FBI illegally obtained the phone records of overseas journalists allegedly as part of a 2004 “terrorism investigation.”

Other reports documented how the Department of Homeland Security asserts the right to seize a traveler’s laptop and other electronic devices for an unspecified period of time and without probable cause.

Still other reports revealed that the administration has expanded the power of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) to issue “overarching policies and procedures” and to coordinate “priorities” with foreign intelligence services that target American citizens and legal residents.

And on Wednesday, The Washington Post exposed how the federal government has used “its system of border checkpoints to greatly expand a database on travelers entering the country by collecting information on all U.S. citizens crossing by land, compiling data that will be stored for 15 years and may be used in criminal and intelligence investigations.” Ellen Nakashima writes,

The disclosure of the database is among a series of notices, officials say, to make DHS’s data gathering more transparent. Critics say the moves exemplify efforts by the Bush administration in its final months to cement an unprecedented expansion of data gathering for national security and intelligence purposes. (“Citizens’ U.S. Border Crossings Tracked,” The Washington Post, August 20, 2008)

The Post also revealed that the information will be linked to a new database, the Non-Federal Entity Data System, “which is being set up to hold personal information about all drivers in a state’s database.” Posted at the Government Printing Office’s website, the notice states that the information may even be shared with federal contractors or consultants “to accomplish an agency function related to this system of records.”

But perhaps the most controversial move towards increasing the federal government’s surveillance powers were unveiled by the Justice Department in late July. According to The Washington Post, “a new domestic spying measure…would make it easier for state and local police to collect intelligence about Americans, share the sensitive data with federal agencies and retain it for at least 10 years.”

New rules for police intelligence-gathering would apply to any of the 18,000 state and local police agencies that receive some $1.6 billion each year in federal grants. These proposed changes, as with other administration measures, were quietly published July 31 in the Federal Register.

The McClatchy Washington Bureau reported August 13, that Mukasey confirmed plans to “loosen post-Watergate restrictions on the FBI’s national security and criminal investigations,” under cover of improving the Bureau’s “ability to detect terrorists.” Marisa Taylor wrote,

Mukasey said he expected criticism of the new rules because “they expressly authorize the FBI to engage in intelligence collection inside the United States.” However, he said the criticism would be misplaced because the bureau has long had authority to do so.

Mukasey said the new rules “remove unnecessary barriers” to cooperation between law enforcement agencies and “eliminate the artificial distinctions” in the way agents conduct surveillance in criminal and national security investigations. (“FBI to Get Freer Rein to Look for Terrorism Suspects,” McClatchy Washington Bureau, August 13, 2008)

While the Justice Department’s draft proposals have been selectively leaked to the media, and DoJ is expected to release its final version of the changes within a few weeks, even then the bulk of these modifications will remain classified on grounds of “national security.”

Under the new regulatory regime proposed by Mukasey, state and local police would be given free rein to target groups as well as individuals, and to launch criminal intelligence investigations based on the “suspicion” that a target is “engaged in terrorism.” The results of such investigations could be shared “with a constellation of federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies, and others in many cases,” according to Post reporters Spencer S. Hsu and Carrie Johnson.

With probable cause tossed overboard, domestic intelligence as envisaged by the Bush Justice Department is little more than a fishing expedition intended to cast a wide driftnet over Americans’ constitutional rights, reducing guarantees of free speech and assembly to banal pieties mouthed by state propagandists.

These changes are intended to lock-in Bush regime surveillance programs such as warrantless internet and phone wiretapping, data mining, the scattershot issuance of top secret National Security Letters to seize financial and other personal records, as well as expanding a security index of individuals deemed “terrorist threats” by the corporatist state.

Simultaneous with the release of new DoJ domestic spying guidelines, the Bush administration’s “modernization” of Reagan-era Executive Order 12333, as The Washington Post delicately puts it, also calls for intensified sharing of intelligence information with local law enforcement agencies.

In addition to consolidating power within the ODNI, E.O. 12333 revisions direct the CIA “and other spy agencies,” in a clear violation of the Agency’s charter, to “provide specialized equipment, technical knowledge or assistance of expert personnel” to state and local authorities.

The latest moves to expand executive power follow close on the heels of other orders and rule changes issued by the Bush regime. As researcher and analyst Michel Chossudovsky reported in June, the Orwellian National Security Presidential Directive 59/Homeland Security Presidential Directive 24 (NSPD 59/HSPD 24), entitled “Biometrics for Identification and Screening to Enhance National Security,” is directed against U.S. citizens. Chossudovsky wrote,

NSPD 59 goes far beyond the issue of biometric identification, it recommends the collection and storage of “associated biographic” information, meaning information on the private lives of US citizens, in minute detail, all of which will be “accomplished within the law.”

The directive uses 9/11 as an all encompassing justification to wage a witch hunt against dissenting citizens, establishing at the same time an atmosphere of fear and intimidation across the land.

It also calls for the integration of various data banks as well as inter-agency cooperation in the sharing of information, with a view to eventually centralizing the information on American citizens. (“Big Brother” Presidential Directive: “Biometrics for Identification and Screening to Enhance National Security,” Global Research, June 11, 2008)

Indeed, NSPD 59/HSPD 24 creates the framework for expanding the definition of who is a “terrorist” to include other categories of individuals “who may pose a threat to national security.”

In addition to al Qaeda and other far-right Islamist terror groups, many of whom have served as a cat’s paw for Western intelligence agencies in the Middle East, Central and South Asia, and the Balkans, NSPD 59/HSPD 24 has identified two new categories of individuals as potential threats: “Radical groups” and “disgruntled employees.”

In other words, domestic anarchist and socialist organizations as well as labor unions acting on behalf of their members’ rights, now officially fall under the panoptic lens of federal intelligence agencies and the private security contractors who staff the 16 separate agencies that comprise the U.S. “intelligence community.”

These moves represent nothing less than an attempt by the Bush administration to return to the days of COINTELPRO when the Bureau, acting in concert with state and local police “red squads” targeted the left for destruction.

“After 9/11, the gloves come off”

Since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the U.S. national security state has ramped-up its repressive machinery, targeting millions of Americans through broad surveillance programs across a multitude of state and private intelligence agencies.

While the FBI, CIA, NSA, the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) may be the federal “tip of the spear” of current intelligence operations, they certainly are not alone when it comes to domestic spying.

Outsourced contractors from communications, defense and security corporations such as AT&T, Booz Allen Hamilton, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Verizon Communications, Northrop Grumman, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), L-3 Communications, CACI International and many more, have collaborated with Bush regime war criminals in fashioning a hypermodern, high-tech police state.

That these corporations have staked-out “homeland security” as a niche market to expand their operations has been explored by Antifascist Calling in numerous articles. As I have previously reported, it is estimated that some 70% of the personnel employed by U.S. intelligence agencies are now private contractors holding top secret and above security clearances.

Unaccountable actors virtually beyond congressional scrutiny, outsourced intelligence agents first and foremost are employees answerable to corporate managers and boards of directors, not the American people or their representatives. Chiefly concerned with inflating profit margins by overselling the “terrorist threat,” the incestuous relationships amongst corporate grifters and a diminished “public sector” demonstrate the precarious state of democratic norms and institutions in the U.S.

New rules governing FBI counterintelligence investigations will allow the Bureau to run informants for the purpose of infiltrating organizations deemed “subversive” by federal snoops. Many of the worst abuses under COINTELPRO, the CIA’s Operation CHAOS and the U.S. Army’s deployment of Military Intelligence Groups (MIGs) for illegal domestic operations during the 1960s, employed neofascists as infiltrators and as nascent death squads.

While the Bureau may have eschewed close collaboration with fascist gangs, will sophisticated, high-tech private security corporations now play a similar role in Bureau counterintelligence and domestic security operations?

If history is any judge, the answer inevitably will be “yes.”

Currently equipping the “intelligence community” with electronic specialists, network managers, software designers and analysts, will defense and security corporations bulk-up the Bureau and related agencies with “plausibly deniable” ex-military and intelligence assets for targeted infiltration and “disruption” of domestic antiwar and anticapitalist groups?

It can’t happen here? Why its happening already! As investigative journalist James Ridgeway revealed in April, a private security firm,

organized and managed by former Secret Service officers spied on Greenpeace and other environmental organizations from the late 1990s through at least 2000, pilfering documents from trash bins, attempting to plant undercover operatives within groups, casing offices, collecting phone records of activists, and penetrating confidential meetings. According to company documents provided to Mother Jones by a former investor in the firm, this security outfit collected confidential internal records–donor lists, detailed financial statements, the Social Security numbers of staff members, strategy memos—from these organizations and produced intelligence reports for public relations firms and major corporations involved in environmental controversies. (“Cops and Former Secret Service Agents Ran Black Ops on Green Groups,” Mother Jones, April 11, 2008)

The firm, Beckett Brown International (later called S2i) provided a range of services for corporate clients. According to Ridgeway, the private snoops engaged in “intelligence collection” for Allied Waste; conducted background checks and “performed due diligence” for the Carlyle Group; handled “crisis management” for the Gallo wine company and Pirelli; engaged in “information collection” for Wal-Mart. Also listed as BBI/S2i records as clients were Halliburton and Monsanto.

Mike German, a former FBI agent and whistleblower who is now the policy counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union, said that once proposed changes are implemented, police may collect intelligence even when no underlying crime is suspected. This is nothing less than “preemptive policing” and a recipe for tightening the screws on dissent. The Post averred,

German, an FBI agent for 16 years, said easing established limits on intelligence-gathering would lead to abuses against peaceful political dissenters. In addition to the Maryland case [that targeted antiwar and death penalty opponents], he pointed to reports in the past six years that undercover New York police officers infiltrated protest groups before the 2004 Republican National Convention; that California state agents eavesdropped on peace, animal rights and labor activists; and that Denver police spied on Amnesty International and others before being discovered.

“If police officers no longer see themselves as engaged in protecting their communities from criminals and instead as domestic intelligence agents working on behalf of the CIA, they will be encouraged to collect more information,” German said. “It turns police officers into spies on behalf of the federal government.” (Spencer S. Hsu and Carrie Johnson, “U.S. May Ease Police Spy Rules,” The Washington Post, August 16, 2008)

In a related report on Fusion Centers, that German coauthored with Jay Staley for the ACLU, they documented how so-called “counterterrorist” national collection agencies are “characterized by ambiguous lines of authority, excessive secrecy, troubling private-sector and military participation, and an apparent bent toward suspicionless information collection and data mining.”

As I reported earlier this month, citing research from German and Staley’s report, U.S. Marine Corps officers, enlisted personnel and an analyst with U.S. NORTHCOM, pilfered intelligence files and shared them with private defense contractors in hope of securing future employment.

Money talks, particularly in a political culture where the business of government is, after all, business!

With little oversight from a compliant Congress, and an “opposition” party in league with their “constituents”–multinational corporate grifters out to make a buck–the final nails are being hammered into the coffin of America’s former democratic Republic.

Tom Burghardt is a researcher and activist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. In addition to publishing in Covert Action Quarterly, Love & Rage and Antifa Forum, he is the editor of Police State America: U.S. Military “Civil Disturbance” Planning, distributed by AK Press.

Making a Killing: The Military-Industrial Complex and Impacts on the Third World

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Making a Killing: The Military-Industrial Complex and Impacts on the Third World

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Written by Aziz Choudry
Wednesday, 20 August 2008

The Military and the Monetary,

they get together whenever they think its necessary,

they’ve turned our brothers and sisters into mercenaries,

they are turning the planet, into a cemetery

(Gil Scott-Heron) [1]

In the late 1990s, well before Bush’s ‘war on terror’, New Zealand TV screened a particularly awful US action drama called ‘Soldier of Fortune Inc.’, about an elite team (composed of former US Marines, Delta Force, CIA, British SAS personnel) who performed ‘unofficial’ covert missions for the US Government. They would get a briefcase full of money from a shadowy military liaison and head to the Middle East, Latin America, Haiti, or the Balkans, or smoke out foreign agents and assorted enemies within the USA, missions for which Washington could claim plausible deniability because none were active duty soldiers. It was a dirty job, but someone had to do it to keep ‘US democracy’ safe, for a price. Sounds familiar? In the late 1990s, well before Bush’s ‘war on terror’, New Zealand TV screened a particularly awful US action drama called ‘Soldier of Fortune Inc.’, about an elite team (composed of former US Marines, Delta Force, CIA, British SAS personnel) who performed ‘unofficial’ covert missions for the US Government. They would get a briefcase full of money from a shadowy military liaison and head to the Middle East, Latin America, Haiti, or the Balkans, or smoke out foreign agents and assorted enemies within the USA, missions for which Washington could claim plausible deniability because none were active duty soldiers. It was a dirty job, but someone had to do it to keep ‘US democracy’ safe, for a price. Sounds familiar? Truth is indeed sometimes stranger than fiction, and the onscreen adventures of this squad of special operations and intelligence experts pale into insignificance when held up against reality.
We live and struggle in an era of blatantly militarized capitalism and the violence of capital. War, occupation, national security ideologies and repression of dissent –at home and abroad – make for booming business opportunities the world over. As pro-free market US journalist Thomas Friedman succinctly put it: “The hidden hand of the market will never work without a hidden fist – McDonald’s cannot flourish without McDonnell Douglas, the builder of the F-15. And the hidden fist that keeps the world safe for Silicon Valley’s technologies is called the United States Army, Air Force and Marine Corps.”[2]
Militarized capitalism: The military-industrial complex in 2008
What is the military-industrial complex in 2008? Where is it? What does it look like? I am not even sure if the phrase, used so famously by former US president Dwight Eisenhower[3] in 1961 is the best descriptor to encompass the many tentacles and facets of the war and security industry and the links and connections between capital and its political allies. Do terms like ‘defence industry’ and ‘arms trade’ adequately encompass the face of today’s war profiteers, whose devastating impacts can equally be found in the high-tech apartheid wall being built by Israel to seal off the West Bank and Gaza[4], and its Western Hemispheric counterpart on the US-Mexico border[5], in the computer flight simulation programs provided to US and British military by Canada’s CAE[6], in private corporate mercenary armies like Blackwater, DynCorp and Aegis[7] in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere[8], in the outsourced intelligence, IT, interrogation and translation services of L-3/Titan[9], in the massive military aid budgets which the US gives to the governments of Israel, Pakistan, Egypt and Colombia[10], among others, and in the ‘hearts and minds’ operations of US Special Operations Forces based in the Philippines doing ‘humanitarian work’ – medical, dental and other social services, including infrastructure projects in many remote communities in Mindanao[11]- services which should be the function of a government, as much as it is in weapons production and arms exports.
Like all transnational corporations, these companies enjoy both patronage and revolving door relationships with the highest echelons of governments and their armed forces, tax breaks, support for exports, and all kinds of other incentives which help them to focus firmly on their bottom line – profit. US administrations, regardless of their party allegiance, brim with politicians with investments and business interests in the defence industry and war profiteers, perhaps most vividly symbolized by Dick Cheney’s ties to Halliburton and its multi-billion-dollar contracts to provide construction, hospitality, and other services to the US military after the invasion of Iraq in 2003[12]. But it is business as usual for US militarized capitalism. An April 2008 Centre for Responsive Politics report states that US Congress members invested US $196 million of their own money in companies that receive hundreds of millions of dollars a day from Pentagon contracts to provide goods and services to US armed forces, ranging from aircraft and weapons manufacturers to producers of medical supplies and soft drinks.[13] To cite a couple of typical revolving door examples, the General Dynamics board of directors includes an ex-Vice Chief of US Army staff, a former US Air Force General, a former Chief of Naval Operations in the US Navy, and a former Chief of Defence Procurement at the British Ministry of Defence[14], while Canada’s CAE’s current and former executives include a former Canadian deputy minister for international trade and foreign affairs, and former PM Brian Mulroney’s head of staff[15].
Hired Guns, Big Bucks, No Rules
Private armies hired by governments and companies are not new. The British East India company hired private mercenaries to fight proxy wars and gain control over India[16]. But the exponential growth, sophistication and globalization of private security industry contractors like Blackwater and DynCorp, both of which derive well over 90% of their business from US government contracts, is striking. If regular soldiers often literally get away with murder, how much more so for private mercenaries given the lack of any oversight of their activities, under no effective regulatory regimes, although they are contracted by governments and paid out of public funds? They operate with impunity and immunity. They recruit and deploy former military and police from around the world, some of them veterans of the most repressive military forces in the world[17]. On their website, Blackwater, whose contract with the US State Department was recently renewed[18] despite outrage at one of many incidents in which their guards shot and killed 17 Iraqi civilians in Nisour Square, Baghdad, last September[19], claim: “We treat others with the highest degree of dignity, equal opportunity and trust. We respect the cultures and beliefs of people around the world”[20]. On the ground, “Blackwater has no respect for the Iraqi people,” an Iraqi Interior Ministry official told a Washington Post reporter in 2007[21]. “They consider Iraqis like animals, although actually I think they may have more respect for animals. We have seen what they do in the streets. When they’re not shooting, they’re throwing water bottles at people and calling them names. If you are terrifying a child or an elderly woman, or you are killing an innocent civilian who is riding in his car, isn’t that terrorism?”
All dollars, no sense
A February 2008 Center for Arms Control and Non-proliferation report notes that, adjusted for inflation, the Pentagon budget for fiscal year (FY) 2009 is the largest since World War II – US $ 515.4 billion[22]: more even than during the Vietnam and Korean wars, or the peak of Reagan’s Cold War spending. The US spends more than the next 45 highest spending countries in the world combined, accounts for 48% of the world’s total military spending, 5.8 times more than China, 10.2 times more than Russia, and 98.6 times more than Iran. The same report cites US Office of Management and Budget estimates that total annual funding for the Defense Department alone will grow to $546 billion by FY 2013 – a conservative estimate. Total Pentagon spending, not including funding for the Department of Energy or for actual combat operations for the period FY’09 through FY’13 will reach $2.6 trillion. Last year, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)[23] estimated that world military expenditure in 2006 reached US $1204 billion – a 3.5 % increase in real terms since 2005, and a 37% increase over the 10-year period since 1997. In 2006, the 15 countries with the highest spending accounted for 83% of the world total.
While the US military-industrial complex and military spending dwarfs the rest of the world, it has had a multiplier effect on other countries, coupled with its military aid packages and global ‘security’ hysteria. Japan’s government recently announced major military upgrades while South Korea, China, and Russia have all increased military spending[24]. 2008 is a record year for Israeli defence spending[25]. By 2006, four of the world’s 100 top arms production firms were Israeli: Israel Aircraft Industries, Israel Military Industries, Elbit Systems and Rafael[26]. An October 2007 CBC report, based on customs data only on exports specifically for military use, found that between 2000 and 2006, Canada’s arms exports rose 3.5 times, during which time Canada, the world’s sixth-biggest supplier, exported CDN $3.6 billion in military goods. But there is little transparency on arms control, and the true picture of Canadian military exports is hard to track since the federal government has not released annual reports providing detailed information covering the years since 2002 to Parliament. A former subsidiary of Montreal-based SNC Lavalin, SNC Tec, for example, manufactures small arms ammunition for US military (SNC Tec was sold in 2006 to General Dynamics, after antiwar activists highlighted the Canadian corporate connection to bullets fired from US guns in Iraq)[27].
A license to kill: The façade of arms control
Identifying and tracking the many tentacles of the weapons and agents of mass destruction is frustratingly difficult. For all of the criticisms of Third World governments’ secrecy and lack of transparency in terms of defence spending and military operations, so many loopholes exist in so-called First World countries with regard to arms control. For example, most military shipments from Canada to the US go untracked, since they do not require government permits because of a defence agreement signed between Ottawa and Washington in the 1940s. Some critics have noted that the export licencing requirements are so minimal that it is possible that some of that equipment moves to third parties[28].
Some EU governments have undermined, bypassed or ignored national export criteria and the EU code of conduct on arms exports. Spain and other countries (including Britain, and of course the US) have authorized transfers of equipment and other assistance to Colombia into the hands of state security forces and paramilitaries who have committed major human rights abuses. Italian-made small arms have also been shipped to countries in conflict or where violations of human rights occur, including Algeria, Colombia, Eritrea, Indonesia, India, Israel, Kazakhstan, Nigeria, Pakistan and Sierra Leone[29]. British activist and writer Mark Thomas[30] illustrates how British high-tech company Radstone does not require a licence to export supplies the computer components comprising the “brains” of the Predator drone, an unmanned Aerial vehicle produced by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, which was used by the CIA to fire missile strikes at Yemen against Al-Qaeda suspects in 2002, in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan in 2006, in an attack killing possibly up to 25 people including 5 women and 5 children, and more recently in the same region of Pakistan. British researcher Anna Stavrianakis[31] argues that “[r]ather than acting to restrict arms exports, the guidelines against which arms export licence applications are assessed are vague and interpreted in such a way as to facilitate exports”. She continues, “the pro-export stance of successive UK governments, the close relationship they have with the arms industry, and the emphasis on military power as an indicator of prestige on the world stage, must all be challenged, as they form the parameters within which licensing occurs”.
According to a 2006 Amnesty International[32] report, over 200 Chinese military trucks – normally running on US Cummins diesel engines – were shipped to Sudan in August 2005, despite a US arms embargo on both countries and the involvement of similar vehicles in killing and abducting civilians in Darfur. Chinese military hardware is shipped regularly to Burma, including the 2005 supply of 400 military trucks to Myanmar’s army. Chinese military exports went to Nepal in 2005 and early 2006, including a supply of Chinese-made rifles and grenades to Nepalese security forces, who were brutally repressing people’s movements. China is also implicated in the growing illicit trade in Chinese-made Norinco pistols in Australia, Malaysia, Thailand and particularly South Africa, often used for crimes like robbery and rape.
Militarized repression of dissent and imperialist globalization
Many governments, from the Philippines to India to Colombia, are waging overt or covert wars against resistance movements and government opponents, fostering a climate of fear in which arms and equipment are used for containing domestic dissent and security crackdowns against ‘enemies within’ – resistance movements of the poor, mobilizations of women, Indigenous Peoples, the landless, peasants, and workers, movements against free trade agreements and neoliberal reforms. Conflicts over land and inequitable access to resources are fuelled and exacerbated by the militarization of corporate activities such as mining, oil, gas, industrial farming and forestry industries. For example, a US District court judge has agreed that there is evidence showing that Chevron paid and equipped Nigerian military and police to shoot and torture protesters opposing the oil company’s activities in the Niger Delta region[33]. Freeport McMoran paid Indonesian military, police and private security forces who attacked local communities around its Grasberg gold and copper mine in West Papua[34]. And let’s not forget how the founder and chief executive of Aegis, former British Army Lt. Col. Tim Spicer[35] was also founder of Sandline, another mercenary company contracted by the Papua New Guinea government over a decade ago for US $36 million for an ill-fated attempt to put down an indigenous independence movement in Bougainville, which had shut down the huge copper mine at Panguna, owned by a subsidiary of Rio Tinto[36]. The military and the monetary, indeed.
As Uruguayan analyst/journalist Raul Zibechi notes, urban peripheries in Third World countries have also become war zones where states attempt to maintain order based on the establishment of a sort of ‘sanitary cordon’ to keep the poor isolated from ‘normal’ society[37]. Such militarized containment of the poor reflects political and economic elites’ fear of challenges to state power from poor urban movements. The systematic undermining of states’ capacities to provide for the welfare of their populations, coupled with the disproportionate percentage of national budgets spent on the military militarization has fuelled poverty and conflict.
Kollsman, Inc. a New Hampshire-based subsidiary of Elbit, an Israeli firm involved with building the apartheid wall in occupied Palestine, was contracted by the Department of Homeland Security[38] as part of a consortium that also includes Boeing subsidiary Boeing Integrated Defense Systems Unit to develop SBInet, a high-tech security system for the U.S.-Mexico (and US-Canada) borders, part of the Secure Border Initiative[39]. As New York-based activist groups Ad Hoc Coalition for Justice in the Middle East and Desis Rising Up & Moving (DRUM) put it, “Elbit will import Israeli military technology, tested on Palestinians, for use against poor immigrants here.”[40]
Militarization and enforceable free-market disciplines are tools to make countries ‘safe’ for foreign investors, at the expense of local communities’ rights to determine their own futures[41]. World Trade Organization (WTO) agreements undermine social and environmental policies, but protect the war industry through a ‘security exception’ in the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) (Article XXI)[42]. The security exception states that a country cannot be stopped from taking any action it considers necessary to protect its essential security interests; actions ‘relating to the traffic in arms, ammunition and implements of war and such traffic in other goods and materials as is carried on directly for the purpose of supplying a military establishment (or) taken in time of war or other emergency in international relations’. While structural adjustment and trade and investment liberalization are being imposed throughout the Asia-Pacific region and beyond, health, education, and social budgets slashed, and support for most local industries or agriculture dismantled, corporate welfare and subsidies to the defence industry, and high levels of military spending remains alive and well.
Capitalist killing machines get gender-sensitive makeover: Women resist
The burden of war, conflict, violence and militarized capitalism falls disproportionately on women. The impacts of women can be seen not only in conflict zones but through the proliferation of small arms and the creeping militarization of communities and societies at large, leading to more violence against women in domestic and community contexts, rapes, sexual violence, displacement and the exaltation of warrior masculinities. Women are more likely to become war refugees. Unsurprisingly then, it has also been women who have led resistance against militarization, war and violence, US military bases and the accompanying masculinization of broader society and social behaviour. It is usually women who pick up the pieces in communities ripped apart by war, violence and state repression. Cynthia Enloe notes that social workers who address issues of domestic violence “agree that military service is probably more conducive to violence at home than at any other occupation”[43]. Meanwhile, we are subjected to constant claims that a primary goal of the US-led invasion and occupation of Afghanistan is to liberate Afghani women. Commenting on this, Sunera Thobani notes, “one battle in the ideological war was to be waged on the terrain of gender relations, … rallying western populations around fantasies of saving Muslim women would be more effective than rallying them around the overtly imperialist policies of securing US control over oil and natural gas supplies.”[44]
Just as purported humanitarian concerns are wheeled out as justifications for thinly-veiled imperialist wars over resources[45], military contractors and war profiteering corporations portray themselves as inclusive, socially progressive and gender-sensitive. On their corporate websites, these corporations’ core business is painted over with a cosmetic veneer that could cause us to forget that it is for war and killing people. For example, Pentagon contractors like Northrop Grumman boast of their “workforce diversity”[46] and showcase their women executives. The Canadian and US defence industries have set up organizations like Women in Defence and Security (WiDS)[47], signed memorandums of understanding with Canada’s Department of National Defence, and are affiliated with the Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries (CADSI)[48], an industry-led association of more than 550 member firms in the defence and security industries in Canada to “promote the advancement of women leaders in defence and security professions across Canada”. Raytheon, the maker of “Bunker Buster” bombs, Tomahawk and Patriot missiles, lobbed at Afghanistan and Iraq[49], causing many deaths, proclaims: “Diversity at Raytheon is about inclusiveness — providing an atmosphere where everyone feels valued and empowered to perform at a peak level, regardless of the many ways people are different”[50]. Virginia-based Booz Allen Hamilton[51], one of the biggest suppliers of technology and personnel to US government spy agencies like the CIA, NSA, Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA), as well as the US Department of Defence and Department of Homeland Security (former CIA director R. James Woolsey is now a senior vice president of Booz Allen), also boasts how it is committed to diversity in the workforce “because we believe that diversity of backgrounds contributes to different ideas, which in turn drives better results for clients. To us, diversity means all the ways individuals differ from one another—race, gender, ethnicity, physical abilities, educational background, country of origin, age, sexual orientation, skills, income, marital status, parental status, religion, work experience, and military service”. Then there is Aegis Defence Services[52] whose employees were caught on video randomly shooting automatic weapons at civilian cars in Baghdad’s airport road[53], which claims “Our equal-opportunity policy emphasizes our aim to create a work environment that is inclusive and non-discriminatory, where all employees are empowered by their individuality and encouraged to use it in order to achieve success”. Greenwashing environmentally destructive corporations is despicable enough. Yet there is something particularly obscene about the ways in which these corporations hide behind such mission and values statements and commitments to “diversity”, complementing the claims of the militaries in Afghanistan to be liberating Afghani women.
Conclusion
Many NGOs campaign for instruments like a Global Arms Trade Treaty. But when we see the spectrum of industries and political actors which benefit from militarized capitalism, and the way in which the US, Israel, and other leading producers and users of cluster munitions refused to attend the May 2008 Dublin Diplomatic Conference on Cluster Munitions which adopted an international treaty banning cluster munitions that cause unacceptable harm to civilians[54], it should be clear that we must go beyond these strategies to confront the system that underpins obscene profits for a few, at the expense of the many, through military contracting and war profiteering. That system is capitalism. Those of us who research must continue to expose and oppose militarization and the violence of capitalism in all its forms, in our communities, nationally and internationally. In doing so we need to support, build and sustain mass movements that understand the interconnectedness of war, neoliberal globalization, corporate profits, the repression of dissent, “peacekeeping”, “reconstruction”, the criminalization and militarization of immigration, violence against women, and colonialism.
Notes
1 Gil Scott-Heron. Work For Peace. Taken from the album Spirits, TVT Records, 1994.
2 Thomas Friedman, 28 March 1999, New York Times Magazine, Manifesto for the fast world
3 http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/cold.war/episodes/12/documents/eisenhower.speech/
4 See http://stopthewall.org
5 BBC News. US-Mexico ‘virtual fence’ ready. 23 February 2008. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7260179.stm
6 http://www.cae.com
7 Jackie Northam. U.K. Firm awarded largest Iraq security contract. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=14586525
8 For example, DynCorp’s employees in Colombia contracting to the US State Department in its so-called War on Drugs, have engaged as combatants in counterinsurgency operations against rebels (see http://www.colombiajournal.org/colombia19.htm). A number of DynCorp employees and supervisors contracted to UN peacekeeping operations in the Balkans were involved with forced prostitution rings, including children. (see Kelly Patricia O’Meara. US: DynCorp Disgrace. Insight Magazine. 14 January 2002, http://www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=11119)
9 Pratap Chatterjee. Outsourcing Intelligence in Iraq: A report on L-3/Titan. CorpWatch. 29 April 2008. http://www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=15017; Titan, one of the civilian contractors employed by the Pentagon and whose employees were involved in the abuse of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib. See, for example, Peter Beaumont, Abu Ghraib abuse firms are rewarded. The Observer, 16 January 2005. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2005/jan/16/usa.iraq
10 Center for Public Integrity. http://www.publicintegrity.org/militaryaid/
11 Roland Simbulan. U.S. Military Forces: Negotiated Subservience by an Illegitimate Government. Bulatlat. Vol. VIII, No. 5, March 2-8, 2008. http://www.bulatlat.com/2008/03/u-s-military-forces-negotiated-subservience-illegitimate-government
12 http://www.corpwatch.org/article.php?list=type&type=15
13 http://www.opensecrets.org/news/2008/04/strategic-assets.html
14 http://investing.businessweek.com/research/stocks/people/board.asp?symbol=GD
15 Richard Sanders. We Didn’t Really Say “No” to Missile Defence.
http://www.policyalternatives.ca/MonitorIssues/2006/10/MonitorIssue1457/
16 Tim Spicer, Founder and CEO of Aegis, (which holds the largest single security contract in Iraq), who prefers the term ‘private military company’ to ‘mercenary’, approvingly cites this as historical model as a precedent for soldiers of fortune today. See Tim Spicer. (1999). An Unorthodox Soldier: Peace and War and the Sandline Affair. Edinburgh: Mainstream Publishing.
17 These include former Chilean, South African, Bosnian, Filipino, Salvadoran and Colombian soldiers and police. Bill Berkowitz. Mercenaries ‘R’ Us. AlterNet. 24 March 2004.http://www.alternet.org/waroniraq/18193/; Danna Harman. Firms tap Latin Americans for Iraq. Christian Science Monitor, 3 March 2005.http://www.csmonitor.com/2005/0303/p06s02-woam.html
18 James Risen. Iraq Contractor in Shooting Case makes comeback. New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/10/world/middleeast/10blackwater.html?ref=middleeast
19 CNN. Blackwater incident witness: “It was hell”. http://www.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/meast/10/02/blackwater.witness/index.html
20 Blackwater Worldwide. Company Core Values. http://www.blackwaterusa.com/company_profile/core_values.html
21 Steve Fainaru. Where Military Rules Don’t Apply. Washington Post. 20 September 2007. http://www.pulitzer.org/year/2008/international-reporting/works/fainaru05.html
22 Christopher Hellman and Travis Sharp. Center for Arms Control and Non-proliferation. Fiscal Year 2009 Pentagon Spending Request Briefing Book
http://www.armscontrolcenter.org/policy/securityspending/articles/fy09_dod_request/
23 http://yearbook2007.sipri.org/chap8
24 John Feffer. Asia’s Hidden Arms Race. 16 February 2008. http://www.alternet.org/story/77225/
25 Another record year for defence spending in 2008. Haaretz, 28 December 2007. http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/939217.html
26 http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/POL34/006/2006/en/dom-POL340062006en.html
27 SNC Unloads its ammunition unit. Montreal Gazette. 24 February 2006. http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/news/business/story.html?id=b1770c43-b9f8-4c6e-bef4-386f75347dd0
28 Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). News In Depth: Arming The World. http://www.cbc.ca/news/background/arming-the-world/
29 Helen Hughes. Europe’s Deadly Business. Le Monde Diplomatique, 11 June 2006. http://mondediplo.com/2006/06/11armscontrol
30 Mark Thomas (2006). As used on the famous Nelson Mandela. Reading: Ebury Press.
31 Anna Stavrianakis (2008).The façade of arms control http://www.caat.org.uk/publications/government/facade-2008-02.php
32 Amnesty International. China: Sustaining conflict and human rights abuses. June 2006.
33 Constance Ikokwu. Chevron to Face Trial in U.S. Over Nigeria Killings. This Day (Lagos). 16 August 2007. http://allafrica.com/stories/200708160007.html
34 Down To Earth. (May 2003). Military protection funds exposed. http://dte.gn.apc.org/57Frp.htm
35 http://www.aegisworld.com/index.php/tim-spicer
36 Roger Moody. The Mercenary Miner. Multinational Monitor. June 1997 http://www.multinationalmonitor.org/hyper/mm0697.09.html
37 The Militarization of the World’s Urban Peripheries, Americas Policy Program Special Report (Washington, DC: Center for International Policy, http://americas.irc-online.org/am/4954
38 Kollsman, Inc. Kollsman to Participate in Homeland Security’s SBInet Program Boeing Team Member to Show Technologies at Border Management Summit, Oct. 23-25. Press release, 31 October 2006
http://www.kollsman.com/company/news/pr_10312006.asp
39 http://www.boeing.com/defense-space/sbinet/index.html
40 http://nyc.indymedia.org/en/2006/11/78913.shtml
41 Aziz Choudry. (2003). War, Globalization and the WTO: Forever New Frontiers. Third World Network. http://www.twnside.org.sg/title/twr151n.htm
42 General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, art. XXI, Oct. 30, 1947, 61 Stat. A-ll, 55 U.N.T.S. 194
43 Cynthia Enloe. (1983). Does Khaki Become You? London: Pluto, p.87.
44 Sunera Thobani. (2007). Exalted subjects: Studies in the making of race and nation in Canada. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, p.218.
45 See, for example, Jean Bricmont. (2006). Humanitarian Imperialism: Using human rights to sell war. New York: Monthly Review Press, and Sherene Razack (2004). Dark Threats and White Knights: The Somalia Affair, peacekeeping and the new imperialism. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
46 http://www.northropgrumman.com/diversity/workforce.html
47 http://www.wids.ca/
48 http://www.defenceandsecurity.ca/
49 http://www.corpwatch.org/article.php?list=type&type=13
50 http://www.raytheon.com/diversity/
51 http://www.boozallen.com/careers/a_great_place_to_work/diversity
52 http://www.aegisworld.com
53 War On Want. Corporate mercenaries. http://www.waronwant.org/Corporate+Mercenaries+13275.twl
54 Christian Science Monitor, 30 May 2008. Global cluster-bomb ban draws moral line in the sand. http://www.csmonitor.com/2008/0530/p04s06-woeu.html

Harsh words: but true

Harsh words: but true

Seth Freedman

During a recent stay with a Palestinian family in the West Bank, I found myself in their basement, watching the news with two of my host’s sons. The week’s events had been particularly violent, with fierce clashes between the Israel defence forces (IDF) and villagers in the town of Nilin, where we were now sitting, as well as reports of a home-made rocket being fired by settlers in the direction of a Palestinian community nearby.

The mood in the house was tense, with both brothers nervous about the possible repercussions for their village after the morning’s hostilities, and they kept a keen eye on the screen as they watched footage of the bloody confrontation being broadcast. For my benefit, the older brother tuned to the English version of al-Aqsa TV, a channel launched by Hamas in 2006 as part of its campaign to counter what it saw as Israeli propaganda in the western media.

“Zionist colonisers launched a missile [at a Palestinian town]”, announced the stony-faced presenter as he reported on the settlers’ rocket attack. Moving on, he informed viewers of plans for “the Zionist colony of Har Homa to expand”, before relaying news that “Zionist occupying forces wounded seven in Nilin”. Suitably gory images of injured Palestinians were beamed out in accompaniment, and we watched in silence as the unending litany of injustices was recounted in the newsreader’s sombre tones.

The news was interrupted by a commercial break, consisting of a lengthy sequence in which images of Palestine were displayed, with a voiceover delivering an impassioned appeal for viewers to join the resistance. “Palestine calls to you. Support me. Liberate me. I am your mother, and you are my sons”, read the narrator, before cutting to a final, heartfelt declaration: “Palestine: the love word; the heart of the world.”

As the news began rolling once more, all I could concentrate on was the language employed, rather than the stories that were being reported. The abandoning of western media parlance – “Israel”, “IDF”, “settlers”, and so on – in favour of an entirely different lexicon was a rude awakening for me, having been fed on a vastly different diet over the years. However, the terms used weren’t in the slightest bit unusual to my host’s sons, and were indicative of how wide the gulf is between ordinary citizens on either side of the divide.

Supporters of Israel often recoil against what they see as a disproportionate amount of airtime given to the region in western media, as well as the alleged imbalance of the coverage, which is said to heavily favour the Palestinian cause. However, it would be wholly understandable if a viewer of al-Aqsa TV who tuned into any western station from the BBC to Sky News and beyond felt a mirror-image outrage simply because of the terms used to describe the conflict.

Merely mentioning settlers as though they were some kind of benign, pioneering entity, rather than out-and-out colonists, would doubtless set hackles rising throughout the Palestinian community. Referring to the Israeli army as a “defence” force, despite its predominantly occupying nature and activities, would be another thorn in the side of any Palestinian hoping for a modicum of understanding in the western media.

The language of war is yet another battleground upon which the two sides come to blows, as I have found time and again, ever since I began writing for Cif. Certain words are guaranteed to cause a violent explosion, derailing discussion threads and obscuring the message I have tried to get across in my articles. Calling a spade a spade becomes highly problematic in the minefield of the Israel-Palestine conflict.

Describing the situation in the West Bank as a form of apartheid causes offence to some, despite all the clear evidence justifying the term. The same people object to the wanton destruction meted out in villages by the IDF being likened to pogroms – the word having been somehow arrogated by certain Jewish people for their exclusive use, and only then in relation to the Jews’ own historical suffering.

Any comparison between the expansionist, racially-motivated policies of the Israeli government and similar experiments of ethnic supremacy throughout history are deluged beneath a swamp of derisory, indignant responses, as though pointing out the glaringly obvious is the antithesis of honest and reasonable debate. The self-righteous anger is no less vehement, nor any less keenly expressed, on the other side among those who balk at the Jewish state being referred to as Israel, or the Israeli army as the IDF.

While I understand how emotionally invested people (myself included) become when focusing on the conflict, we should not allow a situation where plainly-spoken facts are dismissed simply because the reader or viewer feels uncomfortable with the truth. Much as I flinched initially when sitting in the Palestinian family’s lounge hearing my country described in such incendiary language on the news, I could understand why they used those terms in their reports.

Settlers are colonisers, just as the IDF is a force engaged in occupation, and any attempt to try to paint the scenario otherwise is both disingenuous and deceitful. Anyone who feels that the western media is incorrigibly biased in favour of the Palestinians would do well to consider the entire spectrum of opinion on what constitutes fair reporting and honest language, before making such sweeping judgments. Because from where the Palestinians are sitting, under the yoke of occupation, the picture looks very different from the one Zionism’s supporters would have the world believe.

A Pundit Not a President

A Pundit Not a President

Posted by Max Bergmann

Matt Yglesias has a great post which really captures a key component of McCain’s foreign policy approach – it is rooted in hyperbolic rhetoric mixed with hysterical over reaction. As Matt describes it,

Not only is Russia on the march beyond Tbilisi to Ukraine, Finland, and substantial swathes of Poland but that’s not even the transcendent issue of our time. And North Korea’s nuclear program is “the greatest challenge to U.S. security and world stability today” but that’s not the transcendent issue of our time. And Islamism is the transcendent issue of our time, but not a serious international crisis or an especially great challenge to U.S. security and world stability. Now of course there’s no way to make sense of that, because it’s not supposed to make any kind of sense. McCain just thinks that overreacting is the right reaction to everything. It’s a hysteria-based foreign policy.

Each of those statements from McCain sound like they came from an excited media pundit. Well that’s because they did.

McCain’s approach and tone on foreign policy has always been more emblematic of a tv pundit rather than a sober president. While McCain has attacked Obama as the “celebrity” candidate, the fact is that a bad place to be over the last 25 years has been between John McCain and a TV camera. The New York Times on Sunday noted that one of the first things McCain did after 9-11 was go on just about every TV program – where he incidentally called for attacking about four countries. In its biographical series profiling the candidates the Times also noted that McCain was attracted to the celebrity of the Senate with one close associate noting that McCain “saw the glamour of it. I think he really got smitten with the celebrity of power.” McCain clearly enjoys being on television and he has been a constant commentator on the Sunday news shows and the evening talk news programs.

But TV appearances encourage sound bites, over-the-top rhetoric, and good one-liners, not reasoned and nuanced diplomatic language. This is especially true from guests who are not in the current administration, since you are less likely to get invited back on Face the Nation if you down play a crisis or take a boring nuanced position. Thus on almost every crisis or incident over the last decade, McCain has sounded the alarm, ratcheted up the rhetoric and often called for military action – with almost no regards to the practical implications of such an approach.

The big concern with a McCain presidency – a concern which I am surprised has not been vocalized more fully – is that the U.S. will lurch from crisis to crisis, confrontation to confrontation, whether it be with Iran, North Korea, Russia, Syria, Saudi Arabia, etc. The danger is that McCain’s pundit-like rhetoric will entrap the U.S. in descending spiral of foreign policy brinksmanship. Just think about the very likely scenario of McCain giving Iran/Russia a rhetorical ultimatum and Iran/Russia ignoring it. Now we are stuck – either we lose face by not following through on our threats or we follow through and go to war. We can’t afford such a reckless approach after the last eight years. For the next eight we need a president not a pundit.

Twilight of the Psychopaths

Twilight of the Psychopaths

by Dr. Kevin Barrett

Twilight of the Psychopaths

“Our society is run by insane people for insane objectives. I think we’re being run by maniacs for maniacal ends and I think I’m liable to be put away as insane for expressing that. That’s what’s insane about it.” – John Lennon, before his murder by CIA mind-control subject Mark David Chapman

When Gandhi was asked his opinion of Western civilization he said it would be a good idea. But that oft-cited quote, is misleading, assuming as it does that civilization is an unmitigated blessing.

Civilized people, we are told, live peacefully and cooperatively with their fellows, sharing the necessary labour in order to obtain the leisure to develop arts and sciences. And while that would be a good idea, it is not a good description of what has been going on in the so-called advanced cultures during the past 8,000 years.

Civilization, as we know it, is largely the creation of psychopaths. All civilizations, our own included, have been based on slavery and “warfare.” Incidentally, the latter term is a euphemism for mass murder.

The prevailing recipe for civilization is simple:

1) Use lies and brainwashing to create an army of controlled, systematic mass murderers;

2) Use that army to enslave large numbers of people (i.e. seize control of their labour power and its fruits);

3) Use that slave labour power to improve the brainwashing process (by using the economic surplus to employ scribes, priests, and PR men). Then go back to step one and repeat the process.

Psychopaths have played a disproportionate role in the development of civilization, because they are hard-wired to lie, kill, injure, and generally inflict great suffering on other humans without feeling any remorse. The inventor of civilization — the first tribal chieftain who successfully brainwashed an army of controlled mass murderers—was almost certainly a genetic psychopath. Since that momentous discovery, psychopaths have enjoyed a significant advantage over non-psychopaths in the struggle for power in civilizational hierarchies — especially military hierarchies.

Political Satire

Military institutions are tailor-made for psychopathic killers. The 5% or so of human males who feel no remorse about killing their fellow human beings make the best soldiers. And the 95% who are extremely reluctant to kill make terrible soldiers — unless they are brainwashed with highly sophisticated modern techniques that turn them (temporarily it is hoped) into functional psychopaths.

In On Killing, Lt. Col. Dave Grossman has re-written military history, to highlight what other histories hide: The fact that military science is less about strategy and technology, than about overcoming the instinctive human reluctance to kill members of our own species. The true “Revolution in Military Affairs” was not Donald Rumsfeld’s move to high-tech in 2001, but Brigadier Gen. S.L.A. Marshall’s discovery in the 1940s that only 15-20% of World War II soldiers along the line of fire would use their weapons: “Those (80-85%) who did not fire did not run or hide (in many cases they were willing to risk great danger to rescue comrades, get ammunition, or run messages), but they simply would not fire their weapons at the enemy, even when faced with repeated waves of banzai charges” (Grossman, p. 4).

Marshall’s discovery and subsequent research, proved that in all previous wars, a tiny minority of soldiers — the 5% who are natural-born psychopaths, and perhaps a few temporarily-insane imitators—did almost all the killing. Normal men just went through the motions and, if at all possible, refused to take the life of an enemy soldier, even if that meant giving up their own. The implication: Wars are ritualized mass murders by psychopaths of non-psychopaths. (This cannot be good for humanity’s genetic endowment!)

Marshall’s work, brought a Copernican revolution to military science. In the past, everyone believed that the soldier willing to kill for his country was the (heroic) norm, while one who refused to fight was a (cowardly) aberration. The truth, as it turned out, was that the normative soldier hailed from the psychopathic five percent. The sane majority, would rather die than fight.

Political Satire

The implication, too frightening for even the likes of Marshall and Grossman to fully digest, was that the norms for soldiers’ behaviour in battle had been set by psychopaths. That meant that psychopaths were in control of the military as an institution. Worse, it meant that psychopaths were in control of society’s perception of military affairs. Evidently, psychopaths exercised an enormous amount of power in seemingly sane, normal society.

How could that be? In Political Ponerology, Andrzej Lobaczewski explains that clinical psychopaths enjoy advantages even in non-violent competitions to climb the ranks of social hierarchies. Because they can lie without remorse (and without the telltale physiological stress that is measured by lie detector tests) psychopaths can always say whatever is necessary to get what they want. In court, for example, psychopaths can tell extreme bald-faced lies in a plausible manner, while their sane opponents are handicapped by an emotional predisposition to remain within hailing distance of the truth. Too often, the judge or jury imagines that the truth must be somewhere in the middle, and then issues decisions that benefit the psychopath. As with judges and juries, so too with those charged with decisions concerning who to promote and who not to promote in corporate, military and governmental hierarchies. The result is that all hierarchies inevitably become top-heavy with psychopaths.

So-called conspiracy theorists, some of whom deserve the pejorative connotation of that much-abused term, often imagine that secret societies of Jews, Jesuits, bankers, communists, Bilderbergers, Muslim extremists, papists, and so on, are secretly controlling history, doing dastardly deeds, and/or threatening to take over the world. As a leading “conspiracy theorist” according to Wikipedia, I feel eminently qualified to offer an alternative conspiracy theory which, like the alternative conspiracy theory of 9/11, is both simpler and more accurate than the prevailing wisdom: The only conspiracy that matters is the conspiracy of the psychopaths against the rest of us.

Political Satire

Behind the apparent insanity of contemporary history, is the actual insanity of psychopaths fighting to preserve their disproportionate power. And as that power grows ever-more-threatened, the psychopaths grow ever-more-desperate. We are witnessing the apotheosis of the overworld—the criminal syndicate or overlapping set of syndicates that lurks above ordinary society and law just as the underworld lurks below it. In 9/11 and the 9/11 wars, we are seeing the final desperate power-grab or “endgame” (Alex Jones) of brutal, cunning gangs of CIA drug-runners and President-killers; money-laundering international bankers and their hit-men, economic and otherwise; corrupt military contractors and gung-ho generals; corporate predators and their political enablers; brainwashers and mind-rapists euphemistically known as psy-ops experts and PR specialists—in short, the whole sick crew of certifiable psychopaths running our so-called civilization. And they are running scared. It was their terror of losing control that they projected onto the rest of us by blowing up the Twin Towers and inciting temporary psychopathic terror-rage in the American public.

Why does the pathocracy fear it is losing control? Because it is threatened by the spread of knowledge. The greatest fear of any psychopath is of being found out. As George H. W. Bush said to journalist Sarah McClendon, December 1992, “If the people knew what we had done, they would chase us down the street and lynch us.” Given that Bush is reported to have participated in parties where child prostitutes were sodomized and otherwise abused, among his many other crimes, his statement to McClendon should be taken seriously.

Psychopaths go through life knowing that they are completely different from other people. They quickly learn to hide their lack of empathy, while carefully studying others’ emotions so as to mimic normalcy while cold-bloodedly manipulating the normals.

Today, thanks to new information technologies, we are on the brink of unmasking the psychopaths and building a civilization of, by and for the normal human being — a civilization without war, a civilization based on truth, a civilization in which the saintly few rather than the diabolical few would gravitate to positions of power. We already have the knowledge necessary to diagnose psychopathic personalities and keep them out of power. We have the knowledge necessary to dismantle the institutions in which psychopaths especially flourish — militaries, intelligence agencies, large corporations, and secret societies. We simply need to disseminate this knowledge, and the will to use it, as widely as possible.

Above all, we need to inform the public about how psychopaths co-opt and corrupt normal human beings. One way they do this, is by manipulating shame and denial — emotions foreign to psychopaths but common and easily-induced among normals.

Consider how gangs and secret societies (psychopaths’ guilds in disguise) recruit new members. Some criminal gangs and satanist covens demand that candidates for admission commit a murder to “earn their stripes.” Skull and Bones, the Yale-based secret society that supplies the CIA with drug-runners, mind-rapists, child abusers and professional killers, requires neophytes to lie naked in a coffin and masturbate in front of older members while reciting the candidate’s entire sexual history. By forcing the neophyte to engage in ritualized behaviour that would be horrendously shameful in normal society, the psychopaths’ guild destroys the candidate’s normal personality, assuming he had one in the first place, and turns the individual into a co-opted, corrupt, degraded shadow of his former self — a manufactured psychopath or psychopath’s apprentice.

This manipulation of shame has the added benefit of making psychopathic organizations effectively invisible to normal society. Despite easily available media reports, American voters in 2004 simply refused to see that the two major-party presidential candidates had lain naked in a coffin masturbating in front of older Bonesmen in order to gain admission to Skull and Bones and thus become members of the criminal overworld. Likewise, many Americans have long refused to see that hawkish elements of the overworld, operating through the CIA, had obviously been the murderers of JFK, MLK, RFK, JFK Jr., Malcolm X, ChÈ, AllendÈ, Wellstone, Lumumba, Aguilera, Diem, and countless other relatively non-psychopathic leaders. They refuse to see the continuing murders of millions of people around the world in what amounts to an American holocaust. They refuse to see the evidence that the psychopaths’ guilds running America’s most powerful institutions use the most horrific forms of sexualized abuse imaginable to induce multiple-personality-disorder in child victims, then use the resulting mind-control slaves as disposable drug-runners, prostitutes, Manchurian candidates, and even diplomatic envoys. And of course they refuse to see that 9/11 was a transparently obvious inside job, and that their own psychopath-dominated military-intelligence apparatus is behind almost every major terrorist outrage of recent decades.

All of this psychopathic behaviour at the top of the social hierarchy is simply too shameful for ordinary people to see, so they avert their gaze, just as wives of husbands who are sexually abusing their children sometimes refuse to see what is happening in plain view. If deep, deep denial were a river in Egypt, American citizens’ wilful blindness would be more like the Marianas Trench.

But thanks to the power of the internet, people everywhere are waking up. The only obvious non-psychopath among Republican presidential candidates, Ron Paul, also happens to be the only candidate in either party with significant grassroots support.

If “love” is embedded in the Revolution Ron Paul heralds, that is because Dr. Paul — a kindly, soft-spoken physician who has delivered more than 4,000 babies — implicitly recognizes that government is the invention and tool of psychopaths, and therefore must be strictly limited in scope and subjected to a rigorous system of checks and balances, lest the psychopath’s tools, fear and hatred, replace love as the glue that binds society together.

The decline in militarism since World War II in advanced countries, the spread of literacy and communications technology, and the people’s growing demands for a better life, together represent a gathering force that terrifies the pathocracy, (those alternately competing-then-cooperating gangs of psychopaths who have ruled through lies, fear and intimidation since the dawn of so-called civilization).

Since nuclear weapons have made war obsolete, the pathocracy is terrified that its favourite social control mechanism — ritualized mass slaughter — is increasingly unavailable. And if war was the great human tragedy, the pathocrats’ pathetic attempt at a war-substitute — the transparently phoney “war on terror” — is repeating it as sheerest farce.

Truly, we are witnessing the twilight of the psychopaths. Whether in their death throes they succeed in pulling down the curtain of eternal night on all of us, or whether we resist them and survive to see the dawn of a civilization worthy of the name, is the great decision in which all of us others, however humbly, are now participating.

Europe The First Brzezinski War Casualty?

Europe The First Brzezinski

War Casualty?

By Franco Macchi

The long-prepared Russian naval base in Syria , being finalized at full speed. Deployment of advanced weapons (including nuclear ones) in Syria , Iran is also contemplated. This is the first of several “automatic” responses by Russia to the signaling of the US-Poland anti-Russian missile deal.

– Brzezinski’s provocation in Georgia is producing a worldwide strategic realignment with the immediate emerging of two worldwide blocks marching toward a war confrontation.

– While the “old” Europe countries ( France , Germany , Italy ) are been pressured into the trap of “support for Georgia ,” countries like Turkey are considering a dramatic change of strategic position.

– The countries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (and its military alliance) are expected to upgrade their military deployment in response to Brzezinski criminal breaking of the present fragile world equilibria (Memento June 28 1914)

– Brzezinski strategy (now the hegemonic policy in Washington ) is aimed, first and foremost, at forcing the “old” Europe to surrender its economic, military, political resources, to the war machine that is supposed to confront Russia and China in the most destructive violent confrontation the world has ever seen. If this happens Europe will be the first war casualty.

– A resurgence of “terrorism” (i.e. unorthodox warfare) is to be expected as the two blocks deploy all their fighting resources — openly and covertly.

– Attempts of coup d’état and colored revolutions style destabilizations will multiply together with the use of World Human rights Courts operations. See for example, defenestration of Musharaff in Pakistan (similar to the Brzezinski ousting of the Shah of Iran) or the situation in Sudan.