US Makes Huge Investment In Propaganda and Destabilization Programs

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell speaks to reporters on the current budget negotiations in Washington on December 9, 2014.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell speaks to reporters on the current budget negotiations in Washington on December 9, 2014. | Photo: Reuters

“At least US$236 billion of the $1.1 trillion budget bill is allocated to destabilization and intelligence campaigns around the world.”

U.S. congressional leaders approved on Tuesday $1.1 trillion spending package for the fiscal year 2015. The package includes aid for programs to destabilize Cuba, restrictions on aid to immigration agencies, and increased support for other military-intelligence activities around the world.

In a statement released on Tuesday by the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriation Committee, some $64 billion is destined to “Overseas Contingency Operations.”

Another $60 billion will go to fund the C.I.A. and 17 other federal agencies, according to the International Committee of the Fourth International (I.C.F.I.).

The committee suggests that nearly half of all “non-military” spending, some $236 billion, is actually directed to sustaining U.S. military-intelligence capabilities.

$2.6 billion will go toward “Economic Aid Packages” for various countries, some of which is earmarked for activities in Cuba.

The U.S. will also invest directly in international communication systems. $726 million is slated for “International Radio Broadcasting Operations,” with $4.8 million going directly toward maintaining, construction, and transmission of digital radio in Cuba. Another  $27.1 million will go to the Office of Cuba Broadcasting.

US $30 billion will be awarded to the “Fund for Democracy” meant to “promote democracy around the world.” This includes organizations like U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), whose political actions in Latin America and Africa has been highly criticized, will receive $55 million of those funds.

An additional $10.7 million will be designated for vaguely termed “Global War against Terrorism.” And finally, another general fund of US $20 million will be allocated to support other programs in foreign countries, like Venezuela.

Due to pressure by the Republican-held Congress, the US $1.1 trillion bill will fund all government agencies until September 2015 – except the agency which handles immigration, the Department of Homeland Security that will only receive funding until February 2015. The Republicans want to be able to control the agency that is responsible for implementing President Barack Obama’s immigration order.

House interferes with Obama’s immigration plan

 

 

 

At What Point Will Putin Bend Under Obama’s Ukraine Extortion?

Have we reached the point where American economic warfare against Russia has become so painful that Putin has to stop standing in between Bashar Assad and Obama?  With the “one-two punch” of punitive banking and oil industry sanctions, followed by plunging oil prices, the American aggression is starting to bear evil fruit.

Further economic sanctions of similar severity and as yet to be identified legal sanctions will severely compound Putin’s problems, across the board.  This would probably be enough to crash the ruble, even before any military provocations are carried out.  So, as is the way of geostrategic thinkers, Putin can easily see the endgame of Obama’s gambit, meaning that the military contest will decide everything in the end, so why not go there now?  Thus explaining the resurgence of Russian apocalyptic references to the humiliation being forced upon it.  If we get past all of the diplomatic B.S., who will blink first, when it comes to pulling the nuclear trigger?

If the United States Government insists on pushing this punish Putin paranoia over Ukraine and for resisting his will in Syria, then this summer will be a very dangerous time to visit Europe or the Middle East.  Obama forced this “war or surrender” scenario upon Putin once before, over the Ghouta chemical weapons extortion caper last September (SEE: Syria: Russia will stand by Assad over any US strikes, warns Putin on September 6).  Deflecting that ultimatum, Putin managed to sidestep Obama’s push with the plan to dispose of Assad’s chem weapons, catching everyone off guard on September 10 (SEE: Russian move to avert airstrikes on Syria benefits Obama and Putin).

Now we are faced with another contrived confrontation between nuclear superpowers, this time it is over Ukraine.  The Russian war resolution, a.k.a. “Ukrainian Freedom Support Act,” authorizes Obama to cross all of Russia’s “red lines” on Ukraine, as punishment for helping the Syrian govt avoid the Western siege, as much as it is over aid to the NovoRussian rebels.  In this act, Russia is presented with a list of specific demands, running the gamut from semi-reasonable measures, such as stopping weapons to Donbass, to demands which are outrageous in the extreme, like vetting all Russian aid to Assad through the “internationally recognized government” of Syria, a “government” which is either run by Saudi puppet Ahmad Jarba, or Saudi hand-puppet, Hadi al-Bahra.  In other words, the Saudi pretenders to the Syrian presidency (handpicked by Kerry and Obama) who were assembled in Geneva by Obama, will gain International legitimacy through the Ukrainian back door.   After the Ukraine resolution goes into effect, Putin will be faced with this ludicrous dilemma, have to completely alter Russian foreign and domestic policies to accommodate Washington’s demands.  It doesn’t matter what he does in Ukraine, if he continues to send military aid to Assad, without first getting permission from the Syrian National Coalition, he will be faced with even deadlier (as yet unknown) consequences than the economic warfare inflicted so far.

Assad will very likely be hung out to dry, flapping in the breeze, either way.  Whether Putin accepts Obama’s ultimatum or forces a military solution, it will very likely become impossible for him carry-on for Syria much longer.  Assad’s only hope is if Putin chooses to walk down the hard road, carrying little Bashar along the way.

Obama’s demands cover nearly all facets of Russian international commerce and diplomatic actions, including demands to vacate Crimea and Eastern Ukraine, reverse course in Moldavia, Georgia, not to mention, leaving the rest of Eastern Europe and the Central Asian Republics alone.  Obama wants the entire former Soviet Union territory in one fell swoop.  The US is claiming the equivalent of veto control over the Gazprom decision-making process, as well as the right to arm Ukraine to the teeth, and the right to install propaganda transmitters anywhere now covered by Russian broadcasts.

In other words, the US Congress has set up another international confrontation between the US and Russia, to veto ANY RUSSIAN BEHAVIOR which has not been pre-authorized by the White House.  If Putin doesn’t cede total control over his govt to Obama, in the interests of peace and world government, then the US will move proxy forces into Russian territory, beginning with Eastern Ukraine.  The Ukraine act plainly states that Western allies will enter the Donbass conflict, to provide “evacuation assistance” to refugees in the war zone.

All US anti-Russian sanctions, diplomatic moves and economic warfare have been directed towards bringing Russia to its knees, in a make-or-break showdown, intended to end either in total Russian surrender or world war.  Now the US Congress, speaking on behalf of the entire human race, doubles Russia’s punishment, while also moving the contest into the military sphere, all with the overt intention of destroying the Russian economy and toppling Vladimir Putin.

When it comes down to the wire and Putin is left with no wiggle room, he will once again choose to bend over for Obama and let him ride right up his ass, if he cannot come-up with another judo dodge move.  When push comes to shove, Bashar Assad will be toast and Obama will be crowned king of the world, or else we we warm-up the tactical nuclear missiles.

peter.chamberlin@hotmail.com

Jeffrey Feltman Is Coming To Ukraine–the Man Who Starts and Manages the Bush/Obama Civil Wars

feltman

United Nations, Dec 13, 2014:
Jeffrey Feltman, the UN under-secretary-general for political affairs, is scheduled to visit Ukraine early next week in a bid to support UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s efforts to seek a peaceful settlement of the Ukrainian crisis, a UN spokesman said here Friday.”Feltman, in an effort to support the secretary-general’s good offices to assist in finding a peaceful resolution of the crisis in Ukraine, will travel to Kiev Dec 16 and 17 for consultations with senior officials,” Stephane Dujarric said at a daily news briefing.

The visit of the UN political chief comes just a few days after the trip of the UN assistant secretary-general for human rights, Ivan Simonovic, who is currently in Ukraine to assess the human rights situation in the country.

During his visit, Simonovic is scheduled to meet a number of Ukrainian government officials as well as civil society actors, the official said, adding that he is also scheduled to visit the eastern region of the country.

The visits by the two senior UN officials take place one week after Ukrainian forces suspended hostilities against independence-seeking insurgents in the country’s eastern region.

The armed conflict in eastern Ukraine, which began in mid-April, has claimed at least 4,350 lives and wounded more than 10,000 others, according to the latest UN estimates.

- IANS

Official Russian Statement On Ukraine Freedom Support Provocation

Russian Embassy

Comment by the Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Alexander Lukashevich on the approval of the anti-Russian bill “The Ukraine Freedom Support Act” by the U.S. Congress

The bill “The Ukraine Freedom Support Act” that was approved by the both houses of the U.S. Congress with no debate and proper voting cannot but produce deep regret by its overly confrontational contents. Once again Washington is presenting unfounded, sweeping accusations and is threatening us with new sanctions. At the same time one puts in the same bag the Ukrainian and Syrian crises, in the fomenting of which the U.S. had a hand, and even the INF Treaty while the adherence to the document of Washington raises questions – saying the least of it. Herewith one promises to provide the Kiev government with weapons to continue the military operation in the Donbass region and straightforwardly announce the intention to use non-governmental organizations to influence internal political processes in our country.
It would seem that the serious challenges for the international security demand the joint efforts of Russia and the U.S. Meanwhile the American lawmakers following the administration of Barack Obama work hard to destroy the backbone of cooperation. The powerful mine similar to the notorious Jackson-Vanick amendment that was adopted in 1974 and was hindering the cooperation for several decades is laid under the bilateral relations. We are beginning to think that Washington cannot refuse to abandon outdated phobias and wants to turn back time.
It is time for the members of the Congress to abandon their illusions on the efficacy of sanctions in their heated campaign against Russia. We will not submit to blackmail. We will not cede our national interests. And we will not tolerate interference in our internal affairs.

 

Comment by the Information and Press Department on the continuing U.S. accusations of the violation of the INF Treaty by Russia

We paid attention to the remarks made by the U.S. high-ranking officials during the Congress hearing on December 10, 2014 regarding the U.S. plans to apply measures of economic and military pressure to Russia over alleged violations of the INF Treaty by the Russian side.
It is regretful that Washington continues to follow the logic of confrontation. Our attitude to the U.S. practice of sanctions is well-known: we consider such unilateral restrictions to be illegitimate and we are not going to obey the U.S. diktat. As for the possible military steps, that the U.S. representatives hinted on, they would only add tensions to the already complicated situation. It is unlikely to strengthen the security of the U.S. and their allies that was discussed at the hearings.
It is worth noting that while announcing such threats the U.S. cannot distinctly formulate what claims do they have and stubbornly decline to definitive their accusations. At the same time the U.S. do not provide satisfactory answers to our justified and substantive counterclaims. This applies to ballistic missile targets which are similar to short and medium-ranged rockets, to the American unmanned combat aircraft that obviously fall within the definition of the ground-launched cruise missile and to the intention to deploy ground mode of the sea-launched cruise missile «MK-41» in Poland and Romania which is able to launch medium-ranged cruise missile.
We are still convinced that threats are not the best means to deal with the problems that may arise in the context of adhering to the Treaty. We are going to act on this basis. We call on the U.S. side to do the same.

House Passed Anti-Russian Ukraine Support Act In March

[SEE: ‘‘Ukraine Freedom Support Act of 2014’’–S.R.2828]

H.R.4278 – Ukraine Support Act 113th Congress (2013-2014)

Bill

Sponsor: Rep. Royce, Edward R. [R-CA-39] (Introduced 03/21/2014)
Committees: House – Foreign Affairs; Judiciary | Senate – Foreign Relations
Latest Action: 04/02/2014 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations.
Major Recorded Votes: 03/27/2014 : Passed House

MAJOR DIFFERENCES BETWEEN HOUSE AND SENATE VERSIONS:

1 (I) manufactures or sells defense
2 articles transferred into Syria or into
3 the territory of a specified country
4 without the consent of the inter5
nationally recognized government of
6 that country;

‘‘specified country’’ means—
3 (i) Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova;
4 and
5 (ii) any other country designated by
6 the President as a country of significant
7 concern for purposes of this subsection,
8 such as Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Esto9
nia, and the Central Asia republics.

If the President determines that
19 Gazprom is withholding significant natural gas sup20
plies from member countries of the North Atlantic
21 Treaty Organization, or further withholds significant
22 natural gas supplies from countries such as Ukraine,
23 Georgia, or Moldova,

3 SEC. 7. MAJOR NON-NATO ALLY STATUS FOR UKRAINE,
4 GEORGIA, AND MOLDOVA.

22 (a) IN GENERAL.—The President is authorized to
23 provide defense articles, defense services, and training to
24 the Government of Ukraine for the purpose of countering
25 offensive weapons and reestablishing the sovereignty and
22
MRW14623 S.L.C.
1 territorial integrity of Ukraine, including anti-tank and
2 anti-armor weapons, crew weapons and ammunition,
3 counter-artillery radars to identify and target artillery bat4
teries, fire control, range finder, and optical and guidance
5 and control equipment, tactical troop-operated surveillance
6 drones, and secure command and communications equip7
ment,

24 (1) IN GENERAL.—There are authorized to be
25 appropriated to the Secretary of State $350,000,000
23
MRW14623 S.L.C.
1 for fiscal year 2015 to carry out activities under this
2 section.

7 (ii) evacuation assistance available to
8 persons seeking to flee armed conflict
9 areas.

There are authorized to be appro5
priated $50,000,000

15 There are authorized to be appropriated to the Sec16
retary of State $20,000,000

18 SEC. 10. EXPANDED BROADCASTING IN COUNTRIES OF THE
19 FORMER SOVIET UNION.

24 (1) IN GENERAL.—There are authorized to be
25 appropriated $10,000,000 for each of fiscal years
35
MRW14623 S.L.C.
1 2015 through 2017

 

United Nations, Dec 13, 2014: Jeffrey Feltman, the UN under-secretary-general for political affairs, is scheduled to visit Ukraine early next week in a bid to support UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s efforts to seek a peaceful settlement of the Ukrainian crisis, a UN spokesman said here Friday.

“Feltman, in an effort to support the secretary-general’s good offices to assist in finding a peaceful resolution of the crisis in Ukraine, will travel to Kiev Dec 16 and 17 for consultations with senior officials,” Stephane Dujarric said at a daily news briefing.

The visit of the UN political chief comes just a few days after the trip of the UN assistant secretary-general for human rights, Ivan Simonovic, who is currently in Ukraine to assess the human rights situation in the country.

During his visit, Simonovic is scheduled to meet a number of Ukrainian government officials as well as civil society actors, the official said, adding that he is also scheduled to visit the eastern region of the country.

The visits by the two senior UN officials take place one week after Ukrainian forces suspended hostilities against independence-seeking insurgents in the country’s eastern region.

The armed conflict in eastern Ukraine, which began in mid-April, has claimed at least 4,350 lives and wounded more than 10,000 others, according to the latest UN estimates.

- IANS

 

 

If there was no American prison in Iraq, there would be no IS now. Bucca was a factory.

[SEE:  What is the truth about ISIS? ]

ISIS leader says US prisons in Iraq led to creation of terrorist organization

Russia-Today
Some of the 180 high security prisoners walk in the exercise pitch at Camp Bucca on the outskirts of the southern city of Basra, 550 kms from Baghdad, on September 16, 2009. (AFP Photo)

Some of the 180 high security prisoners walk in the exercise pitch at Camp Bucca on the outskirts of the southern city of Basra, 550 kms from Baghdad, on September 16, 2009. (AFP Photo)

A leading member of the Islamic State has revealed the group could never have been formed without the help of the US. American prison camps in Iraq gave the Islamists the perfect opportunity to meet and plan their eventual rise to power.

Ten years ago, Abu Ahmed was incarcerated at Camp Bucca, a US run prison in Iraq. In an exclusive interview a decade later to the Guardian, he reveals how the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) might never have formed if US detention centers hadn’t existed.

Abu Ahmed, who uses a pseudonym, is now one of the Islamic State’s senior leaders. He recalls how he initially feared going to Camp Bucca, but he soon realized he had arrived at a facility that was a hive of Islamist radicals.

“We could never have all got together like this in Baghdad, or anywhere else,” he told the Guardian. “It would have been impossibly dangerous. Here, we were not only safe, but we were only a few hundred meters away from the entire Al-Qaida leadership.”

The Iraqi government estimates that 17 of the most important IS leaders spent time in US prison’s from 2004-11, the Guardian reported. The inmates were released at different times and were spread across the country. However, they came-up with an ingenious way to stay in touch after being granted their freedom. They would write each other’s telephone numbers and addresses on the inside of their boxer shorts, as they had no access to paper or other electronic aids.

READ MORE: RT exclusive: From London banker to ISIS militant – one man’s terror trail

After Abu Ahmed was released, the first thing he did when he was safe in Baghdad was to undress, then carefully take a pair of scissors to his underwear and cut away the elastic where everything was written down. “I cut the fabric from my boxers and all the numbers were there. We reconnected. And we got to work.” Across Iraq, other ex-inmates were doing the same. “It really was that simple,” Abu Ahmed said, as he recalled how his captors had been outwitted. “Boxers helped us win the war.”

Islamic State (IS) jihadist group Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (AFP Photo)

Islamic State (IS) jihadist group Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (AFP Photo)

During his time at Camp Bucca, Abu Ahmed also came face to face with the current IS leader, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi. He says Al-Baghdadi proved he had a direct lineage to the Prophet Mohammed and also had a PhD in Islamic studies from the University of Baghdad, which played a key role in being able to maneuver himself into a position of power.

“Baghdadi was a quiet person. He had a charisma. You could feel that he was someone important. But there were others who were more important. I honestly did not think he would get this far,” Abu Ahmed told the Guardian.

READ MORE: ISIS leader’s call to Muslims: Go to Iraq and Syria ‘to help build Islamic state’

“The Americans never knew who they had,” Abu Ahmed continued, speaking of Al-Baghdadi. However, the US army was not alone as most of Baghdadi’s fellow prisoners – some 24,000 men, divided into 24 camps – seem to have been equally unaware.

However, the current IS leader certainly managed to create a rapport with the US Army. He was often seen as a go-between to settle disputes between rival factions in the prison camp.

“But as time went on, every time there was a problem in the camp, he was at the center of it. He wanted to be the head of the prison – and when I look back now, he was using a policy of conquer and divide to get what he wanted, which was status. And it worked.”

AFP/ISIL

AFP/ISIL

READ MORE: Pentagon cannot confirm if ISIS leader al-Baghdadi wounded in airstrike

By December 2004, Baghdadi was deemed by his jailers to pose no further risk and his release was authorized. He eventually left Camp Bucca in 2009.

“He was respected very much by the US army,” Abu Ahmed said. “If he wanted to visit people in another camp he could, but we couldn’t. And all the while, a new strategy, which he was leading, was rising under their noses, and that was to build the Islamic State. If there was no American prison in Iraq, there would be no IS now. Bucca was a factory. It made us all. It built our ideology.”

Camp Bucca was one of a number of US prisons in Iraq, but the most infamous was Abu Ghraib, which closed in April.

It came to international attention in early 2004, when it was revealed that US troops physically and sexually abused, tortured, raped, and killed inmates. The disturbing images that came out of the facility went a long way to fueling Iraqi fury with American forces, and forever changed the perception of the war.

Hundreds of prisoners escaped from Abu Ghraib last year when nearby Fallujah fell under the control of the Islamic State. An attack on Abu Ghraib and Taji prisons freed more than 500 prisoners, including a number of senior militants and killed 120 Iraqi guards and SWAT forces, an Al-Qaeda spokesman told reporters last year.

Americans Don’t Have the Balls To Torture the Truth

CIA boosters weigh in: Man up, America

sf gate

Report On CIA Interrogations To Be Released By Senate Intelligence Chair Sen. Dianne FeinsteinThe Senate torture report has inspired reams of reporting, most of it supportive or at least non-critical. An tide of editorials here, here and here have matched the tone of our own. Sen Dianne Feinstein is the hero of the hour to long time observers.
But now on Day Two the defenders have emerged to criticize the report and explain the past on their preferred terms. Three past CIA directors who presided over the torture years explained their actions in the friendly opinion pages of the Wall Street Journal, which added its own hardline editorial. The basic answer: torture –wait, make that enhanced interrogation techniques — worked, thousands of livers were saved, and the temperature at the time demanded tough stuff. Democrats back then wanted bold action, and who are they to complain now?

Present CIA director John Brennan — once Obama’s national security adviser — added his own toned down criticism. His take: mistakes were made, but we no longer do this stuff.
Then there’s the minority report from Republicans on the Democrat-dominated Intelligence Committee that produced the door-stopper 6,000 page still-secret report and the publicly released versions that’s created all the news. The GOP members picked at perceived flaws and noted that no interviews with CIA employees past or present were included to flesh out the claims built on e-mails, memos and printed communications.
Other voices are now surfacing. Former Nebraska Senator Bob Kerrey, a liberal Democrat who spent eight years on the Senate intelligence panel, doesn’t think it does any good to release the report without a unified forward action, which won’t happen now. Bush-era legal beagle John Yoo, a former Justice Department lawyer who helped write justifications for water boarding and the like, weighed in critically.
John McCain, the only member of Congress actually tortured after capture in North Vietnam, offered his thoughts too. He’s a longtime critic of torture, believing it has little value and taints the country’s image. He was the only Republican to speak out in favor of the Senate report’s dismal findings.

It’s hard to know what impact the graphic and gruesome Senate report will have on public opinion. Polls have repeatedly showed a majority of Americans support torture in the terrorism fight. Maybe this time that perception will change.