Acts of War

Acts of War

By Scott Ritter

The war between the United States and Iran is on. American taxpayer dollars are being used, with the permission of Congress, to fund activities which result in Iranians being killed and wounded, and Iranian property destroyed. This wanton violation of a nation’s sovereignty would not be tolerated if the tables were turned and Americans were being subjected to Iranian-funded covert actions which took the lives of Americans, on American soil, and destroyed American property and livelihood. Many Americans remain unaware of what is transpiring abroad in their name. Many of those who are cognizant of these activities are supportive of them, an outgrowth of misguided sentiment which holds Iran accountable for a list of grievances used by the U.S. government to justify the ongoing global war on terror. Iran, we are told, is not just a nation pursuing nuclear weapons, but is the largest state sponsor of terror in the world today.

Much of the information behind this is being promulgated by Israel, which has a vested interest in seeing Iran neutralized as a potential threat. But Israel is joined by another source, even more puzzling in terms of its broad-based acceptance in the world of American journalism: the Mujahadeen-e Khalk, or MEK, an Iranian opposition group sworn to overthrow the theocracy in Tehran. The CIA today provides material support to the actions of the MEK inside Iran. The recent spate of explosions in Iran, including a particularly devastating “accident” involving a military convoy transporting ammunition in downtown Tehran, appears to be linked to an MEK operation; its agents working inside munitions manufacturing plants deliberately are committing acts of sabotage which lead to such explosions. If CIA money and planning support are behind these actions, the agency’s backing constitutes nothing less than an act of war on the part of the United States against Iran.

The MEK traces its roots back to the CIA-orchestrated overthrow of the democratically elected Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadeg. Formed among students and intellectuals, the MEK emerged in the 1960s as a serious threat to the reign of Reza Shah Pahlevi. Facing brutal repression from the Shah’s secret police, the SAVAK, the MEK became expert at blending into Iranian society, forming a cellular organizational structure which made it virtually impossible to eradicate. The MEK membership also became adept at gaining access to positions of sensitivity and authority. When the Shah was overthrown in 1978, the MEK played a major role and for a while worked hand in glove with the Islamic Revolution in crafting a post-Shah Iran. In 1979 the MEK had a central role in orchestrating the seizure of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, and holding 55 Americans hostage for 444 days.

However, relations between the MEK and the Islamic regime in Tehran soured, and after the MEK staged a bloody coup attempt in 1981, all ties were severed and the two sides engaged in a violent civil war. Revolutionary Guard members who were active at that time have acknowledged how difficult it was to fight the MEK. In the end, massive acts of arbitrary arrest, torture and executions were required to break the back of mainstream MEK activity in Iran, although even the Revolutionary Guard today admits the MEK remains active and is virtually impossible to completely eradicate.

It is this stubborn ability to survive and operate inside Iran, at a time when no other intelligence service can establish and maintain a meaningful agent network there, which makes the MEK such an asset to nations such as the United States and Israel. The MEK is able to provide some useful intelligence; however, its overall value as an intelligence resource is negatively impacted by the fact that it is the sole source of human intelligence in Iran. As such, the group has taken to exaggerating and fabricating reports to serve its own political agenda. In this way, there is little to differentiate the MEK from another Middle Eastern expatriate opposition group, the Iraqi National Congress, or INC, which infamously supplied inaccurate intelligence to the United States and other governments and helped influence the U.S. decision to invade Iraq and overthrow Saddam Hussein. Today, the MEK sees itself in a similar role, providing sole-sourced intelligence to the United States and Israel in an effort to facilitate American military operations against Iran and, eventually, to overthrow the Islamic regime in Tehran.

The current situation concerning the MEK would be laughable if it were not for the violent reality of that organization’s activities. Upon its arrival in Iraq in 1986, the group was placed under the control of Saddam Hussein’s Mukhabarat, or intelligence service. The MEK was a heavily militarized organization and in 1988 participated in division-size military operations against Iran. The organization represents no state and can be found on the U.S. State Department’s list of terrorist organizations, yet since the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003 the MEK has been under the protection of the U.S. military. Its fighters are even given “protected status” under the Geneva conventions. The MEK says that its members in Iraq are refugees, not terrorists. And yet one would be hard-pressed to find why the 1951 Geneva Convention on Refugees should confer refugee status on an active paramilitary organization that uses “refugee camps” inside Iraq as its bases.

The MEK is behind much of the intelligence being used by the International Atomic Energy Agency in building its case that Iran may be pursuing (or did in fact pursue in the past) a nuclear weapons program. The complexity of the MEK-CIA relationship was recently underscored by the agency’s acquisition of a laptop computer allegedly containing numerous secret documents pertaining to an Iranian nuclear weapons program. Much has been made about this computer and its contents. The United States has led the charge against Iran within international diplomatic circles, citing the laptop information as the primary source proving Iran’s ongoing involvement in clandestine nuclear weapons activity. Of course, the information on the computer, being derived from questionable sources (i.e., the MEK and the CIA, both sworn enemies of Iran) is controversial and its veracity is questioned by many, including me.

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Towards a populist economics

Towards a populist economics

By Joseph Danison

As book titles go, The Shock Doctrine is arguably the most evocative in recent years. Naomi Klein’s reflection on the predatory behavior of the Neanderthal economics preached by the late Milton Friedman at the University of Chicago is certainly timely as we enter a period of economic shock and awe. As conditions worsen, we may become suggestible in our distress and willing to adopt solutions proposed by those who have dropped the economic bombs in the first place.

In truth, we suffer from economic Stockholm syndrome because we tend to identify with those who have abducted us and held us in debt peonage. Take for example the bail out of the Bear Stearns bucket shop on Wall Street. Numb and mesmerized, we stare slack jawed at Ben Bernanke and repeat the mantra: “Bail out the rich. Save the financial system. Bail out the rich. Save the financial system.”

It’s the equivalent of those in steerage and squalor voting to give those on the upper decks first crack at the lifeboats. And it’s the best thing to do under the circumstances! After all, they’re the smart ones, right? They’re the ones who understand the system, and if they go belly up, well . . . we’re all screwed, too, aren’t we? Realistically now, if we didn’t bail out Bear Stearns and other bucket shops, and banks, and Fannie and her brother, Freddie, the whole house of cards would come tumbling down and we’d all be selling apples on street corners, wouldn’t we?

We are a rare breed of obliging masochists, perfect schmoos for our latter day overseers, because we have made ourselves complicit in our own exploitation by adopting an American dream unknown to the generations that have come before. Once upon a time, this dream was renowned in the world for its simplicity and rectitude: work hard and follow the rules and you will succeed. That dream was transformed somewhere along the line through the magic of “trickle down economics” into something approximating: don’t work hard, work smart. Play the system and let somebody else carry the baggage. And don’t feel bad about it.

We have become a nation of investors and financial speculators in terms of our understanding of what constitutes economic activity. Better than 51 percent of American households own stocks, largely in the form of mutual funds, pension funds, and 401(k)s. The playground of the rich and famous, the stock market, became more appealing to the middle class around the time the world began to “flatten,” to use the idiotic metaphor of Tom Friedman, and the development of information technology led many to boast that the US economy was changing its blue collar character. The dirty old smokestack economy began to be shipped overseas. The new economy would be pretty much white collar, composed of software developers and paper shufflers of the information age, not to mention those who punched keys on cash registers.

In other words, in the information age, we were all going to become capitalists, more or less, investing in the productive activity of others, as we deluded ourselves with the idea that finance is a productive activity. The financial sector began to account for a larger and larger share of our GDP as the Wall Street geniuses designed ever more arcane “financial products,” Alan Greenspan kept interest rates low, and the home owning class began to view housing as another investment opportunity. We thought we could leverage ourselves into the lifestyles of the rich and famous in the new economy with a newly structured American dream.

Welcome to the new economy, and if you’re looking for someone to blame, look in the mirror. What is your American dream? Let me guess. You were planning to retire on the proceeds of your investments and rental income, maybe supplemented by a Social Security check, and an occasional lottery windfall. Well, you’re in for another episode of the shock doctrine when you finally realize that the rich are different from you and me. The rich live in an exclusive club and your McMansion does not qualify you for membership. When the ship goes down, they will sail away and leave you thrashing in the cold, dark sea. And it was you who gave their interests priority because you never understood what your interests and the interests of the American people generally are.

The stock markets will crash, and with it your American dream. Bet on it. Many of the rich you admire are doing just that. Take Jim Rogers, for example, the commodity king. He lives in Singapore. His kids are learning Mandarin. He’s very short the American dream and long on China. He could care less about the American people because in his mind and the minds of the global elite the earth’s billions of people are a faceless mass whose IQ taken together does not add up to the collective IQ of his own group, numbering in the mere single digit millions, who together own about 85 percent of the world’s wealth.

Follow the pied pipers of finance into the maw of your own financial oblivion if you must, but before we become too dazed and confused, remember that it doesn’t have to be this way. The founders of our republic employed a phrase that was not mere political rhetoric. They designed a system intended for use by “we the people.” That system was co-opted long ago by “we the privileged elite.” They did this because they were able to convince the ignorant mass of people that it was in their best interest that the financial system should be in private hands . . . their hands.

By now it should be clear to those people who are awake and taking notes that the Federal Reserve Banking System is a privately owned and operated financial system, not subject to oversight by the people’s government. It has never been audited nor will it ever be audited so that the people may know with certainty exactly how it operates. It is a temple of mystery in which the wealthy worship their self-interest. It exists in defiance of the spirit and letter of the law as defined in our Constitution.

By now, it should be clear, or becoming clear, that this privatized financial system is a colossal failure. It failed before in a spectacular way in 1929. Prior to that, before the inauguration of the Federal Reserve Act of 1913, the private financial system of the 19th Century failed regularly and with doleful consequences for we the people. This was why the Congress, asleep at the wheel, passed the Federal Reserve Act in the first place; because they were told it would stabilize things and prevent the boom and bust cycle that did such harm, though it never seemed to upset the apple carts of the rich. It was the acolytes of the rich who jumped from windows and stained the pavement, not the rich themselves.

As the shock builds and reverberates in every sector of the economy and around the world, bear in mind that it does not have to happen this way. Congress could reverse the malevolent economic trends within a month by acting to nationalize the private banking system to serve we the people as the founders intended.

There are a number of thinkers working today to create awareness of a populist economics that has been suppressed and forgotten, mostly notably Ellen Hodgson Brown, whose book, The Web of Debt, describes the solution with remarkable clarity. Others include the pioneer Stephan Zarlenga at the American Monetary Institute. Richard Cook whose articles can be readily found on the web is another voice of clarity and compassion.

There are two overriding factors that make a truly populist economics possible, however. The first is nationalism, a patriotic love of the constitutional republic bequeathed to us by our founders. The second is a moral concern for all the people, a sentiment that is conspicuously lacking among the wealthy, men such as Jim Rogers, and other internationalists who have jumped ship and abandoned traditional sentiments such as devotion to one’s own nation.

But, there are those in the wealthy elite, whose love of country cannot be impugned, men such as T. Boone Pickens who appeared before Congress recently and proclaimed loudly that he was an American patriot first and only secondly an oil man, as he offered to Congress the Pickens Plan to resolve our energy crisis and revive our job market through wind power.

A truly populist economics does not aim to “soak the rich” with some variation of a New Deal wealth redistribution plan because the rich are people, too, many of them, looking for solutions to our national crisis. A populist economics does not depend upon an income tax, a mechanism of wealth transfer from producers to investors and speculators, those who own our national debt, many of whom are not Americans, whether they hold US passports or not.

The economic debacle that is staring us in the face must be seen as an opportunity for the American people to begin thinking for themselves. It is time for the doors of the mysterious money temple, called the Federal Reserve, to be flung open, and for a national debate about money to begin. We can all be shocked back to the basics of our constitutional heritage, our true patriotic concern for the general welfare, and our creative can-do American ingenuity. Or, we can give up on the promise of democratic institutions and surrender to the hostile takeover of those who dream of the ultimate privatization: the fascist ideologues of an imperial presidency and a global New World Order.

Your Tax Dollars at Work

Your Tax Dollars at Work

By Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.

28/07/08 “Lew Rockwell” — – Frédéric Bastiat famously observed that the State costs us in ways we can see and ways we cannot see. Economists tend to focus on the second type because they elude public perceptions. What inventions are we denied because of regulations? What might have been done with the resources that are diverted in taxes or higher prices due to protectionism? The answers demonstrate that, because of intervention, we are worse off than we know.

Sometimes, however, we should also look at the potentially seen costs of the State, if only because the State doesn’t want us to see those either. These are the direct destructions caused by some State activity, most especially war. Seeing war in photographs changes things. It causes us to observe the State’s war and what it is doing to people: us and them.

This is why the State doesn’t want pictures of US wounded or dead circulating in public. The media mostly obey. Did you ever notice that? You are being shown only what the government wants you to see. The State does not want you to see dead soldiers or suffering families of those shot and killed.

Instead the State wants you to believe that the Iraq War is about patriotism, 9/11, national pride, the campaign to make you safer, the administering of justice, manhood and courage, and all the rest of the cover-ups for what war really is: murder and destruction paid for by you and me and made legal solely because it is the State and not someone else doing it.

Take a picture of dead soldier, or the child of a killed Iraqi family, broadcast it on your blog, and what happens? Photo journalist Zoriah Miller has found out. He was kicked out of his “embed,” which is the name for the pack of journalists permitted to travel with a group of soldiers and report what those in command want reported. Afterwards, he was prohibited from traveling in any Marine-patrolled area of Iraq. The military command worked to get him kicked out of the country altogether.

Yes, it all seems very pre-modern and primitive, and contrary to all our pieties about the free flow of information, the first amendment and all that. But from the government’s point of view, it is running the war, and it should control what people know about it to the same extent it controls everything else about the war. As a result, after 4,000 dead soldiers, countless hundreds of thousands of Iraqi dead, millions of wounded on all sides, there are only a handful of bloody pictures to be found anywhere.

Amazing isn’t it, just how effective the State can actually be when it cares intensely about something? And why does it care so much? One reason, they say, is that photos provide the enemy with information about the effectiveness of their attack and the response. In effect, that’s like claiming that anything but approved propaganda amounts to subversion and treason. In any case, we can be pretty darn sure that when the enemy makes a hit, the enemy knows about it.

Another claim – and actually they have said the same thing from World War I until the present day – their main interest is in protecting the families of the dead from shock, privacy violation, and humiliation. Maybe that sounds plausible, but another way to look at it is that the State is most especially interested in continuing to foster the myth that these kids are dying for their country, and there are no more important people to convince of that than the parents of the dead.

But actually, only the most naïve could possibly believe that this is what the rules are wholly about. They want to protect the rest of us from reality. The Vietnam war lost massive support at home when the military loosened up on photojournalism. The handful of pictures we have from World War II all date from a period after FDR too bowed to public pressure.

At one level, it is pathetic that we need pictures to underscore what war is all about. But since the ancient world, the masses at large have proven susceptible to believing every myth about the grandeur and glory of war. We imagine that we as a people are going abroad to bring justice, truth, and liberty to some unenlightened and threatening foreign tribe. This has been the constant theme since the ancient world.

Then we see the pictures. It turns out that the unenlightened tribe is a collection of individuals pretty much like us. They are made of flesh and blood, have families, worship God, and struggle with pretty much the same issues that all people everywhere have always struggled with. There is no great glory in killing them, nor in being killed by them.

But the State says that sometimes war is necessary. If our masters really believe that, why hide its costs? Let us see precisely what we are getting into here. If it is justified, let us see why and how, and let us observe what we are giving up in exchange for the just war.

The truth is that the State must hide not only its wars but all of its activities. It hides its inflation. It hides the effects of its taxation and its protectionism. It fears anyone who draws the cause-and-effect connection between its activities and their deleterious consequences for the rest of us. It is the most destructive force in our world. Because that truth is so momentous, the State does everything possible to hide the smallest drop of blood.

The State wants us to all go on with our lives, believing it, loving it, and seeing only the pictures it wants us to see.

Pull the Plug on the War State

Pull the Plug on the War State

By Charley Reese

27/07/08 “Anti War” — — Hopefully, the next president, whoever he is, will have sense enough to realize that an anti-missile site in Eastern Europe is not worth rekindling the Cold War with Russia.

Though the press pays little attention to it, the Bush administration has already practically wrecked relations with Russia by insisting on adding the Eastern European countries to NATO and siting his anti-missile system in the Czech Republic and in Poland. The Russians are right that it represents a threat to their security.

President Bush’s lame excuse that the system is designed to protect Europe from Iranian missiles is no doubt another deliberate lie. I can’t think of any reason whatsoever for Iran to attack Europe, and I’m sure the Iranians can’t, either. Iran hasn’t attacked anybody for more than 100 years. They would have absolutely nothing to gain by firing a few missiles at Europe. It doesn’t make any sense at all.

Nor does it make any sense to add the small countries of Eastern Europe to NATO. This was a war-fighting alliance set up at the end of World War II specifically to deter and, if necessary, go to war with the Red Army. The Soviet Union set up its own alliance, the Warsaw Pact.

When the Soviet Union collapsed, Russia withdrew its army from Eastern Europe and dissolved the Warsaw Pact. The United States should have dissolved NATO. Its sole purpose vanished with the Soviet Union. It has no enemy, unless fools in the U.S. create one. The American politicians have used it in the Yugoslavian Civil War, and now has it involved in the Afghanistan insurgency. Why the Europeans put up with this nonsense is beyond me.

As for including little countries, that’s a strategic blunder. Do you think that if the Russians one day launched nuclear missiles at the United States that Poland and Lithuania would go to war against their large neighbor? Will France become a nation of teetotalers?

In fact, including small countries in military alliances is worthless posturing. All you do is allow the little country to get you into trouble by its bad behavior. The little country is confident that its big ally will rescue it if it goes too far in antagonizing its larger neighbors. It’s like a spoiled brat with a bodyguard. Sixty years after its founding, Israel is still at war with most of its neighbors precisely because it has no incentive to make a sensible peace. Why should it? It has its American attack dog. The only peace treaties it has signed are with Egypt and Jordan, both of which the U.S. bribed to make peace. Bribe or not, in both cases it’s a cold peace.

Believe it or not, we are not at war with any nation at the present. We made war on Iraq, but that has long since become nothing but an occupation. We are occupying or trying to occupy Afghanistan, but other than that, we are not at war. Why then do we need military alliances? Why do we need troops in Korea, Japan and Germany? Or, I hasten to add, Iraq and the Persian Gulf?

President Bush’s war on terror is a false metaphor, and a dangerous one at that. There is no terrorist army or air force. There are some gangs of criminals. What the president did when he adopted this specious metaphor about a war on terror was to commit the United States to perpetual war. Ask your local warmonger how he defines victory in the war on terror. Ask why when Iraq was very violent we couldn’t leave, and now that it’s less violent, we can’t leave. Ask him how he defines victory in Iraq or in Afghanistan.

We really have neither a republic nor a democracy. We have a war state and an empire. We should pull the plug on both.

“My fellow citizens, we are embroiled in the greatest financial crisis our nation has ever faced

“My fellow citizens, we are embroiled in the

greatest financial crisis our nation has ever faced

and we will have to take emergency action to keep

the entire system from melting down.”

“The banking industry is walking on pins and needles, hoping the bad news doesn’t become a self-fulfilling prophecy that drives bank depositors to demand withdrawal of funds en masse…….. There is a high likelihood the American banking system will fail, and you will likely be the last to know. The more panicked you get, and withdraw funds, the worse the implosion. In an effort to avert runs on the banks, will the news media delay informing the public of the current dire situation, which appears to be an inevitable system-wide banking collapse?” (MORE)

The Bush Administration’s Secret Biowarfare Agenda

The Bush Administration’s

Secret Biowarfare Agenda

By Stephen Lendman

28 July, 2008

When it comes to observing US and international laws, treaties and norms, the Bush administration is a serial offender. Since 2001, it’s:

— spurned efforts for nuclear disarmament to advance its weapons program and retain current stockpiles;

— renounced the 1970 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and asserted the right to develop and test new weapons;

— abandoned the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (ABM) because it expressly forbids the development, testing and deployment of missile defenses like its Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) and other programs;

— refuses to adopt a proposed Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty (FMCT) that would prohibit further weapons-grade uranium and plutonium production and prevent new nuclear weapons to be added to present stockpiles – already dangerously too high;

— spends more on the military than the rest of the world combined plus multi-billions off-the-books, for secret programs, and for agencies like the CIA;

— advocates preventive, preemptive and “proactive” wars globally with first-strike nuclear and other weapons under the nihilistic doctrines of “anticipatory self-defense” and remaking the world to be like America;

— rescinded and subverted the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) to illegally develop new biowarfare weapons; in November 1969 and February 1970, Richard Nixon issued National Security Decision Memoranda (NSDM) 35 and 44; they renounced the use of lethal and other types of biological warfare and ordered existing weapons stockpiles destroyed, save for small amounts for research – a huge exploitable loophole; the Reagan and Clinton administrations took advantage; GHW Bush to a lesser degree;

— GW Bush went further by renouncing the US Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989 that prohibits “the Development, Production, and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons….;” on May 22, 1990, GHW Bush signed it into law to complete the 1972 Convention’s implementation; what the father and Nixon established, GW Bush rendered null and void; “Rebuilding America’s Defenses” is his central policy document for unchallengeable US hegemony; among other provisions, it illegally advocates advanced forms of biowarfare that can target specific genotypes – the genetic constitution of individual organisms.

A Brief Modern History of Biowarfare

— the Hague Convention of 1907 bans chemical weapons;

— WW I use of poison gas causes 100,000 deaths and 900,000 injuries;

— Britain uses poison gas against Iraqis in the 1920s; as Secretary of State for War in 1919, Winston Churchill advocates it in a secret memo stating: “I am strongly in favour of using poisoned gas against uncivilised tribes;”

— the 1928 Geneva Protocol prohibits gas and bacteriological warfare;

— in 1931, Dr. Cornelius Rhoads infects human subjects with cancer cells – under the auspices of the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Investigations; Rhoads later conducts radiation exposure experiments on American soldiers and civilian hospital patients;

— in 1932, the Tuskegee Syphilis Study begins on 200 black men; they’re not told of their illness, are denied treatment, and are used as human guinea pigs to follow their disease symptoms and progression; they all subsequently die;

— in 1935, the Pellagra Incident occurs; after millions die over two decades, the US Public Health Service finally acts to stem the disease;

— In 1935 – 1936, Italy uses mustard gas in conquering Ethiopia;

— In its 1936 invasion, Japan uses chemical weapons against China; in the same year, a German chemical lab produces the first nerve agent, Tabun;

— in 1940, 400 Chicago prisoners are infected with malaria to study the effects of new and experimental drugs;

— the US has had an active biological warfare program since at least the 1940s; in 1941, it implements a secret program to develop offensive and allegedly defensive bioweapons using controversial testing methods; most research and development is at Fort Detrick, MD; beginning in 2008, Los Alamos and Lawrence Livermore labs will also conduct it; production and testing are at Pine Bluff, AR and Dugway Proving Ground, UT;

— from 1942 – 1945, (US) Chemical Warfare Services begins mustard gas experiments on about 4000 servicemen;

— in 1943, the US begins biological weapons research at Fort Detrick, MD;

— in 1944, the US Navy uses human subjects (locked in chambers) to test gas masks and clothing;

— during WW II, Germany uses lethal Zyklon-B gas in concentration camp exterminations; the Japanese (in Unit 731) conduct biowarfare experiments on civilians;

— in 1945, German offenders get immunity under Project Paperclip; Japanese ones as well – in exchange for their data and (for Germans at least) to work on top secret government projects in the US;

— in 1945, the US Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) implements “Program F;” it’s the most extensive US study of the health effects of fluoride – a key chemical component in atomic bomb production; it’s one of the most toxic chemicals known and causes marked adverse central nervous system effects; in the interest of national security and not undermining full-scale nuclear weapons production, the information is suppressed; fluoride is found naturally in low concentration in drinking water and foods; compounds of the substance are also commonly used for cavity-prevention, but few people understand its toxicity;

— in 1946, VA hospital patients become guinea pigs for medical experiments;

— in 1947, the US has germ warfare weapons; Truman withdraws the 1928 Geneva Protocol from Senate consideration; it’s not ratified until 1974 and is now null and void under George Bush;

— in 1947, the AEC’s Colonel EE Kirkpatrick issues secret document #07075001; it states that the agency will begin administering intravenous doses of radioactive substances to human subjects;

— in July 1947, the CIA is established; it begins LSD experiments on civilian and military subjects with and without their knowledge – to learn its use as an intelligence weapon;

— in 1949, the US Army releases biological agents in US cities to learn the effects of a real germ warfare attack; tests continue secretly through at least the 1960s in San Francisco, New York, Washington, DC, Panama City and Key West, Florida, Minnesota, other midwest locations, along the Pennsylvania turnpike and elsewhere; more on outdoor testing below;

— after the (official) 1950 Korean War outbreak, North Korea and China accuse the US of waging germ warfare; an outbreak of disease the same year in San Francisco apparently is from Army bacteria released in the city; residents become ill with pneumonia-like symptoms;

— in 1950, the DOD begins open-air nuclear weapons detonations in desert areas, then monitors downwind residents for medical problems and mortality rates;

— in 1951, African-Americans are exposed to potentially fatal stimulants as part of a race-specific fungal weapons test in Virginia;

— in 1953, the US military releases clouds of zinc cadium sulfide gas over Winnipeg, Canada, St. Louis, Minneapolis, Fort Wayne, the Monocacy River Valley in Maryland, and Leesburg, VA – to determine how efficiently chemical agents can be dispersed;

— in 1953, joint Army-Navy-CIA experiments are conducted in New York and San Francisco – exposing tens of thousands of people to the airborne germs Serratia marcescens and Bacillus glogigii;

— in 1953, the CIA initiates Project MKULTRA – an 11 year research program to produce and test drugs and biological agents that can be used for mind control and behavior modification; unwitting human subjects are used;

— in 1955, the CIA releases bacteria from the Army’s Tampa, FL biological warfare arsenal – to test its ability to infect human populations;

— from 1955 – 1958, the Army Chemical Corps continues LSD research (on over 1000 subjects) – to study its effect as an incapacitating agent;

— in 1956, the US military releases mosquitoes infected with Yellow Fever over Savannah, GA and Avon Park, FL – to test the health effects on victims;

— in 1956, Army Field Manual 27-10, The Law of Land Warfare, specifically states bio-chemical warfare isn’t banned;

— in 1960, the Army Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence authorizes LSD field tested in Europe and the Far East;

— in 1961, the Kennedy administration increases chemical spending from $75 – $330 million; it authorizes Project 112 – a secret program (from 1962 – 1973) to test the effects of biological and chemical weapons on thousands of unwitting US servicemen; Project SHAD was a related project; subjects were exposed to VX, tabun, sarin and soman nerve gases plus other toxic agents;

— in 1962, chemical weapons are loaded on planes for possible use during the Cuban missile crisis;

— in 1966, the New York subway system is used for a germ warfare experiment;

— in 1968, the Pentagon considers using some of its chemical weapons (including nerve gas) against civil rights and anti-war protesters;

— in 1969, an apparent nerve agent kills thousands of sheep in Utah; Nixon issues two National Security Memoranda in 1969 and 1970; the first (in November 1969) ends production and offensive use of lethal and other type biological and chemical weapons; it confines “bacteriological/biological programs….to research for defensive purposes” and has other loopholes as well; the second (in February 1970) orders existing stockpiles destroyed, confines “toxins….research and development (to) defensive purposes only,” and declares only small quantities will be maintained to develop vaccines, drugs and diagnostics – a huge exploitable loophole;

— in 1969, the General Assembly bans herbicide plant killers and tear gases in warfare; the US is one of three opposing votes; despite being banned, open-air testing intermittently continues to the present, and the Pentagon apparently authorized it in its most recent annual report; it calls for developmental and operational “field testing of (CBW) full systems,” not just simulations, and followed it up in a recent March 2008 test; in Crystal City, VA, it released perflourocarbon tracers and sulfur hexaflouride assuring residents it’s safe; it’s not and may harm persons with asthma, emphysema and other respiratory ailments;

— in 1969, DOD’s Dr. Robert MacMahan requests $10 million to develop a synthetic biological agent for which no natural immunity exists;

— from the 1960s through at least the 1980s, the US assaults Cuba with biological agent attacks;

— in 1970, US Southeast Asian forces conduct Operation Tailwind using sarin nerve gas in Laos; many die, including civilians; Admiral Thomas Moorer, former Joint Chiefs Chairman, confirmes the raid on CNN in 1998; under Pentagon pressure, CNN retracts the report and fires award-winning journalist Peter Arnett and co-producers April Oliver and Jack Smith because they refuse to disavow their report;

— in 1971, US forces end direct use of Agent Orange in Southeast Asia; also in 1971 with CIA help, an anti-Castro paramilitary group introduces African swine fever into Cuba; it infects a half a million pigs and results in their destruction; a few months later a similar attack fails against Cuban poultry; in 1981, a covert US operation unleashes a type 2 dengue fever outbreak – the first in the Caribbean since the turn of the century involving hemorrhagic shock on a massive scale; over 300,000 cases are reported, including 158 fatalities;

— in 1975, the Senate Church Committee confirms from a CIA memorandum that US “defensive” bioweapons are stockpiled at Fort Detrick, MD – including anthrax, encephalitis, tuberculosis, shellfish toxin, and food poisons;

— in 1980, Congress approves a nerve gas facility in Pine Bluff, Arkansas;

— during the 1980s Iran-Iraq war, the US supplies Iraq with toxic biological and chemical agents; Ronald Reagan signs a secret order to do “whatever (is) necessary and ‘legal’ ” to prevent Iraq from losing the war;” a 1994 congressional inquiry later finds that dozens of biological agents were shipped, including various strains of anthrax and precursors of nerve gas (like sarin), gangrene, and West Nile virus;

— in 1984, Reagan orders M55 rockets retooled to contain high-yield explosives and VX gas; his administration begins researching and developing biological agents allegedly for “defensive purposes;”

— in 1985 and 1986, the US resumes open-air biological agents testing; it likely never stopped;

— in 1987, Congress votes to resume chemical weapons production;

— in 1989, 149 nations at the Paris Chemical Weapons Conference condemn these weapons; after signing the treaty, it’s revealed that the US plans to produce poison gas; at the UN, GHW Bush reaffirms the US commitment to eliminate chemical weapons in 10 years; the US implements the Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989 – “to implement….the Prohibition of the Development, Production, and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and Their Destruction….;”

— in 1990, GHW Bush signs the 1989 act making it illegal for the US to develop, possess or use biological weapons; Bush also signs Executive Order 12735 stating: the spread of chemical and biological weapons constitutes an “unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States;”

— following the Gulf War, reports surface about US forces’ health problems – later called Gulf War Syndrome; the likely cause – widespread use of depleted uranium, other toxic substances, and the illegal use (on nearly 700,000 theater forces) of experimental vaccines in violation of the Nuremberg Code on medical experimentation; over 12,000 have since died and over 30% are now ill from non-combat-related factors; they’ve since filed claims with the VA for medical care, compensation, and pension benefits;

— in 1997, Cuba accuses the US of spraying crops with biological agents;

— in 1997, the US ratifies the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) banning the production, stockpile and use of these substances;

— in 2001, the Bush administration rejects the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) citing 38 problems with it, some called serious; claiming a need to counter chemical and biological weapons threats, it’s spending multi-billions illegally to develop, test and stockpile “first-strike” chemical and biological weapons that endanger homeland security and threaten good relations with other countries;

— all along, a BWC loophole allows appropriate types and amounts of biological agents to be used for “prophylactic, protective or other peaceful purposes” – construed to be defensive; it also permits “research,” not “development;” the CIA took full advantage to conduct programs for offense, not defense or to further peace; further, the BWC includes nothing about genetic engineering because it didn’t exist at the time.

The US Secret Bioweapons Program

In November 2001, Michel Chossudovsky used this title for his Global article. It was when “an impressive military arsenal of aircraft carriers and gun-boats” was building up in the Persian Gulf in preparation for “a major bombing operation….against Iraq” at a future designated time.

Back home, the administration used the 2001 anthrax attacks as “justification for extending the ‘campaign against international terrorism’ to Iraq….Washington singled out Iraq, North Korea, Iran, Syria and Libya of violating the international treaty banning weapons of germ warfare.”

At the same time, ample evidence “confirms that the US has built an extensive arsenal of biological weapons (in blatant violation) of international laws and covenants.” It was enlarged in the 1980s and 1990s but significantly expanded under George Bush on the pretext of being strictly “defensive” and to “curb the use of germ warfare by ‘rogue states.’ “

On October 29, 2002, the London Guardian reported that “Respected scientists on both sides of the Atlantic warned that the US is (illegally) developing a new generation of weapons that undermine and possibly violate international treaties on biological and chemical warfare” – ironically at the same time it accused Iraq of these same type violations.

University of Bradford international security professor Malcolm Dando and University of California microbiology lecturer Mark Wheelis accused the Bush administration of “encouraging a breakdown in arms control” treaties by secretly conducting these programs. Dando said they include:

— developing a cluster bomb to disperse bioweapons;

— building a bioweapons plant from commercially available materials to prove “terrorists” can do it;

— genetically engineering a more potent anthrax strain;

— producing dried and weaponized anthrax spores in quantities far larger than for research;

— researching and producing hallucinogenic weapons such as BZ gas; and

— developing “non-lethal” weapons similar to the gas Russia used to end the 2002 Moscow theater siege that killed around 170 people and injured hundreds.

In February 2008, the Sunshine Project suspended operations, but its website is still accessible. It was an NGO dedicated to banning and “avert(ing) the dangers of” bioweapons. In 2001, it accused the Bush administration of advancing “a plan to undermine international controls on biological weapons.”

On May 8, 2002, it issued a press release titled “US Armed Forces Push for Offensive Biological Weapons Development – genetically engineered microbes that attack items such as fuel, plastics and asphalt” in violation of international law. The proposals date from 1997 and involve the (Washington, DC) Naval Research Laboratory and the (Brooks Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas) Armstrong Laboratory. They come at a time when the US rejected “legally-binding” UN inspections of “suspected” facilities producing weapons “explicitly for offense.”

Additional documents have been suppressed and those known “are probably only the tip of the iceberg….The National Academies are also concealing related documents. After the Sunshine Project requested copies….on March 12, 2002, (they) placed a ‘security hold’ on the public file” without explanation. “The research proposed by the Air Force and Navy raises serious legal questions. Under the (1989) US Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act, development of biological weapons, including those that attack materials, is subject to federal criminal and civil penalties.” It also prohibits development, acquisition and stockpiling of agents intended as bioweapons.

On May 21, 2004, AP reported that arms control advocates warned the Bush administration that “proposed research for a new (Fort Detrick) Homeland Security center may violate an international ban on biological weapons and encourage other countries to follow.” Experts said proposals for the National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center (NBACC) flout bioweapons prohibitions by crossing the line between “defensive” research and banned weapons development.

On July 31, 2007 the London Guardian reported that the US is “Building (a) Treaty-Breaching Germ War Defence Centre” near Washington, DC” – NBACC. It’s to be completed in 2008 and will be a “vast germ warfare laboratory intended to help protect the US against an attack with biological weapons, but critics say the laboratory’s work will violate international law and its extreme secrecy will exacerbate a biological arms race (by) accelerat(ing) work on similar facilities around the world.”

It will house “heavily guarded and hermetically sealed chambers….to produce and stockpile the world’s most lethal bacteria and viruses” – forbidden by the 1972 BWC and 1989 US Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act. The Fort Detrick facility will be used for the new 160,000 square foot lab, and it’s authorization coincided with the 2001 anthrax attacks that killed five people, and along with 9/11, unleashed everything that followed.

DHS calls Fort Detrick the home of “The National Interagency Biodefense Campus.” Besides NBACC, other agencies there include:

— the Health and Human Services’ (NIH) National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID);

— the Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service and Foreign Disease-Weed Science Research Unit (FDWSRU); and

— the Department of Defense’s US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID).

DHS says USAMRIID “conduct(s) basic and applied research on biological threats (to provide) cutting-edge medical research for the warfighter against biological threats.” International law and bioweapons expert, Francis Boyle, disagrees. He says the “program constitutes clear violations of the international (1972 BWC) arms control treaty….ratified by the United States in 1975.” He also cites BWC’s preamble that states in part:

“….Parties to this Convention (are) Determined to act with a view to achieving effective progress towards general and complete disarmament, including the prohibition and elimination of all types of weapons of mass destruction, and convinced that the prohibition of the development, production and stockpiling of chemical and bacteriological (biological) weapons and their elimination, through effective measures, will facilitate the achievement of general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control….” The BWC goes on to say that use of these weapons are so “repugnant to the conscience of mankind….that no effort should be spared to minimize this risk.”

In Boyle’s view, Fort Detrick’s NBACC and USAMRIID heighten risks because their work involves: “acquiring, growing, modifying, storing, packaging and dispersing classical, emerging and genetically engineered pathogens.” This work is an “unmistakable hallmark of an offensive weapons program” in violation of the 1989 Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act that he authored. Even worse according to Edward Hammond, former director of the Sunshine Project: Recreating the deadly 1918 “Spanish flu” germ that killed an estimated 40 million worldwide (or other dangerous pathogens) increases “the possibility of (a) man-made disaster, either accidental or deliberate….for the entire world.” If a single viral particle or cell escapes or is unleashed, an enormous outbreak may result with potentially catastrophic consequences.

The Fort Detrick plan derives from a Bush Homeland Security Presidential Directive (HSPD-10) written April 28, 2004. It states: “Among our many initiatives we are continuing to develop more forward-looking analyses, to include Red Teaming efforts, to understand new scientific trends that may be exploited by our adversaries to develop biological weapons and to help position intelligence collectors ahead of the problem.” Boyle calls it “a smoking gun” aimed at the BWC.

“Red Teaming means that we actually have people out there on a Red Team plotting, planning, scheming and conspiring how to use biowarfare” and sooner or later will unleash it using living organisms for military purposes. They may be viral, bacterial, fungal, or other forms that can spread over a vast terrain by wind, water, insect, animal, or humans, according to Jeremy Rifkin, author of “The Biotech Century.” Rifkin also asserts it’s “impossible to distinguish between defensive and offensive research in the field,” and given this administration’s penchant for lying and secrecy, other nations will be justifiably suspicious.

The Bush administration proceeded anyway. Since 9/11, it spent or allocated around $50 billion on bioweapons development through 11 federal departments and agencies, including DOD and DHS. For FY 2009, it wants an additional $8.1 billion or $2.5 billion more than in FY2008. It calls its program preventive and defensive and cites Project BioShield as an example. It became law in July 2004 as a 10 year program to develop countermeasures to biological, chemical, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) agents. It was, in fact, a gift to companies like Gilead Sciences, the company Donald Rumsfeld led as chairman from 1997 to 2001 (and remains a major shareholder) until he left to become George Bush’s Defense Secretary.

It would have also required every American to be vaccinated under the Biodefense and Pandemic Vaccine and Drug Development Act of 2005. It passed the Senate but not the House and would have, under a public emergency, allowed experimental or approved drugs to be used with insufficient knowledge of their safety – in violation of the Nuremburg Code on medical experimentation. It also would have immunized companies from liability and denied those harmed the right to sue.

Private Bioweapons Labs Cashing In

According to the Sunshine Project, “scores of US universities and biotechnology companies (since 2001) have benefitted handsomely from billions of dollars in ‘biodefense’ cash. Across the country, ‘biodefense’ labs are sprouting up like weeds. The unrelenting spigot of federal money (has) thousands of scientists and technicians” doing bioweapons research on some of the deadliest pathogens. But the problem is much greater than that:

— projects underway are illegal;

— immense secrecy enshrouds them; and

— federal oversight is so lax that NIH safety guidelines aren’t enforced and CDC poorly identifies problems it should address; as a result, “accidents are popping up everywhere” amidst a “pervasive cover-up culture” that hides them – in direct violation of federal rules and responsible practice that:

(1) require government agencies to protect the public from dangerous pathogens, and

(2) obligate research labs to disclose the nature of their work; failure to do so suggests alleged biodefense research is, in fact, cover for offensive biowarfare programs to complement Fort Detrick and other government site efforts.

The Sunshine Project believes about 400 private bioweapons labs now operate around the country with no public disclosure of their activities – and plenty of reasons to worry Francis Boyle that the Bush administration is up to mischief. It “sabotaged the Verification Protocol for the BWC (and) fully intend(s) to (engage in) research, development and testing of illegal and criminal offensive biowarfare programs.” That prospect should frighten everyone.

Reporter Sherwood Ross for sure. He calls the administration’s project “the costliest, most grandiose research scheme ever attempted (with) germ warfare capability….going forward under President Bush and in defiance of” US and international laws. Far worse, where once “germ warfare was an isolated happenstance, (today’s efforts elevate it) to an instrument of (deadly and loathsome) policy.

Other Recent Developments

On February 21, 2008, the Sidney Morning Herald reported that the Bush administration rejected claims made by Indonesian Health Minister, Siti Fadilah Supari, in her book titled: “It Is Time for the World to Change! God’s Hand Behind Bird Flu Virus.” She questions whether the US is using bird flu samples collected from developing nations to develop biological weapons, not new vaccines as claimed.

On July 20, 2008, the Jakarta Post reported: “If there were a “National Darling Award” contest….Supari would probably win it. (Her) supporters praise her as a great third world heroine who dares challenge the global structure of injustice and inequality perpetrated by powerful states (like the US) and networks of international institutions. Most of the praise is based on opinions” from her new book mentioned above.

She claims the US is transferring virus samples to the Los Alamos National Laboratory. It’s one of two US nuclear weapons labs that will operate new biological research facilities capable of researching and developing dangerous pathogens in violation of the BWC and US Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989. California-based Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is the other one. On January 25, it began operating a new Biosafety Level 3 (BSL-3) lab. In August, Los Alamos is scheduled to complete a federally mandated environmental study for a similar lab to begin operations shortly thereafter. Given the Bush administration’s penchant for secrecy, Supari’s accusations may be justified.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) establishes biosafety classifications. BLS-4 ones, like for Ebola, are the most dangerous, in part, because no known cures exist. Los Alamos and Lawrence Livermore currently operate BLS-2 labs. They’ll now have BLS-3 ones to study infectious agents able to cause serious or fatal illnesses if inhaled. But there’s no way to know if both labs, Fort Detrick, others like the former Edgewood Arsenal (now the Edgewood Area at the Aberdeen Proving Ground), Oak Ridge Ridge National Laboratory, and still more we don’t know about will secretly research any type pathogens, including the most dangerous ones, for any purpose – offense or defense.

What is known is that government labs will study pathogens posing serious public health and safety threats. Ones like anthrax, botulism, brucellosis, plague, Rickettsia, tularemia, Avian influenza, H5N1 (the recent strain reported and called the most dangerous), and valley fever plus whatever others are planned but kept secret.

Most important is this. These labs conduct weapons research, so they’ll likely focus on bioweapons and not follow BWC “prophylactic, protective, or other peaceful purposes” guidelines. For example, vaccines and potential biological weapons defenses may, in fact, be for offense. Distinguishing between the two is impossible so other nations and figures like Supari are suspicious.

They’re not comforted by Lawrence Livermore’s Lynda Seaver. On February 12, she told Arms Control Today that the US is “a signatory to the Biowarfare Convention and does not conduct bioweapons research.” She also said most work there will be unclassified. On February 15, however, a CDC spokesperson suggested otherwise and informed Arms Control Today that Lawrence Livermore security restrictions are tight as they are at Los Alamos, Fort Detrick and other US weapons research facilities. They bar transparency and place strict limits on sharing select agents research to prevent other nations from knowing it exists or its purpose.

Further, later this year DHS will complete construction of the new Fort Detrick lab (NBACC), and a new $500 million animal research facility is planned. Both will have BLS-3 and 4 capabilities. They’ll work on the most dangerous known pathogens and conduct controversial type threat assessment research – to develop and produce new biological weapons and develop defenses against them. Once again, differentiating between offense and defense is impossible, and given their penchant for deception and secrecy, no one takes Bush administration officials at their word nor should they.

Francis Boyle’s “Biowarfare and Terrorism”

Boyle drafted the 1989 Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act and covers it in his 2006 book. It’s now codified in Title 18 of the US Code, sections 175 – 178 and was the implementing legislation for the landmark 1972 Biological Weapons Convention (BWC).

MIT molecular biology professor Jonathan King wrote this about the book in its forward:

It “outlines how and why the United States government initiated, sustained and then dramatically expanded an illegal biological arms buildup….Boyle reveals how the new (multi-) billion-dollar US Chemical and Biological Defense Program has been reoriented (endorsing “first strike” CBW use in war) to accord with the Neo-Conservative pre-emptive strike agenda – this time by (illegal) biological and chemical warfare.” This “represent(s) a significant emerging danger to our population (and) threaten(s) international relations among nations.” These programs “are always called defensive (but) with biological weapons, defensive and offensive programs overlap almost completely.”

“Boyle (also) sheds new light on the motives for the (2001) anthrax attacks, the media black hole of silence (about them), and why the FBI may never apprehended the perpetrators of this seminal crime of the 21st century.” They killed five people, injured 17 others, and temporarily shut down Congress, the Supreme Court, and other federal operations. Army scientist Dr. Steven Hatfill was unfairly implicated as a “person of interest” but was never charged. He sued the Justice Department and in June was awarded $2.8 million and a $150,000 annuity for violating his privacy, leaking false and inflammatory information, costing him his job and reputation, and blasting his name all over the media for days. It was the beginning of the frightening events that followed.

Boyle is currently a leading proponent of an effort to impeach George Bush, Dick Cheney and other high-level administration figures for their crimes of war, against humanity and other grievous violations of domestic and international law. In his “Biowarfare and Terrorism,” he sounds an alarm about the administration’s bioweapons program and what it means for humanity. He fears “a catastrophic biowarfare or bioterrorist incident or accident (is) a statistical certainty.” It highlights enormous new risks plus other frightening ones like the possibility of nuclear war and catastrophic fallout from it. That, permanent wars, a potential Andromeda Strain, police state justice, and destroying the republic are but five among other threats since the advent of George Bush and his roguish team.

In “Biowarfare and Terrorism,” Boyle addresses the bioweapons threat as an expert on the subject and gives readers an historical perspective. He asserts that the US government dramatically expanded an illegal biological arms development, production, and buildup that endangers all humanity with its potential. It’s part of an extremist agenda for unchallengeable power and right to unleash “proactive” wars with the most aggressive weapons in its arsensal – nuclear, chemical, biological, others, space-based ones, and new ones in development.

Since WW II, America has actively developed, tested, and used terror weapons, including biological ones. Even after Nixon ended the nation’s biowarfare programs, they never stopped. The CIA remained active through a loophole in the law, then the Reagan administration reactivated what Nixon slowed down. It acted much like the current regime with many of the same officials espousing similar extremist views – that America must exploit its technological superiority and not let laws, norms, or the greater good deter them.

The Bush administration raised the stakes and threatens all humanity. Boyle believes it used 9/11 and the anthrax attacks to stampede Congress and the public into aggressive wars and a menu of repressive laws. He also thinks the FBI knows who’s behind the anthrax attacks: criminal US government elements planning a police state and another frightening enterprise – to fight and win a future biowar. A possible nuclear one as well. Boyle sounds the alarm about what may lie ahead and its potential consequences.

In October 2003, the National Academy of Sciences did as well. It warned about the “misuse of tools, technology, or knowledge base of (bioweapons) research for offensive military or terrorist purposes.” That’s the present risk. It makes everyone unwitting subjects of a recklessly endangering experiment.

Stephen Lendman is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization. He lives in Chicago and can be reached at

Also visit his blog site at and listen to The Global Research News Hour on Mondays from 11AM – 1PM US Central time for cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests. All programs are archived for easy listening.

Who Threatens You Most: The President, Congress, Fed–Or Iran?

Who Threatens You Most:

The President, Congress, Fed–

Or Iran?

by Douglas Herman

Exclusive to STR

July 22, 2008

Some day in the not-too-distant future, someone will pen a book called Who Wrecked America ? If the book is honest, fingers will be pointed at the crooks and liars in Washington DC and Wall Street, at lobbyists (pimps) and Congressmen (whores), at bankers and war toy makers, at AIPAC and PNAC, at presidents, executives and generals.

Doubtful that anyone will conclude that Iran had much to do with the destruction of America . Although today Iran remains in the gunsights of the master criminals in DC, that distant land does less damage to America than a handful of high American officials. Truthfully, I feel more threatened by Bush and Bolton , by Barack and Barak, by McCain and Cheney and Pelosi, than anyone in Iran .

Nukes or no nukes, Iran threatens me less than the Fed, Congress, the US media or the president.

When the history of the late, great nation known as America is written, our own homegrown jackals will be rightly blamed for the destruction. Forgotten will be the nineteen G-string jihadists with their Korans and boxcutters. If the history books are honest and the historians adroit, the blame will lie less with the Taliban and more with the Ivy League educated in their tailored suits and power ties.

Who knew the first US president with an MBA could wield so much destructive power? Maybe an MBA stands for Master of Bankrupting America. Certainly someone should revoke the charter of the university that bestowed an MBA on George W. Bush.

More to blame than any US president, Congress sanctions, and has always permitted, the wholesale destruction of the nation. Perhaps the rich remain loyal to the rich alone. Indeed, a majority of Americans do not even know that Congress allowed the creation of the Federal Reserve. Congress votes to allow US presidents wholesale destructive powers. Congress writes the checks that allow worldwide US imperialism, funding dictators, toppling democracies, while bankrupting America . Congress shuns its sworn duty, to protect and preserve the Constitution and the country, every step of the way. Indeed, as I write this, Congress is weighing more war power measures, called House Resolution 362, giving the president even more destructive powers. Even while America collapses like WTC-7, Congress will find ways to add to the rubble pile. As Doug Thompson wrote years ago: “Nobody’s life, liberty or property is safe while Congress is in session.”

The American media certainly threatens me far more than Iran . Covert threat rather than overt. By continuously spreading false propaganda for a series of profitable yet fraudulent wars, the US mainstream media does as much or more to wreck this country than any US president. Pundits lament that fewer Americans read the newspaper anymore. Critic Rick Shenkman calls us woodenheaded or boneheaded for our ignorance but fails to note a far more serious form of American ignorance called subtle brainwashing. By selectively reporting and slanting the “news,” the corporate-owned US media is no different than a cabal of mullahs bent on controlling the behavior and opinion of the populace.

Georges Santana wrote: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” To that I would add, those who profit from the past and present are determined to control the future. Consider: This so-called gas shortage and the collective short-sightedness of our so-called leaders seems altogether too planned, too convenient. Ask yourself this question: In the wake of another attack, provocation or terror strike, would the American people be more or less controllable without a steady supply of gas? Would the American people be more or less willing and able to assemble? Would they have the means or money to drive to Washington DC to protest? Without a steady supply of gasoline, and thus without food, without work, would the American people be MORE OR LESS at the mercy of their leaders to provide it?

Those who threaten my health or well-being, endangering those I love and destroying both law and land, pretend to act for my benefit. THEY DO NOT. I never voted for them, nor do I support them in any way in their duplicitous and diabolical agenda.

Here is What the Jewish Lobby Wants Their American Political Parties To Do For Them

ADL Submits Policy Priorities to Democratic

and Republican Platform Committees

New York, NY, July 21, 2008 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has submitted to the platform committees of both the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Republican National Committee (RNC) a statement of policy priorities on a range of international and domestic issues. The platform statement describes ADL’s positions on the issues and outlines recommendations on policy direction that the League hopes the parties will adopt.

Platform committees meet every four years in advance of the national conventions. The League has a longstanding practice of submitting its policy agenda to both parties prior to the nominating conventions.

The following are highlights from ADL’s submission:

International Extremism and Global Anti-Semitism

The League believes the U.S. must take a leadership role in mobilizing government efforts to confront anti-Semitism, racism, xenophobia, homophobia and all forms of hatred and bigotry. Anti-Semitic propaganda continues to thrive in the Muslim and Arab world and is disseminated throughout the world via satellite television and the Internet. (more).

U.S. Support for Israel and the Peace Process

ADL believes that the United States must continue its historic support for the State of Israel and its fundamental right to protect its citizens from terrorism, violence and harm, while promoting a peaceful resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict. The U.S. must stand with Israel to promote security and to minimize strategic dangers (more).

Stopping the Iranian Threat

The greatest threat to the U.S., the West, Israel and our other allies in the Middle East is posed by Iran’s development of a nuclear weapons capability. The U.S. and our international allies must work to convince Iran to abandon its development of a nuclear weapons capability through incentives for cooperation and sanctions for non-cooperation (


Comprehensive immigration reform is necessary in order to effectively decrease the flow of undocumented workers while treating our fellow human beings with dignity. ADL opposes the coordinated roundups of undocumented workers, takes a strong stand against the increasing use of intolerant rhetoric to describe immigrants, and calls on all parties to the discussion to debate immigration policy civilly and respectfully (more).

Protecting Church-State Separation

ADL urges the committees to reaffirm a commitment to the separation of church and state:

  • Faith-Based Initiatives: The Faith-Based Initiative raises serious questions of both law and policy and has distorted the appropriate role of government in the provision of social services. Every component of the initiative should maintain essential constitutional safeguards for protecting religious organizations, beneficiaries and the government (more).

  • School Vouchers: Vouchers pose a serious threat to the values that are vital to the health of American democracy. These programs subvert the constitutional principle of separation of church and state and threaten to undermine our system of public education (more).

  • Creationism and “Intelligent Design:” Creationism, creation science and “intelligent design” theory are all religious theories of creation offered to explain the origins of the universe and are based on varying interpretations of the Bible. ADL has consistently opposed these troubling initiatives and advocates the right of students to learn science independent of religious doctrine (more).

  • Religion in the Military: ADL is concerned that religious harassment and unwelcome proselytizing are an ongoing problem in the military and the nation’s service academies. The League calls for Congressional oversight and hearings toward the adoption of consistent guidelines to address reports of religious intolerance and proselytizing in the armed forces (more).

Voting Rights

ADL has long demonstrated a strong commitment to voting rights for all Americans. We support the Voting Rights Act by working to break down barriers to full ballot access for all people, including language-minority citizens, to ensure that all Americans are able to exercise their right to vote (more).

The statement includes other ADL policy recommendations on:


This is a very important forum that is going on right now. My own view is that every person can and do what he must as he sees it by his own inner lights. No one has a right to judge another as doing too much, too little, or the wrong way. Every person has a right to “opt in” or “opt out” at any point in time and either way will surely have to live with the consequences. The “system” seeks to deny choice at every juncture. We as free men and women cannot deny anyone, or ourselves, that choice. We are touching here on the essence of the existential dilemma. “To be or not to be, that is the question.” In his autobiography, Cellini describes his life-changing visions experienced in a dungeon. Anwar Sadat told how in prison he learned the all-important lesson that he was still free to think as he chose. Solzhenitysn in One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich celebrated the freedom of man in the midst of the Gulag. The genie of human freedom is out of the bottle my friends, and “they” are not going to put it back in again. They do not have the power to do that. In fact, at bottom they really do not have the power to do anything, because all they see, no matter where they look, is the shadow of their own limitations. Really.

Richard Cook


To form a proper non-violent resistance to the continuing onslaught from the elitist intellectuals of the corporate state and their plans for a “scientific dictatorship,” will require the formation of a free-thinkers intellectual counter-movement. Since their ideas are based on careful studies of human nature, with plans formed to manipulate our minds on the sub-conscious level, we have to understand what they are doing and have done, so that we can formulate new strategies for guiding the big change, based on humanitarian (as opposed to profit-based plans) concerns.

I believe that there are obvious, though hidden answers, to the calamitous epoch we are entering, if free minds simply act together, to think our way through. “What Would a Humane Civilization Do,” to correct their common path to certain destruction? Seeing with “new eyes” is a revelatory experience that will move our species and planet onto a better course than the one we are now on and serve as the basis for the global renaissance the world has long awaited and is in such dire need of.

We have to pool our thinking, to act as a vanguard of an intellectual movement of older thinkers, who have so far in life have mostly devoted their impressive brainpower to improving their own life conditions. The progressive thinkers among us have to help their own species to think its way through the coming collapse. As things now stand, the majority of the human race will either be left to twist in the wind on their own, or actually become the unfortunate targets of the planned population reduction. If mankind were freed from this madness of the central planners, then:

How could the human race stand together as one people, one planet, to face and weather the coming storm, in a manner that would facilitate the next evolutionary steps of a maturing species?”

The answers to this question would heal the great “earth wound” that has been self-inflicted upon this corner of Creation by the hand of immoral immature mankind. If we could each think of realistic solutions in our own fields of expertise as to defining our own part of a new path, and pool the ideas for change into a central source, the answers that have been hidden or overlooked for so long might just seem apparent to unprejudiced eyes.

Founding a counter intellectual movement intended to provide options for weathering the coming re-structuring of the post-capitalist world will create a base of operations, from which to fight the government/corporate think tank solutions, which are all based upon maintaining and consolidating profits instead of improving human conditions.

A resistance movement based on this new thinking, if successful, could challenge Congress to follow the Constitutional mandate and answer to the “will of the people.”

Such a movement could force a return to representative government. A first step for a new Congress that is properly frightened of the people more than it is the powerful elite who elect them, would be to block AIPAC-inspired plans for escalating the terror war which now appear to be sailing virtually unopposed through Congress.

Further steps might be to force hearings at the Federal level to focus upon preparations for and stages of martial law, as well as on the tyrannical practice passing restrictive legislation in secrecy, without public awareness or debate.

Another parallel track might be to pursue the same topics on a states’ rights basis, particularly, where the plans for dictatorship conflict with laws on the Federal use of state Nat. Guard troops, or subordinate states’ rights under Homeland Security.

This new phase of “The Conversation” will be scrubbed of full names and all addresses and posted under the following link on the No Sunglasses website.

Please try to make your input on this conversation as concise as possible, keeping in mind its final destination, unless expressed otherwise.

The Moral Obligation to Lose The War

The Moral Obligation to Lose The War

By Robert Shetterly

05/12/07 “Common Dreams‘ — — Every act has moral and immoral potential. The girl scout who helps an unsteady old man across the street could also have pushed him aside. The aftermath of each action engenders a new range of moral possibilities. Having pushed him aside, she might then regret her act and return to help him. Even when we’ve made bad choices, acted out of indifference or greed rather than compassion and generosity, another choice awaits us: how to compound or rectify the immoral act, stay the course or imagine how to salvage some measure of moral standing. Since even a racist like George Wallace can have a Road to Damascus experience, anything is possible.

The immense immorality of the choice to attack Iraq, and base that choice in lies, propaganda, and fear is hardly news now. But the fact that, above all else, it was a moral choice means that another moral choice is possible. And only one choice would atone for the original.

This war will not end until the funding is cut off. Anyone who would continue the funding to “support the troops,” should also tell you that once you make a moral mistake, keep making it, and that those who pay with their blood for your mistake are grateful for the support. The logic of this position would also maintain that policy is made by soldiers and officers, not by the people, the Congress and the President.

None of the offered plans now before us to de-escalate the war disavow what we all know to be its original goals — control of Iraq’s oil and the building of large, permanent US military bases in Iraq. Nor do any of these bills address the central issue of accountability, the fact that this war is a war crime, a crime against our democracy, our Constitution, the Iraqi people, international law, and our own soldiers. Without accountability, our democracy is meaningless. Without moral action, our claim to integrity and respect are meaningless.

Our obligation as citizens is not to play political games with the Democrats or Republicans to help them position themselves for the next election. Our obligation is to demand that the laws and ideals of this country be upheld. The problem with the Iraq War is not that we are losing it and that we need a better strategy. The problem is that we have no moral right to win it. As bad as the colossal mismanagement, greed and corruption are, they are not the true issue. Betrayal of the public trust is the issue. Pre-meditated murder is the issue.

It is my deepest belief that the only good that may come from this disgraceful time in our history, will be the honest acknowledgement of how and why the country was mislead, followed by punishment for those responsible. Without that justice, we will learn nothing and be easy prey for the next abuse of power.

It is horrible to think that our soldiers have died and been injured in vain. However, if we demand accountability, demand impeachment, something honest will have been redeemed. All that blood and those blasted bodies of beloved people may form the bulwark against future abuse. In a sense freedom will have been won, democracy will be affirmed, justice will be established — here.

No one can tell you what will happen when the US withdraws the troops. Although, many did predict the chaos of insurgency and sectarianism that resulted from the attack. But whatever happens after our withdrawal, it will be made easier if we involve international peacekeepers, remove our bases, forego any claim to the oil, and pay reparations. The war is a moral and legal catastrophe and will continue to be. But since we precipitated it, we can’t pretend also to want to protect the Iraqis from it. We can’t. We’re the cause of it.

This administration has acted from a position that denigrates human rights, legal rights, moral rights, the rights of decency, inalienable rights, privacy rights, civil rights, women’s rights, environmental rights, worker’s rights, and children’s rights. The only right they have respected is the right of entitlement. Their own. Our only hope is to demand our rights, our rights as citizens, our rights to our ideals, our rights to a sense of morality.

The destruction of a small village in Vietnam was once explained away by our military as a village that had to be destroyed in order to save it. That perversity became symbolic of the entire war. Accurately. The War on Iraq should now be described as a war that must be lost in order to save America. That is our moral obligation.


–Hugh Wilford


Unholy Wars: Afghanistan, America and

International Terrorism By John K. Cooley,

Edward W. Said

Peace Not Apartheid by Jimmy Carter


– A Survivalist Guide to Nuclear War and other Major Disasters By: Bruce D. Clayton

In The Shadow of The Garrison State By Aaron L.


When Slaves become the Masters

By: Kulsum Bukhari

(NSSM 200)


The Global 2000 Report to the President Volume 1

The Global 2000 Report to the President Volume 2

The Global 2000 Report to the President Volume 3


The Search for the Manchurian Candidate

The CIA and Mind Control By: John Marks

Science of Coercion: Communication Research and Psychological Warfare, 1945-1960

By Christopher Simpson



Capitalism 3.0 PETER BARNES

Propaganda by Edward Bernays



Wall Street and the Rise of Adolph Hitler By: Antony C. Sutton

9/11 SYNTHETIC TERRORISM -MADE IN USA By Webster Griffin Tarpley

THE GRAND CHESSBOARD – Zbigniew Brzezinski


By Holly Sklar, Trilateral Commission


Michael Nield

The Ascent of Humanity.

by Charles Eisenstein


The Illuminati Formula to Create an Undetectable Total Mind Control Slave

By: Cisco Wheeler and Fritz Springmeir


By Livia Rokach, – Third Edition

A study based on Moshe Sharett’s Personal Diary




Anatomy of the Ultra-Secret National Security Agency

By: James Bamford



The CIA’s Plot Against America

America’s Secret Establishment

An Intro. to the Order of Skull and Bones

Antony C. Sutton

Trilaterals Over Washington

By: Antony C. Sutton


Antony C. Sutton



John Perkins



George Orwell


Aldous Huxley

The Ascendancy of the Scientific Dictatorship

Part One: Illuminating the Occult Origin of Darwinism

The Code Killers

Everything Nuclear

By: Ace Hoffman


By: Yisrael Koenig

Global Trends 2025: A Transformed World


By Steve Coll

From the Shadows By Robert M. Gates


By Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre

The New Conspiracy Reader

By Al Hidell, Joan D’Arc

Super Imperialism

The Economic Strategy of American Empire
Michael Hudson



Nathan Freier

Report on the Social, Economic and Educational Status of the Muslim Community of India

Legality of the Use of Military Commissions To Try Terrorists


Islamic Militancy in the Pakistan-Afghanistan Border Region and U.S. Policy

The Police State Road Map

Michael Nield

Army Special Operations Forces

Unconventional Warfare

“Planning Guidance for Response to a Nuclear Detonation”

Guide to the Analysis of Insurgency



Preventing a Cascade of Instability:

Washington Institute for Near East Policy

Behold a pale horse William Cooper

An Islamic View of Gog and Magog in the Modern World Imran N. Hosein


Reforming the
Intelligence Agencies in
Pakistan’s Transitional

Frédéric Grare

The United Kingdom’s Strategy

for Countering International


The World Order – A Study in the Hegemony of Parasitism

International Institutions and Global Governance Program

World Order in the 21st Century

A New Initiative of the Council on Foreign Relations

Army Reactor


The Secret Holocaust

Tactics in Counterinsurgency

Army Field Manual  FMI 3-24.2

Rightwing Extremism: Current

Economic and Political Climate Fueling

Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment

The Current Threat

Eqbal Ahmad, confronting empire

By Eqbal Ahmad, David Barsamian


by Major General Smedley D. Butler

The Globalists and the Islamists:

Fomenting the “Clash of Civilizations” for a New World Order

Peter D. Goodgame


Gaza Civilians Killed By Israeli Drone-Launched Missiles

Human Right Watch Report



The Israel Project’s 2009 Global Language Dictionary

Saudi Arabia- Assaulting Human Rights In the Name of Counter-Terrorism

changing_images of man,  Willis Harman

Committee of 300,

Dr. John Coleman

NeoConO p t i c o n

The EU Security-Industrial Complex

by Ben Hayes

Pakistan’s ISI The Invisible Government


Deeper Insights into the Illuminati Formula

Fritz Springmeier, Cisco Wheeler

Copenhagen Agreement on Climate Change

Spies for Hire: New Online Database of U.S. Intelligence Contractors


Terrorism and the Illuminati – A Three Thousand Year History

A Geopolitical Agenda

Dr. Kaveh Farrokh

Between Two Ages–Zbigniew Brzezinski


Death Squads In Iraq

The Bear Trap (Afghanistan’s Untold Story)

Brigadier Mohammad Yousaf

Building Moderate Muslim Networks


Civil Democratic Islam


Torture In India 2010

UN Report on Assassination of Benazir Bhutto

Planning Guidance for Response to a Nuclear Detonation

Trilaterals Over Washington

Antony C.  Sutton and Patrick M. Wood


The Beast Reawakens

Martin A. Lee

The Sun In the Sky: The Relationship Between Pakistan’s ISI and Afghan Insurgents

A Meta-Group Managing Drugs, Violence, and the State

Peter Dale Scott



The Arms Fixers

By Brian Wood and Johan Peleman


Antony C. Sutton


by Mr. Hempher

Offensive in the Balkans



James Wesley, Rawles

PLANNING MEETING: Berkeley Area Citizens for Re-Ordering Federal Priorities From Military to Humane


Reordering federal priorities from the military to human and

environmental needs

44 Beverly Rd., Kensington, Ca. 94707
Will meet 2August2008
Saturday, 2pm
2800 Adeline/Stuart, Berkeley; the Peace Action West office
7min. walk N from the Ashby BART station. Wheelchair accessible.
Common Agenda Regional Network Meets, Reports from participating
organizations and individuals.
Membership is self-determined. Discussions. Come contribute your
information. 510-524-6071, Betty.

Agenda …so far.
*San Francisco Bay Area Toxic Triangle
*Participating organizations’ activities
*The implications for individuals and organizations of the financial
crisis e.g. Fannie Mae = foreclosures and layoffs. Who is proposing a
Ne Deal type National Youth Administration and a Works Progress
*Results and next steps of AFSCME/UC strike
*August declared Nuclear Awareness month by United for Peace and
*Impeachment/war criminals update
The agenda is flexible. Call ahead to add your item/s, or add them at
the meeting. Represent your organization.

Participants so far:
Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists, Social Justice
Berkeley Gray Panthers
Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism of Northern
East Bay Peace Action
Ecumenical Peace Institute
El Cerrito Democratic Club
Grandmothers For Peace Hayward Chapter
Green Party of Alameda County
Meiklejohn Civil Liberties Institute
Mt. Diablo Peace and Justice Center
Peace and Freedom Party
Social Justice Center of Marin
Tri-Valley C.A.R.E.S.
WILPF Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom,
Berkeley/East Bay Branch; San Francisco Branch

Neuroscience, National Security & the “War on Terror”

Neuroscience, National Security & the “War on Terror”

Operating with little ethical oversight, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has been tapping cutting-edge advances in neuroscience, computers and robotics in a quest to build the “perfect warfighter.”

Dovetailing precisely with other projects to “dominate” the urban “battlespace” of global south and “homeland” cities, DARPA researchers are stretching moral boundaries where clear distinctions between “human” and “machine” are being consciously blurred. (see “Simulating Urban Warfare” and “America’s Cyborg Warriors“)

As the Center for Cognitive Liberty & Ethics warns,

The right of a person to liberty, autonomy, and privacy over his or her own intellect is situated at the core of what it means to be a free person. This principle is what gives life to some of our most well-established and cherished rights. Today, as new drugs and other technologies are being developed for augmenting, monitoring, and manipulating mental processes, it is more important than ever to ensure that our legal system recognizes and protects cognitive liberty as a fundamental right. (CCLE, “Frequently Asked Questions,” September 15, 2003)

Not only is the right to “liberty, autonomy, and privacy” being undermined by militarizing the life sciences, but the legal system itself is ill-equipped to deal with advances–and emerging threats–to “cognitive liberty” as America’s corporatist surveillance state seek new means to elicit compliance and control over individuals as biological science is securitized under the rubric of “national security.”

In Mind Wars: Brain Research and National Defense (Dana Press, 2006), bioethicist Jonathan Moreno lays out a frightening scenario where various Pentagon agencies with DARPA leading the charge, have been funding neuroscientific and biological research in the following areas:

Mind-machine interfaces, also called “neural prosthetics.” Living robots” whose movements can be controlled via brain implants. Research has successfully been carried out on “roborats” and “robodogs” for mine clearing and other dubious purposes. “Cognitive feedback helmets” that provide commanders or their medical surrogates the ability to remotely view an individual soldiers’ mental state. MRI and fMRI technologies for what has been called “brain fingerprinting” as an interrogation tool or airport screening for “terrorists.” So-called “non-lethal” pulse weapons and other neurodisruptors for deployment in global south or “homeland” cities as “riot control” tools. “Neuroweapons” that use biological agents to stimulate the release of neurotoxins. Research into concocting new pharmaceuticals that inhibit the urge to eat, sleep, suppress fear, or repress psychological inhibitions against killing.

With a multibillion dollar budget and dozens of projects in the pipeline, DARPA’s Defense Sciences Office (DSO) are looking for newer and ever-more insidious means “to harness biology” for military applications. A short list of DSO projects include the following:

* Biological Sensory Structure Emulation (BioSenSE), a program “designed around the concept of understanding biological sensory structures through advanced characterization and emulating, or transferring, this knowledge to the creation of superior synthetic sensors.” The majority of biological stimuli are deemed of “great military relevance” by Darpacrats.

* Cognitive Technology Threat Warning System (CTTWS), the intent of which is to integrate “advances in technology and biology” for a “soldier-portable” visual threat detection device that will utilized “cognitive visual processing algorithms” and “operator neural signature detection.”

* Fundamental Laws of Biology (FLB), is described as a mathematical modeling program that “will impact DoD and national security by developing a rational and predictive basis for doing biological research to combat bioterrorism, maintain healthy personnel, and discover new vaccines and medicines”–or to facilitate the design of new biological weapons.

* Nano Air Vehicle (NAV), described by program managers as as a project that “will develop and demonstrate an extremely small (less than 7.5 cm), ultra-lightweight (less than 10 grams) air vehicle system with the potential to perform indoor and outdoor military missions. The program will explore novel, bio-inspired, conventional and unconventional configurations to provide the warfighter with unprecedented capability for urban mission operations.” Paging John Anderton, white courtesy telephone!

* Neovision “will pursue an integrated approach to the object recognition pathway in the brain. This fundamental biological research will be accomplished using methods intentionally geared toward computational and modeling approaches that are amenable to hardware- and software-based implementations.”

* Peak Soldier Performance (PSP) is designed to “create technologies that allow the warfighter to maintain peak physical and cognitive performance despite the harsh battlefield environment.” In other words, develop drugs and nutrients for a “more efficient” soldier.

* Preventing Sleep Deprivation (PSD) is described as seeking to “enhance operational performance,” under harsh conditions. Current approaches “under investigation” include “novel pharmaceuticals that enhance neural transmission, nutraceuticals that promote neurogenesis, cognitive training, and devices such as transcranial magnetic stimulation.”

* Training Superiority (DARWARS), a suite of programs directly tying the military-industrial and entertainment complexes together into a seamless web. DARWARS seeks to provide “continuously available, on-demand, mission-level training for all forces at all echelons. Specifically, the program is developing, in areas of high military importance, new kinds of cognitive training systems that include elements of human-tutor interactions and the emotional involvement of computer games coupled with the feedback of Combat Training Center learning.” Continuous “on-demand training anywhere, anytime, for everyone.”

As with all dual-use research conducted by the agency, military relevance trump all other considerations. One need only examine the use of psychological research in the “war on terror” for some very troubling analogies.


If behavioral psychology was handmaid to the horrors perpetrated at Guantánamo Bay, Abu Ghraib and CIA transnational “black sites,” what new nightmares are in store for humanity when advances in neuroscience, complex computer algorithms and a secretive national security state enter stage (far) right? Let’s take a look.

Amy Kruse, Ph.D., is described on DARPA’s website as the creator of the concept of “operational neuroscience,” designing programs that “are helping transform neuroscience from a laboratory discipline to one that is doing advanced research to deliver revolutionary capabilities important to our warfighters.”

DSO’s “Training and Human Effectiveness” brief claims this suite of programs is “revolutionizing training…for everyone, anywhere, and at any time.” Kruse’s area of expertise is “AugCog” or augmented cognition, a subset of neuroscientific research seeking models for a “brain-machine interface.” Described by the Augmented Cognition International Society (ACI) as

an emerging field of science that seeks to extend a user’s abilities via computational technologies, which are explicitly designed to address bottlenecks, limitations, and biases in cognition and to improve decision making capabilities. The goal of AugCog science and technology is to develop computational methods and neurotech tools that can account for and accommodate information processing bottlenecks inherent in human-system interaction (e.g., limitations in attention, memory, learning, comprehension, visualization abilities, and decision making). (“What is Augmented Cognition?” ACI, no date) [emphasis added]

According to DARPA’s description of the program, Improving Warfighter Information Intake Under Stress (AugCog):

Military operators must frequently perform cognitively demanding tasks in stressful environments. The AugCog Program has developed technologies to mitigate sensory or cognitive overload and restore operational effectiveness by extending the information management capacity of the warfighter. This is accomplished through closed-loop computational systems that adapt to the state of the warfighter and thereby significantly improve performance.

The exploitation of human and other biological systems by DARPA raise profoundly troubling questions of how these security-related applications will be used by the United States to achieve global dominance at any and all cost. A recent article in Military Geospatial Technology reveal the technophilic preoccupations that obsess securocrats.

Imagine a computer that can read human brain waves to assess the lay of the land. It might seem futuristic, but that’s what the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency [NGA] had partially in mind when they awarded contracts under DARPA’s Urban Reasoning and Geospatial Exploitation Technology (URGENT) program. (Cheryl Gerber, “Seeing with Your Brain,” Military Geospatial Technology, Vol. 6, Issue 3, June 5, 2008)

One of URGENT’s “prime contractors, major defense grifter Lockheed Martin, call their “approach to the program Object Recognition via Brain-inspired Technology,” (ORBIT). In conjunction with DARPA’s URGENT program, the AugCog project is based on brain-inspired software that seeks to merge neuroscience with computers to create a technology that promises to deliver “situational awareness” to the “warfighter.” But building complex 3-D mapping systems is merely the initial jump-off point for what may come once “brain-inspired” algorithms are “perfected.”

One “product” that currently aids the “warfighter” and “counterterrorist” officials is called Signature Analyst, designed by corporate grifter SPADAC, a McClean, Virginia defense contractor with close ties to the Department of Homeland Security and the the NGA. According to SPADAC’s website, Signature Analyst

delivers enhanced objectivity by discerning subtle yet powerful and actionable insights, maximizing likelihood of success. Combining predictive analytics with spatial information as well as human terrain and social networking elements, the solution delivers effective consequence modeling and improved confidence in decisions for a range of global operational and business challenges.

The program claims it provides “situational awareness” by “finding commonalities” and “relationships” in distinct, seemingly disparate data sources, including past events, as well as “human terrain” and “social networking” information. As we have described previously, Scaleable Social Network Analysis was a data-mining tool designed by DARPA’s Total Information Awareness office that worked in tandem with the National Security Agency’s illegal spying programs.

One shudders to imagine what “consequences” DARPA and their corporate “partners” are “modeling.” A commercial version of the “product” is in the works. One “benefit” of the Signature Analyst software trumpeted by SPADAC is that will “allow fewer analysts to evaluate more data in less time.” Why its the perfect “predictive” tool for the current capitalist downturn!

Carrying the mechanistic human/machine model a step further, Lockheed Martin and their “partner” Numenta, a California-based software company, are working on applications for the Defense Department. According to Numenta’s website, company founder Jeff Hawkins, author of the 2004 book On Intelligence, has “a deep interest in neuroscience and theories of the neocortex.” We bet he does!

Indeed, Hawkins’ team has designed a suite of software applications, the Numenta Platform for Intelligent Computing (NuPIC), based on what it calls “hierarchical temporal memory (HTM),” a “computing paradigm” that mimics the structure and function of the human neocortex, the area of the brain that handles high-level thought.

John Darvill ORBIT’s chief investigator described Lockheed’s relationship with Numenta to Military Geospatial Technology thusly: “Lockheed has been involved with Numenta technology for two years and is a member of the Numenta Partner Program for technical interchange. We have a collaborative technical relationship with Numenta. We use their technology, modify it and apply it.”

How? According to Numenta CEO Donna Dubinsky, HTM is designed to “be good at what the human brain can do–inference and pattern recognition even in the presence of noise.” In a similar fashion, HTM “learns a model of the world” Dubinsky elaborated, “by exposure through its senses. In the same way, our software is self-learning and has to be exposed to the material that it has to learn. So we train the software. For example, we expose it to a lot of tanks so it learns tank-ness.”

And if the software could be applied to an interrogation archetype, will it then “self-learn” how to “model” a sensory deprivation or psychological torture regimen, individually tailored to an “illegal enemy combatant” after it has been “exposed to the material”? Will the software in other words, be exposed “to a lot of torture so it learns torture-ness”?

Technological dual-use is a slippery slope towards atrocity and unimaginable horror, especially if left in the hands of American militarists.

Back to the Future

Here precisely, lies the crux of the problem of exploiting neuroscience and robotics in a quest for newer and ever more insidious military applications. The potential of neurologically interactive technologies to “enhance” human capabilities, indeed to invade the privacy of human thought, and infringe on the independence of our minds for “reasons of state,” transform biological/medical research into a subset of weapons development.

To be sure, science, and in particular the cognitive sciences, have been seduced by the Pentagon and the CIA in the past. The literature on unethical CIA and Army research into quixotic quests for “mind control” over “enemy” agents and “target” populations–MKULTRA and their perverse offspring–are replete with the horror stories of their abused victims. Indeed, MKULTRA became the ideologically-charged basis for current interrogation and torture practices by the CIA, the military and their “outsourced” partners.

A perusal of the Company’s seminal interrogation manuals, KUBARK Counterintelligence Interrogation and the Human Resource Exploitation Training Manual-1983 drew liberally from the most up-to-date cognitive research of its time. Indeed, many of the sources cited in KUBARK and HRE were leading behavioral psychologists and psychiatrists “under contract” to the CIA, as documented by historians and researchers John Marks (The Search for the Manchurian Candidate), Alfred W. McCoy (A Question of Torture) and Christopher Simpson (Science of Coercion).

Indeed, as Simpson avers in Science of Coercion, the Human Ecology Fund, a CIA cut-out funneling money to prestigious academics such as Albert Biderman, underwrote research on “captivity behavior” and the efficacy “of drugs, electroshock, violence, and other coercive techniques during interrogation of prisoners.”

Fast forward to the present. As anthropologist Hugh Gusterson writes regarding current Pentagon interest in neuroscientific research today,

individual scientists will tell themselves that, if they don’t do the research, someone else will. Research funding will be sufficiently dominated by military grant makers that it will cause some scientists to choose between accepting military funding or giving up their chosen field of research. And the very real dual-use potential of these new technologies (the same brain implant can create a robosoldier or rehabilitate a Parkinson’s disease sufferer) will allow scientists to tell themselves that they are “really” working on health technologies to improve the human lot, and the funding just happens to come from the Pentagon. (“The Militarization of Neuroscience,” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, 9 April 2007)

In the final analysis, DARPA, the Pentagon agency that brought us the internet, are now searching for the means to militarize the human mind itself, viewed as the ultimate platform for imperialist domination and social control.

Israeli Press Whining Because the World Knows That Theirs Is An “Apartheid State”

No need for the A-word

By Jonathan Berger
Tags: Israel, South Africa
In “Don’t Call it Apartheid” (Haaretz English edition, July 17), Tova Herzl takes issue with the use of the word “apartheid” to describe the situation in Israel. In particular, she implies that the recent South African human rights delegation to Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank – of which I was a member – indeed came to such a conclusion. As a group, we did no such thing.

Instead, we sought to move beyond mere labels and focus on the manner and extent to which Israel is separating Palestinians and Israelis within the West Bank, the impact of the tools of separation on Palestinians in particular and the broader impact of the occupation on all. And in so doing, it was often impossible to avoid making comparisons with apartheid South Africa.

Whether motivated by legitimate security considerations, fear, mistrust or sheer prejudice, the occupation’s physical manifestations – including distinct identity cards, number plates and roads, as well as checkpoints, electronic fences and concrete walls – result in a degree of separation far in excess of what was achieved in South Africa. This separation speaks for itself, whether or not one categorizes it as apartheid.

As a human rights lawyer who believes in the rule of law, I was particularly troubled by the existence of two separate – and highly unequal – systems of law operating in the West Bank. To be fair, all conduct of the military commander is subject to review by the High Court of Justice. Yet jurisdiction in all other matters is personal, with Israeli settlers having access to a modern, rights-based legal system and Palestinians being subject to the authority of military courts.

Under apartheid, the legal system was used as a central tool in enforcing an unequal system based solely on race. In the occupied West Bank, separate legal systems are integral to the differential treatment of persons based solely on nationality. It is one thing to apply Israeli law to all citizens and residents of Israel within its internationally recognized borders; it is quite another to apply that law to Israeli citizens who choose to settle unlawfully in occupied territory.

Our deliberate focus on the occupation meant that we did not consider any particular “solution” to the conflict. As a group, we expressed no opinion on whether a future peace agreement should be based on a two-state solution, in accordance with international law; a single binational state; or some other hybrid or federal form. Instead, we agreed on the need for and the right of both Israelis and Palestinians to live in a democratic and secular state that enshrines civil, political and socio-economic rights for all who live within its boundaries.

At no point did we seek to “delegitimize” Israel. Nor did we try to reduce the complexity of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to a single concept, recognizing that no one needs to make use of the A-word to draw attention to the horror of the occupation. In particular, we recognized that the apartheid analogy provides Israel’s unquestioning supporters with a convenient diversion. Instead of engaging the substantive issues, such as the legality of the settlements and the route and effect of the separation barrier, Herzl regretfully homes in on the red herring.





Israel steps up anti-Iran lobby in US
Sun, 27 Jul 2008 19:10:29

Dick Cheney (L), Ehud Barak (R)

Senior Israeli officials are slated to hold strategic talks with the United States on tactics likely to resolve Iran’s nuclear standoff.

According to the Israeli public radio, during his three-day visit, Defense Minister Ehud Barak is expected to hold talks with US officials on Iran’s nuclear program and enhancing the capabilities of Israeli armed forces.

Barak is to meet with Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, senior military officials, members of Congress, and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

Former Israeli defense minister Shaul Mofaz, believed to be campaigning to succeed Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, is also scheduled to visit the US on Wednesday.

His spokesperson told AFP that Mofaz would hold meetings with Cheney and Rice, adding that, “The main subject under discussion will be the threat posed by the Iranian nuclear program to the entire region.”

While Israel and the US claim to be committed to a diplomatic solution to Iran’s nuclear standoff with the West, they have repeatedly threatened to launch a military strike against Iran should the country continue uranium enrichment.

Earlier in July, in response to growing threats from Israel and the US, Iran test-fired nine long and medium-range ballistic missiles to demonstrate the country’s defensive military capabilities.

Tehran insists that its nuclear program is aimed at generating electricity for a growing population and is in line with the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

Nader: Axis of evil talk means Iran war
Mon, 28 Jul 2008 22:59:26

Independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader

Presidential candidate Ralph Nader says including Iran in the axis of evil by George W. Bush could lead to the invasion of the country.

Nader said that after President George W. Bush named Iraq as one of the axes of evil, the US invaded the country.

“Bush has named Iran as one of the axis of evil and of course he named Iraq that and invaded Iraq. So maybe the Iranians are afraid that they’re next,” Nader told Press TV.

In support of his argument, the independent US candidate said, “We’re having Iran surrounded on the West by the US military, on the South by the US military, on the East by the US military.”

The US accuses the Islamic Republic of pursuing a military nuclear program and supporting terrorist groups in the region. Under such pretext, the West has threatened the country with the use of military force.

Tehran insists it only seeks nuclear technology for its peaceful application and has repeatedly said that it stands to high gain from regional security.


‘Sayyed Nasrallah First Arab Leader to Defeat Israel’
Hussein Assi Readers Number : 145

28/07/2008 The head of the Reform and Change parliamentary bloc MP Michel Aoun rejected on Monday the classification of Hezbollah as terrorist, stressing that the Resistance party was not terrorist, warning that “no one has the right to label Hezbollah terrorist.”

Speaking to reporters after heading his parliamentary bloc weekly meeting, Aoun recalled that Hezbollah weapons were resistance weapons that constitute a point of strength for Lebanon. “We would not give up our points of strength,” he added, noting at the same time that the weapons issue would be tackled within the framework of the defense strategy. He warned against dangers Lebanon is facing, highlighting that “we shouldn’t sit relaxed regarding the issue of naturalization of Palestinians.”

The “General” praised Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah, saying that he is the first Arab leader to have defeated the Zionist entity. He also rejected the mere talking about transferring Sayyed Nasrallah into court as shameful. “They should provide him with parliamentary immunity at the lowest level,” Aoun stressed.

MP Aoun renewed his demand that a DNA bank be formed in solidarity with the families of missing persons, requesting that a minister be appointed to look into the various cases of missing people.

He pointed out any dealing with the issue should take into consideration the missing persons within Lebanon and not only the ones missing in Syria. He said about 600-700 Lebanese citizens are believed missing “some of them did not reach Syria.”

Aoun reiterated once again the need to develop the electoral sector, urging Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri to call for a parliamentary session to ratify the Parliamentary constituencies as agreed during talks in Doha.

Ron Paul On PressTV: US would back Israeli strike on Iran (EAT THIS, HRES 1308)

Paul: US would back Israeli strike on Iran
Mon, 28 Jul 2008 22:40:24

US Congressman Ron Paul

Former US presidential candidate Ron Paul says should there be an Israeli strike on Iran over its nuclear work, it would not be unilateral.

The Texas congressman told Press TV that there is no ‘such thing as independent Israel doing anything’, dismissing speculation that the world may witness unilateral Israeli bombardments of Iranian nuclear sites.

“No matter what they do, it is our money, it is our weapons, and they are not going to do it without us approving it,” said the 72-year-old Republican.

While the UN nuclear watchdog admits that there is no link between the use of nuclear material and the ‘alleged studies’ of weaponization attributed to Iran, the West continues to allege that Tehran is pursuing a military nuclear program.

Under US pressure, the UN Security Council has intervened in the nuclear case and has imposed three rounds of sanctions against Iran.

Upper Israeli echelons, who seek Washington’s green light for attacking Iranian nuclear sites, have publicly threatened Tehran with the military action should the country continue uranium enrichment.

Tel Aviv, believed to possess the sole nuclear arsenal in the Middle East, reportedly staged a large-scale air maneuver in early June in preparation for a unilateral strike against Iran.

Top US officials and military commanders, including Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen, have spoken against such military action.

In a recent article, Gates said ‘another war in the Middle East is the last thing’ the United States needs right now. He warned that a war with Iran would be ‘disastrous on a number of levels’.

When asked last week about the prospect of an Israeli or US attack, Admiral Mullen said that he worries about ‘the possible unintended consequences of a strike’ on Iran.

“If they (Israelis) get in trouble, we are going to bail them out,” continued congressman Paul, who is a staunch advocate of a diplomatic approach toward Iran over its nuclear program.

As the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) acknowledges the rights of all signatory states in uranium enrichment for peaceful purposes, Iran has cited diplomacy as the only means acceptable in settling the dispute surrounding its nuclear program.

CRS Report: 94% of Senate Bills Passed in Secret

CRS Report: 94% of Senate Bills Passed in Secret

855 bills have passed the Senate with no debate, no amendments, no votes

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina) and Tom Coburn (R-Oklahoma) released a report by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service (CRS) finding that 94 percent of bills the Senate has passed in the 110th Congress have been without a vote, debate or a single amendment. The 855 bills that have been secretly passed spend more than $9 billion, though a final total is not available because many of the bills were rushed through before a cost analysis could be performed.

Senator DeMint: “It would surprise many Americans to learn that the ‘World’s Greatest Deliberative Body’ passes the overwhelming majority of legislation without any debate at all. Democrats think they are entitled to pass bills without debate or votes, and they’ve tried to ram them through right before recess to pressure us to give up. But, Senators shouldn’t fear debate on these important bills. It’s in the best traditions of our republic to demand the Senate actually do its job and have a public debate on bills that expand government and increase the burden on taxpayers. Senator Reid can complain all he wants, but Republicans represent millions of Americans whose voices are being silenced by Democrat strong-arm tactics.”

Dr. Coburn: “The U.S. Senate has a nine percent approval rating because the American people believe that much of our work is done in secret with no debate, no transparency and no accountability. This report shows that the reality is worse than the public’s fears. Instead of encouraging open debate, I’m disappointed that Majority Leader Reid often chooses secrecy or demagoguery. For instance, he has depicted my effort to reduce the number of bills that pass the Senate in secret by ten percent as ‘unprecedented obstruction.’ What is unprecedented and ahistorical, however, is the Majority Leader’s view that Senators should have a king-like right to pass massive spending bills in secret with no debate, no amendments and no recorded vote.”

The CRS report states, “[T]he vast majority of measures passed or agreed to by the Senate so far in the 110th Congress have not received formal parliamentary debate on the floor of the Senate.” This practice, known as “hotlining,” has traditionally been reserved for noncontroversial bills with little to no cost to the taxpayer, like the naming of post offices. However, the practice has been abused to sneak through large bills that cost the taxpayers billions of dollars and have significant policy implications.

On March 3, 2008, U.S. Senator Richard Durbin stated on the Senate Floor:

“My good friend, the late Congressman from Oklahoma, Mike Synar, used to say: If you don’t want to fight fires, don’t be a firefighter. If you don’t want to stop crime, don’t be a policeman, and if you don’t want to vote on tough issues, don’t run for Congress.”

“I agree with him. I don’t like facing tough votes, but it is a part of the job. You ought to at least have enough confidence in your beliefs to cast that vote and go home and explain it.”

Highlights from the Congressional Research Service Memorandum – “The Clearance Process in the Senate and Measures Approved in the 110th Congress through June 30, 2008”:

“Nearly every day the Senate is in session, the majority and minority leaders consult to identify bills and resolutions that have been “cleared” by the Senators in both parties. A measure is considered cleared if no Senator has informed party leadership … that he or she is opposed to passage of the measure without debate.”

• Only 56 bills (6%) were passed by vote (53 by roll call vote, 3 by voice vote)

• 855 bills (94%) were passed by Unanimous Consent (no debate, no vote)

o 388 were passed by UC on the same day they were introduced

o 381 were passed by UC without debate

o 88 were passed by UC with some debate

o 9 were passed by UC without debate after debate on a Senate companion bill

• 35% of the bills passed by UC were agreed to in the week before a recess

• 52% of the bills passed by UC were agreed to during the two weeks before a recess

Musings on “Martial Law”

Musings on “Martial Law”

By Matthew Rothschild, July 23, 2008

How bad can it get?

That’s the question I’ve been wrestling with for a while here, given the Bush administration’s utter disdain for the rule of law.

And I’m wrestling even more with it now, having just read an article by investigative reporter Tim Shorrock over at

In it, he talks about something called “the Main Core,” a top-secret database that the government uses for domestic surveillance.

I’d never heard of the thing before.

But Shorrock says it “contains a vast amount of personal data on Americans, including NSA intercepts of bank and credit card transactions and the results of surveillance efforts by the FBI, the CIA, and other agencies.”

One former intelligence officer told him that it was “designed for use by the military in the event of a national catastrophe, a suspension of the Constitution, or the imposition of martial law.”

There it is again, that haunting, hovering phrase, “martial law.”

I’ve been told by members of InfraGard, an FBI-private sector group consisting of 26,000 businesspeople, that they’ve been told to plan for “martial law.”

And Bush’s National Security Directive 51 seems to pave the way for that, as well.

Let’s remember that General Tommy Franks, who led the invasion of Iraq, and Wayne Downing, who was Condoleezza’s counterintelligence czar at the National Security Council, both warned about “martial law.”

Is it too much to ask for Congress to hold a hearing on whatever plans there may be afoot for martial law?

The time for that inquiry is now, before it’s too late.


President Islam Karimov of Uzbekistan is a refreshingly old-fashioned despot. He favours one-party rule, a police state based on fear, secret surveillance, summary arrest and interrogation of anyone too religious, rubber truncheons, electroshock treatment, needles under the fingernails, and, at least once, the boiling alive of a recalcitrant witness. Meanwhile, he makes long speeches to his parliament about how all opposition is treason and his enemies must be dismembered: “I’m prepared to rip off the heads of 200 people, to sacrifice their lives, in order to save peace and calm in the republic; if my child chose such a path, I myself would rip off his head.”

His megalomania is worthy of Tamerlane, the 14th-century Central Asian conqueror, statues of whom he has erected across Uzbekistan.

Since 2002, Mr. Karimov has been an ally of the U.S. in the “war on terror.” His website shows him in the company of George W. Bush and leading members of the Bush administration. Ever since he gave the U.S. control of his Khanbad military base in March, 2002, money, generals and congressmen have all poured in.

Earlier this year, Mr. Karimov promised to promote universal press freedom, in order to get European Union sanctions lifted. On June 2, he welcomed Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher, ostensibly to talk about increased aid and human rights, an area in which Mr. Boucher announced that Uzbekistan was showing progress.

A week later, seven journalists were targeted as enemies of the state, on a 60-minute prime-time television broadcast. Their home addresses were publicized, along with their passport information, their workplaces, schools they have attended, occupations of their family members and information on the children of one reporter.

All seven work in some capacity for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, which paradoxically is funded by the U.S. Congress. Only one, a freelancer, is now living in Uzbekistan. In 2005, RFE/RL’s Uzbek affiliate Radio Ozodlik (Uzbek for “liberty”) had to close its bureau in the capital city of Tashkent, after Mr. Karimov became enraged by its coverage of the Andijan massacre, when government security forces opened fire on hundreds of unarmed protesters.

On the same day the hour-long prime-time propaganda was broadcast, a much ballyhooed Media Freedom Conference was staged in Tashkent. The government had agreed to hold the conference as a condition for the lifting of the EU sanctions. But all of the EU’s suggestions for speakers were ignored. The invited guests were all favourable to the Karimov government, except for Miklos Haraszti, representative on media freedom for the Organization for Co-operation and Security in Europe, who somehow slipped through the cracks. He managed to get in a speech against the Uzbek penal code, among other things.

Mr. Karimov seems to have promised the conference not only because of the EU sanctions, but also to satisfy some back-channel requests from the U.S. State Department to clean up his image, ahead of Mr. Boucher’s visit.

Some countries like to fire a 21-gun salute when a representative of the West shows up. Mr. Karimov likes to free a couple of political prisoners. In this case the first get-out-of-jail-free card went to Mutabar Tojiboeva, a feisty woman from the Ferghana valley, who had spent 31/2 years in prison, part of it in a psychiatric ward, for talking too loudly about the massacre at Andijan. To her own surprise, she was paroled on June 2, the day Mr. Boucher arrived.

Two days later, Mr. Karimov released a well-known political prisoner. Ahmadjon Odilov, imprisoned almost constantly since 1983, though briefly freed in 1991, when he set up a political party. Mr. Karimov doesn’t tolerate independent parties. Once he refused to certify even a party he had created himself to run puppet candidates.


According to Soviet and then later Uzbek propaganda, Mr. Odilov was a “butcher” who ran private prisons and secreted gold bars under tomato bushes, running the collective farms and industrial complexes of his region as a brutal fiefdom. More likely, he was the scapegoat for one of the most notorious scandals in Soviet history.

Until the 1980s, the State Planning Office of Uzbekistan was one of the few Soviet agencies that always met the quotas for its five-year agricultural plan, ostensibly supplying most of the USSR’s cotton. Then some satellite photos revealed that hardly any of this cotton had ever been planted, much less harvested. Paper had been shuffled, bribes had been paid. The small amount of real cotton had been sold on the black market.

Continued on

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