State Secrets Privilege: The Puppets & Puppet Masters

It’s Time to Get the Facts Straight

SupremeCourtI want to revisit a topic which happens to be extremely important to me, both personally and politically, and even more important to our civil liberties.

Some of you have already read my brief piece on Richard Horn & the CIA dishing out $3 million to buy silence in this narco scandal. Those of you who have not read it click here and read it - because this story also goes to the heart of a very significant and ongoing issue: The State Secrets Privilege.

My recent heads-up piece on Horn focused mainly on the CIA’s attempt to hush another narco scandal where the agency was directly and actively involved. Although I introduced Horn as ‘another recipient of the government’s State Secrets Privilege invocation’, I didn’t delve into the significance of this case on this repeatedly used and abused draconian privilege. This was partly due to wrongly assuming that the media, at least the alternative media, would have gotten all over it since lately the SSP has been a quite fashionable and talked about topic among the wanna-be progressive community. Well, I was wrong. Despite the scandalous nature of the case, and despite the massive implications to SSP, those who’ve been publicizing themselves and cashing in using SSP did not touch or mention the case.

The last time I wrote about the State Secrets Privilege and how it was being misrepresented and twisted by puppets in the media my blood was very close to reaching the boiling point. This time, with this recent Horn case and its direct SSP implications, my blood actually did reach the boiling point. In fact it is boiling now!

Here are a few excerpts from my previous piece on the State Secrets Privilege, starting with the intro:

During the past few months I have been actively following the latest activity on the state secrets privilege (SSP). First, I was pleasantly surprised to see that this issue of extreme importance to our civil liberties and constitutional rights was finally getting long-over-due and deserved attention from the media. After all, the memories of fighting SSP in the federal courts all the way up to the Supreme Court, holding press conferences together with the ACLU to bring needed media attention to this draconian abuse, making the rounds in Congress to have them address this ‘privilege’ through legislation to restrict its misuse and abuse, are still fresh and vivid for me.

Then I started detecting some troubling common trends showing up in media reports and subsequently in discussions and statements within Congress. The most suspicious of these came in the form of sanitizing major SSP abuse cases from reports put forth by both the mainstream media and some in alternative publications. The first invocation of the SSP by the Bush Administration was in my case. Back then, if you had done a Google search on ‘state secrets privilege’ you would have come up with only ‘7’ results; three of them repeats. After successfully getting away with SSP invocation in my case, the administration opened the flood gates for others. Now I invite you to search all the archived news reports on SSP in the last year or so. As you will see, in every single report in which the abuses of SSP and its history are cited, you will not find this first case; my case. Further, if you were to look for other major abuses of SSP, such as the Barlow Case, you will find none. The valid cases cited are mainly limited to:

I then went on citing the cases covered by the MSM and pseudo-alternative alike: Khalid Al-Masri, Maher Arar, Al Haramain Islamic Foundation, and Binyam Mohamed.

Finally, I decided to dig further and explore the reasons behind these significant omissions and the accompanying information spin that seems to be packaged with the intention of fulfilling Washington’s objective – seeing the related campaign and activities fail…

I found one of the puppet masters to be: The United States Congress, Bipartisan

A well seasoned congressional staff member connected to a well-known ‘Centrist’ office active in the current SSP debate, who ‘insisted’ on being granted anonymity, had the following to say:

“Contrary to what they may claim in order to pacify the recent ‘Anti State Secrets Privilege’ movement, the Congress does not want to deal with this issue. And this applies to members of both parties…of course we will hold a couple of hearings and show we have investigated and reviewed cases…”

He then went on to list several enlightening points regarding the ‘real’ factors driving the current position on SSP:

  • We are being told that the President [Obama] will veto any proposed legislation dealing with State Secrets Privilege…that and that no one in Congress really wants to touch this area. Having the press limit the information to ‘War on Terror Suspects’ [Emphasis added] helps both: the President and the reluctant Congress.
  • The cases before us are ‘selectively’ [Emphasis added] related to the War on Terror. A few Arab guys with their claims will not bring sympathy from the majority in this country. Not in Iowa, not in Utah…you catch my drift?
  • …I am talking about cases where there are no questions of ‘Criminality’ being involved or covered up. We won’t touch those cases. No one will go for that. The reasons…obvious… Being unfair or making the wrong call to determine if someone is a terrorist does not constitute ‘criminal.’ [Emphasis Added]. As for the NSA related case, well, the new legislation took care of that…
  • By the way, we don’t expect to see any cases of abuses of SSP by the Clinton Administration cited anywhere. Holder’s office in the background and the majority leaders up on the front lines are ensuring this through the media and the NGOs.

Let me recap what is being said, the reality ‘on the ground’ here:

Like any other president before him, and probably those who’ll come after him, President Obama is not going to limit his presidential powers when it comes to this draconian absolute executive power. He has made it clear to his now the majority party members and they are set to follow his guideline on this. It is a slam dunk position with a guaranteed ‘win’ since the minority in Congress also encourages and backs this position.

Somehow the Executive Branch and the Congress have managed to accomplish their objectives on SSP through the U.S. media. They want the reporting massaged and messaged in such a way that the publicity on SSP is limited to only ‘select’ cases where ‘executive criminality’ and or ‘covering up executive criminality’ will not be an issue. Those SSP cases where the executive branch used this level of secrecy to cover up criminal deeds would make the need for Congressional action on SSP far greater. After all, we even have an Executive Order that currently prohibits secrecy and classification from being used by the Executive Branch in order to conceal violations of law. Of course with the case(s) involving NSA warrantless wiretapping, as quoted by the congressional source above, they no longer have to worry, since they took care of it through retroactive legislation.

With cases involving wrongful detention and abuse of those ‘wrongfully accused’ in the government’s war on terror, it has been set up so that these cases can be written off as ‘egregious labeling, handling and treatment’ committed immediately following the September Eleven Attacks. Excuses such as ‘extraordinary’ circumstances, ‘bureaucratic bungling,’ and the previous administration’s ‘excess’ have been all lined up to be used if or when SSP makes it’s way into Congress. Further, the government also counts on bigotry to insure that there will be no major public pressure, since the involved victims are not (at least most) Americans, have Arabic names, and are of Muslim background. They believe that the majority of Americans will not be sympathetic to these plaintiffs, so there will be no problem killing any chance of restraining the long-abused SSP through meaningful legislation.

Both the mainstream media and pseudo-alternatives gone mainstream were consistent in serving the objectives cited above and the Congress determined NOT to tackle this draconian and unconstitutional privilege. In doing so, they made sure that any recent SSP cases that did not involve Arabic or Muslim names were left out of their popularized articles, analysis, and TV appearances. Here are a few of these cases omitted, blacked out, and censored:

Richard Barlow, an intelligence analyst and a former senior member of the Counter-Proliferation unit at the CIA lost his job when he objected internally to the George H.W. Bush Administration’s misleading Congress over Pakistan’s nuclear program. For more detailed background and related official documents on Barlow see here.

My case: The legal outline of SSP abuse by the Bush Administration invoked to cover up ‘criminal’ activities and subsequent cover up of these criminal activities can be found on the ACLU site.

And of course, the case of Richard Horn, where CIA got caught with its pants down, lying & cheating in court procedures:

“If Lamberth’s judicial opinions in the Horn case are allowed to remain in the court record — to be recalled and cited going forward by other lawyers, judges and academics — then untold damage could be done to the reputation of the CIA and its leadership. Those judicial opinions memorializing the CIA’s fraud on the court also would serve as a permanent reminder of the occasionally dubious credibility of the Agency’s pronouncements invoking national security and the state-secrets privilege.”

Scholars and activists have been trying to expose the main reason, in fact the only reason, for invocation of this draconian executive privilege as an attempt (so far a very successful one) to cover up illegal and criminal acts committed by the executive branch. In the Richard Barlow case, it was to cover up blatantly lying to Congress to cover up for Pakistan and AQ Khan. In my case, it was to cover up treasonous and espionage activities of US officials. And here, in Richard Horn’s case, it was to cover up the CIA’s involvement and covert activities in thwarting DEA’s anti-narcotics mission in Burma in the early 1990s. However, thanks to a judge with some degree of independence and principle, in Horn’s case the real reason for invocation of States Secrets Privilege seems to be officially, formally, and on the record, exposed and proven.

Now, I am going to ask you, my truly progressive and independent readers, to go and check out ‘Google News’ or any other news search engines you tend to rely upon, and see if you can find any mention of this case, or its implications for the State Secrets Privilege. You ain’t gonna find any. Why?

In my previous piece I reported on the congressional agenda and the media puppets serving this agenda to prevent any chances of getting the State Secrets Privilege issue before the Congress. Are there any other puppet masters involved? Probably, since Congress is usually in the position of puppet rather than puppet master. Is it the Justice Department? Is it the CIA? The Pentagon? Maybe a combination of all three? And the White House, the White House of any administration?

I would say all those possibilities seem logical and foreseeable. Now let’s talk about the puppets in the media:

As far as the MSM is concerned, who’s surprised?! As Senator Grassley puts it: ‘just the usual!’ But let’s talk about the puppet(s) in the pseudo-alternative-gone-mainstream media, since they’ve been doing the most damage by misguiding the ‘REAL PROGRESSIVES’ who believe in them and follow their propaganda.

I’m not going to throw out names and make this a pissing contest between personalities. Just go and check: who’s been making names for themselves on the State Secrets Privilege topic after it became safe to discuss (around 2007)? Who’s been cashing in on writing and speaking on SSP? Who’s been getting invited over and over on MSM run channels and publications to offer ‘misguidance’ on SSP? As we all know, the MSM ain’t in the business of inviting true progressives on real civil liberties related issues and cases.

Once you go and check, and believe me it won’t take you long to have a short list, take a little time and read their polished BS (the ingredients remain BS no matter how polished), and see whether you find Horn, Barlow, Edmonds, or any American sounding names cited in their list of SSP cases. Now you have your culprits. Next, go and actually ask them, send them a note, question them:

Why is the first and most egregious invocation of SSP, Edmonds V DOJ, missing in every single case analysis and article you’ve written?

Why is Richard Barlow’s SSP case, involving AQ Khan and the CIA-Pentagon’s misleading of Congress, absent from every single piece, article, and speech?

Why in the world is this recent explosive revelation in the Richard Horn case, where the CIA abused the SSP but was caught doing it, not showing up in your work?

Come on people, do me a favor and go after these phony puppets and grill them. This is very important because the damage caused by these lowlifes impacts all of us, all our civil liberties, greatly. Not only that, these puppets are fueling racism and hatred by singling out Arab & Muslim based names in their citation of State Secrets Privilege cases, and singling them out as the only recipients of the SSP, and as cases related to our perpetual ‘war on terror’ excuse.

These pseudo progressive puppets have successfully taken the SSP topic off the table in Congress, relieving Congress from having to do, or pretending to do, something about a very dangerous Executive Power never written into the Constitution. They have made many believe that SSP is selectively and rarely used in only ‘terror suspect’ cases with Arabic names, thus, preventing a more wide-spread expression of public outrage. They have undone much great work by civil liberties organizations such as the ACLU & EFF, by actually blending with them to garner more credibility. They have churned, twisted, and spun the facts on SSP, and unfortunately even many progressives have bought into it. So let’s expose them for who they are, and let’s help the public get the facts straight on the State Secrets Privilege.

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Comments

  1. Sibel –

    I hope this really goes somewhere. I would love for the criminality of all those named by you exposed.
    The puppets of the MSM disgust me in ways I have no words for.
    The coverups by Congress are an outrage too.

    Thank you for this site and thank you for your courage.

  2. @True Oil: And thank you. Can we get 10000s more of you & me and our supporters? All gather here and committed, and ready to fight for ‘real needed changes’? Hope we can; that’s what I’m hoping, working towards, and thriving for…

  3. The cases before us are ‘selectively’ [Emphasis added] related to the War on Terror. A few Arab guys with their claims will not bring sympathy from the majority in this country. Not in Iowa, not in Utah…you catch my drift?

    Yep. We can break any damn law we want and as long as we sell it to the hicks in Iowa and the Bible Thumpers in Utah as a case of ‘National Security,’ no one will ask any questions.

    What are you, some bleeding heart luberal Muzzie lover?

    I think someone name T. Jefferson addressed these abuses in a rather nice statement he wrote about independence.

    Bet Ben Bernanke and the Fed would like to have that power…. or maybe they already do.

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

  4. I will have to google but right off the top of my head I think maybe of a guy named Glenn and another one named Scott as maybe being culprits.

    In any case, it is really disappointing that ‘courage’ is such a rare commodity in Congress and the judicial branch.

  5. @Miguel: Very rare, indeed! After spending 5 years of my life challenging, fighting the SSP, in courts, in congress, in media…I got to know almost everything there is when it comes to SSP. 100s of hours research, meetings with attorneys, meeting with various civil liberties organizations…So, I recongnize it when I see BS in this case, when I smell BS in repackaging/spinning/altering/twisting the facts on SSP.

    If you were to ask the real attorneys who have fought SSP (Zaid, Kohn, Turley), or ‘real scholars’ who’ve been writing about it years before these BS puppets (such as Prof.Bill Weaver, Lou Fisher, they’d tell you the same thing. In fact I got a quote/statement from Zaid.

    Now these puppets have never fought a SSP related case; not one (they sit on their buts, and shoot from their mouth based on what they are fed by their puppet masters; they never had it as a part of their scholarly focus/research, and in fact, during the worst time period for SSP, 2002-2005, they did not DARE to even mention it.

    Anyway…no changes on SSP any time soon; not with this congress, not with this president, not with this media.

    Glad to see org.s like EFF/ACLU still fighting and raising awareness.

  6. contextofnocontext says:

    Hahahaha. Nicely done. I happen to think a pissing contest and subsequent analysis of the mainstream media is a more than necessary element of the project here, Ms. Edmonds. As a ‘for instance’ those of us who have seen any number of Undercover Detective films know that it’s entirely plausible for an operative (Kos, Cooper) admittedly trained by the Agency to still be ‘active’ while operating in a supposedly neutral capacity. “Keepin’ em honest!” Laugh out loud funny stuff. Between them, the MIC-funded War films and the Message-Force Multipliers we have ourselves a panoply of Pentagon-funded entertainment at our disposal. And everyone knows Olbermann takes his orders from Corporate Headquarters.

    And while I believe that Greenwald is better than the mainstream ‘prog’ he seems like much of the time (which is why I’m gonna go and post your bulletpoints on his site) I agree with you wholeheartedly that a lot of these foundation/corporation-funded mouthpieces love to co-opt the issues and color themselves as the leaders of the pack. They offer the ‘analysis’ and the ‘solutions’, too. How nice of them.

    Though this is a rather sizable problem on the Right (Glenn Beck is a libertarian like HAARP is a TV antenna; the Tea Party movement didn’t want to fund the Wars either but that got swept under the rug of the MSM) it’s almost monolithic with the left-liberal/progressive set funded in large part by names like Soros/Ford/Rockefeller/McArthur. No more General ‘Betray-Us’. No more Code Pink protests. Amy Goodman’s not gonna do some big expose on Soros Market Speculation, either. Part of the problem is obvious: they can’t bite the hand that feeds them and they like to pretend they’re enemies of the very metaphorical fascist-mercantilist foundation that supports their niche.

    But I feel as though consideration must be paid to the fact that having a Pincer Attack Profile is always preferable to these Deep State Actors rather than having a simple frontal assault. With the rise in technological domination we must also take note of the rise in ideological/propaganda domination. We’re not in 1933 Germany anymore. Which is not to say that I’m gonna jump over to Media Matters and start shouting CIACIACIA, but I wanted to re-emphasize your analysis of the problem. As you well know, it was the ‘liberal’ NY Times that really legitimized the Iraq War invasion. And whenever Risen and Lichtblau have some new NSA article they fail to even put the news we’re being spied on with the context of SSP and the fact that no one has legal recourse.

    The truth is, some of these people are active collaborators and Mockingbird operatives. You just can’t set up this system without them, relying only on incompetence, cynicism and indifference. Therefore, a continuing analysis of this element of the larger problem is not only useful it’s imperative. Sorry for the long-winded comment, but please take it a here-here! for your observations.

  7. Sibel you may have forgotten, it was a while back. But when you posted one of the first pieces on SSP over at the old blog, I wrote in the comments that I’d sent Mr. Greenwald a nice email complimenting him on his coverage of the current SSP cases and asking him why he never mentioned your case. I’m sure he gets lots and lots of emails but whatever the reason I never got a reply nor am I aware of anything changing. It really is a little odd though that someone who’s written so many articles on the subject wouldn’t see fit to mention the historical cases.

  8. @contextofnocontext: nicely expressed and argued points. I can’t find a single point where I don’t agree with you. You sum it up well: “they can’t bite the hand that feeds them and they like to pretend they’re enemies of the very metaphorical fascist-mercantilist foundation that supports their niche.” This is why I said, and have been saying (NSWBC), NO to foundation funds. CREW also gets big chunk from Soros MKT. I love to see I’m not alone on Olbermann. People started turning him in to a hero for the progressives, when he is nothing but a showman, getting his approval & paycheck from the same entities the progressives have been rightfully attacking…
    Do you happen to have a website? Have you been writing on this issue? If so, I’d be very interested in reading them. Please let me know. AND, thank you:-)

    @Metem: Indeed,I remember. You and many others have written to him and his twins out there. And don’t forget, not my case, but others too; especially Horn case, since it won a certain degree of victory, and the facts/points that came out of this case are DAMNING, DAMNING, DAMNING. Hmmmm, maybe it is due to Clinton Admin invoking the privilege? Same with Barlow? But then again, with my case it is the numero enemy Bush…We certain;t couldn’t attribute these censorships to stupidity, naivety, or ignorance. That leaves one very significant reason: PUPPETS serving Puppet Masters.

    Now let’s open the eyes of our true progressive friends; we need unity, and can’t afford these sleek and calculated imposters taking away our chance to seek real changes.

    Be back shortly: My baby’s bath & bottle time!

  9. I’ve been censored many times on other sites for posting “progressive content.” Then, when you try to fight them on this, they fall back on their TOS (Terms of Service). Most are now written in the broadest possible terms to cover themselves. Which then means who has more time, money and attorneys to fight this out?

    I agree with Sibel on much of the “progressive” media’s approach. Many times I’ve approached them about linking to what I felt was important material. In the ideal world, everybody would link all the time and life would be great. But in reality, NONE of these sites would do it. One kept saying, oh yeah, great content! Let’s do it! I approached them three times to do this. And they never did.

    Which means that in many ways the Net really is a dog-eat-dog world. There’s the business aspect for many of these sites. Also, books, DVD’s, lecture tours, groupies (and all the rest of it).

    But sadly (IMO) the real joining of forces won’t happen. Not all but many progressive groups only think in terms of the Top 10 media markets. Hang on a minute. What about somebody who lives outside these? How come they don’t count?

    If they don’t wanna include me, fine. As Sibel’s mentioned, go another route to get your message out.

  10. There’s a new two part interview with Malalai Joya here. In the second part she says bluntly that she thinks one of the three main reasons the US is in Afghanistan is so the CIA can make use heroine profits and she gives some figures on production and the money from the trade that goes to the Taliban (who, it might be noted, had virtually eradicated the crop near the end of their rule. I wonder if that in itself was one reason among others for our invasion.)

  11. “And here, in Richard Horn’s case, it was to cover up the CIA’s involvement and covert activities in thwarting DEA’s anti-narcotics mission in Burma in the early 1990s.”

    So, basically, the CIA is trying to hide any information regarding it’s black money sources, right? I mean, the connection to Burma goes back to the Vietnam period and the work Shackley, Clines, and Armitage were doing there, and that work linked to Nugan Hand Bank.

    Nugan Hand’s legal counsel was William Colby, and Price Waterhouse audited the books for Nugan Hand as well as BCCI.

    Follow the money trail–as your father would have said–Sibel.

  12. We’ll never know until the Super Rich come and save us.

  13. Sibel, when I was growing up in DC my mother worked in various federal jobs, mostly public affairs. One such job was at the State Dept. I remember visiting her office and going into the press briefing room and seeing the 3-ring binder from which the spokesperson read his/her answers. I started asking my mother about how that job required any substantive knowledge on any subject if the speaker had to hew close to the 3-ring binder text. I then began wondering to myself about how much deeper the control of information via media reportage would go. I later learned that one of my mother’s jobs was to review major news media reportage to ensure that there was no deviation from the 3-ring binder’s text. If there was deviation my mother called an appropriate person at the medium in question and directed that person to make the errata sheet reflect the Official Text from the 3-ring binder.

    Interesting, eh? This would have been during Reagan/Bush.

  14. C F Oxtrot: Thanks for sharing this; interesting, indeed. More interestingly, what did the reporters do? Did they copy over, or, did they do their job (checking, double checking, triple checking…)?

  15. “In the second part she says bluntly that she thinks one of the three main reasons the US is in Afghanistan is so the CIA can make use heroine profits and she gives some figures on production and the money from the trade that goes to the Taliban (who, it might be noted, had virtually eradicated the crop near the end of their rule. I wonder if that in itself was one reason among others for our invasion.)”

    They had “eradicated” the poppy crop at the end of their rule because the price floor had fallen out due to overproduction. Opium, morphine base, and heroin can be stored away for years; which is what the Taliban and the dealers they protected did with the surplus crop. The truth is they allowed production and trafficking to win favor from clans and warlords, and that the one year of production drop-off was more a price stabilization effort then any concerted effort at eliminating the drug trade.

    Don’t take my word for it though, this has been covered extensively in Ahmed Rashid’s books and there is a new book by Gretchen Peters about the history of AQ/Taliban and the drug trade.

    As to Ms. Malalai Joya’s contention that one of the main reasons the US is in Afghanistan is so the CIA can make use of heroin profits…..ok, I’ll bite.

    Let’s say for a second that yes, the CIA does indeed wish to profit from the trade in heroin. The real money to be made in Afghan opium/heroin is not in Afghanistan, the money made in-country peanuts even with heroin processing increasingly done locally. The CIA would position itself somewhere further along on the value chain because that is where the money is.

    Occupying the entire freaking country of Afghanistan to profit on its drug industry would be an absolutely terrible business decision and needless cost of doing business; especially when you could just buy the drugs right on Afghanistan’s borders with Central Asian countries just like the Russian military does.

    Frankly dude, I know you are smarter than this and you have demonstrated critical thinking capacity before.

    KF

  16. Give them hell Ms Edmonds. It’s true, MSM lies and distorts and gives carte blanche for genocide, crimes against humanity but hey it’s cool it’s just some darkie.

    There are a few drug trafficking, old drug trafficking fortunes in this country from the Opium War and these wealthy families have long ties to “intelligence” services pre-OSS days from what Ive read.

    I also wanted to recommend a book called War on the Weak because the characters involved in the American eugenics movement were some of the same families and foundations behind the CIA’s genocidal ways. Forced sterilizations (ethnic cleansing) was the law of the land with renowned eugenicist Oliver Wendell Holmes signing off on the sterilization of Carrie Buck, her mom and daughter with, “Three generations of imbeciles are quite enough”. Google video has an interview with the author Edwin Black with an excellent summary.

  17. How do we take the time to understand why a SSP is in place?

  18. Bill Bergman says:

    The “State Secrets Privilege” — to be at all legitimate (and it may be simply illegitimate, period), it must be in the interest of the state to keep the secret. Who is the state? We the People. Not our representatives. They are our agents, and we are the principals.

  19. @ Bill Bergman: Couldn’t have said it better!

  20. KF said “The CIA would position itself somewhere further along on the value chain because that is where the money is.”

    Just curious, wouldn’t one make more money eliminating more links in said chain? Also, would control of the beginning of that chain make any difference with other goals (not just the drug money)?

  21. @KF First I said I wondered if it might have been one reason among others. So I didn’t suggest we would occupy the whole freaking country for that reason. Second even if they could just buy it at the borders there is the question of how easy that would be. That depends on conditions in those other countries. And I don’t know what those conditions are. (though I know we certainly have a presence in Uzbekistan and Pakistan, and probably most of the other bordering nations) So it’s a reasonable thing to think that it ‘might’ be that there was some motivation to try and control the conditions of production in the country. Maybe they thought it would be nice if they had more direct control over production. I never said I think this is what the CIA is doing. I said I wonder if it could be a reason, with the emphasis on ‘a’ reason, as in not the only reason for going in. You are also a well informed guy KF but you’re too motivated to see everyone else as hopelessly naive. You constantly interpret everything that’s said in the worst light you possible can. But here’s another shot in the dark hunch that I though could play some role. And since you’ve read so much here tell me what you think (and I don’t mean this sarcastically) Do you think we are purposely trying to flood the Russian market. Just one more strategy to cause chaos for the Russians, whom I hear are facing an epidemic of addictions. But then I only hear this in one line sentences in articles. So perhaps you can enlighten me.

  22. @Metem:…also, remember the Russion competitors- they have more presence and influence over some of these nations (C.A.), thus, the importance of positioning…IN addition, NATO plays a significant role (at least since 2002. We have reduced Russian’s share greatly since 9/11. It is OUR field and we rule when it comes to the poppies of Afghanistan.

    I am not familiar with the person you cited in your previous comment, but I don’t find your take to be either naive or far reaching… Thanks for sharing:-)

  23. Kingfisher says:

    “Do you think we are purposely trying to flood the Russian market. Just one more strategy to cause chaos for the Russians, whom I hear are facing an epidemic of addictions. But then I only hear this in one line sentences in articles. So perhaps you can enlighten me.”

    The former head of French intelligence Count Alexandre de Marenches describes in his book a conversation he had with Ronald Reagan where he proposed a plan to get Soviet soldiers in Afghanistan on drugs. De Marenches suggested taking all the drugs seized in America and covertly dumping them on the Russians; he dubbed it “operation mosquito”. Reagan liked the idea, but balked at implementing it when de Marenches asked if he could guarantee that such an operation would never end up on the frontpages. Reagan could not guarantee it.

    The Europeans are much different than us when it comes to things like this. The French can keep a secret and can be very brutal (legend has it that up until recently the French President could have two non-Europeans eliminated no questions asked by their secret services). The United States has never been very comfortable with espionage and covert action nor very good at it; we are also not very good at keeping secrets. Things get out eventually in America.

    So the United States did not conduct an ‘operation mosquito’ against the Soviets in Afghanistan. Did our allies? That’s a good question. The drug epidemic among Soviet troops did also follow them back to Russia.

    So is the United States today purposely trying to flood the Russian market? No, I doubt it. Could our allies? That’s a good question. The Russians will tell you that the Brits are always the more ruthless and active against them.

    “You are also a well informed guy KF but you’re too motivated to see everyone else as hopelessly naive. You constantly interpret everything that’s said in the worst light you possible can.”

    Cynic, n. A blackguard whose faulty vision sees things as they are, not as they ought to be. Hence the custom among the Scythians of plucking out a cynic’s eyes to improve his vision.
    – Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary

  24. I’ve heard a lot about the State Secrets Privilege. But I’m curious. What are the limitations on it? Example: if I write something online and it’s deemed “classified”, this could be used against me? And, what if thousands of others posted the same material elsewhere? All of these people could be shut down as well?

    What about U.S. citizens abroad? Does the SSP cover them as well?

  25. Kingfisher says:

    @T,
    The SSP is only applicable to civil court.

    “Just curious, wouldn’t one make more money eliminating more links in said chain? Also, would control of the beginning of that chain make any difference with other goals (not just the drug money)?”

    @Zica,
    Vertical integration if you will, to use business speak. The costs and risks wouldn’t be worth it.

    To the second part about controlling the beginning of the chain: going with the exercise scenario that the CIA wished to profit from the heroin trade and that is one of the reasons why we are Afghanistan (of which I do not believe in) – why would you want to direct control when Pakistan and its intelligence service, presumably the CIA’s ally, largely controls the reigns of the Taliban and the country?

  26. If the ISI largely controls the Taliban and the country, and the ISI is our ally, then why invade at all?

  27. The Media
    Journalism is a perfect cover for CIA agents. People talk freely to journalists, and few think suspiciously of a journalist aggressively searching for information. Journalists also have power, influence and clout. Not surprisingly, the CIA began a mission in the late 1940s to recruit American journalists on a wide scale, a mission it dubbed Operation MOCKINGBIRD. The agency wanted these journalists not only to relay any sensitive information they discovered, but also to write anti-communist, pro-capitalist propaganda when needed.
    The instigators of MOCKINGBIRD were Frank Wisner, Allan Dulles, Richard Helms and Philip Graham. Graham was the husband of Katherine Graham, today’s publisher of the Washington Post. In fact, it was the Post’s ties to the CIA that allowed it to grow so quickly after the war, both in readership and influence. (8)
    MOCKINGBIRD was extraordinarily successful. In no time, the agency had recruited at least 25 media organizations to disseminate CIA propaganda. At least 400 journalists would eventually join the CIA payroll, according to the CIA’s testimony before a stunned Church Committee in 1975. (The committee felt the true number was considerably higher.) The names of those recruited reads like a Who’s Who of journalism:

    Philip and Katharine Graham (Publishers, Washington Post)
    William Paley (President, CBS)
    Henry Luce (Publisher, Time and Life magazine) (still at it)
    Arthur Hays Sulzberger (Publisher, N.Y. Times)
    Jerry O’Leary (Washington Star)
    Hal Hendrix (Pulitzer Prize winner, Miami News)
    Barry Bingham Sr., (Louisville Courier-Journal)
    James Copley (Copley News Services)
    Joseph Harrison (Editor, Christian Science Monitor)
    C.D. Jackson (Fortune)
    Walter Pincus (Reporter, Washington Post)
    ABC
    NBC
    Associated Press
    United Press International
    Reuters Hearst Newspapers
    Scripps-Howard
    Newsweek magazine (still at it I see)
    Mutual Broadcasting System
    Miami Herald
    Old Saturday Evening Post
    New York Herald-Tribune

    Perhaps no newspaper is more important to the CIA than the Washington Post, one of the nation’s most right-wing dailies. Its location in the nation’s capitol enables the paper to maintain valuable personal contacts with leading intelligence, political and business figures. Unlike other newspapers, the Post operates its own bureaus around the world, rather than relying on AP wire services. Owner Philip Graham was a military intelligence officer in World War II, and later became close friends with CIA figures like Frank Wisner, Allen Dulles, Desmond FitzGerald and Richard Helms. He inherited the Post by marrying Katherine Graham, whose father owned it.
    After Philip’s suicide in 1963, Katharine Graham took over the Post. Seduced by her husband’s world of government and espionage, she expanded her newspaper’s relationship with the CIA. In a 1988 speech before CIA officials at Langley, Virginia, she stated:
    We live in a dirty and dangerous world. There are some things that the general public does not need to know and shouldn’t. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows.
    This quote has since become a classic among CIA critics for its belittlement of democracy and its admission that there is a political agenda behind the Post’s headlines.

  28. Can you cooperate with SSP litigation? Patiently trust the obvious communication malfunction? Their are reasons people do us harm, right?

  29. contextofnocontext says:

    @Sibel: Developing a project/site with that goal at the moment. I’ll be sure to keep you informed.

    @Kingfisher: I think you’re mistaken. What you’re proposing is not cynicism at all, it’s the Incompetence Theory. As in, no one could be competent enough to keep you in the dark about such massive deceptions. I find this particular ideology rather lazy, but then again I’m one of these hysterical ‘closed-system conspiracy theorists’.

    Historically, after all, we know that systems of control have been set up to capitalize on these markets. And rather than using a strawman version of motive to explain the invasion of any particular country it’s perhaps more instructive to incoporate knowledge of these systems of control into our analysis.

    (1) Vertical Integration is less risky if you ‘socialize’ the overhead.
    (2) Less risky if you use Intelligence Industry methods like Compartmentalization of players.
    (3) Less risky if the only ‘legitimate’ watchdogs are in bed with you.

    In my humble opinion, Iraq was not invaded ‘just for oil’, nor was Afghanistan invaded ‘just for Opium.’ These are commodities on the Global Imperial Market. Is the argument supposed to be that Robber Barons DON’T prefer a monopoly? This is cynicism all of a sudden?

    Lots of players, lots of commodities and contracts to go around. And let’s not forget that all the money flows through the banks. Anything not sold off immediately can always be used as collateral on the brand-new debt of (Insert Nation Here).

  30. @contextofnocontext: Thanks. Meanwhile you can contact/e-mail me directly any time. Or let me know if it is OK to e-mail you via your contact info under ‘site registration’…

    Tomorrow I’ll have my Boiling Frogs TGD Message for our President;-)

  31. Kingfisher says:

    @context,

    There is a big difference between thinking that no one could be competent enough to keep me “in the dark about such massive deceptions” and the historical reality that the US and the CIA is not good at this stuff. I am irrelevant to this; that previous cases of “massive deceptions” involving agency complicity in the drug trade has been aired previous IS relevant.

    You are not “closed-system” conspiracy theorist; you seem to be a sharp person. The closed-system dynamic described by Hofstadter imo pervades the conspiracy theorist ranks, but there are of course exceptions. For example, I think some of the members at Deep Politics Forum are very sharp and of sound mind (in as much as people today can be) – though they probably do not care for the CT term and prefer ‘researcher’.

    For the past year and a half, I have provided to my assistance to a journalist covering a securities fraud and manipulation known as naked short selling. This is a massive fraud, absolutely huge – could be the greatest crime in history. The networks and schemes involved employed the same methods of control have been utilized – really, the scope of it is mind boggling. Here’s the thing: the veil has been pierced and the shadows are being illuminated – at least the American side of it.

    Iran-Contra was a large-scale criminal conspiracy but would probably pale in the size of a conspiracy to control the heroin trade, and as an operational conspiracy Iran-Contra was a boondoggle. People talked, things got screwed-up, secrets got out even as it was still operational.

    Oil is a strategic commodity; it is a stretch to argue that opium is.

    You are certainly correct about the banks.

    KF

  32. Kingfisher says:

    “If the ISI largely controls the Taliban and the country, and the ISI is our ally, then why invade at all?”

    @Z,

    There are two ISI’s, then there is the state of Pakistan (which never should have been a state in the first place, nor ever really grew into a functioning state), its army, and its deep state. Then the tribes…it’s all about the tribes. It’s complicated.

    The US looked favorably of Pakistan’s sponsorship of the Taliban for awhile. There were pipeline talks, but they put the kibosh on it after feminist groups starting complaining about the Taliban’s treatment of women.

    I think you would really enjoy Ahmed Rashid’s pre-9/11 book called Taliban, which covers Afghanistan, the major and regional powers, pipelines, and drug, if you have not already read it.

  33. The CIA is really a bummer. It’s like the palace guard for the power behind the throne. At least that is how it appears to this observer.

    Those within the CIA obviously are milking their position of power for financial gain – I don’t really think the CIA needs to make money from drug trafficking. Or do they? What would they be doing with all the money they make? Buying and supplying weapons to fuel insurgents which we then officially respond to with our huge military footprint which means ginormous profits for the MIC?

    This all seems to be point to someone(s) making oodles of money from war, insurgencies and so forth. Could there be another reason for all this stuff? Is it part of a grand strategy or ideology of world control? For what purpose?

    When I connect the dots I see from 9/11 it looks like someone staged that horror to get us into a serious of military adventures in South Asia and the ME where we could capture and control energy reserves. But it’s not like we have industries which need all this energy to produce products for consumers with cash… the world economy has crashed and no one is buying anything. We are solving the energy crisis by turning us back to a 3rd world economy and starving people to death.

    I’m pretty convinced that the people being blamed for 9/11 are dupes who are easily exploited for being pissed off at the USA and its revolting hegemonic policies. Sure they would love to see the “great satan” fall and sure they would like to see Israel disappear and stop the genocide of the indigenous people of “Palestine”. And sure if someone gives or sells them weapons and ecourages them to attack US interests and presence in their region, you betcha they will do it or find some martyr to do it. Like what’s the alternative? Get horded into some camp and starved or bomb from a drone?

    As abhorrent as Israeli policy is, at least it appears to have a motivation which is not simply money and power, which is all I can see in the jerks behind 9/11. Sorry for the rant.

    We’re not getting real investigation it seems because the whole system is rotten to the core and if you believe there is something worth saving, you won’t call out the entirety of the BS going down, but try to work from the left side to get some equity and justice. But that is not going to happen.

    We are like boiling frogs and soon we’ll be served up as someone’s dinner.

  34. shekissesfrogs says:

    I stop in to read your site from time to time but mostly lurk unless I have something to add or correct a piece of misinformation, I don’t join in the peanut gallery.
    Sibel you are wonderful for continuing to tell your story. Marcy Wheeler is doing great work trying to expose lies in regards to torture/CIA/Bush co, and abuse of state secrets privilege and the carry over of the same policies to the Obama administration. These intersect with yours.
    As for a correction, Kingfisher is pushing Ahmed Rashid’s books and Theories.
    He is a neocon mouthpiece that sings the song that he is paid for. He wants war.
    Everything I have ever read, except from Tenet or Rashid, The Taliban stopped the Poppy production, and that that they were trying to raise the price floor sounds like after the fact CYA. And Feminism was never an issue, except to sell a war. The taliban wouldn’t let UNOCAL build a pipeline, so Bush/Cheney found a reason – that they wouldn’t give up Bin laden. http://www.counterpunch.org/ali10092009.html
    Kingfisher, find some new books. Use those to compare Administration lies with the truth.

    It’s very important to check sources and not let it flourish, especially on your site. Disinfo and misinfo will smear you as a crazy, which I certainly don’t think that you are.

  35. @ context, 8:33pm —

    Good stuff, thanks.

    ………..

    Sibel, my understanding is that there weren’t any compliance problems. At the same time, I don’t recall my mother mentioning any media outlet that would be outside the major news papers, news magazines, network TV, or news radio. Maybe it’s not so surprising at those levels.

    I don’t know if this is a reflection of my growing skepticism or something else, but I recall reading The Nation, Mother Jones, The Progressive routinely in the early 90s, and what I read from those publications these days strikes me as far too accommodating — more like captive press, less like detached journalism.

  36. @ Kingfisher —

    Opium is a strategic commodity. You just have to picture a different type of person who views it as such. Some people are happy receiving some of the world’s finest opium poppy production (which gets turned to street-sale heroin of course) and don’t need to seek global control of all petroleum. I think if you look at strata of power and influence in various types of global commerce you will find that there are those who consider certain controlled substances to be very valuable commodities. They’re just not as easily sold to the end user/buyer. And not everyone who pushes to rise to the top of a business enterprise wants to be like Wall Street tycoons or oil barons. To those whose sights are set lower than global geopolitics, opium and other substances hold pretty significant value and will trigger strategic planning to gain their access.

  37. @shekissefrogs: Welcome. Glad to hear you’ve been visiting, and even more so to see your feedback. Please don’t hold back; hope to have your comments here regularly. I certainly am not a fan of Rashid- for the obvious reasons…However, it is good to have different perspectives over here; healthy. Some sites/forums sound like an echo chamber: ‘let’s bash XXX all together, hooorrrraaay’ and ‘Let’s rip apart YYY collectively, hoooorrrraaayy.’ I truly get to learn a lot reading the comments section (started from the previous site), that includes those from totally opposing or different views.

  38. Kingfisher says:

    “Opium is a strategic commodity. You just have to picture a different type of person who views it as such…”

    @CF,
    That’s great, except my comment about opium not being a strategic commodity was in reference to context’s point about “commodities on the Global Imperial Market” and American invasions. I should have quoted what I was responding to.

  39. Kingfisher says:

    Everything I have ever read, except from Tenet or Rashid, The Taliban stopped the Poppy production, and that that they were trying to raise the price floor sounds like after the fact CYA. And Feminism was never an issue, except to sell a war.”

    @sheisafrog,

    Clearly you have not read enough.

    Re: Pipelines and feminism – I suggest tracking down a copy of January 11, 1998 Washington Post article titled : “Women’s Fury Toward Taliban Stalls Pipeline; Afghan Plan Snagged In U.S. Political Issues”. Or any of the hundreds of books that have mentioned this.

    Here’s a little diddy from Steve Coll’s Pulitzer prize winning book “Ghost Wars”, which I guess you have never read:

    “By the autumn of 1997 persistent lobbying against the Taliban by the Feminist Majority had influenced the two most important women in the Clinton administration, Madeline Albright and Hillary Clinton. When Albright visited a refugee camp in Peshawar that November, she departed from her prepared script and denounced the Taliban’s policies toward women as “despicable.” It was the first time a Clinton Cabinet member had made such a forceful statement about Taliban human rights violations. A few weeks later Hillary Clinton used a major speech about human rights at the United Nations to single out the Taliban. “Even now the Taliban in Afghanistan are blocking girls from attending schools,” Clinton said. The Taliban were harassing those “who would speak out against this injustice.” It was the first time that either of the Clintons had seriously criticized the Taliban in public.”
    -page 362-63

    Re: pre 9/11 Taliban and the opium, see pages 12-15 from this from a recent study for the United States Institute of Peace by Gretchen Peters (http://www.usip.org/files/resources/taliban_opium_1.pdf). Note:

    Some Western and Afghan officials have concluded that the poppy ban was the ultimate insider trading act. According to this theory, the Taliban believed they stood to gain millions of dollars in international aid and perhaps even recognition of their government (neither of which they received in the end, however). The UN-affiliated Narcotics Control Board concluded that after four years of bumper crops, stocks of Afghan heroin were big enough to supply the European market for four more years.66 More than a half-dozen well-placed tribal sources and Afghan officials interviewed for this project said senior Taliban leaders and Haji Bashar Noorzai purchased massive amounts of opium just before the ban. “It wasn’t religion,” said a Quetta based smuggler. “It was good business. They bought low, they sold high.”67″

    I suggest you do a little research before you say that I’m the one who doesn’t know what they are talking about, and tell me to go read some pinko public-intellectual on these matters.

  40. Lest we forget. Happy Thanksgiving! Since I don’t have a cute baby to feed, I harvested a three and one half pound sweet tater. Also,kayaked onto a lake amid giant gators to find an Endangered Wood Ibis. This site is endangered among the Big Gators. Let’s protect it.

  41. @Simon: 🙂 Now that’s refreshing! My cute babe will have her first real turkey meal; last year she was limited to formula, and we were overseas… so she missed the goodies. I really like your line “This site is endangered among the Big Gators. Let’s protect it.” May I have the copy-right to use?:-)

    Our Boiling Frogs’ Thanksgiving Note to the president will be up shortly, and will need your backing.

    Stay tuned…

  42. @SanderO

    The CIA:

    The wealthy have always used many methods to accumulate wealth, but it was not until the mid-1970s that these methods coalesced into a superbly organized, cohesive and efficient machine. After 1975, it became greater than the sum of its parts, a smooth flowing organization of advocacy groups, lobbyists, think tanks, conservative foundations, and PR firms that hurtled the richest 1 percent into the stratosphere.
    The origins of this machine, interestingly enough, can be traced back to the CIA. This is not to say the machine is a formal CIA operation, complete with code name and signed documents. (Although such evidence may yet surface — and previously unthinkable domestic operations such as MK-ULTRA, CHAOS and MOCKINGBIRD show this to be a distinct possibility.) But what we do know already indicts the CIA strongly enough. Its principle creators were Irving Kristol, Paul Weyrich, William Simon, Richard Mellon Scaife, Frank Shakespeare, William F. Buckley, Jr., the Rockefeller family, and more. Almost all the machine’s creators had CIA backgrounds.
    During the 1970s, these men would take the propaganda and operational techniques they had learned in the Cold War and apply them to the Class War. Therefore it is no surprise that the American version of the machine bears an uncanny resemblance to the foreign versions designed to fight communism. The CIA’s expert and comprehensive organization of the business class would succeed beyond their wildest dreams. In 1975, the richest 1 percent owned 22 percent of America’s wealth. By 1992, they would nearly double that, to 42 percent — the highest level of inequality in the 20th century.
    How did this alliance start? The CIA has always recruited the nation’s elite: millionaire businessmen, Wall Street brokers, members of the national news media, and Ivy League scholars. During World War II, General “Wild Bill” Donovan became chief of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the forerunner of the CIA. Donovan recruited so exclusively from the nation’s rich and powerful that members eventually came to joke that “OSS” stood for “Oh, so social!”
    Another early elite was Allen Dulles, who served as Director of the CIA from 1953 to 1961. Dulles was a senior partner at the Wall Street firm of Sullivan and Cromwell, which represented the Rockefeller empire and other mammoth trusts, corporations and cartels. He was also a board member of the J. Henry Schroeder Bank, with offices in Wall Street, London, Zurich and Hamburg. His financial interests across the world would become a conflict of interest when he became head of the CIA. Like Donavan, he would recruit exclusively from society’s elite.

    By the 1950s, the CIA had riddled the nation’s businesses, media and universities with tens of thousands of part-time, on-call operatives. Their employment with the agency took a variety of forms, which included:
    Leaving one’s profession to work for the CIA in a formal, official capacity. Staying in one’s profession, using the job as cover for CIA activity. This undercover activity could be full-time, part-time, or on-call. Staying in one’s profession, occasionally passing along information useful to the CIA. Passing through the revolving door that has always existed between the agency and the business world.
    Historically, the CIA and society’s elite have been one and the same people. This means that their interests and goals are one and the same as well. Perhaps the most frequent description of the intelligence community is the “old boy network,” where members socialize, talk shop, conduct business and tap each other for favors well outside the formal halls of government.
    Many common traits made it inevitable that the CIA and Corporate America would become allies. Both share an intense dislike of democracy, and feel they should be liberated from democratic regulations and oversight. Both share a culture of secrecy, either hiding their actions from the American public or lying about them to present the best public image. And both are in a perfect position to help each other.
    How? International businesses give CIA agents cover, secret funding, top-quality resources and important contacts in foreign lands. In return, the CIA gives corporations billion-dollar federal contracts (for spy planes, satellites and other hi-tech spycraft). Businessmen also enjoy the romantic thrill of participating in spy operations. The CIA also gives businesses a certain amount of protection and privacy from the media and government watchdogs, under the guise of “national security.” Finally, the CIA helps American corporations remain dominant in foreign markets, by overthrowing governments hostile to unregulated capitalism and installing puppet regimes whose policies favor American corporations at the expense of their people.
    The CIA’s alliance with the elite turned out to be an unholy one. Each enabled the other to rise above the law. Indeed, a review of the CIA’s history is one of such crime and atrocity that no one can reasonably defend it, even in the name of anticommunism. Before reviewing this alliance in detail, it is useful to know the CIA’s history of atrocity first.

    That was ex-military intelligence Steve Kangas.

    This is ex-CIA agent Victor Marchetti on Australian radio in 1986:

    What you in Australia must understand is that you are more to blame than the CIA is because you want this to happen, you want a certain administration in control and you don’t want another administration in control. The first question I tell all foreign journalists when they bring out this point is…I ask them, `look, you find out where the loyalties of your intelligence services lies. Do they lie with your country as a whole, for better or worse, or to the establishment in your country?’ and in most instances the answer you find is `to the establishment.’ So in essence is like in the old days in Europe where the nobility of various countries had more in common with each other than they did with their own people. This is true of intelligence services. They tend to have more in common with each other and their establishments which they represent than they do with their own people.

  43. @KF: “To the second part about controlling the beginning of the chain: going with the exercise scenario that the CIA wished to profit from the heroin trade and that is one of the reasons why we are Afghanistan (of which I do not believe in) – why would you want to direct control when Pakistan and its intelligence service, presumably the CIA’s ally, largely controls the reigns of the Taliban and the country?”

    Then, do you think that Pakistan and its intelligence service(s) already control the beginning of the heroin supply chain (or did before we invaded)?

    Also, what do you think the real reasons for our invasion of Afghanistan were? To get OBL and shut down the Taliban from harboring such terrorists, as we’ve been fed by the MSM? (It seems that Pakistan and its intelligence service(s) could not accomplish these.)

    Do you think it was for strategic positioning for natural resources? War profiteering?

    Thanks for the book suggestion.

  44. Great points Zacnick. You might find this article from consortiumnews enlightening and dovetailing with your assertions:

    http://www.consortiumnews.com/2009/110409.html

    What gets me the most is the attitude of the “pragmatists” in that piece like David Rockefeller, Kissinger and Miles Copeland, former CIA Station Chief in London and father of Police drummer Stuart Copeland. Is it any wonder the reputation of the US has become so sullied in the last 50 years? All these people talk of the CIA-within-the CIA, or what Marchetti called “The Cult Of Intelligence”.

  45. Kingfisher says:

    @Zica,

    “Then, do you think that Pakistan and its intelligence service(s) already control the beginning of the heroin supply chain (or did before we invaded)?”

    It certainly had some influence, and there is good reason to believe that parts of the ISI have engaged in trafficking. The warlords and/or tribes control the beginning of the chain (growing opium). The Northern Alliance dealt in drugs too, pre-9/11 they were backed by Russia, Iran, India, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Turkey (sometimes).

    “Also, what do you think the real reasons for our invasion of Afghanistan were? To get OBL and shut down the Taliban from harboring such terrorists, as we’ve been fed by the MSM? (It seems that Pakistan and its intelligence service(s) could not accomplish these.)”

    There is a good degree of truth to the mainstream line. Could we have cut a deal with the deal for them to turn over bin Laden? I don’t know, maybe. But in the immediate wake of 9/11 no elected politician is going to support making such a deal or not removing the Taliban – it would be career suicide. It is remarkable how much domestic political considerations will drive a nation’s foreign policy.

    The goal of denying AQ a sanctuary in Afghanistan is a sticking point in the current debate. Imagine if President Obama removes all forces from A-Stan or significantly draws down forces, and there is a bombing in NYC that traces back to Afghanistan somehow (like the plot broken up this summer) months later. Obama would be finished and there would not be a second term of his presidency. Conversely, the war is unpopular with half the country and that ties Obama’s hand in committing troop numbers to be of much significance.

    In the 21st century the US and Western nations are “playing with war”.

    “Do you think it was for strategic positioning for natural resources? War profiteering?”

    Yes, they are factors; to which degree is debatable.
    The strategic positioning influence was motive for some parties of why we rushed into Afghanistan, though we’ve screwed up on achieving strategic benefits. War profiteering will always be a factor, though I see the military industrial congressional complex as more a dynamic then in the literal sense of Mr. Monopoly Man guys in monocles.

    KF

  46. @Zaknick,

    Excellent quotes and probably is the perfect meta analysis of the mess we’re in why the people are both dumbed down and without recourse to do anything about it but slave away and believe all the silly narratives shoved down on them 24/7 while being distracted by sports, consumer products and keeping up with the Joneses – the driving force behind the American economy before it became all about wall street financial products/instruments and trading said nonsense.

    I suppose the good news is that they seem to have overplayed their hands, even the royal flush they held and it’s all crashing now and unless this is part of their scheme to crush democracy and all constitutional rights once and for all, it could turn nasty and those with nothing left to lose have only the guns and ammo left. I think we are getting to that point soon and the second revolution might be interesting. I don’t think corporations are terribly popular, mostly tolerated because there is no alternative in America. There will be lots of blowback soon. The militia will be out in force suppressing an angry citizenry, who have watched ever hope they had for reform turned into another win for corporate America and Wall Street. This is fueling support for nuts like Palin on the right and was for Obama until he turned out to be another corporate tool. He has lost his supporters (base as they call it). He has reneged on every single campaign promise in less than a year. That has not gone unnoticed by anyone especially those who thought he would be another FDR. hahaha He’s more like a W who can read a teleprompter. Like Rice people don’t want to trash the black guy and are giving him the benefit of the doubt or remaining silent. They will not vote for him next go round. So they’ll have to steal the election again.

    America is unraveling. Watch for the unraveling to gain momentum.

  47. I think we’re headed for quite a ride. Quite a freaking ride.

    Kangas (ex-military intelligence):

    The Year 2000

    The exact year itself is not so important as the decades immediately before and after it, which feature several critically important trends coming to a head. The first is the population explosion. It took from the dawn of humanity until the year 1800 for the earth’s population to reach 1 billion. By 1930 it was 2 billion. By 1960, 3 billion. By 1975, 4 billion. By 1986, 5 billion. By 1997, 6 billion. The year 2000 will mark the point where continuing this explosion becomes risky: we are currently adding the population of China to this planet every decade. This explosion is placing a growing burden on the earth’s finite resources, and threatens environmental disaster. New technology can solve some of the emerging problems of scarcity and pollution, but some resources — like land — are limited in absolute terms. The critical question is which will grow faster: our technology or our population?

    The evidence suggests that our technology is not advancing fast enough. After decades of growth, food-per-person is beginning to shrink, despite growing demand:
    World production trends per person of basic foodstuffs (1950-1993) (1) Foodstuff Growth
    period Percent
    growth Decline
    period Percent
    decline
    Grain 1950-84 +40% 1984-93 -12%
    Seafood 1950-88 +126 1988-93 -9
    Beef & Mutton 1950-72 +36 1972-93 -13

    Add to this the fact that the world’s water basins are generally being drained faster than the hydrolic cycle can refill them, and it’s clear that expanding populations and shrinking resources are going to become the world’s number one problem in the very near future.

    Just how much of a problem can be seen in a famous 1994 Cornell study. (2) A team led by Dr. David Pimentel found that the world will probably be able to handle no more than 2 billion people by the year 2100. They arrived at this conclusion by considering the future “carrying capacity” of the land — that is, the amount of available resources needed to sustain a level population. These resources primarily consist of fertile land, fresh water, fossil fuel energy and a diversity of helpful natural organisms. Changes to some of these factors are quite predictable — for example, humans are expected to run out of fossil fuel in the next 35 years. (The Cornell team used the most optimistic figures for their calculations.) The team found that the carrying capacity at the turn of the next century would provide only 2 billion with a modest but comfortable standard of living. But, according to U.N. projections, current population trends should reach 11 billion by then.

    To avoid massive starvation and deadly competition will require a drastic change in our current habits. Dr. Pimentel notes: “Even if we adopt a zero population growth strategy tomorrow — a little over two children per couple — the world population will nearly double. It wouldn’t stop growing for 60 years.”

    The second trend coming to a head in the year 2000 is the Information Age. Both televisions and computers began their modern ascent in the 1940s. By the 1960s, most American households had television, but the spread of computers was much slower. It wasn’t until the 1980s that personal computers became affordable and widely used. And it wasn’t until the 1990s that individual computers began linking up to the Internet in large numbers. The year 2000 stands as a logical milestone, since by then a majority of all Americans and Europeans will be online. And e-commerce (or market transactions conducted over the Internet) is just starting to soar in the final years before 2000, promising to revolutionize our economy.

    The third trend is the depletion of the earth’s oil supply. Estimates vary widely as to when we will run out of oil, but generally they fall between the years 2010 and 2050. This will force a drastic social revolution upon us — the end of our gas-powered cars, generators and other machinery. Keep in mind that oil will not run out suddenly, but will gradually become harder to find, meaning that society must begin making the transition to other energy sources even sooner than these projected dates. The transition shall also require enormous research and development, manufacturing and marketing, all of which cost enormous time and money. To avoid complete disaster, the transition must start soon — now, around the year 2000. (3)

    There are other trends: the human genome will be completely mapped not long after the year 2000. Not only will a host of diseases and ailments suddenly disappear from the human condition, but we will no longer be able to avoid controversial questions about genetic ethics. Another trend is globalization, with the growing influence of the U.N., economic unions rising in Europe, Asia and North America, and the rise of multinational corporations, all serving to minimize the role of the state.

  48. Hello Everyone and ofcourse, Sibel. Happy Thanksgiving!

    I find this blog very interesting. I think the CIA even goes further with their hiring practices. For example, in the Middle East, it is possible that someone who works for a construction company actually is with the CIA. It is another cover too. I am not into conspiracies but it is a distinct possiblity.
    I really want to thank everyone here for all the insightful input. I feel my feelings are more validated now. I had quite experience when I lived in UAE–yes, my phone was tapped. Everytime I was on my mobile, all I would hear was clicking sounds, sometimes a lot of static and yes, my moble would light up by itself and it felt warm when it was not in use.
    Clearly, the NSA needs to find another hobby—pleeeassz! Why are they so interested about conversations about sand storms and the latest sale at the Emirates Mall? Meanwhile, they are not really getting the bad guys and ones at Gitmo are likely to be not guilty, right? The torture and beatings, it is all crazy and it seems so one really cares except a small minority. Scary, isn’t it.

  49. JamesLaffrey says:

    I Give Thanks for the knowledge and wisdom offered here free of charge!

    For me, there’s no need to nitpick anybody’s contribution.

    What I wish to see are more people expressing this conclusion: We must force change in our nation’s leadership, and then we can change the widely and deeply corrupt (often criminal) system.

    – The current leaders will NOT be persuaded by reading the wisdom here. They only care about their power and wealth. So, please don’t think that I’m saying “we must force change in our leadership” by changing their minds. I’m saying we must force them out.

    At present, elections don’t work. Somebody has to restore democracy to that system. The current winners in that system will not reform it.

    So, we must do it. If not us, who? For bad people to win, the bad people need only for the good people to stay home and clickety clack on their computers.

    I outline 3 steps:
    1. We force them out.
    2. We get our representatives elected.
    3. We reform the system.

    (Normally, I avoid redundancy. But here I am again, hoping to stir fellow boiling frogs to action. For some details, see my “Idea 1” along with some discussion under SibelEdmonds’ post “Site Updates for November 23.”)

  50. Kingfisher says:

    @jacee,

    Yes there is a possibility, and honestly I hope the CIA does have people like that. Positions like that are called NOC’s (non-official cover), they are spies without diplomatic cover (and immunity). There are a lot of secrets that can be learned through the construction world.

    Living in a Gulf state as an American you should expect your phone to be tapped. As an ex-pat living abroad it is reasonable that the locals will keep an eye on you from time. And it is even more likely if you or your spouse is in engaged in sensitive or important business.

    Your mobile may have been monitored as you suspect. But if you heard static or clicking sounds then it probably wasn’t from the NSA. If you are concerned about your privacy turn the phone off and remove the battery when you are not using it or expecting someone to call.

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