Weekly Round Up for Sunday, April 10

The Conditional Antiwar Movement, FBI’s Mole in the News Business, This Week’s Hillary Clinton Joke, Pepe Escobar & the New Chalabi for Libya & More!

Here is a round up with a few noteworthy developments and articles and an absurdity or two. This week Peter B Collins and I will be recording interviews with two special guests. It is going to be lively, interesting and I think rather controversial. Stay tuned.

The Conditional Antiwar Movement- Party Based AntiWar-ism

10AThe following article is based on a new study showing that the antiwar movement in the US demobilized as Democrats, who had been motivated to participate by anti-Republican sentiments, withdrew from antiwar protests when the Democratic Party achieved electoral success. The findings are complementary (unfortunately) to my previous post on partisan & biased media reports. Ignorant & blinded partisanship in action: atrocious wars and major presidential abuses are all okay if committed by X Party, but awful and impeachable offenses if exercised by Y party.

Did Obama's Election mean the End of the Anti-War Movement? 
By Bernie DeGroat, Spero News

As president, Obama has maintained the occupation of Iraq and escalated the war in Afghanistan," said Heaney, U-M assistant professor of organizational studies and political science. "The antiwar movement should have been furious at Obama's 'betrayal' and reinvigorated its protest activity.

"Instead, attendance at antiwar rallies declined precipitously and financial resources available to the movement have dissipated. The election of Obama appeared to be a demobilizing force on the antiwar movement, even in the face of his pro-war decisions."

Heaney and Rojas analyzed the demobilization of the antiwar movement by using surveys of 5,400 demonstrators at 27 protests mostly in Washington, D.C., New York, Chicago and San Francisco from January 2007 to December 2009. The surveys asked questions on basic demographics, partisan affiliations, organizational affiliations, reasons for attending the events, histories of political participation, and attitudes toward the movement, war and the political system.

A New Memo Reveals: FBI Had Mole Inside ABC News- Why the surprise?!

10BA recently declassified FBI memo reveals that a senior ABC News journalist acted (and performed) as a confidential informant to the bureau in the 1990s. I know this is significant, but shocking? That’s what I don’t understand. Do you?

Memo Suggests FBI Had Mole Inside ABC News in 1990s 
By John Solomon & Aeron Mehta

A once-classified FBI memo reveals that the bureau treated a senior ABC News journalist as a potential confidential informant in the 1990s, pumping the reporter to ascertain the source of a sensational but uncorroborated tip that the network had obtained during its early coverage of the Oklahoma City bombing.

The journalist, whose name is not disclosed in the document labeled “secret,” not only cooperated but provided the identity of a confidential source, according to the FBI memo — a possible breach of journalistic ethics if he or she did not have the source’s permission.

The ABC employee was even assigned a number in the FBI’s informant database, indicating he or she was still being vetted for suitability as a snitch after providing “highly accurate and reliable information in the past” and then revealing information the network had obtained in the hours just after the 1995 terrorist attack by Timothy McVeigh.

More on Biased-Partisan Media & Double Standards

On Friday I published a brief commentary on the Lefts’ Hypocrisy when it comes to investigative reporting on the Obama administration’s atrocities nationally and internationally. Considering the level of controversy accompanied by lots of snarls, spits and insults, it must have struck a chord with ‘some people.’ Suddenly, these people forget my 7-year long battle during the Bush administration-the gag orders I received, polygraphs, being fired, secrecy…you name it. I used to be, back in the Bush days, their heroine, their respected whistleblower. Obama administration comes in, I see what goes on, I write about it and voice my opinion against the same atrocities, and suddenly I become the …hmmmmm, I am not going to use their x-rated and colorful adjectives. If I remember correctly, it started with this piece I wrote during the early Obama days: Two Sides of the Same Coin … Heads-Heads. No worries; I won’t be easily deterred. Here is another commentary on the Left’s double standards when it comes to ‘their’ president of wars-abuses:

Double Standards on Impeachment 
By John Walsh, Campaign for Liberty

10CThe lead editorial in the April 11 issue of The Nation, "The Libya Intervention," leaves one wondering. Whatever the editorial may be, it does not qualify as a resounding condemnation of Barack Obama for his war on Libya.

It begins by naming, a president, but that president is George Bush not Barack Obama. The editorial notes that the Libyan "intervention" comes eight year's to the day after "Bush began his ‘shock and and awe' war." It appears that W wages war, but Obama merely "intervenes." Noting that Bush's war ravaged Iraq and brought America's reputation low, The Nation observes that Obama "seems to have learned this lesson." Then the editorial goes on to praise Obama for taking military action only as a last resort to prevent a "potential" massacre of civilians. But does that not mean that the Libyan adventure is a preemptive war just like Bush's?

The Nation then heaps praise on Obama for deciding to "support" the Security Council resolution, ignoring the fact that the U.S. browbeat the Security Council into (just barely) passing that resolution. The editorial continues: "The (UN) resolution makes clear that its goal is the protection of civilians rather than regime change. Thus the administration's decision to support the UN action is an important defense of a multipolar world that operates according to international law." Sounds so far like Obama is doing a great job.Only when one arrives at the fifth paragraph of this nine paragraph editorial do we begin to find criticism of Obama. The fact that Obama has taken the country to war without a declaration by Congress is duly noted -- but there is no mention of impeachment as the remedy, not even a hint.

So The Nation was in favor of impeachment when the war was Bush's and it was useful to win votes for Dems in the 2006 elections. The Nation's editor was delighted with Holtzmann's article featured on the cover. But The Nation and the same editor now stand mute when the war and the violation of the Constitution are Obama's. The words of those who place Party over principle merit considerable contempt, especially when it comes to issues of war, but they do not deserve to be taken seriously.

Not To Be Missed Interview @ Peter B Collins Show: Pepe Escobar on Libya

This is directly from the Peter B Collins Show:

10DEscobar is a globetrotting journalist and author who writes for Asia Times and was a guest on a Boiling Frogs interview last year. He is as outspoken here as in print, and he offers accounts not available in the US corporate media. He notes that the Libyan opposition has been renamed Interim National Council–or INC, the same acronym for the Pentagon’s program supporting Iraqi exile Ahmed Chalabi and his Iraqi National Congress. And, like Chalabi with Iraq, it appears we have a Libyan exile army colonel, Khalifa Hifter, who spent 20 years living right down the road from CIA headquarters in Virginia, now inserted back into Libya and designated as a leader of the opposition to Qaddafi…

We have had Pepe Escobar here at Boiling Frogs Post, and this interview is at least as good. I’d say a not to be missed show! Listen To Pepe Escobar on Libya @ PBC Show

A Fifth of the Federal Budget: Entirely Off Limits?

10EPentagon’s spending has gone from $300 billion to more than $663 billion in the last ten years. The defense budget is the single largest spending item under Congress’ direct control. Yet, the Defense Department has never bothered to comply with federal rules requiring annual audits .Hmmmm, and obviously they have gotten away with this easily. Or is it the other way around, since they know they have carte blanche they don’t bother complying with cosmetic federal rules like that. Anyway, Washington Times had the following on this, and they did a fairly hard-hitting job with the absurdity of this mammoth taxpayer money spender (waster!) and toothless Congress:

Budget Hawks May Not Turn a Blind Eye to Pentagon
Seth McLaughlin, Washington Times

“At a minimum, we need to freeze defense spending until the Pentagon can audit its books,” said Sen. Tom Coburn, Oklahoma Republican. “Our military leaders have said our debt is our greatest national security threat. In order to defeat that threat, we have to put everything on the table, including defense spending that, in some cases, does nothing to defend our nation.”

Still, proposals to slice the department’s spending have been few and far between, and the ones that lawmakers have put forward have gained little traction.

In the debate over cutting 2011 spending levels, military spending has basically been AWOL, while the competing 2012 budget blueprints rolled out by President Obama and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, Wisconsin Republican, include billions of additional dollars for defense, though at a reduced rate of growth. Lawmakers, meanwhile, are proposing deep cuts to the other federal agencies, which, unlike the Pentagon, conform to the audit guidelines.

Lawmakers and fiscal conservatives say auditors can’t get a clear picture of the Defense Department’s books because it operates on outdated networks and systems that make it impossible to track where the money is going.

Congress does not know how the Pentagon spends money, and the Pentagon does not know how the Pentagon spends its money,” said Winslow T. Wheeler, a military analyst at the Center for Defense Information who worked on national security issues for 31 years for members of the U.S. Senate. “It is not that DOD annually flunks audits, it is the fact that it can’t be audited.”

He added, “If you flunk an audit, you can track the money and find that it was not spent as intended. If you can’t be audited, you can’t track the money. In other words, it is literally true that it would be a vast improvement if DOD were to flunk an audit.”

Surprise, Surprise: USA Government Admits to Secret Afghan Prisons!

10FDo you remember Obama’s presidential campaign promises on closing the Guantánamo Bay prison, ending illegal detention, banning the use of torture and ending the immunity of those responsible? Hey, it has been less than three years, so you must remember. What is the situation now? We still have many detainees in Guantánamo Bay whose fate has not yet been decided.  We still have ‘secret prisons,’ ‘suspected’ terrorists being held under mysterious and ambigious circumstances, and of course military-operated prisons all over Afghanistan …where prisoners can be held, mistreated and interrogated without charge. Under the same Obama who snarled at the same practices under his predecessor Bush. Now, Obama and his clan admit to continuing, maybe even expanding, secret and without charge detention and interrogation practices; at least in Afghanistan.

Afghan terror suspects held weeks in secret
AP

The secret network of jails, known as "black sites," that grew up after the Sept. 11 attacks are gone. But suspected terrorists are still being held under hazy circumstances with uncertain rights in secret, military-run jails across Afghanistan, where they can be interrogated for weeks without charge, according to U.S. officials who revealed details of the top-secret network to The Associated Press.

The Pentagon has previously denied operating secret jails in Afghanistan, although human rights groups and former detainees have described the facilities. U.S. military and other government officials confirmed that the detention centres exist but described them as temporary holding pens whose primary purpose is to gather intelligence.

The most secretive of roughly 20 temporary sites is run by the military's elite counterterrorism unit, the Joint Special Operations Command, at Bagram Air Base. It's responsible for questioning high-value targets, the detainees suspected of top roles in the Taliban, al-Qaeda or other militant groups.

The site's location, a short drive from a well-known public detention centre, has been alleged for more than a year.

The secrecy under which the U.S. runs that jail and about 20 others is noteworthy because of President Barack Obama's criticism of the old network of secret CIA prisons where interrogators sometimes used the harshest available methods, including the simulated drowning known as waterboarding.

Human rights advocates say the severest of the Bush-era interrogation methods are gone, but the conditions at the new interrogation sites still raise questions. Obama pledged when he took office that the United States would not torture anyone, but former detainees describe harsh treatment that some human rights groups claim borders on inhumane.

This Week’s Hillary Clinton Joke!

10GPlease listen to this: Clinton urges China to free activists!!  Is this a joke? You bet. A real joke? Yes. I mean a joke that is based on something that actually, truly, really took place? Aha. This is the same woman who got activist Ray McGovern beaten up & jailed, supports and maintains our secret prisons (think Bagram), is part of the same government that comes down on antiwar activists and jails government whistleblowers …keeps Guantanamo running …And, this woman turns around and tells China to improve its human rights record. Huh. Further, our mainstream media reports this with a straight face!

 Clinton urges China to free activists
By Shaun Tandon, AFP

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged China to free dozens of government critics rounded up this year including a prominent artist and said Beijing's rights record was worsening.

"In China, we've seen negative trends that are appearing to worsen in the first part of 2011," Clinton told reporters."As we have said repeatedly, the United States welcomes the rise of a strong and prosperous China," she said."However, we remain deeply concerned about reports that since February, dozens of people including public-interest lawyers, writers, artists, intellectuals and activists have been arbitrarily detained and arrested."

She mentioned the case of Ai Weiwei, an outspoken artist who helped design the Bird's Nest Olympic Stadium for the 2008 Beijing Games. He was detained on Sunday for unspecified "economic crimes."

Please read this part, so funny, sadly funny:

"Such detention is contrary to the rule of law, and we urge China to release all of those who have been detained for exercising their internationally recognized right to free expression and to respect the fundamental freedoms and human rights of all of the citizens of China," Clinton said.

Okay, I am going to end this round up on many of our nation’s absurdities with a well-written commentary by William Reed for Florida Courier:

Message to Barack-Make Luv, Not War
By William Reed, FL Courier

Blacks who believe Barack Obama can do no wrong would grimace at Texas Congressman Ron Paul calling him "a warmonger." Dr. Paul would infuriate the Obama Faithful further in saying, "The military industrial complex is firmly entrenched in Washington and Barack Obama is one of their guys."

Like those who occupied the Oval Office before him, the military industrial complex overly influences President Obama.  Their business is war, and military industry people are in line with Obama’s going to Libya.   Every time a Tomahawk cruise missile blows up a building in Libya (and everyone inside it), Raytheon makes $1.5 million.   

History has a habit of repeating itself.  Unfortunately, not enough people pay attention to obvious parallels right before their eyes. What is unfolding now in Libya is a tragic replay of what has gone before.  Wars are costly and extremely expensive, but don’t count on Obama or America’s military apparatus leaving Iraq or Afghanistan anytime soon.  

There is no anger or agitation among African-Americans against President Obama and a Congress that should be ending the wars we were already in, or against our military leaders starting new ones such as Libya.  With Obama leading the pack, Black Americans are part and parcel of imperialists’ acts against Arabs and other people of color the U.S. is "warring against."

One would think that two horrendously expensive military disasters would be enough for this president and his advisers. After all, we’re already spending $1 million per soldier per year in Afghanistan, and will spend close to a half-trillion dollars.   

It is an unapologetically written and effective article, and it is short. I encourage you to take a few minutes and read the entire piece here.

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Comments

  1. If I understood PBC’s interview of P Escobar, the trigger for the Libian uprising may likely bd related to a Wahabi(sic)-related dispute between the Saudi king and Ghadaffi (sic) and that NATO decision makers were also involved. Today, an article in Global Research:
    April 21, 2011 Latest Video Reports on GlobalResearchTV.com
    When War Games Go Live: “Staging” a “Humanitarian War” against “SOUTHLAND”
    Under an Imaginary UN Security Council Resolution 3003
    by Prof. Michel Chossudovsky

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=24351

    indicates that
    ‘ On November 02 2010, more than four months prior to the onset of Operation Odyssey Dawn, France and the UK announced the conduct of war games under Operation “SOUTHERN MISTRAL 2011” against “AN IMAGINARY COUNTRY’ called “SOUTHLAND”, living under a “DICTATORSHIP” which allegedly “was responsible for an attack against France’s national interests”.’

    While what this means or how it is related to the Libian uprising and military activities is unknown, it appears that there may have been plans on the board to remove the Libian monarch for some power/resource-related reason(s) for quite a while prior to the event.

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