The New Great Game Round Up- October 6, 2013

Washington Arms Taliban, Banning Wahhabism & NGOs, Comeback of the Mujahideen & More!

*The Great Game Round-Up brings you the latest newsworthy developments regarding Central Asia and the Caucasus region. We document the struggle for influence, power, hegemony and profits in Central Asia and the Caucasus region between a U.S.-dominated NATO, its GCC proxies, Russia, China and other regional players.

Afghanistan's northeastern province of Badakhshan and its role in Washington's plans for the region has been one of the major issues discussed in the weekly round-ups. In the last few days Badakhshan was again making the headlines with heavy clashes between Taliban and Afghan security forces erupting in the remotely located province. Taliban fighters succeeded in taking control over Kuran wa Munjan District which sparked new concerns about of the security of the upcoming Afghan elections: [Read more...]

Podcast Show #41

The Boiling Frogs Presents Gould-Fitzgerald

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Elizabeth Gould and Paul Fitzgerald join us to talk about their recently released book, Crossing Zero: The AfPak War at the Turning Point of American Empire. They discuss the origins of the Taliban and the array of armed groups in AfPak that are lumped together as “Taliban” by US media and politicians. Gould-Fitzgerald talk about Pakistan’s double play, the struggle for oil and gas that is the basis for the conflict, pipeline politics, the confused or even lack of strategy in the senseless costly war, the current corruption ridden puppet regime in Afghanistan, Obama administration’s drone-mania, their 8-point plan for ending the US occupation, and more!

GFPaul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould, a husband and wife team, began their experience in Afghanistan when they were the first American journalists to acquire permission to enter behind Soviet lines in 1981 for CBS News and produced a documentary, Afghanistan Between Three Worlds, for PBS. In 1983 they returned to Kabul with Harvard Negotiation project director Roger Fisher for ABC Nightline and contributed to the MacNeil/Lehrer News Hour. They continued to research, write and lecture about the long-term run-up that led to the US invasion of Afghanistan. They are featured in an award winning documentary by Samira Goetschel. Titled, Our own Private Bin Laden which traces the creation of the Osama bin Laden mythology in Afghanistan and how that mythology has been used to maintain the “war on terror” approach of the Bush administration. Their latest book Crossing Zero: The AFPAK War at the Turning Point of American Empire published by City Lights in March 2011 focuses on the nuances of the Obama administration's evolving military and political strategy, those who have been chosen to implement it, and the long-term consequences for the U.S. and the region.

Here are our guests Elizabeth Gould & Paul Fitzgerald unplugged!

*For the history of democracy in Afghanistan, and a detailed recounting of the US support for the Mujahiddin during the 1980′s Soviet occupation, creating some of the “blowback” seen in the current US occupation, listen to Peter B Collins’ recent interview of the Gould-Fitzgerald duo here.

This site depends exclusively on readers’ support. Please help us continue by contributing directly and or purchasing Boiling Frogs showcased products.

Weekly Round Up for January 9

Obama’s Whistleblower-Hunt, ‘Rent-A-Generals’ Industry, A Great Example of Intentionally Awful Journalism, One-Tip-Based Terror Watch List & More!

NYA belated happy new year to all our readers and friends here at Boiling Frogs Post. As you can tell I am just coming up for air. The holiday season happens to be the busiest time for my part-time work which involves a retail business, and my full-time motherhood task which has gotten at least three-fold harder during this not-so-terrible-twos stage. You see I say harder, but I’ll never call it ‘terrible’ because despite the tasking aspect it still remains the best and most rewarding role I’ve ever had; ever. My daughter is now 2.5 years old, and I’m happy to report: she is outspoken, highly opinionated, and on her way to becoming a real activist. She is already stopping those engaged in littering in their tracks for an earful lecture, and orders them to stop, ‘Go home, time out, and take bath!’ I am sharing a few of her recent pictures here. Many of you know all about my ‘no venture into my private life’ over here at BFP…except for an occasional relevant experience(s), or, like these here and the ones from last year to mark a new year at Boiling Frogs Post. Again, Happy New Year.


For the past two months I’ve been collecting and saving lots of articles to share with you here at BFP. The collection kept getting larger, the list of links grew longer, and I kept falling behind and unable to post regular BFP Round Ups. Some of those articles were time sensitive so they got discarded as ‘stale and no longer relevant’. Some are still sitting on the list waiting for the addition of my comments and analyses. And here are a few important and interesting ones from the past few weeks without much need for added sound bites:

Obama’s Whistleblower-Hunt: Whistleblowers Long for Bush-Cheney Era Leniency?

OBYou thought the Bush-Cheney administration was bad? Think again; especially if you happen to be a whistleblower. Despite its awful record, the current administration witch-hunt like pursuit of whistleblowers and truth-tellers has many whistleblowers and truth-telling advocates longing for the Bush era climate. After all, everything is relevant, right? There was the bad, now it is the worse, or probably worst ever. Despite all the threats and muscle-flexing not a single whistleblower, including myself, got arrested or even pursued criminally under the previous regime. With Obama the era of threats has changed into an era of Punishment-Imprisonment and in some cases even torture. Here is one of the latest:

Former CIA officer indicted for leaks to reporter 
Peter Haldis, RCFP

A former CIA officer was indicted last month for allegedly providing a New York Times reporter with classified information. He is the latest in a string of leakers prosecuted by the Obama administration.

Jeffrey Sterling, 43, of O’Fallon, Mo., was indicted on 10 counts, including six counts of unauthorized disclosure of national defense information and one count of obstruction of justice. He was arrested Thursday in St. Louis.Sterling was indicted Dec. 22, 2010, and the indictment was unsealed Thursday.

Sterling is the fifth leaker to be prosecuted by the Obama administration. The others include: former National Security Agency official Thomas Drake, who allegedly sent classified information to an unknown newspaper reporter; Stephen Kim, a former Department of State analyst who allegedly leaked an intelligence report to an unidentified reporter; Bradley Manning, a U.S. Army private alleged to have leaked classified information to Wikileaks; and Shamai Leibowitz, a former FBI linguist who was convicted in May 2010 of charges related to the leaking of classified information to an unidentified blogger and sentenced to 20 months in prison.


 ‘Rent-A-Generals’ Consulting Firms: An Industry in Its Own

genLast month I came across the following coverage at War Is Business by Corey Pein. This Monday Peter and I will be interviewing Mr. Pein, meanwhile if you haven’t seen this great website check it out now, and put it in your ‘Favorite’ list of websites. I am really looking forward to this interview, too many topics of interest to cover!

‘Rent-A-Generals’ & ‘the Militarization of Economy’ 
By Corey Pein, War Is Business

This man is William B Burdeshaw, a retired US Army Brigadier General and founder of what the Boston Globe, in its must-read investigation of rampant corruption in Pentagon procurement, calls “one of the oldest ‘rent-a-general’ consulting firms” in the country.

His company, Burdeshaw Associates Ltd, is essentially a fixer for corporations looking to land military contracts. The firm is apparently so good at this, its influential “associates”—mostly retired, high-ranking officers—can sell the Pentagon things it didn’t even know it needed.

Read Globe reporter Bryan Bender describe how Burdeshaw cleverly wrung $109 million from the Pentagon for the firm’s client, Northrop Grumman, which wanted to build a remote-controlled helicopter called the Fire Scout. [Read more...]

Updates & Weekly Round Up for March 28

Today marks Boiling Frogs Post’s fifth month of operation, and the last day of our fundraising campaign. On behalf of our team members I want to thank all of you for your support, with a special thanks to 658 of you who donated to our cause. We may not have reached our benchmark for our desired objectives and planned expansion, but we have you and a good start, so we’ll continue as best as we can, and work toward those objectives.

I am thrilled to announce the addition of a new team member, Luke Ryland, a good friend and a partner whom I have known and worked with since 2006; please welcome Luke and here is his bio:

LukeRylandLuke Ryland is an independent political analyst and online journalist based in Australia. He has been an expert commentator on the Sibel Edmonds case and nuclear black market cases for various progressive radio shows and online publications. Mr. Ryland’s work focuses on the nuclear black market, the Turkish lobby in the US, the energy and geopolitical wars in Central Asia, and the corruption of US Congress. Mr. Ryland has an MBA and a Bachelors degree in Commerce from the University of Melbourne. Visit Luke Ryland’s website.

We recently published Luke Ryland’s expose on FBI documents confirming major criminal investigations of Turkish operatives and their US official friends in Chicago. And here is a link to a recent interview with Mr. Ryland conducted by Scott Horton of AntiWar.Org: Click here.

Starting this coming Wednesday I’ll be on the road for a few weeks, traveling for work and personal matters. I won’t be out of touch. We have three Boiling Frogs interviews, one of which will be posted every other week: Professor Francis Boyle, Naomi Wolf, and Peter Phillips. Meanwhile, Peter B Collins and I will find ways to overcome significant time zone differences and connection difficulties, and continue to conduct additional interviews. We will also have articles and analyses by our contributors, and of course Paul Jamiol’s great editorial cartoons.

Here is my list of noteworthy articles and links from this past week:

Let’s start with our President, since we’ve been keeping tabs on his changes on his promised changes. The following piece is also related to the Obama White House’s 180 degree turn on protection for national security whistleblowers, which we’ve been covering for over a week.

A little secret about Obama's transparency
Andrew Malcolm, LA Times

The current administration, challenged by the president to be the most open, is now denying more Freedom of Information Act requests than Bush did.

The Democratic administration of Barack Obama, who denounced his predecessor, George W. Bush, as the most secretive in history, is now denying more Freedom of Information Act requests than the Republican did.

Transparency and openness were so important to the new president that on his first full day in office, he dispatched a much-publicized memo saying: "All agencies should adopt a presumption in favor of disclosure, in order to renew their commitment to the principles embodied in FOIA, and to usher in a new era of open government. The presumption of disclosure should be applied to all decisions involving FOIA."
One of the exemptions allowed to deny Freedom of Information requests has been used by the Obama administration 70,779 times in its first year; the same exemption was used 47,395 times in Bush's final budget year.

An Associated Press examination of 17 major agencies' handling of FOIA requests found denials 466,872 times, an increase of nearly 50% from the 2008 fiscal year under Bush.

ObamaMar28We’ve been keeping tabs, and our list of ‘Bush-Like’ and ‘Worse-Than-Bush’ points has been expanding continuously. Mr. Obama’s love and usage of State Secrets Privilege, his position against government whistleblowers, his support for illegal domestic wiretapping, his passion for wars and drones, his kind-heartedness towards torturers & other criminals…During his first few months in office, a few of his previously duped supporters were too generous and maybe a bit too naïve to label him ‘Bush-Lite.’ How about now? Is it time to call the President ‘Bush-Dark’? You be the judge; what say you?


 Karzai talks peace with militant group linked to Taliban
Deb Riechmann, AP

President Hamid Karzai held an unprecedented meeting yesterday with representatives of a major Taliban-linked militant group, boosting his outreach to insurgency leaders to end the eight-year war.

Less certain is whether the talks with the weakened Hizb-i-Islami faction represent a game-changer in the conflict, given its demand to rewrite the Afghan constitution and force a quick exit of foreign forces.

HekmatyarIt is the first time that high-ranking representatives of the group, led by warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, have traveled to Kabul to discuss peace. The reconciliation offer from Hekmatyar contrasts with his reputation as a ruthless extremist.

Hekmatyar, who is in his 60s, was a major recipient of US military aid during the war against the Soviets in the 1980s but fell out of favor with Washington because of his role in the civil war that followed the Soviet withdrawal. The US government declared Hekmatyar a “global terrorist’’ in February 2003, saying he participated in and supported terror acts committed by Al Qaeda and the Taliban.

Unless that tag is removed, the designation could complicate any move by the United States to sign off on a deal, even though in recent years Hekmatyar has expressed a willingness to negotiate with the Karzai government. A spokesman for Hekmatyar said the delegation had lunch with Karzai at the presidential palace and planned to meet with him again.

Last January our team member duo, Liz Gould and Paul Fitzgerald, wrote an excellent piece on this opium dealing terrorist, who happened to get his grooming from our very own CIA. If you haven’t read the Gould-Fitzgerald piece titled ‘Apocalypse of the American Mind’, click here. Was he ever off the CIA list of ‘operators’? I for one would certainly doubt it.


NATO rejects Russia's demand to destroy Afghan poppy fields
Deutsche Press-Agentur

NatoMar28 Brussels - NATO and Russia clashed on Wednesday over how to tackle the drug problem in Afghanistan, where Western nations have been fighting a Taliban-led insurgency for eight years.

The country is the world's largest producer of poppy seeds, a key ingredient in the manufacture of heroin. Russia is keen to pursue an aggressive eradication strategy, while Western allies fear that such an approach risks antagonizing the local population, who rely on selling poppy crops to survive.

The different points of view came to a head at a meeting of the NATO-Russia Council attended by the head of Russia's Federal Drug Control Agency (FSKN), Victor Ivanov and NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

'Afghan opiates led to the death of 1 million people by overdose in the last 10 years, and that is United Nations data. Is that not a threat to world peace and security?' Ivanov asked journalists after the meeting.

Russians know very well what this is about. After all, they used to be a major player in ‘this’ particular field, and now a bit grumpy because…their share of this pie has been significantly reduced? Certainly it’s not about a million+ deaths caused by ‘overdose;’ of that much I can assure you. So maybe our guys will let their guys have a bit more; like this maybe: [Read more...]

In the Name of a General, his Son, a Spook & the Godmother of Neocons

Afghan Carpetbaggers Hit Pots of Gold in Washington

Once Upon a Time a General…

GeneralWardakOnce upon a time there was an Afghani general named Abdul Rahim Wardak. He had studied in both US and Egyptian military schools before joining the army in Afghanistan. In the 1980s, a few years after he joined the army, he decided to defect and joined the Mujahideen movement. We don’t know exactly who in the United States gave him the order to defect, because no one is willing to go on record. However, we know very well that due to their fight against the Communist Soviet Union, the Mujahideen were significantly financed, armed, and trained by the CIA, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan, along with several other not as significant nations. We also know that back then, when we were supporting, financing, training and cheering for the Mujahideen as ‘freedom fighters,’ those labeled today as terrorist evil-doer radicals, Osama Bin Laden and the Taliban, were viewed and treated as our allies and entourage. 

Now, back to our General. He joined the National Islamic Front of Afghanistan arm of the Mujahideen and fought against the Soviets. Interestingly, during those years, the mid to late 80s,  our general Wardak was brought to the United States and coached to testify before the US Congress; not once but several times. He was even flown to the US once to receive medical treatment for a wound he received from a scud missile. I am sure you are savvy enough to know that this was considered ‘highly special’ treatment for a Mujahideen fighter in Afghanistan. Our general was truly loved when it came to our CIA and certain high-level people within the Reagan Administration.

So how good of a military officer was Mr. Wardak? Not a good one - and this assessment seems to be pretty much unanimous. In fact, this is how he’s been known in that part of the world: “… in the 1980’s, he had garnered a reputation as one of the least accomplished commanders of the American-backed Mujahideen resistance to Soviet occupation forces.” If you enter the circles within the Washington DC Afghani diaspora, and if you get close enough to hear the hushed comments, you’d be able to make out words like ‘corrupt,’ ‘ties to drug-running warlords,’ or ‘Afghan mafia.’ But for some ‘mysterious’ reasons our Central Intelligence Agency and hard-core Neocons within our foreign policy arena had deemed this general ultra special and important…

*And the story continues…

Once Upon a Time a Godmother of Neocons…

JeaneKirkpatrickOnce Upon a time there was a woman named Jeane Kirkpatrick, who didn’t really look like a woman but it never mattered, in fact it may have helped her. Jeane was a Democrat, and then, later, she became a Republican. She was on President Reagan’s National Security Council, on the Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, and of course the Defense Policy Review Board. She became the US Ambassador to the United Nations; appointed by President Reagan. Ms. Kirkpatrick was a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). She was a hard-core anti-communist, and she was a hawk. But most importantly, she was the woman whom people considered and labeled the Godmother of Neocons.

Ms. Kirkpatrick died in 2006, and here is a widely witnessed account of those who shed the most tears:

Until the end, she was a cherished mentor to the neo-conservatives. John Bolton - Bush's outgoing ambassador to the UN and of all her successors there the one who most closely resembled her - publicly wept as he paid tribute to her last week. Perhaps the tears were at the rubble of his President's Iraq policy, but also for a remarkable woman.

Before her death, her final ‘known’ government mission was to help pave the way for our preemptive attack on Iraq in 2002:

…in a final mission, kept secret until her death, to meet Arab envoys in Geneva in 2003 to win them over to the impending invasion of Iraq. Her instructions were to argue that pre-emptive war was justified. But Kirkpatrick knew it wouldn't work. Instead she made the case that Saddam Hussein had flouted the UN too long and too often.

Jeane Kirkpatrick, true to her Grand Neocon title, was a strong believer of ‘the end justifies the means.’ She vehemently disagreed with Secretary of State George Schultz on the Iran-Contra affair, in which she supported skimming money off arms sales to fund the Contras. Everything was kosher to her, whether drugs or illegal arms sales, as long as these means served what she considered to be the goal; an imperial US.

Ms. Kirkpatrick similarly, in fact more vehemently, supported our operations in Afghanistan and Pakistan in the 80s where we backed and trained the Mujahideen against the Soviets.  Just like what we sanctioned in Nicaragua, in Afghanistan all deals, no matter how insane or unsavory, were means’ to justify the end. This was one of her mottos most cherished by the hawks and the neocons:

Traditional authoritarian governments are less repressive than revolutionary autocracies.

What went unsaid in that quote, but meant and practiced was: Radical Islam, the Taliban, their Madrasas, their terrorizing of women, their heroin business…are perfectly all right, as long as they are on our side, in our camp, on our payroll, instead of on the other side.

Following her ‘direct’ government career, she returned to academia at Georgetown University where for some reason many well-known Neocons, such as James Woolsey and Douglas Feith, chose to flock. And very characteristically our Jeane Patrick continued her contribution to the practice of Neocon-ism…

*And the story continues…

Once Upon a Time a spook…

MiltonBeardenOnce upon a time there was man named Milton Bearden, commonly referred to as Milt. He spent his early years in the state of Washington where his father worked on the Manhattan Project. After a few years with the US Air Force he joined the CIA in 1964.

Milt was CIA’s chosen man for their operations in Pakistan and Afghanistan. In fact, from 1986 to 1989, when our country was supporting the Mujahideen, he was one of their main men on the ground, working with this coalition of the Taliban, the Saudis and their main man Bin Laden, and the Pakistani ISI. The Director of the CIA, William Casey, was the one who appointed Milt Bearden for this task. Here is Milt’s own words describing his importance in a not very unusual ex-CIA conceited manner:

"For Casey Afghanistan seemed to be possibly one of the keys and so he tapped me one day to go. he said 'I want you to go to Afghanistan, I want you to go next month and I will give you what ever you need to Win." To win, yeah he said: "I want you to go out there and win" As opposed to 'let's go there and bleed these guys and make it be a Vietnam', I want you to go and win and whatever you need you can have. He gave me the Stinger Missiles and a billion Dollars!"

He must have done extremely well since he was promoted to CIA Station Chief in Pakistan. In fact he must have done exceedingly well since he was later appointed the chief of the Soviet/East European Division during the collapse of the Soviet Union, and received three glowing medals from the CIA for services rendered. [Read more...]

Neocon Ex-Congressman & His ‘Laundering’ Business in Afghanistan

The Guessing Game on Our Next Clan for Afghanistan

As the bodies in Afghanistan are piling up and the number of wounded keeps escalating, while Washington is buzzing with the long-known but selectively-buried corrupt and criminal past and present of our installed government officials there, some are cashing in on both sides, and some are paving the way to the next pot(s) of gold reserved for carpetbaggers and war-profiteers in every war or conflict. In this game there are always a few known names and faces who are publicized and who draw the spotlight, and there are those who enjoy operating and profiting quietly without drawing deserved attention and needed scrutiny. That’s how Washington’s war and conflict machine works, and that’s the way our foreign policy decisions are influenced and made. I am going to introduce one such character as an introduction to my upcoming longer story on this same topic. Ladies and gentlemen please meet our Neocon Ex Congressman, Don Ritter, and be informed of his new lucrative ‘Laundering Business’ in Afghanistan.

DonRitterDon Ritter, former Republican Congressman from Pennsylvania from 1979 until 1992, is known to have received positions and benefits due to his consistent and heavy involvement in Afghanistan related operations and activities, starting when Brzezinski’s vision was put in practice in 1979. He authored the "Material Assistance" to Afghanistan legislation in the Congress, created the Congressional Task Force on Afghanistan to promote such material assistance of all kinds to the Afghan resistance (including the Bin Laden Group), and held numerous meetings on Afghanistan with representatives of the State Department, CIA, and DIA to enhance U.S. assistance to the Mujahideen (which included now-evil Osama Bin Laden, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistani ISI). These are only the ‘known’ activities of Mr. Ritter during his years in Congress. Now let’s look at what he’s been busy with since he left the Congress in 1992.

According to Mr. Ritter’s openly available biography, provided on various websites including Wikipedia, he founded and chaired the Afghanistan Foundation in 1996. He’s been living in Washington DC, and very interestingly, since the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks, he has spent about one-third of his time in Afghanistan! Why? This is what he says when you ask him the question:

Since 2002, he has been active in developing a market economy in Afghanistan: personally as a businessman and investor in Afghan companies, and public policy wise in promoting’ free market policies of the Afghan government through organizations like the Afghan-American Chamber of Commerce (AACC) and the Afghan International Chamber of Commerce (AICC).

So who are these Afghan this and Afghan that organizations? What do they really do? You could conduct tons of research, but rest assured you won’t find much outside the gobbledygook provided by founders and board members such as Ritter himself. Let’s start with the Afghan Foundation which was founded and operated by Don Ritter himself:

KhalilzadThe foundation has recently changed its name to Afghan-American Foundation; I guess it makes it less suspicious and more palatable to some. Ritter is the Chairman, and his long list of advisors and players includes known and infamous personalities: Qayum Karzai, Zalmay M. Khalilzad, and congressional figures including Duncan Hunter, Tom Davis, and Dana Rohrabacher, and several well-known names from the State Department. If you check their ‘Activities’ section you’ll get nothing but a handful of whitepaper and forum lists. That’s it for the Afghan Foundation.

MahmoodKarzaiNext, let’s quickly look at the Afghan-American Chamber of Commerce (AACC). Don Ritter and Mahmood Karzai are the founding members. They say they are the leading organization facilitating U.S.-Afghan business, investment, and trade ties through their Matchmaking Conferences and related activities. That’s interesting to me because last time I checked we were sending Afghanistan arms and defense contracts, and the only major export they had, which happens to be pretty major, was their poppies. Maybe they are recruiting and sending tourists over there for some R & R!  Their board members and trustees include another Karzai brother, Mahmood Karzai, a dear friend of the Karzais and major Afghan Carpetbagger Mr. Aziz Azimi, and Dyn Corporation’s John A. Gastright, along with other US and Afghan war profiteers. For some reason I couldn’t find  the son of Abdul Rahim Wardak, current Defense Minister in Afghanistan who promotes himself as one of the founders and the Vice President, on the website of the organization.

As for the Afghan International Chamber of Commerce (AICC), I haven’t been able to locate their website. While mentioned in several newsletters and articles the links cited come back as invalid or take you directly to Ritter and the Afghan-American Chamber of Commerce.

Let’s go back to Mr. Ritter’s entrepreneurial ventures in Afghanistan. His self aggrandizing website has this to say:

“Don is the U.S. investor and Chairman of the U.S. – Afghan company that built and operates the most modern laundry and dry cleaning plant in the region to serve the population of Kabul and execute military and government contracts. He is also currently engaged in building a mountain lodge tourism industry in the Panjshir Valley, a mini-mill for steel products for the Afghan construction boom in Herat, a business development services company in Kabul and an Afghan-American prime contractor to compete for large construction contracts.”

For the real juice on Mr. Ritter’s business dealings, my highly informed sources point me to Afghanistan’s current Defense Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak. The Afghan diaspora in DC name Wardak as one of the key figures in the highly lucrative Poppy & heroin market; albeit in hushed voices. I can’t fathom the feasibility and profitability of a laundry and dry-cleaning business in Afghanistan owned and operated by a Neocon former congressman. What is Mr. Ritter ‘laundering?’

Is Ritter focusing his business on laundering Karakul Hats?


Or is he specializing in laundering Burkas?


Or is it Poppy Stained Salwars?


The mainstream media has begun the farewell to their now-fading Karzai Man in Afghanistan as per instructions from their string holders in Washington. I’m sure you’ve seen the latest on President Karzai’s Heroin connection, a fact known by many for over a decade, and now loudly played up by the New York Times:

The brother of the Afghan president and a suspected player in the country’s booming illegal opium trade, gets regular payments from the Central Intelligence Agency, and has for much of the past eight years, according to current and former American officials.”

As they have done to previous Afghan heroes turned villains in the past, the MSM now have begun ousting the Karzai clan in a prelude to introducing our foreign policy makers’ new faces and puppets for the next round. Soon we’ll find out who they want us to cheer for, but meanwhile we can begin the guessing game since there seems to be little indicators buried here and there. I’d say take a closer look at current Defense Minister Wardak, the Afghan Carpetbaggers, and the greedy war profiteers behind the scenes in Washington DC, those such as Neocon Ex Congressman Don Ritter.

Stay tuned for my upcoming related tale!

Tidbits Round Up-July 12

Pardoning Poppy-Kings, Obama’s New Veto Threat & More

Those of you who’ve been reading this blog regularly are familiar with cartoonist and activist Paul Jamiol. I really admire Paul’s astute observations and analytical mind, and of course his artistic capabilities. Last week Paul sent me a variation of a great cartoon he published in 2005, relevant to my new series ‘The Makings of a Police State,’ and kindly gave me permission to use it in my upcoming posts in the series. Here it is, isn’t it powerful? Thank you Paul!

I had the following comment on my ‘Introduction: The Makings of a Police State’ post:

    “…I'm off the belief that people don't really know because they aren't affected by this YET!! Notice I said yet. People do get motivated to do something about this when it either affects them or effects their friends or family…”

When I read it I slapped my forehead with the palm of my hand! I should have listed this as the number ONE reason/factor!!! How in the world did I miss that?! Especially since I happen to be a perfect example. Really. My wake up calls came when:

    Three FBI agents came to my house in February 2002 to confiscate my personal computer at home. What was I suspected of? Communicating FBI wrongdoings with the Senate Judiciary Committee; the committee responsible for DOJ-FBI oversight.

    When I was ordered to take a polygraph regarding my communications with the United States Congress on FBI matters that could arbitirarily be declared classified.

    When I had the honor of being slapped with the State Secrets Privilege; a privilege meant for kings and the despots - which was never passed as a law, thus is not even recognized as constitutional…

    When the US Congress was slapped with an after the fact retroactive classification on my case acting as a gag order on my…

What I am trying to say is this: the police state measures did affect me personally and overtly; I was a direct recipient of these measures so contrary to what I perceived to be my rights guaranteed under the Constitution of my country. They were eye-opening experiences for me, thus I began to actually see and hear, and realize. Who knows, maybe I would be among the blinded and deaf masses today if it weren’t for those experiences. So many people, our majority, are in exactly that position - they don’t see these measures affecting them. As the commenter emphasizes - not yet; when in fact they really are affected; they just don’t know it yet.

Since this commenter chose to post anonymously I am not able to give her/him the deserved recognition. Whoever he/she is - Thank You. This is exactly why I’m posting and sharing these thoughts and analyses; to have a forum where we learn from each other and expand our knowledge and understanding.

Here are a few recent developments:

While our administration keeps bombing Afghanistan in our war against…hmmmm…no one really knows, to achieve…hmmmm…no one has a clue on that either, our puppet government in Afghanistan has been busy releasing high-level heroin smugglers, the lords of the poppies, from it’s jails. Here is the latest:

    “Afghan President Hamid Karzai has pardoned five heroin smugglers, at least one of them a relative of a man who heads Karzai's campaign for re-election next month… A source with knowledge of the case said one of those released was a close relative of Deen Mohammad, who is running Karzai's campaign for re-election in the August 20 presidential poll. The man was jailed for more than a decade in 2007 for smuggling more than 100 kg of heroin [Emphasis Added]. The source spoke to Reuters on condition that he not be identified.”

I guess with poppy production skyrocketing our puppet man Karzai and his poppy-lord clan is faced with a shortage of smugglers. They had to increase the number of their ‘operators’ to keep up with their poppy production. So they went through their list of convicts in prisons and released the best of the bunch they had rounded up a while back - when the production was small enough to be managed by the president’s inner circle clan. Why do I say ‘best of the bunch’? Let’s do a little math: the wholesale price for heroin today is estimated at around $70 per gram. $70 X 100000gr = $7000000; roughly $7 million. So, obviously these smugglers were not dealing in peanuts.

Speaking of Afghanistan, here is an interesting tidbit by Jeremy Scahill on the Obama Administration’s point man on Afghanistan, Richard Holbrooke:

    “Last month Chevron was awarded the "Richard C. Holbrooke Award for Business Leadership" in "recognition of the company's global public health programs.

    While giving such an award to Chevron is perverse enough on its own, let's remember whom it is that the award is named after. Richard C. Holbrooke is currently the Obama administration's point man on Afghanistan and Pakistan with a substantial portfolio that includes areas of Chevron's current and, likely, future operations. Before becoming Obama's "Af/Pak" envoy, Holbrooke was the president and CEO of GBC, an organization he spent the past decade building. Holbrooke, who cut his teeth working for Henry Kissinger during Vietnam, has, for decades, marched back-and-forth over the golden bridge linking corporations and government. Chevron received the award in large part because it committed $30 million over three years to the GBC-affiliated Global Fund in 2008 while Holbrooke was GBC's president and CEO.”

And here is more on this mammoth conflict of interest:

    “…But for the State Department to allow Chevron to receive the "Richard C. Holbrooke Award for Business Excellence" at a ceremony which Ambassador Holbrooke personally attended at a time when Chevron is fighting desperately to convince members of the Obama administration and the Congress to take Chevron's side in a high stakes legal case is worthy of a Congressional inquiry.”

I guess the Chevron guys will find The Washington Post’s Saloon offerings for $25,000 a pop wayyyyy beneath them. Don’t you think? When these guys talk, they talk ‘millions,’ so they leave those meager influence purchasing transactions to the lobbyists of humbler companies, ey!

And finally, while all these little tidbits make their way into tiny publications our president is hard at work, trying to increase his secrecy level, classification authority, and his highness’ privileges never intended in our Constitution. This is the second time he is pointing his finger to ‘threaten’ the no-good-doers in Congress:

    “President Barack Obama has issued the second veto threat of his presidency, informing his Democratic allies on Capitol Hill that he would reject the House intelligence authorization bill because of provisions that he believes imperil the administration’s ability to guard national security secrets.

    In a Statement of Administration Policy dated Wednesday, the Office of Management and Budget objects to provisions in the legislation that would expand beyond the current “Gang of Eight” the number of lawmakers who must be notified of covert operations. The “Gang of Eight” includes Republican and Democratic leaders in the House and Senate and the chairs and ranking members of the Intelligence committees.”

I wonder why he even bothers. Seriously. The lap puppies in Congress have been more than happy to oblige with all requests of secrecy and cover ups; under both the previous administration and his.

Do you remember how Senator Rockefeller was moaning and groaning once the NSA illegal wiretapping of Americans became public? How he and his colleagues whimpered and feigned outrage once this illegal operation was leaked? Rockefeller was one of the few people on the Intelligence Committee who was briefed about this illegal surveillance program three years prior to its public exposure in 2006. He and the other lapdogs knew all about it. What did he and the others do for three years while sitting on this information? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Sure, once they were caught with their pants down, they all played helpless victims of secrecy. They said they were all deeply troubled by this illegal program violating the people’s rights, but that they were sworn to secrecy by the President’s Men, thus their hands were tied and their lips remained sealed. Mr. Rockefeller, once he had finished with his dramatic performance portraying himself as the innocent helpless victim in this unconstitutional program, went back and bolstered that same illegal program. He was the lead man steering the Intelligence Committee to grant retroactive immunity to the participating telecom companies. That’s right; that’s how it works!

This scenario has been repeated over and over with the congressional lap-puppies. Rep. Pelosi and her deep knowledge of torture, including water boarding. Rep. Harman and her detailed knowledge of torture ...and so on and so on.

Mr. President, why bother? Really. If these lapdogs could keep their mouths shut so easily under the previous administration while they were the minority, now as your party members and lap-puppies they certainly will! No worries, we assure you there is no real need for your repeated veto threats.

Cartoon by Paul Jamiol