Sunday, June 30, 2013

Other NSA Whistleblowers Support Edward Snowden

NSA Whistleblowers Mark Klein and Thomas Drake support what Edward Snowden has done.

 Klein: "I don't expect this to happen, [but] Congress should give Edward Snowden retroactive immunity for standing and defending the Constitution. He's done a service for the entire country. What's revealed politically is that both parties are in on this."

 And:  Snowden, Drake writes, has revealed only "the tip of the iceberg." Warning that Snowden will pay a "high price," for his actions, he nonetheless understands why it was taken. "I didn't want to be part of the dark blanket that covers the world, and Edward Snowden didn't either. It's simply validation of this vast, systemic, industrial-scale, Leviathan surveillance system. And it's twelve years of growth. ... None of what I've seen published in The Guardian or the Post surprises me."

Friday, June 28, 2013

The Criminal NSA

HT: Egalicontrarian As JDB put it, "legal experts Jennifer Granick and Christopher Sprigman have written this helpful opinion piece in the NYT,"  The Criminal NSA.  Their conclusion:

We may never know all the details of the mass surveillance programs, but we know this: The administration has justified them through abuse of language, intentional evasion of statutory protections, secret, unreviewable investigative procedures and constitutional arguments that make a mockery of the government’s professed concern with protecting Americans’ privacy. It’s time to call the N.S.A.’s mass surveillance programs what they are: criminal.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

FBI Document: "[Deleted]" Plots to Kill Occupy Leaders "If Necessary"

WhoWhatWhy reports an FOIA document obtained from the FBI that records:

 An identified [DELETED] as of October planned to engage in sniper attacks against protestors (sic) in Houston, Texas if deemed necessary. An identified [DELETED] had received intelligence that indicated the protesters in New York and Seattle planned similar protests in Houston, Dallas, San Antonio and Austin, Texas. [DELETED] planned to gather intelligence against the leaders of the protest groups and obtain photographs, then formulate a plan to kill the leadership via suppressed sniper rifles. 

Read more.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Where Have All the Democrats Gone?

Disturbing news to me was this comment by Glenn Greenwald:

  Numerous NSA defenders - mostly Democrats - amazingly continue to insist that there is no evidence of wrongdoing by the NSA. How do they get themselves to ignore things like this and this?"

Greenwald reminds us that things weren't always so bleak:

In the mid-1970s, the US Senate formed the Select Intelligence Committee to investigate reports of the widespread domestic surveillance abuses that had emerged in the wake of the Nixon scandals. The Committee was chaired by 4-term Idaho Democratic Sen. Frank Church who was, among other things, a former military intelligence officer and one of the Senate's earliest opponents of the Vietnam War, as well as a former Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Even among US Senators, virtually nothing was known at the time about the National Security Agency. The Beltway joke was that "NSA" stood for "no such agency". Upon completing his investigation, Church was so shocked to learn what he had discovered - the massive and awesome spying capabilities constructed by the US government with no transparency or accountability - that he issued the following warning, as reported by the New York Times, using language strikingly stark for such a mainstream US politician when speaking about his own government:

"'That capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything: telephone conversations, telegrams, it doesn't matter. There would be no place to hide.'
"He added that if a dictator ever took over, the NSA 'could enable it to impose total tyranny, and there would be no way to fight back.'"
As Greenwald observes:

  The conditional part of Church's warning - "that capability at any time could be turned around on the American people" - is precisely what is happening, one might even say: is what has already happened. That seems well worth considering.

Any Democrats considering this? 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

NSA's motive for Spying: Blackmail?

A short interview of NSA whistleblower Russ Tice, who blew the whistle in 2005, reveals that they were spying on political and military leaders, judges, journalists, and other prominent people. Was it to insure a compliant government and press?

Sunday, June 23, 2013

"...Thy Kingdom Come..."

If you were raised Christian, you probably know "the Lord's Prayer" by heart: "Our Father who art in Heaven, Hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come...."   If you were raised Jewish, you might know the Kaddish prayer by heart, even if you don't know its translation, but when you get to "veyamlikh malkhuteh," (וְיַמְלִיךְ מַלְכוּתֵהּ), your saying, "May He establish His kingdom." (Of course, you already had prayed, "May His great name be exalted and sanctified is G-d's great name," "Yitgaddal veyit qaddash shmeh rabba," "יִתְגַּדַּל וְיִתְקַדַּשׁ שְׁמֵהּ רַבָּא").

So both Jews and Christians traditionally pray that God's kingdom be established.  This is a tacit acknowledgment that God's kingdom is not established...yet.   As the Lord's Prayer continues, "...thy will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven...."   God's will is not done on Earth.  Or if it is, it is not done the way it is done in Heaven.

So when we see things that are obviously wrong or evil, we should remember that God sees them as obviously wrong or evil, also.  They didn't happen because His will was done.  Or if it was His will, it wasn't done as His will is done in Heaven, where there is no evil, no pain, no suffering, no death.  And thus it will be when His kingdom does come to Earth:  only goodness, joy, and celebration.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about the WTC Dust Debate

Well, I don't know if it's really everything, but John-Michael Talboo's and Ziggi Zugam's article, 9/11: Explosive Material in the WTC Dust, covers a LOT of it.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Why Did We Invade Afghanistan?

A prominent liberal thinker once offered what I consider to be the strongest argument against the 9/1 Truth Movement: "Everybody knows," he said, "that the Bush administration wanted to invade Iraq. If they were behind 9/11, why wouldn't they blame it on Iraqi terrorists working for Saddam Hussein? Instead, they blame it on Saudi terrorists working for Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. Consequently, they need to employ all sorts of questionable rationales for invading Iraq, which created endless embarrassment for Bush, his administration, and the Republican Party."

 That would seem to me to be a very good argument against 9/11 being an inside job. What would refute such an argument? Evidence that the Bush administration, or at least people in power in the U.S., had very strong motives for invading Afghanistan. Michael Chossudovsky, professor of economics at the University of Ottawa, attempts to do that in his article, “The War is Worth Waging”: Afghanistan’s Vast Reserves of Minerals and Natural Gas. Some excerpts:

“Previously Unknown Deposits” of Minerals in Afghanistan

While Afghanistan is acknowledged as a strategic hub in Central Asia, bordering on the former Soviet Union, China and Iran, at the crossroads of pipeline routes and major oil and gas reserves, its huge mineral wealth as well as its untapped natural gas reserves have remained, until June 2010, totally unknown to the American public.

The US Administration’s acknowledgment that it first took cognizance of Afghanistan’s vast mineral wealth  following the release of the USGS 2007 report is an obvious red herring. Afghanistan’s mineral wealth and energy resources (including natural gas) were known to both America’s business elites and the US government prior to the Soviet-Afghan war (1979-1988).
Geological surveys conducted by the Soviet Union in the 1970s and early 1980s confirm the existence of  vast reserves of copper (among the largest in Eurasia), iron, high grade chrome ore, uranium, beryl, barite, lead, zinc, fluorspar, bauxite, lithium, tantalum, emeralds, gold and silver.(Afghanistan, Mining Annual Review, The Mining Journal,  June, 1984). These surveys suggest that the actual value of these reserves could indeed be substantially larger than the one trillion dollars “estimate” intimated by the Pentagon-USCG-USAID study.

The war is worth waging. … (Olga Borisova, “Afghanistan – the Emerald Country”,Karavan, Almaty, original Russian, translated by BBC News Services, Apr 26, 2002. p. 10, emphasis added.)

Afghanistan’s Natural Gas

What was rarely contemplated in pipeline geopolitics, however, is that Afghanistan is not only adjacent to countries which are rich in oil and natural gas (e.g Turkmenistan), it also possesses within its territory sizeable untapped reserves of natural gas, coal  and oil. Soviet estimates of the 1970s placed “Afghanistan’s ‘explored’ (proved plus probable) gas reserves at about 5  trillion cubic feet. The Hodja-Gugerdag’s initial reserves were placed at slightly more than 2 tcf.” (See, The Soviet Union to retain influence in Afghanistan, Oil & Gas Journal, May 2, 1988).

The Golden Crescent Drug Trade

America’s covert war, namely its support to the Mujahideen “Freedom fighters” (aka Al Qaeda) was also geared towards the development of the Golden Crescent trade in opiates, which was used by US intelligence to fund the insurgency directed against the Soviets.1
Instated at the outset of the Soviet-Afghan war and protected by the CIA, the drug trade developed over the years into a highly lucrative multibillion undertaking. It was the cornerstone of America’s covert war in the 1980s. Today, under US-NATO military occupation, the drug trade generates cash earnings in Western markets in excess of $200 billion dollars a year. (See Michel Chossudovsky, America’s War on Terrorism, Global Research, Montreal, 2005, see also Michel Chossudovsky, Heroin is “Good for Your Health”: Occupation Forces support Afghan Narcotics Trade, Global Research, April 29, 2007)

Towards an Economy of Plunder

The US media, in chorus, has upheld the “recent discovery” of Afghanistan’s mineral wealth as “a solution” to the development of the country’s war torn economy as well as a means to eliminating pov. The 2001 US-NATO invasion and occupation has set the stage for their appropriation by Western mining and energy conglomerates.

The war on Afghanistan is  a profit driven “resource war”.
Under US and allied occupation, this mineral wealth is slated to be plundered, once the country has been pacified, by a handful of multinational mining conglomerates. According to Olga Borisova, writing in the months following the October 2001 invasion, the US-led “war on terrorism [will be transformed] into a colonial policy of influencing a fabulously wealthy country.” (Borisova, op cit).

Clearly, well-informed people would have known about the vast opportunities for wealth in Afghanistan. In order to continue arguing that the Bush administration had no motives for invading that country, one would need to demonstrate that it was not so informed.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The U.S. leaving 2024...maybe.

Global Research informs us that the U.S. will be in Afghanistan at least ten years longer than expected:

Hamid Karzai has let the Pentagon’s cat out of the bag — to the displeasure of the Obama Administration. The Afghan president revealed inside information about President Obama’s war plans after all U.S. “combat troops” completely withdraw in 17 months at the end of 2014.
 As was known in recent years, the Obama Administration actually plans to keep troops in Afghanistan after the “withdrawal” at least to 2024. They won’t be “combat troops,” so Obama didn’t actually mislead the American people. Instead they are to be Special Forces troops, who certainly engage in combat but are identified by a different military designation, as well as U.S. Army trainers for the Afghan military, CIA contingents, drone operators, and various other personnel.
 The White House has kept other details secret, such as troop numbers and basing arrangements, until it is certain a final Strategic Partnership Declaration is worked out with the Kabul government. When that occurs, the White House expects to make the announcement itself at a time of its choosing, sculpting the information to convey the impression that another 10 years of fighting is not actually war but an act of compassion for a besieged ally who begs for help.
 On May 9, however, during a speech at Kabul University, President Karzai decided to update the world on the progress he was making in his secret talks with the U.S., evidently without Washington’s knowledge.
 “We are in very serious and delicate negotiations with America,” Karzai said. “America has got its demands, Afghanistan too has its own demands, and its own interests…. They want nine bases across Afghanistan. We agree to give them the bases.
“Our conditions are that the U.S. intensify efforts in the peace process [i.e., talks with the Taliban], strengthen Afghanistan’s security forces, provide concrete support to the economy — power, roads and dams — and provide assistance in governance. If these are met, we are ready to sign the security pact.”
Washington evidently was taken aback by Karzai’s unexpected public revelations that made it clear President Obama is anxious, not hesitant, to keep American troops in Afghanistan. Few analysts thought there would be as many as nine bases. Neither the White House nor State Department confirmed requesting them but both emphasized that any bases in question were not intended to be permanent, as though that’s the principal factor.
 If American engagement lasts until 2024 it will mean the U.S. has been involved in Afghan wars for most of the previous 46 years. It began in 1978 when Washington (and Saudi Arabia) started to finance the right wing Islamist mujahedeen uprising against a left wing pro-Soviet government in Kabul. The left regime was finally defeated in 1992 and the Taliban emerged as the dominant force among several other fighting groups in the mid-90s.  Read More.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

What is the Real Reason the Government is Spying on Us?

Global Research has a long article, talking about something known as "Continuity of Government," where, in states of emergency, a shadow government has the authority to run things. In such a situation, journalist Christopher Ketcham reported:

 "There exists a database of Americans, who, often for the slightest and most trivial reason, are considered unfriendly, and who, in a time of panic, might be incarcerated. The database can identify and locate perceived ‘enemies of the state’ almost instantaneously.” He and other sources tell Radar that the database is sometimes referred to by the code name Main Core. One knowledgeable source claims that 8 million Americans are now listed in Main Core as potentially suspect. In the event of a national emergency, these people could be subject to everything from heightened surveillance and tracking to direct questioning and possibly even detention.

 So spying on us helps them to know who is an "unfriendly." I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess that I'm on their list.  I can't see them packing all 8 million of us in Guantanamo.  I wonder if we get to pick the detention center we prefer.

How Long has The NSA Been Spying On Us?

Before Edward Snowden, there was Russ Tice.

 HT: Sibel Edmonds.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Conspiracy Deniers Ignore the Truly Dangerous Conspiracy Theorists

I thought I would quote more from FSU Professor of Public Policy, Lance deHaven-Smith's Conspiracy Theory in America:

The Founders [of America] would also be shocked that conspiracy deniers attack and ridicule individuals who voice conspiracy beliefs and yet ignore institutional purveyors of conspiratorial ideas even though the latter are the ideas that have proven truly dangerous in modern American history. Since at least the end of World War II, the citadel of theories alleging nefarious political conspiracies has been, not amateur investigators of the Kennedy assassination and other political crimes and tragedies, but the United States government. In the first three decades of the post-World War II era, U.S. officials asserted that communists were conspiring to take over the world, that the U.S. bureaucracy was riddled with Soviet spies, and that the civil rights and antiwar movements of the 1960s were creatures of Soviet influence. More recently, they have claimed that Iraq was complicit in 9/11, failed to dispose of its biological weapons, and attempted to purchase uranium in Niger so it could construct nuclear bombs. Although these ideas were untrue, they influenced millions of Americans, fomented social panic, fueled wars, and resulted in massive loss of life and destructions of property. If conspiracy deniers are so concerned about the dangers of conspiratorial suspicions in American politics and civic culture, why have they ignored the conspiracism of U.S. politicians?

Lynn Margulis's Thesis of Symbiogenesis Vindicated?

The late biologist and member of the National Academy of Sciences (and 9/11 Truther), Lynn Margulis, held forth that evolution should best be understood as symbiogenesis: "the merging of two [or more] separate organisms to form a single new organism." Now an article at from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences states:

  For much of her professional career, Lynn Margulis (1938–2011), a controversial visionary in biology, predicted that we would come to recognize the impact of the microbial world on the form and function of the entire biosphere, from its molecular structure to its ecosystems. The weight of evidence supporting this view has finally reached a tipping point. The examples come from animal–bacterial interactions, as described here, and also from relationships between and among viruses, Archaea, protists, plants, and fungi. These new data are demanding a reexamination of the very concepts of what constitutes a genome, a population, an environment, and an organism. Similarly, features once considered exceptional, such as symbiosis, are now recognized as likely the rule, and novel models for research are emerging across biology. As a consequence, the New Synthesis of the 1930s and beyond must be reconsidered in terms of three areas in which it has proven weakest: symbiosis, development, and microbiology (115). One of these areas, microbiology, presents particular challenges both to the species concept, as formulated by Ernst Mayr in 1942, and to the concept that vertical transmission of genetic information is the only motor of selectable evolutionary change."

 Margulis has often been derided by the scientific community for her views on the role of symbiogenesis in evolution. It sounds as if it may be time for her vindication. I wish she had lived to see this article go to print. Now one wonders if her other controversial views - including those on 9/11 - will ever be vindicated.

 HT: Peter Enns.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

A Noble Lie: Oklahoma City 1995 - Full Version

Debunking the Debunkers has just posted the video A Noble Lie: Oklahoma City - Full Version. Before I watched it, I had heard that there were problems with the official account of the bombing. But I never saw what the motive would be for people in our government to carry out such a crime, so I never really looked into it. Now that I have watched the full version of this film, it's clear that there are serious questions and problems with the official account. But I still fail to see a clear motive for an inside job. But I recommend watching it and deciding for yourselves.