Saturday, January 30, 2010


This is what our government pays private military contractors to do. It is an absolute disgrace and, thus far, the perpetrators have not been prosecuted.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

New York Times Propaganda

In a particularly disgusting piece of disinformation by Scott Shane in today's New York Times, the headline reads: Ex-Convicts From U.S. Said to Join Yemen Radicals. The source for this headline is a Senate Report, recently released by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and written by the committee's Democratic staff (we'll come back to this point later...). The article claims:

The report, from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, says that as many as 36 American Muslims who were prisoners have moved to Yemen in recent months, ostensibly to study Arabic, and that several of them have “dropped off the radar” and may have connected to Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

The report warns that Americans recruited in Yemen or Somalia may pose a particular threat, since they can operate freely inside the United States.

The very next paragraph, however, caught my eye:

American intelligence and counterterrorism officials, though, said they thought the report’s claim about former prisoners was exaggerated. A law enforcement official confirmed that some of them had traveled to Yemen — perhaps one or two dozen over the past several years — intending to study Arabic or Islam. The official said the former convicts did not appear to be part of any organized recruitment effort, however, and few are known to have connections with extremists.

So the Times uses a misleading headline, Ex-Convicts From U.S. Said to Join Yemen Radicals, to hype up an easily discreditable government source. This type of disinformation doesn't surprise me coming from Scott Shane's past reporting.

What really makes this piece scary is that it completely curtails to the government's line without any critical analysis or challenging of fact. It is essentially uncritical stenography, simply hyping up irrational fears in an effort to scare and mislead the general public. This type of media hype about "terrorist threats" has been a mainstay in the mainstream press at least since 9/11, and has completely warped the debate and historical narrative in this country, particularly relating to the George W. Bush administration, but generally since WWII.

During the Cold War, the main threat pushed by the U.S. establishment was world-wide Communism. Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, the phantasmagoric "threats" to the U.S. has morphed into a combination of foreign threats including: drug cartels, illegal immigrants and foreigners generally, and, the most recognizable, international Islamic terrorist organizations. What is undeniable is that since 9/11 the government's mission, on a bipartisan basis, has been to hype foreign threats in order to erode civil liberties, shift attention away from illegal U.S. policies, cover-up blatant war crimes, and please the military/Homeland Security/police state/Wall St crowd.

Back to the Times piece...

As we have seen time and time again, especially relating to war mongering and irrational foreign threats, the media has passed along and hyped up the government line, while downplaying and burying the actual truth. One can easily imagine Scott Shane being called into a high-level Senator's office, given the report and briefing by a staffer in which Shane asks no critical questions, and then proceeds to write an uncritical, Pravda-esque piece for the Times.

Another important point to highlight-- this Senate report was written by Democratic staffers, under a Democratic President with a Democratic majority in both chambers of Congress. One would expect this sort of behavior from the Republicans and the Bush administration. This is just another example the essential truth of the American political system-- the two corporate owned political parties are dedicated to expanding war and American empire. Maybe we should stop voting for these guys...

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Tom Engelhardt's distortions of history

Below is an e-mail message I sent to Tom Engelhardt, the editor and major contributor to TomDispatch, after reading a recent post authored by him and Nick Turse. Hopefully, I will get a response from Tom and I will post it here.

In your recent article with Nick Turse, "Shooting Gnats with a Machine Gun", two factual errors need to be pointed out which add much needed clarification to our history. You describe Pearl Harbor as a "surprise attack" when, in fact, military intelligence and even President Roosevelt himself knew in advance of the Japanese attack. Relatedly, you claim that the Bush administration (paraphrasing here) paid little attention to al-Qaeida and did not know about the possible attacks being planned by this rogue network (who were trained by the US government/military). Ever heard of Able Danger? Obviously you haven't, given the distortions of history presented in virtually ever piece submitted on this website. The fact is that the US government not only knew about Pearl Harbor and 9/11, but that we facilitated these events in order to create a political cover for expanded war, loss of civil liberties, and a general entrenching of political/economic/military power in the executive branch and other elements of the "deep state". The very premise of is to foster a "deeper understanding of our post-9/11 world and a clear sense of how our imperial globe actually works." How can you possible claim this without ever mentioning the role that our government has played in carrying out and covering-up the tragic events of 9/11, Pearl Harbor, the Gulf of Tonkin event, the recent Christmas Day terror plot, ect.?

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The "Deep State" rears its head yet again...

Deep State: group of influential anti-democratic coalitions within a political system, composed of high-level elements within the intelligence services (domestic and foreign), military, security, judiciary, and mafia, with close ties to private corporate interests. The notion of deep state is similar to that of a "state within the state". Violence and other means of pressure have historically been employed in a largely covert manner to manipulate political and economic elites and ensure specific interests are met within the seemingly democratic framework of the political landscape.

I really enjoy reading Glenn Greenwald. He may be one of the better political/legal bloggers I have ever encountered, and he has definitely taught me a lot the past year or so I have been reading him. But I just can't understand the logic he employed in his post today. This line really got me going, and that is saying something because I generally see eye to eye with his viewpoints and arguments.

Yet our intelligence agencies -- just as was true for 9/11 -- failed to understand what they had in their possession. Why is that? Because they had too much to process, including too much data wholly unrelated to Terrorism.

While I agree that the government collects far too much data unrelated to terrorism, the idea that the CIA, State Department, Customs, FAA, military intelligence and the Pentagon could possibly fail to connect the dots is absurd. The government KNEW what was going on with this plot, and it was used as a false flag operation in order to expand war and the military industrial complex. I know this perspective needs more explaining and evidence, but consider these simple facts:

-the "terrorist's" father denounced his son to Nigerian officials AND the US Embassy and CIA in Nigeria in November

-intelligence officials had intelligence that "al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula" (which seems clear to me is a CIA asset, or at least has operatives in this cell) was planning to use a Nigerian for their next operation

-the "terrorist" bought his plane ticket in CASH in Ghana, an IMMEDIATE red flag for any Customs, State Department, ect. officials

-Kurt Haskell, a passenger on the flight, has been on national TV testifying that while him and his wife were sitting in the terminal waiting for their flight, the "terrorist" and a sharply dress "Indian man" (read South Asian) approached the flight official and said that the "terrorist" did not have a Passport, but that it was OK because "he was from Sudan" and "we do this all the time." The flight official directed the pair to her manager down the hall.

-after the landing, while waiting in Customs for over an hour, isolated from all other travelers at the Detroit airport, the FBI brought drug/bomb sniffing dogs into the terminal and one of the dogs went directly to another, separate "Indian man" (again, South Asia) and sat in front of his bag, this according to eye witness testimony (Kurt Haskell and others).

-the other "Indian man" was taken into an interrogation room and after about an hour, was lead out in handcuffs at which point an FBI agent approached the rest of the passengers and said that they were being moved, "it was not safe here" and that "you all saw what happened, and know why we have to move."

How could the US government have all the information they needed to stop this flight, and, somehow, this incident happened? I contend that this was one more manifestation of the covert, "deep state" rearing its ugly head to fool the American people once again.

Anyone who doubts that there is indeed a covert, criminal element that has infiltrated various agencies and departments of our government (especially intelligence agencies, Pentagon, State Department) should look into Operation Northwoods, a secret CIA drafted false flag operation designed to politically force the US into war with Cuba. Operation Northwoods called for the attack and killing of American civilians and terrorist attacks involving airplanes and staged military events.

See also 9/11, Franklin Cover-Up or the Oklahoma City bombing for the most obvious examples of the "deep state" in action in terroristic, anti-democratic ways.