Saturday, August 29, 2009

To Marvin re: dialogue with race & hate baiter about CA schools

August 24, 2009

Marv,

Thanks for your rational and researched retort to Jim's irrational hate and blame scapegoating. You will never convince them with reason and facts.

I have some good friends with sons the same age as mine. The last time I visited them, they spoke the same words as Jim and I was surprised, as usual, that such words could spew forth from intelligent people's mouths. This is the popular issue for a certain subset of arch Republicans. I've heard such virulent hate and blame words from my friends before, yet we have maintained a cordial friendship. I just presume that they have been hypnotized or something, and try to see the merit in their viewpoint. I try to understand what part of them is fulfilled by crude-mouthed rage focused on race baiting. I presume they aspire to be one of the nobles in the neo-feudalistic new world they envision.

There is no way to reason with such people. They are convinced and enraged. It is all part of the fascist tide that the war profiteers are fomenting. If my friends got hypnotized into the frenzy, then the whole tide could become a tidal wave.

I'm glad you speak up to this frenzy with reason; even if you could never convince the fanatics, you can convince the bulk of the normals under the bell curve. I'm glad you speak up for facts, compassion, and reason.

In Peace

Thursday, August 06, 2009

War with Iran Would Be a BIG Mistake

As I have already written, whether Obama wants war or not, the war profiteers will foment war and the USA will be sucked into it. That's a fact.

I heard on the news today that we may be at war with Iran in a couple of weeks. That would please the war profiteers because they make money no matter who wins. But the USA will not be able to beat Iran. The Iranians have learned their lesson and they are ready for us.

No sooner was the fascist Axis defeated in WWII than US Intelligence recruited the defeated Nazi war criminals to fight our allies, the Soviets. The resulting Gehlen Organization of Nazi master spies provided all the intelligence on the Soviet Union for the next decade. Truman signed the National Security Act of 1947 creating the CIA and the National Security Council (NSC) to oversee it. The initial CIA was populated by operatives from the Gehlen Organization. By 1948, the CIA created a secret wing called the Office of Policy Coordination to carry out "anti-communist" covert operations. I wonder why 3 years after helping us defeat the fascists, that suddenly our government decides to fight our allies, the communists, using our enemies, the Nazi fascists? What was so very wrong about communism that we needed to recruit our worst enemies into a covert wing of government to fight it?

In 1953, under the direction of Allen Dulles, the covert wing of the CIA, which was dedicated to defending freedom and democracy, overthrew the democratically elected center-left leader of Iran, Mohammed Mossadegh. At that time, Iran was a budding democracy with a western-leaning population and a secular parliament. The CIA set up the brutal Shah of Iran who promoted Western corporate interests while ruthlessly repressing the Iranian people.

Twenty six years later, the Muslim fundamentalists managed to overthrow the Shah and take 66 Americans hostages. After releasing the women, sick, and people of color, 52 hostages remained. They wanted the Shah returned from the USA to face trial in Iran for his crimes against humanity. Some believe the hostage takers were paid by Reagan campaign conspirators; that's what it looked like to me at the time. The failure of peacemaker President Jimmy Carter to free the hostages led to his electoral defeat. The unintended consequences of the CIA's covert action against a budding secular democracy resulted in the creation of an avidly anti-American militant fundamentalist Muslim theocracy in Iran; our baby.

Once the Shah died, and Iraq invaded Iran, the hostage takers released the hostages moments after the inauguration of Ronald Reagan, supposedly as a statement against Carter's support for the brutal Shah. Reagan instituted economic sanctions against Iran and military support to Iran's enemy, Saddam Hussein in Iraq, causing the Iranian Muslim theocracy to work even harder to survive. In spite of the embargo and arming their neighbor, Iraq, CIA covert operations were selling arms to Iran, now known as the Iran-Contra Affair. The CIA used the funds to support the anti-democratic Contras of Nicaragua.

The Iranians have been victims of a series of anti-democratic interventions instigated by the USA. In spite of this, they have developed into the powerhouse of the Middle East. They signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty as well as weapons inspection treaties with the IAEA. Although they have used rhetoric against the state of Israel, they have not violated any rules or conventions without first being violated from abroad. Although Iran has not invaded their neighboring countries in the last century and has cooperated with efforts against nuclear proliferation, the United States chooses to make Iran the enemy.

There is currently a steamroller of anti-Iranian militaristic sentiment in the American news media to fight Iran, our unintended baby. Doesn't anyone see that we have meddled enough with Iran? If we start a war with Iran, it may be the last war that the USA ever fights. We have been at war for decades. Our resources are depleted; our national treasury is deep in debt. We have already mortgaged the futures of our unborn great grandchildren to pay for our current ongoing wars. What makes anyone think that we could defeat Iran, who has been preparing to defend themselves against us since we invaded Iraq in 1991? War with Iran at this time will be the biggest mistake ever made by the USA.

A History of CIA Covert Actions by Steve Kangas

1942
OSS created — Roosevelt restructures COI into something more suitable for covert action, the Office of Strategic Services (OSS).

1943
Italy — Donovan recruits the Catholic Church in Rome to be the center of Anglo-American spy operations in Fascist Italy. This would prove to be one of America’s most enduring intelligence alliances in the Cold War.
1945
OSS is abolished — The remaining American information agencies cease covert actions and return to harmless information gathering and analysis.
Operation PAPERCLIP – While other American agencies are hunting down Nazi war criminals for arrest, the U.S. intelligence community is smuggling them into America, unpunished, for their use against the Soviets. The most important of these is Reinhard Gehlen, Hitler’s master spy who had built up an intelligence network in the Soviet Union. With full U.S. blessing, he creates the "Gehlen Organization," a band of refugee Nazi spies who reactivate their networks in Russia. These include SS intelligence officers Alfred Six and Emil Augsburg (who massacred Jews in the Holocaust), Klaus Barbie (the "Butcher of Lyon"), Otto von Bolschwing (the Holocaust mastermind who worked with Eichmann) and SS Colonel Otto Skorzeny (a personal friend of Hitler’s). The Gehlen Organization supplies the U.S. with its only intelligence on the Soviet Union for the next ten years, serving as a bridge between the abolishment of the OSS and the creation of the CIA. However, much of the "intelligence" the former Nazis provide is bogus. Gehlen inflates Soviet military capabilities at a time when Russia is still rebuilding its devastated society, in order to inflate his own importance to the Americans (who might otherwise punish him). In 1948, Gehlen almost convinces the Americans that war is imminent, and the West should make a preemptive strike. In the 50s he produces a fictitious "missile gap." To make matters worse, the Russians have thoroughly penetrated the Gehlen Organization with double agents, undermining the very American security that Gehlen was supposed to protect.
1947
Greece — President Truman requests military aid to Greece to support right-wing forces fighting communist rebels. For the rest of the Cold War, Washington and the CIA will back notorious Greek leaders with deplorable human rights records.
CIA created — President Truman signs the National Security Act of 1947, creating the Central Intelligence Agency and National Security Council. The CIA is accountable to the president through the NSC — there is no democratic or congressional oversight. Its charter allows the CIA to "perform such other functions and duties… as the National Security Council may from time to time direct." This loophole opens the door to covert action and dirty tricks.
1948
Covert-action wing created — The CIA recreates a covert action wing, innocuously called the Office of Policy Coordination, led by Wall Street lawyer Frank Wisner. According to its secret charter, its responsibilities include "propaganda, economic warfare, preventive direct action, including sabotage, anti-sabotage, demolition and evacuation procedures; subversion against hostile states, including assistance to underground resistance groups, and support of indigenous anti-communist elements in threatened countries of the free world."
Italy — The CIA corrupts democratic elections in Italy, where Italian communists threaten to win the elections. The CIA buys votes, broadcasts propaganda, threatens and beats up opposition leaders, and infiltrates and disrupts their organizations. It works -- the communists are defeated.
1949
Radio Free Europe — The CIA creates its first major propaganda outlet, Radio Free Europe. Over the next several decades, its broadcasts are so blatantly false that for a time it is considered illegal to publish transcripts of them in the U.S.
Late 40s
Operation MOCKINGBIRD — The CIA begins recruiting American news organizations and journalists to become spies and disseminators of propaganda. The effort is headed by Frank Wisner, Allan Dulles, Richard Helms and Philip Graham. Graham is publisher of The Washington Post, which becomes a major CIA player. Eventually, the CIA’s media assets will include ABC, NBC, CBS, Time, Newsweek, Associated Press, United Press International, Reuters, Hearst Newspapers, Scripps-Howard, Copley News Service and more. By the CIA’s own admission, at least 25 organizations and 400 journalists will become CIA assets.
1953
IranCIA overthrows the democratically elected Mohammed Mossadegh in a military coup, after he threatened to nationalize British oil. The CIA replaces him with a dictator, the Shah of Iran, whose secret police, SAVAK, is as brutal as the Gestapo.  [CIA officer Kermit Roosevelt, Jr., was Operation Ajax's formal leader.] 
Operation MK-ULTRA — Inspired by North Korea’s brainwashing program, the CIA begins experiments on mind control. The most notorious part of this project involves giving LSD and other drugs to American subjects without their knowledge or against their will, causing several to commit suicide. However, the operation involves far more than this. Funded in part by the Rockefeller and Ford foundations, research includes propaganda, brainwashing, public relations, advertising, hypnosis, and other forms of suggestion.  [Most infamous test subject was the Unabomber, Dr. Theodore John Kaczynski, who published the "Unabomber Manifesto" and set 16 bombs.] 
1954
GuatemalaCIA overthrows the democratically elected Jacob Arbenz in a military coup. Arbenz has threatened to nationalize the Rockefeller-owned United Fruit Company, in which CIA Director Allen Dulles also owns stock. Arbenz is replaced with a series of right-wing dictators whose bloodthirsty policies will kill over 100,000 Guatemalans in the next 40 years.
1954-1958
North Vietnam — CIA officer Edward Lansdale spends four years trying to overthrow the communist government of North Vietnam, using all the usual dirty tricks. The CIA also attempts to legitimize a tyrannical puppet regime in South Vietnam, headed by Ngo Dinh Diem. These efforts fail to win the hearts and minds of the South Vietnamese because the Diem government is opposed to true democracy, land reform and poverty reduction measures. The CIA’s continuing failure results in escalating American intervention, culminating in the Vietnam War.
1956
Hungary — Radio Free Europe incites Hungary to revolt by broadcasting Khruschev’s Secret Speech, in which he denounced Stalin. It also hints that American aid will help the Hungarians fight. This aid fails to materialize as Hungarians launch a doomed armed revolt, which only invites a major Soviet invasion. The conflict kills 7,000 Soviets and 30,000 Hungarians.
1957-1973
LaosThe CIA carries out approximately one coup per year trying to nullify Laos’ democratic elections. The problem is the Pathet Lao, a leftist group with enough popular support to be a member of any coalition government. In the late 50s, the CIA even creates an "Armee Clandestine" of Asian mercenaries to attack the Pathet Lao. After the CIA’s army suffers numerous defeats, the U.S. starts bombing, dropping more bombs on Laos than all the U.S. bombs dropped in World War II. A quarter of all Laotians will eventually become refugees, many living in caves.
1959
Haiti — The U.S. military helps "Papa Doc" Duvalier become dictator of Haiti. He creates his own private police force, the "Tonton Macoutes," who terrorize the population with machetes. They will kill over 100,000 during the Duvalier family reign. The U.S. does not protest their dismal human rights record.
1961
The Bay of PigsThe CIA sends 1,500 Cuban exiles to invade Castro’s Cuba. But "Operation Mongoose" fails, due to poor planning, security and backing. The planners had imagined that the invasion will spark a popular uprising against Castro -– which never happens. A promised American air strike also never occurs. This is the CIA’s first public setback, causing President Kennedy to fire CIA Director Allen Dulles.
Dominican RepublicThe CIA assassinates Rafael Trujillo, a murderous dictator Washington has supported since 1930. Trujillo’s business interests have grown so large (about 60 percent of the economy) that they have begun competing with American business interests.
EcuadorThe CIA-backed military forces the democratically elected President Jose Velasco to resign. Vice President Carlos Arosemana replaces him; the CIA fills the now vacant vice presidency with its own man.
Congo (Zaire)The CIA assassinates the democratically elected Patrice Lumumba. However, public support for Lumumba’s politics runs so high that the CIA cannot clearly install his opponents in power. Four years of political turmoil follow.
1963
Dominican RepublicThe CIA overthrows the democratically elected Juan Bosch in a military coup. The CIA installs a repressive, right-wing junta.
EcuadorA CIA-backed military coup overthrows President Arosemana, whose independent (not socialist) policies have become unacceptable to Washington. A military junta assumes command, cancels the 1964 elections, and begins abusing human rights.
1964
BrazilA CIA-backed military coup overthrows the democratically elected government of Joao Goulart. The junta that replaces it will, in the next two decades, become one of the most bloodthirsty in history. General Castelo Branco will create Latin America’s first death squads, or bands of secret police who hunt down "communists" for torture, interrogation and murder. Often these "communists" are no more than Branco’s political opponents. Later it is revealed that the CIA trains the death squads.
1965
IndonesiaThe CIA overthrows the democratically elected Sukarno with a military coup. The CIA has been trying to eliminate Sukarno since 1957, using everything from attempted assassination to sexual intrigue, for nothing more than his declaring neutrality in the Cold War. His successor, General Suharto, will massacre between 500,000 to 1 million civilians accused of being "communist." The CIA supplies the names of countless suspects.
Dominican Republic — A popular rebellion breaks out, promising to reinstall Juan Bosch as the country’s elected leader. The revolution is crushed when U.S. Marines land to uphold the military regime by force. The CIA directs everything behind the scenes.
Greece — With the CIA’s backing, the king removes George Papandreous as prime minister. Papandreous has failed to vigorously support U.S. interests in Greece.
Congo (Zaire) — A CIA-backed military coup installs Mobutu Sese Seko as dictator. The hated and repressive Mobutu exploits his desperately poor country for billions.
1966
The Ramparts Affair — The radical magazine Ramparts begins a series of unprecedented anti-CIA articles. Among their scoops: the CIA has paid the University of Michigan $25 million dollars to hire "professors" to train South Vietnamese students in covert police methods. MIT and other universities have received similar payments. Ramparts also reveals that the National Students’ Association is a CIA front. Students are sometimes recruited through blackmail and bribery, including draft deferments.
1967
GreeceA CIA-backed military coup overthrows the government two days before the elections. The favorite to win was George Papandreous, the liberal candidate. During the next six years, the "reign of the colonels" — backed by the CIA — will usher in the widespread use of torture and murder against political opponents. When a Greek ambassador objects to President Johnson about U.S. plans for Cypress, Johnson tells him: "Fuck your parliament and your constitution."
Operation PHEONIX — The CIA helps South Vietnamese agents identify and then murder alleged Viet Cong leaders operating in South Vietnamese villages. According to a 1971 congressional report, this operation killed about 20,000 "Viet Cong."
1968
Operation CHAOS — The CIA has been illegally spying on American citizens since 1959, but with Operation CHAOS, President Johnson dramatically boosts the effort. CIA agents go undercover as student radicals to spy on and disrupt campus organizations protesting the Vietnam War. They are searching for Russian instigators, which they never find. CHAOS will eventually spy on 7,000 individuals and 1,000 organizations.
BoliviaA CIA-organized military operation captures legendary guerilla Che Guevara. The CIA wants to keep him alive for interrogation, but the Bolivian government executes him to prevent worldwide calls for clemency.
1969
UruguayThe notorious CIA torturer Dan Mitrione arrives in Uruguay, a country torn with political strife. Whereas right-wing forces previously used torture only as a last resort, Mitrione convinces them to use it as a routine, widespread practice. "The precise pain, in the precise place, in the precise amount, for the desired effect," is his motto. The torture techniques he teaches to the death squads rival the Nazis’. He eventually becomes so feared that revolutionaries will kidnap and murder him a year later.
1970
CambodiaThe CIA overthrows Prince Sahounek, who is highly popular among Cambodians for keeping them out of the Vietnam War. He is replaced by CIA puppet Lon Nol, who immediately throws Cambodian troops into battle. This unpopular move strengthens once minor opposition parties like the Khmer Rouge, which achieves power in 1975 and massacres millions of its own people.
1971
Bolivia — After half a decade of CIA-inspired political turmoil, a CIA-backed military coup overthrows the leftist President Juan Torres. In the next two years, dictator Hugo Banzer will have over 2,000 political opponents arrested without trial, then tortured, raped and executed.
Haiti — "Papa Doc" Duvalier dies, leaving his 19-year old son "Baby Doc" Duvalier the dictator of Haiti. His son continues his bloody reign with full knowledge of the CIA.
1972
The Case-Zablocki Act — Congress passes an act requiring congressional review of executive agreements. In theory, this should make CIA operations more accountable. In fact, it is only marginally effective.
Cambodia — Congress votes to cut off CIA funds for its secret war in Cambodia.
Wagergate Break-in — President Nixon sends in a team of burglars to wiretap Democratic offices at Watergate. The team members have extensive CIA histories, including James McCord, E. Howard Hunt and five of the Cuban burglars. They work for the Committee to Reelect the President (CREEP), which does dirty work like disrupting Democratic campaigns and laundering Nixon’s illegal campaign contributions. CREEP’s activities are funded and organized by another CIA front, the Mullen Company.
1973
ChileThe CIA overthrows and assassinates Salvador Allende, Latin America’s first democratically elected socialist leader. The problems begin when Allende nationalizes American-owned firms in Chile. ITT offers the CIA $1 million for a coup (reportedly refused). The CIA replaces Allende with General Augusto Pinochet, who will torture and murder thousands of his own countrymen in a crackdown on labor leaders and the political left.
CIA begins internal investigations — William Colby, the Deputy Director for Operations, orders all CIA personnel to report any and all illegal activities they know about. This information is later reported to Congress.
Watergate Scandal — The CIA’s main collaborating newspaper in America, The Washington Post, reports Nixon’s crimes long before any other newspaper takes up the subject. The two reporters, Woodward and Bernstein, make almost no mention of the CIA’s many fingerprints all over the scandal. It is later revealed that Woodward was a Naval intelligence briefer to the White House, and knows many important intelligence figures, including General Alexander Haig. His main source, "Deep Throat," is probably one of those.
CIA Director Helms Fired — President Nixon fires CIA Director Richard Helms for failing to help cover up the Watergate scandal. Helms and Nixon have always disliked each other. The new CIA director is William Colby, who is relatively more open to CIA reform.
1974
CHAOS exposed — Pulitzer prize winning journalist Seymour Hersh publishes a story about Operation CHAOS, the domestic surveillance and infiltration of anti-war and civil rights groups in the U.S. The story sparks national outrage.
Angleton fired — Congress holds hearings on the illegal domestic spying efforts of James Jesus Angleton, the CIA’s chief of counterintelligence. His efforts included mail-opening campaigns and secret surveillance of war protesters. The hearings result in his dismissal from the CIA.
House clears CIA in Watergate — The House of Representatives clears the CIA of any complicity in Nixon’s Watergate break-in.
The Hughes Ryan Act — Congress passes an amendment requiring the president to report non-intelligence CIA operations to the relevant congressional committees in a timely fashion.
1975
AustraliaThe CIA helps topple the democratically elected, left-leaning government of Prime Minister Edward Whitlam. The CIA does this by giving an ultimatum to its Governor-General, John Kerr. Kerr, a longtime CIA collaborator, exercises his constitutional right to dissolve the Whitlam government. The Governor-General is a largely ceremonial position appointed by the Queen; the Prime Minister is democratically elected. The use of this archaic and never-used law stuns the nation.
Angola — Eager to demonstrate American military resolve after its defeat in Vietnam, Henry Kissinger launches a CIA-backed war in Angola. Contrary to Kissinger’s assertions, Angola is a country of little strategic importance and not seriously threatened by communism. The CIA backs the brutal leader of UNITAS, Jonas Savimbi. This polarizes Angolan politics and drives his opponents into the arms of Cuba and the Soviet Union for survival. Congress will cut off funds in 1976, but the CIA is able to run the war off the books until 1984, when funding is legalized again. This entirely pointless war kills over 300,000 Angolans.
"The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence" — Victor Marchetti and John Marks publish this whistle-blowing history of CIA crimes and abuses. Marchetti has spent 14 years in the CIA, eventually becoming an executive assistant to the Deputy Director of Intelligence. Marks has spent five years as an intelligence official in the State Department.
"Inside the Company" — Philip Agee publishes a diary of his life inside the CIA. Agee has worked in covert operations in Latin America during the 60s, and details the crimes in which he took part.
Congress investigates CIA wrong-doing — Public outrage compels Congress to hold hearings on CIA crimes. Senator Frank Church heads the Senate investigation ("The Church Committee"), and Representative Otis Pike heads the House investigation. (Despite a 98 percent incumbency reelection rate, both Church and Pike are defeated in the next elections.) The investigations lead to a number of reforms intended to increase the CIA’s accountability to Congress, including the creation of a standing Senate committee on intelligence. However, the reforms prove ineffective, as the Iran/Contra scandal will show. It turns out the CIA can control, deal with or sidestep Congress with ease.
The Rockefeller CommissionIn an attempt to reduce the damage done by the Church Committee, President Ford creates the "Rockefeller Commission" to whitewash CIA history and propose toothless reforms. The commission’s namesake, Vice President Nelson Rockefeller, is himself a major CIA figure. Five of the commission’s eight members are also members of the Council on Foreign Relations, a CIA-dominated organization.
1979
Iran — The CIA fails to predict the fall of the Shah of Iran, a longtime CIA puppet, and the rise of Muslim fundamentalists who are furious at the CIA’s backing of SAVAK, the Shah’s bloodthirsty secret police. In revenge, the Muslims take 52 Americans hostage in the U.S. embassy in Tehran.
Afghanistan — The Soviets invade Afghanistan. The CIA immediately begins supplying arms to any faction willing to fight the occupying Soviets. Such indiscriminate arming means that when the Soviets leave Afghanistan, civil war will erupt. Also, fanatical Muslim extremists now possess state-of-the-art weaponry. One of these is Sheik Abdel Rahman, who will become involved in the World Trade Center bombing in New York.
El Salvador — An idealistic group of young military officers, repulsed by the massacre of the poor, overthrows the right-wing government. However, the U.S. compels the inexperienced officers to include many of the old guard in key positions in their new government. Soon, things are back to "normal" — the military government is repressing and killing poor civilian protesters. Many of the young military and civilian reformers, finding themselves powerless, resign in disgust.
Nicaragua — Anastasios Samoza II, the CIA-backed dictator, falls. The Marxist Sandinistas take over government, and they are initially popular because of their commitment to land and anti-poverty reform. Samoza had a murderous and hated personal army called the National Guard. Remnants of the Guard will become the Contras, who fight a CIA-backed guerilla war against the Sandinista government throughout the 1980s.
1980
El Salvador — The Archbishop of San Salvador, Oscar Romero, pleads with President Carter "Christian to Christian" to stop aiding the military government slaughtering his people. Carter refuses. Shortly afterwards, right-wing leader Roberto D’Aubuisson has Romero shot through the heart while saying Mass. The country soon dissolves into civil war, with the peasants in the hills fighting against the military government. The CIA and U.S. Armed Forces supply the government with overwhelming military and intelligence superiority. CIA-trained death squads roam the countryside, committing atrocities like that of El Mazote in 1982, where they massacre between 700 and 1000 men, women and children. By 1992, some 63,000 Salvadorans will be killed.
1981
Iran/Contra Begins — The CIA begins selling arms to Iran at high prices, using the profits to arm the Contras fighting the Sandinista government in Nicaragua. President Reagan vows that the Sandinistas will be "pressured" until "they say ‘uncle.’" The CIA’s Freedom Fighter’s Manual disbursed to the Contras includes instruction on economic sabotage, propaganda, extortion, bribery, blackmail, interrogation, torture, murder and political assassination.
1983
HondurasThe CIA gives Honduran military officers the Human Resource Exploitation Training Manual – 1983, which teaches how to torture people. Honduras’ notorious "Battalion 316" then uses these techniques, with the CIA’s full knowledge, on thousands of leftist dissidents. At least 184 are murdered.
1984
The Boland Amendment — The last of a series of Boland Amendments is passed. These amendments have reduced CIA aid to the Contras; the last one cuts it off completely. However, CIA Director William Casey is already prepared to "hand off" the operation to Colonel Oliver North, who illegally continues supplying the Contras through the CIA’s informal, secret, and self-financing network. This includes "humanitarian aid" donated by Adolph Coors and William Simon, and military aid funded by Iranian arms sales.
1986
Eugene Hasenfus — Nicaragua shoots down a C-123 transport plane carrying military supplies to the Contras. The lone survivor, Eugene Hasenfus, turns out to be a CIA employee, as are the two dead pilots. The airplane belongs to Southern Air Transport, a CIA front. The incident makes a mockery of President Reagan’s claims that the CIA is not illegally arming the Contras.
Iran/Contra Scandal — Although the details have long been known, the Iran/Contra scandal finally captures the media’s attention in 1986. Congress holds hearings, and several key figures (like Oliver North) lie under oath to protect the intelligence community. CIA Director William Casey dies of brain cancer before Congress can question him. All reforms enacted by Congress after the scandal are purely cosmetic.
Haiti — Rising popular revolt in Haiti means that "Baby Doc" Duvalier will remain "President for Life" only if he has a short one. The U.S., which hates instability in a puppet country, flies the despotic Duvalier to the South of France for a comfortable retirement. The CIA then rigs the upcoming elections in favor of another right-wing military strongman. However, violence keeps the country in political turmoil for another four years. The CIA tries to strengthen the military by creating the National Intelligence Service (SIN), which suppresses popular revolt through torture and assassination.
1989
Panama — The U.S. invades Panama to overthrow a dictator of its own making, General Manuel Noriega. Noriega has been on the CIA’s payroll since 1966, and has been transporting drugs with the CIA’s knowledge since 1972. By the late 80s, Noriega’s growing independence and intransigence have angered Washington… so out he goes.
1990
Haiti — Competing against 10 comparatively wealthy candidates, leftist priest Jean-Bertrand Aristide captures 68 percent of the vote. After only eight months in power, however, the CIA-backed military deposes him. More military dictators brutalize the country, as thousands of Haitian refugees escape the turmoil in barely seaworthy boats. As popular opinion calls for Aristide’s return, the CIA begins a disinformation campaign painting the courageous priest as mentally unstable.
1991
The Gulf War — The U.S. liberates Kuwait from Iraq. But Iraq’s dictator, Saddam Hussein, is another creature of the CIA. With U.S. encouragement, Hussein invaded Iran in 1980. During this costly eight-year war, the CIA built up Hussein’s forces with sophisticated arms, intelligence, training and financial backing. This cemented Hussein’s power at home, allowing him to crush the many internal rebellions that erupted from time to time, sometimes with poison gas. It also gave him all the military might he needed to conduct further adventurism — in Kuwait, for example.
The Fall of the Soviet Union — The CIA fails to predict this most important event of the Cold War. This suggests that it has been so busy undermining governments that it hasn’t been doing its primary job: gathering and analyzing information. The fall of the Soviet Union also robs the CIA of its reason for existence: fighting communism. This leads some to accuse the CIA of intentionally failing to predict the downfall of the Soviet Union. Curiously, the intelligence community’s budget is not significantly reduced after the demise of communism.
1992
Economic Espionage — In the years following the end of the Cold War, the CIA is increasingly used for economic espionage. This involves stealing the technological secrets of competing foreign companies and giving them to American ones. Given the CIA’s clear preference for dirty tricks over mere information gathering, the possibility of serious criminal behavior is very great indeed.
1993
Haiti — The chaos in Haiti grows so bad that President Clinton has no choice but to remove the Haitian military dictator, Raoul Cedras, on threat of U.S. invasion. The U.S. occupiers do not arrest Haiti’s military leaders for crimes against humanity, but instead ensure their safety and rich retirements. Aristide is returned to power only after being forced to accept an agenda favorable to the country’s ruling class.

EPILOGUE

In a speech before the CIA celebrating its 50th anniversary, President Clinton said: "By necessity, the American people will never know the full story of your courage."
Clinton’s is a common defense of the CIA: namely, the American people should stop criticizing the CIA because they don’t know what it really does. This, of course, is the heart of the problem in the first place. An agency that is above criticism is also above moral behavior and reform. Its secrecy and lack of accountability allows its corruption to grow unchecked.
Furthermore, Clinton’s statement is simply untrue. The history of the agency is growing painfully clear, especially with the declassification of historical CIA documents. We may not know the details of specific operations, but we do know, quite well, the general behavior of the CIA. These facts began emerging nearly two decades ago at an ever-quickening pace. Today we have a remarkably accurate and consistent picture, repeated in country after country, and verified from countless different directions.
The CIA’s response to this growing knowledge and criticism follows a typical historical pattern. (Indeed, there are remarkable parallels to the Medieval Church’s fight against the Scientific Revolution.) The first journalists and writers to reveal the CIA’s criminal behavior were harassed and censored if they were American writers, and tortured and murdered if they were foreigners. (See Philip Agee’s On the Run for an example of early harassment.) However, over the last two decades the tide of evidence has become overwhelming, and the CIA has found that it does not have enough fingers to plug every hole in the dike. This is especially true in the age of the Internet, where information flows freely among millions of people. Since censorship is impossible, the Agency must now defend itself with apologetics. Clinton’s "Americans will never know" defense is a prime example.
Another common apologetic is that "the world is filled with unsavory characters, and we must deal with them if we are to protect American interests at all." There are two things wrong with this. First, it ignores the fact that the CIA has regularly spurned alliances with defenders of democracy, free speech and human rights, preferring the company of military dictators and tyrants. The CIA had moral options available to them, but did not take them.
Second, this argument begs several questions. The first is: "Which American interests?" The CIA has courted right-wing dictators because they allow wealthy Americans to exploit the country’s cheap labor and resources. But poor and middle-class Americans pay the price whenever they fight the wars that stem from CIA actions, from Vietnam to the Gulf War to Panama. The second begged question is: "Why should American interests come at the expense of other peoples’ human rights?"
The CIA should be abolished, its leadership dismissed and its relevant members tried for crimes against humanity. Our intelligence community should be rebuilt from the ground up, with the goal of collecting and analyzing information. As for covert action, there are two moral options. The first one is to eliminate covert action completely. But this gives jitters to people worried about the Adolf Hitlers of the world. So a second option is that we can place covert action under extensive and true democratic oversight. For example, a bipartisan Congressional Committee of 40 members could review and veto all aspects of CIA operations upon a majority or super-majority vote. Which of these two options is best may be the subject of debate, but one thing is clear: like dictatorship, like monarchy, unaccountable covert operations should die like the dinosaurs they are.

Steve Kangas was found dead February 8, 1999, on the 39th floor of Richard Mellon Scaife, 2000 miles from home, shot in the head.  This is what happens to those who cross the CIA.  

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

We Are All Shemites

We are All Shemites
10/29/04

On DemocracyNow! on Friday, the portrayal of a silent kaleidoscopic view of Iraq from the viewpoint of an Iraqi was sublime. It was a human side of the war unseen anywhere else in America. What a nightmare!

At one point, seeing families carting home the dead bodies of their children and loved ones, I didn't know if I was looking at Israel, or Palestine, or any other place where inflexible, militaristic powers strive to dominate another people.

In Genesis 17, G-d came to Abraham and promised him the land of Canaan. That covenant was marked by the practice of circumcision. Ishmael was 13 years old, Abram, now Abraham, was 99. It was 3 years before the birth of Isaac. G-d told Abraham that he would be the father of many nations, and gave the land of Canaan to ALL of the seed of Abraham.

When Joshua crossed the Jordan River and invaded Canaan, the Bible says that they slaughtered all the Canaanites except for the family of the harlot. Save the possibility that the Palestinians might be her descendants, we will assume that the Palestinians are descendants of Ishmael. The Canaanites are gone.

Standing on the platform that G-d gave this land to us, the Israelis feel righteous in taking the land. But they forget that G-d gave this land to our cousins, the Palestinians, also. Ishmael received G-d's blessing 3 years before Isaac did, and again by Hagar's well. The Muslims worship the One G-d, they circumcise their males, they even daven when they pray.

In Genesis 6, the Nefillim walked the Earth and found the daughters of men to be lovely, and they fathered the heroes of old. It is unknown who or what the Nefillim were, but they were not humans but had genetic material that could mate with the aboriginal humans. The first great hero was Noah. Muslims and Jews are descendants of Noah's son Shem. We are all Shemites. We all carry that piece of genetic material from the Nefillin.

The children of Israel were chosen to promote the worship of the One G-d, and to be examples of righteousness to the people. Being chosen does NOT mean exclusive right of possession of the land of Canaan.

The Earth is rapidly shrinking. We are all together on this one lifeboat of a planet. Its the only one we have. We need to find a way to live together in Peace.

The Common Good is Not-For-Profit

The Common Good
11/14/05

There are some that say the purpose of national government is no more than to protect our national borders and to regulate interstate commerce. And for what purpose are our local governments? Some say to keep the peace and to protect the public safety. In fact, the purpose of government is to protect the Common Good.

The Common Good can be defined as those things that benefit all people equally. Usually it includes the police force, fire fighters, and forest rangers, infrastructure of our cities like roads, traffic lights, sewers, sidewalks, and water, gas and electric lines. Clean and safe water, air and soil are included in the Common Good because we all breathe, drink and eat food coming from the soil. Parks and game preserves are also for the Common Good as well as a just legal and political system. And many include the public airways and utilities that produce electricity in the Common Good. Considering that the World Health Organization has proclaimed that healthcare is a basic Human Right, I would also include healthcare in the Common Good.

Our local governments have created Public Utility Commissions to manage the common resources like air, water, rail safety, and electricity for the common good. They have also created sewer treatment plants and clean water facilities to benefit all people equally at a price that is not-for-profit. Yet our government doesn’t have any means to manage healthcare. Nor do they manage the soil. The food grown in our soil is only monitored for coliform bacteria. Organic farmers who try to produce completely safe food are overruled by courts that favor the petroleum fertilized fields growing genetically engineered crops for which long-term safety is unknown. The courts protect the rights of the corporations to use the unsuspecting American public as guinea pigs to test the long-term safety of their products.

A huge issue, which subverts the Common Good, is healthcare for profit. If health care is a human right, then rationing it out only to those who can pay is not serving the Common Good at all. I recently had an annual check-up. The doctor ordered a few lab tests. One test was the urinalysis. Having done many through my job over the years, I’m quite familiar with this test. It entails taking a small test strip out of a jar and dipping it into a sample of urine and then reading the colors compared to the key on the jar label. It takes about 120 seconds to complete the test and record the results. I was charged $80 for this test. This is healthcare for profit.

In the USA, we have a system which trains doctors to serve their own profits rather than the Common Good. It is done by charging huge premiums for a medical education followed by the equally huge cost of setting up a private practice. It is not unusual for a new young doctor to begin practicing medicine with $50,000 debt in student loans and another $50,000 debt in costs associated with opening a practice. No wonder doctors often seem to favor costly interventions in conflict with serving the patient’s best interests. If medical education were not-for-profit, and the new young doctors could be immediately employed in the national health care system, we would be training practitioners that care about their patients’ good health more than about the next payment on their overwhelming debt burden. A system that reaps profits at the expense of public illness is a conflict of interest.

In addition, there is no agency other than the American Medical Association that monitors the safe practice of doctors. Truck and bus drivers, airplane pilots, air traffic controllers, train engineers, all get regular drug urine tests to insure the public safety, but not doctors. Anesthesiologists and surgeons have our lives in their hands, as well as having the means to write their own prescriptions for drugs of abuse, yet no one is charged with the job of monitoring their competence and ability to provide safe care for the benefit of the Public Good. Did your anesthesiologist get a drug urine test before your last surgery?

It would be unthinkable to most people that private corporations could buy up our public utilities like water and sewer and begin price gauging. But, why not? Our Congress has already passed the law (H.R. 6, Sec. 1273, Repeal of the Public Utility Holding Company Act of 1935, Aug 8, 2005: Public Law No: 109-58) that allows for the privatization of public utilities. A private corporation will soon be coming to your town to make bids on the local water supply. After that, like with healthcare, it will be rationed out to those who can pay. A glass of clean drinking water could cost $80 like the urinalysis. Price gauging is fair and square among Social Darwinist corporatists. Only the richest shall survive. And when questioned about it, they lie.

I propose that it is the duty and obligation of governments to protect the Common Good not-for-profit. In order to carry out their charge, governments need the support of the people. Therefore governments levy taxes. Residents pay taxes, and their tax dollars pay for roads, bridges, sewer, water, gas and electric lines, police, highway patrol, firefighters, judges, courts, prisons, public health, public schools, public universities, public parks, and governments to administer all these public services. Taxes used to also pay for public hospitals, but such things have now all been privatized in the name of increased efficiency.

There is a small minority of ideological fanatics who believe that governments should be replaced with private corporations which will run everything more efficiently. Those industries that used to be operated for the common good not-for-profit, which have now been replaced by unregulated, for-profit corporations, have unanimously gauged money from the public while the quality of the product or service fell precipitously. The only net efficiencies derived from the privatization process were the ever increasing earnings-per-share for the stockholders.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not against private corporations. Competitive markets for commodities and goods are a good thing, but NOT when it entails those items that are strictly and exclusively for the Common Good. Consumer items like clothing, cars, furniture, bicycles, house paint and stereos all have a place in the competitive market. And corporations can also serve the public by producing good products that don’t pollute the environment. Corporations can limit the multiples for the compensation received by top administrators as compared with the lowliest employee. They can make sure their workers are not unfairly exploited and get fair wages and benefits. They can make sure that their workforce, including the Board of Directors and the top administrators, reflect the diversity found in the local area. Pure Capitalism exploits the workers until they can no longer work and then replaces them with a younger worker. Capitalism moderated by social controls prevents slavery, child labor, and discrimination based on gender, sexual preference, race, national origin or religion. Capitalism moderated by social controls provides a 40-hr week, minimum wage, paid leave, overtime pay, vacation time, maternity and family emergency leave, lunch-time, breaks, and much more.

Some corporations find they can’t compete in the global market because they have the extra financial burden of providing healthcare for their employees. This is the justification to move their factories offshore where they can pay lower wages without providing healthcare or other benefits. Essentially, off-shore factories are able to return to the days of pure Capitalism, where collective bargaining for workers did not exist. Yet, the real reason they can’t compete in the global market is because all other industrialized nations provide national healthcare for the Common Good rather than legislating it on to private businesses. Our current government gives tax advantages to factories that relocate offshore rather than providing national healthcare for the Common Good. Obviously, our current government is not fulfilling their duty to serve the Common Good.

Since healthcare is for the Common Good, it shouldn’t be the responsibility of employers to provide it. Healthcare should be provided like water, sewer, roads, police and firefighters, compliments of the government who serve the interests of the Common Good not-for-profit.