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The Government's Not-So-Sterling Case Against Sterling

 

 


Punishing Another Whistleblower


Editor Note: Just weeks after ex-CIA Director David Petraeus got a no-jail-time wrist-slap for divulging secrets to his biographer/lover, ex-CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling got 42 months in prison for allegedly alerting a U.S. journalist to a dubious covert op, a double standard of justice.

By Ray McGovern

Populist Except for Pentagon

Katrina vanden Heuvel says there's an emerging populist agenda. Of course populist agendas tend to emerge in times of demobilization for election distraction -- that is to say, in moments when huge political party and NGO resources are being dumped into focusing attention on a distant election instead of on the crises and work at hand. Witness all the efforts to get Hillary Clinton, and not Barack Obama, to oppose the TPP.

And of course the agendas don't actually emerge. There's nothing new about them. Millions of us have favored a living wage and free education and breaking up the banking monopolies for years. The point of having such ideas "emerge" is to create reservoirs of patience for not getting them and not even demanding them, but rather diverting one's interest into cheerleading for future saviors who will later treat campaign promises like, well, campaign promises.

But what interests me about what's "emerging" is what's missing from it, even in the rhetoric. Vanden Heuvel links to six reports or platform statements. Each deals with economics, the public budget, spending and investment priorities. Virtually absent from them all, by some coincidence, is any mention of military spending, despite its taking up a majority of the discretionary spending budget every year, and despite its swallowing far more wealth than goes to the billionaires who are so rightly upbraided for hoarding it so immorally.

Five of the six populist agendas propose nothing related to military spending. It might as well not exist. One of them includes as number 11 of its 12 points: "We should reduce military budgets and properly support humanitarian programs."

Was that so hard? It used to be the norm in Democratic Party platform promises. Where has it gone too? The other five organizations will not attack the sixth with sharp critiques for including this, of course. Their preferred tactic is silence.

The new normal seems to be PEP. Usually PEP means Progressive Except for Palestine (we all know people who are generally against murdering babies but not when Israel does it). But I'm using PEP to mean Populist Except for the Pentagon.

If you don't want to take the time to watch the video of Bernie Sanders' 12 proposals, here's his list:

1. major investment in infrastructure
2. reverse climate change
3. new economic models, no more huge tax breaks to corporations, but support for worker-owned coops
4. Employee Free Choice Act (remember that?)
5. make minimum wage a living wage
6. pay equity for women
7. end NAFTA and CAFTA and permanent normal trade relations with China
8. affordable college
9. break up the Wall Street banks
10. Medicare for all - single payer healthcare
11. expand Social Security
12. progressive taxation

All wonderful stuff. Some of it quite courageous outside-the-acceptable stuff. But what do you spend on reversing climate change? And do you also keep spending on the single biggest contributor to climate change, namely the military? What do you invest in infrastructure? It's not as though Sanders doesn't know about the trade-offs. In between listing items 1 and 2, he blames "the Bush-Cheney war in Iraq" for costing $3 trillion. He says he wants infrastructure instead of wars. But routine "base" military spending is $1.3 trillion or so each and every year. It's been far more in recent years than all the recent wars, and it generates the wars as Eisenhower warned it would. It also erodes the economy, as the studies of U-Mass Amherst document. The same dollars moved to infrastructure would produce many more jobs and better paying ones. Why not propose moving some money? Why not include it in the list of proposals?

In Sanders' case, I think he's partly a true believer in militarism. He wants good wars instead of bad wars (whatever that means) despite the belief in "good wars" requiring ongoing military spending. And partly, I think, he comes at it from a deep habit of "supporting" the troops and veterans for both sincere and calculating reasons. He's also a PEP in the Palestine sense.

But people will be thrilled just to hear Sanders mention "the bad Bush-Cheney war," when their standard is set by such war hawks as Hillary Clinton, whose love for war, rather than some collective fit of amnesia, explains the absence of the military from most of the emerging populist agendas.

We should be clear that this degeneration of the Democratic Party platform does not represent a shift in public attitudes, but rather an increase in the corruption of the political system. No polls support this. Many campaign funders do.

Ann Jones: Citizen's Revolt in Afghanistan

Soon after 9/11, Ann Jones went to Afghanistan to help in whatever way she could, “embedding” with civilians who had been battered by the rigors of that war-torn land.

Focus: Trans-Pacific Partnership - May 12, 2015


Liberal senators imperil “fast-track” trade bill - TheHill


In letter fourteen Senate Democrats urge stronger labor standards before a sweeping Asia-Pacific deal takes effect - TheHill


Text of the Letter by Fourteen Senate Democrats Calling for Strong Labor Standards in Trans-Pacific Partnership - Sherrod Brown


Elizabeth Warren fires back at Obama: Interview with the senator - The Washington Post


Elizabeth Warren and Rosa DeLauro Op-Ed: Who is writing the TPP? - The Boston Globe


VIDEO: President Obama Dismisses Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s ‘Investor-State Dispute Settlement’ Warning - ibtimes.com


White House escalates Warren feud - TheHill


VIDEO: White House: False criticism that members of Congress aren’t aware of what’s being negotiated in trade deal - YouTube


Extreme secrecy eroding support for Obama's trade pact - POLITICO


Schumer Vows To Oppose A Trade Deal That Doesn’t Adequately Protect American Workers & Industry From Unjust Trade Practices Of Some Countries - Chuck Schumer


Rand Paul opposes granting Obama fast-track trade authority - WMUR Home


Despite Pressure From White House, Leahy And Sanders Will Vote No On Trans-Pacific Trade Deal - Vermont Public Radio


Sandy Levin’s Open Letter to Progressives: TPP Is Not Yet 'The Most Progressive Trade Agreement in History' - huffingtonpost.com


VIDEO: Levin on C-SPAN: TPA In Trouble Because TPP On Wrong Track - Committee on Ways and Means


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Fight Over China Currency Policies Threatens Vote on Trade Bill - NYTimes.com


White House: Adding currency measure to trade deals might harm Fed - MarketWatch


The strong dollar is hurting U.S. manufacturing. There’s a lesson in there for the TPP. - The Washington Post


POLL: Americans Want Trade Deals to Address Currency - Alliance for American Manufacturing


US trade deficit jumps to 6-year high of $51.4 billion, Exports have been hurt by an increase in the value of the dollar - AP


Trade Deficit With Korea Balloons 104 Percent as Exports Fall and Imports Surge Under Korea Pact Used as TPP Template -Public Citizen


Trade-Related Job Loss by State - Public Citizen


Leo W. Gerard, International President, United Steelworkers: Trade Abuse - huffingtonpost.com


Steelworkers rally at Congressman's office; want more trade deal debate - St. Louis Public Radio


A major AIDS research groups says the TPP will make it harder to fight AIDS - Vox


REPORT: Trans-Pacific Partnership: Curbing Access to Medicines Now and in the Future - amfar.org


Why Doctors Without Borders Is Lobbying Against Obama’s Trade Deal - NationalJournal.com


AIPAC-backed amendments add to trade bill turmoil - POLITICO


Senate Fast Track Vote Tuesday -- Where Is Clinton? - huffingtonpost.com


Fiorina comes out against Pacific trade deal: ‘I am very uncomfortable with this deal’ - Morrow County Sentinel


Donald Trump: Don't Give Obama Fast-Track Trade Authority - newsmax.com


Jesse Jackson: Don't believe Obama on trade deal - Chicago


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In Convicting Jeff Sterling, CIA Revealed More Than It Accused Him of Revealing

Some Americans have heard of New York Times reporter and book author James Risen and his refusal to expose a source. But, because most reports on that matter scrupulously avoided the subject of what it was Risen had reported, relatively few people can tell you. In fact, Risen reported (in a book, as the New York Times obeyed a government request to keep it quiet) that back in the year 2000 the CIA gave nuclear weapons plans to Iran. Flaws had been introduced into the plans, with the stated intention of slowing down an Iranian nuclear weapons program if one existed. Risen's reporting that the flaws were glaringly obvious, including to the former-Russian asset assigned to deliver the plans to Iran, made the scheme look even worse than it at first sounds.

Jeffery Sterling, a CIA handler of the former-Russian asset, was convicted earlier this year of being Risen's source. He was convicted on the basis of the sort of circumstantial evidence known as "meta-data" that the NSA maintains we're not supposed to worry about, but which an appeals court on Thursday ruled the bulk collection of unconstitutional. Sterling is expected to be sentenced Monday to a lengthy prison term.

During the course of Sterling's trial, the CIA itself made public a bigger story than the one it pinned on Sterling. The CIA revealed, unintentionally no doubt, that just after the nuclear weapons plans had been dropped off for the Iranians, the CIA had proposed to the same asset that he next approach the Iraqi government for the same purpose. The CIA revealed this by entering into evidence this cable:

Mr. S., also known as Bob S., was and is a CIA officer. M is short for Merlin which is code for the former Russian and also the name of the operation (Operation Merlin). The cable refers to a more adventurous extension of the operation to somewhere other than Iran. The name for this other location begins with a vowel, because it follows the indefinite article "AN."

Look closely at the text of the cable. The letters line up in vertical columns as well as the usual horizontal rows. It's a grid. The missing word on the seventh line begins with a vowel and has five letters. It can be IRAQI or OMANI.

Keep reading. The missing word on the tenth line has four letters. It is either IRAQ or OMAN.

There follows a discussion of a meeting place, which is likely not in Iraq (or Oman).

Read to the last line. There the missing word has six letters. It can be IRAQIS or OMANIS.

The circumstantial evidence for choosing Iraq over Oman as the second target for Operation Merlin is far more weighty than what was used to convict Jeffrey Sterling of informing the public of the first target. Oman has never been alleged publicly by anyone of having or pursuing a nuclear weapons program. Oman has never been known to be a target of U.S. military action. Iraq in 2000 had been the target of multiple CIA-backed coup attempts. Iraq's weaponry was a top focus of the CIA. Within two years, claims about Iraqi weaponry would be used by the CIA to support the U.S. attack on Iraq that would come in March 2003.

The 2002-2003 claims by then-President George W. Bush and then-National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice that a smoking gun could come from Iraq in the form of a mushroom cloud take on a different light when we learn that some short time earlier the CIA had proposed to give Iraq nuclear weapons plans as part of a program that Condoleezza Rice personally persuaded the New York Times not to reveal.

In 1995, Saddam Hussein's son-in-law Hussein Kamel had informed U.S. and British intelligence officers that "all weapons—biological, chemical, missile, nuclear were destroyed." Yet, on October 2, 2002, President Bush said, "The regime has the scientists and facilities to build nuclear weapons, and is seeking the materials needed to do so." This was a claim he would also put in a letter to Congress and in his 2003 State of the Union Address.

Vice President Dick Cheney went so far as to claim, on March 16, 2003, on Meet The Press, "And we believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons."

There was no evidence for this, of course, and pretended evidence was carefully manufactured, including forged documents purporting to show that Iraq was trying to buy uranium, and an incorrect analysis of aluminum tubes that had to be carefully sought out after all the usual experts refused to provide the desired answer.

"We do know that there have been shipments going . . . into Iraq . . . of aluminum tubes that really are only suited to -- high-quality aluminum tools [sic] that are only really suited for nuclear weapons programs, centrifuge programs," said Condoleezza Rice on CNN's Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer on September 8, 2002.

When the experts at the Departments of Energy, State, and Defense refused to say that aluminum tubes in Iraq were for nuclear facilities, because they knew they could not possibly be and were almost certainly for rockets, a couple of guys at the Army's National Ground Intelligence Center near Charlottesville, Va., were happy to oblige. Their names were George Norris and Robert Campus, and they received "performance awards" (cash) for the service. Then Secretary of State Colin Powell used Norris' and Campus' claims in his U.N. speech despite the warning of his own staff that they weren't true.

The U.S. government has never engaged in any such efforts to falsely portray Oman as pursuing nuclear weapons.

Did the CIA follow through with Merlin and actually give anything to the Iraqi government? Did it provide nuclear weapons plans as with Iran? Did it provide nuclear weapons parts, as originally conceived for Iran but not followed through on?

We don't know. But we know that the CIA continued paying "Merlin" and his wife for some service. As Marcy Wheeler pointed out, "altogether, the CIA paid the Merlins roughly $413,223.67 over the 7 years after James Risen supposedly ruined Merlin's usefulness as an asset." For all we know, we taxpayers are still funding the Merlin household.

Peace Lessons: How to Reduce Violence

If you are interested in learning more about the meaning of, and the relationships among, direct, structural and cultural violence and how one peace studies scholar suggests we use the integrative power of nonviolence to address violence constructively, then I suggest you read the new book by historian, playwright and novelist Professor Timothy Braatz called Peace Lessons.

Dimock, PA Lawsuit Trial-Bound as Study Links Fracking to Water Contamination in Neighboring County

Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlog

A recent peer-reviewed study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has confirmed what many fracking critics have argued for years: hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas can contaminate groundwater. 

The Prison Gates Swing Open for Peace Activists

Kathy Kelly is just out of prison, where she'd been sent for nonviolently opposing drone murders.

An appeals court has just overturned convictions for Megan Rice, Michael Walli and Gregory Boertje-Obed, imprisoned for entering and protesting a nuclear weapons site at Oak Ridge, Tenn., three years ago. Resentencing on lesser charges, and quite possibly immediate release, is expected.

Amazingly, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 that the government failed to prove that the activists intended to "injure the national defense." (Maybe Venezuela, accused by President Obama of being a threat to the same, should appeal to the Sixth Circuit!)

The U.S. government has just dropped charges against eight members of the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance who nonviolently protested the U.S. military's environmental destruction with a march from the EPA to the Pentagon this past Earth Day.

"It can only be speculated why the charges were dismissed," said NCNR. "The eight activists were charged with 'Failure to Comply With a Lawful Order' and were scheduled to appear for trial on June 4 at the U.S. District Court in Alexandria, VA. The group was well prepared to challenge the charge and to speak some truth to power in the courtroom. Perhaps the U.S. attorney recognized that the defendants at the Pentagon were simply exercising their constitutionally-protected right to speak out against our government's wrong-headed policies. Or possibly he agreed with the defendants' messages."

In recent months there have been absurd indictments and sentences. But there have also been surprising acquittals and the dismissal of charges.

Freedom isn't free, it's won by continued protests of wars.

Now to free all the other prisoners!

John Kiriakou, just out of prison, writes about his experience here.

Child Soldier released from jail by Canadian court: US Still Seeks Jail for ‘Fighter’ Captured at 15 in Afghanistan

By Dave Lindorff

 

            The good news is that an appellate judge in Canada has had the courage and good sense to uphold the release from jail on bail of Omar Khadr, a native of Canada who was captured as a child soldier at the age of 15 in Afghanistan by US forces back in 2002 and shipped off to Guantanamo, where he became one of the children held in captivity.

Focus: Hillary Clinton - May 9, 2015


State Department Says No Review of Undisclosed Clinton Foundation Donations - Bloomberg Politics


VIDEO: At the briefing press question why the State Department chooses to "close their eyes" to the Clinton Foundation - C-SPAN


Hillary Clinton’s State Department office had a voice in ethics review of Bill’s speeches - POLITICO


Bill Clinton put the blame for foundation’s foreign donor scandal on the accountant who filed its taxes - Washington Free Beacon


VIDEO: Bill Clinton: Hillary 'Didn't Know About a Lot of' Foundation Donations - Breitbart


Clinton 'fact-check' under fire: controversial uranium deal for a major Clinton Foundation donor - WashingtonExaminer.com


The Billionaire Giustra Whose Clinton Foundation Ties Could Be Trouble for Hillary Clinton - Bloomberg Politics


Travels with Bill and Frank: A look at the Clinton-Giustra friendship - The Washington Post


Furious B.C. magnate Giustra says he’s caught up in ‘vicious’ smear campaign against Clinton charities - National Post


Statement From Frank Giustra, Founder And Chairman Of The Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership - TheStreet


A review of Canadian court documents reveals that Clintons’ Canadian mining Pal Giustra has been accused of double-dealing  before - The Daily Caller


Alleged Clinton and Giustra Influence Peddling in Colombia Examined by Univision - newsbusters.org


Under pressure, Clinton Foundation’s Canadian arm reveals 21 donors - SanLuisObispo


Sant Chatwal Denies Allegations over Donations to Clinton Foundation - bignewsnetwork.com


What dealings did Indian American entrepreneurs Sant Singh Chatwal, Vinod Gupta have with the Clinton Foundation? - The American Bazaar


Clinton Cash Author Peter Schweizer falsely claiming that Hillary Clinton changed positions on an India nuclear deal - PolitiFact

 

Did Clinton Foundation Donor Get Hillary to Delay Boko Haram Terror Designation? - Judicial Watch


Elizabeth Warren Targets Clinton Foundation Donors - Washington Free Beacon


Revealed: Four Clinton Foundation Trustees Charged or Convicted of Financial Crimes - breitbart.com


Clinton Foundation Employee Who Worked for the Muslim Brotherhood Gets Life in Prison in Egypt - Wounded American Warrior


Clinton Cash's Schweizer Pushes Stat "Incredibly Misleading”: Clinton Foundation Keeps 90 Percent Of Foundation Money "For Themselves" - Media Matters for America


How the Clinton Foundation did, and did not, meet its White House agreement on donations: A PolitiFact scorecard - PolitiFact


VIDEO: Earth Institute Director and Economist Jeffrey Sachs: People in Charity Work Unhappy With Clinton's Schmoozing For Years - Breitbart


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Benghazi panel releases interim report, accuses administration of dragging feet - TheHill


Cummings Statement on One-Year Anniversary of Benghazi Committee: “What Have We Accomplished?” - Committee on Benghazi


Partisan rancor marks Benghazi panel's first year of work - USA Today


Democrats suspect Benghazi panel delaying Clinton appearance - Reuters


Judicial Watch Files 7 FOIA Lawsuits for the Release of Clinton Emails - judicialwatch.org


Hillary Clinton's aide Huma Abedin's emails now face disclosure lawsuit - Washington Times


Huma Abedin, Hillary Clinton's Islamic connection - Washington Times


Obama to Pardon Hillary Clinton for Benghazi, Emailgate, Sources Say - National Report


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Hillary Clinton Embraces a ‘Super PAC,’ Trying to Erode a Republican Edge - NYTimes.com


Hillary Clinton Isn't Ready to Disclose Who's Funding Her Campaign - Mother Jones


POLL: Hillary is the favorite among millionaire voters: Survey - cnbc.com


Hillary Clinton Fundraiser Draws Strong Hollywood Crowd And $3 million - Deadline


Latino Activists in LA Press Clinton To Oppose Major Pacific Trade Pact - Al Jazeera America


VIDEO: Hillary Clinton greeted by protesters at LA fundraiser opposing influence of money in politics and the Pacific trade deal - YouTube


VIDEO: Hillary Comes to LA to Fundraiser and Finds Some Very Unflattering Welcome Posters Waiting for Her - ijreview.com


Bill Clinton says Hillary right to step away from his criminal justice legacy - POLITICO


Hillary Clinton endorses NSA reform bill - MSNBC


Liberal ears perk up as Hillary Clinton aide floats debt-free college - POLITICO


Senate Fast Track Vote Tuesday – Where Is Clinton? - ourfuture.org


An Inside Look at the Hillary Clinton Inner Circle - Bloomberg Politics


Why Hillary Clinton’s Democratic Opponents Only Throw Softballs - TIME


Yoko Ono: “I Had an Affair with Hillary Clinton in the ’70s” - World News Daily Report

 

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The No More War Movement

Remarks at UNAC Conference, May 8, 2015.

This week I read an article by someone I have a lot of respect for and who I know to mean well, and who wrote about being a part of something called "the Less War Movement."

Now, in my analysis, war murders, it injures, it traumatizes, and it harms huge numbers of people, fuels hostility, makes the aggressor less safe, drains away wealth for both victim and aggressor, wastes resources that could have saved many more lives than war kills, devastates the natural environment, erodes civil liberties, turns police officers into occupying armies, destroys the rule of law, and corrupts morality beyond recognition. So I consider myself part of something I call the No More War Movement.

If I wanted only less war but still some war, that would mean that I believed some wars were good. But, then, wouldn't I want to make sure to keep the good wars and get rid of the bad ones? I mean, if I just demanded less war, and the wars were reduced or eliminated at random, we might get stuck with all the bad ones and none of the good ones. Wouldn't it make more sense to start an Only The Good Wars Movement?

But then you'd have to find some good ones, a crusade that carries most of its participants back 70 years in search of their most recent example -- an example that transforms into a nightmare monster once examined. An Only the Good Wars Movement ends up making as much sense as an Only the Good Rapes Movement or an Only the Good Child Abuse Movement. There are no good wars.

I suspect the reasoning behind proposing a so-called Less War Movement is actually that all wars are bad but it's more strategic to pretend otherwise. Of course if this were so and it could get us fewer wars, who would complain? But, in reality, once you've proposed that some wars are good, you're trapped inside the logic of the war machine. If even a single potential war is going to be good, why not make 110% sure -- indeed, why not make 1,000% sure -- of winning it? And that means weapons, and troops, and mercenaries, and flying killer robots, and personnel in 175 countries, and surveillance of the planet, and emergency authoritarian secrecy and power that generates more wars -- all of which, incidentally, are lost, not won.

On this Mother's Day weekend, recall Julia Ward Howe's Mother's Day Proclamation of 1870 which said, "From the bosom of the devastated earth a voice goes up with our own. It says: Disarm, disarm! The sword of murder is not the balance of justice. Blood does not wipe out dishonor, nor violence vindicate possession."

There's logic. There's passion. There's something to build a movement around. You can't build a movement around less war. You can't create a coherent agenda around "Hey Hey LBJ Please kill somewhat less kids today." Nobody's moved by "No justice, no peace. U.S. partially out of the Middle East."

It isn't the bad wars, whichever ones they may be, that do the major damage. It's the routine preparation in case of a future good war. The routine so-called non-war military spending is 10 times the war spending. It kills more by how it's not spent than by how it's spent. It's not spent on food, water, medicine, agriculture, and clean energy.

Baltimore City Schools spends $5,336 per student, while Maryland spends $38,383 per prisoner, and every man, woman, and child in Maryland and in the rest of the United States on average each, EACH spends $4,063 per year on the U.S. military — except those who refuse to pay. That the prisons and military do harm, rather than good, compounds the damage.

The routine weapons business, buying by the U.S. government, and marketing to dictatorships abroad is what ends up providing local police with the equipment, training, conditioning, and attitude of war. You can't sell all the weapons to Yemen and Saudi Arabia, with the latter blowing up the former's. You have to unload some of them on police ($12 million worth to Maryland), who then figure out what to do with them when you explain that protesters are low-level terrorists, and terrorists are by definition protesters. Many of the police who rioted in Baltimore were trained in Israel, and as Medea just noted in U.S. wars.

This weekend in 1944, in El Salvador, a nonviolent movement overthrew a dictator. The victory did not last, but on average such nonviolent victories last far longer than violent ones, and nonviolent action is more likely to result in a victory to begin with. Notice that I said nonviolent ACTION, not nonviolent inaction, which we have way more than enough of.

Nonviolent action is the answer to the question "What do you replace war with?" You replace it with tools that work better: economic, legal, and political structures that facilitate peace and disarmament, actions of resistance and constructive replacement that disrupt business as usual.

You know, I have to confess that I feel bad for the Baltimore Police. The Pentagon would have immediately announced that it broke its victim's spine for women's rights and the spread of democracy. The Baltimore Police had to get the Washington Post to claim that Freddie Gray broke his own spine. It's hard to have to claim something you yourself cannot believe. Like a drone pilot driving home for dinner, the Baltimore Police have been thrust from participation in a war on poor black people into trying to defend murder in a civilian world. In war you don't have to defend murder.

What yanked those killers out of a war and into a society under the rule of law? People in Baltimore standing up and acting.

Young people in Baltimore are as trapped in poverty as almost anywhere on earth. Yet we're told to look for the causes of anger in skin color or culture. In a parallel manner we're told that Western Asia, the so-called Middle East, is violent because of a religion. Yet it is as heavily armed as anywhere on earth, and armed principally by the United States weapons industry.

We're told to debate which type of violence to add to the mix, when the answer right in front of us is Disarm, disarm! The sword of murder is not the balance of justice! Stop arming people and beating people and denouncing them as violent.

When we push for disarmament with the logic of reality, that armaments bring wars, and wars bring enemies, and enemies bring the propaganda that brings more armaments, we break a vicious cycle. And perhaps we begin to get somewhere. Of course we won't achieve an instant result of zero armaments. The government will at best give us less armaments. But that is no reason to pre-compromise. Our job is to speak truth to power, not because it makes us feel better, but because it is believable.

Don't put your time, energy, or money into a less war movement, much less a less war candidate for president and for kill list decider in chief. Put it into disarmament, disarmament of Israel, disarmament of Egypt, disarmament of Saudi Arabia, of Bahrain, of Washington D.C., of police departments across this country, of secret agencies, of immigration patrols, disarmament of our households, disarmament of our minds.

We have more powerful tools. We just need to stand up and use them.

Peace.

An "Indispensable" Snub

Obama's Petulant WWII Snub of Russia

Editor Note:  Russia will celebrate the Allied victory over Nazism on Saturday without U.S. President Obama and other Western leaders present, as they demean the extraordinary sacrifice of the Russian people in winning World War II – a gesture intended to humiliate President Putin.

By Ray McGovern

President Barack Obama’s decision to join other Western leaders in snubbing Russia’s weekend celebration of the 70th anniversary of Victory in Europe looks more like pouting than statesmanship, especially in the context of the U.S. mainstream media’s recent anti-historical effort to downplay Russia’s crucial role in defeating Nazism.

All the President's Psychologists

by Debra Sweet       Credit goes to dissident psychologists for staying on the case for more than 10 years against official professional involvement with the US torture program. Stephen Soldz, Nathaniel Raymond and Steven Reisner released a report last week backing up their conclusions that  “The A.P.A. secretly coordinated with officials from the C.I.A., White House and the Department of Defense to create an A.P.A. ethics policy on national security interrogations which comported with then-classified legal guidance authorizing the C.I.A. torture program.” 

Yemen: Another Impoverished Country Crushed by US Bombs

By Debra Sweet           Six weeks of bombing by U.S. close ally Saudi Arabia has brought about a desperate situation in Yemen. The Saudi government said weeks ago it would reduce bombing, but instead has increased it. Reports that hospitals are shutting down for lack of fuel, and the expected loss of the whole telecommunications system will bring more danger for the people.

Larry Everest writes in Obama & U.S. Imperialism: Pushing Yemen Deeper into Hell:

Lessons Learnt from the American War on Vietnam

By Debra Sweet      It's worth thinking about how imperialist wars start; how they can end up; how opposition develops externally and domestically. Sometimes waging wars make the aggressor less stable. Sometimes they lose legitimacy. A lot depends on what the opposition does. In this week of anniversaries, let's look back.

New poem: Manure Cannon

BAM!

Echo, like thunder off the shell of the sky-dome.

We, all on the terrace, glance at each other,

Jump to action.

Everyone knows what to do.

Grab something quick,

Fast Track the Good Stuff

The U.S. Senate has been very concerned not to let peace with Iran slip into place too easily, even while a new war in Iraq and Syria proceeds without the formal pretense of Congress "authorizing" or rejecting it.

Both houses of Congress are interested in ramming through the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) on a fast track. The fast track procedure of rushing things through Congress or creating them without Congress seems to be reserved for the least popular ideas our government produces.

What if, instead, a fast track were set up for those items favored by a vast majority of the public, or required for the future habitability of the planet, but which meet resistance from campaign funders, lobbyists, and the corporate media?

Of course I'd rather have clean elections and a publicly accountable Congress if we can't have public initiatives and direct democracy. But in the absence of such utopias, why not use extreme anti-democratic measures to ram through the things people want rather than the things we'd protest if we found out about them? Why not slip one past the plutocrats rather than slipping one past the people? Why not go with voice votes, no debate, and no time to read the details on measures to demilitarize and protect the planet rather than on "trade" agreements that empower corporate lawyers to overturn laws?

I recently read this in an email newsletter from peace advocate Michael Nagler: "The other day I went to test-drive an electric car. When we got through some of the technicalities and were waiting for a red light the salesperson coming with me said, 'So what do you do?' Here it comes, I thought: 'I work with a nonprofit; (gulp, and) we're promoting nonviolence.' After a reflective pause she said quietly, 'Thank you.'"

I've often had that same experience, but increasingly I eagerly reply: "I work on abolishing war." That's what I replied recently in a sandwich shop here in Charlottesville called Baggby's. I didn't get a "thank you," but I got a question as to whether I had known Jack Kidd. I had never heard of Jack Kidd, but Jack Kidd, a retired two-star Air Force general who lived in Charlottesville, had been in Baggby's in the past debating the need to abolish war with some other bigwig general who favored keeping war and militarism going.

So, I read Kidd's book, Prevent War: A New Strategy for America. Of course, I think we need a strategy for earth, not for the United States, if we are going to end war. Kidd, who died in 2013, believed in 2000, when the book was published, that only the United States could lead the way toward peace, that the United States had always meant well, that war could be used to end war, and all sorts of things I can't bring myself to take seriously. And yet, believing everything he still believed, after "waking up" in the early 1980s, as he describes it, Kidd came to recognize the insanity of failing to work for the abolition of war.

This was a man who had bombed German cities in World War II; who believed he'd survived a particularly difficult mission during which he'd shot down lots of German planes, because he'd prayed to God who'd answered his prayer; who'd flown secret nuclear attack plans from Washington to Korea during the Korean war; who'd "served" as Chief of the Joint War Plans Branch and worked on plans for World War III; who believed in the Gulf of Tonkin attack; who had obeyed orders to knowingly fly his plane through nuclear clouds moments after bomb tests -- as self-human experimentation; and yet . . . and yet! And yet Jack Kidd organized retired U.S. and Soviet generals to work for disarmament at the height of the Cold War.

Kidd's book contains numerous proposals to move us away from war. One of them is to fast track disarmament agreements. For that idea alone, his book is worth reading. It's also worth giving to the most hard-core war supporters as a sort of a gentle nudge. It's also worth asking, I think, why Charlottesville has no memorial to this former General who's layed out a plan for peace when it has so many to those whose only accomplishment was losing the U.S. Civil War.

See You in New Jersey This Weekend

Friday, May 8 – Sunday, May 10, 2015

Empire Meadows (Clarion) Hotel
Secaucus, New Jersey

(30 minutes from New York City)

Learn more: http://www.unacconference2015.org

I'll be speaking there Friday evening, May 8, and hope to see you!

—David Swanson

Focus: Hillary Clinton - May 6, 2015


Hillary Clinton's Campaign Declares War Against 'Clinton Cash', with new website and a 42-page report - NationalJournal.com


VIDEO: New Clinton-Backed Web Site Called 'The Briefing': Fact-Checking "Clinton Cash" - YouTube


VIDEO: Media Matters' David Brock Calls "Clinton Cash" Allegations A Classic Smear Based On A 100 Percent Innuendo - MSNBC


Pro-Clinton group called Correct the Record: “Clinton Cash” Debunked - Correct The Record


Bill Clinton defends foundation dismissing the suggestion that  foreign donations influenced American policy - yahoo.com


VIDEO: Bill Clinton Defends Clinton Foundation's Foreign Money - NBC Nightly News


State Department Says No Evidence Donations Influenced Hillary Clinton - Bloomberg Politics


The Clintons, a luxury jet and their $100 million donor from Canada - The Washington Post


The Clintons Pressured Kazakhs To OK Uranium Deal - The Daily Caller


Clinton helped companies that donated to foundation profit off Africa - WashingtonExaminer.com


Boeing gave to Clinton causes after Hillary steered its Russian contract - WashingtonExaminer.com


Billionaire Tied to Russian Mob to Hold Fundraiser for Hillary Clinton - Washington Free Beacon


Hillary Clinton's final trip as secretary of state highlighted conflicts - WashingtonExaminer.com


Bill Clinton Amassed $104.9 Million From 542 Speeches - bayoubuzz.com


The Clintons Incurred Up To $7.4 Million In Capital Gains - The Daily Caller


The Clinton Foundation isn’t a “charity” in any normal sense of the word - Hot Air


New Judicial Watch Lawsuit over Clinton Cover-Up - Breitbart


VIDEO: Fact-Checking Hillary Clinton's Fact-Check Video - Bloomberg


Clinton Cash author: I like Marco Rubio (Audio interview with Peter Schweizer) - POLITICO


--------------------------------------------------

NBC/WSJ POLL: Hillary's unfavorable rating has increased 6% and just 25% of voters give her high marks for being honest - MSNBC


NBC/WSJ POLL: A detailed analysis of Clinton's numbers - NBC News.com


Times/CBS News POLL: Hillary Clinton’s Appeal Survives Scrutiny, her favorability rating has improved by 9% - NYTimes.com


POLLS: Hillary Clinton up or down? Two political surveys with opposite headlines - LA Times


IBD/TIPP POLL: Hillary Clinton Dogged By Trust Issues - Investors.com


WMUR Granite State POLL: Clinton leads but some Democrats looking for alternative, One-third of likely primary voters prefer Warren or Sanders - WMUR Home


Carly Fiorina: Hillary Clinton 'clearly is not trustworthy' - WashingtonExaminer.com


Hillary Clinton agrees to testify before Benghazi committee on attacks, personal email - Washington Times


Text of Clinton attorney David Kendall's letter to chairman of the Benghazi committee Trey Gowdy - scribd.com


Watchdog blows ethics whistle on Clinton, Reid, Senate Democrat meetings - WashingtonExaminer.com


Hillary monetizes Mother’s Day with call-from-Clinton contest - New York Post

 

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DISSOLVING FASCISM - Reflections 70 Years After the Fall of Nazi Germany

"The fascist madman cannot be made innocuous if [...] he is not tracked down in oneself; if we are not conversant with the social institutions that hatch him daily.”  (1)
-- Wilhelm Reich

With the conquest of Berlin carried out by the Red Army, the Third Reich and the Second World War ended in Europe on May 8th 1945. With the unconditional capitulation of Germany, one of the worst massacres in human history came to its end. What happened under Hitler breaks the categories of conventional thinking in such a way that it has not been possible to really grasp or work through this history to this day. The trauma of National Socialism lies undigested and unresolved in the suppressed psychological underground of the German society and its ramifications persist to this day.

Black man warns his young grandson about the police: A Black Child Fears Cops more than Criminals

By Linn Washington, Jr.

 

I was seething inside as I watched the live television coverage of the recent rebellion/riot in Baltimore as we witnessed yet another explosion caused by America’s historic failures to reign in abusive police. Then I received a text message that lead to a conversation that absolutely broke my heart.

The conversation was with my 11-year-old grandson, who himself was seething from what he saw going on in his hometown of Baltimore.

My grandson told me he was mad…mad because police “keep killing black men.”

When I probed further into his anger he said he feared for his own life -– not because of what might happen when he gets older because of what could happen even now if he encountered a police officer.

Michael Gould-Wartofsky: The New Age of Counterinsurgency Policing

In the part of Baltimore hardest hit by the recent riots and arson, more than a third of families live in  poverty, median income is $24,000, the unemployment rate is over 50%, some areas burnt out in the riots of 1968 have never been rebuilt, 

Chicago Protests "Hands Off Yemen - No More Wars For Empire!"

By Chicago World Can't Wait          World Can’t Wait Chicago joined a coalition of other organizations and concerned individuals on April 25 to condemn the U.S.-backed Saudi Arabian war on Yemen now underway. Called on short notice, it was good to see 50-75 people with banners and signs saying “Hands Off Yemen” and “Saudi Rulers Are War Criminals” and “No U.S. Intervention.”

Chicago Protests "Hands Off Yemen - No More Wars For Empire!"

By Chicago World Can't Wait          World Can’t Wait Chicago joined a coalition of other organizations and concerned individuals on April 25 to condemn the U.S.-backed Saudi Arabian war on Yemen now underway. Called on short notice, it was good to see 50-75 people with banners and signs saying “Hands Off Yemen” and “Saudi Rulers Are War Criminals” and “No U.S. Intervention.”

Chicago Protests "Hands Off Yemen - No More Wars For Empire!"

By Chicago World Can't Wait          World Can’t Wait Chicago joined a coalition of other organizations and concerned individuals on April 25 to condemn the U.S.-backed Saudi Arabian war on Yemen now underway. Called on short notice, it was good to see 50-75 people with banners and signs saying “Hands Off Yemen” and “Saudi Rulers Are War Criminals” and “No U.S. Intervention.”

What to say to people who drone on about how good drones are

by Debra Sweet    A few points on the U.S. drone war which will not surprise you, but should be in your arsenal of arguments for people who think drones are an acceptable form of mass murder:

Syria News - May 5, 2015


Nusra-led militants pound Hezbollah, Syria army posts near Lebanon border - THE DAILY STAR


Hezbollah and Syrian army determined to cut off access of ISIS and Nusra Front to any towns near the border - THE DAILY STAR


Lebanese Army Mobilizing to Avert Threats by Jihadists in Syria's Qalamoun - Naharnet


Lebanon Speaker Berri backs Qalamoun fight to oust jihadists - THE DAILY STAR


Sources: al-Nusra evacuates its positions in Qalamoun hills that are difficult to defend to avoid paying a high price - Al-Monitor


Nusra to use anti-tank weapons in Qalamoun battle - Islam Times


PHOTO: Jabhat al-Nusra is giving training in the use of 9M133 Kornet anti-tank guided missiles in the Qalamoun - Charles Lister on Twitter


'We’ll Die Before They Make Us Leave': Lebanese Christians Are Ready to Face the Islamic State on Syria's Border - VICE News


Specter of assassinations by jihadist groups revived in Lebanon - THE DAILY STAR


Relatives visit Lebanese captive on Arsal outskirts, one of 25 Lebanese servicemen being held hostage by the Nusra Front and ISIS since August - THE DAILY STAR


Qatar about to seal deal with Nusra to release Lebanese security officers in exchange for prisoners in Roumieh - An-Nahar


ISIS returns bodies of Lebanon soldier, civilian - THE DAILY STAR


Lebanese General Security arrests Tripoli's ISIS emir - THE DAILY STAR


How Al Qaeda's Syrian Affiliate Jabhat al Nusra Is Trying To Take Northern Lebanon - ibtimes.com


Syria army launches offensive on rebel attacks in regime bastion Latakia - Middle East Online


Pro-Assad forces strive for control of Southern Syria - ARA News


Assad army tightens siege of rebel bastion Goutha near Damascus - ZAMAN ALWSL


Syria: Assad regime accused of chlorine gas attack in Idib - ibtimes.co.uk


Al-Qaeda's Syrian affiliate Al-Nusra Front claimes responsibility for a suicide attack in Damascus - Yahoo News


Inside Aleppo: Syrian activists reveal kidnap and torture at hands of al-Nusra extremists - The Independent


VIDEO: Activists Reveal Torture At The Hands of Al-Nusra - LiveLeak.com


Syria moves to stabilize its ailing currency - The Salt Lake Tribune

 

---------------------------------------------------

De Mistura to kick off separate talks with rival Syria sides - THE DAILY STAR


Iran will take part in new Syria consultations, UN says - Fox News


US not opposed to Iranian participation in Syria talks, supports a political solution - middleeastmonitor.com


EU's Mogherini sees 'major role' for Iran in Syria talks - Yahoo News


Syrian Opposition Coalition: Participation in the Geneva Talks to Consider How To Get Rid of Assad - etilaf.org


Report: Iran Spends $35 Billion a Year to Prop Up Assad - Arutz Sheva


Syria's defense minister in Iran to step up fight against 'terrorists' - THE DAILY STAR


Iran to launch maritime shipping line with Syria - ARA News


CIA-Backed Rebels Fight Alongside al-Qaeda Wing in Northern Syria - Reuters


VIDEO: ICP Asks Syrian Coalition's Khoja of FSA Working With Nusra, He Says “Tactical Alliance" - YouTube


Army of Conquest backed by Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, Coalition comprises mostly Islamist groups, the most prominent being Nusra Front and Ahrar al-Sham - AFP


VIDEO: Syrian Rebels Hit Syrian Army Vehicle With TOW ATGM In Idlib - YouTube


The U.S. $500-million program to train anti-Islamic State fighters appears stalled - LA Times


VIDEO: Activists: 52 killed civilians in U.S.-led airstrike in Syria - YouTube


Pentagon: US Military Says Coalition Airstrikes Killed ISIS Fighters, Not Syrian Civilians - breitbart.com


Syrian Archbishop: Obama Must Stop ISIS' Slaughter of Christians (VIDEO) - Newsmax


Syria accuses Turkey of providing supporting fire and logistical help enabling "terrorist groups" to capture the Syrian city of Idlib - Reuters


Turkey May Have Found Syrian Horse To Back In Ahrar al Sham, But US Disagrees - ibtimes.com


Turkistan Islamic Party had significant role in recent Idlib offensive - The Long War Journal


Turkey Opposition Puts $16B Price Tag on Neighborhood Wars - VOA


Turkish military puts brakes on a Syrian intervention - Al-Monitor


Fertilizer, Also Suited for Bombs, Flows to ISIS Territory From Turkey - NYTimes.com


Syria crisis: Spooked by rebel gains, Jordan doubles down vs. Islamic State - CSMonitor.com


Palestinian Delegation to Meet With Syrian Government in Damascus - syrianobserver.com


The Defenders of Yarmouk, Pro-Assad Palestinian militias are fighting a grinding battle to the death against the Islamic State - Foreign Policy

 

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Talk Nation Radio: Kathy Kelly: Fog of War Is Not the Problem

https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/talk-nation-radio-kathy-kelly-fog-of-war-is-not-the-problem

Kathy Kelly co-coordinates Voices for Creative Nonviolence ( http://vcnv.org ) a campaign to end U.S. military and economic warfare. During each of fourteen trips to Afghanistan, since 2010, Kathy Kelly, has lived alongside ordinary Afghan people in a working class neighborhood in Kabul. She is just out of prison for having protested drone murders at Whiteman Airforce Base in Missouri. Kelly discusses the state of peace and war.

Total run time: 29:00

Host: David Swanson.
Producer: David Swanson.
Music by Duke Ellington.

Download from Archive or  LetsTryDemocracy.

Pacifica stations can also download from AudioPort.

Syndicated by Pacifica Network.

Please encourage your local radio stations to carry this program every week!

Please embed the SoundCloud audio on your own website!

Past Talk Nation Radio shows are all available free and complete at
http://TalkNationRadio.org

and at
https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/tracks

The U.S. Bill of Rights Rewritten to Match Reality

There just might be a big boost in government honesty soon, as both houses of Congress have now passed with two-thirds votes and sent to the states for ratification a potential 28th amendment to the U.S. Constitution bearing the unofficial title "The Truth in Advertising Amendment." This is the text as passed by Congress:

Amendment 28

Preamble: The first through tenth articles of amendment to the Constitution of the United States are hereby repealed.

1. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, apart from tax breaks for churches, and other than appropriate surveillance, entrapment, and drone strikes for members of any non-established religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof except where that exercise withholds taxes that fund war; or abridging the freedom of campaign bribery in any way or the freedom of speech from within adequate caged areas at an appropriate distance from potential listeners, unless that speech reveals wrongdoing by the government; or of the press cartel or of its right to propagandize for war; or the right of white people peaceably to assemble when not organizing a union, opposing a war, or protesting injustice, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances, and to peaceably contemplate the Government's wisdom in ignoring any demands.

2. A well-armed world, being necessary to the profits of the weapons makers, the right of the people, police, government, and foreign nations to keep and bear any weapon they can afford to purchase, shall not be infringed, nor facts about the damage done be openly discussed.

3. No soldier shall, in time of peace be educated in the optional, unnecessary, counterproductive, uncontrollable, murderous, and trauma-inducing nature of war, nor any war veteran be quartered in any house without the proper funding or loan to purchase or rent that house in a manner to be prescribed by law.

4. The right of white people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated much, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized, unless the Government deems it appropriate to collect any electronic or other communication, or to record or film any behavior, or to kidnap, imprison, torture, or murder any person.

5. No police officer shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger, in which cases fuggedaboutit; nor shall any white person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall any high-ranking official be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor any non-whistleblower be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law, except as stipulated in section 4; nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation, unless someone has smoked marijuana.

6. In all criminal prosecutions of extremely wealthy defendants, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.

7. In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty million dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the White House Office of Legal Counsel.

8. Excessive bail shall not be required of white people, nor excessive fines imposed on high-ranking officials, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted on non-whistleblowers, nor on anyone who has not been designated a military-aged male.

9. The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people, including the right to shop.

10. The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people, at the discretion of the President.

Speaking Events

2015

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