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Monthly Archives: October 2011

Drone State.

Congress is considering giving a portion of US land to drones – a chunk of land larger than many states.  Drones (unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAV’s) actually have their own caucus in Congress.  The caucus currently has 50 members; a full list of members can be read here:
http://www.auvsi.org/advocacy/uscongressionalcaucuses/unmannedsystemscaucus/

The Congressional drone caucus gets a shitload of money from lobbyists and insists that drones would be useful over US air space and that the increased production of drones for domestic use would create jobs, which, of course, is true.  Unfortunately, almost all the jobs creation ideas Congress comes up with involve the military, the manufacturing of weapons, or the operation of weapons.

Nick Mottern at truthout.org April 16, 2011:

The story of how planes without on-board pilots will gain entry into our crowded airspace, where birds are life threatening, possibly within the next three years, is one involving campaign contributions, jobs and fear. As we will see, safety appears not to be the top priority.

I became aware of the pro-drone legislation from a February 10, 2011, Syracuse Post Standard report that Sen. Charles Schumer (D-New York) was supporting an amendment to the pending Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization bill (S. 223) that would create test zones for the introduction of drones into general airspace.

Senator Schumer was interested in the pro-drone amendment because MQ-9 Reaper drones, killer drones that are flying over Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq, are stationed at Hancock Air Base near Syracuse. However, FAA safety restrictions have limited drone flights out of Hancock.

“If Schumer’s legislative move succeeds this week,” said the Post Standard, “it would help ensure the future of 1,215 jobs at the (air) base in Mattydale (New York) and potentially lead to millions of dollars in radar research contracts for local defense companies.”

Drones have a grisly war history of misidentification. For example, on April 11, 2011, The Los Angeles Times carried a story of how a failure of US Air Force drone operators at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada to accurately identify the enemy led to the deaths in February 2010 of at least 15 non-combatant Afghani men, the wounding of 12 more and the deaths of a woman and three children…

Drones like the Reaper are also used for assassination, killing people without trial or conviction, a violation of international law, compounded by the problem of misidentification.

The Reaper can also be used strictly for surveillance and there are a variety of drones that can perform either killer or surveillance functions. Drones are also being produced for commercial uses, which include scanning land and oceans for agricultural, mining and fishing enterprises…

We knew we were starting very late. On February 15, we presented a letter (appearing at the end of this article) at Senator Schumer’s Peekskill, New York, office urging him to abandon the drone amendment. He did not respond and his staff did not provide any information to us until well after the FAA reauthorization bill, with the pro-drone language embodied in an omnibus amendment, cleared the Senate on February 17.

According to Open Secrets.org, Senator Schumer received $10,000 for his 2010 re-election campaign from Lockheed Martin. Lockheed Martin is one of at least 50 companies making drones of various sizes and types and it produces Hellfire missiles, used by drones and other aircraft. Lockheed employs 2,200 in Syracuse.

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) also supported the drone amendment, saying in a press release: “This bill is about making southwest Ohio a critical part of this high-growth initiative. UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) could be used for a host of important purposes, from patrolling the border, to surveying Kandahar province, to combating drug smuggling and it’s critical that Wright-Patterson Air Force Base plays a key role in their development and testing. I’ve worked on a bipartisan basis – first with (former) Sen. (George) Voinovich and now with Sen. (Rob) Portman – to enable the Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright Patterson and the Springfield National Guard to test unmanned aerial systems in Southwest Ohio.”

Among other Senate supporters of the drone amendment were Sens. Kent Conrad (D-North Dakota) and John Hoeven (R-North Dakota), whose state seeks to be a center of drone development and where the University of North Dakota claims to be the first in offering a four-year degree program for drone pilots “hoping to take the sticks in a field expected to swell to a $20 billion industry over the next decade.”

Senator Hoeven said on the Senate floor, in support of the amendment:

“We’re already flying UAVs in airspace all over the world. Now we need to open the skies for them at home to make our nation more secure, our communities safer and our economy more dynamic, creating jobs and opportunities in our country. If we don’t you can be sure other nations will.”

http://www.truth-out.org/lobbying-report-drones-fly-through-congress-enter-us-skies/1302937200

“We need to open the skies for them at home.”   Why?  Why do we need to do that?  For what purpose, exactly?  Drones are used for surveillance or bombing what is underneath them.  What would be under a drone airborne over the US that particularly needs extraordinary surveillance or bombing?  One can only assume that Senator Hoeven thinks that US citizens need the same sort of protection from each other that the Pentagon and CIA seem to think the US needs from terrorists abroad. The fact that we are constantly killing innocent people overseas with this technology does not concern the Pentagon, the CIA, or Congress; for some reason, they think it would be a good idea to do the same here.  Our right to privacy is no deterrent to these power-mad goons, either.   To be fair, however, it must be pointed out that the American people appear quite willing to give up those rights voluntarily.  “We’re already flying UAVs in airspace all over the world.”  How casually admitted, this violation of the airspace over sovereign nations.  And the unspoken assumption is that since we are already violating the sovereignty of nations abroad and the rights (and lives) of the citizens in them, why the hell not do it here at home?  The UN considers drones to be asymmetrical warfare and condemns the use of them.  However, 56 countries now have drone technology and it is unlikely that the world will suddenly return to a state of sanity.  (The UN also condemns the use of depleted uranium, white phosphorus, and cluster bombs –  most countries have become signatories to the ban agreements on those weapons, with the exception of the US and Great Britain, who are, after all, exceptional in all cases.  For that matter, the UN condemns the use of mercenaries.)

But drones are currently used over both borders of the US and we can assume they are here to stay.  Now we need more pilots for all these drones.  And that is where the University of North Dakota comes in (mentioned in the above cited article) with its new 4-year degree program in drone assassination piloting.  No doubt we will see a few more colleges offering the program soon enough, and no shortage of students hoping to learn how they, too, can spy on and perhaps bomb their fellow citizens remotely.

October 27 2011, reporting from Washington — “The Homeland Security Department is adding three surveillance drone aircraft to a domestic fleet chiefly used to patrol the border with Mexico even though officials acknowledge they don’t have enough pilots to operate the seven Predators they already possess….”

The complete article can be viewed at:
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-us-drone-20111027,0,1704002.story

Now, Congress would like to take over public and private land to create a massive, state-sized drone base and training/testing area in Colorado.  Air space above the land base would bleed out to include 60 million acres of airspace over both Colorado and New Mexico.

David Swanson has written a good article about this on warisacrime.org.  At the end of his article he gives a link to not1moreacre.org, a site developed to oppose this action.  I include his link within the excerpt of his article:

Weaponized UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles), also known as drones, have their own caucus in Congress, and the Pentagon’s plan is to give them their own state as well.

Under this plan, 7 million acres (or 11,000 square miles) of land in the southeast corner of Colorado, and 60 million acres of air space (or 94,000 square miles) over Colorado and New Mexico would be given over to special forces testing and training in the use of remote-controlled flying murder machines. The full state of Colorado is itself 104,000 square miles. Rhode Island is 1,000 square miles. Virginia, where I live, is 43,000 square miles.

The U.S. military (including Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines) is proceeding with this plan in violation of the public will, new state legislation on private property rights, an exceptionally strong federal court order, and a funding ban passed by the United States Congress, and in the absence of any approved Environmental Impact Statement. Public pressure has successfully put the law on the right side of this issue, and the military is disregarding the law….

I would ask opponents of drone warfare to consider the likely impact of setting aside 60 million acres of air space for testing drones.

“We cannot allow the sacrifice of our democracy to politicians who are bought by military contractors,” says Aguerre. “If they are able to get this 51st state for robotic warfare, I think the economy will be irretrievably lost. These are unbelievably beautiful and pristine lands. Our rural areas are where the genetically modified seeds are being planted, where the lands and mountains are being mined, and where the military is going to destroy an area the size of a state, because the rural people are so few. Gary Hart was able to attack the last short grass prairie without political cost.”

Why is there no political cost? Because “we can’t get the word out.”

Let’s help get the word out by sharing this link: http://not1moreacre.org

http://warisacrime.org/content/51st-state-armed-robotic-drones

 

Not1moreacre is sistered with the Purgatoire, Apishapa, and Comanche Grasslands Trust to work on this specific issue.  They have managed to hold the hostile take-over of these lands at bay for now, but the plans to commandeer this land have been in the works for a long time, most vigorously pursued since 9/11.  The Pentagon and contractors who want this land will not stop their efforts – they want this land and they are unrelenting.  They have a significant number of Congressmen already working in their behalf and an endless supply of lobbyists from the weapons manufacturers (think of them as army ants) bringing bribes to encourage those Congressmen and lure others to their cause.

The region under threat contains:
  • some of the richest concentrations of the human record in the American West, reflecting 12,000 years of human experience in the region;
  • unique bioregions of canyonlands, forested mesas, grasslands and riparian systems providing habitat for diverse flora and fauna found nowhere else on Earth and the largest block of native prairie remaining on the High Plains;
  • restored Dust Bowl lands – Comanche, Kiowa and Rita Blanca National Grasslands — offering robust safe haven to threatened and endangered species of plants and animals, including rare insects and reptiles yet to be named;
  • wild rivers and complex wetlands vital to native fish, migrating birds, unique wildlife and environmental health;
  • Santa Fe National Historic Trail, the 19th century transportation route that connected Missouri with Santa, Fe, New Mexico, with historic ranches, stage stops and trading posts illustrative of the American Southwest;
  • the longest “dinosaur freeway” in North America, marking where 150 million years ago many different species of dinosaurs traveled along the shoreline of an interior seaway from present-day Colorado to New Mexico and Oklahoma.  [from not1moreacre.org website]

 This land also happens to contain some of the traditional sacred sites of the area’s Indian tribes and some of the most beautiful wilderness camping areas in the US.  Not to mention the privately-held property of local ranchers which is under threat of governmental seizure.

The facts that this area is sparsely populated, fairly accessible to the new airport outside Denver (speculated to be the site of large underground bunkers to house certain important government and military personnel in the case of a national emergency), and on the “high ground” (always a good strategy for the war planners), are probably coincidental.

******

So efficient, these drones.  Killed 50 people in one day, Thursday, 27 Oct., in 3 different countries.  None in America.  Yet.  Bet you can’t wait until we get some of this action.

Nearly fifty people have been killed in separate US assassination drone strikes in Somalia, Pakistan’s northwestern tribal region bordering Afghanistan and Yemen in a single day.

On Thursday, 13 people were killed and several others were injured when the US military launched an attack using a remote-controlled unmanned aerial vehicle on the outskirts of Bilis Qooqaani town, which is located 448 kilometers (278 miles) southwest of the Somali capital Mogadishu.
The US also launched drone strikes on the outskirts of Afmadow city, situated in the middle of the Juba region and 620 kilometers (385 miles) south of Mogadishu, on Thursday. At least 25 people were killed in the aerial attack.

In addition, six people were killed in a non-UN-sanctioned US drone attack on Pakistan’s South Waziristan tribal region near the border with Afghanistan.

According to Pakistani officials, two unmanned aircraft fired six missiles at a vehicle traveling through Tura Gula village in the Azam Warsak area on Thursday.

Three people were also killed in attacks carried out by unmanned US aircraft in southern Yemen on Thursday.

A Yemeni government official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that the drone strikes targeted Shaqra village in Abyan Province. He added that six people were also injured in the aerial attacks.

The US says its remote-controlled unmanned drones only target militants. However, reports have shown that most of the people killed in the drone strikes are civilians.

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/206934.html

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The depraved.

17 January, 1960, Republic of Congo.  The Republic of Congo had finally gained independence from Belgium.  In the first legal election the newly formed republic held, Patrice Lumumba was elected Prime Minister.  He had a vision of a united Congo and an African continent united for the benefit of the African people.  This desire – for all of Africa to be free of colonialism – cost him his life.  The US and Belgium both attempted to assassinate him.  Ten weeks after taking office, he was deposed by a CIA/Belgian coup, arrested and killed by firing squad.  In an attempt to hide what they had done, the Belgians ordered that his body be exhumed, dismembered, and dissolved in acid.  Lumumba was replaced with the preferred Mobutu, who ran the country, which he renamed Zaire, like a kleptocracy, looting billions over his thirty-plus years of rule.
In 1975, the Church Commission found that Allen Dulles, CIA Chief under D. D. Eisenhower, had ordered Lumumba’s assassination after receiving these orders directly from Eisenhower, and several attempts were made on Lumumba’s life prior to the final successful murder.

9 October, 1967,  Bolivia.  Che Guevara is killed by the government of Bolivia after being tracked and captured with the help of CIA operatives.  Che desired a world revolution to end the inequalities and poverty resulting from colonialism and the capitalist system imposed globally by the Western countries.  He was born in Argentina, although he is most frequently associated with the Cuban Revolution.  To match the story already prepared by the Bolivian government, his executioners were told to “aim carefully” to make it appear as though he had died during a gun fight.  While the US may have preferred that he be brought to trial, the Bolivian government felt such a trial would be a “drama”, and so his murder was allowed to take place clandestinely.  His hands were cut off so as to allow fingerprint identification, and his body viewed by several official witnesses and then exhibited to the public of the small town where his body had been taken.  He was buried in an unmarked mass grave with 6 of his comrades, who had also been killed at the same time as he was, but in 1997, the grave was found and his remains interred in a mausoleum in Cuba.

It would take months to chronicle such clandestine CIA operations around the world – I will stop at these two.  How far we have come.  We no longer operate in secret.  Now, our government openly assigns killing operations to the CIA, who run our drone killing programs for us all around the globe.  Gone are the days of ignorance, when the CIA practiced its black arts behind the scenes, killing presidents, senators, civil rights leaders and citizens at home (they have been implicated in the deaths of John and Bobby Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X) and hundreds abroad.   It might be thought an odd thing for the CIA to be in charge of and running what are clearly military actions when they are not part of the US military and do not answer to the “commander in chief” or to Congress –  if indeed one thought about these matters.  We mere civilians do not think about much at all any more.  They no longer hide what they do and what their aims are.  They act in our names, however, so a differentiation between “them” and “we” is rather moot.  Witness the murders of Anwar al Awlaki and his son, Abdel; both killed by drone bombs ordered by President Obama, both American citizens placed on the presidential “hit list”.  We drone-bomb multiple “targets” in multiple countries every day.  Everyone knows we are doing this – it is no secret, although the particular names of the “targets” and the actual numbers of civilians thus “accidentally” killed might be.

Witness the murder of Moammar Ghaddafi yesterday.  We did not hide that our intent was to kill him.  Even more, we did not hide the fact that we intended to take over his country by force and take control of Libya’s resources and money.  Far from being a “humanitarian intervention”, the plan was very openly and plainly the forcible taking of a country and the killing of its leader almost before the ink dried on the UN resolution.  Within a few months, the US and NATO had ended the pretense of protecting civilian lives in Libya.  One by one, the depraved leaders of the various governments tested the waters, announcing little departures to the plan for Saving Libyan Civilians and Imposing a No-Fly Zone; with each new interpretation of the UN resolution, they hoped for what they in fact got: complete indifference from the global media and populations in their home countries.

They [we] stole the funds from Libya’s nationalized bank owned by the people of Libya and from the African Union Bank, set up by Ghaddafi to put an end to IMF debt for several African countries.  They put an end to the plans for Africa to own its own satellite system and be freed from onerous user fees imposed by the Europeans.  Then they [we] began bombing.  Not content with bombing the Libyan air force and other “military targets”, NATO forces began dropping depleted uranium bombs in sweeps, razing civilian homes, schools, hospitals, orphanages, television stations, power plants, food storage areas, mosques.  Town after town was demolished, tens of thousands of people killed or maimed, infrastructure destroyed completely.  The NTC, a small, motley group of CIA operatives, al Qaeda and former Ghaddafi ministers seeking power for themselves, was let loose to shoot, destroy, loot, and kill at will.  Information was leaked early on that the rebels were, in fact, CIA assets.  There was no outcry from the media at all.  It was leaked that we were arming the rebels and had forces on the ground (had had since before the war started) against the limits of the resolution.  No comment from the press.  In fact, the No-fly Zone had become an all out rout of Libya, yet required no authorization from the US Congress.  It was not a “war”, Obama said.  And, indeed, it is not.  It is simply the complete destruction of a sovereign nation, helpless in the face of the unified NATO countries determined to kill it off.

The rebels began an ethnic cleansing of the black Africans within Libya.  This was blamed on Ghaddafi.  Such a ridiculous accusation might have been scoffed at by a sane world: we are no longer sane.  NATO bombed the Great Man-made River, leaving millions of Libyans without water, a war crime.  The press passed on the chance to comment.  International aid agencies were kept from entering decimated towns to bring food, water, and medical supplies, another war crime.  No mention in the media.

In late July, the NATO countries “recognized” the NTC as the “legitimate government” of Libya, and in mid-September, the UN did the same.  This made it so clear that regime change was the goal that several former diplomats warned against the illegal, forced imposition of a new, unelected government upon the people of Libya.  Few, if any, listened to them.  Apparently we no longer abide by international law.  In August, the US announced it had put a two million dollar bounty on Ghaddafi’s head; wanted, dead or alive.  Beyond any reach of law or legal niceties now, we had simply become global mafioso.

Sarkozy, Cameron, and Obama began dividing the spoils of the country while the bombing still continued.  So much goes to the French companies (the country that bombs the most, gets the most), so much for British, Italian, and American corporations.  Sarkozy and Cameron baldly stated that the “Libyan war provides a new model” for these sorts of interventions. While several towns were (and still are) being besieged (think Dresden, think middle ages, think illegal under international law), John McCain took a few select Senators on a tour to show off the winnings.

While Libyans were being picked off one by one as they tried to escape cities under constant bombardment and black Africans were being rounded up and taken to detention camps to be tortured and killed by the NTC, as they still are, the Pentagon AFRICOM commander, Gen. Carter Ham, was giving a press conference about the methods in use.  “The question for us now is how we sustain that [the practice of dropping bombs and Tomahawks] so if we have to do this again, we’d start from a higher plateau.”

Two days ago in Tripoli, Hillary Clinton announced, in remarks that would have shocked diplomatic circles not many years ago, that this would not be over until Ghaddafi was captured or killed.  It was assumed that she needed to give no reassurance that this was not an invasion begun for the purpose of regime change.  The media no longer asks if this is all legal and above-board; they know it is not.  And they are fine with that.  They down wid it.  It appears we all are.  Upon receiving the phone call yesterday confirming Ghaddafi’s death, Clinton turned to some gathered reporters and cackled, “We came, we saw, he died.”  She laughed giddily before turning away.  [This scene was videotaped by a reporter and posted on youtube.  It will doubtless be scrubbed from the internet shortly.  See bottom of article for link to video.]

Yesterday, NATO bombed a convoy attempting to leave Sirte.  No-one will ask why we were drone-bombing cars as they tried to evacuate the city – after the civilians had been told to leave by the besieging army of NTC.  Ghaddafi was wounded in the air attack, captured alive, but quickly murdered rather than brought to trial on whatever charges the NATO countries could dream up.  His death was videotaped.  In the US and all across the internet, media outlets which had declined to show the photos of the hanging of Saddam Hussein as “too lurid”, wouldn’t show pictures of those tortured in Abu Ghraib for being “too disturbing” and lamented the release of pictures showing American soldiers playing with the remains of dead Afghans, displayed the tapes and photos of the wounded, dying, or dead Ghaddafi all day.  Obama, members of Congress, and pundits all lewdly leered at the pictures and talked about what a stunning victory this was for Libya.  A victory.  This is so bizarre as to be incomprehensible.  Ghaddafi was loved by the majority of Libyans.  His approval ratings were constantly in the high 80’s (percentile).  Born in a tent, he refused to live in a house until every Libyan had a house.  He brought water to the desert and managed finances in Libya in such a way as to offer free education and healthcare to all of his countrymen.  The living standards, literacy rate, and longevity of Libya’s people were the highest in Africa, the infant mortality rate the lowest.  Libya surpassed the US and European countries in many quality of life standards.  We thought they should no longer have these things.  It was Ghaddafi who had the vision of a modern Libya and brought universities and hospitals, roads, businesses, and houses to the country.  Yet, in words of propaganda so blatant as to make the mind reel, editorials in the US media now claim that we will “rebuild the infrastructure that Ghaddafi systemically tore down over his 46 years of rule”.  How can any newspaper editor allow the printing of such a diametric opposite to the truth?  It was Ghaddafi who built these things, and we who destroyed them.  This is what we thought was better than what they had.  This is the leader we thought we should murder.

Yesterday, Senator Lindsay Graham found a reporter with a camera to film him announcing in grave tones that Libya’s new [unelected] government has promised to “repay every dime we spent bringing them to this day”.  The IMF and World Bank have promised loans with interest to help the Libyans rebuild what we destroyed (now that they have no money because we stole it all) and we are assured that the Libyans will pay us for the bombs we used to tear down the entire infrastructure of their country.  Not content with invading and destroying Libya, and killing their president, we now warn other nations that this is the new way forward, that they are next in the Pentagon’s planned Long War.  We are not hiding this; in fact, we strut and brag like gladiators after a particularly savage kill.

The Guardian reports today:

President Barack Obama hailed the lifting of the “dark tyranny” over Libya after the new government confirmed Muammar Gaddafi had been killed, issuing a warning to other dictators in the Middle East – and particularly Syria – that they could be next.

Although Obama did not name Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, it was he Obama had in mind when he said the rule of the iron fist in the Middle East is inevitably coming to an end. Those leaders that try to deny the push for democracy will not succeed, he predicted…

The death of Gaddafi immediately raised speculation in the US that the same military model – the use of US air power combined with rebel forces on the ground and special forces from Europe – could be used again in Syria.

Vice-president Joe Biden described the military model as a “prescription” for the future, while White House spokesman Jay Carney, when asked about Syria, said Assad had lost his legitimacy to rule.

The former Nato commander, Wesley Clark, asked if the same strategy could be used in Syria, replied: “Could be.” He told CNN that every country had to be approached differently: “Syria is going to be different from Libya, but it shows Nato is capable of a sustained effort.”

Obama, facing re-election next year, chalked up Libya as another foreign policy success to place alongside the killing in May of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden..

Biden, speaking hours before Obama, adopted a clearly partisan approach to news of the dictator’s death, bluntly contrasting the approach of the Obama administration to Libya with George Bush’s in Iraq.

“In this case, America spent $2bn total and didn’t lose a single life. This is more of the prescription for how to deal with the world as we go forward than it has been in the past,” he said…

This is where we let ourselves be led.  We are in a circle of Hell heretofore reserved for the rapists and child molesters and murderers.  We ogle death porn, while accepting as a given that the country we just ruined will pay us back for the very bombs we ruined it with.

Libya will descend into civil war now, the warring factions of “rebels” seeking primacy in the New Libya.  We will next turn to Syria, Pakistan, Yemen and Iran, to bring the same gifts of death and destruction, debt and corporate looting.  Having gotten away with the brazen savage attack on Libya, we will not even seek a UN “resolution” for the next country we set ablaze.

In the meantime, Sirte is still under siege.  There is no electricity, food, or water.  The hospitals report at least a thousand deaths a day due to lack of medicine and supplies and a shortage of doctors – many of whom fled weeks ago.  The Red Cross and international aid groups are blocked from entering the town.  The religious leaders issued a fatwah (a religious statement) two days ago, saying that in these unusual and unexpected times, the people trapped within the town will be forgiven for eating their dogs and cats to avoid starvation – such acts usually considered sin by followers of Islam.

How far we have come.  As we Americans cheer and leer at the death we have wrought, we lose our collective humanity and become something else.  Something far short of human.  Incapable of feeling shock or shame, unburdened by law or diplomacy, gleeful in our blood lust.  We are the ones who cheer now when politicians promise to end Social Security for the elderly and we clap wildly when someone suggests that the uninsured should be allowed to die in the streets.  We laugh when protesters are maced by overzealous police and beg our leaders to take away any monetary aid, scant though it may be, for the unemployed and poor.  Depraved and indifferent, led by the insane and cruel.

 

Update:  video of H. Clinton; “We came, we saw, he died.”

 
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Posted by on October 21, 2011 in drones, Libya, MIC, State Dept/diplomacy, Yemen

 

The death of Abdel al Awlaki.

The United States just conducted numerous drone attacks, all in one day, in both Yemen and Pakistan, killing scores of human beings.  I will focus on the massacre in Yemen for now.  We will not know most of their names, nor the reasons for which they were executed.   One name we do know, however, is that of Abdel al Awlaki, the son of Anwar al Awlaki, who was murdered two weeks ago.  Anwar was an American citizen living in Yemen and one of several Americans on Obama’s hit list.  Another American, Samir Khan, was killed at the same time Anwar was.  The US had brought no charges against Anwar, because there was no proof of anything he had done that was actually illegal.  He apparently wrote a lot of screeds against the US on the internet, but that is free speech protected by the first amendment, and therefore not a crime.  He was suspected of encouraging terrorists to act out, but there was such scant evidence of this that the US was incapable of bringing formal charges.  It doesn’t matter, in any case, since it is against the law to execute someone without a trial conducted openly after charges are brought and an arrest made.  That is the legal order in which things are done.  In the case of Anwar, an American citizen, we suspected he was a “bad dude” and simply assassinated him.

We have now killed his son, Abdel, in Yemen.  Abdel was an American by birth-right citizenship.  According to Reuters news, Abdel was 16 years old.  There were a total of five separate drone attacks in Yemen Friday night, killing a total of 24 people.  You will note a few discrepancies in the article cited below, particularly with regards to the spelling of Abdel’s name, his age, and the number killed; this was the first of the news stories available about these murders and new information is now coming out.  I have made a few notes of my own about this article, which are contained within brackets.

SANAA, Yemen (AP) – American drone strikes in southern Yemen have killed nine al-Qaeda-linked militants, including the media chief for the group’s Yemeni branch and the son of a prominent U.S.-born cleric slain in a similar attack last month, government officials and tribal elders said Saturday….

The airstrikes late Friday in the southeastern province of Shabwa pointed to Washington’s growing use of drones to target al-Qaeda militants in Yemen. The missile attacks appear to be part of a determined effort to stamp out the threat from the group, known as al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which U.S. officials have said is the terror network’s most active and most dangerous branch.

The Yemeni Defense Ministry identified the slain media chief as Egyptian-born Ibrahim al-Bana. Tribal elders in the area also said the dead included Abdul-Rahman al-Awlaki, the 21-year-old son of Anwar al-Awlaki, a Muslim preacher and savvy Internet operator who became a powerful al-Qaeda recruiting tool in the West. He, along with another propagandist, Pakistani-American Samir Khan, were killed in a Sept. 30 U.S. drone attack….

[Note how al Awlaki is a “savvy recruiting tool and propagandist”, but no mention is made of any actual and chargeable crimes.  That is because there weren’t any.  Both al Awlaki’s and Khan’s citizenship are blurred by referring to “American-born” and “Pakistani-American” – both were American citizens.]

The tribal elders, who spoke Saturday on condition of anonymity because they feared reprisals, said four other members of the al-Awlaki clan and another local militant were also killed in the same drone attack. There was no immediate confirmation of the younger al-Awlaki’s death from Yemeni authorities.

[The word “clan” is a bit foreign to American ears.  It means Awlaki’s extended family.  We targeted his family, presumably for simply being related to the man.  We illegally and wantonly assassinated this man and now seek to rub out his family with the flimsiest of excuses – some of them might be “militants” or “suspected” al Qaeda.  In the particular case of Abdel, his child, there are absolutely no excuses even offered.  You will note there is no mention of his “suspected” activities, nor one word about his possible affiliation with any terrorist group.  Go back and re-read the third paragraph of the article: the words “Muslim preacher”, “recruiting tool”, “propagandist” all refer to the boy’s father, Anwar al Awlaki.  I assume they are used in this particular way in an attempt to obfuscate the fact that there was nothing to say about Abdel, aside from his relationship to his father.  These words are also obviously used to imply something sinister or criminal about Awlaki, but none of these colorful descriptors is in any way indicative of an actual crime.]

Security officials said the drone strike was one of five [ONE of FIVE! We are bombing the crap out of these people.]  carried out overnight by American drones on suspected al-Qaeda positions in Shabwa and the neighboring province of Abyan in Yemen’s largely lawless south. They said two more militants were killed and 12 wounded in other strikes in the two provinces.

The first strike late Friday targeted a house in the Azan district of Shabwa, but hit just after al-Qaeda militants had a meeting in the building, security officials and tribal elders said.

[I guess it was okay to hit a residence – someone’s home – because at some point earlier in the day, some al Qaeda “suspects” had been in it. Or near it.  Or in the same country as it.  Or something.]

They said a second strike then targeted two sport utility vehicles in which al-Bana and the six others were traveling, destroying the vehicles and leaving the men’s bodies charred. It was not clear whether other participants in the meeting were targeted in separate strikes…

[And trust me, nobody in the media will care enough to ask.]

http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/story/2011-10-15/yemen-militants-drone-strike/50784330/1?csp=34news

Abdel was an American by birth-right.  He was a 16-year-old boy.  He was the third American abroad assassinated by the Obama administration in less than a month.  None of the three had any charges brought against them, none of the three had committed any indictable crimes.  Supposedly, you cannot be killed based on “Suspicion of Unsavory Activity”.  Maybe you do not care about the fact that all the humans we are drone-bombing are only suspected of some activity or another; that most reside in countries we are not technically at war with, meaning they are not enemy combatants; that none are wearing the uniform of an enemy army; that many of them are not even suspected of one damn thing – they are civilians caught in the bombing by mistake.  Collateral damage, as it were, and completely innocent of even the now-executable crime of being a “suspect”.  Maybe you don’t care because their names are foreign, sound Muslim, or because they are nameless altogether – humans not worth giving a name to by the disinterested media who only report the numbers of “suspected militants” or “civilian bystanders” without bothering to find out or report their names.  If you do not care who they are, I am not talking to you.  You are not a fellow human.

You should at least be concerned, however, that our government is now murdering American citizens based entirely on speculation about their activities.  If that doesn’t bother you, I am not talking to you.  You are not only not a fellow human, you are not a fellow American.

Abdel-Rahman al-Awlaki.  Say his name.  16 years old.  An American boy.  Had he lived here in the US, he would not have been old enough to vote or to drink.  Say his name and think of your child and allow yourself to wonder if your American child will one day soon be blown to pieces by a drone buzzing overhead with its deadly ammunition – simply because someone (your President?  Some CIA official?) suspects your child of … something.  No charges brought, no trial, no sentencing.  Just an execution and a phone call telling you to come pick up your child’s charred body parts.

Abdel-Rahman al-Awlaki.  Say his name.  Bow your head in shame that we have allowed our country to reach such a level of overt criminality and lawlessness.  It is unspeakable.

 
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Posted by on October 16, 2011 in civil rights, drones, MIC, Yemen

 

Live free and/or die.

In case anyone was wondering why the US gov’t went to such absurd lengths to concoct a bizarre and obviously false “Iranian terrorist coming to attack us and our friends in the embassy of the House of Saud on US soil”, here is the story that will explain the timing, the heated Fear Factor in the MSM about the “Iranian terrorist”, and the real reason behind the sudden appearance of this Texasusedcarsalesman/Iranian mad-dog terrorist:

http://www.tehrantimes.com/index.php/economy-and-business/1748-1st-oil-shipment-sold-on-iran-oil-bourse

Here is Pepe Escobar showing how utterly absurd the “plot” was.  The whole point of this ridiculous exercise is to ramp up sympathy for the House of Saud and to attempt to demonize Iran further.    The bloodthirsty Condaleeza Rice, George Bush, and Dick Cheney Susan Rice, Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton would love nothing more than another US war.  Just because death is what they do best.

 

And lest you be under the mistaken impression that Occupy Wallstreet was having any sway with Congress, we give you three brand new trade deals, guaranteed to off-shore more US jobs.  Congress: screwing the public because we can.  Yes, we can.

Finally, a tiny, small-print note about home foreclosures in the 3rd Q.  They increased.  But this is a GOOD thing, citizens, because it “frees up the housing market”, “eases doubts and concerns”, and does other goodly good things which are much too complicated to go into right now.  Don’t worry your pretty little heads about it.  Anyway, this is merely a test to see if you’ve all forgotten about the MERS bank and robo-signing issues.  What’s that you say?  “What MERS bank?”  Oh, good.  You HAVE forgotten about it.  That’s what we were hoping for by failing to mention in any article about foreclosures that almost all of them are still taking place within the MERS system.


http://news.yahoo.com/us-foreclosure-activity-edged-higher-3q-040216885.html

What is the plan here?  The CIA and the Pentagon have some plans for us, for sure.  There IS someone in charge, after all; don’t fret about that, citizens.

Article from warisacrime.org: “Crazy Horse – Back on the Warpath”, a speech by Bruce Gagnon.
Quotes from the article:

…A few years ago during the Bush administration I was watching one of my favorite TV programs, C-SPAN, and I saw a startling program.  They introduced the speaker at a military conference as Donald Rumsfeld’s strategy guy.  His name was Thomas Barnett, who at that time was an instructor at the Naval War College in Rhode Island.  He wrote a book called the Pentagon’s New Map.  First, I want to say something about the audience.  It was a huge auditorium.  High-level military brass from all the services was present, and in the introduction they said high-level CIA people were there as well.  Barnett was there to lay out for the highest levels of the military the new Pentagon military strategy.

Barnett essentially said this: Because of corporate globalization of the world’s economy, every different country is going to have a different role in the future, a different job. We’re not going to make things in America anymore.  We’re not going to have jobs in America because it’s cheaper for the corporations to go overseas, maximize profits internationally, to build cars and clothes and shoes, refrigerators, computers, everything else. Our role under corporate globalization will be security export. 

Thus it’s no coincidence that today in America the number one industrial export product of our nation is weapons, and when weapons are your number one industrial export product, what is your global marketing strategy for that product line?

Barnett went on to say that there would essentially be two military services in the future.  Because of space technology, the old distinction between Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines, he said, is being rubbed out.   One he called “leviathan” whose job would be to go in, shock and awe, do a complete destruction of a particular country, and the other service will be “systems administration,” sys-ad he called it.  He said these troops would never come home.  After we’ve gone in with leviathan, completely destroyed a country, systems administration will go in and run the country.  Yes, they’ll set up a puppet government, of course, like Libya or in Afghanistan, but systems administration will run the country and will never come home.  In fact, just about two years ago I read that Lockheed Martin had gotten a huge contract from the Pentagon to begin training the new generation of systems administration warriors.

Barnett went on to say that young people in America, the angry, young men who are whiling away their time because they have no jobs would be perfect for leviathan because they’re angry, they’re connected to computer games, they’ll be good at doing things like flying drones and he basically described the militarization of our culture.  Last year I saw a manifestation of this.  I heard a rumor that Sears had a new line of kids’ clothes, and I went to see it with a friend because I really had to check this out, and what I discovered when I walked into the kids’ section of Sears was a complete display of military uniforms turned into kids clothing.  The message to the younger generation is this is all you’re going to be.  This is your future in America, either flipping hamburgers or coming into the military.

The other thing that Barnett talked about which is very important is the Pentagon’s new map.  He said there is part of the world today that is not submitting to the authority of corporate globalization.  He called it the non-integrating gap, and he clearly identified it.  He named the Middle East, where, of course, we are in Iraq today with our permanent military bases and these people won’t be coming home.  Central Asia where we are today in Afghanistan, again, we’re not coming home from there.  Africa where he said we will be fighting 20 years from now for their oil, well even sooner than that as NATO, our lap dog, has invaded Libya that sits on the largest supply of oil on the African continent. Finally, Barnett said parts of Latin America are included in this non-integrating gap, places like Venezuela where Hugo Chavez is not playing ball with corporate globalization.  Barnett maintained our job in America, under security export, will be to go into the non-integrating gap, and secure it to the benefit of corporate globalization.  Barnett said America would not do international treaties anymore because they will just stand in our way. Barnett also told this big audience, “Adolph Hitler never had to ask permission to invade another country and neither will we.”  This arrogance is why we are having endless war today….

Earlier today there was some mention of the new Super Committee in Congress, what I call the Congressional coup d’etat, where 12 members of the House and Senate have been given the power of God.  The Congressional Super Committee, that will be given these extraordinary powers to cut the federal budget, will be co-chaired by Senator Patty Murray, Democrat from Washington.  She is often called “Boeing’s Senator.”  There are huge conflicts of interest between these committee members, these 12 people, and the military industrial complex.  The Boston Globe reported just a few weeks ago that “The six Republicans and six Democrats represent states where the biggest military contractors – Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, Raytheon, and Boeing Co. – build missiles, aircraft jet fighters and tanks while employing tens of thousands of workers.”  The Globe tried to make the case that it would be a “Doomsday” if this new Super Committee allowed major cuts in military spending.  Senator Murray, the Democrat, got $276,200 in campaign donations from these aerospace corporations since 2007, more than any other committee member.  Second place goes to Senator Max Baucus, the Democrat from Montana at $139,100, and third place went to the Republican, Dave Camp from Michigan who got $130,800, and the fourth spot was Skull and Bones member, Senator John Kerry, Democrat for Massachusetts, at $73,500.  You remember that election don’t you? When Skull and Bones ran against Skull and Bones.  When it was George W. Bush against John Kerry. You remember that, right?  So three out of the top four Super Committee recipients of weapons contractor’s cash are Democrats.  It’s a bad situation, coup d’etat, coup d’etat. …  http://tinyurl.com/6dsotcn

It’s all about Freedom, citizens.  We are Freeing the housing market.  Freeing you from the worries of handling a mortgage.  Freeing Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somolia, Pakistan, Yemen.  Soon we will be Freeing Iran and many other countries as well.  And you will be Freed from your job, if you haven’t already been, leaving you to live Freely, without the struggle of working at some tedious task for many tedious hours each week.  Yes, we have already Freed you from the worries of managing money – wasn’t that a chore?  You are Free of that one now.  We all like Freedom, citizens!  Live Free or Die!  Isn’t that the motto?  We will see to it that you do, indeed, either live Free – or Die.  Or, just because we can, perhaps we will manage it so that you will be able to do both at once.

 
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Posted by on October 13, 2011 in austerity, Congress, economy, Iran, MERS, Occupy, trade agreements