Archive for June, 2012

Endorsing Evil Is Politics as Usual

Endorsing Evil Is Politics as Usual (Ron Paul’s foreign policy advisor during 2008 presidential run on Rand Paul endorsing Mitt Romney)

http://original.antiwar.com/giraldi/2012/06/13/endorsing-evil-is-politics-as-usual/

Rand Paul Confronted on Mitt Romney Endorsement

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WtO5INu-VY4

Mitt Romney endorses some of the same Israel 1st neocon warmongers that George W. Bush did:

http://tinyurl.com/romneyembracesneocons

Philip Giraldi: Another Senator for Israel

Philip Giraldi: One would think that more pro-Israel muscle wouldn’t be needed in congress, but yet another prominent Israeli firster is now being groomed for bigger things. 
 
Another for Israel:
 

Sinking Liberty

Sinking Liberty (by Philip Giraldi):

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/the-uss-libertys-final-chapter/

Paul Findley speaking on 45th anniversary of Israel’s deliberate attack on the USS Liberty

Former Republican Congressman Paul Findley spoke the following words yesterday on the 45th anniversary of Israel’s deliberate attack on the USS Liberty:

June 8, 1967 is a day that will live in infamy.  I am here to explain why. I state facts.  I use plain language.

On that the day, the state of Israel, publicly posing as a close friend of the United States, almost succeeded in a deadly scheme to destroy a U.S. Navy ship and all sailors aboard, then blame the crime on an Arab government.  Why?  To stir American fury against all Arabs and bind America tightly in a permanent military alliance with Israel.

That scheme almost succeeded.  Listen to the details.

The USS Liberty was an intelligence -gathering ship patrolling the eastern Mediterranean in the late days of the Arab-Israel war of 1967.  Like today, America was Israel’s only major benefactor in the world.  President Lyndon Johnson’s secret decisions that day played a major role in making the United States today subservient to Israel.  Sadly, the facts remain little known.

The Liberty had only a couple of machine guns aboard.. Its identity was well marked. Its U.S. flag fluttered in a brisk breeze throughout bright daylight hours of June 8, 1967.  During morning hours, unmarked aircraft closely circled the Liberty.

The attack began at 2 p.m. and lasted more than an hour. When Israeli aircraft shot Liberty’s U.S. flag to pieces, a larger one was immediately hoisted in its place. Flying low, the planes strafed the deck with rocket fire and napalm, disabled all antennae, punctured the hull with hundreds of holes. When the ship seemed doomed, life rafts made of rubber were lowered into the sea but fighter planes shot them to pieces.

An Israeli torpedo boat, firing at close range, blasted a hole thirty-nine feet wide, only inches above water line.

Miraculously, just before the ship’s electrical equipment went dead, Seaman Terry Halbardier crawled across open deck amid lethal strafing and strung a cable from a damaged antenna to the transmission cabin. This made possible the broadcast of a lone SOS appeal for help.  Wounded by shrapnel during his crawl, Halbardier’s bravery saved the Liberty and crew from total destruction. One more torpedo hit would have sent the ship and crew to the bottom of the sea.

The distress message was heard aboard the USS Saratoga, a carrier patrolling near Crete. In response, the Saratoga launched fighter planes to defend the Liberty and reported the launch to carrier group commander Rear Admiral Lawrence Geis aboard the carrier America. Geis relayed the information to the White House.

Although aware the Liberty was still under attack, Johnson ordered Geis to cancel the rescue attempt.  On the Saratoga’s bridge, distraught sailors watched as the U.S. fighter craft turned back. On the ship’s radio they heard final frantic pleas for help from the Liberty. Amid the pleas were background sounds of shells exploding. Minutes later, Israeli commanders, by then aware of the Liberty’s radioed plea for help, halted the attack.

Aboard the Liberty, 34 U.S. sailors were dead and 171 seriously wounded.  Years later, two Navy veterans gave me details of the verbal exchange when President Johnson ordered the callback. Radioman Tony Hart, serving at a U.S. radio relay station in Morocco, listened intently to the entire conversation between President Johnson and Secretary McNamara in the White House and Admiral Geis at sea. This is what Hart recalls Secretary McNamara said to Geis, “Get those planes back on deck.” Geis replied, “But the Liberty is under attack and needs help.” McNamara shouted, “Get those goddam planes back on deck.” Aghast at the order, Geis, “Mr. Secretary, I wish to appeal that order to higher authority.” McNamara said, “I already have the president’s authority to call the planes back. He is right here.” Hart recalls Johnson then came on the phone and said to Geis, “I don’t care if the ship goes down, I’m not going to war with an ally over a couple of sailors.”  The stunned admiral said, “Aye, aye, sir.”

Until his death, the admiral agonized over what, despite the presidential order, he might have done to help the Liberty crew.

Over the years, I have attended several reunions of Liberty survivors and remain in close communication with several of them. During a recent gathering, retired Commander David Lewis, the senior Liberty intelligence officer, provided new details. He was critically injured in the assault and, after being airlifted to the Saratoga sick bay, he was summoned to the private cabin of Admiral Geis to hear details of the call-back. The deeply shaken admiral told Lewis he feared he would be ordered to remain silent about his verbal exchange with the president and McNamara.  He wanted Lewis, as a senior officer on the Liberty, to know exactly what was said.

Commander Davis told me, “Johnson’s order was probably the first time in history U.S. military forces were refused permission to help defend a U.S. Navy ship under attack.” Israeli officials, caught in a premeditated crime against a U.S. Navy ship, admitted the attackers were Israeli, then falsely claimed the assault was a case of mistaken identity.  What a cruel lie.

Johnson accepted Israel’s lie without protest, although convincing evidence the assault was deliberate was already available at highest levels of his administration.

The president quickly dispatched Admiral Isaac C. Kidd and staff to carry out what from the start was a bogus Court of Inquiry.  Before leaving. Kidd was instructed to issue a finding that cleared Israel of any blame.

Kidd and staff traveled to the Mediterranean, where the admiral personally threatened surviving crewmen, some of them still in hospital beds. Seaman John Hrankowski, one of the badly injured survivors, described the scene. “Admiral Kidd put on the stars and his uniform cap and said sternly: ‘If you tell anyone what actually happened, you will pay a fine, or go to prison, or worse.’” Hrankowski recalled: “We trembled. I was scared. He didn’t have to explain what the word worse meant.” After a week’s tour that included only limited, superficial interviews, Kidd’s group issued a finding that absolved Israel of any wrongdoing.  Forty years later, retired Navy Captain Ward Boston, the chief legal officer who had traveled with Admiral Kidd, publicly confessed that both he and Kidd privately believed at the time of the inquiry the assault was deliberate. In a public, sworn statement distributed widely,Bostonstated that before the inquiry began, Johnson ordered Kidd to issue a finding that cleared Israel of blame.  Even today U.S. officials cling to the fiction of mistaken identity, acting as if Boston’s confession never occurred. Official navy records have been scrubbed clean of any reference to the launching of rescue aircraft  or their callback on presidential order.

Kidd, already a distinguished senior four-star admiral, should have refused the presidential order. He should have upheld time-honored tradition by refusing to engage in deceit.  By telling the truth, the American people—and the Congress–would know of the crime committed by Israel and likely prompt our government to proceed carefully in any future dealings with Israel.

 

You may ask: Why would Israel accept the high risk of public disclosure when it attempted to destroy the Liberty and its crew?

Commander Lewis told me he believes Israel wanted to sink the ship with no survivors, and then blame the crime onEgypt. This, he said, would create anti-Arab fury in theUnited Statesso intense Congress would declare war on Egypt and its Arab allies. Davisadded, “They wanted us to be in the war to consolidate their gains.

They feared that without active [U.S.] support [of Israel] world opinion would have forcedIsraelto withdraw from captured lands.”  Lewis believes Israel’s scheme, if successful, would have locked America tightly and permanently with Israel and against Arabs.

Forty years later, the cover up was lifted but only slightly. Halbardier received the Silver Star medal for bravery.

In a supreme example of irony, Israel’s attempt to destroy the U.S. ship and crew did not damage the U.S.-Israeli relationship. The cover-up was so swift and so successful U.S. support of Israel’s war agenda actually emerged greatly magnified.  After the Liberty assault, aid to Israel increased from a trickle to a rising flood–unconditional financial, military, and diplomatic support of Israel, ultimately costing America billions of dollars and hundreds of lives.

We are honored to have survivors of the Liberty with us today.  I am a Navy veteran from World War II.

Retired men of the Navy, I am deeply ashamed at the government cover up that keeps the American people unaware of your bravery and sacrifice.  Gentlemen, I salute you. You are among the U.S. Navy’s greatest heroes.  Sadly, you are unsung heroes.

USS Liberty Memorial Service Renews Calls of a Government Cover-Up

USS Liberty Memorial Service Renews Calls of a Government Cover-Up:

http://www.usnews.com/news/blogs/washington-whispers/2012/06/04/uss-liberty-memorial-service-renews-calls-of-a-government-cover-up

The USS Liberty Cover-Up: Paying Lip Service to George Washington

Guess who delivered Washington’s Farewell Address (see bottom of http://astandforjustice.org) on February 16, 1987? Hint: Think USS Liberty cover-up.

Israel Attacked A US Navy Ship 45 Years Ago Killing Dozens Of Sailors — Survivors Want To Know Why

http://www.businessinsider.com/45-years-ago-this-week-israel-attacked-a-us-navy-ship-and-killed-dozens-of-sailors–survivors-want-to-know-why-2012-6

Remembering the U.S.S. Liberty after 45 years

http://www.press-citizen.com/article/20120603/OPINION01/306030010/Remembering-U-S-S-Liberty-after-45-years?nclick_check=1

Iowa veterans honor 45th anniversary of USS Liberty attack

http://www.dailyiowan.com/2012/06/08/Metro/28538.html

USS Liberty crew member recalls fatal ’67 US-Israeli skirmish

http://www.stripes.com/news/uss-liberty-crew-member-recalls-fatal-67-us-israeli-skirmish-1.179637

Additional at http://tinyurl.com/McCainUSSLiberty

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@BryantJordan via Twitter: Few go to Arlington to remember the Liberty — and no politicians or DoD brass @PentagonPresSec @SECNAV @StateDept http://mnstr.me/Ms6hdv

VENTURA COUNTY STAR –  Opinion – by Bruce Marshall, Santa Paula
Another June 8 has come and gone without a whisper in the media of
the significance of the date, just as it has for the last 45 years.

Survivors have always believed the attack was intentional, rather
than accidental as was claimed, but the incident has been covered
up and officially forgotten.

http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/jun/12/national-disgrace/?opinion=1

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HANG THE BANKERS — US continues to cover up Israeli attack on
USS Liberty – June 10, 2012 By Jacque Fresco

“The survivors who have followed this story and published ample
material over the last 45 years know this subject best and I think
their accounts are very credible. It’s a cover up – a classic cover
up that betrays the American people,” Mr Lamb, based in Beirut,
told Press TV in an interview. (More:)

http://goo.gl/1MjA7

US government betrayed Americans by covering up USS liberty attack

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2012/06/08/245202/us-covered-up-israel-attack-on-uss-liberty/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7kRaIAhLh5g

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On Friday, June 8, 1967, three days after destroying the Egyptian air force in the early morning hours at the start of the war, the Israelis attacked, without warning, the USS Liberty, a lightly armed US Navy intelligence ship anchored offshore that was monitoring radio traffic, and murdered 34 US sailors and wounded 171 more in an attempt to sink the ship and blame it on the Egyptians while making sure the US did not hear Israel’s radio communications about its plans to seize Syria’s Golan Hts.

http://thepassionateattachment.com/2012/06/06/anniversaries-that-need-remembering/

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USS Liberty Survivor Larry Weaver was interviewed by the host of “What Really Happened?” Michael Rivero Wed. afternoon.  Larry has had more operations than any other survivor, can tell the Liberty story like no other, blood pressures everywhere go up, citizens angry at the way Larry has been treated!  (See Ron Kukal’s and Cat Faber’s email at: http://gidusko.webs.com/temp/kukal24.htm). You can hear the program; it was recorded and added to “Recent Audio Interviews” on John Gidusko’s web page at: http://tinyurl.com/ussliberty Mike Rivero’s upcoming schedule for the USS Liberty survivors’ interviews this week are: Phil Tourney & supporter James Morris Friday   6/8    1 PM Eastern LISTEN LIVE: http://republicbroadcasting.org

Survivor Phil Tourney’s guest on YOUR VOICE COUNTS! Saturday: Joe Lentini         Sat. 6/9   7PM Eastern LISTEN LIVE: http://republicbroadcasting.org

DEBORCHGRAVE Commentary: Another war in 2012?

Commentary: Another war in 2012?

http://www.upi.com/Top_News/Analysis/de-Borchgrave/2012/06/04/Commentary-Another-war-in-2012/UPI-98761338806961/

Published: June 4, 2012 at 6:49 AM

By ARNAUD DE BORCHGRAVE UPI Editor at Large

WASHINGTON, June 4 (UPI) — After almost 15,000 killed in Syria’s civil war, now in its second year, there is no clear end game.

One side of the political spectrum is urging U.S. President Barack Obama to go into Syria — and do something. What isn’t quite clear.

The realpolitikers, seeing that Russia and China aren’t asking Syrian President Bashar Assad to walk the plank, are urging maximum caution.

Former national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski said if Turkey, Syria’s neighbor to the north, Saudi Arabia, and other Arabs “support a course of action that they think is needed for resolving the Syrian problem,” the United States will “fully support” it. But he also made clear that Syria isn’t Libya and Assad isn’t Moammar Gadhafi.

Standing next to British Prime Minister David Cameron in the Rose Garden, Obama said that while the U.S. military plans for everything, the United States and Britain will confine their coordinated actions to diplomatic and political pressure.

Except for a handful of superhawks, most of the Mideastern hands in Washington, on both sides of the aisle, realize Obama isn’t about to get the United States involved in another war in the very heart of the Middle East while still at war in Afghanistan.

President George W. Bush ordered the invasion of Iraq in 2003 while still at war in Afghanistan. And today, any Iraqi official will tell you, not for publication, that Iran has far more influence in Baghdad than the United States.

Henry Kissinger injected a timely history lesson. In his syndicated Tribune Media Services column, he brought up to date the 1648 Treaty of Westphalia on the inviolate nature of the nation state.

“Does America,” he asked, “consider itself obliged to support every popular uprising against any non-democratic government, including those heretofore considered important in sustaining the international system? Is, for example, Saudi Arabia an ally only until public demonstrations develop on its territory?”

“If the objective,” Kissinger writes, “is confined to deposing a specific ruler, a new civil war could follow in the resulting vacuum, as armed groups contest the succession, and outside countries choose different sides.”

Those who say let’s-do-something/anything-to-show-that-the-free world-cares are chiefly concerned with depriving Iran of its key Middle Eastern ally, a laudable objective. Our Saudi and Qatari friends are helping the Free Syrian army so why shouldn’t the United States?

For Tehran’s superannuated theocrats, Syria, dominated by the secretive minority Alawi Muslim sect, is Iran’s gateway to Lebanon and its Hezbollah ally, and its Hamas ally in Gaza.

One of the many problems in siding with Syria’s armed opposition is that it’s not made up of Western-oriented democrats but more of a heterogeneous group that encompasses Islamist extremists and pro-al-Qaida elements that are far more anti-Western than Assad’s regime.

Assad himself was an eye specialist in London when his father died at 69 in 2000 after three decades of a brutal one-man dictatorship. Prior to Assad father’s rule, Syria experienced 21 coups since the end of the French mandate in 1945. Total loyalty to the regime was the only criterion in what otherwise was a semi-capitalist economy. Syria became a client state of the Soviet Union and has remained an important arms market for Russia since the end of the Cold War.

After the Iraq disaster, where Iran now has more influence than the United States despite a $1 trillion, almost 9-year war, Obama and the Joint Chiefs of Staff are understandably reluctant to get involved; NATO allies are even more reluctant.

Recent reports of the United States and Israel working together clandestinely in cyberwarfare attacks against Iran’s nuclear installations add another unknown to the strategic equation.

Iran and Russia have strong ties to the Assad regime. Yet some conservative hawkish voices argue the Libyan operation could be repeated in Syria. But it is infinitely more complex. It also has the makings of a Spanish civil war scenario (1936-39) with the great powers aligned by proxy against each other — Hitler and Mussolini against Stalin and Stalin lost. And half a million were killed.

Syria also evokes shades of Lebanon’s long civil war. The Muslims versus Christians bloodshed lasted 10 years (1975-85) and killed 150,000. Syria, under the President Hafez Assad, first sided with the Christians before switching to the Muslims.

In 1978, the Israelis entered the Lebanese fray to attack the PLO guerrillas up to the Litani River. Four years later, June 6, 1982, responding to more Palestinian attacks, the Israeli army, under Defense Minister Ariel Sharon, invaded Lebanon with a massive force that drove all the way to Beirut where Lebanese Christians cheered their arrival.   This triggered a U.N. decision to dispatch to Beirut a multinational peacekeeping force, including U.S. troops.

Sept. 16-18, 1982, atrocities in two Palestinian refugee camps in Beirut — Sabra and Shatila — whose only access was controlled by Israeli troops resulted in Lebanese Christian Phalangist militia, Israeli allies, slaughtering 1,000-3,500 Palestinians.

Israeli troops didn’t pull back from Beirut till May 1983.

A few months later, Oct. 23, a Mercedes truck laden with 12,000 pounds of TNT crashed into the U.S. Marine barracks near the Beirut airport, killing 241 in their sleep, the deadliest single-day death toll for Marines Corps since the Battle of Iwo Jima in World War II. Two minutes later, a similar attack killed 58 French paratroopers.

Hezbollah, Lebanon’s Iranian surrogate, was behind the attack. And behind Hezbollah was Mostafa Mohammed Najjar, who was in command of the Iran’s Revolutionary Guard expeditionary force in Beirut in 1983. He became Iran’s defense minister in 2005.

These are all recent history lessons. Lest they be forgotten by Washington’s more recent armchair strategists.

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Israel lobby pushing Syrian regime change to weaken Iran:

http://tinyurl.com/jamesmorrisoncrosstalk

DEBORCHGRAVE Commentary: Alarm bells in the U.S.

Commentary: Alarm bells in the U.S.  

Published: May 29, 2012 at 9:56 AM

By ARNAUD DE BORCHGRAVE UPI Editor at Large

WASHINGTON, May 29 (UPI) — Gen. David Richards, the British chief of staff, in the understatement of the week, says the strategic landscape is “worrying” and the outlook “bleak.”

The United States as the world’s strongest geopolitical player has become ungovernable, saddled with a dysfunctional Congress. House and Senate together, with 535 members, maintain 250 committees and subcommittees and micromanage muscular government decisions into unworkable policy directives.

No fewer than 108 committees have oversight jurisdiction on Homeland Security.

The latest book of Edward Luce, the Financial Times’ chief U.S. commentator, and former FT Washington bureau chief (2006-11), is titled, “Time to Start Thinking: America in the Age of Descent.”

America, he says, is sleepwalking into economic and geopolitical decline.

Ian Bremmer in “Every Nation for Itself” writes about “Winners and Losers in a G-Zero World.”

Fareed Zakaria, a leader of the “Successor Generation” to Henry Kissinger, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Brent Scowcroft and a single handful of others, understands the United States’ leaderless dilemma better than most. His weekly CNN program “GPS” dramatizes the negative trends now coming together in a “perfect storm.”

What purports to be democracy in action reminds this long-time observer of the French political situation in the days of the Fourth Republic (1945-58). Governments toppled every six months with tedious regularity. France, saddled with eight years of rearguard fighting in Indochina, faced defeat at Dien Bien Phu in 1954, a heroic last stand of empire.

But this was not to be the last. Eleven men, led by Ben Bella, attacked a post office in Algeria, which triggered another 8-year war that led to a French military buildup of half a million men, the killing of half a million, including 100,000 French, and the exile of 1.4 million French settlers.

France, under Charles de Gaulle’s democratic authoritarianism, miraculously recovered from its seemingly endless series of geopolitical defeats. He turned Algeria — long considered an integral part of metropolitan France — into an independent state and refocused France’s attention to a prosperous future – nuclear power, the Caravelle commercial jet in 1958, the supersonic Concorde in 1969 that spanned the Atlantic in 3 hours.

The Afghan war is beginning to look like Vietnam II. There is no solution without Pakistan and there is no solution with Pakistan. The Pakistani doctor who helped U.S. intelligence confirm the exact location of Osama bin Laden has been sentenced to 33 years in prison.

Most Pakistanis — even at a high level — will tell you that 9/11 was a conspiracy plotted by the CIA and Mossad. Books “documenting the conspiracy” have sold millions of copies all over the world.

We forget bin Laden was a Pakistani hero before and since 9/11.

This writer was in Pakistan during the post-9/11 period when we interviewed a former head of Pakistan’s notorious Inter-Services Intelligence, Hamid Gul. He was the first to launch the monstrous canard, adding the U.S. Air Force was also involved as no fighters were scrambled to intercept the suicide aircraft.

The reminder that such a plot is preposterous, if only because three can keep a secret provided two of them are dead, elicits guffaws about our own naivete.

Millions of youngsters who reached college 10 years after 9/11 have no reason to doubt the conspiracy when professors themselves say the full story remains to be told.

The NATO exit from Afghanistan, as described in Chicago’s final summit communique, strikes most commentators as a stop-gap palliative. The 10-year extension of U.S. and NATO protection and payments to the Afghan army beyond the 2014 exit date for all combat troops widened the credibility gap.

In the United States, the defense budget will be in decline caused by the sequestration imposed by the Budget Control Act of 2011. Alternatively, a “grand bargain” may occur over government spending and taxes, which more likely than not will be larger cuts than the $487 billion over 10 years imposed by BCA.

The Center for Strategic and International Studies’ Clark A. Murdock and Kim Wincup were two of 30 leading defense and budget experts who published a report on “how a deeper drawdown should be conducted and provides a set of recommendations on what decisions (the Department of Defense) should make (or one-third reduction from the FY2010 peak, implemented over the course of 12 years).”

The CSIS study team’s approach “includes an analytic method of differentiating between capabilities that are must-have, nice-to-have, and not-needed.”

CSIS “will implement a 7-step methodology in a final report to be published in November 2012, which will recommend a roster of 4 to 5 distinct force mixes, each representing different strategies for how (the Defense Department) should spend its scarce resources in 2024.”

It is clear that nothing is going to be the same — from al-Qaida and its associated movements to the U.S. defense establishment, from NATO to the U.S. pivot to Asia to counter China’s threatening posture in the South China Sea — and that everything is in a state of flux.

The future of warfare, as this long-time observer reads the signals, is cyberterrorism and cyberwarfare coupled with robotic warfare. There are now more drone aircraft in the U.S. arsenal than conventional fighters and bombers.

The 11 aircraft carrier groups in the U.S. Navy can’t do much against swarms of small suicide boats, like the two-man terrorist boat that rammed the USS Cole in October 2000 in Aden harbor, immobilizing a $1 billion warship for two years of repairs, killing 17 U.S. sailors, injuring 35. This operation cost al-Qaida $10,000 (as indicated by documents seized in an al-Qaida safe house in Kabul after U.S. troops captured the city in October 2001).

The real threat from China is non-military, the deployment of almost 6 million civilian workers from Brazil to the Bahamas and from Libya to Angola, building markets for future exports (as the United States did in Western Europe after World War II).

Small Caribbean island nations all have full-fledged Chinese embassies. Four of them have no U.S. diplomatic representation of any kind (the U.S. State Department’s budget has been cut to the bone). In the Bahamas, a short drive from Nassau airport, 6,100 Chinese workers are building the largest casino complex in the Caribbean.   During Libya’s 2011 revolutionary upheaval, the Chinese successfully evacuated tens of thousands of Chinese workers before the U.S.-chartered boat for U.S. evacuees reached a Libyan port.

On another front, U.S. infrastructure — from the century-old pipes under the nation’s capital, to roads and streets all over the United States, to the nationwide electric grid, bridges and schools — has been sadly neglected for decades. Any recent visitor to Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, Muscat (Oman), Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Doha, Bahrain and Kuwait saw clear evidence that the U.S. priority on defense spending over several decades has relegated many parts of the civilian infrastructure to Third World status.

After a spectacular victory in the Cold War, the United States blew a good chance for a new world economic and military order by inviting the newly freed Russia into NATO, rather than pushing NATO’s frontiers up against Russia’s and reviving old fears of encirclement. This was first suggested by Cold War hawks — e.g., the late Fred Ikle, undersecretary for Defense Policy under the Reagan administration – but it was too far sighted to be digestible inside the Beltway.

As the tile of the Financial Times’ Ed Luce suggests, the “Time to Start Thinking” is now. It’s not too late but time is running short. Remember Sputnik?

Read more: http://www.upi.com/Top_News/Analysis/de-Borchgrave/2012/05/29/Commentary-Alarm-bells-in-the-US/UPI-42381338299783/print#ixzz1x65oc0NY

 

In the Land of the Blind

In the Land of the Blind (by Philip Giraldi)

http://original.antiwar.com/giraldi/2012/06/06/in-the-land-of-the-blind/

In the Land of the Blind

Posted By Philip Giraldi On June 6, 2012 @ 11:00 pm In Uncategorized | 6 Comments

There were two interesting news stories last Thursday plus a couple of others during the week, all of which combine to tell an awkward tale about the United States government’s perception of itself and its willingness to engage in acts of preemptive aggression that most other governments would balk at. One headline articledescribed in some detail how the United States is building up its ability to engage in cyber warfare, described as Cyber “Plan X,” described as a “new phase in the nation’s fledgling military operations in cyber space.” The article went on to explain that “cyberwarfare conjures images of smoking servers, downed electrical systems, and exploding industrial plants,” but its battlefield use would be more focused even though it is fighting in a “global domain that includes tens of billions of computers and other devices.” Near the end, the article notes that “cyberwar experts worry about unintended consequences of attacks” because “the military needs more of a brute force approach that allows it to get at a thousand targets as quickly as possible.”

But flipping through to page 10 in the same newspaper, one learned that there would be congressional hearings because “tech giants warn of threats to free and profitable Internet,” with the first paragraph reading “U.S. officials and high tech business giants have launched an assault against what they view as a massive threat to the Internet and to Silicon Valley’s bottom lines: foreign governments.” Yes indeed, after learning on page one that the United States is gearing up for cyber warfare on a scale unimaginable for any other nation, we are then told that the real threat to cyberspace consists of foreigners — most particularly the Russians, Chinese, and some Arabs. It seems that they want to have more say in how the Internet is organized and regulated, possibly through the United Nations or international communications agreements, because “the Internet has been heavily influenced by U.S. firms and American academics, who set the standards.”

And if you think that there is no connection between Google’s concerns over its “bottom line” and the Pentagon, the Department of Defense definescyberspace as the “domain characterized by the use of electronics and the electromagnetic spectrum to store, modify, and exchange data via network systems and associated physical infrastructures.” That definition includes the Internet and all associated electronic communications as well as the companies that are involved in the telecommunications business.

The United States long sought to control the Internet and cyberspace, but the arguments pro and con eventually became moot when, on March 16, 2012, President Obama issued an executive order, “National Defense Resources Preparedness,” which gives him the authority to take control of any national resource if there is a state of emergency as defined by the president himself. The Internet, as part of the country’s communications infrastructure, is most definitely regarded as a national resource. The emergency decisions made by the president are not subject to judicial review, meaning that the executive both defines the problem and dictates the solution. After he has done so, he cannot be challenged by the courts. Based on recent developments and anticipating what might be around the corner, just how long do you think it would take for Obama to shut down the Internet on the grounds that “terrorists” might be using it to communicate?

And there are persistent reports that the United States has also been working to develop an Internetkill switch, though the expression itself has not appeared in any actual or proposed legislation. The Protecting Cyberspace Act of 2010, which never made it out of Congress, was touted as a defensive measure that would only be used if the system were under attack and could not otherwise be protected. But the involvement of sponsor Sen. Joe Lieberman, who favors restrictions on civil liberties in support of the so-called war on terror, suggested otherwise.

There are also plans afoot within the Obama administration for an Internet ID card, somewhat akin to the demands for a forge-proof national identity document that is being promoted as a tool against terrorism and illegal immigration. To make the national ID card functional, a great deal of new information would be required to make it safe against fraud. The new information would certainly include biometrics of the bearer, but it would also mean registration of residence and workplace as well as marital status. It is not clear how all the personal information would be protected. Experience suggests that even countries that have national ID cards, such as Germany and China, still have immigration and terrorism problems, and it has proven impossible to identify a single instance in which a national ID card actually was instrumental in identifying a terrorist or impeding a terrorist act. So much for the national ID, but it would certainly be a great new opening for taxpayer supported government jobs and would create an enormous new database of information on hundreds of millions of American citizens.

An Internet ID card would, at a stroke, eliminate the anonymity of the Internet, reducing its viability as a center for free discussion and information sharing. That is precisely what the promoters of the ID are seeking to do —essentially establishing accountability and government regulation of a medium that has lacked those attributes. Internet servers in Germany already are required to retain records for six months, and computers and users are required to register. That is also true to a lesser extent in many countries in Europe, including Italy and France. There have also been calls to tax the Internet, which would effectively bring in the same controls. A government-issued ID or the authority to tax based on use would dramatically change the nature of the Internet, as it would open the door for the government to monitor how people use the medium and how they communicate. If the American people think it can’t happen here, they are dead wrong. Every action taken by the U.S. government over the past 10 years has resulted in restrictions on freedom, underlying the irony of Washington representing itself as the source of Internet freedom.

Two other recent news articles explore the nature of the threat coming directly out of the Obama administration. The first described how the FBI has formed a secret surveillance unit that will be developing and employing new technologies to monitor communications nationwide and in real time. The center is referred to as the Domestic Communications Assistance Center, as good a euphemism for government snooping as has ever existed. Congress has funded the center with $54 million, and the Bureau reportedly has warned companies such as Facebook that they should not oppose impending legislation that will permit the FBI to operate a technological back door in their software that will enable the government to monitor their members’ communications.

And for those who are still skeptics, the second article demonstrates that the cyberwar is already here. The New York Times reports that the Obama administration has been waging aggressive cyberwar against Iran since 2008, complete with the creation of sophisticated Stuxnet and Flame viruses in government labs that have spread to personal and business computers worldwide. The program, which began under President George W. Bush, was accelerated by Obama after he took office, similar to his orders to increase the numbers of drone attacks in Pakistan. Lest anyone be confused by what is taking place, the computer attacks are undeniably an act of war without any declaration of war.

But the pièce de résistance for the week has to be a seemingly unrelated story about the awarding of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest honor for a civilian, to former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, who famously stated that the deaths of half a million Iraqi children due to sanctions was “worth it.” President Obama, in a White House ceremony, honoredAlbright because her “courage and toughness helped bring peace to the Balkans and paved the way for progress in some of the most unstable corners of the world.” He said it with a straight face, and, more frighteningly, he might actually have believed what he was saying. If there was ever a blatant example of U.S. government hypocrisy, this was it: a mass murderer presenting a medal to another mass murderer. Wage war for humanitarian reasons but kill the children. Promote the freedom of the Internet but secretly make it a weapon of war and figure out how to shut it down. All in a day’s work in the Imperial City.

The American exceptionalism being boasted about by Republicans and Democrats alike is at the root of aberrant political class behavior, visible to anyone who cares to look. In the land of the blind the one-eyed man is king, but in today’s America even the man with one eye is lacking. It is clear to the world that there is no limit to Washington’s hypocrisy, but the media and Congress march briskly forward with the White House promoting a policy of war by other means all the time and everywhere. It is a recipe for disaster, which has already borne fruit in terms of lost liberties, a shattered economy, and a sharp decline in most countries’ respect for the American government and people. That a president can declare secret war on a country that does not threaten it, that the federal government can create mechanisms to attack the entire world electronically while at the same time making plans for depriving its own people of the ability to share ideas and thoughts freely is disgraceful. And awarding the highest civilian medal to a self-proclaimed baby killer who epitomizes the decay of our republic should be a moment of shame rather than celebration.

Read more by Philip Giraldi


US unable to urge Israeli nuclear disarmament: Analyst

US unable to urge Israeli nuclear disarmament: Analyst

Jones: I think the only thing that would force Israel to the table would be a nuclear standoff which means that some other country in the Middle East would have to have nuclear weapons. I think that is the only thing that would force Israel to the table, and other than that, no, I do not think anyone can force Israel to the table; the United States certainly could not do that. No politician in the United States could demand that of Israel. It is just politically impossible, certainly now in an election year.

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2012/06/06/244842/us-unable-to-urge-israeli-ndisarmament/

Israel ‘super-ready’ to attack Iran – Defense Chief

Israel ‘super-ready’ to attack Iran – Defense Chief

http://www.rt.com/news/israel-ready-attack-iran-military-chief-097/