The connections between the foreign intervention crisis in Syria, the vast NSA surveillance program that has recently been exposed, and the sequence of events that began with NSA program changes in February, 2001 — six months before 9/11 — are illuminating.
In mid June 2013 the Obama administration announced that it will start arming insurgents against the Syrian government because the regime crossed a “red line” by using chemical weapons — which it estimates have killed, over time, an estimated 100-150 rebels.
“But no matter how futile, repulsive or dysfunctional war may be,” Barbara Ehrenreich wrote in her book Blood Rites, “it persists.”
A fascinating story in the New York Times just after Christmas showed this persistence unfolding before our very eyes.
The sale of arms to Iraq (remember Iraq?) — $11 billion worth of almost everything, fighter jets, battle tanks, cannons, armored personnel carriers, armor and helmets, even sport utility vehicles — is going to move forward even though it makes little sense from multiple points of view, including U.S. geopolitical interests. As far as I can tell, the sale is going to go through because “war persists” — or something persists, a force invisible to reporters and beyond the control of diplomats (at least those who speak on the record).
As the US prepares to war on Iran, we must consider the costs Americans have paid for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the lessons Iran must have learned, writes Lindauer.
By Susan Lindauer
Most Americans are astonished to discover that right up to 9/11, the CIA was developing a “Real Politik” vision of Iraq that recognized the fast approaching collapse of U.N. Sanctions. The CIA was preparing for Peace – with a ruthless determination that the United States would capture the lion’s share of spoils from Iraqi Reconstruction contracts in any post-sanctions period.
This won’t be Vietnam, exactly. No helicopter whisking the last remaining Americans off the roof of the embassy. A contingent of 16,000 State Department contract employees — over 5,000 of them armed mercenaries — will be staying on, running what’s left of the American operation in Iraq.
But there’s little doubt we lost this war — by every rational measure. Everyone lost, except those who profited from (and continue to profit from) the trillions we bled into the invasion and occupation; and those who planned it, most of whom remain in positions to plan or at least promote the wars we’re still fighting and the wars to come.
Amazing testimony of CIA Asset Susan Lindauer. 5 years of legal troubles, 1 year in prison for daring to tell the truth. She also covers the NATO invasion of Libya, near the end. The speech starts at about 7 minutes in:
An American former military contractor who claims he was imprisoned and tortured by the US army in Iraq has been allowed by a judge to sue the former defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld personally for damages.
The man, an army veteran whose identity has been withheld, worked as a translator for the US marines in the volatile Anbar province when he was detained for nine months at Camp Cropper, a US military facility near Baghdad airport dedicated to holding “high-value” detainees.
Drs. Gerard Lambert, Margaret Haydon and Shiv Chopra of Health Canada
In a long-running whistleblowing saga, two of three scientists fired by Health Canada (akin to the US Food & Drug Administration) have lost a bid to get their jobs back, though they protected food safety.
In the U.S., however, after a six-year legal battle, the Army Corps of Engineers has agreed to pay nearly $1 million to a former top contracting official who charged that she was demoted after she objected to a $7 billion no-bid contract granted to a Halliburton subsidiary to repair oil fields in Iraq.
“So if [Leon Panetta] is trying to remind us of the lying and the cheating, which I participated in, in the previous Administration, more power to him.” ~Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, former State Dept. Chief of Staff, on Leon Panetta’s latest lie to the troops that we invaded Iraq because of WMDs and 9/11.
In addition to the propaganda, Col. Wilkerson discusses the unconscionable treatment of Bradley Manning who allegedly leaked diplomatic cables to WikiLeaks.
Today, Americans walk it back, belatedly, and too late to bring home American and allied troops who died in battle, government officials released recordings. The media distributes and discusses these en masse. Those prominent in the press and public office say “the people have the right to know,” exactly what the tale that could have been told decades ago. Osama Bin Laden was never more than human, a tragic hero, a comical character, just as you or me.. Continue reading →
A series of disturbing reports from Iraq and Vietnam (backed up by a horrific collection of videos) have exposed a hidden legacy of war — weapons that continue to create victims years after the conflict ends. Washington’s Mutagenic Weapons — technologies that poison cell tissue and ransack the human DNA far into the future — have targeted babies and children as the latest form of war’s “collateral damage.” [WARNING: Graphic images in the videos below] Continue reading →
Fiction delivers justice that reality rarely approaches. Victims endure suffering and emerge as victors after overcoming incredible challenges. Stieg Larsson’s gripping Millennium Trilogy weaves a story of revenge and triumphs for Lizbeth Salander, locked away in a mental institution and sexually abused for years. When Salander got out and threatened to go public about a high level sexual exploitation ring, the perpetrators sought to lock her up again. In the final installment, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, Salander found some justice. (Image)
Susan Lindauer’s autobiography, Extreme Prejudice, tells a story with certain broad similarities. In her case, however, the hornet’s nest kicked back with a real vengeance. After over a decade as a U.S intelligence asset, Lindauer was privy to information about pre war Iraq that threatened to serve up a huge embarrassment to the Bush-Cheney regime. She hand delivered a letter to senior Bush administration officials in hopes of averting what she predicted would be the inevitably tragic 2003 US invasion of Iraq. Those officials, unnamed in the indictment, were her second cousin, then White House chief of staff Andy Card, and Colin Powell. Continue reading →
Military historian and author, Brian Downing, is more than a little perturbed at the foolishness of Koran burning in Gainesville, Florida (site of the most egregious election fraud in 2000). (Image)
As best as I can tell, that plowhand in Gainesville has never even had the benefit of half-idiot pedagogues and brokendown preachers. He acquired his theological learning by watching Jimmy Swaggart on the TV and taking copious notes.
There’s a plow-hand preacher born every time a pledge number lights up on the screen. But what about congregations? They must be coming even faster than the rubes at a carnival midway. “Step right this way and see the burning books!” The Agonist
BAGHDAD —”Days after the U.S. officially ended combat operations and touted Iraq’s ability to defend itself, American troops found themselves battling heavily armed militants assaulting an Iraqi military headquarters in the center of Baghdad on Sunday. The fighting killed 12 people and wounded dozens.
“It was the first exchange of fire involving U.S. troops in Baghdad since the Aug. 31 deadline for formally ending the combat mission, and it showed that American troops remaining in the country are still being drawn into the fighting. Continue reading →
I just read the presidents big speech tonight and it struck me. There were some key lines left out of the speech. You may have had the same response. For the sake of clarity and fairness, I’ve tried to reconstruct the missing lines. I’m sure that the omissions were just an accident. Or maybe that Robert Gibbs may be up to his old tricks again. My insertions are in italics, following the president’s words from the official White House transcript. White House, August 31, 2010 Here goes.
THE PRESIDENT: Good evening. Tonight, I’d like to talk to you about the end of our combat mission in Iraq, the ongoing security challenges we face, and the need to rebuild our nation here at home. But before I do that, we need a moment of truth. The Iraq war was based on a deliberate lie involving the White House distorting the National intelligence estimate on Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). The report got it wrong on WMD. There were none. But it concluded that the only way the nonexistent WMD would be used against the United States was in retaliation for a US attack on Iraq that threatened Saddam Hussein. By deleting this information, the Bush-Cheney White House justified a preemptive invasion without any basis, a crime under international law that our nation helped establish after World War II.Continue reading →
Also see this 52-minute documentary by the Dutch TV show, Tagenlicht, about the controversy this article generated. (2007)
For the past several decades, and especially since the Six-Day War in 1967, the centrepiece of US Middle Eastern policy has been its relationship with Israel. The combination of unwavering support for Israel and the related effort to spread ‘democracy’ throughout the region has inflamed Arab and Islamic opinion and jeopardised not only US security but that of much of the rest of the world. This situation has no equal in American political history. Why has the US been willing to set aside its own security and that of many of its allies in order to advance the interests of another state? One might assume that the bond between the two countries was based on shared strategic interests or compelling moral imperatives, but neither explanation can account for the remarkable level of material and diplomatic support that the US provides.
Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. Continue reading →
(April 5, Washington, DC) Julian Assange and Wikileaks kept their promise of February 20 by releasing a video tape that shows civilians and reporter deaths from an attack by United States forces. The tape was presented at a 9:00 am press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.
Before the conference began, Assange described this as a “very rich story.” He opened with a brief statement and then showed the video tape. The edited and unedited versions of the tape are available here. WikiLeaks received the tape through unspecified channels. Assange did say that the leak to his organization “sends a message that there are some people in the US military who don’t like what’s going on.”
The video captures an incident on July 12, 2007 in a Baghdad suburb. This event has been a matter of controversy since a Reuter’s photo journalist, Namir Noor-Eldeen, and his assistant, Saeed Chmagh, were both killed in the incident. Continue reading →
A recent change of the guard in the Massachusetts Senate race force the President to reveal he is working. We, the American people, are waiting, just as we have been for months and months. For a full year, countless citizens have felt as though they were patient. Yet, the President did not seem to have their interests at heart. True change has not come. Countless constituents anticipate none is forthcoming. Three hundred and sixty five plus have gone by and the American people are tired of being patient. Continue reading →
SAN FRANCISCO, Jan 6 (New America Media) – Forget about oil, occupation, terrorism or even Al Qaeda. The real hazard for Iraqis these days is cancer.
Cancer is spreading like wildfire in Iraq. Thousands of infants are being born with deformities. Doctors say they are struggling to cope with the rise of cancer and birth defects, especially in cities subjected to heavy American and British bombardment.
Here are a few examples. In Falluja, which was heavily bombarded by the US in 2004, as many as 25% of new- born infants have serious abnormalities, including congenital anomalies, brain tumors, and neural tube defects in the spinal cord.