Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Just as lies sold the American War against Viet Nam, today we are being deliberately deceived by the mainstream media and political leaders about 9/11, IRAQ, AFGHANISTAN, IRAN, & the so-called 'WAR ON TERROR'



“Our President Is Deceiving the American Public” - Daniel Ellsberg:

By Democracy Now!

Vietnam War "Pentagon Papers" Whistleblower on President Obama and the Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

We are joined by a man who played a major role in efforts to end the Vietnam War in the 1970s. In 1971, the then-RAND Corporation analyst Daniel Ellsberg leaked to the media what became known as the Pentagon Papers, a 7,000-page classified history outlining the true extent of US involvement in Vietnam.

After avoiding a life sentence on espionage charges, Daniel Ellsberg has continued to speak out against US militarism until the present day.

Posted March 31, 2010




"Reporting" on Iran Should Seem Familiar


By Glenn Greenwald

March 31, 2010 "" --

Fox
News currently has an article at the top of its website that is headlined: "CIA: Iran Moving Closer to Nuclear Weapon." The report, by DOD and State Department correspondent Justin Fishel, begins with this alarming claim:

A recently published report by the Central Intelligence Agency says Iran is still working on building a nuclear weapon despite some technical setbacks and international resistance -- and the Pentagon say it's still concerned about Iran's ambitions.

But, as blogger George Maschke notes, that statement is categorically false.

The actual report, to which the Fox article links and which the DNI was required by Congress to submit, says no such thing.

Rather, this is its core finding:

The report says the opposite of Fox's statement that "Iran is still working on building a nuclear weapon."

And, of course, the 2007 National Intelligence Estimate which concluded that Iran ceased development of its weapons program has never been rescinded, and even the most hawkish anonymous leaks from inside the intelligence community, when bashing the 2007 NIE, merely claim that analysts "now believe that Iran may well have resumed 'research' on nuclear weapons -- theoretical work on how to design and construct a bomb -- but that Tehran is not engaged in 'development' -- actually trying to build a weapon."

This misleading "reporting" is hardly confined to Fox News.

Reporting on Obama's efforts to secure international sanctions, Reuters today makes this claim:

[E]evidence has mounted raising doubts about whether Tehran is telling the truth when it says its nuclear program is only to produce peaceful atomic energy.

Particularly damning was a report in February from the U.N. nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, that said Iran may be working to develop a nuclear-armed missile.

But as Juan Cole correctly notes:

This Reuters article also misinterprets the stance of the International Atomic Energy Agency of the UN, which continues to certify that none of Iran's nuclear material, being enriched for civilian purposes, has been diverted to military uses.

The IAEA has all along said it cannot give 100% assurance that Iran has no weapons program, because it is not being given complete access. But nagging doubt is not the same as an affirmation. We should learn a lesson from the Iraq debacle.

Meanwhile, The New York Times' David Sanger -- who is the Judy Miller of Iran when it comes to hyping the "threat" based overwhelmingly, often exclusively, on anonymous sources -- continues his drum beat this week. In an article co-written with William Broad, Sanger warns -- "based on interviews with officials of several governments and international agencies" ("all" of whom "insisted on anonymity") -- that "international inspectors and Western intelligence agencies say they suspect that Tehran is preparing to build more sites in defiance of United Nations demands."

But rather than the secret, nefarious scheme which the NYT depicts this as being, these plans for additional sites were publicly announced -- by the Iranian government itself -- many weeks ago.

As I've noted before, it wouldn't surprise me in the least if Iran wanted a nuclear weapons capability. If anything, it would be irrational for them not to want one.

What else would a rational Iranian leader conclude as they look at the U.S. military's having destructively invaded and continuing to occupy two of its neighboring, non-nuclear countries (i.e., being surrounded by an invading American army on both its Eastern and Western borders)?

Add to that the fact that barely a day goes by without Western media outlets and various Western elites threatening them with a bombing attack by the U.S. or the Israel (which itself has a huge stockpile of nuclear weapons and categorically refuses any inspections or other monitoring).

If our goal were to create a world where Iran was incentivized to obtain nuclear weapons, we couldn't do a better job than we're doing now.

But regardless of one's views on that question, or on the question of what the U.S. should do (if anything) about Iranian proliferation, the first order of business ought to be ensuring that the reporting on which we base our views is accurate.

A CNN poll from February found that 59% of Americans favor military action against Iran if negotiations over their nuclear program fail (see questions 31-32) -- and that's without the White House even advocating such a step.


As the invasion of Iraq demonstrated, the kind of fear-mongering, reckless, and outright false "reporting" we're seeing already -- and have been seeing for awhile -- over Iran's nuclear program poses a far greater danger to the U.S. than anything Iran could do.


WikiLeaks to release video of civilians, journalists being murdered in airstrike in Afghanistan


By Stephen C. Webster
Saturday, March 27th, 2010
http://rawstory.com/2010/03/wikileaks-release-video-civilians-journalists-murdered-airstrike/

This video was published to YouTube on March 26, 2010, clipped from Russia Today.

Whistleblower Web site WikiLeaks is planning to release a video that reveals what it's calling a Pentagon "cover-up" of an incident in which numerous civilians and journalists were murdered in an airstrike, according to a recent media advisory.

The video will be released on April 5 at the National Press Club, the group said.

They also noted their members have recently been tailed by individuals under State Department diplomatic immunity, and that "one related person was detained for 22 hours" while authorities seized computer equipment.

In a video released Friday, a Russia Today broadcast discusses the pending release of the video WikiLeaks first announced in a tweet on Feb. 20, 2010, which read: "Finally cracked the encryption to US military video in which journalists, among others, are shot. Thanks to all who donated $/CPUs."

A follow-up on March 22 announced their reveal date.

"Over the last few years, WikiLeaks has been the subject of hostile acts by security organizations," founder Julian Assange writes. "We've become used to the level of security service interest in us and have established procedures to ignore that interest. But the increase in surveillance activities this last month, in a time when we are barely publishing due to fundraising, are excessive."

On Tuesday evening, followers of the WikiLeaks Twitter feed were startled to read, "WikiLeaks is currently under an aggressive US and Icelandic surveillance operation." This was followed a few minutes later by "If anything happens to us, you know why: it is our Apr 5 film. And you know who is responsible." A succeeding message warned, "We have airline records of the State Dep/CIA tails. Don't think you can get away with it. You cannot. This is WikiLeaks."

The site also recently published a document by a CIA think tank that proposes how European public opinion on the Afghan war could be manipulated.

"The need for independent leaks and whistle-blowing exposures is particularly acute now because, at exactly the same time that investigative journalism has collapsed, public and private efforts to manipulate public opinion have proliferated," Glenn Greenwald wrote in a recent piece about how the United States and other governments plot to destroy WikiLeaks. " This is exemplified by the type of public opinion management campaign detailed by the above-referenced CIA Report, the Pentagon's TV propaganda program exposed in 2008, and the ways in which private interests covertly pay and control supposedly "independent political commentators" to participate in our public debates and shape public opinion."


*


NATO Killed School Children and Pregnant Women in Afghanistan

Tries to Silence a Truth-Teller

By Derrick Crowe

March 27, 2010 "
Rethink Afghanistan" --


Q: Why would U.S. and allied forces in Afghanistan go out of their way to smear a journalist?

A: Because he told the truth about a night raid that killed Afghan civilians, including pregnant women.

Last week, I spoke with Afghanistan-based journalist Jerome Starkey about his reporting on special forces raids that killed civilians and NATOs surprising–and disappointing–response. This video contains disturbing images, and an even more disturbing story of violence, and an attempt to silence a truth-teller. It shows why its absolutely essential that we keep pushing back against the Pentagon’s message machine.

Over the past few months, Starkey exposed two incidents where NATO initially claimed to have engaged and killed insurgents, when they’d in fact killed civilians, including school children and pregnant women. In both cases, when confronted with eye-witness accounts obtained by Starkey that clearly rebutted NATO’s initial claims, NATO resisted publicly recanting.

In the first case, NATO officials told him they no longer believed that the raid would have been justified if they’d known what they now know, but no official would consent to direct attribution for this admission.

In the second case, NATO’s initially made sensational claims that they’d discovered during the raid the bodies of pregnant women that had been bound, gagged and executed. Starkey’s reporting forcefully rebutted this claim. Instead of simply retracting their story, NATO went so far as to attempt to damage Starkey’s credibility by telling other Kabul-based journalists that they had proof he’d misquoted ISAF spokesman Rear Adm. Greg Smith. When Starkey demanded a copy of the recording, NATO initially ignored him and eventually admitted that no recording existed. NATO only admitted their story was false in a retraction buried several paragraphs deep in a press release that led with an attack on Starkey’s credibility.

Under Gen. Stanley McChrystal, NATO’s made a big show of apologizing early and often when civilians are killed in broad daylight. But Starkey’s reporting and ISAF’s reaction to it shows that their natural inclination to escape accountability remains strong and operative when they think they can get away with violent mistakes under the cover of darkness.

Help us spread the word: become a fan of Rethink Afghanistan on Facebook.



Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Covering up American War Crimes in Viet Nam

Extract from an article
"Covering up American War Crimes, From Baghdad to New York"
by Charles Glass

March 25, 2010 "
Taki's"

".....There are precedents for government resistance to admitting responsibility (for war crimes).

American Vietnam veterans crippled by the dioxin they dropped all over Vietnam waited many years for the government to acknowledge their plight.


At first, the government resisted the connection between dioxin and the veterans’ cancer, Parkinson’s, and other fatal illnesses.

By the time the government paid anything, the vets were observing that their children were being born with severe birth defects from dioxin in Agent Orange and other herbicides unleashed on the South Vietnamese countryside.

Their children’s congenital deformities included spina bifida and other horrors that may go for generations to come. The Department of Veterans Affairs didn’t send them any money until 2003—thirty years after the last barrel of poison was dropped on Vietnam. Even that was restricted to 7,520 of the 99,226 veterans who claimed to have been affected.

While dioxin disabled thousands of American service personnel who merely handled it, as many as 4.8 million Vietnamese endured twenty-eight million gallons of toxic rain that drenched their skins, soaked their soil, and polluted their rivers and groundwater for ten years.

As with the American war vets, then-unborn children were also affected.

Vietnam has one of the world’s highest levels of birth defects, concentrated in the south where the American forces deployed most of the chemicals.


Five children out of one hundred are born with serious abnormalities, including missing limbs, spina bifida, twisted or missing internal organs and grotesque malformations that have made their survival impossible.

While reluctantly accepting a link between dioxin and birth defects in American service personnel’s children, the US denies any connection when it comes to Vietnamese...."


Friday, March 26, 2010

Trivializing War

By Cesar Chelala

“Drones are currently killing people in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. It should be noted that the United States is not at war with any of those countries, which should mean in a sane world that the killing is illegal under both international law and the US Constitution,” states Philip Girald, a former CIA officer and fellow of the American Conservative Defense Alliance. Continue

*

When Presidential Sermons Collide

By Glenn Greenwald

Nothing enables the glorification of crimes, and nothing ensures their future re-occurrence, more than shielding the criminals from all accountability. It's nice that Barack Obama is willing to dispense that lecture to other countries, but it's not so nice that he does exactly the opposite in his own. Continue

*

Covering up American War Crimes, From Baghdad to New York

By Charles Glass

“The US government does not want it known that it was using chemicals on human beings in a country whose leader it overthrew ostensibly because he retained the capacity to do the same thing.”
Continue

*

Have a Nice World War, Folks

By John Pilger

Here is news of the Third World War. The United States has invaded Africa. US troops have entered Somalia, extending their war front from Afghanistan and Pakistan to Yemen and now the Horn of Africa.
Continue

*

Be Sure The Truth Will Find You Out

By Yvonne Ridley

Well it has now emerged that the British Government used spies, lies and community leaders to spew out anti-Palestinian propaganda during the Gaza War. Continue

*

To Rob a Country, Own a Bank

Must Watch - Real News Video Interview

William Black, author of "Best way to rob a bank is to own one" talks about deliberate fraud on Wall St.
Continue

*

U.S.-led forces in Afghanistan are committing atrocities, lying, and getting away with it:

Jerome Starkey recently reported for The Times of London about a night raid on Feb. 12 in which U.S. and Afghan gunmen opened fire on two pregnant women, a teenage girl and two local officials -- an atrocity which NATO’s Afghanistan headquarters then tried to cover up.




COMMENTARY | March 22, 2010

Jerome Starkey recently


Abdul Ghafar mourns at the grave of a family member killed in a NATO night raid on Feb. 12. (photo: The Times)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

March 2010 Anti-War Protests in USA:

Video


There was a protest or demonstration in over 150 cities across the US in the week of March 20th. This video shows video and photos of maybe twenty events across the country combining interviews, speeches, and demonstration observations.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

US Has Iran in Its Sights
American Naifs Bringing Ruin to Other Lands

By Paul Craig Roberts

According to news reports, the U.S. military is shipping "bunker-buster" bombs to the U.S. Air Force base at Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean. The Herald Scotland reports that experts say the bombs are being assembled for an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities.

The newspaper quotes Dan Plesch, director of the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy at the University of London: "They are gearing up totally for the destruction of Iran." [Final destination Iran?, March 14, 2010]

The next step will be a staged "terrorist attack," a "false flag" operation as per Operation Northwoods, for which Iran will be blamed.

As Iran and its leadership have already been demonized, the "false flag" attack will suffice to obtain U.S. and European public support for bombing Iran. The bombing will include more than the nuclear facilities and will continue until the Iranians agree to regime change and the installation of a puppet government. The corrupt American media will present the new puppet as "freedom and democracy."

If the past is a guide, Americans will fall for the deception.

In the February issue of "American Behavioral Scientist," a scholarly journal, Professor Lance DeHaven-Smith writes that state crimes against democracy (SCAD) involve government officials, often in combination with private interests, that engage in covert activities in order to implement an agenda.

Examples include McCarthyism or the fabrication of evidence of communist infiltration, the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution based on false claims of President Johnson and Pentagon chief McNamara that North Vietnam attacked a U.S. naval vessel, the burglary of the office of Daniel Ellsberg’s psychiatrist in order to discredit Ellsberg ("The Pentagon Papers") as "disturbed," and the falsified "intelligence" that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction in order to justify the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

There are many other examples.

I have always regarded the 1995 bombing of the Murrah Federal Office Building in Oklahoma City as a SCAD. Allegedly, a disturbed Tim McVeigh used a fertilizer bomb in a truck parked outside the building. More likely, McVeigh was a patsy, whose fertilizer bomb was a cover for explosives planted inside the building.

A number of experts dismissed the possibility of McVeigh’s bomb producing such structural damage. For example, General Benton K. Partin, who was in charge of U.S. Air Force munitions design and testing, produced a thick report on the Murrah building bombing which concluded that the building blew up from the inside out. Gen. Partin concluded that, "the pattern of damage would have been technically impossible without supplementary demolition charges at some of the reinforced concrete bases inside the building, a standard demolition technique. For a simplistic blast truck bomb, of the size and composition reported, to be able to reach out on the order of 60 feet and collapse a reinforced column base the size of column A7 is beyond credulity."

Gen. Partin dismissed the official report as "a massive cover-up of immense proportions."

Of course, the general’s unquestionable expertise had no bearing on the outcome. One reason is that his and other expert voices were drowned out by media pumping the official story. Another reason is that public beliefs in a democracy run counter to suspicion of government as a terrorist agent.

Professor Laurie Manwell of the University of Guelph says that "false flag" operations have the advantage over truth: "research shows that people are far less willing to examine information that disputes, rather than confirms, their beliefs."

Professor Steven Hoffman agrees: "Our data shows substantial support for a cognitive theory known as 'motivated reasoning,' which suggests that rather than search rationally for information that either confirms or disconfirms a particular belief, people actually seek out information that confirms what they already believe. In fact, for the most part people completely ignore contrary information." Even when hard evidence turns up, it can be discredited as a "conspiracy theory."

All that is necessary for success of "false flag" or "black ops" events is for the government to have its story ready and to have a reliable and compliant media. Once an official story is in place, thought and investigation are precluded. Any formal inquiry that is convened serves to buttress the already provided explanation.

An explanation ready-at-hand is almost a give-away that an incident is a "black ops" event. Notice how quickly the U.S. government, allegedly so totally deceived by al-Qaida, provided the explanation for 9/11. When President Kennedy was assassinated, the government produced the culprit immediately. The alleged culprit was conveniently shot inside a jail by a civilian before he could be questioned. But the official story was ready, and it held.

Professors Manwell and Hoffman’s research resonates with me. I remember reading in my graduate studies that the Czarist secret police set off bombs in order to create excuses to arrest their targets. My inclination was to dismiss the accounts as anti-Czarist propaganda by pro-communist historians. It was only later when Robert Conquest confirmed to me that this was indeed the practice of the Czarist secret police that the scales fell from my eyes.

Former CIA official Philip Giraldi in his article, "The Rogue Nation," makes it clear that the U.S. government has a hegemonic agenda that it is pursuing without congressional or public awareness. The agenda unfolds piecemeal as a response to "terrorism," and the big picture is not understood by the public or by most in Congress. Giraldi protests that the agenda is illegal under both U.S. and international law, but that the illegality of the agenda does not serve as a barrier. Only a naif could believe that such a government would not employ "false flag" operations that advance the agenda.

The U.S. population, it seems, is comprised of naïfs whose lack of comprehension is bringing ruin to other lands.


Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury during President Reagan’s first term. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal. He has held numerous academic appointments, including the William E. Simon Chair, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Georgetown University, and Senior Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He was awarded the Legion of Honor by French President Francois Mitterrand.




Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Subscribe

ANSWER logo2

tell a friend 1


** Please circulate this message widely by email and through social networking sites. **

March 20:
Show Them Why You Are Marching —
and Make Some Noise!

Facebook button Twitter button

Flag-draped coffin at demonstration, 03-21-09

In just days, we will be taking to the streets! We are hearing from people all over the country who are coming to bring their message to D.C., and we want to share with you some of the plans and ways that you can make an important contribution to the impact of the March 20 National March on Washington to demand "U.S. Out of Afghanistan and Iraq Now!"

Visual Impact

As always, there will be thousands of printed and handmade signs. We will also be making hundreds of coffins with flags representing the multinational victims of U.S. wars of aggression, and many people are bringing coffins that they are making themselves. You can help make and carry coffins in the march by arriving at Lafayette Park between 10 a.m. and 12 noon.

Juan M Torres portrait, U.S. soldier casualty

Many people are bringing photographs showing Afghan and Iraqi victims of war. Others who have family members and friends who have been killed or injured in Afghanistan or Iraq are bringing photographs to represent their loss. The human cost of war, for all the numbers, is ultimately immeasurable. We urge people to join in this representation.

Students facing tuition hikes and cutbacks, workers who have been laid-off from their jobs, people without health care and facing foreclosure or eviction, or others feeling the domestic impact of the war are bringing some visual representation of their struggles. This may be in the form of a handmade sign, or it may be another type of creative visual representation.

A  demonstrator with a drum at an anti-war march

You can also bring visuals that are specific to the stops on the march. We will be marching from the White House to the offices of Halliburton, Washington Post, Mortgage Bankers Association of America, National Endowment for Democracy and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

For example, Cheney puppets would be great to have when we go to Halliburton. You might want to bring a copy of the Washington Post to return to their doorstep since it’s functioning as pro-war propaganda rather than real news. Think about each stop and be creative!

Be Seen AND Be Heard

We’ll have speakers on the rally and march, and of course we’ll be chanting. We also want to have as many drums as possible, so we are encouraging everyone who can to bring a drum (or a bucket or other implement on which you can drum). The drums should have straps so you can hold them while at the rally and on the march.

If you are not able to bring anything, don't worry. You can pick up a sign when you arrive.

Here are a few things you can bring
  • Handmade sign with a slogan
  • Coffin
  • Photograph of Afghan or Iraqi victim of war
  • Photograph of a family member or friend who has been killed or injured in Afghanistan or Iraq
  • Visual representation of the domestic cost of war
  • Specific visuals for the stops on the march
  • Drums or drumming implement (with straps so you can hold it)

Click here to let us know what you can bring.

Click here for additional details about the march.

Please make an urgently needed donation to support our March 20 student travel fund!

Make a generous donation to help high school students travel to Washington D.C. for the March on Washington. It costs a lot for organizations to rent buses and for individuals to buy tickets to come to Washington, D.C. We are setting up a scholarship fund to help cover the transportation costs for high school students. How much we can provide will be based on how much we raise. Please click here to make a generous donation and help a new generation of activists take their place in today's anti-war movement.

More information about March 20 is available at www.AnswerCoalition.org.

Help build the March 20 March on Washington!

Find out about transportation from around the country

Organize Transportation

Download literature

Volunteer

Endorse March 20

See the list of endorsers

Donate to Support the National March on Washington

Facebook button Twitter button

March 20 March on Washington banner


A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition
http://www.answercoalition.org/
info@internationalanswer.org
National Office in Washington DC: 202-265-1948
New York City: 212-694-8720
Los Angeles: 213-251-1025
San Francisco: 415-821-6545
Chicago: 773-463-0311


Click here to subscribe.

Monday, March 15, 2010


Civil Resistance to War and Empire in Nation's Capital

Peace of the Action's "Camp OUT NOW", Washington, DC



By: Cindy Sheehan

Enough is enough!

It's time we up the ante and demand that our voices be heard and heeded.
It's time that the logical and rational voices of reason get a Peace of the Action.


While the wars in Central Asia and the Middle East rage hotter and hotter, and while the suppression of our civil liberties here in the U.S. continue, Peace of the Action is demanding an immediate cessation to U.S. hostilities.

Peace of the Action will be establishing Camp OUT NOW on the lawn of the Washington Monument (with or without governmental permission) on Saturday, March 13th, to be a base of operations from which we will organize and direct daily acts of Civil Resistance throughout the DC area and until our demands are officially recognized.

The first week of Camp OUT NOW, we will be holding non-violent Civil Resistance training, hosting Peace notables and being invigorated by musicians as we start building the community that we are going to need in order to help each other through the planned sustained actions.

All persons, who have had enough of "business as usual" in DC and are willing to put our anti-war, pro humanity principles into practice, are invited to come out to Camp OUT NOW and stay with us for as little or as long as you have available.

Direct acts of non-violent Civil Resistance will begin Monday, March 22nd after we have joined ANSWER Coalition in its "March on Washington" on Saturday, March 20th.


For more information please visit
www.peaceoftheaction.org


Cindy Sheehan (National Executive Director)
cindy@peaceoftheaction.org



Sunday, March 14, 2010

They Cooked The Books

The Video That Will Put Geithner Behind Bars

One Of The Greatest Crimes Ever Perpetrated

By Mike Whitney

You gotta see this!

If this doesn't convince you that the Timothy Geithner knew about the securities shenanigans that were going on at Lehman, than I don't know what will.

Keep in mind, that Geithner ran Lehman through 3 "stress tests" prior to bankruptcy; all of which Lehman failed, and yet, nothing was done. Anton R. Valukas--the examiner who wrote the 2,200 page investigative-report which was released on Thursday-- has provided plenty of information detailing Lehman's “materially misleading” accounting and “actionable balance sheet manipulation.”

In other words, they cooked the books.

Eves Smith at Naked Capitalism sums up what was going on like this:

"Quite a few observers... have been stunned and frustrated at the refusal to investigate what was almost certain accounting fraud at Lehman. ....The unraveling isn’t merely implicating Fuld (Lehman CEO) and his recent succession of CFOs, or its accounting firm, Ernst & Young, as might be expected. It also emerges that the NY Fed, and thus Timothy Geithner, were at a minimum massively derelict in the performance of their duties, and may well be culpable in aiding and abetting Lehman in accounting fraud and Sarbox violations....

We need to demand an immediate release of the e-mails, phone records, and meeting notes from the NY Fed and key Lehman principals regarding the NY Fed’s review of Lehman’s solvency. If, as things appear now, Lehman was allowed by the Fed’s inaction to remain in business, when the Fed should have insisted on a wind-down ..... at a minimum, the NY Fed helped perpetuate a fraud on investors and counterparties.

This pattern further suggests the Fed, which by its charter is tasked to promote the safety and soundness of the banking system, instead, via its collusion with Lehman management, operated to protect particular actors to the detriment of the public at large.

And most important, it says that the NY Fed, and likely Geithner himself, undermined, perhaps even violated, laws designed to protect investors and markets. If so, he is not fit to be Treasury secretary or hold any office related to financial supervision and should resign immediately. (Naked Capitalism)

Repeat: "Accounting fraud", "collusion", "aiding and abetting." These are serious charges by a usually restrained blogger.

And this is from Zero Hedge:

"Lehman has become merely the latest example of all that is broken with today's crony capitalist system.... The evident conclusion is that the core driver of modern capitalist society is fraud at its very core, and nothing short of a massive revolutionary overhaul of the political system, which is the number one defender .. of very lucrative bribes and kickbacks originating from the same rotten Wall Street that (is) nothing but a sham filled with toxic assets" Zero Hedge

This story isn't going away. Someone has to go to jail. It's clear that Geithner acted as the "chief facilitator" of industrial scale securities flim-flam which led directly to the Great Crash of '08. He needs to be held accountable for his actions.



*

War on the Horizon in Latin America

By Eva Golinger

The Empire will stop at nothing to find mechanisms and techniques to achieve its final objective, and we cannot disregard the possibility of a military conflict in the near future. If the US places Venezuela on the “terrorist list” this year, we could be on the verge of a regional war. Continue


*

Welcome to America, Sucker
Ponzi Nation: How Get-Rich-Quick Crime Came to Define an Era

By Andy Kroll

Every great American boom and bust makes and breaks its share of crooks. The past decade -- call it the Ponzi Era -- has been no different, except for the gargantuan scale of white-collar crime. A vast wave of financial fraud swelled in the first years of the new century. Continue


*

The Rogue Nation

By Philip Girald

The Pentagon will be developing a new generation of super drones that can stay airborne for long periods of time and can strike anywhere in the world and at any time to kill America’s enemies. The super drones will include some that can fly at supersonic speeds and others that will be large enough to carry nuclear weapons. Continue


*

The Threatening Dangers


By Fidel Castro


No place on earth or in the sea, no matter how deep, is beyond reach of the current means of war. Continue


*

The 9/11 Hijackers are Alive?


Video Interview With Dr. David Ray Griffin

According to the chief of Japans Democratic Party who says that the 9/11 hijackers are alive and that 9/11 was a complete hoax. Dr. David Ray Griffin is a professor and author who wrote The New Pearl Harbor Revisited and he says that he agrees; the World Trade Center was a hoax.

Continue


*

Fiction of Marja as City Was U.S. Information War

By Gareth Porter


The picture of Marja presented by military officials and obediently reported by major news media is one of the clearest and most dramatic pieces of misinformation of the entire war, apparently aimed at hyping the offensive as a historic turning point in the conflict.

Continue


Monday, March 08, 2010

Announcement from Darrell Wade, Co-founder & CEO of Intrepid Travel -

INTREPID AWARDS 2009

On Friday night (Feb. 26, 2010) we had a fantastic celebration of the work of many outstanding individuals, departments and Intrepid companies. This year we got more international nominations and winners than ever before - as we should with so many of our best people located overseas.

And so on to the awards

The first 10 awards presented are based on the nominations received from staff around the globe. We received hundreds of nominations, recognising that so many of our staff are fantastic role models of Intrepid Values and incredibly supportive to their colleagues.

Unfortunately time does not allow us to read out the names of every single person nominated but we will make mention the top 5 nominees. The full list of the top nominees will be published in the next OneIntrepid newsletter.

We will start with the awards for representing the Core Values:

1. We act with integrity
Nominees are:

  • Bruce McPhie - Vietnam
  • Caroline Fitzgerald - ITPL
  • Chimene Barrett - ITPL
  • Pravin Tamang - India
  • Tara Kennaway - Beijing
And the winner is BRUCE MCPHIE - Vietnam
Some quotes from those who nominated him:
  • The most honest and diligent person I have ever met at Intrepid. He is totally devoted to Intrepid and is a fantastic ambassador.
  • He is the man. Really honest in every thing. He is there for the group and the benefits come to the company, charities, and his pax.
  • Bruce acts with Integrity in his work and in his normal life

2. We are passionate about what we do (this award had a huge number of nominees)
Nominees are:

  • Anya Basic - ITPL
  • Dyan McKie - Boulder
  • Karyn Carne - Retail Carlton
  • Sean Ryan - Bundu
  • Katie Olssen - Canada
And the winner is SEAN RYAN - Bundu
Some quotes from those who nominated him:
  • Sean is so passionate about all things South Africa, Johannesburg and Intrepid Bundu. Faced with some really tough times this year he has stayed positive and passionate through out.
  • Sean is passionate about South Africa, its people and beauty. He instills this passion in everyone in our office.
  • He is the most passionate person I know and he is living the dream! (no, Merle did not write this)

3. We encourage personal growth
Nominees are:

  • Christian Wolters - Canada
  • Dean McLachlan - Cambodia
  • Dyan McKie - Boulder
  • Marina Mildenhall - ITPL
  • Vicky Herd - Westbury
And the winner is VICKY HERD - Westbury
Some quotes from those who nominated her:
  • Vicky is always good at making sure the team is fully trained, or if there is anything else you would like to learn, and loves to see people grow.
  • I feel like she is proud to watch us grow and develop. Her kind words and constant evaluations help everyone to feel more confident in considering other options within Intrepid. Any suggestion for further training is not only often asked for, but seriously considered.
  • She is always encouraging all members of the team and always wants us to do well.

4. We have fun
Nominees are:

  • David Curry - ITPL
  • Hung Pham - Vietnam
  • Jeremy Bookman - Boulder
  • Meg Koffel - ITPL
  • Amy Lewis - ITPL
And the winner is MEG KOFFEL - ITPL
Some quotes from those who nominated her:
  • The sheer joy this woman brings from the moment she walks through the door in the morning till she leaves at night, makes her an absolute pleasure to work with.
  • She introduced Whacky Hat Day and then got it published in a travel trade newsletter; she has a wicked laugh that resonates throughout the office; she engages with people outside our team on a personal level, always with the view to making them laugh; in a tough year she's been instrumental in raising people's spirits; we all miss her when she's not here - there's an obvious hole in the office.
  • For just being Meg every day. There was crazy hat day, amongst other quirky ideas to keep us all in stitches.

5. We are creative and innovative
Nominees are:

  • Eliza Anderson - ITPL
  • Tan Vo - Vietnam
  • Gina Kelly - Boulder
  • Maria Korneeva - Russia (Intrepid Beijing)
  • Mel McKean - Retail Carlton
And the winner is TAN VO - Vietnam
Some quotes from those who nominated him:
  • He is sometimes like a pathfinder
  • Apart from his job as a leader he always tries to discover new services that he not only organises for his passenger but also share with other leaders
  • He never stops learning things to share with others and to improve his level of service

6. We believe in sustainability and responsible travel
Nominees are:

  • Aarti Bhalla - India
  • Anna Harvie - Marrakech
  • Caroline Titt - Westbury
  • Summer Davis - Andes
  • Yvette Thompson - ITPL
And the winner is SUMMER DAVIS - Andes
Some quotes from those who nominated her:
  • Summer has dedicated her own time to developing 'Pub Quizzes' in Lima to raise donations for the Intrepid Foundation.
  • She is sharing with people the importance to recycling
  • She has an endless energy and knows how to encourage people to support our projects in Peru.
The next 2 awards are for those who provide a high level of support to their colleagues

7. Best support role to group leaders
Nominees are:

  • David Rousseau - Andes
  • Dean McLachlan - Cambodia (Intrepid Thailand)
  • Hung Nguyen - Vietnam
  • Long Nguyen - Vietnam
  • Tan Vo - Vietnam
And the winner is HUNG NGUYEN - Vietnam
Some quotes from those who nominated him:
  • Hung is decisive, knowledgeable, understanding and operates with empathy towards leaders. A highly valuable member of the team.
  • The most support and guidance for me, if I have something which I do not know, I call him and he gives me the best solution.

8. Best support role to office staff
Nominees are:

  • David Currie - ITPL
  • Gina Cacsire - Andes
  • Janine Cuthbert - ITPL
  • Megan Schulz - ITPL
  • Vicky Herd - Westbury
And the winner is DAVID CURRIE - ITPL
Some quotes from those who nominated him:
  • Super service and always available. no job too big or too small
  • David is just ALWAYS so incredibly helpful and kind and knows how to communicate without talking geek-speak! he rocks! and he gets things done as well!!
  • For being conscientious, very helpful, giving good clear explanations without IT geek/speak, for being good humoured, for not treating any Q as stupid, and for gracious follow up.
The next award recognises those who go beyond the boundaries of their job and make a big difference to those who work with them

9. Above and Beyond
Nominees are:

  • Katie Olsson - Canada
  • Long Nguyen - Vietnam
  • Norma Hancco - Andes
  • Caroline Fitzgerald - ITPL
  • Tara Kennaway - Beijing
And the winner is TARA KENNAWAY - Beijing
Some quotes from those who nominated her:
  • Dedication, commitment, work ethic and passion, Tara single handedly managed operations for 2 months (contingency planning days) She's often meeting leaders, Russia suppliers and other contacts after hours and even recently ran a slide show during her holidays in Melbourne.
  • Dealing with pretty much every China/Tibet crisis in a professional, efficient and generally excellent manner

10. Sustainability Efforts - recognises those who have made efforts to ensure we operate in a sustainable manner
Nominees are:

  • Aarti Bhalla - India
  • Amanda Smith - Westbury
  • Casie Zalud - Boulder
  • Long Nguyen - Vietnam
  • Tan Vo - Vietnam
And the winner is CASIE ZALUD - Boulder
Some quotes from those who nominated her:
  • Casie got the whole office to 'adopt' a roadway to clean it up twice per year. She also had a representative come in to educate the office staff on how to lead more environmentally friendly lives. She installed several more bins to separate our recycled items.
  • Casie is tireless in her efforts to make our office as green as possible!! She makes weekly trips to our local recycling centre to drop off items that cannot be picked up by our normal collection service.

The following awards are based on collection of data to determine the winners. The results for these categories are black and white.

11. Fund Raising Award
The company that raised the most money for the Intrepid Foundation and projects is INTREPID INDOCHINA raising $16,502

12. Best Group Leader: we have many fantastic results in this category ensuring that our customers are having a fabulous trip with Intrepid
Finalists are in no particular order:

  • Jamal Ouahi - Morocco
  • Hue Tran - Vietnam
  • Fernando Rodriguez - Andes
  • Dheeraj Bhatt - India
  • Giuseppe Cipriani - Italy
  • Chaiya Jaisodsai - Thailand
And the winner is FERNANDO RODRIGUEZ - Andes
With an average feedback score of 4.92 across 87 feedbacks and 7 different trips

13. Best Trip - the trip with consistently the best score for Overall Experience
The finalists are (in no particular order):

  • Inca Highlands and Beyond
  • Mountains & Monasteries
  • Vietnam Family Adventure
  • Tibet Unplugged
  • Comfort Turkey
And the winner is VIETNAM FAMILY ADVENTURE
With an overall enjoyment rating of 4.91 across 143 feedbacks

14. Most Improved Region
Nominees are:

  • Tibet
  • Southern Africa
  • East Africa
  • India
  • South America
And the winner is EAST AFRICA
With an average overall feedback score of 4.63, up from 4.53 on the previous year.

15. Employer of Choice
This award is based on the results from the individual company staff engagement surveys. This year we are looking at the company with the greatest improvement on the previous year's score
Top companies are:

  • Intrepid Boulder
  • Intrepid Indochina
  • Intrepid Guerba Kenya
  • Intrepid Canada - while this was the first year for Canada to participate in the Staff Survey, they deserve a mention due to an excellent first year score.
And the winner is INTREPID GUERBA KENYA, improving their staff survey score to 4.42 over 41 submissions, up from 3.97 on the previous year

16. Top Sales Consultant - Industry/Wholesale (only covers ITPL based Reservations department)
Finalists:

  • Andrea Dalton
  • Chantal Wynter
  • Rebecca Szysz
  • Nic Everett
And the winner is REBECCA SZYSZ for taking on additional challenges, such as assisting the res support team, offering excellent support with training and development of new team members and being a great representative of Intrepid values.

17. Top Sales Consultant - Direct
Finalists:

  • Jeremy Bookman - Boulder
  • Deb Knox - NZ
  • Melanie Gauthier - Canada
  • Petra Palkovicova - Westbury
  • Michelle Trembath - Intrepid Retail (Paddington)
And the winner is JEREMY BOOKMAN . . . .

Congratulations to all the winners and nominees and thanks to everyone for the hard work you all do to make Intrepid the great company it is. . . .

Cheers,

Darrell Wade
Co-founder and CEO
Intrepid Travel



http://counterpunch.org/jacobs03042010.html


Douglas Valentine's History of the DEA

Of Course Narcs Are Crooked ...

By RON JACOBS

We've all seen a television show or a movie about an undercover narcotics cop who become crooked. He loses the trust of his colleagues, then his family. Soon, the only contacts he has are with the world of drug dealers that he originally set out to destroy. Now picture this scenario of the criminal cop on a worldwide scale and condoned by various governments and their agencies, including that of the United States. Let's go a step further and understand that not only are these governments condoning these rogue activities, they consider them valuable to their national security. So, they allow drug dealers to bring huge amounts of heroin and cocaine into the country while at the same time others on the government payroll are arresting drug dealers not favored by US intelligence.

The scenario described above is but one aspect of the so-called war on drugs waged by the United States government. The "war" as it is being fought is, like all wars, much different than originally advertised. Even if there were pure motives ascribed to this war at its inceptions, those motives have long since disintegrated into an abyss of duplicity, denial, and atrocity. Like its progeny the global war on terror, the US war on drugs is a war that its antagonists never want to end since its termination would mean an end to their profit and status.

Indeed, an end to the war on drugs would mean an end to the very agencies designed to fight it and the billions of dollars those agencies take from the taxpayers every year. Also like the global war on terror, the war on drugs is against an enemy that does not exist in terms of sovereignty persons, but as a phenomenon impossible to defeat. Therefore, it is an endless pursuit. In addition, it is a pursuit where the individual actors are often on both sides of the battle: where a drug dealer is also an informer and where a terrorist is also a CIA plant. To top it all off, these two wars on phantasms are interlinked. From the poppy fileds and heroin labs of Afghanistan and Pakistan to the coca fields and cocaine labs of Colombia (with many other places in between), the funding of terror and insurgent groups and the funding of forces fighting them is connected to the international drug trade.

The web of individuals, criminal groups, and other organizations involved in the international drug trade is multidimensional and complex. This is also the case with the individuals and agencies enlisted by the US government to fight that trade. The federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) are among those who have attempted to catalog the elements involved in the drug trade. Author Douglas Valentine (The Phoenix Program) is one of the few that have attempted to catalog and describe the web woven by the government agencies supposedly fighting that trade. In so doing, he has described a system riddled with corruption and criminality. Sometimes this is the work of individuals enlisted by the agencies; sometimes it is the result of interagency turf battles; and sometimes it is agency policy.

Valentine's first book on the subject is titled The Strength of the Wolf: The Secret History of America's War on Drugs. This book told the history of Henry Anslinger's Federal Bureau of Narcotics (FBN) in all of its corrupt detail and racist assumptions. The stories between the book's covers have enough fodder for a dozen Hollywood movies or a multitude of crime novels. His latest on the subject, The Strength of the Pack: The People, Politics and Espionage Intrigues that Shaped the DEA, covers the period beginning with the dissolution of the FBN, the short tenure of the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs (BNDD), and the creation and continued existence of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). It is a voluminous work with more characters than the proverbial Russian novel.

Impeccably researched and documented, The Strength of the Pack details the cowboy attitudes of BNDD and DEA agents and the criminal acts with which they were often involved. It is the story of a bureaucracy constantly at odds with itself and with other agencies, especially the CIA. The conflict with the CIA was directly tied to that agency's use of drug running enterprises in its counterintelligence endeavors. It is the author's contention that this conflict was a product of the CIA's pursuit of its anticommunist agenda no matter what the cost. This contention is supported by the facts presented. There are mafia drug dealers let go and murderers employed by the CIA left to continue their criminal pursuits--all because of the role they played in Washington's war against the Soviet Union.

The US war on drugs begun by Richard Nixon preceded the war on terror by almost twenty years. The destruction of the Bill of Rights Americans currently accept as fact began then. No Knock warrantless searches, torture of suspects, and the assassination of foreign individuals became accepted practice under the DEA. Indeed, some of these became law. Like the war on terror, the war on drugs preys on the fear of the unknown. Likewise, it presents the use of force as the most effective means to fight the war, despite decades of evidence proving that this is not the case. Also, like the war on terror, the war on drugs has created a bureaucracy and a subsidiary industry in the private sector that exists only to perpetuate itself. This is arguably a primary reason why marijuana remains illegal in the United States--because too many people on the supposedly right side of the law make a living from its illegality.

Valentine seeks the truth in his books. In doing so, he uncovers a lot of ugliness regarding the men and women who say they are protecting us.

For some readers, his revelations about the US-run assassination program in Vietnam called the Phoenix program or his detailing of the corruption and criminality of those hired by the US government to keep heroin and cocaine away from America's youth might be too much. This in itself is reason enough to read his books.

The facade of morality that the DEA hides behind should be torn away if this country is to ever have a sane and humane drug policy. Just as importantly, that facade needs to be destroyed if it is ever to have a sane and humane foreign policy.

As Valentine's books make perfectly clear, there is more than a bit of venality behind almost every bureaucrat and political appointee presented to the populace in any given year. Donald Rumsfeld or Hilary Clinton, Robert McNamara or William Colby, the men and women that run the United States are, after all, human. Some would argue that they define humanity's baser elements.


Ron Jacobs is author of The Way the Wind Blew: a history of the Weather Underground, which is just republished by Verso. Jacobs' essay on Big Bill Broonzy is featured in CounterPunch's collection on music, art and sex, Serpents in the Garden. His first novel, Short Order Frame Up, is published by Mainstay Press. He can be reached at: rjacobs3625@charter.net