Archive for July, 2013

war_made_easy

The Big Lies of US Presidents

Norman Solomon, Sean Penn and others bring us the modern history of war propaganda and deception.  The American global empire since WW2 is examined, with war pretexts showing similar patterns and designed to rally, not to inform the public.  Official enemies are demonized regularly to drum up support for the next war, all the while professing that America never seeks violence. This parlor trick has been done so many times that it still amazes how the public can be so gullible, so ignorant, so stupid.

Archival footage shows the same lies, from Johnson to Bush Sr. to Clinton to Shrub.  The same war in the name of peace gibberish that plays so well in the ignorant heartland.  When a president starts talking about peace, watch out; Orwellian double-speak is more than a fiction.

“Actually, war becomes perpetual when it is used as a rationale for peace.”

War Made Easy is a compendium, much like What I’ve Learned About U.S. Foreign Policy.  But the editing is tighter and more focused.  This is the real history of our nation that isn’t permitted on corporate network news, not in this succinct, hard hitting, structured fashion.  Voices who call attention to US imperialism and deception do not get invited to corporate news studios.

Sad true fact is that every president in my lifetime should be tried as a war criminal for the same types of aggressive Nuremberg violations that led to the execution of Nazi war criminals after WW2.   And yet I did not see the Nuremberg statutes mentioned by Solomon.  He cushions his critique, perhaps to appeal to the deluded middle American audience, or perhaps he lacks the gumshen to shoot that straight?

Here Solomon tortures the language to make Obama seem less heinous than McCain in 2008.  Of course Solomon is a fixture in foundation-funded professional left-leaning propaganda outfits like Alternet.   Interestingly, not one mention is made of third parties in the election, or of a future that includes third parties.   With all the verbal contortions, acknowledging the charlatanism of the militarist, Obama, no alternative is even acknowledged as a possibility — ever, in perpetuity, amen.

Anyway, how does one know when the President is lying?

His lips are moving.

The US public has been systematically brainwashed into falsely believing that no criminal conspiracies can occur in the federal government.  In reality little else goes on.

In War Made Easy, the lies are exposed, deception called out — but it is never called a “crime.”  It is never suggested to demand impeachment.  It never compares war criminals from other nations to those here in the United States.   Is this a function of the foundation-funded media that critiques within a spectrum, that defines the boundaries of protest?

Media Liars

Thankfully, Solomon does destroy the propaganda of the corporate news media.  They are fair game.  The media, the willing executioners of imperial propaganda, are simply shown doing what they do now that the truth has come out and exposed their reports as deceptions, embedded war propaganda, hostile frothing partisan Brownshirt barking, etc.

“There’s a kind of an acculturated callousness as to what happens at the other end of US weapons.”

Network cheerleading for war and censoring out peace voices is shown explicitly, as the imperial media is laid bare as willing accomplices of death and destruction.  Media profits soar when they hype war and battle coverage.  This makes people more likely to tune in and see their commercials.  In partnership with the Pentagon and US officials, war lies are not questioned, not investigated, and actual journalists such as Phil Donahue in 2003, are simply fired.

Trailer

Website

Norman Solomon at the University of California, speech: War Made Easy.

“U.S. journalists don’t win Pulitzers for questioning the U.S. empire.”

This film should make you very angry if you have anything approaching a sense of morality or conscience regarding America’s Crimes Against Humanity and those depraved murderous psychopaths who run it, and who get away with mass murder on a fairly regular basis.

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This needs to turn around.  Either you believe in the Constitutional Bill of Rights and a free society … or you don’t.

 


 

A letter from Edward Snowden’s father and his lawyer, Bruce Fein, to President Obama:

Bruce Fein & Associates, Inc.
722 12th Street, N.W., 4th Floor
Washington, D.C. 20005
Phone: 703-963-4968
bruce@thelichfieldgroup.com

July 26, 2013
President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20500

Re: Civil Disobedience, Edward J. Snowden, and the Constitution

Dear Mr. President:

You are acutely aware that the history of liberty is a history of civil disobedience to unjust laws or practices. As Edmund Burke sermonized, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”

Civil disobedience is not the first, but the last option. Henry David Thoreau wrote with profound restraint in Civil Disobedience: “If the injustice is part of the necessary friction of the machine of government, let it go, let it go: perchance it will wear smooth certainly the machine will wear out. If the injustice has a spring, or a pulley, or a rope, or a crank, exclusively for itself, then perhaps you may consider whether the remedy will not be worse than the evil; but if it is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law. Let your life be a counter friction to stop the machine.”

Thoreau’s moral philosophy found expression during the Nuremburg trials in which “following orders” was rejected as a defense. Indeed, military law requires disobedience to clearly illegal orders.

A dark chapter in America’s World War II history would not have been written if the then United States Attorney General had resigned rather than participate in racist concentration camps imprisoning 120,000 Japanese American citizens and resident aliens.

Civil disobedience to the Fugitive Slave Act and Jim Crow laws provoked the end of slavery and the modern civil rights revolution.

We submit that Edward J. Snowden’s disclosures of dragnet surveillance of Americans under § 215 of the Patriot Act, § 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Amendments, or otherwise were sanctioned by Thoreau’s time-honored moral philosophy and justifications for civil disobedience. Since 2005, Mr. Snowden had been employed by the intelligence community. He found himself complicit in secret, indiscriminate spying on millions of innocent citizens contrary to the spirit if not the letter of the First and Fourth Amendments and the transparency indispensable to self-government. Members of Congress entrusted with oversight remained silent or Delphic. Mr. Snowden confronted a choice between civic duty and passivity. He may have recalled the injunction of Martin Luther King, Jr.: “He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it.” Mr. Snowden chose duty. Your administration vindictively responded with a criminal complaint alleging violations of the Espionage Act.

From the commencement of your administration, your secrecy of the National Security Agency’s Orwellian surveillance programs had frustrated a national conversation over their legality, necessity, or morality. That secrecy (combined with congressional nonfeasance) provoked Edward’s disclosures, which sparked a national conversation which you have belatedly and cynically embraced. Legislation has been introduced in both the House of Representatives and Senate to curtail or terminate the NSA’s programs, and the American people are being educated to the public policy choices at hand. A commanding majority now voice concerns over the dragnet surveillance of Americans that Edward exposed and you concealed. It seems mystifying to us that you are prosecuting Edward for accomplishing what you have said urgently needed to be done!

The right to be left alone from government snooping–the most cherished right among civilized people—is the cornerstone of liberty. Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson served as Chief Prosecutor at Nuremburg. He came to learn of the dynamics of the Third Reich that crushed a free society, and which have lessons for the United States today.

Writing in Brinegar v. United States, Justice Jackson elaborated:
The Fourth Amendment states: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing
the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

These, I protest, are not mere second-class rights but belong in the catalog of indispensable freedoms. Among deprivations of rights, none is so
effective in cowing a population, crushing the spirit of the individual and putting terror in every heart. Uncontrolled search and seizure is one of the
first and most effective weapons in the arsenal of every arbitrary government. And one need only briefly to have dwelt and worked among a people possessed of many admirable qualities but deprived of these rights to know that the human personality deteriorates and dignity and self-reliance
disappear where homes, persons and possessions are subject at any hour to unheralded search and seizure by the police.

We thus find your administration’s zeal to punish Mr. Snowden’s discharge of civic duty to protect democratic processes and to safeguard liberty to be unconscionable and indefensible.

We are also appalled at your administration’s scorn for due process, the rule of law, fairness, and the presumption of innocence as regards Edward.

On June 27, 2013, Mr. Fein wrote a letter to the Attorney General stating that Edward’s father was substantially convinced that he would return to the United States to confront the charges that have been lodged against him if three cornerstones of due process were guaranteed. The letter was not an ultimatum, but an invitation to discuss fair trial imperatives. The Attorney General has sneered at the overture with studied silence.

We thus suspect your administration wishes to avoid a trial because of constitutional doubts about application of the Espionage Act in these circumstances, and obligations to disclose to the public potentially embarrassing classified information under the Classified Information Procedures Act.

Your decision to force down a civilian airliner carrying Bolivian President Eva Morales in hopes of kidnapping Edward also does not inspire confidence that you are committed to providing him a fair trial. Neither does your refusal to remind the American people and prominent Democrats and Republicans in the House and Senate like House Speaker John Boehner, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann,and Senator Dianne Feinstein that Edward enjoys a presumption of innocence. He should not be convicted before trial. Yet Speaker Boehner has denounced Edward as a “traitor.”

Ms. Pelosi has pontificated that Edward “did violate the law in terms of releasing those documents.” Ms. Bachmann has pronounced that, “This was not the act of a patriot; this was an act of a traitor.” And Ms. Feinstein has decreed that Edward was guilty of “treason,” which is defined in Article III of the Constitution as “levying war” against the United States, “or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort.”

You have let those quadruple affronts to due process pass unrebuked, while you have disparaged Edward as a “hacker” to cast aspersion on his motivations and talents. Have you forgotten the Supreme Court’s gospel in Berger v. United States that the interests of the government “in a criminal prosecution is not that it shall win a case, but that justice shall be done?”

We also find reprehensible your administration’s Espionage Act prosecution of Edward for disclosures indistinguishable from those which routinely find their way into the public domain via your high level appointees for partisan political advantage. Classified details of your predator drone protocols, for instance, were shared with the New York Times with impunity to bolster your national security credentials. Justice Jackson observed in Railway Express Agency, Inc. v. New York: “The framers of the Constitution knew, and we should not forget today, that there is no more effective practical guaranty against arbitrary and unreasonable government than to require that the principles of law which officials would impose upon a minority must be imposed generally.”

In light of the circumstances amplified above, we urge you to order the Attorney General to move to dismiss the outstanding criminal complaint against Edward, and to support legislation to remedy the NSA surveillance abuses he revealed. Such presidential directives would mark your finest constitutional and moral hour.

Sincerely,
Bruce Fein
Counsel for Lon Snowden
Lon Snowden

 

One hour documentary on the handheld, portable cinema camera, and the rise of documentary filmmaking in 1960.

 

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Asia-Pacific Journal:

US Government Protection of Al-Qaeda Terrorists and the US-Saudi Black Hole

In reality, as I shall show, royal family protection from Qatar and Saudi Arabia (concealed by the 9/11 Commission) was repeatedly given to key figures like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged “principal architect of the 9/11 attacks.” This finding totally undermines the claim that the wars fought by America in Asia since 9/11 have been part of a global “war on terror.” On the contrary, the result of the wars has been to establish a permanent U.S. military presence in the oil- and gas-rich regions of Central Asia, in alliance with Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Pakistan – the principal backers of the jihadi terrorist networks the U.S. been supposedly fighting. Meanwhile the most authentic opponents in the region of these Sunni jihadi terrorists – the governments of Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Iran – have been overthrown by U.S. invasion or military support (in the case of Iraq and Libya) subverted with U.S. support (in the case of Syria), or sanctioned and threatened as part of an “axis of evil” (in the case of Iran). The protection to terrorists described in this essay, in other words, has been sustained partly in order to support the false premises that have underlain U.S. Asian wars for more than a decade. And the blame cannot be assigned all to the Saudis. Two months before 9/11, FBI counterterrorism expert John O’Neill described to the French journalist Jean-Charles Brisard America’s “impotence” in getting help from Saudi Arabia concerning terrorist networks. The reason? In Brisard’s paraphrase, “Just one: the petroleum interests.”5 Former CIA officer Robert Baer voiced a similar complaint about the lobbying influence of “the Foreign Oil Companies Group, a cover for a cartel of major petroleum companies doing business in the Caspian. . . . The deeper I got, the more Caspian oil money I found sloshing around Washington.”6 The decade of protection for terrorists demonstrates the power of this secretive dimension of the American deep state: the dark forces in our society responsible for protecting terrorists, over and above the parallel government institutionalized on and after 9/11.7 –

…Consider the FBI’s instruction in 1993 to the Canadian RCMP to release the al-Qaeda organizer Mohamed Ali, who then proceeded to Nairobi in the same year to begin planning the U.S. Embassy bombing of 1998. –

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Hollywood Reporter:

Sam Simon, Terminally Ill ‘Simpsons’ Co-Creator Vows to Give Away Fortune

“Simon: I want medical experiments on animals stopped. They don’t do anything, and they don’t work. Veganism is an answer for almost every problem facing the world in terms of hunger and climate change. It helps people’s health. Meat is the biggest greenhouse gas producer. There’s also the cruelty and suffering aspect.”

 

 

More lawless assaults on justice from police paid informant provocateurs who plant evidence for political persecution: in other words, state-sponsored terrorism.

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63rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards - Arrivals

NY Review of Books:

The Persisting Vision: Reading the Language of Cinema

Martin Scorcese

“Young people need to understand that not all images are there to be consumed like fast food and then forgotten–we need to educate them to understand the difference between moving images that engage their humanity and their intelligence, and moving images that are just selling them something.”

“You see the world through your own time–which means that some values disappear, and some values come into closer focus. Same film, same images, but in the case of a great film the power–a timeless power that really can’t be articulated–is there even when the context has completely changed.”