Posts Tagged ‘empire’

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by David Swanson

By now there’s not nearly as much disagreement regarding what happened to John and Robert Kennedy as major communications corporations would have you believe. While every researcher and author highlights different details, there isn’t any serious disagreement among, say, Jim Douglass’ JFK and the Unspeakable, Howard Hunt’sdeathbed confession, and David Talbot’s new The Devil’s Chessboard.

Jon Schwarz says The Devil’s Chessboard confirms that “your darkest suspicions about how the world operates are likely an underestimate. Yes, there is an amorphous group of unelected corporate lawyers, bankers, and intelligence and military officials who form an American ‘deep state,’ setting real limits on the rare politicians who ever try to get out of line.”

For those of us who were already convinced of that up to our eyeballs, Talbot’s book is still one of the best I’ve seen on the Dulles brothers and one of the best I’ve seen on the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Where it differs from Douglass’ book, I think, is not so much in the evidence it relates or the conclusions it draws, but in providing an additional motivation for the crime.

JFK and the Unspeakable depicts Kennedy as getting in the way of the violence that Allen Dulles and gang wished to engage in abroad. He wouldn’t fight Cuba or the Soviet Union or Vietnam or East Germany or independence movements in Africa. He wanted disarmament and peace. He was talking cooperatively with Khrushchev, as Eisenhower had tried prior to the U2-shootdown sabotage. The CIA was overthrowing governments in Iran, Guatemala, the Congo, Vietnam, and around the world. Kennedy was getting in the way.

The Devil’s Chessboard depicts Kennedy, in addition, as himself being the sort of leader the CIA was in the habit of overthrowing in those foreign capitals. Kennedy had made enemies of bankers and industrialists. He was working to shrink oil profits by closing tax loopholes, including the “oil depletion allowance.” He was permitting the political left in Italy to participate in power, outraging the extreme right in Italy, the U.S., and the CIA. He aggressively went after steel corporations and prevented their price hikes. This was the sort of behavior that could get you overthrown if you lived in one of those countries with a U.S. embassy in it.

Yes, Kennedy wanted to eliminate or drastically weaken and rename the CIA. Yes he threw Dulles and some of his gang out the door. Yes he refused to launch World War III over Cuba or Berlin or anything else. Yes he had the generals and warmongers against him, but he also had Wall Street against him.

Of course “politicians who ever try to get out of line” are now, as then, but more effectively now, handled first by the media. If the media can stop them or some other maneuver can stop them (character assassination, blackmail, distraction, removal from power) then violence isn’t required.

The fact that Kennedy resembled a coup target, not just a protector of other targets, would be bad news for someone like Senator Bernie Sanders if he ever got past the media, the “super delegates,” and the sell-out organizations to seriously threaten to take the White House. A candidate who accepts the war machine to a great extent and resembles Kennedy not at all on questions of peace, but who takes on Wall Street with the passion it deserves, could place himself as much in the cross-hairs of the deep state as a Jeremy Corbyn who takes on both capital and killing.

Accounts of the escapades of Allen Dulles, and the dozen or more partners in crime whose names crop up beside his decade after decade, illustrate the power of a permanent plutocracy, but also the power of particular individuals to shape it. What if Allen Dulles and Winston Churchill and others like them hadn’t worked to start the Cold War even before World War II was over? What if Dulles hadn’t collaborated with Nazis and the U.S. military hadn’t recruited and imported so many of them into its ranks? What if Dulles hadn’t worked to hide information about the holocaust while it was underway? What if Dulles hadn’t betrayed Roosevelt and Russia to make a separate U.S. peace with Germany in Italy? What if Dulles hadn’t begun sabotaging democracy in Europe immediately and empowering former Nazis in Germany? What if Dulles hadn’t turned the CIA into a secret lawless army and death squad? What if Dulles hadn’t worked to end Iran’s democracy, or Guatemala’s? What if Dulles’ CIA hadn’t developed torture, rendition, human experimentation, and murder as routine policies? What if Eisenhower had been permitted to talk with Khrushchev? What if Dulles hadn’t tried to overthrow the President of France? What if Dulles had been “checked” or “balanced” ever so slightly by the media or Congress or the courts along the way?

These are tougher questions than “What if there had been no Lee Harvey Oswald?” The answer to that is, “There would have been another guy very similar to serve the same purpose, just as there had been in the earlier attempt on JFK in Chicago. But “What if there had been no Allen Dulles?” looms large enough to suggest the possible answer that we would all be better off, less militarized, less secretive, less xenophobic. And that suggests that the deep state is not uniform and not unstoppable. Talbot’s powerful history is a contribution to the effort to stop it.

I hope Talbot speaks about his book in Virginia, after which he might stop saying that Williamsburg and the CIA’s “farm” are in “Northern Virginia.” Hasn’t Northern Virginia got enough to be ashamed of without that?


Members of the B battery, 2nd battalion, 321st Brigade, 82nd Airborn Division clean a 105mm Howlitzer in Saigon on Sept. 16, 1969. A couple of army helmets atop a sandbag wall are decorated with a peace sign, a symbol popular with this war. (AP Photo/Godfrey)

Veterans Day Is Not for Veterans

Following the Korean War, the U.S. government changed Armistice Day, still known as Remembrance Day in some countries, into Veterans Day, and it morphed from a day to encourage the end of war into a day to glorify war participation. “It was originally a day to celebrate peace,” said Ketwig. “That doesn’t exist anymore. The militarization of America is why I’m angry and bitter.”

Sep 7, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; General view of the playing of the national anthem with a United States flag on the field before the NFL game between the Oakland Raiders and New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports - RTR459LN

Worship the military, rubes. Worship.

California National Guard members hold out a giant American flag before the start of the Monday Night NFL football game between the Houston Texans and the San Diego Chargers  in San Diego, California  September 9, 2013.  REUTERS/Mike Blake   (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL MILITARY) - RTX13FAR

’Paid patriotism’: Pentagon gives pro sports millions



Note that this map accompanied an article headlined “Arms Airlift to Syria Rebels Expands, With Aid From CIA.”

NYT Erases CIA’s Efforts to Overthrow Syria’s Government

[Vox] didn’t just omit the fact that the CIA has been arming, training and funding rebels since 2012, they heavily implied they had never done so.

[CIA] trained approximately 10,000 rebel fighters at a cost of $1 billion a year, or roughly 1/15th of the CIA’s official annual budget.

…The Pentagon program, which began earlier this year and is charged with fighting ISIS (rather than Syrian government forces), is separate from the covert CIA operation.

…CIA’s years-long program has vanished from many popular accounts

Japan to Re-Enter Empire Game

Posted: September 18, 2015 in -
Tags: , , , ,

Members of Japan's Self-Defence Forces' airborne troops march during the annual SDF troop review ceremony at Asaka Base in Asaka, near Tokyo October 27, 2013. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, in an interview published on Saturday, said Japan was ready to be more assertive towards China as Beijing threatened to strike back if provoked. REUTERS/Issei Kato (JAPAN - Tags: POLITICS MILITARY) - RTX14PU2

Parliament approves war bills allowing troops to fight abroad.

permitting the military to fight overseas – something banned for 70 years since WWII.


How U.S. Military Bases Abroad Undermine National Security and Harm Us All

We may think such bases have made us safer. In reality, they’ve helped lock us inside a permanently militarized society that has made all of us — everyone on this planet — less secure, damaging lives at home and abroad.