Posts Tagged ‘war crimes’

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In addition to approving a Ministry of Propaganda, Obama has just destabilized the world further. The Arms Export Control Act is again amended to give more weapons to Syrian terrorists.

 

NOTE: The guest, Ben Norton, is associated with Alternet. He has some very recent pieces there talking about US involvement in Syria, criminal involvement though not stated as such. This appears to be a turning point at Alternet: now that Obama is leaving it is okay to discuss his Syrian debacle. When it mattered, they were not interested.

Why ISIS Exists: The Double Game

 

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How I Came to Understand the CIA

I’ve been researching the CIA for over 30 years and I’ve interviewed over 100 CIA officers. So naturally, people often wonder how I prepare myself. In one of the interviews that’s included in my new book, James Tracy asked me how I know where to look for information that’s pertinent to a given story.

I told James that’s it’s complicated, that my experience is different from most other CIA researchers and writers. I didn’t follow the usual career course. I didn’t go to the Columbia School of Journalism. I’m a college dropout who climbed trees for a living for ten years. But I did want to be a writer, and my philosophy of life is based on the study of language and literary criticism. I take a very broad approach. When I went to college, I studied Greek and Roman literature, read the Norton anthologies of English and American literature, and took courses in classical myth and the Bible.

Very early in my studies I was introduced literary critics like Robert Graves, poet and author of The White Goddess, and Sir James Fraser who wrote The Golden Bough. Fraser brought a socio-anthropological way of looking at the world of literature. That led me to Mircea Eliade, Carl Jung, Eric Newman, Northrop Frye and a few other people who approached literature from a variety of different perspectives – psychological, political, anthropological, sociological, historical, philosophical. All those things were of interest to me. So when I look at a subject, I look at it comprehensively from all those different points of view, plus my blue collar, working class perspective.

Literary criticism teaches the power of symbolic transformation, of processing experience into ideas, into meaning. To be a Madison Avenue adman, one must understand how to use symbols and myths to sell commodities. Admen use logos and slogans, and so do political propagandists. Left or right; doesn’t matter. The left is as adept at branding as the right. To be a speech writer or public relations consultant one must, above all, understand the archetypal power of the myth of the hero. That way you can transform Joe the Plumber, or even a mass murdering politician, into a national hero.

When I decided to research and write about the CIA’s Phoenix program, that was how I thought about it. I went directly to William Colby, who’d been Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. I didn’t know enough to be intimidated, it was just the smart thing to do. Colby was the person most associated with Phoenix, the controversial CIA “assassination” program that resulted in the death of tens of thousands of civilians during the Vietnam War. No one had written a book about it, so I wrote Colby a letter and sent him my first book, The Hotel Tacloban, which is about my father’s experiences in combat and as a POW in World War Two.

Tacloban was key to unlocking the CIA’s door, for two reasons. First, it demonstrated that I understood what it means to be a soldier, which was essential in terms of winning the trust of CIA officers, most of whom think of themselves as soldiers. The CIA is set up like a military organization with a sacred chain of command. Somebody tells you what to do and you salute and do it.  Colby himself had parachuted behind enemy lines in France during World War Two.

On a deeper level, Tacloban showed that I could bridge the “man” gap that divided my frag-happy, draft-dodging generation from Colby’s “saved the world for freedom and democracy” generation. I felt that “father-son” dynamic with Colby and several of the senior spooks he referred me to. Some of them even acknowledged that I was attempting to reconcile with them in a way their own sons never had.

So I told Colby I wanted to write a book that would de-mystify the Phoenix program, and he was all for that. Colby liked my approach – to look at it from all these different points of view – so he got behind me and introduced me to a lot of senior CIA people. And that gave me access from the inside. After that it was easy. I have good interview skills. I was able to persuade a lot of these CIA people to talk about Phoenix. I approached it from an organizational point of view, which is essential when writing about bureaucracies like the CIA or the DEA. You have to understand them as a bureaucracy, that they have an historical arc. They begin somewhere, they have a Congressional mandate, they have a purpose, and organizational and management structures. And in that regard I really lucked out. One of the first people I interviewed was the CIA officer, Nelson Brickham, who organized the Phoenix program in 1967 in Saigon. Brickham graduated magna cum laude from Yale and was something of an organizational genius. He explained to me how he organized Phoenix. He also explained the different divisions and branches of the CIA so I’d be able to understand it. All of that went into my book The Phoenix Program.

So I lucked out. Through Colby I had access to the CIA people who created the Phoenix program and its various components. I was able to find out what was on their minds and why they did what they did. That never would have happened if I had gone to the Columbia School of Journalism, or if I’d been working for mainstream media editors for many years. I’d have had a much narrower way of going about the thing. But the CIA officers I spoke with loved the broad view that I was bringing to the subject. They liked me asking them about their philosophy. It enabled me to understand the subject comprehensively. I related to them on a very personal level, and when the book came, they reeled. Colby was furious.

So the New York Times killed the book in its cradle. As Guillermo Jiminez noted in one of our interviews, the book didn’t take off until Open Road Media republished it 25 years later as part of their Forbidden Bookshelf series. Guillermo asked me why my book was chosen for the series, why there was new-found interest in Phoenix, and what the CIA is up to, generally, nowadays.

As I explained, when the book came out in 1990, it got a terrible review in The New York Times. Morley Safer, who’d been a reporter in Vietnam, wrote the review. Safer and the Times killed the book because in it I said Phoenix never would have succeeded if the reporters in Vietnam hadn’t covered for the CIA.

Several senior CIA officers told me the same thing, that some correspondent “was always in my office. He’d bring a bottle of scotch and I’d tell him what was going on.” The celebrity reporters knew what was going on, but they didn’t report about it in exchange for having access.

I said that in the book specifically about The New York Times. I said, “When it comes to the CIA and the press, one hand washes the other. To have access to informed officials, reporters frequently suppress or distort stories. In return, CIA officials leak stories to reporters to whom they owe favors.” I told how, at its most incestuous, reporters and government officials are related. I cited the example of Charles LeMoyne, a Navy officer who ran the CIA’s counter-terror teams for a year in the Delta, and his New York Times correspondent brother James. I said that if Ed Lansdale hadn’t had Joseph Alsop to print his black propaganda in the US, there probably would have been no Vietnam War.

So I not only got the CIA mad at me, I also got the Vietnam press corps angry at me too. Between those two things, the book did not get off to an auspicious start. The Times gave Safer half a page to write his review, which was bizarre. The usual response is just to ignore a book like The Phoenix Program. But The Times Book Review section serves a larger function; it teaches the media elite and “intelligentsia” what to think and how to say it. So Safer said my book was incoherent, because it unraveled the bureaucratic networks that conceal the contradictions between stated CIA policy and operational reality. It exposed Colby as a liar. Safer was upset that I didn’t portray his buddy, Bill Colby, as a symbol of the ruling elite, as a modern-day Odysseus.

Safer vented his professional hatred for me when he wrote the half page review in The New York Times that killed my book in its cradle. [1] And, at the time, I wasn’t surprised that the Times employed Safer to assassinate my book. But I was totally unaware of the personal basis for his animosity.

At the time of the review (October 1990), I thought Safer hated me primarily for accusing the press corps of covering up CIA war crimes. I thought he did it for pecuniary reasons too; Safer’s grandiose and self-congratulatory book on Vietnam had come out a few months before mine. I wrote the Times editor about that conflict, but of course never heard back. And I didn’t have another book published for 14 years.

It wasn’t until 25 years later that I found out that Safer owed William Colby a favor. Safer revealed his incestuous relationship with Colby for the first time at the American Experience conference in 2010. [2]

“I got a call to come and see [Colby] in his office,” Safer explained. “And I walked in – and I had met him; we had no strong relationship at all – but – and [Colby] said, ‘Look, can you disappear for three days?’

(Laughter.) And I said, ‘I guess.’ (Laughter.) And he said, ‘Well, be at the airport – be at (inaudible) at the airport tomorrow morning at 5:30.’”

Bernard Kalb, the moderator, asked Safer if Colby wanted him to bring along a camera crew.

“No, no,” Safer replied. “And I showed up and [Colby] said, ‘Okay, here are the rules. You can see that I’m going on a tour of all the stations. You can’t take notes and you can’t report anything you hear.’ And I spent three days first of all, down in the Delta and they were really, really revealing. There was only one meeting that he would ask me to leave the barracks. And it was fascinating because the stuff that these guys were reporting through whatever filters to you had been so doctored by the time it got to you – I mean, to this day, I still feel constrained in terms of talking about.”

So, Colby introduced Safer to all the top CIA officers in Vietnam. He introduced him to the guys who ran the interrogation/torture centers and the counterterrorism teams. Safer got to see how the CIA crime syndicate was organized and operated. And like Don Corleone dispensing favors in The Godfather, Colby knew that one day Safer would be obligated to return it. Colby, of course, hated me more than Safer did.

That is how the CIA, as the organized crime branch of the US government, functions like the Mafia through its old boy network of complicit media hacks.

Luckily, with the Internet revolution, people aren’t bound by The Times and network news hacks like Safer anymore. They can listen to Russia Today or tune in to Counterpunch and get another side of the story. So Mark Crispin Miller at Open Road chose The Phoenix Program to be the first book they published. And it’s been reborn. Thanks to the advent of the e-book, we’ve reached an audience of concerned and knowledgeable people in a way that wasn’t possible 25 years ago.

It’s also because of these Internet developments that John Brennan, the current director of CIA, thought of reorganizing the CIA into “centers” that have their origin in the Phoenix program. Phoenix is the template for the war on terror and the homeland security boondoggle.

All these things are connected. It’s a vastly different world than it was in 1947 when the CIA was created, or in 1967 when the CIA created the Phoenix program, or in 1990 when my book came out. The nature of the American empire has changed, and what the empire needs from the CIA has changed. The CIA is allocated about $30 billion a year, so the organizational changes are massive undertakings.

If you want to understand the CIA, you have to understand how it’s organized and how it relates to the press and every other thing that’s going on. And that’s what I try to explain in my new book.

Notes.

[1] Behind the scenes, the CIA was doing it’s best to prevent Valentine from completing his research. Valentine found out the CIA was keeping a file on him and, through the ACLU, sued the CIA in federal court. Here’s the link to the documents that were released to Valentine in 1993.

And here’s a link to an article John Prados wrote about the borderline legality of the CIA’s secret attempts to obstruct Valentine.

[2] US Department of State, Media Roundtable Discussion, The American Experience in Southeast Asia, 1946-1975, 29 September 2010.

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The U.S. government must stop arming terrorists

Here’s a truth that won’t surprise you: it is illegal for Americans to provide money or assistance to al Qaeda, ISIS, or other terrorist groups.

What is shocking however, is that this only applies to United States citizens, not the United States government, which has for years been directly and indirectly supporting terror organizations with money, weapons, and intelligence in a counterproductive attempt to overthrow the Syrian government.

Recent reports from media outlets like the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal confirm that rebel groups supported by the U.S. are allied and partnered with al-Qaeda and affiliated groups. When rebels were asked to denounce their alliance with al-Qaeda to allow for a peacefully negotiated cease-fire in Syria, they refused. Al-Qaeda, ISIS and affiliated groups remain the strongest fighting force on the ground trying to overthrow the Syrian government. And the United States is supporting them.

Last week, I introduced new legislation called The Stop Arming Terrorists Act. This legislation will prohibit the federal government from using taxpayer dollars to arm and support groups cooperating with or affiliated with terrorist groups like al-Qaeda and ISIS. It will also prohibit the US government from funneling money and weapons through other countries like Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Qatar, who are directly or indirectly supporting terrorist organizations like ISIS or al Qaeda.

Our nation’s leaders must stop aiding terrorist organizations who are wreaking havoc, destruction, and death at every turn.

This madness must end. We must stop arming terrorists. Add your name to our petition in support of my bill to require our government to abide by the same laws that apply to its’ citizens.

If we work together to create a groundswell of grassroots momentum and support, we can effect change and stop our government from continuing this hypocrisy of assisting the same terror groups we are supposedly trying to defeat.

Mahalo,

Tulsi

Question:

How is it newcomer Tulsi Gabbard can sort the wheat from the chaff, but Bernie Sanders says nothing? Elizabeth Warren has said nothing. Obama arms terrorists, and only one Democrat has the moral integrity to oppose it.

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James Mattis Is a War Criminal: I Experienced His Attack on Fallujah Firsthand

 

During the November siege of Fallujah later that same year, which I also covered first-hand, more than 5,000 Iraqi civilians were killed. Most were buried in mass graves in the aftermath of the siege.

Mosques were deliberately targeted by the US military, hospitals bombed, medical workers detained, ambulances shot at, cease-fires violated, media repressed, and the use of depleted uranium was widespread. All of these are, again, war crimes.

At that time I broke the story of the US military’s use of white phosphorous, an incendiary weapon similar to napalm in its ability to burn all the way down to the bone. The use of white phosphorus was a violation of international law, given that it was unleashed in the city during a time when the Pentagon itself admitted to at least 50,000 civilians still being present.

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Staff Sgt. Sam Mortimer radio that “everything to the west is weapons free.” Weapons Free, explained Sites, “means the Marines can shoot whatever they see — it’s all considered hostile.” The rules of engagement come from the top, and Mattis was in charge.

 

Trump’s Secretary of Defense Presided Over Slaughter of Civilians in Fallujah

 

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America’s push-button murderers…

 

 

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by Joe Giambrone

 

What if everything printed this year about Donald J. Trump was 100% true, yet Hillary Clinton still wound up being the greater evil?

What then America?

If the American people are to purchase a product, then do they not have a right to know just how much lesser this “evil” actually weighs versus the name brand?

Like those seasonal Cadbury Cream Eggs that old familiar product has returned to the shelves: lesser evil, with more fat and toxins this year than ever. This repackaged, re-branded item is what many Americans claim to want every four years, the only thing they ever want or care about politically, and they attack those who refuse to purchase it. It’s rather like a Black Friday zombie frenzy descending on Walmart, but we are told by TV that this is “democracy.” It’s not. It’s oligarchy with bread and circuses.

The so-called “lesser evil” political philosophy is the only political philosophy these people seem to comprehend, but the core of the concept is overlooked. Their candidate of choice will admittedly commit evil acts. Do they not want to know what this alleged lesser evil entails?

Seems like self-deception is intrinsic to supporting this little house of cards. Perhaps if the phrase was amended to “evil but possibly lesser,” which is in fact more accurate, the public would spend a few seconds thinking about it when these Novembers inevitably roll around.

Is a nuclear holocaust “evil?”

I suppose that’s the crux of the debate we face today. One of those big two evil candidates has repeatedly, and irrationally, tried to provoke hostilities against nuclear-armed Russia, as part of some unstated agenda: the real agenda that has been torching the Middle East for decades. Wars of western conquest, which turned millions into hamburger, didn’t just happen by themselves. Certain interests wanted to dismantle the oil-rich nations that considered themselves independent of Washington and the EU. The chaos of failed states was preferred to organized regimes that could form an independent bloc or fight back in any way.

According to Hillary R. Clinton, we should all be frothing at the Russians, and at Vladimir Putin for some set of vague claims without the substance that evidence would provide. Hillary and the Democratic National Committee were caught bloody-handed stealing the 2016 Democratic Party primary election from Bernie Sanders. Fraud. The only response she has mustered is the single word “Putin.” Yeah, sure: Putin did it. Repeated so often the word has lost all meaning here in the states, but abroad these quite undiplomatic slights do not pass unnoticed.

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The Russians unveiled their next generation ICBM, “Satan 2,” capable of wiping out the central east coast of America, or all of France, or the UK, or most of California. You get the idea, but does Hillary Clinton?

She insists on a “no-fly zone” in Syria, which the Russian military has already imposed against the invading US coalition, the one which has been arming and funding multiple armies of mass-murdering terrorists!

Clinton privately told Goldman Sachs:

“They’re getting more sophisticated thanks to Russian imports. To have a no-fly zone you have to take out all of the air defense, many of which are located in populated areas. So our missiles, even if they are standoff missiles so we’re not putting our pilots at risk you’re going to kill a lot of Syrians… So all of a sudden this intervention that people talk about so glibly becomes an American and NATO involvement where you take a lot of civilians.”

In the name of protecting civilians HRC wants to kill a lot of civilians and attack Russian-supplied air defense systems, and Russian military personnel of course. The fraud that Hillary Clinton and the interests she represents care in any way about dead Syrian civilians is laughable on its face. US foreign policy has never, ever been based upon protecting the lives of foreign nobodies. To believe such a fairy tale would require complete, absolute historical ignorance. But then again we’re talking about the American public.

How “Evil” is Hillary Clinton already?

American corporate media refuses to call US war crimes war crimes. One can be impeached for a blowjob, but not for killing Nazi-level numbers of foreigners. There is no death count too high for the US Congress to condone, if not to encourage.

Hillary Rodham Clinton has already played an instrumental role in the mass murders of approximately two million people, give or take. The Third Reich didn’t bother with accurate tallies of its victims either. This figure shocks self-styled “liberal” Americans so thoroughly that they simply refuse to believe it.

Clinton, as Senator, not only voted for an illegal war on Iraq (command responsibility), but she told “weapons of mass destruction” lies, selling the fraud to Democrats (lying to Congress). Estimates of Iraqi casualties range from half a million to a million and a half. The carnage continues to this day, and Crimes Against the Peace attribute responsibility for all the evil that results from initiating a war of aggression. This is codified in the UN Charter, and that makes Hillary Clinton also an international war criminal, just like Bush, just like Cheney. The hypocrisy of those who condemned Bush and yet joyfully cast a vote for HRC is staggering (yet commonplace).

That was only one war. As Secretary of State Clinton took on even more responsibility for international crimes, notably the assault on Libya, another war of aggression.

As the Russians noted, there was never any permission to bomb ground targets and help Al Qaeda linked rebels take over the country.

“We’re witnessing a large number of violations of the resolutions of the UN Security Council. Over the last few days, there have been reports of the NATO air force bombing civilian targets, including hospitals… This is an unacceptable situation; the United Nations Security Council did not authorize any such thing. Attempts to justify what’s happening by claiming that the coalition does not go beyond the mandate are insufficient.”
-Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov

“Regime change” is a war crime, not an item on a menu for neocons to simply order up. Between 10 and 30,000 Libyans were massacred in the NATO-assisted destruction of Libya. Hillary Clinton displayed a gloating psychosis at the climax of the bloodletting.

Onto Syria, with a current corpse count of 470,000. What was Hillary Clinton’s role? Seymour Hersh’s reporting contrasts against the endless lies of politicians:

“A highly classified annex to the report, not made public, described a secret agreement reached in early 2012 between the Obama and Erdogan administrations. It pertained to the rat line. By the terms of the agreement, funding came from Turkey, as well as Saudi Arabia and Qatar; the CIA, with the support of MI6, was responsible for getting arms from Gaddafi’s arsenals into Syria… The annex didn’t tell the whole story of what happened in Benghazi… ‘The consulate’s only mission was to provide cover for the moving of arms,’ the former intelligence official, who has read the annex, said. ‘It had no real political role.’”

Hillary Clinton, as Secretary of State, was deeply involved in this covert “regime change” plot, and the sequential wars resulting from it. To this day she insists on continuing the plot to overthrow Bashar Al Assad, the elected President of Syria.

During her husband’s administration, another half-million Iraqi children were killed as a result of US imposed sanctions on medicine and water filtration components. That UN death toll figure was deemed “worth it” by Madeleine Allbright in one of the most shocking news clips of the modern age. This unindicted yet confessed mass murderer campaigns openly for Hillary Clinton.

There are other flash points where Hillary Clinton had a role, Haiti and Honduras for example. Scandals and atrocities have been reported, but this does not faze her supporters, nor most Americans who care nothing about the illegitimate actions of the US empire abroad.

So Donald Trump’s a pig, and the free world must play pretend that Hillary R. Clinton is not a proven and dangerous war criminal. Hollywood leads the charge and attacks dissenters.

How deluded is America this year and how evil?

Jill Stein of the Green Party is the peace candidate.

http://www.jill2016.com

 


 

 

Joe Giambrone is quite sick of all this shit.

http://www.joegiambrone.us