Saturday, April 30, 2011

Obama: Tool of High Cabal's "Secret Team"

Editor's NOTE:

With President Obama's announcement that General David Petraeus will become DCI and that current DCI Leon Panetta will become Secretary of Defense  it is clear that the High Cabal and "Secret Team" written about so ably by Colonel L. Fletcher Prouty is alive, well and still in full command of US foreign policy.

Ray McGovern has written the insightful piece which appears below. It outlines the many questions which these two pending appointments raise.

Colonel Prouty cautioned that what often appear to be highly placed military officers are sometimes CIA operatives who have assumed a military cover and the reverse is true as well. Military officials not infrequently work directly for the CIA while appearing to make up part of the ordinary military force command structure.

Perhaps General David Petreaus is a CIA operative who long ago left the traditional military command structure. The way he has captured the attention of the FCM and Congress suggest that he has major US intelligence ties. Remember the power of  Operation Mockingbird in capturing much of the elite media. For details see THIS...and THIS...

Petreaus may represent an example of the occasion when then Envoy to China, G H W Bush was appointed DCI by President Ford. At the time, it was not known that he had been a CIA operative as far back as the late 1940's when the CIA was created from the ranks of the WWII era OSS.

--Dr. J. P. Hubert

Petraeus: Can He Tell It Straight?

By Ray McGovern

April 29, 2011 "Information Clearing House" -- The news that President Barack Obama has picked Gen. David Petraeus to be CIA director raises troubling questions, including whether the commander most associated with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will tolerate objective analysis of those two conflicts.
What if CIA analysts assess the prospects of success in those two wars as dismal and conclude that the troop “surges” pushed so publicly by Petraeus wasted both the lives of American troops and many billions of taxpayer dollars? Will CIA Director Petraeus welcome such critical analysis or punish it?

The Petraeus appointment also suggests that the President places little value on getting the straight scoop on these key war-related issues. If he did want the kind of intelligence analysis that, at times, could challenge the military, why is he giving the CIA job to a general with a huge incentive to gild the lily regarding the “progress” made under his command?

Petraeus already has a record as someone who looks at skeptical CIA analysts as gnats to be swatted away before they bite. That is why he relegated them to strap-hanger status during the key decision-making process in late 2009 on what to do about Afghanistan. When Obama expressed doubts about the value of a major escalation in Afghanistan, Petraeus assured him that he and his generals had it all figured out, that 33,000 additional troops would do the trick.
CIA analysts weren’t even assigned to do a formal National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), which normally is a de rigueur step before making any significant presidential decision like a large-scale escalation of a war.

Remarkably, no NIE was prepared before the President’s decision to up U.S. troop levels to 100,000 in late 2009.

To his credit, retired Air Force Lt. Gen. James Clapper, who became Director of National Intelligence in August 2010, insisted that two NIE's be prepared last fall — one on Afghanistan and one on Pakistan.

The one on Afghanistan concluded that the U.S. could not prevail without a firm decision by Pakistan to interdict the Taliban along the border with Afghanistan. The one on Pakistan said, in the vernacular, there is not a snowball’s chance in hell that the Pakistanis would make such a decision. Ergo?
The sobering conclusions of the NIEs were supported by a treasure trove of 92,000 documents written mostly by U.S. forces in Afghanistan from 2004 to 2009 and released by Wiki Leaks on July 25, 2010.

This more granular reporting from Wiki Leaks laid bare the brutality and fecklessness of the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan — particularly the forlorn hope that the Pakistanis will change their strategic outlook and help pull the U.S. chestnuts out of the Afghan fire. [For details, see’s “Afghan War Leaks Expose Costly Folly.”]

Good Luck Persuading Pakistan

Perhaps the most explosive revelations disclosed the double game being played by the Pakistani Directorate for Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI). Der Spiegel reported: “The documents clearly show that this Pakistani intelligence agency is the most important accomplice the Taliban has outside of Afghanistan.”
The documents revealed that ISI envoys not only are present when insurgent commanders hold war councils, but also give specific orders to carry out assassinations — including, according to one report, an attempt on the life of Afghan President Hamid Karzai in August 2008.

Former Pakistani intelligence chief, Gen. Hamid Gul, is depicted as an important source of aid to the Taliban and even, in another report, as a “leader” of the insurgents. The reports show Gul ordering suicide attacks and describe him as one of the most important suppliers of weaponry to the Taliban.

Though the Pakistani government has angrily denied U.S. government complaints about Gul and the ISI regarding secret ties to the Taliban and even to al-Qaeda, the evidence certainly raises serious questions regarding what the Pakistanis have been doing with the billions of dollars that Washington has given them.

No matter. In 2009, President Obama decided to bless Gen. Petraeus’s “counterinsurgency” campaign, with U.S. Special Forces kicking down Afghan doors at night, drones terrorizing alleged “militants,” and whole villages destroyed in order to “save” them from the Taliban – a truly strange way to go about winning hearts and minds.

Back stateside, U.S. intelligence analysts looked on with dismay. Those with some gray in their hair were reminded of similar failed tactics and warped intelligence assessments of the U.S. military command in Vietnam.

The Ghost of Westmoreland Past:

As I watch Petraeus perform, I often see the ghost of Army Gen. William Westmoreland against whom charges of deliberate distortion and dishonesty were proven once intelligence analysts had their day in a post-Vietnam-War court of law — literally.

Back in 1967, in order to demonstrate “progress” in the war, Westmoreland ordered his intelligence officers not to go higher than 299,000 for the total count of Communists under arms in South Vietnam. The fear was that if journalists did some basic arithmetic, the body counts and “war of attrition” would all be proven a sham.

All the U.S. intelligence agencies except the Army’s agreed that the actual number of Communists under arms was almost twice that, and were soon proven tragically right during the country-wide Tet offensive in late January — early February 1968.

So, what is Petraeus’s actual estimate of the number of Taliban his forces face in Afghanistan? Is there no such estimate – or is it too secret or too embarrassing to reveal? As for al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, U.S. intelligence does have an estimate of 50 to 100 — no, not thousand, just 50 to 100.

Moreover, little serious thought seems to have been given to the daunting challenge of the resupply of U.S. troops in Afghanistan. In Vietnam, resupply was a piece of cake compared to the challenge of getting supplies through Pakistan, over the Khyber Pass, and into Afghanistan.

At home, Americans grouse about having to pay $4 a gallon for gasoline. It costs $400 to get a gallon into a U.S. Army or Marine vehicle inside Afghanistan.

Aside from the obscene expense, the long supply lines are extremely vulnerable — not only to attack from folks who don’t want U.S. troops in their country, but also to the caprice of Pakistani officials who can choke off the supply routes at will.

Last weekend, for example, a large crowd protesting U.S. drone strikes demanded that the attacks end in one month or demonstrators would cut off a key supply route for Western troops in Afghanistan.

The two-day protest clogged up a major road used by trucks to ferry supplies across the border.

"We will block NATO supplies from Karachi to Khyber everywhere if drone attacks are not stopped in one month," said Imran Khan, a former Pakistani cricket star-turned-politician, to the crowd of protesters.

Progress in Afghanistan?

But the core problem of Petraeus as CIA director is that his reputation is inextricably tied to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and whether they are judged successes or failures. Put differently, will CIA Director Petraeus demand that his analysts see the glass half full rather than half empty, just as he has as a commander in those conflicts?

In March, Gen. Petraeus told the Senate Armed Services Committee about the Afghan War, “While the security progress achieved over the past year is significant, it is also fragile and reversible.” Thus, he insisted, it would be unwise to abandon the mission. If the “fragile but reversible” formulation has a familiar ring, you may recall that Petraeus lifted it out of the cliché cabinet several times in early 2008 to characterize security progress in Iraq.

The general clearly finds the line a convenient, one-size-fits-all sound bite. So far, Congress and the Fawning Corporate Media have let him get away with it.
Are we to expect that once Petraeus takes the helm at CIA, the career analysts will still be able to call the war in Afghanistan a fool’s errand? If the new CIA director insists on seeing progress – however “fragile and reversible” – will vulnerable analysts risk his wrath by contradicting him?

We’ll know, I suppose, as soon as we hear that sound bite showing up in the CIA's analytic assessments. For now, we already know that Petraeus’s professional optimism is not widely shared among rank-and-file analysts at CIA. And the grim statistics continue to build. Just this week, the number of U.S. troops killed in Iraq and Afghanistan passed the 6,000 mark, with 43,184 the official figure for the number wounded.

An additional 54,592 have required medical evacuation from combat. Thus, about 104,000 U.S. troops — a conservative minimum not including the walking wounded, those with traumatic brain injury, attempted or successful suicides, and civilian contractors — are casualties of these long wars.

Against this background, I find it hard to believe that President Obama would fritter away his best chance to get an unvarnished assessment — without fear or favor — from intelligence specialists with career protection for “telling it like it is,” the views of the boss notwithstanding.

The conundrum is hardly unprecedented. Think back to the 1980s and the challenges faced by honest analysts trying to report on the Contra war in Nicaragua, even as it was being run by the boss, then-CIA Director William Casey.

Finding ‘Intelligence’ on Iran

Iran will continue to loom large as a target for intelligence analysis during Petraeus’s tenure at CIA. What is disconcerting on that front is that Petraeus has been eager to serve up “intelligence” to portray Iran in the worst light. One rather strange but instructive example comes to mind. It involved a studied, if disingenuous, effort to blame all the troubles in southern Iraq on the “malignant” influence of Iran.

On April 25, 2008, Joint Chiefs Chairman, Adm. Mike Mullen, told reporters that Gen. Petraeus in Baghdad would give a briefing “in the next couple of weeks” providing detailed evidence of “just how far Iran is reaching into Iraq to foment instability.” Petraeus’s staff alerted U.S. media to a major news event in which captured Iranian arms in Karbala would be displayed and then destroyed.
Investigative reporter Gareth Porter noted at the time that the idea was to fill the airwaves with spectacular news framing Iran as the culprit in Iraq for several days, with the aim of “breaking down congressional and public resistance to the idea that Iranian bases supporting the meddling would have to be attacked.”
There was a small problem, however. When American munitions experts went to Karbala to inspect the alleged cache of Iranian weapons, they found nothing that could be credibly linked to Iran.

Adding to Washington’s chagrin, the Iraqis announced that Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki had formed his own Cabinet committee to investigate the U.S. claims and attempt to “find tangible information and not information based on speculation.” Ouch!

The embarrassment for Petraeus might have been greater, but the U.S. media conveniently forgot the promised briefing. After all, the general has long been a darling of the FCM. U.S. media suppression of this episode was a telling reminder of how difficult it is to get unbiased and accurate information on touchy subjects like Iran.

The NIE That Stopped a War

Another key question is whether, as CIA director, Petraeus will be able to summon the integrity to face down the neocons and others who are determined to magnify the “threat” from Iran and increase pressure for military action against nuclear-related facilities in Iran.

There has been growing pressure to jettison the unanimous judgment, reached “with high confidence” by all 16 U.S. intelligence agencies, that Iran had stopped the work on a nuclear weapon in mid-2003. Despite strong pressure from Washington’s influential neoconservatives to water down that key judgment, the leaders of the intelligence community have remained firm — so far — and reaffirmed that judgment earlier this year.

In one section of his memoir, former President George W. Bush laments that the 2007 National Intelligence Estimate on Iran had tied his hands “on the military side.” Bush added this (apparently unedited) kicker:

“But after the NIE, how could I possibly explain using the military to destroy the nuclear facilities of a country the intelligence community said had no active nuclear weapons program?”

Not even Vice President Dick Cheney could persuade Bush to continue driving the pro-war-on-Iran juggernaut forward with its tires punctured by the NIE. The avuncular Cheney has made it clear that he was disappointed in his protégé.
On Aug. 30, 2009, Cheney told “Fox News Sunday” that he was isolated among Bush advisers in his enthusiasm for war with Iran.

“I was probably a bigger advocate of military action than any of my colleagues,” Cheney said when asked whether the Bush administration should have launched a pre-emptive attack on Iran before leaving office.

It will be very interesting to see if Petraeus decides to tamper with the controversial but unanimous judgment that Iran has not worked on a nuclear weapon since mid-2003. And, if he does, whether there remains enough residual integrity in the ranks of analysts to resist such tampering.

Should Petraeus sense signs of revolt, he may simply choose to follow the example of the last general to head the CIA, Michael Hayden.

Ever ready to do his part for Cheney and the neoconservatives, the malleable Hayden, on April 30, 2008, publicly offered his “personal opinion” that Iran is building a nuclear weapon – the conclusions of the NIE notwithstanding.
For good measure, Hayden added: “It is my opinion, it is the policy of the Iranian government, approved to the highest level of that government, to facilitate the killing of Americans in Iraq. … Just make sure there’s clarity on that.”

Petraeus Careful on Israel

Petraeus also deeply values his relationship with prominent neoconservatives who have received extraordinary access to war zones – personally arranged by the general – in exchange for their service to him as his cheering section in influential Washington opinion circles.

A couple of e-mails that Gen. Petraeus inadvertently sent to an unintended recipient confirmed his cozy relationship with hard-line neocon Max Boot, as Petraeus begged Boot to head off any suggestion that Petraeus was less than 100 percent supportive of Israel.

The e-mails from Petraeus to Max Boot revealed the four-star general renouncing his own congressional testimony in March 2010 because it included the observation that "the enduring hostilities between Israel and some of its neighbors present distinct challenges to our ability to advance our interests” in the Middle East.

Petraeus’s testimony continued, “Israeli-Palestinian tensions often flare into violence and large-scale armed confrontations. The conflict foments anti-American sentiment, due to a perception of U.S. favoritism for Israel. …

Meanwhile, al-Qaeda and other militant groups exploit that anger to mobilize support.” [See’s “Neocons, Likud Conquer DC, Again.”]
Though Petraeus’s testimony might strike many of us as a no-brainer, not so for the neocons. They resist any suggestion that Israeli intransigence regarding peace talks on Palestine contributes to the dangers faced by American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan or by the American people from possible acts of terrorism at home.

So, when Petraeus’s testimony began getting traction on the Internet, the general quickly turned to Boot, a writer based at the high-powered, establishment Council on Foreign Relations, and began backtracking on the testimony.

“As you know, I didn't say that,” Petraeus said, according to one e-mail to Boot timed off at 2:27 p.m., March 18, 2010. “It's in a written submission for the record.”

In other words, Petraeus was trying to demonstrate his orthodoxy by emphasizing that the comments were only in his formal written testimony submitted to the Senate Armed Services Committee and were not repeated by him in his brief oral opening statement.

In another e-mail, as Petraeus solicited Boot’s help in tamping down any controversy over the Israeli remarks, the general ended the message with a military “Roger” and a sideways happy face made from a colon, a dash and a closed parenthesis, :-) — to boot!

The unintended recipient explained that he received the exchange by accident when he sent a March 19, 2010, e-mail congratulating Petraeus for his testimony and Petraeus responded by forwarding one of Boot’s blog posts that knocked down the story of the general’s implicit criticism of Israel.

Petraeus forwarded Boot’s blog item, entitled “A Lie: David Petraeus, Anti-Israel,” which had been posted at the Commentary magazine site at 3:11 p.m. on March 18. However, Petraeus apparently forgot to delete some of the other exchanges between him and Boot at the bottom of the e-mail.

The e-mails also reveal Petraeus brainstorming with Boot regarding how to finesse the potential controversy over the Senate testimony. At 2:37 p.m. on March 18, Petraeus asks Boot, “Does it help if folks know that I hosted Elie Wiesel and his wife at our quarters last Sun night?! And that I will be the speaker at the 65th anniversary of the liberation of the concentration camps in mid-Apr at the Capitol Dome [?]”

Eight minutes later, Boot responded, “No don't think that's relevant because you're not being accused of being anti-Semitic.”

That’s when a relieved Petraeus responds, “Roger! :-)”

This kind of pandering is not reassuring as Petraeus trades in his bemedaled Army uniform and his Afghan War command for a civilian suit and the director’s suite at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia.

Friday, April 29, 2011

A Fire Which Could Burn Everyone

"Reflections of Fidel"
By: Fidel Castro Ruiz
Havana. April 28, 2011
(Taken from CubaDebate)

ONE can be in agreement or not with Gaddafi’s political ideas, but nobody has the right to question the existence of Libya as an independent state and a member of the United Nations.

The world has still not accomplished what, from my point of view, constitutes an elemental question for the survival of our species today: the access of all peoples to the material resources of this planet. There is none other within the solar system which possesses the most elemental conditions of life as we know it.

The United States has always tried to be a melting pot of all races, creeds and nations: Caucasians, Africans, Asians, Indian and people of mixed race, with no differences other than those of master and slave, rich and poor; but all within the limits of its borders: Canada to the north, Mexico to the south, the Atlantic to the east, and the Pacific to the west. Alaska, Puerto Rico and Hawaii were simple historical accidents.

The complicated aspect of the matter is that it is not about a noble desire of those fighting for a better world, which is as worthy of respect as the religious beliefs of the peoples. Just a few types of radioactive isotopes emanating from enriched uranium consumed by electronuclear plants in relatively small quantities – given that they do not exist in nature – would suffice to put an end to the fragile existence of our species.

Burying those growing volumes of nuclear waste under sarcophaguses of cement and steel, is one of the greatest challenges of technology.

Incidents such as the Chernobyl accident or the Japanese earthquake have exposed those mortal risks.

The issue I wish to approach today is not that, but the shock with which I observed yesterday, via Walter Martínez’ Dossier program on Venezuelan television, the footage of the meeting between Robert Gates, chief of the Department of Defense, and British Defense Minister Liam Fox, who visited the United States to discuss the criminal war unleashed by NATO on Libya. It was almost hard to believe, the British minister took the Oscar; he was a bundle of nerves, he was tense, he spoke like a madman, he gave the impression that he was spitting out words.

Of course, first he arrived at the Pentagon entrance, where a smiling Gates was waiting for him. The flags of the two countries, that of the former colonial British Empire and that of its stepchild, the empire of the United States, fluttered on high on both sides while the anthems were played. The right hand on the chest, the rigorous and solemn military salute of the host country’s ceremony. That was Act I. After that the two ministers entered the U.S. Defense department. One would imagine that they talked at length given the footage I saw when each one returned with a speech in his hands, doubtless previously drafted.

The framework of this whole spectacle was constituted by military personnel. From the left hand angle one could see a young soldier, tall, slim, seemingly red-haired, shaven head, a cap with a black visor rammed on almost to his neck, presenting a rifle with a bayonet, unblinking and apparently not breathing, the very stamp of a soldier ready to fire a bullet or a nuclear missile with a destructive capacity of 100,000 tons of TNT. Gates spoke with the smile and naturalness of a lord and master. The Briton, on the other hand, did so in the way that I detailed.

It was one of the most horrible things I have ever seen; he exhibited hatred, frustration, rage and threatening language toward the Libyan leader, demanding his unconditional surrender. He seemed to be indignant because NATO’s powerful aircraft had been unable to crush the Libyan resistance in 72 hours.

He only needed to exclaim, "Blood, toil, tears and sweat!" like Winston Churchill did when calculating the price to be paid by his country for fighting Nazi aircraft. In this case the Nazi-fascist role is being played by NATO with its thousands of bombing missions with the most modern fighter planes that the world has ever known.

The last straw was the U.S. government decision authorizing the use of drone aircraft to kill Libyan men, women and children, as in Afghanistan, thousands of kilometers distant from Western Europe, but this time against an Arab and African people, right in front of the eyes of hundreds of millions of Europeans and no less than in the name of the United Nations.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin stated yesterday that such acts of war were illegal and exceeded the framework of the United Nations Security Council agreements. (Editor: This is true)

The gross attacks on the Libyan people, which are acquiring a Nazi-fascist nature, could be utilized against any Third World nation.

The resistance that Libya has put up really amazes me.

Now that bellicose organization is dependent on Gaddafi. If he resists and does not comply with its demands, he will go down in history as one of the great figures of the Arab countries.

NATO is fanning a fire which could burn everyone!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Election 2012, Time for Some Bitter Medicine

By: Dr. J. P. Hubert

US Debt is Result of Excessive Military/Security Spending

The United States is smothering under a mountain of debt. By far the largest contributor to that negative ink is the cost of maintaining a veritable global empire.[1]  Rather than a so-called Defense Department, the US has developed a “War Department” or what might better be termed a military/security (M/S) complex which when all of the related and supporting expenses are included costs at least $1.2 trillion/year. At just short of 30% of the annual US budget, this sum represents the largest category by percent of total federal spending, exceeding the costs of Medicare and Social Security respectively.

US Military/Security Spending is Irrational

Moreover, US yearly defense spending alone exceeds the total of the next 17 largest military budgets in the world. By any reasonable metric, this degree of military spending is excessive. When American national security including intelligence spending are added to direct military spending the total surpasses the military/security budgets of all the developed nations on Earth combined. Such an outlay is completely irrational even if the main goal of the United States is to remain the pre-eminent global superpower.

Attempting to continue this degree of M/S spending can only result in total economic collapse of the United States, an outcome which is clearly incompatible with the desire to remain the supreme global hegemonic force. It is clear from a consideration of the mathematics involved that no amount of austerity with regard to Medicare, Medicaid or other entitlement programs + markedly increasing taxes[2] on the wealthy, and or elimination of corporate (welfare) tax subsidies will come close to reducing our national debt and budget deficit problems without a drastic reduction in M/S spending.[3]

Excessive M/S Spending Makes US Less Competitive Globally

It is crucial to recognize that money spent on the military/security complex is lost forever to the national economy in the aggregate. While individuals and corporations may benefit greatly as a result of M/S spending, the vast majority of Americans are poorer for it since money spent in this way is unavailable for improvements in infrastructure, education, transportation, technology, research and development etc., things that other nations with much lower expenses in M/S are able to surpass us in.

The question which begs to be asked then is why does this insanity continue? If doing so can only lead to economic collapse, why do we not change it? Surely it must be obvious to those in power that the status quo cannot continue. Does the corporate/governmental complex or conglomerate not realize that our current course will sooner rather than later end in default? Of course they do. But they can afford literally not to care.

Multinational Corporations Eschew Nation States

The reason is that the ruling elite, the new Plutocrats have become true global citizens who need no national boundaries, citizenship or localized base of operations. It matters little to them whether they live in the United States or somewhere else. Their companies are multi or inter-national, perhaps better termed supra-national and their markets are global. They roam the Earth in search of the cheapest labor forces possible while availing themselves of “free-markets” a euphemism for the privilege of not being charged a tax or tariff for selling their products to consumers many of whom lost their jobs to the slave labor the multinational corporations avail themselves of.[4]

These companies find the geographical locations which advertise the cheapest labor and the lowest corporate taxes where they manufacture their products and sell them worldwide; demanding unfettered that is, unregulated markets. They literally demand not to be penalized for assembling their goods utilizing immoral and (in the US) illegal labor practices.

Free-Trade is Rigged (Unjust) Trade

These so-called free-trader’s or marketeers are advocates of unfair or unjust trade in which they alone benefit while the vast majority of those to whom they sell their goods lose their jobs, experience a reduced standard of living and become unable to take advantage of the lower prices that allegedly occur as a result of off-shoring of production and out-sourcing of labor—the original argument utilized to justify the practice. It is a total sham, a rigged game which benefits only the select few Plutocrats who now control the United States and much of the West. What this really means is that the American Empire exists to make this unjust and immoral arrangement more palatable (whether through persuasion or threat of armed aggression) to those who would otherwise object.

Excessive Military/Security Spending Benefits Plutocracy[5]

Thus, we do not alter our insane M/S budget because it insures that our ruling Plutocrats will be able to continue for a bit longer solidifying their incredible wealth. When the United States finally implodes, they will simply move elsewhere with their foreign factories, work forces and non-US markets intact. By then, their business in Brazil, China, India, and elsewhere will have matured to the point that they will be able to survive nicely without those which once existed in America.

Britain serves as a case in point when a nation decides to dismantle its empire in a controlled fashion rather than allow it to completely implode. On the other hand imperial Rome demonstrates what happens when instead of ending its Militarism and gross over-reach, an empire continues with the status quo until it falls. It would be much better if we could emulate Great Britain rather than ancient Rome.

Quick Summary:

1) Multinational Corporations are not limited to nation states, they are not interested in or for the most part affected by patriotic sentiments, geographical locations, fixed work forces, local customs, traditions or politics.

2) Multinational Corporations are larger than ever and now control the 6 largest industries in the United States including; Energy, Banking/Wall Street, Health Care/Pharmaceutical, Agriculture, Military/Security, Media/Entertainment.

3) Multinational Corporations now control the American political process including the Legislative and Executive branches due in part to the Citizens United case decided recently by the USSC in favor of unlimited corporate political donations without the need to provide complete transparency of contributions.

4) Because of number 1-3 above, the American constitutional representative democratic republic brought into being in 1789 has been replaced by a kind of Plutocracy which unites the largest multinational corporations and the government. It exists for the benefit of the very few at the expense of the many. It could legitimately be termed a Fascist state.


1) Reduce Defense/Security Spending by >50%.

2) End Clandestine Operations portion of CIA, DIA, and NSA etc. and return the CIA to its original purpose of providing only intelligence information gathering to be used by President and Cabinet. President Kennedy wanted to do this and in part was killed for it.

3) Immediately end all US wars including occupations of Iraq, Afghanistan, drone attacks in Pakistan and support of NATO in Libya and any other similar activities which do not represent legitimate defensive response to unjust offensive attacks by nation states. Handle foreign based terrorism as a police action and end the intellectually/factually baseless global war on terror. All of these will make the risk of serious terrorist attack on the United States much less likely. Eliminate the Department of Homeland Security as it will be unnecessary once we end the foreign wars and begin treating the Palestinians fairly.

4) Raise income taxes for those American's with an annual income of >$250K and place at least a 50% tax on all individual earned and unearned income exceeding $5 million dollars per annum.

5) End all unfair trade agreements which allow the goods manufactured by multinational corporations assembled by slave laborers to be imported to the US without punitive tariffs. Decrease the power of large corporations and increase necessary regulation of key banking, energy companies. End "to big to fail banks."

6) End the Federal Reserve and begin the practice of printing US legal tender directly thus avoiding the paying of interest to a private entity. Consider returning to a precious mineral based currency such as the gold standard eliminated by President Nixon.

7) End corporate welfare for well-established industries such as those based upon fossil fuels. Federally subsidize the creation of an alternative energy industry in the United States through use of natural gas and wind power as suggested by T. Boone Pickens.

8) Create a National Health Care System which guarantees affordable care to all Americans. End the health care monopoly that the private insurance industry currently enjoys. Strongly consider a single payer system in which monies are payed to actual providers of care not to needless "middlemen" and eliminate wasteful and unnecessary medico-legally related defensive medical practices through reform of medical malpractice laws.

9) Link Israeli foreign aid to their observing the internationally recognized 1967 boundaries as outlined by the UN. Insist that Israel ends its occupation of Arab Palestinian Land. This has the added effect of lessening the likelihood that the USA will be subjected to foreign terrorist attacks.

10) Replace anyone in Congress and the White House who does not accept the above. Strongly consider a third party Independent Ticket challenge to President Obama and the Republican nominee.


[1] At last count we have over 900 foreign military bases of various sizes that require ongoing support.
[2] A tax increase back to Clinton administration era levels for those Americans with an annual income >250K would help as would a special tax for multimillionaires and billionaires of >50% on all annual income exceeding $5 million including capital gains. It would not however, alone or in combination with cuts to Medicare and Social Security be sufficient to eliminate future budget deficits or end the national debt completely by a time certain e.g. 2030.
[3] The ridiculously small amount recommended by Defense Secretary Robert Gates of roughly $40 billion is ludicrous and fails to address the main issue which is that the US can no longer afford a global empire.
[4] While in isolation this behavior might see economically wise, it is morally repugnant and violates the first two principle of the Natural Moral Law; Do good/avoid evil and treat your neighbor fairly.
[5] In this context I mean a Regime controlled by the super-rich, a fascist amalgam of powerful corporations and government. In 20th century Germany it was termed National Socialism. This would be a variant.

The US Maxes Out Its Credit Card

Editor's NOTE:

Mr. Margolis is correct. The US maintains a "War Department" not a Department of Defense. It exists to ensure American and Western financial supremacy for the all-powerful multinational corporations. As such the US military is being utilized to build ever larger monopolies for the super-rich Plutocrats who now control the United States and Europe.

Bear in mind, these Plutocrats could care less about what happens to the United States or any other country for that matter. National boundaries are simply irrelevant to them. Should the US default, they will simply move elsewhere since the entire world is their oyster. They can live anywhere and their markets are global.

This means that the US military establishment actually exists for the benefit of the Plutocracy and therefore to the detriment of the poor and middle class even though it is the children of the impoverished by and large who make up the ranks of the armed forces. What a tragic irony that.

It should be obvious that in order for the United States not to default on its debt, the "War Department" must be slashed by at least 50%. It should be the absolute first order of business for the Congress. Unfortunately, the Executive and Legislative branches of government have been completely bought and paid for by the very Plutocrats who benefit most from the Empire which insures their wealth. Barring a massive populist revolt, nothing will change.

The United States must find a credible third party populist candidate who can bring this issue to the American public before it is too late. I nominate Jesse Ventura if he is willing to take on the challenge. He may be the only person with enough courage, understanding and name recognition to compete with President Obama and the Republican nominee in 2012.

The US Maxes Out Its Credit Card

By Eric Margolis

April 23, 2011 "Information Clearing House" --The US dollar sank further last week and gold hit $1,500 an ounce, frightening investors and destabilizing financial markets. A leading credit rating agency warned the US AAA rating might be downgraded.

While Rome burned, President Obama and the Republican-controlled US Congress traded childish taunts and hot air. Both parties refused to tell Americans the painful truth: government’s yawning $1.4 trillion US budget deficit had to be slashed to prevent a financial meltdown. That would mean pain for everyone.

But the two political parties are deadlocked: Obama’s Democrats want to raise taxes. Republicans demand tax cuts. They want to cut health, education and welfare, all three sacred cows to the Democrats, while increasing military spending when 40 million Americans draw government food aid.

This dishonest debate mostly ignores the 800-lb gorilla in the room: America’s bloated $750-900 billion annual military spending. Some experts put total annual US military and intelligence spending at $1.2 trillion.
Few American politicians dare suggest seriously trimming the Pentagon’s runaway spending.

The US National Priorities Project estimates that in 2011, out of one dollar of US federal spending, 27.4% is military; 21.5% health; 13.8% interest on the debt; 10.9% social security benefits; 3.5% on education; and 23% on everything else.

In 2010, US military spending exceeded by 50% the average spent in the Cold War years when America had a serious rival in the Soviet Union. Since 2000, US military spending has grown by 67% (all figures adjusted for inflation). Yet today America has no real military rival.

The US now accounts for almost 50% of world military spending. Add America’s wealthy allies in Europe and Asia, and the total rises to 80%. And yet Americans are incessantly barraged by wild claims their nation is under dire threat, the latest and most preposterous being that dirt-poor Myanmar (former Burma) is getting nuclear weapons. China, with a military budget only 1/10th the size of America’s, is the only future threat the Republicans can come up with.

Most Americans think of “defense” spending rather than calling it “military” spending. This gives the totally mistaken impression America’s shores are somehow being threatened by enemy invasion.

In reality, the Pentagon’s vast budget sustains US world military domination, with over 100 overseas bases, air and naval fleets, two wars, numerous smaller “police actions” in Africa and Asia, rented allies, and a strategic nuclear arsenal at least 75% larger than needed.

President George W. Bush waged two wars, cut taxes, and spent billions in farm and medical subsidies without funding them through tax increases or spending cuts. These costs were simply loaded on to America’s huge national debt. If American taxpayers had to actually pay for their $1.6 trillion wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, these conflicts would quickly end.

President Lyndon Johnson also financed the Vietnam War through debt. The result: a worldwide wave of inflation that took a decade to overcome. The same thing is happening today thanks to the profligate George Bush who doubled US government spending. The US has been exporting inflation around the globe by debauching the dollar and massive borrowing to finance its deficits.

Bush and now Obama’s unpaid-for wars, recklessly low US interest rates, commodity speculators, and China’s overheated economy are fueling the rising tide of world inflation.

The subject of modest cuts from the sacred cow of military spending is being timidly raised by politicians of both parties. But they are terrified of being accused of the ultimate sin in hyperpatriotic US politics, being unpatriotic and “not supporting our boys.”

Yet unless the Pentagon’s budget is cut – perhaps by as much as half or more – the US, dangerously top-heavy with debt, may capsize. History amply shows more empires done in by poor finances and debt than invasion by enemies.

Alas, America’s governing system, dominated as it is by such powerful special interests as the military-industrial complex, Wall Street, and agriculture, can’t seem to escape from the national addiction to war and debt.

As my friend Arnaud de Borchgrave writes, while the US has spent $1.5 trillion on its Afghan and Iraq Wars, China is using US interest payments to win friends and customers around the world.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Libya all about oil, or central banking?

Editor's NOTE:

For more information on this topic, please listen to the excellent interview that Jim Fetzer did with Adrian Salbuchi of Argentina on Fetzer's The Real Deal radio program. You will find it to be extremely enlightening.

--Dr. J. P. Hubert

By: Ellen Brown
Asia Times Online
April 14, 2011

Several writers have noted the odd fact that the Libyan rebels took time out from their rebellion in March to create their own central bank - this before they even had a government. Robert Wenzel wrote in the Economic Policy Journal:

I have never before heard of a central bank being created in just a matter of weeks out of a popular uprising. This suggests we have a bit more than a rag tag bunch of rebels running around and that there are some pretty sophisticated influences.

Alex Newman wrote in the New American:

In a statement released last week, the rebels reported on the results of a meeting held on March 19. Among other things, the supposed rag-tag revolutionaries announced the "[d]esignation of the Central Bank of Benghazi as a monetary authority competent in monetary policies in Libya and appointment of a Governor to the Central Bank of Libya, with a temporary headquarters in Benghazi."

Newman quoted CNBC senior editor John Carney, who asked,

"Is this the first time a revolutionary group has created a central bank while it is still in the midst of fighting the entrenched political power? It certainly seems to indicate how extraordinarily powerful central bankers have become in our era."

Another anomaly involves the official justification for taking up arms against Libya. Supposedly it's about human rights violations, but the evidence is contradictory. According to an article on the Fox News website on February 28:

As the United Nations works feverishly to condemn Libyan leader Muammar al-Qaddafi for cracking down on protesters, the body's Human Rights Council is poised to adopt a report chock-full of praise for Libya's human rights record.

The review commends Libya for improving educational opportunities, for making human rights a "priority" and for bettering its "constitutional" framework. Several countries, including Iran, Venezuela, North Korea, and Saudi Arabia but also Canada, give Libya positive marks for the legal protections afforded to its citizens - who are now revolting against the regime and facing bloody reprisal.

Whatever might be said of Gaddafi's personal crimes, the Libyan people seem to be thriving. A delegation of medical professionals from Russia, Ukraine and Belarus wrote in an appeal to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin that after becoming acquainted with Libyan life, it was their view that in few nations did people live in such comfort:

[Libyans] are entitled to free treatment, and their hospitals provide the best in the world of medical equipment. Education in Libya is free, capable young people have the opportunity to study abroad at government expense. When marrying, young couples receive 60,000 Libyan dinars (about 50,000 US dollars) of financial assistance. Non-interest state loans, and as practice shows, undated. Due to government subsidies the price of cars is much lower than in Europe, and they are affordable for every family. Gasoline and bread cost a penny, no taxes for those who are engaged in agriculture. The Libyan people are quiet and peaceful, are not inclined to drink, and are very religious.

They maintained that the international community had been misinformed about the struggle against the regime. "Tell us," they said, "who would not like such a regime?"

Even if that is just propaganda, there is no denying at least one very popular achievement of the Libyan government: it brought water to the desert by building the largest and most expensive irrigation project in history, the US $33 billion GMMR (Great Man-Made River) project. Even more than oil, water is crucial to life in Libya.

The GMMR provides 70% of the population with water for drinking and irrigation, pumping it from Libya's vast underground Nubian Sandstone Aquifer System in the south to populated coastal areas 4,000 kilometers to the north. The Libyan government has done at least some things right.

Another explanation for the assault on Libya is that it is "all about oil", but that theory too is problematic. As noted in the National Journal, the country produces only about 2% of the world's oil. Saudi Arabia alone has enough spare capacity to make up for any lost production if Libyan oil were to disappear from the market. And if it's all about oil, why the rush to set up a new central bank?

Another provocative bit of data circulating on the Net is a 2007 "Democracy Now" interview of US General Wesley Clark (Ret). In it he says that about 10 days after September 11, 2001, he was told by a general that the decision had been made to go to war with Iraq. Clark was surprised and asked why. "I don't know!" was the response. "I guess they don't know what else to do!" Later, the same general said they planned to take out seven countries in five years: Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Iran.

What do these seven countries have in common? In the context of banking, one that sticks out is that none of them is listed among the 56 member banks of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS). That evidently puts them outside the long regulatory arm of the central bankers' central bank in Switzerland.

The most renegade of the lot could be Libya and Iraq, the two that have actually been attacked. Kenneth Schortgen Jr, writing on, noted that "[s]ix months before the US moved into Iraq to take down Saddam Hussein, the oil nation had made the move to accept euros instead of dollars for oil, and this became a threat to the global dominance of the dollar as the reserve currency, and its dominion as the petrodollar."

According to a Russian article titled "Bombing of Libya - Punishment for Ghaddafi for His Attempt to Refuse US Dollar", Gaddafi made a similarly bold move: he initiated a movement to refuse the dollar and the euro, and called on Arab and African nations to use a new currency instead, the gold dinar. Gaddafi suggested establishing a united African continent, with its 200 million people using this single currency.

During the past year, the idea was approved by many Arab countries and most African countries. The only opponents were the Republic of South Africa and the head of the League of Arab States. The initiative was viewed negatively by the USA and the European Union, with French President Nicolas Sarkozy calling Libya a threat to the financial security of mankind; but Gaddafi was not swayed and continued his push for the creation of a united Africa.

And that brings us back to the puzzle of the Libyan central bank. In an article posted on the Market Oracle, Eric Encina observed:

One seldom mentioned fact by western politicians and media pundits: the Central Bank of Libya is 100% State Owned ... Currently, the Libyan government creates its own money, the Libyan Dinar, through the facilities of its own central bank. Few can argue that Libya is a sovereign nation with its own great resources, able to sustain its own economic destiny. One major problem for globalist banking cartels is that in order to do business with Libya, they must go through the Libyan Central Bank and its national currency, a place where they have absolutely zero dominion or power-broking ability. Hence, taking down the Central Bank of Libya (CBL) may not appear in the speeches of Obama, Cameron and Sarkozy but this is certainly at the top of the globalist agenda for absorbing Libya into its hive of compliant nations.

Libya not only has oil. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), its central bank has nearly 144 tonnes of gold in its vaults. With that sort of asset base, who needs the BIS, the IMF and their rules?

All of which prompts a closer look at the BIS rules and their effect on local economies. An article on the BIS website states that central banks in the Central Bank Governance Network are supposed to have as their single or primary objective "to preserve price stability".

They are to be kept independent from government to make sure that political considerations don't interfere with this mandate. "Price stability" means maintaining a stable money supply, even if that means burdening the people with heavy foreign debts. Central banks are discouraged from increasing the money supply by printing money and using it for the benefit of the state, either directly or as loans.

In a 2002 article in Asia Times Online titled "The BIS vs national banks" Henry Liu maintained:

BIS regulations serve only the single purpose of strengthening the international private banking system, even at the peril of national economies. The BIS does to national banking systems what the IMF has done to national monetary regimes. National economies under financial globalization no longer serve national interests.

... FDI [foreign direct investment] denominated in foreign currencies, mostly dollars, has condemned many national economies into unbalanced development toward export, merely to make dollar-denominated interest payments to FDI, with little net benefit to the domestic economies.

He added, "Applying the State Theory of Money, any government can fund with its own currency all its domestic developmental needs to maintain full employment without inflation." The "state theory of money" refers to money created by governments rather than private banks.

The presumption of the rule against borrowing from the government's own central bank is that this will be inflationary, while borrowing existing money from foreign banks or the IMF will not. But all banks actually create the money they lend on their books, whether publicly owned or privately owned. Most new money today comes from bank loans. Borrowing it from the government's own central bank has the advantage that the loan is effectively interest-free.

Eliminating interest has been shown to reduce the cost of public projects by an average of 50%.

And that appears to be how the Libyan system works. According to Wikipedia, the functions of the Central Bank of Libya include "issuing and regulating banknotes and coins in Libya" and "managing and issuing all state loans". Libya's wholly state-owned bank can and does issue the national currency and lend it for state purposes.

That would explain where Libya gets the money to provide free education and medical care, and to issue each young couple $50,000 in interest-free state loans. It would also explain where the country found the $33 billion to build the Great Man-Made River project. Libyans are worried that North Atlantic Treaty Organization-led air strikes are coming perilously close to this pipeline, threatening another humanitarian disaster.

So is this new war all about oil or all about banking? Maybe both - and water as well. With energy, water, and ample credit to develop the infrastructure to access them, a nation can be free of the grip of foreign creditors. And that may be the real threat of Libya: it could show the world what is possible. (editor's bold emphasis throughout)

Most countries don't have oil, but new technologies are being developed that could make non-oil-producing nations energy-independent, particularly if infrastructure costs are halved by borrowing from the nation's own publicly owned bank. Energy independence would free governments from the web of the international bankers, and of the need to shift production from domestic to foreign markets to service the loans.

If the Gaddafi government goes down, it will be interesting to watch whether the new central bank joins the BIS, whether the nationalized oil industry gets sold off to investors, and whether education and healthcare continue to be free.

Ellen Brown is an attorney and president of the Public Banking Institute, In Web of Debt, her latest of eleven books, she shows how a private cartel has usurped the power to create money from the people themselves, and how we the people can get it back. Her websites are and