From Gallup, graphic evidence that Obama’s imperial killing machines aren’t winning friends, but they sure as hell are influencing people:
A 1979 documentary directed by Stewart Bird and Deborah Shaffer features a remarkable series of interviews with veterans of the IWW, the Industrial Workers of the World — a remarkable and brutally suppressed effort to create a new form of union.
What’s especially delightful is the youthful, enduring spirit that shines through the aging faces and resonates through their voices as they recall their participation in a movement that had given them a vision of a brighter, more harmonious future:.
And note also that the movement was destroyed in an early 20th Century version of the war on terror in which the activists were portrayed as slaves of an alien ideology deserving of the application of extrajudicial military force and none of the constitutional rights that would apply did crisis not prevail.
The full DVD is available here.
And the IWW’s still here.
Posted in Class, Crime, Culture, Deep Politics, Elders, GWOT, History, Intolerance, Labor, Military, Politics, Secrecy, Spooks, Video, Warfare, Wealth
Philadelphia Daily News scribe Will Bunch, writing at his blog, Attytood:
Obama’s expanded, top-secret drone war has allowed the U.S. to kill high-level members of al-Qaeda without the risks that ground troops have faced in Iraq or Afghanistan, where U.S. troops have been fighting more than 11 years.
But in doing so, a president who promised “the most open and transparent administration in history” has gone to Nixonian lengths to hide its actions from the American people and from Congress. He’s ordered missile attacks on countries such as Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia with which the nation is not at war – drone strikes that in addition to its targets have killed as many as 1,000 innocent civilians, including women and children.
And according to a White House white paper obtained by NBC News, Obama has claimed a power never even envisioned during the waterboarding-drenched years of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney – the ability to order the assassination of an American citizen believed to be engaged with al-Qaeda at a high level, even if that citizen is not currently plotting against the U.S.
Posted in Africa, Class, Crime, Culture, Deep Politics, Geopolitics, Governance, GWOT, Law, Mideast, Military, Politics, Secrecy, Spooks, Warfare
From Veteran BBC documentarian Adam Curtiss, writing in his blog, The Medium and the Message:
The West is worried about the rise of Islamism in Africa. There are two big fears — one is that there is a new international terror network that will come and attack Europe and America. The other is that sneaky Islamist groups like the Muslim Brotherhood will get themselves elected — and then promptly abolish democracy.
But behind these fears is an incredibly simplified — almost fictional — vision of the world. It possesses the minds of many western politicians, journalists and associated think tank “experts”. And at its heart is a kind of filter that wipes away anything complex about power and the struggles for power in African countries — and replaces that with a simple picture of the world as divided between goodies (us in the west) and dangerous frightening baddies who are out to destroy us.
It’s both blind and arrogant. And it’s terribly dangerous.
Curtis also features a clip from a documentary about the U.S. intervention in Somalia under Bill Clinton, filmed by British journalist Richard Dowden and featuring, from Mogadishu,
“a US marine interviewed on the street who puts it all so clearly:
“the place is filling up with American contractors all bidding to rebuild this joint. That’s all the Defence Department is. We’re bodyguards for American contractors ……………… You should know that – you’ve been to college.”
From veteran Australian journalist John Pilger:
A full-scale invasion of Africa is under way. The United States is deploying troops in 35 African countries, beginning with Libya, Sudan, Algeria and Niger. Reported by Associated Press on Christmas Day, this was missing from most Anglo-American media.
The invasion has almost nothing to do with “Islamism”, and almost everything to do with the acquisition of resources, notably minerals, and an accelerating rivalry with China. Unlike China, the US and its allies are prepared to use a degree of violence demonstrated in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Palestine. As in the cold war, a division of labour requires that western journalism and popular culture provide the cover of a holy war against a “menacing arc” of Islamic extremism, no different from the bogus “red menace” of a worldwide communist conspiracy.
Reminiscent of the Scramble for Africa in the late 19th century, the US African Command (Africom) has built a network of supplicants among collaborative African regimes eager for American bribes and armaments. Last year, Africom staged Operation African Endeavor, with the armed forces of 34 African nations taking part, commanded by the US military. Africom’s “soldier to soldier” doctrine embeds US officers at every level of command from general to warrant officer. Only pith helmets are missing.
Read the rest.
Sometimes two items just seem to go together, especially for a blog that’s devoted some attention to AFRICOM and its links to Pentagon plans to exercise military suzerainty over resources in times to crisis.
First, consider the latest move to bolster AFRICOM, the command spawned by a general who’s since become a private sector agrofuel and security consultant.
From Eric Schmitt of the New York Times:
The United States military is preparing to establish a drone base in northwest Africa so that it can increase surveillance missions on the local affiliate of Al Qaeda and other Islamist extremist groups that American and other Western officials say pose a growing menace to the region.
For now, officials say they envision flying only unarmed surveillance drones from the base, though they have not ruled out conducting missile strikes at some point if the threat worsens.
A new drone base in northwest Africa would join a constellation of small airstrips in recent years on the continent, including in Ethiopia, for surveillance missions flown by drones or turboprop planes designed to look like civilian aircraft.
Read the rest.
In light of the above, consider this question from Stephen M. Walt, Robert and Renée Belfer professor of international relations at Harvard, in a blog post headlined “Top ten tough questions for Hillary Clinton”:
U.S. military forces are now organized in various regional combatant commands, each under a designated regional “commander-in-chief” or CINC. These regional CINCs have a vast array of military, intelligence, and other assets at their disposal, and the resources they can bring to bear far exceed those of the State Department. For this reason, foreign governments often pay as much or more attention to the CINCs as they do to the U.S. ambassador, for the simple reason that the CinCs can do more for or against them. Here’s my question: if you were an ambitious young person who wanted to make a mark on U.S. foreign policy, why go to a nice four-year college and then join the Foreign Service? Wouldn’t it make more sense to go to West Point, Annapolis, or Colorado Springs and try to become a senior military leader instead?
Posted in Africa, Agriculture, Corpocracy, Deep Politics, Development, Environment, Food, Governance, GWOT, Military, Resources, Spooks, Warfare, Wealth
From the Los Angeles Times:
Priests’ ecclesiastical missteps treated more sternly than abuse
Files detail cases in which L.A. Archdiocese officials displayed outrage over a priest’s violation of canon law while doing little for victims of his sexual abuse
Americans were robbed on a scale undreamt-of by criminals of generations past, banksters criminally reckless in their disregard for any interests save those that fattened their paychecks and bonuses.
This should’ve come as no surprise. Certainly we weren’t suddenly shocked to discover that once again, the financial system collapsed under the weight of bankster greed, leaving once again poor shlubs like thee and we to carry the freight.
Nor are we surprised to see some of the same responsible for the mess occupying positions of power, along with the return of pay raises and bonuses for the very folks whose misdeeds the rest of us will be paying for the rest of our lives. After all, it had happened before.
James S. Henry is a unique figure in being both an economist and an investigative report — and a lawyer to boot.
Here he talks with Paul Jay of The Real News Network about the Obama administration’s distinctive failure to reform either regulations or regulators:
The full transcript of the segment is posted here. An excerpt:
James S. Henry: These major institutions have basically walked away from justice when it comes to the federal government, and it’s been left to the private lawsuits and to the SEC, to the state of New York, to actually piggyback on these private lawsuits and make these cases. It begs the question of, you know, whether or Lenny Breuer and his team was really doing their job when it came to these major financial institutions. They seem to have a soft place in their hearts.
And that also extends to other kinds of corporate crime, for example the settlements that they engaged in with HSBC and the money laundering, the tap on the wrist that UBS got for being at the heart of the Libor scandal. It’s not just the bank crises; it’s also these other kind of shenanigans. So, many of us have been expecting the Justice Department to act here, but they haven’t.
Posted in Banksters, Corpocracy, Crime, Debt, Deep Politics, Economy, Finance, History, Law, Politics, Resources, Video, Wealth
From Michael Parenti, writing at Dandelion Salad:
The brutish vagaries of plutocracy are not the product of particular personalities but of systemic interests. President George W. Bush was ridiculed for misusing words, but his empire-building and stripping of government services and regulations revealed a keen devotion to ruling-class interests. Likewise, President Barack Obama is not spineless. He is hypocritical but not confused. He is (by his own description) an erstwhile “liberal Republican,” or as I would put it, a faithful servant of corporate America.
Our various leaders are well informed, not deluded. They come from different regions and different families, and have different personalities, yet they pursue pretty much the same policies on behalf of the same plutocracy.
So it is not enough to denounce atrocities and wars, we also must understand who propagates them and who benefits. We have to ask why violence and deception are constant ingredients.
Unintended consequences and other oddities do arise in worldly affairs but we also must take account of interest-driven rational intentions. More often than not, the aberrations—be they wars, market crashes, famines, individual assassinations or mass killings—take shape because those at the top are pursuing gainful expropriation. Many may suffer and perish but somebody somewhere is benefiting boundlessly.
Read the rest.
From Alán Camilo Cienfuegos, writing in Irish Left Review:
The United States military’s Africa Command (AFRICOM) has never been based on the African continent, headquartered instead in Germany. The chief leader of the opposition to US imperialism in Africa, the main opponent to the basing of AFRICOM bases on the continent and to the presence of US troops on the ground in African countries, was Libya under Muammar Gaddafi. Now that the anti-western Libya has been smashed, and the western-puppet Libya has been set up in its place, the field is clear for the most part for US and western imperialism to move physically into Africa and begin setting up bases in strategic locations in the region. But ironically, one of the main obstacles remaining is none other than the myriad Islamist groups funded by the west to help fight and destroy Gaddafi’s Libya. Large numbers of Islamist fighters, veterans of the war against the Libyan state, have since the fall of Gaddafi moved back across the Sahara and into Mali and surrounding countries, taking their weapons and experience with them, in order to set up their own forces to impose Islamic law on larger and larger areas of north Africa, threatening the stability of imperialism’s plans in the region. And this is where the French military comes in.
The United States has long been the spearhead of western capitalist imperialism, with its running dogs mostly playing second fiddle to its domination. But today, with the US military smarting from blows received in Afghanistan and Iraq, and gearing up for a potential war with new regional nemesis Iran (with the attendant face-off with Iranian allies Russia and China), the time has come for the rising military power of the European Union, internally strengthened by various treaties of economic integration and military co-operation, to take its place as the vanguard of the imperialist forces. Britain and France have already taken part in the destruction of Iraq and the occupation of Afghanistan, and France took the lead role in the bombardment of Libya in 2011 in support of the western proxies there. The EU, with its continuing, rapid integration of economic and military power, will soon be an imperialist force to be reckoned with in the world, a vital bulwark for the United States against the equally growing powers of Russia and China.
And thus, we now have French forces, with the backing of the US and EU, bombing the same rebels they funded and armed to destroy Libya, and French troops (currently around 2,500 of them) gearing up to fight alongside the Malian government to secure the interests of imperialism in the region. One wonders if the French have learned the lessons of their past colonial adventures, for although French officials have claimed that the Mali operation will last only a few weeks, it is very possible that, in facing once again a well armed, battle-hardened and fanatical enemy on its own soil, the imperialists may well be sucked into yet another war that they cannot win, this time against an enemy of their own making.
Read the rest.
From a stunning new Oxfam report [PDF], “The cost of inequality: how wealth and income extremes hurt us all.” Emphasis added:
Over the last thirty years inequality has grown dramatically in many countries. In the US the share of national income going to the top 1% has doubled since 1980 from 10 to 20%. For the top 0.01% it has quadrupled to levels never seen before. At a global level, the top 1% (60 million people), and particularly the even more select few in the top 0.01% (600,000 individuals – there are around 1200 billionaires in the world), the last thirty years has been an incredible feeding frenzy. This is not confined to the US, or indeed to rich countries. In the UK inequality is rapidly returning to levels not seen since the time of Charles Dickens. In China the top 10% now take home nearly 60% of the income. Chinese inequality levels are now similar to those in South Africa, which are now the most unequal country on earth and significantly more unequal than at the end of apartheid. Even in many of the poorest countries, inequality has rapidly grown.
Globally the incomes of the top 1% have increased 60% in twenty years. The growth in income for the 0.01% has been even greater.
Following the financial crisis, the process has accelerated, with the top 1% further increasing their share of income. The luxury goods market has registered double digit growth every year since the crisis hit. Whether it is a sports car or a super-yacht, caviar or champagne, there has never been a bigger demand for the most expensive luxuries.
The top 100 billionaires added $240 billion to their wealth in 2012 — enough to end world poverty four times over.
As we reported in detail last February, UC Berkeley is at the forefront of the government’s push to develop more efficient ways of using rare earths that are key to a range of so-called “clean energy” technologies, including one especially critical element, dysprosium.
From a Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory announcement we included in a post last February:
Belonging to a family of elements known as lanthanides—also called rare earths—dysprosium and other rare earths are used in almost every high-tech gadget and clean energy technology invented in the last 30 years, from smart phones to wind turbines to hybrid cars. Although the United States was self-sufficient in rare earths or obtained them on the free market until the early 2000s, the vast majority are now mined in China and the supply has been subject to fluctuations. The Department of Energy’s (DOE) Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) aims to change the status quo by reviving the study of these critical materials to better understand how to extract them, use them more efficiently, reuse and recycle them and find substitutes for them.
Read the rest.
With most of the world’s developed dysprosium supplies in China, along with other critical rare earths, the Obama administration has launched a major military shift, concentrating American naval forces in the Pacific while using legal pressure to force China to part with more of its stockpiles, resources critical for American high tech industry.
Now comes a new report from the Department of Energy revealing that no matter how much of China’s dysprosium goes on the market, it’s not going to be enough.
From the U.S. Department of Energy Critical Materials Strategy [PDF]. Click on the image to enlarge:
From the report:
Figure 4-4 illustrates the ranges of projections of global requirements for dysprosium oxide in magnets for wind turbines and vehicles, as well as non-clean energy use during the period of 2010–2025. These amounts are given in terms of dysprosium oxide because it is the commercial feedstock from which dysprosium metal is refined and NdFeB magnets are fabricated. Also included in Figure 4-4 are supply estimates for 2010 and 2010 plus additional individual mines, as well as an estimate for 2015 supply.
Figure 4-4 shows that the basic availability of dysprosium oxide is tight in the short term. Anticipated new mines will provide relatively little new supply—an additional 10%—by 2015. Global demand meets or exceeds projected 2015 supply under all four trajectories in the beginning of the medium term. Non-clean energy demand alone will lead to a supply-demand mismatch by the middle of the medium term under the assumed trajectory, highlighting the need for corresponding material intensity improvements or substitutes in non-clean energy technologies. Clean energy demand makes up a growing share of global dysprosium demand, increasing from 11% in 2010 to 52% in 2025 under Trajectory C. Demand for dysprosium oxide is roughly four-times as much for vehicles compared to wind turbines in 2025. In order to meet demand under Trajectory C, global production of dysprosium oxide needs to more than double by 2025. The developing supply-demand imbalance in the medium term under all trajectories highlights the importance of R&D on alternative approaches to heat management (a main function of the dysprosium content) in magnets or substitutes for NdFeB magnets in general in clean energy technologies.
James Meek, writing in the London Review of Books on the grim results of the privatization of Britain’s once state-owned electricity system:
More than twenty years after the great electricity experiment was launched, it can be seen that although it was an act of privatisation – of taxation, principally – it was most significantly an act of alienation, lowering an impenetrable barrier of complexity, commercial secrecy and sheer geographical distance between the controlling interests of electricity companies and the customers they serve. It’s easy to switch suppliers. But behind that barrier citizens and small businesses have no way of knowing that they aren’t being fleeced as egregiously by the cheapest provider as they are by the most expensive. The consumer-peasants of Britain bring their tithes to the locked gates of the great electrical estates and wonder who lives in the big house now, and whether they are at home, or in one of their other estates around the world.
Read the rest.
One of the beneficiaries Meek mentions is a name familiar on the UC Berkeley campus, Li Ka-Shing, the richest man in Asia, who bought himself the naming rights to the university’s new public health building. Li had no connection with Berkeley, but he loves to buy monuments. The building he bankrolled replaced another named for a UC Berkeley graduate, the man under whose tenure as Chief Justice the U.S. Supreme Court did more to establish civil rights for Americans than any other court in American history, the late Earl Warren Jr.
From The Real News Network, a report from Berkeley on the neolibertarian-planned destruction of the U.S. postal service, including the sell-off of buildings, many architectural jewels, to the immense profit of the spouse of California Senator Diane Feinstein.
An excerpt from the webcast produced by TRNN’s David Zlutnick, including a quote from UC Berkeley geographer Gray Brechin:
[S]ome private contractors will do quite well off of the ongoing USPS fiscal crisis. CBRE, for example, is the world’s largest commercial real estate broker, chaired by San Francisco billionaire Richard Blum, husband of Sen. Diane Feinstein. Last year CBRE won a contract from the USPS to be the sole manager of its property sales, as well as an advisor on which properties should be sold.
Brechin: CBRE also arranges the leases, so it’s involved in all aspects of the sale. They’re making a ton of money off this.
CBRE has played this role before. In October 2009, the firm was contracted by the State of California to sell over $2 billion in office buildings the state wanted to privatize because of its own financial problems. But USPS dismisses any possible conflict of interest CBRE may have in performing its services.
Read the rest.
One of the post offices on the block is the downtown Berkeley building, listed on the National Registrar of Historic Places and the home of some very notable New Deal-created artwork featured in a previous post.
James Howard Kunstler at his acerbic best, writing on the meaninglessness of the “fiscal cliff” crisis at his blog, Clusterfuck Nation:
Do people like Barack Obama and John Boehner think we’re going to re-start another round of suburban expansion (a.k.a. the housing market)? That’s largely what the old economy was based on, and what Wall Street fed off of parasitically the past twenty years. That is so over. Do they believe that when absolutely every task in America is computerized there will be any gainful work outside of a sort of janitorial IT to tend all the computers. We’ve already seen what happens with the telephone system: after 30 years of techno-innovation in “communications,” it’s now impossible to get a live human being on the phone and robots call you incessantly during the dinner hour. Anyway, we don’t really have the energy resources to supply the electricity for all this crap indefinitely, or probably even another twenty years.
All the tendencies and trends in contemporary life are reaching their limits at the same time, and as they do things will crack up and fall apart, whether it involves the despotic reach of a government, or a tyrannical corporation, or a hedge fund server farm stuffed with algo-crunching computers sucking the life out of every honest market transaction until the markets are zombies. The euphoria that greeted the end of the fiscal cliff ritual has settled back into the feckless collective state-of-mind that we call “bullish.” It’s all noise and the madness of crowds now. And black swans shitting on your head some sunny day.
And for those who don’t get his final “some sunny day” reference, here’s the closing scene from Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb:
Posted in Corpocracy, Culture, Debt, Deep Politics, Economy, Finance, Governance, Hypocrisy, Idiocy, Labor, Resources, Video, Wealth
From James Howard Kunstler, writing at his delightfully named blog, Clusterfuck Nation:
We’re now entering the seventh year of a smoke-and-mirrors, extend-and-pretend, can-kicking phase of history in which everything possible is being done to conceal the true condition of the economy, with the vain hope of somehow holding things together until a miracle rescue remedy — some new kind of cheap or even free energy — comes on the scene to save all our complex arrangements from implosion. The chief device to delay the reckoning has been accounting fraud in banking and government, essentially misreporting everything on all balance sheets and in statistical reports to give the appearance of well-being where there is actually grave illness, like the cosmetics and prosthetics Michael Jackson used in his final years to pretend he still had a face on the front of his head.
The secondary tactic has been intervention in markets wherever possible and the intemperate manipulation of interest rates, all of which has the effect of defeating the principle purpose of markets: price discovery — the process by which the true value of things is established based on what people will freely pay. For instance the price of money-on-loan. The functionally less-than-zero percent interest rates on money loaned between giant institutions like central banks and their client “primary dealers” (the Too Big To Fails) essentially pays these outfits for borrowing, which is obviously a distortion in the natural order of things (because it violates the second law of thermodynamics: entropy) as well as an arrant racket. The campaign of intervention and manipulation also deeply impairs the other purpose of markets, capital formation, by the resultant mismanagement and misallocation of whatever real surplus wealth remains in this society. What’s more, it allows these TBTF banks to become ever-bigger monsters which hold everybody else hostage by threatening to crash the system if they are molested or interfered with.
Which brings us to the third tactic for pretending everything is all right: complete lack of enforcement and regulation by all the authorities charged with making sure that rules are followed in money matters. This includes the alphabet soup of agencies from the Securities and Exchange Commission to the Commodities Futures Trading Commission, to the Federal Housing Authority, and so on (the list of responsible parties is very long) not to mention the Big Kahunas: the US Department of Justice, and the federal and state courts. Aside from Bernie Madoff and a few Hedge Fund mavericks nipped for insider trading and arrant fraud, absolutely nobody in the TBTF banking community has been prosecuted or even charged for the monumental swindles of our time, while the regulators have behaved in ways that would be considered criminally negligent at best, and sheer racketeering at less-than-best, in any self-respecting polity. The crime runs so deep and thick through all the levels of money management and regulation that one can say the whole system has gone rogue, up to the President of the US himself, the chief enforcement officer of the land, who has not lifted a finger to discipline any of the parties involved. The fact that Jon Corzine, late of MF Global, is still at large says it all.
Fourth-and-finally, the news media in league with the public relations industry have undertaken a campaign of happy talk to persuade the public that everything is okay and all the machinations cited above are kosher so that there is absolutely no political agitation over these crimes against their own interest, which is to say, the public interest. The PR/media happy talk racket is also aimed at maintaining various subsidiary fictions about the economy, such as the fibs that the housing market is bouncing back, that “recovery” is ongoing, and that the channel-stuffing monkeyshines of the car industry amount to booming sales of new vehicles. Perhaps the most pernicious big lie is the bundle of fairy tales surrounding shale oil and shale gas, including the idea that America will shortly become “energy independent” or that we have “a hundred years of shale gas” as President Obama was mis-advised to tell the nation. It is pernicious because it gives us collectively an excuse to do nothing about changing our behavior or preparing for the new arrangements in daily life that the future will require of us.
Posted in Banksters, Class, Corpocracy, Crime, Culture, Debt, Deep Politics, Economy, Finance, Governance, History, Human behavior, Hypocrisy, Idiocy, Law, Politics, Resources, Wealth
From economist Michael Hudson, writing at his blog:
Today’s economic warfare is not the kind waged a century ago between labor and its industrial employers. Finance has moved to capture the economy at large, industry and mining, public infrastructure (via privatization) and now even the educational system. (At over $1 trillion, U.S. student loan debt came to exceed credit-card debt in 2012.) The weapon in this financial warfare is no larger military force. The tactic is to load economies (governments, companies and families) with debt, siphon off their income as debt service and then foreclose when debtors lack the means to pay. Indebting government gives creditors a lever to pry away land, public infrastructure and other property in the public domain. Indebting companies enables creditors to seize employee pension savings. And Indebting labor means that it no longer is necessary to hire strikebreakers to attack union organizers and strikers.
Workers have become so deeply indebted on their home mortgages, credit cards and other bank debt that they fear to strike or even to complain about working conditions. Losing work means missing payments on their monthly bills, enabling banks to jack up interest rates to levels that used to be deemed usurious. So debt peonage and unemployment loom on top of the wage slavery that was the main focus of class warfare a century ago. And to cap matters, credit-card bank lobbyists have rewritten the bankruptcy laws to curtail debtor rights, and the referees appointed to adjudicate disputes brought by debtors and consumers are subject to veto from the banks and businesses that are mainly responsible for inflicting injury.
The aim of financial warfare is not merely to acquire land, natural resources and key infrastructure rents as in military warfare; it is to centralize creditor control over society. In contrast to the promise of democratic reform nurturing a middle class a century ago, we are witnessing a regression to a world of special privilege in which one must inherit wealth in order to avoid debt and job dependency.
Posted in Banksters, Class, Corpocracy, Debt, Deep Politics, Economy, Education, Elders, Finance, Governance, Labor, Politics, Poverty, Resources, Wealth
From Naomi Wolf, writing in The Guardian:
It was more sophisticated than we had imagined: new documents show that the violent crackdown on Occupy last fall — so mystifying at the time — was not just coordinated at the level of the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, and local police. The crackdown, which involved, as you may recall, violent arrests, group disruption, canister missiles to the skulls of protesters, people held in handcuffs so tight they were injured, people held in bondage till they were forced to wet or soil themselves — was coordinated with the big banks themselves.
The Partnership for Civil Justice Fund, in a groundbreaking scoop that should once more shame major US media outlets (why are nonprofits now some of the only entities in America left breaking major civil liberties news?), filed this request. The document — reproduced here in an easily searchable format — shows a terrifying network of coordinated DHS, FBI, police, regional fusion center, and private-sector activity so completely merged into one another that the monstrous whole is, in fact, one entity: in some cases, bearing a single name, the Domestic Security Alliance Council. And it reveals this merged entity to have one centrally planned, locally executed mission. The documents, in short, show the cops and DHS working for and with banks to target, arrest, and politically disable peaceful American citizens.
Former Berlin Al Jazeera correspondent Aktham Suliman denouncing his former employer’s submission to monarchical control in a Deutsche Welle interview:
In the case of Syria, Al Jazeera barely reported about the rebellion in the first few weeks. Some of my colleagues and I protested, pointing out that there was stuff happening in Syria and we needed to report on it, regardless of our personal opinions. Back then, however, the ruler of Qatar was trying to change the Syrian president’s mind and encourage him to take certain steps toward political reform.
When Assad didn’t respond, Al Jazeera then said: Now get to work on Syria! It’s not a good feeling when you have the impression that you’re no longer a journalist, you’re basically just a guard dog responding to your owner’s whistle when he tells you to go after this state or that government. It was really quite extreme: this long silence at the beginning, then the frantic involvement afterwards – and with the Qatari ruler always the one calling the tune.