Zebra 3 Report by Joe Anybody
Wednesday, 24 February 2010
Peace - War - ...how about some cooperation for Peace by everyone
Mood:  a-ok
Now Playing: Can the Right and Left Work Together to Oppose War and Empire?
Topic: WAR
Can the Right and Left Work Together to Oppose War and Empire?

By Kevin Zeese

There has to be a better way to stop wars and reduce military spending. Polls show U.S. voters at worst divided on current wars and more often show majority opposition to them. Yet, when Congress “debates” war the widespread view of Americans is muffled, not usually heard.

For the last decade, with President Bush in office the peace movement has been politically left and Democratic leaning. The right wing has been kept off the stage as a result the anti-war movement does not reflect the breadth of American opposition to war. For too long the peace movement has been like a bird with only a left wing. It can barely fly and when it does it seems to go in circles. Perhaps a bird with two wings will fly better?

This past weekend Voters for Peace sponsored a meeting of 40 people from across the political spectrum who oppose war and Empire. The people attending see the U.S. military as too big and too expensive and recognize spending $1 million to keep a soldier in Afghanistan for one year is a symptom of mistaken militarism that weakens U.S. economic and national security.

The purpose of the meeting was to see if we could work together. Could we put aside our differences on other issues and focus on reducing American militarism and in the long run ending reliance on war?

The conversation began with discussions of the history of anti-war advocacy in the United States and what we can learn from it. One point repeatedly made by people on the left and right was that historically there have been conservatives who opposed war and empire. Today those voices are heard in a whisper, if at all. Before the Spanish American War, World War I and World War II, strong opposition to foreign intervention not only came from progressives but also from traditional conservatives rooted in the recommendation of George Washington’s farewell address – ‘avoid foreign entanglements.’ How can we re-awaken that common sense conservatism and forge a broad based anti-war movement?

What would a broad based anti-war movement look like? Some of the conservatives in the room warned against this 21st Century movement looking like the anti-Vietnam war protests of the 60s. Many on the left and right acknowledged that the mass weekend protests against Iraq were large in size but ineffective in result. While there is a role for such protests, they are not sufficient for the task at hand. Some conservatives warned against describing the United States as imperialist – that would get up the hackles of many Americans. But, they were comfortable describing the United States as an Empire.

Personally, I found that of interest. Americans never hear discussed in the media whether or not our country is an Empire. And, if we were to have such a discussion the critical questions would be is Empire good for us, for our national security, for our economy, for our democracy? Having those questions debated would be a breakthrough in political dialogue.

It is hard to deny the American Empire. The U.S. has more than 2,500,000 DoD personnel deployed across the planet and 761 military bases on foreign soil not counting more than 100 in Iraq and more than 400 American and NATO bases in Afghanistan. U.S. troops are now stationed in 148 countries and 11 territories according to DoD’s “Active Duty Military Personnel Strengths by Regional Area and Country.” America has spawned a military network larger than the Roman Empire, which at its height had 37 major military bases, and the British Empire which had 36. More bases are planned; billions spent building bases in far off lands while large swaths of American cities degrade into impoverished zones and the infrastructure of the nation crumbles.

When the Cold War ended, rather than reducing troops in Germany, Japan, Korea, Italy, the Philippines, and so many other nations; ending the NATO alliance which was designed to combat the now non-existent Soviet Union; and shrinking the weapons and war budget, the U.S. decided to seek to become the sole superpower on Earth. U.S. military spending is now as much as the whole world combined. The U.S. Navy exceeds in firepower the next 13 navies combined. When all the budgets are accounted for – the Pentagon, the wars, the 16 intelligence agencies, the super-sized embassies – total Empire spending is more than $1 trillion annually.

And, the Empire has deep roots. General Smedley Butler, the most decorated Marine in history joined the Marines in 1898 and served 34 years in China, Nicaragua, Haiti, Cuba, Mexico and other nations as part of the early American Empire. When Butler retired and thought about his career he described himself as a “racketeer” for U.S. business interests around the world and said “war is a racket.”

But, this massive Empire is not discussed. It is the elephant in the living room of American foreign policy. And, the entrenched military-industrial complex that President Eisenhower warned us about in 1961 is now so powerful that cutting the military budget is off the table in Washington, DC – despite cost over-runs of hundreds of billions in weapons contracts, the GAO consistently describing the Pentagon as un-auditable and budgets filled with waste, fraud and abuse. The war budget grows and grows despite a fragile if not collapsing economy at home.

After a long day of discussion it became evident that people from across the political spectrum, despite differences on other issues, could in fact work together to challenge American militarism. Some in the room who had been working on these issues for forty years thought such a coalition was decades past due. Some of the students in attendance had their eyes opened to the history of traditional conservative anti-war efforts as in their lifetimes it had not been heard from.

In discussing this publicly, so far I have only heard from one person on “the left” who opposes it. He was a co-founder of Progressives for Obama and he lumps everyone on the conservative side into what he calls “racist populism.” Such broad stroke descriptions of people are prima facie evidence of prejudice and certainly not consistent with people I have met from across the spectrum. But, his opposition shows the challenge on “the left” – too many are unwilling to stop their support for the Democrats and Obama.

The challenge on the right is also difficult. The Neocons have taken over almost all significant conservative organizations. How can we attract traditional conservatives to anti-war advocacy? The day after the conference, the surprise land slide victory of the anti-war conservative, Ron Paul, at the CPAC convention gave hope that there were more right wing peaceniks than we may have imagined.

While our task is urgent – something which the 1000th death of a U.S. soldier in Afghanistan and the weekend’s killing of two dozen more civilians in an aerial attack brings home – our job is immense. Undoing a century old Empire that is larger than any that ever existed, is no easy task, but for citizen patriots it is an essential one for the survival of the nation and the benefit of the world.

To join our efforts sign the Voters Pledge at www.VotersForPeace.US and get involved.

Kevin Zeese is executive director of Voters for Peace.

Posted by Joe Anybody at 6:01 PM PST
Rocks, protesting, black block , and police provocateurs
Mood:  irritated
Now Playing: I'm A Better Anarchist Than You - Email from David Rovics
Topic: PROTEST!

I'm A Better Anarchist Than You


Some Thoughts on Vancouver and the Black Bloc

I love a good riot. The distant sound of things breaking, the smoke
billowing from whatever is burning, the young men and women busily smashing whatever they can find into fist-sized pieces, launching the objects overthe heads of their fellow rioters (if all goes well) and into the ranks ofthe black-clad police with their Ninja Turtle armor, translucent plastic shields and their array of far more sophisticated weaponry.

I love the scent of tear gas (if I'm just on the outskirts of the cloud), it's
exhilarating, the scent of possibility, of the situation's volatility, the
thrilling uncertainty. The excitement of seeing the barricades get lit on
fire, knowing that no police vehicle, no matter how well-armored, is going
to drive through that.

They're going to have to put the fire out first, and until they manage to
get some big hoses to the scene (which might require the participation of
the fire department, which might not want to participate), this is our
block. Maybe the police even retreat a couple times under particularly
heavy volleys of rocks and bottles, the crowd surges and cheers, meanwhile the more experienced rioters stay busy gathering wheelbarrows full of morethings to throw at the cops, knowing they'll be back soon.

My neighbor says it's because I'm an Aries, but whatever it is, if I find myself in the midst of such a situation, the memories are all fond ones of the rush and the togetherness of the moment. It's a warm, fuzzy feeling, really.

However, most people in most of the countries with which I'm fairly
familiar – the US, Canada, England, Germany, Denmark, Australia, Japan
– don't feel that way. For most people I meet riots are scary things and
they don't care or notice much whether it was a chain store's windows
smashed or a local one, whether only SUV's were torched or hybrids, too,
whether any passersby got hurt in the process or not. The major news
outlets don't pay much attention to what the underlying reasons for the
rioting is – just enough about the situation for people to associate the
riot with the cause and the cause with scary people who aren't like them.

I've been home in Portland over the past couple weeks, not in Vancouver for the Olympics and the accompanying protests that tend to materialize when a gigantic corporate event and the international media covering it rolls into (and over) the town.

By European standards the event the media was focusing on sounds like it was a pathetic little riot, a few smashed windows and overturned newspaper boxes, but it managed to attract the lion's share of Canadian and even international media coverage, as usual – it's sensational, but more than that it serves the purposes of corporate media outlets who, for political reasons, want to make most protesters look bad and don't want people going out to rock the boat in the first place.

By my informal count traveling around, I'd say that most people in many
countries are afraid to go to protests, even if their sympathies are with
those protesting. They're afraid of what they've heard in the media about
how things get out of control. They'd rather avoid lines of police in riot
gear, and they feel unsafe at the thought that what they believed was going to be a nonviolent event might suddenly get scary when a small group of people decide to start throwing rocks through store windows.

Some of the rock-throwing anarchists (as opposed to the far more numerous non-rock-throwing variety of anarchists) will now ask, who cares? Who cares if lots of people are afraid to come to protests because of us.  They're “liberals” anyway (anyone who doesn't support your right to riot is a liberal, in case you didn't know).

But here's the thing: we need a mass movement, and contrary to what
certain popular primitivist authors like to say, a few thousand dedicated
people are not going to accomplish much of anything, let alone
revolutionary change, without the support of a mass movement. That is,
whatever tactics you're using to organize resistance groups of any kind,
the tactics need to be ones that don't completely alienate the general
public (very much including the “liberals”). And the general public
tends to be freaked out by groups of people committing acts of violence (or
forms of property destruction that seem violent to them).

In recent decades lots of people in lots of places have embraced all kinds of militant and often effective tactics – strikes, bus boycotts, sit-ins,
building take-overs, nonviolent civil disobedience of all kinds. Those of
any political persuasion who would say that tactics like these are
universally ineffective are simply ignorant.

Equally, there have been some pretty darn effective movements that have
employed violence around the world over the past few decades and centuries, and you'd have to be an extremely ideological pacifist not to recognize that. But these movements that have employed violent means have used a lot more than rocks.

It takes a pretty desperate situation (say, Cuba in 1959) for movements like that to garner popular support, and there's not a
serious guerrilla movement anywhere that wouldn't admit that the fish need the sea in which to swim, or they quickly die.

In the context of most modern, relatively well-off countries, it seems
quite evident that rioting – even if it's not much of a riot – only
impedes anyone's efforts at building a movement. It is, in fact, a
much-used strategy of the police, as we've seen time and time again
certainly throughout North America, Europe and elsewhere.

I have no doubt that the first rock thrown is thrown by an undercover cop at least half the time in most situations. I also have no doubt that most of the young people participating in Black Bloc and advocating for “diversity of
tactics” (translation: “don't tell me not to throw rocks, you oppressive, ageist liberal carnivore!”) are well-meaning people doing a lot of good work in their communities when they're not throwing rocks through windows. But whether or not they want to believe it, when they
start throwing rocks during a march they are doing exactly the same work as the police provocateurs – I mean literally, not figuratively.

Black Bloc: doesn't this make you wonder about what the fuck you're doing?
 

Written by David Rovics 2/24/10


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Posted by Joe Anybody at 9:47 AM PST
Tuesday, 23 February 2010
Dont 'spray me bro"
Mood:  loud
Now Playing: Joe Anybody sues the police
Topic: CIVIL RIGHTS

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Videographer Sues Police Over Pepper Spray

Posted by Matt Davis on Tue, Feb 23, 2010 at 12:09 PM

 

JOE ANYBODY: VIDEOS THE POLICE
  • JOE ANYBODY: VIDEOS THE POLICE
http://blogtown.portlandmercury.com/BlogtownPDX/archives/2010/02/23/videographer-sues-police-over-pepper-spray
Local videographer Joe Anybody has filed suit against the police today over being pepper sprayed during March 2008 protests over the U.S.Invasion of Iraq. Anybody, whose real name is Mike Tabor, has a history of being harassed by police, as he videotapes police actions and protests. The bureau even made policy changes following a prior incident.

 

Tabor's new suit involves the pepper-spraying of people on the sidewalk during a protest in front of the Wells Fargo Tower on March 19, 2008, the 5th anniversary of the U.S. Invasion of Iraq. From his attorney, Aaron Vahola:

Michael Tabor, aka “Joe Anybody”, a freelance videographer, was videotaping the protest from the sidewalk. While there was some confrontation with the police elsewhere in the protest, there was no resistance to the police in his area. Lt. Mike Lee was walking through the crowd, and had his back turned to some protesters without incident.

Lee started pushing protesters without provocation, then directed Officer Aaron Schmautz to pepper-spray the crowd. Tabor was hit by the pepper spray, even though he was on the sidewalk and no threat to the police line.

This spraying was against PPB policy, handed down that same day, prohibiting use of broadcast spraying in most instances. See the attached memo from Chief Sizer, particularly Section 635.10(f)(3). The PPB violated this memo in this instance, broadcast spraying a crowd that was not surging at the police lines, including my client, Mr. Tabor.

Also note: Ronald Frashour, the officer who killed Aaron Campbell, was sued for Tasering a videographer several years ago. This is a pattern and practice of the Portland Police Bureau, and it is my opinion that a lack of accountability and punishment for officers who commit misconduct leads to repeat offenses, liability for the city, and even deaths, such as those of Campbell and Raymond Gwerder, who was killed in a manner shockingly similar to Campbell by an officer (Leo Besner) with a history of unprovoked violence against citizens.

We'll have video of the alleged incident around 5pm today. In the meantime it is against police bureau policy to comment on open lawsuits.

Posted by Joe Anybody at 2:16 PM PST
Monday, 22 February 2010
ByBee & his sick Torture Laws "has got to go!"
Mood:  lyrical
Now Playing: News From the Underground: Jay Bybee must resign!
Topic: TORTURE
News From the Underground: Jay Bybee must resign!
From: Mark Crispin Miller
(copied from Facebook to post here on the Zebra 3 report)

Date: Mon, 22 Feb 2010 06:56:51 -0500
To: <newsfromunderground@googlegroups.com>
Subject: [MCM] Jay Bybee must resign!

Watchdog Group Calls On Lawyers Practicing In The Ninth Circuit Court Of Appeals To Reject Judge Jay Bybee

Newly Released Department of Justice Report Further Discredits the Former Bush Administration Torture Lawyer

Washington, DC: On Friday, Department of Justice Associate Deputy Attorney General David Margolis found that Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Jay Bybee exercised "poor judgment" when preparing legal memos advocating torture of detainees in US custody. Mr. Margolis also released a report from the DOJ's Office of Professional Responsibility, which found that Mr. Bybee engaged in "unprofessional conduct." That 300-page OPR report is a blistering indictment against Mr. Bybee, accusing him of ethical transgressions such as intentionally ignoring established case law--including that from the Supreme Court--that directly contradicted his position.

The Disbar Torture Lawyers campaign, www.disbartorturelawyers.com, consisting of scores of government accountability groups representing over a million members, last year filed a disciplinary complaint against Jay Bybee with the Washington, DC Bar seeking his disbarment. Today, the campaign supplemented that complaint with the DOJ and OPR reports.

The campaign now calls on Jay Bybee to resign. "Judge Bybee can no longer pretend to be fair, impartial, or to exercise good judgment," said attorney and campaign spokesperson Kevin Zeese. "He has been found to possess all the qualities that people do not want in a judge - bias, poor judgment, predetermination, failure to follow established law, and professional misconduct. Add that to his intentional withholding of information from the Senate during his confirmation hearings and it is clear that he cannot effectively serve as a judge, nor even as an attorney. He should resign or be impeached. Until Bybee resigns or is removed from the bench, we call on all lawyers of the Ninth Circuit Court Of Appeals to file motions to disqualify Judge Bybee, should be assigned to their cases, on the basis of these official findings of poor judgment and professional misconduct. No plaintiff or defendant should be subjected to the authority of a judge who has been so thoroughly discredited. We call on every plaintiff and defendant whose case is assigned to Judge Bybee to demand that their lawyer file a motion to disqualify him, and if the lawyer refuses, to take action against the lawyer for failing to protect their interests and the integrity of the judicial process."

Lawyers can find the DOJ and OPR documents as well as dozens of other documents related to Judge Bybee and other torture lawyers on the DisbarTortureLawyers.com site. The campaign has filed disciplinary complaints against 15 Bush Administration lawyers who advocated torture of US detainees.

Source: DisbarTortureLawyers.com

Posted by Joe Anybody at 12:01 AM PST
Hidden spy-like gadgets - Cameras and listening devices
Mood:  caffeinated
Now Playing: spy cameras and the hidden camera equipment
Topic: TECHNOLOGY

The Spies Have It: Sneaky Gadgets You Should Know About

February 18, 2010 5:54 PM (Thursday) Author: andrew

Did you know there are hundreds of spy-like gadgets that can record you at any given moment, without your knowledge? You don’t have to be in a James Bond film to get spied on. Spy gadgets could be hiding in your workplace, your car, or even your front yard.

Although it’s illegal in most places to record someone without their consent, that probably wouldn’t stop some people from using one of these readily available devices to make a video or audio recording of someone without their knowledge, and we thought it was high time someone talked about it.

We looked around and found some spy gadgets that illustrate this point. Some of these are pretty creepy while others are mildly amusing in an off-beat sort of way. In any case, if you weren’t feeling paranoid before, these devices may give you reason to be more suspicious in the future.


You’ll Never Look at a Power Strip the Same Way Again

Here's a power strip from DPL Surveillance Equipment that has a hidden compartment for plugging in a SIM card that can turn the power strip into a listening device. It can be called like a phone allowing someone to eavesdrop on a conversation or it can initiate a call when it detects audio. It costs $1,209 to buy or it can be rented for $175 per week. A surge protector version also "taps" land lines plugged into the strip. It also looks like there are many other SIM-based surveillance products that come in all kinds of packages. You can watch a video of it here.


Bird House Cam

              
If you see a bird house like this in your neighbor’s yard, chances are, you’re being watched. It looks like a bird house but it's really a video camera disguised as a bird house. The camera is activated by heat and motion. It records video to an SD card and costs $699 from Spygadgets.com.


Key FobCam
Here's a video camera disguised as a key fob. We suppose it could just as easily be used for making legitimate recreational videos but in this creepy video someone lays down his key fob on a counter and starts recording video of the woman behind the counter.  Chinavision.com  sells it for $47.


SunglassesCam
We think it wouldn’t be too hard to spot these obvious looking, spycam sunglasses but for $120 someone can buy a pair for recording whatever they happen to be looking at.



ID CardCam
The next time you see a stranger wandering around your company with a badge hanging from their neck you might want to pull out your hidden camera detector (below) and give their badge a quick scan.


Hidden Camera Detector
                
Starting to feel a little paranoid? For about $90 you can buy this device from BrickHouseSecurity.com that uses light reflected off a camera lens to detect hidden cameras. It might give you some peace of mind next time you find yourself at some discount motel.


 Cell Phone Eavesdropping Conspiracy
We don't know how real this is but we've heard it from enough sources to make it sound credible. The idea is that many cell phones can be manipulated through firmware modifications to transmit whatever the microphone hears when the phone is in use, not in use or even if it's turned off. We've read that big executives routinely remove the batteries from their phones before they go into important meetings. As they say here in the valley, "only the paranoid survive."

Here's a video describing how it works and how you can detect it in your phone.




Video from the U-Spy Store
We have to say if this stuff wasn’t so strange it might be funny. Actually, the U-Spy store has some novel and even useful products for hiding your valuables.



There You Have It…
Okay, now that you know how easy it can be for someone to record you without your knowledge it’s time to get back to the wholesome side of gadgets and gizmos. We don't think we'll be returning to this topic anytime soon, but you have to admit, it makes you wonder about this stuff and how it’s being used.

Posted by Joe Anybody at 12:01 AM PST
Sunday, 21 February 2010
Washington DC protest in March 2010
Mood:  lyrical
Now Playing: peace of the Action = Washington DC protest & campout
Topic: PROTEST!

Cindy Sheehan to Veterans For Peace:

Camp OUT NOW

PEACE OF THE ACTION LETTER FROM CINDY SHEEHAN TO VFP

Dear Friends,

Veterans For Peace (the organization and the members) and I go way back--way before Camp Casey in the Summer of 2005.

Exactly five weeks after Casey was killed in Iraq, his dad and I traveled six hours down the coast to attend Arlington West in Santa Barbara after I saw a report on CNN that featured the monument and Veterans for Peace.

The night before I went to Crawford to demand a meeting with George Bush, I spoke at the VFP convention and you all know what happened next--Bush did not meet with me, and we set up Camp Casey. I could not have done that or the rest of my activities since then without the help of you Vets and Veterans for Peace.

Now, my new organization,

 Peace of the Action, is setting up and anti-war camp on the lawn of the Washington Monument in DC called, Camp OUT NOW. Camp OUT NOW (named by VFP member, Ward Reilly from Baton Rouge) will be a sustained camp and we will perform daily acts of civil resistance until our demands are heard and met.

I am writing to invite you to all or part of this courageous and audacious action.

I am once again honored by the support of Veterans For Peace and I look forward to being involved in Camp OUT NOW with you all.

In love, peace and solidarity,
Cindy Sheehan and the Peace of the Action Team



Posted by Joe Anybody at 12:01 AM PST
Monday, 15 February 2010
Making Water - Science Research and Saline Solutions
Mood:  incredulous
Now Playing: Drinking Water Harvested From Thin Air
Topic: TECHNOLOGY
Drinking Water Harvested From Thin Air

Not a plant to be seen, the desert ground is too dry. But the air contains water, and research scientists have found a way of obtaining drinking water from air humidity. The system is based completely on renewable energy and is therefore autonomous.

Cracks permeate the dried-out desert ground, the landscape bears testimony to the lack of water. But even here, where there are no lakes, rivers or groundwater, considerable quantities of water are stored in the air. In the Negev desert in Israel, for example, annual average relative air humidity is 64 percent – in every cubic meter of air there are 11.5 milliliters of water.

Research scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology IGB in Stuttgart working in conjunction with their colleagues from the company Logos Innovationen have found a way of converting this air humidity autonomously and decentrally into drinkable water. "The process we have developed is based exclusively on renewable energy sources such as thermal solar collectors and photovoltaic cells, which makes this method completely energy-autonomous. It will therefore function in regions where there is no electrical infrastructure," says Siegfried Egner, head of department at the IGB. The principle of the process is as follows: hygroscopic brine – saline solution which absorbs moisture – runs down a tower-shaped unit and absorbs water from the air. It is then sucked into a tank a few meters off the ground in which a vacuum prevails. Energy from solar collectors heats up the brine, which is diluted by the water it has absorbed.

Because of the vacuum, the boiling point of the liquid is lower than it would be under normal atmospheric pressure. This effect is known from the mountains: as the atmospheric pressure there is lower than in the valley, water boils at temperatures distinctly below 100 degrees Celsius. The evaporated, non-saline water is condensed and runs down through a completely filled tube in a controlled manner. The gravity of this water column continuously produces the vacuum and so a vacuum pump is not needed. The reconcentrated brine runs down the tower surface again to absorb moisture from the air.

"The concept is suitable for various sizes of installation. Single-person units and plants supplying water to entire hotels are conceivable," says Egner. Prototypes have been built for both system components – air moisture absorption and vacuum evaporation – and the research scientists have already tested their interplay on a laboratory scale. In a further step the researchers intend to develop a demonstration facility.

Adapted from materials provided by Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft


Posted by Joe Anybody at 6:01 AM PST
Updated: Monday, 15 February 2010 7:35 AM PST
SOA meeting in Venezuela in July 2010
Mood:  loud
Now Playing: Solidarity and ant military SOA watch conference
Topic: VENEZUELA SOLIDARITY
In June 2010, grassroots activists from across the Americas will come together in Venezuela.

http://www.soaw.org/presente/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=269&Itemid=74

 

Representatives from 16 Latin American countries will join an equal number of representatives from North American SOA Watch grassroots groups.

This South-North SOA Watch Encuentro will connect activists from both sides of the Rio Grande to find ways to work together to close the SOA, while opening new doors of relating to one another with dignity.

ImageThis gathering builds upon the efforts of SOA Watch’s Partnership America Latina (PAL), an initiative that seeks to connect the SOA Watch movement in North with those affected by the school in the South.  From 2006 to 2009, PAL organized SOA Watch delegations to 16 Latin American countries that were sending troops to the SOA. These visits led to meetings with 8 Latin American presidents, 13 Defense Ministers and with scores of individuals who had suffered at the hands of SOA graduates. It also led to profound connections with grassroots groups working against militarization in their countries.

These visits had significant results. Five countries announced the withdrawal of their troops from the SOA/ WHINSEC, a sixth announced a significant reduction of students, and two other countries expressed openness to withdrawing their troops in the near future. This energized the SOA Watch movement and affirmed the importance of working together - South and North, to close the school.

It also brought the attention of those who run the SOA.  Pressure from the U.S. government was put on one country to reconsider their public commitment of withdrawal. Activists from the South saw this as a call to organize rather than lament, stating that while politicians, presidents and promises come and go, a strong grassroots movement is far more difficult to erase.

Bertha Oliva
Bertha Oliva of COFADEH will be part of the Encuentro
Among those who will represent their country at the Encuentro is Bertha Oliva. Bertha is the director of the Committee of the Families of the Disappeared (COFADEH), a human rights organization that she helped to found after her husband was “disappeared” in Honduras by SOA graduates in the 80’s. Thirty years later, Bertha finds herself once again accompanying families who are burying their dead, killed at the hands of SOA graduates who recently orchestrated a coup in her country. The urgency that Latin Americans feel about closing the school will find expression in the participation of representatives such as Bertha.

One of the representatives of grassroots SOA Watch groups in the North is Laura Slattery. After studying war for 4 years at West Point, then working as an Army officer for several years more, Laura decided to devote her life to peace. This commitment to peace led her to leave her military uniform at the gate of the SOA and cross the line, resulting in a six-month sentence in a federal prison. Laura’s presence at the Encuentro, and that of other prisoners of conscience, will be a powerful witness to the level of personal commitment of many to the struggle to close the SOA.

At a recent PAL delegation to Paraguay, a meeting took place with the Defense Minister.  Accompanying the group was Dr. Martin Almada, an educator who was tortured and imprisoned for several years at the hands of Paraguayan SOA graduates. His wife died of a heart attack after listening to his screams as he was being tortured. As the meeting began, Dr. Almada quietly told the Defense Minister: “between you and me lies a river of blood.

As I listened to his words, I realized that a similar river of blood has also separated the Americas for too many years. And, it has been made deeper, wider and bloodier by the existence of the SOA. Perhaps the South-North SOA Watch Encuentro might be one small step towards purifying those waters, and laying a few stones for the foundations for a bridge.

At the same meeting, Dr. Almada added: “It´s not enough to just close the SOA.We must now open another kind of School of the Americas, or better yet, Schools of the Americas. So much money, so much effort, to teach others how to torture. Now, we need to teach one another how to live. I will bring these words and this hope to the Encuentro.

Posted by Joe Anybody at 12:01 AM PST
Sunday, 14 February 2010
911 truth - anti war - Terror - and the Cheney Rumsfeld COG factor
Mood:  crushed out
Now Playing: Google "COG Cheney Rumsfeld"
Topic: 911 TRUTH

Peter Dale Scott: 9/11, Deep Events, and the Curtailment of U.S. Freedoms

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9/11, Deep Events, and the Curtailment of U.S. Freedoms


A talk delivered to the New England Antiwar Conference, MIT, January 30, 2010.
By Prof Peter Dale Scott
Global Research, January 31, 2010

Hello everyone!

I’m honored to be invited to this important anti-war conference. As I am in the final stages of editing my next book, The Road to Afghanistan, I have been turning down invitations to speak. But I was eager to accept this one, and to join my friends and others in debunking the war on terror, the false justification for the Afghan-Pakistan war.

Let me make my own position clear at the outset. There are indeed people out there, including some Muslim extremists, who want to inflict terror on America. But it is crystal clear, as many people inside and outside government have agreed, that it makes this problem worse, not better, when Washington sends large numbers of U.S. troops to yet another country where they don ‘t belong.[1]

A war on terror is as inappropriate a cure as a U.S. war on drugs, which as we have seen in Colombia makes the drug problem worse, not better. The war on terror and the war on drugs have this in common: both are ideological attempts to justify the needless killings of thousands – including both American troops and foreign civilians -- in another needless war.

Why does America find itself, time after time, invading countries in distant oil-bearing regions, countries which have not invaded us? This is a vital issue on which we should seek a clear message for the American people. Unfortunately it has been an issue on which there has been serious disagreement dividing the antiwar movement, just as it divided people, even friends, inside the anti-Vietnam War movement of the 1960s.

Perhaps many of you in this room know that there was disagreement between Noam Chomsky and myself in our analysis of how America entered the Vietnam War. This did not stop Noam and I from speaking out on the same platform against the war, or remaining friends, even after our public disagreements. There was too much on which we agreed.

Let me turn to today’s topic, the war on terror, by reading a long quote from Noam Chomsky in 2002, with which I fully agree:

"the war on terrorism was not declared on September 11 [2001]; rather, it was redeclared, using the same rhetoric as the first declaration twenty years earlier. The Reagan administration, as you know, I'm sure, came into office announcing that a war on terrorism would be the core of U.S. foreign policy, and it condemned what the president called the "evil scourge of terrorism. " …. International terrorism was described as a plague spread by "depraved opponents of civilization itself," in "a return to barbarism in the modern age.”"[2]

Today it is easy to see the falsehood of the government rhetoric in the 1980s about heroic freedom fighters fighting the “evil scourge of terrorism.” Most of the CIA money in the 1980s went to the terrorist drug trafficker Gulbeddin Hekmatyar, remembered for his habit of throwing acid in the faces of women not wearing burkas. Hekmatyar did not represent Afghan aspirations for freedom, but the interests of the U.S. ally Pakistan. As a true Afghan leader said in 1994, “We didn't choose [him]. The United States made Hekmatyar by giving him his weapons.”[3] To describe Hekmatyar’s men as freedom fighters was a fraud.

Chomsky had no trouble perceiving as a “fraud” the Tonkin Gulf incidents that led the U.S. to attack North Vietnam, and the resulting Congressional resolution that had already been drafted some months in advance.[4] But he is not interested in the close analogies between the Tonkin Gulf incidents of 1964 and the 9/11 incidents of 2001, which were almost immediately followed by the Patriot Act, likewise already drafted well in advance. Chomsky argues that the 9/11 movement has drawn “enormous amounts of energy and effort away from activism.”[5] But the strong analogies between the Tonkin Gulf deception and the 9/11 deception have energized and activated me, and not me alone.

It is clear that exposure of McNamara’s deceptions about the Tonkin Gulf incidents, especially in the Fulbright hearing of 1968, was an important factor in slowly changing Congress’s mind about Vietnam. It is my earnest hope that exposure of Cheney’s deceptions about 9/11, and particularly about what he did that day, will someday help end Congressional funding for the Afghan War.

I do not know the truth of what happened on 9/11. I do know for a certainty that there has been a cover-up of 9/11; and also, what the 9/11 Commission itself admits, that there has been high-level governmental lying about what happened, and what didn’t happen, on that day. It became clear to me early on that 9/11 was another in a string of what I have called “deep events” -- which I define in my forthcoming book as

events which are systematically ignored, suppressed, or falsified in public (and even internal) government, military and intelligence documents, as well as in the mainstream media and public consciousness. Underlying them is frequently the involvement of deep forces linked to either the drug traffic or to agencies of surveillance (or to both together), whose activities are extremely difficult to discern or document.[6]

For Noam the falsification and lying are not particularly important: he prefers to focus on the continuous imperialist expansion of the United States into other parts of the world, and he hopes to persuade decent Americans to stop this expansion. For me in contrast deep events are of crucial importance, in part because their dishonesty provides us with a chance to counter ideology with truth. Each of us can say, rightly, that the method of the other has not yet stopped America from fighting wars. My appeal to you today is to accept that both approaches are needed in the antiwar movement.

I have been thinking about deep events for two decades, ever since I wrote a book about the Kennedy assassination with the title, Deep Politics. Since 9/11 I have been more and more convinced that

1)by studying deep events as a whole, we can see the underlying aspects of them more clearly.[7]

2)however we analyze them, deep events have contributed collectively to the further erosion and corruption of American politics, which today are in the worst shape they have been since the McCarthyism era in the 1950s.

That is to say, even if you believe that Lee Harvey Oswald shot the president and did it alone, it is clear that the Warren Commission used it to increase CIA surveillance of Americans. As I wrote in Deep Politics, this was the result of

the Warren Commission's controversial recommendations that the Secret Service's domestic surveillance responsibilities be increased (WR 25-26). Somewhat illogically, the Warren Report concluded both that Oswald acted alone (WR 22), …, and also that the Secret Service, FBI, CIA, should coordinate more closely the surveillance of organized groups (WR 463). In particular, it recommended that the Secret Service acquire a computerized data bank compatible with that already developed by the CIA.[8]

This pattern would repeat itself four years later, with the assassination of Robert Kennedy. How many of you are aware that, in the 24 hours between Bobby’s shooting and his death, Congress hurriedly passed a statute – again drafted well in advance – that still further augmented the secret powers given to the Secret Service?[9] Don’t think that this was a trivial or benign change: from this ill-considered act, passed under Johnson, flowed some of the worst excesses of the Nixon presidency.

In the chaos and violence at the Chicago Democratic Convention of 1968, army intelligence surveillance agents, seconded to the Secret Service, were present, both inside and outside the convention hall. Some of them equipped the so-called “Legion of Justice thugs whom the Chicago Red Squad turned loose on local anti-war groups.”[10] The presence of army intelligence agents at the convention was authorized by the statute passed while Bobby Kennedy was dying.[11]

This brings us to 9/11. On that day, before the last plane had crashed in Pennsylvania, the White House authorized the institution of so-called COG plans. There is no doubt that COG was introduced – The 9/11 Report confirms it twice, on pages 38 and 326.[12] And I have little doubt that the COG plans, still in force today under President Obama, are the justification for the surveillance agents who are with you in the room as I speak to you at this moment. I have written that they are also the probable source for the Patriot Act, and also for the Department of Homeland Security’s Project Endgame -- a ten-year plan to expand detention camps, at a cost of $400 million in Fiscal Year 2007 alone.[13] The worst features of the Bush decade were apparently all sketched out in COG planning – warrantless surveillance, warrantless detention, even suspension of our constitutional right of habeas corpus, first granted by Magna Carta in 1215.

I can’t see you, but I’m going to ask you to raise your hands if you haven’t heard about COG. If you haven’t, please google for Cheney and COG when you get home (2.5 million hits), and perhaps even add “peter dale scott” to the search (9,470 hits).

You will find that officially “COG” stands for “Continuity of Government” planning. I always say that we should think of it as “Change of Government” planning, since it was well summarized 22 years ago by Alphonso Chardy in the Miami Herald as plans for “suspension of the Constitution…emergency appointment of military commanders…and declaration of martial law.”[14]

Much is known about COG plans, and much more is not known. We know that the ultra-secret planning began in 1981 under Reagan and then Oliver North, and continued under George H.W. Bush and Clinton. Two of the key planners were Cheney and Rumsfeld, the two men who implemented it under 9/11, even though when Clinton was president both men, both Republicans, were heads of major corporations and not even in the government.[15]

We learned that COG planning was still active in 2007, when President Bush issued National Security Presidential Directive 51 (NSPD 51), which extended for one year the emergency proclaimed on September 14, 2001, and empowered the President to personally ensure "continuity of government" in the event of any "catastrophic emergency." He announced that NSPD 51 contains "classified Continuity Annexes" which shall "be protected from unauthorized disclosure." Under pressure from his 911truth constituents, Congressman DeFazio of the Homeland Security Committee twice requested to see these Annexes, the second time in a letter signed by the Chair of his committee.

His request was denied, indicating that (as I wrote in Counterpunch)

the systems of checks and balances established by the U.S. Constitution would seem to be failing… Continuity of Government planning has arguably already superseded the Constitution as a higher authority.[16]

One of the post-Watergate reforms so detested by Vice-President Cheney was the National Emergencies Act. It requires specifically that “Not later than six months after a national emergency is declared, …, each House of Congress shall meet to consider a vote on a joint resolution to determine whether that emergency shall be terminated.”[17]

Former Congressman Dan Hamburg and I appealed publicly last year to Obama to terminate the emergency, and to Congress to hold the hearings required of them by statute.[18] But Obama, without discussion, extended the 9/11 Emergency again on September 10, 2009;[19] and Congress has continued to ignore its statutory obligations. One Congressman explained to a constituent that the provisions of the National Emergencies Act have now been rendered inoperative by COG. If true, this would seem to justify Chardy’s description of COG as suspension of the Constitution.

I want to conclude by addressing those of you who may think that I exhibit the kind of conspiratorialist mentality once criticized by G. William Domhoff, the naïve belief “that if we get rid of a few bad people, everything will be well in the world.”[20]

My own position is still that which I articulated two decades ago years ago in response to Domhoff:

I have always believed, and argued, that a true understanding of the Kennedy assassination will lead not to `a few bad people,’ but to the institutional and parapolitical [or deep political] arrangements which constitute the way we are systematically governed.[21]

Michael Parenti has endorsed what I wrote, and added, “In sum, national security state conspiracies [or what I am here calling deep events] are components of our political structure, not deviations from it.”[22]

Thanks to 9/11, followed by COG, we now have a military command in the United States (NORTHCOM), unprecedented surveillance of both foreign nationals and U.S. citizens, and plans for massive detention of folks like you and me, if our protests should begin to threaten the war machine.

I call on you all to devise how to outwit these forces that are distorting our society.

The beginning of an antiwar movement is the time when it is hardest to be hopeful of success. And if what I have been saying is relevant, it will be harder now than in the 1960s to get our message to the American people. . This makes especially relevant some inspiring words I would like to quote from the late Howard Zinn, who died last Wednesday:

To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness. What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. …. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory.[23]


 

Notes

[1] Cf. RAND Corporation, “How Terrorist Groups End: Implications for Countering al Qa'ida,” Research Brief, RB-9351-RC (2008), http://www.rand.org/pubs/research_briefs/RB9351/index1.html: “Minimize the use of U.S. military force. In most operations against al Qa'ida, local military forces frequently have more legitimacy to operate and a better understanding of the operating environment than U.S. forces have. This means a light U.S. military footprint or none at all.”

[2] Noam Chomsky, Media Control: The Spectacular Achievements of Propaganda (New York: Seven Stories Press, 2002), http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Chomsky/Journalist_Mars.html.

[3] New York Times, March 13, 1994. Robert D. Kaplan reported his personal experience that Hekmatyar was “loathed by all the other party leaders, fundamentalist and moderate alike” (Robert D. Kaplan, Soldiers of God: With Islamic Warriors in Afghanistan and Pakistan [New York: Random House, 1990], 68-69).

[4] Noam Chomsky, For Reasons of State (New York: Vintage, 1973), 102; cf. 109.

[5] “Chomsky Dismisses 911 Conspiracy Theories As 'Dubious,’” Rense.com, December 13, 2006,
http://www.rense.com/general74/dismiss.htm.
[6] Peter Dale Scott, The Road to Afghanistan: The War Machine, the CIA, and the Global Drug Connection (forthcoming)

[7] See for example Peter Dale Scott, The War Conspiracy: JFK, 9/11, and the Deep Politics of War (Ipswich, MA: Mary Ferrell Foundation Press, 2008), 341-96.

[8] Scott, Deep Politics and the Death of JFK, 280.

[9] Peter Dale Scott, Paul L. Hoch, and Russell Stetler, The Assassinations: Dallas and Beyond (New York: Random House, 1976), 443-46.

[10] George O’Toole, The Private Sector (New York: Norton, 1978), 145; quoted in Scott, Deep Politics and the Death of JFK, 278-79.

[11] Joan M. Jensen, Army Surveillance in America, 1775-1980 (New Haven: Yale UP), 244.

[12] 9/11 Commission Report, 38, 326; Scott, Road to 9/11, 228-29.

[13] Scott, Road to 9/11, 238, 240-41.

[14] Chardy, Miami Herald, July 5, 1987; Scott, Road to 9/11, 241.

[15] Scott, Road to 9/11, 183-87.

[16] Peter Dale Scott, “Congress, the Bush Administration and Continuity of Giovernment Planning: The Showdown,” Counterpunch, March 31, 2008,
http://www.counterpunch.org/scott03312008.html

[17] 50 U.S.C. 1622 (2002); Peter Dale Scott and Dan Hamburg, “Help Force Congress To Observe the Law on National Emergencies,” March 24, 2009,
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&add....

[18] Peter Dale scott, "To All Readers: Help Force Congress To Observe the Law on National Emergencies!!!" (with Dan Hamburg), http.//www.truth.org, March 24, 2009,
http://www.911truth.org/article.php?story=20090324183053848#r7.

[19] White House Press Release, September 10, 2009,
http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/Notice-of-continuation-from-t....
A press briefing by Obama’s spokesman Robert Gibbs the same day did not mention the extension.

[20] G. William Domhoff, in Jonathan Vankin, Conspiracies, Cover-Ups, and Crimes: Political Manipulation and Mind Control in America (New York: Paragon House, 1991), 125-26.

[21] Scott, Deep Politics and the Death of JFK, 11.

[22] Michael Parenti, Dirty Truths: Reflections on Politics, Media, Ideology, Conspiracy, Ethnic Life and Class Power (San Francisco: City Lights Books, 1996), 188.

[23] Howard Zinn, You Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving Train: A Personal History of Our Times (Boston: Beacon, 2002), 208.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Centre for Research on Globalization. The contents of this article are of sole responsibility of the author(s). The Centre for Research on Globalization will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article.

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Posted by Joe Anybody at 9:13 PM PST
Updated: Sunday, 14 February 2010 9:15 PM PST
One Month Later a report from Code Pink in Haiti
Mood:  incredulous
Now Playing: A real report from Haiti 2/14/10
Topic: MEDIA

One month and one day since the quake, here is an update from our Code Pink Portland sister, K.*from the trenches in Haiti.  It's good to get real info, not just what we see on the TV or hear on the radio. 

posted here on 2/14/10

---------- Forwarded message 2.14.10 ----------


 This is a letter I wrote to a friend . It tells lot about our camp  and thought others might be interested and since my typing skills are limited and so is my time
   I thought I would share it with my email list as I can't write to  everyone  personally . I do love hearing from you .It recharges my batteries Peace  K.*(M.*)

 ---------------------------------------------------


---------------------------------------------------

Hi J.*  thanks for your reply.

Amazing as it may seem most all the ideas that you expressed in your letter are currently being implemented in our camp The core group of people that worked at the school and many OF THE MOTHERS OF THE CHILDREN THAT ATTENDED THE SCHOOL (THEY THEMSELVES also attended classes here at Petit Troll in parenting basic education and computers.

These are our core group and everyone no matter how young  has a job in our camp We started having school the day after I arrived (day 5 after the Quake) and the teachers from the school come here every day and there are classes for at least 3 hours a day.

The men do the heavy jobs like building shelters and the women the cooking and cleaning MANY OF THE YOUNG MEN 16 TO LATE 20S DO SECURITY TAKING TURNS. 4 GUARDS ALL THE TIME AT NIGHT IN TWO HOUR SHIFTS  

Some take care that the water system is working properly. The young girls  10 to 16  help look after the younger ones and keep the little ones on task picking up litter and getting to younger children( boys especially) to the shower.

The boys are given jobs helping the men  . we have activities for the kids art library soccer and have movies at night about 3 times a week shown on a projector   (they are mostly in Creole and a few in french so I don,t watch them (that is usually my down time for computer ,if it is working). We use the big metal entrance gate to the school as a "screen" for the movies. 

The French Red Cross who visit our camp daily say that ours is he best in the city. Of course we are small We have around 350 in our camp .We feed many others and supply water to the neighbors and are a lifeline for another 47 families (around 250  people) at another location

The help for the big aid agencies is very hard to come by and if we had to depend on it we would all starve , The total amount of food that we have received from them is 1500 lbs of rice .

Divide that by 800 (that is how many we are feeding and you have approximately  one point 9 pounds of rice per person . Then divide that by 31 days ( that is how many days since the Quake ) and you come out with 1 ounce of rice per person.a day . 

I thank God for the generous people that support our work here that has allowed us to help these families   

 Peace and Love K. (M.)


Posted by Joe Anybody at 2:28 PM PST

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