US secret drone bases
'Drone bases in Africa'
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The Salafization of the Turkey
Rouhani's full speech.
'Iran's threat propaganda dangerous for world security' - Rouhani to UN Assembly 2013 (FULL SPEECH)
Published on Sep 24, 2013
Iran poses absolutely no threat to the world President Hassan Rouhani said in his address to the UN General Assembly. At the same time, militarism of "some players" and generalization of western values, he says, poses a true danger for the world securit
Goodbye, Lenin: Protesters topple monument in Kiev (Extended Video)
A group of protesters has taken down the monument to Russian revolutionary leader Vladimir Lenin on Kiev's Bessarabskya Square, reports RT's Irina Galushko. Dozens of protesters attempted to deface the monument last week, but were repelled by riot police. Ukraine's Communist Party decried the attempt as unacceptable and placed a patrol to guard the monument. However, neither the party's patrol, nor police were seen guarding the Lenin's monument on Sunday.
CrossTalk: Dividing Ukraine
Published on Dec 4, 2013
Are we witnessing a second Orange Revolution in Ukraine? Is it a zero-sum game for all parties involved? Is it possible to work out a deal that the EU, Ukraine and Russia can be satisfied with? And is 'going West or East' too simplistic for a Ukraine divided? CrossTalking with Mark Sleboda, Jan Techau and Alexander Mercouris.
Ukraine on Edge
Ukraine on Edge: Fresh clashes erupt near parliament in Kiev
Clashes have occurred between the protesters and the Berkut special police forces in Kiev. Dozens of rally participants have tried to break through police cordons near Ukraine parliament. Some of them attacked the police with sticks. The law enforcers have been fighting back, not letting the protesters pass
'US- Al-Qaeda terrorists'
'West negotiates with terrorists as Syria atrocities reach new level'
Published on Dec 17, 2013
Horrifying reports from a Syrian town suggest that entire families have been massacred by rebel fighters and also that civilians have been kidnapped and used as human shields. Al-Qaeda linked jihadists forced their way to Adra, which is just outside Damascus, launching a massive assault on residents which reportedly killed more than eighty people - including children. For more thoughts on the ongoing chaos in Syria, RT joind by Michel Chossudovsky, director of the Center for Research on Globalization.
Nukes in the Middle East
The Truthseeker: Who Has Nukes in the Middle East (E30)
Published on Dec 15, 2013
Israel ruled guilty of genocide; the nuclear elephant in that region; and the 'armies' recruited to doctor Wikipedia. Seek truth from facts with leading war crimes prosecutor Professor Francis Boyle, Asia Times correspondent Pepe Escobar, top saxophonist and former Israeli citizen Gilad Atzmon, and UN Human Rights Rapporteur Professor Richard Falk.
Israel & Saudi.
Pair in Despair: Israel & Saudi team up frustrated at US policy
Published on Dec 12, 2013
The unlikely pairing of Saudi Arabia and Israel are reportedly teaming up, in response to Washington's Middle East policies. Representatives from the countries' intelligence services apparently met for talks in Jerusalem. They're united in their disdain for America's reversal on intervention in Syria, followed by the agreement of a historic nuclear deal with Iran.
McCarthyism Made Us
McCarthyism Made Us Veer Away From a Systemic Doctrine for Change - Ralph Nader on RAI (1/3)
On Reality Asserts Itself with Paul Jay, Ralph Nader says McCarthy's reign of terror made people seek more empirical change, we went after auto companies - no "ism" there - December 18, 2013
Named by The Atlantic as one of the hundred most influential figures in American history, and by Time and Life magazines as one of the most influential Americans of the twentieth century, Ralph Nader has helped us drive safer cars, eat healthier food, breathe better air, drink cleaner water, and work in safer environments for more than four decades. The crusading attorney first made headlines in 1965 with his book Unsafe at Any Speed, a scathing indictment that lambasted the auto industry for producing unsafe vehicles. The book led to congressional hearings and automobile safety laws passed in 1966, including the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act. He was instrumental in the creation of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CSPC), and the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA). Many lives have been saved by Nader's involvement in the recall of millions of unsafe consumer products, including defective motor vehicles, and in the protection of laborers and the environment. By starting dozens of citizen groups, Ralph Nader has created an atmosphere of corporate and governmental accountability.
McCarthyism Made Us Veer Away From a Systemic Doctrine for Change - Ralph Nader on RAI (1/3)PAUL JAY, SENIOR EDITOR, TRNN: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Paul Jay in Baltimore. And welcome to Reality Asserts Itself.
Ralph Nader first made headlines in 1965 with his book Unsafe at Any Speed, a scathing indictment that lambasted the auto industry for producing unsafe vehicles. The book led to congressional hearings and automobile safety laws passed in 1966, including the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act. In his career as consumer advocate, he founded many organizations, including the Center for Study of Responsive Law, a public interest research group; Project for Corporate Responsibility; and Public Citizen. His legislative accomplishments also include the Clear Clean Air (1970); Occupational Safety and Health Act (1970), which also pushed for the establishment of the Environmental Protection Agency in 1970; the Freedom of Information Act in 1974; the Clean Water Act (1977); Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in 1977; the Mine Safety and Health Act (1977); the Whistleblower Protection Act (1989); and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Nader was also a leading figure in the antinuclear movement of the 1970s and '80s, advocating for the total abolition of nuclear and fossil fuel energy in favor of energy conservation, solar energy, tidal, wind, and geothermal sources. He's also the author of several books, including Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us!, The Seventeen Solutions: Bold Ideas for Our American Future, and his most recent collection, Told You so: The Big Book of Weekly Columns. He's also a four-time candidate for the president of the United States. And he continues to be an outspoken critic of corporate power and its political influence over U.S. politics.
And he joins us now in our studio in Baltimore.
Thanks very much for joining us, Ralph.
RALPH NADER, POLITICAL ACTIVIST, AUTHOR, AND ATTORNEY: Thank you, Paul.
JAY: So, most viewers know we usually start with people that we--haven't done Reality Asserts Itself before. Our first segment's a little biographical, and then we get more into segments about what our guests think.
Now, people have had an opportunity, those who--and I would--a lot of our audience, they probably know a lot about your history. And if you haven't watched the documentary An Unreasonable Man, it's a pretty good way to get a sense of Ralph's background. And if we did a biography of you, we would--and talked about it, we'd need about a month of segments.
So I'm going to kind of jump to a couple of things and just focus on them. Just to begin with, I know from watching the film, your mother was an activist, your father was very political, and they would ask you--I think, at dinner, they--you'd have to kind of prepare for a topic, you know, have an opinion and do some research. But what was the politics of it? You're born in '34. You start to become aware of the world during the war. There's a massive antifascist movement. There's politics of all kinds. There's socialist politics and communist politics. And it's a fervent of ideas. What's in your house? How would you describe the kind of political spectrum?
NADER: Well, people showed up in those days. The sidewalks were full, the stores were full. You didn't have shopping malls. You didn't have iPhones. You didn't have television. So they had to eyeball each other. And when you eyeball people and you want to improve things, good things happen. So that was the atmosphere I grew up in.
World War II was interesting, 'cause Franklin Roosevelt would ask for sacrifice, and, you know, we would see rationing of meat, a rationing of other products. So more people started gardens. We had chickens in the back yard. I had to water the chickens early in the morning. You know, we saved paper. We saved string. We saved tinfoil.
So I was, you know, eight, nine, ten years old. That's a good way to grow up. You learn frugality. You learn what now is called recycling. You learn discipline.
JAY: And what was the--sort of your consciousness and discussion in the house of the antifascist character of the war and that kind of politics?
NADER: Well, it was, I mean, really a vigorous pronouncement that this was a good war. We were attacked--Pearl Harbor. You know, the Nazis were swarming over Europe, going into Russia. So we've never seen that since. I mean, very few people were really against the war. There were isolationist, don't get mixed up in Europe's war. But everything changed after Pearl Harbor in December 7, 1941, and some of our ships were attacked by German subs. So it was viewed as a defensive war. It wasn't, you know, going with drones all over countries in Asia and Africa and, you know, breaking through countries that never threatened us, attacking people. No. It was a different type of attitude.
JAY: Now, as a teenager, you start becoming--you know, growing up, your formation of your political ideas in a somewhat more mature way. It's becoming the height of the Cold War. You know, after--you know, in the '40s and leading up to the House Un-American Activities Committee and McCarthy hearings, how did this shape/affect you?
NADER: Well, it's really amazing that one senator, Senator Joseph McCarthy, who defeated La Follette in Wisconsin on the grounds that he wasn't liberal enough, rather, that La Follette was not liberal enough. Joe McCarthy, it was like a reign of terror. He's scared people. He intimidated people. He ruined people's careers through his highly publicized congressional hearings, his wild accusations anonymously against people in the federal government.
But, you know, it spilled over. I mean, there were students at university, college, they didn't want to show up at what they thought were activist symposiums. They didn't want to do any marching. They just--they figured, you know, they'd be stigmatized as soft on communism or, you know, reds.
And the overall impact was--on the progressives and liberals was it made them veer away from any kind of systemic public philosophy to change things for the better. So they just became very empirical. They'll try to get a labor union organized or try to get better working conditions or something like that because they didn't want to be accused of isms, you know, like socialism or communism. And the other side was, of course, they were all about capitalism.
So just amazing effect, Joe McCarthy and his acolytes, not just on civil liberties, but on the whole mindset of people.
JAY: And how did it affect your mindset?
NADER: Well, it affected it in the sense that you didn't come forth with any doctrine of social change, because if you had any kind of coherent doctrine or platform, they would label it as a ism. You know, it would be socialism or any kind--syndicalism. You know? So we became very empirical. You know, we went after the auto companies' unsafe cars. No ism there. People are being killed every day, injured because of unsafe cars, lack of seatbelts and padded dash panels.
And that has affected the left all the way to the present day, whereas the right wing, they've got this capitalism--although, you know, it's--corporate capitalism is the antithesis of capitalism. I mean, owners of corporations, they have no control, the shareholders have no control over General Electric or IBM or General Motors.
So it really had an amazing impact. As a result, there were no big thinkers on the left the way the right wing had Friedrich Hayek, even though they distorted what a lot of--Ludwig von Mises and so forth.
JAY: In the '60s, with the rise of the civil rights movement, the antiwar movement, there was a very politicized sector, especially on the campuses with students, and globally there's national liberation wars going on. You must be having these arguments about a more systemic analysis, a more systemic approach versus specific reforms.
NADER: Well, even the '60s. Number one, it was the Cultural Revolution, so they couldn't really say ism. You know, they might say ['wAstr@lIzm] or, you know, anarchism, but, you know, it wasn't some foreign ideology.
The other part was concrete reforms, civil rights, women's rights, the beginning of gay-lesbian rights, the rights of students on campus, and then consumer rights, and then environment. You see how programmatic it was. Everybody avoided linking it together and basically saying, you know, big-time corporate capitalism is an omnicidal momentum. I mean, it just has one thing in mind, and it will destroy or weaken or co-opt anything in its way that is civic, that is democratic.
JAY: In terms of your own beliefs, if we're talking this period of the '60s and, you know, leading into all the great list of legislative accomplishments, but in terms of your own thinking, did you believe this was a reformable system, that step by step you would have these pieces of legislation and more people would wake up, and you would kind of get to a form of capitalism that you hoped it would be?
NADER: No, because, I mean, my father was a restaurant owner, and small capitalism is nothing like giant multinational global capitalism. That's a completely different animal that has to control government to turn it against its own people, 'cause government was basically the only countervailing force to these big corporations.
So I believe that certain things could be ameliorated. I mean, cars could be made safer, food cleaner, medicines tested better, air cleaner, water cleaner, things like that, because it didn't go to the fundamentals of corporate capitalism, although sometimes they would indicate, oh, this was terrible, you know, it's going to end the--Henry Ford said it was going to end the auto industry to put some safety devices, going back to World War I when they were invented, like seat belts in cars. Yeah. I mean, I was quite aware of that.
And I was ready for the backlash. I told the reporter for The Detroit News, Saul Friedman, once, I said, we're pushing for regulation of big business to demonstrate that it wouldn't work after a few years. It would just work at the beginning, and then the counterattack, lobbyists, campaign contributions, all the things that corporations do to get back their position.
JAY: But you hoped it would lead to something more transformative in the future.
NADER: I did. I hoped for a cooperative economy, you know, where people own their own businesses, co-ops, food co-ops, insurance co-ops, you know, the way they developed in Switzerland and Norway and Sweden. But that took too much time. It reminded me of Oscar Wilde, who once said socialism will never work, 'cause it requires too many meetings. And that's part of it.
The other part is corporations have been very clever A) in distracting people, especially young generation, with entertainment, with professional sports, turning them into spectators. Now you've got, you know, 24/7 entertainment. There's no end to it. And they've also been very good in making people internalize a sense of powerlessness. And the moment people think they can't fight Exxon or City Hall or whatever, they become powerless by definition. They create their own powerlessness.
And so this whole growing movement for a higher minimum wage now--. I mean, I've been saying for years, you know, what's wrong with the labor unions? What's wrong with the 30 million workers today who are making less today than workers made in 1968, adjusted for inflation, even though the productivity has doubled for workers? Why? Because they thought it would take a huge effort to turn around Walmart and McDonald's and the Congress.
And what's beginning to be shown down now: it doesn't take that much effort at all. Already they're--it's becoming--rising to the top three or four issues for the Democrats. And why? Because you had, like, four or five thousand workers once in a while getting out and demonstrating against McDonald's or having one-day strikes.
And what we've been doing in Washington, getting the D.C. City Council--they just, you know, unanimously came behind a $11.50 minimum wage--it's now $8 or so--in the District of Columbia over three years. We haven't won yet, but the amount of effort put in is, like, pipsqueak. And if you made ten pipsqueaks, you'd win. I mean, this book I wrote, Seventeen Solutions, I wanted the title subtitle to be: it's easier than you think, people. But, you know, just think you're a little bit more powerful.
The Constitution starts "We the People", not We the Corporation. They don't even mention the corporation or a company in the Constitution. So why do they rule us? Because we have disempowered ourselves by making excuses for ourselves. Oh, it doesn't pay to vote, because it doesn't mean anything to us. Oh, why go to a city council meeting? It doesn't matter. That's exactly what the big boys want you to do. They'll pay you to be cynical if you don't do it free.
JAY: The legislative accomplishments--I went through the dates: '66, '70, '74, '77. What happened after that? In terms of America, what happened after that?
NADER: Simple. Congress changed because of Tony Coelho, who was a congressman from California, who was head of the House campaign finance fund for the Democrats. And he persuaded them to start pitching corporations and corporate executives. He said, if the Republicans can get plenty of money, we can get plenty of money. So he'd go to these PAC meetings in Washington, and they would basically ask for contributions, up to $5,000 minimum per candidate, and the PACs would say, well, how are you on the oil depletion allowance? And are you for more regulation of drugs, medicines? What are you on the tax issue? Just corrupted, with Reagan becoming president, too, in the '80s. And you could see it was harder and harder to get congressional hearings, harder and harder to get decent judges to hear your case, harder and harder to get regulatory agencies to issue safety standards or even to make investigations.
So money really corrupted the Democratic Party, because before that, they got most of their money from big labor, and the Republicans got it from big business. Now it's, like, 40 times more money comes from commercial sources than from labor.
So we started seeing the doors close in Washington. And we'd work harder and harder, we'd start a lot of citizen groups, file lawsuits, and we'd achieve less and less.
JAY: Post World War II, there was--the world was American capitalism's oyster to be opened. Europe was devastated, Japan was devastated, the Soviet Union was devastated. I mean, America is the behemoth industrial power, in fact the only industrial power for a long time. But by the time you get to Reagan, you now have this kind of globalized economy. But earlier, there's a lot of wealth to share with American workers. Like you could--you know, like, for the American elites you can say there was a--you know, for peace at home, we can give in on some of this stuff. But Reagan seems to represent a kind of moment where there's a realization in the elites, hey, we don't have to share this with them; they're too weak.
NADER: Yeah. And when he fired the air traffic controllers and jeopardized the whole airways--and luckily there weren't any crashes, which is why I think Reagan was born with a four-leaf clover in his diaper.
JAY: Yeah, 'cause that would have been the end of that.
NADER: Oh. I mean, that was a signal to big business that they could really roll labor. They would weaken the unions, they could hire corporate-busting law firms, they could make sure there isn't labor law reform in Congress. It was a signal moment in the very, very shift of power in the hands of the big corporations.
But, look, we won World War II, right? Okay. Our veterans don't get checks every month, but in Germany the soldiers from the Nazis, they get checks now every month.
So here's my rap on winners and losers in World War II. We won World War II, okay? Germany, Italy, I mean, they lost it, right? So watch this. In Germany and Italy, they have four weeks or more paid vacation, everybody, regardless of whether they're unions or not. They all have universal health insurance, everybody, regardless of whether they're members of unions. They have paid maternity leave, paid family sick leave, paid daycare. Okay? They have higher lower wages--that is, the bottom third have higher minimum wages in Germany and Italy, as well as the rest of Western Europe. Right? They have cheaper and better public mass transit. Okay? They have better pensions, alright? And they have tuition-free higher education, right? We have none of these in the United States 65 years after World War II. None. None. We have some labor unions. You know, they get--.
But I just have a friend whose wife gave birth this week, and she works for an environmental agency of the federal government. No maternity leave paid. They give her three months unpaid maternity leave. In the Netherlands and France they'd give you six, eight months, then they'd turn it around and give the husband paternity leave. Who won World War II? See?
This comes from a two-party tyranny. We did not have multiple parties. And, you know, as you know from your native Canada, it was a third party that started universal Medicare in Canada, led by Tommy Douglas. So it was a two-party. One.
We had none of the--ways people get into politics are much easier in Western Europe.
JAY: But now, you know, as we see capitalism in its--the '08 financial crisis and the sort of recovery of Asia, you start to see--and let me add another big thing is there's no longer this--even if it's hypothetical--or was it theoretical?--but there wasn't this supposed socialist Soviet Union that was going to guarantee jobs and insurance, health insurance, and this and that. I mean, the message of European capitalism and America to Europe, not so much to Americans: well, you don't need socialism to get all this; capitalism can do it for you.
NADER: Yeah, social democratic politics they called it.
JAY: But now Europe is now turning on itself, and they're doing everything they can to get rid of all this stuff. And now they want to be like the American model, to be more competitive.
But I guess where I'm going with this is: have we entered a kind of new stage of history of capitalist development?
NADER: Well, basically it was globalization that did it to Western Europe. Once they took in the model of the World Trade Organization, once they in effect financialized more of their economy--derivatives, speculation, stock market, all that--that's when they started going down. I warned them: do not accept the U.S. multinational model, 'cause it's going to happen to you. And the effect of the multinational model was exacerbated by the European common market. So if they got in one country, they'd get in a lot of the other countries.
However, they still have a safety net. And it's frayed badly in England. For example, they're charging students now as high as $12,000 a year for tuition. But by comparison with us, nobody dies in Western Europe--nobody dies in Western Europe because they don't have health insurance. They're insured from the cradle to the grave. In this country, 800 Americans die every week, every week, 'cause they can't afford health insurance to get diagnosed and treated in time. And that's--figure comes from a Harvard Medical School peer-reviewed study in the December 2009 Journal of American Public Health. This is not some wild figure. Eight hundred a week, and not a single major politician is talking about it in the election year last year.
JAY: If you go back to what we were talking about earlier, the effect of the Cold War and how it, you know, blocked many people trying to do a more systemic analysis and more systemic vision for what could be, it seems to me that the thing that you're just not allowed to talk about here as a result of the Cold War is who owns stuff. You can talk about distribution, you can talk about higher or lower taxes, you can even talk about inequality, talk about it, but you can't talk about who owns stuff, 'cause, oh, that sounds like socialism.
NADER: Even when it's us, the people. Like, we own one-third of the land in the United States, public lands. We're never taught that. All that rich minerals and trees and grazing and gold and iron and silver. And the reason why we're not told about that is because we start saying, hey, if we own all this, why don't we control it? Why aren't we getting some of the results from all these minerals? Why do we give our minerals away to companies domestic and foreign under an 1872 mining act? We give it away for $5 an acre. You know, the Canadian gold giant Barrick Corporation, well, they found gold on federal land in Nevada over 15 years ago, and they estimated it was $9 billion worth. And so under the 1872 mining law, they went to Washington and they documented their find with their geologist, and Washington had to give $9 billion worth of gold for $30,000 with no royalties back to Uncle Sam.
So they don't want us to know we own the public airways. They don't want us to know, because otherwise we could have our own TV networks, our own radio. They don't want us to know we own that huge trillions of dollars of government research and development that built the aerospace industry, the semiconductor computer industry, the biotech industry, the containerization industry, half of the pharmaceutical industry. Right? Never mind that 400 of the richest people in our country control as much wealth as the 95 percent of the rest of the country. No, no. I mean, that's beginning to be publicized, that the 1 percent, you know, control.
But the real dynamic that isn't being [incompr.] is if you start getting people saying, hey, we own all this stuff, why are we paying such high price for drugs? That drug was developed with taxpayer money by the National Cancer Institute and the NIH--that's a federal agency. They give it away to a drug company. See?
So that's the real revolutionary education. It's that the biggest wealth of our country is owned by the people and controlled by corporations.
JAY: Okay. In the next segment of our interview, I'm going to ask Ralph whether the kind of legislative reforms that he's so well known for, is it still possible to have these kinds of reforms.
So please join us for the continuation of our series of interviews with Ralph Nader on Reality Asserts Itself on The Real News Network.
How to Nullify the NSA
How to Nullify the NSA (and every other government tyranny)
Hardly a week goes by that we aren’t faced with some new outrageous piece of legislation from the increasingly tyrannical government. But once these bills have been passed, what can we actually do about them? What if stopping this legislation was as simple as saying “no”? Join us this week on The Corbett Report as we explore the nullification solution, a long-repressed piece of political history that offers us a way out.
Pathology of the Rich
The Pathology of the Rich - Chris Hedges on Reality Asserts Itself pt1
On RAI with Paul Jay, Chris Hedges discusses the psychology of the super rich; their sense of entitlement, the dehumanization of workers, and mistaken belief that their wealth will insulate them from the coming storms -Bio
Chris Hedges, whose column is published Mondays on Truthdig , spent nearly two decades as a foreign correspondent in Central America, the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans. He has reported from more than 50 countries and has worked for The Christian Science Monitor, National Public Radio, The Dallas Morning News and The New York Times, for which he was a foreign correspondent for 15 years. He has written nine books, including "Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle" (2009), "I Don't Believe in Atheists" (2008) and the best-selling "American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America" (2008). His book "War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning" (2003) was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction.
: 'Drone bases in Africa'
: US secret drone bases
: United state
US nuke plans will cost $355 billion over a decade
US nuke plans will cost $355 billion over a decade: ReportBy presstvThe Congressional Budget Office (CBO) says President Barack Obama’s plans for the US nuclear weapons complex will cost the country about $355 billion over the next decade.In a report on Friday, the CBO said the plans included the modernization of nuclear weapons, their delivery systems, and nuclear weapons production laboratories.According to the report, the cost is nearly $150 billion more than the Obama administration's $208.5 billion estimate last year.President Obama had requested $23.1 billion for American nuclear forces in the 2014 fiscal year, including $18 billion to maintain the weapons and supporting laboratories as well as the submarines, bombers and missiles to deliver the weapons, Reuters reported.In the decade to 2013, the Obama administration's plans to modernize and maintain submarines, bombers and missiles will cost about $136 billion, the CBO said.Obama claims the nuclear modernization plan is needed to boost the security of the US military and give political leaders enough confidence in nuclear talks with other world powers.The new nuclear budget request comes as American officials continue to wrangle over the country's rising budget deficit.
Washington Has Discredited America
Washington Has Discredited AmericaDr Paul Craig RobertsWashington’s Arrogance has Brought America DisreputeYears ago when I described the George W. Bush regime as a police state, right-wing eyebrows were raised. When I described the Obama regime as an even worse police state, liberals rolled their eyes. Alas! Now I am no longer controversial. Everybody says it.According to the UK newspaper, The Guardian, the Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel, had an angry exchange with Obama in which Merkel compared Obama’s National Security Agency (NSA) with the East German Communist Stasi, which spied on everyone through networks of informers.Merkel grew up in Communist East Germany where she was spied upon by the Stasi, and now that she has risen to the highest political office in Europe’s most powerful state, she is spied upon by “freedom and democracy” America.A former top NSA official, William Binney, declared that “We (the US) are now in a police state.” The mass spying conducted by the Obama regime, Binney says “is a totalitarian process.”Perhaps my best vindication, after all the hate mail from “super patriots,” who wear their ignorance on their sleeves, and Obama-worshipping liberals, whose gullibility is sickening, came from federal judge Richard Leon, who declared the Obama-sanctioned NSA spying to be “almost Orwellian.” As the American Civil Liberties Union realized, federal judge Leon’s decision vindicated Edward Snowden by ruling that the NSA spying is likely outside what the Constitution permits, “labeling it ‘Orwellian’–adding that James Madison would be ‘aghast.’”If only more Americans were aghast. I sometimes wonder whether Americans like being spied upon, because it makes them feel important. “Look at me! I’m so important that the government spends enough money to wipe out US poverty spying on me and my Facebook, et. al., friends. I bet they are spending one billion dollars just to know who I connected with today. I hope it didn’t get lost in all the spam.”Being spied upon is the latest craze of people devoid of any future but desperate for attention.Jason Ditz at the FBI spied-upon Antiwar.com says that Judge Leon’s ruling is a setback for Obama, who was going to restore justice and liberty but instead created the American Stasi Spy State. Congress, of course, loves the spy state, because all the capitalist firms that make mega-millions or mega-billions from it generously finance congressional and senatorial campaigns for those who support the Stasi state.The romance that libertarians and “free market economists” have with capitalism, which buys compliance with its greed and cooperates with the Stasi state, is foolish.Let’s move on. It was only a few weeks ago that Obama and his Secretary of State John Kerry were on the verge of attacking Syria on the basis of faked evidence that Syria had crossed the “red line” and used weapons of mass destruction against the American organized, armed, and financed “rebels,” almost all of whom come from outside Syria.Only the bought-and-paid-for-by-Washington French president made a show of believing a word or Washington’s lies against the Assad government in Syria. The British Parliament, long a puppet of Washington, gave Obama the bird and voted down participating in another American war crime. That left UK prime minister, David Cameron, hanging. Where do the British get prime ministers like Cameron and Blair?Washington’s plan for Syria, having lost the cover of its British puppet, received a fatal blow from Russian President Putin, who arranged for Syria’s chemical weapons to be delivered to foreign hands for destruction, thus putting an end to the controversy.In the meantime it became apparent that the “Syrian rebellion” organized by Washington has been taken over by al-Qaeda, an organization allegedly responsible for 9/11. Even Washington was able to figure out that it didn’t make sense to put al-Qaeda in charge of Syria. Now the headlines are: “West tells Syria rebels: Assad must stay.”Meanwhile, Washington’s arrogance has managed to make an enemy of India. The TSA, a component of Homeland Security, subjected a female diplomat from India to multiple strip searches, cavity searches and ignored her protestations of consular immunity.There was no justification whatever for this abuse of an Indian diplomat. To indicate its displeasure, the Indian government has removed barriers that prevent truck bombs from being driven into the US embassy.Washington has managed to recreate the arms race. More profits for the military/security complex, and less security for the world. Provoked by Washington’s military aggressiveness, Russia has announces a $700 billion upgrade of its nuclear ballistic missiles. China’s leaders have also made it clear that China is not intimidated by Washington’s intrusion into China’s sphere of influence. China is developing weapon systems that make obsolete Washington’s large investment in surface fleets.Recently, Pat Buchanan, Mr. Conservative himself, made a case that Russia’s Putin better represents traditional American values than does the President of the United States.Buchanan has a point. It is Washington, not Moscow or Beijing, that threatens to bomb countries into the stone age, that forces down airplanes of heads of state and subjects them to searches, and that refuses to honor grants of political asylum.Certainly, Washington’s claim to be “exceptional” and “indispensable” and, therefore, above law and morality contrasts unfavorably with Putin’s statement that “we do not infringe on anyone’s interests or try to teach anyone how to live.”Washington’s arrogance has brought America disrepute. What damage will Washington next inflict on us?# # # #Paul Craig Roberts, Boiling Frogs Post contributing author, is a former Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury and former associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He has been reporting on executive branch and cases of prosecutorial abuse for two decades. He has written or co-written eight books, contributed chapters to numerous books, and has published many articles in journals of scholarship. Mr. Roberts has testified before congressional committees on 30 occasions on issues of economic policy, and has been a critic of both Democratic and Republican administrations. You can visit his website here.© PaulCraigRoberts.org
Fed Turns 100: Victor Thorn Interviews Griffin, Roberts, Zarlenga and Shudlick
Fed Turns 100: Victor Thorn Interviews Griffin, Roberts, Zarlenga and ShudlickDecember 20, 2013 AFP• Privately owned central bank causing mayhem since 1913By Victor ThornOn December 23, 1913 as distracted congressmen left D.C. for their upcoming Christmas recess, the Federal Reserve Act was passed with unprecedented secrecy and speed. To mark the 100th anniversary of this disastrous law, AMERICAN FREE PRESS brought together four brilliant thinkers to discuss how a private cartel of bankers has devastated the American dream.The impact of this legislation extended far beyond economics, as AFP learned during a November 25 interview with G. Edward Griffin, author of a seminal book on the privately owned and controlled Federal Reserve entitled The Creature from Jekyll Island.“The Income Tax and Federal Reserve acts of 1913 initiated a process whereby America changed from being a parochial, inward-looking and independent nation,” said Griffin. “Instead, Colonel Edward House [President Woodrow Wilson’s puppeteer] and other leaders turned our focus outward. America transformed into an internationalist country.”The consequences were dramatic, as Griffin explained. “One major effect of the Federal Reserve Act was that the U.S. started financing wars and the economies of Europe,” he said. “By exploiting the notion of patriotism in times of war, politicians reached into the pockets of everyday American people so that we could ‘come to the aid of democracy.’”Griffin lamented the obvious historical changes that transpired. “Everyone would have been much more resistant to U.S. involvement in WWI and II had it not been for the Fed,” he said. “But this internationalization of the American taxpayer became the new face of globalism.”When asked for more details, Griffin explained: “My impression is that the Fed was a complete mirror of what had already been established in Europe by individuals such as the Warburgs. I believe those behind the Fed were consciously trying to create a mirror image of central banks such as those in Germany, the Netherlands or the Bank of England. The only difference was that the Fed created 13 regional branches around the country. Still, the end result was a partnership between the government, Wall Street and private banks.”Regrettably, in 1913 few knew the impact of what had just occurred. Griffin stated, “The Federal Reserve Act created a banking cartel, not a government body.When you understand that it’s a cartel, everything they do starts to make sense. That’s why the participants operated under conditions of great secrecy, even using code names when traveling to Jekyll Island in a railroad car belonging to Nelson Aldrich [whose daughter married John D. Rockefeller’s son]. Jekyll Island itself played into the idea of mystery and intrigue due to its private ownership by J.P.Morgan and William Rockefeller.”Griffin completed the tale: “Once these men returned to Washington, D.C., they slipped their ‘solutions’ into a congressional bill. While most elected officials thought they were passing legislation that would break the money trust’s grip, they had no idea that bankers themselves had drafted the law. The public demanded action to control the banking industry, so these internationalists decided to turn lemons into lemonade. They effectively said, ‘Why don’t we write this law to our own advantage?’ After all, the purpose of a cartel is to serve its cartel members.”Gift SubscriptionOne of America’s Top Money Experts Blasts the FedAs director of the American Monetary Institute (AMI) and author of the definitive book on money, titled The Lost Science of Money, Stephen Zarlenga is well qualified to speak about the Federal Reserve.On November 22, Zarlenga told AFP, “If we follow the Fed’s current course, it clearly leads to feudalism where a few oligarchs with trillions of dollars and power will control a population of serfs. [Former Representative] Dennis Kucinich’s bill, H.R. 2990, presented to the 112th Congress contains necessary reforms.”When asked for specifics, Zarlenga established this foundation: “Nationalizing the Federal Reserve System is step one. By placing it under the U.S. Treasury’s control, a monetary authority would be created to better ensure against the Fed’s inflationary and deflationary policies.”But, such a move provides only a partial remedy, according to Zarlenga.“Nationalizing the Fed is not enough,” he said. “We have to stop banks from having the power to control money, especially in regard to fractional banking. The private control of money equals the private control of society. That’s why whoever controls the money system will control a nation.”So far, President Barack Obama has done nothing to alter the banking fraternity’s dominance. Zarlenga agreed, adding: “Obama’s appointment of Janet Yellen to lead the Fed doesn’t matter because the system itself is the problem. How many bankers have been thrown in jail over the past five years? Zero. We deserve better from Obama. Instead, he’s overtaxing and overspending. These are the main determinants of his presidency.”A status quo, hands-off approach to the Fed will merely perpetuate past problems. Few know this fact better than Zarlenga, who quipped: “Over the past 100 years, there have been 48 different business cycles. It took the Fed less than 20 years after being formed to wreck America with the Great Depression. The system keeps collapsing itself, and that’s been done pretty regularly since 1913. These results show that the system must be fixed.”To illustrate how the Founding Fathers’ vision of monetary policy has been betrayed, Zarlenga quoted the archbishop of Canterbury: “What should be the servant has become the master.”Gift SubscriptionThe Dangers of ‘Quantitative Easing’• AFP interviews former Treasury undersecretary about Obama’s economic recovery policiesOne of the Obama administration’s primary methods of keeping the economy afloat is via monetizing the debt through a Federal Reserve ploy known as quantitative easing (QE). To better understand this practice, on November 26 AFP spoke with Paul Craig Roberts, the assistant secretary of the Treasury for economic policy under President Ronald Reagan.At the onset of our conversation, Roberts defined QE as “low interest budget financing of our nation’s debt.” The bottom line is, said Roberts, “Obama’s policies are anti-recovery.”Urged to provide more details, Roberts said: “QE hurts the economy through the destruction of interest income, which then reduces consumer spending. Retired people are especially hurt because their savings produce no revenue.”Roberts next addressed the true reasons behind QE. “The Fed is a creature of big banks,” he said. “It isn’t mainly motivated to serve public policy. The whole purpose of QE is to support the balance sheets of half-a-dozen banks that we’re told are too big to fail.”In a November 11 column for The Wall Street Journal, financier Andrew Huszar, who helped manage the Fed’s purchase of bonds, agreed with Roberts.Huszar wrote, “I’ve come to recognize the program [QE] for what it really is: the greatest backdoor Wall Street bailout of all time.”In addition to serving banks and increasing our national debt, Roberts suggested other consequences.“Under new Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen, it’s business as usual,” he said. “If she tried to stop QE and the Fed didn’t buy our bonds, who would? No one, so bond prices drop and there’d be a stock market collapse.”But that’s only a taste of what would follow. Roberts added: “If QE is eased, interest rates rise, thus causing home sales to drop. On top of that, Americans keep getting poorer as prices rise and their incomes remain stagnant.”At its worst, the perpetuation of these policies will have a catastrophic impact on our standard of living.According to Roberts, “The Fed and QE are creating the death of our dollar to prevent an economic collapse right now as Obama insists on running up trillion dollar deficits. Meanwhile, the U.S. keeps losing power as BRIC countries [Brazil, Russia, India and China] move away from using the dollar as a reserve currency. We can’t keep creating an increased supply of new dollars when the world doesn’t demand them.”Gift SubscriptionEustace Mullins, Man Who Exposed Fed, HonoredWhile a handful of statesmen like William Jennings Bryan and Charles Lindbergh Sr. understood the Fed’s treachery, Americans largely remained clueless until the publication of Eustace Mullins’s landmark 1952 book, The Secrets of the Federal Reserve. Mullins passed away in 2010, but his memory is kept alive by AFP and other independent publishers, authors, radio talk show hosts and filmmakers like Jon Larsen Shudlick, who conducted a series of interviews with Mullins in 1993.AFP contacted Shudlick on November 19 to determine Mullins’s influence. Shudlick spoke in a reverent tone, “Eustace was the first person to expose the Fed as a tool of the Rothschild banking cabal. His mentor, poet Ezra Pound, provided the encouragement. Pound told Eustace, ‘Why don’t you apply for a job at the Library of Congress and get access to all the secret books never shown to the public?’ ”Shudlick continued the story.“Eustace exhibited such dedication that in the 1940s and 1950s he slept at the Library of Congress,” said Shudlick. “Once in a while there’s a person who can shed light on history. That’s what Eustace did. He was a trailblazer for the truth.”When questioned about Mullins’s most important contributions, Shudlick replied: “He illustrated the Federal Reserve conspiracy where a cabal of elitists acted against the interests of the American people. Central banks constitute the world’s most vicious money system because they enslave governments and citizens alike with indebtedness.”Shudlick added this thought: “Eustace coined the term ‘criminal syndicalism’ that referred to those who create wars, depressions and inflation. When compared to other gangsters, Eustace said the Mafia had more redeeming qualities than did banksters.”When asked why, Shudlick argued: “All the unnatural pain and suffering this country has experienced over the past century can be attributed to the Fed. That’s why mainstream publications wrote hit pieces directed against Eustace. They didn’t want him telling everyone that Federal Reserve banks were privately owned.”Elaborating more, Shudlick said: “Ron Paul learned about the Fed from reading Eustace Mullins. Plus, Eustace once wrote a speech for Senator Joe McCarthy that exposed the Fed’s sinister plot. Up until then, the media loved McCarthy. But after delivering this speech to bankers in Chicago, newsmen turned on McCarthy and slaughtered him.”Such a reaction isn’t surprising, especially when Shudlick offered this perspective.“Eustace used to say, ‘Money isn’t power. Power is being able to issue money,’ ” said Shudlick. “Eustace was a genius for the common man. Patriotism was everything to him. Not love of government, but love of country.”
Major computer security firm RSA took $10 mln from NSA to weaken encryption
Major computer security firm RSA took $10 mln from NSA to weaken encryption - reportBy RTThe National Security Agency arranged a clandestine US$10 million
contract with computer security power RSA that allowed the spy agency to
embed encryption software it could use to infiltrate the company’s
widely used products, Reuters reported.
Revelations provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden and
in September showed that the NSA created and perpetuated a
corruptible formula that was ultimately a “back door”
into encryption products.
Reuters later reported RSA became the lead distributor of the
formula, installing it into a software tool known as BSAFE that
is widely used to boost security in personal computers and other
Unknown then was the $10 million deal that set the NSA’s formula
as the default method for the security measure - in which random
numbers are generated on a key for access to a product - in
BSAFE, according to Reuters’ sources. Though the sum of money for
the deal seems low, it represented over a third of revenue the
relevant division at RSA had made the previous year, according to
RSA was previously known for its crusading fights to protect
computer security and privacy in the face of government
interests, as it played a major role in blocking an effort by the
NSA in the 1990s to require a special chip that would have
enabled surveillance on many computer and communication products.
Following the September disclosure, RSA, now a subsidiary of
computer storage company EMC Corp, privately warned thousands of
its customers to immediately discontinue using all versions of
company's BSAFE toolkit and Data Protection Manager (DPM), both
using Dual_EC_DRNG (Dual Elliptic Curve Deterministic Random Bit
Generator) encryption algorithm to protect sensitive data.
RSA and EMC would not comment to Reuters about the alleged deal,
but RSA said in a statement: "RSA always acts in the best
interest of its customers and under no circumstances does RSA
design or enable any back doors in our products. Decisions about
the features and functionality of RSA products are our own."
The NSA declined to comment.
Most of the dozen current and former RSA employees interviewed by
Reuters cited the company’s move away from strictly providing
cryptography products as a reason the ill-advised deal was made.
Though several also said government officials deceived RSA by
portraying the corrupt formula as secure.
"They did not show their true hand," said one source
that knew of the NSA deal.
RSA’s advocacy for security
RSA’s history as pioneers of trusted cryptography goes back to
the 1970s. Their encryption tools have been licensed by many
major technology companies, which have used RSA products to
secure hundreds of millions of personal computers around the
world. Their core technology - public key cryptography - uses two
keys rather than one to publicly encode messages, then privately
Even in the earliest days of RSA’s existence, it quarreled with
US intelligence entities that worried the dual-key format would
block government access. As RSA’s products became more
widespread, the contention rose. In the 1990s, the Clinton
administration pushed the Clipper Chip, a mandatory piece of
hardware in phones and computers that would have enabled
officials to supersede encryption without a warrant. RSA led a
campaign to block the Clipper Chip, arguing products so easily
surveilled would cripple overseas sales of US tech products.
The White House then moved to advocating stronger export controls
to keep top cryptography in the US, yet RSA again persuaded the
industry to oppose the effort. The export restrictions were
A new era
But the attacks of September 11, 2001, flipped some of the power
dynamics. In addition, many top engineers of the old fights
against the government left the company, and BSAFE was becoming
an increasingly smaller share of the company’s revenue.
"When I joined there were 10 people in the labs, and we were
fighting the NSA," said Victor Chan, an top RSA engineer
before he left in 2005. "It became a very different company
By 2006, RSA was considered a prime government partner in the
fight against overseas hackers.
New RSA Chief Executive Art Coviello, who declined an interview
request with Reuters, signed on to adopt an algorithm called Dual
Elliptic Curve - designed by the NSA - even before the formula
was approved for government use. RSA’s use of the algorithm
actually helped the NSA win approval with the National Institutes
of Standards and Technology, which oversees government tech
RSA’s contract made Dual Elliptic Curve the default formula for
producing random numbers in the company’s encryption tools.
Former employees said given company business leaders approved the
deal rather than technologists, no alarms were raised.
"The labs group had played a very intricate role at BSAFE,
and they were basically gone," said labs veteran Michael
Wenocur, who left RSA in 1999.
Though it privately urged customers to stop using the Dual
Elliptic Curve following the September revelations, RSA has been
publicly quiet about its relationship with the NSA.
The RSA deal again implicates a key strategy the NSA employs for
enhanced surveillance, as shown by Snowden’s leaked documents:
the weakening of security tools as a result of the agency’s
“commercial relationships” with security and tech
A review board established by the White House to investigate the
NSA’s controversial surveillance operations said this week it
believes the NSA should make changes to spying protocol,
including measures that have usurped cryptography.
Among the recommendations,
the panel called for the US government to "fully support and
not undermine efforts to create encryption standards," and
"not in any way subvert, undermine, weaken or make vulnerable
generally available commercial software."
NSA, GCHQ spied on Israel, Germany, UN and others
NSA, GCHQ spied on Israel, Germany, UN and others - new Snowden leaksBy RTLeaders in Israel — one of America’s closest allies—have for years
been targeted in a surveillance operation waged by the United States’
National Security Agency, or NSA, according to files leaked by Edward
Those documents reportedly also contain information suggesting
that heads of international charities, foreign energy companies,
United Nations officials and the vice president of the European
Commission were targeted as well by either British or American
The New York Times, the Guardian and Der Spiegel all reported on
Friday that classified documents supplied to them by the former
intelligence contractor contain details about, among other
programs, a NSA operation that set its sights on the email
account belonging to the office of an Israeli prime minister.
Ehud Olmert, the PM of Israel at the time of the January 2009
interception, was spied on by the NSA and British colleagues at
the GCHQ, according to the latest reports that rely on
intelligence supplied by Snowden.
But the revelations go further: journalists say this week that
the documents show details pertaining to NSA operations in 60
countries, Times reporters James Glanz and Andrew Lehren wrote,
including not just arguably one of America’s closest allies, but
also individuals from the likes of the UN and EU.
Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert (AFP Photo / Saul Loeb)
The Times reported Friday morning that “Britain’s General
Communications Headquarters, working closely with the National
Security Agency, monitored the communications of senior European
Union officials, foreign leaders including African heads of state
and sometimes their family members, directors of United Nations
and other relief programs and officials overseeing oil and
finance ministries, according to the documents. “
“The latest disclosures will add to Washington's
embarrassment following the heavy criticism of the NSA when it
emerged that it had been tapping the mobile telephone of the
German chancellor, Angela Merkel," James Ball and Nick
Hopkins wrote for the Guardian.
Indeed, those operations have caused such a set-back for
diplomatic relations that a report penned by a review group
assembled by US President Barack Obama and released this week
cautioned the NSA to nix those programs and others brought to
light by files supplied to the media by Mr. Snowden.
Beginning June 6, a steady stream of leaked
intelligence documents handed to reporters by Snowden have
exposed classified operations that have caused heads of state and
both the American public and political realms alike to demand
The review group report, released Monday, offered 46 recommendations
to the White House suggested by experts handpicked by Pres.
The US government, that committee wrote, should reaffirm that
federal surveillance programs “be directed exclusively at the
national security of the United States or our allies,” and
“must not be directed at illicit or illegitimate ends, such
as the theft of trade secrets or obtaining commercial gain for
EU Commissioner for Competition Joaquin Almunia (AFP Photo / John Thys)
Prior to this week’s leaked report, Mr. Snowden’s NSA files have
shown US-operations that targeted the likes of Brazilian oil
companies and Chancellor Merkel, who earlier this week told Der
Spiegel that the Obama administration’s tactics are on par with
those of the communistic, East Germany police force, the Stasi.
The latest documents, the Times reported, show new evidence of
spy programs that have targeted German officials, as well as
those in France, Israel and elsewhere. But while the US has long
admitted to collecting signals intelligence pertaining to foreign
governments, the latest documents show that several UN missions
in Geneva were targeted by the NSA, including the United Nations
Children’s Fund, or Unicef, and the United Nations Institute for
“It is unclear what the eavesdroppers gleaned,” Times
journalists said. “The documents include a few fragmentary
transcripts of conversations and messages, but otherwise contain
only hints that further information was available elsewhere,
possibly in a larger database.”
Joaquín Almunia, the vice president of the European Commission
and a target listed in the leaked documents, told the Times he
was “strongly upset” about the spying. His commission
has authority over companies across the globe, the paper
reported, and has previously fined US companies Google, Microsoft
and Intel over antitrust matters.
The NSA denied allegations that these operations were done to
benefit US businesses in a statement sent to the Times.
“We do not use our foreign intelligence capabilities to steal
the trade secrets of foreign companies on behalf of — or give
intelligence we collect to — US companies to enhance their
international competitiveness or increase their bottom
line,” NSA spokeswoman Vanee Vines wrote the paper.
Later, however, she added that national security concerns justify
some accusations of spying.
“The intelligence community’s efforts to understand economic
systems and policies, and monitor anomalous economic activities,
are critical to providing policy makers with the information they
need to make informed decisions that are in the best interest of
our national security,” she said.
The Incredible, Shrinking Presidency of Barack Obama
The Incredible, Shrinking Presidency of Barack Obamaby MIKE WHITNEYAccording to a new Washington Post-ABC poll, Barack Obama now ranks among the least popular presidents in the last century. In fact, his approval rating is lower than Bush’s was in his fifth year in office. Obama’s overall approval rating stands at a dismal 43 percent, with a full 55 percent of the public “disapproving of the way he is handling the economy”. The same percentage of people “disapprove of the way he is handling his job as president”. Thus, on the two main issues, leadership and the economy, Obama gets failing grades.An even higher percentage of people are upset at the way the president is implementing his signature health care system dubbed “Obamacare”. When asked “Do you approve or disapprove of the way Obama is handling “implementation of the new health care law?” A full 62% said they disapprove, although I suspect that the anger has less to do with the plan’s “implementation” than it does with the fact that Obamacare is widely seen as a profit-delivery system for the voracious insurance industry. Notwithstanding the administration’s impressive public relations campaign, a clear majority of people have seen through Obama’s health care ruse and given the program a big thumb’s down.Of course, Obamacare is just the straw that broke the camel’s back. The list of policy disasters that preceded this latest fiasco is nearly endless, including everything from blanket pardons for the Wall Street big-wigs who took down the global financial system, to re-upping the Bush tax cuts, to appointing a commission of deficit hawks to slash Social Security and Medicare (Bowles-Simpson), to breaking his word on Gitmo, to reneging on his promise to pass Card Check, to expanding to wars in Africa, Asia and the Middle East, to droning 4-times as many civilians as the homicidal maniac he replaced as president in 2008.Obama’s treatment of undocumented immigrants has been particularly shocking although the details have been kept out of the media, presumably because the news giants don’t want to expose the Dear Leader as a heartless scoundrel who has no problem separating mothers from their children, locking them up in privately-owned concentration camps and booting them out of the country with nothing more than the shirt on their back. Check out this blurb which sums up Obama’s “progressive” immigration policy in one paragraph: “Obama is on track to deport 3 million immigrants without papers by the end of his second term, more than any other president. George W. Bush deported about 2 million over two terms. Obama will likely hit that mark this month….. The average daily count of immigrants in detention now is about 33,000. In 2001, it was 19,000. In 1994, it was 5,000, according to the Detention Watch Network. Almost all of the detainees and deportees are Latino. True, the population of illegal immigrants has also doubled in that time to more than 11 million. But the detainee and deportee counts have escalated more than twice as fast. “He could go down as the worst president in history toward immigrants,” said Arturo Carmona, executive director of the liberal activist group Presente.org.Hooray for the Deporter in Chief! You’re Numero Uno, buddy. You even beat Bush! Is it any wonder why the man’s ratings are in freefall?All told, Obama has been bad for the economy, bad for civil liberties, bad for minorities, bad for foreign wars, and bad for health care. He has, however, been a very effective lackey-sock puppet for Wall Street, Big Pharma, the oil magnates, and the other 1% -vermin Kleptocrats who run the country and who will undoubtedly attend his $100,000-per-plate speaking engagements when he finally retires in comfort to some gated community where he’ll work on his memoirs and cash in on his 8 years of faithful service to the racketeer class.But, let’s face it; no one really gives a rip about “drone attacks in Waziristan” or “hunger strikes in Gitmo”. What they care about is keeping their jobs, paying off their student loans, putting the food on the table or avoiding the fate of next-door-neighbor, Andy, who got his pink slip two months ago and now finds himself living in a cardboard box by the river. That’s what the average working stiff worries about; just scraping by enough to stay out of the homeless shelter. But it’s getting harder all the time, mainly because everything’s gotten worse under Obama. It’s crazy. It’s like the whole middle class is being dismantled in a 10-year period. Wages are flat, jobs are scarce, incomes are dropping like a stone, and everyone’s broke. (Everyone I know, at least.) Did you know that 76% of Americans are living paycheck-to-paycheck. Check it out: “Roughly three-quarters of Americans are living paycheck-to-paycheck, with little to no emergency savings, according to a survey released by Bankrate.com Monday. Fewer than one in four Americans have enough money in their savings account to cover at least six months of expenses, enough to help cushion the blow of a job loss, medical emergency or some other unexpected event, according to the survey of 1,000 adults. Meanwhile, 50% of those surveyed have less than a three-month cushion and 27% had no savings at all…. Last week, online lender CashNetUSA said 22% of the 1,000 people it recently surveyed had less than $100 in savings to cover an emergency, while 46% had less than $800. After paying debts and taking care of housing, car and child care-related expenses, the respondents said there just isn’t enough money left over for saving more.”Savings?!?Are you kidding me? What’s that? Who do you know that’s able to save money in this economy? Maybe rich uncle Johnny whose lived on canned sardines and Akmak for the last 50 years, but nobody else can live like that. Subtract the rent, the groceries, the doctor bills etc, and there’s barely enough leftover to fill the tank to get to work on Monday. Saving just isn’t an option, not in the Obamaworld, that is.Now check this out from Business Insider: “Thousands of Americans aged 55 and older are going back to school and reinventing themselves to get an edge in a difficult labor market, hoping to rebuild retirement nest eggs that were almost destroyed by the recession…. According to the Federal Reserve, household financial assets, which exclude homes, dropped from a peak of $57 trillion in the third quarter of 2007 to just over $49 trillion in the fourth quarter of last year, the latest period for which data is available. A survey to be released this summer by the Public Policy Institute of AARP, an advocacy group for older Americans, found a quarter of Americans 50 years and older used up all their savings during the 2007-09 recession. About 43 percent of the 5,000 respondents who took part in the survey said their savings had not recovered.” (“Unemployed Baby Boomers Are Getting Hired By Going Back To School”, Business Insider)Sure they’re going back to work. What do you expect them to do? They’re broke! They got wiped out in Wall Street’s mortgage laundering scam and they’re still behind the eightball five years later. And what’s left of the money they set aside for retirement is yielding a big zilch thanks to the Fed’s zero rate policy which is forcing people back into another decade of penal servitude at minimum wage. That’s why you see so many hunched over graybeards in red vests with “Happy to Serve You” splattered on their chests lugging shopping bags out to the cars for old ladies. Because they’re broke and out of options. Everyone knows someone like this unless, of course, they’re one of the fortunate few who make up the Nobel 1%; aka–The Job Cremators. Then they don’t have to fret about that sort of thing.Here’s another gem you might not have seen in USA Today a few months back: “Four out of 5 U.S. adults struggle with joblessness, near-poverty or reliance on welfare for at least parts of their lives, a sign of deteriorating economic security and an elusive American dream. Survey data exclusive to The Associated Press points to an increasingly globalized U.S. economy, the widening gap between rich and poor, and the loss of good-paying manufacturing jobs as reasons for the trend…. Hardship is particularly growing among whites, based on several measures. Pessimism among that racial group about their families’ economic futures has climbed to the highest point since at least 1987. In the most recent AP-GfK poll, 63% of whites called the economy “poor.” “I think it’s going to get worse,” said Irene Salyers, 52, of Buchanan County, Va., a declining coal region in Appalachia. Married and divorced three times, Salyers now helps run a fruit and vegetable stand with her boyfriend, but it doesn’t generate much income…. Nationwide, the count of America’s poor remains stuck at a record number: 46.2 million, or 15% of the population, due in part to lingering high unemployment following the recession. While poverty rates for blacks and Hispanics are nearly three times higher, by absolute numbers the predominant face of the poor is white… “Poverty is no longer an issue of ‘them’, it’s an issue of ‘us’,” says Mark Rank, a professor at Washington University in St. Louis who calculated the numbers. “Only when poverty is thought of as a mainstream event, rather than a fringe experience that just affects blacks and Hispanics, can we really begin to build broader support for programs that lift people in need.” (“4 in 5 in USA face near-poverty, no work”, USA Today)Does Obama have any idea of the damage he’s doing with his Rich-First policies? The country is in a terrible state and yet Obama continues to approve bills that throw millions of people off unemployment benefits, sharply cut government spending, or undermine vital safetynet programs that keep the sick and the elderly from dying on the streets. It’s like he’s trying to reduce 300 million Americans to grinding third world poverty in his short eight-year term. Is that the goal?Did you know that–according to Gallup–20.0% of all Americans did not have enough money to buy food that they or their families needed at some point over the past year? Or that –according to a Feeding America hunger study–more than 37 million people are now using food pantries and soup kitchens? Or that one out of six Americans is now living in poverty which is the highest level since the 1960s? Or that the gap between the rich and poor is greater than any in history?Everything has gotten worse under Obama. Everything. And, not once, in his five years as president, has this gifted and charismatic leader ever lifted a finger to help the millions of people who supported him, who believed in him, and who voted him into office.These latest poll results indicate that many of those same people are beginning to wake up and see what Obama is really all about.MIKE WHITNEY lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Seattle PD Forced to Stop Secret Surveillance System
Seattle PD Forced to Stop Secret Surveillance SystemDecember 20, 2013 AFP• Technology enabled broad eavesdropping without warrantBy John FriendThe Seattle Police Department (SPD) recently decided to deactivate a controversial wireless Internet network that many privacy and civil liberties advocates worried could be used to spy on and track individuals’ movements and online activities without a warrant.According to local reports, SPD’s wireless, or Wi-Fi, Internet network was initially installed in the city using funds from a Homeland Security grant and will now be deactivated unless and until the Seattle City Council approves its use.The wireless network was ostensibly set up for emergency services personnel, but the so-called “mesh network” would have “the ability to identify any Wi-Fi device emitting a signal within range of one of its 160 wireless access points and record its location,” wrote Kevin Fitchard for Bloomberg Businessweek. The network would be capable of tracking anyone utilizing a Wi-Fi connection in the city, according to local reports.SPD “own[s] a piece of equipment that has tracking capabilities so we think that they should be going to City Council and presenting a protocol for the whole network that says they won’t be using it for surveillance purposes,” Jamela Debelak of the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington State (ACLU-WA) told KIRO, the local CBS-affiliated TV news station in Seattle.Doug Honig, communications director for ACLU-WA, was quoted in other local reports as stating: “In a democratic society you should be able to move freely without law enforcement tracking your movements unless they have reason to believe you’re doing something wrong.”Gift SubscriptionAmericans of all political stripes have become increasingly concerned about the rise of pervasive, un-American and unconstitutional surveillance and spying tactics used by state and local police departments across the nation, including the use of drones in surveillance and law enforcement activities. The rise and institutionalization of these draconian and tyrannical policies are largely the result of the “terrorist attacks” of 9-11, an event that has been used to not only justify the illegal wars of aggression the United States military and its North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies are currently prosecuting, but also to justify the spread of the police state, the crackdown on civil liberties and the general assault on the Constitution through legislation such as the USA PATRIOT Act.Many of the tactics and technologies employed by police departments across America come directly from Israeli advisors and technology firms specializing in surveillance and spying technology. Naomi Klein, a Jewish-Canadian author and investigative journalist, documented in her 2007 book The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, that Israel revealingly geared its economy toward the homeland security and surveillance industry in the months leading up to 9-11, allowing companies connected to the Israeli military and intelligence establishment to capture the lucrative and expanding market for these technologies following their increased demand as a result of 9-11.It is also worth noting that the Anti-Defamation League (ADL)—which readers of AMERICAN FREE PRESS recognize as an Israeli intelligence and propaganda outfit—and Israeli police and military officials, are involved with training American law enforcement officials all across the country.The ADL specializes in training law enforcement agencies in counterterrorism and “anti-government extremism,” while Israeli police and military officials have led the way in advocating increasingly tyrannical and authoritarian tactics in dealing with law enforcement issues in America, including the Orwellian use of surveillance technologies to spy on and track U.S. citizens.
New Iran Bill Sets Stage for Obama-Senate Battle
New Iran Bill Sets Stage for Obama-Senate BattleBill Endorses Any Future Israeli Attack on Iranby Jason DitzSetting the stage for the protracted recess battle for votes, 26 co-sponsors introduced the Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act of 2013 (pdf) today, aimed at derailing the ongoing diplomacy with Iran by imposing new sanctions in violation of the interim P5+1 deal. The bill makes as statements of fact several outright false claims, including the idea that Iran could have enough “weapons-grade uranium for a bomb in one to 2 months’ time,” despite Iran never attempting to produce any uranium above 20 percent enrichment.It goes on to demand any diplomatic deal with Iran require the whole of their civilian nuclear program be dismantled, and endorses any Israeli attacks on Iran, pledging US government support for any war Israel starts with Iran.10 Senate committee chairs have come out against the bill, issuing an open letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D – NV) urging “consultations” before it is brought for a vote, and noting that it would derail negotiations.Which seems to be very much the point for its hawkish advocates, and author Sen. Mark Kirk (R – IL) presented it as a move against “Iranian deception,” by which he means diplomacy in general.President Obama has promised a veto of the bill, and with a veto likely to come no sooner than January, the holiday recess is sure to be filled with heavy lobbying to see if the hawks can get a veto-proof majority. With the Israeli lobbying factions coming out strongly for the pact, it’s going to be a major battle.
Today's News Headlines by RT(Dec 20,2013)
Today's News Headlines by RT(Dec 20,2013)Britain to destroy part of Syria chemical stockpile
The British government has stated that it will be involved in the
destruction of part of Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile. The process
will take place at a commercial facility after being transported to the
country by ship, according to a statement from the Foreign Office seen
Spanish police raid ruling People’s Party HQ in corruption probe
Spanish police have searched the headquarters of the ruling People’s
Party (PP) for 14 hours as part of a corruption investigation, Reuters
reported. Police followed late on Thursday the order of examining
Magistrate Pablo Ruz, to search for documents and invoices over
evidence of off-the-book payments linked to renovation work on the
building carried out from 2005 to 2011. They left the central Madrid
building on Friday morning, according to a PP spokesman. Ruz is looking
into an alleged slush fund operated by former PP treasurer Luis
Barcenas. The corruption scandal has threatened to destabilize the
government of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.
More than 30 injured as London bus crashes into tree
At least 32 people have been injured in a bus crash in south London,
with seven in serious condition, after the bus struck a tree, Sky News
reported, citing police. Two people were believed to be trapped inside
the bus after it collided with a tree on Kennington Road, in south
London. The No. 59 bus was en route to King's Cross, and the incident
occurred around 10.50 am on Kennington Road, near the Imperial War
Russian aviation watchdog to revoke Tatarstan Airlines license
The Federal Air Transport Agency will annul the operating license of
Tatarstan Airlines as of December 31, 2013, the aviation watchdog
announced Friday. The decision, dated December 19, was taken after
violations of certification requirements had been exposed in the
airline, as well as violations of the work time and leisure time of the
crews, Itar-Tass reported. Rosaviatsiya also said the crews had not
taken advanced training courses. All passengers and crewmembers - a
total of 50 people - died in the air crash of a Boeing-737 belonging to
Tatarstan at Kazan airport on 17 November.
India govt asks Supreme Court to review anti-gay law
India’s government asked the country’s Supreme Court on Friday to
review a decision in which it upheld a colonial-era law that bans
homosexual acts, AP reported. Law Minister Kapil Sibal said he hoped the
court would overturn the law. The Supreme Court ruled last
week that only lawmakers and not the courts can change the law. In
2009, a lower court said that the law violated fundamental human rights.
The law, dating back to the 1860s, makes homosexual acts punishable by
up to a decade in prison.
UN says 2 Indian peacekeepers killed in S. Sudan
Two UN peacekeepers from India have been killed and a third wounded
when a UN base in South Sudan was overrun by armed youths, the
organization’s spokesman Joe Contreras said Friday. Previous reports
indicated three Indian peacekeepers died in the incident Thursday.
Contreras said two civilians were also killed when Lou Nuer youths
breached a UN compound in Jonglei State. He did not confirm comments by
presidential spokesman Ateny Wek Ateny that 54 people from the ethnic
Dinka group were killed in the raid.
Indian activists attack Dominos Pizza over diplomat row in US
Activists of a small Indian political group ransacked a Dominos Pizza
outlet in a Mumbai suburb on Friday, Reuters reported. The protesters
were demanding a ban on US goods until Washington apologizes for the
arrest of an Indian diplomat in New York. No-one was hurt in the attack,
but the Republican Party of India, which carried it out, sent pictures
to media showing a broken glass door at the outlet. Diplomats from the
two states are seeking to defuse the row over the arrest and subsequent
strip-search of Devyani Khobragade in a visa fraud case.
UN-mandated probe cites Syria’s ‘systematic campaign’ of disappearances
The Independent International Commission of Inquiry has said in a report that the Syrian government forces are “waging a systematic campaign of enforced disappearances to terrorize the population,” AFP reported. “Enforced disappearances are perpetrated as part of a widespread campaign of terror against the civilian population,” the
UN-mandated probe said. The commission said the enforced disappearances
were committed as part of an attack against the civilian population,
and therefore “amount to a crime against humanity.” In 2011 through to early 2012, the majority of those who disappeared “were men aged between 16 and 40 who were seized at demonstrations,” it said, adding that the net has widened since then.
Lebedev to discuss with lawyers possibility of applying for pardon
The former head of the Menatep Group, Platon Lebedev, will discuss with
his defense team the possibility of submitting a request for a pardon,
his lawyer Aleksey Miroshnichenko told Interfax Friday. The issue will
be discussed at a “meeting at the penal colony today,” he said. The
decision is expected to be announced later Friday. Lebedev’s business
partner and former Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky was pardoned by President Vladimir Putin on Friday morning.
US deploys 45 troops to S. Sudan to protect personnel
The US has deployed 45 troops to protect US personnel and assets in
South Sudan amid ongoing fighting between rebels and government forces,
the White House said. President Barack Obama sent a letter to Congress,
saying the group of soldiers was sent Wednesday, AFP reported. The small
force will remain in South Sudan “until the security situation becomes such that it is no longer needed,” Obama said. “Although equipped for combat, this force was deployed for the purpose of protecting US citizens and property.”
Senate approves defense bill to crack down on sexual assault in military
Congress has sent President Barack Obama a defense bill that would
crack down on sexual assault in the military and add protection for
victims. The Senate voted 84-15 Thursday night for the legislation,
after a year-long campaign to address cases of rape and sexual assault
in the ranks, AP reported. The military's handling of high-profile cases
of assault and other crimes had angered both the House and Senate,
setting in motion what will be sweeping changes to the Uniform Code of
Philippines mayor, 3 others killed in Manila airport ambush
Four people, including the mayor of a southern Philippines town, were
killed Friday in an ambush at Manila airport, AFP reported, citing its
general manager. The mayor of Labangan, Ukol Talumpa, and his family and
some security escorts were attacked, Angel Honrado said. Talumpa, a
member of the opposition, won a mayoral race in last May's elections.
Turkey has more journalists detained than any other country - report
For the second consecutive year Turkey has been ranked the number one
jailer of journalists in the world by the New York-based Committee to
Protect Journalists. Forty journalists are currently serving time in
Turkey, a number lower than the 49 who were locked up as of December 1,
2012, but still more than Iran (35) and China (32). The three countries
account for more than half of the 211 journalists imprisoned around the
world, according to the rights watchdog. “Jailing journalists for their work is the hallmark of an intolerant, repressive society,”
said Joel Simon, CPJ executive director. The agency speculated that
Turkey cracked down on journalists in part because of the Gezi Park
protests. Meanwhile, Vietnam, Egypt, and Syria also reported increases
in the number of jailed media personnel.
NSA's second tier spying partners identified
Eyes everywhere: NSA's second tier spying partners identifiedBy RTDenmark, Belgium, the Netherlands and several other EU countries were
named among “third party partners” in the NSA-led global signal
intelligence program, a new leak submitted by journalist Glenn Greenwald
to Danish TV reveals.
According to the document, obtained by Swedish TV program
‘Mission: Investigate’, that has been probing Sweden's
participation in global spying operations, nine European
countries were added to the list of NSA accomplices.
The "third party partners" to the Five Eyes nations has now grown
to include nine states - Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Belgium,
France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain.
The newly-leaked document from Edward Snowden is the first
written confirmation of Denmark's formal agreement with the NSA,
the Copenhagen Post writes.
Denmark’s role in US spying scheme was labeled “very
worrying” by Enhedslisten's Pernille Skipper, Danish
“When Denmark is one of the US intelligence services' close
allies, one must ask themselves what it is we are giving in
return,” Skipper told public broadcaster DR.
“When you consider this along with the other revelations that
have come out, which insinuate that the US systematically spies
on residents throughout Europe in violation of very basic rights,
then you can naturally fear that the collaboration between
Denmark and the US means that Danes have been spied upon.”
The list of new NSA partners was made public last week as part of
the new batch of NSA-documents from the Snowden-Greenwald
collection. The ‘14-Eyes’ group, the document also revealed, send
their staff for training to the US. The group is also known as
the SIGINT Seniors Europe or SSEUR. On its website the NSA writes that foreign Signals Intelligence
(SIGINT) is “specifically limited to gathering information
about international terrorists and foreign powers, organizations,
It adds “SIGINT provides a vital window for our [USA] nation
into foreign adversaries' capabilities, actions, and intentions.”
Until the recent wire, the trickling of NSA leaks suggested that
a number of countries were involved. France, Germany, Norway,
Italy, Belgium and allegedly Spain were perceived to be the NSA’s
3rd party partners.
Sweden, Denmark and especially the Netherlands were not listed as
such, but SVT’s earlier episodes revealed the Swedish signals
intelligence agency (FRA)
spied on Russian leaders and businesses and shared the data
collected with the US.
The third party "partners" need to worry about being “victims
of NSA surveillance,” because of negative “trust”
relationships they will have with the US based on economic
interests, whistleblower Jesselyn Radack, of the Government
Accountability Project told RT.
“The NSA has not only violated the trust of its own citizens
by conducting mass dragnet surveillance on innocent people but
doing it to the innocent populations of the allied nations.”
NSA’s global reach is “completely unnecessary”, because
it destroys diplomacy and undermines economic relations with
other countries. Radack argues the NSA is just gathering
intelligence on people that are suspected of doing
“I think we see these reverberations not just among the 5 eyes
countries, some of whom have been colluding in helping the NSA
gather this data, but we see reverberations worldwide and they
are far reaching, because again, NSA tentacles have been far
reaching” she added.