Posted by: quiscus | May 24, 2010

May 24, 2010

1.  “US agencies have billions, trillions in investments looted from the American public

This is like a juvenile claiming he needs money because his front pants pocket is empty, which he dutifully shows (budget). What he’s not telling you is that his back pockets have over 100 times the money he says he “needs” (shown in various places of the CAFRs). Whenever he’s asked about the money in his back pockets, which he never volunteers in discussing his empty front pocket and never invites for consideration to move some into the front pocket, he says, “Oh, that money is designated for other uses. I can’t touch that.” So far, the silence of corporate media and political leadership from Left and Right has brought us to today. Of course, “I can’t touch that” is a lie of omission because it can be touched the moment policy changes.

Below is Walter Burien’s 10-minute introduction to his video explanation of CAFRs. Walter claims that investments are only the most obvious section where CAFRs reveal hidden public money in plain sight; other areas include advanced forward liabilities accounts (overestimates and/or retained money for far-distant projects), states buying their own debt, profits from state-run enterprises (like recycling), and possible other areas requiring full and independent audits to discover.”

2.  “Israel offered Nukes to Racist South Africa for Use on Black Neighbors

The Guardian reports on findings of historian Sasha Polakow-Suransky in the South African archives demonstrating that Israel offered Praetoria nuclear weapons in 1975. The documents are detailed in Polakow-Suransky’s book, The Unspoken Alliance: Israel’s Secret Relationship with Apartheid South Africa. The relevant memos and minutes are reproduced by The Guardian here.

The White South African government appears to have wanted to buy Israeli nuclear-tipped missiles for potential use against Black African neighbors such as Angola, Botswana, Zambia and (at certain points) Mozambique– countries against which the rogue regime often launched cross-border raids.

The Israel-South Africa partnership even extended to having the Anti-Defamation League, supposedly a civil rights organization fighting anti-Semitism, spy on and play dirty tricks on organizations and individuals in San Francisco who supported Palestinians or who opposed South African Apartheid.

The embarrassment is compounded by the increasing similarities between South African policies toward Black Africans and Israeli policies toward Palestinians. There is a sense in which Gaza and the West Bank have become much like the “homelands” created for denaturalized South Africans, making them foreigners in their own country and requiring that they carry papers at all times.

But it is not clear that even the South African Apartheid regime imposed anything as cruel as the Israeli siege and blockade of the Gaza Strip.

3. “The Bush Adminstration’s Department of Justice Sheltered BP Executives From Criminal Probe

EPA criminal investigator Scott West spent thousands of hours investigating alleged crimes committed by BP — that would have resulted in felony charges — but President Bush’s DoJ abruptly shut his investigation down, sheltering BP executives from prison

Tensions between the Obama administration and the scientific community over the Gulf oil spill are reportedly escalating — prominent oceanographers are accusing the government of failing to conduct an adequate scientific analysis of the damage and of allowing BP to obscure the true scope of the spill. It’s not the first time the government has protected BP and its executives.
To Scott West, the special agent-in-charge at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Criminal Investigation Division who was probing alleged crimes committed by British Petroleum (BP) and the company’s senior officials in connection with a March 2006 pipeline rupture at the company’s Prudhoe Bay Operations in Alaska that spilled more than a quarter million gallons of crude — the second largest spill in Alaska’s history that went undetected for nearly a week — BP reportedly stands for ‘beyond prosecution.’
West spent thousands of hours investigating the alleged crimes committed by BP and figured his investigation would result in felony charges against BP and the company’s senior executives who ignored warnings from dozens of BP’s employees who worked at the Alaska facility. West, who spent nearly two decades in the EPA’s criminal division, was told the pipeline would rupture six months before it happened.
Before being able to bring felony charges against BP and its executives, President Bush’s Department of Justice (DoJ) abruptly shut down his investigation in August 2007 and gave BP a ‘slap on the wrist’ for serious environmental crimes that should have sent some BP executives to prison.”

4.  “Israeli Think Tank Calls for Sabotaging “Delegitimizers” of Israeli Government– but Admits They Have a Point

While a report by a highly respected Israeli think tank has been widely condemned [1] for advocating that the Israeli government use its intelligence services to attack and sabotage non-violent human rights advocates, the report is worth detailed study because it is chock full of admissions of illegitimate features of the Israeli government it desperately seeks to protect. ”

5.  “The absence of debate over war

Everyone from the Founders to George Orwell thought (and hoped) that the massive societal costs which wars impose would be a deterrent to their being fought, but, given the types of wars the U.S. chooses to wage, most Americans who express their “support” for them bear absolutely no perceived cost whatsoever.  Worse, many who cheer for our wars enjoy that most intoxicating and distorting reward:  cost-free benefits, in the form of vicarious feelings of strength, purpose, nobility and the like, all from a safe distance.  It’s very difficult to generate attention for political issues that Americans fail to perceive so directly and tangibly affect them — that’s why the failing economy receives so much attention and our various wars (and civil liberties erosions) do not.

Then there’s the lack of partisan division over these wars.  During the Bush presidency, war debates raged because those wars — especially the Iraq war — were a GOP liability and a Democratic Party asset.  Anger over the Iraq War drove the Democratic takeover of Congress in 2006 and Obama’s election in 2008 (though it did not drive the end of the war).  But now, America’s wars are no longer Republican wars; they’re Democratic wars as well.  Both parties are thus vested in their defense, which guts any real debate or opposition.  Very few Republicans are going to speak ill of wars which their party started and continued for years, and very few Democrats are going to malign wars which their President is now prosecuting.

But the most significant factor in understanding this lack of debate is the fact that “war” is not some aberrational, temporary state of affairs for the country.  It’s the opposite.  Thanks to Fred Hiatt and his friends, war is basically the permanent American condition:  war is who we are and what we do as a nation.  We’re essentially a war fighting state.  We have been at “war” the entire last decade (as well as largley non-stop for the decades which preceded it), and continue now to be at “war” with no end in sight.  That’s clearly true of our specific wars (in Afghanistan).  And, worse, the way in which The War, more broadly, has been defined (i.e., against Islamic extremism/those who wish to harm Americans) makes it highly likely that it will never end in our lifetime.  The decree that we are “at war” has been repeated over and over for a full decade, drumbed into our heads from all directions without pause, sanctified as one of those Bipartisan Orthodoxies that nobody can dispute upon pain of having one’s Seriousness credentials immediately and irrevocably revoked.  With war this normalized, is it really surprising that nobody debates it any longer?  It’d be like debating the color of the sky.

That’s why I always find the War Excuse for anything the Government does so baffling and nonsensical.  Any objections one voices to what the Executive Branch does — indefinite detentions, presidential assassinations of citizens, extreme secrecy, etc. — will be met with the justification that such actions are permissible “during wartime,” as though “wartime” is some special, temporary, fleeting state of affairs which necessitates vesting powers in the government which, during “normal” times, would be impermissible.

But the contrast between “war and “normal times” is totally illusory.  For the United States, war is normalcy.  The “war” we’re fighting has been defined and designed to be virtually endless.  Political leaders from both parties have been explicit about that.

With both political parties affirming over and over that we are going to be at “war” for years, indeed decades, it’s unsurprising that so few people are interested in debating “war.”  That’s true even for the limited question of Afghanistan, where most Republicans won’t question a war their President began and most Democrats won’t question a war their President has vigorously embraced as his own.  From the perspective of the permanent factions that rule Washington — from Wall Street and AIPAC to the intelligence and military “communities” — therein lies the beauty of the two-party system:  as long as both party establishments support a particular policy, any meaningful debate over it comes to a grinding halt.”

6.  Of course:

Tea Party Candidates Are Owned By Israel?
Rand Paul and Israel


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