Posted by: quiscus | July 5, 2010

July 5, 2010

1.  “Bill Kristol Must Resign!

Chairman Steele was absolutely correct in his remarks on the futile crusade to conquer Afghanistan, and I don’t care how many retractions and apologies he’s forced to make: his words reflect the feelings of countless Republicans, and the majority of Americans. War weariness is not a partisan phenomenon: we all feel it, Republicans and Democrats, conservatives and liberals alike. As it gathers force and weight, hanging like a dark cloud over a political landscape that is increasingly littered with the prone bodies of incumbent politicians, the GOP leadership ought to think twice before they hand the reins over to losers like Bill Kristol and Liz Cheney.

The entire political Establishment, from the right-wing neocons at the Weekly Standard to the left-neocons at The New Republic, is uniting around a “hate Michael Steele” campaign. I’ve never been a Steele fan until now, but anyone who can provoke such enmity from such a wide variety of creeps and cretins deserves to be supported to the hilt.”

2.  “In the Religion of 100% Americanism, Ignorance is Strength

In the neocon view of the world, the United States is the only country in the world whose people and political leadership should be incapable of rational self-interest.  For America, alone among the peoples of the world, rationally considering the consequences of the U.S. government’s foreign policy and adjusting that policy accordingly constitutes “defeatism.”

Apparently it’s never occurred to Kristol that, in the event of an American attack on Iran, the Iranian leadership would see itself as Chamberlain in the Munich scenario, and attempt to punish aggression as harshly as possible in order to deter further attacks — or that the Iranian people would rally around their flag in exactly the same mindlessly uncritical, gullible fashion as their Nascar-attending, Toby Keith-listening counterparts in the U.S.

To be a good American, you must be stupid.  If you think, the terrorists have won.

Maybe that’s what Liz Cheney means by “American exceptionalism.”

3.  “New Eugenics and the Rise of the Global Scientific Dictatorship

In 1967, Dr. Martin Luther King delivered one of his most moving and important speeches, “Beyond Vietnam,” in which he spoke out against war and empire. He left humanity with sobering words:

I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin the shift from a “thing-oriented” society to a “person-oriented” society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.”

4.  “Obama’s Expanded Military Spying and Torture Network

As psychologist Jeffrey Kaye and investigative journalist H.P. Albarelli revealed in a recent piece at Truthout, the mind-control legacy of the CIA’s Project ARTICHOKE is alive and well at Bagram’s “black prison.” Kaye and Albarelli write that “interest in the use of drugs and mind control techniques in military research and operations persists to the present day. A November 2006 instruction from the Secretary of the Navy (3900.39D) informs that the Undersecretary for the Navy would heretofore be the ‘Approval Authority for research involving: (a) Severe or unusual intrusions, either physical or psychological, on human subjects (such as consciousness-altering drugs or mind-control techniques)’.”

“Techniques” that most certainly have been employed at Bagram Air Base under DCHC’s baleful watch. Legal scholar and Harper’s Magazine columnist, Scott Horton adds that a top APA “research scientist,” Susan Brandon, “who worked in the Bush Administration’s White House Office of Social and Behavioral Sciences … had dealings with interrogation policy. She now works for the Defense Intelligence Agency’s (DIA), Defense Counterintelligence and Human Intelligence Center (DCHC).”

As America’s imperial wars and occupations bog down and the bodies pile up, as unemployment and home foreclosures sky rocket, and as the Gulf of Mexico is transformed into a vast aquatic dead zone courtesy of BP and their friends in Washington, is it intemperate of me to ask Obama fans: “How’s that hopey-changey thing working out for ya?”

5.  “The BP/Government police state

Last week, I interviewed Mother Jones‘ Mac McClelland, who has been covering the BP oil spill in the Gulf since the first day it happened.  She detailed how local police and federal officials work with BP to harass, impede, interrogate and even detain journalists who are covering the impact of the spill and the clean-up efforts.  She documented one incident which was particularly chilling of an activist who — after being told by a local police officer to stop filming a BP facility because “BP didn’t want him filming” — was then pulled over after he left by that officer so he could be interrogated by a BP security official.  McClelland also described how BP has virtually bought entire Police Departments which now do its bidding:  “One parish has 57 extra shifts per week that they are devoting entirely to, basically, BP security detail, and BP is paying the sheriff’s office.”

The very idea that government officials are acting as agents of BP (of all companies) in what clearly seem to be unconstitutional acts to intimidate and impede the media is infuriating.  Obviously, the U.S. Government and BP share the same interest — preventing the public from knowing the magnitude of the spill and the inadequacy of the clean-up efforts — but this creepy police state behavior is intolerable.  In this latest case, the journalists were not even focused on the spill itself, but on BP’s other potentially reckless behavior with other refineries, and yet there are DHS agents and local police officials acting as BP’s personal muscle to detain, interrogate, and threaten a photographer.  BP’s destructive conduct, and the government’s complicity, have slowly faded from public attention, and there clearly seem to be multiple levels of law enforcement devoted to keeping it that way, no matter how plainly illegal their tactics are.

We’ve frequently heard excuses that the Federal Government has little power to do anything to BP, but they certainly seem to have ample power to do a great deal for them.  Public indifference about such things is the by-product of those who walk around like drones repeating the mantra that political officials know what’s best about what must be kept secret, and that the Threat of Terrorism (which is what is exploited to justify such acts) means we must meekly acquiesce to such powers in the name of Staying Safe.”


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