Friday, December 3, 2010

WikiLeaks is holding US global power to account

The WikiLeaks avalanche has exposed floundering imperial rule to scrutiny – and its reliance on dictatorship and deceit

Seumas Milne, Wednesday 1 December 2010 22.14 GMT WikiLeaks' disclosure of 250,000 US embassy cables have exposed an overstretched imperial system at work.

Official America's reaction to the largest leak of confidential government files in history is tipping over towards derangement. What the White House initially denounced as a life-threatening "criminal" act and Hillary Clinton branded an "attack on the international community" has been taken a menacing stage further by the newly emboldened Republican right.

WikiLeaks' release of 250,000 United States embassy cables – shared with the Guardian and other international newspapers – was an act of terrorism, congressman Peter King declared. Sarah Palin called for its founder Julian Assange to be hunted down as an "anti-American operative with blood on his hands", while former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee has demanded that whoever leaked the files should be executed for treason.

Not much truck with freedom of information, then, in the land of the free. In reality, most of the leaked material is fairly low-level diplomatic gossip, which naturally reflects the US government's view of the world, and crucially doesn't include reports with the highest security classification.

When it comes to actual criminality and blood, nothing quite matches WikiLeaks' earlier revelations about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, with their chilling records of US collusion with industrial-scale torture and death squads, and killings of Afghan civilians by rampaging Nato troops.

Nor, of course, is what US diplomats write necessarily true. But beyond the dispatches on Prince Andrew's crass follies and Colonel Gaddafi's "weirdness", the leaks do paint a revealing picture of an overstretched imperial system at work, as its emissaries struggle to keep satraps in line and enemies at bay.

Much has been made of the appalling damage supposedly done to the delicate business of diplomacy. No doubt the back channels will survive the shock of daylight. But in any case the United States is the centre of a global empire, a state with a military presence in most countries which arrogates to itself the role of world leader and policeman.

When genuine checks on how it exercises that entirely undemocratic power are so weak at home, let alone in the rest of the world it still dominates, it's both inevitable and right that people everywhere will try to find ways to challenge and hold it to account.

After the Russian revolution, the secret tsarist treaties with Britain and France were published to expose and challenge the colonial carve-ups of the day. In the 1970s, the publication of the Pentagon papers cut the ground from beneath the US case for the Vietnam war. Now technology is allowing such exposures on a far grander scale.

Clinton complained this week that the leaks "tore at the fabric" of government and good relations between states. Far more damaging is her own instruction to ordinary US diplomats to violate the treaties the US government has itself signed and spy on UN officials, along with any other public figure they happen to meet: down to their credit card details, biometric records – and even frequent-flyer account numbers.

Not surprisingly, US allies and client states come out badly from the leaks. The British government is once again shown to kowtow to US demands for no gain, first promising to "put measures in place" to protect American interests in the Iraq war inquiry, and then colluding in a plan to deceive parliament and allow the US to keep banned cluster-bombs in its bases on Diego Garcia (in exchange for which Gordon Brown was firmly rebuffed by the US over the extradition of the British computer hacker Gary McKinnon).

But it is the relentless US mobilisation against Iran that provides the most ominous thread in the leaked despatches. The reports that the king of Saudi Arabia has called on the US to "cut off the head of the snake" and launch what would be a catastrophic attack on Tehran, echoed by his fellow potentates in Jordan, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain – and, of course, most dangerously by Israel
– were yesterday hailed by the Times as evidence of a new "international consensus" against Iran.

It is nothing of the sort. It simply underlines the fact that after more than half a century the US still has to rely on laughably unrepresentative autocracies and dictatorships to shore up its domination of the Middle East and its resources. While Arab emirs and election-rigging presidents fear the influence of Iran and only wearily bring themselves to raise the Palestinians with their imperial sponsors, their people regard Israel and the US itself as the threats to their security and strongly support Iran's nuclear programme – as the most recent US-conducted poll in the region demonstrated.

The confirmation in the cables that US military forces are indeed secretly operating on Pakistan's territory and that Yemen's president Abdullah Saleh felt it necessary to tell General Petraeus this year that he would carry on lying about US military operations against jihadists in his country – "we'll continue saying they are our bombs, not yours" – only emphasises how weak and illegitimate US props and allies are across the Muslim world.

But it's those who have helped to expose such lethal campaigns who are now charged with "putting lives at risk". Assange is threatened with ever more dire retribution and Bradley Manning, the 23-year-old US army intelligence analyst accused of leaking the Iraq, Afghanistan and diplomatic cables is already facing up to 52 years in prison. Meanwhile the aircrews of two US Apache helicopters who killed a dozen unarmed civilians in Iraq in 2007 as they laughed and crowed – the video of which Manning is alleged to have leaked – were commended by US central command for their "sound judgment".

Manning is reported to have said that the latest leaks show how "the first world exploits the third". But they also cast a powerful light on how the US empire has begun to flounder as the post-cold war unipolar moment has passed, former dependable client states like Turkey go their own way and independent regional powers such as China start to make their global presence felt.

By making available Washington's own account of its international dealings WikiLeaks has opened some of the institutions of global power to scrutiny and performed a democratic service in the process. Its next target is said to be the leviathan of the banks – bring it on.

Obama Adiministration Pressured Spain to Kill Bush Torture Probe

Obama and GOPer's Worked Together to Kill Bush Torture Probe

A WikiLeaks cable shows that when Spain considered a criminal case against ex-Bush officials, the Obama White House and Republicans got really bipartisan.

By David Corn

December 02, 2010 "Mother Jones" Dec, 01, 2010 --In its first months in office, the Obama administration sought to protect Bush administration officials facing criminal investigation overseas for their involvement in establishing policies the that governed interrogations of detained terrorist suspects. A "confidential" April 17, 2009, cable sent from the US embassy in Madrid to the State Department—one of the 251,287 cables obtained by WikiLeaks—details how the Obama administration, working with Republicans, leaned on Spain to derail this potential prosecution.

The previous month, a Spanish human rights group called the Association for the Dignity of Spanish Prisoners had requested that Spain's National Court indict six former Bush officials for, as the cable describes it, "creating a legal framework that allegedly permitted torture." The six were former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales; David Addington, former chief of staff and legal adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney; William Haynes, the Pentagon's former general counsel; Douglas Feith, former undersecretary of defense for policy; Jay Bybee, former head of the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel; and John Yoo, a former official in the Office of Legal Counsel. The human rights group contended that Spain had a duty to open an investigation under the nation's "universal jurisdiction" law, which permits its legal system to prosecute overseas human rights crimes involving Spanish citizens and residents. Five Guantanamo detainees, the group maintained, fit that criteria.

Soon after the request was made, the US embassy in Madrid began tracking the matter. On April 1, embassy officials spoke with chief prosecutor Javier Zaragoza, who indicated that he was not pleased to have been handed this case, but he believed that the complaint appeared to be well-documented and he'd have to pursue it. Around that time, the acting deputy chief of the US embassy talked to the chief of staff for Spain's foreign minister and a senior official in the Spanish Ministry of Justice to convey, as the cable says, "that this was a very serious matter for the USG." The two Spaniards "expressed their concern at the case but stressed the independence of the Spanish judiciary."

Two weeks later, Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) and the embassy's charge d'affaires "raised the issue" with another official at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The next day, Zaragoza informed the US embassy that the complaint might not be legally sound. He noted he would ask Cándido Conde-Pumpido, Spain's attorney general, to review whether Spain had jurisdiction.

On April 15, Sen. Mel Martinez (R-Fla.), who'd recently been chairman of the Republican Party, and the US embassy's charge d'affaires met with the acting Spanish foreign minister, Angel Lossada. The Americans, according to this cable, "underscored that the prosecutions would not be understood or accepted in the US and would have an enormous impact on the bilateral relationship" between Spain and the United States. Here was a former head of the GOP and a representative of a new Democratic administration (headed by a president who had decried the Bush-Cheney administration's use of torture) jointly applying pressure on Spain to kill the investigation of the former Bush officials. Lossada replied that the independence of the Spanish judiciary had to be respected, but he added that the government would send a message to the attorney general that it did not favor prosecuting this case.

The next day, April 16, 2009, Attorney General Conde-Pumpido publicly declared that he would not support the criminal complaint, calling it "fraudulent" and political. If the Bush officials had acted criminally, he said, then a case should be filed in the United States. On April 17, the prosecutors of the National Court filed a report asking that complaint be discontinued. In the April 17 cable, the American embassy in Madrid claimed some credit for Conde-Pumpido's opposition, noting that "Conde-Pumpido's public announcement follows outreach to [Government of Spain] officials to raise USG deep concerns on the implications of this case."

Still, this did not end the matter. It would still be up to investigating Judge Baltasar Garzón—a world-renowned jurist who had initiated previous prosecutions of war crimes and had publicly said that former President George W. Bush ought to be tried for war crimes—to decide whether to pursue the case against the six former Bush officials. That June—coincidentally or not—the Spanish Parliament passed legislation narrowing the use of "universal jurisdiction." Still, in September 2009, Judge Garzón pushed ahead with the case.

The case eventually came to be overseen by another judge who last spring asked the parties behind the complaint to explain why the investigation should continue. Several human rights groups filed a brief urging this judge to keep the case alive, citing the Obama administration's failure to prosecute the Bush officials. Since then, there's been no action. The Obama administration essentially got what it wanted. The case of the Bush Six went away.

Back when it seemed that this case could become a major international issue, during an April 14, 2009, White House briefing, I asked press secretary Robert Gibbs if the Obama administration would cooperate with any request from the Spaniards for information and documents related to the Bush Six. He said, "I don't want to get involved in hypotheticals." What he didn't disclose was that the Obama administration, working with Republicans, was actively pressuring the Spaniards to drop the investigation. Those efforts apparently paid off, and, as this WikiLeaks-released cable shows, Gonzales, Haynes, Feith, Bybee, Addington, and Yoo owed Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton thank-you notes.

Retired USAF lieutenant colonel Karen Kwiatkowski on Wikileaks and Growing US Fascism

The Proper Response to WikiLeaks

By Karen Kwiatkowski, PhD HERE...

December 01, 2010 "LRW" -- -President Obama is wrong, and Secretary Clinton is wrong. Those remoras of state at CNN, FOXNews, ABC, NBC, CBS, NPR and many Congressmen are all wet in their frantic response to Cablegate, and Wikileaks in general.

I’ll admit the U.S. government should have been a bit angry about the Wikileaks release over the summer of the 2007 gunship video and narration of a bloody massacre of unarmed Iraqis and reporters. There was nothing redeeming there, no points of light or lessons to be learned. That release fundamentally explained to Americans and others who supported the Iraq invasion and occupation exactly what democracy at the point of a gun looks like. Perhaps the US government wasn’t as upset as it might have been because no one affected by this crime was surprised. Similar massacres, according to soldiers involved in Iraq, were routine and conducted as ordered. The Iraqis, of course, knew this from the beginning.

The Wikileaked Afghanistan reports didn’t indicate much more than the antiwar and the pro-war crowds already knew, and as a result, again, there were no changes in the bleachers of American foreign policy. It’s likely that the Rolling Stone interview with General McCrystal around the same time was more embarrassing to Washington. One wonders why McChrystal has not yet been declared a domestic terrorist. He shared secrets and embarrassed the administration. A case could be made that his pussyfooting around the Afghans (a Special Forces nuance that our good Prussian Petraeus was quick to eliminate) was intentionally designed to help "lose the war" in Afghanistan. Well, give it time.

But Cablegate is different, and the reaction of the ruling class so far ranges from simply demanding Assange’s head on a platter to demanding the Internet be declared a terrorist entity, and destroyed.

Government propagandists proclaim that people will die from this latest release. Unless they mean die laughing, this is quite an overstatement. Government goons, soldiers and bureaucrats in foreign countries will not face a greater threat to their lives, most especially from these cables. What they will face is snickers, chuckles, and outright laughter.

And truly, this is as it should be. When one declares that his robes are the most beautiful, made of the finest silk, so glorious that they compete with the sun – sometimes a little blond-haired boy with a most serious look about him declares that it seems to him that the Emperor has no clothes! And we see, slowly at first, then an unstoppable surge of laughter and finger-pointing by the common people who, for all their ignorance and all their flaws, know enough to put on clothes before going out in public.

The US government shrieks, tone-deaf, of global democracy – but disparages the populist language of Italian officials and declares the elected and popular prime minister there to be unqualified. Yet, this same democracy-loving government enjoys very much its dealings with the evilest of dictators. This hypocrisy has long been a staple of both libertarian and Marxist critiques of US foreign policy, for well over a century. Now it’s out in the open – and it’s kind of funny.

Hillary Clinton approves a State Department-wide command to surreptitiously collect DNA and credit card numbers on UN representatives and other diplomats. This particular case is breathtakingly Nuremburgian. The order Hilary was transmitting was already government policy – the great Diplomat Herself was just following orders. And certainly, any of us common folk who watch enough CSI to be dangerous know that collection of DNA samples with chain of custody procedures that will stand up in court is not something we would automatically trust to a bunch of pinstripers at State. Beyond that, the rest of us who watch COPS know that taking people’s credit card numbers without their knowledge and permission is a crime.

Now that we know what they are trying to do, the proper reaction is to giggle and glance at each other while we check our pockets, handbags, backpacks and satchels for our wallets and watches whenever we find ourselves near a government representative. Of course, air travelers in this country have been doing just that for some time. But the sweet lesson here is that a government goon is a government goon, just following orders, no matter where they buy their suits. Our ability to quickly recognize that government goon is increasingly unifying average Americans, and strengthening us. As our government goonar continues to develop, the game becomes more fun, and funnier. Cablegate improves everyone’s goonar!

There is talk that the data released this week actually helps Israel’s case for a good old-fashioned pre-emptive attack on Iran. Why? Because Saudi Arabia supports it! Well, skyrocketing oil prices certainly would come in handy to the still dollar dependent House of Saud about now, but I digress. Now, if I were the little old US of A thinking about starting one more war with a country I didn’t like, especially given I was dead broke and already a military laughingstock based on past and present performance in Iraq and Afghanistan, listening to what the corrupt, US-dependent ruling class of Saudi Arabia had to say about it would be right up there on my go-to-war-decision-meter. Give the obvious and otherworldly stupidity of our politicians, generals, and diplomats, perhaps the Saudis do tell us what to do, and maybe Wikileaks hearts neocons. A better sense of where the US diplomatic head is at can be gained by reading reports of meetings in Tel Aviv, where the great US stumbles over itself to be inoffensive, seeking simultaneously to be both submissive and warlike when speaking to Israelis. Pathetic little weasels, the lot of them. But their pathetic weaselness cannot be blamed on Julian Assange, no matter how many neocons and other cons declare the problem to be facts in the open, rather than simply the facts.

On a more serious note, beyond the debate on whether to assassinate Assange, blow up the Internet, conduct an unwarranted attack on an NPT signatory that is following the rules, or to continue to ally ourselves with the crazies in Pakistan and Israel, it is important to recognize that fascism of one kind or another is currently embraced by a majority in Congress, and by a large minority across the country. An alert and informed citizenry, valued by presidents from Washington to Eisenhower, is now deemed by D.C. to be a nascent domestic terrorism threat. As the American wholesale subsidy of banks, bullets and butter metastasizes, devouring freedom and wrecking the system, the desperation of the ruling class and those in its employ is palpable. Americans ought to gratefully smile as we review these latest Wikileaks, and we should savor the hilarity. Seeing our government as theatrical stooge, as incompetent popinjay, as naked and embarrassed Emperor, sets the stage well for what comes next.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The American Oligarchy, Civil Rights and the Murder of Martin Luther King

The ‘Foundations’ of Social Control

By Andrew Gavin Marshall
Global Research HERE...
November 30, 2010

Civil Rights and Social Control

As the American civil rights movement emerged in the 1950s, the established American oligarchy, in all its various forms and avenues of influence, set in motion simultaneous attempts to control the evolution of the movement, in order to both divide the movement and its leaders against each other, and also to control its direction. The Civil Rights Movement arose as an independent and people-driven movement in a struggle for black rights in America. In this, the movement presented a great threat to the establishment oligarchy, as historically the subjugation of black people within western society was not merely a result of western policies, but lies at the very foundations and bedrock of western ‘civilization’, politically, socially, and economically. Thus, challenging the segregation of race inevitably challenges the entire political, economic and social system.

The National Security State and its various apparatus, such as the CIA, FBI, police and military structures, saw the Civil Rights Movement as a threat to the status quo (as it was), and treated it as an ‘enemy of the state’. The apparatus of the National Security State were spying, infiltrating and disrupting the civil rights movement, and were ultimately planning for its elimination. Simultaneously, the major philanthropic foundations of America’s richest families and billionaire elites (whose imperial interests are served through the National Security State), moved in to actively fund the Civil Rights Movement, so as to control its progress and make it ‘safe for Capitalism.’ The idea was to prevent the Civil Rights Movement from remaining an organic people-driven movement and taking its natural course, which falls outside the false boundary of the social construct of race, and would seek to unite all oppressed and impoverished people of the world in one struggle against the system, itself. The role of the billionaire philanthropies was to ensure that the ‘Civil Rights Movement’ remained race-based, and that it became about black people being absorbed into and rising within the system, instead of fighting against it. It was about financially co-opting the movement to suit the interests of the ruling oligarchy.

Martin Luther King, the most articulate, intelligent and respected leader of the Civil Rights Movement, was also the most hated by the ruling oligarchy. The wealthy philanthropies attempted to co-opt him, the political establishment attempted to use him and the ‘National Security State’ despised him and hated him. King was tolerated by the oligarchy so long as his focus was on the issue of race, as the oligarchy has always functioned on the basis of ‘divide and conquer’, so ‘identity politics’ – that is, basing political, economic and social views based upon one particular identity you have (whether it is race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, etc) – lends itself to being easily controlled. If everyone adheres to ‘identity politics’, then people will remain divided and the overall power structures of society will remain intact, and actually increase in legitimacy.

When Martin Luther King began speaking about more than race, and openly criticized the entire social structure of empire and economic exploitation, not simply of blacks, but of all people around the world and at home, he posed too great a threat to the oligarchy to tolerate him any longer. It was at this point that the National Security State chose to assassinate Martin Luther King, and the philanthropies greatly expanded their financing of the Civil Rights Movement to ensure that it would be led in their desired direction.

Civil Rights and the National Security State

A Congressional investigation in the 1970s revealed that the FBI, under J. Edgar Hoover, began a program in 1956 called COINTELPRO (Counterintelligence Program), which was “a secret, often illegal FBI campaign of surveillance and sabotage against a wide variety of right-and left-wing groups, including the Ku Klux Klan, the Black Panthers and the Fair Play for Cuba Committee.”[1] Among the key targets of COINTELPRO was the Civil Rights Movement, which largely emerged in 1955 with Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott. The Boycott was organized by a young Baptist minister named Martin Luther King, Jr., who was thrown into the national spotlight as a result:

COINTELPRO involved not only wiretapping, but as the investigation showed, attempts to disrupt, discredit, and defame perceived political radicals. Hoover targeted few figures as relentlessly as Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. The charge, Communist influence in the civil rights movement.[2]

Of particular note, was in August 1963 when King gathered more than a quarter of a million Americans in the march on Washington to champion Civil Rights. Hoover was not amused:

That march spurred Hoover to action. A little more than a month later, the FBI Director petitioned the Attorney General, then Robert F. Kennedy, to approve a wiretap on King's telephone. Kennedy only agreed, according to his attorney Nicholas Katzenbach, in order to protect King.[3]

In fact, in December of 1963, no more than a month after the John F. Kennedy assassination, FBI officials met in Washington to explore ways to “neutralize King as an effective Negro leader.”[4]

When, in 1964, three civil rights workers disappeared, Martin Luther King “publicly questioned whether the FBI had done enough to safeguard the lives of civil rights activists and black citizens. An enraged Hoover then began to publicly denounce King, telling reporters that King was, ‘The most notorious liar in the country’.” Hoover had “decided that Martin Luther King was an enemy to the country.” The FBI then began a massive campaign to discredit King, with the FBI compiling “a tape recording of Reverend King with extra marital lovers.” King was sent a copy with an anonymous note which said, “King, there is only one thing left for you to do. There is but one way out for you. You better take it before your filthy, fraudulent self is bared to the nation,” and “King and his advisors interpreted the note as calling for him to commit suicide.”[5]

Important in understanding the nature of COINTELPRO, is that, “COINTELPRO was not just surveillance, it was active disruption. It was putting agents into the movement to incite rivalries, a jealousy, to try to get people fighting against each other and not trusting each other.”[6]

As a Congressional investigation into the activities of COINTELPRO revealed, “the infiltration of an informant into the top post of the United Klans of America, then largest of several major Ku Klux Klan organizations, was seriously considered in 1967.” Further, “in the early 1970s the leadership of the Black Panthers was so riddled with FBI informants that the bureau virtually ran the organization.”[7]

Even the National Security Agency, the massive intelligence agency that dwarfs the CIA in its size, had begun in the 1960s, compiling a watch list of US citizens whose phone calls were wiretapped. In 1967, “the list was expanded to include the names of U.S. citizens involved in antiwar and civil-rights activities.”[8]

The Civil Rights Act was signed in 1964, which banned discrimination based on “race, color, religion, or national origin” in employment practices and public accommodations. Martin Luther King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize the same year. In 1965, the Voting Rights Act was signed. In 1966, Black Power was created as a group designed to be armed and ready to take on the Ku Klux Klan, and was made most famous by the Black Panther Party.

In April of 1967, Martin Luther King gave a speech entitled, “Beyond Vietnam,” in which he most publicly and famously spoke out against not just the Vietnam War, but all war. He declared that he could not confront the evils of poverty without confronting “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today -- my own government.” King stated, “A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.”[9]

After delivering such a monumental speech against war and empire, King was attacked by the national media; with Life Magazine calling the speech, “demagogic slander that sounded like a script for Radio Hanoi,” and the Washington Post saying that, “King has diminished his usefulness to his cause, his country, his people.”[10]

Martin Luther King was vastly contributing to the use of the apparatus of government in expanding and strengthening the democratic nature of society. This was largely at odds with the aims and methods of the National Security State “secret government,” operating through the realm of ‘deep politics.’ This was particularly prescient as the civil rights movement coalesced with the antiwar movement, posing a significant political threat to the established powers. When King spoke out against the Vietnam War and imperialism, the ‘secret government’ could no longer tolerate him. Protests in the civil rights and antiwar movements were often becoming violent, and prompted violent state responses. In regards to COINTELPRO, “efforts to discredit Reverend King intensified as he began to criticize as he began to criticize the Vietnam War.”[11]

In 1967, “the National Guard was called out twenty-five times to deal with rioting, gunfire, arson, and looting.” In 1968:

The Pentagon took unusual steps to combat civil disturbance. A plan and command, named Operation Garden Plot, was devised for “DOD [Department of Defense] components [that is, U.S. armed forces] to respond to reasonable requests from the FBI for military resources for use in combating acts of terrorism.”[12]

Under Operation Garden Plot, “Military Intelligence – working with the FBI, local county and state police forces – undertook and directed a massive domestic intelligence-gathering operation.” Further, “security forces ranging from Army troops to local police were trained to implement their contingency plans.” The name of this Army task force that took on this operation was the Directorate of Civil Disturbance Planning and Operations.[13] In the Army surveillance of King, as Peter Dale Scott documented:

The 20th Special Forces Group is reported to have used reservists from the Alabama National Guard, who in turn traded arms for intelligence from the Ku Klux Klan. In other words the U.S. Army with these programs, consciously or not, was countering a militant left by building up and arming a militant right.[14]

On April 4, 1968, Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee. The murder was blamed on James Earl Ray, a fugitive who was later arrested in London and extradited to the United States. Even after King’s death, J. Edgar Hoover “continued the campaign to discredit the civil rights leader.”[15]

The King family had for a long time, publicly acknowledged that they believed the accused killer, James Earl Ray, to have been innocent of the crime he was accused. In fact, in 1999, the case was taken to court, in one of the most important, and yet least-widely reported court cases in the last century. O.J. Simpson’s trial became a national issue seared into the collective cultural subconscious, while the trial of the charge of government conspiracy in the murder of Martin Luther King, received barely a whisper of attention. The jury at the trial concluded that:

Loyd Jowers, owner of Jim’s Grill, had participated in a conspiracy to kill King, a conspiracy that included J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI, Richard Helms and the CIA, the military, the Memphis Police Department (MPD), and organized crime. That verdict exonerated James Earl Ray who had already died in prison.[16]

Upon the announcement of the verdict, Coretta Scott King, Martin Luther King’s widow, said, “There is abundant evidence of a major high level conspiracy in the assassination of my husband, Martin Luther King, Jr. And the civil court's unanimous verdict has validated our belief.” She continued:

The jury was clearly convinced by the extensive evidence that was presented during the trial that, in addition to Mr. Jowers, the conspiracy of the Mafia, local, state and federal government agencies, were deeply involved in the assassination of my husband. The jury also affirmed overwhelming evidence that identified someone else, not James Earl Ray, as the shooter, and that Mr. Ray was set up to take the blame.[17]

William Pepper, the lawyer for the King family who took the case to trial, and who was previously the lawyer for James Earl Ray, spoke upon the final verdict of the jury. He stated that Martin Luther King:

took on those forces, powerful economic forces that dominated politics in this land, they killed him. He was killed because he could not be stopped. He was killed because they feared that half a million people would rise in revolution in the capitol of this country, and do what Mr. Jefferson said needed to be done every 20 years, to cleanse this land. This land has not been cleansed. This nation has not faced the problems that Martin Luther King, Jr. died trying to face and confront. They still exist today, the forces of evil, the powerful economic forces that dominate the government of this land and make money on war and deprive the poor of what is their right, their birthright. They still abound and they rule.[18]

As it was revealed at the trial:

Members of the Army’s 111th Military Intelligence Group, based at Fort McPherson in Atlanta, Georgia, had come to Memphis and were keeping King under 24 hour a day surveillance.[19]

William Pepper, the lawyer for the King family, later wrote a book on the trial and the evidence for the assassination, titled, “An Act of State: The Execution of Martin Luther King.” In it, he lays out the evidence:

of how Martin Luther King was killed, not by James Ray, a bumbling patsy, but by a Memphis policeman in league with the Mafia, backed by soldiers -- some armed with high-powered rifles, others with cameras to film the event -- in a special Military Intelligence unit.[20]

Judge Joe Brown had presided over James Earl Ray’s final appeal of his conviction, which thrust him into the national spotlight. It was out of this that he got the job to host the television court program, “Judge Joe Brown.” However, he continued to speak out on matters of the Martin Luther King assassination. Brown has publicly stated that James Earl Ray did not shoot King, and that, “Dr. King was shot with an M-21, which is a specially accurized edition of the M-14 semi-automatic weapon that the military used.”[21]

Following the assassination of Martin Luther King on April 4, 1968, the Pentagon’s Directorate of Civil Disturbance Planning and Operations emerged “during the massive rioting that broke out in black ghettos of nineteen cities after the assassination.” The headquarters of the Directorate was in the basement of the Pentagon, in “the domestic war room.” As Peter Dale Scott explained:

In effect, plans and programs were being established to institutionalize martial law on a long-term or even permanent basis. A number of steps were taken toward eroding the prohibition, established in the Posse Comitatus Act of 1876, against the ongoing use of the army in civilian law enforcement.[22]

The military intelligence operation “was supplemented at various stages by the CIA, the Secret Service, the Internal Revenue Service, and the National Security Administration.”[23] By 1968:

many Justice Department personnel knew that the military was preparing to move in massively if needed to quash urban riots, and some officials feared the development of a large national military riot force. It was well known among top officials that the Department of Defense was spending far more funds than the Justice Department on civil disorder preparations indicative of the growing trend at the federal level toward repression and control of the urban black rioters.[24]

A US Senator later “revealed that Military Intelligence had established an intricate surveillance system covering hundreds of thousands of American citizens.” Further:

At first, the Garden Plot exercises focused primarily on racial conflict. But beginning in 1970, the scenarios took a different twist. The joint teams, made up of cops, soldiers and spies, began practicing battle with large groups of protesters...

As time went on, "Garden Plot evolved into a series of annual training exercises based on contingency plans to undercut riots and demonstrations, ultimately developed for every major city in the United States. Participants in the exercises included key officials from all law enforcement agencies in the nation, as well as the National Guard, the military, and representatives of the intelligence community.[25]

Garden Plot oversaw suppression of antiwar and civil rights protests and riots from the 1960s into the 1970s, having been called to a variety of cities over that period of time. Following the assassination of Martin Luther King, Senator Robert F. Kennedy, who was, at the time, campaigning for the presidency, broke the news to a large gathering of African Americans in Indianapolis, Indiana. He spoke, not of campaign issues, but of the man and ideas that King was and represented:

What we need in the United States is not division; what we need in the United States is not hatred; what we need in the United States is not violence and lawlessness, but is love, and wisdom, and compassion toward one another, and a feeling of justice toward those who still suffer within our country, whether they be white or whether they be black.[26]

The Billionaire Oligarchy and the Civil Rights Movement

The major philanthropic foundations of America (primarily the Rockefeller Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation, and a host of others), represent the interests of the most highly concentrated sources of power in the world. The foundations are run by and for major elite interests, who simultaneously control the economic and political apparatus of entire nations and the world economy. The foundations were founded in the early 20th century as a means of these same elites to steer social progress, and ultimately undertake projects of social engineering. It was these very same foundations that were the principle financiers of the eugenics movement, which gave birth to scientific racism and ultimately led to the Holocaust.[27] In short, these foundations had one principle aim: to socially engineer society according to the wishes of their owners. Through the banks and corporations these elites owned, they came to dominate the global economy. Through the think tanks they established, they steered politics and imperial foreign policy, and through the foundations, they engineered ‘culture’ and co-opted social movements into social engineering projects. Thus, every threat to the established social order would become an asset in its advancement and legitimization.

In the 1950s, the Ford Foundation began taking an interest in the Civil Rights movement, and after convening a study on how to “improve race relations,” the Ford Foundation began giving grants to black colleges “to improve the quality of their educational offerings.”[28] By 1966, the Civil Rights movement was one of the major areas of Ford Foundation funding. Against the backdrop of the summer of 1966 in which there were 43 “urban disorders” (riots in ghettos), which had been “precipitated by confrontations between blacks and the police,” the Ford Foundation announced that it would “direct significant resources to the social justice area.” Among the aims of the Foundation were: “to improve leadership and programming within minority organizations; to explore approaches to better race relations; to support policy-oriented research on race and poverty; to promote housing integration; and to increase the availability of legal resources through support of litigating organizations and minority law students.”[29]

There was a transformation between 1966 and 1967 of the notion of ‘black power’, which was increasingly viewed by elites and ‘authorities’, such as J. Edgar Hoover of the FBI, as “the beginning of a true black revolution.” Many advocates of ‘black power’ saw it as the beginnings of a revolt against “white western imperialist” America.[30]

The problem for elites was in having such prolific and anti-establishment leaders of social change movements. King was accepted by the established powers, although very reluctantly, as it was a political necessity to support him unless one wanted to risk a revolution. However, when King moved against not only the issue of racial inequality, but the issues of poverty and imperialism, and drawing the connections between these areas and building opposition to them, King could no longer be tolerated by the established powers. Thus, they killed him. King, who was without a doubt, the leader of the Civil Rights movement, was, in his last year, steering the Civil Rights movement against poverty and empire. This would have been the natural progression of the Civil Rights movement had King lived longer, fighting for the rights of all people around the world and at home, and aiming to unite them all under a common cause of liberation against systemic oppression. This was simply too much for the oligarchy to accept, and thus King was killed. With King gone, the movement lent itself to be more easily steered in “safer” directions.

The Civil Rights movement was originally “launched by indigenous leadership and primarily mobilized the southern black community.” Thus, it was essential for large foundation funding of the movement, to effectively control its direction and impetus. This “elite involvement would seem to occur only as a response to the threat posed by the generation of a mass-based social movement.” The major foundations “supported the moderate civil rights organizations in response to the ‘radical flank’ threat of the militants, while non-elites (churches, unions and small individual donors) spread their support evenly.”[31] Elite patronage of the Civil Rights movement “diverted leaders from indigenous organizing and exacerbated inter-organizational rivalries, thereby promoting movement decay.”[32]

Foundation funding for civil rights did not become significant until 1961-62, five years after the Birmingham bus boycott, and the peak of foundation support for civil rights was in 1972-73, four to five years after the assassination of King.[33] This indicated that foundation grants to civil rights were ‘reactive’, in that they were designed in response to changes in the movement itself, implying that foundation patronage was aimed at social control. Further, most grants went to professionalized social movement organizations (SMOs) and in particular, the NAACP. While the professional SMOs initiated only 14% of movement actions, they accounted for 57% of foundation grants, while the classical SMOs, having carried out roughly 36% of movement actions, received roughly 32% of foundation grants. This disparity grew with time, so that by the 1970s, the classical SMOs garnered 25% of grants and the professional SMOs received nearly 70% of grants. Principally, the NAACP and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund were the most endowed with foundation support.[34] Many of the foundations subsequently became “centrally involved in the formulation of national social policy and responded to elite concerns about the riots.”[35]

It became clear that the older, established and moderate organizations received the most outside funding, such as the National Urban League, the NAACP and the Legal Defense and Educational Fund.[36] As the black struggles of the 1960s increasingly grew militant and activist-oriented in the latter half of the 1960s, “foundation contributions became major sources of income for the National Urban League, the Southern Regional Council, and the Legal Defense and Educational Fund.”[37]

The NAACP and the National Urban League represent the more moderate civil rights organizations, as they were also the oldest, with membership primarily made up of middle class African Americans, leading to many, including King himself, to suggest they were disconnected from the reality or in representing poor blacks in America.[38] The radicalization of the black protest movement led to the emergence of challenges to the NAACP and Urban League in being the ‘leaders’ in civil rights, as new organizations emerged which represented a broader array of the black population. Among them were the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), which Martin Luther King led. Foundations increased funding for all of these organizations, but as activism and militancy accelerated in the latter half of the 1960s, the funding declined for the more radical, militant and activist organizations and increased dramatically for the established and moderate organizations. This trend continued going into the 1970s.

In 1967, Martin Luther King’s SCLC received $230,000 from the Ford Foundation, yet after his assassination, the organization received no more funding and virtually fell to pieces. That same year, the Ford Foundation gave the NAACP $300,000, and gave the Urban League $585,000. The Rockefeller Foundation granted the League $650,000, with the Carnegie Corporation coming in with $200,000. The Ford Foundation also gave the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) $175,000 in 1967.[39]

In 1968, with the SCLC out of the picture, Ford increased funding for CORE to $300,000, increased grants to the NAACP to $378,000, and gave the Urban League a monumental grant of $1,480,000. The same year, the Rockefeller Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation gave the NAACP $500,000 and $200,000 respectively. Clearly, the foundations were supporting the older established and moderate organizations over the new, young and activist/radical organizations. From the following year, 1969, CORE received no more grants from foundations, while the Ford, Rockefeller and Carnegie foundations increased their grants to the NAACP and the Urban League. In 1974, the NAACP received grants of $950,000 from the Ford Foundation, $250,000 from the Rockefeller Foundation, and $200,000 from the Carnegie Corporation. The Urban League received grants of $2,350,000 from the Ford Foundation and $350,000 from the Rockefeller Foundation.[40]

This co-optation of the civil rights movement was so vital to these elite interests for the principle reason of the movement taking its natural course, out of an ethnic or race-based focus and into a class and global social focus. A. Philip Randolph, a civil rights leader, spoke in 1963 at an ALF-CIO convention at which he stated, “The Negro’s protest today is but the first rumbling of the ‘under-class.’ As the Negro has taken to the streets, so will the unemployed of all races take to the streets.”[41] This was clearly the sentiment of Martin Luther King in 1967, when he spoke of how poverty, empire, war and economic exploitation are faced not simply by one race or one people, but all people, everywhere. It was an issue and an approach and a natural progression from the civil rights movement, coupled with the anti-war movement, which would ultimately unite all people against the prevailing imperial structures and ideas.

In 1970, pamphlets were circulating in which it was said that the black woman “allies herself with the have-nots in the wider world and their revolutionary struggles.” While in the past, wrote Patricia Robinson in one pamphlet, the poor black woman did not “question the social and economic system,” now she must, and “she has begun to question aggressive male domination and the class society which enforces it, capitalism.”[42]

Ultimately, the methods, amounts and sources of elite financing for civil rights organizations had the desired effects. The strategy for civil rights became integration and reform, not agitation and revolution. The distinctly anti-capitalist sentiments of many in the civil rights movement, as well as exponentially increasing criticisms of American imperialism and campaigns against poverty, not simply as a racial issue, but as social and class issues, all ceased to accelerate and advance. From this point on, civil rights procedures took a distinctly institutionalized approach, preferring the legal route rather than the activist route. The legal route was instrumental in advancing notions of black integration into the system (ex: ‘affirmative action’), as opposed to black activist-inspired reorganization or revolution of the system. In this sense, the major foundations had the effect of co-opting one of the most promising social movements in recent history, so that it did not negatively damage the prevailing systems and structures of power, and instead, focused on ‘reforming’ appearance rather than substance, so that blacks can be included within the system, thus removing the impetus for them to fight against it.

Elite Ideology: Social Movements are “Dangerous” to Democracy

It is important to briefly address some of the institutional ideologies of the elite, so as to understand their motivations for co-optation of social movements and their preference and proclivity for social engineering.

In 1970, David Rockefeller became Chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations, while also being Chairman and CEO of Chase Manhattan. In 1970, an academic who joined the Council on Foreign Relations in 1965 wrote a book called Between Two Ages: America’s Role in the Technetronic Era. The author, Zbigniew Brzezinski, called for the formation of “A Community of the Developed Nations,” consisting of Western Europe, the United States and Japan. Brzezinski wrote about how “the traditional sovereignty of nation states is becoming increasingly unglued as transnational forces such as multinational corporations, banks, and international organizations play a larger and larger role in shaping global politics.” David Rockefeller had taken note of Brzezinski’s writings, and was “getting worried about the deteriorating relations between the U.S., Europe, and Japan,” as a result of Nixon’s economic shocks. In 1972, David Rockefeller and Brzezinski “presented the idea of a trilateral grouping at the annual Bilderberg meeting.” In July of 1972, seventeen powerful people met at David Rockefeller’s estate in New York to plan for the creation of the Commission. Also at the meeting was Brzezinski, McGeorge Bundy, the President of the Ford Foundation, (brother of William Bundy, editor of Foreign Affairs) and Bayless Manning, President of the Council on Foreign Relations.[43] So, in 1973, the Trilateral Commission was formed to address these issues.

The Commission’s major concerns were to preserve for the “industrialized societies,” in other words, seek mutual gain for the Trilateral nations, and to construct “a common approach to the needs and demands of the poorer nations.” However, this should be read as, “constructing a common approach to [dealing with] poorer nations.” As well as this, the Commission would undertake “the coordination of defense policies and of policies toward such highly politicized issues as nuclear proliferation, terrorism, and aerial hijacking, and such highly politicized geographic areas as the Middle East or Southern Africa.”[44]

In 1975, the Trilateral Commission published a Task Force Report entitled, “The Crisis of Democracy,” of which one of the principal authors was Samuel Huntington, a political scientist and close associate and friend of Zbigniew Brzezinski. In this report, Huntington argues that the 1960s saw a surge in democracy in America, with an upswing in citizen participation, often “in the form of marches, demonstrations, protest movements, and ‘cause’ organizations.”[45] Further, “the 1960s also saw a reassertion of the primacy of equality as a goal in social, economic, and political life.”[46] Huntington analyzed how as part of this “democratic surge,” statistics showed that throughout the 1960s and into the early 1970s, there was a dramatic increase in the percentage of people who felt the United States was spending too much on defense (from 18% in 1960 to 52% in 1969, largely due to the Vietnam War).[47]

Huntington wrote that the “essence of the democratic surge of the 1960s was a general challenge to existing systems of authority, public and private,” and that, “people no longer felt the same compulsion to obey those whom they had previously considered superior to themselves in age, rank, status, expertise, character, or talents.” Huntington explained that in the 1960s, “hierarchy, expertise, and wealth” had come “under heavy attack.”[48] He stated that three key issues which were central to the increased political participation in the 1960s were:

social issues, such as use of drugs, civil liberties, and the role of women; racial issues, involving integration, busing, government aid to minority groups, and urban riots; military issues, involving primarily, of course, the war in Vietnam but also the draft, military spending, military aid programs, and the role of the military-industrial complex more generally.[49]

Huntington presented these issues, essentially, as the “crisis of democracy,” in that they increased distrust with the government and authority, that they led to social and ideological polarization, and led to a “decline in the authority, status, influence, and effectiveness of the presidency.”[50]

Huntington concluded that many problems of governance in the United States stem from an “excess of democracy,” and that, “the effective operation of a democratic political system usually requires some measure of apathy and noninvolvement on the part of some individuals and groups.” Huntington explained that society has always had “marginal groups” which do not participate in politics, and while acknowledging that the existence of “marginality on the part of some groups is inherently undemocratic,” it has also “enabled democracy to function effectively.” Huntington identifies “the blacks” as one such group that had become politically active, posing a “danger of overloading the political system with demands.”[51]

Huntington, in his conclusion, stated that the vulnerability of democracy, essentially the ‘crisis of democracy,’ comes “from the internal dynamics of democracy itself in a highly educated, mobilized, and participant society,” and that what is needed is “a more balanced existence” in which there are “desirable limits to the indefinite extension of political democracy.”[52] Summed up, the Trilateral Commission Task Force Report essentially explained that the “Crisis of Democracy” is that there is too much of it, and so the ‘solution’ to the crisis, is to have less democracy and more ‘authority’.

This is the principle ideology behind the political, economic and social institutions and apparatus of power: to control people and protect and expand centralized authority. ‘Democracy’ used in this sense simply implies maintaining an ‘image’ of democracy, with a legislature, judiciary, and executive branch, and of course, voting. Ultimately, a system in which the political, economic and social spheres are directed by and serve the interests of a tiny elite (national or international in composition) is not a true democracy. Voting is a cruel fraud on the people promoting a façade of democracy by allowing the people to vote between two elite-chosen candidates. This is not ‘democracy,’ this is oligarchy.

The Civil Rights Movement is an excellent example of how the imperial structures of society can be turned against an indigenous social movement to either crush or co-opt it. The natural progression of the Civil Rights Movement as a global struggle for liberation against not only racism, but empire, poverty and exploitation was interrupted and deconstructed; but it should not be forgotten.

We are coming to a time, now, where the world is more ready for a resurgence of the ideas of Martin Luther King, the very ideas he was articulating in his final year alive, and the very ideas that are capable of uniting all of humanity against our common oppressors. All power structures, in every facet of society, should have their legitimacy challenged and ultimately have their power withdrawn in place of indigenous power: people power. What systems and structures arise will be plentiful and with successes and failures, and no one can say what the “right” system is; but what is very evident, is that the current system is wrong, and should be challenged on every level, and by every person.

“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... The choice is ours, and though we might prefer it otherwise we must choose in this crucial moment of human history.”

- Martin Luther King, Jr., “Beyond Vietnam,” 1967

Andrew Gavin Marshall is a Research Associate with the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG). He is co-editor, with Michel Chossudovsky, of the recent book, "The Global Economic Crisis: The Great Depression of the XXI Century," available to order at He is currently writing a book on 'Global Government' due to be released in 2011 by Global Research Publishers.


[1] Time, The Nation: FBI Dirty Tricks. Time Magazine: December 5, 1977:,9171,915760,00.html

[2] Ed Gordon, COINTELPRO and the History of Domestic Spying. NPR: January 18, 2006:

[3] Ibid.

[4] Maria Gilardin, Who Killed Martin Luther King? Dissident Voice: April 4, 2008:

[5] Ed Gordon, COINTELPRO and the History of Domestic Spying. NPR: January 18, 2006:

[6] Ibid.

[7] Time, The Nation: FBI Dirty Tricks. Time Magazine: December 5, 1977:,9171,915760,00.html

[8] Patrick Radden Keefe, Chatter: Uncovering the Echelon Surveillance Network and the Secret World of Global Eavesdropping. (Random House: New York, 2005), page 147

[9] Rev. Martin Luther King, Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence. Speech delivered by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., on April 4, 1967, at a meeting of Clergy and Laity Concerned at Riverside Church in New York City:

[10] Jeff Cohen and Norman Solomon, The Martin Luther King You Don't See on TV. FAIR: January 4, 1995:

[11] Ed Gordon, COINTELPRO and the History of Domestic Spying. NPR: January 18, 2006:

[12] Peter Dale Scott, The Road to 9/11: Wealth, Empire, and the Future of America. (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2007), pages 27-28

[13] Ibid.

[14] Ibid, page 29.

[15] Ed Gordon, COINTELPRO and the History of Domestic Spying. NPR: January 18, 2006:

[16] Maria Gilardin, Who Killed Martin Luther King? Dissident Voice: April 4, 2008:

[17] The Transcription of the King Family Press Conference on the MLK Assassination Trial Verdict. The King Center: December 9, 1999:

[18] Ibid.

[19] Maria Gilardin, Who Killed Martin Luther King? Dissident Voice: April 4, 2008:

[20] Douglas Valentine, An Act of State: The Execution of Martin Luther King. Counter Punch: February 11, 2003:

[21] NPR, James Earl Ray's Undying Appeal for Freedom. NPR: April 4, 2008:

[22] Peter Dale Scott, The Road to 9/11: Wealth, Empire, and the Future of America. (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2007), page 28

[23] Ibid.


THE WAR AT HOME. Covert Action Quarterly, No. 69, Spring/Summer 2000:

[25] Ibid.

[26] NPR, Robert Kennedy: Delivering News of King's Death. NPR: April 4, 2008:

[27] Edwin Black, The Horrifying American Roots of Nazi Eugenics, History News Network, 23 November 2003:

[28] Lynn Walker, “The Role of Foundations in Helping to Reach the Civil Rights Goals of the 1980s,” Rutgers Law Review, (1984-1985), page 1059

[29] Ibid, page 1060.

[30] Robert C. Smith, “Black Power and the Transformation from Protest to Policies,” Political Science Quarterly, Vol. 96, No. 3, (Autumn, 1981), page 438

[31] J. Craig Jenkins and Craig M. Eckert, “Channeling Black Insurgency: Elite Patronage and Professional Social Movement Organizations in the Development of the Black Movement,” American Sociological Review, Vol. 51, No. 6, (Dec., 1986), page 814

[32] Ibid, page 815.

[33] Ibid, pages 819-820.

[34] Ibid, page 821.

[35] Ibid, page 826.

[36] Herbert H. Haines, “Black Radicalization and the Funding of Civil Rights: 1957-1970,” Social Problems, Vol. 32, No. 1, Thematic Issue on Minorities and Social Movements, (Oct., 1984), page 38

[37] Ibid, page 40.

[38] Martin N. Marger, “Social Movement Organizations and Response to Environmental Change: The NAACP, 1960- 1973,” Social Problems, Vol. 32, No. 1, Thematic Issue on Minorities and Social Movements, (Oct., 1984), page 22

[39] Ibid, page 25.

[40] Ibid.

[41] Howard Zinn, A People’s History of the United States (Harper: New York, 2003), page 464

[42] Ibid, page 465.

[43] Holly Sklar, ed., Trilateralism: The Trilateral Commission and Elite Planning for World Management. South End Press: 1980: pages 76-78

[44] Richard H. Ullman, Trilateralism: “Partnership” For What? Foreign Affairs: October, 1976: page 5

[45] Michel J. Crozier, Samuel P. Huntington and Joji Watanuki, The Crisis of Democracy. (Report on the Governability of Democracies to the Trilateral Commission, New York University Press, 1975), page 61

[46] Ibid, page 62.

[47] Ibid, page 71.

[48] Ibid, pages 74-75

[49] Ibid, page 77.

[50] Ibid, page 93.

[51] Ibid, pages 113-114.

[52] Ibid, page 115.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Fabricating Terror

By Paul Craig Roberts

November 30, 2010 "Information Clearing House" -- Why does the FBI orchestrate fake terror plots?

The latest one snared Osman Mohamud, a Somali-American teenager in Portland, Oregon. The Associated Press report by William Mall and Nedra Pickler (11-27-10) is headlined in Yahoo News: “Somali-born teen plotted car-bombing in Oregon.”

This is a misleading headline as the report makes it clear that it was a plot orchestrated by federal agents. Two sentences into the news report we have this: “The bomb was an elaborate fake supplied by the [FBI] agents and the public was never in danger, authorities said.”

The teenager was supplied with a fake bomb and a fake detonator.

Three sentences later the reporters contradict the quoted authorities with a quote from Arthur Balizan, special agent in charge of the FBI in Oregon: “The threat was very real.”

The reporters then contradict Balizan: “White House spokesman Nick Shapiro said Saturday that president Barack Obama was aware of the FBI operation before Friday’s arrest. Shapiro said Obama was assured that the FBI was in full control of the operation and that the public was not in danger.”

Then Shapiro contradicts himself by declaring: “The events of the past 24 hours underscore the necessity of remaining vigilant against terrorism here and abroad.”

The story arrives at its Kafka highpoint when President Obama thanks the FBI for its diligence in saving us from the fake plot the FBI had fabricated.

After vacillating between whether they are reporting a real plot or a orchestrated one, the reporters finally come down on the side of orchestration. Documents released by US Attorney Dwight Holton “show the sting operation began in June.” Obviously, the targeted Portland teenager was not hot to trot. The FBI had to work on him for six months. The reporters compare “the Portland sting” to the recent arrest in Virginia of Faroque Ahmed who was ensnared in a “bombing plot that was a ruse conducted over the past six months by federal officials.”

Think about this. The FBI did a year’s work in order to convince two people to participate in fake plots.

If you are not too bright and some tough looking guys accost you and tell you that they are Al Qaeda and expect your help in a terrorist operation, you might be afraid to say no, or you might be thrilled to be part of a blowback against an American population that is indifferent to their government’s slaughter of people of your ethnicity in your country of origin. Whichever way it falls, it is unlikely the ensnared person would ever have done anything beyond talk had the FBI not organized them into action. In other cases the FBI entices people with money to participate in its fake plots.

Since 9/11, the only domestic “terrorist plot” that I recall that was not obviously organized by the FBI is the “Times Square plot” to which Faisal Shahzad pleaded guilty to trying to set off a car bomb in Manhattan. This plot, too, is suspicious. One would think that a real terrorist would have a real bomb, not a smoke bomb.

In his May 19, 2009 article (reprinted Nov. 27, 2010), Joe Quinn collects some of the fake plots, some of which were validated by torture confessions and others by ignorant and fearful juries. The US government comes up with a plot, an accused, and tortures him until he confesses, or the government fabricates a case and takes it to jurors who know that they cannot face their neighbors if they let off a media-declared “terrorist.”

Perhaps the most obvious of these cases is “the Miami seven,” a hapless group of Christian-Zionist-Muslims that called themselves the “Sea of David” and were quietly living in a Florida warehouse awaiting biblical end times. Along came the FBI posing as Al Qaeda and offered them $50,000 and an Al Qaeda swearing-in ceremony.

The FBI told them that they needed to blow up the Sears Tower in Chicago and various government buildings. An honest reporter at Knight Ridder revealed: “The Justice (sic) Department unveiled the arrests with an orchestrated series of news conferences in two cities, but the severity of the charges compared with the seemingly amateurish nature of the group raised concerns among civil libertarians,” who noted that the group had “no weapons, no explosives.”

The Justice (sic) Department and tamed media made a big show out of the “militaristic boots” worn by the hapless “plotters,” but the FBI had bought the boots for them.

The biggest piece of evidence against the hapless group was that they had taken photos of “targets” in Florida, but the US government had equipped them with cameras.

The US government even rented cars for its dupes to drive to take the pictures.

It turns out that the group only wanted the $50,000, but an American jury convicted them anyhow.

When the US government has to go to such lengths to create “terrorists” out of hapless people, an undeclared agenda is being served. What could this agenda be?

The answer is many agendas. One agenda is to justify wars of aggression that are war crimes under the Nuremberg standard created by the US government itself. One way to avoid war crimes charges is to create acts of terrorism that justify the naked aggressions against “terrorist countries.”

Another agenda is to create a police state. A police state can control people who object to their impoverishment for the benefit of the superrich much more easily than can a democracy endowed with constitutional civil liberties.

Another agenda is to get rich. Terror plots, whether real or orchestrated, have created a market for security. Dual Israeli citizen Michael Chertoff, former head of US Homeland Security, is the lobbyist who represents Rapiscan, the company that manufactures the full body porno-scanners that, following the “underwear bomber” event, are now filling up US airports. Homeland Security has announced that they are going to purchase the porno-scanners for trains, buses, subways, court houses, and sports events. How can shopping malls and roads escape? Recently on Interstate 20 west of Atlanta, trucks had to drive through a similar device. Everyone has forgotten that the underwear bomber lacked required documents and was escorted aboard the airliner by an official.

The “war on terror” provides an opportunity for a few well-connected people to become very rich. If they leave Americans with a third world police state, they will be living it up in Gstaad.

This despite the fact that everyone on the planet knows that it is not lactating mothers, children, elderly people in walkers and wheelchairs, members of Congress, members of the military, nuns, and so on, who are members of Al Qaeda plotting to bring aboard a bomb in their underwear, their shoes, their shampoo and face creams.

Indeed, bombs aboard airliners are a rare event.

What is it really all about? Could it be that the US government needs terrorist events in order to completely destroy the US Constitution? On November 24, National Public Radio broadcast a report by Dina Temple-Raston: “Administration officials are looking at the possibility of codifying detention without trial and are awaiting legislation that is supposed to come out of Congress early next year.” Of course, the legislation will not come out of Congress. It will be written by Homeland Security and the Justice (sic) Department. The impotent Congress will merely rubber-stamp it.

The obliteration of habeas corpus, the most necessary and important protection of liberty ever institutionalized in law and governing constitution, has become necessary for the US government, because a jury might acquit an alleged or mock “terrorist” or framed person whom the US government has declared prior to the trial will be held forever in indefinite detention even if acquitted in a US court of law. The attorney general of the United States has declared that any “terrorist” that he puts on trial who is acquitted by a jury will remain in detention regardless of the verdict. Such an event would reveal the total lawlessness of American “justice.”

The United States of America, “the city upon the hill,” “the light unto the world,” has become Nazi Germany.
It was the practice of the Gestapo to ignore court verdicts and to execute or hold indefinitely the cleared defendant in the camps. The Obama regime is in the process of completing Dick Cheney’s dream by legislating the legality of indefinite detention. American law has collapsed to the dungeons of the Dark Ages. This Nazi Gestapo policy is now the declared policy of the US Department of Justice (Editor's bold emphasis throughout)(sic).

Anyone who thinks the United States is a free society where people have liberty, “freedom and democracy” is uninformed.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Toxic Oil Still Present in Gulf of Mexico

Pensacola Bay Lab Test Reveal Oil Found Last Month In Bay Is “EXTREMELY TOXIC”

October 28, 2010
Gulf Breeze News HERE...

Test results are in for oil material found in Pensacola Bay late last month, and the numbers are frightening.

A lab experienced in testing petroleum products determined that the oil’s toxicity levels are sky-high.

“In its natural state, the numbers are off the chart,” said Heather Reed, the environmental expert for the City of Gulf Breeze who made the discovery. “It’s extremely toxic to human health.”

Lab workers had to dilute the sample 20 times just to get a reading. Reed said samples are usually diluted only once.

“The oil is very well preserved,” Reed added. “It smells very strong when pulled out of the water. It made me nauseated.” Reed in late September discovered a significant amount of oil buried in submerged sediment near Fort McRae in Escambia County while conducting independent research.

“The oil was in about 3 feet of water and was buried pretty deep in the sediment,” Reed recalled. “The mats were between 6 inches and a foot in diameter, but some were more than 2 feet in diameter. I kept digging and finding more and more."

“Finding this submerged oil is very alarming to me because it’s in such large mats,” Reed explained. “I believe it came into (the bay) in June with the initial impacts.”

Reed on Sept. 30 revisited the site and another near Barrancas Beach with BP and Coast Guard officials to inform responders of her discovery. She also discovered oil present at Johnson Beach, Fort Pickens and Orange Beach through research she conducted in September.

The topography near Fort McRae helped preserve the submerged oil. Because the area is a secluded cove, very little water flows through it – resulting in low oxygen levels.

“(The oil) is in an anaerobic environment, so there is not a lot of bacteria to break it down,” Reed explained.

Reed said that similar samples that might possibly remain submerged in the Gulf of Mexico could be extremely damaging to the marine ecosystem.

“I am concerned about upwelling events,” Reed said. “Strong currents draw up nutrient rich water and sediment from the sea floor that nourishes plankton and other organisms that are the foundation of the marine food chain."

“If an upwelling event brings up any oil material with these toxicity levels, it could be harmful to any animals near the upwelling plume.”

Reed is unsure of the effects of the oil on the water quality near Fort McRae.

“The surface area is very large, and it gets pretty deep, so there could be a lot of dilution,” she said. “Because it sank and is submerged, it will stay there.

“I would not recommend going into the water.”

She explained that the effects near the beach would be different because of more aeration.

Though no oil has been reported on Gulf Breeze shores or in local bayous, those areas could be at risk.

“We don’t have any barriers, the Coastwatchers aren’t patrolling anymore, and there has been no communication to the city of this oil entering the bay,” Reed said.

If oil entered any of the Gulf Breeze bayous, Reed explained that it would sink and become submerged just as it had near Fort McRae.

“It would definitely sink and be preserved,” Reed said. “And it would be very difficult to find.”

Sunday, November 28, 2010

"Racists and Hypocrites When it Comes to Palestinians"

Francis Boyle Tells Truth about Zionist Lobby Power

Harvard, Yale, NYU Law Schools all Zionist Controlled says Boyle!

People from Varied and Diverse Backgrounds all Recognize Growing Fascist State

Power and the Tiny Acts of Rebellion

By Chris Hedges

November 23, 2010 "Truthdig" -- There is no hope left for achieving significant reform or restoring our democracy through established mechanisms of power. The electoral process has been hijacked by corporations. The judiciary has been corrupted and bought. The press shuts out the most important voices in the country and feeds us the banal and the absurd. Universities prostitute themselves for corporate dollars. Labor unions are marginal and ineffectual forces. The economy is in the hands of corporate swindlers and speculators. And the public, enchanted by electronic hallucinations, remains passive and supine. We have no tools left within the power structure in our fight to halt unchecked corporate pillage.

The liberal class, which Barack Obama represents, was never endowed with much vision or courage, but it did occasionally respond when pressured by popular democratic movements. This was how we got the New Deal, civil rights legislation and the array of consumer legislation pushed through by Ralph Nader and his allies in the Democratic Party. The complete surrendering of power, however, to corporate interests means that those of us who seek nonviolent yet profound change have no one within the power elite we can trust for support. The corporate coup has ossified the structures of power. It has obliterated all checks on corporate malfeasance. It has left us stripped of the tools of mass organization that once nudged the system forward toward justice.

Obama knows where power lies and serves these centers of power. The tragedy—if tragedy is the right word—is that Obama, after selling his soul to corporations, has been discarded. Corporate power doesn’t need brand Obama anymore. They have found new brands in the tea party, Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck. Obama has been abandoned by those who once bundled contributions for him by the millions of dollars. Obama and the Democratic Party will, I expect, spend the next two years being even more obsequious to corporate power. Obama clearly loves the pomp and privilege of statecraft that much. But I am not sure it will work.

Reformers on the outside, while they remain militant and faithful to issues of justice, nevertheless depend on the liberal establishment to respond to public pressure. If these reformers cannot pressure the liberal class and the power elite to evoke real change, they become ineffectual. Our fate is intimately tied to the liberals who have betrayed us. We speak in the language of policies and issues. We will find it harder and harder, given our impotence, to compete with the impassioned calls for new glory, revenge and moral purity that resonate with a public beset by foreclosures, long-term unemployment, bankruptcies and a medical system that abandons them. Once any political system ossifies, once all mechanisms for reform close, the lunatic fringe of a society, as I saw in Yugoslavia, rises out of the moral swamp to take control. The reformers, however well meaning and honest, finally have nothing to offer. They are disarmed.

We have reached a point where stunted and deformed individuals, whose rapacious greed fuels the plunge of tens of millions of Americans into abject poverty and misery, determine the moral fiber of the nation. It is no more morally justifiable to kill someone for profit than it is to kill that person for religious fanaticism. And yet, from health companies to the oil and natural gas industry to private weapons contractors, individual death and the wholesale death of the ecosystem have become acceptable corporate business. The mounting human misery in the United States, which could lead to the sporadic bursts of anger we have seen on the streets of France, will be met with severe repression from the security and surveillance state, which always accompanies the rise of the corporate state. The one method left open by which we can respond—massive street protests, the destruction of corporate property and violence—will become the excuse to impose total tyranny. The intrusive pat-downs at airports may soon become a fond memory of what it was like when we still had a little freedom left.

All reform movements, from the battle for universal health care to the struggle for alternative energy and sane environmental controls to financial regulation to an end to our permanent war economy, have run into this new, terrifying configuration of power. They have confronted an awful truth. We do not count. And they have been helpless to respond as those who are most skilled in the manipulation of hate lead a confused populace to call for their own enslavement.

Dr. Margaret Flowers, a pediatrician from Maryland who volunteers for Physicians for a National Health Program, knows what it is like to challenge the corporate leviathan. She was blacklisted by the corporate media. She was locked out of the debate on health care reform by the Democratic Party and liberal organizations such as MoveOn. She was abandoned by those in Congress who had once backed calls for a rational health care policy. And when she and seven other activists demanded that the argument for universal health care be considered at the hearings held by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, they were forcibly removed from the hearing room.

“The reform process exposed how broken our system is,” Flowers said when we spoke a few days ago. “The health reform debate was never an actual debate. Those in power were very reluctant to have single-payer advocates testify or come to the table. They would not seriously consider our proposal because it was based on evidence of what works. And they did not want this evidence placed before the public. They needed the reform to be based on what they thought was politically feasible and acceptable to the industries that fund their campaigns.”

“There was nobody in the House or the Senate who held fast on universal health care,” she lamented. “Sen. [Bernie] Sanders from Vermont introduced a single-payer bill, S 703. He introduced an amendment that would have substituted S 703 for what the Senate was putting together. We had to push pretty hard to get that to the Senate floor, but in the end he was forced by the leadership to withdraw it. He was our strongest person. In the House we saw Chairman John Conyers, who is the lead sponsor for the House single-payer bill, give up pushing for single-payer very early in the process in 2009. Dennis Kucinich pushed to get an amendment that would help give states the ability to pass single-payer. He was not successful in getting that kept in the final House bill. He held out for the longest, but in the end he caved.”

“You can’t effect change from the inside,” she has concluded. “We have a huge imbalance of power. Until we have a shift in power we won’t get effective change in any area, whether financial, climate, you name it. With the wealth inequalities, with the road we are headed down, we face serious problems. Those who work and advocate for social and economic justice have to now join together. We have to be independent of political parties and the major funders. The revolution will not be funded. This is very true.”

“Those who are working for effective change are not going to get foundation dollars,” she stated. “Once a foundation or a wealthy individual agrees to give money they control how that money is used. You have to report to them how you spend that money. They control what you can and cannot do. Robert Wood Johnson [the foundation], for example, funds many public health departments. They fund groups that advocate for health care reform, but those groups are not allowed to pursue or talk about single-payer. Robert Wood Johnson only supports work that is done to create what they call public/private partnership. And we know this is totally ineffective. We tried this before. It is allowing private insurers to exist but developing programs to fill the gaps. Robert Wood Johnson actually works against a single-payer health care system. The Health Care for America Now coalition was another example. It only supported what the Democrats supported. There are a lot of activist groups controlled by the Democratic Party, including Families USA and MoveOn. MoveOn is a very good example. If you look at polls of Democrats on single-payer, about 80 percent support it. But at MoveOn meetings, which is made up mostly of Democrats, when people raised the idea of working for single-payer they were told by MoveOn leaders that the organization was not doing that. And this took place while the Democrats were busy selling out women’s rights, immigrant rights to health care and abandoning the public option. Yet all these groups continued to work for the bill. They argued, in the end, that the health care bill had to be supported because it was not really about health care. It was about the viability of President Obama and the Democratic Party. This is why, in the end, we had to pass it.”

“The Democrats and the Republicans give the illusion that there are differences between them,” said Dr. Flowers. “This keeps the public divided. It weakens opposition. We fight over whether a Democrat will get elected or a Republican will get elected. We vote for the lesser evil, but meanwhile the policies the two parties enact are not significantly different. There were no Democrats willing to hold the line on single-payer. Not one. I don’t see this changing until we radically shift the balance of power by creating a larger and broader social movement.”

The corporate control of every aspect of American life is mirrored in the corporate control of health care. And there are no barriers to prevent corporate domination of every sector of our lives.

“We are at a crisis,” Flowers said. “Health care providers, particularly those in primary care, are finding it very difficult to sustain an independent practice. We are seeing greater and greater corporatization of our health care. Practices are being taken over by these large corporations. You have absolutely no voice when it comes to dealing with the insurance company. They tell you what your reimbursements will be. They make it incredibly difficult and complex to get reimbursed. The rules are arbitrary and change frequently.”

“This new legislation [passed earlier this year] does not change any of that,” she said. “It does not make it easier for doctors. It adds more administrative complexity. We are going to continue to have a shortage of doctors. As the new law rolls out they are giving waivers as the provisions kick in because corporations like McDonald’s say they can’t comply. Insurance companies such as WellPoint, UnitedHealth Group, Aetna, Cigna and Humana that were mandated to sell new policies to children with pre-existing conditions announced they were not going to do it. They said they were going to stop selling new policies to children. So they got waivers from the Obama administration allowing them to charge higher premiums. Health care costs are going to rise faster. The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services estimated that after the legislation passed, our health care costs would rise more steeply than if we had done nothing. The Census Bureau reports that the number of uninsured in the U.S. jumped 10 percent to 51 million people in 2009. About 5.8 million were able to go on public programs, but a third of our population under the age of 65 was uninsured for some portion of 2009. The National Health Insurance Survey estimates that we now have 58 or 59 million uninsured. And the trend is toward underinsurance. These faulty insurance products leave people financially vulnerable if they have a serious accident or illness. They also have financial barriers to care. Co-pays and deductibles cause people to delay or avoid getting the care they need. And all these trends will worsen.”

In Manuel de Lope’s novel “The Wrong Blood,” set during the first rumblings that led to the Spanish Civil War, he writes “... nobody knew this at the time and those who had premonitions wouldn’t go so far as to believe them, because fear rejects what intuition accepts.”

But the signs are now so palpable that even fear is not working. Our worst premonitions are becoming reality. Our intuition has proved correct. We are reaching the breaking point. An explosion, unless we halt the increased pressure, seems inevitable. And what is left for those of us who cannot embrace the contaminants of violence? If the system shuts us out how can we influence it through nonviolent mechanisms of popular protest? How can we restore a civil society? How can we battle back against those who will mobilize hatred to cement into place an American fascism?

I do not know if we can win this battle. I suspect we cannot. But I do know that if we stop resisting, if we stop rebelling, something fundamental will die within us. As the corporate vise tightens, as the vast corporate system begins to break down with fossil fuel decline, extreme climate change and the expansion of global poverty, even mundane and ordinary acts to assert our common humanity and justice will be condemned as subversive.

It is time to think of resistance in a new way, something that is no longer carried out to reform a system but as an end in itself. African-Americans understood this during the long night of slavery. German opposition leaders understood it under the Nazis. Dissidents in the former Soviet Union knew this during the nightmare of communism. Resistance in these closed systems was local and often solitary. It was done with the understanding that evil must always be defied. The tiny acts of rebellion—day after day, month after month, year after year and decade after decade—exposed to everyone who witnessed them the heartlessness, cruelty and inhumanity of the oppressor. They were acts of truth and beauty. We must take to the street. We must jam as many wrenches into the corporate system as we can. We must not make it easy for them. But we also must no longer live in self-delusion. This is a battle that will outlive us. And if we fight, even with this tragic vision, we will lead lives worth living and keep alive another way of being.

Noam Chomsky Now Says: No Evidence Al-Qaeda Behind 911

Chomsky: US-led Afghan War, Criminal

By Press TV

November 03,2010 "Press TV" -- Renowned Jewish-American scholar Noam Chomsky says US invasion of Afghanistan was illegal since to date there is no evidence that al-Qaeda has carried out the 9/11 attacks.

"The explicit and declared motive of the [Afghanistan] war was to compel the Taliban to turn over to the United States, the people who they accused of having been involved in World Trade Center and Pentagon terrorist acts. The Taliban…they requested evidence…and the Bush administration refused to provide any," the 81-year-old senior academic made the remarks on Press TV's program a Simple Question.

"We later discovered one of the reasons why they did not bring evidence: they did not have any."

The political analyst also said that nonexistence of such evidence was confirmed by FBI eight months later.

"The head of FBI, after the most intense international investigation in history, informed the press that the FBI believed that the plot may have been hatched in Afghanistan, but was probably implemented in the United Arab Emirates and Germany."

Chomsky added that three weeks into the war, "a British officer announced that the US and Britain would continue bombing, until the people of Afghanistan overthrew the Taliban... That was later turned into the official justification for the war."

"All of this was totally illegal. It was more, criminal,"
Chomsky said.

The 2001 US-led invasion of Afghanistan was launched with the official objective of curbing militancy and bringing peace and stability to the country.

Nine years on, however, the American and Afghan officials admit that the country remains unstable and civilians continue to pay the heaviest price.