Dr. Regina M. Benjamin, CIA Choice for Surgeon General

July 19, 2009
Obama and Dr. Regina Benjamin

Obama and Dr. Regina Benjamin

From Wikipedia: The Surgeon General is nominated by the U.S. President and confirmed via majority vote by the Senate. The Surgeon General serves a four-year term of office and is the highest ranking uniformed officer of the PHSCC, holding the grade of a three-star vice admiral while in office.[1] However, the Surgeon General reports to the United States Assistant Secretary for Health, who himself may hold the rank of a four-star admiral within the Public Health Service Commissioned Corps.

The Surgeon General reports to the Assistant Secretary for Health (ASH), who is the principal advisor to the Secretary of Health and Human Services on public health and scientific issues. The Surgeon General is the overall head of the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps (PHSCC), a 6,000-member Commissioned Corps of the USPHS, a cadre of health professionals who are on call 24 hours a day, and can be dispatched by the Secretary of HHS or the Assistant Secretary for Health in the event of a public health emergency.

If Obama had gotten his way,and he hadn’t played fast and loose with his taxes, Tom Daschle, the darling of Big Health and Pharma lobbyists would be Secretary of Health and Human Services and the new Surgeon General would be working for him.  Tom Daschle is gone but his promises to health and pharma companies have not been forgotten.  Enter HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Dr. Regina Benjamin to deliver the goods for the corporate campaign contributors.

There is something about the new Surgeon General nominee, Dr. Regina Benjamin, that merits attention: while completing her undergraduate degree in chemistry at Louisiana’s Xavier University she was a CIA undergraduate intern.  Imagine that.  There’s just that one sentence about Dr. Benjamin’s association with the CIA program in the article and nothing further from her about it, but here’s what the CIA recruiters say about their program:  On campus CIA recruiters sponsor the chosen undergraduate with scholarships and paid fees.  In exchange students work on a variety of classified programs during annual breaks.  CIA scholarships anyone?  What did they get in return?

Plenty of others have ugly things to say about the activities of the CIA recruitment on campus here, here, and here.  From the Church Committee Report on the CIA, 1976:

The Central Intelligence Agency is now using several hundred American academics (“academics” includes administrators, faculty members and graduate students engaged in teaching), who in addition to providing leads and, on occasion, making introductions for intelligence purposes, occasionally write books and other material to be used for propaganda purposes abroad. Beyond these, an additional few score are used in an unwitting manner for minor activities.

It’s no surprise that President Obama would choose a CIA associate for another important post in his administration, since faux liberal Obama is the biggest intelligence hawk in the history of the nation. But why Dr. Regina Benjamin?  Why her and why now?  Aside from the up from the disarming poverty and deprivation biography she shares with Obama’s fake one, here’s my answer:  It’s the medical records stupid! What better individual to oversee the electronic upgrade of national medical records and act as conduit and interlocutor between the intelligence community, Big Health, Big Pharma and Jane Q. Public than a country doctor and former CIA recruit.  The biggest heist in world history, the stealing and patenting of the world’s genomic information and resources, will be carried out under the auspices of the intelligence community and the benign appearing people’s doctor.  Perhaps the fact that our medical information will be examined under an unbreakable, warrantless, national security gag order of the Patriot Act will be easier to accept if we see the  friendly face of the  female, African-American, the country doctor next door. Does the support of a nice looking, African-American with a sympathetic biography and a career in community activism and a CIA connection sound familiar?  CIA scholarships anyone?

If you’ve read some of my other posts you know I believe Obama comes from a line of naval intelligence officers, his grandparents Sidney and Madelyn Dunham and his mother Ann Dunham Soetoro.  Not only is Obama comfortable with the intelligence community, he has militarized U.S. intelligence, appointing PACOM chief Admiral Dennis Blair (who attended the Cold War created East-West Institute in Honolulu and studying Russian, as did Ann Soetoro).  He has kept in place DoD Chief and former CIA Chief, Robert Gates, among others, while downgrading the importance of the civilian arm of the CIA, Leon Panetta.  Obama also has plans to extend intelligence and surveillance within the U.S.:

In addition to stepping up efforts in Afghanistan and Pakistan, Mr. Obama wants to tackle some of the tougher intelligence issues that the Bush administration hasn’t resolved. Two former intelligence officials said the Obama team is weighing whether to propose the creation of a domestic intelligence agency (emphasis mine).

Isn’t this unlawful, unconstitutional? Very Troubling.

But the Obama payoff to Big Health and Big Pharma for the gigantic campaign contributions that helped put him in office is the electronic bundling and availability of the nation’s medical histories combined with patient biological tissues and DNA as well as all information that can be triangulated from other cyber sources to reap an intelligence and marketing bonanza heretofore unknown.  The secret plundering of human raw material will have the biggest payoff since the discovery of the New World.

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It’s All About Oil. Part II … Venezuela

April 4, 2009

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

mapscaor

Venezuela.  This is an interesting tale of a Latin American coup that failed. It was a garden variety coup like the failed Indonesian coup of 1958;  certainly not as horrifying as the 1965-1999 massacres and land grabs in Indonesia and East Timor, but definitely instructive in its political architecture.

Moreover, the cast of characters and their methods never really change. Breathtakingly, American political operatives are able to set policies, carry them out and then step back into the comfort and riches of defense contracts and think tanks.

The more things change…

Will Obama, President Fauxgressive, be any different?  So far, I’m thinking: NAAH!

Perhaps the most important thing to know about Venezuela is that it is an oil exporting country, the fifth largest in the world, with the largest reserves of conventional oil (light and heavy crude) in the western hemisphere and the largest reserves of non-conventional oil (extra-heavy crude) in the world.

Thus begins Gregory Wilpert’s 2003 article concerning the politics of Venezuelan oil and the April 2002 coup that briefly ousted President Hugo Chavez.

Venezuela’s oil boom years encompassed 1912-1943. Standard Oil and Shell Oil were the first companies to drill on Venezuelan soil. Things changed in 1943 with Venezuela’s  Hydrocarbons Act which declared that no foreign oil interest could make more profit on Venezuelan oil than the Venezuelan state. Oil revenues increased.   However, as oil production rose, other parts of the economy suffered and the populous became more dependent upon state services provided by oil revenues rather than income taxes.

In the 1950’s large international surpluses of oil (especially in the Middle East) drove  prices to record lows, causing social instability in a nation economically dependent on one resource. So

In 1960, the world’s main oil exporting countries, largely due to the prodding of the Venezuelan government, decided to form the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). Also in 1960, Venezuela created the Venezuelan Oil Corporation, which later formed the basis for the nationalization of Venezuela’s oil industry.

Political stability in a petro state necessitated a “pacted democracy” which guaranteed proportional access to state produced wealth by oligarchs of both parties regardless of which was in power.

Sound familiar?

The 1973 embargo of Middle East oil had a huge impact on Venezuela, quadrupling its oil revenues. By 1976 the country moved to fully nationalize its oil industry with the creation of Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA). PDVSA outsourced many of its general operations, including accounting and information technology.

The government promised to “sow the oil”, raising all boats in a nation coasting on oil. The article cited above also points out:

Critics of the nationalization process, such as Carlos Mendoza, say that the newly nationalized oil industry was nothing more than a Trojan Horse. Venezuela’s oil industry maintained an anti-statist and transnational corporatist management culture throughout its existence. The ties to the former owners of the nationalized Venezuelan companies were maintained primarily through technical assistance contracts with the former owners and through commercialization contracts, which heavily discounted the price of oil to their former owners.

By the 1990’s the world’s over-supply of oil had, once again, plunged Venezuela into the economic doldrums.

Hugo Chavez was elected by popular referendum in 1998. Almost immediately, Chavez pressured members of OPEC and the non-OPEC producers to hold the line on production quotas. When Chavez moved to replace the PDVSA board with other technical resources, PDVSA joined a work stoppage against the government. More from the article cited above –

Perhaps the most important instance of outsourcing, in terms of the management of PDVSA, is the joint venture it engaged in with the U.S.-based company SAIC (Science Applications International Corporation) to create INTESA (Informática, Negocios, y Tecnología, S.A.) in 1996. INTESA was to manage all of PDVSA’s data processing needs.

A recent investigation into INTESA, and especially into its majority owner SAIC (60%), revealed some information that ought to be quite disturbing to the government of Hugo Chávez. That is, INTESA, which controlled all of PDVSA’s information, is in turn controlled by SAIC, a Fortune 500 company … that is deeply involved in the U.S. defense industry, particularly as it relates to nuclear technology, defense intelligence, and computing technology. Its managers included two former U.S. Secretaries of Defense (William Perry and Melvin Laird) and two former CIA directors (John Deutch and Robert Gates). Its current Board of Directors includes the former commander of the U.S. Special Forces (Wayne Downing), a former coordinator of the National Security Council (Jasper Welch), and the former director of the National Security Agency (Bobby Ray Inman)           (italics mine).

Recall that Robert Gates served in the Reagan and Bush II administrations. He now serves President Barack Obama’s as Defense Department chief.

The government moved from taxing oil industry profits to charging royalties, making oil extraction more expensive. Chavez also re-directed Venezuelan oil supplies to non-U.S. buyers.

Then in 2002 came the attempted coup.

2002 Venezuelan coup d’état attempt

The Venezuelan coup attempt of 2002 was a failed coup d’état on April 11, 2002 that lasted only 47 hours, whereby the head of state President Hugo Chávez was illegally detained, the National Assembly and the Supreme Court dissolved, and the country’s Constitution declared void.

Venezuelan Federation of Chambers of Commerce (Fedecámaras) president Pedro Carmona was installed as interim president. In Caracas, the coup led to a pro-Chávez uprising that the Metropolitan Police attempted to suppress. Key sectors of the military and parts of the anti-Chávez movement refused to back Carmona. The pro-Chávez Presidential Guard eventually retook the Miraflores presidential palace without firing a shot, leading to the collapse of the Carmona government and the re-installation of Chávez as president.

The coup was publicly condemned by Latin American nations (the Rio Group presidents were gathered together in San José, Costa Rica, at the time, and were able to issue a joint communiqué) and international organizations. The United States and Chile quickly acknowledged the de facto pro-US Carmona government, but ended up condemning the coup after it had been defeated.

And more from Gregory Wilpert in his 2003 article:

Matters reached a boiling point in April 2002 with the coup d’etat against Chavez Frias which surprisingly lasted only two days as millions of Venezuelan poor came to his defense. The 48-hour usurper, Carmona, moved almost instantaneously to turn around ChavezFrias’ Bolivarian policies and consolidate what amounts to an “oiligarchy.” Within 48 hours, he dissolved the parliament and the supreme court, dismissed all mayors and governors, stopped the shipment of oil to Cuba, and started a massive wave of repression across the country. But there is more…

According to the British paper The Observer

… one of those giving the nod to the attempted coup was Elliot Abrams, a member of the Reagan team involved in the dirty wars in Central America convicted over actions during the Iran-Contra Affair. He was later pardoned by George Bush, Sr. Another coup advocate was Cuban, Otto Reich, assistant administrator for USAID 1981-1983 and named ambassador to Caracas in 1986.

There it is again, USAID. For those of you who doubted USAID, a benevolent agency of the U.S. government, might be converted to covert uses, enjoy the view.  My previous post noted that Ann Dunham Soetoro was engaged in “microfinance” with USAID in Indonesia in the 1970’s and 1980’s  — during one of the worst human rights atrocities of the century — and perhaps Pakistan in the 1980’s.

Next step:  let’s see what the World Bank, Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation and East-West Center, University of Hawaii, were up to.


The Soetoros and the Indonesian Massacres 1965-1999

March 24, 2009

No wonder Barack Obama didn’t write a book called Dreams from My Mother.

The president has said that he wished he had written a biography of  his mother, the late Ann Dunham Soetoro, rather than his father, Barack Obama, Sr.  And he might have done it well since he lived with her for lengthy periods. But perhaps that tome would have been called Nightmares from My Mother, or Bad Dreams from My Mother and Stepfather.  The more I read about the Dunham family the more fictionalized and fabricated they seem; Obama’s mother, in particular, since she is so often trotted out posthumously for photo ops.  Her story, as presented by Obama, is simple:  she was a free spirit who transcended type casting, spent her life doing for others and preserving native Indonesian crafts.  Lolo Soetoro was hardly worth mentioning.O.K., but this is the way it really was:

Indonesia 1965-1968. There was an ongoing massacre of PKI party communists and suspected communists in Jakarta and across Java by the Indonesian Army and anti-communist Muslim student jihadists. There is no doubt that the U.S. had strategic and economic interests in the Indonesia controlled by Sukarno, and those interests had a bloody reprise.

Time magazine described it this way: “Communists, Red sympathizers and their families are being massacred by the thousands…Army units executed thousands after interrogation in remote jails. Armed with wide-blade knives called parangs, Moslem bands crept at night into the homes of Communists, killing entire families, burying the bodies in shallow graves. The murder campaign became so brazen in parts of rural East Java that Moslem bands placed the heads of victims on poles and paraded them through villages….Travelers from these areas tell of small rivers and streams that have been literally clogged with bodies, river transportation has at places been seriously impeded.”
Pretty horrific by any standards, even genocidal ones.
Yet, Ann Dunham Soetoro, according to all of the MSM hype and Obama’s whitewash of an autobiography, was teaching English as an American Embassy employee while her husband, Lolo, an Army Colonel under the monster Suharto was busy working as an oil company geologist cum government liaison. The Dark Side of Paradise, by Geoffrey Robinson, makes clear the implication of complicity in the monstrous events by both the Army and the U.S. Embassy.  I can’t link to p. 284 so I’ll quote: “the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta noted in a cable to the department of State…the U.S. government is generally admiring of what the army is doing”. Approval (for the killings) came from the U.S. Embassy.  Excerpt

Approval for the release of the names came from the
top U.S. Embassy officials, including former
Ambassador Marshall Green, deputy chief of mission
Jack Lydman and political section chief Edward
Masters, the three acknowledged in interviews.

Obama’s autobiography says little or nothing about the dread which must have been prevalent among the peasant populous during this period despite the fact that more than a million were imprisoned and used by the big corporations (timber, mining, oil) as slave laborers.  In his autobiography, Obama says virtually nothing about his step-father Colonel Lolo Soetoro, save that he was easygoing, friendly.

According to one fluff article available on the internet Obama returned to Indonesia for Christmas and summer holidays with his mother for many years.  During those years, Obama would have been mature enough to take note of the intense political oppression imposed by Suharto and the dread connected with reprisals directed at any party brave enough to criticize the regime.  The U.S. supported the dictator and Ann Soetoro went from her English teaching job with the embassy to employment with USAID and the (allegedly) CIA connected Ford Foundation in 1965 or this in 1966.

More questions than answers attach to Ann Soetoro during her lengthy stay in Indonesia.  The more one investigates the paucity of information about her activities the more one wonders about the lack of detail.  The blizzard of banal impressions about Ann Soetoro’s personality has buried or replaced the record of her life.  These are some of the nagging questions:

I have not been able to locate Ann Soetoro’s curriculum vitae.  Did she produce any scholarly work other than her long awaited dissertation?

Did Ann Soetoro work in Ghana and Thailand?  If so, during what years and for whom did she work?

What “scholarships” enabled young Obama to attend the prestigious and elite Punau school in Hawaii while his mother was “too poor” to afford it?  Ann Soetoro was also allegedly the recipient of a “scholarship” to continue her M.A. anthropology studies at the Univ. of Hawaii.

Why did she earn an undergraduate degree in math and then switch to anthropology?

Micro-financing of peasant women in East or West Timor seems like a front for something else (CIA?) since the massacres within that province wiped out nearly a third of the population and in many areas the gendercide of males was as high as 80%.  Much of the population of East Timor was relocated to West Timor.  (See my earlier posts on this subject).

To whom was Ann Soetoro teaching English while under U.S. Embassy auspices during the horrifying massacres and imprisonments during 1967-1968 and the decades long slave labor and torture regime?

Why would the Ford Foundation finance anthropological studies into native fabrics and iron working during this time? Or was this Ann Soetoro’s cover for another kind of research in the countryside?

And Obama says nothing about his mother’s residence in Indonesia during the brutal Suharto invasion and occupation of East Timor beginning in 1975.

My developing theory is that the important shaping of Obama’s character is connected to Indonesia, as much as or more than either Hawaii or Chicago.  If his step-father  was a top honcho in the brutal Suharto regime and Lolo had plenty of American military friends from the embassy, how might that have affected the boy?  If his mother’s work was of such great importance that she stayed on in Indonesia while her son returned home, are we to believe cataloging native crafts was this important work?

If Obama returned often to Indonesia to see his mother as he grew older wouldn’t he have been aware of the horrific events in Indonesia during his stays there and mentioned them as critical events in his otherwise superficial life story?

How are we to believe his stories of reacting strongly to racial and color slights when he lived in a land of genocide without being scarred or apparently even particularly moved by that fact?

And ,finally, what should one make of Obama’s appointment of Admiral Dennis Blair as the new Director of National Intelligence while it it is widely alleged that Blair helped win approval for a resumption of military cooperation with Indonesia  in  1999 despite yet another massacre carried out by Indonesian troops at Dili, East Timor?