Different General, Same War! And Obama Still Smokes!

June 23, 2010

This is a bad news, bad news joke.

The bad news:  General McChrystal is out, but the occupation of Afghanistan goes on .

Obama and McChrystal

Obama says the general’s ill-advised remarks to Rolling Stone Magazine, demeaning the White House leadership, undermined trust and respect for civilian command of the military.

Obama said the decision doesn’t reflect a difference over war policy. He said the controversy over the remarks “undermines civilian control of the military” and makes it more difficult to achieve U.S. objectives in Afghanistan.

I don’t understand why Obama selected McChrystal in the first place.  He  apparently had a well-known  reputation for insularity and single-minded resistance to opposing views. From CommonDreams:

In an interview with IPS, one military source who knows McChrystal and his staff described a “very tight” inner circle of about eight people which “does everything together, including getting drunk”.

“McChrystal surrounded himself with yes men,” said another source who has interacted with some of those in the inner circle. “When people have challenged the conventional wisdom, he’s had them booted out,” the source said.

And there were other troubling issues.  From Democratic Underground:

Pulitzer prize-winning American investigative journalist, Seymour Hersh, said that there is a special unit called the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) that does high-value targeting of men that are known to be involved in anti-American activities, or are believed to be planning such activities. According to Hersh, the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) was headed by former US vice president Dick Cheney and the former head of JSOC, Lieutenant General Stanley McChrystal who has just been named the new commander in charge of the war in Afghanistan.

On July 22, 2006, Human Rights Watch issued a report titled “No blood, no foul” about American torture practices at three facilities in Iraq. One of them was Camp Nama, which was operated by the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), under the direction of then Major General Stanley McChrystal.

Oh, wait.  Maybe that’s why McChrystal was chosen:  He had unconstitutional proclivities, just like is bosses:  “High value targeting” and mass killing with drones.

Now the other bad news:

General Patraeus will continue the fiasco.

And Obama still smokes!

Obama smokes!


PSSST…Liz Cheney Likes Torture

October 14, 2009
torture 6

torture 6

According to Liz and Dick, America can’t be safe unless it can torture at will.  Torture is good for America.  It’s the one government job Republicans don’t want to export. Are they pissed off because Obama has the foresight to keep a campaign promise and fob it off on our allies, the Egyptians and Saudi Arabians? If Liz and Dick are so proud of what he did why did they burn the session tapes? Isn’t prosecution a small price to pay for saving America?

Suffice it to say Liz is a dope. Jeb Bush/Liz Cheney in 2012, anyone?

See Liz Run

See Liz Run

Torture 2

Torture 2

The Cheneys and their organization “Keep America Safe” insist “enhanced interrogation” isn’t torture.  What goes on in CIA jails and dungeons is no more unpleasant than a Skull and Bones hazing. Water boarding is no worse than an extended tea party at the bottom of the swimming pool. It’s a three minute dip. Anyone can hold his breath that long. Abu Zabaydah did it 186 times and lived (for Cheney to tell about it).  I wonder if Liz would like to give it a try at Democratic Party headquarters. A psychologist, a physician and an Indian chief will be present in case things go too far. Former Bush Attorney, John Yoo, will provide a memo if things do.

Salon says:

torture 5

torture 5

In other words, bye-bye, Bill of Rights. This is a prescription for a police state, where not just the police but the Army can kick your door down without a warrant or probable cause, as long as the president says he’s fighting “terror.” If Barack Obama had solicited such an opinion from an obliging Justice Department lawyer because he wanted to sic the U.S. Army on a group of domestic terrorists, the right would be screaming about jackbooted federal thugs descending from black helicopters to haul off American citizens. Strangely, no conservatives have taken to the streets to warn us of the Big Government danger posed by this radical doctrine. Perhaps they are too busy mobilizing against the unspeakable socialist menace represented by Obama’s 3 percent increase in taxes on millionaires.

torture 1

torture 1

The only trouble is some people (the losers), such as the Japanese, have been hanged for it, if they did it to Americans. Here’s a visual history of the violent sport of water-boarding.   From the Medieval Dominican monks torturing heretics to American imperialists torturing Filipinos, every group deploying the technique has justified it as absolutely necessary to preserve or protect whatever they claimed needed preserving or protecting. Every State torturer says it is entitled to every tool at its disposal. The Nazis used that argument at Nuremburg, the furtherance of State interests.   Most, but not all, torture in secret, not only to protect their identities from future retribution, but to create State terror. That’s (one reason)why it’s banned.

torture 4

torture 4

And it’s not just water boarding.  It’s every horror known to man. As soon as water boarding is commonly believed to be NOT torture, nothing will be. As soon as it’s alright to break a foreign “terrorist” on the rack, “enemies domestic” won’t be far behind.

torture 3

torture 3


Obambush State Secrets and Operation MK-ULTRA

June 21, 2009

Governments adore secrets. The uglier the government’s activities, the greater the likelihood a program of state secrecy will be be enacted to prevent the public from finding out how ugly it really is.

ObamBush

ObamBush

George Bush had his state secrets-kidnapping and torturing subjects he called terrorists -but who remained unnamed and uncharged. His activities were unlawful by most definitions other than his own, requiring the legal efforts of lackeys to compose a complex network of baffling and self-serving work arounds to provide the veneer of legitimacy. Bush/Cheney still makes the claim that there was no wrong-doing but the the CIA operatives who carried out the kidnappings and tortures have disposed of the taped torture sessions that would have confirmed their point.

President Obama, promising an end to torture and an unprecedented level of transparency within his administration, has instead reverted to Bush/Cheney style cover-ups (surprise!) and more legal demands for state secrecy regarding torture and perpetual detention without trial.

Some Americans express complete disinterest in the cloak of secrecy the government invokes when called to account for illegal acts. They assume they’ll be immune from negative consequences of the government’s use of so-called black ops because they’re law abiding citizens, above government suspicion.

For those who hold this view consider the MK-Ultra projects begun by the CIA during the last phase of WWII and continuing well into the 1970s and probably beyond.  Nazi scientists carried on advanced research on “worthless” test subjects:

Mengele experiments

Mengele experiments

Much of the preliminary experimentation concerning genetic engineering and behavior modification was conducted by Dr. Josef Mengele at Auschwitz, where he coldly analyzed the effects of trauma-bonding,

drug experiments

drug experiments

eye-coloring and “twinning” upon his victims. Besides the insidious surgical experimentation performed at the concentration camp, some of the children were subjected to massive amounts of electroshock. Sadly, many of them did not survive the brutality. Concurrently, “brain-washing” was carried out on inmates at Dachau, who were placed under hypnosis and given the hallucinogenic drug mescaline. During the war, parallel behavioral research was led by Dr. George Estabrooks of Colgate University. His involvement with the Army, CID, FBI and other agencies remains shrouded in secrecy. However, Estabrooks would occasionally “slip” and discuss his work involving the creation of hypno-programmed couriers and hypnotically-induced split personalities.

MK-Ultra was the code name the CIA, under the auspices of The Office of Scientific Intelligence, eventually gave to a series of secret experiments and projects carried out on unwitting citizens and foreigners.  Prostitutes, given get-out-of-jail “chits” lured johns to hotel trysts where they could more easily be drugged and observed. The experiments and projects included mind control and physical experiments using toxic and lethal substances on human test subjects.  The OSS (later the CIA) enlisted the services of indicted Nazi war criminals to continue the experiments conducted in concentration camps.  Code names such as Operation Paperclip, Naomi, Bluebird and Artichoke were subsumed under the rubric Ultra, indicating their super secret nature.  From Wikipedia:

MK-ULTRA involved the surreptitious use of many types of drugs, as well as other methods, to manipulate individual mental states and to alter brain function.

and…

The Deputy Director of the CIA revealed that over thirty universities and institutions were involved in an “extensive testing and experimentation” program which included covert drug tests on unwitting citizens “at all social levels, high and low, native Americans and foreign.” Several of these tests involved the administration of LSD to “unwitting subjects in social situations.” At least one death, that of Dr. Olson, resulted from these activities. The Agency itself acknowledged that these tests made little scientific sense. The agents doing the monitoring were not qualified scientific observers.[7]

To this day most specific information regarding Project MKULTRA remains highly classified information.

In response to mind control and other experimentation carried out by the post-war Chinese and Soviet Union the U.S. government, CIA, DOD and DOE did this:

Beginning in the early 1950s, CIA engaged in an extensive program of human experimentation, using drugs, psychological. and other means in search of techniques to control human behavior CIA has so far found no evidence that radiation experiments on humans were part of this program. CIA documents and a 1963 CIA Inspector General (IG) report. however state quite clearly that MKULTRA was a program “concerned with research and development of chemical. biological. and radiological materials capable of employment in clandestine operations to control human behavior.”

In another MKULTRA project, CIA secretly provided funding for the construction of a wing of Georgetown University Hospital in the 1950s so that it would have a locale to carry out clinical testing of its biological and chemical programs. Dr. Charles F. Geschickter, a Georgetown doctor who conducted cancer research and experimented with radiation therapy, acted as cover for CIA financing.

U.S. military personnel, convinced they were used as unwitting test subjects, sued the government.  Wired.com says

The experiments allegedly included “the use of troops to test nerve gas, psychochemicals, and thousands of other toxic chemical or biological substances, and … the insertion of septal implants in the brains of subjects in … mind control experiments that went awry, leaving many civilian and military subjects with permanent disabilities.” Subjects were tested without their consent, the veterans say. And when the trials were over, the government failed to “provide health care or compensation.”

These medical and psychological experiments were supposed to have ended but… from Wired:

In a 2003 memo, then-Justice Department lawyer John C. Yoo suggesting that
interrogation drugs could be used if their effects were not permanent or profound. Since then, evidence has accumulated that some detainees may have been drugged. “It’s coming back,” retired Colonel John Alexander told Sharon.


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?