July 22, 2002
The Big Brother Files #42: Warning! Core Breach Imminent!
I have 6 other compilations ready for you. Get ready for quite an eyefull this week. This one is quite heavy as you'll see.
Feel free to network this...
Earth Rainbow Network Coordinator
P.S. See also my latest Media compilation #80: From Bad to Worst! - Seeking an Alternative at http://www.cybernaute.com/earthconcert2000/Archives2002/MediaCompilation80.htm
"Few are willing to brave the disapproval of their fellows, the censure of their colleagues, the wrath of their society. Moral courage is a rarer commodity than bravery in battle or great intelligence. Yet it is the one essential, vital quality for those who seek to change a world that yields most painfully to change."
- Robert F. Kennedy -- Sent by Liz Daly <firstname.lastname@example.org>
1. Its Easy To Tell When The Iraqi War Will Start... And Why
2. 9-11 and US Global Hegemony
3. Bush's Grim Vision
4. Millions of citizen spies, coming to a country near you?
5. FEMA Preparing for Mass Destruction
6. 'There Would Be No Place to Hide' - Unleashing the FBI
7. Multinational Firms Corrupt Practices Continue in Developing World
American Patriot Friends Network website (LOTS of AMAZING stuff!)
Could Terrorism Result In A Constitutional Dictator? (June 7)
(...) An American President, should he need them, possesses awesome powers. Those powers potentially include what political scientists have described as the powers of a "constitutional dictatorship."
Alabama Activates Tank Unit (July
A day after President Bush's release of a homeland defense strategy calling for the possible domestic use of U.S. military forces, Alabama activated a 300-soldier Army National Guard tank battalion as part of a homeland defense force.
Sent by Robert Cain <email@example.com> who wrote: "Why are they deploying battle tanks within the United States. What is coming?"
Urban Warfare, Fema Camps, gun confiscation (July 20)
A gigantic multi-force exercise taking place out west, and hardly a peep out of the mainstream press.
Lawsuit Alleges FEMA Funded by Laundered Drug Profits (July 16)
NSC used drug trafficking profits to start FEMA without congressional approval (...) None dare call it fascism, but due to this explosive lawsuit, the origin of FEMA and its funding may finally be known.
BUSH'S POLICE STATE KICKS INTO GEAR
The treatment of U.S. citizen Jose Padilla is turning into a Kafkaesque spectacle that should make all Americans nervous.
It's a Conspiracy! (July 19) MOST EXCELLENT!
The Rumor Mill Continues to Grind Out 9-11 Tales, Some Nutty and Some With a Grain of Truth...
Flaws in U.S. Air War Left Hundreds of Civilians Dead (July 21)
The Road to Perdition (July 20)
Its Easy To Tell When The Iraqi War Will Start... And Why (July 20)
by Rob Kall (firstname.lastname@example.org)
It is highly likely that the US launch attacks which start the war with Iraq within the next 75 days, and probably between August 15 and October 5.
It is not necessary to be a military strategist to figure this out. It wont be based on a preparatory build up of US and allied troops, nor initiated because of any particular actions by the Iraqis which require a military response. There may a fabricated story the Bush administration uses to try to sell the war. But its pretty obvious what the real reason is.
The time range described above is optimal for influencing the November US Congressional elections. With Bushs popularity plummeting as millions of Americans discover that their life savings and retirement funds have shriveled to a fraction of what they were, the Bush administration has but one trump card left to try to turn the tide-- start the war with Iraq.
When the WTC towers were attacked, the country pulled together behind the president and gave him terrific, loyal support, showing a solidarity that has forced the terrorists of the world to revise their belief that the only way the US would respond to terrorist attacks was with lawsuits.
It was wonderful to see and be a part of a united America, sharing our grief, our outrage, focusing on coming together to help each other.
But the Bush administration totally failed to seize the moment of opportunity to make any good happen. They did grab the opportunity to pass laws and regulations which have done more harm to Democracys freedoms than any previous administration, barring, possibly, the McCarthy Era.
So, as we near the optimal partisan moment for going to war, it would be wise to anticipate the event, the motivation and accordingly, to plan a defense which will prevent a tidal wave of misdirected patriotism from flooding the next congress with Republicans elected because of a cynically plotted, totally politically motivated war.
But I have a feeling, given the Bush Cheney proclivity for secret financial strategies, that while we are paying attention to bomb-mounted cameras dropping on Iraqi targets, the Bush White House will be making deals with middlemen who will buy from military contractors-- middlemen who are owed political favors. Very likely, those middlemen will have a partner-- George Bush, or maybe his brothers or daughters. But Bush has a way of keeping his hand in the till when he uses public funds to repay political debts. The disastrous financial disclosures of this year are teaching us that the best way to be a fantastically successful thief who gets away with stealing tens or hundreds of millions, even billions, is to be a high level insider-- either corporate or government.
Thats what the kids are learning from the Bushies. Yes, the Clinton presidency bequeathed to the younger generations a higher incidence of oral sex. But it appears the Bush presidency will teach the children it should be inspiring that it is okay to steal, so long as you are elected or if you run a corporation.
Perhaps, if the American people realize the crass political motivation for an Iraqi war started just before the fall elections, they will react very differently at the election booth, carefully examining their ballots to make sure the chads are not hanging, that theyve selected the candidate they intended to vote for-- the democrat or green party candidates who will, when the republican majority in the congress is overthrown, restrain, or perhaps cage or even jail the rapacious Bush onslaught against America. Rapacious? Yes, Clintons sexual proclivity we already know. Perhaps the Bush sexual-political pattern is becoming clearer now-- rape-- not of women- but of Americas resources-- money, forests, energy... Yes, knowing the reason for the timing of an early fall attack on Iraq should help the Americans who are not rabid Republicans to see the real reasons and help them resolve even more strongly to change the majority in the House of Representatives and strengthen it in the Senate.
Is it really paranoid, in this era of Ashcroft-erased freedoms, to worry that writing an editorial like this could put its writer at risk of government harrassment, or worse, reprisal? After all, they could use me of warning the enemy of war plans, of disclosing war strategies. But then again, are we talking war against Iraq, or against the democratic principles of the American people?
Our Country is on a Collision Course: Reform or War? (July 19)
The push for corporate reform and economic justice will not survive a war against Iraq.
Nagy Visit on Iraq Sanctions Takes Denmark by Storm (July 15)
Nagy presented unshakeable documentation for how the sanctions have been applied to ban the import of water purification equipment and chemicals, thus provoking epidemics of diseases such as cholera, hepatitis and typhoid fever
9-11 and US Global Hegemony
by Ed Rippy - Indymedia, 17 July 2002
THE IDEOLOGY OF BENEVOLENT GLOBAL HEGEMONY: "ONLY WE CAN SAVE THE WORLD FROM ITSELF"
A number of influential people within the US government and foreign policy establishment hold that the US must be dominant, both militarily and economically, throughout the world. Although they do not speak of overt empire, they speak of "primacy" and a "decisive arbitrating role." Some see this as a "benevolent hegemony" necessary to maintain order and economic growth in the world; others see it as a necessary defense against a world with "a lot of bad people who can do us harm." This "primacy" requires immense military forces, lots of money, and a lack of scruples. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, the US has built up both its mobile military forces and foreign arms sales. Eurasia is a key strategic area in this global power game, and Central Asia is key to Eurasia.
Since the US populace as a whole does not share this "imperial" ideology and is unwilling to pay the high economic, human, and social costs it requires (and other countries are unlikely to cooperate), proponents of US "benevolent hegemony" need threats to "justify" the needed military power and political control. We have seen the "marketing" of these "threats" in the post-Cold War maneuvering by US military and intelligence agencies (the author's "US Military Policy Since the Fall of the Soviet Union" covers this in more detail). The boom in US weapons sales served to supplement US military power with that of allies, maintain the US weapons establishment, reduce security throughout the world and create yet more markets for weapons as nations see their rivals become more powerful, and supply a steady stream of threats as one-time allies or clients became "rogue" states. In recent years international terrorism has replaced individual states as the primary "threat."
Since the Boston Massacre, the US (or the colonies) has repeatedly deliberately provoked attacks, fabricated them, or a combination, to sway public opinion in support of war. At Pearl Harbor, this policy got thousands of people killed, including civilians (the author's "How the US Has Gotten Into Wars" covers this history in greater depth). And the anthrax which killed five people after September 11 came from a US government lab; the prime suspect is still walking around free while the US bioweapons programs have gained six billion dollars out of the deal.
The global military and economic power which the US has sought demands two key elements: control of oil supplies and international crime (primarily the drug trade). The need to control oil supplies has led to a long-standing, secretive partnership between the US and Saudi Arabia, committing the former to support of a conservative monarchy which embraces a conservative strain of Islam. The Saudi monarchy is allied with the international "political Islam" network which has spawned terrorist groups around the world. Central Asia is another area which contains major oil reserves, which oil companies have been wanting to develop for years.
About two months before the attacks former US diplomats put out an unofficial message that the US would attack Afghanistan in mid-October, two days before the attacks US planners finished "contingency plans" for a war on al-Qaeda and Afghanistan, and tens of thousand of US and allied troops (including two aircraft carrier battle groups) were converging in the area around Afghanistan for exercises.
Since the rout of the Taliban, oil companies are signing deals for pipelines across Afghanistan and the heroin business is booming as never before (and the US has exempted the provisional Afghan government from penalties for its failure to stop drugs while that government has gutted its drug eradication agency).
Considering all this, some people wonder whether there is more to the September 11 attacks than the US government is telling.
Sent by "Mark Graffis" <email@example.com>
Bush's Grim Vision (June 21, 2002)
In the nine months since Sept. 11, George W. Bush has put the United States on a course that is so bleak that few analysts have - as the saying goes - connected the dots. If they had, they would see an outline of a future that mixes constant war overseas with abridgment of constitutional freedoms at home, a picture drawn by a politician who once joked, "If this were a dictatorship, it would be a heck of a lot easier - so long as I'm the dictator."
A Bleak Future
It no longer seems farfetched to think that George W. Bush might someday expand his extraordinary powers to silence those who ask difficult questions or criticize his judgment or otherwise give aid and comfort to the enemy.
When some Democrats demanded to know what Bush knew about the terror threats before Sept. 11, Cheney delivered a blunt warning. "My Democratic friends in Congress," Cheney said, "they need to be very cautious not to seek political advantage by making incendiary suggestions, as were made by some today, that the White House had advance information that would have prevented the tragic attacks of 9/11." [Washington Post, May 17, 2002]
Bush, the first man in more than a century to take the White House after losing the popular vote, seems to have developed an abiding trust in his personal right to wield unlimited power. After succeeding in getting his allies on the U.S. Supreme Court to stop the counting of votes in Florida in December 2000, Bush may feel confident that he will have their help, too, in redefining the U.S. Constitution. Bush also may be confident that a frightened American populace will support his every move, regardless of how many freedoms they must surrender in the name of security.
Unthinkable a year ago, there is now the shape of an American Gulag where people can disappear without public legal proceedings or possibly no legal proceedings at all.
The American people may learn too late that relying on repression to gain security can mean sacrificing freedom without actually achieving greater security. As counterinsurgency experts have long argued, only a wise balance between reasonable security and smart policies to address legitimate grievances can reduce violence to manageable levels over the long term. Often, repression simply breeds new generations of bitter enemies.
Over the past nine months, George W. Bush has marched off in a political direction so troubling that American editorial writers don't dare speak its name. He is moving toward a system in which an un-elected leader decides what freedoms his people will be allowed at home and what countries will be invaded abroad. If carried to its ultimate conclusion, this political strategy can degenerate into what would be called in any other country a dictatorship.
From: "Harmony Kieding" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Jean - just passing this along. I find it alarming. It makes the McCarthy Era pale in comparison.
Civil Liberties Links
Millions of citizen spies, coming to a country near you?
Published on Monday, July 15, 2002 in the Sydney Morning Herald US Planning to Recruit One in 24 Americans as Citizen Spies by Ritt Goldstein
The Bush Administration aims to recruit millions of United States citizens as domestic informants in a program likely to alarm civil liberties groups.
The Terrorism Information and Prevention System, or TIPS, means the US will have a higher percentage of citizen informants than the former East Germany through the infamous Stasi secret police. The program would use a minimum of 4 per cent of Americans to report "suspicious activity".
Civil liberties groups have already warned that, with the passage earlier this year of the Patriot Act, there is potential for abusive, large-scale investigations of US citizens.
As with the Patriot Act, TIPS is being pursued as part of the so- called war against terrorism. It is a Department of Justice project.
Highlighting the scope of the surveillance network, TIPS volunteers are being recruited primarily from among those whose work provides access to homes, businesses or transport systems. Letter carriers, utility employees, truck drivers and train conductors are among those named as targeted recruits.
A pilot program, described on the government Web site www.citizencorps.gov, is scheduled to start next month in 10 cities, with 1 million informants participating in the first stage. Assuming the program is initiated in the 10 largest US cities, that will be 1 million informants for a total population of almost 24 million, or one in 24 people.
Historically, informant systems have been the tools of non-democratic states. According to a 1992 report by Harvard University's Project on Justice, the accuracy of informant reports is problematic, with some informants having embellished the truth, and others suspected of having fabricated their reports.
Present Justice Department procedures mean that informant reports will enter databases for future reference and/or action. The information will then be broadly available within the department, related agencies and local police forces. The targeted individual will remain unaware of the existence of the report and of its contents.
The Patriot Act already provides for a person's home to be searched without that person being informed that a search was ever performed, or of any surveillance devices that were implanted.
At state and local levels the TIPS program will be co-ordinated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which was given sweeping new powers, including internment, as part of the Reagan Administration's national security initiatives. Many key figures of the Reagan era are part of the Bush Administration.
The creation of a US "shadow government", operating in secret, was another Reagan national security initiative.
From: "Donna C. Williams" <email@example.com>
Subject: FEMA Preparing for Mass Destruction - Isn't This Just Ducky!
Date: Mon, 15 Jul 2002
Now all they need are the little green men from Mars to make an appearance and they will have the stage ready for their scenario in ACT I ! Push the fear button enough and the masses will allow them to do whatever they want to us! ! ! Stand up, America - take a stand and stop this madness before it's too late.
FEMA Preparing for Mass Destruction
Newsmax: The Insider Report email 07/14/2002
FEMA, the federal agency charged with disaster preparedness, is engaged in a crash effort to prepare for multiple mass destruction attacks on U.S. cities, NewsMax has learned.
FEMA is already preparing for nuclear, biological and chemical attacks against U.S. cities, including the possibility of multiple attacks with mass destruction weapons.
The agency has already notified vendors, contractors and consultants that it needs to be prepared to handle the logistics of aiding millions of displaced Americans from urban areas that may be attacked.
The agency plans to create emergency, makeshift cities that could house hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of Americans who may have to flee their urban homes if their cities are attacked.
Ominously, FEMA has been given a deadline of having the cities ready to go by January 2003 - in about six months.
A source familiar with the deadline believes the effort is related to making the U.S. prepared for counterattacks if the U.S. invades Iraq sometime next year.
FEMA is currently seeking bids from major real estate management firms, and plans to name three firms in the near future to handle the logistics and planning for these temporary cities.
FEMA officials have told these firms they already have tents and trailers ordered. The tents and trailers would provide shelter for displaced populations.
The real estate firms are expected to provide engineers and architects to lay the plans for emergency infrastructure needs, such as sewerage and electricity.
Originally from http://www.villagevoice.com/issues/0223/hentoff2.php
'There Would Be No Place to Hide'
Unleashing the FBI
by Nat Hentoff
Friday, 31 June, 2002
"The [new] guidelines emphasize that the FBI must not be deprived of using all lawful authorized methods in investigations, consistent with the Constitution."
- Attorney General John Ashcroft, New York, Daily News, May 31
"In reality, Mr. Ashcroft, in the name of fighting terrorism, [is] giving FBI agents nearly unbridled power to poke into the affairs of anyone in the United States, even where there is no evidence of illegal activity."
- Editorial, New York Times, May 31
As usual, television--broadcast and cable--got it wrong. The thrust of what they call reporting on the reorganization of the FBI focused on the 900 or so new agents, the primacy of intelligence gathering over law enforcement, and the presence of CIA supervisors within the bosom of the FBI. (It used to be illegal for the CIA to spy on Americans within our borders.)
But the poisonous core of this reorganization is its return to the time of J. Edgar Hoover and COINTELPRO, the counter-intelligence operation--pervasively active from 1956 to 1971--that so disgraced the Bureau that it was forced to adopt new guidelines to prevent such wholesale subversion of the Bill of Rights ever again.
Under COINTELPRO, the FBI monitored, infiltrated, manipulated, and secretly fomented divisions within civil rights, anti-war, black, and other entirely lawful organizations who were using the First Amendment to disagree with government policies.
These uninhibited FBI abuses of the Bill of Rights were exposed by some journalists, but most effectively by the Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations With Respect to Intelligence Activities. Its chairman, Frank Church of Idaho, was a true believer in the constitutional guarantees of individual liberties against the government--which is why we had a Revolution.
In 1975, Church told the nation, and J. Edgar Hoover, that COINTELPRO had been "a sophisticated vigilante operation aimed squarely at preventing the exercise of First Amendment rights of speech and association." And Church pledged: "The American people need to be reassured that never again will an agency of the government be permitted to conduct a secret war against those citizens it considers a threat to the established order."
Frank Church, however, could not have foreseen George W. Bush, John Ashcroft, FBI director Robert Mueller, and the cowardly leadership, Republican and Democratic, of Congress. (Notable exceptions are John Conyers of Michigan, and Russell Feingold and James Sensenbrenner, both of Wisconsin.)
The guidelines for FBI investigations imposed after COINTELPRO ordered that agents could not troll for information in churches, libraries, or political meetings of Americans without some reasonable leads that someone, somehow, was doing or planning something illegal.
Without even a gesture of consultation with Congress, Ashcroft unilaterally has thrown away those guidelines.
From now on, covert FBI agents can mingle with unsuspecting Americans at churches, mosques, synagogues, meetings of environmentalists, the ACLU, the Gun Owners of America, and Reverend Al Sharpton's presidential campaign headquarters. (He has been resoundingly critical of the cutting back of the Bill of Rights.) These eavesdroppers do not need any evidence, not even a previous complaint, that anything illegal is going on, or is being contemplated.
Laura Murphy, the director of the ACLU's Washington office, puts the danger to us all plainly: "The FBI is now telling the American people, 'You no longer have to do anything unlawful in order to get that knock on the door.' "
During COINTELPRO, I got that knock on the door because I, among other journalists, had been publishing COINTELPRO reports that had been stolen from an FBI office. You might keep a pocket edition of the Constitution handy to present to the FBI agents--like a cross in front of Dracula.
The attorney general is repeatedly reassuring the American people that there's nothing to worry about. FBI agents, he says, can now go into any public place "under the same terms and conditions of any member of the public."
Really? While the rest of us do not expect privacy in a public place, we also do not expect to be spied upon and put into an FBI dossier because the organizers of the meeting are critical of the government, even of Ashcroft. We do not expect the casually dressed person next to us to be a secret agent of Ashcroft.
Former U.S. Attorney Zachary Carter, best known for his prosecution of the Abner Louima case, said in the May 31 New York Times that Ashcroft's discarding of the post-COINTELPRO guidelines means that now "law enforcement authorities could conduct investigations that [have] a chilling effect on entirely appropriate lawful expressions of political beliefs, the free exercise of religion, and the freedom of assembly."
So where are the cries of outrage from Democratic leaders Tom Daschle and Dick Gephardt? How do you tell them apart from the Republicans on civil liberties?
Back in 1975, Frank Church issued a warning that is far more pertinent now than it was then. He was speaking of how the government's intelligence capabilities--aimed at "potential" enemies, as well as disloyal Americans--could "at any time" be "turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left--such is the capacity to monitor everything, telephone conversations, telegrams, it doesn't matter. There would be no place to hide . . .
"There would be no way to fight back," Church continued, "because the most careful effort to combine together in resistance to the government, no matter how privately it was done, is within the reach of the government to know."
Frank Church could not foresee the extraordinary expansion of electronic surveillance technology, the government's further invasion of the Internet under the new Ashcroft-Mueller guidelines, nor the Magic Lantern that can record every keystroke you make on your computer. But Church's pessimism notwithstanding, there is--and surely will be--resistance. And I'd appreciate hearing from resisters who are working to restore the Bill of Rights.
July 12, 2002
Multinational Firms Corrupt Practices Continue in Developing World
WASHINGTON - The multinational firms recently fingered for corrupt practices in the United States may be practicing similar operations on a larger scale in developing countries, say long-time corporate watchdogs.
Investors, shareholders, the U.S. administration, and economists world-wide are still reeling from the string of corporate frauds that includes U.S. energy giant Enron and WorldCom, the international telecommunications company. Allegations of misconduct have surfaced against several company executives, including U.S. President George W. Bush from his days as a director of an oil company.
While the United States and its northern neighbors have focused on the impact of such scandals on investor trust in wealthy nations, the anti-globalization movement cautions that the corruption scourge could be several times more harmful to the economies of developing countries.
They argue that many global companies operate freely in poor nations, protected by conditions dictated by international financial institutions, such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, and the political might of Northern governments.
"Enron and WorldCom are just symptoms of the way companies are able to do business without too much accountability," said Nadia Martinez, research associate at the Washington-based Institute for Policy Studies.
"It is even worse in the developing world," she added. "It happens here and everyone goes up in arms. But in reality this has been happening in the developing world for decades with the support of Northern governments in many instances and with the support of our taxpayers' money by way of international institutions like the World Bank and Inter-American Development Bank."
Multinational watchdog Corpwatch says that these firms violate international law on many counts, including social and environmental violations and with flagrant corruption.
"Corruption is one of the many levels in which these companies very arrogantly come into a country and act like they own it and they do whatever they want," said Julie Light, managing editor of Corpwatch.org. "They can buy off the politicians and they can hire private security forces or pay the local police."
Earlier this month, The Wall Street Journal reported on corruption in the 550 million dollar Bujagali power project on the Nile River in Uganda. One of the contractors, the U.S. power producer AES, bribed a Ugandan official to hasten the dam's approval, said the report.
Martinez says that the shamed Enron, a now bankrupt firm with dubious off-balance sheet transactions, continues to operate internationally and is still seeking public funding for its non-scrutinized global projects.
Enron holds 25 percent of Transredes, a company seeking a 125 million-dollar loan from the International Development Bank (IDB) to expand a Bolivian gas pipeline. The Bank is expected to decide on the loan in September.
In research for the Institute for Policy Studies, Martinez says Enron's assets in Latin America alone include concerns in a pipeline in Colombia, gas and electricity companies in Venezuela and Brazil, and other operations in Panama, Guatemala, and Puerto Rico.
Public institutions, including the World Bank and the European Investment Bank have provided Enron with financing of about seven billion dollars, she adds.
WorldCom, a firm accused of cooking its books so it could overstate profits by 3.8 billion dollars, also has a presence in many developing countries. The company often boasted that its business interests span from everyday phone calls to advanced Internet-based networks in Latin America, Asia-Pacific, Europe and Africa.
Although activists like Martinez and Light have been calling attention to the practices of corporations in the South for years, they now say developing countries are more vulnerable than ever, because of diminishing monitoring. The IMF has been urging deregulation in the South for the past two decades.
"What the IMF, the WTO (World Trade Organization) and the World Bank have been saying to the third world is 'trust the market, deregulate, get the government out of the way, take the teeth out of the regulatory agencies, let corporate officials run government agencies, let them privatize'," said Danaher. "It's been a whole-package."
Poor nations stand defenseless before the mammoth-like corporations, some whose budgets are bigger than the spending of many poor nations combined, they add.
"If these corporations can wreck the United States, destroy our economy, take over the government, and bankrupt it in their interest, what are they going to do in Bolivia, Chad or Niger where there are not so many constitutional rights?" asked Danaher.
The activists say the cozy relationship between politics and business is partly to blame. Several officials of the Bush administration are former company executives, including the president himself and Vice President Dick Cheney.
"We need to close the revolving door of corporate leaders going into government, building up their Rolodex, finding out where the money is and then going back into the corporate world sucking public money out of government," said Danaher. "We need to build a firewall between money and policy making."
"It's time civil society groups started policing the corporations and holding them accountable on high-standards of international law, human rights law and local law," added Light.
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