Friday, November 30, 2007

Bombs Away?

Photo Curtesy: Youngrobv

Scott Ritter: Bombs Away?
By Curt Guyette and W. Kim Heron
The Detroit Metro Times

Wednesday 28 November 2007

Arms expert Scott Ritter says the US plans to attack Iran. Metro Times asks why he's so sure.

"Everything points to April 2008 being a month of some criticality." - Scott Ritter

It seems that with each passing week there are more stories raising the specter of George Bush turning Iraq and Afghanistan into a bloody trifecta by attacking Iran.

In mainstream daily papers we see pieces like one by Gannett's John Yaukey, who wrote in early November that "confrontation could be near" because "Iran continues to taunt the United States with its aggressive posturing in Iraq and Lebanon while pushing ahead with its nuclear research ..."

We are also witnessing what appears to be a chilling rerun of the Iraq debacle. Confronted with evidence that calls into question the status of Iran's nuclear program, the Bush administration is shifting its rhetoric.

"The Bush administration has charged that Iran is funding anti-American fighters in Iraq and sending in sophisticated explosives to bleed the U.S. mission, although some of the administration's charges are disputed by Iraqis as well as the Iranians," the Los Angeles Times reported in October. "Still, ... diplomatic and military officials say they fear that the overreaching of a confident Iran, combined with growing U.S. frustrations, could set off a dangerous collision."

Look beyond daily papers - from Seymour Hersh's reporting in The New Yorker to articles in The Nation - and the picture emerges of an administration that is determined to attack Iran.

John H. Richardson's "The Secret History of the Impending War With Iran That the White House Doesn't Want You to Know" in the November issue of Esquire magazine is particularly eye-opening. Richardson, using two former high-ranking Middle East experts who worked for the White House as his primary sources, warns that the Bush administration is "headed straight for war with Iran" and that "it had been set on this course for years."

"It was just like Iraq, when the White House was so eager for war it couldn't wait for the UN inspectors to leave," writes Richardson, who details the Bush administration's success at scuttling diplomatic efforts - notably involving then-Secretary of State Colin Powell - to reach a peaceful accord with Iran. "The steps have been many and steady and all in the same direction. And now things are getting much worse. We are getting closer and closer to the tripline...."

With all this in mind, we decided to talk with the man who literally wrote the book on Bush's intentions. Nearly a year ago, Scott Ritter's Target Iran was published, and he's been sounding the claxon of impending war ever since.

A former Marine Corps intelligence officer, Ritter served as chief United Nations weapons inspector in Iraq from 1991 to 1998 when he left as a pointed critic of the Clinton administration's commitment to weapons inspection and its Iraq policy. Before the United States' 2003 invasion, Ritter loudly disputed the Bush administration's claims regarding weapons of mass destruction under Saddam's control and predicted that, instead of the quick and easy war being promised, Iraq would turn into a quagmire, though not necessarily of the type he envisioned. His analyses have been embraced by both the right and the left at various points. He portrays himself as the straight-shooting analyst unconcerned by who supports him or whom he offends.

To learn what he thinks the future holds for Iran, and the consequences of a U.S. invasion, we recently sat down for a 90-minute phone interview with Ritter. What follows is a condensed version of that conversation.

Metro Times: A year ago, when your book Target Iran came out, you were sounding the alarm about war being imminent. Why do you think that attack hasn't occurred?

Scott Ritter: Let's remember that this is an elective war, not a war of necessity. A war of necessity would be fought at the point and time a conflict is required, if somebody is threatening to invade you, to attack, etc. But an elective war is one where we choose to go to war. It will be conducted on a timescale that's beneficial to those who are planning the conflict.

As far as why it hasn't happened, there's any number of reasons. One, the Bush administration has not been able to stabilize Iraq to the level they would like to see prior to expanding military operations in the region. Two, the international community has not rallied around the cause of Iran's nuclear program representing a casus belli to the extent that the Bush administration would like. They were hopeful that there would be more action from the [United Nations] Security Council. It took a long time to get the issue shifted from the International Atomic Energy Agency's headquarters to the Security Council. And even when it got shifted to the Security Council, the Council took very timid steps, not decisive steps. The Bush administration sort of tied its hands at that point in time. I think you are seeing increasing frustration today at the slow pace.

Also, the need to redefine the Iranian threat away from exclusively being focused on nuclear activity, because now you have the difficulty of both the IAEA saying there is no nuclear weapons program and the CIA saying pretty much the same thing. So the Bush administration needs to redefine the Iranian threat, which they have been doing successfully, casting Iran as the largest state sponsor of terror, getting the Senate resolution calling the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Command a terrorist organization, and creating a perception amongst the American people, courtesy of a compliant media, that talks about the reason why things are going bad in Iraq is primarily because of Iranian intervention.

They have been working very hard to get back on track. I still believe that we are seeing convergence here. The Bush administration is moving very aggressively toward military action with Iran.

Metro Times: Is your conclusion that an attack is imminent based on the administration's statements and actions, like labeling Iran's Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist group, or do you also have sources within the intelligence community and the military and the administration telling you what's going on?

Scott Ritter: I don't have any current sources of the sort you just spoke of. I was plugged in back in 2006 to good quality current information. But I haven't been plugged in recently, so I have to use some sort of analytical methodology as opposed to saying, "Aha, I got it from the horse's mouth." But there's nothing that has occurred that leads me to believe the Bush administration has changed its policy direction. In fact there has been much that's occurred that reinforces the earlier conclusions that were based on good sources of information. We take a look at items in the defense budget, the rapid conversion of heavy bombers to carry bunker-busting bombs on a specific time frame, the massive purchasing of oil to fill up the strategic oil reserve by April 2008. Everything points to April 2008 to being a month of some criticality. It also matches my analysis that the Bush administration will want to carry this out prior to the crazy political season of the summer of 2008.

Metro Times: Last year you expressed hope that if Democrats took control of Congress it might pass legislation that could block the march toward war. Do you see them stepping up?

Scott Ritter: No. They just passed a resolution declaring the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Command as a terrorist organization. Unless there is a radical reawakening in Congress, I don't see them passing any sort of pre-emptive legislation of that nature.

Metro Times: But it is now clearer than ever that our invasion of Iraq has been a disaster. How do you explain the lack of opposition?

Scott Ritter: It's difficult to explain. First of all you have to note, from the public side, that very few Americans actually function as citizens anymore. What I mean by that are people who invest themselves in this country, people who care, who give a damn. Americans are primarily consumers today, and so long as they continue to wrap themselves in the cocoon of comfort, and the system keeps them walking down a road to the perceived path of prosperity, they don't want to rock the boat. If it doesn't have a direct impact on their day-to-day existence, they simply don't care.

There's a minority of people who do, but the majority of Americans don't. And if the people don't care - and remember, the people are the constituents - if the constituents don't care, then those they elect to higher office won't feel the pressure to change.

The Democrats, one would hope, would live up to their rhetoric, that is, challenging the Bush administration's imperial aspirations. Once it became clear Iraq was an unmitigated disaster, one would have thought that when the Democrats took control of Congress they would have sought to reimpose a system of checks and balances, as the Constitution mandates. But instead the Democrats have put their focus solely on recapturing the White House, and, in doing so, will not do anything that creates a political window of opportunity for their Republican opponents.

The Democrats don't want to be explaining to an apathetic constituency, an ignorant constituency whose ignorance is prone to be exploited because it produces fear, fear of the unknown, and the global war on terror is the ultimate fear button. The Democrats, rather than challenging the Bush administration's position on the global war on terror, challenging the notion of these imminent threats, continues to play them up because that is the safest route toward the White House. At least that is their perception.

The last thing they are gong to do is pass a piece of legislation that opens the door for the Republicans to say, "Look how weak these guys are on terror. They're actually defending the Iranians. They're defending this Ahmadinejad guy. They're defending the Holocaust denier. They're defending the guy who wants to wipe Israel off the face of the earth." The Democrats don't want to go up against that. They don't have the courage of conviction to enter into that debate and stare at whoever makes that statement and say they're a bald-faced liar. They're not going to go that route.

Metro Times: Do you think there is anything that can happen at this point that will stop this attack?

Scott Ritter: You have to take a look at external influences, not internal ones. I don't think there is anything happening inside the United States that's going to stop that attack. I do believe that, for instance, if Pakistan continues to melt down, that could be something that creates such a significant diversion the Bush administration will not be able to make its move on Iran.

To attack Iran, they're going to need a nice lull period. That's what they're pushing with this whole surge right now. They're creating the perception that things are quieting. I don't know how many people picked up on it, but one day we're told that 2007's been the bloodiest year for U.S. forces in Iraq, the next day we're told that attacks against American troops are dropping at a dramatic pace. So, what's the media focus on? The concept of attacks dropping at a dramatic pace. No one's talking about the fact, wait a minute, we've just lost more guys than we've ever lost before.

They are pushing the perception that Iraq is now stable. If you have a situation in Pakistan that explodes out of control, where you suddenly have nuclear weapons at risk of falling into the hands of Islamic fundamentalists, that could stop it. If Turkey attacks Kurdistan and that conflict spins out of control, that could put a halt to it. These are things that could overshadow even Dick Cheney's desire to bomb Iran.

And there could be some other unforeseen meltdown globally that's not on the radar at this time, that, unfortunately, we have to be hoping for to stop an attack on Iran. And that says a lot, that we have to hope for disaster to prevent unmitigated disaster.

Metro Times: What's the motivation?

Scott Ritter: The ideologues who are in there believe the United States in the post-Cold War environment needed to fill the gap created by the demise of the Soviet Union so that no nation or group of nations would ever again confront us as equals. And in order to do this, they basically divided the world into spheres of strategic interest and said we will impose our will. And the Middle East is one such area. There's a whole host of reasons to do this.

It's not just supporting Israel. It's not just taking down Saddam. It's about geopolitics. It's about looking down the road toward China and India, the world's two largest developing economies, especially the Chinese, and the absolute fear that this resurgent Chinese economy brings in the hearts of American industrialists and the need to dictate the pace of Chinese economic development by controlling their access to energy. And controlling central Asian and Middle East energy areas is key in the strategic thinking of the Bush administration.

So, there's a lot of complexity at play here. But you say why do they want to do this? It's about as Condoleezza Rice continuously says before the U.S. Congress: It's about regional transformation, inclusive of regime change. It turns the Middle East into a sphere of interest that we have tremendous control over. That's what's behind all this.

Metro Times: And when Bush talks about being an instrument of God, do you think he really believes that or is that just political posturing, playing to the religious base?

Scott Ritter: That's a question that can only be asked of George Bush. But I find it disturbing that an American politician who is supposed to be the head of a secular nation where religion is protected but there is no state religion, and who has control over the world's largest nuclear arsenal, not only openly talks about how God is his final adviser, which pretty much negates the role of Congress or any other system of governmental oversight, checks and balances of the executive, but also embraces a kind of evangelicalism that gives legitimacy to the notion of the rapture, Armageddon, the apocalypse as a good thing.

Here's a man who speaks of World War III and the apocalypse and he has his hand on the button and he talks to God. I don't know, if it's a show, its a dangerous show, if its real, we should all be scared to death.

Metro Times: Even going back to before the start of the Iraq war, the national mainstream media just seemed to be beating the drum for it. Why do you think that is?

Scott Ritter: Again, only they can really answer that question, but I think it is clear the mainstream media, while not outright fabricators, are not there to tell the truth, they're there to win over ratings. They will package their programming in ways that sells well to an audience. And we are dealing with a complacent American audience, where in-depth reality stories are trumped by reality TV. I don't see the programming director saying, "Look, we're going to spend an hour explaining to the American people why Ahmadinejad's speech wasn't that big of a deal." Or they can say, "Hell, no; in three minutes we can lead with a story saying he's a Holocaust denier and win everybody's attention."

Metro Times: Do you think the resolutions in 2001 and 2002 authorizing Bush to use military force against Iraq give Bush the authority to attack Iran without first obtaining congressional approval?

Scott Ritter: I'd like to believe it didn't, but unfortunately when you take a look at it, and I've had constitutional scholars take a look at it, the feeling is that, yeah, because of the terrorist threat, if you take a look at the fine print on both of those resolutions, it gives the president authorization to use military force to take out groups, organizations, individuals, etc. who are linked to the events of 9/11. And the president has continued to make the case that Iran is linked to the attacks.

Metro Times: Do you think an attack on Iran would be an illegal war of aggression and a war crime under international law?

Scott Ritter: It depends on what triggers it. If Iran engages in an action that legitimizes a military response, the answer is no.

There are two conditions that we are legally allowed to engage in military operations. Militaries are bound by the charter of the United Nations' Article 51, legitimate self-defense, and a Chapter 7 resolution passed by the Security Council authorizing military force to be used. If we attack Iran void of any of these, especially when it can be shown that we have hyped up a threat in defense of pre-emption - I think the Nuremberg Tribunals from 1946 have set a clear precedent with Judge Jackson condemning German generals to death for invading Denmark and Norway in the same premise of pre-emption. It is quite clear this is illegal. Unfortunately the Nuremberg Tribunals don't have any weight when it comes to prosecution of the law.

The international community has not agreed upon a definition of what pre-emptive aggression is, and what the consequences of such are. Let's keep in mind if we attack Iran we're guilty of no more than what we're already guilty of in attacking Iraq. Hyping up a threat where one doesn't exist, going to war void of any legitimacy, violating everything we claim to stand for. Yet we don't see any war crimes tribunals being convened for the Bush administration over Iraq.

Metro Times: One of the scenarios that's been raised has Israel launching the first strike, prompting a response from Iran that would then pull us in.

Scott Ritter: I think Israel is capable of doing a one-time limited shot into Iran. One has to take a look at the distances involved and the complexity of military operations ... the lack of friendly airspace between corridors into and out of Iran. It's nice to talk about an Israeli attack, but the reality is far different. Israel had trouble dominating Hezbollah right on its own border with air power.

I think Israel could actually go into Iran and get their butts kicked. It may not go off as well as they think it's going to go off. It is too long of a distance, too much warning for the Iranians. The Iranians are too locked-in; they're too well prepared. It doesn't make any sense. Israel doesn't have the ability to sustain a strike. Like I said, they might be able to pull off a limited one-time shot. But I think the fallout from that would be devastating for the United States. As much as we've worked to get an Arab alliance against Iran, that would just fall apart overnight with an Israeli attack. No Muslim state will stand by and defend Israel after it initiated a strike against Iran. It just will not happen. And the United States knows this. I just think it's ludicrous to talk about an Israeli attack.

I think what we're looking at is an American attack. It's the only viable option both in terms of initiation and sustainment of the strike. Israel might be drawn in after that. There's no doubt in my mind the Iranians will launch missiles against Israeli targets, either directly or through proxies, and that Israel will suffer. This is something I try to warn all my Israeli friends about. If you think Saddam Hussein firing 41 missiles was inconvenient, wait until the Iranians fire a thousand of them. It goes well beyond an inconvenience; it becomes a national tragedy. And then the escalation that can occur from there.

I think right now what the Bush administration is conceiving is a limited strike against Iran to take out certain Revolutionary Guard sites and perhaps identified nuclear infrastructure. Not a massive, sustained bombardment, but a limited strike. But we were always told in the Marine Corps that the enemy has a vote and no plan survives initial contact with the enemy. So we may seek to have a limited strike, but if the Iranians do a massive response, things could spin out of control quickly.

Metro Times: What do you foresee as some of the possible consequences? No one is talking about putting troops on the ground in Iran are they?

Scott Ritter: A while back there was talk about having forces move in on Tehran via Azerbaijan. But I think those plans have gone to the wayside. If Iran is successful in shutting down the Straits of Hormuz, it will force our hand and we'll have to put the Marines in to secure the Straits. If the conflict drags on and air power is not sufficient to break the will of the Iranian resistance, the Army may have to activate its option to put a reinforced corps into Azerbaijan and punch down the Caspian Sea coast. But these are definitely not the leading options at this point in time.

Metro Times: When you say a "limited strike," what might that look like in more detail?

Scott Ritter: Iran is a big country. There are a number of target sites we have to look at. To give an example, to take out a number of air defense sites during the Gulf War, a sortie required over 100 aircraft. It's not just one airplane coming in, firing a missile and going out. You have to secure a corridor, you have to put a combat air patrol over it, you have to have air-to-air refueling, you have to have aircraft protecting the refuelers, and then you have to have the strike aircraft themselves. You have to have pre- and post-reconnaissance. When you replicate this, let's say, over 20 targets, we don't have enough airplanes to do it all at once. So, it's something that will occur in phases. What you look at is maybe a three- to five-day bombardment where we take out sites, radar sites and air defense sites the first day, the second we pound the nuclear sites, the third day we take the Revolutionary Guard Command sites, the fourth and fifth days we do follow-up strikes to make sure all targets are destroyed, then we're done. That's probably what we're looking at.

Metro Times: How much damage could be done to the Iranian nuclear program?

Scott Ritter: No damage would be done to it. Remember, the problem the Iranians face isn't the manufacture of this equipment. They've already mastered that. And if you think for a second machine tools that are used to manufacture enrichment equipment are going to be stored out in the open where we can bomb them, you're wrong. They've been dispersed. The Iraqis were masters of this. We spent a lot of money blowing up concrete, but we never got the machine tools, because they were always hidden. They were always evacuated the day before - they'd take it to palm groves or warehouses that we didn't know about, or hidden in narrow streets. And we never detected that, and we never got them. The Iranians are even better. They've been mastering the technology of deep-earth tunneling, so they can hide things underground that we can't reach with our conventional weapons. So I just think it is absurd to talk about bombing these sites, because all we'll do is blow up buildings that can be rebuilt.

A couple of sites are more sensitive; I think the uranium conversion facility at Isfahan, that'll be a major blow. It's a site that can be rebuilt however. It was a facility put in by the Chinese, but the Iranians have the blueprints. It'll take time, but they can rebuild it. At the best we are talking about retarding an Iranian program. But what's worse is if we bomb them, we may retard it, but we might also make it a militant program. Meaning that if their objective is only nuclear energy and suddenly they're being attacked and the world is doing nothing, we may push the Iranians into weaponization even though that is something they don't want to do. That's not in the cards right now. But our attack will have little or no impact on anything. That's for certain.

Metro Times: So what do you think the United States should be doing to keep Iran from getting nuclear weapons?

Scott Ritter: I think that is the wrong question. That presumes Iran is seeking nuclear weapons. There's no evidence of that whatsoever. So rather than pose a question that legitimizes a certain point, I think the question should be, "What should the United States be doing in regards to Iran?" I think we should be seeking to normalize relations with Iran. We should be seeking stability in the region. This concept that the United States gets to dictate to sovereign people the makeup of their government is absurd. First of all, the theocracy in Iran, while not a model, for instance ... it's an Iranian problem, not an American problem. The day of the exportation of the Islamic revolution is long gone. The Iranians are not seeking to convert by the sword anybody. It's a nation that has serious internal problems. Economic. Huge unemployment. It's a nation that recognizes these problems. And they are in desperate need of not only political stability but also the economic benefits that come with this stability.

The Iranians want a normalization of relations with the United States that would be inclusive of peaceful coexistence with Israel. They've said this over and over and over again.

So what the United States should be doing is exploiting the olive branch that is being held out by the Iranians. We should be engaging them diplomatically. We should be terminating economic sanctions and seeking to exploit the leverage that comes with having American businesses working inside Iran to try and change them from within. We should be doing everything to get Iran to be a positive player in the region, especially considering the debacle that's unfolding in Iraq. Having the Iranians working with us to engender stability as opposed to being at cross-purposes.

The same can be said in Afghanistan and the entire central Asian region. We keep putting our hopes on allies like Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. Saudi Arabia, which produced 14 of the hijackers who slaughtered Americans on 9/11. Pakistan, which was the political sponsor of the Taliban and al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and continues to have ties to radical Islamic terror organizations. These are our allies? And we call Iran the enemy? We've got it backward. The Iranians are actually the ones we should be working with to oppose dictatorships like Pakistan and irresponsible governments like Saudi Arabia's.

Metro Times: Even under Iran's current president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad? It seems like before him, just after 2001, there was a window where the Iranians were seeking rapprochement and doing things perhaps quietly and not well-known to Americans to stabilize things.

Scott Ritter: You have to remember that Ahmadinejad doesn't make any policy. He is more than a figurehead, but constitutionally he's hampered by the reality that the power resides with the theocrats. It's the theocrats we need to be engaging, not Ahmadinejad. You engage the people who make the decisions. In the end we should be sending people to talk to the National Security Council, the Guardian Council, the representatives of the supreme leader. That's where the power is, that's where the decisions are made. Ahmadinejad is in reality just a minor inconvenience. The bottom line is, not only doesn't he account for much, his words haven't created a problem at all. Half the things we claim he said, he never said at all. And the other half we put out of context and exaggerate.

I'm not here to defend what the guy says. But the notion that just because a man dared question a 100 percent interpretation of the history of the Holocaust as put forward by Israel - and again, I'm not saying he's right to do that - I'm just saying that because he dared do that, he's suddenly evil incarnate and we need to go to war against this guy? No. At worst he's a joke. He's a guy whose words mean nothing, have no power, have no relevance. It's the supreme leader that matters. And, yes, today the supreme leader continues to want to seek to normalize relations with the United States.

Metro Times: You are getting ready to go to Iran at the start of December. What's the purpose of that trip?

Scott Ritter: I've been trying to get there for some time now to talk with Iranian government officials trying to ascertain firsthand what's going on in Iran. We get a lot of rhetoric here at home, we get the media saying a lot of things that are derived not so much from on-the-ground truth in Iran but rather from talking points put out by the White House. I think it is imperative that if we are going to have a national debate, discussion and dialogue about Iran, that we get all sides of the story.

Hopefully, I'll have an opportunity to meet with Iranian government officials, and have a chance to speak with some religious officials, and maybe even have a chance to talk about hypotheticals, not only what the current situation is, but how the Iranians would like to see this thing resolved and what mechanisms might need to be employed and maybe come back with some ideas that people in Congress might be interested in.

Metro Times: You've been to Iran before, haven't you?

Scott Ritter: Yes. And having been to Iran, I can tell you that it is the last nation in the world we should be saying these are people we have to fight. When you visit Iran and you see the Iranian people and you get the chance to talk to them, you realize that these are peaceful people. These are highly educated people. They are more like us than we can possibly imagine. They are very Western in their approach, although they reject the term Western because they say think those in the West are Neanderthals compared to the Persian culture. But they are very modern in their approach. They are a very modern people.

I always say the best way to stop a war with Iran would be to issue every American a passport and roundtrip ticket and money for a two-week stay and let them go there and when they came back they'd say there's no way we should bomb this place. Once you've been to Iran you realize just how utterly useless the concept of militaristic confrontation is.

Metro Times: I think it is fair to say you are perceived as a champion of the left at this point. But 10 years ago, when you were criticizing the Clinton administration for undermining efforts to root out Saddam's weapons, you were being heralded by the right. Saddam accused you of being an American spy. And you were criticized for being too close with the Israelis and sharing information with them. But when you go to Iraq prior to the war there, people on the right are calling you a traitor. The FBI put you under surveillance. What do you make of all that?

Scott Ritter: What I make of it is my consistency and the inconsistency of those who seek to gain political advantage by manipulating the truth. When the right embraced what I was saying, they didn't embrace the totality of what I was saying. They only embraced that aspect that was convenient for their political purposes. I would say today that the left is guilty of the same thing. I'm only convenient to the left when that which I espouse mirrors what they are pursuing. It will be interesting to see, if Hillary Clinton wins the White House, how popular I will be in certain circles, because I can guarantee I will go after her with all the vengeance I go after the Bush administration.

It's not about being Republican, it's not about being Democrat, it's about being American. It's about doing the right thing. And in the 1990s the right thing was to implement the [United Nations] Security Council resolutions calling for the disarmament of Iraq. That was the law. That was what I was tasked with doing, and the Clinton administration was not permitting the task to be accomplished.

By holding them to account, if that suddenly made me popular with the right, then so be it. It's not something that I sought; it wasn't the purpose of what I was doing. But when the complexity of my stance became inconvenient to the right, when they found out it wasn't just about taking down the Clinton administration, but rather criticizing an American political position that put unilateral policy objectives and regime change higher up in the chain of priorities than disarmament, suddenly it wasn't convenient anymore to be saying, "Hey, we like this guy."

One cannot be held accountable for the words and actions of those who seek to selectively embrace what you say.

Metro Times: When Bush talks about World War III, how likely is the scenario that an attack by us would escalate into that?

Scott Ritter: I don't know about likely, but what I say is that I can sit here and spin scenarios that have it going in that direction. And these aren't fantastic scenarios.

Metro Times: Would that be having Russia or China coming in?

Scott Ritter: No, no, no. It would be something more like the destabilization of Pakistan to the point where a nuclear device gets in the hands of Islamic fundamentalists who are aligned with al-Qaeda and there's some sort of nuclear activity on the soil of the United States of America. That's more what I'm looking at. I don't think the Russians or the Chinese would become involved. They don't need to. All they have to do is sit back and wait and pick up the pieces - because it is the end of the United States as a global superpower. That's one thing I try to tell everybody. The danger of going after Iran is that it is just not worth it. What we can lose is everything, and what we gain is nothing. So why do it?


Thursday, November 29, 2007


By: Richard J. Boylan, Ph.D.

This is a summary report on those elements of that clandestine organizational network, (which we shall label the Shadow Government), which serves as a kind of "parallel government" to the official elected and appointed government of this country (USA). It includes those elements known to the author with sufficient certainty that they can be positively identified, and their known or reliably reported functions described. It is distinctly possible that there are other elements, (particularly in the realms of the "Black Budget" and "Special Operations",) which have eluded our study, and are not named here.

Just as with the official government, the Shadow Government has functional branches. However, unlike the official government, the purpose of the none-executive branches of the Shadow Government is simply to distribute various functions, but not to achieve a system of checks and balances, as was supposed to happen constitutionally between the executive, legislative and judicial branches of the U.S. Government. That is because the Shadow Government is a creature of a powerful elite, who need not fear being dominated by an instrument of their own creation.

In the Shadow Government five branches may be identified. These branches are: the Executive Branch, the Intelligence Branch, the War Department, the Weapons Industry Branch, and the Financial Department.
The reporting lines of the Intelligence Branch and the War Department to the Executive Branch are straightforward and obvious. Intelligence exists to provide the Executive Branch with sufficient necessary information to make adequately informed policy decisions. The War Department exists to provide coercive force to carry out Executive policy decisions which could meet with public resistance. The Special Operations units within the Intelligence Branch and War Department exist to carry out policy directives requiring covert action and official deniability.
The Weapons Industry Branch reports to the Executive Branch most often indirectly, through the War Department and/or the Intelligence Branch (for Black Budget weapons systems).

The Financial Department theoretically reports to the Executive Branch for fiscal policy implementation, but de facto also reports directly to the international power brokers who have created the Shadow Government. The Financial Department serves at times directly as their instrument of fiscal policy implementation.

An analysis of the overall purposes of these five branches suggests that the overall purpose of the Shadow Government is to exercise covert control by: 1) collecting comprehensive institutional and personal information, 2) by establishing national and international policy independently of the established Government, 3) by developing high-tech arms and equipment, and, with these, establishing small, specialized, highly-mobile, elite military units to effect these covert policies, when need arises, without having to rely on the official (and "unreliable") Armed Services, (whose subservience to the Shadow Government is reasonably suspect), 4) by developing an armed capability to repel any threat to the status quo, (including the uncertain ontological, social, and economic impacts of any revelation of the reality of UFO and extraterrestrial presence) through the development of a Star Wars/BMDO ground and space-based surveillance and SDI weapons network, 5) by denying information compromising to the Shadow Government from all those outside "need-to-know" policymaking levels, and 6) by exercising control on the money supply, availability of credit, and the worth of money, through policy decisions made outside of the official Government.

All of these mechanisms of control serve to preserve or advance the agenda of an international group of pivotal power and influence brokers. That agenda is, according to Senator Barry Goldwater, that "national boundaries should be obliterated and one world rule established." [With No Apologies, Berkley Books, New York [[date unknown]].]

These power brokers' most visible unifying instrumentality is the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), (which promotes the transition of Earth from a cluster of Nation-States to one global government), [Chairman: Peter G. Peterson; headquarters: 58 E. 68th Street, New York, NY 10021]. [Cf. In Control, Kerrville, TX: Fund to Restore an Educated Electorate, 1993.] However, one must not underestimate the influence of the Trilateral Commission (TC), (which coordinates economic initiatives of the Group of Seven with other "developed countries" vis-a-vis the "underdeveloped world",) [Chairman: Paul Volcker; headquarters: 345 E. 46th Street, New York, NY 10017]. Neither should one misjudge the power of the secretive Bilderberg Group (BG), (which concentrates on the military and strategic considerations of powerful West European and North American power brokers), [chair rotates, former Chair: Prince Bernhard of Holland; headquarters unknown: annual meetings rotate, but originally were held at the Hotel de Bilderberg, Oosterbeck, Holland].

David Rockefeller is the Chairman Emeritus of both the CFR and the TC, and certainly influences, through proxy representatives (such as Lloyd Bentsen), the Bilderberg Group. [Cf. Holly Sklar, ed., Trilateralism: The Trilateral Commission and Elite Planning for World Management; Boston: South End Press, 1981.]
What follows is a succinct identification and description of the constituent agencies in each of the five branches of the Shadow Government.


(This branch contains the effective policymaking and controlling structures behind the veil of apparent, democratic governmental structures):

a) Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) (includes George Bush, Bill Clinton, all modern CIA Directors, most modern Joint Chiefs of Staff, most modern Cabinet and top Executive Branch appointed officeholders, etc.);

b) Tri-Lateral Commission (David Rockefeller, Henry Kissinger, John D. Rockefeller, Alan Greenspan, Zbignew Brzezinski, Anthony Lake, John Glenn, David Packard, David Gergen, Diane Feinstein, Jimmy Carter, Adm. William Crowe, etc.;

c) The Bilderberg Group (Prince Hans-Adam of Liechtenstein, Prince Bernhard of Netherlands, Bill Clinton, Lloyd Bentsen, etc.);

d) National Security Council (NCS), (the military and intelligence policymaking and control group for national and international security, which reports directly to the President), its secret 5412 Committee (which directs black [covert] operations), and its PI-40 Subcommittee (aka MJ-12: which exercises policy direction and control of the UFO Cover-Up);

e) Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS)'s Special Operations compartment, (the operations directorate which implements the orders of the NSC's 5412 Committee, utilizing the U.S. Special Forces Command);

f) National Program Office (NPO), (which operates the Continuity of Government Project (COG), an ongoing secret project to maintain command, control, communication and intelligence executive centers during an extreme National Emergency by operating clandestine, secure, underground cities staffed by surrogates for above-ground national leaders]); and,

h) Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)'s black projects compartment, (which operates federal preventive-detention camps [often located on military bases or federal Bureau of Land Management lands], secure underground shelters for the elite during cataclysms, etc.).


(Serves functions of domestic and international surveillance and of secret police/enforcers):

a) National Security Agency (NSA), (monitors and screens all telephone, telegraph, computer modem, radio, television, cellular, microwave, and satellite communications, and electromagnetic fields "of interest" around the world, and orchestrates information-control and cover-up activities related to UFO secrecy and surveillance of extraterrestrial operations), Fort Meade, MD;

b) National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), (controls and collects information from global spy satellites, monitors UFO traffic entering and leaving Earth's atmosphere, coordinates firing of energy-beam weapons from orbiting Star Wars satellites at selected human ground and airborne targets and selectively at extraterrestrial craft), Pentagon basement and Dulles-Airport area, VA;

c) National Reconnaissance Organization (NRO) (aka MJ-TF), (the military/intelligence operations arm of the PI-40 Subcommittee, conducts surveillance, interdiction, capture and confiscation of UFOs and their extraterrestrial occupants for intelligence and "International Security" purposes; surveilles and "interacts" with close-encounter experiencers, including occasional physically and sexually assaultive mind-control kidnappings disguised as "Alien abductions" for psychological warfare and disinformational purposes), headquarters unknown, probably compartmented and dispersed among various elite Delta Force Special Operations units, such as the USAF Blue Light at Hurlburt Field, Mary Esther, FL and Beale Air Force Base, Marysville, CA;

d) Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), (commands, often controls, and sometimes coordinates, the gathering of secret overseas information gathered by spies (HUMINT), electronic surveillance (SIGINT), and other means; carries out covert unconstitutional paramilitary counterinsurgency operations and preemptive political pacification projects in violation of international law, as well as counter-intelligence sting operations against foreign agents; engages in domestic surveillance, and manipulation of the U.S. political process, "in the National interest" in direct violation of its congressional charter; operates proprietary "false-front" companies for profit; conducts a major share of international transshipment of illegal drugs, using National Security cover and immunity; and cooperates with NSA's UFO cover-up operations), Langley, VA, and worldwide branches;

e) Federal Bureau of Investigation, Counter-Intelligence Division, (the branch which investigates, surveilles and neutralizes foreign Intelligence agents operating within the U.S., and cooperates with the National Reconnaissance Organization in the surveillance of those involved in close encounters with UFOs and extraterrestrials);

f) Department of Energy Intelligence (DOE-INTEL), (which conducts internal security checks and external security threat countermeasures, often through its contract civilian instrumentality, the Wackenhut Corporation);

g) NSA's Central Security Service, and CIA's Special Security Office, (which respectively spy on the spies, and conduct special operations which cannot be entrusted to line intelligence officers), Ft. Meade, MD and Langley, VA;

h) U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM) (whose assignments include psychological and psychotronic warfare (PSYOPS), parapsychological intelligence (PSYINT), and electromagnetic intelligence (ELMINT), Ft. Meade, MD;

i) U.S. Navy Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI), which gathers intelligence affecting naval operations, and has a compartmented unit involved in UFO and USO [Unidentified Submerged Objects] information gathering;

j) U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI), (which gathers intelligence affecting aerospace operations, and has a compartmented unit involved in investigating UFO sightings, extraterrestrial contact reports, as well as IAC [Identified Alien Craft] surveillance, and coordination with NRO interdiction operations), Bolling Air Force Base, MD;

k) Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), (which coordinates the intelligence data gathered from the various Armed Services intelligence branches (Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard and Special Forces), and provides counter-threat measures, which include providing security at ultra-classified installations by the deployment of U.S. "Thought Police", who conduct surveillance, by remote-viewing and other parapsychological measures, against penetrations and scanning by foreign or civilian remote-viewers [clairvoyants/out-of-body seers]), Pentagon, VA, Fort Meade, MD, and the entire astral plane;

l) NASA Intelligence, (which gathers intelligence data relating to space flights, sabotage threats, astronaut and reconnaissance satellite encounters with UFOs and Star Visitors, and coordinates the transfer of Star Visitor technology to U.S. and allies' aerospace operations);

m) Air Force Special Security Service (which is an NSA/USAF joint intelligence operations unit dealing with possible threats to aerospace operations from foreign powers, terrestrial or otherwise);

n) Defense Industry Security Command (DISCO), (which conducts intelligence operations within and on behalf of the civilian defense contractor corporations engaged in classified research, development, and production);

o) Defense Investigative Service (DIS), (which conducts investigations into people and situations deemed a possible threat to any operation of the Department of Defense);

p) Naval Investigative Service (NIS), (which conducts investigations against threats to Naval operations);

q) Air Force Electronic Security Command, (which conducts surveillance and interdiction of threats to the security of Air Force electronic transmissions and telemetry, and to the integrity of electronic counter-measure (ECM) warfare equipment; r) Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) Intelligence, (which conducts surveillance and interdiction of drug smuggling operations, unless exempted under "National Security" waivers);

s) Federal Police Agency Intelligence, (which coordinates intelligence relating to threats against federal property and personnel);

t) Defense Electronic Security Command, (which coordinates intelligence surveillance and countermeasures against threats to the integrity of military electronic equipment and electronic battlefield operations), Fort Worth, TX.

u) Project Deep Water (the ongoing effects of the compromised personnel, sources and methods resulting from the secret importation of Hitler's own Nazi Intelligence chief, Gen. Reinhard Gehlen, to redesign the U.S.'s Intelligence apparatus);

v) Project Paperclip (the ongoing results of the secret importation of Nazi weapons and aerospace/UFO scientists into U.S. secret military research and development bases);

w) (Undoubtedly, more clandestine units exist, not identified at this time.)


(High-Technology Weapons Development and Covert Special Forces/Special Operations Units Deployment):

a) CIA's Directorate for Science and Technology, (which gathers information with promise for scientific and technological developments which present a superiority advantage for, or a threat against, the National Security, [also contains the "Weird Desk", which centrally processes intelligence about UFOs and Star Visitors and their interaction with Earth], current Deputy Director of Central Intelligence for Science and Technology is Ron Pandolfi);

b) Strategic Defense Initiative Office (SDIO)/ Ballistic Missile [sic] Defense Organization (BMDO), (which coordinates research, development and deployment of Star Wars electromagnetic-pulse, killer-laser, particle-beam, plasmoid, and other advanced-technology aerospace weapons;

c) Department of Energy (DOE) (which, besides its cover-story of researching cleaner-burning coal and gasoline and more solar power, is principally involved in research and development of: more specialized nuclear weapons; plus compact, self-sustaining, fusion-powered, particle and wave weapons, including electromagnetic pulse, gravitational/antigravitational, laser, neutral particle-beam and plasmoid applied weapons research; high-energy invisibility "cloaking" technology, etc.);

d) Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories (LLNL)/Sandia National Laboratories-West (SNL-W), (which are involved in nuclear warhead "refinements", development of new trans-uranic elements for weapons and energy applications, development of anti-matter weapons (the Teller Bomb: 10,000 times the force of a hydrogen bomb), laser/maser technology applications, and, reportedly, successful teleportation experiments, among other projects, at this Russian-nicknamed "City of Death"), Livermore, CA;

e) Idaho National Engineering Laboratories (INEL), (which houses numerous underground facilities in an immense desert installations complex larger than Rhode Island, has security provided by its own secret Navy Base, is involved in nuclear, high-energy electromagnetic, and other research, and includes Argonne National Laboratory, West), Arco, ID;

f) Sandia National Laboratories (SNL)/Phillips Air Force Laboratory, (which are sequestered on Kirtland Air Force Base/Sandia Military Reservation, and conduct the translation of theoretical and experimental nuclear and Star Wars weapons research done at Los Alamos and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories into practical, working weapons), Albuquerque, NM;

g) Tonopah Test Range (SNL's DOE weapons-testing facility for operationally testing Star Wars weapons in realistic target situations, and is adjacent to classified stealth and cloaked aerospace craft and U.S.-UFO bases at the Groom Lake [USAF/DOE/CIA] Base [Area 51] and Papoose Lake Base [S-4]), Nevada Test Site/Nellis AFB Range, Tonopah, NV;

h) Haystack USAF Laboratory, Haystack Buttes, Edwards AFB, CA, (a 30-levels deep, extreme-security facility reportedly engaged in Star Visitor technology retro-engineering;

i) Los Alamos National Laboratories (LANL), (which is the premiere research lab for nuclear, subatomic particle, high magnetic field, exo-metallurgical, exo-biological and other back-engineered extraterrestrial technologies research), Los Alamos County, NM;

j) Area 51 (Groom Lake [USAF/DOE/CIA] Base), and S[Site]-4 (Papoose Lake Base), ultra-secure "nonexistent" deployment bases where extremely classified aerospace vehicles are tested and operationally flown, including the Aurora [Mach-8] spyplane, the Black Manta [TR-3A] stealthy fighter follow-on to the F-117A, the Pumpkinseed hyperspeed unmanned aerospace reconnaissance vehicle, and several variants of antigravitational craft (U.S.-UFOs), including the "Christmas Tree Ornament" (glowing orange orb) and the "Firefly" (strobing, flitting, bluish-white lit airframe);

k) U.S. Special Forces Command, Hurlburt Field, Mary Esther, Fl, along with its Western U.S. Headquarters, Special Forces Command, Beale AFB, Marysville, CA, coordinating: 1) U.S. Army Delta Forces (Green Berets); 2) U.S. Navy SEALS (Black Berets), Coronado, CA; and 3) USAF Blue Light (Red Berets) Strike Force;

l) Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), (which coordinates the application of latest scientific findings to the development of new generations of weapons); (now called ARPA);

m) the Jason Group (elite weapons-application scientists, developing cutting-edge-science weapons for DARPA/ARPA, and operating under the cover of the Mitre Corporation);

o) Aquarius Group (UFO technology-application scientists, reportedly working under the guidance of the Dolphin Society, an elite group of scientists privy to extremely classified science and technology findings);

p) Defense Science Board, (which serves as the Defense Department's intermediary between weapons needs and the physical sciences);

q) Defense Nuclear Agency (DNA) (currently concentrating on fusion-powered, high-energy particle-beam, X-ray laser, and EM forcefield weapons development and deployment);

r) U.S. Space Command, (Space War Headquarters for operating "the next war, which will be fought and won in space"), jointly coordinated through Peterson AFB, Schreiver AFB, Cheyenne Mountain AFS, Colorado Springs, and Buckley AFB, Aurora, CO;

s.1) North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), (operating the nuclear-survivable space surveillance and war command center deep inside Cheyenne Mountain), Colorado Springs, CO;

s.2) Naval Space Command, the secret lead agency in dealing with the mounting of and operating of space-based warfare "assets" to deal with any perceived threat from space;

t) Air Force Office of Space Systems, (which coordinates the development of future technology for operating and fighting in space);

u) National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) (which operates covert space-defense, research aabout extraterrestrial lifeforms, and space-weapons compartments, in addition to manned Shuttle and unmanned scientific satellite launches);

v) NASA's Ames Research Center, (which conducts the SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Project, Exobiology (Star Visitor life forms) Division, and "Human Factors" (PSY-Warfare) Division), Sunnyvale, CA;

w) Project Cold Empire (SDI weapons research-classified);

x) Project Snowbird (creating pseudo-UFOs, used as disinformation);

y) Project Aquarius (UFO research-classified);

x) Project MILSTAR (development and deployment of WW III [space war] command, control, communication and intelligence satellites);

z) Project Tacit Rainbow (stealth drones/pseudo-UFO's);

aa) Project Timberwind (nuclear-powered spacecraft);

bb) Project Code EVA (space-walk-based technology);

cc) Project Cobra Mist (SDI energy-beam (plasmoid?) weapon research); and

dd) Project Cold Witness (SDI weapons-classified), etc.


("private" [black project] weapons and covert operations contractors):

a) AT&T (Sandia Labs, Bell Labs, etc. - Star Wars weapons research and NSA telephone/satellite communications interception facilitation); (Sandia Weapons Lab has now reportedly being taken over by Batelle Memorial Institute, a proprietary with reported Intelligence connections);

b) Stanford Research Institute, Inc. (SRI), (an Intelligence contractor involved in psychotronic, parapsychological and PSY-WAR research);

c) RAND Corporation (CIA-front involved in Intelligence projects, weapons development, and underground bases development);

d) Edgerton, Germhausen & Greer Corporation (EG&G), (NSA/DOE-contractor involved in Star Wars weapons development, fusion applications, and security for Area 51 (U.S. UFO-technology aerospace vehicles base) and nuclear installations, etc.);

e) Wackenhut Corporation (NSA/CIA/DOE cut-out contractor) involved in contract security operations for Top Secret Ultra and Black Budget surface and underground military reservations, such as Area S-4 (U.S. UFO base), NV and Sandia National Labs, (Star Wars weapons testing facility), NM), and, reportedly, "dirty jobs" for CIA and Defense Intelligence agencies;

f) Bechtel Corporation (CIA's "ditch-digger" for covert projects and off-the-books underground bases);

g) United Nuclear Corporation (military nuclear applications);

h) Walsh Construction Company (on the CIA projects dole);

i) Aerojet (Genstar Corp.):( makes DSP-1 Star Wars battle satellites for the NRO);

j) Reynolds Electronics Engineering (on CIA/DoD dole);

k) Lear Aircraft Company (Black Budget technology);

l) Northrop Corporation (makes U.S. antigravity craft, back-engineered from Star Visitor technology, near Lancaster, CA);

m) Hughes Aircraft (classified projects compartment);

n) Lockheed-Martin Corporation (Black Budget aerospace projects);

o) McDonnell-Douglas Corporation (Black Budget aerospace projects);

p) BDM Corporation (CIA contractor, involved in UFO back-engineering and psychotronic projects, etc.);

q) General Electric Corporation (electronic warfare and weapons systems); and

r) PSI-TECH Corporation (involved in military/Intelligence-applications of research into psychotronics, parapsychology, remote viewing, and contacting extraterrestrial consciousness);

s) Science Applications International Corp. (SAIC); "black projects" contractor, reportedly including psychic warfare.


(Extra-Constitutional funding):

a) Federal Reserve System (cartel of private banks overseen by elite superwealthy financiers, such as the Rockefellers, Mellons, DuPonts, Rothschilds, etc., which dictates to the Government the flow of money, worth of money, and the interest rates the government and citizens must pay);

b) CIA self-financing (the operation and/or control of much of the international drug trade in heroin, cocaine and marijuana, as well as "front" business enterprises, as a source of cash for off-the-books covert operations, and the purchase of exotic munitions and strategic bribe funds);

c) Department of Justice self-financing (the use of confiscated cash and valuables from "targets of investigation" to finance "special projects");

d) Special Forces self-financing (the self-use of confiscated "booty" from covert military operations to fund other clandestine operations).
What conclusions can be drawn from this preliminary analysis of the structure, functions and operations of the Shadow Government?
Foremost, the Shadow Government is a very large, well-organized, skillfully camouflaged, parallel power structure. History suggests that it has served its masters well, and that its predilection for operating out of sight and notoriety, if not in an outright clandestine fashion, is exactly how its masters want it to function -- not drawing attention to itself, manipulating power behind the scenes, and accomplishing by covert operations what cannot lawfully or politically be accomplished out in the open.

What should be the attitude of the informed citizen to the Shadow Government?
Since it thrives in the dark, we should shine the light of full disclosure on it.
Citizens can demand: the end of the Congressional practice of allowing "Black Budget" items; the end of unpublished secret Executive Orders and National Security Directives; the end of the practice of indefinitely- sustained Presidential Declarations of National Emergency (as is currently in place); the end of Federal Reserve Notes and the return to the gold standard to back the dollar; the end to governmental domestic spying on its own citizens; and extremely severe reduction (on the order of 90%) in the number, staffing and scope of the endlessly proliferating Intelligence agencies, which are an anachronism since the Cold War ended; and an end to CIA and DEA collusion in allowing a continuing stream of drugs to pour into this country.

We founded this Country (USA); it's time to take it back.

- Richard J. Boylan, Ph.D.

Dr. Richard Boylan is a behavioral scientist, university instructor, certified
clinical hypnotherapist, and researcher into extraterrestrial-human encounters.
Richard Boylan, Ph.D., LLC,
Post Office Box 1009, Diamond Springs California 95619, United States of America.
Phone: (530) 621-2674 (PDT)

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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

America in the Time of Empire

By Chris Hedges
Monday 26 November 2007

This column was originally published by the Philadelphia Inquirer.

All great empires and nations decay from within. By the time they hobble off the world stage, overrun by the hordes at the gates or vanishing quietly into the pages of history books, what made them successful and powerful no longer has relevance. This rot takes place over decades, as with the Soviet Union, or, even longer, as with the Roman, Ottoman or Austro-Hungarian empires. It is often imperceptible.

Dying empires cling until the very end to the outward trappings of power. They mask their weakness behind a costly and technologically advanced military. They pursue increasingly unrealistic imperial ambitions. They stifle dissent with efficient and often ruthless mechanisms of control. They lose the capacity for empathy, which allows them to see themselves through the eyes of others, to create a world of accommodation rather than strife. The creeds and noble ideals of the nation become empty cliches, used to justify acts of greater plunder, corruption and violence. By the end, there is only a raw lust for power and few willing to confront it.

The most damning indicators of national decline are upon us. We have watched an oligarchy rise to take economic and political power. The top 1 percent of the population has amassed more wealth than the bottom 90 percent combined, creating economic disparities unseen since the Depression. If Hillary Rodham Clinton becomes president, we will see the presidency controlled by two families for the last 24 years.

Massive debt, much of it in the hands of the Chinese, keeps piling up as we fund absurd imperial projects and useless foreign wars. Democratic freedoms are diminished in the name of national security. And the erosion of basic services, from education to health care to public housing, has left tens of millions of citizens in despair. The displacement of genuine debate and civil and political discourse with the noise and glitter of public spectacle and entertainment has left us ignorant of the outside world, and blind to how it perceives us. We are fed trivia and celebrity gossip in place of news.

An increasing number of voices, especially within the military, are speaking to this stark deterioration. They describe a political class that no longer knows how to separate personal gain from the common good, a class driving the nation into the ground.

"There has been a glaring and unfortunate display of incompetent strategic leadership within our national leaders," retired Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez, the former commander of forces in Iraq, recently told the New York Times, adding that civilian officials have been "derelict in their duties" and guilty of a "lust for power."

The American working class, once the most prosperous on Earth, has been politically disempowered, impoverished and abandoned. Manufacturing jobs have been shipped overseas. State and federal assistance programs have been slashed. The corporations, those that orchestrated the flight of jobs and the abolishment of workers' rights, control every federal agency in Washington, including the Department of Labor. They have dismantled the regulations that had made the country's managed capitalism a success for ordinary men and women. The Democratic and Republican Parties now take corporate money and do the bidding of corporate interests.

Philadelphia is a textbook example. The city has seen a precipitous decline in manufacturing jobs, jobs that allowed households to live comfortably on one salary. The city had 35 percent of its workforce employed in the manufacturing sector in 1950, perhaps the zenith of the American empire. Thirty years later, this had fallen to 20 percent. Today it is 8.8 percent. Commensurate jobs, jobs that offer benefits, health care and most important enough money to provide hope for the future, no longer exist. The former manufacturing centers from Flint, Mich., to Youngstown, Ohio, are open sores, testaments to a growing internal collapse.

The United States has gone from being the world's largest creditor to its largest debtor. As of September 2006, the country was, for the first time in a century, paying out more than it received in investments. Trillions of dollars go into defense while the nation's infrastructure, from levees in New Orleans to highway bridges in Minnesota, collapses. We spend almost as much on military power as the rest of the world combined, while Social Security and Medicare entitlements are jeopardized because of huge deficits. Money is available for war, but not for the simple necessities of daily life.

Nothing makes these diseased priorities more starkly clear than what the White House did last week. On the same day, Tuesday, President Bush vetoed a domestic spending bill for education, job training and health programs, yet signed another bill giving the Pentagon about $471 billion for the fiscal year that began Oct. 1. All this in the shadow of a Joint Economic Committee report suggesting that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been twice as expensive than previously imagined, almost $1.5 trillion.

The decision to measure the strength of the state in military terms is fatal. It leads to a growing cynicism among a disenchanted citizenry and a Hobbesian ethic of individual gain at the expense of everyone else. Few want to fight and die for a Halliburton or an Exxon. This is why we do not have a draft. It is why taxes have not been raised and we borrow to fund the war. It is why the state has organized, and spends billions to maintain, a mercenary army in Iraq. We leave the fighting and dying mostly to our poor and hired killers. No nationwide sacrifices are required. We will worry about it later.

It all amounts to a tacit complicity on the part of a passive population. This permits the oligarchy to squander capital and lives. It creates a world where we speak exclusively in the language of violence. It has plunged us into an endless cycle of war and conflict that is draining away the vitality, resources and promise of the nation.

It signals the twilight of our empire.


Monday, November 26, 2007

Bad, Worse, Worst and Beyond

By William Rivers Pitt
t r u t h o u t | Columnist
Monday 26 November 2007

Fear is just another word for ignorance. - Hunter S. Thompson

Once upon a time there was Bad, and there was Worse, and there was Worst, and that used to be it. Those were the only parameters necessary when the time came to assess the severity of a given situation and decide if the thing was merely wrong, actually dangerous, or just plan ridiculous. Bad, for example, was Gerald Ford's full pardon of Richard Nixon, which came in tandem with his decision to let Nixon keep the tapes. That's pretty straightforward, and the provided example should be clear enough: Bad means something is pretty damned bad.

Worse, by comparison, was Oliver North's sale of missiles to the same Iranian government that killed more than two hundred Marines in Beirut back in '83, followed by his illegal funneling of that sale's proceeds to fund a pack of kill-crazy fascists in Central America who shot some nuns and other non-combatants down like dogs using the good bullets they bought with thrice-laundered American tax dollars.

All of which was taking place as Reagan slid further into the senility that eventually left him capable only of pretending to be the president. Rather than deal with the reality of the situation, however, the decision was made to hand the entire hyper-weaponized machinery of the federal government over to a bunch of wild boys nobody ever voted for, whose abuse of that power rapidly devolved into a mind-bending crime spree that almost got their uncomprehending boss impeached.

As for Worst, well ... that's simple enough. Worst was a box in the cargo hold of Air Force One that left Dallas with John Kennedy inside of it, and was the blood pooling beneath Robert Kennedy's head as he lay dying on a dirty kitchen floor in California, and was Martin Luther King Jr. shot dead through the throat on some inconsequential Memphis hotel balcony, and was Medgar Evars shot dead in his driveway while his wife and children watched and wailed, and was Malcom Little who became Malcolm X who became El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz before a dozen gunshots put him down like Evars to die before the eyes of his wife and children.

That is a fair sampling of Worst, but only for openers, because this file is the biggest of the three by orders of magnitude, fairly bursting with names and events that sound in the reading of them like a roll-call of doom and nightmare, for that is precisely what they are.

Worst was as terrible as it could get, or so it was believed, until now, until the creation of a new fourth category became unavoidably necessary. The bewildering and terrifying fact of the matter is Worst has been fully and completely trumped by the times, relegated to silver-medal status and the lower podium. The grim reality of this brave new deranged world is the nation is now swarming with so many new and different horrors, which were upon us in one brief and ravaging eyeblink of time. It went beyond Worst just that fast.

As such, the new category is titled Beyond.

Beyond, for starters, is the fact nearly every American citizen stands surrounded by a confluence of mortal perils that threaten to completely unravel and eviscerate their country. Nearly every American will be severely and painfully affected should these dangers turn lethal ... and yet hardly anyone in America actually knows this. Almost nobody understands or recognizes the cocked and loaded gun pressed against their collective head, even as the trigger is slowly yet steadily squeezed and there are live rounds sitting in the chamber waiting for the hammer to drop.

One of those bullets is named George, just like his father, and he is an unimaginably dangerous fellow. People still don't know that the man sitting in the Oval Office of the White House is actively working to destroy all the American government he can get his hands on, because doing so is literally the bedrock of what passes for his political ideology. Many newsroom pundits saw him veto legislation to provide twelve million children with health insurance, but brushed it off as nothing more than the act of a standard-issue fiscal conservative. A renegade few on other news shows believed his veto was actually motivated by the need to snatch the cash set aside by the bill, so he could keep feeding the financial beast his disastrous Iraq war has become.

Both opinions were almost entirely wrong, but had just enough gristle on the bone to pass muster. Of course, Bush dropped the veto on two Democratic domestic spending packages; and, of course, he needs more money so he can keep losing two wars at the same time; and, of course, these trains of thought reinforce the conventionally-accepted story line of American politics; and that's nice for the TV people, but has nothing to do with the truth of the deal.

Bush vetoed those bills for one reason and one reason only: They were going to create government programs that worked. The very idea is rank heresy for privatizers like Bush, whose ultimate goal is to privatize everything from Social Security to health care to the pigeons in the park, because that's where the money his friends and constituents have been lusting after can be found.

A government program that actually and effectively serves the people is an intolerable thing to George, because that is the single best argument against privatization. If we know anything at all after all these gruesome years, it is that Bush simply will not tolerate the existence of any fact or idea that might disrupt the spinning, clanking, gear-grinding clockwork inside that craven pretzel-dented bone-sack that wobbles above his spindled, slumping shoulders. If he doesn't already believe in something, or if something contradicts the popsicle-stick infrastructure of his beliefs, whatever it is can basically go to Hell, because it isn't going anywhere else.

He vetoed those bills because they were going to work, period, end of file.

There is a man in the Oval Office of the White House working an agenda for the destruction of American government. His partner, Mr. Cheney, has been just down the hall taking care of the rest of the job. Subpoenas are ignored, documents are not delivered, Americans are put under surveillance without warrants by the NSA with assistance from nearly every phone company in the country, deep-cover CIA spies are blown to silence critics and whistleblowers, American citizens are imprisoned and denied rights that have been around for a thousand years, direct orders to fraudulently elevate terrorism threat levels are issued to provide cover for uncomfortable news reports, like the report on how many blunt warnings came in before 9/11 but were ignored got itself bounced to the back pages after the White House began yowling about the imminent destruction of the Brooklyn Bridge and the Statue of Liberty.

That is not even close to the half of it all, and this basic truth cuts to the heart of the matter: The quickest way to destroy the functionality of American government is to destroy the rule of law itself. Declare the Executive supreme and beholden to nothing, flood the Department of Justice and the federal courts with lickspittle political loyalists with no personal code of honor, upend the balanced counterweight of the separation of powers, terrify the populace into submission to avoid any hue and cry, roll out the grand distraction of war to get the flags waving and the newsrooms into line, and never obey any law or regulation imposed by anyone, ever.

This is what has been done to America, and it turned out to be a frightfully simple task. Once the rule of law is gone, there is nothing left to defend American rights and freedoms, nothing left to bring justice to the unjust, nothing left to stop those powerful few who aren't about to let quaint anachronisms like the Constitution, or pesky ideas like the ones that became the United States, get in the way of their work.

None of this information has ever been reported by the smart people on the cable TV news shows. Much of it may not have even occurred to most of them. Pundits don't get paid to think or be smart, so much as they get paid to shout and have stupid hairstyles and deliberately miss the point of every pressing issue they address. This guarantees nobody accidentally provides real and valuable information to the American people during any news broadcasts, and that is what mostly keeps many Americans dumbly frightened and easily managed.

The final product of this process is today's American body politic, almost completely unaware of the gun at their head, a body politic without the protection of law or basic rights and does not know it, a body politic that is altogether lost and wandering and afraid, for reasons they don't begin to understand. That is an unbelievably dangerous state of affairs, a real threat to the very survival of the United States. It is, simply, Beyond.

This barely scratches the surface of the situation as a whole, and that fact alone is pretty much Beyond even Beyond all by itself. If the national economy doesn't collapse before springtime now that debt has again become a bad thing and the dollar is turning into pudding, if Pakistan doesn't fall apart and lose control of its nuclear weaponry, if Iraq and Afghanistan magically stop being lost causes, and if George and Dick actually decide to obey the law and leave office next year, there will only be fifty more disasters left sitting on our national plate.

Only fifty? Boy, that would just be wild, almost like a vacation, really. It's good to have something to look forward to. I guess.

William Rivers Pitt is a New York Times and internationally bestselling author of two books: "War on Iraq: What Team Bush Doesn't Want You to Know" and "The Greatest Sedition Is Silence." His newest book, "House of Ill Repute: Reflections on War, Lies, and America's Ravaged Reputation," is now available from PoliPointPress.


Friday, November 23, 2007

Stephen Harper Throws Out Pakistan

Why has Stephen Harper continued his ongoing irresponsible roll and thrown out Pakistan from the Commonwealth? The audacity of this bast%@$*! There are proper channels to run by and patience & diplomacy are required, not a Texas style lynching. I suspect that the Americans have told Stephen Harper to use his authority on the Commonwealth committee to kick Pakistan out of the Commonwealth of Nations, for their continued military presence in the region.

Stephen Harper has changed Canada’s position in the World to one of Militaristic rather than peace. He is playing a dangerous game with the lives of our children!! My Canada does not go to War because George Bush or Stephen Harper says so. The people of the World all want the same things as Canadians, to live their lives comfortably in peace.

Tossing out a nation from the commonwealth does not affect only one man (Musharaff) it affects all the people of that nation!!!! This is not something that Canadians practice; it is an American Bullying tactic. Harper is incompetent and has shown that he is a Warmonger! Its time to bring the troops home and kick Harper and his band of lawyers out of Ottawa. Lawyers have no business in other people’s affairs!! Especially foreign affairs! Canadians cannot allow this bush collaborator to continue in his position. I call on the Canadian Parliament to hold a non-confidence vote on Harpers Actions! In fact, I demand it!!!

Stewart Brennan
Montreal, Canada

Monday, November 19, 2007

Declare War Crimes on the Bush Administration

Greetings and felicitations,

My name is Stewart, and I am from Canada. I am pleading with you, my fellow human beings, to please join with me on a quest to end the War and occupation in Iraq. Lets stop the madness in Iraq together by sending a letter to The International Criminal Court of Justice and call for A War Crimes trial against George Bush, Dick Cheney and their corporate thieves.

International Criminal Court of Justice Web Site.

The aggressive War that the United States launched on Iraq is a War Crime! The fact that the Americans are still in Iraq committing atrocities is grievous and malevolent to the human spirit. The United Nations has failed us because our governments have not stood up against George Bush and taken action. Therefore, it is up to us, the people of the World to do so. The International Criminal Court upholds our rights as human beings and is a World Body at the heart of what has been defined as Human morals and Law. Our letter campaign will focus pressure in that place.

Please write a letter or simply copy the one below and send it to the "The Office of the Prosecutor" at the International Criminal Court of Justice.

Dear Sirs,

I would like some information on how accusations of War Crimes & Crimes Against Humanity might be reported, determined and acknowledged? What is the process of going from accusations to trial?

Is waging aggressive War considered a War Crime or crime against humanity? Chief Justice Jackson, the American prosecutor during the Nuremberg trials, asked for a judgement that stated, “any nation that wages aggressive War would be tried for War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity”? At least, it was his intention and dominant in his day two speech at Nuremberg.

I am trying to understand why the U.S.A. has not been accused of committing War Crimes when it invaded Iraq. Is it up to the international court to make accusations, or does another country have to make the claim? Please write back, I am trying to get answers and also to understand if high moral principals are indeed being followed, or if they are just mere words of an age gone by.

Stewart Brennan
July 23, 2007

I was given an acknowledgment and a Court reference number (OTP-CR-231/07) on July 30th. Please see the letter below.

Dear Sir/Madam,

Please find attached the acknowledgment letter sent by the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court.

Our Reference: OTP-CR-231/07

The Hague, 30 July 2007

The Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court acknowledges receipt of your documents / letter.

This communication has been duly entered in the Communications Register of the Office. We will give consideration to this communication, as appropriate, in accordance with the provisions of the Rome Statute of the international Criminal Court.

As soon as a decision is reached we will inform you, in writing, and provide you with reasons for this decision.

Yours Sincerely,
Head of Information and Evidence Unit
Office of the Prosecutor.

Kind regards,
Information and Evidence Unit- Office of the Prosecutor
International Criminal Court
Maanweg 174 - 2516 AB The Hague
The Netherlands

If you would like to use the number that the International Criminal Court gave me, please feel free to do so. Again, the number is, OTP-CR-231/07.

Lets end the War Crimes in Iraq once and for all. Send this message out to everyone you know. The War will only stop when YOU and I stand up and say, “STOP the WAR!!” We can’t wait any longer! Millions of people are counting on you…yes YOU! All it takes is 10 minutes of your time. Please encourage others to send a letter, or email, anything, just don’t sit idly by. Nothing will happen if you do not take action! Governments on their own will not end this madness, but the masses that include you and I, the people, can make a difference and bring humanity back to the human race. Please send your letter today. Thank you.

Nuremberg Trials: Chief Justice Jackson’s Opening Speech

Please see one of many crimes committed in the name of George Bush.

War Crime video #1: Fallujah

Yours in solidarity,
Stewart Brennan

Thursday, November 15, 2007

A Lifetime of Free Energy

By: Stewart Brennan

In today’s world of Corporate Dictatorship, revolutionary ideas that challenge the status quo are crushed and silenced with extreme prejudice. Any idea that would help further the little guy’s independence is squashed without batting an eyelash in the name of stockholders and market share.

It’s no secret that the interests of the wealthy few who own the corporations are at the top of the money pyramid and you and I are at the bottom. In fact, I can also say without question that it is corporate policy that governs our Country, and makes our laws. Just look at which corporation a politician backs and you will know where the favours are going. If you believe that the political party you support is not corrupt, then you are sadly mistaken.


A “Lifetime of Free Energy” through Solar and Wind power is possible for every human being on the planet, yet the very idea is being squashed in the name of Corporate Profit by Political puppets.

The problems and challenges that we face in making bold revolutionary ideas of Solar and Wind Power a reality are at the Government level, because government officials are controlled by established corporate interests…and these special interests WANT you to remain dependent on their products. It does not serve their interests to allow the people to supply themselves.

Changing from fossil fuels (coal, oil and gas) to solar / wind powered electric energy is easy and is not as impossible as you are led to believe.

Step Outside the Box

Look at the picture of the current system of electrical supply and demand. The flaws are painfully visible, massive sized utility companies over burdened over stretched, over funded, under maintenanced and profit minded.

The solution is not to have a large behemoth corporation control the flow of energy, but to give energy consumption to the consumer via self contained transducer units. In other words, we need to be using systems that convert wind and solar energy into electric energy, where the system is a stand alone and built into each household. That is the solution. Large grid power stations are outdated dinosaurs. The reason the self-contained transducer unit direction is suppressed is because big business wants to retain control of the population paying for a utility that they control. For the consumer, all they see is higher bills from a “for profit” industry that requires growth in their revenues every year…these are costs that the consumer can no longer afford.

Self-power generation is not happening today for one reason and one reason only; it goes against elitist corporate ideology and private interests and therefore it is vehemently discouraged.

Reality Check:

Suppose I had a unit that converted solar and wind energy into electricity and this unit would allow me to unhook corporate controlled Hydro from my house. The conversion unit would produce the electricity flowing into my house and it would be free for as long as I employed it. I would never have to pay for electricity again! No more electric bill, no more gas or oil bills, no more carbon footprint and the unit would belong to me.

Today oil drives the World economy, as well as the energy market. Demand has risen exponentially while supplies have begun to dry up. The fact that new large reserves have not been found should sound alarm bells for most people. Add the thought of peak oil and the picture becomes much clearer.

The World is on the brink of economic disaster and will plunge us into a major depression if action is not taken with respect to seeking alternative ways to produce energy. We simply will not have a choice if we want to continue and progress as a civilization. Otherwise we will be doomed to another dark age.

We do not need fossil fuel to generate electricity! The energy from the sun and the wind can be harnessed and turned into the electricity that we need in our daily lives.

Given that Global warming needs a direct and efficient solution, the home unit can also answer the questions and concerns regarding energy, the environment, pollution and mankind’s future. It just takes a decision to do it and we have the means to do it now.

We need to push our government in the direction of complete change over from corporate control to individual control of electricity. I understand that it will not happen over night but to get the ball rolling we need to invest more money into companies that provide the wind turbine generators that produce electricity or companies that manufacture solar panels. We should also push for R&D into the simplicity of smaller home unit systems, with a possible tax break for citizens that install them.

The drive for change is up to you and that is where the voter comes in. We need to press our government to remove the laws that promote monopolistic control. Government regulation needs to be changed to allow the existence of this new approach so that the powerful few do not squash it. It can be a source of politic that unseats a government if they refuse…if you get my point.

Consider the fact that Politicians are in bed with large fossil fuel and utility corporations, and you put them in a position of who they serve, the people or the corporation, you start the wave of freedom and independence from dictatorship! Are you ready to make it happen?
Allowing individual Canadians to reduce their carbon footprint and save thousands of dollars in the process would ensure a political party’s path to the seat of power in this country. The future of energy rests in your hands; all we have to do is decide to do it.

Here is a very good link on home wind turbines.

Here is one of many companies involved in solar panels. There are a lot of good companies already in existence.

Stewart Brennan

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