The CIA & Its’ Negative Shadow Foreign Policy by Guadamour

GUADAMOUR

by Guadamour
Dandelion Salad
featured writer

Guadamour’s blog post
Dec. 8, 2007

Note: The author has worked as a war correspondent in Vietnam and in Central America and Colombia and has seen first hand the long term negative impacts of illegal (both in terms of International and US law) CIA interventions in the affairs of foreign governments.

This is self-evident when one considers the fact that the term blow-back had to be coined to describe the repercussions of CIA operations.

That does not mean that the author does not believe that the CIA does have a legitimate roll. However, he does believe that the roll is valid only as long as it strictly limits itself to collecting information.

The author further believes that the name, The Central Intelligence Agency, is a misnomer. There is nothing “intelligent” about the agency. Calling the information gathered, intelligence, is a corruption of the word.

***

The CIA has a long history of accepting bad information and believing it, because it conforms to how they view the world. This was true of Vietnam, Guatemala, Iran (in the 1950s), Cuba, Santo Domingo and Iraq. The list goes on and on.

What led the author to thinking about this was election this last Sunday in Venezuela, and Sean Penn mentioning Venezuela in a recent well written and well thought out essay.

In that election Hugo Chavez, the duly elected President of that country, sought to expand his powers via the voting booth.

What Chavez wanted did not pass, though it was defeated by a very narrow margin, and he accepted his defeat with grace, as any truly democratically elected president would.

What disturbed this writer was the fact it was reported that the CIA was actively supporting opposition to Chavez and his purposed changes.

Venezuela is a major exporter of petroleum to the USA. Under Chavez the foreign and mostly US owned oil companies operating in Venezuela have not be nationalized; however, he has demanded and obtained a much larger percentage of the profits for the Venezuelan people.

This has not gone over well with the US, the oil companies and the oligarchy in Venezuela who have lived like royalty off the profits of the country’s natural resources.

The Monroe doctrine is the usual excuse for the USA’s meddling in Latin American affairs.

James Monroe was the fifth President of the US and lived from 1758 to 1831. He was a Virginian, attended William and Mary College, and practiced law in Fredericksburg, Virginia. He was elected President in 1816 and 1820 and served from 1817to 1825.

With the help of his Secretary of State, John Quincey Adams, he brought the doctrine to public light on December 02, 1823. The irony of the Chavez defeat is that it was 184 years to the day after the declaration of the Monroe Doctrine.

In the address, that would twenty years later become known as the Monroe Doctrine, the President proclaimed that no European power could any longer colonize or interfere with the newly independent nations of the America, and that the US planned to stay neutral in wars between European powers and their colonies. However, if these later types of wars were to occur in the Americas, the US would view such actions as hostile.

In 1904 US President Theodore Roosevelt (without consultation with the rest of the countries in the Americas) asserted that the US had the right to intervene in Latin America.

This is the most significant change in the Monroe Doctrine and changes the doctrine from one of being an ally of Latin America when faced with an external threat to being one of hegemony. This is known as the Roosevelt Corollary.

This was changed 26 years later in what is known as the Clark Memorandum. In 1930, the Clark Memorandum was released, concluding that the Doctrine did not give the United States any right to intervene in Latin American affairs when the region was not threatened by Old World powers, thereby reversing the Roosevelt Corollary.

John F. Kennedy invoked the Monroe Doctrine when Soviet missiles were placed in Cuba in the 1960’s. He said:

“The Monroe Doctrine means what it has meant since President Monroe and John Quincy Adams enunciated it, and that is that we would oppose a foreign power extending its power to the Western Hemisphere, and that is why we oppose what is happening in Cuba today. That is why we have cut off our trade. That is why we worked in the Organization of American States and in other ways to isolate the Communist menace in Cuba. That is why we will continue to give a good deal of our effort and attention to it.”

If one accepts the Monroe Doctrine as a duly stated enunciation of US foreign policy, then President Kennedy’s action were warranted.

However, the USA’s continued embargo of Cuba long after the Soviets have left Cuba and long after the Soviet Union’s existence, flies in the face of the Monroe Doctrine.

According to the Clark memorandum, which is still the applicable interpretation of the Monroe Doctrine, the USA under the auspices of the CIA has no business trying to influence the Venezuelan election one way or another.

Sure. US corporations have not made as much money under the Chavez Presidency of Venezuela as previous, but in no way does that give the US the right to intervene in Venezuelan politics.

It is interesting to note what Chavez is doing with some of his oil windfall.

He has helped set up an international bank for Latin America so that the countries can free themselves from the predatory practices of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund which are controlled by US and European bankers, and which have continually sucked the natural resources and lifeblood out of Latin America.

Chavez is investing in the education and health care of the Venezuelan people, and he is redistributing land owned, but not used by the oligarchy, to the poor and homeless, in an effort to make the nation more independent in its food supply.

While FEMA languished in a hopeless state after the devastation of Katrina, Chavez offered to send materials to New Orleans free of charge. As might be expected from the current regime in Washington, the offered was refused.

One of the changes that Chavez wanted to make that was strenuously objected to by Washington was that he could be elected continuously until he was rejected by the people of Venezuela.

Why Washington should object to this is highly suspect. After all, this is the way governments are set up in Britain, France, Australia, Canada and a number of other countries.

What will be the “blow back”for the CIA’s meddling in Venezuela? Will Venezuela stop selling oil to the US and only sell it to China, India or any one of a number of countries who are clamoring and desperate for the petroleum?

If the US does not receive some sort of negative blow back from the CIA’s meddling it will be a miracle.

The CIA’s charter does not authorize it to meddle in the internal affairs of other countries. It authorizes it to collect “Intelligence.”

Unfortunately, Congress has effectively abandoned its oversight of the CIA and isn’t fully informed of its various illegal operations.

The CIA has become a de facto foreign policy apparatus of the US. One that operates without transparency and the guidance of Congress. This is to the detriment of US foreign policy, of Congress, of the constitution and of the America public.

The CIA’s actions are totally alien to what the United States of America has historically stood.

The CIA, as it has become in this day and age, needs to be totally restructured. No covert actions should be condoned or allowed. It needs to be turned into an agency that strictly gathers information, and information that is based on fact and not what the CIA wants and projects the information to be.

Only two candidates running for the nomination for President in 2008 are considering this. They are Dennis Kucinich and Dr. Ron Paul.

see

Piano Wire Puppeteers: The Constitution, Media & Dennis Kucinich By Sean Penn (+ video) (updated)

Venezuelan Referendum: A Post-Mortem and its Aftermath by Prof. James Petras

Venezuela’s referendum: What’s at stake? (video)

CIA Operation “Pliers” Uncovered in Venezuela by Eva Golinger (Psyop)

Another CIA Sponsored Coup D’Etat? Venezuela’s D-Day : Democratic Socialism or Imperial Counter-Revolution by Prof James Petras

Coup D’État Rumblings in Venezuela by Stephen Lendman

An Effective PSA from the UN (video; not for kids; over 14 only; 2005)

I wouldn’t want young children to watch this, but everyone else needs to see this and do something. Lebanon is filled with cluster bombs, as well as many other countries. Write To Congress ~ Lo

Dandelion Salad

crazyblazian

Added: December 09, 2005

h/t: The Largest Minority

see
10.23.07 Uncensored News Reports From Across The Middle East (video; over 18 only)

Survivors of Cluster Bombs: From Victims to Championsby Khaled Diab

Senator Sheldon White House on Bush-Cheney Spying Crimes (videos)

Dandelion Salad

selise

senator sheldon whitehouse – part 1
20071207 senate floor speech on fisa and the law – executive orders, article 2, doj. text at: http://whitehouse.senate.gov/record.c…

December 07, 2007

h/t: After Downing Street

see

Bush Goes Private to Spy on You By Tim Shorrock

Bush Goes Private to Spy on You By Tim Shorrock

Dandelion Salad

By Tim Shorrock
AlterNet.org
CorpWatch
December 6, 2007

The Bush administration is launching a new government agency that will rely heavily on private security contractors to conduct surveillance in the U.S.

A new intelligence institution to be inaugurated soon by the Bush administration will allow government spying agencies to conduct broad surveillance and reconnaissance inside the United States for the first time. Under a proposal being reviewed by Congress, a National Applications Office (NAO) will be established to coordinate how the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and domestic law enforcement and rescue agencies use imagery and communications intelligence picked up by U.S. spy satellites. If the plan goes forward, the NAO will create the legal mechanism for an unprecedented degree of domestic intelligence gathering that would make the United States one of the world’s most closely monitored nations. Until now, domestic use of electronic intelligence from spy satellites was limited to scientific agencies with no responsibility for national security or law enforcement.

The intelligence-sharing system to be managed by the NAO will rely heavily on private contractors, including Boeing, BAE Systems, L-3 Communications and Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC). These companies already provide technology and personnel to U.S. agencies involved in foreign intelligence, and the NAO greatly expands their markets. Indeed, at an intelligence conference in San Antonio, Texas, last month, the titans of the industry were actively lobbying intelligence officials to buy products specifically designed for domestic surveillance.

The NAO was created under a plan tentatively approved in May 2007 by Director of National Intelligence Michael McConnell. Specifically, the NAO will oversee how classified information collected by the National Security Agency (NSA), the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) and other key agencies is used within the United States during natural disasters, terrorist attacks and other events affecting national security. The most critical intelligence will be supplied by the NSA and the NGA, which are often referred to by U.S. officials as the “eyes” and “ears” of the intelligence community.

The NSA, through a global network of listening posts, surveillance planes, and satellites, captures signals from phone calls, email and internet traffic, and translates and analyzes them for U.S. military and national intelligence officials.

The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), which was formally inaugurated in 2003, provides overhead imagery and mapping tools that allow intelligence and military analysts to monitor events from the skies and space. The NSA and the NGA have a close relationship with the supersecret National Reconnaissance Agency (NRO), which builds and maintains the U.S. fleet of spy satellites and operates the ground stations where the NSA’s signals and the NGA’s imagery are processed and analyzed. By law, their collection efforts are supposed to be confined to foreign countries and battlefields.

The National Applications Office was conceived in 2005 by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), which Congress created in 2004 to oversee the 16 agencies that make up the U.S. intelligence community. The ODNI, concerned that the legal framework for U.S. intelligence operations had not been updated for the global “war on terror,” turned to Booz Allen Hamilton of McLean, Va., one of the largest contractors in the spy business. The company was tasked with studying how intelligence from spy satellites and photoreconnaissance planes could be better used domestically to track potential threats to security within the United States. The Booz Allen study was completed in May of that year and has since become the basis for the NAO oversight plan. In May 2007, McConnell, the former executive vice president of Booz Allen, signed off on the creation of the NAO as the principal body to oversee the merging of foreign and domestic intelligence collection operations.

The NAO is “an idea whose time has arrived,” Charles Allen, a top U.S. intelligence official, told the Wall Street Journal in August 2007 after it broke the news of the NAO’s creation. Allen, the DHS’s chief intelligence officer, will head the new program. The announcement came just days after President George W. Bush signed a new law approved by Congress to expand the ability of the NSA to eavesdrop, without warrants, on telephone calls, email and faxes passing through telecommunications hubs in the United States when the government suspects agents of a foreign power may be involved. “These [intelligence] systems are already used to help us respond to crises,” Allen later told the Washington Post. “We anticipate that we can also use them to protect Americans by preventing the entry of dangerous people and goods into the country, and by helping us examine critical infrastructure for vulnerabilities.”

Donald Kerr, a former NRO director who is now the No. 2 at ODNI, recently explained to reporters that the intelligence community was no longer discussing whether or not to spy on U.S. citizens: “Our job now is to engage in a productive debate, which focuses on privacy as a component of appropriate levels of security and public safety,” Kerr said. ”I think all of us have to really take stock of what we already are willing to give up, in terms of anonymity, but [also] what safeguards we want in place to be sure that giving that doesn’t empty our bank account or do something equally bad elsewhere.”

What will the NAO do?

The plan for the NAO builds on a domestic security infrastructure that has been in place for at least seven years. After the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the NSA was granted new powers to monitor domestic communications without obtaining warrants from a secret foreign intelligence court established by Congress in 1978 (that warrantless program ended in January 2007 but was allowed to continue, with some changes, under legislation passed by Congress in August 2007).

Moreover, intelligence and reconnaissance agencies that were historically confined to spying on foreign countries have been used extensively on the home front since 2001. In the hours after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in New York, for example, the Bush administration called on the NGA to capture imagery from lower Manhattan and the Pentagon to help in the rescue and recovery efforts. In 2002, when two deranged snipers terrified the citizens of Washington and its Maryland and Virginia suburbs with a string of fatal shootings, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) asked the NGA to provide detailed images of freeway interchanges and other locations to help spot the pair.

The NGA was also used extensively during Hurricane Katrina, when the agency provided overhead imagery — some of it supplied by U-2 photoreconnaissance aircraft — to federal and state rescue operations. The data, which included mapping of flooded areas in Louisiana and Mississippi, allowed residents of the stricken areas to see the extent of damage to their homes and helped first-responders locate contaminated areas as well as schools, churches and hospitals that might be used in the rescue. More recently, during the October 2007 California wildfires, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) asked the NGA to analyze overhead imagery of the fire zones and determine the areas of maximum intensity and damage. In every situation that the NGA is used domestically, it must receive a formal request from a lead domestic agency, according to agency spokesperson David Burpee. That agency is usually FEMA, which is a unit of DHS.

At first blush, the idea of a U.S. intelligence agency serving the public by providing imagery to aid in disaster recovery sounds like a positive development, especially when compared to the Bush administration’s misuse of the NSA and the Pentagon’s Counter-Intelligence Field Activity (CIFA) to spy on American citizens. But the notion of using spy satellites and aircraft for domestic purposes becomes problematic from a civil liberties standpoint when the full capabilities of agencies like the NGA and the NSA are considered.

Imagine, for example, that U.S. intelligence officials have determined, through NSA telephone intercepts, that a group of worshipers at a mosque in Oakland, Calif., has communicated with an Islamic charity in Saudi Arabia. This is the same group that the FBI and the U.S. Department of the Treasury believe is linked to an organization unfriendly to the United States.

Imagine further that the FBI, as a lead agency, asks and receives permission to monitor that mosque and the people inside using high-resolution imagery obtained from the NGA. Using other technologies, such as overhead traffic cameras in place in many cities, that mosque could be placed under surveillance for months, and — through cell phone intercepts and overhead imagery — its suspected worshipers carefully tracked in real time as they moved almost anywhere in the country.

The NAO, under the plan approved by ODNI’s McConnell, would determine the rules that will guide the DHS and other lead federal agencies when they want to use imagery and signals intelligence in situations like this, as well as during natural disasters. If the organization is established as planned, U.S. domestic agencies will have a vast array of technology at their disposal. In addition to the powerful mapping and signals tools provided by the NGA and the NSA, domestic agencies will also have access to measures and signatures intelligence (MASINT) managed by the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), the principal spying agency used by the secretary of defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

(MASINT is a highly classified form of intelligence that uses infrared sensors and other technologies to “sniff” the atmosphere for certain chemicals and electromagnetic activity, and “see” beneath bridges and forest canopies. Using its tools, analysts can detect signs that a nuclear power plant is producing plutonium, determine from truck exhaust what types of vehicles are in a convoy, and detect people and weapons hidden from the view of satellites or photoreconnaissance aircraft.)

Created by contractors

The study group that established policies for the NAO was jointly funded by the ODNI and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), one of only two domestic U.S. agencies that is currently allowed, under rules set in the 1970s, to use classified intelligence from spy satellites. (The other is NASA, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.) The group was chaired by Keith Hall, a Booz Allen vice president who manages his firm’s extensive contracts with the NGA and previously served as the director of the NRO.

Other members of the group included seven former intelligence officers working for Booz Allen, as well as retired Army Lt. Gen. Patrick M. Hughes, the former director of the DIA and vice president of homeland security for L-3 Communications, a key NSA contractor; and Thomas W. Conroy, the vice president of national security programs for Northrop Grumman, which has extensive contracts with the NSA and the NGA and throughout the intelligence community.

From the start, the study group was heavily weighted toward companies with a stake in both foreign and domestic intelligence. Not surprisingly, its contractor-advisers called for a major expansion in the domestic use of the spy satellites that they sell to the government. Since the end of the Cold War and particularly since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, they said, the “threats to the nation have changed, and there is a growing interest in making available the special capabilities of the intelligence community to all parts of the government, to include homeland security and law enforcement entities and on a higher priority basis.”

Contractors are not new to the U.S. spy world. Since the creation of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the modern intelligence system in 1947, the private sector has been tapped to design and build the technology that facilitates electronic surveillance. Lockheed, for example, built the U-2, the famous surveillance plane that flew scores of spy missions over the Soviet Union and Cuba. During the 1960s, Lockheed was a prime contractor for the Corona system of spy satellites that greatly expanded the CIA’s abilities to photograph secret military installations from space. IBM, Cray Computers and other companies built the supercomputers that allowed the NSA to sift through data from millions of telephone calls and analyze them for intelligence that was passed on to national leaders.

Spending on contracts has increased exponentially in recent years along with intelligence budgets, and the NSA, the NGA and other agencies have turned to the private sector for the latest computer and communications technologies and for intelligence analysts. For example, today about half of staff at the NSA and NGA are private contractors. At the DIA, 70 percent of the workers are contractors. But the most privatized agency of all is the NRO, where a whopping 90 percent of the work force receive paychecks from corporations. All told the U.S. intelligence agencies spend some 70 percent of their estimated $60 billion annual budget on contracts with private companies, according to documents this reporter obtained in June 2007 from the ODNI.

The plans to increase domestic spying are estimated to be worth billions of dollars in new business for the intelligence contractors. The market potential was on display in October at GEOINT 2007, the annual conference sponsored by the U.S. Geospatial Intelligence Foundation (USGIF), a nonprofit organization funded by the largest contractors for the NGA. During the conference, which took place in October at the spacious Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in downtown San Antonio, many companies were displaying spying and surveillance tools that had been used in Afghanistan and Iraq and were now being rebranded for potential domestic use.

BAE Systems Inc.

On the first day of the conference, three employees of BAE Systems Inc. who had just returned from a three-week tour of Iraq and Afghanistan with the NGA demonstrated a new software package called SOCET GXP. (BAE Systems Inc. is the U.S. subsidiary of the U.K.-based BAE, the third-largest military contractor in the world.)

GXP uses Google Earth software as a basis for creating three-dimensional maps that U.S. commanders and soldiers use to conduct intelligence and reconnaissance missions. Eric Bruce, one of the BAE employees back from the Middle East, said his team trained U.S. forces to use the GXP software “to study routes for known terrorist sites” as well as to locate opium fields. “Terrorists use opium to fund their war,” he said. Bruce also said his team received help from Iraqi citizens in locating targets. “Many of the locals can’t read maps, so they tell the analysts, ‘there is a mosque next to a hill,'” he explained.

Bruce said BAE’s new package is designed for defense forces and intelligence agencies but can also be used for homeland security and by highway departments and airports. Earlier versions of the software were sold to the U.S. Army’s Topographic Engineering Center, where it has been used to collect data on more than 12,000 square kilometers of Iraq, primarily in urban centers and over supply routes.

Another new BAE tool displayed in San Antonio was a program called GOSHAWK, which stands for “Geospatial Operations for a Secure Homeland — Awareness, Workflow, Knowledge.” It was pitched by BAE as a tool to help law enforcement and state and local emergency agencies prepare for, and respond to, “natural disasters and terrorist and criminal incidents.” Under the GOSHAWK program, BAE supplies “agencies and corporations” with data providers and information technology specialists “capable of turning geospatial information into the knowledge needed for quick decisions.” A typical operation might involve acquiring data from satellites, aircraft and sensors in ground vehicles, and integrating those data to support an emergency or security operations center. One of the program’s special attributes, the company says, is its ability to “differentiate levels of classification,” meaning that it can deduce when data are classified and meant only for use by analysts with security clearances.

These two products were just a sampling of what BAE, a major player in the U.S. intelligence market, had to offer. BAE’s services to U.S. intelligence — including the CIA and the National Counter-Terrorism Center — are provided through a special unit called the Global Analysis Business Unit. It is located in McLean, Va., a stone’s throw from the CIA. The unit is headed by John Gannon, a 25-year veteran of the CIA who reached the agency’s highest analytical ranks as deputy director of intelligence and chairman of the National Intelligence Council. Today, as a private sector contractor for the intelligence community, Gannon manages a staff of more than 800 analysts with security clearances.

A brochure for the Global Analysis unit distributed at GEOINT 2007 explains BAE’s role and, in the process, underscores the degree of outsourcing in U.S. intelligence. “The demand for experienced, skilled and cleared analysts — and for the best systems to manage them — has never been greater across the Intelligence and Defense Communities, in the field and among federal, state and local agencies responsible for national and homeland security,” BAE says. The mission of the Global Analysis unit, it says, “is to provide policymakers, warfighters and law enforcement officials with analysts to help them understand the complex intelligence threats they face, and work force management programs to improve the skills and expertise of analysts.”

At the bottom of the brochure is a series of photographs illustrating BAE’s broad reach: a group of analysts monitoring a bank of computers; three employees studying a map of Europe, the Middle East and the Horn of Africa; the outlines of two related social networks that have been mapped out to show how their members are linked; a bearded man, apparently from the Middle East and presumably a terrorist; the fiery image of a car bomb after it exploded in Iraq; and four white radar domes (known as radomes) of the type used by the NSA to monitor global communications from dozens of bases and facilities around the world.

The brochure may look and sound like typical corporate public relations. But amid BAE’s spy talk were two phrases strategically placed by the company to alert intelligence officials that BAE has an active presence inside the United States. The tip-off words were “federal, state and local agencies,” “law enforcement officials” and “homeland security.” By including them, BAE was broadcasting that it is not simply a contractor for agencies involved in foreign intelligence but has an active presence as a supplier to domestic security agencies, a category that includes the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the FBI, as well as local and state police forces stretching from Maine to Hawaii.

ManTech, Boeing, Harris and L-3

ManTech International, an important NSA contractor based in Fairfax, Va., has perfected the art of creating multiagency software programs for both foreign and domestic intelligence. After the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, it developed a classified program for the Defense Intelligence Agency called the Joint Regional Information Exchange System. DIA used it to combine classified and unclassified intelligence on terrorist threats on a single desktop. ManTech then tweaked that software for the Department of Homeland Security and sold it to DHS for its Homeland Security Information Network. According to literature ManTech distributed at GEOINT, that software will “significantly strengthen the exchange of real-time threat information used to combat terrorism.” ManTech, the brochure added, “also provides extensive, advanced information technology support to the National Security Agency” and other agencies.

In a nearby booth, Chicago-based Boeing, the world’s second largest defense contractor, was displaying its “information sharing environment” software, which is designed to meet the Office of the Director of National Intelligence’s new requirements on agencies to stop buying “stovepiped” systems that can’t talk to each other. The ODNI wants to focus on products that will allow the NGA and other agencies to easily share their classified imagery with the CIA and other sectors of the community. “To ensure freedom in the world, the United States continues to address the challenges introduced by terrorism,” a Boeing handout said. Its new software, the company said, will allow information to be “shared efficiently and uninterrupted across intelligence agencies, first responders, military and world allies.” Boeing has a reason for publishing boastful material like this: In 2005, it lost a major contract with the NRO to build a new generation of imaging satellites after ringing up billions of dollars in cost overruns. The New York Times recently called the Boeing project “the most spectacular and expensive failure in the 50-year history of American spy satellite projects.”

Boeing’s geospatial intelligence offerings are provided through its Space and Intelligence Systems unit, which also holds contracts with the NSA. It allows agencies and military units to map global shorelines and create detailed maps of cities and battlefields, complete with digital elevation data that allow users to construct three-dimensional maps. (In an intriguing aside, one Boeing intelligence brochure lists among its “specialized organizations” Jeppesen Government and Military Services. According to a 2006 account by New Yorker reporter Jane Mayer, Jeppesen provided logistical and navigational assistance, including flight plans and clearance to fly over other countries, to the CIA for its “extraordinary rendition” program.)

Although less known as an intelligence contractor than BAE and Boeing, the Harris Corp. has become a major force in providing contracted electronic, satellite and information technology services to the intelligence community, including the NSA and the NRO. In 2007, according to its most recent annual report, the $4.2 billion company, based in Melbourne, Fla., won several new classified contracts. NSA awarded one of them for software to be used by NSA analysts in the agency’s “Rapidly Deployable Integrated Command and Control System,” which is used by the NSA to transmit “actionable intelligence” to soldiers and commanders in the field. Harris also supplies geospatial and imagery products to the NGA. At GEOINT, Harris displayed a new product that allows agencies to analyze live video and audio data imported from UAVs. It was developed, said Fred Poole, a Harris market development manager, “with input from intelligence analysts who were looking for a video and audio analysis tool that would allow them to perform ‘intelligence fusion'” — combining information from several agencies into a single picture of an ongoing operation.

For many of the contractors at GEOINT, the highlight of the symposium was an “interoperability demonstration” that allowed vendors to show how their products would work in a domestic crisis.

One scenario involved Cuba as a rogue nation supplying spent nuclear fuel to terrorists bent on creating havoc in the United States. Implausible as it was, the plot, which involved maritime transportation and ports, allowed the companies to display software that was likely already in use by the Department of Homeland Security and Naval Intelligence. The “plot” involved the discovery by U.S. intelligence of a Cuban ship carrying spent nuclear fuel heading for the U.S. Gulf Coast; an analysis of the social networks of Cuban officials involved with the illicit cargo; and the tracking and interception of the cargo as it departed from Cuba and moved across the Caribbean to Corpus Christi, Texas, a major port on the Gulf Coast. The agencies involved included the NGA, the NSA, Naval Intelligence and the Marines, and some of the key contractors working for those agencies. It illustrated how sophisticated the U.S. domestic surveillance system has become in the six years since the 9/11 attacks.

L-3 Communications, which is based in New York City, was a natural for the exercise: As mentioned earlier, retired Army Lt. Gen. Patrick M. Hughes, its vice president of homeland security, was a member of the Booz Allen Hamilton study group that advised the Bush administration to expand the domestic use of military spy satellites. At GEOINT, L-3 displayed a new program called “multi-INT visualization environment” that combines imagery and signals intelligence data that can be laid over photographs and maps. One example shown during the interoperability demonstration showed how such data would be incorporated into a map of Florida and the waters surrounding Cuba. With L-3 a major player at the NSA, this demonstration software is likely seeing much use as the NSA and the NGA expand their information-sharing relationship.

Over the past two years, for example, the NGA has deployed dozens of employees and contractors to Iraq to support the “surge” of U.S. troops. The NGA teams provide imagery and full-motion video — much of it beamed to the ground from Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) — that help U.S. commanders and soldiers track and destroy insurgents fighting the U.S. occupation. And since 2004, under a memorandum of understanding with the NSA, the NGA has begun to incorporate signals intelligence into its imagery products. The blending technique allows U.S. military units to track and find targets by picking up signals from their cell phones, follow the suspects in real time using overhead video, and direct fighter planes and artillery units to the exact location of the targets, and blow them to smithereens.

That’s exactly how U.S. Special Forces tracked and killed Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the alleged leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq, the NGA’s director, Navy Vice Adm. Robert Murrett, said in 2006. Later, Murrett told reporters during GEOINT 2007, the NSA and the NGA have cooperated in similar fashion in several other fronts of the “war on terror,” including in the Horn of Africa, where the U.S. military has attacked Al Qaeda units in Somalia, and in the Philippines, where U.S. forces are helping the government put down the Muslim insurgent group Abu Sayyaf. “When the NGA and the NSA work together, one plus one equals five,” said Murrett.

Civil liberty worries

For U.S. citizens, however, the combination of NGA imagery and NSA signals intelligence in a domestic situation could threaten important constitutional safeguards against unwarranted searches and seizures. Kate Martin, the director of the Center for National Security Studies, a nonprofit advocacy organization, has likened the NAO plan to “Big Brother in the Sky.” The Bush administration, she told the Washington Post, is “laying the bricks one at a time for a police state.”

Some Congress members, too, are concerned. “The enormity of the NAO’s capabilities and the intended use of the imagery received through these satellites for domestic homeland security purposes, and the unintended consequences that may arise, have heightened concerns among the general public, including reputable civil rights and civil liberties organizations,” Bennie G. Thompson, a Democratic member of Congress from Mississippi and the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, wrote in a September letter to Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff. Thompson and other lawmakers reacted with anger after reports of the NAO and the domestic spying plan were first revealed by the Wall Street Journal in August. “There was no briefing, no hearing, and no phone call from anyone on your staff to any member of this committee of why, how or when satellite imagery would be shared with police and sheriffs’ officers nationwide,” Thompson complained to Chertoff.

At a hastily organized hearing in September, Thompson and others demanded that the opening of the NAO be delayed until further studies were conducted on its legal basis and questions about civil liberties were answered. They also demanded biweekly updates from Chertoff on the activities and progress of the new organization. Others pointed out the potential danger of allowing U.S. military satellites to be used domestically. “It will terrify you if you really understand the capabilities of satellites,” warned Jane Harman, a Democratic member of Congress from California, who represents a coastal area of Los Angeles, where many of the nation’s satellites are built. As Harman well knows, military spy satellites are far more flexible, offer greater resolution, and have considerably more power to observe human activity than commercial satellites. “Even if this program is well-designed and executed, someone somewhere else could hijack it,” Harman said during the hearing.

The NAO was supposed to open for business on Oct. 1, 2007. But the congressional complaints have led the ODNI and DHS to delay their plans. The NAO “has no intention to begin operations until we address your questions,” Charles Allen of DHS explained in a letter to Thompson. In an address at the GEOINT conference in San Antonio, Allen said that the ODNI is working with DHS and the Departments of Justice and Interior to draft the charter for the new organization, which he said will face “layers of review” once it is established.

Yet, given the Bush administration’s record of using U.S. intelligence agencies to spy on U.S. citizens, it is difficult to take such promises at face value. Moreover, the extensive corporate role in foreign and domestic intelligence means that the private sector has a great deal to gain in the new plan for intelligence sharing. Because most private contracts with intelligence agencies are classified, however, the public will have little knowledge of this role. Before Congress signs off on the NAO, it should create a better oversight system that would allow the House of Representatives and the Senate to monitor the new organization and to examine how BAE, Boeing, Harris and its fellow corporations stand to profit from this unprecedented expansion of America’s domestic intelligence system.

Tim Shorrock has been writing about U.S. foreign policy and national security for nearly 30 years. His book Spies for Hire: The Secret World of Outsourced Intelligence will be published in May 2008 by Simon & Schuster.

h/t: Ignorance Isn’t Bliss

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

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Video Discussion of H.R. 1955 Homegrown Terrorist Prevention Act (link)

Write To Congress

Deported At Gunpoint by Pakistani Government by Medea Benjamin

Dandelion Salad


On our tenth day in Pakistan, my colleague Tighe Barry and I, both human rights activists with CODEPINK and Global Exchange, were arrested at gunpoint by agents of the Pakistani government. We had just left a student rally and were driving down the streets of Lahore with a car full of Pakistani journalists and lawyers. Two cars and six motorbikes came screeching up, blocked our car, piled out with guns drawn, dragged the journalists and lawyers out of the car, beat the bystanders, and hijacked the car. With the two of us huddled in the back surrounded by shouting police, our captors raced at breakneck speed through the crowded streets of Lahore. We had no idea why we were being abducted or where we were headed.

The car pulled up to the Race Course Police Station, where more police threw open the gate and dragged us inside. Terrified, we found ourselves in the office of a shady-looking character in a running suit. He had on no badge or ID, but behind his desk was a framed certificate made out to Faizal Gulzar Awan, awarded by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Great-he’d been trained by the FBI. That made us even more terrified!

Our phone had been ringing non-stop, with our friends desperate to find us. The police tried to grab the phone from Tighe, but I snatched it and stuck it down my shirt, assuming the Muslim deference for women would keep them from attacking me physically. I also pressed the answer button, as a call was coming in. Infuriated, Mr. Awan called in a policewoman to get the phone, who pulled and shoved and pinched me, putting her hand down my shirt while I screamed and held on for dear life. All of that, we informed them, was being recorded at the other end by our journalist friends.

At that point, our captor Mr. Ijaz from the Special Police Force, walked in, and the two of them switched to the good cop mode. “Okay, okay,” said Mr. Awan. “Let’s all calm down.” “Yes, yes,” Mr. Ijaz smiled. “Let’s all drink tea together.” They brought out the tea, which we refused to drink, and tried to talk small talk, asking us questions like “What is your favorite Pakistani food?,” and “What is the weather like back in the United States?” We refused to answer their questions and instead insisted on talking to a lawyer or someone from the US Consulate.

Finally, after making endless phone calls to their superiors, they allowed us to call the Consulate. We talked to the political officer, Antone Greuble, who was well aware of the situation and said he was on his way.

When we got off the phone, Mr. Awan shocked us with his comment. “We don’t know why you were arrested,” he said, “we are only carrying out orders from high up. But I think your own government had a hand in it because you embarrassed the Ambassador when she was in town.” Just the day before, when Ambassador Anne Patterson was holding a press conference, we had confronted her about the Bush administration’s continued support for Musharraf. Now we didn’t know who to fear more, Musharraf or our own government.

Four hours later, Mr. Grueble from the Consulate appeared with two security agents. He said that Pakistani government had canceled our visas (which were valid for two more months). The government felt we were engaging in seditious acts under the emergency rules by showing up at rallies and by sitting outside the home of detained lawyer Aitzaz Ahsan. “Why didn’t the government just warn us that we were doing something wrong or nicely ask us to come into the police station, instead of terrorizing us?,” Tighe asked. “Because this is Pakistan,” Greuble replied, condescendingly.

This is indeed Pakistan, but it is the Pakistan of a Pervez Musharraf, a close U.S. ally who has been receiving over $100 million a month of our taxdollars. It is the Pakistan of a dictator posing as a democrat, a general who took off his uniform to please the West, but who remains the strongman who runs the show. It is the Pakistan of Musharraf’s emergency rule, issued on November 3 in the name of fighting terrorism but used to wage war on the democratic forces of this country.

In our ten-day visit, we met lawyers who had been brutally beaten and thrown into prisons with rats and murderers. We met judges who had dedicated their lives to the rule of law, only to find themselves unceremoniously thrown off the bench and even physically evicted from their homes. We met students who had been beaten with batons and face expulsion for participating in pro-democracy rallies. We met journalists whose programs had been yanked off the air and tossed from their jobs for criticizing the government. All this under the guise of the war on terror. All this with the continued support of the U.S. government.

Back at our jail in Lahore, Mr. Greuble explained our options. We could languish in jail for an unknown period and then be deported, or we could leave the country on the next available flight. We “chose” the latter. We were released under the care of the U.S. political officer, who booked us on a flight the following day.

Before we left, we had a final goodbye gathering with our newfound friends-the amazing group of lawyers, journalists and students we had met at rallies, vigils, debates. They apologized profusely for the actions of their government; we apologized profusely for our government’s actions.

Reflecting on our ordeal on the flight home, Tighe and I marveled at the courage and determination of the Pakistani activists. We left angry at the Pakistani government for the way we were treated, but inspired and motivated by the example of our Pakistani brothers and sisters.

Medea Benjamin is cofounder of CODEPINK: Women for Peace (www.codepinkalert.org and Global Exchange www.globalexchange.org. To support Pakistan’s democracy movement, see http://codepinkalert.org/article.php?list=type&type=335.

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

see

CODEPINK: Hearing Lies at the Senate Hearing (video)

US Activist Tighe Barry Arrested at US Senate Foreign Relations Committee Hearing on Assistance to Pakistan

CODEPINK Protests Guantánamo at the Supreme Court (video)

Codepink

Calling on Congress to Stop a War by Scott Ritter

Dandelion Salad

by Scott Ritter
TruthDig.com
December 8, 2007

Let’s hear it for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). After more than five years of effort, incorporating technologically advanced, exhaustive inspections of Iran’s declared nuclear facilities (and, to a lesser degree, some undeclared facilities as well), the fruit of its labor has been borne out in a National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) produced by the U.S. intelligence community that finds that Iran is not currently pursuing a nuclear weapons program. While the analysis behind the NIE conclusion reflects the independent judgment of the 16 agencies which comprise the U.S. intelligence community, there is no doubt that the most influential information behind the assessment was that of the IAEA inspections, which had probed Iran’s nuclear program since November 2002. The IAEA had coordinated closely with the U.S. intelligence community in preparing for its inspections inside Iran, so much so that there was almost no stone left unturned and no major question left unanswered for U.S. analysts when it came to the nuclear facilities and activities of interest. The consensus-driven NIE puts to rest the notion that Iran represents any sort of imminent threat worthy of near-term pre-emptive military action.

Continue reading

What is Peace? by Cindy Sheehan

by Cindy Sheehan
Dandelion Salad
featured writer
Dec. 08, 2007

Is peace just an absence of war?

That question begs another question: What is war?

Is war a “hot” conflict with bombs raining down on civilians? Is it covert action with undercover agents fomenting unrest and electoral rebellion? Is it crippling sanctions that target unarmed and un-protected civilians who become desperate for medicine when their child is dying of dysentery or hungry for food to fend off starvation? Continue reading

People Power: It’s Time To Stop The War Ourselves By Aimee Allison & David Solnit

Dandelion Salad

By Aimee Allison and David Solnit
After Downing Street
YES! Magazine

We need a strategy to end the occupation of Iraq and stop the next invasion, in Iran or elsewhere. One reason it’s been hard to mobilize people since the invasion of Iraq is the absence of a clear logic as to where our efforts are headed. What will another march, continued lobbying, or even a nonviolent direct action add up to? How will we actually stop this war and prevent the next one?

As we approach another presidential election, we have to look soberly at the history of candidates who mobilized anti-war sentiment only to reverse course once elected. Woodrow Wilson was elected on his promise to keep the United States out of World War I and Richard Nixon was elected on his promise to bring troops home from the Vietnam War. Most members of Congress who were elected in 2006 on promises to bring the troops home have done little or worse.

The solution is written in the mountain-road blockades and mass mobilizations in Bolivia that have driven out transnational corporations like Bechtel and Suez, and even the country’s president in 2003. It is written in the farm-worker-led Taco Bell boycott victory of 2005, and in the immigration-rights boycotts, walkouts, and mobilizations. It’s in our own history of workers’ and women’s rights, environmental, and civil rights struggles. It’s called people power.

It can be seen in the Pittsburgh Organizing Group’s “Troops Home Fast,” a month-long, around-the-clock vigil held in September 2007 outside Pittsburgh’s Recruitment Center, to call for immediate withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Iraq and an end to military recruitment in Pittsburgh. The counter-recruiting actions have met with attacks by police dogs, electric cattle prods, “tasers,” and pepper spray, but their organizing has become contagious. Counter-recruitment is the fastest growing and most hopeful strategy of resistance to war in Iraq.

This strategy can also be seen in last summer’s gutsy Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) bus caravan, during which veterans traveled to military bases across the country-at times facing arrest on base-to talk with the active-duty soldiers who will fight (or resist) the war in Iraq. One of the first active-duty IVAW chapters formed at Fort Mead, Maryland, in the wake of the caravan.

Kelly Dougherty, director of IVAW, explained their strategy at a recent workshop: “The U.S. war in Iraq is this unstable upside-down triangle. It’s supported by a lot of pillars like the military, public opinion, war profiteers, the school system, media, Congress, the president, and the oil industry. If we can weaken those pillars, that will weaken the war as a whole.”

For the vets and active-duty soldiers of IVAW, this strategy has translated into their “Truth in Recruiting” and “GI Resistance” campaigns. IVAW members have been challenging military recruiting, supporting GI resisters, and organizing recent vets and active-duty soldiers.

If we … identify the pillars that support the war, and choose thoughtful campaigns with creative tactics to remove them, then we will have a viable anti-war strategy.

Pillars of War

A group of people in a college classroom are participating in a workshop on “people-power strategy to end the war.” They are asked to name “the pillars of support that the U.S. war in Iraq depends on” which, if removed, would “prevent the war and occupation from continuing.”

“Troops!” someone shouts out.

That person is asked to step forward and become that pillar by holding up part of a mattress with the words “War and Occupation of Iraq” taped to it.

Another person says, “Corporations, like Halliburton.” That person becomes the second pillar holding up the “War and Occupation” mattress.

“Media that persuades people to support the war and misinforms them.” The person steps forward, and the mattress has three pillars.

The workshop facilitator asks, “What are some ways we can weaken or remove these pillars of support? Let’s start with troops.”

“Counter-recruiting, so they can’t get enough soldiers.”

“Supporting soldiers who refuse,” someone else offers.

“Resisting a draft that they might turn to if we are successful at counter-recruiting.”

“If we do all these things, will that weaken or remove the pillar of troops?” People agree that it could, and so that pillar is removed and the mattress lurches, held up by just two pillars.

The same exercise is done with the “corporate ” and “media” pillars. The “War and Occupation” mattress collapses.

People Power

People power can assert the democratic will of communities and movements to change the things that matter when the established, so-called democratic channels turn out be little more than public relations for elite rule.

Every successful movement in the United States-from the workers’ and civil rights movement to victories in anti-corporate campaigns today-and every successful effort to topple a dictator in recent history has relied on people-power methods.

The term was popularized by the 1986 Philippine uprising against the U.S.-backed dictator Ferdinand Marcos; military resistance and mass direct action mobilizations were central to his ouster.

If we, as a movement of movements, adopt a people-power strategic framework, identify the pillars that support the war, and choose thoughtful campaigns with creative tactics to remove them, then we will have a viable anti-war strategy.

It’s clear that we are not all going to agree on any one (or two or three) campaigns, but it is possible for us to consciously adopt and promote a people-power strategy that makes our various efforts complementary and cumulative. We think of it as a massive umbrella under which we can-whether we are a national organization, a local group or a decentralized network-make our efforts add up.

The Battle of the Story

A final key ingredient for a successful strategy is our ability to frame our own struggles, or to tell our own story. If we act defensively within the framework of the United States government and their “war on terror” story, we will always be on the defensive. If we allow them to define reality, we will always lose. If we limit ourselves to defensively arguing that there were no nuclear weapons in Iraq, or that there are none in Iran, for example, without challenging the legitimacy and cost of the United States being an empire, then we are operating in a reality defined by those in power. We have to be able to understand, fight, and win the “battle of the story.”

The courage of young people in the military, on the campuses and in the streets is showing us how to assert our people power. It’s clear that more and more folks in the United States and around the world have the courage to resist. Can we find what lies at the root of the word courage-le coeur, or heart-to assert our power as communities, as movements, and as people to reverse the policies of empire and build a better world?

David Solnit and Aimee Allison wrote this article for YES! Magazine’s Winter 2008 issue Liberate Your Space. David, anti-war, global justice, and arts organizer, was a key organizer in the WTO shutdown in Seattle in 1999 and in the shutdown of San Francisco the day after Iraq was invaded in 2003. He is the editor of Globalize Liberation: How to Uproot the System and Build a Better World.

Aimee is an Army veteran and conscientious objector. She leads counter-recruitment activities and actively supports veterans who are healing from their war experiences. She is a contributor to 10 Excellent Reasons Not to Join the Military.

Excerpted from Army of None: Strategies to Counter Military Recruitment, End War and Build a Better World.
See www.couragetoresist.org/x/content/view/302/58/
Find out about the authors’ tour myspace.com/armyofnonebook

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

see

Congress to Vote on Iraq Funds (Action Alert)

Inside Story: US soldiers deserting Iraq (videos)

Voice of the Iraq Veteran #4 / Oaxaca: They TOOK the Media (video)

Video Discussion of H.R. 1955 Homegrown Terrorist Prevention Act (link)

Dandelion Salad

After Downing Street

Host: Tina Richards, Press TV
Sue Udry, Defending Dissent Foundation
David Swanson, AfterDowningStreet.org
CLICK HERE, and then click “6 Dec 2007”

see

Kucinich on HR 1955 Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act

US House passes Democrat-crafted “homegrown terrorism prevention” legislation by Naomi Spencer

The Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act: A Tutorial in Orwellian Newspeak By Robert Weitzel

The Violent Radicalization Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007 by Matt Renner

The Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act by Philip Giraldi

‘Homegrown Terror’ Act an Attack on Internet Freedom? by Rep. Ron Paul

500 hear Kucinich campaign for peace By Bob Gibson

Dandelion Salad

By Bob Gibson
DailyProgress.com
December 8, 2007

Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich drew a crowd of more than 500 people Friday night to a fundraiser at which he preached the ethic of peace.

Kucinich, a former mayor of Cleveland now in his fifth term in the House of Representatives, urged a crowd that filled the main floor of the Albemarle County Office Building’s Lane Auditorium to “re-imagine our capacity for peace.”

A smattering of a few dozen people sat upstairs in the auditorium balcony at the fundraiser that carried a general admission of $20, or $10 for students. A reception prior to the event lasted half an hour for a small roomful of those who contributed $500 or more.

An advocate of impeaching Vice President Cheney and President Bush for the way they took American troops into war in Iraq, Kucinich compared Bush to the creature “in a Yiddish proverb that says, ‘To a worm in a horseradish, the whole world looks like horseradish.’ … Everywhere he looks, he sees a cause for war.”

continued…

h/t: sayuncle
FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

see

Elizabeth Kucinich campaigns for husband By Mark Waite

Elizabeth Kucinich visits UCLA campus for anti-war event (video)

American College of Physicians Endorses Single-Payer Health-Care System by Dennis Kucinich

http://december152007.com/

Elizabeth Kucinich campaigns for husband By Mark Waite

Dandelion Salad

By Mark Waite
PVT

Elizabeth Kucinich, wife of Democratic presidential candidate, U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D.-Ohio, said voters in the January caucus really need a choice between the Democratic and Republican candidate.

Kucinich’s speech to a small gathering at Democratic Party headquarters Wednesday night set her husband well apart from other candidates. She spoke about a resolution to impeach Vice-President Dick Cheney, an initiative for public funding of elections and trading community service for a free college education, ideas well out of the mainstream discussion in the 2008 campaign.

“This whole morphing of the Democratic Party into the Republican Party, trying to align them so closely that there is no choice, there is no difference, it’s not working. It’s weakening the party and strengthening the Republicans,” Kucinich said.

A native of Great Britain, Kucinich exhibited much of her idealism from the days when she volunteered to work with Mother Teresa in India in 1996 and worked for an advocate for regional development in Tanzania after receiving her Masters degree at the University of Kent.

“We don’t want more of the same. We don’t want it wrapped up in a blue banner as opposed to a red banner,” Kucinich said.

None of the other candidates talk about a non-profit health care system, withdrawing immediately from Iraq, canceling the North American Free Trade Agreement and replacing it with an agreement protecting workers rights and the environment, she said.

America has been told by the media we’re “between a rock and a hard place” in Iraq, we have to stand in what she called an illegal occupation or leave and create a vacuum. Kucinich said there’s plenty of middle ground, an international peace force should be formed, including Moslem armies, to replace American troops that leave.

Kucinich charged a benchmark set for the Iraqi government, promoting the sharing of oil revenue between Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds in Iraq was really a document about letting international oil interests get their hands on privatizing Iraqi oil. The doctrine of “peace through strength” is really about pre-emptive strikes, unilateralism, undermining international law, isolating America from the rest of the world and not engaging in diplomacy, Kucinich charged.

Voters need to break the hold insurance companies and corporations have on the fiscal process, including health care, Kucinich said.

“The way to do that is to elect someone who really will pitch for an amendment to the constitution which calls for public financing of elections,” she said.

Other candidates talk about health care reform, but she charged it was merely subsidizing private insurance company plans. There would still be premiums, co-pays and deductibles. Kucinich’s plan would have the government as a single payer.

“You have 2.9 percent taken out now for Medicare, a couple more percent taken out of your salary and that will cover your whole medical expenses,” Kucinich said.

Kucinich said her husband’s 12 point plan includes a Works Green Administration, similar to the Works Public Administration of the Depression years. She talked about an ambitious plan to retrofit American homes with wind turbines and solar panels. Mass transit systems are also desperately needed, she said.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) should be put to work on these projects, instead of sending people to the moon, Kucinich said. America should take the fat out of the Pentagon budget, she said.

The peace through strength policy should be turned on its head to strength through peace, she said.

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

see

Elizabeth Kucinich visits UCLA campus for anti-war event (video)

American College of Physicians Endorses Single-Payer Health-Care System by Dennis Kucinich

http://december152007.com/

Elizabeth Kucinich visits UCLA campus for anti-war event (video)

Note the sound cuts out/off towards the end. ? ~ Lo

Dandelion Salad

Kucinich2008

Elizabeth Kucinich, wife of presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich, gives a speech outside Kerckhoff Hall at an event put on by Take Hold.
During the talk, Kucinich spoke out against the war in Iraq and particularly emphasized the potential of youth to enact change. She said her husband’s presidential platform would end war as an instrument of foreign policy.

Video by Tim McHugh

Added: December 08, 2007

see

500 hear Kucinich campaign for peace By Bob Gibson

Elizabeth Kucinich campaigns for husband By Mark Waite

http://december152007.com/

Torture Tour by Rick Burnley (video; over 18 only)

Dandelion Salad

Warning
.
This video may contain images depicting the reality and horror of war and should only be viewed by a mature audience.

TackH

Torture is STILL going on. Join in the fight to indict these madmen.
Cindy Sheehan called Rick Burnley the “Poet Laureate of Camp Casey.”
http://rickburnley.com/ Added: November 19, 2006

h/t: Laura

see

Torture’s Long Shadow By Vladimir Bukovsky (2005)

CIA destroyed video of ‘waterboarding’ al-Qaida detainees By Suzanne Goldenberg

Olbermann: GOP vs The Intelligence + Lega Fallout from Destroyed Interrogation Tapes + Spies, Lies & Video Tape + Worst (videos)

Senators Kennedy, Dodd & Durbin Respond To The Destruction Of CIA Tapes + WH Briefing (videos)

CODEPINK Protests Guantánamo at the Supreme Court (video)