Truth is incompatible with politics By Roland Michel Tremblay

By Roland Michel Tremblay
featured writer
Dandelion Salad
The Marginal
Revised: Oct. 7, 2008
Oct. 5, 2008

Graffiti "4 More Years of Fascism"

Image by Dandelion Salad via Flickr

Mr. President, it is getting harder to understand and follow up on your hidden agendas. What’s next, the total annihilation of humanity? Except of course for you and all those billionaires, who miraculously will not be affected by the greatest financial depression since 1929. We feel you will all be partying like if it was 1929, as perhaps this is how you make your fortune, whilst the rest of us, fools, will foot the gargantuan bill.

Mr. President, what is the truth now? Was 9/11 planned? Is this financial terror also artificially created by you? Is it true that by your doing, democracy is now dead? I bet you still have plans to attack Iran despite the anticipated disastrous consequences.

You give the impression to be pushing for the Third World War in order to profit through all those war contracts, and in the long term, reap more profits out of oil contracts by beating Russia to it. You seem to be willing to sacrifice America and the world, in the pursuit of your own self interests and greed.

Mr. President, do you really care if the price of oil goes ballistic, if the whole U.S. economy goes bust and if America goes bankrupt? I believe we can confirm that you helped a great deal in eradicating the middle-class in America, and did nothing if not worsen the fate of those 37 million Americans living in utter poverty. Must be nearly 100 millions now, soon to be all 300 millions.

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Chalmers Johnson: Last days of the American Republic? + The encirclement of Russia

Dandelion Salad

Updated: added Pt 3


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Chalmers Johnson: USA must cut back on military spending and build green infrastructure or face ruin Pt2

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Palin’s Pop Idol Presidency and the Great American Myth

Dandelion Salad

Sent to me by Jason Miller from Thomas Paine’s Corner. Thanks, Jason.

By Will Patching

McCain’s ploy to boost his flagging popularity by appointing so-called ‘beauty queen’ Sarah Palin as his vice-presidential sidekick was initially hailed by the mainstream media as a triumph of populism and a strike for feminism.

To some, the choice looked bold and fresh, complementing the hoary experienced senator: a relatively young, attractive woman, Palin appears to be the epitome of the American Dream – successfully pursuing a demanding career while bringing up a brood of children in a harsh frontier environment. A woman of wholesome American values, a small town citizen in touch with nature, an apple pie mom. She’s the girl next door, a real person – not another Washington suit but someone the public can relate to. A woman with strong principles and a fierce love of her country, a gun toting feminist, a poster child for the American way… The ideal Vice Presidential candidate.

How wrong they were.

Cynical politicians invite cynical punditry

Now the initial hype and flag waving Republican euphoria induced by this ‘pop idol’ presidential nominee has subsided the mainstream media is beginning to question McCain’s choice of running mate. In the space of just a few weeks the true extent of the vacuum between Palin’s ears has been exposed and McCain’s ill-conceived choice of running mate is acting as a magnifying glass exposing his increasingly desperate and dishonest grasp for the keys to the Whitehouse.

The Straight Talking senator, who ‘always puts his country first’, demonstrated appalling judgement by choosing this woman to be a potential commander-in-chief. At the age of 72, with a history of skin cancer and a body traumatised by wartime injuries – factors that ought to ensure his full medical details are made public despite his deliberate obstruction – McCain must know his choice of Vice President could all too easily become The President.

But the senator’s grab for power needed a boost and Palin certainly looked like she would provide it. In one fell swoop he hoped to scoop up the undecided rednecks distrustful of slick Obama and his ‘Muslim genes’, pander to the powerful evangelicals who’ve expressed doubts about his commitment to their blind faith, and, most importantly, secure the backing of those ‘disenfranchised’ by the loss of Hillary from the Democratic ticket: he created an elevator to whisk Palin through the glass ceiling and planned to drag those millions of women who vote with their vaginas along for the ride.

McCain miscalculated.

Fit for office?

His rather rash choice – an expedient selection from a lonely field of one – overlooked the following potentially devastating flaws in this disarmingly attractive hockey mom:

Lack of Genuine Executive Experience

McCain’s oft repeated canard aimed at Obama has more than a grain of truth when applied to his running mate. Republicans point to Palin’s experience as Alaska’s Governor – for all of twenty months – as evidence of her gubernatorial skills, but although it’s a large state it contains only two-thirds of a million people, ranking it 47th in population, and, despite its oil revenues, a pretty limited budget to match.

More worryingly, during her much touted two-term reign as mayor of Wasilla she demonstrated a total deficit of chief executive capability by hiring in a city administrator to do this rather undemanding job for her. The town’s population: 7028.

Avoidance of Scrutiny

Troopergate is not a side issue or a political football as the Republican media management machine would have us believe. Some simple questions need answering. Did Palin abuse her position by using her influence to demand the termination of her estranged brother-in-law simply because he offended her family? Did she then oust the Public Safety Commissioner for refusing to do her bidding?

The relevance of the answers is undeniable: her behaviour while governor is a reasonable indicator of her character and her fitness to hold the highest office in the land. The public has every right to know before they cast their votes, not in a few months when the issue will be deemed irrelevant.

Many Alaskans have stepped forward and confirmed Palin’s vindictiveness, her willingness to use her powerful status as a weapon against those who defy or offend her. If the Troopergate allegations are politically motivated smears as Republicans claim then why not hasten a legitimate independent inquiry to disprove them as such? Instead Palin is avoiding scrutiny while hiding behind a hastily constructed Republican guard. Surely the American public deserves a degree of due diligence in scrutinizing the people who aspire to govern them – but where’s the media outcry?

Corruption and Dishonesty

Palin claims to be a champion of ‘the people’ fighting corrupt government, pointing to the ‘Bridge to Nowhere’ as evidence of the same. In reality she initially campaigned for the allocation of some $250m of state funds for this white elephant project (the bridge aimed to connect the remote Gravina Island to the mainland for a cost amounting to some $5m dollars per head for the 50 people living there), and her anti-corruption credentials have been severely dented by her continued dishonesty in claiming the contrary.

What other lies are there in her fabricated VP persona? It is unlikely we will ever know the full extent as she regularly used her personal email to pursue official business, and therefore complete records of her correspondence while in office can never be subpoenaed. Such a deliberate ploy to muddy the waters regarding her actions while in power must raise questions about her fitness to rule.

And how about her record of appointing her chums to lucrative jobs – people with little experience to justify such appointments? Just one example, Palin’s school friend Franci Havemeister, a realtor, noted her childhood love of cows as qualification for her elevation to the position of director of the State Division of Agriculture, once again proving the adage ‘it’s not what you know, but who you know’. Franci’s price tag: a trifling $95,000 a year.

It’s obviously nice knowing you, Sarah…

Insularity and Ignorance

Palin’s facile belief that the proximity of Alaska to Russia is some sort of indication of her fitness to be President is mind boggling. She has no worthwhile foreign policy experience to speak of; in fact she has not much experience of anything foreign having felt no need of a passport until a couple of years ago.

Although Palin’s handlers have allowed the media to undertake only a few interviews her responses have amply demonstrated her worldview is similar to that of a great many Americans – insular and ignorant. Such a widespread cocktail is dangerous enough, particularly when polluted with patriotism and paranoia, but it seems these traits do not disqualify anyone from high office these days. Quite the contrary; much of the voting public regards educated ‘elite’ progressives as untrustworthy, apparently preferring to stumble towards an even more dumbed down presidency than Bush’s.


Although many Americans are willing to allow the distinction between state and church to be blurred by those in power, most people would be shocked if they knew Palin was an end times nut who thinks she will be wafted to heaven with her fellow evangelists when the world shortly descends into an apocalyptic war. To put her anywhere near the button that could create such a scenario is quite simply frightening – particularly to those of us who have no say in American politics.

So, why aren’t the traditional media exposing this character defect? Could it be that religious fervour surrounding ‘God and Country’ has taken hold in the States to such an extent that criticism of any branch of the Christian church is seen as unpatriotic, no matter how loony their beliefs?

And although Palin’s willingness to be blessed to prevent the influence of ‘witchcraft’ in her life may merely demonstrate the incredible mingling of superstition and faith that some modern American Christians adhere to, if the same African priest had performed the ceremony over Obama… well, you can imagine the headlines.

Incidentally Bishop Muthee, the ‘modern’ Kenyan witch hunter whose prayers Palin attributes her success in politics, hounded a woman from a suburb of Nairobi after accusing her of witchcraft and blaming her for all manner of ills, thereby whipping the locals into such a frenzy they wanted her stoned to death. No doubt this evangelical footsoldier at war with Satan is looking forward to his invitation to the Whitehouse.


Palin’s desire to see the Christian creation myth taught in schools to combat Darwin’s scientific theory of evolution demonstrates her commitment to retrogressive thinking. That is bad enough but her ambition to promote ignorance does not end there: she also demands that state funded sex education is denied to schoolchildren, preferring to preach abstinence instead, despite the consequences of such puerile Puritanism adversely affecting her own family.

Perhaps some timely advice on contraception would have prevented her daughter ‘falling pregnant’ at the age of seventeen… The self-confessed ‘fucking redneck’ boyfriend, a school buddy who declared on his Myspace site he had no desire to father children, clearly lacked basic education otherwise he’d have used a condom to prevent the inevitable outcome. Perversely the Republicans are hoping the media coverage of the resultant shotgun wedding will somehow help their cause and are cynically aiming to cram the event in before the election…

Family Values

Consider how the mainstream media would have reacted if it was a black presidential candidate’s teenaged daughter who had been knocked up by a feckless schoolfriend, but Palin’s daughter’s mishap has been spun into a positive example of traditional Republican ‘pro-life family values’. By all accounts Palin did not give her daughter (or the reluctant father-to-be) any choice in the matter, so the hapless and inevitably dysfunctional couple will-be-getting-married-and-having-the-baby-and-will-live-happily-ever-after. Except statistically the ‘happily-ever-after’ bit is very doubtful.

Palin’s Downs syndrome baby is compelling evidence of her personal commitment to the anti-abortion cause, but although ‘pro-life’ sounds benign, it is not: this potential President insists abortion is plain wrong in every instance – even where pregnancy is the result of a vicious rape or incest. Palin’s promotion of these ‘family values’ will disempower women, denying them choice, by taking control of their pregnant bodies away from them.

Religious warfare?

Despite his professed anti-war stance, Vietnam veteran McCain likes to sing along to the catchy ancient Beach Boys hit ‘Barbara Ann’ while substituting the words, “Bomb, bomb, bomb. Bomb, bomb Iran!”, but even he might consider reining in his feisty number two who seems intent on fomenting a holy war. In June at an Alaskan church Palin told the congregation to pray for US soldiers as “our national leaders are sending them out on a task from God.”

Oh dear… Is it really so difficult to find a Presidential candidate able and willing to engage his or her brain before speaking?

The Great American Myth

The list goes on but there are already plenty of examples on display confirming Palin’s total lack of suitability for the role she’s had thrust upon her. Already some of the GOP elite have realized she is a liability and are trying to pressure McCain into dumping her.

Maybe they’ll get their way and Palin will bow out gracefully by claiming she wants more time with her newborn…

Or perhaps she’ll carry on championing the Great American Myth regardless, and eventually prove that even someone bereft of qualifications, intelligence, ethics, experience and talent, really can get to the very top in the great US of A.

Gawd ‘elp us all if it turns out to be true…

Will Patching is a reformed workaholic mammonist with a total lack of respect for the babblings of the mainstream media and a healthy suspicion of all politicians’ words and actions. His eclectic writings range from blogs on politics and current affairs to short stories and thriller novels. He can usually be found exploring the South China Seas from his base in Thailand or, more easily, at


Sarah Palin Wins Debate—by Darn by Walter Brasch

Joe Biden & Sarah Palin VP Debate

McSexist: Town Hall 10/02/08 + Bush in 2000, Palin in 2008

Katie Couric Interviews Palin and Biden

Sarah Palin Interview with Katie Couric + Cafferty: Palin Should Scare the Hell Out of You

Has Sarah Palin Been Picked as the Titular Head of the Coming Police State? By Naomi Wolf

The Evolution of John McCain – Why He Picked Sarah Palin, Carbon Queen

Burning the First Amendment by Walter Brasch

Death Becomes Her: Let’s Make Her Our President By Jason Miller

Pitbulls And Colonialist Ghosts By John Steppling

No Wolf Whistles for Sarah Palin’s Compassion by Walter Brasch



Homeland Security’s Space-Based Spying Goes Live by Tom Burghardt

Dandelion Salad

by Tom Burghardt
Global Research, October 4, 2008
Antifascist Calling…

While America’s attention has shifted to the economic meltdown and the presidential race between corporate favorites John McCain and Barack Obama, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) National Applications Office (NAO) “will proceed with the first phase of a controversial satellite-surveillance program, even though an independent review found the department hasn’t yet ensured the program will comply with privacy laws.”

As I wrote in June, NAO will coordinate how domestic law enforcement and “disaster relief” agencies such as FEMA use satellite imagery intelligence (IMINT) generated by U.S. spy satellites. Based on available evidence, hard to come by since these programs are classified “above top secret,” the technological power of these military assets are truly terrifying.

Unlike commercial satellites that beam TV programs, forecast the weather or provide global positioning services, their military cousins are far more flexible, have greater resolution and therefore, more power to monitor human activity. By utilizing different parts of the light- and infrared spectrum, spy satellites, in addition to taking ultra high-resolution photographs to within a meter of their “target,” can also track the heat signatures generated by people inside a building. (“Homeland Security’s Space-Based Spies,” Antifascist Calling, June 4, 2008)

In other words, when combined with illegal NSA and FBI domestic surveillance programs–from data-mining to the massive interception of telephone and internet communications–NAO will furnish DHS and outsourced corporate grifters who actually run the program, with the blanket coverage of American citizens long sought by securocrats. Aside from The Wall Street Journal and The Raw Story, not a single media outlet has disclosed this vital information to the public.

Despite the absence of rigorous oversight that would determine whether or not NAO complies with what’s left of privacy laws, DHS is proceeding full speed ahead. The Journal reports,

A new 60-page Government Accountability Office report said the department “lacks assurance that NAO operations will comply with applicable laws and privacy and civil liberties standards,” according to a person familiar with the document. The report, which is unclassified but considered sensitive, hasn’t been publicly released, but was described and quoted by several people who have read it.

The report cites gaps in privacy safeguards. The department, it found, lacks controls to prevent improper use of domestic-intelligence data by other agencies and provided insufficient assurance that requests for classified information will be fully reviewed to ensure it can be legally provided. ( Siobhan Gorman, “Satellite-Surveillance Program to Begin Despite Privacy Concerns,” The Wall Street Journal, October 1, 2008) [emphasis added]

Reporting on the shocking absence of oversight features built into the program, Nick Juliano writes,

Essentially, the bill only requires the Homeland Security Secretary to assure lawmakers that NAO programs comply with exisiting laws. Congress also has required the DHS Inspector General to provide quarterly classified reports on how much information has been collected by the domestic satellite surveillance, although the bill required those reports be made to the House and Senate Appropriations Committees, not the Homeland Security Committees that are traditionally in charge of DHS oversight. (“DHS satellite spy program going forward despite objections,” The Raw Story, October 2, 2008)

The GAO’s suppressed report is not the first to criticize the breathtaking scope of this repressive program. The Congressional Research Service (CRS) issued a study in June raising critical questions about NAO’s legality.

Members of Congress and outside groups have raised concerns that using satellites for law enforcement purposes may infringe on the privacy and Fourth Amendment rights of U.S. persons. Other commentators have questioned whether the proposed surveillance will violate the Posse Comitatus Act or other restrictions on military involvement in civilian law enforcement, or would otherwise exceed the statutory mandates of the agencies involved. Such concerns led Congress to preclude any funds in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2008 (H.R. 2764, P.L. 110-161), from being used to “commence operations of the National Applications Office … until the Secretary [of the Department of Homeland Security] certifies that these programs comply with all existing laws, including all applicable privacy and civil liberties standards, and that certification is reviewed by the Government Accountability Office.” (Section 525.) Similar language has been included in FY2009 homeland security appropriations bills. (Richard A. Best Jr. and Jennifer K. Elsea, “Satellite Surveillance: Domestic Issues,” Congressional Research Service, June 27, 2008)

But as the Journal reported, Congress’ “partial funding” for the program in “a little-debated $634 billion spending measure,” means that an operational NAO will now provide federal, state and local officials “with extensive access to spy-satellite imagery–but no eavesdropping–to assist with emergency response and other domestic-security needs, such as identifying where ports or border areas are vulnerable to terrorism.”

Such hollow “no eavesdropping” assurances to Congress from quarterly classified reports from the DHS Inspector General fly in the face of the steady erosion of constitutional protections by the Bush administration.

What “other agencies” might the GAO have in mind when citing concerns over potential abuse of intelligence data supplied by the National Applications Office? Well, take your pick since the U.S. “intelligence community” is comprised of 16 different agencies under the operational control of the Office of National Intelligence (ODI) and the powerful Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI).

Led by Michael McConnell, a ten-year veteran of the spooky Booz Allen Hamilton corporation, purchased this year by the sinister Carlyle Group, ODNI can truly be described as a “public-private partnership” in political repression. As CorpWatch reported in March,

McConnell … spent more than 10 years as a Booz Allen senior vice president in charge of the company’s extensive contracts in military intelligence and information operations for the Pentagon. In that job, his official biography states, McConnell provided intelligence support to “the U.S. Unified Combatant Commanders, the Director of National Intelligence Agencies, and the Military Service Intelligence Directors.” That made him a close colleague of not only Donald Rumsfeld, who ran the Pentagon from 2001 to 2007, but of Vice President Cheney, who has served President Bush as a kind of intelligence godfather since the earliest days of the administration. (Tim Shorrock, “Carlyle Group May Buy Major CIA Contractor: Booz Allen Hamilton,” CorpWatch, March 8, 2008)

Investigative journalist Tim Shorrock revealed last year, that the intelligence-sharing system to be managed by 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. (“Domestic Spying, Inc.” CorpWatch, November 27, 2007)

NAO will utilize the military imagery and mapping tools of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA). NGA maintains a symbiotic relationship with both the NSA and the ultra-secret National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), that builds and maintains America’s fleet of spy satellites. Additionally, NRO operates the planetary wide network of ground stations where NSA’s signals intelligence (SIGINT) and NGA’s imagery intelligence (IMINT) are processed and analyzed.

Shorrock revealed that the program was kick-started in 2005 and the impetus came from veteran spooks with extensive ties to the military-industrial-security apparatus and corporate outfits such as Booz Allen Hamilton. 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 U.S.” Completed in 2005, the Booz Allen plan became the basis for NAO.

Veteran spook Charles Allen told The Wall Street Journal in August 2007 that NAO is “an idea whose time has arrived.” As DHS chief intelligence officer, Allen will head the new program.

Additionally, an “independent study group” appointed in 2005 by the Director of National Intelligence, tasked with reviewing the deployment of military reconnaissance assets in the “homeland” reached the desired conclusions. According to a press release by the Department of Homeland Security,

The study group unanimously recommended in its September 2005 report that the scope of the Civil Applications Committee be expanded beyond civil applications to include homeland security and law enforcement applications, and concluded that there is an urgent need for action. The study group concluded a new approach is needed to effectively employ Intelligence Community capabilities for civil applications, homeland security and law enforcement uses. (“Fact Sheet: National Applications Office,” Department of Homeland Security, August 15, 2007)

How “independent”? You make the call! Shorrock reported that 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 other former intelligence officers working for Booz Allen, as well as retired Army Lieutenant General 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. (Shorrock, 2008, op. cit.)

From the start, the group’s findings were “heavily weighted” toward corporations “with a stake” in both foreign and domestic intelligence. No surprise then, when the group’s “contractor-advisers” called for “a major expansion in the domestic use of the spy satellites that they sell to the government.”

A power-grab by the ODNI and DHS should raise serious alarms of further encroachments by a lawless “unitary executive” and serve as a warning that domestic law enforcement is rapidly coming under the purview of opaque Pentagon spy agencies.

While the creeping militarization of civilian policing is not a new phenomenon, the NAO launch represents a qualitative leap towards the surveillance society dreamed up by Iran-Contra felon and former DARPA administrator John Poindexter, before he was kicked to the curb when plans for the Total Information Awareness (TIA) program first gained notoriety in 2003.

And like the newly-launched NAO, TIA was managed by none other than Booz Allen Hamilton and their sidekicks at the San Diego-based Science Applications International Corporation! Small world (of open-ended contracts for giant Bush regime-connected multinationals).

The NAO will be overseen by the National Applications Executive Council (NAEC). In turn, NAEC will be “tri-chaired” by the Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security, the Deputy Secretary of the Department of the Interior (DOI), and the Principal Deputy of the Director of National Intelligence, a position held by Donald M. Kerr.

As with the vast majority of top securocrats, Kerr has served in a multitude of capacities inside and outside government. When he ended his tenure as Director of the National Reconnaissance Office in 2007, Kerr joined ONI. The one-time CIA and FBI employee was also a SAIC executive vice president during the 1990s.

Tim Shorrock reported in his essential book, Spies for Hire, that Kerr described how “ninety-five percent of the resources over which we have stewardship in fact go out on a contract to our industrial base. It’s an important thing to recognize that we cannot function without this highly integrated industrial government team.” Brutal honesty for brutal times.

Despite rigorous objections by members of Congress and civil liberties’ groups to a program with the breathtaking potential to invade our privacy in newer and more lethal ways, NAO is now reality. America’s headlong flight towards constructing a post-Constitutional “new order” just added another brick in the wall.

© Copyright Tom Burghardt, Antifascist Calling…, 2008

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Homeland Security’s Space-Based Spies by Tom Burghardt

Unintelligence in Federal Intelligence Agencies by Joel S. Hirschhorn

Pentagon Opens New Spy Shop by Tom Burghardt

Private Spies: The Secret World of Intelligence Outsourcing

New Evidence Reveals Top Secret Government Database Used in Bush Spy Program

America’s Cyborg Warriors by Tom Burghardt

Zeitgeist: Addendum

Dandelion Salad

replaced video Aug. 26, 2012

by Peter Joseph 2008
123 min – Oct 3, 2008
gmp llc –

on Feb 22, 2010 Continue reading