Tag Archives | Government

AUMF: How America Codified Endless War | Brainwash Update

Abby Martin looks back at the signing of the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) as the catalyst for America’s global War on Terror, and highlights US Rep. Barbara Lee as the lone voice who opposed the legislation following the 9/11 attacks.

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Ten CIA-Funded Start-Ups

Screen Shot 2013-09-16 at 2.25.15 PMCourtesy of The Kernel comes this list of ten CIA-funded start-ups: Rocket technology, language recognition software, devices to see through walls. “Q” needs to step up his game.

Here’s one: Soundbite, from Sonitus Medical:

Sonitus Medical manufacture a product called SoundBite, a bone conduction prosthetic hearing device. In essence it is a hearing aid type system that utilises an in-mouth hearing device. Sonus medical plan to use their technology for future treatments of hearing disorders such as mixed hearing loss and tinnitus.

Of course In-Q-Tel might see other future uses for a hidden in-mouth communication platform.

Go examine grandma’s dentures and click through here to read more.

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Big Data Mining With NSA Director Keith Alexander

keith alexanderA snippet from a Foreign Policy piece on NSA chief Keith Alexander reveals the logic at play in our surveillance state:

“He said at one point that a lot of things aren’t clearly legal, but that doesn’t make them illegal,” says a former military intelligence officer who served under Alexander at INSCOM.

When he ran INSCOM, Alexander was fond of building charts that showed how a suspected terrorist was connected to a much broader network of people via his communications or the contacts in his phone or email account.

“He had all these diagrams showing how this guy was connected to that guy and to that guy,” says a former NSA official who heard Alexander give briefings on the floor of the Information Dominance Center. “Some of my colleagues and I were skeptical. Later, we had a chance to review the information. It turns out that all [that] those guys were connected to were pizza shops.”

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On Sovereignty And Double Standards

double standardVia The New Inquiry, Aaron Bady explains that acting arbitrarily is the point:

American foreign policy is full of double standards. But if we observe the hypocrisy of our leaders and are scandalized by it—John Kerry lunching with the Assads, Donald Rumsfeld shaking hands with Saddam Hussein—then we actually misunderstand what “foreign policy” is and is for.

If American foreign policy is anything, it is not even-handed and impartial. It is a state arrogating to itself the right to make arbitrary choices, to make the rules while other countries only follow them. And to prove that distinction the US must not only establish “red lines,” and enforce them, but it is the very arbitrary nature of those red lines which allows them to function as signs on the international stage. Lawlessness is how a state proves itself sovereign; submission to law is the sign of the weak.

“Legality” only obscures the real issue, which is why we are hearing so much talk about it, why so many commentators are pretending it matters.

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The Repetition Compulsion For War – And How It Might Fail This Time

Barack Obama hugs John Kerry in the Oval OfficeNo matter how many times we’ve seen it before, the frenzy for launching a military attack on another country is — to the extent we’re not numb — profoundly upsetting. Tanked up with talking points in Washington, top officials drive policy while intoxicated with what Martin Luther King Jr. called “the madness of militarism,” and most media coverage becomes similarly unhinged. That’s where we are now.

But new variables have opened up possibilities for disrupting the repetitive plunge to war. Syria is in the crosshairs of U.S. firepower, but cracks in the political machinery of the warfare state are widening here at home. For advocates of militarism and empire by any other name, the specter of democratic constraint looms as an ominous threat.

Into the Capitol Hill arena, the Obama White House sent Secretary of State John Kerry to speak in a best-and-brightest dialect of neocon tongues. The congressional hierarchies of both parties — Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer, John Boehner, Eric Cantor — are on the same page for an attack on Syria.… Read the rest

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Hypocrisy on the Moral High Ground

obomberPlease enjoy Aaron’s full article rather than the small excerpt we previously ran yesterday – thanks Aaron!

Aaron Dames writes about the absurdity of war with Syria.

From Divided Core:

Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.

-George Orwell

When it comes to making the case for bombing Syria, the US military, government, and mainstream media have taken the moral high ground, where they probably have a house or condo.  In justifying launching a possible attack against Syria, Secretary of State John Kerry accused the Assad regime of crossing a red line and committing a “moral obscenity” by using chemical weapons which have resulted in “the indiscriminate slaughter of civilians, the killing of women and children and innocent bystanders.”  Though the killing of civilians by any means is a sin regardless of how they are killed, if chemical weapons delineate a red line, then it has been crossed before.  On top of the conventional weaponry that was used to kill hundred of thousands of innocent civilians during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the United States used depleted uranium, which has lead to a massive surge in birth defects among a generation of Iraqis and Afghanis.  NATO air forces also used depleted uranium munitions during the bombing of Serbia in 1999.  As part of its chemical warfare program in the Vietnam War, the United States sprayed millions of gallons of Agent Orange – an herbicide manufactured by Dow Chemicals and Monsanto – across Vietnam which resulted in deaths of hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese, as well as in birth defects in half a million children.  Days before John Kerry made the moral obscenity remark, the CIA declassified documents which revealed that in 1988 the United States provided Saddam Hussein with satellite images of Iranian military positions, knowing full well that Iraq would attack the Iranians by using chemical weapons such as sarin gas – a nerve agent similar to that which the U.S now accuses Syria of having used.  (On the topic of recently disclosed CIA files, earlier this month the CIA formally acknowledged its involvement in ousting the democratically elected Prime Minister of Iran, Mohammad Mossadegh, sixty years ago.)

The U.S is no stranger to chemical warfare.

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The 2005 Bankruptcy Bill: Knowing a Financial Crisis Was Imminent, Banks Lobbied Government to Pass Laws to Preserve Their Wealth

via chycho

bankruptcy

Our government representatives would like us to believe that the subprime mortgage crisis (2, 3, 4, 5) could not have been predicted. The truth is, the collapse was expected and authorities were well aware that crimes were being committed.

I. Introduction

It is said that if you want to find the corrupt, follow the money. This catchphrase, however, cannot be used as a preventative measure; it can only be used in retrospect to punish perpetrators of a crime. It does very little to protect us from predators. This is unfortunate when applied to our current crony capitalistic system; a wrong decision in our personal finances can mean the difference between living a life of debt servitude or one of freedom.

In our current centralized economic system, the best way to avoid pitfalls and preserve wealth, improving lifestyle, is to pay close attention to changes in laws and be mindful of their implications.… Read the rest

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