Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
July 17, 2013

Various Issues

As I am currently very busy with not blogging just various links:

China and Russia finally getting smart over Iran. No more UN sanctions:

Two small but interesting developments in Syria. Palestinians and Kurds against the Jihadis:

On Egypt. There was an alternative though the IMF issue may have been the deal breaker:

The U.S. seems not to understand how this incredible bullying over Snowden is seen in the rest of the world. That bullying is doing more damage than whatever Snowden released:

The NSA is taking and checking data up to 3 hops away from any suspect. On the Internet you are only 4.71 hops away from anyone else.

 

Posted by b on July 17, 2013 at 01:13 PM | Permalink

Comments

China and Russia finally getting smart over Iran.

These countries did go along with the UN sanctions because it was in their national interest to do so, but subsequently they have been supportive of Iran, especially China.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jul 17, 2013 1:20:04 PM | 1

If Russia and China stand up to USgov, other countries will feel emboldened. This tyranny can and must not go any further. Small steps are taking place but the countries of the world are still afraid.

Posted by: Fernando | Jul 17, 2013 1:38:52 PM | 2

In regard to "standing up," let's remember that Iran has been the model, setting the example. Kinda shamed the other ones into it, you might say. No proof of that, but it's a nice theory.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jul 17, 2013 1:59:46 PM | 3

Xi Jinping is no dove. Shaking up the "best UN money can buy" was a good place for him to make his mark. Hopefully we'll see a REAL UN emerge - not just a fake UN dominated by amoral white-supremacist ex-colonial liars, cowards, thieves and bullies.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jul 17, 2013 2:01:11 PM | 4

"The U.S. seems not to understand how this incredible bullying over Snowden is seen in the rest of the world. That bullying is doing more damage than whatever Snowden released."

You are, undoubtedly, right. The inhabitants of the White House have lost all contact with reality, in particular they have no understanding of "how others see us."
As this tin eared spokesman, Carney, shows this is hubris of the terminal variety: "If America does it, it cannot be criminal."

If the US is really unlucky Putin will return Snowden to them. And the Moscow Trials will be completely forgotten

As the Iran sanctions news shows US influence is rapidly dwindling. It will be interesting to see whether the various parties in the German elections decide to break ranks over the issue of surveillance, an issue of particular resonance, I suspect, in a country where the policies of the GDR have been criticised for years.
Is not the recently elected Federal President an anti-stasi canmpaigner?

Posted by: bevin | Jul 17, 2013 2:04:46 PM | 5

"There was an alternative though the IMF issue may have been the deal breaker"

I am not sure why the "IMF issue" may have been the "deal breaker"? MB (or for that matter any of the opposition parties) was against loans from IMF/WB/PG sheikhdoms?

Posted by: Pirouz_2 | Jul 17, 2013 2:11:53 PM | 6

Israel Shamir is having the time of his life, thanks to Snowden:
http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/07/17/snowden-in-moscow/

Posted by: bevin | Jul 17, 2013 2:14:29 PM | 7

Samantha Power, Obama's nominee for UN Ambassador, is currently in front of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. McCain has endorsed her, probably because of Powers' "success" as a principal promoter (at the national security council) for the conversion of Libya from a US ally into a failed state over-run with fanatical militias. So becoming an ambassador will probably be her reward for failure. (The news reports so far haven't even mentioned Libya. It's old news.)

McCain isn't the only one who considers Libya a success. From the Atlantic: "Steve Clemons -- Obama Succeeded in Libya; He's Failing in Syria"

I blogged for years with Clemons on The Washington Note and while I often disagreed with him, this still came as a shock -- "Obama Succeeded in Libya" Say what?

It's no surprise that the neophyte Powers doesn't have a clue about Syria either. "She offered no clear map for how she might press the Obama administration for a more forceful response to the violence in Syria." --WaPo "A forceful response to violence" -- circular reasoning anyone?

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jul 17, 2013 2:17:09 PM | 8

This just in:
Powers: "We see the failure of the U.N. Security Council to respond to the slaughter in Syria — a disgrace that history will judge harshly," said Power, who made a name for herself in foreign policy circles and won a Pulitzer Prize for her 2002 book A Problem From Hell: America and the Age of Genocide.

Power also cautioned that the United States has to be "clear-eyed" about the potential of persuading China and Russia to change their stance and support Security Council action against the Bashar Assad regime, which she charged has written "a new playbook for brutality."--USA Today

Powers has slightly changed her pitch from "bomb to prevent a government massacre" to "bomb to stop a government massacre." But:

--According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, of the more than 93,000 dead some 43% were backers of the government. That certainly does not seem to indicate a massacre by the Assad regime.

--According to a recent NATO study, some 70% of the Syrian population back the Assad regime. Some 20% remain neutral, while only 10% of the people – most of whom are associated with the Muslim Brotherhood – support the rebels.

--Several UN members are providing direct military aid to anti-government forces in Syria in violation of the UN Charter, which promotes violence and displacement.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jul 17, 2013 2:26:59 PM | 9

MB (or for that matter any of the opposition parties) was against loans from IMF/WB/PG sheikhdoms? Posted by: Pirouz_2 | Jul 17, 2013 2:11:53 PM | 6
Apparently not. Morsi & Co seem to have been developing a deal with the IMF while planting stories pretending they weren't. Christoph Lehmann’s NSNBC claimed that the Egyptian State Information Service issued a statement on Apr 21 2013 rejecting the IMF loan. Other, more mainstream sources claimed that a joint statement on Apr 21 by the IMF and the Egyptian delegation in Washington confirmed that an agreement was expected within the next few weeks. The director of Egypt’s Central Bank, Hisham Ramez, said that he expected negotiations to reach agreement in April or May. On Apr 24 2013, Morsi’s spokesman Ehab Fahmy said that negotiations with the IMF over the loan had almost reached a successful conclusion. The IMF asked Egypt to reduce its budget deficit, cut its fuel subsidies and increase its tax revenues. An initial agreement was reached at the end of 2012, but political unrest broke out after the first wave of price rises required by the programme.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Jul 17, 2013 2:30:13 PM | 10

The joker in this pack of news links, which include more drone massacres in Yemen and Pakistan, the FBI's ban on the coroner's report on the strange death of Ibragim Todashev and the EU's boycott of Israeli colonies in the West Bank (plus much, much more) is the slow unwinding of the Not Guilty verdict in the murder of Trayvon Martin.
Nothing could be more mistaken than to believe that the rot, which the world recognises in the US's peculiar foreign policy moves, is not equally present in its domestic policies. Unemployment continues to rise, state assistance for the poor becomes weaker and less enthusiastic as the exclusion of the masses from politics exaggerates the power of the idioligarchy.

Food stamps are voted down. Student loan interest rates are doubled. The rich get richer and the poor get humiliated. Something has got to give as the heat wave intensifies.

Posted by: bevin | Jul 17, 2013 2:41:20 PM | 11

Carney repeatedly underlined that Snowden, if handed over, “should be afforded every bit of due process here in the United States.”

Yeah, like Bradley Manning & Julian Assange...
and the victims in the Collateral Murder video they leaked..
and Iraq...
and Libya...
and Syria...
and Afghanistan...
and Vietnam...

Yankee verbal promises aren't worth the paper they're written on.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jul 17, 2013 2:43:01 PM | 12

"A Problem From Hell: America and the Age of Genocide"

Watching Powers during he "debate" with Scahill was really eye opening. It was clear that she's never taken a look at American actions through the eyes of those on the receiving end. She looked like she was really suffering. To her credit, it's not easy to defend the indefensible.

If she had once looked through the eyes of the rest of the world, she might well have titled her book "Genocide: A Problem from America."

To try to tally the murders committed by America and her allies in the course of "the war against Communism" and "the War on terror" and their baby brother "the War on Drugs" would take a PHD dissertation. A most incomplete list at LEAST has to include (forgive my failure, I know I'm missing so many. Please fill in the gaps.):

150k in the needless atomic bombings of Japan
1.5M in North Korea
2-4 million in Vietnam
500k-1M in Indonesia
200k in Central America
500k in Angola
1M Iranians during the Iran-Iraq War
500k Iraqi children after the Gulf War
100k-1M in post-2003 Iraq (100k by their own count in the Iraq War Logs)
100k in post-2001 Afghanistan

And sadly, more to come.

Posted by: guest77 | Jul 17, 2013 3:22:50 PM | 13

12
Nope those promises or treaties were never worth sh!t!
Just ask Chief Black Hawk of the Sauk tribe concerning the 1804 treaty between them and the United States.
Or
Red cloud after 1868....
The treaties were whatever the United States felt they should be.

Spotted Tail told president U.S. Grant, "if the land you are sending us is so good, then send the white people to it and leave me alone".

The crux truly that the tribes like countries today, allowed themselves to be picked off one by one. If all or a majority of them had joined, they could've checked the rise of the capitalist beast.

Posted by: Fernando | Jul 17, 2013 3:24:49 PM | 14

Talk about irony--
The term dissident was used in the Eastern bloc, particularly in the Soviet Union, in the period following Joseph Stalin's death until the fall of communism. It was attached to citizens who criticized the practices or the authority of the Communist Party. The people who used to write and distribute non-censored, non-conformist samizdat literature were criticized in the official newspapers. Soon, many of those who were dissatisfied with the Soviet Bloc began to self-identify as dissidents. -- wiki

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jul 17, 2013 3:30:33 PM | 15

Don Bacon

"Israel is Samantha Power’s first priority in opening statement to Congress"

http://mondoweiss.net/2013/07/israel-is-samantha-powers-first-priority-in-opening-statement-to-congress.html

Indeed a crazy warlusting hag.

Posted by: Anonymous | Jul 17, 2013 3:30:38 PM | 16

MW on Powers: "She mentions Israel eight times in the statement and "the United States" eight times (she says America a number of times too). This is a country the size of New Jersey, with less people, which seems to be getting along just fine at a time when we have wars in Afghanistan and Syria, also Korea (inactive), also UN-supported Congolese troops on rape rampages, also messes that the US created in Iraq and Libya, also a bad non-working aggression against Iran, etc.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jul 17, 2013 3:41:50 PM | 17

Count your blessings: if she wasn't talking about Israel, she'd be talking about The Oppressed LGBT People Of The World And Our Duty To Help Them Liberate Themselves, which is the up & coming excuse for US imperialism as Israel becomes tedious.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Jul 17, 2013 3:51:58 PM | 18

@ Don Bacon #8
"Obama Succeeded in Libya" Say what?

He did succeed. You (as civilized person) look at it as a failure (from the most prosperous and peaceful African country Libya became a failed state, with raging ethnic cleansing and even genocide).

From the point of view of neo-cons, Libya was a major success. They very cheaply installed a puppet regime by using proxy terrorists, oil was transferred to "the right hands", unified African currency was canned, and exactly the same strategy was re-used to start "arab spring" in Syria. Thousands tons of Ghadafi arms was transferred to terrorists in Syria, along with thousands of jihadists who now became "Syrian rebels."

West couldn't care less about the suffering of Libyans, or that its a failed state now. The only downside was ambassadors Stevens death from the hands of US supported "rebels."

@ guest77 #13

Among major US crimes I would also include was Rwandas genocide. US was a major reason it happened, and then US blocked UN's intervention to stop it. A bit like US with alies supplied Iraq with chemical weapons to use against Iran, and then blocked UN from doing anything about it. US even lied in UN it was Iran who used CW, and same tactic is now being used for Syria.

If one looks at the history, there is hardly anything new US does, they reuse the same tactics over and over again.

Posted by: Harry | Jul 17, 2013 4:32:00 PM | 19

@Harry #19
In #8 I referred to the phrase "Succeeded in Libya" in the context that it was used by a blogger I sorta respected. How could HE think that? I wasn't referring to how the US government war criminals might look at the resulting mess, which would probably be with approbation (if they even cared at all), as you note.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jul 17, 2013 4:45:22 PM | 20

@Harry #19
Ah, Rwanda -- #1
Black Agenda Report, Jul 2, 2013

Obama Finally Names Special Africa Envoy

Back in 2006, then-Senator Barack Obama won passage of his only significant piece of legislation, to prevent further destabilization of eastern Congo by its neighbors. The bill called for the appointment, within 60 days, of a U.S. Special Representative for the Great Lakes Region and the Democratic Republic of Congo. But President Obama only last month got around to naming former Democratic senator Russ Feingold to fill the job. “Although it is overdue, we are pleased that he has finally appointed this individual,” said Jacques Bahati, of the Africa Faith and Justice Network, in Washington, DC. “I suspect that the “Rwandan lobby” and “special interests” cause the delay, said Bahati.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jul 17, 2013 4:52:44 PM | 21

Ah, Rwanda -- #2
Bystanders to Genocide, by Samantha Power
The Atlantic, Sep 1, 2001 (excerpts)

Even after the reality of genocide in Rwanda had become irrefutable, when bodies were shown choking the Kagera River on the nightly news, the brute fact of the slaughter failed to influence U.S. policy except in a negative way. American officials, for a variety of reasons, shunned the use of what became known as "the g-word." They felt that using it would have obliged the United States to act, under the terms of the 1948 Genocide Convention. They also believed, understandably, that it would harm U.S. credibility to name the crime and then do nothing to stop it. A discussion paper on Rwanda, prepared by an official in the Office of the Secretary of Defense and dated May 1, testifies to the nature of official thinking. Regarding issues that might be brought up at the next interagency working group, it stated,
1. Genocide Investigation: Language that calls for an international investigation of human rights abuses and possible violations of the genocide convention. Be Careful. Legal at State was worried about this yesterday—Genocide finding could commit [the U.S. government] to actually "do something." [Emphasis added.]

At an interagency teleconference in late April, Susan Rice, a rising star on the NSC who worked under Richard Clarke, stunned a few of the officials present when she asked, "If we use the word 'genocide' and are seen as doing nothing, what will be the effect on the November [congressional] election?" Lieutenant Colonel Tony Marley remembers the incredulity of his colleagues at the State Department. "We could believe that people would wonder that," he says, "but not that they would actually voice it." Rice does not recall the incident but concedes, "If I said it, it was completely inappropriate, as well as irrelevant."

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jul 17, 2013 5:02:25 PM | 22

Harry@19

Then roll in the (6) millions killed in the Congo by Rwandan, Ugandan and other forces supported by the United States since the RPF and its Leavenworth trained cadres came to power, and the numbers mount again. And this taxi meter is running: the killing is continuous as are the efforts by the US at the UN to prevent publication of reports pointing the finger at the guilty.

There have been more rapes and murders in the DRC every month in the past two decades than there were in Libya while Samantha (a diminutive of Sam for this Irish emigrant) was ordering up tales of viagra fuelled orgies of rape to justify the cowardly air attacks on undefended targets.

And, like Guest77, we won't even go to Latin America or the Caribbean. We won't mention Guatemala where the victims are in the millions since 1954, or Colombia, where similar numbers are scattered in graves thanks to Ms Powers' heroes and sponsors. Or Haiti where the dead are all black so they go uncounted.

It would take more than a PhD thesis Guest77: this is the history of the world since Columbus, and it long predates the wars on terror or communism. The United States is founded on genocide. It has this in common with Israel, Canada and Australia.

Posted by: bevin | Jul 17, 2013 7:02:50 PM | 23

Harry & Don Re:
@ guest77 #13
Among major US crimes I would also include was Rwandas genocide. US was a major reason it happened, and then US blocked UN's intervention to stop it. A bit like US with alies supplied Iraq with chemical weapons to use against Iran, and then blocked UN from doing anything about it. US even lied in UN it was Iran who used CW, and same tactic is now being used for Syria.
If one looks at the history, there is hardly anything new US does, they reuse the same tactics over and over again.
Posted by: Harry | Jul 17, 2013 4:32:00 PM | 19


Syria is the new Rwanda. That's according to UN officials, who say that 5,000 people are dying each month that Syria's civil war drags on, and 6,000 fleeing every day — a refugee crisis the likes of which haven't been seen since the Rwandan genocide of 1994 – Wait one, was it not the UN that fucked that up?

The officials urged the UN Security Council to consider launching cross-border operations to deliver aid to the estimated four million Syrians in need of it, a measure opposed by both the Syrian and Russian governments. Two against four million.

Let’s do the math here, and forget the root causes as that is just plain stupidity.

Posted by: kev | Jul 17, 2013 8:58:33 PM | 24

@24 So are the four million Syrians in Syria? If so they aren't refugees. Sounds like the old 'humanitarian corridor' again.

Posted by: dh | Jul 17, 2013 9:12:58 PM | 25

@7, Is Shamir being sarcastic about Luke Harding? Harding's Guardian piece is definitely anti-Putin.

Even the Gulag and the KGB were only a modernised version of the Tsar, knout and serfdom horror of the 19th century, to be eventually superseded by the Brutal New Russian Mafia State as updated by Luke Harding.

Posted by: ruralito | Jul 17, 2013 10:45:55 PM | 26

Only the US could be so insane:

It will use the thousands of deaths in Syria as an excuse to... cause thousands of more deaths in Syria.

Wtf.

I almost feel sorry for poor Samantha Powers. She has a difficult - nay, impossible - job. She'll have to sell the slogan "War is Peace" to those who're familiar with Orwell. She'll spend the next years defending the indefensible and excusing the inexcusable. She must tell the people who we will drop bombs on - to their face - that it's in their own interest.

Tough gig indeed. Even tougher if she really believes such nonsense.

Seriously, anyone who would want to take that job would have to be crazy... so well just have to assume that's why she got it.

Posted by: guest77 | Jul 18, 2013 1:05:38 AM | 27

@26 rural: "Even the Gulag and the KGB were only a modernised version of the Tsar"

If he'll admit that the US prison system is only a modernised version of slavery he might be on to something, but as it is his statement is complete garbage.

Chomsky has a little line "history rarely produces controlled experiments, but it does occasionally". One such controlled experiment would have to be two consecutive German invasions of the Slavic territories of Eastern Europe just decades apart. I'd ask Mr. Harding to propose a hypothesis as to why they fought so hard to save their "modernised serfdom" the second time around whereas in the first instance they overthrew it as soon as possible?

My guess is that he won't be able to come up with anything terribly convincing that doesn't denigrate those brave people even more.

@bevin - you're right of course. I just wanted to start post-1945 so no one could possibly say that aggression and genocide weren't recognized as the ultimate crimes.

Posted by: guest77 | Jul 18, 2013 1:22:14 AM | 28

Lindsey Graham Suggests U.S. Should Boycott Russia Olympics Over Snowden: ‘Would You Have Allowed Adolf Hitler to Host’?

Ummm.... is this man, a sitting US Senator, seriously that misinformed and completely stupid?

Posted by: guest77 | Jul 18, 2013 1:26:52 AM | 29

Vatican offers 'time off purgatory' to followers of Pope Francis tweets: Papal court handling pardons for sins says contrite Catholics may win 'indulgences' by following World Youth Day on Twitter

Wow, if you get time off purgatory for Tweeting, Webster Tarpley must get a free pass to sit at the right hand of god for all the free advertising he gives to Pope Francis.

Posted by: guest77 | Jul 18, 2013 1:30:43 AM | 30

@29 Hitler's Olympics

Lol. In the comments someone says something to the effect of: "I'm not surprised the Senator from South Carolina has never heard of Jesse Owens"

Posted by: guest77 | Jul 18, 2013 1:32:08 AM | 31

77@28, just to make sure: that quote I left is Shamir, not Harding, who is piling on the melodrama. The CPunch article gives the impression that Shamir is on side with Harding, but then you read the article and shake your head.

Posted by: ruralito | Jul 18, 2013 1:46:51 AM | 32

um, and by article I mean the one linked from "Luke Harding" in the CP piece.

Posted by: ruralito | Jul 18, 2013 1:48:41 AM | 33

#29 guest77

Not that I'd have any sympathy for US Senators, but the full quote seems to be

If you could go back in time, would you have allowed
as cited here

Posted by: peter radiator | Jul 18, 2013 2:06:04 AM | 34

@rural. My bad. Whoever said it, I mean...

Posted by: guest77 | Jul 18, 2013 2:33:22 AM | 35

Berezovsky was unquestionably a gangster, and he was arguably Putin's first major sponsor. Most of what Harding describes was probably done by Berezovsky's own private mafia, rather than by the FSB. Again, I recommend the entertaining Eduard Hodos memoir, which I saved from oblivion:
http://niqnaq.wordpress.com/2009/03/05/selected-reminiscences-of-eduard-hodos/

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Jul 18, 2013 2:35:04 AM | 36

The craziest thing about the whole Snowden story is, US behavior seems designed to force Snowden to pass his goodies to Russians. It was pretty clear from day one that Russia wouldn't extradite him to US. Given that, letting him go to Equador would be so much more it US interest...

Posted by: asubbotin | Jul 18, 2013 3:58:36 AM | 37

Access to people's secrets is almost democratic: "over 1.4 million Americans hold "top secret" security clearances" !

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jun/23/nsa-intelligence-industrial-complex-abuse

Posted by: Mina | Jul 18, 2013 6:54:00 AM | 38

asubbotin@36

"The craziest thing about the whole Snowden story is, US behavior seems designed to force Snowden to pass his goodies to Russians."

Not to force him to pass his info to Russia, to force him into Russia
The 'error' on the extradition papers- allowed him to leave Hong Kong
The revoking of the passport guaranteed he would be stuck in Russia
The US played their hand very well.
Greenwald is supposed to have all the info, so Snowden should be empty handed. Convenient

Re: Samantha Power, she who immediately condemned the UN Security council for their 'inaction' on Syria
And chastised them for criticizing the 'eternal victim' in the ME. Israel.

She's a shoe in
Pathetic

btw Irish troops to Golan. Yes, Irish troops with mechanization. Anyone? Recall when Russia offered troops as peacekeepers and the UN turned that down?
What is very interesting is the role Ireland has played as a MB...what is the word.....incubator
Ireland is a country under MB influence
So whose boots are going to be on the ground at Golan?

from my post

" So, who are these Irish troops going to be? Is this a way for the UN to surreptitiously, in their role as a NATO consort globalist organization, increase the numbers of NATO backed fighters at the border...
That is certainly what I suspect."

IDF has been very busy at Golan border as of late?

Regarding NSA; Have a most interesting interview up with James Bamford. Pretty sure everyone here is aware of this man, possibly reading some of his books? Worth listening to just for the info on Stuxnet

Kev regarding Rwanda: you are supposed to believe the UN made mistakes, tragedy.... But, you shouldn't

The US did get their man in. And, I believe he is still there

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ujd1B835y20

Paul Kagame, made in the USA

Posted by: Penny | Jul 18, 2013 6:54:43 AM | 39

'... is this man, a sitting US Senator, seriously that misinformed and completely stupid?"

No. He is much more ill-informed and much stupider. In fact, if stupidity were an Olympic event, Graham would have a lock on the gold medal. Luke Harding would be a contender however.

Posted by: bevin | Jul 18, 2013 9:29:38 AM | 40

penny 38

umm.... MB? I hope you don't mean Muslim Brotherhood. Because the Irsh do have a long history of peacekeepers in lebanon and sinai. Given there is only 50K muslims in ireland and only ever one muslim MP. while there probably extremists there, so what? since they have catholic extremists and protestant extremists, in the interests of diversity you might as well have the whole set. Anyway the couple of articles I looked into had a very odd tone, one that equated anti zionism with nazi like anti semetism. Cheers

Posted by: heath | Jul 18, 2013 9:39:49 AM | 41

@Rowan "The Oppressed LGBT People Of The World And Our Duty To Help Them Liberate Themselves, which is the up & coming excuse for US imperialism as Israel becomes tedious."

Glad you brought this up. Obviously equal rights for all people is something everyone should support, but I am interested to see how this real and important issue will opportunistically used to score cheap political points internationally.

You already see many articles decrying homophobia - rightly in some cases, but very very opportunistically in others - against Russia and Iran. You see less about even worse policies in US allies like Uganda. You see even less mention that those policies are often driven by anti-gay groups based in the United States.

Especially funny when you think about how "Gay, Inc." as it is called (the big LGBT NGOs, prominent gay celebrities like Anderson Cooper, etc) dropped poor Bradley Manning like a hot potato instead of rallying around him.

Posted by: guest77 | Jul 18, 2013 9:46:28 AM | 42

WSWS, who are pretty good except when ranting about rival Trotskyite groups, had an article criticising this bourgeois pseudo-radicalism cloaking imperialism, which is what got me started on my resentful morning mood, and eventually culminated in my comment which you note:

In fact, the adoption of identity politics—the politics of race, gender and sexual orientation—as an official policy was inseparably bound-up with the Democratic Party’s abandonment of any commitment to reforms like the Civil Rights Act, Voting Rights Act, and Medicare. It began to use identity as a “left” veneer as it turned to waging a vicious assault on the democratic rights and living standards of all sections of the working class.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Jul 18, 2013 10:44:45 AM | 43

heath@ 40

This isn't peacekeeping IMO
As for the MB reference: I do indeed mean Muslim Brotherhood

There have been plenty of Irish MB in Libya, Syria on the Mavi Marmara, who later showed up in Libya...
If you check my blog post there was a news item out of Dubai, I link back to it-

"What has transpired as an amazing web of links and collaboration between the international organization of the Muslim Brotherhood and affiliated groups in the UAE and other Arab states.

But the trial of 94 Emiratis, which concluded yesterday with conviction of 69 defendants of being members of a clandestine group that plotted to undermine security and seize power, revealed a vast political, ideological and financial network led by the Muslim Brotherhood main front, the Europe Trust, led by senior Muslim Brotherhood leader Ahmed Al Rawi."

there were 3 pdf's affiliated with the info that came out of that trial

one of them was countries within the sphere of influence of the MB
open the pdf- Ireland is present

Don't know what articles you have looked into?
I can only reference the information I am aware of.

Posted by: Penny | Jul 18, 2013 10:44:58 AM | 44

Heath@ 40 I also take issue with the Irish military presence when Russia peacekeepers were rejected previously by the UN

Then the UN specifically requests Irish military presence?
It doesn't fly

btw Heath this is my second response to you, I can't see my first so I do hope you get to see it

Posted by: Penny | Jul 18, 2013 10:49:02 AM | 45

From the Guardian, linked at 37:

...when over 1.4 million Americans hold "top secret" security clearances. When that many have access to sensitive information, is it really so difficult to envision a leak?

This is inaccurate, plus the Guardian is almost always lousy with nos.

What the Guardian is writing about is a security clearance at the lowest level. Roughly, divided into: confidential, secret, top secret, and one more above that.

The lowest level, as I understand it, involves the right to read classified documents, as well as unclassified documents that are nonetheless not public. How that info can be used, treated, disseminated, is another ball of wax.

The whole complicated boondoggle of these certifications is part of the stratification and person-vetting bent of the US (see drug tests, credit scores, being kicked off food stamps for drug convictions, etc.) and the need to create in-groups who are ‘certified‘ by some Gvmt entity (DOD, DHS, CIA, plus others, etc. - who have different rules and procedures I have read, which is why it is so hard to describe it all) - a sort of bona fide pass, which comes under review periodically, etc.

The reason why so many ppl have the lowest level clearance is that many jobs are tagged with that requirement. I suppose that the tagging comes mainly from the US Gvmt, yet, it make Corps look good as well? Idk.

It is easy for State, para-State, contractors, to comply with these demands, they simply don’t hire someone who doesn’t have it.

The result is that masses of young and not-so-young ppl try to get it and succeed. (Any forum on Gvmt. jobs has a section on How to get my security clearance, it can be arduous and take a year or more..) It is required, for ex, for air traffic control, rather mundane jobs.

The US Dpt. of State puts it thus, in the first parag.

Eligibility for access to classified information, commonly known as a security clearance, is granted only to those for whom an appropriate personnel security background investigation has been completed. It must be determined that the individual’s personal and professional history indicates loyalty to the United States, strength of character, trustworthiness, honesty, reliability, discretion, and sound judgment, as well as freedom from conflicting allegiances and potential for coercion, and a willingness and ability to abide by regulations governing the use, handling, and protection of classified information. A determination of eligibility for access to such information is a discretionary security decision based on judgments by appropriately trained adjudicative personnel. Eligibility will be granted only where facts and circumstances indicate access to classified information is clearly consistent with the national security interests of the United States. Access to classified information will be terminated when an individual no longer has need for access.

http://www.state.gov/m/ds/clearances/c10978.htm

Ha ha ha...it couldn’t be clearer..it is all BS which is supposed to vet for ‘loyalists’ and eliminate ‘potential dissidents’ in a primitive way. (Tribal loyalty enshrined by bureaucracy.) This also has to do with ‘risk assessment’, which is another topic.

I have no idea how many are certified at the low level, how many of these are actually employed in a job that requires it, most likely nobody knows, but the estimates for holders I have read turn around half a million or so.

Posted by: Noirette | Jul 18, 2013 12:31:17 PM | 46

With Senator Graham's escalation of the Snowden case to Cold War proportions, Putin just as in the Western-instigated P*$$y Riot flap is now left with no good choices.

1) Give Snowden asylum - he's Putin the Terrible to the US government and minions

2) Kick Snowden out - he's Putin the Terrible to the human rights, pro-West crowds in Russia and elsewhere.

Why, it's almost like the Snowden affair was designed that way or something.

Posted by: jsfontine | Jul 18, 2013 12:32:29 PM | 47

Noirette @ 47. Here's an example from the immediate post-McCarthy period. In 1960 I got a jobasa clerk-typist at the National Labour Relations Boatd in Washington, DC. FBI personnel actually came to my neighborhood in Washington State to enquire about my morals, etc. Same thing two years later for aosition at the Peace Corps, where I had a 'Secret' security clearance. The whole thing was ridiculous. I guess it kept tne agents occupied.

Posted by: Knut | Jul 18, 2013 1:04:48 PM | 48

Noirette,
It's not "The Guardian"... it's Valerie Palmer. It should ring a bell, no?
Of course it is mixing up some figures that should not, and it's not 1.5 million Americans who share Snowden's datas. But still, it was an interesting article (linked by Pepe Escobar on Snowden after the HK interview).

Posted by: Mina | Jul 18, 2013 1:23:59 PM | 49

Noirette, I've got the 2012 ODNI Report on Security Clearances open right in front of me, and there's nothing wrong with the Guardian's statement that "over 1.4 million Americans hold "top secret" security clearances." The numbers for Oct 1 2012 are as follows:
Confidential/Secret - 3,507,782.
Top Secret - 1,409,969.
Grand Total - 4,917, 751.

You are also incorrect in stating that there is a security classification "above Top Secret", though this is a very common error, due to failure to understand the meaning of SCI clearance. SCI access is assigned only in "compartments." These compartments are necessarily separated from each other with respect to organization, so that an individual with access to one compartment will not necessarily have access to another. Each compartment may include its own additional special requirements and clearance process. An individual may be granted access to, or read into, a compartment for any period of time. Such compartmentalized clearances may be expressed as "John has a TS/SCI", whereby all clearance descriptors are spelled out verbally.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Jul 18, 2013 1:26:21 PM | 50

@46

It's an interesting system. I dated a woman who worked at a Smithsonian institution and she had to go through a similar background check (though not necessarily a "security clearance" but the exact same loyalty questions). But then she mentioned how an important official's daughter had needed a job and that that was one of the places they could safely employ her because everyone there had been so vetted.

I thought it was an interesting insight into a part of Royal America in the sense that there are these "safe houses" that are created where everyone is vetted and safely "pro-American" (there was a specific question about "anti-American statements, lol") - away from the rest of the potentially disloyal or disaffected lot that might have a question or two for these folks. It's also a sort of patronage for "loyal" Americans, as well as, I suppose, a threat to those who might want to speak out that they could lose their clearance and hence their job.

Posted by: guest77 | Jul 18, 2013 1:34:01 PM | 51

Wow. I didn't think we'd ever see this:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/18/robert-seldon-lady-arrested-panama_n_3618062.html



Robert Seldon Lady, Ex-CIA Chief, Arrested In Panama

ROME -- The Italian justice ministry says a former CIA station chief who was convicted in the 2003 abduction of an Egyptian terror suspect from a street of Milan has been detained in Panama.

Robert Seldon Lady, the former Milan station chief, was sentenced by an Italian appeals court earlier this year in the extraordinary rendition case to nine years in prison after being tried in absentia in Italy.

The ministry said it didn't immediately have details on when or where in the Central American country Lady was detained.

Next up: George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz, John Yoo... We're gonna need a bigger prison.

Posted by: guest77 | Jul 18, 2013 1:40:45 PM | 52

So now again Obama threat Syria with war..

http://www.thestar.com/news/world/2013/07/18/military_force_in_syria_being_mulled_by_obama_administration_say_top_us_officer.html

Posted by: Anonymous | Jul 18, 2013 1:56:22 PM | 53

#47

I would also add that most of the "pro US" & "Human Rights" crowd in Russia are already firmly in the US camp on Snowden. And why wouldn't they be? After all, he who pays the piper picks the tune and the US is where they get most of their funding.

It's been this way with Putin for a long time, in that regardless of what he does, he will be demonized by the usual western media chorus coupled with the TINY pro-American contingent in Russia.

Posted by: RC | Jul 18, 2013 1:56:29 PM | 54

Robert Seldon Lady, Ex-CIA Chief, Arrested In Panama

Posted by: guest77 | Jul 18, 2013 1:40:45 PM | 52

I think I hear the voice of the US Ambassador to Panama. He's speaking to someone on the telephone. He's saying "Listen, President Martinelli, if you extradite Lady to Italy we’ll have your balls for breakfast."

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Jul 18, 2013 2:06:36 PM | 55

Why, it's almost like the Snowden affair was designed that way or something.
Posted by: jsfontine | Jul 18, 2013 12:32:29 PM | 47

...but not quite.

Putin and Jinping have clearly decided to target the US's Superpower myth and will continue to chip away at it (with a lot of help from the Yankees, themselves) until it collapses. The first signs will be little examples of defiance from previously 'obedient' entities.
Most of America's bluster is so presumptively puerile and silly that it belongs in the schoolyard. And we all know how quickly disobedience flourishes in that domain...

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jul 18, 2013 2:15:52 PM | 56

Occasionally we get an honest general in the U.S.

FoxNews

McCain to hold up Dempsey for renewal as top military officer after clash over Syria

Sen. John McCain said Thursday that he will place a hold on the renomination of the nation's top military officer, after he and Army Gen. Martin Dempsey got into a heated exchange on the Hill over the administration's handling of the Syrian civil war.

McCain clashed with the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff as he suggested Dempsey was partly responsible for a lackluster response to the Assad regime's aggression.

After the exchange, the Arizona Republican told reporters he would place a hold on Dempsey's nomination for a second term. A "hold" refers to the Senate practice in which a lawmaker can stall a nomination in order to extract information or assurances out of a nominee -- in this case, McCain suggested Dempsey was not being forthcoming at the hearing about his views on Syria and other subjects.


"Assad regime's aggression" while SecState Kerry is in Doha expanding illegal terrorist forces for aggression against the Syria government. (If an American were to be captured in Pakistan aiding the Taliban to overthrow Afghanistan's government he'd go to the torture chamber and not pass GO.)

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jul 18, 2013 2:58:38 PM | 57

As a joke, using Facebook, a German man recently invited some friends for a walk around a US facility known as the Dagger Complex in Griesheim, near Darmstadt. Dagger Complex, Daniel Bangert guessed, was an NSA facility used to gather information for the US on Germans.

Spiegel

He described the outing as though it were a nature walk. He wrote on Facebook that its purpose was to undertake "joint research into the threatened habitat of NSA spies." He added: "If we are really lucky, we might actually see a real NSA spy with our own eyes." He suggested that those interested in coming should bring along their cameras and "flowers of all kinds to improve the appearance of the NSA spies' habitat."

And then, just four days later, the police came. A spokeswoman for the police in nearby Darmstadt told SPIEGEL ONLINE that the US Military Police had found the Facebook post and passed it along to German officials.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jul 18, 2013 4:22:08 PM | 58

#16 anonipiss

your mondoweiss link stink boy
mondoweiss is known covert Zionist web sit pretending to be pro Palestinian pushing scum sucking yankee hoarseshit hasbara
dealer
here is another stinky

http://mondoweiss.net/2013/07/the-latest-outrage-muslim-joins-university-of-california-board.html

Posted by: jub | Jul 18, 2013 6:15:50 PM | 59

jub

Yeah I guess aipac would say that to discredit Weiss.

Posted by: Anonymous | Jul 18, 2013 6:21:22 PM | 60

The problem with Phil Weiss is the problem with most people, especially in the USA. They're at best left liberals in their political worldview. They are not prepared to make the final jump into understanding that there is no capitalist regime that will or ever could provide progress, justice, etc. It cannot be done under capitalism. Not ever. And this they will not see.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Jul 19, 2013 3:06:59 AM | 61

UK Liberal democrat got kicked out for saying that Israel practice apartheid.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/liberaldemocrats/10188329/Lib-Dems-suspend-David-Ward-as-MP-over-Israel-tweet.html

Posted by: Anonymous | Jul 19, 2013 4:51:21 AM | 62

So, some zusa ambassador chick in spe (read bio-waste) "thinks" this or that? Frankly, who cares a f*ck? Sure enough nobody of even the slightest importance like, say, the gardeners of the Russian or China UN ambassadors.

Possibly Mr. "my dad was an admiral so I got treated quite well as POW and then I dropped my ex-wife after she had a crippling accident but I'm a fine american and a war hero nevertheless!!!" cain cares. But then, who cares about the noises senilator mc cain't makes when abusing his grin-hole to fart?

navalnu has been set free? Great. Smart move from Putin. Let that rat run for Moscow mayor and lock him away a week before the elections, of course with additional charges against him.

Remember einstein's "There are two thing that are unlimited, the universe and stupidity. Well about the universe I'm not that sure"? Well, thanks to zusa we can be definitely sure about stupidity being unlimited.
I was shocked long enough (for quite some years) by the zusa egomaniac, ultra-giga-zeta-limitless-squared stupidity and beyond insane hybris. Frankly, nowadays I'm laughing. Not so much about their hybris or their almost promising attempts of pushing their stupidity to new dimensions but about the fact that they still stubbornly cling to their baseless self-importance.

Putins dog hunted some cat. That's trivia, yes I know, but it's just so much more important than whatever whichever living trashcan in zusa "thinks" or "says".

Oh, btw, in Afghanistan heroin is cheaper than food nowadays. Another "great success" of zusa supremacy.

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Jul 19, 2013 5:51:44 AM | 63

@Mr. P

Why arrest him the week before the election? Just let him lose with his 4%, then arrest him.

Posted by: guest77 | Jul 19, 2013 9:26:35 AM | 64

I've commented before that worse than the National Sniff Agency is the National Snuff Agency -- both NSA capabilities. Now, as Jimmy Durante often said, "Everybody wants ta get inta da act!"

NYTimes

Nations Buying as Hackers Sell Flaws in Computer Code

All over the world, from South Africa to South Korea, business is booming in what hackers call “zero days,” the coding flaws in software like Microsoft Windows that can give a buyer unfettered access to a computer and any business, agency or individual dependent on one.
. . .
But increasingly the businesses are being outbid by countries with the goal of exploiting the flaws in pursuit of the kind of success, albeit temporary, that the United States and Israel achieved three summers ago when they attacked Iran’s nuclear enrichment program with a computer worm that became known as “Stuxnet.”

The flaws get their name from the fact that once discovered, “zero days” exist for the user of the computer system to fix them before hackers can take advantage of the vulnerability. A “zero-day exploit” occurs when hackers or governments strike by using the flaw before anyone else knows it exists, like a burglar who finds, after months of probing, that there is a previously undiscovered way to break into a house without sounding an alarm.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jul 19, 2013 11:17:45 AM | 65

Rowan, as I said, I wasn’t sure about the nos. What counts too of course is how many of these clearances actually correspond to ppl working in jobs that require them, which was what I was musing about. I take your point about the compartments, so thx for the clarification. Still, outside of officialdom, the official rules and categories, there is always a level above all the others that isn’t codified.

Anyway... all this hasn’t much to do with Snowden, in the sense that he is a particular, isolated case. I’m interested in it because it has to do with the 20%, and the intertwining of Gvmt. agencies with corps, the vetting of individuals, and how this system actually works, as guest77 wrote about in part at 51.

(Other countries do this entirely differently.)

Posted by: Noirette | Jul 19, 2013 4:35:17 PM | 66

#61

Agree and whats more it has speeded up the wholesale destruction of the enviroment in the pursuit of happiness.the island of rubbish floating off the usa in the pacific is testament to that.

Posted by: jub | Jul 19, 2013 6:31:26 PM | 67

Under interesting news, this might fit:

Drones are dropping from the skies onto FL highways. Well, two, at least, in one week?

Given what I'd read about the tendency of drones to lose it re: their controller's input, I figure they would not contribute to overall safety when allowed to be flown domestically.


Charlie Pierce says it was two weeks.

http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/drones-in-florida-071713

Posted by: jawbone | Jul 19, 2013 10:16:33 PM | 68

@jawbone #68:

Given what I'd read about the tendency of drones to lose it re: their controller's input, I figure they would not contribute to overall safety when allowed to be flown domestically anywhere near people.

There...fixed that for ya! :)

Posted by: Dr. Wellington Yueh | Jul 19, 2013 10:30:11 PM | 69

@66 Noirette

I'd be interested in hearing how other countries deal with similar issues. It's an interesting topic for sure.

@ Don "zero days"

It's really interesting, I didn't think much of that. It used to be people would find them, if they were "white hat" (subjective), they'd tell the company (and if the company failed to fix it, tell the public) if they we're "black hat" (even more subjective) they'd exploit it. But being black hats, the worst they may do is steal credit card numbers or hack bank accounts. They worked for themselves and people who work for themselves want personal profit mostly.

But now that they're selling these things to actors who may have more destructive ends... well that's a whole 'nother ballgame. The US can do this on it's own (and Snowden has revealed that Microsoft would actually give the government advance notice and time to do their dirty work before they fixed the flaws) and probably also a few other countries may bother, but I suppose now, for profit, you could have hackers sell this information to, say, the Syrian rebels or a Mexican drug cartel or whatever other bad actor you can think of. Presumably it's a tough gig. You're subject to having your work be for nothing if someone finds it before you and it is fixed, but potentially hugely profitable if you could find a flaw in, say, a nuclear power plant near a big city, and sold the exploit to al Qaeda.

And worst of all, how many corporations will really spend the money to protect themselves? After all, a nuclear power plant going boom because of terrorists... that's just an externality. And insurance is cheaper. And anyway ¡¡¡¡¡AL QAEDA HACKERS AXIS OF EVIL 666 WE MUST SHUT DOWN THE INTERNET AND GO TO WAR!!!!

Scary stuff.

Posted by: guest77 | Jul 20, 2013 12:10:01 AM | 70

@guest77 #70

And don't forget, finding flaws was the job that Snowden was hired to do. Edward Snowden’s last job at NSA was "infrastructure analyst." An infrastructure analyst at the N.S.A., like a burglar casing an apartment building, looks for new ways to break into Internet and telephone traffic around the world. Snowden purposely took the job, at a lesser salary, in order to grab the information he later released.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jul 20, 2013 12:34:24 AM | 71

Dr. Wellington Yueh @l 69 -- Thanks for the perceptive edit.

Posted by: jawbone | Jul 20, 2013 2:51:31 PM | 72

Long-time White House reporter Helen Thomas dies

She was ejected from the White House press corps by Bush Jr. for actually doing her job. We really need more like her, but due to the 'vetting' issues discussed here recently, I'm not optimistic. Sad news.

Posted by: Dr. Wellington Yueh | Jul 20, 2013 5:49:33 PM | 73

Re: Senator Graham,

He's not stupid. He's either working to gain support from crucial constituents/donors for higher office or he's having to fight (a primary opponent or blackmail) to keep the office he has.

Posted by: Rusty Pipes | Jul 20, 2013 10:30:08 PM | 74

Sometimes, what comes around goes around. Link

Panama arrests ex-CIA chief of station wanted by INTERPOL

A retired 21-year veteran of the United States Central Intelligence Agency, who is wanted by INTERPOL for participating in the abduction of a Muslim cleric in Italy, has been detained by police in Panama. Robert Seldon Lady was the CIA’s station chief in Milan in 2003, when a team of 23 Americans, most of them CIA officers, abducted Mustafa Osama Nasr. The CIA suspected the Egyptian-born Nasr, known also as Abu Omar, of working as a recruiter for a host of radical Islamist groups, including al-Qaeda. On February 17, 2003, Nasr was seized in dramatic fashion by a group of CIA operatives in broad daylight in Milan. He was stuffed into an unmarked white van and eventually ended up in Egypt, where he was tortured before being released.[...] Italian authorities were irritated by Nasr’s kidnapping, which they claimed took place without the consent of the Italian government. There are also reports that the Italian intelligence services were monitoring Nasr at the time and were trying to recruit him as a source, which might explain why they were incensed when the Egyptian was snatched by the CIA without their authorization.

Posted by: Juan Moment | Jul 21, 2013 2:58:25 AM | 75

Since the other "Collecting The Haystack" And Almightiness" thread was filled with trifle bullshit, I thought I'd post this here:

"Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people. To destroy this invisible government, to befoul this unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics is the first task of statesmanship."

"President Theodore Roosevelt, "The Progressive Covenant With The People" speech (1912)

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jul 23, 2013 5:06:35 PM | 76

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