Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
July 13, 2011

A Few Links And Open Thread / July 13

Three pieces to read:

Obama continues secret renditions, secret prisons and torture: The CIA's Secret Sites in Somalia - Jeremy Scahill, Nation

The next is about Ahmed Wali Karzai and was written before he got killed yesterday. In all the obituaries about him it was of course mentioned that he was smuggler, warlord, land thief, tribal leader, CIA agent and whatnot. But nowhere did I see mentioned what is reported here. That Ahmed Wali Karzai was just a move away from being made the official governor of Kandahar. That may very well have been the reason why he was killed: Governor Ahmed Wali Karzai - Matthieu Aikins, Harper's

Cynical French, a naive PM, foolish MPs. This Libyan misadventure will end in tears - Max Hastings, Mirror

Please use this thread to discuss the above and as open thread.

Posted by b on July 13, 2011 at 02:22 PM | Permalink

Comments

Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell was on CNBC's Squawk Box this morning bragging about how his state has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country and how most of the jobs in his state are being created in the private sector:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dyITRD1tNwc&feature=player_embedded

But I'll bet money on it that most jobs being created in Virgina are defense-related jobs. So Governor McDonnell is being rather dishonest to claim that most jobs in his state are being created by the private sector without any funds from the public sector.

Governor McDonnell and other pro-war, pro-police state politicians can get away with being dishonest about this because our national security apparatus has been privatized to the point where it LOOKS as though defense-related jobs are being created from funds generated by the private sector. But despite the fact that LOOKS can be very deceiving at times, most of us are incapable of being deceived into believing our national security apparatus gets its funding from the private sector, similar to the way the United Way and the Catholic Church get their funding from the private sector.

So until we start giving charitable donations to our national security apparatus, similar to the way we give charitable donations to our favorite church or charity, there is no way in the world that our national security apparatus can ever be construed as being funded by the private sector.

But I do predict that as our military replaces ground troops with aerial drones as its primary weapon in war, it'll become even easier for politicians like Governor McDonnell to deceive us into believing that our military is somehow being funded by the private sector without any input from the taxpaying public. After all, warfare involving aerial drones, unlike warfare involving ground troops, is funded through the CIA, whose budget is entirely black, meaning that all of its costs are hidden from public view. This is why Obama has come to believe that aerial drones are the greatest thing since sliced bread! Drone warfare has enable our Deceiver-in-Chief to keep us completely in the dark about how our military is leading us off a cliff into bankruptcy.

Posted by: Cynthia | Jul 13, 2011 3:38:37 PM | 1

This article by Bill Conroy from the Narconews site will not shock anyone since it is only the latest in a long line of such sordid stories of links between the CIA and drug dealers, but it is worth noting. The other recurrent theme here is that of operations in which the governmental right hand ostensibly doesn't know what the left hand is doing, a situation which is probably true in the lower echelons of operation, but seems implausible at the executive level. It is, at least, easy to understand why Zambada Niebla is being "gagged" while in prison. (Perhaps I should say "held incommunicado" or "in isolation" rather than gagged, since no allegation of waterboarding or torture is being made here, and, given the forces in conflict, some such confusion might well creep into the minds of readers with a sense of recent history.)

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Jul 14, 2011 1:34:35 AM | 2

scahill misses the story that the leaders in the transitional govt are themselves cia assets - the new pm is second somali-american in a row, w/ sharmarke before them having only lacked u.s. citizenship as his family continued to reside in va while he served his term - the transitional president sh. sharif, of course, as we followed two yrs ago, was recruited, seated and has been handled accordingly. johnnie carson succintly provided the reason why in remarks made in kamapala last july

It is important that the TFG be strengthened, for if it is not, Shabaab will continue to emerge as a significant political threat not only in the south, but also throughout the region.

scahill's breaking story of the detention centers inside villa somalia though is certainly important and will spark renewed outrage - in 2007/2008 that was outsourced to kenya & ethiopia as the situation inside somalia was considered too volatile

and then,

not that AFRICOM hasn't already been heavily involved in training & logistics for their surrogates in somalia for years now, but...

stars and stripes: AFRICOM Marine task force to help train militaries fighting al-Qaida-linked groups in Somalia, Maghreb region

With an eye on insurgent movements in Somalia and volatile parts of northern Africa, a new Marine task force has been assigned to U.S. Africa Command as part of an effort to ramp up training partnerships with militaries fighting al-Qaida-linked groups on the continent.

The addition of the Marine infantrymen, coupled with the recent commissioning of an Africa-focused Naval Special Warfare unit based is Stuttgart, home of the AFRICOM headquarters, suggests AFRICOM is starting to add some muscle.

The Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force, expected to be based in southern Europe, will focus on training African troops deploying as peacekeepers to Somalia, while also bolstering militaries attempting to take on groups affiliated with al-Qaida that are operating across the Maghreb region.

...

“We’re not going to go hunt down al-Qaida in the Maghreb,” said Col. Dale Vesely, plans and operations chief for Marine Forces Africa, which is also based in Stuttgart, “but we’re training [African militaries] to go fight it.”

The unit, which includes air and ground elements, could grow from 123 Marines to about 364 troops in the next few years, if the initial missions prove successful, said Brig. Gen. Paul Brier, deputy commander of MARFOR Africa.

...

The plan to send small numbers of troops to train other militaries to target terrorist groups is in line with a U.S. counterterrorism strategy in Africa that puts a premium on maintaining a low profile, said Rick Nelson, a counterterror expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.

“The United States is certainly in a challenging position because we constantly have to balance our presence against the potential negative impacts of that presence,” Nelson said. “We’ve also learned a large-scale military intervention to combat al-Qaida is no longer economical or politically feasible.”

...

Marine officials say that ... the new task force will ... [provide] local forces with better tactics for confronting the threats that surround them.

...

The plan to establish a Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force dedicated exclusively to AFRICOM missions has been in development for two years.

The unit’s members have now been selected, and preparations are under way to forward-deploy them in Europe in a matter of months, according to Marines at the command’s Panzer Kaserne headquarters in Stuttgart. However, officials say negotiatons are still under way with the host nation, so they are not yet saying exactly where the task force will be located.

...

As a back-up plan, the Marines could operate out of the U.S., if efforts to forward-deploy fall through, Vesely said. New troops will be rotated into the unit every six months.

Brier, the outgoing deputy commander of Marine Forces Africa, acknowledged the SPMAGTF is being formed at a time when troops and resources are stretched thin. However, the unit should be able to grow over time as the Corps looks for efficient ways to return Marines to their more expeditionary roots after years spent on combat outposts in Iraq and Afghanistan, Brier said.

“We’re doing it with the idea of, how do we sustain it for the long-haul,” Brier said.

a comment at that site says it all - "More stuff about fighthing Al Qaeda that Panetta says we've all but destroyed. Wow!"

Posted by: b real | Jul 14, 2011 4:36:46 AM | 3

"Al-Qaeda linked groups", huh?

That has to be the most superstitious piece of junk I've seen in years. Just say the magic words - "Al-Qaeda" - and the people will give you anything you want. Airport molestations, warrantless wiretaps, random military excursions, papal indulgences for torture and other war crimes; can all be had just by repeating those words ...

Posted by: ScuzzaMan | Jul 14, 2011 6:49:43 AM | 4

I just shouted out, "Al-Qaeda, Al-Qaeda, Al-Qaeda!"

I did that rather than mail in my utilities bill. I'll let you know how it worked out.

Posted by: joseph | Jul 14, 2011 7:01:50 AM | 5

Just a note to thank everyone for keeping this watering hole interesting...

Thanks!

Peace

Posted by: DaveS | Jul 14, 2011 7:10:43 AM | 6

ari fleischer says we "need something bold" to solve the oil supply problem...

"The president has to do something bold. He has a real challenge to his leadership," Fleischer said. ...

"So where did that leave Obama, in a tough place admittedly, but not facing a cut-off in the global oil supply. Was this the right time to go bold and go green?

Not yet, said Fleischer. That would have to wait for a full-fledged crisis."

.
US solution to oil crisis simulation: drill more guardian

a new "new pearl harbor" would be pretty bold, but the first one worked so well...

Posted by: groundresonance | Jul 14, 2011 9:52:59 AM | 7

Thanks b.

Posted by: an idiot | Jul 14, 2011 2:24:36 PM | 8

Manning Chat Logs

=====

Teddy Roosevelt on the matter: "Political parties exist to secure responsible government and to execute the will of the people. From these great tasks both of the old parties have turned aside. Instead of instruments to promote the general welfare they have become the tools of corrupt interests, which use them impartially to serve their selfish purposes. 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 dissolve the unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics, is the first task of the statesmanship of the day."

"The Progressive Covenant With The People", speech, August 1912

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jul 14, 2011 6:35:48 PM | 9

Alastair Crooke has a good analysis of the current situation in Syria. According to him the core militancy consists primarily of Salafis. Exiles and outsiders (GCC and Al-Jazeera) have taken the opportunity to exploit the Salafis for their own ends. As for the US, the right hand seems not to know what the left hand is doing.
http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/MG15Ak02.html

Posted by: JohnH | Jul 14, 2011 9:02:11 PM | 10

Exiles and outsiders (GCC and Al-Jazeera) have taken the opportunity to exploit the Salafis for their own ends

How can Crooke write such a thing when it is really the other way around: Salafis exploiting exiles and outsiders...Haven't you seen the stature of those supposed Syrian exiles who are leading the revolution?

Posted by: Sophia | Jul 14, 2011 11:07:58 PM | 11

humanitarian intervention as cause of human crisis

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-14162908

the BBC here describes the cutting of oil supply in Libya clearly as a strategy of targeting civilians: endangering food distribution, water supplies, the harvest ...

Posted by: somebody | Jul 14, 2011 11:23:40 PM | 12

joseph:

I'm pretty sure you need several thousand nuclear warheads, a trillion dollar a year military, and a previously demonstrated reckless disregard for the consequences of using either of the above in anger, for the spell to actually work.

However, I wish you the best of luck with your experiment ...

Posted by: ScuzzaMan | Jul 15, 2011 3:53:32 AM | 13

"However, I wish you the best of luck with your experiment ..."

You may well be right. I tried this back in the 70s when inflation was so bad and the darn electric company turned off the lights. I am hoping they are nicer these days!

I just shouted out, "Al-Qaeda, Al-Qaeda, Al-Qaeda!" again just to be safe.

Posted by: joseph | Jul 15, 2011 7:58:38 AM | 14

New Zealands Three Strikes Law was Pushed, Bought and Paid for by the US – Wikileaks

The slow trickle of leaked diplomatic cables from Wikileaks may not be in the headlines as much as it was when it started, but revelations keep pouring out of the website. Recently, new diplomatic cables published on the site revealed just how, not only influential the US was, but just how much control the US had over the passage of the three strikes law in New Zealand.
...

Posted by: b | Jul 15, 2011 11:15:40 AM | 15

Roger Pociask posted a screenshot from a brief article in the Indian Ocean Newsletter saying AFRICOM is waiting for an official request following the July independence to establish a base, a "small military contingent in Juba" in South Sudan for strengthening and professionalizing the SPLA etc.

If you scroll down his main page, rogerpociask.posterous.com, there is a display of stamps from Libya over a number of years that are worth a look.

He also posts a link to a DTIC slideshow on the CJTF-HOA in which Somalia is referred to as Phase Zero. The whole concept should be an embarrassment. If you follow the link to the pdf, scroll through and look at the last two slides. Taken in sequence, they are unfortunately hilarious, and revealing of the US/AFRICOM view of the relationship with Africa and Africans.

Posted by: xcroc | Jul 15, 2011 1:14:10 PM | 16

Some time ago we had (thanks to b as usual and others) a discussion about the LIBOR and its manipulation. At Yves Smith's Naked Capitalism site the argument has turned up once again, in slightly altered form and as an alleged signal of impending financial disaster. The discussion there gets sidetracked onto the U.S. debt-limit and default debate. It would be interesting to have a deconstruction (or elaboration) of the "European" part of the story. I'm far too economically ingenuous to have a well-founded view of the present European budget-deficit fix-cum-austerity program propagated by the "virtuous" Northerners, but the notion is that there may well be TBTF European banks (French and/or German) with serious problems of "extend and pretend" is certainly not beyond the realm of possibility.
Also, the first signs of a European credit crunch may (or may not) be already visible on financial radar screens. If so, the really great depression may still be just in its early phase. However, this may also be mere rumor mongering about financial phantasms. Obviously I'd be interested in hearing what more techically capable observers think.

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Jul 15, 2011 4:22:21 PM | 17

@HKOL - still working on that ...

---

Interesting, not for the grand story (well known), but for details on persons and programs: Mission Mind Control: ABC Documentary (1979)
Mind Control Documentary Reveals CIA's Darkest Secrets

And no. I don't endorse that website.

Posted by: b | Jul 16, 2011 3:20:33 PM | 18

thanks for the documentary b, i'm watching it now.

Posted by: annie | Jul 16, 2011 7:24:34 PM | 19

Wikileaks: Very Interesting 1997 Cable referencing Taliban and Bin Laden

http://wikileaks.org/cable/1997/08/97KARACHI1443.html

R 211233Z AUG 97
FM AMCONSUL KARACHI
TO AMCONSUL PESHAWAR
AMCONSUL LAHORE
AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD
SECSTATE WASHDC 8984

C O N F I D E N T I A L KARACHI 001443


E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/20/07
TAGS: PREL NARC PTER AF PK
SUBJECT: TALIBAN REP ON NARCOTICS AND BIN LADEN

¶1. (U) CLASSIFIED BY DOUGLAS B. ARCHARD, CONSUL GENERAL,
AMCONGEN KARACHI. REASON 1.5(D).



...SUBJECT: TALIBAN REP ON NARCOTICS AND BIN LADEN

¶1. (U) CLASSIFIED BY DOUGLAS B. ARCHARD, CONSUL GENERAL, AMCONGEN KARACHI. REASON 1.5(D).

¶2. (C) CONSUL GENERAL JOINED HIS TALIBAN COUNTERPARTS FOR A BRIEF CHAT DURING A DINNER AT THE CHIEF MINISTER'S AUGUST 20TH. THE TALIBAN CONSUL GENERAL IS A FIFTY-ISH, MIDDLE- SIZED MAN NAMED MAULVI ABDULLAH HAMAD, WHOM WE HAD NOT MET BEFORE. HE HAS BEEN IN PLACE SINCE SEPTEMBER 1996 AND HAILS FROM HELMAND. HE SPEAKS NO ENGLISH BUT SOME URDU. WE KNOW HIS NUMBER TWO, THIRD SECRETARY HAFIZULLAH SAFI, WHO HAS LIVED IN KARACHI FOR A DOZEN YEARS AND HOLDS AN MA IN ISLAMIC STUDIES FROM KARACHI UNIVERSITY.

¶3. (U) WE WORKED THE SUBJECT AROUND TO NARCOTICS. SAFI ADMITTED THAT SOME – “A LITTLE”-- OPIUM WAS GROWN IN TALIBAN-CONTROLLED AREA, ESPECIALLY HELMAND, BUT WAS USED ONLY FOR MEDICINAL PURPOSES. HE SAID HIS MOVEMENT HAD STRICTLY FORBIDDEN THE MANUFACTURE OF HEROINE AND HASHISH. WE DID NOT DISPUTE HIS CLAIM.

¶4. (C) CONSUL GENERAL ALSO ASKED ABOUT “THAT SAUDI PRINCE,” WHO WAS IMMEDIATELY IDENTIFIED AS OSAMA BIN LADEN. SAFI LAUNCHED INTO AN EXPLANATION OF BIN LADEN'S PRESENCE IN TALIBAN TERRITORY WHICH TOOK THE STANDARD LINE: BIN LADEN HAD BEEN A GOOD MUJAHID FOR A DOZEN OR MORE YEARS. HE REMAINED IN AFGHANISTAN ON THE UNDERSTANDING THAT HE AVOID ANY INVOLVEMENT IN TERRORISM DIRECTED AGAINST THE WEST OR SAUDI ARABIA.

¶5. (C) WE ASKED IF HE HAD VIEWED THE PETER ARNETT CNN INTERVIEW WITH BIN LADEN. HE CLAIMED NO KNOWLEDGE OF THE INTERVIEW AND ASKED FOR A SUMMARY. CONSUL GENERAL EXPLAINED THAT BIN LADEN HAD VOWED ACTION AGAINST AMERICAN SOLDIERS IN SAUDI ARABIA. HE INVITED SAFI TO COME TO TEA AT JOHNSON HOUSE TO VIEW THE TAPE. SAFI UNDERTOOK TO DO SO, WE THINK.

¶6. (C) COMMENT: NOT ALL THAT MUCH SUBSTANCE THERE, OR PERHAPS MUCH REALITY BUT WHAT SEEMS CLEAR IS THAT THE TALIBAN ARE GETTING OUR MESSAGES. WE SUSPECT THAT THEIR COMMUNICATIONS WITH KANDAHAR ARE NOT THAT PERFECT BUT THEY APPEAR TO BE TELLING ONE ANOTHER WHAT U.S. CONCERNS ARE. WE ARE IN THE CULTIVATING MODE WITH THESE PEOPLE, WHOM WE MEET ONLY FLEETINGLY. WE HAD LUCK IN GETTING SAFI OVER TO HEAR OUR PITCH ON PRESERVING THE BUDDHIST MONUMENTS AT BAMIYAN. WE'LL TRY TO GET HIM TO FOLLOW THROUGH ON THE ARNETT TAPE.

ARCHARD

Posted by: anonymous | Jul 18, 2011 3:24:19 PM | 20

I'd interrogate the goat.

Posted by: Biklett | Jul 19, 2011 3:28:03 AM | 21

oh me.

Posted by: beq | Jul 19, 2011 11:52:00 PM | 22

have you seen this before? http://www.startribune.com/blogs/125847178.html

in Minnesota?
You the engineers who know about all,please answer

Posted by: an idiot | Jul 20, 2011 11:31:43 AM | 23

The deterioration of American society, it's labor issues and the out right abuse of it citizens continues...

Workers: Heat Lamps Shined On Hyatt Hotel Picket Line

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jul 22, 2011 7:33:19 PM | 24

My earlier post regarding this murder in Tehran seems to have been incorrect regarding the victim's field of work, as explained by the link given here.

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Jul 24, 2011 10:01:05 AM | 25

My "earlier post" seems to have been lost (probably due to an error on my part). Here are the three fairly recent stories . Each of these deals with an aspect of the seamier side of "Western" polity. The first has the virtue of being, for now at least, deniable.

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Jul 24, 2011 10:11:48 AM | 26

Create a crisis, create extraordinary measures to deal with that crisis, profit. Wash, rinse, repeat.

Posted by: Monolycus | Jul 24, 2011 7:31:14 PM | 27

#fuckyouwashington

fyW

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jul 25, 2011 2:35:38 AM | 28

Bill Conroy of Narco News has two informative updates on his "Fast and Furious" exposé. The whole sordid affair and its nefarious context merit further airing.

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Jul 25, 2011 9:03:23 AM | 29

b,

Is that your comment .. http://maxkeiser.com/2011/07/25/obamas-plight-and-the-global-debt-tide/comment-page-1/#comment-348254 ... on maxkeiser.com?

I agree that Max Keiser is far off base here.

Too often a broad brush is used in criticizing groups (that is, political parties, religious groups, and other organizations) instead of criticizing with firm facts/reasons towards a specific wrong/belief of an individual or an institution. Moreover, histories of countries/groups citing wrongful acts from hundreds of years ago is also not usually helpful in judging the mindset of current individuals or current organizations/governments. That includes the "left" vs. "right" political scenario also. To expand the thought even further, judging the morality of past history is perilous also.

Anyone can be included in such prejudice as none of us come without some connection to historic misdeeds or some connection to a current individual/group/country that has acted wrongly. Put simply, we all come to this earth with original sin but let us judge, if we must, on specifics.

Posted by: Rick | Jul 25, 2011 10:48:22 AM | 30

Check out this soul video about the militarizaton of the border. Right in my backyard! I'm so proud of these kids!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=I4MnMOAVCRU#t=17s

Posted by: Jake | Jul 25, 2011 1:40:27 PM | 31

@Rick - I do not read that site at all. I certainly don't comment at it.

Posted by: b | Jul 25, 2011 2:50:08 PM | 32

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