Archive for the ‘Intelligence History’ Category

The rise of SOCOM – to train proxy forces in all the places where US projects its power – is alarming.

The recent news of a possible shift in the operation of drones from the CIA to the Department of Defense was by and large received with a shrug. Given that the programme would likely be operated by the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) and under conditions of strictest secrecy, and probably launched from inaccessible “floating bases” on especially configured naval vessels, the shift is not an indicator of a change in the US’ assassination policy. And to the putative victims of the drone strikes, it is largely an irrelevant organisational change.

The reason, however, that the shift is of relevance more broadly is that it signals the irresistible rise of the special operations community in the post-counterinsurgency era.  More than a year ago, in January 2012, President Obama inaugurated the US Defense Strategic Guidance. The document was strategically significant because it announced the “pivot to Asia” alongside continued commitments to the oil sheikhdoms of the Persian Gulf.

Militarily, it clearly signalled the end of large-scale invasion and occupation of troublesome or intransigent countries in favour of the kind of operations in which the US Special Operations Command (SOCOM) and its counterterrorism component, the JSOC, excel. This ascendancy is confirmed by the planned expansion of the SOCOM by around 7.5 percent by 2015, from 66,100 civilian and military personnel in 2011 to 71,100 by 2015.

This expansion of the force, at a time when most US government departments – including the Pentagon itself – are contemplating possible sequestrations, speaks to the increasing importance of a force which can act in the shadows, leaving a “light footprint”.

A recent report by the Center for a New American Security describes the light footprints as a “minimalist” and “non-intrusive” approach to asymmetric warfare combining “air power, special operators, intelligence agents, indigenous armed groups and contractors, often leveraging relationships with allies and enabling partner militaries to take more active roles”. US Special Operations Command is perfectly suited for such tasks and is increasingly consolidating its hold over the broad spectrum of military tactics it entails.

‘Minimalist and non-intrusive’ approach

Established in 1980 and 1987 respectively, JSOC and SOCOM both have their origins in the US military’s failed hostage rescue mission in Iran in 1980.

The most prominent operations in which the SOCOM has participated or had leading roles have included the invasion of Grenada (1983), rescue operations during the Achille Lauro hijacking (1985), the invasion of Panama and the kidnapping of Manuel Noriega (1989), the Mideast during the Gulf War (1991), the operation to arrest Mohamed Farrah Aidid in Somalia (1993), re-installation of Jean-Bertrand Aristide in Haiti (1994), classified missions in Bosnia and Kosovo (1996-2002), and of course Afghanistan (2001-present) and Iraq (2003-present).

The USSOCOM draws from the special operators of the various branches of the US military, including the US Navy SEALs, the Army’s Green Berets and the 75th Ranger Regiment, the Marine Corps’ Special Operations Regiment, and the Air Force’s special operators.

The JSOC, the wholly classified sub-unit of the SOCOM, includes even smaller and more elite groups of the Delta Force and the US Navy’s Special Warfare Development Group (or DEVGRU) which was responsible for the assassination of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan. But while such operations capture the attention of mainstream media and Hollywood producers, other functions of the SOCOM are less commented upon but just as important.

In both the aforementioned CNAS report and the 2011 Congressional testimony of Admiral William McRaven, the SOCOM chief, such visible direct operations are said best complemented by indirect approaches.

The direct special operations approach usually includes the drone-led assassination programme, and secret special operations forays into a variety of official, unofficial and unannounced battlegrounds in countries around the world. At last count, these countries numbered 71, up from around 60 during the Bush administration.

Although these operations get the press, and certainly seem to have a kind of pop culture glamour – with Hollywood clamouring to make films about special operators – the CNAS report helpfully tells us that:

“Drones and commando raids are the ‘tip of the iceberg’. Surgical strikes [sic] are only the most visible (and extreme) part of a deeper, longer-term strategy that takes many years to develop, cannot be grown after a crisis and relies heavily on human intelligence networks, the training of indigenous forces and close collaboration with civilian diplomats and development workers.”

The latter few items of the series above count as the kind of indirect operations that both McRaven and CNAS consider crucially important. The indirect tasks primarily include training and advising foreign security forces in a broad range of countries and operating alongside them. Altogether, by March 2012, according to Admiral McRaven, the US Special Operations Forces were present in some 100 countries.

In all accounts extolling the use of the “foreign internal defence” programmes, the special operators and their supporters like to use the training of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and participation in Plan Colombia as their exemplary cases.

In the Philippines, the special operators continue a long tradition of intervention in the country which began with the effective colonisation of the Philippines Islands between 1898 and 1946 and continued with counterinsurgency activities in the 1950s. Through this long period, the US forces have fought the Moros of southern Philippines in a variety of guises, both directly and indirectly.

The most recent incarnation of the fight has entailed the SOCOM training of the Philippines Special Operations Forces, and fighting alongside them against the Abu Sayyaf Islamists in southern Philippines.

The training began with the initial insertion of 1,200 Special Operations Forces into the country for advising, training and eventually engaging in military operations. Although the Joint Special Operations Task Force – Philippines is still active in the Philippines, they now maintain a much lower profile.

Indirect approach and training programmes

Plan Colombia brought together the US State Department, USAID and more importantly, the US special operators, the DEA, the CIA and military contractors to train the Colombian military and the police to both fight the FARC guerrillas and assist the US in the interdiction of cocaine in Colombia (although the extent to which the intelligence agencies have been involved in interdicting drugs has been laid open to question when a plane previously used for rendition – presumably by the CIA – crashed in Mexico carrying Colombia cocaine).

The connections built in Colombia are particularly close and the US special operations activities there are so crucial that CNAS fellow and influential pundit Robert Kaplan has claimed that:

“The future of military conflict [is] better gauged in Colombia than in Iraq… In Colombia I was introduced to the tactics that the US would employ to manage an unruly world.”

Other regions of the world will follow the model established in Colombia and the Philippines in the first decade of the 21st century.

The US Special Operations Forces are now operating in Uganda, Libya, Mali, Yemen, and out of the US bases in and near hotspots throughout the world. Where they engage in training or special operations, their fields of activity become useful laboratories for development of special operations tactics and honing of special skills.

But the indirect approach and training programmes also establish long-term connections between military officers of various countries and their counterparts in the USSOCOM.  The CNAS report on “light footprints” hopefully offers, “as American advisers maintain relationships with their foreign counterparts over the years, lieutenants become captains, then colonels, then generals, and they begin to influence the partner nation’s military from within”.

Another cheerleader for the use of indirect approach by special operators, journalist Linda Robinson, tell us that:

“Colombian special operators act as valuable force multipliers since they speak the language and understand the culture of these places in ways that US forces might not. These Colombians are part of an expanding network of US-trained Special Operators that also includes forces from Middle Eastern and Eastern European countries and whose members are now participating in Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere alongside traditional US partners from Western Europe, Australia and New Zealand.”

In the same article, she recognises that the local forces trained and supported by the US can be corrupt, “incompetent or abusive”, but she argues that the use of these proxy forces is the “only realistic course for US security policy” short of expensive and unpopular large-scale military intervention.

The rise of US Special Operations Forces engaging in kinetic operations and direct action or in using their extensive military, psychological operations and war-fighting skills to train proxy forces in all the places where the US projects its power is alarming.

The ascendance of an elite clique of ultra-warriors protected by the cloak of secrecy and pushing off responsibility for acts of violence to their proxies and allies, means that the tip of the imperial spear can tear through the social fabric of many a country without associated costs in blood and treasure and hidden from the view of the press and the public.

And because such special operations do not require the sacrifices of an expansive force, the special operators can largely act without public outrage or demand for accountability.  The old/new military philosophy of a light footprint is useful precisely because it allows for the war in the shadows to continue unabated and with impunity.


January 30, 2012

An Image of Ferdinando Imposimato Bilderberg GroupThe Bilderberg Group has now been directly implicated for the murder of Italian activists during the seventies and eighties.

According to Ferdinando Imposimato, a former prosecutor that investigated the Italian Mafia who is also an honorary president of the Italian Supreme Court, during a speech he delivered at a book launch revealed for the first time that the Bilderberg Group were responsible for massacres of political activists during the seventies and eighties in Italy.

Ferdinando Imposimato not only implicates the Bilderberg Group, he also reveals that the CIA and Bilderberg Group were working in partnership to destabilize the Italian political framework during the seventies and eighties.

While discussing how the Bilderberg Group and CIA tried to infiltrate Italy, Mr. Imposimato was quoted as saying

The strategy (used by the CIA) was used to shift the political balance from right to center-left and then to left. This was orchestrated by the CIA.

Unknown to many, the Bilderberg Group has a long history of manipulating political frameworks around the world.

Within the last 12 months, prominent members of the Bilderberg Group have been appointed to the upper echelons of the United States and United Kingdom governments.

In fact, at the last three Bilderberg Group meetings, 17 participants were Italian. On average, Italians make up 5% of the participants list at all Bilderberg Group meetings.Interestingly, Italy has been represented at many Bilderberg Group meetings.

The following is a list of Italian Bilderberg Group participants:

Franco Bernabe, John Elkann, Mario Monti, Tommaso Padoa Schioppa, Paolo Scaroni, Giulio Tremonti, Gianni Agnelli, Umberto Agnelli, Alfredo Ambrosetti, Emma Bonino, Giampiero Cantoni, Lucio Caracciolo, Louis G. Cavalchini, Adriana Ceretelli, Innocent Cipolletta, Gian C. Citizens Cesi, Rodolfo De Benedetti, Ferruccio De Bortoli, Paolo Zannoni, Antonio Vittorino, Ignazio Visco, Walter Veltroni, Marco Tronchetti Provera, Ugo Stille, Barbara Spinelli, Domenico Siniscalco, Stefano Silvestri, Renato Ruggiero, Carlo Rossella, Virginio Rognoni, Sergio Romano Gianni Riotta, Alessandro Profumo, Romano Prodi, Corrado Passera, Cesare Merlini, S. Rainer Masera, Claudio Martelli, Giorgio La Malfa, Francesco Giavazzi, Gabriele Galateri, Paolo Fresco, John Elkann, Mario Draghi, Gianni De Michelis.

To learn more about the Bilderberg Group, click here.

This film presents an account of Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) activities that had previously been covert, including actions in Iran, Vietnam, Laos, the Congo, Cuba, and Guatemala. The film includes interviews with CIA director Allen Dulles and Dick Bissel.

About the CIA:
The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is an independent civilian intelligence agency of the United States government. It is an executive agency and reports directly to the Director of National Intelligence, with responsibility for providing national security intelligence assessment to senior United States policymakers. Intelligence-gathering is performed by non-military commissioned civilian intelligence agents, many of whom are trained to avoid tactical situations. The CIA also oversees and sometimes engages in tactical and covert activities at the request of the President of the United States. Often, when such field operations are organized, the U.S. military or other warfare tacticians carry these tactical operations out on behalf of the agency while the CIA oversees them. Although intelligence-gathering is the agency’s main agenda, tactical divisions were established in the agency to carry out emergency field operations that require immediate suppression or dismantling of a threat or weapon.

The CIA succeeded the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), formed during World War II to coordinate espionage activities against the Axis Powers for the branches of the United States Armed Forces. The National Security Act of 1947 established the CIA, affording it “no police or law enforcement functions, either at home or abroad”. Through interagency cooperation, the CIA has Cooperative Security Locations at its disposal. These locations are called “lily pads” by the Air Force. The primary function of the CIA is to collect information about foreign governments, corporations, and individuals, and to advise public policymakers, but it does conduct emergency tactical operations and carries out covert operations, and exerts foreign political influence through its tactical divisions, such as the Special Activities Division. The CIA and its responsibilities changed markedly in 2004. Before December 2004, the CIA was the main intelligence organization of the U.S. government; it was responsible for coordinating the activities of the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC) as a whole. The Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 created the office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), which took over management and leadership of the IC.

Sometimes, the CIA is referred to euphemistically in government and military parlance as Other Government Agency (OGA), particularly when its operations in a particular area are an open secret. Other terms include The Company, Langley, and The Agency.

CIA in the early Cold War-era (1953–1966):

Allen Dulles, who had been a key OSS operations officer in Switzerland during World War II, took over from Smith, at a time where U.S. policy was dominated by intense anticommunism. Various sources existed, the most visible being the investigations and abuses of Senator Joseph McCarthy, and the more quiet but systematic containment doctrine developed by George Kennan, the Berlin Blockade and the Korean War. Dulles enjoyed a high degree of flexibility, as his brother, John Foster Dulles, was simultaneously Secretary of State.

During this period, there were numerous covert actions against left-wing movements perceived as communist. The CIA overthrew a foreign government for the first time during the 1953 Iranian coup d’état, at the request of Winston Churchill. Some of the largest operations were aimed at Cuba after the overthrow of the Batista dictatorship, including assassination attempts against Fidel Castro and the failed Bay of Pigs Invasion. There have been suggestions that the Soviet attempt to put missiles into Cuba came, indirectly, when they realized how badly they had been compromised by a U.S.-UK defector in place, Oleg Penkovsky. One of the biggest operations ever undertaken by the CIA was directed at Zaire in support of Mobutu Sese Seko.

While the CIA is commonly understood to be an intelligence agency, we shouldn’t forget the important role it has played in carrying out clandestine operations that have benefited the financial elite.

This accusation is substantiated by the CIA’s elitist origins, its well-documented connections to Wall Street, and its sordid history of carrying out assassinations, staging coups, and fomenting civil wars.

The CIA and the financial elite have always had shared goals, interests, and backgrounds. Those in the upper echelons at Langley have often attended the same universities, belonged to the same fraternities, and attended the same clubs and parties as the Wall Street elite. This is why the intelligence community is often described as the “old boy network.”

This collusion is perhaps best illustrated by the career of Allen Welsh Dulles. Dulles was an operative of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the American WWII intelligence organization and forerunner of the CIA. He was also a senior partner of Sullivan & Cromwell, a well-connected Wall Street law firm representing several large American corporations, and a board member of J. Henry Schroeder Bank, a multinational investment house. Dulles’s international business concerns created myriad conflicts of interest while he headed the CIA from 1953 to 1961.

When Dulles was assigned the task of drafting the proposal for the organization that was to become the Central Intelligence Agency, he created an advisory group of a half dozen men, all of them Wall Street investment bankers and lawyers. Incidentally, Dulles had intended to be installed as Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) as early as 1949, but when President Harry Truman defeated New York Governor Thomas Dewey (Dulles was Dewey’s speech writer) in the 1948 presidential election, his plans were put on hold.

Such conflicts of interest had existed within the intelligence community from the start. During World War II, the OSS recruited almost exclusively from the nation’s elite universities and corporate boardrooms. The international scope of many American corporations, particularly those in the insurance and petroleum industries, made them ideally suited for intelligence gathering. The alliance was refined, if not formalized, after the war with the creation of the CIA in 1947.

During the Cold War, U.S. corporations routinely provided CIA agents with cover, secret funding, resources, and contacts overseas. The CIA often reciprocated by giving these corporations multibillion dollar contracts, providing them immunity from media scrutiny by invoking “national security,” propping up “pro-American” puppet regimes, and, when necessary, overthrowing recalcitrant foreign governments.

Under Dulles’s directorship, there were two major operations carried out by the CIA that illustrate perfectly the agency’s corporatist mission.

In 1953, the CIA, working with the British MI6, overthrew the democratically elected Iranian government of Mohammed Mossadegh, citing a communist threat. But there was no such threat. The Soviets had withdrawn from the country in 1945, and the Iranian communist party, the Tudeh, was weak and in no position to seize power.

The real reason for the CIA-backed coup that smothered Iran’s nascent democracy and installed the tyrannical Shah was Mossadegh’s threat to nationalize his country’s oilfields. This policy might have jeopardized the profits of British and American oil companies, but it certainly posed no threat to the security of the United States.

The CIA’s toppling of the democratically elected government of Jacobo Arbenz in Guatemala in 1954 was also justified as an anti-communist operation. But again, there was no communist threat. Arbenz’s government had run afoul of the United Fruit Company by instituting a land-reform program that called for the compensated taking of portions of the company’s vast property holdings. The CIA Red-baited Arbenz, staged a coup that overthrew him, and installed the brutal dictator Colonel Castillo Armas. The operation was considered an unambiguous success by the CIA and, no doubt, by the board of United Fruit — but it proved to be a disaster for the Guatemalan people, who would endure 40 years of civil war.

And of course the CIA’s corporatist operations did not end with Dulles’s ouster in 1961.

In 1973, the CIA orchestrated a coup against Chile’s democratically elected leader, Salvador Allende. Allende had crossed the U.S. financial elite by nationalizing foreign-owned interests like the country’s copper mines and telephone system. The CIA responded with a coup that resulted in Allende’s death and the installation of General Augusto Pinochet as the country’s dictator. Pinochet’s reign would last another 15 years, during which his regime tortured and murdered thousands of political opponents.

In 1987, the former CIA station chief in Angola, John Stockwell, said that the CIA was responsible for tens of thousands of covert actions and destabilization programs since its inception. At the time, Stockwell estimated that over 6 million people had died in CIA covert actions. Former State Department official and author William Blum has called this an “American Holocaust.”

That this alliance between the intelligence and business communities would lead to much mischief, mayhem, and bloodshed abroad is hardly surprising. Secrecy in the name of “national security” enabled both the CIA and corporate America to avoid accountability, rise above the law, and increase their power and profits.

Moreover, the destabilization of so-called third-world countries provided an arena for the Agency’s “fun-and-games” branch (clandestine operations). Weapons and narcotics trafficking flourished in the various hot spots stoked by Western intelligence agencies. These conflicts had nothing to do with national security, but they kept the spies employed and made a few arms dealers very wealthy. If millions of innocents suffered and perished in the senseless fighting, well, C’est la guerre.

In 1975, Philip Agee, an ex-CIA agent and author of Inside the Company, one of the first detailed exposés of the CIA, made this insightful observation:

To the people who work for it, the CIA is known as The Company. The Big Business mentality pervades everything. Agents, for instance, are called assets. The man in charge of the United Kingdom desk is said to have the “U.K. account.”…

American multinational corporations have built up colossal interests all over the world, and you can bet … that wherever you find U. S. business interests, you also find the CIA.… The multinational corporations want a peaceful status quo in countries where they have investments, because that gives them undisturbed access to cheap raw materials, cheap labor and stable markets for their finished goods. The status quo suits bankers, because their money remains secure and multiplies. And, of course, the status quo suits the small ruling groups the CIA supports abroad, because all they want is to keep themselves on top of the socioeconomic pyramid and the majority of their people on the bottom. But do you realize what being on the bottom means in most parts of the world? Ignorance, poverty, often early death by starvation or disease.

Throughout the Cold War, the CIA served the interests of the financial elite by artificially inflating estimates of Soviet military strength. These gross overestimates ensured the passage of enormous military-appropriation bills by Congress, thus enriching a few corporations within the military-industrial complex.

When the Cold War ended and the CIA found itself without an adversary, it was quick to come up with a new mission: corporate espionage. Journalist Robert Dreyfuss writes,

Since the end of the Cold War, Washington has been abuzz with talk about using the CIA for economic espionage. Stripped of euphemism, economic espionage simply means that American spies would target foreign companies, such as Toyota, Nissan, and Honda, and then covertly pass stolen trade secrets and technology to U.S. corporate executives.

The CIA’s behavior is hardly an American innovation. Indeed, it goes back at least as far as the British East India Company and is part of the game of empire. To gain insight into how this game is played, I recommend Russ Baker’s Family of Secrets and John Perkins’ Confessions of an Economic Hitman.

Covert History… 

” Covert action should not be confused with missionary work.”

Henry Kissinger, commenting on the US sellout of the Kurds in Iraq in 1975


” …the CIA has overthrown functioning democracies in over 20 countries.”

John Stockwell, former CIA official and author

Bay of Pigs
Vietnam 1945 – 1963
Dominican Republic

“… Secret CIA operations constitute the usually unseen efforts to shore up unjust, unpopular, minority governments, always with the hope that overt military intervention … will not be necessary. The more successful CIA operations are, the more remote overt intervention becomes, and the more remote become reforms. Latin America in the 1960s is all the proof one needs.”

Philip Agee, CIA Diary

Vietnam 1964-1975

“But what counter-insurgency really comes down to is the protection of the capitalists back in America, their property and their privileges. US national security, as preached by US leaders, is the security of the capitalist class in the US, not the security of the rest of the people.”

Philip Agee, CIA Diary

Orlando Letelier
El Salvador

“A considerable proportion of the developed world’s prosperity rests on paying the lowest possible prices for the poor countries’ primary products and on exporting high-cost capital and finished goods to those countries. Continuation of this kind of prosperity requires continuation of the relative gap between developed and underdeveloped countries – it means keeping poor people poor.

Increasingly, the impoverished masses are understanding that the prosperity of the developed countries and of the privileged minorities in their own countries is founded on their poverty.”

Philip Agee, CIA Diary

South Pacific

“American capitalism, based as it is on exploitation of the poor, with its fundamental motivation in personal greed, simply cannot survive without force – without a secret police force.

Now, more than ever, each of us is forced to make a conscious choice whether to support the system of minority comfort and privilege with all its security apparatus and repression, or whether to struggle for real equality of opportunity and fair distribution of benefits for all of society, in the domestic as well as the international order. It’s harder now not to realize that there are two sides, harder not to understand each, and harder not to recognize that like it or not we contribute day in and day out either to the one side or to the other.”

Philip Agee, CIA Diary

Among other things since becoming president, Barack Obama has:
  • Signed the NDAA into law – making it legal to assassinate Americans w/o charge or trial.
  • Initiated, and personally oversees a ‘Secret Kill List’.
  • Waged war on Libya without congressional approval.
  • Started a covert, drone war in Yemen.
  • Escalated the proxy war in Somalia.
  • Escalated the CIA drone war in Pakistan.
  • Maintained a presence in Iraq even after “ending” the war.
  • Sharply escalated the war in Afghanistan.
  • Secretly deployed US special forces to 75 countries.


Here’s a partial history of Obama’s dealings – listed (roughly) chronologically, most recent first:

News after Obama was elected to a second term

  • President Barack Obama will accept unlimited corporate donations for his Inauguration in January, reversing his position from his first Inauguration (READ).
  • Obamacare Architect Leaves White House for Pharmaceutical Industry Job (READ).
  • US to leave 10,000 troops in Afghanistan past 2014 (READ).
  • Obama ‘drone-warfare rulebook’ condemned by human rights groups (READ).
  • Obama says he is “fully supportive” of Israel’s attack on Gaza. “There is no country on Earth that would tolerate missiles raining down on from outside its borders” (We
    wonder if Obama applies this logic to Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and
    Afghanistan where the U.S. is raining down missilles on those countries) (READ).
  • Obama Administration: Hamas to Blame for Gaza Violence.  Says Israel ‘has the right to defend itself’ (but makes no mention of Palestinians having the same right) (READ).
  • Obama-appointed Afghanistan commander supports troops there past 2014 (READ).
  • U.S. expands counterterrorism assistance in Cambodia in spite of human rights concerns (READ).
  • Julian Assange:
    Reelected Obama a ‘wolf in sheep’s clothing’.  “All of the
    activities against WikiLeaks by the United States have occurred under
    an Obama administration.” (READ).


News prior to Obama being elected to a second term
  • 4 More Drones! Robot Attacks Are on Deck for Obama’s Next Term (READ).
  • Obama and Civil Liberties: The Prospect of Four More Years (READ).
  • US-backed regime in Bahrain
    bans all protests.  Obama continues to support the brutal Bahraini
    dictatorship, valuing ruthless control of the Persian Gulf over
    democracy (READ).
  • UN Official: Aspects of US Drone Program Clearly ‘War Crimes’ (read). (Which makes Obama a war criminal.)
  • Obama Moves to Make the ‘War on Terror’
    Permanent.  Complete with a newly coined, creepy Orwellian
    euphemism – ‘disposition matrix’ – the administration
    institutionalizes the most extremist powers a government can claim (read).
  • U.S. Begins Talks to Extend Troop Presence in Afghanistan Beyond 2014 (read).
  • Obama implements additional Iran sanctions (read).
  • Electronic monitoring by Justice Department on the rise under Obama, ACLU says (read).
  • At UN, Obama Falsely Claims America Sides With Democratic Change in Mid East (read).
  • New Stanford/NYU Study Documents the Civilian Terror from Obama’s Drones (read). ‘Counterproductive’
    drone war “terrorizes” civilians in Pakistan. The drone war has given
    rise to “anxiety and psychological trauma among civilian communities”.
  • Obama wins right to indefinitely detain Americans under NDAA (read).
  • Obama administration to spend an estimated $350 billion on nuclear weapon upgrades (read). (But the US doesn’t acknowledge its hypocrisy in sanctioning & threatening Iran for pursuing nuclear energy).
  • AIPAC thanks Obama for ‘steadfast support’ (read).
  • Obama Admin Appeals Overruling of Indefinite Detention Under NDAA (read).
  • Rahm Emanuel: President Obama supports me against striking teachers in Chicago (read).
  • Obama has kept his promise to not prosecute CIA torturers, leaving them unaccountable (read).
  • Suspected U.S. drone strike kills civilians in Yemen, officials say (read).
  • Obama Gives Shell Green Light to Start Risky Arctic Drilling (read).
  • Obama sends 200 Marines to Guatemala to fight drug trafficking (read).
  • Obama authorized covert support for Syrian rebels, sources say (read).
  • Obama signs law increasing aid to Israel day before Romney trip to Holy Land (read).
  • Obama in Yemen: Killing Civilians, Bolstering Dictatorship, and Bombing in Secret (read).
  • Obama signs executive order giving himself control of all communication systems in America (read).
  • U.S. beefs up Persian Gulf forces (read).
    Lesser of Two Evils Contest Winners

    Thanks to everyone
    who submitted slogans and voted for the best way to respond when
    someone says, “I’m going to vote for Obama because he’s the lesser of
    two evils.”  As voted by you, here are the winners of the contest.

    • If you vote for either man you vote for more war
    • Voting
      for the lesser of two evils may be acceptable to you, but it’s not to
      the people around the world who are being bombed by Obama
    • Obama 2012 – Four More Wars!


  • U.S. eyes return to some Southeast Asia military bases (in Vietnam, Thailand and the Philippines) (read).
  • Obama Ignored CIA Report Against Afghan Escalation (read).
  • Under Obama, the export of American arms
    to countries around the world — even those actively repressing their
    own citizens — is booming. The United States is the world’s top
    provider of major conventional weapons (read).
  • C.I.A. Said to Aid in Steering Arms to Syrian Opposition (read).
  • Drone strikes threaten 50 years of international law, says UN rapporteur (read).
  • Obama asserts presidential powers he once spoke critically of (read).
  • Obama administration rejects FOIA requests from NYT, ACLU for “targeted killing” papers (read).
  • Ex-CIA Official Slams Obama’s ‘Indiscriminate’ Use of Drones (read).
  • What’s behind Obama’s new military base in Chile? (read).
    The U.S. is NOT leaving Iraq or Afghanistan, as Obama claims

    7, 2012 – The CIA is expected to maintain a large clandestine presence
    in Iraq and Afghanistan long after the departure of conventional U.S.
    troops as part of a plan by the Obama administration to rely on a
    combination of spies and Special Operations forces to protect U.S.
    interests in the two longtime war zones, U.S. officials said (read).

  • Jeremy Scahill Says Obama Strikes In Yemen Constitute ‘Murder’ (read).
  • “As shown through his stepped-up drone campaign, Barack Obama has become George W. Bush on steroids.” (read).
  • Obama order set off wave of cyberattacks against Iran (read).
  • Obama Personally Oversees ‘Secret Kill List’: NYT (read).  Obama and Drone Warfare: Will Americans Speak Out? (read).
  • Obama OKs Proliferation of US “Hunter-Killer” Drone Technology – Administration plans to arm Italy’s fleet of Reaper drones (read).
  • Obama touts American exceptionalism, ‘end of wars’ in Air Force graduation speech (read).
  • Top Obama Officials, Secretive Process Create ‘Assassination List’ – President Obama’s counter-terrorism chief has “seized the lead” in secretly determining who will die by US drone (read).
  • Obama’s ‘Poverty-Relieving’ Plan for Africa a Profit Boon for Giant Agribusiness (read).
  • Obama has opened three new military bases in Honduras (read).
  • Ex-CIA Interrogator: Obama’s War on Terror Is Less Ethical Than Bush’s. “We
    don’t capture anybody any more… [Obama’s] default option… has been
    to … take no prisoners…How could it be more ethical to kill people
    rather than capture them?” (read).
  • Jeremy Scahill: US Has Become ‘Nation of Assassins’ (read).
  • The Drone-Happy President: Obama Escalates in Yemen – Again.  Obama allows the CIA and the military to fire even when the identity of those who could be killed is not known (read).
  • Obama Administration Again Proposes Polar Bear Extinction Plan – New Rule Echoes Bush Plan Ignoring Polar Bears’ Plight (read).
  • The Obama administration has already launched six times as many drone strikes as the Bush administration in Pakistan alone, killing hundreds of innocent people and devastating families (read).
  • Strip-Searches: Obama Wants You to Bend Over (Or Squat) and Spread ‘Em  (read).
  • Air Force ramps up drone war. New documents reveal plans to more than quadruple Reaper missions by 2016  (read).
  • Obama Signs “Fraud-Friendly” JOBS Act into Law.  Economist: Bill will bring fraud, destroy jobs (read).  Why Obama’s JOBS Act Couldn’t Suck Worse (read).
  • U.S. draws up plans for nuclear drones (read).
  • Our government is watching us more. New guidelines permit the federal counterterrorism investigators to collect, search and store data about Americans who are not suspected of terrorism, or anything (read).
  • U.S. joins effort to equip and pay ‘rebels’ in Syria (read).
  • Drone strikes in Yemen
    soar as U.S. stokes ‘secret war’ – America has dramatically stepped up
    its “secret war” in Yemen with the U.S. ordering dozens of drone
    attacks on al-Qaida hotspots, which have also killed scores of
    civilians (read).
  • Obama to fast-track segment of Keystone pipeline, other energy projects (read); Native Americans Forced to Protest from ‘Cage’ (read).
  • Bush’s “Total Information Awareness” data mining program revived by the Obama administration (read).
  • Obama signs Executive Order allowing for control over all US resources (read).  Related: “Obama’s Creepy Executive Order: Permanent War Economy” (read).
  • Obama signs anti-protest trespass bill into law (read).
  • Obama administration moves to aid Syrian opposition (read).
  • Obama’s Attorney General says U.S. can assassinate American citizens abroad (without being charged with anything or given a trial) (read).
  • White House helps pay for NYPD Muslim surveillance (read).
  • Obama sees single-candidate election in Yemen as ‘model’ for Middle East (read).
  • Obama: U.S. in ‘lockstep’ with Israel on Iran (read).
  • U.S. drones targeting rescuers and mourners in Pakistan;
    Obama indirectly admits that U.S. strikes have killed civilians by
    claiming the drone campaign a “targeted, focused
    effort” that “has not caused a huge number of civilian
    casualties”. . . . (read).
  • We’re #47! After Occupy Journalist Arrests, US Plummets in Global Press Freedom Rankings (read).
  • Yemen dictator allowed into the U.S.  A
    day after he was granted immunity by the Yemeni parliament, Yemen’s
    presumably-departing dictator of 33 years, Ali Abdullah Saleh is on his
    way to the U.S. for treament (read).  (Comparing
    Yemen’s Saleh to Libya’s Moammar Gadhafi: Saleh killed his own people –
    people who peacefully protest his tyrannical reign. Gadhafi killed his
    own people – people who violently rose up against him. Saleh gets to
    enter the U.S. Gadhafi got murdered – SPFP)
  • 10 reasons the U.S. is no longer the land of the free (read).
  • Has Obama taken Bush’s ‘preemption’ strategy to another level? (read).
  • Obama sending 5 US military officers to South Sudan (read).
  • The White House has declared the government of South Sudan
    eligible to receive weapons and defense assistance from the U.S. The
    announcement came amid an outbreak of violence between two South
    Sudanese tribes that may have left thousands dead and some 50,000
    people needing aid (read).
  • The White House has declared the government of South Sudan
    eligible to receive weapons and defense assistance from the U.S. The
    announcement came amid an outbreak of violence between two South
    Sudanese tribes that may have left thousands dead and some 50,000
    people needing aid (read).
  • President Obama Signs the NDAA Indefinite Detention Bill Into Law.
    The statute contains a sweeping worldwide indefinite detention
    provision.  “President Obama’s action today is a blight on
    his legacy because he will forever be known as the president who signed
    indefinite detention without charge or trial into law,” said
    Anthony D. Romero, ACLU executive director (read).
  • Weapon’s proliferation: In same week $30 billion weapon deal with Saudi Arabia is finalized, Pentagon reaches $3.5 billion weapon deal with UAE (read).
  • White House rejects calls for oversight on drone killings (read).
  • TSA spreading its wings beyond airports (read).
  • The Obama administration has decided in principle to allow the embattled president of Yemen, Ali Abdullah Saleh, to enter the United States for medical treatment (read).
  • National Defense Authorization Act – By signing the ‘anti-terror’ bill the president could end up being worse than his Republican predecessor on civil liberties (read).
  • The Zenith of Civil Libertarian Anger at President Obama (read).
  • Secrecy defines Obama’s drone war (read).
  • Obama asks Iran to return downed U.S. surveillance drone (read).  Stealth drone highlights tougher U.S. strategy on Iran (read).
  • Obama Promises to Label GMOs (read).
  • Inside Romania’s secret CIA prison (read).
  • Obama: U.S. to expand military in Australia (read); 2,500 US Marines to be stationed in Australia (read).
  • Obama Administration Delays Keystone Pipeline Decision to After Election (read).
  • Obama’s Offshore Oil Plan a Disaster for Wildlife, Climate (read).
  • Palestine Wins UNESCO Membership… And Obama Withdraws (read).
  • Obama’s new war in Uganda (read).
  • Obama’s proposal would gut Freedom of Information Act (read).
  • As troops pull out of Iraq, Obama plans more combat forces elsewhere in the Middle East (read).
  • The U.S. will maintain a presence in Iraq even after “ending” of war (read).
  • New Obama Foreclosure Plan Helps Banks At Taxpayers’ Expense (read).
  • US Troop Deaths in Afghan War Under Obama Now Twice That Under Bush (read).
  • Obama sends 100 US combat troops to Uganda to help fight ‘rebels’ (read).
  • Obama vows to seek ‘toughest’ Iran
    sanctions to punish Iranian officials whom he accused of complicity in
    an alleged plot to kill the Saudi ambassador to the United States (read).
  • Obama Waives Penalties on Countries That Employ Child Soldiers – Again! (read).
  • U.S. drone strike in Yemen
    kills U.S.-born Anwar al-Awlaki.  The lethal strike marked the
    first known case in which the Obama administration tracked down and
    killed a U.S. citizen. The raid also killed a second American, Samir
    Khan. (read).  With the assassination of Anwar al-Awlaki, the due-process-free assassination of U.S. citizens is now reality (read).
  • Obama accomodates Turkey’s request for drone aircraft in fight against Kurdish separtists (read).
  • Photos & videos of Bin Laden’s killing
    should not be released because they would reveal military and
    intelligence secrets and could lead to violence against U.S. personnel,
    the Obama administration argued (read).
  • Obama quietly renews U.S. embargo on Cuba (read).
  • U.S. drones attack in souther Somalia (read).
  • Obama secretly sold bunker-busting bombs to Israel: report (read).Photo: Al Jazeera
  • US Resumes Arms Sales to Bahrain.
    Less than three months after including Bahrain on a list of human
    rights offenders requiring the United Nations’ attention, the Obama
    administration seems to have changed its mind (read).
  • Obama silent as U.S. murders Troy Davis (read).
  • Peace Prize-Winner Obama Savages Somalia (read).
  • U.S. assembling secret drone bases in Africa, Arabian Peninsula, officials say (read).
  • “Obama cozies up to Uzbekistan dictator” – lobbies congress to sell more military equipment to one of the world’s most repressive leaders (read).
  • U.S. to build new massive prison in Bagram, Afghanistan (read).
  • New American Ally in Somalia: ‘Butcher’ Warlord (read). (Also check out Jeremy Scahill’s extensive piece on U.S. history in Somalia).
  • The United States reserves the right to pursue terrorists unilaterally in other countries, White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan said in a speech at Harvard Law School (read).
  • The
    Obama administration has significantly increased the frequency of drone
    strikes and other air attacks against the al-Qaeda affiliate in Yemen in recent months amid rising concern about political collapse there (read).
  • Obama Pushes NAFTA Style Trade Policy Despite 2008 Promise (watch).
  • Obama said that if the Palestinians try to achieve statehood in the UN Security Council, the US will oppose the proposal (read).
  • Obama abandoned a contentious new air pollution rule,
    buoying business interests that had lobbied heavily against it,
    angering environmentalists and rejecting the advice of his top
    environmental regulators (read).  Related: Obama
    asked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to withdraw a plan to
    limit smog pollution that was projected to prevent as many as 12,000
    premature deaths from heart and lung complications (read).
  • US kills 30 in airstrikes on Yemen (read).
  • Jeremy Scahill: What’s happening in Libya
    is essentially a “NATO enforced regime change” and that President Obama
    is “implementing the Bush domino agenda in the Middle East” (watch).
  • Obama Goes All Out For Dirty Banker Deal (read).
  • A secret war in 120 countries: Somewhere
    on this planet an American commando is carrying out a mission. Now, say
    that 70 times and you’re done … for the day. (read).
  • Progressives Complain Obama’s Debt Deal ‘Trades People’s Livelihoods for the Votes of a Few Unappeasable Right-Wing Radicals’ (read).
  • Rep. Luis Gutierrez Arrested Outside White House Protesting Record Deportations Under Obama’s Watch (read).
  • Obama exploits the tragedy in Norway

    “It’s a reminder that the entire international community has a stake in
    preventing this kind of terror from occurring,” Obama said prior to
    learning the identity of the assailant, clearly trying to justify his
    military strikes in 6 Muslim nations.  No doubt Obama was later
    stunned, if not disappointed, that the person responsible for the
    killings in Norway was a non-Arab Christian, and not a ‘Muslim

  • Obama’s escalating war in Yemen – As its government teeters, the impoverished and chaotic Gulf nation is the focus of a U.S. bombing campaign (read).
  • Obama’s approval ratings across the Arab World are 10% or less, according to a Zogby study of about 4,000 people (read).
  • CIA Exhales: 99 Out of 101 Torture Cases Dropped (read).
  • U.S. millions fund world’s newest army, South Sudan,
    despite worries of its human rights abuses, including killings, most
    recently in April when hundreds of civilians were killed or wounded by
    the U.S. ally (read).
  • The Obama administration is expanding its drone war to Somalia,
    which makes six countries where the United States is using drones to
    conduct lethal attacks: Somalia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, Iraq and
    Yemen (read).  Also, the US is supplying drone aircrafts to Uganda and Burundi to help them fight in Somalia (read).
  • Obama Admin Warns of “Fines and Incarceration” if U.S. Citizens Set Sail with Gaza Aid Flotilla (read).
  • “Yet tonight, we take comfort in knowing that the tide of war is receding,” Obama trumpeted in his speech announcing his plan to withdraw some U.S. troops in Afghanistan (read).  (Given
    that George W. Bush had about half as many troops in Afghanistan
    as Obama will after the withdrawals, this claim is disingenuous.
    But what takes Obama’s assertion to the level of Orwellian, is that he
    makes this claim while he has started new wars in Libya and
    Yemen, has escalated drone strikes in Pakistan, has ramped up
    the U.S. proxy war in Somalia, and has begun funding the new army in
    South Sudan.)
  • Just prior to Obama’s speech on withdrawing some troops from Afghanistan,
    the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers awarded a $14.2 million contract to a
    Turkish company to construct an eight-building barracks complex for
    12,000 troops at Bagram Air Field.  Completion date is scheduled
    for fall of 2013 (read).
  • Former CIA Director Hayden: Obama follows in Bush’s footsteps on War Powers (read) in Libya.
    In a campaign marked by stinging criticism of President George W.
    Bush’s alleged executive excess, then-candidate Obama wrote: “The
    President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally
    authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve
    stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.”  Yet Obama
    is now claiming authority to bomb Libya.
  • Obama overruled 2 top lawyers on War Power in Libya (read).
  • Dennis Kucinich, Ron Paul and eight other congress members file lawsuit against Obama for taking military action in Libya without first seeking congressional approval, an apparent violation of the 1973 War Powers Resolution (read).
  • Noam Chomsky: “Both Bush and Obama are terrified of the Arab spring.
    And there is a very sensible reason for that. They don’t want
    democracies in the Arab world. If Arab public opinion had any influence
    on policy, the US and Britain would be tossed out of the Middle East.
    That’s why they are terrified of democracies in the region” (read).
  • Whistleblowers Suffer More than Ever Under Obama (read).
  • Obama’s support of the repressive monarchy of Bahrain:  The Obama administration approved $200M in military sales to Bahrain in run-up to violent crackdown (read).  Bahrain crown prince meets with Obama in DC – Officials reaffirm the strong US commitment to Bahrain (read).
  • Chicago Tribune editorial writer: Obama and the pursuit of endless war – starting new fights and prolonging the old ones (read).
  • FBI to Expand Domestic Surveillance
    Powers as Details Emerge of Its Spy Campaign Targeting Activists.
    The F.B.I. is giving its agents new leeway to infiltrate
    organizations, search household trash, use surveillance teams and
    search databases in domestic investigations. FBI agents will now be
    able investigate people and organizations “proactively”
    without firm evidence for suspecting criminal or terrorist activity (watch/read).
  • As chaos engulfs Yemen, the U.S. is diabolically intensifying a secret campaign of airstrikes, according to the New York Times.
  • Report: Over 2,600 Activists Arrested in US Protests since Obama took office (read).
  • In
    2007, then-Senator Obama said: “If American workers are being denied
    their right to organize and collectively bargain when I’m in the
    White House, I will put on a comfortable pair of shoes myself, I will
    walk on that picket line with you as President of the United States of
    America. Because workers deserve to know that somebody is standing in
    their corner.”…  In 2011, President Obama did not find his shoes to join the massive protests in Wisconsin(read).
  • Pentagon to consider cyber attacks an act of war (read).
  • Obama signs Patriot Act extension into law (read).
  • White House: No need for congressional approval for Libya (read).
  • Obama administration praises Israel for its restraint after it kills 20 on the “Nakba” (read).
Obama to Israel: Take whatever you want
  • Obama to AIPAC, May 2011: “So make no mistake, we will maintain Israel’s qualitative military edge” (read).

May 2011 – Obama’s hypocritical speech on the Middle East

“The United States opposes the use of violence and
repression against the people of the region” claimed Obama, while
simultaneously dropping bombs on the people of Iraq, Afghanistan,
Pakistan, Yemen and Libya.

Read statement from ANSWER coalition Director Brian Becker (Read)


  • U.S. kills Bin Laden hours after NATO killed Gadhafi’s son and 3 grandchildren (read).


It’s moments like these that some people expected Barack Obama to act differently than George W. Bush or John McCain
killing Bin Laden, Obama could have claimed victory and announced that
the wars would come to an immediate end.  Instead, he’s doing what
Bush or McCain would have done:  Continue the wars in Afghanistan
and Iraq, and the drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen; pronounce that
Bin Laden’s death justifies all the wars; repeat the lie that 9/11 was
the start of the war; and declare that the ‘war on terror’ must


  • Obama administration refuses to accept the Palestinian unity deal which brought Hamas and Fatah together (read).
  • Obama approves of armed Predator drone strikes in Libya (read).
  • WikiLeaks: Obama administration tried to stymie U.N. probe of possible Israeli war crimes in Gaza (read).
  • “Don’t Punish the Poor” Economist Jeffrey Sachs Slams Obama-GOP Budget Deal (read).
  • Obama’s military action in Libya contradicts his words from 2007:
    “The President does not have power under the Constitution to
    unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not
    involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation” (read)
  • Obama Administration Approves Fourth Gulf Deepwater Drilling Permit (read)
  • Obama Defends Detention Conditions for Bradley Manning (read)
  • Obama Approves Indefinite Detention Without Trial (read)
  • America’s secret plan to arm Libya’s rebels: Obama asks Saudis to airlift weapons into Benghazi (read). (This is the same Saudi Arabia who in the same week declared all protests illegal).
  • Obama honors George H.W. Bush with Medal of Freedom.  “We celebrate an extraordinary life of service and of sacrifice” (read).
  • Obama’s $3.7 Trillion Budget Calls for Military Spending Increases and Deep Cuts to Social Service Programs (read).  Obama Budget Proposal: Cuts To Target Working Poor, Middle Class & Students (read).US Deaths in Afghanistan: Obama vs Bush. Click here to learn more.
  • Obama heaps praise on Ronald Reagan: Reagan advanced “the cause of freedom, democracy and security around the world” (read), and Reagan was a man with a “unique ability to inspire others to greatness” (read).
  • The Obama administration has publicly confirmed it is continuing the Bush-era policy of opposing the return of Haiti’s ousted former president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, who was overthrown in a 2004 U.S.-backed coup (read).
  • Obama Eyeing Internet ID for Americans (read).
  • The Obama administration is telling federal agencies to take aggressive new steps to prevent more WikiLeaks embarrassments (read).
  • Obama Gives ‘Lump of Coal’ to Polar Bears (read).
  • Obama administration readies indefinite detention order for Guantanamo detainees (read).
  • Big Brother
    gets bigger under Obama.  The FBI is building a database with the
    names and certain personal information, such as employment history, of
    thousands of U.S. citizens and residents whom a local police officer or
    a fellow citizen believed to be acting suspiciously (read).
  • Obama Flip-Flop: FCC Vote Could End Net Neutrality (read).
  • Obama’s VP Joe Biden likens WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to a “high-tech terrorist” (read).
  • Obama calls WikiLeaks “deplorable” (read).
  • Expansion of Anti-Terrorism Law Will Target Activists (read).
  • Obama reaches agreement with congressional Republicans to extend Bush’s tax-cuts for the wealthy (read).
  • The Obama administration has abandoned its effort to persuade Israel to renew a settlement construction freeze (read).
  • Obama administration orders government workers not to read WikiLeaks cables – even from home (read).
  • Obama and GOPers Worked Together to Kill Bush Torture Probe (read).
  • The Obama administration launched a full-bloodied assault on Wikileaks (read).
  • Obama proposes salary freeze for 2 million federal workers – excluding those in the military (read)  [NOTE:
    Obama said the salary freeze would save $28 billion over 5 years —
    that amount is about what the U.S. spends on war every 2 weeks.]
  • Obama stands by controversial air security screening methods – says body scans and pat-downs necessary (read).
  • White House Says Child Soldiers Are O.K., if They Fight Terrorists (read).
  • Obama Administration Claims Unchecked Authority to Kill Americans Outside Combat Zones (read).
  • The US is building a $12 billion super military base on the Pacific island of Guam.  Another $200 million will go for upgrades to U.S. base in Diego Garcia (read).
  • U.N. votes 187-2 to end Cuba trade embargo – U.S. and Israel lone dissenting votes (read).
  • WikiLeaks Docs Raise Questions of Obama Policies — Despite Obama’s public commitment to eschew torture, U.S. forces turned detainees over to Iraqi forces even after signs of abuse (read).
  • Obama administration pushing for wider role of CIA in Pakistan – efforts rebuffed by Islamabad (read).
  • Obama administration to sell $60 billion worth of weapons to Saudi Arabia (read).
    The sale, which is the largest overseas deal in U.S. history, is part
    of a strategy spearheaded by the George W. Bush administration and
    expanded by President Barack Obama (read).
  • Obama administration lifts deepwater drilling moratorium (read).
  • Report: White House squelched reports of BP oil spill estimates (read).
  • Obama endorses new film “Waiting for Superman” which attacks teacher’s unions and promotes charter schools (read).
  • A
    UN probe said there was clear evidence to back prosecutions
    against Israel for killing and torture when its troops stormed a Gaza-bound aid flotilla in May.  The vote was 30-1, with the U.S. as the lone dissenter (read).
  • Obama’s government attacks dissent.  As
    the Obama administration escalates its undeclared wars in Pakistan and
    Yemen under the guise of protecting freedom and democracy, the
    administration is simultaneously escalating its attack on activists in
    the US who exercise their First Amendment rights.  St. Pete for
    Peace stands in solidarity with activists in Chicago and Minneapolis
    whose homes were raided by the FBI (read).  This is particularly troubling but sadly just the latest attempt by the government to silence dissent:
  • The Obama administration is drawing up legislation to make it easier for US intelligence services to eavesdrop on the Internet, such as social networking websites like Facebook, messaging software like Skype and email transmitters like BlackBerry (read).
  •  The Progressive Magazine’s Matthew Rothschild revealed that a recent FBI report shows the ease in which political protesters are labeled as “terrorists” (read).
  • A report that the Pentagon’s spy unit has begun rebuilding the controversial TALON database that was shut down three years ago after it was used to monitor US peace activists (read).
  • The ACLU recently reported that the Obama administration is permanently enshrining into law many of George W. Bush’s most controversial policies (read). (And of course, there have been no attempts to repeal the Patriot Act.)
  • Bush’s Rendition Program Remains Unchecked (read).
  • Secret Assault on Terrorism Widens on Two Continents.
    In roughly a dozen countries — from the deserts of North
    Africa, to the mountains of Pakistan, to former Soviet
    republics — the United States has significantly increased
    military and intelligence operations (read).
  • The Obama administration is deporting record numbers of illegal immigrants and auditing hundreds of businesses that hire undocumented workers (read).
  • Obama lifts ban on Indonesian Special Forces Kopassus, despite their brutal human rights record (read).
  • Obama sends 46 Navy warships, 7,000 marines to Costa Rica (read).
  • White House Enacts Rules Inhibiting Media From Covering Oil Spill (read).
  • Former Honduran President Manuel Zelaya accused the United States of being behind the 2009 coup that ousted him (read).
  • US Ignores Calls for End to Gaza
    Siege.  The Obama administration is refusing to join international
    calls for a complete end to the Israeli siege of the Gaza Strip (read).
  • The Pentagon’s spy unit
    has begun rebuilding a controversial database that was shut down three
    years ago after it was found to have been used to monitor US peace
    activists (read).
  • Obama Administration Keeping Blackwater Armed and Dangerous in Afghanistan – another $120M contract awarded (read).
  • With Rumored Manhunt for Wikileaks Founder and Arrest of Alleged Leaker of Video Showing Iraq Killings, Obama Admin Escalates Crackdown on Whistleblowers of Classified Information (read).
  • With a strong push from
    the Obama administration, the United Nations Security Council
    voted to impose a fourth round of sanctions on Iran (read).
  • Obama Administration Might Hold Non-Afghan Detainees at Bagram Indefinitely — Administration Should Not Re-Create Gitmo, Says ACLU (read).
  • Obama secretly deploys US special forces to 75 countries across world (read).
    The dramatic expansion in the use of special forces go far beyond the
    covert missions authorized by George W. Bush.  Countries
    include Iran, Georgia, Ukraine, Bolivia, Paraguay, Ecuador, Peru,
    Yemen, Pakistan and the Philippines.
  • In the days since President Obama announced a moratorium on permits for drilling
    new offshore oil wells, at least seven new permits for various types of
    drilling and five environmental waivers have been granted (read).
  • James Carville on Obama’s response to the Gulf oil spill: He is risking everything with ‘go along with BP strategy’ (read).
  • U.S. troops executing prisoners in Afghanistan: Seymour Hersh (read).
  • Obama gives CIA authority to expand strikes by unmanned aerial vehicles in Pakistan (read).
  • Government Exempted BP from Environmental Review (read).
  • An amendment to increase Congressional oversight of the Federal Reserve failed following pressure from the White House (read).
  • Obama approves targeted assassination of an American citizen (read).
  • Obama signs law allowing weapons in National Parks (read).
  • Obama: Drill, Baby, Drill.
    Obama to open offshore areas to oil drilling  — In June
    2008, then-Sen. Obama told reporters in Jacksonville, Florida, “when
    I’m president, I intend to keep in place the moratorium here in Florida
    and around the country that prevents oil companies from drilling off
    Florida’s coasts” (read).  Obama said offshore oil drilling is “not risky” (read).
  • Obama: 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan by summer 2010 (will bring total to about 100,000) (read).
  • Bush Obama imperialism mask
  • US-backed Indonesian
    armed forces, who carried out a series of assassinations of civilian
    activists in late 2009, are slated for renewed aid by the Obama
    administration (read).
  • US-Backed Somali Troops Prepare Major Offensive (read).
  • Obama signs Patriot Act extension without reforms (read).
  • Obama unveils plans to build new nuclear power plants (read).
  • School bombing exposes Obama’s secret war inside Pakistan (read).
  • Obama administration raises stakes on Iran by sending in ships and missiles (read).
  • Obama administration steps up arms sales to Persian Gulf allies (read)
  • Obama seeking $44 billion increase in military budget – including $5b for nuclear arsenal (read).
  • 15 killed in US drone strike in northwest Pakistan (read).
  • Blackwater in Pakistan: Gates confirms (read).
  • U.S. Moves Missiles And Troops To Russian Border (read).
  • France accuses US of  ‘occupying’ Haiti as troops flood in (read).
  • Obama Ordered U.S. Military Strike on Yemen (read).

Obama is a puppet of the U.S. empire

  • Conservative praise for Obama’s Nobel speech.
    “If Bush had said these things the world would be filled with
    violent denunciations… when Obama says them, people purr. That is
    fine by me.” (read).
  • Obama signs military bases agreement with Colombia (read).
  • Obama Seeks PATRIOT ACT Extensions (read).
  • Administration Seeks to Keep Terror Watch-List Data Secret –As of last Sept., the list included 1.1 million names and aliases corresponding to 400,000 individuals (read).
  • Radical Cheerleaders Say U.S. Out of Afghanistan! St. Petersburg, FL, Nov 13 2009 in front of Baywalk
  • “[Afghanistan]
    is not a war of choice, this is a war of necessity. Those who attacked
    America on 9/11 are plotting to do so again. If left unchecked, the
    Taliban insurgency will mean an even larger safe haven from which
    al-Qaeda would plot to kill more Americans. So this is not only a war
    worth fighting. This is fundamental to the defense of our people.” (read).
  • Obama administration asks Supreme Court to block release of torture photos (read).
  • Obama’s Military Is Spying on US Peace Groups, by Amy Goodman (read).
  • The Obama
    administration has declined requests from U.N. human rights
    investigators for information on secret prisons and for private
    interviews with inmates at the U.S. military detention center at Guantanamo Bay (read).
  • Obama announced the nomination of Robert Hormats, a vice chairman of Goldman Sachs International, to a top economic position at the State Department (read).
  • Senior Obama Official Backs Cheney and CIA, Says Concealment of Assassin Program Legal (read).
  • Some Guantanamo Bay Detainees May Be Held Indefinitely (without prosecution) (read).  Also, military tribunals at Gitmo resume (read).
  • Obama Goes to Bat for Bush Wiretap Program (read).
  • Obama Slides Further Down Bush’s Hill on Indefinite Detention (read).
  • About Face: Obama to Proceed with Bush-Era Cybersecurity Plan (read).
  • Obama Administration Backs Bush White House on Cheney Interview (read).
  • Obama administration seeks to quash suit by 9/11 families (read).
  • In his May, 2009 speech in Cairo,
    Egypt, Obama denounced retaliation and force in discussing how
    Palestinians should respond to Israel.  Given that Obama’s
    government sells weapons to Israel, has escalated violence in
    Afghanistan and has increased the number of drone attacks in Pakistan,
    his request of Palestinians is void of any credibility.  Obama
    also proudly proclaimed that US troops would be out of Iraq by 2012 (as
    if three more years is acceptable), and he again did not mention how
    many mercenaries would remain, and of course, he didn’t discuss US
    military bases in Iraq.
  • Obama OK’s Mountaintop Removal.
    With the election of Barack Obama, environmentalists expected to see
    the end of the “Appalachian apocalypse” — their name for exposing coal
    deposits by blowing the tops off of whole mountains. But in recent
    weeks, the Obama administration has quietly decided to open the way for
    at least two dozen more “mountaintop removal” projects. (read).
  • Obama embraces Bush’s immigration policy.
    In recent days, for example, the administration has announced it will
    expand a $1.1 billion program begun under President George W. Bush to
    check the immigration status of virtually all people booked into local
    jails over the next four years. Obama will continue a “zero-tolerance”
    program that charges and jails any illegal immigrant caught crossing
    parts of the U.S.-Mexico border. And the administration will resume
    construction of a $8 billion “virtual” fence of tower-mounted sensors
    and cameras along the border (read).
  • Obama pledges to keep U.S. ‘dominance’:  We will maintain Americas military dominance and keep you the finest fighting force the world has ever seen. (read).
  • Obama administration sides with Bush, Cheney and Rove in the case of outed CIA agent Valerie Plame (read).
  • Obama to Keep Israel’s Nuclear Secrets (read).
  • Obama Endorses Indefinite Detention
    Without Trial for Some. President Obama acknowledged publicly for the
    first time yesterday that some detainees at Guantanamo Bay may have to
    be held without trial indefinitely, siding with conservative national
    security advocates (read).
  • Obama does U-turn on Guantanamo Bay
    terror trials – will restart military tribunals for a small number of
    Guantanamo detainees, reviving a Bush-era trial system he once assailed
    as flawed (read).
  • Little Known Military Thug Squad Still Brutalizing Prisoners at Gitmo Under Obama (read).
  • Afghan President Hamid Karzai called on the U.S. to halt air strikes in his country (read).  Unfortunately, the Obama administration rejected Karzai’s demand and said that U.S. airstrikes will continue (read)
  • Obama renews U.S. sanctions on Syria (read).
  • Photographs of prisoner abuse which Barack Obama is attempting to censor include images of apparent rape and sexual abuse (read).
  • McCain backs Obama (read).
  • Obama pledges to protect CIA torture operatives (read).
  • President Obama is asking Congress for $83.4 billion in funding for the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan.
    The request marks a complete reversal for Obama from two years ago,
    when he voted against war funding as a senator under former President
    George W. Bush (read).
  • Obama Administration Embraces Bush Position on Warrantless Wiretapping and Secrecy (read).
  • Replace “Afghanistan”
    with “Iraq” and Obama sounds like Bush .  Barack Obama made an
    impassioned plea to Americas allies to send more troops to Afghanistan, warning that failure to do so would leave Europe vulnerable to more terrorist atrocities (read).
  • Obama quietly gave Blackwater $70 million in February, despite Iraq saying it doesn’t want the company there (read).
  • President Barack Obama declared today that the United States will maintain our military dominance.
    We will have the strongest armed forces in the history of the world.
    And we will do whatever it takes to sustain our technological advantage
    and to invest in the capabilities that we need to protect our interests
    and to defeat and deter any conventional enemy. (read).
  • Obama extends sanctions against Iran for one year, saying it continues to pose a threat to US national security (read).
  • Even though Obama has repeatedly pledged to ban congressional earmarks, his Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel has 16 such projects, worth about $8.5 million, in the bill the Senate is considering (read).
  • Suspend Military Aid to Israel, Amnesty Urges Obama after Detailing US Weapons Used in Gaza (read).
  • Obama backs Bush: No rights for Bagram prisoners (read).
  • Obama Sides With Bush: Tries to Kill E-Mail Case (read).
  • Obama Expands Missile Strikes Inside Pakistan (read).
  • Obama Lets CIA Keep Controversial Renditions Tool (read)
  • Obama lawyers set to defend Yoo (read).
  • Obama Energy Secretary Nominee: Coal, Nuclear an ‘Important Part’ of Power Mix (read).
  • Obama picks Raytheon VP as deputy defense secretary (read).
  • Obama attends neo-conservative dinner party with William Kristol, David Brooks, among others (read); but refuses to meet with Hamas or to criticize Israel for Gaza attacks (read).
  • “His task, will be to
    develop an overall strategy for America in this period, when really a
    New World Order can be created.  Its a great opportunity it
    isn’t’t a crisis.  He (Obama) has appointed an
    extraordinarily capable group (of advisers and staff) in both foreign
    and economic fields” ~  Henry Kissinger  (YouTube)
  • Obama Wants Bush Pentagon Appointees to Stay (read).
  • Cheney lauds Obama’s choice of national security team (read).
  • Obama choice of evangelical pastor to give invocation at his inauguration has gay rights groups angry (read).
  • Obama’s Pro-Nuclear
    Pick for Energy Secretary Steven Chu has a keen interest in energy
    efficiency and solar power and other clean forms of renewable energy,
    Chu is a staunch advocate of nuclear power (read).
  • Obama’s Dept. of Ag. choice Vilsac is pro-GMO.
  • Campaign Promises on Ending the War in Iraq Now Muted by Reality

    “I said that I would remove our combat troops from Iraq in 16 months,
    with the understanding that it might be necessary – likely to be
    necessary – to maintain a residual force to provide potential training,
    logistical support, to protect our civilians in Iraq,” Mr. Obama said
    this week as he introduced his national security team (read).

  • Barack Obama’s kettle of hawks

    The absence of a solid anti-war voice on Obama’s national security team
    means that US foreign policy isn’t going to change – “What does it say
    that, with 130 members of the House and 23 in the Senate who voted
    against the war, Obama chooses to hire Democrats who made the same
    judgment as Bush and McCain?”   Neoconservative leader and
    former McCain campaign staffer Max Boot summed it up best. “I am
    gobsmacked by these appointments, most of which could just as easily
    have come from a President McCain,” (Jeremy Scahill, 12/1/08).

  • Karl Rove praises Obama’s economic team – “Thanksgiving Cheer From Obama – He’s assembled a first-rate economic team” (read).


  • “Hawks For Hillary”
    The New Republic: Why Are Conservatives Praising Obama’s Pick For
    Secretary Of State? Newt Gingrich, Iraq war architect Richard Perle (read).
  • Gov. Janet Napolitano
    of Arizona is reportedly set to be offered the position of Homeland
    Security secretary. She is a two-term governor, as well as a former US
    attorney and state attorney general for Arizona. She was the first
    governor to call for National Guard troops to secure the US-Mexico
    border (read).
  • President-elect Obama
    is also expected to tap billionaire Penny Pritzker to serve as Commerce
    secretary. Pritzker is a longtime friend of Obama’s and served as his
    national finance chair. Pritzker was involved in running and overseeing
    the Illinois-based Superior Bank, which collapsed in 2001. The bank has
    been described as being at the forefront of turning subprime loans into securities, the risky practice at the heart of the financial crisis (read).
  • Obama sends Madeleine Albright
    to represent him at the G20 summit.  Albright is the person who,
    when told that a half million Iraqi children had died due to sanctions,
    said “I think this is a very hard choice, but the price–we think the
    price is worth it.” (read).
  • Obama continued the
    fear-mongering that pushes this country into multiple wars when he told
    60 Minutes: “I think it’s important to get a national security team in
    place because transition periods are potentially times of vulnerability
    to a terrorist attack,” (read).
  • Obama reportedly to keep Robert Gates as Secretary of Defense (read).
  • University of Chicago economist Austan Goolsbee will be U.S. President-elect Barack Obama’s choice to lead the White House economic team (read).
  • Obama wants embattled U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman to remain in the Senate Democratic caucus (read), and fellow democrats follow and allow Lieberman to keep a key chairmanship (read).
  • Obama vowed to shut down Guantanamo
    – this is good news, and maybe something a John McCain presidency
    wouldn’t have done.  But what is Obama going to do with those held
    without charge at Guantanamo? And what about torture centers at Bagram
    and Diego Garcia?  And will he shut down the School of the
    Americas torture training center in Ft. Benning, Georgia?  And
    what about the torture American prisoners face in US jails?
  • Chomsky on Obama appointments

    “Obama’s choices to [run his economic team] were Robert Rubin and Larry
    Summers from the Clinton–Secretaries of Treasury under Clinton. They
    are among the people who are substantially responsible for the crisis.
    One leading economist, one of the few economists who has been right all
    along in predicting whats happening, Dean Baker, pointed out that
    selecting them is like selecting Osama Bin Laden to run the war on
    terror.” (read or listen to the entire speech).

  • Obama supports $700 billion bailout of toxic financial institutions. (Sep ’08)
  • Barack Obama has now declared — to Bill O’Reilly on Fox News, no less — that Bush’s “surge” in Iraq
    has “succeeded beyond our wildest dreams.” He also proclaimed his
    “absolute” belief in the “War on Terror,” and said “we have to go after
    them” (in Pakistan and Afghanistan). (WATCH or READ)
  • As riot police were assaulting and
    arresting innocent activists outside the Democratic convention, Joe
    Biden was inside saying “Barack will put more cops on the street” (Aug ’08)
  • Georgia/Russia: Obama sides with Georgia – position similar to Bush and McCain. (Aug ’08)
  • Would keep a residual force (possibly 60,000-80,000) in Iraq after 2010 to train military personnel, provide security for U.S. interests and thwart terrorist threats. (Jul ’08)
  • “A nuclear Iran
    would pose a grave threat and the world must prevent Iran from
    obtaining a nuclear weapon,” “Iranians need to understand that whether
    it’s the Bush administration or the Obama administration, this is a
    paramount concern to the United States,”  (Jul ’08)
  • Wants 10,000 more troops for Afghanistan. (Jul ’08)
  • Making sure Iran
    does not have the capability to build a nuclear weapon would be “a
    number one priority” in an Obama presidency…. Iran policy must
    “combine much tougher threats of economic sanctions with direct
    diplomacy,” (Jul ’08)
  • Supports legislation granting legal immunity to telecommunications companies that cooperated with the Bush administration’s program of wiretapping without warrants. (Jul ’08)
  • Wants to expand faith-based programs. (Jul ’08)
  • Voted in favor of $162 billion more for Iraq & Afghanistan wars. (Jun ’08)
  • At his first stop after winning the primaries, Obama wore a U.S/Israeli flag lapel pin at AIPAC. (Jun ’08)
  • Neoconservative leader William Kristol
    said: “Obama’s not for pulling troops back from our forward positions
    around the world, with the exception of Iraq. Obama and McCain don’t
    actually differ, at least on paper, even on Iran”  (Jun ’08)
  • Reverses his pledge and opts out of public financing. (Jun ’08)
  • “But as president of the United States, I would be willing to lead tough and principled diplomacy with the appropriate Iranian leader at a time and place of my choosing if and only if it can advance the interests of the United States.” (Jun ’08)
  • “I have said repeatedly that I think that the death penalty should be applied in very narrow circumstances for the most egregious of crimes,” (Jun ’08)
  • Supports a military ‘surge’ in Afghanistan. (May ’08)
  • “I will maintain the embargo (on Cuba).
    It provides us with … leverage…”  “Never, in my lifetime, have
    the people of Cuba known freedom. Never, in the lives of two
    generations of Cubans, have the people of Cuba known
    democracy.”  (May ’08; also, read Fidel Castro’s response)
  • Obama Exposed: Facts about Obama from the African People’s Solidarity Committee
  • “I think that when you look back at George H.W. Bush’s
    foreign policy, it was a wise foreign policy. In how we executed the
    Gulf War, how we managed the transition out of the Cold War, I think
    it’s an example of how we can get bipartisan agreement.” (Apr ’08)
  • Would “take no options off the table when it comes to preventing [Iran]
    from using nuclear weapons or obtaining nuclear weapons, and that would
    include any threats directed at Israel or any of our allies in the
    region.” (Apr ’08)
  • “The truth is that my foreign policy
    is actually a return to the traditional bipartisan realistic policy of
    George Bush’s father, of John F. Kennedy, of, in someways, Ronald
    Reagan.” (Mar ’08)Obama - Peace Candidate?
  • Said the 2008 violence in Gaza was the result of Hamas’ decision to launch rocket attacks on Israeli civilians (Mar ’08)
  • Said the US should not meet with (the democratically elected) Hamas leadership (Mar ’08)
  • Would not rule out using mercenaries (private military companies) like Blackwater in Iraq. (Feb ’08)
  • Said that US troops should be “relieved of the burden of policing someone else’s civil war,” and that Iraqis need “to take responsibility for their own future.” (Jan ’08)
  • He skipped the vote on Attorney General Michael Mukasey. (Nov ’07)
  • “It is important to have tough sanctions on Iran, particularly on the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, which supports terrorism,” (Oct ’07)
  • Voted to expand NAFTA to Peru. (Oct ’07)
  • Would not pledge to have all troops out of Iraq by the end of his first-term. (Sep ’07)
  • Was “a strong supporter of the war in Afghanistan”. (Aug ’07)
  • “I strongly support the expansion of our ground forces by adding 65,000 soldiers to the Army and 27,000 Marines.” (Apr ’07)
  • “We lead the world in battling
    immediate evils and promoting the ultimate good,” said Obama.
    “We must lead by building a 21st-century military… to advance the security of all people.” (Apr ’07)
  • “No President should ever hesitate to use force unilaterally if necessary to protect ourselves and our vital interests when we are attacked or imminently threatened.” (Apr ’07)
  • Said the United States must be willing to strike al Qaeda targets inside Pakistan. (Apr ’07)
  • “[W]e must preserve our total commitment to our unique defense relationship with Israel
    by fully funding military assistance and … related missile defense
    programs, he said. This would help Israel maintain its military edge
    and deter and repel attacks from as far as Tehran and as close as
    Gaza.” (Mar ’07)
  • Voted for Robert Gates (of the Iran-Contra scandal) to be Defense Secretary. (Dec ’06)
  • “[L]aunching some missile strikes into Iran
    is not the optimal position for us to be in given the ongoing war in
    Iraq. On the other hand, having a radical Muslim theocracy in
    possession of nuclear weapons is worse. So I guess my instinct would be
    to err on not having those weapons in the possession of the ruling
    clerics of Iran.” (Oct ’06)
  • Voted for building a fence along the U.S./Mexican border. (Sep ’06)
  • Said the government must crack down on employers who hire ‘illegal immigrants’. (Sep ’06)
  • Supported Israel’s war against Lebanon. (Aug ’06)
  • Voted for Patriot Act II. (Mar ’06)
  • Voted for Bush’s 2005 energy bill which sent billions of dollars in subsidies to oil companies. (Jun ’05)
  • Barack Obama Fact Sheet - Is Obama a Peace Candidate?
  • Voted to allow credit card companies to raise interest rates to over 30%. (Mar ’05)
  • “Military strikes on Pakistan should not be ruled out if violent Islamic extremists were to take over” (Sep ’04)
  • “[T]he big question is going to be, if Iran
    is resistant to these pressures [to stop its nuclear program],
    including economic sanctions, which I hope will be imposed if they do
    not cooperate, at what point . . . if any, are we going to take
    military action?” (Sep ’04)
  • “There’s not much of a difference between my position and George Bush’s position” on Iraq. (Jul ’04)
  • Said it was time “to end the embargo with Cuba” because it had “utterly failed in the effort to overthrow Castro.” (Jan ’04)
  • Two weeks after the Iraq war started he said, we “absolutely want to make sure that the troops have sufficient support to be able to win.” (Mar ’03)
  • “I am not opposed to all wars, I’m opposed to dumb wars.” (Oct ’02)

Since British bank examiners first shut down its London branch in 1991, BCCI (the Bank of Credit and Commerce International) has become known as “the world’s crookedest bank”-or, as CIA Director Robert Gates called it, the Bank of Crooks and Criminals International. He, of all people, should know.

Throughout its entire history, the CIA has set up an elaborate shell game of “proprietaries” (front companies), money-laundering operations and off-the-books projects so complex that no outsider- and few insiders-could ever keep track of them. BCCI was neither the first nor the last of these.

An important predecessor was the Nugan Hand Bank, which helped the CIA topple a pesky government in its host country, Australia. Capitalized with booty from drug and weapons deals in the last years of the Vietnam War, it helped finance agency operations in Angola and the Middle East

Nugan Hand’s board was loaded with spooks, including former CIA Director William Colby. When Australian bank examiners closed in on the bank in 1977, Nugan killed himself and Hand disappeared with billions in depositors’ funds.

The CIA flirted with a similar operation in Hawaii, but eventually chose the Pakistan-based BCCI. It welcomed anyone with large amounts of cash to launder, from narcotics traffickers to arms merchants, terrorists to gangster governments.

Naturally, the CIA felt right at home. In fact, one former BCCI official claims to have been told that the CIA, and Director Richard Helms in particular, actually started the bank, and that it “wasn’t a Pakistani bank at all.”

Before collapsing, BCCI managed to facilitate a host of CIA covert operations, notably George Bush’s efforts to pump weapons to Saddam Hussein’s Iraq and Edwin Wilson’s “unauthorized” arming of Libya.

Efforts to unravel all of BCCI’s mysteries will never succeed. Its directors had the good sense to feather the nests of enough prominent US politicians, of both parties, to ensure that any investigation will be half-hearted at best.

Not surprisingly, CIA-connected lobbyists have worked to undermine any probe. Roughly $20 billion of BCCI’s assets remain unaccounted for.