Posts Tagged ‘middle-east’

March 1, 2013

The long-term US funding of anti-government programs in Syria has raised questions about the types of groups being supported, and the benefits and arms supplied to militant groups; establishing political stability requires considered dialogue.

It appears that the US State Department under John Kerry will soon shift its focus to helping the rebels establish a full-fledged alternative government on Syrian territory and recognize it as the legal government of Syria. Such a move would legitimize the transfer of heavy weaponry and would allow the US to directly employ air strikes or Patriot anti-missile batteries against Assad’s forces.

Some would argue that these moves could help to marginalize the notable al-Qaeda presence among rebel forces. Pumping more arms and heavier weapons into Syria is unconscionable at this point, and continuing to do so will inevitably bolster the muscle and reach of jihadi and Salafist fighters. The argument that the US and its allies have only armed the “moderate” rebels is a deeply flawed one; weapons are in high demand by all rebel factions and there is little means to effectively prevent arms from gravitating toward hardcore Al-Qaeda fighters.

In his famous 1962 description of irregular warfare operations, US President John F. Kennedy alluded to “another type of warfare,” one that is “new in its intensity, ancient in its origin—war by guerrillas, subversives, insurgents, assassins; war by ambush instead of by combat, by infiltration instead of aggression, seeking victory by eroding and exhausting the enemy instead of engaging him. It preys on unrest.”

After two harrowing years of division, senseless killing and civil war, the scared Syrian nation and its people are well acquainted with these unconventional methods of warfare denounced over 50 years ago.

Yet Western and Gulf states have proven their double standards by enabling radicals elsewhere – lest we forget the presence of Libyan military commander Abdulhakim Belhadj, former leader of the militant Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (officially designated as a terrorist organization by the US State Department), who was sent to Syria to aid the Free Syrian Army on orders of the entity formerly known as the Libyan National Transition Council (NTC). The track record of allied Western and Gulf states shows that they are more interested in enabling terrorism for their own purposes rather than preventing it.

Since the eruption of violence in March 2011, Syria has endured targeted assassination campaigns, ceaseless suicide bombings and shelling, and massacres where infants have had their throats slit to the spine – the time has come for the opposition to engage the Assad government in dialogue and finally bring about a ceasefire and the total cessation of violence and insurgency.

From the reports of third-party sniper-fire targeting both protesters and security personnel in the southern city of Daraa at the very onset of the conflict, to the horrendous attacks on the students of Aleppo University in January 2013 – those who have critically monitored the situation from the beginning are under no illusions – the influx of armament and mercenary elements from abroad into Syria has brought the situation to where it is today. Western capitals have provided logistics, coordination, political support, and non-lethal aid, Gulf states such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar have openly provided weapons and monthly salaries for rebel fighters, and Turkey has allowed rebel fighters to receive training and arms from the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in the southeastern part of the country, allowing militants to pass into Syria freely.

There are those who say that Syria is the subject of an internal revolution that is brutally repressed by a malicious dictator, and those who say instead that Syria is being attacked by foreign powers who have deployed mercenaries and extremist fighters from abroad to engage in the destruction of infrastructure and conduct targeted assassinations to bring about an end to the Assad regime.  Despite Washington’s concerns of heavy weapons falling into the hands of Al-Qaeda-linked militants, the US-backed campaign to coax regime change in Damascus has from the very onset enabled militants who justify their acts of terror in the name of a perverted interpretation of Islam. Reports in the Washington Post indicate that US support for anti-government groups in Syria began in 2005, transcending two presidential administrations:

“The U.S. money for Syrian opposition figures began flowing under President George W. Bush after he effectively froze political ties with Damascus in 2005. The financial backing has continued under President Obama, even as his administration sought to rebuild relations with Assad. Syrian authorities ‘would undoubtedly view any U.S. funds going to illegal political groups as tantamount to supporting regime change,’ read an April 2009 cable signed by the top-ranking U.S. diplomat in Damascus at the time. ‘A reassessment of current U.S.-sponsored programming that supports anti-[government] factions, both inside and outside Syria, may prove productive,’ the cable said. The cables report persistent fears among U.S. diplomats that Syrian state security agents had uncovered the money trail from Washington.”

The article describes how Washington funnelled about $12 million to anti-government programs in Syria between 2005 and 2010 to recipients affiliated with the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood. Israel, which is now illegally conducting exploratory drilling in the occupied Golan Heights, and the US view the toppling of Damascus as a means of extinguishing the critical conduit between Iran and Hezbollah, the political and militant Shi’a organization centered in Southern Lebanon, in addition to helping isolate the Palestinian resistance.

The non-violent route: Laying aside differences

Both the incumbent Syrian authorities and the opposition must find strength to come to a mutually acceptable compromise. These parties have no other option than to search for a solution, lay down an agreeable constitutional basis for elections, and face each other in international monitored polls once the situation stabilizes. The Syrian people must not have democracy imposed on them, and the victor of this war should not be decided on the battlefield, but by the ballot box.

To gain the confidence of the electorate, election observers from the US, Qatar, Russia, and Iran could be sent to monitor the transition process – if the people of Syria want Assad to remain in power, then the rule of majority must be honored. Militant groups comprised of mostly hard line foreign fighters such as Jabhat al-Nusra and the Islamist Ahrar al-Sham cannot be expected to participate in a ceasefire, so the true test of a short-term alliance between Assad and the SNC would be in its ability to cooperate in quelling radical militants and restoring stability – such is a perquisite for any kind of transition.

Former US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton once threatened Russia and China that they would “pay a price” for their position on the Syrian issue. It should be noted that these powers maintained a balanced approach throughout and advocated dialogue from the start, in addition to stringently adhering to former UN Envoy Kofi Annan’s six point peace plan. Iran should also be given due credit for hosting an International Consultative Conference in August 2012, which brought together representatives of thirty nations to call for ending the flow of foreign arms into terrorist hands inside Syria, proposals to broker a meaningful ceasefire, the coordination of humanitarian aid, and support for Syrian people’s right to reform without foreign interference.

Accommodating diversity in Syrian society

Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi was quoted in the Washington Post stating, “Syrian society is a beautiful mosaic of ethnicities, faiths and cultures, and it will be smashed to pieces should President Bashar Assad abruptly fall. The idea that, in that event, there would be an orderly transition of power is an illusion. Abrupt political change without a roadmap for managed political transition will lead only to a precarious situation that would destabilize one of the world’s most sensitive regions.” It is clear that the Assad government is more stable than many Western states anticipated, and it continues to enjoy popular support.

Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah recently warned against sectarian infighting in Lebanon related to the Syrian civil war, arguing that outsiders are pushing Lebanon “toward civil and religious strife, and specifically Sunni-Shia strife.” Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki also warned that a victory for rebels would “create a new extremist haven and destabilize the wider Middle East.” The Syrian regime will not imminently collapse but if it is brought down by military intervention, the consequences could lead to a highly unpredictable situation where match and tinder can meet at any moment with debilitating consequences for the region. It is time for both parties to convene. It is time to end this war.

Selective support

Reports published in 2007 in the New Yorker by veteran journalist Seymour Hersh detail how the US, Israel and Saudi Arabia supported a regional network of extremist fighters and terrorists affiliated with al-Qaeda with the aim of stomping out Hezbollah and Syria’s Assad in a bid to isolate Iran, who is viewed as an existential threat to the US and its allies in the region. A principal component of this policy shift was the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups, hence the ever-deepening sectarian nature of the Syrian conflict:

“To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush Administration has decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in the Middle East. In Lebanon, the Administration has cooperated with Saudi Arabia’s government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is backed by Iran. The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda.”

While the CIA has purportedly claimed to distribute arms only to “secular” and “moderate” rebel forces, Washington insiders from various academic and think-tank circles have openly endorsed bizarre positions in favor of integrating terrorists into Syria’s rebel forces. “Al-Qaeda’s Specter in Syria,” penned by Council on Foreign Relations senior fellow Ed Husain, argues in favor of Al-Qaeda terrorists and their inclusion in the Free Syrian Army, stating, “The influx of jihadis brings discipline, religious fervour, battle experience from Iraq, funding from Sunni sympathizers in the Gulf, and most importantly, deadly results. In short, the FSA needs al-Qaeda now.” Foreign Policy’s, “Two Cheers for Syrian Islamists,” penned by Gary Gambill of the heavily neo-conservative Middle East Forum, argues in favor of Al-Qaeda, “Islamists — many of them hardened by years of fighting U.S. forces in Iraq — are simply more effective fighters than their secular counterparts. Assad has had extraordinary difficulty countering tactics perfected by his former jihadist allies, particularly suicide bombings and roadside bombs.”

While many Western media outlets once likened Syria’s rebels to pro-democracy freedom fighters, it has become more challenging to view them as anything other than Salafist radicals – the former’s existence was amplified specifically to provide cover and legitimacy for the violence and subversion of the latter. As a result of a foreign-backed insurgency, the Assad regime resorted to tactics of shelling and conducing air strikes on rebel strongholds, which were mostly in densely populated urban areas. It should not be denied that these heavy-handed tactics have also led to a substantial and regrettable loss of life.

The Friends of Syria group recently convened in Rome, where the US State Department has pledged $60 million to help the opposition maintain “the institutions of the state” in areas under their control, such as establishing terms of governance, the rule of law, and police forces. Reports have also claimed that the US is also deliberating more open engagement in Syria under newly appointed US Secretary of State John Kerry, however Washington has stopped short of openly providing arms and military training. American and western officials have told the New York Times that Saudi Arabia has recently financed a large purchase of infantry weapons from Croatia and funnelled them to Syrian rebel groups. Although the United States is not credited with providing arms to rebel forces, the New York Times has reported the presence of CIA operatives in southern Turkey since June 2012, who are distributing weapons with the Obama administration’s blessing. US spokesperson Jay Carney was quoted as saying, “We will continue to provide assistance to the Syrian people, to the Syrian opposition, we will continue to increase our assistance in the effort to bring about a post-Assad Syria.”

In early March 2013, the Syrian National Council (SNC) will meet in Istanbul to form a provisional government that would oversee rebel-held areas of the country. This wouldn’t be the first time the SNC has attempted to form a government; previous attempts in January 2013 fell apart, with many factions refusing to consider a prime ministerial nominee. SNC President Moaz al-Khatib has angered several factions for proposing his readiness to negotiate with the Assad government, a position that many in the opposition refuse to accept.

The Syrian Ambassador to the UN Bashar al-Jaafari has urged the Friends of Syria states to convince the Syrian opposition to sit down for an unconditional national dialogue, which al-Khatib has expressed his willingness to take part in. One could surmise that al-Khatib’s shift toward dialogue indicates that the SNC is feeling less secure and more wary of a possible military defeat or rivalry with radical factions. Such a dialogue would undoubtedly represent a step in the right direction. Despite political differences and two years of deep conflict, these two parties must establish a genuine ceasefire and partnership to restore a climate of normality throughout the country. In this context, both parties must be able to agree on coordinating aid distribution to all parts of the country.

International recognition of a provisional SNC government would only create further divisions at a time when national unity is most needed. Although rebel-held areas are badly isolated and in need of humanitarian supplies, the delivery of aid must be facilitated through direct talks and partnership between Moaz al-Khatib’s Syrian National Council and Bashar Al-Assad’s government.

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January 22nd, 2013

In the video below, Mokhtar Belmokhtar — said to be the mastermind behind the terrorist attack by the Islamist al-Mulathameen (Masked) Brigade on the In Amenas Gas complex in Algeria — takes credit for the operation.

Belmokhtar was recruited and trained by the CIA in Afghanistan. He was an “Afghan Arab” recruit from North Africa and fought with the CIA and Pakistan ISI (Inter Services Intelligence) Mujahideen that would later splinter into al-Qaeda and the Taliban. Following the deadly Afghan civil war that claimed nearly a half million lives, Belmokhtar returned to Algeria in 1993 and joined the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC).

The GSPC was purportedly founded by Hassan Hattab, a former Groupe Islamique Armé (GIA) commander. Mohammed Samraoui, the Algerian army’s deputy chief counterintelligence specialist, claims GSPC was established by the Algerian army in an attempt to weaken and destroy the moderate Islamic Salvation Front, an Islamist political party poised to take power in Algeria’s elections. GSPC members were recruited by Algerian intelligence upon returning from the jihad in Afghanistan.

In 2007, the GSPC changed its name to the Al-Qaeda Organization in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and aligned itself with the Libya Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG). In November 2007, al-Qaeda second-in-command Ayman al-Zawahiri released an audio announcing that the LIFG had joined al-Qaeda.

“Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb from the outset in 2007 had established a close relationship to the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, whose leaders had also been trained and recruited in Afghanistan by the CIA,” writes Michel Chossudovsky. “The LIFG is supported covertly by the CIA and Britain’s MI6.”

According to an MI6 document, British intelligence knew of a LIFG plot to assassinate Gaddafi in 1995 involving “Libya veterans who served in Afghanistan.” The report was given credibility by the fact British authorities allowed LIFG members living in the U.K. to engage in activities supporting the organization despite its official declaration as a terrorist group.

In addition to support from U.S. and British intelligence, AQIM and other Salafist groups in Africa received support from Saudi Arabia and Qatar. The intelligence organization DGSE to the French Defense Ministry mentioned in a report Qatar’s support for terrorism in northern Mali.

Algeria’s prime minister, Abdelmalek Sellal, said the In Amenas Gas plant attack in the Sahara “included two Canadians and a team of explosives experts who had memorized the layout of the sprawling complex and were ready to blow the place sky-high,” the CBC reported.

The highly sensationalized attack in Algeria is now being exploited by the establishment media as a propaganda tool in the global war on terror and to once again highlight the scourge of al-Qaeda and associated Salafist groups created by the CIA, Pakistan’s ISI, MI6 and funded by Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

The globalists fully intend to expand their operations into resource rich Africa. AFRICOM, the United States African Command, and the French – with the support of Cameron and the British – are moving into Africa in a big way with the Damocles sword of al-Qaeda and its panoply of associated Salafist groups providing the necessary pretext.

Members of the Free Syrian Army patrol an area in Qusayr, 15 kms (nine miles) from Homs. (AFP Photo / STR / Ahmed Jadallah)

Published: 07 March, 2012

A security operation in Homs reveals Mossad, CIA and Blackwater are involved in the military violence in this part of Syria, as over 700 Arab and Western gunmen and Israeli, American and European-made weapons were detained in Baba Amr district.

­Syrian security forces got yet further proof of Western powers’ military involvement in Syria’s internal conflict, reports Al-Manar, a news agency, affiliated with Hezbollah, the Lebanon-based militant group and political party.

Around 700 gunmen were recently arrested in the former rebel stronghold of Babar Amr.

“The captured gunmen held Arab nationalities, including Gulf, Iraqi, and Lebanese. Among them were also Qatari intelligence agents and non-Arab fighters from Afghanistan, Turkey, and some European countries like France,” the agency quotes Syrian expert in strategic affairs Salim Harba as saying.

Harba also confirmed to the agency that “a coordination office was established in Qatar under American-Gulf sponsorship. The office includes American, French, and Gulf – specifically from Qatar and Saudi Arabia – intelligence agents, as well as CIA, Mossad, and Blackwater agents and members of the Syrian Transitional Council.”

The Syrian expert also added the security forces have also seized Israeli-, European- and American-made weapons.

“The Syrian army also uncovered tunnels and equipments there,” he told to the agency, “advanced Israeli, European, and American arms that have not yet been tested in the countries of manufacture, in addition to Israeli grenades, night binoculars, and communication systems were confiscated by the security forces.”

Salim Harba however said the Syrian authorities are not planning to reveal all the obtained information now, but assured all the evidence is of high value.

“The Syrian security forces have documents and confessions that could harm everyone who conspired against Syria, and could make a security and political change, not just on the internal Syrian level, but also on the regional level,” he said.

The recent Stratfor leak and hacked email of the company’s director of analysis also suggest undercover NATO troops are already on the ground in Syria.

There have been previous allegations of a Western presence on the side of the rebels as 13 French officers were reportedly captured by the loyalist forces earlier in March.

President Bashar al-Assad has repeatedly claimed his regime is fighting not with peaceful protesters as claimed by the West, but with the military gangs supported by the West.

Western powers however have categorically denied any military involvement in Syrian internal conflict.

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

    Feb.
    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
    terrorist’.

  • 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
After
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
continue.

 

  • 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 http://www.ironrail.org/blog/uploaded_images/bush_obama_imperialism-747174.jpg
  • 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)

Iran: CIA Collaborating with Terrorist Groups in Region

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehman-Parast on Saturday lashed out at the US for its baseless claims about war on terror, and said Tehran has proofs and documents substantiating the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has been aiding terrorist groups in the region.

“Americans entered Afghanistan with the promise of war on terror, but today there are documents indicating that terrorist groups are collaborating with the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA),” Mehman-Parast told a press conference in Karachi on Saturday.

He reiterated that presence of “foreign forces” in the region is the “root cause of all problems” in the Middle East, and added, “They should leave the regional countries alone and deal with their own problems if they are really in pursuit of stability and security.”

Mehman-Parast further noted that the US forces’ pullout from Afghanistan is the best way to restore “Afghan security”, and reiterated, “Americans are after securing the interests of the Zionist regime (Israel) and they intend to stir tension among Islamic and regional countries to the very same end.”

Iranian officials have frequently blasted the US and NATO forces for occupation of Afghanistan for more than a decade under the pretext of war on terror.

Tehran stresses that the responsibility for the establishment of security and stability in Afghanistan should be in hands of the country’s government and security forces, but not foreigners.

Afghanistan has long been a focus of imperial rivalry and scene of foreign intervention, most recently since the 2001 US-led invasion but also in the 1980s uprising against Russian troops that ultimately helped bring down the Soviet Union.

Washington denies it is seeking to establish permanent military bases in Afghanistan, but American military sources say they envisage around 15,000 forces remaining in Afghanistan after the 2014 withdrawal.

US President Barack Obama’s renewed warning against Syria this week, that any use of chemical weapons by Syrian government forces is a red line triggering direct military assault on the country, can be seen as the Western powers moving towards their endgame of “regime change.”

After 21 months of international conspiracy, the American-led propaganda war on Syria seems to be moving towards the endgame of providing the political cover for direct Western military attack on that unfortunate country.
This is, of course, outrageously criminal. But it is entirely predictable from the bigger picture strategic agenda of Washington and its allies: to roll over the anti-imperialist Syrian enemy, install a pliable pro-Western regime, and then pave the way for the next round of war in the region – against Iran.

Washington first raised the specter of Syrian chemical weapons several months ago and warned then that it would be forced to act militarily in order to “secure” such alleged stockpiles.

Now the American president and his officials are rekindling fears of this contingency, with the added alleged development that the Syrian government of President Bashar Al Assad has become so desperate to survive that it is preparing to mobilize chemical warheads.

Speaking in Washington, Obama upbraided the Syria government that “the world is watching” and that there would be “consequences” for any such deployment.

US secretary of state Hillary Clinton echoed the warning and described the use of these weapons as “a red line.” Tellingly, she added that if there is “any evidence” that the Syrian military had begun to use chemical warheads then “we are certainly planning to take action.”

Various Western media reported that American officials have over the past week stepped up contact with counterparts in other Western states to formulate a military response. This is said to include limited air strikes and the dispatch of thousands of ground forces.

Previously, the US and other Western governments had declined to commit military forces to Syria, as they had done in Libya last year, preferring the covert option of proxy forces, including Persian Gulf Arab weapon suppliers and mercenary fighters. That calculus seems to be now changing.

The first point to note from above is that the allegations of Syria mobilizing chemical weapons are stemming from unnamed and unverifiable American military intelligence sources, who have been busily briefing, anonymously, the major news media organizations, including CNN and the New York Times. These “reports” are then amplified by other Western media outlets, such as the Washington Post, BBC, Financial Times and Britain’s Guardian newspaper.

This is the same process of disinformation that set Iraq up for an illegal nine-year war of aggression, beginning in 2003 – with over one million people killed – over that country’s non-existent weapons of mass destruction.

It is the same scurrilous, criminal process that has set up Iran up for crippling – and illegal – economic sanctions over unfounded allegations of nuclear weapons, which are in turn fuelling tensions towards a possible all-out war on the Islamic Republic.

That’s why Obama and Clinton’s latest warning words to Syria are ominous. “The world is watching… for any evidence of chemical weapons.” In other words, the world is being prepared for a “shocking revelation” by American and Western spy agencies and ventriloquist media, who are about as trustworthy as a nest of scorpions and rattlesnakes.

The second point to note is that the Syrian government has repeatedly denied possession of chemical weapons and that if it had such munitions it would not deploy them against its own citizens.

Apart from the CIA and other anonymous secret service agents doing their best through trusty media outlets to whip up hysteria about sarin, VX, mustard gas and other horrors, the other tactic by Western forces is to portray the Damascus government as increasingly panicky and therefore sufficiently under duress that it would resort to such weapons.

White House spokesman Jay Carney told media, “We believe that with the regime’s grip on power loosening, with its failure to put down the opposition through conventional means, we have an increased concern about the possibility of the regime taking the desperate act of using its [alleged] chemical weapons.”

Well, a big part of the reason unmentioned by the White House for why the Syrian military is failing to put down the opposition is because of the criminal, massive flow of weapons, funds, logistics, mercenaries and covert personnel that the American government and its Western allies and regional proxies have been funneling into Syria.

There is no doubting that after 21 months of unrelenting violence, the Western-backed insurgents and foreign mercenaries are taking a heavy toll on Syrian society and the Damascus government’s control.

Reports of recent significant military gains by the foreign-backed militants have indeed intensified efforts by the government to maintain its authority over the ravaged country.

In particular, American-made surface-to-air missiles, reportedly supplied by Qatar and also possibly Saudi Arabia, appear to have lately given the anti-government militants crucial extra firepower and important tactical and territorial advantages.

Western military sources are reportedly of the view that the Syrian national army and air force retain the upper-hand and are too strong to be seriously threatened with defeat.

Nevertheless, with the Western-fomented havoc wreaking Syria – up to 700,000 refugees, five million displaced, 30-50,000 dead out of a population of 20 million – it is all too easy to portray and perceive an atmosphere of doom and desperation, which is then cited by the White House and its anonymous media agents as a “tipping point” for the imminent deployment of alleged chemical weapons of mass destruction.

To this end, there seems to be a concerted effort in the past few days to convey the image of a country falling apart.

Turkish officials have disclosed that it was fears that Syria may use chemical weapons against opposition militants on its border areas that prompted Ankara to request the supply of Patriot anti-missile systems in the coming weeks.

Both the UN and the European Union are reported as closing down activities in Syria on grounds of “security concerns” and both organizations are said to be preparing for the imminent evacuation of all staff from the country.

Regional airlines, including Egypt Air and Dubai’s Emirates Airline, have this week cancelled regular services to Syria on the basis of “safety concerns”. Both countries, it should be noted, are firmly in the Western geopolitical camp of demanding Assad’s overthrow.

Last weekend, the Syrian population was cut off from telecommunications in a three-day blackout that was blamed on sabotage. That too is serving to heighten an atmosphere of duress that the Western powers can cite as “evidence” that the Syrian authorities are “preparing to use chemical weapons”.

November 25, 2012 ― The media can’t get enough of the “investigation” into what the Obama administration knew about what was happening in Benghazi and when they knew it. Obama survived the initial furor and got reelected, but the controversy rages on.

What is the real question here? Judging from media coverage and the Congressional investigation, we might assume that the only matter to be resolved is whether the Obama administration knew that a coordinated terrorist attack was underway, rather than a spontaneous demonstration against an anti-Muslim film. According to this narrative, Obama could have been more proactive in responding to the attack and sent in military assistance to try to save Stevens and his associates.

None of this would seem to be the stuff of a major scandal. The Obama administration may or may not have handled the situation properly. If they didn’t and tried to cover up their incompetence, it would hardly be a new Watergate. The intensity of the controversy doesn’t jibe with its supposed cause.

Or is there another reason for a cover-up by the White House? Was Chris Stevens a CIA agent?

As far back as October 25, Fox News’ Andrew Napolitano asked this question and he was not alone. He cited his colleague Justin Fishel’s report on the same subject. According to Fishel:

“In reality, CIA agents and other intelligence officials were operating out of Benghazi conducting delicate missions, including the search for over 20,000 deadly shoulder-fired missiles previously owned by Muammar Qaddafi’s Libyan forces … Both the CIA outpost and the consulate were attacked on Sept. 11. Two of the men killed, Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods, were hit by indirect fire while defending the intelligence post, not the consulate.”

If the September 11 attack targeted a CIA base actively conducting covert operations within Libya, it renders the whole question of whether the attack was a reaction to the infamous video or a coordinated terrorist attack moot. Under those circumstances, it would be neither. It might more accurately be described as a “counterinsurgency operation” carried out by forces opposed to the new U.S.-installed Libyan government. Perhaps they were aligned with the ousted Qaddafi government. Perhaps they were al Qaeda who were happy to accept U.S. assistance in getting rid of Qaddafi and are now happy to turn on the U.S. That would be a familiar story.

Regardless, Stevens’ death might have been collateral damage in an attack against a known (in Libya) CIA covert operation. Or Stevens might have been a CIA operative himself who was not only participating in the post-revolution operations in 2012 but had actively participated in the overthrow of the Qaddafi regime. According to Napolitano, this theory might fit the facts better than any offered so far.

“Now we can connect some dots. If Stevens was a CIA agent, he was in violation of international law by acting as the U.S. ambassador. And if he and his colleagues were intelligence officials, they are not typically protected by Marines, because they ought to have been able to take care of themselves.”

If Stevens was a CIA agent actively involved in covert operations, it would be a major international scandal. It would call into question not only the Obama administration, but all of the U.S. government’s activities during its decade-long “war on terror.”

So why have neither the media nor the Congressional committee even asked the question?

Fishel confirms that the House oversight committee investigating the incident has been instructed not to investigate certain aspects of the Benghazi operation.

That means that no one is even trying to get at the truth. The Congressional investigation and the media frenzy amount to little more than a distraction for the American public, which seems to have taken the bait hook, line and sinker. They join the two major parties in fiercely debating a non-issue while ignoring the crucial questions asked by a few actual journalists.

Was Chris Stevens a CIA agent? Was the attack on Benghazi a terrorist attack or a counterattack against a covert military operation? Are there other U.S. diplomats actively participating in covert operations while posing as ambassadors of peace to foreign governments? Has the U.S. government become as immoral as the terrorists it purports to be fighting? What else do we not know about its international activities?

The silence is deafening.