Posts Tagged ‘politics’

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)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

In an article about France urging Syrian rebels to form a provisional government, the New York Times scrubbed a passage which revealed that the CIA was helping funnel arms to rebel groups that have aligned themselves with Al-Qaeda terrorists.

Version three of the story, posted at 19:45:05 UTC yesterday and entitled France Says It Would Recognize Provisional Syrian Government, included the line, ” American intelligence agents have helped funnel arms to rebel groups.”

However, fifteen minutes later the revelation that the CIA was arming the rebels was removed and replaced with the words, “American intelligence agents have helped to identify the rebel groups that receive arms.”

Copies of the two different versions of the article can be viewed here.

This change of wording, albeit subtle, serves to absolve the CIA of directly arming rebels, who are admittedly being led by Al-Qaeda terrorists as the London Guardian reported last month.

Earlier this month, President Barack Obama signed a secret order authorizing the CIA to aid Syrian rebels in attempting to overthrow Bashar Al-Assad. However, the order stopped short of allowing the CIA to provide lethal weapons.

Despite public claims on behalf of the White House that no weapons are being sent to the rebels, reports that the CIA has been doing precisely that have been circulating for months, including a recent story about CIA spies smuggling 14 stinger missiles into Syria so rebels could defend themselves with ground to air technology.

The New York Times admitted in a June 21 report that the CIA was “steering” arms to Syrian rebels from the Turkish border, but claimed the weapons were paid for by Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

The New York Times’ decision to alter the wording of the article is another example of how NATO-aligned media outlets are concerned about overemphasizing western support for the rebels given their involvement in terrorist attacks and other acts of brutality.

Last week, the BBC removed a video clip which documented how FSA rebels were committing war crimes by using prisoners as unwitting suicide bombers.

In a related development, hackers infiltrated Amnesty International’s website last night and used the NGO’s blog platform to post stories about the plight of protesters in Bahrain, Kurds in Turkey, as well as an article entitled Amnesty Calls on UN to stop the US, Qatar and Turkey funding and arming Syria Rebels.

The Associated Press dismissed the article as a “fake blog post” and refused to divulge its content. Yet the story, a cached copy of which can be read here, cited confirmed reports that Syrian rebels are engaging in war crimes, as well as FSA fighters being responsible for the Houla massacre, which was initially blamed on Assad’s forces.

When most people think of embassies or consulates, they think of buildings that house peaceful diplomats who officially represent their home countries. In truth, however,many embassies should be renamed for what they really are: spy hubs.

By all means, the United States is no different than the Russians, Israelis or Chinese in that if given an opportunity they’ll attempt to pry sensitive data from the host country where their embassies are located.

On occasion, these spooks get caught crossing the line of what is acceptable trade-craft behavior.

In November 2010, for example, Norway’s TV2 asserted that U.S. personnel stationed at the U.S. embassy in Oslo conducted “illegal systematic surveillance of Norwegian citizens.”

Confirming these accusations, foreign correspondent Per Nyberg wrote on November 4, 2010: “The embassy hired former police officers and defense staff to take pictures and register people who behaved in a suspicious way.”

Months later, next-door in Sweden, the Swedish intelligence service, SAPO, made even stronger allegations that two U.S. embassy employees were engaged in “illegal, undercover investigations.” A daily newspaper, Svenska Dagbladetwrote with indignation, “Sweden has become the scene of a foreign power’s terror hunt without the knowledge of the Swedish government.”

Neither of these examples compare to a former black-bag operative named Enrique Prado.

In the June release of How to Get Away with Murder in America: Drug Lords, Dirty Pols, Obsessed Cops and the Quiet Man Who Became the CIA’s Master Killer, Evan Wright chronicled Prado’s exploits. They included involvement in Iran-Contra gunrunning, an espionage program targeting China, membership in a planned CIA secret assassinationunit and even moonlighting as a Miami-based Mafia hit man.

After leaving the agency, Prado remained in its tentacle-like network by finding employ with the notorious Blackwater outfit.

In a June 27 article for Wired magazine, Robert Beckhusen noted, “According to Wright, the CIA handed over its hit squad operation to Blackwater, now called Academi, as a way ‘to kill people with precision without getting caught.’ ”

U.S. Pays Big Bucks for Global Embassies

With the United States effectively bankrupt, taxpayers should be asking themselves just how much the U.S. shells out to house high-dollar diplomats around the globe.

According to the State Department, the U.S. annually spends $6.5B to maintain its 285 embassies, consulates and missions around the world. In addition, outlays for personnel and other staffing operations cost an estimated $4.5B.

To convey the breadth and reach of America’s global presence, Dave Seminara of The Washington Diplomat, an independent monthly newspaper, wrote on April 13: “The State Department is a huge player on the international real estate scene. It owns or leases facilities in 270 cities and 189 countries, and is absent only from North Korea, Iran and Somalia. Its real estate portfolio also includes more than 20K properties . . . with totalsquare footage of more than 80M.”

In the past dozen years the State Department has erected over 90 new diplomatic headquarters. One, in Ukraine, cost taxpayers $247M, while another in Morocco drained $187M from Uncle Sam’s coffers.

None of these embassies, though, compares to the $750M white elephant that the U.S. constructed in Baghdad following President George W. Bush’s war. As the largest embassy on Earth, this 104-acre behemoth boasts a movie theater, beauty parlors, food courts that make those inmost American malls pale by comparison, a fully operational sewage plant, tennis courts, a recreation center, swimming pool, plus over 600 blast-resistant apartments. Yet, as William Langewiesche of Vanity Fair magazine opined, “It may already be obsolete.”

Langewiesche, in his November 2007 article, noted how drastically our nation has changed over the past century in terms of foreign policy.

“America didn’t used to be like this,” he wrote. “Traditionally, it was so indifferent to setting up embassies that after its first 134 years of existence, in 1910, it owned diplomatic properties in only five countries abroad—Morocco, Turkey, Siam, China and Japan.”

The ‘objective’ news network PBS has been (and still is) engaging in the media propaganda war against the Syrian government, from perpetuating the myth about Syrian Migs attacking rebel fighters to calling the Syrian rebels “underdogs,” the Public Broadcasting Service is perpetuating the disinformation campaign surrounding the events in Syria.

On July 25th, PBS Newshour host Judy Woodruff interviewed Youssef Amrani, Morroco’s minister delegate for foreign affairs. In the interview, Woodruff bought up the topic of diplomacy, specifically within the framework of the UN Security Council, with Amrani stating that he wanted more sanctions and the like on the Assad regime. When Amrani stated that he thought the UN “should work with the opposition” to find a solution to the crisis, Woodruff responded by saying;
Well, that brings me to the question. One of the reasons the U.S. and other countries have been reluctant to get involved, to support the opposition is because they don’t know what a successor government is going to look like. We just saw in that report al-Qaida starting to show up among the opposition. (emphasis added)

Such statements are utter and outright fabrications! The US and other countries have been quite involved in supporting the opposition and Al Qaeda is not “starting to show up” in the opposition as Woodruff would like viewers to think, but rather have been there for quite some time.

In regards to the US supporting the Syrian rebels, this was first acknowledged in December 2011 on the site The American Conservative where former CIA analyst Philip Giraldi wrote an article in which he stated that “the CIA and U.S. Spec Ops are providing communications equipment and intelligence to assist the rebel cause, enabling the fighters to avoid concentrations of Syrian soldiers.” Most recently, it was reported on August 1st that President Obama “has signed a secret order authorizing U.S. support for rebels seeking to depose Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his government.”

The US government has known that Al Qaeda has been among the Syrian rebels as in February 2012, Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper stated that “Members of Al Qaeda have infiltrated Syrian opposition groups.”

Thus, the US government has been supporting the rebels since late last year and has been working with Al Qaeda (albeit indirectly) to topple the Syrian government, yet PBS seems to be concerned only with spouting lies.

In the same interview, when Woodruff asked Amrani “How can you be sure that the next government won’t be as repressive as this government?,” Amrani replied by saying “Listen, we had some experiences in Libya, in Tunisia, in the Maghreb, that were successful.”

It is quite interesting that he cites Libya as a “success” as that nation, after being overrun by US-NATO backed fighters, has been plagued by violence in recent months. It makes one wonder what the ambassador thinks “success” actually means.

In an interview on July 26th, Judy Woodruff interviewed Kelly McEvers, a journalist from National Public Radio, after she had “just completed a weeklong reporting trip to northwestern Syria, near the Turkish border, where she visited a number of towns currently under rebel control. In the interview, McEvers was asked about the Syrian rebels. After her description of them, Woodruff stated the the rebels were outgunned to which McEvers responded:

Exactly. They are so outgunned right now. They’re basically operating with rifles and rocket-propelled grenades and homemade bombs.

That’s another key component to their sort of arsenal right now. That’s how they deal with regime tanks.

But when you talk about a fully equipped army with tanks, artillery, mortars, helicopters, and now we have seen jets being employed in this fight by the regime’s army, you can see that the rebels are definitely the underdogs here. (emphasis added)

This myth that the Syrian rebels are outgunned is but another fabrication. It was reported on August 2nd that the Syrian rebels were using a captured tank in the battle for Aleppo. This is not the first time this has happened as in February, the International Business Times presented a video on Youtube which showed the rebels using a tank against the Syrian military. The use of fighters jets is also a myth that is based on a single tweet from BBC correspondent Ian Pannell. The magazine The Aviationist did a report on the alleged incident of Syrian air force MiGs attacking the rebels and found that the plane in question was an L-39 “a combat trainer” which “could be used for reconnaissance purposes.” Yet, even if the Syrian regime was using fighter jets on the rebels, the rebels most likely wouldn’t have a problem as they now have surface to air missiles. Despite this evidence, McEvers still feels the need to state that the rebels “are definitely the underdogs.”

Thus, the propaganda campaign of demonizing the Assad regime and praising the US-NATO backed rebels continues with the help of such ‘reliable’ and ‘centrist’ sources as PBS. The psyop against the public continues as the imperialists push ever closer to intervention in Syria.

This article was posted: Saturday, August 4, 2012

Published: June 21, 2012

WASHINGTON — A small number of C.I.A. officers are operating secretly in southern Turkey, helping allies decide which Syrian opposition fighters across the border will receive arms to fight the Syrian government, according to American officials and Arab intelligence officers.

The weapons, including automatic rifles, rocket-propelled grenades, ammunition and some antitank weapons, are being funneled mostly across the Turkish border by way of a shadowy network of intermediaries including Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood and paid for by Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, the officials said.

The C.I.A. officers have been in southern Turkey for several weeks, in part to help keep weapons out of the hands of fighters allied with Al Qaeda or other terrorist groups, one senior American official said. The Obama administration has said it is not providing arms to the rebels, but it has also acknowledged that Syria’s neighbors would do so.

The clandestine intelligence-gathering effort is the most detailed known instance of the limited American support for the military campaign against the Syrian government. It is also part of Washington’s attempt to increase the pressure on President Bashar al-Assad of Syria, who has recently escalated his government’s deadly crackdown on civilians and the militias battling his rule. With Russia blocking more aggressive steps against the Assad government, the United States and its allies have instead turned to diplomacy and aiding allied efforts to arm the rebels to force Mr. Assad from power.

By helping to vet rebel groups, American intelligence operatives in Turkey hope to learn more about a growing, changing opposition network inside of Syria and to establish new ties. “C.I.A. officers are there and they are trying to make new sources and recruit people,” said one Arab intelligence official who is briefed regularly by American counterparts.

American officials and retired C.I.A. officials said the administration was also weighing additional assistance to rebels, like providing satellite imagery and other detailed intelligence on Syrian troop locations and movements. The administration is also considering whether to help the opposition set up a rudimentary intelligence service. But no decisions have been made on those measures or even more aggressive steps, like sending C.I.A. officers into Syria itself, they said.

The struggle inside Syria has the potential to intensify significantly in coming months as powerful new weapons are flowing to both the Syrian government and opposition fighters. President Obama and his top aides are seeking to pressure Russia to curb arms shipments like attack helicopters to Syria, its main ally in the Middle East.

“We’d like to see arms sales to the Assad regime come to an end, because we believe they’ve demonstrated that they will only use their military against their own civilian population,” Benjamin J. Rhodes, deputy national security adviser for strategic communications, said after Mr. Obama and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir V. Putin, met in Mexico on Monday.

Spokesmen for the White House, State Department and C.I.A. would not comment on any intelligence operations supporting the Syrian rebels, some details of which were reported last week by The Wall Street Journal.

Until now, the public face of the administration’s Syria policy has largely been diplomacy and humanitarian aid.

The State Department said Wednesday that Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton would meet with her Russian counterpart, Sergey V. Lavrov, on the sidelines of a meeting of Asia-Pacific foreign ministers in St. Petersburg, Russia, next Thursday. The private talks are likely to focus, at least in part, on the crisis in Syria.

The State Department has authorized $15 million in nonlethal aid, like medical supplies and communications equipment, to civilian opposition groups in Syria.

The Pentagon continues to fine-tune a range of military options, after a request from Mr. Obama in early March for such contingency planning. Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told senators at that time that the options under review included humanitarian airlifts, aerial surveillance of the Syrian military, and the establishment of a no-fly zone.

The military has also drawn up plans for how coalition troops would secure Syria’s sizable stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons if an all-out civil war threatened their security.

But senior administration officials have underscored in recent days that they are not actively considering military options. “Anything at this point vis-à-vis Syria would be hypothetical in the extreme,” General Dempsey told reporters this month.

What has changed since March is an influx of weapons and ammunition to the rebels. The increasingly fierce air and artillery assaults by the government are intended to counter improved coordination, tactics and weaponry among the opposition forces, according to members of the Syrian National Council and other activists.

Last month, these activists said, Turkish Army vehicles delivered antitank weaponry to the border, where it was then smuggled into Syria. Turkey has repeatedly denied it was extending anything other than humanitarian aid to the opposition, mostly via refugee camps near the border. The United States, these activists said, was consulted about these weapons transfers.

American military analysts offered mixed opinions on whether these arms have offset the advantages held by the militarily superior Syrian Army. “The rebels are starting to crack the code on how to take out tanks,” said Joseph Holliday, a former United States Army intelligence officer in Afghanistan who is now a researcher tracking the Free Syrian Army for the Institute for the Study of War in Washington.

But a senior American officer who receives classified intelligence reports from the region, compared the rebels’ arms to “peashooters” against the government’s heavy weaponry and attack helicopters.

The Syrian National Council, the main opposition group in exile, has recently begun trying to organize the scattered, localized units that all fight under the name of the Free Syrian Army into a more cohesive force.

About 10 military coordinating councils in provinces across the country are now sharing tactics and other information. The city of Homs is the notable exception. It lacks such a council because the three main military groups in the city do not get along, national council officials said.

Jeffrey White, a defense analyst at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy who tracks videos and announcements from self-described rebel battalions, said there were now about 100 rebel formations, up from roughly 70 two months ago, ranging in size from a handful of fighters to a couple of hundred combatants.

“When the regime wants to go someplace and puts the right package of forces together, it can do it,” Mr. White said. “But the opposition is raising the cost of those kinds of operations.”


Maseena Ziegler, Contributor

I have a friend who can look her husband straight in the eyes, even when confronted with irrefutable evidence, and convincingly swear that her ‘this season’ Louboutins was purchased for an obscene discount from a hawker in Canal Street [not true – I’ve watched her in action on Fifth Avenue].  Another has the passwords of her boyfriend’s e-mail and social networking accounts while he, of course, is blissfully unaware that his every virtual move is being monitored by his seemingly un-tech savvy girlfriend.

List of James Bond allies in The Spy Who Loved Me

The Spy Who Loved Me (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When I share the chilling tittle-tattle with my friend Jimmy, he kindly describes them as “undercover angels.” “Women,” he offers,  “are born with an extra strand in their DNA. Men can fidget around with gadgets, but women have an antenna inside them. They’re born spies.”

As flippant as it may sound, there may be something to Jimmy’s observations.

Last week, in a stunning departure from protocol, the head of Mossad – Israel’s national intelligence agency – singled out his female field agents for praise. “Women have a distinct advantage in secret warfare because of their ability to multitask,” Tamir Pardo said to Israel’s Lady Globes. He also added that women are “better at playing a role” and superior to men when it comes to “suppressing their ego in order to attain the goal.”

“Women are gifted at deciphering situations. Contrary to stereotypes, you see that women’s abilities are superior to men in terms of understanding the territory, reading situations, spatial awareness. When they’re good, they’re very good.”

Wait – hold fire. So can we infer from this that we’re better at map-reading and navigating the streets?

I’m taking a moment here to think of every woman who has unfairly lost an argument with a member of the opposite sex. Over directions.

While some may find the observations of Mossad’s spy chief surprising – is it really? We’ve been conditioned by popular culture – spy movies with protagonists such as James Bond and Jason Bourne which perpetuate the myth that the best spies are men, and that women’s contribution to espionage – with names like ‘Pussy Galore’ and ‘Strawberry Fields’ – is limited to the role of ‘honeytrapper.’

What Mr Pardo has effectively done is lift the lid on the role of women in arguably one of the most dangerous professions on earth.  “We’re all afraid,” he says. “Fear crosses gender lines.”

A young Israeli Brit, Simon Cohen tells me: “When I was serving [for Israel], I noticed that most of the instructors were female. After asking why, I was told there is a better response from the lads as we apparently learn better…”

Intriguing.  I felt that there was only one way to understand the makings of a female spy: track, locate and interview one.

One of the CIA’s best-kept secrets

Lindsay Moran worked for the CIA for five years. Trained at the infamous ‘Farm’ in surveillance, counter-surveillance and survival techniques such as weapons training and defensive driving [driving backwards fast while only looking at the rear-view mirror], she was posted to Eastern Europe where her job focused on recruiting ‘agents’ who would then pass intelligence to the CIA.

She tells me that that one of the CIA’s best-kept secrets is that their most talented spies are women. “The women in my training class and those with whom I later served were always the top recruiters of foreign agents – which is the bread and butter of the secret service.”

So, what exactly is it about women that gives them a day to day advantage in this profession? Well – apart from the ‘femme fatale’ business.

People Skills

Being able to make friends easily, to read people – determine their motivations and vulnerabilities. “When we received training about how to ‘spot and assess’ potential sources, it came naturally to the women. I felt like I’d been doing it my whole life,” Lindsay explains.

Street smarts vs Physical strength

Contrary to popular belief that you need to be physically fit to outmaneuver the enemy, it’s actually the ability to read the danger potential of a person or situation – in other words, having the smarts, which is the key to survival on the ground. “Women are already attuned to the security of their environment. We are always on the lookout for suspicious characters, people who might be following us, dangerous situations. We’ve compensated for being the physically ‘weaker sex’ by developing these street smarts.”

Women have the “nurturing instinct”

The main focus of an operations officer – which is just a technical term for being an agent or spy – is handling foreign ‘assets’ or sources. Some may say this is not dissimilar to a mothering role. “You have to train your sources to look out for their own security. Very often you’re dealing with not the most reliable, stable or trustworthy individuals – just like kids – and you must safeguard them against any number of threats.”

Women are better listeners

Handling an agent requires listening to their concerns or complaints. “Many of the men in my training class had to be instructed on how to listen or on how to elicit information. It came naturally to us women,” Lindsay explains.

Women spies have a built in ‘cover story’

According to Lindsay, women always have the advantage in creating a reasonable sounding excuse for why they might be meeting with a man in a parked car, hotel room or dark restaurant on the edge of town.  “The standard cover story is we’re having an affair. It’s plausible under any circumstances and in any part of the world.”

So that’s the reality of the spying game for women. As for the movie-version, we’ll just have to wait and see if James Bond will ever be replaced by a Jane…

In 2008 Agence France-Presse reported on a story that the CIA had infiltrated Ecuador’s military.

QUITO (AFP) � The US Central Intelligence Agency had “full knowledge” of the deadly Colombian raid March 1 on a FARC rebel camp inside Ecuador that led to a rupture in ties between Bogota and Quito, Ecuador’s Defense Minister Javier Ponce said.

The CIA “had full knowledge of what was happening in Angostura,” the border area in Ecuador where the attack took place, Ponce said while presenting the results of an official investigation into the suspected infiltration of Ecuador’s armed forces by US intelligence agents.

Investigators “even detected a call by the CIA on the morning of March 1 announcing the attack in Angostura,” the minister added.

Authorities suspected that the incursion — decried by the Organization of American States as a Colombian “premeditated violation” of Ecuadoran sovereignty — relied on support from a US aircraft assigned to joint US-Ecuador anti-drug missions from a US Former Operating Location (FOL) in Manta, Ecuador, he said.

“The main doubt is about the activities of a US intelligence aircraft which surprisingly arrived at FOL Manta one week before the attack…. The arrival of this plane marked the beginning of night flights that had not been normally undertaken from the FOL,” Ponce said.

The same aircraft “permanently withdrew from the base” four days after the raid, he added.

In April, Ecuador’s leftist President Rafael Correa sacked his defense minister and police chief after alleging the CIA had infiltrated his country’s security apparatus to help US ally Colombia.

The raid on the camp of the Marxist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) killed more than 20 people, including FARC’s number-two guerrilla Raul Reyes, four Mexicans and an Ecuadoran.

A diplomatic stand-off quickly ensued, with Quito expelling Bogota’s ambassador on March 3 and both sides ordering thousands of troops to their common border.

While military tensions have eased, diplomatic relations between the neighbors have yet to be normalized.

The FARC is Latin America’s oldest and most powerful insurgency, and has been trying to topple the Bogota government since the 1960s.