Is it possible to change the system when you are the system?
By Charles Shaw
April 26, 2005
In February of this year, United for Peace and Justice (UFPJ), a coalition of more than 800 peace and justice groups throughout the United States, held their second annual Assembly to hear and vote on proposals for a 2005 “action plan.” With the war in Iraq fast approaching its second anniversary, and the larger “War on Terror” crossing its third and half year, close to 500 delegates from 275 member groups traveled to St. Louis in the hopes that the “anti-war movement” — which emerged with unprecedented speed and size just prior to the US invasion of Iraq in spring of 2003 — could be resuscitated. Despite impressive beginnings, the movement as a whole has yet to make any significant impact on US policy, or achieve any lasting public resonance. More disturbing is the fact that since Bush’s victory in November, it has gone completely MIA.
One week after the election, the US launched a massive, sustained offensive on the Iraqi city of Fallujah, which absolutely leveled the metropolis of 350,000. Virtually everyone in the “movement” knew this offensive was a forgone conclusion should Bush be reelected (though few understood that the offensive would likely have gone ahead regardless of who won). Yet, despite this foreknowledge, the streets of America remained empty. In San Francisco, the usual hotbed for anti-war activism, barely 500 people showed up to a demonstration organized by the local chapter of International ANSWER, and endorsed by Global Exchange & Code Pink, the two most prominent activist groups in the Bay Area.…Continue reading
It takes a long-term view to see our way out of this gloom.
By Ken Jenkins
It was early 2005. It was a time of malaise, of vague apprehension, of depression, of disbelief, of foreboding and dread. It was the time after Bush&Co stole yet another election and we faced 4 more years of an ongoing, ever-darkening nightmare. It was long enough after the election to have moved beyond the shock and denial, but not far enough to have fully accepted and grokked our predicament, or to have the foggiest idea what the heck to do next.
We wonder, wouldn’t that other Iraq war supporter Kerry have been better than this?
No. In the long run, things might have been worse.
Is there any light in this seemingly perpetual tunnel of gloom?
Yes. But a long-term view is required to see far enough down the abyss to see that glimmer of hope.
Let me explain. We would all like a quick turnaround to this ominous and menacing nightmare. But Kerry would have lulled too many folks back to sleep. And that is not a good thing. The spiral of social-political evolution would have slowed to a creep. As apathy increased, we would have been back in the doldrums, directionless, going nowhere at a crawl. Crisis is not a good time to go back to sleep.…Continue reading
- Theologian and Author Believes the President Endorsed the Attacks to Build Up Support for his Military Plans.
by Doug Erickson
Wisconsin State Journal
Page B1, April 19, 2005
A noted Christian theologian suggested Monday in Madison that the Bush administration not only had prior knowledge of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, but probably helped orchestrate them.
David Ray Griffin, 65, a retired professor at the Claremont School of Theology in Claremont, Calif., said the government’s version of the attacks is so implausible it can’t possibly be true.
Unlike Madison’s progressive Capitol Times which carried the other Griffin story below, the Wisconsin State Journal is known as a crusty Republican rag with circulation all across the state. If this does not justfy perseverance, it’s hard to say what would.
The numerous inconsistencies and far-fetched explanations from Bush officials “show that the attacks must have been planned and executed by our own political and military leaders,” Griffin said.
He thinks Bush endorsed the attacks to gain support for a military… Continue reading
by Chris Floyd
April 15, 2005
Follow-up to “Into the Dark.”
More than two years ago, we wrote here of a secret Pentagon plan to foment terrorism: sending covert agents to infiltrate terrorist groups and goad them into action — i.e., committing acts of murder and destruction. The purpose was two-fold: first, to bring the terrorist groups into the open, where they could be counterattacked; and second, to justify U.S. military attacks on the countries where the terrorists were operating — attacks which, in the Pentagon’s words, would put those nations’ “sovereignty at risk.” It was a plan that countenanced — indeed, encouraged — the deliberate murder of innocent people and the imposition of U.S. military rule anywhere in the world that American leaders desired.
This plan is now being activated.
In fact, it’s being expanded, as the New Yorker’s Seymour Hersh revealed last week. Not only will U.S.-directed agents infiltrate existing terrorist groups and provoke them into action; the Pentagon itself will create its own terrorist groups and “death squads.” After establishing their terrorist “credentials” through various atrocities and crimes, these American-run groups will then be able to ally with — and ultimately undermine — existing terrorist groups.
Top-level officials in the Pentagon, the U.S. intelligence services and the Bush administration confirmed to Hersh that the plan is going forward, under the direction of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld — just as we noted here in November 2002. Through a series of secret executive orders, George W. Bush has given Rumsfeld the authority to turn the entire world into “a global free-fire zone,” a top Pentagon adviser says.…Continue reading
By Ward Reilly
“If ever time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin.”
– Samuel Adams
“The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government – lest it come to dominate our lives and interests.”
– Patrick Henry
“It is the duty of the patriot to protect his country from its government.”
– Thomas Paine
My friend Dennis Kyne wrote a song that we recorded together while he was staying at my home in January. He was in Baton Rouge in order to attend, and to speak at, the “Jazz Funeral For Democracy” in New Orleans, a counter-inaugural demonstration that activists from south Louisiana had organized.
The song is called “All We Want Is the Truth.”
Dennis is a Gulf War vet, and was a medic with the front-line 24th Infantry in 1991. I am an older volunteer infantry vet, one who spent 32 months overseas, from 1971 to 1974, serving this country as an occupation soldier. We are patriots.
The truth. It’s not too much for a soldier or vet to ask for, particularly when the subject is whether or not our nation goes to war.
As many of us – those who actually tried to stop the occupation of Iraq before it got started – watched this tragedy unfold, what we saw… Continue reading
Whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg on the Bush Administration, Civil Disobedience and the Eternal Fires of Hell
by Mira Ptacin
March 29, 2005
The sound of Daniel Ellsberg’s voice could falsely identify him as a softy. It’s delicate and cottony, but the Pentagon insider-turned-peace activist has wit cut sharp as a razor and insight that hasn’t faded with age.
At 73 he is out of the limelight but still trying to shake up our nation. Ellsberg recently finished a U.S. ‘Truth-Telling’ tour, spoke in Israel and will soon be traveling to Hiroshima. And after publishing his first memoir ‘Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers’, he’s polishing off his second book about America’s fatal attraction to nuclear threats.
Ellsberg publicized the Pentagon Papers 30 years ago, helping tip public opinion against our last major attempt at imperial democracy. And on this day in 1973, the last American combat troops left Vietnam, ending the direct involvement of the United States in the Vietnam War. Now Ellsberg is talking again. Shouldn’t we be listening?
Where do you see the US relationship with Iran heading in the next 6 months?
Well, every sign is that they’re still on course on the program that some of these people laid out on The Project for the New American Century, going back to when they all worked under Dick Cheney back in ’91-92. Enforcing regime change in Iraq was at the head of the list. In general it was a remaking of the Middle East.… Continue reading
By Steven T. Jones
SF Bay Guardian
Sure, the people with the 9/11 conspiracy theories are a little odd. But not everything they’re saying is entirely crazy.
THE GRAND LAKE Theater in Oakland was filled almost to capacity March 10, just as the Guild Theatre in Menlo Park was the night before and the Herbst Theatre in San Francisco would be the next night, all for a documentary with bad production values and even worse leaps of logic.
This was the local premiere of The Great Conspiracy: The 9/11 News Special You Never Saw, a benefit screening for the Northern California 9/11 Truth Alliance, whose activists have been laboring for more than three years to dispel popular belief in the government’s version of the events on that fateful day.
And to fill that void, they offer a wide variety of alternative theories, carefully laid out in the dozens of books and DVDs that local truth-movement leader Carol Brouillet sold from a table in the theater lobby, or in the hundreds of Web sites devoted to debunking the official story.
Brouillet is what most people think of when they use the term “conspiracy theorist.” Ever since she saw the Oliver Stone film JFK — which she describes as her moment of awakening — she has been trafficking in the dark world of a shadow government executing secret plots. She’s been gathering every relevant document she can find, meticulously connecting every dot into an elaborate proof.
It is a worldview in which… Continue reading
By Greg Palast
Reporting for Newsnight
The Bush administration made plans for war and for Iraq’s oil before the 9/11 attacks, sparking a policy battle between neo-cons and Big Oil, BBC’s Newsnight has revealed.
Two years ago today – when President George Bush announced US, British and Allied forces would begin to bomb Baghdad – protesters claimed the US had a secret plan for Iraq’s oil once Saddam had been conquered.
In fact there were two conflicting plans, setting off a hidden policy war between neo-conservatives at the Pentagon, on one side, versus a combination of “Big Oil” executives and US State Department “pragmatists”.
“Big Oil” appears to have won. The latest plan, obtained by Newsnight from the US State Department was, we learned, drafted with the help of American oil industry consultants.
This report reveals that the Iraq invasion, masked as a coup d’état, was being planned while Bush was still celebrating his inauguration in January 2001. However, the invasion would require a massive US military mobilization and abrupt belligerent public support, none of which would have been politically possible without 9/11 and the ensuing Afghan war. The key unaddressed issue here is who would bother to plan a politically impossible adventure if the vital enabling events were not anticipated too.
Insiders told Newsnight that planning began “within weeks” of Bush’s first taking office in 2001, long before the September 11th attack on the US.
We saw an increase in the bombing… Continue reading
Yet another exhibit for a class action suit against American history teachers for leaving us ignorant and defenseless against the same murderous hoaxes generation after generation. Unlike the public, the ruling neocons know their history — and how to repeat it to boost their profits and power. Just as 9/11 reprised the Reichstag fire, Pearl Harbor and many other victim-facilitated attacks, Mr. Higgs shows us here the Iraq follow-through was also prefigured and prescripted nearly a century back.
by Robert Higgs
March 12, 2005
The composition of a coherent historical narrative is no easy task. Fortunately, the aspiring historian of the current U.S. war in Iraq can draw upon earlier narratives to ease the burden, merely substituting a word here and there in order to make the text accord with the specific names and places that are now pertinent. As the following illustrative statements show, however, basic patterns tend to persist, so one need not suffer through a protracted new search for how a particular war has come to be fought. My textual changes to apply the model to the present war appear in brackets.
To gain popular support for so useless a policy [as attacking and occupying Iraq] Republicans were unrelenting in their efforts to arouse jingo sentiment in the country.
The Democrats, too, were eager for a foreign adventure.
. . . the American people could indeed be diverted from their domestic concerns if the right sort of foreign crusade was offered. Continue reading
By Michael Shnayerson
Halliburton subsidiary KBR got $12 billion worth of exclusive contracts for work in Iraq. But even more shocking is how KBR spent some of the money. Former U.S. Army Corps of Engineers official Bunnatine Greenhouse is blowing the whistle on the Dick Cheney-linked company’s profits of war.
This time, she was sure, they were going to get her.
Bunnatine Greenhouse had been a huge nuisance since the buildup to the war in Iraq-questioning contracts, writing caveats on them in her spidery script, wanting to know why Halliburton and its subsidiary KBR (formerly known as Kellogg, Brown and Root) should be thrown billions of dollars of government business while other companies, big and small, were shut out.
And Bunny Greenhouse wasn’t that easy to ignore: she was the highest-ranking civilian at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). Specifically, she was the officer in charge of ensuring that any work contracted out by the Army Corps to private industry-from help in building bridges and dams and highways to support for wartime troops-was granted in a fair and aboveboard way. For two years, Greenhouse had asked hard questions about why the head of the Corps, to whom she reported directly, kept giving exclusive, non-compete contracts to KBR that now amounted to roughly $10.8 billion. Greenhouse was fearless, and she was blunt. In the Corps’s male hierarchy, it probably didn’t help that she was a woman-or that she was black.
On October 6, 2004, Greenhouse was summoned by… Continue reading
October 29, 2003
The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. GARRETT). Under the Speaker’s announced policy of January 7, 2003, the gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. PALLONE) is recognized for 60 minutes.
Mr. PALLONE. Mr. Speaker, earlier this month Congress approved an $87 billion supplemental for the war and reconstruction efforts in Iraq. While I believe it is critically important that we get our military troops all the resources they need to safely complete their mission in Iraq, I do not support rubber-stamping this legislation so the Bush administration gets a free ride from Congress.
The Bush administration must account for its war strategy. The Bush administration must also answer the tough questions regarding questionable no-bid contracts, contracts that benefit Vice President DICK CHENEY’s former employer, an employer that continues to pay CHENEY hundreds of thousands of dollars each year in deferred salary, contracts that are free of any oversight from Congress.
Yet another 9/11 “Cui bono?” (who profits?) alert: This is almost ancient news by now if anyone was listening, but this is one of the clearest earliest Congressional examinations of rampant corruption in Iraq. It was a typical after hours empty chamber exercise, but the intrepid Marcy Kaptur did get Cheney’s continuing possession of 433,333 Halliburton stock options and his consequent millions in war profits into the public record at last.
Mr. Speaker, right now Halliburton holds a monopoly on Iraq. The company’s no-bid contract was first negotiated in secret and originally intended for… Continue reading
– A belated strategic initiative to turn the world around
by W. David Kubiak
Given the momentum and added troop strength of the corporate forces now in power, citizens will face unending appeals this year to help combat firestorms on many different fronts.
Already we are struggling to prioritize our efforts to stop war atrocities, torturers’ appointments, escalating Pentagon appropriations, horrific new weapons, the resurrection of Star Wars, and the imminent draft, not to mention environmental assaults, our ballooning debt, attacks on our rights, the slashing of the social safety net, and a dozen other centrifugal symptoms of the sickness at the top.
Alternatively we could step back a pace or two and see where all this carnage connects and focus on a strategy that might stop it all at once.
We need what social analyst George Lakoff calls a “strategic initiative” – a plan in which a change in one critical area has automatic reverberating effects in many, many, many other realms.
THE SOURCE OF DARK FORCE
Looking at the onslaughts we face, it’s obvious that this administration’s primary source of war-making, rights-taking, vote-raking power is still and always has been the “official 9/11 story.” The exquisitely timed “surprise attack” it portrays instantly justified what we now know was a long planned agenda to take us into endless war, crippling debt and constitutional twilight.
By Neela Banerjee
The New York Times
Sunday 23 January 2005
A growing military truth movement picks up (and lets off) steam. Wait until they find out how deep the lies go. – Editor
Sean Huze enlisted in the Marine Corps right after the Sept. 11 attacks and was, in his own words, “red, white and blue all the way” when he deployed to Iraq 16 months later. Unquestioning in his support of the invasion, he grew irritated when his father, a former National Guardsman, expressed doubts about the war.
Today, all that has changed. Haunted by the civilian casualties he witnessed, Corporal Huze has become one of a small but increasing number of Iraq veterans who have formed or joined groups to oppose the war or to criticize the way it is being fought.
The two most visible organizations – Operation Truth, of which Corporal Huze is a member, and Iraq Veterans Against the War – were founded only last summer but are growing in membership and sophistication. The Internet has helped them spread their word and galvanize like-minded people in ways unimaginable to activist veterans of previous generations, who are also lending help.
“There’s strength in numbers,” Corporal Huze said. “By ourselves, we’re lone voices, a whisper in a swarm of propaganda out there. Combined, we can become a roar and have an impact on the issues that we care about.”
Those who turn to the groups are generally united in their disillusionment, though their responses to the… Continue reading
By Don Monkerud
February 07, 2005
From the American Conservative magazine to the Smirking Chimp website, views on 9/11 consequences are starting to converge. Here is a short sharp meditation from the latter source to remind us once more that we are here. – Editor
As the world mourns the anniversary of the Holocaust, we continue to wonder how one of the most advanced countries in the world could commit such an atrocity. We forget that the slaughter didn’t occur overnight but took years to set up. Little by little individuals assuaged their consciences and found it advantageous to go along with authority, committing a number of small acts, ultimately culminating in genocide.
Anyone with a smattering of awareness today questions the path down which our leaders are taking us. Consider the direction. As America pursues an aggressive military policy-Bush’s preemptive strike-invading Iraq and Afghanistan, threatening to bomb Iran and North Korea, and imposing our economic form of corporate democracy around the world, Americans are becoming more nationalistic and more willing to support acts we considered totally unacceptable in the past.
Today our government invades our privacy and mounts the most comprehensive collection of personal data and tracking system of citizens in history. Thousands of cameras observe us. New cars have chips that allow us to be tracked. The military engages in domestic spying and Congress is days away from appointing an Attorney General who justifies torture-newly defined as anything short of death.
Our bombs have killed up to… Continue reading
UNPLUGGING THE WAR MACHINE’S
CENTRAL POWER SUPPLY WITH 9/11 TRUTH
Organizing approaches and movement building
INITIAL SPONSORING GROUPS
Peace Action – Delaware Valley (PA-DV), NH/ME Seacoast Peace Response, Maine Peace & Justice Coalition, Oregon Peace Works, Greeley Bill of Rights Defense Committee, 911truth.org, NY 9/11 Truth Alliance, with more to come.
The need to immediately stop political support for the wars on Iraqis, Afghanis, our people here at home and the “War on Terror” as a whole. Specifically, our need for a thoughtful strategy to shut down the political power fueling the entire corporate war machine, a strategy which strikes at the root of that power, and doesn”t scatter our time and energy reacting to its countless symptoms in the field.
Given the momentum and added troop strength of the corporate forces now in power, we will face unending appeals this year to help combat firestorms on many different fronts.
Already we are struggling to prioritize our efforts to stop war atrocities, torture-apologist appointments, escalating Pentagon appropriations, horrific new weapons, the resurrection of Star Wars, and an apparently imminent draft, not to mention environmental assaults, our ballooning debt, attacks on our rights, the slashing of the social safety net, and a dozen other symptoms spinning out of the sickness at the top.
Alternatively we could step back a pace or two and see where all this carnage connects and focus on a strategy that might stop it all… Continue reading
Defining existential politics.
by Byron Belitsos
With the inauguration of George W. Bush for a second term, we enter a nightmare phase of American history, a descent into the era of what might be called “deep politics.”
In this short essay I reach out for an expanded definition of a phrase first coined by the distinguished author Peter Dale Scott. In Deep Politics and the Death of JFK1, Scott refers to the “underlying continuities of deep politics” displayed by the apparent convergence of the covert interests of military, rightwing, intelligence agency, and organized crime conspirators that coalesced in the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Veteran journalist Jim Marrs points in a similar direction with his Crossfire: The Plot that Killed Kennedy, as does the Oliver Stone movie based in part on that book. Marrs then works out the implications in later books, including Rule by Secrecy and Inside Job2, an expose of US government collusion with the 9/11 plot. Big-picture writers like Scott, Marrs, and investigative journalist Mike Ruppert, author of Crossing the Rubicon3, have succeeded in synthesizing a growing body of evidence that support the notion that America now inhabits a surreal realm of deep politics, where amoral, Machiavellian, covert action directs (or conditions) the agenda of the overt world, and cover stories are spun by self-deceived politicians, “pundits,” and mainstream media.
Meanwhile, the truth and the facts about the black-budget world of covert action migrates to isolated ghettos inhabited by independent… Continue reading
Special Report by D. Alexander Floum
Online Journal Contributing Writer
January 28, 2005-The evidence that certain elements of the government intentionally allowed and caused the 9-11 tragedy appears to be extremely strong. See, for example, Painful Questions by Eric Hufschmid, Synthetic Terror by Webster Tarpley, and The New Pearl Harbor and The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions by David Ray Griffin.
After failing to obtain any competent investigation or tangible results from the 9/11 Commission, the White House, or Congress (many of the governmental personnel responsible for preventing an attack on the U.S. have actually been promoted since 9-11), many Americans are asking whether justice may be obtained through the courts. The answer is complicated, and it would be impossible for a brief article such as this to do anything other than scratch the surface concerning 9-11 justice.
Instead of being the final word on 9-11 legal issues, this article is intended to be an introduction to strategy regarding 9-11 lawsuits, and a practical discussion of how to avoid some of the landmines present on the path to the courtroom battlefield which could knock the unwary out of the game before they even get started.
CAN WE WIN A 9-11 LAWSUIT?
Legally, I believe we should win in court. If the facts surrounding the 9-11 attacks were applied to the elements of the law in a vacuum, then I believe that many of the real 9-11 perpetrators and accomplices would end up behind bars. There is strong… Continue reading
Although Libertarians, old school conservatives and progressives have been most active promoting 9/11 truth, their eventual victory will serve almost every conceivable constituency except perhaps the neocons, Dominionists and corporatist right. All 9/11 truth seekers have their own distinct approaches however, and the following is a recent example of the progressive style.
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WANT TO END PERPETUAL WAR, REPRESSION,
CORPORATE RULE, FISCAL RUIN AND/OR
THE AMAZING DISAPPEARING SOCIAL SAFETY NET?
10 COMPELLING REASONS TO ADOPT 9/11 TRUTH
AS A PRIMARY THEME
IN PROGRESSIVE POLITICS