Sunday, October 27, 2013

Wars of Choice and the Propaganda that precedes them.

The USA was never an invisible nation. It isn't China that grew out of an ethnic heritage that lasts today, as is Russia, most of Europe and Africa. South American has a strong ethnic flavor and always has, but, they were invaded by Europeans that emptied their silver and mercury mines.

The USA is different. It is relatively young compared to most nations of the world. It was established with huge untouched natural resources. The nation was wealthy from it's definition as "The New World." The country has never known lack of power. In WWII we tooled ourselves to a standard necessary to defend our nation. It was never a problem. 

I think there is too much focus on military domination of our society. I think it effects our definition as people and it is unhealthy. There is absolutely no reason to have a nation believe war is chronic and necessary. There is even less reason to have a dominating gun culture. The Wild West is won already.

As a nation we have to redefine our need for a large military and where we are going with all this. This is nearly 2014 and the USA is looking to greater and greater military initiatives linked to political ambition. The world is not ours as a playground, nor as a police state.

Recognizing we are a young nation only brings to focus the degree to which our natural resources have been depleted, the land turned into an industrial complex including our public lands. Greed is a thirst our country has to contend with and realize an entire generation of our children were discarded as insignificant, sniveling brats that want a world without war or economic depression or poverty. Brats that went to college rather than volunteering for the military or working as cheap labor for a multi-national conglomerate.

If war and a huge an ungainly military is to be our future, what then is the reaction of every other nation on this Earth? The H. W. Bush takes credit for what is coined as the collapse of the Soviet Union. In fact it was the dissolution of The Warsaw Pact and the rise of the wealthy oligarchs.

The group of men that continue to return to positions of power in this country believe the USA could be an overwhelming power forever if it was managed correctly. 

Huh? Where does that come from because as quickly as the Soviet Union was dissolved, Russia and China began again to rebuild their nation's defenses. In fact, Russia was never vulnerable even during those years. The so called "Old Communists" never let down their guard and have always stood in skepticism of change.

So where does this bloated assessment of the USA's capacity to dominate the world militarily come from? It comes from the bloated egos of those who have been in control for decades of the power of the USA. It is the same bloated assessment of men that went into illegal wars for the sake of an economy.

The people of the USA have to take control over it's military, the spending on the military and our definition of 'involvement' from here on. The control of the USA military is in the Executive Branch, but, it's size and scope and power is in the hands of the people on election day.

If the American people don't come to terms with having a nation that controls it's military, seeks only to have a national defense and not a national offense, allows fear to dominate their lives while being completely uneducated to the reality of the country's national defense needs allowing egotists and career military offenders to dominate the use of our power; then the nation is hopelessly lost to an imperial government out of reach of control.

Al Qaeda was successful on September 11th because the perpetrators were ignored while a White House counted the days to the first opportunity to enter a war.

When the USA has built monuments it has always been in remembrance to soldiers lost in battle or famous generals, but, today there are monuments built to citizens who survive the attacks of violence that individuals carry out. The Oklahoma Federal Building. The World Center. We are in a different place as a nation and we have to assess the enemy within more so than the enemy of another nation. It was the enemy within that attacks citizens on September 11th. We permitted violence to grow and be carried out within our country. Invading nations and killing large numbers of people will not result in our nation's safety. There is not one Iraqi that attacked the USA. Not one.

For all the monuments the USA has built for a variety of reasons, I have yet to realize one built to the victims of the Climate Crisis. Nor do I find an accounting for the danger of our current climate and the future victims to be realized. Where is the war on the Climate Crisis, non-existant?

We as a people have to move away from those seeking power that have caused faux wars. We cannot continue to believe killing every other person is the answer to our own security. We have to stem the violence in our society and vanquish the fear. 

The time is now.

The last military engagement before Afghanistan and Iraq.

02 Oct 13
Valerie Hopkins
Washington, D.C.

In his speech at a forum (click here) about the Bosnian war on Tuesday, Clinton insisted that foreign policy decisions like the US intervention in Bosnia should not be made on the basis of public opinion, which he said was often apprehensive.
“Oftentimes when a proposed course of action is unpopular, it’s not exactly like the voters are telling you not to do it. It’s basically like a giant, blinking yellow light,” he said at the forum entitled ‘Bosnia, Intelligence, and the Clinton Presidency’ at his presidential library in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Clinton was reflecting on America’s role in stopping the 1992-95 war, and the conflict’s role in shaping his presidency, as he released 343 previously classified intelligence documents. 
“Bosnia in some ways became a metaphor for the struggles of the 21st century,” Clinton said of the dilemmas he faced over diplomacy and intervention as the war erupted after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

The 2,346 pages of declassified documents show that it was difficult for him to persuade US allies to intervene....

It has to be noted here, that the military action in regard to this directive occurred an hour before guns and bombs were deployed at Columbine High School. I don't think that can be ignored. The young men were at their Bowling Class first thing in the morning and reported by other students as 'their normal.' The announcement is made about the attack and within an hour they are armed and killing their peers. It isn't as though they didn't have a plan, but, having one and carrying it out are two different things. I think there is a connection. These young men grew up with military a part of their daily lives. Coincidence? Not in Littleton, Colorado. Anywhere else in the country it might be a coincidence, but, not with Columbine. To many common denominators for me to dismiss their actions that day.

Within the Dayton Peace Accords.

Article III
Withdrawal of Foreign Forces (click here)
1. All Forces in Bosnia and Herzegovina as of the date this Annex enters into force which are not of local origin, whether or not they are legally and militarily subordinated to the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, or Republika Srpska, shall be withdrawn together with their equipment from the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina within thirty (30) days. Furthermore, all Forces that remain on the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina must act consistently with the territorial integrity, sovereignty, and political independence of Bosnia and Herzegovina. In accordance with Article II, paragraph 1, this paragraph does not apply to UNPROFOR, the International Police Task Force referred to in the General Framework Agreement, the IFOR or other elements referred to in Article I, paragraph 1 (c). 

2. In particular, all foreign Forces, including individual advisors, freedom fighters, trainers, volunteers, and personnel from neighboring and other States, shall be withdrawn from the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina in accordance with Article III, paragraph 1.

The paranoia never ends.

The Invasion into Grenada occurred in 1983 to distract from the Iran-Contra Affair. The Invasion into Panama would occur in 1989.

Over his four years as Secretary of Defense, Cheney downsized the military and his budgets showed negative real growth, despite pressures to acquire weapon systems advocated by Congress. The Department of Defense's total obligational authority in current dollars declined from $291 billion to $270 billion. Total military personnel strength decreased by 19 percent, from about 2.2 million in 1989 to about 1.8 million in 1993. Notwithstanding the overall reduction in military spending, Cheney directed the development of a Pentagon plan to ensure U.S. military dominance in the post-Cold War era.

There is never any new thinking in our national defense strategy. These men have dominated the USA's military for decades.

...Writing in the wake of the Soviet Union's collapse, (click here) the group of Republican-oriented officials that produced the Guidance wanted to preserve the unique position of American predominance that was emerging. With the leak of a draft in March 1992 and the resulting public controversy over the language about preventing a "new rival," "Scooter" Libby and his colleagues recast the document so that it would pass public scrutiny while meeting Richard Cheney's requirements for a strategy of military supremacy....

 Excerpt from Donald Rumsfeld memo dated Nov 27 2001 (click here)

The preordained outcome to the attacks on the nation on September 11, 2001 only proves these folks do little else except plan their next war. The Bush White House ignored the intelligence on bin Laden while having a war ready strategy that was not in line with the truth.

Like what the hell already?

They subverted a Presidential election to do this.

Every place I look in the record of these men, their priorities and preferences are always the same.

July 30, 2000
Web posted at: 3:50 p.m. EDT (1950 GMT)

...Another controversial vote (click here) was Cheney's stance against a non-binding 1986 House resolution calling for the release of Nelson Mandela from prison in South Africa, and recognition of his political organization formed to fight apartheid, the African National Congress (ANC). 

Cheney said he was one of 180 House members to vote against the resolution because the ANC "at the time was viewed as a terrorist organization and had a number of interests that were fundamentally inimical to the United States."
He said that Democratic attempts to characterize his entire public service record around the Mandela vote was a prime example of why American voters "think people back here (in Washington) are basically irrelevant ... never dealing with an issue that has anything to do with the future of this country."... 

The policies of Cheney and Rumsfeld are the exact same policies of The Tea Party, decades later. The war on a civilized USA never ends.

From the time they first met they were fast friends.

Does peace in the world require far different approaches to global problems.

I think what troubles me is the expediency of the execusions without the 
benefit of a trial.
It is tragic 14 Iranian soldiers are dead. And there are some in the US 
Congress that would consent to immediate executions, but, it would be 
helpful if Iran was communicating with other nations regarding persons they 
consider terrorists.
By Thomas Erdbrink
Published: October 26, 2013

...The 14 soldiers, (click here) most of them conscripts, were killed at dusk on Friday at a border post near the city of Saravan when a group of armed men crossing the border gunned them down using automatic weapons, the semiofficial Iranian Students’ News Agency reported on Saturday. Seven other soldiers were wounded, the news agency said, and some local reports said the attackers also took three guards hostage....

I am sure those charged and executed would have been anyway, but, there is an element of the current expediency that is a bit unsettling. Perhaps, it is just that Iran is used to being on it's own and considered a global threat by most Western nations, but, it seems to me if there is to be conversations with a US President there needs to be conversations about more than sanctions and nuclear technology.

I find it an opportunity to open conversations with Iran in regard to such executions and whom indeed are those perpetrating crimes requiring the ultimate punishment. I would think if Iran is aware of terrorist movement and seeks to end it, that is an aspect of international relations to benefit global security. It just seems as though the Iranians are not engaging interrogations of known criminals before any execution. I can understand they have a dislike for bargaining with attorneys, but, it is a side of international justice the Iranian authorities have yet to appreciate.

The executions don't solve the larger problem. It may be there will be further deaths of Iranian soldiers if there is retaliation for these executions. The Iranians need to begin the process of being an international citizen as well as a nation seeking relief from sanctions.

I am sure Israel already knows those involved in this incident and they have extensive intelligence regarding Iran, but, peace means more than a relief of sanctions. There are many missing pieces to making Iran whole and sanctions and nuclear technology is only a few aspects of moving Iran from the definition of a rouge nation.
Published time: October 27, 2013 16:54
Germany told Israel (click here) to expect “severe diplomatic damage” should it fail to attend a periodic human rights review Tuesday, Haaretz reports. Israel severed ties with the UNHRC in March 2012 after it expressed concern over Israeli settlements.

“On Friday, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle sent a personal letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, warning that Israel's failure to attend the Geneva-based Human Rights Council's Universal Periodic Review would cause the country severe diplomatic damage and Israel's allies around the world would be hard-pressed to help it,” Haaretz newspaper reported Sunday.

On October 29, an Israel review is scheduled in Geneva as part of the wider 17th UNHRC session lasting from October 21 to November 1.

The sessions are intended to allow states to “declare what actions they have taken to improve the human rights situations in their countries,” according to the UNHRC, in addition to the review.

Westerwelle's letter to Netanyahu was delivered to Emmanuel Nahshon, deputy chief of the Israeli Embassy in Berlin, according to the paper.  Its delivery was under “instruction that the prime minister receive it as soon as possible,” it said.

Israel would make decision Sunday on whether to attend the meeting, according to an official who spoke to the paper. 

Nothing really changes, the USA is still a strong ally to Israel. None of us would have it any other way.


10/27/2013 22:50
Israel has agreed (click here) to return to the United Nations Human Rights Council and to cede to Western pressure to participate on Tuesday the periodic review of its human rights records that all 193 member states must undergo.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu made the decision to begin the re-establishmnet of ties with the council with less than 48 hours to go before Israel's scheduled appearance for its Universal Periodic Review, according to Israeli sources....

Iran as well has sought to express it's good faith in releasing prisoners. This release of Palestinians is another release. Israel has released prisoners before and during times of peace talks.


10/28/2013 01:14
The Israel Prison Service (click here) publicized the names late Sunday of the 26 Palestinians to be released from Israeli jails, the second batch of pre-Oslo inmates convicted of terrorism who are to be freed as part of the ongoing peace negotiations between Jerusalem and the Palestinian Authority.
Earlier on Sunday, a ministerial committee headed by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu approved a list of the prisoners to be released in the second of a four-stage process by which 104 Palestinian prisoners will be sent to the Palestinian Authority as a measure for resuming peace talks...

Richard Cheney would receive five deferments from ever serving in the Vietnam War.

In 1978, Cheney was elected to represent Wyoming in the U.S. House of Representatives from the "At Large District."
He would remain in the House until 1989. Eleven years.

The Vietnam War ended with the fall of Saigon in 1975. 

As a Congressman he would hold several prestigious positions, Chairman of the House Republican Conference and House Minority Whip.

Cheney would oppose the Department of Education as a unnecessary budget deficit. He also viewed it as expansion of the federal government. How convenient, if one wants to eliminate the Department of Education from the national budget I guess it would be viewed as a federal impingement on liberty. What Richard Cheney never appreciated was the fact the Department of Education grew out of the federal concern for national security and the space race within the Cold War.

...World War II led to a significant expansion of Federal support for education. (click here) The Lanham Act in 1941 and the Impact Aid laws of 1950 eased the burden on communities affected by the presence of military and other Federal installations by making payments to school districts. And in 1944, the "GI Bill" authorized postsecondary education assistance that would ultimately send nearly 8 million World War II veterans to college.

The Cold War stimulated the first example of comprehensive Federal education legislation, when in 1958 Congress passed the National Defense Education Act (NDEA) in response to the Soviet launch of Sputnik. To help ensure that highly trained individuals would be available to help America compete with the Soviet Union in scientific and technical fields, the NDEA included support for loans to college students, the improvement of science, mathematics, and foreign language instruction in elementary and secondary schools, graduate fellowships, foreign language and area studies, and vocational-technical training.

The anti-poverty and civil rights laws of the 1960s and 1970s brought about a dramatic emergence of the Department's equal access mission. The passage of laws such as Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 which prohibited discrimination based on race, sex, and disability, respectively made civil rights enforcement a fundamental and long-lasting focus of the Department of Education....

The Department of Education would become a Cabinet Level position in 1980.  

Cheney would also oppose Head Start until he was running as Vice President in 2000. Then it was okay, at least until he was elected.

So, when entering the office of the Vice President in 2001 where does he see the spending of the USA in most need, the Defense Department, providing Nascar competition to the branches of the military while recruiting children in all levels of THEIR EDUCATION. 

Plenty of money for war, but, none for education. Right.

Kennedy was left with the plans of Eisenhower.

In 1959, Fidel Castro (click here) came to power in an armed revolt that overthrew Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista. The U.S. government distrusted Castro and was wary of his relationship with Nikita Khrushchev, the leader of the Soviet Union.

Before his inauguration, John F. Kennedy was briefed on a plan by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) developed during the Eisenhower administration to train Cuban exiles for an invasion of their homeland. The plan anticipated that the Cuban people and elements of the Cuban military would support the invasion. The ultimate goal was the overthrow of Castro and the establishment of a non-communist government friendly to the United States.

On April 17, 1961, 1400 Cuban exiles launched what became a botched invasion at the Bay of Pigs on the south coast of Cuba.

Some exiles escaped to the sea, while the rest were killed or rounded up and imprisoned by Castro's forces. Almost 1,200 members of Brigade 2056 surrendered, and more than 100 were killed.

On December 23, 1962, just two months after the end of the Cuban Missile Crisis, a plane containing the first group of freed prisoners landed in the United States. A week later, on Saturday, December 29, surviving brigade members gathered for a ceremony in Miami's Orange Bowl, where the brigade's flag was handed over to President Kennedy. "I can assure you," the president promised, "that this flag will be returned to this brigade in a free Havana."

Rumsfeld and his understanding of military readiness.

Rumsfeld was in the US Navy from the age of 22 in the years 1954 to 1975. He achieved the rank of Captain and served most of that time as a Reserve officer. His involvement didn't end there; in 1975 he joined the Individual Ready Reserve until 1989; afterward he would retired with the rank of Captain.

He and President Obama would have something in common, they would serve as legislators from Illinois. Rumsfeld was a House Representative from 1962 through 1968. He was a very different fellow back then. He served on the Congressional Joint Economic Committee, the Committee on Science and Aeronautics and the Government Operations Committee as well as a member of the Subcommittee to Military and Foreign Operations. 

Get this, he would be a co-sponsor to the Freedom of Information Act, only to see it trashed in favor of The Patriot Act. Basically. The Patriot Act is the underlying problem to The National Security State that now exists in the USA.

He lied economics, but, he also like seminars at The University of Chicago. Imagine that. My, my how desperate a man to abandon his identity in order to remain Republican. He liked the idea of an all voluntary military and though Milton Friedman was an important economist.

The first illicit war of the USA was backed by Rumsfeld.

..."With only a small number (click here) of U.S. military advisers on the ground, the Vietnam War had not been an issue in my first campaign for Congress in 1962," Rumsfeld wrote in his memoir, "Known And Unknown," which is scheduled to be released Tuesday. "After Johnson became president and the American war effort expanded, I was willing to support a more robust military campaign in Vietnam, as were many others in Congress....

In May of 1965, when a Vietnam War appropriation bill came before the House, and President Johnson urgently requested an additional $700 million for the Department of Defense and he voted for the appropriations. Some say Rumsfeld was skeptical of the war, but, in what I read at this link (click here) his musings was more about politics and the tone of the Johnson administration. I found a lack of self in his writings, so much as organizing his thoughts to protect his Congressional seat.

What I found most interesting about his writing was the recognition President Johnson disavowed his responsibility to the entrance into Vietnam. He never state he opposed the war based on shoddy evidence, rhyme and reason. He believe the war important, political and salable as important to the country. He was a willing partner to the deception of the American people still in fear of communism and The Domino Effect.

The Cold War moved the USA to concentrate it's focus on military strength.

The word communism was the scary scapegoat to be feared by the people of the USA. The Cold War is often dated by historians from 1947 through 1991. Forty-four years. And, of course, it was accompanied by propaganda wars. The USA would state Pravda was the problem in turning the Russian people away from their government. Remember, Communism is the enemy and of course the people of the Soveit Union despised it as much as the people of the USA. It was propaganda on both sides.

Americans (click here) had long been wary of Soviet communism and concerned about Russian leader Joseph Stalin’s tyrannical, blood-thirsty rule of his own country. For their part, the Soviets resented the Americans’ decades-long refusal to treat the USSR as a legitimate part of the international community as well as their delayed entry into World War II, which resulted in the deaths of tens of millions of Russians. After the war ended, these grievances ripened into an overwhelming sense of mutual distrust and enmity. Postwar Soviet expansionism in Eastern Europe fueled many Americans’ fears of a Russian plan to control the world. Meanwhile, the USSR came to resent what they perceived as American officials’ bellicose rhetoric, arms buildup and interventionist approach to international relations. In such a hostile atmosphere, no single party was entirely to blame for the Cold War; in fact, some historians believe it was inevitable....

The USA was never a joke as a country. It was never a minor power and it always had powerful allies.

The surrender of Cornwallis closed the military battle for the independence of the USA. The year was 1781. The Declaration of Independence was written in 1776, but, the resistance occurred long before the document became a reality.

The US Constitution would not be signed until 1787.

Timeline of the Revolutionary War (click here)

Once the USA's borders were established numbering 13 colonies, a peace treaty was signed with Great Britain. Remarkably, the two countries would resolve their differences, quite possibly due to the fact the colonists were actually descendents of the Brits. 

Regardless of the peace, there would be a new challenge to the new nation; it would be it's debt to France. The monarchy insisted the USA pay it's debt after the nation was established and building an economy. The USA was no minor economy even then. It was the new world after all. The country was rich with natural resources and very productive southern plantations. The import-export economy was thriving and internally the country was more than comfortable. But, in the face of all the wealth of the country there was still no way to pay the national debt. It sparked a quasi war with France by means of piracy. The French crown would have his merchants and military take what it felt was theirs. That would go on for two years with 25 USA vessels and the assistance of the Royal Navy.

The nation would enact a Whiskey Tax to pay the national debt.

Then there was the Barbary Wars with north Africa along the Mediterranean. The nations of Libya, Tunisia and Algeria demanded payment for use of the waters and ports. When they didn't get it pirates would seek to remove goods from US ships. That went on for something like five years with a naval response. The slogan then was, ""Millions for defense, but not one cent for tribute." There were two such wars simply because the first was not sincerely settled. The raids on ships with US colors continued until the second war in 1815. These nations were considered a part of the Ottoman Empire. After being pirated and/or paying tribute the US was joined by the UK and the Netherlands to end the practices. They succeeded. The pirating was curtailed and tribute was no longer paid. 

Shortly afterward the British decided the USA was not able to be autonomous and getting more of what they considered their economy. The War of 1812 was born and it was considered the second war for independence. It was a huge war involving native americans as allies along with Canada. With 2,260 killed in action, 4,505 wounded and an estimated 15,000 dead from all causes the war ended in a stalemate and the countries would eventually negotiate a peace. The USA was still autonomous and now establishing borders beyond the 13 colonies.

The next wars were primarily internal and established borders and economy, the Creek War between the USA and Creek Indians from 1813 to 1814. 

The the War for Texas Independence from Mexico in the year 1836. It was the war at the Alamo due to immigrants from the USA into Mexico that wanted slavery. As their sovereignty grew over that of Mexico a war broke out. President James Polk would annex Texas in 1945. That would not settle the issue and a war between Mexico and the USA started in 1946 and would continue until 1948. This was a war fought by the treasury and blood of the entire of the USA, it wasn't just the people of Texas. The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo would end it in 1848,

Of course there was the USA Civil War of 1861 through 1965.

The last war by the USA in the 19th century was the Spanish American War of 1898. It began over an explosion of an American ship in a Cuban port. The USA declared war but would later find out the explosion was an accident in reality. The Spanish-American War was a populous war.

A new word would enter into the vocabulary of the USA. "Yellow Journalism." 

During the 1890s, (click here) journalism that sensationalized—and sometimes even manufactured—dramatic events was a powerful force that helped propel the United States into war with Spain. Led by newspaper owners William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer, journalism of the 1890s used melodrama, romance, and hyperbole to sell millions of newspapers--a style that became known as yellow journalism

The moralizing of Yellow Journalism ended up in a war for independence of Cuba from Spain. Imagine that, the USA is responsible for the independent country of Cuba.

When William McKinley approached Congress to declare war against Spain, they agreed only if Cuba was promised independence. The Teller Amendment was passed with this in mind and helped to justify the war.

The Spanish American war would end with a permanent presence of the USA in Cuba. At the end of the Spanish-American War, the Teller Amendment demanded that the U.S. would give Cuba its independence. The Platt Amendment, however, was passed as part of the Cuban constitution. This gave the U. S. Guantanamo Bay as a permanent military base.

Then there were the wars of the early 20th century, namely World War I and World War II.and the Korean War which was a conflict left over from WWII. The north was primarily a controlled by Stalin and the Soviet Union. The South was viewed as independent much as today with the USA as an ally. The North decided with the assistance of China they would declare the Korean Peninsula independent of any foreign influence and the rest is history with over 54,000 Americans died and well over 1 million Korean and Chinese dead. However, the war did directly lead to a massive military buildup per a secret document NSC-68 that greatly increased defense spending by the USA. The point of this order was the ability to continue to wage the quite expensive Cold War. The Korean War was the impetus to the modern military posture.

Booooooooo. Once upon a time there was a nation.

By Dana Milbank
Thursday, October 20, 2005 

...He said the vice president (click here) and the secretary of defense created a "Cheney-Rumsfeld cabal" that hijacked U.S. foreign policy. He said of former defense undersecretary Douglas Feith: "Seldom in my life have I met a dumber man." Addressing scholars, journalists and others at the New America Foundation, Wilkerson accused Bush of "cowboyism" and said he had viewed Condoleezza Rice as "extremely weak." Of American diplomacy, he fretted, "I'm not sure the State Department even exists anymore."... 

...The man who was chief of staff at the State Department until early this year continued: "If you're unilaterally declaring Kyoto dead, if you're declaring the Geneva Conventions not operative, if you're doing a host of things that the world doesn't agree with you on and you're doing it blatantly and in their face, without grace, then you've got to pay the consequences."...

...And, on Capitol Hill yesterday, Republicans joined in criticizing the administration about Iraq. When Rice said at a hearing that "we have made significant progress" in Iraq, Sen. Lincoln D. Chafee (R.I.) replied: "Well, we all wish that were true, but we can't kid ourselves, either."...

...Rather, the colonel objected to the administration's secrecy, which allowed Cheney, Rumsfeld and others to subvert the foreign policy apparatus that has been in place since 1947. 

"What I saw was a cabal between the vice president of the United States, Richard Cheney, and the secretary of defense, Donald Rumsfeld," he said. By cutting out the bureaucracy that had to carry out those decisions, "we have courted disaster in Iraq, in North Korea, in Iran, and generally with regard to domestic crises like Katrina." If there is a nuclear terrorist attack or a major pandemic, Wilkerson continued, "you are going to see the ineptitude of this government in a way that'll take you back to the Declaration of Independence."...
It's Sunday Night

"Halloween Parade" by Lou Reed (click here)

There's a downtown fairy singing out "Proud Mary"
as she cruises Christopher Street
and some Southern Queen is acting loud and mean
where the docks and the badlands meet

This Halloween is something to be sure
especially to be here without you

There's a Greta Garbo and an Alfred Hitchcock
and some black Jamaican stud
There's five Cinderellas and some leather drags
I almost fell into my mug

There's a Crawford, Davis and a tacky Cary Grant
and some Homeboys lookin' for trouble down here from the Bronx

But there ain't no Hairy and no Virgin Mary
you won't hear those voices again
and Johny Rio and Rotten Rita
you'll never see those faces again

This Halloween is something to be sure
especially to be here without you

There's the Born Again Losers and the Lavender Boozers
and some crack team from Washington Heights
the boys from Avenue B and the girls from Avenue D
Tinkerbell in tights

This celebration somehow gets me down
Especially when I see you're not around

There's no Peter Pedantic saying things romantic
In Latin, Greek or Spic
There's no Three Bananas or Brandy Alexander
Dishing all their tricks

It's a different feeling that I have today
Especially when I know you've gone away

There's a girl from Soho with a teeshirt saying "I Blow"
She's with the "jive five 2 plus 3"
And the girls for pay dates are giving cut rates
Or else doing it for free

The past keeps knock knock knocking on my door
And I don't want to hear it anymore

No consolations please
for feelin' funky
I got to get my head above my knees
But it makes me mad and mad makes me sad
And then I start to freeze

In the back of my mind I was afraid it might be true
In the back of my mind I was afraid that they meant you
The Halloween parade

See you next year---
At the Halloween parade

The Bush Era spying program is the equivalent of J. Edgar Hoover and his ineffective spying on government.

What good did Hoover do us? These men were assassinated and he never had information to stop it because his focus was all "W"rong. Hoover was spying on the USA government, not the enemy of the government.

Why would Bush every spy on a German Chancellor? Because he didn't listen in the first place and needed to control the political backlash? It profoundly sounds like the paranoia of Richard Cheney, the man that would wage war no matter the will of the American people. Sounds exactly like him. This level of spying on allies is to insure there is political leverage against them is unthinkable.

And guess who was director of the NSA while this spying program was developed and instituted?
One Guess. 

Mr. Heil and Heel Clicker himself. 

The best Yes Man Bush and Cheney ever had, except for I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby. If so, then it is a very close second.

Germany is correct in their approach. They can serve the American people while securing their own nation.

The NSA better have a good explanation and stop spying on other nation's head of state. This is nonsense. The NSA is way out of line.

Germany can actually evaluate the directives of the NSA up close and while it cannot change the policies of the agency, it can be educated to the focus and diligence of the program. If allies understand their involuntary involvement, they can protect Americans victimized by a National Security State now out of control.

The German national security has already been compromised by the fact Wall Street has information about the government, otherwise Snowden wouldn't have the information. I am quite confident Germany never authorized Carlyle to inspect their government computer records. 

October 28, 2013, 12:00 am

Bild am Sonntag newspaper quoted US intelligence sources as saying that National Security Agency chief Keith Alexander had briefed Obama on the operation against Merkel in 2010.

"Obama did not halt the operation but rather let it continue," the newspaper quoted a high-ranking NSA official as saying.
News weekly Der Spiegel reported that leaked NSA documents showed that Merkel's phone had appeared on a list of spying targets since 2002, and was still under surveillance shortly before Obama visited Berlin in June.

As a sense of betrayal spread in many world capitals allegedly targeted by the NSA, the spying row prompted European leaders late last week to demand a new deal with Washington on intelligence gathering that would maintain an essential alliance while keeping the fight against terrorism on track.
Germany will send its own spy chiefs to Washington soon to demand answers....

This is pure paranoia. It is one thing to assess data to determine if there is viable terrorist threats, it is quite something else to place the information into huge storage facilities to live in perpetuity.

There needs to be legislation about the length of time our intelligence agencies can hold information beyond any chance it is viably purposeful. 

The National Security Agency (NSA), which will lead operations at the facility, is the executive agent for the Director of National Intelligence. It is located at Camp Williams, near Bluffdale, Utah, between Utah Lake and Great Salt Lake, on the boundary line between Salt Lake County and Utah County to the south.

This level of paranoia is simply dangerous. It allows real threats like Dick Cheney to actually find his next Curveball and/or create it. There is no reason for this facility. It needs to be dismantled from government authority and allow the space to be leased by American companies in need of larger computer facilities.

Germany should make clear all it's information now in USA custody is to removed permanently from any computer storage facility and returned to the people of Germany. German computer experts need to be within the team that removes the data to verify there is no duplication. And, yes, allies are to understand the technology to be sure all information is disabled.

Sequestration has been good for the military. They have to pay attention.

The reduction in the military budget brings about a real focus for them. The defense of the USA may actually become a defense posture rather than an offensive posture. I remind, the military was all to convenient a source of international assault under Bush and Cheney. There is every reason to continue to cut the military and allow programs such as the F-35 to die. 

The process of reduction of the military ungainliness is orderly while painful for those that define the USA as a military superpower. There is no indication the USA is unable to defend itself. I would expect the end of the war presence in Afghanistan will allow monies to be moved to fill in NECESSARY spending. 

This Congressional hearing provides an opportunity for the military to bemoan itself, but, when the sincere content is examined the cuts actually lack impact on our national defense. There are a few machines here and a few machines there that are impacted and I am stating anywhere from one to thirteen. So, what?

The real problem with The Sequester is the military does not have the flexibility to apply their cuts where it is best and reduces impacts on readiness. I think the level of the cuts are appropriate, however, the rigid application to each and every program of the military is unworkable for the leadership. The rigid application of The Sequester has to end, but, the budget reductions don't.

In a statement by a committee member it was brought to the attention of 'The Record' the fact Republicans uphold The Sequester is because they are in fear of backlash of their constituency if taxes are raised to end it. 

Kindly remember one thing, the National Guard no longer has to be battle ready, which should never have occurred in the first place and the Backdoor Draft that occurred under Bush/Cheney has to be closed. The methods used to put boots on the ground during Iraq was not only immoral due to the nature of the war, it assaulted the conscience of the nation. That has end. Either the USA military addresses it's needs within a moral content or we don't need it. All the ruthlessness of the Executive Branch that facilitated the Iraq War needs to be addressed. THE REASON, the military no longer has to address nor should they ever need to address those dynamics ever again. The priorities of the USA military has to return to a 'normal' readiness, not a desperate one as if the sky was falling every minute of every day. 

Members (click here) of the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines testified on the impact of defense budget cuts on military acquisition and modernization efforts.