Whistleblower Leaks Secret Assassination and Kill List Documents

In the following video, Jeremy Cahill discusses his book The Assassination Complex: Inside the Government’s Secret Drone Warfare Program. For the most part, the book consists of leaked documents about the CIA’s “secret” drone assassination program. This is the first time any official documents have been made public.

Cahill’s latest book includes documents setting out the criteria for putting Americans and others on the terrorist “watch list.” Other documents describe the “kill chain,” the process by which prospects are moved from the “watch list” to the “kill list.” When Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State, she signed off on every targeted assassination carried out by the Obama White House.

According to Scahill, the watch list contains over one million entries, including 21,000 Americans. Among other data, the watch list includes bank records and confidential medical records.

Scahill begins his talk with fascinating commentary on the three main presidential candidates. Among other observations, he points out 1) that Bernie Sanders supports both the kill list and drone warfare 2)  that Trump didn’t bring fascism to the US – that he merely brought existing US fascism into public view and 3) that Bill and Hillary Clinton were using her private email server to operate a parallel government structure.

In Scahill’s words, Hillary is the “empire candidate.” She has already been endorsed by William Kristol, Max Booth and other neoconservatives. He maintains most of the Republican leadership is preparing to support her presidential campaign.

Scahill is also scathingly critical of Ben Rhodes and the other 20 to 30-year-old “frat” boys who manage Obama’s foreign policy, ie make the decision who to kill next and which countries to invade.

 

Shadow Government: Neither Secret Nor Invisible

national security and double governmentNational Security and Double Government

by Michael J Glennon (2014)

Available as free PDF: http://harvardnsj.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Glennon-Final.pdf

National Security and Double Government is a lengthy article about the highly visible national security bureaucracy that presently runs the US government. The author, Michael J Glennon, is Professor of International Law at the Tufts University Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. Glennon disputes the claim by conspiracy theorists that a secret shadow government is attempting to overthrow constitutional democracy. In his view, the deep state is simply a vast, self-serving bureaucracy of technocrats – forty-six (as of 2011) federal departments and agencies engaged in intelligence gathering and analysis, military aggression, cyber operations and weapons development.

Glennon’s description of how the deep state operates, which strikes me as depressingly accurate, shatters any lingering illusions about reforming the US government. It can only be dismantled.

In essence, the real work of the US government is controlled by several hundred officials who run the national security bureaucracy. Removed from public view and the constitutional restrictions that restrain the President, Congress and the judiciary, they make most of the key decisions concerning foreign policy and national security. Although their budget is classified, Glennon estimates it engages millions of employees at an annual cost of $1 trillion.

The “Trumanite” Arm of Government

Glennon calls them the “Trumanite” arm of government because President Harry S Truman created the US national security apparatus. Under Truman, Congress enacted the National Security Act of 1947, which unified the military under a new Secretary of Defense, set up the CIA, created the modern Joint Chiefs of Staff, and established the National Security Council (“NSC”). Truman also set up the National Security Agency (NSA) to monitor  communications abroad. Truman’s vision was to create a civilian infrastructure strong enough to address the Soviet threat and rein in an errant military.

Both the Trumanite arm and the constitutional arm work really hard to maintain the fiction that the President is commander-in-chief. The reality is that the president only has the power to appoint 3,000-4,000 of the millions of federal employees nominally under his control. This means the Trumanite bureaucracy continues to operate pretty much under its own steam no matter which party is in office.

As Glennon describes it,

“President Obama could give an order wholly reversing U.S. national security policy, but he would not, because the likely adverse consequences would be prohibitive. Put differently, the question whether the President could institute a complete about-face supposes a top-down policy-making model. The illusion that presidents issue orders and that subordinates simply carry them out is nurtured in the public imagination by media reports of ‘Obama’s’ policies or decisions or initiatives, by the President’s own frequent references to “my” directives or personnel . . . But true top-down decisions that order fundamental policy shifts are rare.

The reality is that when the President issues an “order” to the Trumanites, the Trumanites themselves normally formulate the order. The Trumanites cannot be thought of as men who are merely doing their duty. They are the ones who determine their duty, as well as the duties of those beneath them. They are not merely following orders: they give the orders. They do that by ‘entangling’ the President… To avoid looking like a bystander or mere commentator, the President embraces these Trumanite policies, as does Congress, with the pretense that they are their own.’

Obama Forced to Agree to Drone Policy

As an example, Glennon quotes Vali Nasr’s* description of how the national security network strong armed Obama into expanding his drone policy:

When it came to drones there were four formidable unanimous voices in the Situation Room: the CIA, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Pentagon, and the White House’s counterterrorism adviser, John Brennan.”

Defense Secretary Robert Gates, a holdover from the Bush administration, also strongly supported an increase in drone strikes. All five also suppressed any debate in national security meetings of the broader implications of this policy.

According to Nassr, it was the classic Henry Kissinger model: “You have three options, two of which are ridiculous, so you accept the one in the middle.”

Obama openly complained about the Trumanites only given him one option: “The military was “really cooking the thing in the direction that they wanted. They are not going to give me a choice.”

Obama Also Opposed Increasing Troop Levels in Afghanistan

Obama’s 2009 proposal to lower the military’s proposed troop levels in Afghanistan ran into the same unified opposition. According to Glennon, the Commander of U.S. and International Security Assistance Forces (“ISAF”) in Afghanistan (General Stanley McChrystal), the Commander of U.S. Central Command (General David Petraeus), the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (Admiral Michael Mullen), and even Secretary of Defense Gates all threatened to resign over it.

As Glennon observes,

“No president has reserves deep enough to support a frontal assault on the National Security network. Under the best of circumstances, he can only attack its policies one by one, in flanking actions, and even then with no certainty of victory. Like other presidents in similar situations, Obama thus had little choice but to accede to the Pentagon’s longstanding requests for more troops” in Afghanistan.”

Clinton’s “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” Fiasco

He reminds us of the uproar in the military and Congress when President Bill Clinton moved to end only one national security policy shortly after taking office—the ban on gays in the military. Forced to backtrack, Clinton ultimately enacted his “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.

Glennon goes on to explore similar paralysis the President and Congress are experiencing in attempting to curtail spying by the NSA.

The final section of the article reviews possible options for reform and concludes the national security bureaucracy is too powerful (and has too much control over the media) to be reformed by constitutional means. Glennon believes that the only option for change is a bottom-up mobilization by the American people.

*Vali Nasr is dean of the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. David E Sanger quotes him in Confront and Conceal: Obama’s Secret Wars and Secret Use of American Power.

Hundreds of Drone Operators Quit Air Force

predator drone“We didn’t even really know who we were firing at.”

The traumatic nature of their work is leading drone operators to quit the Air Force by the hundreds.

In the following video, former senior drone operator Brandon Bryant expresses deep regret for the six years he spent with the US drone program between 2005 and 2011. It especially bothered him that he was expected to fire on targets without being clear of their identities: “We didn’t even really know who we were firing at.”

Last November the human rights group Reprieve published a study indicating attempts to kill 41 alleged terrorists in Pakistan and Yemen resulted in more than 1100 civilian deaths.

photo credit: KAZVorpal via photopin cc

 

Also published in Veterans Today

 

Drone Nation

drones

Part 5 of Counter-intelligence: Shining a Light on Black Operations

The final episode of Counter-intelligence is dedicated to drone technology and Barack Obama’s virtual repeal of the Fifth Amendment. The Fifth Amendment of the Bill of Rights guarantees that “no person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law.” Obama’s National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) allows the government to detain individuals indefinitely without charge, trial or conviction. Obama has also granted himself the authority, via executive order, to arbitrarily execute civilians (including American citizens) without due process, evidence or accountability to Congress or the courts. Both overturn hundreds of years of common law preventing the rich and powerful from using government to attack their personal enemies.

Filmmaker Scott Noble reminds us that Obama deliberately leaked details of his weekly White House “kill list” meetings. Individuals are added to the kill lists, which are maintained by the CIA and a covert unit of the U.S. military called the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC)*, following “determinations” that secret criteria are satisfied. Noble maintains the primary purpose of the leaks of the leak was to terrorize Americans into submission.

Death by Drone

Thus far, the only presidential assassinations we know of have been carried out by drones. “Drone Nation” highlights the cold impersonality of a technology that’s conveniently similar to video games teenager males are raised on. Thus it comes as no surprise that drone victims are dehumanized (they’re called “bug splats”) in the eyes of young drone operators who sit behind consoles thousands of miles away.

Nor that drone strikes typically target random groups of people, such as wedding parties. Drone technology has no capability of distinguishing between civilians and combatants. 98.5% of all the people killed by CIA drones are civilians – only 1.5% are so-called “high value targets.”

Insect-sized Drones

Even more frightening are the millions of dollars the Pentagon is shelling out for killer robot research, including hummingbird and insect sized drones that require no human operator.

By 2020 tens of thousands of drones will be flying in US skies.

The series ends with a moving tribute to all the whistleblowers who made the documentary Counter-intelligence possible.

*JSOC is covered in Part 1 of Counter-intelligence.

 

Counter-intelligence: Shining a Light on Black Operations
Scott Noble
Metanoia Films (2013)

 

photo credit: codepinkphoenix via photopin cc

 

Also posted at  Veterans Today

Farrakhan’s Views on Obama

Below is a fascinating excerpt from Part 8 of Louis Farrakhan’s lecture series The Time and What Must Be Done. Farrahkan is the present leader of the Nation of Islam (NOI), best known for its most famous member Malcolm X.

It’s been more than ten years since I heard Farrakhan speak. He has made remarkable progress from his overt antisemitism and talk of white people as blue-eyed devils. I still have a slight problem with the “666” symbolism of the year 2013, which he links with the “beasts” (America, England, Germany and France).

Otherwise his analysis is remarkably similar to that of white economist, journalist and former Reagan official Paul Craig Roberts. The NOI leader is highly critical of Obama’s murderous policies in Libya and Syria and his use of drones for targeted assassinations, as well as his apparent willingness to support an Israeli-inspired war with Iran. He also condemns the President’s destruction of American democracy. He describes the US as an oligarchy leading the American people into fascism.

The video is nearly two years old. Amazing how little US foreign policy has changed.

Reverend Billy vs Monsanto Robot Bee Drones

 robobee

from http://www.revbilly.com/

Below is a ritual Robobee exorcism Reverend Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping performed in the Harvard labs on May 25, 2014

The world is facing massive die-off of bee populations, thanks to heavy use of pesticides manufactured by Bayer and Monsanto.

The loss of bee populations severely threatens global food production (70-80% of plant and animal foodstuffs depend on bee pollination).

In response, the EU has banned pesticides found to be harmful to bees.

In contrast the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has declined to enact a similar ban in the US, largely due to massive congressional lobbying by Monsanto.

Instead Harvard University is researching the creation of tiny drone bees – called Robobees – to replace the bees killed off by pesticides. Unbelievable, isn’t it – the lengths scientists and governments will go to to avoid doing the right thing.

Support the work of Reverend Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping at http://www.revbilly.com/