Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Gipper, The Iron Lady & Disaster Economics

The University of Chicago's Economics Department in the 1950s, under the tutelage and fortitude of Milton Friedman, presented a different view of economics, the antithesis of Keynesianism economics, where privatization, deregulation, and cuts to social spending - the free-market trinity - were presented as the "only" path to a stabilizied economy.
Naomi Klein, in her new book, The Shock Doctrine, describes this Neoliberal capitalism as one that thrives on catastrophe. Not only are fortunes made from the misfortunes of the masses, but the global dominance of free-market capitalism is built on the infliction of disasters on the world's less fortunate. The gap between rich and poor is magnified as the multinational conglomerates steal everything they can from the poor and then claim success with their economic policies. But they don't work. Of course, it is one huge snowjob that only the gullible and less informed believe. It certainly portrays one of humankinds worst traits - greed.
No government promoted this form of economics more than United States and Great Britain. Reagan supported it to such an extent that the Chicago School economics became known as Reagoneconomics. With excerpts from Naomi Klein's book, plus a few articles from the web, I will attempt to bring justice to her ideas and demonstrate why disaster capitalism is a disaster for anyone but the superrich and well connected political 'piranhas'. The reality of what is happening in the world today is well illustrated in The Shock Doctrine and should be read by anyone who wants to know.

For the lies and misinformation
Bullfeathers ...
Reaganomics Won the Day. . . and the legacy live on.
Stephen Moore
June 07, 2004,
My old friend Arthur Laffer, once a chief economic advisor to Ronald Reagan, tells the story of Reagan's first Cabinet meeting as president. The new Cabinet members, ready for their marching orders, had assembled in the West Wing of the White House. Reagan, the seasoned actor, waited for silence in the Cabinet Room. He then stood and said, "Gentlemen and ladies, I hate inflation, I hate taxes, and I hate Communism. Do something about it." He proceeded to walk out of the room.
This was not a president who sweated the details. He had a few very big ideas and he pursued them with the relentless and steely resolve of a greyhound chasing a mechanical rabbit.
Reagan knew that freedom and free markets would put things right. Of course, his supply-side experiment was anything but warmly embraced by the intelligentsia in government, academia, and the media. One recurring lesson of history is that trailblazing intellectual and political leaders who dare to capsize the conventional wisdom of the day are typically dismissed as dangerous, delusional, and dimwitted. To say the earth is round when everyone knows it is flat is a daring enterprise. But that is just what Reagan did in the 1980s. He created a new economics, one based on how the world really works, and he overthrew the unworkable Keynesian ideas that were bankrupting the nation.
[bullfeathers up to your eyebrows]
A Fresh Look At Reagonomics
Even In His Own Party, There Were Doubts About President's PlanJune 8, 2004
"What I call a voodoo economic policy,'' said George Bush in 1980.
In his first year in office, Reagan signed what he called "the largest tax cut in history."
"This represents $750 billion in tax cuts over the next five years," Reagan said at the time. But as the president was slashing taxes, he was pumping up defense spending by $100 billion to rattle the Soviets. Within years the deficit nearly tripled.
"He, in fact, tried to recoup it over the succeeding years with a series of tax increases which were necessary to bring the budget back at least into decent position." said Fred Bergsten, with the Institute of International Economics. But even his former budget director David Stockman later admitted that, "It leaves behind a profound fiscal policy failure and imbalance."

1981 Strike Leaves Legacy for American Workersby Kathleen Schalch
August 3, 2006
Twenty-five years ago, on Aug. 3, 1981, more than 12,000 members of the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization walked off the job, setting off a chain of events that would redefine labor relations in America.
In response to the walkout, President Ronald Reagan issued one of the defining statements of his presidency. He said the striking air-traffic controllers were in violation of the law; if they did not report to work within 48 hours, their jobs would be terminated.
Reagan carried out his threat.

66 (Unflattering) Things About Ronald Reagan
by David Corn
The Nation, Posted June 6, 2004
.Editor's Note: This list of "66 Things to Think about When Flying in to Reagan National Airport" appeared in the Nation on March 2, 1998 after the renaming of Washington National Airport after Ronald Reagan. As Corn says, "the piece remains relevant today -- particularly as a cheat sheet for those who dare to point out the Reagan presidency was not all that glorious and was more nightmare in America than morning in America."
The firing of the air traffic controllers, winnable nuclear war, recallable nuclear missiles, trees that cause pollution, Elliott Abrams lying to Congress, ketchup as a vegetable, colluding with Guatemalan thugs, pardons for F.B.I. lawbreakers, voodoo economics, budget deficits, toasts to Ferdinand Marcos, public housing cutbacks, redbaiting the nuclear freeze movement, James Watt.
Getting cozy with Argentine fascist generals, tax credits for segregated schools, disinformation campaigns, "homeless by choice," Manuel Noriega, falling wages, the HUD scandal, air raids on Libya, "constructive engagement" with apartheid South Africa, United States Information Agency blacklists of liberal speakers, attacks on OSHA and workplace safety, the invasion of Grenada, assassination manuals, Nancy's astrologer.
Drug tests, lie detector tests, Fawn Hall, female appointees (8 percent), mining harbors, the S&L scandal, 239 dead U.S. troops in Beirut, Al Haig "in control," silence on AIDS, food-stamp reductions, Debategate, White House shredding, Jonas Savimbi, tax cuts for the rich, "mistakes were made."
Michael Deaver's conviction for influence peddling, Lyn Nofziger's conviction for influence peddling, Caspar Weinberger's five-count indictment, Ed Meese ("You don't have many suspects who are innocent of a crime"), Donald Regan (women don't "understand throw-weights"), education cuts, massacres in El Salvador.
"The bombing begins in five minutes," $640 Pentagon toilet seats, African-American judicial appointees (1.9 percent), Reader's Digest, C.I.A.-sponsored car-bombing in Lebanon (more than eighty civilians killed), 200 officials accused of wrongdoing, William Casey, Iran/contra. "Facts are stupid things," three-by-five cards, the MX missile, Bitburg, S.D.I., Robert Bork, naps, Teflon. http://www.alternet.org/module/printversion/18874

Margaret Thatcher had this to say about her supposed great friend Ronnie: "Poor dear, there's nothing between his ears."
The Four Pillars of Reaganomicsby Arthur Laffer January 16, 2007 http://www.heritage.org/Research/Economy/wm1311.cfm
The four pillars of Reaganomics are the grand territories of macroeconomics. You've got money, critical. You've got fiscal policy in taxes and governing spending, critical. You've got regulatory policy or what we call income policies in macroeconomics. And the fourth one, you have trade policy. These were the pillars of Reaganomics, these were the dreams that our president had.
Reagan: We're going to have to make our friends stinking rich with supply-side economics.
The Myths of ReaganomicsBy Murray N. Rothbard
Posted on 6/9/2004
I come to bury Reaganomics, not to praise it. How well has Reaganomics achieved its own goals? Perhaps the best way of discovering those goals is to recall the heady days of Ronald Reagan's first campaign for the presidency, especially before his triumph at the Republican National Convention in 1980. In general terms, Reagan pledged to return, or advance, to a free market and to "get government off our backs."
Specifically, Reagan called for a massive cut in government spending, an even more drastic cut in taxation (particularly the income tax), a balanced budget by 1984 (that wild-spender, Jimmy Carter you see, had raised the budget deficit to $74 billion a year, and this had to be eliminated), and a return to the gold standard, where money is supplied by the market rather than by government. In addition to a call for free markets domestically, Reagan affirmed his deep commitment to free­dom of international trade. Not only did the upper echelons of the administration sport Adam Smith ties, in honor of that moderate free-trader, but Reagan himself affirmed the depth of the influence upon him of the mid-19th century laissez-faire economist, Frederic Bastiat, whose devastating and satiric attacks on protectionism have been anthologized in economics readings ever since.
The gold standard was the easiest pledge to dispose of. President Reagan appointed an allegedly impartial gold com­mission to study the problem—a commission overwhelm­ingly packed with lifelong opponents of gold. The commis­sion presented its predictable report, and gold was quickly in­terred.
Legacy of Reaganomics: Former president had lasting impact on world’s economic future
by Sue Kirchhoff, Sandra Block and Barbara Hagenbaugh USA Today, Posted: 6/12/2004 http://www.rgj.com/news/stories/html/2004/06/12/73003.php?sp1=rgj&sp2=umbrella&sp3=umbrella&sp5=RGJ.com&sp6=news&sp7=umbrella
Reaganomics lives on.
Former President Ronald Reagan’s dramatic economic policies are influencing U.S. and world growth — and government action — more than 20 years after he pushed his radical plan to slash taxes, increase defense spending and cut social programs through a divided Democratic Congress.
Reagan steered the country toward free markets and away from government controls. Despite a still-raging battle about the wisdom, and success, of his agenda, many current economic debates, both here and abroad, play on themes sounded in the Reagan era.
Margaret Thatcher: Champion of free minds and markets - she helped topple the welfare state and make the world safer for capitalists By Paul Johnson, Monday, April 13, 1998 http://www.time.com/time/time100/leaders/profile/thatcher.html
She was the catalyst who set in motion a series of interconnected events that gave a revolutionary twist to the century's last two decades and helped mankind end the millennium on a note of hope and confidence. The triumph of capitalism, the almost universal acceptance of the market as indispensable to prosperity, the collapse of Soviet imperialism, the downsizing of the state on nearly every continent and in almost every country in the world — Margaret Thatcher played a part in all those transformations, and it is not easy to see how any would have occurred without her.
Born in 1925, Margaret Hilda Roberts was an enormously industrious girl. The daughter of a Grantham shopkeeper, she studied on scholarship, worked her way to Oxford and took two degrees, in chemistry and law. Her fascination with politics led her into Parliament at age 34, when she argued her way into one of the best Tory seats in the country, Finchley in north London. Her quick mind (and faster mouth) led her up through the Tory ranks, and by age 44 she got settled into the "statutory woman's" place in the Cabinet as Education Minister, and that looked like the summit of her career. But Thatcher was, and is, notoriously lucky. Her case is awesome testimony to the importance of sheer chance in history. In 1975 she challenged Edward Heath for the Tory leadership simply because the candidate of the party's right wing abandoned the contest at the last minute. Thatcher stepped into the breach. When she went into Heath's office to tell him her decision, he did not even bother to look up. "You'll lose," he said. "Good day to you."
But as Victor Hugo put it, nothing is so powerful as "an idea whose time has come." And by the mid-'70s enough Tories were fed up with Heath and "the Ratchet Effect" — the way in which each statist advance was accepted by the Conservatives and then became a platform for a further statist advance.
She chose her issues carefully — and, it emerged, luckily. The legal duels she took on early in her tenure as Prime Minister sounded the themes that made her an enduring leader: open markets, vigorous debate and loyal alliances. Among her first fights: a struggle against Britain's out-of-control trade unions, which had destroyed three governments in succession. Thatcher turned the nation's anti-union feeling into a handsome parliamentary majority and a mandate to restrict union privileges by a series of laws that effectively ended Britain's trade-union problem once and for all. "Who governs Britain?" she famously asked as unions struggled for power. By 1980, everyone knew the answer: Thatcher governs.
Once the union citadel had been stormed, Thatcher quickly discovered that every area of the economy was open to judicious reform. Even as the rest of Europe toyed with socialism and state ownership, she set about privatizing the nationalized industries, which had been hitherto sacrosanct, no matter how inefficient. It worked. British Airways, an embarrassingly slovenly national carrier that very seldom showed a profit, was privatized and transformed into one of the world's best and most profitable airlines. British Steel, which lost more than a billion pounds in its final years as a state concern, became the largest steel company in Europe.
By the mid-1980s, privatization was a new term in world government, and by the end of the decade more than 50 countries, on almost every continent, had set in motion privatization programs, floating loss-making public companies on the stock markets and in most cases transforming them into successful private-enterprise firms. Even left-oriented countries, which scorned the notion of privatization, began to reduce their public sector on the sly. Governments sent administrative and legal teams to Britain to study how it was done. It was perhaps Britain's biggest contribution to practical economics in the world since J.M. Keynes invented "Keynesianism," or even Adam Smith published The Wealth of Nations.
But Thatcher became a world figure for more than just her politics. She combined a flamboyant willpower with evident femininity. It attracted universal attention, especially after she led Britain to a spectacular military victory over Argentina in 1982. She understood that politicians had to give military people clear orders about ends, then leave them to get on with the means. Still, she could not bear to lose men, ships or planes. "That's why we have extra ships and planes," the admirals had to tell her, "to make good the losses." Fidelity, like courage, loyalty and perseverance, were cardinal virtues to her, which she possessed in the highest degree. People from all over the world began to look at her methods and achievements closely, and to seek to imitate them.
One of her earliest admirers was Ronald Reagan, who achieved power 18 months after she did. He too began to reverse the Ratchet Effect in the U.S. by effective deregulation, tax cutting and opening up wider market opportunities for free enterprise. Reagan liked to listen to Thatcher's various lectures on the virtues of the market or the minimal state. "I'll remember that, Margaret," he said. She listened carefully to his jokes, tried to get the point and laughed in the right places.
They turned their mutual affection into a potent foreign policy partnership. With Reagan and Thatcher in power, the application of judicious pressure on the Soviet state to encourage it to reform or abolish itself, or to implode, became an admissible policy. Thatcher warmly encouraged Reagan to rearm and thereby bring Russia to the negotiating table. She shared his view that Moscow ruled an "evil empire," and the sooner it was dismantled the better. Together with Reagan she pushed Mikhail Gorbachev to pursue his perestroika policy to its limits and so fatally to undermine the self-confidence of the Soviet elite.
Historians will argue hotly about the precise role played by the various actors who brought about the end of Soviet communism. But it is already clear that Thatcher has an important place in this huge event.
It was the beginning of a new historical epoch. All the forces that had made the 20th century such a violent disappointment to idealists--totalitarianism, the gigantic state, the crushing of individual choice and initiative--were publicly and spectacularly defeated. Ascendant instead were the values that Thatcher had supported in the face of sometimes spectacular opposition: free markets and free minds. The world enters the 21st century and the 3rd millennium a wiser place, owing in no small part to the daughter of a small shopkeeper, who proved that nothing is more effective than willpower allied to a few clear, simple and workable ideas.
The Miners' Strike 1984-85 By Fiona O'Loughlin http://www.socialistparty.net/pub/pages/viewspring2004/6.htm
The miners were the most militant section of the working class and the most hated by the ruling class. The Tories had a plan to massive reduce public spending and to decimate Britain's traditional manufacturing industry. Thatcher understood that if the miners could be defeated then the rest of the trade union movement in Britain would be easier to deal with. A plan drawn up by Thatcherite Nicholas Ridley was implemented. The Ridley Plan advocated the stockpiling of coal to sustain supplies throughout a long strike; a shift away from coal to oil in a number of power stations; the beefing up of the powers of the police to deal with strikers and changes in the law to weaken the power of the unions particularly in relation to secondary picketing. On 1 March 1984, NCB announced the closure of Cortonwood Colliery and 20 other pits. This was the opening shot of an all out attack on the miners, their families and their communities.
A virtual civil war raged in the mining communities as the police laid siege to towns and villages. The military style deployment of the police, stationed in army barracks, was on a scale never seen in Britain. Over 20,000 extra police were shipped in many of them from the London Metropolitan Police. No expense was spared. In the 12 months of the strike the government spent £6 billion to defeat the miners. The police were fully equipped with riot gear, horses, dogs, helicopters and even spotter aircraft. It was openly spoken of how the tactics adopted by the police were learned from the experience of the RUC in Northern Ireland over the previous 15 years. The brutality of the police on the picket lines flashed across TV screens and resulted in anger and rage amongst the working class. The scenes of men in jeans and t-shirts been beaten by police in full riot gear, some on horseback were greeted by disbelief amongst a majority of workers. The baton charging of picket lines were a daily occurrence. The battle of Orgreave just outside Sheffield made international news headlines. Thousands of riot police waged a full-scale battle against defenceless picketers, baring the "teeth of the British State" for the entire world to see. Thousands were injured including some bystanders. Arthur Scargill was arrested along with many others. These events left a mark on the consciousness of working class people far beyond those on the frontline in the mining communities. The image of the "Bobby", the friendly community police officer was destroyed by the role they played in the dispute. The British police were seen for what they are a political weapon to be used against the working class. Engels definition of the capitalist state as armed bodies of men in defence of private property was graphically illustrated on the picket lines and in the mining towns and villages in the miners' dispute.
In the end a combination of the treachery of the union leaders and Kinnock, the brutality of the police and the courts, forced the miners back to work. They marched backed, in full song, led by brass bands, their banners held high, filled with pride after 12 months of an heroic struggle.
Margaret Thatcher:
There can be no liberty unless there is economic liberty.
You don't tell deliberate lies, but sometimes you have to be evasive.
No one would remember the Good Samaritan if he'd only had good intentions; he had money as well.
I wasn't lucky. I deserved it.
I'm extraordinarily patient provided I get my own way in the end.
The Shock Doctrine: Saved By A War (Chapter Six) by Naomi Klein
When Friedrich Hayek, patron saint of the Chicago School, returned from a visit to Chile in 1981, he was so impressed by Augusto Pinochet and the Chicago Boys that he sat down and wrote a letter to his friend Margaret Thatcher, prime minister of Britain. He urged her to use the South American country as a model for transforming Britain's Keynesian economy. Thatcher and Pinochet would later become firm friends, with Thatcher famously visiting the aged general under house arrest in England as he faced charges of genocide, torture and terrorism.
Thatcher still looked poised to lose her job after just one term. In 1979, she had run on the slogan "Labour isn't working," but by 1982, the number of unemployed had doubled under her watch, as had the inflation rate ... With a general election looming, Thatcherism was about to come to an early and inglorious close, well before the Tories had achieved their most ambitious goals of mass privatization and breaking the blue-collar unions ... [However] on April 2, 1982, Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands, a relic of British colonial rule.
The legendary Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges scathingly described the land dispute as "a fight between two bald men over a comb." ... The Labour MP Tony Benn said, "It looks more and more as if what is at stake is Mrs. Thatcher's reputation, not the Falkland Islands at all."
Thatcher brushed aside the United nations much as Bush and Blair did in the run-up to the war in Iraq, uninterested in sanctions or negotiations ... Thatcher was fighting for her political future - and she succeeded spectacularly ... Thatcher's personal approval rating more than doubled over the course of the battle, from 25 at the start to 59 percent at the end, paving the way for a decisive victory in the following year's election.
Between 1984 and 1988, the government privatized, among others, British Telecom, British Gas, British Airways, British Airport Authority and British Steel, while it sold it's shares in British Petroleum ... This was the real Operation Corporate, one with historical implications. Thatcher's successful harnessing of the Falkland War was the first definitive evidence that the Chicago School economic program did not need military dictatorships and torture chambers in order to advance. She had proved that with a large enough political crisis to rally around, a limited version of shock therapy could be imposed in a democracy.
Still, Thatcher had needed an enemy to unite the country, a set of extraordinary circumstances that justified her use of emergency measures and repression - a crisis that made her look tough and decisive rather than cruel and regressive. The war had served her purpose perfectly ...
It was in 1982 that Milton Friedman wrote the highly influential passage that best summarizes the shock doctrine: "Only a crisis - actual or perceived - produces real change. When that crisis occurs, the actions that are taken depend on the ideas that are lying around. That, I believe, is our basic function: to develop alternatives to existing policies, to keep them alive and available until the politically impossible becomes politically inevitable."
The kind of crisis Friedman had in mind was not military but economic ... if an economic crisis hits and is severe enough - a currency meltdown, a market crash, a major recession - it blows everything else out of the water, and leaders are liberated to do whatever is necessary (or said to be necessary) in the name of responding to a national emergency. Crisis are, in a way, democracy-free zones - gaps in politics as usual when the need for consent and consenus do not seem to apply.
Margaret Thatcher Threatened to Use Nukes During Falkland Islands WarNewsmax, November 21, 2005
French President Francois Mitterrand made a stunning claim to his psychoanalyst during Britain’s Falkland Islands war with Argentina in the early 1980s:
Margaret Thatcher threatened to use nuclear weapons unless Mitterrand gave the British the "deactivate" codes used by anti-ship missiles that France had sold to Argentina!
That never-before-revealed scenario is disclosed in the new book "Rendez-vous: The Psychoanalysis of Francois Mitterrand,” written by Ali Magoudi, who was the French president’s psychoanalyst from 1982 to 1993.
On May 4, 1982, two French-made jets in the Argentine air force attacked the British destroyer Sheffield as it steamed toward the Falkland Islands.A French-made Exocet missile struck the ship, killing 20 crewmembers and injuring 24. The destroyer was scuttled and British naval officials feared that the Exocet was so effective that it jeopardized the entire operation to dislodge Argentine occupiers from the Falklands.
Shortly after that, according to Magoudi’s unsubstantiated disclosures, Mitterrand told him during one of their sessions: "What an impossible woman, that Thatcher. With her four nuclear submarines on mission in the southern Atlantic, she threatens to launch the atomic weapon against Argentina – unless I supply her with the secret codes that render deaf and blind the missiles we have sold to the Argentinians.” Mitterrand then complained to Magoudi: "To provoke a nuclear war for small islands inhabited by three sheep who are as hairy as they are frozen! Fortunately I yielded. Otherwise, I assure you, the metallic index finger of the lady would press the button.” " Was Thatcher bluffing Mitterrand?” the Times asks. "Or was he exaggerating her ruthlessness?”
In 1982, Britain and Argentina had been in dispute over the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands for 149 years. Although the population of the islands wished to remain British, Argentina by virtue of their geographical proximity, and on the basis of inherited claims from the Spanish colonial era. The dispute came to a head when Argentine civilians landed on uninhabited nearby South Georgia (also claimed by Argentina) and raised the Argentine flag. Argentina's ruling military junta, led by defacto President, Leopoldo Galtieri, interpreted the lack of a strong immediate British reaction, together with planned British naval cut-backs, as a loss of interest in, and willingness to, defend the islands. In early April, Argentina invaded the Falklands, overwhelming the tiny British garrison. Outraged and humiliated, Britain quickly assembled a naval task force (consisting of almost the entire Royal Navy), with the objective of recovering the islands. Operation Corporate was the name given to the British military operation to retake the Falkland Islands.
The Falklands Deception
The Falkland Islands have been in British hands since 1833. The barren wind swept Island was home to some 1,813 inhabitants in 1980 as stated by the census for that year. The Islands are situated some 300 miles from Argentina who have always disputed British ownership, not surprisingly, seems as the islands are some 8000 miles from the UK. The ownership of the Islands has been a story of constant disputes between the English, Spanish, and Argentine Governments.
The Falklands War was 'arranged' between the Governments of Argentina and England. Arranging wars is common practice when a Country is in difficulty; patriotism is stirred up by the politicians and whipped up by the media. At the time, Argentina was going through an economic crisis which was devastating. There was also massive social unrest against the Military Junta which had murdered thousands of Argentines for political opposition to the unelected Junta.. Many of these people simply 'disappeared'. Hundreds of those who 'disappeared' were tortured and threw out of aircraft into shark infested waters. Death squads struck with impunity and terrorised working class union members and anyone opposed to the corruption which infested the Countries higher ranks. Throughout 1981, Argentina saw inflation climb to over 600%, GDP went down to 11.4%, and manufacturing output was down to 22.9%, and real wages by 19.2%. The Unions were gaining more support for a general strike every day. The solution was to install patriotism in the people by invading a disputed Island. It worked, Argentineans forgot about the crisis, they forgot, for a few short weeks about the murder of their own people by their own military, they waved the Argentinean flag and played into the hands of the Government.
In a coup on March 24, 1976, a military junta seized power in Argentina and went on a campaign to wipe out left-wing terrorism with terror far worse than the one they were combating. This Junta was armed and supported by the West. Between 1976 and 1983 - under military rule - thousands of people, most of them dissidents and innocent civilians unconnected with terrorism, were arrested and then vanished without a trace. The oppression of the Argentine people continued under a succession of dictators from General Jorge Videla to General Roberto Viola and then General Leopoldo Galtieri for a short while. Before he started the Falklands War Galtieri was subject to growing opposition from the people. The actual dictatorship of General Galtieri lasted only eighteen months but he was a key player in the slaughter and oppression of his own people for years previous. Kidnapping and murdering union activists was something America under Reagan or the UK under Thatcher was not going to complain about. It is ironic that Galtieri asked Ronald Reagan for help in the dispute preceding the war; Reagan had previously praised him as a "magnificent general" for clamping down on leftists. The 'leftists' clamped down on were the same people who 'disappeared' during Galtieri's reign as an unelected Military Dictator. All of the former military leaders were imprisoned for human rights abuses three years after the fall of the dictatorship. In 1990, President Carlos Menem, in an act of utter hypocrisy, pardoned these vicious killers.
Whilst the Argentineans, under the leadership of Dictator General Galtieri were being whipped up into a patriotic fervor, the UK Government under the leadership of Maggie Thatcher seized at the chance to whip up the same patriotic fervor here. It wasn't going to be easy, as the average Brit thought the Falklands were maybe close to Scotland or just off the Isle of Man. The media helped by reminding us the Islands were indeed 'British' and the people who lived there, the Falkland Islanders, were British too. The media took up the cause, and the Argentineans were portrayed as blood thirsty opportunists who would destroy the British way of life on the Islands. Despite the Islanders having to rely on Argentina for post, education, supplies, medical treatment and almost everything else, we were fooled by some old Empire myth into accepting that we could actually lay claim to Islands 8000 miles away. Thatcher, like Galtieri was going through a massive loss of domestic support and elections were looming. Thatcher knew the patriotic cheer leading would lead to death , but politicians are more than willing to sacrifice others so that they can hold onto power.
In Thatcher's autobiography you can clearly see her arrogance on the matter when she states the following "The significance of the Falklands war was enormous, both for Britain's self confidence, and for our standing in the World". How sick can Maggie get? Do we really think that slaughtering young conscripts is good for the Countries 'self confidence.' Thatcher was nicknamed the 'Iron Lady'; she was a cold blooded opportunist who saw her political survival being given a massive boost once she played along to Galtieri's game-plan.
One of the standing orders to Argentine* [corrected, previously stated British] Troops back then was as follows…."A soldier will be condemned to prison for three to five years if, in combat with a foreign enemy, he surrenders without having exhausted his supply of ammunition or without having lost two thirds of the men under his command."
There are plenty of timelines on the internet which detail the day by day account of the war, but this article is more looking at the reasons why the war took place and to tackle the myths which still persist today. The truth is, this war need never have happened and the only reason it did so was to further the interests of the politicians. Old military stock was coming up to its 'best before' date, you can imagine some concerned Politician telling their Arms dealing scumbag friends and perhaps Family that there were thousands of bombs 'going to waste'. Thatcher's son Denis went on to make his fortune by dealing in arms. Is this a co-incidence?, would Mummy have mentioned the potential for even the most thickest of persons to be able, with the right contacts, to make simply phone 'a' to tell them 'b' has 20,000 anti personal mines going cheap. These people are scum, Thatcher starts a War and her son goes on to profit by selling arms. Thatcher even gives a free advert to Casper Weinberger, the Arms manufacturers, in her autobiography where she praises the sidewinder missile.
The war was to see the deaths of over 1000 mainly young men. The Argentines had 746 soldiers killed and the British had 255 soldiers killed. Over 2000 others were wounded, some horrifically. The war eventually ended on June the 14th 2003. General Mendez of Argentina put his signature to the terms of surrender. But for those men who were party to the senseless slaughter, the war will always live on.
[under construction]
Operation Corporate

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

What They Don't Want You To Know

Ted Gunderson, retired FBI agent and private investigator, talks about what he has learned in his career. Why was JFK assassinated? Sirhan Sirhan was a mind control victim (drugs, hypnoses, and torture), satanic cults, CIA covert operations, media cover-up, Freemasons, Illuminati, Oklahoma bombing, and more. Both videos are about one hour each.
It's a Class War, Stupid
Election season will be packed with distractions, but the real issue is becoming a matter of life and deathMatt Taibbi
Posted Jul 15, 2008 2:05 PM
I am a single mother with a 9-year-old boy. To stay warm at night my son and I would pull off all the pillows from the couch and pile them on the kitchen floor. I'd hang a blanket from the kitchen doorway and we'd sleep right there on the floor. By February we ran out of wood and I burned my mother's dining room furniture. I have no oil for hot water. We boil our water on the stove and pour it in the tub. I'd like to order one of your flags and hang it upside down at the capital building... we are certainly a country in distress. — Letter from a single mother in a Vermont city, to Senator Bernie Sanders
The Republican and Democratic conventions are just around the corner, which means that we're at a critical time in our nation's history. For this is the moment when the country's political and media consensus finally settles on the line of bullshit it will be selling to the public as the "national debate" come fall.
If you pay close attention you can actually see the trial balloons whooshing overhead. There have been numerous articles of late of the Whither the Debate? genus in the country's major dailes and news mags, pieces like Patrick Healy's "Target: Barack Obama. Strategy: What Day is it?" in the New York Times. They ostensibly wonder aloud about what respective "plans of attack" Barack Obama and John McCain will choose to pursue against one another in the fall.
In these pieces we already see the candidates trying on, like shoes, the various storylines we might soon have hammered into our heads like wartime slogans. Most hilarious from my viewpoint is the increasingly real possibility that the Republicans will eventually decide that their best shot against Obama is to pull out the old "He's a flip-flopper" strategy — which would be pathetic, given that this was the same tired tactic they used against John Kerry four years ago, were it not for the damning fact that it might actually work again. (I'm actually not sure sometimes what is more repulsive: the bosh they trot out as campaign "issues," or the enthusiasm with which the public buys it.)
Naturally we'll also see the "Patriotism Gap" storyline whipped out and reused over and over again. There will also be much talk emanating from the McCain camp about "experience," although this line of attack will not be nearly as fruitful for him as it was for Hillary Clinton, mainly because the word "experience" in McCain's case also has a habit of reminding voters that the Arizona senator is, well, wicked old.
The Obama camp, playing with a big halftime lead as the cliché goes, is going to play this one close to the vest, sticking to a strategy of using larger and larger fonts every week for their "CHANGE" placards, and getting the candidates' various aides and spokesgoons to use the term "McCain-Bush policies" as many times as possible on political talk shows. Obama will also use this pre-convention period to do what every general election candidate does after a tough primary-season fight, i.e. ditch all the positions he took en route to securing the nomination and replace them with opinions subtly (or sometimes not-so-subtly) reconfigured to fit the latest polling information coming out of certain key swing states. Both sides as well as the pundit class will describe this early positioning for combat over swing-state electoral votes as a "race for the center" (AP, July 3: "Candidates Courting the Center"), as if the "political center" in America were a place where huge chunks of the population tirelessly obsessed over semi-relevant media-driven wedge issues like stem-cell research and gay marriage, even as they lacked money to buy food and make rent every month.
The press, meanwhile, is clearly flailing around for a sensational hook to use in selling the election, as the once-brightly-burning star of blue-red hatred seems unfortunately to have dimmed a little — just in time, perhaps, to torpedo the general election season cable ratings. They are working hard to come up with the WWF-style shorthand labels they always use to sell electoral contests: if 2000 was the "wooden" and ?condescending? Al Gore versus the "dummy" Bush, and 2004 featured that same ?regular guy? Bush against the "patrician" and "bookish" John Kerry (who also "looked French"), in 2008 we?re going to be sold the "maverick" McCain against the "smooth" Obama, or some dumb thing along those lines. Time has even experimented with a "poker versus craps" storyline, feeding off the incidental fact that Obama is a regular poker player while McCain reportedly favors craps, which apparently has some electorally relevant meaning — and if you know what that something is, please let me know.
We're also going to be fed truckloads of onerous horseshit about the candidate wives. The Michelle Obama content is going to go something like this: the Fox/Limbaugh crowd will first plaster her with Buckwheatesque caricatures (the National Review cover was hilariously over-the-top in that respect) and racially loaded epithets like "baby Mama" (that via Fox News spokeswhore Michelle Malkin, God bless her) and "angry black woman" (via self-aggrandizing, cop-mustached Chicago-based prune Cal Thomas). Next, the so-called "mainstream" press, the "respectable" press, which of course is above such behavior, will amplify those attacks 10 million-fold via endless waves of secondary features soberly pondering the question of whether or not Michelle Obama is a "political liability" — because of stuff like the Thomas column, and Malkin's quip and the endless rumors about a mysterious "whitey" video. Cindy McCain, meanwhile, will generally be described as a political asset, as the pundit class tends to applaud, mute, stoned-looking candidate wives who have soldiered on bravely while being martyred by rumors of their mostly absent husband's infidelities. It will help on the martyrdom front that McCain launched his political career with her family money and drove her into an actual, confirmable chemical dependency. As long as she keeps gamely wobbling onstage and trying to smile into the camera, she's going to get straight As from the political press, guaranteed.
Some combination of all of these things is going to comprise the so-called "national debate" this fall. Now, we live in an age where our media deceptions are so far-reaching and comprehensive that they almost smother reality, at times seeming actually to replace reality — but even in the context of the inane TV-driven fantasyland we've grown used to inhabiting, this year's crude cobbling together of a phony "national conversation" by our political press is an outrageous, monstrously offensive deception. For if, as now seems likely, this fall's election is ultimately turned into a Swan-esque reality show where America is asked to decide if it can tolerate Michelle Obama's face longer than John McCain's diapers, it will be at the expense of an urgent dialogue about a serious nationwide emergency that any sane country would have started having some time ago. And unless you run a TV network or live in Washington, you probably already know what that emergency is.
A few weeks back, I got a call from someone in the office of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. Sanders wanted to tell me about an effort his office had recently made to solicit information about his constituents? economic problems. He sent out a notice on his e-mail list asking Vermont residents to "tell me what was going on in their lives economically." He expected a few dozen letters at best — but got, instead, more than 700 in the first week alone. Some, like the excerpt posted above, sounded like typical tales of life for struggling single-parent families below the poverty line. More unnerving, however, were the stories Sanders received from people who held one or two or even three jobs, from families in which both spouses held at least one regular job — in other words, from people one would normally describe as middle-class. For example, this letter came from the owner of his own commercial cleaning service:
My 90-year-old father in Connecticut has recently become ill and asked me to visit him. I want to drop everything I am doing and go visit him, however, I am finding it hard to save enough money to add to the extra gas I'll need to get there. I make more than I did a year ago and I don't have enough to pay my property taxes this quarter for the first time in many years. They are due tomorrow.
This single mother buys clothes from thrift stores and unsuccessfully tried to sell her house to pay for her son's schooling:
I don't go to church many Sundays, because the gasoline is too expensive to drive there. Every thought of an activity is dependent on the cost.
Sanders got letters from working people who have been reduced to eating "cereal and toast" for dinner, from a 71-year-old man who has been forced to go back to work to pay for heating oil and property taxes, from a worker in an oncology department of a hospital who reports that clinically ill patients are foregoing cancer treatments because the cost of gas makes it too expensive to reach the hospital. The recurring theme is that employment, even dual employment, is no longer any kind of barrier against poverty. Not economic discomfort, mind you, but actual poverty. Meaning, having less than you need to eat and live in heated shelter — forgetting entirely about health care and dentistry, which has long ceased to be considered an automatic component of American middle-class life. The key factors in almost all of the Sanders letters are exploding gas and heating oil costs, reduced salaries and benefits, and sharply increased property taxes (a phenomenon I hear about all across the country at campaign trail stops, something that seems to me to be directly tied to the Bush tax cuts and the consequent reduced federal aid to states). And it all adds up to one thing.
"The middle class is disappearing," says Sanders. "In real ways we're becoming more like a third-world country."
Here's the thing: nobody needs me or Bernie Sanders to tell them that it sucks out there and that times are tougher economically in this country than perhaps they've been for quite a long time. We've all seen the stats — median income has declined by almost $2,500 over the past seven years, we have a zero personal savings rate in America for the first time since the Great Depression, and 5 million people have slipped below the poverty level since the beginning of the decade. And stats aside, most everyone out there knows what the deal is. If you're reading this and you had to drive to work today or pay a credit card bill in the last few weeks you know better than I do for sure how fucked up things have gotten. I hear talk from people out on the campaign trail about mortgages and bankruptcies and bill collectors that are enough to make your ass clench with 100 percent pure panic.
None of this is a secret. Here, however, is something that is a secret: that this is a class issue that is being intentionally downplayed by a political/media consensus bent on selling the public a version of reality where class resentments, or class distinctions even, do not exist. Our "national debate" is always a thing where we do not talk about things like haves and have-nots, rich and poor, employers versus employees. But we increasingly live in a society where all the political action is happening on one side of the line separating all those groups, to the detriment of the people on the other side.
We have a government that is spending two and a half billion dollars a day in Iraq, essentially subsidizing new swimming pools for the contracting class in northern Virginia, at a time when heating oil and personal transportation are about to join health insurance on the list of middle-class luxuries. Home heating and car ownership are slipping away from the middle class thanks to exploding energy prices — the hidden cost of the national borrowing policy we call dependency on foreign oil, "foreign" representing those nations, Arab and Chinese, that lend us the money to pay for our wars.
And while we've all heard stories about how much waste and inefficiency there is in our military spending, this is always portrayed as either "corruption" or simple inefficiency, and not what it really is — a profound expression of our national priorities, a means of taking money from ordinary, struggling people and redistributing it not downward but upward, to connected insiders, who turn your tax money into pure profit.
You want an example? Sanders has a great one for you. The Senator claims that he has been trying for years to increase funding for the Federally Qualified Health Care (FQHC) program, which finances community health centers across the country that give primary health care access to about 16 million Americans a year. He's seeking an additional $798 million for the program this year, which would bring the total appropriation to $2.9 billion, or about what we spend every two days in Iraq.
"But for five billion a year," Sanders insists, "we could provide basic primary health care for every American. That?s how much it would cost, five billion."
As it is, though, Sanders has struggled to get any additional funding. He managed to get $250 million added to the program in last year's Labor, Health and Human Services bill, but Bush vetoed the legislation, "and we ended up getting a lot less."
Okay, now, hold that thought. While we're unable to find $5 billion for this simple program, and Sanders had to fight and claw to get even $250 million that was eventually slashed, here's something else that's going on. According to a recent report by the GAO, the Department of Defense has already "marked for disposal" hundreds of millions of dollars worth of spare parts — and not old spare parts, but new ones that are still on order! In fact, the GAO report claims that over half of the spare parts currently on order for the Air Force — some $235 million worth, or about the same amount Sanders unsuccessfully tried to get for the community health care program last year — are already marked for disposal! Our government is buying hundreds of millions of dollars worth of Defense Department crap just to throw it away!
"They're planning on throwing this stuff away and it hasn?t even come in yet," says Sanders.
According to the report, we're spending over $30 million a year, and employing over 1,400 people, just to warehouse all the defense equipment we don't need. For instance — we already have thousands of unneeded aircraft blades, but 7,460 on the way, at a cost of $2 million, which will join those already earmarked for the waste pile.
This is why you need to pay careful attention when you hear about John McCain claiming that he's going to "look at entitlement program" waste as a means of solving the budget crisis, or when you tune into the debate about the "death tax." We are in the midst of a political movement to concentrate private wealth into fewer and fewer hands while at the same time placing more and more of the burden for public expenditures on working people. If that sounds like half-baked Marxian analysis... well, shit, what can I say? That's what's happening. Repealing the estate tax (the proposal to phase it out by the year 2010 would save the Walton family alone $30 billion) and targeting "entitlement" programs for cuts while continually funneling an ever-expanding treasure trove of military appropriations down the befouled anus of pointless war profiteering, government waste and North Virginia McMansions — this is all part of a conversation we should be having about who gets what share of the national pie. But we're not going to have that conversation, because we're going to spend this fall mesmerized by the typical media-generated distractions, yammering about whether or not Michelle Obama's voice is too annoying, about flag lapel pins, about Jeremiah Wright and other such idiotic bullshit.
Bernie Sanders is one of the few politicians out there smart enough and secure enough to understand that the future of American politics is necessarily going to involve some pretty frank and contentious confrontations. The phony blue-red divide, which has been buoyed for years by some largely incidental geographical disagreements over religion and other social issues, is going to give way eventually to a real debate grounded in a brutal economic reality increasingly common to all states, red and blue.
Our economic reality is as brutal as it is for a simple reason: whether we like it or not, we are in the midst of revolutionary economic changes. In the kind of breathtakingly ironic development that only real life can imagine, the collapse of the Soviet Union has allowed global capitalism to get into the political unfreedom business, turning China and the various impoverished dictatorships and semi-dictatorships of the third world into the sweatshop of the earth. This development has cut the balls out of American civil society by forcing the export abroad of our manufacturing economy, leaving us with a service/managerial economy that simply cannot support the vast, healthy middle class our government used to work very hard to both foster and protect. The Democratic party that was once the impetus behind much of these changes, that argued so eloquently in the New Deal era that our society would be richer and more powerful overall if the spoils were split up enough to create a strong base of middle class consumers — that party panicked in the years since Nixon and elected to pay for its continued relevance with corporate money. As a result the entire debate between the two major political parties in our country has devolved into an argument over just how quickly to dismantle the few remaining benefits of American middle-class existence — immediately, if you ask the Republicans, and only slightly less than immediately, if you ask the Democrats.
The Republicans wanted to take Social Security, the signature policy underpinning of the middle class, and put it into private accounts — which is a fancy way of saying that they wanted to take a huge bundle of American taxpayer cash and invest it in the very companies, the IBMs and Boeings and GMs and so on, that are exporting our jobs abroad. They want the American middle class to finance its very own impoverishment! The Democrats say no, let's keep Social Security more or less as is, and let that impoverishment happen organically.
Now we have a new set of dire problems in the areas of home ownership and exploding energy prices. In both of these matters the basic dynamic is transnational companies raiding the cash savings of the middle class. Because those same companies finance the campaigns of our politicians, we won't hear much talk about getting private industry to help foot the bill to pay for these crises, or forcing the energy companies to cut into their obscene profits for the public good. We will, however, hear talk about taxpayer-subsidized bailouts and various irrelevancies like McCain's gas tax holiday (an amusing solution — eliminate taxes collected by government in order to pay for taxes collected by energy companies). Ultimately, however, you can bet that when the middle class finally falls all the way down, and this recession becomes something even worse, necessity will force our civil government — if anything remains of it by then — to press for the only real solution.
"Corporate America is going to have to reinvest in our society," says Sanders. "It's that simple."
These fantasy elections we've been having — overblown sports contests with great production values, decided by haircuts and sound bytes and high-tech mudslinging campaigns — those were sort of fun while they lasted, and were certainly useful in providing jerk-off pundit-dickheads like me with high-paying jobs. But we just can't afford them anymore. We have officially spent and mismanaged our way out of la-la land and back to the ugly place where politics really lives — a depressingly serious and desperate argument about how to keep large numbers of us from starving and freezing to death. Or losing our homes, or having our cars repossessed. For a long time America has been too embarrassed to talk about class; we all liked to imagine ourselves in the wealthy column, or at least potentially so, flush enough to afford this pissing away of our political power on meaningless game-show debates once every four years. The reality is much different, and this might be the year we're all forced to admit it.
[under construction]

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Top U.S. Government Officials Sell Nuclear Secrets

For sale: West’s deadly nuclear secrets
January 6, 2008
The Sunday Times
[entire article included below]

A WHISTLEBLOWER has made a series of extraordinary claims about how corrupt government officials allowed Pakistan and other states to steal nuclear weapons secrets.
Sibel Edmonds, a 37-year-old former Turkish language translator for the FBI, listened into hundreds of sensitive intercepted conversations while based at the agency’s Washington field office.
She approached The Sunday Times last month after reading about an Al-Qaeda terrorist who had revealed his role in training some of the 9/11 hijackers while he was in Turkey.
Edmonds described how foreign intelligence agents had enlisted the support of US officials to acquire a network of moles in sensitive military and nuclear institutions.
Among the hours of covert tape recordings, she says she heard evidence that one well-known senior official in the US State Department was being paid by Turkish agents in Washington who were selling the information on to black market buyers, including Pakistan.
The name of the official – who has held a series of top government posts – is known to The Sunday Times. He strongly denies the claims.
However, Edmonds said: “He was aiding foreign operatives against US interests by passing them highly classified information, not only from the State Department but also from the Pentagon, in exchange for money, position and political objectives.”
She claims that the FBI was also gathering evidence against senior Pentagon officials – including household names – who were aiding foreign agents.
“If you made public all the information that the FBI have on this case, you will see very high-level people going through criminal trials,” she said.Her story shows just how much the West was infiltrated by foreign states seeking nuclear secrets. It illustrates how western government officials turned a blind eye to, or were even helping, countries such as Pakistan acquire bomb technology.
The wider nuclear network has been monitored for many years by a joint Anglo-American intelligence effort. But rather than shut it down, investigations by law enforcement bodies such as the FBI and Britain’s Revenue & Customs have been aborted to preserve diplomatic relations.
Edmonds, a fluent speaker of Turkish and Farsi, was recruited by the FBI in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks. Her previous claims about incompetence inside the FBI have been well documented in America.
She has given evidence to closed sessions of Congress and the 9/11 commission, but many of the key points of her testimony have remained secret. She has now decided to divulge some of that information after becoming disillusioned with the US authorities’ failure to act.
One of Edmonds’s main roles in the FBI was to translate thousands of hours of conversations by Turkish diplomatic and political targets that had been covertly recorded by the agency.
A backlog of tapes had built up, dating back to 1997, which were needed for an FBI investigation into links between the Turks and Pakistani, Israeli and US targets. Before she left the FBI in 2002 she heard evidence that pointed to money laundering, drug imports and attempts to acquire nuclear and conventional weapons technology.
“What I found was damning,” she said. “While the FBI was investigating, several arms of the government were shielding what was going on.”
The Turks and Israelis had planted “moles” in military and academic institutions which handled nuclear technology. Edmonds says there were several transactions of nuclear material every month, with the Pakistanis being among the eventual buyers. “The network appeared to be obtaining information from every nuclear agency in the United States,” she said.
They were helped, she says, by the high-ranking State Department official who provided some of their moles – mainly PhD students – with security clearance to work in sensitive nuclear research facilities. These included the Los Alamos nuclear laboratory in New Mexico, which is responsible for the security of the US nuclear deterrent.
In one conversation Edmonds heard the official arranging to pick up a $15,000 cash bribe. The package was to be dropped off at an agreed location by someone in the Turkish diplomatic community who was working for the network.
The Turks, she says, often acted as a conduit for the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Pakistan’s spy agency, because they were less likely to attract suspicion. Venues such as the American Turkish Council in Washington were used to drop off the cash, which was picked up by the official.
Edmonds said: “I heard at least three transactions like this over a period of 2½ years. There are almost certainly more.”
The Pakistani operation was led by General Mahmoud Ahmad, then the ISI chief.
Intercepted communications showed Ahmad and his colleagues stationed in Washington were in constant contact with attachés in the Turkish embassy.
Intelligence analysts say that members of the ISI were close to Al-Qaeda before and after 9/11. Indeed, Ahmad was accused of sanctioning a $100,000 wire payment to Mohammed Atta, one of the 9/11 hijackers, immediately before the attacks.
The results of the espionage were almost certainly passed to Abdul Qadeer Khan, the Pakistani nuclear scientist.
Khan was close to Ahmad and the ISI. While running Pakistan’s nuclear programme, he became a millionaire by selling atomic secrets to Libya, Iran and North Korea. He also used a network of companies in America and Britain to obtain components for a nuclear programme.
Khan caused an alert among western intelligence agencies when his aides met Osama Bin Laden. “We were aware of contact between A Q Khan’s people and Al-Qaeda,” a former CIA officer said last week. “There was absolute panic when we initially discovered this, but it kind of panned out in the end.”
It is likely that the nuclear secrets stolen from the United States would have been sold to a number of rogue states by Khan.
Edmonds was later to see the scope of the Pakistani connections when it was revealed that one of her fellow translators at the FBI was the daughter of a Pakistani embassy official who worked for Ahmad. The translator was given top secret clearance despite protests from FBI investigators.
Edmonds says packages containing nuclear secrets were delivered by Turkish operatives, using their cover as members of the diplomatic and military community, to contacts at the Pakistani embassy in Washington.
Following 9/11, a number of the foreign operatives were taken in for questioning by the FBI on suspicion that they knew about or somehow aided the attacks.
Edmonds said the State Department official once again proved useful. “A primary target would call the official and point to names on the list and say, ‘We need to get them out of the US because we can’t afford for them to spill the beans',” she said. “The official said that he would ‘take care of it’.”
The four suspects on the list were released from interrogation and extradited.
Edmonds also claims that a number of senior officials in the Pentagon had helped Israeli and Turkish agents.
“The people provided lists of potential moles from Pentagon-related institutions who had access to databases concerning this information,” she said.
“The handlers, who were part of the diplomatic community, would then try to recruit those people to become moles for the network. The lists contained all their ‘hooking points’, which could be financial or sexual pressure points, their exact job in the Pentagon and what stuff they had access to.”
One of the Pentagon figures under investigation was Lawrence Franklin, a former Pentagon analyst, who was jailed in 2006 for passing US defence information to lobbyists and sharing classified information with an Israeli diplomat.
“He was one of the top people providing information and packages during 2000 and 2001,” she said.
Once acquired, the nuclear secrets could have gone anywhere. The FBI monitored Turkish diplomats who were selling copies of the information to the highest bidder.
Edmonds said: “Certain greedy Turkish operators would make copies of the material and look around for buyers. They had agents who would find potential buyers.”
In summer 2000, Edmonds says the FBI monitored one of the agents as he met two Saudi Arabian businessmen in Detroit to sell nuclear information that had been stolen from an air force base in Alabama. She overheard the agent saying: “We have a package and we’re going to sell it for $250,000.”
Edmonds’s employment with the FBI lasted for just six months. In March 2002 she was dismissed after accusing a colleague of covering up illicit activity involving Turkish nationals.
She has always claimed that she was victimised for being outspoken and was vindicated by an Office of the Inspector General review of her case three years later. It found that one of the contributory reasons for her sacking was that she had made valid complaints.
The US attorney-general has imposed a state secrets privilege order on her, which prevents her revealing more details of the FBI’s methods and current investigations.
Her allegations were heard in a closed session of Congress, but no action has been taken and she continues to campaign for a public hearing.
She was able to discuss the case with The Sunday Times because, by the end of January 2002, the justice department had shut down the programme.
The senior official in the State Department no longer works there. Last week he denied all of Edmonds’s allegations: “If you are calling me to say somebody said that I took money, that’s outrageous . . . I do not have anything to say about such stupid ridiculous things as this.”
In researching this article, The Sunday Times has talked to two FBI officers (one serving, one former) and two former CIA sources who worked on nuclear proliferation. While none was aware of specific allegations against officials she names, they did provide overlapping corroboration of Edmonds’s story.
One of the CIA sources confirmed that the Turks had acquired nuclear secrets from the United States and shared the information with Pakistan and Israel. “We have no indication that Turkey has its own nuclear ambitions. But the Turks are traders. To my knowledge they became big players in the late 1990s,” the source said.
How Pakistan got the bomb, then sold it to the highest bidders
Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Pakistan’s foreign minister, says: “If India builds the bomb we will eat grass . . . but we will get one of our own”
1974 Nuclear programme becomes increased priority as India tests a nuclear device
1976 Abdul Qadeer Khan, a scientist, steals secrets from Dutch uranium plant. Made head of his nation’s nuclear programme by Bhutto, now prime minister
1976 onwards Clandestine network established to obtain materials and technology for uranium enrichment from the West
1985 Pakistan produces weapons-grade uranium for the first time
1989-91 Khan’s network sells Iran nuclear weapons information and technology
1991-97 Khan sells weapons technology to North Korea and Libya
1998 India tests nuclear bomb and Pakistan follows with a series of nuclear tests. Khan says: “I never had any doubts I was building a bomb. We had to do it”
2001 CIA chief George Tenet gathers officials for crisis summit on the proliferation of nuclear technology from Pakistan to other countries
2001 Weeks before 9/11, Khan’s aides meet Osama Bin Laden to discuss an Al-Qaeda nuclear device
2001 After 9/11 proliferation crisis becomes secondary as Pakistan is seen as important ally in war on terror
2003 Libya abandons nuclear weapons programme and admits acquiring components through Pakistani nuclear scientists
2004 Khan placed under house arrest and confesses to supplying Iran, Libya and North Korea with weapons technology. He is pardoned by President Pervez Musharraf
2006 North Korea tests a nuclear bomb
2007 Renewed fears that bomb may fall into hands of Islamic extremists as killing of Benazir Bhutto throws country into turmoil
Sibel Edmonds’ State Secrets Privilege Gallery

Sibel maven, Luke Ryland, has done us the favor of putting names to the faces, adding that "we can reasonably presume that they are the 21 guilty people in her case."

Here are those names, sectioned into three groups, as Edmonds has grouped the photos in her own "Gallery":

Current and former Pentagon and State Department officials...

Richard Perle
Douglas Feith
Eric Edelman
Marc Grossman
Brent Scowcroft
Larry Franklin

Current and former congressmen...Dennis Hastert (R-IL), Ex-House Speaker
Roy Blount (R-MO)
Dan Burton (R-IN)
Tom Lantos (D-CA)
? (Photo simply a box with question mark in it)
Bob Livingston (R-LA), Ex-House Speaker
Stephen Solarz (D-NY)

The 3rd group includes people who all appear to work at think tanks - primarily WINEP, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
Graham E. Fuller - RAND
David Makovsky - WINEP
Alan Makovsky - WINEP
? (Photo simply a box with question mark in it)
? (Photo simply a box with question mark in it)
Yusuf Turani (President-in-exile, Turkistan)
Professor Sabri Sayari (Georgetown, WINEP)
Mehmet Eymur (Former Turkish Spy Chief MIT)

Dave Lindorff: 9-11 Cover-Up, Treason, and The Bomb
Submitted by BuzzFlash on Mon, 01/07/2008 - 3:06pm.
If a new article just published Saturday in the Times of London based upon information provided by U.S. government whistleblower Sibel Edmonds, a 37-year-old former Turkish language translator for the FBI, is correct, we have not only solid evidence of prior knowledge of 9-11 by high up U.S. government officials, but also evidence of treasonous activity by many of those same officials involving efforts to provide U.S. nuclear secrets to America's enemies, even including Al Qaeda.
The story also casts a chilling light on the so-called "accidental" flight of six nuclear-armed cruise missiles aboard an errant B-52 that flew last Aug. 30 from Minot AFB in North Dakota to Barksdale AFB in Shreveport, Louisiana.
The Sunday Times reports that Edmonds, whose whistleblowing efforts have been studiously ignored by what passes for the news media in American news media, approached the Rupert Murdoch-owned British paper a month ago after reading a report there that an Al-Qaeda leader had been training some of the 9-11 hijackers at a base in Turkey, a U.S. NATO alley, under the noses of the Turkish military.
Edmonds, who was recruited by the FBI after 9-11 because of her Turkish and Farsi language skills, has long been claiming that in her FBI job of covertly monitoring conversations between Turkish, Israeli, Persian, and other foreign agents and U.S. contacts, including a backlog of untranslated tapes dating back to 1997, she had heard evidence of "money laundering, drug imports and attempts to acquire nuclear and conventional weapons technology." But the Turkish training for 9-11 rang more alarm bells and made her decide that talking behind closed doors to Congress or the FBI was not enough. She had to go public.
[read entire article at site]
Sibel Edmonds Website: http://justacitizen.com/
and from the same site, check out National Security Whistleblowers: http://www.aclu.org/whistleblower/statements/video.html

[under construction]

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

The Disclosure Project - What the Government Doesn't Want YOU to Know!

Thinking Outside The Box

Free Popcorn

Here is a video that is approximately two hours long. A skeptical approach is understandable but without viewing the video you really don't have an opinion on the contents. You certainly can disregard the information contained here and choose not to watch it but you would be missing information of a monumental value to your concept of "what is" and "what isn't." Forget your previous biases, prejudices, and take a walk on the wild side of your consciousness and explore what some consider the unknown. For others, it is not unknown. Listen to testimonies of reputable and respectable people from military, security, and other important vocations and hear what they have witnessed. It will knock your socks off.

The Disclosure Project is a nonprofit research project working to fully disclose the facts about UFOs, extraterrestrial intelligence, and classified advanced energy and propulsion systems. We have over 400 government, military, and intelligence community witnesses testifying to their direct, personal, first hand experience with UFOs, ETs, ET technology, and the cover-up that keeps this information secret.
On Wednesday, May 9th, 2001, over twenty military, intelligence, government, corporate and scientific witnesses came forward at the National Press Club in Washington, DC to establish the reality of UFOs or extraterrestrial vehicles, extraterrestrial life forms, and resulting advanced energy and propulsion technologies. The weight of this first-hand testimony, along with supporting government documentation and other evidence, will establish without any doubt the reality of these phenomena.
UFO enthusiasts call on Obama to release X-FilesUFO enthusiasts are pressing Barack Obama to release classified documents about sightings of alien spacecraft, encouraged by support from within the President-Elect's own White House team.
By Tim Shipman in Washington
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/3536229/UFO-enthusiasts-call-on-Obama-to-release-X-Files.html Desperate to see the US emulate the British Government and disclose reported "contact" with UFOs, the enthusiasts have written to Mr Obama to ask that his administration comes clean about the contents of America's "X-Files".
They believe they have good prospects of success after public statements of support from both John Podesta, who is running Mr Obama's White House transition team, and Bill Richardson, the Governor of New Mexico - a UFO sighting hotspot - who is expected to secure a cabinet post.
In the letter to Mr Obama, the Extraterrestrial Phenomenon Political Action Committee calls on the President-Elect to "end the six-decade truth embargo regarding an extraterrestrial presence engaging the human race".
The group wants the incoming president to insist on a "full briefing from your military services and intelligence agencies regarding what they know" and to open congressional hearings "to take testimony from scores of government witnesses who have already come forward with extraordinary evidence and are prepared to testify under oath."
The campaigners, who resent their common portrayal as nuts and conspiracy theorists, have high hopes of success due to their inside track with Mr Obama.
When he was the White House chief of staff under Bill Clinton, Mr Podesta led a project to declassify 800 million pages of intelligence documents. In a press conference, still available to watch on the YouTube website, Mr Podesta said: "It is time for the government to declassify records that are more than 25 years old and to provide scientists with data that will assist in determining the real nature of this phenomenon."
Gov Richardson, a former presidential candidate and fellow UFO aficionado, has written a forward to a book on the so-called Roswell Incident in New Mexico, where campaigners believe an alien spacecraft crash landed near the town of Roswell in 1947 and that the corpses of humanoid aliens have been kept hidden under lock and key by the government.
He has called for full disclosure by the Pentagon of what really occurred and reiterated his belief that there had been a "cover-up" during a presidential debate last year.
The campaigners, who want the truth "out there", believe that the British Government's decision to declassify thousands of UFO sighting documents this year has made it untenable for the US to maintain its policy of non-disclosure.
Only last week a US Air Force pilot, Milton Torres, whose testimony was released from the British archives, appeared on US television explaining how he was ordered to shoot down a large UFO over the UK in 1957 and then silenced by military officials, who told him never to speak of the incident.
Stephen Bassett, Executive Director of the Extraterrestrial Phenomenon Political Action Committee, expects to have gathered 40,000 signatures via email and fax by Mr Obama's inauguration day on Jan 20 in support of his calls for openness.
He told The Sunday Telegraph: "The truth embargo is now at the end of the line. The release of documents in Britain and France has put huge pressure on the US. It makes the government here look pretty stupid.
"I think we are seeing the Democrats moving towards disclosure. John Podesta has outed himself as an enthusiast. He thinks the American public can handle the truth. Bill Richardson thinks there was a cover-up."
Mr Bassett also believes that military and intelligence officials have studied the technology of alien spacecraft, material that would help the US develop new energy resources, as Mr Obama wishes, that will lessen US dependency on Middle Eastern oil.

US airman Milton Torres told to shoot down UFO when based at RAF ManstonMichael Evans, Defence Editor
From The Times
October 20, 2008
The order came straight out of the Cold War manual: “Arm all weapons and fire on sight.” For Lieutenant Milton Torres, an American jet fighter pilot based in Britain, it was the first and last time that he had received such a chilling instruction.
As soon as he scrambled his Sabre jet from RAF Manston in Kent and headed eastwards, he saw the blip on his radar, indicating the presence of an aircraft the size of a B52 about 15 miles away, and he prepared to close in for the kill with a salvo of rockets. But the “aircraft”, judged to be hostile and probably Russian, simply vanished. The blip on the radar disappeared.
The 24-year-old American pilot's extraordinary experience on the night of May 20, 1957, which he was officially ordered never to reveal to anyone, has come to light after the declassification of another batch of Ministry of Defence files relating to reported incidents of unidentified flying objects appearing in British airspace — in this case the only known example of a jet fighter pilot being ordered to shoot down a UFO.
Mr Torres, now 77 and a retired professor of civil engineering living in Miami, told The Times that the day after he was scrambled from RAF Manston he received a visit from an American in a trenchcoat who waved a National Security Agency identity card at him and warned him that, if he ever revealed what had happened, he would never fly again.
He took the warning to heart and said nothing until 1988 when, through a solicitor with an interest in ufology, he sent the Ministry of Defence a report giving a full account of the incident. Today his narrative is released by the National Archives.
“I shall never forget it, and for the last 50 years I have been waiting for an explanation, but I've never had one. On that night I was ordered to open fire even before I had taken off. That had never happened before,” Mr Torres said. “I was ready to hit the target with all 24 rockets: it would have been like buckshot out of a shotgun. I asked for authentication of the order to fire and I received it.”
Neither Lieutenant Torres nor his wingman, flying another Sabre behind him, actually saw what was making the strong blip on their radars. In the years since he has become more convinced that the object, travelling at speed and performing manoeuvres beyond the capability of any known aircraft at that time, was an alien UFO.
The airman climbed to 32,000ft and then flattened out, travelling at Mach 0.92, about as fast as the F86D Sabre could go. “The blip was burning a hole in the radar with its incredible intensity. It was similar to a blip I had received from B52s and seemed to be a magnet of light. It had the proportions of a flying aircraft carrier,” he wrote.
The only possible explanation, according to David Clarke, a UFO expert and lecturer in journalism at Sheffield Hallam University, is that in the 1960s it emerged that the CIA had been engaged in a secret project codenamed Palladium, in which advanced equipment was used to create simulated radar blips close to Soviet airspace.
Dr Clarke said that he thought it was linked to clandestine flights over the Soviet Union of the American U2 spy plane. “But this doesn't explain why Milton Torres was scrambled and ordered to open fire,” he said.
Thinking space
The 19 files made available online by the National Archives and covering sightings between 1986 and 1992 include:
— A passenger jet coming in to land at Heathrow nearly colliding with a UFO. The captain of the Alitalia airliner reported seeing a brown missile-shaped object pass overhead near Lydd in Kent in 1991. The MoD ruled out the object being a missile, weather balloon or space rocket and closed an inquiry by the Civil Aviation Authority and the military
— An MoD request that Army and Navy helicopters should not take photographs of crop circles, for fear of undermining the official line that the military did not investigate unexplained phenomena
— A letter from a woman claiming to be from the Sirius system who said her spacecraft — containing two “Spectrans”, pictured below — crashed in Britain during the Second World War
How 'bout them defenseless nukes?By Billy Cox
April 9, 2009
When he tested the limits of his security oath in 1995 and went public with how a UFO crippled a nest of nuclear missiles in Montana during the Cold War, former Air Force captain Robert Salas was on his own. No one else who worked inside or around those subterranean silos dared talk about how the world’s top superpower was unable to defend its own nuclear arsenal.
Today, “UFOs and Nukes” author Robert Hastings has 115 ex-USAF eyewitnesses on record, due in no small measure to Salas’ willingness to gamble that the feds wouldn’t go after him because prosecution would put them in a credibility jam. “If they did,” Salas says from his home in Ojai, Calif., “we could have a righteous trial.”
In 2005, the erstwhile deputy missile combat crew commander waved the red cape with even more vigor at the government bull by co-authoring “Faded Giant: The 1967 UFO/Missile Incidents.” Salas’ story was augmented by other witnesses and FOIA-acquired USAF documents acknowledging the Minuteman shutdown — but without mentioning the U-word.
Salas and co-author Jim Klotz demonstrated how the hovering phenomenon that disabled fully armed nukes on the early morning of March 24, 1967, acted with impunity and deliberate intent, and that its actions weren’t confined to Salas’ post. On March 16, UFOs also visited an ICBM site some 60 miles away, and shut down all 10 of its missiles in similar fashion.
Having apparently dodged legal repercussions, the 68-year-old former FAA aircraft certification engineer remains puzzled over the lack of MSM interest in the vulnerabilities of our deadliest weapons systems. Aside from appearances on Larry King and niche shows like Art Bell and The History Channel, Salas’ story — and those of a growing number of colleagues — has been pretty much ignored by American media.
“I had high hopes for the Peter Jennings special,” says Salas in reference to the ultimately feckless ABC prime-time “investigation” in 2005. “They seemed really interested. They flew me out to Dallas and got two, three hours on videotape. But a week before the show, they called and said, ‘Sorry, we’ve got to cut you out.’ I don’t know if somebody got to them or what.”
Forty-two years later, Salas remains in awe of what happened at Oscar Flight, the code-named Minuteman silo belonging to the 341st Strategic Missile Wing. Shortly after jittery topside guards reported bright aerial objects pulsing silently above the security gate, klaxons started shrieking and the missiles began losing power in rapid succession, one by one, until six to eight amid the 10-shot cluster were reduced to no-alert status. Security upstairs reported the objects flew off immediately afterwards.
“Somehow,” recalls Salas, who monitored the control panels alongside bunker colleague Lt. Fred Mywald, “these objects were able to penetrate 65 feet of earth and a completely shielded cabling system with an electromagnetic pulse that sent signals to upset the most sophisticated weapons in the world.”
Those signals were strong enough to foil the missiles’ guidance and control mechanisms, Salas says. An account of the March ‘67 incidents is available at http://www.cufon.org/cufon/malmstrom/malm1.htm, but by no means are they the only ones involving UFO security breaches with nukes. Salas is in contact with plenty of other witnesses who’ve yet to come forward.
But even if they did, would the media bother to shrug?
“To me, it was a benevolent message,” says Salas, whose world view was forever altered by the event. “My own speculation is that these objects were saying we shouldn’t be messing with nuclear weapons because we might destroy ourselves.”
But maybe that’s not news.