Thursday, June 20, 2013


OMNI ASSASSINATIONS NEWSLETTER #4, June 20, 2013.     Compiled by Dick Bennett for a Culture of Peace By Challenging Official Myths and Lies.     (#1 Oct. 8, 2011; #2 August 10, 2012; #3 May 3, 2013).

Here is the link to all OMNI newsletters:  For a knowledge-based peace, justice, and ecology movement and an informed citizenry as the foundation for change.   Here is the link to the Index:    See: Bush, CIA, drones,  imperialism, international law, militarism, Obama, power of presidency, secrecy, special ops, war crimes, and more.
My blog:   War Department/Peace Department

“…Since the end of World War II the United States has. . .attempted to assassinate more than 50 foreign leaders.”  Blum, America’s Deadliest Export (2013, p. 1).

The multifarious methods of oppression employed by an imperial state would fill an encyclopedia.  One general method is the control of language, and one sub-division is rhetorical devices.  A specific figure is euphemism, a powerful way of hiding folly and depravity.  For example, our government has rebranded US state assassination as “high value targeting.”  -- Dick

"I refuse to live in a country like this, and I'm not leaving"
Michael Moore

#1 and #2 at end

Contents #3, May 3, 2013
Escalante, Attempts to Murder Castro
Noble, Assassination Nation from Phoenix to Drones
Google Search, Obama Admin., CIA, Brennan, Assassinations in US
Google Search, Videos about US Assassination, Obama Administration

Contents #4
Monbiot, Killing Ibragim Todashev
Cahill, Dirty Wars Book and Film (2)
William Blum, Google Search
FCNL, Ending Permanent War, “War on Terror,” Extra-judicial Killing
Friends Committee for National Legislation (FCNL) Google Search

From: George Monbiot <>
June 4, 2013, 2:05:21 AM CDT

Posted: 03 Jun 2013 12:14 PM PDT
If assassinating suspects makes sense overseas, why not at home?
By George Monbiot, published in the Guardian 4th June 2013
Did the FBI execute Ibragim Todashev? He appears to have been shot seven times while being interviewed at his home in Orlando, Florida about his connection to one of the Boston bombing suspects. Among the shots was the assassin’s hallmark: a bullet to the back of the head(1). What kind of an interview was it?
An irregular one. There was no lawyer present. It was not recorded(2). By the time Todashev was shot, he had apparently been interrogated by three agents for five hours(3). And then? Who knows? First, we were told, he lunged at them with a knife(4). How he acquired it, five hours into a police interview, was not explained. How he posed such a threat while recovering from a knee operation also remains perplexing.
At first he drew the knife while being interviewed. Then he acquired it during a break from the interview(5). Then it ceased to be a knife and became a sword, then a pipe, then a metal pole, then a broomstick, then a table, then a chair(6,7,8). In one account all the agents were in the room at the time of the attack, in another, all but one had mysteriously departed, leaving the remaining officer to face his assailant alone.
If – and it remains a big if – this was an extrajudicial execution, it was one of hundreds commissioned by US agencies since Barack Obama first took office. The difference in this case is that it took place on American soil. Elsewhere, suspects are bumped off without even the right to the lawyerless interview Ibragim Todashev was given.
In his speech two days after Todashev was killed, President Obama maintained that “our commitment to Constitutional principles has weathered every war”(9). But he failed to explain which Constitutional principles permit him to authorise the killing of people in nations with which the United States is not at war. When his Attorney General, Eric Holder, tried to do so last year, he got himself into a terrible mess, ending with the extraordinary claim that “’due process’ and ‘judicial process’ are not one and the same … the Constitution guarantees due process, not judicial process.”(10) So what is due process if it doesn’t involve the courts? Whatever the president says it is?
Er, yes. In the same speech Obama admitted for the first time that four US citizens have been killed by US drone strikes in other countries. In the next sentence he said “I do not believe it would be constitutional for the government to target and kill any U.S. citizen – with a drone, or a shotgun – without due process.”(11) This suggests he believes that the legal rights of those four people had been respected before they were killed.
Given that they might not even have known that they were accused of the alleged crimes for which they were executed, that they had no opportunities to contest the charges, let alone be granted judge or jury, this suggests that the former law professor’s interpretation of constitutional rights is somewhat elastic. If Obama and his nameless advisers say someone is a terrorist, he stands convicted and can be put to death.
Left hanging in his speech is the implication that non-US citizens may be executed without even the pretence of due process. The many hundreds killed by drone strikes (who, civilian or combatant, retrospectively become terrorists by virtue of having been killed in a US anti-terrorism operation) are afforded no rights even in principle(12,13).
As the process of decision-making remains secret, as the US government refuses even to acknowledge – let alone to document or investigate – the killing by its drones of people who patently had nothing to do with terrorism or any other known crime, miscarriages of justice are not just a risk emerging from the deployment of the president’s kill-list. They are an inevitable outcome. Under the Obama doctrine, innocent until proved guilty has mutated to innocent until proved dead.
The president made his rejection of habeas corpus and his assumption of a godlike capacity for judgement explicit later in the speech, while discussing another matter. How, he wondered, should the US deal with detainees in Guantanamo Bay “who we know have participated in dangerous plots or attacks, but who cannot be prosecuted – for example because the evidence against them has been compromised or is inadmissible in a court of law”? If the evidence has been compromised or is inadmissable, how can he know that they have participated? He can suspect, he can allege, but he cannot know until his suspicion has been tested in a court of law.
Global powers have an antisocial habit of bringing their work back home. The British government, for example, imported some of the methods it used against its colonial subjects to suppress domestic protests and strikes. Once an administrative class becomes accustomed to treating foreigners as if they have no rights, and once the domestic population broadly accepts their justifications, it is almost inevitable that the habit migrates from one arena into another. If hundreds of people living abroad can be executed by US agents on no more than suspicion, should we be surprised if residents of the United States began to be treated the same way?
George Monbiot’s book Feral: searching for enchantment on the frontiers of rewilding is published by Allen Lane.
1. A picture of the head wound has been reproduced here:
12. International Human Rights and Conflict Resolution Clinic at Stanford Law School and Global Justice Clinic at NYU School Of Law, September 2012. Living Under Drones: Death, Injury and Trauma to Civilians from US Drone Practices in Pakistan.

Filmmaker Jeremy Scahill focuses on ‘Dirty Wars’

An interview with filmmaker Jeremy Scahill, whose documentary “Dirty Wars” opens in Seattle June 28, By John HartlSpecial to The Seattle Times, June 20, 2013.
 "Dirty Wars: The World is a Battlefield" is about U.S. covert operations.
Enlarge this photo
"Dirty Wars: The World is a Battlefield" is about U.S. covert operations.
The first time Jeremy Scahill smelled tear gas, it was during the Battle of Seattle in late 1999.
“That was also my first time in Seattle,” he said during a return trip to the Northwest to publicize his new movie (and book) about American covert operations, “Dirty Wars: The World Is a Battlefield.” Shown at the Seattle International Film Festival last month, it opens June 28 for a regular run.
“That was also the first time I started working with the director of our film, Rick Rowley, and his wife, Jackie Soohen,” said Scahill. Rowley and Soohen were part of a video collective that produced a 2000 documentary, “This Is What Democracy Looks Like,” about the World Trade Organization protests.
Eventually all three worked in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“We ended up becoming friends and working together, on and off, until the current moment,” Scahill said. He’s also hiked Mount Rainier and appeared at Town Hall with “Dirty Wars” and his earlier book, “Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army.”
Now 38, the Brooklyn-based Scahill writes a column for The Nation magazine that mostly deals with his investigative work.
“Dirty Wars” grew out of the filmmakers’ interest in Yemen, Somalia and especially one Afghan family that was devastated by night raids (including drones) and the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) — whose goal was to “find, fix and finish” their targets.
That’s JSOC jargon [euphemisms for murder—Dick], reminiscent of Vietnam’s “extreme prejudice.” Because of budget cuts by magazines and newspapers that have traditionally covered overseas wars, it has been difficult for journalists like Scahill to put the story together.
“I spend a lot of time raising funds to do this reporting,” said Scahill. “Budgets have dried up for foreign reporting. There are very few media outlets that will send people to do this kind of work. It is very expensive. Just to get insurance for some of the shoots ... no insurance company in the United States would insure our trip to Somalia.”
When they started shooting “Dirty Wars,” Scahill and Rowley weren’t sure where the project was going. Rowley had spent a lot of time embedded in Afghanistan. Scahill was looking at the role of JSOC within the broader war.
“Night raids were a kind of war within the war,” said Scahill. “After they draw down the troops in Afghanistan, there’s going to be an enduring U.S. military presence, but it’s not going to be the Marines ... it’s going to be these hunter-killer teams we’d read about.”
The film’s shoestring budget officially began with Scahill buying plane tickets, using a small grant he had been given for reporting. He and Rowley filmed several stories about night raids before they realized they were working on a larger story about the killings of pregnant Afghan women.
“Once we stumbled into that story, I sort of became obsessed with JSOC and what they do,” he said. “ It was around that time, early 2010 I think, when I started to figure things out.
“ In retrospect now, because of the Bin Laden raid and everything, everyone knows JSOC. But it wasn’t that way at the time.”
John Hartl:




Jeremy Scahill's "Dirty Wars: The World is a Battlefield"

Jeremy Scahill, National Security Correspondent for The Nation, is the author of the best-selling new book Dirty Wars: The World is a Battlefield and the writer, producer and subject of an award-winning documentary of the same name, which goes into wide theatrical release this week.
Scahill sat with Reason's Matt Welch for an extended conversation about the book and movie, which thoroughly investigate the way America conducts its covert wars in the post-9/11 world, and how Barack Obama's embrace of drone strikes, rendition, and targeted assassination have cemented the policies of the Bush Administration which declared the entire world "a battlefield."
Other subjects discussed include Scahill's skepticism of President Obama's recent foreign policy "rethink" speech (14:00); how any adult male in a drone strike area is posthumously labeled a "suspected militant," (16:15); the Department of Justice's absurdly broad definition of an "imminent threat," (20:15); the mysterious case of the American-born terror-advocating imam Anwar al-Alwaki, who was assassinated by a U.S. drone strike in Yemen (21:15); the "shameful" persecution of Yemeni journalist Abdulelah Haider Shaye, who was set to be pardoned and released by the government of Yemen until President Obama intervened (32:31); his disappointment in the Obama Administration and Congressional Democrats for being "nowhere" on civil liberties (38:41); and his surprising credit to Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) for his epic filibuster where he read into the Congressional record "for the first time ever...the names of U.S. citizens killed in operations authorized by President Obama." (40:22)


14 March, 10:53  

The CIA has attempted to assassinate 50 foreign leaders including Chavez – William Blum

The CIA has attempted to assassinate 50 foreign leaders including Chavez – William Blum
Photo: EPA
The late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez was warned by Fidel Castro to be careful of a very specific attack, namely a quick jab from an infected needle. Such a warning coming from a leader who has reportedly been the target of CIA assassination plots more than 600 times in over 50 years, was sure to be heeded. Was the illness of Hugo Chavez a completely deniable assassination by the CIA? William Blum spoke with the VOR’s John Robles and discussed this issue and more.
Robles: I’ve read your Anti-Empire report regarding Hugo Chavez. Can you give us your comments on speculation that he was assassinated by the CIA?
Blum: I cannot prove it of course, but I believe he was. It would be totally in keeping with the entire history of the CIA and its attitude towards people like Hugo Chavez.
The CIA has attempted to assassinate more than 50 foreign leaders and successfully at least half the time. And very few of them were as despised by the US Government as Chavez was, I would say. So, there would be no reason at all to expect that the CIA would not at least plan on killing, and the nature of his ailment is very odd.
He went from a cancer, which would not go away despite several sessions of chemotherapy and what have you. Then it went to serious lung infections, which would not go away no matter what they did. And then it went to a massive heart attack. All in the same man with no apparent cause, he was only 58 years old, and as far as we know he was a very healthy until this happened, it is all very odd.
And given the great motivation that the US Government and the persons in the CIA has put for killing a man like Hugo Chavez, I’m pretty sure that the CIA played a role in this.
Robles: Do you know are have you heard of any credible new technology or new programs that could deliver such a cancer?
Blum: The means would be a needle with a quick sharp jab and what you need is getting one person close enough to Chavez to do that.
Chavez was always in the public eye, he was always embracing people. There must have been countless occasions in the past few years when he was vulnerable to a quick jab by a needle that would be the method of transmitting the ailments.
Robles: Did he ever complain that he had been poked by something in public? Were there any reports of anything like that happening that you had heard about?
Blum: He did mention that Fidel Castro warned him about just that. He said: “A quick jab with a needle, and they’ll do… I don’t know what!” Actually he was told by Fidel.
Robles: A quick jab with a needle. Do you think that happened with Fidel because he had become very ill?
Blum: Well, Fidel… According to Cuban intelligence, there were more than 600 attempts on the life of Fidel Castro by the CIA. There is an entire book on that subject by Cuban Intelligence.
And many of the methods were pretty bizarre, including an exploding cigar, but over the course of 50 years the Cubans claim there were more than 600 attempts on his life and it may have taken just one with Chavez.
Robles: Have you heard anything from your sources or from where you get some of your information? Have you heard anything detailing any connection between these two US Air Force Attaches that were expelled from the country and the death of Hugo Chavez?
Blum: No. I would assume that there is a connection but I don’t know if the Venezuelan Government has actually said so.
Getting back to Chavez’s case,we have to keep in mind that four other South American leaders, prominent people on the left, all came down with cancer within the past year or two.
Robles: I think it was seven, wasn’t it, altogether?
Blum: The four that I named in my report… You can add the ones that you know just for my information… were Cristina Fernandez…
Robles: … De Kirchner, right…
Blum: of Argentina, Dilma Rousseff of Brazil, Fernando Lugo of Paraguay, the former Brazilian head of state Lula da Silva. Who would you add into that list?
Robles: Well, and then of course Hugo Chavez himself…
Blum: Castro is one of them…
Robles: I would add Castro to the list and Kirchner’s husband who died of a mysterious heart attack as well.
Blum: Right!
Robles: We might add that as a mysterious illness, not exactly a cancer but…
Blum: Right! If the CIA was involved it doesn’t have to be cancer necessarily of course.
Robles: Oh, sure, it could be anything! Have you heard anything about cancer strains or any kind of killing weapons like this, any kind of biological weapons that would give maybe cancer-like symptoms, not exactly a certain type of cancer?
Blum: I very well may have read of such over the years, I have read so much about the CIA, but at the moment I can’t think of anything to supply you with that information. Although we do know, it is well known, that for decades the CIA was looking for a method of killing somebody which would not leave a trace. The CIA itself has used those words. For the entire period of the Cold War that was a major stated project of the CIA. But where that stands today, I have no idea.
Robles: Yes, of course that is all very secret and no one is going to talk about it, but perhaps there are some echoes or some whispers? Maybe somebody has come out and said something? What other reasons would you give to back up the argument that he was assassinated?
Blum: I will mention there is no one in the entire universe who was more hated, no leader, more hated than Chavez was by the US Government. In the eyes of the US power that be, Chavez was worse than Fidel Castro and Salvador Allende.
Robles: Why was he so hated?
Blum: Because he was the most outspoken leader in the world when it came to criticizing the US foreign policy. He never pulled his punches for a moment, he made a claim that it was all crimes against humanity and the US leaders were war criminals, and he said so explicitly. It is unusual for a head of state to be talking that way. And at the UN he attacked Bush in front of the whole world.
Robles: Oh yes, I remember he said that the Devil had been there the day before or something, and it still smelled like sulfur.
Blum: Yes, Bush had spoken to the UN before Chavez from the same platform. And Chavez said there was a smell of sulfur in the air because of that.
Robles: That’s usually the domain of the United States, I mean… Isn’t it? I mean Bush was calling everybody the axis of evil, and all this stuff, branding everyone evil. Wasn’t that kind of a shock to see the same thing done to an American leader?
Blum: Yeah, it is a shock for anyone under any circumstances to be so outspoken in the criticism of the US foreign policy. It is a point in Chavez’s favor that he could have the honesty and the courage to say such things, which very much needed to be said.
Robles: So, you supported the way he stood up?
Blum: Well, in general yes. I think there certainly were times when he may have overdone it, even for me. I mean, he felt obliged to comment on everything under the sun, and I thought several times that he could have held off on saying certain things, they were not serving any good purpose. But that’s a minor criticism of his overall marvelous record.
Robles: You say he had a marvelous record. What do you think were his major achievements in your opinion?
Blum: What he’s brought to the poor people of Venezuela in the way of education and healthcare, and housing, and what have you. And what he brought to the rest of the South America, he formed various anti-US empire blocs which stood in the way of expansion of the US influence.
He and others formed a new… A counter to the OAS, the Organization of American States, which for decades has been dominated and corrupted by the US and Canada. And they formed a new organization in South America excluding the US and Canada. So it was that simple.
Robles: Do you think his achievements will continue or do you think the US will be successful in rolling back everything he did? Which of course I assume they would want to.
Blum: Yes, they would want to. But if Maduro who was chosen and backed by Chavez, wins, and he is expected to win in the election next month, then most of it will continue, I assume.



2.                             William Blum: CIA Has Attempted To Assassinate 50 World Leaders ...
Mar 14, 2013 – Was the illness of Hugo Chavez a completely deniable assassination by the CIA? William Blum spoke with the VOR's John Robles and ...

3.                             William Blum - CIA murder and torture of Hundreds of thousands of ...
Sep 25, 2011 - Uploaded by Peter Pan
"It was in the early days of the fighting in Vietnam that a Vietcong officer said to his American prisoner: "You ...
4.                              More videos for William Blum, Assassination »
5.                              William Blum - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
William Blum (born 1933) is an American author, historian, and critic of ... In his writing, Blum devotes substantial attention to CIA interventions and assassination ...

6.                             Why Terrorists Hate America by William Blum - Third World Traveler
That's what I'd do on my first three days in the White House. On the fourth day, I'd beassassinated. William Blum is the author of Killing Hope: U.S. Military and ...

7.                             The Anti-Empire Report #114 – March 11th, 2013 – William Blum
By William Blum – Published March 11th, 2013 ... of warning from Fidel Castro, himself the target of hundreds of failed and often bizarre CIA assassination plots.

8.                             Appendix III: U.S. Government Assassination Plots – William Blum
Jun 26, 1993 – The U.S. bombing of Iraq, June 26, 1993, in retaliation for an alleged Iraqi plot to assassinate former president George Bush, “was essential,” ...

9.                             The Anti-Empire Report #72 – August 4th, 2009 – William Blum
By William Blum – Published August 4th, 2009 ... vice-president Dick Cheney, in operation since the September 11 terrorist attacks, involving assassination of al ...

10.                         'There is a drone with Assange's name on it' - William Blum
Feb 1, 2013 – Assange will be assassinated if freed, expert says. In an exclusive interview with the Voice of Russia, William Blum, an American author, ...


FCNL - Friends Committee on National Legislation

11/02/2012 | News release

Assassination: A Permanent Foreign Policy?

The below is a guest post by former FCNL legislative secretary Bridget Moix.
The title of the article alone should have sent us all straight to FCNL's legislative action center to write a letter of protest to our members of Congress. " Plan for hunting terrorists signals U.S. intends to keep adding names to kill lists," the October 23, Washington Post headline read, the latest in its "Permanent War" series. My stomach turned as I read. "Hunting"? "Kill lists"? Is this really how far our foreign policy has fallen?
No. It's worse actually.
The article, which should be required reading for every member of Congress, goes on to describe how the U.S. government [Obama Admin.] is developing a new "disposition matrix", a high-tech database designed to go beyond current kill lists and drone strikes to more deeply institutionalize the policy and practice of targeted killing [murder] "for the long haul", with little to no accountability or transparency.
There was a time when such a report would have led to public outrage and congressional hearings, when assassination was not publicly acceptable as a tool of U.S. foreign policy (even if it was still covertly practiced), and when the thought of it violated our fundamental understanding of democracy and rule of law, as well as our national moral conscience.
But no longer. The global war on terror begun by the Bush administration and fervently pursued in modified form under Obama has permeated nearly every aspect of our national life and, according to the Post article, is only reaching its "midpoint." So, never mind Iraq and Afghanistan, we've got at least 10 more years of killing ahead of us, and now we've got a fancy global database to make it easier. Thank you, U.S. taxpayers.
In fact, the policies and practices now being institutionalized as core parts of U.S. foreign policy - from kill lists to drone strikes to this new, all-too Hollywoodesque "matrix" - would have once turned the stomachs of most Americans and sparked at least congressional debate if not legislative restraining action. Governments that practiced assassination were once shunned because voters and decision-makers alike understood that such policies threaten national and global security, fuel violence and attacks, waste enormous amounts of taxpayer dollars, undermine the rule of law, and violate our moral conscience. If one government, no matter how powerful, decides it can kill who it wants, where and when it wants, what's to stop other countries from deciding they can as well?
Unfortunately, policymakers and the public seem to be forgetting that history, replacing it with a new "all war, all the time" mentality that is driving U.S. foreign policy - straight into the ground. Assassination as foreign policy has become not only acceptable, but largely accepted by the U.S. public and Congress. Permanent war is becoming the norm. U.S. government officials pride themselves on how many "terrorists" have been killed on their watch; presidential candidates argue over who will be the best at targeted killing. Most worrisome, few in the public and even fewer in Congress stand up in protest.
So what's the antidote to permanent war mentality and high-tech matrix assassination? Forgive me for repeating myself, but, we are. Concerned citizens like us who still become disgusted and outraged by articles that tell us our government is engaging in such immoral and ineffective policies, and who write letters, visit our members of Congress, and urge policymakers to institutionalize peaceful prevention of deadly conflict, not permanent war. No database, drone, or kill list can yet compete with the power of individual conscience and human relationship.
- See more at:


Feb 1, 2012 – Yet this drone assassination campaign is in direct violation of international law. The president has used these attacks to expand U.S. military ...

1.                             End the Militarization of US-Africa Policy - FCNL
Jun 27, 2012 – We write to urge you to resist the growing militarization of U.S. aid and policy ... In anticipation of the FY 2013 National Defense Authorization Act ... In the House Armed Services Committee's recent report on the ... covert intelligence and targeted assassination operations in Africa, ... Friends of the Congo
2.                              [PDF]

What are drones - FCNL
The use of drones by the United States Government is constantly evolving. Currently ...FRIENDS COMMITTEE ON NATIONAL LEGISLATION ... Targeted assassinations test the legal limits of the Obama administration's power—most notably in.

3.                             FCNL: Understanding Drones
Drones are quickly becoming one of the U.S. military's primary weapons. ... Buck McKeon (CA) , who is also chair of the House Armed Services Committee. ... as often as weekly, more than 100 members of the national security structure gather via ...Targeted assassinations test the legal limits of the Obama administration's ...

4.                             Friends Committee on National Legislation - Washington ... - Facebook
Friends Committee on National Legislation, Washington, DC. ... with nationalsecurity advisors to select targets for assassination by weaponized drones. ... or corporation are citizens if born or naturalized American citizens with the right to vote ...

5.                             Friends Committee on National Legislation - Washington ... - Facebook
Friends Committee on National Legislation, Washington, DC. ... The authorization allows the U.S. government to wage war at anytime, any place and ... with nationalsecurity advisors to select targets for assassination by weaponized drones.

6.                             Drones A Moral and Strategic Failure (FCNL - Friends Committee on ...
May 22, 2013 – noodls (Source: FCNL - Friends Committee on National Legislation)U.S. intelligence officials announced today that they suspect the Assad ...

Contents of #1  Oct. 8, 2011
Secret Panel
Obama’s Drones
Obama’s Justifications
Obama and State Secrets
OMNI at Farmer’s Market 2010
Protests via Google
Ron Paul
Gerry Sloan
Remembering Fred Hampton

Contents of #2,  August 10, 2012
Greenwald, Presidential Power vs. Constitution
Petition: Drones Assassinating Innocents
Cockburn, Obama Above the Law?
Savage, Secret Memo Justifies Assassination
Ron Paul against Assassination
Media Benjamin’s New Book on Drones
Moyers on Unconstitutional Presidency: Reagan


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Dick's Wars and Warming KPSQ Radio Editorials (#1-48)

Dick's Wars and Warming KPSQ Radio Editorials (#1-48)