Friday, July 19, 2013


OMNI NEWSLETTER #9 ON US “WAR ON TERRORISM,” JULY 19, 2013.    Compiled by Dick Bennett for a Culture of Peace.  (#4 Jan. 19, 2012; #5 May 29, 2012; #6 July 19, 2012; #7 Sept. 27, 2012; #8 May 28, 2013).

The multifarious methods of oppression employed by an oppressor state would fill an encyclopedia.  Here are two.
Leaders often call attention to external enemies as a device to distract their own subjects from their criticism of their own leaders and to allow them to blow off steam.  

Another powerful method of controlling the populace is the control of language, of rhetorical devices.  A specific figure is euphemism, an effective way of hiding folly and depravity.  For example, our government has rebranded US state assassination as “high value targeting.”

Another:  torture.  Another:  assassination.  Another: training indigenous police and soldiers.

Urgently needed: Encyclopedia of US Imperial Complex, of which the War on Terror is a part.


“Politicians and economists are blurring the whole picture…A small group of historically aggressive nations is still ruling the world. The economic system which it promotes has nothing to do with humanism, with solidarity, compassion, willingness to share. We have billions of people rotting in gutters all over the world; hundreds of millions of people dying from curable or at least controllable diseases. The rich world is still plundering the rest of the planet; stealing raw materials, employing people for a pittance.... If poor nations resist, the rich world stages coups or something worse.... And it is all legitimized through the United Nations, which was sidelined, made truly impotent...”
   Andre Vitchek, quoted by Ron Ridenour.

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


Here is the link to all OMNI newsletters:  
Here is the link to the Index:

 Related Newsletters:  Afghanistan, Air War,  Allende’s Overthrow (9-11), Bases, Bush, CIA, Domestic Repression, Drones, Fear, Guantanamo, Homeland Security, Imperialism, Indefinite Detention, Iraq, Lawlessness (USA),  McCarthyism (domestic and foreign), Militarism, National Security State, 9-11, Obama, Pakistan,  Pentagon,  Secrecy, State Terrorism,  Surveillance, Terrorism,  Torture , War Crimes, Wars, and more.

My blog:
War Department/Peace Department

See:  9/11 Newsletters

“Of all the enemies to public liberty, war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other.  War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes. . . .”   James Madison, “Political Observations,”  April 20, 1795.

“Number of private U.S. citizens killed in terrorist attacks in 2010: 15.  Number killed by falling televisions: 16.”  (“Harper’s Index,” August 2012, p. 9).   Yet our warrior leaders and their war-monger supporters have produced two full-scale “anti-terror” wars (and three small-scale invasions) to defend “America” and “freedom” at the price of trillions of dollars and tens of thousands of innocent people.  In my 9 newsletters on the “War on Terror” plenty of evidence supports the idea of a War on Falling Televisions!


Petition for Peace:

I just signed the petition "The US President and US Congress: End wars and the attack on our civil liberties here in the US" on

It's important. Will you sign it too? Here's the link:

Thanks!  Dick

Contents of #4 and #5 at end.
Contents of #6
Two Terrorists:
   Shakir Hamoodi
   Tarek Mahanna
Bacevitch, Obama’s Secret Ops
Fox News Misinformation
Two Books on Terrorism

Contents of #7
Chomsky, Liberties Destroyed
Hedges, NDAA Lawsuit
Bolen, NDAA Lawsuit
AFSC Defends Salah
Pal, “Islam” Means Peace
Chomsky, Bibliography

Contents #8  May 28, 2013
Sirota, “Terrorism” Is Retaliation for US Terrorism
PBS Frontline,  Dana Priest and William Arkin’s “Top Secret America” Notes by Dick
Dick Bennett, Puritan Roots of US Permanent War, Connecting Fulbright’s The Arrogance of Power
Boston Murderers Are Terrorists But US Not State Terrorist?  3 Essays
   Greenwald, Scheer, Ackerman
Bello, Permanent Prisoners, No Charge, No Trial, the Wars Fought for “Freedom”?!
Honigsberg, Human Consequences of War on Terror: Mass Killing, Maiming, Exile
Brooks and Manza, Public Opinion Toward War on Terror, Fear Justifies Mass Slaughter
Film on Canada’s “War on ‘Terror’”:  “The Secret Trial 5”:  US  Infecting Other Nations
Tharoor, Canada’s Terror Plot
Singham, FBI Sets Up “Terrorists’ for Permanent Fear
Greenwald on Andrew Sullivan
Aronson, War on Terror a US Creation
Sibel Edmonds, CIA Whistleblower Gagged 
Looking Back
Sirota, Draft Ended 40 Years Ago June 30, 1973.  Did it ensure Permanent War for the Warmongers?
Woodworth, Reviewing Evidence of 9/11
Looking Ahead
Bob Baskin, Peace Alliance:   President Obama’s Speech to Decrease War on Terror
More to be checked.

Contents #9
OMNI Book Forum July 17
Support Cong. Lee’s Bill to Repeal AUMF/Authorization for Use of Military Force
Gibson, Repeal the “Patriot Act”
President Obama’s Speech on Counter-Terrorism
Noam Chomsky, US War of Terror
Ellen Ray, 2 books
Aaronson, FBI’s Construction of Terror War
Mayer, The Dark Side, Rev. Bettie Lu Lancaster
Herman, Taking Liberties

Wednesday, July 17, OMNI will host a Book Forum 7 p.m. at OMNI on aspects of US Imperialism and “War on Terrorism,” specifically state torture and assassination and indigenous police training.    OMNI is located off N. College at 3274 Lee Ave. a block north of Office Depot and just south of Liquor World.    Each panelist will report on a book, with discussion following.  
Training and Using Indigenous Police
Asst. Prof. Jeremy Kuzmarov, Tulsa UniversityModernizing Repression: Police Training and Nation-Building in the American Century
Bettie Lu Lancaster:  Jane Mayer, The Dark Side
Larry Woodall:  Film Taxi to the Dark Side
Carl Barnwell:  Moazzam Begg, Enemy Combatant (a victim’s point of view)
John Gray:  Medea Benjamin, Drone Warfare
July 17 is UN International Justice Day, celebrating the creation of the International Criminal Court (ICC).   
For more information contact Dick Bennett,, 442-4600.  
Book Forum Wednesday, July 17, OMNI, 7 p.m.

Cong. Barbara Lee:   Repeal endless war NOW, not "ultimately"
RootsAction Team []
To: James R. Bennett 

Saturday, May 25, 2013 11:01 AM
Flag for follow up. Start by Thursday, May 30, 2013. Due by Thursday, May 30, 2013.
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In his speech Thursday, President Obama said: "I look forward to engaging Congress and the American people in efforts to refine, and ultimately repeal, the AUMF's mandate."

Why wait? The
2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force doesn't need refining -- it needs repealing, now. Let the President know we're engaged. Tell him and Congress to repeal endless war.

The leading excuse for current U.S. wars, drone strikes, kill lists, renditions, imprisonments without trial, spying without warrants, the militarization of police, and gargantuan weapons budgets is the legal and rhetorical idea that the United States is involved in a war unbounded by time or space.

While it took 6 years to repeal the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution that was used to justify war in Southeast Asia, after more than 11 years the Authorization for Use of Military Force -- the congressional resolution that launched the "war on terror" -- has not been repealed.

Click here to tell Congress enough is enough!

Congresswoman Barbara Lee, who cast the only vote against the AUMF in 2001, has introduced a bill to repeal it.

H.R.198 would repeal the AUMF for two reasons: because Congress is Constitutionally bound to decide matters of war and cannot legally hand off that responsibility to its executive, and because Congresswoman Lee's somber predictions, when she stood alone against this madness and was subsequently obliged to hire security protection, have been proved right: the Authorization has been used and abused to an ever greater extent as an aggrandizement of executive power and a justification for the erosion of our civil liberties.

Please ask your Representative to co-sponsor and your Senators to do the same by clicking here.  You can also view a short video of Rep. Lee's prescient and powerful remarks in 2001.

Please forward this email widely to like-minded friends.

-- The team

P.S. Our small staff is supported by contributions from people like you; your donations are greatly appreciated.

P.P.S. RootsAction is an independent online force endorsed by Jim Hightower, Barbara Ehrenreich, Cornel West, Daniel Ellsberg, Glenn Greenwald, Naomi Klein, Bill Fletcher Jr., Laura Flanders, former U.S. Senator James Abourezk, Coleen Rowley, Frances Fox Piven, and many others.

H.R.198: Repeal of the Authorization for Use of Military Force

Gibson: 'This government is waging war on civil liberties and anyone who speaks out against its overreach.' (photo: unknown) 
Gibson: 'This government is waging war on civil liberties and anyone who speaks out against its overreach.' (photo: unknown)

How to Win the War on Terror: Repeal the Patriot Act

By Carl Gibson, Reader Supported News, 07 June 13
 y the Fall of 2014, we all need to agree on two simple demands: First, that all members of the House and Senate who voted for the Patriot Act, and all of its subsequent renewals, be voted out of office. Second, that anyone running for Congress must promise to repeal the Patriot Act before doing anything else.
The only thing more alarming than the news about the NSA's all-encompassing citizen spying programPRISM, are members of Congress defending this blatant violation of 4th Amendment rights protecting all citizens from unreasonable search and seizure. PRISM mined data from Microsoft, Google, Amazon, Facebook, Youtube, and other sites. They monitored calls from Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint networks. And they even mined data from credit card companies. Since the Patriot Act was signed into law shortly after 9/11, warrantless wiretapping and constant monitoring of our phone and email conversation has been business as usual. This is the fault of both the Bush and Obama administrations, as each corporate party is captive to the same military-industrial complex making big bucks from the intrusive police and surveillance state in the US.
This government is waging war on civil liberties and anyone who speaks out against its overreach. After the Obama administration's DOJ seized phone records of AP reporters, they defended their decision, saying it was important to catch and punish government whistleblowers. The ongoing Bradley Manning court-martialis just one of many metaphors for the government clamp-down on anyone trying to shine light on its unconstitutional and criminal actions. There are ominous posters in the DC Metro implying that government whistleblowers will be killed. This is even happening at the state level – the Wisconsin legislature convened under the cover of night to pass a bill banning the Center for Investigative Journalism from the University of Wisconsin campus, directly intruding on a free press's right to public documents.
This didn't all just happen overnight. After the passage of the Patriot Act in 2001, our rights to privacy as citizens were signed away. Senator Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) was the only senator who voted no to the bill that gave massive new powers to the DOJ. Senator Mary Landrieu (D-La.) didn't vote yes or no. The House vote for the 2001 bill was also pretty one-sided: the Patriot Act passed 357-66. When it came up for reauthorization in 2006, the Senate passed it 89-10 (there were several who voted yes in 2001 and no in 2006) and the House passed it 280-138. And in 2011, the Patriot Act was extended through 2015 on an 86-12 vote in the Senate, and a 275-144 vote in the House. You can see how your members of Congress votedhere, here and here. And it's important to note that presidents of both parties signed extensions of the Patriot Act into law.
The whole argument behind this assault on our civil liberties is that the Patriot Act's passage and subsequent extensions were necessary to win the so-called War on Terror. Today, we've since killed Osama bin Laden and numerous other presumed Al-Qaeda leaders. We were told that the reason 9/11 happened is that "terrorists hate our freedoms." But if the main assailant on our constitutional rights today is the government itself, then that makes anyone in Congress who still supports the Patriot Act a terrorist attacking our freedom.
Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Ca.) defended these intrusions on our rights, saying, "it's called protecting America." It's worth noting that Feinstein received almost $200K from war profiteers like Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics, BAE Systems, and drone manufacturer General Atomics in the 2012 election cycle. Ardent Patriot Act supporters like Feinstein aren't protecting their constituents, but the profits and stock prices of their sugar daddies.
Obama ran on a promise of discontinuing warrantless wiretapping in 2008. He's since become embroiled in scandals of Nixonian proportion after the seizure of the AP's phone calls and, most recently, our own. His presidency has marked the rise of the oppressive surveillance state that was too busy monitoring peaceful protesters to catch the Boston bombers, even after Russia warned us twice that bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev was in the US and was capable of planning a terrorist attack. While the Obama administration's NSA missed out on the Tsarnaevs, they've almost completed their new, state-of-the-art data center in the mountains of Utah, where every phone call and every piece of online communication from every citizen is stored. This troubling new surveillance culture isn't for terrorists, it's for us.
George Orwell's book "1984" was meant to be a novel, not an instruction manual. If we want to stop the government's tyrannical spree and blatant disregard for our rights, we have to insist that the Patriot Act be repealed and that we abolish the Department of Homeland Security in its entirety. We can no longer call ourselves a free country until we accomplish both of those objectives.

Carl Gibson, 26, is co-founder of US Uncut, a nationwide creative direct-action movement that mobilized tens of thousands of activists against corporate tax avoidance and budget cuts in the months leading up to the Occupy Wall Street movement. Carl and other US Uncut activists are featured in the documentary "We're Not Broke," which premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. He currently lives in Madison, Wisconsin. You can contact him at, and follow him on twitter at @uncutCG.
Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News.

Reader Supported News | 24 May 13 PM
It's Live on the HomePage Now: 
Reader Supported News

William Boardman | War on Terror to Continue With Fresh Makeup 
President Obama outlined his counterterrorism policies in a major speech at National Defense University in Washington, D.C. yesterday. (photo: Charles Dharapak/AP) 
William Boardman, Reader Supported News 
Boardman writes: "Who in a sane state of mind would expect any change of policy when the President gives a speech about counter-terrorism at the National Defense University?" 
Juan Cole | President Obama and Counter-Terrorism: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly 
Juan Cole, Informed Comment 
Cole writes: "The president spent a lot of time asking Congress to do things that that Tea Party-dominated body will not do. So, in the end, the speech changes little." 

Noam Chomsky

Chomsky: Obama, Bush, Blair must be put on trial at ICC for the War on Terror

By Elias Harb on May 24, 2013  From
Chomsky: Obama, Bush, Blair must be put on trial at ICC
Noam Chomsky slams Washington for its growing use of killer drones in a number of countries including Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen and Somalia, describing it as a “massive terror campaign.”
(RT) The US war on terror is in fact the most massive terror campaign ever, and the invasion of Iraq was the worst crime in recent history, prominent liberal thinker Noam Chomsky told RT, adding that he wants to see Bush, Blair and Obama tried at the ICC.
The ‘father of modern linguistics,’ Chomsky reflects on the language of the war on terror, coming to the conclusion that the freer the society, the more sophisticated its propaganda.
RT: As someone who was living in the aftermath of the Boston bombings, the chaos, what did you think of the police and media response to them?
Noam Chomsky: I hate to second guess police tactics, but my impression was that it was kind of overdone. There didn’t have to be that degree of militarization of the area. Maybe there did, maybe not. It is kind of striking that the suspect they were looking for was found by a civilian after they lifted the curfew. They just noticed some blood on the street. But I have nothing to say about police tactics. As far as media was concerned, there was 24 hour coverage on television on all the channels.
RT: Also zeroing in on one tragedy while ignoring others, across the Muslim world, for example…
NC: Two days after the Boston bombing there was a drone strike in Yemen, one of many, but this one we happen to know about because the young man from the village that was hit testified before the Senate a couple of days later and described it. It was right at the same time. And what he said is interesting and relevant. He said that they were trying to kill someone in his village, he said that the man was perfectly well known and they could have apprehended him if they wanted.
A tribesman walks near a building damaged last year by a U.S. drone air strike targeting suspected al Qaeda militants in Azan of the southeastern Yemeni province of Shabwa (Reuters / Khaled Abdullah)
A tribesman walks near a building damaged last year by a U.S. drone air strike targeting suspected al Qaeda militants in Azan of the southeastern Yemeni province of Shabwa (Reuters / Khaled Abdullah)
A drone strike was a terror weapon, we don’t talk about it that way. It is, just imagine you are walking down the street and you don’t know whether in 5 minutes there is going to be an explosion across the street from some place up in the sky that you can’t see. Somebody will be killed, and whoever is around will be killed, maybe you’ll be injured if you’re there. That is a terror weapon. It terrorizes villages, regions, huge areas. In fact it’s the most massive terror campaign going on by a longshot.
What happened in the village according to the Senate testimony, he said that the jihadists had been trying to turn over the villagers against the Americans and had not succeeded. He said in one drone strike they’ve turned the entire village against the Americans. That is a couple of hundred new people who will be called terrorists if they take revenge. It’s a terrorist operation and a terrorist generating machine. It goes on and on, it’s not just the drone strikes, also the Special Forces and so on. It was right at the time of the Boston marathon and it was one of innumerable cases.
It is more than that. The man who was targeted, for whatever reason they had to target him, that’s just murder. There are principles going back 800 years to Magna Carta holding that people cannot be punished by the state without being sentenced by a trial of peers. That’s only 800 years old. There are various excuses, but I don’t think they apply.
But beyond that there are other cases which come to mind right away, where a person is murdered, who could easily be apprehended, with severe consequences. And the most famous one is Bin Laden. There were eight years of special forces highly trained, navy seals, they invaded Pakistan , broke into his compound, killed a couple people. When they captured him he was defenseless, I think his wife was with him. Under instructions they murdered him and threw his body into the ocean without autopsy. That’s only the beginning.
RT: The apprehension of bin Laden and the assassination and dumping his body into the ocean, of course the narrative completely fell apart. You’ve said that in the aftermath of 9-11 the Taliban said that we will give you Bin Laden if you present us with evidence, which we didn’t do…
NC: Their proposal was a little vague.
RT: But why are people so easy to accept conventional wisdom of government narratives, there is virtually no questioning…
NC: That’s all they hear. They hear a drumbeat of conventional propaganda, in my view. And it takes a research project to find other things.

‘Invasion of Iraq was textbook example of aggression’

RT: And of course at the same time of the Boston bombings, Iraq saw almost the deadliest week in 5 years, it was the deadliest month in a long time. Atrocities going on every day, suicide bombings. At the same time our foreign policy is causing these effects in Iraq
NC: I did mention the Magna Carta, which is 800 years old, but there is also something else which is about 70 years. It’s called the Nurnberg tribunal, which is part of foundation of modern international law. It defines aggression as the supreme international crime, differing from other war crimes, and it encompasses all of the evil it follows. The US and British invasion of Iraq was a textbook example of aggression, no questions about it. Which means that we were responsible for all the evil that follows like the bombings. Serious conflict arose, it spread all over the region. In fact the region is being torn to shreds by this conflict. That’s part of the evil that follows.
Iraqi security personnel are seen at the site of a bomb attack in Kirkuk, 250 km (155 miles) north of Baghdad, April 15, 2013 (Reuters / Ako Rasheed)
Iraqi security personnel are seen at the site of a bomb attack in Kirkuk, 250 km (155 miles) north of Baghdad, April 15, 2013 (Reuters / Ako Rasheed)
RT: The media’s lack of coverage of everything that you are speaking about, I know that America runs on nationalism, but is America’s lack of empathy unique? Or do we see that in every country? Or as we grew up in America we are isolated with this viewpoint?
NC: Every great power that I can think of… Britain was the same, France was the same, unless the country is defeated. Like when Germany was defeated after the WWII, it was compelled to pay attention to the atrocities that it carried out. But others don’t. In fact there was an interesting case this morning, which I was glad to see. There are trials going on in Guatemala for Efrain Rios Montt who is basically responsible for the virtual genocide of the Mayans. The US was involved in it every step of the way. Finally this morning there was an article about it saying that there was something missing from the trials, the US’s role. I was glad to see the article.

‘Bush, Blair and Obama got to be tried by ICC but that’s inconceivable’

RT: Do you think that we will ever see white war criminals from imperial nations stand trial the way that  Rios Montt did?
NC: It’s almost impossible. Take a look at the International criminal court (ICC) – black Africans or other people the West doesn’t like. Bush and Blair ought to be up there. There is no recent crime worse than the invasion of Iraq. Obama’s got to be there for the terror war. But that is just inconceivable. In fact there is a legislation in the US which in Europe is called the ‘Netherlands invasion act’, Congressional legislation signed by the president, which authorizes the president to use force to rescue an American brought to the Hague for trial.
RT: Speaking of the drone wars I can’t help but think of John Bellinger, the chief architect of the drone policy, speaking to a think-tank recently saying that Obama has ramped up the drone killings as something to avoid bad press of Gitmo, capturing the suspects alive and trying them at Gitmo. When you hear things like this what is your response to people saying that ‘his hands are tied, he wants to do well’?
NC: That was pointed out some time ago by a Wall Street journal military correspondent. What he pointed out is that Bush’s technique was to capture people and torture them, Obama has improved – you just kill them and anybody else who is around. It’s not that his hands are tied. It’s bad enough to capture them and torture them. But it’s just murder on executive whim, and as I say it’s not just murdering the suspects, it’s a terror weapon, it terrorizes everyone else. It’s not that his hands are tied, it’s what he wants to do.
Members of the International Criminal Court in the Hague, Netherlands (AFP Photo / HO)
Members of the International Criminal Court in the Hague, Netherlands (AFP Photo / HO)
RT: I would rather be detained then blown up and my family with me… NC: And that terrorizes everyone else. There are recent polls which show the Arab public opinion. The results are kind of interesting. Arabs don’t particularly like Iran, but they don’t regard it as a threat. Its rank is rather low. They do see threats in Egypt and Iraq and Yemen, the US is a major threat, Yemen is slightly above the US, but basically they regard the US as a major threat. Why is that? Why would Egyptians, Iraqi and Yemeni regard the US as the greatest threat they face? It’s worth knowing.
RT: The controversial Obama policy, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which you are plaintiff on the case, you’ve also said that the humanitarian laws are actually worse, providing material support for terrorism. Do you think that all these policies are quantifying what has been in place for decades?

US executive whim: Nelson Mandela put on terrorist list, Saddam Hussein taken off

NC: The NDAA is pretty much quantifying practices that have been employed, it went a little bit beyond , and the court case is narrow, it’s about the part that went beyond -  authorization to imprison American citizens indefinitely without trial. That is a radical violation of principles that go back as I said 800 years ago. I don’t frankly see much difference between imprisoning American citizens and imprisoning anyone else. They are all persons.
But we make a distinction. And that distinction was extended by the NDAA. The humanitarian law project broke no ground. There was a concept of material support for terrorism, already sort of a dubious concept, because of how to decide what is terrorism?
Well that’s an executive whim again. There is a terrorist list created by the executive branch without review, without having any right to test it. And if you look at that terrorist list it really tells you something.
So for example Nelson Mandela was on the terrorist list until three or four years ago. The reason was that in 1988 when the Regan administration was strongly supporting the apartheid regime in South Africa, in fact ruling congressional legislation in order to aid it, they declared that the African national Congress was one the most notorious terrorist groups of the world – that’s Mandela, that’s 1988, barely before apartheid collapsed. He was on the terrorist list.
We can take another case: 1982 when Iraq invaded Iran, the US was supporting Iraq and wanted to aid the Iraqi invasion, so Saddam Hussein was taken off the terrorist list…Its executive whim to begin with, we shouldn’t take it seriously. Putting that aside, material assistance meant you give him a gun or something like that. Under the Obama administration it’s you give them advice.
Saddam Hussein (Reuters)
Saddam Hussein (Reuters)
RT: Let’s talk about the linguistics and language of the war on terror. What did Obama’s rebranding of Bush’s policies to do consciousness?
NC: The policy of murdering people instead of capturing them and torturing them can be presented to the public in a way that makes it look clean. It is presented and I think many people see it like that as a kind of surgical strike which goes after the people who are planning to do us harm. And this is a very frightened country, terrified country, has been for a long time. So if anybody is going to do us harm it is fine for us to kill them.
How this is interpreted is quite interesting.
For example there was a case a year or two ago, when a drone attack in Yemen killed a couple little girls. There was a discussion with a well-known liberal columnist Joe Klein, he writes for the Time, he was asked what he thought about this and he said something like – it’s better that four of them are killed than four little girls here.
The logic is mind-boggling. But if we have to kill people elsewhere who might conceivably have aimed to harm us and it happens that a couple little girls get killed too, that’s fine. We are entitled to do that. Well, suppose that any country was doing it to us or to anyone we regard as human. It’s incredible! This is very common.
I remember once right after the invasion of Iraq, Thomas Friedman, the New York Times, Middle East specialist, columnist, was interviewed on the Charlie Rose show, a sort of intellectuals show. Rose asked him ‘what we ought to be doing in Iraq?’ You have to hear the actual words to grasp it, but basically what he said is something like this: ‘American troops have to smash into houses in Iraq and make those people understand that we are not going to allow terrorism. Suck on this, we are not going to allow terrorism in our society! You’d better understand that.
So those terrorized women and children in Baghdad have to be humiliated, degraded and frightened so that Osama Bin Laden won’t attack us.’  It’s mind-boggling. That is the peak of liberal intellectual culture supposedly.
RT: Famous atheists like Richard Dawkins saying that Islam is one of the greatest threats facing humanity, that is a whole another form of propaganda…
NC: Christianity right now is in much greater threat.

‘Propaganda most developed and sophisticated in the more free societies’

RT: The media is obviously instrumental in manufacturing consent for these policies. Your book ‘Media control’ was written a decade before 9-11 and it outlines exactly how sophisticated the media propaganda model is. When you wrote that book did you see how far it would come and where do you see it in 10 years?

NC: I’m afraid that it didn’t take any foresight because it has been going along a long time. Take the US invasion of South Vietnam. Did you ever see that phrase in the media? We invaded South Vietnam, when John F. Kennedy in 1962 authorized bombing of South Vietnam by the US air force, authorized napalm, authorized chemical warfare to destroy crops, started driving peasants into what we called strategic hamlets – it’s basically concentration camps where they were surrounded by barbwire to protect them from the guerrillas who the government knew very well they were supporting. What we would have called that if someone else did it.
But it’s now over 50 years. I doubt that the phrase ‘invasion of South Vietnam’ has ever appeared in the press.  I think that a totalitarian state would barely be able or in fact wouldn’t be able to achieve such conformity. And this is at the critical end. I’m not talking about the ones who said there was a noble cause and we were stabbed in the back. Which generally Obama now says.
Hanoi's Lenin Park, Vietnamm (Reuters)
Hanoi’s Lenin Park, Vietnamm (Reuters)
RT: It’s become so sophisticated, but I don’t know maybe beсause I am younger and I’ve seen it only in the last 10 years in the post 9-11 world. With the internet do you see the reversal of this trend when people are going to be making this form of media propaganda irrelevant? Or do you see a worsening?
NC: The internet gives options, which is good, but the print media gave plenty of options, you could read illicit journals if you wanted to. The internet gives you the opportunity to read them faster, that’s good. But if you think back over the shift from say of the invention of the printing press there was a much greater step then the invention of the internet.
That was a huge change, the internet is another change, a smaller one. It has multiple characteristics. So on the one hand it does give access to a broader range of commentary, information if you know what to look for. You have to know what to look for, however. On the other hand it provides a lot of material, well let’s put it politely, off the wall. And how a person without background, framework, understanding, isolated, alone supposed to decide?
RT: Another form of propaganda is education. You’ve said that the more educated you are the more indoctrinated you are and that propaganda is largely directed towards the educated. How dangerous is it to have an elite ruling class with the illusion of knowledge advancing their own world view on humanity?
NC: It’s old as the hills. Every form of society had some kind of privileged elite, who claimed to be the repositories of the understanding and knowledge and wanted control of what they called the rebel. To make sure that the people don’t have thoughts like ‘we want to be ruled by countrymen like ourselves, not by knights and gentlemen’.
So therefore there are major propaganda systems. It is quite striking that propaganda is most developed and sophisticated in the more free societies. The public relations industry, which is the advertising industry is mostly propaganda, a lot of it is commercial propaganda but also thought control.
That developed in Britain and the US – two of the freest societies. And for a good reason. It was understood roughly a century ago that people have won enough freedom so you just can’t control them by force.
Therefore you have to control beliefs and attitudes, it’s the next best thing. It has always been done, but it took a leap forward about a century ago with the development of these huge industries devoted to, as their leaders put it, to the engineering of content. If you read the founding documents of the PR industry, they say: ‘We have to make sure that the general public are incompetent, they are like children, if you let them run their own affairs they will get into all kind of trouble.
The world has to be run by the intelligent minority, and that’s us, therefore we have to regiment their minds, the way the army regiments its soldiers, for their own good. Because you don’t let a three-year-old run into the street, you can’t let people run their own affairs.’ And that’s a standard idea, it has taken one or another form over the centuries. And in the US it has institutionalized into major industries.

Ellen Ray

Ellen Ray is President of the Institute for Media Analysis and the author and editor of numerous books and magazines on U.S. intelligence and international politics. She is co-editor with William Schaap of Bioterror: Manufacturing Wars the American Way and Covert Action: The Root of Terrorism, both published by Ocean Press in 2003. ...

Bioterror:  Manufacturing wars the American way
Ellen Ray & William H. Schaap eds.
Published by Ocean Press, 2003.

2003, 90pp,

"Bioterror is a valuable antidote to the view that the United States opposes chemical and biological warfare." — Edward Herman. Featuring selected articles from CovertAction Quarterly, the editors document U.S. development and use of these "weapons of mass destruction".

Introduction 1
I. War Without End
The Corruption of Covert Actions
Ramsey Clark 7
Tracking Covert Actions into the Future
Philip Agee 9
NATO and Beyond
Ellen Ray and William H. Schaap 15
Evangelicals for Nuclear War
Larry Jones 21
II. From Cuba to Afghanistan
Instructive Examples
Ellen Ray and William H. Schaap 29
Jihad International, Inc.
Eqbal Ahmad 34
Power and the Semantics of Terrorism
Edward S. Herman 40
Why Do They Hate Us?
Edward S. Herman 47
The New Red Scare
Ellen Ray and William H. Schaap 49
Cuban Exile Terrorists on Rampage
Editorial 53
New Spate of Terrorism: Key Leaders Unleashed
William H. Schaap 57
Editorial on NSDD 138
Editorial 64Pentagon Moves on Terrorism
Ellen Ray and William H. Schaap 67
The Uses of “Counterterrorism”
Christopher Simpson 75
Libya in U.S. Demonology
Noam Chomsky 84
Setting the Stage: Afghanistan
Ellen Ray and William H. Schaap 101
Destabilizing Afghanistan
Steve Galster 103
The Afghan Pipeline
Steve Galster 109
III. Terrorist Wars in the Middle East
Israeli-U.S. Terror
Ellen Ray and William H. Schaap 121
Israeli State Terror
Naseer Aruri 126
Israel Shahak on the “Transfer Proposal”
Ellen Ray 133
Israel Wages Chemical Warfare With American Tear Gas
Louis Wolf 140
Washington’s Proxy: Israeli Arms in Central America
Clarence Lusane 145
Israeli-South African Collaboration
Jack Colhoun 151
Iran-Contra and the Israel Lobby
Ellen Ray and William H. Schaap 157
Fred Landis 162
Ellen Ray and William H. Schaap 169
Out of the Loop: The VP’s Office — Cover for Iran-Contra
Jane Hunter 172
What Vice-President Bush Knew and Why He Knew It
Anthony L. Kimery 179
Vice-President Bush: Inside Track to Power
Karen Branan 186
The Bush Family: Oiligarchy and the Emirs
Ellen Ray and William H. Schaap 188
The Family That Preys Together
Jack Colhoun 192
Iraq and the Gulf Wars
Ellen Ray and William H. Schaap 206
Trading With The Enemy
Jack Colhoun 212
The Middle East in “Crisis”
Jane Hunter 220
Iraq: Disinformation and Covert Operations
Ellen Ray and William H. Schaap 225
IV. End Game: The Fundamentalists Ascend
The Nuclear Terror Card
Ellen Ray and William H. Schaap 235
Hiroshima: Needless Slaughter, Useful Terror
William Blum 240
Nuclear Threats and the New World
Michio Kaku 245
Israel, Iran, the United States and the Bomb
Israel Shahak 256
Endnotes 266
Index 292
Contributors 309

The Terror Factory: Inside the FBI’s Manufactured War on Terror shows how the FBI has, under the guise of engaging in counterterrorism since 9/11, built a network of more than 15,000 informants whose primary purpose is to infiltrate Muslim communities to create and facilitate phony terrorist plots so that the bureau can then claim victory in the war on terror.
An outgrowth of Trevor Aaronson’s work as an investigative reporting fellow at the University of California, Berkeley, which culminated in an award-winning cover story in Mother Jones magazine, The Terror Factory reveals shocking information about the criminals, conmen and liars the FBI uses as paid informants, as well as documents the extreme methods the FBI uses to ensnare Muslims in phony terrorist plots—which are in reality conceived and financed by the FBI.
The book offers unprecedented detail into how the FBI has transformed from a reactive law enforcement agency to a proactive counterterrorism organization–including the full story of an accused murderer who became one of the FBI’s most prolific terrorism informants–and how the FBI has used phony terrorist plots to justify spending $3 billion every year on counterterrorism.


“Compelling, shocking, and gritty with intrigue.”
Publishers Weekly
“A real eye-opener that questions how well the country’s security is being protected.”
Kirkus Book Reviews
The Terror Factory is a well-researched and fast-paced exposé of the dubious tactics the FBI has used in targeting Muslim Americans with sting operations since 2001.”
Reason magazine
“This is investigative reporting at its best. This is a story that the major media has been afraid to look at, much less commit the resources to report it out. Now Trevor Aaronson has done it. For the first time a documented investigation into the domestic terrorism program is available to the general public. And the story this dogged reporter tells has been garnering growing attention. Is it possible that we have in fact created the very threat we fear? Are we in danger of destroying the fabric of our freedom in our panic to preserve it? Read Aaronson’s groundbreaking report and make up your own mind.”
–Lowell Bergman, Pulitzer Prize-winning Professor of Investigative Reporting
“Aaronson explains just how misguided and often deceptive FBI terrorism sting operations have become. In case after case, he demonstrates how the money being spent is more about producing theater than about federal agents arresting suspected terrorists.”
–James J. Wedick, former FBI Supervisory Agent
“This is the kind of journalism that should prompt Congressional hearings. The Terror Factory offers a rare combination of meticulous data-driven reporting with personal narratives about the lives ruined – and careers made – by the FBI’s rampant use of informants. Aaronson is an expert guide through a hidden counter-terrorism network of con men, and through the changes in technology and the FBI itself that paved the way for this new era of law enforcement. The Terror Factory is a damning exposé of how the government’s front line against terrorism has become a network of snitches at the end of their ropes, and FBI agents desperate to thwart a terrorist plot even if it means creating one.”
–Will Potter, Green is the New Red: An Insider’s Account of a Social Movement Under Siege
“A disturbing window into America’s war on terror. In story after story, Aaronson reveals in detail how the FBI and its informants are creating crime rather than solving it. This is an important piece of journalism.”
–Alexandra Natapoff, author of Snitching: Criminal Inform

Jane Mayer, The Dark Side:  The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned into a War on American Ideals.  2008.  Rev. Bettie Lu Lancaster, OMNI Forum on US War on Terror, July 17, 2013.

Of the books on Dick’s list, I chose one by Jane Mayer. She is on the staff of The New Yorker, so I knew it would be well written.  Also, because, of the magazines and newspapers I read, The New Yorker has the best political commentary. So the book I chose to review is The Dark Side:  The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned into a War on American Ideals.
Jane Mayer began with a series of 13 articles in The New Yorker magazine.  She then developed them into a full-length book.  Although the chapters build on each other, almost any single chapter could stand alone as a complete essay. Critics have described The Dark Side as “a powerful, brilliantly researched and deeply unsettling book.”  Published in 2008, it was on several lists of Ten Best Books of the Year.
It is not easy to read about torture.  But it is important for citizens to know what their government is doing.  If you have the stomach for it, I recommend Jane Mayer’s book.  She not only describes the methods used, but what interested me particularly were her descriptions of how a small group of highly placed government officials, this “cabal of ideological extremists,” got by with nullifying the Geneva Conventions, suspending habeas corpus, undermining the 1984 International Convention Against Torture and ignoring the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
There were people who were worried when, after 9/11, President Bush used the term “war.”  They were right to be worried for several reasons, one of which is the extraordinary powers usurped by the executive branch in the name of war.
            When the pictures of Abu Ghraib were published, we were told these morally repulsive actions were unusual, were merely mistakes made by poorly trained, poorly supervised underlings who would be chastised.  Not so.  Jane Mayer documents that the staff at Abu Ghraib was carrying out policies and procedures authorized by the President and dictated at the highest level by the Vice President of the United States.
            Jane Mayer begins the story before 9/11, telling how the government had information revealing that the attack was imminent.  This information was learned through old-fashioned detective work, something as simple as an experienced interrogator giving an informer a meal. The clues were all there, but the case went cold through bureaucratic blunders, common incompetence, misfiled paperwork, misunderstandings and miss communication.  But after 9/11 Vice President Cheney saw the problem differently.  He saw the problem as:
                        too much international law
                        too many civil liberties
                        too many rights for defendants
                        too many rules against covert activities
                        too much openness, but most of  all,
                        too many constraints on the war powers of the President.
He believed a new system of law was needed for this new kind of enemy.  He ordered legal justification for this War on Terror.  This would involve torture, in all but name, secret capture, indefinite detention without charges, suspension of habeas corpus and violation of the Geneva Convention.  “We’ll have to work on the dark side, if you will” said Cheney.
            He obtained the justification he needed in a series of legal memos he ordered from his lawyer, David Addington, and from John Yoo, and others at the Office of Legal Counsel.  It was said of Addington:  “He doesn’t believe in the Constitution. “  In November, just two months after 9/11, the President signed an Order proclaiming a state of “extraordinary emergency.”  Any foreigner deemed to be “engaged in” or having “abetted terrorism” or “conspired to commit” terrorism could be sentenced to death.  There would be no jury, no presumption of innocence, no right to counsel, no Constitutional rights of the accused.  Evidence could be obtained through physical coercion and guilt did not need to be proved beyond a reasonable doubt.  It enhanced the powers of the President without review by Congress or the Courts.  Military lawyers were seen as illegitimate.  Addington said “Don’t bring the TJAG’s into the process.  They are unreliable.”
            A new legal doctrine was established.  Bush gave Vice President Cheney the national security portfolio.  Cheney became the most powerful Vice President in American History.  He controlled the paper flow and access to Bush.  Our captives were not to be categorized as criminals, entitled to American law, nor were they to be considered prisoners of war, with rights spelled out by the Geneva Convention.  A new vocabulary was invented:  Prisoners were labeled “illegal enemy combatants,” subject to “extraordinary rendition” (being carried off by hooded agents in unmarked air planes to countries where they could be tortured,) or they could be held indefinitely in secret “black site” prisons in other countries or in GuantanamoGuantanamo was chosen because it could be claimed to be outside the reach of American law. There prisoners could be questioned without legal interference.  They could be subjected to “enhanced interrogation techniques,” conducted under the leadership of CIA head, George Tenet.
            Much earlier a program had been developed by the military to train soldiers to resist torture.  It was called SERE for Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape.  Under a former military psychologist, James Mitchell, the methods the soldiers were being taught to resist were now used against prisoners.
            When the practice of suffocation by water, or “water boarding” became known by the public, it caused a lot of controversy.  But experts say the real brutality lay in the sheer number and duration of 10 or more different strategies, all used together – what Bush referred to as “an alternative set of procedures.”
These strategies included a program psychologists had used with successfully with dogs, called “Learned Helplessness.” Under this program there was random maltreatment – taking away any predictable schedule from detainees, so that they have no idea what time it is, no sense of when meals are delivered, no idea if it is day or night, no  light, sound or odors,  sleep depredation, and isolation, all of which are meant to cause psychic stress that would erode a prisoner’s resistance to being interrogated and foster total dependence upon an interrogator.  They were treated like dogs, even by using dog cages and a collars and leash.  They were stripped naked.
They knew that shame and humiliation were the biggest weakness of  Arabs.  Therefore they did everything they could to dehumanize them.
Were there any “good guys,” was there any opposition? Yes, there was strong opposition from the beginning from Journalists at the New York Times, the Washington Post and The New Yorker.  Officials in the State Department and the FBI protested. (Cheney said “keep those FBI people out, they’re dangerous.”)  Career military officers, including former Chiefs of Staff objected.  And there were complaints from members of Congress of both parties, including Senators Richard Durbin and Jay Rockefeller, and even people within the CIA.  But Cheney prevailed.
Jane Mayer cites Alberto Mora, the Navy General Counsel, who mounted a futile challenge to the interrogation policy. He feared it might result in war crimes charges.  Mora reportedly warned Donald Rumsfeld’s chief counsel, William Haynes, to “protect your client!”  Haynes did, by getting another secret opinion from Yoo, superseding Mora’s. (Mora finally gave up trying to work within the system, and resigned to work for Wal-Mart.)
Jack Goldsmith, head of the Office of Legal Counsel, sought to revoke the Yoo memo, without success.  Matthew Wexmore, a Defense Department lawyer, organized a group of high ranking military officers and Defense Department officials, including the Secretaries of Army, Navy and Air Force, who met in secret to plan to shut down the “black sites” and restore the Geneva Convention.
All soon left the government, having been deceived, bullied, thwarted and marginalized by Cheney.
But, bad as it was, did torture work.  Were there benefits?
There is great evidence that torture is one of the least effective methods of gathering information, and a likely source of false confessions.  Both the FBI and the military say it produces unreliable and often unusable information. Jane Mayer argues that in fact, it resulted in a flood of false and even dangerously misleading intelligence, including some false information that was used to justify going to war against Iraq.
            The long term affects?  Grantanamo is still with us.  This morning’s news is all about forced feedings of Guantanamo detainees on a hunger strike. (The Muslims, celebrating Ramadan, are only force fed after sundown.) Lawyers are now allowed in, but last spring a group of investigators from Seton Hall University Law School reported listening devices and cameras recording the lawyer client conferences.
Maybe someone should have paid attention to former Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis  who said:
“the greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding.”
Or as Alberto Mora said:  “If cruelty is no longer declared unlawful, but instead is applied s a matter of policy, it alters the fundamental relationship of man to government.  It destroys the whole notion of individual rights.  The Constitution recognizes that man has an inherent right, not bestowed by the state or laws, to personal dignity, including the right to be free of cruelty.  It applies to all human beings, not just in America—even those designated as “unlawful enemy combatants.’ If you make this exception, the whole Constitution crumbles.  It’s a transformative issue.”

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Taking Liberties:  The War on Terror and the Erosion of American Democracy by Susan N. Herman

·                                 Powerful account of how civil liberties have rapidly eroded in post-9/11 America.
·                                 Authored by the President of the ACLU, the book features numerous stories of ordinary people caught in the government's surveillance dragnet
·                                 Explains that the state of emergency has continued into the Obama administration, and shows why we must remain vigilant if we are to hold on to our age-old freedoms


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