Sunday, July 31, 2022





ANTHOLOGY #12, JULY 30, 2022.

Compiled by Dick Bennett for a Culture of Peace and Justice

(#1 Oct. 21, 2011; #2 Dec. 12, 2011; #3 January 31, 2012; #4 Sept. 12, 2012; $5, March 29, 2013; #6, May 22, 2013; #7 June 24, 2013; #8 July 30, 2013; #9 July 30, 2014; #10, July 30, 2019; #11, July 30, 2021).



OMNI’s endowed fund at UA’s Mullins Library for the purchase of books and films on Victims includes whistleblowers and leakers-- true heroes, real valor.

TIM SCHWARTZ.    A PUBLIC SERVICE: Whistleblowing, Disclosure and Anonymity.
Chris Hedges.  The Chris Hedges Report.   7-31-22.   When The Just Go to Prison.”
Arkansas Supreme Court Follows Bush-Obama-Trump Obeisance to the Espionage Act.
Whistleblower-Leakers Anthologies #11 and #10.







TIM SCHWARTZ.    A PUBLIC SERVICE: Whistleblowing, Disclosure and Anonymity.


 From Daniel Ellsberg to Edward Snowden to Chelsea Manning, whistleblowers have proven their importance in safeguarding democracy. But can a whistleblower reveal truths about the government or a corporation without revealing her identity? Digital security expert Tim Schwartz says she can, and in this concise, easy-to-understand handbook, shows us how.
“The must-have handbook”  —Katharine Gun 
"Outstanding" —Cory Doctorow
“A practical roadmap when making that often life-altering choice of standing up and exposing abuse..."  —Thomas Drake

Free e-book of In Defense of Julian Assange with every paperback


Chris Hedges.   The Chris Hedges Report.    7-31-22.    When The Just Go to Prison

[I highlighted some of the key topics: Daniel Hale, whistleblower and leakers, prison, Espionage Act, drones, The Drone Papers, The Intercept, civilians killed, Nicholson Baker, supermax prison, conscience, Obama, Bush, Trump, Assange, Snowden Drake, Manning Sterling, Kiriakou, Schulte, Afghan Bagram Air Force Base, David Dellinger, Hellfire missiles, Bureau of Investigative Journalism, Jeremy Scahill’s The Assassination Complex, Terrorist Identities Data….  –Dick]

When those who expose the crimes of the state are criminalized and sent to prison, tyranny is inevitable.


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MARION, Illinois — Daniel Hale, dressed in a khaki uniform, his hair cut short and sporting a long, neatly groomed brown beard, is seated behind a plexiglass screen, speaking into a telephone receiver at the federal prison in Marion, Illinois. I hold a receiver on the other side of the plexiglass and listen as he describes his journey from working for the National Security Agency and the Joint Special Operations Task Force at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan to becoming federal prisoner 26069-07. 

Hale, a 34-year-old former Air Force signals intelligence analyst, is serving a 45 month prison sentence, following his conviction under the Espionage Act for disclosing classified documents about the U.S. military’s drone assassination program and its high civilian death toll. The documents are believed to be the source material for The Drone Papers” published by The Intercept, on October 15, 2015. 

These documents revealed that between January 2012 and February 2013, U.S. special operations drone airstrikes killed more than 200 people — of which only 35 were the intended targets. According to the documents, over one five-month period of the operation, nearly 90 percent of the people killed in airstrikes were not the intended targets. The civilian dead, usually innocent bystanders, were routinely classified as “enemies killed in action.”

You can see my interview with Hale’s attorney, Jesselyn Radack, here.

The terrorizing and widespread killing of thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, of civilians was a potent recruiting tool for the Taliban and Iraqi insurgents. The aerial attacks created far more hostile fighters than they eliminated and enraged many in the Muslim world.

Hale is composed, articulate and physically fit from his self-imposed regime of daily exercise. We discuss books he has recently read, including John Steinbeck’s novel East of Eden and Nicholson Baker’s Baseless: My Search for Secrets in the Ruins of the Freedom of Information Act, which explores whether the U.S. used biological weapons on China and Korea during World War II and the Korean War. 

Hale is currently housed in the Communications Management Unit (CMU), a special unit that severely restricts and heavily monitors communications, including our conversation, and visitations. The decision by The Bureau of Prisons to lock Hale up in the most restrictive wing of a supermax prison ignores the recommendation of the sentencing Judge Liam O’Grady, who suggested that he be placed in a low-security prison hospital facility in Butner, North Carolina, where he could get treatment for his PTSD.  

Hale is one of a few dozen people of conscience who have sacrificed their careers and their freedom to inform the public about government crimes, fraud and lies. Rather than investigate the crimes that are exposed and hold those who carried them out to account, the two ruling parties wage war on all who speak out.  

These men and women of conscience are the lifeblood of journalism. Reporters cannot document abuses of power without them. The silence on the part of the press over Hale’s imprisonment, as well as the persecution and imprisonment of other champions of an open society, such as Julian Assange, is stunningly shortsighted. If our most important public servants, those with the courage to inform the public, continue to be criminalized at this rate, we will cement in place total censorship, resulting in a world where the abuses and crimes of the powerful are shrouded in darkness. 

Barack Obama weaponized the Espionage Act to prosecute those who provided classified information to the press. The Obama White House, whose assault on civil liberties was worse than those of the Bush administration, used the 1917 Act, designed to prosecute spies, against eight people who leaked information to the media including Assange — although he is not a U.S. citizen, and WikiLeaks is not a U.S.-based publication — along with Edward SnowdenThomas Drake, Chelsea Manning, Jeffrey Sterling and John Kiriakou, who spent two-and-a-half years in prison for exposing the routine torture of suspects held in black sites.  

Also under The Espionage Act, Joshua Schulte, a former CIA software engineer, was convicted on July 13, 2022 of the so-called Vault 7 leak, published by WikiLeaks in 2017, which revealed how the CIA hacked Apple and Android smartphones and turned internet-connected televisions into listening devices. He faces up to 80 years in prison. 

Obama used the Espionage Act against those who provided information to the media more than all previous administrations combined. He set a terrifying legal precedent, equating informing the public with spying for a hostile power. I published classified material when I was a reporter at The New York Times, but we are fast approaching the day when the mere possession of such material, along with its publication, will be illegal, as is already law in the U.K. It is a short step from criminalizing journalism to the imprisonment and murder of reporters, such as Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in 2018 in Istanbul. While Assange was sheltering in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, the CIA discussed kidnapping and assassinating him following the release of the Vault 7 documents.

The Espionage Act has been abused in the past. President Woodrow Wilson used it to throw socialists, including Eugene V. Debs, in prison for opposing America’s participation in World War I. But not until the Obama administration was it systematically turned on the press. 

Wholesale government surveillance, about which many charged under the Espionage Act tried to warn the public, includes surveillance of journalists. The surveillance of the press, along with those who attempt to inform the public by providing information to reporters, has largely shut down investigations into the machinery of power. The price of telling the truth is too costly.

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Hale, trained in the army as a Mandarin linguist, was uneasy the moment he began working in the secretive drone program.

“I needed a paycheck,” he says of his work in the Air Force and later as a private contractor in the drone program, “I was homeless. I had nowhere else to go. But I knew it was wrong.” 

While stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, he took a week off in October 2011 to camp out in New York’s Zuccotti Park during the Occupy Wall Street movement. He wore his uniform — a gutsy act of open defiance for someone on active duty— and held up a sign that read, “Free Bradley Manning,” who had not yet announced her transition. 

“I slept in the park,” he says. “I was there the morning [Mayor] Bloomberg and his girlfriend made the first attempt to clear the occupiers. I stood with thousands of protestors, including Teamsters and communications workers, who ringed the park. The police backed down. I learned later that while I was in the park, Obama ordered a drone strike in Yemen that killed Abdulrahman Anwar al-Awlaki, the 16-year-old son of the radicalized cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, killed by a drone strike two weeks earlier.”

Hale was deployed a few months later to Afghanistan’s Bagram Air Force Base

He described his work in a letter to the judge:

In my capacity as a signals intelligence analyst stationed at Bagram Airbase, I was made to track down the geographic location of handset cell phone devices believed to be in the possession of so-called enemy combatants. To accomplish this mission required access to a complex chain of globe-spanning satellites capable of maintaining an unbroken connection with remotely piloted aircraft, commonly referred to as drones. Once a steady connection is made and a targeted cell phone device is acquired, an imagery analyst in the U.S., in coordination with a drone pilot and camera operator, would take over using information I provided to surveil everything that occurred within the drone’s field of vision. This was done, most often, to document the day-to-day lives of suspected militants. Sometimes, under the right conditions, an attempt at capture would be made. Other times, a decision to strike and kill them where they stood would be weighed.

The first time that I witnessed a drone strike came within days of my arrival to Afghanistan. Early that morning, before dawn, a group of men had gathered together in the mountain ranges of Patika province around a campfire carrying weapons and brewing tea. That they carried weapons with them would not have been considered out of the ordinary in the place I grew up, much less within the virtually lawless tribal territories outside the control of the Afghan authorities. Except that among them was a suspected member of the Taliban, given away by the targeted cell phone device in his pocket. As for the remaining individuals, to be armed, of military age, and sitting in the presence of an alleged enemy combatant was enough evidence to place them under suspicion as well. Despite having peacefully assembled, posing no threat, the fate of the now tea drinking men had all but been fulfilled. I could only look on as I sat by and watched through a computer monitor when a sudden, terrifying flurry of hellfire missiles came crashing down, splattering purple-colored crystal guts on the side of the morning mountain.

Since that time and to this day, I continue to recall several such scenes of graphic violence carried out from the cold comfort of a computer chair. Not a day goes by that I don’t question the justification for my actions. By the rules of engagement, it may have been permissible for me to have helped to kill those men — whose language I did not speak, whose customs I did not understand, and whose crimes I could not identify — in the gruesome manner that I did. Watch them die. But how could it be considered honorable of me to continuously have laid in wait for the next opportunity to kill unsuspecting persons, who, more often than not, are posing no danger to me or any other person at the time. Nevermind honorable, how could it be that any thinking person continued to believe that it was necessary for the protection of the United States of America to be in Afghanistan and killing people, not one of whom present was responsible for the September 11th attacks on our nation. Notwithstanding, in 2012, a full year after the demise of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, I was a part of killing misguided young men who were but mere children on the day of 9/11.

Hale drifted after leaving the Air Force, dropped out of the New School where he had been attending college, and was lured back into operating drones in 2013 by the private defense contractor National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency where he worked as a political geography analyst between December 2013 and August 2014. 

“I was making $ 80,000 a year,” he says into the receiver. “I had friends with college degrees who could not make that kind of money.”

Inspired by peace activist David Dellinger, Hale decided to become a “traitor” to “the American way of death.” He would make amends for his complicity in the killings, even at the cost of his freedom. He leaked 17 classified documents that exposed the high number of civilian deaths from drone strikes. He became an outspoken and prominent critic of the drone program. 

Because Hale was charged under the Espionage Act, he was not permitted to explain his motivations to the court. He was also forbidden from providing evidence to the court that the drone assassination program killed and wounded large numbers of noncombatants, including children. 

“Evidence of the defendant’s views of military and intelligence procedures would needlessly distract the jury from the question of whether he had illegally retained and transmitted classified documents, and instead convert the trail into an inquest of U.S. military and intelligence procedures,” government attorneys said in a motion at Hale’s trial.

“The defendant may wish for his criminal trial to become a forum on something other than his guilt, but those debates cannot and do not inform the core questions in this case: whether the defendant illegally retained and transferred the documents he stole,” the government motion continued.

Drones often fire Hellfire missiles equipped with an explosive warhead weighing about 20 pounds. A Hellfire variant, known as the R9X, carries an inert warhead. Instead of exploding, it hurls about 100 pounds of metal through a vehicle. The missile’s other feature includes six long blades tucked inside which deploy seconds before impact, shredding anything in front of it — including people.

Drones hover 24 hours a day in the skies over countries including Iraq, Somalia, Yemen, Pakistan, Syria and, before our defeat, Afghanistan. Operated remotely from Air Force bases as far away from the target sites as Nevada, drones fire ordinance that instantly and without warning obliterates homes and vehicles or kills clusters of people. Hale found the jocularity of the young drone operators, who treated the killings as if they were an enhanced video game, disturbing.  Child victims of drone attacks were dismissed as “fun-sized terrorists.”

Those who survive drone strikes are often badly maimed, losing limbs, suffering severe burns and shrapnel wounds, and losing their vision and hearing. 

In a statement he read at his sentencing on July 27, 2021, Hale said:“I think of the farmers in their poppy fields whose daily harvest will gain them safe passage from the warlords, who will, in turn, trade it for weapons before it is synthesized, repackaged, and re-sold dozens of times before it finds its way into this country and into the broken veins of our nation’s next opioid victim. I think of the women who, despite living their entire lives never once allowed to make so much as a choice for themselves, are treated as pawns in a ruthless game politicians play when they need a justification to further the killing of their sons & husbands. And I think of the children, whose bright-eyed, dirty faces look to the sky and hope to see clouds of gray, afraid of the clear blue days that beckon drones to come carrying eager death notes for their fathers.”

“As one drone operator put it,” he read in court, “‘Do you ever step on ants and never give it another thought?’ That’s what you’re made to think of the targets. They deserved it, they chose their side. You had to kill a part of your conscience to keep doing your job — ignoring the voice inside telling you this wasn’t right. I, too, ignored the voice inside as I continued walking blindly towards the edge of an abyss. And when I found myself at the brink, ready to give in, the voice said to me, ‘You, who had been a hunter of men, are no longer. By the grace of God you’ve been saved. Now go forth and be a fisher of men so that others might know the truth.’”

It was, ironically, the election of Obama that encouraged Hale to join the Air Force.

“I thought Obama, who as a candidate opposed the war in Iraq, would end the wars and lawlessness of the Bush administration,” he says. 

However, a few weeks after he took office, Obama approved the deployment of an additional 17,000 troops to Afghanistan, where 36,000 U.S. troops and 32,000 NATO troops were already deployed. By the end of the year, Obama increased troop levels in Afghanistan again by 30,000, doubling U.S. casualties. He also massively expanded the drone program, raising the number of drone strikes from several dozen the year before he took office to 117 by his second year in office.  By the time he left office, Obama had presided over 563 drone strikes that killed approximately 3,797 people, many of whom were civilians. 

Obama authorized “signature strikes” allowing the CIA to carry out drone attacks against groups of suspected militants without getting positive identification. His administration approved “follow-up” or “double-tap” drone strikes, which deployed drones to strike anyone e who assisted those injured in the initial drone strike. The Bureau of Investigative Journalists reported in 2012 that “at least 50 civilians were killed in follow-up strikes when they had gone to help victims,” during Obama’s first three years in office. Additionally, “more than 20 civilians have also been attacked in deliberate strikes on funerals and mourners” the report read. Obama expanded the footprint of the drone program in Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen, and established drone bases in Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

“There are several such lists, used to target individuals for different reasons,” Hale writes in an essay titled, “Why I Leaked the Watchlist Documents,” originally published anonymously in May 2016  in the book The Assassination Complex: Inside the Government’s Secret Drone Warfare Program by Jeremy Scahill and the staff of The Intercept.

“Some lists are closely kept; others span multiple intelligence and local law enforcement agencies,” Hale writes in the essay. “There are lists used to kill or capture supposed ‘high-value targets, ’ and others intended to threaten, coerce, or simply monitor a person’s activity. However, all the lists, whether to kill or silence, originate from the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment (TIDE), and are maintained by the Terrorist Screening Center at the National Counterterrorism Center. The existence of TIDE is unclassified, yet details about how it functions in our government are completely unknown to the public. In August 2013 the database reached a milestone of one million entries. Today, it is thousands of entries larger and is growing faster than it has since its inception in 2003.” 

The Terrorist Screening Center, he writes, not only stores names, dates of birth, and other identifying information of potential targets but also stores “medical records, transcripts, and passport data; license plate numbers, email, and cell-phone numbers (along with the phone’s International Mobile Subscriber Identity and International Mobile Station Equipment Identity numbers); your bank account numbers and purchases; and other sensitive information, including DNA and photographs capable of identifying you using facial recognition software.”

Suspects’ data  is collected and pooled by the intelligence alliance formed by Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States, known as the Five Eyes. Each person on the list is assigned a TIDE personal number, or TPN.

“From Osama bin Laden (TPN 1063599) to Abdulrahman Awlaki (TPN 26350617), the American son of Anwar al Awlaki, anyone who has ever been the target of a covert operation was first assigned a TPN and closely monitored by all agencies who follow that TPN long before they were eventually put on a separate list and extrajudicially sentenced to death,” Hale wrote.

As Hale exposed in the leaked documents, the more than one million entries in the TIDE database include about 21,000 U.S. citizens.

“When the President gets up in front of the nation and says they are doing everything they can to ensure there is near certainty there will be no civilians killed, he is saying that because he can’t say otherwise, because anytime an action is taken to finish a target there is a certain amount of guesswork in that action,” Hale says in the award-winning documentary “National Bird,” a film about whistleblowers in the U.S. drone program who suffered moral injury and PTSD. “It’s only in the aftermath of any kind of ordinance being dropped that you know how much actual damage was done. Oftentimes, the intelligence community is reliant, the Joint Special Operations Command, the CIA included, is reliant on intelligence coming afterwards that confirms that who they were targeting was killed in the strike, or that they weren’t killed in that strike.”

“The people who defend drones, and the way they are used, say they protect American lives by not putting them in harm’s way,” he says in the film. “What they really do is embolden decision makers because there is no threat, there is no immediate consequence. They can do this strike. They can potentially kill this person they are so desperate to eliminate because of how potentially dangerous they could be to the U.S. But if it just so happens that they don’t kill that person, or some other people involved in the strike get killed as well, there are no consequences for it. When it comes to high-value targets, [in] every mission you go after one person at a time, but anybody else killed in that strike is blankly assumed to be an associate of the targeted individual. So as long as they can reasonably identify that all of the people in the field view of the camera are military-aged males, meaning anybody who is believed to be age 16 or older, they are a legitimate target under the rules of engagement. If that strike occurs and kills all of them, they just say they got them all.”

Drones, he says, make remote killing “easy and convenient.”

On August 8, 2014, the FBI raided Hale’s home. It was his last day of work for the private contractor. Two FBI agents, one male and one female, shoved their badges in his face when he opened the door. About two dozen agents, pistols drawn, many wearing body armor, followed behind. They photographed and ransacked every room. They confiscated all his electronics, including his phone.

He spent the next five years in limbo. He struggled to find work, fought off depression and contemplated suicide. In 2019, the Trump administration indicted Hale on four counts of violating the Espionage Act and one count of theft of government property. As part of a plea deal, he pled guilty to one count of violating the Espionage Act.

“I am here to answer for my own crimes and not that of another person,” he said at his sentencing. “And it would appear that I am here today to answer for the crime of stealing papers, for which I expect to spend some portion of my life in prison. But what I am really here for is having stolen something that was never mine to take: precious human life. For which I was well-compensated and given a medal. I couldn’t keep living in a world in which people pretended things weren’t happening that were. My consequential decision to share classified information about the drone program with the public was a gesture not taken lightly, nor one I would have taken at all if I believed such a decision had the possibility of harming anyone but myself. I acted not for the sake of self-aggrandizement but that I might some day humbly ask forgiveness.” 

I know a few Daniel Hales. They made my most important reporting possible. They enabled truths to be told. They held the powerful accountable. They gave a voice to the victims. They informed the public. They called for the rule of law.

I sit across from Hale and wonder if this is the end, if he, and others like him, will be completely silenced. 

Hale’s imprisonment is a microcosm of the vast gulag being constructed for all of us.  


The Chris Hedges Report is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.

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Hedges is a great public intellectual, conscience, and truth-teller.  --Dick

From his publisher:   Chris Hedges is a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist who was a foreign correspondent and bureau chief in the Middle East and the Balkans for fifteen years for The New York Times. He previously worked overseas for The Dallas Morning NewsThe Christian Science Monitor, and NPR. He is host of the Emmy Award­–nominated RT America show On Contact. Hedges, who holds a Master of Divinity from Harvard University, is the author of numerous books, and was a National Book Critics Circle finalist for War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning. He has taught at Columbia University, New York University, Princeton University, and the University of Toronto.


And the Arkansas Supreme Court shares the Bush, Obama, Trump repression of our Bravehearts:

Supreme Court deals another blow to whistleblower act ... › Arkansas Blog

May 30, 2019 - The Arkansas Supreme Court today dismissed a complaint by a former ... of that protection in the whistleblower law was unconstitutional.

State Supreme Court does away with state Whistle-Blower Act ... › Arkansas Blog

Apr 12, 2018In a 5-2 decision today, the Arkansas Supreme Court neutered the ... In January, the Supreme Court ruled that the legislature could not pass laws waiving .... try to amend the Constitution to add the WhistleBlowers protections.

Arkansas Law Targets Workplace Whistleblowers › arkansas-law-targets-workplace-whistle...

Mar 24, 2017 - LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (CN) – The governor of Arkansas signed a law Thursday that gives employers the authority to sue whistleblowers who ...

Act. For more ... manpower or a violation of law; participates, or gives information, in an.

355.1 Whistleblower Policy - University of Arkansas System › board-policy

Oct 13, 2017 - The University is committed to compliance with the laws and ... are in violation of law as defined in Arkansas and federal whistleblower laws. III.


Chris Hedges, Essays on Daniel Hale, “The Price of Conscience” and “Bless the Traitors”
Radio Panel, Julian Assange
Mark Hertsgaard, Bravehearts: Whistle-Blowers in the Age of Snowden
Arkansas Whistle-Blower Law

CONTENTS OF #10, July 30, 2019
Thomas Drake and John Kiriakou—Roots Action
Jeffrey Sterling—Roots Action
Daniel Hale—The Intercept, Truthout



ANTHOLOGY #12, JULY 30, 2022


Saturday, July 30, 2022





JULY 30, 2022


 (#11 Oct. 8, 2011; #12 Jan. 31, 2012; #13 Feb. 22, 2012; #14 Feb. 26, 2012; #15 March 17, 2012; #16 April 12, 2012; #17 May 21, 2012; #18, July 9, 2012; #19 August 13, 2012; #20 Sept. 10, 2012; #21, Dec. 14, 2012; #22 March 5, 2013; #23 Nov. 12, 2013; #24 March 5, 2014; #25 January 17, 2015; #26, July 28, 2015; #27, June 3, 2018; #28, June 21, 2019; #29, July 11, 2019; #30, August 9, 2019; #31, August 23, 2019.)



[History of US/Iranian Friendship]


[1953 CIA organized coup d’├ętat overthrew democratically elected Prime Minister Mossadegh]

[1979 Iranian Revolution and US Embassy Hostages]





 “The Coming American Assault on Iran 2018.”


Bolton’s plans for war



Google Search:   
U.S. Leaves Iran Deal, Violates World Order and Risks War.

US Media: How to Start a War

Peace Action 2019





Chris Hedges. “War with Iran.”  The United States, Israel, and Saudi Arabia are plotting a war with Iran.
Ted Snider.  Why Is Biden Joining The Warpath Against Iran?

Mitchell Plitnick.   Biden’s Words Make War with Iran More Likely.” 



Brett Wilkins.  Jimmy Carter.    US 'Most Warlike Nation in History of the World'.”   2019.

Code Pink, 2018 to Present






11-2-18 The Iranian Students Association (ISA) at the university of Arkansas will host an invited speaker, Dr. Afshin Marashi, who will give a lecture titled “Old Friends: The Forgotten History of US-Iranian Relations”. 

. . . . Iran and the United States have been in conflict with one another since the 1979 Iranian revolution and the ensuing 444-day hostage crisis at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran. One consequence of this troubled history has been each country’s use of harsh rhetoric — including slogans such as “the Great Satan” and “the Axis of Evil” — to describe one another. Another equally important consequence of this now forty-year US-Iranian “Cold War” has been to obscure a much older and much more enduring history of US-Iranian social, economic, cultural, and political interaction and cooperation. From the history of religion, philosophy, and literature, to education, medicine, agriculture, and politics Iranians and Americans have had a long history of mutual understanding and cooperation that stretches back to the early nineteenth century. This talk will survey the legacy of this shared past, and will highlight key episodes in the forgotten history of US-Iranian relations.


[2015 Iranian Nuclear Arms Accord, the Joint
       Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).]






“The Coming American Assault on Iran 2018.”  05/11/2018   (Also published in Z Magazine Aug. 2018).

The new American strategy on Iran is to dismantle the nuclear deal and lay the groundwork for a military strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities. Mike Pompeo, Trump’s most recent Secretary of State, recently visited Saudi Arabia and Israel, and in both countries he focused almost exclusively on Iran. As yesterday’s early morning bombing of Iranian targets in Syria has shown, the Israelis are becoming increasingly concerned that a permanent Iranian military presence in Syria will harm their security.

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu recently expressed dismay when Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov refused to rule out a long-term Iranian presence in the Golan Heights. John Kerry recently revealed that the Israelis frequently appealed to the Obama administration to attack Iranian nuclear sites. He also revealed that all American allies in the Middle East have repeatedly implored the United States to take military action against Iran.

The Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA) was specifically focused on freezing Iran’s capacity to enrich uranium over the next 25 years. In 2014, Pompeo, then Republican senator of Kansas, went on record as stating that “it is under 2,000 sorties to destroy the Iranian nuclear capacity. This is not an insurmountable task for the coalition forces.” These are not the words of a man who has much patience for diplomacy.

North Korea is different: it already has nuclear weapons and the ability to strike American targets. Pompeo speaks softly with the North Koreans, but with Iran, which has no nuclear capacities (and according to Pompeo himself, was not seeking them prior to the nuclear deal), he carries a stick. John Bolton, whose support for the criminal invasion of Iraq in 2003 is well documented, has long advocated a military strike against Iran, and he has a very cozy relationship with the Mujahideen-e-Khalq, an Iranian dissident organization dedicated to regime change in Iran.

No doubt, the Trump administration does not expect the Iranians to accept any renegotiation of the nuclear deal. This is already clear from the absurd requirements they expect the Iranians to accept in any future deal. They want Iran to refrain from pursuing its geopolitical objectives in the region while Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Israel freely pursue their own policy of further destroying the Palestinianssupporting radical Islamists in Syria against Asad, and creating the worst humanitarian crisis in the world in Yemen.

For their part, the Iranians already see the nuclear deal as a huge compromise: Iran is a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and the treaty clearly states that signatories are not under any legal obligation to refrain from enriching uranium, so long as it is used for civilian, not military purposes. The fact that the Iranians even accepted this deal is already a major concession to Western powers, and the only reason they accepted the deal was to escape years of crippling economic sanctions. The idea that they would now return to the table after years of grueling negotiations is highly unlikely.

The Trump administration no doubt knows this, and must already have discussed how to react to the possibility of Iran’s decision to pull out of the deal. The Trump administration will do all it can to freeze Iran’s economy and sanction any European firm that does business with Iran, effectively re-imposing the sanctions the Iranians hoped to escape by signing the nuclear deal: “Even once all nuclear-related sanctions imposed on Iran have been lifted, Iran will remain one of the most sanctioned countries on earth.”

This de facto blockade will embolden hardliners in Iran who saw in the nuclear deal little more than capitulation to the fickle and ever-changing demands of the West. The Iranians will themselves abandon the deal if the cost of remaining in it becomes higher than the cost of pulling out. They may decide to reinstate their enrichment program. The Trump administration is betting that this will occur, and that it will cause European powers to unite behind an American military strike against Iran. All of the pieces will be in place.

No sooner did Pompeo end his brief visit to Saudi Arabia and Israel than did Netanyahu go live on Israeli television and, standing behind a screen that read “Iran Lied” in big black letters, claim that he has special evidence of a secret Iranian nuclear program. Political theatre: the Washington Post reports that most of the evidence presented dates back to 2015, before the nuclear deal was even signed, and that “intelligence experts and diplomats said he did not seem to have presented a ‘smoking gun’ showing that Iran had violated the agreement, although he may have helped make a case on behalf of hawks in U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration who want to scrap it.” He appears to have succeeded.

The meaning of Trump’s alleged “isolationism” is finally becoming clear: what he really opposes are large-scale ground invasions (which he perceives as a drain on American military resources), not air campaigns against foreign adversaries. He hired Pompeo and Bolton partly in order to pursue a more aggressive strategy against Iran. They know what they are doing.

An American strike against Iran raises the specter of a wider regional war. Unlike their mute response to Israel’s recent strike against Iranian targets in Syria, the Russians will likely see any attack on Iran as an attack on one of their key assets in the region. Those opposed to military action against Iran urgently need to start speaking up now if they hope to inform the American public on the disastrous consequences any attack against Iran is likely to have, for the region and for the Iranian people themselves.

Tarek R. Dika teaches philosophy in the Program of Liberal Studies at the University of Notre Dame


Did Trump Break the Law? U.S. Leaves Iran Deal, Violates World ... › ... › United › Syria › Israel › War › Conflict

May 9, 2018.  U.S. Leaves Iran Deal, Violates World Order and Risks War, Experts Say ... to as “the worst deal ever ...

Donald Trump says US will no longer abide by Iran deal – as it ... › world › live › may › iran-nuclear-deal-don...

May 8, 2018 - Donald Trump on Tuesday afternoon announced the US would violate the Irannuclear agreement, nearly three years after the the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was struck. In exiting the JCPOA, Trump broke from US allies in Europe and has potentially triggered a new ...

United States withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. › wiki › United_States_withdrawal_from_the_Join...

On May 8, 2018, the United States announced its withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. Unofficially known as the “Iran Deal” or the “Iran Nuclear Deal”, the Joint .... of the majority of states and exclusively in its own narrow-minded and opportunistic interests, in flagrant violation of international law.



OMNI’s pause in its Stop Iran War & Stop Imperialism Peace Protests, Week 12, August 31, 2019. 

Abel Tomlinson OMNI’s Demonstrations Coordinator

Attachments8:50 AM (19 minutes ago)

Dear Friends,


With a great demonstration of conviction, we've held 11 consecutive weeks (3 months) of peace protests calling for a stop to war on Iran and imperialist warfare everywhere.  We've certainly reached the minds of thousands of Arkansans, both through media coverage and the many honking cars.


Here are a few photos from Week 11


We've decided that this coming Saturday will be our final protest in this series, but should hostilities escalate, we will resume.  We'll also be prepared to organize a snap protest at Senator Tom Cotton's office if and when threats of war are peaking.  Please bring your friends this next Saturday, August 31, at 11 a.m. in front of the Washington County Courthouse in Fayetteville.   Let's go out with a bang for peace!


If you can, please help print/distribute the attached fliers, especially at Farmers Market & UA campus. Also, if you're on Facebook, please share & invite your friends to this Facebook event page.  


See You Saturday!



Bolton’s plans for war

March 11, 2019


Dick, did you see my email yesterday? The Trump administration is racing toward war with Iran — John Bolton even demanded plans for a full-scale military strike.

We’ve seen this build-up before. We’ve seen the deadly consequences. We HAVE to stop Trump, Bolton, and their Iran hawk cronies from dragging us into a devastating war of choice cribbed right from the Iraq war playbook.



Breaking: John Bolton asked the Pentagon to draw up plans to bomb Iran.

Last spring, amid a wave of domestic protests in Iraq, several shells landed near the U.S. embassy in Baghdad. News just leaked that Bolton used this incident to demand plans to launch a full-scale military strike on Iran – shocking even top military officers. [1]

Bluffing and fearmongering to plunge us into a deadly war of choice? We’ve seen this before. We’re looking at a horrifying repeat of the Iraq War playbook.

We HAVE to stop this. And as Trump brings the federal government to a standstill with his racist tantrums, Win Without War is one of the few groups 100% focused on blocking Trump’s path to war with Iran. We are using every tactic at our disposal — from Congress to the media. And we need your support.

Trump’s march to war with Iran isn’t a “last spring” problem. It’s a RIGHT NOW problem.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is in the middle of a recruitment tour to create a coalition of autocrats ready to go to war with Iran. We’re talking dictators like Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who engineered the devastating war in Yemen and the brutal murder of Jamal Khashoggi. [2]

Why? Because international support — a “Coalition of the Willing” 2.0 — is one of the last ingredients Trump needs to get in place to spark a terrible war with Iran.

Dick, most of the government is in the grip of a total shutdown. Hundreds of thousands of Americans are going without paychecks, health care access, and other fundamental needs. But Pompeo’s visits to his authoritarian buddies this week prove that the Iran war machine isn’t shutting down. It’s picking up speed.

That’s why Win Without War is going all out to block the march to war with Iran, before Bolton can manufacture another excuse for war out of thin air. We’re demanding Congressional put up legislative roadblocks to war. We’re outlining the clear diplomatic alternatives. We’re raising the alarm in the media. And we need your help:

Today’s news pulls back the curtain on what’s really happening behind the closed doors of Trump’s war cabinet. It’s terrifying — and I’m so grateful for activists like you who refuse to stay silent while John Bolton works overtime to drag us into a terrible war of choice.

Thank you for working for peace,

Stephen, Kate, Cassandra, and the Win Without War team

 [1] New York Times, “Pentagon Officials Fear Bolton’s Actions Increase Risk of Clash With Iran"

[2] New York Times, “Pompeo Speech Lays Out Vision for Middle East, Taking Shots at Obama 


Dick — The Trump administration is making B-list movie posters to normalize the path to war with Iran. [1]

It would be funny, if it weren’t so deadly serious. This level of blatant propaganda for war with Iran is straight out of the Iraq War playbook:
[= the US world domination playbook].

Step one: Get the American public to think Iran [Russia, North Korea, Venezuela] is evil.
Step two: Call for regime change.
Step three: Start a devastating war of choice with Iran.

The silver lining here is, Win Without War knows the Iraq War playbook inside and out. What’s more, we know how to beat it. We’re stiffening Congress’ spines. We’re exposing the regime change industry and their shady schemes. We’re absolutely not about to let the Trump administration drag the American public off the cliff into a devastating war of choice with Iran.

Now, when Trump is threatening Iran with regime change in front of a room of world leaders.

Now, when we have a brand-new bill that would block Trump’s path to war with Iran — and we need to mobilize fast to get the Senate on board.

Thank you for working for peace,
Cassandra, Amy, Stephen, and the Win Without War team

[1] U.S. State Department Twitter 
Win Without War is a project of the Center for International Policy.
1 Thomas Circle NW, Suite 700, Washington, DC 20005
(202) 656-4999 |

 [US Media Mendacity]

Iran 'Violates' Nuclear Deal, After US 'Withdraws' | FAIR › home › iran-violates-nuclear-deal-after-us-withdraws

Jun 21, 2019 - Quick question: Does the US ever break, breach or violate its international agreements? Apparently not, according to US coverage of Iran’s ...

“US ‘Withdraws’; Iran ‘Violates.’”   Extra! The Newsletter of FAIR.  (August-Sept. 2019). 

Media outlets, lawmakers conveniently forget that US violated the Iran ... › media-outlets-lawmakers-us-violated-iran-nucle...      Jun 20, 2019Donald Trump speaks at a the Stop The Iran Nuclear Deal protest in front of .... Note Iran “violates” the deal, the US simply “withdraws” from it ...





War With Iran Chris Hedges, Popular (7-17-22).  The United States, Israel and Saudi Arabia are plotting a war with Iran. The 2015 Iranian nuclear arms accord, or Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which Donald Trump sabotaged, does not look like it will be revived.  U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) is reviewing options to attack if Teheran looks poised to obtain a nuclear weapon and Israel, which opposes U.S.-Iran nuclear negotiations, carries out military strikes. During his visit to Israel, Biden assured Prime Minister Yair Lapid that the U.S. is “prepared to use all elements of its national power,” including military force, to stop Iran... -more-


JULY 22, 2022

Listen to This Article: "War with Iran"

The United States, Saudi Arabia and Israel, responsible for military fiascos, hundreds of thousands of deaths and war crimes in the Middle East, are now plotting to attack Iran.

Narrated by Eunice Wong

The United States, Israel and Saudi Arabia are plotting a war with Iran. The 2015 Iranian nuclear arms accord, or Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which Donald Trump sabotaged, does not look like it will be revived.  U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) is reviewing options to attack if Teheran looks poised to obtain a nuclear weapon and Israel, which opposes U.S.-Iran nuclear negotiations, carries out military strikes.

During his visit to Israel, Biden assured Prime Minister Yair Lapid that the U.S. is “prepared to use all elements of its national power,” including military force, to stop Iran from building a nuclear weapon. 

Saudi Arabia, Israel and the U.S. function as a troika in the Middle East. The Israeli government has built a close alliance with Saudi Arabia, which produced 15 of the 19 hijackers in the September 11 attacks and has been a prolific sponsor of international terrorism, supporting Salafi jihadism, the basis of al-Qaeda, and such groups as the Afghanistan Taliban, Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and the Al-Nusra Front.  

The three countries worked in tandem to back the 2013 military coup in Egypt, led by General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who overthrew its first democratically elected government. He has imprisoned tens of thousands of government critics, including journalists and human rights defenders, on politically motivated charges. The Sisi regime collaborates with Israel by keeping its common border with Gaza closed to Palestinians, trapping them in the Gaza strip, one of the most densely populated and impoverished places on earth. 

Israel, the only nuclear power in the Middle East, has conducted an ongoing campaign of covert attacks on Iranian nuclear sites and nuclear scientists. Four Iranian nuclear scientists were assassinated, presumably by Israel, between 2010 and 2012. In July 2020, a fire, attributed to an Israeli bomb, damaged Iran’s Natanz nuclear site. In November 2020, Israel used remote control machine guns to assassinate Iran’s top nuclear scientist.  In January 2020, the United States assassinated Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force, along with nine other people including a key figure in the anti-ISIS coalition, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. It used an MQ-9 Reaper to fire missiles into his convoy, near Baghdad’s airport. 

If similar attacks had been carried out by Iranian operatives inside Israel, it would have triggered a war. Only Iran’s decision not to retaliate, beyond lobbing about a dozen ballistic missiles at two military bases in Iraq, prevented a conflagration. 

On July 7, Iran informed The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that  it is using IR-6 centrifuges with "modified subheaders.” The declared purpose of the enrichment process at its underground facility at Fordow is to create uranium isotope enriched up to 20 percent—far below the 90 percent enrichment levels necessary to create weapons-grade uranium. Under the JCPOA agreement, enrichment levels were capped at 3.67 percent.

Israel has allocated $1.5 billion for a potential strike against Iran and, during the first week of June, held large-scale military exercises, including one over the Mediterranean and in the Red Sea, in preparation to attack Iranian nuclear sites using dozens of fighter aircraft, including Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter jets.  

The 2016 Memorandum of Understanding  signed by President Barack Obama provides a 10-year, $38 billion military package for Israel. 

Israel and its lobby in the U.S. are working to scuttle  negotiations with Iran to monitor its nuclear program. The preparation for war mirrors the Israeli pressure on the U.S. to invade Iraq, one of the worst strategic decisions in U.S. history.   MOREListen to This Article: "War with Iran"


Why Is Biden Joining The Warpath Against Iran?

By Ted Snider, Responsible Statecraft. Popular (7-21-22).   On March 24, President Biden drew a red line: if Russia uses chemical weapons in Ukraine, it “would trigger a response” from NATO. Asked to elaborate on the nature of the response, Biden had no script to guide him. “The nature of the response would depend on the nature of the use.” Then, he elaborated: “It would trigger a response in kind,” seemingly announcing that the US would respond to a Russian chemical weapons attack with a chemical weapons attack of their own. Two days later, at the end of his speech, Biden seemed to call for a coup in Russia, adding the line, “For God’s sake, this man... -more-




Mitchell Plitnick.   Biden’s Words Make War With Iran More Likely.  MondoweissJuly 16, 2022.

Joe Biden sat down for a wide-ranging interview with an Israeli television station. In it, there were two chilling statements regarding Iran. When asked if he was prepared to walk away from the Iran nuclear deal (or JCPOA) if the only way to close the deal was to remove the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) from the list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO) he said, simply, “Yes.” And when asked if he was prepared to use military force against Iran, he responded, “As a last resort, yes.” That was not good enough for Acting Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid, but it was a very grim assessment of... -more-
“Joe Biden’s Chilling Statements To An Israeli TV Interviewer Present A Grim Outlook For Reviving The Iran Deal.”




Brett Wilkins.  Jimmy Carter.    US 'Most Warlike Nation in History of the World'.”   Common Dreams.   Thursday, April 18, 2019. 
. . . .Carter then said the US has been at peace for only 16 of its 242 years as a nation. Counting wars, military attacks and military occupations, there have actually only been five years of peace in US history—1976, the last year of the Gerald Ford administration and 1977-80, the entirety of Carter’s presidency. Carter then referred to the US as “the most warlike nation in the history of the world,” a result, he said, of the US forcing other countries to “adopt our American principles.”

China’s peace dividend has allowed and enhanced its economic growth, Carter said. “How many miles of high-speed railroad do we have in this country?” he asked. China has around 18,000 miles (29,000 km) of high speed rail lines while the US has “wasted, I think, $3 trillion” on military spending. According to a November 2018 study by Brown University’s Watson Institute of International and Public Affairs, the US has spent $5.9 trillion waging war in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan and other nations since 2001.

“It’s more than you can imagine,” Carter said of US war spending. “China has not wasted a single penny on war, and that’s why they’re ahead of us. In almost every way.”

“And I think the difference is if you take $3 trillion and put it in American infrastructure you’d probably have $2 trillion leftover,” Carter told his congregation. “We’d have high-speed railroad. We’d have bridges that aren’t collapsing, we’d have roads that are maintained properly. Our education system would be as good as that of say South Korea or Hong Kong.”

While there is a prevalent belief in the United States that the country almost always wages war for noble purposes and in defense of freedom, global public opinion and facts paint a very different picture. Most countries surveyed in a 2013 WIN/Gallup poll identified the United States as the greatest threat to world peace, and a 2017 Pew Research poll found that a record number of people in 30 surveyed nations viewed US power and influence as a “major threat.”

The US has also invaded or bombed dozens of countries and supported nearly every single right wing dictatorship in the world since the end of World War II. It has overthrown or attempted to overthrow dozens of foreign governments since 1949 and has actively sought to crush nearly every single people’s liberation movement over that same period. It has also meddled in scores of elections, in countries that are allies and adversaries alike.
BRETT WILKINS is a staff writer for Common Dreams.



[Several items preceding 2018 that I might have included were no longer available, or, rather, readily for all online materials have been archived.   We should be concerned that in preserving historical memory--the great achievement of printed books and libraries--, the internet is less reliable and accessible.



Medea Benjamin.  Inside Iran: The Real History and Politics of the Islamic Republic of Iran.  OR Books, 2018.

Reviews and Comment

Rev. by Denny Riley.  “A Clear Exposition of a Complex History.”  Peace in Our Times (Fall 2018).

Google Search October 5, 2018

Inside Iran: The Real History and Politics of the Islamic Republic of Iran. -

U.S. relations with Iran have been fraught for decades, but under the Trump Administration tensions are rising to startling levels. Medea Benjamin, one of the ...


Medea Benjamin: Inside Iran

The Zero Hour with RJ Eskow   YouTube - May 8, 2018


Medea Benjamin at Bluestockings: Inside Iran

Joe Friendly

YouTube - May 19, 2018

Inside Iran with CodePink's Medea Benjamin

Thom Hartmann Program

YouTube - Jun 26, 2018

Medea Benjamin on Her New Book: Inside Iran #FaultLines

Fault Lines Radio

YouTube - May 7, 2018

"Inside Iran" with Medea Benjamin

MN Progressive Media

YouTube - Aug 30, 2018

Code Pink: Medea Benjamin "Inside Iran"

Medea Benjamin: The Peace Movement Must Mobilize to Support ...

Democracy Now!

YouTube - May 9, 2018

Day 3-CODEPINK meets Iran's Foreign Minister › day_3An approach common among Iranians present was the familiar argument that so long as the U.S. threatens Iran with sanctions and invasion, it lacks moral ......
CodePink's Medea Benjamin to Iran Envoy: “You Are Making ... › 2018 › headlines › c...

Sep 20, 2018 — And CodePink co-founder Medea Benjamin disrupted an event at the Hudson Institute, a conservative think tank where the U.S. special envoy to ......
State Department on Iran's Missile Proliferation - The Iran Primer › blog › 2018 › sep › state-d...Sep 21, 2018 — At the end of Hook's remarks, Medea Benjamin, from the Code Pink: Women for Peace organization, took the stage to protest the Trump ...
Open Letter to Code Pink - Oakland Socialist › 2018/12/02 › open-letter-...

Dec 2, 2018 — December 1 · Dear Code Pink: · We think that the real issue for discussion between Americans and Iranians is that of organizing links and mutual ...
Iranian media: Code Pink defends Iran's right to missiles ... › Middle East › Iran News

Mar 5, 2019 — Iranians burn a U.S. flag during a protest against President Donald Trump's decision to walk out of a 2015 nuclear deal, in Tehran, Iran, May 11 ...
Trump Has Made Sanctions a Path to Strikes - Foreign Policy › 2020/01/14 › iran-suleimani-t...

Jan 14, 2020 — Members of Code Pink protest as former National Security Advisor Stephen ... escalations in hostilities between the United States and Iran.
Opinion | Biden's Iran envoy will complicate his Syria approach › 2021/01/28  Jan 29, 2021 — In a 2018 interview, Malley criticized U.S. aid to the Syrian opposition and ... in Syria: the Islamic State and Iran's threat to Israel.
10 Problems With Biden's Foreign Policy—and One Solution › 10_problems_with_bidens...

1. Failing to quickly rejoin the Iran nuclear agreement. The Biden administration's failure to immediately rejoin the JCPOA, as Bernie Sanders promised to do on 




Kathy Kelly.  “Take Heed & Seek Peace,” The Catholic Worker

The Daily Kos, We’ve Seen This Before with Iraq

Hasan, The Intercept, US Mainstream Media Lies About Iran

The Intercept Podcast, John Bolton’s War

Negin Farsad.  “Why Iran Is [NOT] Our Enemy.”  The Progressive

Thalif Deen.  Sanctions Will Undermine 1947 US Treaty with UN.  Inter Press Service (IPS)  News Agency



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

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