Call Me Bwana: "IC" Breaks Cover

The Collective "Wisdom" of the U.S. Intelligence Community

by Tom Engelhardt - TomDispatch

 

January 22, 2017  

 

They call themselves the U.S. “Intelligence Community,” or the IC. If you include the office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), which in 2005 began as a crew of 12 people, including its director, and by 2008 had already grown to a staff of 1,750, there are 17 members (adding up to an alphabet soup of acronyms including the CIA, the NSA, and the DIA).

The IC spends something like $70 billion of your taxpayer dollars annually, mostly in secret, hires staggering numbers of private contractors from various warrior corporations to lend a hand, sucks up communications of every sort across the planet, runs a drone air force, monitors satellites galore, builds its agencies multi-billion-dollar headquarters and storage facilities, and does all of this, ostensibly, to provide the president and the rest of the government with the best information imaginable on what’s happening in the world and what dangers the United States faces.

Since 9/11, expansion has been the name of its game, as the leading intelligence agencies gained ever more power, prestige, and the big bucks, while wrapping themselves in an unprecedented blanket of secrecy. Typically, in the final days of the Obama administration, the National Security Agency was given yet more leeway to share the warrantless data it scoops up worldwide (including from American citizens) with ever more members of the IC.

And oh yes, in the weeks leading up to the inauguration of Donald Trump, several of those intelligence outfits found themselves in a knock-down, drag-out barroom brawl with our new tweeter-in-chief (who has begun threatening to downsize parts of the IC) over the possible Russian hacking of an American election and his relations with Russian President Vladimir Putin. In the process, they have received regular media plaudits for their crucial importance to all of us, our security and safety, along with tweeted curses from the then-president-elect.

 

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Liberals Take a Flying Leap with Logan Act Run

Going Over the Top in Trump-Bashing

by Norman Solomon  - Consortium News


January 19, 2017

Heading into the last week of the Obama administration, 35 Democrats in the House sent a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch urging her to appoint an independent Special Counsel because Donald Trump,

“has repeatedly engaged in actions constituting unauthorized foreign policy in violation of the Logan Act.”

 

President-elect Donald Trump. 
(Photo: donaldjtrump.com)

 

Democratic Party fury toward President-elect Trump has led some progressives to suggest a rash scheme for invoking an archaic law to punish his deviation from foreign policy orthodoxy, warns Norman Solomon. 

 

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Sheer Lunacy: Modi's Demonetisation Leaves Indians Keshless and Cold

Modis Operandi: When India went ‘Keshless’

by Satya Sagar - Pacific Free Press


January 18, 2017

 

Much later, historians in the 22nd Century would call it a ‘close shave’ for Indian democracy and a ‘hair razing’ experience for millions of citizens. And yet, when it happened real-time - everyone was simply lost for words.

The year was 2018 and in an emotional address on primetime TV, the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had exhorted his countrymen to part with all their hair to ‘Save the Nation’. There was simply no precedent, in all of world history, for such a ‘barber-ous’ policy.

Cultivation or possession of black hair by Indian citizens had been made a criminal offence, punishable by up to 7 years in prison. Everyone would have to deposit their dark locks at specially designated centres, that would be open 10 AM to 5 PM on all days (except Tuesdays and national holidays).

The Hair Bank of India (HBI), set up to regulate all hair circulating in the country, explained only black hair from citizens above the age of 16 years would be confiscated by the state. All others could chill and let their hair down – nothing to worry at all (till the next bizarre Message to the Nation). The HBI would not disclose however, how much hair was already in their possession when the policy was declared, citing possible ‘threat to their lives’.


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Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Douglas Gook, John Helmer, Janine Bandcroft Jan. 18th, 2017

This Week on GR

by C. L. Cook - Gorilla-Radio.com


January 18, 2017

Life has been anything but routine for the BC interior residents of Hazeltine Creek, Polley Lake, and Quesnel Lake. On August 4th, 2014 the Imperial Metals mine tailings dam burst, sending an estimated 25 million tons of extractive process contaminated sludge and heavy metals-laden toxins into the local watershed.

In what was deemed at the time the biggest spill of its kind into the environment of all time, the chemical impacts of the Mt. Polley Mine spill disaster made Imperial Metals, according to the National Pollutant Release Inventory, "the largest emitter of copper, arsenic and manganese in Canadian waters in 2014."

But, nearly two and half years after the fact, the governments charged with crafting and enforcing laws to protect the people and places of this Canada are yet to lay charges in enforcement of those laws regarding Imperial Metals.

 

Listen. Hear.

It's fallen instead to MiningWatch Canada, the "[P]an-Canadian initiative supported by environmental, social justice, Indigenous and labour organisations from across the country" to launch a private prosecution. This past week, the federal government tried to torpedo that launch before it left the dock, moving to stay the case and prevent MiningWatch entering evidence.

Douglas Gook is a Quesnel-based ecology activist who's focused on Eco forestry alternatives in the woods there and beyond for more than forty years. He leads Forest Protection Allies, one of the many environmental organizations pressuring government to get effective cleanup processes going, and appropriate compensation for those effected by the Mt. Polley Mine disaster put in place. He attended the gallery in the MiningWatch case Friday, and was there when the federal government's stunning motion to the court was read.

Douglas Gook in the first half.

And; with mere days left before the inauguration of Donald Trump as America's 45th president, governments around the World are frantically arranging and rearranging ministries and departments in preparation of a new era in their US relations. Canada is no exception, but where most other countries are moving to align themselves more harmoniously with perceived Trump values, Ottawa appears to be taking the novel approach of charting a 180 degree course in the opposite direction. At least, this is how the elevation of the famously Russophobic Chrystia Freeland is being interpreted in some quarters.

John Helmer is a long-time, Moscow-based journalist, author, and essayist; the only one, his site, Dances with Bears informs “to direct his own bureau independent of single national or commercial ties.” He’s a former political science professor who's served as an advisor to the governments of Greece, the U.S., and in Asia where he regularly lectures on Russian topics. His book titles include: ‘Uncovering Russia,’ ‘Urbanman: The Psychology of Urban Survival,’ ‘Bringing the War Home: The American Soldier in Vietnam and After,’ and ‘Drugs and Minority Oppression’ among others.

John's latest article, 'Chrystia Freeland is the Body Double - Canada Plays Hillary Clinton Card at Russia; Kremlin Suspects Putsch Against Justin Trudeau' examines the meteoric rise to power of Canada's newest Minister of Foreign Affairs.

John Helmer and Anatomy of a Canadian Coup in the second half.

And; Victoria Street Newz publisher Janine Bandcroft will join us at the bottom of the hour to bring us news of some of the good things scheduled for the coming week on and beyond the streets of our city. But first, Douglas Gook and the federal government's attempt to stay the toxic flow of information on the Mt. Polley mining spill disaster.

 

Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Wednesday, 1-2pm Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM, and on the internet at: http://cfuv.uvic.ca.  He also serves as a contributing editor to the web news site, http://www.pacificfreepress.com. Check out the GR blog at: http://gorillaradioblog.blogspot.ca/

 

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Covering and Covering Up Oil Trade on Canada's West Coast

CBC Daybreak North and a Neglected Issue of Vital Northern Concern

by Ingmar Lee - 10,000 Ton Tanker

 
 

Nathan E Stewart April Bencze Heiltsuk NationAndrew Kurjata, the writer of this piece works for CBC "Daybreak North." Over the past 4 years have repeatedly appealed to Daybreak North to cover the issue of the "Nathan E Stewart" and the implications of the American Alaska-bound tanker traffic that exploits the BC Inside Passage as a private petroleum conduit.

Over the past 4 years I have repeatedly appealed to CBC "Daybreak North" to cover the issue of the "Nathan E Stewart" and the implications of the American Alaska-bound tanker traffic that exploits the BC Inside Passage as its petroleum conduit.

 

 

Photo April Bencze Heiltsuk Nation

It was only after the wreck of the Nathan E Stewart that CBC Daybreak North began covering the issue, - albeit with a blatant, sanitized slant focused on talking points provided by the Texas-based Kirby Corporation that owned the tug, the Kinder Morgan- owned "clean-up" service, WCMRC which provided a chimera of "cleanup" operations in progress around the wreck, and by Big Oil government lackeys, all of which was designed to sanitize and minimize the implications of the disaster.

 

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Nostalgiacally Numb: La La Land and America's Then and Now

Nostalgia Numbs: The Ironies of “La La Land”

by David Yearsley - CounterPunch


January 13, 2017    

Irony is the not-so-new normal. Somewhere back in the swirling dry-ice mists of history, round about the time of the one-and-only Clinton Administration, this venerable figure-of-speech stretched its wings and its brand and became a full-fledged lifestyle choice providing post-moderns with essential protection for life, liberty, and pursuit of nostalgia.

Aided by irony, you could wear suede shoes and wide-wale bell bottoms, mix old-fashioned cocktails from overpriced mason jars, enjoying it all while meaning none of it. The performance was the key: cloaked in paradox, these linoleum counter-revolutionaries were safe—they’d say “empowered”—to mock their own poses.

Still from “La La Land.”

 

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Generational Political Prisoners Hope for Obama Pardons

Political Prisoners Remain Behind Bars as Obama's Term Nears End

by Matt Peppe - Just the Facts


January 12, 2017

In the last full week of Barack Obama’s eight year tenure as President of the United States of America, dozens of political prisoners still sit in cages across the nation’s prisons, rotting away as Obama consciously chooses not to exercise the power to simply free them with the stroke of a pen.

Many activists for Puerto Rican independence, Native American and African American rights, and other causes were targeted by the political police’s illegal COINTELPRO program and convicted in sham trials.

 

Protesters call for the liberation of 
Oscar López River in Washington D.C.
 in October 2016. (Photo by Matt Peppe)

Now elderly, some in poor health, they may effectively be facing death sentences unless Obama’s decides within the next two weeks to grant their appeals for clemency.  Among the most well known political prisoners are Oscar López Rivera, Leonard Peltier and Mumia Abu-Jamal, who have all been locked up for at least three and a half decades. Many others including The Move 9 and The Holy Land Five have spent years or decades in jail for their political action and views. Many, like Chelsea Manning and Jeffrey Sterling, have been denied their freedom for exposing government crimes and misdeeds.

But you won’t ever hear this in the mainstream media. The corporate media hypocrisy is best demonstrated by the debate regarding political prisoners during Obama’s trip to Cuba in March 2016.

 

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Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Anthony DiMaggio, David Fairey, Janine Bandcroft January 17th, 2017

This Week on GR

by C. L. Cook - Gorilla-Radio.com


January 11, 2017

 

It's often said there are two sides to every story, but two sides doesn't cover the many facets of the near six years-long war in Syria. Whether at the front lines or on the virtual battlefield everyone, from the Assad government and its Russian and Iranian allies, to America and its friends in the Gulf Cooperation Council, and the myriad extra-state actors arrayed on either side, has a point of interest to defend and an enemy's position to attack.

One certain thing though is, the people of Syria have been terrorized by all sides and it's their best interests being sacrificed every time a bomb is dropped, a sniper shoots, or a media propagandist pulls the camera trigger.

 

Listen. Hear.

 

Anthony DiMaggio is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Lehigh University, holds a PhD in political communication, and is the author of the newly released, 'Selling War, Selling Hope: Presidential Rhetoric, the News Media, and U.S. Foreign Policy After 9/11.'

His recent article, 'The Pathologies of War: Dual Propaganda Campaigns in Reporting on Syria,' appearing at the news website, CounterPunch.org, takes a hard look at the righteous claims on all sides of the Syria conflict.

Anthony DiMaggio in the first half.

And; are you suffering for your paycheque, or is someone you know being brutalized by workplace tyranny? The BC Employment Standard Coalition, a group "bring[ing] together organizations, advocates and workers to campaign for decent wages, working conditions, respect and dignity in the workplace" is in Victoria and they want to hear your story.

David Fairey is Co-Chair of the BC Employment Standards Coalition and Research Associate with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. He's past Director of the Trade Union Research Bureau, and has worked over the course of a long career on "a wide variety of labour and employment law issues such as labour standards, labour relations, pay equity, construction safety, and migrant labour." David and the BC Employment Standards folks are down at the Victoria Events Centre at 1415 Broad Street all day today and this evening lending an ear, and offering workers help with employer challenges.

David Fairey and slaying the workplace ogre in the second half.

And; Victoria Street Newz publisher emeritus and CFUV Radio broadcaster, Janine Bandcroft will join us at the bottom of the hour to bring us up to speed with some of the good things scheduled for the streets of our town and beyond in the coming week. But first, Anthony DiMaggio and the pathologies of the Syria war.

 

Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Wednesday, 1-2pm Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM, and on the internet at: http://cfuv.uvic.ca.  He also serves as a contributing editor to the web news site, http://www.pacificfreepress.com. Check out the GR blog at: http://gorillaradioblog.blogspot.ca/

 

 

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NAFTA Dogs Trump Agenda

Globalist Leaders Ensure North American Integration Mechanisms Remain in Place

by Dana Gabriel - Be Your Own Leader


January 10, 2017

As Donald Trump prepares to become U.S. president on Jan. 20, the future of NAFTA is in doubt. He has promised to either renegotiate or withdraw from the trade agreement. Despite the outcome of the 2016 presidential election, there are still many different existing North American integration mechanisms that remain in place.

Over the last year, the globalists have quietly laid the foundation to ensure their continental agenda continues. They are positioning themselves so they can try to better influence the new Trump administration in advancing deeper economic, political and security integration in North America.

 

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Maneouvring Trump into the Cold War Ring

The Utter Stupidity of the New Cold War

by Gary Leupp - CounterPunch


January 10, 2017   

 

It seems so strange, twenty-seven years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, to be living through a new Cold War with (as it happens, capitalist) Russia. The Russian president is attacked by the U.S. political class and media as they never attacked Soviet leaders; he is personally vilified as a corrupt, venal dictator, who arrests or assassinates political opponents and dissident journalists, and is hell-bent on the restoration of the USSR.

(The latter claim rests largely on Vladimir Putin’s comment that the dissolution of the Soviet Union was a “catastrophe” and “tragedy”—which in many respects it was.

Photo Jedimentat44 | CC BY 2.0 

 The press chooses to ignore his comment that “Anyone who does not miss the Soviet Union has no heart, while anyone who wants to restore it has no brain.” It conflicts with the simple talking-point that Putin misses the imperial Russia of the tsars if not the commissars and, burning with resentment over the west’s triumph in the Cold War, plans to exact revenge through wars of aggression and territorial expansion.)

 

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Fighting for Good in Trumplandia

What Is a Country For? Fighting for the Good Life in Trumplandia

by Rebecca Gordon - TomDispatch

January 10, 2017

 

 

Many of the folks I know are getting ready to play serious defense in 2017, and they’re not wrong.

Before we take up our three-point stance on the national line of scrimmage, however, maybe we should ask ourselves not only what we’re fighting against, but what we’re fighting for.

What kind of United States of America do we actually want? Maybe, in fact, we could start by asking:

What is a country for? What should a country do? Why do people establish countries in the first place? 

 

 

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Modi's Operandi: Dwijitalising India's Economy

Cashless is Not Casteless

by Satya Sagar - CounterCurrents



January 9, 2017

A Cashless, Corruption-free, Cow-friendly India that also Cares for the Poor. As the Narendra Modi regime shoots forth silken promises like buttered popcorn from a hot oven – it is time to remember India’s long history of using colourful fiction to rip-off the public and carry out caste oppression.

Let me explain. For over a millennium one of the recurring debates among Indian philosophers was whether this world was real or a mere dream. To be more precise,the claim was, we are all part of Maha Vishnu’s dream[1] as He sleeps peacefully on a giant serpent, with a lotus blooming from His navel.

Paradoxically though, those who preached most passionately that our senses mislead us and everything around was Maya or an illusion, went on to corner the largest chunk of material reality.

 

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