Spies Are Only Them

Watching Hilary Clinton and her cohorts threatening Wikileaks over being “terrorists” and “spies” was a laugh. As always, the comedy ended when I started looking at the amount of people online who bought into it. The propaganda and misinformation has been so complete over the years, it is frightening what people will accept now.

Look at this. Hilary Clinton was caught directing ambassadors to collect credit card numbers, email addresses, phone, fax and pager numbers, frequent-flyer account numbers, iris scans, fingerprints and DNA, current technical specifications, physical layout and planned upgrades to telecommunications infrastructure and information systems, networks and technologies used by top officials and their support staff, as well as details on private networks used for official comunication, to include upgrades, security measures, passwords, personal encryption keys and virtual private network versions used on all members of the UN.

The CIA, FBI and NSA were all involved in this. As we have seen, there is a very direct path between intelligence in those organizations and intelligence available to the highest bidder.

Her and her international colleagues are laughing this off as something that could happen to any of them, and blaming the person publishing the leak even though he has committed no crime. The logic they are presenting to the people is that he has unlawfully accessed their secrets and exposed those secrets to their international rivals. But the cables revealed that they were unlawfully accessing each other’s secrets and those secrets were already exposed to all of their rivals. Do you all see the logic fail here? Please?

The only differences between Hilary Cilnton’s spying and Wikileaks’ spying are:
– she was breaking international laws and protocols, he was behaving completely inside the law.
– she directed her subordinates to collect this information, Wikileaks was voluntarily given information by an anonymous source.
– she was part of a system where the world’s governing bodies all have access to each other’s secrets, he shared some of those secrets to the people being governed.

Somehow she has convinced the people being governed to start calling for his execution. Her first.

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Democracy is Coming … And It Looks Like Work.

The internet is slightly annoyed. In the euphoric highs of the weekend, people couldn’t wait for a giant document drop that would bring democracy to the world. But when it arrived, it was the biggest ton of documents we’d ever seen in our lives, formal documents yet, a brain crushing amount of work. So far we have 243 documents, which is not quite 0.1% of what we have to go through in just this batch. For democracy to be permanent, there will be an unending stream of these batches. Finals week, every week.

Wikileaks has done a wonderful job of explaining how to go through this and providing us with the tools. Other people have helped. But at the end of the day, we still have to read it.

The trouble is, we have been suffering from a worldwide Cinderella Complex, a lazy trust in the paternalistic politics we have been given that has allowed those who care (those who make money from it) to control our politics. We said we wanted democracy. But for many people, that just means they want “someone” to look at all these documents, and tell them which is the most important one. Of 251,287. And highlight the important part.

This is great news for any true media organization. What a lot of work, and I would certainly pay someone to read all of these for me. That would be a far better deal than the propaganda we have been paying for. If you would rather die than read these documents, then read the people reading the documents, and make sure they link to the logs and highlight what they are quoting. If they aren’t reporting on this, switch media outlets. Because the important thing to remember is this: people have risked everything to bring you this information. If they thought it was that important, please read it. If you don’t see why it is important, please ask. You don’t have to do any of this by yourself, just be part of it.

This is what democracy is. Get busy.

The Intelligence Mafia

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What is the difference between a terrorist and a soldier? The actions are now identical, both act to produce terror, so probably the only standing difference is that terrorists are non-government agencies. Remember that.

The US intelligence infrastructure is not just huge, it is colossal, a parallel society living among us (yes, us, wherever you live). That has been amply illustrated by the investigative journalism project Top Secret America. According to their research, there are 1200 government agencies, more than 3,666 private companies, 17,000 locations, and 854,000 people in the US that have Top Secret security clearance. Top Secret. None of the cables released by Wikileaks this week are Top Secret. Can you even imagine the amount of data here? This is what the US calls “information dominance” and a “global surveillance system”.  Almost all IT and communication companies in the US are a part of the network, and they reach across the globe.

In 2007, 70% of all intelligence budgets were spent on private contractors. That was 3 years ago, and we don’t know how that has changed because all intelligence budgets are classified, but the trend since then has been a definite shift towards more private contractors. Obama likes to use the terms “american intelligence” and “american military” to play games with the truth (see “american troops pull out of Iraq”). If they are private contractors, they aren’t american intelligence, right? And there are other much more important reasons for private contractors, they are allowed to make huge donations to political parties from their billion tax dollar contracts.

Like the military contractors, the private companies also are not bound by government procedure, their contracts are classified so most of the government has no idea what they are doing, and they are private companies who do not have to disclose information to the public. They also have a classified bid system that makes corruption between private companies and politicians particularly easy. Again, like military contractors, they are not being used in secondary roles, they are used in training and in developing and operating all the high tech industries. They are paid with huge amounts of tax money, and in turn, are in a position to drastically influence governmental policies.

Not only were private contractors involved in the extreme interrogation techniques at Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib, they have taken over the training of military interrogators at the U.S. Army’s Intelligence Center in Fort Huachuca, Arizona. And in hotspots around the world, private contractors are taking the place of government operatives. In Pakistan, for example, three-quarters of the officers posted at the Islamabad CIA station since 9/11 have been private contractors. In the Baghdad CIA station, contractors have sometimes outnumbered government employees and have taken supervisory positions overseeing what CIA agents do every day.”

Not frightened yet? Well, leave it to Xe (Ze evil Blackwater dudes).  By yet another name, they are Total Intelligence Solutions, which is a private intelligence contractor headed by the former head of CIA counterterrorism who ran the extraordinary rendition program for Bush. This private company, staffed by ex members of all branches of US government intelligence, has been aggressively marketing to Fortune 1000 companies. They state that they can bring CIA type services to the corporate boardroom. Former CIA agent contacts and classified knowledge is being put on the open market internationally. This is from a company that runs a completely parallel intelligence and military to the US government and is headed by a man who said “Blackwater is a private company. There is a key word there. Private.” For those who only care about the US, yes they can contract to other countries.

There are only two possible explanations for a sovereign nation to bankrupt its own citizens and its government in order to set up a huge international surveillance and military system, “the finest fighting force the world has ever seen” that they do not actually own or control. One, everyone is completely insane, or two, it has not been a sovereign nation for a long time. Now is the time to remember the definition of a terrorist.

There Is Nothing To Fear But Fear Itself

The world has been rightly preoccupied with the plight of people in the countries currently being occupied by the US / NATO armies, which are understood to be the countries they are at war with. No one seems to recognize that the countries most occupied by these forces are the US, followed by their allies.

No, these people are not having bombs dropped on their heads as they starve in toxic environments. But I still cannot ignore the despair and hysteria in some of the people on the internet today. These people were brought up as the chosen ones. They have been told all of their lives that they are the superior race, everyone wants to be them, and everyone hates them for their ‘way of life’. They have been taught to fear and have contempt for all other people in the world. They have been discouraged from ever listening to a viewpoint outside their country on the grounds that it was ‘propaganda’ (old) or ‘biased’ (current).

They have lost all of their personal freedoms and dignity in the name of ‘national security’, because everyone else is jealous and coming to get them. They have lost their homes, their health, their jobs, and the money to buy food, and that is the fault of other countries, probably China. Like a rescued feral animal, these people are not going to view the overthrowing of the MIC and the rise of democracy as anything good. In the minds of these people, all that is standing between them and certain death or worse, is their big strong army, ‘the finest fighting force in the history of the world’.

Like we saw with the civil rights movement, people bred on hate cannot understand that the people they have harmed the most may not want them destroyed. They who cannot forgive, do not understand the potential for forgiveness. This week, they are genuinely terrified. All they can see is that someone is taking away their big strong shield and leaving them at the mercy of all these people who hate them and want to kill them.

We come in peace.

From Martin Luther King, an expert on the subject:

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

Have we not come to such an impasse in the modern world that we must love our enemies – or else? The chain reaction of evil – hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars – must be broken, or else we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation.

Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.

I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.

I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.

If physical death is the price that I must pay to free my white brothers and sisters from a permanent death of the spirit, then nothing can be more redemptive.

The Military Mafia

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Just as I was about to write this overdue article, Google tells me Castro got there before me. Google also informs me that it is the name of several social media fan clubs, WAG’s of the military, etc. Cute.

This past Remembrance Day has convinced me that most people don’t even realize the WAG’s are not joking. This year, I heard the same stories about people’s grandfathers that I’ve heard every Remembrance Day of my life. But these armies are not our grandfather’s armies. The US military and its contractors, are made up of professional, full time, cradle to grave soldiers. They are bred on hate and violent media, they are desensitized from childhood, and they enter the army as teenagers. These are not regular citizens forced to give up their daily lives for a period to defend their country. These are professional killers.

Their actions are criminal, not just as a few individuals going against the system, but by adhering to the system at all.  These armies are not fighting to defend civilians, to protect their families, homes and environments. When the wars are started and run in order to slaughter and terrorize citizens for the profit of industry, when food, shelter and safety are destroyed and drugs, oil and industry are protected, when environments are destroyed and free will is forbidden, this is not a citizen army.

I cannot put it better than this:
“Elected leaders as managers for the nation who misuse the military as a personal tool for usurping the powers of the citizens are known as authoritarian oligarchies, tyrants or dictators. If a nation’s military core role and function to defend its citizens changes to suppressing its citizens, the military loses its national credibility and honors bestowed upon it by its citizens. Then, the military of a nation-state become a mercenary institution whose loyalty and service is for sale to the highest bidder. The generals of the military become co-dictators and become known as juntas which are basically military dictators. Any form of token civil governments under a junta is a just a rubber stamp and mouthpiece of the authoritarian oligarchies, tyrants or dictators. The nation-state categorically becomes a military state. All other legitimate powers within the nation-state become pawns and tools of the mercenary institution and juntas.”

If there is any doubt about the state of today’s military here is a great resource about military contractors, or watch this. These contractors are not only not a citizen army, they are criminals for hire, available to private citizens, criminals, industry, and yes, of course, to any of the countries they are currently fighting against. The mercenary army was elevated to its current status by Bush in the Iraq war. Making money from war, and war crimes, is a family tradition for Bush, it obviously came naturally to him to connect war and industry even further. He created the huge billion dollar no-bid contracts that were awarded to republican backing mercenary firms such as Blackwater in Iraq, Afghanistan, post Katrina New Orleans and several areas in Africa. That’s not me being too lazy to research, it is impossible to say with any certainty where these armies are, what they are doing, or how many torture camp “prisons” they operate.

But those who felt that a new president was the answer have had a shock. According to this article,
“Bob Woodwards new book revealed that the CIA is operating a 3000 man secret army broken in to Counterterrorism Pursuit Teams, and when asked to respond to this the White House basically replied with an answer that suggested we – as Americans – should be proud of this development. For all the political rhetoric otherwise, the Obama administration has been remarkably aggressive in how they fight war – they support the use of CIA army’s, they have expanded the use of drone strikes, and despite campaign rhetoric otherwise – the Obama folks love private mercenary firms.”

This appears to be the new US / NATO army, an international gang of thugs, armed to the teeth and earning billions per contract. How on earth is this to be stopped? The ever astute Castro pointed out:

“They cannot even offer the hope that the world economic crisis can be overcome, or how much longer any improvement would last. The total public debt of the United States, not only that of central government, but the rest of the country’s public and private institutions, has already risen to a figure that is equal to the world GDP of 2009, which amounted to $58 trillion. Did those meeting in Lisbon maybe think to ask themselves where those fabulous resources came from? Simply, from the economy of all the other nations in the world, to which the United States handed over pieces of paper converted into dollar bills which, for 40 years now, unilaterally ceased having their backing in gold, and now that the value of that metal is 40 times superior. That country still possesses its veto within the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. Why wasn’t that discussed in Portugal?”

Good point. Especially since, if there is one thing we have learned from Rome, No money, No military, No empire.

As the World Takes Five Steps Back

I remember the grade 7 bully. We hated him. But in high school, something happened, we ended up at a few of the same parties, started talking, and he became a very close friend. He had a lot of anger as a child, but he had learned some better ways of dealing with his problems, and he had actually turned out to be more empathetic and thoughtful than many of my friends. I have since met a lot of people like him. But I also remember another boy in grade 7. A sneaking, tattling, horrible boy that would tell my bullying friend that other people had said things about him and egg him on to beat people up. Then he would sit back, out of danger, and smirk at the idea of kids being hurt because of him. We hated him even more than the bully. And he never got any better.

Apparently, there’s more of him too.  In the last few months, they have been calling for Julian Assange’s head on a platter. It seems a safe bet. Assange vs. ‘the finest fighting force in the history of the world’, who ‘can meet any challenge, and defeat any foe’.  But have you all noticed a shift? A slight change in the wind? This last week, when the mafia Swedish government announced an international arrest warrant for Assange, the mainstream media didn’t really pick that up, did they? Not like last fall. And those that did pick it up were so much more careful. Even NYT was relatively scrupulous, not bringing any personality disorders or drag queen exes into the conversation at all.

Those news outlets have probably been given a lot of reading lately. I wonder what they have been reading? With the world already growling about war crimes and investigating the last leaks, which were just the prelude, everyone is taking five steps back. Suddenly no one is wanting to look like an accomplice.

So where does that leave Adrian “my sincere desire” Lamo? Or Jonah “it’s a serious question” Goldberg, John “rattle a bullet around his skull” Hawkins, Christian “non-judicial actions” Whiton, and Marc “wide range of options” Thiessen? Or all the so charming commenters who have been sounding off to everyone?

These people didn’t just disagree with Wikileaks. They called for the murder of a private citizen who had committed no crime. They tried to egg the mafia on to murder a hero. And they tried to keep us all in the grip of a fascist state forever. Don’t forget about them. Their kind doesn’t change.

Note: This article has happily stolen research done by the inimitable x7o.

Bring It!

Ahh, I love the smell of an information revolution in the morning!

On November 21st, Wikileaks tweeted, “Next release is 7x the size of the Iraq War Logs. intense pressure over it for months. Keep us strong” and “The coming months will see a new world, where global history is redefined. Keep us strong:” . This has been widely interpreted in the media to mean the release of “several hundred thousand classified U.S. State Department cables as soon as Nov. 26.” Which is why we have been watching the ever ready Assange rape case being dragged up again, and a bizarre and unprecedented international warrant has been issued for his arrest. Now wikileaks.org and all of the mirrors are File Not Found. (Update: And now they’re back.)

Honestly, I don’t care what is on your TV, this is better. This is the moment we have been waiting for, for five or six decades, maybe since the beginning of time. This is us against the military mafia, our first, best and perhaps only chance for a worldwide democracy.

I know, that’s a lot of hyperbole, even for me. But it is true, this is the moment I’ve been waiting for all of my life. As a child, I used to lie awake and think about bad guys and study those that resisted them, and imagine what I would do in those situations. Yes, a very strange child. But injustice has always driven me crazy, and I’ve always been in love with the concept of democracy. I have never been able to passively accept what I see as stupid rules, no matter how much everyone around me wishes I would. And I have always been passionately interested in the ideas of everyone else, and wanted to understand them and use their knowledge.

Watching our world come under the grip of a worldwide organized crime syndicate, where everyone is denying anything is happening or denying that anything can be done, has been like a giant weight, crushing us all. But the Wikileaks releases of this year have been our training period, a progressive course in getting the truth out and acting on it. We are now the strongest force the world has ever seen, a truly informed worldwide populace, the worst nightmare of a fascist world government. This week, the weight is lifted, and chaos is king. Out of chaos can come a new order. Don’t be asleep.