Julian Assange In Custody. An Update Includes Denial of Bail.

December 7, 2010 2 comments
The Subtle Roar of Online Whistle-blowing: Jul...

Image by New Media Days via Flickr

CBS News reported he has been arrested in London on a Swedish warrant seeking his detention for questioning in a sex-crimes investigation. According to an agreement made by his lawyer, he surrendered to police for questioning Tuesday. He was due to appear at Westminster Magistrate’s Court later in the day. According to Sky News in the UK, police contacted Assange’s lawyer after having received a “fresh” new warrant from Sweden. Assange’s solicitor (lawyer) called the latest warrant a “political stunt” and that his client wants to clear his name. He said any attempt to extradite Assange will be resisted “mainly on grounds that he may be turned over to the Americans” but according to Sky News, that determination would be determined by the magistrate. Sky News’s Tim Marshall said that he hasn’t been charged with anything. He also said,

Mr Assange had sex with the two women on August the 15th and 17th but two days later they went to a police station and claimed rape and sexual molestation.

“Mr Assange admits he had consensual sex with the women but he absolutely denies the charges.

“One of the women involved in the claims is a radical feminist in Sweden who is known to have a theory that men dominate their social positions through sex and she’s also been known to write a blog called ‘seven steps to legal revenge’.”

There seems to have been shifting claims concerning the warrants in Sweden. First, the charge or claim was “sex by surprise” and was changed to “rape, sexual molestation and unlawful coercion”. as reported at Gizmodo . The notice reads as follows:

The matter concerning Mr. Assange
The Matter concerning Julian Assange has been detained in his absence charged with rape, sexual molestation and unlawful coercion. Mr Assange had appealed the detention decision issued by Svea Court of Appeal.

Today the Supreme Court has taken a decision not to grant Julian Assange leave to appeal. If the Supreme Court is to hear an appeal, leave to appeal must first be granted. Leave to appeal is only granted if the case is assessed as being very important to the application of the law or if other extraordinary reasons apply.

The arrest warrant is based on the detention decision that has now been examined by all three legal instances. The additional information requested by the British Police concerns the penalties for the other crimes, in addition to rape, that Julian Assange was arrested for. This information will be supplied immediately. The previous arrest warrant stands.

Since the arrest, the text has been updated to

The matter concerning Mr. Assange Director of Prosecution, Ms. Marianne Ny, will make a statement concerning the proceedings in the Assange matter in the afternoon, Tuesday 7 December.

Further information will follow.

Information from the prosecutor in Sweden can be followed at their website. I will monitor it and report here as well.

UPDATE: Assange denied bail

Bloomberg is reporting Julian Assange has been denied bail. Attorney for the UK government, Gemma Lindfield, cited Assange was a flight risk due to his “nomadic” lifestyle. This despite the arrest by “appointment”.

Updated Statement From The Swedish Prosecutor
Statement from Director of Prosecution, Ms. Marianne Ny
Today British Police have arrested Mr. Assange. Director of Prosecution Ms. Marianne Ny has issued the European arrest warrant, due to which the arrest was executed. The arrest warrant is based on an order for arrest and detention by the Svea Court of Appeal.

Marianne Ny states:
– Apart from the arrest, nothing new has happened in the investigation, but the arrest is a prerequisite for continuing the investigation. I cannot give information on the next step, as the matter at the moment is handled by British authorities.

The prosecutor emphasizes that this matter exclusively concerns Mr. Assange as a private person.

– I would like to clarify that there have by no means been any political pressure on my decision making. I act as a prosecutor due to suspicions of sexual crimes in Sweden in August. Swedish prosecutors are completely independent in their decision making, says Ms. Ny.


WikiLeaks Website Back Up And Running After Sustained Attacks.

December 3, 2010 1 comment
Logo used by Wikileaks

Image via Wikipedia

Attorney General Eric Holder Calls For The Arrest of Julian Assange As Interpol Issues A Red Notice For The Arrest of Dick Cheney.

The website of the whistle blowing WikiLeaks is back up after removal of its domain name and sustained hacking attacks by the U.S. and other governments. Attacks on WikiLeaks has stepped up in recent days after WikiLeaks let it be known they were planning to release information concerning activities of a large bank after it released 250,000 pages of diplomat disclosures.

Calls for the arrest of Julian Assange of WikiLeaks has come from AG Eric Holder of the U.S. Department of Justice who claims he wants to prosecute Assange though its not sure how under The Espinionage Act really applies since WikiLeaks is a receiver of information that it publishes and is not a leaker itself and Assange is not an American nor conducting espionage. The ACLU says such a prosecution would be a threat to whatever journalism still exists in the United States. Interpol has issued a red notice for Assange’s arrest on rape charges stemming from consensual sex with a condom that broke. Most countries do not recognize consensual sex between adults as rape. That is probably why Holder is not calling for an arrest on those charges. Interpol has also issued a red notice for the arrest of former Vice President Dick Cheney stemming from an indictment on bribery charges concerning a Nigerian pipeline. The Department of Justice under Obama has protected Bush Administration officials from crimes and criminal prosecution despite calls for their arrest under international law (including a crime against US security interests in the leaking of the name of a covert agent). The red alert on Cheney puts Holder and the DOJ in a hypocritical spotlight of it’s own doing. Maybe the Department is in the need for a name change such as the Department of Injustice or the Department of Hypocrisy.

On The Occasion Of Olbermann’s Return

November 13, 2010 1 comment

A Tribute To Keith Olbermann

One night around four years ago, I was lamenting the complete and utter end of real American journalism in a country that I grew up in but could no longer recognize. It had become a country of “pre-emptive war” but as a student of history, I recognized it as “preventive war”, something that Eisenhower described as

“That isn’t preventive war; that is war.
I don’t believe there is such a thing; and, frankly, I wouldn’t even listen to anyone seriously that came in and talked about such a thing.
… It seems to me that when, by definition, a term is just ridiculous in itself, there is no use in going any further.”

and also,

“All of us have heard this term “preventive war” since the earliest days of Hitler. I recall that is about the first time I heard it.”

Not only had this foreign concept gripped my country’s foreign policy due to hegemonic dreams of the neoconservative movement, but a system of torture (and even death) prisons which is against domestic, Constitutional, and international law was set up complete with it’s own tribunal judgement system outside the rule of law to circumvent the rule of law much like “the People’s Court” of World War II Germany. Journalistic questioning of the administration and its lies to commit this nation to war could cause one to lose their job in journalism as was shown in the firing of Phil Donohue, Ashley Banfield, Dan Rather, or producer Mary Mapes. It was under this setting of 21st century McCarthyism of which there were no Walter Cronkites or Edward R. Murrows emerging to push back. That is, not until Keith Olbermann stepped forth that night in question to take on Donald Rumsfeld who in his speech, impugned all Americans who questioned the administration’s war in Iraq.

The Rumsfeld speech in question was his address at the 88th Annual American Legion National Convention in Salt Lake Utah on Tuesday, August 29th, 2006. In this loathsome speech, Rumsfeld attacked America’s newspapers, Newsweek, CNN, and Amnesty International for their questioning of the war. Some of it was typical apologist type of criticism calling those that seek truthful answers or that notice inconsistencies to the administration’s rhetoric and explanations as the “blame America first crowd” that could be made by any political liar or hate talker on right wing radio or television. But what was particularly disgusting was his descriptive terminology of critics with “moral or intellectual confusion” and called on the legion to have a “watchdog role” in keeping the media and others “straight”. All in all, it was typical attack the messenger stuff usually characteristic of that administration.

As I sat in the kitchen next to the den where Countdown was being watched by my family, Keith began his “special comment” on the matter and as those words drifted to my seat in the kitchen, it was if I were hit by a sharp shock of electricity. I turned immediately to those watching in the den and yelled “record”. He even invoked Murrow and it really hit me that someone was standing up and saying, “enough” ! It was what we had been missing for years from a generally uninformative and complacent press that had led a cheerleading role in the lies that had launched the war. Maybe that is why today, many in the press try pushing the idea Olbermann is the left equivalent of Bill O’Reilly. Maybe through their false equivalency of giving “balance” to both sides of an argument, even when one side is false, continues to drive corporate oversight over content in what should be in the public interest instead. There is no comparison with speaking truth to power and lies and never will be. Welcome back Keith.

Transcript of Special Comment

Are Dixiecrats Making A Comeback In North Carolina? NC Democratic Party Pays For Mailers For NC Senate Candidate That Touts Bringing The Arizona Immigration Crack Down To North Carolina.

John H. Tanton

Image via Wikipedia

Taking a xenophobic page from today’s Republican Party, The North Carolina Democratic Party has paid for flyers which tout “Bringing the Arizona immigration crack down to North Carolina” on behalf of the NC Senate race of David Redwine of Shallotte. In mentioning Arizona and immigration crack down in the same breath, the NC Democratic Party has entered the sewer of race baiting politics which has been the domain of the Republican Party since the days of Nixon’s southern strategy. The southern strategy was designed to take advantage of white disenchantment in the south with the Democratic Party following passage of the Civil Rights Act under Johnson. By invoking Arizona’s controversial and partly unconstitutional SB 1070 (due to the supremacy clause of the Constitution) through this wording, the party is likely facing a backlash to come from many of its donors from urban and university areas of the state.

The Racist Underpinnings of Arizona’s SB 1070

The person that introduced Arizona’s SB 1070 was Republican state senator Russell Pearce. Mr. Pearce is famous in Arizona for an email sent to supporters that had a white nationalist bent. It accused the media of pushing a view of “a world in which every voice proclaims the equality of the races, the inerrant nature of the Jewish ‘Holocaust’ tale, the wickedness of attempting to halt the flood of non-White aliens pouring across our borders”. He was also caught on tape hugging a neo-Nazi. The person taking credit for writing the law is Republican Kris Kobach who is running for Kansas Secretary of State and is a birther. He is also an attorney for the Immigration Reform Law Institute. That is the legal arm of the immigration group FAIR (Federation For American Immigration Reform) which the Southern Poverty Law Center has noted for it’s racist attitudes along with its founder John Tanton. In a Southern Poverty Law Center Intelligence Report on Tanton and FAIR called, “Where Anti-Immigrant Zealots Like Lou Dobbs Get Their ‘Facts’ ” FAIR (founded by John Tanton in 1979) has been marked by

anti-Latino and anti-Catholic attitudes. It has mixed this bigotry with a fondness for eugenics, the idea of breeding better humans discredited by its Nazi Associations. It has accepted $1.2 million from an infamous, racist eugenics foundation. It has employed officials in key positions who are also members of white supremacist groups.

It goes on to mention that it has recently pushed racist conspiracy theories concerning Mexican take over designs on states in the southwest and mentions that current FAIR President Dan Stein had sought some advice from a racist political party in Belgium. Also mentioned is some internal documents named WITAN which were leaked to the press where Tanton warned of a “Latin onslaught” and their birth rates would force “the present majority to hand over its political power to a group that is simply more fertile.” He also was demeaning by saying they would “bring with them the tradition of the mordida (bribe), the lack of involvement in public affairs” and questioned their “educability”.

The Intricate Web Of Hatred, Money, And Political Power

In another report by the Southern Poverty Law Center titled, “The Puppeteer” which concerns Tanton and the intricate web of organizational funding of anti-immigrant groups, one can trace the money from right wing billionaires to organizations linked to Tanton, to the Republican Party and the seats of government power. It mentions that

the vast majority of American anti-immigration groups — more than a dozen in all — were either formed, led, or in other ways made possible through Tanton’s efforts.

It goes on to cite that a major funding arm

U.S. Inc., is a Tanton creation, and millions of dollars in financing comes from just a few of his allies, far-right foundations like those controlled by the family of Richard Mellon Scaife. …

Also it mentions that many of these politically connected activists are moving increasingly into groups such as the Council of Conservative Citizens which has around 15,000 members whose website recently described African Americans as

“a retrograde species of humanity.” …

But what is most disturbing for anyone that has studied the rise of fascism in Europe in the 20’s and 30’s as well as the US in the 20’s is the increasing connection to government these groups have. Many of the Constitutional protections put into the Constitution as a protection from tyranny have been removed since September 11th, 2001 and have not been restored even with the election of Obama and Democratic Party majorities. We still have prisons outside the rule of law where people are taken without charge or trial and are tortured or worse, extraordinary rendition, wiretapping without warrants, targeted killings, and “prolonged detention”. Following the post-9/11 sweeps of Arab American communities which resulted in indefinite detention of more than a thousand or two persons, many of these groups called for wider dragnets of Hispanic American communities. And in the wake of the plane attacks, there was rapid growth of the Congressional Immigration Reform Caucus led by right wing extremist (now former) Rep. Tom Tancredo (R), of Colorado. FAIR is considered legitimate to many members of the caucus.

About The Aforementioned Racist Eugenics Foundation

The eugenics foundation that gave $1.2 million dollars to FAIR is called The Pioneer Fund. It has links to sterilization efforts based on race and disability in America’s past as well as the eugenics effort in Nazi Germany. This background can be examined in the piece by Barry Mehler of the Southern Poverty Law Center titled “Race and ‘Reason’ Academic ideas a pillar of racist thought“. The founder of the Pioneer Fund was one Wickliffe P. Draper. In 1935, he traveled to Nazi Germany with an associate, Dr. Clarence Campbell, to attend the International Congress for the Scientific Investigation of Population Problems. In 1937, he founded the Pioneer Fund which was to fund race scientists and scholarships. It was headed by eugenicist Harry L. Laughlin, an advocate for restrictive immigration laws and compulsary sterilization of the mentally ill and mentally retarded. In 1938, he paid for and disseminated a book titled, “White America” written by white supremacist Earnest Servier Cox and sent a copy to Wilhelm Frick, the German Minister of the Interior. In later years, the fund has been intertwined in American politics and movements (beyond FAIR). As noted in the Southern Poverty Law Center report, Pioneer leaders such as Harry Weyher and Thomas F. Ellis have been part of an interlocking association of groups linked to the late former Senator Jesse Helms (R) NC. In fact, Ellis served as chairman of both the National Congressional Club and the Coalition For Freedom and he was a co-founder of Fairness In Media. So does the NC Democratic Party want to be associated with the legacy of Republican Jesse Helms?

A Great Tool For Further Republican Voter Suppression Of Minority Voters

Investigative reporter Greg Palast recently pursued a political angle to Arizona’a SB 1070 in a report titled, “Behind the Arizona Immigration Law: GOP Game to Swipe the November Election” where he gives his experiences in investigating suppression of Hispanic voters in Arizona. He wrote in the report that following the 2004 elections under Secretary of State Jan Brewer (now governor), at least 100,000 voters were blocked from registering to vote and that in 2005, the first year of the “Great Brown Out” one in three voters in Phoenix had their registrations rejected. Since a non-citizen attempting to register to vote is a crime punishable by jail time and turning over to immigration authorities, Palast sought out these 100,000 people but found none were sent to jail or handed over to authorities. It would appear that 100,000 Hispanic citizens were being denied the right to vote. This is similar to what happened in Florida in 2000 when Afican American voters were purged before the vote count was stopped and a Republican Supreme Court appointed G.W. Bush president.

No Self Respecting NC Democrat would want to be associated with such a flyer or the legacy of Jesse Helms. An attempt to contact Andrew Whalen, Executive Director of the North Carolina Democratic Party for a response before writing this failed. The flyer can be viewed at the right wing think tank charged with resegregating Wake County Public Schools into “community school zones” following the “tea party” takeover of that school board, The Civitas Institute’s website.

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates Admits The Reasons For War Were Invalid

Official portrait of United States Secretary o...

Image via Wikipedia

In a report from Baghdad by Richard Spencer in Australia’s Newspaper, The Age, titled “Reason for war invalid: Gates“, he reports that at a ceremony marking the end of the U.S. campaign, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said that the problem for many Americans,

is that the premise on which we justified going to war proved not to be valid

and that before the ceremony

it will always be clouded by how it began

no matter the outcome.

The ceremony was marking the end of Operation Iraqi Freedom and the beginning of Operation New Dawn and was held at US force’s headquarters of Faw Palace. Speakers at the ceremony spoke mainly on the many years of bloodshed that followed the unprovoked invasion. Vice President Joe Biden said that the 7 1/2 years

tested our mettle like no other conflict in recent American history

and reiterated the division in America in the war’s aftermath. Biden also said,

politics has broken out in Iraq

in reference to the ongoing negotiations to still form a government there. The report also included a quote from a car salesman in Baghdad that many people are still scared of what may come.  Afterall, the United States created a failed state to be preyed upon by multi-national corporate interests, but the government is still not firmly formed and stable.

There still is no accountability for this in the United States

Unlike Britain, there has been no inquiry into the legality or illegality of the Iraq war and no real accounting on the false pretenses used in the U.S. .  That is because even though power changed parties in the U.S., the Democratic Party and its policies have been under the control of the DLC or Democratic Leadership Council and its think tanks which is a conservative or neo-conservative (neo-liberal) group that touts itself as “centrist” (despite the false fantasies of US domestic politics that liberals or real progressives have had any influence on US domestic and foreign policy in the last thirty years).  As long as there is no accounting of the Bush Administration’s actions in the U.S., the real world opinion outside the confines of U.S. domestic propaganda will continue to be negative as it has been since the dawn of the neoconservative darkness in America.


2,666 Days. The 4th Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division Crossed The Kuwait Border Last In Symbolic End To Combat Operations.

2,666 days after the previous administration declared “mission accomplished” and boldly told a gullible American people that major combat operations in Iraq had ended, the 4th Styker Brigade of the 2nd Infantry Division represented the last combat brigade to cross back over into Kuwait leaving Iraq on August 18th. Under the cover of darkness and military secrecy, NBC and MSNBC presented the only live coverage by American media. All the other corporate news organizations that helped the Bush administration sell the lies that led to war were not. The difference in tone was striking, especially given the circus like atmosphere of flag waving Fox News inspired propaganda of “shock and awe” in a war that was deemed illegal by the international community and now even in the country of Bush’s “poodle” as Blair came to be called. In the US, there is a refusal to deal with the underlying facts of the launching of an unprovoked aggressive war against another country and its illegalities in both domestic and international law (and impeachable offenses). Another thing that was striking is that our men and women in service are A+ people even if the government that sent them there was not and we are well served.

The coverage by MSNBC was done by Keith Olbermann, Rachel Maddow, and NBC’s Richard Engel. Engel, when the war started, was with the international press community staying at the Palestine Hotel when U.S. tanks fired on them and journalists were killed. The message from the Pentagon was clear. If media was not embedded with US forces, and thus the message control that entails, they would be subject to being fired upon.

Lingering lies and unaddressed issues

Just as soon as the last stryker vehicle’s tires crossed into Kuwait, one of the Bush Administration’s grandest liars, Former Undersecretary for Policy for the DoD under Rumsfeld Doug Feith was on television telling the lie that the CIA gave faulty intelligence that led to war (WMD’s etc.). You see, Feith was in charge of Rumfeld’s Office of Special Plans, the group charged with creating false intelligence because the CIA wouldn’t do it. It became the emphasis of what the Downing Street memos were all about, fixing the intelligence around policy instead of policy being determined by intelligence. Besides the administration relying on unreliable persons such as “curveball”, Chalabi, and the exiled Iraqi National Congress, it relied on the false torture (illegal) produced confessions of Abu Zubaydah and Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi (later found dead in a Libyan jail cell), the Niger yellow cake document forgeries of Valerie Plame Wilson fame (soon to be a must watch movie) and the Habbush letter forgery among other things. By now you are familiar with the lies such as Saddam had operational weapons of mass destruction, had a nuclear weapons program, was involved with al Qaeda and 9/11, etc., and many on the right still believe them. And can this really be the end with 50,000 troops remaining and a large imperial footprint in place?

And what were the real reasons for invading Iraq?

If they were lying, then what were the real reasons over 4,000 American service members lost their lives, over 30,000 injured, and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians lost their lives and millions made refugees? The answer can be found in the original name before Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Iraqi Liberation or oil. It can be seen revealed in the FOIA request by Judicial Watch into the secret Cheney Energy Task Force before the war showing Iraqi oil fields and a multi-national corporate suitors list (oil fields map, corporate suitors for Iraqi oilfield contracts list 1, corporate suitors for Iraqi oilfield contracts list 2). It can also be seen in the Bremer Orders

Order 1-deBathification , Order 2- Dissolve the Iraqi military and intelligence apparatus, Order 12 and Order 54- Trade Liberalization, Order 14 –Prohibited media activity, Order17 -Contractor and military immunity from Iraqi laws, Order 37 and 49- Replace progressive tax system with flat tax system, Order 40 and 94- Iraqi banking open to foreign ownership, Order 62 -Bremer to determine who could run for office, Order 65 Iraqi Communications and Media Commission appointed by Bremer, Order 57 and 77-place American representatives in key decision making positions in the government ministries, Order 80, 81, and 83 Rewrote Iraq’s patent, trademark, and copyright laws. But the most obvious is Order 39. Provision-1, privatization, Provision 2-100 percent Foreign Ownership of Iraqi Businesses, Provision 3 National treatment of foreign investment, Provision-4 Unrestricted Repatriation of Profits for Foreign Investors, Provision 5-Forty Year Leases of Iraqi Real Estate by Foreign Entities and Provision 6 Disputes could be settled in international tribunals instead of Iraqi Courts.

So isn’t Iraq better off?

Well let’s look at some comparisons of pre-war Iraq to post-war Iraq. In a report written by Adil E. Shamoo, former born and raised in Baghdad, and now a professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in a piece titled, “U.S. Occupation of Iraq More Than Doubles Poverty, Sickness — Leaves Country a Total Disaster” does just that using a report from UN-HABITAT, an agency of the United Nations. Some of the highlights include unemployment between 20 and 50 percent, continual sporadic violence that did not occur before the invasion, a dysfunctional parliament, and they no longer are in control of their oil assets. The population living in slums pre-war was under 20 percent, even during the period of severe economic sanctions imposed by the United States and a no fly zone (and an Iraq without a navy or air force). The population now living in slums is reported to be 53 percent and electricity is sporadic, maybe totalling only a few hours a day. The equivalency in the US would be around 121 million in slums for a comparison.

Republicans thought Obama should have given Bush more credit in his speech for this success.

Give it to him. America has gone from international leader and a creator of international law through the rule of law and the Nuremberg priniciples to international beligerent and violator of international law with “pre-emptive war” and torture prisons outside the rule of law. By all means, if they want this disgrace, let him have it. Or maybe I just have a pre 9/11 mindset, eh?

Will The WikiLeaks Saga End The Near 40 Year U.S. Involvement In Afghani Conflict? A Look At The Real Questions Assange Has Brought To The Table.

Is it a signal of the beginning of the end of direct U.S. war in Afghanistan? Is it really a new Pentagon Papers?

On July 31st, 2010, Frank Rich had an interesting op-ed in the New York Times titled, “Kiss This War Goodbye” concerning the recent WikiLeaks release of the Afghanistan war logs. Besides the obvious implications of his title, the reasoning of those implications are linked to the Pentagon Papers and the drawing down to the end of the Vietnam war. In expressing those feelings, he essentially wrote,

The only people that seem to be drawing parallels between Daniel Ellsberg’s Pentagon Papers and Julian Assange’s WikiLeaks document dump are Ellsberg and Assange. The Pentagon Papers didn’t impact the Vietnam War as much as it did the press and the same scenario is likely concerning the WikiLeaks revelations. But the parallel is spot on in that they are narratives on downward trendlines in both wars.

The public is hardly interested anymore and according to a recent CBS News poll, nearly two-thirds think the war is going badly. Add in a Post-ABC News survey that found support of Obama’s handling of the war is at 45 percent with only 43 percent thinking the war is worth it.

It’s hard to argue with any of the op-ed. The information, despite massive enforced secrecy by the U.S. government and two Presidents, revealed precious little to informed people (Fox and right wing radio propaganda afficionados the exception) or to enemies. In fact, the only thing that sticks out is the narrative of nine years of the Afghanistan conflict. That narrative is, of course, one that the United States was just sitting here, uninvolved in Afghanistan and that Osama Bin Laden ordered an attack by plane hijack, on the United States because radical Muslims hated our “freedoms” and Christians and Jews. Since there are closer targets to Afghanistan, or Hamburg Germany where the largely Saudi Arabian contingent of hijackers left from, than the United States that do not have a military garrisoned in 135 countries across the globe and fit those categories, a logical mind would think that rationale a little weak. In fact, the CIA has a term for terrorism, which is “blowback”. But that can be forgiven given the premise of the op-ed that rings true.

As written previously at American Commentary Blog in December of 2009 titled, “Where The U.S. Military Meets Frankensten’s Monster At The Grave Yard Of Conquerors. Obama’s Afghan Decision.” the history and motives are much more involved and long.

As I wrote in 2008 at the DailyKos and the Democratic Underground in a piece titled, “Colonial Wars In A Postcolonial Era (Benazir Bhutto on Iraq)” the Taliban and the groups that ultimately formed al Queda are our “Frankenstein’s monster” by borrowing Benazir Bhutto’s quote

Post cold war imperial ambitions of the U.S. have pushed the Middle East and Central Asia into intolerable peril for these regions the U.S. desires to control for unmatched hegemony. Benazir Bhutto knowing the true nature of the mujahideen coalition even down to each leader of each group and what they were capable of, warned George H.W. Bush in June of 1989, “Mr. President, I fear we have created a Frankenstein that will come back to haunt us” according to her book. The United States, blinded by the Wolfowitz doctrine, has not seen the warning signs until too late. It did not see bin Laden’s rebellion among its jihad network.

and that we should understand the historical background of where we currently find ourselves

The road to 9/11 and its continued bloody aftermath began in earnest at the tail end of the Carter administration when the CIA and Pakistan’s ISI decided it would be a good idea to train and fund a coalition of groups of mujahideen rebels in Afghanistan to give the Soviet backed government of President Mohammed Najibullah more problems than it could handle. For the Pakistani military, the strategy was to provide itself with more reach and influence. For the United States, it was to create a Vietnam type of quagmire for the Soviet Union and its success began when the USSR invaded Afghanistan on Christmas Day, 1979. Ironically, this Soviet quagmire that ultimately led to the implosion of the USSR now threatens us with the same fate.

Of equally important background information is this from The Nation and it’s online blog from 2008 titled, “The Afghan Pipeline You Don’t Know About

Just as Americans were getting used to Big Oil and Iraq, they were hit with revelations on Afghanistan. Did anyone remember in 1999 Unocal providing an all expense paid trip for Taliban officials to the United States (including a trip to Mt. Rushmore) while negotiating a $1.9 billion pipeline bringing Turkmeni natural gas through Afghanistan to Pakistan? What about who was a special consultant to Unocal or the Karzai connection? How about George W. Bush’s neocon ambassador to the U.N. Zalmay Khalilzad being rumored as a future “Afghan” presidential candidate?

The pipeline negotiations broke down for good in August, 2001, one month before “well, you know”. Toronto’s Globe and Mail columnist Lawrence Martin put it, “Washington was furious, leading to speculation it might take out the Taliban. After 9/11, the Taliban, with good reason, were removed — and pipeline planning continued with the Karzai government. U.S. forces installed bases near Kandahar, where the pipeline was to run. A key motivation for the pipeline was to block a competing bid involving Iran, a charter member of the ‘axis of evil.'”

Turns out in April (2008), Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India (TAPI) signed a Gas Pipeline Framework Agreement to build a US supported $7.6 billion pipeline. It would by-pass Iran and energy giant Russia carrying Turkmeni natural gas to Pakistan and India. Construction would begin in 2010 and go through Kandahar right through the heart of Taliban country (think of the additional troop request)

and this news item from the BBC in 2002 titled, “Afghan pipeline given go-ahead” . Also, the blog at The Nation online magazine went on to state Americans would not know these things unless they regularly scan news items from foreign press sources. The question is, is this still about al Queda and the right war (since the US’s own assessments are that there are maybe only about 100 persons connected to the al Queda groups left in Afghanistan) or is this just a continuation of the strategic game of the empire project concerning Central Asian oil and gas trade?

Recently, there has been some press about Pakistan’s ISI being involved with the Taliban and current insurgency. This has been well known by people in the know, especially given that the United States, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia created most of these groups and funded and trained many of them to drive out the Soviet Union. In fact, many sources had connected Pakistan’s ISI officials and the flow of money to 9/11 hijacker Atta. The religious radicalization of many of the groups and their recruits through those years was funded by U.S. taxpayers as revealed in a 2002 report titled “From U.S., the ABC’s of Jihad” in the Washington Post including the textbooks for the religious schools. This was, of course, what the military industrial complex had decided to do in order to control the resources and the flow of oil and natural gas for multi-national corporations since the fall of the Soviet Union leaving many former soviet states in the region to U.S. hegemonic exploitation. There was not going to be a peace dividend following the cold war for the American people if the profiteers were to have their say and they had both political parties on board.

A warning and a choice

A dire warning to the U.S., which is now following the footsteps of the now defunct U.S.S.R., came from former Soviet General Igor Rodionov in an article from 2009 titled “Veterans of Soviet war see same errors by US” by Charles Clover of the Financial Times where he said “they would come, the insurgency would leave, then we would leave, and they would return and it just went around in circles for 10 years”. He said “sending more troops is just going to mean more deaths.” Indeed, Afghanistan throughout history, has shed its would be conquerors. These lessons come amid the recent collapse of the U.S. economy under deregulation and the Bush tax cuts which have deprived the government of billions and if preserved will cost the budget $700 billion in the next decade while state budget cuts have further contracted economic activity. With current budget cuts including shutting down schools to shutting off street lights at night across America or breaking up roads to gravel to avoid the cost of repaving as revealed in pieces by Glenn Greenwald titled “What collapsing empire looks like” and Nobel Prize economist Paul Krugman’s column called “America Goes Dark“, isn’t it time to shift away from tax cuts at the top and the massive spending on the American Security State and imperial priorities of this neocon empire to our millions of unemployed people in dire straits? Isn’t it time to put our priorities back on our people and their welfare before we suffer a fate like that of the Soviet collapse?