With heartfelt love and best wishes,
Fred Burks for the inspiring and educational PEERS websites
Former language interpreter for Presidents Bush and Clinton
Terrorized by 'War on Terror'
2007-03-25, Washington Post
The "war on terror" has created a culture of fear in America. The Bush administration's elevation of these three words into a national mantra since the horrific events of 9/11 has had a pernicious impact on American democracy. Constant reference to a "war on terror" did accomplish one major objective: It stimulated the emergence of a culture of fear. Fear obscures reason, intensifies emotions and makes it easier for demagogic politicians to mobilize the public on behalf of the policies they want to pursue. America today is not the self-confident and determined nation that responded to Pearl Harbor; nor is it the America that heard from its leader, at another moment of crisis, the powerful words "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself." Fear-mongering, reinforced by security entrepreneurs, the mass media and the entertainment industry, generates its own momentum. The terror entrepreneurs ... are necessarily engaged in competition to justify their existence. Hence their task is to convince the public that it faces new threats. "Security" procedures have become routine, wasting hundreds of millions of dollars and further contributing to a siege mentality. Government at every level has stimulated the paranoia. The record is even more troubling in the general area of civil rights. The culture of fear has bred intolerance, suspicion of foreigners and the adoption of legal procedures that undermine fundamental notions of justice. Innocent until proven guilty has been diluted if not undone, with some -- even U.S. citizens -- incarcerated for lengthy periods of time without ... due process. There is no known, hard evidence that such excess has prevented significant acts of terrorism.
Note: This is an amazingly deep and powerful analysis of the use of fear by politicians, big business, and the media to promote their own agendas. Amazingly, the article was written by Zbigniew Brzezinski, national security adviser to President Carter. This is the same man who wrote in his book The Grand Chessboard, that U.S. global primacy is not likely to be achieved "except in the circumstance of a truly massive and widely perceived direct external threat." Strange, but the article is well worth reading in its entirety. For more, click here.
Bush, aides made 935 false statements in run-up to war
President Bush and his top aides publicly made 935 false statements about the security risk posed by Iraq in the two years following September 11, 2001, according to a study released ... by two nonprofit journalism groups. "In short, the Bush administration led the nation to war on the basis of erroneous information that it methodically propagated and that culminated in military action against Iraq on March 19, 2003," reads an overview of the examination, conducted by the Center for Public Integrity and its affiliated group, the Fund for Independence in Journalism. According to the study, Bush and seven top officials -- including Vice President Dick Cheney, former Secretary of State Colin Powell and then-National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice -- made 935 false statements about Iraq during those two years. The study says Bush made 232 false statements about Iraq and former leader Saddam Hussein's possessing weapons of mass destruction, and 28 false statements about Iraq's links to al Qaeda. The study, released Tuesday, says Powell had the second-highest number of false statements, with 244 about weapons and 10 about Iraq and al Qaeda. Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Press Secretary Ari Fleischer each made 109 false statements. "It is now beyond dispute that Iraq did not possess any weapons of mass destruction or have meaningful ties to al Qaeda," the report reads. The overview of the study also calls the media to task, saying most media outlets didn't do enough to investigate the claims. "Some journalists -- indeed, even some entire news organizations -- have since acknowledged that their coverage during those prewar months was far too deferential and uncritical," the report reads.
Note: These lies led to the deaths of thousands of American soldiers and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians. Why is no action being taken on this matter?
The War On Waste
2002-01-29, CBS News
On Sept. 10 , Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld declared war. Not on foreign terrorists, "the adversary's closer to home. It's the Pentagon bureaucracy." He said money wasted by the military poses a serious threat. Rumsfeld promised change but the next day–Sept. 11–the world changed and in the rush to fund the war on terrorism, the war on waste seems to have been forgotten. Just last week President Bush announced, "my 2003 budget calls for more than $48 billion in new defense spending." More money for the Pentagon ... while its own auditors admit the military cannot account for 25 percent of what it spends. "According to some estimates we cannot track $2.3 trillion in transactions," Rumsfeld admitted. $2.3 trillion–that's $8,000 for every man, woman and child in America. A former Marine turned whistle-blower is risking his job by speaking out ... about the millions he noticed were missing from one defense agency's balance sheets. Jim Minnery, Defense Finance and Accounting Service ... tried to follow the money trail, even crisscrossing the country looking for records. "The director looked at me and said 'Why do you care about this stuff?' It took me aback. My supervisor asking me why I care about doing a good job," said Minnery. He was reassigned and says officials then covered up the problem. The Pentagon's Inspector General "partially substantiated" several of Minnery's allegations.
Note: To see the CBS video clip of this shocking admission, click here. For another key clip, click here. For other media articles revealing major corruption, click here. Even though originally not reported because of the trauma of 9/11, why wasn't this news broadcast far and wide later? Why isn't it making media headlines now?
It's still about oil in Iraq
2006-12-08, Los Angeles Times
While the Bush administration, the media and nearly all the Democrats still refuse to explain the war in Iraq in terms of oil, the ever-pragmatic members of the Iraq Study Group share no such reticence. Page 1, Chapter 1 ... lays out Iraq's importance: "It has the world's second-largest known oil reserves." The report makes visible to everyone the elephant in the room: that we are fighting, killing and dying in a war for oil. Recommendation No. 63 ... calls on the U.S. to "assist Iraqi leaders to reorganize the national oil industry as a commercial enterprise." This is an echo of calls made [by] the U.S. State Department's Oil and Energy Working Group, meeting between December 2002 and April 2003. Iraq "should be opened to international oil companies as quickly as possible after the war." Its preferred method of privatization was a form of oil contract called a production-sharing agreement. These agreements are ... rejected by all the top oil producers in the Middle East because they grant greater control and more profits to the companies than the governments. For any degree of oil privatization to take place ... Iraq has to amend its constitution. Recommendation No. 26 of the Iraq Study Group calls for a review of the constitution to be "pursued on an urgent basis." Petroleum Economist magazine later reported that U.S. oil companies considered passage of the new oil law more important than increased security. Further, the Iraq Study Group would commit U.S. troops to Iraq for several more years to ... provide security for Iraq's oil infrastructure. We can thank the Iraq Study Group for making its case publicly. It is now our turn to decide if we wish to spill more blood for oil.
Note: For more on corporate complicity in fomenting war exposed by a top U.S. general, click here.
U.S. Military Wanted to Provoke War With Cuba
2001-05-01, ABC News
In the early 1960s, America's top military leaders reportedly drafted plans to kill innocent people and commit acts of terrorism in U.S. cities to create public support for a war against Cuba. Code named Operation Northwoods, the plans reportedly included the possible assassination of Cuban émigrés, sinking boats of Cuban refugees on the high seas, hijacking planes, blowing up a U.S. ship, and even orchestrating violent terrorism in U.S. cities. The plans were developed as ways to trick the American public and the international community into supporting a war to oust Cuba's ... Fidel Castro. America's top military brass even contemplated causing U.S. military casualties, writing: "We could blow up a U.S. ship in Guantanamo Bay and blame Cuba," and, "casualty lists in U.S. newspapers would cause a helpful wave of national indignation." The plans had the written approval of all of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and were presented to President Kennedy's defense secretary, Robert McNamara, in March 1962. But they apparently were rejected by the civilian leadership and have gone undisclosed for nearly 40 years. The Joint Chiefs even proposed using the potential death of astronaut John Glenn during the first attempt to put an American into orbit as a false pretext for war with Cuba. Should the rocket explode and kill Glenn, they wrote, "the objective is to provide irrevocable proof ... that the fault lies with the Communists." The scary thing is none of this stuff comes out until 40 years after.
Note: Many military and political leaders tend to look at the world as a chess board. Sacrificing pawns (innocent civilians) is sometimes necessary to capture the queen. Is it beyond comprehension that this might have been the case with 9/11? And why was ABC the only major news source to report this highly revealing story? To read the shocking declassified documents, click here.
BAE: secret papers reveal threats from Saudi prince
2008-02-15, The Guardian (One of the U.K.'s leading newspapers)
Saudi Arabia's rulers threatened to make it easier for terrorists to attack London unless corruption investigations into their arms deals were halted, according to court documents revealed yesterday. Previously secret files describe how investigators were told they faced "another 7/7" and the loss of "British lives on British streets" if they pressed on with their inquiries and the Saudis carried out their threat to cut off intelligence. Prince Bandar, the head of the Saudi national security council, and son of the crown prince, was alleged in court to be the man behind the threats to hold back information about suicide bombers and terrorists. He faces accusations that he himself took more than �1bn in secret payments from the arms company BAE. He was accused in yesterday's high court hearings of flying to London in December 2006 and uttering threats which made the prime minister, Tony Blair, force an end to the Serious Fraud Office investigation into bribery allegations involving Bandar and his family. The threats halted the fraud inquiry. Lord Justice Moses, hearing the civil case with Mr Justice Sullivan, said the government appeared to have "rolled over" after the threats. He said one possible view was that it was "just as if a gun had been held to the head" of the government. The SFO investigation began in 2004, when Robert Wardle, its director, studied evidence unearthed by the Guardian. This revealed that massive secret payments were going from BAE to Saudi Arabian princes, to promote arms deals. Yesterday, anti-corruption campaigners began a legal action to overturn the decision to halt the case. They want the original investigation restarted, arguing the government had caved into blackmail.
Note: This report comes very close to confirming the close link between terrorist attacks and high-level policy of certain states. For many revealing clues along these lines from reliable sources, click here.
When Seeing and Hearing Isn't Believing
2000-02-28, Washington Post
"Gentlemen! We have called you together to inform you that we are going to overthrow the United States government." So begins a statement being delivered by Gen. Carl W. Steiner. At least the voice sounds amazingly like him. But it is not Steiner. It is the result of voice "morphing" technology developed at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. Psychological operations ... PSYOPS, as the military calls it, seek to exploit human vulnerabilities in enemy governments, militaries and populations to pursue national and battlefield objectives. Covert operators kicked around the idea of creating a computer-faked videotape of Saddam Hussein crying or showing other such manly weaknesses, or in some sexually compromising situation. The nascent plan was for the tapes to be flooded into Iraq and the Arab world. The tape war never proceeded...but the "strategic" PSYOPS scheming didn't die. What if the U.S. projected a holographic image of Allah floating over Baghdad urging the Iraqi people and Army to rise up against Saddam? According to a military physicist given the task of looking into the hologram idea, the feasibility had been established of projecting large, three-dimensional objects that appeared to float in the air. A super secret program was established in 1994 to pursue the very technology for PSYOPS application. The "Holographic Projector" is described in a classified Air Force document as a system to "project information power from space ... for special operations deception missions."
Note: If the above link fails, click here. If you want to understand some of the many hidden capabilities of the U.S. military, this article is a must read. For more on the use of these "nonlethal" weapons, click here.
Lockheed and the Future of Warfare
2004-11-28, New York Times
Lockheed Martin doesn't run the United States. But it does help run a breathtakingly big part of it. Lockheed ... has built a formidable information-technology empire that now stretches from the Pentagon to the post office. It sorts your mail and totals your taxes. It cuts Social Security checks and counts the United States census. It runs space flights and monitors air traffic. Lockheed ... is best known for its weapons. But in the post-9/11 world, Lockheed has become more than just the biggest corporate cog in what Dwight D. Eisenhower called the military-industrial complex. It is increasingly putting its stamp on the nation's military policies. Former Lockheed executives, lobbyists and lawyers hold crucial posts at the White House and the Pentagon, picking weapons and setting policies. War and crisis have been good for business. The company's stock has tripled in the last four years. Lockheed is creating robot soldiers and neural software - "intelligent agents" - to do their work. Israel spends much of the $1.8 billion in annual military aid from the United States to buy F-16 warplanes from Lockheed. Its own executives say the concentration of power among military contractors is more intense than in any other sector of business outside banking. AND, after 9/11 ... cost is essentially irrelevant. Former Lockheed executives serve on the Defense Policy Board ... and the Homeland Security Advisory Council, which help make military and intelligence policy and pick weapons for future battles. Lockheed's board includes E. C. Aldridge Jr. ... the Pentagon's chief weapons buyer.
Note: If the above link fails, click here. To say that "war and crisis have been good for business" is quite an understatement. To read what one of the most highly decorated generals had to say about this, click here.
Buying the War
Four years ago on May 1, President Bush landed on the aircraft carrier USS Lincoln wearing a flight suit ... in front of a giant "Mission Accomplished" banner. He was hailed by media stars as a "breathtaking" example of presidential leadership in toppling Saddam Hussein. Despite profound questions over the failure to locate weapons of mass destruction and the increasing violence in Baghdad, many in the press confirmed the White House's claim that the war was won. How did the mainstream press get it so wrong? How did the evidence disputing the existence of weapons of mass destruction and the link between Saddam Hussein to 9-11 continue to go largely unreported? In the run-up to war, skepticism was a rarity among journalists inside the Beltway. The [PBS "Buying the War"] program analyzes the stream of unchecked information from administration sources and Iraqi defectors to the mainstream print and broadcast press. While almost all the claims would eventually prove to be false, the drumbeat of misinformation about WMDs went virtually unchallenged by the media. "Buying the War" examines the press coverage in the lead-up to the war as evidence of a paradigm shift in the role of journalists in democracy and asks, four years after the invasion, what's changed? "More and more the media become ... common carriers of administration statements," says the Washington Post's Walter Pincus. "We've sort of given up being independent on our own."
Note: You can view the highly revealing documentary "Buying the War" or read the transcript at the link above.
Iraq corruption whistleblowers face penalties
2007-08-25, MSNBC/Associated Press
One after another, the men and women who have stepped forward to report corruption in the massive effort to rebuild Iraq have been vilified, fired and demoted. Or worse. For daring to report illegal arms sales, Navy veteran Donald Vance says he was imprisoned by the American military in a security compound outside Baghdad and subjected to harsh interrogation methods. He had thought he was doing a good and noble thing when he started telling the FBI about the guns and the land mines and the rocket-launchers – all of them being sold for cash, no receipts necessary, he said. The buyers were Iraqi insurgents, American soldiers, State Department workers, and Iraqi embassy and ministry employees. The seller, he claimed, was the Iraqi-owned company he worked for, Shield Group Security Co. "It was a Wal-Mart for guns," he says. "It was all illegal and everyone knew it." So Vance says he blew the whistle, supplying photos and documents and other intelligence to an FBI agent in his hometown of Chicago because he didn't know whom to trust in Iraq. For his trouble, he says, he got 97 days in Camp Cropper, an American military prison outside Baghdad. Congress gave more than $30 billion to rebuild Iraq, and at least $8.8 billion of it has disappeared. "If you do it, you will be destroyed," said William Weaver, professor of political science at the University of Texas-El Paso and senior advisor to the National Security Whistleblowers Coalition. "Reconstruction is so rife with corruption. Sometimes people ask me, 'Should I do this?' And my answer is no. If they're married, they'll lose their family. They will lose their jobs. They will lose everything," Weaver said.
Is Al Qaeda Just a Bush Boogeyman?
2005-01-11, Los Angeles Times
Is it conceivable that Al Qaeda, as defined by President Bush as the center of a vast and well-organized international terrorist conspiracy, does not exist? To even raise the question amid all the officially inspired hysteria is heretical. Yet a brilliant new BBC film produced by one of Britain's leading documentary filmmakers systematically challenges this. "The Power of Nightmares: The Rise of the Politics of Fear" ... argues coherently that much of what we have been told about the threat of international terrorism "is a fantasy that has been exaggerated and distorted by politicians. It is a dark illusion that has spread unquestioned ... around the world." Why have we heard so much frightening talk about "dirty bombs" when experts say it is panic rather than radioactivity that would kill people? Why did Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld claim on "Meet the Press" in 2001 that Al Qaeda controlled massive high-tech cave complexes in Afghanistan, when British and U.S. military forces later found no such thing? The film ... directly challenges the conventional wisdom by making a powerful case that the Bush administration, led by a tight-knit cabal of Machiavellian neoconservatives, has seized upon the false image of a unified international terrorist threat to replace the expired Soviet empire in order to push a political agenda. "The nightmare vision of a uniquely powerful hidden organization waiting to strike our societies is an illusion. Wherever one looks for this Al Qaeda organization, from the mountains of Afghanistan to the 'sleeper cells' in America, the British and Americans are chasing a phantom enemy."
Note: If above link fails, click here. This highly revealing film by one of Britain's most respected documentary makers is available for free viewing on the Internet. For the link and lots more on this amazingly revealing documentary, click here. For an excellent review of the film in one of the U.K.'s leading newspapers, click here.
US plans to 'fight the net' revealed
2006-01-27, BBC News
A newly declassified document gives a fascinating glimpse into the US military's plans for "information operations". The declassified document is called "Information Operations Roadmap". It was obtained by the National Security Archive at George Washington University using the Freedom of Information Act. Officials in the Pentagon wrote it in 2003. The Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, signed it. The operations described in the document include a surprising range of military activities: public affairs officers who brief journalists, psychological operations troops who try to manipulate the thoughts and beliefs of an enemy, computer network attack specialists who seek to destroy enemy networks. The military's psychological operations, or Psyops, is finding its way onto the computer and television screens of ordinary Americans. "Psyops messages will often be replayed by the news media for much larger audiences, including the American public. Strategy should be based on the premise that the Department [of Defense] will 'fight the net' as it would an enemy weapons system," it reads. The document recommends that the United States should seek the ability to "provide maximum control of the entire electromagnetic spectrum". US forces should be able to "disrupt or destroy the full spectrum of globally emerging communications systems, sensors, and weapons systems dependent on the electromagnetic spectrum". The fact that the "Information Operations Roadmap" is approved by the Secretary of Defense suggests that these plans are taken very seriously indeed in the Pentagon.
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