10th Amendment Center
PHOENIX, November 4, 2014 – Today, voters in Arizona approved a ballot measure that follows James Madison’s advice to stop federal overreach. With 80% reporting, the tally held steady and increasing at 51-49%.
Approved was Proposition 122, a state constitutional amendment that enshrines the anti-commandeering doctrine in the state constitution. The language amends the state constitution to give Arizona the ability to “exercise its sovereign authority to restrict the actions of its personnel and the use of its financial resources to purposes that are consistent with the Constitution.”
This language is consistent with the advice of James Madison, who wrote in Federalist #46:
Should an unwarrantable measure of the federal government be unpopular in particular States, which would seldom fail to be the case, or even a warrantable measure be so, which may sometimes be the case, the means of opposition to it are powerful and at hand. The disquietude of the people; their repugnance and, perhaps, refusal to co-operate with the officers of the Union; the frowns of the executive magistracy of the State; the embarrassments created by legislative devices, which would often be added on such occasions, would oppose, in any State, difficulties not to be despised; would form, in a large State, very serious impediments; and where the sentiments of several adjoining States happened to be in unison, would present obstructions which the federal government would hardly be willing to encounter. [emphasis added]
The amendment language mirrors the well-established legal doctrine of anti-commandeering. The Supreme Court has consistently held that the federal government cannot force states to help implement or enforce and federal act or program.It rests primarily on four SCOTUS cases – Prigg v. Pennsylvania (1842), New York v. US (1992), Printz v. US (1997) and National Federation of Businesses v. Sebelius (2012).
Prop 122 places language in the state constitution that would empower the state to pass referendums, bills or use other legal means to end cooperation with an unconstitutional federal act. Supporters of the amendment say the provision allowing the people to vote to refuse to cooperate with federal authorities will prove especially significant.
“Basically, it will allow Arizonians to hold a state referendum on federal policy, something I don’t think has ever been done before,” one supporter said.
While the people of Arizona could hold a referendum like this now, by constitutionalizing the process, it now allows Arizonians to hold a statutory referendum on each issue instead of a constitutional referendum. A statutory referendum requires less signatures to get it on the ballot, something supporters say will allow grassroots groups to initiate the process.The money necessary to get a constitutional referendum on the ballot makes grassroots efforts difficult.
The amendment allows the people of Arizona to deal with unpopular federal programs like Obamacare, gun control, surveillance, and more. Supporters say one of the first issues they plan to target involves federal rules that allow Arizona Child Protective Services to hide important information. This has become an issue in several investigations alleging agency misconduct in the deaths of children under their care. CPS used rules tied to federal funding to refuse to disclose information. Amendment supporters say they will use the new process to forbid state cooperation with any federal rule that shields transparency.
Simply put, the amendment enshrines a process to refuse state cooperation with unconstitutional federal acts in the state constitution. As Judge Andrew Napolitano has said, refusing participation on a state level can make federal laws “nearly impossible to enforce.”
ROAD TO THE BALLOT
In 2012, Arizona businessman and TAC lifetime member Jack Biltis spent $1.2M to get signatures in order to get his nullification question on the ballot. While he came up short that first try, he and others – including the tireless Arizona Tenth Amendment Center team – worked to get the measure on the ballot a 2nd time.
The ballot measure was put on the ballot this year after the Arizona state legislature passed Senate Concurrent Resolution 1016 (SCR1016) in 2013. The state Senate passed it by a 16-12 margin, and then in the state House approved it 36-23. Bypassing a likely veto from Gov. Jan Brewer, the measure went to a vote of the people.
“Politicians in Washington are fond of passing far-reaching laws, but more often than not they depend on state and local governments – and state and local taxpayers – to implement them. This means that not only is Congress making life harder for Arizonans, they’re asking us to pay the bill,” according to the Yes on 122 website. “That’s why a bipartisan majority of the Arizona Legislature came together to pass Prop 122.”
Former Arizona Sen. Chester Crandell, R-Heber, who died in August after being thrown from his horse, was the primary sponsor of the bill as it moved through the Legislature.
“I think we can all agree that the federal government is out of control. Look at Obamacare, excessive EPA regulations and the takeover of our automobile and financial industries,” Crandell wrote in the campaign literature sent out by the state. “The forest service and EPA are driving many of my rancher and farmer constituents out of business. The federal government has their hands in every aspect of our lives.”
PERSONAL DRIVE FOR FREEDOM
Biltis moved to the United States from Montreal, Canada 20 years ago. He says it worries him watching America follow the same path as his native country.
“I’ve seen this movie play out before, and I can’t risk my kids’ futures on it playing out again,” he said. “I’ve seen what an overreaching government can do. We couldn’t run a business. If we answered the phone in English, the language police could shut us down. We paid 70 percent of what we earned in taxes.”
Biltis said the move to nationalize health care in the U.S. particularly frightens him.
“Once the government had control of healthcare in Canada, things got even worse,” he said. “After surgery, my father-in-law couldn’t get a needed medication because it required government authorization, and the government office was already closed. The hospital admitted that he would die that night without the medication, but was not allowed to sell it to us because ‘that wouldn’t be fair to those who couldn’t afford the medication.’ We were eventually able to get the medication through the black market.”
Biltis calls the United States “the world’s last hope.”
“If America goes the way of Canada, there is no other place to escape. After seeing Washington’s takeover of the healthcare, auto, and financial industries, I realized that the government is not operating under any semblance of control,” he said. “Bringing back Federalism is the only way to make the government accountable and keep us free.”
So Biltis put his money where his mouth is, mortgaging his home and business to the tune of $950,000 to fund the drive to get the initiative on the ballot and passed in Arizona. And, that was just for the first round. Final figures have yet to be reported for what was invested to get Prop 122 passed.
“I have nothing personal to gain from this movement, other than the chance that my kids will grow up in an America as free as the one I knew,” he said.
Prop. 122 has the potential to be a real game changer. If supporters follow through and use it as a mechanism to successfully reject participation in major federal programs, it’s likely that more states will follow Arizona’s lead.
While not something that will happen in the immediate future, this kind of domino effect is what’s needed to spell doom for the destructive notion of endless federal supremacy. Because the feds rely on state compliance far more than they would like you to realize, these type of measures are incredibly important. They have the potential to create a chain reaction that could shake up the status quo more than anything we’ve seen in generations.
MORE at 10th Amendment Center
Tony Caralucci / NEO
US policy paper reveals desire for construction of full-scale extraterritorial army to invade Syria. Such an army is being built in Iraq and Turkey and it’s called “ISIS.”
The corporate-financier funded and directed policy think tank, the Brookings Institution, has served as one of several prominent forums documenting and disseminating US foreign policy. It would host in part the architects of the so-called “surge” during the nearly decade-spanning US occupation of Iraq, as well as battle plans for waging a covert war against Iran now well under way.
Part of this covert war against Iran involved the arming and backing of listed terrorist groups, and in particular, the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq (MEK) which has killed US servicemen, American civilians, as well as countless innocent Iranians over the decades. Among those signing their name to this plan found within Brookings’ “Which Path to Persia?” report, was Kenneth Pollack. Now, in efforts to overthrow the government of Syria, also a stated and integral part of undermining, isolating, and destroying Iran, Pollack has revealed another element of the plan – to create a full-scale proxy military force outside of Syria, then subsequently invading and occupying Syria with it.
In the report titled, “Building a Better Syrian Opposition Army: How and Why,” Pollack cites the so-called “Islamic State” or “ISIS” as the ultimate impetus for expanded US intervention. However, upon looking at Pollack’s proposal, it merely looks as if the US is using ISIS as a pretext to more overtly intervene in order to overthrow the government of Syria – not in fact neutralize ISIS.
After a considerable preamble assuring readers that the aim of creating a “better Syrian opposition army” would exclude sectarian extremists and result in the same “success” the US had in training the Iraqi army, the document explains:
…building a new Syrian army is best not done in Syria itself. At least not at first. The program would need the time and sanctuary to perform the necessary training, reorganization, sorting and socialization into a new Syrian army without the distractions and pressures of Syria itself. The Saudi offer to provide facilities to train 10,000 Syrian opposition fighters is one of reasonable possibility, although one of Syria’s neighbors would probably be preferable. Jordan already serves as training ground for America’s current training program and it would be an ideal locale to build a real Syrian army. However, Turkey could also conceivably serve that purpose if the Turks were willing.
Clearly, not only is this already being done as admitted by Pollack himself, it is being done on a scale already eclipsing Pollack’s alleged plan – the only difference is it is being done through the use of sectarian extremists – not the imaginary, nonexistent secular professionals Pollack uses as a marketing gimmick to sell this scheme.
More tellingly, Pollack’s plan continues by stating (emphasis added):
In addition to being armed, trained and officered like a conventional military, a new Syrian army would also have to be equipped like one. That would mean not just small arms and crew-served weapons, such as the United States and its allies are already providing, but heavy weapons and logistical support. Like the Croats and Bosniaks, a new Syrian army will need the wherewithal to defeat both the regime and the Islamist extremists. That will require tanks, armored personnel carriers, artillery, surface-to-air missiles and the like to match the regime’s own heavy weapons—and so eliminate the firepower imbalance that the regime’s forces have employed to such advantage so far.
Surely, Pollack’s plan will never materialize in any practical dimension – however it may be possible to use such a marketing ploy to pour more resources into both the ongoing proxy war against Syria and Iran in general, and more specifically into the terrorist battalions already being armed, funded, trained, equipped, and sent off from Jordan and Turkey into Syrian territory. Handing advanced weapon systems into the hands of front groups consisting of intentionally ineffectual, immensely corrupt, incompetent US proxies is as good as handing the weapons directly to ISIS – and of course – this is precisely how the US is building its actual “new opposition army” – namely, in the form of ISIS itself.
ISIS Has Tanks, Missiles, and Aircraft – Everything America’s Dream “Opposition Army” Needs
Removing Pollack’s rhetoric about secular professionals, and inserting “ISIS” reveals Pollack’s paper as the actual already ongoing plan to overrun not only Syria, but pro-Iranian factions in Iraq, and perhaps even Iran itself. ISIS is a massive mercenary army trained and funded abroad by the US with its support laundered via Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan, and Turkey, staged along Syria’s borders in both Jordan and Turkey, and acquiring an impressive arsenal just as what is required in Pollack’s plan to enter into and overthrow the government of Syria – minus eradicating extremists of course.
Even a cursory look at ISIS’ holdings across the region reveal ratlines leading into NATO-member Turkey’s territory and all along the Turkish-Syrian border where news outlets like the New York Times and Washington Post have reported for years the CIA had been operating – unloading billions in aid, gear, weapons, and even vehicles to militants fighting within Syria.
Headlines over the past 3-4 years including, “C.I.A. Said to Aid in Steering Arms to Syrian Opposition,” “First Syria rebels armed and trained by CIA ‘on way to battlefield’,” “Arms Airlift to Syria Rebels Expands, With Aid From C.I.A.,” and “Official says CIA-funded weapons have begun to reach Syrian rebels; rebels deny receipt,” reveal precisely how ISIS acquired its vast resources.
ISIS is organized on a professional level precisely as described by Pollack, most likely the result of US military advisers and their counterparts in Saudi and Qatari special operations. ISIS is also heavily armed precisely as was required by Pollack’s plan. They now possess an impressive and ever growing arsenal of weapons including tanks, missiles of all kinds, artillery, and even a small collection of aircraft including Russian warplanes and American helicopters.
The New York Times, after years of reporting on the CIA’s delivery of weapon systems to “moderate” militants, now laments of ISIS’ possession of advanced anti-air missiles. In its article, “Missiles of ISIS May Pose Peril for Aircrews in Iraq,” it reports:
Syrian rebels have amassed multiple Manpad models since 2012, and the Islamic State has generally had little trouble acquiring any weapon used by Syrian rebels either through purchase or capture, military analysts say.
Unprepared Iraqi troops – the result of what Pollack claims as an American “success” – have also augmented ISIS with precisely the weapons needed for Pollack’s dream “opposition army.” No less than 30 M1 Abrams main battle tanks have fallen into ISIS’ hands.
Prolific Neo-Conservative propagandist Michael Weiss in the Wall Street Journal attempts to downplay the implications of such weapons falling into ISIS’ hands by stating in his op-ed titled, “Exploiting the ISIS Vulnerabilities in Iraq – The terrorists’ heavy military equipment is hard to maintain, easy to target from the air,” that:
Today, we estimate that ISIS has less than a total of 30 working M1 Abrams tanks and howitzers that are either self-propelled or towed behind trucks (based on our knowledge of how the Iraqi army is equipped and what divisions were in the north). These are the weapons that gave the Islamic State the advantage over the Peshmerga in recent firefights. Yet ISIS does not have the highly trained maintenance crews that are necessary to keep these weapons in good working order. The same problem exists for its armored Humvees and Mine Resistant Ambush Protected personnel carriers. Without maintenance, these captured U.S. vehicles and weapons will break down.
Only, ISIS’ Saudi, Qatari, and Jordanian sponsors most definitely do possess the highly trained maintenance crews necessary to keep these weapons in good working order – since these despotic regimes each in turn possess a large number of exactly these weapon systems purchased from the United States itself. If the Saudis in particular, can fund, train, and arm ISIS with small arms and missiles, how difficult would it be to supply them with spare parts and properly trained maintenance crews? Turkey also maintains a number of US weapon systems, and possesses the ability to maintain modern battle tanks if not the M1 specifically – and is already harboring, supplying, and backing ISIS – another inconvenient truth challenging Weiss’ attempts to mislead readers.
In fact, Pollack’s “proposal” appears more like an after-action report. ISIS is the “better Syrian opposition army” the West has sought all along. That is probably why attempts by the US to “fight” ISIS appear half-hearted and why those the US is supposedly “saving” from ISIS see Western intervention as more of a threat than ISIS itself believing it is designed simply to prolong ISIS’ existence in the face of growing and increasingly more formidable indigenous opposition.
Any provisions to build Pollack’s “army” will undoubtedly end up only bolstering ISIS and its affiliates – just as military aid policymakers like Pollack at Brookings advocated for the arming of “moderates” resulted in the creation of ISIS in the first place. While the US desperately attempts to disown responsibility for ISIS’ creation and perpetuation through an unconvincing propaganda campaign, false flag terror strikes against the “homeland,” and a series of increasingly ludicrous, orchestrated strawman victories in Iraq and Syria – Damascus, Baghdad, and Tehran are leading the real fight against ISIS.
The US apparently plans on protecting ISIS for as long as possible under the guise of being the sole force “fighting it,” while ISIS consolidates and moves on Western designated targets. In the process of “fighting” ISIS, the US is managing to destroy Syrian infrastructure and defenses. The US, however, has failed in attempts to exclude Syrian, Iraqi, and Iranian forces from countering the ISIS threat and now the region is witnessing a race between ISIS’ inevitable destruction and America’s attempts to topple Damascus before ISIS vanishes from its geopolitical toolbox.
Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine“New Eastern Outlook”.
As you read this story, you will find a reoccurring theme… Namely: ALL LAWS AND REGS ARE SELECTIVELY ENFORCED! And that those who run and endorse the Phony “Drug War”, are in many instances profiting from the drugs, and or laws against drugs.
We realize that Sen (soon to be majority leader) McConnell is innocent until proven guilty, But ask yourselves; If it was YOU who was caught profiting from Central American Cocaine (or even smuggling it)…. Would you get such a benefit of the doubt? Not Bloody Likely!
Via The Free Thought Project
A cargo ship connected to Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell was recently stopped and searched before departing from Colombia. During the search, Colombian Coast Guard agents seized roughly 90 pounds of cocaine.
The drugs were found on the Ping May, which is a vessel operated by the Foremost Maritime Corporation, a company owned by Mitch McConnell’s in-laws, the Chao family. This connection is not only relevant because of the family connection, but also because the Chao family has often made large donations to McConnell’s campaigns.
In fact, the Chao family has been funding McConnell since the late 1980s. Years later, in 1993, McConnell married Elaine Chao and secured the Chao family as one of his primary sources for investments.
A gift worth somewhere between 5 and 25 million dollars from the Chao Family made McConnel one of the richest senators in the country in 2008.
The Foremost Maritime Corporation is currently operating 16 dry bulk cargo ships, most of which are currently still in service.
What makes this case even more interesting is that McConnell is well known as a staunch prohibitionist. In 1996, McConnell sponsored “The Enhanced Marijuana Penalties Act”, a bill designed to increase the mandatory minimum sentencing for people caught with marijuana.
Luis Gonzales, an official with the Colombian Coast Guard in Santa Marta told The Nation that the Ping May’s crew were questioned as part of the investigation, but that they have yet to file any charges in the case.
The war on drugs is an insult to the intelligence of the American people. There are mountains of evidence proving that the biggest importers of harmful, addictive, mind diminishing street drugs is the government. The drug laws that exist do not apply to the government agencies that bring these substances to our country. They are only designed to keep everyone else from this extremely lucrative business and give the establishment another reason to oppress people.
We have seen this all before during alcohol prohibition, where the government, law enforcement and organized crime were all working together and making an unbelievable amount of money in the black market. When black markets are created the crime rate goes up, taxes go up, prices go up and the police become more corrupt, all of this is inevitable. These are in fact the very consequences that any type of prohibition intends to create.
To solve these problems all that we have to do is end all prohibitions, this would cripple the black market and drastically reduce violence. This would also drastically reduce the reach of police and the state in general, which is why it is looked at as such an impossibility. Drug laws don’t do anything to prevent drug problems in our society, they only encourage violence, raise prices and criminalize half of the population.
John Vibes is an author, researcher and investigative journalist who takes a special interest in the counter culture and the drug war. In addition to his writing and activist work he is also the owner of a successful music promotion company. In 2013, he became one of the organizers of the Free Your Mind Conference, which features top caliber speakers and whistle-blowers from all over the world. You can contact him and stay connected to his work at his Facebook page. You can find his 65 chapter Book entitled “Alchemy of the Timeless Renaissance” at bookpatch.com.
Also See: Mitch McConnell’s Freighted Ties to a Shadowy Shipping Company
After drugs were found aboard the Ping May, a vessel owned by his wife’s family’s company, Colombian authorities are investigating.
CNP (red tie) VS CFR (blue tie)
“As societies grow decadent, the language grows decadent, too. Words are used to disguise, not to illuminate, action: you liberate a city by destroying it. Words are to confuse, so that at election time people will solemnly vote against their own interests” – Gore Vidal
“A really efficient totalitarian state would be one in which the all-powerful executive of political bosses and their army of managers control a population of slaves who do not have to be coerced, because they love their servitude.”
― Aldous Huxley, Brave New World
BATR by SARTRE – November 4, 2014
Today the media prognosticators will do their charts, cite their polls and make their assessments on the results from the 2014 midterm elections. How exciting. Another cycle of “Great Expectations” posed for even bigger disappointments. A Congress firmly in the hands of the GOP ready to wage war against a Democrat progressive collectivist may seem promising for the heartland. However, there are very few indications that a monumental battle for a return to a constitutional republic will be the objective of Republican leadership. Fire Reid with a McConnell replacement simply means that deal making might return to the Capital, but forget about a most needed Presidential Appomattox surrender. There is no Court House in America that will allow the treason of Obama to be brought to justice.
Ah, the federalists can relax; their system of bipartisan corruption will remain intact. If there is any doubt what the establishment wants, just examine the graphic chart from the quid essential mouth piece of the NWO, the Economist. Their optimistic vs. pessimistic assessment reveals their Free Trade, Climate Warming, Pro Corporate Immigration agenda.
America has been beaten down for the last quarter century with few brief periods of marginal relief. The historic 2010 Tea Party inspired election provided a GOP majority in the House. After the 2014 count, the kindred of conservative populists became less powerful, since the next Speaker of the House will be able to push legislation friendly to the interests of large donors, who buy the best candidates that will play ball.
John Boehner is their man and taking tea with genuine Republican conservatives is less likely. RINO’s and NeoCons have reserved seats at the table, and populists are reduced to a segregated minority. Mitch McConnell loves to broker deals. Oh, the money interests will rally to the insider arrangement that the Economist so plainly wish will be an era of cooperation.
All hail the return of the filibuster, or so goes the hope of a deliberate and statesmanship Senate. However, the Harry Reid nuclear option may not be as easy as a simple vote to put the genie back in the bottle.
No doubt those principled Republicans will disassemble key components of Obamacare, right? Well, you will see just how much power resides in the insurance companies and how little influence the depressed middle class excretes.
In the essay, The mid-term elections – What they’re all about, that same Economist expounds.
“The mid-terms will decide which party controls the Senate, as well as picking every member of the House of Representatives, 36 state governors (see article) and 45 statehouses. They also offer an opportunity for some political phrenology: a chance to infer something about the country’s mood. Several issues have threatened to dominate only to fade a little: Obamacare, a surge of child migrants into Texas, scandals at the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, the racially-charged riots in Ferguson, Missouri, the beheadings of Americans by jihadists and lately the first cases of Ebola on American soil have all played this role.”
How trite and ignorant of the mechanics of what motivates the electorate. The notion that people vote on the basis of the Ferguson federally approved Eric Holder distraction is an insult to every person who really is concerned about civil liberties. The hubbub over alleged or real beheadings is hardly an issue that powers the selection of a voting lever. Of course in the era of computer counted ballots, chad cards, early mail voting and illegal voting – the notion of selecting a candidate that will ensure that you will keep your head may be just too much to expect.
Nuisance and periphery distractions are the mother’s milk of an ideology, a party or a candidate that is desperate and behind. The Democrats will lose today because of the most basic reason for anyone who votes their own self-interest. Namely, the Obama controlled administration has failed to deliver a brighter future. So much for government of hope . . .
Before the undecided express glee with a Republican Congress, consider the prospects of actual action. Priebus Rallies Base: GOP Will Stop Obama’s ‘Un-American’ Amnesty” If We Win Senate boast as reported by Breitbart. So how did he answer at a town hall meeting when one woman even asked Priebus why the “sergeant at arms hasn’t arrested Obama” for our “wide open borders.”
Priebus handled it with ease.
“I understand there’s a little bit of hyperbole, but I understand your point, which is the president’s role in the Constitution is to enforce the law,” he said. “So the president wants to take Article II and ignore that part to enforce the law. He wants to be Article I, which is the legislature, and write all the laws. And then he’s appointing all of his judges to take care of Article III.”
Coping with a slight of hand is the art of political protection. Never answer the true issue. Why won’t the Republican Party impeach Obama over his treason? Must be that nasty Ferguson psyop factor!
Since the rule of law has been ignored for so long, the invented practice of circumventing plain legal language with the paragon of fiat administrative decrees has become an accepted practice. The politicization of the judiciary and the extortion of honest judges leave a pattern of rule by press release.
Should people be upbeat (not in the same sense of the Economist optimism)? Just what are the market prospects of a GOP victory? According to Kevin Mahn published by Forbes, Midterm Elections Bode Bullishly For U.S. Stocks provides a narrow and arcane viewpoint.
“The first research study I reviewed in this regard was conducted by S&P Capital IQ. The study (summarized in the chart below) concluded that the stock market – which was defined in this study by the S&P 500 index – has gained 15.3% on average in the six months following a mid-term election in the 3rd year of a given term of a presidency, which is this case this year with President Obama – recognizing, of course, that this is the second term of Obama’s presidency. The study also showed that the frequency of advance (“FoA”) for this occurrence was 94% of the overall time period of October 31, 1944 – September 29, 2014 for this research study. Midterm elections are currently scheduled for November 4, 2014, so this would roughly translate to the period of November 2014 – April 2014.”
OK the Federal Reserve has ended QE so that must bode well for equities??? That goes contrary to all the forecasts that conclude that cheap liquid money drives up stock prices, so what is Wall Street saying about a GOP controlled Congress? Financial elites love making money in any economic environment. So working with eager Republicans to expand transnational trade agreements may be the lasting result in the next Congress.
Of course none of these treaties improve the economic plight of ordinary citizens.
The perennial lefty Katrina vanden Heuvel warns of The catastrophes that a GOP-controlled Congress would bring. She is correct on the “free trade” pacts and that Obama will coordinate with the corporatist tools from either party to further their economic stranglehold.
“But a Republican takeover of the Senate is not a threat just because of what Republicans will do. Progressives should also worry about the many areas of potential agreement between the president and a Republican-controlled Senate. It is Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), for example, not Republicans, who is denying the president fast-track authority to force corporate trade deals through Congress. Without Reid in the way, “free-trade” pacts like Trans-Pacific Partnership — which labor leaders have called “NAFTA on steroids” — are likely to become the law of the land. Likewise, President Obama and Republicans could agree to pursue lower corporate tax rates — as opposed to infrastructure investments and job creation — as their primary economic-development initiative. And let’s not forget that Obama has repeatedly floated cuts to Social Security as a bargaining chip in negotiations with Republican leaders. Although we believe that the president has many progressive instincts, he has shown an inclination to seek consensus rather than to fight. If Republicans control both chambers of Congress, any consensus will err to the right.”
Where is the representation for the American constituency of struggling citizens? The last Radical Reactionary essay, 2014 Election Business as Usual explains why savvy observers should not expect the moon. Now that the early voting results have Republicans 10% ahead, start preparing for another Grand Old Party letdown.
All the Obama scandals taint the reputations of incumbent Democrats. The motivation for voting for a Republican candidate is often out of frustration. Intense positive approval is rare among rational and sane voters. Usually the vested interest government minions rally to the Democrat state/capitalism bandwagon. Let’s hope the rank and file see through all the fear and identity politics and vote to retire the failed progressive agenda. However, the duty of every voter is to keep the fire to the feet of any elected representative from both parties.
SARTRE – November 4, 2014
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Ray McGovern was arrested while attempting to attend an event featuring former CIA head General David Petraeus, former right-wing Center for a New American Security president Lt. Col. John Nagl, and neocon foreign policy commentator Max Boot.
by Stephen Lendman
Seventy-five-year-old McGovern is a former CIA analyst (1963 – 1990), turned activist/political critic/social justice advocate.
On October 30, he was brutally and lawlessly arrested in New York. For exercising his constitutional rights.
Attempting to attend an event featuring former CIA head General David Petraeus, former right-wing Center for a New American Security president Lt. Col. John Nagl, and neocon foreign policy commentator Max Boot.
Charged with criminal trespass, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct. It bears repeating. For exercising his constitutional rights.
Tickets cost up to $45. McGovern had one. He had every right to attend. Stopping him reflects police state lawlessness. In the so-called land of the free and home of the brave.
Guards blocked his entry. At the 92nd St. Y venue. Calling itself “a world-class cultural and community center.”
Connecting people “through culture, arts, entertainment and conversation. For 140 years.”
“(H)arness(ing) the power of arts and ideas to enrich, enlighten and change lives, and the power of community to repair the world.”
Not on October 30. Principled ideas were absent. Tyranny replaced them. 92nd St. Y officials have lots of explaining to do.
Why McGovern was denied entry. Brutalized for trying. Why neocons were featured.
Militarists. Spokesmen for imperial power. Permanent war. Extremist views demanding open challenge.
Activists from The World Can’t Wait, the Granny Peace Brigade, Brooklyn for Peace and Veterans for Peace urged people to protest police state harshness.
McGovern planned challenging Petraeus the way he questioned former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in 2006.
About false statements on Iraq’s WMDs and nonexistent Al-Qaeda ties.
He was arrested. Jailed overnight. Saying he was warned “as soon as (he) got to the ticket-taker. ‘Ray, you’re not welcome here,’ ” he was told.
Video footage showed him screaming in pain as police pinned his left wrist behind his back. During arrest, lots of blood was visible on his pants.
Given out-of-control violence and human misery in Iraq, McGovern planned asking Petraeus if he’d “come out of retirement and try to do it better this time to train the Iraqi forces?”
He’s “no saint,” he said. “(N)o great strategist. (A)n embarrassment to the US Army in which (McGovern) used to be proud to have served.”
In April 2011, he wrote about “Petraeus at CIA – Can He Tell the Truth?” Saying Obama’s choice “raise(d) troubling questions.”
“What if CIA analysts assess(ed)” his Iraq and Afghanistan performance as failure? Would he accept or punish “critical analysis?”
“The Petraeus appointment also suggests that the President places little value on getting the straight scoop on these key war-related issues.”
“If he did want the kind of intelligence analysis that, at times, could challenge the military, why is he giving the CIA job to a general with a huge incentive to gild the lily regarding the ‘progress’ made under his command?”
McGovern compared Petraeus to the “ghost of Westmoreland Past.” His Southeast Asia record included “deliberate distortion and dishonesty.” Intelligence analysts proved it.
Progress he touted was failure. Petraeus was Westmoreland redux. Lots of evidence confirmed it.
He’s gone. Critics debate whether by resignation or sacking. For sure, not for extramarital sex. Unless state secrets were compromised.
He wasn’t an Obama favorite. His loyalties were suspect. His departure removed the last Bush administration neocon holdover.
An unnamed administration source said “some key figures close to the President wanted (him) out, and there was no sadness” to see him go.
Media reports said FBI investigations began months ago into a “potential criminal matter.” Not specifically focused on Petraeus.
Information surfaced about a potentially compromised computer he used. Security concerns were raised. FBI agents discussed this with him.
An unnamed congressional official briefed on the matter urged him to fall on his sword and leave. Whether he did or was pushed who knows.
John McCain once called him “one of (our) greatest generals.” His judgment leaves much to be desired.
He’s not Capitol Hill’s best and brightest. He graduated near the bottom of his Naval Academy class.
White House and media spin praised Petraeus’ performance. As Iraq commander, CENTCOM head, commander US Forces Afghanistan and International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) chief.
Falsified hype and then some. Failure defined his performance. Mythology turned it into successes.
Time magazine named him 2007 runner-up Person of the Year. As meaningless a designation as Nobel Peace awards.
Before he fell from grace, he was called aggressive in nature. An innovative thinker on counterinsurgency warfare. A talisman. A white knight. A do-or-die competitive legend. A man able to turn defeat into victory.
His record was polar opposite. Competence didn’t earn him four stars. He was more myth than man. His Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria commands failed.
His former commander, Admiral William Fallon, called him “a piece of brown-nosing chicken shit.”
Former peers accused him of brown-nosing his way to the top. Hoping to get there by manufacturing successes.
Concealing failures. Supporting Washington’s imperial agenda. Advancing through super-hawkishness. Brown-nosing superiors.
Lying to Congress. Hyping a fake Iranian threat. Supporting Israel’s worst crimes. Even though suggesting the longstanding special relationship at times does more harm than good.
In March 2013, he joined the American Corporate Partners. An NGO “assisting veterans in their transition from the armed services to the civilian workforce.”
At the same time, he became honorary OSS (Office of Strategic Services/CIA’s predecessor organization) Society chairman.
A City University of New York (CUNY) visiting professor. A University of Southern California Judge Widney professor.
A UK University of Exeter Strategy and Security Institute honorary visiting professor. Students are advised to avoid him.
He chairs investment firm Kiohlberg Kravis Roberts’ KKR Global Institute. Harvard’s JFK School of Government Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs named him non-resident senior fellow. He belongs to various other organizations.
After arrest, McGovern was transferred to the 100 Center Street police station. Placed in central booking ahead of arraignment.
He’s on the State Department’s Diplomatic Security “Be on the Look out” (BELO) list. In 2011, he turned his back on then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at George Washington University.
According to former State Department foreign service officer Peter Van Buren:
“University cops grabbed McGovern in a headlock and by his arms and dragged him out of the auditorium by force, their actions directed from the side by a man whose name is redacted from public records.”
“Photos of the then-71 year old McGovern taken at the time of his arrest show(ed) multiple bruises and contusions he suffered while being arrested.”
“He was secured to a metal chair with two sets of handcuffs. (A)t first refused medical care for the bleeding” they caused.
At the time, disorderly conduct charges were dropped. FOIA documents obtained showed State Department investigations for his “political beliefs, activities, statements and associations.”
He sued the State Department for violating his First Amendment rights. Winning an injunction against inclusion on its BELO list.
His treatment now and earlier reflects America’s abysmal state. More police state than democracy.
More battleground than homeland. More tyrannical than free. More unfit to live in than ever.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also see Ray McGovern describes his brutal arrest by NYPD:
Yale evaluation of Sandy Hook shooter Lanza not given to Newtown schools
23 Oct 2014 Newtown school officials appear to have had an incomplete mental health history of [alleged] Sandy Hook shooter Adam Lanza before he entered high school, according to a draft of a soon-to-be-released report by the state Office of the Child Advocate. No copies of the draft have been distributed…Lanza, in his early teens, was prescribed the antidepressant Celexa by Yale clinicians. Included in the case files are emails between Peter Lanza and Kathleen Koenig, a clinical nurse specialist in psychiatry at the Yale Child Study Center, “regarding her treatment sessions with the shooter, as well as an evaluation by” Dr. Paul Fox, a former Connecticut psychiatrist who now lives in New Zealand. [Down the rabbit hole with him.] Once when Koenig prescribed a small dose of Celexa to Adam Lanza, Nancy Lanza called Koenig’s office to report that Adam Lanza was “unable to raise his arm” and she blamed it on the medication. [Yes, Lanza stopped taking the medication, as it would be difficult to shoot 26 people with an assault rifle if you can’t raise your arm.]
Do NOT Donate to the Rose Croix
Red Cross ‘used Hurricane Sandy and Isaac disasters as photo ops,’ sending out empty emergency response vehicles for show while handicapped storm victims slept in wheelchairs –During Sandy relief, emergency vehicles were designated for ‘press events’ –Shelters left disabled storm victims sleeping in wheelchairs for days on end
29 Oct 2014 After Hurricane Isaac made landfall over areas of Louisiana and Mississippi in 2012, emergency response vehicles emblazoned with the logo of the Red Cross rolled in. According to one former field supervisor, dozens of those vehicles had no destination and no supplies, useless for anything but providing the appearance of disaster relief. A joint investigation by ProPublica and NPR showed that in spite of massive funding, relief efforts from the American Red Cross were disastrous, forcing smaller organizations to step in.
Incompetence Or Design?
Supporters of the Taliban and al-Qaeda in Afghanistan have been getting U.S. military contracts, and American officials are citing “due process rights” as a reason not to cancel the agreements, according to an independent agency monitoring spending.
The U.S. Army Suspension and Debarment Office has declined to act in 43 such cases, John Sopko, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, said today in a letter accompanying a quarterly report to Congress.
“I am deeply troubled that the U.S. military can pursue, attack, and even kill terrorists and their supporters, but that some in the U.S. government believe we cannot prevent these same people from receiving a government contract,” Sopko said.
The 236-page report and Sopko’s summary provide one of the watchdog agency’s most critical appraisals of U.S. performance in helping to build a stable Afghanistan as the Pentagon prepares to withdraw combat troops by the end of next year.
“There appears to be a growing gap between the policy objectives of Washington and the reality of achieving them in Afghanistan, especially when the government must hire and oversee contractors to perform its mission,” said Sopko, whose post was mandated by Congress.
The Pentagon is scheduled to deliver its own Afghanistan status report to Congress today. Its appraisal, which is months late, will outline progress from October 2012 through March and concerns that deal with handing over security operations to the Afghan military.
The U.S. has 60,000 troops in Afghanistan, with plans to reduce the number to 34,000 by February. President Barack Obama hasn’t decided how many to keep in the country after 2014 to train Afghan forces and engage in anti-terrorist missions.
Sopko expressed pessimism that the U.S. can maintain effective oversight of billions of dollars in reconstruction spending as forces are withdrawn. The Obama administration has requested $10.7 billion in such funding for fiscal 2014 to cover projects from improving local government to building roads and schools.
“Unless the U.S. government improves its contract-oversight policies and practices, far too much will be wasted,” Sopko wrote.
According to the report, Sopko’s agency “has found it impossible to confirm” the number of contracts awarded in a $32 million program to install barricades, bars or gratings in culverts at about 2,500 Afghan locations to prevent insurgents from placing roadside bombs. The explosives are the biggest killer of U.S. and Afghan troops.
The policy to create an effective Afghan Army, which has 185,287 troops, “will remain hollow unlessWashington pays equal attention to proper contracting and procurement activities to sustain those forces,” Sopko said.
He said that he is “well aware of the wartime environment in which contractors are operating in Afghanistan, but this can neither explain the disconnect nor excuse the failure.”
As of May 31, the U.S. had committed $30 billion for contracts to build, train and sustain the Afghan army.
Sopko said he has witnessed the failings personally during his first year as inspector general, including 50 meetings he and his staff attended during his last trip to Afghanistan.
As of March, 40,315 of the personnel working under Pentagon contracts in Afghanistan, or about 37 percent, were Afghan locals, according to the report.
Regarding the 43 cases of contractors with militant connections, Sopko said the Army should “enforce the rule of common sense” in its suspension and debarment program. “They may be enemies of the United States but that is not enough to keep them from getting government contracts,” according to the agency’s report.
The Army’s procurement-fraud branch reviewed the 43 cases late last year, Matthew Bourke, a service spokesman, said in a statement. The reviewers “did not include enough supporting evidence to initiate suspension and debarment under federal acquisition regulations,” he said.
George Wright, another Army spokesman, said by e-mail that cutting off the contracts based only on information from Sopko’s office “would fail to meet due-process requirements and would likely be deemed arbitrary if challenged in court.”
Sopko said the Army “appears to believe that suspension or debarment of these individuals and companies would be a violation of their due-process rights if based on classified information” or on Commerce Department reports.
In a report issued yesterday, Sopko said $47 million that the U.S. Agency for International Development has spent on a program to stabilize Afghanistan hasn’t dealt with the sources of instability.
An audit showed that after 16 months, none of the agency’s essential program objectives have been reached and the money spent has mostly financed workshops and training sessions. The project is aimed at bolstering Afghanistan’s government before troop withdrawals planned for next year.
“It’s troubling that after 16 months, this program has not issued its first community grant,” Sopko said. “Rather, it has spent almost $50 million, about a quarter of the total program budget, on conferences, overhead and workshops.”
The failure of the State Department agency to use the money for grants has left local Afghan communities disappointed and may feed greater instability, according to the audit.
A former CBS News reporter who quit the network over claims it kills stories that put President Obama in a bad light says she was spied on by a “government-related entity” that planted classified documents on her computer.
In her new memoir, Sharyl Attkisson says a source who arranged to have her laptop checked for spyware in 2013 was “shocked” and “flabbergasted” at what the analysis revealed.
“This is outrageous. Worse than anything Nixon ever did. I wouldn’t have believed something like this could happen in the United States of America,” Attkisson quotes the source saying.
She speculates that the motive was to lay the groundwork for possible charges against her or her sources.
Attkisson says the source, who’s “connected to government three-letter agencies,” told her the computer was hacked into by “a sophisticated entity that used commercial, nonattributable spyware that’s proprietary to a government agency: either the CIA, FBI, the Defense Intelligence Agency or the National Security Agency.”
The breach was accomplished through an “otherwise innocuous e-mail” that Attkisson says she got in February 2012, then twice “redone” and “refreshed” through a satellite hookup and a Wi-Fi connection at a Ritz-Carlton hotel.
The spyware included programs that Attkisson says monitored her every keystroke and gave the snoops access to all her e-mails and the passwords to her financial accounts.
“The intruders discovered my Skype account handle, stole the password, activated the audio, and made heavy use of it, presumably as a listening tool,” she wrote in “Stonewalled: My Fight for Truth Against the Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation, and Harassment in Obama’s Washington.”
THIS IS OUTRAGEOUS. WORSE THAN ANYTHING NIXON EVER DID.
Attkisson says her source — identified only as “Number One” — told her the spying was most likely not court-authorized because it went on far longer than most legal taps.
But the most shocking finding, she says, was the discovery of three classified documents that Number One told her were “buried deep in your operating system. In a place that, unless you’re a some kind of computer whiz specialist, you wouldn’t even know exists.”
“They probably planted them to be able to accuse you of having classified documents if they ever needed to do that at some point,” Number One added.
In her book, Attkisson says CBS lost interest in her coverage of the deadly attack on the US Embassy in Benghazi, Libya, and killed her stories of the federal “Fast and Furious” gun-running scandal.
Both CBS and the White House declined to comment.
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