TRUTHER NOVEMBER 20, 2012
Chris Hedges | Truthdig
Gaza is a window on our coming dystopia. The growing divide between the world’s elite and its miserable masses of humanity is maintained through spiraling violence. Many impoverished regions of the world, which have fallen off the economic cliff, are beginning to resemble Gaza, where 1.6 million Palestinians live in the planet’s largest internment camp. These sacrifice zones, filled with seas of pitifully poor people trapped in squalid slums or mud-walled villages, are increasingly hemmed in by electronic fences, monitored by surveillance camerasand drones and surrounded by border guards or military units that shoot to kill. These nightmarish dystopias extend from sub-Saharan Africa to Pakistan to China. They are places where targeted assassinations are carried out, where brutal military assaults are pressed against peoples left defenseless, without an army, navy or air force. All attempts at resistance, however ineffective, are met with the indiscriminate slaughter that characterizes modern industrial warfare.
In the new global landscape, as in Israel’s occupied territories and the United States’ own imperial projects in Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen and Afghanistan, massacres of thousands of defenseless innocents are labeled wars. Resistance is called a provocation, terrorism or a crime against humanity. The rule of law, as well as respect for the most basic civil liberties and the right of self-determination, is a public relations fiction used to placate the consciences of those who live in the zones of privilege. Prisoners are routinely tortured and “disappeared.” The severance of food and medical supplies is an accepted tactic of control. Lies permeate the airwaves. Religious, racial and ethnic groups are demonized. Missiles rain down on concrete hovels, mechanized units fire on unarmed villagers, gunboats pound refugee camps with heavy shells, and the dead, including children, line the corridors of hospitals that lack electricity and medicine.
The impending collapse of the international economy, the assaults on the climate, the resulting droughts, flooding, precipitous decline in crop yields and rising food prices are creating a universe where power is divided between the narrow elites, who hold in their hands sophisticated instruments of death, and the enraged masses. The crises are fostering a class war that will dwarf anything imagined by Karl Marx. They are establishing a world where most will be hungry and live in fear, while a few will gorge themselves on delicacies in protected compounds. And more and more people will have to be sacrificed to keep this imbalance in place.
Because it has the power to do so, Israel—as does the United States—flouts international law to keep a subject population in misery. The continued presence of Israeli occupation forces defies nearly a hundred U.N. Security Council resolutions calling for them to withdraw. The Israeli blockade of Gaza, established in June 2007, is a brutal form of collective punishment that violates Article 33 of the Fourth 1949 Geneva Convention, which set up rules for the “Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War.” The blockade has turned Gaza into a sliver of hell, an Israeli-administered ghetto where thousands have died, including the 1,400 civilians killed in the Israeli incursion of 2008. With 95 percent of factories shut down, Palestinian industry has virtually ceased functioning. The remaining 5 percent operate at 25 to 50 percent capacity. Even the fishing industry is moribund. Israel refuses to let fishermen travel more than three miles from the coastline, and within the fishing zone boats frequently come under Israeli fire. The Israeli border patrols have seized 35 percent of the agricultural land in Gaza for a buffer zone. The collapsing infrastructure and Israeli seizure of aquifers mean that in many refugee camps, such as Khan Yunis, there is no running water. UNRWA (the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East) estimates that 80 percent of all Gazans now rely on food aid. And the claim of Israeli self-defense belies the fact that it is Israel that maintains an illegal occupation and violates international law by carrying out collective punishment of Palestinians. It is Israel that chose to escalate the violence when during an incursion into Gaza earlier this month its forces fatally shot a 13-year-old boy. As the world breaks down, this becomes the new paradigm—modern warlords awash in terrifying technologies and weapons murdering whole peoples. We do the same in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.
Market forces and the military mechanisms that protect these forces are the sole ideology that governs industrial states and humans’ relationship to the natural world. It is an ideology that results in millions of dead and millions more displaced from their homes in the developing world. And the awful algebra of this ideology means that these forces will eventually be unleashed on us, too. Those who cannot be of use to market forces are considered expendable. They have no rights and legitimacy. Their existence, whether in Gaza or blighted postindustrial cities such as Camden, N.J., is considered a drain on efficiency and progress. They are viewed as refuse. And as refuse they not only have no voice and no freedom; they can be and are extinguished or imprisoned at will. This is a world where only corporate power and profit are sacred. It is a world of barbarism.
“In disposing of man’s labor power the system would, incidentally, dispose of the physical, psychological, and moral entity ‘man’ attached to that tag,” Karl Polanyi wrote in “The Great Transformation.” “Robbed of theprotective covering of cultural institutions, human beings would perish from the effects of social exposure; they would die as the victims of acute social dislocation through vice, crime, and starvation. Nature would be reduced to its elements, neighborhoods and landscapes defiled, rivers polluted, military safety jeopardized, the power to produce food and raw materials destroyed. Finally, the market administration of purchasing power would periodically liquidate business enterprise, for shortages and surfeits of money would prove as disastrous to business as floods and droughts in primitive society. Undoubtedly, labor, land, and money markets are essential to a market economy. But no society could stand the effects of such a system of crude fictions even for the shortest stretch of time unless its human and natural substance as well as its business organization was protected against the ravages of this satanic mill.”
There are 47.1 million Americans who depend on food stamps to eat. The elites are plotting to take these food stamps away, along with other “entitlement” programs that keep the poor from destitution. The slashing of trillions of dollars from Medicare, Medicaid and other social programs, given the political impasse in Washington and the looming “fiscal cliff,” now seems certain. There are 50 million people considered to be living below the poverty line, but because the poverty line is so low—$22,350 for a family of four—this figure means nothing. Add the tens of millions of Americans who live in a category called “near poverty,” including all those families attempting to live on less than $45,000 a year, and you have at least 30 percent of the country living in poverty. Once these people figure out that there is no economic recovery, that their standard of living is going to continue to drop, that they are trapped, that hope in the future is an illusion, they will become as angry as protesters in Greece and Spain or the militants in Gaza or Afghanistan. Banks and other financial corporations, handed trillions in interest-free moneyfrom the Federal Reserve, meanwhile hoard $5 trillion, much of it looted from the U.S. Treasury. The longer this worldwide disparity and inequality is perpetuated, the more the masses will revolt and the faster we will internally replicate the Israeli model of domestic control—drones overhead, all dissent criminalized, SWAT teams busting through doors, deadly force as an acceptable form of subjugation, food used as a weapon, and constant surveillance.
In Gaza and other blighted parts of the globe we see this new configuration of power. What is happening in Gaza, like what is happening to people of color in marginal communities in the United States, is the model. The techniques of control, whether carried out by the Israelis or militarized police units in our inner-city drug wars, whether employed by military special forces or mercenaries in Pakistan, Afghanistan or Iraq, are tested first and perfected on the weak and the powerless. Our callous indifference to the plight of the Palestinians, and the hundreds of millions of poor packed into urban slums in Asia or Africa, as well as our own underclass, means that the injustices visited on them will be visited on us. In failing them we fail ourselves.
As the U.S. empire implodes, the harsher forms of violence employed on the outer reaches of empire are steadily migrating back to the homeland. At the same time, the internal systems of democratic governance have calcified. Centralized authority has devolved into the hands of an executive branch that slavishly serves global corporate interests. The press and the government’s judiciary and legislative branches have become toothless and decorative. The specter of terrorism, as in Israel, is used by the state to divert gargantuan expenditures tohomeland security, the military and internal surveillance. Privacy is abolished. Dissent is treason. The military with its mantra of blind obedience and force characterizes the dark ethic of the wider culture. Beauty and truth are abolished. Culture is degraded into kitsch. The emotional and intellectual life of the citizenry is ravaged by spectacle, the tawdry and salacious, as well as by handfuls of painkillers and narcotics. Blind ambition, a lust for power and a grotesque personal vanity—exemplified by David Petraeus and his former mistress—are the engines of advancement. The concept of the common good is no longer part of the lexicon of power. This, as the novelist J.M. Coetzee writes, is “the black flower of civilization.” It is Rome under Diocletian. It is us. Empires, in the end, decay into despotic, murderous and corrupt regimes that finally consume themselves. And we, like Israel, are now coughing up blood.
BUSTED – Wikileaks Working For Israel
posted on Pakalert on December 9, 2010 by Gordon Duff‘
Reports have come in today, tying Wikileaks founder, Julian Assange, directly to Israeli intelligence and “Israel friendly” media outlets. We are told Assange, while at a Geneva meeting, agreed to allow Israel to select or censor all Wikileak output.
Despite the dramatic arrest of Julian Assange for rape, a story long hyped by the media, Assange “the martyr” now appears to be Assange “the Israeli spy.” Reports from inside Wikileaks differ greatly from the image presented by the press, an Assange tied to ultra-nationalist Israeli groups, an Assange with an extremist agenda, an Assange who sees himself as a geopolitical player, willing to censor, willing to fabricate and willing to betray.
The new Assange, as recent revelations reveal, may very well be capable, with help from Israel and powerful media friends, of staging a phony arrest. The new Assange may also be absolutely guilty of real sex crimes, and not a martyr at all.
The look “behind the curtain” at Wikileaks we have been given shows us a Julian Assange capable of anything, now labeled a paid Israeli agent by multiple press sources around the world.
NEOCON THREATS ON FOX NEWS “PART OF THE ACT
The latest pro-Israel “Neocon” to attack Assange on the very pro-Israel Fox network is Newt Gingrich.
When I saw Newt Gingrich, Neocon hardliner with a closet full of skeletons, on Freedom Watch with Judge Napolitano, something was terribly wrong. Gingrich was threatening Julian Assange, who had, only that day, praised Rupert Murdoch, owner of Fox News and long time patron of Gingrich.
I immediately smelled a setup.
There is a problem with all this. Both Assange and Gingrich are virtual “stepchildren” of Rupert Murdoch, his followers, his acolytes, and, despite the “bad boy” Assange persona, political twins. Assange, at heart, is everything but progressive and open. Assange, as described by those around him, is a dictator, manipulator and allied to wealth and power.
Newt Gingrich was on a mission, he and other Neocons along with Fox’s Bill O’Reilly, all pouring threats at Assange to build “his” credibility on the basis of the total lack of theirs.
THEN THE SHOE DROPS ON ASSANGE
Today we learn that Assange is also a creature of Israel, bankrolled by spies, running a disinformation site with help from Fox News, the New York Times and other media giants. A confirmed news story from the “IndyPress”has Assange in bed with Israeli intelligence;
“Assange met with Israeli officials in Geneva earlier this year and struck the secret deal. The Israel government, it seems, had somehow found out or expected that the documents to be leaked contained a large number of documents about the Israeli attacks on Lebanon and Gaza in 2006 and 2008-9 respectively. These documents, which are said to have originated mainly from the Israeli embassies in Tel Aviv and Beirut, where removed and possibly destroyed by Assange, who is the only person who knows the password that can open these documents, the sources added.”
ASSANGE AND 9/11
More importantly, Wikileaks has never had a document mentioning the 9/11 investigation, the controversy over the “9/12″ secret flight to Israel or the “dancing Israeli’s,” the 5 Mossad agents arrested on the George Washington bridge on 9/11 in a van with 2,000 pounds of explosives. This group, admittedly “documenting” the 9/11 attack for the Israeli government was kept in custody for 10 months and only released after diplomatic wrangling and a major lobbying effort.
Hundreds of cables were generated by this issue and thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, tied to 9/11. All magically disappeared at the hands of Julian Assange whose public statements on 9/11 now make him suspect.
THE WIKILEAKS DICTATORSHIP
Inside the Wikileaks organization, Assange’s secret deals are seen as a betrayal. Assange is described as dictatorial and secretive, with a lot to be secret about.
“In a recent interview with the German daily Die Tageszeitung, former WikiLeaks spokesperson Daniel Domscheit-Berg said he and other WikiLeaks dissidents are planning to launch their own whistleblowers’ platform to fulfill WikiLeaks’s original aim of “limitless file sharing.”
Mr. Domscheit-Berg, who is about to publish a book about his days ‘Inside WikiLeaks’, accuses Assange of acting as a “king” against the will of others in the organisation by “making deals” with media organisations that are meant to create an explosive effect, which others in WikiLeaks either know little or nothing about.”
WIKILEAKS AND TEL AVIV
Payoffs by Israel to Assange had, until today, been an issue of debate among journalists.
Following the leak (and even before), Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a press conference that Israel had “worked in advance” to limit any damage from leaks, adding that “no classified Israeli material was exposed by WikiLeaks.” In an interview with the Time magazine around the same time, Assange praised Netanyahu as a hero of transparency and openness!
As for personal ethnics, I give it to Assange, hands down, he is the cleaner of the two, no question about that, and far more valuable to Rupert Murdoch and his media empire, the virtual voice of the State of Israel.
ASSANGE, “THE CARDBOARD LOTHARIO
Yesterday, something odd happened in Britain. Julian Assange was arrested on charges that seem bizarre, under circumstances that discredit the legal system of Sweden. The alleged victims have been cited by the world press as CIA agents in more than one story and the case itself shows obvious signs of tampering, maybe to harass Assange or maybe, based on bizarre timing, to help sell Wikileak data that is increasingly looking like an Israeli intelligence scam.
Today, Julian Assange, “bad boy,” hacker, accused rapist, threatened by American neo-cons with contract killing, authors and op-ed for The Australian, Rupert Murdoch’s flagship publication in Australia.
His article cites Murdoch as his inspiration. A day later, we learn that Assange was working, not just for Israeli ultranationalist Murdoch but for the Israel government as well.
AN ISRAELI PSY-OP?
All three, Gingrich, Assange and Murdoch have several things in common. All are avid Zionists, supporters of Israel’s expansion. Murdoch, Australian born of a Jewish mother, is an Israeli citizen and the powerful guiding force behind the ultranationalist Likudist Party, the hardliners pushing to dispossess Palestine’s non-Jewish population, Israel’s anti-American political wing.
Assange, we know nothing of him other than the rumors and myths, now all brought into serious question.
Gingrich’s move to “the darkside” traces back to the beginnings of his political career.
A GINGRICH PATH..
In 1994, Gingrich’s wife, Marianne, was hired by the Israel Export Development Company. This was while her husband, Congressman Newt Gingrich had just announced support for that company’s free trade zone in Israel. Gingrich had already established himself as “fair game” after a series of ethics and IRS investigations involving the GOPAC organization and its questionable financial practices.
(“Gingrich Aided Export Firm That Employed His Wife”, NY Times News Service, San Francisco Chronicle, February 7, 1995 pA7)
(“Gingrich, Critic of ‘Business as Usual,’ Helps Out Special Interests Like ‘Any Member of Congress’”, Phil Kuntz, Wall Street Journal, April 3, 1995 pA16)
Both articles, exposing the Gingrich/Israel connection were in the Wall Street Journal, a newspaper later purchased by Murdoch, a paper unlikely to carry such as story ever again.
Soon afterward, Newt was called on to aid Murdoch in an FCC complaint made by NBC. They contended that foreign ownership of Fox, Murdoch was not an American, was illegal. Murdoch then gave Gingrich $4.5 million through his publishing company, Harper Collins, to write a book. Murdoch had offered similar deals to Margaret Thatcher and other politicians where Murdoch had regulatory problems. This time, when Newt was found to be meeting with Murdoch’s lobbyists, it all blew up in his face and he was forced to give the money back.
When it came down to “splainin’ time,” Newt and Murdoch denied it all, then it came out that they met secretly on a park bench. Then they claimed Murdoch’s agent, Lynn Chu and Gingrich’s “associate” Jeff Eisenach had cut the deal and forgot to tell them about it. Rupert Murdoch got to keep Fox News and the Neocons gained control of content, making Fox the unofficial voice of Israel, the Republican Party and the military/industrial complex.
Thus began the Gingrich/Murdoch partnership which continues to this day.
SOURCES: (“Gingrich’s political education”, Jeff Gerth and Stephen Labaton (NY Times News Service), San Francisco Examiner, February 12, 1995 pA6)
(“IRS clears Gingrich donation that led to his House censure”, Capitol Hill Blue Website, February 4, 1999)
(Ethics Committee Drops Last of 84 Charges Against Gingrich ,By Curt Anderson (Associated Press), Washington Post, October 11, 1998, Page A13)
“Use of Tax-Exempt Groups Integral to Political Strategy”, by Charles R. Babcock, Washington Post, January 7, 1997, Page A01)
(“Jump-Start: How Speaker Gingrich Grabbed Power and Attention So Quickly”, Wall Street Journal, January 19, 1995 pA1
(“The Inner Quest of Newt Gingrich”, Gail Sheehy, Vanity Fair, September 1995 p147 “Gingrich, Murdoch reveal lobbyist’s role at meeting”, Katharine Seelye (NY Times News Service), San Francisco Examiner, pA1 “Murdoch, Gingrich Admit They Talked”, San Francisco Chronicle, January 13, 1995)
(“The Mysterious Mrs. Newt”, Martin Fletcher (London Times News Service), SF Examiner, January 15, 1995 pA4 “Newt’s Near Misses”, Ron Curran, The Bay Guardian, January 11, 1995 p10)
(“Newt, Inc.”, Dennis Bernstein, Bay Guardian, February 1, 1995 p19)
THE NEOCON CHARADE
Separating myth from reality, real “Wikileaks” from the “Franken-Wikileaks” of Israel and Julian Assange, is going to be difficult.
Where the Swedish government may really be after Assange, it is obvious that the parade of Neocon politicians and media pundits, all “creatures” of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire, are not.
The same media that worked with Assange to censor and manipulate Wikileaks for the Netanyahu government in Israel is the same media, the same outlets, the same ownership, the same management that are now pouring out threats, demands for “hanging.”
Seldom is such a scenario successfully exposed, particularly of such complexity. First Wikileaks source is tied to AIPAC, the Israeli lobby in the United States, through information leaked in a private lawsuit.
Then we learn Assange is, not only working directly for Israel, but is closely aligned with the Murdoch media empire that is managing the most violent criticism of Wikileaks.
Will there be an end to this, a “not so innocent” side show that may well have been put together to push the world into its last war?
Wikileaks once had much promise. It can again.
Gordon Duff is a Marine Vietnam veteran, and Senior Editor at Veterans Today. His career has included extensive experience in international banking along with such diverse areas as consulting on counter insurgency, defense technologies or acting as diplomatic officer of UN humanitarian groups. Gordon Duff’s articles are published around the world and translated into a number of languages. He is regularly on TV and radio, a popular and sometimes controversial guest.
Wikileaks - Exposed
A Skeptic’s View: Why Wiki Leaks Embarrass Pakistan And Not Israel
Where Are Rest Of Wikileaks Cables? | Why They Are Being Censored? | Why No Scandal Yet Involving American Allies? | Wiki Leaks More Questions than Answers.
Wikileaks does not make the material it receives available directly to the public. They are first censored by New York Times and several other prominent newspapers. Only 623 documents out of alleged 250,000 have appeared in public. The public needs to ask: Where are the remaining documents? Why the censorship? And why the selective release, assailing Pakistan, China, Saudi Arabia and others and largely leaving out US allies? If newspapers will release censored cables, Mr. Assange should take up a job at NYT.
PAUL WOLF | Friday | 2 December 2010
WASHINGTON, DC—For the last four days, newspaper headlines around the globe have covered a cornucopia of diplomatic scandals, resulting from the “leaking” of some 250,000 cables of the US State Department to the New York Times and several other newspapers. In case there is anyone left on the planet who hasn’t heard of this, the cables were leaked to the media by “wikileaks,” a mysterious non-governmental organization which purports to publish classified documents while guaranteeing anonymity to the providers.
The scandals covered a variety of topics of interest to the American public and government, from China’s interest in the re-unification of Korea, to Iran’s purchase of missiles from North Korea, to Pakistani General Kayani wondering whether the US would support him in a military coup. (1) Oddly enough, there are no scandals of any significance involving Israel or any other American ally.
The reason for this appears to lie in the editorial process of the world’s newspapers ‘of record.’
Despite public perceptions, Wikileaks does not make the material it receives available directly to the public. It sends the documents to newspapers, which decide what news is fit to print. As of this writing, Dec 2, 2010, four days after the New York Times and other newspapers began publishing scores of articles; Wikileaks has only posted 623 of the 250,000 documents they claim to have released to their website. (2) Neither the New York Times, the Guardian or the other newspapers apparently in possession of these materials have published them either.
Worse, these 623 ‘leaks’ were apparently cleared by the State Department itself. According to noted American civil rights attorney Michael Ratner, “In the recent disclosure, Wikileaks has only posted cables that were reviewed by the news organisations and in some cases redacted. The news organisations showed them to the Pentagon and agreed to some of the government’s suggested redactions.” (3)
Wikileaks’ reluctance to post the materials to the internet probably results from a combination of factors. First and foremost, they have been threatened with prosecution in the US – although this author believes that is no more than a bluff – and accused of having “blood on their hands” already, despite the fact that even after several months, they haven’t yet released the scandalous “Afghan war logs” documents which, among other things, accused the Pakistani ISI of running a suicide bomber network in Kabul, and former DG ISI Hamid Gul of being the ISI’s liaison to the Taliban.
(4) Pakistan is left with no way to defend against these accusations, since it does not even know the nature of the sources, although Afghan intelligence (led by Amrullah Saleh) is suspected. And apparently, Wikileaks’ priority is to put more materials into the hands of the NY Times, rather than putting them on the internet.
It’s not a matter of resources. There are dozens, if not hundreds or thousands of people who would gladly volunteer to post this material to their websites. One of them is John Young, who really is what Mr. Assange, spokesman for Wikileaks, pretends to be. For the past 14 years, Young has posted the most remarkable materials to his site, including personal information and photographs of the homes of CIA officials. (5) Young joined Wikileaks when it formed, but in January of 2007, left the organization, claiming it was a CIA front. While this author does not join him in making that accusation, it is noteworthy that the person who has actually done what Wikileaks claims to do, not only thinks Wikileaks is fake, but is a disinformation campaign.
Julian Assange will likely be arrested on rape charges any day now, for incidents that allegedly occurred on a speaking tour he did in Sweden. Assange claims that the women are part of a Pentagon “dirty tricks campaign” to discredit him. There are continual media reports that he is living a kind of underground fugitive existence. And now reports that the Wikileaks website is being hacked to the point that the mundane Afghanistan documents they did post online are no longer there. This is all an overreaction to what Wikileaks has actually done, which is act as an intermediary between persons unknown in the government, and the ever-compliant news media. The Wikileaks paranoia comes across as self-serving and insincere.
The solution to all this, of course, is quite simple. Wikileaks should hand over the goods to someone who will actually post them to the internet. Then we would at least have a fair process wherein people of different political ideologies could put whatever spins they wanted on them. Failing that, Assange should just take a job at the New York Times and stop being such a poser.
WIKILEAKS - Is Zionist Poison
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 28, 2010
by Jonathan Azaziah
Disinformation is defined as ‘misinformation that is deliberately disseminated in order to influence or confuse rivals.’ It is used by governments to mislead and brainwash their citizen populations, instigate wars, and blackmail foreign regimes. It is the ultimate instrument of the media. The most effective disinformation is that which is comprised of falsehood as well as facts. Wikileaks, founded by Julian Assange, fits this description perfectly, right down to the letter. Seemingly overnight, it has become one of the biggest ‘whistle-blowing’ agencies in modern history. In reality though, it is one of the biggest disinformation projects in modern history, and it may be the most dangerous because it is masquerading as an organization of truth. The information released by Wikileaks isn’t new; it isn’t groundbreaking; it doesn’t hurt the US as much as people think, it’s fractional really; and it is overloaded with as much as propaganda as the day-to-day Zionist media is. This propaganda is benefitting someone. And that someone is the illegal usurping entity of Israel. Even the Israeli government itself thinks so (1).
The first major ‘leak’ released earlier this year by Assange was about occupied Afghanistan in the form of more than 92,000 documents. These docs included ‘secret files’ about civilian killings by the US and NATO along with boogeyman stories about the long-dead Osama Bin Laden, garbage regarding the Taliban acquiring ground-to-air missiles, and plenty of lies about Pakistan’s intelligence agency, the ISI (2). There wasn’t a single document about the Israeli training of the Taliban (3), the massive drug profiteering by the Mossad (4), the CIA (5) and the US-puppet Hamid Karzai and his brother (6), Karzai’s connections to Unocal and Zionist war criminal Henry Kissinger (7), the clandestine Israeli business operations set up to take control of the oil fields in neighboring Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan (8), or the Russian-Jewish mafia, fully protected by the Zionist entity, selling guns to US-backed Afghan warlords (9). Why weren’t any of these massively important, critically damning events and operations mentioned? Because by doing so, it would incriminate the already internationally condemned Zionist regime. Journalists, bloggers and activists, from occupied Afghanistan and abroad, have been reporting on the vast civilian casualties in Afghanistan since US intervention began more than 30 years ago. Wikileaks revealed nothing that wasn’t already known; however, it did reinforce Zionist propaganda regarding the illegal ‘war on terror.’
The next major ‘leak’ by Assange’s organization, which has gained more notoriety than the previous ‘leak,’ was about occupied Iraq in the form of nearly 400,000 documents. Like the occupied Afghanistan disinformation, it included ‘secret files’ about mass civilian killings by US forces, torture by war criminal Nouri al-Maliki and his forces (which according to Wikileaks, US military officials attempted to halt) (10), US government failings in reprimanding Blackwater (XE) for committing murder (11), and brutal executions by the American and British occupiers mixed with more tripe about fictitious Al-Qaeda, nonsense about Iran training militant Iraqi militias and Iranian drones flying over Iraq (12), Iran smuggling guns, munitions, and explosives into Iraq (13), ridiculous accusations of the Lebanese Resistance movement Hezbollah training Iraqis in the art of kidnaping (14), slanderous attacks on Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, and other absurd assertions about the Islamic Republic involved in the murder of innocent Iraqis. The Wikileaks Iraq war logs also ‘reveal’ civilian casualties numbered at 66,081 (15). The logs also ‘reveal’ that Iraqi WMDs actually did exist, as US soldiers found chemical weapons labs, terrorist toxin specialists, and chemical weapons caches (16).
There was nothing ‘secret’ about American and British forces murdering, torturing and raping innocents in occupied Iraq. Like Afghanistan, Iraqi and international journalists, bloggers, and activists have been reporting the murder of civilians in Iraq since the beginning of the illegal occupation, with much more effectiveness than Wikileaks. The US military didn’t attempt to halt the puppet al-Maliki’s torture of unlawfully imprisoned Iraqis, they partook in it. They led the way after they signed off on it. They were the primary perpetrators (17). Secret prisons are still operating at this very moment where US forces barbarously torture innocent Iraqis (18). The US hired Blackwater’s contractors to instill fear and execute terrorism against the people of Iraq, of course it didn’t reprimand them. Erik Prince’s private army of terror was only doing what it was told to by the US government.
The concept of Hezbollah training foreign militias to meddle in state affairs is absolute lunacy; Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah himself has stated on numerous occasions that if Hezbollah wanted to overthrow the Lebanese government, they would’ve done so already (19). Their objectives (as evidenced by their actions), are to protect the Lebanese people, provide them with security and uphold their dignity. Hezbollah hasn’t undermined its own government, it is asinine to think it would undermine the government of another nation. The propaganda targeting Iran is pathetic; there are enough guns in Iraq thanks to American support of Saddam Hussein to last lifetimes (20), there was no need for Iran to provide weapons to Iraqi militias through ‘smuggling.’ The only drones that were flying in Iraq’s skies belonged to the repulsive Zionist entity, not Iran (21). The other accusations sound like concoctions dug up from the dungeons of Zionist think tanks and lobby organizations salivating for the destruction of the Islamic Republic, not the work of whistle-blowers attempting to expose corruption and disseminate truth. These accusations further the Zionist case for striking Iran militarily. These accusations are promoting more war, not peace.
Wikileaks must not have gotten the memo about civilian casualties in occupied Iraq. They are nowhere near 66,081. They have eclipsed the 1.5 million mark. Anything less than this, especially a number as low as the one presented by Wikileaks, is classic misreporting aimed at protecting the United States government and its collaborators. That is an insult to the 5 million Iraqi orphans and the 5 million Iraqi refugees. It is a slap in the face to the dead Iraqis whose names will never be known because they were incinerated by US and Israeli weaponry. And the notion that US soldiers found WMDs in Iraq, after the ‘Iraq has WMDs’ myth has been debunked as Zionist-designed propaganda over and over again, is frankly, infuriating. The only WMDs that exist in Iraq are the mark-77, white phosphorus, and thousands of tons of depleted uranium used in Basra, Baghdad, and Fallujah by the terrorist army of the US and strategically placed Mossad agents of Israel (22).
Where are the leaks on the 55 Zionist companies profiting from Iraqi blood being spilled (23)? Where are the leaks on Iraq’s artifacts being stolen by Zionist agents (24)? Where are the leaks on hundreds of Mossad agents operating in Mosul (25)? Where are the leaks on the Mossad bomb-making facility in Kirkuk (26)? Where are the leaks on the Mossad murderers stationed in several villages around the devastated area of Fallujah (27)? Where are the leaks on the depleted-uranium-tipped IEDs of Zionist-owned Zapata Engineering that have massacred thousands in Najaf, Karbala and Tal Afar, just to name a few (28)? Where are the leaks on the Israeli arms dealers supplying weapons to CIA-trained death squads (29)? Where are the leaks on Zionist war criminal Paul Wolfowitz importing Shin Bet torture experts to train the US military (30)? Where are the leaks on Mossad conducting interrogations and torture in Iraq jails, including Abu Ghraib (31)? Where are the leaks that will actually tie the illegal war, which was exclusively designed by Zionists, to Israel? They don’t exist because Wikileaks isn’t concerned with uncovering the truth regarding the real criminals; they’re concerned with leading the public away from the truth to keep them under control. It’s COINTELPRO all over again.
The target of Wikileaks’ first release was the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. The objectives of the operation were to give credibility to war criminal Obama’s illegal drone strikes that have murdered over 1,000 civilians (32), raise the possibility of a future overt occupation, and cover up the meddling of Israel in occupied Afghanistan. It is vital to note that the de-stablization of Pakistan has been a Zionist objective since the declaration of al-Nakbah architect, David Ben-Gurion (33). The target of Wikileaks’ second release was the Islamic Republic of Iran. The objective of this operation was to slander two of the very few entities on earth resisting Israel, Hezbollah and Iran; as well as cover up the Zionist fingerprints all over the mutilation of Iraq. The IAEA has already inadvertently foiled the Zionist plan to attack Iran based on the nuclear premise, confirming that the Iranian nuclear program is peaceful in nature and has nothing to do with weaponization (34). The Zionist hasbara experts needed to try something new; through Wikileaks, the accusations of the Zionist Bush administration against Iran have resurfaced under the guise of ‘whistle-blowing.’ What a sham.
A final note needs to be made about Julian Assange, the man who has been praised as a freedom fighter, a revolutionary and a friend of the oppressed people. In a recent interview, he stated, "I'm constantly annoyed that people are distracted by false conspiracies such as 9/11, when all around we provide evidence of real conspiracies, for war or mass financial fraud (35)." It’s shameful that Assange is annoyed by those seeking truth regarding the reason 1.5 million innocents are dead in occupied Iraq, 1.2 million innocents are dead in occupied Afghanistan, and thousands of more innocent men, women and children are dead in occupied Palestine, Lebanon, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. 9/11 is anything but a false conspiracy; there is overwhelming evidence that American and Israeli officials didn’t just have foreknowledge of the event, but planned the attack and carried it out. It was a Mossad-CIA false flag used to protect the Zionist entity from any future military threat and expand the parasitic hegemony of the US and the illegitimate Tel Aviv regime throughout the world via the Zionist-inspired ‘war on terror (36).’ Someone insulting the seekers of 9/11 truth, slandering the righteous movement of Hezbollah, spreading propaganda about Iran which adds to the demonization campaign levied against the Islamic Republic by the Zionist lobby and the Zionist media, and deliberately leaving out Israeli crimes in occupied Afghanistan and Iraq is no freedom fighter; such a person is a liar and a propagandist.
Wikileaks’ most recent ‘leak’ about occupied Iraq was delivered to several mainstream news outlets including Al-Jazeerah, the Zionist New York Times, Der Spiegel of Germany, which has smeared Hezbollah in the past by despicably accusing the Resistance of selling narcotics (37), Zionist-controlled Le Monde of France which has also smeared Hezbollah recently (38) and The Guardian of the UK, in packages, as if it was some sort of gift for a holiday. This isn’t a leak. This isn’t an expose. This is a press release. This is a media spectacle. This is a circus to cover up real crimes. Those interested in seeing a real leak, in addition to real courage, should read the story of Mordechai Vanunu, who blew the whistle on Israel’s nuclear program and has spent the last 26 years in and out of Israel’s inhumane prisons, including 18 years consecutively with 11 of those years in solitary confinement (39).
Iraq was annihilated for the Zionist regime, as was Afghanistan. When discussing the destruction of these nations, and the murder of millions of their people, it is integral to the understanding of the crimes committed to discuss the Israeli role in these crimes. Any person or institution failing to do so is ignorant, a coward or a collaborationist. None of these persons have any place in the movement to restore the occupied lands to the indigenous people and bring their tormentors to justice. By supporting Wikileaks, you are not fighting the occupier. You are not honoring the martyrs. You are not combating imperialism. And you are not striking back at the oppressor. You are supporting Israel and the cover-up of the activities of its criminal network. Wikileaks is Zionist poison. Wake up.
(1) Wikileaks Reports Could Halt Iran’s Nuclear Drive by Yaakov Katz, Jerusalem Post
(2) Wikileaks, Afghanistan and Pakistan by Muhammad Abdullah Gul
(3) Framing Pakistan: How The Pro-Israel Media Enables India’s Surrogate Warfare by Maidhc O Cathhail
(4) Intel Expert Says 9/11 Looks Like A Hollywood Show by Christopher Bollyn
(5) The Spoils Of War: Afghanistan’s Multibillion Dollar Heroin Trade by Michel Chossudovsky
(6) Wikileaks Is Israel, Like We All Didn’t Know by Gordon Duff, Veterans Today
(7) Profile: Unocal by History Commons
(8) The Great Game: The War For Caspian Oil And Gas by Christopher Bollyn
(9) Drugs For Guns: How The Afghan Heroin Trade Is Fueling The Taliban Insurgency by Jerome Starkey, The Independent; Red Mafiya: How The Russian Mob Has Invaded America by Robert Friedman (rip)
(10) Iraq War Documents Shed Light On Civilian Deaths, Prisoner Abuse by David Wood
(11) Iraq War Logs: Private Militarization Run Amok by Pratap Chatterjee, The Guardian
(12) US Shot Down Iranian Drone In Iraq, Wikileaks Confirms by Adam Weinstein
(13) Iraq War Logs Detail Iran’s Aid For Militias by Michael R. Gordon and Andrew W. Lehren, The New York Times
(14) Wikileaks Tip Iran’s Hand In Iraq by Samuel Segev, Winnipeg Free Press
(15) Iraq War Leaks: No US Investigation Of Many Abuses by Al-Masry Al-Youm
(16) Wikileaks Show WMD Hunt Continued In Iraq – With Surprising Results by Noah Shachtman
(17) Iraq Today: Afflicted By Violence, Devastation, Corruption And Desperation by Stephen Lendman
“Is The World Going Bankrupt?”
That is an odd question.
If some people are losing money, others must be gaining money, right?
But where is all the money going?
Bloomberg’s Jonathan Weil hints at the answer in a post entitled “Is There Enough Money on Earth to Save the Banks?”
Two years ago the central planners convinced investors that the biggest surviving financial institutions would be able to earn their way back to health, in part through low interest rates and taxpayer support. The pressing question soon may be whether there is enough money on the planet to save the system as we know it, and if so, how much longer it will be before a crisis comes along that finally swamps the ability of governments to contain it.
One-hit wonders such as Fed-induced stock-market rallies can induce euphoria momentarily. They don’t fix the big problem.
As I’ve previously noted, the giant banks are drawing the American and world economy down into a black hole. If we don’t break up the giant banks now, they’ll be bailed out again and again, and virtually all independent economists and financial experts say that will drag the world economy down with them.
Indeed, many economists and financial experts say that we’ll have a never-ending depression or perpetual zombification unless the banks and bondholders are forced to write down their bad debt.
But the question remains: if all of the world’s money (of the Western world, anyway) is draining out, where’s it going to?
A substantial portion of the profits of the largest banks is essentially a redistribution from taxpayers to the banks, rather than the outcome of market transactions.
A “jobless recovery” is basically a redistribution of wealth from the little guy to the big boys.
Economist Steve Keen says:
“This is the biggest transfer of wealth in history”, as the giant banks have handed their toxic debts from fraudulent activities to the countries and their people.
Nobel economist Joseph Stiglitz said in 2009 that Geithner’s toxic asset plan “amounts to robbery of the American people”.
And economist Dean Baker said in 2009 that the true purpose of the bank rescue plans is “a massive redistribution of wealth to the bank shareholders and their top executives”.
The money of individuals, businesses, cities, states and entire nations are disappearing into the abyss …
… and ending up in the pockets of the top .1% richest people.
Ireland and Sweden have “Abandoned Israel”…
The Government has responded to comments from the Israeli foreign minister who claimed Ireland is among the European countries to have “abandoned” Israel and drew comparisons with the fate of Czechoslovakia prior to the Second World War.
A report in the Jerusalem Post newspaper this week carried the comments from Avigdor Liberman [Pictured left. Photograph: Ronen Zvulun/Reuters], made at a meeting of Israel’s ambassadors to the EU.
Mr Liberman was quoted as saying:
“The behaviour of countries like Sweden and Ireland is the same behaviour and abandonment that existed in Europe in 1938 with the Munich Agreement, when the Europeans abandoned their biggest ally, Czechoslovakia.”
The Israeli minister said Germany was an example of a European country that understood the challenges faced by Israel and its role as “the only country that represents western values in the Middle East”.
Mr Liberman said he would not be meeting the Swedish foreign minister when she visits the country this month over that country’s approach to the recognition of Palestine.
Ireland has also taken steps to officially recognise Palestine, and the Jerusalem Post report also namechecks the Wexford Independent TD Mick Wallace, quoting some of what he said to the Dáil during a debate on the issue.
The Department of Foreign Affairs said:
“The Government has always made clear that we believe our objective of a two-state solution to the Middle East conflict is very much in the interests of the security and prosperity of both Israelis and Palestinians. This view is almost universally shared in the international community, and by very many people in Israel. We will continue to support efforts to progress the Middle East peace process, working with both sides and as active members of the EU and UN.”
Mr Wallace defended what he said in the course of the Dáil debate:
“Right now, Israel is losing the struggle for legitimacy and that’s developing into a fundamental problem for them.
“United Nations diplomacy has failed because the US can decide what’s a legitimate or illegitimate move by the Palestinians to gain freedom, independence, and to end apartheid. We now need a different kind of diplomacy that starts with International law.”
This is the third of four articles analyzing the new US Department of Defense Law of War Manual.
The Department of Defense (DOD) Law of War Manual represents the most advanced ideological expression of the striving of US imperialism to dominate and control the entire world by means of military force.
By authorizing the Pentagon to occupy, wage war against and impose its own version of “law” in every corner of the planet, the DOD manual merely formalizes the world-hegemonic agenda of US imperialism and points to its logical endpoint.
“US capitalism is up against the same problems that pushed Germany in 1914 on the path of war. The world is divided? It must be redivided. For Germany it was a question of ‘organizing Europe.’ The United States must ‘organize’ the world. History is bringing humanity face to face with the volcanic eruption of American imperialism.” This was written by the founder of the Fourth International, Leon Trotsky, in 1934.
From the mid-1970s onward, the US ruling class has engaged in a relentless militarization drive aimed at overcoming through armed force its economic decline.
This was also foreseen by Trotsky, who wrote:
“In the period of crisis the hegemony of the United States will operate more completely, more openly and more ruthlessly than in the period of boom. The United States will seek to overcome and extricate herself from her difficulties and maladies primarily at the expense of Europe, regardless of whether this occurs in Asia, Canada, South America, Australia, or Europe itself, or whether this takes place peacefully or through war.”
The Law of War Manual, which elaborates protocols for military operations in every corner of the globe by the Pentagon and its proxy forces, amounts to a manifesto for this process, set down in legal jargon. If the guidelines laid out in the manual are allowed to be implemented—that is, if the international working class does not intervene in time on the basis of a revolutionary program—then humankind faces a future dominated by concentration camps, slaughter on an unprecedented scale, and, ultimately, a nuclear holocaust.
In essence, the DOD manual represents a comprehensive statement of the only “solution” to the world crisis that the imperialist cliques in Washington and on Wall Street are capable of offering.
The first two articles in this series have drawn the parallels between the Department of Defense Law of War Manual and the legal and political ideology of Nazi Germany. It has been shown that the very same fascist conceptions rejected by leading American jurists at the Nuremberg trials have, in the form of the DOD manual, been codified as official state policy at the highest levels of the American government.
Later sections of the DOD manual, those covering the practices of US military operations, make clear that the scorched earth methods employed by the Nazis against the populations of Europe, the Soviet Union and North Africa are now embraced and defended by the Pentagon high command.
The manual overturns central tenets of international law designed to place restraints on the use of military violence. On the basis of the Oxford English Dictionary definition of total war as “a war that is unrestricted in terms of the weapons used, the territory or combatants involved, or the objectives pursued, especially one in which the laws of war are disregarded,” one can state without hesitation that total war has become the central policy of the DOD.
Every form of military activity conventionally associated with total war—a concept that emerged during the 19th century before finding its consummate expression in the mayhem and destruction perpetrated by both the fascist and “democratic” imperialist governments during the Second World War—is explicitly or implicitly allowed by the Pentagon guidelines.
Every nominal restriction on the DOD’s war-making powers included in the manual is accompanied by caveats that confer virtually unlimited discretion on US military commanders to employ violence in the service of US strategic aims. The manual carefully avoids any language that might discourage commanders from planning offensive operations. There are gaping loopholes in every section designed to instill confidence that there will be no penalty for the indiscriminate use of force.
The manual authorizes US commanders to engage in strategic bombing, attacks on civilian commercial infrastructure, blockades and sieges. It authorizes the establishment of mass detention and forced labor camps.
Hiroshima in 1945
Of course, throughout its history, US imperialism has committed horrific violations of international laws along these lines, carrying out collective punishment, mass slaughter of populations, and the destruction of urban areas in Germany, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia and, most recently, Iraq.
The military campaign launched against Iraq in 2003 reduced one of the most advanced economies in the Middle East to a level of social development comparable to that of the poorest countries in the world. Some 4-5 million Iraqis were killed, displaced or disappeared as a result of the US war and occupation. More than half of Iraqi doctors were killed or forced to flee the country. Reports published in 2007 by Iraq’s Statistical Bureau showed that, four years after the war was launched, fully 43 percent of Iraqis were living in “absolute poverty,” without reliable access to food, housing or clothing.
Prior to the release of the DOD manual this year, however, the US high command employed such methods in defiance of its own regulations, which still included clearly worded prohibitions against wanton destruction of civilian infrastructure and populations. The last comprehensive document on military law issued by the US Department of Defense, the 1956 US Army Field Manual on the Law of Land Warfare, still maintained that military operations could not be launched if it was known in advance that they would lead to large-scale civilian casualties.
While including formal prohibitions against the slaughter of civilians similar to those contained in the 1956 document, the new manual provides conceptual loopholes based on notions of “military necessity,” “expected military advantage,” etc.
The publication of the DOD manual is thus enormously significant as an official assertion by the US ruling elite of its “right” to demolish entire societies and peoples in pursuit of its political goals. Undoubtedly, the DOD manual was crafted with an eye toward legalizing, after the fact, the crimes committed against Iraq by US imperialism.
Under the manual’s guidelines, direct mass killing of civilians is effectively legalized, so long as the relevant US military officers consider that attacks around or against civilian targets are weighed “in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage expected to be gained.” (P. 187)
Predator drone firing a Hellcat missle
Commanders are authorized to conduct operations that they know will lead to large numbers of civilian deaths, as long as their subjective assessment finds that such operations contribute to “the broader imperatives of winning the war.” This applies even when the “military advantage” to be gained from a proposed attack could not be understood by an “outside observer,” i.e., on the basis of any objective or universal criteria.
“The military advantage expected to be gained from an attack might not be readily apparent to the enemy or to outside observers because, for example, the expected military advantage might depend on the commander’s strategy or assessments of classified information,” the manual states. (P. 213)
“The weighing or comparison between the expected incidental harm and the expected military advantage does not necessarily lend itself to empirical analyses,” the document adds. (P. 128)
“In less clear-cut cases, the question of whether the expected incidental harm is excessive may be a highly open-ended legal inquiry, and the answer may be subjective and imprecise,” the manual declares. (P. 245)
In defining what constitutes a legitimate military target, DOD employs a definition that is so broad as to encompass the entire economy and civilian population of enemy states. The manual authorizes destruction of basic infrastructure, including housing stock, power generation facilities, water facilities, and food supply chains of enemy states. Any object that contributes to the “war-fighting capacity” of the enemy nation, even in an indirect manner, is declared by the manual to be a legitimate target. (P. 206)
“The term ‘military objective’ means combatants and those objects during hostilities which, by their nature, location, purpose, or use, effectively contribute to the war-fighting or war-sustaining capability of an opposing force,” the manual reads.
It is not necessary that the object provide immediate tactical or operational gains or that the object make an effective contribution to a specific military operation. Rather, the object’s effective contribution to the war-fighting or war-sustaining capability of an opposing force is sufficient… The advantage need not be immediate. (P. 210)
The law of war does not require that attacks on a military objective be conducted near ongoing fighting, in a theater of active military operations, or in a theater of active armed conflict. (P. 199)
In a critique of the target selection practices called for by the manual, entitled “The Defense Department Stands Alone on Target Selection,” Professor Adil Haque of the Rutgers School of Law-Newark notes that the manual effectively authorizes US commanders to carry out attacks regardless of the civilian death toll that is likely to result.
“A deeply troubling provision in the Defense Department’s new Law of War Manual suggests that commanders are not legally required to minimize civilian casualties when selecting between different targets,” Haque writes. “The United States is not legally required to select targets so as to reduce collateral harm to civilians.”
Large sections of the manual are devoted to siege, enforced starvation and occupation of densely populated urban areas. It authorizes the erection of ghettos and security cordons to restrict the movement of civilians.
“Starvation is a legitimate method of warfare,” the DOD manual states. (P. 291) “In particular, it is permissible to seek to starve enemy forces into submission.”
During siege warfare, US military commanders are authorized, among other things, to destroy supply lines that are relied on by the civilian population for food and other essential goods. “States may institute general food control programs that involve the destruction of crops and the adequate provision of the civilian population with food,” the manual reads in the section entitled “Starvation of Enemy Forces Not Prohibited.” (P. 1,037)
It advises US officers to allow passage of “certain categories of civilians,” implying that much of the civilian population can be left for dead inside the encircled area. Commanders are authorized to completely isolate urban areas, refusing the movement of even the most basic humanitarian goods into the siege zone.
“A commander of an encircling force is not required to agree to the passage of medical or religious personnel, supplies, and equipment,” the manual states. (P. 316)
The implications of this doctrine were already demonstrated in the US military’s 2004 siege of Fallujah in Iraq. Tens of thousands of Iraqi men between the ages of 15 and 55 were prevented from fleeing the city prior to a devastating US bombardment that destroyed some 60 percent of the city’s buildings, irradiated the entire area with toxic munitions byproducts, and permanently reduced the population by as much as 50 percent.
The manual authorizes the use of illegal weapons, another practice commonly understood as a feature of total war, including cluster bombs and nuclear weapons, against a range of “military objectives,” including “mountain passes, hills, defiles, and bridgeheads, villages, towns, or cities” whose seizure is militarily important. (P. 215)
“Under certain circumstances, it may be advantageous to use cluster munitions,” the document reads. “The United States has determined that its national security interests cannot be fully ensured consistent with the terms of the Convention on Cluster Munitions.”
Employing a formula that becomes all too familiar to any reader of the manual, the document openly authorizes use of nuclear weapons based on calculations of “military advantage.”
“Attacks using nuclear weapons must not be conducted when the expected incidental harm to civilians is excessive compared to the military advantage expected to be gained,” the document states. (P. 420)
Such formulations amount to a green light to do anything. Would the DOD high command consider the destruction of China’s key military and economic infrastructure to be militarily advantageous? Of course, and therefore nuclear attacks would be justified.
In fact, the DOD’s Air Sea battle plan envisions a crushing first strike against the Chinese mainland, using a level of force so overwhelming as to prevent any possibility of retaliation by the Chinese military.
Mass detention and concentration camps
Brushing aside democratic legal principles that have been developed over centuries, the manual asserts the absolute power of the US military-security apparatus to detain civilians anywhere on the planet. “Detention is fundamental to waging war or conducting other military operations,” the Pentagon lawyers assert in the opening lines of the section “Detention: Overview and Baseline Rules.” (P. 515)
Prisoners in the Sachsenhausen concentration camp, 1938
While the executive branch has already asserted similar prerogatives with the passage of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012, it remains significant that the DOD now openly maintains its own sweeping powers to act as an independent branch of government, exercising essentially limitless authority.
The manual maintains that the Defense Department may re-interpret and negate international agreements that prohibit extra-legal arrests and detentions, upholding the unlimited right of the American national state to nullify well-established international laws.
The DOD lawyers go so far as to cite relevant portions of international law that directly contradict their own positions before sweeping them aside as incompatible with the US government’s interpretations.
“Anyone who is deprived of his liberty by arrest or detention shall be entitled to take proceedings before a court, in order that that court may decide without delay on the lawfulness of his detention and order his release if the detention is not lawful,” a passage from the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), reprinted in the manual, states. (P. 50f)
The document then declares that the US government has “understood” such prohibitions not to apply to its own policies. As far as DOD and the US government are concerned, the manual makes clear, the content of international laws is determined by the way in which such laws are re-understood by top US military attorneys and bureaucrats.
“For example, the right to challenge the lawfulness of an arrest before a court provided in Article 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) would appear to conflict with the authority under the law of war to detain certain persons without judicial process or criminal charge,” the manual reads.
However, the United States has understood Article 9 of the ICCPR not to affect a State’s authorities under the law of war, including a State’s authority in both international and non-international armed conflicts to detain enemy combatants until the end of hostilities. (P. 50)
The manual goes on to outline authorizations for DOD to create specific legal instruments in order to overcome any remaining legal obstacles to its detention powers, allowing for the creation of “Ad Hoc Legal Instruments or Frameworks” and “Special Courts.”
According to the manual, “Detaining Powers” may segregate detainees in prison camps based on racial and ethnic criteria. “Detainees may be segregated into camps or camp compounds according to their nationality, language, and customs, and the Detaining Power may use other criteria to segregate detainees for administrative, security, intelligence, medical, or law enforcement purposes.” (P. 498)
US military authorities are empowered to carry out mass resettlement of populations for “imperative military reasons.” Under the heading “Displacement of the Civilian Population,” the manual states: “The Occupying Power may undertake total or partial evacuation of a given area if required for the security of the population or for imperative military reasons.” (P. 778)
And further: “The displacement of the civilian population shall not be ordered for reasons related to the conflict unless the security of the civilians involved or imperative military reasons so demand.” (P. 1,035)
Martial law and occupation
The manual outlines procedures for military occupation and imposition of martial law on subjugated territories. Protocols are formulated in extremely general terms, making clear that the entire world, including the US “Homeland,” is viewed as actual or potential Occupied Territory.
Inhabitants of territory under US military rule must submit unconditionally to the dictates of the “Occupying Power,” rendering “strict obedience to the orders of the occupant,” the manual states in the section “Suspension and Substitution of Governmental Authority.”
US commanders may “exercise authority over all means of public and private transportation, whether land, waterborne, or air, within the occupied territory, and may seize them and regulate their operation,” the manual asserts.
Lest there be any illusions that protocols for military occupation and suspension of constitutional government do not apply within the borders of the United States, the manual announces that the DOD-promulgated law of war policies are being integrated into US domestic law. “Law of war requirements have also been incorporated into domestic law, policy, regulations, and orders,” the document states (P. 1,057).
In the section on “Non-International Armed Conflict,” the manual develops another conceptual loophole that enables US forces to violate the Geneva Conventions and other international laws when engaged in operations against persons or organizations that are not formally part of an internationally recognized state.
Whereas the manual assigns some limited relevance to international laws in relation to military conflicts against rival national states, non-international armed conflicts are said to be conducted under the essentially limitless authorities assigned by the manual to the US government as the world’s most powerful national state.
Non-state actors cannot claim the legal status of national governments and are essentially considered to be legally naked, that is, fully at the mercy of the US government and not entitled to the minimal protections afforded to captured enemy POWs.
The sovereign equality of States is not applicable in armed conflicts between a State and a non-State armed group. A State may exercise both sovereign and belligerent rights over non-State armed groups. (P. 1,025)
The limits imposed by international law on a State’s action against non-State armed groups do not alter the basic principle that the State may exercise its sovereign powers against the non-State armed group…
Although, during international armed conflict, lawful combatants are afforded certain immunities from the enemy State’s jurisdiction, persons belonging to non-State armed groups lack any legal privilege or immunity from prosecution by a State that is engaged in hostilities against that group. (P. 1,025)
Such language serves to put US officers on notice that, in confronting insurrectionary movements by the American and international working class, they are permitted to cast aside all restraints conventionally associated with the law of war as it has evolved over centuries.