Poor people used to live in slums. Now the ‘economically disadvantaged’ occupy ‘substandard housing’ in the inner-cities. And a lot of them are broke. They don’t have ‘negative cash-flow’, they’re broke. Because many of them were fired. In other words, management wanted to ‘curtail redundancies in the human resources area’, and so many workers are no longer ‘viable members of the workforce’.
Smug, greedy, well-fed white people have invented a language to conceal their sins. It’s as simple as that.
The CIA doesn’t kill anybody, they ‘neutralize’ people, or they ‘depopulate an area’. The government doesn’t lie, it engages in ‘disinformation’. The Pentagon actually measures nuclear radiation in something called ‘sunshine units’. Israeli murderers are called commandos, Arab commandos are called terrorists. The Contra killers were known as ‘freedom fighters’. Well if crime fighters fight crime and firefighters fight fire, what do freedom fighters fight?
Smug, greedy, well-fed white people have invented a language to conceal their sins. It’s as simple as that.
Read that again. And again. And again.
“Ni un paso atrás.”
Following his release from Guantanamo Bay, Sami Al-Hajj, a (former) Guantanamo Bay detainee, dashes towards his eight year old son Mohammad and swoops him up in his arms, hugging him and planting tender kisses on his face in their first reunion after seven years.
After being imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay for seven years, during which he was repeatedly interrogated and tortured, including being physically, sexually, and psychologically abused, Al Hajj was released without any charges held against him.
Al Hajj, a journalist for the Al Jazeera network, was arrested in Pakistan in 2001 while on his way to do camerawork for the network concerning the war that had recently broken out in Afghanistan. It has been speculated by both Al Hajj’s lawyer, Clive Stafford Smith, and Reporters Without Borders that the main reason that he was incarcerated for so long was due to the US Miliary’s desire to make him an informant against Al Jazeera, as most of Al Hajj’s interrogations consisted of American interrogators questioning him about the (Al Jazeera) network.
While in Guantanamo, Al Hajj wrote a poem titled Humiliated in Shackles to his son Mohammad:
When I heard pigeons cooing in the trees,
Hot tears covered my face.
When the lark chirped, my thoughts composed
A message for my son.
Mohammad, I am afflicted.
In my despair, I have no one but Allah for comfort.
The oppressors are playing with me,
As they move freely around the world.
They ask me to spy on my countrymen,
Claiming it would be a good deed.
They offer me money and land,
And freedom to go where I please.
Their temptations seize
My attention like lightning in the sky.
But their gift is an empty snake,
Carrying hypocrisy in its mouth like venom,
They have monuments to liberty
And freedom of opinion, which is well and good.
But I explained to them that
Architecture is not justice.
America, you ride on the backs of orphans,
And terrorize them daily.
The world recognizes an arrogant liar.
To Allah I direct my grievance and my tears.
I am homesick and oppressed.
Mohammad, do not forget me.
Support the cause of your father, a God-fearing man.
I was humiliated in the shackles.
How can I now compose verses? How can I now write?
After the shackles and the nights and the suffering and the tears,
How can I write poetry?
My soul is like a roiling sea, stirred by anguish,
Violent with passion.
I am a captive, but the crimes are my captors’.
I am overwhelmed with apprehension.
Lord, unite me with my son Mohammad.
Lord, grant success to the righteous.
Ya Allah grant all of them the highest level of Jannah!
As state governments wrestle with massive budget shortfalls, a Wall Street giant is offering a solution: cash in exchange for state property. Prisons, to be exact.
Corrections Corporation of America, the nation’s largest operator of for-profit prisons, has sent letters recently to 48 states offering to buy up their prisons as a remedy for “challenging corrections budgets.” In exchange, the company is asking for a 20-year management contract, plus an assurance that the prison would remain at least 90 percent full, according to a copy of the letter obtained by The Huffington Post.
The move reflects a significant shift in strategy for the private prison industry, which until now has expanded by building prisons of its own or managing state-controlled prisons. It also represents an unprecedented bid for more control of state prison systems.
Corrections Corporation has been a swiftly growing business, with revenues expanding more than fivefold since the mid-1990s. The company capitalized on the expansion of state prison systems in the ’80s and ’90s at the height of the so-called ‘war on drugs,’ contracting with state governments to build or manage new prisons to house an influx of drug offenders. During the past 10 years, it has found new opportunity in the business of locking up undocumented immigrants, as the federal government has contracted with private companies in an aggressive immigrant-detention campaign.
Did y’all catch that?
“plus an assurance that the prison would remain at least 90 percent full”
Profiting from people trading is slavery. If you can get them with trumped up drug charges it’s big business.
Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle defended the city’s move to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana by saying former President Ronald Reagan deserves “a special place in hell” for “making drug use political.” Preckwinkle has been an outspoken advocate of decriminalizing pot because she says drug laws unfairly lead to minorities behind bars.“What? You didn’t like that?” Preckwinkle said after members of the audience gasped.
Reagan was the nation’s most famous and yet unnamed crack dealer.
I approve of this post.
Starting in Hollywood in the 1940s, Ronald Reagan developed a special relationship with the FBI. He became an FBI informer, reporting other actors whom he suspected of subversive activities, and later, when he became president of the Screen Actors Guild, the FBI had wide access to the Guild’s information on various actors. At one point, the Guild turned over information on 54 actors it was investigating as possible subversives — so the FBI viewed Reagan as an extremely cooperative source in Hollywood. He was far more active than we know from previously released FBI records. As a result of this, Hoover repaid him with personal and political favors later.
Ronald Reagan was not just a horrible president, but a horrible person as well.
Foreign threat seems to be the only thing around that motivates bickering political parties to act in harmony.
- Neil Tyson
American officials and the CIA can keep denying it all they want, but we know it’s the truth. The CIA has a history of overthrowing democratically elected governments (see Guatemala, Guyana, Iran) funded terrorists (see the Contra, the Mujahedeen) and assassinated popular resistance leaders (see Thomas Sankara, Che Guevara, Patrice Lumumba), so why the fuck should we believe these American liars?
Juarez, Mexico - The US Central Intelligence Agency and other international security forces “don’t fight drug traffickers”, a spokesman for the Chihuahua state government in northern Mexico has told Al Jazeera, instead “they try to manage the drug trade”.
Allegations about official complicity in the drug business are nothing new when they come from activists, professors, campaigners or even former officials. However, an official spokesman for the authorities in one of Mexico’s most violent states - one which directly borders Texas - going on the record with such accusations is unique.
“It’s like pest control companies, they only control,” Guillermo Terrazas Villanueva, the Chihuahua spokesman, told Al Jazeera last month at his office in Juarez. “If you finish off the pests, you are out of a job. If they finish the drug business, they finish their jobs.”
A spokesman for the CIA in Washington wouldn’t comment on the accusations directly, instead he referred Al Jazeera to an official website.
Accusations are ‘baloney’
Villanueva is not a high ranking official and his views do not represent Mexico’s foreign policy establishment. Other more senior officials in Chihuahua State, including the mayor of Juarez, dismissed the claims as “baloney”.
“I think the CIA and DEA [US Drug Enforcement Agency] are on the same side as us in fighting drug gangs,” Hector Murguia, the mayor of Juarez, told Al Jazeera during an interview inside his SUV. “We have excellent collaboration with the US.”
Under the Merida Initiative, the US Congress has approved more than $1.4bn in drug war aid for Mexico, providing attack helicopters, weapons and training for police and judges.
More than 55,000 people have died in drug related violence in Mexico since December 2006. Privately, residents and officials across Mexico’s political spectrum often blame the lethal cocktail of US drug consumption and the flow of high-powered weapons smuggled south of the border for causing much of the carnage.
Drug war ‘illusions’
“The war on drugs is an illusion,” Hugo Almada Mireles, professor at the Autonomous University of Juarez and author of several books, told Al Jazeera. “It’s a reason to intervene in Latin America.”
“The CIA wants to control the population; they don’t want to stop arms trafficking to Mexico, look at [Operation] Fast and Furious,” he said, referencing a botched US exercise where automatic weapons were sold to criminals in the hope that security forces could trace where the guns ended up.
The Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms lost track of 1,700 guns as part of the operation, including an AK-47 used in 2010 the murder of Brian Terry, a Customs and Border Protection Agent.
Blaming the gringos for Mexico’s problems has been a popular sport south of the Rio Grande ever since the Mexican-American war of the 1840s, when the US conquered most of present day California, Utah, Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico from its southern neighbour. But operations such as Fast and Furious show that reality can be stranger than fiction when it comes to the drug war and relations between the US and Mexico. If the case hadn’t been proven, the idea that US agents were actively putting weapons into the hands of Mexican gangsters would sound absurd to many.
“I think it’s easy to become cynical about American and other countries’ involvement in Latin America around drugs,” Kevin Sabet, a former senior adviser to the White House on drug control policy, told Al Jazeera. “Statements [accusing the CIA of managing the drug trade] should be backed up with evidence… I don’t put much stake in it.”
Villanueva’s accusations “might be a way to get some attention to his region, which is understandable but not productive or grounded in reality”, Sabet said. “We have sort of ‘been there done that’ with CIA conspiracy theories.”
In 1996, the San Jose Mercury News published Dark Alliance, a series of investigative reports linking CIA missions in Nicaragua with the explosion of crack cocaine consumption in America’s ghettos.
In order to fund Contra rebels fighting Nicaragua’s socialist government, the CIA partnered with Colombian cartels to move drugs into Los Angeles, sending profits back to Central America, the series alleged.
“There is no question in my mind that people affiliated with, or on the payroll of, the CIA were involved in drug trafficking,” US Senator John Kerry said at the time, in response to the series.
Other newspapers, including the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times, slammed Dark Alliance, and the editor of the Mercury News eventually wrote that the paper had over-stated some elements in the story and made mistakes in the journalistic process, but that he stood by many of the key conclusions.
“It’s true, they want to control it,” a mid-level official with the Secretariat Gobernacion in Juarez, Mexico’s equivalent to the US Department of Homeland Security, told Al Jazeera of the CIA and DEA’s policing of the drug trade. The officer, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said he knew the allegations to be correct, based on discussions he had with US officials working in Juarez.
Acceptance of these claims within some elements of Mexico’s government and security services shows the difficulty in pursuing effective international action against the drug trade.
Jesús Zambada Niebla, a leading trafficker from the Sinaloa cartel currently awaiting trial in Chicago, has said he was working for the US Drug Enforcement Agency during his days as a trafficker, and was promised immunity from prosecution.
“Under that agreement, the Sinaloa Cartel under the leadership of [Jesus Zambada’s] father, Ismael Zambada and ‘Chapo’ Guzmán were given carte blanche to continue to smuggle tonnes of illicit drugs… into… the United States, and were protected by the United States government from arrest and prosecution in return for providing information against rival cartels,” Zambada’s lawyers wrote as part of his defence. “Indeed, the Unites States government agents aided the leaders of the Sinaloa Cartel.”
The Sinaloa cartel is Mexico’s oldest and most powerful trafficking organisation, and some analysts believe security forces in the US and Mexico favour the group over its rivals.
Joaquin “El Chapo”, the cartel’s billionaire leader and one of the world’s most wanted men, escaped from a Mexican prison in 2001 by sneaking into a laundry truck - likely with collaboration from guards - further stoking rumours that leading traffickers have complicit friends in high places.
“It would be easy for the Mexican army to capture El Chapo,” Mireles said. “But this is not the objective.” He thinks the authorities on both sides of the border are happy to have El Chapo on the loose, as his cartel is easier to manage and his drug money is recycled back into the broader economy. Other analysts consider this viewpoint a conspiracy theory and blame ineptitude and low level corruption for El Chapo’s escape, rather than a broader plan from government agencies.
After an election hit by reported irregularities, Enrique Pena Nieto from the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) is set to be sworn in as Mexico’s president on December 1.
He wants to open a high-level dialogue with the US about the drug war, but has said legalisation of some drugs is not an option. Some hardliners in the US worry that Nieto will make a deal with some cartels, in order to reduce violence.
“I am hopeful that he will not return to the PRI party of the past which was corrupt and had a history of turning a blind eye to the drug cartels,” said Michael McCaul, a Republican Congressman from Texas.
Regardless of what position a new administration takes in order to calm the violence and restore order, it is likely many Mexicans - including government officials such as Chihuahua spokesman Guillermo Villanueva - will believe outside forces want the drug trade to continue.
The widespread view linking the CIA to the drug trade - whether or not the allegations are true - speaks volumes about officials’ mutual mistrust amid ongoing killings and the destruction of civic life in Mexico.
“We have good soldiers and policemen,” Villanueva said. “But you won’t resolve this problem with bullets. We need education and jobs.”
Historian William Blum recently documented that, since 1945, the US has attempted to overthrow more than 50 governments, has grossly interfered in democratic elections in at least 30 countries and has dropped bombs on the people of more than 30 others.
Passage to Ecuador: Chomsky, Assange, sham justice, sham democracies. (via London Progressive Journal)
Iraq has been torn to pieces by sectarianism since the US invasion and occupation, Libya is in turmoil in the aftermath of NATO intervention, Pakistan is being destabilised and a proxy war is being stoked by the US and its allies in Syria.
Filed under: Not surprised.
So far in 1964 LBJ has been very busy dealing with foreign crises across the globe. On January 10, 1964, General Andrew O’Meara, Commander in Chief, U.S. Southern Command, briefed General Maxwell Taylor, Commander of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, on rioting in Panama. The riots were a result of tensions between Panamanian and American high school students in the Panama Canal Zone.
LBJ Library, National Security File, Country File, Panama, Volume 2, Riots, Part B, Box 64, doc #12.
“Ecuador will no longer send members of its armed forces nor its police to the sadly famous former School of the Americas in the United States.”
June 27, 2012
Ecuador will no longer send troops to the U.S. military training school at Fort Benning, Ga., formerly known as the School of the Americas (SOA), whose graduates have been implicated in human rights abuses, the country’s foreign minister announced Wednesday afternoon.
The announcement, first reported by the Spanish news agency EFE, comes after a meeting Wednesday between Ecuadoran president Rafael Correa and members of SOA Watch, a group founded by Maryknoll Fr. Roy Bourgeois to work for the closure of the military training school.
Confirming the news Wednesday, Ecuadoran foreign minister Ricardo Patiño posted on Twitter in Spanish that “Ecuador will no longer send members of its armed forces nor its police to the sadly famous former School of the Americas in the United States.”
Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.Theodore Roosevelt (1858 - 1919)