With the presidential debates scheduled to resume Jan. 14 after holiday recess, voters are running out of chances to hear sustained discussion of the most difficult foreign policy issues before the first voter selections.

So far, candidates have almost entirely avoided meaningful comment, particularly before the smaller and more interactive audiences in Iowa and New Hampshire. These smaller states enable more candid exchanges about some of the hardest war-related choices the next administration will face. When campaigns move to larger states candidates have far less hazard of encountering tough questions from unvetted, independent sources, such as individual voters and donors, and local journalists.

Three examples below show the problem, including dangerous shared assumptions between candidates, the mainstream media, and the major corporations that control them both.

Dana Bash Carly Fiorina CNN  Jan. 3, 2016On CNN’s “State of the Nation” Sunday interview show, for example, substitute host Dana Bash (shown at left) questioned GOP candidate Carly Fiorina Jan. 3 about her Middle Eastern foreign policy.

Bash asked Fiorina about Saudi Arabia’s execution of a Shia cleric, thus antagonizing Iran and leading to severed relations before scheduled peace talks later this month. Fiorina's extended response included the following, according to a CNN transcript:

“….when Russia and Iran combine together in an unholy alliance, we cannot, as, for example, Donald Trump suggests, outsource leadership, our leadership in the Middle East, to Russia or to Iran. They're not our allies. They are our adversaries.”

Fiorina, a former high-tech CEO who led the CIA's external advisory board from 2007 to 2009, repeated several times her language about “allies” and “adversaries.”

But she failed to describe what shared interests should constitute on alliance or what the United States should do about actions by "allies" that undercut this country's announced foreign policies on, for example, thwarting terrorism.

Saudi Arabia, for example, funded accused 9/11 hijackers according to widespread reports, and is heavily implicated along with U.S. ally Turkey in enabling the ISIS/ISIL terrorists based in Syria and Iraq.

The exchange on CNN typified other vapid interviews there and elsewhere sidestepping vital topics apparently too sensitive for in-depth treatment.

Read more ...


<iframe width="625" height="545" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/BDOEySPVeZA" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

U.S. Naval Institute, Council on Foreign Relations Panel Outlines Divisions in Syria Conflict, John Grady, Jan. 5, 2016. http://news.usni.org/2016/01/05/council-on-foreign-relations-panel-outlines-divisions-in-syria-conflict 

The path the United States has been on since 2011 to remove Syrian President Bashar al-Assad immediately from power is not working, but “tamping down the [civil] war” while working for a longer-range transitional government is no guarantee that such a shift in emphasis would led to the defeat of the Sunni-dominated Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

Speaking Tuesday at a Council on Foreign Relations forum in New York City, Michael Doran of the Hudson Institute said “Syria is the center of gravity, not Iraq.” The danger, he said, is that Iraq would be viewed by American allies and partners in the region as working with Iran and Russia in support of a non-Sunni regime.

Paul Pillar, from the Center for Security Studies at Georgetown University, said that although the fighting on the ground, even with Russian and Iranian military intervention, has flatlined. “The [moderate Sunni] opposition is as divided as it has always been” in whether to take on the Islamic State before their goal of overthrowing the Assad regime and undermining the influence of Shiia Iran.

Three panelists agreed that in the Syrian war there have been about a quarter-million civilian casualties, “multiple millions” displaced internally or emigrated. The conflict also has threatened to de-stabilize Jordan and Lebanon and fueled Sunni Islamic extremism.

Philip Gordon of the Council on Foreign Relations said, “The main battle in Syria is not against ISIS but against the regime.” The Assads, who come from the Alawite community of Shiia Islam, have ruled Syria, a Sunni majority country, for 45 years.

Right now, the American-led air campaign “is directed against ISIS” and not the regime, while Russian air strikes have been launched against moderate Sunni and Kurdish opposition groups, he said.

In Gordon’s view, “there isn’t a legal basis” for the United States to strike the Assad regime. The U.S. intervention against the Islamic State, which controls large parts of Syria and Iraq, came at the request of the Iraqi government.

“We have to decide whose side we are on”—Sunnis in Syria and traditional U.S. allies such as Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Jordan and the Gulf states or Iran and Russia, Doran said. “We have been shifting in the direction of Iran and Russia” [in moving away from the immediate removal of Assad], and “that has annoyed the Saudis,” who have their own agenda in the Middle East.

He added, “We won’t win without Sunni [tribal] allies” in Syria and outside from nations such as Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

Doran called for more active support U.S. military support, including air strikes and heavier equipment such as man-portable air defense weapons, for opposition groups. Gordon said the administration “doesn’t detail how it supports the opposition.”

A way forward in Syria could come through diplomatic negotiations that guarantee protections for Alawites, Christians and others who have supported the Assads. This would be in contrast to what happened in Iraq following the removal of Saddam Hussein and his primarily Sunni supporters in Iraq when U.S. and coalition forces left the country.

Protecting Assad supporters in the future “is very much on the table” in diplomatic talks in Vienna and within the United Nations, Gordon said. The problem is “neither the regime, opposition on the ground” or their allies now support that idea, he added.

Another possibility would be to “have a cease-fire in place” where different groups control territory they already hold, even if it is not contiguous, and given some kind of autonomy in a different kind of Syria. With the Assad regime gone and new autonomous regions in place, forces from them could take on the remnants of the Islamic State.

The “old Syria is not going to be put back together,” Gordon said. Doran sees a regionally, federalized Syria and Iraq as possibly emerging where homogeneity not heterogeneity was the political goal.

Pillar said such a solution could hold back revenge-killings as power shifts. That might allow a new Syria to follow a reconciliation model similar to South Africa’s when apartheid ended and Nelson Mandela became president.

New York Times, Saudi Arabia’s Barbaric Executions, Editorial Board, Jan. 4, 2016. The execution of the popular Shiite cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr and 46 other prisoners on Jan. 2 was about the worst way Saudi Arabia could have started what promises to be a grim and tumultuous year in the kingdom and across the Middle East. It is hard to imagine that the Sunni rulers of the kingdom were not aware of the sectarian passions the killings would unleash around the region. Saudi Arabia’s rulers may even have counted on the fierce reaction in Iran and elsewhere as a distraction from economic problems at home and to silence dissenters. America’s longstanding alliance with the House of Saud is no reason for the administration to do anything less than clearly condemn this foolhardy and dangerous course.

The predictable and immediate consequence of the executions was a burst of hostility between Saudi Arabia and Iran. The two rivals are already backing opposite sides in civil wars in Syria and Yemen. Iranians infuriated by the killing of a revered cleric promptly ransacked and set fire to the Saudi embassy in Tehran. Though Iranian leaders condemned the action and arrested many protesters, Saudi Arabia and its Sunni-led allies in Bahrain, Sudan and the United Arab Emirates were quick to cut or curtail ties with Iran.

That in turn promised to set back international efforts to resolve the wars in Syria and Yemen and to combat the Islamic State and other Islamist terror organizations. Just weeks ago, a series of talks led by the United States and Russia and including the Saudi and Iranian foreign ministers had brought rival powers to the table to discuss a road map for peace in Syria. Then, on Saturday after announcing the executions, the Saudis ended a shaky cease-fire in Yemen.

Saudi Arabia’s income has sharply declined as a result of the prolonged drop in oil prices — caused, in part, by the regime’s insistence on maintaining production levels — and the government has announced cutbacks in the lavish welfare spending that Saudis have long taken for granted. The executions provided both a sectarian crisis to deflect anger over the cutbacks and a graphic warning of what can befall critics.

But then the executions were not out of character for Saudi Arabia. The country has a dismal human rights record with its application of stern Islamic law and its repression of women and practitioners of religious traditions other than Sunni Islam. The regime has become only more repressive in the years since the Arab Spring. According to Human Rights Watch, the mass execution on Jan. 2 followed a year in which 158 people were executed, the most in recent history, largely based on vague laws and dubious trials. Sheikh Nimr was a vocal critic of the regime and champion of the rights of the Shiite minority in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia, but not an advocate of violent action. He was executed for offenses that included “breaking allegiance with the ruler” and “inciting sectarian strife.”

The tangled and volatile realities of the Middle East do not give the United States or the European Union the luxury of choosing or rejecting allies on moral criteria. Washington has no choice but to deal with regimes like those in Tehran, which also has an abysmal human rights record, including at least 694 executions last year, or Riyadh to combat the clear and present danger posed by Islamist terrorists or to search for solution to massively destabilizing conflicts like the Syrian civil war. But that cannot mean condoning actions that blatantly fan sectarian hatreds, undermine efforts at stabilizing the region and crudely violate human rights.

New York Times, European Sympathies Lean Toward Iran in Conflict with Saudi Arabia, Sewell Chan, Jan. 4, 2016. In the days since Saudi Arabia inflamed tensions with Iran by executing 47 people, including a Shiite cleric, European observers have been quick to condemn the action, reflecting broader concern across the Continent about Saudi policy and its role in the tumult rolling through the Middle East.

Opposition in Europe to the death penalty — and harsh corporal punishment, including the flogging of a Saudi blogger who has become something of a cause célèbre in Europe — is just one element of the criticism of the Saudi monarchy. Even as European governments continue to view Saudi Arabia as a vital if problematic stabilizing force in the region, as well as a rich market for European arms and other products, European opinion has grown increasingly critical of Saudi support and financing for Wahhabist and Salafist preachers who have contributed to the Sunni extremist ideology that has fueled Al Qaeda and the Islamic State. In addition, the European Union and six major world powers reached a deal in Vienna over the summer to contain Iran’s nuclear program, and Iran is seen as essential to ending the five-year-old civil war in Syria, which has fueled a surge of migrants to the Continent, the highest number since World War II.

So for many Europeans, Iran — long a pariah because of its anti-Western rhetoric and its nuclear program — has suddenly become, at least in comparison with Saudi Arabia, an object of sympathy.

“As long as Saudi Arabia is led by its obsession to put Iran in its place, all attempts at peace in the Middle East will fail,” Rainer Hermann, a Middle East expert in Germany, wrote in a column in the newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, warning that Saudi Arabia might destroy the carefully wrought attempt to halt Iran’s nuclear program.

While it was difficult to gauge broad public attitudes, a review of elite opinion — as expressed by political leaders on social media, commentators in major publications, and a few experts in interviews — suggests that many Europeans blame Saudi Arabia for instigating the latest dispute by executing the cleric, Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr. The crisis quickly escalated with the ransacking of the Saudi Embassy in Tehran on Saturday and with the decision of Saudi Arabia and several of its allies to sever diplomatic ties with Iran.

Carl Bildt, a former Swedish prime minister who was a central player in resolving the Balkans conflicts in the 1990s, warned on Twitter that the decision to execute the cleric “doesn’t bode well for the stability of the Kingdom” and called Saudi Arabia’s decision to cut ties to Iran “a distinctly bad move.” (He added, “It goes without saying that Iran gravely neglected its duties to protect Saudi diplomatic premises.”)

European governments were more circumspect in their criticism — but not much more. The French Foreign Ministry said it deplored the executions. The European Union’s top diplomat, Federica Mogherlini, said they had the “potential of inflaming further the sectarian tensions that already bring so much damage to the entire region.”

Britain, a major supplier of weapons to Saudi Arabia, was the most cautious in its criticism of the executions. Its government’s statement on the situation came from a junior minister, Tobias Ellwood, not from the foreign secretary, Philip Hammond. Mr. Ellwood said that Britain was “firmly opposed to the death penalty” but also chastised Iran for failing to prevent the attack on the Saudi Embassy.

Reprieve, a leading human rights organization in Britain, criticized Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservative government as too tepid toward the Saudi executions, saying it should “not turn a blind eye to such atrocities.”

In an editorial, Le Monde noted that France supplies arms to Saudi Arabia but also that it has improved relations with Iran — whose president, Hassan Rouhani, had planned a state visit to France that had to be delayed because of the Paris terrorist attacks in November.

The newspaper, noting “centuries-old confrontation between Arabs and Persians,” compared the clash of Iran and Saudi Arabia to that of Europe’s great powers in the period leading up to the World War I.

In an interview, Vali R. Nasr, the dean of the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington and an authority on the Sunni-Shiite regional conflict, said that Western opinion in this case was weighted in Iran’s favor — in part because of the European Union’s desire for rapprochement with Iran.

“Europeans think the dispute is serious but they think — and so does the White House — that Saudis don’t want reconciliation with Iran, want to exclude Iran from all regional discussions and want to provoke Iran into an action that would then derail engagement with West,” Dr. Nasr said. “This crisis was started by Saudi, and Riyadh was quick to use it to break ties, which means end to any broad regional engagement like the Vienna talks.”

Guillaume Xavier-Bender, a trans-Atlantic fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States, said in an interview that “Europeans are worried that this will escalate and keep on escalating.”

He also expressed alarm that countries with mixed populations — Syria and Yemen, where civil wars are raging, and Bahrain, where a Shiite population is governed by a Sunni monarchy — could fall into even further chaos.

For average Europeans, “it’s the executions themselves that are revolting to the general public.” Policy makers, he said, were more focused on not losing the momentum of the European détente with Iran.

“Iran has been, relatively, good in implementing the nuclear deal so far, and elections are coming next month,” Mr. Xavier-Bender said. “The normalization of relations with Iran is almost going too well. So Saudi Arabia is now making a show of force.”


Read more ...

Rogue Agents:  Habsburg, Pinay and the Private Cold War 1951-1991 by David Teacher, Kindle, December 2015.

Alternate  titles, editions: The Cercle and the 6I in the Private Cold War 1951 - 1991 by David Teacher

Online edition via Cyptome: https://cryptome.org/2015/12/Rogue-Agents-4th-edition.pdf

Publisher’s Introduction:

David Teacher Rogue AgentsThe Cercle Pinay was founded in the early 1950s as an elite clandestine forum to promote the vision of a Catholic and conservative Europe and to oppose the threat of Communism. Shrouded in secrecy, the Cercle brought together statesmen such as Antoine Pinay (1891-1994, French Prime Minister from 1952-53, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antoine_Pinay), Konrad Adenauer (1876-1967, West German Chancellor 1949 to 1963, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Konrad_Adenauer), Franz-Josef Strauss (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franz_Josef_Strauss), Giulio Andreotti (1919-2013, Italian prime minister  1989 to 1992), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giulio_Andreotti), Otto von Habsburg (“Archduke Otto of Austria” 1912-2011, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Otto_von_Habsburg), Henry Kissinger and David Rockefeller, as well as top figures from the American and European intelligence services.

Following the rise of student counter-culture in the 1960s, the Cercle focused on domestic subversion, using its network of propagandists and intelligence operatives to smear progressive politicians such as Willi Brandt, François Mitterrand, Harold Wilson and Jimmy Carter and to promote their favoured candidates: Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, Giscard d’Estaing and Franz-Josef Strauss. Throughout the 1970s, the Cercle also worked to defend apartheid South Africa and Franco’s Spain. After the electoral victory of the Right in 1979-1980, the Cercle targeted peace campaigners and the new Soviet regime under Mikhail Gorbachev, playing a key part in the fall of the Iron Curtain and then ensuring the integration of Eastern Europe into the European Union.

In a groundbreaking twenty-five year investigation, the author lifts the veil of secrecy to reveal the unseen rôle played by the Cercle and its allies in shaping the Western world as we know it today.

ROGUE AGENTS  4 Fourth and final edition, December 2015 © 1993, 2008, 2011 and 2015. All rights strictly reserved.  Dedicated to seven courageous people in whose debt we all stand: Colin Wallace, Cathy Massiter, Mordechai Vanunu, Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning, Peter Francis and Edward Snowden.

no country is an island. This is nowhere more true than in the field of parapolitics, the networks of unofficial power that, usually via serving or retired friends in the world's major intelligence and security services, exert greater influence than is generally realised on national political life. Both the private networks of influence and the intelligence services work internationally; more often than not, they work hand in hand in a shadow world that brings together top politicians and veterans of covert action, counter-subversion and media manipulation. An investigation to delineate such networks of covert transnational cooperation must, to succeed, tackle the complexities of the unseen political world in many countries.

This study is an attempt at a preliminary transnational investigation of the Paneuropean Right and particularly of the covert forum, the Cercle Pinay and its complex of groups. Amongst Cercle intelligence contacts are former operatives from the American CIA, DIA and INR, Britain's MI5, MI6 and IRD, France's SDECE, Germany's BND, BfV and MAD, Holland's BVD, Belgium's Sûreté de l’Etat, SDRA and PIO, apartheid South Africa's BOSS, and the Swiss and Saudi intelligence services. Politically, the Cercle complex has interlocked with the whole panoply of international right-wing groups: the Paneuropean Union, the European Movement, CEDI, the Bilderberg Group, WACL, Opus Dei, the Moonies, Western Goals and the Heritage Foundation. Amongst the prominent politicians associated with the Cercle Pinay were Antoine Pinay, Konrad Adenauer, Archduke Otto von Habsburg, Franz Josef Strauß, Giulio Andreotti, Manuel Fraga Iribarne, Paul Vanden Boeynants, John Vorster, General Antonio de Spínola, Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan.

Despite a wealth of covert operations centring on media campaigns to promote or denigrate election candidates, the international impact of the Cercle complex has not yet [1993] been the main focus for an investigation in any language. The information contained in this study was compiled from a sheaf of internal documents from the Cercle Pinay and its partners, the Belgian AESP, the British ISC and the Swiss ISP, as well as over one hundred books and numerous Press reports in English, French, German and Spanish (all translations by this author).

ROGUE AGENTS  564 ROGUE AGENTS The Cercle and the 6I in the Private Cold War The Cercle Pinay was founded in the early 1950s as a clandestine forum of European leaders who aimed to promote the vision of a Catholic and conservative Europe and to oppose the threat of Communism.  Shrouded in secrecy, the Cercle brought together statesmen such as Antoine Pinay, Konrad Adenauer, Franz Josef Strauß, Giulio Andreotti, Otto von Habsburg, Richard Nixon, Henry Kissinger and David Rockefeller, as well as top figures from the American and European intelligence services. Following the rise of student counter-culture in the 1960s, the Cercle focused on domestic subversion, using its network of propagandists and intelligence operatives to attack progressive politicians such as Harold Wilson, Willy Brandt, Jimmy Carter and François Mitterrand, and to promote their favoured candidates: Giscard d'Estaing, Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan and Franz Josef Strauß.

Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, the Cercle also worked to defend apartheid South Africa and the dictatorships in Spain and Portugal.

After the electoral victory of the Right in 1979-1980, the Cercle and the private intelligence agency, the 6I, targeted Western peace campaigners and the new Soviet regime under Mikhail Gorbachev. Meanwhile, Habsburg played a key part in the fall of the Iron Curtain and then ensured the integration of Eastern Europe into the European Union. In the final edition of a groundbreaking twenty-five year investigation, David Teacher lifts the veil of secrecy to reveal the unseen role played by the Cercle and its allies in shaping the world as we know it today. # #



Read more ...


The return to solitary confinement of former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman for 57 days this fall underscores President Obama's duty to provide clemency to a victim of America's most disgraceful recent political prosecution.

Barack Obama head shot Aug. 4, 2014At a minimum, Obama (shown in a White House file photo) should commute the remainder of Siegelman's sentence, now scheduled to extend until mid-2017.

Far better, the president should issue a full pardon to the former governor and his co-defendant Richard Scrushy, the founder and former CEO of HealthSouth Inc. Update: High court won't hear appeal from former Alabama governor, Jan. 11, 2016.

Scrushy and Siegelmen were convicted of corruption charges in a 2006 federal trial. Scrushy has completed his sentence but is at least as much of a civil rights victim as Siegelman, Alabama's governor from 1999 to 2003 and its last Democrat in that office.

Scrushy, a Republican, has consistently argued that his company's donation to defray costs of a 1998 state referendum proposal was a routine expense for his billion-dollar company and that he was imprisoned only because he refused to take a prosecutors' plea deal to perjure himself to implicate Siegelman. 

Alabama Attorney Gen. William Pryor, a Republican, began investigating Siegelman immediately upon the Democrat's assumption of office in 1999. Pryor's crusade was joined by the Bush administration after it took office in 2001. Their massive investigation ultimately ended Siegelman's viability as a statewide candidate or potential presidential contender. For nearly a decade, Pryor has been a federal judge on the Atlanta-based appellate court hearing Siegelman and Scrushy appeals.

Beginning immediately after Siegelman's sentencing in June 2007, he has been a repeated victim of solitary confinement for no apparent reason aside from the demonstrated animosity from his presiding trial Don Siegelman with Charles Cloud Dec. 11, 2015 at Oakdale, LAtrial judge Mark Fuller, Bureau of Prisons personnel with unknown motives, and indifference at best by a politically timid Obama White House.

Siegelman is shown in prison Dec. 11 at left with a fellow inmate, Charles Cloud, just after the former governor's release from "The Hole" at Oakdale's federal prison in Louisiana.

Siegelman's family members said they tried unsuccessfully to contact him during that period and could not learn from authorities why he was being held incommunicado as punishment. It is suspected, however, that Siegelman's response to a question on a phone call with radio personality Thom Hartmann triggered the reaction. Siegelman was discussing prison conditions generally in America but Hartmann asked how he was doing.

Last year at this time, Siegelman also was kept in solitary confinement for more than a month and shunted around the prison system, part of a pattern that first occurred when he and Scrushy were hauled away in chains at their 2007 sentencing by order of their judge, then Chief U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller of Montgomery, even though most white collar defendants are granted bond during appeals. 

Vast numbers of legal experts, whistleblowers, journalists and members of the public have denounced the many irregularities of the Siegelman-Scrushy prosecution, as summarized below.

Mark Fuller Mug ShotFuller (shown in his 2013 mug shot after an evening of drinking), had to resign his lifetime appointment to the bench in disgrace this summer.

Although the most public reason was a wife-beating arrest in 2013 not linked to the Siegelman-Scrushy case in obvious ways, little-reported aspects of the judicial scandal involve a longstanding pattern of Fuller's abusive supervision of the court system. That is directly relevant to the trumped up charges and kangaroo court procedures that convicted Siegelman and Scrushy and financially ruined the families of those two other co-defendants, who were falsely charged but acquitted at the trial.

Thousands of columns, including dozens by this editor, have documented prosecution irregularities and illustrated why the prosecution has become a notorious human rights scandal.

A system that mistreats Siegelman so often so badly with only whitewash oversight by the courts, congress and Justice Department underscores the problems facing 2.3 million other American prisoners and their families. The United States has the highest rate of incarceration in the world and one of the largest prison populations. The systems cost taxpayers vast amounts of money for overcrowded facilities and unaccountable procedures that help keep many inmates, especially street criminals, angry and difficult to reform prior to release.

For such reasons, every American who values the Constitution and a rule of law would benefit from presidential leadership in rectifying the injustice in the Siegelman case, as such prominent commentators as George Will of the Washington Post and Jeffrey Toobin of the New Yorker have written, along with many others.

So, the president and his legal advisors face a tainted legacy on human rights grounds, whatever their efforts and political posturing on other rights issues. Below, we examine the facts, including recent developments in Alabama and at the White House.

These include:

Read more ...

RT America, Why won’t the government release the full 9/11 Commission Report? Alexey Yaroshevsky, Sept. 11, 2014. A handful of congresspeople are pushing a bill that will publicly release 28 redacted pages of the 9/11 Commission Report. Conspiracy theorists have long speculated about the contents, and some members of Congress have taken up the cause of making the information available to the American people. Saying the “national security” reasons for deleting the pages are not justified, they hope to bring about transparency and put the issue to rest. RT digs into the controversy and has all of the details.

Global Research, False Flag Terror. A Historical Overview: Never Forget … Your Country Admits to "False Flag Terror," Washington's Blog, Dec. 24, 2015.  (First published on September 12, 2015.) In the following instances, officials in the government which carried out the attack (or seriously proposed an attack) admit to it, either orally, in writing, or through photographs or videos:

(1) Japanese troops set off a small explosion on a train track in 1931, and falsely blamed it on China in order to justify an invasion of Manchuria. This is known as the “Mukden Incident” or the “Manchurian Incident”. The Tokyo International Military Tribunal found: “Several of the participators in the plan, including Hashimoto [a high-ranking Japanese army officer], have on various occasionsadmitted their part in the plot and have stated that the object of the ‘Incident’ was to afford an excuse for the occupation of Manchuria by the Kwantung Army ….” And see this.

(2) A major with the Nazi SS admitted at the Nuremberg trials that – under orders from the chief of the Gestapo – he and some other Nazi operatives faked attacks on their own people and resources which they blamed on the Poles, to justify the invasion of Poland.

(3) Nazi general Franz Halder also testified at the Nuremberg trials that Nazi leader Hermann Goering admitted to setting fire to the German parliament building in 1933, and then falsely blaming the communists for the arson.

(4) Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev admitted in writing that the Soviet Union’s Red Army shelled the Russian village of Mainila in 1939 – while blaming the attack on Finland – as a basis for launching the “Winter War” against Finland. Russian president Boris Yeltsin agreed that Russia had been the aggressor in the Winter War.

(5) The Russian Parliament, current Russian president Putin and former Soviet leader Gorbachev all admit that Soviet leader Joseph Stalin ordered his secret police to execute 22,000 Polish army officers and civilians in 1940, and then falsely blamed it on the Nazis.

(6) The British government admits that – between 1946 and 1948 – it bombed 5 ships carrying Jews attempting to flee the Holocaust to seek safety in Palestine, set up a fake group called “Defenders of Arab Palestine”, and then had the psuedo-group falsely claim responsibility for the bombings (and see this, thisand this).
(13) Official State Department documents show that, in 1961, the head of the Joint Chiefs and other high-level officials discussed blowing up a consulate in the Dominican Republic in order to justify an invasion of that country. The plans were not carried out, but they were all discussed as serious proposals.

(14) As admitted by the U.S. government, recently declassified documents show that in 1962, the American Joint Chiefs of Staff signed off on a plan to blow up AMERICAN airplanes (using an elaborate plan involving the switching of airplanes), and also to commit terrorist acts on American soil, and then to blame it on the Cubans in order to justify an invasion of Cuba. See the following ABC news report; the official documents; and watch this interview with the former Washington Investigative Producer for ABC’s World News Tonight with Peter Jennings.

(15) In 1963, the U.S. Department of Defense wrote a paper promoting attacks on nations within the Organization of American States – such as Trinidad-Tobago or Jamaica – and then falsely blaming them on Cuba.

(16) The U.S. Department of Defense even suggested covertly paying a person in the Castro government to attack the United States: “The only area remaining for consideration then would be to bribe one of Castro’s subordinate commanders to initiate an attack on Guantanamo.”

(17) The NSA admits that it lied about what really happened in the Gulf of Tonkin incident in 1964 … manipulating data to make it look like North Vietnamese boats fired on a U.S. ship so as to create a false justification for the Vietnam war.

(18) A U.S. Congressional committee admitted that – as part of its “Cointelpro” campaign – the FBI had used many provocateurs in the 1950s through 1970s to carry out violent acts and falsely blame them on political activists.

(19) A top Turkish general admitted that Turkish forces burned down a mosque on Cyprus in the 1970s and blamed it on their enemy. He explained: “In Special War, certain acts of sabotage are staged and blamed on the enemy to increase public resistance. We did this on Cyprus; we even burnt down a mosque.” In response to the surprised correspondent’s incredulous look the general said, “I am giving an example”.

(20) A declassified 1973 CIA document reveals a program to train foreign police and troops on how to make booby traps, pretending that they were training them on how to investigate terrorist acts:

(55) The head and special agent in charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles office said that most terror attacks are committed by the CIA and FBI as false flags. Similarly, the director of the National Security Agency under Ronald Reagan – Lt. General William Odom said:

    By any measure the US has long used terrorism. In ‘78-79 the Senate was trying to pass a law against international terrorism – in every version they produced, the lawyers said the US would be in violation.

(audio here).

(56) Leaders throughout history have acknowledged the “benefits” of of false flags to justify their political agenda:

    Terrorism is the best political weapon for nothing drives people harder than a fear of sudden death.
    – Adolph Hitler

    Why of course the people don’t want war … But after all it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship … Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.
    – Hermann Goering, Nazi leader.

    The easiest way to gain control of a population is to carry out acts of terror. [The public] will clamor for such laws if their personal security is threatened.
    – Josef Stalin



Read more ...


The Obama administration last week ramped up military actions against Islamic State terrorists — and also sharply downgraded its failing campaign to overthrow Syria’s government and to demonize Russia’s.

President Obama greets Secretary of State John Kerry Dec. 16, 2015A key juncture occurred when Secretary of State John Kerry (shown a week ago with President Obama in the Oval Office) traveled to Moscow for meetings Dec. 15. Before the trip, Kerry, Obama and their staffers had been issuing their usual denunciations of Russia and Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad.

By week’s end, the United States and Russia joined forces in a 15-0 UN Security Council vote Dec. 18 creating a peace process for Syria over the next 18 months.

A sense of the devastation is illustrated by an exclusive RT video report Dec. 23 drawing on drone viewpoints of the Damascus suburb of the Jobar neighborhood, once home to some 300,000 and now a virtually empty wasteland of destroyed buildings aside from holdout rebels hiding in an elaborate network of tunnels.

Meanwhile, President Obama chided Republicans in an NPR interview aired Monday, Dec. 21, for what he called a lack of realistic alternatives to his anti-ISIS policies, as reported here.

Important changes are occurring at a rapid clip, as indicated by a major new analysis by famed investigative reporter Seymour Hersh that seemed outdated in part when it first became available electronically Dec. 21 or so, with a print date of Jan. 7, 2015 for publication by the London Review of Books. In the 6,831-word Military to Military, Seymour M. Hersh on US intelligence sharing in the Syrian war, Hersh reported concerns by top Pentagon brass that Obama seemed unduly wedded to a "Cold War" view emphasizing Assad's ouster, trust in Turkey, and opposition to Russia instead of a priority focus on defeating ISIS.

Hersh's deep contacts within the intelligence and military communities lend authority to his arguments (and also support much of the analysis below) even if the Obama administration appears to have adjusted course rapidly in advance of the column's publication.

With this introduction, we sketch the remainder of this column beginning on the runover: 

  • Alleged U.S. Empire-Building, Complicity With Terror Groups
  • Turkey's Ambush, Russia's Escalation
  • Obama's Background, Current Crisis
  • New U.S. Pressure On Turkey
  • Neocon Pressure On Obama
  • The 2016 Presidential Candidates
  • Obama, not Clinton, Makes 'Hard Choices'
  • Appendix of Sources, Hotlinks

At the outset, it's useful to understand that the UN process is likely to prove unworkable because it does not require Assad’s resignation, as demanded by American war hawks and Islamic rebels who are backed by Turkish and Gulf State supporters.

Also, most GOP presidential contenders and Democratic front runner Hillary Clinton continued to call during presidential debates last week for Assad’s ouster and a U.S.-enforced no fly zone preventing Syria's government and Russia from flying over a zone protecting rebels (and arguably smuggling routes).

The UN plan also fails to specify which rebel groups are excluded as terrorists from the peace process. That confusion portends continuing stalemate during next year in a pattern that has doomed previous UN efforts to resolve the Syrian war.

Despite the dim outlook for a UN peace plan, it serves as a face-saver for Obama during the last year of his presidency. Obama can side-step the consequences of his years of covert warmongering in Syria, which has primarily advanced the empire-building agenda of special interests under the rhetoric of humanitarian and democratic values. Middle East Eye's Dr. Gareth Porter amplified the reasons in Why the US pushes the illusory Syrian peace process.

Most importantly for the American public, the UN agreement could contain pressures from political demagogues risking another war. Warmongering is popular with candidates so they can win 2016 presidential support from special interests and low-information voters fooled into thinking ISIS can be eliminated by bombing. But ISIS is just one of the many scores of jihadist groups in Syria and Iraq that readily swap arms and allegiances when pressure mounts.

Fortunately, Obama backed off from the brink of a fight with Russia that could have become extremely serious. The public may not know how serious for years because, as in the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, it's not in the interests of either Russia or the United States to discuss specifics.

Sergei Lavrov, John Kerry, Vladimir Putin 12-16-2015

Kerry met behind closed doors with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (shown at left in a photo from their meeting). They emerged with an agreement that omitted any mention of Assad's departure.

The most likely reasons for the U.S. shift?

The Obama administration is under increasing pressure to become more effective against ISIS following the Paris and San Bernardino attacks, as Obama acknowledged in his Dec. 21 NPR interview. 

In contrast to a go-slow approach by the United States under Obama's anti-ISIS envoy John Allen, Russia began a bombing campaign Sept. 30 at Syria’s invitation. Since then, Russia has made hundreds of bombing runs providing devastating air cover for Syrian army advances regaining territory from rebels.

Russia also has been exposing fighter, arms, and oil smuggling connections between ISIS and allied forces. The major smuggling routes have been via Turkey, a NATO member whose President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan increasingly focuses on supporting Islamist causes and suppressing dissent. Turkey has viciously targeted those in the media and ethnic Kurds whose compatriots in Syria are the main U.S. allies on the ground fighting ISIS.

Read more ...