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MinM

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Member since: Mon Oct 8, 2007, 11:23 AM
Number of posts: 2,237

Journal Archives

NSA was wiretapping [Senator] Frank Church

RUSSELL TICE: We now know that NSA was wiretapping Frank Church and another Senator.

And that got out by accident. All the information the NSA had back then – and probably many other senators and important people too, back in the 70s – they shredded and they destroyed all of that evidence. As much as they could find, they destroyed it all. By accident, something popped up 40 years later.

And, in fact, they were asked 40 years ago whether NSA had bugged Congress. And, of course, they lied. They lied through their teeth...

https://twitter.com/onekade/status/475999206562623488

Ronald Reagan’s Benghazi

... Around dawn on October 23, 1983, I was in Beirut, Lebanon, when a suicide bomber drove a truck laden with the equivalent of twenty-one thousand pounds of TNT into the heart of a U.S. Marine compound, killing two hundred and forty-one servicemen. The U.S. military command, which regarded the Marines’ presence as a non-combative, “peace-keeping mission,” had left a vehicle gate wide open, and ordered the sentries to keep their weapons unloaded. The only real resistance the suicide bomber had encountered was a scrim of concertina wire. When I arrived on the scene a short while later to report on it for the Wall Street Journal, the Marine barracks was flattened. From beneath the dusty, smoking slabs of collapsed concrete, piteous American voices could be heard, begging for help. Thirteen more American servicemen later died from injuries, making it the single deadliest attack on American Marines since the Battle of Iwo Jima.

Six months earlier, militants had bombed the U.S. embassy in Beirut, too, killing sixty-three more people, including seventeen Americans. Among the dead were seven C.I.A. officers, including the agency’s top analyst in the Middle East, an immensely valuable intelligence asset, and the Beirut station chief.

There were more than enough opportunities to lay blame for the horrific losses at high U.S. officials’ feet. But unlike today’s Congress, congressmen did not talk of impeaching Ronald Reagan, who was then President, nor were any subpoenas sent to cabinet members. This was true even though then, as now, the opposition party controlled the majority in the House. Tip O’Neill, the Democratic Speaker of the House, was no pushover. He, like today’s opposition leaders in the House, demanded an investigation—but a real one, and only one. Instead of playing it for political points, a House committee undertook a serious investigation into what went wrong at the barracks in Beirut. Two months later, it issued a report finding “very serious errors in judgment” by officers on the ground, as well as responsibility up through the military chain of command, and called for better security measures against terrorism in U.S. government installations throughout the world.

In other words, Congress actually undertook a useful investigation and made helpful recommendations. The report’s findings, by the way, were bipartisan. (The Pentagon, too, launched an investigation, issuing a report that was widely accepted by both parties.)

In March of 1984, three months after Congress issued its report, militants struck American officials in Beirut again, this time kidnapping the C.I.A.’s station chief, Bill Buckley. Buckley was tortured and, eventually, murdered. Reagan, who was tormented by a tape of Buckley being tortured, blamed himself. Congress held no public hearings, and pointed fingers at the perpetrators, not at political rivals.

If you compare the costs of the Reagan Administration’s serial security lapses in Beirut to the costs of Benghazi, it’s clear what has really deteriorated in the intervening three decades. It’s not the security of American government personnel working abroad. It’s the behavior of American congressmen at home. ...

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/comment/2014/05/ronald-reagans-benghazi.html

Is USAID the New CIA?

@democracynow: Is USAID the New CIA? Agency Secretly Built Cuban Twitter Program to Fuel Anti-Castro Protests http://owl.li/vqNqe

Actually it's probably more accurate to say that USAID and the CIA have had a good working relationship through the years.

JFK had similar concerns about the Peace Corps.

U.S. secretly created "Cuban Twitter" to stir unrest

Washington Post ‏@washingtonpost: U.S. secretly created "Cuban Twitter" to stir unrest on the communist island http://wapo.st/1j2Zavz

What a surprise..

The Lost Legacy of Otis Pike

@Consortiumnews: Melvin A. Goodman reflects on the legacy of Otis Pike, the heroic congressman who took on the CIA


The Lost Legacy of Otis Pike
January 22, 2014

Former Rep. Otis Pike died Monday at the age of 92, stirring recollections of his courageous efforts in the 1970s to expose abuses committed by the CIA, a struggle that ultimately bogged down as defenders of state secrecy proved too strong, as ex-CIA analyst Melvin A. Goodman writes.

By Melvin A. Goodman

The death of Rep. Otis G. Pike, a nine-term New York congressman, is a sharp reminder that once upon a time this country had congressmen who were willing to conduct oversight of the secretive intelligence community, particularly the Central Intelligence Agency, and press for genuine reform.

In the wake of CIA abuses during the Vietnam War, including the pursuit of political assassination and illegal searches and seizures, Rep. Pike and Sen. Frank Church — both Democrats — established the Pike Committee and the Church Committee in order to create bipartisan congressional oversight of the intelligence community and to place the CIA under a tighter rein...

Pike and Church deserve special praise for exposing the covert role of the CIA in trying to assassinate Third World leaders and pursuing regime change. There were assassination plots against Fidel Castro in Cuba, Patrice Lumumba in Congo, Jacobo Arbenz Guzman in Guatemala, and Ngo Dinh Diem in Vietnam. CIA efforts were particularly clumsy in the case of political assassination, and typically other groups carried out the assassinations before the CIA could get its act together...

http://consortiumnews.com/2014/01/22/the-lost-legacy-of-otis-pike/

Gates Conceals Real Story of “Gaming” Obama


Gates quotes Obama as saying, “ If I believe I am being gamed . . .” and says he left the sentence “hanging there with the clear implication the consequences would be dire.”

Gates writes that he was “pretty upset,” because he thought “implicitly accusing Petraeus” of “gaming” him at a big meeting in the Situation Room was “inappropriate, not to mention highly disrespectful of Petraeus.”

“As I sat there,” Gates recalls, “I thought: the president doesn’t trust his commander, can’t stand Karzai, doesn’t believe in his own strategy, and doesn’t consider the war to be his. For him, it’s all about getting out.”

But Obama’s distrust of Petraeus was clearly related to the sequence of events related to Obama’s policy decision on Afghanistan and Petraeus’s signaling his desire to undermine it – all of which Gates omits from his account...

Whatever Petraeus did in the early weeks of 2011 to raise the ire of Obama in regard to the withdrawal issue, it was against the backdrop of repeated indications that Petraeus was hoping to use both his alliances with Gates and Clinton and pressures from the Republicans in Congress to push back the previously agreed date for beginning withdrawal and handoff of responsibility to the Afghan government.

Gates knew, therefore, that Obama was reacting to a history of having already been “gamed” not only by Petraeus himself but also by his bureaucratic allies maneuvering to remove the restrictions on the Afghan War that Obama had imposed. The self-serving Gates account conceals the dishonest tactics employed to get Obama’s agreement to the Afghan War escalation.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/former-secretary-of-defense-robert-gates-conceals-real-story-of-gaming-obama-on-afghan-war/5364761

There are some obvious parallels between the way the military has tried to play Obama and the the way they tried to play JFK.

Although I will give Gates some credit for his hubris in putting his name to these selective critiques of President Obama. Allen Dulles made his case anonymously through his friends at Fortune Magazine.

BTW .. credit to you Octafish for revealing the true nature of Robert Gates for years now. Kudos also to Robert Parry at consortiumnews.com

"American Hustle" w/Jennifer Lawrence and the Church Committee


It's worth noting that the newly released movie "American Hustle" is loosely based on Abscam. The late '70s FBI sting operation known as Abscam was ostensibly political payback for the work of the Church Committee.

@AndrewKroll: Movie director David O. Russell: Political corruption in "American Hustle" is nothing compared to Citizens United http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2013/12/david-o-russell-american-hustle-abscam-citizens-united-chris-matthews

Sahl set up the Johnny Carson - Jim Garrison interview

Johnny Carson took a public relations hit for the way he came off in that interview and Mort Sahl was never invited back to the Tonight Show. Which, given Carson's clout, also goes a long way to explain the backlash Sahl received.

Steve Allen, the original host of the Tonight Show, had another talk show at this time and invited both Jim Garrison and Mort Sahl on. Unfortunately, and most likely conveniently, Steve Allen also invited wingnut 'B-1' Bob Dornan on that panel. Dornan effectively derailed that interview and Mort Sahl's career had been pretty well derailed too.

Here's an excellent piece on Sahl from 9 years ago in January...
"Heeeere's Justice!" 37 years ago this month, Johnny Carson spent 50 minutes with New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison

Sahl is one of my favourite undersung heroes of the Sixties, for having spent the capital of a successful career in the Quixotic pursuit of justice for the murderers of America.

From the cover of Time


to "conspiracy monger"


That strikes me as the trajectory of an honourable man.

There's an interview with Sahl a couple of months later in 1968, before the epochal one-two of Dr King and Robert Kennedy, that is as prophetic as anything I've read from that time:

ARGO: Why is the truth behind the assassination of President Kennedy the last chance of America for its survival?

SAHL: Because the evidence developed by District Attorney Garrison indicates that certain people had to take President Kennedy's life in order to control ours...


http://rigorousintuition.blogspot.com/2005/01/heeeeres-justice.html

Queue the Disney-Mattel marketeers

Disney® is for Kidz

HMW™

Book about Lee Harvey Oswald ©1962

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41fdUrtLKqL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg
A book about Oswald written BEFORE the JFK assasination!

By "rodney23" on May 3, 2000

Kerry Thornley was stationed in Japan with Lee Harvey Oswald at one of only two US bases where LSD experiments took place. It's Thornley's contention that the purpose of these experiments was to create "Manchurian Candidates" - assassins on autopilot. This could be dismissed as a paranoid rant, but this book was written before Nov. 22, 1963. Hmmm, maybe that's why it's no longer in print. If you do manage to get your hands on a copy, count yourself among the lucky.

http://www.amazon.com/The-Idle-Warriors-Kerry-Thornley/dp/0962653403
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