Military Dollars at Work
March 11, 2002
My church is doing a business reorganization plan. I know
this because they have potential 'mission statements' all
over the blackboard. There seems to be basic agreement on
the core message but questions have arisen as to the church's
role in the inner city. This is a good thing and I wish more
organizations (besides businesses) would look at their core
Out of a business reorganization process falls the question
"how does what we are doing relate to our mission statement?"
So, what's the US military been up to lately?
Obviously, there's the activity in Afghanistan. This is supposed
to be a reaction to the destruction of the Twin Towers and
the Pentagon (Isn't it strange? It took months and months
to gear up for Desert Storm, yet military personnel got over
to Afghanistan almost immediately, with a military force that
I seem to remember being criticized as undermanned, undergunned
and unready during the Presidential debates - but I'm wandering
Actually, there seems to be another reason for the US presence
in Afghanistan, as explained here.
Capturing the region's oil wealth, and carving out territory
in order to build a network of transit routes, was a primary
objective of US interventions throughout the 1990s in the
Balkans, the Caucasus and Caspian Sea:
Business and policy planning groups active in Central
Asia, such as the Foreign Oil Companies Group operated
with the full support of the US State Department, the
National Security Council, the CIA and the Department
of Energy and Commerce.
Among the most active operatives for US efforts: Brezezinski
(a consultant to Amoco, and architect of the Afghan-Soviet
war of the 1970s), Henry Kissinger (advisor to Unocal),
and Alexander Haig (a lobbyist for Turkmenistan), and
Dick Cheney (Halliburton, US-Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce).
Unocal's Central Asia envoys consisted of former US
defense and intelligence officials. Robert Oakley, the
former US ambassador to Pakistan, was a "counter-terrorism"
specialist for the Reagan administration who armed and
trained the mujahadeen during the war against the Soviets
in the 1980s. He was an Iran-Contra conspirator charged
by Independent Counsel Lawrence Walsh as a key figure
involved in arms shipments to Iran.
Richard Armitage, the current Deputy Defense Secretary,
was another Iran-Contra player in Unocal's employ. A former
Navy SEAL, covert operative in Laos, director with the
Carlyle Group, Armitage is allegedly deeply linked to
terrorist and criminal networks in the Middle East, and
the new independent states of the former Soviet Union
(Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Kyrghistan).
Armitage was no stranger to pipelines. As a member
of the Burma/Myanmar Forum, a group that received major
funding from Unocal, Armitage was implicated in a lawsuit
filed by Burmese villagers who suffered human rights abuses
during the construction of a Unocal pipeline. (Halliburton,
under Dick Cheney, performed contract work on the same
...but I'm off topic.
As I understand it, the idea was to 'get' Osama bin Laden
(gee, whatever happened to him, anyway?), 'get' the Taliban
(gee, whatever...), 'get' the al Qaeda (thought that was all
mopped up, but I guess not - how many of them are there anyway?
500? 3000?) and not hit civilians (somebody better tell that
to the people on the ground).
Oh, by the way, did you know they're dropping packets of
$100 bills to Afghan tribesmen. Reuters reported
last week that "U.S. aircraft over southern Afghanistan
have showered the locals with $100 bills. Although the envelope
did not contain a written message, it was adorned with a picture
of George W. Bush."
They're supposed to spend it on what? Where? Wonder what
budget that came out of? I suppose that's to make up for dropping
food packets (colored yellow) into minefields (unmarked) or
alongside US-dropped cluster bombs (also yellow).
Then there's Camp X-Ray in Cuba, where the detainees (who
in violation of the third Geneva Convention's prohibition
of restriction of religious activities are not allowed to
wear turbans and are still housed in something closely resembling
dog kennels) were supposed to be facing military tribunals
until it was belated discovered that none of them had actually
done anything worth charging them with. The International
Red Cross has said all along that they are prisoners of war
- but I'm off topic again).
There's the ongoing War on Drugs, especially in Colombia
where there's a record of big fat boo-boo's (shooting down
a planeload of missionaries), corruption, civilian deaths...
If you thought our military was only fighting the 'War on
Drugs' overseas, think again. In an article here
we find out that:
Drugwarfacts.org reports 89 percent of police departments
have paramilitary units, and 46 percent have been trained
by active duty armed forces. The most common use of paramilitary
units is serving drug-related search warrants (usually
no-knock entries into private homes). Twenty percent of
police departments use paramilitary units to patrol urban
areas. The U.S. National Guard currently has more counter-narcotics
officers than the DEA has special agents on duty. Each
day, the National Guard is involved in 1,300 counterdrug
operations and has approximately 4,000 troops on duty.
Without warning or prior notification to civilian authorities,
the U.S. military will "mock" invade communities across
America, often causing panic, and in some cases, death.
On February 25, 2002, in North Carolina, for example,
undercover U.S. Army personnel—engaged in a training exercise—attempted
to disarm an on-duty civilian deputy sheriff. The officer
shot them both. Why would the military attempt to disarm
a civilian law enforcement officer? On March 13, 1999,
without notification to the bulk of its customers, on
orders from the U.S. military, Alabama Power cut off power
to Anniston, Alabama, so that 800 military personnel could
mount an assault on the local town and airport. The power
company told the populace it was "for repair purposes"
and not that it was part of a military exercise. Finally,
on March 16-17, 1999, Operation Laser Cup was conducted
against residents in Beaver and Westmoreland counties
in Pennsylvania. Twelve Black Hawk, Pave Low, and MH6
helicopters "attacked" an area near a local mine in support
of special operations troops in search of certain materials.
Doesn't the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 state "whoever, except
in cases and under circumstances expressly authorized by the
Constitution or Act of Congress, willfully uses any part of
the Army or the Air Force as a posse comitatus or otherwise
to execute the laws, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned
not more than two years, or both." Or is only because this
Act does not apply to National Guardsmen in their State that
this is legal?
In other news, it seems there's US forces in Venezuela who
were originally supposed to be providing support for relief
efforts. They've been pulled off that and assigned to guarding
an oil pipeline. Valuable things, these oil pipelines.
There are troops in Georgia on "military exercises" (if I
understand correctly). Strange that the Russians want a pipeline
I'm hearing of troops in Kazakhstan and some of the other
'stans surrounding the Caspian oil fields. There's that pesky
"oil" word again.
So what is the US Armed Forces' mission statement? I happened
to stumble across the Opening
statement of Senator Carl Levin Chairman, Committee on
Armed Services Hearing on the Role of the Department of Defense
in Homeland Security Thursday, October 25, 2001
These are extraordinary responses to an extraordinary
threat and require a reexamination of the proper role
of the U.S. Armed Forces in helping to ensure the security
of the American people. That reexamination and reorganization
has already begun.
On September 30, the Department of Defense released
its report on the Quadrennial Defense Review, which elevated
the mission of homeland defense to the Department's "highest
The Army's Vision
home page notes:
While aspiring to be the most esteemed institution
in the Nation, we will remain the most respected Army in
the world and the most feared ground force to those who
would threaten the interests of the United States.
Since when did the interests of the oil industry become the
primary "interests of the United States"?
TrogL is currently volunteering as a moderator on the Democratic
Underground message board.