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seemslikeadream Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-03-08 01:48 PM
Original message
William Blum
Edited on Sat May-03-08 01:56 PM by seemslikeadream

William Blum (born 1933) is an American author, historian, and critic of United States foreign policy. He studied accounting in college. Later he had a low-level computer-related position at the State Department in the mid-1960s. Initially an anti-communist with dreams of becoming a foreign service officer, he said he became disillusioned by the Vietnam War.<1>

He left the Department in 1967. He then became one of the founders and editors of the Washington Free Press, the first "alternative" newspaper in the capital. In 1969, he wrote and published an expos of the CIA in which was revealed the names and addresses of more than 200 employees of the Agency. He has worked as freelance journalist in the United States, Europe and South America. From 1972 to 1973 Blum worked as a journalist in Chile, where he reported on the Allende government's "socialist experiment". In the mid-1970s, he worked in London with ex-CIA agent Philip Agee and his associates "on their project of exposing CIA personnel and their misdeeds".<1> He supports himself with his writing and speaking engagements on college campuses.<2>

In his writing, Blum devotes substantial attention to CIA interventions and assassination plots. Blum describes himself as a socialist. He has supported Ralph Nader's presidential campaigns.<2> He has compared president George W. Bush with Hitler and the Iraq insurgency with the resistance against Nazist Germany.<3> He currently circulates a monthly newsletter by email called "The Anti-Empire Report".<3>

An Interview with William Blum

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seemslikeadream Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-03-08 01:59 PM
Response to Original message
1. If you flip over the rock of American foreign policy of the past century, this is what crawls out ..

invasions ... bombings ... overthrowing
governments ... suppressing movements
for social change ... assassinating
political leaders ... perverting
elections ... manipulating labor unions ...
manufacturing "news" ... death squads ...
torture ... biological warfare ...
depleted uranium ... drug trafficking ...
mercenaries ...

It's not a pretty picture.
It is enough to give imperialism a bad name.

Read the full details in:

Killing Hope: US Military and CIA
Interventions Since World War II.

by William Blum

"Far and away the best book on the topic."
Noam Chomsky

"I enjoyed it immensely."
Gore Vidal

"I bought several more copies to circulate to
friends with the hope of shedding new light
and understanding on their political outlooks."
Oliver Stone

"A very valuable book. The research and organization
are extremely impressive."
A. J. Langguth, author, former New York Times Bureau Chief

"A very useful piece of work, daunting in scope,
Thomas Powers, author, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist

"Each chapter I read made me more and more angry."
Dr. Helen Caldicott, international leader of
the anti-nuclear and environmental movements

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Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-04-08 02:06 PM
Response to Reply #1
From Democracy Now, a lesson from history that seems to be absent from every public school textbook I've opened.

"Reagan Was the Butcher of My People:" Fr. Miguel DEscoto Speaks From Nicaragua

We go to Managua, Nicaragua to speak with Fr. Miguel DEscoto, a Catholic priest who was Nicaraguas Foreign Minister under the Sandinista government in the 1980s. (Includes transcript)

The 8 years Reagan was in office represented one of the most bloody eras in the history of the Western hemisphere, as Washington funneled money, weapons and other supplies to right wing death squads. And the death toll was staggeringmore than 70,000 political killings in El Salvador, more than 100,000 in Guatemala, 30,000 killed in the contra war in Nicaragua. In Washington, the forces carrying out the violence were called freedom fighters. This is how Ronald Reagan described the Contras in Nicaragua: They are our brothers, these freedom fighters and we owe them our help. They are the moral equal of our founding fathers.

Fr. Miguel DEscoto, a Catholic priest based in Managua, Nicaragua. He was Nicaraguas Foreign Minister under the Sandinista government in the 1980s.


FATHER MIGUEL DESCOTO: First of all, let me start out by saying that, of course, Reagan is now dead. And I, for one, would like to say only nice things about him. Im not insensitive to the feelings of many U.S. people mourning president Reagan, but as I pray that god in his infinite mercy and goodness forgive him for having been the butcher of my people, for having been responsible for the deaths of some 50,000 Nicaraguans, we cannot, we should not ever forget the crimes he committed in the name of what he falsely labeled freedom and democracy.

More perhaps than any other U.S. President, Reagan convinced many around the world that the U.S. is a fraud, a big lie. Not only was it not democratic, but in fact the greatest enemy of the right of self-determination of peoples. Reagan, as you mentioned just a few minutes ago, was known as the great communicator, and I believe that that is true only if one believes that to be a great communicator means to be a good liar. That he was for sure. He could proclaim the biggest lies without even as much as blinking an eyelash. Hearing him talk about how we were supposedly persecuting Jews and burning down non-existent synagogues, I was led to believe really, that Reagan was possessed by demons. Frankly, I do believe Reagan at that time as much as Bush today was indeed possessed by the demons of manifest destiny.

Of course, as I say this, Im quite aware that to the people of say for example, Project for a New American Century, that is counted as a big plus. Because of Reagan and his spiritual heir George W. Bush, the World today is far less safe and secure as it has ever been. Reagan in fact was an international outlaw. He came to the Presidency of the United States shortly after Samosa, a Dictator that the U.S. has imposed over Nicaragua for practically half a century; had been deposed by Nicaraguan Nationalists under the leadership of the Sandinista Liberation Front. To Reagan Nicaragua had to be re-conquered. He blamed Carter for having lost Nicaragua, as if Nicaragua ever belonged to anyone else other than the Nicaraguan people. That was then the beginning of this war that Reagan invented, and mounted and financed and directed, the Contra War. About which he continually lied to the People. Helping the United States people to be the most ignorant people around the world. I said ignorant, I dont say not intelligent. But the most ignorant people around the world about what the United States does abroad. People dont even begin to seeif they did, they would rebel. And so, he lied to the people, as Bush lies to the people today and as they push on, thinking that the United States is above every law, human or divine. And we took the United States, Reagans United States, his government to court, the World Court. I was Foreign Minister at that time here in Nicaragua. I was responsible for that. And the United States government received the harshest sentence, the harshest condemnation ever in the history of world justice. In spite of the fact that the United States since the early 1920s has been proclaiming to the world that one of the proofs of its moral superiority as compared to other countries around the world is the fact that it abides by the international law and was obedient to the world court when the United States was brought to the world court in Nicaragua and received the condemnation that the United States failed to heed the sentence and they till owe Nicaragua by now must be between 20,000 and $30,000 million at the time when we left government that the damages caused by that Reagan war was over $17 billion, and this, according to very moderate estimators of damage, people from the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America, people from Harvard University and from Oxford and from the University of Paris basically this is the team that was pulled together to estimate the damage. The United States was ordered to pay for the damage. Bush never even wanted to talk to me about it. I said, Well, lets have a meeting so that you comply with your sentence of the court. He said to me in two different letters that there was nothing to talk about.

So, Reagan did damage to Nicaragua beyond the imaginations of the people who are hearing me now. The ripple effects of that; criminal murderous interventions in my country will go on for what, 50 years or more.


"Facts are stupid things." -- Ronald Reagan.
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seemslikeadream Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-03-08 02:03 PM
Response to Original message
2. Written February 1998

The United States vs. Iraq --
A Study in Hypocrisy

"We have heard that a half million children have died,"
said "60 Minutes" reporter Lesley Stahl, speaking of US sanctions
against Iraq. "I mean, that's more children than died in
Hiroshima. And -- and you know, is the price worth it?"
Her guest, in May 1996, U.N. Ambassador Madeleine
Albright, responded: "I think this is a very hard choice, but
the price -- we think the price is worth it."
Today, Secretary of State Albright travels around the
world to gather support for yet more bombing of Iraq. The price,
apparently, is still worth it. The price is of course being
paid solely by the Iraqi people -- a million or so men, women and
children, dead and a previously well-off nation plunged into
poverty, disease, and malnutrition from the previous bombings and
seven years of sanctions.
Their crime? They have a leader who refuses to cede
all sovereignty to the United States (acting under its usual
United Nations cover) which demands that every structure in Iraq,
including the presidential palaces, be available for
inspection for "weapons of mass destruction". After more
than six years of these inspections, and significant destruction
of stocks of forbidden chemical, biological, and nuclear weapon
material, as well as weapons research and development programs,
the UN team still refuses to certify that Iraq is clean enough.
Inasmuch as the country is larger than California, it's
understandable that the inspectors can not be certain that
all prohibited weapons have been uncovered. It's equally
understandable that Iraq claims that the United States can,
and will, continue to find some excuse not to give Iraq the
certification needed to end the sanctions. Indeed, President
Clinton has said more than once that the U.S. will not allow
sanctions to be lifted as long as Saddam Hussein remains in power.
It can be said that the United States has inflicted more vindictive
punishment and ostracism upon Iraq than upon Germany or Japan
after World War 2.
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Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-03-08 06:11 PM
Response to Reply #2
15. Iraqi people are victims of empire.
Blum, from your post, on the US-led sanctions on Iraq:

It can be said that the United States has inflicted
more vindictive punishment and ostracism upon Iraq
than upon Germany or Japan after World War 2.

Now that's saying something.
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seemslikeadream Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-03-08 02:15 PM
Response to Original message
3. Some things you need to know before the world ends

Hand-in-hand with his threat warnings, Bush keeps telling us how his War on Terror has made us so much safer, bragging that there hasn't been a terrorist attack in the United States in the five years since the one of September 11, 2001. Marvelous. There wasn't a terrorist attack in the United States in the five years before that day either. But thanks to the War on Terror -- particularly the bombing, invasion, occupation, and torture of Afghanistan and Iraq -- numerous new anti-American terrorists have been created since that historic day. The latest confirmation of this, if any more were needed, is the recently leaked National Intelligence Estimate conclusion that "the American invasion and occupation of Iraq has helped spawn a new generation of Islamic radicalism and ... the overall terrorist threat has grown since the Sept. 11 attacks."<1>
Since the first strike on Afghanistan in October 2001 there have been literally scores of terrorist attacks against American institutions and individuals in the Middle East, South Asia and the Pacific, more than a dozen in Pakistan alone: military, diplomatic, civilian, Christian, and other targets associated with the United States, including the October 2002 bombings of two nightclubs in Bali, Indonesia, which killed more than 200 people, almost all of them Americans and citizens of their Australian and British war allies; the following year brought the heavy bombing of the US-managed Marriott Hotel in Jakarta, Indonesia, the site of diplomatic receptions and 4th of July celebrations held by the American Embassy; and other horrendous attacks on US war allies in recent years in Madrid, London, and elsewhere.
A US State Department report of 2004 on worldwide terrorist attacks -- "Patterns of Global Terrorism" -- showed that the year 2003 had more "significant terrorist incidents" than at any time since the department began issuing statistics in 1985, even though the figures did not include attacks on US troops by insurgents in Iraq, which the Bush administration explicitly labels as "terrorist".<2> When their report for 2004 showed an even higher number of incidents, the State Department announced that it was going to stop publishing the annual statistics.<3>
It is extremely difficult and threatening for US and UK officials to accept the correlation between their foreign policies and the rise of terrorists. A spokesman for the Blair government recently declared: "Al-Qaida started killing innocent civilians in the 90s. It killed Muslim civilians even before 9/11, and the attacks on New York and Washington killed over 3,000 people before Iraq. To imply al-Qaida is driven by an honest disagreement over foreign policy is a mistake."<4> Vice President Dick Cheney, on more than one occasion, has also pointed out that terrorists were attacking American targets even before 9-11. |
The "reasoning" behind such thinking is odd; it's as if these esteemed gentlemen believe that there was no Western foreign policy in the Mideast before September 11, 2001. But of course, even in modern times, there were decades of awful abuse, including the US overthrow of the Iranian government in 1953, multiple bombings of Libya and Iraq, sinking an Iranian ship and shooting down an Iranian passenger plane, habitual support of Israel against the Palestinian people, and much more.<5>
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leftchick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-03-08 02:50 PM
Response to Original message
4. His books are a must read for my children

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Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-03-08 03:21 PM
Response to Original message
5. William Blum has long pegged the Empire for what it is.
For example:

A Brief History of U.S. Interventions:
1945 to the Present

by William Blum
Z magazine , June 1999

The engine of American foreign policy has been fueled not by a devotion to any kind of morality, but rather by the necessity to serve other imperatives, which can be summarized as follows:
    * making the world safe for American corporations;
    * enhancing the financial statements of defense contractors at home who have contributed generously to members of congress;
    * preventing the rise of any society that might serve as a successful example of an alternative to the capitalist model;
    * extending political and economic hegemony over as wide an area as possible, as befits a "great power."
    This in the name of fighting a supposed moral crusade against what cold warriors convinced themselves, and the American people, was the existence of an evil International Communist Conspiracy, which in fact never existed, evil or not.


Iran, 1953:
    Prime Minister Mossadegh was overthrown in a joint U.S./British operation. Mossadegh had been elected to his position by a large majority of parliament, but he had made the fateful mistake of spearheading the movement to nationalize a British-owned oil company, the sole oil company operating in Iran. The coup restored the Shah to absolute power and began a period of 25 years of repression and torture, with the oil industry being restored to foreign ownership, as follows: Britain and the U.S., each 40 percent, other nations 20 percent.

Guatemala, 1953-1990s:
    A CIA-organized coup overthrew the democratically-elected and progressive government of Jacobo Arbenz, initiating 40 years of death-squads, torture, disappearances, mass executions, and unimaginable cruelty, totaling well over 100,000 victims -indisputably one of the most inhuman chapters of the 20th century. Arbenz had nationalized the U.S. firm, United Fruit Company, which had extremely close ties to the American power elite. As justification for the coup, Washington declared that Guatemala had been on the verge of a Soviet takeover, when in fact the Russians had so little interest in the country that it didn't even maintain diplomatic relations. The real problem in the eyes of Washington, in addition to United Fruit, was the danger of Guatemala's social democracy spreading to other countries in Latin America.

Middle East, 1956-58:
    The Eisenhower Doctrine stated that the United States "is prepared to use armed forces to assist" any Middle East country "requesting assistance against armed aggression from any country controlled by international communism." The English translation of this was that no one would be allowed to dominate, or have excessive influence over, the middle east and its oil fields except the United States, and that anyone who tried would be, by definition, "Communist." In keeping with this policy, the United States twice attempted to overthrow the Syrian government, staged several shows-of-force in the Mediterranean to intimidate movements opposed to U.S.-supported governments in Jordan and Lebanon, landed 14,000 troops in Lebanon, and conspired to overthrow or assassinate Nasser of Egypt and his troublesome middle-east nationalism.


For those interested in learning what Free Republic-types don't want you to know:
CIA also stands for "Capitalism's Invisible Army."

Not surprised, but very saddened, that this does not have more K&Rs.

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scarletwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-03-08 05:58 PM
Response to Reply #5
14. 'CIA also stands for "Capitalism's Invisible Army."' One of my fave old pieces is by Steve Kangas
The Origins of the Overclass

I used to post it here every once in awhile during my first couple of years on DU. I suspect you're already familiar with it as well.

Here's an excerpt for those who might not have read it before:

The wealthy have always used many methods to accumulate wealth, but it was not until the mid-1970s that these methods coalesced into a superbly organized, cohesive and efficient machine. After 1975, it became greater than the sum of its parts, a smooth flowing organization of advocacy groups, lobbyists, think tanks, conservative foundations, and PR firms that hurtled the richest 1 percent into the stratosphere.

The origins of this machine, interestingly enough, can be traced back to the CIA. This is not to say the machine is a formal CIA operation, complete with code name and signed documents. (Although such evidence may yet surface and previously unthinkable domestic operations such as MK-ULTRA, CHAOS and MOCKINGBIRD show this to be a distinct possibility.) But what we do know already indicts the CIA strongly enough. Its principle creators were Irving Kristol, Paul Weyrich, William Simon, Richard Mellon Scaife, Frank Shakespeare, William F. Buckley, Jr., the Rockefeller family, and more. Almost all the machine's creators had CIA backgrounds.

During the 1970s, these men would take the propaganda and operational techniques they had learned in the Cold War and apply them to the Class War. Therefore it is no surprise that the American version of the machine bears an uncanny resemblance to the foreign versions designed to fight communism. The CIA's expert and comprehensive organization of the business class would succeed beyond their wildest dreams. In 1975, the richest 1 percent owned 22 percent of Americas wealth. By 1992, they would nearly double that, to 42 percent the highest level of inequality in the 20th century.

How did this alliance start? The CIA has always recruited the nations elite: millionaire businessmen, Wall Street brokers, members of the national news media, and Ivy League scholars. During World War II, General "Wild Bill" Donovan became chief of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the forerunner of the CIA. Donovan recruited so exclusively from the nations rich and powerful that members eventually came to joke that "OSS" stood for "Oh, so social!"

I urge anyone who has not read this before to please go to the link and read the whole piece, you'll come away more informed in a very useful way.

Oh, and if you're not familiar with Steve Kangas, google: ><Steve Kangas Scaife><.

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Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-03-08 06:25 PM
Response to Reply #14
16. It also means ''Conspiracies In Action.''
Then, if you don't use it, what's the point in having a quasi-private Gestapo?

Soccer Stadium, Santiago, Chile, 1973

Coups Arranged or Backed
by the USA

Since 1945, the USA has been responsible either directly or indirectly of helping remove dozens of governments, many democratically elected, around the world. Sometimes the events are kept secret for years and only slowly come out. Other times, the events are the cause of demonstrations, anger and resentment at the time they occur.

Whenever, an event like this occurs there are two reasons to be considered.
    Reason 1: The reason given by the USA, its media and its friends around the world. Reasons like Communism, Terrorism, Human Rights, Freedom, Liberation, Weapons of Mass Destruction, etc.

    Reason 2: The actual reason. This is usually hidden from the general public and has to be looked for in quotes by under-reported officials or subsequent events on the ground. Often, the victims of the change of government know the real reasons better than the populations of the Western countries. Real reasons are many but usually include Business Interests, Access to Resources, Markets, Military Bases, Strategic Value, or Political Support.

In the list below only successful changes of government are listed. Many attempts have failed. Cuba is the best example of this.

Year Country Reason Given Actual Reason
1949 Syria Communism Elected government against USA political interests and pro-Palestinian.
1949 Greece Communism Elected government against USA political and economic interests.
1952 Cuba None Elected government against USA business interests.
1953 Iran None Elected government against USA oil interests.
1953 British Guyana None Access to sugar and bauxite.
1954 Guatemala Communism Elected government against USA business interests.
1955 South Vietnam Communism French backed leader replaced by USA backed leader.
1957 Haiti Haiti is near the USA Previous government against USA business interests.
1958 Laos None Pro-USA government wanted.
1959 Laos None Pro-USA government wanted.
1960 South Korea Communism Previous leader not strong enough for USA.
1960 Laos None Pro-USA government wanted.
1960 Ecuador Communism Previous government too independent in foreign policy.
1963 Dominican Republic Business Interests Elected government against USA business interests.
1963 South Vietnam None Previous leader's policies led to televised suicides.
1963 Honduras Communism Pro-USA government and access to resources.
1963 Guatemala Communism Military government was about to allow elections.
1963 Ecuador None Elected government too independent.
1964 Brazil Communism Access to resources and cheap labour.
1964 Bolivia Communism Previous government too independent in foreign policy.
1965 Zaire None Access to cobalt, copper and diamonds.
1966 Ghana None Previous government too independent in foreign policy.
1967 Greece None Military bases.
1970 Cambodia None Previous king against USA political interests.
1970 Bolivia None Country took ownership of its oil and tin.
1972 El Salvador Communism Elected leader against USA business interests.
1973 Chile Communism Elected government against USA business interests.
1975 Australia None Elected government had unsuitable foreign policy.
1979 South Korea None Pro-USA government wanted.
1980 Liberia Democracy Pro-USA government wanted.
1982 Chad None Pro-USA government wanted.
1983 Grenada Democracy Pro-USA government wanted.
1987 Fiji Democracy Previous elected government supported nuclear-free Pacific.
2002 Venezuela None Disagreed with foreign policy of elected government.
2004 Haiti Fraudulent elections Disagreed with economic policy of elected government.


And it's done for Democracy.

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Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-03-08 03:29 PM
Response to Original message
6. Hiroshima: Needless Slaughter, Useful Terror
More from a true historian:



by William Blum
Covert Action Quarterly 53

While Japan was desperately trying to surrender, the U.S. knowing that the war could be ended without a land invasion dropped two A-bombs: The opening shot of cold war.

Does winning World War II and the Cold War mean never having to say you're sorry? The Germans apologized to the Jews and the Poles. The Japanese apologized to the Chinese and the Koreans, and to the United States for failing to break off diplomatic relations before attacking Pearl Harbor. The Russians apologized to the Poles for atrocities committed against civilians, and to the Japanese for abuse of prisoners. The Soviet Communist Party even apologized for foreign policy errors that heightened tension with the West.

Is there any reason for the U.S. to apologize to Japan for atomizing Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Those on opposing sides of this question are lining up in battle formation for the 50th anniversary of the dropping of the atom bombs on August 6 and 9. During last year's raw-meat controversy surrounding the Smithsonian Institution's Enola Gay exhibit, U.S. veterans went ballistic. They condemned the emphasis on the ghastly deaths caused by the bomb and the lingering aftereffects of radiation, and took offense at the portrayal of Japanese civilians as blameless victims. An Air Force group said vets were feeling nuked.

In Japan, too, the anniversary has rekindled controversy. The mayors of the two Japanese cities in question spoke out about a wide perception gap between the two countries. Nagasaki Mayor Hitoshi Motoshima, surmounting a cultural distaste for offending, called the bombings one of the two great crimes against humanity in the 20th Century, along with the Holocaust.

Defenders of the U.S. action counter that the bomb actually saved lives: It ended the war sooner and obviated the need for a land invasion. Estimates of the hypothetical body count, however, which ranged from 20,000 to 1.2 million, owe more to political agendas than to objective projections.

But in any event, defining the issue as a choice between the A-bomb and a land invasion is an irrelevant and wholly false dichotomy. By 1945, Japan's entire military and industrial machine was grinding to a halt as the resources needed to wage war were all but eradicated. The navy and air force had been destroyed ship by ship, plane by plane, with no possibility of replacement. When, in the spring of 1945, the island nation's lifeline to oil was severed, the war was over except for the fighting. By June, Gen. Curtis LeMay, in charge of the air attacks, was complaining that after months of terrible firebombing, there was nothing left of Japanese cities for his bombers but garbage can targets. By July, U.S. planes could fly over Japan without resistance and bomb as much and as long as they pleased. Japan could no longer defend itself.


After the war, the world learned what U.S. leaders had known by early 1945: Japan was militarily defeated long before Hiroshima; it had been trying for months, if not for years, to surrender; and the U.S. had consistently rebuffed these overtures. A May 5 cable, intercepted and decoded by the U.S., dispelled any possible doubt that the Japanese were eager to sue for peace. Sent to Berlin by the German ambassador in Tokyo, after he talked to a ranking Japanese naval officer, it read: Since the situation is clearly recognized to be hopeless, large sections of the Japanese armed forces would not regard with disfavor an American request for capitulation even if the terms were hard.


A true historian is one who tells the truth.
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Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-03-08 03:37 PM
Response to Original message
7. Anthrax for Export - U.S. companies sold Iraq the ingredients for a witch's brew
Blum explains Iraq's rise to a regional power:

Anthrax for Export

U.S. companies sold Iraq the ingredients for a witch's brew

by William Blum
The Progressive
April 1998 Issue

The United States almost went to war against Iraq in February because of Saddam Hussein's weapons program. In his State of the Union address, President Clinton castigated Hussein for "developing nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons and the missiles to deliver them."

"You cannot defy the will of the world," the President proclaimed. "You have used weapons of mass destruction before. We are determined to deny you the capacity to use them again."

Most Americans listening to the President did not know that the United States supplied Iraq with much of the raw material for creating a chemical and biological warfare program. Nor did the media report that U.S. companies sold Iraq more than $1 billion worth of the components needed to build nuclear weapons and diverse types of missiles, including the infamous Scud.

When Iraq engaged in chemical and biological warfare in the 1980s, barely a peep of moral outrage could be heard from Washington, as it kept supplying Saddam with the materials he needed to build weapons.

From 1980 to 1988, Iraq and Iran waged a terrible war against each other, a war that might not have begun if President Jimmy Carter had not given the Iraqis a green light to attack Iran, in response to repeated provocations. Throughout much of the war, the United States provided military aid and intelligence information to both sides, hoping that each would inflict severe damage on the other.


During the Iran-Iraq war, Iraq received the lion's share of American support because at the time Iran was regarded as the greater threat to U.S. interests. According to a 1994 Senate report, private American suppliers, licensed by the U.S. Department of Commerce, exported a witch's brew of biological and chemical materials to Iraq from 1985 through 1989. Among the biological materials, which often produce slow, agonizing death, were:
    * Bacillus Anthracis, cause of anthrax.

    * Clostridium Botulinum, a source of botulinum toxin.

    * Histoplasma Capsulatam, cause of a disease attacking lungs, brain, spinal cord, and heart.

    * Brucella Melitensis, a bacteria that can damage major organs.

    * Clostridium Perfringens, a highly toxic bacteria causing systemic illness.

    * Clostridium tetani, a highly toxigenic substance.

Also on the list: Escherichia coli (E. coli), genetic materials, human and bacterial DNA, and dozens of other pathogenic biological agents. "These biological materials were not attenuated or weakened and were capable of reproduction," the Senate report stated. "It was later learned that these microorganisms exported by the United States were identical to those the United Nations inspectors found and removed from the Iraqi biological warfare program."


William Blum is a big reason We the People still have a chance against Bush and his cronies.
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seemslikeadream Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-03-08 03:59 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. And here I thought he was just another conspiracy theorist
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Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-03-08 05:28 PM
Response to Reply #9
You are an information engineer, seemslikeadream, building a bridge of understanding.

Uruguay 1964-1970: Torture as American as apple pie

by William Blum

"The precise pain, in the precise place, in the precise amount, for the desired effect." <1>

The words of an instructor in the art of torture. The words of Dan Mitrione, the head of the Office of Public Safety (OPS) mission in Montevideo.

Officially, OPS was a division of the Agency for International Development, but the director of OPS in Washington, Byron Engle, was an old CIA hand. His organization maintained a close working relationship with the CIA, and Agency officers often operated abroad under OPS cover, although Mitrione was not one of them. <2>

OPS had been operating formally in Uruguay since 1965, supplying the police with the equipment, the arms, and the training it was created to do. Four years later, when Mitrione arrived, the Uruguayans had a special need for OPS services. The country was in the midst of a long-running economic decline, its once-heralded prosperity and democracy sinking fast toward the level of its South American neighbors. Labor strikes, student demonstrations, and militant street violence had become normal events during the past year; and, most worrisome to the Uruguayan authorities, there were the revolutionaries who called themselves Tupamaros. Perhaps the cleverest, most resourceful and most sophisticated urban guerrillas the world has ever seen, the Tupamaros had a deft touch for capturing the public's imagination with outrageous actions, and winning sympathizers with their Robin Hood philosophy. Their members and secret partisans held key positions in the government, banks, universities, and the professions, as well as in the military and police.


"The violent methods which were beginning to be employed," said Otero, "caused an escalation in Tupamaro activity. Before then their attitude showed that they would use violence only as a last resort." <5>


William Cantrell was a CIA operations officer stationed in Montevideo, ostensibly as a member of the OPS team. In the mid- 1960s he was instrumental in setting up a Department of Information and Intelligence (DII), and providing it with funds and equipment. <8> Some of the equipment, innovated by the CIA's Technical Services Division, was for the purpose of torture, for this was one of the functions carried out by the DII. <9> "

One of the pieces of equipment that was found useful," former New York Times correspondent A. J. Langguth learned, "was a wire so very thin that it could be fitted into the mouth between the teeth and by pressing against the gum increase the electrical charge. And it was through the diplomatic pouch that Mitrione got some of the equipment he needed for interrogations, including these fine wires." <10>


Sheez, 'Sladdy. Where ARE you getting your gifs these days?
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bonito Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-03-08 03:52 PM
Response to Original message
8. Kicking to read later.
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hwmnbn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-03-08 04:00 PM
Response to Original message
10. Telling the truth....
to those who will listen.

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G_j Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-03-08 04:04 PM
Response to Original message
11. the video interview was done by a friend I met here on DU
Edited on Sat May-03-08 04:05 PM by G_j
Her and her partner asked me for some music for the credits,

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scarletwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-03-08 06:30 PM
Response to Reply #11
17. Wow! That is so COOL!!!! Well done!
I can't actually watch the video on my ancient, creaking computer, but I know how beautifully you play from those clips you PMd me way back when.

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G_j Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-03-08 08:33 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. it is!
Edited on Sat May-03-08 08:37 PM by G_j
Real flesh and blood people I met here (DU), they've come to see our band a number of times and are really great, aware folks.
That they chose to seek and do an interview with Bill Blum says a lot. I am flattered that they asked me to contribute music to a few film projects.

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scarletwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-03-08 05:38 PM
Response to Original message
13. k&r -- thanks for keeping this man and his words visible. (nt)
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flashl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-05-08 03:21 PM
Response to Original message
20. Superb. nt
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