Archive for the Assassination Category

“A decisive turning point in the crisis of American imperialism” – AIIP is here [World Socialist Website]

Posted in Assassination, Australia, Beijing, Capitalism crisis early 21st century, China, Denmark, Early 21st Century global capitalist financial crisis' US origins, Economic crisis & decline, Engels, France, Germany, IMF - International Monetary Fund, India, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Obama, Pentagon, Police State, south Korea, Taiwan, Torture, Trotsky, US imperialism, USA, USA 21st Century Cold War on April 2, 2015 by Zuo Shou / 左手

1 April 2015

Yesterday was the deadline for countries to sign up as founding members of the China-backed Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). It will go down in history as marking a significant defeat for the global foreign policy and strategic objectives of United States imperialism.

Against strenuous opposition from Washington, more than 40 countries have now indicated they want to be part of the AIIB. Major European powers including Britain, France and Germany, as well as Norway, Denmark and the Netherlands, are on board. Almost all countries in the South East Asian region, which count China as their major trading partner, have also signed up. India is also a signatory, together with Taiwan.

The most significant blow against the US was struck by Britain, its chief European ally, which announced its decision to join on March 12. It opened the floodgates for others to follow, including two key US allies in the Asia-Pacific -— Australia and South Korea. Japan is also reported to be considering joining, possibly as early as June.

The full significance of the US defeat and its far-reaching implications emerge most clearly when viewed from a historical perspective.

One of the chief objections of the Obama administration to the new bank was that it would undermine the International Monetary Fund and World Bank. Together with the Bretton Woods Agreement of 1944, they constituted central pillars of the global economic order established after World War II by the United States, which played the central role in rebuilding world capitalism following the devastation of the 1920s and 1930s and the wars and revolutionary struggles it produced.

Of course, both of these institutions, together with the Marshall Plan for the restabilisation of war-torn Europe, operated to the economic and strategic benefit of American imperialism.

But while America drew enormous gains from the post-war order, it was not narrowly conceived. There was a recognition in ruling political and economic circles that if American capitalism was to survive, it would have to use the enormous resources at its disposal to ensure the growth and expansion of other capitalist powers, above all, those against which it had fought a bitter and bloody conflict.

Post-war reconstruction enabled the expansion of Germany and turned it once again into the industrial powerhouse of Europe. At the same time, concessions to Japan on the value of its currency -— it was pegged at 360 yen to the dollar -— opened up export markets for its industry. The decision to build trucks and other military equipment in Japan during the Korean War laid the foundations for the development of Japan’s auto industry, as it incorporated, and then developed, the advanced production techniques that had been established in the US.

The industrial and economic capacity of the United States, even when it took reactionary forms as in the case of the Korean War, was utilised to facilitate a new phase of global capitalist expansion—the post-war boom.

What a contrast to the present situation! American capitalism is no longer the industrial powerhouse of the world, ensuring the expansion of the capitalist economy as a whole. Rather, it functions as the global parasite-in-chief, as its rapacious banks, investment houses and hedge funds scour the world for profitable opportunities, engaged not in the production of new wealth, but in the appropriation of wealth produced elsewhere, often via criminal or semi-criminal operations.

In the immediate post-war period, the US was the champion of free trade, recognising that the restrictions and beggar-thy-neighbour policies of the 1930s had produced a disaster. Today, through measures such as the Trans Pacific Partnership and similar arrangements being prepared with regard to Europe, Washington seeks to forge exclusivist agreements aimed at protecting the monopoly position of US corporations. America, Obama has stated, must write the global rules for trade and investment in the 21st century.

American influence in the post-war period was not confined to the immediate economic sphere. Notwithstanding all its contradictory features, American society appeared to have something to offer the world as a whole, which had suffered decades of war, fascism and military forms of rule, along with economic devastation.

Again, the contrast with the present situation could not be starker. American democracy, once held up as a beacon for the rest of the world, is a withered caricature of its former self, no longer capable of concealing the dictatorship of the financial and corporate elites.

Social conditions are characterised by deprivation and state violence, reflected not least in the daily police killings. America has the highest rate of incarceration in the world, and in Detroit, once the centre of the American industrial economy, paying the highest wages, water shutoffs are being imposed. The US government carries out torture, abductions, assassinations and mass spying on its own people and others around the world. The country is ruled by criminals who cannot be held accountable for their crimes.

In the wake of the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 and the removal from the scene of its global rival, the American ruling class was gripped by the idea that while its economic position had been severely weakened -— the stock market crash of 1987 was a harbinger of things to come -— American hegemony could nevertheless be maintained by military means.

But as Frederick Engels had earlier explained in refuting another exponent of “force theory,” the notion that economic developments—the advance of industry, credit and trade—and the contradictions to which they gave rise could be “blown out of existence” with “Krupp guns and Mauser rifles” was a delusion.

The past 25 years of American foreign policy, based on the use of cruise missiles and drones, combined with invasions and regime-change operations grounded on lies, have produced one debacle after another.

Now the chickens are coming home to roost, as other capitalist powers, great and small, begin to conclude that hitching themselves to the American juggernaut is the surest road to disaster. That is the historic significance of their decision to join the AIIB.

How will American imperialism respond? By increasing its military provocations, threatening to plunge the world once again into war.

Charting the rise of American imperialism in the late 1920s, Leon Trotsky noted that in the period of crisis, its hegemony would operate “more openly and more ruthlessly than in the period of boom,” and that it would attempt to extricate itself from its difficulties and maladies at the expense of its rivals, if necessary by means of war.

However there is another, and, in the final analysis, decisive, aspect to the economic decline of American imperialism, marked so powerfully by the events of yesterday.

For decades, the American working class was disoriented by the idea of a continually rising power -— that America’s “best days” were always ahead. Reality is now coming home with ever-increasing force.

Events are shattering the delusions of the past and will propel the American working class on to the road of revolutionary struggle, creating the conditions for the unification of the international working class in the fight for world socialist revolution.

Nick Beams

Article link: http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2015/04/01/pers-a01.html

DPR Korea rebuffs U.S. accusation of cyber attack on Sony movie [Xinhua]

Posted in Assassination, DPR Korea, FBI, Japan, Pyongyang, US imperialism, USA on January 2, 2015 by Zuo Shou / 左手

2014/12/27

PYONGYANG, Dec. 27 (Xinhua) — The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Saturday rebuffed the U.S. accusation that Pyongyang was involved in a cyber attack on a Sony movie.

The United States groundlessly linked the unheard-of [sic] hacking at the Sony Pictures Entertainment to the DPRK, a spokesman for the Policy Department of the National Defence Commission of the DPRK said in a statement.

Reiterating that the DPRK has nothing to do with the hacking attacks against Sony Pictures, the spokesman urged the U.S. to conduct a joint investigation with the DPRK.

“If the U.S. is to persistently insist that the hacking attack was made by the DPRK, the U.S. should produce evidence without fail, though belatedly,” the spokesman was quoted by the official KCNA news agency as saying.

Sony’s new movie The Interview is an illegal, dishonest and reactionary film quite contrary to the UN Charter, which regards respect for sovereignty, non-interference in internal affairs and protection of human rights as a legal keynote, and international laws, according to the statement.

The U.S.-based Sony Pictures Entertainment was cyber-attacked in late November, which caused huge damage to the underlying system of the corporate [sic] and prompted the company to cancel the Christmas Day release of its comedy movie entitled “The Interview” which depicts an assassination attempt [sic] on top DPRK leader Kim Jong Un.

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) last week said Pyongyang was responsible for the Sony Pictures hacking, without revealing evidence because of the “protection of sensitive sources.”

Edited by Zuo Shou

Full article link: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2014-12/27/c_133882059.htm

US stokes conflict with DPR Korea over Sony hacking [World Socialist Website]

Posted in Anti-China propaganda exposure, Anti-communism, Assassination, China, CIA, Corporate Media Critique, DPR Korea, Iran, Israel, Kim Jong Un, Korean War, Media smear campaign, NSA, Obama, Saudi Arabia, US drone strikes, US imperialism, USA, USA 21st Century Cold War on December 20, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

By Patrick Martin

19 December 2014

The US government is preparing to retaliate against [DPR] Korea for its alleged role in the hacking attack on Sony Pictures, Obama administration officials said Thursday. While declining to go on the record placing responsibility on [DPR] Korea for the hacking — likely in part because they can produce no evidence — several top officials suggested that US cyberwarfare countermeasures were already in preparation.

White House press spokesman Josh Earnest said Thursday that he would not name North Korea as the perpetrator of the Sony hacking in advance of investigations by the FBI and Justice Department, but added that the cyberattack was an example of “destructive activity with malicious intent that was initiated by a sophisticated actor.” US officials considered the hacking a “serious national security matter” and “would be mindful of the fact that we need a proportional response,” he said.

The secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Jeh Johnson, told a television interviewer Thursday morning that the administration was “actively considering a range of options that we’ll take in response to this attack.” He did not rule out military force, although Earnest’s reference to a “proportionate response” was portrayed by the US media as a threat of some form of electronic sabotage, rather than a direct military attack on North Korea.

The last two days have seen the transformation of the Sony incident from a corporate scandal — with the private information of tens of thousands of current and former employees dumped onto the Internet — into a far more sinister affair, involving US threats against both [DPR] Korea and China.

Beginning November 24, anonymous hackers, calling themselves “Guardians of Peace,” have made several dumps of internal Sony information on the Internet, demanding the studio shelve its film The Interview, a comedy whose plot is based around the CIA hiring two American journalists (played by Seth Rogen and James Franco) to assassinate Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

This week the affair escalated with vague threats of violence against theaters that showed the film, scheduled to open on December 25. On Wednesday morning, the four largest US theater chains cancelled the premieres, citing the threats, and Sony then withdrew the film from circulation entirely.

The US National Security Council then issued its first formal statement, not naming [DPR] Korea, but noting that the White House had offered Sony Pictures its support against the apparent cyberattack. The statement declared: “We know that criminals and foreign countries regularly seek to gain access to government and private sector networks — both in the United States and elsewhere … The US government is working tirelessly to bring the perpetrators of this attack to justice and we are considering a range of options in weighing a potential response.”

Obama administration officials made unattributed statements to the US media Wednesday asserting that [DPR] Korea was responsible for the attacks on Sony, setting off a media frenzy, including speculation about possible cyberwarfare or military responses against the regime in Pyongyang. This was accompanied by suggestions that Iran was a co-conspirator in the cyberattacks, in retaliation for US and Israeli cyberwarfare against Iran’s nuclear energy facilities.

No evidence of any kind has been produced, with press reports limited to suggestions that some of the code in the malware used to infect Sony’s corporate computer system had been written in Korean, and that the code resembled that used in previous cyberattacks in South Korea and Saudi Arabia.

The United States, moreover, is heavily invested in cyberwarfare measures, particularly targeting China. Earlier this year, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed extensive offensive cyberwarfare measures, including attacks on government and military targets.

There is evidence as well that the US is whipping up conflict with [DPR] Korea in several arenas simultaneously. The escalation of the Sony Pictures affair coincided with the issuance of a report Tuesday by a United Nations committee recommending that…Korean officials be referred to the International Criminal Court for human rights violations.

On Thursday, just as the White House spokesman was threatening a “proportionate response” to the Sony hacking, the UN General Assembly approved the referral of [DPR] Korea to the ICC, sending it on to the UN Security Council, where Russia and China are expected to block further action.

The role of Sony Pictures also deserves serious scrutiny. The studio has a documented close relationship with the CIA, having made the film Zero Dark Thirty in 2012, in direct collaboration with the agency, portraying CIA torture of prisoners as vital to the targeting of Osama bin Laden by a Navy Seals death squad the previous year. The film served as a sort of video rebuttal-in-advance of the Senate Intelligence Committee report on CIA torture, which was completed in the summer of 2012 but delayed for two years by the Obama White House, until it was made public, in heavily redacted form, last week.

The decision to make a film that climaxed in the assassination of Kim Jong-un was peculiar, to say the least. As the New York Times wrote, “To depict the killing of a sitting world leader, comically or otherwise, is virtually without precedent in major studio movies, film historians say.” If North Korea, Iran or Russia had produced a similar film about a plan to murder Obama, complete with grisly images of the president being obliterated by a missile (the final scene in The Interview ), the US government and media would have raised an uproar.

Moreover, given the Obama administration’s claim that the president has the right to order drone missile assassination of any individual on the planet, including US citizens, at his own discretion, the depiction of such an attack by a major American film studio could well be seen as a veiled threat. There is no doubt that there were elements in the American government, aware of the mounting crisis and isolation of the North Korean dictatorship, who fully expected the film to be interpreted in that way in Pyongyang…

Excerpted/edited by Zuo Shou

Full article link: http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/12/19/nkor-d19.html

‘The United States and torture’ – excerpt from “The Anti-Empire Report #131” [Williamblum.org]

Posted in Assassination, CIA, George W. Bush, Obama, Pentagon, Torture, US Government Cover-up, US imperialism, USA on November 4, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

By William Blum – Published August 11th, 2014

= The United States and torture =

Two of the things that governments tend to cover-up or lie about the most are assassinations and torture, both of which are widely looked upon as exceedingly immoral and unlawful, even uncivilized. Since the end of the Second World War the United States has attempted to assassinate more than 50 foreign leaders and has led the world in torture; not only the torture performed directly by Americans upon foreigners, but providing torture equipment, torture manuals, lists of people to be tortured, and in-person guidance and encouragement by American instructors, particularly in Latin America…

Excerpted; full article link: http://williamblum.org/aer/read/131

‘Cold War Two’ – excerpt from “The Anti-Empire Report” # 131 [Williamblum.org]

Posted in 9/11, Anti-communism, Assassination, Black propaganda, Corporate Media Critique, EU, European Union, Fascism, Germany, IMF - International Monetary Fund, Iraq, Malaysia, Media cover-up, Media smear campaign, Nazism, Psychological warfare, Russia, State Department, Syria, Ukraine, US Government Cover-up, US imperialism, USA, USA 21st Century Cold War, USSR, Vietnam on November 4, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

By William Blum – Published August 11th, 2014

= Cold War Two =

During Cold War One those of us in the American radical left were often placed in the position where we had to defend the Soviet Union because the US government was using that country as a battering ram against us. Now we sometimes have to defend Russia because it may be the last best hope of stopping TETATW (The Empire That Ate The World). Yes, during Cold War One we knew enough about Stalin, the show trials, and the gulags. But we also knew about US foreign policy.

E-mail sent to the Washington Post July 23, 2014 about the destruction of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17:

Dear Editor,

Your July 22 editorial was headed: “Russia’s barbarism. The West needs a strategy to contain the world’s newest rogue state.”

Pretty strong language. Vicious, even. Not one word of hard evidence in the editorial to back it up. Then, the next day, the Associated Press reported:

Senior U.S. intelligence officials said Tuesday that Russia was responsible for ‘creating the conditions’ that led to the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, but they offered no evidence of direct Russian government involvement. … the U.S. had no direct evidence that the missile used to shoot down the passenger jet came from Russia.

Where were these words in the Post? You people are behaving like a rogue newspaper.

– William Blum

I don’t have to tell you whether the Post printed my letter. I’ve been reading the paper for 25 years – six years during Vietnam (1964-1970) and the last 19 years (1995-2014) – usually spending about three hours each day reading it very carefully. And I can say that when it comes to US foreign policy the newspaper is worse now than I can remember it ever was during those 25 years. It’s reached the point where, as one example, I don’t take at face value a word the Post has to say about Ukraine. Same with the State Department, which makes one accusation after another about Russian military actions in Eastern Ukraine without presenting any kind of satellite imagery or other visual or documentary evidence; or they present something that’s wholly inconclusive and/or unsourced or citing “social media”; what we’re left with is often no more than just an accusation. 1 Do they have something to hide?

The State Department’s Public Affairs spokespersons making these presentations exhibit little regard or respect for the reporters asking challenging questions. It takes my thoughts back to the Vietnam era and Arthur Sylvester, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs, the man most responsible for “giving, controlling and managing the war news from Vietnam”. One day in July 1965, Sylvester told American journalists that they had a patriotic duty to disseminate only information that made the United States look good. When one of the reporters exclaimed: “Surely, Arthur, you don’t expect the American press to be handmaidens of government,” Sylvester replied: “That’s exactly what I expect,” adding: “Look, if you think any American official is going to tell you the truth, then you’re stupid. Did you hear that? – stupid.” 2

Such frankness might be welcomed today as a breath of fresh air compared to the painful-to-observe double-talk of a State Department spokesperson.

My personal breath of fresh air in recent years has been the television station RT (formerly Russia Today). On a daily basis many progressives from around the world (myself included occasionally) are interviewed and out of their mouths come facts and analyses that are rarely heard on CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS, NPR, PBS, Fox News, BBC, etc. The words of these progressives heard on RT are typically labeled by the mainstream media as “Russian propaganda”, whereas I, after a long lifetime of American propaganda, can only think: “Of course. What else are they going to call it?”

As for Russia being responsible for “creating the conditions” that led to the shooting down of Flight 17, we should keep in mind that the current series of events in Ukraine was sparked in February when a US-supported coup overthrew the democratically-elected government and replaced it with one that was more receptive to the market-fundamentalism dictates of the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, and the European Union. Were it not for the coup there would have been no eastern rebellion to put down and no dangerous war zone for Flight 17 to be flying over in the first place.

The new regime has had another charming feature: a number of outspoken neo-Nazis in high and low positions, a circumstance embarrassing enough for the US government and mainstream media to turn it into a virtual non-event. US Senator John McCain met and posed for photos with the leader of the neo-Nazi Svoboda Party, Oleh Tyahnybok (photos easily found on the Internet). Ukraine – whose ties to Naziism go back to World War Two when their homegrown fascists supported Germany and opposed the Soviet Union – is on track to becoming the newest part of the US-NATO military encirclement of Russia and possibly the home of the region’s newest missile base, target Moscow.

It is indeed possible that Flight 17 was shot down by the pro-Russian rebels in Eastern Ukraine in the mistaken belief that it was the Ukrainian air force returning to carry out another attack. But other explanations are suggested in a series of questions posed by Russia to the the Secretary-General of the UN General Assembly, accompanied by radar information, satellite images, and other technical displays:

“Why was a military aircraft flying in a civil aviation airway at almost the same time and the same altitude as a civilian passenger aircraft? We would like to have this question answered.”

“Earlier, Ukrainian officials stated that on the day of the accident no Ukrainian military aircraft were flying in that area. As you can see, that is not true.”

“We also have a question for our American colleagues. According to a statement by American officials, the United States has satellite images which show that the missile aimed at the Malaysian aircraft was launched by the militants. But no one has seen these images.” 3

There is also this intriguing speculation, which ties in to the first Russian question above. A published analysis by a retired Lufthansa pilot points out that Flight 17 looked similar in its tricolor design to that of Russian President Putin’s plane, whose plane with him on board was at the same time “near” Flight 17. In aviation circles “near” would be considered to be anywhere between 150 to 200 miles. 4 Could Putin’s plane have been the real target?

There is as well other serious and plausible questioning of the official story of Russia and/or Ukrainian anti-Kiev militias being responsible for the shootdown. Is Flight 17 going to become the next JFK Assassination, PanAm 103, or 9-11 conspiracy theory that lingers forever? Will the Iraqi weapons of mass destruction and the Syrian chemical weapons be joined by the Russian anti-aircraft missile? Stay tuned…

Excerpted; full article link (with footnotes): http://williamblum.org/aer/read/131

Obama’s “high crimes and misdemeanors” [World Socialist Website]

Posted in Assassination, Bourgeois parliamentary democracy, CIA, FBI, George W. Bush, National Security Agency / NSA, NSA, Obama, Pentagon, US drone strikes, US Government Cover-up, US imperialism, USA on March 19, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

14 March 2014

The speech delivered Tuesday on the Senate floor by Senator Dianne Feinstein provides clear and direct evidence of crimes against the US Constitution and the democratic rights of the American people, implicating top officials of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the White House, up to and including the president. Feinstein’s allegations of CIA intimidation, obstruction and spying on the Senate Intelligence Committee, which she chairs, constitute “high crimes and misdemeanors,” the constitutional basis for impeachment.

Feinstein has longstanding and close ties to the intelligence agencies, which she has categorically defended throughout the months of exposures of illegal spying by the National Security Agency. Yet on Tuesday she gave an hour-long speech in which she charged the CIA with spying on and withholding documents from Congress as part of an attempted cover-up of the program of torture the agency carried out under President George W. Bush.

In the course of her remarks, she provided a detailed narrative of the CIA’s criminal actions, including the attempt by CIA Director John Brennan to intimidate the Senate Intelligence Committee and derail its investigation into the Bush-era crimes by accusing committee staffers of stealing classified documents and demanding that the Justice Department launch a criminal investigation. (Brennan, as director of counter-terrorism under Bush, is implicated in the torture program.)

The portrait that emerges is of an intelligence agency that operates outside of all legal constraints, rejects any genuine congressional oversight, and functions as a law unto itself.

The haste with which the US media has moved to bury Feinstein’s remarks—which it has generally ascribed to a mere “turf war” between the Senate and the CIA—is itself an indication of the fundamental nature of the crimes outlined by the senator and the complicity of the corporate-controlled media in those crimes.

What is involved is nothing less than an open attack on the constitutional order that arose on the basis of the American Revolution, which is founded on the “separation of powers” and a system of “checks and balances” between the executive, legislative and judicial branches of the government—something the founders deemed essential to prevent the emergence of a dictatorship. The CIA’s subversion of the Senate probe into its activities—including its refusal to sanction the publication of a declassified version of the Intelligence Committee’s 6,300 page report—is a milestone in the establishment of a de facto dictatorship of the military/intelligence establishment over the people.

That the White House is complicit is clear both in Feinstein’s own account of the events and in the response from the Obama administration to the charges. On Wednesday, President Obama sought to pose as a neutral arbiter in the “issues that are going back and forth between the Senate committee and the CIA.” He added, however, that “Brennan has referred them to the appropriate authorities,” making clear that he backs the CIA director and the agency’s decision to file a criminal complaint against the Senate Intelligence Committee. His remarks echoed those of his press secretary, Jay Carney, who said Tuesday that Obama had “great confidence” in Brennan.

The list of crimes and those implicated include:

[…see original article for list…]

These actions go far beyond the extremely serious crimes carried out by Nixon in the Watergate scandal, which led to his resignation in 1974 in the face of near-certain impeachment and removal from office. Revealed are, at the very least, violations of international and domestic law (torture), the destruction of evidence, obstruction of justice, violation of the separation of powers, and illegal spying.

They implicate the top CIA officials throughout this period as well as the leading White House officials, including Obama himself. They have been carried out by Obama’s appointees and people who work very closely with him. Brennan was Obama’s top counterterrorism adviser during his first term.

All of this has been conducted behind the backs of the American people. Feinstein herself, as head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, has long sanctioned the crimes of the state and is complicit in their cover-up, making a public statement only after she felt compelled to do so in the face of the CIA’s legal attack. The senators had, in her words, done everything they could “to resolve this dispute in a discreet and respectful way” — i.e., behind closed doors.

At the same time, under both Bush and Obama, a massive unconstitutional spying apparatus has been constructed, partially revealed by NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden. Again, the entire state is complicit, including the Obama White House and Feinstein, who has publicly accused Snowden of carrying out an “act of treason.” The president has also openly acknowledged unilaterally ordering the assassination of US citizens.

Impeachment proceedings against government officials are fully warranted, but by no means sufficient. These crimes against the American people must not go unpunished. All of the facts, including the names of all of the perpetrators and accomplices, must be published.

This would begin to peel back the conspiracy of silence between the White House, the intelligence agencies, Congress, the courts and the media that has given the CIA, the NSA and the Pentagon a green light to shred the Bill of Rights and establish the framework for totalitarian rule.

Nearly a decade-and-a-half has passed since the stolen election of 2000. Since then, the attack on democratic rights has escalated, under Democratic no less than Republican administrations. It has been driven by the staggering growth of social inequality, on the one hand, and the increasing turn to militarism and war on the other. The record has demonstrated that no section of the political establishment retains any serious commitment to democratic rights.

The defense of democratic rights is a class question. The emergence of dictatorial forms of rule and the uncontrolled activity of the intelligence agencies are rooted in the capitalist system and the interests of the ruling class. Democracy is not compatible with endless war and social counterrevolution.

To prevent dictatorship and defend its democratic rights, the working class must organize itself independently in a struggle against the existing political and economic system on the basis of a socialist program.

Joseph Kishore and Barry Grey

Excerpted; full article link: https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/03/14/pers-m14.html

The CIA, the Senate and the breakdown of American democracy [World Socialist Website]

Posted in Assassination, Bourgeois parliamentary democracy, CIA, FBI, National Security Agency / NSA, NSA, Obama, Pentagon, Torture, US "War on Terror", US drone strikes, US Government Cover-up, US imperialism, USA on March 19, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

13 March 2014

Tuesday’s extraordinary public criticism of the Central Intelligence Agency by one of the CIA’s longtime apologists — Dianne Feinstein, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee — is an expression of the terminal crisis of American democracy.

Only the direst of circumstances could have compelled the California Democrat to make a public declaration that the CIA “may well have violated the separation-of-powers principle embodied in the United States Constitution,” and also “the Fourth Amendment, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, as well as Executive Order 12333, which prohibits the CIA from conducting domestic searches or surveillance.”

Feinstein was evidently driven to make her protest over CIA spying on the Senate because the CIA made a criminal referral to the Justice Department, seeking to prosecute staff of the Intelligence Committee, and possibly members of the Senate themselves, for unauthorized use of classified documents. This was the culmination of months of wrangling over a massive report on CIA torture prepared by the committee.

There was a stark contrast in demeanor between Feinstein, visibly tense and seemingly frightened as she spoke for nearly an hour on the Senate floor, and CIA Director John Brennan, who arrogantly rebuffed her claims of misconduct in a speech to a foreign policy think tank a few hours later, then smirked through a press interview afterwards.

Feinstein has been an unquestioning defender of countless illegal and unconstitutional operations by the US intelligence apparatus, from CIA assassinations using drone-fired missiles, to FBI abuses under the Patriot Act, to systematic NSA collection of the telephone and Internet communications of the entire world.

There is a powerful element of hypocrisy, as NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden noted, “where an elected official does not care at all that the rights of millions of ordinary citizens are violated by our spies, but suddenly it’s a scandal when a politician finds out the same thing happens to them.”

But there is a more fundamental issue at stake: the mounting threat to democratic rights and constitutional processes that emanates from the military-intelligence apparatus of the US government.

For all the media publicity devoted to the political infighting between the White House and Congress, or the decisions of the Supreme Court, the real power in America is in the hands of an unaccountable, murderous apparatus of violence, provocation and spying that includes the Pentagon, CIA, NSA, FBI and a dozen other such agencies.

The various Senate and House committees exercising “oversight” are little more than rubber stamps for the operations of this vast and secretive apparatus. But the slightest semblance of democratic supervision is treated as an affront by the officials who control armies of spies and assassins. They are quite prepared to use the same methods against their domestic critics as they employ against the targets of American imperialism overseas.

President Obama stands at the head of this apparatus, as the “commander-in-chief,” and a White House spokesman sided unambiguously with the CIA against the Senate, declaring that Brennan had the president’s full confidence.

Brennan’s own career is revealing—from overseeing torture operations at CIA secret prisons under President George W. Bush, to working in the Obama White House as the head of the drone-missile assassination program, to elevation by Obama to the top position at the CIA. He personifies the continuity of the operations of the military-intelligence apparatus from president to president, from one big business party to the other.

In the course of the past decade, the operations of this network—always violent and anti-democratic—have become increasingly criminal in nature. The current clash stems from one of the worst of these crimes, the establishment of secret CIA prisons in a half-dozen countries where individuals seized in the course of the “war on terror” could be tortured and interrogated without limit…

Full article link: https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/03/13/pers-m13.html