Archive for the DEA Category

US government scanning, storing billions of pieces of mail per year [World Socialist Website]

Posted in DEA, FBI, National Security Agency / NSA, NSA, Obama, US Government Cover-up, USA on July 16, 2013 by Zuo Shou / 左手

By Thomas Gaist
5 July 2013

The US government is monitoring and permanently storing information on regular mail, in a vast and previously secret program known as the Mail Isolation Control and Tracking (MICT) program.

According to an article in the New York Times on Thursday, images captured from over 160 billion pieces of mail per year are fed into a massive database, from which the government can construct in depth profiles of individuals, tracking their personal and political connections.

The MICT program parallels the National Security Agency spy programs revealed by whistleblower Edward Snowden. While these programs store phone records and collect email and other Internet activity, the MICT gathers this information on all mail senders, without any individualized suspicion of criminal activity. While a warrant is technically necessary to inspect the actual contents of the mail, in 2007 President George Bush authorized law enforcement to open mail without a warrant in exceptional cases.

In previous decades, under the “mail cover surveillance” program, the Postal Service granted law enforcement agencies access to mail items for 30 days based on individual requests relating to suspected criminal activity. Since 2001, this program has evolved into the MICT, which collects information indiscriminately on every piece of mail.

“In the past, mail covers were used when you had a reason to suspect someone of a crime,” Mark Rasch, who has worked on computer crimes for the Justice Department, told the Times. “Now it seems to be, ‘Let’s record everyone’s mail so in the future we might go back and see who you were communicating with.’ Essentially you’ve added mail covers on millions of Americans”

Bruce Schneier, a computer and security expert, added, “They are doing the same thing as the other programs, collecting the information on the outside of your mail, the metadata, if you will, of names, addresses, return addresses and postmark locations, which gives the government a pretty good map of your contacts, even if they aren’t reading the content,” he said.

Former FBI agent James Wedick told the Times that the mail snooping yields “a treasure trove of information,” and that “looking at just the outside of letters and other mail, I can see who you bank with, who you communicate with—all kinds of useful information that gives investigators leads that they can then follow up on with a subpoena.”

Wedick affirmed, “It can be easily abused because it’s so easy to use, and you don’t have to go through a judge to get the information. You just fill out a form.” The Postal Service has power to authorize law enforcement agencies to surveil mail, without judicial review, and the Times reported that these requests are rarely denied.

The Times reported that the program is used by numerous government agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Department of Health and Human Services.

The MICT program was instituted and had been operating secretly for over a decade, since its was implemented after the 2001 anthrax attacks. The FBI quietly revealed its existence in a June 7 criminal complaint related to alleged ricin attacks directed at President Barack Obama.

The revelation of the MICT program adds to a long list of the information that is being systematically gathered by government agencies — from the NSA phone record and Internet data programs, to the accumulation of vast databases of photographs to be used for facial recognition. All of this is being done in violation of basic democratic rights and behind the backs of the American people.

Article link: http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2013/07/05/mail-j05.html

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Boston: This is what a police state looks like [Workers World]

Posted in Afghanistan, CIA, Corporate Media Critique, DEA, FBI, Iraq, Obama, Psychological warfare, US drone strikes, US Government Cover-up, US imperialism, USA on April 28, 2013 by Zuo Shou / 左手

By Steve Gillis on April 23, 2013

Boston — Using war jargon associated with Iraq and Afghanistan, authorities have repeatedly described the blasts that killed three people and injured 176 at the crowded Boston Marathon on “Patriots Day,” April 15, as “IED bombings,” for improvised explosive devices. Many of the injured suffered horrific amputations and shrapnel wounds.

Since then, a common sentiment shared among people here has been, “This must be what it looks like every day in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

Over the next four days, people in the greater Boston area experienced a police state operation that many also described as a preview of martial law.

* Media: false reports and glorifying military *

Thousands of heavily armed and mechanized National Guard troops, military police, FBI SWAT teams and federal agents of every stripe — from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to the Drug Enforcement Administration — mobilized to assist the Boston police lockdown of the downtown area. At the same time, the media began a nearly uninterrupted 24/7 coverage of the “manhunt.”

TV newscasters breathlessly glorified a “courageous civilian” for allegedly tackling a “fleeing Saudi national” whose hands were “suspiciously burned” at the bombing scene. Boston police set up an armed guard at his hospital room and federal SWAT teams raided an apartment building in Revere known to house hundreds of international students, displaying bags of “seized evidence” to the cameras.

A CNN reporter repeatedly shared his scoop with the world, straight from “sources at the highest level of law enforcement,” that authorities were focusing on a “dark skinned, Black male seen with a package in surveillance video” at the scene shortly before the blasts.

The next two days, as armories, parks, fields and parking lots throughout the city became stages of military drilling and awesome weaponry, the media urged the public to share their photos with authorities and to scrutinize their neighbors. “Terrorism experts,” mostly retired military and CIA officers, theorized from studios of every network affiliate about “radical Islamist ideology,” “domestic and international terror organizations” and the “vulnerabilities of a free society to attack.”

A SWAT team dramatically arrived on camera in an armored personnel carrier, black-suited soldiers hanging off the sides, to raid a home in New Bedford. They never said why.

On April 15, President Barack Obama had declared, “Anytime bombs are used to target innocent civilians, it is an act of terror.” He seemed to have forgotten about the drones. Then, on April 18, he arrived for a memorial service at Boston’s largest cathedral. The public was invited, but few besides “dignitaries” made it past the barricades. Obama received thunderous applause throughout the service, carried live, especially for the passage near the end when he said: “Yes, we will find you. And, yes, you will face justice. … But more than that, our fidelity to our way of life — to our free and open society — will only grow stronger.”

Shortly after Air Force One took off, surveillance photos of two “WANTED” suspects flashed on the TV, illuminated billboards, jammed Twitter and social media accounts, and blazoned across web and print headlines.

* 2 million under occupation *

On April 19, the nearly 2 million residents of Boston, Cambridge, Belmont, Watertown, Brookline and Newton awoke to a state of unprecedented military occupation and command. Government robo-calls to cell and home phones, starting before 6 a.m., announced that the entire greater Boston area was on lockdown and ordered everyone to “shelter in place,” later explained as “stay inside wherever you are.”

The military shut down all public transportation in the region, including commuter rail and taxis, and blocked off roads and highways throughout the city. Police stopped unaware motorists and pedestrians and ordered them off the street. All businesses were ordered closed, including grocery stores, medical facilities, government and social service agencies, schools and universities, and all but a few defiant family-owned restaurants complied. All cultural venues were shuttered and cancelled, from the Boston Red Sox, the Big Apple Circus, the Museum of Fine Arts, concerts, churches to every youth event during this week of school vacation.

Most people spent the next 20 hours watching breathless reporters cover the action of thousands of police and military, who had overnight completely taken over the approximately 200-square-mile area.

Hundreds of agents clad in black or camouflage, their rifles loaded and supported by armoured personnel carriers, Humvees and bomb units with German shepherds, ordered pajama-clad families, often barefoot, out of their homes during block-by-block, house-to-house searches.

In one early morning live telecast from Cambridge, a reporter lamented that it was unfortunate but necessary to film a weeping Muslim woman, clutching a baby to her chest, as male officers conducted a public hands-on search of her body and put her and her baby in a black SUV.

Hapless pedestrians of many nationalities and ages were shown handcuffed or face down on the sidewalk at bristling gunpoint. Some people were publicly strip-searched, as reporters explained that the police — seen throughout the day frantically running and yelling — cannot be too careful. As dozens of helicopters hovered low in neighborhoods throughout the city, police “gang” units and shopping mall security guards had people of all nationalities up against walls, especially young people of color.

On the Boston Globe’s blog, people learned that “Police ‘Revel’ at Photo of Dead Bombing Suspect.” A gruesome picture, reminiscent of the Abu Ghraib torture snapshots, showed a naked, mutilated corpse. This photo was said to be of 26-year-old suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev on a morgue slab, reportedly taken by a cop and then posted on social media sites. It clearly showed bullet holes and a surgical laceration, but no blast trauma which would have indicated that he had blown himself up with a suicide belt strapped to his chest — which had been urgently reported throughout the day as an explanation for the police behavior.

The military evacuated and shut down the entire campus of the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, an hour’s drive from Boston, where Tsarnaev’s younger brother, Dzhokhar, had just begun college. Following his capture, the media showed crowds of U.S. flag-waving, openly alcohol-drinking, mostly young white people celebrating with police on Boston Common.

In the aftermath, timelines of the suspects’ activities have deleted what once was reported so definitely: that their apparent flight on April 19 and subsequent police chase, shortly after the President’s departure, began with their robbery at gunpoint of a 7-Eleven store in Central Square, Cambridge. Every media had reported that surveillance photos at the cash register proved it. As of April 22, it turns out that they had stopped for gas and candy bars and no robbery occurred there that night.

It also turns out — though you can no longer find it in media accounts — that authorities had photos of the alleged suspects well before President Obama landed the morning of April 18. According to live reports during the “manhunt,” the FBI tactically decided not to publicize the photos and initiate the Boston military lockdown until after the president’s speech.

The lead Boston Globe editorial on April 20 concluded: “The odds of more terror attacks are greater than the odds of losing our essential freedoms. This week has shown that we should tighten our security and loosen our concerns about minor limitations on our freedom of movement.”

Despite the blitz of pressure to accept this, many Bostonians disagree.

Article link: http://www.workers.org/2013/04/23/boston-this-is-what-a-police-state-looks-like/

Articles copyright 1995-2013 Workers World. Verbatim copying and distribution is permitted in any medium without royalty provided this notice is preserved.

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SEE ALSO: “American democracy in shambles” [World Socialist Website]

22 April 2013

“With the imposition of a state of siege in Boston, a historical threshold has been crossed. For the first time ever, a major American city has been placed under the equivalent of martial law. The already frayed veneer of a stable democracy based on constitutional principles is in shreds…”

World Socialist Website full article link: http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2013/04/22/pers-a22.html

AND

“Why does Boston celebrate Martial Law with chants of ‘USA, USA’?” [21st Century Wire]

Full article link: http://21stcenturywire.com/2013/04/20/why-did-boston-and-america-celebrate-martial-law-with-chants-of-usa-usa/

AND

“The Boston lockdown and the Bill of Rights” [World Socialist Website]

By Tom Carter
25 April 2013

Full article link: http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2013/04/25/bill-a25.html

The New Obama Doctrine, A Six-Point Plan for Global War [Tomdispatch.com]

Posted in "War on Drugs" pretext, Afghanistan, Africa, CIA, DEA, Iraq, Libya, Obama, Pakistan, Pentagon, State Department, US drone strikes, US Government Cover-up, US imperialism, USA on July 3, 2012 by Zuo Shou / 左手

Special Ops, Drones, Spy Games, Civilian Soldiers, Proxy Fighters, and Cyber Warfare
By Nick Turse

…The face of American-style war-fighting is once again changing.   Forget full-scale invasions and large-footprint occupations on the Eurasian mainland; instead, think:  special operations forces working on their own but also training or fighting beside allied militaries (if not outright proxy armies) in hot spots around the world.   And along with those special ops advisors, trainers, and commandos expect ever more funds and efforts to flow into the militarization of spying and intelligence, the use of drone aircraft, the launching of cyber-attacks, and joint Pentagon operations with increasingly militarized “civilian” government agencies.

Much of this has been noted in the media, but how it all fits together into what could be called the new global face of empire has escaped attention.   And yet this represents nothing short of a new Obama doctrine, a six-point program for twenty-first-century war, American-style, that the administration is now carefully developing and honing.   Its global scope is already breathtaking, if little recognized, and like Donald Rumsfeld’s military lite and David Petraeus’s counterinsurgency operations, it is evidently going to have its day in the sun — and like them, it will undoubtedly disappoint in ways that will surprise its creators.

The Blur-ness

For many years, the U.S. military has been talking up and promoting the concept of “jointness.”  An Army helicopter landing Navy SEALs on a Korean ship catches some of this ethos at the tactical level.   But the future, it seems, has something else in store.  Think of it as “blur-ness,” a kind of organizational version of war-fighting in which a dominant Pentagon fuses its forces with other government agencies — especially the CIA, the State Department, and the Drug Enforcement Administration — in complex, overlapping missions around the globe…

…Shedding Light on “the Dark Continent”

One locale likely to see an influx of Pentagon spies in the coming years is Africa.  Under President Obama, operations on the continent have accelerated far beyond the more limited interventions of the Bush years.  Last year’s war in Libya; a regional drone campaign with missions run out of airports and bases in Djibouti, Ethiopia, and the Indian Ocean archipelago nation of Seychelles; a flotilla of 30 ships in that ocean supporting regional operations; a multi-pronged military and CIA campaign against militants in Somalia, including intelligence operations, training for Somali agents, secret prisons, helicopter attacks, and U.S. commando raids; a massive influx of cash for counterterrorism operations across East Africa; a possible old-fashioned air war, carried out on the sly in the region using manned aircraft; tens of millions of dollars in arms for allied mercenaries and African troops; and a special ops expeditionary force (bolstered by State Department experts) dispatched to help capture or kill Lord’s Resistance Army leader Joseph Kony and his senior commanders, operating in Uganda, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the Central African Republic (where U.S. Special Forces now have a new base) only begins to scratch the surface of Washington’s fast-expanding plans and activities in the region…

…Back in the Backyard

Since its founding, the United States has often meddled close to home, treating the Caribbean as its private lake and intervening at will throughout Latin America.   During the Bush years, with some notable exceptions, Washington’s interest in America’s “backyard” took a backseat to wars farther from home.   Recently, however, the Obama administration has been ramping up operations south of the border using its new formula.   This has meant Pentagon drone missions deep inside Mexico to aid that country’s battle against the drug cartels, while CIA agents and civilian operatives from the Department of Defense were dispatched to Mexican military bases to take part in the country’s drug war.

In 2012, the Pentagon has also ramped up its anti-drug [sic]operations in Honduras…

…Still in the Middle of the Middle East

Despite the end of the Iraq and Libyan wars, a coming drawdown of forces in Afghanistan, and copious public announcements about its national security pivot toward Asia, Washington is by no means withdrawing from the Greater Middle East.  In addition to continuing operations in Afghanistan, the U.S. has consistently been at work training allied troops, building up military bases, and brokering weapons sales and arms transfers to despots in the region from Bahrain to Yemen…

…From Brushfires to Wildfires

Across the globe from Central and South America to Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, the Obama administration is working out its formula for a new American way of war.   In its pursuit, the Pentagon and its increasingly militarized government partners are drawing on everything from classic precepts of colonial warfare to the latest technologies.

The United States is an imperial power chastened by more than 10 years of failed, heavy-footprint wars.  It is hobbled by a hollowing-out economy, and inundated with hundreds of thousands of recent veterans — a staggering 45% of the troops who fought in Afghanistan and Iraq — suffering from service-related disabilities who will require ever more expensive care.   No wonder the current combination of special ops, drones, spy games, civilian soldiers, cyberwarfare, and proxy fighters sounds like a safer, saner brand of war-fighting.   At first blush, it may even look like a panacea for America’s national security ills.   In reality, it may be anything but.

The new light-footprint Obama doctrine actually seems to be making war an ever more attractive and seemingly easy option — a point emphasized recently by former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Peter Pace.   “I worry about speed making it too easy to employ force,” said Pace when asked about recent efforts to make it simpler to deploy Special Operations Forces abroad.   “I worry about speed making it too easy to take the easy answer — let’s go whack them with special operations — as opposed to perhaps a more laborious answer for perhaps a better long-term solution.”

As a result, the new American way of war holds great potential for unforeseen entanglements and serial blowback.   Starting or fanning brushfire wars on several continents could lead to raging wildfires that spread unpredictably and prove difficult, if not impossible, to quench.

By their very nature, small military engagements tend to get larger, and wars tend to spread beyond borders.  By definition, military action tends to have unforeseen consequences.   Those who doubt this need only look back to 2001, when three low-tech attacks on a single day set in motion a decade-plus of war that has spread across the globe.   The response to that one day began with a war in Afghanistan, that spread to Pakistan, detoured to Iraq, popped up in Somalia and Yemen, and so on.   Today, veterans of those Ur-interventions find themselves trying to replicate their dubious successes in places like Mexico and Honduras, the Central Africa Republic and the Congo.

History demonstrates that the U.S. is not very good at winning wars, having gone without victory in any major conflict since 1945.   Smaller interventions have been a mixed bag with modest victories in places like Panama and Grenada and ignominious outcomes in Lebanon (in the 1980s) and Somalia (in the 1990s), to name a few.

The trouble is, it’s hard to tell what an intervention will grow up to be — until it’s too late.   While they followed different paths, Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq all began relatively small, before growing large and ruinous.  Already, the outlook for the new Obama doctrine seems far from rosy, despite the good press it’s getting inside Washington’s Beltway.

What looks today like a formula for easy power projection that will further U.S. imperial interests on the cheap could soon prove to be an unmitigated disaster — one that likely won’t be apparent until it’s too late.

Excerpted by Zuo Shou

Full article:  http://www.tomdispatch.com/archive/175557/

US Military Presence in Peru [Prensa Latina]

Posted in DEA, Peru, US imperialism, USA on April 22, 2012 by Zuo Shou / 左手

Lima, Apr 16 (Prensa Latina) The military presence of the United States in Peru seems to have been confirmed during the recent crisis of the kidnapping of tens of workers from a gas pipeline in the southern-central region of Cuzco.

Relatives of one of the two disappeared members of the special troops of the police during the operations for the rescue of the hostages gave…evidence on the matter.

They said that the agent was in the area in a special combat training directed by US advisers when he was order to join the actions of freeing the hostages and to capture the rebels that held them.

Several mass media said that the helicopter attacked last Thursday in the operations of persecution of the kidnappers belonged to the antidrug agency of the United States called Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), and that last Saturday they could released the 39 hostages only because of the military pressure, according to government sources.

The information adds that the leader of the helicopter team, Captain Nancy Flores, died during the attack,and that she normally use to work in antidrug operations with the local police and the DEA.

Television network America, on the other hand, said that the DEA participates in the efforts to capture the head of the rest of the armed group Sendero Luminoso or Shining Path, isolatedly operating in the Valley of the rivers Apurímac and Ene (Vrae).

The intervention of the DEA, said the report, was due to the fact that the head of the group of the Vrae, is syndicated as author of the kidnappings in Kepashiato and that he is also accused of drug trafficking.

Peruvian conservative sectors demand a greater armed intervention of the United States in the war against the rest of the armed group of Shining Path that operates in the Vrae and who are pinpointed as authors of the kidnapping .

Article link: http://www.plenglish.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=497906&Itemid=1

Colombian guerrillas: capitulation or further fighting? [Strategic Culture Foundation]

Posted in Brazil, CIA, Colombia, DEA, Ecuador, FARC, FBI, Mossad, Panama, Pentagon, US imperialism, USA on December 15, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

Nil NIKANDROV | 01.12.2011 |

Media reports about the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) are often accompanied with a photograph which depicts a guerrilla column marching. They are several thousand of armed men, all wearing camouflage uniform[s], with armbands featuring the Colombian national colors. Also on the photo is Manuel Marulanda, Commander of the FARC guerrilla army during four decades of insurgency against the Colombian state. To stage such kind of a ‘show’ march would be impossible. The FARC army is being attacked from all possible sides. The guerrillas have to consider all their actions to avoid clashes with numerous soldiers of the Colombian army.

Marulanda died of a heart attack in March, 2008, aged 77, and was buried – according to his will – in the forest, not to surrender to enemies even after his death. The 55-year-old Sanez Guillermo Varfas, better known as ‘Alfonso Cano’, became Marulanda`s successor. Cano faced a very challenging task to help the guerrillas maintain the fighting spirit, ensure stable supplies of arms, food and medicines to the army. After being attacked by the Colombian army and US security forces commanded by Raúl Reyes, FARC rebels no longer have an opportunity to have a break in the areas bordering Colombia`s neighboring countries and discuss their further strategy. Some FARC and ELN (National Liberation Army) rebels had already been arrested in Venezuela, Brazil, Ecuador and Panama.

In the past three years FARC has suffered big losses. The deaths of Reyes, Ivan Rios, Briceno Suarez and other comandantes could not but have affected the success of the guerrilla army. As President Juan Manuel Santos put it, “the killing of Alfonso Cano has become the greatest blow to the FARC in the entire 40-year history of its existence”.

This all proves that the Colombian army and intelligence forces have become much more sophisticated. Analysts say that FARC is being closely watched by the CIA, the FBI and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), as well as Mossad agents. The killing of Cano would not have become a reality without their participation. The above mentioned organizations have used all means, including threats to family members, to learn as much information about FARC as possible.

In July, 2010, the US managed to locate Cano`s guerrilla camp, shared the information with Colombia, and its army attempted to assassinate Cano. The operation resulted in the death of Cano`s 10 security guards, but the commander himself survived. A second attempt, coded Operation ‘Odyssey’, took place on November 4, 2011, in south-eastern department of Cauca, and was successful: Alfonso Cano was killed. Inspired by the results, Santos urged FARC rebels to surrender, saying that they had no other alternative but stop resistance if they did not want to be killed or jailed.

Santos offers a tough policy towards FARC: no negotiations, no compromise, the enemy must surrender arms and capitulate. The country`s army has been implementing a large-scale anti-guerrilla campaign, haunting rebels in the most distant areas, including those FARC camps which had been earlier considered impossible to reach. The army provides daily updates on FARC and any suspects who could be linked to the guerrilla group. They also regularly discover the guerrillas` arms caches. Last month the army shut down the main radio station operated by the FARC rebels, ‘Voice of Resistance’.

Santos has made it clear that he would stop fighting only in case all guerrillas surrender. Otherwise, the resistance will get even stronger in the coming years, with a $4 billion budget approved to meet these goal[s]. In his recent address to officers, Santos said that ”a final day of this 50-year-long conflict will become closer if we remain as persistent as we`ve been in the past years.” He added that no less than 250,000 troops and 190,000 police officers would be taking part in the anti-FARC campaign. ”Peace will arrive in Colombia, this way or another,”- said Santos.

Reprisal against any leftist groups, including guerrillas, has never stopped in Colombia. Although several commanders of the right-wing United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC) group faced trial, the Santos government still favors secret operations which result in the killings of guerrillas and their accomplices without taking them to trial. ‘Paramilitares’ (illegal armed groups) are always ready to compromise the guerrillas by organizing explosions in residential areas, and placing bombs in the offices occupied by newspaper journalists and TV staff. Throwing FARC leaflets at the scene of the attack is often enough to make people believe that FARC rebels are not ready for an open dialog. In fact, all peace initiatives submitted by the FARC, including the release of hostages, had been rejected by both the Uribe government and that led by Santos.

Although the FARC has repeatedly said that guerrillas are banned from taking any part in the production of drugs, not to mention their trafficking, the drug problem is often used by the army to compromise the guerrilla group. There are many drug cartels in Colombia, and their owners enjoy active support from local authorities, farmers, bankers and, of course, the US security services as maintaining control of drug trafficking from Colombia is a strategic task for Washington.

In a statement released on Alfonso Cano`s death, the FARC Secretariat says that ‘peace will come to Colombia only after all problems which had forced people to begin the uprising are solved’. These problems are the following: social inequality, unemployment, clashes between peasants and farmers over lands, and many more. This all has already force[d] at least 4 million Colombians to flee their homes and settle in camps for the replaced in Ecuador, Venezuela and other countries.

Several days after Cano`s death, the FARC had appointed its third commander-in-chief, Rodrigo Londoño Echeverry, aka “Timoshenko”. A member of the FARC since 1982, he received military and political training in Cuba and Russia before he was appointed to the FARC’s ruling body, the Secretariat, in the 1990s. He took his pseudonym in honor of Semyon Timoshenko, a famous Soviet General. When Santos demanded the FARC`s capitulation, Timoshenko said: “FARC are thousands and thousands of revolutionaries,” Timoshenko wrote, “and they brave the hardest conditions because they believe in their cause.” Since Cano`s death the rebels have already carried out some successful operations: attacked a garrison in Cauca, threw grenades into a car column, and blew up an oil pipe in Norte de Santander.

The current number of FARC and ELN rebels in Colombia stands at about 11,000. Among its major principles the group names the realization of a socialist society, fighting oligarchy and forcing US military bases out of the country.

Evidently, President Santos has no intention to sit down for talks with the guerrillas. The US is neither interested in ending the military confrontation for it is the only way to keep its presence on the border with Venezuela, which is a source of numerous problems for the Pentagon. The FARC Secretariat knows this quite well, and believes that sooner or later the US will attack the Bolivarian regime of Hugo Chavez. And this when the guerrilla movement might get a second wind. So, today the FARC`s only task is to withstand at all cost!

Edited by Zuo Shou

Article link: http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2011/12/01/colombian-guerrillas-capitulation-or-further-fighting.html

U.S. whips up war fever against Iran [Workers World]

Posted in 9/11, Assassination, Austria, Black propaganda, Capitalism crisis early 21st century, CIA, Corporate Media Critique, DEA, Early 21st Century global capitalist financial crisis' US origins, Economic crisis & decline, False flag, FBI, Hillary Clinton, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Media smear campaign, Nukes, Obama, Pakistan, Pentagon, Psychological warfare, Saudi Arabia, US "War on Terror", US imperialism, USA, Wall Street on October 24, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

By Gene Clancy
Published Oct 20, 2011

In a desperate attempt to cover up its absolute inability to solve the economic and political crisis that has engulfed the world, the U.S. ruling class and the U.S. government have resorted to a tried-and-true method of diverting mass sentiment: war frenzy.

On Oct. 12, Washington recklessly accused the Iranian government of sponsoring a terrorist plot in the United States . It was the same day that Iran announced the opening of its first nuclear power plant. The plant is designed for peaceful purposes and had official public U.S. and international support.

The following day, however, the U.S. military announced that militants “armed and trained by Iran” had fired on U.S. forces in Iraq. (New York Times, Oct. 13) The Pentagon gave no evidence of Iran’s connection to the act, but made clear its intention to create a climate of hostility towards Iran.

As part of the campaign, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sent warnings to U.S. travelers all around the world to be on “high alert” against possible “terror attacks.”

Meanwhile, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta was advising Congress that even the proposed very small cuts in war spending suggested by the so-called “super committee” looking for ways to reduce the deficit were unacceptable.

The Obama administration also began pressuring a forthcoming International Atomic Energy Agency assessment to come up with “evidence” that Iran is pursuing a clandestine effort to produce a nuclear-tipped missile. This is according to Washington’s representative with this organization, which is based in Vienna, Austria. (Global Security Newswire, Oct. 14)

There can be only one conclusion from these carefully coordinated developments: The U.S. is preparing for an all-out campaign against Iran that can end in a war of U.S. aggression.

The U.S. corporate media responded predictably, duplicating the government’s claims. An Oct. 11 Wall Street Journal editorial called the plot “a sobering wake-up call” in America’s “war on terror” and pushed for a more aggressive policy toward Iran.

President Barack Obama “underscored that the United States believes this plot to be a flagrant violent of U.S. and international law, and reiterated [his] commitment to meet our responsibilities to ensure the security of diplomats serving in our country.” (New York Times, Oct. 13)

Ali Akbar Javanfekr, a spokesperson for Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, had this to say about the so-called plot:

“I think the U.S. government is busy fabricating a new scenario, and history has shown both the U.S. government and the CIA have a lot of experience in fabricating these scenarios and this is just the latest one,” he said. “I think their goal is to reach the American public. They want to take the public’s mind off the serious domestic problems they’re facing these days and scare them with fabricated problems outside the country.” (CNN, Oct. 11)

The U.S. and its allies have been targeting Iran since the 1979 revolution there. Iran is a large country — a population of 78 million — with important oil resources. It occupies an important geopolitical position in the Middle East. Since 1979, it has opposed both U.S. imperialism and Israeli expansion in the region.

* U.S. practices entrapment *

Reporter Gareth Porter subjected the legal document released by the government to a point-by-point analysis. His conclusion was that the entire affair “was mainly the result of a Federal Bureau of Investigation sting operation.” (Asia Times Online, Oct. 14)

“Although the document, called an amended criminal complaint, implicates Iranian-American Mansour Arabsiar and his cousin Ali Gholam Shakuri, an officer in the Iranian Quds force, in a plan to assassinate Saudi Arabian ambassador Adel al-Jubeir, it also suggests that the idea ‘originated with and was strongly pushed by a single undercover DEA [Department of Drug Enforcement] informant, at the direction of the FBI.’”

The entrapment and conviction of suspects entirely on the testimony of FBI informants who served as agents provocateur has been a favorite tactic of the U.S. government in its “war on terror.”

A May 2011 study by New York University’s School of Law Center for Human Rights and Global Justice headlined, “Targeted and Entrapped: Manufacturing the ‘Homegrown Threat’ in the United States,” explained how, post-9/11, entrapment by FBI plants led to prosecutions of more than 200 individuals on bogus terrorism-related charges. Washington highlights them as proof of foiling plots — plots that, in fact, never existed.

The phony plots included blowing up Chicago’s Sears Tower; destroying New York landmarks; targeting U.S. soldiers at Fort Dix, N.J. and U.S. Marines at Quantico, Va.; downing National Guard aircraft with Stinger missiles; and destroying a Pakistan ambassador’s aircraft with a surface-to-air missile.

Not a shred of hard evidence was presented, just the word of FBI informants well paid to entrap and lie, and then getting the corporate media to repeat those lies without ever questioning the validity of any charges . Scores of people, mainly Muslims, have been arrested, mistreated, convicted and sentenced to long prison terms.

Statements by antiwar groups in the U.S. are pointing out how now that people are “rising up in righteous anger against the Wall Street banks and the U.S. government,” they must not be diverted into thinking “that their enemy is somewhere else, rather than right here at home.” (iacenter.org)

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Article link: http://www.workers.org/2011/world/iran_1027/

“Imperial occupation of Mexico and 2012 elections” by Nil Nikandrov [Strategic Culture Foundation]

Posted in "War on Drugs" pretext, Bourgeois parliamentary democracy, CIA, Connection to drugs and narcotics, DEA, FBI, George W. Bush, Obama, Pentagon, State Department, US drone strikes, US imperialism, USA on September 25, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

August 24, 2011

All the security services of the US are busy with the creation on anti-drug and anti-terror “defense line” in Mexico. They were especially successful during the presidency of G. Bush Jr. when they raised to power the most “manageable” president in the history of the Aztec country: first Vicente Fox and than Felipe Calderon. These politicians, who hid under patriotic statements their affiliation to “neo-liberal internationalism”, have been sticking to the pro-Empire course almost on all main issues of domestic and foreign policy. This led to Mexico’s comedown on the international arena especially in Latin America. One can hear more and more often people talking about the imperial occupation of Mexico as if it is an accomplished fact. The analogy, which comes to mind, is the US’ occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan simply without bombing and missile attacks. Calderon handed his country to the US by stealth under the pretext of “inevitable expansion of drug cartels and the threat that they can seize power in Mexico”. Militarization of the fight against drug cartels has not given any promising results. The death toll of this “quiet war” reaches tens of thousands of people. Drones the US armed forces are using “to detect channels of drug smuggling from Mexico to the US” are a fearful symbol of the escalation of this war.

Washingtonis doing its best to prolong the occupation regime. In July 2012, the presidential elections will be held in Mexico. Political analysts forecast that after 12 years of staying in the opposition the Institutional revolutionary party (PRI), which used to dominate at the Mexican political arena for decades, may return to power. Governor EnriquePeña is regarded as the most probable presidential candidate from PRI. This is a 45 year old party leader with [a] good reputation and the looks of a hero of Mexican soap operas.

The claims laid by his competitors against him – doubtful source of the funds spent on his image and election campaign. Millions of dollars are being spent on a respectable car, costumes and Cartier watch. How can the politician afford such a luxurious life style if he does not have his own business? But this is not a big deal when someone wants to appoint his inside man. That is why Washington prefers Pena Nieto. A preliminary “bride show” of Pena Nieto in the US began with his visit to the US Congress where the Mexican politician made a good impression on the congressmen. A number of “private” meetings with the representatives of influential agencies were held. Pena Nieto, “ future Mexican president”, as he was presented to the governmental officials, promised his conversation partners to strengthen the fight against drug cartels and terrorist groups, which pose threat to the US as well as to support Washington’s activities aimed at the limitation of the influence of the “populist” countries” and their return to “democratic values” within “non-confrontational” regional organizations. Pena Nieto made it clear to the US politicians that he is a “reliable alternative” to the threat of the revival of “the Mexican populism” represented by Andreas Manuel Lopez Obrador, the head of the national Revival Movement (Movimiento Regeneración Nacional – MRN).

The problem of Obrador is a serious concern for Washington. In 2006, this problem was resolved by means of the large-scale frame-up of the election results in favor of Calderon. In 2012, it will be much more difficult for Washington and Mexican oligarchs to “appoint their president”. That is why one year before the election an intensive promotion of Pena Nieto in mass media has already begun . He is being positioned as the all-national leader while Obrador is depicted as “secret supporter of Chavez”, a marginal politician, who is far from the needs of the Mexican people and is bound to fail. Meanwhile, it was Obrador who in the situation of the informational blockade was traveling across the country all these years after his “defeat”. He was meeting with his electorate and creating the MRN system and his political program as an alternative to the neo-liberal model aimed at helping Mexico to find the way out the permanent social and economic crisis.

“We reject any forms of the US’ interference, – repeats Obrador constantly – We do not want to be a foreign protectorate, a colony ruled by an alien government”. The politician opposes the course of the modern Mexican liberals on the military cooperation with the US and advocates for the priority of the trade and economic relations. “Instead of the Mérida initiative and the handover of weapons and helicopters to us, – Obrador says, – we offer the US government, if it really wants to help Mexico, to provide us loans without humiliating usurious interests. These funds will help us to live up the national economy to create working places and to form conditions for the reduction of immigration of our citizens to the US”.

Obrador rejects the current strategy of the “war against drug cartels”, used by Washington and Calderon’s government to justify the use of the Mexican and US troops on the territory of Mexico. This is the task of police and security agencies to fight drug mafia. That is why Obrador (if he wins the elections) promises to declare Calderon’s’ agreements with the US, which are humiliating for the national sovereignty and which establish de-facto Pentagon’s occupational regime, as invalid.

Many agreements of that kind were signed. Washington used political incapability of Calderon to achieve its geopolitical goals in Mexico, which is alongside with Columbia is regarded as a “bridgehead” to fight “populist” regimes of ALBA member-states. In fact Mexico now has parallel governing agencies headed by the US diplomats. They control thousands of “non-governmental organizations”, “volunteers” of the Peace Corps, contractors under different covers, the “fifth column” structures etc.

The Mérida initiative’s headquarters, which coordinates the war on drug trafficking and criminal groups, is located on Paseo de la Reforma 225 – not far from the US embassy. The representatives of US special services – DEA, CIA, FBI, the Bureau of alcohol, tobacco, firearms and explosives (ATF), immigration and customs control services are the bosses there. They carefully check their Mexican “partners” in order not to let the allies of Mexican drug lords and criminal gangs in the center of planning of joint operations. Of course, Americans do not inform their Mexican partners about all their operations. For example, one of them was carried out through ATF in the US. The “controlled supply” to Mexico of 2,000 АК-47 machine guns and sniper riffles for the purposes of fighting drug mafia failed. The responsible workers lost control over the biggest part of the supply. Observers note that arms are supplied to Mexico via different “controlled and uncontrolled” channels without meeting any special resistance from the US border guards and special agencies. Daily, Mexican clients receive up to 1,500-2,000 guns. The numbers of confiscated guns is much smaller but they have to produce something to report on their work …

US President Barack Obama is sending Earl Anthony Wayne as the new ambassador to Mexico. His mission is to ensure the victory of “the US candidate” at the coming presidential elections. Like many US diplomats Wayne has a serious military background. All this confirms the version that the US embassy is getting ready for working in critical circumstances. It should be noted that on the initiative of the Institutional revolutionary party (PRI) the agenda of the legislative and executive power includes the reform of the law on national security. The draft law envisages entrusting the president with additional authorities to stop constitutional guarantees and to use the army to suppress “street violence” (social protests).

Some political analysts think that the adoption of the law will be timed with Pena Nieto’s presidency. He will have to “push forward” numerous unpopular measures he promised to Washington, including the permission for the US armed forces to use the Mexican territory, waters and air space in their fights against potential enemies in the region. Is it necessary to name these enemies again?

Article link: http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2011/08/24/imperial-occupation-of-mexico-and-2012-elections.html