Updates & Weekly Round Up for December 12

Ron Paul on Escalation in Afghanistan, Obama Supports & Defends Domestic Enemies & More

Not much in terms of site updates on this week’s Boiling Frogs Round Up. If you haven’t listened to our interview with Pepe Escobar, please do; click here.

Last week I failed to bring to your attention an interesting and noteworthy interview:

Peter B Collins interviewed David Krikorian, challenger to GOP Rep. Jean Schmidt of Ohio, on Schmidt’s efforts to squelch Krikorian’s First Amendment rights and the infamous Turkish Lobby’s covert and overt influence of Schmidt’s campaign. Krikorian ran against Mean Jean in 2008 and got 17% of the vote as an independent. After he announced he would challenge her again in 2010 as a Democrat, Schmidt filed legal actions over Krikorian’s sharp criticism of her support from Turkish interests. Schmidt’s lawyer is Bruce Fein, an erstwhile friend of the PBC show for his support of impeachment for Bush and Cheney; Fein is counsel to the Turkish American Legal Defense Fund and an apologist for Turkey’s denial of the Armenian genocide.

This is a very interesting, and informative interview. You can listen to it here at Peter B Collins’ website. I’m looking forward to your feedback on this; many of you know why.

Rep. Ron Paul on the Escalation in Afghanistan

RonPaulCongressman Ron Paul has written an excellent editorial piece on our war in Afghanistan and President Obama’s escalation plans now in full action. As always he makes his points clearly and sincerely: No beating around the bush, no gobbledygook stuff, and no special interests or agenda to serve.

Dr. Paul hits some of the most important key words and phrases: Perpetual War, seeking out monsters to destroy abroad, Military Industrial Complex, the War Lobby, bypassing the Constitution, nebulous & never-ending conflicts, domestic liberties, nation-building, war-racketeers…Here are a couple of excerpts:


 

If anyone still doubted that this administration’s foreign policy would bring any kind of change, this week’s debate on Afghanistan should remove all doubt. The president’s stated justifications for sending more troops to Afghanistan and escalating the war amount to little more than recycling all the false reasons we began the conflict. It is so discouraging to see this coming from our new leadership, when the people were hoping for peace. New polls show that 49 percent of the people favor minding our own business on the world stage, up from 30 percent in 2002. Perpetual war is not solving anything. Indeed continually seeking out monsters to destroy abroad only threatens our security here at home as international resentment against us builds. The people understand this and are becoming increasingly frustrated at not being heard by the decision-makers. The leaders say some things the people want to hear, but change never comes.

We now find ourselves in another foreign policy quagmire with little hope of victory, and not even a definition of victory. Eisenhower said that only an alert and informed electorate could keep these war racketeering pressures at bay. He was right, and the key is for the people to ensure that their elected leaders follow the Constitution. The Constitution requires a declaration of war by Congress in order to legitimately go to war. Bypassing this critical step makes it far too easy to waste resources on nebulous and never-ending conflicts. Without clear goals, the conflicts last forever and drain the country of blood and treasure. The drafters of the Constitution gave Congress the power to declare war precisely because they feared allowing the executive unfettered discretion in military affairs. They understood that making it easy for leaders to wage foreign wars would threaten domestic liberties.

I don’t know about you but I for one always seem to find myself agreeing with Dr. Paul’s view on our foreign policy and the destructiveness of the long-in-power war party. You can read the brief but effective piece here. What do you think?
 

President Obama: Staunch Supporter of our Domestic Enemies?

It certainly appears that way. He’s been vehemently supporting the Patriot Act and its architects & defenders; he’s been relentlessly protecting the previous administrations’ wrongdoers and culprits involved in rendition and torture…And now this: White House wants suit against Yoo dismissed

The Obama administration has asked an appeals court to dismiss a lawsuit accusing former Bush administration attorney John Yoo of authorizing the torture of a terrorism suspect, saying federal law does not allow damage claims against lawyers who advise the president on national security issues.

Yoo, a UC Berkeley law professor, worked for the Justice Department from 2001 to 2003. He was the author of a 2002 memo that said rough treatment of captives amounts to torture only if it causes the same level of pain as “organ failure, impairment of bodily function or even death.” The memo also said the president may have the power to authorize torture of enemy combatants.

 

TortureExample

 

We’ve been writing and talking about many cases, issues, and points where Obama has been supporting, defending, and continuing the Bush administration’s practices and abuses. Now can we think of any cases, examples, or issues where he, Obama, has actually been opposing or challenging the previous administration’s decisions, policies, or practices? In the Human Rights area? Our civil liberties? War(s)? I didn’t think so either…

The Revolving Doors Keeps Revolving

The revolving door phenomenon has always ranked high among my list of core issues at the heart of diseases that have been inflicted on and metastasized in our nation. A while ago I wrote a piece on this issue titled: The Auctioning of Former Statesmen & Dime a Dozen Generals . Well, here is a recent relevant article on this same disease:

The Army used a loophole in federal ethics law to award lucrative contracts to two recently retired generals, departing from its standard practice for hiring senior advisers, according to public records and interviews.

During the past two years, the Army wanted to bring back two former generals, John Vines and Dan McNeill, to advise commanders as part of its “senior mentor” program. But the service’s program is run by a defense contractor, Northrop Grumman, and federal ethics law prohibits newly retired senior employees from representing a company before their former agency for one year.

That “cooling off” period is designed to prohibit “acts by former government employees which may reasonably give the appearance of making unfair use of prior government employment,” according to ethics regulations. The Army found a way around the rule. Instead of hiring them as defense company subcontractors, as it does for roughly two dozen other Army mentors, the service contracted directly with McNeill and Vines. McNeill received his contract after the Army wrote specific bid solicitations that applied to him and perhaps a few other retired generals. Vines received contracts without competition, records show.

All told, the Army paid McNeill $281,625 from December 2008 through August 2009, federal records show. McNeill told USA Today he also consults for defense firms but declined to name them. He isn’t required to tell the Army about them, either.

Anyway; here is the link to the rest of this Army Times article.

Down the Police State Lane

On Monday I’ll be posting my belated Part IV of The Makings of a Police State series. Meanwhile, here is another item, an additional ingredient, to be added to our boiling pot: Homeland Security Embarks on Big Brother Programs to Read Our Minds and Emotions:

This past February, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) awarded a one-year, $2.6 million grant to the Cambridge, MA.-based Charles Stark Draper Laboratory to develop computerized sensors capable of detecting a person’s level of “malintent” — or intention to do harm. It’s only the most recent of numerous contracts awarded to Draper and assorted research outfits by the U.S. government over the past few years under the auspices of a project called “Future Attribute Screening Technologies,” or FAST. It’s the next wave of behavior surveillance from DHS and taxpayers have paid some $20 million on it so far.

Conceived as a cutting-edge counter-terrorism tool, the FAST program will ostensibly detect subjects’ bad intentions by monitoring their physiological characteristics, particularly those associated with fear and anxiety. It’s part of a broader “initiative to develop innovative, non-invasive technologies to screen people at security checkpoints,” according to DHS.

The “non-invasive” claim might be a bit of a stretch. A DHS report issued last December outlined some of the possible technological features of FAST, which include “a remote cardiovascular and respiratory sensor” to measure “heart rate, heart rate variability, respiration rate, and respiratory sinus arrhythmia,” a “remote eye tracker” that “uses a camera and processing software to track the position and gaze of the eyes (and, in some instances, the entire head),” “thermal cameras that provide detailed information on the changes in the thermal properties of the skin in the face,” and “a high resolution video that allows for highly detailed images of the face and body … and an audio system for analyzing human voice for pitch change.”

 
I’ll stop quoting here and urge you to go and read about this mind boggling plan. Once, if, when, it kicks in you may want to think twice before consuming your daily triple shot lattes before your departures. Ladies, you may want to plan departure dates based on your monthly cycle, since some of us know how our body temperature and blood pressure tend to fluctuate crazily during certain times of the month; those of you going through pre-menopause or menopause, you may want to consider not flying all together… I mean come on people; is this for real??!!


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Comments

  1. The part of the quote from Ron Paul where he mentioned seeking out ‘monsters’ to fight it reminded me of this quote, from Nietzche, which I think perfectly describes what happened with the ‘war on terror’, “Battle not with monsters lest ye become a monster.” As for the emotion reading machine, it’s utterly stupid. I guarantee we won’t have any highly trained people to man these machines if they ever get installed. And even if we did it basically just means if the draconian security measures and unfriendly security piss you off, you set of alarm bells and they get to piss you off more. Or, if you’re nervous because of a something to do with work, or your relationships, you could get an extra-invasive search. In other news, relating to the recent posts about Pipelinistan, here’s something involving Turkmen gas, the Saudis, and Mossad, http://tinyurl.com/yevncmr

  2. Hey, this Web site is being attacked. I just came to this site and was reading the article, came to the point where you click on “read more” and that’s when my VPN tunnel went crazy. Ping results:

    Last login: Sat Dec 12 15:01:02 on console
    You have mail.
    icu:~ nick$ ping 4.2.2.2
    PING 4.2.2.2 (4.2.2.2): 56 data bytes
    ping: sendto: No buffer space available
    ping: sendto: No buffer space available
    Request timeout for icmp_seq 0
    ping: sendto: No buffer space available
    Request timeout for icmp_seq 1
    ^C
    — 4.2.2.2 ping statistics —
    3 packets transmitted, 0 packets received, 100.0% packet loss

    That means my Comcast router was getting banged with requests from some computer (NSA_CIA) those pricks.

    Dr Paul sounds real good. Hope he’s for real and believe it might be so. I believe his stance is for ending the CIA’s black market imposed on humanity known as “the war on drugs” as well as for ending their “control the currency of a nation and I care not who is president” racket.

    “The prestige of government has undoubtedly been lowered considerably by the Prohibition law. For nothing is more destructive of respect for the government and the law of the land than passing laws which cannot be enforced. It is an open secret that the dangerous increase of crime in this country is closely connected with this.”
    – Albert Einstein, My First Impression of the U.S.A., 1921

    “Every time you stop a school, you will have to build a jail. What you gain at one end you lose at the other. It’s like feeding a dog on his own tail. It won’t fatten the dog.” — Mark Twain, Speech 11/23/1900

    ETHNIC CLEANSING

    There’s Youtube footage on Congressional testimony by Gov. suits to Feingold where they admit that the “Patriot Act” is 99% of the time used against the civilian population in this country, specifically for their drug “revenue”.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gPVm6CZXOyc

    These people will not give up power because they know they will be held accountable. Hope Dr Paul doesn’t go hang out with that other would be liberator:

    After the embarrassing failure of the invasion, which never evoked the hoped-for spontaneous anti-Castro
    insurrection, Kennedy fired Allen Dulles, his Harrimanite deputy Bissell, and CIA Deputy Director Charles Cabell (whose brother was the mayor of Dallas at the time Kennedy was shot).
    During the days after the Bay of Pigs debacle, Kennedy was deeply suspicious of the intelligence community and of proposals for military escalation in general, including in places like South Vietnam. Kennedy
    sought to procure an outside, expert opinion on military matters. For this he turned to the former commander in chief of the Southwest Pacific Theatre during World War II, General Douglas MacArthur. Almost ten years ago, a reliable source shared with one of the authors an account of a meeting between Kennedy and MacArthur in which the veteran general warned the young President that there were elements inside the U.S. government who emphatically did not share his patriotic motives, and who were seeking to destroy his administration from within. MacArthur warned that the forces bent on destroying Kennedy were centered in the Wall Street financial
    community and its various tentacles in the intelligence community.
    It is a matter of public record that Kennedy met with MacArthur in the latter part of April 1961, after the Bay of Pigs. According to Kennedy aide Theodore Sorenson, MacArthur told Kennedy, “The chickens are coming home to roost, and you happen to have just moved into the chicken house.” / Note #9 At the same meeting, according to Sorenson, MacArthur “warned [Kennedy] against the commitment of American foot soldiers on the Asian mainland, and the President never forgot this advice.” / Note #1 / Note #0 This point is
    grudgingly confirmed by Arthur M. Schlesinger, a Kennedy aide who had a vested interest in vilifying MacArthur, who wrote that “MacArthur expressed his old view that anyone wanting to commit American ground forces to the mainland [of Asia] should have his head examined.” / Note #1 / Note #1
    MacArthur restated this advice during a second meeting with Kennedy when
    the General returned from his last trip to the Far East in July 1961.
    Kennedy valued MacArthur’s professional military opinion highly, and used
    it to keep at arms length those advisers who were arguing for escalation in
    Laos, Vietnam, and elsewhere. He repeatedly invited those who proposed to
    send land forces to Asia to convince MacArthur that this was a good idea.
    If they could convince MacArthur, then he, Kennedy, might also go along.
    At this time, the group proposing escalation in Vietnam (as well as
    preparing the assassination of President Diem) had a heavy Brown Brothers
    Harriman/Skull and Bones overtone: The hawks of 1961-63 were Harriman,
    McGeorge Bundy, William Bundy, Henry Cabot Lodge, and some key London
    oligarchs and theoreticians of counterinsurgency wars. And of course,
    George Bush during these years was calling for escalation in Vietnam and
    challenging Kennedy to “muster the courage” to try a second invasion of
    Cuba.

  3. avatar Bill Bergman says:

    Dr. Paul makes a lot of sense, but one question I have is whether his assertion that the Constitution requires that we get a Congressional declaration of war before going to war really holds water, Constitutionally.

  4. Seems to me that obedience to the point of going against one’s own conscience is a factor in both VUI and torture.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milgram_experiment

  5. Drugs money worth billions of dollars kept the financial system afloat at the height of the global crisis, the United Nations’ drugs and crime tsar has told the Observer.

    Antonio Maria Costa, head of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, said he has seen evidence that the proceeds of organised crime were “the only liquid investment capital” available to some banks on the brink of collapse last year. He said that a majority of the $352bn (£216bn) of drugs profits was absorbed into the economic system as a result.

    This will raise questions about crime’s influence on the economic system at times of crisis. It will also prompt further examination of the banking sector as world leaders, including Barack Obama and Gordon Brown, call for new International Monetary Fund regulations. Speaking from his office in Vienna, Costa said evidence that illegal money was being absorbed into the financial system was first drawn to his attention by intelligence agencies and prosecutors around 18 months ago. “In many instances, the money from drugs was the only liquid investment capital. In the second half of 2008, liquidity was the banking system’s main problem and hence liquid capital became an important factor,” he said.

    Some of the evidence put before his office indicated that gang money was used to save some banks from collapse when lending seized up, he said.

    “Inter-bank loans were funded by money that originated from the drugs trade and other illegal activities… There were signs that some banks were rescued that way.” Costa declined to identify countries or banks that may have received any drugs money, saying that would be inappropriate because his office is supposed to address the problem, not apportion blame. But he said the money is now a part of the official system and had been effectively laundered.

    “That was the moment [last year] when the system was basically paralysed because of the unwillingness of banks to lend money to one another. The progressive liquidisation to the system and the progressive improvement by some banks of their share values [has meant that] the problem [of illegal money] has become much less serious than it was,” he said.

    The IMF estimated that large US and European banks lost more than $1tn on toxic assets and from bad loans from January 2007 to September 2009 and more than 200 mortgage lenders went bankrupt. Many major institutions either failed, were acquired under duress, or were subject to government takeover.
    Rajeev Syal
    The Observer, Sunday 13 December 2009

    “Gangs are now believed to make most of their profits from the drugs trade and are estimated to be worth £352bn, the UN says. They have traditionally kept proceeds in cash or moved it offshore to hide it from the authorities. It is understood that evidence that drug money has flowed into banks came from officials in Britain, Switzerland, Italy and the US.

    British bankers would want to see any evidence that Costa has to back his claims. A British Bankers’ Association spokesman said: “We have not been party to any regulatory dialogue that would support a theory of this kind. There was clearly a lack of liquidity in the system and to a large degree this was filled by the intervention of central banks.”

  6. I remember reading in the past about a method of detecting a person’s heart rate at a distance by bouncing microwaves off a person’s chest. The article’s I checked now don’t mention how they do the measurements of heart rate. If this is how they do the “measurement” tthe difference between measurement and damage to the heart is how much power they use.

    What they’re doing does seem invasive. From the way these people describe what they’re doing, the imprerssion that comes across is like they view the people as their property to do with as they will as though they’re the superiors and the people should be subordinate to them.

  7. Sibel

    I am so glad you decided to write about Obama and John Yoo.

    It is a Moral Outrage that the War Criminal, John Yoo, is being protected by the Obama Administration for his part in the TORTURING of an AMERICAN CITIZEN. I wonder how many citizens might be able to make similar claims of torture by our Govt. using clandestine methods that aren’t talked about openly, and if they are the people are discredited as being “mentally ill” even if they are not.
    Might they use possible technological features as quoted in your other piece, Down the Police State Lane. In fact, I know they do – on a personal level.

    Homeland Security Embarks on Big Brother Programs to Read Our Minds and Emotions. I think they’ve been perfecting this on me, remotely.

    The “non-invasive” claim might be a bit of a stretch. A DHS report issued last December outlined some of the possible technological features of FAST, which include “a remote cardiovascular and respiratory sensor” to measure “heart rate, heart rate variability, respiration rate, and respiratory sinus arrhythmia,” a “remote eye tracker” that “uses a camera and processing software to track the position and gaze of the eyes (and, in some instances, the entire head),” “thermal cameras that provide detailed information on the changes in the thermal properties of the skin in the face,” and “a high resolution video that allows for highly detailed images of the face and body … and an audio system for analyzing human voice for pitch change.”

    ‘possible technological features’

    you betcha’

    And now even if I could get a lawyer, which I can’t and Lord knows I’ve tried, I would be unable to even bring a Suit to prosecute the people responsible for enacting the methods, many of them used on me that are in the Jose Padilla lawsuit. I am talking about years John Yoo, and YOU know it.

    GO F YOURSELF YOO.

  8. I agree that Afghanistan is a quagmire. But here’s an idea that might break us out of the Two-Party-Blame-Them-For-Everything-That’s-Wrong mentality.

    Since the MSM loves something outrageous to draw attention to an issue, how come more politicians (like Paul) don’t do this? We all know the usual responses:

    You have to work within the system.
    You have to give it time.
    (The Pelosi Doctrine)First, we have the votes. Then we don’t. Then we do. You’re only the Speaker of the House. Is it that hard to keep track of this?

    Why don’t the Democrats filibuster? Why don’t they let the neocons do it if they threaten to? The point is that the status quo of not rocking the system doesn’t work. Yet the other side of it is that nobody wants to lose their seat during this global meltdown.

    At least this site is doing it’s part. So let’s keep working at it.

  9. Here’s another angle on this.As this gets worse, does it seem like the “pundits” book list is getting longer? Pundits in this case are people who’ve never been to Afghanistan and don’t take the time to do their research (unlike those who post here).

    It’s kind of like the global meltdown. No accountability continues. And now there are even more books about this. The latest: Brian Ross’s new book about Madoff. I saw him on C-SPAN plugging it. And frankly it wasn’t much of a pitch to buy it. “There was much more than meets the eye with Madoff.” Not exactly an earth-shattering statement from ABC’s top investigative guy.

  10. avatar mcthorogood says:

    How is that the establishment, i.e., Republicans, Democrats, and corporations can control the minds of 300+ million people? Simply, by the MSM not reporting the truth, the whole truth and nothing, but, the truth. You can say that I’m lucky, I turned my T.V. off 25 years ago. I can’t regurgitate the latest shinola reported on T.V. and I don’t derisively dismiss anyone’s views by calling them a conspiracy theorist.

    Chris Hedges wrote an article several days ago asking why the political right has the loudest voice, while the left lacks leadership. Ron Paul had a single unifying message that anyone could understand; the U.S. Constitution is the law of the land. Stemming from that singular message are many corollaries, such as the legal war, legal immigration, and states’ rights, that were denied a venue at the Presidential debates.

    The left vs. right scenario is a fabrication that serves to keep the electorate divided. Thomas Jefferson once said, “If I had to choose between government without newspapers, and newspapers without government, I wouldn’t hesitate to choose the latter.” Today, the U.S. is a corpocracy allowed to exist by an impotent fourth estate.

  11. …and when I called 911 for the Fire/Rescue to come and hopefully remove this microchip in my arm, after Bush stole the 2004 election, they waved a cat toy laser pen over it and said “you don’t go to the emergency dept. for this, tell your doctor the next time you see him” smirkingly.

    A laser pen! Since when did they start using such advanced diagnostic tools?

    And I can’t get an attorney, there is no conspiracy or coverup.
    You decide.

    Don’t those people take an Oath too?

  12. @True Oil: Is there a reason for adding this slick, non-verifiable, paranoid-sounding personal story in the comments here? Isn’t it about time you mentioned UFOs?

  13. Here’s a system to detect heart and respiration rates with microwave doppler radar. I don’t know if the same method used in FAST.

    Non-contact measurement of heart and respiration rates with a single-chip microwave doppler radar
    http://transducers.stanford.edu/Publications/DroitcourThesis.html

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