Updates & Weekly Round Up for December 19

Boiling Frogs Updates, Obama’s Preferred Killing Machines, Obama: Armed & Dangerous with States Secrets Privilege, & More

A major snow storm in effect with seven inches of snow already on the ground, fireplace roaring in the background, an ultra large mug of traditionally brewed Darjeeling tea sitting next to my pc, and my now 17 month old daughter playing right in front of the window where she can have a full view of the winter wonderland, make up the personal side of my update for this Saturday.

As for site updates, not much to report. Our site traffic this week was simply amazing, which is what it takes to get me going and make my ambitious to-do list even longer and more outrageous than it already is!

Peter B and I had a very interesting and informative string of interview sessions: Daniel Ellsberg, Nafeez Ahmed, and Andy Worthington. There will be no new interview posted next week, since I’ll be taking a real break from my computer for a few days starting on Wednesday, Dec 23. After that, I still have our interview with Mark Klein (AT&T-NSA) to post, and after that we’ll have the new year series starting with Dan Ellsberg.

I’ve been working with two producer-editor friends on a very exciting new project for Boiling Frogs Post. We’re planning to produce and publish an exclusive online documentary series, and we are already rolling! I won’t give out too much here, but in a month or so we’ll have much more to report on this. Stay tuned.

Now, here are a few items of interest:

Obama’s Preferred Killing Machines: Drones, drones, and more drone attacks

DronePresident Obama and his hawks are planning to increase the number of drone attacks. Since the new administration has taken office, the campaign of drone strikes in Pakistan, which ironically began during the final months of the Bush administration, has intensified significantly. The US establishment media’s reporting on this issue has been limited to cursory and ultra-shallow pieces with a cosmetic line or two to give the effect of covering all sides; I’m sure all are vetted, approved, and dictated by the usual puppet masters. Absent in almost all these reports are: the real number of civilian casualties and the implications, and the real assessment of the purpose and effectiveness of our new president’s preferred killing machines in our undeclared wars.

Let me give you a few examples and a bit of a context:

Here are a few excerpts from L.A. Times reporting on this:

Senior U.S. officials are pushing to expand CIA drone strikes beyond Pakistan’s tribal region and into a major city in an attempt to pressure the Pakistani government to pursue Taliban leaders based in Quetta.

Okay, so that’s the introduction. They sanitize the real purpose with key words: Taliban Leaders. They want the reader to take that as the purpose.  Next is this:

The proposal has opened a contentious new front in the clandestine war. The prospect of Predator aircraft strikes in Quetta, a sprawling city, signals a new U.S. resolve to decapitate the Taliban. But it also risks rupturing Washington’s relationship with Islamabad.

As you can see it is indirectly, but not very subtly, justifying and cheering the drone attacks. Pay special attention to the following: ‘A new U.S. Resolve’- As in a strong, determined new administration, and ‘decapitate the Taliban’- as in wiping out the big bad evil shalvars-wearing curly-bearded cavemen who have been somehow declared, without technically being declared, as the terrorists and culprits in 9/11.

The side effect, the only tiny side effect aka risk cited is: oh it may put a little dent in our relationship with Pakistan.

The propaganda piece published by the stenographers at LA Times first offers the mike to the proponents of upping the killing machines:

The concern has created tension among Obama administration officials over whether unmanned aircraft strikes in a city of 850,000 are a realistic option. Proponents, including some military leaders, argue that attacking the Taliban in Quetta — or at least threatening to do so — is critical to the success of the revised war strategy President Obama unveiled last week.

As for the opponents, they only site the possibility of some dents on our relationship with Pakistan:

But others, including high-ranking U.S. intelligence officials, have been more skeptical of employing drone attacks in a place that Pakistanis see as part of their country’s core. Pakistani officials have warned that the fallout would be severe.” We are not a banana republic,” said a senior Pakistani official involved in discussions of security issues with the Obama administration. If the United States follows through, the official said, “this might be the end of the road.”

And finally, the stenographers continue with this glowing report on this now widely popular war machine strategy, albeit stating a false and unproven success record:

The CIA has carried out dozens of Predator strikes in Pakistan’s tribal belt over the last two years, relying extensively on information provided by informant networks run by Pakistan’s spy service, Inter-Services Intelligence.


The campaign is credited with killing at least 10 senior Al Qaeda operatives since the pace of the strikes was accelerated in August 2008, but has enraged many Pakistanis because of civilian casualties.

….

The so-called report conveniently omits the number of civilian casualties, the ratio between the actual targets hit and the innocents murdered, the real cost, and the implications when it comes to probable violation of sections 4 and 5 of Article 51, which prohibits attacks that treat military and civilian objects as one and the same. Yap, as always, the establishment media provides zip zip zilch on all the important facts and issues that really matter. Now, please read this propaganda trash that is being marketed by not only the L.A. Times stenographers but almost all the other establishment propaganda machines collectively referred to as the US Media.

Now, let’s look at some facts and reality points involving these drone attacks our new president seems to be so enamored with:

The US Drone Attacks, its Casualties, and the Implications

DroneVictimHow long have we been hearing and reading glowing reports by our establishment media on ‘allegedly killed Al Qaeda Leaders’ and the glowing success of our drone attacks? And, once in a while, in small print, back-page, after-the-fact, corrections saying ‘ooooppps, now they say it couldn’t be confirmed whether these top Al Qaeda targets were actually killed’? You know exactly what I’m talking about. So, where are the balancing reports that are alleged, and in some cases supported and confirmed, from the other side?

For instance, there are reports that allege that between January 2006 and April 2009, U.S. drone attacks have killed 687 civilians and 14 al-Qaeda operatives, amounting to a ratio of 50 civilians killed per one al-Qaeda target killed. In other words, our drone attacks civilian death ratio has been around 95%. Or that of 60 drone strikes only 10 of them hit actual al-Qaeda targets, because of either faulty intelligence or reasons deemed top classified.

Here are some excerpts from a piece analyzing these alleged reports from the other side, the side our media fails to mention in almost every report:

This report utilizes well-established principles of both treaty and customary international law as a measuring stick for attempting to determine the legal and moral legitimacy of the covert U.S. policy of using drones to attack targets in Pakistan. This analysis is unique in that it uses both broad assessments as well as pertinent individual case studies with the purpose of chronicling the details of several drone attacks over a period of 45 months in the interest of legal evaluation. Drawing from a vast collection of reliable press reports, independent human rights testimonies, and the most prominent, mainstream studies, this report is quite possibly the most comprehensive analysis on the topic to date and likely the first of its kind to appear in the wake of the US-Pakistan drone controversy.

The most cited and controversial report to date on the casualty results of U.S. drone strikes is the April 2009 report published by Pakistan’s leading English daily, The News.[2] The report was authored by Amir Mir who is known by leading American strategic analysts as “a well-regarded Pakistani terrorism expert.”[3] The report, relying on internal Pakistani government sources, alleges that from January 14, 2006 to April 8, 2009, U.S. drone bombings killed 687 civilians and 14 al-Qaeda operatives, amounting to a ratio of nearly 50 civilians killed for every al-Qaeda operative killed, or a 94% civilian death rate. Out of 60 total strikes, only 10 hit any al-Qaeda targets. The sources attributed the failed drone attacks to “faulty intelligence information” which resulted in the “killing [of] hundreds of innocent civilians, including women and children.” It goes on to detail the numbers of deaths, the statuses of the victims, and the dates of specific attacks, all within annual and monthly time frames.

This report has since been cited and endorsed by several relevant and mainstream commentators, despite the fact that it has been largely ignored, or at best, marginalized and down-played, by the mainstream media in the United States. Most notably, in a meeting with Congress this past May, former senior counterinsurgency advisor to the U.S. Army, David Kilcullen, told the U.S. government to “call off the drones” noting that “since 2006, we’ve killed 14 senior Al Qaeda leaders using drone strikes; in the same time period, we’ve killed 700 Pakistani civilians in the same area.

MoreDroneVictims

I encourage you to take the time and read this important and interesting analysis, and especially the well-documented sources and links cited at the end of it.

Obama: Armed & Dangerous with States Secrets Privilege

ObamaBushYou may be sick and tired of me citing and writing about the new administration’s nonstop assault on our civil liberties since taking office last January, and you would think I would be even sicker and more tired of writing and reporting on these assaults; you would be right. However, we can’t just ignore, look the other way, and avoid this extremely important area of our lives: Our Liberties. So I’ll keep writing about it, and I ask you to please keep reading and talking about it…at least until we actually ‘do’ something about it.

Okay, let’s see what this fraud of a president and his administration have been doing lately in depriving our nation of its civil rights and liberties:

San Francisco Gates reports on another Obama attempt to play the State Secrets Privilege and other secrecy cards to prevent another court hearing on torture:

A lawsuit accusing a Bay Area flight-planning company of aiding an alleged CIA program of kidnapping and torturing terror suspects threatens national security and is too sensitive to discuss fully in a public courtroom, an Obama administration attorney argued Tuesday.

“The case cannot proceed without getting into state secrets,” Justice Department lawyer Douglas Letter told an 11-judge panel of the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.

Several judges noted that most of the essential facts of the case have been widely aired – the existence of the “extraordinary rendition” program under President George W. Bush, the five plaintiffs’ accounts of their abduction and torture, and the alleged participation by Jeppesen Dataplan of San Jose – and asked why the case is too sensitive for the courts to hear.

Letter said he could reply only in a closed session. For the record, he said, “the U.S. government will not confirm or deny any relationship with Jeppesen.”

Read the entire article here. And, you can read my previous commentaries and articles here, here, and here.

Here is even a more Kafkaesque and simply outrageous case where the fraud man and his administration are trying to compete with the previous administration on the degree and the boldness of the assault on civil liberties, and in fact succeeding! The following are the excerpts from an article from the Kentucky Enquirer:

What do sex, age, race and disability discrimination have in common? They are considered state secrets when air marshals claim they are discriminated against by their federal bosses and subjected to retaliation when they report the alleged abuse.

Federal prosecutors have been largely successful in arguing national security in sealing – and closing the courtroom for hearings and trials – in a half dozen civil rights lawsuits filed by Erlanger-based air marshals in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky. The latest was filed Nov. 24 at the federal courthouse in Covington.

SSI has figured in a series of lawsuits across the nation, said Steven Aftergood, director of the Project on Government Secrecy for the Federation of American Scientists. He said some judges have ruled that SSI was cited to illegally to keep information secret.

Aftergood said it’s the judges’ responsibility to review the materials, and consider arguments on both sides, before sealing court documents on the basis they contain information that could threaten national security.” To say the records were improperly sealed is a criticism of the court as much as it is of the government,” Aftergood said. “In a way, the government can’t be faulted for pursuing its own interests.”

So, what do you think? How does Obama measure up against Bush on secrecy and abuse and misuse of States Secrets Privilege? Is he bolder and even more vicious, as if we thought that could be possible?! You decide. You know my answer.

I’m running out of time, but here is another noteworthy links with a few excerpts:

China, Kazakhstan unveil landmark gas pipeline

Pipeline

AP News reports:

The leaders of Kazakhstan and China jointly unveiled Saturday the Kazakh section of a natural gas pipeline that will tap into Central Asia’s vast energy riches and loosen Russia’s influence over the region. The pipeline, due to come online in days, is part of China’s efforts to secure energy supplies for its booming economy.

The 1,300-kilometer Kazakhstan-China pipeline is the Central Asian nation’s first export route that completely bypasses Russia.

Gas deliveries to China through the pipeline are expected to hit around 13 billion cubic meters in 2010, with supplies fulfilling pipeline capacity by 2013, after the route has been definitively completed. Building the Kazakh section cost $6.7 billion and took more than 4,000 workers to complete in under two years, KazMunaiGaz said.

The entire 7,000-kilometer (4,300-mile) Turkmenistan-China pipeline cuts through Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan into China’s far western Xinjiang region. Commencement of gas deliveries from Turkmenistan to China comes as the former Soviet nation remains mired in a dispute with Russia.

Turkmenistan has until recently sold most of its gas to Russia. However, supplies have been suspended since a pipeline blast in April that Turkmenistan blames on Gazprom.

Read the brief article here.


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Comments

  1. Enjoying my spicy Mexican dinner and Sprite as I sit and write this.

    Just watched Obama’s Copengahen assembly speech. Is he perpetuating much of what the previous guy did? Yes.

    Why? No surprise, profit. I’ve been trying to think of anything else that might be the answer. And I’m stuck.

    Look at the various signs up till now. The hardcore Obama supporters still say, he’s our guy. Give him time. He’ll get it right.

    Oh, really? What “change” has he accomplished since he came in in January?:

    The State Security Apparatus (call it what it is) is still firmly in place. Not all but many say, if you have nothing to hide then why complain about it?

    We still have troops in Iraq. How many civilians have been killed there? Then again, it’s the old out-of-sight-out-of-mind thing. That’s over THERE. That doesn’t affect me. Besides, as long as we keep killing terrorists, that’s all that matters.

    In Afghanistan, we’re going to win the “hearts and minds” of the people. How? How can you acomplish that when the people don’t want you there.

    Obama is a multi-millionaire (largely to the success of his books). Now a question: how much (if anything) is he making from defense investments? Normally a question like that would get you banned from the MSM. But luckily I can ask that here.

    Another hot investment area: carbon derivitives. This market is now bigger than the subprime derivitive market. Naturally the States is fighting to maintain it’s share of this.

    Why? To maintain our consumer lifestyle. Why are we entitled to that (and the rest of the world isn’t)? Is it only because of who we are?

    Bear with me as I mention this again. We consume a huge amount of natural resources and produce a huge amount of CO2. Yet once again because of who we are, accountability doesn’t apply. And, the other countries are supposed to obediently fall into line and do what we say?

    I don’t think so.

  2. @T: All good points. Did you really watch him?! I can’t stomach watching him, so I limit myself to text when it comes to this guy. Are you sure you don’t want something stronger than Sprite after that trauma?:-) Anything spicy, make that ultra spicy: my kinda food; especially Thai (with 4-stars or above heat level!). Still snowing here. I’ll think about clearing the garage-way tomorrow morning…

  3. @Sibel,

    Yes I did watch him. And it was like watching a foreign film. I’m hearinng one thing. But he’s REALLY saying something else. And now, there’s nothing. Some countries could literally disappear because of this. But what do the big countries do? They’re fighting over their share of the carbon market. And maybe the reason the business MSM isn’t talking about this is because they don’t want to piss off some of their advertisers.

    Re: food and drinks, I’m trying to pace myself :) . But I agree about spicy. It always amazes me that there’s now wide range of salsa:
    mild
    medium
    hot
    very hot
    really spicy and hot
    are you old enough to eat this?
    and more

    This could be a whole new market :) .

  4. Sorry about the typos in the previous post. Got too excited thinking about salsa….

  5. Sibel, the new year series starting with Dan Ellsberg sounds fabulous, something good to look forward to.

    Quetta is a very disturbing development. There must be another way to accomplish this. HellFire missiles raining down on a City of 850,000 people. The Core of Pakistan.

    They need to follow that thought through.

  6. avatar JamesLaffrey says:

    Strong updates, Sibel.

    As I’ve said before, Pakistan looks like the next domino, with Iran a close second. The quotes you cite set up the idea (a lie) that if the drone terrorism hurts the U.S. relationship with Pakistan, well, it’s “worth it” in order to “decapitate” the Taliban-Al-Qaida. (It’s easy to predict ObombA’s future lies.) Then, when Pakistan “defies” U.S. demands, when Pakistan “blocks” “necessary” U.S. “anti-terrorism” efforts, the U.S. will take “justified” action against the “conspiracy by certain high level Pakistanis” “aiding and abetting terrorists.” And those Pakistanis will be blamed for “protecting” Osama Bin Laden all these years. Yeah, THAT’s why the U.S. hasn’t caught OBL yet.

    We have to stop the crimes being committed by the U.S. Deep State (which is really international, though headquartered in the U.S.). “Putting information out there” (as Russ Baker and Peter B said in podcast 16) is not going to bring change in our lifetimes. Jim Garrison is dead. He put it out there, and nothing changed in his lifetime. Posting information on relatively low-traffic websites is important from a journalism point of view. But it’s not active from an ACTION point of view. It’s passive. People have to find the website, they have to choose to click, and they have to choose to read or to click again and listen.

    Enough information is already “out there.” We know, for example, that the CIA was involved and presidents have covered up crimes including the JFK assassination, the Oklahoma City bombing, 9/11, the Iraq invasion, and international torture. Those are just the very easy examples. We already KNOW. And the crimes are ongoing. We already know.

    I’ll say it just one more time: We need to plan and conduct creative legal actions and creative public events. And we have to plan to govern. (I guess nobody’s “Brave like MLK,” which explains the continuing passivity by nearly all commenters.) I don’t have the resources to initiate legal actions and public events. I’m alone. But I guess, as usual in my life, I’ll have to try alone.

    But I’ll keep reading here. I support what you’re doing. And I know Sibel is a proven doer — a true American hero, as was Jim Garrison, and as is Jesse Trentadue.

  7. The red, white, and blue Cadillac roared down the highway, smoke billowing behind. “Daddy, we’re lost!” the little girl in the passenger seat sobbed plaintively. The lanky driver adjusted the rear view mirror to catch his reflection “Baby, daddy knows where we’re going, go back to sleep.” The Cadillac roared ever faster, horn blaring drivers from the fast lane, some swerving wildly–hit from behind. The driver, nonplussed, adjusted the driver’s side mirror to catch another angle of himself and scanned the instruments: temperature–red, gas–just above “E”–he relaxed, sitting back in the plush seat. “If you’d gone to sleep you wouldn’t be crying” he said. “You *wanted* to take this trip with daddy.” Thrown into the armrest, she sobbed harder as the car lurched to pass on the shoulder. She fairly screamed at him over the wind “This isn’t the way—daddy, we missed the right road!” He looked at her–eyebrows raised–”Oh, is that a fact, little missy?” As she stared mournfully into the right side mirror, it exploded off as the car glanced a pillar entering a dark tunnel. The girl gasped apoplectically “We’re going too fast and we’re hitting people and it smells like gas and the car’s falling apart and we took the wrong road and we can’t see the road anymore and there’s no tunnel on the way to grandma’s but you won’t listen and daddy I’m scared” she broke down clutching her doll. “Well what–” he snapped then checked his tone “uh…would you suggest ?” he finished in a practiced monotone. “We had to take exit 911 like mommy does!” she wailed. He scoffed. “Look, you’re being a brat, we have to look forward. I believe I’m right, and I believe in this car.” He looked into her eyes, eerily calm “I need you to believe in me.”

  8. Nice job, Mike. Keep mashing those keys!

    @JamesLaffrey: How about a multi-tiered approach?

    I really like your ideas about action. There are many people who can support these actions financially. There are some who have great ideas about brainstorming effective actions. And there are a few who can and will take on the execution. Hopefully, with some communication, many can take part, and we will see some concrete force.

    One suggestion I have is that we should concentrate on individual MSM “journalists”. Let’s put some real pressure on them!

  9. @JamesLaffrey: Also, one thing people in the U.S. do respond to is marketing. So, it might be useful for the brainstormers to come up with some themes for the executioners to apply.

  10. Executors

  11. @Sibel:

    I really love what you do. It’s time for me to donate again!

    One small suggestion/correction for you is this:

    I think you mean to say “Yep” or “Yup”, when you use “Yap”.

  12. I don’t for a moment believe that they killed any terrorists.

    As in the use of torture, the use of drones is a TACTIC to intimidate any and all who would think that they can organize to oppose US hegemony.

    We will kill them and care less about collateral damage. Oh that collateral damage, that would be blood on your hands Mr Terrorists for putting yourselves amongst non combatants. That was the same cowardly technique the Palestinians used, but we don’t care. All’s fair in love and war.

    Cue the next drone… and there are more with that’s coming from.

  13. There are at least two steps to change:

    Raising a consciousness in a critical mass of people

    Leading them to action / change the status quio

    The PTB powers that be, employ all sorts of tactics in their mission of control, domination, exploitation and greed.

    They control the media and use it to create false narratives and “brain wash” the public
    They intimidate with fear, creating a national security state which is controlling the people, and inducing them to participate in killing and oppression, believing it is protecting their democracy, way of life and beliefs.
    They control the government by stealing elections, legal bribery, nepotism, illegal bribery, corrupting the system, passing laws which are not in the interest of the people, but in aid the “special interests”
    They break the law without accountability to intimidate and silence dissent.

  14. @Mike

    Horribly true.

    So the homicidal cowboys are still on the lose with Obama now covering for them… how completely decadent.

  15. Just finished reading the new Intl. Socialist Review. John Pilger has a new article in it re: the “Obama Brand.”

    His point: Obama’s perpetuating the “emperical authority” idea. Basically, the States are the strongest country in the world. And that fact alone entitles us to “maintain peace and spread “democracy” throughout the world.”

    There’s Obama the person and Obama the Brand. Just like a person who decides to become a terrorist and “Terrorism”. The MSM believes that we the public aren’t capable of understanding anything complex or with nuances. Instead, it has to be dumbed down to be sellable.

    Instead of being held accountable, some are essentially saying that doesn’t matter. He’s (for lack of a better phrase) “chosen” to unite the various factions in society. Why did he win the Nobel Peace Prize? Popularity, and not because of actual accomplishments.

    Now, that “X factor” is going to allow him to keep going with the status quo. And if you challenge him on something, you instantly get a knee jerk reaction. You’re a racist, you want him to fail, and so on.

    Just because you’re exercising your still legal right to freedom of speech.

  16. avatar Bill Bergman says:

    Are there any credible estimates for the total number of civilian ‘non-combatant’ casualties in Afghanistan since mid-2001?

    And I’d be curious if Fitzgerald and Gould have any updated impressions or new thinking from Rob Schulteis, who they quoted in Invisible History from a 2002 interview with him. That material included:

    “Schultheis minced no words about CIA culpability for 9/11 and the hideous betrayal of both American and Afhan lives being covered up by the blanket secrecy imposed by the war on terror. ‘… They’re directly responsible for 9/11 happening. They were getting paid a lot of money to make sure that wasn’t going to happen and they didn’t do anything. But there were a lot of shady deals having to do with Arab money and drug money and weapons money and there were kickbacks, I’m sure. … I think there are people out hunting foxes in Leesburg on the backs of dead Afghans because Gulbiddin and ISI kicked X amount of money back to them. I’ll bet any amount of money on that because there’s no other reason for a lot of this.’ (p260, Invisible History)

  17. As if projectiles swarm from the palm of every American leader? I know they act as if the fire is rebirth. Rebirth? Children are magical aren’t they? The question remains what seeds burn as they fall from the tree? People understand information is a privilege. Ordinarily everyone will respond positively with some encouragement. It is like finding out Mexican’s secretly hate the American president. Having a bomb land square on your head and screaming out, “BROWN”! Now Obama is sweating bullets on various information sectors like Muslim is entered into the database as a numerical equivalent. Mexico doesn’t even have planes for dropping bombs. Incredible destruction, encouragement sells. Just think about all the petroleum products used to make roads. With petroleum, we all lose. Our heroes and heroines? Drug therapy and increased mental conditioning. Try and say, “Wait, stop I have a note from my doctor!” in those hallways.

  18. “As you can see it is indirectly, but not very subtly, justifying and cheering the drone attacks. Pay special attention to the following: ‘A new U.S. Resolve’- As in a strong, determined new administration, and ‘decapitate the Taliban’- as in wiping out the big bad evil shalvars-wearing curly-bearded cavemen who have been somehow declared, without technically being declared, as the terrorists and culprits in 9/11.”

    Sibel, I just don’t see what you are talking about. The increased targeting of Pakistani Taliban leadership into Quetta would be a sign of “a new U.S. resolve” with regard to policy toward Pakistan; it is a benign statement.

    “And finally, the stenographers continue with this glowing report on this now widely popular war machine strategy”

    Drone strikes are a tactic to be used in support of a strategy and not a strategy in and of itself; that our government continues the drone strikes absent a consistent and comprehensive strategy is something people should be upset about.

    “For instance, there are reports that allege that between January 2006 and April 2009, U.S. drone attacks have killed 687 civilians and 14 al-Qaeda operatives, amounting to a ratio of 50 civilians killed per one al-Qaeda target killed. In other words, our drone attacks civilian death ratio has been around 95%. Or that of 60 drone strikes only 10 of them hit actual al-Qaeda targets, because of either faulty intelligence or reasons deemed top classified.”

    Bullsh#t!
    A large portion of the drone attacks in Pakistan have been on Pakistani Taliban targets (often secretly at the behest of and in cooperation with the govt of Pakistan). This statement takes the total number of drone attacks but selectively picks only AQ targets in calculating the ratios, ignoring Taliban targets. Mir even reveals his deceptive error in the same paragraph when he acknowledges both AQ and Taliban are being targeted when he says: “while three attacks conducted in 2007 had slain 66 Pakistanis, yet none of the wanted al-Qaeda or Taliban leaders could be hit by the Americans right on target”. Selectively factoring AQ targets while not accounting for Taliban targets in calculating the ratio is either incompetence or intentional deception; either way it is BS.

  19. “Quetta is a very disturbing development. There must be another way to accomplish this. HellFire missiles raining down on a City of 850,000 people. The Core of Pakistan.”
    Quetta is more Pashtunistan then it is the core of Pakistan. Hellfires probably are the safest the safest way (they only weigh around 100 pounds). Though if we aren’t already, striking targets in Quetta could may as well essentially put us at war with Pashtunistan; in which case we are better off literally destroying the city entirely and salting the earth beneath it instead of “playing with war”.

  20. What is BS is believing any human being incinerated from above by a remote controled drone piloted somewhere in California is acceptable. It is not . It is pure evil, horrendous, inhuman and despicable. Who are “the Taliban”? People that want us the f**k out of their country. We have no right to be there, slaughtering innocent women, children, grandparents….we are an empire out of control. Who are “al-CIAduh”? Make believe boogey men the deep state have created to frighten the sheeple. Arguing that Sibel got the percent of civillians butchered wrong, that it wasn’t 95% but somewhat lower because the 2 target groups were not tallied together is sick obsfucation of the fact even one human being annihilated in such a barbaric manner is unacceptable.

    On a related note, this morning I saw a show on my local cable station(comcast, DC area) called Defense Weekly or something. Interviewer talking to a military guy. Sorry, just watched few minutes, got no names, but the topic turned to the drone attacks. To a question about what we are learning about their performance in a country with no airplanes, nothing to threaten the predators, military guy says, yes we have had success in “non-hostile”(cant remember the exact word) environments but we are going to see how they perform where there is some hostility. Again, I apologize for the rough paraphrasing, but the jist is clear. More so after I hear about plans for use in Pakistani cities.
    I don’t believe any of the murdered human beings were any threat at all to the US in any way. I believe they were just target practice. As will be the unfortunate Pakistanis. They are just perfecting their killing machines. Who believes, when perfected, they will never be used here?

  21. @Kingfisher: Really? Which one of our wars is this one? Afghanistan? Al Qaeda? General vague war on terror? Taliban? What? And when the hell did we declare this war, thus the drone attacks? If we did, I missed it! hmmm. And Taliban did what do us? Did they come out of their caves, fly over here, and killed our people? Did they train the people and send them over here? What did they do to us; Taliban? I don’t like them; many don;t. But, since when we just go and start dropping bombs over people we don’t like?!

    I must be so very ignorant, totally asleep…or confused with wayyyyyyyyyy too many undeclared wars. Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Pashtunistan, Yemen, good Taliban, bad Taliban, bad Al Qaeda, worse Al Qaeda…next, Iran…

    Just get these ‘MANLESS’ drones out there, and drop the bombs; they’ll fall where they fall, and since we have wayyyy too many declared and undeclared enemies, a few of them will be hit even by chance alone…

    Okay. Maybe now you understand where I stand, and what I mean. You may disagree, which is fine, but don’t give us this particular line; it simply doesn’t wash the booobooos we’ve been engaged in, and the reportage on it by the unquestioning stenographers…

  22. With drone attacks like these continuing, keep in mind the trauma that the survivors will have to deal with.(Whether they like it or not).

    Untreated PTSD can manifest itself in many ways.
    Little kids who witness trauma can literally have their body chemistry changed because of it.
    And, just saying shut-up-and-get-on-with-it doesn’t solve anything.

  23. Thought this may be relevant: http://www.opednews.com/articles/1/Obama-Lied-Taliban-Did-No-by-Ralph-Lopez-091202-612.html

    “The fraudulence of the “War on Terror,” however, is clearly revealed in the pattern of subsequent facts: 1. In Afghanistan the state was overthrown instead of apprehending the terrorist: Osama bin Laden remains at large. 2. In Iraq, when the U.S. invaded, there were no terrorists at all. 3. Both states have been supplied with puppet governments, and both are dotted with permanent U.S. military bases in strategic proximity to their hydrocarbon assets.” And more.

  24. @KF

    Perhaps the point of the report was to call out the US leadership on their declared goals, as in “you say your trying to hit Al-Qaida but your hit ratio is this bad.” In other words, “You’re not being straight with us”.

    “We are better off literally destroying the city entirely and salting the earth beneath it instead of “playing with war.” If you’re just making an observation about how dangerous it could be to piss of the Pashtuns that much then OK, but I really hope you don’t actually mean to sanction the idea. If you do then you’re just being ridiculous. And as for whether hellfires are ‘the safest way’ I’d think sending in special forces would be safer for the innocent civilians than lobbing missiles. But of course, given that they’re not our civilians why risk our soldiers, right?

  25. How many more Muslims/Arabs will OBOMBA have to kill to justify his Nobel Peace Prize?

    Wanna bomb the hell out of some civilians and start another front in the ‘Wars for Wall Street and Israel?’ Just say the magic word, ‘al Qaeda!’

    Obama Ordered U.S. Military Strike on Suspected “Terrorists”

    December 18, 2009 “ABC News” — On orders from President Barack Obama, the U.S. military launched cruise missiles early Thursday against two suspected al-Qaeda sites in Yemen, administration officials told ABC News in a report broadcast on ABC World News with Charles Gibson.

    One of the targeted sites was a suspected al Qaeda training camp north of the capitol, Sanaa, and the second target was a location where officials said “an imminent attack against a U.S. asset was being planned.”

    If there was a Republican in the WH, starting new wars in Yemen, Pakistan and the Sudan, the ‘progressive’ media outlets would be howling like a dog scalded with hot water.
    But since OBOMBA is a ‘democrat,’ then Code Pink says it’s alright to continue with the mass murders.

    After all, we have to save the women and children, right?

    Guess we’ll have to destory Pakistan to save it. Turn it into a failed narco-state like Afghanistan.

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ’0 which is not a hashcash value.

  26. avatar Konstantin says:

    I think one of the single most important things people can do to get rid of the MIC empire (meaning offensive wars abroad and though still retain reasonable defense from foreign enemies) is to get rid of the Federal Reserve System (and also fractional reserve banking).

    All wars are financed by inflation and it’s the inflation by the Fed which has enabled the MIC to grow to the size it is today. It’s no coincidence that right after the Fed was created in 1913, it enabled the US to enter WWI. The MIC depends on the Fed for their continued survival at the size they are at now. Similarly with the police state emerging.

    As to why people avoid these issues, I think it’s something called “cognitive dissonance”.

    In an interview of Naomi Wolf by Lew Rockwell, podcast #58. America’s Slow-Motion Fascist Coup, on hearing some of the possible explanations of the actions of the government she described it as painful. I think what she was experiencing was “cognitive dissonance”.

    As to how most governments control people and keep them in a state of denial I believe their policies and actions are extensions of their personalities, i.e. they are sociopaths. It’s in their nature to know how to manipulate a situation to their advantage; that’s the way they lived their lives. They have no empathy for other people.

    I think the control is managed by what’s called the “Stockholm syndrome”.

    It’s the same psychological mechanism with abusive relationships. People are very familiar with abusive relationships + so they can relate to this and can therefore understand how they are being manipulated.

    The combination of the Stockholm syndrome and cognitive dissonance keeps people in a state where they refuse to look at the situation and attack anyone who tries to reason with them.

    As explained in “Love and Stockholm Syndrome: The Mystery of Loving an Abuser (Part 1)” ,

    It has been found that four situations or conditions are present that serve as a foundation for the development of Stockholm Syndrome. These four situations can be found in hostage, severe abuse, and abusive relationships:

    * The presence of a perceived threat to one’s physical or psychological survival and the belief that the abuser would carry out the threat.
    * The presence of a perceived small kindness from the abuser to the victim
    * Isolation from perspectives other than those of the abuser
    * The perceived inability to escape the situation

    I think these conditions are very apparent in the psychological impact of 9/11 as well as the sue of fear by the Bush administration to terrorize the public into submission.

    I think it’s also apparent in other situations like “global warming” and the financial meltdown. (Note: I’m not arguing whether global warming is real or not, just about the psychological effect used to get policies passed.)

  27. avatar Kingfisher says:

    @Sibel,

    I’m pretty sure I knew where you stood on the issue before hand; that’s fine we can disagree.

    But you projected your position/bias/agenda into your analysis of the article, and then stand as if they are at fault and you are some champion of impartiality. This is something I am taking issue with.

    I also called out as BS the methodology used in your section “The US Drone Attacks, its Casualties, and the Implications”, to which you have completely ignored and responded by reiterating your position against drone strikes. That’s great for activism, but poor for any meaningful insight or analysis.

    KF

  28. Sanders:

    Stockholm Syndrome, and the belief that there is nothing you can do about it. Only there is something very real you can do about it, to end the stranglehold of this rotten system & begin cutting the chords once and for all.

    It’s called FREE OUR CURRENCY system from the stranglehold of greedy, squabbling bankers who profit off the MIC.

    http://www.campaignforliberty.com

    Eradicate the Federal Reserve System permanently. Dismantle it. Begin phasing it out alltogether and put their army to rest.

    That is the cause of all our wars, Central Bank Inc. controlled & manifested through a select group of greedy sellouts as bad as the bankers themselves.

    http://endthefed.us

    You can do it. Thousands of Palestinians, Yemeni and other civilians are counting on you awakening people left and right. Have them focus on the one thing that matters, the corruption of our currency through crime.

    Eradicate it. Revolutions have always come when the time was right.

  29. Sibel:

    That’s accurate except Obama did not order the strikes in Yemen. It’s been reported his Secretary of State & other officials ordered these military strikes, without his approval.

    Either scenario is very dark for democracy as such things do not happen when you are free…

  30. avatar Kingfisher says:

    @Metem,

    “Perhaps the point of the report was to call out the US leadership on their declared goals, as in “you say your trying to hit Al-Qaida but your hit ratio is this bad.” In other words, “You’re not being straight with us”.”
    Then Mir should come out and say that. He doesn’t, instead he plays fast and loose with the data.

    ““We are better off literally destroying the city entirely and salting the earth beneath it instead of “playing with war.” If you’re just making an observation about how dangerous it could be to piss of the Pashtuns that much then OK, but I really hope you don’t actually mean to sanction the idea. If you do then you’re just being ridiculous.”
    I would advise against essentially going to war against Pashtunistan. That said, should we continue down this path the costs on both sides will be much greater should we conduct ourselves by our values instead of tribal ones.

    “And as for whether hellfires are ‘the safest way’ I’d think sending in special forces would be safer for the innocent civilians than lobbing missiles. But of course, given that they’re not our civilians why risk our soldiers, right?”
    Yes, physically taking out the target it might be. It is in the infiltration and ex-filtration of the target that civilian casualties are likely to occur in a special operations assault (think Blackhawk Down in Somalia capture/kill mission).

    KF

  31. @Kingfisher: oh, where do I begin …?

    First, I provided direct link to L.A. Times piece, and I did the same with the other report which also had tons of citations/documentation at the bottom of the piece. L.A. Times did not provide the number of casualties. As always, they refrained from providing facts/data on the ‘destruction & damages & civilian cost & casualties.’

    Second, on projecting my own views. You bet!!! I certainly do. My views are shaped by first hand experiences, by what I read, by where I stand, by what I obtain from interviewing many people with expertise and experience on this area, by … Am I partial? You bet!!

    I am partial when it comes to almost all wars. I am anti war.
    I am partial when it comes to both parties. I am neither, and I stand against both.
    I am partial when it comes to MIC, their total influence on our foreign policies & of course offenses/wars, and their motivation which is ‘profit;’ I oppose their ever-increasing unchallenged and unchecked status.
    I am partial when it comes to media as a mouthpiece of the establishment which includes the greedy MIC players, our war machine.
    I am partial when it comes to Zionists and settlers in Israel.

    You see, I stand here proudly, boldly, and openly, and I declare what I stand for, where I stand. I am not sponsored and backed by any foundations, corporate, or the establishment party’s two headquarters.

    Third: You still haven’t told me about which one of our wars this drone attacks apply to. So, which one is it? Obviously we are not at war with any nation. Who are we targeting, ha?! You say Taliban. Okay, which one; the one now we call ‘good Taliban’ or the other one, ‘the mean, bad and ugly Taliban’?

    You talk about the report omitting the ‘Taliban targets’ we kill with our mighty drones. Okay, so who are they? Define. What have they done to us? Tell us. And, are their wives, children, grandmothers, grandpapas…all included in the tribal definition-Taliban? As in, if we killed 700 civilians, and if 593 of them were the cousins, and the nephews, and the papas & mamas, and babies of those bearded guys, then we have actually succeeded in hitting the targets?

    Come on KingFisher. Please don’t pull ‘Another neocon’ on us here. Because when we are talking about 100s of civilians killed, we are not talking about some petty statistics; we are talking about humans-flesh & bone.

  32. It’s odd how al-Qaeda always sets up shop in a place where we have strategic interests. You would think they would have changed their M.O. by now. If they form training camps in some place we obviously don’t care about, like Rwanda lets say, do you think we would bother with them? I have to wonder if we would even send them a post card with harsh language on it.

    And just how many people are in al-Qaeda anyway? They seem to have an endless supply of super terrorists. Surely we must have wiped out most of the Afghanistan/Pakistan members by now and al-Qaeda in Iraq rarely makes the headlines anymore, so where do they keep coming from? And if they are such a threat, why is it that we don’t attack them from their parent nations (assuming they are not Afghanistan, Pakistan, or Iraq)? I don’t endorse attacking every nation they come from, but I’m not the government members who vowed to “attack them anywhere”.

    You start to think any time we want to blow up someone, for whatever reason, the target in question gets an al-Qaeda membership package in the mail just before the bombs hit.

  33. “Third: You still haven’t told me about which one of our wars this drone attacks apply to. So, which one is it?”
    I don’t understand what you are asking.

    “Obviously we are not at war with any nation. Who are we targeting, ha?! You say Taliban. Okay, which one; the one now we call ‘good Taliban’ or the other one, ‘the mean, bad and ugly Taliban’?”
    By all indications we are targeting AQ, Afghan Taliban, and TTP in our drone strikes in Pakistan. I don’t understand the rest of your question.

    “You talk about the report omitting the ‘Taliban targets’ we kill with our mighty drones. Okay, so who are they? Define. What have they done to us? Tell us. And, are their wives, children, grandmothers, grandpapas…all included in the tribal definition-Taliban?”
    I talked about the report omitting Taliban targets with regard to calculating the ratio because it deliberately made a BS ratio in its analysis. What part about that don’t you understand?

    “Because when we are talking about 100s of civilians killed, we are not talking about some petty statistics; we are talking about humans-flesh & bone.”
    And it would be tens to hundreds of thousands if given the alternative and it were done by conventional manned airstrikes or by Pakistani ground force assault. Which would make 100’s of civilians killed some petty statistic; is that what you would prefer?

  34. @KF

    “the costs on both sides will be much greater should we conduct ourselves by our values instead of tribal ones.”

    Much greater for us, for our tribe? If so, greater costs in terms of terror strikes against Americans outside of Pakistan, or much greater costs for troops in Afghanistan?

    And I guess I’m still not exactly clear on whether you think it’s worth that cost to go by ‘our values’. I thought you were saying we should either get out or take off the gloves but then you do say ‘our values’. I’d think if you disagreed you’d find a more pejorative description. But maybe I’m reading too much into that.

  35. @KF

    But anyway I guess we’re agreed that the idea of expanding into Quetta is bad.

  36. @ KingFisher: What you’re saying & what I’ve been saying: Apples & Oranges. You may go ahead and keep evaluating and talking about startegies & technicalities: Drones,… I’m talking about ‘why’ in the first place? Why these assaults/attacks? Technically we are no at war with any nation. Realistically and rationally: we’ve never been attacked by any of these targets. Are we in war with Pakistan? If so, since when? If so, who declared it; congress/president? Of course I don’t have to talk about Iraq; we;ve been there, done that…And Afghanistan?

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