The American Empire in Latin America

“Democracy” is a Threat to “National Security”

By Andrew Gavin Marshall

GrandArea

A cohesive American imperial strategy to manage the “Grand Area” of Latin America in the post-War period was established by the newly formed Eisenhower administration in the National Security Council’s draft paper, “U.S. Policy With Respect to Latin America,” in January of 1953. In March, a final draft was submitted as NSC 144, a report on “United States Objectives and Courses of Action With Respect to Latin America.” As the strategy document was produced through the NSC, the highest policy-planning body in the American government, it necessarily involved the participation of high-level officials from the Departments of State, Defense, Treasury, the C.I.A., the Mutual Security Agency, and the Office of Defense Mobilization.[1]

Issued on March 18, 1953, the “Statement of Policy by the National Security Council” outlined the primary threat posed to American interests in Latin America:

There is a trend in Latin America toward nationalistic regimes maintained in large part by appeals to the masses of the population. Concurrently, there is an increasing popular demand for immediate improvement in the low living standards of the masses, with the result that most Latin American governments are under intense domestic political pressures to increase production and to diversify their economies… [Thus, a] realistic and constructive approach to this need which recognizes the importance of bettering conditions for the general population, is essential to arrest the drift in the area toward radical and nationalistic regimes. The growth of nationalism is facilitated by historic anti-U.S. prejudices and exploited by Communists [emphasis added].[2] [Read more...]

Media Cover Up: U.S. Government Invokes National Security to Conceal Deal Cut with Mexican Drug Cartel

Mainstream Media Assists Government in Cloaking Evidence of an Ugly Duplicity in the So-Called Drug War


nieblaOn Saturday, October 1, 2011, investigative journalist Bill Conroy of the Narcosphere reported scandalous and highly troubling new developments in the criminal case against accused Mexican narco-trafficker Jesus Vicente Zambada Niebla. The breaking story unravels the U.S. government’s ugly national-security interests in the drug war by exposing a quid pro quo deal between the US government and the most powerful international narco-trafficking organization on the planet- the Sinaloa “Cartel,” and the US government’s recent attempt to cover this up by filing a motion in the case seeking to invoke the Classified Information Procedures Act (CIPA), a measure designed to assure national security information does not become public during court proceedings.

Zambada Niebla, son of one of the leaders of the Sinaloa “Cartel,” arguably the most powerful international narco-trafficking organization on the planet, argues in his criminal case, now pending in federal court in Chicago, that he and the leadership of Mexico’s Sinaloa drug-trafficking organization, were, in effect, working for the U.S. government for years by providing US agents with intelligence about rival drug organizations.

In exchange for that cooperation, Zambada Niebla contends, the US government granted the leadership of the Sinaloa “Cartel” immunity from prosecution for their criminal activities — including the narco-trafficking charges he now faces in Chicago.

The government, in court pleadings filed last month, denies that claim but at the same time has filed a motion in the case seeking to invoke the Classified Information Procedures Act (CIPA), a measure designed to assure national security information does not become public during court proceedings.

CIPACIPA, enacted 30 years ago, is designed to keep a lid on public disclosure in criminal cases of classified materials, such as details associated with clandestine FBI or CIA operations. In this case, however, the invocation appears to be for the purpose of covering up a scandalous and shady quid pro quo deal between the US government and a drug cartel. Not only that, the Niebla case also threatens to further expose another US government scandal:

It is important to note again that most of the weapons allowed to cross from the US unimpeded into Mexico by ATF’s Fast and Furious were going to the Sinaloa "Cartel," according to a report issued in July by Issa and Grassley.

So, given Zambada Niebla's claim ithat “some of the [Fast and Furious] weapons were deliberately allowed by the FBI and other government representatives to end up in the hands of the Sinaloa "Cartel,” it seems his attorneys may want to pose some serious questions to witnesses suspected of having knowledge of that alleged act, including DEA’s Roberts, as well as the special agent in charge of the FBI’s New Mexico operations, Carol K.O. Lee and the U.S. Attorney for New Mexico, Kenneth J. Gonzales.

Such a prospect can’t be very uplifting for the prosecution in Zambada Niebla’s case and might explain, in part, why there is an effort afoot by the US law-enforcement and intelligence officials to cloak the revelations, the evidence, that might surface in the case under the seal of national security.

Prosecutors on Monday, Oct. 3, filed a motion in federal court in Chicago rebutting the accused Mexican narco-trafficker’s argument that he has been denied access to critical evidence in preparing his defense:

In their pleadings, prosecutors again affirm the government’s position that there was no immunity deal offered to the accused narco-trafficker or to the leadership of the Sinaloa drug-trafficking organization. The pleadings filed by the prosecution do not address directly why the government is seeking to invoke national-security procedures for Zambada Niebla’s case

Monday’s filing by prosecutors confirms that Zambada Niebla’s case does raise national security issues that require, according to those prosecutors, that special procedures be established by the court — under a 30-year-old law known as the Classified Information Procedures Act — to assure that classified materials do not become public during the court proceedings.

There seems to be another equally troubling and scandalous angle to this story: the US media’s synchronized and orchestrated black out of this massive scandal, most likely at the behest of the US government: [Read more...]

The Oath to Defend the Constitution vs. the Forced Pledge to Protect Government Secrecy

“Which of the applicable laws has priority?”

By Linda Lewis

oath In the debate on reducing the national debt, members of Congress have focused on two options--tax increases and entitlement cuts---both considered unhelpful to restarting a stalled economy.  Congress seemingly has forgotten that it has another option for reducing the debt: eliminating waste, fraud and corruption in government programs. Perhaps, Congress knows that the success of such a plan would correspond with the effectiveness of whistleblower protections—protections it has been reluctant to provide to the thousands of whistleblowers who hold security clearances.

Insiders are critical to identifying government waste, particularly in agencies, such as the Department of Homeland Security, where much of the information is classified and not available for public review.  But, insiders are vulnerable to retaliation from managers embarrassed by their disclosures. The Obama administration has been particularly aggressive toward whistleblowers, launching criminal prosecutions against several of them.

Most Americans would be surprised to know that thousands of federal workers with ordinary jobs--food safety, for example--are required to have security clearances even if they may never handle a classified document.  Agencies pay dearly for the necessary background investigations. But, they just can’t seem to pass up the opportunity to give themselves an end run around civil service laws. Steve Kohn, of the National Whistleblowers Center, writes:

A 1989 law was supposed to protect federal employees who expose fraud and misconduct from retaliation. But over the years, these protections have been completely undermined. One loophole gives the government the absolute right to strip employees of their security clearances and fire them, without judicial review. Another bars employees of the National Security Agency and the Central Intelligence Agency from any coverage under the law. And Congress has barred national security whistle-blowers who are fired for exposing wrongdoing from obtaining protection in federal court.

Knowing that they are vulnerable to retaliation, few federal employees are inclined to report wrongdoing.  Nevertheless, they are required to report wrongdoing.

Every employee takes an oath or affirmation, required by Article VI of the U.S. Constitution to “support the Constitution.” Since 1884, employees have taken this   expanded version of the oath, described in the U.S. Code (Title 5, Chapter 33).

I, [name], do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.

Incredibly, through court decisions and Congressional foot-dragging, civil servants tasked with defending the Constitution are forced to do so with an abridged set of Constitutional protections, particularly with regard to free speech and due process—essential elements for holding a government accountable.

Civilian federal employees also must adhere to the federal code of ethics (Executive Order 12674, as amended).  It states, in part:

Employees shall disclose waste, fraud, abuse, and corruption to appropriate authorities.”

The code also directs that employees “shall protect and conserve Federal property and shall not use it for other than authorized activities.”  This is important because agencies tend to treat classified information as government property, although it’s more accurate to say that a representative government holds information in trust for its citizens.

TopSecSometimes, classified information contains evidence of waste, fraud or corruption, documents abuses of human rights, or it exposes negligent handling of national security.  In such cases, classifying the information was illegal. Executive Order 13526 forbids classifying information to hide violations of law, inefficiency, or administrative error or to avoid embarrassing officials.

An employee who encounters classified evidence of wrongdoing therefore is compelled to ask, “Which of the applicable laws has priority?”  Agencies provide little or no guidance to employees for dealing with the moral hazard dumped in their laps. Think of it as a ticking black box with protruding wires in several colors.  Does one pull the blue wire, the yellow or the red? Pull the wrong one and your career explodes.  [Read more...]