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FBI’s Culture of Hostility Toward Whistleblowers—And How Justice Department Permits Policy of Retaliation

by: Thursday March 5, 2015

During a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on FBI retaliation against whistleblowers, FBI associate deputy director Kevin Perkins declared, “We will not and do not tolerate retaliation against whistleblowers in the FBI.” The astonishing remark was made as the committee chairman, Senator Chuck Grassley, reported that an FBI whistleblower had recently emailed him to report retaliation.

The Washington Times’ Kelly Riddell reported on March 2 that a whistleblower has found who the agency selects to serve on surveillance teams is “now all about bias and favoritism and the good ol’ boy system.” Nepotism is impacting the agency as young relatives of “high-ranking supervisors” have been placed on “elite surveillance teams.” Two have been “fast-tracked to full special agent status.”

This FBI whistleblower attempted to go to supervisors. His complaint was dismissed, and he was given a “poor personnel review.” So, the whistleblower turned to Congress and emailed Grassley.

On March 3, one day later, Riddell reported the Office of Integrity and Compliance in the Justice Department advised him that he could face whistleblower retaliation.

“The main question would turn on the reasonableness of your belief; that is, would a reasonable person, in your situation, believe that the conduct at issue demonstrated mismanagement or abuse of authority?” the FBI attorney, within the Office of Integrity and Compliance, wrote in an email responding to the whistleblower’s inquiry. “In my opinion, yes.”

Then came the kicker: “I’m sure you know, though, this does not guarantee that you will not be retaliated against, even though retaliation/reprisal for making protected disclosures is illegal,” the attorney concluded in the August email to the whistleblower.

Grassley said prior to the hearing he was subject to further retaliation. Riddell reported that the whistleblower had been given a desk job and taken off a surveillance team.

The unfolding episode exemplifies the culture of hostility toward whistleblowers, which was repeatedly highlighted during the hearing.

Because of a carve-out in the Whistleblower Protection Act, the FBI may exclusively set its own regulations for whistleblowers, and, unlike other executive branch agencies, employees may not report wrongdoing in their chain of command including their immediate supervisor. There are nine individuals, who the Justice Department maintains may accept complaints. They are in the Attorney General’s office, the FBI Director’s office, the Justice Department Inspector General’s office or special agents in charge (SAIC).

Report to the wrong person or involve individuals not authorized to receive complaints, and the Justice Department can disqualify that employee from being granted protection from retaliation. It is a policy that effectively permits bullying and harassment from supervisors offended by whistleblowers.

Whistleblower Mike German, a former FBI special agent, testified, “In 2002, I was assigned to the Atlanta Division but was asked to work undercover in a Tampa counterterrorism investigation. As the operation began, I learned that the informant had illegally recorded a portion of the conversation between two subjects earlier in the investigation imperiling any possible prosecution. When the Tampa supervisor refused to address the matter and told me to pretend it didn’t happen, I felt duty-bound to report it. Luckily, I researched the proper procedure and realized I should make the report to the Tampa SAIC.”

“But I also knew failing to provide notice to my chain of command in Atlanta would cause problems for them, which would ultiamtely cause problems for me. So I called my supervisor to tell them I was going to call my assistant SAIC to tell him I was going to call the Tampa SAIC to make a whistleblower report. When I talked to my ASAIC, he asked me to write the complaint in an email to him, which he would forward to the Tampa SAIC.”

Because German transmitted his complaint through the ASAIC, the Justice Department decided he forfeited his right to be protected from retaliation he experienced for sending the email. Tampa officials involved in misconduct, falsified documents to cover it up and retaliated against German were not punished. Two individuals subsequently received promotions and became SAICs.

As German stated during the hearing, “FBI and Justice Department pay lip service to whistleblowers but the byzantine procedures they employ all but ensure that whistleblower employees reporting misconduct will not be protected from retaliation.

A report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) on the Justice Department’s handling of FBI retaliation—publicly released on February 23—further demonstrates how the process is setup to ensure whistleblowers are neutralized and even silenced. GAO reviewed a sample of 62 cases and found a third of the cases involved employees blowing the whistle to the wrong person.

Only three of the 62 cases were deemed valid whistleblower claims by the Justice Department and those cases dragged out for eight to ten and a half years.

In one particular case, Kohn recalled how FBI special agent Jane Turner blew the whistle on Minneapolis FBI personnel, who were stealing 9/11 victims’ property from Ground Zero in New York City. The FBI retaliated against Turner for “tarnishing” their image and forced her to resign after 25 years with the agency. Her claims of retaliation were eventually validated, however, the review of her claims dragged on for so long that she had passed the mandatory retirement age, which meant she could not be reinstated.

Kohn also highlighted the case of Bassem Youssef. He served as one of the FBI’s highest-ranked Arabic-speaking agents and even was involved in operations prior to 9/11 that involved infiltrating al Qaeda. He has raised concerns about discrimination against Arab Americans in the FBI, challenged the agency for failing to recruit more Arabic-speaking agents and even experienced firsthand the abuse of national security letters by the agency.

His case has been pending for nine years. The Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility ordered the agency to allow him to go back to work on counterterrorism in 2006, but the department allowed the case to be prolonged and he retired in September of last year. He was one year away from the mandatory retirement age.

“The prolonged delays in processing the whistleblower claims sends a clear message to all FBI agents: don’t blow the whistle. If you do, the messenger is shot.”

The Justice Department’s refusal to meaningfully address the status quo, which has a chilling effect on potential whistleblowers, effectively encourages employees to not challenge corruption because if they do they will be forced out of the agency and stigmatized as a whistleblower for life.

With perhaps the exception of Perkins, there was unanimous consent at the hearing, including among the handful of senators asking questions, that there needs to be a culture change at the FBI as well as a legislative fix so that the Justice Department no longer has a carve-out, where it can make its own rules for whistleblowers.

The Justice Department recently rejected key recommendations from “whistleblower advocates” to allow “judicial review,” incorporate administrative law judges, impose time limits for decisions on cases, grant hearings upon request and require the production of a federal government employee, whose testimony may be relevant to the resolution of a case.

The department has also effectively stonewalled and denied the inspector general access to records it is legally mandated to access for oversight and review of whistleblower complaints. Congress’ inaction all but ensures this will continue.

Grassley spoke about the effect an annual ceremony held in the Rose Garden at the White House to honor whistleblowers could have on changing the culture. He recalled how one president rejected the idea and told him if this was done there’d be “3,000 whistleblowers coming out of the woodwork.” But that is exactly what everyone should want to see happen if one wants to see change actually happen in government, Grassley added.

***

Here is my appearance on HuffPost Live today to talk about this very issue with German, Kohn and Riddell.

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Crazed Washington Drives the World to the Final War

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Paul Craig Roberts 

John Pilger is the kind of well-informed, hard-hitting journalist with gobs of integrity that no longer exists in the Western mainstream media. He has the most distinguished career of all in the business.

In the article below he brings stunning information to one of my own themes–the creation by Washington and its NATO vassals of an artificial reality consisting entirely of propaganda into which Washington has placed the entire Western world and all outside who inspire to be part of it. Westerners live in The Matrix, and the presstitutes keep them there. The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, NPR, and the TV channels perform as agents (as in the Matrix film) actively suppressing any glimmer of factual reality.

Western people have no comprehension of the real reasons for Washington’s murderous interventions in Yugoslavia, Middle East, Afghanistan, Libya, Ukraine, Indonesia, or Latin America. The most transparent lies are fed to people too ignorant to recognize the lies. The lies have cost huge numbers of deaths and injuries and are leading directly to war with Russia and China.

It is probably too late to stop this war. The war is inevitable because Washington’s doctrine of world hegemony does not permit the existence of other strong countries with independent foreign policies. Unless the House-of-Card US economy collapses, the only way Russia and China can avoid war is to accept Washington’s overlordship.

John Pilger himself speaks of growing up inside The Matrix as did all of us:
“I grew up on a cinematic diet of American glory, almost all of it a distortion. I had no idea that it was the Red Army that had destroyed most of the Nazi war machine.” I doubt that even the most determined of us ever become completely free of the disinformation in which we are indoctrinated. Pilger himself still shows traces of it when he assumes that Hitler started World War II by invading Europe when in fact Great Britain and France initiated World War II when they declared war on Germany. Hitler’s invasion of Europe was a response to the declaration of war on Germany. From day one the propaganda was that Germany started World War II by rolling up the British and French armies. This lie was enshrined in 1946 by the Nuremberg Tribunal when the Tribunal defined “the supreme international crime” to be “to initiate a war of aggression” and ascribed this crime to Germany.

The Clinton, George W. Bush, and Obama regimes are more guilty of “the supreme international crime” than was National Socialist Germany. Today the crazed Washington warmongers are driving toward war with Russia.

Those pathetic Americans who think that their government is so good and pure and only commits wrongs by mistake and would never “kill its own people” need to remember the response of the US high command to the report that American POWs were in Nagasaki: “Targets previously assigned for Centerboard (the atomic bomb attack) remain unchanged.” Washington cared no more about its own soldiers than Washington cared about the innocent civilians of a country whose government was desperately trying to surrender. If you have any doubt that the entire history of the United States is one of murder and mayhem, you need to read Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States.

The Nazis have returned. They are ensconced in the governments in Washington, London, and Germany. The New Nazis have made certain that there has been war every year of this 21st century.

Pilger tells the truth about these wars:

Why the rise of fascism is again the issue — John Pilger

26 February 2015

The recent 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz was a reminder of the great crime of fascism, whose Nazi iconography is embedded in our consciousness. Fascism is preserved as history, as flickering footage of goose-stepping blackshirts, their criminality terrible and clear. Yet in the same liberal societies, whose war-making elites urge us never to forget, the accelerating danger of a modern kind of fascism is suppressed; for it is their fascism.

“To initiate a war of aggression…,” said the Nuremberg Tribunal judges in 1946, “is not only an international crime, it is the supreme international crime, differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.”

Had the Nazis not invaded Europe, Auschwitz and the Holocaust would not have happened. Had the United States and its satellites not initiated their war of aggression in Iraq in 2003, almost a million people would be alive today; and Islamic State, or ISIS, would not have us in thrall to its savagery. They are the progeny of modern fascism, weaned by the bombs, bloodbaths and lies that are the surreal theatre known as news.

Like the fascism of the 1930s and 1940s, big lies are delivered with the precision of a metronome: thanks to an omnipresent, repetitive media and its virulent censorship by omission. Take the catastrophe in Libya.

In 2011, Nato launched 9,700 “strike sorties” against Libya, of which more than a third were aimed at civilian targets. Uranium warheads were used; the cities of Misurata and Sirte were carpet-bombed. The Red Cross identified mass graves, and Unicef reported that “most [of the children killed] were under the age of ten”.

The public sodomising of the Libyan president Muammar Gaddafi with a “rebel” bayonet was greeted by the then US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, with the words: “We came, we saw, he died.” His murder, like the destruction of his country, was justified with a familiar big lie; he was planning “genocide” against his own people. “We knew… that if we waited one more day,” said President Obama, “Benghazi, a city the size of Charlotte, could suffer a massacre that would have reverberated across the region and stained the conscience of the world.”

This was the fabrication of Islamist militias facing defeat by Libyan government forces. They told Reuters there would be “a real bloodbath, a massacre like we saw in Rwanda”. Reported on March 14, 2011, the lie provided the first spark for Nato’s inferno, described by David Cameron as a “humanitarian intervention”.

Secretly supplied and trained by Britain’s SAS, many of the “rebels” would become ISIS, whose latest video offering shows the beheading of 21 Coptic Christian workers seized in Sirte, the city destroyed on their behalf by Nato bombers.

For Obama, David Cameron and then French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Gaddafi’s true crime was Libya’s economic independence and his declared intention to stop selling Africa’s greatest oil reserves in US dollars. The petrodollar is a pillar of American imperial power. Gaddafi audaciously planned to underwrite a common African currency backed by gold, establish an all-Africa bank and promote economic union among poor countries with prized resources. Whether or not this would happen, the very notion was intolerable to the US as it prepared to “enter” Africa and bribe African governments with military “partnerships”.

Following Nato’s attack under cover of a Security Council resolution, Obama, wrote Garikai Chengu, “confiscated $30 billion from Libya’s Central Bank, which Gaddafi had earmarked for the establishment of an African Central Bank and the African gold backed dinar currency”.

The “humanitarian war” against Libya drew on a model close to western liberal hearts, especially in the media. In 1999, Bill Clinton and Tony Blair sent Nato to bomb Serbia, because, they lied, the Serbs were committing “genocide” against ethnic Albanians in the secessionist province of Kosovo. David Scheffer, US ambassador-at-large for war crimes [sic], claimed that as many as “225,000 ethnic Albanian men aged between 14 and 59″ might have been murdered. Both Clinton and Blair evoked the Holocaust and “the spirit of the Second World War”. The West’s heroic allies were the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), whose criminal record was set aside. The British Foreign Secretary, Robin Cook, told them to call him any time on his mobile phone.

With the Nato bombing over, and much of Serbia’s infrastructure in ruins, along with schools, hospitals, monasteries and the national TV station, international forensic teams descended upon Kosovo to exhume evidence of the “holocaust”. The FBI failed to find a single mass grave and went home. The Spanish forensic team did the same, its leader angrily denouncing “a semantic pirouette by the war propaganda machines”. A year later, a United Nations tribunal on Yugoslavia announced the final count of the dead in Kosovo: 2,788. This included combatants on both sides and Serbs and Roma murdered by the KLA. There was no genocide. The “holocaust” was a lie. The Nato attack had been fraudulent.

Behind the lie, there was serious purpose. Yugoslavia was a uniquely independent, multi-ethnic federation that had stood as a political and economic bridge in the Cold War. Most of its utilities and major manufacturing was publicly owned. This was not acceptable to the expanding European Community, especially newly united Germany, which had begun a drive east to capture its “natural market” in the Yugoslav provinces of Croatia and Slovenia. By the time the Europeans met at Maastricht in 1991 to lay their plans for the disastrous eurozone, a secret deal had been struck; Germany would recognise Croatia. Yugoslavia was doomed.

In Washington, the US saw that the struggling Yugoslav economy was denied World Bank loans. Nato, then an almost defunct Cold War relic, was reinvented as imperial enforcer. At a 1999 Kosovo “peace” conference in Rambouillet, in France, the Serbs were subjected to the enforcer’s duplicitous tactics. The Rambouillet accord included a secret Annex B, which the US delegation inserted on the last day. This demanded the military occupation of the whole of Yugoslavia – a country with bitter memories of the Nazi occupation – and the implementation of a “free-market economy” and the privatisation of all government assets. No sovereign state could sign this. Punishment followed swiftly; Nato bombs fell on a defenceless country. It was the precursor to the catastrophes in Afghanistan and Iraq, Syria and Libya, and Ukraine.

Since 1945, more than a third of the membership of the United Nations – 69 countries – have suffered some or all of the following at the hands of America’s modern fascism. They have been invaded, their governments overthrown, their popular movements suppressed, their elections subverted, their people bombed and their economies stripped of all protection, their societies subjected to a crippling siege known as “sanctions”. The British historian Mark Curtis estimates the death toll in the millions. In every case, a big lie was deployed.

“Tonight, for the first time since 9/11, our combat mission in Afghanistan is over.” These were opening words of Obama’s 2015 State of the Union address. In fact, some 10,000 troops and 20,000 military contractors (mercenaries) remain in Afghanistan on indefinite assignment. “The longest war in American history is coming to a responsible conclusion,” said Obama. In fact, more civilians were killed in Afghanistan in 2014 than in any year since the UN took records. The majority have been killed – civilians and soldiers – during Obama’s time as president.

The tragedy of Afghanistan rivals the epic crime in Indochina. In his lauded and much quoted book ‘The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives’, Zbigniew Brzezinski, the godfather of US policies from Afghanistan to the present day, writes that if America is to control Eurasia and dominate the world, it cannot sustain a popular democracy, because “the pursuit of power is not a goal that commands popular passion… Democracy is inimical to imperial mobilisation.” He is right. As WikiLeaks and Edward Snowden have revealed, a surveillance and police state is usurping democracy. In 1976, Brzezinski, then President Carter’s National Security Advisor, demonstrated his point by dealing a death blow to Afghanistan’s first and only democracy. Who knows this vital history?

In the 1960s, a popular revolution swept Afghanistan, the poorest country on earth, eventually overthrowing the vestiges of the aristocratic regime in 1978. The People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA) formed a government and declared a reform programme that included the abolition of feudalism, freedom for all religions, equal rights for women and social justice for the ethnic minorities. More than 13,000 political prisoners were freed and police files publicly burned.

The new government introduced free medical care for the poorest; peonage was abolished, a mass literacy programme was launched. For women, the gains were unheard of. By the late 1980s, half the university students were women, and women made up almost half of Afghanistan’s doctors, a third of civil servants and the majority of teachers. “Every girl,” recalled Saira Noorani, a female surgeon, “could go to high school and university. We could go where we wanted and wear what we liked. We used to go to cafes and the cinema to see the latest Indian film on a Friday and listen to the latest music. It all started to go wrong when the mujaheddin started winning. They used to kill teachers and burn schools. We were terrified. It was funny and sad to think these were the people the West supported.”

The PDPA government was backed by the Soviet Union, even though, as former Secretary of State Cyrus Vance later admitted, “there was no evidence of any Soviet complicity [in the revolution]”. Alarmed by the growing confidence of liberation movements throughout the world, Brzezinski decided that if Afghanistan was to succeed under the PDPA, its independence and progress would offer the “threat of a promising example”.

On July 3, 1979, the White House secretly authorised support for tribal “fundamentalist” groups known as the mujaheddin, a program that grew to over $500 million a year in U.S. arms and other assistance. The aim was the overthrow of Afghanistan’s first secular, reformist government. In August 1979, the US embassy in Kabul reported that “the United States’ larger interests… would be served by the demise of [the PDPA government], despite whatever setbacks this might mean for future social and economic reforms in Afghanistan.” The italics are mine.

The mujaheddin were the forebears of al-Qaeda and Islamic State. They included Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, who received tens of millions of dollars in cash from the CIA. Hekmatyar’s specialty was trafficking in opium and throwing acid in the faces of women who refused to wear the veil. Invited to London, he was lauded by Prime Minister Thatcher as a “freedom fighter”.

Such fanatics might have remained in their tribal world had Brzezinski not launched an international movement to promote Islamic fundamentalism in Central Asia and so undermine secular political liberation and “destabilise” the Soviet Union, creating, as he wrote in his autobiography, “a few stirred up Muslims”. His grand plan coincided with the ambitions of the Pakistani dictator, General Zia ul-Haq, to dominate the region. In 1986, the CIA and Pakistan’s intelligence agency, the ISI, began to recruit people from around the world to join the Afghan jihad. The Saudi multi-millionaire Osama bin Laden was one of them. Operatives who would eventually join the Taliban and al-Qaeda, were recruited at an Islamic college in Brooklyn, New York, and given paramilitary training at a CIA camp in Virginia. This was called “Operation Cyclone”. Its success was celebrated in 1996 when the last PDPA president of Afghanistan, Mohammed Najibullah – who had gone before the UN General Assembly to plead for help – was hanged from a streetlight by the Taliban.

The “blowback” of Operation Cyclone and its “few stirred up Muslims” was September 11, 2001. Operation Cyclone became the “war on terror”, in which countless men, women and children would lose their lives across the Muslim world, from Afghanistan to Iraq, Yemen, Somalia and Syria. The enforcer’s message was and remains: “You are with us or against us.”

The common thread in fascism, past and present, is mass murder. The American invasion of Vietnam had its “free fire zones”, “body counts” and “collateral damage”. In the province of Quang Ngai, where I reported from, many thousands of civilians (“gooks”) were murdered by the US; yet only one massacre, at My Lai, is remembered. In Laos and Cambodia, the greatest aerial bombardment in history produced an epoch of terror marked today by the spectacle of joined-up bomb craters which, from the air, resemble monstrous necklaces. The bombing gave Cambodia its own ISIS, led by Pol Pot.

Today, the world’s greatest single campaign of terror entails the execution of entire families, guests at weddings, mourners at funerals. These are Obama’s victims. According to the New York Times, Obama makes his selection from a CIA “kill list” presented to him every Tuesday in the White House Situation Room. He then decides, without a shred of legal justification, who will live and who will die. His execution weapon is the Hellfire missile carried by a pilotless aircraft known as a drone; these roast their victims and festoon the area with their remains. Each “hit” is registered on a faraway console screen as a “bugsplat”.

“For goose-steppers,” wrote the historian Norman Pollock, “substitute the seemingly more innocuous militarisation of the total culture. And for the bombastic leader, we have the reformer manque, blithely at work, planning and executing assassination, smiling all the while.”

Uniting fascism old and new is the cult of superiority. “I believe in American exceptionalism with every fibre of my being,” said Obama, evoking declarations of national fetishism from the 1930s. As the historian Alfred W. McCoy has pointed out, it was the Hitler devotee, Carl Schmitt, who said, “The sovereign is he who decides the exception.” This sums up Americanism, the world’s dominant ideology. That it remains unrecognised as a predatory ideology is the achievement of an equally unrecognised brainwashing. Insidious, undeclared, presented wittily as enlightenment on the march, its conceit insinuates western culture. I grew up on a cinematic diet of American glory, almost all of it a distortion. I had no idea that it was the Red Army that had destroyed most of the Nazi war machine, at a cost of as many as 13 million soldiers. By contrast, US losses, including in the Pacific, were 400,000. Hollywood reversed this.

The difference now is that cinema audiences are invited to wring their hands at the “tragedy” of American psychopaths having to kill people in distant places – just as the President himself kills them. The embodiment of Hollywood’s violence, the actor and director Clint Eastwood, was nominated for an Oscar this year for his movie, ‘American Sniper’, which is about a licensed murderer and nutcase. The New York Times described it as a “patriotic, pro-family picture which broke all attendance records in its opening days”.

There are no heroic movies about America’s embrace of fascism. During the Second World War, America (and Britain) went to war against Greeks who had fought heroically against Nazism and were resisting the rise of Greek fascism. In 1967, the CIA helped bring to power a fascist military junta in Athens – as it did in Brazil and most of Latin America. Germans and east Europeans who had colluded with Nazi aggression and crimes against humanity were given safe haven in the US; many were pampered and their talents rewarded. Wernher von Braun was the “father” of both the Nazi V-2 terror bomb and the US space programme.

In the 1990s, as former Soviet republics, eastern Europe and the Balkans became military outposts of Nato, the heirs to a Nazi movement in Ukraine were given their opportunity. Responsible for the deaths of thousands of Jews, Poles and Russians during the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union, Ukrainian fascism was rehabilitated and its “new wave” hailed by the enforcer as “nationalists”.

This reached its apogee in 2014 when the Obama administration splashed out $5 billion on a coup against the elected government. The shock troops were neo-Nazis known as the Right Sector and Svoboda. Their leaders include  Oleh Tyahnybok, who has called for a purge of the “Moscow-Jewish mafia” and “other scum”, including gays, feminists and those on the political left.

These fascists are now integrated into the Kiev coup government. The first deputy speaker of the Ukrainian parliament, Andriy Parubiy, a leader of the governing party, is co-founder of Svoboda. On February 14, Parubiy announced he was flying to Washington get “the USA to give us highly precise modern weaponry”. If he succeeds, it will be seen as an act of war by Russia.

No western leader has spoken up about the revival of fascism in the heart of Europe – with the exception of Vladimir Putin, whose people lost 22 million to a Nazi invasion that came through the borderland of Ukraine. At the recent Munich Security Conference, Obama’s Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, Victoria Nuland, ranted abuse about European leaders for opposing the US arming of the Kiev regime. She referred to the German Defence Minister as “the minister for defeatism”. It was Nuland who masterminded the coup in Kiev. The wife of Robert D. Kagan, a leading “neo-con” luminary and co-founder of the extreme right wing Project for a New American Century, she was foreign policy advisor to Dick Cheney.

Nuland’s coup did not go to plan. Nato was prevented from seizing Russia’s historic, legitimate, warm-water naval base in Crimea. The mostly Russian population of Crimea – illegally annexed to Ukraine by Nikita Krushchev in 1954 – voted overwhelmingly to return to Russia, as they had done in the 1990s. The referendum was voluntary, popular and internationally observed. There was no invasion.

At the same time, the Kiev regime turned on the ethnic Russian population in the east with the ferocity of ethnic cleansing. Deploying neo-Nazi militias in the manner of the Waffen-SS, they bombed and laid to siege cities and towns. They used mass starvation as a weapon, cutting off electricity, freezing bank accounts, stopping social security and pensions. More than a million refugees fled across the border into Russia. In the western media, they became unpeople escaping “the violence” caused by the “Russian invasion”. The Nato commander, General Breedlove – whose name and actions might have been inspired by Stanley Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove – announced that 40,000 Russian troops were “massing”. In the age of forensic satellite evidence, he offered none.

These Russian-speaking and bilingual people of Ukraine – a third of the population – have long sought a federation that reflects the country’s ethnic diversity and is both autonomous and independent of Moscow. Most are not “separatists” but citizens who want to live securely in their homeland and oppose the power grab in Kiev. Their revolt and establishment of autonomous “states” are a reaction to Kiev’s attacks on them. Little of this has been explained to western audiences.

On May 2, 2014, in Odessa, 41 ethnic Russians were burned alive in the trade union headquarters with police standing by. The Right Sector leader Dmytro Yarosh hailed the massacre as “another bright day in our national history”. In the American and British media, this was reported as a “murky tragedy” resulting from “clashes” between “nationalists” (neo-Nazis) and “separatists” (people collecting signatures for a referendum on a federal Ukraine).

The New York Times buried the story, having dismissed as Russian propaganda warnings about the fascist and anti-Semitic policies of Washington’s new clients. The Wall Street Journal damned the victims – “Deadly Ukraine Fire Likely Sparked by Rebels, Government Says”. Obama congratulated the junta for its “restraint”.

If Putin can be provoked into coming to their aid, his pre-ordained “pariah” role in the West will justify the lie that Russia is invading Ukraine. On January 29, Ukraine’s top military commander, General Viktor Muzhemko, almost inadvertently dismissed the very basis for US and EU sanctions on Russia when he told a news conference emphatically: “The Ukrainian army is not fighting with the regular units of the Russian Army”.  There were “individual citizens” who were members of “illegal armed groups”, but there was no Russian invasion. This was not news. Vadym Prystaiko, Kiev’s Deputy Foreign Minister, has called for “full scale war” with nuclear-armed Russia.

On February 21, US Senator James Inhofe, a Republican from Oklahoma, introduced a bill that would authorise American arms for the Kiev regime. In his Senate presentation, Inhofe used photographs he claimed were of Russian troops crossing into Ukraine, which have long been exposed as fakes. It was reminiscent of Ronald Reagan’s fake pictures of a Soviet installation in Nicaragua, and Colin Powell’s fake evidence to the UN of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

The intensity of the smear campaign against Russia and the portrayal of its president as a pantomime villain is unlike anything I have known as a reporter. Robert Parry, one of America’s most distinguished investigative journalists, who revealed the Iran-Contra scandal, wrote recently, “No European government, since Adolf Hitler’s Germany, has seen fit to dispatch Nazi storm troopers to wage war on a domestic population, but the Kiev regime has and has done so knowingly. Yet across the West’s media/political spectrum, there has been a studious effort to cover up this reality even to the point of ignoring facts that have been well established… If you wonder how the world could stumble into world war three – much as it did into world war one a century ago – all you need to do is look at the madness over Ukraine that has proved impervious to facts or reason.”

In 1946, the Nuremberg Tribunal prosecutor said of the German media: “The use made by Nazi conspirators of psychological warfare is well known. Before each major aggression, with some few exceptions based on expediency, they initiated a press campaign calculated to weaken their victims and to prepare the German people psychologically for the attack… In the propaganda system of the Hitler State it was the daily press and the radio that were the most important weapons.” In the Guardian on February 2, Timothy Garton-Ash called, in effect, for a world war. “Putin must be stopped,” said the headline. “And sometimes only guns can stop guns.” He conceded that the threat of war might “nourish a Russian paranoia of encirclement”; but that was fine. He name-checked the military equipment needed for the job and advised his readers that “America has the best kit”.

In 2003, Garton-Ash, an Oxford professor, repeated the propaganda that led to the slaughter in Iraq. Saddam Hussein, he wrote, “has, as [Colin] Powell documented, stockpiled large quantities of horrifying chemical and biological weapons, and is hiding what remains of them. He is still trying to get nuclear ones.” He lauded Blair as a “Gladstonian, Christian liberal interventionist”. In 2006, he wrote, “Now we face the next big test of the West after Iraq: Iran.”

The outbursts – or as Garton-Ash prefers, his “tortured liberal ambivalence” – are not untypical of those in the transatlantic liberal elite who have struck a Faustian deal. The war criminal Blair is their lost leader. The Guardian, in which Garton-Ash’s piece appeared, published a full-page advertisement for an American Stealth bomber. On a menacing image of the Lockheed Martin monster were the words: “The F-35. GREAT For Britain”. This American “kit” will cost British taxpayers £1.3 billion, its F-model predecessors having slaughtered across the world.  In tune with its advertiser, a Guardian editorial has demanded an increase in military spending.

Once again, there is serious purpose. The rulers of the world want Ukraine not only as a missile base; they want its economy. Kiev’s new Finance Minister, Nataliwe Jaresko, is a former senior US State Department official in charge of US overseas “investment”. She was hurriedly given Ukrainian citizenship. They want Ukraine for its abundant gas; Vice President Joe Biden’s son is on the board of Ukraine’s biggest oil, gas and fracking company. The manufacturers of GM seeds, companies such as the infamous Monsanto, want Ukraine’s rich farming soil.

Above all, they want Ukraine’s mighty neighbour, Russia. They want to Balkanise or dismember Russia and exploit the greatest source of natural gas on earth. As the Arctic ice melts, they want control of the Arctic Ocean and its energy riches, and Russia’s long Arctic land border. Their man in Moscow used to be Boris Yeltsin, a drunk, who handed his country’s economy to the West. His successor, Putin, has re-established Russia as a sovereign nation; that is his crime.

The responsibility of the rest of us is clear. It is to identify and expose the reckless lies of warmongers and never to collude with them. It is to re-awaken the great popular movements that brought a fragile civilisation to modern imperial states. Most important, it is to prevent the conquest of ourselves: our minds, our humanity, our self respect. If we remain silent, victory over us is assured, and a holocaust beckons.

http://johnpilger.com/articles/why-the-rise-of-fascism-is-again-the-issue

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. Roberts’ latest books are The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West and How America Was Lost.

Indigenous Peruvians win Amazon pollution payout from US oil giant

Out-of-court settlement ends long legal battle for compensation for deaths, birth defects and environmental damage allegedly caused by Occidental’s pollution

carlos sandi corrientes peru indigenous achuar
Carlos Sandi, president of Amazon’s native communities of the Corrientes basin, speaks during a news conference in Lima in February 2015. Photograph: Enrique Castro-Mendivil/Reuters

 

by  in Lima

They sued the company in 2007, alleging it knowingly caused pollution which caused premature deaths, birth defects and damaged their habitat.

It is the first time a company from the United States has been sued in a US court for pollution it caused in another country, Marco Simons, the legal director of EarthRights International, which represented the Achuar people in the lawsuit, ​said. It set a “precedent” which he said will be “significant for future cases and has already been cited by other courts in the United States​”.

The case was initially dismissed in 2008 when the federal district court agreed with Occidental Petroleum that the case should be heard in Peru rather than Los Angeles, the plaintiffs successfully appealed to overturn this decision, and the US ​supreme ​court refused to hear the company’s arguments in 2013.

The funds provided by the company through a trust will be used ​for health, education and nutrition projects run by a collective of ​five Achuar communities (Antioquía, José Olaya, Nueva Jerusalén, Pampa Hermosa and Saukí) that filed the lawsuit. All come from the region surrounding the Corrientes river in Peru’s northern Amazon.

One of the plaintiffs, Adolfina Sandi alleges her ​11-year-old son and eight-year-old daughter died after drinking water from the contaminated river.

“We didn’t know the impact of the pollution and the company never told us. My son and daughter died vomiting blood. They never confirmed to us why they had died,” she ​said. Speaking her native Achuar language, Sandi said she was grateful for the settlement even though her children would not benefit from the projects.

LA-based Occidental Petroleum drilled for oil in Peru’s block 1-AB – one of the country’s biggest oil concessions – between 1971 and 2000, during which time it spewed out around 9 billion gallons of untreated ​“produced waters” containing heavy metals ​such as cadmium, lead and arsenic into the rivers and streams without regard for international standards, according to a report by the NGO Amazon Watch.

In 2006, a study by Peru’s health ministry in seven affected communities revealed that all but two of the 199 people tested had levels of cadmium in their blood above safe levels. In the same year, the Achuar seized oil wells, forcing the government and the Argentinian company Pluspetrol which took over the block in 2000 to remediate the environmental damage by reinjecting the production waters.

But conditions have not improved with Pluspetrol. The Peruvian government declared an environmental emergency in the Corrientes basin in 2013. The company, which operates oil and gas fields across Peru’s Amazon, is challenging nearly $13m in environmental fines through Peru’s courts,according to the country’s environmental supervision agency.

Arli Sandi, an Achuar leader from Saukí, ​said the communities would not be afraid to file a similar lawsuit against Pluspetrol.

In January, Achuar, Kichwa and Urarina communities seized Pluspetrol oil wells in Peru’s northern Amazon demanding the company pay compensation for contamination and the use of their territories.

Doctor: “Definitely indicates ocean not normal… Really, we should be worried”

by EN£News

Excerpts from Radiological Dose Rates to Marine Fish from the Fukushima Daiichi Accident: The First Three Years Across the North Pacific’, includes authors from Japan’s National Institute of Radiological Sciences and Oregon St. Univ., 2015 (emphasis added):

  • A more complete record is emerging of radionuclide measurements in fish [from] across the Pacific… Fish 100–200 km east of [Fukushima], coastal fish in the Aleutian Islands… and trans-Pacific migratory species, all had increased dose rates as a consequence of the FDNPP accident.
  • FDNPP produced the largest single-event influx of radioactive cesium isotopes into the Pacific [137Cs up to 90 PBq; Chernobyl total: 70-85 PBq].
  • Dose rates to the most impacted fish species near the FDNPP have remained above benchmark levels for potential dose effects at least three years longer than was indicated by previous, data-limited, evaluations.
  • [Strontium-90] was estimated to contribute up to approximately one-half of the total 2013 dose rate to fish near the FDNPP.
  • Evaluations… suggested that the dose rates to fish near the FDNPP… only briefly remained above the benchmark levels for potential harmful effects… However, subsequent data have indicated highly elevated and persistent accumulation of Cs.
  • Maximally exposed fish near the FDNPP [had] an increase of more than six orders of magnitude… The elevated activity concentrations were not isolated to one sample, or one species. In 2013, activity concentrations of 134,137Cs exceeding [100,000 Bq] kg were measured in more than 100 fish from ten species sampled from FDNPP port… concentrations in [some species] are orders of magnitude higher than predicted.
  • Some of the released radionuclides are being carried long distances
  • At Amchitka Island [in Alaska] the 134,137Cs dose rates to [greenling and rockfish] were only slightly higher than pre-event levels… The increase… appears to be due to atmospheric transport from Fukushima as 134Cs was measured… in freshwater fish [11 Bq/kg in trout].
  • Detections of 134Cs in California water samples gathered in August 2014… suggest incremental dose rate increases to resident fish.
  • Fish at 100–200 km east of the FDNPP, coastal fish in the Aleutian Islands, and trans-Pacific migratory species all had increased dose rates.
  • Persistence of the radionuclides in fish was not anticipated by existing models…ongoing measurements are needed at locations near the FDNPP and further along the predicted plume trajectory… Some areas that have experienced air deposition in 2011 (e.g. Aleutian Islands), should continue monitoring as they may experience a second arrival of 134,137Cs in subsequent years via an oceanic plume.
  • This study was in collaboration with the… IAEA

See also: Gov’t: Alaska island “appears to show impacts from Fukushima” — “Significant cesium signature” — Scientists anticipate further impact as ocean plume arrives (VIDEO)

NOAA, Feb 18, 2015 (pdf): We are seeing an unusually large increase of California sea lion pups stranding [that’s] intensified over the last few weeks… it is very difficult to pinpoint what is causing the increase… [There are] warmer waters than usual, but an official El Nino has not yet been declared… [We are] preparing for the worst… health trends of marine mammals [inform] us about the health of the entire ecosystem… if the stranding numbers exceed the 2013 UME [facilities will be unable to] accept more animals… animals may be left on the beach [or] humanely euthanized.

Malibu Surfside News, Mar 3, 2015: The number of animals that can be rescued and rehabilitated is very small compared to the total number of pups in distress… in 2013, Federal officials estimated that 70 percent of the total number [~35,000 out of 50,000 newborns] may have died and experts say that the numbers may be even higher this year.

Quartz, Feb 27, 2015: This phenomenon is unprecedented in scale: in January… more than twice the highest number previously recordedFebruary has been even worse… Jim Milbury [of NOAA said] a total of 1,200 sea lions have reached California since the beginning of the year… [It was a] much less significant event in 2013.

Malibu Times, Feb 25, 2015: The California Wildlife Center [at this] time last year… had facilitated seven rescues. As of the beginning of this week, 129 rescues have been performed… CWC is alsoencountering many sea lions that have washed ashore dead.

The Oregonian, Feb 26, 2015: Oceana saysthousands of sea lion pups… have died on the West Coast this year…

Press Democrat, Feb 25, 2015: A crisis [of] stranded pups and older animals arriving starved and sick on coastal shores has reached the Sonoma Coast, where six animals have been recovered in recent weeks, according to the Marine Mammal Center near Sausalito. All of them — four pups and two adults — later perished because of their weakened physical state.

Shawn Johnson, director of veterinary science at The Marine Mammal Center, Feb 16, 2015 (at 3:30 in): [It’s] the third year we’ve seen an increased number of sea lion strandings… It’sdefinitely an indication that the sea is not its normal self… The sea lions are sentinels of the seait really indicates there’s a bigger issue happening in the ocean. – (at 13:00 in) At the MMC we have over 200 right now… which is incredibly abnormal. Normally this time of year we would have no sea lions pups. — (at 17:00 in) The sea lions are telling us that there’s a lack of fish. The cause of that is still being investigatedReally, we should be worried about what’s happening out there right now [it] could be directly related tous in the future.

KQED’s half hour program on the sea lion strandings here

‘A Conspiracy Of Silence’ – HSBC and The Guardian

The corporate media have swiftly moved on from Peter Oborne’s resignation as chief political commentator at the Telegraph and his revelations that the paper had committed ‘a form of fraud’ on its readers over its coverage of HSBC tax evasion.

But investigative journalist Nafeez Ahmed has delved deeper into the HSBC scandal, reporting the testimony of a whistleblower that reveals a ‘conspiracy of silence’ encompassing the media, regulators and law-enforcement agencies. Not least, Ahmed’s work exposes the vanity of the Guardian’s boast to be the world’s ‘leading liberal voice’.

Last month, the corporate media, with one notable exception, devoted extensive coverage to the news that the Swiss banking arm of HSBC had been engaged in massive fraudulent tax evasion. The exception was the Telegraph which, as Oborne revealed, was desperate to retain advertising income from HSBC.

But now Ahmed reports another ‘far worse case of HSBC fraud totalling an estimated £1 billion, closer to home’. Moreover, it has gone virtually unnoticed by the corporate media, for all the usual reasons.

According to whistleblower Nicholas Wilson, HSBC was ‘involved in a fraudulent scheme to illegally overcharge British shoppers in arrears for debt on store cards at leading British high-street retailers’ including B&Q, Dixons, Currys, PC World and John Lewis. Up to 600,000 Britons were defrauded.

Wilson uncovered the crimes while he was head of debt recovery for Weightmans, a firm of solicitors acting on behalf of John Lewis. But when he blew the whistle, his employer sacked him. He has spent 12 years trying to expose this HSBC fraud and to help obtain justice for the victims. The battle has ‘ruined his life’, he said during a brief appearance on the BBC’s The Big Questions, the only ‘mainstream’ coverage to date.

Ahmed writes that the ‘most disturbing’ aspect of ‘HSBC’s fraud against British consumers’ is that it ‘has been systematically ignored by the entire British press’.

He adds:

‘In some cases, purportedly brave investigative journalism outfits have spent months investigating the story, preparing multiple drafts, before inexplicably spiking publication without reason.’

Examples include BBC Panorama, BBC Newsnight, BBC Moneybox, BBC Radio 5 Live, the Guardian, Private Eye and the Sunday Times.

The Sunday Times is the most recent example. A couple of weeks ago, the paper had a big exposé on the HSBC consumer credit fraud ready to go. But it was ‘inexplicably dropped’ at the last minute. Ahmed writes:

‘HSBC happens to be the main sponsor of a series of Sunday Times league tables published for FastTrack 100 Ltd., a “networking events company.” The bank is the “title sponsor” of The Sunday Times HSBC Top Track 100, has been “title sponsor of The Sunday Times HSBC International Track 200 for all 6 years” and was previously “title sponsor of The Sunday Times Top Track 250 for 7 years.”‘

Ahmed reports that the Sunday Times journalist preparing the spiked story did not respond to a query asking for an explanation.

The World’s ‘Leading Liberal Voice’… Loses Its Voice

But surely the Guardian would go where other papers fear to tread? After all, says Ahmed, the paper:

‘loudly and triumphantly congratulated itself for reporting on the HSBC Swiss bank scandal despite the bank putting its advertising relationship with the newspaper “on pause.” Yet the newspaper has refused to cover Wilson’s story exposing HSBC fraud in Britain. Why?’

Perhaps there is no definitive answer to that question. But as Ahmed points out, the Guardian just ‘happens to be the biggest recipient of HSBC advertising revenue: bigger even than the Telegraph’, which is ‘something you won’t read in the Guardian’. The Guardian’s ‘partnership’ with HSBC even helped fund the paper’s crucial move into the US market, according to the Guardian Media Group’s financial report last year.

However, the Guardian’s links with HSBC go beyond advertising and extend to the very corporate structure of the newspaper. As Media Lens noted when we wrote about Nafeez Ahmed’s sacking from the Guardian last December, the paper’s journalistic freedom is supposedly secured under the auspices of Scott Trust Limited, the company that replaced the much-vaunted Scott Trust in 2008. We added:

‘The paper, therefore, might not at first sight appear to be a corporate institution. But the paper is owned by the Guardian Media Group which is run by a high-powered Board comprising elite, well-connected people from the worlds of banking, insurance, advertising… and other sectors of big business, finance and industry.’

Ahmed has done further extensive digging, revealing, in particular, the Guardian’s specific corporate ties with HSBC, past and present. For instance, the chair of the Scott Trust Ltd board is Dame Liz Forgan. She has links with St Giles Trust and the British Museum, two institutions that are ‘sponsored’ by HSBC.

Consider, too, Anthony Salz who sits alongside Forgan on Scott Trust Ltd. He is a senior investment banker and executive vice chairman of Rothschild, and a director at NM Rothschild and Sons. Salz was previously a corporate lawyer with Freshfields, a member of the ‘Magic Circle’ of elite British law firms. HSBC is one of Freshfield’s most prominent long-term clients.

Philip Tranter is another board member of Scott Trust Ltd. He is a former partner and head of corporate law at Boyes Turner. HSBC is one of their clients.

As well as past and present relationships with HSBC, there are also wider connections between Scott Trust Ltd board members and elite corporate and financial circles. For example, Jonathan Scott is chairman of Ambac Assurance UK, and a former director at KPMG Corporate Finance. Ambac was ‘at the heart of the 2008 subprime mortgage crisis, and was implicated in fraud to save its skin as the crisis kicked off’.

Andrew Miller, another board member, was chief financial officer of Autotrader publisher, Trader Media Group. Until early last year, TMG was jointly owned by the Guardian Media Group and the giant private equity firm, Apax Partners. One early director of an Apax Fund, David Staples, is now a director of HSBC Private Bank Ltd. When the Guardian Media Group sold its 50.1% stake in TMG, one of the firms that provided advice for the sale was Anthony Salz’s former firm, Freshfields. Freshfields also advised HSBC over a government inquiry into competition in the banking sector last year.

And so it goes on… and on. Far from being some kind of benign charitable operation, the Guardian newspaper is deeply embedded in elite networks of corporate and financial muscle.

Ahmed notes the consequences of all this for Guardian journalism. The company board members running the newspaper:

‘must juggle the task of operating the Guardian “as a profit-seeking enterprise,” while securing its “financial and editorial independence” — goals that as the HSBC case illustrates, are ultimately mutually incompatible.’

He summarises Nicholas Wilson’s revelations on HSBC fraud in Britain as ‘the worst and largest single case of banking fraud to have ever emerged in this country. They make the Swiss leaks case look like peanuts.’

And yet the fraud has been entirely ignored by the ‘free press’. Our searches of the Lexis newspaper database yield not a single article. In particular, there has been no corporate media response to Ahmed’s careful investigative journalism since his article was published on March 2. ‘Even’ the Guardian, the supposed ‘flagship’ of liberal journalism, has looked away.

We would challenge Alan Rusbridger, the outgoing Guardian editor-in-chief (he will replace Forgan as the chair of the Scott Trust Ltd in 2016). But he hasn’t responded to our emails for years and he has long blocked us on Twitter. Perhaps this is because he finally tired of us highlighting examples of his paper’s propaganda role as a ‘guardian of power’. The last straw for Rusbridger appeared to follow our exposure of the paper’s dishonest attempts to smear Noam Chomsky in 2005.

However, when one of our readers challenged Rusbridger this week that he felt ‘conned’ that the Guardian is actually owned by a company and not a trust, Rusbridger did reply – although rather evasively:

‘It looks, swims, quacks and acts like a Trust. But, no, it’s not a charity. Nor does it hv anytg to do w HSBC’

‘Nor does it have anything to do with HSBC’? To put it kindly, it would appear that the Guardian editor-in-chief is ignorant of the HSBC links of his fellow company board members, as spelled out in Ahmed’s piece.

Ahmed himself then directly challenged Rusbridger via Twitter:

‘.@arusbridger great that guardian covered #SwissLeaks. Why ignore bigger story of £1bn #HSBC fraud in UK?https://medium.com/@NafeezAhmed/death-drugs-and-hsbc-355ed9ef5316

At the time of writing, Rusbridger has not responded.

DC

Suggested Action

Please email:
Alan Rusbridger, Guardian editor-in-chief
Email: alan.rusbridger@guardian.co.uk
Twitter: @rusbridger

The CIA Secret Prisons in Europe.

secret prison poland

It is common knowledge that at end-January 2015 the global movement Amnesty International published a report, titled “Breaking the conspiracy of silence: USA’s European “partners in crime” must act after Senate torture report”, which throws further light upon the information gathered within the US Senate investigation into torture methods, applied by the Central Intelligence Agency, by referring to media reports on the way CIA-operated secret detention sites were run in Europe – in particular, on the territory of Lithuania, Poland and Romania. As a matter of fact, it was several years ago when it first became known that CIA tortured terror suspects not only in these countries but also on the territory of another EU Member State – namely, Great Britain. According to the Lawrence Wilkinson, former Chief of Staff to the US Secretary of State, after the terror attack of 11th September 2001 the CIA used the US military base on the island of Diego Garcia, located in the British Indian Ocean Territory, to conduct interrogations and torture terror suspects who had been abducted from various countries without any court order whatsoever.

After the US Senate report got published, the European Parliament adopted a special resolution on 11th February 2015 in which it:

“expresses its deep condemnation of the gruesome interrogation practices that characterized these illegal counterterrorism operations; underlines the fundamental conclusion by the US Senate that the violent methods applied by the CIA failed to generate intelligence that prevented further terrorist attacks; recalls its absolute condemnation of torture”.

The resolution also highlights the fact that:

“the climate of impunity regarding the CIA programme has enabled the continuation of fundamental rights violations, as further revealed by the mass surveillance programmes of the US National Security Agency and secret services of various EU Member States”.

In this context, the US Government is called on:

“to investigate and prosecute the multiple human rights violations resulting from the CIA rendition and secret detention programmes, and to cooperate with all requests from EU Member States for information, extradition or effective remedies for victims in connection with the CIA programme”.

The European Parliament also:

“reiterates its calls on Member States to investigate the allegations that there were secret prisons on their territory where people were held under the CIA programme, and to prosecute those involved in these operations, taking into account all the new evidence that has come to light”.

At the same time it:

“expresses concerns regarding the obstacles encountered by national parliamentary and judicial investigations into some Member States’ involvement in the CIA programme, the abuse of state secrecy, and the undue classification of documents resulting in the termination of criminal proceedings and leading to de facto impunity of perpetrators of human rights violations”.

Furthermore, the resolution “calls for the findings of existing inquiries relating to Member States’ involvement in the CIA programme, in particular the Chilcot inquiry, to be published without further delay”.

Considering the above, we are unpleasantly impressed by the fact that the Council of Europe and its Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) have hitherto failed to demonstrate the due will to discuss the refusal of the governmental authorities in Vilnius, Warsaw and Bucharest to investigate the multiple occasions of human rights violations, ensuing from the agreement of these countries to host the establishment of CIA black sites on their territory. Such an attitude erodes the very foundations of the European Union, weakens the belief of European citizens that their fundamental rights are truly guaranteed, divests the EU of its moral authority and discredits its allegiance to the universal human values.

The US Senate report and the one issued by Amnesty International, unequivocally point out that the above three EU Member States, as well as Great Britain, played a key role in the implementation of this CIA “operation” on the territory of the Old Continent. Without the help of these governments the USA would not have been in the position to detain and torture people for so many years, applying such inhumane methods as waterboarding and mock execution, sleep deprivation, use of coffin-sized confinement boxes or sexual threats.

It is high time that Europe became aware of the fact that the time for paying lip service to the condemnation of these crimes or the attempts at their covering up is over for good. The governments of Lithuania , Poland and Romania can no longer hide behind the unconvincing “national security reasons” and “state secret” arguments, thus refusing to bring to light the entire truth about their role for the torture and abduction of people in their countries. Jozef Pinior, one of the legendary leaders of the Polish “Solidarity” trade union, member of the European Parliament in the period 2004 – 2009 and of the Parliamentary committee on secret CIA prisons in Europe, now a Polish senator, points out:

“The information in the Washington Post about the fact that Polish intelligence services received USD 15 million to “host” a secret CIA prison in the country compromises the entire Polish state which should elucidate this issue as quickly as possible. This unquestionably confirmed the grimmest hypothesis that under Leszek Miller Poland turned into a “banana republic” to the USA . Another deplorable fact is that our national services have contributed in no way whatsoever to the disclosure of this conspiracy. This is an extremely disgraceful situation. The Polish state, the judicial system and the Government should publish the investigation findings as soon as possible. Otherwise we are going to become Europe ’s laughing stock. It turns out that we while we give lessons in democracy to countries like the Ukraine , we take money from the US to allow them to practice illicit torture of people on our territory”.

In its turn the Bulgarian Government should state its official support for the appeal of Amnesty International and the European Parliament and urge the authorities in Vilnius , Bucharest and Warsaw to undertake an immediate and full investigation of this case and to prosecute those involved in the tortures. Let us be reminded that most of the victims of these malpractices are Muslims and in the context of surging anti-Islam mood after the terror attacks in Paris and Copenhagen it becomes even more important to find out the truth about the secret CIA “black sites” in Europe.

The Real AIG Conspiracy

Obama is on a hot war footing. Western civilization is allegedly “threatened by the Islamic State”.  

The “Global War on Terrorism” is  heralded as a humanitarian endeavour. We have a “Responsibility to Protect”. Humanitarian warfare is the solution.  Evil folks are lurking. ‘Take ‘em out”, said George W. Bush.

The Western media is beating the drums of war. Obama’s military agenda is supported by a vast propaganda apparatus. 

One of the main objectives of war propaganda is to “fabricate an enemy”. As the political legitimacy of the Obama Administration falters, doubts regarding the existence of this “outside enemy”, namely Al Qaeda and its network of (CIA sponsored) affiliates  must be dispelled.

The purpose is to tacitly instil, through repeated media reports, ad nauseam, within people’s inner consciousness, the notion that Muslims constitute a threat to the security of the Western World.  

Humanitarian warfare is waged on several fronts: Russia,  China and the Middle East are currently the main targets.

Xenophobia and the Military Agenda

The wave of xenophobia directed against Muslims which has swept across Western Europe is tied into geopolitics. It is part of a military agenda. It consists in demonizing the enemy.

Muslim countries possess more than 60 percent of total oil reserves.  In contrast, the United States of America has barely 2 percent of total oil reserves. Iraq has five times more oil than the United States. (See Michel Chossudovsky, The “Demonization” of Muslims and the Battle for Oil, Global Research, January 4, 2007).

A large share of the World’s oil lies in Muslim lands. The objective of the US led war is to steal and appropriate those oil reserves. And to achieve this objective, these countries  are targeted: war, covert ops, economic destabilization, regime change.

The American Inquisition

A consensus building process to wage war is similar to the Spanish inquisition. It requires social subordination, the political consensus cannot be questioned. In its contemporary version, the inquisition requires and demands submission to the notion that war is a means to spreading Western values and democracy.

A good versus evil dichotomy prevails. We must go after the bad guys.

War is peace.

The ‘big lie’ has now becomes the truth … and the truth has become a ‘conspiracy theory’. Those who are committed to the Truth are categorized as “Terrorists”.

According to Paul Craig Roberts (2011), the conspiracy theory concept “has undergone Orwellian redefinition”…

A “conspiracy theory” no longer means an event explained by a conspiracy.  Instead, it now means any explanation, or even a fact, that is out of step with the government’s explanation and that of its media pimps….

In other words, as truth becomes uncomfortable for government and its Ministry of Propaganda, truth is redefined as conspiracy theory, by which is meant an absurd and laughable explanation that we should ignore.

Fiction becomes fact.  Investigative journalism has been scrapped.

Factual analysis of social, political and economic issues is a conspiracy theory because it challenges a consensus which is based on a lie.

What is the Truth

The real threat to global security emanates from the US-NATO-Israel alliance, yet realities in an inquisitorial environment are turned upside down: the warmongers are committed to peace, the victims of war are presented as the protagonists of war.

The homeland is threatened.

The media, intellectuals, scientists and the politicians, in chorus, obfuscate the unspoken truth, namely that the US-NATO led war destroys humanity.

When the lie becomes the truth there is no turning backwards.

When war is upheld as a humanitarian endeavour, Justice and the entire international legal system are turned upside down: pacifism and the antiwar movement are criminalized. Opposing the war becomes a criminal act. Meanwhile, the war criminals in high office have ordered a witch hunt against those who challenge their authority.

The Big Lie must be exposed for what it is and what it does.

It sanctions the indiscriminate killing of men, women and children. It destroys families and people. It destroys the commitment of people towards their fellow human beings.

It prevents people from expressing their solidarity for those who suffer. It upholds war and the police state as the sole avenue.

It destroys both nationalism and internationalism. Breaking the lie means breaking a criminal project of global destruction, in which the quest for profit is the overriding force. This profit driven military agenda destroys human values and transforms people into unconscious zombies.

Let us reverse the tide.

Challenge the war criminals in high office and the powerful corporate lobby groups which support them. Break the American inquisition.

Undermine the US-NATO-Israel military crusade.

Close down the weapons factories and the military bases.

Bring home the troops.

Members of the armed forces should disobey orders and refuse to participate in a criminal war.

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