Friday, February 29, 2008

War-tax resistance: "as American as the Boston Tea Party"

The war on war tax

War-tax resistance is "as American as the Boston Tea Party," according to Peter Haney, cultural anthropologist and dynamic peacemaking director of the Pikes Peak Justice and Peace Commission.

With a warm smile in the group's downtown office (kept fairly cold to conserve energy), local activist Esther Kisamore explains that virtually any of your individual federal income taxes and some excise taxes can be allocated to U.S. war operations.

One way to take a stand, she and Haney explain, is to live a simpler lifestyle; if you keep your income level low, you may be able to avoid filing a federal income tax return. Activists will talk about these and other, less drastic, methods of avoiding "war taxes" at the PPJPC this weekend.

Kisamore says the last time she chose to live above poverty line (over 20 years ago), she decided not to file. Doing this does put you at risk of legal retaliation. Kisamore — who knows of people who have suffered harsh consequences — says she was fined only about half of what was originally required to pay.

Whatever size the sacrifice may be, the PPJPC encourages people to act as the American occupation of Iraq approaches its fifth anniversary. Peace activists across the country are telling Congress that if it won't stop war funding, the citizenry will.

"We don't believe in war and we don't believe in killing," says Kisamore. "So why pay other people to do it?"

A protest of war by not paying taxes
The Colorado Springs residents were aware of such possible consequences when they deliberately snubbed tax time — not to have extra money in their pockets and not because they don't believe the government should tax citizens.

They don't want their taxes used to fund military spending and war efforts.

The Bush administration has received or requested $624 billion for the Iraq war from 2002 to 2009, according to this week's Senate committee hearing on the Department of Defense's 2009 fiscal year budget. And that doesn't sit well with war tax resisters.

[ ... ]

Not paying taxes as a form of protest against government policies has been practiced for centuries. In 1197, for example, St. Hugh of Lincoln refused to pay a tax to pay for King Richard the Lionhearted's war against the king of France. His property was seized.

Since the Sept. 11 attacks and the United States' invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq, the interest in war tax resistance has been revived, said Ed Hedemann, an organizer with the National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee, based in New York City.

“We know of people in all 50 states doing it, and we're seeing a trend toward people who are not the typical peace activist getting involved because the popularity of the war is waning.”

The organization estimates that each year at least 10,000 Americans refuse to pay all or some of their federal income taxes over objection to military spending.

The IRS does not know how many Americans do not file income taxes, or keep track of the reasons people do not pay their taxes, said Jean Carl, spokeswoman in the Denver IRS office. War tax resisters are just one kind of tax protester — others refuse to pay taxes because they believe the system is unfair, unconstitutional, invalid or voluntary.

Not filing tax returns or paying taxes can result in audits, liens and seizures of assets and wages, Carl said, and possible imprisonment.

Hedemann said although property seizure and imprisonment aren't unheard of for tax resisters, such actions are rare.

“We're not advocating fraud — we do this on principle,” he said. “We're up front about challenging not the tax system itself but how the money is being spent.”

There are several ways to be a war tax resister. The most common method, Hedemann said, is to file a 1040 tax return and withhold a percentage equal to the percentage the federal government spends on defense and military, past and present. His organization estimates that to be about 50 percent.

Most war tax resisters send a letter to the IRS, explaining that they oppose war and don't want to pay for it, said Durland, whose tax stance stems from being a Quaker.

Some do not file tax returns, or file a return but do not pay anything, or earn a wage below the taxable amount, which for a single person under age 65 is $8,750 for the 2007 tax year. Some resisters increase payroll exemptions so they don't have as much deducted from their paychecks for taxes, Kisamore said.
Many also boycott paying federal excise tax on telephone bills, which had raised money to pay for wars and now goes into the general federal budget.

Panel offers tips on tax protest

The facts and fears of war-tax boycotting will be addressed in a panel discussion presented by the Western Mountains Peace Action Workshop.

The discussion, titled Why Isn't Everyone Who's for Peace a War Tax Resistor?, will be held at 6:30 p.m. today in Room 202 of Ricker Addition at the University of Maine at Farmington.

A panel including Eileen Kreutz of Industry, Eileen Liddy of Wilton, Henry Braun of Weld and Larry Dansinger of Monroe will discuss their present and past experiences of withholding all or part of their federal taxes as a protest. The options of war-tax resistance, which range from symbolic amounts, such as $50 or $100, to refusing to pay all of the federal tax, will be addressed. The panel will also present ways to redirect the tax money, Liddy said Friday.

"I'm fed up with the war, and I want to do something more. As a citizen I have the right and obligation to do this," she said.

Nonviolent civil disobedience is a part of the nation's history, she added, citing the Boston Tea Party and the ideas of Henry David Thoreau and Martin Luther King, Jr.

Liddy wants to send a message to the government and the Maine congressional delegation to stop funding the war.

"There are ways to do it safely, even with just smaller amounts," she said, quoting author Anita Roderick: "If you don't think small things do make a difference, then you've never been in bed with a mosquito."

War-tax boycotters are part of a growing movement of taxpayers led by the National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee, she said.

But people need to be aware and plan accordingly, Liddy said.

Meanwhile, back across the Atlantic...

Tax resistance

Joe Jenkins reports on the the Peace Tax Seven, a group of conscientious objectors seeking a judicial review of the war tax policies in Britain

It is difficult these days to find apologists - particularly in Gordon Brown's cabinet – who supported the invasion of Iraq. However, alongside the 50 per cent or so of the population who supported the war in 2003, it is no exaggeration to say that millions protested, held vigils, went on marches, lobbied MP's and signed petitions to try and stop the war, but the government went ahead and executed their war, in our name, and with our taxes. As Alexander Haig, US Secretary of State said, when confronted by the historic anti-nuclear marches in 1982, 'Let them march all they want as long as they continue to pay their taxes'.

Some taxpayers however - following the examples set by the American writer Thoreau in the nineteenth century, Joan Baez during the Vietnam war and pacifists in Britain in the 1980's and 1990's – withheld the military portion of their taxes maintaining that in matters of deliberate killing, personal conscience reigns supreme and no state can over rule the individual conscience and force its citizens to pay to kill. The courts however ruled that 'war tax resisters' have no option but to pay up.

[ ... ]

In 2004 seven taxpaying citizens decided to form a group - calling themselves the Peace Tax Seven campaign - to obtain a Judicial Review for a change in the law so that conscientious objectors can have the military portion of their taxes redirected to peace building and conflict resolution initiatives. Their lawyers, led by Phil Shiner of Public Interest Lawyers, maintain that since the Human Rights Act and the right to freedom of conscience has now been enshrined in British law, British citizens have the right to translate an ancient and compelling conscientious objection directly into tax policy on this specific issue, yet, UK tax policy ignores this fact.

The group, are taxpayers from all walks of life - a retired teacher, an accountant, a psychiatrist, a writer, a toymaker, a university lecturer and a single mother who argue that they have a legal right to have the military portion of their taxes put in a ring-fenced fund solely for peaceful purposes. Their campaign has taken its toll on all seven given that alongside individual legal proceedings, bailiffs, fines and possible bankruptcy and imprisonment, they have had to raise over £50,000 to take this case all the way to the High Court for a Judicial Review. Such has been the public outrage about the invasion of Iraq that the group managed to raise the money and in July 2005 their case was heard in the High Court.

Building a culture of peace
Although the judge found the Peace Tax Seven arguments 'forceful' their request for a Judicial Review of current UK tax policy was turned down. At an appeal court hearing in March 2006 it became plain that the British judges acknowledged the validity of the arguments, particularly when three Lord Justices, while refusing permission for a judicial review, cast doubt on previous rulings that had previously prevented cases like this moving forward; recommending that having exhausted the British legal process the group are now in a position to take their case to the European Court of Human Rights.

Earlier this year papers were lodged with the European Court at Strasbourg and the group is currently waiting on a decision as to when they will have their case heard. Already the legal bills are mounting and the group must raise another £70,000 to successfully fight their case in Europe.

Information as Novelty

...Philosopher Robert Anton Wilson defined information as data and ideas that are new to you. If it's something you already know, then it's propaganda or dogma, not information. Philosopher Terence McKenna had a similar view: He used the terms "information" and "novelty" interchangeably. If you're not surprised, he said, if your curiosity isn't piqued, then the messages streaming your way don't qualify as information...

~ From Free Will Astrology: February 20, 2008 ~

"I am here to fight the lies as long as I can"

" ... When the truth is too horrible to acknowledge, then it becomes very easy to believe in a series of lies instead. If the truth is that our leaders are really monsters, who have purposely manufactured a planned genocidal world war, in order to preserve America's fading position in the world, then the truth becomes almost impossible to believe.

[ ... ]

Bush and both of his Congresses have chosen to ride the raging river of lies known as the war on terrorism like lunatic "surf-Nazis," blinded to the dangers swimming just beneath the surface, oblivious to the destruction left in their wake. The bill for the war and for the destruction that we have sown is coming due, before the end goals are met – before the world war can be jump-started. Strategic alliances are falling apart in reaction to America's obvious goal of total world domination. Old friends are turning their backs on us, in revulsion to the bloody misery that our leaders are intentionally inflicting upon the world. The lying mainstream media is content to bask in the glorious presence of the American Reich, while they spread the official lies which are meant to divide the American people and keep them ignorant, everyone apparently oblivious to the diabolical nature of the plot and the costs that the world will pay for us to preserve our bloated "way of life."

The war based on lies is fought on many national battle fronts, where carefully constructed lies (grand conspiracies) are inserted into unsuspecting populations in order to further the myth of an international terrorist conspiracy. The preferred method of transmission is to use gossip "grapevines" to spread new distorted versions of conspiracy theories. This is most successfully accomplished if the disinformation is spread by trusted locals. This is true for introducing damaging misleading rumors into like-minded communities, no matter the size of the rumor, or its nature. A rumor's source determines its credibility just as much as the truth of the rumor itself. The purpose is always to create division within the group, by the use of false information to cover-up vital knowledge, which would otherwise unite and inspire the people.

The basis of the psyops campaign directed at the world (war on terrorism) is the big lie, a lie that is so big as to make it incomprehensible. The big lie always concern a conspiracy theory, created through a series of "whispering campaigns." The people are subjected to a series of self-confirming lies which serve to corroborate each other when brought together, giving convincing proof of a design that cannot be explained by "coincidences." The aim of the real all-encompassing grand conspiracy theory is to hide proof of its existence, for as long as possible. By pumping-out semi-true information about lesser conspiracies, real information is obscured in the ensuing uproar, truth-seekers are successfully discredited and mislabeled as "conspiracy theorists."

Here in America, where we have not yet crossed the threshold of unbridled government violence, the deception is aimed at the political opposition groups who are digging-away at the official lies and cover-ups that have made the insanity of the war on terrorism possible. The anti-war movement, the Constitutionalist movement and the 911 Truth movements all threaten to derail the machinery that is carrying us into the police state, the ghettoized America that awaits everyone outside of the elite. The time will come when the secret army of truth-seekers will overcome the official lies that cover-up the truth about what has been done to America, and America has done to the world. When the thousands of patriotic Americans and the even greater number of truth-seekers worldwide who hate us manage to break through the wall of official lies, the government of the United States will fall. It is inevitable.

In searching for proof of state terrorism in the 911 attacks, too many people have proven themselves to be more than willing to abandon logic, whenever unfolding answers to the vital questions lead them into uncomfortable territory. There is ample proof here of a conspiracy between national intelligence services to kill thousands of Americans, as a first step in a plan to commit genocide on a global scale. To say otherwise is to participate in another big lie. The power of the big lie is that it immobilizes decent people, who cannot believe that there are other humans, their fellow countrymen, who could be so inhumane as to join a plot to kill half the human race.

Out of sheer laziness and overwhelming fear, motivated by an organized campaign of hyper-patriotism, the American people have embraced a plan for the wholesale slaughter of innocent people, the scope of which, would have embarrassed Hitler's most grandiose dreams. The ugly truth is that our sons and daughters, and their sons and daughters, are going to be conscripted in a perpetual war to kill half of the world. The innocent children of the world do not deserve what we are about to do to them. Our grandchildren deserve a better inheritance than this.

[ ... ]

It is standard operating procedure for our government to never divulge the truth to the American people, unless it cannot be avoided. Press conferences and news releases are tailored to hide the truth behind the official lies. Entire electoral campaigns are composed of nothing but orchestrated lies. The State of the Union message is a compilation of the noblest lies, meant to inspire the people with lofty-sounding pseudo-truths, arranged in a colorful message of hope, tied-up with the applause of "bi-partisan" approval. Nothing is more chilling than the sight of 535 elected leaders applauding a leering, pompous, would-be emperor of the world, as he sends the world's most powerful military force, to slaughter millions of the world's most defenseless people, all in the name of maintaining inflated profits.

There is nothing more threatening to tyrants than an informed public. That is why there is no place for truth in our collapsing democracy today. If, in the end, a shrine to truth cannot be erected within our government, then our Republic may still remain standing, but there will be nothing democratic about it.... "

~ From Warfare of the Whisper – dividing the people and keeping them ignorant ~

War and the 'Dawn of the Cognetic Age'

Amazingly, the author of this diatribe sees Islamic terrorism as the only opposition to U.S. ideological supremacy. He does have one conclusion that compensates for this narrow point of view: "If our policies support the objectives, we should stay with them; if they do not, we must change them."

" ... Editorial Abstract: Colonel Johnson uses the term “cognetic” to mean putting thought into motion, ideally with global impact. Militant Islam has proven very adept at exploiting the cognetic realm to foment disillusionment and advance its agenda. The author urges the United States, starting with policy makers responsible for national security, to adopt and apply cognetic thinking in order to reorient US grand strategy so that the nation can wage and win ideological warfare.

This article introduces the term cognetic, coined by the author from the root words cognitive (relating to thought process) and kinetic (relating to, caused by, or producing motion). Currently, the term lacks a single, accepted meaning. I intend to use it in a unique way in order to define the essence of today's fast-moving, unrestrained, nonstop global media (the Internet and transnational television) and their effect on public opinion and behavior. To be cognetic is to put thought in motion with impact. Thought takes the form of messages created by specific arrangements of images, sounds, and words. Motion signifies the global media's unrestrained and rapid movement of messages to a target audience. Impact represents the effect on public opinion and behavior caused by perceptions generated by the message. Violent public reactions in the Muslim world to the publication of cartoons depicting Muhammad in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten and to Pope Benedict XVI's remarks about Islam epitomize the term cognetic—putting thought in motion with a global impact.1

[ ... ]

The nature of warfare in the Cognetic Age is ideological—something inherently antithetical to conventional war because “an idea cannot be destroyed with a bullet or a bomb; it must be replaced by a better idea.”

[ ... ]

Unlike bombs and bullets—the effective conventional weapons of the Industrial Age—imagery, sounds, and words serve as the effective ideological weapons of the Cognetic Age.
Target: Public Opinion
Abraham Lincoln once observed that “our government rests in public opinion. Whoever can change public opinion, can change the government, practically just so much.”10 His message cuts to the heart of a major lesson of war, namely, that those who most effectively master the medium of communication which influences public opinion can determine the outcome of wars. Many examples from our own short history reinforce this statement.

[ ... ]

Warfare by maneuver stems from a desire to circumvent a problem by attacking it from a position of advantage rather than meeting it straight on. With its goal the application of strength against weakness, maneuver, by definition, relies on speed and surprise because without either, one cannot concentrate strength against an enemy's weakness. Tempo, itself a weapon—often the most important—in turn requires decentralized control. Although attrition operates principally in the physical realm of war, maneuver produces both physical and moral results. Maneuver seeks not so much to destroy physically as to shatter the enemy's cohesion, organization, command, and psychological balance.15
Maneuver warfare focuses on the human (moral-psychological) element—the true center of gravity of any type of warfare—making it an excellent basis for cognetics. On close inspection, the principles of maneuver warfare largely apply to the way militant Islam employs global media to carry out cognetic attacks on public opinion.

[ ... ]

Samuel B. Griffith's translation of The Art of War offers insight into how Sun Tzu sought to win without fighting, eerily paralleling how militant Islam and other US foes employ cognetics to divide and conquer America and its allies. According to Griffith, “The master conqueror frustrated his enemy's plans and broke up his alliances. He created cleavages between sovereign and minister, superiors and inferiors, commanders and subordinates. His spies and agents were active everywhere, gathering information, sowing dissension and nurturing subversion. The enemy was isolated and demoralized; his will to resist broken. Thus without battle his army was conquered, . . . his state overthrown” (emphasis added).

[ ... ]

By its very nature, every form of warfare is competitive. Winning requires finding and employing the most effective means of gaining an advantage over the opponent. In the Cognetic Age, the global media's power to influence vast numbers of people worldwide gives militant Islam an advantage over the West in the ideological war.
Continuing at a disadvantage by emphasizing conventional military solutions to fight an ideological war will only draw out this conflict. Thus, counteracting the long-war premise requires a decisive change in thinking to reorient our current grand strategy away from its heavy emphasis on conventional military force toward one that focuses on fighting an ideological war. This does not mean abandoning the punishing stick of military force. We will still need it for coercive effect to some degree, but it will not win the war. To win, we must neutralize militant Islam's advantage in the global media.

[ ... ]

We must adopt cognetic thinking to create a shared, systematic way of conceptualizing, communicating, and carrying out ideological warfare against militant Islam. The top US strategy documents all recognize that winning the war against this foe requires winning the battle of ideas. Cognetics provides the terminology, concepts, principles, and system needed to harmonize diverse government entities into a coherent and cohesive whole, thus enabling the government to mount a well-coordinated and effective ideological assault on militant
... "

~ From Fighting Ideological War by Putting Thought in Motion with Impact ~

New U.S. Army Field Manual: 'Soldiers and leaders must master information'

Winning battles and engagements is important but not decisive by itself; shaping the civil situation in concert with other government agencies, international organizations, civil authorities and multinational forces will be just as important to campaign success, according to the new FM.

The new operations manual institutionalizes the need for cultural awareness, which is critical to understanding populations and their perceptions to reduce friction, and prevent misunderstanding, thereby improving a force's ability to accomplish its mission.

Soldiers and leaders must master information. To the people, perception is reality. Altering perceptions requires accurate, truthful information presented in a way that accounts for how people absorb and interpret information with messages that have broad appeal and acceptance. This is the essence of information engagement in the new FM.

"We have come to recognize that in the 21st Century, the information domain is a critical component," said Caldwell. "It is how you perform information operations, how you perform psychological operations, how we take and embed and link all of these together while we are performing non-lethal forms of stability operations. This is a major change and one of our key elements of combat power."

~ From Army Unveils New Field Manual for Operations ~

"We hear the word Revolution in America"

" ... Now, today, with increasing frequency we hear the word revolution in America. The revolution in the making has been defined as the Third American Revolution -- after those of 1776 and 1865. The atmosphere is coming to resemble the mood that swept across Europe in the 1970s and 80s when the Red Brigades in Italy, Red Army Fraction in Germany and Direct Action in France launched their armed attacks on the state, in the conviction that they were the revolution's vanguard.

Australian writer Desmond O'Grady describes in his Stages of the Revolution (Hardie Grant, Melbourne, 2004) the 1854 rebellion of gold miners on the Eureka field in the city of Ballarat, Victoria, who organized themselves in a stockade against the maladministration. Some 30 people were killed when a scared government put them down. Some in the government thought it was a “democratic revolution,” and feared it foreshadowed a republic. Nowadays that Eureka stockade is still an inspiration for some for a different Australia. Some would like its flag to be the Australian flag.

The symbol of the Eureka Stockade is a flag, a flag that ignores the Union Jack. Instead, on a blue field a cross with stars at the extremities represents the Southern Cross seen so vividly in the Southern hemisphere -- the original is still preserved as a symbol of rebellion.

[ ... ]

The Russian born anarchist, Peter Kropotkin (1842-1921), wrote in his major work, The Great French Revolution: “A revolution is infinitely more than a series of insurrections in town and country. It is more than a simple struggle between parties, however sanguinary; more than mere street-fighting, and much more than a mere change of government. . . . A revolution is a swift overthrow, in a few years, of institutions which have taken centuries to root in the soil, and seem so fixed and irremovable that even the most ardent reformers hardly dare to attack them in their writings. It is the fall, the crumbling away in a brief period, of all that up to that time composed the essence of social, religious, political and economic life in a nation. It means the subversion of acquired ideas and of accepted notions concerning each of the complex institutions and relations of the human herd. In short, it is the birth of completely new ideas concerning the manifold links in citizenship -- conceptions, which soon become realities, and then begin to spread among the neighboring nations, convulsing the world and giving to the succeeding age its watchword, its problems, its science, its lines of economic, political and moral development.”

The Italian writer and semiologist, Umberto Eco, defines revolution as “the sum total of a long series of revisions.” He says that “society on the other hand has become a universe devoid of a center. Everything is periphery. There is no longer a heart of anything. Only romantic terrorists of the Red Brigades believed that the state had a heart and that it was vulnerable.”

In an interview with me, Eco said that Michel Foucault had elaborated the most convincing notion of power (against which revolutions explode) in circulation: “power is not only repression and interdiction but it is also incitement to speak. . . . Power is not one single power. It is not massive. It is not a unidirectional process between an entity that commands and its subjects. Power is multiple and ubiquitous. It is a network of consensuses that depart from below. Power is a plurality. Power is the multiplicity of relationships of strength.” Eco's theory is that criticism of power has degenerated because that criticism became massive which in turn spawned ingenuous notions that power -- the system -- had one center, symbolized by the evil man with a black mustache manipulating the working class.

The French Revolution proved Kropotkin right. It had the effects he outlined. In that sense, the Paris Commune was not a revolution; at the most it was the tail end, the last throes of the French Revolution a century earlier.

In the same manner, the aspirations of the European so-called terrorist organizations of the last century pale in comparison to revolution; though ambitious, generous, idealistic and highly ideological, and based on the two pillars of an intellectual vanguard and workers, they were limited in scope and realism. Their only symbols were the pistol, the red flag and the five-pointed star. Nor were the objective conditions in modern United Europe ready for revolution. The Red Brigades chief, Alberto Franceschini, told me afterwards that they had truly believed the modern state had a heart and that they could strike it and turn history around.

The Red Brigades had however learned many lessons from Russian revolutionaries. Vladimir Lenin and Leon Trotsky insisted that to make a revolution, it is not enough that a movement of ideas should manifest itself only among the educated classes. Insurrections by the people do not make a revolution. Revolutionary action by the people must coincide with a movement of revolutionary thought among the educated classes. The two approaches to revolution were necessary, dedication and heart: the professional revolutionary Lenin created revolution with words; Trotsky was the revolutionary of the heart. There must then follow a union of the two, the people and the vanguard, as happened in England in 1640-1660, in France in 1789 and finally in Russia in 1917.

Recognition of the original international character of the Russian Revolution of 1917 is fundamental to understanding its success: Workers of the world unite was its slogan and the hammer and sickle the symbol. Lenin furthermore believed the Russian Revolution was doomed to defeat by capitalist counter-revolution unless it generated proletarian socialist revolutions in West Europe. Russian revolutionaries originally had no illusions that a revolution in Russia alone could succeed: permanent and international revolution was the key to victory. Therefore, its internationalist slogans.

We have the example of the Cuban Revolution today. Though it overthrew the corrupt US-backed dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista, Cuba faced US sanctions and an entire Latin America dominated by US capitalism. The Cuban Revolution brought social progress to the people, universal health care and education and exported doctors and medical care to several African countries. Still today Argentineans and other Latin Americans go to Cuba for serious medical care. Cuba remains as a spiritual guide for the Left in Latin America.

Economically, Cubans continue to suffer because of the US embargo. Its problems lie in its isolation. As Lenin and Trotsky insisted in the early days of the Russian Revolution, Socialist revolution in one country is not possible. If impossible in huge Russia, how much more so in the island state of Cuba. Since it could rely only on the Soviet Union, since the collapse of the USSR, Cuba's economic sufferings have increased. Now, with Castro's retirement, the capitalist world is ready to pounce.

However, times have changed. The emergence of the Left and diverse forms of Socialism in Latin America has created a new objective situation. Cuba is no longer in total isolation. Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador and Nicaragua have elected pro-Cuban left-wing governments; the Mexican electorate has swung Left; Brazil, Argentina and Chile are now friendly states. ALBA (Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas), the Venezuelan creation to oppose the IMF, the World Bank and US neo-liberalism in general. The figures of the freedom fighters Martí and Bolívar and Che Guevara are symbols of liberation from US hegemony, in the same way the Cuban Revolution itself is a symbol of Latin American revolution. For this reason alone, the capitalist world is dedicated to crushing the Cuban Revolution. Cubans themselves however continue to favor Castro but, as happened in the Soviet Union, they detest the plague of Bureaucratism.

Today, Cuba's new slogan is: Down with corruption and the new bourgeoisie. ... "

~ From Symbolism, ideology and revolution ~

European Union: A Clique of Multinationals or a Union of Peoples?

" ... When the G-8 gatherings began in 1975 there were six members, the United States, Japan, Britain, France, Germany and Italy. Canada joined the informal group in 1976. The European Community as it was then called, began attending in 1977, Russia in 1997. Today the European Union is represented at G-8 meetings by the President of the European Commission and the President of the European Council.

The G-8 is about economics. It is no secret that this congress system is an imperialist affair despite its upright façade of battling world poverty. Its annual summits culminate the constant top-level coordination among member governments in fundamental policy areas. Quarterly meetings by the Sherpas prepare for the summits on the basis of information from ministries of finance, foreign affairs, interior, justice, health and environment. G-8 governments and central banks coordinate policies with top financial houses and monopolistic transnationals. And now we know that the over-lapping Bilderberger Group plays an important role across the board.

Thus the G-8 stands at the acme of imperialism and the New World Order.

International economic relations thus have come to reflect a fundamental state gangsterism rendering irrelevant established international humanitarian and human rights laws that impede the imperialist globalizing project.

EU governments have collaborated in violations of the UN Convention Against Torture by facilitating transfer of prisoners for torture either to third countries or to US clandestine prisons. G-8 counter-terrorism is pure charade. G-8 insincerity is self-evident from the way its governments use anti-terrorism legislation to suppress dissent. The declaration on terrorism issuing from this year's summit in Heiligendamm, Germany, exemplifies G-8 cant from countries who collude in the very worst violations of human rights in Iraq, Palestine, Afghanistan and Somalia and support repressive regimes around the world.

Good and Evil

Private good, public evil/ Private evil, public good.

Which of the these social variants predominates is a moot point. However, tendencies toward good or evil do count. As a rule what is secret ultimately becomes the evil. Europeans more than Americans consider the “market” as a secret and mysterious affair and most probably evil, as evidenced in the market aspects of America's wars in the Middle East.

We know that defense of the market and reliance on war are only a hair's breadth apart. Though seduced by modern technology, Europeans do not accept a priori the supremacy of the market though they are often as deceived by it as are their—in their opinion—more gullible American cousins.

That the violence of war is contagious is reflected in the growing “private” violence within European families from Finland to Sicily. Nevertheless European multi-party parliamentary systems and the world of ideas create a more defensive atmosphere and public responsibility absent in America's presidential system where the two parties meld into one, elect a leader and allow the Power sect to act in their name.

Each transparency, Baudrillard recalls, poses its opposite, the secret. The same equation belongs to the political world of power. We know little of what goes on in the secret chambers of power in Washington because of their inaccessibility. Some things will never be known in full detail: who assassinated John Kennedy or who shot down the Italian passenger plane over the Tyrrhenian Sea over 20 years ago? What is secret is part of the world of evil. Europe's fear that as a result of the nebulous, top-heavy Brussels bureaucracy the people have less and less control is fundamental to the Euroskepticism of those unconvinced that the EU is good for Europeans.

How could the descendants of peoples wrapped in secret and mystery of Cabala and alchemy be duped by promises of wealth based on free trade by imperialist parvenu market economists? How could the sons and daughters of Dante, Shakespeare, Goethe, Dostoevsky, Kafka and Joyce and also of Marx and Lenin believe neocon storytellers of the sacredness of the exportation of democracy? These are peoples whose ancestors were stargazers, whose artists depicted peoples with their eyes lifted toward untold secrets in the stars and interpreted life's mysteries in numbers.

People don't understand how the EU bureaucracy works. What are the many thousands of highly paid functionaries doing? Though for 100 years a majority of Europeans have believed in the role of the social state, the EU government seems emblematic of a new kind of secrecy infecting mankind. They created the euro without the consent of the public. They lay down the rules that the individual governments try to get around. People who feel the price rises in their wallet have become pessimistic, suspicious and resentful. Gasoline at over $7.50 a gallon today is enough for revolution. The popular verdict is that the EU is to blame.

The infamous G-8 conference in Genoa in 2001 exemplifies the abyss between European peoples and G-8 of which Europe is twice a member: several individual countries and the EU itself. Genoa, Italy and Europe were humiliated that fall weekend. The city was a battlefield of barricades and fortifications between European people and G-8 political leaders, 20,000 police troops and 200,000 demonstrators from 50 countries, four times the number in Seattle two years earlier, shouting in ten languages “a different world is possible.”

It was like Chile. Police dragged kids to secret places and beat and tortured them for days. G-8 Genoa was pure violence. It is still a mystery how the Black Block vandals got into the tightly controlled country with all their arms. How they operated so freely in the city is a mystery too. In retaliation the Special Forces then attacked peaceful demonstrators. One young man died. It was tension strategy at work! Create the terror then blame anyone you want.

The outcome of parliamentary investigations was acquittal of the police and convictions of peaceful demonstrators. ... "

~ full article ~

Curcumin no better than placebo at treating psoriasis

Anecdotal evidence touting the healing power of the Indian spice turmeric for psoriasis received a setback in a prospective study published this month by a leading dermatology journal stating that the low response rate of patients who ingested the active ingredient of the exotic spice was probably a result of the placebo effect.
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine found that despite strong scientific evidence in the laboratory demonstrating the ability of curcumin (the active ingredient in the spice turmeric) to inhibit a critical pathway of psoriasis, the positive response in patients was so low that scientists suggest the placebo effect or the disease's natural remission might be the reason. The study was published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

~ more... ~

'Anonymous donor has left Naropa University $1 million in her will'

" ... It's the largest such posthumous gift in the school's 34-year history, and comes with some intriguing question marks.

"Part of the mystery and the power of this gift is we don't know what her precise connection was to the university," said Christopher Dwyer, vice president for institutional advancement.

The bequest will be distributed in segments to Naropa through 2011. The first amount has gone into the endowment fund. The president and its board of trustees will determine future placements. No strings are attached to the money.

Naropa was founded in 1974 by a Tibetan lama, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, a charismatic spiritual leader who also cut a rakish and unforgettable presence in Boulder. The reputation of Rinpoche was of a hard-partying man and a genius who was the first to adapt Buddhism to American tastes.

Rinpoche attracted a rebel generation to Naropa, including Howl poet Allen Ginsberg, who founded the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa, named after the famous "beat" writer. ... "

~ From Mystery donor leaves $1 million to Naropa ~

'What drives you to have a concern about conspiracy theory in American culture and anti-war movements?'

Lembcke: Well, I think conspiracy theory is a great diversion from what we need to be thinking about and the way we need to be thinking about problems in the country. Two things: it points people to conclusions that are way too simple and it contributes to our avoiding real problems. If we take 911 for example, Americans went very quickly to the conclusion that there was one man responsible (namely Osama Bin Laden), that he had a network of people, and that he masterminded all of it. So, it followed, he has to be the culprit to be hunted down and made answerable. The media, far from exempt from vulnerability to conspiracy theories, was very ready to pick this up. It'll take a long time for people to consider the media's role in this. But, if you go back to soon after 911, Al Qaeda is put forth as this organization with a Bin Laden at the head. You would think, to read press accounts, which were, of course, parroting the Bush administration, that Al Qaeda was a full blown military organization with a hierarchy of credentialed leaders, officers ("Bin Laden's lieutenants" is a favorite phrase), and the like. In reality, it really was no such thing.

There was a British journalist named Jason Burke who wrote an article in Foreign Policy, with the headline "Al-Qaeda - a meaningless label". At about that time (2004), he had a book coming out, titled Al-Qaeda: Casting a Shadow of Terror, in which he described it as a network of networks, which is a vague amorphous identity. Of course, the bad news is that it made a very elusive, mercurial target for the Bush administration as it mounted a propaganda campaign to mobilize public opinion for a war. Better for it to have us believe there is something more material, more organizationally identifiable, an Al Qaeda as an organization. Despite the fact that a prominent establishment foreign policy journal like Foreign Policy ran Burke's piece, day-to-day mainstream coverage continued to legitimate the idea of Al Qaeda as a military organization.

I began by saying that conspiracy theory acts as a diversion, which I think was Burke's point too. The real point is the widespread animosity toward US foreign and economic policies around the world. But the American people can't see that, don't see that, because we're so focused on this mythical problem of Al Qaeda.

~ From Conspiracy Theory, Fears of Betrayal and Today's Anti-War Movement ~

Olympics water diversion threatens millions

The diversion of water to Beijing for the Olympics and for big hydropower projects threatens the lives of millions of peasant farmers in China's north-western provinces, according to a senior Chinese government official.

In an interview with the Financial Times, An Qiyuan, a member and former chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Committee for Shaanxi province and former Communist party chief of Shaanxi, warned of an impending social and environmental disaster because of overuse of scarce water resources.

In a critical tone seldom heard from Chinese officials, Mr An called on Beijing to provide compensation to the provinces that have been told to pump their cleanest water to the capital in order to ensure potable supplies during the Olympics.

Beijing will need an estimated 300m cubic metres of additional water just to flush out the polluted and stagnant rivers, canals and lakes in its central areas to put on a clean, environmentally-friendly face for Olympic visitors, according to municipal officials...

~ full article ~

Musical Innerlube: Jenna Mammina with Alex De Grassi improv

Busted: COMCAST paying to push public out of Internet debate


"Mind - the eyes through which Nature can see itself"

(grateful to my friend George for sending this)

Wanted for War Crimes: Kissinger, Rumsfeld, et al

John-Paul Ferguson - Our Own Private Pinochet: Prosecuting Henry Kissinger
SAIS Review 22.1 (2002) 245-253

Book Review Our Own Private Pinochet: Prosecuting Henry Kissinger John-Paul Ferguson
Does America Need a Foreign Policy?By Henry Kissinger (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2001). 288 pp.
The Trial of Henry Kissinger. By Christopher Hitchens (New York: Verso, 2001). 150 pp.

In 1970, at the height of the Vietnam War, Henry Kissinger, then Richard Nixon's special assistant for national security affairs, was invited to Johns Hopkins University-SAIS to speak on the conflict. Given the school's long ties to the national security establishment, Kissinger doubtlessly expected a fawning reception. What he got instead surprised everyone. A group of students interrupted his introduction, rising from the audience to read a prepared statement about their opposition to the war in general and Kissinger's handling of it in particular. Taking the podium, the bemused potentate muttered, "I'll just go straight to the questions." He called upon one of the students who had risen moments before. The kid rose and asked Kissinger if he considered himself a war criminal. An understandably awkward silence followed. Kissinger finally turned to the emcee, said, "Get your people under control," and strode from the auditorium. For more than twenty years after that day, he refused to set foot inside the school. In 2001, the SAIS graduating class...

Operation Condor

It has been argued that while the US was not a key member, it "provided organizational, intelligence, financial and technological assistance to the operation."

Material declassified in 2004 states that

"The declassified record shows that Secretary Kissinger was briefed on Condor and its 'murder operations' on August 5, 1976, in a 14-page report from Shlaudeman. 'Internationally, the Latin generals look like our guys,' Shlaudeman cautioned. 'We are especially identified with Chile. It cannot do us any good.' Shlaudeman and his two deputies, William Luers and Hewson Ryan, recommended action. Over the course of three weeks, they drafted a cautiously worded demarche, approved by Kissinger, in which he instructed the U.S. ambassadors in the Southern Cone countries to meet with the respective heads of state about Condor. He instructed them to express 'our deep concern' about 'rumors' of 'plans for the assassination of subversives, politicians and prominent figures both within the national borders of certain Southern Cone countries and abroad.'"

Ultimately, the demarche was never delivered. Kornbluh and Dinges suggest that the decision not to send Kissinger's order was due to a cable sent by Assistant Secretary Harry Shlaudeman to his deputy in D.C which states "you can simply instruct the Ambassadors to take no further action, noting that there have been no reports in some weeks indicating an intention to activate the Condor scheme." McSherry, adds, "According to [U.S. Ambassador to Paraguay Robert] White, instructions from a secretary of state cannot be ignored unless there is a countermanding order received via a secret (CIA) backchannel." Kornbluh and Dinges conclude that "The paper trail is clear: the State Department and the CIA had enough intelligence to take concrete steps to thwart Condor assassination planning. Those steps were initiated but never implemented." Shlaudeman's deputy Hewson Ryan later acknowledged in an oral history interview that the State Department was "remiss" in its handling of the case. "We knew fairly early on that the governments of the Southern Cone countries were planning, or at least talking about, some assassinations abroad in the summer of 1976. … Whether if we had gone in, we might have prevented this, I don't know," he stated in reference to the Letelier-Moffitt bombing. "But we didn't."

Henry Kissinger

Henry Kissinger, Secretary of State in the Nixon and Ford administrations, was closely involved diplomatically with the Southern Cone governments at the time and well aware of the Condor plan. According to the French newspaper L'Humanité, linked with the French Communist Party, the first cooperation agreements were signed between the CIA and anti-Castro groups, fascist movements such as the Triple A set up in Argentina by Juan Perón and Isabel Martínez de Perón's "personal secretary" José López Rega, and Rodolfo Almirón (arrested in Spain in 2006).

On May 31, 2001 French judge Roger Le Loire requested that a summons be served on Henry Kissinger while he was staying at the Hôtel Ritz in Paris. Loire wanted to question Kissinger as a witness for alleged U.S. involvement in Operation Condor and for possible US knowledge concerning the "disappearances" of 5 French nationals in Chile during military rule. Kissinger left Paris that evening, and Loire's inquiries were directed to the U.S. State Department.

In July 2001 the Chilean high court granted investigating judge Juan Guzmán the right to question Kissinger about the 1973 killing of American journalist Charles Horman, whose execution at the hands of the Chilean military following the coup was dramatized in the 1982 Costa-Gavras film, Missing. The judge's questions were relayed to Kissinger via diplomatic routes but were not answered.

In August 2001 Argentine Judge Rodolfo Canicoba sent a letter rogatory to the US State Department, in accordance with the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT), requesting a deposition by Kissinger to aid the judge's investigation of Operation Condor.

On September 10, 2001 a civil suit was filed in a Washington, D.C., federal court by the family of Gen. René Schneider, murdered former Commander-in-Chief of the Chilean Army, asserting that Kissinger ordered Schneider's murder because he refused to endorse plans for a military coup. Schneider was killed by coup-plotters loyal to General Roberto Viaux in a botched kidnapping attempt, but U.S. involvement with the plot is disputed, as declassified transcripts show that Nixon and Kissinger had ordered the coup "turned off" a week before the killing, fearing that Viaux had no chance. As part of the suit Schneider's two sons are attempting to sue Kissinger and then-CIA director Richard Helms for $3 million.

On September 11, 2001, the 28th anniversary of the Pinochet coup, Chilean human rights lawyers filed a criminal case against Kissinger along with Augusto Pinochet, former Bolivian general and president Hugo Banzer, former Argentine general and dictator Jorge Rafael Videla, and former Paraguayan president Alfredo Stroessner for alleged involvement in Operation Condor. The case was brought on behalf of some fifteen victims of Operation Condor, ten of whom were Chilean.

In late 2001 the Brazilian government canceled an invitation for Kissinger to speak in São Paulo because it could not guarantee his immunity from judicial action.

On February 16, 2007 a request for the extradition of Kissinger was filed at the Supreme Court of Uruguay on behalf of Bernardo Arnone, a political activist who was kidnapped, tortured and disappeared by the dictatorial regime in 1976.

Henry Kissinger: the Wanted Man

Henry Kissinger's dark past seems to be enclosing around him as various countries in South America and Europe have sought to question him about actions taken by the Nixon and Ford administrations in which Kissinger was National Security Adviser and Secretary of State respectively.

The latest move to question Kissinger was by Peter Tatchell, a British human rights activist. While Kissinger was speaking in Britain at the UK's Institute of Directors annual conference on April 24, Tatchell attempted to have him arrested for committing war crimes under the Geneva Conventions Act.

Kissinger Confronted in Cork

Call to arrest Kissinger on visit (Irish Times)
'War crimes' protest as Kissinger visits Cork (Irish Times)
Radio putting 'war crimes' in the dock (Irish Times)
War Criminal Met with Huge Protests in Cork (participants account) outside link
A Sad and Wicked Example of Humanity - Henry Kissinger's Proposed Visit to Cork

Why the law wants a word with Kissinger

He won the Nobel Peace Prize and his name was once a byword for diplomacy. But Henry Kissinger may yet be called to account for the murder and mayhem the US orchestrated in the 1970s, writes Vanity Fair columnist Christopher Hitchens.

Here are some snapshots from the recent career of Henry Kissinger. In May last year, during a stay at the Ritz Hotel in Paris, he is visited by the criminal brigade of the French police, and served with a summons. This requests that he attend the Palais de Justice the following day to answer questions from Judge Roger Le Loire.

The judge is investigating the death and disappearance of five French citizens during the rule of General Pinochet in Chile. Kissinger declines the invitation and leaves Paris at once.

In the same week, Judge Rodolfo Corrall of Argentina invites Kissinger's testimony in the matter of "Operation Condor" - codename for a state-run death squad, operated by the secret police of six countries - Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay and Ecuador - during the 1970s and '80s.

Its central co-ordination was run through a US base in Panama when Kissinger was the national security adviser and secretary of state (and chairman of the committee overseeing all US covert operations). Again, Kissinger declines to answer written requests for information.

Later in the year, Judge Guzman in Santiago, Chile, sends a written summons to the State Department requesting Kissinger's testimony about the death and disappearance of an American citizen, Charles Horman, in the early days of the Pinochet dictatorship. (The Homan story was dramatised by Constantine Costa-Gavras in the award-winning movie Missing.) Once again, no reply is received to this request for testimony.

On September 10, a major civil suit is filed in the Federal Court in Washington DC by the relatives and survivors of General Rene Schneider, the former head of the Chilean general staff, who was assassinated in 1970 because of his opposition to a military coup.

The lawsuit charges Kissinger with ordering and arranging Schneider's murder. The attorney for the plaintiffs, Professor Michael Tigar, announces that every document in the indictment comes from declassified government sources.

Recently, Judge Balthazar Garzon of Spain, supported by other judges in France, asks Interpol to detain Kissinger for questioning during his visit to London.

In Chile, the courts announce that if they continue to meet with no response to their requests for co-operation, they may seek Kissinger's extradition.

At the same time, the government of Brazil asks Kissinger to cancel a proposed visit to the city of Sao Paolo, saying that it cannot guarantee he will be immune from attempts to indict him.

Earlier this month, a petition for Kissinger's arrest is filed in the High Court in London, citing the destruction of civilian populations and the environment in Indochina during the years 1969-75. The High Court rules in such a manner as to leave room for a further application.

This is not a complete or exhaustive list of the difficulties now facing the United States' best-known former secretary of state. Recently, I was informed via the former Spanish ambassador to the US that Kissinger had approached the embassy asking whether he would be safe if he visited Spain. These days he does not travel without legal advice.

In the new legal context created by the arrest of General Pinochet and the trial of Slobodan Milosevic, the principle of "universal jurisdiction" applies, and states that crimes against humanity are indictable and punishable everywhere in the world.

It should be noted, though, that with the exception of the lawsuit in the Federal Court in Washington, Kissinger is not being sought as a defendant. He is being summonsed or subpoenaed only as a witness. His refusal to co-operate therefore licenses the suspicion that he has something very unpleasant to hide.

Parallel disclosures only help to materialise this same suspicion.The State Department recently declassified the verbatim conversation between Kissinger and General Soeharto on the day of the invasion of East Timor in 1975. The record shows Kissinger giving warm approval to the proposed annexation, and also promising to keep a flow of weapons coming to Indonesia.

This flagrant agreement to break both international law and the law of the US (which supplied weapons on the specific condition that they be used only in self-defence) contradicts every statement so far made by Kissinger on the subject.

Only a few weeks ago, documents released by the State Department also proved beyond doubt that Kissinger had urged the apartheid regime in South Africa to intervene in Angola before any Cuban soldier had landed in that disputed colony. Again, the disclosure represented a complete negation of everything ever said or written by Kissinger.

Without exaggeration, it can be said that these legal and investigative initiatives represent the highest point ever attained by the long campaign to enforce international law on human rights. Never before has so senior a figure in a government victorious in war been asked to answer questions about what he did, what he ordered, and what he covered up.

If the drive to put Kissinger in the witness box, let alone the dock, should succeed, then it would rebut the taunt about "victor's justice" in war crimes trials. It would demonstrate that no person, and no society or state, is above the law. Conversely, if the initiative should fail, then it would seem to be true that we have woven a net for the catching of small fish only.

Much hinges on this distinction. The International Criminal Court has won more than the 60-nation vote which was required for its establishment. Almost all Western and democratic nations, with the exception of the US, have "signed on".

Once again, it has to be inferred that there are matters, past and present, which American administrations would prefer not to submit to impartial judgement. Certainly, Kissinger himself has been prominent in the campaign against Congressional ratification of the treaty (which was signed by Bill Clinton as president but which still awaits confirmation).

Quite rightly, the new court will not be allowed to revisit atrocities which took place before it was set up. Unlike the exceptional case of Nuremberg, the accusation of retroactive justice cannot be hurled around.

However, this may not be as obvious in application as at first appears. There are many thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of Latin Americans, Greek Cypriots, Bangladeshis and Timorese, Cambodians and Vietnamese, who seek to know what happened to their "missing" family members.

In the absence of a proof of death, these cases might be adjudicated as "live" and therefore as contemporary and relevant. If so, Kissinger would be the most embarrassed man on the planet. He sat in the secret meetings during which the coups in Cyprus and Chile, the slaughter by the Pakistani army in Bangladesh, the carpet-bombing of Cambodia and the invasion of East Timor were discussed and (without the knowledge or consent of the US Congress) were approved.

Of the original group that formed the core of the Nixon regime and that took part in the many violations of the US constitution, by means of illegal bugging and illegal covert action, Richard Nixon had to accept a pardon in order to avoid prosecution, his vice-president, Spiro Agnew, had to resign in a flurry of indictments and his attorney-general, John Mitchell, became the first holder of that position to go to jail. Only Kissinger has so far avoided a full investigation of his abuses of power.

Of the despots on the international scene with whom he enthusiastically co-operated, Brigadier Ioannidis of Greece is in prison, as is General Videla of Argentina. Pinochet of Chile and Soeharto of Indonesia have avoided trial and condemnation by claiming that they are too sick to face prosecution (and more humane successor governments have spared them the kind of treatment they would have meted out to their own foes).

Only the senior partner in all this has evaded any inconvenience. Until now. We are once again forced to ask ourselves if we speak the truth when we say that no man is above the law.

Thierry Leveque, Reuters, October 25, 2001

Earlier this year, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger declined to be questioned by Le Loire on the alleged part played by the United States in the killing of Chilean opposition figures during Pinochet's rule.

Le Loire still hopes to question Kissinger and has sent a delegation to Washington to seek permission to do so.


Note: Michael Tigar, of the American University's Washington College of Law, won the Letelier-Moffitt award in 1992 for his work with partner Sam Buffone in representing the Letelier and Moffitt families. He is currently leading a team of lawyers that recently filed a suit in the US courts against Henry Kissinger for his alleged role in the murder of Chilean General Rene Schneider.

Manhattan's Milosevic
How You Can Do What the Government Won't: Arrest Henry Kissinger

You might have to be crazy. Or at least foolhardy. But you could try to bring Henry Kissinger to justice for crimes against humanity. Consider, though, what happened to the last people to talk even jokingly about plans for a citizen's arrest of the real-life model for Dr. Strangelove.

It happened 30 years ago, when Kissinger was at his Strangelovian heights. A group of anti-war protesters sought to raise the spirits of that estimable Catholic priest Phil Berrigan, then in prison for destroying draft records. The group got drunk one night, as Daniel Ellsberg recalls, and dashed off a letter to Berrigan humorously suggesting they nab Kissinger for war crimes in Vietnam. Prison authorities intercepted the mail and the FBI swooped down, charging the writers with conspiracy to kidnap the secretary of state. Dubbed the Harrisburg 6, the friends soon found themselves in a knock-down drag-out to stay out of jail.

[ ... ]

But could an average person really collar Manhattan's Milosevic? "It would surely be possible to do so, and to end up quickly in jail or a mental institution," says the noted linguist and political dissident Noam Chomsky. "A 17th-century English popular poet wrote that laws are like spider webs: 'Lesser flies are quickly ta'en, while the great break out again.' Not 100 percent true, of course, but a strong tendency, for reasons too obvious to discuss."

Some suggest Kissinger, now an aging Manhattanite, is just too cuddly. "After all, he's the darling of the establishment," says the historian Howard Zinn. "These are all people who have had dinner with him. They don't want to say they've had a war criminal for dinner."

Others question why Hitchens—or his readers—would bother with busting Kissinger. "He was very much a No. 2 man, subordinate to Richard Nixon," recalls Ellsberg, of Pentagon Papers fame. "It's absurd to say he's the principal architect. Of course he's deserving of trial. But some people imagine that Nixon didn't have the wit to think up those crimes on his own, and that's quite mistaken. Kissinger was simply a very loyal, opportunist subordinate."

Nonetheless, there is a growing movement to put him in the dock as the perp—or at least a witness—in crimes against humanity. The old Harvard professor has to watch his step. Though he still moves freely about the streets of New York, this "war criminal" had to slip out of Paris in May when French police tried to serve him with a court summons. Activists from the East Timor Action Network have repeatedly sought to question Kissinger during his book tours, but again the former secretary of state either didn't answer or disappeared. Demonstrators have also hounded him at speeches around the country. This month, an Argentine judge ordered Kissinger to testify in a human rights trial concerning a plan by Latin American governments to kidnap and kill leftists during the 1970s.

And in July, a judge in Chile sent questions to Kissinger as a witness in a suit brought by Joyce Horman, the widow of Charles Horman, a young journalist killed during the Pinochet coup. Not amused, an administration source told the London Telegraph, "It is unjust and ridiculous that a distinguished servant of this country should be harassed by foreign courts in this way."

Kissinger, who didn't respond to Voice questions, shows some signs of knowing the heat is on. In his mounting campaign to protect his image, he recently agreed to release 10,000 pages of his papers kept under seal at the Library of Congress. Such goodwill gestures may not be enough to save the self-styled Dr. K. from a citizen's arrest, in which he could legally be plucked off the sidewalk and deposited at a nearby precinct station for booking.

Will Henry Kissinger be Brought to Trial?
World's number one state terrorist at large? Is he above the law? A defining case for the West's credibility

Intelligence officers confirm Kissinger role in Turkish invasion

Release of CIA's 'Family Jewels' provides insight into political juggernaut and Bush Administration adviser

Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger pushed for the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus and allowed arms to be moved to Ankara for an attack on that island in reaction to a coup sponsored by the Greek junta, according to documents and intelligence officers with close knowledge of the event.

Nearly 700 pages of highly classified Central Intelligence Agency reports from the 1970's, known collectively as the "Family Jewels," are slated for public release today.

However, the National Security Archive had previously obtained four related documents through the Freedom of Information Act and made them public Friday.

“In all the world the things that hurt us the most are the CIA business and Turkey aid,” Kissinger declares in one of those documents, a White House memorandum of a conversation from Feb. 20, 1975. On the surface, the comment seems innocuous, but the context as well as the time period suggests Kissinger had abetted illegal financial aid and arms support to Turkey for its 1974 Cyprus invasion.

In July and August of 1974, Turkey staged a military invasion of the island nation of Cyprus, taking over nearly a third of the island and creating a divide between the south and north. Most historians consider that Kissinger – then Secretary of State and National Security Advisor to President Gerald Ford – not only knew about the planned attack on Cyprus, but encouraged it.

Some Greek Cypriots believed then, and still believe, that the invasion was a deliberate plot on the part of Britain and the US to maintain their influence on the island, which was particularly important as a listening post in the Eastern Mediterranean in the wake of the October 1973 War between Israel, Egypt, Jordan and Syria.

According to columnist Christopher Hitchens, author of the book "The Trial of Henry Kissinger," "At the time, many Greeks believed that the significant thing was that [Prime Minister Bulent] Ecevit had been a pupil of Kissinger's at Harvard."

Several intelligence sources, who wished to remain anonymous to maintain the security of their identity, confirmed to RAW STORY that Kissinger both pushed for the Turkish invasion of Cyprus and allowed arms to be moved to Ankara.

However, a former CIA officer who was working in Turkey at the time, suggests that Kissinger's statement in the memorandum about Turkish aid likely means the Ford administration, following Kissinger's advice, conducted business under the table with right-wing ultra-nationalist General Kenan Evren, who later dissolved Parliament and became the dictator of Turkey in a 1980 coup.

“The implication is that the US government was dealing directly with General Evren and circumventing the [democratically elected] Turkish government,” the former CIA officer said. “This was authorized by Kissinger, because they were nervous about Ecevit, who was a Social Democrat.”

[ ... ]

Kissinger, Rumsfeld, and Cheney, then and now

Though no longer a government official, Kissinger remains a powerful force in Washington – particularly within the Bush Administration. Dr. Kissinger was the first choice by President Bush to lead a blue ribbon investigation into the attacks of September 11, 2001. He was, however, quickly removed by the White House after the 9/11 Family Steering Committee had a private meeting with him at his Kissinger and Associates Inc. New York office and asked him point blank if he had any clients by the name of Bin Laden.

According to Monica Gabrielle, who lost her husband Richard in the attacks and who was present as part of the 12-member 9/11 Family Steering Committee during the private meeting, the White House seems to have overlooked Dr. Kissinger's apparent conflict of interest.

"We had the meeting with him... the whole Steering Committee, all 12 of us. Because we are basically doing our due diligence and asking for his client list to be released to see if there was a conflict of interest between his client list and potential areas of investigation," said Gabrielle during a Tuesday morning phone conversation, recounting the events of December 12, 2002. "We went back and forth with him, discussing his client list... asking him who was on it, if there were conflicts and so forth," she continued.

"Lorie [Van Auken] asked, do you have any Saudi clients on your list? And he got a blank look. Then Lorie asked, do you have any clients by the name of Bin Laden? And he was stuttering and mumbling, and finally said he would maybe, possibly consider releasing the client list to an attorney but not for the public."

Dr. Kissinger did not reveal his client list, and the very next day the White House withdrew his name without public explanation.

In Bob Woodward's State of Denial, Kissinger says he met regularly with Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney to offer advice about the war in Iraq. “Victory over the insurgency is the only meaningful exit strategy,” Kissinger said.

Cheney, along with former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, first came to prominence during the administration of President Ford. Rumsfeld had served in various posts under Nixon before being sent to Europe as the US ambassador to NATO in 1973, a period that included the Cyprus coup. When Ford became president on August 9, 1974, immediately preceding the second wave of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, Rumsfeld returned to Washington to serve as his chief of staff, while Cheney became deputy assistant to the president.

Rumsfeld and Cheney gained increasing influence under Ford, reaching their apex of power in November 1975 with a shakeup that saw Rumsfeld installed as Secretary of Defense, Dick Cheney as White House chief of staff, and George H.W. Bush replacing William Colby as CIA director...


The International Criminal Court to judge war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide was officially created April 11--despite strong opposition from the US, which boycotted the ceremony at the UN. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said "The long-held dream of the International Criminal Court will now be realized. Impunity has been dealt a decisive blow." But the Bush administration argues the court will open US officials to frivolous or politically motivated suits. The US signed the treaty calling for the court in Dec. 2000, in the last days of the Clinton administration, but Bush officials say it will never be sent to the Senate for ratification. Five members of Congress, led by Henry Hyde (R-IL), chairman of the House International Relations Committee, sent a letter to Secretary of State Colin Powell requesting he ask the UN Security Council to write into every future peacekeeping proposal a grant of absolute immunity from the Court for all US forces and officials. Evan Davis, president of the New York Bar Association, said opposition to the treaty would "weaken US international standing at the very time we need international cooperation for the war against terrorism." (NYT, April 12) [top]

With a trial against Gen. Augusto Pinochet now unlikely in Chile, victims of the country's 17-year military dictatorship are pressing legal actions in both Chilean and US courts against Henry Kissinger and other Nixon administration officials who cooperated in the bloody coup d'etat that brought Pinochet to power on Sept. 11, 1973. Judge Juan Guzman has formally asked Kissinger, former US national security adviser and secretary of state, to answer questions about the killing of a US citizen, Charles Horman, after the military rebellion against Chile's Socialist president Salvador Allende. Pinochet, who ruled until 1990, was arrested in London in 1998 on a Spanish warrant charging him with human rights violations. After 16 months in custody, he was released by British authorities because of declining health. Arrested in Chile in 2000, he was ruled incompetent to stand trial. The death of Horman, a young journalist, was the subject of the 1982 movie "Missing." A suit brought by his widow Joyce Horman in the US was withdrawn after she was denied access to relevant US government documents. But the new legal action against Pinochet and the declassification of some US documents led her to file a new suit in Chile. Relatives of Gen. Rene Schneider, Chilean armed forces commander assassinated in Oct. 1970, have also filed a $3 million civil suit in Washington against Kissinger, ex-CIA chief Richard Helms and other Nixon-era officials.

In his books, Kissinger says he initially followed Nixon's orders in Sept.1970 to organize a coup, but claims he ordered the effort shut down a month later. However, the released documents indicate the CIA continued to plan the coup, and provided money to military officers jailed for Gen. Schneider's death. Human rights attorneys in Chile have also filed a criminal complaint against Kissinger accusing him of helping organize Operation Condor, the regionally-coordinated program of political repression. Under Operation Condnor, military dictatorships in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay kidnapped and killed hundreds of exiled political opponents. Argentina has also launched a judicial investigation into US involvement in Operation Condor. Argentine Judge Rodolfo Cancioba Corral said he regards Kissinger as a potential "defendant or suspect."

During a visit to France last year, Kissinger was visited at his Paris hotel by police and served with a request from a judge to answer questions on the Chilean coup, in which French citizens also disappeared. Kissinger refused to respond to the subpoena, referred the matter to the State Department, and flew on to Italy.

The controversy may have prompted Kissinger to cancel a trip to Brazil. He was scheduled to make a speech and receive a government medal in Sao Paulo on March 13, but withdrew after rights activists pledged protests and called on prosecutors to detain him for questioning about Operation Condor. A spokesperson for Kissinger Associates in New York attributed the change of plans to a "scheduling conflict." But the organizer of the event, Rabbi Henry Sobel, said "the situation had become politically uncomfortable" both for Kissinger and local Jewish community leaders who had invited him. Rabbi Sobel told the New York Times: "This was a way to avoid any problems or embarrassment for him and for us." (NYT, March 28)

Britain rejected a request from a Spanish judge Baltasar Garzon to question Kissinger on an April visit to London. Garzon is seeking evidence against Kissinger on human rights abuses and terrorist acts by Latin American dictatorships in the 1970s. (AFP, April 23) [top]

Among the tapes of Nixon White House banter just released by the National Archives is an April 25, 1972 conversation in which President Richard Nixon and his National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger mull using nuclear weapons in Vietnam. The conversation took place weeks before Nixon ordered an escalation of the war, and he told Kissinger, "I'd rather use the nuclear bomb." Kissinger cooly replied, "That, I think, would just be too much." Nixon responded matter-of-factly, "The nuclear bomb. Does that bother you?" Then he closed the matter by telling Kissinger, I just want you to think big. He also said "I don't give a damn" about civilians killed by US bombing. (AP, March 1) [top]

When HBO aired the movie "Lumumba," former US Secretary of Defense Frank Carlucci succeeded in pressuring the film's distributor to bleep out his character's identity. In 1960, Carlucci was the second secretary in the US embassy in Kinshasa, Congo, when, according to declassified State Department cables and testimony to the Senate's 1975 Church committee on assassinations, the CIA plotted with the army chief Mobutu Sese Seko and the Belgians to bring down independence leader Patrice Lumumba, just chosen as prime minister by a Brussels "roundtable" of Congo leaders. After a parliamentary investigation, the Belgian prime minister earlier this year apologized to the Lumumba family for his country's role in the assassination. Carlucci, however, appears to have no regrets. The scene he objects to shows US Ambassador Clare Timberlake and his own character in a meeting plotting the assassination. The Carlucci character makes a clearly disingenuous remark about how the US doesn't "meddle" in other nation's affairs. Carlucci claims he wasn't at the meeting, calling the scene "totally inaccurate," and insisting the US had "no role whatsoever" in Lumumba's death.

Filmmaker Raoul Peck says he believes his portrayal is accurate. A Haitian, Peck spent 25 years in Congo/Zaire after his father fled there as an exile from Haitian dictator Francois Duvalier. His film won prizes at festivals in Los Angeles, Santo Domingo, Milan and Acapulco, and was presented at the Cannes Film Festival. The State Department's official "Analytical Chronology of the Congo Crisis" discusses a plan "to bring about the overthrow of Lumumba and install a pro-Western government... Operations under this plan were gradually put into effect by the CIA." Ludo De Witte, author of "The Assassination of Lumumba," wrote Peck that "there was a de facto collaboration and exchange of information between all important personnel in the U.S. Embassy...on efforts to get rid of Lumumba." Carlucci went on to a stellar career, including posts as ambassador to Portugal, CIA deputy director, assistant to the President for National Security affairs, and Secretary of Defense. He is now chairman of the Carlyle Group, a defense industry investment firm with close ties to the Bush administration (see WW3 REPORT #21). (Lucy Komisar for Pacific News Service, Feb. 14)

Rendition by US Authorities (non terrorism cases)

I have read today in the UK Sunday Times a report from a current legal case. It would appear that the American government has for the first time made it clear in a British court that the rendition law applies to anyone, British or otherwise, suspected of a crime. Rendition, or kidnapping, dates back to 19th-century bounty hunting and Washington believes it is still legitimate. During a hearing last month Lord Justice Moses, one of the Court of Appeal judges, asked Alun Jones QC, representing the US government, about its treatment of Gavin, Tollman's nephew. Gavin Tollman was the subject of an attempted abduction during a visit to Canada in 2005. Jones replied that it was acceptable under American law to kidnap people if they were wanted for offences in America. “The United States does have a view about procuring people to its own shores which is not shared,” he said. He said that if a person was kidnapped by the US authorities in another country and was brought back to face charges in America, no US court could rule that the abduction was illegal and free him: “If you kidnap a person outside the United States and you bring him there, the court has no jurisdiction to refuse — it goes back to bounty hunting days in the 1860s.”

Can anyone enlighten me on this subject? I would have thought that such actions would be unconstitutional on many levels, but the US legal system is rarely clear and concise! 19:06, 2 December 2007 (UTC)

I'm no expert but I am an American. From what I can gather, it comes down to the fact that George W. Bush is "The Decider". Therefore, laws, morals, ethics, diplomacy and rights only exist if Bush decides they exist. I don't know why this is hard to understand! It isn't relative, it's ABSOLUTE!

For my part though I hope someday G.W. Bush and his cronies come to France. If only the French had caught Kissinger! Then, the International War Crime Tribunal! I am ever ashamed of my country and the things it has done...

How The Government Blew Up Manhattan

"Today, America would be outraged if U.N. troops entered Los Angeles to restore order [referring to the 1991 LA Riot]. Tomorrow they will be grateful! This is especially true if they were told that there were an outside threat from beyond - i.e., an "extraterrestrial" invasion or "Terrorists" attacks, whether real or promulgated, that threatened our very existence. It is then that all peoples of the world will plead to deliver them from this evil. The one thing every man fears is the unknown. When presented with this scenario, individual rights will be willingly relinquished for the guarantee of their well-being granted
to them by the World Government."
-- Dr. Henry Kissinger, Bilderberger Conference, Evians, France, 1991
Is Henry Kissinger a War Criminal?
Thirty years after the death of Charles Horman inspired a bestseller and an Oscar-winning movie, his widow still pursues those she believes are really to blame -- including the former U.S. secretary of state. It's one reason the quest for international justice makes the United States so nervous.
by Marcus Gee

Henry Alfred Kissinger, former U.S. Secretary of state, national security adviser and Nobel laureate

Complicity in coup against Chilean government plus the "killing, injury and displacement" of three million people during Vietnam War.

Head of Kissinger Associates, Inc., international consulting firm in Washington.

Rumsfeld Flees France, Fearing Arrest

Former U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld fled France today fearing arrest over charges of "ordering and authorizing" torture of detainees at both the American-run Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and the U.S. military's detainment facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, unconfirmed reports coming from Paris suggest.

U.S. embassy officials whisked Rumsfeld away yesterday from a breakfast meeting in Paris organized by the Foreign Policy magazine after human rights groups filed a criminal complaint against the man who spearheaded President George W. Bush's "war on terror" for six years.

Under international law, authorities in France are obliged to open an investigation when a complaint is made while the alleged torturer is on French soil.

According to activists in France, who greeted Rumsfeld, shouting "murderer" and "war criminal" at the breakfast meeting venue, U.S. embassy officials remained tight-lipped about the former defense secretary's whereabouts citing "security reasons".

Anti-torture protesters in France believe that the defense secretary fled over the open border to Germany, where a war crimes case against Rumsfeld was dismissed by a federal court. But activists point out that under the Schengen agreement that ended border checkpoints across a large part of the European Union, French law enforcement agents are allowed to cross the border into Germany in pursuit of a fleeing fugitive.

"Rumsfeld must be feeling how Saddam Hussein felt when U.S. forces were hunting him down," activist Tanguy Richard said. "He may never end up being hanged like his old friend, but he must learn that in the civilized world, war crime doesn't pay."

International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) along with the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR), and the French League for Human Rights (LDH) filed the complaint on Thursday after learning that Rumsfeld was scheduled to visit Paris.

Rumsfeld flees France fearing arrest?

Already facing war crimes charges in Germany, Donald Rumsfeld—like Henry Kissinger before him—now runs into a spot of legal bother in France.

[ ... ]

The New York Times Oct. 27 also notes that the complaint was filed.

See our last posts on the torture scandal and Donald Rumsfeld.

Links from The Free Republic
Reliable Source: Hitchens vs. Kissinger--Letter Sent
The Hitchens Debate Heating Up Around Henry
The Fugative (Hitchens on Kissinger)
How You Can Arrest Henry Kissinger for War Crimes
How to Think about Henry Kissinger
State Dept. Gains Access To Kissinger Transcripts
Lawyers Without Borders? -- Kissinger, Accused of War Crimes, Decries 'Universial Jurisdiction'
US Angry as Chile Asks Kissinger About Death (Elites Want To Be Above World Govt CourtsThey Set-up!)
Chilean Court Authorizes Submitting Questions to Kissinger About Slaying of U.S. Filmmaker
Quo Vadis Wahid: Henry Kissinger and Lee Kwan Yew in Indonesia
Missing: Chileans Call on Kissinger for Answers about Killing
Chilean judge seeks to question Kissinger
Reliable Source: Hitchens vs. Kissinger--Letter Sent
The Fugative (Hitchens on Kissinger)
Chilean Judge Guzman Tapia Wants Kissinger To Talk
The Case against Henry Kissinger (Hitchens)
What sort of court would put Henry Kissinger on trial?
Kissinger Summoned in Pinochet Case
Kissinger--Why He Got Away With It (Hitchens)
Kissinger on Trial (Hitchens)
Chilean judge seeks to question Kissinger
Kissinger on Trial at William and Mary (Hitchens)
The Kiss of Henry


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