Monday, October 31, 2005

Train Wreck of the Week Train Wreck of the Week By Bob Chapman
October 29 2005
An attorney for Center for Constitutional Rights visited 10 of her clients at Guantanamo. There are more than 500 people there, 100 are on a hunger strike. Doctors (?) and six men are holding down the detainees, shoving a huge over sized tube down their throats and forcing food in. They use the same tube with blood, mucous and bile on the next sanitation. The detainees most of whom have been there for 4 years, have no hope of getting out and therefore want to die. The government refused yesterday to accept the findings of the attorneys and has refused to allow any freedom of information requests to be involved.
The attorney was forbidden to name the Doctor in charge (even his name has been reported by Amnesty and other civil rights groups). WE ARE INDEED RUNNING A GESTAPO LIKE GULAG IN GUANTANAMO.
Again the drive to privatize water distribution and resources in Latin America is gaining momentum. Although transnational water companies have suffered setbacks in Puerto Rico, Bolivia and Uruguay, they continue to lay plans to appropriate (steal) the region’s hydrological resources – rivers, aquifers, wells and aqueduct systems. The crooks now call privatization decentralization, civil society participation and sustainable development. They had better make up euphemistic labels to hide what they have done in the past.
Due to the dreadful experiences of the past, at the hands of transnational elitist corporations, last April 400 participants from Mexico and countries throughout the hemisphere met in Mexico City at the First People's Workshop in the Defense of Water. They discussed methods toward consolidating and furthering the defense of water as a human right for everyone.
In Latin America their politicians as usual are selling people out. There is no reason to bring in outside capital and control. Get a loan and tax your own citizens to pay for construction and distribution.
There is nothing risky or expensive in pumping and distributing water once it has been located. International conglomerates would like you to believe the opposite to pad the bottom line. In fact, these transnationals collude with each other and divide global markets.
The main reason these corporate water companies are able to access foreign markets is because of political corruption, incapacity and lack of investment in infrastructure, but also via the promotion of ridiculously cheap water, which results in waste and the lack of real cost for water.
We are seeing record home building financed by a wall of money from the Fed, some two million new units a year in the midst of a rising inventory of unsold homes. Most of these dwellings are upscale and oversized, and most are being built in hot markets. This puts the construction industry at risk as well as the banking system as the GSE’s Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have been told to lighten up on their lending. Banks probably will end up in serious financial trouble, as did the S&L’s in the 1980s. Our bubble economy has become acutely susceptible to any slowdown or interruption in credit creation or system liquidity. That is why we publish those statistics every week. That is also why we believe any new chairman of the Fed cannot change the course. Liquidity has to increase on a net bases of 12% or the system collapses. Guess what, it is going to collapse anyway. All the elitists are doing is buying time. The more money and credit infused into the system, the more inflation and the lower the dollar goes and the higher gold and silver goes. Subscribers, you are looking at a classic credit bubble. We like to compare this monstrosity to 1994-95. Yet, the debt exposure was nothing like today. Oil was $18.40 a barrel and natural gas was $1.69. If we had gone through a solid deep recession in 1989-95, we wouldn’t be facing depression today. The comparisons are stark. Today oil is over $60.00 and gas is over $13.00, and we are buried in debt. There is no way out.
From 1990 through 1994, our current account deficit rose $325 billion. Over the past five years, it has swelled to $2.5 trillion, and will soon pass $800 billion annually. This is the key defining issue because it affects our ability to borrow over $3 billion a day and it dictates higher interest rates. It also affects the value of the dollar in a negative way.
The current weakness in the economy is not an interlude; it is the beginning of a painful correction. The inflation you see is not transitory. It will be with us for at least the next 1 1/2 years and perhaps a lot longer dependant on how the Fed reacts. The Fed cannot stop it. If they do they will totally lose control. This is inflating to the bitter end. Our deficits and debt are simply unsustainable and sooner or later the dysfunction will end.
Markets are turning hyper-volatile. The Dow goes up 130 points in a day and falls 130 points the next day. Gold is even volatile, up $6.00 and down $6.00. In 15 minutes the 10-year Treasury’s rose from a yield of 4.50% to 4.42% and ended the day at 4.38%. These are signs of instability. Markets will get more and more volatile and unpredictable as we go forward.
In typical neocon fashion our government has reneged on the $15,000 bonus promised to National Guard and Reserves reups. What can you expect from lying, thieving crooks.
Robin Raphel, the State Department’s coordinator for Iraq assistance, said, “the invasion’s timing was driven by ‘clear political pressure’, as well as the need to quickly deploy the US troops that had been amassed by the Iraq border.” It was as well clearly amateur hour.
Raphel, a 28-year veteran of the State Department’s foreign service and a former assistant secretary of state said that veteran diplomats who were sent to Iraq early in 2003 shared a view that “we were not prepared.” We should have waited 6 months and built an international coalition. The decisions were ideologically based. They were not based on analytical, historical understanding.
Government veterans who were sent to Iraq a part of the US mission also were convinced that “we cannot remake other countries in our image in terms of democracy or capitalism or things like that” said, David Dunford, a State Department Middle East specialist who was put in charge of the Iraq foreign ministry in early 2003. The bottom line is just about everything the neocons did was wrong or motivated by politics or money. The theft as you know is over $20 billion, which is colossal.
Bill Gates has been long euros for some time and he stated late last week that he is pulling further out of the dollar and investing further in euros. In fact, he is even short the dollar. He cited many of the same reasons we have, “It is a bit scary, and we’re in uncharted territory when the world’s reserve currency has so much debt.”
Worldwide Moody’s credit ratings saw 1.62 upgrades for every downgrade in the third quarter – an improvement from 1.53 in the second quarter and 1.44 in the first quarter. North America was 1.09; Europe, the Middle East and Africa 1.97; 4.50 in the Asia-Pacific region and 6.33 in Latin America. US credit has more issuers on review for downgrade or have negative outlooks. That is not good.
An historical reminder: Paul Wolfowitz, the deputy secretary of defense, was so eager to see the US launch a preemptive strike against Iraq in 2002 that he ordered the CIA to investigate the past works of Hans Blix, the chief UN weapons inspector who in February 2002, was asked to lead a team of UN weapons inspectors into Iraq to search for WMD.
This unusual move shows how far the Bush neocons were willing to go to invade Iraq. The manipulation and exaggeration of intelligence and the besmirching of Blix’s good name was in vane because intelligence found nothing and Wolfowitz hit the roof. Then the lies just multiplied from there to justify war.
When Porter Goss took over the CIA last year his job was to purge all of the good guys. Many left, but his tenure has been a terrible failure. All those undercover operatives with the clandestine services are unhappy and many have resigned or taken early retirement. Some have requested reassignment. The directorate’s second in command has quit. He told Senators he had lost confidence in Goss’s leadership. Senators are going to invite Goss to a hearing to explain why the CIA is bleeding talent in a time of war, and to answer charges that the agency is adrift.
Goss was stripped of his leadership role by his subservience to a new director of national intelligence. Then again, you can never be popular after having conducted a purge. You cannot run a spy agency with a continual political aversion to operational risk. He takes his orders from Cheney and Rumsfeld and that is not the way to run the agency. George Tenet attempted to appease the neocons and got the shaft in return.
Per our experience in counterintelligence we must admit that people who work for the agency are among the brightest, best educated in the country and they are independent and at times very strange. Most very bright people are strange. Tenet connected with the professionals because he worked at it. Some people have it and some don’t, and obviously Goss doesn’t have that connectibility. At 67 years old, Porter is tired and overwhelmed. This is not a job for a man approaching 70. Goss and all the neocons should leave their jibs because they have been a disaster for the country.
Tom Barrack, who is headlined as the world’s greatest real estate investor, is methodically selling off his US real estate holdings as the market starts its softening process. He says, “When amateurs are all over the field, someone has to get killed. They have more guts than brains.”
Barrack’s Colony Capital, one of the largest private equity firms devoted solely to real estate, has racked up returns of 21% annually since 1990, handling investors, chiefly pension funds and college endowments.
He buys classy, but neglected properties anywhere in the world where prices are low. Then, he pours in capital to fix them up and then resells them. Donald Trump says of Tom, he has an amazing vision of the future, an ability to see what is going to happen that no one else can match.
He sees signs of the tech bubble mentality in real estate. “Too much capital is chasing real estate with hedge funds, private equity groups and rich investors all bidding on the same properties.” They’ve driven prices to the point where the yields on high-quality properties are like the returns on bonds, around 5-6%, and that is too low. As we have said the slump will show up first in speculative hot spots like Miami and Las Vegas. He foresees a glut of condos and homes in these hot areas in the year’s ahead.
The prime contractor on a $1 billion technology contract to improve the nation’s transportation security system, Unisys Corp., over billed taxpayers for as much as 171,000 hours worth of labor and overtime by charging up to $131 an hour for employees who were paid less than half that amount. It just doesn’t end. Corporate America simply cannot restrain its criminal proclivities.
Max Boot, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, which we’ve written about before, urged the creation of a mercenary army called the Freedom Legion in order to offset diminishing recruitment numbers to pursue permanent revolution and the neocon version of global democratic revolution. He wants to open recruitment to illegal aliens and foreigners so that if we had revolution in America these foreigners would think nothing of killing us, whereas the elitist know 80% of American troops would not shoot their fellow citizens. US citizenship would be offered as an inducement. There are currently 37,500 foreign nationals from over 200 countries currently serving in the armed forces.

Scalito? Yikes!

Scalia's Younger Brother
By Rachel NeumannPosted on October 29, 2005, Printed on October 31, 2005
I've been wrong before, and I hope on this to be wrong again, but the bets are on that Samuel Alito will be Bush's third nominee to fill Sandra Day O'Connor's Supreme Court spot. Alito, or "Scalito" as he is called because of his similarities to Justice and chief-idealogue Anton Scalia, is an appeals judge and former federal prosecutor.
Scalia, who already has an acolyte in Clarence Thomas, doesn't really need another one. But that's exactly what we'd get with Alito. And, unlike with Miers, there's no question about how Alito would vote on gender and reproductive rights issues, civil rights questions, or expanding the powers of the executive branch.
Check out his record, if you dare, but here are some of the low lights:
In Planned Parenthood v. Casey, he was the sole dissenter when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit struck down a Pennsylvania law that required women seeking abortions to consult their husbands.
In Homar v. Gilbert, Alito dissented from a ruling that a state university had violated a campus police officer's due process rights by suspending him without pay immediately after he was arrested on drug charges.
He also wrote the majority opinion in a case against the ACLU and has been reluctant to acknowledge gender discrimination.
If it does turn out to be Alito, our only hope is that the Democrats have enough back bone to whisper "Boo" and call a filibuster. Unlikely, at best.
Rachel Neumann is Rights & Liberties Editor at AlterNet.
© 2005 Independent Media Institute. All rights reserved.View this story online at:

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Abbas and The Lame Duck

Abbas & The Lame Duck By Uri Avnery Former Israeli MKavnery@gush-shalom.org10-29-5

A twenty-minute drive is all that separates the Israeli Prime Minister's office in Jerusalem from that of the Palestinian President in Ramallah. But for all practical purposes, the Muqata'ah in Ramallah might as well be on the moon.

The day before yesterday, Ariel Sharon declared for the who- knows-how-many-th time, that he had cancelled his planned meeting with Mahmoud Abbas. The reason: Abbas "is not doing anything against terrorism". A routine pretext, but it seems that this time the act itself is not mere routine.

The long campaign for the elimination of Mahmoud Abbas is entering its final phase.

Much to the regret of Sharon & Co., Abbas cannot be "eliminated" the usual way, as were Sheikh Ahmad Yassin and many other Palestinian leaders. In the case of Abbas, it is not even allowed to use the word "elimination" - an official term of the Israeli army, taken straight from the Mafia lexicon.

The ascent of Abbas after the elimination of Yassir Arafat - still shrouded in mystery - turned on a red light in Sharon's office. After all, his plans are all based on the slogan "There is Nobody to Talk With". Abbas, on the other hand, looks to the world, and even to a significant part of the Israeli public - like a Palestinian leader eminently fit to talk with. Worse, he looks that way to President Bush too.

That made a cautious approach necessary. Carefully concealing his anger, Sharon shook hands with Abbas in Aqaba, in the presence of Bush. He saw, with growing concern, how the Palestinian leader was received in the White House and heard Bush praise the democratic elections held by the Palestinians. There was a growing danger that the Americans would realize an old nightmare of Israeli governments: an "imposed peace" that would compel Israel to return more or less to the pre-1967 border.

Therefore, Sharon adopted a cautious tactic: gain time, wait for a change of circumstances, and in the meantime be content with sticking needles into Abbas' effigy. It was impossible to launch a campaign of demonization against him, as had been done to Arafat, with the full participation of all the Israeli and world Jewish media. But in all the media, a daily message was planted: Abbas is a wet rag, Abbas is not worth anything, Abbas is not able to destroy the "terror infrastructure", it's quite useless to talk with him.

This week, the style was sharpened. No more pity for poor Abbas, doing his best and failing, but an outright attack on him. Abbas, it is being said, doesn't really want to put an end to terrorism. The news pages of all newspapers, from Maariv to Haaretz, were mobilized for this campaign. The radio and television networks joined in with enthusiasm.

At the same time, the violent confrontation broke out again with full force.

Who started it? Depends who is asked. As always, each side declares that the new round began with an atrocity from the other side. If one wants to, one can go back 120 years, to the first stone thrown by a Palestinian shepherd at the first Jewish settler - or to the first blow struck by the first Jewish settler on the head of a Palestinian shepherd who had led his goats onto his field.

As a matter of fact, the confrontation has not stopped for a moment. The Palestinians did indeed declare a Tahidiya ("calm"), but that was only an agreement among themselves. The Israeli army was no party to it and continued with great vigor entering Palestinian towns and villages, arresting "wanted" militants and killing some of them, here and there.

The new round started with the killing of Luay Sa'adi, a militant of the Islamic Jihad in the Tulkarm area, who had already spent five of his 25 years in Israeli prisons. The army described him as a very senior commander, a huge "ticking bomb". The Jihad took up this ludicrous assertion with alacrity, because it justified a major retaliation. In private, Palestinians said that he was just a local activist.

Either way: when Sharon, between breakfast and lunch, gave his assent to the execution, he knew that he was also condemning some Israelis to death - since it was certain that the Jihad would respond with an act of revenge. There is no escape from the conclusion that that was indeed the purpose of the action.

It was confirmed with great speed. A Jihadist from a close- by Palestinian village carried out a suicide bombing in the fruit market of the Israeli town Hadera, five Israelis were murdered. (In the terminology used by all Israeli media, as dictated from above, Israelis are always "murdered", while Arabs "find their death", or, at most, are "killed".) The village of the suicide bomber is separated from Hadera by the high Separation Wall, but it seems that this did not hinder him. Before his death, he was videoed declaring that he was taking revenge for the killing of Sa'adi - disproving the army's contention that the bombing had been prepared before the killing and had nothing to do with it.

As if it had only been waiting for this outrage, the army went immediately into well-planned action. A choking general blockade was imposed on the northern West Bank. Towns and villages all over the West Bank were cut off again, sometimes only hours after the roadblocks around them had been removed at the insistence of Condoleezza Rice. A general man-hunt against Jihad activists was started, with a broad hint that the turn of Hamas and Fatah activists would not be far behind.

In the Gaza Strip, a parallel cycle started. Out of solidarity with the West Bank comrades, some Qassam rockets were fired at Israeli localities, without hitting anyone. The response was prepared in advance: the Army cut the Strip off from all contact with the world, all passages were closed. The Strip was shelled and bombed from land, air and sea. Helicopter missiles killed Jihad activist Shadi Muhanna together with his assistant and four passersby, including a boy - an act that may well bring Chief-of-Staff Dan Halutz another step closer to the International Criminal Court in The Hague. Revenge is assured, and so is the revenge for the revenge.

While all over the world praise is heaped on the "disengagement" and on Sharon, the Man of Peace, he has launched a general offensive for the annexation of most of the West Bank.

Last week, all over the Palestinian territories, the miserable living conditions were made even worse. That looks like collective punishment, which is forbidden by the Fourth Geneva Convention. But in reality, it was something worse: the aim is to sow despair among the Palestinians, bring them to their knees, compel them to accept Sharon's diktat - to be content with 42% of the West Bank (11% of pre-1948 Palestine) in several enclaves - and, ultimately, to convince them to emigrate altogether.

Sharon behaves like a bullfighter, sticking his bandilleras between the shoulders of the bull in order to enrage and bait him, till he lashes out in all directions.

While attention is diverted by the widespread military action, the settlements are being enlarged at a feverish pace, and new settlements are springing up. The building of the Wall continues vigorously, regardless of the Hadera bombing which showed that its security value is doubtful. The dismantling of the hundred "outposts" that were put up after 2001, as demanded by the Road Map, is not even on the agenda. All the army did was to remove five new "outposts" set up this week, with much mutual shoving and hitting, without using tear gas, salt or rubber bullets or stun grenades, which are seemingly reserved for Israeli peace activists.

The demand by the Quartet emissary, James Wolfenson, to open the absolutely vital passage between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, was treated with contempt. Since Wolfenson is highly regarded by Bush and Condoleezza Rice, this has a special significance.

Sharon's people are closely following events in Washington. They know that Bush is in deep trouble and is fast becoming a Lame Duck. Condi, the duckling, is limping along behind him.

For Sharon, that is a great relief. At long last, he can now stop praising Abbas and start to bury him.
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While You Were Sleeping....

Endless sunset
By Rachel NeumannPosted on October 28, 2005, Printed on October 30, 2005
Most of the provisions of the USA Patriot Act, including access to library records, were supposed to "sunset" this month, five years after the law's passing. Instead, both the House and the Senate have already voted to renew the entire act, with only minor revisions. While they're at it, they'd like to add some decidedly unpatriotic amendments to expand the death penalty.
These new amendments would let prosecutors shop around for another jury if the one they have is deadlocked on the death penalty; triple the number of terrorism-related crimes eligible for the death penalty; and authorize the death penalty for a person who gives money to an organization whose members kill someone, even if the contributor did not know that the organization or its members were planning to kill.
The Patriot Act was enacted during what President Bush called "a state of emergency." It wasn't even read by most of the members who voted for it. But the whole point of the sunset clause was to allow Congresspeople to actually read the bill and debate it in calmer times. Now, the Act is effectively being made permanent with little or no debate or discussion.
Still, the House and the Senate are still in negotiations over the final wording of the bill and so it hasn't been made final yet. The Bill of Rights Defense Commitee is asking people to make one last push to keep it from getting renewed. They list possible actions you can get involved in and ways to educate your communities about threats to civil liberties.
Rachel Neumann is Rights & Liberties Editor at AlterNet.
© 2005 Independent Media Institute. All rights reserved.View this story online at:

Looks Like a Psy-Op to Me

Looks Like a Psy-op to Me

Sun Oct 30, 2005 12:18 pm
Three Indonesian girls beheaded By Tim Johnston BBC News, Jakarta Three girls have been beheaded and another badly injured as they walked to a Christian school in Indonesia. They were walking through a cocoa plantation near the city of Poso in central Sulawesi province when they were attacked. This is an area that has a long history of religious violence between Muslims and Christians. A government-brokered truce has only partially succeeded in reducing the number of incidents in recent years. Police say the heads were found some distance from the bodies. It is unclear what was behind the attack, but the girls attended a private Christian school and one of the heads was left outside a church leading to speculation that it might have had a religious motive. Islamic state Central Sulawesi and Poso in particular was the scene of bitter fighting between Muslims and Christians in 2001 and 2002. More than 1,000 people were killed before a government-brokered truce. Although the violence has been subdued, it has never gone away completely. A bomb in May in the nearby town of Tentena, which is predominantly Christian, killed 22 people and injured over 30. The fighting four years ago drew Islamic militants from all over Indonesia and many have never gone home. Analysts say the militants have targeted central Sulawesi and believe that it could be turned into the foundation stone of an Islamic state. The analysts have warned that the violence could resurface at any time. Story from BBC NEWS: Published: 2005/10/29 08:32:05 GMT © BBC MMV

Comment: This is just sooooo conveinent for the Zionist/Neocon gang,considering all the press lately about and from Indonesia stating that the "terrorists" are actually black-ops from "foreign" superpowers bent on reshaping the world as they see fit. The dead giveaway?(No pun intended)Notice they were "CHRISTIAN" and of course they were children.Where is the outrage at the millions of children who have been slaughtered by the actions and covert ops of the Zionist/Neocon cabal?



Sun Oct 30, 2005 11:30 am
Analysis The new National Intelligence Strategy of the United States: Towards an even more dangerous international security apparatus By Larry Chin Online Journal Associate Editor Oct 29, 2005, 01:04 Last Wednesday, the new National Intelligence Strategy of the United States was released the director of National Intelligence, terrorist and war criminal John Negroponte. (download the full document here, see the official press release here). The document’s foreword, written by Negroponte, immediately states that the strategy is based on the “new concept of ‘national intelligence’ codified by the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act passed by Congress in 2004," its origins in the “tragedy of September 11, 2001," and President George W. Bush’s National Security Strategy of the United States. In other words, the strategy is a strengthening and solidification of the existing Homeland/National Security apparatus into a more centralized structure (with more power and control in the hands of the Executive Branch), consolidating multiple agencies, including the CIA. The objectives are unchanged, based on the original 9/11/ “war on terrorism” construct, and further inspired (“codified”) by the 9/11 Commission whitewash and other more recent variations on 9/11-pretext “anti-terrorism." Brimming with Orwellian language and bureaucrat-speak, the Strategy promises a lot of the same “war on terrorism”—and what is not the same is worse. The strategy’s “mission objectives” are: 1. Defeat “terrorists” at home and abroad by disarming their operational capabilities and seizing the initiative from them by promoting the growth of freedom and democracy. [note the emphasis on “at home”—LC] 2. Prevent and counter the spread of WMDs. 3. Bolster growth of democracy. This includes the “support of diplomatic and military efforts (including pre-and post-conflict) where intervention is necessary." 4. Develop innovative ways to penetrate and analyze the most difficult targets [the unnamed “targets” are characterized as “tough adversaries that know a great deal about our intelligence system”—LC] 5. Anticipate developments of “strategic concern." In an analysis of the new strategy by the Washington Post's Walter Pincus, the renewed emphasis on "bolstering democracies in foreign countries" and working with/through foreign intelligence services are new, according to two former senior intelligence officers queried by Pincus. But given the fact that “soft power” intelligence and covert operations are as old as the “tradecraft” itself. In the same vein, the establishment of “new and strengthened relationships with foreign intelligence services," according to Pincus, “appears to conflict with goals recently set by CIA Director Porter Goss, who told his agency he wants to increase unilateral human intelligence collection and reduce reliance on foreign liason relationships.” The truth, in contrast to Pincus’ suggestion, is that beefed up unilateral and foreign human intelligence are not (and never have been) mutually exclusive. What the new strategy does suggest is that the bellicose “go-it-alone” approach of the scandal-ridden Bush administration has become a political liability, which has forced a renewed emphasis on less overt/more subtle methods of intervention, more reliance on foreign agencies, fronts and proxies, and better plausible deniability. This is nothing new. It is an opportunistic return to “classic” methods. This adjustment in style does not change or derail the “mission objectives” that have been in place since 9/11. If anything, it heralds an even more dangerous, slicker, and more potent international police apparatus, bigger than ever, led by a master of terrorism in Negroponte. Elsewhere, the strategy lays out 10 goals, or “enterprise objectives," focusing on the restructuring of the national intelligence bureaucracy. The recommendations include the steps pushed by the corrupt and fraudulent 9/11 Commission whitewash (also see this analysis). The strategy also (in laughably self-conscience wordage) calls for “human source collection with the highest traditions of professionalism and intellectual prowess." If successfully executed, the elimination of inter-agency conflict could result in an international clandestine force of unprecedented reach and depth. One of the most pernicious aspects of the strategy is the official sanction of something that has been in the works throughout 2005: the unleashing of the National Clandestine Service, headed by CIA Director Porter Goss. A deepening of the national security apparatus into every corner of the nation is made explicit, under the enterprise objective of “expanding reporting of information and intelligence value from state, local and tribal law enforcement entities and private sector stakeholders." The United States, already a police state, will now be officially and thoroughly infested down to the local level. The New Intelligence Strategy Is the Same Old Clandestine Machine The National Intelligence Strategy of the United States changes nothing about what matters. The National Security/Homeland Security machine remains an abomination, deadly and criminal from the CIA’s founding in 1947 to the present. We need only refer back to the 1972 expose of the CIA, The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence, by (CIA veteran) Victor Marchetti and John D. Marks. Quoting from this heavily redacted classic to remind ourselves what this apparatus is about: “It engages in espionage and counter-espionage, in propaganda and disinformation (the deliberate circulation of false information), in psychological warfare and paramilitary activities. It penetrates and manipulates private institutions, and creates its own organizations (called “proprietaries”) when necessary. It recruits officials to carry out its most unsavory tasks. It does whatever is required to achieve its goals, without any consideration of the ethics involved or the moral consequences of its actions.” “The ‘clandestine mentality’ is a mind-set that thrives on secrecy and deception. It encourages professional amorality—the belief that righteous goals can be achieved through the use of unprincipled and normally unacceptable means.” “Deeply embedded within the clandestine mentality is the belief that human ethics and social laws have no bearing on covert operations or their practitioners. The intelligence profession, because of lofty ‘national security’ goals, is free from all moral restrictions.” “The extreme secrecy in which the CIA works increases the chances that a President will call it into action. He does not have to justify the agency’s activities to Congress, the press, or the American people, so, barring premature disclosure there is no institutional force within the United States to stop him from doing what he wants.” And absolute power continues to corrupt absolutely. Copyright © 1998-2005 Online Journal Email Online Journal Editor