Thursday, November 12, 2020

A history lesson

First up, Jimmy Dore.


Over at BLACK AGENDA REPORT, Alex Zambite offers:

Throughout its history the United States has billed itself as an open society upholding the free exchange of ideas. We are told that, unlike people in less-enlightened countries, Americans do not have to worry about being persecuted for their political beliefs. Of course, this has never been true. From its very inception, the US government has been restricting free-speech through legislation such as the Alien and Sedition Act of 1798 -- not to mention the restriction on expression for the enslaved. Americans usually consider this a thing of the past, but political repression continued throughout the 20th century to this day, but in more covert forms. In this essay, I will explore the historical development of the US government’s system of covert domestic political repression, its consolidation, and its culmination in the FBI’s COINTELPRO program.

The FBI has its origins in the General Intelligence Division which was created in 1919 by Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer to collect information on radical organizations. J. Edgar Hoover, who would remain in power for the next several decades, was appointed as its head.[1]  The GID was immediately used in the infamous Palmer Raids -- a series of mass arrests and deportations targeting “alien” members of radical movements. The raids began on November 7, 1919 when GID agents raided offices of the United Russian Workers across the country arresting 650 people and deporting at least 43 without due process.  The crescendo of the raids came on January 2, 1920 when GID agents descended on radical groups in over 30 cities across the country, arresting at least 3,000 people.[2]  Much of this repression was directed at the Communist Party USA, with Secretary of Labor William B. Wilson announcing on January 19th that membership in the CPUSA was enough to warrant deportation of immigrants.[3]  The raids were finally ended by a court ruling in June 1920, but by then the damage had already been done. Left-wing organizations were effectively decimated with Communist Party membership dropping from over 27,000 in 1919 to just over 8,000 the next year.[4]

“In 1919 when GID agents raided offices of the United Russian Workers across the country arresting 650 people and deporting at least 43 without due process.”

Along with the Palmer raids, the Bureau utilized numerous other methods to harass radical groups. In 1919, Hoover targeted Marcus Garvey’s Universal Negro Improvement Association. The Bureau employed several infiltrators in the UNIA to uncover information which could be used in trumped up criminal charges against Garvey. After numerous charges of criminal activity failed to stick, the Bureau managed to obtain a conviction against Garvey on mail fraud in 1925. He was deported to Jamaica in 1927.[5]

By the mid-1920s, Hoover was able to renounce the FBI’s past political operations. Aside from participating in repression of major strikes, the Bureau would be true to its word for the next decade. But as the Communist Party began to regain relevance- reaching 66,000 members by 1939- Hoover gained approval from President Roosevelt to resume repression of “subversive activities”. Although Roosevelt later altered this directive as the Soviet Union became a key ally in the fight against Nazi Germany, it would not prevent Hoover from using it as justification for later counter-intelligence activities.[6]

After World War II ended and the Cold War began, Communism became enemy #1 with the CP becoming a natural target. In coordination with the CIA, the FBI began a program of intercepting and inspecting the international communications of US citizens. This was particularly focused on the mail and cables between the US and Soviet Union.[7]  Additionally, the Bureau would frequently use other forms of information gathering such as “surreptitious entry” and “bugging” CP offices.[8]  The FBI also cooperated with the IRS to gather information on targeted groups and single them out for harassment from the IRS.[9]

Additionally, the FBI would perfect the divide and conquer techniques it would later use to great effect in official COINTELPRO programs against the CP. The Bureau used infiltrators to exploit internal divisions within the party, such as over Khrushchev’s denunciations of Stalin.[10]  The Bureau also used “anonymous mailings” in various ways to disrupt party activities. Agents would send letters to party members warning about the treacherous activities of others in the party, hoping to stir up factional disputes.[11]  This was also a common ploy in the FBI’s “snitch jacketing” technique to portray loyal party members as informants. This was also frequently accomplished by informants within the party spreading rumors, forged informant reports, or “interviews” where agents would publicly speak with a target to create the impression the party member was an informant.[12]

That's a much needed history lesson after four years of the media and the faux left pretending the FBI (and the CIA!) were some wonderful and angelic and heroic part of the American fabric.  They're killers who are paid to get away with murder.

Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

 Wednesday, November 11, 2020.  A column pretends to be about Iraq -- pretends to be.

"I guess she had some bills to pay."  That was my thought while reading the ridiculous column by Arwa Ibrahim for ALJAZEERA which includes howlers like this:

Ahead of the election, the US presidential candidates were vocal on important foreign policy issues in the Middle East including Iran, Saudi Arabia and Israel-Palestine, but debate was visibly absent on one critical issue – Iraq.

Many observers believe the silence is because Iraq is a secondary foreign policy issue for the US, that other Middle East affairs – including the Iran nuclear deal and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict – present more pressing concerns.

Are your sides aching from laughter yet?  Palestine?  Neither of the duopoly candidates even acknowledged Palestine.  It was only third party candidates -- Gloria La Riva, for example -- who acknowledged the Palestinians.  

As for Iraq? What a bunch of crap.  "Many observers believe"?  Who, Arwa?  What idiot believes that?  No one.  No one inn your article with a name offers that belief.  No one believes that garbage.

Iraq did come up throughout the primaries and into the general.  For Joe it was his ''mistake'' to vote for the Iraq War.  And that mistake was Bully Boy Bush.

Sing it, Joe, in your best Marvin Gaye, to Bully Boy Bush, "My mistake was to love you, girl, love you, girl."

Joe, according to Joe, didn't get it wrong about the facts.  Even though Saddam Hussein did not have WMDs, Joe insists that he didn't get it wrong.  What he got wrong, what his mistake was, he insists was to trust Bully Boy Bush.

That's actually a complete rewriting of history but the press let him get away with that -- over and over.  They also let him brag about how he was in charge of Iraq from January 2009 through January 2017 and never made him answer for any of the key moments he oversaw -- such as overturning the 2010 election and tossing aside the votes of the Iraqi people via The Erbil Agreement in order to give thug Nouri al-Maliki a second term, such as that second term which saw paranoid Nouri persecute everyone resulting in the rise of ISIS in Iraq, etc.

Here's Joe being asked about Iraq but, please note, this is by veterans, not by the media.

The US media withdrew from Iraq at the end of 2008.  That's the withdrawal that mattered.  ABC announced that any reporting on Iraq in the future would come from BBC NEWS, that they would carry BBC's reports on Iraq.  Because, you know DISNEY-ABC-MARVEL-ET AL just didn't have the money to spend on Iraq, right?  (That's sarcasm.)  CBS NEWS maintained a Baghdad desk and they were really the only ones on TV who did.  CNN didn't.  Jane Arraf moved over to NPR to continue to cover Iraq.  THE WASHINGTON POST continued their coverage as did ASSOCIATED PRESS; however, NYT faltered after the hideous Jill Abramson made clear how little she cared about Iraq.  She ordered Anthony Shadid to Syria against his own better judgment and vocal opposition.  Let's be clear, his blood is on her hands.  As if being responsible for his death wasn't enough, she shot down story after story about Iraq throughout 2012 because she didn't want to 'harm' Barack Obama's chance at re-election.  Timothy Arango had tons of hard hitting reports but Jill didn't want to run them.  He had a full report about how US troops, during a presidential election, were secretly being sent back into Iraq by Barack.  But Jill didn't want to run it.  Finally, in the September 26th print edition of THE NEW YORK TIMES,  Tim Arango was allowed to inform the American people:

Iraq and the United States are negotiating an agreement that could result in the return of small units of American soldiers to Iraq on training missions. At the request of the Iraqi government, according to General Caslen, a unit of Army Special Operations soldiers was recently deployed to Iraq to advise on counterterrorism and help with intelligence.        

That wasn't on the front page.  It wasn't even in article about Iraq.  To get it (finally) in the paper, Tim had to put it in the middle of a report about Syria.  

Grasp that.  I know Jill's reputation is in ruins -- as it should be -- but it's in ruins because she finally got caught plagiarizing.  She's never faced press scrutiny over her actions that resulted in the death of Anthony Shadid.  She never faced press scrutiny for her refusal to carry reports on Iraq.

If you missed it, Barack Obama ran on the lie that he pulled US troops out of Iraq.  Not only did they never all leave -- and hold on, we'll come back to that -- but he was also sending more in. Barack ran for re-election on that lie and Mitt Romney helped him out by pretending the lie was true.  (Mitt's so stupid, it would be easy to say he didn't know; however, a number of Republicans -- including Senator Lindsey Graham -- were calling on Mitt to confront Barack over sending troops back in.)  

This was a huge story -- or should have been.  But Jill didn't want to harm Barack's chances.  This year, we saw this non-journalistic approach expand out to where everyone felt they had to cover for Joe, turn their heads and pretend he didn't have his penis sticking out of his zipper.  Look the other way, change the subject.

Now let's work one more thing in here about Iraq -- something Arwa doesn't note and, in fact, few do.  Iraq is crawling with CIA.  Ted Koppel told us that would be the case after the drawdown.  And it was the case and remains the case.  Not just in the outpost on the northern border of Iraq that Turkey provided the US government with during Bully Boy Bush's second term in office, but throughout Iraq.

That's been treated as a secret -- despite Greg Miller's WASHINGTON POST report in Feburary of 2012 which explained:

The CIA is expected to maintain a large clandestine presence in Iraq and Afghanistan long after the departure of conventional U.S. troops as part of a plan by the Obama administration to rely on a combination of spies and Special Operations forces to protect U.S. interests in the two longtime war zones, U.S. officials said.
U.S. officials said that the CIA's stations in Kabul and Baghdad will probably remain the agency’s largest overseas outposts for years, even if they shrink from record staffing levels set at the height of American efforts in those nations to fend off insurgencies and install capable governments.

We never talk about that, not in the press, not in our so-called anti-war groups. 

But the western media doesn't talk much about Iraq and it certainly doesn't do 'think' pieces.  Think pieces would note the CIA presence in Iraq, for example.  Think pieces would note how the US -- sometimes with Iran's help -- keeps installing cowards to lead Iraq -- cowards who fled Iraq under Saddam and only returned after US forces invaded in 2003.  Think pieces would note that the US military has been used to prop up these rulers who aren't popular with the Iraqi people.  

There was no discussion about Iraq in the media during the primaries or the general election.  Letting Joe lie about a 2002 vote really isn't addressing what's going on in Iraq today.  Even Tulsi Gabbard, our 'anti-war' candidate, didn't discuss Iraq.  For Tulsi, Iraq was an empty space where US troops were stationed and they needed to come home.  Now I agree with the second part, US troops need to come home.  But Iraq's not an empty space.  The Iraqi people are there and Tulsi never acknowledged them or their ongoing suffering.

Early on, we opposed every call for 'reparations to Iraq.  Some well meaning idiot, often an Iraq War veteran, would say that's what we needed for Iraq right now.

I have no problem with reparations.  I have a huge problem with any money for the Iraqi people being handed over to a corrupt government that not only does not represent them but steals the Iraqi money.  Transparency International has repeatedly, year after year, ranked Iraq as one of the ten most corrupt countries in the world -- over and over since the start of the Iraq War.  And we're going to help the Iraqi people by giving a corrupt government -- that refuses to represent the Iraqi people -- millions of dollars in reparations?  

Maybe if that money had been handed over, though, the US media could get over their own guilt.  They were complicit in this war.  When that's noted, people will talk about how they lied and offered uncritical coverage (don't call it reporting) in the lead up to the Iraq War.  That is true.  But it's also true that they were awful once the war started as well.  They lied repeatedly.  And they lied to keep the Iraq War going.

There's one guy who a number of people feel I'm too mean too.  Clearly, I'm told, he regrets his reporting now.  Well, if he does, let him give up that award -- the one he won for white washing the slaughter in Falluja.  That's the one that he also, please remember, let the US military censor and that explains why it was a week before the report made it into the paper.  I'm being kind and not naming him right now but we've named him many times before.

And if giving up that award that he doesn't deserve is too damn much for him, he could certainly write a few pages for THE NEW YORKER where he reconsiders what went down in Falluja and writes the truth this time.

He won't.  His hands are bloody.

Iraqi children died because of him but I'm the bad person because I mention that he lied and he didn't deserve the prize he was awarded?  Or I mock him because he was going to interview a resistance leader in Iraq until a military officer told him not to do it.  He worked for THE NEW YORK TIMES or the US military?  Or is it all one and the same?

He's on our side -- I've heard that claim from supposed anti-war lefties -- to my face.  And I always reply back, "We're talking about the same guy, right?  The one who went on Hugh Hewitt's conservative radio program about seven years ago and said the 2011 drawdown was the worst mistake with regards to Iraq?

Grasp that.  Not the invasion, not the war itself, those weren't the worst mistakes.  It was the drawdown Barack and Joe carried out at the end of 2011.  That's the guy who is on our side?

Right.  And the world of music has never been the same since the break up of the Revolution Evolution.

By the way, it's interesting that this journalist felt that way enough to talk about it on Hugh's show but not enough to write about that when Joe Biden was running for president.  

It honestly appears that the journalist says whatever he thinks will make him be liked by whomever he's speaking to which would explain the confusion on the part of some 'anti-war' types who think the journalist is one of them.

Joe's destroyed Iraq over and over.  Strangely, Arwa can't find anyone who can tell her that.  Can't or refuses to?  I know damn sure Ayad Allawi will go on record and I know that because he has with the BBC among others.  

Oh, well, let's hope she put food on the table with the check because she didn't accomplish anything else with that lousy article.

Jo Jorgensen was the presidential candidate for the Libertarian Party.  I said we'd probably note her again later this week.  This isn't what I was talking about.

She's stating in the interview that if there are irregularities, in the vote, a court should review the issues.  She's discussing other topics as well but we're noting the above because she is correct.  Refer to Jonathan Turley's column.  YOUTUBE tells you "The AP has called the presidential race for Joe Biden."  The AP?  Not really mentioned in the Constitution.

I'm not saying Donald won.  I doubt he did.  But he, or any candidate, has a right to call for a recount or to seek legal recourse.  December 14th is when the electoral college votes.  There is plenty of time to settle the results.  We want transparency.  And we need to trust the result.  The media needs to be neutral on this topic because they are pouring gas on the fire.  

The following sites updated: