Archive for the ‘CIA’ Tag

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: STORIES OF JEFF BEZOS, AMAZON, AND OTHER TECH COMPANIES – HUMANS HAD NOT EVOLVED THE LAST TIME I LOOKED – WHY THE NEW YORK TIMES OWING TO ITS OWN BEHAVIOR CAN NEVER IMMEDIATELY BE TAKEN AT FACE VALUE ON ANY STORY   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE GUARDIAN

The article’s headline and photo suggest it is about Amazon, but it is not. It purports to explain why tech companies’ behavior is much like that of older companies, giving a few anecdotes of interest but not much else.

Steve Jobs indeed had a long public record of behaving as a bastard, including in his private life. He once tried to disown in court his illegitimate daughter, trying to pay nothing for her support, then settling on what can only be called a token amount for a man of his then resources. His business practices with employees and customers did not depart from his personal behavior, although he liked to play the smiling guru, a little like the Ghandi parody done by Bill Gates in meetings.

Other companies the author mentions are also known for some unpleasant practices with their customers, most notably Facebook, a ruthless outfit in bed with the CIA from the start. The author left out the most egregious example, Microsoft, surely one of world’s most disliked companies and deservedly so.

But I do not believe Jeff Bezos belongs in that crowd. I stand ready to be corrected by facts, but the author of this article provides none.

The article in The New York Times does not convince. Much of the public still seems to believe The New York Times is a voice of authority, but it is not, and it is not owing to its own shoddy practices over the years. It actually has a long record of dishonest journalism, favoritism to friends and associates, and a number of terrible with-hunts.

Its witch-hunts included, for example, investigation of a woman some years ago who said that a Kennedy cousin raped her at a Kennedy beach house. Not only was her testimony believable, but in trying to discredit her, The Times revealed her identity, something against court practice in such cases. It was a shameful example of pandering to a wealthy family with which it had connections. Another case involved the scientist Wen Ho Lee. The Times pursued him with a long series of articles for crimes of which he was never convicted because the FBI did not have evidence.

There have been many such cases in American domestic affairs, but The Times is just as guilty in foreign affairs. Several times it has been caught with CIA agents on the payroll. It has never once failed to beat the drums for war too. And it accepts and justifies every atrocity committed by Israel. It is hardly the voice of dispassionate journalism.

So an article by The Times should serve only as a starting point for an investigation, but the author of The Guardian article has done none.

I think the article he has written has an extremely naïve starting assumption, that tech industry somehow was thought to behave differently as an employer and supplier than traditional industries.

The last time I looked, humans had not shown any recent advance in evolution. We remain relatives of chimpanzees, only with larger brains capable of still more damage than those cute but nasty animals. So why would you be surprised human behavior in a newer industry hasn’t changed? It seems to me it was a false premise from which to start writing.

But even in older industries we do sometimes have enlightened and responsible owners, and until I am convinced otherwise by facts I regard Bezos not as Andrew Carnegie but as a decent and innovative businessman.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: A STARK CHOICE IN SYRIA: FOR ONCE THE ETHICAL BALANCE FAVORS A LOCAL UN-ELECTED LEADER – AMERICA AND ISRAEL EMPLOYING LARGE-SCALE TERROR   Leave a comment

JOHN CHUCKMAN

EXPANSION OF A POSTED RESPONSE TO AN INTERVIEW WITH SYRIA’S PRESIDENT ASSAD IN INTIFADA PALESTINE

I am no great defender of unelected leaders like Syria’s Bashar al-Assad, but in the case of Syria’s current troubles I support him and wish him success against the forces responsible for murder and destruction on a large scale in his country.

The great writer, Graham Greene, said:
“…the writer should always be ready to change sides at the drop of a hat. He stands for the victims, and the victims change.”

Syria is the victim in this case, and the bloody bullies attacking Syria are the United States and Israel, both too cowardly to attack directly and both dishonestly claiming that the Free Syrian Army represents a genuine popular revolt.

The aim of the United States and Israel in all this violence is to wipe Syria off the Middle East chessboard, leaving it a divided society with no central direction.

Their efforts are designed to serve Israel’s drive to dominate the Middle East, just as America’s invasion of Iraq served the same drive. Israel aspires to be a miniature replica in the Middle East of what the United States has become globally, and the United States’ government, compromised by its corrupt election financing system and the central role of special interests in that system, is more than willing to grant Israel the role.

The brutality and hypocrisy involved in creating a pseudo-popular uprising and putting millions of innocent people at risk are breathtaking. The United States and Israel have gathered, armed, and supported a gang of thugs and injected them (through Syria’s border with Turkey, Turkey also offering refuge and re-supply) into what was a peaceful country, the very kind of cut-throats neither the U.S. nor Israel would allow to cross their own borders.

The recent death of an American ambassador in Libya at Benghazi, an event which no American official will discuss honestly, was part of the same dark scheme and involved the ambassador working with the CIA to gather killers and arms for export to Syria. The operation badly backfired when some of the thugs being dealt with turned on the Americans, something American officials will not acknowledge out of embarrassment and the desire to hide the dirty business in which they are engaged.

The world is not the simple place of angels and devils as America’s propaganda efforts ceaselessly proclaim it – great camps of goodness and evil ready to do battle for the soul of humanity. No matter whether a government is democratic in origin or not – and given the utter corruption of America’s politics, its claims to authentic democracy are tenuous – powerful insiders are fully capable of bloody, ruthless behavior in secret, destroying the lives of others.

While the United States loves hearing itself talk about being a bastion of freedom and rights, the fact is that over the last 40 or so years, it has been, quite simply, the most murderous nation on earth, killing 3 million in Vietnam plus a host of victims in Cambodia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, and in many, many other places either invaded or toppled in bloody coups. It still runs an international torture gulag, of which Guantanamo is only a part.

The world can support a bloody global dictator even less than an individual country can support a local one. So, in Syria we see a stark choice, and the ethical balance favors for once a local dictator.

If you want the rule of law, you must abide by the rule of law, a principle which neither the United States nor Israel makes even a pretense of embracing although they sure like talking about it between bombing runs and terrorist activities.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: WHITE HOUSE CLAIMS OF SYRIA’S USING CHEMICAL WEAPONS – A DAY AFTER DEFENSE SECRETARY CONTRADICTED ISRAEL’S CLAIMS – THE FALSE MARCH TO WAR   Leave a comment

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

JOHN CHUCKMAN

 

POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN IN THE NEW YORK TIMES

This is an absurd development.

Yesterday, in the morning, I read Mr Hagel saying that United States’ intelligence did not believe Syria had used chemical weapons.

Because Israel had already just claimed in public that Syria had used such weapons, Mr Hagel was careful to state that the United States used its own intelligence sources.

By that afternoon, we had this new story that indeed the United States thought it likely (but had no hard evidence) that Syria had used chemical weapons.

I know of no example from real life events more deserving of the descriptive term “Orwellian.”

We know from the inadvertently-overheard words of two presidents not terribly long ago, the presidents of France and the United States, talking in private that Mr Netanyahu is regarded by both of them as an inveterate liar.

Mr Hagel, owing to his independence of mind regarding the Mideast, fought quite a battle after the election to be confirmed for his cabinet post.

Of course, his first words about chemical weapons contradicted Mr Netanyahu.

Something happened in the course of one day to turn him around.

Was it the same group which so opposed his nomination and confirmation?

And that group is the special interest of American apologists for Israel’s excesses.

Actually, if anything, virtually the opposite is true. There was a documented incident of the so-called rebels using some form of chemical.

From where did they get the material?

From Israel, in an effort to create a casus belli?

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: GUANTANAMO: THE UNITED STATES OF TORTURE SAYS AN ARTICLE – BUT IT’S WORSE THAN THAT – WORLD’S GREATEST ORGANIZED BARBARISM AND HYPOCRISY ABOUT IT   Leave a comment

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

JOHN CHUCKMAN

 

POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN IN RUSSIA TODAY

Civilized is not the point.

The United States mouths stuff about human rights and democracy while assassinating, stealing, and abusing people.

Monumental hypocrisy is the point.

The fact must be thrown into America’s face when it makes spurious claims.

The CIA Torture Gulag – of which Guantanamo is only part – is gross hypocrisy, all of it carefully kept offshore, as though that fact kept the spirit of the Constitution.

The U.S. has in truth been a bloody monster for half a century: 3 million killed in its Vietnam Holocaust; a million in Cambodia owing to its destabilizing; a million in Iraq; and more.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: CANADIAN INTELLIGENCE OFFICIAL SAYS “LONE WOLF” TERRORISTS ARE A DANGER – THE ANSWER TO PARANOID NONSENSE – VIGILANCE FOR A FREE SOCIETY   Leave a comment

JOHN CHUCKMAN

POSTED RESPONSES TO A COLUMN IN TORONTO’S GLOBE AND MAIL

This is utterly paranoid nonsense from the CSIS official.

There is, and always has been, the risk of twisted individuals doing harm to the public.

It happens every day, but we do not call it terror unless the perpetrator happens to be a Muslim.

Just what do you think Clifford Olson or Robert Picton or Paul Bernardo were?

What do you think the creepy guys who shoot people in the Jane and Finch area are?

If we let our officials act the way the government of the United States has, we simply will no longer have the Canada we love.

The truth is no terrorist can take Canada away from us: we can only do that to ourselves.

The United States today is virtually a police state. Passengers are frisked and x-rayed even on local flights.

People are submitted to intense questioning on the least suspicion of a second-rate police-mind. The TSA now patrols some American internal highways and pulls people over arbitrarily.

The very books you borrow from the library are recorded by the FBI, an agency with its own past history of genuine terror tactics. The mails are invaded. Internet use is recorded. All phone conversations are recorded.

People convicted of nothing are secretly detained in prisons. The CIA continues to run an international torture gulag. The CIA murders people proved guilty of nothing every week by drones and missiles.

Is that the kind of environment the CSIS official desires?

I suspect it is the environment which is dear to the heart of a control-freak like our prime minister, a man who is also such an American wannabe he readily swallows whatever the American government dishes out.

God save Canada from the sick thinking of the CSIS official.
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“You have a better chance of falling off a ladder and dying or slipping and falling in the bath tub and dying than in a terrorist attack. Largely it’s a tactic to scare the population into allowing for infringement on rights and freedoms and herd the electorate more readily.”

Absolutely.

There are more deaths on bicycles every year even in the US than from any conceivable form of terror.

Americans murder their fellow citizens to the order of 20,000 each year.

Americans kill their fellow citizens on the highways to the order of 40,000 every year.

Half a million American children are seriously abused by a member of their own family every year.

Doctors making mistakes kill tens of thousands of Americans every year.

Thousands of young people are permanently injured every year in America playing violent sports like football.

Four hundred thousand Americans are taken by cancer every year – much of it preventable as in the case of smoking and exposure to other hazards.

Every society at all times has a substantial group of people who are subject to vague fears more than others and people who would like to closely control others for their own comfort: there is a natural distribution of them in any population.

But when you give such people – who tend always to be drawn to security or police or military work – too much leeway and resources in the name of paranoid fears, you begin to open yourself to the debilitating reality of a police state, whose ultimate limit is nothing less than  the horrors of Stalin’s Soviet Union or Hitler’s Reich.

The vigilance required to keep a genuinely free society is not the vigilance of outfits like the FBI or CIA or CSIS or the military: it is the vigilance of each of us against those who would abuse us in the name of terror or dark fears.
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“Can CSIS and the Harper regime tell us how many Afghans and Libyans have been killed in their own country by Canadians.”

Thank you.

The number of Afghans killed, mainly by the U.S., is in the tens of thousands.

The number of Libyans is in the thousands, again mainly by the U.S.

And we’ve assisted in bombing Libyan infrastructure back to the Stone Age.

That is no exaggeration, and no press in Canada will tell us the dark truth, not even CBC, these days quaking in its boots over its fate under the dark hulk we call prime minister.

Nothing to be proud of, any of it.

And if you really think about it, these were acts which only created legions of young men with grievances for the future.

Oh, but we do  have the buzz-cut thugs at the CIA playing computer games with drones and Hellfire missiles destroying the lives of thousands of others to protect us, don’t we?

That thought sure makes me feel safe. How about you?

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: A NEW BOOK I HAVE NOT READ BY JUDYTH BAKER ON OSWALD AND THE KENNEDY ASSASSINATION SOUNDS A BIT CONFUSED BUT RINGS TRUE ON A NUMBER OF POINTS   Leave a comment

 

 

 

JOHN CHUCKMAN

POSTED RESPONSES TO A COLUMN IN TORONTO’S GLOBE AND MAIL

The Globe’s piece on the interview with Judyth Baker is so condensed, I’m sure it has lost much meaning.

I cannot at all assess her words treated poorly, as they are, by the Globe, although when she mentions things like the Reily Coffee Company, I know exactly to what she is referring.

The cancer labs ring bells too since a significant figure in the conspiracy was a highly eccentric pilot and gifted amateur researcher in New Orleans named David Ferrie, a man who was later murdered in an extremely violent fashion.

Her connection of the lab work like that with the CIA is likely something she surmised but did not actually know. If the CIA sets up such operations, the people who work there never know for whom they are actually working, much like the employees of the fake Apple Stores in China who believed they worked for Apple.

Her talk about Oswald in intelligence also rings true. Oswald, when he went to Russia from the Marines, was undoubtedly a low-level spy set up to find out about the realities of Soviet life by one or another of America’s numerous intelligence agencies. We know for a fact that there were a few other servicemen who did much the same thing in the 1950s.

Her talk about Oswald’s loyalties rings true. He was, in fact, a fairly patriotic young man who joined the Marines when underage, and because of his above-average intelligence, he was trained for secret radar operations with the new U-2 ultra-high flying spy planes in Asia.

The young Marine suddenly had a series of still unexplained incidents in his life abroad, started taking an interest in Russian matters, and someone trained him in a condensed course in the Russian language, a difficult language to learn. The course almost had to be the kind developed by and commonly used by the American military and intelligence.

Then he showily defected to Russia, with a lot of silly, deliberately public statements about his approval of the Soviet Union – something which totally goes against every factual thing we know about Oswald.

When he eventually returned, he was peacefully integrated back into American life…with, of all things, a Russian bride – this, at a time when there was such intense red-baiting that you could get in trouble in the United States for subscribing to the wrong magazine. It really was that dark and hostile, and what happened with Oswald’s return just could not ever have happened without hidden explanations.

(Oswald’s reintroduction to American life included his mysterious introduction to a group of Russian-speakers living in the Dallas area, an event whose probability of chance happening must be virtually zero.)

We also know Oswald worked at least part time in the period of his work at the Reily Coffee Company as an FBI informant. The Warren Commission itself was knocked off its pins when it learned something of this, but managed to sweep it under the carpet.

Next door to Reily’s was the Crescent City Garage, which just happened to provide parking for various government agencies. Two blocks away was the Newman Building, where ex-senior FBI Agent Guy Bannister had an office and where Oswald was not only seen but some of the pro-Castro leaflets Oswald sometimes showily distributed were actually stamped with its address.

There is sound testimony that a known FBI agent was seen once handing Oswald an envelope around the Reily location. Money? And of course, Oswald’s last note to the FBI in the Dallas office was literally destroyed by the Agent in Charge immediately after the assassination. We have nothing but lies about what it said from the very people who should have gone to prison for destroying evidence and obstructing justice.

As someone who, years ago, spent a good deal of time studying the assassination, I remain convinced Oswald was sucked into something he did not fully understand, but he didn’t shoot the president, and indeed, both temperamentally and by poor shooting skill, he simply couldn’t have.

The only genuine candidates for carrying out the elaborate scheme – and it was elaborate – were a few well-equipped candidate groups who had genuine motives and plenty of resources. For any one of whom to be identified in 1963, would have meant a major loss of confidence in America’s security organizations and perhaps a major blow to American policies. Also, there is the distinct possibility that the authorities never learned who was responsible – a fact itself which have been highly damaging to the sense of national security and well worth covering up.

While I have many questions about the statements thrown together in the Globe piece, I know Ms Baker is an intelligent woman who did indeed work in research. That is no guarantee of truth or of detailed knowledge but it is reason to read what she says. I look forward to reading her book

Readers may enjoy:

http://chuckmanwords.wordpress.com/2011/10/18/1544/

http://chuckmanwords.wordpress.com/2009/06/06/lincoln-was-wrong-the-ease-of-fooling-most-of-the-people-most-of-the-time/

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“Oh, God… Spare us the JFK conspiracy nonsense.

“I’ve been to Dealey Plaza and the ‘grassy knoll’ several times. The physical space is much smaller than it appears on the Zapruder film.

“Any decent Marine markman could’ve laid down several accurate shots from the Texas School Book Depository window.

“End of story. Unless you’re Michael Moore.”

Just the kind of comment one gets from someone who has read or studied virtually nothing serious on the subject but yet feels qualified to speak.

The Zapruder film – long suppressed early on – shows Kennedy’s body responding, according to the laws of physics, to a shot from the front, full stop.

Interestingly, several notable press descriptions of the unseen film at the time – most notably Dan Rather’s on CBS – proved absolutely inaccurate later.

Interesting also is the fact that in the Warren Commission’s hastily assembled jumble of evidence, some key frames from the film were printed out of order, blurring the evidence of response to a projectile from the front.

The Luce family who originally purchased the film – of Life Magazine and Time fame – were well known for cooperation with the CIA. Luce publications are known to have been used as covers for phony foreign correspondents.

The autopsy photos, poor as they are, show massive damage to the rear of the head, half the scalp hangs down – always evidence of an exit wound with bullets as they mushroom through flesh.

The doctor in charge of the autopsy wrote one report and then destroyed it – actually a criminal act.  The one we have is his re-write, the re-write of a military man under great pressure.

All those attending the president at the hospital in Dallas attest to massive damage at the rear of the head.

Bullet entrance wounds – unless dum-dum bullets are used – always resemble what you’d see from the stab of an ice-pick. Often they are almost undetectable, as witnesses to the killing of a young man at a Toronto school realized.

The Warren Commission said hard-jacketed bullets were used, so the case for the back of the head being an entrance wound is zero.

Oswald was not a decent “Marine marksman.” He was a terrible shot, getting his badge finally as a mercy with a low score.

Those who knew him in Russia confirm his utter lack of facility with a rifle.

Finally, no expert marksman has repeated the feat attributed to Oswald. Indeed, a few years ago, tests in Italy – it was an Italian rifle supposedly used – confirmed its impossibility.

The overwhelming majority of witnesses in the Plaza turned towards and pointed towards and ran towards the grassy knoll immediately after the shots.

Last, the second investigation of the assassination – the Congressional one – accepted that there was a shooter from the front on the basis of expert analysis of inadvertent recordings of a policeman’s motorcycle radio left open.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: EGYPT AND THE UNITED STATES ARGUE OVER FUNDING DEMOCRACY GROUPS – REALITIES OF AMERICAN INVOLVEMENT AND OF EGYPT’S SITUATION   Leave a comment

JOHN CHUCKMAN

POSTED RESPONSES TO A COLUMN IN TORONTO’S GLOBE AND MAIL

“Ms. Colton, The U.S. Embassy spokeswoman, told The Associated Press on Thursday that the U.S. is not interfering in Egypt’s politics.”

Well, if that were true, it would mark a first.

CIA bribes and influence are the norm in all such countries; the CIA maintains a huge secret fund for just that purpose.

I also think the situation in Egypt is more complicated than this story suggests.

The United States always maintains a noisy public commitment to words about democracy, but that is a very different matter than what goes on behind closed doors.

Not only is the United States comfortable with the stability and predictability of rule by military groups in the region, it must always be looking to the interests of its client-state, Israel.

A truly democratic Egypt is unlikely to be overly friendly to Israel, but a group of well-bribed military men or others keeps things on course.

I have heard an eloquent expert speak on parts of the situation in Egypt, and he said that Egyptian military is perhaps the country’s greatest industrial operation, controlling many profitable factories and businesses, much as the military in China or the Republican Guard in Iran.

The small number of people who control these enterprises are reluctant to give up any influence to popular notions about democracy.

The feeling is that if they, the military, just go slowly, the people will tire of their demonstrations and demands, and things can settle to something they regard as normal.

It is hard to believe that the United States government would seriously oppose this strategy, although, as always, it will do some public blubbering.

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‘Claims of a “meddling foreign hand” have routinely found resonance among Egyptians.’

And, considering Egypt’s history, why would it be otherwise?

That kind of statement is completely naive or it is dishonest.

Once controlled by Turkey. Once controlled by France. Once controlled by Britain. Britain, France, and Israel conspiring to take over the Suez Canal in the 1950s?

A popular hero like Nassar the target of foreign plots and plans for assassination?

A tyrant president like Mubarak, completely in the pay and in the pocket of the United States, for thirty years?

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“Noticably absent from this is how Saudi Arabia has been furiously funding fundamentalist groups as they are also terrified about the spread of democracy in the Middle East. Why don’t the world powers call Saudi Arabia out on this?”

Sorry, but that is very naive.

Behind the scenes, the Saudi princes, the United States, and Israel have long been great pals.

They often work together secretly towards certain ends.

None of them would value democracy in Egypt, each for its own reasons.

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“Never trust muslims [sic].”

I prefer never trusting people who make ignorant statements like yours.

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“Democracy is not for everybody. To make it work you need an educated, enlightened and engaged population.”

That is a very old and rather trivial idea. It is also quite arrogant.

Just where, among advanced democratic states do you see these conditions?

In the United States?

The United States that believes in polls that Saddam assisted in 9/11 and had secret weapons of mass destruction?

The United States that has ignoramuses like Michele Bachmann or Sarah Palin seeking the highest office?

The United States whose greed and complete lack of self-control just pitched the planet into a years-long financial disaster?

“As a nation, Egypt would be better served by a benevolent tyrant.”

And who selects the tyrant? And who determines that he is off on the wrong path?

Churchill had it right when he said that democracy was the worst form of government, except for all the others.

The historical truth is that democracy comes when a society has a large enough middle class who feel that their many interests cannot be properly looked after by a tyrant or king. Peasants don’t have many interests beyond keeping alive, but the middle class has business needs, investment needs, property-law needs, and many other interests.

Democracy flows naturally out of economic growth, always and everywhere.

The flow is often temporarily interrupted by old established interests, but only temporarily.

There is no reason to believe Egypt is not ready for democracy. It has a large middle class. It has millions of educated people.

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The Egyptian military has made deals with people like the Muslim Brotherhood in order to broaden its base of support.

That fact only points to the United States and Israel not being afraid so much of “Islamists” as democracies where people disagree with them.

The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, by the way, is not a terror organization of any kind. It is a rather tame organization.

Actually, many of the Muslim organizations in Egypt expect a form of Sharia Law to be established.

Now, we have been trained by an endless bombardment of Islamophobic propaganda to think that sounds terrible, but in fact is not much different to the fundamentalist Christians – millions of them – in the United States who demand the Ten Commandments in courts and prayers in schools and other public institutions.

And it is little different to the laws of Israel which enable ultra-orthodox Jews to practice their many ancient and backward rules, especially those concerning the inferiority and submission of women and the complete control of children by the husband.