KILLER BARRY O FINALLY MANAGED TO SAY TERRORISM YESTERDAY. HE EVEN PUT ON HIS BIG BOY PANTS ALL BY HIMSELF FOR THE OCCASION.
HE PLEDGED THE CRIMINALS WOULD BE BROUGHT TO JUSTICE. HOPEFULLY, HE'LL DO BETTER WITH THAT PROMISE THAN HE'S DONE WITH HIS PROMISES ABOUT THE ECONOMY.
FROM THE TCI WIRE:
In related news, the US government is attempting to punish whistle blower Bradley Manning and to argue that because Osama bin Laden reportedly had access to information -- that the whole world had -- this demonstrates that Bradley was "aiding the enemy." As the editorial board of the Los Angeles Times observed earlier this month, "In arguing that Manning aided the enemy, the government's case apparently will rest on the assertion that some WikiLeaks material made its way to a digital device found in the possession of Osama bin Laden. This is an ominously broad interpretation. By the government's logic, the New York Times could be accused of aiding the enemy if Bin Laden possessed a copy of the newspaper that included the WikiLeaks material it published."
Bradley Manning and WikiLeaks are forever entwined. Monday April 5, 2010, WikiLeaks released US military video of a July 12, 2007 assault in Iraq. 12 people were killed in the assault including two Reuters journalists Namie Noor-Eldeen and Saeed Chmagh. Monday June 7, 2010, the US military announced that they had arrested Bradley Manning and he stood accused of being the leaker of the video. Leila Fadel (Washington Post) reported in August 2010 that Manning had been charged -- "two charges under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. The first encompasses four counts of violating Army regulations by transferring classified information to his personal computer between November and May and adding unauthorized software to a classified computer system. The second comprises eight counts of violating federal laws governing the handling of classified information." In March, 2011, David S. Cloud (Los Angeles Times) reported that the military has added 22 additional counts to the charges including one that could be seen as "aiding the enemy" which could result in the death penalty if convicted. The Article 32 hearing took place in December. At the start of this year, there was an Article 32 hearing and, February 3rd, it was announced that the government would be moving forward with a court-martial. Bradley has yet to enter a plea. The court-martial was supposed to begin before the November 2012 election but it was postponed until after the election so that Barack wouldn't have to run on a record of his actual actions. Independent.ie adds, "A court martial is set to be held in June at Ford Meade in Maryland, with supporters treating him as a hero, but opponents describing him as a traitor." February 28th, Bradley admitted he leaked to WikiLeaks. And why.
Bradley Manning: In attempting to conduct counter-terrorism or CT and counter-insurgency COIN operations we became obsessed with capturing and killing human targets on lists and not being suspicious of and avoiding cooperation with our Host Nation partners, and ignoring the second and third order effects of accomplishing short-term goals and missions. I believe that if the general public, especially the American public, had access to the information contained within the CIDNE-I and CIDNE-A tables this could spark a domestic debate on the role of the military and our foreign policy in general as [missed word] as it related to Iraq and Afghanistan.
I also believed the detailed analysis of the data over a long period of time by different sectors of society might cause society to reevaluate the need or even the desire to even to engage in counterterrorism and counterinsurgency operations that ignore the complex dynamics of the people living in the effected environment everyday.
Counter-insurgency is war on a native population. There's been confusion in the '00s because the US government wanted to sell it. Vietnam left counter-insurgency 'off the table' officially because it was publicly reputed. When Reagan used it in the covert, dirty wars in Latin America in the eighties, it would be 'off the books.' David Petraeus and others sought to rehabiliate it in the '00s. That required a lot of money and a lot of greedy academia desperate for that money. Harvard's Carr Center is only one of the many institutions with blood on their hands -- Sarah Sewall (aka Sarah Sewer) remains at the Carr Center while Samantha Power 'graduated' to the Barack Obama administration. Sewall herself bragged at the end of 2007 that they could get a candidate to say whatever they wanted which Charlie Rose found very amusing as long as he and she didn't name the candidate (Barack). Along with the liars of acadmeia there have been the supposed journalists of 'independent' media like Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! who won't let counter-insurgency be mentioned unless its by CIA contractor Juan Cole. As Ava and I noted last month, in (mis)covering the documentary James Steele: America's Mystery Man In Iraq -- produced by BBC Arabic and the Guardian newspaper, she insisted that the guest not use the term "counterinsurgency" and, at the end, when the guest did bring it up, Goodman immediately changed the subject. She was fine with presenting violence in Iraq as caused by the US -- provided it could be presented as random. But to actually note that it was a pattern and a plan was too much for Amy Goodman. That's only surprising if you missed how she supported the Libyan War and has largely become a mouthpiece for the US government -- at least the CIA faction. (If this is news to you, you haven't been paying attention and can start getting up to speed by reviewing Bruce Dixon's 2011 piece for Black Agenda Report: "Are Democracy Now!'s Libyan Correspondents Feeding Us the State Department and Pentagon Line on Libya?")
Counter-insurgency has been the least covered topic in the last ten years despite the US government utilization of it. It's not been covered because there's no money in telling the truth. Goody might lose some of her campus bookings where she hawks her latest bad clip job. The Nation has published only one article on the issue that matters and they had to be shamed into publishing that. The article is "Harvard's Humanitarian Hawks" and it's by Tom Hayden. He published it as his own site first and only after Katrina and others were deluged with phone calls about why The Nation wasn't carrying that article did they suddenly show interest.
Instead, they prefer to offer piffle like the crap William R. Polk penned as an open letter to Barack where, in passing, he notes that the Pentagon Papers exposed counter-insurgency as a failure. But he never condemns Barack's use of it in his open letter. When I noted how little coverage there's been of counter-insurgency, from time to time, a friend will bring up Ann Jones. To which I reply, "I was trying to be nice.' Yes, Ann Jones did write about counter-insurgency in 2010: "Taking a page from Vietnam, they claim their hands are tied, while the enemy plays by its own rules. Rightly or wrongly, this opinion is spreading fast among grieving soldiers as casualties mount. It's also clear that even the lethal part of counterinsurgency isn't working."
A piece on counter-insurgency that uses terms like "rightly or wrongly," is cowardly. She never calls it out. The most she can muster is that it's not working. We've defended Ann many times here but I'm not going to defend her ethical cowardice. Shame on you, Ann, you damn well know better.
Some friends point to Peter Rothberg's piece which does liken it to torture. It also spells it correctly: "counter-insurgency." That's how it's been spelled for decades before the government decided to rebrand it KFC style. And that's part of the reason we don't note Peter's piece. He notes it's torture. He's right. But he wrote in 2004 and it was known to be used in Iraq or anywhere else at that time. That's also why he spelled it correctly: he was writing of it historically.
Or they'll note a John Nichols piece that fails to illuminate what counter-insurgency is while also failing to condemn it. Those aren't pieces that matter, those aren't pieces that show bravery. Bradley Manning spoke out because what was going on in Iraq. But various so-called 'independent' 'media' outlets don't want to have that conversation.
While we're on the subject of The Nation magazine, we need to note Greg Mitchell. The never-ending joke failed to cover WikiLeaks in real time -- we did, we covered it here. We covered the Iraq revelations and waited and waited for others to follow. But it was 2010 and outside the video, no one gave a damn in independent media. That's among the reasons that we laughed at Idiot Greg when he suddenly declared himself to be doing 'live blogging' on WikiLeaks. You live blog an event -- a trial, a sports match. Just blogging about WikiLeaks every day does not constitute live blogging -- other than you're blogging and you are, yes, alive. What an idiot.
But, fine, when did Greg call out counter-insurgency?
The answer comes back: He didn't.
Strange because, even now, if you go to WikiLeak's home page you find this -- on the front page:
US (2009) US Special Forces counterinsurgency manual analysisWikiLeaks released theForeign Internal Defense Tactics Techniques and Procedures for Special Forces (1994, 2004) document, the official US Special Forces doctrine for Foreign Internal Defense or FID. FID operations are designed to prop up "friendly" governments facing popular revolution or guerilla insurgency. FID interventions are often covert or quasi-covert due to the unpopular nature of the governments being supported.
The manual directly advocates training paramilitaries, pervasive surveillance, censorship, press control and restrictions on labor unions & political parties. It directly advocates warrantless searches, detainment without charge and (under varying circumstances) the suspension of habeas corpus. It directly advocates employing terrorists or prosecuting individuals for terrorism who are not terrorists, running false flag operations and concealing human rights abuses from journalists. And it repeatedly advocates the use of subterfuge and "psychological operations" (propaganda) to make these and other "population & resource control" measures more palatable
And if you use the link they provide, you'll be taken to a report by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange which opens:
"[T]he psychological effectiveness of the CSDF concept starts by reversing the insurgent strategy of making the government the repressor. It forces the insurgents to cross a critical threshold-that of attacking and killing the very class of people they are supposed to be liberating. -- US Special Forces doctrine obtained by Wikileaks"
So states the US Special Forces counterinsurgency manual obtained by Wikileaks, Foreign Internal Defense Tactics Techniques and Procedures for Special Forces (1994, 2004). The manual may be critically described as "what the US learned about running death squads and propping up corrupt government in Latin America and how to apply it to other places". Its contents are both history defining for Latin America and, given the continued role of US Special Forces in the suppression of insurgencies, including in Iraq and Afghanistan, history making.
The leaked manual, which has been verified with military sources, is the official US Special Forces doctrine for Foreign Internal Defense or FID.
FID operations are designed to prop up "friendly" governments facing popular revolution or guerilla insurgency. FID interventions are often covert or quasi-covert due to the unpopular nature of the governments being supported ("In formulating a realistic policy for the use of advisors, the commander must carefully gauge the psychological climate of the HN [Host Nation] and the United States.")
The manual directly advocates training paramilitaries, pervasive surveillance, censorship, press control and restrictions on labor unions & political parties. It directly advocates warrantless searches, detainment without charge and (under varying circumstances) the suspension of habeas corpus. It directly advocates employing terrorists or prosecuting individuals for terrorism who are not terrorists, running false flag operations and concealing human rights abuses from journalists. And it repeatedly advocates the use of subterfuge and "psychological operations" (propaganda) to make these and other "population & resource control" measures more palatable.
I'm sorry, Greg Mitchell, how can you set yourself as the go-to on all things WikiLeaks and refuse to explore counter-insurgency? Answer: You can't.
William Boardman covered the documentary last week -- here for Consortium News, here for Global Research. Excerpt.
The hour-long film explores the arc of American counterinsurgency brutality from Vietnam to Iraq, with stops along the way in El Salvador and Nicaragua. James Steele is now a retired U.S. colonel who first served in Vietnam as a company commander in 1968-69. He later made his reputation as a military adviser in El Salvador, where he guided ruthless Salvadoran death squads in the 1980s.
When his country called again in 2003, he came out of retirement to train Iraqi police commandos in the bloodiest techniques of counterinsurgency that evolved into that country’s Shia-Sunni civil war that at its peak killed 3,000 people a month. Steele now lives in a gated golf community in Brian, Texas, and did not respond to requests for an interview for the documentary bearing his name.
In June, Bradley faces military 'justice' and if you want to build support for Bradley, you start explaining what took place, what made him speak out. Not random death squads, but a plan -- while the US government claimed to be in Iraq for 'democracy' -- to kill and suppress the Iraqi people. This is what prompts outrage. This is what drives Bradley to blow the whistle. And this same counter-insurgency was being used in Afghanistan.
Do you stay silent or do you blow the whistle?
For Bradley, it was obvious, you blow the whistle about this program being utilized in two different countries and you do it because you are trying to protect millions of people in the process.
Do you stay silent or do you blow the whistle?
That's the question that so-called 'independent' media needs to ask itself. They can start telling the truth about counter-insurgency or they can continue the lie.
Will you stand up like Bradley Manning and call out counter-insurgency or will you cower like Anatol Lieven did in 2010, writing for The Nation, "How the Afghan Counterinsurgency Threatens Pakistan." Bradley didn't decry a good or neutral policy that had a few bad impacts, he decried a criminal policy.
What Bradley did was very brave and very important.
We devalue the importance when we refuse to address counter-insurgency and we betray his bravery.
Not everyone's been a coward. The national radio program Law and Disorder Radio, an hour long program that airs Monday mornings at 9:00 a.m. EST on WBAI and around the country throughout the week, hosted by attorneys Heidi Boghosian, Michael S. Smith and Michael Ratner (Center for Constitutional Rights), was able to explore the topic of counter-insurgency with journalist Patrick Farrelly who was part of the BBC Arabic and the Guardian newspaper investigative team behind the documentary James Steele: America's Mystery Man In Iraq. In their program that began airing March 18th, they explored the issues at length and why they mattered. (For those who can't stream or who will not be helped by non-closed captioning streams, there are excerpts of the discussion in the March 18th snapshot, the March 20th snapshot and the March 22nd snapshot.)
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