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US Expands Missile Defense Plans in Romania

NATO Russia

On October 28 Romanian President Traian Basesku, Romania's Minister of Defense Mircea Dusa, US Under-Secretary of Defense for Policy James Miller, James Syring, director of the US Missile Defence Agency, and NATO Deputy Secretary-General Alexander Vershbow attended the groundbreaking ceremony held on the territory of Deveselu military facility, a former air base located at 180 kilometers east of Bucharest, the Romania's capital. 

The move confirms that Romania has become one of Washington’s main security partners in Europe. "This is an historic occasion", Mr. Vershbow noted. 

A disused airfield is to be revamped and converted into a missile defence base which will remain under Romanian command to host an average of 200 US troops (up to a maximum of 500). The facility will be manned by U.S. Navy and civilian personnel with the Romanian military providing security.
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Welcome to Deming, New Mexico -- Where Police Rape is a Matter of 'Protocol'

Deminc NM

David Eckert was stopped by police in Deming, New Mexico without cause, subjected to an illegal search of his vehicle and person, and eventually forced to undergo what amounts to object rape in the form of multiple rectal probes, forced enemas, and a colonoscopy.

The purported reason for this treatment was suspicion of narcotics possession. A more credible explanation is that the police wanted to punish Eckert for politely asserting his rights during an encounter a few weeks earlier.

There is something at once infuriating and appropriate about the treatment inflicted on Eckert: If the beast called the Homeland Security State has a cloacal tract, its aperture might very well be located in Deming, New Mexico. The uniformed degenerates who kidnapped Eckert and subjected him to Gitmo-trade torture claimed to be working with a federally supervised narcotics task force. This part of their story is entirely plausible, given the extravagant and impenitent corruption that typifies federal counter-narcotics operations in the New Mexico border region.


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How America Was Lost

American Flag

“No legal issue arises when the United States responds to a challenge to its power, position, and prestige.” - Dean Acheson , 1962, speaking to the American Society of International Law.

Dean Acheson declared 51 years ago that power, position, and prestige are the ingredients of national security and that national security trumps law. In the United States democracy takes a back seat to “national security,” a prerogative of the executive branch of government.

National security is where the executive branch hides its crimes against law, both domestic and international, its crimes against the Constitution, its crimes against innocent citizens both at home and abroad, and its secret agendas that it knows that the American public would never support.

“National security” is the cloak that the executive branch uses to make certain that the US government is unaccountable.

Without accountable government there is no civil liberty and no democracy except for the sham voting that existed in the Soviet Union and now exists in the US.
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What I Told The Homeland Security Committee

The material below the dotted line is the written version of my part in a six-member panel’s presentation  to the House’s Homeland Security Committee on 9 October 2013.  I ran late on 8 October 2013 and so failed to provide the committee’s members with a typed-up version of my opening statement before the hearing. I submitted it to them on 10 October 2013.

As things turned out, my tardiness did not really matter. The committee’s Chairman was knowledgeable, polite, and interested in what each panel member had to say, agreeing with some and challenging others. The rest of the Committee — at least those who showed up — was a train wreck of ignorance, arrogance, partisanship, and incompetence.

The Democratic members used most of their allotted time to chastise the Republicans for the government’s shutdown. The three Republicans who spoke to me — especially one from New York — had no interest in what I said about the growing certainty that the Islamists’ war soon will be fought, in part, in North America. Instead, the Republicans used most of their time to satisfy their AIPAC paymasters by praising and defending Israel, for whom they have what Alexander Hamilton would describe as a “womanish attachment.”
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America’s Moment of Truth About Iran

America’s Iran policy is at a crossroads. Washington can abandon its counterproductive insistence on Middle Eastern hegemony, negotiate a nuclear deal grounded in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), and get serious about working with Tehran to broker a settlement to the Syrian conflict. In the process, the United States would greatly improve its ability to shape important outcomes there. Alternatively, America can continue on its present path, leading ultimately to strategic irrelevance in one of the world’s most vital regions—with negative implications for its standing in Asia as well.

U.S. policy is at this juncture because the costs of Washington’s post-Cold War drive to dominate the Middle East have risen perilously high. President Obama’s self-inflicted debacle over his plan to attack Syria after chemical weapons were used there in August showed that America can no longer credibly threaten the effective use of force to impose its preferences in the region. While Obama still insists “all options are on the table” for Iran, the reality is that, if Washington is to deal efficaciously with the nuclear issue, it will be through diplomacy.
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Syria Analysts, Impartial? Not likely!

Kagan ISW

As is evident with the vast majority of coverage on the Middle East, the analysis used to bolster media narratives on Syria is predominantly derived from paid “think-tank” commentators posing as objective scholars. To the discerning reader, this dynamic of the mass media relying on dubiously attached “analysts” is in itself nothing new.

In an op-ed titled “The Sham Terrorist Expert Industry”  journalist Glenn Greenwald offers a compelling in-depth critique of the dominant clique of highly ideological “analysts” pervasive within the realm of US national security and foreign policy media. This “clique” – whose primary objectives are to propagate policies of the states or corporations that created the institutions they work for – has extended into the majority of western “analysis” on the Middle East, not least in regard to the Syrian conflict. Indeed, in many cases the analysts and supposed experts covering Syria are employed by the very same dominant institutions (WINEP, et al), and sit in the very same offices, as the frauds in Greenwald’s aforementioned article.
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America’s Lead Iran Negotiator Misrepresents U.S. Policy (and International Law) to Congress

Wendy Sherman

Last month, while testifying to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Wendy Sherman  — Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs and the senior U.S. representative in the P5+1 nuclear talks with Iran — said, with reference to Iranians, “We know that deception is part of the DNA.” This statement goes beyond orientalist stereotyping; it is, in the most literal sense, racist. And it evidently was not a mere “slip of the tongue”: a former Obama administration senior official told us that Sherman has used such language before about Iranians.

If a senior U.S. government official made public statements about “deception” or some other negative character trait being “part of the DNA” of Jews, people of African origin, or most other ethnic groups, that official would — rightly — be fired or forced to resign, and would probably not be allowed back into “polite society” until after multiple groveling apologies and a long period of penance. 

But a senior U.S. official can make such a statement about Iranians — or almost certainly about any other ethnic group a majority of whose members are Muslim — and that’s just fine.
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Welcome to the United Police States of America, Where Police Shoot First & Ask Questions Later

Bearcat

No longer is it unusual to hear about incidents in which police shoot unarmed individuals first and ask questions later. What is unusual is our lack of outrage, the relative disinterest of our elected representatives, the media’s abysmal failure to ask questions and demand answers, and our growing acceptance of the status quo in the United Police States of America—a status quo in which “we the people” are powerless in the face of the heavy-handed tactics employed by the government and its armed agents.

However, as I document in my book A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State, it’s all part of the larger police state continuum. Thus, with each tragic shooting that is shrugged off or covered up, each piece of legislation passed that criminalizes otherwise legal activities, every surveillance drone that takes to the skies, every phone call, email or text that is spied on, and every transaction that is monitored, the government’s stranglehold over our lives grows stronger.

We have been silent about too many things for too long, not the least of which is the deadly tendency on the part of police to resort to lethal force. However, as Martin Luther King Jr. reminded us, “There comes a time when silence is betrayal.”
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Ramblin’ Man: John Kerry is a Figure of His Times (and That’s Not a Good Thing)

Kerry Flying

In the 1960s, John Kerry was distinctly a man of his times. Kennedy-esque, he went from Yale to Vietnam to fight in a lost war. When popular sentiments on that war shifted, he became one of the more poignant voices raised in protest by antiwar veterans. Now, skip past his time as a congressman, lieutenant governor of Massachusetts, senator, and presidential candidate (Swift Boated out of the race by the Republican right). Four decades after his Vietnam experience, he has achieved what will undoubtedly be the highest post of his lifetime: secretary of state. And he’s looked like a bumbler first class. Has he also been – once again – a true man of his time, of a moment in which American foreign policy, as well as its claim to global moral and diplomatic leadership, is in remarkable disarray?

In his nine months in office, Kerry’s State Department has one striking accomplishment to its name. It has achieved a new level of media savvy in promoting itself and plugging its highest official as a rock star, a world leader in his own right (complete with photo-ops and sophisticated image-making). In the meantime, the secretary of state has been stumbling and bloviating from one crisis to the next, one debacle to another, surrounded by the well-crafted imagery of diplomatic effectiveness. He and his errant statements have become global punch lines, but is he truly to blame for his performance?
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What Was Not Said About Iraq

October was Iraq’s deadliest month since April, 2008. In those five and a half years, not only has there been no improvement in Iraq’s security situation, but things have gotten much worse. More than 1,000 people were killed in Iraq last month, the vast majority of them civilians. Another 1,600 were wounded, as car bombs, shootings, and other attacks continue to maim and murder.
 
As post-“liberation” Iraq spirals steadily downward, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki was in Washington last week to plead for more assistance from the United States to help restore order to a society demolished by the 2003 US invasion.
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