War State America

Urging Peace Talks, Open Letter From Taliban Asks American People To Recognize Total Failure Of 16-Year War

  By Andrea Germanos Common Dreams (2/14/18) Two and half weeks after President Donald Trump rejected the idea of peace talks with Taliban, the militant group published an open letter to the American people urging them to pressure their government to end the occupation of Afghanistan, now in its 17th year, and engage in peace talks. The letter, published on the group’s website, denounces the Bush administration’s justification for launching the invasion, as well as the Trump administration, which “again ordered the perpetuation of the same illegitimate occupation and war against the Afghan people.” “No matter what title or justification is presented by…

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What A War With North Korea Would Look like

Crazy American warmonger. Vox (2/8/18) Five experts discuss what a war on the Korean peninsula would look like, how close we are to conflict, and the terrifying consequences. Read about the implications of war with North Korea on Vox.com: http://bit.ly/2nNK2ei With tensions between the US and North Korea escalating, we asked a group of experts including Senator Tammy Duckworth, about the likelihood and consequences of reigniting war on the Korean Peninsula. International sanctions have put pressure on the North Korean regime, but they have yet to capitulate to US demands to unilaterally disarm their nuclear armaments program. The Trump administration…


‘Directorate S’ — Steve Coll On The CIA & America’s Failed Secret Wars In Afghanistan & Pakistan

    Democracy Now! (2/8/18) The U.S. is intensifying its air war in Afghanistan as U.S. Central Command has announced it is shifting military resources from Iraq and Syria back to Afghanistan, where the United States has been fighting for over 16 years in the longest war in U.S. history. U.S. Air Force Major General James Hecker recently said Afghanistan has “become CENTCOM’s main effort.” The news comes after a particularly bloody period in Afghanistan. Despite the spiraling violence, President Trump recently ruled out negotiations with the Taliban during a meeting of members of the United Nations Security Council. We…


Drug War And A Phantom $500 Million: Pentagon Watchdog Calls Out Two Commands For Financial Malfeasance

  By Nick Turse TomDispatch (2/8/18) 2017 was a year of investigations for US Africa Command (AFRICOM). There was the investigation of the two-star commander of US Army Africa who allegedly sent racy texts to an enlisted man’s wife. There was the investigation into the alleged killing of a Special Forces soldier by Navy SEALs in Mali. There was the inquiry into reports of torture and killings on a remote base in Cameroon that was also used by American forces. There was the investigation of an alleged massacre of civilians by American special operators in Somalia. And don’t forget the inquiry into the killing of four…


After Flushing Away $850 Billion To $1 Trillion Failed Afghanistan War Continues, 16 Years & Counting

  On Point/WBUR (2/1/18) America’s war in Afghanistan has been raging for 16 years, and a new spate of violence could deal a blow to peace prospects there. Is there any way to win or get out? Highlight From This Show: ‘We’ve lost the war of the story in Afghanistan, and we can’t recover.’ “America has been at war in Afghanistan for 16 years – and the situation on the ground is a chaotic, deadly mess. Just in this week, a string of brazen insurgent attacks killed more than a hundred people. The Afghan capital is a war zone. Western aid groups are…


“The Devil’s Chessboard” — Interview With Author David Talbot On The Evil History Of The CIA

  “Writing is fighting.” By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (2/1/18) Author David Talbot’s “The Devil’s Chessboard” (2015) provides an intriguing and necessary “counternarrative” to understanding American history since World War II. Talbot’s in-depth reporting exposes the bloodied cutting edge of the darkest wing of the Wall Street oligarchy. It is the nepotism and incestuous American secret corporate state that has led the nation into a parade of bloody and completely failed wars, coups and international murder and torture. From Central America to Vietnam, to Africa and the Middle East and Afghanistan the trail of bloody American failure and…


WARNING: War Never Ends

“All wars are fought twice, the first time on the battlefield, the second time in memory . . . . Memory is haunted, not just by ghostly others but by the horrors we have done, seen, and condoned, or by the unspeakable things from which we have profited.” ― Viet Thanh Nguyen


‘Doomsday Machine’ Author Daniel Ellsberg Says Americans Have Escaped Self-Annihilation By Luck

PBS News Hour (12/21/17) The military analyst turned whistleblower who leaked the Pentagon Papers looks at the existential threat of America’s nuclear capacities in his new memoir, “The Doomsday Machine.” Very little has changed, says author Daniel Ellsberg, when it comes to what he calls the immoral and insane policies regarding nuclear weapons. William Brangham sits down with Ellsberg to discuss the looming danger. Link to 7-Minute Video (Commoner Call cartoon by Mark L. Taylor, 2017. Open source and free to use with link to www.thecommonercall.org )  


Daniel Ellsberg: Under Trump, The Threat Of Catastrophic War With North Korea Is Real & Growing

  By Lucy Feldman Time (1/18/18) The country is currently not the closest we’ve ever come to nuclear war, says Daniel Ellsberg, but we are still likely to face annihilation. And recent false alarms in Hawaii and Japan, erroneously alerting residents to incoming missiles, do nothing to quell the anxiety. “This was a little rehearsal,” Ellsberg says, “but not the first one, of being right on the edge of destruction.” The history-making whistleblower softens no blows, sugarcoats nothing. The 86 year-old went to battle with the U.S. government when he released the Pentagon Papers in 1971, walking away a free man after a…


The Duty To Disobey A Nuclear Launch Order & Other Military War Crimes

“Donald Trump can launch nuclear war as easily as his Twitter account.” (Editor’s Note: It would be lovely to believe that the United States War Department was a vigorous defender of the rules of war, but as we are seeing with it’s logistical support of the Saudia genocide in Yemen, that too often is not the case. There are many good and law abiding members of the military but can they stand up to the criminal commander-in-chief they answer to. Let us hope — and pray — so. If you know someone serving in the military, forward this story to…


Trump Boasts Of Selling “Call Of Duty” Video Game F-52 Jet Fighters To Norway

  By Alex Horton The Washington Post (1/11/18) President Trump caused a stir with his announcement that the United States had delivered F-52 fighter jets to Norway. Was it a secret advanced jet capable of beating its Russian counterparts? A ruse to fool intelligence analysts? Neither, it turns out. The “F-52” is a fictional jet only available to fly if you’re a gamer at the controls of “Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare.” Trump lauded the sale of the fictional planes alongside Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg at the White House on Wednesday, remarking on the very real and growing defense relationship with…



A Bad Deal: Swapping Out Democracy For A State Of Perpetual American Fear

‘Scairdy Cat Nation By Ray Suarez NPR (12/17/17) Historian Elaine Tyler May says that ever since the Cold War, fear has crept into American life and created apathy toward democracy. During that time, the government and media gave Americans constant warning about nuclear war and communism — adults were encouraged to build shelters, children practiced hiding under their desks to prepare for a possible nuclear attack. “Basically, the message was the bomb could drop at any time,” she says. “Each person was responsible for their own safety. There’s really nothing the government or the leaders of the country can do…


Bombs In Our Backyard: US Military Waging Active Chemical Warfare Against Americans

  By Abrahm Lustgarten ProPublica (12/18/17) IT WAS A SECRET wartime project, with a code name and an urgent mission: develop a more powerful bomb, one that could be mass produced in time to fend off the German forces ravaging Europe. It was 1940. British chemists toiled with a tripod-shaped bond of nitrogen and oxygen molecules linked by carbon and hydrogen they referred to as “research department explosive” — a substance one and a half times as powerful as TNT, but so delicate it had to be mixed with beeswax to be stable and pliable enough to fit into warheads. Even then,…


Story Behind The Famous Pentagon Papers: The Story Of A Whistleblower & A Young Reporter

Secrets, Lies and Leaks. The Center For Investigative Reporting & PRX (5/21/17) In this episode of Reveal, we’re using the full hour to take a deep look at the leaking and publication of the Pentagon Papers. At the center of the episode are two guys who have a knack for being in the room when history gets made: Robert J. Rosenthal and Daniel Ellsberg. For Rosenthal, the Pentagon Papers came calling when he was at the beginning of his journalism career. When Ellsberg leaked the Pentagon Papers to the press in 1971, he was turning his back on a long career close…


Pandora’s Box: An Ex-CIA Officer Speaks Out About The Explosive & Illegal Italian Rendition Case

“It’s really important that this entire story be told because this case is emblematic of a broader, larger political and policy issues.” – CIA whistleblower Sabrina De Sousa VICE News (11/3/15) Sabrina De Sousa is one of nearly two-dozen CIA officers who was prosecuted, convicted, and sentenced by Italian courts in absentia in 2009 for the role she allegedly played in the rendition of a radical cleric named Abu Omar. It was the first and only criminal prosecution that has ever taken place related to the CIA’s rendition program, which involved more than 100 suspected terrorists and the assistance of…


Daniel Ellsberg Reveals He Was A Nuclear War Planner, Warns Of Nuclear Winter & Global Starvation

  Democracy Now! (12/6/17) Could tension between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un bring us to the brink of nuclear war? As tensions ramp up, we discuss what nuclear war would look like with a former nuclear war planner and one of the world’s most famous whistleblowers—Daniel Ellsberg. In 1971, Ellsberg was a high-level defense analyst when he leaked a top-secret report on U.S. involvement in Vietnam to The New York Times and other publications, which came to be known as the Pentagon Papers. He played a key role in ending the Vietnam War. Few know Ellsberg was…


If Trump Wants Nuclear War, Virtually No One Can Stop Him

By Dennis Jett The Conversation (11/21/17) The general in charge of America’s nuclear arsenal, John Hyten, recently said he would resist carrying out an illegal order from the president to use those weapons. His comments echoed the ones made a few days earlier by one of his predecessors, retired Air Force Gen. Robert Kehler. At a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Nov. 14, Kehler asserted that nuclear operations officers would refuse to implement an unlawful order. While the generals are no doubt military men of integrity, my four decades of experience as a diplomat and scholar of American foreign policy suggest there is…


American Injustice: Innocent Man Restores Autobiographical Account Of Being Held & Tortured For 14 Years In Guantanamo

  On The Media (11/3/17) When Mohamedou Ould Slahi was released from Guantanamo Bay in 2016, after 14 years behind bars, he was finally able to read Guantanamo Diary, the bestselling book he had written while imprisoned. And for the first time, he saw the thousands of black bars the FBI had placed over much of his account of capture, torture, and interrogation. This year, Slahi and his original editor, writer and activist Larry Siems, set to work unredacting his work. Bob speaks with Siems about their efforts to finally release the full Guantanamo Diary.  Link to Story and 8-Minute Audio ***** Resilience in Guantanamo: More Honorable Than The Govt. That…


50 Years Of Ongoing Atrocities & Impunity: The Hidden US War In Colombia You Never Hear Of

  Approximately 40 mass killers and torturers spirited out of Columbia by CIA and given refuge in United States. One was known as the “Drill” for his penchant for molesting girls as young as 9 years old. Empire Files (10/4/17) Colombia and Venezuela: two neighboring countries that receive extremely different treatment by the US Empire and the mass media. While Colombia is known for one of the worst human rights records in the world, it remains a top recipient of US military aid and enjoys uncritical press coverage in Western media. To explain the 50+ year history of US intervention…


More US Caused War & Misery: War Dept. Is Conducting Secret Missions All Over Africa

Pentagon photo. By Nick Turse Vice News (10/24/17) U.S. troops are now conducting 3,500 exercises, programs, and engagements per year, an average of nearly 10 missions per day, on the African continent, according to the U.S. military’s top commander for Africa, General Thomas Waldhauser. The latest numbers, which the Pentagon confirmed to VICE News, represent a dramatic increase in U.S. military activity throughout Africa in the past decade, and the latest signal of America’s deepening and complicated ties on the continent. With the White House and the Pentagon facing questions about an Oct. 4 ambush in Niger in which four…


The Empire Comes Home: The Militarization Of American Cities Leads To Shredding Of Rights

  By Danny Sjursen TomDispach (10/12/17) “This… thing, [the War on Drugs] this ain’t police work… I mean, you call something a war and pretty soon everybody gonna be running around acting like warriors… running around on a damn crusade, storming corners, slapping on cuffs, racking up body counts… pretty soon, damn near everybody on every corner is your f**king enemy. And soon the neighborhood that you’re supposed to be policing, that’s just occupied territory.” — Major “Bunny” Colvin, season three of HBO’s The Wire I can remember both so well. 2006: my first raid in South Baghdad. 2014: watching on YouTube…


The Growing Domestic Terror Of Federal Anti-Terrorism Programs

  Guess Why: The Airport Bomber Arrested Last Week That You Never Heard About In The Mass Media By Shaun King The Intercept (10/11/12) It’s strange how some things really catch on and go viral and others don’t. These days, nothing quite makes a story blow up — no pun intended — like the president’s fixation with it. That’s why it’s so peculiar that what sure looks like an attempted terrorist attack was narrowly thwarted at an American airport this past Friday without so much as a peep from Donald Trump about it. No tweets. No nicknames for the alleged…


In Our Name: Inside The CIA’s Black Site Torture Chambers

  By Larry Siems The Guardian There were 20 cells inside the prison, each a stand-alone concrete box. In 16, prisoners were shackled to a metal ring in the wall. In four, designed for sleep deprivation, they stood chained by the wrists to an overhead bar. Those in the regular cells had a plastic bucket; those in sleep deprivation wore diapers. When diapers weren’t available, guards crafted substitutes with duct tape, or prisoners were chained naked in their cells. The cellblock was unheated, pitch black day and night, with music blaring around the clock. “The atmosphere was very good,” John…


How We Learned Not To Care: Sixteen Years Of Autopilot Wars, But Who The Hell Is Counting?

  By Andrew Bacevich TomDispatch (10/5/17) Consider, if you will, these two indisputable facts.  First, the United States is today more or less permanently engaged in hostilities in not one faraway place, but at least seven.  Second, the vast majority of the American people could not care less. Nor can it be said that we don’t care because we don’t know.  True, government authorities withhold certain aspects of ongoing military operations or release only details that they find convenient.  Yet information describing what U.S. forces are doing (and where) is readily available, even if buried in recent months by barrages of…


The Man Who Knew Too Much: Heroic Whistleblower Thomas Drake Has Some Blunt News For Americans

“I shiver with the conversations I have had with people from the 1930’s. They talk about the siren call of authority and order … everything seemed normal…” Real News Network (8/7/15) On Reality Asserts Itself, Mr. Drake says that in the name of national security we are eating out the very heart of democracy; what will be left will be a garrison state. Thomas Andrews Drake (born 1957) is a former senior official of the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA), decorated United States Air Force and United States Navy veteran, computer software expert, linguist, management and leadership specialist, and whistleblower. In…


There Are Many Kinds Of American Violence – Gun Violence Is But A Symptom

    By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (10/8/17) A week out from the Las Vegas massacre and the post mass shooting ritual is well underway. Flags are once again flapping limply at half-mast. Sidewalk memorials have sprung up with the requisite teddy bears, heart-shaped balloons, flickering candles and heartfelt messages on cards and posters. Bouquets of flowers pile up on sidewalks and decorated white crosses dot the cityscape. Politicians, who could actually do something to trim and manage the domestic arsenal a bit, mouth their cynically empty and oh-so-tiring “thoughts and prayers” rap and will in the next week…


Guns & Dirty Money – Why We’ll Do Absolutely Nothing New After The Las Vegas Shooting

  By Steven Singer Gadflyonthewall.wordpress.com / Common Dreams (10/2/17) Wake up, America. We are not the land of the brave or the home of the free. We are the land of the gun and the home of the free market. Stephen Paddock’s killing spree last night in Las Vegas will not change anything – except the bottom line for numerous gun manufacturers. Ca-ching, people! Scores of American companies are going to clean up over this! That’s what happens every time we get a high profile mass shooting. Not new gun regulation. Not additional services for the mentally ill. Not stricter guidelines against fake news…


Burned: Choosing Quagmire – The Essential Context Of Understanding Vietnam

  By Robert Freeman Common Dreams (9/24/17) Since the day it ended, in 1975, there have been efforts to rehabilitate the Vietnam War, to make it acceptable, even honorable. After all, there were so many sides to the story, weren’t there? It was so complex, so nuancical. There was real heroism among the troops. Of course, all of this is true, but it’s true of every war so it doesn’t redeem any war. The Vietnam War is beyond redemption and must be remembered and condemned for the calamity that it was. The Vietnam War was “one of the greatest American…


Media Outlets That Scolded Sanders Over Deficits Uniformly Silent On Massive $700B War Dept. Handout

  (Editor’s Note: Now keep in mind, when black ops, intel and veterans services are added, the US is burning over a $1 trillion a year for the War Department. – Mark L. Taylor) By Adam Johnson Fairness & Accuracy in Media (9/21/17) Where did all the concern over deficits go? After two years of the media lamenting, worrying and feigning outrage over the cost of Bernie Sanders’ two big-budget items—free college and single-payer healthcare—the same outlets are uniformly silent, days after the largest military budget increase in history. Monday, the Senate voted to increase military spending by a whopping $81 billion, from $619 billion to $700…


A ‘Commoner’ Writes: Why Are We Being Obedient To The Man In The White Coat?

  In the 1960’s Yale University psychology Professor Stanley Milgram studied obedience. In the aftermath of the Nazi regime in which millions of Germans participated in horrible acts the issue of obedience was of special interest and concern. Milgrim wanted to answer the question: “Could it be that [Adolph] Eichmann and his million accomplices in the Holocaust were just following orders? Could we call them all accomplices?” An experiment was created where a volunteer labeled a ‘teacher’ shocked a ‘student’ if the student answered a question incorrectly. A man in a white coat over saw the experiment and guided the ‘teacher’…


Mark Shields: When The Chickenhawks Flock They Are Clucking About Only Putting Your Kid At Risk

  “It is just a helluva a lot easier to talk tough when it isn’t your son, or your daughter who’s in harms way.”   By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (8/3/17) In doing some other research I stumbled across a few comments by PBS commentator Mark Shields during a conversation with David Brooks of the New York Times and moderator Jeff Greenfield during the midst of the 2016 campaign that are worth noting. Shields is one of the old lions of the media and his comments at the very tail end of the broadcast are well worth considering…


What Went Wrong With The F-35, Lockheed Martin’s Joint Strike Fighter?

Problem plagued F-35 boondoggle. (Defense Dept. photo.) By Michael P. Hughes The Conversation (6/13/17) The F-35 was billed as a fighter jet that could do almost everything the U.S. military desired, serving the Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy – and even Britain’s Royal Air Force and Royal Navy – all in one aircraft design. It’s supposed to replace and improve upon several current – and aging – aircraft types with widely different missions. It’s marketed as a cost-effective, powerful multi-role fighter airplane significantly better than anything potential adversaries could build in the next two decades. But it’s turned out to be none of those…


Fighting The Wrong Enemy: How Americans Are Being Manipulated To Hate Their Muslim Neighbors

By Ramzy Baroud Middle East Monitor (7/11/17) Two officers sought me from within a crowd at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. They seemed to know who I was. They asked me to follow them, and I obliged. Being of Arab background, often renders one’s citizenship almost irrelevant. In a back room, where other foreigners, mainly Muslims, were holed for ‘added security’, I was asked numerous questions about my politics, ideas, writing, children, friends and my late Palestinian parents. Meanwhile, an officer took my bag and all of my papers, including receipts, business cards, and more. I did not protest. I am…



Back At It Again: U.S. Tied To Torture In Network Of Secret Yemen Prisons

  Democracy Now! (6/22/17) Human Rights Watch and the Associated Press have just published explosive new reports on a secret network of prisons in southern Yemen run by the United Arab Emirates and Yemeni forces. Dozens of people, including children, have been “arbitrarily detained, forcibly disappeared, tortured, and abused” in these prisons, according to Human Rights Watch. American forces reportedly participated in interrogations of detainees who were abused, a potential violation of international law. For more, we speak to Kristine Beckerle of Human Rights Watch. GUESTS: Kristine Beckerle Yemen and UAE researcher for Human Rights Watch. Link to Story and 10-Minute Video *****…


Crime Against Humanity: Border Patrol Launches Military-Style Raid On Camp Delivering Medical Aid To Refugees Near US/Mexico Border

By Paul Gottinger Reader Supported News (6/16/17) On Thursday evening, 30 armed US Border Patrol agents, 15 trucks, 2 ATVs, and a helicopter were used to raid a humanitarian aid facility delivering medical treatment to refugees a few miles north of the Mexican border. Border Patrol operations ended in the arrest of four people receiving medical attention in temperatures that soared to 105° Fahrenheit. The camp, which is run by the Unitarian Universalist organization No More Deaths, stated that the raid was “an unprecedented show of force” and follows a pattern of increased surveillance of their humanitarian aid work since…


America’s Reign Of Terror: A Nation Reaps What It Sows

  By John W. Whitehead Rutherford Institute (5/16/17) “The means of defense against foreign danger have been always the instruments of tyranny at home.” ― James Madison Who designed the malware worm that is now wreaking havoc on tens of thousands of computers internationally by hackers demanding a king’s ransom? The U.S. government. Who is the biggest black market buyer and stockpiler of cyberweapons (weaponized malware that can be used to hack into computer systems, spy on citizens, and destabilize vast computer networks)? The U.S. government. What country has one the deadliest arsenals of weapons of mass destruction? The U.S….


VIDEO: How Best To Understand – And Resist – Trump’s Shock Doctrine

  By Naomi Klein The Intercept (6/13/17) Shock. It’s a word that has come up a lot since November— for obvious reasons. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about shock. Ten years ago, I published “The Shock Doctrine,” an investigation that spanned four decades from Pinochet’s U.S.-backed coup in 1970s Chile to Hurricane Katrina in 2005. I noticed a brutal and recurring tactic by right wing governments. After a shocking event – a war, coup, terrorist attack, market crash or natural disaster – exploit the public’s disorientation. Suspend democracy.  Push through radical “free market” policies that enrich the 1…


A Must-Read: Naomi Klein Lays Out Why Things Are So Chaotic & What We Must Do To Counter Trump’s Shock Doctrine

  By Naomi Klein Guardian UK (6/10/17) Shock. It’s a word that has come up again and again since Donald Trump was elected in November 2016 – to describe the poll-defying election results, to describe the emotional state of many people watching his ascent to power, and to describe his blitzkrieg approach to policymaking. A “shock to the system” is precisely how his adviser Kellyanne Conway has repeatedly described the new era. For almost two decades now, I’ve been studying large-scale shocks to societies: how they happen, how they are exploited by politicians and corporations, and how they are even…