War State America

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…


Patriotic Whistleblowers Like Reality Winner Play Critical Role In Keeping Govt. Accountable

    By Jesselyn Radack ExposeFacts.org (6/9/17) Reality Winner, the 25-year-old Air Force veteran and NSA contractor charged with mailing classified material to a news outlet, is a classic whistleblower. She hasn’t claimed that mantle, which is understandable given America’s love-hate relationship with whistleblowers. They are alternately celebrated and denounced, depending on who has the microphone and who has the power. A whistleblower is a current or former employee who reveals what she reasonably believes evidences fraud, waste, abuse, illegality, or a danger to public health and safety. The individual can disclose their concerns to their superiors, Congress, an interest…


Orwell On The Politics Of Language

“Defenceless villages are bombarded from the air, the inhabitants driven out into the countryside, the cattle machine-gunned, the huts set on fire with incendiary bullets: this is called pacification. Millions of peasants are robbed of their farms and sent trudging along the roads with no more than they can carry: this is called transfer of population or rectification of frontiers. People are imprisoned for years without trial, or shot in the back of the neck or sent to die of scurvy in Arctic lumber camps: this is called elimination of unreliable elements.” – George Orwell, Politics and the English Language”, 1945   (Commoner Call cartoon by Mark…


Trump Moving To Finalize Bipartisan Effort To Bury America’s Torture History

American torture victim and symbol of modern America. By Andrea Germanos Common Dreams (6/2/17) The Trump administration is moving to keep the lengthy Senate report on the CIA’s torture and detention program forever from the public eye, the New York Times first reported Friday. That’s because the administration is returning to Congress copies of the over 6,000-page document, following through on requests made by Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), the Senate Intelligence Committee’s current chairman. Laws requiring government records to eventually be made public don’t apply to congressional documents. The Times, citing multiple congressional officials, writes that the “CIA, the office of…


Bringing The Wars Home: Pipeline Company Hired Military Contractors To Suppress Native Uprising

By Lauren McCauley Common Dreams (5/27/17) The years-long, Indigenous-led fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) briefly captured the nation’s attention last fall as images of peaceful resisters being sprayed with water canons and surrounded by police in tanks and other military-grade equipment were spread widely, fueling global outrage and a fierce protest movement against the oil pipeline. Now that the pipeline is operational and already leaking, internal documents obtained by The Intercept and reported on Saturday reveal the deep collusion between local police forces, the pipeline company, and defense contractors as they executed “military-style counterterrorism measures” to suppress the…


Memorial Day Thought – In A Militarized State The First Thing To Be Conquered Is The Language

“Traditional slang terms for a soldier – GI, dogface, ground-pounder, grunt – used to be humorous and mildly self-deprecating designations connoting a citizen who happened to be uniform performing an onerous task. Now the preferred term is “warrior,” a term not often heard before in American history in reference to our soldiers. In tribal societies warriors as members of a caste, like priests and aristocrats, and the term does not seem fitting in a constitutional republic. I am still unsure whether “warrior” is a popular coinage that emerged on its own or whether Pentagon public relations operatives inserted it into…


See How The War Department Is Viewing The Wars Of The Future (Both Abroad & At Home)

  By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (5/29/17) While the legislative, executive and judicial branches of the government are mired in the paralysis of corporate corruption and empty rhetoric, the Pentagon – the seat of power of the never ending US War Department – is moving steadily ahead, actively planning for the wars of the future – which it describes in a bluntly stunning training film – that will be fought in sprawling megacities wracked with inequality, religious and ethnic conflict, effects of climate change, resource shortages and spreading despair. The Intercept has published the War Department video detailing what…


Powerful Interview: Author Tom Ricks Brings The Lessons Of Churchill & Orwell Onto Today’s Stage

  By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (5/25/17) Former Washington Post Pentagon reporter Tom Ricks has been a long and careful observer of the American military machine. In the course of that work he has covered the four generals – James Mattis, secretary of defense; John Kelly, secretary of Homeland Security, H.R. McMaster, national security adviser and Michael Flynn, the national security adviser – who have been at the heart of much of the drama and scandal of the bumbling Trump administration. He has interviewed all four and, in fact was in a conference with several other journalists in Michael…


Civilians Killed By US In Borderless Global ‘War on Terror’ Largely Ignored

TheCommonerCall.org   By Jon Queally Common Dreams (5/23/17) Contradicting a version of events presented by the U.S. military and reported widely by the corporate press, a human rights group and a journalist in Yemen are citing witnesses who said a raid by U.S. Navy SEALs on Monday night killed multiple innocent civilians and not just “Al Qaeda militants” as the Pentagon claimed. Reprieve, a UK-based human rights group, cited witnesses from the village of Al-Jubah in Marib province, where the raid took place, and offered the names of five civilians killed as Nasser Ali Mahdi Al-Adhal; Al-Ghader Saleh Salem Al-Adhal; Saleh…


American Blood Lust On The Boil

  By Dennis Brault The Commoner Call America’s blood lust is boiling. If Trump keeps dropping big bombs and holding press conferences showing his tough authoritarian side, his favorability ratings will top 50% within the next few weeks. Ask yourself if their propaganda is working? Do you believe Assad gassed innocent civilians? If you do, based on what evidence? Do you believe that Trump now loves NATO and dislikes Putin? Again, based on what evidence? Is all this bombing and tough war talk just another distraction from the fact that we have no evidence that Assad gassed people? A distraction from…


Really Now, Who Among Us Has Not Misplaced An Aircraft Carrier?

By Charles Pierce Esquire (4/19/17) The newest scene in our national tragicomedy. OK, somebody needs to explain how these things happen. From the NYT: “The problem was, the carrier, the Carl Vinson, and the four other warships in its strike force were at that very moment sailing in the opposite direction, to take part in joint exercises with the Australian Navy in the Indian Ocean, 3,500 miles southwest of the Korean Peninsula. White House officials said on Tuesday they were relying on guidance from the Defense Department. Officials there described a glitch-ridden sequence of events, from a premature announcement of…


Speaking Of War Criminals: While Syria May Well Have Used Poison Gas, Banned US Cluster Bombs Murder & Maim Children In Yemen

TheCommonerCall.org In Your Name And On Your Dime Brasscheck TV (4/11/17) Apparently, chaos in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria is not enough. The US is arming Saudi Arabia which is attacking civilian areas…with cluster bombs. A weapon so heinous it’s banned by 116 countries. Here are the countries that still use cluster bombs and will not sign the international treaty to ban them: North Korea Israel Russia Iran China Saudi Arabia The United States Why is our country on a list of scumbag governments like this? Link to 2+-Minute Video


Chris Hedges: Ripping The Lid Off Pandora’s Box Of War

“Where is the outrage about the deaths of the thousands of other children, including those we killed recently in Mosul when a March 17 coalition airstrike took the lives of as many as 200 civilians? …Why do we lament these deaths yet bar Syrian war refugees from entering the United States?” By Chris Hedges Truthdig (4/7/17) War opens a Pandora’s box of evils that once unleashed are beyond anyone’s control. The invasion of Afghanistan set out to defeat al-Qaida, and nearly 16 years later, we are embroiled in a losing fight with the Taliban. We believed we could invade Iraq…


Now More Than Ever: The Lessons Of George Orwell’s ‘1984’

  Empire Files (2/1/17) Their are very few literary masterpieces that can transcend generations. There are even fewer that serve as a blueprint for the future. One of those books is 1984, one of the most prolific novels of our time. The author was born Eric Arthur Blair, but was probably most know by his pen name, George Orwell. George Orwell was one of the greatest visionaries of the twentieth century who identified himself as a democratic socialist. Under the Soviet Union he was forced to flee under communism suppression of socialist dissidents. War is Peace Slavery is Freedom Ignorance…


Orwell’s Newspeak: Control The Language, Control The Society

“Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thought-crime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it. Every concept that can ever be needed will be expressed by eactly one word, with its meaning rigidly defined and all its subsidiary meanings rubbed out and forgotten. . . . The process will still be continuing long after you and I are dead. “Every year fewer and fewer words, and the range of consciousness always a little smaller. Even now, of course, there’s…


The Multibillion-Dollar US Spy Agency You’ve Never Heard Of

  By James Bamford Foreign Policy (3/20/17) n a heavily protected military base some 15 miles south of Washington, D.C., sits the massive headquarters of a spy agency few know exists. Even Barack Obama, five months into his presidency, seemed not to have recognized its name. While shaking hands at a Five Guys hamburger restaurant in Washington in May 2009, he asked a customer seated at a table about his job. “What do you [do]?” the president inquired. “I work at NGA, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency,” the man answered. Obama appeared dumbfounded. “So, explain to me exactly what this National Geospatial…”…


Fascism Will Be On Our Doorstep In One Year If We Don’t Act Immediately!

  By Steven Rosenfeld AlterNet (3/7/17) How close is President Donald Trump to following the path blazed by last century’s tyrants? Could American democracy be replaced with totalitarian rule? There’s enough resemblance that Yale historian Timothy Snyder, who studies fascist and communist regime change and totalitarian rule, has written a book warning about the threat and offering lessons for resistance and survival. The author of On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century talked to AlterNet’s Steven Rosenfeld. Steven Rosenfeld: Three weeks ago, you said that the country has perhaps a year ‘to defend American democracy.’ You said what happens in the…


Oblivious: George Bush Paints The Veterans Whose Lives He Needlessly Shattered

  By Abbey Zimet Common Dreams (3/7/17) In what feels like a surreal stab at redemption, George Bush is back and being feted for his newest, guileless, bloodstained and evidently entirely unironic painting project: A book and exhibit of his Forrest-Gumpish portraits of 98 men and women blown apart, broken down, rendered limbless and otherwise shattered by his immoral, inept wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The newly released Portraits of Courage: A Commander in Chief’s Tribute to America’s Warriors  consists of 66 single images  and a group mural of physically and/or mentally wounded veterans from all the Armed Forces. Each…


Commoner Reader Writes: Common Sense Understanding Of Military Build-up

TheCommonerCall.org All the whining about military spending is not going to change things because we have the wrong system of money [When The Whole World Is A Nail: Trump’s Vision Of A Hyper-Militarized America].  David Graeber in his book “Debt: The First 5,000 Years” tells us that when the authoritarian issues the currency and demands that back as taxes then it is really easy to get The People roped into war mongering by simply issuing the lion’s share of the currency for the military.  The People must then ‘do business’ with the military in order to get the currency needed…


When The Whole World Is A Nail: Trump’s Vision Of A Hyper-Militarized America

If all the men around President Trump are hammers, the temptation will be to treat everything as if it were a nail.   By William Hartung TomDispatch (2/2/17) At over $600 billion a year and counting, the Pentagon already receives significantly more than its fair share of federal funds.  If President Donald Trump has his way, though, that will prove a sum for pikers and misers.  He and his team are now promising that spending on defense and homeland security will increase dramatically in the years to come, even as domestic programs are slashed and entire civilian agencies shuttered. The…