Public outcry is growing in Ukraine over the amount of money spent on the construction of what was supposed to be a ‘wall’ at the border between Ukraine and Russia, presented at the time by ex-PM Yatsenyuk as no less than ‘The European Rampart’; it turned out to be a metal fence, which “wouldn’t even stop a rabbit.”
One of Ukraine’s most widely discussed and costly projects from the times of the former Prime Minister Yatsenyuk – a giant wall on the border with Russia dubbed no less than ‘The European Rampart’ turns out to be a figment of our collective imagination.
‘The Wall’, which was once claimed to become an “arrangement of the Eastern border of Europe,” is actually a metal fence which “wouldn’t even stop a rabbit,” and by all accounts, the money that was chanelled into the grand scheme has been embezzled.
Last week the Ukrainian media reported that the country’s Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office (SAP) opened a criminal case over the embezzlement of funds allocated for the implementation of the proposed barrier, which was supposed to act as a layered defense system on the border with Russia.
SAP’s head, Nazar Golodnitsky, told journalists that prosecutors will go to the site “to look, to describe and to examine.”
Meanwhile the deputies of the Verkhovnaya Rada, the country’s parliament, have already visited the site of the wall and posted their impressions on their Facebook pages.
Deputy Borislav Bereza called it a “garden wire netting” which “wouldn’t even stop a rabbit.”
“My colleague Elena Sotnyk has gone to have a look at the notorious Wall which Yatsenyuk has been pouring millions of hryvnas into,” the deputy wrote at this Facebook page.
“And so what do we see now? There is no wall, no money and no Yatsenyuk. However there is Yatsenyuk running around Washington in his pink t-shirt.”
“And who is going to answer for this “creativity” which under the wartime laws could be considered a raid, undermining of state security and large-scale money embezzlement,” he further wondered.
Elena Sotnyk also posted her comments where she called it a “pit at the cost of 4 billion hryvnas ($158 mln).
“Let me remind you that we are talking about ‘The European Rampartl’ – Yatsenyuk’s “strategic fortification project,” which he used for self-promotion and PR for almost a year. The project is still claimed to be under construction and the budget money is still being allocated to this epic wall,” she wrote on her Facebook page.
Public officials and experts were outraged by the construction cost.
According to deputy Bereza, Yatsenyuk’s government has already spent over 1 billion hryvnas ($39 mln), while Sotnyk’s estimates suggest it was 4 billion hryvnas ($158 mln).
The project has been strongly criticized by experts who explained that such a wall couldn’t possibly deter the hypothetic assault of a regular army. Regular citizens have also posted pictures online of flooded pits and criss-crossed fences.
Ukrainian political analyst, director of the Institute of Political Management and Analysis Ruslan Bortnik suggested that the primary purpose of the project was to calm down the Ukrainians in the midst of the military hysteria when everyone was afraid of “Russian intervention.”
And already during the construction of the fence, public officials have invented corruption schemes, he told Russian online newspaper Vzglyad.
Director of the Center for Eurasian Studies Vladimir Kornilov suggested that the project was an exceptional PR stunt which went very well.
“Ukrainian public servants and foreign politicians have actively taken pictures on the background of dug-out pits, simulated some activity, appropriated the allocated grants and budget money and left happily,” he told the website.
He also recalled that even though the ‘Project Wall’ was initially associated with the Yatsenyuk’s government, Geoffrey R. Pyatt, former US Ambassador to Ukraine who has recently left it for Greece, has also regarded it as his own achievement.
“He has only just left, and already the Ukrainian authorities have begun arresting public servants for the unfinished construction of the wall,” Kornilov said.
Back in 2014 then-Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk announced that he would fence the country’s 2,000 kilometer border with Russia, claiming that it would prevent Russian military and paramilitary personnel from infiltrating the nation’s territory.
Kiev then said it needed more than $500 million and four years to complete its wall.
“The ‘European Rampart’, and namely its construction and equipping the state borders with Russia, will be completed. This project should be finished within four years,” Yatsenyuk said at the time.
The prime minister stated that Ukraine was establishing a “separate state agency to support the border,” adding that the project will cost an estimated 8 billion hryvnas [about $510 million].
Yatsenyuk had faced a great deal of scrutiny for the wall’s lack of progress and although he has branded the project the “European Rampart” it is more widely known by its ironic name “the Great Wall of Ukraine.”
© Photo: Borislav Bereza facebook
Russian prosecutors have recognized the International Republican Institute NGO headed by US Senator John McCain as an undesirable organization, banning the group’s operations in the country and forbidding Russian organizations and citizens from cooperating with it.
“After studying the received files [describing the activities of the International Republican Institute], the Prosecutor General’s Office has made the decision to recognize it as an undesirable group on the territory of the Russian Federation,” reads an official statement from prosecutors, released on Thursday.
Another US organization, the Media Development Investment Fund, was also recognized as undesirable.
Prosecutors added that they had established that the work of the two groups posed a threat to the foundations of Russia’s constitutional order and state security, but gave no further details.
The International Republican Institute was founded in 1983 with the declared goal of the promotion of democracy worldwide through helping political parties in foreign countries.
Since 1993 the institute has been headed by John McCain – a Republican senator for Arizona known for his numerous anti-Russian initiatives and statements.
In early 2015 Russia reportedly included McCain in the list of people subject to personal sanctions, including an entry ban and assets freeze, introduced in response to a similar measures imposed by the United States against Russian officials in 2014.
The Russian Law on Undesirable Foreign Organizations came into force in late May 2015. The act requires the Prosecutor General’s Office and the Foreign Ministry to make an official list of undesirable foreign groups and outlaw their activities. Once a group is recognized as undesirable, all its assets in Russia must be frozen, its offices closed and the distribution of its information materials banned. If the ban is violated, both the personnel of the outlawed group and any Russian citizens who cooperate with it face heavy fines or even prison terms in the event of repeated or aggravated offenses.
About a month after the law came into force, Russia’s upper house released a list of foreign organizations it believed should come under the new restrictions. The list consisted of 12 entries, including such groups as the National Democratic Institute, the US National Endowment for Democracy and the Open Society Institute also known as the Soros Foundation.
Several of these groups have already been put on the list of undesirables, including the US National Endowment for Democracy, George Soros’s Open Society Institute and the Open Society Institute Assistance Foundation, the US-Russia Foundation for Economic Advancement and the Rule of Law (USRF), and the US National Democratic Institute – chaired by former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.
By Robert Fantina | Aletho News | August 17, 2016
In 2015, after much ado, and with great, international fanfare, the United States and 5 other nations (China, France, Russia, Great Britain and Germany) entered into an agreement with Iran, regulating that country’s nuclear activities. This was not an easy sell to the U.S. Congress, which, apparently, exists to serve Israel first, and U.S. citizens only after Israel’s needs have been satisfied.
A group of 47 senators succeeded in humiliating the nation by sending a letter to Mohammad Javad Zarif, the Iranian Foreign Minister, purportedly explaining U.S. law.
Mr. Zarif, a U.S. constitutional expert, responded by schooling them.
Then, none other than Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed Congress, telling its members, yet again, for the umpteenth time in the last ten years, that Iran was only ‘months away’ from having a nuclear weapon.
Democratic members of Congress particularly beholden to Israel but not wanting to embarrass a Democratic president, danced to a particularly awkward tune as they waited to see if the agreement had enough votes in the Senate to pass. Once it was apparent that the agreement would be approved by a Congressional majority, they were at liberty to express their opposition to it, knowing that doing so would please their Israeli masters, and not impact the vote, thus embarrassing President Barack Obama.
Now, the bizarre reasoning behind why Iran, a nation that hasn’t invaded another country in decades, should be forbidden from developing nuclear weapons, when Israel, a brutal, apartheid regime with more blood on its hands than a doctor after a botched surgery, can, is a topic for another essay. Our purpose today is to examine the agreement that was made with Iran, what concessions were made on each side, and how each is following through.
Iran, which never claimed it had the development of nuclear weapons as its goal, agreed to major reductions in its nuclear development program. It also agreed to allowing an international monitoring team to verify compliance. In return, the U.S. agreed to lift decades-old sanctions that, like most of U.S. sanctions, did little to impact the government, but caused untold suffering among the Iranian population.
It seems, however, that Iran overlooked an important aspect in its negotiations with the U.S. While there is a mechanism in place to monitor Iranian compliance with the agreement, no such measures exist to monitor U.S. compliance.
The U.S., in its usual hypocritical way, has released the obligation of European banks to avoid doing business with Iran, yet maintains some sanctions, thus effectively preventing the banks from conducting any business with that country. As reported by CNN Money in May of this year, “HSBC, Standard Chartered and France’s BNP Paribas have all been in trouble before — and paid billions in fines — for dealing with Iran while U.S. sanctions were in place. So while they may see attractive commercial opportunities in the country of about 80 million people, they’re treading very carefully because some sanctions still linger, including a ban on conducting transactions with Iran in U.S. dollars.”
So while the U.S. adheres to the letter of the law, it violates the spirit of it, and as a result, Iran is getting next to nothing for the concessions it made. “We hold the US responsible for all violations [of the nuclear agreement]. The US must accept responsibility for reneging on its promises on the international level,” Alaeddin Boroujerd, Chairman of the Iranian Parliament’s Committee on National Security and Foreign Policy, stated on August 1. He further emphasized that the U.S., despite Iran’s adherence to the terms of the agreement, continued to damage “Iran’s economic relations with other countries.”
Now, isn’t the U.S. the land of the free and the home of the brave? Does it not proclaim its moral superiority around the globe, even as it bombs innocent men, women and children? Is its word not worth gold?
The U.S. does not want Iran to have nuclear weapons, because doing so would provide an equal, yet opposing, force to Israel in the Middle East. Current Democratic candidate, the corrupt former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, has made support for Israel a cornerstone of her campaign. She has stated that the best way to serve Israel is to topple the government of Syrian president Bashar Assad. So if U.S. government officials will go so far as to overthrow foreign governments (please see Ecuador, Guatemala, Brazil, Bolivia (twice), Portugal, Nicaragua, etc.), with all the killing, mass arrests and oppression that accompanies each coup, certainly crippling the economy of one of Israel’s enemies, and violating its word in order to do so, is a trivial matter by comparison.
When one party to any contract violates the terms of that contract, the other party is no longer bound by it. So when Iran decides that it need not slow its nuclear program, because the U.S. hasn’t respected its side of the agreement, we will all watch U.S. members of Congress proclaiming “I told you so! Those Iranians can’t be trusted!’, when, in fact, it is the U.S. that can’t be trusted. But the corporate-owned media will only report on what it will see as Iran’s violations of the agreement, without mentioning that the U.S. violated it first.
U.S. citizens will gasp in horror at the perfidy of Iran; after all, most Iranians are Muslim, and as the news media either hints at, or boldly proclaims, all Muslims are terrorists. And the way will be open for another U.S. imperial misadventure, something to match the tragedy of Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam or the countless other places where the U.S. has disastrously and illegally intervened. Countless innocent people will suffer and die, the Middle East will be further destabilized, and military contractors’ profits soar. It will be business as usual in the mighty, corrupt U.S.A.
The bulk of George Soros’ documents hacked and published on DC Leaks website shed light on the magnates’ meddling into Ukrainian affairs and shaping public opinion in Western Europe regarding the February coup of 2014 in Kiev through a series of projects and media campaigns.
DC Leaks’ release of almost 2,576 files from groups run by US billionaire George Soros, has exposed the magnate’s involvement in Ukraine’s Euromaidan affairs as well as manipulation of public opinion in Western and Southern Europe in order to “legalize” the February 2014 coup in Kiev.
“The emergence of a New Ukraine carries with it the opportunity to reinvigorate the European project,” read a 2015 document by the Open Society Initiative for Europe (OSIFE) entitled “The Ukraine debate in Western Europe.”
“However, this is complicated by the reluctance of some EU actors to accept the Maidan revolution as democratic and the Ukrainian government as legitimate. These actors have their own agendas — related to geopolitical and economic considerations with Russia — and will therefore be difficult to influence,” the OSIFE document underscored, adding that “for other groups and individuals, on the political left and across various social movements, one can detect confusion regarding the state of affairs in Ukraine.”
OSIFE specified that this “second group” comprised key opinion-makers, a number of traditional mainstream players, emerging political parties — especially in Southern Europe — such as M5S in Italy, Podemos in Spain and Syriza in Greece, and “a wide range of liberal NGOs in western Europe.”
In order to tackle the “problem,” the organization offered to kick off a series of initiatives aimed at shaping public opinion in the West regarding the Ukrainian affairs.
The document revealed that OSIFE pursued three major objectives.
First, it sought to “stimulate debate and doubt in those democratic left movements, parties and audiences of Western Europe where a negative perception of the transformation of Ukraine is hegemonic, or very preponderant.”
Second, it wanted to “discredit the idea that the independence and integrity of Ukraine is an ideological cause of the Right.”
Third, OSIFE intended to “influence the way information about Ukraine is heard and perceived in Southern Europe, especially among the group of doubters.”
The issue was dramatically complicated by the fact that the major driving forces of the so-called “Euromaidan Revolution” of February 2014 were the Ukrainian far-right groups, most notably the nationalist All-Ukrainian Union Svoboda and Right Sector, founded by ultra-right Trident and the Ukrainian National Assembly-Ukrainian National Self-Defense (UNA-UNSO) paramilitary group.
“The surge in violence sparked by Right Sector has revealed how uncritical and undiscerning most of the media has been of the far-right parties and movements that have played a leading role in the ‘Euromaidan,'” US journalist Alec Luhn warned on January 21, 2014, in his article for the Nation.
It was again the right-wing militants who championed Kiev’s Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) in eastern Ukraine aimed against the breakaway Donbass regions.
However, regardless of Kiev’s activities casting shadow on the image of “New Ukraine,” OSIFE’s plan envisaged spending $750,000 in 2015 on grants, consultancy contracts, fellowships, workshops, exchange visits, conferences and advocacy activities in order to reach the objectives.
For instance, the Soros entity planned to provide “greater presence of voices from Ukraine’s civil society in left leaning and alternative press” in the West.
In addition, it sought to amplify “left-wing ‘pro-Maidan’ opinion formers’ voices” in the debate on Ukraine by organizing conferences “on the New Ukraine in partnership with the political science/international affairs department in the leading universities in each of Germany, France, Spain, Italy and Greece.”
“Russia’s line on Ukraine will be subjected to a greater degree of scrutiny and skepticism by the left-wing actors involved in this project, relating to the European anti-fascist movement will be a key entry point in this debate,” the document read.
© Flickr/ Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung
To manipulate the Europeans’ vision of Maidan, OSIFE planned to involve such reputable mainstream media source as, for example, the Guardian (“to increase coverage of voices from the New Ukraine — e.g. Maidan”) and the alternative press such as Eurozine, Huffington Post, Street Press, and Internazionale as “key influencers for the audience we [OSIFE] are targeting.”The document shows that OSIFE envisioned funding translations of articles of Ukrainian journalists and providing individual grants to “investigative” reporters covering the situation on the ground in Ukraine to counter Russia’s narrative.
But that is not all. Another document released by DC Leaks indicates how OSIFE planned to “amplify independent media voices from Ukraine in France.”
To propagate OSIFE’s Ukraine narrative among left-leaning media outlet the organization envisioned “establishing media partnerships between Ukrainian and European outlets allowing content syndication and other collaborative opportunities.”
“We have established contact with Hromadske International, an emerging media outlet in Ukraine combining broadcast and online content,” the report read, adding that Hromadske may become a potential Ukrainian “incubator” for the project.
OSIFE also planned to involve Mediapart in France to kick off the project.
“The good potential synergy between Hromadske and Mediapart… offers an opportunity to launch this project by OSF enabling an introduction between Hromadske and Mediapart,” the report continued.
OSIFE foresaw that such a partnership “would allow Hromadske and inroad into France,” with the potential for further expansion of its partnership network in four other EU’s “key countries” — Germany, Spain, Italy and Greece.
The two documents observed constitute only the tip of the iceberg of George Soros’ comprehensive and longstanding policy regarding Ukraine. However, they shed light on the depth of the billionaire’s interference into the affairs of the post-Soviet state.
The Saturday leak turned the spotlight on George Soros’ global activities, exposing work plans, strategies, priorities of the Soros-run entities across the world, covering the period from 2008 to 2016.
“Soros, the master manipulator of governments who pulls the strings at the State Department, will face unprecedented scrutiny,” Thomas Lifson of the American Thinker commented on the hack.
The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday that DC Leaks previously released the content of email and records of the US Democratic Party, as well as those of Gen. Philip Breedlove, a former supreme commander of NATO.
Bullies and career-wreckers target professor Joy Karega at Oberlin College
An Open Letter to Marvin Krislov, President of Oberlin College, Following the Suspension of Dr. Joy Karega for Publishing References to Alleged “Anti-Semitic Conspiracy Theories” on Facebook
10 August, 2016
Dear President Krislov;
I want to include my voice among the many that have chosen to comment on the treatment extended to Dr. Joy Karega, Assistant Professor of Rhetoric and Composition at Oberlin College. Dr. Karega is a promising young Black scholar with a new Ph.D.. She finds herself in her present dilemma employed at an institution that advertises itself as a champion of Black equality ever since Oberlin’s involvement in the anti-slavery struggle before the US Civil War.
A report published in Israel on the simmering Karega-Krislov affair includes the text of a letter said to emanate from 174 Oberlin faculty members. All but a few of those that ratified the statement criticizing Dr. Karega’s controversial Facebook posts chose to remain anonymous. This wish to exact professional retribution by colleagues not willing to accept their own personal and professional accountability for a career-wrecking collective intervention speaks of a serious problem in Oberlin’s academic culture. It also illustrates a more pervasive ethical malady plaguing the halls of North American higher education, a sickness that extends far beyond your school or the scope of the Karega-Krislov affair.
Florida Atlantic University is one of those schools where the collapse of academic integrity is far advanced. Central to this collapse is the demise of the core mission of higher education, namely independent inquiry aimed at distinguishing truth from falsehood no matter how threatening this process might be to the status quo.
Tenured Communication Professor, James Tracy, is engaged in suing FAU in a dispute originating in unsubstantiated accusations treating the academic’s important original research and publications on the Sandy Hook debacle as “conspiracy theories.” The creep of the weaponized term, “conspiracy theory,” into academic useage is a telling marker of the insidious submission of universities to masters intent on suppressing those truths incompatible with their agendas of profit and power.
The terminology of “conspiracism” creates the basis for arbitrary blockage of academic work that might menace entrenched power.
With an eye towards Oberlin’s treatment of alleged “conspiracy theorist” Dr. Karega, Prof. Tracy has written about imposed “strictures” that
characterize and define the modern state of academe and its often gutless approach to today’s most urgent social and political problems. Intellectuals recognize as a right of passage how they must tiptoe around concrete geopolitical and historical realities, lest they draw the ire of today’s thought police and face the potential consequences: financial deprivation and professional ruin. In this way what was once higher education has become yet another racket for high finance.
Where Is the Evidence?
Israel’s Haaretz newspaper has published the text of the Oberlin professors’ letter that is advertised as emanating from a “majority” of faculty members. The supposed majority has opted not to remain silent even as most of its members “tiptoe around concrete geopolitical and historical realities.” Their irresponsible refusal to allow their names to be published amounts to an unwillingness to accept personal accountability for their group action directed at discrediting an academic colleague. The core of the faculty members’ statement is that
Bigotry has no place on the Oberlin campus (or anywhere). It sullies the values of equality and mutual support that are embedded in our institutional DNA as the first coeducational college and the first to admit students of all races as a matter of policy. It undermines our classrooms as places where students and faculty accord each other the deep respect required for the exercise of free and open expression and the development of reasoned analysis grounded in evidence.
Your school’s decision to suspend with pay Dr. Karega’s teaching and advising responsibilities does not seem to me to be in line with the conditions required for “free and open expression and the development of reasoned analysis grounded in evidence.” I have looked long and hard through the considerable volume of information published on this matter on-line to discover that there is not yet much serious discussion of the actual evidence supporting or negating Dr. Karega’s pronouncements in the highlighted Facebook posts.
This neglect of issues of evidence and proof is especially stark in The Tower, an aggressively partisan publication created by “The Israel Project.” I have not been able to find a coherent explanation on-line of what The Israel Project, also referred to as TIP, actually is. The Tower has tended to lead and arguably also to create the Karega-Krislov story.
The Tower’s narrative is then picked up by other larger publications like The New York Times, The New York Post and Haaretz. One Tower headline presented a summary of Dr. Karega’s contested posts, indicating “Oberlin Professor Claims That Israel Was Behind 9/11, ISIS, Charlie Hebdo Attack.” Another biased and sensationalistic headline in a publication entitled Forward proclaims, “Inside the Twisted Anti-Semitic Mind of Oberlin Professor Joy Karega.”
This pattern of condemning Dr. Karega without any proof that she is wrong in her assertions extends to the anonymous Faculty letter and to a similar statement by Oberlin’s Board of Trustees. You yourself, Dr. Krislov, mirror and replicate this propensity. Even before you decided to suspend Dr. Karega’s teaching you introduced your own unsubstantiated assumptions that Dr. Karega is necessarily misguided and unjustified in all her assertions. Why is she wrong? The answer seems to be…. Well she just is. Everyone knows. How does everyone know? Well…. We just do. Where is your evidence to back up your conclusions? Where is the evidence on which to base “reasoned analysis”? Where are proper definitions of the language you deploy like juridical markers of a proven crime?
What do you mean when you associate Dr. Karega with “anti-Semitic conspiracy theories?” What is your theory of conspiracy and of anti-Semitism? Are theories about conspiracies ever legitimate in your view? What are the criteria? How can the mission of the Liberal Arts be accomplished without the development of theories, including those theories that speak to issues of power and how it is exercised? Who can deny that influential interests, entities and individuals sometimes conspire secretly and outside the law to achieve shared goals? Aren’t you guilty of deploying a propaganda term that has been deviously engineered to block, rather than promote, reasoned exchange on subjects of core importance to the future of higher education and of civilization itself?
The Contrasting Experiences of Dr. Kevin Barrett and Dr. Philip Zelikow Post-9/11
Dr. Kevin Barrett has followed closely what he refers to as a witch hunt on Dr. Karega. A Muslim convert himself and a Ph.D. in Islamic Studies, Dr. Barrett is a martyr who was notoriously nailed to the cross of anti-intellectual vigilantism in 2006. Dr. Barrett lost his teaching position as a Lecturer at the University of Wisconsin after Fox News and publicity-seeking politicians succeeded in hounding the custodians of higher education into sabotaging the principles of free speech and academic freedom. Are you giving way to similar intimidation, Dr. Krislov?
Dr. Barrett was fired from the University of Wisconsin for doing his job too conscientiously. He included in his broad-ranging introductory survey course on Islam a new topic highlighting the impact on Muslims of 9/11. To have not incorporated this subject in his curriculum would have been to fail to maintain the contemporary relevance of his course. All people, but especially Muslims the world over, have been profoundly impacted by what happened in New York and Washington on September 11, 2001.
An internal review at the University of Wisconsin found that Dr. Barrett had been conscientious in providing a range of perspectives of the subject of 9/11. Dr. Barrett was at the time a skeptical critic of the government’s account of 9/11 but that did not deter him from presenting various perspectives on the event, including those outlined in 2004 by the Bush government’s highly politicized 9/11 Commission Report.
It should be noted that the conclusions of this investigation, drafted by Prof. Philip Zelikow, were based on supposed “evidence” obtained by the CIA in secret “dark sites” through domestically and internationally outlawed torture. Is the making of public policy based on evidence obtained through torture even legal, let alone ethical? When lawmakers sanction legislation and policy produced by evidence obtained through torture, are they complicit in heinous international crimes? Are there any professional sanctions that should be imposed on Prof. Zelikow, a historian expert in the deployment of public mythology to influence public attitudes and opinion?
Evidence-Based Interpretation or Conspiracy Theory?
Since 2006 Dr. Barrett has established himself in the United States and internationally as a leading expert among the broad constituency that has conducted independent research on 9/11 and related subjects. I make this assessment as a Full Professor of Liberal Education and Globalization Studies at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta Canada.
I have taken some of my leads in my own academic work on 9/11 and related subjects from Dr. Barrett as well as from the writings and talks of professors David Ray Griffin, Graeme MacQueen, Michel Chossudovsky, Peter Dale Scott, Steven E. Jones, John McMurtry, Richard B. Lee, Niels Harritt, Michael Keefer, Richard Falk, Barrie Zwicker and many others. From this starting point of reading the peer-reviewed and journalistic literature, I have conducted my own independent scholarly research on some of the same subjects addressed in Dr. Karega’s media-highlighted Facebook posts.
I have published my findings on these matters in a number of venues including the peer-reviewed volume, Earth into Property: Colonization, Decolonization, and Capitalism. The narrative is a global history from 1492 until the time of publication. It includes my account of the genesis of the 9/11 Truth movement in which Dr. Barrett played a significant part. Published by McGill-Queen’s University Press, Earth into Property was chosen by The Independent in UK as one of the best history books published in the English-speaking world in 2010. The Journal of the American Library Association, Choice, described Earth into Property as “a scholarly tour de force.”
In Earth into Property I outlined my understanding of 9/11 and its outgrowth in the so-called Global War on Terror. I integrated this analysis into an historical interpretation going back to the American Indian Wars and before. Like other imperial assaults on Indigenous peoples the world over, the US invasions of the North American Indian Country were justified in the name of the assumed imperative of “civilization” to ascend over “savagery.” This justification for genocide and land grabs is very similar to the justifications of imperial Israel’s expansionism with massive US military backing, all in the name of “fighting terror.”
The imagery of Islamic jihadists is regularly mainstreamed into the mental environment by many of the same media venues currently attempting to smear Dr. Karega’s reputation with a vengeance. This psychological operation plays on many of the same themes as those deployed by the authors of the US Declaration of Independence who referred to “merciless Indian savages.” America’s founding manifesto racially profiled the victims of the original American genocide much as Muslims collectively are now being profiled in the hate-inciting propaganda of the Zionist-driven Islamophobia Industry.
In the current media-induced environment of psychological paralysis, it is made to seem like the steady flow of violent events in, for instance, Nice, Munich, Orlando, and San Bernardino emanate from the actions of Islamic jihadists acting alone. It is made to seem that their sole motivation is that of religious zealotry and an irrational hatred of “Western freedoms.” This cartoon-like depiction for TV-addicted folks disguises the role in contemporary geopolitics of mercenary proxy armies fighting under Islamic flags. Funded, armed and logistically backed by the United States, Israel, Saudi Arabia and various other governments and corporations, these mercenary forces give justification to military adventurism of war profiteers abroad, police state and surveillance state incursions at home.
The governments of USA and Israel, the dominant, heavily nuclearized superpowers in this imperial system, do much of their aggression and intrigue through their own network of proxies, puppet governments and corporate clients including Qatar, Canada, UK, France and Exxon Mobil. This imperial coalition is at once backing, while concurrently seeming to fight, the so-called “Islamic State.”
In the effort to overthrow the Assad government of Syria, the inheritors of the Anglo-American empire are openly assisting their intelligence agencies’ offshoot, namely al-Qaeda. A creation of the CIA and Pakistani intelligence in Afghanistan, the very group blamed for 9/11 from the very first hour of the debacle is now declared to be a US ally.
What chain of events led former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barack to pin 9/11 on Osama bin Laden and to call for a “concerted war on terror” at the London studios of the BBC on the morning of 9/11? He laid out this scenario even before the Twin Towers burst into pulverized clouds of dust and vapor. How is it that the very group, al-Qaeda, immediately blamed for 9/11 without any investigation whatsoever, has now morphed into one of the “moderate rebel” groups backed by those seeking to overthrow the government led Bashir al-Assad? What is wrong with this picture? Plenty.
Wikileaks has recently added new evidence in the form of hacked US State Department E-Mails to support the interpretation that the Israeli and US superpowers are primary sponsors of proxy armies regularly depicted in the Western media as Islamic jihadists. It has been widely reported that Wikileaks founder, Julian Assange, has been developing a documentary record demonstrating the connections linking Hillary Clinton’s role in the overthrow and mob murder of Muammar Gaddafi to the transfer of armaments to proxy forces fighting under various Islamic flags in Syria and Iraq.
This sequence of connections is now clearly a matter of public record. Nevertheless the evidence of what is actually going on is not reflected in the media campaigns of Israeli-backed propaganda agencies such as those being orchestrated by Rita Katz’s SITE Intelligence, an extension of the Rand Corporation.
The Academic Martyrdom Club
The overwhelming weight of evidence points, therefore, to the conclusion that Dr. Karega’s characterization of the behind-the-scenes genesis of 9/11 and the Islamic State are, at the very least, plausible. Will the lynch mob mentality that is being incited inside and outside Oberlin College be allowed to run its course to strangle the career of a young academic?
As I see it, Dr. Karega’s Facebook posts suggest that this scholar of anti-apartheid and decolonization studies has shown herself strong enough and intellectually capable enough to stroll through, rather than “tiptoe around, concrete geopolitical and historical realities.” Unlike her 174 Oberlin colleagues, most of whom chose to hide their identity rather than take academic responsibility for their professional actions, Dr. Karega is showing a capacity to stand behind what she teaches and publishes no matter how inconvenient to entrenched interests.
Those who assume Dr. Karega to be wrong, including many of her fearful, duck-and-cover colleagues at Oberlin College, must reckon with the reality that a considerable weight of evidence is on the side of the besieged Assistant Professor of Rhetoric and Composition. The position that Dr. Karega is actually closer to the truth than her critics is edified by the dubious resort of many of her detractors to ad hominem attacks and ill-defined propaganda terms like “anti-Semitic conspiracy theorist.”
This kind of weaponized language has everything to do with marginalizing dissenting voices and nothing to do with “according each other the deep respect required for the exercise of free and open expression and the development of reasoned analysis grounded in evidence.”
Better, much better is expected especially of those of us with tenured academic positions. It is during our watch that, as Prof. James Tracy puts it, what was “once higher education is becoming yet another racket for high finance.” What are the forces that are undermining the will or the capacity of faculty with the protection of tenure to rise to the higher level of our professional academic calling?
How many of us have been enticed away from the academic quest for truth as an end in itself to pursue grants and contracts and media engagements? How many of us have sought the rewards of money, fame or professional tranquility by taking the side of power, by veering away from lines of research, publication and teaching that involve the bringing to light of controversial interpretations inconvenient to power?
What is the impact on our colleagues of the examples being set through the persecution of, for instance, Kevin Barrett or James Tracy or Steven Salaita or Ward Churchill or Rabab Abdulhadi or the latest pilloried nominee for the academic martyrdom club, Joy Karega? They are some of the more prominent examples of those that have left the safety of officially-sanctioned narratives to study the deep politics of current configurations of power.
What are we to make of the fact that our Black, Muslim, Palestinian, and Native American colleagues seem to face disproportionately high levels of professional persecution? How can faculty members best address this increasingly blatant failure of the academy to live up to the higher calling of our profession, to transcend intimidation of thought police in order to advance the ideals of truth, justice, equality, peace and ecological sanity?
Patterns of Persecution
The tidal wave of new revelations and disclosures in this age of pervasive digitalized information has vindicated many of the positions that Dr. Barrett began developing in 2006 when the academic career of this promising Muslim scholar was wrongfully sabotaged. Will the same kind of premature rush to judgment in the Barrett case at the University of Wisconsin now extend to the Karega-Krislov matter at Oberlin College? Will the rule of political expediency continue to prevail over the protection of free speech and academic freedom?
Will Oberlin College continue to act in defiance of the traditions it claims to represent? Will your school continue siding with power to further the repression of an important academic voice giving expression to the struggle for justice by those who Frantz Fanon once described as the wretched of the earth? Dr. Karega’s academic work on the liberation struggles of marginalized people is being pushed farther to the margins. Can there be any doubt that her marginalization is further empowering those who have superior access to media, money and political influence?
The smear campaign directed at Dr. Joy Karega is part of a very elaborate effort by thought police targeting free speech and academic freedom on many campuses throughout North America and beyond. The primary objective is to silence criticism of Israel for its imperial policies but especially its malicious and often lethal treatment of Palestinian people. Dr. Karega is one of those that has connected the dots to associate the underlying impetus of the Global War on Terror with a Zionist-driven effort to demonize in the public’s imagination not only Palestinians but Muslim and Arab peoples the world over.
Sociology Professor William I. Robinson has presented a very broad and illuminating overview of the methodology being deployed to constrain free speech and open academic debate on university campuses throughout North America. His analysis emanates from his own professional experience as a target of an effort to purge this senior sociology professor, a Jew himself, from his tenured position at the University of California at Santa Barbara. The attack on Prof. Robinson and his academic work emanated from an elaborate complex of Israel-First Zionist organizations inside and outside the Santa Barbara campus of University of California.
The attacks came after Prof. Robinson was openly critical of the Israeli military assault in 2009 in Operation Cast Lead on the Gaza enclave. Some have described Gaza under Israeli occupation as a prison complex to contain Palestinian inmates. Prof. Robinson describes the tactics of recrimination used against him as follows:
The persecution to which I was subjected involved a litany of harassment, slander, defamation of character and all kinds of threats against the university by outside forces if I was not dismissed, as well as hate mail and death threats from unknown sources. More insidiously, it involved a shameful collaboration between a number of university officials and outside forces from the Israel lobby as the university administration stood by silently, making a mockery of academic freedom.
The disciplinary procedure initiated against me by UCSB officials involved a host of irregularities, violations of the university’s own procedures, breaches of confidentiality, denial of due process, conflicts of interest, failure of disclosure, improper political surveillance, abuses of power and position, unwarranted interference in curriculum and teaching and so on. As I would discover during the course of the ordeal, individuals inside the university and in positions of authority had linked up with agents of the lobby outside the university in setting out to prosecute me.
It seems this same pattern of treatment, one which has been re-enacted frequently with some variations throughout many centers of higher education, is underway now in the Karega-Kristov matter at Oberlin College. One major difference is that, as a younger professor, Dr. Karega is still in the process of establishing herself professionally. Dr. Karega is at a particularly vulnerable stage in her career. As Prof. Robinson observes, “across the country whenever such persecutions are launched the burden falls on those that are targeted to defend themselves, often tying up the individual’s time and life for months and generating great emotional stress.”
The Robinson case attracted much attention nationally and internationally. Many students and professors organized themselves to create a Committee for Academic Freedom. One of the more vocal members of this committee was Prof. Richard Falk, a Professor of International Law at Princeton University and formerly UN Special Rapporteur on Israeli Treatment of Palestinians in the Occupied Territories.
The effort to pressure the university administration to terminate Prof. Robinson was dropped once the organization, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, threatened to sue the protagonists seeking recriminations. About the broader context of propaganda and geopolitics surrounding the improper professional assault against him, Prof. Robinson has written,
The Israeli army is the fifth most potent military machine in the world and one that is backed by a propaganda machine that rivals and may well surpass that of the US, a machine that dares to make the ludicrous and obnoxious claim that opposition to the policies and practices of the Israeli state is anti-Semitism. It should be no surprise that a state founded on the negation of a people was one of the principal backers of the apartheid South African state not to mention of the Latin American military dictatorships until those regimes collapsed under mass protest…..
The Boycott Divestment and Sanctions Movement, BDS, in Israel-First Interventions on Campus
One important facet of the worldwide resistance to the Israeli government’s current imperial policies is the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement, BDS. Prof. Robinson stresses the growing strength of the BDS movement especially among Palestinian-support groups on university campuses. This growing strength is cited as one of the primary reasons why Israel-First organizations in North America are targeting institutions of higher education.
Dr. Karega supports the BDS movement, as do a number of Oberlin students including some Jewish students. I would go so far as to surmise that she sees this global campaign as an important extension of the resistance of people and peoples to the colonizing incursions of those at the commanding heights of power over banking, media, intelligence agencies and armed forces.
Campus Watch, the AMCHA Initiative, the Simon Wiesenthal Center for Campus Outreach, the Zionist Organization of America, Stand With Us, Israel on Campus Coalition, Hillel, the American Jewish Congress, and David Horowitz’s FrontPage are some of the Zionist-directed agencies that are destroying the atmosphere of free, open and respectful discourse in our institutions of higher learning.
One of the most active of the groups is Campus Watch, one of Daniel Pipes’ primary agencies of intervention at universities. Its primary technique for wreaking havoc on campus is to quarterback the proliferation of student complaints as a means of initiating attacks like those directed, for instance, at professors Robinson and Karega. About this method of assaulting academic freedom, Will Youmans has written,
Campus-Watch encourages students to snitch on their professors. It has a whole section dedicated to student reports. Campus-Watch is essentially forming a paramilitary thought police, a private TIPS program for pro-Israeli advocates.
In a Counterpunch article entitled “David Horwitz’s Corrosive Projects” Paul De Rooji observes
The Hasbara Manual, a 131-page propaganda manual, was distributed to US-zionist campus organizations; it lists many techniques to whitewash Israel, and to defuse the message of its critics. Two of its key recommendations are to: (1) “attack the messenger and not the message”, and (2) to “gain points” with the public targets by “manipulating,” and diverting them from “rationality,” “real examination,” and “thinking critically”. Well now, this is a splendid explanation for the role FrontPage and Campus-Watch play in the US today. Much of what these organizations do is smearing and undermining rational discussion of a range of issues…….
FrontPage is not merely a contributor to the “marketplace of ideas,” it is a wrecking operation comparable with the book-burners of yesteryear. It is also a mistaken conception to think that we just encounter a “marketplace of ideas”, but a more accurate understanding of our society is that we are confronted with a “battleground of ideas”, and here there is no room for complacency and neutrality…
Horowitz’s FrontPage rag is the equivalent of the village idiot gaining control of the megaphone.
In their investigation of “The Trial of Israel’s Campus Critics,” in Tikkun magazine, David Theo Goldberg and Sariee Makdisi provide another telling characterization of the notorious Hasbara Handbook. They write
The Hasbara Handbook offers several other propaganda devices, all of which can be seen vividly at play in the coverage of the UCLA Gaza panel and other similar events, including, again, the Robinson affair. “Creating negative connotations by name calling is done to try to get the audience to reject a person or idea on the basis of negative associations, without allowing a real examination of that person or idea,” the handbook states with remarkable bluntness, in advocating that tactic. It also suggests using the opposite of name calling, to defend Israel by what it calls the deployment of “glittering generalities” (words like “freedom,” “civilization,” “democracy”) to describe the country; manipulating the audience’s fears (“listeners are too preoccupied by the threat of terrible things to think critically about the speaker’s message”); and so on. The point of all this is not to use arguments backed by reason and evidence. It is, instead, to manipulate (the handbook’s own term) an audience precisely in order not to examine arguments, not to think critically about what is being said. Which is a rather remarkable approach for a book intended for a university audience.
One of those academics that has faced the full force of this kind of professional harassment described in detail by Prof. Robinson is Prof. Rabab Abdulhadi, Associate Professor of Ethnic Studies/Race Resistance Studies at San Francisco State University. Like Dr. Karega and Dr. Barrett, Prof. Abdulhadi has been the target of “ritual defamation.”
Prof. Abdulhadi described in 2014 the nature of the obstacles put in her way to develop research alliances in the Middle East with Palestinian colleagues. She writes:
Baseless accusations of anti-Semitism and support for terrorism have had devastating impacts on me and other members of the university community. Students and faculty have been consumed by defending our right to speak freely. These smear campaigns can affect our future and career opportunities and subject us to unwarranted government scrutiny of our speech activities.
Contextualizing Dr. Kevin Barrett’s Unanswered Letter to the President of Oberlin College
Where does Oberlin reside in the historic struggle between those on the delivering and receiving sides of imperial globalization? I am aware you face criticism from those who allege you have not been active enough in taking the side of those that seem to be prevailing in this test of institutional influence. A headline in the unabashedly Zionist publication, the Tablet, for instance alleges, “How Oberlin Repeatedly Failed to Confront Anti-Semitism on Campus.”
There can be no doubt about where Dr. Kevin Barrett has situated himself in a world where the struggle between the forces of colonization and decolonization are as animated as ever. Since 2008 I have looked to Dr. Barrett as a martyred academic colleague. I became aware of Dr. Barrett through my now-deceased friend and colleague, Splitting The Sky.
STS was a Native American sovereigntist, a Mohawk activist and a remarkable human being. In 2009 Splitting The Sky attempted a citizen’s arrest, for war crimes, of George W. Bush in Calgary, Alberta. This action led to a trial where a group of us attempted to hold the former US president accountable for his war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Splitting The Sky was an avid student of the 9/11 false flag terror event and a regular guest on Dr. Barrett’s Truth jihad radio show. The Mohawk activist insisted I address the evidence of 9/11, initiating a process that led to my current professional interaction with one of the most articulate voices in the 9/11 Truth Movement.
Since 2008 I have collaborated professionally with Dr. Barrett. This collaboration led in late 2015 to my co-hosting with Dr. Barrett a regular survey of contemporary events for No Lies Radio. The program is titled False Flag Weekly News. On FFWN we have covered and will continue to cover Oberlin’s treatment of Dr. Karega and the controversy it is arousing.
I have also contributed essays to Dr. Barrett’s publishing projects including two recent edited books on the two false flag terror events in Paris in 2015. One essay is entitled “Witch Hunt on Terrorism.” The second is entitled “Academic Complicity in the Global War of False Flag Terrorism.”
It will come as no surprise that I share Dr. Barrett’s view of the recent suspension of Dr. Karega at Oberlin College as a witch hunt. The attempt to silence her helps facilitate a massive cover up essential to the continuing operations of the Global War of False Flag Terrorism. Having presented this background I republish below the letter that Dr. Barrett sent you last March on the Karega-Kislov matter. He tells me he is still waiting for an answer from you. Dr. Barrett has explained to you, Dr. Krislov, the following:
You write that you are similarly nonplussed by “anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.” Are you referring to the theory that 19 young Semites, led by an older Semite on dialysis in a cave in Afghanistan, blew up the World Trade Center by using box-cutters to kindle minor office fires?
I, too, am outraged by anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. Today virtually all of the world’s Semites are the speakers of Arabic. (“Semite” is a linguistic category, not a racial one.) And I am outraged by the way Arabic Semites have been falsely blamed for the controlled demolition of the World Trade Center, the murders of innocents by large white paramilitary professionals in Paris and San Bernadino, and many similar false flag incidents. These false flag public relations stunts have triggered the murder of more than 1.5 million people and the destruction of the homes and lives of tens of millions more. THIS is the real, indisputable and ongoing Holocaust; you and your colleagues are perpetrating it right now with your tax money, your silences and your lies. The blood of more than a million innocents is on your hands.
So while I appreciate your support for academic freedom, I respectfully request that you take the next step and sponsor a debate or symposium on false flags in general and 9/11 and the 2015 Paris attacks in particular. If you or anyone else believes they can defend the 9/11 Commission Report, or the official versions of the Paris attacks, in a debate, they should be not just willing but actually eager to put the “conspiracy theories” to rest.
I will be happy to travel to Oberlin at my own expense to participate in any such debate. Meanwhile, I am sending my three books Questioning the War on Terror, We Are NOT Charlie Hebdo, and ANOTHER French False Flag as a gift to the Oberlin College Library, where faculty and students can refer to them to understand the positions of Professor Karega and the hundreds of millions of people around the world who share her interpretations of current events.
Dr. Kevin Barrett
The Imposed Illusions of Empire versus the Liberating Impulses of Applied Reason
I agree with Dr. Barrett that there is a very real need for some sort of conference to encourage free and open debate about the issues raised to the surface by the Karega-Krislov matter. I would like to see, however, a broader focus than that proposed by Dr. Barrett. I think the time has come for a conference that highlights the problems that are preventing institutions of higher learning from living up to their mission to identify, disseminate and defend truth, but especially inconvenient truths, through the process of education.
Among the issues that are indicative of our educational failures are the following: 1. the marginality and total ineffectiveness of the near-defunct anti-war movement, 2. the disproportionate level of criminalization of minorities as reflected in demography of our penal institutions, 3. the huge and growing economic polarization between haves and have-nots and, 4. the near absence of credible law enforcement when it comes to the rampant criminality of those at the top of our systems of banking, intelligence, militarism, public safety including public health, and mass communications. Should university governance be added to this list?
I think we in the academy should take to heart these appalling trajectories and propensities, these markers of the failure of our educational project. I think it especially important that we respond thoughtfully and proactively to these trends in what you call at Oberlin the Liberal Arts and in what we describe at the University of Lethbridge as Liberal Education. The patterns of decline and deterioration described above point exactly in the opposite direction from everything we claim to stand for in the Liberal Arts/Liberal Education.
The reasons for the breakdown in civility, honesty, equity, due process, and simple sanity in international relations are complex and many faceted. From my perspective, one of the factors in the decline is reflected in the unwillingness of leaders like you to examine the full array of evidence publicly available on core issues like who did 9/11 and who is behind the existence and activities of ISIS/ISIL/Daesh/ “Islamic State.” Once again, where is your evidence that Dr. Karega is wrong in her interpretation of these matters?
Without honestly looking into the deep state intrigues facilitating war-profiteering in the twenty-first century, it is hard to fathom the sheer recklessness of those directing our increasingly militarized society. A fundamental facet of this wanton recklessness is the engineering of hatred towards Muslim people as a key to securing public consent for ramped up militarism especially in the Middle East.
In our running commentary on this story Dr. Barrett and I sometimes meet recriminations similar to those being directed at Dr. Karega. This kind of power-serving antagonism to our public service of offering public education in social media was recently put on display on the front page of my hometown newspaper, the Lethbridge Herald.
In an article entitled “Conspiracy Theories,” a local reporter argued that our interpretations of the news are necessarily unfounded because they do not conform to the dominant narrative disseminated 24/7 by the mainstream media. The Lethbridge Herald’s resort to the uncontextualized condemnation as “conspiracy theories” of our effort to share with the public our analysis as senior and well published practitioners in our fields highlights the growing distance between officialdom’s dominant narrative of deception and evidence-based assessments of humanity’s true conditions.
The disparity between the imposed illusions of empire and the liberating impulses of applied reason offers a key to understanding the depth of the betrayal by our governors of the Enlightenment’s rationalist heritage. With this rejection of evidence-based approaches to interpretation comes our accelerating descent into civilizational chaos. The malevolent intent of the criminals currently dominating old pyramids of power seems to be to plunge the largest part of humanity into a Hobbesian state of a war of all against all.
Much is revealed by the failure of officialdom to address, let alone stop, the unbridled crime wave reigning down growing suffering and angst on average folk the world over. I am far from alone in this perception that we are subject to a massive failure of leadership in places like universities where faculty members should be joining together in solidarity to expose the abundant frauds of the empire of illusion. Where do you fit into this picture Dr. Krislov? What signal do you send as a leader in the academy when you refuse to look at the full body of evidence to consider if there is any truth in any of Dr. Karega’s contentions?
Sir, I respectfully suggest you revisit your initial reactions by giving fair consideration to the evidence supporting how Dr. Karega sees 9/11, or ISIS, or the Charlie Hebdo affair, or the historic role of the Rothschild family in the genesis of the world’s dominant system for creating fiat currency by privately-owned central banks. Can you honestly be sure that there is no merit in how Dr. Karega is interpreting Power’s exercise? Who else shares her views? Can you say for sure your own relationship to Power is not a factor in your judgments so far?
In my view, Dr. Krislov, you confuse the issues by connecting your rejection of Dr. Karega’s positions to your own family history. To explain your relationship to the controversy you have written, “Members of our family were murdered in the Holocaust. As someone who has studied history, I cannot comprehend how any person could or would question its existence, its horrors and the evil which caused it. I feel the same way about anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.”
This way of characterizing the context of the controversy over Dr. Karega’s Facebook posts does not serve well the need for objectivity in assessing all sides of this matter.
The memory of Jews killed during the Second World War is too often subject to disrespect by those that abuse their victimhood to cover over and even explain the crimes of the Jewish state. As University of California Professor William I. Robinson has commented, the Israeli response to charges that the Jewish state has “colonized” the Indigenous people and Aboriginal lands of Palestine is often framed in polemics about “righting the wrongs of the holocaust.” Prof. Robinson characterizes this way of justifying genocidal incursions as “a unique system of propaganda and legitimation.”
Since you made the decision to suspend Dr. Karega’s teaching, the onus of proof is on you to demonstrate how you know Dr. Karega is wrong in her contentions. Have you, or have those howling for Dr. Karega’s professional termination, considered the contents of Dr. Barrett’s recent books on false flag terrorism or the extensive literature, including the ten books by Prof. David Ray Griffin, demonstrating that the government’s own conspiracy theory of 9/11 cannot be true?
Will you examine at least some parts of Earth into Property or read Christopher Bollyn’s Solving 9/11? Will you consider the assessment of 9/11 by Dr. Alan Sabrosky whose academic credentials within the US military establishment meet and far exceed the gold standard?
Have you reckoned with the assessment by Dr. Gideon Polya in his article entitled “Zionist-Subverted Oberlin College Trashes Academic Free Speech and Suspends Professor Joy Karega”? Dr. Polya might be considered one of the world’s leading authorities on the demography of war crimes and crimes against humanity. This Australian scientist is proud of his Hungarian Jewish heritage and carries on his family’s tradition of anti-Zionism.
Dr. Polya is unrelenting in his criticism of the deliberate lies spewed throughout media and academic venues. He contrasts this trend with the largely accurate reflection of reality he sees in the posts of Prof. Karega. He writes,
Lying is utterly forbidden in science and in scholarship and academia in general because it subverts rational inquiry. Lying by commission and lying by omission utterly subvert rational risk management that is crucial for societal safety and successively involves (a) accurate information, (b) scientific analysis , and (c) informed systemic change noting that lying by omission is far, far worse than lying by commission because the latter at least admits the possibility of refutation and public debate. Lying by omission is exampled by the Mainstream journalist, politician and academic presstitutes utterly ignoring the ongoing Muslim Holocaust and Muslim Genocide. Lying by commission is exampled by the finding by the US Center for Public Integrity that the Bush Administration told 935 lies between 9-11 and the invasion of Iraq.
Professor Joy Karega’s truth-telling is a notable exception to the dominant Mainstream culture of lying by omission and commission about the ongoing Muslim Holocaust and Muslim Genocide, the ongoing Iraqi Holocaust and Iraqi Genocide, and the ongoing Palestinian Genocide.
In order to contextualize his case study Dr. Polya presents a number of examples of persecution similar to that facing Dr. Karega at Oberlin College. This reference to individual cases should be understood in the context of Prof. Robinson’s comment that “dozens, perhaps hundreds, of professors and student groups have been harassed and persecuted for speaking out against Israeli occupation and apartheid and in support of the Palestinian struggle.” Dr. Polya writes,
The suspension of anti-racist truth-teller Professor Joy Karega by Zionist-subverted Oberlin College is but one further example of racist Zionists attacking Western academic free speech through egregious defamation, subversion, perversion, and institutional suspension or sacking of anti-racist Jewish or non-Jewish academics critical of Apartheid Israel. Thus, for example, outstanding anti-racist Jewish scholar Professor Norman Finkelstein was denied tenure and pressured to leave by a by Zionist-pressured De Paul University. Outstanding anti-racist humanitarian Anul Gandhi (the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi) was pushed out by Zionist pressure from the University of Rochester and the M. K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence he had founded. In slavishly pro-Zionist Apartheid Australia, Professor Jake Lynch and his Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Sydney University have been under concerted attacks from Israeli and Australian Zionists. Anti-racist Middle East scholar Dr Sandra Nasr was censored by the Zionist-pressured UK London School of Economics and defamed and “investigated” by a Zionist-pressured Notre Dame Australia.
Rather than falling back on the canard of “anti-Semitic conspiracy theories,” how about transcending your own personal prejudices? How about moving to the higher ground of a conscientious academic or jurist that affords fair consideration to all sides in a debate before arriving at conclusions?
Shooting the Messengers with Weaponized Words
In 2014 Kevin Barrett and I and a number of talented investigative journalists attended a conference in Tehran entitled the 2nd New Horizon Conference of Independent Thinkers and Film Makers. The participants in this event came mostly from North America and Europe. In Tehran, we were able to discuss openly the kind of issues before us in an atmosphere of safety, mutuality and respect cultivated by our hosts. We the invited delegates could exchange ideas in a much more relaxed and less paranoid way than would be possible in the intensively policed academic milieus of our own home countries.
In some of our Western countries, including Canada, the constraints against free speech and academic freedom are growing, including through the authoritarian threat of criminal prosecution. Such prosecutions have been visited upon, for instance, my colleague Arthur Topham and his RadicalPress.com.
As I have already discussed, I see very clear connections between the assault on free articulation and the rise of unbridled militarism, the surveillance state, the increasingly transnational police state, financial malfeasance, ecological degradation and toxic contamination of our mental environments. What are our responsibilities in Liberal Arts/Liberal Education to stand up against this onslaught? What can we do as human beings and as faculty members to try to at least slow the erosion of the human condition, indeed the conditions of all life on this planet?
When I returned to Canada from the New Horizon Conference in Iran, I became aware of a press conference that had taken place in New York. There, Abraham Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League engaged in harsh defamation of his own. The Anti-Defamation League emerges from the international operations of the B’nai Brith.
Foxman has recently retired from the ADL, an entity with over 400 regular employees and an annual budget of about $40 million. In 2014 Foxman was at the peak of his power in the role he had built up for himself since the 1960s. Over decades as the ADL’s primary mouthpiece, Foxman became one of the most powerful lobbyists and aggressive smear meisters to represent the Israeli government in the United States. Part of his job, it is reputed, was to have engaged in close collaboration with the Israeli secret service agency, the Mossad.
For his frequent attacks predictably targeting as “anti-Semites” a broad array of individuals and groups critical of Israel, Foxman was paid about $700,000 per year. In 2009 the professional assault on Prof. William I. Robinson’s career began when Abraham Foxman secretly visited selected administrators, professors and students at the University of California’s Santa Barbara campus.
Abraham Foxman’s smear of the New Horizon conference in Tehran in 2014 echoed widely throughout the mainstream media. Foxman used the occasion to condemn the whole event as a “hatefest” and its participants as “anti-Semites, conspiracy theorists, and holocaust deniers.” As on other occasions, Foxman referred specifically to “9/11 conspiracy theories”
Seeing these weaponized phrases— conspiracy theorist, 9/11 conspiracy theorist, anti-Semite, and holocaust denier— highlighted and grouped by the ADL, was something of a revelation for me. It caused me to reflect on how these weaponized terms are being malevolently flung about as a package. To be accused of one of the criminal categories is to be accused of them all. No definitions are ever offered when these control words are deployed for ritual defamation. There is never, as far as I can see, any real grappling with evidence to justify what is being asserted. You have demonstrated the consistency of this pattern yourself, Dr. Krislov. You implicitly directed two of these weaponized phrases at Dr. Karega without addressing how you arrived at your defamatory conclusions.
The deployment of the weaponized terms inevitably has the effect of blocking open, evidence-based discussion on fundamentally important issues of history and power. This malicious methodology is aimed, often by paid agents of Israel First organizations, at doing as much professional, personal and financial damage as possible. This process is already well advanced at Oberlin College where Dr. Karega has been pulled from the classroom because some individuals did not like her Facebook posts.
Seeking an Academic Language of Peace to Replace the Sullied Rhetoric of Verbal Warfare
This exercise of power over what gets taught and who does the teaching at a famous American Liberal Arts institution of higher learning does not bode well for the future of society. A very aggressive style of elite bullying is on full display here. Such bullying to assert political influence over the academic life of universities should not be sanctioned nor rewarded.
With all this in mind I propose that the conference we might mount could be entitled
Anti-Semitic Conspiracy Theories: A Rational or Irrational Phrase in Academic Discourse?
I invite you to work with Dr. Barrett and me in putting together some of the ingredients of this conference. Other possible participants that immediately come to mind are Daniel Pipes, Noam Chomsky, Jonathan Kay, Rita Katz, Alan Sabrosky, Barrie Zwicker, Robert Faurisson, Kevin Ryan, Richard Perle, E. Michael Jones, David Frum, Denis Rancourt, Gearóid Ó Colmáin, Gideon Polya, Cythia McKinney, Catherine Shakdam, Michael Chossudovsky, Alfred Schaefer, Vic Sadot, Janet Stein, Mark Taliano, William I. Robinson, John Baird, Sheldon Adelson, Newt Gingrich, David Naylor, Brian Mulroney, Gareth Porter, Pepe Escobar, Ken O’Keefe, Maisoon Rice, Ursula Haverbeck, James Corbett, Joshua Blakeney, John McMurtry, Christopher Bollyn, James Tracy, Steven Salita, Norman Finkelstein, Jez Turner, Stephen Toope, Elizabeth May, and Nader Talebzadeh.
Perhaps we could invite Dr. Joy Karega to set the tone with the opening address. Has Dr. Karega been offered a proper public platform at Oberlin College or elsewhere to tell her side of the story in a safe and secure academic setting? What arrangements if any is Oberlin College making to protect her person from assault for the alleged crime of publicizing her ideas?
Who might be involved in the institutional backing of this conference? I would like to propose that we invite the participation of the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto. I completed my Ph.D. at the U of T in 1984. I have written critically about the genesis and activities of the Munk School. I have accused it of isolating itself from scholars and scholarship that do not conform with the configurations of power behind the Munk School’s creation and operation.
To me the history of the Munk School illustrates many of the forces subordinating university life to the merging power of corporate and Zionist influence. A manifestation of this more general tendency is to be seen in attempts to exclude from the intellectual life of the academy contributions by the likes of Dr. Kevin Barrett, Dr. James Tracy and now, it seems, Dr. Joy Karega.
The Munk School of Global Affairs’ founder, Peter Munk, is a businessman who worked with Adan Khashoggi, George H.W. Bush, Brian Mulroney and others to expand the international operations of the Barrick Gold Corporation headquartered in Toronto. This history helps explain the Munk School’s strong political support for government deregulation of international mining operations headquartered in Canada. Another preoccupation of the Munk School is to advance some of the policies of Likudnik Israel including its anti-Iranian positions.
I have exchanged collegial correspondence with Munk School Director, Dr. Stephen Toope. In this process I have sent Dr. Toope publications illuminating subjects and interpretations that I think the Munk School should address to avoid the charge that it is engaged in forms of academic censorship. In particular, I have made the case that the Munk School should be much more open to including in its handling of the Global War on Terror due consideration of scholarship pertaining to false flag terrorism.
I observe that Dr. Toope has co-edited a book of conference papers on the Charlie Hebdo affair in Paris in January of 2015. The conference was sponsored by the Munk School that also partially funded the book entitled, After the Paris Attacks: Responses in Canada, Europe, and Around the Globe (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2015). Dr. Karega’s interpretation of the Charlie Hebdo affair is not consistent with any of the interpretations presented in the Munk School’s book. Dr. Karega’s interpretations are consistent with some of the interpretations that appeared in the book on which Dr. Barrett and I worked.
Dr. Barrett specifically refers to We Are Not Charlie Hebdo: Free Thinkers Question the French 9/11 (Lone Rock Wisconsin: Sifting and Winnowing Press, 2015) in both his letters to you. The volume’s 22 contributors include professors, a rabbi, a structural engineer, a former US Congress women, a former White House policy analyst, a former Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury Department and a Head of State.
This diverse array of public intellectuals has come up with a broad range of interpretations based on many different types of evidence. Most contributors agree, however, that the Charlie Hebdo affair was to some degree engineered covertly by intelligence agencies. Some think that the most likely architects of the false flag terror event have strong attachments to the policies and imperial aspirations of the Israeli government as well as many of its citizens.
Whether or not you agree with this interpretation, Dr. Krislov, it is one that a number of serious thinkers have put forward after conscientious engagement with the available evidence. There should have been some reckoning with this interpretation, even if only to say why it is wrong, in the Munk School’s volume that appeared months after We Are Not Charle Hebdo.
This exclusion of evidence is a small example of a much larger phenomenon of academic censorship, often in collusion with powerful political lobbies. One of the main censored subjects currently is false flag terrorism and the evidence of extensive Israeli deployment of this tactic to generate widespread public hostility towards the enemies of the Jewish state. A good case study of the extent of academic censorship would be to look at the reception, by university faculty members and libraries, of Dr. Barrett’s three recent volumes on false flag terrorism.
To justify ignoring this impressive scholarly achievement simply by uttering the magical hex phrase, “anti-Semitic conspiracy theorist,” or maybe even “Nazi” or “white supremacist,” hardly does justice to our community of scholarship.
Rather than continue our descent into a Hobbesian state of an all-encompassing war of all against all, why not try to move towards a more elevated objective of scholarship that advances peace with justice? Why not join together as peers to take the high road of academic endeavour in the spirit of civility, collegiality and the liberating potential of the Liberal Arts.
Anthony James Hall
Professor of Liberal Education and Globalization Studies
University of Lethbridge
The Henry Jackson Society is a neoconservative London-based think tank set up in the wake of the July 2005 London bombings. Earlier this year it contributed towards the expenses for former Justice Secretary Michael Gove and his family to attend pro-Israel events in the United States. On a trip to receive an award from the right-wing online magazine The Algemeiner, parliamentary records show that Gove, his wife and two children, as well as a member of staff, received thousands of pounds worth of flights, taxi journeys, accommodation and dinners.
The Algemeiner itself paid £124 for Gove and his entourage to travel in taxis, £2,525 on flights and a dinner costing £856. There was also a huge reception at which Michael Gove, Bernard Henri-Levy and Rupert Murdoch were the speakers. The Henry Jackson Society then topped up the contribution by paying for accommodation, amounting to £2,764 for the week’s lodgings. The Lisa and Michael Leffel Foundation, which is famed for its association with a number of pro-Israel causes as well as support for Israel soldiers’ charities, also took Gove and his political adviser out for a separate meal costing £185. The pair were wined and dined for a third time by Alisa Swidler, also a small-time Tory donor, at a cost of over £200.
Gove, who has made a flushed retreat to the backbenches following a bungled attempt to become prime minister in the wake of Brexit, and then being fired as Justice Minister by the new Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May, has long been a celebrity amongst Algemeiner staff. In 2013, they opined that his views were “more favourable to Israel than those of any other mainstream British politician, current or past.” He has won awards from their editorial board consistently for championing the cause of Israel in London and, particularly of late, trying to delegitimise the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. The Henry Jackson Society’s world view has become well-established in Westminster, although the group is small and not well-regarded by many Tory MPs; its pro-Israel stance is well known.
Since Israel’s 2006 war in Lebanon, when the Conservatives were still in opposition in Westminster, the then planning minister Michael Gove allied with George Osborne in convincing the formerly ambivalent David Cameron that British support for Israel must be redoubled, despite the ruling Likud Party’s ties with far-right parties. Shadow Foreign Secretary William Hague sparked a bitter rift between neoconservative figures like Gove and more sombre realists. “In some instances, such as attacks on the Lebanese army or on parts of the civil infrastructure, Israeli actions have been disproportionate,” Hague wrote, “and our Foreign Office should not be afraid to say so; our position in international affairs may often be linked to that of the United States but it does not have to be identical to it.”
According to one friend, this incensed Gove, who was on the cusp of publishing his first book as a Member of Parliament; he called it “Celsius 7/7” (his right-wing echo of Michael Moore’s film “Fahrenheit 9/11”), which called for a strengthening of ties with Israel. The mood at the Henry Jackson Society was equally angry. When the Israeli air force began pounding military and civilian targets in southern Lebanon, a crowd of two hundred HJS supporters at the launch event of its inaugural collection of neoconservative essays (“The British Moment”) rather coarsely “cheered to the rafters”, according to one person who was there. “I hope this book will ensure that the case for foreign policy with a conscience, grows in strength,” Gove wrote in his dedication for the tome.
The Spectator also insinuated that Hague’s reaction to the 2006 Lebanon war may have had an immediate financial impact, veering towards the kind of anti-Semitic tropes of which Gove has been such a fierce critic. A Tory donor was reported as saying that Hague’s position was “the latest in a long line of rebuttals for people like us, and the things we believe in.” Fraser Nelson at the Spectator (now editor of the magazine) judged that “of the £12 million the party normally raises each year (£25 million in an election year)… about a tenth comes from donors who are Jewish or have Jewish associations.” Apparently, he spoke with three donors who were planning to withhold funds from the Tories, prompted by a threatening letter by major donor Lord Stanley Kalms, who responded to Hague’s comments thus: “William Hague’s usual good sense has deserted him. Criticising Israel for being disproportionate without serious consideration of the alternatives merely mouths the buzzwords of the ignorant armchair critic. Think again, William, for whom you speak. How do you deal with the Hezbollah leader Nasrallah, who is committed to Israel’s total destruction (not a single Jew to remain alive in Israel) and who rains thousands of rockets on Israel, keeping the population in shelters, devastating industry, kidnapping and killing Israeli soldiers within Israeli territory?”
As the 2010 elections drew closer — after which the Conservatives took office as the major party in a coalition — the debate between Gove and his party opponents over whether Israel should be supported or rebuffed raged on. One former associate wrote that he remained “a purist neo-con, believing that the best way of tackling the rise of radical Islam is to oppose totalitarian regimes and back democracy in the Middle East, with Israel as its beacon.” Meanwhile, Hague — who would serve as Foreign Secretary, a role coveted deeply by Gove — took the realpolitik view that Syria should be courted as an ally, if only Damascus could be convinced to cut ties with Iran. Despite the withdrawal of donations from apparently pro-Israel donors, Cameron persisted and at one stage called Gaza a “prison camp” while insisting that the Israelis allow in more humanitarian aid.
Gove and Osborne eventually convinced Cameron to change tack; in fact, by the time of the 2015 General Election, Cameron’s persecution of the BDS movement and insouciance to credibly-alleged Israeli war crimes was earning him praise from the American right, Tel Aviv and the Israeli media. “Is David Cameron the most pro-Israeli [British] PM ever?” asked a Haaretz headline shortly before the polls opened.
The Henry Jackson Society is thought by many to be the stately home of British Neoconservatism, and as staunchly pro-American as it is pro-Israel. Gove and Robert Halfon, at that time Chairman of Conservative Friends of Israel, were, according to a co-founder of the think tank, “The only two active trustees at the start,” playing a role in securing early-stage funding. A core part of its activity has been around promoting pro-Israel views in the halls of Westminster and in the media; its Associate Director Douglas Murray is a regular broadcaster in defence of Israel during its recurrent military offensives against the Gaza strip.
The international patrons of HJS include American neoconservative figures like the journalists Robert Kagan and William Kristol (son of Irving Kristol, “godfather” of the neoconservatives, and Gertrude Himmelfarb, his wife, and also a prominent neoconservative), as well as the politically-minded American businessman Richard Perle. With a career spent drifting through mid-level Washington politics, Perle acted as a special adviser to the think tank’s namesake, the US Democrat Senator Henry “Scoop” Jackson, the “patron saint” of the neocon movement for his hawkish stance during the Cold War; the right-wing Perle would later play a key part in convincing George W. Bush to invade Iraq.
The Henry Jackson Society’s efforts to promote Israel since 2005, as well as those of politicians like Michael Gove and George Osborne, and supportive journalists, have not been entirely successful. While Cameron has expressed support for Israel’s “right of self-defence” and thus condoned high Palestinian casualties in Gaza, and dampened his calls for humanitarian assistance to Palestine, the pro-Israel lobby has been unable to slow the rising BDS movement, failed to stop a non-binding Parliamentary vote to recognise the state of Palestine, and failed to stop the Iran nuclear deal. With figures like Gove and Osborne now relegated to the backbenches, the lobby is in crisis as it tries to find new allies with the ear of the prime minister. Trips to America may be a good way to pass the time, but at the moment they may well be a waste of money with scant return for the lobbyists.
A lawsuit filed in federal court in Washington, D.C. claims that United States aid to Israel is illegal under a law passed in the 1970s that prohibits aid to nuclear powers that don’t sign the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
The lawsuit was filed by Grant Smith, director of the Institute for Research: Middle East Policy (IRMEP).
The lawsuit comes as the Obama administration is pushing to finalize a ten-year memorandum of understanding which will reportedly boost aid to Israel to $4 billion per year.
Such aid violates longstanding bans on foreign aid to non-signatories to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) with nuclear weapons programs, the lawsuit alleges.
Since the bans went into effect, U.S. foreign aid to Israel is estimated to be $234 billion.
Smith says that during investigations into the illegal diversion of weapons-grade uranium from U.S. contractor NUMEC to Israel in the mid-1970s, Senators Stuart Symington and John Glenn amended the 1961 Foreign Assistance Act to ban any aid to clandestine nuclear powers that were not NPT signatories.
Symington said at the time that “if you wish to take the dangerous and costly steps necessary to achieve a nuclear weapons option, you cannot expect the United States to help underwrite that effort indirectly or directly.”
Smith says that both the Symington and Glenn amendments have since been watered down and now apply only to nuclear transfers after 1985.
Smith says that the Obama administration follows precedents established since the Ford administration by ignoring internal agency and public domain information that should trigger Symington and Glenn cutoffs and waiver provisions governing foreign aid.
In 2012 the Department of Energy under U.S. State Department authority passed a secret gag law called “Guidance on Release of Information relating to the Potential for an Israeli Nuclear Capability.”
Smith says that measure promotes a “nuclear ambiguity” policy toward Israel.
The primary purpose of the gag law is to unlawfully subvert Symington and Glenn arms export controls, the lawsuit alleges.
In 2008, former President Jimmy Carter told reporters that Israel has “more than 150 nuclear weapons.”
In reporting President Carter’s remarks, the BBC also reported that “most experts estimate that Israel has between 100 and 200 nuclear warheads, largely based on information leaked to the Sunday Times newspaper in the 1990s by Mordechai Vanunu, a former worker at the country’s Dimona nuclear reactor.”
Smith says that the administration has three legal avenues to deal with a nuclear Israel under the Symington and Glenn amendments – either cut off foreign assistance, change the Symington and Glenn amendments to exempt Israel, or just grant a waiver.
Such Symington and Glenn waivers have already been granted to two other countries in a similar position – Pakistan and India, Smith said.
“But if you are Israel, and you don’t want an arms race in the Middle East, then you pretend it’s unknown that you have the weapons,” Smith said.
So much scandalous stuff about her is known, it’s just a matter of time before the next shoe drops.
Instead of exposing her as unfit to serve, media scoundrels express one-sided support, focusing instead on bashing Trump, the most irresponsible denunciation of a presidential aspirant in US history.
Judicial Watch (JW) is a conservative watchdog organization, “promot(ing) transparency, accountability and integrity in government, politics and the law.”
On August 9 and 10, it released three new damning reports on Hillary Clinton. One involved 296 pages of State Department records – including “44 email exchanges… not previously” disclosed to the department, raising the number to 171 – besides tens of thousands of others deleted to avoid disclosure.
JW findings contradict Clinton saying “as far as she knew” all government emails from her home-based private server were given to the State Department. She lied, compounding earlier willful deception – showing she’s untrustworthy, unfit to serve and criminally indictable.
What’s known from her emails is damning, showing special favors afforded wealthy Clinton Foundation donors, concealed influence selling now exposed.
As secretary of state, she pledged “(for) the duration of (her) appointment… not to participate personally and substantially in any particular matter involving specific parties in which the (Clinton Foundation or Clinton Global Initiative) is a party or represents a party.”
Damning emails showed she lied. According to JW president Tom Fitton, “(t)hey show the Clinton Foundation, Clinton donors, and operatives worked with Hillary Clinton in potential violation of the law.”
Earlier in March, May and June, JW released other newly discovered Clinton emails at the time, dating from January 2009 when she began her tenure as secretary of state.
They show she knew about the security risk of using her home server and personal BlackBerry for official government business. They include potentially indictable evidence relating to “the battle between security officials in the State Department, National Security Administration, Clinton and her staff,” said JW.
In response to a court order in other Judicial Watch litigation, she declared under penalty of perjury that she had ‘directed that all my emails on clintonemail.com in my custody that were or are potentially federal records be provided to the Department of State, and on information and belief, this has been done.’
Newly released emails proved she lied. Can an exposed liar under oath on matters of state, guilty of perjury, be trusted to serve as US president and commander-in-chief of its military? Humanity trembles at the prospect.
A second JW report was about her involvement in New York City corruption, saying she, mayor De Blasio and developer Bruce Ratner “are carving up the city.”
It cited a Brooklyn-based Atlantic Yards project worth $5 billion, speculating on whether it’s “a giant boondoggle, generating torrents of cash for well-connected insiders.”
A third JW report included documents, showing Clinton’s then chief of staff, Cheryl Mills, was alerted in advance about the inquiry into her emails – giving her plenty of time to conceal what she didn’t want revealed.
Earlier this year, the State Department Office of Inspector General concluded that (her response to its request) was ‘inaccurate and incomplete.’
JW’s Tom Fitton commented, saying
“(t)his is evidence that Cheryl Mills covered up Hillary Clinton’s email system. (She) allowed a response to go out that was a plain lie.”
“And you can bet if Cheryl Mills knew about this inquiry, then Hillary Clinton did, too. This is all the more reason for Mrs. Clinton to finally testify under oath about the key details of her email practices.”
Instead of a daily blizzard of irresponsible Trump bashing, damning JW-released information on Clinton, and plenty more like it from other sources, should be feature front page news daily – demanding she be held accountable.
Stephen Lendman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. His new book as editor and contributor is titled Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.
The Pentagon Money Pit: $6.5 Trillion in Unaccountable Army Spending, and No DOD Audit for the Past Two Decades
What if the inspector general of the Department of Health and Human Services were to report that $6.5 billion in spending by that federal agency was unaccounted for and untraceable? You can imagine the headlines, right? What if it was $65 billion? The headlines would be as big as for the first moon landing or for troops landing on Omaha Beach in World War II.
But how about a report by the Pentagon’s Office of Inspector General saying that the US Army had $6.5 trillion in unaccountable expenditures for which there is simply no paper trail? That is 6,500 billion dollars! Have you heard about that? Probably not. That damning report was issued back on July 26 — two whole weeks ago — but as of today it has not even been reported anywhere in the corporate media.
It’s not that it’s secret information, or hard to come by. The report is available online at the Department of Defense’s OIG website. And as it states:
The Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Financial Management & Comptroller) (OASA[FM&C]) and the Defense Finance and Accounting Service Indianapolis (DFAS Indianapolis) did not adequately support $2.8 trillion in third quarter journal voucher (JV) adjustments and $6.5 trillion in yearend JV adjustments made to AGF data during FY 2015 financial statement compilation.2 The unsupported JV adjustments occurred because OASA(FM&C) and DFAS Indianapolis did not prioritize correcting the system deficiencies that caused errors resulting in JV adjustments, and did not provide sufficient guidance for supporting system‑generated adjustments.
In addition, DFAS Indianapolis did not document or support why the Defense Departmental Reporting System‑Budgetary (DDRS-B), a budgetary reporting system, removed at least 16,513 of 1.3 million records during third quarter FY 2015. This occurred because DFAS Indianapolis did not have detailed documentation describing the DDRS-B import process or have accurate or complete system reports.
As a result, the data used to prepare the FY 2015 AGF third quarter and yearend financial statements were unreliable and lacked an adequate audit trail. Furthermore, DoD and Army managers could not rely on the data in their accounting systems when making management and resource decisions.
This dense bureaucrateze doesn’t mean that $6.5 trillion has been stolen, or that this is money in addition to the $600 billion that the Pentagon spent in fiscal 2015. It means that for years — and $6.5 trillion represents at about 15 years’ worth of US military spending — the Department of Defense (sic) has not been tracking or recording or auditing all of the taxpayer money allocated by Congress — what it was spent on, how well it was spent, or where the money actually ended up. There are enough opportunities here for corruption, bribery, secret funding of “black ops” and illegal activities, and of course for simple waste to march a very large army, navy and air force through. And by the way, things aren’t any better at the Navy, Air Force and Marines.
Incredibly, no mainstream reporter or editor in the US has seen this as a story worth reporting to the American public.
Just to give a sense of the scale of this outrage, consider that total federal discretionary spending in FY 2015 was just over $1.1 trillion. That includes everything from education ($70 billion), housing and community development ($63 billion), Medicare and health ($66 billion), veterans’ benefits ($65 billion), energy ($39 billion), transportation ($26 billion) and international affairs ($41 billion), and of course that $600 billion for the military.
All the other agencies that are responsible for those other outlays, like the Dept. of Education, the Dept. of Veterans Affairs, the Dept. of Housing and Urban Development, etc., have been required by Congress since 1996 to file reports on annual audits of their budgets. The Pentagon was subject to that same act of Congress too, but for 20 years and running it has failed to do so. It has simply stonewalled, and so far has gotten away with it.
Nobody in Congress seems to care about this contempt of Congress. Neither of the two mainstream political candidates for president, Republican Donald Trump nor Democrat Hillary Clinton, seems to care either. Neither one has mentioned this epic scandal.
According to the OIG’s report, this problem actually goes back a generation, to 1991, five years before Congress even passed the law requiring all federal agencies to operate using federal accounting standards and to conduct annual audits, when the Government Accountability Office found “unsupported adjustments” were being made to the military’s financial statements during an audit of FY 1991 Army financial statements. Fully 17 years later, the Army, in its FY 2008 statement of Assurance on Internal Controls, said that the “weakness” found in 1991 “would be corrected by the end of FY 2011,” an outrageous decade later. But the OIG report goes on to say:
However, the FY 2015 Statement of Assurance on Internal Controls indicated this material weakness remained uncorrected and may not be corrected until third quarter 2017.
Such a lackadaisical attitude on the part of the Pentagon, Congress and the media towards such a massive accounting failure involving trillions of dollars is simply mind-boggling, and yet there is nobody in Congress jumping up and down in the well of the House or or at Armed Services Committee hearings demanding answers and heads. No president or presidential candidate is denouncing this atrocity.
Aside from the political question of how much the US should actually be spending on the military — and clearly, spending almost as much as the rest of the world combined on war and war preparedness is not justifiable — how can anyone, of any political persuasion, accept the idea of spending such staggering sums of money without insisting on any accountability?
Consider that politicians of both major political parties are demanding accountability for every penny spent on welfare, including demanding that recipients of welfare prove that they are trying to find work. Ditto for people receiving unemployment compensation. Consider the amount of money and time spent on testing students in public schools in a vain effort to make teachers accountable for student “performance.” And yet the military doesn’t have to account for any of its trillions of dollars of spending on manpower and weapons — even though Congress fully a generation ago passed a law requiring such accountability.
Phone and email requests to the DOD press office for the Office of Inspector General asking for comment went unanswered.
Mandy Smithberger, director of the Straus Military Reform Project at the Project on Government Oversight (POGO), says, “Accounting at the Department of Defense is a disaster, but nobody is screaming about it because you have a lot of people in Congress who believe in more military spending, so they don’t really challenge military spending.” She adds, “You won’t see anything change unless Congress cuts the Pentagon budget in order to get results, and they’re not going to do that.”
She might have added that the reporters and editors and publishers of the corporate media also support military spending, so the media are not reporting on this scandal either, meaning that the public remains in the dark and unconcerned about it. Sure, the media will report on a $600 air force toilet seat and the public will be appropriately outraged, but there is no word about an untraceable $6.5 trillion in Army spending and no public outrage… except perhaps among those who read alternative publications like this one.
Enough! I don’t want to hear another complaint about government spending on welfare, education, environment, health care subsidies, immigrant benefits or whatever, until the Pentagon has to report on, account for and audit every dollar that it is spending on war.
No more free ride for the military.
Michael Morell “Calls it like he sees it.” Or does he?
Former CIA Acting Director Michael Morell has written a New York Times op-ed entitled “I Ran the CIA. Now I’m endorsing Hillary Clinton.” Morell’s story begins with the flat assertion that “Mrs. Clinton is highly qualified to be commander in chief. I trust she will deliver on the most important duty of a president – keeping our nation safe…Donald J. Trump is not only unqualified for the job, but he may well pose a threat to our national security.”
Morell arrived at his judgement regarding the upcoming election based on his four years of interaction with Hillary Clinton when she was Secretary of State. He admired her preparation, diligence and her willingness to “change her mind if presented with a compelling argument.” Morell “also saw the secretary’s commitment to our nation’s security: her belief that America is an exceptional nation that must lead in the world for the country to remain secure and prosperous; her understanding that diplomacy can be effective only if the country is perceived as willing and able to use force if necessary; and – her capacity to make the most difficult decision of all – whether to put young American women and men in harm’s way.”
“I Ran the CIA” Morell goes on to cite how Hillary was a “proponent of a more aggressive approach [in Syria], one that might have prevented the Islamic State from gaining a foothold…” and he credits her with not politicizing national security when she rejected moving the raid to kill bin Laden back one day so it would not conflict with the White House Correspondents Dinner. Throughout his piece Morell implies that Hillary’s “keeping us safe” policies will somehow actually benefit the country, but he does not explain why and never once mentions what actual American national interests might be served through global “leadership” backed up by force majeure.
And then there is Trump. Morell runs through the litany of the GOP candidate’s observed personality and character failings while also citing his lack of experience but he delivers what he thinks to be his most crushing blow when he introduces Vladimir Putin into the discussion. Putin, it seems, a wily ex-career intelligence officer, is “trained to identify vulnerabilities in an individual and to exploit them. That is exactly what he did early in the primaries. Mr. Putin played upon Mr. Trump’s vulnerabilities… In the intelligence business, we would say that Mr. Putin had recruited Mr. Trump as an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation.”
How can one be both unwitting and a recruited agent? Some might roll their eyes at that bit of hyperbole, but Morell goes on to explain why a claim that would be rather difficult to validate matters. He is unflinching and just a tad sanctimonious in affirming that his own intelligence training means that “[I] call it as I see it.” He derides Trump’s naivete in affirming that “Mr. Putin is a great leader…ignoring that he has killed and jailed journalists and political opponents, has invaded two of his neighbors and is driving his economy to ruin. Mr. Trump has also taken policy positions consistent with Russian, not American, interests — endorsing Russian espionage against the United States, supporting Russia’s annexation of Crimea and giving a green light to a possible Russian invasion of the Baltic States.”
Comments in The Times suggest that many readers are actually buying Morell’s argument, such as it is. They are perhaps ignorant of a number of facts about the author and where he stands ideologically and politically speaking, but first of all Morell’s bluster deserves a bit of a fact check. That the U.S. is “an exceptional nation” obliging it to lead the world, using force without hesitation whenever necessary, might well be questioned by many, particularly in light of the ineffective – or one might say disastrous? – policies instituted over the past fifteen years, policies which, I might add, both Morell and Clinton were parties to.
Contrary to Morell’s assertion, a hawkish Hillary Clinton has never hesitated to put young Americans or anyone else in “harm’s way.” His advocacy of Hillary’s promotion of using military force to overthrow Bashar al-Assad in Syria can be easily challenged by even cursory reflection on the dreadful results produced by similar efforts in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. A Syria with no government or a regime made up of a mixture of enemies of al-Assad would have become an open door for the development and expansion of ISIS, which is currently being most effectively opposed by the Syrian Army. And the Russians.
And yes, the Russians. For Morell and apparently Clinton they are the eternal enemy, but Trump’s often stated willingness to work with Putin and the nuclear armed state he heads is somehow seen as a Russian interest, not an American one. That Russia allegedly “invaded” two neighbors and forcibly annexed Crimea is a comic book version of what actually took place and which continues to roil the region. And there is no evidence whatsoever that Moscow either broke into the Democratic Party files or that it intends to invade the Baltic states. So much for the presumed insider knowledge coming from the man who “ran the CIA.”
As for the clincher about Trump being a Moscow run Manchurian candidate, I would suggest that Morell might have been a top analyst at the Agency but he never acquired or ran an actual spy in his life so his comments about The Donald having been recruited by Putin should be taken for what they are worth, which is precisely nothing. Indeed, as I have noted, calling someone an “unwitting agent” is itself meaningless as it implies being somehow recruited to engage in espionage but without realizing it and without being actually called upon to do anything. I would doubt that many real CIA Operations Officers would agree with Morell’s glib assessment or use such an expression. Trump for all his failings is presumably patriotic and no fool. He just might understand that dealing with a powerful foreign leader who is not completely to one’s liking just might be better than nuclear war. Perhaps Morell and Clinton should consider that option.
Michael Morell is, in fact, a product of Washington groupthink and a major beneficiary of Establishment politics, the very tradition that Hillary Clinton represents. Many readers have no doubt seen his serious, somewhat intense gaze as a television expert on terrorism. His career trajectory depends on there being major threats to the United States and this requires him to be constantly searching for enemies. Morell has covered for Hillary in the past, most notably over Benghazi where he altered the talking points of his Congressional testimony to make CIA’s assessment closer to Clinton’s version of events. That he has attached himself to the Hillary Clinton campaign should surprise no one.
When not fronting as a handsomely paid national security consultant for the CBS television network, Morell is employed by Beacon Global Strategies as a Senior Counselor, a company co-founded by Andrew Shapiro and Philippe Reines, members of the Clinton inner circle. As he has no experience in financial markets, he presumably spends his time warning well-heeled clients to watch out for random terrorists and Russians seeking to acquire “unwitting agents.” The clients might also want to consider that unless Morell is being illegally fed classified information by former colleagues his access to valuable insider information ended three years ago when he retired from CIA.
The national security industry that Morell is part of runs on fear. His current lifestyle and substantial emoluments depend on people being afraid of terrorism and foreigners in general, compelling them to turn to a designated expert like him to ask serious questions that he will answer in a serious way, sometimes suggesting that Islamic militants could potentially bring about some kind of global apocalypse if one does not seek knowledgeable counsel from firms like Beacon Global Strategies. And the Russians and Iranians are inevitably behind it all.
Morell, also a CIA torture apologist and a George Tenet protégé, was deeply involved in [
many of the intelligence failures that preceded and followed] 9/11. He also has a book out that he wants to sell, positing somewhat ridiculously that he and his former employer had been fighting The Great War of Our Time against Islamic terrorists, something comparable to the World Wars of the past century, hence the title. Morell tends to see the world in Manichean terms. If he were at all introspective he might question the bad guys versus good guys narrative that he possibly peddles for commercial reasons but that is a road he does not choose to go down. His credentials as a warrior are somewhat suspect in any event as he never did any military service and his combat in the world of intelligence consisted largely of sitting behind a desk in Washington and providing briefings to George W. Bush and Barack Obama in which he presumably told them what they wanted to hear, though I am sure he would deny that.
It is certainly unseemly that the self-serving Morell has felt it appropriate to invoke his former government position to provide authenticity for a series of comments that in reality are little more than his own opinion. And, unfortunately, self-advancement by virtue of a government-private sector revolving door is not unique. He is but one of a host of pundits who are successful in selling the military-industrial-lobbyist-congressional-intelligence community’s largely fabricated narrative regarding the war on terror and diversified foreign threats. Throw in the neoconservatives as the in-your-face agents provocateurs who provide instant intellectual and media credibility for developments and you have large groups of engaged individuals with good access who are on the receiving end of the seemingly unending cash pipeline that began with 9/11. And the good thing about a well maintained pipeline is that it keeps on flowing. Is Michael J. Morell anticipating a high position in the Hillary Clinton Administration? You betcha.
The heart-warming image of the Olympic Refugee Team entering the Maracana Stadium last Friday was a special moment, but 77,000 Brazilian residents have themselves been displaced as a result of the Games.
The Rio 2016 Games are the first to have a team of refugees compete, in recognition of the 60 million refugees around the world.
Athletes from Syria, South Sudan, Ethiopia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo were chosen to represent the refugee team, which has been handed a group of coaches and support staff to help them during the Games.
International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach heralded the refugee team.
“These refugees have no home, no team, no flag, no national anthem,” he said.
“We will offer them a home in the Olympic Village together with all the athletes of the word. The Olympic anthem will be played in their honor and the Olympic flag will lead them into the Olympic Stadium.
“This will be a symbol of hope for all the refugees in our world, and will make the world better aware of the magnitude of this crisis. It is also a signal to the international community that refugees are our fellow human beings and are an enrichment to society.”
Although the Olympics may offer a handful of refugees a temporary home in Brazil, the event itself has directly forced around 77,000 Brazilian natives from their homes to make way for infrastructure.
As was the case in the football World Cup in 2014, protesters opposed the hosting of a major sporting event in Brazil – mainly due to the country’s dire economic situation and the social issues that ravage the nation.
One of the main reasons for opposition to the 2016 Olympics has been the creation of IDPs, internally displaced persons, in Brazil.
Among the worst-affected areas was the poverty-stricken Rio suburb of Vila Autodromo, where residents were forcibly removed from their homes.
The infrastructure upgrade to Vila Autodromo will drive development projects including plush apartment buildings, but serves as a sardonic reminder to poor families that they have been forced out of their homes.
As he moves into his new position at Teneo Holdings, Bratton will go from enforcing ‘broken windows’ to rubbing elbows with those gathered at the nexus between law enforcement, the national security state, the military-industrial complex, and U.S.-U.K.-NATO foreign policy.
Former NYPD Commissioner William Bratton Speaks at The First National Personal Security Conference in Israel, 2014. (Photo: Israeli Ministry of Public Security)
New York City Police Commissioner Bill Bratton formally announced his resignation on Tuesday, marking the end of a tumultuous second term as the NYPD’s top cop.
Bratton, largely seen as the architect of the “broken windows” law enforcement strategy that targets low-level offenses in order to stop larger offenses, has been heavily criticized by social justice advocates, who have charged that Bratton’s tactics amount to a targeting of people of color who are then saddled with criminal records, promoting further problems for themselves and their families.
While Bratton touts his record on crime – NYC has seen crime, especially violent crime, continue to drop to record lows under Bratton – he has a much more dubious record when it comes to police-community engagement. If anything, Bratton has become a lightning rod for criticism, especially in the wake of the 2014 murder of Eric Garner by NYPD officers, none of whom faced any criminal repercussions. Bratton faced similar criticisms in his other positions, including in Los Angeles and Boston, where he was sharply criticized for many of the same policies.
His resignation provides yet another scandalous example of how Bratton represents the very worst of the political establishment in the United States. While some will be celebrating his retreat from public office, it is critical to note that Bratton has accepted a job with Teneo Holdings, a consulting group closely linked to the Clinton political machine, as well as Israel and its lobby.
And it is here, at the crossroads of the national security state and the political ruling class, that Bratton will continue to protect and serve — the interests of the elite, that is.
Behind the curtain at Teneo Holdings
Teneo Holdings may ring a bell for political junkies, mainly because of the controversy that erupted in 2013 after it was revealed that Huma Abedin, the top aide to Hillary Clinton and wife of disgraced New York Rep. Anthony Weiner, had failed to disclose that she was simultaneously employed by the State Department and as a consultant for Teneo.
Of course, it wasn’t simply the lack of transparency that was of concern, but rather the obvious conflict of interest for a State Department employee with access to top level cabinet officials in the Obama administration to be representing outside interests. Indeed, this sort of highly unethical move by a close Clinton confidante is really par for the course for Hillary (and Bill) whose unethical dealings include overseeing arms deals to Clinton Foundation donors, appointing Clinton Foundation donors to key State Department positions, and raising money from individuals closely connected to foreign governments, among others.
However, it is the relationship between the Clintons and Teneo that is of particular interest.
Teneo Holdings was founded by Douglas Band, a close adviser to former President Bill Clinton, and Declan Kelly, a major Clinton fundraiser and special envoy to Northern Ireland for Hillary when she was Secretary of State. Writing for Politico, Rachael Bade, reported in April:
“While serving as Clinton’s special envoy, reaching out to global corporations for those investments, [Kelly] was also working for two of them as a private consultant — earning about $2.4 million from Dow Chemical, a longtime client of his and one of the firms that participated in Clinton’s Ireland initiative.”
Once again, highly improper conflicts of interest seem to be as instinctive as breathing when it comes to the Clintons. But it is precisely these connections between political elites, major financial and corporate players, and the people behind Teneo, that is of most interest. Again, Bade explains:
“With Bill Clinton serving in the paid position of honorary chairman, and Hillary as secretary of state, Teneo [became] a blend of public relations advice for CEOs and more technical investor relations work. Corporate executives paid $250,000 a month — sometimes more — for consulting and assistance. They also, in some cases, got to hobnob with a former president. The firm forged a mutually beneficial relationship with the Clinton Global Initiative, the fancy annual Clinton Foundation event starring the former president and other world leaders. The New York Times and The New Republic first reported three years ago how the philanthropic gathering provided an ideal nexus for Teneo to both recruit new clients and enhance the visibility of existing clients by getting them speaking roles.”
It’s not difficult to see just what Teneo was doing: using connections and influence peddling to become one of the world’s premier consulting firms, one which could guarantee corporate interests and foreign states access to the most influential individuals in the uppermost echelons of power in the U.S. It’s not exactly the sort of product that just any run-of-the-mill consultancy could deliver.
And so, former NYPD Commissioner Bratton is heading to Teneo to serve as the head of the new risk management division where, according to the Wall Street Journal, he will “advise CEOs on how to deal with issues ranging from terrorism to cybercrime.” And Bratton is not alone; he joins former Clinton and Obama envoy to the Middle East, George Mitchell, as well as former British foreign secretary William Hague, as Teneo’s latest high-profile hire.
Again, the influence peddling and access is what is critical here. Bratton, Mitchell, and Hague represent the nexus between law enforcement, the national security state, the military-industrial complex, and U.S.-U.K.-NATO foreign policy.
Teneo, Israel, and the U.S. Empire
The connections between key figures in the Teneo/Clinton orbit and Israel abound. Take for instance the fact that Mitchell, one of the most well-connected political operators in the Middle East, is a senior advisor for Teneo while he has maintained working relationships with many members of the Israeli government and state. Crispin Hawes, managing director of Teneo Intelligence, is also closely connected to the region, having been Eurasia Group’s leading expert on the Middle East and North Africa.
Bratton, himself, has cultivated extremely close and friendly ties with the Israeli state. In May 2014, Bratton gave the keynote address at Israel’s National Conference on Personal Security in Jerusalem, a conclave of some of the leading figures in Israel’s (and the United States’) national security apparatus. The conference included influential attendees from around the world.
Bratton poses with Israeli officials at the First National Personal Security Conference in Israel. (Photo: Israeli Ministry of Public Security)
But this was certainly not the only time that Bratton had direct dealings with, and praise for, the security state of apartheid Israel. In fact, as chief of the Los Angeles Police Department, Bratton nurtured cooperative relations between the LAPD and Israeli security forces. As The Jewish Journal reported in 2014:
“The LAPD-Israel bond was in large part fused by former LAPD Chief William Bratton, who made official trips to Israel to learn about the country’s advanced counter-terrorism tactics during his chiefdom from 2002 to 2009. At a town hall meeting in Los Angeles near the end of his term, Bratton said of Israeli intelligence experts: ‘They are our allies. They are some of the best at what they do in the world, and that close relationship has been one of growing strength and importance.’”
In fact, those close ties between Bratton’s LAPD and Israel have endured long since his tenure in Los Angeles was over. The LAPD routinely sends officers and other officials to Israel for training and other initiatives, as do members of other police forces, including Boston and New York, both of which saw Bratton as police chief.
It’s no wonder then that the violent and brutal repression practiced by Israeli security forces against Palestinians has become a staple of U.S. law enforcement. Shoot first and lie about what happened. Shoot first and blame the victim. It works in the West Bank just as it does in Ferguson and Baltimore and Baton Rouge. And, in both cases, the guilty are exonerated while being held up as heroes by the media and political establishment. All the while, the body count keeps rising.
Bratton, of course, has no qualms with this, just as he’ll relish the opportunity to rub elbows with the world’s most influential people as he transitions to his new job with Teneo.
One evening soon Bratton will be sitting with the likes of Doug Band, Declan Kelly, and maybe even Bill and Hillary Clinton. They will toast to each others’ success as they laugh about the Crime Bill of 1994, the mass incarceration state, the prison-industrial complex, and the danger of “superpredators.” They’ll share stories about how their heroic policies, widely perceived as unabashedly racist, changed the American social fabric, making America safe again, to borrow a nauseating line from Donald Trump. They may even lament that they didn’t do more to expand the draconian policies for which they’ve come to be known.
They’ll also be cashing their checks. Big ones. Courtesy of the City of New York, Los Angeles, Israel, Wall Street and the military-industrial complex. And it goes almost without saying that at no point will Bratton and his Teneo cronies ever remember just how many hundreds of thousands, perhaps even millions, of lives they’ve ruined, families they’ve destroyed, and children their policies killed.
Such is the sociopathy of power in the Empire.