Nov 242014
 

The National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) Global Terrorism Database – part of a joint government-university program on terrorism – is hosted at the University of Maryland.

START is the most comprehensive open source terrorism database, which can be viewed by journalists and civilians lacking national security clearance.

A quick review of charts from the START database show that terrorism has increased in the last 9 years since the U.S. started its “war on terror”.

This chart shows the number of terror attacks conducted in Iraq:

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Oct 032014
 

Abu Usamah Somali, the self-proclaimed “spokesperson of ISIS,” is a Somali-Canadian by the name of Farah Mohamed Shirdon.

Shirdon made his debut foray into the public psyche in a video that went viral last April. In the video, he threatened Canada and America and ripped up his Canadian passport and threw it into a fire.

ISIS’ spokesperson is a former movie theater employee from Calgary

“We are coming and will destroy you,” Shirdon announced in the video, “this is a message for Canada and for all America.”

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Aug 112014
 

The Rise to Power of the National Security State

As every schoolchild knows, there are three check-and-balance branches of the U.S. government: the executive, Congress, and the judiciary. That’s bedrock Americanism and the most basic high school civics material. Only one problem: it’s just not so.

During the Cold War years and far more strikingly in the twenty-first century, the U.S. government has evolved.  It sprouted a fourth branch: the national security state, whose main characteristic may be an unquenchable urge to expand its power and reach.  Admittedly, it still lacks certain formal prerogatives of governmental power.  Nonetheless, at a time when Congress and the presidency are in a check-and-balance ballet of inactivity that would have been unimaginable to Americans of earlier eras, the Fourth Branch is an ever more unchecked and unbalanced power center in Washington.  Curtained off from accountability by a penumbra of secrecy, its leaders increasingly are making nitty-gritty policy decisions and largely doing what they want, a situation illuminated by a recent controversy over the possible release of a Senate report on CIA rendition and torture practices.

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Jun 202014
 

Prior to the U.S. government’s invasion of Iraq in 2003, longtime supporters of The Future of Freedom Foundation will recall that we stood squarely against the operation.

We emphasized that the excuse given for the operation — that Saddam Hussein was supposedly about to unleash nuclear weapons and other WMDs against the United States — was entirely bogus and was simply a clever device to garner support from the American people.

We pointed out that the U.S. government had no constitutional authority to invade Iraq because there was no congressional declaration of war, as the Constitution requires. If President Bush had tried to secure a congressional declaration of war, the likelihood is that some members of Congress would have exposed the WMD scare as bogus.

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Jun 042014
 

Throughout the Cold War, the proponents of the national-security state assured us that the only reason the United States needed to adopt this totalitarian-like apparatus was because of the international communist conspiracy emanating from the Soviet Union and Red China. Once the Cold War was won, the statists said, America could restore the limited-government constitutional republic that the Constitution established.

Of course, the argument was a sham. The proponents of empire, standing army, and CIA knew that the possibility that the Cold War would ever end was virtually non-existent. They knew that the “communist threat” could be used as a perpetual justification for the existence of America’s warfare state and its ever-growing budgets and army of contractors and subcontractors. The statists just loved big government and figured that they had come up with the perfect scam to achieve it on a permanent basis.

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Feb 282014
 

The investigative reporter and author Gareth Porter has recently published a book entitled A Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare. An impressively written and researched work, it is also frightening in its implications. For if Porter’s allegations are accurate, it is not Iran that the American people should fear – it is their own politicians, bureaucrats and an “ally” named Israel.

According to Porter, there has never been a serious nuclear weapons programme undertaken by Iran. By the way, this is a conclusion that is supported by the heads of all American intelligence agencies reporting annually to Congress. Unfortunately, this repeated determination has been scorned by the politicians and poorly reported by the media. As a result, the American people lack the knowledge to independently judge Iranian actions as regards nuclear research, and so can be led to erroneous conclusions by those pursuing their own political or ideological ends or, as in the present case, the intrigues of a foreign government.

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Feb 172014
 


The WikiLeaks revelations have shined a light on the dark nature of U.S. foreign policy, including, as Eric Margolis recently described it: “Washington’s heavy-handed treatment of friends and foes alike, its bullying, use of diplomats as junior-grade spies, narrow-minded views, and snide remarks about world leaders.”

As much as I, an American, hate to say it, U.S. foreign policy is actually much worse. It is aggressive, reckless, belligerent, and meddling. It sanctions the destabilization and overthrow of governments, the assassination of leaders, the destruction of industry and infrastructure, the backing of military coups, death squads, and drug traffickers, and imperialism under the guise of humanitarianism. It supports corrupt and tyrannical governments and brutal sanctions and embargoes. It results in discord, strife, hatred, and terrorism toward the United States.

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Nov 042013
 

The Coming Era of Tiny Wars and Micro-Conflicts

In terms of pure projectable power, there’s never been anything like it.  Its military has divided the world — the whole planet — into six “commands.”  Its fleet, with 11 aircraft carrier battle groups, rules the seas and has done so largely unchallenged for almost seven decades.  Its Air Force has ruled the global skies, and despite being almost continuously in action for years, hasn’t faced an enemy plane since 1991 or been seriously challenged anywhere since the early 1970s.  Its fleet of drone aircraft has proven itself capable of targeting and killing suspected enemies in the backlands of the planet from Afghanistan and Pakistan to Yemen and Somalia with little regard for national boundaries, and none at all for the possibility of being shot down.  It funds and trains proxy armies on several continents and has complex aid and training relationships with militaries across the planet.  On hundreds of bases, some tiny and others the size of American towns, its soldiers garrison the globe from Italy to Australia, Honduras to Afghanistan, and on islands from Okinawa in the Pacific Ocean to Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean.  Its weapons makers are the most advanced on Earth and dominate the global arms market.  Its nuclear weaponry in silos, on bombers, and on its fleet of submarines would be capable of destroying several planets the size of Earth.  Its system of spy satellites is unsurpassed and unchallenged.  Its intelligence services can listen in on the phone calls or read the emails of almost anyone in the world from top foreign leaders to obscure insurgents.  The CIA and its expanding paramilitary forces are capable of kidnapping people of interest just about anywhere from rural Macedonia to the streets of Rome and Tripoli.  For its many prisoners, it has set up (and dismantled) secret jails across the planet and on its naval vessels.  It spends more on its military than the next most powerful 13 states combined.  Add in the spending for its full national security state and it towers over any conceivable group of other nations.

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Nov 042013
 

IDF veterans came together for sharing uneasiness about what they witnessed in occupied Palestine.

Palestinian Akram Abu Roka is treated for burns at Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip on Jan. 11, 2009. The hospital’s chief doctor said the injuries might have been caused by munitions containing white phosphorus. Human Rights Watch said that Israel’s military had fired artillery shells packed with the incendiary agent over populated areas of Gaza, putting civilians at risk. (AP Photo/Eyad Baba)

“The perspective we grew up with is that we must defend Israel from terrorism. Not only that — there are settlements there [in the Palestinian territories] and whatever you may think on the political level, the settlers are citizens and you consider they deserve protection as well. So basically, you think that the military is about doing defense. But as we started to sit down, we realized playing defense is actually very little part of the story. What it is really about is offense — this is all against a Palestinian State.”

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Oct 182013
 

“There was, of course, no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment. How often, or on what system, The Thought Police plugged in on any individual wire was guesswork. It was even conceivable that they watched everybody all the time. But at any rate, they could plug in your wire whenever they wanted to. You had to live – did live, from habit that became instinct – in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every move was scrutinized.”

The above quote is from “1984,” by George Orwell. The now-famous date that Orwell chose was actually of no real significance. He simply reversed the last two digits of the year in which he wrote the book, 1948. Orwell concerned himself less with timeline than with concept. And that concept has been chillingly accurate in its foresight.

The quote above should ring alarm bells in today’s world, particularly for those who live in the US, as the US government leads the world in the development of surveillance of its people.

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