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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The New York Times's Dangerous Lies About Ukraine and Russia


 Guest Post by Eric Zuesse 


(PREFACE: Right before this went to press, Britain's Guardian headlined "Moscow May Walk Out of Nuclear Treaty," and Washingtonsblog bannered "Senior U.S. Intelligence Officers: Obama Should Release Ukraine Evidence." 

The latter newsflash is a memo to the President signed today by 9 senior retired U.S. intelligence professionals who gently lay out the evidence that President Obama has been lying about the evidence regarding the shoot-down of the Malaysian airliner, and telling him that unless his Administration comes clean on that matter very soon, and offers the world solid evidence of Russia’s and/or Ukrainian separatists’ involvement if he has any, he is going to look very bad, and that he therefore needs to act quickly to "curb the risk that relations with Russia might escalate from 'Cold War II' into an armed confrontation." I can only add: It might already be too late for him and the Times and the rest of the U.S. propaganda-establishment to quit deceiving the gullible U.S. public, but the risks from continued lying are even higher, nothing less than a nuclear war. So: they must.)

On July 26th, The New York Times  headlined "Pentagon Plan Would Help Ukraine Target Rebel Missiles," and stenographically reported, as if facts, mere claims by White House propagandists, with no evidence, and despite prior blatant lies from the Obama Administration, lies such as Obama's having expressed certainty that the sarin gas attack in Syria came from Bashar al-Assad's forces and not from Obama, which Obama knew to have been the actual case.

Regarding that infamous earlier incident, the London Review of Books  had headlined on 4 April 2014 (issue of 17 April), “Seymour M. Hersh on Obama, Erdoğan and the Syrian rebels,” and Hersh reported that within little more than a week after Obama had announced that he would bomb Syria over the sarin gas attack, Obama had been informed, from a secret joint British-Russian Porton Down chemical weapons lab report, that it was concluded that fundamentalist Islamic al-Nusra rebels backed by Turkey’s leader Recep Erdogan had actually perpetrated the sarin attack (which was done specifically in order to provide an excuse for the U.S. to join the war against Assad); and, that, “The Porton Down report caused the joint chiefs to go to the president with a more serious worry: that the attack sought by the White House would be an unjustified act of aggression. It was the joint chiefs who led Obama to change course.” As usual, the public were being lied-to about the entire matter: they were spoon-fed by America’s “free press” a fictitious cover story from the White House that was run by the U.S. aristocracy. And, furthermore, the main function of the CIA mission at the Benghazi Libya consulate, the consulate that had been destroyed by Libyan islamic fundamentalists on 11 September 2012, had been to oversee the CIA’s “rat line” that was feeding weapons, from the overthrown leader Gaddafi’s arsenals, to jihadist rebels in Syria. That CIA operation was funded by Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, but the U.S. operated it, at its compound, in Benghazi. For the jihadists in Syria, it wasn’t enough just to get weapons from the U.S.; they also wanted the U.S. to bomb Assad, because only the U.S. could do that. The jihadists in Libya didn’t know that they were destroying the headquarters where the U.S. was helping the jihadists in Syria. There was deceit, mixed with blundering, all-around. The sarin gas that was used in Syria came from the Benghazi consulate, serving as the collection-point from General Gaddafi's sarin gas supplies, which were supplied thence to Syria, via a number of countries. "By the terms of the [secret] agreement, funding came from Turkey, as well as Saudi Arabia and Qatar; the CIA, with the support of MI6, was responsible for getting arms from Gaddafi’s arsenals into Syria. A number of front companies were set up in Libya, some under the cover of Australian entities." Unfortunately for Obama, Porton Down discovered the fakery, via the samples taken. Obama wanted to invade without a congressional authorization. But that was not to be: "The former intelligence official [one of Hersh's unnamed sources] said, ‘Congress made it known that, unlike the authorisation for the Iraq war, there would be substantive hearings.’ At this point, there was a sense of desperation in the White House." Senate Democrats refused to allow this “Democratic” President to lie America into such a war, as George W. Bush had done. And that's why we didn't invade Syria. But the family that controls The New York Times  don't mind that they're just as rottenly stenographically spreading the White House's pro-war propaganda now, regarding Ukraine and their portrayed villain Putin, as they had been before, regarding "Saddam's WMD" in 2002 and 2003. However, the major difference, this time, is that there was no possibility back in 2003 that America's lies would lead to a nuclear war between the U.S. and Russia. This time, that type of danger does exist, and Obama is preparing for it, hoping to win a nuclear war. So, that’s the broader context for the latest lies from The New York Times.

The Times's  "news report" regarding the present matter concerns basically their passing along without investigation this White House's Russia-baiting propaganda to stir more war-fever for renewal of the Cold War, after communism has already ended everywhere except two small nations, Cuba and North Korea; it’s long-since ended in Russia, but that’s supposed to be the new demon for the princes of America’s Military-Industrial Complex to use as an excuse to conquer, and to build and sell more weapons to do that. Nothing is mentioned in this "news report" regarding Obama's having overthrown in February 2014 the freely and democratically elected President of Ukraine, right next door to Russia, nor about how the regime that Obama then set up to replace him, Obama's Ukrainian stooges, perpetrated on May 2nd a burning-alive of hundreds of that coup's civilian opponents in Odessa's Trade Unions Building, nor about the ethnic-cleansing campaign that's now going on by Obama's Ukrainian regime in order to get rid of the people whose votes had elected the man whom Obama had just overthrown. None of that was mentioned by the NYT, at all. According to the Times's  fantasy story-line from their prior "news reporting" about the new Ukrainian regime (all straight from the White House), the people who were being ethnically cleansed in Ukraine were instead "terrorists" and "Russian soldiers," not the entire residential population of the areas that had elected the previous Ukrainian President. Here are excerpts from the NYT's  fantasy-tale, along with my accompanying commentary upon it:

At the core of the debate, said several officials — who, like others interviewed, spoke on the condition of anonymity because the policy deliberations are still in progress — is whether the American goal should be simply to shore up a Ukrainian government reeling from the separatist attacks [and notice here that the attacks by the Ukrainian regime aren't even mentioned], or to send a stern message to Mr. Putin [for what -- they don't say; they merely color their 'news' hostile, and expect their readership to be suckers for that crude demonization] by aggressively helping Ukraine target the missiles Russia has provided [and they ignore here the weapons and mercenaries that are coming into the Ukrainian regime from 'our side'.] Those missiles have taken down at least five aircraft in the past 10 days, including Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 [as if any respectable journalistic organization would be implying, as the Times does here, that solid and not just faked evidence yet has been made public, sufficient to draw a scientific conclusion that the Ukrainian regime itself definitely didn't down that plane, or else didn’t guide it into the conflict-zone in order to bait the rebels into downing it].

Since the downing of Flight 17, a civilian jet, the flow of heavy arms into eastern Ukraine has drastically increased, the Pentagon and the State Department said on Friday, citing American intelligence reports [as if 'our side' had such a stellar record of truth-telling, for it to be trusted without independent investigation to check it out]. ...

... Mr. Obama’s emerging national security doctrine of supporting allied and partner nations in defending their territory without direct American military involvement [as if the United States were threatened by anything that Russia might be doing in Russia's adjoining country of Ukraine, and 'we' were not instead outrageously threatening Russia, by preparing to set up in Ukraine a nuclear missile-base, within a mere ten-minute flight-time to annihilating Moscow] ...

If Mr. Putin does not encounter significant resistance to Russia’s moves in Ukraine, he may be emboldened to go further [as if Obama's overthrow of the Putin-friendly former Ukrainian President and replacement of him by Ukrainian nazi leaders who refer to all ethnic Russians as "subhumans" and who use hateful racist terms such as "kitsaps" in reference to ethnic Russians] ...

The Pentagon said on Friday that it had seen evidence that Russia was planning a major influx of new weaponry across the border [unsupported stenographic 'reporting' here, of what might be just lies], and that it believed multiple-rocket launchers would soon be delivered from Russia [unsupported speculation is here passed along to the gullible readers of a profoundly untrustworthy 'news' medium]. American officials also said they had evidence that Russia was firing artillery from within its borders to attack Ukrainian military positions [yet more stenography passing as 'journalism']. Gen. Philip M. Breedlove, NATO’s top commander, has drawn attention to a video that appears to show the Russian military firing short-range Grad rockets into Ukraine [this allegation being ripped vigorously, by Paul Craig Roberts, as highly dubious and probably fraudulent].

Ukraine is seeking all the Western help it can get as Russia increases aid to the separatists [in response to the U.S.'s having overthrown the prior pro-Russian President and replaced him by racist fascists, nazis, so that 'we’ can place nuclear missiles in Ukraine]. ...

There are bipartisan calls in Congress to supply weapons [but actually, the only significant bill calling for that is S. 2277, which was introduced in the Senate on May 1st, the day before 'our' Ukrainian regime perpetrated its massacre of hundreds of its opponents inside the Odessa Trade Unions Building, and this U.S. Senate bill has 26 co-sponsors, all of whom are Republicans, none of whom are Democrats; so, the NYT lied outrageously here, when using that term 'bipartisan']. ...

The shooting down of the Malaysian Airlines plane, on top of Russia's earlier shipments of heavy weaponry, were a perilous escalation, ... General Dempsey said [though he still had provided to the press no credible evidence that Russia instead of the Ukrainian Government shot it down, nor that Russia had been supplying ‘heavy weaponry’ to the rebels.] "You've got a Russian government that has made a conscious decision to use its military force inside another sovereign nation to achieve its objectives," he said [so that he was alleging that we didn't do the same thing in Cuba, when the Soviet Union tried to place nuclear missiles there? If the U.S. was right then in Cuba, then why isn't Russia right now in Ukraine? The owners of the NYT don’t want you to know, because even merely asking that question here would blow what Obama is doing to Ukraine. The NYT is a propaganda-medium; news-considerations are clearly secondary.]

As for the tragic downing of that Malaysian airliner, which is exploited mercilessly by all U.S. propagandists, it might possibly have resulted directly from firing by the anti-Government rebels, or it might have resulted directly from firing by the Ukrainian Government, or it might have resulted directly from firing by the Russian Government, or it might have resulted directly from baiting by the Ukrainian Government that was bitten-on by either the rebels and/or the Russian Government, but all of that is as yet indeterminate, and it's really far less important anyway than the tragedy’s ultimate cause, the motive-holder who actually produced the existing civil war and the ethnic cleansing campaign, which the rebels are trying to defend their families against; and, on this far more important matter, of the event’s ultimate cause, there can be no reasonable doubt whatsoever: "Obama Definitely Caused the Malaysian Airliner to Be Downed."

Now, why doesn't The New York Times report on such realities as that?
After all, the U.S. media are lying through their teeth about the evidence on the downing of that plane.
And why don't the U.S. "news" media report that throughout the Bush-Obama regime, democracy in the United States has been fictional, not factual?

Welcome to 1984.

After all, war can be very profitable.
Americans are brainwashed to fear Vladimir Putin. But if we had a democracy and a free press, Americans right now would much more fear Barack Obama, and, before him, George W. Bush, and the forces in the darkness, that stand behind them both.

I don’t blame the mere hirees of the aristocrats who control the press; these “reporters” are simply doing the jobs that they’re paid to do. For example, after the NYT’s egregious “reporting” that led this nation into invading Iraq in 2003, the newspaper’s owner was virtually forced into firing his friend and “reporter,” Judith Miller, which was a token apology by the paper, for what was really their systematic deception of the public, which is so routine there. This is why I am not blaming the “reporters” who did this “news” story to “Help Ukraine Target Rebel Missiles.” Both of them had won Pulitzers (as did Judith Miller). One of them graduated from Harvard, the other from Williams. (Miller had graduated from Princeton.) It’s the aristocracy’s reward-system that ‘s behind the rot in American “journalism.” It’s the owners who control it. Though Miller had to be forced out, she’s now at the Council on Foreign Relations, which is where Timothy Geithner, Robert Rubin, and so many others of the aristocracy’s disgraced operatives go as a holding-pen between jobs elsewhere for the aristocracy. (Geithner was quickly picked up to lead a Wall Street firm, where he’ll receive his big payoff.) The entire system is rotten to its core. The U.S. public is suckered by them, into believing that, as Gallup bannered a poll-finding on 21 July 2014, “Americans Say Business Background Is Best for Governing,” or, in other words, that the aristocracy, the people who control large corporations, should reign over the government. 81% of Americans in this poll said that the country would be “governed better” if “people with business or management experience” ran it. In other words: money-making skills are what the leaders of government most need. Or: Greed is good. This belief is tied in with libertarianism: the idea that everything possible should be privatized and that the public should be as weak and subservient and obedient to that aristocracy as possible. (The aristocrats will then control even what was formerly democratically controlled: public.) Americans have been profoundly brainwashed by our aristocracy -- brainwashed to accept the existing socio-political hierarchy: aristocrats rule over the public; the public do not rule over aristocrats. Democracy in America is thus dead: dollars rule now, people don’t.

It's government of the public by the aristocracy, with the revolving door for their servants, between their boardrooms and their "government service." We're not supposed to know about it, and certainly not supposed to understand it; so, the glints that are seen of it in "our free press" are only what they'll publish about it: "All The News That's Fit to Print." Too bad that it’s propaganda instead of news, but that’s the way things have become. That’s today’s American reality. Our Founders would puke at it. They’ve been defeated, at last.

This news report and analysis has been submitted, free of charge or copyright, to all U.S. news-media that accept outside submissions. (Media that don’t are basically closed-to-the-public; they’re tightly controlled.) You’ll find out which the honest ones are just by googling this article’s title, and/or the article’s opening few words (surrounded, of course, by quotation-marks, so as to search the entire phrase, not its words). Obviously, dishonest media are not favorable to exposing the basic rot; to them, it’s not “News That’s Fit To Print.”

Monday, July 28, 2014

Americans And The World Are Sick and Tired of War

Guest Post By  WashingtonsBlog

A new poll from Politico shows that Americans want the U.S. to stay the heck out of Ukraine militarily:
Americans are recoiling from direct engagement overseas and oppose U.S. involvement in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Ukraine by large margins, according to a POLITICO poll of 2014 battleground voters.
Asked whether the U.S should do more to counter Russian aggression in Ukraine, just 17 percent answered in the affirmative. Thirty-one percent said the current policy is correct and 34 percent said the U.S. should be less involved.
Americans are profoundly wary of getting entangled overseas and seem to be skeptical of the value of projecting U.S. power on foreign conflicts. Republicans are modestly more hawkish than Democratic and independent voters, but a majority of self-identified GOP voters support pulling out of Afghanistan and maintaining or reducing involvement in Iraq, Syria and Ukraine.
In the big picture, two-thirds of respondents agreed with the statement that U.S. military actions should be “limited to direct threats to our national security.” Only 22 percent agreed with the statement that as a “moral leader,” the United States “has a responsibility to use its military to protect democracy around the globe.”
Numerous other polls show the same thing:

But U.S. Already IS Involved Militarily

Despite the wishes of the American people, the U.S. already is involved militarily in Ukraine.
The Pentagon has already sent military advisers and gear to Ukraine. USA Today reported on June 5th:
A small team of American military advisers will soon head to Ukraine to assess that embattled nation’s “mid- and long-term needs for defense reform,” a Pentagon official said Thursday.
Pentagon spokeswoman Eileen Lainez said senior U.S. defense officials met with senior Ukrainian officials earlier this week to discuss “ways our countries could strengthen our long-term defense cooperation to help Ukraine build highly effective armed forces and defense institutions.”
Earlier this week, Obama announced he had approved $5 million in body armor, night vision goggles and additional communications equipment for the Ukrainian military.
That is just the latest wave of support; in March, the White House put in motion the delivery of about 300,000 Meals Ready to Eat, and work continues on various other procurement efforts on items ranging from medical supplies to personal troop gear such as helmets, sleeping mats and water purification units, as well as explosive ordnance disposal equipment and handheld radios.
“We are committed fully to getting the assistance to Ukraine as quickly as possible,” Lainez said.
The U.S. aid is not flowing only to Ukraine’s military; American funds also are supporting the purchase of supplies for that nation’s State Border Guard Service.
(Military advisers is always the first step to military involvement. And as shown by the Vietnam war, whenever the government says it’s sending in a “small team of military advisers”, it really means a large contingent of special forces and other military operatives.)
The New York Times reported Saturday:
The Pentagon and American intelligence agencies are developing plans that would enable the Obama administration to provide specific locations of surface-to-air missiles controlled by Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine so the Ukrainian government could target them for destruction, American officials said.
But the proposal has not yet been debated in the White House, a senior administration official said. It is unclear whether President Obama, who has already approved limited intelligence sharing with Ukraine, will agree to give more precise information about potential military targets, a step that would involve the United States more deeply in the conflict.
The official added that the decision on whether to provide targeting information would soon become “part of the intel mix.”
Of course, the U.S. State Department spent more than $5 billion dollars in pushing Ukraine towards the West.  The U.S. ambassador to Ukraine (Geoffrey Pyatt) and assistant Secretary of State, (Victoria Nuland) were also recorded as plotting the downfall of the former Ukraine government in a leaked recorder conversationTop-level U.S. officials literally handed out cookies to the protesters who overthrew the Ukrainian government.
And the U.S. has been doing everything it can to trumpet pro-Ukrainian and anti-Russian propaganda. So – without doubt – the U.S. government is heavily involved with fighting a propaganda war regarding Ukraine.
Postscript:  Just like in Iraq and Syria, the “facts are being fixed around the policy“.  The powers-that-be want war, and so the whirlwind of propaganda is being deployed to justify the decisions … regardless of what the American people want.
Indeed, wave after wave of false propaganda is being deployed against the American people in an attempt to rally support for war.

Running out of time: Will the US attack the US again?

Running out of time Will the US attack the US again

Guest Post By Dennis Cimino

 As the United States collapses financially, and the dollar declines, is another massive FALSE FLAG self-inflicted wound imminent?

It is painfully clear that the United States Government is rapidly running out of time with regard to the rapid implosion of the U.S. economy, where the ineffectual attempts to start an obfuscating war with Russia in the staged shoot down of an airliner over the Ukraine. The plane has proven to have been full of ‘over ripe’ cadavers, which may have been killed during the takeover of MH-370 in March.
Much propaganda has been spouted about an economic turnaround with such obtuse and obviously ‘out of touch’ declarations that ‘fewer layoffs are occurring’ in the U.S. jobs market, all at a time when ‘tent cities’ are rapidly proliferating and expanding around the nation. By some expert’s astute estimate, one in ‘3’ American’s is not only not working when they probably would be in the labor force, but they are no longer looking for work.
We have a record estimate of upwards of nearly 65 million American’s on SNAP food assistance right now, with that number growing each week. Manufacturing in this nation has all but ground to a halt at this point with much more evidence showing more people are forced to work in unskilled and temporary jobs than ever before, due to the manufacturing downturn in this country.
Add to this the fact that at this same time, the government has been laying away–in vast tunnel cities and bunker structures–huge amounts of food and provisions, all being trucked into them by the nation’s major trucking firms at a frenetic pace over the past several years. Military vehicles, predominantly NEW and fresh MRAPs, have been shipped nationwide, many of them in United Nations white trucks with U.N. markings on them. Were these all a false flag? Were the truckloads of ammunition being carried under hazmat placards also an illusion? Were the massive numbers of military command and control trailers and mobile command centers also not reality?
It would appear that the rapid disconnect from the U.S. dollar, specifically the most recent meeting in Brazil by Russia and China to form their own bank–independent of the FED and WORLD BANK who are Rothschilds creations–seems to indicate that the stage is being set for a very, very, less than soft landing for the U.S. economy in the near term. Many have stated that the death of the dollar won’t happen overnight. As obviously truthful as this is, it is nonetheless very disingenuous to state that, as the world strides ardently away from reliance upon the petrodollar, nothing will happen here in the U.S. How naïve are we supposed to be to ‘ignore’ the astronomical increases in costs of food in the stores as of late? How stupid are we supposed to be to presume that as the dollar ‘tanks’ globally that all will be fine here at home?


The United States, via Victoria Nuland, installed a puppet regime in the Ukraine, with the intent to provoke a hot war with the Russians over this transgression committed by the West under U.S. hegemony. So far, all indications are–with the recent dissolution of the Ukraine government–that the ‘collapse’ there has actually begun and, by winter, it’ll be all but a ‘fait accompli’ that the Ukraine will be freezing to death, because there is no plan in place for Russia to restore the natural gas they need this winter to heat their homes and survive. While the shoot-down of a cadaver-filled airliner over the Ukraine may have failed to provoke a war, it surely has hastened global awareness of how intrinsically linked and timed the Gaza offensive by Israel was to this grotesque event. Coincidence?
ZIO-NATO has made assertions that U.S. military advisers will be used on the ground in Ukraine under Kiev control, to fend off a burgeoning Pro Russian resistance that seems to be taking control of more of the Ukraine by the day, in spite of their military lack of air assets and armor which has not been provided by Putin thus far.
Is it unfair or insane to assume that, once U.S. military boots arrive on the ground in Ukraine as ‘advisors’, Putin will have no choice but to overtly start to provide the Russian loyalists with aircraft and armor support? It is becoming very clear that as the entire globe plunges further into economic duress, that the ZIO-NATO alliance is hell-bent-for-leather to provoke Russia into a war that could effortlessly escalate into a thermonuclear exchange, once it has become clear that the scope of containing it strictly to conventional weapons has been abrogated.
In light of all of these developments, coupled with the rising global unrest in country after country, it is becoming clear that a ‘perfect storm’ is about to become painfully clear as the oligarchy runs out of wiggle room with the unfettered printing of more fiat currency which seems to only benefit the very wealthiest amongst us and does nothing for the impoverished who are barely surviving the economic collapse of the ponzi-schemes ‘tent’ ongoing.


Today I came upon an article on a website that seemed to at first glance seem to be more ‘fear porn’ than substantiable fact of life, but in it’s own right seemed also to be all too very plausible. This particular scenario shows the regions of the U.S. covered in an apparently ‘vast’ exercise called GRID EX. Grid Ex is supposed to involve such a large amount of the alphabet soup agencies in place to protect the HOMELAND that by any estimation if it actually begins to be put into play, leaves one asking what the real purpose is in staging this type of exercise. This is the apparent exercise map:

Ironically many of these MOA’s (military operations areas) are not depicted as such on existing F.A.A. charts. Here depicted above are the coastal ADIZ (air defense identification zones) with RESTRICTED AIRSPACE in the ORANGE BOXES. Pink circles are airport control zones. Green are the Enroute Center Boundaries:

Now, given the fact that in the top most map, much of these war game locations are actually taking place offshore of the continental U.S., inferring either NAVAL activity or possibly a composite of airborne and shipborne participants. Only a few of these locations are land-locked, meaning the brunt of this is to not happen over much of the continental U.S., but off shore. As this is allegedly a GRID exercise, how much of the nation’s power grid is offshore? Any guesses?


Needless to say, with the execution of such a large scale GRID exercise, the significant question that should be asked is, “Why now?” Why conduct any exercise with the nation’s decrepit and falling apart ‘power grid’ when it is so prone to cascade effect failures of entire areas not localized contained ones, the actual act of ‘tripping offline’ any of the grid given this glaring fact means that someone is playing with ‘fire’ here.
Example given: Say, during the exercise, someone trips regional power offline in an area served by not one but a handful of nuclear power stations. Inadvertently the Laws of Murphy kick in and ‘voila’ a whole area goes dark, and emergency diesel generators at any number if not all of the plants is unable to sustain the cooling pumps required to safely cool the ‘scrammed’ reactor plants.
In hours, massive radiation filled steam releases to prevent the containment blow outs would then ensue, and the very tempermental MOX FUELED plants in some of these locations which do not readily cool down too very evenly, begin to melt down in the reactor cores. In a day we have FUKUSHIMA times ‘X’ number of plants so tripped offline without cooling to prevent the overheating. Then what? Call FEMA?
This is merely one scenario that ends very very badly. It’s a given that so much of the infrastructure of the nation’s power grid is not only limping along on borrowed time, but is perhaps the most intolerant of Chernobyl style monkeying around with the controls by virtue of shutting off parts of the grid in any GRID EX they may kick off. Let’s say that the scenario above has less than a one-in-a-million chance of happening to the degree I pointed out. Given that, would it make sense to taunt the genie in those bottles in so many locations which are surrounded by millions of unsuspecting and undeserving to be killed by radiation, people? I don’t think so.


It has been surmised that as the U.S. military has now pretty much pre-positioned the MRAPS and the food provisions into the tunnels and complexes underground, that they are more or less ready for ‘show time’ now. Any number of politco’s on the Hill have expressed concern over vulnerability to EMP attack, when translated, means that in the aggregate, someone is looking for a way to turn a disaster into a money maker. No politician ever acts in the public interest–ever!
Given this–together with the failed attempts to trigger both social unrest in the U.S. via FALSE FLAGS and the irresponsible fomenting of police brutality incidents nationwide, which serve only to enrage and frighten and even disenfranchise the average citizen, making them leery of authority, particularly police authority–we now have a very bad situation where public trust of all politicians and police is at an all time low, and hence it is the same for any government agency as well.
As the economy is now in unchecked full-blown collapse mode, with the potential for at least some cities to erupt into some form of violent outbursts due to the hardships, one has to wonder just how much time the power’s that be have left before they MUST take the initiative and stage another 911 style event to control the agenda and force MARTIAL LAW full implementing across the nation and maybe across the earth.


The age old question is this: “Is it better to react to a set of circumstances you have very little control of, or is it better to frame or STAGE the fomenting situation in a way where you assume control from the onset and never relinquish it?” It’s clear that as the government has prepared, and stocked up, and ammo’d up, and split the nation into ‘10’ FEMA regions of governance by people not elected by anyone, that perhaps these same monsters who have bankrupted the nation and destroyed it economically, are now truly so pressed for time that the only real choice is a massive FALSE FLAG event to catalyze their response and provide a military solution to their slipping away by the minute, prospects of containing the blowback once the nation fully collapses economically.
The BRICS are stacked. The dollar is rapidly being unplugged globally. As this ensues at breakneck speed, primarly due to the world’s seeing the enemy–and he is ‘us’ as in ‘U.S.’ (and Britain and Canada and Australia)– it is becoming apparent that the unipolar world we lived in has now morphed into one that is less threatened by the dying legions of the collapsing empire that is the U.S.
Given this, it is painfully clear to me the U.S. must start another GLOBAL WAR to save the dollar, or face isolation and growing boycotting economically in a world that has so quickly learned that it is not necessary to kowtow to the beast that is U.S. zionist hegemony, any longer. Few nations are doing this out of sport, they are doing this out of not having a desire to go down with us. Will the U.S. in it’s death throes toss the one hail mary pass it has left in the playbook of FALSE FLAGS and self-inflict another massive wound in another 9/11 attack on itself?
Let’s put it this way. Time is running out. Desperate men take desperate measures. It’s painfully clear that as that clock nears ‘zero hour’ with regard to a global financial implosion, the zionists who rule us have few cards left to deal now. As Gaza is plundered and destroyed and the U.S. implodes, one can only wonder how much time we have before the next 9/11 happens on a much grander and more deadly scale, given the fact that nobody is buying the war that Rothschilds/Goldman Sachs is selling them. It is apparent something will snap soon. This is not fear mongering. It is, unfortunately, the sad reality we face.
Dennis Cimino, who has extensive engineering and support experience with military electronics, predominantly US Navy Combat Systems, was the Navy’s top EMI troubleshooter before he went to work for Raytheon in the 1980s.

Individualism - They Cannot Predict or Control YOU

Guest Post by Erik Garcés

What protesting is, or any other collective action, is ultimately an act of insanity. Because as Einstein described it, repeating a task and expecting a different result each time is an act of insanity.

History has proven conclusively that each and every method which has been tried against the State, and by extension the money power elite who own the world, has FAILED. What should be evident is as the awakening masses come to realize this, it takes more and more state violence under the cover of sumptuary law for the power structure to maintain control.


[] Elections have not worked. The ballots are rigged. The candidates preselected, so your choice is irrelevant anyway.

[] Law suits have not worked. The judges are owned, the laws skewed to favor the system above all else.

[] Protests have not worked. Brutality or indifference renders them moot. Many of which are controlled arguments and thus irrelevant.

[] Petitions are ignored. Ballot initiatives are thwarted by the courts. See above.[] Strikes never get enough participants. And in this country at least, are widely viewed as collectivist and derided.

[] Opposition movements are quickly co-opted or counter movements raised as a dialectic is built. To wit: the Tea Party vs. Occupy.

[] Violence is counter productive and is actually what the state is best prepared for.

All of these methodologies are used to waste the activist's energies into frustration. To divert your resources into avenues which the system tolerates as legally acceptable and ultimately non threatening to the system itself. Wake up and realize we are repeating the insanity by continuing to choose the methods which have repeatedly failed. We must use the opposite consciousness to solve this problem, we must see the world anew. Just walk away. Withdraw your consent. If the problem is collectivism then the answer is individual action. The elite fear this most, because they cannot predict or control YOU. They can only influence group dynamics... The TEA Party, Occupy Wall St., mass media and society at large.

Like quicksand, the more you struggle, the more you will be ensnared. The more you ignore them, the less powerful they become. The more of us ignore them, eventually they will become irrelevant. This is how Obama has defeated the opposition Congress. For those who recognize just how truly unique and precious individual liberty really is, we stand in awe of the founding fathers and I have met many well meaning people who differ not in goals but applications of solutions. However, we need to stop worshiping the Constitution. As any of the founders would have told you, its just a piece of paper. A meaningless document unless WE are educated, informed and engaged ourselves, because government is not a separate entity. It is us - if we mean to self govern. Of course this is not the case today where we have a national state, which was never supposed to exist. We recoil in disgust as it places itself above not only the once sovereign several states which created it, but above the individual as well.

Why, how and when could take volumes to fill and that is MORE than adequately covered ad-nauseam in countless places.

What I insist upon is that we stop banging our heads against a wall. We have to get off the hamster wheel which society approves for effecting "change". All are colossal wastes of time because not one of them has ever given us a meaningful and lasting difference against the march of statism. Elections, courts, protests... and yes violent revolution are worse than ineffective, they actually help the system. Its called a revolution for a reason. Because its a circle: you wind up where you started from.

If at once it is understood precisely, exactly how the control grid is constructed and maintained, then it becomes quickly evident how to destroy it. As Stephen Biko said, "The mind of the oppressed is the most potent weapon of the oppressor." The answers may sound simple, but they are far from easy. If we truly mean to change the world, then the answer lies not in collective action to correct problems born of collectivism! NO. The opposite consciousness solution lies within the individual. YOU yourself must be the change you seek.

This process begins within.

1. STOP BANKING. Owe no debt. Avoid at all costs borrowing and the use of credit/debit cards. Use gold and silver whenever possible and accumulate as much as you can. Storing your wealth in a bank is not just dumb, it helps the system. Cut off the lifeblood of their debt and death based empire.

2. BE SELF SUFFICIENT. Get off the power grid and use solar or hydro power. Grow your own food and keep livestock. If this is not possible, eat locally grown, small independent business farmer's foods. Own tools, learn to service your assets. Stop relying on others to repair or operate what you should be doing.

3. Avoid using modern health care systems. Learn to be your own first responder, choose alternative practitioners and study how the body uses foods so you can understand how so many so called diseases are really the body's reaction to poor nutritional choices. Study how many poisons are legally in supermarket foods. See how the best foods never come in a box. The latest in emergency medicine is the best the world's ever seen. If you need that, use it. Then pay cash - insurance is a trap. Find out about the rarely advertised cash paid discounts.

4. Never call the police. These costumed enforcers for the state are not your friends, and the law's involvement in your life almost never benefits you. At best, they show up afterwards and take a report. At worst? The horror stories are too numerous and easily found to argue against and remain honest. Again, self sufficient - if you cannot defend it, you don't really own it. Firearms are tools no different than a wrench or screwdriver, and owning the right tools for the job is common sense.

5. Unplug from the programming of the corporate monopoly media system. Everything produced there is for your consumption, whether to generate the public's consent or distract you from news they really don't want you discussing with your neighbors. More importantly, much of the so called alternative media is fed disinformation, so learn to be an informed consumer of news. Is it news you can use, or does this news use you?

6. ALL governance is by consent of the governed therefore the schools and media are designed to keep you emotionally invested. Forever arguing about process, and personality but never fully recognizing that the real problem is the very system itself. As Noam Chomsky explains, “The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum.”

Therefore the most misunderstood and vehemently resisted tactic is to stop voting in federal elections. When you vote in a federal election you legitimatize the system because the ballot is emphatically NOT about choosing government. Its about giving credibility to the puppet of the moment. The record of the last century is stark proof that elections change nothing. If you'll note, each of these means withdrawing your consent, your participation in their control system. It must have you within it to function. Christians among us will recognize that evil has no power other than that we lend it. All evil has is illusion, and deception. By deceiving the masses into believing that the people actually control the plantation, the slaves have no idea that they're really livestock.

Local elections on the other hand are vital and relatively ignored - always be well informed and vote in these. Then be prepared to hold their feet to the fire, know who these people are and make sure they know YOU. This is different from organizing, this is community building. There's a reason the corporate monopoly media only focuses on the national level games. Low voter education and participation at the local level allows them to sneak in the most horrendous of acts.

Its one of the definitions of insanity to repeat a task and expect a different result each time. Since no election, protest, petition or lawsuit has made any meaningful or lasting changes to the criminality of this illegitimate government, why would a rational and thinking person believe otherwise? As long as the majority of Americans still believe there actually are differences between parties, or think that their votes make a difference - as long as close to half of Americans are dependent upon government, absolutely nothing will change. Switching from Democrat to Republican only changes one thing: the visible means of advance towards statism, nothing more. Recall the contrasts between Bush and Obama as touted by the presstitutes, only to see this current puppet essentially continue so many of his predecessor's policies unchanged?

I say this with humble sincerity, and not to offend: if you don't yet understand this then you are insufficiently informed. Persisting in the belief that there really can be 'change' is delusional. The false dilemma choices between Democrat or Republican candidates or, getting caught up in pointless debates between "tea baggers" and progressives" is really about keeping you emotionally invested in the process and distracted with arguments that ultimately mean little of consequence to the system itself.

Ask yourself: how is it that after decades of back and forth electoral changes in party, the march of ever expanding government and contracting liberty hasn't changed? We've been programmed for irrelevancies instead of discussing important issues like:

- A privately (and substantially foreign) owned banking cartel, misleadingly known as a government agency, issues the public's currency as debt serviced by income taxation. The cartel's legally tax exempt profits derived from the 6% interest on every dollar in circulation realized an $89.1 billion return for the 'Federal' Reserve during 2010. Its the reason why its mathematically impossible to retire the national debt. Its the reason your dollar always buys less and less. It's theft of your savings, your purchasing power, your hard earned cash.

- Communist China has five times the population but HALF the amount of people in prison. Yes, America the land of the 'free' has the world's largest percentage, and in raw numbers, of its population incarcerated. Twenty five percent of the entire global populace of prisoners are HERE in the supposed bastion of liberty. At the height of Stalin's terror, there were less incarcerated people per 100,000 than there are in America today. This is shameful and if we were talking about another nation we'd be describing them as barbaric or 'Third World'.

The third way, or an opposite consciousness mindset means using ideas that which have not been used widely. Ideas which have been proven before and thus the system actively discourages even their discussion. The withdrawal of your consent; remove yourself from the system's games and refuse to participate. Live as independently of the system as is possible. This is what the system fears most and cannot do much to stop. This way of life addresses root causes and ignores futile 'band aid' symptom solutions. Which is what ideas on trying to effect changes from within the system actually are.

Think for yourself, listen to more than just the corporate monopoly media.

Just as a rancher allows his herd to free range the prairie because it makes them more productive, the system allows you to vote. It perpetuates the myth of self determination for the human chattel. This is the reality of America today. If you refuse to understand this and insist we need to work within the system to change it, then you're delusional. Psychologically this is called cognitive dissonance.

The masters of the system have legions of researchers funded via their control of central banking's money from nothing and they've studied human psychology and use the science as a tool to keep us under their control. But that system remains viable only for as long as they maintain a monopoly on information via state controlled schools and corporate media. The internet has made possible for the first time in human history, for the average person to know and really understand they way the world works. As we see that breaking down, we've seen more and more chaos, state violence and legal mechanisms to keep the human cattle on the tax farm. Escaping the plantation cannot happen collectively, as it requires the individual to act. That is what they fear most, because their systems are designed to detect mass movements. To predict and influence group activities. To control the herd. This is why the TEA party and Occupy Wall Street fail.

All it needs to collapse, is for you to simply walk away.


Thursday, July 24, 2014

"He Who Makes The Rules Never Goes To Jail For Breaking Them"

Detroit Bankruptcy Unions
 Guest Post by Martin Armstrong via Armstrong Economics,

Working for the government was always pitched as somehow being better guaranteed than risky corporations. However, he who makes the laws never goes to jail for breaking them - a plain fact of life. The problem with government pensions has been they promised whatever sounded nice, with zero accountability. The presumption that tax revenue was an endless pit is one of those fallacies that nobody ever investigates.

It was the city of Mainz where the Gutenberg printing press was invented. This created an economic boom and everyone wanted to be in Mainz.

The politicians saw the boom and presumed the potential tax revenue was linear and would be endless – judging tomorrow by today’s trend. They began to borrow against what they anticipated would be there forever. As they needed interest to pay for borrowing and they became addicted to debt, they raised taxes. The taxes kept rising so they killed the economic boom and people began to leave.

Mainz followed the typical path as we are doing today. They were no longer paying off debt, they entered the Ponzi scheme – issued new debt to pay off the old in a revolving bond auction. Taxes kept rising and people migrated. The printing press was no longer unique to Mainz. The rich left town taking their capital and entrepreneurship with them. When Mainz lost confidence of the bond buyers and could no longer sell new debt to pay for the old, the collapse unfolded. Mainz, like Detroit, defaulted. The creditors sacked the city and it was burned to the ground.

The same precise pattern unfolds every time - WITHOUT EXCEPTION. Why?

Human nature never changes. Create career politicians and they will always seek to expand government for that is their power-base. I do not know who is more brain-dead be it the government workers who believed this pensions were endless, or the really insane insurance companies who insured any government debt. For now, the companies that insure Detroit bonds and stand to lose millions will have to pay out on insurance to bond-holders who will get less as government tried to pay its workers over the pension crisis that will not possibly work anyhow.

Syncora and Financial Guaranty Insurance company are now poised to challenge the city’s bankruptcy plan, after retirees endorsed pension cuts and qualified for a bailout led by the state, another group of taxpayers going to be screwed. The deal agreed upon by the Detroit pensioners gives them special treatment that’s unfair to other creditors in a court of law if law really mattered. In general retirees would get a 4.5 percent pension cut and lose annual inflation adjustments. Some also have to repay a portion of generous annuity earnings from the last decade – the minority oppressed by the majority of union retired pensioners. Retired police officers and firefighters would lose only a portion of their annual cost-of-living raise. The state of Michigan is chipping in $816 million in aid from the foundations and the Detroit Institute of Arts. Money from the so-called grand bargain would prevent the sale of city-owned art and avoid deeper pension reductions.
Thrasymachus Quote

The legal problem comes from the fact that no other creditors qualify for the money. Judge Steven Rhodes presides over this issue and we will see how law really works – the self-interest of always the stronger as Thraymachus warned Socrates. In bankruptcy, ALL creditors are legally supposed to be treated fairly. This is obviously not the case here. We have the illegal diversion of highly valuable assets going to the very creditors who voted yes, and are part of the entire reason Detroit has collapsed. We will see how law survives or is Thrasymachus simply always correct.

Either the court distributes the assets fairly, or the court cannot legally confirm this plan under such discrimination against all other financial creditors. The point is that other creditors are getting zero recovery at the benefit and unfair advantage of Detroit’s pensioners. It is not a question of make the bankers pay. The bond holders are not bankers – they sold it to guess who – other pension funds.

The ramifications of what happens in Detroit will ripple through the entire debt structure nationally for if this will be the new game plan to follow, WHY SHOULD PEOPLE BUY any government debt whatsoever if not even bankruptcy laws apply? Insurers will stop insuring municipal debt without a rule of law and the entire debt structure will be undermined. This of course is a good thing, but the state workers who thought they were getting guaranteed pensions – sorry, its called fraud. As I said – he who makes the laws never goes to jail for breaking them ....but sometimes they are hung from trees for treason. We shall see.

Biblical Plagues Upon Us

 Guest Post by Mike Adams

One third to die by plague or famine; one third will fall by the sword; one third to be scattered to every wind

Many believe that Biblical signs of famine and pestilence have begun to appear in our world, and that's why the title of this article quotes Ezekiel 5:12.

In what is now admitted by all the top infectious disease experts to be a "post-antibiotics era" where Big Pharma's drugs are useless, we are now facing unprecedented outbreaks of Ebola, Chikungunya and even the Plague.

Diseases are spreading out of control in many regions while at the same time the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is recklessly exposing its own scientists to Anthrax and other deadly agents. (1)

Here's a frightening update on some of the most dangerous infectious diseases that are now spreading out of control:

Ebola outbreak out of control; 600 dead and counting

 From The Extinction Protocol blog (2):

Ebola has spread through several West African countries, including Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea, since its latest outbreak in February. The death toll from the virus has surpassed 600 despite efforts by regional and international health experts to contain the epidemic. There is currently no known cure for Ebola, a form of hemorrhagic fever whose symptoms are diarrhea, vomiting and bleeding.

Deadly airborne plague strikes four in Denver, Colorado

From (3):

A rare airborne form of the plague that can spread through coughing and sneezing has infected a Colorado man, and state health officials are searching for other possible cases.

Following that story, Bloomberg went on to report that the airborne disease had already begun to spread to other victims: (4)

Three more plague cases were found in Colorado, a week after the first infection of the deadliest form of the disease was reported in the state in a decade. The man initially reported with pneumonic plague on July 11 is hospitalized. Two of the new cases also had pneumonic plague, while the third had a milder form.

Chikungunya explodes across 35 U.S. states

From the New York Daily News: (13)

There is no vaccine and no treatment. The Centers for Disease Control has listed a total of 497 cases in the U.S. in 35 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, 197 locally transmitted. "The arrival of chikungunya virus, first in the tropical Americas and now in the United States, underscores the risks posed by this and other exotic pathogens," Roger Nasci, a mosquito expert at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said in a statement.

Drug-resistant infections explode 500% across U.S. hospitals

From Natural News: (5)

Drug-resistant superbug infections have reached near-epidemic levels across U.S. hospitals, with an alarming 500% increase now documented in a study just published in the August issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology (the journal of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America).

Lead author of the study, Dr. Joshua Thaden, warned "This dangerous bacteria is finding its way into healthcare facilities nationwide... A CRE epidemic is fast approaching... Even this marked increase likely underestimates the true scope of the problem given variations in hospital surveillance practices."

MERS mutates into airborne pathogen

From (6)

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) may be airborne... "These data show evidence for the presence of the airborne MERS in the same barn that was owned by the patient and sheltered the infected camels," the study authors said in a statement.

Sierra Leone's chief Ebola doctor contracts Ebola

As yet more evidence that medical staff are some of the first people who tend to become infected with deadly diseases, a top Ebola doctor has himself contracted Ebola.

From Reuters: (7)

The head doctor fighting the deadly tropical virus Ebola in Sierra Leone has himself caught the disease, the government said.

The 39-year-old Sheik Umar Khan, hailed as a "national hero" by the health ministry, was leading the fight to control an outbreak that has killed 206 people in the West African country. Ebola kills up to 90 percent of those infected and there is no cure or vaccine.

Chinese government quarantines entire city after outbreak of bubonic plague

To the shock of international observers, an entire city in China has been quarantined by the government following an outbreak of the plague.

From Fox News: (8)

A city in China has reportedly been sealed off after one resident died from bubonic plague... Plague is an infectious disease caused by the bacteria Yersinia pestis that is carried by rodents, and can be transmitted to people through flea bites or by direct contact with the tissues or fluids of an animal with plague, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The disease is known for killing millions of people in Europe in the 1300s, in a pandemic called the Black Death.

Insect plague reaches Biblical proportions in Wisconsin

As reported in (9)

This year's mayfly hatch in the Mississippi River reached Biblical proportions. Wisconsin residents captured some stunning -- read: horrifying -- images of the mayfly emergence, which happened on Sunday night. Check out the swarm below.

One third to die by the sword

Beyond the plague and pestilence now emerging, we are also witnessing what may be the start of World War IIi with recent events in Ukraine.

The U.S. and Russia are in a tense standoff over trying to assign blame for the downing of MH17, a passenger jet with hundreds of innocent civilians on board. The U.S. government says Russia did it, but when the State Department was pressed on what evidence they might have to prove it, they could only point to tweets and Youtube videos as their "intelligence sources." Wow.

As explained on (10)

Tuesday the US government admitted it had been bluffing about its certainty that Russia was behind the downing of Malaysian Air Flight MH-17 over Ukraine. This dramatic turn of events started with State Department Spokeswoman Marie Harf claiming Monday that the State Department's certainty of Russian involvement in the apparent downing of the plane was primarily based on "social media" evidence.

Many observers believe these events may be the spark that leads to war. Already, 1 in 10 Americans now believes America should launch an all-out war on Russia due to current events.

As reported by CNN: (11) in 10 say the United States should take military action if there is clear evidence that Russia is responsible for the shooting down of the plane, which killed all 298 passengers and crew.

Infowars' Steve Watson added this all-important analysis comment: "The number may at first seem low, but it translates to one in every ten Americans believing that a war with a nuclear super power is a good idea." (12)

One third scattered to every wind

Wrapping up the Biblical quote, "one third scattered to the wind" could very easily describe the aftermath of a grid-down scenario in which masses of homeless refugees flee U.S. cities in an effort to survive.

We already know that the vast majority of Americans now depend almost entirely on the government for their survival: housing, health insurance, food stamps, unemployment checks, disability benefits, retirement checks, social security checks, Medicare coverage, housing subsidies and more. Yet, at the same time, the U.S. government is beyond bankrupt. It's trillions of dollars in debt and the enormity of that debt is multiplying at an alarming rate.

It doesn't take a mathematical genius to figure out that the U.S. government's financial default is only a matter of time, and when it happens, all the business sectors kept afloat by government payments and entitlements will crumble: Big Pharma and the health care system, Big Food manufacturers, large agricultural producers, weapons manufacturers, universities, public services (including law enforcement) and more.

When that happens, the cities will rapidly become uninhabitable due to crime waves that spread faster than Ebola. No honest citizen will be safe in an urban area, and residents will attempt to flee into lower-density population areas, scattering them all "to every wind."

Humanity is one event away from a global wipeout

What can you do against all this? Keep your head on straight and prepare for uncertain times. A wave of disease and pestilence has already begun, and the "health authorities" openly admit all their vaccines, antibiotics and pharmaceutical drugs are worthless against these new pandemics. Humanity right now stands just one event away from a global wipeout from infectious disease.

All it takes is a simple laboratory mistake, the release of an intentional bioweapon, or a random mutation of a virus that becomes a global killer. Humanity is largely defenseless against pandemics and infectious disease, yet we keep packing people into high-density urban areas as if we were all magically immune.

We aren't. And the pandemic wave may have only just begun.

Sources for this article include:














The Secret Government Rulebook For Labeling You a Terrorist

 Guest Post by and

The Obama administration has quietly approved a substantial expansion of the terrorist watchlist system, authorizing a secret process that requires neither “concrete facts” nor “irrefutable evidence” to designate an American or foreigner as a terrorist, according to a key government document obtained by The Intercept.

The “March 2013 Watchlisting Guidance,” a 166-page document issued last year by the National Counterterrorism Center, spells out the government’s secret rules for putting individuals on its main terrorist database, as well as the no fly list and the selectee list, which triggers enhanced screening at airports and border crossings. The new guidelines allow individuals to be designated as representatives of terror organizations without any evidence they are actually connected to such organizations, and it gives a single White House official the unilateral authority to place “entire categories” of people the government is tracking onto the no fly and selectee lists. It broadens the authority of government officials to “nominate” people to the watchlists based on what is vaguely described as “fragmentary information.” It also allows for dead people to be watchlisted.

Over the years, the Obama and Bush Administrations have fiercely resisted disclosing the criteria for placing names on the databases—though the guidelines are officially labeled as unclassified. In May, Attorney General Eric Holder even invoked the state secrets privilege to prevent watchlisting guidelines from being disclosed in litigation launched by an American who was on the no fly list. In an affidavit, Holder called them a “clear roadmap” to the government’s terrorist-tracking apparatus, adding: “The Watchlisting Guidance, although unclassified, contains national security information that, if disclosed … could cause significant harm to national security.”

The rulebook, which The Intercept is publishing in full, was developed behind closed doors by representatives of the nation’s intelligence, military, and law-enforcement establishment, including the Pentagon, CIA, NSA, and FBI. Emblazoned with the crests of 19 agencies, it offers the most complete and revealing look into the secret history of the government’s terror list policies to date. It reveals a confounding and convoluted system filled with exceptions to its own rules, and it relies on the elastic concept of “reasonable suspicion” as a standard for determining whether someone is a possible threat. Because the government tracks “suspected terrorists” as well as “known terrorists,” individuals can be watchlisted if they are suspected of being a suspected terrorist, or if they are suspected of associating with people who are suspected of terrorism activity.

“Instead of a watchlist limited to actual, known terrorists, the government has built a vast system based on the unproven and flawed premise that it can predict if a person will commit a terrorist act in the future,” says Hina Shamsi, the head of the ACLU’s National Security Project. “On that dangerous theory, the government is secretly blacklisting people as suspected terrorists and giving them the impossible task of proving themselves innocent of a threat they haven’t carried out.” Shamsi, who reviewed the document, added, “These criteria should never have been kept secret.”

The document’s definition of “terrorist” activity includes actions that fall far short of bombing or hijacking. In addition to expected crimes, such as assassination or hostage-taking, the guidelines also define destruction of government property and damaging computers used by financial institutions as activities meriting placement on a list. They also define as terrorism any act that is “dangerous” to property and intended to influence government policy through intimidation.

This combination—a broad definition of what constitutes terrorism and a low threshold for designating someone a terrorist—opens the way to ensnaring innocent people in secret government dragnets. It can also be counterproductive. When resources are devoted to tracking people who are not genuine risks to national security, the actual threats get fewer resources—and might go unnoticed.

“If reasonable suspicion is the only standard you need to label somebody, then it’s a slippery slope we’re sliding down here, because then you can label anybody anything,” says David Gomez, a former senior FBI special agent with experience running high-profile terrorism investigations. “Because you appear on a telephone list of somebody doesn’t make you a terrorist. That’s the kind of information that gets put in there.”

The fallout is personal too. There are severe consequences for people unfairly labeled a terrorist by the U.S. government, which shares its watchlist data with local law enforcement, foreign governments, and “private entities.” Once the U.S. government secretly labels you a terrorist or terrorist suspect, other institutions tend to treat you as one. It can become difficult to get a job (or simply to stay out of jail). It can become burdensome—or impossible—to travel. And routine encounters with law enforcement can turn into ordeals.


A chart from the “March 2013 Watchlisting Guidance”

In 2012 Tim Healy, the former director of the FBI’s Terrorist Screening Center, described to CBS News how watchlists are used by police officers. “So if you are speeding, you get pulled over, they’ll query that name,” he said. “And if they are encountering a known or suspected terrorist, it will pop up and say call the Terrorist Screening Center…. So now the officer on the street knows he may be dealing with a known or suspected terrorist.” Of course, the problem is that the “known or suspected terrorist” might just be an ordinary citizen who should not be treated as a menace to public safety.

Until 2001, the government did not prioritize building a watchlist system. On 9/11, the government’s list of people barred from flying included just 16 names. Today, the no fly list has swelled to tens of thousands of “known or suspected terrorists” (the guidelines refer to them as KSTs). The selectee list subjects people to extra scrutiny and questioning at airports and border crossings. The government has created several other databases, too. The largest is the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment (TIDE), which gathers terrorism information from sensitive military and intelligence sources around the world. Because it contains classified information that cannot be widely distributed, there is yet another list, the Terrorist Screening Database, or TSDB, which has been stripped of TIDE’s classified data so that it can be shared. When government officials refer to “the watchlist,” they are typically referring to the TSDB. (TIDE is the responsibility of the National Counterterrorism Center; the TSDB is managed by the Terrorist Screening Center at the FBI.)
In a statement, a spokesman for the National Counterterrorism Center told The Intercept that “the watchlisting system is an important part of our layered defense to protect the United States against future terrorist attacks” and that “watchlisting continues to mature to meet an evolving, diffuse threat.” He added that U.S. citizens are afforded extra protections to guard against improper listing, and that no one can be placed on a list solely for activities protected by the First Amendment. A representative of the Terrorist Screening Center did not respond to a request for comment.

The system has been criticized for years. In 2004, Sen. Ted Kennedy complained that he was barred from boarding flights on five separate occasions because his name resembled the alias of a suspected terrorist. Two years later, CBS News obtained a copy of the no fly list and reported that it included Bolivian president Evo Morales and Lebanese parliament head Nabih Berri. One of the watchlists snared Mikey Hicks, a Cub Scout who got his first of many airport pat-downs at age two. In 2007, the Justice Department’s inspector general issued a scathing report identifying “significant weaknesses” in the system. And in 2009, after a Nigerian terrorist was able to board a passenger flight to Detroit and nearly detonated a bomb sewn into his underwear despite his name having been placed on the TIDE list, President Obama admitted that there had been a “systemic failure.”

Obama hoped that his response to the “underwear bomber” would be a turning point. In 2010, he gave increased powers and responsibilities to the agencies that nominate individuals to the lists, placing pressure on them to add names. His administration also issued a set of new guidelines for the watchlists. Problems persisted, however. In 2012, the U.S. Government Accountability Office published a report that bluntly noted there was no agency responsible for figuring out “whether watchlist-related screening or vetting is achieving intended results.” The guidelines were revised and expanded in 2013—and a source within the intelligence community subsequently provided a copy to The Intercept.



“Concrete facts are not necessary”

The five chapters and 11 appendices of the “Watchlisting Guidance” are filled with acronyms, legal citations, and numbered paragraphs; it reads like an arcane textbook with a vocabulary all its own. Different types of data on suspected terrorists are referred to as “derogatory information,” “substantive derogatory information,” “extreme derogatory information” and “particularized derogatory information.” The names of suspected terrorists are passed along a bureaucratic ecosystem of “originators,” “nominators,” “aggregators,” “screeners,” and “encountering agencies.” And “upgrade,” usually a happy word for travellers, is repurposed to mean that an individual has been placed on a more restrictive list.

The heart of the document revolves around the rules for placing individuals on a watchlist. “All executive departments and agencies,” the document says, are responsible for collecting and sharing information on terrorist suspects with the National Counterterrorism Center. It sets a low standard—”reasonable suspicion“—for placing names on the watchlists, and offers a multitude of vague, confusing, or contradictory instructions for gauging it. In the chapter on “Minimum Substantive Derogatory Criteria”—even the title is hard to digest—the key sentence on reasonable suspicion offers little clarity:
“To meet the REASONABLE SUSPICION standard, the NOMINATOR, based on the totality of the circumstances, must rely upon articulable intelligence or information which, taken together with rational inferences from those facts, reasonably warrants a determination that an individual is known or suspected to be or has been knowingly engaged in conduct constituting, in preparation for, in aid of, or related to TERRORISM and/or TERRORIST ACTIVITIES.”
The rulebook makes no effort to define an essential phrase in the passage—”articulable intelligence or information.” After stressing that hunches are not reasonable suspicion and that “there must be an objective factual basis” for labeling someone a terrorist, it goes on to state that no actual facts are required:
“In determining whether a REASONABLE SUSPICION exists, due weight should be given to the specific reasonable inferences that a NOMINATOR is entitled to draw from the facts in light of his/her experience and not on unfounded suspicions or hunches. Although irrefutable evidence or concrete facts are not necessary, to be reasonable, suspicion should be as clear and as fully developed as circumstances permit.”
While the guidelines nominally prohibit nominations based on unreliable information, they explicitly regard “uncorroborated” Facebook or Twitter posts as sufficient grounds for putting an individual on one of the watchlists. “Single source information,” the guidelines state, “including but not limited to ‘walk-in,’ ‘write-in,’ or postings on social media sites, however, should not automatically be discounted … the NOMINATING AGENCY should evaluate the credibility of the source, as well as the nature and specificity of the information, and nominate even if that source is uncorroborated.”

There are a number of loopholes for putting people onto the watchlists even if reasonable suspicion cannot be met.

One is clearly defined: The immediate family of suspected terrorists—their spouses, children, parents, or siblings—may be watchlisted without any suspicion that they themselves are engaged in terrorist activity. But another loophole is quite broad—”associates” who have a defined relationship with a suspected terrorist, but whose involvement in terrorist activity is not known. A third loophole is broader still—individuals with “a possible nexus” to terrorism, but for whom there is not enough “derogatory information” to meet the reasonable suspicion standard.

Americans and foreigners can be nominated for the watchlists if they are associated with a terrorist group, even if that group has not been designated as a terrorist organization by the U.S. government. They can also be treated as “representatives” of a terrorist group even if they have “neither membership in nor association with the organization.” The guidelines do helpfully note that certain associations, such as providing janitorial services or delivering packages, are not grounds for being watchlisted.

The nomination system appears to lack meaningful checks and balances. Although government officials have repeatedly said there is a rigorous process for making sure no one is unfairly placed in the databases, the guidelines acknowledge that all nominations of “known terrorists” are considered justified unless the National Counterterrorism Center has evidence to the contrary. In a recent court filing, the government disclosed that there were 468,749 KST nominations in 2013, of which only 4,915 were rejected–a rate of about one percent. The rulebook appears to invert the legal principle of due process, defining nominations as “presumptively valid.”

Profiling categories of people

While the nomination process appears methodical on paper, in practice there is a shortcut around the entire system. Known as a “threat-based expedited upgrade,” it gives a single White House official the unilateral authority to elevate entire “categories of people” whose names appear in the larger databases onto the no fly or selectee lists. This can occur, the guidelines state, when there is a “particular threat stream” indicating that a certain type of individual may commit a terrorist act.

This extraordinary power for “categorical watchlisting”—otherwise known as profiling—is vested in the assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism, a position formerly held by CIA Director John Brennan that does not require Senate confirmation.

The rulebook does not indicate what “categories of people” have been subjected to threat-based upgrades. It is not clear, for example, whether a category might be as broad as military-age males from Yemen. The guidelines do make clear that American citizens and green card holders are subject to such upgrades, though government officials are required to review their status in an “expedited” procedure. Upgrades can remain in effect for 72 hours before being reviewed by a small committee of senior officials. If approved, they can remain in place for 30 days before a renewal is required, and can continue “until the threat no longer exists.”
“In a set of watchlisting criteria riddled with exceptions that swallow rules, this exception is perhaps the most expansive and certainly one of the most troubling,” Shamsi, the ACLU attorney, says. “It’s reminiscent of the Bush administration’s heavily criticized color-coded threat alerts, except that here, bureaucrats can exercise virtually standard-less authority in secret with specific negative consequences for entire categories of people.”
The National Counterterrorism Center declined to provide any details on the upgrade authority, including how often it has been exercised and for what categories of people.

Pocket litter and scuba gear

The guidelines provide the clearest explanation yet of what is happening when Americans and foreigners are pulled aside at airports and border crossings by government agents. The fifth chapter, titled “Encounter Management and Analysis,” details the type of information that is targeted for collection during “encounters” with people on the watchlists, as well as the different organizations that should collect the data. The Department of Homeland Security is described as having the largest number of encounters, but other authorities, ranging from the State Department and Coast Guard to foreign governments and “certain private entities,” are also involved in assembling “encounter packages” when watchlisted individuals cross their paths. The encounters can be face-to-face meetings or electronic interactions—for instance, when a watchlisted individual applies for a visa.

In addition to data like fingerprints, travel itineraries, identification documents and gun licenses, the rules encourage screeners to acquire health insurance information, drug prescriptions, “any cards with an electronic strip on it (hotel cards, grocery cards, gift cards, frequent flyer cards),” cellphones, email addresses, binoculars, peroxide, bank account numbers, pay stubs, academic transcripts, parking and speeding tickets, and want ads. The digital information singled out for collection includes social media accounts, cell phone lists, speed dial numbers, laptop images, thumb drives, iPods, Kindles, and cameras. All of the information is then uploaded to the TIDE database.

Screeners are also instructed to collect data on any “pocket litter,” scuba gear, EZ Passes, library cards, and the titles of any books, along with information about their condition—”e.g., new, dog-eared, annotated, unopened.” Business cards and conference materials are also targeted, as well as “anything with an account number” and information about any gold or jewelry worn by the watchlisted individual. Even “animal information”—details about pets from veterinarians or tracking chips—is requested. The rulebook also encourages the collection of biometric or biographical data about the travel partners of watchlisted individuals.

The list of government entities that collect this data includes the U.S. Agency for International Development, which is neither an intelligence nor law-enforcement agency. As the rulebook notes, USAID funds foreign aid programs that promote environmentalism, health care, and education. USAID, which presents itself as committed to fighting global poverty, nonetheless appears to serve as a conduit for sensitive intelligence about foreigners. According to the guidelines, “When USAID receives an application seeking financial assistance, prior to granting, these applications are subject to vetting by USAID intelligence analysts at the TSC.” The guidelines do not disclose the volume of names provided by USAID, the type of information it provides, or the number and duties of the “USAID intelligence analysts.”

A USAID spokesman told The Intercept that “in certain high risk countries, such as Afghanistan, USAID has determined that vetting potential partner organizations with the terrorist watchlist is warranted to protect U.S. taxpayer dollars and to minimize the risk of inadvertent funding of terrorism.” He stated that since 2007, the agency has checked “the names and other personal identifying information of key individuals of contractors and grantees, and sub-recipients.”

Death and the watchlist

The government has been widely criticized for making it impossible for people to know why they have been placed on a watchlist, and for making it nearly impossible to get off. The guidelines bluntly state that “the general policy of the U.S. Government is to neither confirm nor deny an individual’s watchlist status.” But the courts have taken exception to the official silence and footdragging: In June, a federal judge described the government’s secretive removal process as unconstitutional and “wholly ineffective.”

The difficulty of getting off the list is highlighted by a passage in the guidelines stating that an individual can be kept on the watchlist, or even placed onto the watchlist, despite being acquitted of a terrorism-related crime. The rulebook justifies this by noting that conviction in U.S. courts requires evidence beyond a reasonable doubt, whereas watchlisting requires only a reasonable suspicion. Once suspicion is raised, even a jury’s verdict cannot erase it.

Not even death provides a guarantee of getting off the list. The guidelines say the names of dead people will stay on the list if there is reason to believe the deceased’s identity may be used by a suspected terrorist–which the National Counterterrorism Center calls a “demonstrated terrorist tactic.” In fact, for the same reason, the rules permit the deceased spouses of suspected terrorists to be placed onto the list after they have died.

For the living, the process of getting off the watchlist is simple yet opaque. A complaint can be filed through the Department of Homeland Security Traveler Redress Inquiry Program, which launches an internal review that is not subject to oversight by any court or entity outside the counterterrorism community. The review can result in removal from a watchlist or an adjustment of watchlist status, but the individual will not be told if he or she prevails. The guidelines highlight one of the reasons why it has been difficult to get off the list—if multiple agencies have contributed information on a watchlisted individual, all of them must agree to removing him or her.

If a U.S. citizen is placed on the no fly list while abroad and is turned away from a flight bound for the U.S., the guidelines say they should be referred to the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate, which is prohibited from informing them why they were blocked from flying. According to the rules, these individuals can be granted a “One-Time Waiver” to fly, though they will not be told that they are traveling on a waiver. Back in the United States, they will be unable to board another flight.

The document states that nominating agencies are “under a continuing obligation” to provide exculpatory information when it emerges. It adds that the agencies are expected to conduct annual reviews of watchlisted American citizens and green card holders. It is unclear whether foreigners—or the dead—are reviewed at the same pace. As the rulebook notes, “watchlisting is not an exact science.”

Josh Begley, Lynn Dombek, and Peter Maass contributed to this story.
Photo credits: TSA: G.J. McCarthy/Dallas Morning News/Corbis (2); Guidance: Josh Begley; White House: Win McNamee/Getty Images; Airport: Nick Ut/AP Photo