Category Archives: Foreign Policy

#Langley Has The Last Word:#ForeignPolicy On The#CIA

Foreign Policy, Military, The State

A Foreign Policy essay makes the case that the CIA is, effectively, running American foreign policy. It concedes what seems obvious: Despite a budget of billions ($14.7 billion in 2013, “up from the $4.8 billion in 1994″), the agency “was notoriously wrong about Saddam Hussein’s alleged arsenal of weapons of mass destruction, a cataclysmic mistake that eased the path to the Iraq War,” and it failed “to help detect or prevent the 9/11 plot.”

Some salient points:

* The agency has “a direct line to the White House for open-ended covert programs.”
* It has “explicit permission to use [drones] in larger areas of Pakistan than before.” “‘The CIA gets what it wants,’ Obama has told his aides.”
* “Through … machinations, the spy agency has managed to weaken or eliminate crucial counterweights to its own power.”
* “Since its creation in 1947, the CIA has steadily evolved from an agency devoted to its mission of spying on foreign governments to one whose current priority is tracking and killing individual militants in an increasing number of countries.”
* “… from drone strikes in the Middle East to the network of secret prisons around the world and the torture that occurred within their walls—[all] originated at Langley.”
* “… the agency had waded even more deeply into the dark world of assassinations by hiring outside contractors associated with Blackwater, a firm synonymous with abuses in Iraq, to kill individual militants on the ground.”
* “In Pakistan alone, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism estimates, CIA drones killed as many as 960 civilians between June 2004 and April 2015, including up to 207 children.”
* The CIA’s has just about direct access to the White House. It “answers to no one except the president.”
* “… much of its workforce has been plugged into ‘the Ivy League, Eastern power structure of American politics.’ … its alumni are in key positions throughout the U.S. government.”
* Obama has embraced “the Bush-era CIA abuses,” this, presumably, includes torture, rendition, etc.

Since its creation in 1947, the CIA has steadily evolved from an agency devoted to its mission of spying on foreign governments to one whose current priority is tracking and killing individual militants in an increasing number of countries.

READ “Mission Unstoppable.”


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#JonStewart Shames The Shameless #JudithMiller

Foreign Policy, History, Iraq, Journalism, War, WMD

Jon Stewart makes short work of Judith Miller, who is on a “rehab tour,” concerning her role in the ramp-up to war on Iraq. He dismantles her mindless lies, methodically. The fact that others were on board is not exculpatory, he tells her. Idiocy is bipartisan. Not everybody got it wrong, he tutors her (your truly and like-minded libertarians never count to these two).

Now if only Stewart applied the same rigor to gratuitous wars waged by the Obama-Hillary posse.

Miller is one of those disgusting specters American journalism spits out ever so often, as are her Fox News cheerleaders.


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#ChrisChristie’s ‘Compromise': Will #Spy On YOU, But Will Think Twice About #War

Foreign Policy, Homeland Security, Politics, Republicans

One rotter is catching on to the foreign policy most favored by sensible Americans. “I don’t think nation-building is a good sentiment,” Gov. Chris Christie told Megyn Kelly, during a grueling interview. About “exporting our values,” also touted by Jeb Bush big time, Christie said it depends on how you do it. Leading by example, making the nations of the world want to emulate the US: that’s a worthwhile impetus (@4:51 minutes). And then, being a Republican, Chris Christie went and spoiled it all by saying something stupid like, “I’ll spy on YOU!”


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UPDATE II: Rotten #Rubio (Rubio Has Stiff Competition: #MitchMcConnell)

Constitution, Foreign Policy, Iraq, Just War, Neoconservatism, Republicans

When he is not marshaling “Jeffersonian” lines from crap movies like “Taken” with Liam Neeson, presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio is demonstrating that only if shamed and embarrassed will he and his Republican rivals shy away from wars that are immoral from the inception, unjust, cost trillions in treasure and tens of thousands of precious lives, and flout American national interests.

CHRIS WALLACE TO SEN. MARCO RUBIO, R-FLA: This brings us back to Iraq and the question of the week, which is, given what we know now, would you have invaded Iraq back in 2003?
As we all know, Jeb Bush had a tough time answering that this week. Here’s what you’ve had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)

RUBIO: Oh, I don’t believe it was — the world is a better place because Saddam Hussein doesn’t run Iraq.

MODERATOR: After finding that there were no weapons of mass destruction, would you, if you knew that, have been in favor of the Iraqi invasion?

RUBIO: Well, not only would I have not been in favor of it, President Bush would not have been in favor of it. And he said so.

(END VIDEO CLIPS)

WALLACE: Senator, isn’t that a flip? Six weeks ago, it made sense to invade Iraq in 2003. Now you say it was a mistake.

RUBIO: No, they’re two different questions. It was not a mistake. The president, based on — this is the way the real world works. The president, based on the information that was provided to him —

[SNIP]

“We will look for you. We will find you. And we will kill you” is the atavistic line from “Taken,” repeated by Rubio in his many interviews.

UPDATE I (5/18): In The Rotten Department, Rubio Has Stiff Competition: Mitch McConnell. Via ABC:

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell underscored his support today for the controversial NSA program for bulk collection of domestic phone records, arguing it is essential to protecting the homeland.

“This has been a very important part of our effort to defend the homeland since 9/11,” McConnell said in an interview with George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s ‘This Week.’ “We know that the terrorists overseas are trying to recruit people in our country to commit atrocities in our country.”

“Thank You For Your Service, Mr. Snowden.” F-ck Rubio, McConnell & Twitterers who unFollow me for loving liberty.

UPDATE II: Don’t let any Republican present you with this false choice. Republicans always say, “But what would you have done about Iraq?” That’s something of a non sequitur, an assertion intended to make you ASSUME something had to be done about Iraq. “The burden of proof is on he who proposes the existence of something, not on he who claims that it does not exist.” That was written 12 years ago.


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Oh, Please: #SeymourHersh Is Old-School Reliable

Foreign Policy, Homeland Security, Intelligence, Journalism, Military

Seymour M. Hersh is not only “a legendary investigative reporter,” known for his shoe-leather journalism; he’s positively old-school in his methods. Hersh’s London Review of Books “national-security” piece details “Pakistan’s involvement in the SEAL Team Six raid on bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad.” The lengthy report would be quite humdrum had it not shattered the mythical thinking perpetuated by the elites about the US military, the commander-in-chief and his national security apparatus.

Who was it who said that, “The military is government; the military works like government; is financed like government and sports many of the same inherent malignancies of government…”?

And the military marches to the beat of government. No need to “pray to the military Moloch.”

This is not to say that the SEALS did not do the deed, only that “the Osama bin Laden assassination” had a few extra kinks to it. As I say, Hersh’s account sounds like business as usual: government SOP (standard operating procedure).

Hersh explained that, days after the May 2, 2011 SEAL operation, he told Remnick that his intelligence sources were saying Obama’s account was fiction. “I knew right away that there were problems with the story,” Hersh said.

If anything, the hyperbole being disgorged by the media and military’s professional myth-makers is more fantastic than Hersh’s report. Examples:

“The Hersh piece reads like Frank Underwood from House of Cards.”

“all wrong.”

“Sy Hersh is a far-left fantasist and conspiracy theorist.”

The Obama of the Obamacare hoax, the NSA, Fast and Furious, government-by-executive order; Libya, lawless immigration, on and on, and the Bush of WMD in Iraq, illegal, unlawful wars and similar spending: These stellar statists would never lie in the service of self-aggrandizement, now would they?! Perish the thought.

READ “The Killing of Osama bin Laden” by Seymour M. Hersh. As I say, it’s pretty unremarkable.


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UPDATED: The Curse Of Col. Gadhafi (& The Neocons)

Britain, Canada, Europe, Foreign Policy, History, IMMIGRATION

“The Curse Of Col. Gadhafi” is the current column, now on the UK’s Libertarian Alliance Blog. An excerpt:

When they destabilized Libya and overthrew strongman Muammar Gadhafi in 2011 the U.S. and its Canadian and European allies unleashed a series of events that accounts for the steady flood into Europe of migrants from North Africa. There are, purportedly, “up to 1 million” poor, uneducated, possibly illiterate, predominantly male, and by necessity violence-prone individuals, poised to board rickety freighters in the Libyan ports of Tripoli and Zuwarah, and make the perilous journey across the Mediterranean, to southern Italy. The 900 migrants who perished off the coast of Libya when their vessel capsized embarked in Zuwara.

Zuwara has always been “famous for people smuggling,” notes Richard Spencer, Middle East editor of The Telegraph. “The modern story of Zuwara and its trade in people,” says Spencer, whose newspaper has documented the genesis of the exodus well before the U.S. press awoke to it, “was a key part of the late Col. Muammar Gadhafi’s relationship with the European Union.”

The “indigenous, pre-Arab inhabitants of North Africa,” Berbers, as they are known in the West, have long since had a hand in human trafficking. As part of an agreement he made with Silvio Berlusconi’s government, “Col. Gaddafi had agreed to crack down on the trade in people.” For prior to the dissolution of Libya at the behest of Barack Obama’s Amazon women warriors—Hillary Clinton, Susan Rice and Samantha Power—Libya had a navy. Under the same accord with the Berlusconi government (and for a pretty penny), Gadhafi’s admiralty stemmed the tide of migrants into Europe.

Here’s an interesting aside: Because he cracked down on their customary trade, the Zuwarans of Libya rose up against Gadhafi; the reason for this faction’s uprising, in 2011, was not the hunger for democracy, as John McCain and his BFF Lindsey Graham would have it. …

… Read the rest. “The Curse Of Col. Gadhafi” is the current column, now on the UK’s Libertarian Alliance Blog.

UPDATE (4/25): Sean Gabb goes to bat for truth against statists and assorted neoconservatives on the matter of the Anglo-American sphere warring with the world and overthrowing its dictators for “democracy” and more deaths.

Our detractor, on the UK’s Libertarian Alliance Blog, is the same commenter who thinks of Andrew Roberts, a court ‘historian” of the worse kind–as Rob Stove has pointed out—as a legitimate reference on the Boer war.

Sean’s defense:

I will say nothing in my own defence, But Ilana Mercer is a woman of strong and consistent moral principle. She has an impressive record of saying what she believes, and saying it very well. You are at perfect liberty to disagree with how she believes the libertarian case should be put. I only ask you once again to stop regarding any disagreement with what you believe as a sign of moral corruption. It does no credit to you, and makes argument less profitable than it ought to be.
Because your comments are never moderated, and are sometimes promoted to the front page, where they can be read by large number of people, you have the confidence to put a lot of effort into this blog. Please consider that the tolerance you enjoy is owed to others.


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