Etiket arşivi: u.s.

Has the U.S. Transformed Into a Police State? /// CC : @vardiyabizde @BalyozGercekler @rodrikdani @onderaytac


Editors Note: The Answer to this question is not so obvious to many……have you noticed?

“Has the United States become a police state?”

That’s the stark question I was asked at the beginning of a recent radio interview.

Framing the current political climate in these terms is quite blunt, and can be jarring to some people because it automatically conjures images of, for example, Nazi Germany. That’s clearly different than what is occurring right now in the United States. So how do we conceptualize the current state of government repression, and how do we put it in a historical context?

Is this a police state? If not, what is it?

The image that most people hold of a “police state” is a representation of extreme power dynamics, and repressive tactics to maintain them, at specific points of history. The current political climate in the United States is unique in many ways, and distinct from those eras. However, it shares core attributes that we generally associate with a “police state”:

1. Raids, harassment, and intimidation of dissidents by police

When FBI and Joint Terrorism Task Force agents raided multiple activist homes in the Northwest recently, they were in search of “anti-government or anarchist literature.”

2. Militarization of domestic law enforcement

As Arthur Rizer wrote for The Atlantic:

In an effort to remedy their relative inadequacy in dealing with terrorism on U.S. soil, police forces throughout the country have purchased military equipment, adopted military training, and sought to inculcate a “soldier’s mentality” among their ranks.

3. Disproportionate prison sentences for political activists

The reason Marie Mason, who destroyed property, received a prison sentence twice as long as racists, who harmed human beings, is because of her politics.

Likewise Tim DeChristopher was sentenced to two years in prison for non-violent disrupting an illegal oil and gas lease auction because he cost corporations thousands of dollars.

4. Creation of new laws for people because of their political beliefs

The Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act was created solely to prosecute activists who threaten the “loss of profits” for corporations.

In addition to Guantanamo Bay, which Obama has refused to close, there are now two experimental prison units on U.S. soil for “domestic terrorists.” These Communications Management Units are for political prisoners that the U.S. Bureau of Prisons describes as having “inspirational significance.”

6. Pervasive use of surveillance

Spy drones are being used by domestic law enforcement for surveillance, artificial intelligence, and monitoring social movements (here’s a great overview from Salon).

Recently, Tampa police wanted to use them against RNC protesters.

This is in addition to widespread surveillance measures such as TrapWire.

7. Criminalization of ideology

In my opinion this is the hallmark of any police state: the targets of the state have little to do with criminal activity, and everything to do with their perceived subversive ideology.

For example, consider these FBI “domestic terrorism” training documents which say that anarchists are “criminals seeking an ideology to justify their activities.”

There is no “tipping point”

A final, more nebulous characteristic of a police state is the extent to which all of the tactics above take place. It’s a question of degree and intensity, and some would argue that, even though these tactics are occurring with increasing frequency, they are not at the level that would merit this kind of “police state” language. I think that’s completely reasonable.

But no matter how you feel about the characterization of what is occurring right now, the most important point is this: if we’re not a police state already, we are marching closer and closer every day.

In the following interview, I try to dispel some of the myths about police states and how they are created, including the flawed idea of a “tipping point” leading up to extreme states of repression.

U.S. Navy Cloak Blade Inherently Stealthy Micro-Copter Presentation


U.S. Navy Cloak Blade Inherently Stealthy Micro-Copter Presentation.pdf

Confidential -Restricted U.S. Army Drills


Confidential -Restricted U.S. Army Drills.pdf

U.S. State Department OSAC Libya Reports May 2011-September 2012


Fatal Car Bombs Hit Tripoli.pdf

Libya Instability Continues.pdf

Libyan Elections.pdf

OSAC-Libya-5.pdf

Progress Elusive in Libya.pdf

Iranian militias ‘pose threat to U.S.’


Iran’s extremist militias and their proxies were behind a recent string of terrorist attacks against Israeli diplomatic targets around the globe and might seek to strike the United States, U.S. counterterrorism officials said Wednesday.

Quds Force, Hezbollah and others have shown they both have the capability and the willingness to extend beyond that [Middle East] region of the world and likely here into the homeland itself,” Kevin L. Perkins, associate deputy director of the FBI, told a hearing of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

“We look at it as a serious threat,” he added, saying the bureau is “focusing intelligence analysts and other resources on that on a daily basis to monitor that threat.”

Matthew G. Olsen, director of the National Counterterrorism Center, said “Iran remains the foremost state-sponsor of terrorism in the world. We have seen an uptick in operational activity by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps and the Quds Force over the last year or so.”

The Quds Force is the elite division of the Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, responsible for operations abroad, and Mr. Olsen cited the federal prosecution last year of a foiled Iranian plot to kill the Saudi ambassador to the U.S. by bombing a Washington restaurant.

A senior official of the Quds Force, Gholam Shakuri, was indicted in October for his involvement in the plot, which actually was an elaborate sting by a Drug Enforcement Administration informant. He remains at large in Iran.

The Treasury Department later sanctioned both the Quds Force and its commander, Brig. Gen. Qasem Soleimani, for their roles in the plot.

Iran has denied the charges.

The Quds Force and the Lebanese Shiite extremist militia Hezbollah, which the Iranians have used as a proxy for terrorist attacks in the past, have been “reaching outside of their normal areas of operation in the Middle East and conducting attacks elsewhere,” said Sen. Joe Lieberman, Connecticut independent and committee chairman.

Quds Force operatives had been involved in anti-Israeli attacks and plots as far afield as India and Georgia, Mr. Olsen said.

Adding to concern about Hezbollah is an article in the Times of London on Wednesday based on an interview with a major general in the Syrian army who recently defected. Gen. Adnan Sillu told the paper that the Syrian regime had plans to provide chemical weapons to Hezbollah for use in rocket attacks against Israel.

The regime now has “nothing to lose” in sharing the weapons, he added. “If a war starts between Hezbollah and Israel, it will be only good for Syria.”

Read more: Iranian militias ‘pose threat to U.S.’ – Washington Times http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/sep/20/iranian-militias-pose-threat-to-us/#ixzz272jB2on3

Follow us: @washtimes on Twitter

U.S. Suspected of Creating Three More Computer Viruses


Two independent teams of researchers studying the Flame computer virus believe that the maker of the malware — all but certain to be the United States — has architected three additional programs to conduct clandestine cyberwar or espionage.

Both Symantec Corp of the United States and Kaspersky Lab of Russia acknowledged on Monday that their research of Flame has led them to believe that whoever had a role in creating that virus has also put their efforts behind three other similar programs.

A team of engineers at Kaspersky released new information on Monday collected during forensic analysis of Flame command-and-Control servers that were examined with the assistance of Symantec, ITU-IMPACT and CERT-Bund/BSI. Researchers had first disclosed in May that Flame, a sophisticated espionage virus, targeted computer systems in Iran and was likely the product of a nation-state, specifically the US. With this week’s update, however, it appears as if the United States’ endeavors in cyberwar may have stretched past even what researchers had imagined.

“Based on the code from the servers, it can be said that they were working with at least three other programs similar to Flame. The code names of those programs are IP, SP and SPE,” Kaspersky Lab chief security expert Aleks Gostev told RT.

Although the United States government has not gone on the record to take credit for either Flame or Stuxnet, a similar computer worm that targeted Iranian nuclear facilities first discovered in 2010, experts have long maintained that the US is involved in both viruses, perhaps even enlisting Israeli scientists for assistance.

Speaking at a TED Talk in 2011, researcher Ralph Langner said, “My opinion is that the Mossad is involved but that the leading force is not Israel. The leading force behind Stuxnet is the cyber superpower – there is only one; and that’s the United States.”

In January of this year, Mike McConnell, the former director of national intelligence at the National Security Agency under George W Bush, told Reuters that the US had indeed attacked foreign computer systems at one time or another, and confirmed that America has “the ability to attack, degrade or destroy” the e-grids of adversaries. When the New York Times followed up with a report of their own only five months later, members of US President Barack Obama’s national security team admitted on condition of anonymity that the White House continued cyber-assaults on Iran’s nuclear program through Stuxnet, which Mr. Obama himself endorsed.

Once compared with coding from Flame, security experts saw an immediate correlation.

“Stuxnet of 2009 had a large piece of code similar to that of Flame, so apparently creators of Stuxnet and Flame were working in close collaboration,” Gostev from Kaspersky Lab said.

With America all but confirmed as the culprit behind both viruses, this week it’s revealed that the United States may have crafted another three coded programs to target Iran and its allies. Speaking to Reuters, researchers involved in the latest analysis say they are still trying to figure out the basic facts about the three new viruses, but believe that the same entity responsible for Stuxnet and Flame are at it again.

“We know that it is definitely out there. We just can’t figure out a way to actually get our hands on it. We are trying,”Symantec researcher Vikram Thakur tells Reuters.

Also in their report, Kaspersy say that the heavy encryption and nature of the newest programs “fits the profile of military and/or intelligence operations.”

Cold War II: U.S. and China


Cold War II
Muhammad Arif Shafi

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The first decade of the 21st century witnessed invasions and change of regimes in Afghanistan and Iraq without any solid reason by the US and its allies. The second decade is more violent and Syria is facing a civil war with the clear interference of Western powers. Iran is being threatened and Pakistan is facing continuous violations against its national sovereignty in the shape of drone attacks.

[T]he Obama administration in January 2010 announced the sale of $6 billion worth of Patriot anti-missile systems to Taiwan. Chinese officials on that occasion called the step “a stab in the back”. China cut off military ties with the US soon after the deal.

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The Cold War term was used for the first time in 1945 by George Orwell, an English writer, in his article, ‘You and the Atomic Bomb’. It denotes indirect conflict between two atomic superpowers — the United States (US) and the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). Their hostility started soon after the end of World War II. Although both powers fought as allies in that war, they considered each side a danger for world peace after the victory of the allied forces. The US feared Soviet expansionism and thought the Soviets would control the whole world. Communists were also not happy with US interference in world affairs and its growing military power. The Cold War ended with the dismemberment of the USSR, following great losses in the Afghan war.

The world was called ‘uni-polar’ from then on and the US became free to interfere and dominate it. The first decade of the 21st century witnessed invasions and change of regimes in Afghanistan and Iraq without any solid reason by the US and its allies. The second decade is more violent and Syria is facing a civil war with the clear interference of Western powers. Iran is being threatened and Pakistan is facing continuous violations against its national sovereignty in the shape of drone attacks.

China, yet another communist state without an expansionist policy, has emerged as another world power. Although the Chinese economy started growth from 1949 onward, in recent years the country has shown enormous progress, covering almost the whole of the world market. The US and China have clarified on a number of occasions in the near past that they are not rivals, but some recent developments and a difference of opinion in several aspects of world affairs give evidence that the second cold war has started, and that too without a declaration.

In 1962, a month-long war (from October 20 to November 20) was fought between India and China over a number of border disputes, which ended with a decisive victory by China. The war coincided with the US-Cuba missile crisis and, no doubt, the US did not play any direct role in the Indo-China war at that point. However, in the following years India was supported by the US to become a regional power. India also provided political asylum to the Tibetan spiritual and political leader, the Dalai Lama, who escaped to India during the uprising in Tibet in 1959. The Dalai Lama is still a thorn in Indo-Chinese relationship.

India, as a large country and economy, is important for US foreign policy in the region, and growing strategic relations between the US and India during the last few years have alarmed China.

In 2003, when the US was busy with the Iraq war, the Bush administration, on a number of occasions, had said they supported the one-China policy and were against an independent Taiwan. China claims Taiwan is a part of its territory. However, after seven years, the Obama administration in January 2010, announced the sale of $6 billion worth of Patriot anti-missile systems to Taiwan. Chinese officials on that occasion called the step “a stab in the back”. China cut off military ties with the US soon after the deal.

In September 2011, although denying having sold new F-16 fighter jets, the US made a deal of $5.85 billion to upgrade Taiwan’s fleet of F-16s. The Chinese deputy foreign minister demanded an immediate cancellation of “the wrong decision”. People’s Daily, a top Chinese newspaper and mouthpiece of China’s Communist Party, called it a “huge mistake” and wrote, “If American politicians feel that the United States can irresponsibly and randomly damage China’s core interests without paying a price, that is a major and huge mistake.”

According to some analysts, the Taliban while they were in power in Afghanistan had nothing to do with the terrorist attacks on the US, and the US had other strategic motives behind the occupation of Afghanistan. One of those motives was to establish bases near the Chinese border. Besides the 11-year long war and the loss of more than 3,000 soldiers of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), no major changes have occurred in Afghanistan. The US has agreed with the Afghan government to maintain military bases in the country until 2014.

China has a dispute over islands in the East China Sea with Japan and tension between the two nations has grown during the last few days. Although the US has not shown a clear position on the dispute, Tokyo is a longtime ally of Washington and under the US-Japan Security Treaty the US is obliged to respond to any attack on Japan or its territory.

Asia is not a limit to this undeclared cold war; in fact, Africa is also witnessing the growing influence of both powers. China is investing $490 billion in Africa, making the continent the third largest recipient of its Outward Foreign Direct Investment (OFDI), following Asia and Europe.

Recently (in August 2012), US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited Africa with a number of executives from leading American companies to assure Africans that the US was interested in investing in the continent. Although late, the US has realised that China benefits from African potential by investing there.

Australia is the third continent where growing rivalry between the two powers can be witnessed. Addressing the Australian parliament during his visit last November, US President Barack Obama announced an agreement between the two nations under which the US would send an additional 2,500 marines to the port city of Darwin in northern Australia. Both China and the US want to increase their influence in Australia, which is mostly a militarily dependent state. China considers the Australian decision as a sign of joining sides. The arrival of US marines is a sign that the establishment of a land base will take place there and it is considered as a move against China.

War is a misery for humans, it does not matter if it is cold or hot, and the world, especially the US and China, must realise that before it is too late.

The writer can be reached at Arifshafi6

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