War

American POW Bowe Bergdahl: “The horror that is America is disgusting.”

The bizarre tale of America’s last known POW

Bowe Bergdahl would detail his disillusionment with the Afghanistan campaign in an email to his parents three days before he went missing.

“I am sorry for everything here,” he wrote. “These people need help, yet what they get is the most conceited country in the world telling them that they are nothing and that they are stupid.”

Bergdahl also complained about fellow soldiers. The battalion commander was a “conceited old fool,” he said, and the only “decent” sergeants, planning to leave the platoon “as soon as they can,” told the privates — Bergdahl then among them — “to do the same.”

“I am ashamed to be an American. And the title of US soldier is just the lie of fools,” he concluded. “I am sorry for everything. The horror that is America is disgusting.”

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US Memorial Day

War Is A Racket - Smedley Butler

I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902–1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.

– Smedley D. Butler, 1935, Common Sense

Navy Seal Guilty of Smuggling 10 Kilos of Cocaine into Miami

Exclusive: U.S. Navy SEAL Smuggled 10 Kilos Of Cocaine Into Miami

A Navy SEAL who served in the military for 14 years and worked on covert anti-drug operations has admitted to smuggling 10 kilos of cocaine into the United States, according to records from the federal district court in Miami and a source familiar with his service.

The SEAL, Angel Martinez-Ramos, left active duty in 2010 but continued to deploy on missions as a reservist, court papers say. He had drug paraphernalia, including a money-counting machine and drug-testing equipment, at home, the documents say. He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to import cocaine and is currently in custody in Miami awaiting sentencing.

The Most Popular Show In America Is Basically NSA Propaganda (Business Insider)

The Most Popular Show In America Is Basically NSA Propaganda (Business Insider)

The NCIS siblings take this one step further by placing the entire nation in jeopardy on a regular basis. The two shows have offered numerous plots involving weapons of mass destruction in the hands of lavishly financed Iranian, Pakistani, or Russian evildoers.

This is how entertainment media manipulates public sentiment. Both homicide and terrorist attack are some of the most feared, but least likely to happen events.

Exclusive: Inside the Army Spy Ring & Attempted Entrapment of Peace Activists, Iraq Vets, Anarchists (Democracy Now)

Exclusive: Inside the Army Spy Ring & Attempted Entrapment of Peace Activists, Iraq Vets, Anarchists

The man everyone knew as “John Jacob” was in fact John Towery, a member of the Force Protection Service at Fort Lewis. He also spied on the Industrial Workers of the World and Iraq Veterans Against the War. A newly made public email written by Towery reveals the Army informant was building a multi-agency spying apparatus. The email was sent from Towery using his military account to the FBI, as well as the police departments in Los Angeles, Portland, Eugene, Everett and Spokane. He wrote, “I thought it would be a good idea to develop a leftist/anarchist mini-group for intel sharing and distro.” Meanwhile, evidence has also emerged that the Army informant attempted to entrap at least one peace activist, Glenn Crespo, by attempting to persuade him to purchase guns and learn to shoot. We speak to Crespo and his attorney Larry Hildes, who represents all the activists in the case.

Did Marines Lie About Dead “Hero?”

Comrades say Marine heroism tale of Iraq veteran was untrue

After his death in 2004 in Fallujah, Sgt. Rafael Peralta became perhaps the most lionized Marine of the Iraq war. Shot in the head during an intense firefight, the story went, the infantryman scooped a grenade underneath his body seconds before it exploded, a stunning act of courage that saved the lives of his fellow Marines.

The Navy posthumously awarded Peralta the Navy Cross, the service’s second-highest decoration for valor; named a destroyer after him; and made plans to display his battered rifle in the Marine Corps museum in Quantico, Va.

Most individuals may accept, as a matter of course, that these events happen. I used to. Then I started reading the citations, the official stories, accompanying Medal of Honor recipients. For example, that of David B. Bleak:

Nearing the military crest of the hill, while attempting to cross the fire-swept area to attend the wounded, he came under hostile fire from a small group of the enemy concealed in a trench. Entering the trench he closed with the enemy, killed 2 with bare hands and a third with his trench knife. Moving from the emplacement, he saw a concussion grenade fall in front of a companion and, quickly shifting his position, shielded the man from the impact of the blast. Later, while ministering to the wounded, he was struck by a hostile bullet but, despite the wound, he undertook to evacuate a wounded comrade. As he moved down the hill with his heavy burden, he was attacked by 2 enemy soldiers with fixed bayonets. Closing with the aggressors, he grabbed them and smacked their heads together, then carried his helpless comrade down the hill to safety. Sgt. Bleak’s dauntless courage and intrepid actions reflect utmost credit upon himself and are in keeping with the honored traditions of the military service.

The first time I read this was the first time I questioned the veracity of stories of heroism. How do we know this is true? The story itself, frankly, does not seem true. It seems like a modern myth; based on actual events, sure, but embellished. We are expected to believe that this man took out two men by knocking their heads together. The odds are low. So how do we really know?

Who witnessed him kill three men in a trench alone? Who saw him smash the heads of two soldiers together if his comrade was incapacitated? And, most importantly, how do we know they did not lie or exaggerate?

As it turns out, actual verification of a Medal of Honor story is built on a shaky foundation. Decisions as to whom will receive a Medal of Honor are not made on the field of battle. The decisions are made by individuals who may have never even met the person before. The story moves up the chain of command like a game of telephone. Individuals in the Pentagon must trust the reports of those who bring the stories to their door. And although designed to leave “no margin of error or doubt” much of the evidence considered in the Medal of Honor screening process would be consider hearsay in a court of law.

In the case of Sgt. Dakota Meyer, video evidence has raised the question that his Medal of Honor winning story may have been a complete fraud. Meyer recounted his story of fighting off Taliban in Into the Fire: A Firsthand Account of the Most Extraordinary Battle in the Afghan War. However, the testimony of Meyer’s companions later contradicted him as well. And an examination of the stories indicated that the events surrounding Meyer’s heroism had been exaggerated:

But an exhaustive assessment by a McClatchy correspondent who was embedded with the unit and survived the ambush found that the Marines’ official accounts of Meyer’s deeds — retold in a book, countless news reports and on U.S. military websites — were embellished. They’re marred by errors and inconsistencies, ascribe actions to Meyer that are unverified or didn’t happen and create precise, almost novelistic detail out of the jumbled and contradictory recollections of the Marines, soldiers and pilots engaged in battle.

Recipients of the Medal of Honor are largely not audited. The last attempt to do an audit was in 1916. Regardless of the myth being exposed, it does not seem that a Medal of Honor will be taken away once it is awarded. Thus, the intent is to avoid situations where it may be awarded without merit. Peralta was rejected after being nominated three times for the Medal of Honor. This is the same Marine who had the destroyer named after him. Let’s return to his story:

On Friday night, the Pentagon announced that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel had turned down a request by Rep. Duncan D. Hunter (R-Calif.) to reopen a Medal of Honor nomination for Peralta. Hagel, after an extensive review that included new material gathered by Hunter’s office, determined that “the totality of the evidence” was insufficient to award a Medal of Honor, the Pentagon said in a statement.

But Hunter, a former Marine who served in Fallujah, said in an interview earlier this month that awarding the medal is “the right thing to do.”

“When you have young Marines saying, ‘I’m not dead, because he jumped on the grenade,’ that’s all we need to know. There’s no reason to complicate this.”

This is always the origin of Medal of Honor accounts: the battlefield comrades. We can give them the benefit of the doubt. They are not necessarily telling lies. They may not be telling the truth, either. False memories are linked to stressful events. Conformity is common in situations of uncertainty. Solomon Asch famously demonstrated that conformity can even make people assert what they know to be untrue.

In the immediate aftermath of the blast, some of the men in the unit feared they had been the ones who shot Peralta, according to Allen. Tony Gonzales, a corporal who was outside the house, said one of the Marines approached him, put a hand on his shoulder and wept.

“I shot Peralta with a three-burst round to the face,” the Marine told him, according to Gonzales. “He ran right in front of my line of fire.”

A new plot twist: a motivation for the myth. It is no accident that many Medal of Honor recipients are dead. They are unable to verify their own story personally. And what better way to cover up a tragic accident than to create a heroic myth? This allows the companions of the fallen, the family and the state to rest easy. He did not die in vain. He was a hero.

Brown, who said he dashed out of the house when he saw the grenade land on the floor, recalls feeling uncomfortable when he heard Marines in the squad suggest that they embellish the story of Peralta’s death. Another Marine who was outside the house and corroborated Brown’s account said the story of Peralta jumping on the grenade didn’t feel like a coverup at the time.

“Looking back, I truly believe it was something they wanted to be noble,” said the Marine, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he remains in the service and does not want to be publicly associated with the controversy. “I don’t think it was something done to cover anything up. It was more like, this is something we should do for him.”

Allen was the closest person to the grenade other than Peralta and was severely wounded in the backside. As his comrades began treating his wounds, he said he heard Adam Morrison, another Marine in the room, say that Peralta had jumped on the grenade.

“That was the first I heard of it,” he said. “I had my eyes on the grenade.”

Allen said he doesn’t think anyone acted maliciously. “Many people thought they had shot him,” he said. “That’s why the story was created. It just happened organically.”

It just happened organically. And that seems to be the most truthful statement. It was a perfect storm: guilt, conformity, and a desire to lionize the man. Nobody can rationalize a young man shot in the head by his own team. This is a senseless death. His life meant nothing. He did die in vain.

New Snowden/Greenwald Revelation: GCHQ Caught With False Flag, Honey-Trap & Defamation Plans

Glenn Greenwald of The Intercept has released the latest Edward Snowden leak: a Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) slide show, from the Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group (JTRIG), titled The Art Of Deception: Training for A New Generation of Online Covert Operations. This information demonstrates how GCHQ has gone beyond spying and beyond focusing on threats to national security. Terrorism is no longer the focus. Instead, GCHQ has adopted tactics designed entrap, defame and derail. From Greenwald, How Covert Agents Infiltrate the Internet to Manipulate, Deceive, and Destroy Reputations:

Among the core self-identified purposes of JTRIG are two tactics: (1) to inject all sorts of false material onto the internet in order to destroy the reputation of its targets; and (2) to use social sciences and other techniques to manipulate online discourse and activism to generate outcomes it considers desirable. To see how extremist these programs are, just consider the tactics they boast of using to achieve those ends: “false flag operations” (posting material to the internet and falsely attributing it to someone else), fake victim blog posts (pretending to be a victim of the individual whose reputation they want to destroy), and posting “negative information” on various forums.

GCHQ Disruption Operational Playbook

Slide 47 from the leak. This is not threat-finding. It is an attack plan. According to Greenwald:

Critically, the “targets” for this deceit and reputation-destruction extend far beyond the customary roster of normal spycraft: hostile nations and their leaders, military agencies, and intelligence services. In fact, the discussion of many of these techniques occurs in the context of using them in lieu of “traditional law enforcement” against people suspected (but not charged or convicted) of ordinary crimes or, more broadly still, “hacktivism”, meaning those who use online protest activity for political ends.

GCHQ Discredit A Target

GCHQ Discredit A Company

Any shred of optimism regarding the NSA, GCHQ and the “Five Eyes” has gone out the window. The mission has little to do with terrorism and security. They are openly discussing attacking individuals and engaging in corporate espionage. You are not going to stop the next Bin Laden by changing his FaceBook photo or sending mean text messages to his friends. These are tactics specifically used to harm individuals who do not align themselves with government interests.

GCHQ Exploiting Fracture Points

The leaks illustrate psychological techniques to infiltrate and disrupt groups, disseminate false information, ruin reputations, and misdirect the flow of information on the Internet. We’re not talking al-Qaeda and child pornography on the Darknet. We’re not talking about people who have been charged with any crime. And certainly not about a military target in a war zone. This is about stifling the average man and woman.

But these GCHQ documents are the first to prove that a major western government is using some of the most controversial techniques to disseminate deception online and harm the reputations of targets. Under the tactics they use, the state is deliberately spreading lies on the internet about whichever individuals it targets, including the use of what GCHQ itself calls “false flag operations” and emails to people’s families and friends. Who would possibly trust a government to exercise these powers at all, let alone do so in secret, with virtually no oversight, and outside of any cognizable legal framework?

Imagine if it were you: an animal rights activist, an anarchist, environmentalist, Second Amendment activist, a member of a militia or an “extreme” religious group, an Orthodox Jew or a Southern Baptist, a homosexual, a tax protester, or a member of an unpopular political party. You become the target. And you find people are spreading lies about you on the Internet, harassing your family, sabotaging your business relationships and attempting to entrap you. All the tactics revealed in these leaks.

And then you find it that it was not just people — it was your own government. You were being attacked by the government you pay for with your taxes. They are spreading false information and attempting to disrupt your work. And you have never committed a crime. In fact, you have never even been charged with a crime. The entire campaign against you is extra-judicial. You have been deemed a domestic enemy of the state.

And you have no recourse, because the government has decided you are the enemy. You cannot fight it in a court, report it to an authority with oversight, open a lawsuit or even confirm for certain that you are a target.