Militant Libertarian http://militantlibertarian.org Give me liberty or eat lead! Wed, 22 Jul 2015 15:27:26 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Propaganda Wave Portends Invasion of Syria http://militantlibertarian.org/2015/07/22/propaganda-wave-portends-invasion-of-syria/ http://militantlibertarian.org/2015/07/22/propaganda-wave-portends-invasion-of-syria/#comments Wed, 22 Jul 2015 15:27:26 +0000 http://militantlibertarian.org/?p=36521 July 20, 2015 (Tony Cartalucci – NEO) – It was recently reported that US policymakers have signed and dated plans drawn up for the US invasion and occupation of Syria. The plan as described by the Fortune 500-funded Brookings Institution – a corporate think-tank that has previously drawn up plans for the invasion, occupation, and “surge” in Iraq – is to occupy border regions of Syria with US special forces to then justify a nationwide “no-fly-zone” if and when Syrian forces attempt to retake these “safe zones.”

 

A Media Day is held at RAF Marham consisting of a National Media Event, VIP Visit and XIII Sqn's Medal Ceremony on 26th November 2010.  Visitors will include Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Dalton KCB BSc FRAeS FCMI RAF and Lady Anne Dalton; various local dignitaries along with local and national media.  The aim of this event is to attend the XIII Sqn Medal presentation and to view aspects of RAF Marham. Photograph shows Tornado GR4 during a capability demonstration for the media.

A Media Day is held at RAF Marham consisting of a National Media Event, VIP Visit and XIII Sqn’s Medal Ceremony on 26th November 2010. Visitors will include Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Dalton KCB BSc FRAeS FCMI RAF and Lady Anne Dalton; various local dignitaries along with local and national media. The aim of this event is to attend the XIII Sqn Medal presentation and to view aspects of RAF Marham. Photograph shows Tornado GR4 during a capability demonstration for the media.

The “safe zones” are to be used by various terrorists fronts Brookings admits are tied to Al Qaeda, to take refuge from Syrian air power and from which to stage and launch attacks deeper into Syrian territory. The end game is the Balkanization of Syria into ineffectual vassal states the US can later stitch together into a larger client regime.

It was also reported that this signed and dated conspiracy to invade, occupy, and destroy Syria would be followed by widespread propaganda aimed at selling the policy paper under the guise of “defeating” the so-called “Islamic State” (ISIS/ISIL). In reality, hundreds of trucks a day, originating deep within NATO-member Turkey’s territory, cross the Turkish-Syrian border unopposed, destined for ISIS territory, keeping the terrorist front well supplied and armed, along with its ranks full of fresh fighters.

It is clear that US, British, and other regional allies conducting airstrikes on ISIS in Syria are doing so with full knowledge that whatever damage they are doing is quickly absorbed by the logistical torrent they themselves allow, even underwrite, to freely flow into ISIS territory. No attempts have been made by the US or any of the NATO nations involved in the Syrian conflict, to first stem ISIS’ supply lines – an elementary and obvious strategic goal necessary if the West was truly interested in stopping ISIS.

The Propaganda Begins

The Brookings policy paper is now demonstrably manifesting itself as talking points across the Western media. The Guardian in an op-ed titled, “Why British air strikes in Syria would be pointless,” argues:

[Defence secretary Michael Fallon’s] aim merely to spread the RAF’s targets across a greater area? If, on the other hand, he has a secret plan to transform coalition strategy into something more ambitious, perhaps he should share it with us. Syria does not want for bombs. What it lacks are suitable ground forces who could drive out and destroy Isis under the coalition’s military umbrella. A more aggressive approach is possible. It would require American leadership, sweeping changes in the programme to train and equip Syrian rebels, and more direct air support in their battles. It would, eventually but inevitably, bring rebels into greater contact with the Assad regime. Such an approach seems unlikely to survive the parliamentary test at home. 

Fallon does have a “secret plan,” US and British special forces are already operating in Syria alongside terrorist militants. The “secret plan” is actually now published on the Brookings Institution’s website, and involves openly occupying Syrian territory with Western special forces supporting these “Syrian rebels” who are admittedly tied directly to Al Qaeda.
Conveniently, the mentioned anticipated parliamentary impasse will get a boost in public support in favor of greater intervention in the wake of ISIS attacks in Tunisia where mostly British tourists were targeted, maimed, and killed. Attacks in France, another wave of overtly sensationalist execution videos, and a recent attack in Tennessee where once again the shooter was well-known to the FBI, seems almost intentionally providing the West with the perfect pretext with which to sell an otherwise unjustifiable act of military aggression by Western forces against Syria.

The Guardian op-ed is only the carefully worded first of many to come in a propaganda campaign aimed at justifying the invasion and occupation of Syrian territory in a piecemeal military campaign meant to “sleepwalk” the Western public into yet another lengthy and costly war. Anyone who is even semi-conscious will, the West hopes, be convinced that ISIS is a perfectly justifiable pretext with which to carryout this premeditated military adventure.

US Plans to Use Al Qaeda in 2007, Now Fully Realized

It must be repeated that even as early as 2007, under the administration of then US President George Bush, it was reported that the United States, Saudi Arabia, Israel, and other regional allies planned to fund, arm, and support a wide terrorist front – affiliated with Al Qaeda – to wage proxy war against Iran, Syria, and Lebanon’s Hezbollah.

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh in his article, “The Redirection: Is the Administration’s new policy benefiting our enemies in the war on terrorism?” which explicitly stated (emphasis added):

To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush Administration has decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in the Middle East. In Lebanon, the Administration has coöperated with Saudi Arabia’s government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is backed by Iran. The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda.

It is clear that this premeditated and documented conspiracy has been fully implemented, manifesting itself as the “Islamic State” which is clearly being used both as a proxy military force with which to wage war against Western enemies, as well as a pretext for justifying Western military aggression around the world. It is also being used conveniently to maintain an iron grip at home via an increasingly Orwellian police state predicated on “fighting the threat of terrorism.”

As others have hinted at, the West is also intentionally promoting a strategy of tension to predictably divide the world’s population into two camps – those that back Western neo-liberalism, and those that back the medieval methods of ISIS and periphery ideologies. Those in the middle are intentionally marginalized by the vast Western media, and even in the alternative media, cognitive infiltration has helped mute the voices of reason and accelerate this global conflict.

At the end of the day, empires using proxies and even manufactured enemies is par for the course. Unfortunately, unlike empires in the days of old, the weapons and technology available to modern-day imperialists have such devastating and wide-ranging impact, few will escape the fallout.

Exposing both the West’s military aggression and the fact that those it claims it is attempting to “protect” the world from are monsters of their own intentional creation, and expounding the merits of a multi-polar world where extraterritorial military adventures thousands of miles from one’s shores is an intolerable crime against humanity, is a good first step in disarming this latest round warmongering creeping toward Syria’s battered borders.

Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazineNew Eastern Outlook”.

Article source: http://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/2015/07/propaganda-wave-portends-invasion-of.html

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FBI Tracked Chattanooga Shooter’s Family for Years http://militantlibertarian.org/2015/07/19/fbi-tracked-chattanooga-shooters-family-for-years/ http://militantlibertarian.org/2015/07/19/fbi-tracked-chattanooga-shooters-family-for-years/#comments Sun, 19 Jul 2015 16:03:29 +0000 http://militantlibertarian.org/?p=36515 a055b_CKEJYHGUYAAhN8yJuly 17, 2015 (Tony Cartalucci – LD) – Once again, another convenient shooting has helped supercharge anger, hatred, fear, and division across the Western World after an alleged “Islamist extremist” opened fire on and killed 4 US Marines at a recruiting station in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Without any knowledge of how the US has in fact created Al Qaeda and its many global affiliates, including vicious terrorist groups plaguing Southeast Asia, and the most notorious to date, the so-called “Islamic State” (ISIS), the American public will predictably react in a manner that will simply further justify America’s meddling across the globe amid its self-created and perpetuated “War on Terror.” It will also help in efforts to further tighten control over the American public itself, with increased justifications for expanding police state measures and future pushes to disarm the American people.

Yahoo News would report in their article, “Shootings at Chattanooga military facilities leave 4 Marines, gunman dead; act called ‘domestic terrorism‘,” that:

A U.S. official told the Associated Press that Abdulazeez had not been on the radar of federal law enforcement before Thursday’s shooting. 

But also added:

His father had been investigated several years ago for “possible ties to a foreign terrorist organization” and added to the U.S. terrorist watch list, according to a report in the New York Times, but that probe did not surface information about Abdulazeez, the paper said.

This means that yet another case of “domestic terror” has involved someone either investigated by the FBI, entrapped by an active FBI operation where FBI investigators posed as terrorist leaders and walked a patsy through every step of a terrorist attack before arresting them and thus “foiling” the attack, or linked directly to someone the FBI was investigating.

Ironically, the immense omnipresent police state the West has erected to combat the so-called “terrorist” threat, including the total surveillance of all communications online and across all telecommunication networks, at home and abroad under the National Security Agency (NSA) will only expand, despite it once again apparently failing, and despite attempts by special interests on Wall Street and in Washington to claim this latest attack “again” somehow circumvented these already sweeping measures.

Meanwhile, The US Continues Supporting Extremists Abroad

And while this latest attack is passed off as a “domestic terrorist attack” and the result of “Islamic extremists,” rather than a false flag event, the US continues to openly support the very “terrorists” it claims threatens its homeland and has inspired these sort of attacks.

Just recently, the Washington Post literally allowed a spokesman of Al Qaeda to defend his faction’s role in the fighting in Syria, and his condemnation of the United States for not rendering more aid for the cause of overrunning and destroying the Syrian nation – a goal the US itself is likewise pursuing.

Labib Al Nahhas, “head of foreign political relations” for terrorist organization Ahrar al-Sham, wrote in his Washington Post op-ed titled, “The deadly consequences of mislabeling Syria’s revolutionaries,” that:

Stuck inside their own bubble, White House policymakers have allocated millions of U.S. taxpayer dollars to support failed CIA efforts to support so-called “moderate” forces in Syria. But these “moderate” groups have proved to be a disappointment on nearly every count, not least of all in confronting the Islamic State.

He also states:

That question should prompt Washington to admit that the Islamic State’s extremist ideology can be defeated only through a homegrown Sunni alternative — with the term “moderate” defined not by CIA handlers but by Syrians themselves.

Essentially, the Washington Post afforded a terrorist organization space to make an appeal to the American public for military support. Ahrar al-Sham regularly coordinates with and fights within operations led by Al Qaeda’s Al Nusra Front, a US State Department designated terrorist organization from which ISIS itself sprung.

Al Nusra and Ahrar al-Sham are described as the “closest” of allies by Western think-tanks and media reports. It is also revealed that Ahrar al-Sham worked along side ISIS itself.

A Stanford University report under “Mapping Militant Organizations” explained (emphasis added):

Ahrar al-Sham quickly became one of the largest military organizations operating in Syria, and it has been active in efforts to unite the Islamist opposition under a single banner. It rejects the idea of Western intervention but sometimes works alongside Free Syrian Army brigades. It routinely cooperates with al-Nusra and, until relations soured in 2013, also worked with ISIS. In February 2014, the U.S. Director of National Intelligence called Ahrar al-Sham one of the three most effective rebel groups in Syria.

The Washington Post isn’t the only voice in the Western media promoting Al Qaeda. Foreign Policy in 2012 abhorrently proclaimed, “Two Cheers for Syrian Islamists: So the rebels aren’t secular Jeffersonians. As far as America is concerned, it doesn’t much matter.” As much as an admission that the US is backing what is essentially terrorism in Syria, the Foreign Policy article attempted even then to promote the alleged “pragmatism” of supporting Al Qaeda to eliminate America’s foreign enemies.

Image: 100’s of trucks a day pass over Turkey’s border with Syria, destined for ISIS territory. NATO literally is supplying ISIS with an endless torrent of supplies, weapons, and fighters meaning that no matter how many token airstrikes the US carries out, many times more fighters and materiel will fill the void. 
And while Foreign Policy and terrorists writing in the pages of the Washington Post demand more weapons and support from the West, it is already a documented fact that immense and constantly flowing supply convoys are streaming out of both NATO-member Turkey and US-ally Jordan’s territory, into Syria and Iraq, for the purpose of resupplying ISIS. This explains ISIS’ otherwise inexplicable ability to not only maintain its impressive fighting capacity as it simultaneously wages war against both the Syrian and Iraqi armies, but to expand its fighting to all fronts opposed to US regional hegemony.

This includes Yemen, Libya, and even Egypt where ISIS most recently managed to hit an Egyptian naval vessel with a missile. Foreign Policy would again weigh in. Their article, “Islamic State Sinai Affiliate Claims to Have Hit Egyptian Ship With Missile,” states:

The use of a guided missile to strike an Egyptian ship represents a higher level of technological sophistication than what has been previously observed in Sinai attacks. It is unclear, however, exactly what kind of missile was used in the attack, beyond the militant group’s claim that it was a guided munition.

Militant groups in the region have in the past used guided missiles to attack government ships in the Mediterranean. During the 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah, an Iranian anti-ship missile fired by the militant group struck the Israeli warship Hanit, badly damaging the vessel and killing four crew members.

Of course, Foreign Policy and others across the Western media will be quick to point out that Hezbollah is a state-sponsored militant organization which receives its weapons from Syria and Iran. The question then becomes how ISIS replicated this level of “technological sophistication,” and which state-sponsors put the missiles into their hands.

The US supporting Al Qaeda is not really news. Al Qaeda was initially a joint US-Saudi venture to create a mercenary army to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan during the 1980’s. This mercenary army would again fight Russian interests in Serbia and Chechnya before eventually being used as the pretext for US invasions and occupations of both Afghanistan and Iraq from 2001 onward. In 2007, it was revealed that the US, Saudi Arabia, and Israel sought to use the terrorist organization to raise a proxy military front to overthrow Syria and Iran. The resulting bloodbath in Syria beginning in 2011 is the operational execution of this documented conspiracy.

Al Qaeda and its various affiliates serve both as a proxy mercenary front to strike where Western forces cannot, and a pretext to invade abroad. It also serves as a constant justification for increased tyranny at home. With the most recent shooting carried out by yet another target of the FBI’s “investigations,” and the predictable divisive backlash that will follow, it is assured that the American public will be further blinded to the fact that this so-called “Islamic extremism” was born in Washington and on Wall Street, in Riyadh and Tel Aviv, not in a mosque or springing forth from the pages of the Qu’ran.

In fact, the vast majority of the world’s Islamic people are locked in mortal combat with the West’s mercenary terrorist forces, with tens of thousands of them having shed their blood fighting Al Qaeda everywhere from Libya to Egypt, to Iraq and Syria. While the US attempts to pose as the leading power in the fight against extremism, its token airstrikes deep within Syrian territory are quickly undone by the torrent of supplies it itself oversees flooding into Syrian territory. For every fighter killed by a US airstrike, 10 more are being trafficked in through US and NATO-run networks stretching as far afield as Xinjiang, China.

The US presence in Iraq and Syria serves simply as one of several planned stepping stones to eventually and directly intervene militarily in toppling either or both governments, before moving on to Tehran.

The “War on Terror” is a fraud, and each “terrorist attack” a carefully orchestrated means of further perpetuating that fraud.

Article source: http://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/2015/07/fbi-tracked-chattanooga-shooters-family.html

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US NED Ignores Saudi Barbarism http://militantlibertarian.org/2015/07/15/us-ned-ignores-saudi-barbarism/ http://militantlibertarian.org/2015/07/15/us-ned-ignores-saudi-barbarism/#comments Thu, 16 Jul 2015 01:18:24 +0000 http://militantlibertarian.org/?p=36511 The Arabian Peninsula has been trapped in a time warp for nearly a century, thanks to the House of Saud and indomitable Western support.

July 15, 2015 (Tony Cartalucci – NEO) –  Some may find it curious, browsing the US State Department’s National Endowment for Democracy (NED) website, reviewing the unending lists of faux-NGOs special interests in the West have propped up across the planet to project influence and political meddling into every corner of the planet under the pretense of supporting “freedom and democracy,” to discover this meddling extends to nearly all nations except a select few.

Saudi Arabia troops arrive in Bahrain on Monday, March 14, 2011. A Saudi-led military force crossed into Bahrain to prop up the monarchy against widening demonstrations, launching the first cross-border military operation to quell unrest since the Arab world's rebellions began in December 2010.    APA /Landov

Saudi Arabia troops arrive in Bahrain on Monday, March 14, 2011. A Saudi-led military force crossed into Bahrain to prop up the monarchy against widening demonstrations, launching the first cross-border military operation to quell unrest since the Arab world’s rebellions began in December 2010. APA /Landov

Image: Saudi troops move into Bahrain to crackdown on demonstrations there against the also-autocratic regime in power. While the West actively supported and even intervened on behalf of militant mobs across the MENA region seeking regime change, it not only failed to condemn the Saudis in their bid to crush dissent, but actively assisted.
One of these blind spots includes Saudi Arabia. In fact, under the category “Middle East and North Africa” (MENA), Saudi Arabia isn’t even listed. NED-funded NGOs attempt to leverage every noble cause conceived by human empathy, from representative governance, to the rights of women and children, from behind which to hide their true agenda of political meddling, undermining local institutions, and the overwriting of a nation’s sociocultural landscape. Yet, it would seem, even this farce has its limits, which begin at the borders of favored client-states including Saudi Arabia.

It would seem, were NED a genuine sponsor of such causes, Saudi Arabia would have attracted special attention. It is literally a nation where women do not exist as human beings legally or socially, unable to even drive, and were Saudi Arabia to have anything resembling actual elections, unable to vote as well. The lack of any semblance of representative governance is another aspect one might expect the National Endowment for Democracy to find issue with. Yet it doesn’t.

This transparent, obvious hypocrisy exposes the entirety of NED’s work for what it is – meddling behind an elaborate facade of defending freedom, democracy, and human rights.

But beyond this intentional blind spot the self-proclaimed arbiters of global freedom and democracy have created for the autocratic, brutal regime of Saudi Arabia to hide within, we find more than just silent approval, we find also active, even eager complicity.

The entirety of Saudi Arabia’s security apparatus, both internal and military, has been created and propped up by the West through billions upon billions of dollars in aid, weapon sales, and direct military cooperation and support. This includes the immense 60 billion USD arms deal signed between Riyadh and Washington, the largest arms deal in US history.

This says nothing of covert operations the West, including the United States and United Kingdom, have been carrying out throughout the MENA region with Saudi Arabia as the chief proxy and local facilitator.

Saudi Barbaria 

Saudi Arabia is ruled by an unelected, hereditary dictatorship. In fact, so autocratic is Saudi Arabia, the nation is literally named after the single family that has ruled it since it was created – the House of Saud – or “Saud’s Arabia.”


While Western NGOs fund to the tune of millions per year activists around the world agitating political instability in nations like Thailand, claiming that the constitutional monarchy there is some sort of impediment to “democracy,” the fact that a single family has ruled Saudi Arabia uninterrupted for decades, even naming the country after the family who rules it unopposed without even the semblance of elections or representative governance, seems to be more than acceptable.

To remain in power for decades, the House of Saud has instituted an extensive and barbaric punitive system which includes public beheadings for everyone from “witches and heretics” to enemies of the state. What is considered as intolerable barbarity in Syria or Iraq when Al Qaeda beheads prisoners of war or local civilians to impose their rule on seized territory, is just another day at “Chop-Chop Square” in Riyadh.

The International Business Tribune would report in its article, “Execution Central: Saudi Arabia’s Bloody Chop-Chop Square,” that:

In the capital Riyadh, public executions take place in the central Deera square, usually at 9am. The wide ochre square has been grimly dubbed “chop chop square” has seen dozens of condemned men and women put to death in recent years.

“When they [death row prisoners] get to the execution square, their strength drains away. Then I read the execution order, and at a signal I cut the prisoner’s head off,” al-Beshi said.

According to Human Rights Watch, from January to September 2012, at least 69 people were executed in Saudi Arabia. Another 10 beheadings have been reported in just the first six weeks of 2013.

Beheadings are imposed mainly for murder or drug offences, but cases of apostasy (renunciation of one’s faith), sorcery and witchcraft can also end up in Chop Chop square. Indeed a man named Muri’ al-‘Asiri was executed last year in the southern town of Najran, as punishment for being a sorcerer.

The parallels between Al Qaeda and Saudi Arabia are no coincidence. Al Qaeda and the subsequent “Islamic State” (ISIS) it has created, straddling Syria and Iraq and spreading across the rest of the MENA region in fact finds its genesis and chief patrons in Riyadh. The West props up Riyadh, and Riyadh props up a regional army of mercenaries waging relentless war on Washington and Wall Street’s enemies throughout MENA. A torrent of supplies brought in by literal convoys of trucks even streams into the war zone via NATO territory.

ISIS can in fact be considered a “colony” of Riyadh, and a reflection of the depravity actively encouraged by the West on the Arabian Peninsula for decades.

Saudi Barbarism Actively, Intentionally Enabled by West

A barbaric autocracy lopping the heads off its own citizens while creating colonies of terrorism across the globe through direct support of marching terrorist armies and a global network of madrases promoting the state-cult of Saudi Arabia, Wahhabism, under the guise of Sunni Islam would seem like one of the West’s greatest threats.

Yet in most cases, particularly when these Saudi-sponsored madrases are established in Europe or North America, national intelligence and law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, the CIA, MI5, and MI6 actively participate in the cultivating, exploitation, and entrapment of radicals created within. Never is it attempted to expose and dismantle these networks, and instead, an intentional strategy of tension is created around these rat nests of extremism to promote hysteria, division, and further fan the flames of fear at home, while justifying perpetual war abroad.

Considering this, it is clear why Saudi Arabia is not only pardoned for its inhumanity and criminality, but encouraged and enabled by special interests in the West. These interests are able to manipulate and terrorize their population at home, justify the creation and enlargement of domestic surveillance networks, and justify the use of military force abroad in campaigns of hegemonic conquest predicated on “national defense” against “terrorism” they and their allies have themselves created to begin with.

Image: Saudi Arabia wages relentless war against Yemen with absolute impunity – even complicity and support from the so-called “international community” comprised of Wall Street, Washington, London, Brussels, and the myriad of faux-international institutions they have created to lend legitimacy to their otherwise illegitimate, unwarranted power and influence.
When Saudi Arabia began airstrikes on neighboring Yemen, we saw once again not only the United States, United Kingdom, and the European Union fail to protest the extraterritorial aggression, but the United Nations itself also failed to condemn or act in response. Furthermore, Western support for Saudi military aggression has continued unabated regardless of the atrocities and deaths unfolding in Yemen.

And while it can safely be said that Al Qaeda is a reflection of Saudi Arabia, it can also be safely stated that Saudi Arabia, its barbarism and regional crimes against humanity, its state-sponsorship of global terrorism, and even the ideology it actively promotes worldwide that serves as the foundation global terrorism is inspired from, is a reflection in turn of the depravity of the special interests ruling Wall Street, Washington and their Transatlantic counterparts in London and Brussels.

Understanding the special accommodations made by the West for perhaps the most barbaric nation on Earth, amid disingenuous bleating about “Iran,” “North Korea,” “Russia,” “China,” and other enemies of Western hegemony, exposes the emptiness of Western principles – or more accurately – the emptiness of those hiding behind them.

Article source: http://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/2015/07/us-ned-ignores-saudi-barbarism.html

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New SWAT Documents Give Snapshot of Ugly Militarization of U.S. Police http://militantlibertarian.org/2015/07/13/new-swat-documents-give-snapshot-of-ugly-militarization-of-u-s-police/ http://militantlibertarian.org/2015/07/13/new-swat-documents-give-snapshot-of-ugly-militarization-of-u-s-police/#comments Tue, 14 Jul 2015 02:11:00 +0000 http://militantlibertarian.org/?p=36494 from FirstLook

swat2-article-display-bExtensive records from SWAT team raids in northeastern Massachusetts released today by the American Civil Liberties Union corroborate what police reform advocates have long insisted: that “Special Weapons And Tactics” units spend a majority of their time responding to low-risk situations that do not require SWAT’s quasi-military approach.

The documents include after-action reports from 79 SWAT operations between August 2012 and June 2014 by the Northeastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council, or NEMLEC, a consortium of police departments covering 925 square miles in Middlesex and Essex Counties outside Boston. According to NEMLEC, its SWAT team exists to respond to “critical incidents,” mainly “active shooters, armed barricaded subjects, hostage takers, and terrorists.”

However, an examination of the records by the The Intercept demonstrates that such critical incidents are few and far between in Northeast Massachusetts. Nonetheless, SWAT teams frequently roll out in “NEMLEC Communities,” carried in BearCat armored response vehicles and armed with flash-bang grenades.

Just one of the 79 SWAT deployments in 2012-14 — assistance with the search for the perpetrators of the Boston Marathon bombing — involved terrorism. Other SWAT actions during that period show no hostage situations, no active shooters and only 10 non-suicidal barricaded subjects.

About half of the remaining cases involved everyday and often mundane police activity, including executing warrants, dealing with expected rioting after a 2013 Red Sox World Series game, and providing security for a Dalai Lama lecture. In one mission, 15 SWAT team members roved through Salem’s Halloween celebrations looking out for unspecified “gang-related activity,” but were warned by their commanders to maintain a “professional demeanor” given that “everyone has a camera phone and you don’t want to be on YouTube or the news later.”

The remaining 37 SWAT actions were either proactive drug operations, initiated by local police, or suicide response operations.

Pete Kraska, a professor at Eastern Kentucky University who has spent his career studying the militarization of police, argues that the use of SWAT units in drug operations unnecessarily exposes poor communities to paramilitary forces.

“It is really significant to remember that SWAT teams prior to the 1980s drug war were confined strictly to reactive, dangerous situations,” Kraska told The Intercept. “But in our research today we find that over 80 percent of the time police departments are using SWAT teams for proactive cases. These deployments are generally targeted at low-level drug dealers … and usually they’re just doing it for collecting evidence — not necessarily to even arrest a well-known, armed, dangerous drug dealer.”

Indeed, of the 21 SWAT narcotics warrant operations detailed in the documents, only five of them even mention recovering drugs. And the largest of these finds was five ounces of cocaine and 61 grams of heroin — hardly the stash of the next Sinaloa Cartel.

And despite the pettiness of their operations, the NEMLEC SWAT teams’ forceful tactics would make one think they were on the hunt for Osama bin Laden.

More than half of the SWAT teams’ drug operations were initiated at 3:30 or 4:00 a.m. Furthermore, of the 22 narcotics operations detailed in the documents over the two years, 14 included warrants authorizing SWAT teams to conduct “no knock” raids and four authorizing “knock and announce” raids — both of which are forceful entry options that have made national headlines for the accidental killings, injuries, and trauma they can produce.

In one February 2013 operation, 18 SWAT team members descended on a residence thought to be a site of illegal drug activity in Lowell, Massachusetts. In conjunction with local police, the unit conducted a no-knock raid despite pre-raid intelligence showing the possible presence of a child. Finding a woman who “appeared to be preparing illegal drugs for use intravenously,” the unit arrested all five adults in the residence for unspecified drug charges.

The team also found not one child but three, escorted them out of the house, sent them to the hospital, and filed a child abuse and neglect report with the Department of Children and Families. The only “events/items of note” in the case report summary are the five arrests and unspecified amounts of narcotics and cash.

Tom Nolan, an associate professor of criminology at Merrimack College and a former Boston Police Department lieutenant, similarly believes that SWAT units’ focus on areas like suicide response are a waste of limited public resources and can make fraught situations worse.

“I was a Boston police officer and was on some of the first SWAT deployments in the 70s. Those were only for armed barricaded subjects in buildings, the reason we were deployed were for hostage situations or threats to harm others,” Nolan said. “That’s why they were established. What we’re beginning to see is that in small towns like where NEMLEC has jurisdiction, their officers want to be on SWAT teams, so they’re looking for any justifiable way to get on.”

“It’s certainly counter-productive to have a fully-armed militarized SWAT team respond to potentially suicidal suspects who are looking for ways out like suicide-by-cop situations,” contended Nolan. “I don’t know why you couldn’t just have someone respond who knows negotiation strategy techniques, without the tanks and the body armor.”

Some of the NEMLEC documents illustrate this problem. In one August 2012 SWAT operation, team members came to the home of a man who had told his father that he wanted police to kill him and barricaded himself in his bedroom. And with the arrival of 18 SWAT officers, referred to as “operators” in the reports, he almost got his wish. Fearing that he had hung himself, they broke into his room — and finding him instead “holding two large knives and hiding behind the headboard of the bedframe,” they immediately tased him, hitting him in the chest twice. The man then jumped out his glass window, lunging at outside SWAT team members with his knife. An operator then subdued him as he attempted to cut himself, covering several operators with blood.

In both the drug raids and operations dealing with potential suicides, the actions involved a startlingly large number of officers:

NEMLEC’s non-drug or suicide SWAT actions often show similar apparent overkill. “There’s certainly a need for SWAT teams to accompany officers if it has been proven that there are verified armed suspects,” said Nolan. “But far too often officers come in with SWAT teams on a hunch or what-if feeling that there are weapons present.”

In fact, though police departments often cite dangerous armed threats to justify SWAT involvement in seemingly low-level warrant operations, data from the NEMLEC documents suggest this danger is exaggerated. Of the 33 search or arrest warrant operations conducted by NEMLEC’s SWAT units between 2012 and 2014, only four found any firearms — all of them pistols, handguns, or revolvers.

And even in these four cases the response sometimes appears disproportionate to the risk. For example, in a December 2013 “emergency call-out,” a 28-person SWAT team used a BearCat vehicle in an operation to “contain” a disabled, wheelchair-bound man who had been accused of shooting at a woman’s car with a revolver in a dispute over pain medication.

Armed with tasers, long arms, a shotgun, 40mm less-lethal rounds, shields and battering rams, the SWAT unit rolled up to his apartment and were let in by one of the suspect’s associates. When the suspect did not open his bedroom door despite promising to do so, a shield team smashed their way in, only to find the suspect having difficulties getting up from his bed due to physical disabilities. The report reads, “The suspect was contained by the team and given the opportunity to get dressed and remove his catheter.” (The team later found the revolver between the head of the bed and the wall.)

NEMLEC did not respond to several requests for comment. In a peculiar twist, when the SWAT documents were first requested by the ACLU in 2012 under Massachusetts’ open government laws, NEMLEC claimed it was a private corporation and hence beyond the laws’ reach. The ACLU filed a lawsuit last year, and in arecent settlement NEMLEC reversed its position and released the records. According to Kade Crockford, director of the Technology for Liberty project at the ACLU of Massachusetts, “It’s critical for the public to have reports like this on a routine basis. There’s been a pretty robust debate about the militarization of the police, but it’s very difficult for the public to have an accurate picture of raids because we don’t hear about the day-to-day grind of SWAT teams in the drug war. Transparency is absolutely critical for oversight.”

Illustrations: Josh Begley

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TIME Admits ISIS Bringing Arms, Fighters in From NATO Territory http://militantlibertarian.org/2015/07/13/time-admits-isis-bringing-arms-fighters-in-from-nato-territory/ http://militantlibertarian.org/2015/07/13/time-admits-isis-bringing-arms-fighters-in-from-nato-territory/#comments Mon, 13 Jul 2015 21:14:05 +0000 http://militantlibertarian.org/?p=36505 July 12, 2015 (Tony Cartalucci – NEO) – Late last year, Germany’s broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW) investigated what turned out to be hundreds of trucks a day carrying billions of dollars in supplies, flowing across the Turkish border into Syria and directly into the hands of the so-called “Islamic State” (ISIS).

The border crossing near the Turkish city of Oncupinar, approximately 100km west of the Syrian city of Kobani, is apparently only one of many such crossings where ISIS fighters, weapons, and materiel move directly under the watch and apparent assistance of NATO.

35dbe_NATOCrossings_1

Image: The summation of ISIS’ supplies come from NATO and US-allied territory, primarily Turkey and Jordan. Turkey in addition to being a NATO member since the 1950’s also hosts a US air base. No efforts have been made, nor any calls even, to secure Turkey’s border and deny what is alleged to be an implacable enemy of the West billions in supplies passing through the West’s own territory and into the theater of conflict ISIS is operating in. 
TIME in their recent article titled, “ISIS Fighters Kill 200 Civilians in Syrian Town,” reported that:

The attacks also came after the group [ISIS] suffered a series of setbacks over the past two weeks, including the loss last week of the Syrian border town of Tal Abyad — one of the group’s main points for bringing in foreign fighters and supplies.

Tal Abyad, a Turkish-Syrian border crossing east of Kobani, is now a second, confirmed point of entry into Syria used by ISIS to supply its ongoing campaign within the country.

Reports of confirmed, extensive logistical networks passing through NATO and US-ally territory, into Syria, contradict the current prevailing narrative that ISIS is an “indigenous” terrorist organization, funded and self-sustaining within the territory it currently holds in both Syria and Iraq. The Western media has attempted to claim with little evidence that ISIS’ immense, global operations are somehow underwritten by “ransom payments” and “black market oil” it has seized in eastern Syria.

Clearly, not only are these reports as untenable as they are untrue, the Western media itself has reported precisely how ISIS has been sustaining its impressive fighting capacity – with billions of dollars of state-sponsored aid flowing through NATO territory, directly to their front lines.

Were the supplies flowing over the Syrian-Iraqi border, it may be possible to argue plausible deniability – with the governments of either nation unable to control either side of the border. However, Turkey, a NATO member since 1952 and host of the United States Air Force’s Incirlik Air Base, has full control of its borders meaning that ISIS-bound convoys not only pass over its borders with the apparent approval of Turkish border guards, but are assembled somewhere within Turkey itself before arriving at the edge of Syrian territory.

No effort has been made to stem the flow of supplies to ISIS from NATO territory, with the Turkish government officially denying the trucks DW videotaped and reported on even exist. This indicates clear NATO complicity in the arming and supplying of ISIS and other Al Qaeda affiliates who are in fact invading Syria from NATO-territory, as well as from US-ally Jordan.

For the West, which feigns indignation in the wake of recent ISIS attacks on France, Tunisia, and Kuwait, while posing as the primary force engaged in war with ISIS directly, it would be a simple matter to close the Turkish-Syrian border with NATO troops to ensure ISIS was shut off completely from the supplies it depends on to maintain its fighting capacity. That the borders are intentionally left open for this extensive daily torrent of supplies, weapons, and fighters to pass over unopposed, is proof positive that ISIS is and has been from the beginning a proxy force intentionally created to stoke fear and support at home for unending war abroad.

Without the threat of ISIS and the chaos it is creating across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, the ability for the West to wage war on its enemies and justify extraterritorial meddling would be severely limited. In fact, the very ISIS forces clearly being armed and supplied by NATO directly, are being used as a pretext by US policymakers to execute recently laid plans to incrementally invade and occupy Syria with US military forces.

The Brookings Institute from which these plans originated, recently used an ISIS assault on Kobani to call for “US boots on the ground” in Syria, an assault which would have been logistically impossible were it not for the daily torrent of supplies the US and its NATO-ally Turkey have themselves intentionally enabled for years to cross into Syria.

To defeat ISIS, its supply lines must be cut – a simple matter to perform that requires only Turkish and other NATO troops to move in and disrupt overt ISIS logistical networks running within their own territory. Instead, the US State Department and US-operated NGOs have even gone as far as condemning what little attempts have been made to control Turkey’s border with Syria. The US State Department’s Voice of America in their article, “Turkish Border Crackdown Imperils Syrian Refugees,” used the pretext of “human rights” to condemn Turkey for what meager control measures it has attempted to put in place.

The fact that the US, with a military base in Turkey itself, has elected not to call for or attempt to implement stricter border security to stem the flow of ISIS supplies, and instead has gone as far as bombing Syrian territory in feigned efforts to “fight ISIS,” proves that the terrorist organization is both a proxy and a pretext. No serious military campaign would be launched against an enemy without identifying and cutting off its supply lines, especially when those supply lines run through that military’s own territory.

The general public across the West, if they truly desire an end to ISIS and its atrocities, will demand what least the West can do – shutting the borders of Turkey and Jordan and ending the flow of supplies to ISIS. This will never happen, thanks to both elementary but effective “divide and conquer” rhetoric miring the Western public in endless circular debate, and the fact that the average Westerner’s understanding of modern warfare and military logistics is derived from Hollywood and television, not maps, history, and basic knowledge.

Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazineNew Eastern Outlook”.

Article source: http://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/2015/07/time-admits-isis-bringing-arms-fighters.html

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This man’s life was ruined because federal drug agents stormed his house unannounced http://militantlibertarian.org/2015/07/11/this-mans-life-was-ruined-because-federal-drug-agents-stormed-his-house-unannounced/ http://militantlibertarian.org/2015/07/11/this-mans-life-was-ruined-because-federal-drug-agents-stormed-his-house-unannounced/#comments Sun, 12 Jul 2015 04:36:15 +0000 http://militantlibertarian.org/?p=36501 from Rare.us

screen-shot-2015-07-07-at-12-19-59-pmJoel Robinson of Orangeburg, South Carolina, was home alone one morning in October of 2014. It was 6 a.m.—still dark out—when suddenly a group of men burst onto the property, armed and yelling. Alarmed and assuming he was experiencing a home invasion, Robinson grabbed his gun and fled out the back door. As he ran to safety, he shot one of the men he thought was a burglar in the arm.

It was then that Robinson realized that the home invaders were actually federal agents, officers of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) who were executing a search warrant on his home on the suspicion that he’d been manufacturing the drug PCP. Robinson, who had never shot anyone before, immediately dropped his weapon and was arrested.

Seems like a simple case of self-defense, right? Robinson had no way to initially know that the men storming his house were federal agents; he didn’t kill anyone; and as soon as he understood what was happening, he gave up his gun.

Unfortunately, the DEA and the local justice system thought otherwise: Because even accidentally shooting a federal agent counts as assault, Robinson was hit with a whole host of charges—enough to get him a life sentence if convicted for all of them.

His charges included manufacturing and intending to distribute illegal drugs, but no drugs were ever found in his house.

And the DEA officers who ran unannounced into Robinson’s home at 6 a.m.? They weren’t even following their own protocol. “There’s a statute that requires you to knock and announce, and give the person an opportunity to come to the door and answer, and they didn’t do that,” explained one of Robinson’s defense attorneys. If they had, it’s not hard to imagine Robinson’s response would have been very different indeed.

Ultimately, to escape 30 or more years in prison, Robinson accepted a deal in which he plead guilty to the shooting, was sentenced to eight years in prison, and agreed to pay the officer’s $82,000 medical bills (despite the fact that they’d already been covered by insurance).

Joel Robinson’s life is effectively ruined.

How any of this can be said to remotely resemble justice is beyond me.

Robinson’s house was raided on the suspicion that he was manufacturing PCP—but when no drugs were found he was still charged with drug production.

And the agents who invaded his house didn’t follow their own rules to identify themselves—but Robinson was still charged with assault for not realizing who they were.

It goes almost without saying that Robinson is black. While it is impossible to say what kind of role race may or may not have played in his case, there issignificant evidence that institutional racism remains a real problem in our justice system. This is particularly true where the drug war is concerned, as black people are more likely than white people to be arrested, convicted, jailed, and given long sentences for the exact same drug crimes.

But perhaps the saddest part of this whole story is that Robinson expressed gratitude that the DEA agents didn’t shoot and kill him on sight. Though that certainly is a mercy, it is appalling that a man who was caught doing nothing wrong would expect that armed government agents could murder him in his home.

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Of Wedding Cakes and Puritanical Collectivism http://militantlibertarian.org/2015/07/11/of-wedding-cakes-and-puritanical-collectivism/ http://militantlibertarian.org/2015/07/11/of-wedding-cakes-and-puritanical-collectivism/#comments Sun, 12 Jul 2015 04:33:30 +0000 http://militantlibertarian.org/?p=36497 by William N. Grigg

UPDATE —

Yes, the Kleins were fined — or, if you prefer, hit with a “civil penalty,” which is the same thing — for not baking a cake, the tortured sophistries of collectivist spin-control specialists to the contrary notwithstanding. Go here for the relevant details.

Klein familyBy declining to make a wedding cake for Rachel Cryer and Laurel Bowman, Aaron Klein and his wife Melissa saved the lesbian couple roughly $350. This is a case in which discrimination on the part of a business materially benefited the supposed victims – even before a Soviet-grade “civil rights” bureaucrat in Oregon ordered the business owners to pay $135,000 to the aggrieved couple.

 

In January 2013, the Kleins, who operated a bakery called “Sweetcakes by Melissa,” turned down the couple’s business proposal. Within a few days, the would-be customers contracted with another bakery called Pastry Girl. The second vendor charged $250 to create the celebratory confection, a rather garish artifact “with three tiers that had a peacock’s body on top and the peacock’s tail feathers trailing down over tiers to the cake plate,” as described in the Final Ruling by the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI).

Had they accepted the job, the Kleins “would have charged $600 for making and delivering the same cake.”Rachel Cryer offered her business to Sweetcakes because two years earlier the Kleins had designed and produced a wedding cake for her mother. If the Kleins had acted out of mercenary motivations rather than being governed by their religious convictions, Rachel and Laurel most likely would have settled for their first choice, rather than testing the market and quickly finding another vendor who produced the desired cake at less than half the price.

By forgoing the transaction, the Kleins paid a fairly sizeable “opportunity cost” in the service of their beliefs while inflicting no injury on Rachel and Laurel. In fact, they actually did the couple a considerable favor in light of the fact that they wanted a ceremony “as `big and grand as they could afford,’” according to the BOLI’s account. The hundreds of dollars saved on a cake were thus available to be spent on other facets of the event.

By declining to participate, however, the Kleins had hurt the couple’s feelings. As members of an officially recognized victim group in the People’s Republic of Oregon, Rachel and Laurel had the ability to summon official retaliation against someone whose opinions offended them. This also provided an opportunity for Rachel’s mother, Cheryl McPherson, a recovering “homophobe,” to display her righteousness.

After the awkward conversation in which Aaron Klein had explained that he and his wife had religious scruples against involvement in a same-sex wedding ceremony, Cheryl paid a second visit for the apparent purpose of persuading Klein to change his mind. She described to the BOLIhow she told Aaron that “she used to think like him, but her `truth had changed’ as a result of having `two gay children.’” In reiterating his decision, Klein – who from all accounts was polite and otherwise deferential – reportedly referred to the proscription against homosexual conduct found in the Old Testament book of Leviticus.

When she returned to the car where Rachel was waiting, Cheryl told her tearful daughter that Klein “had called her `an abomination.’” This was untrue: Cheryl’s sworn testimony made it plain that Klein had referred to an act, not to an individual, as an “abomination.” It was also counterproductive, assuming that the intent had been to console her daughter, rather than to exacerbate her sorrow and amplify her sense of outrage.

Cheryl drove Rachel back to the apartment she shared with Laurel and repeated the claim that Klein had described them as “abominations.” Laurel interpreted the act of refusing to make the cake as a statement that she was “a creature not created by God, not created with a soul,” that she and Rachael were “unworthy of holy love [and] not worthy of life” – conclusions based entirely on her own perceptions, rather than anything Klein had said or done. She was also concerned that exposure to Klein’s religious views “might negatively impact [Cheryl’s] acceptance of [her daughter’s] sexual orientation.”

That concern proved to be unfounded. Cheryl, filled with the zeal of a recent convert, was not about to apostatize, and she was eager to punish Klein for turning down an invitation to repent.

Before the day was out, Cheryl posted an online review of Sweetcakes advising gay couples to avoid the business “because they discriminate against gay people.” This was an entirely appropriate gesture by an unsatisfied consumer. A short time later Laurel filed a two-page complaint with the Oregon Department of Justice, which was an invitation for state-inflicted punishment of a heretic.

After being asked to create the cake for a lesbian couple, the owner “proceeded to say we were abominations unto the lord [sic] and refused to make [a] cake for us despite … having done business with us in the past,” Laurel claimed, retailing a version of the story that was both hearsay and untruthful. “We were then informed that our money was not equal, [and] my fiancé [was] reduced to tears. This is absolutely unacceptable.”

Although this was described as a “consumer complaint,” it contained no allegation that the Kleins had defrauded them or failed to carry out the terms of a contract. After the DOJ informed them of the complaint, the Kleins posted a terse note on their Facebook page describing what had happened to them. Predictably, this triggered media interest in the story, which in turn led Rachel and Laurel to fear that the foster children each of them was raising “would be taken away from them by the state of Oregon’s foster care system,” relates the BOLI ruling.

Once again, those fears were not provoked by anything the Kleins had done, or refused to do, but rather by the prospect of dealing with a capricious state bureaucracy.

This underscores a fact that has been largely ignored by coverage of this case: At the time Rachel and her mother approached the Kleins to make a wedding cake, the State of Oregon did not validate same-sex marriages.

In response to the couple’s complaint, Brad Avakian, Commissar of the Bureau of Labor and Industry, promised a “fair and thorough investigation to determine whether there’s substantial evidence ofunlawful discrimination.” (Emphasis added.)

Note Avakian’s use of the qualifier “unlawful.” If the Kleins had said that they wouldn’t participate in a ceremony not legally recognized by the state, this would have been an act of responsible citizenship, rather than invidious discrimination. The Kleins were targeted by Oregon’s apparatus of coercive attitude adjustment because of Aaron’s candid expression of their religious commitment, which is based on an allegiance to a Higher Authority than the political government.

This meant that the Kleins had compounded their sin against Tolerance with blasphemy against the State. The consequences were entirely predictable.

Avakian is not a judicial official. He is an elected functionary who received substantial contributions during the 2012 campaign from a pressure group called Basic Rights Oregon, with whom he remained in contact as the case against the Kleins proceeded. As a state senator he had supported the Oregon Equality Act, a measure passed in 2007 that outlaws anti-gay discrimination in “public accommodations.” As Commissar of the BOLI, he would be the “final arbiter” of any case involving alleged discrimination.

The “fair and thorough investigation” by the BOLI was a pseudo-judicial proceeding in which the agency itself was the plaintiff. The agency was represented by prosecutors Jenn Gaddisand Cristin Casey, both of whom it employs. And although Administrative Law Judge Alan McCullough presided over the hearings, the final ruling was issued by Commissar Avakian. If he were a judge, Avakian would have had to recuse himself owing to his ongoing collaboration with Basic Rights Oregon. As the commissar of Oregon’s anti-discrimination soviet, Avakian faces no accountability for such unethical behavior.

The role of the “victims” in this case was to itemize the various ways in which they had experienced “emotional and mental suffering” as a result of exposure to religious views they found offensive. Every fleeting tremor of frustration, anger, self-pity, or hostility on their part was used as evidence against the Kleins, and assigned a cash value. Without the benefit of an examination by a medical professional or other competent clinician, Avakian concluded that Rachel and Laurel were entitled to $135,000 as compensation for injuries visible only to anointed oracles of social justice.

Already facing financial ruin, the Kleins have been forced to shut down their store, and now operate a home-based business that cannot be categorized as a “public accommodation. Nonetheless, they have been ordered not to publicize their intention to refrain from making wedding cakes for same-sex couples in the future, or to express support for such “discriminatory” practices. This is tantamount to a gag order, given thatthey would face prosecution for defending their right to refuse business to potential customers.

Several months before the case reached its preordained conclusion, Avakian explained that his objective had been to “rehabilitate” the Kleins. The use of that expression is telling: Rehabilitation is the process of repairing an injury. If Rachel Cryer and Laurel Bowman were the injured parties, why were Aaron and Melissa Klein forced to undergo “rehabilitation”?

In a celebratory press release, Commissar Avakian pretends that the Kleins had somehow infringed Rachel and Laurel’s “ability to enter public places, to shop, to dine, to move about unfettered by bigotry.” Nothing the Kleins did or refused to do fettered that couple in any way – unless we are to assume that the knowledge that some people didn’t approve of their union was an unacceptable burden to them.

Mencken famously described Puritanism as “the haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.” Commissar Avakian and his comrades are similarly haunted by the thought that someone, somewhere within their jurisdiction harbors unacceptable opinions– and as their treatment of Aaron and Melissa Klein demonstrates, they are possessed of a puritanical zeal to bludgeon the “bigotry” out of less enlightened souls.

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Man Is Not Always Blind http://militantlibertarian.org/2015/07/11/man-is-not-always-blind/ http://militantlibertarian.org/2015/07/11/man-is-not-always-blind/#comments Sun, 12 Jul 2015 04:10:12 +0000 http://militantlibertarian.org/?p=36491 from Freeman’s Perspective

manblind-300x198These words (which I picked up from Abraham Joshua Heschel) are true, even if it doesn’t seem like it. Humanity may be blind – willingly blind – for sickening lengths of time, but mankind is notalways blind.

Our present government/corporate culture – the loud, flashing, vapid cloud of distraction and fear that surrounds us – not only promotes blindness toward anything outside of itself, but requires this blindness for its very continuance; this is true.

Still, man is not always blind.

Back Then

I will begin making my point with an old example:

Would you expect thousands of peasants, in deepest medieval France, to walk for scores or even hundreds of miles, through early 12th century mud and wilderness, and to sleep outdoors, just to hear a philosopher teach? A man who was rejected by Church and secular authorities, and who was mutilated beside?

Regardless of how implausible that may sound, it happened. The teacher’s name was Peter Abelard, this is how he described these events:

Forthwith I sought out a lonely spot known to me of old in the region of Troyes [in north-central France], and there, on a bit of land which had been given to me… I built with reeds and stalks my first oratory.

No sooner had students learned of my retreat than they began to flock there from all sides, leaving their towns and castles to dwell in the wilderness. In place of their spacious houses, they built themselves huts; instead of dainty fare, they lived on the herbs of the field and coarse bread; their soft beds they exchanged for heaps of straw and rushes, and their tables were piles of turf.

This happened. These people grew tired of being blind. Then they did something about it.

And Now

And even in our age, which beats out the 1950s as an age of abject conformity, thousands of good people are breaking away from it.

There are people who can see and feel and think independently – or, even more horrifying to the overlords of the age – people who can and do act on their heretical beliefs. These people don’t show up on TV, of course, and seldom on radio, but they exist all the same.

New branches of civilization are sprouting, and the people of these branches care about seeing. Voluntaryists, Bitcoiners, homeschoolers, cryptoanarchists, hackers, makers, religious non-conformists… Such people are sick of being blind; are sick of living a hypnotized, acquiescent life of chasing symbols and illusions, while being systematically reaped by a corrupt system.

The extent to which such people have broken out of the Western Autopilot Life is greater – far greater – than any I’ve seen over my lifetime. Furthermore, the very number of them is greater than any I’ve ever seen.

And not only that, but to a larger extent than most of us realize, this is flowing into the low spots of mainstream culture. During my youth, politicians were held to be important men; wise and virtuous men. And that is simply no longer true. I don’t think there is any place left in the West where the phrase, “Politicians are liars and thieves” would fail to garner general agreement at a bus stop. That is a big, serious change.

For all of our lifetimes, we’ve been living through a perfect storm of authority. Authority has benefited from a group of temporary conditions and has gone, in stock market terms, through the roof. But this will not last forever, and it is thinning as we speak.

Authority has become brittle and fragile. It remains in place, but the people who still believe in it are those who are least-informed, least-awake and least-alive. The more informed the individual, the more likely it is that they hold authority to be stupid and abusive.

I haven’t space to go through this in length here, but those so inclined can find it in issue #40 of my subscription newsletter.

What Fuller Knew

Among the people who I’m sorry to have missed in his lifetime was Buckminster Fuller. So, I’d like to conclude by quoting a few passages from Fuller’s last book, Cosmography, published nine years after his death:

The dark ages still reign over all humanity, and the depth and persistence of this domination are only now becoming clear.

I find it very interesting that Fuller says that the depth and persistence of life’s domination on Earth is “only now becoming clear.” And he is entirely correct – it is only now becoming clear to us. Why that should be is a question I will not touch today, but the statement is both true and important. Domination is abuse, and its vileness is only now becoming clear to us… but it IS becoming clear to us.

Man is not forever blind.

This Dark Ages prison has no steel bars, chains, or locks. Instead, it is locked by misorientation and built of misinformation… We are powerfully imprisoned in these Dark Ages simply by the terms in which we have been conditioned to think.

And that’s really what all our efforts are about: Changing our minds and seeing the vile conditioning that has been imposed upon us; cutting life free of its constraints and letting it flourish, unhindered. Once we do that – and ignore the medieval thugs who seek to keep us chained to their chariots – our dark ages will end.

Dear reader, traditional human power structures and their reign of darkness are about to be rendered obsolete.

It’s hard to add much to this passage, aside from a hearty “amen” and “we’re not nearly as far from it as we may think.”

Press forward and savor every bit of progress you see.

Darkness will not reign forever.

Man is not always blind.

Paul Rosenberg
www.freemansperspective.com

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Sugar Daddies Are Paying Their Share Of The $1.3 Trillion Student Loan Balance http://militantlibertarian.org/2015/07/11/sugar-daddies-are-paying-their-share-of-the-1-3-trillion-student-loan-balance/ http://militantlibertarian.org/2015/07/11/sugar-daddies-are-paying-their-share-of-the-1-3-trillion-student-loan-balance/#comments Sun, 12 Jul 2015 04:08:25 +0000 http://militantlibertarian.org/?p=36488 from ZH

Top-Majors-Sugar-BabiesAs noted previously, we are in a new dark age where college does not pay. At $1.3 trillion, the student debt balance is not getting any smaller. Facing a lifetime of debt slavery, the millennial generation is doing whatever they can to avoid homelessness. Whether it’s stripping or working at Rent A Gent, all options are on the table. Now, they are flocking to Seeking Arrangement to prostitute themselves so they can pay for school. Since 2009, the number of student sugar babies has increased by 1,200%!

Read more here.

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Cops Who Shot and Killed Unarmed Veteran Were Just Awarded Medals For ‘Courage’ http://militantlibertarian.org/2015/07/11/cops-who-shot-and-killed-unarmed-veteran-were-just-awarded-medals-for-courage/ http://militantlibertarian.org/2015/07/11/cops-who-shot-and-killed-unarmed-veteran-were-just-awarded-medals-for-courage/#comments Sun, 12 Jul 2015 04:06:25 +0000 http://militantlibertarian.org/?p=36484 from CCN

veteran_death_by_policeThree police officers were just given awards by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick for their involvement in the fatal shooting of a military veteran.

Officers John Bernard, Joshua Hilton, and Paul Scali were awarded the prestigious Trooper George L. Hanna Memorial Awards for Bravery, commending them for their roles in the shooting death of Denis Reynoso.

Reynoso was a veteran who suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, as a result of his job diffusing roadside bombs in Iraq for the United States Military.

After returning stateside, Reynoso was gunned down by Officer Hilton in his apartment while his five-year-old son watched, back on September 5, 2013.

A total of 25 police officers received the award last Wednesday, but among them were all three officers involved in the Reynoso shooting.

Lynn Police Chief Kevin Coppinger wrote that the officers “were courageous in dealing with the life-threatening situation that was suddenly thrust upon them” and “were humane in immediately rendering medical aid to the injured party,” in his nomination letter.

Essex County District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett, ruled last January, in a four-and-a-half page report that the shooting was justified.Family members had petitioned the police department to investigate the shooting, but instead, it was only looked at by the district attorney’s office.

Jessica Spinney, Reynoso’s fiancée, told DigBoston that when she heard about the awards the officers received, she was in shock.

“I woke up [on Thursday] and I had a message from a mutual friend, and she was like, ‘I can’t believe this.’ I kind of left it like that, and while I usually look at the Item first-thing, I didn’t that day, and then around 12 o’clock I had a message from my sister-in-law, and she told me.

“It’s not like I’m going to go crazy, but it really feels like it’s rekindling everything, and right before the holidays. My phone has been going off like it was on the day he passed away.

“The governor must have done this without knowing the facts. There has to be another instance in Lynn that could have gotten rewarded. Maybe they saved someone from overdosing.

“I feel like I’m the only one who doesn’t know what the heck is going on, and it’s my life. I know they’re just trying to cover their asses, but to do something like that is just disgusting.

“I can’t believe he’s being rewarded when he killed an innocent man in front of his five-year-old son.”

Read more about the rash of police shootings of veterans in our special report entitled “Why Do Police Keep Shooting Unarmed Veterans?

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