U.S. a Police State? It has already happened

By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS | IPE | FEBRUARY 8, 2013

The Bush regime’s response to 9/11 and the Obama regime’s validation of this response have destroyed accountable democratic government in the United States. So much unaccountable power has been concentrated in the executive branch that the US Constitution is no longer an operable document.

Whether a person believes the official story of 9/11 which rests on unproven government assertions or believes the documented evidence provided by a large number of scientists, first responders, and structural engineers and architects, the result is the same. 9/11 was used to create an open-ended “war on terror” and a police state. It is extraordinary that so many Americans believe that “it can’t happen here” when it already has.

We have had a decade of highly visible evidence of the construction of a police state: the PATRIOT Act, illegal spying on Americans in violation of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the initiation of wars of aggression–war crimes under the Nuremberg Standard–based on intentional lies, the Justice Department’s concocted legal memos justifying the executive branch’s violation of domestic and international laws against torture, the indefinite detention of US citizens in violation of the constitutionally protected rights of habeas corpus and due process, the use of secret evidence and secret “expert witnesses” who cannot be cross-examined against defendants in trials, the creation of military tribunals in order to evade federal courts, secret legal memos giving the president authority to launch preemptive cyber attacks on any country without providing evidence that the country constitutes a threat, and the Obama regime’s murder of US citizens without evidence or due process.

As if this were not enough, the Obama regime now creates new presidential powers by crafting secret laws, refusing to disclose the legal reasoning on which the asserted power rests. In other words, laws now originate in secret executive branch memos and not in acts of Congress. Congress? We don’t need no stinking Congress.

Despite laws protecting whistleblowers and the media and the US Military Code which requires soldiers to report war crimes, whistleblowers such as CIA agent John Kiriakou, media such as Julian Assange, and soldiers such as Bradley Manning are persecuted and prosecuted for revealing US government crimes. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article33804.htm The criminals go free, and those who report the crimes are punished.

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Obama to extend his powers to launch ‘preemptive’ cyber attacks

The latest power grab enables the President of the United States to launch pre-emptive attacks on anyone suspicious of planning to attack U.S. infrastructure.

By LUIS MIRANDA | THE REAL AGENDA | FEBRUARY 5, 2013

President Barack Obama will have the authority to order preventive cyber attacks if the U.S. detects a potential threat from abroad. Officials consulted by several U.S. media say the administration wants to take action against the increasing number of attacks on computer networks in the country.

According to main stream media reports, Obama will sign a new executive order to take on new powers that enable him to start a new phase in American history: cyber wars. The Obama administration has recently studied the use of the available computer arsenal and its conclusion is that the president may assume such jurisdiction if a computer attack is sensed.

The Obama administration has worked on model legislation that would have passed both these powers as a framework of security standards to supposedly protect the country’s infrastructure as well as how the nation would respond to a cyber attack. The bill backed by the White House was rejected by the opposition in Congress, so the president, as he has done since his first day in office, will use an executive order to expand his power.

Remember the talk of a presidential internet kill switch? This is it, and the power to turn it on and off will now be put on paper.

Obama’s gesture coincides with recent reports of attacks by Chinese hackers to several U.S. media, so one of Obama’s justification to sign a new executive order that gives him unlimited power to launch a cyber attack is that his propaganda machine must be spared from any attacks so that it can continue lying to people about Obama’s real intention to grab the web. As it is widely known, no part of the United States sensitive infrastructure is ‘online’.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta used scare tactics last fall when he warned about a new “cyber Pearl Harbor” that could cause massive damage to American infrastructure. He mentioned that hackers could “derail passenger trains or cargo trains loaded with deadly chemicals” and that “there are cases in which intruders have gained access to control systems “of various parts of U.S. infrastructure. The Obama administration argues that any such attacks would be treated as an “act of war”.

The U.S. Department of Defense already created a new cyber command and ordered some sectors to increase its budget within the Army. Current legislation states that the U.S. can only carry out anti terrorist missions in those countries where it is involved in a war, but the new rules would allow the president and intelligence agencies to access foreign networks in order to detect possible attacks targeting the U.S. or  introduce computer viruses into their systems to prevent operation. That is exactly what the United States and Israel did to Iran last year even though there wasn’t any legislation approved neither by the Congress nor the president. What politicians in Washington are doing right now is simply coding what they’ve been doing for a long time. Of course any and all details about the so-called preemptive cyber attacks will remain secret.

The U.S. used cyber war to carry out an offensive against Iran, focusing exclusively on the infrastructure of its uranium enrichment plant, which in itself could have cause a massive nuclear accident. The project, inherited from the Bush administration, managed to block the operation of Iran’s nuclear program by introducing a computer virus in their systems, which showed that a nation’s infrastructure can be disabled or destroyed without previous warning and without bombarding buildings or civilian populations.

Experts say cyber warfare could cause serious damage to attack targets such as the U.S. financial system or transport networks. What those experts don’t point out is that very few nations, a dozen or less, have the technical capability to carry out such attacks, and that in the military community everyone knows who those countries are. Therefore, no preemptive strikes are needed. All it is needed is to remain vigilant instead of granting the president even more power than he already has.

What the United States is essentially saying is, do as we say, not as we do. The idea that the Americans intend to establish cooperation and exchange of information with governments and private entities in order to prevent a cyber Pearl Harbor, is as real as Santa Claus. The U.S. is simply announcing to the world that its next battlefield for conquest will be the world wide web, a territory rarely seen as the next stage in global warfare.

According to news reports, Obama’s main focus will be to prevent intrusions into the systems that manage the energy, finances chemical and basic services networks, none of which are ‘online’ or need to be online. The Obama Administration has publicly defended the U.S. response to cyber warfare, saying that it should focus both on preventing attacks as well as strengthening their computer systems to reduce the potential consequences of such an attack.

Since the supposed cyber attacks may not come from a nation, but could come from so-called terrorists groups, it is unlikely preemptive cyber attacks will be a real solution to them. The new power grab led by the Obama administration is mostly about grabbing the web to conduct its own terror plots, much like the United States has done in the physical world up until today. U.S. military dominance will extend itself from the ‘real’ world to cyber space.

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Construção de assentamentos ilegais explodiu sob administração Netanyahu

POR LUIS MIRANDA | THE REAL AGENDA | JANEIRO 26, 2013

A organização Paz Agora publicou um relatório em que fala de um crescimento recorde na construção de assentamentos nos territórios palestinos durante o atual mandato.

A publicação desta informação coincide com o anúncio de novos concursos nos assentamentos pelo Ministério da Habitação israelense. Cerca de 200 unidades residenciais foram a concurso, 89 delas em Kiryat Arba, um assentamento perto de Hebron, no coração da Cisjordânia, como publicado pelo jornal Yedioth Ahronoth.

Anúncios de novos assentamentos, que a comunidade internacional considera ilegais, ocorrem em um contexto de crescente isolamento no mundo pelo primeiro-ministro de Israel

Um dia depois de esta informação veio à luz, também anunciou-se que o presidente Barack Obama está aumentando a sua desaprovação das políticas de Israel em relação à construção de assentamentos e da maneira em que Netanyahu dirige assuntos do país .

Obama acredita que tais ações estão levando o país para o abismo, principalmente devido à contínua expansão dos assentamentos. Há, no entanto, pouca probabilidade que os novos dados publicados pela Paz Agora tenham um impacto significativo sobre Israel, especialmente após a eleição, porque a relação com os palestinos é uma questão pouco importante agora.

O relatório do Paz Agora, que acompanha de perto a evolução dos assentamentos indica que o governo israelense aprovou 6.676 unidades habitacionais nos territórios palestinos em 2012.

Em 2011, Netanyahu aprovou 1607 e apenas algumas centenas em 2010, ano em que Netanyahu lançou uma moratória sob pressão dos EUA. Até 40% da nova construção que começou no ano passado ocorreu em colônias isoladas, localizadas ao leste do muro de segurança israelense.

“As políticas e ações de Netanyahu na Cisjordânia e em Jerusalém Oriental revelam uma clara intenção de usar os assentamentos para torpedear e tornar impossível a opção de ter dois estados – Israel e Palestina -” disse Paz Agora, em seu artigo.

Junto com Paz Agora, Washington e a União Europeia consideram que a expansão dos assentamentos ameaça a continuidade territorial e até mesmo a viabilidade de um futuro Estado palestino.

Mais de meio milhão de colonos israelenses vivem em assentamentos na Cisjordânia e em Jerusalém Oriental. As convocações para as negociações de paz entre palestinos e israelenses têm permanecido estáticas por pelo menos dois anos. Os palestinos se recusam a sentar à mesa de negociações até que Israel decida parar a construção de assentamentos.

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Construcción de asentamientos judíos ilegales explotó bajo administración Netanyahu

POR LUIS MIRANDA | THE REAL AGENDA | ENERO 26, 2013

La organización Paz Ahora ha publicado un informe en el que habla de un crecimiento récord en la construcción de asentamientos en los territorios palestinos durante la actual legislatura.

La publicación de esta información coincide con el anuncio de nuevas licitaciones en los asentamientos por parte del Ministerio de Vivienda israelí. Cerca de 200 unidades residenciales han salido a concurso, 89 de ellas en Kiryat Arba, un asentamiento cerca de Hebrón, en el corazón de la Ribera Occidental, según lo publicado por el diario Yedioth Ahronoth.

Los anuncios de nuevas colonias, que la comunidad internacional considera ilegales, se producen en un contexto de creciente aislamiento en el mundo por el Primer Ministro de Israel

Un día después que esta información saliera a la luz, también se ha hecho público que el presidente Barack Obama sigue aumentando su desaprobación de las políticas de Israel con respecto a la construcción de los asentamientos y la forma en que Netanyahu ha dirigido los asuntos del país.

Obama cree que tales acciones están llevando al país al abismo, debido principalmente a la continua expansión de los asentamientos. Hay, sin embargo, pocas posibilidades de que los nuevos datos publicados por Paz Ahora tengan un impacto significativo en Israel, especialmente después de las elecciones, ya que la relación con los palestinos es un asunto de poca importancia por ahora.

El informe de Paz Ahora, que sigue de cerca la evolución de los asentamientos, indica que el Ejecutivo israelí aprobó 6.676 unidades de vivienda en los territorios palestinos en 2012.

En 2011, Netanyahu aprobó 1607 y sólo unos pocos cientos en 2010, año en que Netanyahu lanzó una moratoria bajo presión de EE.UU.. Hasta el 40% de la nueva construcción que se inició el año pasado se produjo en las colonias aisladas, situadas al este del muro de seguridad israelí.

“Las políticas y acciones de Netanyahu en la Ribera Occidental y Jerusalén Oriental revelan una clara intención de utilizar los asentamientos para torpedear y hacer imposible la opción realista de los dos Estados – palestino e israelí -” dice Paz Ahora en su artículo.

Junto con Paz Ahora, Washington y la Unión Europea consideran que la expansión de los asentamientos pone en peligro la continuidad territorial e incluso la viabilidad de un futuro Estado palestino.

Más de medio millón de colonos israelíes viven en asentamientos en Cisjordania y Jerusalén del Este. Las convocatorias de las conversaciones de paz entre palestinos e israelíes se han mantenido estático durante al menos dos años. Los palestinos se niegan a sentarse a la mesa de negociaciones hasta que Israel decida detener la construcción de asentamientos.

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The Mental Health trick to Confiscate your Guns

By LUIS MIRANDA | THE REAL AGENDA | JANUARY 21, 2013

No doubt that only a mentally ill person could carry out a savage attack like the ones perpetrated in Newtown, Aurora and Oregon. The question is how does a person become mentally ill enough to kill. There is no doubt that prescription drugs are the main triggers of side effects which make people act violently to a point where they seek to murder children, men and women.

But the relation between pharmaceutical products and violent outbursts have found little place in the main stream media. How could it? Pharmaceutical corporations contribute millions of dollars a year to news networks and broadcast television. Rightfully blaming pharmaceuticals for many examples of violent behavior would be equivalent to killing the golden goose.

What it is becoming more common in the media is the idea that anyone who experiences anger or frustration could be mentally ill and since that is a sign of a potential threat to society, because of the recent examples where angry men shot innocent people, everyone needs to be examined for mental health as a preventive measure.

The problem is that most of the diagnoses issued by psychologists and psychiatrists are based on a set of very abstract and ambiguous terms — not science — contained in the American Psychiatric Association’s bible of psychiatry; generally known as the DSM-IV.

The ambiguity of DSM-IV allows for all kinds of mental problems to be found on anyone who allegedly suffers from depression, anger, ADD, ADHD and a whole list of fabricated mental illnesses. People who question authority, for example, are diagnosed with Oppositional Defiant Disorder. The symptoms are: often losing temper, often arguing with adults, often deliberately annoys people, often experiences anger and resentment and so on.

Depression, another common disease diagnosed using guidelines from the DMS-IV, is supposedly diagnosed on anyone who experiences fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day, diminished ability to think or concentrate, indecisiveness, insomnia and so on. These and other supposed symptoms of depression — according to APA’s standards enable so-called mental health professionals to diagnose and medicate anyone who experiences them. It doesn’t matter how irrelevant a person’s feelings are with respect to violence, psychologists and psychiatrists are authorized to prescribe pharmaceutical products to “cure” people.

Recently, the media and government officials — without conducting any kind of medical assessment — have labeled anyone who thinks freely, question authority, opposes government programs or has specific political beliefs such as Libertarianism as mentally ill.

The enablers of these lie seek to magically diagnose the population as incapable of properly conducting their lives and also unable to speak, think or act freely. The unsuspecting victims of this hoax are swindled into taking large amounts of pharmaceutical products, which in time make them so sick to the point of wanting to use violence against relatives, friends and almost anyone else.

Are you too sick to own a gun?

As part of the circus put together by the pharmaceutical industrial complex to justify their sales of millions of dollars in chemicals, the main stream media is now campaigning heavily to brainwash people into believing that their mental health needs to be tested and that they will need the medications prescribed by their shrink.

The most recent example I read is an article by Mathew DeLuca, from NBC news titled: “Anger, violent thoughts: Are you too sick to own a gun?” Mr. DeLuca presents the traditional model of diagnosing for mental illness as an effective way to avoid gun violence while trying to push for the U.S. government’s agenda that people may just be too sick to own a gun.

“Several polls conducted since the shooting in Newtown, Conn., have found widespread support for new legislation that would restrict the possession of firearms by the mentally ill, as well as for increased government spending on mental health,” reminds us DeLuca.

Indeed, under Obamacare and the newly proposed gun legislation, doctors will work as snitches for the government and they will be charged with “diagnosing” and reporting any suspicious signs of potential violence. Doctors were compelled by Obama to ask whether patients own firearms, which they will also include in their mental assessment report.

Currently, the United States bars the sale or transfer of firearms to a person who is thought — no real medical examination required — to have been “adjudicated as a mental defective.” According to DeLuca’s article, at least 44 states currently have their own laws regulating possession of firearm by mentally ill individuals. That program has not prevented the occurrence of violent act, DeLuca reports, because states do not report their mental health data to the federal government. Under the new Executive Orders signed by Obama, states will be required to report all cases of mental illness to the federal government. That information will be then fed to a database which will allow the government to deny people their Second Amendment.

New York’s recently expanded gun law demands that mental health professionals report anyone considered “likely to engage in conduct that would result in serious harm to self or others”. Note the lack of scientific basis. “Those officials would be authorized to report that person to law enforcement, which could seize the person’s firearms.”

According to new legislation, mental health practitioners who do not report their patients run the risk of being labeled as criminals. “Now if you’re mistaken, you’re wrong about this, and you don’t report it, you could face criminal sanctions. I’m not taking any chances at that point,” said Steven Dubovsky, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Buffalo. But he then emphasized “That could encourage therapists to over-report.”

None of Obama’s Executive Orders tackle two of the most important problems about mental health. First, the criteria to decide whether a person is mentally ill is bogus, as confessed by mental health practitioners themselves. Second, pharmaceutical products are the triggers of all kinds of violent acts, but their influence in gun violence won’t be studied under the proposals issued by the White House.

No real change will be achieved unless governments recognize that chemicals in prescription drugs are the real cause of mental illness and that to end violence as a whole, it is necessary to cut the gas that fuels the fire. Then it is necessary to use real science in the diagnosis of mental problems, as supposed to concepts that have no scientific value whatsoever.

The Second Amendment or any other constitutional right is that much closer to being taken away when government gives itself the prerogative to ‘diagnose’ who is unfit to exercise those rights.

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