By Patrick Martin
The past week has seen a series of incidents that suggest a mounting crisis within the American state machine. It is not yet possible to provide a full explanation of these events, but they testify to the extraordinary degree of political tension in official Washington.
On Friday, May 8, the head of the White House Military Office, former secretary of the army Louis Caldera, tendered his resignation, after an uproar provoked by the still-unexplained decision to have one of the two Boeing 747 jets at the disposal of the White House fly low over Manhattan escorted by an Air Force fighter jet.
The official explanation of the incident—that lower-level federal officials wanted to replenish their stock of photos of Air Force One passing over US landmarks like the Statue of Liberty—is incredible on its face. It is equally implausible that no one in the chain of command up to Caldera gave any thought to what effect such a fly-by, evoking memories of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, would have on the population of New York City.
On Monday, May 11, the Pentagon announced that the commander of US forces in Afghanistan, General David McKiernan, had been replaced [See: "Pentagon changes Afghanistan commander as military’s crisis deepens"]. Whatever the disputes within the military hierarchy over the tactics and methods to be employed in escalating the war in Afghanistan, the summary dismissal of McKiernan is without recent precedent, and undoubtedly will spark bitter recriminations within the Pentagon.
(2) Military Personnel Ordered To Comply With Illegal Private Firearms Registrationhttp://www.infowars.com/military-personnel-ordered-to-comply-with-illegal-private-firearms-registration/
The denunciations of the Obama administration by former vice president Dick Cheney, Sunday on the CBS News program “Face the Nation,” and Tuesday on Fox News, are equally remarkable.
In the four months since he and Bush left office, Cheney has dispensed with the usual norms of American political life, which call for the outgoing top officials of the executive branch to show deference to their successors. Instead, he has mounted a series of full-throated attacks on the incoming Obama administration’s policies, particularly in relation the use of torture and other anti-democratic methods employed by the Bush administration in the “war on terror.”
On Sunday, Cheney came close to accusing Obama of violating his oath of office and betraying the United States of America, denouncing the White House announcement that the Guantánamo Bay detention camp would be closed, and Obama’s release of Justice Department memos from 2002 and 2005 that provided legalistic justifications for torture.
Citing these decisions, Cheney said: “That whole complex of things is what I find deeply disturbing, and I think to the extent that those policies were responsible for saving lives, that the administration is now trying to cancel those policies or end them, terminate them, then I think it’s fair to argue—and I do argue—that that means in the future we’re not going to have the same safeguards we’ve had for the last eight years.”
Two questions should be posed here: What does Cheney know? And who does he speak for?
The invocation of the 9/11 terrorist attacks became the all-purpose justification for the policies elaborated by Bush and Cheney in the name of the “war on terror”: wars in Afghanistan and Iraq; the creation of a worldwide network of secret prisons and torture chambers; the establishment of a US concentration camp at Guantánamo Bay; and the systematic violation of the democratic rights of the American people, through the creation of a vast apparatus of domestic spying.
There has never been a serious investigation of the 9/11 attacks, nor in particular of the role played by US intelligence agencies, which had penetrated the Al Qaeda organization and were engaged in surveillance of many of the alleged participants at the time of the attacks. In harping on the dangers of a new 9/11, Cheney may well be speaking in the expectation—or with actual foreknowledge—of some new “terrorist” provocation being engineered by sections of the American state, with or without the knowledge of the Obama White House.
As for who Cheney speaks for, it is not the conservative “base” of the Republican Party, as the uncritical media coverage suggests. This is a man with the closest ties to the military-intelligence apparatus—former secretary of defense during the first Bush administration, de facto chief of the “war on terror” in the second. [Continued]
(3) Pentagon changes Afghanistan commander as military’s crisis deepens!http://www.wsws.org/articles/2009/may2009/mili-m13.shtml
By Bill Van Auken
13 May 2009
US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates’s summary dismissal Monday of the top US commander in Afghanistan, Gen. David McKiernan, is an indication of not only the sharply deteriorating situation confronting the US intervention in that country, but more broadly, the deep-going crisis within the American military as a whole.
McKiernan, who was less than halfway through a two-year stint as commander of all US forces in Afghanistan, has effectively been cashiered from the army. Asked at a Pentagon press conference whether his removal from the Afghanistan command meant the end of his career, Defense Secretary Gates responded, “probably.”
In its coverage of the shakeup in the Afghanistan command, Time magazine commented sardonically, “Public beheadings in Afghanistan are usually associated with the Taliban, but on Monday it was Defense Secretary Robert Gates metaphorically wielding the axe from the Pentagon platform.”
McKiernan is the first US commander in a theater of war to suffer such a fate since 1951, when President Harry Truman ordered the removal of Gen. Douglas MacArthur as commander of US forces in Korea for insubordination and a frontal challenge to civilian control of the military.
Evidently, the divisions within the US military command and the American political establishment as a whole are just as sharp today as the war in Afghanistan approaches the end of its eighth year and the war in Iraq is well into its sixth.
Tapped to replace McKiernan is Lt. Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the former commander of the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), the military’s shadowy commando force, whose budget is even secret.
In a 2006 profile of McChrystal, Newsweek magazine described the JSOC as “part of what Vice President Dick Cheney was referring to when he said America would have to ‘work the dark side’ after 9/11.”
Veteran investigative reporter Seymour Hersh recently described the JSOC as “an executive assassination ring.” Hersh stressed that the unit was unaccountable to any section of the military command and had “reported directly to Cheney’s office.” He added: “Under President Bush’s authority, they’ve been going into countries, not talking to the ambassador or the CIA station chief, and finding people on a list and executing them and leaving. That’s been going on, in the name of all of us.”
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14/88 See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourteen_Words
The Fourteen Words is a phrase used by white nationalists. It refers to both the 14-word slogan: "We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children.", and the 14-word slogan: "Because the beauty of the White Aryan woman must not perish from the earth." Both 14-word slogans were coined by David Lane, a member of the Neo-Nazi organization The Order. The first slogan was inspired by a statement, 88 words in length, quoted from Volume 1, Chapter 8 of Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf:
It can be combined with 88, as in 14/88 or 1488. The 8s stand for the eighth letter of the alphabet (H), with HH standing for Heil Hitler. 88 can also stand for the book 88 Precepts by David Lane. :http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/88_Precepts
88 Precepts is an essay written by David Lane, a member of the white supremacist terrorist organization The Order. Written while Lane was serving a 190-year prison sentence, 88 Precepts is a guideline for securing and establishing a white society, and is an expansion upon Lane's own Fourteen Words. 88 Precepts is commonly used by white supremacy groups and those who advocate white nationalism and separatism.
The number "88" is also used by white supremacists to represent "Heil Hitler", as "H" is the eighth letter of the alphabet.
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