The thieves rage at transparency

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    ``U.S. Afghanistan War Secrets Leaked

    LARRY KING, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, Afghanistan bombshell, leaked documents ... [show] America's failures and mistakes and a growing threat of the Taliban exposed in 92,000 secret reports ...

    PETER BERGEN, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: I think there's been a lot of hype about all of this. If you think about 92,000 so- called secret documents in which there's almost no new information ...

    There's only ... one item that's really new, which is the Taliban using heat-seeking surface-to-air missiles. But, you know, the other big story, the Taliban is being supported by Pakistan's military intelligence service, well, that story has been true since 1994. What's really the headline in that? ...

    [The kleptocrats will continue to waste American lives and money despite the fact that the Russians are not going to let them build the Unocal pipeline. Instead the Russians are going to pay us back for the Stinger missliles we gave Osama bin Laden to shoot down Russian helicopters in the 1980's.

    For more on the run-up to 9-11-2001, the U. S. invasion of Afghanistan, and the Unocal pipeline, see]

    KING: Michael, what are your thoughts?

    MICHAEL HASTINGS, CONTRIBUTING EDITOR, ROLLING STONE: Well, I think the question is, in terms of the national security issue -- in the long term, what's the worst for national security, WikiLeaks or bad U.S. policy? And I think the answer is bad U.S. policy. And in so much as this WikiLeaks disclosure sparks debate about some of the obvious flaws in our Afghan policy, I think that's a positive development.

    KING: All right, Daniel Ellsberg, you were going to say at the end ...

    ELLSBERG: Let me rather follow on to what Peter Bergen said for a moment there. The Pentagon papers actually did reveal a number of things, but one of the major lessons that I think is very comparable to what we're hearing ... was what was NOT in those 7,000 pages of top secret documents ...

    What was not there was a good reason for being in Vietnam or for escalating or for continuing the war ...''


    NEWS ARTICLE from The Plain Dealer, 7-25-10, by Mark Mazzetti, Jane Perlez, Eric Schmitt and Andrew W. Lehren, The New York Times

    ``Pakistan spies linked to Taliban in WikiLeaks report

    Americans fighting the war in Afghanistan have long harbored strong suspicions that Pakistan's military spy service has guided the Afghan insurgency with a hidden hand, even as Pakistan receives more than $1 billion a year from Washington for its help combating the militants, according to a trove of secret military field reports made public Sunday.

    The documents, made available by an organization called WikiLeaks, suggest that Pakistan, ostensibly an ally of the United States, allows representatives of its spy service to meet directly with the Taliban in secret strategy sessions to organize networks of militant groups that fight against American soldiers in Afghanistan, and even hatch plots to assassinate Afghan leaders.

    Taken together, the reports indicate that American soldiers on the ground are inundated with accounts of a network of Pakistani assets and collaborators that runs from the Pakistani tribal belt along the Afghan border, through southern Afghanistan and all the way to the capital, Kabul ... Many of the reports rely on sources that the military rated as reliable ...

    The records also contain firsthand accounts of American anger at Pakistan's unwillingness to confront insurgents who launched attacks near Pakistani border posts, moved openly by the truckload across the frontier, and retreated to Pakistani territory for safety ...''

    [For more on this kleptocratic conspiracy and the Unocal pipeline, see

    ARTICLE from AlterNet, 10-11-01, By Ted Rall

    "The New Great Game: Oil Politics in Central Asia

    Nursultan Nazarbayev has a terrible problem. He's the president and former Communist Party boss of Kazakhstan, the second largest republic of the former Soviet Union. A few years ago, the giant country struck oil in the eastern portion of the Caspian Sea.

    Geologists estimate that sitting beneath the wind-blown steppes of Kazakhstan are 50 billion barrels of oil -- by far the biggest untapped reserves in the world. (Saudi Arabia, currently the world's largest oil producer, is believed to have about 30 billion barrels remaining)...]


    A Closer Lens On WikiLeaks'Informative Stories From Around The Web, 12-7-10, by Ahad Bokhari

    ``I keep a close eye on the¬ Wikileaks project on the web ... As you may know by now more than 250,000 State Department cables acquired by¬ WikiLeaks have gradually been made public ...

    Simply this is how it started says Hilary Clinton on Foreign Policy:

    "The decision was made in the Bush administration to add the diplomatic cables to the Defense Department's special network that was created for that purpose." ...

    The individual responsible for the leaks Bradley Manning, an intelligence analyst with the 10th Mountain division in Iraq has been charged with transferring classified information to an unauthorized source. He was apprehended in May 2010 and anyone else that participated will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law ...

    Julian Assange, 39, turned himself in to police Tuesday morning, hours after Britain received a formal warrant for his arrest from ... Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning over allegations that he sexually assaulted two women.

    Assange, who is Australian, is eager to avoid extradition for fear that it could set the stage for him to be sent to the U.S. ...''

    Top -- Home

    U. S. Representative Ron Paul Gives Questions To Consider Concerning Wikileaks

    Transcript of Ron Paul's Speech About Wikileaks, 12-10-10,

    posted by Dan Evon

    Ron Paul (R-Texas) took to the floor yesterday [12-9-10] to deliver a speech about Wikileaks. Paul says that the controversy over Wikileaks, and the furor over Julian Assange is a case of 'shoot the messenger.'

    Transcript of Ron Paul's speech:

    ``WikiLeaks release of classified information has generated a lot of attention in the past few weeks. The hysterical reaction makes one wonder if this is not an example of killing the messenger for the bad news.

    Despite what is claimed, the information that has been so far released, though classified, has caused no known harm to any individual, but it has caused plenty of embarrassment to our government. Losing our grip on our empire is not welcomed by the neoconservatives in charge.

    There is now more information confirming that Saudi Arabia is a principal supporter and financier of al Qaeda, and that this should set off alarm bells since we guarantee its Sharia-run government. This emphasizes even more the fact that no al Qaeda existed in Iraq before 9/11, and yet we went to war against Iraq based on the lie that it did.

    It has been charged by experts that Julian Assange, the internet publisher of this information, has committed a heinous crime, deserving prosecution for treason and execution, or even assassination.

    But should we not at least ask how the U.S. government should prosecute an Australian citizen for treason for publishing U.S. secret information that he did not steal? And if WikiLeaks is to be prosecuted for publishing classified documents, why shouldn't the Washington Post, the¬ New York Times, and others also published these documents be prosecuted? Actually, some in Congress are threatening this as well.

    The New York Times, as a results of a Supreme Court ruling, was not found guilty in 1971 for the publication of the Pentagon Papers. Daniel Ellsberg never served a day in prison for his role in obtaining these secret documents.

    The Pentagon Papers were also inserted into the Congressional record by Senator Mike Gravel, with no charges of any kind being made of breaking any national security laws. Yet the release of this classified information was considered illegal by many, and those who lied us into the Vietnam war, and argued for its prolongation were outraged.

    But the truth gained from the Pentagon Papers revealed that lies were told about the Gulf of Tonkin attack. which perpetuated a sad and tragic episode in our history.

    Just as with the Vietnam War, the Iraq War was based on lies. We were never threatened by weapons of mass destruction or al Qaeda in Iraq, though the attack on Iraq was based on this false information. Any information which challenges the official propaganda for the war in the Middle East is unwelcome by the administration and the supporters of these unnecessary wars.

    Few are interested in understanding the relationship of our foreign policy and our presence in the Middle East to the threat of terrorism. Revealing the real nature and goal of our presence in so many Muslim countries is a threat to our empire, and any revelation of this truth is highly resented by those in charge.

    Questions to consider:

  • Number 1: Do the America People deserve to know the truth regarding the ongoing wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen?

  • Number 2: Could a larger question be how can an army private access so much secret information?

  • Number 3: Why is the hostility mostly directed at Assange, the publisher, and not at our governments failure to protect classified information?

  • Number 4: Are we getting our moneys worth of the 80 Billion dollars per year spent on intelligence gathering?

  • Number 5: Which has resulted in the greatest number of deaths: lying us into war or Wikileaks revelations or the release of the Pentagon Papers?

  • Number 6: If Assange can be convicted of a crime for publishing information that he did not steal, what does this say about the future of the first amendment and the independence of the internet?

  • Number 7: Could it be that the real reason for the near universal attacks on Wikileaks is more about secretly maintaining a seriously flawed foreign policy of empire than it is about national security?

  • Number 8: Is there not a huge difference between releasing secret information to help the enemy in a time of declared war, which is treason, and the releasing of information to expose our government lies that promote secret wars, death and corruption?

  • Number 9: Was it not once considered patriotic to stand up to our government when it is wrong?

    Thomas Jefferson had it right when he advised 'Let the eyes of vigilance never be closed.' I yield back the balance of my time.''


    Leaks and Leakers, 12-11-10, By Philip Giraldi

    Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., ... is the Francis Walsingham Fellow at The American Conservative Defense Alliance and a former CIA counter-terrorism specialist ...

    ``Call me Saul on the road to Damascus. I have seen the light. As a former intelligence officer, I was initially appalled at the leak of a quarter of a million classified documents by someone who had responsibility for protecting them.

    I was highly skeptical of the entire WikiLeaks and Bradley Manning saga but following the leaks has convinced me that there is a lot of material that deserves a public airing to demonstrate to the American people how Washington is pursuing a senseless policy almost everywhere in the world ...

    The WikiLeaks plus Manning story has truly revealed that the US government will do anything necessary to silence its critics, legally or illegally.The way in which it is orchestrating a highly questionable international effort against both WikiLeaks and Julian Assange is despicable.

    There exists a sharp divide between those who believe government secrets should always be protected at all costs and those who believe that secrecy in government exists only to conceal official misbehavior. Obviously there is a middle ground hidden somewhere between the two, but those who favor the narrative that accepts that there is a nefarious government in Washington ruthlessly manipulating a world empire have pretty much gotten it right ...

    There is an enormous amount of hypocrisy in those who are defending the government's right to over-classify and deny access to the information that has been used to justify going to war, among other crimes. Insiders in government have no qualms about abusing classified information as long as it suits their purposes.

    Dick Cheney used insider secret information to "out" CIA officer Valerie Plame to punish her husband. The White House leaked intelligence that turned out to be bogus to Judith Miller at the New York Times to make the case for going to war against Iraq ...

    Specialist Manning is undeniably a whistleblower, though the government will try to portray him as someone engaged in espionage. Whistleblowers should be encouraged as a check on irresponsible government and should be protected by law when they reveal something that is either illegal or unconstitutional. Government is intrinsically opposed to such transparency ...

    Daniel Ellsberg did the right thing when he published the Pentagon Papers about Vietnam. Sibel Edmonds did likewise when she revealed details of foreign espionage and influence buying in the United States. Stories about CIA torture, renditions, and secret prisons as well as accounts of Army thrill killings and the goings on at Abu Ghraib all originated as leaks and were needed to reveal the war crimes being committed by the US government in its hideous "global war on terror." ...

    The United States should not be mounting a huge international campaign to silence WikiLeaks, nor will it be successful. Nor should it attempt to "regulate" the internet, which is the inevitable next step. And the attempts to personally punish Assange, which might succeed, are a measure of how low America and its allies in Europe and Australia have sunk. He has broken no law even in an age of Patriot Acts and Military Commissions and the charges against him in Sweden appear to be a set-up.

    Once upon a time there was a rule of law in the United States and a presumption of innocence until proven guilty, but no longer. Ultimately WikiLeaks will rise and fall based on its credibility and its ability to tell stories that are being suppressed elsewhere and that the public believes should be heard. WikiLeaks must be allowed to speak.''


    U.S. Marine Corps Major General Smedley Butler ... saw action in Honduras in 1903, served in Nicaragua enforcing American policy from 1909 to 1912, was awarded the Medal of Honor for his role in Veracruz in 1914, and a second Medal of Honor for bravery while "crush(ing) the Caco resistance" in Haiti in 1915. In 1935, Butler wrote in his famous book "War Is a Racket" [and in a speech delivered in 1933]:

    "War is just a racket. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of people. Only a small inside group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few at the expense of the masses ...

    I wouldn't go to war again as I have done to protect some lousy investment of the bankers. There are only two things we should fight for. One is the defense of our homes and the other is the Bill of Rights. War for any other reason is simply a racket.

    There isn't a trick in the racketeering bag that the military gang is blind to. It has its "finger men" to point out enemies, its "muscle men" to destroy enemies, its "brain men" to plan war preparations, and a "Big Boss" Super-Nationalistic-Capitalism ...

    I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism:

    I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914.

    I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in.

    I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street.

    I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902-1912.

    I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916.

    I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903.

    In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested.

    Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents."


    [We would not be in Afghanstan another five minutes if the men in black, and the kleptocrats they serve, would abandon the Unocal pipeline project from Kazakhstan across Afghanistan to the port of Karachi in Pakistan. But a lot of Americans have been convinced we are there to bring democracy and freedom to the Afghans, or at least to stop al Qaida, when, in fact, al Qaida is operating freely from Pakistan.


    Some of these Americans may also believe that a troop surge pacified Iraq when, in fact, the "success" was achieved by paying off the Sunni Moslems in western Iraq and by Iran restraining the militant Shiites such as al Sadr's Mahdi Army.

    In the 1980's, we gave Osama bin Laden Stinger missiles to shoot down the Russian helicopters in Afghanistan, creating a chain of events that resulted in the Russians losing most of their Islamic empire.

    Do you think the Russians are going to forget this? We will have to build the Unocal pipeline over their dead bodies. Where did Iran get medium range missiles to threaten Israel and high-tech roadsde bombs used so effectively against us in Iraq? Where are the roadside bombs coming from in Afghanistan?

    Kazakh War of 2020 here we come.]


    TRANSCRIPT [12-7-10] Of Assange Guardian Livechat ...

    by Tyler Durden

    Earlier today, record interest in what could be Julian Assange's last live chat crashed the Guardian's entire website (which is the 16th top ranked site in Britain on a regular day) getting tens of millions of hits.

    To be sure, the Guardian's exhaustive coverage of Assange's travails have paid off in droves, and as the Alexa chart below shows, the site's rank has surged as ad revenues have exploded. We hope the Guardian is keeping at least some of the proceeds in escrow for the soon to be created "Free Julian" fund ...

    Commentator 1:

    I'll start the ball rolling with a question. You're an Australian passport holder - would you want return to your own country or is this now out of the question due to potentially being arrested on arrival for releasing cables relating to Australian diplomats and polices?

    Julian Assange:

    I am an Australian citizen and I miss my country a great deal. However, during the last weeks the Australian prime minister, Julia Gillard, and the attorney general, Robert McClelland, have made it clear that not only is my return impossible but that they are actively working to assist the United States government in its attacks on myself ...

    Commentator 2:

    The State Dept is mulling over the issue of whether you are a journalist or not. Are you a journalist? As far as delivering information that someone [anyone] does not want seen is concerned, does it matter if you are a 'journalist' or not?

    Julian Assange:

    I coauthored my first nonfiction book by the time I was 25. I have been involved in nonfiction documentaries, newspapers, TV and internet since that time. However, it is not necessary to debate whether I am a journalist, or how our people mysteriously are alleged to cease to be journalists when they start writing for our organization. Although I still write, research and investigate, my role is primarily that of a publisher and editor-in-chief who organises and directs other journalists ...

    Commentator 3:

    Tom Flanagan, a (former] senior adviser to Canadian Prime Minister recently stated "I think Assange should be assassinated ... I think Obama should put out a contract ... I wouldn't feel unhappy if Assange does disappear." How do you feel about this?

    Julian Assange:

    ... Mr. Flanagan and the others seriously making these statements should be charged with incitement to commit murder.



    TRANSCRIPT from "Larry King Live", 10-25-10

    Once secret documents about the war in Iraq released for the world to see, that's next.

    LARRY KING: Julian Assange, is editor in chief of WikiLeaks. This weekend, the WikiLeaks website posted nearly 400,000 Iraqi war logs and secret battlefield reports. He's in London. We welcome him back to LARRY KING LIVE.

    IF we read through all these documents, what's the significant thing we learn that we didn't know before, Julian?

    JULIAN ASSANGE, WIKILEAKS EDITOR IN CHIEF: Well, there's an exact answer to that question, at least for part of the material. The Iraq body count is an organization that has been collecting the reports on people's deaths in the media in Iraq since 2003. We joined this extraordinarily collection of 400,000 reports with their database, and we found 15,000 civilian casualties that had never previously been reported.

    There's a lot of other material that's not being reported either. But let us keep in mind that that's 15,000 just between 2004 and the end of 2009 mentioned in these records. It's equivalent to some six 9/11s.

    The other material, it's an extraordinary range, but we can see the torture of detainees after Abu Ghraib by coalition forces, over 300 incidents, 284 reports. We can see thousands of cases of reports of detainee abuse by the Iraqi government, the new Iraqi government, covered up or not investigated, not intervened by the United States military ...''


    Revealed: Assange 'rape' accuser linked to notorious CIA operative

    By David Edwards, 12-6-10

    ``One of the women accusing WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange of sex crimes appears to have worked with a group that has connections to the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

    James D. Catlin, a lawyer who recently represented Assange, said the sex assault investigation into the WikiLeaks founder is based on claims he didn't use condoms during sex with two Swedish women.

    Swedish prosecutors told AOL News last week that Assange was not wanted for rape as has been reported, but for something called "sex by surprise" or "unexpected sex."

    One accuser, Anna Ardin, may have "ties to the US-financed anti-Castro and anti-communist groups," according to Israel Shamir and Paul Bennett, writing for CounterPunch.

    While in Cuba, Ardin worked with the Las damas de blanco (the Ladies in White), a feminist anti-Castro group.''


    ARTICLE from 12-7-10, by Paul Joseph Watson

    ``Assange Set Up By CIA Operative?

    Wikileaks founder Julian Assange's arrest over the dubious rape and molestation claims of two Swedish women is likely a political stunt, after it was revealed that one of the women has connections to the CIA and is a militant feminist who published a guide on how to get revenge on men and make them "suffer".

    "The 39-year-old Australian was detained by Scotland Yard officers at around 9.30am after he voluntarily went to a police station in central London," reports Sky News. Assange is attempting to clear his name of spurious rape charges that appear to be part of a contrived ploy to discredit him ...

    The "rape" charges, which were virtually laughed out of court by the original prosecutor, center around Assange's refusal to wear a condom during sex. The two women, who Assange had sex with on back to back nights in August when he was visiting Sweden, both "sent SMS messages and tweets boasting of their conquests following the alleged "rapes," reports Raw Story, strange behavior for people who subsequently claimed they were victims of molestation ...

    Indeed, one of the alleged "victims," Anna Ardin, later threw a party at her flat in honor of Assange after he had supposedly raped her, according to Assange's lawyer James D. Catlin ...

    "While in Cuba, Ardin worked with the Las damas de blanco (the Ladies in White), a feminist anti-Castro group," writes David Edwards. "Professor Michael Seltzer pointed out that the group is led by Carlos Alberto Montaner who is reportedly connected to the CIA."

    The Ladies in White organization is funded by the US government ...''


    TRANSCRIPT from "Larry King Live", 10-29-10

    DANIEL ELLSBERG, FORMER U.S. MILITARY ANALYST: Well, nothing in those documents, embarrassing as they are to some people and their kind of snarky comments -- nothing remotely compared to what Michael Hastings published what he overheard in General McChrystal's headquarters, and I thought properly published.

    It really threw into question civilian control of the military ...

    LARRY KING: And knowing how you release things, what should not be reported? ...

    ELLSBERG: Mostly things that are above the classification of this. Communications, intelligence, the names of covert agents, for instance, Valerie Plame's name should not have been revealed by Scooter Libby or Karl Rove or Dick Cheney. That was irresponsible ...

    LARRY KING: Michael, what are your thoughts? Do you think WikiLeaks is anti-American?

    MICHAEL HASTINGS, CONTRIBUTING EDITOR, ROLLING STONE: No, not at all. And I'm a fan of the State Department, but this idea that this WikiLeaks dump is going to undermine American credibility overseas, I think, is somewhat laughable.

    I think we need to put this in the larger context of responsible foreign policy. And over the past decade, we've seen a war launched in Iraq that was totally irresponsible, while we ignored a war in Afghanistan for eight years, and now we learn in these documents that ... we're telling our diplomats to spy on our allies, which is also seems to be somewhat irresponsible ...


    HILLARY CLINTON: So let's be clear. This disclosure is not just an attack on America's foreign policy interests. It is an attack on the international community, the alliances and partnerships ...


    LARRY KING: Michael --

    HASTINGS: I have a pretty ... clear idea how things go in diplomatic circles, and I've been a firsthand witness of failure of diplomacy many times over the past few years.

    I'd like to point out that protecting the king of Saudi Arabia, one of the most authoritarian regimes in the Middle East and sort of concocting a scheme so he can lie to his population to protect our interest, and then doing the same thing with Yemen as Daniel Ellsberg mentioned, to sort of cut these backroom deals where these authoritarian leaders are lying to their population on our behalf is the most undemocratic thing one can imagine.

    And I think trying to smear WikiLeaks as anti-American this or that totally misses the point. This is an organization that supports democracy, that supports freedom and supports transparency ...


    CLINTON: The United States strongly condemns the illegal disclosure of classified information. It puts people's lives in danger, threatens our national security, and undermines our efforts to work with other countries to solve shared problems.


    LARRY KING: All right. No one knows more about revealing things, judging things, reporting on things, you've heard the first half of this show, you've heard from the secretary of state. What do you think, Bob?

    BOB WOODWARD, "THE WASHINGTON POST": ... Recently, somebody sent me a declassified secret document that Don Rumsfeld, the former secretary of defense wrote, in the summer of 2001, three or four months before 9/11. And the secret memo was to Condoleezza Rice and Dick Cheney, the vice president, and Colin Powell, then the secretary of state. It's a long memo in which Rumsfeld said we have to have meetings and get serious about Iraq and doing something about Saddam Hussein.

    Now, I wish in the summer of 2001, Wikileaks or somebody had been around to leak or provide that document so we would have known at that point the secretary of defense was mightily agitated about Iraq ... wanted to see if regime change was possible, and was laying out some quite radical options.

    That is a point where if there had been transparency or a leak, that would have been very useful to people, and I wish there was more of that. But the stuff I've seen here, what does it tell us about what the government might do in the future that needs more examination, more debate, as we did not have in the run-up to the Iraq war ...''


    NEWS ARTICLE from The Plain Dealer, 12-11-10, by The Los Angeles Times

    Pro-WikiLeaks 'hacktivists' say they are defending freedom

    LOS ANGELES -- Rafix was set to attack. The target: The weapon: a battery of personal computers ready to jam the site with millions of simultaneous log-in requests.

    "FIRE AT WILL, gentlemen!" Rafix wrote in an online message. "Enjoy the EPIC battle of GLORY!"

    Within seconds of the battle cry, the attackers crippled the website of the world's largest credit card company. Unable to weather the surge in traffic, Visa's site was out of commission for most of the day ...

    The "hacktivists," working under the banner of Operation Payback, are part of a new breed of online protesters who say they are ready to engage in acts of cyber-disobedience against major corporations, politicians and religious institutions, all in the name of defending their ideals ...

    To be sure, the group [Anonymous] also encouraged people to promote Assange's cause via Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and other means, noting that "social-networking sites are critical hubs of information distribution." ...''

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    NEWS ARTICLE from The Plain Dealer, 12-5-10, by ERIC LICHTBLAU and ERIC SCHMITT, New York Times

    [Wikileaks on Arabia -- where our oil dollars are going]

    ``Arab allies resist U.S. efforts to block money for terrorists, cables reveal

    WASHINGTON -- Nine years after the United States vowed to shut down the money pipeline that finances terrorism, senior Obama administration officials say they believe many millions of dollars are flowing largely unimpeded to extremist groups worldwide ...

    The government cables, sent by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and senior State Department officials, catalog a long list of methods that U.S. officials suspect terrorist financiers are using ... drug proceeds in Afghanistan and annual religious pilgrimages to Mecca, where millions of riyals or other forms of currency change hands.

    The internal State Department cables, obtained by WikiLeaks and made available to several news organizations, offer ... blunt assessments of the threats to the U.S. from money flowing to militants affiliated with al-Qaida, the Taliban, Hamas, Lashkar-e-Tayyaba, [Hezbollah] and other groups.

    A classified memo sent by Clinton last December [2009] ... said ... that 'donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide.'

    The dispatch and others offered similarly grim views about the United Arab Emirates ('a strategic gap' that terrorists can exploit), Qatar ('the worst in the region' on counterterrorism) and Kuwait ('a key transit point'). The cable stressed the need to 'generate the political will necessary' to block money to terrorist networks -- groups she said were 'threatening stability in Pakistan and Afghanistan and targeting coalition soldiers.' ...

    One memo even reported on a possible plot by the Iranians to launder $5 billion to $10 billion in cash through the Emirates' banks as part of a broader effort to 'stir up trouble' among the Persian Gulf states ...''

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    [Wikileaks on Afghanistan -- prelude to the Kazakh War of 2020]

    Guest: Daniel Ellsberg, Pentagon Papers whistleblower

    Democracy Now TRANSCRIPT, 10-3-30

    AMY GOODMAN: Well, we're joined now by a man who played a major role in efforts to end the Vietnam War in the '70s. In 1971, the then-RAND Corporation analyst Daniel Ellsberg leaked to the media what became known as the Pentagon Papers, a 7,000-page classified history outlining the true extent of US involvement in Vietnam ...

    DANIEL ELLSBERG: President Obama is taking every symbolic step he can to nominate this as Obama's war, just as the Vietnam War became Nixon's war in November of 1969 ... and, I think, with very much the same results in the end, tragic results, especially for the country involved and for the Americans, and with probably the same kinds of pressures on him, actually, as Johnson faced.

    AMY GOODMAN: ... You talked about the US ambassador to Afghanistan and how important what Ambassador Eikenberry had to say in these memos and cables that were made public. Can you talk about those?

    DANIEL ELLSBERG: Yeah. Well, for years now, really since we set out to go into Iraq on much the same kinds of lies in 2002 that sent us into Vietnam when I was in the Pentagon, since then, I've been saying to officials in the government, "Don't do what I did. Do what I wish I had done in '63 or '64, before we had entered the war, before the bombs had fallen. Don't wait, as I did, 'til we were in the war and the war was essentially unstoppable, before telling the truth about the hopelessness, understood within the government, and the impossibility-- the unlikelihood of any kind of victory there. But do it now." ...

    I'm sure there's a Plumbers operation going on right now to find out who leaked the cables, the secret cables, of our ambassador in Kabul, Lieutenant General, retired, Karl Eikenberry ...

    Eikenberry's cables now, at this stage, read like a summary of the Pentagon Papers of Afghanistan. And that's the first installment of papers that we need right now. Just change the place names from "Saigon" to "Kabul" and the Afghan national forces serving as the surrogate of our mercenary ARVN of Vietnam, and they read almost exactly the same ...

    Allegedly, we hear that Obama's reason for going seventeen hours over to Afghanistan was to convey in person our desire that he clean up his government. I'm really reminded of when Kennedy and Johnson decided to enlist our Mafia in an effort to get Castro. I don't think they spent time telling the Mafia, "By the way, it'll be helpful to us, if you're going to be our partner, to clean up your act, get out of the drug business."

    In Karzai's government, as in the Mafia, corruption are us, drugs are us. Corruption is his government. That's his constituency, his source of income. There is no chance whatever that he'll, for instance, root out his brother, Ahmed Wali Karzai, from Kandahar, which is our next base of operations, despite the fact that our chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff says no success is possible in Kandahar while ... Wali, the President's, Karzai's brother, is in charge there ...

    There is no prospect of any kind of success in Afghanistan, any more than the Soviets achieved in their ten years there, just as in Vietnam we really had no realistic prospect of more success than the French. But countries find it very hard to learn from the failures of other countries.

    ANJALI KAMAT: And Dan Ellsberg, what's your assessment of the counterinsurgency strategy that the Obama administration is pushing, that General Petraeus and Stanley McChrystal are pushing?

    DANIEL ELLSBERG: I'm very familiar with that theory, because that's what I was working in in Vietnam for so many years, the counterinsurgency theory, strategy theory. My job was to evaluate its, quote, "progress," which meant lack of progress, total stalemate, total lack of progress in Vietnam. And to that end, I visited thirty-eight of the forty-three provinces of Vietnam and reported stalemate, which McNamara heard and understood, even while the word "progress" was the word to be used, just as Obama was talking about progress ...

    What it ignores is that the recruiting tool of our adversaries there is predominantly the presence of foreign troops. And when we add more foreign troops, we are sustaining that recruiting tool. And for every enemy trying to eject foreigners from his country that we kill, and especially his families, the wedding parties, and the funeral parties after we've hit the wedding parties, all of those recruit more people in a way that will-- assures us that, contrary to what President Obama is saying, we will not prevail. When he does say we aren't going to quit, in the short run, at least, he's right, unfortunately. We have many years ahead of us.

    I believe, by the way, that that applies to Iraq, as well, that I believe that our president is deceiving the American public-- I don't say that lightly-- in the same way that all of his predecessors deceived us with respect to Vietnam, including the ones I served, which included Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon. Specifically, when he says in his State of the Union message that we will-- he will get all troops, not just combat troops, but all troops, out of Iraq by the end of 2011, I believe that's false and that he knows that's false ...

    My knowledge of counterinsurgency doctrine, which is, from what I read of McChrystal and Petraeus's doctrine statements, is as good as theirs, or as bad as theirs, says that in a country of that size, hundreds of thousands of troops are needed. That is not going to come from the Afghan troops, who desert about as fast as we recruit them and who are not very highly motivated working for foreigners, like the government of Vietnam soldiers we worked with. They are not going to fill that gap ...

    The public doesn't seem to understand that ... when they look at cost estimates, they come up with figures like a trillion dollars for our effort in Afghanistan eventually. Try doubling that. It's going to be more troops. Those estimates are based on the notion-- in Iraq, as well-- that we're getting all troops out of Iraq. That's not going to happen ...

    AMY GOODMAN: ... In a recent videoconference, military commander General Stanley McChrystal said, "We have shot an amazing number of people, but to my knowledge, none has ever proven to be a threat." Your response to this?

    DANIEL ELLSBERG: That's an amazingly, amazingly candid assessment by McChrystal ... you're [still] killing the relatives of people who are going to enlist in the insurgency.

    You're talking about a country, like Vietnam, that has 2,000 years of a tradition, and not just of self-image, but of actual success, in ejecting foreign invaders. They aren't organized for much there. You could say it's a state of disorganization, valley by valley and tribe by tribe. They're ideally organized for ejecting control by foreigners ...

    ANJALI KAMAT: Dan Ellsberg, your leaking of the Pentagon Papers helped bring the Vietnam War to an end. What do you think needs to happen now to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan?

    DANIEL ELLSBERG: Congress, somehow, has to be brought to have the courage to follow its convictions and cut off the funding for the wars, for escalation, in particular. Barbara Lee, the one congressperson who had the guts to vote against the Tonkin Gulf Resolution with respect to Afghanistan back in 2001, pointing out that it had been done without-- like the Tonkin Gulf Resolution years before, without hearings, without debate, without evidence ...

    AMY GOODMAN: We have ten seconds.

    DANIEL ELLSBERG: ... The only way the Vietnam could have been ended was by Congress cutting off the money. It's the only way this war will be ended, and it will take a very long time.

    AMY GOODMAN: Dan Ellsberg, we have to leave it there.

    DANIEL ELLSBERG: -- in what I call Vietnamistan ...''

    [The thieves must think we all have tea bags for brains.

    See The Mysterious Collapse of World Trade Center Building 7 ]


    [The stakes for the kleptocracy are higher than ever -- the Kazakh oil of central Asia, and the chance to make Afghanistan another Congo.

    For more on the run-up to 9-11-2001, the U. S. invasion of Afghanistan, and the Unocal pipeline, see]

    Top -- Home

    NEWS ARTICLE from The Guardian, 12-1-10, by Luke Harding

    ``WikiLeaks cables condemn Russia as 'mafia state'

    ... According to WikiLeaks cables Russia is a corrupt, autocratic kleptocracy centered on the leadership of Vladimir Putin, in which officials, oligarchs and organised crime are bound together to create a "virtual mafia state" ...

    Arms trafficing, money laundering, personal enrichment, protection for gangsters, extortion and kickbacks, suitcases full of money and secret offshore bank accounts in Cyprus: the cables paint a bleak picture of a political system in which ... it is often hard to distinguish between the activities of the government and organised crime.

    Among the most striking allegations contained in the cables, which were leaked to the whistleblowers' website WikiLeaks, are:

  • Russian spies use senior mafia bosses to carry out criminal operations such as arms trafficking.

  • Law enforcement agencies such as the police, spy agencies and the prosecutor's office operate a de facto protection racket for criminal networks.

  • Rampant bribery acts like a parallel tax system for the personal enrichment of police, officials and the KGB's successor, the federal security service (FSB).

  • Investigators looking into Russian mafia links to Spain have compiled a list of Russian prosecutors, military officers and politicians who have dealings with organised crime networks.

  • Putin is accused of amassing "illicit proceeds" from his time in office, which various sources allege are hidden overseas ...

    The principal allegations stem from a Spanish prosecutor, Jose Gonzalez, who has spent more than a decade trying to unravel the activities of Russian organised crime in Spain. Spanish authorities have arrested more than 60 suspects, including the top four mafia bosses outside Russia ...

    Gonzalez said he had evidence -- thousands of wiretaps have been used in the last 10 years -- that certain political parties in Russia worked hand in hand with mafia groups. He alleged that intelligence officials orchestrated gun shipments to Kurdish groups to destabilise Turkey and were pulling the strings behind the 2009 case of the Arctic Sea cargo ship suspected of carrying missiles destined for Iran ...

    Sometimes the FSB put crime lords in prison for their own protection. Luckier crime leaders might end up in parliament ...

    The cables also reveal that the Americans believe Putin was likely to have known about the operation to murder Alexander Litvinenko in London in 2006 ...''


    NEWS ARTICLE from The Plain Dealer, 12-17-10, By The Associated Press

    ``WikiLeaks chief says U.S. preparing to indict him

    BUNGAY, England -- The founder of WikiLeaks said Friday he fears the United States is preparing to indict him, but insisted that the government secret-spilling site would continue its work despite what he calls a dirty tricks campaign against him.

    Julian Assange spoke from snowbound Ellingham Hall, a supporter's 10-bedroom country mansion where he is confined on bail as he fights Sweden's attempt to extradite him on allegations of rape and molestation.

    He insisted to television interviewers that he was being subjected to a smear campaign and "what appears to be a secret grand jury investigation against me or our organization."

    Attorney General Eric Holder has said repeatedly that a criminal investigation of the WikiLeaks' continuing release of some 250,000 secret U.S. State Department cables is under way ...

    Assange spent nine days in prison after handing himself in to British police on Dec. 7 [2010]. He is wanted in Sweden for questioning about sex allegations leveled against him by two women he spent time with while visiting the country in August ...

    Assange will remain as the guest of Vaughan Smith, a former army captain and supporter who also runs the Frontline Club, a well-known journalists' hangout. The 18th century house, which has been in Smith's family for generations, hosts an organic farm that supplies the Frontline's well-reviewed restaurant ...

    More to the point, WikiLeaks spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson said the house had a decent Internet connection, enabling Assange to get back to work coordinating the release of the 250,000 U.S. Embassy cables, the overwhelming majority of which remain unpublished.''

    Top -- Home

    Thomas Drake NSA whistleblower victory: government's case implodes

    Posted on June 10, 2011 by Rick Piltz

    The Obama administration's prosecution of National Security Agency whistleblower Thomas Drake collapsed this week, days before his trial was set to begin. Prosecutors dropped felony charges under the Espionage Act; Drake ... will not go to prison ...

    Congratulations to Tom Drake, winner of the 2011 Ridenhour Truth-Telling prize.


    Washington Post coverage June 10 [2011] (June 9 online)

    By Ellen Nakashima

    Days before his trial was set to begin, former National Security Agency manager and accused leaker Thomas A. Drake accepted a plea deal from the government Thursday that drops the charges in his indictment, absolves him of mishandling classified information and calls for no prison time.

    In exchange, Drake, who was facing 35 years in prison if convicted of violating the Espionage Act, will plead guilty to a misdemeanor of exceeding authorized use of a computer. He will pay no fine, and the maximum probation time he can serve will be capped at one year.

    "It's an unambiguous victory for Drake," said Jesselyn Radack, director of national security at the Government Accountability Project, who supported Drake on whistleblower issues. "The prosecution's case imploded."

    The deal brings to a close a five-year ordeal for Drake, 54, who came under investigation in 2006 in leaking to the media and who was indicted in May 2010 on allegations of willful retention of "national defense" or classified information, obstruction of justice and making a false statement.

    It also is a setback for the Obama administration's effort to punish alleged leakers of national security secrets using a widely criticized World War I-era law.

    "As a tool for prosecuting leakers, the Espionage Act is a broad sword where a scalpel would be far preferable," said Stephen Vladeck, a constitutional law professor at American University. "It criminalizes to the same degree the wrongful retention of information ... and the willful sale of state secrets to foreign intelligence agencies." ...

    Drake, who is set to appear in U.S. District Court in Baltimore on Friday morning before Judge Richard Bennett to enter the plea, has asserted all along that he never passed classified information to a Baltimore Sun reporter who wrote stories exposing NSA mismanagement.


    New York Times coverage by Scott Shane ("Ex-N.S.A. Aide Gains Plea Deal in Leak Case; Setback to U.S.") included this:

    The deal represented the almost complete collapse of the government's effort to make an example of Mr. Drake, who was charged last year in a 10-count indictment that accused him of obstructing justice and lying to investigators. It is uncertain whether the outcome will influence the handling of three pending leak cases or others still under investigation.

    The case against Mr. Drake is among five such prosecutions for disclosures to the news media brought since President Obama took office in 2009: one each against defendants from the National Security Agency, the C.I.A., the F.B.I., the military and the State Department. In the past, such prosecutions have been extremely rare, three or four in history, depending on how they are counted, and never more than one under any other president ...


    U.S. National Security Agency

    ... Mr. Obama, who entered office promising unprecedented transparency ... in less than three years in office has far outdone the security-minded Bush administration in pursuing leaks.

    Jesselyn A. Radack, a lawyer for the nonprofit Government Accountability Project who had rallied support for Mr. Drake, hailed the outcome.

    "This is a victory for national security whistle-blowers and against corruption inside the intelligence agencies," she said. "No public servant should face 35 years in prison for telling the truth."


    Government Accountability Project news release:

    June 09, 2011

    Huge Victory for National Security Whistleblowers

    (Washington, D.C.) -- The Government Accountability Project (GAP) has learned that client Thomas Drake has agreed to a plea bargain ...

    The action taken against Drake by the Department of Justice was widely seen as a bellwether case for the current crop of the Obama administration's prosecutions under the Espionage Act against national security and intelligence whistleblowers. Today's news is an absolute victory for whistleblowers.

    GAP Homeland Security and Human Rights Director Jesselyn Radack commented, "This is a victory for national security whistleblowers and against corruption inside our intelligence agencies. The prosecution's case was built on sand and crumbled under the weight of the truth.

    "Tom Drake went through all proper and legal channels. His experience proves that, presently, there is no safe way to draw attention to wrongdoing at intelligence agencies. The intelligence community cannot keep using a broken classification system to escape responsibility for its internal corruption and lawbreaking." ...

    Radack continued, "No public servant should face 35 years in prison for telling the truth. The prosecution's case imploded in the face of numerous negative rulings and huge public support for Tom Drake. This is incontrovertible proof that the Espionage Act should not and cannot be used to silence whistleblowers."

    Regarding the Obama administration's ongoing prosecution of national security whistleblowers, Radack stated "Whistleblowers are not spies. The Espionage Act is a particularly heinous tool that should never be used to cover up government wrongdoing and punish whistleblowers that expose it. This sends a message to the Justice Department to abandon its perverted strategy of prosecuting whistleblowers under the Espionage Act."

    Tom Drake Background

    Drake is a former National Security Agency (NSA) employee who is being prosecuted under the Espionage Act for retaining, not leaking, classified information about a data collection program that was costly, threatening to Americans' privacy rights, and wholly undeveloped, despite the availability of a cost-effective, functional alternative that respected Americans' privacy.

    He did everything by the book, raising concerns through official channels first -- including senior NSA management, the Defense Department's inspector general, and Congress. His concerns were ignored. Drake, legally, communicating with a reporter -- never shared any classified information whatsoever. A series of articles exposed this billion-dollar affront to privacy rights.

    For more information, see GAP's Tom Drake page at


    Must-read article in The New Yorker by Jane Mayer: "The Secret Sharer: Is Thomas Drake an Enemy of the State?"

    From CBS 60 Minutes story on Drake, May 22, 2011 (unfortunately, CBS appears to have taken video from this program down from their website already):

    "Why do you think you were charged under the Espionage Act? That's pretty rare," Pelley pointed out.

    "To send a chilling message," Drake asked.

    "To whom?" Pelley asked.

    "To other whistleblowers, to others in the government, not to speak up or speak out. Do not tell truth to power. We'll hammer you," Drake said.


    Responses to Thomas Drake NSA whistleblower victory: government's case implodes

    Anne says: June 15, 2011

    Oh the IRONY!

    Consider this angle, reported by The Nation:

    Sterling's case bears another important similarity with Drake's: both have been prosecuted by DOJ lawyer William Welch. Welch is best known for heading the DOJ team whose corruption case against Ted Stevens got thrown out for prosecutorial misconduct.

    Since 2009, he has been the Obama Administration's point person on pursuing whistleblowers. Welch seems to be exercising the same poor judgment he did on the Stevens case, as when he withheld evidence for ten months that one of the purportedly classified documents Drake was accused of keeping had been marked as unclassified ...

    Top -- Home

    NEWS ARTICLE from The Plain Dealer, 1-6-12, By Plain Dealer wire services [Carolyn Lochhead, San Francisco Chronicle]

    [Ron Paul appeals to anti-war Republicans]

    Polls show Paul headed for a second-place finish in the New Hampshire primary.

    WASHINGTON -- GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul's anti-war stand is considered so out of sync with his party that rival Rick Santorum puts him to the left of President Obama, on par with liberal anti-war Rep. Dennis Kucinich, the Cleveland Democrat.

    But to Paul's supporters, he is returning the GOP to its cautious foreign policy roots, articulated in President Dwight Eisenhower's 1961 warning about "the military-industrial complex."

    In their view, the Republican Party lost its way starting with the Reagan military build-up in the 1980s and reaching a peak with former President George W. Bush's invasion of Iraq in 2003.

    "George Bush was the worst thing that ever happened to the Republican Party," said Robert Nadeau, owner of Nadeau Family Vinters in Paso Robles, Calif. "When I look at the Republican Party going back to World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam, the Republican candidates were the end-the-war candidates.

    The party of Eisenhower and Nixon has now become the war party. How did that happen? How is it we're willing to borrow $1 trillion from the Chinese so we can throw bombs on people?" ...



    Interview with Phil Donahue;

    Aired January 5, 2012

    PIERS MORGAN, CNN HOST: ... He practically invented talk television. He was Oprah before Oprah ...


    Good evening. I probably wouldn't be doing this job if it were not for my guest tonight. In fact television would be completely different had it not been for Phil Donahue ...

    DONAHUE: And what got us here were issues ... Our first show was Madeleine Marie O'Hare. The atheist ...

    MORGAN: ... What do you make of the Rick Santorum surge?

    DONAHUE: One of many. He's -- I saw him commenting on the Straits of Hormuz. He's got both guns out. He's already angry. You can see it. They better not -- and you can hear the drums in the background. And the heartbeat accelerates. He wants to -- he wants to go after Iran.

    I mean, how many wars do you want to have in your lifetime? How many bombs are you going to drop? ... We bombed Grenada. Grenada. We are dropping bombs on crowded cities at night [in Afghanistan] where old people and children are sleeping and we're watching it on CNN.

    And the only voice that's spoken up at all in this campaign about this is Ron Paul.

    Why are we so interventionist, he wants to know. What are we doing with all these wars? How are we safer? These are very common sense observations and no other candidate can possibly speak those words.

    It would be, they believe, politically fatal. Now think about that. You can't -- you can't use an antiwar platform to get elected, so maybe that explains why it's so easy for us to go to war ...

    MORGAN: What I've noticed about Americans and America when it comes to this kind of thing, is that anybody that dares speak up against a war instantly gets labeled, a pacifist, a coward, weak. And it's not really like that in many other countries. It's the kind of thing that mystifies me. Because you don't have to be a pacifist to disagree with, say, the Iraq war ...

    When it comes to issues like Iraq, [it's] incredibly important that the world's number one military power, number one political power, number one economic power, has a proper debate about whether they should go into these things without people being labeled a pacifist if they don't think it's a good idea.

    DONAHUE: ... I am like millions of other Americans, very, very concerned about our foreign policy behavior over the past several years, and the way that ... the bedrock of this nation has been chipped away by the people ... turning their back on the Bill of Rights.

    We have people in cages with no habeas [corpus], no phone calls, no Red Cross.

    MORGAN: Guantanamo, you mean.

    DONAHUE: Yes. You know this is not the country that my parents raised me to pledge my allegiance to ... You can't say you're a proud American and then waterboard somebody ...

    MORGAN: See, Ron Paul, I mean, I interviewed him yesterday. It's interesting that you say this because his big thing, and I think it's an impressive thing to say, is he supports the Constitution ...

    And for that, people call him crazy ...

    DONAHUE: Yes. Everything is turned upside down here. So Ron Paul's concern about our adventurism is, in Newt Gingrich's words ... dangerous. You know, peace is dangerous ...

    MORGAN: What's happened to [the American] dream now? ...

    DONAHUE: Look at my own early history. I worked in a steel mill when I was 18 years old in the summer. I was a student at Notre Dame and I worked at Republic Steel in Canton, summer job. I don't know, do steel mills have summer jobs anymore? I'm not sure.

    But that's an experience for a 17, 18-year-old. I saw the fouled air and the soot and the grime and the heat from the open hearths, and those guys shoveling that coal in there, and their faces red and sweat, and what they were breathing.

    That was really my first confrontation with what work was like for millions of people. It was a tremendously informing experience to have that kind of job that young. Then I moved on to other things. These opportunities are not available today for young people.

    I think it's much tougher to be 17 or 18 today than it was when I was 17 or 18. And I think there is part of the reason for what you suggest is the decline of our noble experiment here, job availability.

    People are angry. We had an administration -- you know, it seemed to me that with all this -- habeas is gone now. This is a nation of law unless we're scared. It's amazing how fear just powerfully influences human behavior. It's unbelievable.

    George Bush exercised the strategy of fear in bleeding the entire nation into the sword in the [Iraq] War. Saddam is coming. He's under your bed. He's outside your window. I mean, the talking points from the White House. A smoking gun will become -- you could feel the heart beat of the nation. And it was -- the vote was taken in the Congress a week before an election.

    Now who's going to stand up nine, ten, months after the Towers were knocked down and say no to a war when we had the administration convincing some very bright people that it was Saddam who took the towers down. False.

    But we went to Iraq. We -- over 4,000 American uniformed personal were killed; four million refugees, a massive blunder.

    And it looks like now we've got the guns out because Iranian are blocking the Straits of Hormuz. And I want to know why President Obama ... doesn't pick up the phone, call the other people whose oil will be diminished if this blockade is successful, and say to the president or the chief of any other country, what are we going to do? What do you want to do ...? Let's talk anyway.

    Instead, the guns are out. Rick Santorum can't wait to go in there and show how tough he is. That's how you get elected. That's how we keep getting into war after war. This is maddening and tragic.

    MORGAN: Phil, it's been a real pleasure ...


    NEWS ARTICLE from The Plain Dealer, 1-7-12, By The Associated Press

    Soldiers donate to Ron Paul more than rivals

    Paul has more donors who list military affiliations than his GOP rivals combined.

    GALVESTON, Texas -- An Army reservist who spoke up for Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul while in uniform -- and landed in trouble for it -- is just one of the soldiers getting behind the Texas congressman's campaign ...

    Plenty of other troops simply send Paul some campaign cash.

    Paul arrived Friday in New Hampshire riding the momentum of a top-three finish in Iowa, a fundraising haul of $13 million in the last quarter and bragging rights of having more donors who list military affiliations than his Republican rivals combined ...

    Cpl. Jesse Thorsen, who gushed that it was "like meeting a rock star" when he joined Paul on stage wearing his camouflage fatigues in Iowa this week. That ran afoul of Defense Department rules involving partisan political events, though the military doesn't prohibit soldiers from giving money to candidates.

    Paul is the only Republican who says he'll bring home nearly all U.S. forces if elected, and that could be helping him draw in dollars.

    Paul received at least $95,567 from military donors between January and September ... [2011], the most recent data available, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics. That's nearly seven times what Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum, who edged out Paul in Iowa, collected from military donors combined.

    Retired Army Sgt. Thomas Rutherford, whose campaign contribution of $201 hit the threshold for public disclosure under federal election law, believes soldiers started taking a closer look at Paul's opposition to U.S. intervention after experiencing firsthand the effects of the nation's policies.

    "He has the firmest grasp on foreign policy of all of them," said Rutherford, 36. "I used to think we're the biggest, best country in the world and we have to go over there and show them how to do it. In the military, I came to the conclusion that the best way how to do it wasn't to use the Army." ...

    No other contender in the race has had a soldier make such a splash on their behalf as Thorsen, who has gone from being a 28-year-old reservist off active duty to a political celebrity overnight.

    Thorsen became Paul's best-known supporter in uniform after appearing on the podium at the campaign's Iowa headquarters Tuesday night.

    "We don't need to be picking fights overseas, and I think everybody knows that, too," he said to loud applause.

    Thorsen later told the Associated Press that he believes many troops support Paul.

    "A lot more than you would think, absolutely," he said. "And I think one thing that would help is more people need to stop voting for what they think is best for their party and start voting for what they think is best for their country." ...

    Paul J. Weber, Associated Press

    Commentator 4 wrote:

    "Obviously the soldiers don't want another decade long war in Iran.

    Think the rest of the Republican presidential candidates will take notice of this, and change their rhetoric about invading Iran on the same lie that Bush used to justify invading Iraq? Me neither."


    TRANSCRIPT of the 2012 ABC/Yahoo!/WMUR New Hampshire GOP primary debate, 1/07/2012, By Felicia Sonmez

    DIANE SAWYER, ABC NEWS: And good evening to all of you. Welcome to Saint Anselm College and the first debate of the year, 2012 ...

    GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC NEWS: ... Great to be here with you, Josh. [JOSH MCELVEEN, WMUR]

    And now let's introduce the candidates: former [Utah] Governor Jon Huntsman; Texas Congressman Ron Paul; former Governor of Massachusetts Mitt Romney; former Senator from Pennsylvania Rick Santorum; the former speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich; and Texas Governor Rick Perry.

    SAWYER: So ... let the debate begin ...

    STEPHANOPOULOS: Let me bring Speaker Gingrich in on this discussion, because, Mr. Speaker, a group supporting you ... just put out a very scathing attack ... on Governor Romney, on his tenure as the CEO of that investment firm, Bain Capital.

    It calls that tenure "a story of greed," that's a quote, saying that Bain made spectacular profits by, again, quote, "stripping American businesses of assets, selling everything to the highest bidder and often killing jobs for big financial rewards." ...

    GINGRICH: ... OK, on balance, were people better off or were people worse off by this particular style of investment [Like Gordon Gekko ('Greed is Good') in "Wall Street?"]?

    STEPHANOPOULOS: Back in December, you said that Governor Romney made money at Bain by, quote, 'bankrupting companies and laying off employees."

    GINGRICH: That was, I think, 'The New York Times" story two days ago ...

    STEPHANOPOULOS: Congressman Paul, let's stay on the issue of records. You've got a new ad up in South Carolina taking direct aim at Senator Santorum. You call him a corrupt -- a corporate lobbyist, a Washington insider with a record of betrayal ...

    PAUL: Well ... somebody did make a survey and I think he came out as one of the top corrupt individuals because he took so much money from the lobbyists ...

    And also where did he get -- make his living afterwards? I mean, he became a high-powered lobbyist on -- in Washington, D.C. And he has done quite well ...

    PAUL: Well, I call it being a constitutionalist, because I believe we should earmark, or designate, every penny. You designate weapons systems. You designate money to go to spend $1 billion on an embassy in Iraq. That's -- that's an earmark, too. I say the Congress has more responsibility ...

    SAWYER: I want to bring in Josh now.

    MCELVEEN: I want to stay on the topic of commander-in-chief as well. Obviously that puts you in charge of the most powerful armed forces in the world. Only two of you on stage have served in the military. Dr. Paul was a flight surgeon, Governor Perry a pilot. There are 25 million veterans in this country, three million currently serving on active duty ...

    MCELVEEN: ... Let's go to you, Speaker Gingrich. Recently, Dr. Paul referred to you as a chicken hawk because you didn't serve ...

    GINGRICH: Well, Dr. Paul makes a lot of comments ...

    PAUL: Yeah. I -- I think people who don't serve when they could and they get three or four or even five deferments ... have no right to send our kids off to war ... I'm trying to stop the wars, but at least, you know, I went when they called me up.

    But, you know, the -- the veterans' problem is a big one. We have hundreds of thousands coming back from these wars that were undeclared, they were unnecessary, they haven't been won, they're unwinnable, and we have hundreds of thousands looking for care.

    And we have an epidemic of suicide coming back. And so many have -- I mean, if you add up all the contractors and all the wars going on, Afghanistan and in Iraq, we've lost 8,500 Americans, and severe injuries, over 40,000. And these are undeclared wars ...

    STEPHANOPOULOS: ... Senator Santorum has been very clear in his belief that the Supreme Court was wrong when it decided that a right to privacy was embedded in the Constitution. And following from that, he believes that states have the right to ban contraception ...

    PAUL: ... No, I think the Fourth Amendment is very clear. It is explicit in our privacy. You can't go into anybody's house and look at what they have or their papers or any private things without a search warrant.

    This is why the Patriot Act is wrong, because you have a right of privacy by the Fourth Amendment.

    As far as selling contraceptives, the Interstate Commerce Clause protects this because the Interstate Commerce Clause was originally written not to impede trade between the states, but it was written to facilitate trade between the states. So if it's not illegal to import birth control pills from one state to the next, it would be legal to sell birth control pills in that state ...

    STEPHANOPOULOS: Governor Perry, we know you have differences with President Obama, but who's got the better of this argument right here between Senator Santorum and Governor Huntsman?

    PERRY: ... I would send troops back into Iraq ...


    PERRY: ... We're going to see Iran, in my opinion, move back in at literally the speed of light. They're going to move back in, and all of the work that we've done, every young man that has lost his life in that country will have been for nothing ...

    MCELVEEN: I want to give Congressman Paul a chance to weigh in here, because foreign policy is something that a lot of people think is your Achilles' heel when it comes to getting elected ... You think that a nuclear Iran is really none of our business ...

    PAUL: Well, ... I think that's a misquote. I don't want Iran to get a nuclear weapon ...

    But, you know, this business about when to go in, I don't think it's that complicated. I think we've made it much more complicated than it should be. Yes, the president is the commander-in-chief, but he's not the king. And that's why we fought a revolution, not to have a king [to] decide when we go to war.

    We would have saved ourselves a lot of grief if we only had gone to war in a proper manner, and the proper manner is the people elect congressmen and senators to make a declaration of war ...

    But we went into Afghanistan. We went into Iraq. And now we're in Pakistan. We're involved in so many countries. Now they want to move on to Syria. And they can't -- there's some in Washington now can't wait until they start bombing Iran ...

    Sanctions ... lead up to war. And that's what we're doing ...

    Eastern Europe is going to be destabilized if they don't have this oil. And this just pushes Iran right into the hands of the Chinese. So our policy may be well intended, but it has a lot of downside, a lot of unintended consequences, and, unfortunately, blowback ...


    NEWS ARTICLE from The Plain Dealer, 1-10-12, By The Washington Post

    [Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry attack Mitt Romney's Bain tenure as capitalism run amok.]

    WASHINGTON -- ... Gingrich has claimed that Bain "looted" other companies, and Perry Tuesday [1-10-12] slammed enterprises like Bain as "vultures" who "eat the carcass" of its victims ...

    Gingrich on Tuesday argued: "Show me somebody who has consistently made money while losing money for workers and I'll show you someone who has undermined capitalism."

    And Perry, in addition to deriding Bain as a "vulture," has also described Romney as a "buyout tycoon who executed takeovers, bankrupted businesses and sent jobs overseas while killing American jobs."

    [The stakes for the kleptocracy are higher than ever -- the Kazakh oil of central Asia, and the chance to make Afghanistan another Congo.

    For more on the run-up to 9-11-2001, the U. S. invasion of Afghanistan, and the Unocal pipeline, see

    Oil wars have made trillions for the owners of oil wells, leaving the public holding the bag. See Cold Fusion Heat from the Rossi Reactor -- the ECat (Energy Catalyzer) Boiler]

    Commentator 5 wrote:

    Obviously, if Rossi's and related competition claims pan out in the near future, that would initiate a sustained and permanent drop in global oil price.

    Commentator 6 wrote:

    I have discussed this with some economists, including an old friend who is a professor. They say that the cost of a commodity such as oil is mainly a reflection of future expected supply and demand.

    They say that if it becomes generally known that cold fusion is real, and everyone agrees it is real and likely to become a practical source of energy, this will trigger an immediate and very large decline in the cost of oil and other fossil fuels.

    Assuming cold fusion is successfully commercialized, this decline will be permanent. The price will not recover, even if it takes 10 or 20 years for cold fusion to replace most fossil fuel consumption.

    The time it takes cold fusion to replace fossil fuel does not affect the price decline much because there is plenty of oil presently accounted for and ready to be extracted.

    If an oil producer knows that in 20 years there will be no market for oil, it will sell its present supply of oil as soon as possible, even at a drastically lower price.

    Getting some money for your inventory now is better than getting no money in the future. It is like having a warehouse full of obsolete laptop computers. They lose a few percent in value every week. You sell them now, or never.

    When everyone accepts cold fusion is real this will also immediately bankrupt wind turbine manufacturers, the solar cell industry, and all other alternative sources of energy that are not yet economically competitive with coal and oil.

    It may not kill off ethanol immediately because that is not a source of energy. It is an energy sink. It is a political plum. It is a method of ripping off consumers and wasting millions of barrels of fossil fuel to enrich big agriculture and OPEC. [While Republican candidates were climbing over each other to propose drastic slashing of Social Security, not one word was said about the farm subsidy during the Iowa caucus debates.]

    Because of the Fukushima disaster, cold fusion could cause the quick demise of conventional nuclear power ... Conventional nuclear power is a dead duck in Japan no matter what happens. I do not think they will ever build another reactor there. With one major accident, it went from being the cheapest source of energy to the most expensive. It may bankrupt TEPCO which is one of the largest power companies on earth.


    Commentator 5 wrote:

    I gather you remains highly sceptical that most traditional energy providers would be capable of making the transition.

    Commentator 6 wrote:

    Yup. See the books and articles by Prof. Clayton Christensen for the reasons why. See especially "The Innovator's Dilemma." He describes the dynamics that

    usually prevent established businesses from adapting new technology. He shows many examples from history.

    It is not unheard of. IBM made major transitions in the 1980s. However, that was after losing the largest amount of money any corporation ever lost up to that time, and after nearly going out of business. It was a near death experience.

    Most businesses do not survive such things. GM went bankrupt in 2009. The stockholder value was wiped out. In many important ways, the company ceased to exist and another company of the same name is now using some of the factories and employees of the previous entity. It is not what you would call "making the transition."

    The gist of the problem is what you saw with U.S. passenger railroads in the 20th century. First the automobile business took away most of their local business in the 1920s. Then after WWII airlines took away their long distance business.

    Railroad executives might have invested in Ford Motor. They might have tried to start their own airline. But they never did. They saw themselves in the business of running trains on steel tracks. Not in "the transportation business."

    They had few relevant skills that applied to running an airline. Okay, they knew how to issue tickets and keep track of baggage and freight. They had no experience with airplanes. They had no competitive advantage over start-up airline companies, especially not compared to people such as Eddy Rickenbacker, president of Eastern Airlines. He knew a lot about airplanes. He could learn how to issue tickets.

    The people at Exxon Mobil know how to drill holes in the ground and under the sea. They know how to operate gigantic tankers, and how to refine and deliver thousands of tons of gasoline a day. They have a deep, sophisticated skill set. But they have no experience relevant to competing with Defkalion.

    They know nothing about installing and maintaining Heating, Ventilating, amd Air Conditioning (HVAC) equipment. All the money in the world will not give them a leg up trying to compete with Peachtree Service Experts, the Atlanta HVAC company that I contract with.

    Why would I switch my business to a start-up run by Exxon Mobil? They would not be any cheaper. They would have to hire from the same pool of trained local people as Peachtree does. A bunch of guys who used to work in offshore oil wells are not especially qualified to maintain conventional HVAC equipment, and they will not be qualified to maintain cold fusion-powered HVAC equipment either.

    This isn't hard to understand.

    I am talking about energy-related companies. I think that GM, Ford and Toyota will be well positioned to transition to cold fusion automobile engines. That is an entirely different dynamic. That is replacing one core technology with another, leaving your business itself in place. Big corporations often do a great job of that. The railroads had no difficulty transitioning from stream locomotives to Diesel. That is not the same as entering a different market segment. Christensen discusses this in detail.

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