Paul Joseph Watson
February 14th, 2014
The U.S. Army has built a 300 acre ‘fake city’ complete with a sports stadium, bank, school, and an underground subway in order to train for unspecified future combat scenarios.
The recently opened site is located in Virginia and was built at a cost of $96 million dollars, taking just two years to complete.
While the city was ostensibly built to prepare U.S. troops for the occupation of cities abroad, some will undoubtedly fear that the real intention could be closer to home. Although the site includes a mosque, the town looks American in every other way, with signs in English.
The fact that, as the Telegraph reports, “The subway carriages even carry the same logo as the carriages in Washington DC,” could suggest that the site was built to double both as a foreign city and a mock domestic town.
According to Colonel John P. Petkosek, “This is the place where we can be creative, where we can come up with solutions for problems that we don’t even know we have yet….This is where we’ll look at solutions for the future–material solutions and non-material solutions…anything from how you’re going to operate in a subterranean environment to how you dismount a Humvee to avoid an IED strike.”
The increasing demonization of domestic political groups as extremists has prompted numerous scenarios where commentators have suggested that U.S. Army and National Guard personnel could be needed to quell civil unrest.
In 2012, an academic study about the future use of the military as a peacekeeping force within the United States written by a retired Army Colonel depicted a shocking scenario in which the U.S. Army is used to restore order to a town that has been seized by Tea Party “insurrectionists”.
The study dovetailed with a leaked U.S. Army manual which revealed plans for the military to carry out “Civil Disturbance Operations” during which troops would be used domestically to quell riots, confiscate firearms and even kill Americans on U.S. soil during mass civil unrest.
The manual also describes how prisoners will be processed through temporary internment camps under the guidance of U.S. Army FM 3-19.40 Internment/Resettlement Operations, which outlines how internees would be “re-educated” into developing an “appreciation of U.S. policies” while detained in prison camps inside the United States.
Fort Hood soldiers are also being taught by their superiors that Christians, Tea Party supporters and anti-abortion activists represent a radical terror threat, mirroring rhetoric backed by the Department of Homeland Security which frames “liberty lovers” as domestic extremists.
Last year, former Navy SEAL Ben Smith warned that the Obama administration is asking top brass in the military if they would be comfortable with disarming U.S. citizens, a litmus test that includes gauging whether they would be prepared to order NCOs to fire on Americans.
During a recent Ohio National Guard exercise, second amendment proponents were portrayed as domestic terrorists as part of a mock disaster drill.
THE SCENE WAS ABSURD: four activists, each with a bundle of 75 black and gold helium-filled balloons, riding an escalator. As we reached the top, we clipped our banner to the bundles and let go, watching our work rise slowly toward the hundred-foot ceiling of the lobby of a downtown Toronto office tower. Suddenly there were security guards rushing toward us. One of them jumped to make a grab for the bottom edge of the banner. We held our breath. He missed by mere inches and groaned. And then for just a moment, everyone in the lobby was standing still, staring up, as our huge painted banner rose until the balloons bumped and jostled against the ceiling. The bold red letters made our message clear: “HUDBAY MINERALS, CORPORATE CRIMINALS.”
The banner announcing “Hudbay Minerals, Corporate Criminals” stayed up in the lobby of the building where Hudbay’s shareholders were meeting for two hours until the company was able to remove it.
Outside on King Street, we joined the group of protesters who had already been standing in the pouring rain for more than two hours. A banner just like the one we had raised inside was stretched out, soaked, between two elders from the Mathias Colomb Cree Nation. They had traveled from northern Manitoba to confront Hudbay at this shareholder meeting where important decisions were being made by people who may have a financial stake but whose lives will never be directly impacted by the actual workings of any of the company’s mines.
Hudbay Minerals is one of several Canadian-owned mining companies censured by environmental activists, human rights organizations and more recently by mainstream media for carrying out violent forced evictions, murdering a community leader who resisted one of their mines, robbing Indigenous peoples of their lands, supporting brutal police and security operations and criminalizing anyone who has tried to resist their mining projects around the world and here in Canada. Hudbay has gained increasing attention recently because they are the first Canadian company to be tried in Canadian courts for crimes committed at mines overseas.
I [Rachel] have been directly involved in supporting communities resisting Hudbay’s mines since 2010, when I traveled to Guatemala as part of a human rights delegation and had the chance to meet people in a Mayan Q’eqchi’ community impacted by a mine formerly operated by the company. One of those people was Angelica Choc, who is now at the centre of Choc vs. Hudbay, the groundbreaking lawsuit currently being heard by Canadian courts. Angelica’s journey through the Canadian justice system began with the murder of her husband in 2009. Her community’s struggle against Canadian-owned mining companies goes back decades and is interwoven with armed conflict, genocide, government corruption, and Canada’s international development policy.
The history of the Fenix nickel mine, on the shores of Lake Izabal in western Guatemala, began in the 1960s when it was started by Inco, a Canadian company with a deep involvement in the Guatemalan government’s efforts to wipe out opposition. The Canadian government provided significant financial support to Inco’s Guatemalan subsidiary while people who protested or organized against the mine were killed, kidnapped, threatened, and whole communities were forcibly evicted from lands that had been their traditional territory for generations. Inco shut down mining operations in the 1980s, and the Fenix mine site was purchased by two Canadian companies – first Skye Resources in 2004 and then Hudbay in 2008. Shortly after the announcement of a lawsuit against Hudbay for negligence concerning violent acts committed by its employees and subsidiaries, Hudbay sold the Fenix mine to Russian company Solway Group at a $290 million loss.
The banner lift I organized in Toronto in the spring of 2013 was staged for the annual Hudbay shareholder meeting. It was an opportunity for organizations like the Mining Injustice Solidarity Network to counter the company’s media spin and to make evident – if only for the few hours that the crowds assembled outside and the banner floated near the 100 foot high lobby ceiling – that there was a bigger story at play than the record growth investment and corporate social responsibility initiatives that Hudbay was announcing inside. It was one small part of a series of actions and events that tied together Angelica’s quest for justice and that of the Mathias Colomb Cree Nation (MCCN) in Manitoba.
Leahjane Robinson with 300 balloons, moments before packing them into a uhaul to drive downtown to Hudbay’s shareholder meeting. Photo by Ashling Ligate.
MCCN has never been consulted by Hudbay or the province of Manitoba regarding the company’s mining operations on their territory. In an effort to assert their claim to the land and prevent Hudbay from carrying out their operations without permission, Chief Arlen Dumas formally issued stop work orders against the company in January and March of 2013, and band members organized peaceful gatherings at the mine site where they held drumming and singing ceremonies.
Hudbay responded by obtaining injunctions against the community and by launching a multi-million dollar lawsuit against Chief Dumas. The result of the company’s retaliatory actions is that MCCN people, who live off the land, have been instantly criminalized and held in contempt of court for trying to maintain their livelihood. Because of a mining operation they don’t want and never agreed to, they can no longer legally hunt and fish on their own land. MCCN has since delivered formal eviction notices to Hudbay and the Province of Manitoba.
Clayton Thomas-Muller, a member of the Pukatawagan Cree Nation and campaigner with Idle No More & Defenders of the Land, also came into town to stand with protesters outside Hudbay’s Toronto meeting. He addressed the crowd: “Investing in disputed Indigenous Lands, not respecting our nations’ right to Free, Prior and Informed Consent, trying to use the courts to suppress our Cree Nations’ sovereign right to protect our lands and water, are all signalers that the board and CEO of Hudbay are negligent, uninformed and morally bankrupt.” The community of Pukatawagan is located less than a hundred kilometres from the mine site.
Hudbay’s actions against MCCN, first ignoring the community’s right to determine what happens on their land, and later responding to resistance with significant legal threats, is heavy-handed and repressive, but less overtly violent than the threats faced by Angelica Choc’s community and those nearby. In 2007, Mayan farmers near the Fenix mine site were forced from their lands by hundreds of armed men from police, military, and private security forces who then burned down their homes.
In a village called Lote Ocho, eleven women were gang raped by the police, army, and security forces hired by Hudbay during an attempted eviction. The Canadian Ambassador to Guatemala attempted to discredit documentary film evidence of these violent evictions, claiming that the scenes were staged, or were filmed during the country’s armed conflict decades earlier. A Canadian court later found him guilty of slander, and ordered both the Ambassador and the Canadian Government to pay almost $10,000 in damages and costs to the filmmaker.
Angelica Choc addresses the supporters gathered outside of the courthouse where the trial began to hold Canadian company Hudbay accountable for the death of her husband. Also pictured: Grahame Russell fromRights Action. Photo by Veronica Díaz.
Two years later, in the face of another round of possible evictions, Angelica Choc’s husband Adolfo Ich Chamán, a community leader and outspoken critic of the mining company’s operations, was shot and killed by security forces. On the same day, German Chub was shot and permanently injured. These incidents, along with the brutal gang-rapes in Lote Ocho, are part ofthe case against Hudbay currently being heard in the Superior Court of Ontario. There are currently three lawsuits against the company, all for negligence resulting in death or significant harm.
Angelica’s message to Hudbay, which she shared with those who came to support her during a Toronto court appearance, is unflinching. “You made a mistake with me because I did not remain silent with my arms crossed…I demand justice.” She is a powerful speakerher words and her emotions impacted the crowd deeply as they heard about the brutality her community, like many others, has experienced in their efforts to resist violations of land and human rights.
“They need to pay for all the damage caused to my family and our communities. What Hudbay has done is deplorable. Even now they hide behind walls, refusing to accept the damages caused in Guatemala. I call upon everyone, and even more so, my Indigenous peoples, who are here [gathered in Toronto] right now, to remember who we are, where we come from and where we are going. I know this is not only the case in Guatemala, and I am not working, I am not fighting, only for Guatemala. This struggle is for the whole world, to defend the earth.”
On the day of her court appearance, in solidarity with Angelica and the other claimants, local Idle No More organizers led a round dance outside the courtroom. Members of the Mining Injustice Solidarity Network hung up t-shirts and sweaters on a clothesline as a way of “airing Hudbay’s dirty laundry”. Each piece of clothing had been painted by someone in Canada with messages about Hudbay’s activities, including a shirt painted by Angelica the night before. Photographs of this clothesline have since appeared in numerous media stories about the court case and the status of Hudbay’s corporate reputation.
A few of the pieces created to express solidarity with the plaintiffs and to air Hudbay’s dirty laundry. Photo by Leahjane Robinson.
Although the progress of the Choc vs. Hudbay case through the Canadian courts is a legal victory for the claimants and the lawyers representing them, back in the communities surrounding the Fenix mine repressive threats have intensified. Communities and families have been deliberately divided by offers of money and by campaigns of misinformation spread by mine officials and the government.
As disturbing as it is that these claimants are experiencing threats, it comes as little surprise to those of us who have worked on mining resistance. Unfortunately, Canadian mining companies regularly act illegally and with impunity in repressing resistance. This is especially easy to do in Guatemala, a country with one of the highest rates of impunity in the world. It is also a country where human rights activists and those organizing around the defense of land are routinely targets of violent attacks and murders.
Angelica Choc holds up the shirt she created for the laundry line. Photo by Monica Gutierrez.
Angelica knows that it will take the voices and commitment of many Canadians to make a change in the actions of Canadian-owned companies operating in her country. Surprisingly few Canadians realize that the majority of mines around the world are owned by companies based here, or the magnitude of the impact these mines are having.
To many Mayan peoples in Guatemala, the abuses carried out by Canadian companies on their land, across Central America, and globally are understood to be simply one part of a long and violent history of colonization, which they have been fighting against for hundreds of years.
Increasingly, settlers (non-Native people) in Canada are realizing what Indigenous peoples have been saying for a long time – these aren’t accidents, or the story of a few bad apples. If we’re going to change the way these companies act, we’ll need to challenge complex systems with a multitude of players that serve to concentrate power and resources in the hands of a few, often at the expense of Indigenous peoples.
And we need to acknowledge that, knowingly or not, we are all complicit in these harms, whether through the investments of our pension plans, the actions of our elected officials, the jewelry or electronics we buy, or by our tacit acceptance of systematic racism, colonialism and other oppressive, violent forces. It will be a long struggle to reverse these patterns.
The last time Angelica was in Toronto, she and I ate an early breakfast of pupusas in my kitchen before she left for the airport. We didn’t speak about much, but there was a weight to our conversation. We both knew just how dangerous it had been for her to come to Canada, and the risks she faced as she headed back to her community. We both knew that there is a very real threat of more evictions now that the mine has new owners. There was little I could say except to feebly send her off with a hug and a “please take care”.
Rachel and Joanne are spending February and March visiting with mining-impacted communities in Guatemala. For more info on mining in Guatemala, and for writing from their trip, see Under-Mining Guate. Visit the Mining Injustice Solidarity Network for updates on related issues, campaigns and actions. You can also read more about Canadian mining injustices abroad in A\J‘s Resource Wars issue.
EDEN, N.C. (AP) – Duke Energy says a second pipe under a coal ash dump in North Carolina is not in immediate danger of collapse, despite concerns from state regulators that the pipe could fail and trigger another toxic spill into the Dan River.
The state Department of Environment and Natural Resources said Friday that video taken inside the pipe shows potentially contaminated water leaking in through gaps and then out into the river.
Duke spokeswoman Paige Sheehan says the company’s assessment is that “no immediate action” is necessary. The state has given Duke 10 days to come up with a plan to fix the leaks.
The third largest coal ash spill in U.S. history was triggered Feb. 2 when a similar pipe at Duke’s dump collapsed.
SAO PAULO (AP) – More than 140 cities are rationing water amid the worst drought to hit Brazil in decades, according to a survey conducted by the country’s leading newspaper.
The Folha de S. Paulo newspaper wrote Saturday that water is being rationed to close to six million people living in 142 cities in 11 states.
The newspaper quoted water supply companies saying reservoirs, rivers and streams are the driest they’ve been in 20 years.
Some neighborhoods in the city of Itu in Sao Paulo state only receive water for 13 hours, once every three days.
Water consumption normally grows by up to 20 percent during the Southern Hemisphere’s summer. But this year, consumption has risen by up to 30 percent due to a prolonged heat wave affecting several states.
The Cantareira water system, the largest of six that provide water to some 9 million of the 20 million people living in the metropolitan area of Sao Paulo city, is at less than 19 percent of its capacity of 1 trillion liters (264 billion gallons), water utility Sabesp said Saturday on its website.
Sabesp described the situation at Cantareira as “critical” because the amount of rain registered between December 2013 and January 2014 was the lowest in 84 years.
Sabesp said the other five water supply systems in Sao Paulo’s metropolitan area were normal for this time of year.
The PCJ Consorcio water association said the area would have to see 17 millimeters of rain a day for two months until Cantareira’s water level grows to 50 percent of its capacity.
Legislation gives the government more control over how judges are appointed amid violent scuffles between legislators.
Last updated: 15 Feb 2014 15:34
|Turkey’s parliament has passed a bill tightening government control over the appointment of judges and prosecutors, with legislators violently scuffling over the contested reforms introduced amid a majorcorruption scandal.The bill would give the Justice Ministry greater sway over the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK), an independent body responsible for appointing members of the judiciary. The legislation approved on Saturday also gives the justice minister the right to launch investigations into its members.
The opposition says that the reform package is a “government manoeuvre” to limit fallout from a graft investigation that has ensnared top allies of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
“The law is an apparent indicator of the ruling Justice and Development Party’s [AKP] attempt to cover the corruption investigation by redesigning the judiciary,” CHP legislator Aykan Aydemir told AFP news agency.
The measures were passed on Saturday morning with 210 votes in favour and 28 against.
Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Deputy Ozcan Yeniceri criticised the bill, saying it was aimed at “meeting the needs of the AK Party” to delay the graft investigation in which dozens of prominent business people, the sons of three cabinet ministers, and state officials were questioned.
Parliament resumed debate of the bill on Friday despite an uproar from opposition parties and the international community who warned it threatened the independence of the judiciary in the country, which hopes to join the European Union.
Ilter Turan, political analyst at Bilgi University, told Al Jazeera that the bill is bound to generate criticism both locally and internationally.
“The Turkish prime minister promised the European Union to observe the rules of the EU as regards to democratic practises. So this is bound to generate negative responses among the opposition domestically and will put Turkey in a difficult position internationally,” said Turan.
Fighting erupted with fists flying in the air between ruling party and opposition legislators as the bill was debated overnight into Saturday in a marathon 20-hour sitting.
Ali Ihsan Kokturk, legislator from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), got a bloodied nose in the brawl, while ruling party legislator Bayram Ozcelik’s finger was broken.
CHP had said on Thursday it would appeal the bill in the Constitutional Court if it was approved in parliament.
The battle for control of the HSYK, the body which appoints senior members of the judiciary, lies at the heart of a feud between Erdogan and US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen.
Gulen, who is said to have millions of followers, has built up influence in the police and judiciary over decades. Erdogan blames him for unleashing the corruption investigation, which he sees as a way of unseating him.
China’s Liquidity Bubble Hits A Record: China Banks Issue 50% More Loans Than Fed And BOJ QE Combined | Zero Hedge
Overnight the PBOC released the latest Chinese bank loan and liquidity data for the month of January. Those who have been following our recent series on Chinese liquidity injections will know that when it comes to the real source of global liquidity, it is China that is the true unprecedented juggernaut, putting both the Fed and the BOJ’s puny QE programs to shame (see “Chart Of The Day: How China’s Stunning $15 Trillion In New Liquidity Blew Bernanke’s QE Out Of The Water“, “Some Stunning Perspective: China Money Creation Blows US And Japan Out Of The Water“). And January’s data was simply the final exclamation mark in a decade-long series in which China’s prosperity has been simply the result of an exponentially increasing amount of loan and liquidity creation by the Chinese semi-national and government backstopped financial system.
Here are the numbers:
Total Chinese loan creation in January was CNY 1.32 trillion, or $218 billion. While January traditionally sees a pick up in loan creation (and demand), the 174% increase in bank loans from December was an unprecedented number, was above the CNY 1.1 trillion, and CNY 250 billion more than a year ago. More notably, this was the largest monthly bank loan injection since January 2010. The last time China scrambled to inject massive amounts of bank loans was in late 2008 and early 2009 when the world was ending, and it was China’s money that stabilized the global financial system far more so than the Fed’s whose QE 1 did not begin in earnest until March 2009.
The far broader monetary aggregate, Total Social Financing, which is the most encompassing calculation of credit and liquidity created in China in any one month, rose to CNY 2.58 trillion. This was more than double the December’s $1.23 trillion, and beat last January’s CNY 2.545 trillion. In fact, this month’s broad liquidity creation was the largest monthly amount in China’s history!
Here is what Reuters had to say about the overnight data:
January’s lending surge aside, China’s central bank has consistently signaled in recent months that it wants to temper credit growth to slow a rapid rise in debt levels across the economy.
It has focused in particular on keeping short-term interest rates elevated to force banks to stop lending to speculators or high-risk borrowers.
Analysts polled by Reuters in January said they expect China’s economy to grow 7.4 per cent this year, an enviable performance for a major economy, but still the worst for China in 14 years. The economy grew 7.7 per cent last year.
Here’s the problem: one can’t put the January lending surge aside, as it came at a time when for the second time in six months the PBOC tried to taper, only to be forced to not only bail out its money markets, but is on the verge of a bankruptcy tsunami involving its shadow banking products, the first of which it also bailed out despite repeated warnings this time it means business and would let it die. In this context, the January number is precisely what it appears: the bank’s logical response to a liquidity crunch as the Chinese regime finds itself in the same spot that the Fed has been in for the past 5 years – it must keep the monetary spice flowing, or else the party is over. And just like the Fed, and now the BOJ, so too does China not want to deal with the fall out if all it takes to created yet another quarter of increasingly subpar economic growth is another record of funny money conceived out of thin air.
The only problem is that it is becoming increasingly difficult to hide all the pieces of funny money, most of which result in bad and otherwise impaired loans, under the rug. And just to show the problem in its context, here is how China’s banks created some 50% more in bank loans in January than the QE credit money created by both the Fed and the BOJ combined.
And finally, here is China’s nearly half a trillion in total liquidity added to the system in just one month (some deleveraging, right?) looks compared to the Fed and the BOJ’s much maligned and unprecedented uncovnentional monetary policy.
When a country destroys its debts by inflation, it ruins its creditors. The proper progressive approach is to ruin them all equally–thus it is imperative that there be no avenue by which creditors might protect themselves. At the same time, the government wishes no doubt to have its citizens continue to honour its currency, worthless though it might be.
During the Wiemar hyperinflation, despite the frenzied printing, the sum total of foreign currency that could be purchased by all the marks in circulation fell precipitously. There is a Keynesian argument to be made that the Germans didn’t print quickly enough! Of course, having Germans individually destroying the currency in great amounts by putting it to such uses as cigarette rolling papers and firewood didn’t help either.
And consider this–using the currency in lieu of hard-to-locate toilet paper may clog pipes.
Canada recently unveiled polymer bills. Just the perfect cross between plastic and paper money. And the brilliant part is, they are perfect in a hyperinflationary environment.
Plastic. Not really suitable for use as cigarette wrappers or firewood. You wouldn’t want to be burning it indoors, anyway.
And as far as toilet paper–although it is a little uncomfortable, the microtexture on the bills does seem to be helpful for cleaning up the really tough spots. And although the bills have not been field-tested for flushability, the beauty of the polymer bills is that you can just wash them and reuse! Or spend, if you prefer.
The only problem the beta testers have reported is that the bills are a little small to be used comfortably.
Iran’s surprising decision to move warships off the Atlantic coast poses a potential catastrophic threat to America from a nuclear or electromagnetic pulse attack, according to an expert who foresaw Iran’s move.
Peter Pry, an expert on EMP attacks, said the ships are likely a dry run for a future attack, a maneuver meant to lull Washington into complacency while also embarrassing President Obama and his effort to convince Tehran to give up production of a nuclear bomb in return for a lifting of some economic sanctions.
“Yes, patrols by the Iranian Navy off our coasts could pose threat of a surprise EMP attack,” said Pry, who with others such as former CIA Director R. James Woolsey, has convinced several state legislatures to take moves to harden their electric and energy grids from EMP attack because Washington won’t.
Pry said the ships are probably conducting a test for a future visit from an Iranian freighter that would launch the attack.
“I think the Iranian Navy patrols off our coasts may be intended to lull us into complacency, to get the U.S. Navy accustomed to an Iranian naval presence in our hemisphere, so eventually they could contribute to ‘Zero Hour’ and the great day when the Mullahs decide to drop the nuclear hammer on America,” said Pry, who staffed a former congressional EMP commission.
“I think the Iranian Navy patrols are also intended to humiliate Obama and the United States for the Geneva [nuclear] interim agreement that Tehran interprets, correctly I think, as U.S. surrendering to the inevitability of a nuclear-armed Iran,” he added.
Pry, president of EMPACT America, one of the nation’s leading authorities on EMP, revealed that Iran recently purchased Russia’s Club-K missile launcher, which can be hidden in tractor-trailer-sized cargo boxes.
“I and my colleagues, including Reza Kahlili, who warned six months ago that these Iranian patrols were coming, think it more likely Iran would make an EMP attack by launching a missile off a freighter, so they could do the deed anonymously, and escape retaliation,” Pry explained.
“Iran has demonstrated the capability to launch a missile off a freighter. Iran has also purchased Russia’s Club-K missile system. The Club-K is a complete missile launch system, disguised to look like a shipping container, that could convert any freighter into a missile launch platform. The Club-K, if armed with a nuclear warhead, could be used to execute an EMP attack.”
Woolsey recently told Secrets that Iran was just months away from finishing production of their first nuclear bomb.
He also has joined with Pry and others, including Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, in warning about a nuclear blast in the atmosphere that would knock out electric transformers and facilities in the mid-Atlantic.
The maker of the Club-K has posted a promotional video, above, showing how a nation could use it.
Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner’s “Washington Secrets” columnist, can be contacted firstname.lastname@example.org.