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If we consider the Fed’s policies (tapering, etc.) solely within the narrow confines of the corporatocracy or a strictly financial context, we are in effect touching the foot of the elephant and declaring the creature to be short and roundish.
I have been studying the Deep State for 40 years, before it had gained the nifty name “deep state.” What others describe as the Deep State I term the National Security State which enables the American Empire, a vast structure that incorporates hard and soft power–military, diplomatic, intelligence, finance, commercial, energy, media, higher education–in a system of global domination and influence.
Back in 2007 I drew a simplified chart of the Imperial structure, what I called the Elite Maintaining and Extending Global Dominance (EMEGD):
At a very superficial level, some pundits have sought a Master Control in the Trilateral Commission or similar elite gatherings. Such groups are certainly one cell within the Empire, but each is no more important than other parts, just as killer T-cells are just one of dozens of cell types in the immune system.
One key feature of the Deep State is that it makes decisions behind closed doors and the surface government simply ratifies or approves the decisions. A second key feature is that the Deep State decision-makers have access to an entire world of secret intelligence.
Here is an example from the late 1960s, when the mere existence of the National Security Agency (NSA) was a state secret. Though the Soviet Union made every effort to hide its failures in space, it was an ill-kept secret that a number of their manned flights failed in space and the astronauts died.
The NSA had tapped the main undersea cables, and may have already had other collection capabilities in place, for the U.S. intercepted a tearful phone call from Soviet Leader Brezhnev to the doomed astronauts, a call made once it had become clear there was no hope of their capsule returning to Earth.
Former congressional staff member Mike Lofgren described the Deep State in his recent essay Anatomy of the Deep State:
There is another, more shadowy, more indefinable government that is not explained in Civics 101 or observable to tourists at the White House or the Capitol. The subsurface part of the iceberg I shall call the Deep State, which operates according to its own compass heading regardless of who is formally in power.
The term “Deep State” was coined in Turkey and is said to be a system composed of high-level elements within the intelligence services, military, security, judiciary and organized crime.
I use the term to mean a hybrid association of elements of government and parts of top-level finance and industry that is effectively able to govern the United States without reference to the consent of the governed as expressed through the formal political process.
I would say that only senior military or intelligence officers have any realistic grasp of the true scope, power and complexity of the Deep State and its Empire.Those with no grasp of military matters cannot possibly understand the Deep State. If you don’t have any real sense of the scope of the National Security State, you are in effect touching the foot of the elephant and declaring the creature is perhaps two feet tall.
The Deep State arose in World War II, as the mechanisms of electoral governance had failed to prepare the nation for global war. The goal of winning the war relegated the conventional electoral government to rubber-stamping Deep State decisions and policies.
After the war, the need to stabilize (if not “win”) the Cold War actually extended the Deep State. Now, the global war on terror (GWOT) is the justification.
One way to understand the Deep State is to trace the vectors of dependency. The Deep State needs the nation to survive, but the nation does not need the Deep State to survive (despite the groupthink within the Deep State that “we are the only thing keeping this thing together.”)
The nation would survive without the Federal Reserve, but the Federal Reserve would not survive without the Deep State. The Fed is not the Deep State; it is merely a tool of the Deep State.
This brings us to the U.S. dollar and the Deep State. The Deep State doesn’t really care about the signal noise of the economy–mortgage rates, minimum wages, unemployment, etc., any more that it cares about the political circus (“step right up to the Clinton sideshow, folks”) or the bickering over regulations by various camps.
What the Deep State cares about are the U.S. dollar, water, energy, minerals and access to those commodities (alliances, sea lanes, etc.). As I have mentioned before, consider the trade enabled by the reserve currency (the dollar): we print/create money out of thin air and exchange this for oil, commodities, electronics, etc.
If this isn’t the greatest trade on Earth–exchanging paper for real stuff– what is?While I am sympathetic to the strictly financial arguments that predict hyper-inflation and the destruction of the U.S. dollar, they are in effect touching the toe of the elephant.
The financial argument is this: we can print money but we can’t print more oil, coal, ground water, etc., and so eventually the claims on real wealth (i.e. dollars) will so far exceed the real wealth that the claims on wealth will collapse.
So far as this goes, it makes perfect sense. But let’s approach this from the geopolitical-strategic perspective of the Deep State: why would the Deep State allow policies that would bring about the destruction of its key global asset, the U.S. dollar?
There is simply no way the Deep State is going to support policies that would fatally weaken the dollar, or passively watch a subsidiary of the Deep State (the Fed) damage the Deep State itself.
The strictly financial arguments for hyper-inflation and the destruction of the U.S. dollar implicitly assume a system that operates like a line of dominoes: if the Fed prints money, that will inevitably start the dominoes falling, with the final domino being the reserve currency.
Setting aside the complexity of Triffin’s Paradox and other key dynamics within the reserve currency, we can safely predict that the Deep State will do whatever is necessary to maintain the dollar’s reserve status and purchasing power.
Understanding the “Exorbitant Privilege” of the U.S. Dollar (November 19, 2012)
What Will Benefit from Global Recession? The U.S. Dollar (October 9, 2012)
Recall Triffin’s primary point: countries like China that run trade surpluses cannot host reserve currencies, as that requires running large structural trade deficits.
In my view, the euro currency is a regional experiment in the “bancor” model,where a supra-national currency supposedly eliminates Triffin’s Paradox. It has failed, partly because supra-national currencies don’t resolve Triffin’s dilemma, they simply obfuscate it with sovereign credit imbalances that eventually moot the currency’s ability to function as intended.
Many people assume the corporatocracy rules the nation, but the corporatocracy is simply another tool of the Deep State. Many pundits declare that the Powers That Be want a weaker dollar to boost exports, but this sort of strictly financial concern is only of passing interest to the Deep State.
The corporatocracy (banking/financialization, etc.) has captured the machinery of regulation and governance, but these are surface effects of the electoral government that rubber-stamps policies set by the Deep State.
The corporatocracy is a useful global tool of the Deep State, but its lobbying of the visible government is mostly signal noise to the Deep State. The only sectors that matter are the defense, energy, agriculture and international financial sectors that supply the Imperial Project and project power.
What would best serve the Deep State is a dollar that increases in purchasing power and extends the Deep State’s power. It is widely assumed that the Fed creating a few trillion dollars has created a massive surplus of dollars that will guarantee a slide in the dollar’s purchasing power and its demise as the reserve currency.
Those who believe the Fed’s expansion of its balance sheet will weaken the dollar are forgetting that from the point of view of the outside world, the Fed’s actions are not so much expanding the supply of dollars as offsetting the contraction caused by deleveraging.
I would argue that the dollar will soon be scarce, and the simple but profound laws of supply and demand will push the dollar’s value not just higher but much higher. The problem going forward for exporting nations will be the scarcity of dollars.
If we consider the Fed’s policies (tapering, etc.) solely within the narrow confines of the corporatocracy or a strictly financial context, we are in effect touching the foot of the elephant and declaring the creature to be short and roundish. The elephant is the Deep State and its Imperial Project.
When Major General Smedley Butler made his case, “War is a Racket” he did not pull any punches.
The normal profits of a business concern in the United States are six, eight, ten, and sometimes twelve percent. But war-time profits – ah! That is another matter – twenty, sixty, one hundred, three hundred, and even eighteen hundred per cent – the sky is the limit. All that traffic will bear. Uncle Sam has the money. Let’s get it.
The business of military procurement has multiplied since his fateful revelations.
Not satisfied with fair profits or feasible competition, the practices of the defense corporatists illustrate one aspect of waste, graft and systemic bribery. William D. Hartung describes the consolidation and expanse of a select group of companies in the paper, The Military-Industrial Complex Revisited: Shifting Patterns of Military Contracting in the Post-9/11 Period
Many of the same companies that benefited from increased Pentagon and war spending were top contractors for other security related agencies. For example, Lockheed Martin was not only the top contractor for the Pentagon, but it also ranked number one at the Department of Energy; number eight at the Department of Homeland Security (Boeing was number one); number two at the State Department; and number three at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Contracts let by these agencies were only a fraction of the levels awarded by the Pentagon, but they were significant nonetheless. For example, the Department of Homeland Security issued $13.4 billion in contracts in FY2008, NASA $15.9 billion, the State Department $5.5 billion, and the Department of Energy $24.6 billion.
This dramatic growth in budgets is even more significant, when viewed in the context of world expenditures of other counties. Leaving aside the relative merits of the dangers and risk of external threats, the gigantic enterprise of fostering the biggest military apparatus in history has made select factions rich at the expense of the many.
Jonathan Turley in “Pentagon Plugs: New Study Finds Pentagon Has Hidden Trillions In Missing Money And Equipment,” references an example on how the overall avoidance of financial accountability, outright fraud and intentional concealment operates.
A new report has detailed how the military has cooked the books to hide trillions, that’s right trillions, in missing money and equipment. The military calls them “plugs,” a curious term for fraud. These are knowingly fake figures used to hide the fact that there is no accurate record of the money.
The plugs are generally the work of the office of the Defense Finance and Accounting Service, the Pentagon’s main accounting agency. Required to complete an audit, the staff simply faked the numbers.
Reuter’s reports on a “Special Report: The Pentagon’s doctored ledgers conceal epic waste.”
Over the past 10 years, the Defense Department has signed contracts for the provision of more than $3 trillion in goods and services. How much of that money is wasted in overpayments to contractors, or was never spent and never remitted to the Treasury, is a mystery. That’s because of a massive backlog of “closeouts” – audits meant to ensure that a contract was fulfilled and the money ended up in the right place.
Now trillions are sums that are unimaginable The Department of the Treasury acknowledges that U.S. gold reserves (if you believe their figures) total $11,041,059,958.16 as of their Current Report: January 31, 2014.
An eleven billion dollars equivalent is a mere drop in the bucket to the monies allocated to the military and homeland security. Taxpayers are regularly deceived about the costs. Congress is kept in the dark about black programs. And the war racket keeps funneling and siphoning off unknown sums to accounts that only a super computer can track.
Corporatocracy: How the Corporate Welfare State Divides and Conquers is a video by James Corbett that provides an insightful analysis which establishes a surreal account how the oligarchy operates. The financial shenanigans of corporatists contribute to the interlocking directorates, which run the money pit that keeps the empire operating.
A rational reform of a depraved money laundering arrangement is impossible without a fundamental repudiation of the internationalist foreign policy doctrines that permeates the State Department. Funding advanced technological warfare platforms that are unheard of to even congressional oversight is profoundly unconstitutional.
When such practices become routine, the economic incentives breed crooked abuses. The obligations for responsible public policy are methodically destroyed, when transparency is eliminated.
Washington’s Blog provides several useful sources that document the extent of the problem in “$8.5 TRILLION In Taxpayer Money Doled Out By Congress To The Pentagon Since 1996 … Has NEVER Been Accounted For” and sums up with a bleak assessment.
The Pentagon is the only federal agency that has not complied with a law that requires annual audits of all government departments. That means that the $8.5 trillion in taxpayer money doled out by Congress to the Pentagon since 1996, the first year it was supposed to be audited, has never been accounted for. That sum exceeds the value of China’s economic output last year.
Evidently, the elites that benefit from bilking appropriations and the board members that steer the defense contractors want the con to continue. For all the money directed towards maintaining the war machine, our actual security become less secure.
Banks launder ill-gotten gain, as prevailing practice, in the normal course of business because the arm merchants are protected players in the trade. The reprehensible circle that the dogs of war unleash the cash flow from their illicit drug sales, through arms sales, allows for the smooth transfer of hidden blood money into number accounts.
Such an organized system of mutual payoffs greases the ever growing industry of fear and destruction. All the missing money is buried in the unknown cashes of subterranean tyranny. Creating false flag threats allows for imaginary scourges to be new enemies. Protection from such manufactured foes is the real business of the military-industrial-complex.
So, when more details surface about the lost and unaccounted military funding money, it is just part of the price of keeping you safe.
James Hall is a reformed, former political operative. This pundit’s formal instruction in History, Philosophy and Political Science served as training for activism, on the staff of several politicians and in many campaigns. A believer in authentic Public Service, independent business interests were pursued in the private sector. Speculation in markets, and international business investments, allowed for extensive travel and a world view for commerce. Hall is the publisher of BREAKING ALL THE RULES. Contact email@example.com
Yemen researcher says he received a death threat after investigating deadly wedding-convoy attack.
Hyder Iftikhar Abbasi Last updated: 12 Feb 2014 14:17
A photo of alleged victims killed in a December 12, 2013 drone strike in central Yemen [Reprieve]
|The disturbing phone call came after Baraa Shiban investigated a drone strike on a wedding party that killed 12 people in central Yemen in December. A clear message was delivered to the human rights researcher over the phone after a major news network reported the story based on his research.
“The caller refused to identify himself and threatened my life if I continued my investigation of the strike,” Shiban told Al Jazeera, noting he conducted similar studies of US drone operations in the past, but had never before received death threats.
Shiban works for the UK-based human rights group Reprieve and interviewed survivors two days after the attack. His investigation ascertained that 12 people were killed after four missiles were fired at the convoy. There were also 14 victims with severe wounds; some lost limbs, others their eyes.
Along with the eyewitness testimony, Shiban gained access to video and still images of the alleged victims of the drone strike. Photos of the aftermath of drone attacks – whether in the tribal regions of Pakistan, or in the deserts of Yemen – are rarely captured. Most occur in obscure regions with hostile terrain, making access difficult for journalists and activists.
On December 12, 2013 , about 60 people were traveling in a convoy to attend the wedding near the city of Radda, in Yemen’s central province of al-Bayda. At about 4:30pm, the drivers halted the vehicles when they heard an aircraft approach.
“I was in the front car and I heard a huge explosion,” recalled victim Mohammed Abdullah al-Taisi. “I went out to see what happened and suddenly another two missiles hit the place. Everyone in the car behind us got killed.”
Equipped with the evidence Shiban went to the media, and a day later he received the call threatening his life.
“Just because the people were in a convoy of trucks, they were assumed to be militants and the decision was made to target them,” he said. “The people who died were shepherds and farmers. There was clearly a wedding party.”
Fear and anger
Drones piloted by the CIA and the Pentagon have operated in Yemen since 2002, killing hundreds of people – mostly members of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, but also dozens of civilians.
Peter Schaapveld is psychologist who traveled to Yemen to study the programme’s effects. He told British members of parliament in March 2013 that the constant presence of drones in the skies was causing a “psychological emergency” in the country.
“What I saw in Yemen was deeply disturbing,” Schaapveld said . “Entire communities – including young children who are the next generation of Yemenis – are being traumatised and re-traumatised by drones. Not only is this having truly awful immediate effects, but the psychological damage done will outlast any counter programme and surely outweigh any possible benefits.”
Reports of the missile strike, on a seemingly innocent wedding party, have infuriated nearly every sphere of Yemeni society, including many of the country’s top politicians.
“The fact that the Yemeni parliament has just passed a resolution banning drones in Yemeni airspace, and that the National Dialogue has criminalised the use of drones for extrajudicial killing, demonstrates that a national consensus has been reached that these brutal and unlawful attacks are unacceptable,” Shiban said.
Reprieve said the US government is now investigating the strike in Radda following Shiban’s work. The human rights group said the Defense Department was targeting Shawqi Ali Ahmed al-Badani , whom the White House accused of organising a bomb plot that led to 19 US embassies being closed last year.
‘US values and policy’
Caitlan Hayden, a spokeswoman for the US National Security Council, noted that Yemen’s government had stated the targets of the operation were “dangerous” senior al-Qaeda figures. She said she couldn’t comment on this specific attack.
“We take extraordinary care to make sure that our counterterrorism actions are in accordance with all applicable domestic and international law and that they are consistent with US values and policy … And when we believe that civilians may have been killed, we investigate thoroughly,” Hayden told Al Jazeera .
But one survivor of the December drone attack, Salam al-Taisi, insisted no one from the wedding party was involved in terrorism. “None of the victims had anything to do with al-Qaeda or any other group. They were all from the area and all were poor villagers,” he said.
The deaths in Baydah have more resonance considering President Barrack Obama’s announcement upholding the “highest standard” when conducting operations using unmanned aerial vehicles.
“Before any strike is taken, there must be near-certainty that no civilians will be killed or injured,” Obama said in a speech at the National Defense University on May 23, 2013.
Yemen’s security forces have also scrutinised Shiban’s work on the US drone programme. But it’s not just the Yemeni police that have shown interest in him.
On September 23 last year, he arrived in the United Kingdom with the intention of speaking at a conference at Chatham House . But at Gatwick Airport he was stopped by police and questioned under Schedule 7 of the British government’s Terrorism Act 2000.
“I was asked about my investigation of the covert US drone attacks in Yemen. When I asked why the question was relevant, I was threatened with further detention,” Shiban said.
Apparent attempts to suppress any kind of criticism of US covert operations are not new.
In Pakistan, an anti-drone campaigner set to testify before European parliaments has gone missing in the city of Rawalpindi. Kareem Khan , whose brother and teenage son were killed in a drone attack in December 2009, was picked up at his home by security forces in the early hours of February 5, his lawyer said. He hasn’t been heard from since.
Shiban said he is also well aware that the path he’s on now could lead to the same fate of Yemen-based journalist Abdulelah Haider Shaye .
On December 17, 2009, the Yemeni military announced it had successfully destroyed an al-Qaeda camp in al-Majala in Abyan province. But after travelling to the town, Shaye discovered it wasn’t at all an operation carried out by his government, but in fact a US cruise missile strike. And he discovered the people who died weren’t al-Qaeda fighters but innocent civilians. Among the 41 people killed, more than two-thirds were women and children.
Shaye was arrested on August 6, 2010 by Yemeni security forces and charged that October with aiding al-Qaeda by recruiting new operatives for the group. By January 2011, he was convicted and sentenced to five years in prison.
International human rights groups condemned his trial as a sham , which couldn’t provide any credible evidence of his alleged al-Qaeda associations. Shaye was being punished for exposing a US covert operation that resulted in a massacre.
After being incarcerated for nearly three years, Shaye was pardoned in July 2013 but one of the conditions of his release is he must not leave the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, for two years.
Asked about Shaye’s case, and the threats he’s received to his own life, Shiban said he’s determined to carry on highlighting the impact of drone strikes.
“This is an issue of vital importance to Yemen’s future, and I and other human rights activists will continue to defend the basic rights and democratic wishes of the Yemeni people,” he said.
Ahem. So there you have it; if you want to bargain with the archdruid, those are the terms I’ll accept. For whatever it’s worth, those are also the policies I’d propose to a Senate subcommittee or a worried panel of long-range planners from the Pentagon if I were asked to testify to some such body,. Of course that’s not going to happen; archdruids can draw up proposals on the basis of what might actually work, instead of worrying about the current consensus in or out of the peak oil scene, because nobody considers archdruids to be serious public figures. That may not sound like an advantage, but believe me, it is one.
Nouriel Roubini, Davos Speakers, Kyle Bass, Larry Edelson, Charles Nenner, James Dines, Jim Rogers, Marc Faber, Jim Rickards and Martin Armstrong Warn of Wider War
Well-known economist Nouriel Roubini tweeted from the gathering of the rich and powerful at Davos:
Many speakers compare 2014 to 1914 when WWI broke out & no one expected it. A black swan in the form of a war between China & Japan?
Both Abe and an influential Chinese analyst don’t rule out a military confrontation between China and Japan. Memories of 1914?
Kyle Bass writes:
Trillions of dollars of debts will be restructured and millions of financially prudent savers will lose large percentages of their real purchasing power at exactly the wrong time in their lives. Again, the world will not end, but the social fabric of the profligate nations will be stretched and in some cases torn. Sadly, looking back through economic history, all too often war is the manifestation of simple economic entropy played to its logical conclusion. We believe that war is an inevitable consequence of the current global economic situation.
Larry Edelson wrote an email to subscribers entitled “What the “Cycles of War” are saying for 2013″, which states:
Since the 1980s, I’ve been studying the so-called “cycles of war” — the natural rhythms that predispose societies to descend into chaos, into hatred, into civil and even international war.
I’m certainly not the first person to examine these very distinctive patterns in history. There have been many before me, notably, Raymond Wheeler, who published the most authoritative chronicle of war ever, covering a period of 2,600 years of data.
However, there are very few people who are willing to even discuss the issue right now. And based on what I’m seeing, the implications could be absolutely huge in 2013.
Former Goldman Sachs technical analyst Charles Nenner – who has made some big accurate calls, and counts major hedge funds, banks, brokerage houses, and high net worth individuals as clients – saysthere will be “a major war starting at the end of 2012 to 2013”, which will drive the Dow to 5,000.
Veteran investor adviser James Dines forecast a war is epochal as World Wars I and II, starting in the Middle East.
Billionaire investor Jim Rogers notes:
A continuation of bailouts in Europe could ultimately spark another world war, says international investor Jim Rogers.
“Add debt, the situation gets worse, and eventually it just collapses. Then everybody is looking for scapegoats. Politicians blame foreigners, and we’re in World War II or World War whatever.”
Marc Faber says that the American government will start new wars in response to the economic crisis:
- “The next thing the government will do to distract the attention of the people on bad economic conditions is they’ll start a war somewhere.”
We’re in the middle of a global currency war – i.e. a situation where nations all compete to devalue their currencies the most in order to boost exports. And Brazilian president-elect Rousseff said in 2010:
The last time there was a series of competitive devaluations … it ended in world war two.
Jim Rickards agrees:
Currency wars lead to trade wars, which often lead to hot wars. In 2009, Rickards participated in the Pentagon’s first-ever “financial” war games. While expressing confidence in America’s ability to defeat any other nation-state in battle, Rickards says the U.S. could get dragged into “asymmetric warfare,” if currency wars lead to rising inflation and global economic uncertainty.
As does Jim Rogers:
Trade wars always lead to wars.
Martin Armstrong wrote in August:
Our greatest problem is the bureaucracy wants a war. This will distract everyone from the NSA and justify what they have been doing. They need a distraction for the economic decline that is coming.
Armstrong argued last month that war plans against Syria are really about debt and spending:
The Syrian mess seems to have people lining up on Capital Hill when sources there say the phone calls coming in are overwhelmingly against any action. The politicians are ignoring the people entirely. This suggests there is indeed a secret agenda to achieve a goal outside the discussion box. That is most like the debt problem and a war is necessary to relief the pressure to curtail spending.
In addition, historians say that the risk of world war is rising because the U.S. feels threatened by a rising China … and the U.S. government considers economic rivalry to be a basis for war
Moreover, former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan said that the Iraq war was really about oil, and former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill says that Bush planned the Iraq war before 9/11. And see this and this. If that war was for petroleum, other oil-rich countries might be invaded as well.
And the American policy of using the military to contain China’s growing economic influence – and of considering economic rivalry to be a basis for war – are creating a tinderbox.
Finally, multi-billionaire investor Hugo Salinas Price says:
What happened to [Libya’s] Mr. Gaddafi, many speculate the real reason he was ousted was that he was planning an all-African currency for conducting trade. The same thing happened to him that happened to Saddam because the US doesn’t want any solid competing currency out there vs the dollar. You know Gaddafi was talking about a golddinar.
Indeed, senior CNBC editor John Carney noted:
Is this the first time a revolutionary group has created a central bank while it is still in the midst of fighting the entrenched political power? It certainly seems to indicate how extraordinarily powerful central bankers have become in our era.
This suggests we have a bit more than a ragtag bunch of rebels running around and that there are some pretty sophisticated influences. “I have never before heard of a central bank being created in just a matter of weeks out of a popular uprising,” Wenzel writes.
A conference sponsored by a US military official convened experts in Washington DC and London warning that continued dependence on fossil fuels puts the world at risk of an unprecedented energy crunch that could inflame financial crisis and exacerbate dangerous climate change.
The ‘Transatlantic Energy Security Dialogue‘, which took place on 10th December last year, was co-organised by a US Army official, Lieutenant Colonel Daniel L. Davis, operating in a private capacity, in association with former petroleum geologist Jeremy Leggett, covener of the UK Industry Taskforce on Peak Oil and Energy Security.
“We put the event together because the prevailing idea that we have a bright future of increasing oil and gas production that can sustain our current way of life indefinitely is based on a selective appraisal of the data. We brought together experts from across the spectrum, and with a wide range of opinions, to have a comprehensive look at all the relevant data. When you only look at certain things, like the very real resurgence of US oil and gas production, the picture looks fine. But when you dig deeper into the data, it becomes clear that this is only part of the picture. And the big picture proves that our current course cannot continue without significant risks.”
“That is a very striking number and one I think that should be ringing alarm bells. It indicates to me that something has fundamentally changed in the economics of the oil industry and that you’re having to invest more and more for diminishing incremental production.”
“It should not be forgotten that only a very few people warned that the financial incumbency had their particular comforting narrative catastrophically wrong, until the proof came along in the shape of the financial crash.” According to Leggett, a global energy crisis is unlikely to “erupt fully until 2015 at the earliest.”
“A lot of high-ranking officials are starting to ask exactly these hard questions about the sustainability of the current energy system. You’ve got to remember that for the military, it doesn’t matter what you want to do. What matters is what you can do, and it’s our top priority to make sure we understand potential limits to our operational capability. Even the EIA is forecasting that we could see a peak of shale production by 2018 followed by a plateau and decline, and the Pentagon knows this. But our transport infrastructure is totally dependent on liquid fuels. How are we going to sustain that infrastructure with these decline rates? That’s why serious questions are being asked by high level US military officials as to what exactly the Army, as well as American society in general, is going to do to address this challenge.”
Secretary of State John Kerry said the US stood united with South Korea against the North [AP]
|The United States is to deploy more troops and heavy tanks in South Korea as part of a military rebalance at a time of raised tensions on the Korean peninsula.
Forty M1A2 Abrams main battle tanks, 800 soldiers and 40 Bradley fighting vehicles from the 1st US Cavalry Division will be sent on deployment in February, the Pentagon announced on Wednesday.
South Korea’s Yonhap news agency quoted military officials as saying that the new troops and materiel would be deployed in North Gyeonggi Province, just south of the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas.
The deployment comes at a time of raised tensions on the peninsula after the North’s young leader, Kim Jong-Un, executed his powerful uncle last month, the biggest upheaval inside the ruling dynasty for years.
The North under Jong-Un has continued to develop nuclear weapons and test missiles in defiance of UN resolutions.
Commenting on the deployment, John Kerry, the US secretary of state, said: “The United States and the Republic of Korea stand very firmly united, without an inch of daylight between us, not a sliver of daylight, on the subject of opposition to North Korea’s destabilising nuclear and ballistic missile programmes and proliferation activities.
Army Colonel Steve Warren said: “This addition is part of the rebalance to the Pacific. It’s been long planned and is part of our enduring commitment to security on the Korean peninsula.
“This gives the commanders in Korea an additional capacity: two companies of tanks, two companies of Bradleys.”
The US has 28,000 troops based in South Korea, which has remained technically at war with Communist North Korea since the 1950-1953 Korean conflict ended in stalemate.
A Pentagon spokesman said the additional equipment would be left behind after the nine-month deployment to be used by follow-on rotations of US forces.
Barack Obama, the US president, announced a strategic rebalancing of priorities toward the Pacific in late 2011 while winding down US commitments in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Since Barack Obama has been in the White House, high ranking military officers have been removed from their positions at a rate that is absolutely unprecedented. Things have gotten so bad that a number of retired generals are publicly speaking out about the “purge” of the U.S. military that they believe is taking place.
As you will see below, dozens of highly decorated military leaders have been dismissed from their positions over the past few years. So why is this happening?
When I was growing up, my father was an officer in the U.S. Navy. And what is going on right now is absolutely crazy – especially during a time of peace. Is there a deliberate attempt to “reshape” the military and remove those that don’t adhere to the proper “viewpoints”? Does someone out there feel a need to get officers that won’t “cooperate” out of the way?
Perhaps you are reading this and you think that “purge” is too strong a word for what is taking place. Well, just consider the following quotes from some very highly decorated retired officers…
–Retired Army Major General Paul Vallely: “The White House protects their own. That’s why they stalled on the investigation into fast and furious, Benghazi and Obamacare. He’s intentionally weakening and gutting our military, Pentagon and reducing us as a superpower, and anyone in the ranks who disagrees or speaks out is being purged.”
–Retired Army Major General Patrick Brady: “There is no doubt he (Obama) is intent on emasculating the military and will fire anyone who disagrees with him.”
–Retired Army Lt. General William G. “Jerry” Boykin: “Over the past three years, it is unprecedented for the number of four-star generals to be relieved of duty, and not necessarily relieved for cause.”
–Retired Navy Captain Joseph John: “I believe there are more than 137 officers who have been forced out or given bad evaluation reports so they will never make Flag (officer), because of their failure to comply to certain views.”
According to the Blaze, one anonymous Pentagon official has said that even young officers have been told “not to talk about Obama or the politics of the White House”…
A Pentagon official who asked to remain nameless because they were not authorized to speak on the matter said even “young officers, down through the ranks have been told not to talk about Obama or the politics of the White House. They are purging everyone and if you want to keep your job — just keep your mouth shut.”
Now this trend appears to be accelerating. We have seen a whole bunch of news stories about military officers being dismissed lately.
Almost always, a “legitimate reason” is given for the dismissal. And without a doubt, if a military officer is actually behaving unethically, that officer should be held accountable.
However, the reality is that everyone has “skeletons in the closet”, and if you really want to get rid of someone it is usually not too hard to find a way to justify your decision.
The following are excerpts from three news stories about military officers in trouble that have come out so far in 2014…
#1 The Air Force Times: A group of former Air Force majors, forced out this summer by a noncontinuation board, plans to file a lawsuit claiming the service had no right to separate them simply to meet end-strength numbers set by Congress.
More than 10 of the 157 dismissed majors are banding together to challenge the move in court, seeking either reinstatement or early retirement pay. All 157 had been twice passed over for promotion and were within six years of retirement.
#2 Defense News: Acting US Navy Undersecretary Robert Martinage, the department’s No. 2, has resigned under pressure, sources confirmed for Defense News.
The resignation, which Martinage announced to his staff Tuesday morning, came after allegations were made of inappropriate conduct with a subordinate woman, the sources confirmed.
#3 Huffington Post: The Air Force says 34 nuclear missile launch officers have been implicated in a cheating scandal and have been stripped of their certification in what is believed to be the largest such breach of integrity in the nuclear force.
Some of the officers apparently texted to each other the answers to a monthly test on their knowledge of how to operate the missiles. Others may have known about it but did not report it.
The cheating was discovered during a drug investigation that involves 11 Air Force officers across six bases in the U.S. and England.
Taken alone, it would be easy to dismiss those stories as “coincidences”. But when you put them together with the stories of dozens of other high ranking military officers that have been purged from the U.S. military in recent years, a very disturbing pattern emerges.
The following is a list of high ranking military officers that have been dismissed over the past few years that has been circulating all over the Internet. I think that you will agree that this list is quite stunning…
Commanding Generals fired:
- General John R. Allen-U.S. Marines Commander International Security Assistance Force [ISAF] (Nov 2012)
- Major General Ralph Baker (2 Star)-U.S. Army Commander of the Combined Joint Task Force Horn in Africa (April 2013)
- Major General Michael Carey (2 Star)-U.S. Air Force Commander of the 20th US Air Force in charge of 9,600 people and 450 Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (Oct 2013)
- Colonel James Christmas-U.S. Marines Commander 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit & Commander Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Crisis Response Unit (July 2013)
- Major General Peter Fuller-U.S. Army Commander in Afghanistan (May 2011)
- Major General Charles M.M. Gurganus-U.S. Marine Corps Regional Commander of SW and I Marine Expeditionary Force in Afghanistan (Oct 2013)
- General Carter F. Ham-U.S. Army African Command (Oct 2013)
- Lieutenant General David H. Huntoon (3 Star), Jr.-U.S. Army 58th Superintendent of the US Military Academy at West Point, NY (2013)
- Command Sergeant Major Don B Jordan-U.S. Army 143rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command (suspended Oct 2013)
- General James Mattis-U.S. Marines Chief of CentCom (May 2013)
- Colonel Daren Margolin-U.S. Marine in charge of Quantico’s Security Battalion (Oct 2013)
- General Stanley McChrystal-U.S. Army Commander Afghanistan (June 2010)
- General David D. McKiernan-U.S. Army Commander Afghanistan (2009)
- General David Petraeus-Director of CIA from September 2011 to November 2012 & U.S. Army Commander International Security Assistance Force [ISAF] and Commander U.S. Forces Afghanistan [USFOR-A] (Nov 2012)
- Brigadier General Bryan Roberts-U.S. Army Commander 2nd Brigade (May 2013)
- Major General Gregg A. Sturdevant-U.S. Marine Corps Director of Strategic Planning and Policy for the U.S. Pacific Command & Commander of Aviation Wing at Camp Bastion, Afghanistan (Sept 2013)
- Colonel Eric Tilley-U.S. Army Commander of Garrison Japan (Nov 2013)
- Brigadier General Bryan Wampler-U.S. Army Commanding General of 143rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command of the 1st Theater Sustainment Command [TSC] (suspended Oct 2013)
Commanding Admirals fired:
- Rear Admiral Charles Gaouette-U.S. Navy Commander John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group Three (Oct 2012)
- Vice Admiral Tim Giardina(3 Star, demoted to 2 Star)-U.S. Navy Deputy Commander of the US Strategic Command, Commander of the Submarine Group Trident, Submarine Group 9 and Submarine Group 10 (Oct 2013)
Naval Officers fired: (All in 2011)
- Captain David Geisler-U.S. Navy Commander Task Force 53 in Bahrain (Oct 2011)
- Commander Laredo Bell-U.S. Navy Commander Naval Support Activity Saratoga Springs, NY (Aug 2011)
- Lieutenant Commander Kurt Boenisch-Executive Officer amphibious transport dock Ponce (Apr 2011)
- Commander Nathan Borchers-U.S. Navy Commander destroyer Stout (Mar 2011)
- Commander Robert Brown-U.S. Navy Commander Beachmaster Unit 2 Fort Story, VA (Aug 2011)
- Commander Andrew Crowe-Executive Officer Navy Region Center Singapore (Apr 2011)
- Captain Robert Gamberg-Executive Officer carrier Dwight D. Eisenhower (Jun 2011)
- Captain Rex Guinn-U.S. Navy Commander Navy Legal Service office Japan (Feb 2011)
- Commander Kevin Harms- U.S. Navy Commander Strike Fighter Squadron 137 aboard the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln (Mar 2011)
- Lieutenant Commander Martin Holguin-U.S. Navy Commander mine countermeasures Fearless (Oct 2011)
- Captain Owen Honors-U.S. Navy Commander aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (Jan 2011)
- Captain Donald Hornbeck-U.S. Navy Commander Destroyer Squadron 1 San Diego (Apr 2011)
- Rear Admiral Ron Horton-U.S. Navy Commander Logistics Group, Western Pacific (Mar 2011)
- Commander Etta Jones-U.S. Navy Commander amphibious transport dock Ponce (Apr 2011)
- Commander Ralph Jones-Executive Officer amphibious transport dock Green Bay (Jul 2011)
- Commander Jonathan Jackson-U.S. Navy Commander Electronic Attack Squadron 134, deployed aboard carrier Carl Vinson (Dec 2011)
- Captain Eric Merrill-U.S. Navy Commander submarine Emory S. Land (Jul 2011)
- Captain William Mosk-U.S. Navy Commander Naval Station Rota, U.S. Navy Commander Naval Activities Spain (Apr 2011)
- Commander Timothy Murphy-U.S. Navy Commander Electronic Attack Squadron 129 at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, WA (Apr 2011)
- Commander Joseph Nosse-U.S. Navy Commander ballistic-missile submarine Kentucky (Oct 2011)
- Commander Mark Olson-U.S. Navy Commander destroyer The Sullivans FL (Sep 2011)
- Commander John Pethel-Executive Officer amphibious transport dock New York (Dec 2011)
- Commander Karl Pugh-U.S. Navy Commander Electronic Attack Squadron 141 Whidbey Island, WA (Jul 2011)
- Commander Jason Strength-U.S. Navy Commander of Navy Recruiting District Nashville, TN (Jul 2011)
- Captain Greg Thomas-U.S. Navy Commander Norfolk Naval Shipyard (May 2011)
- Commander Mike Varney-U.S. Navy Commander attack submarine Connecticut (Jun 2011)
- Commander Jay Wylie-U.S. Navy Commander destroyer Momsen (Apr 2011)
Naval Officers fired: (All in 2012):
- Commander Alan C. Aber-Executive Officer Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 71 (July 2012)
- Commander Derick Armstrong- U.S. Navy Commander missile destroyer USS The Sullivans (May 2012)
- Commander Martin Arriola- U.S. Navy Commander destroyer USS Porter (Aug 2012)
- Captain Antonio Cardoso- U.S. Navy Commander Training Support Center San Diego (Sep 2012)
- Captain James CoBell- U.S. Navy Commander Oceana Naval Air Station’s Fleet Readiness Center Mid-Atlantic (Sep 2012)
- Captain Joseph E. Darlak- U.S. Navy Commander frigate USS Vandegrift (Nov 2012)
- Captain Daniel Dusek-U.S. Navy Commander USS Bonhomme
- Commander David Faught-Executive Officer destroyer Chung-Hoon (Sep 2012)
- Commander Franklin Fernandez- U.S. Navy Commander Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 24 (Aug 2012)
- Commander Ray Hartman- U.S. Navy Commander Amphibious dock-landing ship Fort McHenry (Nov 2012)
- Commander Shelly Hakspiel-Executive Officer Navy Drug Screening Lab San Diego (May 2012)
- Commander Jon Haydel- U.S. Navy Commander USS San Diego (Mar 2012)
- Commander Diego Hernandez- U.S. Navy Commander ballistic-missile submarine USS Wyoming (Feb 2012)
- Commander Lee Hoey- U.S. Navy Commander Drug Screening Laboratory, San Diego (May 2012)
- Commander Ivan Jimenez-Executive Officer frigate Vandegrift (Nov 2012)
- Commander Dennis Klein- U.S. Navy Commander submarine USS Columbia (May 2012)
- Captain Chuck Litchfield- U.S. Navy Commander assault ship USS Essex (Jun 2012)
- Captain Marcia Kim Lyons- U.S. Navy Commander Naval Health Clinic New England (Apr 2012)
- Captain Robert Marin- U.S. Navy Commander cruiser USS Cowpens (Feb 2012)
- Captain Sean McDonell- U.S. Navy Commander Seabee reserve unit Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 14 FL (Nov 2012)
- Commander Corrine Parker- U.S. Navy Commander Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 1 (Apr 2012)
- Captain Liza Raimondo- U.S. Navy Commander Naval Health Clinic Patuxent River, MD (Jun 2012)
- Captain Jeffrey Riedel- Program manager, Littoral Combat Ship program (Jan 2012)
- Commander Sara Santoski- U.S. Navy Commander Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron 15 (Sep 2012)
- Commander Kyle G. Strudthoff-Executive Officer Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 25 (Sep 2012)
- Commander Sheryl Tannahill- U.S. Navy Commander Navy Operational Support Center [NOSC] Nashville, TN (Sep 2012)
- Commander Michael Ward- U.S. Navy Commander submarine USS Pittsburgh (Aug 2012)
- Captain Michael Wiegand- U.S. Navy Commander Southwest Regional Maintenance Center (Nov 2012)
- Captain Ted Williams- U.S. Navy Commander amphibious command ship Mount Whitney (Nov 2012)
- Commander Jeffrey Wissel- U.S. Navy Commander of Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron 1 (Feb 2012)
Naval Officers fired: (All in 2013):
- Lieutenant Commander Lauren Allen-Executive Officer submarine Jacksonville (Feb 2013)
- Reserve Captain Jay Bowman-U.S. Navy Commander Navy Operational Support Center [NOSC] Fort Dix, NJ (Mar 2013)
- Captain William Cogar-U.S. Navy Commander hospital ship Mercy’s medical treatment facility (Sept 2013)
- Commander Steve Fuller-Executive Officer frigate Kauffman (Mar 2013)
- Captain Shawn Hendricks-Program Manager for naval enterprise IT networks (June 2013)
- Captain David Hunter-U.S. Navy Commander of Maritime Expeditionary Security Squadron 12 & Coastal Riverine Group 2 (Feb 2013)
- Captain Eric Johnson-U.S. Navy Chief of Military Entrance Processing Command at Great Lakes Naval Training Center, IL (2013)
- Captain Devon Jones-U.S. Navy Commander Naval Air Facility El Centro, CA (July 2013)
- Captain Kevin Knoop-U.S. Navy Commander hospital ship Comfort’s medical treatment facility (Aug 2013)
- Lieutenant Commander Jack O’Neill-U.S. Navy Commander Operational Support Center Rock Island, IL (Mar 2013)
- Commander Allen Maestas-Executive Officer Beachmaster Unit 1 (May 2013)
- Commander Luis Molina-U.S. Navy Commander submarine Pasadena (Jan 2013)
- Commander James Pickens-Executive Officer frigate Gary (Feb 2013)
- Lieutenant Commander Mark Rice-U.S. Navy Commander Mine Countermeasures ship Guardian (Apr 2013)
- Commander Michael Runkle-U.S. Navy Commander of Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit 2 (May 2013)
- Commander Jason Stapleton-Executive Office Patrol Squadron 4 in Hawaii (Mar 2013)
- Commander Nathan Sukols-U.S. Navy Commander submarine Jacksonville (Feb 2013)
- Lieutenant Daniel Tyler-Executive Officer Mine Countermeasures ship Guardian (Apr 2013)
- Commander Edward White-U.S. Navy Commander Strike Fighter Squadron 106 (Aug 2013)
- Captain Jeffrey Winter-U.S. Navy Commander of Carrier Air Wing 17 (Sept 2013)
- Commander Thomas Winter-U.S. Navy Commander submarine Montpelier (Jan 2013)
- Commander Corey Wofford- U.S. Navy Commander frigate Kauffman (Feb 2013)
So what do you think about all of this?
Do you believe that a “purge” of high ranking military officers is taking place?
Please feel free to share what you think by posting a comment below…
This article first appeared here at the American Dream. Michael Snyder is a writer, speaker and activist who writes and edits his own blogs The American Dream and Economic Collapse Blog. Follow him on Twitter here.
U.S. Military Changes Drone Rules to Make Targeting of Civilians Easier | A Lightning War for Liberty
The drone issue is just another topic in which President Barrack Obama has proven himself to be a world-class liar and master of deception. Despite his claims that drone strikes do little damage to civilian populations, in July we discovered that “of the 746 people killed in drone strikes in Pakistan from 2006-2009, an incredible 20% were civilians and 94 (13% of the total) were children.”
I suppose that number just isn’t good enough, because The Pentagon has decided to change the rules of engagement when it comes to drone strikes, now making iteasier to target civilians. From The Washington Times:
The Pentagon has loosened its guidelines on avoiding civilian casualties during drone strikes, modifying instructions from requiring military personnel to “ensure” civilians are not targeted to encouraging service members to “avoid targeting” civilians.
Hey cops, how about you “try to avoid” beating the shit out of people and violating their constitutional rights for no reason. Yeah, because that’ll work.
In addition, instructions now tell commanders that collateral damage “must not be excessive” in relation to mission goals, according to Public Intelligence, a nonprofit research group that analyzed the military’s directives on drone strikes.
Administration officials say the strikes are legal because the U.S. is at war with al Qaeda and its associates. They also insist there is a wide gap between the government’s civilian casualty count and those of human rights groups.
Right, we are at “war with al Qaeda,” when it is convenient to be at war with them. When it is convenient to be allies with al Qaeda, we will do that too.
Despite Mr. Obama’s pledge for more transparency on drone strikes, the administration “continues to answer legitimate questions and criticisms by saying, ‘We can’t really talk about this,’” said Naureen Shah, advocacy adviser at Amnesty International.
Can’t. Make. This. Stuff. Up.
Full article here.