"Ain't Gonna Study War No More"

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Location: Brooklyn, New York, United States

Right-To-Life Party, Christian, Anti-War, Pro-Life, Bible Fundamentalist, Egalitarian, Libertarian Left

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Can Americans Be Unplugged?

The ongoing bin Laden saga

"The Matrix is a system, Neo. That system is our enemy. But when you're inside, you look around, what do you see? Businessmen, teachers, lawyers, carpenters. The very minds of the people we are trying to save. But until we do, these people are still a part of that system, and that makes them our enemy. You have to understand, most of these people are not ready to be unplugged. And many of them are so inured, so hopelessly dependent on the system, that they will fight to protect it." - The Matrix (1999)

The ever-changing, ever-growing bin Laden story becomes ever more preposterous. The cowardly bin Laden is now the vain bin Laden, the terror mastermind who has nothing to do but to sit and watch videos of himself.

Washington released a video of an alleged bin Laden indulging in self-admiration, but there is no sound. Why? Was the video made without sound? Did Washington delete the audio? The video seems to show the alleged bin Laden speaking to someone in the room. Is the voice not bin Laden’s? Is the alleged bin Laden referring to the image on the screen in the third person, as not himself? Why would bin Laden have a video made of himself watching videos of himself? Why is a video of bin Laden watching bin Laden a headline story? Is it meant to substitute for the absence of a corpse?

As one reader put it, “The government is playing with us, experimenting to see if there is any tall tale we won’t believe.”

The story keeps changing as to whether “bin Laden’s compound,” no longer a million dollar luxury mansion, had Internet and communications or relied on couriers. The latest installment is that bin Laden was online. Washington says that the raid delivered into its hands bin Laden’s emails and diary, which, Washington claims, show an active bin Laden directing his terror network to carry out more plots. If bin Laden was online, why did Obama have to find him by trailing a courier?

Somehow the SEALs grabbed bin Laden’s diary and emails, but left all sorts of other documents that allegedly have fallen into Pakistani hands. These left-behind documents now serve as a pretext for more disputes with Pakistan and another excuse for ignoring Pakistan’s protests about the military operations the US carries out in Pakistan, violating the sovereignty of the country.

Why would the SEALs leave behind so many precious documents? First they kill for no reason the mastermind who could have revealed the world of terror; then they depart, leaving terror records behind. Some will say that this is typical US government incompetence. So how did such an incompetent government find bin Laden?

Any documents left behind were most likely carried in by the SEALs as plants.
Has anyone independent of Washington examined the alleged bin Laden diary and confirmed that it was in bin Laden’s handwriting? These kind of questions are the kind the media, back when we had one, used to ask.

The bin Laden story is now such a fable with so many contradictory bits that people can pick and choose to suit the telling. Time magazine likes it all, except the part about an all-powerful bin Laden, still in control, rejecting an underling’s proposal “to fit a tractor with rotating blades to use to ‘mow down the enemies of Allah.’” Time prefers a bin Laden who was unsettled by his realization that he had lost his “historic significance” prior to losing his life to the US Navy SEALs.

If bin Laden had lost his significance, why did Obama get such a boost in the polls from his claim that he found bin Laden and had him killed?

The American Empire cannot do without bin Laden. The next installment of the fable will be that bin Laden escaped, leaving behind a double, and is abroad carrying out more terror plots.

As the fable continues, try to rescue from the Memory Hole the fact that we were presented with a death without a corpse and that Washington has no explanation for why an unarmed, undefended, frail man, who was a font of terrorist information, was murdered and not captured.

By Paul Craig Roberts


No Expectation of Justice

Does Sarkozy Like Seeing France Get Dragged Through the Mud?

"American justice" is an oxymoron like "military intelligence" or "jumbo shrimp". The two words just don't fit together, in fact, they're polar opposites. The truth is, there is no expectation of justice in the United States today. Even the thought of it is laughable. Just look at the way the Dominique Strauss-Kahn matter has been handled. The former IMF chief "allegedly" tried to rape or force a maid at his fancy hotel to perform oral sex. As a result, he was arrested and thrown in jail.

Fine. But in America "what a man is accused of" is not supposed to matter. He's still entitled to a fair trial.

So, what are the chances that Strauss-Kahn will get a fair trial now that he's been blasted as a serial sex offender in about 3,000 articles and in all the televised news reports?

Not very good, I'd say.

Let me ask you: Why was DSK stripped of his suit and tie and paraded in handcuffs in front of the media after a sleepless night in the hoosegow? Were New York's finest trying to demonstrate their deep appreciation for the rule of law or did they think the overweight 62 year old was going to make a run-for-it?

And why is the media so quick to judge the man? Do they know something we don't know? Is there some reason why they trust the claims of an unidentified maid who no one has even talked to over Strauss-Kahn, or are they just following orders from on-high?

We all know that the media is an old hand at destroying people's lives and reputations. That's what they do and they're damn good at it. Have you talked to Bill Clinton recently? How about Scott Ritter, Michael Schiavo or Martha Stewart? The joke about the Bush administration was that, even though they were never tough on crime, at least they got Martha Stewart "off the streets".

Pretty funny, eh?

So, here's something to chew on: Anyone who thinks that the media is anything more than a stick that's used to beat political enemies is a fool. This whole incident has been set up to make Strauss-Kahn look like a perv before he even gets a chance to open his mouth. Which is why there's really is no expectation of justice. The whole thing is a farce. His goose is already cooked.

But doesn't the hypocrisy bother you a bit? I mean, do you remember any Wall Street bankers being dragged off in handcuffs when they blew up the financial system and bilked people out of trillions of dollars? Do you remember Tony Hayward being thrown in jail when BP dumped millions of gallons of untreated crude into the Gulf of Mexico? Do you remember anyone in the Bush administration doing time for leading the country into a war that killed over 1 million Iraqi civilians and displaced 4 million more?

The people who make the rules aren't bothered by fraud, rape, murder or any other crime. Hell no. It just doesn't matter to them because there are no consequences. They do what they want and let someone else worry about it. But that rule doesn't apply to Strauss-Kahn, which makes me think that he must have pissed off some very important people who decided he needed to be taught a lesson.

That's it, isn't it? He stepped on the wrong people's toes. Now he's a dead duck.

Here's a thought experiment: Let's say the shoe was on the other foot. Let's say that the head of the World Bank Robert Zoellick (who is an American citizen) was arrested in France on similar charges. Let's say he was kept up all night, plopped in a raincoat, then frog-marched in front of the media flanked by a small army of cops.

What do you think Obama's reaction would be? Do you think he'd let anyone drag the US through the mud like that or do you think he'd grab the nearest phone and read Sarkozy the riot act? And how long do you think it would be before every newspaper and every pundit and every politician in America was demanding Zoellick's immediate release?

I'll bet it would it take no more 24 hours before the F-16's were screeching over Paris pounding the Louvre and Notre Dame with laser-guided missiles and bunker busters sending terrified civilians scampering for cover.

No one fu**s with the Godfather. No one. Not unless they want a whole lotta trouble.

So, why hasn't Sarkozy called Obama? Does he like seeing France get kicked around in public? Is that it? Or was Sarkozy in on this little scam from the get-go, and now he's just thrilled-to-death that his biggest rival in the upcoming presidential race has been knocked out of the running?

Funny how that works, isn't it? It almost seems like it was planned.

In any event, Strauss-Kahn's career is over. My guess is that the reforms he planned to announce at the upcoming Bretton Woods conference would have cost some very wealthy people alot of money, and they didn't like that. So they had him removed.

By Mike Whitney