Tag Archives: Clinton

2016 Hillary-Michelle ‘Dream Ticket’

2016 Hillary-Michelle ‘Dream Ticket’ floated

Paul Bedard

Hillary Clinton hasn’t stepped into the 2016 Democratic presidential primaries yet and there’s already buzz growing for the ultimate grrl power ticket: Clinton and first lady Michelle Obama.

“All due respect for President Obama and Vice President Biden, but that would truly be a dream team for America,” said former Clinton spokeswoman Karen Finney. “Both women are proven effective leaders who’ve raise children, so dealing with Congress would be a snap!” added Finney, also a former Democratic Party spokeswoman.

“More than anything else, this reflects the growing awareness that it is time for the glass ceiling of the last old boys club to be firmly shattered,” added Democratic strategist Chris Lehane.

It’s not just talk. Bumper stickers reading “2016-Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama,” and “Hillary-Michelle 2016 First First Lady Ticket For President” are popping up. Cafe Press said sales of the Hillary-Michelle bumper sticker saw a 60% increase from December to March, with the largest uptick in March.
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“I look forward to the day when a woman can run for the presidency without so much parody and fanfare,” said former Al Gore campaign manager Donna Brazile.

Democratic strategists say that Clinton is a lock to get into the race. Not only is she far ahead of Biden and others in polls, she still has a strong donor network from her 2008 campaign. Former advisor Terry McAuliffe recently told Secrets that she will make up her mind next year. President Obama has also talked Clinton up, choosing her as the only retiring Cabinet secretary to hold an outgoing “60 Minutes” interview with.

Recently, there has been some talk that Obama would be a good Illinois Senate candidate after the White House, much like Clinton, who ran for and won a Senate seat in New York. But teaming her with Clinton would create a political and fundraising force that would be impossible to beat on the Democratic side.

Pollster John Zogby, however, questions if the ticket would sell. “Hillary and Michelle are both very popular and accomplished, but this smacks of too much celebrity and is a tad too dynastic for American voters,” he said. “An interesting reality show, yes. A ticket, no.”

And if they did run and win, questions would turn to the husbands. Suggested Finney: “They could play golf and help support their wive’s agenda.”

George P. Bush

George P. Bush to Run For Office in Texas
by Free Britney

The 36-year-old Bush has made a campaign filing in Texas that is required of candidates planning to run for state office, an official said Thursday night.

A Fort Worth resident, he filed a campaign treasurer appointment Wednesday, a requirement for someone to become a candidate under campaign finance law.

The report does not specify what office George P. Bush might seek, if any, and there were no other details on the filing, which wasn’t available online.

In September, he did acknowledge his goal was to run for office in the near future and confirmed that he had his eyes on several statewide offices.

Raised in Florida, where his dad was governor, Bush decided to settle in Texas, home to his uncle and his grandfather, former President George H.W. Bush.

He runs a consulting firm and has been active in Republican Party outreach to college students. He’s also the co-founder of Hispanic Republicans of Texas.

Jeb Bush married Columba Garnica Gallo, a Mexican-born philanthropist, in 1974. They also have another son, Jeb Jr., and a daughter, Noelle.

Ana Navarro, who was the national Hispanic co-chairwoman for John McCain when he ran for president in 2008, tweeted her enthusiasm Thursday:

“Wrote check for my friend, @georgepbush newly formed exploratory committee for office in TX. Young, pragmatic, Hispanic, just what GOP needs.”

Bush and his wife, Amanda, met while attending law school at the University of Texas. After working as a lawyer, Bush became a partner in a real estate investment firm.

He has started his second company, St. Augustine Partners, a business consulting firm aimed at small- and medium-market energy industries.

Bush also has Navy service on his resume, including a six-month deployment to Afghanistan, where, for security purposes, he was given a different name.

Not even those he was serving alongside knew he was a Bush.SOURCE

Attack On White House By Mexican Cartel Stuns Obama Regime – Cant understand why, They armed them in exchange for Drugs.

Attack On White House By Mexican Cartel Stuns Obama Regime – Cant understand why, They armed them in exchange for Drugs.

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A new Federal Security Services (FSB) report circulating in the Kremlin today states that the Obama regime was stunned this past weekend after a brazen attack on the White House was carried out by members associated with at least two Mexican drug cartels that shattered at least one window in what is arguably the most protected building in the world.

According to this report, and confirmed by the US Secret Service, this Friday past at least 2 bullets from an AK-47 semi-automatic assault rifle were fired at the White House with one reported to have reached the building’s internal anti-ballistics glass which was shattered by the impact.

The timing of this attack, according to the FSB, was meant to occur when President Obama (he had just begun a trip to Asia) was not in the building as the normally high security when he is there, though still potent, is somewhat relaxed.

The FSB further reports the firing of just 2 bullets was a deliberate attempt by the attackers to thwart the White House areas acoustical-detection system which under normal conditions needs at least 3 shots before it can accurately pinpoint the location from which the shots are being fired from.

Later Friday evening, this FSB report continues, the vehicle from which the shots were fired from was located by US Secret Service, FBI and local police authorities with the AK-47 laying across the back seat with a warning note saying “Aquí está uno de los nuestros, no la suya necesitan,” roughly translated from its original Spanish meaning… “Here’s one of ours, we don’t need yours.”

The FSB states that the warning note found on the AK-47 was in direct reference to the Obama regimes gun-running efforts (known as Operation Fast and Furious) to arm the dangerous Sinaloa Cartel as it battles to gain supremacy in a Mexican Drug War that has so far cost nearly 40,000 lives.

The Sinaloa Cartel, whose leader Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman was just named by Forbes as one of the wealthiest and most powerful people in the world, is backed by the Obama regime over their fears the Mexican government is collapsing.

Citing an unnamed CIA source, a recent Washington Times article theorizes that the Obama regime was actively aiding the Sinaloa Cartel with guns and immunity in an effort to stymie the Los Zetas Cartel. That’s because, according to the article, the powerful and brutal criminal Zetas syndicate has the potential to overthrow the government of Mexico — and might be planning to do so.

To who directed this unprecedented attack against the White House the FSB states was a Knights Templar Drug Cartel assassin smuggled into the US from Mexico by the brutal drug gang known as Barrio Azteca which has recently extended its reach to the American State of Idaho.

Both the FSB and US news report identify the Knights Templar assassin as Oscar Ramiro Ortega, a 21-year-old Mexican national who the FBI is currently seeking in Idaho, but who Russian intelligence experts say may already have already been secretly captured by the CIA.

Lending credence to the Russian experts who say Ortega may have already been captured and tortured for information by the CIA are reports emerging from Mexico that the leader of the quasi-religious Knights of Templar drug gang, Juan Gabriel Orozco Favela, was captured Monday in a combined raid on his headquarters by US and Mexican special forces troops.

Important to note, this FSB report says, is that coinciding with this historic attack on the White House was the assassination of Mexican Interior Minister Francisco Blake Mora whose helicopter was shot down over Mexico City on Friday, a shocking death that saddened President Obama.

The FSB reports that Mora was “targeted” due to his allowing the Obama regime to send hundreds of CIA and US Military forces into Mexico in what many Mexicans consider a blatant violation of their sovereignty, but Russian intelligence experts say were needed due to the inability of Mexican authorities to control what is actually an “all-out” war.

Unfortunately for the American people is their not being allowed to know from their “mainstream” media that the deadliest war of the 21st Century is currently being waged on their own border, and with Mexican drug cartels now reported to be operating in nearly every US State.

As American law enforcement authorities are now warning that they are tracking what appears to be a more aggressive approach toward the United States by Mexican drug cartels, and the powerful Sinaloa Cartel is now warned is considering a military assault against US government or media buildings in Mexico City, and as many of these cartels also have moved some of their marijuana cultivation into the Upper Midwest of the United States, one should think the knowledge of these things should be of vital importance.

The “powers that be” in the US, however, think otherwise leaving their citizens in great danger from the greater horrors to come…and by this latest attack on the White House shows its coming much sooner than later.

SOURCE

Herman Cain…More of the Same?

Herman Cain asked Henry Kissinger to be his secretary of state

By Holly Bailey

Herman Cain says he asked former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger to join his administration but that he was rebuffed.

“Dr. Kissinger turned down my offer to be secretary of state,”
Cain told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in an interview this week. “He said he’s perfectly happy doing what he’s doing.”

(UPDATE: A Cain spokesman now tells the Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza his boss did not actually ask Kissinger to be secretary of state. Cain’s campaign did not respond to a request for comment from Yahoo News.)

Cain has cited Kissinger, who previously served as secretary of state under Presidents Nixon and Ford, as one of his key foreign policy influences. Kissinger, who is 88, met with Cain last month to talk foreign policy and continues to occasionally consult with the GOP hopeful, according to Cain’s campaign.

But Kissinger isn’t the only person Cain would like to see in his potential administration. Asked about who else he would hire, Cain cited former United Nations ambassador John Bolton, South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint and Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan—though he didn’t specifically say what roles he’d like for them to fill.

You can watch a portion of Cain’s interview here, courtesy the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:


Cain’s comments came as part of a larger interview with the paper, in which he experienced his own “oops” moment on foreign policy. Asked about how his policy toward Libya would be different than President Obama’s, Cain appeared to blank, offering an unclear response full of stops and starts.

J.D. Gordon, Cain’s spokesman, has defended his boss’s performance, telling the New York Times Cain was sleep-deprived during the interview. But the larger question was why Cain agreed to the interview at all.

According to the Huffington Post’s Sam Stein, Mark Block, Cain’s chief of staff, requested the sit-down, according to the paper, not the other way around.

SOURCE

Congressman: Secret Report On TSA Pat Downs, Body Scanner Failures Will “Knock Your Socks Off

Congressman: Secret Report On TSA Pat Downs, Body Scanner Failures Will “Knock Your Socks Off

Steve Watson


“Off the charts”
failure rate “sort of like the record of the Marx Brothers”

The chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, which oversees the TSA, has asserted that the release of a classified report on TSA security failures will renew calls for the replacement of the agency with private airport security personnel.

The failure rate (for body scanning equipment) is classified but it would absolutely knock your socks off,” Florida Republican, Rep. John L. Mica told reporters during a briefing Monday.

Mica also asserted that recorded instances of pat downs failing to detect contraband are “off the charts.” This information is also currently still classified, but is due to be released within weeks as part of an upcoming committee report on the TSA’s first decade.

Mica suggested that the TSA’s performance report would read “sort of like the record of the Marx Brothers”.

The TSA has withheld results of its official security tests, despite repeated requests to release the information under the Freedom of Information Act.

The Department of Homeland Security has classified the results of the most recent random, covert “red team tests,” where undercover agents try to see what they can get past airport security. The reason they have done so, according to MIca, is because the results have been so shockingly and consistently bad for the past nine years.

Mica further slammed the TSA Monday, ripping into the agency’s latest experimental security “chat down” procedure.

The chairman referred to the pilot program of “behaviour detection” being tested at Boston Logan airport as an “idiotic mess”.

Describing the program as a poor man’s version of Israeli interrogation security techniques, Mica noted that that the pilot is merely an extension of an already existing program that the Government Accountability Office concluded had little scientific credibility and had cost “a quarter billion” in hiring additional TSA officers.

“This is no joke,” Mica told reporters at the briefing, adding that he had personally visited Logan airport and witnessed first hand the failures of the program.

“I put my ear up and listened to some idiotic questions,” Mica said of the “chat down” procedure, also noting that TSA officers expressed a lack of understanding of the program they had supposedly been trained to engage in.

“I talked to them about their training, which was minimal,” Mica said, adding “It’s almost idiotic… It’s still not a risk-based system. It’s not a thinking system.”

The program is set to be beta tested in Detroit next, before being rolled out nationwide.

Mica repeatedly argued that the TSA’s role at airports could be undertaken in a more efficient and less costly manner by private companies, albeit ultimately still under the supervision of the federal government.

Back in March, the Congressman charged that the TSA intentionally fixed data to ensure that federal workers were employed to screen airport passengers, rather than private contractors.

“TSA cooked the books to try to eliminate the federal-private screening program,” said Mica at the time.

The Congressman was referring to revelations from federal auditors that cost differentials between federal employees and private contractors were overstated by the TSA.

Though the agency contends it was an “error”, The TSA made it appear that it was more cost effective for airports to use federal government workers for security “by increasing the costs for private-contractor screeners relative to federal screeners,” government auditors wrote.

The 2001 Aviation Transportation Security Act, which created the TSA, contained an option written in by Congress allowing airports to choose between using TSA workers and private screeners. It is known as the Security Partnership Program (SPP).

Currently, sixteen airports throughout the country use private contractors under the SPP, however, the TSA has since actively prevented other airports from joining the program, as more and more express an interest in dropping the federal workforce in wake of an epidemic of TSA scandals and failures.

Mica, who helped create the TSA after 9/11, has repeatedly stated that he believes the agency is now completely out of control and believes it should be radically reformed.

SOURCE

National Healthcare Will Require National RFID Chips

National Healthcare Will Require National RFID Chips

by Timothy Baldwin

Now that the healthcare bill has passed and been signed into law, one must inquire: How will the federal government keep track of the millions of persons in America now (supposedly) required to operate according to the federal government’s healthcare program?

Now that the federal government is responsible to ensure that millions of people’s health concerns are treated or eliminated, how will the federal government distribute, execute, and ration its resources paid for by tax dollars? Now that the federal government has a vested interest in the health of hundreds of millions of Americans, how will they ensure that the system itself can be maintained by the government?

Identifying the means and methods by which the government will accomplish their task is less than speculative. Though the legislation itself does not mandate this technology to be used, as we reported five years ago, the implantation of Radio Frequency Identification chips (RFID) into all persons within the government’s healthcare system for purposes of “prevention, detection and treatment of diseases” is a primary objective of a number of government officials and industry proponents. Whether or not they will be successful in doing so remains to be seen.

RFID Chip

What is the RFID chip? It is a small electronic computer device placed into the skin of a person that can be used for identification, tracking, information storage and interfacing with external sources, such as for financial, business, commercial, governmental, educational, and medical institutions. In other words, an RFID can be utilized for every area of life.

Many legitimate and natural questions have been raised about RFID chips, like: What are the societal risks of the RFID chip? What are the foreseeable or likely governmental abuses? How does its implementation relate to the principles of freedom in a Constitutional Republic? Will I be able to maintain my rights of privacy and other liberties if I have an RFID implanted in my skin for societal and governmental purposes? As we will show, the answers are very relevant, because it is known that the federal government will likely mandate that these RFID chips be implanted into all persons in America.

The German IT industry group BITKOM recently conducted a survey that found that one out of four Germans would willingly, without force of law, have a RFID chip placed inside their skin for societal and governmental purposes. Perhaps those in the United States are not much different. The idea of a microchip being implanted into your body for these purposes has been around for several years and is only becoming more popular and accepted.

Advocates for RFID for Societal and Government Purposes

Some of the most well-known and widely listened to news commentators and political leaders have advocated the use of RFID chips for societal and government purposes. Andy Rooney, news commentator on CBS’s 60 Minutes, said on February 10, 2002: “Something has to change. They have to find a better way to identify the bad guys or the rest of us are gonna’ stay home and watch the world go by on television…. We need some system for permanently identifying safe people…. I wouldn’t mind having something planted permanently in my arm that would identify me.’

While interviewing Scott Silverman (Applied Digital CEO), Sean Hannity said on October 24, 2008: “[Parents are saying:] we can’t even allow our kids to play in the front yard. Is there anything — technologically speaking — that [parents] can do that can help the situation, like a kidnapping. Is there, for example, a microchip…we can use for our kids?” In the interview, Silverman describes a PLD, which is an acronym for “Personal Locating Device,” which is an RFID chip. This PLD is to be implanted into the body of the “child or someone you are interested in tracking.”

While Hannity initially presents the RFID’s use into the context of “protecting children from being kidnapped,” Silverman quickly admits the multi-function purpose of the RFID: “It is the first implantable microchip for humans that has multiple security, financial and healthcare applications.” Sean Hannity’s response: “I love this idea, Scott.” Security, financial, and healthcare: These are the vast categories of use which would encompass all of human life and activity in America.

Three years earlier, Silverman already outlined his ambitions for revolutionizing healthcare in the United States. A July 25, 2005 WebMD article opened with this bold query: “They’re here. They have FDA approval. But are Americans ready to get chipped?”

According to WebMD, Silverman offered the following statistics as support for his company’s technology in relation to medical care:

“When we first announced VeriChip, a network poll asked people if they would put one in their bodies,”
Silverman tells WebMD. “Only 9% said yes. After FDA approval, 19% said yes. When former HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson joined our board, the rate went up to 33%. But our own study shows that if you ask people whether they would have a VeriChip implant to identify their medical records in case of an emergency, the positive response goes to 80%.”

WebMD concluded its report with this unsettling thought: “… Silverman says, some 2,000 people worldwide are using them for medical or security purposes. But soon he expects that millions of people will get VeriChip implants every year.”

On July 31, 2005, in an articled titled \'Health Chips\' Could Help Patients in US,” The Business reported: “President Bush’s former health secretary Tommy Thompson is putting the final touches to a plan that could result in US citizens having a radio frequency identification (RFID) chip inserted under their skin.” Thompson’s purpose in doing so? According to The Business: “The RFID capsules would be linked to a computerised database being created by the US Department of Health to store and manage the nation’s health records.”

Two months before these scattered news reports made less-than-noticed headlines, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) and Senator Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) introduced S. 1262, the “Health Technology to Enhance Quality Act of 2005.” During a press conference at George Washington University Hospital, Senator Clinton stated: “This legislation marries technology and quality to create a seamless, efficient health care system for the 21st century.” Senator Frist characterized it as “an interoperable national health information technology system.” The only way to have an interoperable information system is to have a unique identifier for each person in the system, which can’t be altered, lost, stolen, or tampered with. In 2005, Clinton and her allies sought to lay the technological infrastructure for just such a system. Now that health care has been nationalized, why would they approach things any differently?

So, will the “common person” in America accept the implantation of an RFID for societal and government purposes? Some already are. Daniel Hickey, a retired Navy Commander, expresses his of-course-attitude when interviewed by Channel 5, WPTZ news: “They’ve been putting them into dogs and cats for years. It’s about time they put them into human beings.” Perhaps like Germany, the numbers of those who accept this idea in America will only continue to grow.

Plans for RFID Chips for Healthcare

The facts already establish that certain infrastructure in America is being implemented to incorporate the use and application of the RFID chip. Today, hospitals throughout America are already implementing RFID technology and have begun implanting RFID chips into their patients for medical purposes, such as those who suffer from Alzheimer.

Openly, “a number of U.S. hospitals have begun implanting patients with RFID tags and using RFID systems, usually for workflow and inventory management.” There are various groups that openly advocate for the use of RFID chips for all medical patients. As a result of this movement, many predict that the investment value of RFID technology will increase exponentially and dramatically, making many people very rich.

Even “the Department of Homeland Security has indicated it likes the concept of RFID chips,” CNN reported several years ago in an article about the Real ID Act. For what purpose does Homeland Security like RFID chips to be implanted into people’s skin? You name it. The same CNN report also noted that the Real ID Act required that “the IDs must include a ‘common machine-readable technology’ that must meet requirements set out by the Department of Homeland Security.” — which could very well have meant RFID chips, though as the article pointed out, other possibilities could have included magnetic strips or enhanced bar codes. The Real ID Act requirements were derailed by a firestorm of resistance from the states. But there is, without question, a push by the private industry, investors, and the federal government to accept and (as time will tell) force this type of technology for “security, financial and healthcare” purposes.

Pre-Obama Nationalization of Healthcare and Use of RFID

What few people know is that the federal government has been making attempts to national the healthcare system for years, relating back to the Clinton administration’s push to create a National Identification for medical purposes, and which continued during the Bush administration.

To effectuate a national healthcare system, the federal government advances the use of RFID technology to be used in each medical patient for healthcare purposes. More than just for the treatment of the patient, the federal government proposes a “nationwide electronic health care information network for research and disease prevention.”

Without equivocation, on October 19, 1992, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Louis W. Sullivan, said: “It is our intention to act on our own and with the private sector in every area where we have authority to bring the new electronic network into being.” It was this same “electronic network” of healthcare that was advanced by G.W. Bush during his administration: “Strengthening the health care safety net is a necessary part of improving American’s access to care.”

To the federal government, the purpose of creating a nationalized electronic safety network was to “research to improve the prevention, detection and treatment of diseases.” As became law under the Medicare Prescription Drug Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003, the federal government recognized their role in “disease management programs” through their healthcare safety network. Then, one year after the FDA approved the full use of the RFID chips in humans, by executive order in 2005, G.W. Bush ordered HHS “to create a nationwide interoperable health information technology infrastructure.”

In conjunction with and to the end of creating a nationwide health information infrastructure, HHS is to advance “the development, adoption, and implementation of health information technology standards nationally through collaboration among public and private interests that are consistent with current efforts of the Federal Government [for the prevention, detection and treatment of diseases].” This collaboration with public and private interests easily identifies the method by which this national safety network system will be effectuated: RFID technology.

Some of the most highly influential medical groups and organizations propose not only that the private industry utilize RFID technology, but also that the federal government use its “policy-making” power to advance its use of an electronic healthcare safety network and to abandon the old methods. In short, each patient would and should be required to possess an RFID chip before getting medical treatment.

The New Healthcare Application

Today, the federal government has more motivation and incentive than ever to create and mandate a national safety network system. They have been working on it for 20 years or more, but its reality is with us today. The federal government now has the responsibility and power to control much (if not all) of the regulations and systems used in the medical industry, including how patients will be identified, processed, and treated through the system. Its vested interest in the entire medical industry and in the cost of healthcare for each person will undoubtedly create a system of control upon the lives of those within its system.

To do this, facts reveal that the federal government will utilize RFID chip technology and will require every person within the healthcare system to receive this chip into their bodies. For some Americans, this may be acceptable, just as it is for one out of four persons in Germany. For others Americans, this is going to be a serious and fundamental line in the sand.

Consequently, these questions must be asked. Who will submit? Who will resist? What will the states do to protect their citizens from these mandates? What will the states do to require their citizens to comply with these mandates? What will the individual do to receive medical treatment who does not take this chip? Where will the individual go to receive quality medical treatment if all medical facilities require that you have this RFID chip? What penalties will be imposed upon those who do not take this chip?

These are all questions which must be answered and realized, because inevitably, the federal government will do all that it can to implement a RFID chip system.

SOURCE

Why Obama Should Withdraw From The 2012 Race

Why Obama should withdraw

Steve Chapman

When Ronald Reagan ran for re-election in 1984, his slogan was “Morning in America.” For Barack Obama, it’s more like midnight in a coal mine.

The sputtering economy is about to stall out, unemployment is high, his jobs program may not pass, foreclosures are rampant and the poor guy can’t even sneak a cigarette.

His approval rating is at its lowest level ever. His party just lost two House elections — one in a district it had held for 88 consecutive years. He’s staked his future on the jobs bill, which most Americans don’t think would work.

The vultures are starting to circle. Former White House spokesman Bill Burton said that unless Obama can rally the Democratic base, which is disillusioned with him, “it’s going to be impossible for the president to win.” Democratic consultant James Carville had one word of advice for Obama: “Panic.

But there is good news for the president. I checked the Constitution, and he is under no compulsion to run for re-election. He can scrap the campaign, bag the fundraising calls and never watch another Republican debate as long as he’s willing to vacate the premises by Jan. 20, 2013.

That might be the sensible thing to do. It’s hard for a president to win a second term when unemployment is painfully high. If the economy were in full rebound mode, Obama might win anyway. But it isn’t, and it may fall into a second recession — in which case voters will decide his middle name is Hoover, not Hussein. Why not leave of his own volition instead of waiting to get the ax?

It’s not as though there is much enticement to stick around. Presidents who win re-election have generally found, wrote John Fortier and Norman Ornstein in their 2007 book, “Second-Term Blues,” that “their second terms did not measure up to their first.”

Presidential encores are generally a bog of frustration, exhaustion and embarrassment. They are famous for lowest moments rather than finest hours. Richard Nixon was forced to resign in disgrace, Reagan had the Iran-Contra scandal, and Bill Clinton made the unfortunate acquaintance of Monica Lewinsky.

Administration officials get weary after four years and leave in droves. The junior varsity has to be put into service. New ideas are hard to come by.

Someone said that when a man is smitten with a beautiful woman, he should remember that somebody somewhere is tired of her. Likewise, the most inspiring presidents get stale after years of constant overexposure.

In the event he wins, Obama could find himself with Republicans in control of both houses of Congress. Then he will long for the good old days of 2011. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker John Boehner will bound out of bed each day eager to make his life miserable.

Besides avoiding this indignity, Obama might do his party a big favor. In hard times, voters have a powerful urge to punish incumbents. He could slake this thirst by stepping aside and taking the blame. Then someone less reviled could replace him at the top of the ticket.

The ideal candidate would be a figure of stature and ability who can’t be blamed for the economy. That person should not be a member of Congress, since it has an even lower approval rating than the president’s.

It would also help to be conspicuously associated with prosperity. Given Obama’s reputation for being too quick to compromise, a reputation for toughness would be an asset.

As it happens, there is someone at hand who fits this description: Hillary Clinton. Her husband presided over a boom, she’s been busy deposing dictators instead of destroying jobs, and she’s never been accused of being a pushover.

Not only that, Clinton is a savvy political veteran who already knows how to run for president. Oh, and a new Bloomberg poll finds her to be merely “the most popular national political figure in America today.”

If he runs for re-election, Obama may find that the only fate worse than losing is winning. But he might arrange things so it will be Clinton who has the unenviable job of reviving the economy, balancing the budget, getting out of Afghanistan and grappling with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor. Obama, meanwhile, will be on a Hawaiian beach, wrestling the cap off a Corona.

Steve Chapman is a member of the Tribune’s editorial board and blogs at chicagotribune.com/chapman

SOURCE

Americas Planned Nuclear Attack on Libya

Americas Planned Nuclear Attack on Libya


Posted on 11. Apr, 2011 by Editor in US
[Translate]

By Michel Chossudovsky

A war on Libya has been on the drawing board of the Pentagon for more than 20 years. Using nukes against Libya was first envisaged in 1996.

On April 14th 1986, Ronald Reagan ordered a series of bombings directed against Libya under “Operation El Dorado Canyon“, in reprisal for an alleged Libya sponsored terrorist bombing of a Berlin discotheque. The pretext was fabricated. During these air raids, which were condemned by both France and Italy, Qadhafi’s residence was bombed killing his younger daughter.

Barely acknowledged by the Western media, a planned attack on Libya using nuclear weapons, had been contemplated by the Clinton Administration in 1996, at the height of the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

The Department of Defense had developed a new generation of bunker buster tactical nuclear weapons for use in the Middle East and Central Asia:

“Military officials and leaders of America’s nuclear weapon laboratories [had] urged the US to develop a new generation of precision low-yield nuclear weapons…which could be used in conventional conflicts with third-world nation
s.” (Federation of American Scientists, 2001, emphasis added)

The B61-11 earth-penetrating weapon with a nuclear warhead had not been tested. It was part of the B61 series, coupled with a so-called “low yield” nuclear warhead. According to US military sources: “If used in North Korea, the radioactive fallout [of the B61-11] could drift over nearby countries such as Japan.” (B61-11 Earth-Penetrating Weapon, Globalsecurity.org). The B61-11 earth-penetrating version of the B61 was configured initially to have a “low” 10 kiloton yield, 66.6 percent of a Hiroshima bomb, for post-Cold War battlefield operations in the Middle East and Central Asia.

The Pentagon’s Plan to Nuke Libya

The B61-11 tactical nuclear weapon was slated by the Pentagon to be used in 1996 against the “Qadhafi regime”:

Senior Pentagon officials ignited controversy last April [1996] by suggesting that the earth-penetrating [nuclear] weapon would soon be available for possible use against a suspected underground chemical factory being built by Libya at Tarhunah. This thinly-veiled threat came just eleven days after the United States signed the African Nuclear Weapons Free Zone Treaty, designed to prohibit signatories from using or threatening to use nuclear weapons against any other signatory, including Libya.” (David Muller, Penetrator N-Bombs, International Action Center, 1997)

Tarbunah has a population of more than 200,000 people, men, women and children. It is about 60 km East of Tripoli. Had this “humanitarian bomb” (with a “yield” or explosive capacity of two-thirds of a Hiroshima bomb) been launched on this “suspected” WMD facility, it would have resulted in tens of thousands of deaths, not to mention the nuclear fallout…

The man behind this diabolical project to nuke Libya was Assistant Secretary of Defense Harold Palmer Smith Junior. “Even before the B61 came on line, Libya was identified as a potential target”. (Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists – September/ October 1997, p. 27, emphasis added)

Harold Palmer Smith had been appointed by President Bill Clinton to oversee nuclear, chemical, and biological defense programs with a focus on “the reduction and maintenance of the US arsenal of nuclear weapons”. From the outset, his actual mandate, was not “reduce” but to “increase” the nuclear arsenal by promoting the development of a new generation of “harmless” mini-nukes for use in the Middle East war theater.

Testing” the B611-11 Nuclear Bomb on an Actual Country

The Department of Defense’s objective under Harold Smith’s advice was to fasttrack the “testing” of the B61-11 nuclear bomb on an actual country:

Five months after [Assistant Defense Secretary] Harold Smith called for an acceleration of the B61-11 production schedule, he went public with an assertion that the Air Force would use the B61-11 [nuclear weapon] against Libya’s alleged underground chemical weapons plant at Tarhunah if the President decided that the plant had to be destroyed. “We could not take [Tarhunah] out of commission using strictly conventional weapons,” Smith told the Associated Press.The B61-11 “would be the nuclear weapon of choice,” he told Jane’s Defence Weekly.

Smith gave the statement during a breakfast interview with reporters after Defense Secretary William Perry had earlier told a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on chemical or biological weapons that the U.S. retained the option of using nuclear weapons against countries armed with chemical and biological weapons. (http://www.nukestrat.com/us/afn/B61-11.htm, emphasis added)

While the Pentagon later denied its intention to bomb Libya’s Tarhunah plant, it nonetheless confirmed that “Washington would not rule out using nuclear weapons [against Libya]“. (Ibid., emphasis added.)

Nukes and Mini-Nukes: Iraq and Afghanistan

The US military contends that “mini-nukes” are “humanitarian bombs” which minimize “collateral damage“. According to scientific opinion on contract to the Pentagon, they are “harmless to the surrounding civilian population because the explosion is underground”,

The B61-11 is a bon fide thermonuclear bomb, a Weapon of Mass Destruction (WMD) in the real sense of the word.

Military documents distinguish between the Nuclear Earth Penetrator (NEP) and the “mini-nuke”, which are nuclear weapons with a yield of less than 10 kilotons (two-thirds of a Hiroshima bomb). The NEP can have a yield of up to a 1000 kilotons, or seventy times a Hiroshima bomb.

This distinction between mini-nukes and the NEP is in many regards misleading. In practice there is no dividing line. We are broadly dealing with the same type of weaponry: the B61-11 has several “available yields“, ranging from “low yields” of less than one kiloton, to mid-range, and up to the 1000 kiloton bomb.

In all cases, the radioactive fallout is devastating. Moreover, the B61 series of thermonuclear weapons includes several models with distinct specifications: the B61-11, the B61-3, B61- 4, B61-7 and B61-10. Each of these bombs has several available yields””.

What is contemplated for theater use is the “low yield” 10 kt bomb, two-thirds of a Hiroshima bomb.

The Libya 1997 “Nuclear Option” had set the Stage…

Neither the Bush nor the Obama administrations have excluded using thermonuclear bunker buster bombs in the Middle East war theater. These weapons were specifically developed for use in post Cold War “conventional conflicts with third world nations”. They were approved for use in the conventional war theater by the US Senate in 2002, following the adoption of the 2001 Nuclear Posture Review.

In October 2001, in the immediate wake of 9/11, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld envisaged the use of the B61-11 in Afghanistan. The stated targets were Al Qaeda cave bunkers in the Tora Bora mountains.

Rumsfeld stated at the time that while the “conventional” bunker buster bombs “‘are going to be able to do the job’…he did not rule out the eventual use of nuclear weapons.” (Quoted in the Houston Chronicle, 20 October 2001, emphasis added.)

The use of the B61-11 was also contemplated during the 2003 bombing and invasion of Iraq. In this regard, the B61-11 was described as “a precise, earth-penetrating low-yield nuclear weapon against high-value underground targets“, which included Saddam Hussein’s underground bunkers:

“If Saddam was arguably the highest value target in Iraq, then a good case could be made for using a nuclear weapon like the B61-11 to assure killing him and decapitating the regime.” (Defense News, December 8, 2003, emphasis added)

All options are on the table“… Sheer madness. Nukes to implement “regime change”… What Rumsfeld had proposed, as part of a “humanitarian mandate“, was the use of a nuclear bomb to “take out” the president of a foreign country.


(author’s note: There is no documentary evidence that the B61-11 was used against Iraq).

Is a Nuclear Attack on Libya Still on the Pentagon’s Drawing Board?

“The Coalition of the Willing
” under US-NATO mandate is currently involved in “a humanitarian war” on Libya to “protect the lives of innocent civilians”.

Is the use of a nuclear bomb excluded under the Alliance’s R2P Responsibility to Protect Doctrine?

The Bush administration’s 2001 nuclear doctrine contained specific “guidelines” regarding “preemptive” nuclear strikes against several countries in the broader Middle East Central Asian region, which explictly included Libya.

As revealed by William Arkin in early 2002, “The Bush administration, in a secret policy review… [had] ordered the Pentagon to draft contingency plans for the use of nuclear weapons [The 2001 Nuclear Posture Review approved by the Senate in late 2002] against at least seven countries, naming not only Russia and the “axis of evil”–Iraq, Iran, and North Korea–but also China, Libya and Syria. (See William Arkin, “Thinking the Unthinkable”, Los Angeles Times, 9 March 2002)

In addition, the U.S. Defense Department has been told to prepare for the possibility that nuclear weapons may be required in some future Arab-Israeli crisis. And, it is to develop plans for using nuclear weapons to retaliate against chemical or biological attacks, as well as “surprising military developments” of an unspecified nature. These and a host of other directives, including calls for developing bunker-busting mini-nukes and nuclear weapons that reduce collateral damage, are contained in a still-classified document called the Nuclear Posture Review (NPR), which was delivered to Congress on Jan. 8. (ibid)

The preemptive nuclear doctrine (DJNO) –endorsed by the Obama Administration– allows for the preemptive use of “mini nukes” in conventional war theaters directed against “rogue states”. While the “guidelines” do not exclude other (more deadly) categories of nukes in the US /NATO nuclear arsenal, Pentagon “scenarios” in the Middle East and North Africa are currently limited to the use of tactical nuclear weapons including the B61-11 bunker buster bomb.

The fact that Libya had been singled out by the Pentagon for a possible 1997 mini-nuke “trial run” was a significant element in the formulation of the 2001 Nuclear Posture Review (NPR).

It is worth noting that tactical B61 nuclear weapons have also been deployed by America’s NATO partners: five European “non-nuclear states”, including Belgium, The Netherlands and Italy, which are directly participating in the Libya bombing campaign, have B61 mini-nukes stockpiled and deployed under national command in their respective military bases. (Michel Chossudovsky, Europe’s Five “Undeclared Nuclear Weapons States”, February 10, 2010)

These European-based mini-nukes are earmarked for targets in the Middle East. While Libya is not mentioned, according to “NATO strike plans”, the European-based thermonuclear B61 bunker buster bombs could be launched “against targets in Russia or countries in the Middle East such as Syria and Iran” (quoted in National Resources Defense Council, Nuclear Weapons in Europe, February 2005).

In the context of the ongoing war against Libya, “all options are on the table”, including the preemptive nuclear option, as part of a “humanitarian mandate” to protect the lives of innocent civilians.

In 2007, a Secret 2003 STRATCOM Plan was revealed, which confirmed Washington’s resolve to wage preemptive nuclear attacks against Iran, Syria and Libya. While the concepts and assumptions of this document were derived from the 2001 NPR, the Plan formulated by Strategic Command headquarters (USSTRATCOM) focused concretely on issues of implementation.

The use of nuclear weapons including the B61-11 against Libya in the course of the current military campaign, as initially envisaged by the Department of Defense in 1997 and subsequently embodied as the 2001 Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) cannot, therefore, be ruled out.

Shortly after the commencement of the Libya bombing campaign on March 19, the Pentagon ordered the testing of the B61-11 nuclear bomb. These tests announced in an April 4 press release, pertained to the installed equipment and weapon’s components. The objective was to verify the functionality of the nuclear bomb…..

The B-2 Spirit Stealth bomber is the “chosen carrier” of the B61 -11 nuclear bombs. The B-2 Spirit Stealth bomber out of Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri was not only sent on a mission to bomb Libya at the very outset of the air campaign, it was subsequently used in the testing of the B61 Mod 11 nuclear bomb.

The B61-11 has a yield of two thirds of a Hiroshima bomb. Why were these tests of the equipment and functionality of a tactical nuclear weapon scheduled shortly after the onset of the Libya bombing campaign?

Why now?

Is the timing of these tests coincidental or are they in any way related to the chronology of the Libya bombing campaign?

U.S. Air Force Global Strike Command, which is responsible for the coordination of US bombing operations directed against Libya was also involved in the testing of the B61-11 nuclear bombs.

Both the bombing of Libya by the B-2 Spirit Stealth bomber (see image above) on March 19-20, as well as the testing of the functionality of the B61-11 nuclar bomb (announced April 4) were implemented out of the same US Air Force base in Missouri.

An earlier article entitled America’s Planned Nuclear Attack on Libya, (PART I) provided details of the Pentagon’s plan under the Clinton administration to wage a nuclear attack on Libya.

The Pentagon had envisaged the use of the B61 Mod 11 nuclear bomb against Libya. Categorized as a mini-nuke, the B61-11 is a 10 kiloton bomb with a yield equivalent to two thirds of a Hiroshima bomb. (See Michel Chossudovsky, America’s Planed Nuclear Attack on Libya, Global Research, March 25, 2011)

The Pentagon’s 1996 plan to nuke Libya had been announced in no uncertain terms at a press briefing by Assistant Secretary of Defense Harold P. Smith:

“[The] Air Force would use the B61-11 [nuclear weapon] against Libya’s alleged underground chemical weapons plant at Tarhunah if the President decided that the plant had to be destroyed. ‘We could not take [Tarhunah] out of commission using strictly conventional weapons,’ Smith told the Associated Press. The B61-11 ‘would be the nuclear weapon of choice,’ he told Jane Defence Weekly. (The Nuclear Information Project: the B61-11)

Clinton’s Defense Secretary William Perry –who was present at the press briefing– had earlier told a Senate Foreign Relations Committee that “the U.S. retained the option of using nuclear weapons against countries [e.g. Libya] armed with chemical and biological weapons.”(Ibid, See also Greg Mello, The Birth Of a New Bomb; Shades of Dr. Strangelove! Will We Learn to Love the B61-11? The Washington Post, June 01, 1997)

The Department of Defense’s objective was to fast track the “testing” of the B61-11 nuclear bomb on an actual country and that country was Libya:

“Even before the B61 came on line, Libya was identified as a potential target”. (Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists – September/ October 1997, p. 27). (For further details see Michel Chossudovsky, America’s Planned Nuclear Attack on Libya, March 2011)

While the 1996 plan to bomb Libya using tactical nuclear weapons was subsequently shelved, Libya was not removed from the “black list”: “The Qadhafi regime” remains to this date a target country for a pre-emptive (“defensive”) nuclear attack.

As revealed by William Arkin in early 2002, “The Bush administration, in a secret policy review… [had] ordered the Pentagon to draft contingency plans for the use of nuclear weapons against at least seven countries, naming not only Russia and the “axis of evil” Iraq, Iran, and North Korea but also China, Libya and Syria. (See William Arkin, “Thinking the Unthinkable”, Los Angeles Times, 9 March 2002).

According to the 2001 Nuclear Posture Review, adopted by the Senate in 2002, Libya is on the “Pentagon’s list”. Moreover, it is also important to emphasize that Libya was the first country to be tagged and formally identified (at a Department of Defense press briefing) as a possible target for a US sponsored nuclear attack using the B61 Mod 11 nuclear bomb. This announcement was made in 1996, five years prior to the formulation of the pre-emptive nuclear war doctrine under the Bush administration (i.e the 2001 Nuclear Posture Review).

The Testing of the B61-11 Nuclear Bomb (Announced on April 4, 2011)

What is the relevance of the history of the B61-11 nuclear bomb and earlier threats directed by the Clinton administration against Libya?

Has the project to nuke Libya been shelved or is Libya still being contemplated as a potential target for a nuclear attack?

Shortly after the commencement of the Libya bombing campaign on March 19, the US Department of Defense ordered the testing of the B61-11 nuclear bomb. These tests pertained to the installed equipment and weapon ‘s components of the nuclear bomb.

The announcement of these tests was made public on April 4; the precise date of the test was not revealed, but one can reasonably assume that it was in the days prior to the April 4 press release by the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA. Press Release, NNSA Conducts Successful B61-11 JTA Flight Test, Apr 4, 2011,)

The B-2 Spirit Stealth bomber is the US Air Force’s chosen “carrier” for the delivery of the B61 Mod 11 nuclear bomb. In late March or early April (prior to April 4), the B-2 Spirit Stealth bomber from the 509th Bomber Wing operating out of Whiteman Air Force Base, was used in the so-called “Joint Test Assembly” (JTA) of the B61 Mod 11 nuclear bomb.

In other words, the B61-11 was tested using the same B-2 Spirit Stealth bombers out of Whiteman Air Force Base, which were used to bomb Libya at the very outset of the air campaign.

The Joint Test Assembly (JTA) of the B61-11

This JTA testing was undertaken by the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) together with the U.S. Air Force Global Strike Command, which coincidentally is responsible for the coordination of US bombing operations directed against Libya as well as ongoing operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“The JTA was produced by the NNSA in support of the Joint Surveillance Flight Test Program between the Department of Defense and the NNSA” (Press release, op cit)

The Joint Test Assembly (JTA) in the case of the B61 Mod 11 nuclear bomb, requires testing the equipment of the B61-11 using a proxy conventional non-nuclear warhead. Essentially what is involved is to test all the installed equipment on the nuclear bomb and ensure its functionality without actually having a nuclear explosion. The JTA test “was built to simulate the actual B61-11 weapon configuration utilizing as much war reserve hardware as feasible. It was assembled at the Pantex plant in Amarillo, Texas and was not capable of nuclear yield, as it contained no special nuclear materials.” (Press Release, NNSA Conducts Successful B61-11 JTA Flight Test, Apr 4, 2011)

“JTA tests [are to ensure] that all weapon systems [e.g. B61-11 nuclear bomb] perform as planned and that systems are designed to be safe, secure and effective,”…. A JTA contains instrumentation and sensors that monitor the performance of numerous weapon components [e.g of the B61-11] during the flight test to determine if the weapon functions as designed. This JTA also included a flight recorder that stored the bomb performance data for the entire test. The data is used in a reliability model, developed by Sandia National Laboratories, to evaluate the reliability of the bomb. (Ibid)

The B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber operating out of the Whiteman Air Force Base was reported to have “delivered and released” the B61-11 JTA at the Tonopah Test Range in Nevada, which is routinely used to test nuclear ordnance. (See Press Release, op cit.).

The Tonopah Test Range while owned by the US Department of Energy, is managed and operated by Sandia National Laboratories, a division of America’s largest weapons producer Lockheed-Martin (under permit with the NASA). (See

Aerial View of Tonopah Test Range where the B61 11 JTA was tested using a B-2 Spirit Stealth bomber. Source NASA.

The Deployment of B 2 Stealth bombers to Libya

Why were these JTA tests of the equipment and functionality of a tactical nuclear weapon scheduled shortly after the onset of the Libya bombing campaign?

Why now?

Is the timing of these tests coincidental or are they in any way related to the chronology of the Libya bombing campaign?

It is worth noting that the U.S. Air Force Global Strike Command was in charge of both the JTA tests of the B61-11 as well as the deployment of three B-2 Spirit Stealth bombers to Libya on March 19.

“Three B-2 Spirit bombers, piloted by two men each, made it back after the 11,418-mile round trip from the Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri – where they are kept in special hangars – to Libya, where they hit targets on forces loyal to Colonel Gaddafi and back again.”(Libya-crisis-B2-stealth-bombers-25-hour-flight-Missouri-Tripoli, Daily Mail, March 21, 2011)

In other words, both the deployment of the B-2s to the Libya war theater as well as the JTA test (using the B-2 bomber for delivery) were coordinated out of Whiteman Air Force base.

“Humanitarian war” is carried out through a “Shock and Awe” Blitzkrieg. Three B-2 Spirit Stealth bombers were sent on a bombing mission at the very outset of the Libya bombing campaign. According to the reports, they returned to Whiteman Air Force base on March 21st. The reports suggest that the three B-2s were carrying bunker buster bombs with conventional warheads.

The report suggests that the B-2 Stealth bombers dropped 45 one ton satellite guided missiles on Libya, which represents an enormous amount of ordnance: “At $2.1bn, they are the most expensive warplanes in the world and rarely leave their climate-controlled hangars. But when it does, the B-2 bomber makesa spectacularly effective start to a war – including during this weekend’s aerial attack on Libya’s air defences. (Daily Mail, March 21, 2011, op cit)

While we are not in a position to verify the accuracy of these reports, the 45 one-ton bombs correspond roughly to the B-2 specifications, namely each of these planes can carry sixteen 2,000 pound (900 kg) bombs.

Concluding Remarks: The Decision to Use Nuclear Weapons

Through a propaganda campaign which has enlisted the support of “authoritative” nuclear scientists, the B61-11 “mini-nuke” is presented as an instrument of peace rather than war.

In an utterly twisted logic, low yield tactical nuclear weapons are presented as a means to building peace and preventing “collateral damage”.

In this regard, US nuclear doctrine ties in with the notion that the US-NATO war under Operation Odyssey Dawn is a humanitarian undertaking.

The important question addressed in this article is whether the recent test of a B61-11 is “routine” or was it envisaged by the DoD directly or indirectly in support of Operation Odyssey Dawn, implying the possible deployment of mini nukes at some future stage of the Libya bombing campaign. There is no clear-cut answer to this question.

It should be emphasized, however, that under the doctrine of “pre-emptive nuclear war” mini nukes are always deployed and in “a state of readiness” (even in times of peace). Libya was the first “rogue state” to be tagged for a nuclear attack in 1996 prior to the approval of the mini nukes for battlefield use by the US Congress.

The Pentagon claims that “mini-nukes” are harmless to civilians because “the explosion takes place under ground”. Not only is the claim of an underground explosion erroneous, each of these ‘mini-nukes’, constitutes – in terms of explosion and potential radioactive fallout – a significant fraction of the atom bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945….

We are at a dangerous crossroads: The rules and guidelines governing the use nuclear weapons have been “liberalized” (i.e. “deregulated” in relation to those prevailing during the Cold War era). The decision to use low yield nuclear nuclear weapons (e.g. against Libya) no longer depends on the Commander in Chief, namely president Barack Obama. It is strictly a military decision. The new doctrine states that Command, Control, and Coordination (CCC) regarding the use of nuclear weapons should be “flexible”, allowing geographic combat commanders to decide if and when to use of nuclear weapons:

Known in official Washington, as “Joint Publication 3-12”, the new nuclear doctrine (Doctrine for Joint Nuclear Operations , (DJNO) (March 2005)) calls for “integrating conventional and nuclear attacks” under a unified and “integrated” Command and Control (C2).

It largely describes war planning as a management decision-making process, where military and strategic objectives are to be achieved, through a mix of instruments, with little concern for the resulting loss of human life.

Military planning focuses on “the most efficient use of force”, i.e. an optimal arrangement of different weapons systems to achieve stated military goals. In this context, nuclear and conventional weapons are considered to be “part of the tool box”, from which military commanders can pick and choose the instruments that they require in accordance with “evolving circumstances” in the “war theatre”. (None of these weapons in the Pentagon’s “tool box”, including conventional bunker buster bombs, cluster bombs, mini-nukes, chemical and biological weapons are described as “weapons of mass destruction” when used by the United States of America and its “coalition” partners). Michel Chossudovsky, Is the Bush Administration Planning a Nuclear Holocaust? Global Research, February 22, 2006

Authors note:

In researching these issues I have attempted to present the documented facts without drawing simple conclusions as to the potential use of nuclear weapons in the Libya war theater.

Having examined the various facets of US nuclear doctrine for many years, I have become increasingly aware that the use of nuclear weapons does not belong to the field of abstraction. Neither does the testing of the equipment of the B61-11 nuclear bomb including its various installed functions.

The matter needs further examination, the release of more information, discussion at all levels, questions in the US Congress and above all a detailed, honest and unbiased media coverage.

It is my sincere hope that this article will contribute to an understanding of US nuclear doctrine as well as a greater awareness of the impending dangers of nuclear war.

Michel Chossudovsky, April 2011

http://www.opinion-maker.org/2011/04/americas-planned-nuclear-attack-on-libya-part-1/

OPIUM AND AFGHANISTAN: REASSESSING U.s. COUNTERNARCOTICS STRATEGY

Opium is grown legally is some countries for medical purposes, but huge demand
in the illicit market, coupled with saturation of the licit market, is driving Afghanistan
to supply illegal opium. In 2004, approximately 523 tons of morphine were produced
worldwide from opium for medical purposes.12 Opium is also refined for use in legal
prescription painkillers such as OxyContin and Vicodin.13 However, Australia and France
currently produce about half the world’s opium used for medical purposes, with India,
Turkey, Spain, and Hungary producing a majority of the rest, leaving little flexibility for
Afghanistan to enter this market. Despite its legitimate uses, most of the world’s opium
is illegally grown and processed in countries with limited governmental control. Hence,
virtually none of Afghanistan’s opium poppy harvest is used for licit opiates. Instead,
almost all of it ends up on the international market as heroin.

Heroin addiction is a global problem, and worldwide demand for heroin is increasingly
being met by Afghanistan’s farmers and drug traffickers. Heroin is a highly addictive drug,
and prolonged use can result in a variety of social and health-related problems. Sharing
of contaminated heroin needles is a major contributor to the spread of HIV/AIDS and
other infectious diseases such as Hepatitis C. According to the U.N. World Drug Report,
there are approximately 16 million illicit opiate users worldwide, including 11 million
heroin users. The primary opiate-using countries in the world include India (3 million
users), Russia and Eastern Europe (2.3 million), China (1.7 million), Western Europe (1.6
million), Iran (1.2 million), the United States (1.2 million), and Pakistan (0.7 million).14
Afghanistan has approximately 150,000 opium and 50,000 heroin users, but consumes
just 3.3 percent of its own harvest.15 Afghanistan is the source of nearly 90 percent of
heroin in Europe and Russia,16 while approximately 14 percent of heroin in the United
States comes from Afghanistan, up from 7 percent in 2001.17 According to the UNODC, as
many as 100,000 people die annually directly or indirectly from abuse of Afghan heroin.18
Furthermore, the UNODC predicts that increasing opium production in Afghanistan will
result in an increase in heroin overdoses worldwide because greater supply traditionally
leads to a higher level of heroin purity on the international market.19


AFGHANISTAN’S OPIUM ECONOMY
Cultivation and production of opium have significantly increased in Afghanistan
since 2001. Afghan farmers have grown opium poppy for generations; however, not until
the 1970s did they grow it in significant amounts for export. With the exception of 2001,
when the Taliban strictly enforced a moratorium on poppy cultivation with such harsh
tactics as beheadings, opium poppy cultivation has been steadily increasing for over the
past 2 decades as is shown in Figure 2.20 Today, poppy cultivation and opium production
are at all-time highs. According to the UNODC, opium poppy cultivation in Afghanistan
covered an estimated 165,000 hectares during the 2005-06 growing season, a 59 percent
increase from the previous year. The UNODC also estimated that opium production in
2006 was 6,100 metric tons, up from 4,100 metric tons in 2005, which makes Afghanistan
by far the world’s largest producer.

Cultivating opium poppy makes powerful economic sense to the impoverished
farmers of Afghanistan. It is the easiest crop to grow and the most profitable. Even though
the Karzai government made opium poppy cultivation and trafficking illegal in 2002,
many farmers, driven by poverty, continue to cultivate opium poppy to provide for their
families. Indeed, poverty is the primary reason given by Afghan farmers for choosing to
cultivate opium poppy.22 With a farm gate price of approximately $125 per kilogram for
dry opium,23 an Afghan farmer can make 17 times more profit growing opium poppy—
$4,622 per hectare, compared to only $266 per hectare for wheat.24 Opium poppy is
also drought resistant, easy to transport and store, and, unlike many crops, requires no
refrigeration and does not spoil. With Afghanistan’s limited irrigation, electricity, roads,
and other infrastructure, growing traditional crops can be extremely difficult. In many
cases, farmers are simply unable to support their families growing traditional crops; and
because most rural farmers are uneducated and illiterate, they have few economically
viable alternatives to growing opium poppy.

Afghanistan’s economy has thus evolved to the point where it is now highly
dependent on opium. Although less than 4 percent of arable land in Afghanistan was
used for opium poppy cultivation in 2006, revenue from the harvest brought in over
$3 billion—more than 35 percent of the country’s total gross national product (GNP).25
According to Antonio Costa, “Opium poppy cultivation, processing, and transport have
become Afghanistan’s top employers, its main source of capital, and the principal base of
its economy.”26 Today, a record 2.9 million Afghanis from 28 of 34 provinces are involved
in opium cultivation in some way, which represents nearly 10 percent of the population.27
Although Afghanistan’s overall economy is being boosted by opium profits, less than 20
percent of the $3 billion in opium profits actually goes to impoverished farmers, while
more than 80 percent goes into the pockets of Afghan’s opium traffickers and kingpins
and their political connections.28 Even heftier profits are generated outside of Afghanistan
by international drug traffickers and dealers.

Traditionally, processing of Afghan’s opium into heroin has taken place outside of
Afghanistan; however, in an effort to reap more profits internally, Afghan drug kingpins
have stepped up heroin processing within their borders. Heroin processing labs have
proliferated in Afghanistan since the late 1990s, particularly in the unstable southern
region, further complicating stabilization efforts. With the reemergence of the Taliban and
the virtual absence of the rule of law in the countryside, opium production and heroin
processing have dramatically increased, especially in the southern province of Helmand.
In 2006, opium production in the province increased over 162 percent and now accounts
for 42 percent of Afghan’s total opium output.29 According to the UNODC, the opium
situation in the southern provinces is “out of control.”30
PROBLEMS WITH AFGHANISTAN’S OPIUM ECONOMY
While revenues from the opium trade are stimulating the economy, there are significant
negative consequences. Two major problems associated with the opium economy are
widespread corruption, which is eroding the rule of law; and the link between the opium
trade and the recoupment of the Taliban and the insurgency.
Corruption and the Erosion of the Rule of Law.
Corruption associated with the opium economy has spread to all levels of the Afghan
government from the police to the parliament, and is eroding the rule of law. Farmers
routinely bribe police and counternarcotics eradication personnel to turn a blind eye. Law
enforcement personnel are also paid off by drug traffickers to ignore or, in some cases,
protect their movements. Afghan government officials are now believed to be involved
in at least 70 percent of opium trafficking, and experts estimate that at least 13 former
or present provincial governors are directly involved in the drug trade.31 Furthermore,
up to 25 percent of the 249 elected members of parliament are also suspected of being
involved in the drug trade.32 When referring to Afghanistan’s Ministry of Interior, Syed
Ikramuddin, Afghan’s Minister of Labor, said: “Except for the Minister of Interior himself,
all the lower people from the heads of department down are involved in supporting
drug smuggling.”33 For example, in a single raid, nine tons of opium were recovered
from the offices of the Governor of Afghan’s Helmand Province. While the governor
was eventually replaced, no punitive action was taken against him, and he moved on
to a high-level position in parliament. 34 This case is not unusual, with corrupt officials
routinely being simply reassigned rather than removed from office.
For many of Afghanistan’s warlords, the opium trade brings money and power.
Therefore, several of Afghanistan’s powerful warlords are also top drug-lords. In some
cases, these warlords are the same individuals who cooperated with the United States
in ousting the Taliban in 2001. In some provinces, the warlords are now promoting the
opium industry by bribing government officials and providing protection to farmers
and traffickers. In sum, political corruption is so widespread in Afghanistan that it is
undermining public institutions, eroding the rule of law, and creating widespread
unstability and volatility. President Karzai himself has complained that “drugs in
Afghanistan are threatening the very existence of the Afghan State.”35

http://www.strategicstudiesinstitute.army.mil/pdffiles/pub804.pdf

United States still unsure which Egyptian to back…Could someone just tell us who will win so we can back them!

The Egyptian crisis: another day, another two US policies

An American envoy’s praise for Mubarak has raised the question once more of what Washington really think

Hillary Clinton,  David Cameron I’m still in charge. US secretary of state Hillary Clinton in Munich Security yesterday alongside David Cameron. Photograph: Johannes Simon/AP

Frank Wisner‘s apparent love song to Hosni Mubarak has left confusion behind him. Speaking on a video link-up from New York to the Munich Security Conference, Barack Obama’s special envoy to Egypt veered wildly off-message in seemingly fond remarks about the Egyptian autocrat.

Wisner, who had just returned from Cairo, started by making a constitutional argument for Mubarak to stay. If the presidency is vacated, Wisner said, the speaker of the parliament would fill the post, and elections would have to be held within two months. Those elections would have to be fought under the existing rules, which are unacceptable to the opposition.

The argument ignored the allowance under the constitution for the president to delegate powers, which he has done in the past while undergoing medical treatment. But at least the argument sounding dispassionate. What followed didn’t.

The president must stay in office to steer those changes through. I therefore believe that President Mubarak’s continued leadership is critical; it’s his opportunity to write his own legacy. He has given 60 years of his life to the service of his country and this is an ideal moment for him to show the way forward

Wisner’s words bewildered the western officials gathered in Munich, raising a number of questions. Do Egypt and the world owe it to Mubarak to give him the chance “to write his own legacy”. And did Mubarak give 60 years of service to Egypt or is it the other way round?

It raised other questions in Washington, like who is making US policy on Egypt? At the same venue hours before, Hillary Clinton had made it quite clear that US policy was to back the vice president Omar Suleiman and his transition process.

The state department anxiously played down Wisner’s remarks, describing them as “his own”, but the whole episode was a reminder of the inherent problems in hiring special envoys from the ranks of retired diplomats who no longer feel constrained by state department discipline.

Don't have a cow....

Telephone conversations with Suleiman in the past 48 hours have given European leaders the impression that the transition is already underway. He has impressed them with a laundry list of planned reforms and his brisk determined manner. European officials believe that power is shifting out of Mubarak’s hands, but they cannot be sure.

Blame BUSH!

A lot of options are being discussed. Mubarak could delegate powers while taking sick leave or writing his memoirs in Sharm el-Sheikh, to allow the constitution to be changed. In other words, he would be able to stay in office at least formally. But Wisner’s comments will reinforce an impression on the streets of Cairo that Washington’s heart really belongs to Mubarak, rather than the Egyptian people.

Not everyone's perfect

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/julian-borger-global-security-blog/2011/feb/06/egypt-obama-administration