December 3, 2009 - The Constantine Report    
March 5th 2020 12

Are you using the best credit card when ordering food for delivery?

The key to more success is to have a lot of pillows. Always remember in the jungle there’s a lot of they in there, after you will make it to paradise. Egg whites, turkey sausage, wheat toast, water.

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March 5th 2020 12

Are you using the best credit card when ordering food for delivery?

The key to more success is to have a lot of pillows. Always remember in the jungle there’s a lot of they in there, after you will make it to paradise. Egg whites, turkey sausage, wheat toast, water.

Continue reading
March 5th 2020 12

Are you using the best credit card when ordering food for delivery?

The key to more success is to have a lot of pillows. Always remember in the jungle there’s a lot of they in there, after you will make it to paradise. Egg whites, turkey sausage, wheat toast, water.

Continue reading
March 5th 2020 12

Are you using the best credit card when ordering food for delivery?

The key to more success is to have a lot of pillows. Always remember in the jungle there’s a lot of they in there, after you will make it to paradise. Egg whites, turkey sausage, wheat toast, water.

Continue reading
March 5th 2020 12

Are you using the best credit card when ordering food for delivery?

The key to more success is to have a lot of pillows. Always remember in the jungle there’s a lot of they in there, after you will make it to paradise. Egg whites, turkey sausage, wheat toast, water.

Continue reading
March 5th 2020 12

Are you using the best credit card when ordering food for delivery?

The key to more success is to have a lot of pillows. Always remember in the jungle there’s a lot of they in there, after you will make it to paradise. Egg whites, turkey sausage, wheat toast, water.

Continue reading

CHILE: Media Empires Undermine Pluralistic Democracy

This is a modified py-6 that occupies the entire horizontal space of its parent.

By Daniela Estrada

SANTIAGO, Dec 3 (IPS) – Chile is a classic example of the concentration of media ownership in too few hands, says Chilean journalist María Olivia Mönckeberg in her latest book “Los magnates de la prensa” (The Press Magnates). If the state does not exercise stricter regulation, democracy itself may be undermined, she warns.

“Today, in the run-up to the celebration of the Bicentennial (of Chilean independence), I think we are facing the worst situation for freedom of expression and ownership of the media, in terms of democracy and pluralism, since the early 1990s,” when democracy was restored after 17 years of dictatorship, Mönckeberg told IPS.

Mönckeberg, who was awarded the National Journalism Prize this year, said concentrated ownership of the media is a worldwide problem, but added that “Chile is a rather special case” because the system is “more tightly closed, and very lightly regulated,” and has been taken over by “extremely right wing” economic groups.

Her book, “The Press Magnates: Media Concentration in Chile”, published under the Debate imprint by Random House Mondadori, was launched in Spanish on Nov. 11 in Santiago.

In its 522 pages, the journalist spells out in detail who owns the media in Chile, the help some of them received during the 1973-1990 dictatorship of the late general Augusto Pinochet, and the intricate political, economic, social and religious networks they comprise today.

The disturbing diagnosis by Mönckeberg, who is the present registrar at the University of Chile’s Communication and Image Institute, is set out on page one of the book, which she was able to finish thanks to a grant from the government National Book and Reading Fund.

“Paradoxically, when the Chilean press came to birth it was critical, libertarian and republican, flowing from the passionate pen of Fray Camilo Henríquez, who founded La Aurora de Chile, the country’s first newspaper, soon after the Declaration of Independence” in the early 19th century, she writes.

“But now that Chile is approaching its Bicentennial celebrations, its newspapers serve the interests of influential rightwing economic groups that are more concerned with consolidating their profits and projecting their ideology, than with reporting from a broad perspective and encouraging communication between citizens,” she adds.

Concentration of ownership is the overwhelming reality in the printed press; radio stations “show similar symptoms”; and television, launched originally by the Catholic University of Valparaíso, is highly commercial in nature, swamped with showbiz celebrities, reality shows, gory crime reports and sensationalism, Mönckeberg’s book says.

Among the media magnates scrutinised by the journalist and academic are Agustín Edwards Eastman, owner of the El Mercurio chain of newspapers, Álvaro Saieh, head of the Consorcio Periodístico de Chile (COPESA), and Sebastián Piñera, owner of the Chilevisión television channel and the presidential candidate for the rightwing Coalition for Change.

The El Mercurio group, with around 20 national and regional newspapers, and COPESA, which controls the newspapers La Tercera, La Cuarta and La Hora, a radio network and the magazines Qué Pasa and Paula, comprise a “duopoly” in the Chilean press.

“There is no room in these media for critical voices, or for views that differ from the editorial line, which takes a conservative position in politics and a neoliberal one in economics. Even the letters to the editor are examined through the filter of those who control these newspapers,” Mönckeberg writes.

“Their policy is to exclude articles that would displease the owners or their networks of friends, partners and advertisers. The journalists know this and toe the line, keeping quiet or practising self-censorship when they foresee that a given topic could be thorny or inconvenient,” she says.

Mönckeberg also tackles the business interests of the late billionaire Ricardo Claro, who owned the Megavisión television channel and the magazine Capital, as well as those of powerful foreign investors like Carlos Slim and Remigio Ángel González of Mexico, and Italian-American John Malone.

“What do we see? That Edwards on the one hand and Saieh on the other, together with those who wield power in private television stations, have constructed a kind of fence walling off any real possibility of getting to know Chilean reality in much greater depth, or doing high-quality journalism and generating more substantial debates,” she told IPS.

The author, who worked for the opposition weeklies Análisis and Hoy and the newspaper La Época, which folded after the transition to democracy, quotes several academics who agree that the lack of pluralism in Chile got worse after the dictatorship was replaced by the centre-left Coalition of Parties for Democracy, which has governed the country since 1990.

This was because the Coalition left virtually untouched the neoliberal political and economic order that had been imposed by the dictatorship, with its laissez-faire approach to market forces.

Power, and the way it is concentrated in different spheres, has been a constant interest of Mönckeberg’s, who studied journalism at the Catholic University of Chile, and teaches journalism ethics and investigative journalism at the University of Chile.

This is shown by her previous published investigations: “El saqueo de los grupos económicos al Estado chileno” (How Chile’s Economic Groups Sacked the Chilean State), published in 2001; “El imperio del Opus Dei en Chile” (The Opus Dei Empire in Chile, 2003); “La privatización de las universidades. Una historia de dinero, poder e influencias” (The Privatisation of the Universities: Money, Power and Influence, 2005); and “El negocio de las universidades en Chile” (The University Business in Chile, 2007).

“The research results show that the phenomenon of concentration has spread the length and breadth of the country, and that in most regions, people and organisations are left with no means of expression or voice of their own,” Mönckeberg says in her book.

A graphic example of the lack of pluralism in the country, she says, is the fate of her own book. Only a few radio stations, internet media and foreign correspondents have called to interview her. Chile’s media duopoly have not contacted her, any more than they did when her previous books came out. (END/2009)

Pentagon Manhunters: America’s New Murder, Inc.?

by Tom Burghardt
Dissident Voice | November 23, 2009

Wired investigative reporter Noah Shachtman revealed November 3, that a report published by the Pentagon’s Joint Special Operations University (JSOU), the “educational component” of USSOCOM based at MacDill Air Force Base in Florida, proposed creating a specialized “manhunting” unit with a global reach.

Shachtman writes that its author argues that the CIA “didn’t go far enough. Instead, it suggests the American government should set up something like a ‘National Manhunting Agency’ to go after jihadists, drug dealers, pirates and other enemies of the state.”

While not an “official” report, the fact that the monograph, Manhunting: Counter-Network Organization for Irregular Warfare, was written by retired Air Force Lt. Colonel George A. Crawford and published by JSOU, lends added weight to arguments by critics that the United States Government has “gone rogue” and is preparing a planet-wide Operation Condor network to capture or kill imperialism’s enemies.

Currently a senior director for Archimedes Global, Inc., Crawford boasts a résumé that includes “operational assignments with special operations and special activities, intelligence collection and analysis, information operations and psychological operations.”

The shadowy firm, while short on information describing what it actually does, like many newly-minted intelligence and security outfits in Washington, is chock-a-block with retired spooks and special forces operators cashing-in on the tsunami of public funds fueling the “War on Terror.”

According to their web site the company offer services such as “Operations and Research” from “experienced, highly trained people” who possess “unmatched expertise across a number of industries and focus areas.”

In the realm of Technology, Archimedes specializes in “Cryptanalysis and Applied Cryptography.” Hint, hint, this is what the National Security Agency does when it isn’t spying on the American people and building an exploitable database on dissidents destined for “special handling” should the need arise.

The firm’s “Information and Risk” brief claims they will solve “the most difficult communication and risk problems by seeing over the horizon with a blend of art and science.” And with focus areas that include “strategic communications, media analysis and support, crisis communications, and risk and vulnerability assessment and mitigation,” it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to infer that those well-schooled in the dark art of psychological operations (PSYOPS) would find a friendly home at Archimedes!

With some 25-years experience “as a foreign area officer specializing in Eastern Europe and Central Asia,” including a stint “as acting Air and Defense Attaché to Kyrgyzstan,” Crawford brings an interesting skill-set to the table.

A trained interrogator “selected by the commander of United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) as an inspector for the Secretary of Defense Interrogation Special Focus Team,” one shudders to contemplate what his duties entailed in that capacity.

As the Congressional Research Service (CRS) reported in 2004 in the wake of the Abu Ghraib scandal, with Special Operations Forces (SOF) tasked with “greater responsibility for planning and conducting worldwide counterterrorism operations,” systematic human rights violations in Afghanistan and Iraq was just another day at the office.

Intimate with the narcotrafficking, al-Qaeda-linked Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), JSOU avers that Crawford “personally authored the intelligence plan for military operations in Kosovo and was the lead strategist for developing USSOCOM’s advanced intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities for counterterrorism operations.”

A rather ironic claim considering that right-up to the moment of the 9/11 attacks, as former FBI translator and whistleblower Sibel Edmonds revealed, the United States employed Afghan-Arab veterans of the anti-Soviet jihad for destabilization operations in innumerable global hot spots.

Manhunting: The Return of Operation Condor?

This isn’t the first time that America’s engagement with “dark actors” involved in “manhunting” as a state-sponsored blood sport led to a devil’s pact with torturers, drug dealers and sociopathic fascist killers.

During the 1970s, in the wake of the overthrow of Chile’s democratically-elected socialist president, Salvador Allende, the intelligence and security services of several Latin American states, notably Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay launched a secretive program, Operation Condor–with a major assist from the CIA and the Pentagon–that tracked down and murdered leftist opponents.

Operating under the radar, Condor operatives included military personnel, European neofascists, CIA-trained Cuban terrorists and international narcotraffickers who did the “wet work” for their political masters, Latin American oligarchs and their North American allies. Thousands were killed and thousands more “disappeared” into clandestine prisons.

Long Island University political science professor, J. Patrice McSherry, revealed, “U.S. military and intelligence forces were well informed of Condor operations, and the United States played a key covert role in modernizing and extending the Condor apparatus. An Argentine military source told a U.S. Embassy contact in 1976 that the CIA had been deeply involved in setting up computerized links among the intelligence and operations units of the six Condor states.”

Indeed, so extensive were these links that “U.S. forces also gave the Condor organization access to the U.S. continental communications system based in the Panama Canal Zone.” A declassified 1978 cable from U.S. Ambassador to Paraguay Robert White to the Secretary of State, “revealed that Condor operatives made use of a U.S. facility in the Canal Zone for secret communications and intelligence coordination.”

The Pentagon, according to White’s declassified cable, provided the narco-linked death squad with the sophisticated electronic means to coordinate global operations.

General Alejandro Fretes Dávalos, commander of Paraguay’s armed forces told the ambassador, “that intelligence chiefs from Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Paraguay, and Uruguay used ‘an encrypted system within the U.S. telecommunications net[work],’ which covered all of Latin America, to ‘coordinate intelligence information’.”

“Essentially,” McSherry wrote, “U.S. military and/or intelligence forces put the official U.S. communications channel at the disposal of Operation Condor. It was a collaboration reflecting high-level executive approval of Condor.”

This “high-level executive approval” of an international death squad reflected past–and current–Pentagon thinking that when it comes to killing capitalism’s opponents, everything is permitted.

The parallels to contemporary American covert intelligence and military operations in Afghanistan and Pakistan, with their documented linkages to the flourishing international drug trade are striking.

That these moves by Washington to seize the geostrategic high ground vis-à-vis their imperialist rivals, as in Latin America decades earlier, have spawned an unholy alliance with far-right political forces, warlords, religious extremists and drug traffickers, exposes the lie that U.S. military intervention has anything to do with democracy and human rights. Thirty years ago Danish journalist Henrik Krüger observed:

International Fascista was a crucial first step toward fulfilling the dream not only of [SS Col. Otto] Skorzeny, but also of his close friends in Madrid exile, José Lopez Rega, Juan Peron’s grey eminence, and Prince Justo Valerio Borghese, the Italian Fascist money man who had been rescued from execution at the hands of the World War II Italian resistance by future CIA counterintelligence whiz James J. Angleton. They, and other Nazi and Fascist powers throughout Europe and Latin America, envisioned a new world order built on a Fascist Iron Circle linking Buenos Aires, Santiago, Lima, La Paz, Brasilia and Montevideo. (Henrik Krüger, The Great Heroin Coup: Drugs, Intelligence, & International Fascism, Boston: South End Press, 1980, p. 210)

Shaped by French unconventional warfare doctrines, U.S. counterinsurgency tactics employed in Southeast Asia, and their own on the ground expertise crushing dissent, the “new professionalism of internal security” deployed by Condor operatives–code for massive repression and unrestrained violence–was directed against the people of Latin America with predictable results.

Eerily prefiguring America’s “War on Terror,” counterinsurgency “specialist” Roger Trinquier, the author of Modern Warfare and an architect of France’s bloody repression during the Algerian anticolonial struggle (1954-1962), averred that counterguerrillas must employ the full range of psychological warfare techniques against the civilian population if victory is to be achieved. This is a thesis to which Crawford returns time and again, particularly as it relates to the covert decapitation of resistance networks by American manhunters.

Fast forward and it becomes all-too-clear that Krüger’s “Fascist Iron Circle” didn’t disappear with Pinochet’s fall from grace; instead, it has morphed into a high-tech killing machine whose tentacles have fanned-out from the Washington Beltway to encircle the globe. Peter Dale Scott, writing on America’s descent into a lawless state presciently remarked:

Mafias and empires have certain elements in common. Both can be seen as the systematic violent imposition of governance in areas of undergovernance. Both use atrocities to achieve their ends; but both tend to be tolerated to the extent that the result of their controlled violence is a diminution of uncontrolled violence. I would tentatively suggest an important difference between mafias and empires: that, with the passage of time, mafias tend to become more and more part of the civil society whose rules they once broke, while empires tend to become more and more irreconcilably at odds with the societies they once controlled. (”Deep Events and the CIA’s Global Drug Connection,” Global Research, September 6, 2008)

Indeed, the “controlled violence” implicit in Crawford’s thesis, provides stark confirmation of Scott’s analysis that as the imperialist empire unravels it tends “to become more and more irreconcilably at odds” with popular control in a democratic republic.

The Mechanics of Standing Up a Death Squad

In “Unconventional Warfare in the 21st Century,” Antifascist Calling revealed last December that USSOCOM had published its definitive doctrine on the subject. Titled Unconventional Warfare, the 248-page document asserted that Unconventional Warfare or UW establishes a “litmus test,” namely warfare conducted “by, with or through surrogates” and that their preferred assets are irregular forces:

Irregulars, or irregular forces, are individuals or groups of individuals who are not members of a regular armed force, police, or other internal security force. They are usually nonstate-sponsored and unconstrained by sovereign nation legalities and boundaries. These forces may include, but are not limited to, specific paramilitary forces, contractors, individuals, businesses, foreign political organizations, resistance or insurgent organizations, expatriates, transnational terrorism adversaries, disillusioned transnational terrorism members, black marketers, and other social or political “undesirables.” (Army Special Operations Forces, Unconventional Warfare, Field Manual No. 3-05.130, Headquarters, Department of the Army, Washington, DC, 30 September 2008, p. 1-3)

And with an explicitly stated goal to “gain or maintain control or influence over the population and to support that population through political, psychological, and economic methods,” the organization that Crawford proposes in Manhunting clearly exists along this UW warfighting continuum.

Manhunting–the deliberate concentration of national power to find, influence, capture, or when necessary kill an individual to disrupt a human network–has emerged as a key component of operations to counter irregular warfare adversaries in lieu of traditional state-on-state conflict measures. It has arguably become a primary area of emphasis in countering terrorist and insurgent opponents. (George A. Crawford, Manhunting: Counter-Network Organization for Irregular Warfare, JSOU Report 09-7, The JSOU Press, Hurlburt Field, Florida, September 2009, p. 1)

In the author’s view, a national manhunting agency of necessity, will be a hybrid organization, combining features of a Special Forces small tactical team with those of the FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team (HRT), the U.S. Marshals Services’ Special Operations Group (USMSSOG) at the federal level, “down to Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) teams and fugitive or criminal task forces in most U.S. cities.”

In addition to American examples, the author cites New Scotland Yard’s Antiterrorist Branch (SO13), Germany’s Grenzschutzgruppe (GSG-9), and the French Groupe de Sécurité et d’Intervention de la Gendarmerie Nationale (GIGN) as examples of a combined task force built on the “elite unit concept.” Moving on, Crawford recommends Israel’s Sayaret Mat’kal, “a special reconnaissance unit within Israel’s General Headquarters Intelligence Corps.

Lest readers forget, New Scotland Yard’s Antiterrorist Branch, SO13, was the “crack” unit that murdered Jean Claude de Menezes in cold blood on a London subway in 2005.

After an investigation that was little more than a cover-up, it was revealed that de Menezes was entirely innocent and had been mistakenly targeted by SO13’s armed wing, SO19, as part of “Operation Kratos,” the Met’s controversial “shoot-to-kill” program meant to take down suspected terrorists and would-be suicide bombers.

De Menezes was neither, but that didn’t stop police from pumping seven bullets into his head.

Tellingly, SO13 was stood up after consultations with Israeli “experts,” well-known for their fidelity to human rights, the rule of law and the sanctity of life, as Israel’s murderous assault last year on Gaza amply demonstrated.

Acknowledged manhunting masters in their own right, the Israeli settler-colonial security apparat have perfected the art of the “targeted killing,” when they aren’t dropping banned munitions such as white phosphorus on unarmed and defenseless civilian populations.

Like their Israeli counterparts who come highly recommended as models of restraint, an American manhunting agency will employ similarly subtle, though no less lethal, tactics. Crawford writes:

When compared with conventional force-on-force warfare, manhunting fundamentally alters the ratio between warfare’s respective firepower, maneuver, and psychological elements. Firepower becomes less significant in terms of mass, while the precision and discretion with which firepower is employed takes on tremendous significance, especially during influence operations. Why drop a bomb when effects operations or a knife might do? (Crawford, op. cit., p. 11, emphasis added)

Where “influence” and “effects” operations are concerned, secrecy and deceit are the norm and discretion in choosing a “target” is transformed into a morality play with a unique demonstration effect:

If internal security forces arrest a terrorist, it is an act of law enforcement, most often viewed favorably by both the international and domestic communities. If a terrorist is killed in an alley by an unknown assailant, it is an unsolved crime, a crime which may not be deeply investigated if the terrorist has a lengthy rap sheet. Thus it may be preferable to consign terrorist manhunting to intelligence and law enforcement organs and to avoid entanglements caused by crossing manhunting with military or diplomatic functions. Where manhunting is concerned, there may be legal and moral advantage in ambiguity and plausible denial. (Crawford, op. cit., p. 16)

Harken back to Seymour Hersh’s description of how Dick Cheney’s “executive assassination ring” actually performed in the real world: “they’ve been going into countries, not talking to the ambassador or the CIA station chief, and finding people on a list and executing them and leaving.”

This too, was the precise mechanism employed by Operation Condor assassins across Latin America, Europe and the United States during the 1970s. Small teams of highly-trained, plausibly deniable intelligence officers and assets, including NATO-trained Italian neofascists, Turkish narcotraffickers and CIA-sponsored Cuban exiles carried out a reign of terror against their Southern Cone leftist opponents.

While the 1976 car-bombing in Washington, D.C. that murdered former Chilean Foreign Minister Orlando Letelier and his secretary, Ronni Moffitt, may be the most notorious Condor operation to come to light, dozens if not hundreds of other “catch and snatch” operations were carried out, with a wink-and-a-nod from Washington. Those “disappeared” into Argentine or Chilean dungeons were never to be seen again.

The highly-specialized and compartmented nature of Crawford’s manhunting agency would become a permanent feature of America’s oxymoronic “War on Terror.”

They would be trained in physical, intelligence, and virtual-tracking techniques. The team will also include “shooters,” supported by on-call logistics and administrative support. Rather than an ad-hoc task force in the nature of the current law enforcement, Intelligence Community, or DoD operations, manhunting teams would be standing formations, trained to pursue their designated quarry relentlessly for as long as required to accomplish the mission. In cases where action must take place in uncooperative countries, it may be necessary for teams to act unilaterally, with no support or coordination with local authorities, in a manner similar to that employed by Israel’s Avner team in response to the Munich Olympics massacre. (Crawford, op. cit., p. 19)

Or I might add, by Pinochet’s murderous Dirección de Inteligencia Nacional (National Intelligence Directorate) or DINA. Since intelligence will be central to the proposed national manhunting agency, “sensitive site exploitation (SSE) teams are the second tactical formation needed for manhunting.”

As with the actual shooters, SSE teams will be assembled and able to respond on-call “in the event of a raid on a suspect site or to conduct independent ‘break-in and search’ operations without leaving evidence of their intrusion.” Such teams must possess “individual skills” such as “physical forensics, computer or electronic exploitation, document exploitation, investigative techniques, biometric collection, interrogation/debriefing and related skills.”

Additionally, “Technical surveillance elements (TSE) or mobile surveillance teams (MST) will be stood up. According to Crawford, “Manhunting will require personnel who are experts at conducting surveillance of particular facilities, personnel, or activities without arousing suspicion or being detected.”

They will be taught to blend in unobtrusively into an urban or remote background, often “hiding in plain sight.” Some may be skilled at employing technical surveillance devices–wiretaps, video surveillance equipment, or more intrusive devices and methods. They will also be skilled at multiple forms of transportation across international boundaries. Their goal is to maintain surveillance on suspected activity, either confirming or denying hostile intent. Picture in your mind a typical city street scene, with a little old lady walking her dog, the phone repair crew descending into a manhole, two little old men playing an innocent game of checkers, or the homeless person sleeping on the park bench, and you are on the right track. (Crawford, op. cit., p. 21)

As if to drive home the point that the target of these sinister operations are the American people and world public opinion, Crawford, ever the consummate PSYOPS warrior, views “strategic information operations” as key to this murderous enterprise. Indeed, they “must be delicately woven into planned kinetic operations to increase the probability that a given operation or campaign will achieve its intended effect.”

Personnel skilled at conducting strategic information operations–to include psychological operations, public information, deception, media and computer network operations, and related activities–are important for victory. Despite robust DoD and Intelligence Community capabilities in this area, efforts to establish organizations that focus information operations have not been viewed as a positive development by the public or the media, who perceive government-sponsored information efforts with suspicion. Consequently, these efforts must take place away from public eyes. Strategic information operations may also require the establishment of regional or local offices to ensure dissemination of influence packages and assess their impact. Thus manhunting influence may call for parallel or independent structures at all levels…” (Crawford, op. cit., pp. 27-28, emphasis added)

This too, follows the Condor model where independently organized “task forces” drawn from a pool of technical specialists operating under deep cover, carried out intense psychological operations that targeted public opinion on the home front, the better to silence anyone who might oppose the “shooters” who did the dirty work.

While “government-sponsored information efforts,” i.e. illegal propaganda campaigns aimed at the American people by the secret state are viewed with “suspicion,” perhaps Crawford’s current employer, Archimedes Global, or dozens of other firms just like it would be better suited to for the “dissemination of influence packages”?

Unlike thirty years ago when Latin American oligarchs relied on CIA-financed publications such as El Mercurio in Chile or La Prensa in Argentina to fan the flames of anti-leftist discord and sow chaos, thus seeding the ground for the horrors that followed the military takeover, Pentagon media operations today still conform to principles enunciated decades earlier.

Indeed, Crawford’s “information operations” mirror precisely the chilling discourse of Argentine V Army Corps Commander General Acdel Vilas: “In reality, the only total, integral warfare is cultural warfare. … What we create in the individual is his mind. … The fight isn’t one to conquer terrain, physically, but to conquer minds. Not to take advantageous physical positions but to mold mental structures in his favor.”

As with his forerunners in decades’ past, Crawford’s manhunting weltanschauung is not conducive to a democratic model of society but rather, to the darkness of a technocratic and immutable fascism servicing America’s ruling oligarchy.

Tom Burghardt is a researcher and activist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. In addition to publishing in Covert Action Quarterly and Global Research, an independent research and media group of writers, scholars, journalists and activists based in Montreal, his articles can be read on Dissident Voice, The Intelligence Daily and Pacific Free Press. He is the editor of Police State America: U.S. Military “Civil Disturbance” Planning, distributed by AK Press. Read other articles by Tom, or visit Tom’s website.

Not-So-Intelligent Design?America’s good little Nazis don’t feel that burning the Bible is quite Kosher, so they’re editing the “infallible word of God,” who has obviously gotten some very dangerous left-wing, out-of-the-mainsteam ideas into his Head. In the new, “improved” edition, Jesus will advocate perpetual war, denounce ecological “Philistines” and bless the moneychangers. Foreword by Ayn Rand. – AC

Blessed are conservative in Bible interpretation

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Was Jesus a liberal? It may depend on which Bible you’re reading.

A group of contributors to the Conservative Bible Project claim modern translations of the Good Book are slanted in favor of concepts like socialism. Led by New Jersey’s Andy Schlafly, son of the conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly, they’re producing an online translation of the Bible that they say reflects its true conservative core.

Editing the King James Version like a Wikipedia page, they’re changing some passages and throwing others out altogether.

Biblical scholars, including some conservatives, scoff at the idea. They say translating the Bible from ancient texts takes years of training and study, and that existing translations are produced with accuracy in mind rather than politics.

“… Maurice Tempelsman’s diamond interests were established in the Congo in the early 1960’s with the help of the CIA. …”

Templesman and the Mobutu Coup

… Belgian business tycoon Viscount Étienne Davignon is chairman of the board of directors of S.N. Brussels Airlines, which he co-founded after the bankruptcy of Sabena, the Belgian national airline that carried Patrice Lumumba to his own death in 1961 and shipped DRC’s plundered minerals out of Rwanda (1998-2005) in partnership with the Kagame regime. Davignon is also a member of the board of numerous Belgian companies, and a former director of Anglo-American Corporation, the big Oppenheimer/DeBeers mining conglomerate operating in Congo in partnership with G.H.W. Bush-connected Barrick Gold Corporation. A 2001 Belgian parliamentary enquiry concluded that Davignon played an important and active role in the assassination of Patrice Lumumba.(10) Like Maurice TEMPELSMAN, Davignon was deeply involved in the Western COUP D’ ETAT that put Joseph Mobutu in power, and kept him there. …

Maurice Tempelsman in Context

“Much of the ongoing exploitation today can be directly connected to banking, plantations and mining interests that plundered the Belgian Congo (1908-1960) and then the “independent” state—the Democratic Republic of Congo (1960-1972) and then Zaire (1972—1997)—controlled by Joseph Mobutu and his western business partners and backers.

“Amongst the many prominent people involved are Belgian nationals like Louis Michel, Étienne Davignon, Philippe de Moerloose and Andre Flahaut, and U.S. nationals like Henry Kissinger, Bill Richardson and Maurice Tempelsman. The interests of the Royal Family of Belgium are also involved.

The predatory meddling and plundering of such people is rendered invisible by the international “community”—press, think-tanks, non-government organizations, foreign policy institutes and especially by academia—e.g. anthropology, international relations, political science, and African affairs departments.

Étienne Davignon is also a director of Gilead Sciences, a “biotechnology” company whose past directors include Donald Rumsfeld (1988-2001).

Gilead directors today include George Shultz, a Bechtel director and former U.S. Secretary of State; Carla Hills, International Crisis Group director and NAFTA architect; John Madigan, a former Tribune Company (mass media and “news”) director and current member of the Defense Business Board of the U.S. Department of Defense; and Nicholas G. Moore, another Bechtel director, and former CEO/Chairman of PricewaterhouseCoopers from 1994-2004. Gilead Sciences was involved in the “Tamilflu” scare.

The International Crises Group (ICG) is a flak organization with a “humanitarian” front that is pressing a U.S. national security agenda. The ICG primes the international media with white supremacist policy statements about Congo, Uganda and Sudan (Darfur) that never address the structural violence that underpins the Western exploitation of Africa. The ICG and International Rescue Committee are two of the main organizers and steering entities behind the Anglo-European “Congo Global Action Coalition”—self-described as “a global alliance of humanitarian, human rights, environmental, and faith-based organizations, students, members of the Congolese Diaspora, and other grassroots movements. … ”

Chloe’s Blood Diamond

Angola Rock sold for $16 million to GUESS Jeans Founder

By Keith Harmon Snow
November 24, 2007

A huge flawless white diamond was sold on November 14 for nearly 18.2 million Swiss francs ($16.21 million) to Guess Jeans founder Georges Marciano, who named it the “Chloe Diamond” after his daughter, Sotheby’s auctioneers said.

While the hot Chloe rock is certified as a “clean” diamond, it was purchased from Angola’s state mining company, Endiama, a company involved in blood diamonds. No rock of desire of this stature—84.37 carats—comes out of Africa without organized bloodshed and suffering behind it.

“For the past 20 years, bloodshed and diamond mining have been two sides of the same coin,” said Rafael Marques, a human rights activist from Angola, “violence being explained either in the name of war or of combating illegal activities.”

Marques gave a lecture titled “Rinsing the Blood from Angola’s Diamonds” at Oxford University Africa Society in January 2007. “Today, I am here to share with you a reality of blood, and contempt for human rights, in the diamond fields [of Angola].”

Angola’s state firm Endiama is tied to the Lazare Kaplan diamond company owned by the Israeli-American Tempelsman diamond cartel. Maurice Tempelsman’s diamond interests were established in the Congo in the early 1960’s with the help of the CIA.

Sotheby’s luxury conglomerate identified the seller of the “Chloe” diamond as Ron Cohen, chief executive officer of Los Angeles-based company Clean Diamonds Inc. “The stone was from Angola,” Ron Cohen reportedly told Reuters. “It has gone through the Kimberley Process and has all the certificates, it is a clean diamond.”

Most media reports described Ron Cohen “as CEO of Clean Diamonds Inc. of Los Angeles,” but Reuters identified Cohen as an Israeli diamond dealer. The company “Clean Diamonds Inc.” is not found in the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission database. Clean Diamonds Inc. also lists New York and Belgium operations on its web site.

“The Kimberley Process is an organization set up by the diamond industry expressly to police trade in gems,” reported Reuters, “to prevent so-called ‘blood diamonds’ used to finance rebel groups and civil wars from coming on the market.”

However, Reuters is a mainstream international news service that supports the diamond industry by covering up crimes and structural violence that keeps Africa poor. Reuters de-links the suffering and bloodshed caused by diamond cartels in major diamond producing countries like Angola, Sierre Leone, Congo, Namibia, Botswana, Liberia, Central Africa Republic, and South Africa.

At the 2007 Oxford event, Rafael Marques described the response of the diamond industry to accusations of atrocities. “There have been shifts by the central and local authorities to address the accusations, either for damage control or simply to make more sophisticated the methods of abuse by outsourcing violence to private security companies,” he said.

The brilliant-cut “Chloe” diamond, which weighs 84.37 carats, is the second most expensive stone ever sold at auction. Sotheby’s press releases describe how Cohen held the 385-carat rough stone in his hand two years ago, before it was cut, when he allegedly bought it from Endiama.


Sotheby’s is another company involved in blood diamonds. In 2005 Sotheby’s partnered up with the Israeli-American Steinmetz Diamond Group to form Sotheby’s Diamonds. Beny and Danny Steinmetz of the Steinmetz Group are partnered with Dan Gertler, a new White House insider considered the unofficial “Ambassador” to the Democratic Republic of Congo, a country cursed by diamonds and other minerals, where at least seven million people have died since 1996.

Sotheby’s sold 385 gems at the auction, for a total of 64 million Swiss francs, many being diamonds from the blood diamond economy. With the “Chloe” diamond sale the 2007 total for “Magnificent Jewels sold at Sotheby’s Switzerland” hit $106,019,622. French billionaire Francois Pinault owns Christie’s (London) and Sotheby’s (Delaware).

The Steinmetz/Gertler partnerships between them have controlling interests in Dan Gertler Industries, Steinmetz Global Resources, Nikanor and Global Enterprises Corporate (GEC), companies with massive diamond concessions in Kasai, and copper/cobalt concessions in Katanga, two provinces in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The Israeli-American diamond cartels involved in Congo are seeking to displace the diamond interests in Angola run by Israel-American Lev Leviev and Maurice Tempelsman, top-level partners of the Angolan state diamond companies.

Belgian-born Maurice Tempelsman has a long and bloody history in Africa. When Congo’s first Premier, Patrice Lumumba, pledged to return diamond wealth back to the newly independent Congo in the early 60’s, Tempelsman, who began with De Beers in the 1950’s, helped engineer the coup d’etat that consolidated the dictatorship of 29 year-old Colonel Mobutu, and the coup against Ghana’s Kwame Nkrumah; diamonds were at stake in each.

“I believe this was the beginning of what we now know of as conflict diamonds in the Congo,” says blood diamond expert and investigative journalist Janine Roberts, author of the book Glitter and Greed: The Secret World of the Diamond Cartel. “From then on diamonds would be extensively used to discreetly fund wars, coups, repression and dictatorships, in Africa.”

Maurice Tempelsman is Chairman of the American Jewish Congress, a Zionist pressure group that claims it works closely with the Israeli military. SEC filings show that LKI directors are high-rolling Zionist lawyers and investment bankers: one director belongs to the law firm that once represented President Kennedy—another Tempelsman friend. LKI is also connected to the euphemistically named United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

The Tempelsman empire remains rock solid behind Leon Tempelsman & Sons, De Beers, and Lazare Kaplan International—supplier of Tiffany’s and Cartier’s diamonds.


In 2003 the “international community”—a conglomeration of Group of Eight (G-8) executives “partnered” with the diamond industry—established a formal mechanism ostensibly to control the flow of conflict diamonds. The United Nations mandated Kimberley Process is a voluntary self-regulation scheme where the industry crafts ‘passport’ documents certifying all stones as conflict free.

Also in 2003 the international World Diamond Council was created by the diamond industry and the U.S. Congress passed the “Clean Diamond Act.” These three formal processes falsely assure consumers that more than 99% of rough stones today come from conflict-free sources.

Since at least 1996, the campaigns of Russ Feingold (D-WI), who co-sponsored the Senate version of the U.S. “Clean Diamond Act” passed in 2003 have been heavily funded by Leon Tempelsman & Son.

Late in 2006, as the Christmas diamond rush was approaching, the film Blood Diamond starring Leonardo DiCaprio provoked the World Diamond Council to launch a blitzkreig advertising campaign—full-page ads in the New York Times, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, the International Herald Tribune—touting the self-policing successes of the Kimberley Process. The campaign was presumably coordinated to counter the supposed “negative publicity” of the Blood Diamond film.

The Kimberly Process was launched under the narrow definition that “conflict diamonds” only originate from conflicts between ‘rebels’ and ‘governments’: it refers to smuggling by militias antagonistic to ‘legitimate’ member governments.

After the film Blood Diamond opened in the U.S., diamond sales were never been better.

“I’m wearing diamond ear rings today because they are conflict free,” actress Jennifer Connelly, who stars in Blood Diamond, reportedly said. “It would be fantastic if some of these natural resources benefited more people but until that can happen we can certainly make a stand and insist that the diamonds we wear are conflict free, which doesn’t mean boycotting diamonds. It just means making sure we support a more accountable Kimberly Process.”


Artisanal diamond miners in Angola called artisanos or garimpeiros are forced into ‘illegal’ mining because Angola’s mining security companies push people off their own land. While agriculture and commerce in the region require the direct authorization of the Provincial Governor, not one artisano has been granted a license for diamond exploration or subsistence agriculture. The ‘legitimate’ government of Angola forces desperate people to resort to ‘illegal’ activities to survive but according to Rafael Marques, garimpeiros contribute more to the profits of some of the state diamond mining firms than big industrial operations.

Three private military companies (PMCs) have been targeting garimpeiros in Angola. The mercenary firms Alfa-5, Teleservices, and K&P Mineira defend Angola’s big name diamond firms like Sociedade de Desenvolvimento Mineiro (Sodiam), Sociedade Mineira de Cuango, and Sociedade Mineira Luminas. Human rights researcher Rafael Marques has recently documented more than 50 cases of PMCs arresting, beating and torturing garimpeiros. They stop garimpeiros from fishing in their rivers, growing their own food, or living traditional lives; they have forced sexual relations on family members, including same-sex rape and sodomy.

The PMCs operate behind Angola’s public diamond company, Endiama, and have exclusive rights to Angola’s diamonds. Endiama owns 99% of shares in Sodiam, which has a joint venture with Lazare Kaplan International (LKI) of the Israeli-American Maurice Tempelsman family.

Sodiam works with the Russo-Israeli Lev Leviev Group. Endiama owns part of Alfa-5, one of the PMCs that exploit and torture garimpeiros. Alfa-5 and K&P Mineira provide security for ASCORP—the Angola Selling Corporation—another Angolan monopoly.

One of ASCORP’s controlling investors, Lev Leviev, runs a global commercial empire that includes: Leviev Group of Companies; Lev Leviev Diamonds; Africa-Israel (commercial real estate in Prague and London); Gottex (swimwear) Company; 1,700 Fina gas stations in the Southwest U.S.; 173 7-Elevens in New Mexico and Texas; a 33% stake in Cross Israel Highway (Israel’s first toll road); and more. Leviev partner Arcady Gaydamak, an arms dealer, also reportedly works with Danny Yatom, a former MOSSAD (Israeli secret service) chief and security advisor to former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak. Leviev is connected to Russian President Vladimir Putin, and to Sandline International, a U.K./South African mercenary firm operating in the war-torn areas of Eastern Congo and Uganda.

While participants in the Kimberley Process complained of the criminality of UNITA, the infamous rebels once supported by the CIA, but they gave the “legitimate” Dos Santos government a sparkling bill of health. Angola exemplifies the process whereby an international certification scheme enforced by the United Nations rubber stamps boxes of rough stones according to their ‘country of origin.’ Stamped ‘Angola’ the public is assured that these diamonds are now ‘conflict free,’ because these nations are members of the Kimberley certification.

The Kimberley Process was partially instituted through the work of Robert Rotberg at Harvard University. Maurice Tempelsman chairs the International Advisory Council at the Harvard AIDS Institute (HAI) of the School of Public Health. Rotberg and Tempelsman shared a panel at the Council on Foreign Relations with people like Walter Kansteiner, National Security under Bill Clinton and current director of a gold company involved in Congo’s bloody eastern zone.

Maurice Tempelsman was for decades the unofficial ambassador to Congo/Zaire; Dan Gertler has usurped that role. In 2000 Gertler was named Honorary Consul to the Congo. Beny Steinmetz may be the biggest De Beers “sightholder”. Africa Confidential called President Kabila’s 2003 visit to the Bush White House a “coup” for Gertler and Steinmetz. Gertler’s best friend is Brooklyn-born Chaim Leibowitz, a personal friend of Condoleeza Rice.


Tempelsman and Steinmetz bought diamonds from both sides during Angola’s thirty-year war. Israeli diamond tycoons Gertler and Leviev are reportedly jockeying for power with Isabel Dos Santos, the high-rolling diamond-studded daughter of the President of Angola.

The Israel Diamond Exchange in Tel Aviv, which today brings Israel $13 billion annually in commerce, and is the country’s second-largest industry. Israel buys some 50% of the world’s rough diamonds, and the U.S. buys two-thirds of these.

Diamonds are Israel’s top export. In 2005 figures, exports to the EU totaled $10.7 billion in 2004, including $2.5 billion in diamonds (23.3%); exports to the US totaled $14.2 billion in 2004, including $7.3 billion in diamonds (51.4%); exports to Asia totaled $7.1 billion in 2004, including $3.2 billion in diamonds (45.0%); exports to the rest of the world totaled $6.6 billion in 2004, including $800 million in diamonds (12.1%).

Dan Gertler’s grandfather, Moshe Schnitzer, is known in Israel as “Mr. Diamond,” founder of the Israel Diamond Exchange in Tel Aviv. Moshe Schnitzer’s son and Dan Gertler’s uncle is Shmuel Schnitzer, Vice-Chairman of the Belgian-based World Diamond Council—the entity that promotes the false image of “clean” or “conflict-free” diamonds.

In June 2002, as the Kimberley Process was unfolding, Daniel Horowitz, CEO of IDH Diamonds, gave a speech at the 3rd World Diamond Conference titled “Rough Diamonds in a Brave New World.” IDH works with Endiama, BHP-Billiton and De Beers, another of the big diamond cartels.

“Ladies and gentlemen, it would be irresponsible to circumvent the fact that it is highly problematic, if not unfeasible, to work out a system in order to control the flow of rough diamonds around the world,” Horowitz said. “The reality is that once diamonds are mined there is almost nothing one can do in order to prevent them from reaching the market. No certification scheme can truly be reliable, not only because war-torn areas are by definition disorganized, but mainly because it is intrinsically impossible to distinguish between good and bad diamonds. Misguiding traders and consumers with untrustworthy guarantees would inevitably be demystified over time. As opposed to this, it is critical to publicize that the mainstream diamond trade is legitimate. It needs to be said again and again that conflict diamonds are an irrelevant portion of world production. And as far as humanitarian issues are concerned, the added value the industry generates worldwide particularly benefits the developing world.”

Angola remains a war-torn country selling billions of dollars worth of diamonds annually. In the past four years the government of Angola has waged a permanent war against poor people, destroying thousands of homes and taking the land in mass forced evictions. People were beaten, tortured and arbitrarily arrested. At least 1000 people die in eastern Congo every day.

Millions of blood diamonds from past and current wars remain locked in the vaults of the Belgian, Russian, New York, London and Israeli diamond bourses to insure the artificially high, monopoly-fixed, prices of diamonds.

Rafael Marques outlined cases torture, brutalization and assassinations—cases of personal brutality he investigated—that characterize diamond mining by state firms in Angola today.

“Should one, after this brief explanation,” Marques asked, “say that the extraction of diamonds in Angola is OK? What the Kimberley Process, which was designed to drive blood diamonds out of the market, is doing is to rinse the blood from the gems, extracted in [Angola] and certify them as clean.”

Related Articles

Keith Harmon Snow and Rick Hines: “Blood Diamond: Doublethink and Deception Over Those Worthless Little Rocks of Desire,” Z Magazine, June and July 2007, and Blood Diamonds at < >.

Rafael Marques, Rinsing the Blood from Angola’s Diamonds, Oxford University Africa Society, January 26, 2007.

Also see: A Hal Turner Timeline

” … Maybe the FBI really does need to put people like Hal Turner on its payroll. But at what point does paying for information simply turn into sponsorship of hate at the expense of a local community? … “
December 3, 2009

It’s sometimes said that it takes a thief to catch a thief. That sort of calculus apparently pertains to paid informants in some of the scummiest corners of society.

The Record of Bergen County, N.J., has detailed a convoluted, unholy alliance between the FBI and Web radio hatemonger Hal Turner.

It’s an important relationship to Kingston.

Turner, a resident of North Bergen, N.J., was the organizer of a 2005 rally here intended to press law enforcement authorities to treat a black-on-white assault at Kingston High School as a hate crime. Local authorities said the facts of the incident did not support such a prosecution.

Turner managed to attract only 40 supporters — though, who knows how many of those might also have been informants, undercover cops or simple curiosity-seekers? — but the event put the city on tenterhooks and cost a pretty penny.

According to The Record, the FBI paid Turner thousands of dollars to feed the bureau information on white supremacists and neo-Nazis. The paper says the relationship between Turner and the FBI dates to 2003 and lasted until this year.

Turner is now being tried on charges he made Web death threats against federal judges in June. He was arrested three weeks later.

How much Turner was actually paid by the FBI is unclear, but The Record says FBI memos show the bureau had “as much as $100,000” at its disposal for his work as an informant.

In other words, a credible argument could be made that federal taxpayers underwrote Turner’s little star turn in Kingston as a traveling rabble rouser peddling racist nonsense.

In the end, the event cost city taxpayers $80,000, according to Mayor James Sottile.

But that’s not the half of it, really.

What community needs someone actively fanning the flames of racial hatred? It doesn’t take much for the wheels of everyday order and civility to come off when racial passions are aroused, especially among the more volatile elements of a community.

In that regard, it’s chastening to note that a facilitator in Turner’s little escapade was James Leshkevich, a white supremacist wingnut from West Hurley. Leshkevich claimed to have played a central role in attracting Turner to Kingston.

Three years later, Leshkevich strangled his wife with his bare hands before hanging himself. Did Turner respond to Leshkevich’s appeal because the FBI was interested in who the event might shake out of the bushes?

Even if the FBI had no role in the Kingston event, didn’t it effectively underwrite Turner’s agitation by having him on payroll?

Maybe the FBI really does need to put people like Hal Turner on its payroll. But at what point does paying for information simply turn into sponsorship of hate at the expense of a local community? And at what potential costs?
Ranting: Right-wing radio
December 1, 2009

A remarkable American phenomenon is the popularity and financial success of ultraconservative commentators who rage on radio, television and the Internet.

Now, a national spotlight is shining on one of them: Hal Turner of New Jersey, who earned $15,000 a month by calling for lynching of blacks, assassination of President Obama and murder of judges who upheld a ban on pistols. He’s on trial this week for the latter threat.

Incredibly, the FBI also paid Turner perhaps $100,000 as a secret informant about far-right extremist groups such as the neo-Nazi National Alliance, based in Pocahontas County. He came to West Virginia to meet leaders of the “hate group.” The Bergen Record newspaper discovered his double life as an FBI snitch, and printed this report Sunday:

Turner, 47, is a former moving van worker who was arrested for cocaine addiction in Atlanta. Returning to New Jersey, he became a Republican activist and local campaign manager for presidential candidate Pat Buchanan. He was a regular caller to Sean Hannity’s right-wing radio show, before Hannity moved to Fox News. Turner endlessly attacked abortion, immigrants and other conservative targets, “Tea Party” style.

Torner’s pal in the right-wing hate biz, Sean Hannity, programs “conservative” proles with, he once admitted on Air America’s Al Franken show, “little lies”

After starting his own commentator show, Turner urged “a full day of violence against blacks … lynchings, church-burnings, drive-by shootings and bombings to put these subhuman animals back in their place.”

During the 2008 presidential campaign, he suggested the killing of Barack Obama: “It may be up to a sole person, acting alone, to make certain this guy is never allowed to hold the most powerful office in the world,” he wrote on his Web site.

After three Chicago-based federal appeals judges upheld a ban on pistols, Turner wrote: “Let me be the first to say this plainly: These judges deserve to be killed. Their blood will replenish the tree of liberty.” He posted photos of the judges, gave their office phone numbers, and included a map of their courthouse location. This action caused him to be arrested on charges of inciting murder.

While awaiting trial, Turner gave the Bergen Record large files of e-mails showing he had been employed by the FBI, supplying covert information about the National Alliance, Aryan Nations, skinheads and other extremists. The newspaper reported:

“FBI memos indicate that the bureau had appropriated as much as $100,000 for Turner’s work as an informant.” The FBI gave him a code name, “Valhalla.” To gain inside information, the paper said, Turner attended a “National Alliance meeting in Elmwood Park [N.J.] and its leadership conference in West Virginia.”

As a federal prosecutor, Chris Christie, now Republican governor-elect of New Jersey, allegedly gave Turner a letter promising that he wouldn’t be charged. Christie refuses to discuss this allegation.