Archive for category Unconstitutional Wars

New Snowden Docs Confirm NSA’s Role In Drone Killings

predator-droneThis article was written by Joe Wright and originally published at Activist Post

Also posted at oathkeepers.org

While the world is rightly concerned about the wholesale dragnet spying of citizens across the planet, another program has emerged which shows how “intelligence” gathered by the National Security Agency (NSA) is being used in a lethal manner.

Leaked documents from Edward Snowden in October revealed a secret unit of the NSA that was designed to process the communications of certain targeted individuals.

Chillingly, as detailed in the video below, this intelligence unit actually led to the confirmed death of Hassan Ghul, an alleged associate of Osama bin Laden. Now, however, new documents released by Glenn Greenwald and his new project The Intercept indicate that the targeting of individuals is far less precise than previously believed, leading to incorrect target identification and the documented killing of innocent people.

The NSA continues to assert the benign collection of “metadata” vs. the worry of the general population that actual conversations are swept up in dragnets and listened to. The new report from The Intercept indicates that cell phone metadata collection can have lethal implications:

An anonymous former drone operator for Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) told The Intercept — a new publication helmed by Glenn Greenwald, who broke the first of many NSA revelations last year — that the US military and CIA use the NSA’s metadata analysis and phone-tracking abilities to identify airstrike targets without confirming their veracity on the ground. (Source)

This use of signals intelligence (SIGINT) as opposed to human intelligence ground confirmation (HUMINT), is leading the CIA and military to order strikes based on tracking data alone. Although the source is anonymous, Greenwald states that leaked documents from whistleblower Edward Snowden confirm what the former drone operator is purporting, and is also supported by the testimony from Brandon Bryant, another former drone operator who revealed his identity.

The problems with assigning metadata to human targets are many:

One problem, he explains, is that targets are increasingly aware of the NSA’s reliance on geolocating, and have moved to thwart the tactic. Some have as many as 16 different SIM cards associated with their identity within the High Value Target system. Others, unaware that their mobile phone is being targeted, lend their phone, with the SIM card in it, to friends, children, spouses and family members.

Some top Taliban leaders, knowing of the NSA’s targeting method, have purposely and randomly distributed SIM cards among their units in order to elude their trackers. “They would do things like go to meetings, take all their SIM cards out, put them in a bag, mix them up, and everybody gets a different SIM card when they leave,” the former drone operator says. “That’s how they confuse us.”

As a result, even when the agency correctly identifies and targets a SIM card belonging to a terror suspect, the phone may actually be carried by someone else, who is then killed in a strike. According to the former drone operator, the geolocation cells at the NSA that run the tracking program – known as Geo Cell –sometimes facilitate strikes without knowing whether the individual in possession of a tracked cell phone or SIM card is in fact the intended target of the strike.

“Once the bomb lands or a night raid happens, you know that phone is there,” he says. “But we don’t know who’s behind it, who’s holding it. It’s of course assumed that the phone belongs to a human being who is nefarious and considered an ‘unlawful enemy combatant.’ This is where it gets very shady.”

The former drone operator also says that he personally participated in drone strikes where the identity of the target was known, but other unknown people nearby were also killed.

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As the former JSOC drone operator describes – and as classified documents obtained from Snowden confirm – the NSA doesn’t just locate the cell phones of terror suspects by intercepting communications from cell phone towers and Internet service providers. The agency also equips drones and other aircraft with devices known as “virtual base-tower transceivers” – creating, in effect, a fake cell phone tower that can force a targeted person’s device to lock onto the NSA’s receiver without their knowledge.

That, in turn, allows the military to track the cell phone to within 30 feet of its actual location, feeding the real-time data to teams of drone operators who conduct missile strikes or facilitate night raids.
The NSA geolocation system used by JSOC is known by the code name GILGAMESH. Under the program, a specially constructed device is attached to the drone. As the drone circles, the device locates the SIM card or handset that the military believes is used by the target.

Relying on this method, says the former JSOC drone operator, means that the “wrong people” could be killed due to metadata errors, particularly in Yemen, Pakistan and Somalia. “We don’t have people on the ground – we don’t have the same forces, informants, or information coming in from those areas – as we do where we have a strong foothold, like we do in Afghanistan. I would say that it’s even more likely that mistakes are made in places such as Yemen or Somalia, and especially Pakistan.”

As of May 2013, according to the former drone operator, President Obama had cleared 16 people in Yemen and five in Somalia for targeting in strikes. Before a strike is green-lit, he says, there must be at least two sources of intelligence. The problem is that both of those sources often involve NSA-supplied data, rather than human intelligence (HUMINT).

(Must-read full report is here)

The complete lawlessness of the NSA, the drone program, and everything that the military-industrial-surveillance complex is involved with continues to become more obvious with each new revelation.

One can only imagine what comes next.

The injustice being committed overseas is an extreme version that very well could creep into domestic NSA operations if the NSA is not thwarted.

Fortunately, an increasing number of states are asserting their rights to be free of this federal intrusion. Please read the latest from The Tenth Amendment center and the OffNow Coalition, as citizens aim to Nullify the NSA.

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Judge Andrew Napolitano & Shepard Smith Slam Syria Intervention: No One Seems To Care About The Law

Published on Sep 5, 2013

Judge Napolitano9/5/13 – On Thursday afternoon, two of Fox News’s more outspoken anti-war voices in Judge Andrew Napolitano and Shepard Smith spoke out against what they believe would be a “war crime” if the United States were to militarily intervene in the Syrian civil war, even after a potential congressional rejection vote. “It is illegal under international law and illegal under the Constitution,” Napolitano told his colleague. “You can use military force to attack somebody that attacked you or you can use military force to attack one that is about to attack you. Neither of those apply with respect to Syria.” He added that, however, a country may legally use military force to enforce international norms when authorized to do so by the United Nations — a situation which has not happened here.

Napolitano also noted for Smith that, technically speaking, “the president can start any war he wants, against anybody he wants for 90 days and nothing congress can do about it” under the War Powers Act. However, he added, that law is unconstitutional.

“If the president is unleashed to do whatever he wants in Syria,” Napolitano lamented, “Congress cannot stop him from putting the 75,000 boots on the ground that General Dempsey said would be necessary.”

“So if they do this, we have committed a war crime,” Smith asserted.

Napolitano agreed, adding that, in the event we strike Syria, there will be no way of stopping the United States. “No judge is going to stop this; no one is going to prosecute the president,” the judge said. “The American people don’t want this to happen; our allies in the region don’t want this to happen. Who wants this to happen besides John Kerry and the president?”

The judge concluded by suggesting that any president can become “lawless” when they have a powerful military at their disposal. “No one seems to care about the law here,” he said. “They just seem to care about politics. Congress lets the president start a war; the president doesn’t care what international law says. He wants to be vindicated politically.”

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Reuters: US To Strike Syria Before UN Evidence Collected

rocket attack

This article was written by Tony Cartalucci and originally published at Land Destroyer Report

Also posted at oathkeepers.org

The US has accused the Syrian government of delaying UN inspectors from accessing the site of an alleged chemical weapons attack in Damascus. But now, according to Reuters, the US appears to be preparing to strike Syria militarily before the UN’s now ongoing investigation is concluded and evidence revealed to either support or conflict with the West’s so far baseless allegations.

Reuters’ article, “Syria strike due in days, West tells opposition: sources,” states that:

Western powers told the Syrian opposition to expect a strike against President Bashar al-Assad’s forces within days, according to sources who attended a meeting between envoys and the Syrian National Coalition in Istanbul.

“The opposition was told in clear terms that action to deter further use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime could come as early as in the next few days, and that they should still prepare for peace talks at Geneva,” one of the sources who was at the meeting on Monday told Reuters.

Clearly, such a strike would render moot both the UN inspection team’s investigation and any evidence they may find.

While the US has accused the Syrian government of obstructing an investigation that is indeed already being carried out, the impending US attack would indefinitely end the UN’s efforts. If, as the US reasons, obstructing the UN’s investigation implicates guilt, then the US has just made itself the prime suspect of what is increasingly appearing to be a staged provocation to salvage a proxy war the US and its allies have all but lost.

What “Limited Strikes” Really Means

Before the US and its allies mire the world in another unprovoked military adventure at the cost of thousands, perhaps even millions of lives, the wider strategy behind what the US is calling “limited strikes” should be fully understood.

Much of the West’s proxy war against Syria has been drawn from plans laid by the Brookings Institution versus Iran in a 2009 document titled, “Which Path to Persia?” The report stated:

…it would be far more preferable if the United States could cite an Iranian provocation as justification for the airstrikes before launching them. Clearly, the more outrageous, the more deadly, and the more unprovoked the Iranian action, the better off the United States would be. Of course, it would be very difficult for the United States to goad Iran into such a provocation without the rest of the world recognizing this game, which would then undermine it. (One method that would have some possibility of success would be to ratchet up covert regime change efforts in the hope that Tehran would retaliate overtly, or even semi-overtly, which could then be portrayed as an unprovoked act of Iranian aggression.) -Brookings Institution’s 2009 “Which Path to Persia?” report, pages 84-85.

Clearly those in the West intent on striking Iran (and now Syria) realize both the difficulty of obtaining a plausible justification, and the utter lack of support they have globally to carry out an attack even if they manage to find a suitable pretext. An article recently published in Slate indicates that the approval rating of a proposed assault on Syria is only 9% – making the potential war the most unpopular conflict in American history.

Brookings would continue throughout their 2009 report enumerating methods of provoking Iran, including conspiring to fund opposition groups to overthrow the Iranian government, crippling Iran’s economy, and funding US State Department-listed terrorist organizations to carry deadly attacks within Iran itself.

In Syria, each and every one of these options have also been tried, and have subsequently failed. It was revealed as far back as 2007 that the US was planning on arming and funding terrorists to overthrow the government of Syria, as reported by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh in his New Yorker article “The Redirection: Is the Administration’s new policy benefiting our enemies in the war on terrorism?

Starting in 2011, it has become increasing clear that the so-called “freedom fighters” in Syria are in fact terrorists drawn directly from the ranks of Al Qaeda, armed, funded, and otherwise supported by NATO just as was described in Hersh’s 2007 report.

Despite these overt acts of war, and even considering an option to unilaterally conduct limited airstrikes against Iranian and now Syrian targets, Brookings indicated there was still the strong possibility Iran (and now Syria) would not allow itself to be sufficiently provoked:

It would not be inevitable that Iran would lash out violently in response to an American air campaign, but no American president should blithely assume that it would not.

The report continues:

However, because many Iranian leaders would likely be looking to emerge from the fighting in as advantageous a strategic position as possible, and because they would likely calculate that playing the victim would be their best route to that goal, they might well refrain from such retaliatory missile attacks. – Brookings Institution’s 2009 “Which Path to Persia?” report, page 95.

Already, both Turkey’s current government and its regional partner Israel have attacked Syria on numerous occasions with Syria each time exhibiting infinite restraint.

It is then revealed that the term “limited strikes” is a euphemism for “attempted provocations” to intentionally initiate a wider conflict. While the Brookings document refers to Iran, it is clear that if the West is to topple the Syrian government now with its proxy forces already spent, it will have to do so itself with a military campaign exceeding the currently planned “limited strikes.” Additionally, realizing there is virtually no support for a war with either Syria or Iran, special interests across the West are attempting to tangle the world in this lethal conflict by disingenuously proposing, at first, something relatively benign they believe they can get away with even without popular support.

Western special interests hope that a Syrian response and the death of American and/or Israeli troops – perhaps the sinking of a US ship or the loss of multiple US aircraft – will turn the 9% approval rating for their premeditated assault on Syria into an overwhelming baying for blood across the West’s populations. Failing to elicit a response from Syria, this may be accomplished with false flag attacks, as was the case in the Gulf of Tonkin incident at the onset of the Vietnam War.

Understanding that the intentional endangerment and death of US troops and their allied counterparts is part of initiating an otherwise impossible wider war, inoculates much of an already war-weary Western population from the “rally around the flag” effect Western special interests are depending on to re-energize their failed Middle East adventure.

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Coup D’etat: Pentagon & Obama Declare Congress Ceremonial

Leon_Panetta

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Coup D’etat: Pentagon & Obama Declare Congress Ceremonial

Congressman Jones introduces bill that would subject Panetta & Obama to impeachment

Paul Joseph Watson
Infowars.com
Thursday, March 8, 2012

Read original posting of this article here:

http://www.prisonplanet.com/coup-detat-pentagon-obama-declare-congress-ceremonial.html

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s testimony asserting that the United Nations and NATO have supreme authority over the actions of the United States military, words which effectively declare Congress a ceremonial relic, have prompted Congressman Walter Jones to introduce a resolution that re-affirms such behavior as an “impeachable high crime and misdemeanor” under the Constitution.

During a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing yesterday, Panetta and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey brazenly admitted that their authority comes not from the U.S. Constitution, but that the United States is subservient to and takes its marching orders from the United Nations and NATO, international bodies over which the American people have no democratic influence.

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Panetta was asked by Senator Jeff Sessions, “We spend our time worrying about the U.N., the Arab League, NATO and too little time, in my opinion, worrying about the elected representatives of the United States. As you go forward, will you consult with the United States Congress?”

The Defense Secretary responded “You know, our goal would be to seek international permission. And we would come to the Congress and inform you and determine how best to approach this, whether or not we would want to get permission from the Congress.”

Despite Sessions’ repeated efforts to get Panetta to acknowledge that the United States Congress is supreme to the likes of NATO and the UN, Panetta exalted the power of international bodies over the US legislative branch.

“I’m really baffled by the idea that somehow an international assembly provides a legal basis for the United States military to be deployed in combat,” Sessions said. “I don’t believe it’s close to being correct. They provide no legal authority. The only legal authority that’s required to deploy the United States military is of the Congress and the president and the law and the Constitution.”

In an effort to re-affirm the fact that “the use of offensive military force by a President without prior and clear authorization of an Act of Congress constitutes an impeachable high crime and misdemeanor under article II, section 4 of the Constitution,” Republican Congressman Walter Jones has introduced a resolution in the House of Representatives.

The full text reads;

Expressing the sense of Congress that the use of offensive military force by a President without prior and clear authorization of an Act of Congress constitutes an impeachable high crime and misdemeanor under article II, section 4 of the Constitution.

Whereas the cornerstone of the Republic is honoring Congress’s exclusive power to declare war under article I, section 8, clause 11 of the Constitution: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That it is the sense of Congress that, except in response to an actual or imminent attack against the territory of the United States, the use of offensive military force by a President without prior and clear authorization of an Act of Congress violates Congress’s exclusive power to declare war under article I, section 8, clause 11 of the Constitution and therefore constitutes an impeachable high crime and misdemeanor under article II, section 4 of the Constitution.

Under the terms of Jones’ resolution, both Panetta and Obama would be subject to impeachment for abusing their power and violating the Constitution in disregarding the authority of Congress and placing a foreign power above its jurisdiction.

Despite the Pentagon’s efforts to claim that Panetta’s words were misinterpreted, the Obama administration itself has routinely cited the authority of the United Nations in relation to last year’s invasion of Libya, which was conducted without approval from Congress.

In June last year, President Obama arrogantly expressed his hostility to the rule of law when he dismissed the need to get congressional authorization to commit the United States to a military intervention in Libya, churlishly dismissing criticism and remarking, “I don’t even have to get to the Constitutional question.”

Obama tried to legitimize his failure to obtain Congressional approval for military involvement by sending a letter to Speaker of the House John Boehner in which he said the military assault was “authorized by the United Nations (U.N.) Security Council.”

In boldly asserting the authority of international powers over and above the legislative branch, Panetta and Obama are openly declaring that they no longer represent the American people and instead are water carriers for a global dictatorship that has usurped the sovereignty of the United States.

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Paul Joseph Watson is the editor and writer for Prison Planet.com. He is the author of Order Out Of Chaos. Watson is also a regular fill-in host for The Alex Jones Show and Infowars Nightly News.

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General Smedley Butler: War Is A Racket

General Smedley Darlington ButlerGeneral Smedley Darlington Butler

Note from Elias Alias:

I am going to use two separate postings to get the whole book into our site, for the book is a bit too long to fit into one textbox here. Part Two is here:

http://oathkeepers.org/oath/2011/09/28/general-smedley-butler-war-is-a-racket_part-two/

As prelude, we’ll look at some of the bio details of General Smedley Butler’s career and also read from one of his speeches from the 1930s.

In 1966 I traveled down from the 3RD Marine Air Wing headquarters at El Toro, California, to San Diego, California, where I joined my new outfit to go overseas to Viet Nam.  I was attached to a Marine Air Support Squadron, which was a high-tech field-ready mobile headquarters for coordinating jet air strikes and bombing runs.  We went over the pond on an old LST (Landing Ship, Tank) named the USS Jennings County. Between San Diego and Chu Lai, RVN, the Jennings County stopped for extended visits at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii; Naha Harbor, Okinawa; and Subic Bay, Philippine Islands.

While at Naha Harbor, Okinawa, I took a ride out to a US Marine Corps base, which Marines referred to as “Camp Butler”. It was a modern Marine Corps base, actually, with hospital facilities. The base was named for Major General Smedley D. Butler, USMC.  While my visit to Camp Butler was simply as a tourist, I would return there almost a year later to spend some time in the hospital there.

So I was at Camp Smedley Butler twice during the 1960s. At the beginning of a new millennium in the year 2000 I would learn something about the General for whom that base had been named.  It seems that General Smedley D. Butler was one of the two greatest Marines in the entirety of the United States Marine Corps’ history. He was rivaled only by General Chesty Puller.

However, General Butler did something after he retired from the USMC, something which the Pentagon and War Hawks of the military-industrial complex today would prefer we do not know. He wrote a book. It was a little book, but it was a very damning little book. The book’s title is “War Is A Racket”. Moreover, he followed publication of the book by touring the nation giving speeches on its subject matter.

I am going to share that book with Oath Keepers here and now, with a personal invitation to each reader here to consider somberly what General Butler wrote, and see if it applies to the United States, our military adventures abroad, our foreign policy, and the military industrial complex which another famous General cautioned us about just a few years before I quit college and volunteered to join the Marines and go to Viet Nam. (1965)

There are numerous postings of General Butler’s book online. The book is also available in hard-copy for readers who enjoy collecting actual books for their homes. Thank you for reading War Is A Racket by General Smedley Darlington Butler, holder of two Congressional Medals of Honor and author of the most damning confession ever written by any retired U.S. military General. We’ll begin with a bit of bio.

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Smedley Darlington Butler was born at West Chester, PA on July 30, 1881. Over his parents objections, at the age of 16 he left home and enlisted as a Marine. He was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in  1898, just 38 days short of his 17th birthday. He was promoted to   Brevet Captain for his heroic action during the Boxer Rebellion in  China in 1900. Thus began a career that lasted 33 years and saw him become one of only two Marines ever to hold double awards of the Navy  issue Medal of Honor.

Bearing a tattoo of the Marine Corps emblem which covered his entire chest, April of 1898 saw Butler, a newly promoted First Lieutenant, in  the Philippines exchanging “Professional military courtesies” with the insurgent Moros during the Philippine Insurrection.

Less than a year later, serving under Major L.W.T. Waller, Butler was combating the Chinese I Ho Ch’uan, (Virtuous, Harmonious Fists) commonly known as the “Boxers.” This group, attacking Chinese Christians and slaughtering missionaries, was embarked upon a pillaging and rioting spree with the plan of ousting Westerners from the Western enclaves. With the tacit approval of the Chinese Imperial Government during the month of June, approximately 140,000 violent Boxers seized the capital city of Peking and laid siege to the foreign Legations.

As part of the multinational relief force sent to break the siege, Butler and his Marines attacked the blocking city of Tientsen. Fighting his way over the wall Butler opened the gates allowing the entrance of the rest of the attacking forces. During this battle the Marine Officer was wounded twice, yet continued to fight and evacuated other wounded Marines while subjected to vicious enemy fire.

It was during this action that Butler was awarded one of the rarest of American decorations for valor, the Marine Corps Brevet Medal. Awarded to Marine Officers who displayed bravery under fire, (At this time officers were not authorized the Medal of Honor.) only twenty two of these medals were ever issued.

A stalwart leader, while commanding a small detachment of Marines aboard the USS Panther in 1903, the now Captain Butler rescued the U.S. Consular agent from rebels in Honduras. Not even malaria could keep this Marine down. Between 1909 and 1912 he was in Nicaragua enforcing American policy. With a fever of 104 degrees he once led his battalion to the relief of a rebel besieged Nicaraguan city of Grenada.

1914, As a result of an international incident involving a party of Americans ashore from the USS Dolphin in the Mexican city of Tampico, President Wilson and the U.S. Congress retaliated by authorizing the use of military force against Mexico, “…to maintain the dignity and authority of the United States,…” And so began the battle of Vera Cruz. On April 21 Admiral F.E. Fletcher sailed into the harbor of Vera Cruz with a squadron of warships and a regiment of U.S. Marines.

Again, Butler was in the thick of it. The Admiral dispatched Butler on a secret reconnaissance of Mexico City, in the event that a rescue mission for American citizens became necessary. Butler, using several disguises, made it in and out with the information which Fletcher required. He also made it back in time to command his Marine battalion in two days of house to house fighting.

It was here that Butler won his first Medal of Honor. Awarded on Dec. 1915, the citation reads, “For distinguished conduct in command of his battalion. He exhibited courage and skill in leading his men through the action of the 22nd and in the final occupation of the city.”

Haiti in 1915 was again in a dangerous state of political upheaval, and at 5:50 pm on July 28, two companies of Marines and three sailors landed in Haiti. Thus what would become a long involvement between Haiti and the U.S. Marines began. An involvement which, off and on has continued to the present day. As the occupation of this small Caribbean country began, so too did the events which would bring Butler his second Medal of Honor.

The Marines and sailors under Admiral Caperton rapidly reestablished order and an interim government. Police, customs, schools and hospitals were all placed under the purview of the Marines and Naval personnel assigned to the occupation. Roads were built or improved, cities and towns were were refurbished.

The Marines established a law enforcing constabulary, officered by Marine NCO’s who were granted Haitian commissions as officers and leaders of native troops. This group, called the Gendarmerie d’Haiti, was tasked with enforcing all laws of the country and provided a quasi military force. They were backed by the Krag-Jorgensen rifles of the 1st Marine Brigade with 88 Officers and 1941 men garrisoning ten towns.

But even all the improvements in the standard of living in this corrupt country did not settle a group of rebels called the Cacos. On the northern end of the country, skirmishing continued in the villages and jungled mountains. (It was during this same period that Gunnery Sergeant Daniel J. Daly, the other Marine to hold two Navy issue Medals of Honor, won his second award of this highest American decoration.)

In the dark of the night on Nov. 17 1915, Butler, leading a strong force of Marines and sailors surrounded the last stronghold of the Cacos. Fort Riviere, on a mountain to the south of Grand Riviere du Nord. At 07:30 am, Butler gave a signal on a whistle and all the Marines attacked. The surprise was total and the Cacos were taken in confusion. Crawling through a tunnel. Butler and his men were involved in bloody hand to hand fighting. In 15 minutes, more than 50 Cacos were killed.

The citation for Butler’s second Medal of Honor reads, “As Commanding Officer of detachments from the Fifth, Thirteenth, Twenty-third Companies and Marine and Sailor detachment from USS Connecticut, Major Butler led an attack on Fort Riviere, Haiti 17 November 1915. Following a concentrated drive, several different detachments of Marines gradually closed in on the old French bastion fort in a effort to cut off all avenues of retreat for the Cacos bandits. Reaching the fort on the southern side where there was a small opening in the wall, Major Butler gave the signal to attack and Marines from the Fifteenth Company poured through the breach, engaged the Cacos in hand-to-hand combat, took the bastion and crushed Caco resistance. Throughout this perilous action, Major Butler was conspicuous for his bravery and forceful leadership.”

By 1927 Butler was again in China and upon his completion of his tour there he returned to the States in 1929 as a Major General. He was the youngest Marine ever to have been so promoted. However, as a result of a remark made by him which was not flattering about the Italian dictator Mussolini and political maneuvering by civilians unused to Butler’s direct method of action, he failed to be selected for the position of Commandant Marine Corps. By October 1931 Butler had retired form the Corps. He died in Philadelphia in 1940.

http://www.mclm.com/tohonor/sbutler.html

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From here; link good as of August 05, 2007:

http://www.fas.org/man/smedley.htm

Smedley Butler on Interventionism

– Excerpt from a speech delivered in 1933, by Major General Smedley Butler, USMC.

War is just a racket. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of people. Only a small inside group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few at the expense of the masses.

I believe in adequate defense at the coastline and nothing else. If a nation comes over here to fight, then we’ll fight. The trouble with America is that when the dollar only earns 6 percent over here, then it gets restless and goes overseas to get 100 percent. Then the flag follows the dollar and the soldiers follow the flag.

I wouldn’t go to war again as I have done to protect some lousy investment of the bankers. There are only two things we should fight for. One is the defense of our homes and the other is the Bill of Rights. War for any other reason is simply a racket.

There isn’t a trick in the racketeering bag that the military gang is blind to. It has its “finger men” to point out enemies, its “muscle men” to destroy enemies, its “brain men” to plan war preparations, and a “Big Boss” Super-Nationalistic-Capitalism.

It may seem odd for me, a military man to adopt such a comparison. Truthfulness compels me to. I spent thirty- three years and four months in active military service as a member of this country’s most agile military force, the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from Second Lieutenant to Major-General. And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle- man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.

I suspected I was just part of a racket at the time. Now I am sure of it. Like all the members of the military profession, I never had a thought of my own until I left the service. My mental faculties remained in suspended animation while I obeyed the orders of higher-ups. This is typical with everyone in the military service.

I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefits of Wall Street. The record of racketeering is long. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912 (where have I heard that name before?). I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested.

During those years, I had, as the boys in the back room would say, a swell racket. Looking back on it, I feel that I could have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.

Links:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smedley_Butler

http://www.rationalrevolution.net/war/major_general_smedley_butler_usm.htm

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War Is A Racket

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from here on August 05, 2007

http://www.lexrex.com/enlightened/articles/warisaracket.htm

also in hard-copy (paperback)

War Is A Racket
by Major General Smedley Darlington Butler, USMC; copyright 1935, 2003 by the Butler Family; publisher: Feral House, P.O. Box 39910, Los Angeles, CA, 90039; www.FeralHouse.com and info@feralhouse.com ; ISBN: 0-922915-86-5.

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WAR IS A RACKET

by Major General Smedley Darlington Butler, USMC

Chapter One

WAR IS A RACKET

WAR is a racket. It always has been.

It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.

A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small “inside” group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes.

In the World War [I] a mere handful garnered the profits of the conflict. At least 21,000 new millionaires and billionaires were made in the United States during the World War. That many admitted their huge blood gains in their income tax returns. How many other war millionaires falsified their tax returns no one knows.

How many of these war millionaires shouldered a rifle? How many of them dug a trench? How many of them knew what it meant to go hungry in a rat-infested dug-out? How many of them spent sleepless, frightened nights, ducking shells and shrapnel and machine gun bullets? How many of them parried a bayonet thrust of an enemy? How many of them were wounded or killed in battle?

Out of war nations acquire additional territory, if they are victorious. They just take it. This newly acquired territory promptly is exploited by the few – the selfsame few who wrung dollars out of blood in the war. The general public shoulders the bill.

And what is this bill?

This bill renders a horrible accounting. Newly placed gravestones. Mangled bodies. Shattered minds. Broken hearts and homes. Economic instability. Depression and all its attendant miseries. Back-breaking taxation for generations and generations.

For a great many years, as a soldier, I had a suspicion that war was a racket; not until I retired to civil life did I fully realize it. Now that I see the international war clouds gathering, as they are today, I must face it and speak out.

Again they are choosing sides. France and Russia met and agreed to stand side by side. Italy and Austria hurried to make a similar agreement. Poland and Germany cast sheep’s eyes at each other, forgetting for the nonce [one unique occasion], their dispute over the Polish Corridor.

The assassination of King Alexander of Jugoslavia [Yugoslavia] complicated matters. Jugoslavia and Hungary, long bitter enemies, were almost at each other’s throats. Italy was ready to jump in. But France was waiting. So was Czechoslovakia. All of them are looking ahead to war. Not the people – not those who fight and pay and die – only those who foment wars and remain safely at home to profit.

There are 40,000,000 men under arms in the world today, and our statesmen and diplomats have the temerity to say that war is not in the making.

Hell’s bells! Are these 40,000,000 men being trained to be dancers?

Not in Italy, to be sure. Premier Mussolini knows what they are being trained for. He, at least, is frank enough to speak out. Only the other day, Il Duce in “International Conciliation,” the publication of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said:

“And above all, Fascism, the more it considers and observes the future and the development of humanity quite apart from political considerations of the moment, believes neither in the possibility nor the utility of perpetual peace… War alone brings up to its highest tension all human energy and puts the stamp of nobility upon the people who have the courage to meet it.”

Undoubtedly Mussolini means exactly what he says. His well-trained army, his great fleet of planes, and even his navy are ready for war – anxious for it, apparently. His recent stand at the side of Hungary in the latter’s dispute with Jugoslavia showed that. And the hurried mobilization of his troops on the Austrian border after the assassination of Dollfuss showed it too. There are others in Europe too whose sabre rattling presages war, sooner or later.

Herr Hitler, with his rearming Germany and his constant demands for more and more arms, is an equal if not greater menace to peace. France only recently increased the term of military service for its youth from a year to eighteen months.

Yes, all over, nations are camping in their arms. The mad dogs of Europe are on the loose. In the Orient the maneuvering is more adroit. Back in 1904, when Russia and Japan fought, we kicked out our old friends the Russians and backed Japan. Then our very generous international bankers were financing Japan. Now the trend is to poison us against the Japanese. What does the “open door” policy to China mean to us? Our trade with China is about $90,000,000 a year. Or the Philippine Islands? We have spent about $600,000,000 in the Philippines in thirty-five years and we (our bankers and industrialists and speculators) have private investments there of less than $200,000,000.

Then, to save that China trade of about $90,000,000, or to protect these private investments of less than $200,000,000 in the Philippines, we would be all stirred up to hate Japan and go to war – a war that might well cost us tens of billions of dollars, hundreds of thousands of lives of Americans, and many more hundreds of thousands of physically maimed and mentally unbalanced men.

Of course, for this loss, there would be a compensating profit – fortunes would be made. Millions and billions of dollars would be piled up. By a few. Munitions makers. Bankers. Ship builders. Manufacturers. Meat packers. Speculators. They would fare well.

Yes, they are getting ready for another war. Why shouldn’t they? It pays high dividends.

But what does it profit the men who are killed? What does it profit their mothers and sisters, their wives and their sweethearts? What does it profit their children?

What does it profit anyone except the very few to whom war means huge profits?

Yes, and what does it profit the nation?

Take our own case. Until 1898 we didn’t own a bit of territory outside the mainland of North America. At that time our national debt was a little more than $1,000,000,000. Then we became “internationally minded.” We forgot, or shunted aside, the advice of the Father of our country. We forgot George Washington’s warning about “entangling alliances.” We went to war. We acquired outside territory. At the end of the World War period, as a direct result of our fiddling in international affairs, our national debt had jumped to over $25,000,000,000. Our total favorable trade balance during the twenty-five-year period was about $24,000,000,000. Therefore, on a purely bookkeeping basis, we ran a little behind year for year, and that foreign trade might well have been ours without the wars.

It would have been far cheaper (not to say safer) for the average American who pays the bills to stay out of foreign entanglements. For a very few this racket, like bootlegging and other underworld rackets, brings fancy profits, but the cost of operations is always transferred to the people – who do not profit.

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Continued in Part Two

http://oathkeepers.org/oath/2011/09/28/general-smedley-butler-war-is-a-racket_part-two/

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Afghanistan: Troops Question Policy

AfghanistanAfghanistan

Times poll finds a souring mood among troops

Troops less sure of success in war, disillusioned with military quality of life

By Andrew Tilghman  – Staff writer
Posted at Army Times: Thursday Sep 15, 2011

http://www.armytimes.com/news/2011/09/military-times-poll-finds-souring-mood-091411w/

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After a decade of war in Afghanistan, many troops are losing confidence in the long-term likelihood of success for the U.S. military mission there, and their overall support for President Obama has slipped, according to the latest Military Times annual reader survey.

Slightly less than half of readers said the U.S. is “very likely” or “somewhat likely” to succeed in Afghanistan. The figure is lower among troops who have deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, the survey shows.

That has slipped steadily from 2007, when more than 75 percent of readers surveyed said the U.S. was “very likely” or “somewhat likely” to succeed in Afghanistan.

The war in Afghanistan is dampening support for Obama. Support for his handling of the war has dropped significantly since the last Military Times survey in January 2010, with about 41 percent of active-duty respondents disapproving. That’s up from 34 percent in 2010, shortly after Obama announced a surge of 30,000 additional troops for the war effort.

When asked how Obama was handling his job as president, 53 percent disapproved, up from 51 percent in 2010.

When asked superficially about Obama’s handling of his job as commander in chief, 45 percent of active-duty readers disapproved, up from 40 percent in 2010.

Respondents were split on Obama’s decision in July to begin a limited troop drawdown this year in Afghanistan. Some 37 percent “disapprove” or “strongly disapprove,” while 38 percent “approve” or “strongly approve.”

Obama’s weakening support in the ranks comes at a time when his poll numbers are dropping nationwide. Among the general population, Obama’s disapproval rating reached 53 percent in August, up sharply from 45 percent in January 2010, according to weekly Gallup polls of likely voters.

Growing pessimism

The growing pessimism among troops about the war in Afghanistan may reflect doubts about America’s long-term commitment to the herculean task of executing a counterinsurgency strategy.

“People wonder if we really have the commitment to follow this through,” said retired Army Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Hall, who was the top enlisted service member for the NATO mission in Kabul in 2009 and 2010. “I think everybody knows that we can be successful over there. But it’s going to take time and presence and commitment, and I think folks are worried that we go over there, we sacrifice our families and we work hard — but are we going to follow through? Or is this all going be for naught?”

Doubts about success in Afghanistan are slightly higher among troops who have deployed there. In a series of interviews, some troops say the mission there is fraught with a sense of futility driven by several factors, including a belief that the Afghan security forces are unmotivated.

“A lot of [the Afghan security forces] are just kind of like, ‘Well, we’ll fight with you here today and if tomorrow you all leave, then we’ll just fight for the next guy who comes along,’ said a 33-year-old Army captain who deployed to Afghanistan in 2009 and worked as a mentor to Afghan security forces. He requested anonymity because he said his command discourages talking to the media.

Michael Menning, a recently retired Air Force colonel and hospital administrator, said he became skeptical of the mission in Afghanistan after working with Afghans trying to set up a medical facility.

“They really have no interest in professional development, in learning how to run a hospital,” Menning said. “They really just think, ‘Hey, build us the hospital and we’ll run it the way we’ve always run it.’”

The pessimism is also fueled by a belief that the country is hopelessly corrupt. A 31-year-old Army sergeant who deployed to Afghanistan in 2010 said many troops believe the Afghan central government and many tribal leaders play both sides of the fence.

“Everybody knows that a majority of them still have ties with the Taliban,” said the sergeant, who asked to remain anonymous because he was not authorized to speak to the press.

Many respondents had different sentiments about Iraq. Some 70 percent say the war there has been a success. The figure was slightly higher among troops who have deployed to Iraq.

Similarly, 70 percent “approve” or “strongly approve” of current plans to withdraw all U.S. troops from Iraq by the end of this year.

Opinions on Obama’s handling of Iraq remain unchanged. About 40 percent of troops approve, the same level shown in the 2010 reader survey.

Still, doubts about the initial decision to invade Iraq remain. When asked, “Should the U.S. have gone to war in Iraq?” 43 percent of troops say yes.

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Chuck Baldwin: ARE EVANGELICAL CHRISTIANS WARMONGERS?

Chuck_Baldwin_Pastor_Patriot

Chuck Baldwin Pastor Patriot

ARE EVANGELICAL CHRISTIANS WARMONGERS?

By Chuck Baldwin
September 15, 2011

Read it at the original:
NewsWithViews.com

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I’ve been an evangelical Christian since I was a child. I’ve been in the Gospel ministry all of my adult life. I attended two evangelical Christian colleges, received honorary degrees from two others, and taught and preached in several others. I’ve attended many of the largest evangelical pastors’ gatherings and have been privileged to speak at Christian gatherings–large and small–all over America. I have been part of the inner workings of evangelical ministry for nearly 40 years. I think I learned a thing or two about evangelical/fundamentalist Christianity in America. And I’m here to tell you: I don’t like what I see happening these days!

Let’s get this straight right out of the gate: nothing touched by man can be perfect, because none of us is perfect. There is no perfect church, perfect school, perfect mission board, perfect Sunday School class, perfect pastor, perfect deacon, or perfect Christian. Until the afterlife, we are all yet encased in Adamic flesh, complete with human weaknesses and imperfections. And only the Pharisaical among us are too proud to admit it.

That said, I do think it is more than fair to say that, historically, Christians have always attempted to be–and have always publicly taught the importance of being–peacemakers. Historically, Christians have preached–and tried to practice–love and brotherhood. The early church was born in a baptism of love and unity. Oh sure, there were always individual misunderstandings and differences, but, on the whole, the church was a loving, caring, compassionate ecclesia.

Mind you, Christians historically were not afraid or ashamed to defend themselves, their families, and their country. The Lord Jesus, Himself (the Prince of Peace), allowed His disciples to carry personal defense weapons (see Luke 22:36,38). Yes, while some Christian sects were conscientious pacifists, these were the exception, not the rule. The vast majority of Christian believers understood the Biblical, Natural Law principle of self-defense. But believing in the right of lawful, God-ordained self-defense was never to be confused with warmongering.

So, what has happened to turn the most peace-loving institution the world has ever known (the New Testament church) into the biggest cheerleaders for war? I’m talking about un-provoked, illegal, unconstitutional, unbiblical–even secret–wars of aggression. The biggest cheerleaders for the unprovoked, unconstitutional, pre-emptive attack and invasion of Iraq were evangelical Christians. Ditto for the war in Afghanistan, the bombing of Libya, the attacks in Yemen, etc. Who is calling for the bombing of Iran? Evangelical Christians. Who cheers for sending more and more troops all over the world to maim and kill more and more people (including innocents)? Evangelical Christians. Shoot (pun intended)! Most evangelical Christians didn’t even bat an eye when the federal government sent military and police personnel to murder American citizens, including old men, women, and children–Christian old men, women, and children, no less–outside Waco, Texas.

And where are today’s evangelical Christians giving a second thought regarding their fellow Christian brothers and sisters in many of these Middle Eastern countries that are being persecuted, imprisoned, tortured, and killed by the puppet regimes being put in power by the US government–at US taxpayer (including Christian taxpayer) expense? I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but more Christians have been persecuted under the US-imposed regime in Iraq than were ever persecuted when Saddam Hussein was in power. Oh! And don’t forget that it was the US government that was responsible for putting Saddam Hussein in power to begin with. The US government set up Osama bin Laden, too. But I digress.

In addition to the “white” wars (the ones everyone knows about), the US government authorizes some 70 black ops commando raids in some 120 countries EVERY DAY. In fact, the secret, black ops military of the US is so large today it now totals more personnel than the ENTIRE MILITARY OF CANADA!

A recent report noted, “In 120 countries across the globe, troops from Special Operations Command carry out their secret war of high-profile assassinations, low-level targeted killings, capture/kidnap operations, kick-down-the-door night raids, joint operations with foreign forces, and training missions with indigenous partners as part of a shadowy conflict unknown to most Americans. Once ‘special’ for being small, lean, outsider outfits, today they are special for their power, access, influence, and aura.”

See the complete report of America’s secret wars here

Yet, how much of this knowledge would even faze the average evangelical Christian today? All we hear from today’s “churches” is “bomb,” “attack,” “wipe them out,” etc. Then, at the same time, they get all emotional about sending missionaries to the same countries that they had just cheered-on the US military in raining down missiles of death and destruction upon (to bring salvation to the lucky ones that weren’t killed, I suppose).

And who are the ones that belittle and impugn Ron Paul? Evangelical Christians. Why? Because he tells the truth about America’s foreign policy being responsible for much of the hatred and bitterness erupting in foreign countries against us. I guarantee you that many of the “conservative” Republicans who booed Dr. Paul’s comments to this regard at the GOP Presidential debate this week would identify themselves as evangelical Christians.

See the report here.

The disciples of our Lord were called “Christians” first by the Gentiles of Antioch, because of the manner in which the disciples reminded them of Christ’s nature and teachings. I never thought I would hear myself say what I’m about to say, but the truth is, the term “Christian” today means anything but Christ-like. To many people today, “Christian” refers to some warmongering, mean-spirited, throw-anyone-to-the-wolves-who-crosses-them person, who then has the audacity to look down their nose in contempt against anyone who disagrees with them for even the smallest reason. And the word “church” has the stigma of being simply an enclave of warmongers to many people today. And that, my friends, is one reason so many people are so turned off with today’s Christianity. And I can’t say that I blame them. I’m turned off too!

Am I a pacifist? Absolutely not! Do I believe an individual, a family, a community, or a nation has the right to protect and defend itself? I absolutely do! And the fellow who breaks into my home or who attacks my loved ones will personally discover I believe that! But this blind support for illegal, immoral, unconstitutional war is anything but Christian. Not only is it turning people against our country among people abroad, it is turning our own countrymen against the Christ we Christians claim to love right here at home.

I dare say that the modern Warfare State would grind to a screeching halt tomorrow if evangelical Christians would simply stop supporting it! And the thing that most evangelical Christians fail to realize is that the Warfare State is one of the primary tools that the evil one is using to usher in his devilish New World Order that even babes in Christ know to be of Satan. Hence, Christians are helping to promote the very thing that Satan, himself, is using to enslave them.

Yes, I’ve been an evangelical Christian for most of my life and an evangelical pastor for all of my adult life. And if we Christians do not quickly repent of this bloodlust that seems to dominate evangelical Christianity today (spiritually and militarily), the word that was first used by un-churched Gentiles to describe Christ’s followers will be used as a curse-word to describe those who facilitated the ruination of our country.

P.S. We will be hosting a giveaway soon and you will have the chance to win a copy of my DVD, “Romans 13: The True Meaning of Submission”! That’s right, my four-part message series on Romans 13, all four messages on one DVD, and you can have a chance to win a copy! For instructions about how to enter this giveaway (on Facebook only), visit the Chuck Baldwin and Liberty Fellowship pages.

The Chuck Baldwin page

The Liberty Fellowship page

I thank you in advance for entering and sharing these pages with your Facebook friends! We regularly update these pages with my editorials and any announcements that you will want to know about. This message of freedom and liberty is a message everyone needs to hear!

© 2011 Chuck Baldwin – All Rights Reserved

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Chuck Baldwin is a syndicated columnist, radio broadcaster, author, and pastor dedicated to preserving the historic principles upon which America was founded. He was the 2008 Presidential candidate for the Constitution Party. He and his wife, Connie, have 3 children and 8 grandchildren. Chuck and his family reside in the Flathead Valley of Montana. See Chuck’s complete bio here.

 

E-mail: chuck@chuckbaldwinlive.com

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