05.11.15

Zero Dark Thirty? You thought it was bullshit, now you know why

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle, War On Terror at 9:53 am by George Smith

I watched Zero Dark Thirty, Hollywood’s treatment of the hunt for Osama bin Laden and his eventual killing. It was unendurably long. And with so many lies already documented from the war on terror, well over half of it was easy to despise.

After the bin Laden mission, continuing with the movie, the members of SEAL Team 6 were deified. Even their fucking dog was celebrated.

In keeping with the character of the nation, Seymour Hersh today writes in the London Review of Books that much of it was bullshit.

Osama bin Laden had been a prisoner of the ISI, Pakistan’s intelligence service, essentially under house arrest in Abbottabad, an invalid being kept as leverage against the Taliban and al Qaeda in AfPak.

Pakistan was given “goodies” so a SEAL team could be sent to the house in Abbottabad to execute him. ISI soldiers were removed from the compound, the electricity turned off, the Pakistani air force stood down.

Pakistani advisors accompanied the SEALs and had even coached the team on how to breach the compound. Bin Laden was unarmed.

In other words, the way was paved for the mission, the ground prepared and they still managed to crash a helicopter, the result being that a new story had to be cooked up.

Excerpt:

‘Of course the guys knew the target was bin Laden and he was there under Pakistani control,’ the retired official said. ‘Otherwise, they would not have done the mission without air cover. It was clearly and absolutely a premeditated murder.’ A former Seal commander, who has led and participated in dozens of similar missions over the past decade, assured me that ‘we were not going to keep bin Laden alive – to allow the terrorist to live. By law, we know what we’re doing inside Pakistan is a homicide. We’ve come to grips with that. Each one of us, when we do these missions, say to ourselves, “Let’s face it. We’re going to commit a murder.”


‘They knew where the target was – third floor, second door on the right,’ the retired official said. ‘Go straight there. Osama was cowering and retreated into the bedroom. Two shooters followed him and opened up. Very simple, very straightforward, very professional hit.’ Some of the Seals were appalled later at the White House’s initial insistence that they had shot bin Laden in self-defence, the retired official said. ‘Six of the Seals’ finest, most experienced NCOs, faced with an unarmed elderly civilian, had to kill him in self-defence? The house was shabby and bin Laden was living in a cell with bars on the window and barbed wire on the roof. The rules of engagement were that if bin Laden put up any opposition they were authorised to take lethal action. But if they suspected he might have some means of opposition, like an explosive vest under his robe, they could also kill him. So here’s this guy in a mystery robe and they shot him. It’s not because he was reaching for a weapon. The rules gave them absolute authority to kill the guy.’ The later White House claim that only one or two bullets were fired into his head was ‘bullshit’, the retired official said. ‘The squad came through the door and obliterated him. As the Seals say, “We kicked his ass and took his gas.”’

None of this should really come as a surprise in the corporate dictatorship engaged in forever war.

And it probably won’t displace the official account.

But it again belies the alleged power and expertise of the American military. Much money was spent; they crashed a Black Hawk helicopter, anyway. (And remember all that stuff about stealth? More excrement.)

“Seals cannot live with the fact that they killed bin Laden totally unopposed, and so there has to be an account of their courage in the face of danger,” it reads. “The guys are going to sit around the bar and say it was an easy day? That’s not going to happen.”

Hersh’s account won’t be believed in many quarters. My take it that much of the American media will ignore it. When they have something to say it will be to Gary Webb him.

There are no good people in Hersh’s account. The only reason different facts have come out in such volume is payback and politics, via at least one source in Pakistan and one who worked the job at the CIA who felt betrayed.

On and on it goes, explaining that everything in the government account of bin Laden’s killing — was just more crap for public consumption.

There wasn’t even a burial at sea. Gunfire had torn bin Laden’s body to pieces. His head and what was left were tossed in a body bag. Remnants were thrown out of the helicopter over the mountains, “according to the Seals.”

On top of all of it, the administration and CIA chief Leon Panetta used the bin Laden raid to justify some of the uses of torture.

The Obama administration’s tale and, later, the movie Zero Dark Thirty delivered a story that “enhanced interrogation” had contributed to finding bin Laden when it was, perhaps, a Pakistani official who had given him up.

For reward money, $25 million. Which is, in a matter of fact way, easy to believe.

It’s here.

The Rich Man’s Burden

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle, Rock 'n' Roll at 8:57 am by George Smith

And in California we’re not free from WhiteManistan, either. It’s just that they don’t run things anymore.

But DC still has Darrell Issa, singing this blog’s favorite tune:

Darrell Issa, the richest man in Congress, said America has made “our poor [are] somewhat the envy of the world.”

Issa’s personal wealth is by far the greatest of any congress member. His net worth in 2013 was $448.4 million, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, and stems from a car alarm business he built.

He also stole cars and was into arson.

Rich Man’s Burden — live on SoundCloud.

The poor don’t pay enough!
They spend it all on liquor!
If we stopped it all right now,
We’d get rich a whole lot quicker!

05.05.15

Yes, WhiteManistan has lost its marbles

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle, Decline and Fall, Extremism at 2:45 pm by George Smith

Pity the people who are not insane in Texas. They’re trapped in place with the encapsulated delusions of the ruling right and they can’t get out.

The only answer is to run the GOP from political power, as in California. But that’s not an option in Texas.

So this week, many people who wished to not see have been roughly shown that what once was the raving of damaged right wing paranoids is now the way of things.

“You may have issues with the administration … So be it,” said the Special Operations Command public communications officer charged with fruitlessly trying to tell people that Jade Helm 15 was not the start of a big takeover.

The people, wearing T-shirts that said “Come and take it” and “I love Jesus,” were having none of it.

The Baltimore riot, it was said, was just a pretext, a staged diversion to distract what was really going to happen in July: The military imposition of dictatorship and the seizure of all guns in Texas and across the southwest.

My question to the special operations public communications officer would have been:

“Sir, what do you make of what’s happened in your country while you’ve been out fighting endless wars in the Middle East?”


The newspapers in Texas have recoiled. Old run-out-of-power Texas GOPers have railed. Even Mr. Paul Krugman has commented on it, although “derp” doesn’t really describe the problem of intractable mass delusion. (And, boy, aren’t those cute videos of nice young man and nice young girl chamber music bands really beginning to suck?)

From the Austin Chronicle:

Now, in an interesting case study, we’ve seen what happens when you juxtapose Texas’ reverence for troops against the GOP’s instinct to pander to the furthest reaches of its right wing rump.

Yes, the crazies win.

Mere weeks after a state House committee hearing in which speakers railed against the Union in the Civil War, and called anti-slavery Texans traitors, Gov. Greg Abbott indulged in some naked pandering to those that hold modern US Special Forces in the same contempt. As has been widely reported, he has announced that he is sending the Texas State Guard to monitor the exercise. As a learning opportunity? No, because the right-wing fringe, ginned up by Agenda 21 conspiracy theories, black helicopter phobias, and radio demagogue Alex Jones, has decided that this is the beginning of martial law.

The writer closes with a paragraph that likens the crazy Republican Party with the Terminator. It can’t be reasoned with and it won’t stop, ever.

I have another movie character in mind. Rorschach, from The Watchmen.

“None of you seem to understand. I’m not locked in here with you; you’re locked in here with me!”

And what would the news be without someone young and antagonizing to raise the flag of the Confederacy?

“The federal government took over Baltimore, but they won’t take over Bastrop,” Kyle Arrington, a 26-year-old pizza cook said Sunday over a glass of iced tea at Bastrop’s Old Town Bar.

“It would be too big a fight. Texas has more guns than any other state, we can take care of ourselves.”

Arrington said only a small minority of the town’s more than 7,000 residents believe Jade Helm 15 is an attempt by the Obama administration to take over Texas and seize firearms.

“But it wouldn’t be the first time the federal government tried to take over the South,” he added.

The only thing we haven’t seen yet is someone quoting from The Turner Diaries.

You know, leave out the rabid bigot parts about not-white people and race defilement while focusing on the fighting of government forces.

Maybe Texas news men and the not-crazies could ask Ted Nugent for help? No, cross that one off. Nugent has been a regular on Alex Jones.


Wires…

And Walmart is in on it, with some recently closed stores possibly being used to “house the headquarters of invading troops from China, here to disarm Americans one by one.” And also there are underground tunnels connecting the various Walmarts.

Seeing is believing, right? Here, a collection of YouTube videos made by “Jabu” for Infowars, straight from the source, on the mounting Jade Helm offensive.


Rant: And screw Jon Stewart and The Daily Show. He’s made a fortune turning lazy video segments on the country’s decline into madness into comedy entertainment. He can’t point to one thing where providing shits and giggles for his upper middle class white bread audience has reversed the trend.

In terms of “art” it’s not much different than YouTube users who post videos of the homeless, crazy, drug-addicted or wounded in backyard mishaps to the net for cheap laughs.

When you get right down to it you don’t even need to employ writers. Daily life, captured on video, unpacks itself and barks at you, no reading of the instructions, assembly or installation of batteries required.

05.04.15

In the Battle of Austin, Alex Jones victorious

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle, WhiteManistan at 2:36 pm by George Smith


Kookism is the new normal.

Full size.

Years earlier.

More Tales of the Wealthy, White and Paranoid

Posted in Crazy Weapons, Culture of Lickspittle, Extremism, Fiat money fear and loathers at 2:02 pm by George Smith

The character of America’s Cult of Electromagnetic Pulse is rock solid kook-ism from the far right. It’s mainstream, an industry as well as a grifter’s paradise. There is good money to be made provisioning it: Advice pamphlets, rotten fiction and non-fiction books, emergency tools, concrete, cinder blocks, fuel, barriers of all types, entrenching shovels that double as bludgeons, dried and canned foods optimized for long-term storage, hundreds of YouTube prepper video channels monetized with Google ads, isolated real estate high in the country away from all those other people, special survival schools, guns, guns, more guns and ammo.


Grifter prepper industry junk bag.

Something you need for the end of civilization? They have it. Just click “Add to cart.”

And a couple weeks ago Chicago magazine set one of its reporters to cover a few of the city’s well-off locals willing to be interviewed on their prepping.

The reporter, Rod O’Connor, did leave one thing out in his interviews. Conspicuous by its omission, the politics of his subjects. You see, there are no libtards, gay people, or non-Christians in the bug out bunkers. And scarcely any non-whites.

Because it’s those other people in the cities who will be unprepared when the pulse occurs, American civilization topples and the rule of law comes to an end. It will be necessary to defend the family, possessions and land from them when they boil out of the urban rat-holes in desperation.

By definition: Preppers are a profoundly anti-democratic group, self-absorbed, peculiar and paranoid on fantasies fed to them through right-wing news and end-times self-published literature. The latter, a kind of romance fiction delivered as stories of social trial and purification encompassing world catastrophe, armed struggle and tragedy. But in the end, the good people, the white heterosexual people with values, faith and salt-of-the-earth savvy, still hanging on to the tattered belief in a real America, survive. Evil does not.

Which is why they really don’t like talking to anyone outside their circle, a fact so noted by the magazine’s reporter.

The closest O’Connor gets to the business end of the philosophical rifle is this:

Soon the conversation progressed from blizzards to the quintessential prepper novel One Second After (detailing the aftermath of an electromagnetic pulse attack; Newt Gingrich, America’s favorite conspiracy theorist, wrote the foreword), which she had recently read. Eleni, who has braces and hipster glasses, asked her parents how prepared they were for a serious disaster such as an EMP.

In addition, one is bugged about fiat money.

“All of a sudden, you have hyperinflation, and you’ll need a wagon of cash for a loaf of bread,” one of the preppers says.

Consistent with the beliefs and world view of most of the paranoids in WhiteManistan, every bad thing that happens is turned around to be about what could happen to them.

When, in point of fact, it’s about stuff that has happened to the other people, you know, them, the people without money, or in foreign countries, in poverty.

For example:

With every new epidemic or terrorist attack in the headlines, a new batch of preppers is born, says David Scott, whose Northbrook company, LifeSecure, sells everything from crush-resistant earthquake survival kits to fireproof masks designed for fleeing a bombed-out building. “We think of it like sediment,” he says of the movement that he, of course, has a stake in stoking. “Another headline comes and another layer forms.”

Sediment. Let’s examine the “sediment.”

“Scott started his business in 2005, a few months before Hurricane Katrina, and believes the storm’s aftermath was a wake-up call for thousands of Americans,” the magazine continues.

This “taught” preppers “you could go hungry, thirsty, and even die in the U.S. before the government could save you.”

The people who went hungry and thirsty, or who died or lost everything in New Orleans as a result of Katrina were overwhelmingly African-American and poor, the very opposite of the prepper demographic.

“It was last fall’s Ebola outbreak, in fact, that made [a prepper named Bob Valenti] suddenly feel he was ill-equipped to protect his family if a pandemic disease were to spiral out of control,” reads the feature.

More “sediment.”

Let’s repeat. Who were the people who died in the Ebola outbreak?

Human beings, specifically black people, in the poor West African nations of Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia.

And the first person to die in America, in Texas, of Ebola was?

Let’s leave it to the readers to mull over.

The prepper story points out that Bob Valenti, its first subject, has two homes — one in a wealthy suburb of Chicago, another in the countryside, for escaping to.

“I ask [another prepper named Campbell] if he fears the kind of lawlessness seen in post-Katrina New Orleans or the riots in Ferguson, Missouri,” it continues.

And when you read this, in a story about well-to-do white people possessed by a shared delusion, once again you know you’re in the presence of seriously turned-around bullshit, a world belief totally detached from actual social reality.

“Ammo is a great barter tool … It’s the ultimate commodity item,” the Downers Grove prepper named Bob Valenti tells the reporter.

ENDIT.


And do have another look at the vast library of self-published prepper romance fiction.


“God forbid a small nuclear device or an EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse) bomb in Los Angeles (goes off), that’s where a lot of us are going to survive — up there,” he said. “You want to get out of the cities. There’s going to be mass looting, rioting — just like in Baltimore — only on a bigger scale because people are going to be hungry after a couple of weeks and the markets are out of food — and there’s no water. Now, we have water up there, we have game up there — we have deer, we have bear.”

from the Palm Springs (CA) Desert Sun, May 1


Taking it on the road

When Maryland’s Republican Representative Roscoe Bartlett was retired by voters, the lobby for protection against electromagnetic pulse collapsed in Washington.

It had never actually accomplished anything. But with Bartlett’s leadership it was regularly in the news.

The result: The lobby has taken its show on the road. It argues that defense against electromagnetic pulse doom is now a states rights issue.

From Colorado:

That’s why scientists who conducted a study of the risks to the nation’s power grid are traveling the country to warn states not to wait on the federal government.

“What differentiates this other blackout type scenarios is the mechanisms can cause long term permanent damage to many assets,” said John Kappenman, an investigator with the Electromagnetic Pulse Commission.

State Rep. Joann Ginal, the sponsor of a bill aimed at protecting Colorado’s power grid, said, “It’s very import in regards to homeland security, security of our citizens in Colorado, and just day-to-day living.”

There is no Electromagnetic Pulse Commission. It’s been defunct for over a decade.

The bill was a request for the state’s Public Utilities Commission to study electromagnetic pulse, find where vulnerabilities are, and determine how to fund mitigation.

However:

The study would be entirely funded with donations; nevertheless, the bill failed Wednesday afternoon. A dozen other states have passed, or are considering, similar legislation.


From the archives — the pulse.

05.02.15

Who would have thought?

Posted in Bombing Paupers, War On Terror at 11:49 am by George Smith

The local air traffic controllers aren’t fans of the East Africa Air Pirates:

Unlike other U.S. military bases around the world, Camp Lemonnier has to use civilian air-traffic controllers hired by the government of Djibouti, the Post said. The base shares its two runways with Djibouti’s only international airport, a French military base and a contingent of Japanese military planes.

As traffic at the base has increased, the controllers’ dangerous habits and dislike for drones have disrupted U.S. military operations and prompted repeated warnings about the risk of a deadly accident, the Post said.


Controllers sometimes punished U.S. flight crews by forcing them to circle overhead until they ran low on fuel, the Post said.

In one case, an observer told an air traffic controller that an unmanned plane he was monitoring was low on fuel. The controller said he did not care because drones “only want to kill Muslims in Yemen and Somalia,” the report said.

They play video games and sleep on the job, too, it says.

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