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...GE had long done business with the bin Ladens. In a misguided attempt at corporate synergy, I called GE headquarters...

"You Don't Understand Our Audience" --what John Hockenberry (formerly of NBC, now at MIT Media Lab) learned about network news--good guys and bad guys, the "emotional center", synergy, facts, and why fewer and fewer watch nowadays.
posted by amberglow on Dec 31, 2007 - 65 comments

 

"And I am even supposed to love our enemies.”

"Killing others is not loving them.” --meet US Army Captain Peter D. Brown, just granted Conscientious Objector status due to his religious beliefs and honorably discharged after first being denied and taking them to court---only 224 applicants were approved for it during 02-06, out of 2.3 million serving. [more inside]
posted by amberglow on Oct 18, 2007 - 63 comments

Allí, ese 16 de marzo, Bush, Blair y Aznar decidieron sustituir al Consejo de Seguridad de Naciones Unidas y usurparon sus funciones para declarar por su cuenta y riesgo la guerra contra Irak.

Bush and Aznar pre-Iraq Invasion-- Transcript of their private conversations in Crawford, Feb 22, 2003: "Quedan dos semanas. En dos semanas estaremos militarmente listos. Estaremos en Bagdad a finales de marzo", le dijo a Aznar. ("2 weeks. In 2 weeks we will be ready militarily. We'll be in Baghdad by the end of March", he told Aznar.) Consider this historical documentation. Full transcript here, and audio clips in first link. [more inside]
posted by amberglow on Sep 25, 2007 - 46 comments

"50% of all Saudi fighters in Iraq come here as suicide bombers"

The "same people who attacked us on 9/11"? It may be the very latest talking point from the Administration, but it's actually true--altho it's not Al Qaeda in Iraq, but Saudis. Although Bush administration officials have frequently lashed out at Syria and Iran, accusing it of helping insurgents and militias here, the largest number of foreign fighters and suicide bombers in Iraq come from a third neighbor, Saudi Arabia ... A historical note: 15 of the 19 hijackers on 9/11 were Saudis.
posted by amberglow on Jul 16, 2007 - 84 comments

"The station's gaffes have included broadcasting in December 2006 a 68-minute call to arms against Israelis by a senior figure of the terrorist group Hezbollah..."

Al Hurra television, the U.S. government's $63 million-a-year effort at public diplomacy broadcasting in the Middle East, is run by executives and officials who cannot speak Arabic, according to a senior official who oversees the program. That might explain why critics say the service has recently been caught broadcasting terrorist messages, ... from their About US page: Alhurra is operated by non-profit corporation “The Middle East Broadcasting Networks, Inc.” (MBN). MBN is financed by the American people through the U.S Congress. US Govt. Accountability Office abstract about other MBN problems here.
posted by amberglow on May 22, 2007 - 44 comments

The First Casualty of War? Truth

War vs. Democracy: Untold Stories from the Lynch / Tillman Hearing -- ...U.S. soldiers whose injuries or deaths remain mired in secrecy. Pat Tillman's brother and fellow Army Ranger Kevin Tillman advocated strongly for other families still waiting for answers. ... "The family was told, it was -- quote -- 'an ambush by insurgents.' Two years later, they found out that those -- quote -- 'insurgents' happened to be the same Iraqi troops that he was training. Before his death, he told his chain of command that these same troops that he was training were trying to kill him and his team. He was told to keep his mouth shut." ... Thorough and eye-opening examination of the many ways the military spun, lied, withheld information on soldier deaths and injuries for propaganda purposes (and even delayed action until cameras were present in the Jessica Lynch rescue).
posted by amberglow on May 12, 2007 - 29 comments

US Soldiers speak .

Voices of the Fallen: the war in the words of the dead-- In letters and journals and e-mails, the war dead live on, their words—urgent, honest, unself-conscious—testament to the realities of combat. What do they have to say to us? ... The result is a window on Iraq we have not had before: the bravery, the fear and the chaos of war, and the loves and hates and dreams and nightmares of the warriors. Things are incredibly busy, then they are not. The Iraqis are welcoming, then they are not. The war is going well, then it is not. The mission makes sense, then it does not. ... (video, audio, email, and text)
posted by amberglow on Mar 30, 2007 - 14 comments

Dr. Noori ... stayed home the day of the strike to prevent his workers from finding out that he knew many of the soldiers.

"I thought, 'Why don't we just raid the place?' " --the newest and only currently viable way to check up on how the billions and billions we're spending on reconstruction in Iraq is being spent--fake raids by the US military, making it seem like the recipients aren't receiving aid from us, and in fact are being targeted by us.
posted by amberglow on Mar 23, 2007 - 35 comments

"By early 2005, nearly one-third of the wounded soldiers admitted to the National Naval Medical Center had been colonized by the bacteria."

Rumors were circulating at the hospital that insurgents dosed their homemade bombs with the flesh of dead animals. ---multidrug-resistant Acinetobacter, and how we brought it to Iraq ourselves. "My colleagues and I have been looking for Acinetobacter baumannii in soil samples for years, and we haven't found it," she says. "These organisms are quite rare outside of hospitals." In other news, conditions in Iraqi hospitals are so bad due to lack of even the most basic supplies they're calling it a breach of the Geneva Conventions.
posted by amberglow on Jan 22, 2007 - 62 comments

"To get threat from unknown side whether al Jehad battalion or others!"

“Oh, I took the roofs road" --just one of the fascinating things at a new Iraq blog--Inside Iraq-- daily life in a war zone through the words of Iraqi journalists in McClatchy's Baghdad Bureau as they risk so much each day to survive. These are unedited first hand accounts of their experiences. Their complete names have been withheld for security reasons.
posted by amberglow on Jan 17, 2007 - 9 comments

Supporting our troops by making them guinea pigs?

Recombinant Activated Factor VII --the Food and Drug Administration said that giving it to patients with normal blood could cause strokes and heart attacks... the Army's faith in the $6,000-a-dose drug is based almost entirely on anecdotal evidence and persists despite public warnings and published research suggesting that Factor VII is not as effective or as safe as military officials say. ...
posted by amberglow on Nov 21, 2006 - 17 comments

They have infiltrated every branch of public service and every political office they can get their hands on.

Operation enduring chaos: ... the death squads are the result of US policy. At the beginning of last year, with no end to the Sunni insurgency in sight, the Pentagon was reported to have decided to train Shia and Kurdish fighters to carry out "irregular missions". ... From killing everyone named Omar (a Sunni name) who passes thru the wrong checkpoint, to simply marking businesses (and their owners) they want gone with red crosses, how various squads and militias and "armies" and "brigades" are running Iraq.
posted by amberglow on Oct 29, 2006 - 48 comments

...from that block came the sound of screaming ...

Meet the new jailers-- Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad is at the centre of fresh abuse allegations just a week after it was handed over to Iraqi authorities, with claims that inmates are being tortured by their new captors. Mass executions, torture again, etc. How bad is it when the inmates plead for us to come back? (Warning--this second link is graphic evidence of what we did there--NSFW)
posted by amberglow on Sep 10, 2006 - 27 comments

The album's title is taken from a line by the poet Apollinaire

So Much Fire To Roast Human Flesh from Arthur Magazine--an 18-track, multi-artist compilation CD curated by Foster featuring exclusive contributions from some of the more outspoken members of the nation's burgeoning psychedelic folk scene, ... All profits will be distributed to specific counter-military recruitment and pacifist organizations and programs who effectively advise high school students and other Americans at risk of being taken advantage of ... (and you can listen here). Some might remember Arthur vs. Godsmack--their music is heavily featured in recruiting ads.
posted by amberglow on Sep 1, 2006 - 8 comments

This might explain why the U.S. keeps getting caught spying on peaceful war-protestors.

DHS's CyberStorm-- --Recognizing the imminent threat hippies and assorted leftists obviously pose to us all, a massive cyber terror simulation (international and involving 115 organizations) recently came to light: ...The attack scenario detailed in the presentation is a meticulously plotted parade of cyber horribles led by a "well financed" band of leftist radicals who object to U.S. imperialism, aided by sympathetic independent actors. At the top of the pyramid is the Worldwide Anti-Globalization Alliance, which sets things off by calling for cyber sit-ins and denial-of-service attacks against U.S. interests. WAGA's radical arm, the villainous Black Hood Society, ratchets up the tension on day one by probing SCADA computerized control systems and military networks ...
posted by amberglow on Aug 17, 2006 - 28 comments

...another less attractive but probably more realistic version of modern warfare in Iraq today ...

Pentagon to Soldiers: Don't Post those Trophy Videos Online ... another said it made him feel good to bring the gruesome reality of a soldier's life in Iraq to those living safely behind their "clean, white picket fences at home". ...the taking and posting of trophy video served as some kind of relief from the psychological stresses of serving as a soldier in such a violent and acutely dangerous place. ... and from PBS' Mediashift: Your Guide to Soldier Videos From Iraq
posted by amberglow on Aug 5, 2006 - 13 comments

we're paying them to report, and they take it from blogs?

A daily intelligence brief on Iraq, prepared by a private contractor for the U.S. military and companies working in Iraq--SOC-SMG Inc --paints a grim picture of life in Baghdad. The information in large sections of the brief? It came from this blog: Iraq the Model
posted by amberglow on Jul 7, 2006 - 129 comments

...action has been coordinated with VP's office...

"I am copying you on this crap since I honestly believe the competitive procurement will never happen." --a multi-billion-dollar no-bid contract to KBR/Halliburton announced only after the fact, Cheney's extensive involvement, the attempted coverup of that involvement, lies, and you. Embarrassment is not sufficient cause for exemption from the Freedom of Information Act, no matter how much some may wish. ...Appearing on NBC’s Meet the Press in September 2003 Cheney stated, “I have absolutely no influence of, involvement of, knowledge of in any way, shape or form of contracts led by the [Army] Corps of Engineers or anybody else in the Federal Government.”
posted by amberglow on Jun 15, 2006 - 39 comments

"playing" America's Army

In Memoriam and in Protest --why not use an online deathmatch as a pedestal for speaking out against a war? Artist/Professor uses US Govt-developed America's Army (...placing Soldiering front and center within popular culture and showcasing the roles training, teamwork and technology play in the Army. ... ) as protest and art space. DeLappe's homepage (and jpgs) here
posted by amberglow on May 30, 2006 - 135 comments

often using “truth-based” information — to borrow from the vernacular of the military specialists who deal in the manipulation of words and images — as a substitute for truth.

Their view is that psyops can be directed toward global transregional audiences. My view is that that’s not possible because it directs psyops against our own friends and allies and even at our own public. ... In Mind Games, Columbia Journalism Review thoroughly examines the disintegrating lines between Public Affairs, Psy-Ops, IO, the public, and the truth. Some old friends are mentioned too: the Lincoln Group, the Rendon Group, the Pentagon, our own media, and others. If truth is our greatest weapon, as Rumsfeld has said, how can the administration hope to prevail in an information war when it is not honest with itself?
posted by amberglow on May 1, 2006 - 21 comments

we're the Mafia now

the "Second Liberation of Baghdad" --coming soon, in which we act as "enforcers", providing "protection" --...American and Iraqi troops would move from neighbourhood to neighbourhood, leaving behind Sweat teams — an acronym for “sewage, water, electricity and trash” — to improve living conditions by upgrading clinics, schools, rubbish collection, water and electricity supplies. Sunni insurgent strongholds are almost certain to be the first targets, although the Shi’ite militias such as the Mahdi army of Moqtada al-Sadr, the radical cleric, and the Iranian-backed Badr Brigade would need to be contained. ... Will we be greeted with candy and flowers again as well?
posted by amberglow on Apr 16, 2006 - 65 comments

Vrba told the world, but for some it didn't help

Rudolf Vrba-RIP --he escaped from Auschwitz with another guy, Wetzler, in April 1944 and got to Slovakia and Hungary, telling the world of the atrocities in the Auschwitz Protocol. Some Hungarian community leaders, however (Hungary was the only country that hadn't had its Jewish population deported yet), were busy making deals with Eichmann for safe passage away. In any case, the result was that about 1,700 Hungarian Jewish leaders, with their families and friends, ended up in Switzerland, while almost half a million unsuspecting Hungarian Jews ended up dead in Auschwitz. Vrba's report first alerted the world (including the Vatican, Red Cross, and US and British authorities) to exactly what was going on, and helped prosecute some who were tried later. ...Knowing perfectly well that it was the secrecy surrounding their actions that allowed the Nazis to herd unsuspecting Jews and transport them like sheep to slaughter, Vrba and Wetzler — as soon as they got in touch with Jewish community representatives in their native Slovakia — compiled a detailed report. They wrote about Auschwitz and what awaited Hungarian Jews once they arrived: immediate death by gassing.
posted by amberglow on Apr 11, 2006 - 17 comments

an off the books slush fund that both the Americans and their Iraqi allies could use with impunity to cover expenditures they would rather keep secret

How Much Oil Has Iraq Been Exporting Since We Invaded? And how much revenue should be recorded? --Iraq’s oil exports hit another post-invasion low in December and January, according to the Oil & Gas Journal. How do they know? Good question: according to Reuters, production and exports have gone unmetered since the Coalition Provisional Authority took over the country following the 2003 invasion; until new meters are installed (in 1-2 more years), everybody’s just guessing. Our Government's Energy Information Administration has all sorts of statistics--anyone wanna figure out how they're derived regarding Iraq?
posted by amberglow on Apr 4, 2006 - 22 comments

an ever-widening gulf between official language and the reality of the actual situation in Baghdad

Prisoners of their Bureaus--the Besieged Press of Baghdad What it's like to be a journalist in Iraq now--and especially relevant given the current attacks on the media for not reporting all the good that's happening in Iraq-- ... an ever-widening gulf between official language and the reality of the actual situation in Baghdad. While official language is relentlessly upbeat, the already nightmarish reality has been getting worse with each passing day. ... the insurgent attacks on the US forces and Iraqi government and the sectarian fighting between Sunnis and Shiites have become destructive beyond what most journalists have been able to convey ... (NY Review of Books)
posted by amberglow on Mar 25, 2006 - 35 comments

... they want to set the record straight. ...

an example of Operation Homefront? --this news report about a Reservist back from Iraq is apparently part of a new Pentagon propaganda operation aimed at us. ...Did Diaz return to the U.S. on emergency leave with an agenda -- to offer a positive spin that could help counter growing concerns among Americans about the U.S. exit strategy? How do we know that's not his strategy, especially after he discloses that superior officers encouraged him to talk about his experiences in Iraq? ...
posted by amberglow on Jan 4, 2006 - 91 comments

the acknowledged general of such propaganda warfare

The Rendon Group -- covert perception managers using our taxpayer money to start wars. ... the product of a clandestine operation -- part espionage, part PR campaign -- that had been set up and funded by the CIA and the Pentagon for the express purpose of selling the world a war. ... it was hired by the CIA to help "create the conditions for the removal of Hussein from power." Working under this extraordinary transfer of secret authority, Rendon assembled a group of anti-Saddam militants, personally gave them their name -- the Iraqi National Congress -- and served as their media guru and "senior adviser" as they set out to engineer an uprising against Saddam. ... Rolling Stone thoroughly documents the way we pay to be lied into war and one of the people who do it. From Noriega and Panama through to Chalabi, Miller, al-Haideri, Bush, and you.
posted by amberglow on Nov 19, 2005 - 38 comments

Torturing in our name

"We do not torture" (Bush, Nov. 7)
In an important clarification of President George W. Bush's earlier statement, a top White House official refused to unequivocally rule out the use of torture... (Hadley, Nov. 13) -- The fate of a House provision to ban the torture of prisoners in U.S. custody is in doubt, strongly opposed by the Administration. And don't call it torture: the preferred talking point wording is now enhanced interrogation techniques.
posted by amberglow on Nov 14, 2005 - 109 comments

serious human rights abuses which would undermine an otherwise successful military campaign, and our reputation internationally

In case the Downing Street Papers weren't enough: US State Dept. documents from the National Security Archive, obtained thru a Freedom of Information Act: State Department experts warned CENTCOM before Iraq war about lack of plans for post-war Iraq security, Planning for post-Saddam regime change began as early as October 2001, and ...They provide detail on each of the working groups and give the starting date for planning as October 2001. Entire sections of a Powerpoint presentation the State Department prepared on November 1, 2002 -- including those covering "What We Have Learned So Far" and "Implications for the Real Future of Iraq" -- have been censored as still-classified information. ... (PDFS)
posted by amberglow on Aug 17, 2005 - 41 comments

And he never stopped ‘targeting’ the Americans.

Meet Sharara ("Spark" in English)
posted by amberglow on Jul 5, 2005 - 34 comments

Parents are fighting back

Leave My Child Alone! --a new group teaching parents how to stop the very intrusive recruitment tactics of the military, including getting their kids off the Pentagon's list of 30 million potential recruits,: (...a joint effort of the Defense Department and a private contractor, disclosed last week, to build a database of 30 million 16- to 25-year-olds, complete with Social Security numbers, racial and ethnic identification codes, grade point averages and phone numbers. The database is to be scoured for youngsters that the Pentagon believes can be persuaded to join the military...), and getting your kids off the School district records lists (School districts are required under Section 9528 of the No Child Left Behind Act to release student records to military recruiters or risk losing funding, but they are also required to inform families of their Opt Out rights. Notification varies wildly across districts, and it's a bit of a crapshoot whether families know or not.)
More on this from Bob Herbert here: The Army's Hard Sell
posted by amberglow on Jun 29, 2005 - 68 comments

... they sold us to the Pakistani authorities for $5,000 per person.

"It wouldn't surprise me if we paid rewards"
--As part of the AP's receipt of transcripts of the millitary tribunals in Guantanamo, multiple reports of our allies using money the US gave them to buy "terrorists" for shipment there.
..."When I was in jail, they said I needed to pay them money and if I didn't pay them, they'd make up wrong accusations about me and sell me to the Americans and I'd definitely go to Cuba," he told the tribunal. "After that I was held for two months and 20 days in their detention, so they could make wrong accusations about me and my (censored), so they could sell us to you." Another prisoner said he was on his way to Germany in 2001 when he was captured and sold for "a briefcase full of money" then flown to Afghanistan before being sent to Guantanamo....
posted by amberglow on Jun 1, 2005 - 14 comments

We have all been to Iraq, and we support anyone who stands in nonviolent opposition

... I told the judge that the war violates the United Nations Charter, which forbids the use of force, unless carried out in self-defense or with the approval of the Security Council, neither of which obtained before Bush invaded Iraq. ...--testimony of Marjorie Cohn, professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law in the case of Petty Officer 3rd Class Pablo Paredes, on trial for court-martial--he refused to board his ship bound for the Gulf.
"I think that the government has successfully proved that any service member has reasonable cause to believe that the wars in Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Iraq were illegal."
--the presiding officer at the court-martial, Lt. Cmdr. Robert Klant
The sentence? Reduction to the lowest rank. Two months' restriction to the 32nd Street Naval Station. Three months of hard labor, but no jail time. Court adjourned.
posted by amberglow on May 13, 2005 - 27 comments

.

"He told me his brother was there with him, but he really wanted to see his mother, could he please call his mother. He was crying." --thanks to the Freedom of Information Act, the ACLU has received documents detailing detention, abuse, and death, of many, including children, at Abu Ghraib. Mostly PDFs, but summaries available on most pages: ... Investigation closed because furtherance "would be of little or no value" ... --statements of that sort are common throughout.
posted by amberglow on Mar 11, 2005 - 94 comments

AntiyoungAmericansdyingfilter?

Draftfreedom --a new group applying their marketing and communication expertise to help prevent the draft. Take a look--maybe this new approach can get thru?
posted by amberglow on Jan 24, 2005 - 40 comments

Spreading democracy with death squads?

The Salvador Option --sending Special Forces teams to advise, support and possibly train Iraqi squads, to target Sunni insurgents and their sympathizers, even across the border into Syria, in imitation of our actions in El Salvador. It remains unclear, however, whether this would be a policy of assassination or so-called "snatch" operations, in which the targets are sent to secret facilities for interrogation. More here, including this: In Iraq, in fact, as in many other places where the United States has tried to train ethical armies to fight dirty wars, the Iraqi troops are tacitly expected to do what American troops won’t. A fundamental purpose of the upcoming elections on January 30 is to create democratic legitimacy for whatever extreme measures the newly organized military decides to take.
posted by amberglow on Jan 14, 2005 - 18 comments

from guns to art

Peace Art Project Cambodia --turning the detrius of war into art, in hopes of a more peaceful future. More info here, and here. "You can't help but think about what this machine has done to affect so many lives." And that is really the point. These sculptures are political art at its most powerful - relics of a violent past transformed into expressions of hope for a more peaceful future.
posted by amberglow on Dec 25, 2004 - 6 comments

Can pictures of us show Iraqis that all Americans are not like the ones killing them?

The intent was to send a friendly message to people. We're not their enemies and they're not ours.' The Fellowship of Reconciliation, a peace organization around since WW1, instrumental in helping to create many of the most famous and effective social service and nonprofit organizations (ACLU, SCLC, etc), and their latest endeavor, IRAQ photo project. We are one family. When one person suffers, we all suffer is just one of the messages in the photos. Can empathy help, or has the situation gone too far?
posted by amberglow on Oct 17, 2004 - 14 comments

My offer still stands to say that we're lovers to get you out.

Howard Dean speaks --on the coming draft. Any of you going to be 20 in 2005, and/or medical personnel? And girls, don't think you'll be exempt. (altho we know Jenna and Barbara of course will be.)
posted by amberglow on Sep 21, 2004 - 96 comments

Lies, lies, lies, yeah (part 7592?)

We've already discovered, just so far, the remains of 400,000 people in mass graves.
Um, no. No, you haven't.
And USAID, in its report Iraq's Legacy of Terror: Mass Graves, might want to do some fact-checking too, along with our dear leader as well ("There's mass graves"), and his supporters.
posted by amberglow on Jul 20, 2004 - 93 comments

we're at war, right? so?

The Allen Plan --a very interesting alternative to the possible coming draft. Makes perfect sense to me.
posted by amberglow on Jun 14, 2004 - 41 comments

lies, damned lies

Terrorist incidents actually ROSE in 2003, but the State Department's "Patterns of Global Terrorism" report, issued April 29 (see Appendix G for an easy chart), said the exact opposite. Senior Bush administration officials immediately hailed it as objective proof that they were winning the war on terrorism. The report is considered the authoritative yardstick of the prevalence of terrorist activity around the world. Reports like this one were all over the news in April--will the fact that it was a lie be reported as widely? And can we trust anything this administration says anymore?
posted by amberglow on Jun 9, 2004 - 44 comments

unmitigated gall

US demands war crimes immunity But human rights campaigners said the Iraq prison abuse scandal proves that the US needs to be held to account. "Given the recent revelations... the US has picked one hell of a moment to ask for special treatment," said Richard Dicker of Human Rights Watch. -- the annual renewal of US protection from international prosecution for war crimes when serving under UN auspices comes to a vote on Monday.
posted by amberglow on May 22, 2004 - 34 comments

Gimme a FIGHT! Gimme a THE! Gimme a POWER!

"DEAR MR PRESIDENT, WE WE THINK YOUR WAR IS STUPID, AND WE SAY NO WAY!" Thus the Radical Cheerleaders arrive on the protest scene, taking the outfits and chants usually found on the football field to protests and demonstrations all over the world. Some chants here, and more coverage here. hey, it beats giant puppets!
posted by amberglow on Nov 15, 2003 - 51 comments

radical militias

Not in Iraq or in Afghanistan, but right here at home. The forgotten front in the War on Terror™? Agents found an underground bunker, thousands of rounds of ammunition, hundreds of pounds of gunpowder and manuals on guerrilla warfare, "booby traps" and explosives....
posted by amberglow on Oct 18, 2003 - 30 comments

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