It is an old saying that when you marry a woman, you marry her mother: she will be part of your family because, alive or dead, she is part of your wife and will, with time, make her presence in your life and hers clearer and clearer. The outstanding political analysis below (outstanding, that is, except for the fact that it totally omits Ron Paul and his candidacy) makes that point very well within the political family.
The Natural Solutions Foundation is a not for profit 501 (c) (3) organization and therefore cannot engage in activities which are intended to impact directly the outcome of elections. However, we can provide information and education. In that spirit, we are providing the analysis below. We believe it is of great importance.
Bill Clinton’s academic mentor Prof. Carroll Quigley provided the definitive analysis of the USA’s bi-polar, bi-partisan system:
â€œThe argument that the two parties should represent opposed ideals and policies, one, perhaps, of the Right and the other of the Left, is a foolish idea acceptable only to doctrinaire and academic thinkers. Instead, the two parties should be almost identical, so that the American people can â€˜throw the rascals outâ€™ at any election without leading to any profound or extensive shifts in policyâ€¦.
But either party in office becomes in time corrupt, tired, unenterprising, and vigorless. Then it should be possible to replace it, â€¦by the other party, which will be none of these things but will still pursue, with new vigor, approximately the same basic policies.
. . .The policies that are vital and necessary for America are no longer subjects of significant disagreement, but are disputable only in detail, procedure, priority, or method…. ”
Carroll Quigley in Tragedy and Hope â€“ 1966
Democracy Now! January 3, 2008
Allan Nairn, Independent journalist. Runs the web-blog â€œNews and Comment.â€ http://newsc.blogspot.com
Kelley Beaucar Vlahos, Freelance journalist in Washington. Her article on presidential advisers titled â€œWar Whisperersâ€ appeared in the American Conservative.
* Allan Nairn’s Blog “News and Comment” http://newsc.blogspot.com/
AMY GOODMAN: Presidential candidates are scrambling to win last-minute support in Iowa ahead of tonightâ€™s caucus. Thousands of reporters have also descended on Iowa this week, covering everything from Mike Huckabeeâ€™s haircut to John Edwardsâ€™s rally with singer John Mellencamp.
But little attention has been paid to perhaps one of the most important aspects of the candidates: their advisers, the men and women who likely form the backbone of the candidateâ€™s future cabinet if elected president. Many of the names will be familiar.
Advisers to Hillary Rodham Clinton include many former top officials in President Clintonâ€™s administration: former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, former National Security Adviser Samuel Berger, former UN Ambassador Richard Holbrooke. Senator Barack Obamaâ€™s list includes President Carterâ€™s National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski, former counterterrorism czar Richard Clarke, former Middle East negotiator Dennis Ross.
Rudolph Giulianiâ€™s advisers include Norman Podhoretz, one of the fathers of the neoconservative movement. John McCainâ€™s list of official and formal policy advisers includes former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, General Colin Powell, William Kristol of The Weekly Standard, and former CIA Director James Woolsey. One of Mitt Romneyâ€™s top advisers is Cofer Black, the former CIA official who now serves as vice chair of Blackwater Worldwide. Vice President Dick Cheneyâ€™s daughter Elizabeth is advising Fred Thompson.
As for Mike Huckabee, itâ€™s not clear. In December, Huckabee listed former UN Ambassador John Bolton as someone with whom he either has â€œspoken or will continue to speak,â€ but Bolton then revealed the two had never spoken. Huckabee also named Richard Allen, but the former National Security Adviser also admitted he had never spoken to Huckabee.
To talk more about the advisers behind the presidential campaigns, Iâ€™m joined by two guests. Kelley Vlahos is a freelance journalist in Washington. Her article on presidential advisers called â€œWar Whisperersâ€ appeared in The American Conservative in October. Investigative journalist Allan Nairn joins us here in the firehouse studio. We welcome you both to Democracy Now!
I want to begin by going to Washington, D.C., to our guest there, to the author of â€œWar Whisperers.â€ Talk about why you focused, Kelley, on the advisers of the presidential candidates.
KELLEY BEAUCAR VLAHOS: Well, it was becoming clear to me and to others here in Washington in certain circles that the advisers that were emerging for the campaigns, whether it be Democratic or Republican, were part of some seriously pro-establishment cliques. And I say â€œcliques,â€ because there is really no other way to describe it. But these cliques generally can be categorized as not only pro-establishment, but more pro-interventionist, whether it be the so-called liberal interventionists on the Democratic side or your war hawks on the Republican side.
But what became clear is that the candidates werenâ€™t reaching outside of these establishment cliques and that they were getting no fresh ideas, no vision outside of these pretty standard parameters. And we thoughtâ€”me and the editors thought it might be a good idea to explore a little bit under the surface about where these of advisers were coming from, in hopes of maybe deciphering where foreign policy might be going in the future.
AMY GOODMAN: Letâ€™s begin with Hillary Clinton, Kelley Vlahos.
KELLEY BEAUCAR VLAHOS: OK. Well, Hillary Clintonâ€™sâ€”her foreign policy team can be best described asâ€”and I hate to use this word so casually, butâ€”â€œthrowbacksâ€ of her husbandâ€™s administration. We have, you know, Richard Holbrooke, Madeleine Albright, you have Sandy Berger as your sort of top-tier advisers, your key advisers, the most recognized faces. And then, beyond that, as I say in the article, you have this newer generationâ€”I want to say newer generation, but a generation of former Clinton types who you might not recognize their names, but theyâ€™ve been around for a long time and are seriously scrambling for position in what they see as a new Clinton administration. So youâ€™re seeing a lot of old faces, old names, who havenâ€™t really changed their ideas from, you know, what I and others can see, in terms of doing the research, havenâ€™t changed their real vision of the world and foreign policy since the 1990s.
AMY GOODMAN: Let me bring Allan Nairn into this conversation. You have just written about the advisers, as well, on your blog, newsc.blogspot.com. Elaborate further on Hillary Clintonâ€™s advisers.
ALLAN NAIRN: Well, I think one thing you could say about the advisers for all the candidates who have a chance is that the presence of these advisers makes it clear that these candidates arenâ€™t serious about enforcing the murder laws and that theyâ€™re willing to kill civilians, foreign civilians, en masse in order to advance US policy. And theyâ€™re not serious about law and order. Theyâ€™re soft on crime.
And start with Clinton. Madeleine Albright, she was the main force behind the Iraq sanctions that killed more than 400,000 Iraqi civilians. General Wesley Clark, he was the one who ran the bombing of Serbia in the former Yugoslavia, came out and publicly said that he was going after civilian targets, like electrical plants, like the TV station there. Richard Holbrooke, in the Carter administration he was the one who oversaw the shipment of weapons to the Indonesian military as they were invadingâ€”illegally invading East Timor and killing a third of the population there, and he was the one who kept the UN Security Council from enforcing its resolution against that invasion. Strobe Talbott, he was the one who, during the Clinton administration, oversaw Russia policy, a backing of Yeltsin, which resulted in turning over the national wealth to the oligarchs and a drop in life expectancy in much of Russia of about fifteen yearsâ€”massive, massive death. And you have various backers of the Iraq invasion and occupation and the recent escalation, people like General Jack Keane, Michael Oâ€™Hanlon and others. Thatâ€™s just Clinton.
AMY GOODMAN: Barack Obama?
ALLAN NAIRN: Well, Obamaâ€™s top adviser is Zbigniew Brzezinski. Brzezinski gave an interview to the French press a number of years ago where he boasted about the fact that it was he who created the whole Afghan jihadi movement, the movement that produced Osama bin Laden. And he was asked by the interviewer, â€œWell, donâ€™t you think this might have had some bad consequences?â€ And Brzezinski replied, â€œAbsolutely not. It was definitely worth it, because we were going after the Soviets. We were getting the Soviets.â€ Another top Obama personâ€”
AMY GOODMAN: I think his comment actually was, â€œWhatâ€™s a few riled-up Muslims?â€ And this, that whole idea of blowback, the idea of arming, financing, training the Mujahideen in Afghanistan to fight the Soviets, including Osama bin Laden, and then when theyâ€™re done with the Soviets, they set their sights, well, on the United States.
ALLAN NAIRN: Right. And later, during Bill Clintonâ€™s administration, during the Bosnia killing, the US actually flew some of the Afghan Mujahideen, the early al-Qaeda peopleâ€”the US actually arranged for them to be flown from there to Bosnia to fight on the Muslim/NATO side.
Another key Obama adviser, Anthony Lake, he was the main force behind the US invasion of Haiti in the mid-Clinton years during which they brought back Aristide essentially in political chains, pledged to support a World Bank/IMF overhaul of the economy, which resulted in an increase in malnutrition deaths among Haitians and set the stage for the current ongoing political disaster in Haiti.
Another Obama adviser, General Merrill McPeak, an Air Force man, who not long after the Dili massacre in East Timor in â€™91 that you and I survived, he wasâ€”I happened to see on Indonesian TV shortly after thatâ€”there was General McPeak overseeing the delivery to Indonesia of US fighter planes.
Another key Obama adviser, Dennis Ross. Ross, for many years under both Clinton and Bush 2, a keyâ€”he has advised Clinton and both Bushes. He oversaw US policy toward Israel/Palestine. He pushed the principle that the legal rights of the Palestinians, the rights recognized under international law, must be subordinated to the needs of the Israeli governmentâ€”in other words, their desires, their desires to expand to do whatever they want in the Occupied Territories. And Ross was one of the people who, interestingly, led the political assault on former Democratic President Jimmy Carter. Carter, no peacenikâ€”I mean, Carter is the one who bears ultimate responsibility for that Timor terror that Holbrooke was involved in. But Ross led an assault on him, because, regarding Palestine, Carter was so bold as to agree with Bishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa that what Israel was doing in the Occupied Territories was tantamount to apartheid. And so, Ross was one of those who fiercely attacked him.
Another Obama adviser, Sarah Sewall, who heads a human rights center at Harvard and is a former Defense official, she wrote the introduction to General Petraeusâ€™s Marine Corps/Army counterinsurgency handbook, the handbook that is now being used worldwide by US troops in various killing operations. Thatâ€™s the Obama team.
AMY GOODMAN: John Edwards?
ALLAN NAIRN: Well, Edwards is a little different. The list of his foreign advisers is not as complete, so itâ€™s not as clear exactly where they may be coming from, but itâ€™s interesting. Last night on TV, one of the top Edwards advisers, â€œMudcatâ€ Saunders, was complaining about the fact that there are 35,000 lobbyists in Washington. And it appears, from the Edwards list, that many of the military lobbyists are working on the Edwards foreign policy team, because the names thatâ€”the Edwards names that are out there mainly come from the Army and the Air Force and the Navy Material Command. Those are the portions of the Pentagon that do the Defense contracts, that do the deals with the big companies like Raytheon and Boeing, etc. One of those listed on the Edwards team is the lobbyist for the big military contractor EADS. So, although Edwards talks about going after lobbyists, if he tries to go after the military lobbyists, he may get a little blowback from his own advisers.
AMY GOODMAN: Are you saying that thereâ€™s no difference between these candidates?
ALLAN NAIRN: Well, fundamentally, thereâ€™s no difference on the basic principle of, are you against the killing of civilians and are you willing to enforce the murder laws. If we were willing to enforce the murder laws, the headquarters of each of these candidates could be raided, and various advisers and many candidates could be hauled away by the cops, because they have backed various actions that, under established principles like the Nuremberg Principles, like the principles set up in the Rwanda tribunals, the Bosnia tribunals, things that are unacceptable, like aggressive war, like the killing of civilians for political purposes. So, in a basic sense, there is no choice.
But there is a difference in this sense: the US is so vastly powerful, the US influences and has the potential to end so many millions of lives around the world, that if, letâ€™s say, you have two candidates that are 99% the sameâ€”thereâ€™s only 1% difference between themâ€”if youâ€™re talking about decisions that affect a million livesâ€”1% of a million is 10,000â€”thatâ€™s 10,000 lives. So, even though itâ€™s a bitter choice, if you choose the one who is going to kill 10,000 fewer people, well, then youâ€™ve saved 10,000 lives. We shouldnâ€™t be limited to that choice. Itâ€™s unacceptable. And Americans should start to realize that itâ€™s unacceptable.
But thatâ€™s the choice we have at the moment. In Iowa, I think there are steps people could take to start to challenge that system, if they wanted to.
AMY GOODMAN: Well, weâ€™ll talk about that in a minute, and weâ€™ll continue to talk about the advisers. Our guests are Allan Nairn and Kelley Beaucar Vlahos. Weâ€™ll be back with them both in a minute.
AMY GOODMAN: We continue this discussion about the advisers to the presidential candidates, the men and women behind the men and women who are running today. Our guests are Kelley Beaucar Vlahos, a freelance journalist in Washington, wrote a piece in The American Conservative called â€œWar Whisperers: The 2008 Hopefuls Promised a Change in Foreign Policy Then Hired the Old Guard.â€ We are also joined by independent investigative journalist Allan Nairn. He writes a blog called newsc.blogspot.com. His piece today on this issue is called â€œThe US Election is Already Over. Murder and Preventable Death Have Won.â€
Kelley Beaucar Vlahos, would you like to add to any of the advisers Allan just talked about? And then weâ€™ll move on to the Republicans.
KELLEY BEAUCAR VLAHOS: Well, I think Allan has covered most of it and pretty thoroughly. I agree with him that there is very little difference among these people, and I think what he said really speaks to the idea and the challenge that there is no incentive for these candidates to reach out beyond any of this orbit or galaxy of foreign policy advisers who have been linked in, you know, weâ€™re talking decades of war and events and actions and operations. And there seems, whether it be John Edwards reaching out to the Defense contracting community or Hillary Clinton reaching out to her husbandâ€™s former security advisers and operatives or whether itâ€™s Obama reaching out to former Clinton types, there doesnâ€™t seem to be any incentive to reach out beyond that. It seems like there is a stranglehold in this town on the kind of advisers that one is supposed to be linked with.
And I think a lot of that is linked to money, where, you know, the candidates have big names, big lobbyists; that in turn brings them in more funders, more bundlers. And itâ€™s sort of like this hand-in-glove symbiotic relationship, where the bigger names you have, the more familiar names, the more entrenched you have in these cliques I spoke to previously, the more money youâ€™re bringing into your campaign. So thereâ€™s no incentive to go beyond that, unless youâ€™re ready for some amount of rebuke and some of the spigot being turned off.
AMY GOODMAN: I mean, actually, in terms of money, Allan Nairn, someone like Obama raises an enormous amount of money from just the grassroots.
ALLAN NAIRN: Yeah, Obamaâ€”thatâ€™s a very telling example. Like Dean in the last campaign, Obama has the ability to get all the money he needs from the middle class through the internet, through $50, $80, $100 contributions. He actually doesnâ€™t need to finance his campaign, to go to the hedge funds, to go to Wall Street. But he does anyway. And he does, I think, because if he doesnâ€™t, they wouldnâ€™t trust him. They might think that heâ€™s on the wrong team, and they might start attacking him. He is someone who, in terms of the money he needs for his campaign, he could afford to come out for single-payer healthcare, for example, but he doesnâ€™t. He doesnâ€™t need money from the health insurance industry, thatâ€™s wasting several percentage points of the American GDP in a way that no other industrial rich country in the world does, yet he chooses not to do that, because he doesnâ€™t want to be attacked by those corporations.
AMY GOODMAN: And is Edwards and Clinton any different on those issues?
ALLAN NAIRN: Not as far as I can tell. None of them have come out for single payer. The only one who came out for single payer was Kucinich. Campaign contributions is just one of many tools that rich people have to get their way. There are basically two parallel factors in any democracy. One is one person, one vote. The other is one dollar, one vote. And those two are mixed together. So, although the people do have some say, there are usually a lot more dollars out there than people, and they find ways of prevailing in the end, unless the people become aggressive and disruptive and demanding and threaten to shake the system so that big concessions are made.
AMY GOODMAN: Kelley Beaucar Vlahos, letâ€™s go to the Republicans: Giuliani, Mitt Romney, Fred Thompson, Mike Huckabee, John McCain. Give us a few of their advisers.
KELLEY BEAUCAR VLAHOS: Well, Giuliani, as you had mentioned, and you had a pretty thorough list of people, but Giuliani is probably strikinglyâ€”strikingly is reaching out to the most strident neoconservatives on the scene today. He has familiar neoconservatives on his team, like you said: Norman Podhoretz, also Daniel Pipes, whoâ€”and I donâ€™t remember if you had mentioned, butâ€”has been leading the charge against â€œIslamofascismâ€ on college campuses, has put out his Campus Watch, in terms of going after professors that he deems are not pro-Israel enough. He has other less familiar names, like Martin Kramer, Stephen Rosen, Peter Berkowitz of the Hoover Institution. He has basically a small galaxy of neoconservatives from familiar think tanks as the American Enterprise Institute, the Heritage Foundation, Hoover, the Hudson.
And basically, I mean, just to start, you know, with Giuliani, because I think he has the most poignant list of people in terms of where you would think that his foreign policy strategy is moving, he has basicallyâ€”and I said this in my articleâ€”has taken the Bush Doctrine, has just pumped it up with steroids. He is fully on boardâ€”he always has beenâ€”with the Bush Doctrine. His people behind him are. Weâ€™re talking about no-holds-barred forward with the war on terror, the war against â€œIslamofascism.â€ He believes that the war on terror is a grand war versus good and evil. He is not shy to say that, his people arenâ€™t shy to say that. Heâ€™s fully in grip of these people and the Bush Doctrine.
And, you know, if you want to see where the Rudy Giulianiâ€”President Rudy Giuliani will take us, you just look at the Bush Doctrine as if the Iraq war never happened or, better yet, the problems that have arisen from the Iraq war have never happened, because Rudy Giuliani doesnâ€™t seem to acknowledge any of that. Any issues before the surge are incidental. You know, everything is moving forward, and his policy team is right there backing him.
AMY GOODMAN: Allan Nairn, more on Rudolph Giuliani, and then to Mitt Romney.
ALLAN NAIRN: Giuliani, as was mentioned, his big adviser is Norman Podhoretz. Podhoretzâ€™s new book is World War IV, which he seems to like. Podhoretz says, bomb the Iranians. And heâ€™s not just talking about pinpoint Iranian nuclear installations; heâ€™s saying bomb the Iranians. And he says he prays that this will happen. Ex-Senator Robert Kasten, an old major backer of the Pakistani military dictatorships and the Suharto dictatorship in Indonesia, heâ€™s another key Giuliani adviser.
McCain has General Alexander Haig, who oversaw the US policy of mass terror killings of civilians in Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Honduras, when American nuns and religious workers were abducted, raped and murdered by the Salvadoran National Guard. General Haig said those nuns died in an exchange of gunfire, the pistol-packing nuns. He has a youngerâ€”McCain has a younger adviser, Max Boot, who now points to El Salvador, where 70,000 civilians were killed by American-backed death squads, as a model counterinsurgency, a model for what the US should be doing today. Henry Kissinger advises McCain, as he advises many others. And Kissinger, of course, was responsible for mass death in Cambodia, Vietnam, Chile, countless other places. Bud McFarlane from the Reagan administration, who was a key backer of the Contras. Brent Scowcroft, who these days is popular with some liberals because he opposesâ€”he opposed the Iraq invasion, who is a leader of the realist schoolâ€”the realist school basically says, yes, kill civilians, but make sure you win the war, as opposed to the Bush-Cheney school, which has been killing civilians but losing the war, as the US has been doing until recently in Iraq and is now starting to do in Afghanistanâ€”Scowcroft was the one who, during the Bush 1 administration, went to China right after the Tiananmen Square massacre and reassured the Chinese leadership, â€œDonâ€™t worry about it, weâ€™re still behind you.â€
Romney, as you mentioned, Romney has Cofer Black, a longtime CIA operative who was one of the key people behind the invasion of Afghanistan. During the course of that, according to Bob Woodward, he went in and said, â€œWeâ€™re going to go into Afghanistan. Weâ€™re going to cut their heads off.â€ Heâ€™s the one who organized Detachment 88 in Indonesia just recently, the supposed antiterrorist outfit that recently went after a Papuan human rights lawyer. Two key figures in backing the old US policy in Central America, Mark Falcoff and Roger Noriega, are also on the Romney team. And Dan Senor, who viewers probably remember as the voice of the early invasion and occupation of Iraq, heâ€™s one of the Romney guys. Now, as you mentionedâ€”
AMY GOODMAN: Dan Senor is one of the spokespeople in Iraq, is married to, I think it is, Campbell Brown, whoâ€™s just been hired by CNN to replace Paula Zahn.
ALLAN NAIRN: Huckabee, who you mentioned, itâ€™s not clear who his advisers are. Huckabee recently was attacked by Romney for being soft on crime. So Huckabee responded, â€œSoft on crime? I executed sixteen people in Arkansas. How many people did you execute in Massachusetts?â€ Well, Massachusetts didnâ€™t have the death penalty. But if Huckabee were really tough on crime, he would have used his post as governor of Arkansas to extradite Bill Clinton to Arkansas to stand trial before the courts there, as is permissible under international law, for the hundreds of thousands of civilian deaths brought on by the Iraqi sanctions during the Clinton administration. But thatâ€™s unthinkable in American politics. It probably didnâ€™t even occur to Huckabee. But if we had a civilized political order and we defined crime and murder objectively, something like that would have been on the table, and Huckabee would have been challenged on it.
Bloomberg, who may step in as the independent, using his money, heâ€™s an interesting example of another aspect.
AMY GOODMAN: The current mayor of New York.
ALLAN NAIRN: Yes. One is, we ought to be enforcing the murder laws evenhandedly, so that anyone who facilitates the killing of civilians faces trial and jail, just like any street criminal, even if theyâ€™re a CIA operative, even if theyâ€™re an American general, even if theyâ€™re American president.
Two, we ought to be preventing preventable death if we can. Kids who are defecating to death, kids who are dying from malnutrition for the lack of a couple of dollars, we should be stopping that every single time it can be stopped in the world. Last year in the world, there were anywhere from three to five million deaths of children under the age of five, children who were suffering from malnutrition. If he had so chosenâ€”and he chose not toâ€”Bloomberg could have personally prevented those deaths, because according to Forbes magazine, heâ€™s worth $11.5 billion, and thatâ€™s more than enough money, if distributed properly, to prevent that many deaths, millions of one yearâ€™s deaths of entirely preventable, entirely inexcusable malnutrition deaths. But it probably never even occurred to him, and he was certainly never challenged on it politically.
But we can start to challenge people on this politically. For example, in the Iowa caucuses, weâ€™re now in a situation where, you know, we have very bitter choices. So what are you going to do? I mean, Kucinich, who has good positions on many of these issues, heâ€™s decided to throw in his lot with Obama. Ralph Nader, who has good positions, heâ€™s implying support for Edwards. OK, these are tactical choices. But one thing that people can do in the Iowa caucuses tonight, they can go in there and say, OK, Iâ€™m caucusing for whomever, but I am making my support conditional on you renouncing support for the murder of civilians, on you firing all of your advisers who have been involved in the killing of civilians in the past, you turning them over to the International Criminal Court if you can get the International Criminal Court to accept it, you signing a pledge that says no more killing of civilians, you signing a pledge that says we will prevent preventable death.
You know, the right wing has been doing this for years on the issue of taxes. They makeâ€”they go around, they make all the Republican candidates sign a no-tax pledge. Thatâ€™s been somewhat effective. A very similar thing could be done, and I think it could have appeal, left and right, to anyone who is decent to have candidates pledge no more support for killing civilians, tough on crime, enforce the murder laws, prevent preventable deaths. Letâ€™s not have kids dying of diarrhea. If we have spare dollars floating around that people only want, give them to people whose bodies need them.
AMY GOODMAN: You know, itâ€™s interesting, there is an Occupation Project, and a group of people were just arrested in Huckabeeâ€™s offices, among them the longtime peace activist, Nobel Peace Prize nominee several times over, Kathy Kelly, who founded Voices in the Wilderness.
ALLAN NAIRN: Right. Thatâ€™s a good tactic. I think we have to try many tactics from many directions. And one possible one is, you know, getting inside things like the Iowa caucus, getting inside things like the conventions of both parties and threaten to create a disturbance on the floor, ruckus on the floor, if the candidate for whom you are there as a delegate doesnâ€™t back these simple things that should be the basis of any civilization: no murder, save someone if you can save them.
AMY GOODMAN: Final question, this is on a totally different issue, Allan Nairn, our top headline, the Justice Department launching a formal criminal investigation to the destruction of the videotapes documenting the interrogation of two prisoners. You have long been writing about investigating the CIA and US policy, whether itâ€™s in Central America or Asia. What are your thoughts on the destruction of these videotapes?
ALLAN NAIRN: Well, oneâ€”and who knows?â€”Iâ€™m skeptical that theyâ€™ve actually been destroyed. I mean, anyone, you know, who works with computers knows that itâ€™s almost impossible to truly eliminate something from a hard disk and also that when thereâ€™s a document, there are always multiple copies made, especially when youâ€™re in a network system. So Iâ€™d be surprised if this thing was really destroyed.
But, anyway, itâ€™s unfortunate that the issue of tortureâ€”I mean, itâ€™s good that the issue of torture has finally been put on the table of American politics and people talk about it to some extent, but itâ€™s unfortunate that itâ€™s been put on the table in the context of the torture of these al-Qaeda people, these people who were openly proud killers, mass murderers of civilians. In that context, a lot of people look at it and say, â€œWell, yeah, look at these lowlifes. Maybe they should be tortured.â€
But the fact of the matter is, 90% , at least, worldwide of cases of torture are not of people like this who are open mass murderers. They are usually of dissidents, of rebels, or of common criminals. And often, it is done by regimes that are armed, trained or financed by the United States. This was the case in El Salvador. In El Salvador, I interviewed Salvadoran military people who told of torture training classes they got from CIA officials, and they talked about how the CIA people would be in the room as the torture sessions were going on. And these were not al-Qaeda types that they were torturing; these were labor organizers, these were people who were speaking for justice, these were peasants.
Thatâ€™s what most torture is in the world, and it should be completely banned and abolished, not in the soft rhetorical way that McCain is talking about it, but actually stopping it by stopping support for all the forces that make a practice of torture. And that would involve completely rewriting the Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill, the Defense Appropriations Bill, and it would also involve calling in the authorities and carrying out many US officials in chains, because theyâ€™ve been backing this illegal stuff for years.
AMY GOODMAN: Well, weâ€™re going to leave it there. In talking about, by the way, the occupation of offices, it was not only Huckabeeâ€™s office, it was also Barack Obamaâ€™s Iowa office, as well as Mitt Romneyâ€™s Iowa office, people occupied yesterday. Allan Nairn, I want to thank you for being with us. Your blog at â€œnewscâ€ for â€œNews and Comment,â€ newsc.blogspot.com. And Kelley Beaucar Vlahos, thank you for joining us from Washington, D.C. Her article appeared in The American Conservative. The piece was called â€œWar Whisperers.â€
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Ralph Fucetola. whose website is www.VitaminLawyer.com, writes a blog on issues pertaining to health freedom and regulatory issues. Here is Ralph’s articulate and important commentary on the absurd position of Von Eschenbach, the drug company darling running the FDA and allowing dangerous drugs to flood the market and poison Americans by the hundreds of thousands (or more: adverse reactions are notoriously under-reported).
Here is his latest blog/newsletter on Von Eschenbach ‘s dangerous dereliction of the FDA’s responsibility to the American people:
SPECIAL VLUeM – 05.31.07 – VITAMIN LAWYER UPDATE e-MEMO
PRIVATE MESSAGE: The purpose of the VLUeM e-memo is to update the Vitamin
Lawyer and Vitamin Lawyer News web sites for my contacts and client list.
Please take a look at www.vitaminlawyer.com – we have a new look and better
indexing. Private, privileged & confidential…
Ron Paul’s Bill is the answer to the FDA’s failings…
Head of FDA wants to work more closely with Drug Companies…
Report from Gardner Harris – “May 30 – When Dr. Andrew C. von Eschenbach took
over the Food and Drug Administration in 2005, the agency had a crisis over
drug approvals that had missed or ignored dangerous side effects in Vioxx,
antidepressants and other prominent medications. Dr. von Eschenbach promised
improvements, and agency officials said they would no longer be caught
flatfooted on drug safety. But this month, The New England Journal of Medicine
published a study suggesting that a major diabetes pill, Avandia, might
increase the risk of heart attacks.
Concerns over that drug and others have led Republicans and Democrats in the
House and the Senate to call for investigations. A House hearing is planned
for June 6. Dr. von Eschenbach said in a briefing on Wednesday that his agency
needed to collaborate more closely with drug companies.
’The point is that we need to look at the role of the F.D.A. in being a
bridge to the future, not a barrier to the future,’ he said at his office
My question: is working closely with Drug Companies the solution… or the
I suggest that a better solution would be promoting natural remedies without
dangerous side effects; not putting up bureaucratic barriers to them. This
can best be done by allowing people access to truthful information about
traditional, non-drug approaches; by letting natural product purveyors make
serious health claims… exactly what Ron Paul’s Health Freedom Protection Act
In the twelve hours since www.globalhealthfreedom.org sent an email blast
seeking support for the Paul bill over 10,000 people have written their
congresspeople supporting the bill! We still need hundreds of thousands to
Protect our herbs, vitamins, minerals and natural remedies from bureaucratic
Spread the word. Ron Paul’s bill should either be passed as written or passed as an amendment to the House version of the bill that makes the FDA even more of a threat to life and liberty than it is now, Kennedy’s S. 1082 (passed May 9 with only one dissenting vote). Tell your Representatives that is what you want! Click here to direct them to protect your right to know what dietary supplements actually do for you.
The FDA is bound and determined to make that knowledge a crime, thus killing the market for dietary supplements by the efforts of the poison press (including Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s illogical, slanted and destructive article in the May 24, 2007 issue of Time Magazine) and the seductive, but equally dangerous and misleading advertising of drugs for every possible state of human experience.
If you have not already watched the “Nutricide” lecture on our home page, please do so now. It will change your life. Then get involved in making sure that everyone you know gets involved, too. That’s how we will protect our health freedom.
Yours in health and freedom,
Rima E. Laibow, MD
Natural Solutions Foundation www.HealthFreedomUSA.org
Yesterday had some very hopeful moments at the Codex Committee on Food Labeling (CCFL) meeting here in Ottawa. The World Health Organization (WHO) gave CCFL a bunch of action steps that is wanted Codex (through this committee and the Codex Committee on Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Uses) to use to implement the WHO Global Strategy on Diet, Physical activity and Diet. These steps include informative labels on pre-packaged food about the caloric content (“energy”), saturated and trans fats, sodium, sugars and nutrients. The purpose of this is to allow consumers to reduce their risk for the non-communicable diseases (NCDs) of under nutrition, identified by the WHO as cancers, cardiovascular disease and stroke, diabetes and obesity and manage them via dietary strategies.
That’s right: there IS a connection, says the WHO, between what goes into your mouth and what becomes of your body! And it is up to the world’s food standard setting body, the WHO says, to do something positive about it. Who could argue with that? Well, Canada, the US, Australia, Brazil, Mexico and a host of other countries, that’s who. You see, if the world’s people knew how to reduce their risk factors for the major killers (aside from properly prescribed drugs, of course), they would not be buying the really bad foods that comprise so much of the Standard American Diet (so aptly called “SAD”, but now rapidly becoming the “SGD”, Standard Global Diet). They might choose veggies, not fried chicken wings, fruits, not dough nuts, and local foods, not Big Macs and fries.
If they understood how to prevent the highly profitable killer diseases they might not spend billions and billions of dollars on drug-based illness care because they would not have illnesses that needed treatment and if they did have those illnesses, they could manage their conditions with diet reducing or eliminating the need for drugs (an drugs to control the side effects of those drugs, of course!)
If consumers knew that giving their babies and children sweets would give them heart disease and diabetes, they might make different choices for them resulting in the loss of more billions of dollars in kiddie food porn.
And if labels contained helpful information about macro nutrients (protein, fiber, sugar, sodium) and micro nutrients (vitamins, minerals, amino acids and other big impact, small dose diet components), they might decide to regulate their health for preventive, as well as therapeutic purposes. Eating patterns would change, disease expenditures would change, corporate profits would change and consumers would be making a heap of bother for the multinational corporations and the countries that serve their interests and call it public policy.
Other countries, of course, expressed strong commitment to the implementation strategies brought forward by the WHO. But it turned into a bad day at black rock anyway for consumer health.
A Bit of Necessary Background
The Codex Committee on Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Uses (CCNFSDU) has been headed for decades by the autocratic, anti-nutrition and very powerful Dr. Rolf Grossklaus, a physician with a specialization in nutritional medicine (which is an option in Germany). Aside from humiliating and dismissing any one at all who does not support his point of view during each and every one of the CCNFSDU meetings, Dr. G. maintains that nutrition has no place in medicine (2003) and that only super low dose nutrients, in doses so tiny that they have no impact on any human, should be permitted. Dr. Grossklaus is also the Chairman of the Board of bFR, a State owned German company that performs “Risk Assessment” on toxins of various sorts. Dr. G. has sold the Codex world a very rotten bill of goods by selling the concept of “risk assessment” for nutrients. The net result? Codex treats nutrients as if they were dangerous industrial chemicals. Of course, if it is true that Dr. G serves both as the Chairman of the Board of a company that does Risk Assessment on a contract basis for Codex and serves as the chair of the committee that requires these same risk assessments would be highly questionable ethically.
Dr. Grossklaus has applied the toxicology tool of risk assessment to nutrients. Here is a very abbreviated list of the “Maximum Permissible Levels” (MPL) which bFR proposes for everyone in the world thus assuring global under nutrition (followed by the amount that I take on a daily basis for comparison)
Nutrient MPL My Daily Dose
Vitamin C 225 mg /// 3.5 grams (3500 mg)
Vitamin D 5 IU /// 8000 IU
Vitamin E 15 IU /// 1200 IU
Vitamin B3 17 mg /// 1000 mg
Vitamin B6 5.4 mg /// 250 mg
Vitamin B12 5 mcg /// 5000 mcg Fluoride 3.8 mg /// 0.00 mg: significant toxin
And Codex buys it. Right now, the CCNFSDU is engaged in setting Nutrient Reference Values (NRVs) at the dangerously low levels for vitamins and minerals.
Back to Today at CCFL
When the WHO proposal was brought forward to make labeling of both macro and micro nutrients part of the information available on pre packaged foods, some countries thought that would help their consumers and were strongly in favor of it. Others, however, including the usual gang of suspects (which always seems to include the United States), proposed that the determination of the values to be indicated on labels as necessary to prevent or manage the NCDs (caused by under nutrition, you will recall) on food labels should be left to CCNFSDU. Since they were already working on the NRVs for vitamins and minerals, the countries said, CCNFSDU would be the perfect part of Codex to refer this task to.
Of course, what this means is that Dr. G’s overt hostility to effective doses of nutrients is virtually certain to lead to values so low that the concept of reducing risk of disease or managing that disease through these doses will be meaningless. Winner” Big Pharma and the other components of the Illness Care industry. Looser? You and I, our loved ones and our friends and neighbors.
Powdered infant formula is contaminated on a regular basis with at least two potentially deadly microbes. Only careful handling, short limits on use after mixing, and other strict precautions can keep babies from dying in significant numbers from contaminated formula, especially if there the baby already is weakened by malnutrition, parasites, etc. The International Breast Feeding Action Network (IBFAN), an NGO which speaks for the interests of pregnant women and babies, asked that a WHO report on the proper treatment and procedures of reconstituted powdered infant formula be referenced by the CCFL in its report. “Good idea” said the predictably pro-health countries. Bad, bad, bad idea said the “Pharma Phriends”: We do not need to tell mothers, care givers, hospitals, etc.
If there were logical reasons given for sentencing countless babies to serious illness and many of them to death, I missed them and I was listening pretty hard.
The good news today, however, is that we got invited to a special regional meeting set up to allow us to share our insights and opinions in an area ripe for action — they ARE mad as Hell and the ARE NOT going to take it any more.
I think you will have an easy time understanding why saying more is premature!
Remembering that World Trade Organization trade sanctions are the teeth of Codex, the Codex Working Group developed a strategy to make countries that choose not to follow Codex “Trade Sanction Proof”. You can imagine how veyr intersted health-friendly nations are!
We continue to build the “coalition of the willingly healthy” at Codex and in their own countries so that they can engage in real self determination through the application of our two step WTO Proofing Concept. One of the tools we provide is a hard copy of the Codex eBook. This is the identical book we offer to Codex Delegates, Ministers of Health and other decision makers. The Codex book provides the information necessary for any country to protect its people from any danger brought by Codex and still avoid World Trade Organization (WTO) trade sanctions by the application of a scientific and legislative template. We also make available our highly informative and startling Nutricide:the DVD, too.
As it happens, this Codex eBook is the application of the WTO-proof template has been applied to the dangerous and restrictive Vitamin and Mineral Guideline so it is exceptionally timely right now!
One final word: right now 180,623 people have submitted their comments on the destructive and deceptive FDA CAM (Complementary and Alternative Medicine/Modalities) Guidance. Please take a moment to do the same if you haven’t already told the FDA how important the practices and products you rely on in Natural Health options are to you.
1. Intentionally bringing about our causing the death of a body of knowledge and information concerning the health promoting and curative attributes of herbs, food and food components
2. Intentionally bringing about our causing the death of large numbers of people through nutritional manipulation
Codex Alimentarius (the international food standard organization) and multinational corporation collusion together impair and gravely threaten world health. If Codex has its way, its deadly standards and guidelines will be implemented in the United States by 2010 significantly impairing the health and health prospects of all Americans, killing those with chronic illnesses who depend on therapeutic dose nutritional supplements for survival.