Pentagon Paid PR Firm Over $500 Million to Create Fake Terrorist Videos

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Joe Martino — Collective Evolution

staged isis beheading

“We need to make this style of video and we’ve got to use Al-Qaeda’s footage . . . We need it to be 10 minutes long, and it needs to be in this file format, and we need to encode it in this manner.”

These were the specific instructions given to employees of a PR firm responsible for creating fake terrorist videos as part of a top secret propaganda mission paid for by the Pentagon — a mission that cost over half a billion dollars.

This story has come to light thanks to a former employee of the firm, Martin Wells, who came forward to talk about his time working on the project.

While we are now all-too familiar with the word terrorist, it only became popular about 15 years ago, after planes were flown into the World Trade Centre towers in New York. This event was monumental in not only reshaping U.S. security tactics but also policy that impacted the American people greatly.

It also spurred major division and debate, with many people disagreeing over what really happened. Within moments of the crashes, the media was already claiming that Osama Bin Laden had ordered the attacks and the word terrorist was used thousands of times over the next 24 hours. But as the days and weeks passed, it started to become clear that something wasn’t quite right with the official story and facts simply weren’t lining up.

The war on terror has raged on since that day, and although many have challenged the official story, terrorism is still an extremely real and dangerous threat in the minds of many. But how much of it is actually real? Could the U.S. and its organizations be behind some of it? Could they be funding terrorism for ulterior motives?

These questions are becoming more persistent as times goes on, and were a major focus of the International Conference on the New World Order, organized and sponsored by the Perdana Global Peace Foundation. Below is a statement from that conference given by prominent author and Canadian economist Dr. Michel Chossudovsky, who is the University of Ottawa’s Emeritus Professor of Economics, which further emphasizes this viewpoint:

The global war on terrorism is a US undertaking, which is fake, it’s based on fake premises. It tells us that somehow America and the Western world are going after a fictitious enemy, the Islamic state, when in fact the Islamic state is fully supported and financed by the Western military alliance and America’s allies in the Persian Gulf. . . . They say Muslims are terrorists, but it just so happens that terrorists are Made in America. They’re not the product of Muslim society, and that should be abundantly clear to everyone on this floor. . . . The global war on terrorism is a fabrication, a big lie and a crime against humanity. (source) (source)

What Happened?

PR firm Bell Pottinger, well-known for having many controversial clients, worked with the U.S. military to create propaganda in a secretive operation. The firm reported to the CIA, the National Security Council, and the Pentagon during the project.

Their mandate was to portray Al-Qaeda in a negative light and track suspected sympathizers.

Both the White House and General David Petraeus, the former general who shared classified information with his mistress, signed off on the content produced by the agency.

The Bell Pottinger operation began not long after the U.S. invaded Iraq following 9/11. It was at this point that promoting the “democratic elections” became the focus of the mission. Not long after, the priority shifted to shooting and editing video content for psychological and information operations.

Martin Wells, who found himself working in Iraq after being hired as a video editor by Bell Pottinger, told The Bureau of Investigative Journalism that within 48 hours of being hired, he landed in Baghdad to edit content for secret “psychological operations” at Camp Victory.

The firm created television ads showing Al-Qaeda in a negative light as well as creating content to look as though it had come from “Arabic TV.” Crews were sent out to film bombings with low quality video. The firm would then edit it to make it look like news footage.

Propaganda is Illegal in the United States

According to Wells, the videos were picked up in Iran, Syria, and the U.S. Since the U.S. is prohibited by law from using propaganda on its population, they had to hire an outside firm to create it for them.

“If one, 48 hours or a week later shows up in another part of the world, then that’s the more interesting one,” Wells explained. “And that’s what they’re looking for more, because that gives you a trail.”

The Pentagon did confirm that the PR firm worked for them under the Information Operations Task Force (IOTF), and say they were creating content that was “truthful.” The firm also worked under the Joint Psychological Operations Task Force (JPOTF). When asked for a response, the Pentagon said it could not comment on JPOTF operations.

Why the Need for PR?

Given these events, one must begin to ask why there was a need for propaganda and PR in the first place. What is the motivation? Does it seem unsettling that government and military operations have to go to such lengths to get the public on their side? Or to convince people from other nations of things they want them to think? What gives them to right to shape and manipulate public opinion, unknown and unseen?

This reminds me of a great quote from Edward Bernays, otherwise known as the father of public relations. The quote is taken from his book  Propagandawhich was written in 1928:

The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.

We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of.

It was reported in 2009 that the Pentagon had hired controversial PR firm The Rendon Group to monitor the reporting of journalists embedded with the U.S. military. The goal was to assess whether they were giving “positive” coverage to its missions. This is a clear effort to control the media and what it portrays to the public.

In 2005, an article by Democracy Now revealed that the PR company the Lincoln Group had been hired to produce articles printed in Iraqi newspapers which had been secretly written by the U.S. military. Surprisingly (or not), a Pentagon investigation cleared the group of any wrongdoing.

These actions bring forth a number of issues for people to reflect on and discuss. Why the need for such manipulation? Why is the U.S. trying to police the world? What is the overlying agenda here?

I believe if the people knew what their governments were doing and if they were informed regularly about their shady actions, they might have a different perspective about what’s going on and what story they are being sold on.

The reality of this story brings into question how real the threat of terror truly is and why the U.S. is trying so hard to convince the world that this threat is imminent.

Original source

 

America First? 200,000 Troops Deployed To 177 Nations

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There was no shortage of cuts proposed in Trump’s budget for 2018, which was released earlier this week. However, as Visual Capitalist’s Jeff Desjardins notes, one of the few departments that did not receive a haircut was the Department of Defense. If the proposed budget ultimately passes in Congress, the DoD would be allocated an extra $54 billion in federal funding – a 10% increase that would be one of the largest one-year defense budget increases in American History.

To put the proposed increase in context, the United States already spends more on defense than the next seven countries combined. Meanwhile, the additional $54 billion is about the size of the United Kingdom’s entire defense budget.

Courtesy of: Visual Capitalist

 

“BE ALL YOU CAN BE”

With over half of all U.S. discretionary spending being put towards the military each year, the U.S. is able to have extensive operations both at home and abroad. Our chart for this week breaks down military personnel based on the latest numbers released by the DoD on February 27, 2017

In total, excluding civilian support staff, there are about 2.1 million troops. Of those, 1.3 million are on active duty, while about 800,000 are in reserve or part of the National Guard.

On a domestic basis, there are about 1.1 million active troops stationed in the United States, and here’s how they are grouped based on branch of service:

Internationally, there are just under 200,000 troops that are stationed in 177 countries throughout the world.

In 2015, Politico estimated that there are 800 U.S. bases abroad, and that it costs up to $100 billion annually to maintain this international presence

Trump budget slashes foreign aid, but not for apartheid israel

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US President Donald Trump is prepared to smash Washington orthodoxies, but won’t touch the billions of dollars that flow to Israel. (via Facebook)

Donald Trump’s 2018 budget proposal would slash the US foreign affairs budget by almost a third. It would also eliminate key programs for low-income communities at home.

The president is asking Congress for just under $26 billion in base funding for the State Department and the US international aid agency, a $10 billion reduction.

According to the blueprint published by the administration on Wednesday, the US would eliminate all funding for international climate change initiatives, and reduce funding for UN agencies and peacekeeping, international educational exchanges and the World Bank.

But one area remains untouched. The president’s proposal “provides $3.1 billion to meet the security assistance commitment to Israel, currently at an all-time high.”

That record-breaking aid is set to soar even higher: last year, the Obama administration signed an agreement to boost US aid to Israel to $3.8 billion annually from 2019 onwards.

As the Congressional Research Service notes, “Israel is the largest cumulative recipient of US foreign assistance since World War II.” As of 2016, that aid had totalled $127.4 billion.

It’s a point of pride for Trump and his backers to smash Washington orthodoxies. His proposal does away with a number of longstanding programs, many much smaller than spending on Israel.

While boosting bloated military spending by another $54 billion, Trump’s budget would, as The Washington Post reports, eliminate dozens of federal programs that assist the poor and fund scientific research.

Among those on the chopping block in Trump’s so-called “America First” budget are the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, a $3 billion a year fund to help heat homes in the winter, and the Community Development Block Grant, which supports affordable housing and homelessness programs.

It would also eliminate federal funding of the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

The Environmental Protection Agency would lose 50 programs and thousands of workers.

And, the budget would slash $5.8 billion – or 20 percent – of the funding of the National Institutes of Health, which has been instrumental in finding cures for disease.

In the US system, the president proposes a budget, but it is up to Congress to decide to pass it and there are sure to be fierce fights to protect many of the programs that face such deep cuts.

But given the “bipartisan” consensus, don’t expect much of a battle over the billions of dollars that will continue to flow to Israel’s apartheid regime while vulnerable Americans bear the brunt of Trump’s austerity.

U.S. Representative: “For years, our government has been providing support to armed groups working under the command of terrorists like Al-Qaeda and ISIS”

To help refugees, stop arming terrorists – Rep. Tulsi Gabbard

Published time: 1 Mar, 2017 23:05

Edited time: 2 Mar, 2017 11:06

To help refugees, stop arming terrorists – Rep. Tulsi Gabbard

Representative Tulsi Gabbard called again for the US to stop aiding terrorists like Al-Qaeda and ISIS, while her guest at the presidential address to Congress, a Kurdish refugee activist, called for an end to the US policy of “regime change in Syria.”

While many Democrats invited immigrants as their guests for President Donald Trump’s speech to the joint session of Congress on Tuesday, Gabbard, a Democrat from Hawaii, hosted Tima Kurdi, whose 3-year-old nephew drowned on the shores of Turkey in September 2015. Photos of Alan Kurdi’s body quickly became the symbol of Syrian refugees’ plight – and led the US to step up efforts to overthrow the Syrian government, actually magnifying their suffering.

On Wednesday, Tima Kurdi joined Gabbard at a press conference on Capitol Hill and called on Trump “to end the regime change in Syria.”

“The most important question is, how do we address the cause of these people fleeing their homes,” said Gabbard, pointing to the bill she submitted in this session of Congress. Her “Stop Arming Terrorists Act,” or HR 608, would ban the use of US taxpayers’ funds to aid terrorist groups affiliated with Al-Qaeda or Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL).

“For years, our government has been providing both direct and indirect support to these armed militant groups, who are working directly with or under the command of terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda and ISIS, all in their effort and fight to overthrow the Syrian government,” Gabbard told RT.

Gabbard traveled to Syria in January on a fact-finding mission, meeting with President Bashar Assad. She also visited Aleppo, liberated in December from Islamist rebels led by Jabhat Fatah Al-Sham, a re-branded Al-Qaeda affiliate formerly known as Jabhat Al-Nusra.

The Pentagon’s $500 million effort to train and equip “moderate” Syrian rebels to fight against IS and Damascus met with disaster in 2015, as the majority of the fighters either surrendered or defected to Al-Nusra, with all of their US-funded weaponry. In the end, the program produced only “five or six” trainees, to the consternation of Congress.

With that fiasco in mind, Gabbard propose the first draft of her bill in December 2016. Her subsequent trip to Syria was met with outrage from the US foreign policy establishment and in the mainstream media, who denounced her as “Assad’s mouthpiece.”

Representative Tom Garrett (R-Virginia), a US Army veteran, spoke out in support of HR 608 and said that the goal of US policy in Syria should be peace.

“Tulsi understands that arming the so-called ‘rebels’ in Syria has only led to more bloodshed, more suffering, and created more refugees,” Tima Kurdi said in a statement on Tuesday. “A military solution in Syria is not the answer. I hope that President Trump will stop arming terrorists and commit to a political solution in Syria—it is the only way to restore peace.”

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US government in Washington, rather than world government ترامب: حكومة أميركية في واشنطن بدل الحكومة العالمية

ناصر قنديل

– منذ حرب فييتنام والهزيمة التاريخية وأميركا تجاهد للخروج من العقدة والذهاب، كما فعلت في الحرب العالمية الثانية خلف المحيطات مرة أخرى، بعدما قال الشعب الأميركي كلمته برفض دفع الأثمان الغالية لتحقيق السياسات الإمبراطورية، وقد كافحت النخب الحاكمة في الحزبين الجمهوري والديمقراطي لاسترداد التفويض الشعبي الذي كان بيد الأسلاف بعد الحرب العالمية الثانية بخوض الحروب الإمبراطورية والتصرف كحاكم للعالم، واستبدلوا الإنفاق على الحروب بالإنفاق على سباق التسلح الذي لا يحتاج لدعم الإرادة الشعبية، طالما لا يكلف دماء المزيد من الجنود، حتى بلغوا وفقاً لخطط الثنائي الدبلوماسي الاستخباري زبيغنيو برجنسكي كمستشار للأمن القومي وجورج بوش الأب كمدير للمخابرات في مطلع الثمانينيات النجاح بالجمع بين استنزاف المقدرات السوفياتية في حرب النجوم واستنزاف الجيش السوفياتي بواسطة تنظيم القاعدة، كعنوان لما عُرف بالحرب الباردة، وصولاً لبدء انهيار الاتحاد السوفياتي ولاحقاً نهاية الحرب الباردة، والنجاح باسترداد التفويض بخوض المزيد من الحروب في عالم لا عدو فيه ولا منافس.

– كانت حرب يوغوسلافيا أول التجارب للمرحلة الجديدة، واستدعى الأمر توظيف أو تصنيع أحداث الحادي عشر من أيلول بواسطة تنظيم القاعدة لمنح إرادة الحروب الإمبراطورية المزيد من الزخم، وخاصت النخب الحاكمة في واشنطن بفرعيها الجمهوري والديمقراطي حروبها بلا هوادة، بالجيوش الأميركية وتنظيم القاعدة معاً وبالتناوب والتشارك حيث تدعو الحاجة، ومنذ سقوط جدار برلين حتى تحرير الجيش السوري لحلب مرّ ربع قرن منحت خلاله التكنولوجيا للنخب الحاكمة في واشنطن فرصاً كثيرة لحساب نظرياتها الإمبراطورية، وربط أمن الأميركيين بالحروب الخارجية، سواء تحت شعار منع اسلحة دمار شامل مزعومة في العراق أو ملاحقة إرهاب خاضع للاحتواء المزدوج في أفغانستان، وصولاً لحروب الربيع العربي التي يقول مدير المخابرات الأميركية في إدارة الرئيس باراك اوباما جو برينان وهو يغادر منصبه أنها كانت حروباً للديمقرطية اقتضت تخيير رؤساء كالرئيس المصري حسني مبارك بين التنحّي أو ملاقاة مصير الرئيس معمر القذافي، لكن النتائج كانت سيناريو بدأ بالأخوان المسلمين وانتهى بداعش.

– فشل مشروع تحويل حكومة واشنطن إلى حكومة للعالم كلّه، هذه هي خلاصة ربع قرن، وفشلت محاولة استخدام تمويل من خارج الخزانة الأميركية عبر مشيخات وممالك الخليج، واستخدام جيش غير رسمي عبر تنظيم القاعدة، والاكتفاء بالاعتماد على المخابرات والإعلام الأميركيين، فقد أدّى صمود سورية بصورة خاصة إلى تغيير المعادلة جذرياً. وهي الحلقة التي كان يمكن لسقوطها أن يمنح للحروب الإمبراطورية مغزى النصر. وترتب على الصمود السوري فشل محاولات رسم خرائط شرق أوسط جديد، ونجحت سورية باستنهاض همّة روسيا وإيران على المزيد من المواجهة، والفوز بإنجاز تغييرات جيوسياسية في ملفات من حجم الملف النووي الإيراني، والإمساك الروسي عسكرياً بحوض البحر المتوسط بعد تركيع تركيا والسيطرة على البحر الأسود، وصولاً لنشوء حلف روسي إيراني سوري تتهيأ تركيا للتفاهم معه نحو معادلات جديدة كلياً في الشرق الأوسط.

– وصول دونالد ترامب للرئاسة الأميركية لم يكن لصناعة تغيير، بل جاء فوز ترامب ثمرة لتغيير قد حصل، فقد نالت النخب الأميركية الحاكمة في واشنطن فرصة ربع قرن لبناء حكومة عالمية موّلتها ودفعت أثمانها أرواح أميركيين ودماءهم وأموالهم، من مكلفيها دافعي الضرائب والمتمولين والرأسماليين والمواطنين والجنود، إيماناً بأن النجاح في قيام الحكومة العالمية التي تصنع في واشنطن وتدير العالم هو عائد مشترك لكل الأميركيين. كما نالت التفويض الصامت لاستعمال مال الخليج ورشى حكامه ومسلحي تنظيم القاعدة للاحتيال على الرفض الشعبي والرأسمالي لرفد الحلقات الأخيرة من مشروع الحكومة العالمية بالدماء والمال اللازمين، حتى بلغت الأخطار درجة أعلى من العائدات المفترضة وصار الفشل، فتم سحب التفويض بالجملة لصالح العودة إلى خلف المحيطات والصراخ بصوت ترامب العالي نريد حكومة أميركية وبئس حكومتكم العالمية. لم ننل منها سوى انهيار صناعتنا وكساد بضاعتنا وبطالة عمالتنا وتدهور بنيتنا التحتية، ونشر قواتنا شرطة عالمية وركوب وهم تغيير الأنظمة بالقوة لتعميم ديمقراطية مزعومة أنتجت تسليم بلدان بأكملها لتشكيلات إرهابية ترتد علينا بحروب معولمة وتنشئ «خلافتها» العالمية على نمط حكومتكم وببركة نظرياتها.

– خطاب ترامب الرئاسي هو إعلان سقوط الحكومة العالمية في واشنطن وولادة حكومة أميركية مكانها، وإعلان حرب لن تهدأ بسرعة بين أصحاب التفويض الأصليين من أصحاب المال والدماء، من جهة، والنخب البيروقراطية التي يعبر عنها إعلام عملاق ومخابرات أخطبوطية وجهاز حزبي ممتد عبر الحزبين الكبيرين ونوابهما وقادتهما ومكاتب المحامين المستعدة لممارسة الشأن العام تحت شعارات وفلسفات منمّقة بلغة هارفرد وأكسفورد، حرب أهلية ضروس تدخلها أميركا ولا تبدو فيها الفرص محصورة بفوز فريق وهزيمة الآخر، بل يبدو خيار الفوضى السياسية والدستورية فيها وارداً، ومعه الضعف والتشوّش في الاقتصاد والسياسة.

– «إن الإمبراطوريات الكبرى عندما تسقط لا تبلّغ بموعد حدوث ذلك كما الطوفان والزلزال، إنها تسقط وحسب»، العبارة لغونداليسا رايس مستشارة الأمن القومي ووزيرة الخارجية في عهد جورج بوش الإبن في آخر الثمانينيات كباحثة جامعية تعقيباً على انهيار الاتحاد السوفياتي .

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Obama’s Farewell

Darko Lazar

21-01-2017 | 08:53

Following the wave of destruction bestowed upon the world by the George W. Bush/Dick Cheney duo, Barack Obama and Joe Biden swept into power on the promise that they would address the American people’s desperate plea for ‘change’.

Obama's Farewell

But despite securing a Nobel Peace Prize shortly after setting foot in the White House, Obama’s eight years at the helm can be summed up – both in terms of domestic and foreign policy – as being even more destructive than those of his predecessors.

The Nobel Prize, much like everything else that has to do with Obama, was more about the expectations of those who were awarding it rather than the achievements of its recipient.

From democracy to plutocracy

Obama’s biggest achievement on the domestic scene was undoubtedly his ability to transform American society from a democracy to a plutocracy.

It is important to note that despite the presence of plutocratic rule in the US for some time, it was the Obama administration that publicly adopted and cemented this phenomenon.

One example is Obama’s approach to the US mortgage crisis, which sparked a worldwide economic meltdown in 2008. And while his administration cannot be blamed for initiating the crisis, Obama is guilty of failing to punish the perpetrators.

The progressive publication, The Huffington Post, generally supportive of the Obama administration, reported in 2011 that the US Department of Housing and Urban Development carried out ‘confidential’ federal audits of all major American banks, including Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, and Ally Financial.

The findings led to the conclusion that all of these financial giants had indeed managed to swindle the Federal Government of the United States.

But Obama’s Justice Department refused to pursue, much less prosecute, a single individual involved in cheating the US taxpayers out of trillions of dollars.

In January 2012, while shielding Wall Street firms from prosecution, Obama declared that he had ordered the creation of a “special unit” to investigate mortgage fraud.

“This new unit will hold accountable those who broke the law, speed assistance to homeowners, and help turn the page on an era of recklessness that hurt so many Americans,” Obama said in his address to the nation.

However, two years later, a report by the Inspector General of the US Department of Justice revealed that the whole thing was nothing more than a lie.

“DOJ did not uniformly ensure that mortgage fraud was prioritized at a level commensurate with its public statements. For example, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Criminal Investigative Division ranked mortgage fraud as the lowest criminal threat in its lowest crime category. Additionally, we found mortgage fraud to be a low priority, or not [even] listed as a priority, for the FBI Field Offices we visited… many Assistant United States Attorneys (AUSA) informed us about underreporting and misclassification of mortgage fraud cases,” the report stated.

In fact, one of the more interesting aspects of Obama’s legacy is that he managed to record the lowest rate of white-collar crime prosecutions in US history.

Two pieces of information made public – much to the detriment of the Obama administration – help to explain the behavior of the US president.

The first is a 2009 secret meeting at the White House between the top executives of the bailed-out financial firms and Obama himself.

Citing an anonymous source, POLITICO reported that Obama told his guests, “My administration is the only thing between you and the pitchforks.”

More importantly, revelations by the WikiLeaks dump of John Podesta’s emails show that Citigroup decided much of the staffing for leading cabinet positions in the Obama administration.

Even before Obama was elected in 2008, the Wall Street bank submitted a list of its preferred candidates for cabinet positions, which corresponded almost exactly to the eventual composition of the Obama Administration.

Alternative work

Data released by Bloomberg further strengthens the argument that the US has been transformed into a plutocracy, showing that the richest 1% of Americans increased their earnings by as much in 93% in 2010. Meanwhile, the gap between the rich and poor grew to its highest level in four decades in 2011, even surpassing the recognized plutocracies of Uganda and Kazakhstan.

A recent report by Harvard and Princeton economists, Lawrence Katz and Alan Krueger, reveals that the proportion of American workers engaged in what they refer to as “alternative work” soared during the Obama era. Alternative, or “gig” work refers to temporary or freelance employment and is generally unsteady, without a fixed paycheck and with virtually no benefits.

Krueger, who served as the top White House economist under Obama said,
“we find that 94% of net job growth in the past decade was in the alternative work category… and over 60% was due to the [the rise] of independent contractors, freelancers and contract company workers.”

In other words, the US government has been releasing ‘acceptable’ unemployment figures by creating 10 million jobs that had noting to do with traditional nine-to-five employment.

As such, it becomes evident that Obama’s so-called ‘economic recovery’ has strictly benefited the richest 1% of Americans.

The policy of endless wars

In terms of foreign policy, the biggest achievement of the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate was his ability to spend every single day of his eight-year mandate in a state of war.

During those eight years, Obama signed off on American military action in no less than seven countries.

He also drastically increased worldwide drone attacks, outdoing his predecessor George W. Bush, who used to refer to himself as the ‘war president’.

During 2016 alone, these attacks resulted in the deaths of hundreds of civilians in five different countries. The reason that this figure is not higher is because the Obama administration classified all men above the age of 18 as enemy combatants.

But these are just statistics for conflicts known to the public. American military clandestine units are currently involved in operations in 138 countries worldwide.

Aside from the destruction of Libya, Syria and Yemen, the Obama administration also forced the collapse of Ukraine. Then came the sanctions against Russia, turning Eastern Europe into a NATO military base, and eventually the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats at a time when it became clear that Obama would be succeeded by a man that wants to improve relations with Moscow.

The administration also takes the lion’s share of the blame for the sea of refugees that flooded Europe, most of whom came from the seven countries that Obama has attacked over the last eight years.

Obama’s tenure also paved the way for the unprecedented expansion of US clandestine services, which started spying on both American and foreign citizens, including enemies and allies alike.

When this information was leaked to the public, not a single politician or intelligence operative was called to account. On the contrary, the Obama administration responded by declaring a war on whistleblowers and setting up the ‘Insider Threat Program,’ which forces federal agency employees to spy on their colleagues.

During his farewell speech, Obama defended his legacy and, perhaps not surprisingly, steered clear of most of the aforementioned issues. But he did cite both the rapprochement with Cuba and the Iran nuclear deal as the central achievements of his administration.

These assertions are slightly more difficult to challenge. The deal hammered out between the P5+1 group of countries and Iranian officials in 2015 will go down in history as a major feat of diplomacy, which can never truly be shattered in its entirety by those who succeed Obama.

But perhaps Obama will be better remembered for overseeing an era of divisive, uncompromising and coercive policies that forced the transformation of the US political establishment – and hopefully real change.

Al-Ahed News

Related Articled

Yemeni Villagers Dying of Starvation

[ Ed. note – It would appear that all the horrible war crimes US officials and the mainstream media have been alleging against Russia and the Syrian government are in reality being perpetrated by the Saudis–and, from the looks of it, maybe even far worse. Where’s Obama? Where’s John Kerry? Where are all the neocons who have been theatrically voicing their anguish over the people of Aleppo? How come we’re not hearing from them on the horrible situation in this Yemeni town? How come the Saudis are allowed to fire upon Yemeni fishermen when they try to take their boats to sea to catch fish, and Samantha Power has nothing to say about it at the UN? I guess, come to think of it, for the same reason she doesn’t say anything when Israelis fire upon Gaza fishermen. ]

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No Food, No Medicine, No money: Yemeni Town Faces Mass Death by Starvation

RT
Nearly 19 million Yemenis are in need of humanitarian aid, according to the UN, but the worst of the civilian impact of the two-year civil war in the country has fallen on the coastal fishing area around the Red Sea coastal district of Tuhayat.

As RT’s Arabic-language crew visited the area, they witnessed scenes of chaos – as locals scrambled to gain food – and quiet desperation, with many residents swollen with hunger, waiting for outside help, or resigned to their fate.

Continued here

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