Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member Latest Breaking News Editorials & Other Articles General Discussion The DU Lounge All Forums Issue Forums Culture Forums Alliance Forums Region Forums Support Forums Help & Search


Octafish's Journal
Octafish's Journal
September 29, 2013

I am tired of Big Oil and Wall Street running Washington.

Since Truman (and JFK), US foreign policy has advanced the interests of big business and the wealthy at the expense of democracy abroad.

US domestic policy serves the wealthy and big business at the expense of democracy at home.

Fewer and fewer politicians stand up for We the People anymore. The politicians and their backers have gamed the system to serve the Military Industrial Complex and its owners.
September 27, 2013

''Disreputable if Not Outright Illegal''

"Disreputable if Not Outright Illegal":

The National Security Agency versus Martin Luther King, Muhammad Ali, Art Buchwald, Frank Church, et al.

Newly Declassified History Divulges Names of Prominent Americans Targeted by NSA during Vietnam Era

Declassification Decision by Interagency Panel Releases New Information on the Berlin Crisis, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the Panama Canal Negotiations

National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 441
Posted – September 25, 2013
Originally Posted - November 14, 2008
Edited by Matthew M. Aid and William Burr


The Watch List and MINARET

In its earlier release, the NSA declassified key elements of the story of its Vietnam War-era watch list and the MINARET program, but it held back details on the targets. ISCAP's decision to release the names of some of the prominent persons involved makes it even easier to understand why some NSA officials saw this operation as "disreputable if not outright illegal." (Book III, page 85). It was these concerns that led Attorney General Elliot Richardson to close down the program in the fall of 1973, as the Nixon administration was beginning to unravel. MINARET and other abuse of power, such as NSA Operation SHAMROCK, contributed to the drive for Congressional intelligence oversight and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) during the mid-1970s.[3]

What became known as the MINARET program had its basis in earlier efforts to create watch lists initially for suspected threats to the president, for drug dealers, and then, according to the NSA history, for "domestic terrorism." Specifically, in a context of domestic turbulence of 1967, anti-war protests and urban rebellions, President Johnson, angered by the criticism and prone to seeing conspiracies, wanted to know whether domestic anti-Vietnam War leaders and organizations had the support of hostile foreign powers ("Moscow gold&quot . Those concerns set in motion the CIA's Operation CHAOS and the NSA's watch list.[4] Those at the FBI and other organizations who helped prepare the watch lists probably found it responsive to presidential wishes to include in the list domestic critics and influential politicians or controversial figures who opposed the War, even if they were not involved in mass protests.

It would be fascinating to see the list of 1,600 or so NSA targets. No doubt, other African-American activists were targeted, as well as the leaders of groups associated with the anti-war protests, e.g. the National Mobilization Committee against the War in Vietnam, Students for a Democratic Society, and the Young Socialist Alliance. Indeed, according to a document at the Gerald Ford Presidential Library, from 1967 to 1973 U.S. intelligence agencies monitored the foreign travel and overseas communications of anti-war and New Left activists such as David Dellinger, Rennie Davis, Jane Fonda, Tom Hayden, Bernardine Dohrn, and Kathy Boudin, as well as prominent African-American militants including Robert F. Williams, Eldridge Cleaver, and Stokely Carmichael. The NSA watch list is not mentioned but it is implicit in the document.[5]

In addition, a number of prominent Americans appeared on the MINARET watch list precisely because in one way or another their thinking dovetailed with the emerging Vietnam War protests. With the intelligence agencies under White House pressure to find out the alleged international connections of anti-war leaders, U.S. intelligence agencies cast a wide net in their efforts to meet the President's wishes. Even the most unlikely names would become targets perhaps because they were prominent, influential, and had expressed what the President considered subversive thoughts. Most, but not all, of the prominent Americans mentioned in the now declassified NSA history fell into this latter category.



I wonder who else the NSA spied on we haven't heard about?
September 26, 2013

A small part of the story, designed to deflect attention from Lansing, Washington and Wall Street.

How Detroit went broke: The answers may surprise you - and don't blame Coleman Young

By Nathan Bomey and John Gallagher
Detroit Free Press Business Writers, Sep. 15, 2013


Instead, amid a huge exodus of residents, plummeting tax revenues and skyrocketing home abandonment, Detroit’s leaders engaged in a billion-dollar borrowing binge, created new taxes and failed to cut expenses when they needed to. Simultaneously, they gifted workers and retirees with generous bonuses. And under pressure from unions and, sometimes, arbitrators, they failed to cut health care benefits — saddling the city with staggering costs that today threaten the safety and quality of life of people who live here.

The numbers, most from records deeply buried in the public library, lay waste to misconceptions about the roots of Detroit’s economic crisis. For critics who want to blame Mayor Coleman Young for starting this mess, think again. The mayor’s sometimes fiery rhetoric may have contributed to metro Detroit’s racial divide, but he was an astute money manager who recognized, early on, the challenges the city faced and began slashing staff and spending to address them.

And Wall Street types who applauded Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick’s financial acumen following his 2005 deal to restructure city pension debt should consider this: The numbers prove that his plan devastated the city’s finances and was a key factor that drove Detroit to file for Chapter 9 bankruptcy in July.

The State of Michigan also bears some blame. Lansing politicians reduced Detroit’s state-shared revenue by 48% from 1998 to 2012, withholding $172 million from the city, according to state records.


September 26, 2013

Buchwald opposed the War for Profit in Vietnam.

Of course he's an enemy of the $tate. Money trumps peace, doncha know.

Poppy, BTW, was scouting out Vietnam for Big Oil and the CIA.

Funny how his NSA file doesn't see the light of day.

September 23, 2013

Spreading the idea Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone gunman makes me think we're not on the same team.

Particularly in lieu of all that's been learned since the Warren report:


including Joseph Adams Milteer's taped description of the assassination and cover-up three weeks before Dallas:


Also that Lenin was a liberal and liberals are capable of violence:


There are many other examples where you take more than a middle of the road perspective.

September 21, 2013

How did she ever manage to save her porfolio?

She had a lot on her mind then:

"I've had four or five months of people sitting outside my home, going into my garden in San Francisco and angering my neighbors," Pelosi said at a gathering sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor.

Pelosi added that the squatters have engaged in decidedly non-neighborly behavior like hanging their clothes from the trees; moving in sofas, chairs and other "permanent living facilities"; and, oddly, building a large Buddha on the sidewalk in front of her home. "You can just imagine my neighbors' reactions to all of this," she said. "And if they were poor, and they were sleeping on my sidewalk, they'd be arrested for loitering, but because they have 'impeach Bush' across their chest, it's the First Amendment."


I mean, goodness, really, having to live with THOSE people protesting Bush the war criminal. They hadn't even heard about how Paulson's banksters would ruin and throw out on the street MILLIONS more -- and have the U.S. Taxpayer bail them out and pay them a nice bonus in the process.
September 21, 2013

He was a GOP plant...

...a tool of fascism.
September 18, 2013

Exposing the Financial Core of the Transnational Capitalist Class

This cartoon, I believe, is 101 years old:

What follows is an analysis of what's new since then that should be of interest to Democrats and those who believe in democracy.

The Following is a Chapter from the Newest Book Project Censored 2014: Fearless Speech in Fateful Times

Exposing the Financial Core of the Transnational Capitalist Class

By Peter Phillips and Brady Osborne


In this study, we decided to identify in detail the people on the boards of directors of the top ten asset management firms and the top ten most centralized corporations in the world. Because of overlaps, there is a total of thirteen firms, which collectively have 161 directors on their boards. We think that this group of 161 individuals represents the financial core of the world’s transnational capitalist class. They collectively manage $23.91 trillion in funds and operate in nearly every country in the world. They are the center of the financial capital that powers the global economic system. Western governments and international policy bodies work in the interests of this financial core to protect the free flow of capital investment anywhere in the world.

A Brief History of Research on the
American Power Elite

A long tradition of sociological research documents the existence of a dominant ruling class in the United States, whose members set policy and determine national political priorities. The American ruling class is complex and competitive, and perpetuates itself through interacting families of high social standing with similar lifestyles, corporate affiliations, and memberships in elite social clubs and private schools.1


The Transnational Capitalist Class

Capitalist power elites exist around the world. The globalization of trade and capital brings the world’s elites into increasingly interconnected relationships—to the point that sociologists have begun to theorize the development of a transnational capitalist class (TCC). In one of the pathbreaking works in this field, The Transnational Capitalist Class (2000), Leslie Sklair argued that globalization elevated transnational corporations (TNC) to more influential international roles, with the result that nation-states became less significant than international agreements developed through the World Trade Organization (WTO) and other international institutions.8 Emerging from these multinational corporations was a transnational capitalist class, whose loyalties and interests, while still rooted in their corporations, was increasingly international in scope. Sklair wrote:

The transnational capitalist class can be analytically divided into four main fractions: (i) owners and controllers of TNCs and their local affiliates; (ii) globalizing bureaucrats and politicians; (iii) globalizing professionals; (iv) consumerist elites (merchants and media). . . . It is also important to note, of course, that the TCC and each of its fractions are not always entirely united on every issue. Nevertheless, together, leading personnel in these groups constitute a global power elite, dominant class or inner circle in the sense that these terms have been used to characterize the dominant class structures of specific countries.9

William Robinson followed in 2004 with his book, A Theory of Global Capitalism: Production, Class, and State in a Transnational World.10 Robinson claimed that 500 years of capitalism had led to a global epochal shift in which all human activity is transformed into capital. In this view, the world had become a single market, which privatized social relationships. He saw the TCC as increasingly sharing similar lifestyles, patterns of higher education, and consumption. The global circulation of capital is at the core of an international bourgeoisie, who operate in oligopolist clusters around the world. These clusters of elites form strategic transnational alliances through mergers and acquisitions with the goal of increased concentration of wealth and capital. The process creates a polyarchy of hegemonic elites. The concentration of wealth and power at this level tends to over-accumulate, leading to speculative investments and wars. The TCC makes efforts to correct and protect its interests through global organizations like the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the G20, World Social Forum, Trilateral Commission, Bilderberg Group, Bank for International Settlements, and other transnational associations. Robinson claimed that, within this system, nation-states become little more than population containment zones, and the real power lies with the decision makers who control global capital.11

Deeper inside the transnational capitalist class is what David Rothkopf calls the “superclass.” In his 2008 book, Superclass: The Global Power Elite and the World They Are Making, Rothkopf argued that the superclass constitutes 6,000 to 7,000 people, or 0.0001 percent of the world’s population.12 They are the Davos-attending, Gulfstream/private jet–flying, money-incrusted, megacorporation-interlocked, policy-building elites of the world, people at the absolute peak of the global power pyramid. They are 94 percent male, predominantly white, and mostly from North America and Europe. Rothkopf reported that these are the people setting the agendas at the G8, G20, NATO, the World Bank, and the WTO. They are from the highest levels of finance capital, transnational corporations, the government, the military, the academy, nongovernmental organizations, spiritual leaders, and other shadow elites. (Shadow elites include, for instance, the deep politics of national security organizations in connection with international drug cartels, who extract 8,000 tons of opium from US war zones annually, then launder $500 billion through transnational banks, half of which are US-based.)13



It's way past time for The New New Deal.
September 17, 2013

You mock me for posting about the crimes and treasons of the BFEE...

...and never explain why you defend the Bush warmongers, banksters and traitors. Of course, you never show where I'm wrong about the BFEE, which is what a neutral observer would expect if you actually wanted to discuss the subject.

Are you sure you're on the right board, zappaman?

Profile Information

Gender: Male
Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 55,745
Latest Discussions»Octafish's Journal