Police State America
Chapter 1 - Imaginary Rule of Law
Chapter 2 - Diplomatic Immunity, American-Style
Chapter 3 - Dealing With Dissidents
Chapter 4 - The Criminalisation of Protest in America
Chapter 5 - Police Brutality
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Chapter 3 - Dealing With Dissidents
Activists gather at an Occupy Wall Street rally in New York City on October 11, 2011. (Photo: Kurt Christensen)
America Deals With Political Dissension
The Black Panthers
Dr. Martin Luther King
US Student Protests are Met With Gunfire
Protesting Racial Segregation in America
Bombing Dissidents in Philadelphia
America Deals With Political Dissension
Bunnell, “Police Charging the Murderous Rioters” in Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper(May 15, 1886)
We have already seen the extensive and usually violent steps the US government took in the first half of the 20th century to silence political dissension and labor unrest, but there is much more, in each case consisting of widespread civil unrest stemming from one form or another of government criminality and corruption, often so serious as to challenge the legitimacy of the government itself. The 1960s and 1970s were another period of great social change and unrest in America, with widespread civil defiance. The violence and illegality of the Vietnam war were on every TV set; increasingly, the many lies of the US government were becoming public knowledge. The general populace had lost faith in government and the new generation were in rebellion and street protests became widespread, especially among the universities. Many young Americans were defying the establishment by burning their conscription notices or relocating to Canada to avoid the military draft. As well, racial tensions originating in the injustices of segregation were producing massive black rebellions in most major US cities. Presidents Johnson and Nixon and Bernays' ruling elites were becoming more fearful of a violent revolution. But contrary to its carefully-polished international image as the homeland of freedom and political democracy, the US government launched a prolonged campaign of domestic terrorism intended to quell that dissent. In those decades, there was neither freedom nor democracy in America, and precious little in the way of human rights. And contrary to popular belief, the situation has not improved measurably since.
The Black Panthers
This was a politically-inspired group that was active in the US in the 1970s, campaigning for human rights in America and protesting against the rampant racial discrimination against blacks. A Top-Secret Special Report provided to then President Nixon claimed that the Black Panthers carried great respect among the general population and were becoming a substantial political force in the country. This was a force that the US government very badly wanted to "neutralise", to destroy its social influence, and the FBI's method of accomplishing this was to initiate years of domestic terrorist events that resulted in the murders of about 50 Black Panther leaders. On one occasion, two of the leaders, Fred Hampton and Mark Clark, were shot to death by Chicago policemen while sleeping in their beds. According to Special FBI Agent Gregg York, "We expected about twenty Panthers to be in the apartment when the police raided the place, but only two of those black nigger fuckers were killed, Fred Hampton and Mark Clark". This was a pure, police-state political assassination, and only one of many instigated or performed by the FBI. Marlin Johnson, who was the FBI's Chicago Special Agent in Charge of these events made clear that he viewed these killings as a model for "successful" counterintelligence operations.
One Black Panther leader, Elmer Pratt, was imprisoned for 27 years before a California Court vacated his murder conviction. At the court, an FBI agent testified that Pratt had been framed by both the FBI and the Los Angeles Police Department, and that both knew he had been out of the area at the time the murder occurred. In another case, a Black Panther leader who was already in prison on false charges was shot dead on the accusation that he was helping another prisoner to escape. But the testimony of the guard was that he had shot the man from the top of a 20-foot tower, while the wound on the victim indicated that the bullet had entered his back from below, travelled up his spine, and exited through his head. No investigation was ever performed. All of these, and many more, were simply gangland-style political executions, the kind of thing "that would never happen" in democratic, freedom-loving America. In fact, the secret government that controlled the US White House, simply set out to exterminate, by either killing or imprisoning, an entire political force that was deemed a threat to its power.
And it was more than killing or imprisoning. Another method that has escaped American history books is what was termed "psychosurgery", the performance of frontal lobotomies on American political dissidents. Three Harvard University professors put forward the thesis that individuals who engage in civil disobedience possessed defective or damaged brain cells, receiving enormous funding for almost 600 "research projects dealing with behavior modification". These 600 'projects' were performed on American citizens campaigning against racial discrimination, who were first arrested and imprisoned on trumped-up charges then subjected to these medical procedures against their will, and who all became virtual zombies from the procedure. The doctors went so far as to recommend that "screening centers" be established throughout the nation to identify and "treat" all emerging political dissidents and activists, fully aware that lobotomies would be an effective instrument of repression and social control.
Dr. Martin Luther King
Dr. Martin Luther King was a black preacher and human-rights activist who became a leader of the human-rights movement in the US during this same period. The US government was prepared to ignore Dr. King so long as he remained focused on the black population, but the man became outstandingly popular among all of the disadvantaged in America and was rapidly becoming a serious political threat with his potential to attract a great many voters to his cause of equity among people. FBI Director Hoover instructed his agents to develop a plan that would "prevent the rise of a messiah who could unify and electrify" the emerging broad-spectrum political movement that encompassed civil rights and religious groups, and Dr. King became a target.
The FBI was concerned over King's widespread public support, noting that he was growing in stature daily, and claiming that his civil rights agitation represented a clear "threat to the established order" of the US. COINTELPRO specialist William C. Sullivan wrote at the time, "We must mark King as the most dangerous Negro in the future of this Nation ... it may be unrealistic to limit [our actions against King] to legalistic proofs that would stand up in court". All King was really looking for was equal treatment for blacks, black voting rights and the removal of at least some of the US system of racist segregation of blacks. In addition, King vehemently denounced the Vietnam War and called the United States "the most violent nation in the world". But to the US government and the elites, this was a serious threat to the established order.
At first, the FBI attempted many ways to discredit King, using their influence with the media to denounce him. They spread multiple rumors of sexual misbehavior and arranged for the IRS to constantly harass him. Upon the announcement that King would receive the Nobel Peace Prize for that year, the FBI became desperate and escalated their campaign. One act was to create a complete set of fabricated tapes, supposedly taken from wiretaps of his home and hotel rooms, that purported to document his participation in many sexual orgies with prostitutes, claiming this demonstrated "the depths of his sexual perversion and depravity." In a scheme that truly defies belief, the FBI packaged and delivered the tapes to King along with a letter informing him that the audio material would be released to the media unless he committed suicide prior to presentation of the Nobel Prize. When King declined this generous offer, the FBI presented the doctored tape to the US media, but the newspapers and radio stations questioned its authenticity, and wanted no part of it. Having failed in their attempts to discredit, intimidate, and silence Dr. King, the US government and the FBI had King murdered, shot by a sniper - a local Memphis police officer - from a hotel balcony as he was giving a speech in Memphis. Even after his death, the FBI continued for several years their attempts to blacken Dr. King's reputation. They failed.
There were many aspects of Dr. King's death that immediately pointed to a government conspiracy and cover-up. One notable item was that a taxi driver saw the assassin crawling over a wall after the shooting and, still carrying his rifle, climb into a Memphis police car and drive away. The taxi driver assumed the assassin had been apprehended and began spreading this good news. Shortly thereafter, he was picked up by the local police and his dead body was found in an alley the next morning. Interestingly, no record of the taxi driver's death has ever existed. It is only his wife who can testify that he was indeed shot and killed, but officially the man still lives.
Only the most cursory investigation was done of Dr. King's death, and the matter was closed. But much later, his family wanting closure on his death, initiated a private investigation and filed suit against the US government and the FBI for his murder. At the trial, most of the original witnesses were still available and the evidence presented was damning. It took the jury only a few hours to find the government and the FBI guilty of Dr. King's murder. The trial jury concluded that the conspiracy to kill Dr. King included Hoover, the FBI, Richard Helms, the CIA, the US military and the local Memphis police department. The King family lawyer summed up the proceedings by stating that Dr. King took on the most powerful forces in the nation, those that dominated politics and money, and they had him killed because they could not stop him. And still, there were no punishments for this crime; the US government refusing to take any action against itself or the FBI, including those agents directly responsible for the murder.
US Student Protests are Met With Gunfire
Ohio National Guardesmen fire on students at Kent State University at the height of a student protest on May 4, 1970. Four students were killed; nine other people were wounded. This photo was published in the May 13, 1970, Milwaukee Journal. Life Magazine Photo, (C) Time Inc., via UPI
Another internal FBI memorandum referred to American student protesters, claiming that "the movement of rebellious youth, involving and influencing a substantial number of college students, is having a serious impact on contemporary society with a potential for serious domestic strife", the memo further claiming this group intended to initiate a political revolution. The US government, and many Americans, enjoy condemning the actions of other countries in dispersing student protests or riots, but America has always been one of the most brutal and violent in this regard. When the US had its long series of student protests against racial segregation and especially the Vietnam war, in most cases armed troops simply opened fire on innocent students, with no attempt at dialogue or negotiation.
The Kent State University Massacre was perhaps the best known, but there were many others. In May of 1970, University students gathered on the Kent State campus to protest the Vietnam war when soldiers opened fire, killing and injuring many students. The soldiers said they fired because they were under attack, but in fact the students were retreating, and most of them were shot in the back, some from as far as 100 meters away. The soldiers were cleared of any wrongdoing, and no charges were ever laid.
Documents later unclassified suggest that then President Nixon, on advice from the 'secret government' had personally ordered the killings to intimidate the students into silence and forestall a potential popular revolution against the government. But instead, the killings triggered the only national student strike in US history. Over four million students protested from coast to coast during the national student strike of May 1970, and hundreds of universities were shut down.
Also, in May of that year, a group of students at Jackson State University in Mississippi were protesting the Vietnam war when they were confronted by 75 heavily-armed city and state police who opened fire, killing many students and seriously injuring many others. The police in this event appeared almost insane, firing many thousands of shots, blowing out every window in nearby buildings with shotguns, and causing extensive damage in addition to the deaths and injuries. Again, the police claimed they were under attack by the students and that there 'may have been' sniper fire. But a search for evidence of snipers proved negative, and witnesses claimed there was no provocation for the police to begin firing on the students. There were no charges or arrests of the police involved. There were many more of these student killings over several years, all following the same pattern, but Americans today discount these events as irrelevant to their society, considering them as aberrations, as some kind of simple mistake for which media attention provided absolution and should therefore be forgotten.
Protesting Racial Segregation in America
Civil Rights March In Chicago
(Original Caption) 7/26/1965-Chicago, IL: Thousands of civil rights marchers led by Dr. Martin Luther King walk toward Chicago's city hall in protest of defacto school segregation and other racial issues. March started at Buckingham Fountain on the lake front and was delayed more than an hour because Dr. King was ill.
Many similar events in recent US history have been racially-motivated. At about the same time as the above student killings, a crowd of young people in Orangeburg, South Carolina, were protesting against racial segregation - the US custom of forcibly separating blacks from whites in public places - when heavily-armed local policemen fired into the crowd, killing 4 and seriously injuring 31 others. Most were shot in the back. After the shootings, many others were severely beaten by police, including a pregnant woman who later had a miscarriage due to the beating she received at the hands of the police. As would become a standard defense, the police claimed they were under attack or that there had been sniper fire, but all witness accounts discredited their testimony. All officers were acquitted of all charges, while some of the young black protestors were imprisoned for "rioting".
Another typical example occurred in Augusta, Georgia, a classic American confrontation of young black men attacked by police while protesting racial discrimination. During the riot, six people were killed, all black men, each one shot in the back by police. In addition to those deaths, 80 people were injured, 200 were arrested, and 50 businesses in the city’s center, many owned by Augusta’s Chinese residents, were burned. Witnesses claimed to have watched while five of the dead men were shot repeatedly in the back, and at close range by police who, it was later proven, had covered their ID badges and nameplates with tape, and were using private weapons, to avoid later identification for killings they had clearly planned in advance.
One of the most famous race-inspired events occurred in Los Angeles in 1992. A black man was stopped by police for speeding, then pulled from his car, thrown onto the ground and shot twice with a TASER gun, after which numerous LA police officers gave him a merciless beating with their batons. Although the police denied the event, it had been captured on video by a witness. The city was outraged at the brutality of the local police, and when a white jury later acquitted all officers, Los Angeles and other cities erupted in violent protest. All that rage generated the worst single episode of urban unrest in American history, and before it ended several days later it had left 53 people dead and $1 billion in damage.
In another recent example in 2008, A TV news helicopter captured video of more than a dozen Philadelphia police officers surrounding a car and dragging out three black men to give them what became a viciously excessive beating which involved the three being kicked, stomped on, and struck up to 20 times each with night sticks. This incident was one of many occurring in the US during the past decade. No officers were found guilty of any crimes. Even more recently, it has occurred repeatedly in various US cities that police have opened fire on an unarmed black man and pumped more than 50 bullets into him and, in one case in Miami, more than 100 bullets. In each case the courts ruled in favor of the police, claiming this 'was not an excessive use of force'. In each case, no charges were ever laid.
Bombing Dissidents in Philadelphia
In the mid-1980s there existed an organisation in Philadelphia called MOVE that was formed to bring public attention to the acceleration of the unjust racially-oriented arrests and imprisonment of blacks that had continued in that city for over 30 years. In May of 1985, the Philadelphia police mounted a massive operation to silence this group by exterminating the members in their homes. It began with a concerted attack with fire hoses, apparently attempting to drown the people in their homes, followed with tons of tear gas shells fired into all nearby buildings.
The damage on either side of Osage Avenue in Philadelphia, after the confrontation between MOVE and the police in 1985.Credit...Bob Sherman/United Press International, via Getty Images
When these attacks failed to do the job, the police department bombed the area with incendiary explosives, creating an intense inferno that burned to the ground an entire city block, destroying 65 homes and killing many people. The fire department refused to extinguish the flames, and people fleeing their burning homes were met with a barrage of gunfire from the police. No charges were ever laid and no financial or other assistance was offered to the newly-homeless (black) families. The only person arrested was a female member of the group, on the apparent crime of not burning to death with her family.
An American activist named Jeremy Hammond was recently sentenced to 10 years in prison for protesting, and for hacking into and releasing emails from Stratfor, a private security intelligence firm that engages in "monitoring and surveillance of protestors and dissidents" for governmental agencies and corporations. At the time, Hammond's articles sparked mass protests in the US, resulting in the courts immediately granting authorities a permanent injunction against any kind of public protest, effectively stripping all persons of free speech and assembly, and levying a fine of $25,000 per hour if the injunction were violated. All political dissent was made illegal by one stroke of a judge's pen. Hammond wrote, "I have tried everything from voting petitions to peaceful protest and have found that those in power do not want the truth to be exposed. When we speak truth to power, we are ignored at best and brutally suppressed at worst. We are confronting a power structure that does not respect its own system of checks and balances, never mind the rights of its own citizens or the international community". Journalist Chris Hedges described Hammond’s actions as providing "chilling evidence that anti-terrorism laws are being routinely used by the federal government to criminalize nonviolent, democratic dissent and falsely link dissidents to international terrorist organizations".
"A timeline of CIA atrocities"
Steve Kangas was a researcher and writer with prior experience in the US intelligence community, employed mostly by the US military in Europe. He resigned from the military and compiled in the 1990s a disturbing list of CIA crimes around the world that he titled, "A timeline of CIA atrocities". He was recently engaged in some deep research into what were secret and undocumented CIA projects and activities, some of which involved a man named Richard Mellon Scaife, a wealthy US businessman who had been closely involved with the CIA for many years. In another apparent suicide that was almost certainly another CIA murder, Kangas was found dead in the small hours of the morning in a bathroom on the same floor as Scaife's office. As is usual in these CIA-perpetrated murder-suicides, the story changed rapidly, evidence disappeared, the official narrative didn't fit the facts, and there was considerable evidence of a cover-up. First, a security guard found Kangas lying on the floor of the bathroom, apparently wounded, with blood spattered around, but he was still alive. The guard went to get some help, and when he returned, he found Kangas seated on a toilet, fully-clothed, with no blood apparent anywhere, and Kangas was dead. Then, the initial police report stated that Kangas had been shot in the side of the head, but the government coroner later stated he had shot himself through the roof of his mouth. His body was quickly cremated, so no further examinations will ever be done as they were with Frank Olson.
When the security guard first found Kangas lying on the floor, there were no objects with him, but the final death report conveniently catalogues an empty bottle of whiskey, a gun and bullets, and three books, one of which was a copy of "Mein Kampf" by Adolf Hitler. There was no explanation as to why Kangas would have travelled from his home in Las Vegas to Pittsburgh, apparently with no credit cards and only $14.63 in his pocket, just to kill himself. Kangas' computer would likely have held files relating to his then-current research on the CIA and on Scaife, but it seems that the computer was given to a maintenance man who for some reason erased the entire hard drive, thereby destroying whatever evidence might have existed. Kangas was a man who didn't believe in guns and had never owned one, but the CIA produced a purchase certificate showing that Kangas had bought a gun a short time prior to his death. There was no explanation as to why a man who didn't believe in guns would have been in possession of one, nor whether the apparent purchase records of the gun were legitimate or had been forged. After the death began to attract attention and suspicion, the authorities and involved parties attempted to dismiss Kangas as a drunk, a drug addict and a penniless derelict who sold pornography on the internet. All accusations were, of course, false. Given the circumstances common to this and so many other deaths that have involved the CIA, it appears Kangas was probing too successfully into secrets the CIA did not care to have revealed.
Dark Alliance Free E-Book
In an article by Don Quijones in May of 2013 he stated, "On December 10, 2004, a 49-year-old man was found dead in his home in Sacramento, California. At first glance the scene bore all the hallmarks of a run-of the-mill suicide case - apart, that is, from one niggling little detail: the man had two gunshot wounds in the head. That didn’t stop the coroner, however, from swiftly pronouncing the cause of death as suicide. It was a verdict that would go universally unchallenged by the US mainstream media, despite the fact that the man’s enemies included some of the nation’s most powerful people." The man involved, Gary Webb, had been one of the most talented and dedicated investigative journalists in the US, who produced a damning and proven report on the crack cocaine business in America, including the active involvement of the CIA. In fact, he had revealed a memorandum of understanding between the CIA and Justice Department that effectively freed the CIA from legally reporting drug smuggling by its own personnel. His work was published in a San Jose newspaper and titled "Dark Alliance", but Webb soon encountered a massive character assassination campaign that left him unemployed and unemployable; every effort was made by the US mainstream media to destroy the man's reputation and credibility. "In short, one of the most talented, dedicated and outspoken journalists of his generation had effectively been silenced despite the fact that many of his claims about the CIA smuggling cocaine and able to operate freely operate without threat of law enforcement had already been substantiated." Then, he was found dead, with two shots to the head, the government coroner claiming a distraught unemployed man killed himself.
The Big Bamboozle_ 9_11 and the War on Ter - Philip Marshall
Phillip Marshall was a former airplane pilot and author whose works included several volumes on 9-11, and whose decades of experience included not only the duties of an airline captain, but as a "special activities" contract pilot for various US government agencies including the DEA. He held captain ratings on the Boeing 727, 737, 747, 757 and 767, and was eminently qualified to write on the events of 9-11 and the challenges and capabilities of the supposed terrorists to control those aircraft. Marshall was the leading aviation expert on the 9-11 attack, and in 2012 published a definitive work claiming it was Bush, Cheney and the Saudis who orchestrated that tragedy. Shortly thereafter, he was found dead with himself, his two children and the family dog all shot in the head. The local police department quickly released their finding that this had been a murder-suicide, a report that by all accounts emerged a bit too soon and appeared a bit too solid, apparently without investigation.
Pat Tillman was an American football player who sacrificed a good life and abandoned a lucrative professional career, sacrificing a multi-million-dollar salary to enlist in the US Army after 9/11 because he felt a patriotic urge to defend his country. He joined the US Army Rangers and served several combat tours there. As a result of his fame and sacrifice and his masculine good looks, Tillman quickly became a US poster child for the questionable and unpopular war in Afghanistan. Sadly, before he had completed his last tour of duty, Tillman died in the war, in the mountains of Afghanistan. The Army initially claimed that Tillman and his unit were attacked in an apparent ambush on a road outside of a village near the Pakistan border. According to the official story, an Afghan militia soldier was killed, and two other Rangers were injured as well.
Tillman was awarded a Purple Heart, a posthumous promotion, and the Silver Star citation which gave a detailed account of his heroism, claiming he died "in the line of devastating enemy fire". Ann Coulter, an extreme Right-Wing columnist, called Tillman "an American original: virtuous, pure and masculine like only an American male can be", and claimed that Tillman "died bringing freedom and democracy to 28 million Afghans." His funeral was on national television, his fate still being sold as a hero’s death from enemy fire. Then-President Bush was boasting about Tillman’s "inspiration on and off the field."
But his funeral had hardly taken place when the unexpected happened: the news was released that Tillman had not died in an enemy firefight but had been killed by "friendly fire". In other words, in what was perhaps the confusion of war, he had been accidentally shot by his own US army colleagues. In a report in The Washington Post, it was claimed that Tillman's superiors were fully aware of this fact before granting his military awards, and before his funeral. Tillman's family was not informed of the true facts until weeks after his memorial service, when they also discovered the military had given orders to Tillman's comrades to lie to his family about the circumstances of his death. Then more information began to emerge. Not only were Army investigators aware that Tillman had been killed by friendly fire, but the autopsy reported that he had been shot three times in the forehead, and from only a few meters away. There was a further report that members of his unit burned his body armor and uniform in an apparent attempt to hide these facts.
In addition, Defense Department documents indicate that there had never been any evidence of even enemy presence much less enemy engagement, and that contrary to the original story, no members of Tillman's group had been hit by enemy fire. According to numerous reports, there were no Taliban anywhere near the area where Tillman was killed. One revelation that the authorities tried to suppress was that Tillman's squad encountered a group of US military snipers that approached them. All the medical reports made the same observation - that Tillman was killed by three closely-grouped shots to the center of his forehead. The official story still claimed Tillman was supposedly killed by "friendly fire" during an engagement with the enemy, but it was now proven that there was no such enemy engagement, so how would it happen that, in the absence of any conflict, somebody would put three closely-packed bullets into the forehead of Pat Tillman from only a few meters distance? Army doctors told the investigators that Tillman's wounds suggested murder and urged them to launch a criminal investigation, but they were rebuffed. The doctor who autopsied Tillman’s body tried to pursue an investigation into the murder but was prevented from doing so by the Army’s Criminal Investigation Division. There were further reports that Army medical examiners tried without success to get authorities to investigate whether Tillman had been murdered. The destruction of all evidence, including his personal journal, linked to her son's death, led his mother to speculate that he was murdered. Mary Tillman has long suggested that her son was deliberately murdered by his fellow soldiers. US General Wesley Clark agreed that this was "very possible".
Of interest is the content of some internal military communication where Army attorneys congratulated each other in emails for impeding the criminal investigation to the point where only administrative, or non-criminal, punishment was indicated. Adding another layer of murk, the White House and President Bush claimed "executive privilege" in refusing to release documents dealing with Tillman’s death. We do need to ask who is being protected. Why would such a thing happen? The answer is apparent. Despite his fame, Tillman did not want to be used for propaganda purposes. He spoke to friends about his strong opposition to President Bush and the Iraq war: "You know," he told a close army buddy, "this war is so f--- illegal." The US poster boy who had indeed been used in a propaganda campaign for the war, had now experienced a change of heart and was violently opposed to the same war the government had used him to promote. When Tillman discovered that the invasion of Iraq was based on a mountain of lies and deceit and had nothing to do with defending America, he became infuriated and was ready to return home to become an anti-war hero. He was nearing the end of his tour of duty and had made an appointment to meet with well-known government critic and the nation’s leading anti-war crusader Noam Chomsky after his return. If that meeting with Chomsky had occurred as scheduled, Tillman would likely have teamed up with him to travel the country and jointly reveal and condemn the illegalities and atrocities of that war. Tillman might even have become directly involved in a political campaign, and in that event the US government's prized propaganda creation would have, like Frankenstein's monster, turned against his creator. That would have had a devastating effect on the US government's effort to shore up support for what one writer called "our crazed foreign policy". And that would undoubtedly have been the motive for the elimination of Pat Tillman.
All the evidence points directly to the execution of Tillman by a US military sniper group because of his threat to the government, and their motivation is clear. Tillman was deliberately executed to prevent him from becoming an anti-war icon and derailing public support in the United States for the ongoing occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan. In a widely-seen TV appearance, US General Wesley Clark stated that "the orders came from the very top" to cover-up the nature of Tillman’s death, as he was a political symbol and his opposition to the war in Iraq would have rallied the population around supporting immediate withdrawal. Another author writing in a similar context, wrote, "These American men of war are so morally deformed that anything is possible."
The Kerr-McGee Corporation was an American defense contractor with powerful political connections not only to the government but to the US military and CIA as well as local law enforcement officials. Karen Silkwood was a young chemical technician at the Kerr-McGee plant making plutonium pellets for nuclear reactor fuel rods. She discovered numerous instances of company violations that exposed workers to serious radioactive contamination, and in the summer of 1974 Silkwood testified to the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) about these issues, alleging poor or no safety standards and claiming the company falsified inspection records. A short time later, she discovered her body contained almost 400 times the legal limit for plutonium, resulting in her undergoing many intense decontamination sessions, but after each one she was again found to be dangerously contaminated. Health officials finally examined her home and found plutonium deposits throughout her bathroom and kitchen, and even in her refrigerator. A day later, Silkwood's body was found dead in her car, which had run off the road and struck a culvert.
Silkwood had made two serious mistakes. One was joining the company union and participating in a strike to attract public attention to the severe safety hazards at the plant, and the second was testifying against the company to the AEC. At the time of the accident, Silkwood had just left a union meeting with an armful of documents taken from the Kerr-McGee plant that proved the company's violations and massive cover-up attempts, and also documented the large-scale falsification of records, with proof that quality control of the dangerous fuel rods had been compromised. Her revelations, if made public, would have created a major scandal with enormous and wide-ranging implications. She was on her way to deliver those documents to a New York Times investigative reporter when her car ran off the road and she was killed. When the police arrived at the scene, no documents were found in her car.
There is evidence that the authorities had kept Silkwood under surveillance and her phone had been tapped. Someone had contaminated her apartment with plutonium in an attempt to kill her while making it appear as an accident due to her own carelessness. And the circumstances of her auto accident were highly suspicious, with damage to the rear of her car strongly suggesting that it had been forcefully struck from the rear and forced off the road. The auto accident was never satisfactorily investigated or explained, nor did the company or military offer any explanation for the presence of plutonium throughout her home. The official narrative was that she had "fallen asleep while driving", but a federal court jury awarded her family $10.5 million against the company, which was deemed responsible for the plutonium contamination. A movie was made in this woman's honor ("Silkwood", starring Meryl Streep), and a museum was created in her home town to commemorate her courage. But she is still dead.
Bradley (Chelsea) Manning
By now, probably everyone knows the story of the young US soldier Bradley Manning, who several years ago leaked 250,000 US diplomatic cables and half a million army reports to Wikileaks and the media. There has never been a bigger leak of classified material in the history of the United States, nor one as volatile or shocking. It was Manning who released to the world the dishonesty of the US war in Iraq and the savage brutality of the American military in that country. It was Manning's documents that first informed the world of the reality of the US government's network of torture prisons and prison ships around the world, and of the CIA's extensive network of kidnapping and rendition - shipping kidnap victims outside US jurisdiction to be tortured, many to the death.
Among the videos Manning released was one of an Apache helicopter conducting a bombing raid that killed Iraqi civilians and a Reuters journalist, where the Iraqis on the ground surrendered, only to be shot dead anyway. Manning said "The most alarming aspect of the video to me was the seemingly delightful bloodlust they appeared to have", and an appalling "lack of value for human life". In releasing that information, Manning did a great service to the entire world, a world that needed to see in pictures and video the true face of US foreign policy and the extent of US brutality toward non-whites. Manning proved that US foreign policy depends on secrecy, not because of fear of US enemies, but because the reality would horrify not only the American people but the entire world. And horrify, it did. Manning's only real crime was to have embarrassed the US government in its increasingly farcical claims of being a defender of rights and freedoms and its adherence to rule of law.
Manning has for years been in prison, where he has by all accounts been tortured, horribly mistreated, and deprived of all human contact. He was kept naked, left without privacy, awakened every five minutes day and night for apparently weeks on end, and much more. Neither legal counsel nor the International Red Cross nor human rights groups were ever permitted to visit or interview him. His military trial was held behind closed doors with no media or public present on the grounds that the trial would contain classified information. Of more than passing interest is a claim that among the witnesses to testify against Manning are members of the US Navy Seal Team #6 - the team that "doesn't exist" - and that carried out the almost certainly fictitious raid against Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan. The reason this is curious is that all members of this (perhaps imaginary) team were reported killed in a helicopter crash, so even if they existed before, they certainly don't exist now. But they will still testify against Manning. The Manning trial isn't the first instance in which the United States under Obama has demonstrated its willingness to do anything necessary to prevent the spread of unwelcome truths. Former President Richard Nixon tried to use the Espionage Act to put the leaker of the Pentagon Papers - about the planning of the Vietnam War - behind bars.
The US makes an enormous amount of sanctimonious noise about what it terms harsh treatment of so-called dissidents in other countries whenever it finds political advantage, however sleazy, in doing so. But when dealing with American dissidents, the US has no hesitation in exercising the brutality and lack of conscience for which it has become famous, and pays no attention whatever to world opinion. Certainly, Bradley (Chelsea) Manning's life is over, a harsh warning to those who would dare expose the brutal truths of the imperial master, and a frightening reminder to the people of the world that the false smile painted on the face of US foreign policy is only a mask that covers the most evil of faces. Filmmaker Michael Moore stated in an article in The Huffington Post that "all soldiers convicted of war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan have served less prison time in total than Bradley Manning faces by himself". The United States of America specialises in political prisoners.
Edward Snowden is another US "dissident" who, acting from conscience, decided to tell the world the truth of the US government's illegal espionage and law-breaking on an almost unimaginary world-wide scale. The US government had for some time flooded the worldwide media with accusations of hacking against China, only to be revealed as the worst violator in the world by orders of magnitude. It is worth noting that Snowden had a legal responsibility to report crimes perpetrated by his superiors, but that responsibility is only propaganda and utopian illusion. In real life, with this man and so many others in the US, whistleblowers are viciously prosecuted while the perpetrators are protected. Snowden was fortunate to have planned his escape in advance, but everyone, most especially Snowden himself, knows the US will not rest until he has been eliminated. Wherever Edward Snowden finds refuge, he will simply be waiting for the arrival of that fatal shot. And it will come. The US is nothing if not vengeful, and it has killed people for much smaller offenses.
We have read about Snowden’s revelations, but the Western media failed to report Snowden’s interview with a German broadcaster or to air the content of that interview in the US. Notable among the comments in that interview were the US government threats on Snowden’s life. One NSA official was quoted as saying, "(If I weren't) restricted from killing an American, I personally would go and kill him myself." A senior Pentagon official is quoted as saying: "I would love to put a bullet in his head." A US military intelligence officer declared in an interview that "Snowden could be "poked" on his way home from buying groceries by a passerby who is actually a US agent. Snowden thinks nothing of it at the time (and soon) starts to feel a little woozy. And the next thing you know he dies in the shower."
…and that there was no way the accident could have caused the engine to fly 60 meters from the car in the direction it did…
(You can see it in this video)
Michael Hastings was 33 years old, an award-winning journalist and an accomplished war correspondent and political reporter, perhaps best known for writing a critical profile in the Rolling Stone magazine about US General Stanley McChrystal that led to McChrystal's resignation. He was apparently working on another important story that involved yet another major US military figure, General David Petraeus of Iraq fame, and that implicated both the US Department of Defense and the FBI. Hastings wrote about being approached by one of Gen. McChrystal’s aides who told him "We’ll hunt you down and kill you if we don’t like what you write". Hastings later wrote, "I wasn’t disturbed by the claim. Whenever I’d been reporting around groups of dudes whose job it was to kill people, one of them would usually mention that they were going to kill me".
Just before his death in July 2013, Hastings sent an SMS message to several friends, saying "the FEDS" were watching him and contacting his friends and associates, and that he was onto a big story and needed to disappear "under the radar for a while". He died a few hours later when his Mercedes, traveling at high speeds, smashed into a tree and caught fire. This is the text of his message: "FBI Investigation, re: NSA - the Feds are interviewing my "close friends and associates". Perhaps if the authorities arrive, may be wise to immediately request legal counsel before any conversations or interviews about our news-gathering practices or related journalism issues. Also: I’m onto a big story, and need to go off the radar for a bit." Wikileaks made an online post that Hastings had consulted with one of its lawyers, Jennifer Robinson, "just a few hours" before his death, claiming that the FBI was investigating him. The FBI, in what may be the first time, publicly - and quickly - denied having any interest in Hastings.
There aren't enough facts to form a judgment on this event, but the circumstances are sufficiently suspicious to generate speculation about yet another murder of someone who became troublesome. The fire that destroyed Hasting's car was recorded on video, and that itself raises many questions. I have seen cars burn, and videos of cars burning, the fire usually caused by a collision and the leakage of fuel, but I have never seen a fire like this one. Auto fires are normally localised, with either the engine compartment or the rear of the car severely damaged, but Hasting's car was totally enveloped in flames and completely destroyed. And I have seldom seen such an intense and violent conflagration as the one that consumed this car. I don't believe anything could burn so furiously and violently without accelerants. I don't know what the truth is, but the flames that consumed Hasting's car were not from a gasoline fire.
Both police and reporters claimed there were no skidmarks, the police claiming the car simply left the road and drove into a tree at high speed, and caught fire. But when the fire abated, the police immediately covered the entire car with a white sheet, which is something I have never seen before. And news reports now claim that both police and firemen who were on the scene have been ordered to not discuss the matter with anyone, under any circumstances. Mercedes claims its car could never have burned naturally in the manner in which it did, and that there was no way the accident could have caused the engine to fly 60 meters from the car in the direction it did, which suggests both an explosion and incendiary materials. Also, a man named Jose Rubalcava who witnessed the entire crash, said he saw sparks coming out of Hastings' car before it hit the tree and that it was traveling at very high speed, and had repeated explosions after the collision. Richard Clarke, the counterterrorism chief under both Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, told the Huffington Post that Hastings’s crash looked "consistent with a car cyber-attack".
To add to the mystery, auto technicians have claimed that a car can easily be remotely controlled and/or sabotaged by on-board software, and that it would technically be quite easy to have accomplished Hastings' accident. In the August 12, 2013 issue of Forbes Magazine, in an article titled "Hackers Reveal Nasty New Car Attacks", Forbes staff writer Andy Greenberg took readers through a tour of the vulnerabilities lurking in the electronics of today's automobiles. These startling deficiencies and dangers were introduced to him by two researchers named Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek who had spent a year on this project. You should have alarm bells ringing in your head when you learn that in 2012 Miller and Valasek received an $80,000-plus grant from the research arm of the Pentagon known as the 'Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency', a grant for research ostensibly intended "to root out security vulnerabilities in automobiles". Isn't that interesting? The Pentagon, of all people, are interested in identifying and eliminating software vulnerabilities in civilian automobiles. Unlikely. The US military is quite uninterested in rooting out anything, but is desperately interested in the weapons potential of such technology, as is the CIA. And this relates directly to Google's 'driverless car' project.
Greenberg tells us that as he drove a vehicle for more than an hour, Miller and Valasek demonstrated that they had reverse-engineered enough auto software to deliver a wide range of nasty surprises - with Greenberg at the wheel. They could sound the horn, or slam on the brakes at high speed. They could kill both the brakes and the power steering. They could make the GPS, the speedometer and odometer, wildly inaccurate. They could violently jerk the steering wheel at any speed, sufficient to send a car into a head-on collision, or off the road into - a tree. Their focus, and that of the Pentagon, is hacking vehicles physically and also by remote wireless devices, and this ability is already old news. A team of researchers from the University of Washington and the University of California, San Diego, proved in 2010 that they could wirelessly penetrate these same critical systems by using OnStar, Bluetooth, Android smartphones or even a CD in the car’s stereo system. They claimed that obtaining remote-code execution was not difficult for most vehicle functions.
Security analyst Richard Clarke said it was easily possible for the authorities to have hacked into Hastings' 2013 Mercedes C250 control system, and that such an attack would be almost impossible to trace. He said the evidence available publicly is consistent with a cyber-attack, but the problem is that it can't be proven. We may never learn the truth about Michael Hastings, but this wouldn't be the first time the US authorities have 'eliminated' a problem by creating an 'accident'. And this apparent accident has FBI and US military fingerprints all over it, especially their desperate attempt to discredit Hastings' name with claims that were proven false of him having narcotics in his system at the time of the crash.
There is another element regarding General Motors that I find disturbing, this being GM's recent infatuation with Israel and the establishment of various R&D centers in that country. The simple fact of doing R&D in Israel is more or less irrelevant, and Israel may well be a useful location for such an enterprise. The portion of this I find disturbing is that, while the language appears to be cleverly couched in neutral terms, my conclusion on reading the releases and media articles was that this R&D appears to relate primarily to electronic remote control of automobiles, the very same program of such great interest to the FBI and CIA in the US to contain public protests and dissension and quite possibly to create plausible examples of "death by auto accident", of which we have already seen several. The articles referred to the development of "alternative driving systems", "vehicle electronics and communications systems", and various other kinds of "advanced technology", none of which appeared related in any sense to automotive development as such, but rather to electronic control and communication, terms not so easy to misinterpret.
GM’s vice president of global research and development, Alan Taub, spoke of this being "the first true scientific research laboratory" for automotive "Operations and Administration", and to tap that country's brightest minds in a way similar to the US military outsourcing weapons research to universities around the world. He spoke of using remote technology in the march to ... "in some cases, intervention", i.e., authorities learning to control vehicles remotely, using sensors to determine the surroundings. He repeated Google's barely credible references to self-drive cars as being for safety - but also available for remote control. In his words, "They use the exact same technology". I don't find that comforting. Taub also spoke of one such auto jointly designed by GM and Carnegie-Mellon University that won the Urban Challenge event sponsored by the US Department of Defense. Anyone who believes there is no military or civilian control agenda behind these research efforts, is truly asleep. Taub also noted that Israel has a huge amount of human talent in precisely the fields required by GM, and this very much includes electronic espionage for which the Israelis are famous. One GM source, Gil Golan, GM’s Israel site director, specified that GM will focus on "advanced sensing, wireless enabling, allowing a vehicle’s systems to use networks to ensure constant communication ... and vehicle control (by whom?) ... for driverless navigation", with or without the driver's permission, no doubt. The issue is not GM's designing the means for American authorities to control dissent by rendering autos inoperable in the US, but of inserting that technology into GM cars in China, thereby providing US authorities with the same opportunity in China, yet one more weapon in their "full-spectrum dominance" for warfare. If I want to declare war on your country, the ability to disable every motor vehicle on your streets, would be useful, no?
Before you dismiss this too quickly as yet another conspiracy theory, the Times of Israel carried articles in June of 2015 revealing that Hyundai of South Korea is interested in precisely these things and is taking substantial initiatives to obtain results, apparently intending to become a leader in this field. It is worthy of note that Hyundai's first step is to conduct a national computer hacking contest in Israel, in the hopes of identifying the top such talents who will then receive research contracts with the company. The winners will be selected on the basis of "creativity" and how they use the Internet and other "connected technologies" including Bluetooth and GPS to "affect the driving experience". Use your imagination. What does that mean, 'using creativity and connected technologies to affect the driving experience'? The article stated that Hyundai was creating a "built-in cellular modem" that will connect with a car and "its APPS" and, of course, with all the vehicle's controls. The article stated Hyundai's auto communications would permit the company to "implement numerous long-distance features", exampled by drivers being able to call for help - which they can easily do without Hyundai's help - or where "other parties could connect" to the car. Think about that. What does that mean, 'using communications to implement long-distance features where "other parties" can connect to your car'. The article noted that security was a concern, quoting studies by the US Senate and other proving hackers can easily take control of key vehicle components remotely, stressing that Hyundai "has gone to great lengths" to ensure that no one but them will be able to intrude. Exactly: ensuring that 'no one but them' would be able to take control of a vehicle. Apparently Jewish security experts have considerable experience in this precise field, the article specifying that these experts have worked on "closed operating systems" for "Jewish phones". In other words, protecting themselves first from others doing to them what they propose to do to others.
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© Larry Romanoff, Moon of Shanghai,
Blue Moon of Shanghai,2023