Monday, November 30, 2009

Why the Afghan War? And is Osama bin Laden dead or alive?

President Barack Obama appears set to approve a dramatic increase in troops in Afghanistan. The original goal of the U.S. effort there was to find and capture Osama bin Laden. Why is Washington not still seeking the man who allegedly masterminded the attack on American on Sept. 11, 2001?

In an Oct. 7, 2008, debate, candidate Obama said, "We will kill bin Laden. We will crush al-Qaeda. That has to be our biggest national security priority."

But Obama was already backtracking on that goal just days before his inauguration, saying "I think that we have to so weaken [bin Laden's] infrastructure that, whether he is technically alive or not, he is so pinned down that he cannot function," he said. "And I'm confident that we can keep them on the run and ensure that they cannot train terrorists to attack our homeland."
Why is the goal not still to capture bin Laden? Is it because capturing him might end the “war on terror,” a racket that continues to generate money for the military-industrial complex, even as it breeds more terrorists and makes us less safe, the longer it lasts?

Wouldn’t it be less expensive to us tax payers to capture bin Laden, rather than to keep his followers “on the run” and “pinned down”? Or was Obama signaling something when he said, “whether he is technically alive or not”?

Read the rest of my piece at Consortium News.

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Mob didn't run the plot to kill Kennedy

I'm very depressed that people know so little of our history that they can invite Lamar Waldron on the air to talk about his provably false story of the Kennedy assassination. His book hinges on a plan he says President Kennedy had to invade Cuba in December. If that were true, neither the CIA nor the mob would have had any motive to kill Kennedy, for one. But the simple fact is, Kennedy provably resisted a last-minute push in November of 1963 to get him to invade Cuba.

Nov. 9, 1963, a New York Times article revealed that a weapons cache had been found on a beach in Venezuela. The article purported the weapons were from Cuba. So if Kennedy was planning to invade Cuba, something he had promised not to do at the end of the Cuban missile crisis, here was his opening. The only way Kennedy could invade Cuba would be if Castro was trying to export his revolution elsewhere. Wasn't this direct evidence of this?

Kennedy actually did nothing, probably because by then he had learned the ways of the world. So Richard Helms, the Deputy Director of Plans at CIA, took one of the guns into the White House on November 19, 1963, in an attempt to convince JFK personally that the weapons were from Cuba. But Kennedy was still unconvinced. So, by the way, was Joseph Burkholder Smith, a CIA officer working in Venezuela, who assumed the CIA had planted the weapons there in an attempt to frame Cuba.

Later that day, Helms, who had no love for the Kennedys, asked for an autographed picture of the president. Did he know that picture would be unobtainable three days later? (Kennedy was killed on November 22, 1963.)

If Kennedy was already planning to invade Cuba with the CIA, this episode makes no sense at all. But in reality, this visit happened, and the Lamar Waldron plot was nothing more than contingency plans. Our government has contingency plans to invade just about every country on the planet. They play out scenarios on paper. What if this happened? What if that happened? But a contingency plan is a far cry from an ACTUAL operation, and for Waldron and his co-author Thom Hartmann to purport this as fact is so wrong as to beg the question of why they are doing it. I can't help but wonder if Hartmann's own ties to the CIA have anything to do with the putting out of this so easily provably false scenario.

For a review of the two Waldron-Hartmann books on this preposterous scenario, see here and here.

And the "mob did it" story is simply ludicrous on the face of it. Could the mob have controlled the autopsy? Did the mob force the CIA to lie about Oswald to other agencies of the government a month before the assassination, as they provably did? Did the mob get CIA asset Priscilla Johnson McMillan to write a dishonest book on the case? Did the mob pay Vince Bugliosi a million dollars to write a book that didn't sell well purporting Oswald acted alone?

Heck no, on every count, and on so many more.

If you want to know what happened to Kennedy, read Jim Douglass' excellent and honest book JFK and the Unspeakable. Douglass' book provides the historical context that makes it clear who killed Kennedy and why.

If you want to listen to me discussing the JFK assassination on KGO radio recently, click here. This will only be online for five more days.

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Facts behind "The Men Who Stare at Goats"

Can people really influence the physical world with thought alone? And if so, dare we use that power for evil, instead of good? Or will the effort come back to haunt us?

That is the quandary posed by the film "The Men Who Stare at Goats," and, even more so, by the book of the same name that inspired the film.

First, run -- do not walk, do not pass Go -- to the theater to see "The Men Who Stare at Goats." Films that are both hilarious and intelligent, provocative yet madcap, are hard to come by.

And because this film teaches us, in a wildly entertaining manner, about recent military and intelligence history, I have a feeling certain people will work hard to rush this movie right back out of the theaters. So see it before showings of it, like some of the characters in the film, disappear.

The film presents a largely fictitious story based on all-too-real projects and programs conducted by various agencies of the government. Very little of it is literally true, yet many of the stranger events in the film happened in a manner similar to the one portrayed.

See my breakdown of the facts behind the film at

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Review of "This is It"

I reviewed "This is It" - the film documenting the stage show Michael Jackson was nearly finished creating when he was killed (remember, the police are calling it a homicide) over at Consortium News.

One of the reasons I write is to defend the dead, who are no longer around to defend themselves. Michael Jackson is in need of continued defense, and I hope to be able to write more about him at some point. Meanwhile, go to see the movie!!