Vigilant Shield 09: A Cover for Illegal Domestic Operations?
by Tom Burghardt
n November 17, U.S. Northern Command (NORTHCOM) and the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) concluded Vigilant Shield 09 (VS09), described in a press release as a training exercise focused on "homeland defense and civil support."
Launched by President Bush in 2002 in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, NORTHCOM has been mired in controversy since its creation. Among its more dubious accomplishments were illegal domestic spying operations in conjunction with the Pentagon's shadowy Counter Intelligence Field Activity unit (CIFA) that targeted antiwar activists.
Despite CIFA's shut-down and the alleged dismantling of its TALON database (now incorporated into the FBI's Guardian Threat Tracking System), SourceWatch revealed that "in accordance with intelligence oversight requirements, the DoD will maintain a record copy of the collected data." One can't help but wonder whether that "record copy" of TALON somehow migrated into a NORTHCOM database.
But the NORTHCOM-CIFA liaison wasn't the only episode of illegal military spying on Americans to come to light. In May, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported that Marines, including a Colonel and the co-founder of the Los Angeles County Terrorist Early Warning Center, stole top secret intelligence files from Camp Pendleton's Strategic Technical Operations Center.
Read more: Vigilant Shield 09: A Cover?
Created on Monday, 24 November 2008 02:23
Written by Chris Cook
This Week on GR
by C. L. Cook
his week: Investigative reporter and author, Dave Lindorff and progressives standing up an Obama administration; Victoria permaculture gardeners and local food security proponents Rainey Hopewell and Margot Johnston putting the people back in the commons; Janine Bandcroft brings us up to speed with good goings-on in and around the south island.
Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Monday, 5-6pm Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM, 104.3 cable, and on the internet at: http://cfuv.uvic.ca. He also serves as a contributing editor to the web news site, www.pacificfreepress.com. Check out the GR blog at: http://GorillaRadioBlog.blogspot.com
Created on Sunday, 23 November 2008 00:54
Written by Chris Cook
November 22nd 1963
by C. L. Cook
t used to be a day hallowed in a way: On this day in 1963, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the young American president who in his day embodied a hope for a better future, much as president-elect Obama does for millions today, was gunned down in Dallas, Texas. In recent years, remembrance has become lower key.
Photo from a film by amateur photographer George Jefferies and his son-in-law, Wayne Graham
The Kennedy assassination remains shrouded in government secrecy, the official pronouncement made by the Warren Commission naming Lee Harvey Oswald as the lone gunman widely believed to be a convenient whitewash at best. Others believe this is the day the democracy of the United States of America was taken over by a shadow-government run by the unseen actors running the military-intelligence community. Those, often disregarded as "conspiracy theorists," contend America is run to this day by the same dark forces responsible for Kennedy's killing forty-five years ago.
Created on Saturday, 22 November 2008 23:53
Written by Press Release
Path of Destruction: Canadian Mining Companies Around the World
by Asad Ismi and Kristin Schwartz
Asad Ismi and Kristin Schwartz host a three-part documentary about the global devastation spread by Canadian mining companies.
Canada is the world's leading mining nation. Sixty percent of all public mining companies are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange. About half of all mining capital is raised in Canada. Many Canadian mining companies have become notorious for damaging communities and the environment and fueling wars and repression all over the world.
The Canadian government has refused to hold these corporations accountable leading to international criticism of Canada.
Created on Saturday, 22 November 2008 22:38
Written by Robert Parry
The GOP Judge Who Bolted on Gitmo
by Robert Parry
o understand how thin the evidence must have been against five Algerians held at Guantanamo Bay for nearly seven years â€“ and who were just ordered released by a U.S. District Court judge â€“ you have to know the history of that judge, Richard J. Leon. Earlier in his career â€“ before getting appointed to the bench by George W. Bush in 2002 â€“ Leon had been one of the most reliable Republican legal apparatchiks, skilled in steering investigations toward a desired partisan outcome, whatever the facts and the evidence might be.
Judge Richard Leon
So, in 1987, when Rep. Dick Cheney and his legal adviser David Addington were defending President Ronald Reagan and Vice President George H.W. Bush in the congressional Iran-Contra investigation â€“ and devising legal arguments about inherent presidential powers â€“ Richard Leon was there as a Republican senior counsel. In 1992, when a House task force was examining evidence that Reagan and Bush began their secret contacts with Iranâ€™s Islamic regime in 1980 while trying to unseat President Jimmy Carter, Leon was the Republican point man to make sure nothing too damaging came out.
Later in the 1990s, after Bill Clinton became President, Leon served as special counsel to the House Banking Committee for a highly partisan investigation that transformed Clintonâ€™s minor Whitewater real estate deal into a big scandal. In other words, if there was a politically sensitive probe that needed the answer to come out a certain way for Republicans, Richard Leon was one of their top go-to guys.
Read more: Bush Loyalist Judge Turns on Gitmo, Orders Five Released