Pissonu Alert

Other Alerts

dhs advisory
Terror Alert Level


Coming Attractions: Prison Populations, Guinea Pigs & Profits — An Israeli Entrepreneurial Success Story

Naomi Klein: Laboratory for a Fortressed World
At a glance, things aren't going well for Israel. But here's a puzzle: why, in the midst of such chaos and carnage, is the Israeli economy booming like it's 1999, with a roaring stock market and growth rates nearing China's?

⋅ ⋅ ⋅

...Israel has learned to turn endless war into a brand asset, pitching its uprooting, occupation and containment of the Palestinian people as a half-century head start in the "global war on terror."

...Thirty homeland security companies were launched in Israel in the past six months alone, thanks in large part to lavish government subsidies that have transformed the Israeli army and the country's universities into incubators for security and weapons start-ups (something to keep in mind in the debates about the academic boycott).

Next week, the most established of these companies will travel to Europe for the Paris Air Show, the arms industrys equivalent of Fashion Week. One of the Israeli companies exhibiting is Suspect Detection Systems (SDS), which will be showcasing its Cogito1002, a white, sci-fi-looking security kiosk that asks air travelers to answer a series of computer-generated questions, tailored to their country of origin, while they hold their hand on a "biofeedback" sensor. The device reads the body's reactions to the questions and certain responses flag the passenger as "suspect."

Like hundreds of other Israeli security start-ups, SDS boasts that it was founded by veterans of Israel's secret police and that its products were road-tested on Palestinians. Not only has the company tried out the biofeedback terminals at a West Bank checkpoint, it claims the "concept is supported and enhanced by knowledge acquired and assimilated from the analysis of thousands of case studies related to suicide bombers in Israel."

Another star of the Paris Air Show will be Israeli defense giant Elbit, which plans to showcase its Hermes 450 and 900 unmanned air vehicles. As recently as May, according to press reports, Israel used the drones on bombing missions in Gaza. Once tested in the territories, they are exported abroad: the Hermes has already been used at the Arizona-Mexico border; Cogito1002 terminals are being auditioned at an unnamed US airport; and Elbit, one of the companies behind Israel's "security barrier," has partnered with Boeing to construct the Department of Homeland Security's $2.5 billion "virtual" border fence around the United States.

Since Israel began its policy of sealing off the occupied territories with checkpoints and walls, human rights activists have often compared Gaza and the West Bank to open-air prisons. But in researching the explosion of Israel's homeland security sector...it strikes me that they are something else too: laboratories where the terrifying tools of our security states are being field-tested. Palestinians — whether living in the West Bank or what the Israeli politicians are already calling "Hamasistan" — are no longer just targets. They are guinea pigs.

It's Coming (addendum 2)

Yet more indications of the impending Engineered Catastrophic Event (ECE)...

Bush Plunges to New Low in Poll
US President George W. Bushs approval rating plunged to a new low of 29 percent in the Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, the Journal reported Thursday.

Plot Shows Dangers of Mundane Targets
Until a suspected terrorist plot was revealed, few people even knew there was a pipeline of highly combustible jet fuel snaking beneath the nation's largest city.

But authorities said Monday that it's one of countless lesser-known targets - including waterway retaining walls, dingy rail yards and tunnel ventilation systems - that they struggle to protect from attacks.

US Bond Market Upheaval and Confusion
The US Gross Domestic Product, officially distorted and stated, showed a pathetic 0.6% revision in 1Q2007. When a national economy depends upon $3 billion per day in foreign capital, AND it is slowing to a recognized crawl, foreigners might be exiting, stage anywhere. The lowly USA Today reports that the full 2006 federal deficit was not the $248 billion promoted with fanfare, but rather $1300 billion in red ink. The method used was standard corporate accounting practices, not pro-forma garbage methods intended to deceive. The Leading Economic Indicators are almost all negative, except those related to massive monetary inflation (money supply) and stock indexes (see the Plunge Protection Team). As deficits are expected to continue until removal of both the Executive and Congress via public referendum, USTBonds are exposed from a flood of supply. Foreign capital inflows have changed lately, turning dangerous negative. This will continue.

Trade and financial system negotiations with China are going nowhere, plain & simple.
The US is dictating terms. The Chinese hold all the cards, found in export trade...

The US side prefers not to notice how the impact of sudden currency upward revaluation would inflict dislocations and severe disruption in China. My guess is the US wants precisely to knock China off its newfound legs, and see it embroiled in a crisis. China made big news with its $300 billion investment account, to siphon money out of its SAFE forex reserves account. Despite a suspicious $3 billion in Blackstone (to avoid disclosure, to curry favor), the trend is clear that sovereign wealth funds are crucial in the investment arena. China might have taken its hand off the BUY button with its massive trade surpluses to purchase USTBonds for a spell.

Wall Street, Iraq and the Declining Dollar

A mismanaged war, the oil crisis and a flood of US currency are setting the stage for economic disaster, investment banker Ken Miller reports.

⋅ ⋅ ⋅
No matter how the Iraq War ends, it is clear that the United States is incapable of militarily securing territory against the wishes of a hostile population. And the Iraq War is at the heart of two alarming trends that are likely to have a negative impact on America's position in the world: The demand for oil is rising while the supply is declining, and the demand for the US dollar is declining while the supply of dollars is rising.
⋅ ⋅ ⋅
So the printing presses are spewing out more dollars, which are being collected by China, Japan and others. And those countries are showing signs of concern that they have too much of their foreign exchange reserves tied up in our currency. Likewise, certain other nations are evidencing a declining interest in accepting the dollar as a medium of exchange. It was in October 2000 that Saddam insisted that Iraq's oil be paid for in euros. But now Russia wants payment for the energy it exports in rubles. Venezuela and Iran insist on euros. Kuwait has recently unpegged its dinar from the dollar in favor of a basket of currencies.

The dollar has indeed shown symptoms of its decline in popularity during the Bush years. The dollar has weakened against the euro, gold, copper and other hard assets and currencies...

Mainstream economists seem to agree that best-case, the dollar will continue a stately decline, but in a world where the United States has lost so much respect, where we continue to flood the world with dollars and borrow to finance our consumer habit, we could find that one of those sharp, depression-inducing discontinuities occurs--like, say, a run on the dollar.

Trade war looms over US, China
Ties between the US and China could become turbulent as combative US law makers threaten Beijing with punitive trade sanctions that could draw the ire of Chinese leadership.

A week of high-level talks in Washington failed to end their biggest dispute, over China's undervalued currency, opening the prospect of a trade war between the world's richest and the world's most rapidly growing nations.

The Pentagon warned on Friday that cash-flush China was militarising under an opaque budget and that Beijing's ballistic nuclear missiles could now strike the US.

The administration of US President George W Bush seems to have taken a more aggressive trade stance, while many in congress discuss passing, not just proposing, anti-China bills.

It's Official: The Crash of the U.S. Economy has begun
So what is really happening? Actually, it's simple. The difference today is that China and other large investors from abroad, including Middle Eastern oil magnates, are telling the U.S. that if interest rates come down, thereby devaluing their already-sliding dollar portfolios further, they will no longer support with their investments the bloated U.S. trade and fiscal deficits.

Of course we got ourselves into this quandary by shipping our manufacturing to China and other cheap-labor markets over the last generation. Dollar hegemony is backfiring. In fact China is using its American dollars to replace the International Monetary Fund as a lender to developing nations in Africa and elsewhere. As an additional insult, China now may be dictating a new generation of economic decline for the American people who are forced to buy their products at Wal-Mart by maxing out what is left of our available credit card debt.

China Arming Terrorists
New intelligence reveals China is covertly supplying large quantities of small arms and weapons to insurgents in Iraq and the Taliban militia in Afghanistan, through Iran.

U.S. government appeals to China to check some of the arms shipments in advance were met with stonewalling by Beijing, which insisted it knew nothing about the shipments and asked for additional intelligence on the transfers. The ploy has been used in the past by China to hide its arms-proliferation activities from the United States, according to U.S. officials with access to the intelligence reports.

Some arms were sent by aircraft directly from Chinese factories to Afghanistan and included large-caliber sniper rifles, millions of rounds of ammunition, rocket-propelled grenades and components for roadside bombs, as well as other small arms.

The Washington Times reported June 5 that Chinese-made HN-5 anti-aircraft missiles were being used by the Taliban.

⋅ ⋅ ⋅

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said Wednesday that the flow of Iranian arms to Afghanistan is "fairly substantial" and that it is likely taking place with the help of the Iranian government.

Defense officials are upset that Chinese weapons are being used to kill Americans. "Americans are being killed by Chinese-supplied weapons, with the full knowledge and understanding of Beijing where these weapons are going," one official said.

The arms shipments show that the idea that China is helping the United States in the war on terrorism is "utter nonsense," the official said.

Lieberman: U.S. Should Weigh Iran Attack
Sen. Joseph Lieberman said Sunday the United States should consider a military strike against Iran because of Tehran's involvement in Iraq.

The Case for Bombing Iran: I hope and pray that President Bush will do it
Since a ground invasion of Iran must be ruled out for many different reasons, the job would have to be done, if it is to be done at all, by a campaign of air strikes. Furthermore, because Iran's nuclear facilities are dispersed, and because some of them are underground, many sorties and bunker-busting munitions would be required. And because such a campaign is beyond the capabilities of Israel, and the will, let alone the courage, of any of our other allies, it could be carried out only by the United States. Even then, we would probably be unable to get at all the underground facilities, which means that, if Iran were still intent on going nuclear, it would not have to start over again from scratch. But a bombing campaign would without question set back its nuclear program for years to come, and might even lead to the overthrow of the mullahs.

Could al Qaeda Attack Trigger War With Iran?
Following revelations of a George W. Bush administration policy to hold Iran responsible for any al Qaeda attack on the U.S. that could be portrayed as planned on Iranian soil, former national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinksi warned last week that Washington might use such an incident as a pretext to bomb Iran.

Interview of the Vice President by Bret Baier, FOX News
QUESTION: Last time we talked, we talked about George Tenet's book a little bit. In that book, he says that the al Qaeda leadership is inside Iran; and while they're under some loose house arrest, they may have been plotting attacks and they have plotted attacks from Iranian soil. Do you believe that to be true?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: We are confident that there are a number of senior al Qaeda officials in Iran and they've been there since the spring of '03. About the time that we launched operations into Iraq, the Iranians rounded up a number of al Qaeda individuals and placed them under house arrest and they're still there.

We think obviously there are other elements that are responsible for overall leadership of al Qaeda, specifically Osama bin Laden, Zawahiri. They are not in Iran, but there are some senior officials in Iran. They've been held there for some time. But activities they've been engaged in, I'm really not at liberty to discuss.

QUESTION: But clearly they're there and operating?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: We know they're there, and I don't want to go beyond that.

Notice: Continuation of the National Emergency with Respect to Iran
On March 15, 1995, by Executive Order 12957, the President declared a national emergency with respect to Iran pursuant to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701-1706) to deal with the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States constituted by the actions and policies of the Government of Iran...

Because the actions and policies of the Government of Iran continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States, the national emergency declared on March 15, 1995, must continue in effect beyond March 15, 2007. Therefore, in accordance with section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1622(d)), I am continuing for 1 year the national emergency with respect to Iran. Because the emergency declared by Executive Order 12957 constitutes an emergency separate from that declared on November 14, 1979, by Executive Order 12170, this renewal is distinct from the emergency renewal of November 2006.

This notice shall be published in the Federal Register and transmitted to the Congress.



March 8, 2007.

In U.S., Terrorism's Peril Undiminished
"The United States may have to declare martial law someday," Downing [Wayne Downing, Bush's ex-deputy national security advisor for counterterrorism] said, "in the case of a devastating attack with weapons of mass destruction causing tens of thousands of casualties. This could mean that the military would be given the authority to impose curfews, protect businesses and communities, even make arrests."

Governors normally have jurisdiction over public health emergencies, but a widespread biological attack would cross state boundaries. Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy G. Thompson has the power to declare a national public health emergency, in which he could impose a quarantine and require inoculation or treatment of unwilling citizens in the name of public health.

Oregon takes part in bioterror drill next week
Oregon will test its mettle in reacting to dirty bombs next week.

In a computer-generated exercise that begins Thursday, several dirty bombs will be detonated in Eastern Oregon. In the aftermath of this mock disaster, blood and urine samples will be collected, turned over to Oregon health officials and transported to a lab in Boise for processing. The specimens will then be forwarded to the Centers for Disease Control and other state labs for testing.

"These types of drills are an important element in making sure that we have a fast, accurate and complete response to public health concerns in the event we ever experience a real disaster," said Eric Clark, Oregon's Chemical Terrorism Laboratory coordinator.

Four East Oregon counties are taking part in the scenario: Baker, Malheur, Union and Wallowa. Other states will be involved as well, including Idaho, Washington, Alaska, Florida, Arizona, Hawaii, California, Mississippi and Montana.

Diversionary Use of Force and Presidential Agenda Setting

Karl DeRouen Jr., Department of Political Science, University of Canterbury; Jeffrey Peake, Department of Political Science, Bowling Green State University

Recent efforts at accounting for presidential use of force short of war have centered on diversionary theory (DeRouen 2000; Fordham 1998a; Levy 1989a, 1989b). The general argument is that presidents have incentive to treat an external use of force as a "scapegoat" during times of domestic distress such as high unemployment, inflation, scandal or other domestic turmoil (see Brace and Hinckley 1992; Levy 1989a; 1989b). For instance many questioned whether President Reagan ordered the invasion of Grenada in 1983 while the nation mourned the loss of 200 Marines killed in Lebanon. More recently, pundits questioned the motives of President Clinton in ordering military strikes at Serbia, Sudan, and Afghanistan in 1998 and 1999 because the President was in the midst of being impeached. The scapegoat explanation has become linked to presidential approval because a sizable percentage of all rallies in presidential approval in the post-war era have been related to the use of force short of war. Presidential foreign policy decision making is conceivably affected by the intense media coverage of uses of force. This media attention ostensibly helps focus public attention away from troublesome domestic issues providing a domestic political incentive for presidents to use force.

Note: the following added 06/18/07

Seems I'm not the only one with open eyes. Here's the thoughts of a former Ronnie RayGun/WSJ/National Review insider:

The Bush regime has concluded that a conventional attack on Iran would do no more than stir up a hornet's nest and release retaliatory actions that the US could not manage. The Bush regime is convinced that only nuclear weapons can bring the mullahs to heel.

The Bush regime's plan to attack Iran with nuclear weapons puts General Pace's departure in a different light. How can President Bush succeed with an order to attack with nuclear weapons when America's highest ranking military officer says that such an order is "illegal and immoral" and that everyone in the military has an "absolute responsibility" to disobey it?

An alternative explanation for Pace's departure is that Pace had to go so that malleable toadies can be installed in his place.

Pace's departure removes a known obstacle to a nuclear attack on Iran, thus advancing that possible course of action. A plan to attack Iran with nuclear weapons might also explain the otherwise inexplicable "National Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directive" (NSPD-51 AND HSPD-20) that Bush issued on May 9. Bush's directive allows him to declare a "national emergency" on his authority alone without ratification by Congress. Once Bush declares a national emergency, he can take over all functions of government at every level, as well as private organizations and businesses, and remain in total control until he declares the emergency to be over.

⋅ ⋅ ⋅

What catastrophic emergency short of a massive attack on the US with nuclear ICBMs can possibly justify such a directive?
⋅ ⋅ ⋅
A speculative answer is that, with appropriate propaganda, the directive could be triggered by a US nuclear attack on Iran. The use of nuclear weapons arouses the ultimate fear. A US nuclear attack would send Russian and Chinese ICBMs into high alert. False flag operations could be staged in the US. The US media would hype such developments to the hilt, portraying danger everywhere. Fear of the regime's new detention centers would silence most voices of protest as the regime declares its "national emergency."


The Problem

Michael Taussig, The Magic of the State:

Money, says Karl Marx, serves in capitalism as the universal equivalent of value, and value is congealed labor power.

What is this value, this congealed labor power?

At times you can read Marx and the other great economists of his era (when philosophers of that changing world worried about such things as "value") as if they were searching for the lodestone, the "Fort Knox" of value, and, determined that this quintessence resides in "labor."

But the value of labor?

Well, that resides in . . . the value of the commodities required to reproduce labor!

Once more the circle, the Great Wheel rumbling, and again the figure of the prince intervenes to remind us that "labor" is not only a power like horse-power or a natural substance to be bought and sold like gasoline but also and always a matter of command and submission, a matter of control over the bodily and creative power of another human being — albeit effected not through politics per se, not through slavery or serfdom or family, but through "freedom of the market," the freedom that was fought for in the founding violence against the mercantilism of the colonial power so as to open up trade worldwide and establish the civil rights of citizenry in place of castes and slavery. It was one of the intellectual triumphs of Marxism to have investigated how the person was translated into the worker and how the worker was translated by market culture into a reified object of labor and how therefore command over persons is effected through the anonymity of market mechanisms, how cruetly and exploitation and all manner of degradations and glory were effected through the language of numbers, efficiency, and substances. But what seem to have often been lost from sight in tracing this move from the literality of personhood to the abstraction of number and thinghood are both the original impulse to investigate the conditions for human freedom and the recognition that the reified notion of "labor" was precisely a mechanism for control over persons and bodies.

⋅ ⋅ ⋅

Value, therefore, even and especially in the state of freedom created by the self-regulating market, is ultimately command over labor by means of command over people as things.