Category Archives: Black-ops

Drones kill 28 people, then hit the funeral

Drones kill 28 people, then hit the funeral

http://www.raimd.wordpress.com

A recent string of bombings, killing dozens in Pakistan, has the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, or “drone,” making headlines once again. So-called “Predator Drones” have become one of imperialism’s favorite tools of oppression. Bombing attacks by these vehicles are being carried out consistently and more frequently than ever. (1).

Predator Drones are center stage as the US ups its assault on Pakistan’s northwest border region. At least 28 people were killed as a result of drone strikes in South Waziristan during the week of September 19 (2). The week’s two bloodiest attacks, responsible for more than a dozen deaths, took place on September 22. The initial strike launched two missiles at a targeted vehicle, killing seven. A funeral was arranged for the victims in the following hours; subsequently, this funeral was also targeted by a drone strike, resulting in more deaths yet. This absurd sequence mirrors an incident that took place last summer. On the morning of Tuesday 23 June 2009, unmanned drones killed more than 45 people in a series of bombings including a strike on a funeral procession for victims of the earlier assault (3).

Violence caused by drone missiles has sparked outrage in Pakistan, where drones have killed at least 1,700 people(4). The mutilation caused by the bombings makes compiling a solid count of the deaths all but impossible. Even so, it is clear that hundreds of those killed have been civilians (5). Drones have been a fixture in Pakistan for over five years; however, US officials do not officially comment on any drone activities. The attacks fall under the veil of CIA secrecy. It is clear, nonetheless, that using drones has become particularly attractive to decision-makers in the past two years. Estimated death tolls clearly show drone attacks being responsible for more deaths in 2009 alone than in the four years between 2004-2008 combined (6).

With mounting numbers of casualties, drone attacks have become known for their haphazard destruction. Missiles fired from the unpiloted vehicles are often grossly off-target. This, and general belligerence have contributed to the high civilian deaths which have, embarrassingly for the US, included Amerikan citizens (7).

Part of the cause of the vehicle’s reckless imprecision is being revealed in an ongoing lawsuit. Accusations and evidence depict the as CIA consciously utilizing faulty targeting software in the unmanned vehicles. IISI, a small, Massachusetts-based software company alleges that IT firm “Netezza” facilitated the CIA with a pirated, and knowingly-unreliable, version of their software to the CIA for use in US drone vehicles. The location-analysis software in turn may have produced locations up to 13 meters off target (8). IISI was pressured to meet a quick deadline to provide the software, when the company voiced reservations, Netezza allegedly went ahead and reverse-engineered the program themselves. The IISI Chief Technology Officer summarized his earliest feelings on the situation, stating, “they want to kill people with my software that doesn’t work” (9). The lawsuit aims to halt use of the pirated software by Netezza and its clients, including the CIA. IISI has expressed concern that the buggy software may lead to loss of innocent life. Unfortunately, the host of civilian deaths cannot be declared a mere “software issue.” Such recklessness is hardwired into the logic of imperialism.

Predator Drones are becoming a standard instrument in the oppression of Third World peoples by . As RAIM has noted (xhttps://raimd.wordpress.com/2010/07/02/imperialism-drones-on/), US drones are now deployed everywhere from Afghanistan, Pakistan, and recently on the militarized US/Mexico border. Israel used US-provided drones in attacks on Gaza in December 2008. The First World is looking to a high technology, impersonal approach of fighting their battles. These machines cause much destruction, but high-tech gadgetry will not defeat Third Wold resistance. As comrade Lin Biao wrote in “Long Live the Victory of People’s War!”

However highly developed modern weapons and technical equipment may be and however complicated the methods of modern warfare, in the final analysis the outcome of a war will be decided by the sustained fighting of the ground forces, by the fighting at close quarters on battlefields, by the political consciousness of the men, by their courage and spirit of sacrifice. Here the weak points of U.S. imperialism will be completely laid bare, while the superiority of the revolutionary people will be brought into full play. The reactionary troops of U.S. imperialism cannot possibly be endowed with the courage and the spirit of sacrifice possessed by the revolutionary people. The spiritual atom bomb which the revolutionary people possess is a far more powerful and useful weapon than the physical atom bomb. (10)

The Third World majority, collectively terrorized by imperialism, must collectively defeat imperialism. The enemy’s extravagant technology cannot hold up against People’s War.

Notes.

1. Peter Bergen and Katherine Tiedemann’s drones database at the New America Foundation
xxhttp://counterterrorism.newamerica.net/drones
2. xxhttp://english.aljazeera.net/news/asia/2010/09/2010921181212227907.html
3. xxhttp://english.aljazeera.net/news/asia/2009/06/200962317958264507.html
3. Ibid. Protest
4.xxhttp://counterterrorism.newamerica.net/drones#2010chart
5. Ibid.
6. Ibid.
7. xxhttp://blog.washingtonpost.com/spy-talk/2010/09/cia_drones_killed_us_citizens.html
8. xxhttp://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/09/cia-inaccurate-software-drone-attacks/
9. Ibid.

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Filed under Afghanistan, Barack Obama, Black-ops, Fuck The Troops, Imperialism, News and Analysis

Report Back on Anti-Police Demo

Report Back on Anti-Police Demo

(raimd.wordpress.com)

On August 28th, a march against police brutality was held in Denver, Colorado.  The march was held in response to a series of police brutality cases coming to light.

The march was organized by members of Aurora Copwatch, West Denver Copwatch and the All Nations Alliance.  Though the pig media lied and initially reported only “dozens” of protesters, at its height on the 16th Street Mall there were well over 200 participants, including not only much of the more ‘radical’ of the Denver activist scene but also people who had joined in as the march passed by.

The recent cases of police brutality and the reaction they sparked have been unprecedented.  They have led to Mayor John Hickenlooper, who is running for governor this year,  to bring in the FBI to investigate certain cases.  It has also led to city public safety manager Ron Perea resigning,
and the city council settling many cases with millions of city dollars.(1)

The public anger of these cases, and many others not as known, set the mood for this march.  Days before the march a group of religious leaders denounced plans for a march, and instead called for talks with the pigs to reform themselves.(2)  But one cannot negotiate with pigs, and many people outraged about the incidents came out to show it that day.  In the press release announcing the march the organizers announced:  “It is anticipated that Denver police will be present during the march. We want to be clear in our position that due to the actions of its officers, we no longer trust DPD with its ability to protect our community.  We request for the safety of the community members present at the march and rally, and that law enforcement officials keep a reasonable distance from the participants. We are engaging in a peaceful, non-violent exercise of our federally protected First Amendment rights and DPD interference is not welcome.”(3)

The march began by the downtown skatepark, next to where Mark Ashford was beat up by two Denver pigs. He was beaten after speaking with the driver of a vehicle the police had pulled over wrongly, offering to be a witness for the driver in court. The next stop of the march was at 15th St. and Larimer, where Micheal DeHerrera was assaulted by Denver’s grimiest as he was was talking on the phone outside of a club while police were arresting his friend. These two incidents of police brutality were videotaped by H.A.L.O., a network of video surveillance cameras in the downtown area monitored by the Denver Pig Department. The march and protest ended at  Denver’s new $158 million, 1500 prisoner capacity “Justice” Center. There, Marvin Booker, a Black street preacher arrested on drug paraphenalia charges, was killed by the pigs running the detention center. He was beaten to death after he reached to get his shoes, his only possessions of value.  The pigs have refused to release a video tape of the death citing ongoing investigations, but with the similarities to a previous death in police custody, many see an ongoing cover up that has been typical of DPD.

The protesters carried signs and banners. One read, “All Cops are Murderers.”  Others listed the names of recent police victims. RAIM brought signs that read : “Fuck Pigs (And Snitches),” “Self Defense Makes Sense, Defeat Nazi Pigs,” and “Revolution is Good! Resist Amerikkkan Occupation.” Unlike other activist marches in the city, the militancy of this march was evident from the beginning.  The march started with a chant “No Justice No Peace, Fuck the Police.”  Other chants that echoed through the march were “Oink Oink, Bang Bang, Everyday the Same Old Thing,” “Cops, Pigs, Murderers,” and “When Our Communities Are Under Attack, What Do We Do? Stand Up, Fight Back!”  RAIM also did its modest part to raise the militancy of the march, helping lead and initiate such chants through a megaphone.

Overall, like most marches in the First World, the message was mixed to the effect of confusing friends and enemies and in the process miscalculating the actual strength of each.

One positive thing was the rhetorical refutation of pacifism. When the crowd began chanting emotionally-charged slogans, one person put up a peace sign with their fingers. One pacifist type berated a RAIMer for leading slogans against the pigs through a megaphone, saying to us some metaphysical tripe about love conquering hate and peace overcoming violence.  We politely brushed the person off and continued to assist in leading chants. Beyond the inane idea that RAIM-Denver was acting violently with no more power than a megaphone is the ideological wrecking-ball that is pacifism. While ultimately the degree of militancy in a single march in Denver is inconsequential, the idea itself, spread by well-to-do cracker-liberals from places like Boulder and Denver, is poisonous to the struggles of oppressed and exploited peoples globally. In a sense, pacifism is much like Christianity in that it is promoted to Third World peoples by Amerikans and various organizations they support, to the effect of diverting the proletarian from actual strategies for liberation. (We suggest everyone read Pacifism as Pathology by Ward Churchill and Negroes With Guns by Robert F. Williams for arguments against pacifism.)

With the presence and influence of pacifists and deescalaters limited, the march soon took parts of the streets, which isn’t usual for Denver protests. The pigs themselves stayed out of sight the whole time. This was a PR tactic as their presence would have surely escalated the toned of the march further and perhaps created even more instances of brutality. But we are sure that they were observing the march from a distance.

At the end of the march, in front of the Injustice Center, the crowd chanted “Fire to the Prisons” and Asesinos, Spanish for “Assassins.”  There were speeches by activists highlighting the above pig terror cases and by victims of pig brutality telling the crowd their experiences.  A coffin symbolizing the death of Marvin Booker was brought by the marchers and left there at the jail.

Common with virtually all protests in Denver and occupied North America was the great number of stares from people not participating. At times, the march walked past restaurants in affluent neighborhoods. Some protesters expressed affinity with the diners, encouraging them to join the march. Allusions were made that even the rich ‘liberal’ Denverite gawkers would “stand up” against the police.

We ask, why muddy up the picture with outright First Worldism? Rather, these people should be identified, albeit not merely in an agitational manner, for what they are: parasite reactionaries who more often than not support the pigs and the system they represent. Needless to say, the ‘militant’ pleas to shoppers and diners were fruitless.  Ultimately, it was chants of ‘Fuck the Police!’ which got large numbers of passer-by youth to join the demonstration, not pacifism or First Worldism.

At another point in the march, the protesters paused to repeat a chant part of which said that they themselves had “…nothing to lose but our chains” (origanally said by Marx, but of course not attributed to him in the chant).  RAIM didn’t participate in the contrived bit of self-delusion. We ask those who did to compare themselves to the average person from Latin America, Africa or Asia and take an honest account of the many things they could in fact lose. Though such slogans might give oneself a short-lived sense of self-importance, they do little in the long run to advance the revolutionary struggle. It is only by taking a realistic account of the world that one can hope to meaningfully advance the revolutionary struggle.

The contradiction between the police (or more accurately the system they represent) and the majority of Amerikans is not antagonistic, i.e. it will not lead to sustained revolutionary struggle. Not to say that we do not support reform efforts to reduce police terror, but only see the limitations that these reform efforts will do.  There will be attempts by the city to appease the public outrage with more “accountability”, but police brutality is but a symptom of an unjust social order.  Thus it will continue, as in these cases against non-white oppressed nationality peoples and others outside of mainstream society.  Thus RAIM sees any effective revolutionary strategy inside imperialist Amerika as minoritarian, one that effectively repudiates the majority of Amerikans while seeking to work in alliance with the broad masses of the Third World, whom do in fact constitute majorities in their respective homelands. So-called radicals should promote an independent identity and culture of resistance amongst the oppressed in Amerika as well as a spirit of affinity and solidarity with the Third World masses, not a fallacious, reformist and First Worldist ‘unity’ between the oppressed and White activists as a stand in for a non-existent White proletarian.

More actions on these cases will come up, as they have been so publicized they will stay in the spotlight.

==============

Here is a video of the march from West Denver Copwatch.  Check out their website for more information about these cases and their interactive database of Denver pig activity.

Sources:

1.  http://cbs4denver.com/investigates/excessive.force.denver.2.1878320.html

2. http://cbs4denver.com/news/ministers.chief.talk.2.1877579.html

3. http://westdenvercopwatch.wordpress.com/2010/08/26/press-release-for-saturday-march-and-rally/

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Leaked ‘Afghan War Diary’ Causes Reaction in US

(www.antiimperialism.wordpress.com)

On July 25th, 2010, the website Wikileaks released the ‘Afghan War Diary,’ over 200,000 pages detailing the US’s terroristic role in Afghanistan. (1) The documents, allegedly collected and leaked by Bradley Manning, a 22-year-old military intelligence analyst now being held on allegations of an earlier leak, consist of battlefield reports and classified intelligence estimates detailing what we already know: the US is increasing its reliance on private mercenary forces, covert operations and unmanned airstrikes; propping up a corrupt, unpopular government; killing civilians and lying about it; and quickly causing the Afghan masses to turn towards resistance. (2) (3)

The release of the ‘Afghan War Diary’ has caused some controversy in the US, with reactionaries waging a counter-offensive in the realm of ideas. Military and intelligence officials have described those involved with the leak as potentially emboldening the Afghan resistance forces and endangering Amerikan lives. “They might already have on their hands the blood of some young soldier or that of an Afghan family,” one high ranking official was quoted as saying. (4) This is an example of ruling-class double-speak. Not surprisingly, reactionaries malign anyone who resists or undermines the inherently violent and poverty-ridden imperialist system.

Similar oppressor-minded rhetoric has been provided by Adrian Lamo, a former computer hacker who snitched out Manning following private internet discussions between the two. An extreme sycophant of imperialism and the status quo, he didn’t want to be a “coward” and knew the leak of the Afghan War Diary would “endanger human lives,” he’s told mainstream media outlets. He has no regrets about snitching out Manning and describes him as “someone who was easily led.” (2)

Lamo’s reported comments provide a microcosm into the mindset of Amerikans. Values such as cowardice, and abstract ideas such as “human lives”, are seen through an extremely narrow, Amerika-centric lense. Though Lamo had frequent discussions with Manning in which the latter stated his negative views about Amerika’s wars, one gets the impression that Lamo always felt himself above and never connected with the dissident intelligence analyst. He completely disregards Manning’s view on the war, insisting on the imperialist narrative and defending his own role as a snitch. In short, like so many Amerikans, Adrian Lamo is a fucking pig.

Responding to the controversy, Julian Assange, founder, editor and spokesperson for Wikileaks, describes good journalism as controversial, stresses the need for truth in public knowledge and claims those in power often attempt to hide abuses and wrong-doings. Assange denies the leak endangers Amerikan lives and points to the fact that the documents detail massive killings of Afghan civilians by US-led forces. Wikileaks has reportedly withheld 15,000 pages for “further review,” because they possibly contain information which might endanger ongoing imperialist operations in war-torn Afghanistan. Assange and other spokespeople for Wikileaks claim they are attempting to contact Washington for help in vetting the documents before their release. (5) (6) (7)

These latter facts are troubling, raising questions about where Wikileaks’s true allegiances lie. It highlights the disparity between ultimately pro-imperialist, “social-democrat” thought and revolutionary anti-imperialism. ‘Social democrats’ oppose various aspects of imperialism: in the case of Wikileaks, secrecy by institutions of power. Yet, they fail to connect these aspects to the overall system and never make the leap to opposing the system as a whole. They ultimately seek to reform the existing system, not destroy it and build a better one. Why else would Wikileaks go to such lengths as withholding documents and contacting the White House to vet them. Though less extreme and overt, Julian Assange, an Australian, is also a sycophant of imperialism.

The release of the Afghan War Diary will not change Amerika’s public perception of the occupation. Amerikans support imperialism and its various wars, both explicitly and tacitly. This is not due to ignorance or “false consciousness,” but due to their economic proximity to the imperialist-bourgeoisie. The vast majority of Amerikans, like the Amerikan imperialist-bourgeoisie, stand to benefit from exploiting Afghanistan and the entire Central Asian region. Since the election of Barack Obama, the so-called US ‘anti-war movement’ has virtually disappeared while the reactionary ‘Tea Party Movement’ has grown rabidly. Julian Assange is himself out of his mind, if he believes the Afghan War Diary will ‘wake up’ the Amerikan so-called ‘masses.’

Since the release of the Afghan War Diary, reactionaries have also been working to spin its meaning. (8) One senior official in the Obama administration described the information in the leak as precisely the reason the US is escalating combat in Afghanistan.(9) Others have noted reports suggesting Iran is connected to the Afghan resistance forces, which the imperialists label exclusively as Al Qaeda and the Taliban. (10) Rather than causing Amerikans to take pause in their support for aggression against Muslim countries, the Afghan War Diary is actually being used to promoting expanding wars.

The real wake up call for Amerikans will come when their expanding wars of aggression are met with expanded wars of resistance; when the imperialist-bourgeoisie’s ‘Coalition of the Willing’ is met and defeated by a coalition of necessity and its massive army of the oppressed. Only revolution, the overthrow of imperialist power and installation of a peaceable, egalitarian society, will forever turn the tide against imperialists and their lackeys.

(1) http://wikileaks.org/wiki/Afghan_War_Diary,_2004-2010
(2) http://www.cnn.com/2010/US/07/29/lamo.profile.wikileaks/
(3) http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/wikileaks_afghan_war_diary_20100727/
(4) http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/07/30/2968456.htm
(5) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y9uSd-CiD0c
(6) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bD5dxkPwibU
(7) http://www.smh.com.au/technology/technology-news/wikileaks-to-seek-pentagon-help-on-war-logs-20100804-11flb.html
(8) http://www.economist.com/node/16693313?story_id=16693313
(9) http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,708314,00.html
(10) http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/jul/25/iran-backing-taliban-alqaida-afghanistan

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Filed under Afghanistan, Barack Obama, Black-ops, Fuck The Troops, Imperialism, News and Analysis

Obama sends US Special Operations Forces to 75 countries, up from 60 last year

Obama sends US Special Operations Forces to 75 countries, up from 60 last year

(www.raimd.wordpress.com)

The US Special Operations Forces, or Green Berets, are operating in 75 countries around the world, up 25% from last year. Under the Obama administration, special ops forces have been sent to Iran, Somalia, Yemen, Pakistan, Ukraine, Bolivia, Peru, Turkey, the Philippines, Columbia and Paraguay, among many others. Of the 13,000 Special Operations forces worldwide, 9,000 are split between Iraq and Afghanistan. [1,2]

Obama was and still is perceived by many to be fundamentally different than George W. Bush. This only reveals how widespread gullibility and self-serving ignorance are.  Under Obama, the number of US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan jumped to 189,000 at end of 2009, up from Bush’s high of 186,000. Aerial bombings by US-operated drones have increased under Obama. Obama additionally employs an ‘Intelligence Community’ of 200,000 at a cost of 75 billion dollars annually. [3,4]

The United States is, regardless of its individual leadership, the greatest menace to humanity today. There is no force which plays a larger policing or military role worldwide. There is no force which drops as many bombs, invades as many countries, trains as many armed forces and spies on as many dissidents.

While US imperialism and its goons may appear strong, this is not necessarily the case. The real strength lies with the people, the masses of the Third World which make up the broad majority humanity. United under common interest, for peace, freedom and equality, and without illusions about the antagonistic nature of imperialism, the world’s masses can defeat reactionaries and lay the foundation for a better future.

[1] http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/06/03/AR2010060304965_pf.html

[2] http://www.alternet.org/world/147104/obama_is_secretly_deploying_elite_u.s._forces_to_countries_across_the_globe

[3] http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/10/12/AR2009101203142_2.html

[4] http://www.fas.org/irp/news/2009/09/dni091509-m.pdf

Obama sends US Special Operation Forces to 75 countries, up from 60 from last yearThe US Special Operations Forces, or Green Berets, are operating in 75 countries around the world, up 25% from last year. Under the Obama administration, special ops forces have been sent to Iran, Somalia, Yemen, Pakistan, Ukraine, Bolivia, Peru, Turkey, the Philippines, Columbia and Paraguay, among many others. Of the 13,000 Special Operations forces worldwide, 9,000 are split evenly between Iraq and Afghanistan. [1,2]Obama was and still is perceived by many to be fundamentally different than George W. Bush. This however only reveals how widespread gullibly and self-serving ignorance are. By the end of 2009, under Obama, the number of troops in Iraq and Afghanistan jumped from Bush’s high of 186,000 to 189,000. Aerial bombings from US-operated drones have increased under Obama. While the exact numbers are unknown, Obama additionally employs an ‘Intelligence Community’ of 200,000 at a cost of $75,000. [3,4]The United States is, regardless of its individual leadership, the greatest menace to humanity today. There is no force which plays a larger policing or military role worldwide. There is no force which drops as many bombs, invades as many countries, trains as many armed forces and spies on as many dissidents.

While the US imperialism and its goons may appear strong, this is not necessarily the case. The real strength lies with the people, the masses of the Third World which make up a broad majority humanity. United under common interest, for peace, freedom and equality, and without illusions about the antagonistic nature of imperialism, the world’s masses can defeat reactionaries and lay the foundation for a new, better world.

[1] http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/06/03/AR2010060304965_pf.html

[2] http://www.alternet.org/world/147104/obama_is_secretly_deploying_elite_u.s._forces_to_countries_across_the_globe

[3] http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/10/12/AR2009101203142_2.html

[4] http://www.fas.org/irp/news/2009/09/dni091509-m.pdf

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Event: Author Jeffrey Haas On His Book on the Fred Hampton Assassination

¡BEYOND CHICANISMO PRESENTS!

The Assassination of Fred Hampton: How the FBI and the Chicago Police
Murdered a Black Panther.

FEATURING: Author Jeffrey Haas.

WHAT:    A discussion by Jeffrey Haas, author of The Assassination of Fred
Hampton: How the FBI and the Chicago Police Murdered a Black Panther.

WHERE:    AURARIA CAMPUS, TIVOLI ROOM 640.

DATE & TIME:    THURSDAY, APRIL 22, 2010. 1:00 P.M.

WHO:    Haas was born to German Jewish parents in Atlanta, Ga. in 1942.  His grandfather was one of the lawyers for Leo Frank, the Jewish businessman, who was lynched outside Atlanta in 1915 in a wave of anti-Semitic fervor led by many of Atlanta’s elite. Jeff’s father worked with John Lewis of SNCC to set up the Voter Education Project, which registered hundreds of thousands of Black voters in the South. His mother founded the Atlanta Committee for International Visitors and she played a critical role in convincing Atlanta Hotels to integrate.

Jeff graduated from the University of Michigan as an English Major in 1963 and obtained his Juris Doctor Degree from the University of Chicago Law School in 1967. He worked for the Legal Assistance Foundation in Chicago from 1967 to 1969.

In August of 1969 Jeff, three other lawyers and two law students started the People’s Law Office, (PLO) setting up the law collective in a former sausage shop in Chicago’s Lincoln Park. PLO’s first clients were Black Panthers, Young Lords, SDS, and demonstrators against the Vietnam War.  In the month after PLO started, the trial of the Conspiracy 8 (charged with disrupting the 1968 Democratic National convention) began. National Panther Chairman Bobby Seale was bound and gagged inside the courtroom. Fred Hampton, the young charismatic leader of the Chicago Black Panthers led large nationally viewed demonstrations outside the Federal Courthouse protesting Seale’s treatment. Two months later the Chicago Police under the direction of then Cook County  State’s Attorney Edward Hanrahan, raided Hampton’s apartment at 4:00 am. Fred Hampton was executed as he lay sleeping in his bed and the police killed another Panther Mark Clark. Four other Panther occupants were shot, and no policeman was injured.

For the next thirteen years Jeff and his partners at PLO represented the families of Fred Hampton and Mark Clark and the Panther survivors in a civil suit against the raiders and Hanrahan. In 1973 they joined three FBI Agents and an FBI informant as defendants after learning that the FBI initiated the raid as part of its Cointelpro Program to destroy and neutralize the Black Movement.
In addition to the Hampton case, Jeff worked at PLO as a criminal defense and civil rights lawyer for thirty-five years until 2004. During that time he and his partners represented the Attica Brothers, Lolita Lebron and the Puerto Rican nationalists who invaded Congress, as well as the entire spectrum of the Movement including Iranian students, Act-Up, and protesters against US supported death squads in Central America. Jeff was one of the lead counsel in defending the seventeen Pontiac prisoners charged with the capital offense of murder following the Pontiac prison rebellion in 1978 in which three guards were killed.  In 1981, after a six-month trial, all were acquitted.

In 1994, Jeff and his PLO partners together with other lawyers represented the Ford Heights 4; four young Black men framed up for the murder of two whites. The four spent 18 years in prison, two on death row, before their convictions were reversed. The evidence showed that the sheriffs were sitting on documents that proved the Ford Heights Four were innocent and that in fact four other people were the killers. In 1997 the Plaintiffs obtained a $38 million dollar settlement.
In 1989 Jeff and fellow PLOers Flint Taylor, John Stainthorp sued Jon Burge, a Chicago Police Commander for torturing Andrew Wilson to extract a confession. In the course of the trial they discovered Burge and his cohorts had regularly used electroshock and asphyxiation, putting typewriter bags over suspects’ heads until they passed out, a technique known as dry submarino, to obtain confessions from Black suspects. What followed the disclosures was twenty years of litigation, public protests, and constant pressure from the Black community. Eventually not only was Burge fired, but everyone’s sentence on Illinois’ death row was commuted by Governor Ryan, in large part due to the exposure of Burge’s techniques for obtaining death penalty convictions.  PLO’s has led the litigation resulting in millions of dollars being paid to Burge’s victims. Most recently Burge US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald indicted Burge for perjury for denying under oath at depositions that he tortured Black suspects. For more on the People’s Law Office go to http://www.peopleslawoffice.com

In 2002 Jeff and his family moved to Taos New Mexico, where he and his wife Mariel Nanasi passed the New Mexico Bar. They settled a large civil rights law suit on behalf of two Native American children, whose father was denied medical and psychological treatment in custody in the Santa Fe Jail. Also, in Taos they, began the Action Coalition of Taos, (ACT)  which organized a 3000-person protest at the home of then Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in Taos. Most recently Jeff’s family moved to Santa Fe where Jeff is again representing victims of police abuse. Jeff is also a founder of Another Jewish Voice of Santa Fe, which seeks to offer alternatives to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict acknowledging and respecting the rights of Palestinians as well as Israeli Jews.
Jeff is currently the Chair of the Foundation for Self Sufficiency in Central America, which provides support to La Coordinadora, an organization in El Salvador representing 12,000 people in 85 communities.  La Coordinadora provides the structure for communities to build and control their future through sustainable agriculture, youth development programs, protecting the environment, providing food and water security and promoting grass roots leadership. See http://www.fssca.net/.

The author has four children, Roger Haas-Roche, who lives in Chicago, Andrew Hampton Haas-Roche, who is a third year student at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, and Justin and Rosa Haas, who are at Santa Fe Prep High School in Santa Fe.

In 2004, Jeff began writing about the intersection of his life with the life and death of Fred Hampton, the young Panther leader killed by the Chicago Police. Chicago in 1969 was a microcosm of the forces in conflict in the world. The book attempts to capture the mood and political tensions of that moment and how they led to Hampton’s murder.

To enrich his writing, Jeff enrolled in Bennington College’s MFA program in creative non-fiction, where he obtained his master’s degree in 2007. The first part of The Assassination of Fred Hampton served as his master’s thesis. Chicago Review Press/Lawrence Hill Books will release Jeff’s book in the fall of 2009 on the fortieth anniversary of Hampton’s death. The launch event includes a reading, panel discussion and reception. It will be in Chicago at Thorne Hall at Northwestern Law School on November 5, 2009. Fred Hampton spoke at Northwestern Law School forty years ago in Novmeber, 1969.

This event is FREE and open to the public.
Sponsored by: The MSCD Department of Chicana/o Studies, Los Herederos of Change & Esperanza, and Conscious Journey.

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Filed under Actions and Events, Anti-Racism, Black Nation, Black-ops, White Amerika

Movie Review: Shutter Island

Movie Review: Shutter Island (Martin Sorsese, 2010)

(www.raimd.wordpress.com)

[spoiler warning]

Shutter Island, the cinematic thriller by director, Martin Scorsese, adapted from a novel by Dennis Lehane, presents a choice between two narratives. Reality is skewed in the movie. Tension unfolds in an purposeful, ambiguous way, forcing the audience to choose between reality and delusion, normalcy and ‘insanity.’

–Plot Summary–

The story takes place in 1954, during the Cold War. World War II veteran and US Marshall, Teddy Daniels, (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his new partner, Chuck Aule, (Mark Ruffalo) go to the Ashecliff Hospital for the criminally insane on Shutter Island to investigate the disappearance of Rachel Solando (Emily Mortimer), a patient who seems to have vanished from a locked room. Dr. John Cawley (Ben Kingsley), the head psychiatrist, explains that Rachel was institutionalized after drowning her three children. She believes, however, she is still at home and her children are still alive. Dr. Cawley refuses to share any of the patients’ files and implies Rachel may be dead. The island is surrounded by steep, jagged cliffs and crashing waves, the nearby lighthouse was already searched and a heavy storm is rolling in. However, inside Rachel’s room, Teddy finds a hidden note with the message “who is 67?” The meaning is unclear and Teddy begins investigating further.

That night, early in the movie, Teddy has a dream about his wife, Dolores (Michelle Williams), who died in a fire two years before. In the dream, Dolores tells Teddy that Rachel is still on the island as well as Andrew Laeddis, the man who started the fire that killed her.

The next morning, Teddy interviews patients from Rachel’s group therapy sessions. While Teddy’s partner is briefly away, one seemingly ‘normal’ patient writes him a note that says “RUN.” Shortly after, Teddy tells his partner, Chuck, the real reason why he’s investigating Ashecliffe. According to Teddy, Andrew Laeddis, the arsonist who killed his wife, got off for the death. A year later, Teddy says he saw a newspaper article in which Laeddis was found to have burnt down a school and sent to Ashecliff, where he vanished. Chuck asks Teddy what he intends to do once he finds Andrew Laeddis and mentions killing him. Teddy explains he’s had enough of death and recalls his traumatic part in the liberation of the Dachau concentration camp, including an extra-legal mass execution of the Nazi guards. Instead, Teddy says, he wants to find out the truth. From a colleague he heard that Ashecliff was funded by the House Un-American Activities Committee. Teddy says he met a former patient, a student named George Noyce (Jackie Earle Hawley), who killed three people after being at Ashecliff for a year. Teddy thinks the staff is conducting experiments on the human mind. He tells to his partner he’s there to find proof, go back to the mainland and expose it. His partner says they should be careful and agrees something isn’t right about the place. “What if they wanted you here?” Chuck asks Teddy. They agree to find the proof and get off the island.

Back at the hospital, Teddy walks into a conversation between Dr. Cawley and Dr. Naehring (Max von Sydow), the chief of staff at the hospital, about how they should prepare the violent patients of Ward C in the event the electricity goes down during the storm. Teddy notes Dr. Naehring is German, implying he was a Nazi recruited through the Office of Strategic Services. Through briefly listening to the conversation, Teddy picks up on the fact that there are 66 patients at the hospital. Remembering the note he found in Rachel Solando’s room, Teddy asks the hospital administration who Rachel thought the 67th patient was. Cawley claims he doesn’t know but says Rachel was found near the lighthouse  Teddy can ask her himself, Dr. Cawely says.

During the interview, Rachel has no recollection of being missing. She still thinks her life is normal. Teddy is introduced to her as a police officer who’s investigating ‘communist subversives passing out literature.’ She claims Teddy is her husband and embraces him, but shortly after becomes upset, stating that her husband is dead and shouting, ‘who the fuck are you?’

After interviewing Rachel, Teddy’s dreams continue. At Dachau, a young girl who is seen throughout Teddy’s visions tells him, “you should have saved me, you should have saved all of us.” Teddy briefly talks to Laeddis and his partner, Chuck, before finding Rachel and helping her re-drown her children. He supposedly wakes up and has another delusion: his dead wife, Dolores, walks in the room and tells him Laeddis is still alive and on the island. She tells Teddy to find Laeddis and kill him.

Teddy wakes up and due to the storm, many of the patients have escaped. Teddy and his partner decide to go to Ward C to investigate. There Teddy gets separated from his partner but runs into George Noyce, the former patient of Ashecliff Teddy had previously interviewed. Noyce tells Teddy the whole thing is a game and says he’s afraid of going to the lighthouse.

Teddy tries to go to the lighthouse, but high-tide prevents him. Instead, Teddy discovers a cave and to his surprise the real Rachel Solando (Patricia Clarkson). She explains she was a doctor at Ashecliff who was institutionalized after questioning shipments of psychotropic drugs and experimental surgeries. She says she was called insane: “reasonable protests are called acts of denial.” According to Solando, mind control experiments are being conducted at Ashecliff to create ghost agents for the Cold War. Rachel warns Teddy the same may be happening to him, but kicks him out of the cave for fear the staff will find her when they come looking for him.

After entering the lighthouse, Teddy finds Dr. Cawley and the plot twist is revealed: Cawley says Teddy is Andrew Laeddis. Cawley tells the protagonist he has been at Ashecliff for two years, ever since killing his wife after she drowned their three children. ‘Teddy Daniels,’ ‘Rachel Solando’ and the investigation is all a delusion he’s created to avoid the painful truth. Chuck appears, claiming to be Teddy’s primary care physician, Dr. Sheehan, the man previously thought to be Rachel Solando’s vacationing physician. Dr. Cawley displays a picture of the young girl from Teddy’s dreams, and tells him it’s his daughter. Cawley says they’ve been unsuccessful in getting him to accept reality with the treatments they’ve tried. Cawley says they let him play out his detective fantasy with the hopes it would bring him back to reality without ‘relapsing’ into believing he’s Teddy again, as had previously happened. “You’ve been running around this place for two days. Where are the Nazi experiments?” Cawley asks. Speaking in humanitarian terms, Cawley says he hopes this therapy will be a breakthrough in psychiatry, one which will forgo the need for more drastic measures. If Teddy doesn’t come to terms with the fact that he’s really Andrew Laeddis, the next step will be to give him a lobotomy.

Distraught, at first the protagonist denies it but then has another vision, this time seeing Dr. Cawley’s scenario play out: an alcoholic with a manic-depressant wife, he comes home to find his three children drowned and shoots his wife, Dolores. He thinks he is Andrew Laeddis and not Teddy Daniels. He believe Cawley’s story.

In the last scene, the protagonist appears to have ‘reset,’ again thinking he’s Teddy Daniels investigating disappearances at the hospital. Dr. Sheehan, who is sitting next to the protagonist, quietly shakes his head while looking at Dr. Cawley and Dr. Naehring, themselves watching anxiously. The movie ends in a moment of high drama. Before going with the staff for experimental brain surgery in the lighthouse, the protagonist looks at his ‘partner’ and asks, “which is worse, to live as a monster or die as a good man?”

–Analysis–

In Scorsese’s Shutter Island, the audience is forced to choose between two narratives. Is the movie a fiction about Teddy Daniels, a US Marshall who, after investigating Cold War-era, mind control experiments on Shutter Island, falls into an elaborate conspiracy in which he becomes a victims of such experiments? Or, was the story an elaborate fantasy of Andrew Laeddis, who killed his wife two years previously and created the delusion of Teddy Daniels to shield himself from the truth?

During the period in which the movie is set, the Office of Strategic Services and CIA did experiment with drugs such as LSD on US and Kanadian citizens, recruiting Nazi scientists to do so. Through MK-Ultra, the US government secretly sought to implant thoughts and memories and to control the mind, hoping to create agents for Cold War operations.

From the movie’s opening scene we notice something is amiss. Daniels wakes up ill on a ferry to Shutter Island.  He can’t find his cigarettes and is given one by his new partner who he’s meeting for the first time. Throughout the movie, we see Daniels smoking other people’s cigarettes and taking medicine and beverages the faculty at the institution give him. He goes to Shutter Island specifically to investigate mind control experiments and possible connections with HUAC and Amerika’s Cold War policy. Unfortunately for him, he finds what he’s looking for.

Scorsese’s ambiguity, i.e. that he can make the audience question what is real and make them think Daniels may be Laeddis, is a testament to the ongoing delusion of Amerikans today. The choice Sorsese’s offers in the movie translates into real life. Is there something sinister underneath Amerika’s facade; or, is Teddy Daniels- an analogy for anyone who seriously questions and challenges Amerika’s dominant pretenses- abnormal in someway, unstable, delusional, paranoid, etc.? This is precisely the question one must answer while watching Shutter Island.

Like the scripted intrigue which ensnares Teddy, Amerika’s culture is a charade which both covers up for and reflects that which it ultimately serves. In the movie, Dr. Cawley frequently couches his work in ‘progressive’ pretenses even though he is an active accomplice to horrible crimes. Similarly, Amerika promotes itself as ‘progressive’ while simultaneously acting as the greatest global purveyor of violence, both direct and structural.

Teddy, the individual dissident, is pushed to accept a dominant narrative through immense social pressure. In Amerika however, such ‘programming’ isn’t the result of a well-coordinated conspiracy, but a function of imperialism: the bribery of empire’s citizens with stolen wealth.

For anti-imperialists, Teddy Daniels final words are compelling: “Is it better to live as a monster or die as a good man?” Perhaps this should not be taken as a literal choice between selling-out or dying in a blaze of moralistic glory. For us in the First World, being a monster and being perceived as a ‘good person’ are in many ways synonymous: both reflect acquiescence to the system. Thus, once we know the truth, the choice becomes different. Will we succumb to the pressures of First World society and play along, i.e. living as what we know to be a monster? Or, will we continue to inquire and resist, deny the system our active complicity and refuse to be a ‘good person’ by Amerika’s standards?

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Filed under Black-ops, Imperialism, Movie Reviews, News and Analysis, Uncategorized, White Amerika

Hit squad kills Hamas leader, caught on tape

Hit squad kills Hamas leader, caught on tape
(http://monkeysmashesheaven.wordpress.com)

On January 19, 2010, Mahmoud Abdel Rauf al-Mabhouh, a Hamas senior military commander leader, was assassinated in his hotel room in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. According to reports, he was drugged with a strong sedative that causes paralysis. And, while still conscious, he was suffocated with a pillow.

The Dubai police investigation has revealed that the murder was a coordinated effort that involved several individuals. This hit squad was caught on various video security tapes. These tapes show the hit team marking their target, shadowing him with disguises, and following him to his room where the hit occurred.

Who did it? Mossad is the main suspect.  Mossad is Israel’s intelligence agency. They are also responsible for covert and black ops, including paramilitary operations. More than half of the passports used by the hit squad are linked to Israelis who were born in foreign countries but have emigrated to Israel. For example, 12 British passports have been linked to the hit. However, according to the British Serious Organized Crime Agency (SOCA), none of the real owners of the passports are suspects. This is an indication that even the British are pointing the finger at the state of Israel. Many countries are upset that Israel appears to have forged their documents. Australian Foreign minister Stephen Smith stated that forging passports were not the “act of a friend.”

More evidence points to Israel. The credit cards used by the hit squad trace back to companies with strong ties to Israel. One of the banks that provided some of the funds has been linked to Payoneer, Inc., which provides prepaid MasterCards. This company is headed by CEO Yuval Tal, a former member of Israeli special forces. Tal is known for his strong racist views. He stated in a 2006 interview, “It’s a war that they cannot lose. … The Israelis have to win this war.” Payoneer, Inc. has a history of ties to Zionist activism.   Payoneer, Inc. is also affiliated with Taglit-Birthright Israel. They organize trips to Israel for Jewish youth to “strengthen participants’ personal Jewish identity.”

Dubai’s police chief Lt. Gen. Dahi Khalfan Tamim states that they are “99 percent, if not 100 percent”  certain that the murder was carried out by Israel’s Mossad. The emerging international consensus agrees that Israel is behind the murder. Of course, the Israeli state denies any involvement. Even so, Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, the Israeli Trade Minister, bragged about the operation on Israel’s army radio. He even issued a cryptic-threat by stating that the operation proved that “none of [Hamas’] people are untouchable.” Also, Tzipi Livni, leader of the parliamentary opposition and a former Mossad recruit, said the murder was “good news.”

This assassination is an act in a long series of acts whereby Israel flagrantly disregards international law and standards, yet is not held to account. In the end, there will be no serious repercussions for Israel. Israel is a rouge state that does as it pleases on the U.S.’s dime. The racist apartheid state has waged a continuous war against its neighbors since its founding. It is an imperialist outpost in the middle of the Arab and Islamic world, an outpost used by the imperialists to wage war on its Third World neighbors. It is no surprise that Israel carries out murder operations in the region. Such is par for the course. The only difference here is that the hit squad was caught on tape. Thus the incident has caused a bit of embarrassment for the Zionist entity

Notes.

1. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/middle_east/article7044326.ece
2. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/08/AR2010030800095.html
3. https://raimd.wordpress.com/2010/03/04/imperialism-has-blood-on-its-hands-again-in-the-assassination-of-mahmoud-al-mabhouh/
4. http://www.youtube.com/user/KidonBlackOps

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Filed under Black-ops, Imperialism, Israel, News and Analysis, Palestine