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Major Political Donors Have Access to TPP Documents. Everyone Else? Not So Much

By Mike Masnick | Techdirt | January 17, 2014

The good folks over at MapLight have taken a look at the members of the Industry Trade Advisory Committee on Intellectual Property Rights (ITAC-15). As we’ve discussed in the past ITAC 15 is a committee of high powered corporate representatives who are basically the only ones with full access to the text of the intellectual property chapter of the TPP. Those on ITAC 15 are allowed to see the latest text by logging into a system from the comfort of their desks. If Congress wants to see it? No luck. Members of Congress are allowed only to visit the USTR offices, where they’ll be shown a copy of the document in a sealed room. They’re not allowed to bring staff (such as the experts who would understand this stuff). They’re not allowed to take notes or make any copies. Basically, the corporate interests have a lot more oversight over the whole process than Congress does.

So how does one get onto ITAC 15? It’s not easy. Lawyer Andrew Bridges (whose name you might recognize) sought to get onto ITAC 15 as one of the country’s foremost experts on copyright law and its impact on innovation and startups. He was nominated… but denied. But who does get on there? According to MapLight’s analysis, it helps to be a major corporate donor to political campaigns:

  • The 18 organizations represented by ITAC-15 gave nearly $24 million to current members of Congress from Jan. 1, 2003 – Dec. 31, 2012.
  • AT&T has given more than $8 million to current members of Congress, more than any other organization represented by ITAC-15.
  • House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, has received $433,350 from organizations represented by ITAC-15, more than any other member of Congress.
  • Democrats in Congress have received $11.4 million from organizations represented by ITAC-15, while Republicans in Congress have received $12.6 million.
  • The members of Congress sponsoring fast-track legislation, which would allow the President to block Congress from submitting amendments to the TPP, have received a combined $758,295 from organizations represented by ITAC-15. They include Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus ($140,601), Senate Finance Committee Ranking Members Orrin Hatch ($178,850), House Ways and Means Committee Chairman David Camp ($216,250), House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Trade Chairman Devin Nunes ($86,000), and House Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions ($136,594).

I’m sure that’s all just a coincidence, right? If the USTR was really seeking to convince the world that the TPP isn’t just a corporatist power grab to give political crony’s a leg up against innovators, it’s doing a piss poor job of convincing anyone that’s the case.

January 17, 2014 Posted by | Corruption, Progressive Hypocrite | , , , , | 1 Comment

For the First Time, Half of Members of Congress are Millionaires… Democrats Worth more than Republicans

By Noel Brinkerhoff | AllGov | January 11, 2014

Members of Congress continued to get richer last year, resulting in more than 50% of lawmakers possessing a net worth of $1 million or more—something that’s never happened before in congressional history.

Of 534 current members of Congress, at least 268 were millionaires, according the Center for Responsive Politics’ review of financial disclosure reports filed last year.

The median net worth for the 530 lawmakers who were in Congress as of the May 2013 filing deadline was $1,008,767—up from $966,000 during the previous year.

The center also found that Democrats overall were a little wealthier than Republicans in Congress, $1.04 million versus $1 million.  Both groups saw their collective net worth go up, from $990,000 for Democrats and $907,000 for Republicans in the previous year.

Democrats in the House were richer than their GOP counterparts, $929,000 versus $884,000. House Republicans, however, could boast having the richest member: Darrell Issa of California, who has had this distinction in other years. The Viper car-alarm magnate has a net worth of $464 million.

In the Senate, the GOP caucus was noticeably wealthier than the Democratic caucus, $2.9 million versus $1.7 million.

Senate Democrats experienced a steep drop in their median net worth from $2.4 million in 2011, due in part to the loss of two multimillionaires: John Kerry of Massachusetts (net worth $248 million) and Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey ($87.5 million). Nonetheless, the four richest senators are still Democrats: Mark Warner of Virginia ($257 million), Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut ($104 million), Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia ($101 million) and Diane Feinstein of California ($68 million).

The center noted: “Members of Congress have long been far wealthier than the typical American, but the fact that now a majority of members—albeit just a hair over 50 percent—are millionaires represents a watershed moment at a time when lawmakers are debating issues like unemployment benefits, food stamps and the minimum wage, which affect people with far fewer resources, as well as considering an overhaul of the tax code.”

To Learn More:

Millionaires’ Club: For First Time, Most Lawmakers are Worth $1 Million-Plus (OpenSecrets.org)

Half of Congress Members Are Millionaires, Report Says (by Eric Lipton, New York Times)

2012 Personal Financial Disclosures

The Rich Get Richer…and So Does Congress (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)

Wealth Gap between Congress and Other Americans Widens to 9 to 1 (by Noel Brinkerhoff and David Wallechinsky, AllGov)

January 11, 2014 Posted by | Corruption | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

70 NEOCONS PETITION CONGRESS TO EFFECTIVELY ALLOW ISRAEL TO SAY WHEN THE U.S. SHOULD ATTACK IRAN

By Damian Lataan | January 10, 2014

Seventy senior Israeli-centric neoconservatives have written an open letter to Congress imploring them to do more to ensure Iran complies with the conditions of any agreement finally reached with the P5+1 over Iran’s nuclear program.

While the neocons are ostensibly asking Congress to ensure compliance, it is clear that their real aim is to convince members of Congress to support the bill currently passing through the Senate which calls for tighter sanctions against Iran in the event of any waywardness on Iran’s part.

The neocons are eager to see the bill currently passing through the Senate with enough support to make it veto-proof, not so much because they are concerned about Iran’s so-called nuclear weapons program – there’s still not a skerrick of hard evidence that Iran has a nuclear weapons program – but, rather, because embedded within the bill is this clause:

…if the Government of Israel is compelled to take military action in legitimate self-defense against Iran’s nuclear weapon program, the United States Government should stand with Israel and provide, in accordance with the law of the United States and the constitutional responsibility of Congress to authorize the use of military force, diplomatic, military, and economic support to the Government of Israel in its defense of its territory, people, and existence…

Essentially, the clause is an automatic trigger for the US to attack Iran at any time the Israelis choose to launch a first strike – regardless of whether President Obama is in favour or not.

Partial list:

Elliott Abrams

James Kirchick

Dr. Fouad AjamiIrina Krasovskaya

Dr. Michael Auslin

Dr. William Kristol

Congresswoman Shelley Berkley

Dr. Robert J. Lieber

Josh Block

Senator Joseph I. Lieberman

Dan Blumenthal

Tod Lindberg

Max Boot

Mary Beth Long

Ellen Bork

Dr. Thomas G. Mahnken

Ambassador L. Paul Bremer

Dr. Michael Makovsky

Dr. Eliot A. Cohen

Ann Marlowe

Senator Norm Coleman

Clifford D. May

Ambassador William Courtney

Robert C. McFarlane

Seth Cropsey

David A. Merkel

Jack David

Thomas C. Moore

James S. Denton

Dr. Joshua Muravchik

Dr. Paula J. Dobriansky

Governor Tim Pawlenty

Dr. Michael Doran

Dr. Martin Peretz

Mark Dubowitz

Danielle Pletka

Dr. Colin Dueck

John Podhoretz

Dr. Nicholas N. Eberstadt

Arch Puddington

Ambassador Eric S. Edelman

Stephen G. Rademaker

Douglas J. Feith

Dr. Michael Rubin

Dr. Jeffrey Gedmin

Randy Scheunemann

Reuel Marc Gerecht

Dr. Gary J. Schmitt

Abe Greenwald

Dan Senor

January 10, 2014 Posted by | Militarism, War Crimes, Wars for Israel | , , , | Leave a comment

NSA More Or Less Admits To Spying On Congress

By Mike Masnick | Techdirt | January 6, 2014

On Friday, we noted that Senator Bernie Sanders had asked the NSA if it spied on members of Congress. He was very explicit in how he defined “spying” such that the NSA couldn’t legitimately deny it — since the definition included collecting metadata on their calls — something the NSA absolutely does. In response to press requests, it appears that the NSA has issued a statement to a variety of publications, basically admitting that of course it spies on Congress, because it collects everyone’s data.

NSA’s authorities to collect signals intelligence data include procedures that protect the privacy of US persons. Such protections are built into and cut across the entire process. Members of Congress have the same privacy protections as all US persons. NSA is fully committed to transparency with Congress. Our interaction with Congress has been extensive both before and since the media disclosures began last June.

We are reviewing Senator Sanders’s letter now, and we will continue to work to ensure that all members of Congress, including Senator Sanders, have information about NSA’s mission, authorities, and programs to fully inform the discharge of their duties.

The key line: “Members of Congress have the same privacy protections as all US persons.” Meaning, basically, that they have no privacy protections when it comes to the NSA collecting data.

January 6, 2014 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Corruption, Full Spectrum Dominance, Timeless or most popular | , , | Leave a comment

Aipac’s Tortured Role in Iran Nuclear Talks: Tear Down Deal, While Appearing to Support It

By Richard Silverstein · Tikun Olam · November 29, 2013

The Israel Lobby likes to say (and hear members of Congress saying it as well) that there isn’t an inch of daylight between Israel and U.S. political leaders.  And that’s generally so.  But I’ve just read a memo produced by Aipac which diverges from the Israeli government’s absolutist approach to Iranian nukes.  Netanyahu’s position is that Iran must not have any enrichment capacity.  Essentially, it must renounce its entire nuclear program.

This memo takes a different view:

Now that the P5+1 has inked an initial agreement with Iran, America must not only ensure full Iranian compliance but also insist that any final deal deny Tehran a nuclear weapons capability.

…Congress has provided the leverage to spur Iran to seek talks; now it must press the administration to negotiate a verifiable agreement that will prevent Iran from ever building nuclear weapons.

Interestingly, this is precisely the Obama administration position.  And the divergence between these two positions has caused no end of heartburn between Bibi and Barack.  So why does Aipac take the president’s point of view on this and not Israel’s?

There are a number of reasons: first, because while Aipac may be many bad things, it isn’t stupid.  It knows that polls show Americans support the Geneva agreement by a two to one margin.  Though I haven’t heard of any polls of Jewish opinion, my strong suspicion is that American Jews support it in comparable numbers.  So Aipac figures: why rock the boat?

They’ve just been stung by Congress and the president’s refusal to endorse military action against Syria.  They don’t want to go down that road again.  One thing that is very important to the Israel Lobby group is to be a winner.  It hates to lose.  It always wants to ensure that Israel’s “enemies” in Congress are the losers, but never Aipac itself.

Further, the group is trying to take a longer-term view.  It has six months either to turn American opinion against the deal or to watch as it unravels.  It must believe it’s better than even money that the signatories will find a fly in the ointment that will cause the agreement to collapse.  Either the Iranians will be resistant or the French will develop a backbone and come to the rescue; or a terrorist attack will derail the process.

Of one thing you can be sure: Aipac is not in disagreement with the Israelis.  Aipac wants precisely what Israel wants: not just an end to Iran’s nuclear program, but regime change.  The difference between the two is that Israel doesn’t sugar-coat its position, while Aipac finely calibrates its agenda according to which way the political winds are blowing.  As of now, they’re not blowing Israel’s way.

In fact, the DC Lobby organization wants to have it both ways.  It wants to agree with the administration that the essential goal is stopping an Iranian bomb.  But it also wants to keep in its back pocket the chance for advancing Israel’s demand for no nuclear enrichment:

The interim agreement does not require that Iran come into compliance with six mandatory U.N. Security Council resolutions, which demand Iran suspend all enrichment, reprocessing, and heavy water activity…

Here, Aipac infers that the mere fact of Iran having any enrichment capability gives it a path toward a bomb:

Any final agreement must deny Iran both uranium and plutonium paths to develop nuclear weapons.

Any final deal will likely preclude Iran from developing nukes, but it will not shut down its uranium enrichment.  No pragmatic observer of this process believes this will happen.  So even the intimation that you support shutting down this aspect of Iran’s program means you really support Israel’s absolutist position–you’re just too slick or frightened to say it outright.

Aipac does contradict the administration position in one significant way: it endorses ever more draconian sanctions against Iran.  Though it understands this brings it into conflict with the President, it couches its position as supporting his goals: to bring Iran to the table and make it more willing to give up its supposed goal of building nukes.

This memo doesn’t mention that if the Lobby wins and sanctions worsen, the current official U.S. policy of reaching a deal with Iran will be dead.  That would leave Aipac as the last man standing in the debate.  A diplomatic solution will be gone and the only thing remaining will be the military option–Israel and the Lobby’s preferred course.

There are several problematic passages in the memo.  Here it outright distorts the agreement:

Iran will retain all of its nuclear material and will be able to continue the research and development aspects of its program….The agreement imposes no restrictions on Iran’s nuclear weaponization efforts…

This is actually not true.  Iran has a large amount of 20% enriched uranium.  Under the deal, a significant portion of it would be reprocessed so that it could not be used as part of any weapons-making process.  This is extremely important since Iran’s 20% enriched material is what would be needed to make a bomb.  Without that, it can’t proceed toward nuclearization.

The willful misunderstanding of the Geneva protocol continues here:

Iran thus far has denied inspectors access to key facilities, such as Parchin, where the IAEA suspects nuclear weapons-related experiments have been conducted.

The deal actually gives inspectors access to Iran’s most secret facility, Fordo, and also gives them access to the heavy water reactor at Arak.  These are both facilities that have been largely or wholly off-limits to the IAEA.

November 29, 2013 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Militarism, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Less Than 20% Of Americans Believe That There’s Adequate Oversight Of The NSA

By Mike Masnick | Techdirt | November 11, 2013

One of the key responses from the NSA and its defenders to all of these Snowden leaks is that there is “rigorous oversight” of the NSA by the courts and Congress. Of course, that talking point has been debunked thoroughly, but NSA defenders keep trotting it out. It appears that the public is not buying it. At all. A recent poll from YouGov found that only 17% of people believe that Congress provides “adequate oversight” on the spying of Americans. A marginally better 20% (though, within the 4.6% margin of error, so meaningless difference really) felt that Congress provides adequate oversight of the NSA when it comes to collecting data on foreigners. Basically, that part of the NSA story just isn’t particularly believable in light of everything that’s come out. Oh, and people are paying attention to the news. A full 87% had heard something about the spying on foreign countries — with only 14% thinking that such a program has helped US interests abroad.

Oh, and it gets worse. According to a different study, the more informed people are about the NSA, the less they like what the NSA is doing. The NSA has been insisting if people could only understand more about its actions they’d be much more comfortable with the agency’s actions, but this study suggests that’s not quite true either.

Neither of these findings should come as a shock to most people outside of the NSA, but for our friends over at the NSA reading this, it would appear that your talking points aren’t working. Perhaps, next time, try (1) telling the truth and (2) not trampling all over the Constitution.

November 12, 2013 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Corruption, Deception, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , , | Comments Off on Less Than 20% Of Americans Believe That There’s Adequate Oversight Of The NSA

Israel Buys the US Congress: Sabotaging the US-Iran Peace Negotiations

By James Petras | November 2, 2013

Pro-Israel Policy groups such as AIPAC work with unlimited funding to divert US policy in the region (Middle East).

– Jack Straw, Member of Parliament and former Foreign Secretary of the British Labor Party

The United States should drop a nuclear bomb on Iran to spur the country to end its nuclear program.

– Sheldon Adelson, biggest donor to the Republican Party and major fundraiser for pro-Israel political action committees, speech at Yeshiva University, New York City, October 22, 2013

The question of war or peace with Iran rests with the policies adopted by the White House and the US Congress. The peace overtures by newly elected Iranian President Rohani have resonated favorably around the world, except with Israel and its Zionist acolytes in North America and Europe. The first negotiating session proceeded without recrimination and resulted in an optimistic assessment by both sides. Precisely because of the initial favorable response among the participants, the Israeli government escalated its propaganda war against Iran. Its agents in the US Congress, the mass media and in the Executive branch moved to undermine the peace process. What is at stake is Israel’s capacity to wage proxy wars using the US military and its NATO allies against any government challenging Israeli military supremacy in the Middle East, its violent annexation of Palestinian territory and its ability to attack any adversary with impunity.

To understand what is at stake in the current peace negotiations one must envision the consequences of failure: Under Israeli pressure, the US announced that its ‘military option’ could be activated – resulting in missile strikes and a bombing campaign against 76 million Iranians in order to destroy their government and economy. Tehran could retaliate against such aggression by targeting US military bases in the region and Gulf oil installations resulting in a global crisis. This is what Israel wants.

We will begin by examining the context of Israel’s military supremacy in the Middle East. We will then proceed to analyze Israel’s incredible power over the US political process and how it shapes the negotiation process today, with special emphasis on Zionist power in the US Congress.

The Context of Israeli Military Supremacy in the Middle East

Since the end of World War II, Israel has bombed, invaded and occupied more countries in the Middle East and Africa than any previous colonial power, except the US. The list of Israel’s victims includes: Palestine, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Sudan, and Yemen. If we include countries where Israel has launched quasi-clandestine terrorist attacks and assassinations, the list would be greatly expanded to include a dozen countries in Europe and Asia – including the US through its Zionist terror network.

Israel’s projection of military power, its capacity for waging offensive wars at will, is matched by its near-total impunity. Despite their repeated violations of international law, including war crimes, Israel has never been censored at an international tribunal or subjected to economic sanctions because the US government uses its position to veto UN Security Council resolutions and pressure its NATO-EU allies.

Israel’s military supremacy has less to do with the native techno-industrial ‘brilliance’ of its war-mongers and more to do with the transfers and outright theft of nuclear, chemical, and biological technology and weapons from the US.1 Overseas Zionists in the US and France have played a strategic (and treasonous) role in stealing and illegally shipping nuclear technology and weapon components to Israel, according to an investigation by former CIA Director Richard Helms.

Israel maintains huge nuclear, chemical, and biological weapon stockpiles, refusing any access to international arms inspectors and is not obliged to abide by the non-proliferation treaty because of US diplomatic intervention. Under pressure from the local ‘Zionist power configuration’ (ZPC), the US government has blocked any action which might constrain Israel’s production of weapons of mass destruction. In fact the US continues to provide Israel with strategic weapons of mass destruction for use against its neighbors – in violation of international law.

US military aid and technology transfers to Israel exceed $100 billion dollars over the past half century. US diplomatic and military intervention was crucial in rescuing Israel from defeat during the 1973 war. US President Lyndon Johnson’s refusal to defend the unarmed intelligence ship, the USS Liberty in 1967, after it had been bombed and napalmed by Israeli fighter planes and warships in international waters, constituted a tremendous victory for Israel, thanks to Johnson’s Zionist advisers. Because of its impunity, even in killing American servicemen, Israel has been given a free hand to wage aggressive wars to dominate its neighbors, commit acts of terrorism, and assassinate its adversaries throughout the world without fear of retaliation.

Israel’s uncontested military superiority has converted several of its neighbors to quasi-client collaborators: Egypt and Jordan have served as de facto allies, along with the Gulf monarchies, helping Israel repress the region’s nationalist and pro-Palestinian movements.

The most decisive factor in the rise and consolidation of Israel’s power in the Middle East has not been its military prowess but its political reach and influence via its Zionist agents in the US. Washington’s wars against Iraq and Libya, and its current support of the mercenary assault against Syria, have destroyed three major secular nationalist opponents of Israel’s hegemonic ambitions.

As Israel accumulates more power in the region, expanding its colonization of Palestinian territory, it looks eastward toward destroying the last remaining obstacle to its colonial policies: Iran.

For at least two decades, Israel has directed its overseas agents – (the ZPC) – to destroy the government of Iran by destabilizing its society, assassinating its scientists, bombing its military establishments and laboratories, and strangling its economy.

After the ZPC successfully pushed the US into war against Iraq in 2003 – literally shredding its complex secular society and killing over a million Iraqis – it turned its sights on destroying Lebanon (Hezbollah) and the secular government of Syria as a way to isolate Iran and prepare for an attack. While thousands of Lebanese civilians were slaughtered in 2006, Israel’s attack on Lebanon failed, despite the support of the US government and the ZPC’s wild propaganda campaign. Hysterical at its failure and to ‘compensate’ for its defeat at the hands of Hezbollah and to ‘boost morale,’ Israel invaded and destroyed much of Gaza (2008/9) – the world’s largest open air prison camp.

Lacking military capacity to attack Iran on its own, Israel directed its agents to manipulate the US government to start a war with Tehran. The militarist leaders in Tel Aviv have unleashed their political assets (ZPC) throughout the US to work to destroy Iran – the last formidable adversary to Israeli supremacy in the Middle East.

The Israeli-ZPC strategy is designed to set the stage for a US confrontation with Iran, using its agents in the Executive branch as well as its ongoing corruption, bribery and control of the US Congress. ZPC control over the mass media enhances its propaganda campaign: Everyday the New York Times and the Washington Post publish articles and editorials promoting Israel’s war agenda. The ZPC uses the US State Department to force other NATO states to likewise confront Iran.

Israel’s Proxy War with Iran: US Political Pressure, Economic Sanctions and Military Threats

Alone, Israel’s ‘war’ with Iran would not amount to much more than its cyber sabotage, the periodic assassinations of Iranian scientists using its paid agents among Iranian terrorist groups and non-stop brow-beating from Israeli politicians and their ‘amen crowd’. Outside of Israel, this campaign has had little impact on public opinion. Israel’s ‘war’ on Iran depends exclusively on its capacity to manipulate US policy using its local agents and groups who dominate the US Congress and through the appointments of officials in key positions in the Departments of Treasury, Commerce, and Justice , and as Middle East ‘advisors’. Israel cannot organize an effective sanction campaign against Iran; nor could it influence any major power to abide by such a campaign. Only the US has that power. Israel’s dominance in the Middle East comes entirely from its capacity to mobilize its proxies in the United States who are assigned the task of securing total submission to Israel’s interests from elected and appointed government officials – especially in regard to Israel’s regional adversaries.

Strategically placed, ‘dual US-Israeli citizens’ have used their US citizenship to secure high security positions in the Government directly involved in policies affecting Israel. As Israelis, their activities are in line with the dictates of Tel Aviv. In the Bush administration (2001-2008) high placed ‘Israel Firsters’ dominated the Pentagon (Paul Wolfowitz, Douglas Feith), Middle East Security (Martin Indyk, Dennis Ross), the Vice President’s office (‘Scooter’ Libby), Treasury (Levey) and Homeland Security (Michael Chertoff). In the Obama administration the ‘Israel Firsters’ include Dennis Ross, Rahm Emanuel, David Cohen, Secretary of Treasury Jack “Jake the Snake” Lew, Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker and Michael Froman as Trade Representative among others.

Israel’s Proxy Power within the Executive branch is matched by its dominance of the US Congress. Contrary to some critics, Israel is neither an ‘ally’ or ‘client’ of the US. Evidence of the gross asymmetry of the relationship abounds over the past half century. Because of these powerful proxies in Congress and the Executive branch, Israel has received over a $100 billion dollar tribute from the US the past 30 years, or $3 billion plus a year. The US Pentagon has transferred the most up-to-date military technology and engaged in several wars on Israel’s behalf. The US Treasury has imposed sanctions against potentially lucrative trading and investment partners in the Middle East (Iran, Iraq and Syria) depriving US agricultural and manufacturing exporters and oil companies of over $500 billion in revenues. The White House sacrificed the lives of over 4,400 US soldiers in the Iraq War – a war promoted by Israel’s proxies at the behest of Israel’s leaders. The State Department has rejected friendly and profitable relations with over 1.5 billion Muslims by backing the illegal settlement of over half million Jewish colonists on military-occupied Palestinian land in the West Bank and Jerusalem.

The strategic question is how and why this one-sided relationship between the US and Israel persists for so long, even as it goes counter to so many strategic and elite US interests? The more immediate and pressing question is how this historically lopsided relationship effects contemporary US-Iran sanctions and nuclear negotiations?

Iran and the Peace Negotiations

Undoubtedly the newly elected Iranian President and his Foreign Minister are prepared to negotiate an end to hostilities with the US by making major concessions ensuring the peaceful use of nuclear energy. They have stated they are open to reducing or even ending the production of highly enriched uranium; reducing the number of centrifuges and even allowing intrusive, unannounced inspections, among other promising proposals. The Iranian government proposes a roadmap with end goals as part of the initial agreements. The European Union’s Foreign Secretary Lady Ashton has commented favorably on the initial meeting.

The US Administration has given conflicting signals following the Iranian overtures and the opening meeting. Some individual comments are guardedly positive; others are less encouraging and rigid. Administration Zionists like Jack ‘Jake’ Lew, the Treasury Secretary, insist sanctions will remain until Iran meets all US (read ‘Israeli’) demands. The US Congress, bought and controlled by the ZPC, rejects the promising Iranian overtures and flexibility, insisting on military ‘options’ or the total dismantling of Iran’s legal and peaceful nuclear program – ZPC positions designed to sabotage the negotiations. To that end, Congress has passed new, more extreme, economic sanctions to strangle Iran’s oil economy.

How Israel’s Political Action Committees Control the US Congress and Prepare War with Iran

The Zionist Power Configuration uses its financial firepower to dictate Congressional policy on the Middle East and to ensure that the US Congress and Senate do not stray one iota from serving Israel’s interests. The Zionist instrument used in the purchase of elected officials in the US is the political action committee (PAC).

Thanks to a 2010 US Supreme Court decision, Super PACs-linked to Israel spend enormous sums to elect or destroy candidates – depending on the candidate’s political work on behalf of Israel. As long as these funds do not go directly to the candidate, these Super PACs do not have to reveal how much they spend or how it is spent. Conservative estimates of ZPC-linked direct and indirect funds to US legislators run close to $100 million dollars over the past 30-years. The ZPC channels these funds to legislative leaders and members of Congressional committees dealing with foreign policy, especially sub-committee chairpersons dealing with the Middle East. Unsurprisingly, the largest Congressional recipients of ZPC money are those who have aggressively promoted Israel’s hard-line policies. Elsewhere around the world, such large scale payoffs for legislative votes would be considered blatant bribery and subject to felony prosecution­ and imprisonment for both parties. In the US, the purchase and sale of a politician’s vote is called ‘lobbying’ and is legal and open. The legislative branch of the US government has come to resemble a high-price brothel or white slavers’ auction – but with the lives of thousands at stake.

The ZPC has purchased the alliance of US Congress people and Senators on a massive scale: Of 435 members of the US House of Representatives (sic), 219 have received payments from the ZPC in exchange for their votes on behalf of the state of Israel. Corruption is even more rampant among the 100 US Senators, 94 of whom have accepted pro-Israel PAC and Super PAC money for their loyalty to Israel. The ZPC showers money on both Republicans and Democrats, thus securing incredible (in this era of Congressional deadlock), near unanimous (‘bipartisan’) votes in favor of the ‘Jewish State’, including its war crimes, like the bombing of Gaza and Lebanon as well as the annual $3 billion dollar plus US tax-payer tribute to Tel Aviv. At least 50 US Senators have each collected between $100 thousand and $1 million in ZPC money over the past decades. In exchange, they have voted for over $100 billion in tribute payments to Israel … in addition to other ‘services and payments’. The members of the US Congress are cheaper: 25 legislators have received between $238,000 and $50,000, while the rest got peanuts. Regardless of the amount, the net result is the same: Congressional members pick up their script from their Zionist mentors in the PACs, Super PACs and AIPAC and back all of Israel’s wars in the Middle East and promote US aggression on behalf of Israel.

The most outspoken and influential legislators get the biggest chunk of Zionist payola: Senator Mark Kirk (Bombs over Tehran!) tops the ‘pigs at the trough’ list with $925,000 in ZPC payoffs, followed by John McCain (Bombs over Damascus!) with $771,000, while Senators Mitch McConnell, Carl Levin, Robert Menendez, Richard Durban and other Zionophilic politicos are not shy about holding out their little begging bowls when the pro-Israel PAC bagmen arrive! Florida Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen tops the ‘House’ list with $238,000 for her 100% pro-Israel record as well as for being more war-mongering than even Netanyahu! Eric Cantor got $209,000 for championing ‘wars for Israel’ with American lives while cutting Social Security payments to US seniors in order to increase military aid to Tel Aviv. House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, got $144,000 for ‘whipping the few wobbly’ Democrats back into Israel’s ‘camp’. House Majority Leader John Boehner was paid $130,000 to do the same among the Republicans.

The ZPC has spent huge amounts to punish and destroy a dozen or so dissident legislators who had stood up to Israel’s wars and grotesque human rights record. The ZPC has poured millions into individual campaigns, not only financing opposition candidates who pledged allegiance to the Israel but mounting scurrilous character assassinations of Israel’s critics in office. These campaigns have been mounted in the most obscure parts of the US, including in majority African-American districts, where local Zionist interests and influence are otherwise absolutely nil.

There are no comparable PACs, Super PACs, party leaders, or civic organizations that can contest the power of Israel’s Fifth Column. According to documents archived by the courageous researcher, Grant Smith of IRMEP, when it comes to Israel, the US Justice Department has adamantly refused to enforce its own federal laws requiring the prosecution of US citizens who fail to register as foreign agents while working for a foreign country – at least since 1963. On the other hand, the ZPC, through the so-call ‘Anti-Defamation League’, has successfully pressured the Justice Department, the FBI and NSA to investigate and prosecute law-abiding, patriotic US citizens critical of Israel’s land grabs in Palestine and the Zionist corruptors of the US political system on behalf of their foreign master.

The corruption and degradation of US democracy is made possible by the equally compromised and corrupted ‘respectable press’. Media critic, Steve Lendman, has pointed out the direct link between Israel and the mass media in his investigation of the New York Times. The leading (‘fair and balanced’) journalists reporting on Israel have strong family and political ties to that country and their articles have been little more than propaganda. Times reporter Ethan Bronner, whose son served in the Israel Defense Forces, is a long-time apologist for the Zionist state. Times reporter Isabel Kershner, whose ‘writing’ seems to come straight out of the Israeli Foreign Office, is married to Hirsh Goodman an adviser to the Netanyahu regime on ‘security affairs’. The Times bureau chief in Jerusalem, Jodi Rudoren, lives comfortably in the ancestral home of a Palestinian family dispossessed from that ancient city.

The Times unflinching pro-Israel posture provides a political cover and justification for the corrupted US politicians as they beat the war drums for Israel. It is no surprise that the New York Times, like the Washington Post, is deeply engaged in disparaging and denouncing the current US-Iran negotiations – and providing ample space for the one-sided rhetoric of Israeli politicians and their US mouthpieces, while studiously excluding the more rational, pro-rapprochement voices of experienced former US diplomats, war-weary military leaders and representatives of the US business and academic communities.

To understand Congress’ hostility to the nuclear negotiations with Iran and their efforts to scuttle them through the imposition of ridiculous new sanctions, it is important to get to the source of the problem, namely the statements of key Israeli politicians, who set the line of march for their US proxies.

In late October, 2013, Former Israeli Defense Intelligence Chief Amos Yadlin spoke of ‘having to choose between ‘the bomb’ or the bombing’ – a message which immediately resonated with the 52 Presidents of the Major American Jewish Organizations.2 On October 22, 2013, Israel’s Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz, called for harsh new sanctions on Iran and insisted that the US use them as leverage to demand that Iran agree to entirely abandon its peaceful nuclear energy and enrichment program. Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon affirmed that ‘Israel will not accept any deal that allows Iran to enrich uranium’. It is Israel’s position to threaten war (via the US) if Iran does not submit to unconditional surrender of its nuclear program. This defines the position of all the major pro-Israel PACs, Super PACs and AIPAC. They in turn proceed to dictate policy to their ‘lick-spittles’ in the US Congress. As a result, Congress passes even more extreme economic sanctions on Iran in order to sabotage the ongoing negotiations.

Those who have received the biggest Zionist pay-offs from the pro-Israel PACs are the most vociferous: Senator Mark Kirk ($925,379), author of a previous sanctions bill, demands that Iran end its entire nuclear and ballistic missile program (!) and declared that the US Senate “should immediately move forward with a new round of economic sanctions targeting all remaining Iranian government revenue and reserves.”3 The US House of Representatives (sic) has already passed a bill sharply limiting Iran’s ability to sell its main export, oil. Once again, the Israel-ZPC-Congressional axis seeks to impose Israel’s war agenda on the American people! In late October 2013, Secretary of State Kerry was ‘grilled’ for 7 hours by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu with the craven Kerry promising to promote Israel’s agenda on dismantling Iran’s nuclear enrichment program.

To counter the campaign to strangle Iran’s oil economy, promoted by Israel’s flunkeys in the Congress, the Iranian government has offered generous contracts to the US and EU oil companies.4 Existing nationalist provisions are being removed. Under the new terms, foreign companies book reserves or take equity stakes in Iranian projects. Iran hopes to attract at least $100 billion dollars in investments over the next three years. This stable country boasts the world’s largest gas and the fourth largest oil reserves. Because of the current US (Israel)-imposed sanctions, production has fallen from 3.5 million barrels per day in 2011 to 2.58 million barrels per day in 2013. The question is whether Big Oil and the giant US and EU companies have the power to challenge the ZPC-stranglehold over US-EU sanction policy. So far, the ZPC has dominated this critical policy and marginalized ‘Big Oil’ using threats, blackmail and coercion against US policymakers. This has effectively shut out US companies from the lucrative Iranian market.

Conclusion

As the US and the 5 other countries attempt to negotiate with Iran, they face enormous obstacles overcoming Israel’s power over the US Congress. Over past decades Israel’s agents have bought the loyalties of the vast majority of Congress people, training them to recognize and obey the whistles, signals and script from the war mongers in Tel Aviv.

This Axis of War, has inflicted enormous damage on the world resulting in the deaths of millions of victims of US wars in the Middle East, Southwest Asia and North Africa. The gross corruption and widely recognized bankruptcy of the US legislative system is due to its slavish submission to a foreign power. What remains in Washington is a debased vassal state despised by its own citizens. If the ZPC controlled Congress succeeds once again in destroying the negotiations between the US and Iran via new war-like resolutions, we, the American people, will have to pay an enormous price in lives and treasure.

The time to act is now. It is time to stand up and expose the role played by the Israeli PACs, Super PACs, and the 52 Major American Jewish Organization in corrupting Congress and turning our elected representatives into flunkeys for Israel’s wars. There has been a deafening silence from our noted critics – few alternative media critics have attacked Israel’s power over the US Congress. The evidence is openly available, the crimes are undeniable. The American people need real political leaders with the courage to root out the corrupted and corruptors and force their elected members in the House and Senate to represent the interest of the American people.

  1. Grant Smith “Ten Explosive US Government Secrets of Israel,” IRMEP.
  2. Daily Alert, October 24, 2013.
  3. Financial Times, 10/18/13, p. 6.
  4. Financial Times, 10/29/2013, p. 1.

November 2, 2013 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Israel Buys the US Congress: Sabotaging the US-Iran Peace Negotiations

Obama ‘should be grateful’ for face-saving chance to backpedal on Syria

RT | September 10, 2013

President Obama should curb threats of a US military strike on Syria by joining Russia’s “face-saving” proposal for Damascus to give control of its chemical weapons to the international community, independent researcher Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich told RT.

Sepahpour-Ulrich said that Russia’s proposal allows Obama and America “to save face,” given the fact that a military strike on Syria would be “contrary to the people’s will” and receive little international support.

RT: Do you think this nascent solution is something that can actually lead to a workable compromise?

Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich: It could. It’s a face-saving out for Mr. Obama, really. Because he doesn’t have the support to go to war, and if he chooses to go over the people of the United States, the majority of whom disapprove of this war, and the strikes, then he’s turning his back on democracy, and they always say in America they want to export democracy to other countries. So this is a blatant violation and goes contrary to the people’s will. And I think the proposal is really being very kind to Mr. Obama, giving him a way out.

RT: Why do you think Russia’s proposal to put Syria’s chemical stockpiles under international control received a positive response so quickly?

SSU: I think it was very positive because, well, for one, Assad doesn’t want war, he doesn’t want his people to die because there are lobby groups in Washington pushing for war. So I think he was happy to accept that. And I think the other countries, although Kerry and Obama are skeptical, they do not want this war. They do not want to go to this war. They do not have the support they hoped to have and yet they have those red lines that they have drawn which in fact were violated back in May. That’s when the United Nations said they thought the rebels were responsible and they didn’t act on it. But then to have painted themselves in a corner and this gives them the way out. It helps America, of course, its allies are happy not to go to war. It might be a win-win situation for all.

RT: The president has recently come out in some interviews saying this could be a positive step in the right direction, but we haven’t heard any assertive decision on his part. How do you think his quick his repositioning on the subject can be explained?

SSU: I think when he saw there is absolutely no support at all whatsoever, I mean even if Congress did vote for him to carry out these strikes, again, Congress would’ve been acting against the will of the people. America’s really onstage right now for the whole world to see. Not from a degree of, perhaps, hypocrisy, but the fact that it’s not really a promoter of democracy anywhere. And I think that this is a face-saving way for Obama to back-pedal on his position, and he should be very grateful that this solution was offered.

RT: Many legislators we’ve heard from say they were relieved by this talk of a compromise. Do you think they were looking forward to a vote on this subject?

SSU: I think they were very apprehensive because on the other hand, any legislator that would not have acted out the people’s will and had voted for war to please the lobby groups – no matter how much money the lobby would have actually put into their re-election – they would still need the vote of the people. So they were in a dilemma as well. I think the whole country, the whole nation was in a dilemma. And this really was a very clever way of avoiding all sorts of conflicts and casualties and allowing America to save face.

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September 10, 2013 Posted by | Militarism, Progressive Hypocrite, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Obama ‘should be grateful’ for face-saving chance to backpedal on Syria

Israel and the Jewish lobby likely to get embroiled in Congress debate on Syria

By Gilad Atzmon | September 2, 2013

Israeli writer Chemi Shalev predicts today in Haaretz that Israel and the Jewish Lobby will be putting pressure on congressmen. In practice they will push for a war against Syria.

“Supporters of Israel will likely be told that at this critical juncture, neutrality is a luxury that neither the lobby nor the Administration can afford. Time to put up or shut up, get off the fence and spend some of the precious political capital that Israel supporters have amassed in order to fight in the Washington trenches for something that most Israelis contend is crucial to their national interests.”

And the verdict is clear, if you have a powerful Jewish lobby in you country, you don’t really need an enemy, you will end up fighting a war with no end…

September 2, 2013 Posted by | Militarism, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Will Congress Endorse Obama’s War Plans? Does it Matter?

By Ron Paul | September 1, 2013

President Obama announced this weekend that he has decided to use military force against Syria and would seek authorization from Congress when it returned from its August break. Every Member ought to vote against this reckless and immoral use of the US military. But even if every single Member and Senator votes for another war, it will not make this terrible idea any better because some sort of nod is given to the Constitution along the way.

Besides, the president made it clear that Congressional authorization is superfluous, asserting falsely that he has the authority to act on his own with or without Congress. That Congress allows itself to be treated as window dressing by the imperial president is just astonishing.

The President on Saturday claimed that the alleged chemical attack in Syria on August 21 presented “a serious danger to our national security.” I disagree with the idea that every conflict, every dictator, and every insurgency everywhere in the world is somehow critical to our national security. That is the thinking of an empire, not a republic. It is the kind of thinking that this president shares with his predecessor and it is bankrupting us and destroying our liberties here at home.

According to recent media reports, the military does not have enough money to attack Syria and would have to go to Congress for a supplemental appropriation to carry out the strikes. It seems our empire is at the end of its financial rope. The limited strikes that the president has called for in Syria would cost the US in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey wrote to Congress last month that just the training of Syrian rebels and “limited” missile and air strikes would cost “in the billions” of dollars. We should clearly understand what another war will do to the US economy, not to mention the effects of additional unknown costs such as a spike in fuel costs as oil skyrockets.

I agree that any chemical attack, particularly one that kills civilians, is horrible and horrendous. All deaths in war and violence are terrible and should be condemned. But why are a few hundred killed by chemical attack any worse or more deserving of US bombs than the 100,000 already killed in the conflict? Why do these few hundred allegedly killed by Assad count any more than the estimated 1,000 Christians in Syria killed by US allies on the other side? Why is it any worse to be killed by poison gas than to have your head chopped off by the US allied radical Islamists, as has happened to a number of Christian priests and bishops in Syria?

For that matter, why are the few hundred civilians killed in Syria by a chemical weapon any worse than the 2000-3000 who have been killed by Obama’s drone strikes in Pakistan? Does it really make a difference whether a civilian is killed by poison gas or by drone missile or dull knife?

In “The Sociology of Imperialism,” Joseph Schumpeter wrote of the Roman Empire’s suicidal interventionism:

“There was no corner of the known world where some interest was not alleged to be in danger or under actual attack. If the interests were not Roman, they were those of Rome’s allies; and if Rome had no allies, then allies would be invented. When it was utterly impossible to contrive an interest – why, then it was the national honour that had been insulted.”

Sadly, this sounds like a summary of Obama’s speech over the weekend. We are rapidly headed for the same collapse as the Roman Empire if we continue down the president’s war path. What we desperately need is an overwhelming Congressional rejection of the president’s war authorization. Even a favorable vote, however, cannot change the fact that this is a self-destructive and immoral policy.

September 1, 2013 Posted by | Militarism, Progressive Hypocrite | , , , , | 4 Comments

Why Won’t They Tell Us the Truth About NSA Spying?

By Ron Paul | August 4, 2013

In 2001, the Patriot Act opened the door to US government monitoring of Americans without a warrant. It was unconstitutional, but most in Congress over my strong objection were so determined to do something after the attacks of 9/11 that they did not seem to give it too much thought. Civil liberties groups were concerned, and some of us in Congress warned about giving up our liberties even in the post-9/11 panic. But at the time most Americans did not seem too worried about the intrusion.

This complacency has suddenly shifted given recent revelations of the extent of government spying on Americans. Politicians and bureaucrats are faced with serious backlash from Americans outraged that their most personal communications are intercepted and stored. They had been told that only the terrorists would be monitored. In response to this anger, defenders of the program have time and again resorted to spreading lies and distortions. But these untruths are now being exposed very quickly.

In a Senate hearing this March, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told Senator Ron Wyden that the NSA did not collect phone records of millions of Americans. This was just three months before the revelations of an NSA leaker made it clear that Clapper was not telling the truth. Pressed on his false testimony before Congress, Clapper apologized for giving an “erroneous” answer but claimed it was just because he “simply didn’t think of Section 215 of the Patriot Act.” Wow.

As the story broke in June of the extent of warrantless NSA spying against Americans, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers assured us that the project was strictly limited and not invasive. He described it as a “lockbox with only phone numbers, no names, no addresses in it, we’ve used it sparingly, it is absolutely overseen by the legislature, the judicial branch and the executive branch, has lots of protections built in…”

But we soon discovered that also was not true either. We learned in another Guardian newspaper article last week that the top secret “X-Keyscore” program allows even low-level analysts to “search with no prior authorization through vast databases containing emails, online chats and the browsing histories of millions of individuals.”

The keys to Rogers’ “lockbox” seem to have been handed out to everyone but the janitors! As Chairman of the Committee that is supposed to be most in the loop on these matters, it seems either the Intelligence Community misled him about their programs or he misled the rest of us. It sure would be nice to know which one it is.

Likewise, Rep. Rogers and many other defenders of the NSA spying program promised us that this dragnet scooping up the personal electronic communications of millions of Americans had already stopped “dozens” of terrorist plots against the United States. In June, NSA director General Keith Alexander claimed that the just-disclosed bulk collection of Americans’ phone and other electronic records had “foiled 50 terror plots.”

Opponents of the program were to be charged with being unconcerned with our security.

But none of it was true.

The Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday heard dramatic testimony from NSA deputy director John C. Inglis. According to the Guardian:

“The NSA has previously claimed that 54 terrorist plots had been disrupted ‘over the lifetime’ of the bulk phone records collection and the separate program collecting the internet habits and communications of people believed to be non-Americans. On Wednesday, Inglis said that at most one plot might have been disrupted by the bulk phone records collection alone.”

From dozens to “at most one”?

Supporters of these programs are now on the defensive, with several competing pieces of legislation in the House and Senate seeking to rein in an administration and intelligence apparatus that is clearly out of control. This is to be commended. What is even more important, though, is for more and more and more Americans to educate themselves about our precious liberties and to demand that their government abide by the Constitution. We do not have to accept being lied to – or spied on — by our government.

August 4, 2013 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Progressive Hypocrite, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , | Comments Off on Why Won’t They Tell Us the Truth About NSA Spying?

US Congress calls for sanctions against Argentina over growing Iran ties

Press TV – July 15, 2013

Members of the US Congress have called for the imposition of sanctions against Argentina over its growing ties with Iran and Buenos Aires’ bid for joint investigations with Tehran into the 1994 AMIA Jewish center bombing.

In a letters to US Secretary of State John Kerry and US Attorney General Eric Holder, the Congressmen cited growing economic and diplomatic relations between Iran and Argentina as grounds for slapping sanctions against Buenos Aires.

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed by Iran and Argentina to probe the bombing at the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association (AMIA) was cited as another reason to take action against Buenos Aires.

The July 10 letter to Kerry said the US Congressmen found it “extremely troubling” that Argentina had agreed to a joint effort with Iran to investigate the AMIA bombing, which left 85 people dead.

Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi and his Argentinean counterpart, Hector Timerman signed the MoU in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on January 27.

Under intense political pressure from the US and Israel, Argentina had previously accused Iran of having carried out the bomb attack. The Islamic Republic has categorically denied any involvement in the terrorist bombing.

Earlier in July, Washington reacted fiercely when Argentina prevented AMIA case special prosecutor Alberto Nisman from taking part in a US Congress meeting to level allegations against Iran.

Nisman had collected a 500-page indictment in which he accused the Islamic republic of “infiltrating” regional countries to spread an “intelligence network”.

In a letter personally addressed to Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, American lawmakers expressed disappointment over the veto of Nisman’s visit to the US Congress and questioned the “veracity” of the South American country’s intentions to probe the 1994 AMIA attack through the MoU with Iran.

July 15, 2013 Posted by | Economics, Wars for Israel | , , , , , | 4 Comments