The Empire Must Be Fed
It will be enough, for our purposes, to define “reality” as a quality appertaining to phenomena that we recognize as having a being independent of our own volition (we cannot “wish them away”), and to define “knowledge” as the certainty that phenomena are real and that they possess specific characteristics. The sociology of knowledge is concerned with the analysis of the social construction of reality.
==The Social Construction of Reality: A Treatise in the Sociology of Knowledge (Peter L. Berger and Thomas Luckmann)
We have become so immersed in socially constructed false realities that finding the exit door from the madhouse of our collective group delusions is now all but impossible, even for the most astute minds. Perceptions of reality are dictated to us from every conceivable form of sensory pollution, practically from our first breath out of the womb. And, although it may boggle the mind that such a powerfully invasive propaganda machinery does exist and that the tools and mechanisms of its distribution can be so pervasive, powerful and controlling that the vast majority of Americans, and all those that live now within the purview of the American dominated globalized gestalt of corporate–both industrial and financial, military and government thought control, believe they have attained even a remotely accurate, individually derived “knowledge”, in and of itself, is so disquieting that almost all of us choose to accept the lie for truth.
I am sure most who read this have never really attempted to understand the “real” history of this nation. Have your read the two or three excellent tomes on the Neo-Nazi Gladio Armies directly controlled by the CIA and NATO that become the greatest, most bloody state sponsored terrorist organizations on earth, and likely still are? Have you read the excellent and revealing book, The Day of Deceit by Robert Stinnett or similar extremely well researched books with massive supporting reference about FDR’s sacrificing of over 2,000 American servicemen at Pearl Harbor? Every major event that has either led to the rise of the American war machinery and now the total surveillance police state has generated detailed evidence supporting our government and power elites conspiracies of deception leading to the deaths of millions and the increasing subjugation of the American people to the State. What kind of “civilization” would still be raining spent uranium tipped explosives upon foreign lands, with thousands of years of deformities and horror far worse than any torture procedures performed by our immoral Praetorian Guards throughout these lands? Where, in the mainstream press is the outrage? It does not exist, it will never exist. We are simple sheep to the slaughter for one reason, we allow ourselves to be so.
The reality downloaded to us from an increasingly humanity hostile environment creates the illusions of democracy, of American exceptionalism, of our moral, altruistic righteousness while enriching the controlling elites and destroying not only lives in foreign recalcitrant vassal outposts, but whole cultures and civilizations. The American Empire is voracious, it is narcissistic to its core and within the boundaries of socioeconomic and civilizational dynamic self-correcting homeostasis, it is ultimately self-consuming and self-destructive. We are eating our own tail and we will disappear like all empires before us.
The greed and avarice for power and wealth of the limited few, whose collective consciousness directs the empire through a distributed network of like minded institutions, becomes the poison draught that assures our national death. We have arrived at the point where the corruption and theft of wealth, freedom and the willpower of the masses becomes blatant, uncontrollable and absolutely unsustainable.
The Möbius strip of finance capitalism seemingly perpetual wealth machinery for those fortunate to be riding upon it, will be cut. It will be soon–this time even the powerful and mighty will fall, but not without defending their privileges and the immense rewards that have accrued to the power elites of the Empire. Not without a period of true domestic tyranny and global war.
- Washington’s global war on terror is now in its second decade, thanks to the bipartisan veneer it has gained under Bush and Obama. It shows no signs of slowing down; hustlers and freebooters continue to take full advantage, and the war’s unintended consequences continue to pile up. All too often, things are not what they seem.
- Approximately $2 billion of the money that was flown from the United States to Baghdad was stolen and secretly transported out of Iraq in what may be one of the largest robberies in modern history.
- But the truth is that much of the cash flown from the United States to Iraq was never used to fund Iraqi ministries or to meet Iraqi payrolls or to keep the lights on in Baghdad. Instead, it simply disappeared.
- Today, at least $11.7 billion of the approximately $20 billion the CPA ordered sent to Iraq from New York is either unaccounted for or has simply disappeared.
- Bowen got an early clue of what he was confronting during his first trip to Baghdad after being named inspector general. Walking through the CPA’s offices in one of Saddam’s former palaces in the Green Zone, Bowen overheard part of a conversation between two CPA officials walking just in front of him. “We can’t keep doing this,” one CPA official said to the other. “There’s an IG here now.”
- Soon, Bowen and his investigators began to hear bizarre stories about the way the Coalition Provisional Authority was doing business. Bowen’s people heard about boxes of cash being carried out of the CPA’s offices, with no records of where it went. They heard of contractors being paid millions of dollars for projects that were never built. There were whispers of massive kickbacks and bribes, of foreign workers brought to Iraq in slavelike conditions, of U.S. Army officers slipping cash meant for reconstruction projects into their footlockers to take home.
- In June 2004, in the last two weeks before the CPA went out of business and handed the country over to a new interim Iraqi government under Prime Minister Ayad Allawi, the CPA ordered between $4 and $5 billion in cash to be flown to Baghdad from New York in a rapid-fire series of last-minute jingle flights. More than one thousand contracts were awarded by the CPA that month, according to the Los Angeles Times.
- The CPA was shoveling money out as fast as it could be flown into the country, and there were no controls on where that money went.
- Bowen’s investigators obtained information from an informant in Lebanon who identified a bunker there that contained mountains of U.S. dollars, staggering amounts of cash that had been shipped from Iraq for safekeeping and was being carefully hidden. There was between $1.2 and $1.6 billion in cash in U.S. dollars in storage.
- In addition, there was approximately $200 million in gold—belonging to the Iraqi government. Bowen’s investigators were also told that some powerful Iraqi political figures had ties to the bunker and the cash.
- In addition to the cash in the bunker, Wael el-Zein said he later discovered at least several hundred million dollars more in U.S. currency hidden in other locations in Lebanon. Including this cache, the total amount of U.S. currency flown from the United States to Iraq and then stolen and hidden in Lebanon was approximately $2 billion.
- When Bowen and his staff tried to conduct an investigation of the missing cash in Lebanon, they also met with resistance from the U.S. embassy in Beirut. U.S. Ambassador Michele Sison denied Bowen country clearance, meaning that he was not allowed to travel to Lebanon on official business. Two of his investigators who did go to Lebanon were also denied permission from the embassy to visit the bunker themselves. Embassy officials told them that it was too dangerous for American government officials to travel to the area. Bowen saw it as another sign of how little interest the U.S. government had in conducting any investigation into the missing cash.
- Greed and power, when combined, can be devastating. In the case of the missing cash of Baghdad, greed tempted Americans and Iraqis alike, while the power of the Coalition Provisional Authority to make fast, sweeping decisions with little oversight allowed that greed to grow unchecked. Billions of dollars disappeared as a result. Throughout the war on terror, greed and power have flourished just as readily back home in the United States, where the government’s surging counter-terrorism spending created a new national security gold rush.
==Pay Any Price: Greed, Power, and Endless War (James Risen)
Darkness Falls on Afghanistan Oversight
January 29, 2015
This week, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) released its 26th Quarterly Report to Congress. The last quarter saw great accomplishments in Afghanistan, as well as a disturbing reminder of our government’s obsession with secrecy.
The final three months of 2014 marked a milestone in Afghanistan, with NATO formally ending its 13-year combat mission. Combat forces were replaced by the Resolute Support Mission (RSM), a much smaller, U.S.-led NATO force that will train and advise the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF), in which the U.S. has invested $65 billion. Congress has appropriated $107.5 billion for Afghanistan’s reconstruction since 2001, more than $15 billion of which has yet to be spent.
The quarter also marked a more troubling milestone. For many years, SIGAR kept Congress and the public informed about our $65-billion investment in the ANSF by regularly reporting on the effectiveness of the Afghan military and police. That all changed this month when the RSM began to retroactively classify most ANSF data, including information about troop strength, salaries, training, equipment, and infrastructure projects. SIGAR will now publish this data in a classified appendix that only those with a high-level security clearance can read. RSM commander U.S. Army General John F. Campbell’s claim that releasing such information could endanger American and Afghan lives is ludicrous: this data, which is not considered a secret by the Afghans, has been included in every SIGAR quarterly report for the past six years. (We would be remiss if we didn’t point out the equally ludicrous practice by the Department of Defense Inspector General of keeping its assessments of the ANSF classified.)
SIGAR also got the brush-off last quarter from the State Department, which did not answer any of its questions about economic and social development and failed to respond to SIGAR’s attempts to follow up. Meeting such defiance is nothing new for the reconstruction watchdog, which has had its share of battles with State, the DoD, and USAID.
U.S. has lost sight of cash from $70 billion sent to Afghanistan: Inspector General
WASHINGTON – It may come as little surprise that the U.S. cannot track all of the cash it has infused into Afghanistan after nearly 10 years of war and $70 billion in security and development projects. But a blistering audit released Wednesday found that untold amounts of American taxpayer dollars are vulnerable to winding up in the pockets of insurgents, and blames both countries for a dysfunctional tracking system.
How bad is it? Afghan President Hamid Karzai has barred U.S. government advisers from the Afghan central bank, according to Treasury officials who called the bank a “hostile” environment. Nobody is writing down the serial numbers of the cash flying through customs at Kabul International Airport. And the U.S. is having trouble identifying financial crimes because Afghan officials are reluctant to prosecute.
“U.S. agencies have limited visibility over U.S. cash that enters the Afghan economy — leaving it vulnerable to fraud and diversion to the insurgency,” concluded the Office of Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, or SIGAR.
That assertion may not surprise reporters who have tracked wartime money. In Iraq, $6 billion held by U.S. banks went missing after it was returned to Iraq as pallets of cash.
Do you really think that American “citizens”, our power elites in the military, government and private sector are just letting these billions disappear without their cut? If so, you are beyond redemption and have become one with the Borg.
What Absolute BULLSHIT!!! How in the name of God do we fall for the same lies over and over and over again? The same mantra’s and fictions since Wilson and the Creel Commission with only minor variations on the same theme. Could it be that the American people have become so brainwashed that the same simple propaganda techniques will work no matter how recently they have been shown to be total fabrications?