Thursday, August 27, 2015

August 27 - September 22, 2015


31] Raffle benefits MD ASPCA – Aug. 27

32] Peace vigil at the White House– Aug. 28

33] Black Lives Matter Vigil – Aug. 28

34] Wine & Wag/ASCPA calendars available – Aug. 28

35] Film on Malcolm X – Aug. 28

36] Ballroom Dancing – Aug. 28

37] International Day against Nuclear Tests --- Aug. 29

38] West Chester peace vigil – Aug. 29

39] Protest drone command center --- Aug. 29

40] D.C. Free Store – Aug. 29

41] Climate chaos, poverty & war actions – Sept. 22

42] Sign up with Washington Peace Center

43] Join Fund Our Communities

44] Donate books, videos, DVDs and records

45] Do you need any book shelves?

46] Join Global Zero campaign

47] Join Peace Park Antinuclear Vigil

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31] – Want to go to the Ravens game on Sat., Aug. 29 at 7:30 PM? The MD ASPCA has two tickets in Section 123, Row 19 & the deal includes parking! The tickets are being raffled for $10 each or three for $25. The drawing will be held at 3 PM on Thurs., Aug. 27. The winner will be notified by phone and tickets can be picked up at the MD SPCA. All proceeds will benefit the homeless animals at the Maryland SPCA. Contact Tami Gosheff at 410-235-8826 x138 or at tgosheff@mdspca.org. Go to https://www.kintera.org/AutoGen/Register/ECReg.asp?ievent=1145140&en=buLLL0MHJaIUJaPKL9KRL6OULlLPJ6PRKgLSL5MSJlJRI8NTIqK3J8MNIfKOLcP6F.



32] – On Fri., Aug. 28 from noon to 1 PM, join the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker in a vigil urging the powers that be to abolish war and torture, to disarm all weapons, to end indefinite detention, to close Guantanamo, to establish justice for all and help create the Beloved Community! The vigil takes place at the White House on Pennsylvania Ave. NW.  Contact Art @ artlaffin@hotmail.com or at 202-360-6416.



33] – There is usually a silent peace vigil on Fridays, from 5 to 6 PM, sponsored by Homewood Friends and Stony Run Meetings, outside the Homewood Friends Meetinghouse, 3107 N. Charles St.  The next scheduled vigil is on Aug. 28. Black Lives Matter. 



34] – The final Wine & Wag is Fri., Aug. 28 from 5:30 to 7:30 PM.  Barkaritaville-takes place at the Maryland SPCA, 3300 Falls Road, Baltimore, 21211. Bring your animal companion.  The ASPCA will supply the fun: animal activities, food, drinks and much more. Attendees are encouraged to dress in their best tropical garb. The cost is $10 in advance and $15 at the door. Contact Tami Gosheff at 410-235-8826 x138 or tgosheff@mdspca.org. Go to https://www.kintera.org/AutoGen/Register/Register.asp?ievent=1139652&en=dmLPL6MPLcKYKgMSJbLVJcO2LnJTJbN2JrK2LeO2LnLVIeN1JsJ6KmN1JfKXJmOeG.



The 11th annual Pet Calendar is now for sale! This beautiful full-color, 12x12-inch wall calendar features more than 300 photos of dogs and cats submitted by animal lovers. With your calendar purchase, you'll help support the animals at the Maryland SPCA. Each calendar is $20 including MD tax, plus shipping and handling (when purchased online). Purchase one at http://www.kintera.org/AutoGen/eCommerce/Category.asp?ievent=1113751&en=dmLPL6MPJcIYIgOSKbJVJcN2LnITK9PULmJ3LdM1KnIVIeN1IsK7IeMZInIUKiMeH.



35] – Phil Portlock will be presenting his film, "Our Black Shining Prince: A Film Tribute to El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz (Malcolm X)" at 617 Florida Ave. NW, WDC, on Fri., Aug. 28 at 7 PM.  Phil is a native Washingtonian, photographer, writer, producer of numerous video documentaries on African and African-American history, and a social justice activist. Through narration, music and vivid images, this 40-minute presentation captures the short but transformative life of El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz (Malcolm X) from his early life in the Midwest to his rise as national spokesman for the Nation of Islam. Go to https://www.facebook.com/events/1622398101333196/.



36] – There is an opportunity to participate in ballroom dancing, usually every Friday of the month, in the JHU ROTC Bldg. at  8 PM.  Turn south on San Martin Dr. from the intersection of Univ. Parkway and 39th St.  Drive on campus by taking the third left turn. The next dance will be Aug. 28. Call Dave Greene at 410-599-3725.



37] – On 2 December 2009, the 64th session of the United Nations General Assembly declared 29 August the International Day against Nuclear Tests by unanimously adopting resolution 64/35. The resolution calls for increasing awareness and education “about the effects of nuclear weapon test explosions or any other nuclear explosions and the need for their cessation as one of the means of achieving the goal of a nuclear-weapon-free world.” The resolution was initiated by the Republic of Kazakhstan, together with a large number of sponsors and cosponsors with a view to commemorate the closure of the Semipalatinsk Nuclear Test site on 29 August 1991. The Day is meant to galvanize the United Nations, Member States, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, academic institutions, youth networks and the media to inform, educate and advocate the necessity of banning nuclear weapon tests as a valuable step towards achieving a safer world.



38] –  Each Saturday, 11 AM – 1 PM, Chester County Peace Movement holds a peace vigil in West Chester in front of the Chester County Courthouse, High & Market Sts. Go to www.ccpeace.org. Email ccpeacemovement@aol.com



39] – On Sat., Aug. 29, from noon to 2 PM, SAY NO! TO DRONE WAR COMMAND CENTER at the Horsham Air Guard Station, Route 611/Easton Road and County Line Road, in Horsham, PA. 19040.  Join in on the last Saturday of the month for the monthly demonstrations, now in their 3rd year, protesting the establishment of the Drone War Command Center at Horsham Air Guard Station, a central part of the growing domestic network of drone bases, training sites, and command centers, crisscrossing the U.S., funded by billions of U.S. tax dollars, and enabling remote-controlled drone war operations around the world.  Dear Drone Operators: Just Walk Away…Stop the killing. Peace, Your Neighbors.  Fly kites, not killer drones! Visit www.brandywinepeace.com/events or contact the Brandywine Peace Community at (610) 544-1818.



40] –  On Sat., Aug. 29 from 5 to 8 PM come to the D.C. Free Store, the Peace House, 4219 12th Pl. NE, WDC. A free store is a “store” where all goods are free. It’s a place where anyone can participate by leaving stuff they don’t want or taking stuff they do. The items in the store are either given as gifts to the free store or found in the streets. Mutual aid is the voluntary exchange of resources and services. Go to https://www.facebook.com/events/469618309887233/.



41] -- The National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance is planning an action on September 22 in the D.C. area. We will gather at 10 AM in Rep. Paul Ryan’s office to challenge him that the wars must end, that Mother Earth must be saved and that we must eliminate income inequality. We will occupy Rep. Paul Ryan’s office.



After delivering a letter and speaking with staff members, we will next gather for a rally in Murrow Park, before arriving at 1 PM at the White House.  There we will try to deliver a letter to the White House, raise the same issues and risk arrest. Let Max know if you can join us in D.C. for this action. Call 410-366-1637 or email mobuszewski at verizon.net.



42] -- The Washington Peace Center has a progressive calendar & activist alert! Consider signing up to receive its weekly email: info@washingtonpeacecenter.org.



43] -- Fund Our Communities campaign is a grass roots movement to get support from local organizations and communities to work together with their local and state elected officials to pressure Congresspersons and senators to join with former Congresspersons Barney Frank and Ron Paul, who have endorsed a 25% cut to the federal military budget.  Bring home the savings to state and county governments to meet the local needs which are under tremendous budget pressures.  Go to www.OurFunds.org



44] -- If you would like to get rid of books, videos, DVDs or records, contact Max at 410-366-1637 or mobuszewski at verizon.net.



45] -- Can you use any book shelves? Contact Max at 410-366-1637 or mobuszewski at verizon.net.



46] -- Join an extraordinary global campaign for the elimination of nuclear weapons: http://www.globalzero.org/sign-declaration. A growing group of leaders around the world is calling for the elimination of nuclear weapons and a majority of the global public agrees.  This is an historic window of opportunity.  With momentum already building in favor of Zero, a major show of support from people around the world could tip the balance. When it comes to nuclear weapons, one is one too many.



47] – A Peace Park Antinuclear Vigil takes place every day in Lafayette Park, 1601 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, 24 hours a day, since June 3, 1981. Go to http://prop1.org; call 202-682-4282.



Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218.  Ph: 410-366-1637; Email: mobuszewski [at] verizon.net. Go to http://baltimorenonviolencecenter.blogspot.com/.



"One is called to live nonviolently, even if the change one works for seems impossible. It may or may not be possible to turn the US around through nonviolent revolution. But one thing favors such an attempt: the total inability of violence to change anything for the better" - Daniel Berrigan


Chomsky Accuses the US of Aiding Israeli Atrocities in Gaza





Excerpt: "The United States is a violent nation that exports violence to other parts of the world, said Noam Chomsky."

Noam Chomsky. (photo: EPA)
Noam Chomsky. (photo: EPA)

Chomsky Accuses the US of Aiding Israeli Atrocities in Gaza

By teleSUR

26 August 15



The United States is a violent nation that exports violence to other parts of the world, said Noam Chomsky.



http://readersupportednews.org/images/stories/alphabet/rsn-U.jpg.S. political commentator and analyst Noam Chomsky Tuesday accused the United States of providing the decisive ongoing support for the Israeli atrocities against the Palestinians.

The internationally renowned intellectual, writer and linguist said Israel used U.S.-made warplanes to indiscriminately bomb Gaza last year throughout 51 days.

“When what is called Israeli jet planes bomb defenceless targets in Gaza, that is U.S. jet planes with Israeli pilots,” he said, according to Mint Press. “And the same with the high-tech munition and so on and so forth. So this is, again, sadism masked as compassion. Those are the actions.”

Recently, Chomsky told Democracy Now that the United States is a violent state and is it exporting violence to other parts of the world like the Israeli occupation.

Chomsky also harshly criticized what Israel is doing in the Occupied Territories, saying it is much worse than apartheid.

“To call it apartheid is a gift to Israel, at least if by ‘apartheid’ you mean South African-style apartheid,” he said. “What is happening in the Occupied Territories is much worse. There is a crucial difference. The South African Nationalists needed the black population. That was their workforce.”

But, in the case of the relationship of Israel with the Palestinians in the Occupied Territories is completely different, he said.

“They just do not want them. They want them out, or at least in prison,” he said.

He accused the United States' mainstream media, such as CBS, of being subservient to Israeli propaganda agencies.

“It is a shameful moment for U.S. media when it insists on being subservient to the grotesque propaganda agencies of a violent, aggressive state,” he said, in reference to Israel.

According to a United Nations report, Israel killed 2,139 Palestinians in 51 days last Summer. Of those, 490 were children. More than 11,000 Palestinians were injured in the attacks. Three thousand of them were children. Over 20,000 homes were destroyed and at least 500,000 Palestinians were displaced. Damages were estimated at over US$5 billion.

C 2015 Reader Supported News

Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218.  Ph: 410-366-1637; Email: mobuszewski [at] verizon.net. Go to http://baltimorenonviolencecenter.blogspot.com/

"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs

Senator Barbara Mikulski must be challenged for her lack of support for the people of Maryland.


Friends,



I was stunned when I read Senator Barbara Mikulski’s response to my communication urging her to support the Iran deal. For example, she made this claim:



“Many of the constituents I've heard from are concerned about the safety and security of our treasured ally, Israel. I share that concern. Since the start of my time in the House and Senate, I have worked to ensure the viability and defense of the State of Israel.“  She does not indicate how many? Two or three?  She makes no mention of those of us, surely in the thousands, who have urged her to support the president's momentous Iran deal.

Later she brags about how many tax dollars are given to Israel.  This is money which would be better spent in Baltimore in rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure. And of course, she doesn’t detail the human rights violations committed by Israel or mention the oppressive occupation of the Palestinians.  When a U.S. senator wears blinders and ignores the plight of the Palestinians, she must be challenged. 

To be frank, I was insulted by this letter.  It was far from a measured response and more like a plea to become ambassador to Israel.  Reading this letter, I have concluded that she is prepared to vote against President Obama and for Benjamin Netanyahu.  Fortunately, this hawk is retiring after this term.

Kagiso,

Max


Dear Mr. Obuszewski:



     Thank you for getting in touch with me about the Iran nuclear agreement. I want you to know that I take my obligation to vote on this agreement very seriously. After all, one of Congress' highest and most important duties is to provide for our national security. I will reach a conclusion on the agreement only after much deliberation and a rigorous review of the facts, and after I've had an opportunity to pose tough questions to experts and administration officials.

     In April 2015, Congress passed the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act (Public Law 114-17), which established a process for Congress to review the agreement. I strongly supported this legislation because I believed it was appropriate and necessary for Congress to have a role in the review of this agreement.

     My review so far has included attending multiple classified and unclassified briefings from Secretaries Kerry, Lew, and Moniz and leaders in the Intelligence Community. Just as important, I've met with a number of experts outside the Administration. As a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, I am all too familiar with Iran's history of duplicity, and I have asked tough questions in numerous briefings. But most importantly, I am hearing from thousands of constituents on both sides of the issue.

     Congress received the agreement, or the "Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action," on July 20, 2015. Under the framework of the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, Congress has 60 days from that date to review the agreement and its accompanying documents. I am using those 60 days to do my due diligence, leaving no stone unturned as I study the agreement and its classified and unclassified annexes.

     Many of the constituents I've heard from are concerned about the safety and security of our treasured ally, Israel. I share that concern. Since the start of my time in the House and Senate, I have worked to ensure the viability and defense of the State of Israel. 

     As Vice Chairwoman of the Appropriations Committee, I put funds in the federal checkbook to support Iron Dome and Israel's missile defense systems, $3.1 billion in foreign assistance, and $10 million in refugee relocation assistance. Here at home, I've fought to make sure our synagogues are safe and secure. The Fiscal Year 2016 Homeland Security funding bill nearly doubles the support for high-risk non-profit security grants, going from $13 million to $25 million. And I've made sure the U.S. Department of Treasury has the resources it needs to implement tough sanctions on Iran. This commitment to our ally Israel, the only true democracy in the Middle East, will not change.

     Knowing of your views will be helpful to me as the Senate reviews this agreement. Again, thanks for getting in touch with me to share your thoughts about this important issue. Please let me know if I may be of assistance to you in the future.

Sincerely,
Barbara A. Mikulski
United States Senator


Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218.  Ph: 410-366-1637; Email: mobuszewski [at] verizon.net. Go to http://baltimorenonviolencecenter.blogspot.com/

"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

U.S. Bows Out After PLowshares Conviction is Vacated; Appeals Court Ill-Informed on Nuclear Overkill


U.S. Bows Out After Plowshares Conviction is Vacated: Appeals Court Ill-Informed on Nuclear Overkill


Friday, August 21, 2015 - 23:20 Updated 10 hours ago By John LaForge


   The 2012 Transform Now Plowshares anti-nuclear action made the “Fort Knox” of weapons-grade uranium look like “F Troop.” Three senior peace activists got through four chain-link fences and past multiple “lethal force” zones before stringing banners, spray-painting slogans and pouring blood on the Highly-Enriched Uranium Materials Facility, in Oak Ridge, Tennessee – all without being noticed by guards.


The guard that finally spotted the three activists – Sr. Megan Rice, 85, of New York City, Greg Boertje-Obed, 60, of Duluth, and Michael Walli, 66, of Washington, D.C. – testified that he knew a peace protest when he saw one. He had watched a lot of them while on duty at Rocky Flats, the former plutonium warhead factory near Denver, Colorado. That’s why he shrugged off official protocol and didn’t draw his gun on Greg, Megan and Michael that night.


Yet the trial judge, the prosecutor, government witnesses, and the Knoxville, Tennessee, jury decided to transform symbolic peace protest into “sabotage” – the “intentional and willful” injuring of “national defense.” The trial judge, Amul Thapar – after first forbidding any expert defense evidence or testimony regarding the outlaw status of nuclear weapons production – played his part and waited for the inevitable default convictions (on sabotage and damage to property), then ordered the senior citizens jailed pending sentencing because, he said, the technical terms of the charge fit the definition of a “federal crime of terrorism.” Commentators howled at the idea of equating sloganeering and spray painting with bomb building, but the religious pacifists were taken away in cuffs and ankle chains – just like any dissident in China, Iran or North Korea.


Finally, after three years of legal wrangling and 24 months in jail and prison, a successful appeal decision has hinted at what a kangaroo Kabuki dance the trial was. Last May, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, voting two-to-one, threw out the “sabotage” convictions, declaring, “No rational jury could find that the defendants had that intent [sabotage] when they cut the fences… Nor could a rational jury find that the defendants had that intent when they engaged in the protest activities outside.” U.S. Circuit Judge Raymond Kethledge, writing for the majority said, “It takes more than bad publicity to injure the national defense.”


The Appeals Court decision could have been challenged by the Justice Department with an appeal to all 23 judges of the 6th Circuit, but on June 22 the government threw in the towel. Re-sentencing on the damage charge is set for Sept. 15, but no more prison time is expected after the Appeals Court wrote that the two years already served by Greg, Megan and Michael is “substantially” more than what federal guidelines require.


Blind Spot Taints Appeals Court Decision


The Appeals Court made one grossly ill-informed distinction between the case at issue and two previous Plowshares actions. In symbolic protests against Minuteman III nuclear missile silos, the “Silo Pruning Hooks” (Carl Kabat, Helen Woodson, Paul Kabat, and Larry Cloud Morgan) damaged a concrete silo lid in Missouri in 1985; and the “Sacred Earth and Space Plowshares” (Sisters Ardeth Platte, Carol Gilbert, and Jackie Hudson) did symbolic damage to a silo in Colorado in 2002.


The Appeals Court claimed that, unlike actions taken at weapons manufacturing sites, protests against bunkers with armed nuclear weapons on alert like Minuteman missiles should be characterized as “sabotage” because “even a brief disruption of operations would have grievously impaired the nation’s ability to attack and defend. (Imagine, for example, if Soviet [sic] infiltrators had similarly disrupted the facilities’ operations in the minutes before a Soviet first strike.)”


This hypothetical scenario by the Appeals Court betrays a profound ignorance of the size of the U.S. nuclear arsenal, its diversity, and destructive capacity. The United States had 450 Minuteman III missiles ready to launch, not just one.


Further, in addition to dozens of nuclear-armed B-52 and B-2 bombers, the Navy has 14 Trident submarines, each armed with 24 missiles, each of which carry five to eight nuclear warheads that can fly 6,000 miles. If only four of these submarines are simultaneously on patrol, their 480-768 warheads could incinerate every major city on Earth -- not merely those in “Soviet” territory.


Even the Air Force knows its overkill capacity. A computer glitch at Wyoming’s FE Warren Air Force Base in October 2010 took 50 Minuteman missiles off-line. Yet, according to Lt. Gen. Dirk Jameson, Deputy Commander in Chief of Strategic Command, the shutdown had “no real bearing on the capabilities of our nuclear forces.” Lt. Col. John Thomas, a spokesman for the Air Force’s Global Strike Command, said at the time, “The wartime capability of that squadron [of missiles] was never significantly affected.” The Appeals Court is also ignorant of the fact that dozens of Minuteman missiles are regularly “disrupted,” for repairs or upgrades, without any slacking of U.S. nuclear war readiness.


The Appeals Court cited the testimony of an Air Force Lt. Col. who said, regarding missile protests, that “it would be unwise to launch the missile in those circumstances.” And thousands of higher authorities have gone further and said it would be unwise to launch nuclear attacks under any circumstances. In what should stand as the last word on the subject, former Reagan Presidential Adviser and Cold War anti-Soviet hawk Paul Nitze wrote in 1999, “I can think of no circumstances under which it would be wise for the United States to use nuclear weapons, even in retaliation for their prior use against U.S. …” This from arguably the most hawkish of US officials in the Cold War.


John LaForge, syndicated by PeaceVoice, works for Nukewatch, a nuclear watchdog group in Wisconsin and edits its Quarterly newsletter.


Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218.  Ph: 410-366-1637; Email: mobuszewski [at] verizon.net. Go to http://baltimorenonviolencecenter.blogspot.com/


"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs

Stop a war with Iran/Meet me at Rep. Sarbanes' office on Aug. 26 at 4:30 PM/Delegations to go to the offices of Cardin, Cummings, Hoyer, Delaney, Mikulski and Sarbanes





Please also take photos and video and tweet from the event using #NoWarWithIran and @MoveOn.



You can also send PHOTOS right after the event at this email address: photo@moveon.org



Please review the following talking points, in the case that we should have media present:



TALKING POINTS: 






TO EASILY IDENTIFY OTHER ATTENDEES TO THIS EVENT, PLEASE PRINT THESE SIGNS 

Would also be great to bring extra  signs to show that we’re united. 

Handmade signs are welcomed too! 







Sincerely Your Host,



Max Obuszewski



727-543-3227



Baltimore Pledge of Resistance, 325 East 25th Street, Baltimore 21218 – mobuszewski at Verizon dot net or 410-366-1637

PRESS ADVISORY: August 25, 2015

Contact:          Max Obuszewski, 727-543-3227, mobuszewski at Verizon dot net

Maryland Citizen Activists to Urge Legislators to Support Iran Deal
Delegations to go to the offices of Cardin, Cummings, Hoyer, Delaney, Mikulski and Sarbanes

WHAT: Citizen advocates will have a presence at the offices of several Maryland legislators to urge them to support the nuclear agreement with Iran.  These gatherings follow up on the August 20 actions at four of Senator Ben Cardin’s offices.



WHEN/WHERE:



Noon at the office of Sen. Ben Cardin

100 S. Charles Street

Tower 1, Suite 1710

Baltimore, MD, 21201



Noon at the office of Rep. Elijah Cummings

8267 Main Street Room 102

Ellicott City, MD 21043



Noon  at the office of Rep. Steny Hoyer

1705 Longworth House Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20515



At 3:30 PM at the office of Sen. Barbara Mikulski

901 S. Bond Street, Ste. 310

Baltimore, MD 21231



At 4 PM at the office of Rep. John Delaney

38 South Potomac Street

Suite 205

Hagerstown, MD 21740



At 4:30 PM at the office of Rep. John Sarbanes

600 Baltimore Avenue, Suite 303

Towson, MD 21204



BACKGROUND: Marylanders from across the state are mobilizing to encourage their Congressional representatives to support the negotiated deal with Iran. The deal will restrict Iran’s ability to develop a nuclear bomb and will likely prevent another war.



Recent polls show that a vast majority of citizens oppose military intervention with Iran and support the agreement.  Max Obuszewski with the Baltimore Pledge recognizes an urgency in this upcoming vote.  “The choice is clear—diplomacy or war.”



Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218.  Ph: 410-366-1637; Email: mobuszewski [at] verizon.net. Go to http://baltimorenonviolencecenter.blogspot.com/



"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs




Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Deliver petition to Rep. Sarbanes' office on Aug. 26 at 4:30 PM/Former US Military Top-Brass Working for Companies Profiting from Drone Warfare


   On Wed., Aug. 26 at 4:30 PM a delegation will go to Rep. John Sarbanes’ office, 600 Baltimore Ave., Suite 303, Towson 21204, to deliver a petition urging him to vote in favor of the Iran deal. Let Max know if you can go to Sarbanes’ office--410-366-1637 or mobuszewski at verizon.net. Are you a constituent?






Revealed: The Former US Military Top-Brass Working for Companies Profiting from Drone Warfare

August 20, 2015

By Solomon Hughes

https://vice-images.vice.com/images/content-images/2015/08/19/drone-wards-revolving-doors-742-body-image-1439996534.jpg?resize=*:*&output-quality=

An MQ-9 Reaper Drone (Image via)

Generals and other top military staff who ran the US "Drone Wars" in the Middle East now work for the top drone firms, with lucrative positions at private contractors holding big contracts to help run the remotely controlled killing machines.

Supposedly "targeted killings" by drones have led to international concern, as victims of "surgical strikes" carried out by the unmanned weapons include wedding parties in Yemen, friendly-fire killings of Afghan soldiers, and nearly 200 children in Pakistan.

So, wreaking mass death from above is a negative, but on the positive side they have also led to big contracts for defence firms. A Bureau of Investigative Journalism investigation identified a bunch big companies that have major contracts helping analyse data and other support work that drones need to operate.

The Bureau found a booming private business analysing the images and data from drones to help the American military decide if and when the unmanned aircraft should launch their missiles and kill people. This was a new, privately run info-war, with companies on contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollar supporting the "intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance" (ISR) that makes drones kill.

Now a separate analysis by VICE reveals a revolving door between the parts of the military responsible for drone attacks, and the private firms that have lucrative contracts to support drone warfare. In other words, ex-Generals are using their cache as military experts to work for drone companies with a financial interest in promoting new forms of war.



  • https://vice-images.vice.com/images/content-images/2015/08/19/drone-wards-revolving-doors-742-body-image-1439994237.jpg?resize=*:*&output-quality=
    General James Mattis in 2012 (Photo via US Naval War College)
    To take one example, ex-General James Mattis is on the board of General Dynamics. General Dynamics are a drone manufacturer, as well as having held a contract for analysing footage from drones. They are both involved in the old fashioned "physical" war and the new "info" war.
    Mattis – who declared in 2005 that it was "fun to shoot some people" in the Afghan conflict – was the head of Centcom in 2010 until 2013. Centcom is the US Department of Defence's Central Command in charge of all operations in the Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia. As head of Centcom, Mattis "oversaw the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and was responsible for a region that includes Syria, Iran, Yemen."
    Mattis is now regularly quoted in the media calling for a firmer military stance in the Middle East. He even testified recently at Congress alongside Jack Keane – another former General (and architect of the "Surge" in Iraq) who also sits on the General Dynamics board. In January, Mattis warned Senators against "mindless sequestration" – budget cuts – because America has to use "its ability to intimidate to ensure freedom for future generations" with more "forward-deployed forces overseas", and a military prepared for different types of warfare "including the pervasive cyber domain." I guess that would be the domain that his employer operates in.
    Consultants Booz Allen Hamilton were also identified as a drone war firm, with a contract for "supporting special operations". Last February, Booz Allen hired US Army Chief Information Officer Lieutenant General Susan Lawrence as a Senior Vice President. Lawrence had also been the Commanding General of "Netcom" – the US Army Technology Command, in charge of all their "Command, Control, Communications, and Computers". She was in charge of the technology which was used for the surveillance of the battlefield enemy.
    Lieutenant General Lawrence's first public appearance for Booz Hamilton this year involved showing off the firm's cyber capabilities at a military conference organised by the "Association for the United States Army" attended by "key leaders from the Army, Department of Defence and Congress".



  • https://vice-images.vice.com/images/content-images/2015/08/20/drone-wards-revolving-doors-742-body-image-1440064427.jpg?resize=*:*&output-quality=
    General Ann E Dunwoody (Photo via US Army)
    L-3 Communications won a contract for imagery analysis and earned $155 million (£99 million) over five years from 2010. The company boasts that, "Many of L-3's top business leaders are former military personnel". Their board includes General Ann E Dunwoody. She is the first woman to become a four star general. She was put in charge of the US Army Materiel Command by George Bush in 2008 until her retirement in 2012. This position included responsibility for the research and development of weapons systems. Now L-3 can draw on that experience.
    The Bureau of Investigative Journalism identified a lesser known firm – Ohio based MacAulay Brown – which has had contracts to "support targeting, information operations". The firm's advisory board includes Lieutenant General Rhett Hernandez. Until 2013 he was "the first Commander of Army Cyber Command", in charge of what the firm described on its website as "building a cyber force of more than 17,000 people" for the US Army. The company boasts, "He developed strategic direction, requirements and an acquisition approach for all cyberspace operations in the Army". Hernandez could be a valuable asset as America outsources the building of a cyber force to companies such as MacAulay Brown.
    Britain's BAE Systems is another company gaining from drone wars. They have contracts for "video analysis" and other drone-supporting work with the US military. The arms company has tried to attract the talent of the military-security establishment to the top of their corporate structure, but its US board lacks an equivalent of the former generals and drone war specialists found in other arms firms.
    Lower down the totem pole, however, BAE have appointed this kind of staff. They seem to have had a hard time hanging on to their expertise. John "Jack" McCracken was BAE's director for "Global Analysis" in their "Systems Intelligence & Security" group in Washington which hires many ex-military "intelligence analysts" for work. According to BAE, Jack McCracken "holds extensive experience conducting joint and combined intelligence operations in the Middle East". He worked in Washington for the "US Special Operations Command" – the "anti-terror" command, which runs many of the drone attacks in the Middle East. McCracken helped them form with relationships with the "national intelligence community", upon which the drone wars rely to identify targets.
    Robert Fectau, previously "Chief Information Officer" for the "US Army Intelligence & Security Command", went on to become the Chief Information Officer for BAE's "Systems Intelligence & Security" group.
    McCracken appears to have left BAE, while Fectau joined their competitor – a US firm called SAIC – "a leading services and solutions provider for homeland security, military, defense, intelligence, and other government agencies".
    In 1961 US President Eisenhower spoke of a new danger in American politics – a "conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry". He warned that, "In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist."
    Concern about this military-industrial complex has waxed and waned ever since Eisenhower's warning. During the height of the Iraq War, the obvious sins of politically connected contractors like Halliburton or Blackwater became a big political issue. But the turn to drones has taken the war on terror off the front pages, not least by reducing western casualties.
    Nevertheless, the military-industrial complex are fully exploiting the drone wars, as rich companies encourage, enable and profit from a new wave of IT-enabled killing. This is all with a little help from their new employees, freshly recruited from the ranks of the US military top brass.
    Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218.  Ph: 410-366-1637; Email: mobuszewski [at] verizon.net. Go to http://baltimorenonviolencecenter.blogspot.com/
    "The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs

Urge Rep. Sarbanes on August 26 at 4:30 PM to vote for Iran deal/Vatican supports Iran deal





Your No War with Iran event is coming up this Wednesday Aug. 26 at 4:30 pm, and your



presence is so important! Rep. John Sarbanes needs to see that his constituents



want him to do the right thing and avoid the path to war with Iran.



Again, the event begins Wednesday at 4:30 pm at 600 Baltimore Avenue, Suite 303, Towson, MD 21204



The most important thing is to have as many people as we can to show Rep. John Sarbanes that his constituents support peace.



Can you send this link to your friends?








Please also take photos and video and tweet from the event using #NoWarWithIran and @MoveOn.



Please review the following talking points, in the case that we should have media present:



TALKING POINTS:






Would also be great to bring extra  signs to show that we’re united. Handmade signs are welcomed too! Download the signs here: http://s3.moveon.org/pdfs/signs_moveon_defendirandeal.pdf



Thanks and look forward to meeting you Wed!



Best,



Max



http://rehmat1.com/2015/08/15/vatican-christians-must-support-iran-nuclear-deal/Rehmat's World

"There is no compulsion in religion," – Holy Qur'an

http://s0.wp.com/wp-content/themes/pub/coraline/images/headers/water-drops.jpg?m=1391151011g

Vatican: Christians must support Iran nuclear deal


JPII+auschwitz+death+wall[1]

In April 2015, Pope Francis threw his Holy Support behind the P5+1 and Iran nuclear deal, by saying: “I hope we entrust to the merciful Lord the framework recently agreed to in Lausanne, that it may be a definitive step toward a more secure and fraternal world.”


Pope Francis, who has long been declared kosher by the Organized Jewry, wouldn’t have made that statement unless he was told by his Jewish advisers that the US-Iran nuclear agreement would be good for Israel.


Responding to Netanyahu’s call on August 4, several powerful Jewish lobby groups like ADL, AJC, etc. have asked their poodles in US Congress to reject the US-Iran nuclear agreement. Contrary to that a great majority of American Jews and the US-Iranian citizens have come out in support of Obama’s efforts to avoid Americans killed in another war for Israel in the Middle East.


On August 14, the National Catholic Reporter in an Editorial, appealed to the Congress members to bless the US-Iran nuclear agreement, because it’s good for Israel and its regional allies, such as, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Turkey and UAE.


If Congress rejects the deal, Iran has little incentive not to join the nuclear club. An active nuclear program – not this deal – increases risk to our Middle East partners including Israel,” warned the editorial.


Interestingly, former US president Jimmy Carter in a recent interview he gave to Jewish weekly Journal Prospect, said that Israel with 200 nuclear bombs poses the greatest threat to the region.

Mark Tooley, president of Washington-based Institute on Religion and Democracy, an organization founded by a Crypto-Jew by the name Michael Novak in 1981, has blasted both his fellow Evangelists and the Vatican for supporting the anti-Israel nuclear deal.


Pastor John Hagee’s Christians United for Israel have vowed to kill the deal because it poses an ‘existential’ threat to the Jewish occupation of Palestine and would delay the second-coming of Christ.


The Congress has 60-day grace period which ends on September 17, to show whether they’re: With US or Israel.


Earlier Vatican unsuccessfully opposed the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a trade deal pursued by Obama administration between the US and several Pacific-Rim countries that Catholic and Labor groups said would hurt average working people in the States and abroad. The fools didn’t realize that TPP was authored by the Jewish Lobby to serve Israel’s interests.


####



Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218.  Ph: 410-366-1637; Email: mobuszewski [at] verizon.net. Go to http://baltimorenonviolencecenter.blogspot.com/


"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs