Tag Archives: USA

Psychotronics and Remote Brain Manipulation

 

Last year, in October, the congressman Denis J. Kucinich introduced in the American Congress a bill, obliging the American president to get engaged in the negotiations aimed at the ban of space based weapons.

In this bill the definition of a weapon system includes: any other unacknowledged or as yet undeveloped means inflicting death or injury on, or damaging or destroying, a person (or the biological life, bodily health, mental health, or physical and economic well-being of a person) through the use of land-based, sea-based, or space-based systems using radiation, electromagnetic, psychotronic, sonic, laser, or other energies directed at individual persons or targeted populations or the purpose of information war, mood management, or mind control of such persons or populations (12).

As in all legislative acts quoted in this article the bill counts with sound, light or electromagnetic stimulation of human brain.

Psychotronic weapons remain, at least for a layman uninformed of secret military research, in the sphere of science fiction, since so far none of the published scientific experiments was presented in the way which would allow for its replication.

That it is feasible to manipulate human behavior with the use of subliminal, either sound or visual, messages is now generally known. This is why in most of the countries the use of such technologies, without consent of the user, is banned. Devices using light for the stimulation of the brain show another way how the light flashing in certain frequencies could be used for the manipulation of human psychic life. As for the sound, a report on the device transmitting a beam of sound waves, which can hear only persons at whom the beam of sound waves is targeted, appeared last year in the world newspapers.

The beam is formed by a combination of sound and ultrasound waves which causes that a person targeted by this beam hears the sound inside of his head. Such a perception could easily convince the human being that it is mentally ill. The acts presented in this article suggest that with the development of technology and knowledge of the functioning of human brain new ways of manipulation of human mind keep emerging. One of them seems to be the electromagnetic energy.

Though in the open scientific literature only some 30 experiments were published, supporting this assumption (1),(2), already in 1974, in the USSR, after successful testing with military unit in Novosibirsk, the installation Radioson (Radiosleep) was registered with the Government Committee on the Matters of Inventions and Discoveries of the USSR, described as a method of induction of sleep by means of radio waves (3), (4), (5).

In the scientific literature technical feasibility of making a human being asleep by radio waves is confirmed in the book by English scientist carrying out research on the biological effects of electromagnetism (6).

In the report by World Health Association on non-ionizing radiation from 1991 we read,

“Many of biological effects observed in animals exposed to ELF fields appear to be associated, either directly or indirectly, with the nervous system” (2).

Among the published experiments there are experiments where pulsed microwaves caused the synchronization of isolated neurons with the frequency of pulsing of microwaves – for example a neuron firing at a frequency 0.8 Hz was forced in this way to fire the impulses at a frequency of 1 Hz.

As well pulsed microwaves changed the concentration of neurotransmitters in brain (neurotransmitters are a part of the mechanism which causes the firing of neurons in the brain) and reinforced or attenuated the effects of drugs delivered into the brain (1).

The experiment where the main brain frequencies registered by EEG were synchronized with the frequency of microwave pulsing (1,2) might explain the function of the Russian installation Radioson. Microwaves pulsed in the sleep frequency would cause the synchronization of the brain activity with the sleep frequency and in this way produce the sleep. Pulsing of microwaves in frequency predominating in the brain at awaked state could by the same procedure deny the sleep to a human being.

A report derived from the testing program of the Microwave Research Department at the Walter Read Army Institute of research states,

“Microwave pulses appear to couple to the central nervous system and produce stimulation similar to electric stimulation unrelated to heat”.

In a many times replicated experiment microwaves pulsed in an exact frequency caused the efflux of calcium ions from the nerve cells (1,2).

Calcium plays a key role in the firing of neurons and Ross Adey, member of the first scientific team which published this experiment, publicly expressed his conviction that this effect of electromagnetic radiation would interfere with concentration on complex tasks (7).

Robert Becker, who had share in the discovery of the effect of pulse-fields at the healing of broken bones, published the excerpts from the report from Walter Reed Army Institute testing program. In the first part “prompt debilitation effects” should have been tested (8).

Were not those effects based on the experiment by Ross Adey and others with calcium efflux?

British scientist John Evans, working in the same field, wrote that both Ross Adey and Robert Becker lost their positions and research grants and called them “free-thinking exiles” (6). In 1975, in the USA, a military experiment was published where pulsed microwaves produced, in the brain of a human subject, an audio perception of numbers from 1 to 10 (9). Again the possibility to convince human being that it is mentally ill is obvious.

The testing program of American Walter Read Army Institute of Research, where the experiment took place, counts with “prompt auditory stimulation by means of auditory effects” and finally aims at “behavior controlled by stimulation” (8). Let us imagine that the words delivered into the brain were transcribed into ultrasound frequencies. Would not then the subject perceive those words as his own thoughts? And could not then his behavior be controlled in this way?

The American Air Force 1982 “Final Report On Biotechnology Research Requirements For Aeronautical Systems Through the Year 2000” states:

“While initial attention should be toward degradation of human performance through thermal loading and electromagnetic field effects, subsequent work should address the possibilities of directing and interrogating mental functioning, using externally applied fields” (10).

Several scientists warned that latest advances in neurophysiology could be used for the manipulation of human brain.

In June 1995, Michael Persinger, who worked on the American Navy’s project of Non-lethal electromagnetic weapons (11), published, in a scientific magazine, an article where he states: the technical capability to influence directly the major portion of the approximately six billion brains of the human species without mediation through classical sensory modalities by generating neural information within a physical medium within which all members of the species are immersed is now marginally feasible (12).

In 1998, the French National Bioethics Committee warned that neuroscience is being increasingly recognized as posing potential threat to human rights (13).

In May 1999 the neuroscientists conference, sponsored by the UN, took place in Tokyo. In the declaration we read:

“Today we have intellectual, physical and financial resources to master the power of the brain itself, and to develop devices to touch the mind and even control or erase consciousness. We wish to profess our hope that such pursuit of knowledge serves peace and welfare” (14).

The events at the international political scene, in the last few years, confirm that the concept of remote control of human brain is a matter of negotiations. In January 1999 the European Parliament passed a resolution where it calls for an international convention introducing a global ban on all developments and deployments of weapons which might enable any form of manipulation of human beings. (15)

Already in 1997 nine states of the Union of Independent States addressed OUN, OBSE and the states of the Antiparliamentary Union with the proposal to place at the agenda of the General Assembly of the Organization of United Nations the preparation and conclusion of an international convention On Prevention of Informational Wars and Limitation of Circulation of Informational Weapons (17), (3).

The initiative was originally proposed, in the Russian State Duma, by Vladimir Lopatin (1). V. Lopatin worked, from 1990 to 1995, in sequence, in the Committees on Security of the Russian Federation, Russian State Duma and Antiparliamentary Assembly of the Commonwealth of Independent States, specializing in informational security (3).

The concept of informational weapon or informational war is rather unknown to the world general public. In 1999, V. Lopatin, together with Russian scientist Vladimir Tsygankov, published a book Psychotronic Weapon and the Security of Russia (3).

There we find the explanation of this terminology:

“In the report on the research of the American Physical Society for the year 1993 the conclusion is presented that psychophysical weapon system scan be used for the construction of a strategic arm of a new type (informational weapon in informational war)”

Among many references to this subject we find:

Materials of the Parliament Hearings “Threats and Challenges in the Sphere of Informational Security”, Moscow, July 1996

“Informational Weapon as a Threat to the National Security of the Russian Federation” (analytical report of the Intelligence Service of the Russian Federation), Moscow, 1996

material “To Whom Will Belong the Consciousness Weapon in the 21st century”, Moscow, 1997. (18)

In 2000 V. Lopatin introduced, after two other authors, the third in order bill on the subject of “Informational and Psychological Security of the Russian Federation”.

The Russian newspaper Segodnya wrote about this draft: means of informational-psychological influence are capable not only to harm the health of a person, but, as well, cause and quotation of Lopatin’s draft follows the blocking of freedom of will of human being on subliminal level, the loss of ability of political, cultural and other self-identification of human being, the manipulation of societal consciousness “and even destruction of united informational and spiritual space of Russia” (17).

In the book “Psychotronic Weapon and the Security of Russia” the authors propose among the basic principles of the Russian concept of the defense against the remote control of human psyche the acknowledgement of its factual existence as well as the acknowledgement of realistic feasibility of informational, psychotronic war (which as a matter of fact is actually taking place without declaration of war)” (19).

They quote as well the record from the session of the Russian Federation Federal Council where V. Lopatin stated that psychotronic weapon can,

“cause the blocking of the freedom of will of a human being on a subliminal level” or “instillation into the consciousness or sub-consciousness of a human being of information which will cause faulty perception of the reality” (20).

For that matter they propose the preparation of national legislative as well as the norms of international law “aimed at the defense of human psyche against subliminal, destructive, informational effects” (21).

As well they propose the declassification of all works on this technology and warn that, as a consequence of the classification, the arms race is speeding up making the psychotronic war probable. Among the possible sources of remote influence on human psyche they list the generators of physical fields” of “known as well as unknown nature” (22).

In 1999 the STOA (Scientific and Technological Options Assessment), part of the Directorate General for Research of the European Parliament published the report on Crowd Control Technologies, ordered by them with the OMEGA foundation in British Manchester (23).

One of four major subjects of the study are the 2nd generation” or “non lethal” technologies:

“This report evaluates the second generation of ‘non-lethal’ weapons which are emerging from national military and nuclear weapons laboratories in the United States as part of the Clinton Administration’s ‘non-lethal’ warfare doctrine now adopted in turn by NATO. These devices include weapons using directed energy beam, radiofrequency, laser and acoustic mechanisms to incapacitate human targets” (24)

The report states that the most controversial non-lethal’ crowd control technology proposed by the U.S., are so called Radio Frequency or Directed Energy Weapons that can allegedly manipulate human behavior the greatest concern is with systems which can directly interact with the human nervous system” (25).

The report also states that perhaps the most powerful developments remain shrouded in secrecy” (26).

The unavailability of official documents confirming the existence of this technology may be the reason why the OMEGA report is referencing, with respect to mind control technology, the internet publication of the author of this article (27).

In an identical approach the internet publication of the directrice of the American human rights and anti mind control organization (CAHRA), Cheryl Welsh, is referenced by joint initiative of Quaker United Nations Office, United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research, and Programme for Strategic and International Security Studies, with respect to non-lethal weapons (28).

On September 25th, 2000 the Committee on Security of the Russian State Duma discussed the addendum to the article 6 of the Federal law On Weapons. In the resolution we read:

The achievements of contemporary science allow for creation of measured methods of secret, remote influencing on the psyches and physiology of a person or a group of people” (29).

The committee recommended that the addendum be approved.

The addendum to the article 6 of the Russian Federation law On Weapons,

“was approved on July 26, 2001. It states: within the territory of the Russian Federation is prohibited the circulation of weapons and other objects the effects of the operation of which are based on the use of electromagnetic, light, thermal, infra-sonic or ultra-sonic radiations” (30).

In this way the Russian government made a first step to stand up to its dedication to the ban of mind control technology.

In the Doctrine of Informational Security of the Russian Federation, signed by president Putin in September 2000, among the dangers threatening the informational security of Russian Federation, is listed the threat to the constitutional rights and freedoms of people and citizens in the sphere of spiritual life individual, group and societal consciousness” and “illegal use of special means affecting individual, group and societal consciousness” (31).

Among the major directions of the international cooperation toward the guaranteeing of the informational security is listed the ban of production, dissemination and use of ‘informational weapon’ ” (32). This should be interpreted as the continuing Russian dedication to the international ban of the means of remote influencing of the activity of human brain.

In the above mentioned report, published by the STOA, the originally proposed version of the resolution of the European Parliament is quoted, calling for an international convention for a global ban on all research and development which seeks to apply knowledge of the chemical, electrical, sound vibration or other functioning of the human brain to the development of weapons which might enable the manipulation of human beings, including a ban of any actual or possible deployment of such systems.”(33) Here the term “actual” might easily mean that such weapons are already deployed.

Among the countries with the most advanced military technologies those are the USA which did not present any international initiative demanding the ban of technologies enabling the remote control of human mind. (The original version of the bill by Denis J. Kucinich was changed.)

All the same, according to the study published by STOA, the USA are the major promoter of the use of those arms.

Non lethal technology was included into NATO military doctrine due to their effort:

“At the initiative of the USA, within the framework of NATO, a special group was formed, for the perspective use of devices of non-lethal effects” states the record from the session of the Committee on Security of the Russian State Duma (29).

The report published by STOA states:

“In October 1999 NATO announced a new policy on non-lethal weapons and their place in allied arsenals” (34). “In 1996 non-lethal tools identified by the U.S. Army included directed energy systems” and “radio frequency weapons” (35) – those weapons, as was suggested in the STOA report as well, are being associated with the effects on human nervous system.

According to the Russian government informational agency FAPSI, in the last 15 years, the U.S. expenses on the development and acquisition of the means of informational war grew four times and at present time they occupy the first place among all military programs (17),(3).

Though there are other concepts of informational war than mind control, the unwillingness of the USA to engage in the negotiations aimed at the ban of the manipulation of human brains might indicate their intent to use those means in internal as well as international affairs.

One clear consequence of the continuation of the apparent politics of secrecy surrounding technologies enabling remote control of human brains might be that the governments, who would own such technologies, could use them without having to take into consideration the opinion of the general public.

The concept of the democratic world would be, though secretly, disrupted in this way, and in the future the world populations could live in only fake democracy where their own or foreign governments might, by means of secret technologies, shape their opinions. Source

 


Germany and UK are selling Execution Drugs!Where was Amnesty International all those years?

 

OVERVIEW

The execution protocol used in most executing states in the U.S. consists of a cocktail of three drugs: the first, sodium thiopental, is supposed to anaesthetize the victim, the second, pancuronium bromide, paralyses him, and the third, potassium chloride, stops his heart. In reality, the second drug serves a purely ‘cosmetic’ function in the lethal injection, designed to spare spectators the risk of seeing the prisoner in pain should the first drug not work effectively.1 The risk of this is a very real one (anaesthesiologists train for years to administer anaesthesia; prison wardens on average 2.5 days) and the consequences are grave. If the anaesthetic in a three-drug procedure fails, the prisoner will die slowly and in agony, unable to signal that something has gone wrong due to the paralysis. Even the Supreme Court has acknowledged that if the anaesthetic does not work properly, there is an “unacceptable risk of suffocation from the administration of pancuronium bromide and pain from the injection of potassium chloride” Baze v. Rees, 553 U. S. 35, 53 (2008).

EXECUTION DRUG SHORTAGES

In January of this year, Hospira, the sole US manufacturer of the first drug in the cocktail, sodium thiopental, officially pulled this product off the market. The company had been forced to cease production of the drug due to manufacturing issues in the summer of 2010 and six months later came to the conclusion that it was not worth their while to recommence production.

The market for sodium thiopental is small. The drug, which is used very widely in hospitals in the UK, India and Africa, is no longer used for medicinal purposes in the USA. And though the drug remains a staple in the lethal injection cocktail, the quantities used are very low (on average, 5g per execution, and rarely more than 40 executions across the USA per year). Being off-patent, the drug is also very cheap to buy (roughly 35 rupees a gram from the manufacturer).

Hospira made a simple calculation: profits from sales of sodium thiopental were low; cost of retooling the company plant to meet US regulations, and cost to the company’s reputation, however, would be extremely high. For a company claiming to be committed to Advancing Wellness, collaboration in capital punishment was a PR disaster.

So Hospira exited the market, leaving the shelves of the execution chambers bare as the drugs reached their expiration date. Executions were put on hold while prison wardens scrambled to source lethal injection drugs elsewhere. First, they came to the UK. Then they tried Germany. Then Italy. Then Denmark. Then (most recently) India.

Every attempt was riddled with problems – problems which plagued the prisons and pharmaceutical manufacturers alike. It barely needs to be said that the US is an intensely litigious society, particularly when it comes to the death penalty. The issue is always furiously debated in legal and political circles and efforts to change the execution drugs or the protocol have spawned intense litigation, as well as provoking close federal scrutiny into the importation of these small but deadly quantities of drugs.

No importation of execution drugs has been made without multiple obstacles. The US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) seized the supplies of drugs imported from the UK from California, Georgia and Tennessee, they ordered the seizure and destruction of drugs imported from India to Nebraska and South Dakota, and sent letters of admonition to a number of other states requesting that they hand over their illegally imported drugs.

But this is not all. Lawyers acting on behalf of death row inmates in every executing State have fought tooth and nail against the imports. Pharmaceutical manufacturers – most of whom were unaware that their products have been sold for this purpose until it is too late – find themselves dragged into lengthy and costly litigation in the US which inevitably affects their global reputation. The company which sold the British drugs, for example, is still being pursued by the US courts, who, most recently have been trying to issue a subpoena to the CEO of the company for documents relating to the drug sales.

Litigation on these issues is expected to last not months, but many years, and the manufacturers are the ones who suffer – in addition to the prisoners on death row.

It is an extremely unfortunate position for any healthcare provider to be in, as the manufacturers who have fallen victim to the execution drug trade in the past year and a half can attest. The damage, as will be seen below, is not only reputational, but fiscal too. Investors do not want to invest in drugs made for killing, and global manufacturers don’t want to partner with companies that collaborate in executions.

For the pharmaceutical industry more generally, trade in lethal injection drugs with the US will invariably have serious and wide-reaching implications. As has been seen already in Britain and in India, drugs which are exported to the US for use in executions are subject to the most intense and calculated scrutiny. Many of the legal arguments against lethal injections – particularly where the drugs have been imported – undermine the efficacy of the drugs, or the manufacturer of the drugs, that the prison is intending to use. Unfortunately, this often results litigation that will spill out of the court documents and sully the reputation of the industry as a whole.

The companies which have been drawn into the execution drug trade since the shortages began have explicitly disavowed the use of their medicines to kill and taken active steps to ensure they are not rendered complicit in this again in the future. The purpose of this document is to help everyone avoid having to shut the stable door after the horse has bolted: better that companies know what might happen and have the opportunity to make decisions beforehand.

EXECUTION DRUGS FROM THE UK

In October 2010, Reprieve discovered that a wholesale company in Britain was supplying sodium thiopental to prisons across the USA.

The company, Dream Pharma, run by Matt Alavi from the back of a driving school in west London, had exported significant quantities of drugs from the UK to the US for use in executions. The exports had taken place with neither the knowledge or consent of either the manufacturer (Sandoz in Austria) or marketing authorisation holder (Archimedes Pharma in the UK). By the time they learned of the exports (their names were revealed during litigation in the US), it was too late. Sandoz and Archimedes, both reputable, conscientious manufacturers committed to manufacturing medicines to improve lives, were scandalized to hear that their drugs had instead been used to end lives.

In order to prevent further exports of the kind, Reprieve requested that UK Business Secretary, Vince Cable, put an export control on exports of sodium thiopental to the USA. The Minister agreed to do so when he learnt that:

1.) There is no legitimate trade in sodium thiopental between the UK and the US

2.) Sodium thiopental is no longer used for medical purposes in the US.

The UK government put an export control in place on 29th November, 2010, putting an abrupt end to Matt Alavi’s drug business. In the meantime, however, Mr. Alavi had managed to sell drugs to around 7 different execution chambers across the USA. He had hiked the cost up by 35 times the market rate for the drug, but even so, the profits he made could not outweigh the damage that was done to his and his business’ reputation as a result of his willing complicity in executions.

Mr. Alavi was pilloried by the press. He was condemned by pharmaceutical industry experts, manufacturers and doctors alike. No manufacturer wanted to do business with him following the revelations (which were covered in every big newspaper in the UK and the US) and his small backroom pharma company suffered significant losses.

Though Mr. Alavi was stopped in his tracks and much of the quantities of drugs he exported were subsequently seized by the DEA, several people were killed using the drugs before sanctions and preventative measures were put in place. Jeffrey Landrigan was the first in Arizona, then Brandon Rhode and Emanuel Hammond in Georgia.

Disturbingly, it seems that Dream Pharma’s sodium thiopental did not work effectively in the lethal injection when it was used. As a result, Rhode, Landrigan and Hammond would likely have died in agony. Dr Mark Heath, a renowned lethal injection expert, filed a sworn declaration stating that the fact that Brandon Rhode’s eyes remained open throughout his execution was highly unusual and strongly suggested that he was not properly anaesthetized and therefore conscious throughout the process. He also wrote that:

“…if the thiopental was inadequately effective Mr Rhode’s death would certainly have been agonizing; there is no dispute that the asphyxiation caused by pancuronium and the caustic burning sensation caused by potassium would be agonizing in the absence of adequate anesthesia.”

Lawyers in Arizona (where supplies of Dream Pharma sodium thiopental are still in the prison’s possession) continue to fight this issue in the courts. It is extremely unlikely that the prison will ever be allowed to use the drugs in executions, and in the meantime they, the manufacturer and the middleman will all be tied up in litigation that is likely to drag on for years.

EXECUTION DRUGS FROM ITALY

Before Hospira decided to pull out of the execution drug market, they had considered transferring the manufacture of sodium thiopental from their plant in the US to a plant in Italy. Reprieve held a press conference on the issue with Livia Firth and members of the anti-death penalty group, Hands Off Cain in Rome in December 2010. They worked directly with the Italian government on strategies to prevent drugs manufactured in Italy from being used to kill prisoners in the USA. The Italian government line was firm: Hospira was to guarantee that the drugs wouldn’t be used in executions, or would not be permitted to manufacture in Italy at all.

Since Hospira knew that in all probability the drugs would be used in executions in the US, they decided to pull out of the market, stating:

“Hospira had intended to produce Pentothal at its Italian plant. In the last month, we’ve had ongoing dialogue with the Italian authorities concerning the use of Pentothal in capital punishment procedures in the United States – a use Hospira has never condoned. […] We cannot take the risk that we will be held liable by the Italian authorities if the product is diverted for use in capital punishment. Exposing our employees or facilities to liability is not a risk we are prepared to take. Given the issues surrounding the product, including the government’s requirements and challenges bringing the drug back to market, Hospira has decided to exit the market.”

EXECUTION DRUGS FROM GERMANY

By this point, most manufacturers in Europe were aware of the issues surrounding the execution drug trade and extremely reluctant to be involved. The health and trade ministries in Austria and Germany had issued statements to their national pharmaceutical industries, warning them of the dangers and advising them not to sell sodium thiopental to the USA.

Despite Germany’s resolute opposition to the use of medicines in executions, in July of this year, US Commerce Secretary, Gary Locke, asked his German counterpart (Philip Rösler) if Germany would be prepared to sell sodium thiopental to the US.

Rösler, who had been in contact with Reprieve about these issues previously, denied the request, telling the German media that he would also put in place a ban on exports of this drug to the US should the necessity arise.

EXECUTION DRUGS FROM DENMARK

Failing to get hold of sodium thiopental, some States opted to change their lethal injection protocol to pentobarbital. Pentobarbital is a sedative licensed in the US by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for certain therapeutic uses, including preoperative sedation and the treatment of seizures. Ohio, Oklahoma, Arizona and Texas were the first States to switch, and others soon followed suit.

The move was a disaster for the one FDA-approved manufacturer of the drug: Danish company, Lundbeck. They quickly became known as the US prisons’ execution drug supplier of choice, and every time there was an execution, their name was splashed across the newspapers in Denmark and the US. The company tried writing letters to prisons and governors in the US expressing their opposition to the use of their drugs in executions, but to no avail. The US authorities would not listen.

Over the next 6 months, Lundbeck saw key investors publically divest over this issue, their public image rating drop by 25 points in the leading business paper’s annual report, stock prices drop, online protests and boycotts against them, and constant negative media coverage (including an open letter signed by 100 doctors in leading medical journal, The Lancet).

Lundbeck took matters in hand and block the prisons from getting hold of their drugs directly. Since the drug was manufactured in the US, export controls wouldn’t work.

However, Lundbeck was able to redesign their distribution system to ensure that only legitimate medical users of pentobarbital would be allowed to purchase it.

On July 1st 2011, Lundbeck announced the distribution overhaul, denying the US prison executioners access to their drugs once and for all. Their desire not to be complicit in capital punishment was satisfied, and they further received accolades from the press and public alike. Indeed, the very same doctors who petitioned against the company in The Lancet then bought shares in the company after the distribution change in a show of moral and fiscal solidarity and support.

Lundbeck still faces the public relations nightmare of having the drugs that got through (before their new protocol) used in executions. Litigation will continue over this for years to come.

EXECUTION DRUGS FROM EUROPE

There has been extensive media coverage of this issue in Europe over the past 18 months, and it has been a hot topic of debate among politicians, medical professionals and the pharmaceutical industry alike. There is a consensus in Europe are agreed that medicines should be used to improve the life and health of patients, not to torture and kill prisoners. As such, and to prevent any further shipments of execution drugs slipping through the net and into the US prison system, the European Commission has drafted an amendment to a European regulation which will make it illegal to sell sodium thiopental and other potential execution drugs to the US without a license.

This EU-wide control will have a major impact on the execution drug market in the USA. No longer able to get sodium thiopental from Europe or pentobarbital from Danish manufacturer, Lundbeck, the prisons will once again find their execution chambers dry and be looking for a new supply.

EXECUTION DRUGS FROM INDIA

And it looks highly likely that they’ll turn again to India. India has already been the source of three shipments of execution drugs to US prisons. The first two went to South Dakota and Nebraska prisons in February 2011; the latest went to Nebraska prison (last month). There was a another attempted shipment in May, but the manufacturer in question realised what the purpose of the sale was in time and managed to cancel it before any drugs were shipped.

Each of the shipments has apparently been co-ordinated by an Indian businessman named Chris Harris. On the first occasion, Mr. Harris used drugs marketed by Kayem Parmaceuticals; on the second, he tried to use Ganpati Exim’s drugs; on the third and most recent, he exported drugs manufactured by Naari. All three of these companies have distanced themselves from Mr Harris and say they do not want – and never wanted – anything to do with the execution drug trade. Kayem was the first corporate victim. Following the revelation that Nebraska prison had received enough drugs to kill over 166 prisoners, the company found itself the subject of huge press interest (articles in The Hindu and the Times of India, as well as US papers like the Wall Street Journal) and put through serious legal and regulatory scrutiny. The premises were searched by the Indian FDA, lawyers wrote to the company directors, the site was photographed by journalists and investigators, and the material became the centre of litigation in the US which continues in South Dakota and Nebraska to this day.

Mr. Harris had been working at Kayem Pharmaceuticals at the time. Following (and as a result of) the execution drug affair, Navneet Verma, the Director of Kayem, broke off all ties with Mr. Harris. Mr. Verma issued a press statement declaring that “as an Indian pharma dealer who cherish the ethos of Hinduism, [they] will refrain from selling the drug where the purpose is for lethal injection”. He further stated in an email to a lawyer working on behalf of a death row inmate in Nebraska expressing his gratitude that his company was no longer in the firing line, and that Mr. Harris would not be able to get the company into further trouble: “we are extremely thankful that we have been saved from the blackmail of these Drug Peddlers who were exercising coercion on us for the sake of Foreign Orders”.

Leaving Kayem, Mr. Harris apparently then set up shop with a US business partner (www.harrispharmallp.com). He tried to buy execution drugs from another Indian manufacturer, Ganpati Exim, but when the company directors realised the purpose of the sale, they also cut off ties with him, stating: “We at Ganpati Exim are committed to providing access to medicines for the purposes of improving the lives of patients around the world. We are deeply opposed to the use of medicines in killing prisoners and wish to have no part in facilitating capital punishment in the USA or elsewhere.”

Mr. Harris met with similar resistance from the US import broker, Caligor Rx, who also ceased dealing with Mr. Harris when they learnt of the controversy surrounding this drug, stating: “Our mission is to connect patients with the medicines that will improve their lives, and as such we will not engage in trade of products used for capital punishment.”

Most recently, Mr. Harris turned to Naari. According to the company, Mr. Harris claimed that he wanted to get supplies of sodium thiopental to take over to Zambia for registration there (sodium thiopental is still widely used as an anaesthetic in Africa, whereas it is used solely for executions in the US). Believing that Mr. Harris was sincere in his aims, and keen to provide this essential medicine to the developing world, Naari supplied Mr. Harris with 485 vials of sodium thiopental. Little did Naari know that Mr. Harris would sell these drugs directly on to Nebraska prison and that the first Naari would hear of this would be via a press release issued by the prison. Naturally, Naari too has since broken all ties with Mr. Harris and has also written to the Chief Justice of Nebraska Supreme Court to inform him that they are “deeply opposed to the use of medicines in executions” and that “Mr. Harris misappropriated our medicines and diverted them from their intended purpose and use”.

Reprieve is working with Naari to help them prevent their drugs being used in executions. Things are going well, Naari are doing all they can, and there is hope that we may be successful. Nevertheless, there can be no doubt that Naari’s global reputation has been affected by this affair. As in the case of the Kayem drugs, the exported sodium thiopental will be the subject of much heated debate and litigation, will be tested, contested, and tested again. And it is not just Naari that suffers. The indian pharmaceutical inducstry as a whole will be scrutinised by the US authorities. Any possible vulnerable area will be leapt upon. And all for $130 dollars a year.

The value of this trade is so small – and the cost of it so great – that no US manufacturer wants to participate in it. At 35 rupees a gram, 5 grams an execution, and rarely more than 40 executions a year, this really is a profitless business. What’s more, the cost to an individual manufacturer – and to the pharmaceutical industry as a whole – is unthinkably high. Litigation is fraught, embroiled and lengthy. Opposition to the trade is fierce. Protests from the medical community are strong. Ethical investors won’t tolerate it. Big pharma manufacturers eschew it. There really is no capital to be gained in capital punishment.Source

 


Case title: USA v. O'Dwyer but the filing was not available on July 13, 2012!

New York Times, July 13, 2012:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/13/technology/us-pursues-richard-odwyer-as-intermediary-in-online-piracy.html

U.S. Pursuing a Middleman in Web Piracy

Published: July 12, 2012

Richard O’Dwyer, an enterprising 24-year-old college student from northern England, has found himself in the middle of a fierce battle between two of America’s great exports: Hollywood and the Internet.

At issue is a Web site he started that helped visitors find American movies and television shows online. Although the site did not serve up pirated content, American authorities say it provided links to sites that did. The Obama administration is seeking to extradite Mr. O’Dwyer from Britain on criminal charges of copyright infringement. The possible punishment: 10 years in a United States prison.

The case is the government’s most far-reaching effort so far to crack down on foreigners suspected of breaking American laws. It is unusual because it goes after a middleman, who the authorities say made a fair amount of money by pointing people to pirated content. Mr. O’Dwyer’s backers say the prosecution goes too far, squelching his free-speech right to publish links to other Web sites. …

The extradition case against Mr. O’Dwyer has turned him into something of a cause célèbre. Wikipedia’s founder, Jimmy Wales, is leading a crusade to save him, with an online petition that has gathered over 225,000 signatures worldwide in two weeks.

Still, the British home secretary, Theresa May, approved the extradition order in March and said Monday that she would let the order stand. Mr. O’Dwyer has appealed; a hearing in Britain is expected this fall. …

“America? They have nothing to do with me,” Mr. O’Dwyer’s mother said he had told her. He reopened his site as TVShack.cc, which he reckoned was beyond the reach of the United States.

A few months later came a knock on the door from the British police. A judge ruled that Mr. O’Dwyer would not be prosecuted in Britain. Instead, the United States would seek to extradite him.

His mother was stunned. “This is for fugitives and murderers and terrorists,” she recalled thinking. “Richard has never fled the scene of a crime. He has never left the U.K.!” …

__________

U.S. District Court
Southern District of New York (Foley Square)
CRIMINAL DOCKET FOR CASE #: 1:10-mj-02471-UA-1

Case title: USA v. O’Dwyer
Date Filed: 11/05/2010

Assigned to: Judge Unassigned

Defendant (1)
Richard J. O’Dwyer
also known as
Duffman

Pending Counts
Disposition
None

Highest Offense Level (Opening)
None

Terminated Counts
Disposition
None

Highest Offense Level (Terminated)
None

Complaints
Disposition
18:2319:COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT AND REMEDIES;, 18:371:CONSPIRACY TO INFRINGE A COPYRIGHT;, 17:506:CRIMINAL INFRINGEMENT OF A COPYRIGHT.

Plaintiff
USA represented by David Miller
United States Attorney Office, SDNY
One Saint Andrew’s Plaza
New York, NY 10007
(212) 637-2484
Fax: (212) 637-2937
Email: David.Miller@usdoj.gov

John Michael Reh
U.S. Attorney’s Office, SDNY
One St. Andrew’s Plaza
New York, NY 10007
(212)-637-2306
Fax: (212)-637-2937
Email: john.reh@usdoj.gov

Sarah Y. Lai
U.S. Attorney’s Office, SDNY (St Andw’s)
One St. Andrew’s Plaza
New York, NY 10007
(212) 637-1944
Fax: (212) 637-2527
Email: sarah.lai@usdoj.gov

Date Filed # Docket Text
11/05/2010 1 SEALED COMPLAINT as to Richard J. O’Dwyer (1) in violation of 18 U.S.C. 2319 and 371, 17 U.S.C. 506.. (Signed by Magistrate Judge James L. Cott) (gq). (Entered: 01/24/2012)
01/24/2011 3 SEALED AFFIRMATION AND APPLICATION of AUSA Sarah Y. Lai in Support by USA for an order unsealing the Complaint and the corresponding arrest warrant for the deft, for the limited purpose of allowing them to be attached to an extradition request and directing that the Complaint and all related documents, including this application and Order, remain sealed for all other purposes, as to Richard J. O’Dwyer. (gq) (Entered: 01/24/2012)
01/24/2011 4 SEALED ORDER as to Richard J. O’Dwyer…that Complaint No. 10 Mag. 2471, and the corresponding arrest warrant for the deft, be unsealed for the limited purpose of making copies available for an extradition request…that Complaint No. 10 Mag. 2471, the corresponding arrest warrant, and all other documents relating to the Complaint, including this Order and the accompanying application and affirmation of AUSA Lai, shall remain sealed for all other purposes until further order of this Court. (Signed by Magistrate Judge Gabriel W. Gorenstein on 1/24/2011)(gq) (Entered: 01/24/2012)
02/23/2011 5 AFFIDAVIT of AUSA John M. Reh in Support by USA of Request for Extradition as to Richard J. O’Dwyer. (Signed by USMJ Henry Pitman). (gq) (Entered: 01/25/2012)
09/12/2011 6 SEALED AFFIRMATION AND APPLICATION of AUSA John M. Reh in Support by USA of a request that the Court unseal the Complaint and Warrant in the above-captioned action, as to Richard J. O’Dwyer. (gq) (Entered: 01/25/2012)
09/13/2011 7 SEALED ORDER as to Richard J. O’Dwyer…that Complaint No. 10 Mag. 2471, and the corresponding arrest warrant for the deft, be unsealed, which will enable the Government to respond to press inquiries regarding the extradition of Richard J. O’Dwyer, a/k/a “Duffman,” the deft. (Signed by Magistrate Judge Gabriel W. Gorenstein on 9/13/2011)(gq) (Entered: 01/25/2012)
01/24/2012 8 SEALED AFFIRMATION AND APPLICATION of AUSA John M. Reh in Support by USA of a request that the Court unseal the Complaint and Warrant in the above captioned action, as to Richard J. O’Dwyer. (gq) (Entered: 01/25/2012)
01/24/2012 9 SEALED ORDER as to Richard J. O’Dwyer…that Complaint No. 10 Mag. 2471, and the corresponding arrest warrant for the deft, be unsealed, which will enable the Government to respond to press inquiries regarding the extradition of Richard J. O’Dwyer, a/k/a “Duffman,” the deft. (Signed by Magistrate Judge Michael H. Dolinger on 1/24/2012)(gq) (Entered: 01/25/2012)


Halliburton Lobby Groups

Lobby Groups

Halliburton is a member of the following lobby groups:

US Coalition of Service Industries (CSI or USCSI)
This is the largest services oriented lobby group in the United States.56 In a recent Senate hearing, Norman Sorensen, Chairman of the CSI’s Financial Services Group reminded everyone that ‘removing barriers to services trade is a very important U.S. policy objective. The service sector’s contribution to U.S. exports makes it imperative that the United States continue to open services markets abroad through agreements such as the US-Chile and US-Singapore Free Trade Agreements, which we believe should be implemented as soon as possible.’57 Included in its 44 illustrious members are AOL Time Warner, Microsoft and General Electric. Past members have included Enron ( the company that hid debt from its books in order to artificially inflate its value to shareholders and was also heavily involved in the illegal trading which led to the California energy crisis in 2000), Anderson (the accountants who helped them) and WorldCom (which inflated its profits by $4bn through false accounting). With prime access to elite government and corporate circles, its various corporate members gain handsomely from international trade agreements, from IMF or World Bank handouts, and from privatisation programs. The USCSI acts as the access point to trade policy for US services corporations.58

American Petroleum Institute (API)
This is the petroleum industry’s largest association which represents over 400 national and international companies 59

US Council for International Business (USCIB)
With its expressed purpose of getting business ‘a seat on the table’, the USCIB brings brings US corporate interests directly to ‘officials in the United Nations, European Union and a host of other governments and groups’.60 It was one of the most influential industry lobby groups that lobbied for the infamous Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI) and is one of the key business coalitions pushing along business-friendly WTO and FTAA negotiations.61

Links with government

It is Halliburton’s unashamed ties to the US Administration and key think-tanks such as Project for a New American Century that has guaranteed it a smooth flow of large contracts. Current US vice president, Dick Cheney, was Hallibuton’s Chief Executive until 2000. He joined the company in 1995 after it was awarded the job of studying and then implementing the privatisation of routine army functions under the then secretary of defence… Dick Cheney. Unsurprisingly, Cheney is still being paid by Halliburton. When he left in 2000, he opted not to have his leaving payment in a lump sum, but instead to have it paid to him over five years, possibly for tax reasons. The obligatory disclosure statement filled by all top government officials says only that these yearly payments are in a range between $100,000 and $1 million. Nor is it clear how they are calculated.62
Several of the current directors of Halliburton have previously worked for the US government. For example, in October 2001, Ray L. Hunt was appointed by President George Bush to the President’s Foreign Intelligence Board, whilst Lawrence S. Eagleburger has held a variety of positions (see Board of Directors).63
Halliburton has also attempted to influence government decisions through cash donations. According to the Washington-based Centre for Responsive Politics, Halliburton gave 95 percent of its federal campaign contributions during the past two election cycles to the Republicans. Halliburton has also strongly supported the election funds of relevant chairmen of Senate and Congressional committees, including Ted Stevens, Republican chair of the appropriations committee.64
So far, government aid that has led to Halliburton contracts includes $2.71 billion from the US export-import bank, $1.11 billion from the World Bank, $611 million from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation and $1.56 billion from other government sources.65

National Petroleum Council (NPC)
Halliburton’s CEO David J. Lesar is currently a member of the NPC, whilst director Ray L. Hunt has served as chairman. Although the NPC is not allowed to lobby or act as a trade group, it operates in an advisory role to the US Energy Department. The council’s 1999 natural gas report concluded that regulation was becoming a barrier to meeting rising demand. Partially overseen by then chief executive of Halliburton, Dick Cheney, the report became a frequently cited source book for policy debate in the days leading up to House passage of new energy legislation which opened up some of the US’s last unspoiled mountains, canyons and badlands.66

USA*Engage
The strands of Dick Cheney’s business and policy interests come together in his support of a corporate coalition called USA*Engage.67 The mission of this coalition, with some 50 active companies and 600-plus total members, is to promote business ‘engagement’ and prevent US sanctions in response to human rights or other kinds of violations. Dick Cheney’s position on sanctions has been virtually identical to that of USA*Engage, and Halliburton has been an active member of USA*Engage and its campaigns against almost all forms of sanctions. For example, Cheney signed an amicus brief against the Massachusetts Burma law. Modeled on successful anti-apartheid legislation of the 1980s, the law would have prevented Massachusetts from doing business with companies doing business in Burma. The Massachusetts law was struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court in June 2002. Similarly, Cheney has opposed sanctions against almost all the countries that Halliburton does business in, including Iran, Libya and Azerbaijan. The one exception is Iraq, at least that is what he would have us believe (see Corporate Crimes). Now that Dick Cheney is back in government, his position on sanctions is likely to become more influential. Secretary of State Colin Powell has already echoed the sentiment of Cheney and USA*Engage, saying he wanted to reduce the use of sanctions as a foreign policy tool. This would leave Cheney’s ex-colleagues back at Halliburton freer than ever to pursue profits where environmental and human rights norms are disregarded. Among the sanctions USA*Engage seeks to eliminate are those against the pariah regime of Burma, even though the leader of the democratically elected party, Aung San Suu Kyi, has expressed her support for the sanctions. If USA*Engage is successful, Halliburton may resume dealings with the Burmese military dictatorship, a destructive engagement that could extend Burma’s nightmare. Dick Cheney’s pro-engagement, anti-sanctions policies have remained consistent whether he is in government or business. These policies might be summarised as, ‘what’s good for Halliburton is good for the world, and vice versa.’

Think tanks

Several of Halliburton’s directors have sat on the boards of influential think tanks. These include:

Trilateral Commission
Halliburton directors, C.J. Silas and L.S. Eagleburger, have both been members of the Trilateral Commission.68 According to Senator Barry Goldwater, the Trilateral Commission ‘is international and is intended to be the vehicle for multinational consolidation of the commercial and banking interests by seizing control of the political government of the US.’69

The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR)
Halliburton director Lawrence S. Eagleburger has twice been a member of the CFR (1988, 2001).70 According to its literature, the CFR ‘is dedicated to increasing America’s understanding of the world and contributing ideas to U.S. foreign policy. The Council accomplishes this mainly by promoting constructive debates and discussions, clarifying world issues, and publishing Foreign Affairs.’71

The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)
Halliburton director Ray L. Hunt is on the board of trustees of CSIS, a private organisation head-quartered in Washington DC. According to its web site, it has ‘been dedicated to providing world leaders with strategic insights on — and policy solutions to — current and emerging global issues.’ CSIS is dominated by members with strong ties to the US government and private industry.72

Influencing Education
Halliburton and the US Army Recruiting Command (USAREC) signed an agreement whereby Halliburton will give priority hiring status to soldiers taking part in the Partnership for Youth Success Program (PaYS). The agreement begins at the enlistment process with new recruits signing a letter of intent to work for Halliburton upon completion of their term of service. They are then groomed for a new life in Halliburton as part of their army training. As the end of their term approaches, the lucky soldiers will have the opportunity to interview with Halliburton for a job.Source


'Monsanto Protection Act' to grant biotech industry total immunity over GM crops?

(NaturalNews) While millions of Americans were busy celebrating freedom from tyranny during the recent Independence Day festivities, Monsanto was actively trying to thwart that freedom with new attacks on health freedom. It turns out that the most evil corporation in the world has quietly attached riders to both the 2012 Farm Bill and the 2013 Agriculture Appropriations Bill that would essentially force the federal government to approve GMOs at the request of biotechnology companies, and prohibit all safety reviews of GMOs from having any real impact on the GMO approval process.

The Alliance for Natural Health – USA (ANH-USA), the Organic Consumers Association (OCA), and several other health freedom advocacy groups have been actively drawing attention to these stealth attacks in recent days, and urging Americans to rise up and oppose them now before it is too late. If we fail to act now as a single, unified community devoted to health freedom, in other words, America’s agricultural future could literally end up being controlled entirely by the biotech industry, which will have full immunity from the law.

You can fight back now against these threats to food freedom by visiting:
http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_25711.cfm

Full exemption from the law for the biotech industry
Authored by Congressmen and Chairman of the Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and Related Agencies Jack Kingston (R-Ga.), the 2013 Agriculture Appropriations Bill rider, known as the “farmer assurance provision” (Section 733), specifically outlines that the Secretary of Agriculture will be required, upon request, to “immediately” grant temporary approval or deregulation of a GM crop, even if that crop’s safety is in question or under review.

In other words, if the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is strong-armed into approving a new GM crop that is later legally challenged in court (which is basically what happened for GM sugar beets and GM alfalfa), the Secretary of Agriculture, under the provisions of the Kingston rider, will be required to approve the cultivation and sale of that crop anyway, even if a higher court has already ordered a moratorium on that crop.

“A so-called ‘Monsanto rider,’ quietly slipped into the multi-billion dollar FY 2013 Agriculture Appropriations Bill, would require — not just allow, but require — the Secretary of Agriculture to grant a temporary permit for the planting or cultivation of a genetically engineered crop, even if a federal court has ordered the planting be halted until an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is completed,” wrote Alexis Baden-Mayer and Ronnie Cummins in a recent piece for AlterNet.

“All the farmer or the biotech producer has to do is ask, and the questionable crops could be released into the environment where they could potentially contaminate conventional or organic crops and, ultimately, the nation’s food supply.”

You can read the rider for yourself, which begins on page 86, Sec. 733 of the following document:
http://appropriations.house.gov

Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Or.) introduces amendment to kill ‘Monsanto Protection Act’
According to the House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations website, the 2013 Agriculture Appropriations Bill, with the Kingston rider, was already approved by the committee on June 19. (http://appropriations.house.gov) But it will move next to the House floor, where debate and further amendment proposals will take place — this means there is still time to fight it.

One amendment being proposed by Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Or.) seeks to altogether eliminate the Kingston rider, which has now been dubbed by the health freedom community as the Monsanto Protection Act, from the 2013 Agriculture Appropriations Bill. You can urge your Congressmen to support Rep. DeFazio’s amendment to kill the Monsanto Protection Act by emailing (http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_25711.cfm) or calling (http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_25778.cfm) them.

Committee Farm Bill riders would destroy safeguards that protect farmers, environment from untested GMOs
Another serious food freedom threat exists in the House Agriculture Committee’s discussion draft of the contentious 2012 Farm Bill, where Monsanto et al. have inserted key language, via corrupt legislators of course, that will dismantle existing federal law as it pertains to regulating GM crops, and replace it with a free-for-all system where biotech giants are basically free to grow and market whatever GMOs they please without resistance or legal challenge.

“Deliberately buried in the House Agriculture Committee’s voluminous discussion draft of the 2012 Farm Bill, these significant changes to the Plant Protection Act (PPA) — one of the few statutes that regulate GE crops — will counter the gains that have been made to protect our food supply and the farmers who grow it,” writes Andrew Kimbrell, Executive Director of the Center for Food Safety (CFS), one of the key groups fighting back against this Monsanto sneak attack.

“The provisions (Sections 10011, 10013 and 10014) would force the rushed commercialization of GE crops, create a backdoor approval for Dow’s ‘Agent Orange’ corn and eliminate any meaningful review of the impacts of these novel crops” (http://www.huffingtonpost.com).

These provisions would explicitly outlaw any review of the environmental or human impacts of GM crops under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Endangered Species Act (ESA), or any other environmental laws as well. Only the USDA would be allowed to review the safety of GM crops, and this review process would be so severely neutered that the USDA would essentially operate as a formal “rubber stamp” for approving the biotech industry’s offerings.

Both sets of riders threaten to eliminate every remaining semblance of regulatory power that “We the People” have over our own food system. If passed, these riders will abolish virtually all remaining protections over the American food supply, and allow Monsanto and the rest of Big Ag to completely control what is grown, and how it is grown.

There is still time to fight back against these heinous threats to food freedom, but swift action is necessary to stop Congress from hammering the last few nails into the coffin of American food freedom.

Be sure to contact your Congressmen right now and demand their support for Rep. Peter DeFazio’s amendment to eliminate the Monsanto rider from the 2013 Agriculture Appropriations Bill, as well as their opposition to Sections 10011, 10013 and 10014 of the 2012 Farm Bill:
(http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_25711.cfm)

Sources for this article include:

http://www.anh-usa.org/urgent-action-alert-on-two-gmo-amendments/

http://www.alternet.org

http://rt.com/usa/news/monsanto-bill-immunity-court-862/

http://fooddemocracynow.org

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/036477_Monsanto_immunity_GM_crops.html#ixzz20gVf4uAn

source


The Army's SAEDA Program:The "insider" threat "becomes convinced that action is required"

Subversion,Espionage,Treason,Sedition,Sabotage”

the Individual becomes convinced that ACTION IS REQUIRED”


From Kony to the US & UK and to Greece: "Don't believe the Hype"

When oil executives announced the discovery of the largest onshore oil reserves in the Lake Albert region of Uganda in July 2009, the landlocked, oft-neglected East African nation of Uganda went from relative obscurity to a key partner for multi-national oil conglomerates.

Although buoyed by the news, the people of Uganda were naturally cautious, having seen how oil finds in Nigeria and Angola have brought more violence, bloodshed and instability than peace or prosperity.

These worst fears of Ugandans were lent further credence late last year, when President Obama announced he would be deploying US troops on the ground in Uganda, ostensibly to help capture Joseph Kony, the charismatic leader of a small rebel force that has been accused of murders, rapes and kidnaps in Uganda for decades. The timing of the deployment, however, coming at the exact same time as accusations that some of the highest officials in the Ugandan government were guilty of accepting bribes from international oil companies, only further confirmed that the deployment had less to do with Kony, an elusive figure who in fact left Uganda six years ago, and more to do with the securing of American oil interests.

For years, American interests in Africa have been increasingly threatened by China, the resource-hungry fast-growing second-largest economy in the world. America and its allies have noted with increasing dismay China’s growing economic cooperation with Africa, including its vast investment in the infrastructure for oil exploration, drilling and transportation in countries like Libya and Sudan. In recent years, China has been building up its relations with Uganda, and just last month the newly-appointed Chinese ambassador to Uganda, Zhao Yali, announced a series of measures to increase ties with the soon-to-be oil-rich African nation, including the granting of tariff free exports, and investments in transportation projects, power plants, and infrastructure.

But now, just as China makes its overtures toward Uganda to gain a potential toehold in the region and access to the as-yet-untapped oil wealth, a new video about Joseph Kony has suddenly gone viral online, having been viewed 10s of millions of times in just a week, and changing the focus of the American foreign policy debate toward greater US military involvement in oil-rich Uganda. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it suggests that the only way to capture Kony is to maintain an American military presence in the region.

It wasn’t long before Ugandans themselves took to social media to try to inject their own voice into the debate.

But such words of caution have fallen on the deaf ears of a public who believe that the problem of Kony is a simple one requiring an equally simple solution: more American troops. Just this week, a new bill was introduced in Congress that would see an expansion in regional forces in Africa.

What the film’s well-meaning supporters, many of them youth activists rallying behind a political cause for the first time, don’t realize, is that the Kony film, whether wittingly or not, is accomplishing what years of Pentagon propaganda could not muster: public support for an expanded American military role in Africa.

The process of setting up a unified American military command for the continent of Africa began in 2006, with then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld forming a committee to advise on the formation of AFRICOM. Officially established in October 2008, AFRICOM’s mission statement is to “strengthen our security cooperation with Africa and create new opportunities to bolster the capabilities of our partners in Africa.” In reality, this provides a convenient excuse for maintaining and expanding a permanent American military presence in the region.

Libya’s Gaddafi was strongly opposed to the AFRICOM mission, and predicted that China would ultimately have more success wooing the continent with its hands-off approach to trade and investment in Africa. In the early weeks of the Libyan bombing of 2011, AFRICOM took a lead role in the campaign, coordinating warships, aircraft and munitions.

Late last year, I had the chance to talk to former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney about AFRICOM, and how the US is increasingly turning its military attention to Africa in an effort to secure Africa’s resources.

Now, as the gears of the Washington political-military complex grind into action yet again, a bewildered public is asking itself how such a phenomenon as the Kony 2012 video and attendant activist campaign arose so quickly, and what this means for the future of the political process.

The campaign itself was organized around the concept of recruiting celebrities like Rihanna, Tim Tebow and Mark Zuckerberg to promote the video. After receiving significant boosts from tweets by the likes of P. Diddy and Kim Kardashian, and media interviews by Angelina Jolie, the hype surrounding the video seemed to be a spontaneous phenomenon, but was in fact a planned PR rollout.

In the end, perhaps there is something positive that can be taken out of this latest ploy to rally public support for greater military conquest. If nothing else, the Kony phenomenon has shown us that with the right video and the right marketing, any idea–no matter how periphery to the current political debate–can be catapulted into the limelight and become a rallying cry for millions.

Perhaps, then, like-minded activists might be able to organize a campaign around another infamous child-killer, this one responsible not for kidnapping tens of thousands of children, but for killing hundreds of thousands:

Or perhaps a Bush/Cheney/Blair/Rumsfeld 2012 campaign could be mounted to bring to justice the war criminals who launched illegal wars of aggression by lying to the public about Saddam’s Weapons of Mass Destruction.

Or the Obama 2012 campaign could refer not to the ongoing political campaign to re-elect the President, but an alternative campaign to hold him accountable for his moves toward outright dictatorship over America with the signing into law of the NDAA and his self-proclaimed power to assassinate American citizens on command.

Or perhaps a well-made video could rally the public around a Blankflein 2012 campaign to hold Goldman Sachs and its Board of Directors accountable for its crimes against the people of the world, from the US to Greece to the UK and beyond. Source


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