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Posts Tagged ‘George Washington’


Apologies to Washington and Jefferson for posting this one, but they can take it ;)

From Charles Davis at Salon.com:

Terrible findings in the torture report “are not who we are,” John Kerry claims. Well, here’s a U.S. history lesson

America, nation of torturers: Stop saying "this isn't who we are" -- here's the real truth

John Yoo, Kiefer Sutherland as Jack Bauer in “24: Live Another Day,” John Brennan (Credit: AP/Susan Walsh/Fox/Reuters/Larry Downing/Photo collage by Salon)

It’s comforting for those whose actions are not aligned with their stated values to believe that what one does in real life is not what ultimately defines who one really is. It’s nice to think who we are is determined not by the things we did the day before, but by the stated ideals we hope to aspire to fulfill, starting tomorrow. In a nation-state founded by settler-colonial Protestants, the argument is familiar – it’s what’s deep down inside that gets one up into heaven, not the good or genocidal nature of what one does down here on Earth – and as with any half-decent lie, it’s relatable: as fallible human beings, we’d all rather like to believe that we’re not as bad as we are but as good as we say we would like to be.

While founded on the ethnic cleansing of the continent’s original inhabitants and the enslavement of its African workforce, the news – or rather, confirmation – that the CIA employed a revolting range of “enhanced” torture techniques in the wake of 9/11 is being portrayed by some as a vile exception to the United States’ otherwise exceptional history; a “stain on our values and history,” in the words of Senator Dianne Feinstein, whose committee released the report detailing the agency’s use of near-drownings and mock executions and sexual abuse to humiliate and demoralize a foreign “other” under the guise of gathering intelligence. These practices, the terrible things this country has again and again been shown to do, “are not who we are,” addedSecretary of State John Kerry. Indeed, “the awful facts of this report” do not even “represent who they are,” he said of those awful people described in that report (“its important that this period not define the intelligence community in anyone’s mind,” he continued).

“Some of the actions that were taken were contrary to our values,” President Barack Obama chimed in, crediting his government with, as always, correcting its own mistakes (“They aren’t picking up prisoners anymore,” Senator James Risch explained to CNN. “What they do is when they identify a high-value target, the target is droned.”).

As a rhetorical ploy, it’s understandable: Saying the United States has always been garbage is not going to be terribly popular in a nation that still fondly refers to a group of sadistic slave-owners as its “founding fathers” — so politicians savvy enough to know that openly embracing torture is not a good look for the world’s leading state-sponsor of holier-than-thou rhetoric, appeal to a history and set of values that never was and never were in practice, as a way to give political cover to their middling, public relations-minded critiques of the national-security state’s least defensible excesses. It’s entirely false, this narrative of extreme goodness marked by occasional self-correcting imperfection, but it satisfies our national ego to think the American phoenix rises from a store of ethically traded gold, not a pile of rotting trash.

“We will likely hear these false appeals to an imaginary history a great deal with the release of the Senate report on CIA torture,” writes Juan Cole, a history professor at the University of Michigan. But even historians can fall victim to America’s easier to digest mythology, with Cole proceeding to characterize the ugly truth about the United States – that it was founded on the “exaltation of ‘whiteness’ over universal humanity, and preference for property rights over human rights” – as but a right-wing lie. As he tells it, the likes of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were actually progressives who would almost certainly “have voted to release the report and . . . been completely appalled at its contents.”

Cole follows that assertion up with a list of things that some of these founding fathers said they believed: Jefferson, for instance, argued that the formal abolition of torture in the French legal system was in keeping with “the progress of philanthropy and civilization.” And the Bill of Rights of course prohibits “cruel and unusual punishment.” But, naggingly, the actual record of those who gave those nice speeches and drafted the Constitution suggests we shouldn’t just believe what they said and wrote down.

“Fascists will argue that the Constitution does not apply to captured foreign prisoners of war, or that the prisoners were not even P.O.W.s, having been captured out of uniform,” writes Cole. “But focusing on the category of the prisoner is contrary to the spirit of the founding fathers.”

Except, it isn’t at all – and if fascism is denying human rights on the basis of nationality or appearance, than the exalted founders were of course fascists themselves. The same document that ostensibly prohibits torture also defined an African slave as three-fifths of a person – and even then, only for purposes of bolstering the political power of those who enslaved them: in practice, they were treated as property whose master could torture or murder them with impunity. This is not pedantry: Hundreds of thousands of people were denied their ostensibly inalienable rights because of the color of their skin; nearly four million by the time of the Civil War, or almost half the population of the South.

Thomas Jefferson, for instance, may have agonized over the evil of slavery, usually in private, but then he also reputedly raped a 15-year-old he owned and, according to the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, paid $70 just so he could have a runaway slave he had already sold off to someone else “severely flogged in the presence of his old companions.” At least once, Jefferson even“ordered the destruction of all dogs belonging to his slaves,” according to researcher Mary V. Thompson. “At least one of the condemned dogs was hung as a disciplinary warning.”

Jefferson was a savage white supremacist who in practice if not always in speech believed that people of color (“slaves” and “savages” as they were known then; “thugs” and “terrorists” as they’re often called today) did not deserve all the same rights as wealthy white Americans like him; he could own them, but they could not even own a pet. The sometimes beautiful talk of universal rights popular around the time of the American revolution was ignored in practice; then as now there were giant exceptions for those whom it would be inconvenient to consider fully human.

Torture has always been commonplace in the United States. As former slave Harriet Ann Jacobs recounted, a wealthy slaveholder who was “highly educated, and styled a perfect gentleman,” tied up a fellow slave to a cotton gin for four days and five nights as punishment for running away; he “was found partly eaten by rats and vermin,” which had likely “gnawed him before life was extinct.” His body was unceremoniously dumped in a grave. “Women are considered of no value,” Jacobs recalled – “This same master shot a woman through the head” for running away, without harm to his social status (“the feeling was that the master had a right to do what he pleased with his own property”) – and any man who resisted a whipping risked being set upon by dogs “to tear his flesh from his bones.”

“I do not say there are no humane slaveholders,” Jacobs concluded her account. “Such characters do exist . . . . But they are ‘like angels’ visits – few and far between.’” And Africans weren’t the only ones denied the rights enjoyed by human property-owning white men.

“The kind of warfare the U.S. military practices today in the rest of the world was developed in their irregular counter-insurgency against Native nations, starting in the British colonial period for sure, but developing uniquely and more harshly once the U.S. was independent with a policy of conquering the continent,” said historian Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz. “The important thing to stress about the use of torture,” she told me, “is that it is unrelated to ‘getting information.’ Torture is used in counterinsurgency to terrorize a population . . . [it’s] a preventative measure to suppress resistance by terrifying the insurgents, breaking their will to continue.” And America has a long, ignoble history of doing it.

In her most recent book, An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States, notes that British colonists in America organized militias in order to steal land from the less-than-human natives, seeking “to disrupt every aspect of resistance as well as to obtain intelligence” by taking prisoners, “destroying indigenous villages and fields and intimidating and slaughtering enemy noncombatant populations.” A settler named Hannah Dustin became a folk hero in 17th century America after presenting 10 indigenous scalps to the Massachusetts General Assembly, which rewarded her “with bounties for two men, two women, and six children” (later on, the bounties were eliminated for indigenous children under the age of 10; “values”).

Seeking to expand his young nation-state’s territory, President George Washington concluded that, “No other remedy remains, but to extirpate, utterly if possible,” the indigenous population that stood in the white settlers’ way. Andrew Jackson personally waged total war against the men, women and children of the Muskogee Nation before becoming president and ethnically cleansing all native peoples East of the Mississippi; today the guy’s face is on the $20 bill. At Sand Creek, during the presidency of Abe Lincoln, dozens of unarmed Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians were massacred. “All manner of depredations were inflicted on their persons,” recountedone eyewitness. “They were scalped, their brains knocked out; the men used their knives, ripped open women, clubbed little children, knocked them in the head with their guns, beat their brains out, mutilated their bodies in every sense of the word.”

Instead of renouncing this history, we have chosen to celebrate a mythical, white-washed version of it, with genocide relegated to a footnote. If our leaders were more honest, they’d admit that the CIA’s recently revealed torture isn’t a break from this legacy, but the fruit of it – the product of decades of dehumanizing counter-insurgency warfare that expanded the USA from 13 colonies on the East Coast to much of North America and, ultimately, a global empire (it’s no coincidence that the code-name for Osama bin Laden was “Geronimo,” taken from the famed Apache leader).

After almost wiping out America’s original inhabitants, the U.S. government went on to declare total war on differently pigmented people around the globe. President Woodrow Wilson re-instituted slavery (or “forced labor”) in Haiti after its political class proved insufficiently compliant, his famed commitment to the right of self-determination not extending to those darker than pasty white. In Vietnam, the CIA’s “Phoenix Program” saw those accused of collaborating with the North Vietnamese subjected to “assassination, kidnapping, and systematic torture,”according to historian Douglas Valentine. Inmates at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq were raped and murdered. And today, amid official proclamations that we live in a post-torture age, inmates held in Guantanamo Bay – many of whom could never even go to a show trial because insofar as there’s any real evidence against them it was gained through torture – continue to be subjected to torturous force-feedings that have been condemned by the United Nations.

The abuse, exported across Latin America through the torture-training School of the Americas, also continues here at home, with tens of thousands of black and brown and poor white US citizens currently languishing in mind-destroying solitary confinement, California’s Pelican Bay State Prison alone holding over 500 people in isolation for a decade or more. In Chicago, a cop who electrocuted and otherwise tortured more than 200 people until they confessed to crimes they didn’t do, got off with about 3 years behind bars after the evidence of his sadism became too great to ignore; that’s less prison time than if he had been caught with a gram of crack cocaine.

Pointing all this out – noting that the U.S. government has rarely lived up to its stated ideals – is not to engage in mere pedantry, nor is it an attempt to suggest this country is irredeemably evil. This nation was born in genocide and slavery, sure, still it could conceivably change – but only if, instead of ignoring the institutionalized injustice, we recognizing and call out the systemic cause of the alleged “aberrations” our leaders are forced to distance themselves from every 18 months. The problem is not that the tree of liberty has produced a few bad seeds, but that the settler-colonists who planted it on someone else’s land watered it with blood of slaves and native peoples. It’s not George W. Bush and Dick Cheney who are responsible for making America a state that tortures, but George Washington and that other dick Tom Jefferson.

Avoiding the routine departure from “our values” requires confronting our actual history; it’s the only way to learn from it. Torture and total war are not the work of a few bad people, but the product of a system that from its inception treated human beings as property and the right to property as more important than the rights of women and men – it’s who we are, and if we want the violence wrought by our system to end, we must honestly address the systemic cause. The paeans to our imagined greatness might be comforting, we should resist the temptation to out-patriot the right or else we’ll end up just like them: doing public relations for the system that allows this evil to keep happening. And if humanity ever does manage to kick the habit of installing the worst among us at the top of hierarchical and unaccountable systems of power, history may very well judge us by our actions, not our pretty words and beautifully articulated aspirations.

 

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Thanks to Aangifan: http://aanirfan.blogspot.com/2014/06/us-presidents-and-gay-lovers.html


Obama and James Costos.

The Associated Press has reported that, over the recent Father’s Day Weekend, Barack Obama stayed with a couple of gay men  in Rancho Mirage, in California.

The gay men are White House decorator Michael Smith and his partner, U.S. Ambassador to Spain James Costos.

 
George Washington.

The USA has always been run by gay/bisexual men, reportedly.

Historians in Paris uncovered gay love letters exchanged by George Washington and his lover, Guy Raffleur III.


Abraham Lincoln and Joshua Speed spent four years living together and sharing a small bed.Abraham Lincoln

According to an article entitled: Gay Men and the Presidents Who Loved Them:

William King is said to been the gay lover of President James Buchanan. 


Eisenhower chatting up young boys in Germany.

Arthur Vandenberg Jr. was the gay friend of Dwight Eisenhower.

Lem Billings and Joe Alsop were the gay friends of John F. Kennedy.

Lem had his own bedroom at the White House.

Joseph Alsop, an extreme right-wing gay, was at one time close to JFK.

The KGB sent compromising photos of ‘Alsop with a boy’ to the US media.

Walter Jenkins was the gay friend of Lyndon B. Johnson. 

Jenkins began working for Johnson at the age of 21.

Charles ‘Bebe’ Rebozo was the gay friend of the right-wing homophobe Richard Nixon.

Oliver Sipple, an ex-marine, was the gay friend of Gerald Ford.

Rock Hudson was the gay friend of Ronald Reagan.

(A column by Drew Pearson in the New York Post, 1967, reported that: ‘A homosexual ring’ operated out of Governor Reagan’s office…’

(Reportedly, lobbyist Craig Spence conducted a 1 a.m tour of the Reagan White House on July 3, 1988 for six friends, including homosexual call boys. REAGAN, GAY MAFIAS…)


Dana Carvey spent the night at the White House.

The gay Charles Francis has been close to George W Bush.(The ‘gay’ Jeff Gannon stayed at the White House of George W Bush. Victor Ashe is said to have been close to George W Bush.)

The gay David Mixner was close to Bill Clinton.

Gay Men and the Presidents Who Loved Them

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20131215_americaDespite the ongoing declarations by Wall Street’s strategists and Washington’s leaders that recovery is here (or just around the corner), record numbers of Americans in poverty and government handouts suggest otherwise. However, the insidious chipping away at the possibility of the American Dream has been replaced by an IPO-chasing, zero-interest-income-earning, yield-reaching, insider-trading, ‘dance-while-the-music-is-playing’, beggars can be choosers, get-rich-quick-scheme nation of takers (and entitled-ers)…

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We have not been shy about exposing the massive (and unsustainable) bubble of credit being blown into the economy via Student Loans from the government. We have not been afraid to note the dramatic rise in delinquencies among these loans – and the implications for the government. However, as Bloomberg reports, it appears the impact of this exuberance has come back to bite the colleges themselves. In what can only be described as a vendor-financing model, the so-called Perkins loans (for students with extraordinary financial hardships) have seen defaults surging more than 20%.

more here

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Laptop Repair Made Easy – Hd Video Series

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EUflag

Free expression in all forms is fundamental. Without it, all other freedoms are at risk. Included are free speech, thought, culture, intellectual inquiry, and press freedom.

Denial risks tyranny. Voltaire said, “I may disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” Howard Zinn called dissent “the highest form of patriotism.”

Jefferson said, “The only security of all is in a free press.” He added that it “cannot be limited without being lost.” George Washington said, “If the freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led like sheep to the slaughter.”

Twenty-seven EU nations disagreed. Brandishing their Nobel award like a sword, they blocked 19 Iranian television and radio stations. European satellite provider Eutelsat sold its soul. It went along. It agreed to silence them across Europe.

A statement said, “We terminated the contracts because it was the order of the European Commission. We have to follow.”

No one is obligated to obey illegal diktats – no individual, organization, business, or nation. Doing so makes them complicit.

Months of on and off jamming preceded Monday’s announcement.

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SOURCE

Jean-L�on G�rome - Sklavenmarkt in RomIn the good old days, after George Washington and the boys won the war to free us from the bank of England’s predatory and impoverishing practices, they set up a “revolutionary” economic system. The government created and issued all the public currency, spending it into circulation to purchase what the government needed, then after the currency circulated through society to fuel commerce, was taxed back to the government to balance the books.

Simple!


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Banks existed, of course. But they were kept off to one side, and use of the banks was optional for the people of the United States. It was possible to go through one’s entire life without dealing with a bank if one chose to do so.


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This system not only reserved the choice whether to use the bank to the people, but it was a stable system, because as debt increased, the people could voluntarily choose to stop borrowing from the bank! That was one of the most important freedoms won during the revolution; the freedom to say “no” to the banks!


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Then, in 1913, a corrupt Congress and a corrupt President changed the structure of the nation’s economy and stole your freedom to say “no”! The economic system was reverted to a mirror of that same system the nation fought a revolution to be free of. The power to issue money was taken away from the government and given to the bankers and from that day onward, ALL money in circulation was created as the result of a loan at interest from the bankers to the government, to business, and to the people. There is no exception. Every dollar paid in salary, spent to purchase food or gas, or paid in taxes, began as an interest bearing loan. There is no money in circulation in the United States that did not start out as a loan at interest from the bankers at the privately-owned Federal Reserve system.


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From that moment on, the freedom of the people to refuse to borrow from the banks and to refuse to pay interest was stripped away. To participate in the commerce of the United States at all means being forced to use money loaned at interest, to the profit of the bankers and the impoverishment of the public. Your freedom to say “no” was stolen by Congress in 1913, without your permission and before you were born.

When you have lost the freedom to say “no”, when you have no choice but to pay a percentage of your earnings as interest to the bankers whether in private debt or taxes to cover the gargantuan debts by the US Government itself, you are a slave to the bankers. And because more money is owed to the bankers than actually exists, because of the interest charged on the loan that created the money, the debt-slavery is permanent! No matter how hard you work, no matter how much you sacrifice, the debt can never be paid off. The system is intentionally designed to trap the nation’s population permantly in unpayable debt, to make them slaves to that debt and to the bankers. This is the purpose behind the design of the Federal Reserve, the International Monitary Fund, the European Central Bank, and indeed every private central bank issuing the public currency as a loan at interest. This is why today every nation is drowning in created debt, and slaved to the private bankers. That is the reason for ever increasing taxes and decresing benefits; to pay the bankers their unpayable interest on the public currency.

For that enslavement to succeed, your right and freedom to refuse that bank’s interest-bearing money must be stripped away. The government must force you to use that private central bank’s currency, loaned to you at interest, via the Legal Tender Laws. Therein lies your slave chains. You are ordered by the government, on pain of prison, to use the banker’s money, and to pay the interest charged by the bankers through your taxes.

Free people have the right to say “no.” Free people have a right to decide for themselves what medium of exchange they will use and to choose not to involve the bankers!

There is no freedom without the freedom to say “no.” Slaves cannot say “no” when ordered to surrender the products of their labor to their masters.

You are a slave.

“I am a most unhappy man. I have unwittingly ruined my country. A great industrial nation is now controlled by its system of credit.We are no longer a government by free opinion, no longer a government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a government by the opinion and duress of a small group of dominant men.” — Woodrow Wilson 1919

Slavery exists only because the slaves have been taught to believe that slavery is the way the world is supposed to be. Beliefs are chains used to enslave free people. No chains of steel ever bound a human tighter than the chains made of the beliefs with which we are indoctrinated while young in the state schools and the churches.

Slaves used to be held prisoner by their belief in rule by divine right. Then the slaves regained their freedom when they realized that divine right is only an illusion created by the enslavers to trick the people into obedient servitude.

Then slaves were held prisoner by their belief in rule by chattel ownership of one’s body. Then the slaves regained their freedom when they realized that one person owning another is an illusion created by the enslavers to trick the people into obedient servitude.

Today the modern slaves (that is YOU) are held prisoner by their belief in compound interest; that they owe money that never existed to repay money created out of thin air. And you modern slaves will regain your freedoms when you realize that private central banking is just another illusion created by the enslavers to trick you into obedient servitude.

Stop believing.

Cry freedom!

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A plaque of excerpts from George Washington's ...

Image via Wikipedia

by Philip Giraldi, March 17, 2011

On the anniversary of his birthday, it once was the custom to read in the United States House of Representatives all of George Washington’s Farewell Address.  The tradition lost its immediacy with the passage of time and ceased during the 1970s, when Washington’s endorsement of a free republic that assiduously avoided the quarrels of others became increasingly irrelevant to an America mired in Vietnam that was moving in the opposite direction at breakneck speed.  I had hoped that the custom might be revived this year by some of the tea partiers, but, alas, could not find a congressman willing to take the lead to honor our first president.

We ignore George Washington at our peril.  Our first president as well as Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, and Adams predicted ruin for a republic that would involve itself in foreign politics.  The founders also foresaw and warned against what we now call democracy promotion, the urge to fan the flames started by the American revolution to launch a crusade to convert the nations of the world into firebreathing republicans.  James Madison’s Secretary of State John Quincy Adams described it as “going abroad in search of monsters to destroy.”

The United States is currently involved in a number of conflicts in which it has no imaginable interest while the nation seems to wallow in an orgy of military-worship.  Fifty thousand American soldiers hunker down in Iraq, which is, according to media reports, reverting to the same kind of government oppression that characterized the reign of Saddam Hussein.  Recently 29 demonstrators protesting against government corruption were shot dead.  The only difference from Saddam is that this time the government carrying out the brutalizing is Shi’ite, not Sunni.  So the end result is that the United States removed a dictator who did not threaten Americans and replaced him with a government that is beginning to kill people protesting against it, a sense of official entitlement not far removed from that of the dictator whose removal started the whole process.  Oh, and one might add that Saddam was hostile to would-be regional hegemon and perennial American enemy-in-waiting Iran while the current Iraqi government is extremely friendly to the Mullahs.  So much for mitigating the threat to the United States.  And along the way, the still uncompleted transition process has cost nearly 5,000 American lives, the lives of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and the displacement of millions more, and at least one trillion dollars and still counting.

CONTINUED HERE

 

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Own work, based on Wikipedia blank map.

Image via Wikipedia

South Korea and the US are having a massive military exercise on Sunday with the George Washington aircraft carrier in route from it’s US base in Japan as I write. The last two SK exercises have led to dead South Koreans. The North has already warned against the US/SK drills and China has even dropped into to say stay the hell out of our waters as well. So is anyone taking steps to prevent war? No. South Korea has increased its military presence and moved longer range artillery units onto Yeonpyeong. How would the US react if Russia and Cuba did mock drills of invading Florida? They probably wouldn’t like it. But when North Korea fired two shots into Yeonpyeong it was after SK had a drill with 70,000 troops drilled for an mock invasion of the North. Today Nov 26th Japan time, North Korea shot 22 more shells though not at South Korea but on their border. The news had loops of the puffs of smoke going over and over.

CONTINUED HERE

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Flag of the Army of the Republic of Korea

Image via Wikipedia

Between the US debt owed to China, China’s refusal to make their own people suffer to fix the US Government’s self-imposed economic melt-down, and yesterday’s announcement that Russia and China are dropping the dollar for bilateral trade, the US government has a strong motive to start a war with China and try to make it look like either China or China’s client state North Korea’s fault, in order to justify erasing those debts with bombs and the blood of young Americans. Just as the firing of shells into North Korea’s waters was a provocation, the deployment of the USS George Washington into the Yellow Sea is a provocation. And I note that Popular Science December magazine features a cover story about the Chinese “threat” to US aircraft carriers!

STORY: 24 Nov 2010 President Obama and South Korea’s president agreed Tuesday night to hold joint military exercises as a first response to North Korea’s deadly shelling of a South Korean military installation [after South Korea fired shots]. The exercise will include sending the aircraft carrier George Washington and a number of accompanying ships into the region… The decision to send the aircraft carrier came as the South Korean military went into what it termed “crisis status.”

CONTINUED HERE

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