Reply to Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s Lame Foreword to Senate Torture Report

Dianne Feinstein’s foreword to the newly released Senate Select Committee on Intelligence’s CIA Torture Report is a masterpiece of evasion, excuse-mongering and all-around Democratic Party political fuckery. In this essay we are going to attempt a point-by-point refutation of the lame alibis offered up by Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein to justify the shredding of the US Constitution and Bill of Rights by herself and her co-conspirators in the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. It’s unpleasant work – but it has to be attempted because her pathetic rationalizations in her foreword are apt to be swallowed whole,  accepted uncritically and regurgitated in print and on air by most of the hack journalists of the bourgeois press ad nauseam. None of the excuses she retails in her foreword make any sense at all to anyone who isn’t a naked apologist for the crimes of US imperialism. Since the US working class has not one single representative in Congress we have no way to launch the campaign to release the full, uncensored Torture Report; the working class of the US – at least 175 million strong – can only make appeals from the sidelines like fans shouting disapproval of a bad call made by referees in a football game. It’s a shameful state of affairs for the workers of the US to have created for themselves by supporting the pro-capitalist Democrats instead of building revolutionary workers parties and electing real worker-representatives to Congress!

**************

The full Committee Study, which totals more than 6,700 pages, remains classified but is now an official Senate Report. The full report has been provided to the White House, the CIA, the Department of Justice, the Department of Defense, the Department of State, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence in the hopes that it will prevent future coercive interrogation practices and inform the management of other covert action programs.”

The Study “remains classified”? This is absolutely unacceptable. Everyone can read it except the workers of the United States and the world, apparently. We demand that the full, uncensored 6,700 page magnum opus of the Obama Administration, along with all the videos, audio recordings and documentary addenda be released in full to the world so we can see it with our own eyes and judge it for ourselves. We simply do not and can not trust the lying US Government to tell us the truth. Releasing only a 500-page heavily-censored summary of a 6,700-page report is an obvious attempt by the Senate Intelligence Committee to deceive the citizens of the US and the world.

The full report has been provided…”. This is a ruse to make it appear as if “all the responsible people” in the government have access to the full report. In fact only the very top criminals in all the named organizations – many of whom were themselves deeply involved in approving and directing the CIA’s kidnapping and torture programs – are allowed to read it. Again, this is unacceptable. By authorizing the kidnapping, torture and murder of our working class brothers and sisters all over the world, the US Government gave official sanction to their criminal acts and carried them out in the name of each and every one of us who are citizens of the USA. By dragging the entire nation into their murderous conspiracy, the criminals in the US Government who sponsored the re-legalization of torture and, later, the assassination of US citizens have drawn every US citizen into their conspiracy. We demand full access to these documents and the uncensored report so that we can determine who must be held to account for these disgusting crimes carried out in our names!

The full report has been provided [to the criminals leading the organizations that carried out the kidnapping, torture and murder conspiracy] in the hopes [sic] [!!] that it will prevent future coercive interrogation practices [still in denial, won’t say “torture”] and inform the management of other covert action programs.”

This is a prayer for the Lord’s forgiveness rather than what it should be: the prelude to a series of criminal indictments of and long prison terms for Bush and Obama Administration officials and their agents who ordered and carried out an illegal and immoral program under which men and women were seized, kidnapped, tortured and in several cases, murdered.

In the United States we witnessed Sen. Dianne Feinstein and her Democratic Party friends in California enacting the notorious “Three Strikes” laws under which people convicted of such heinous crimes as stealing $150 worth of videotapes from a KMart as their “third strike” were given multiple LIFE SENTENCES! Yet the working class is supposed to accept the proposal made by none other than Feinstein herself that top government officials who ordered people to be tortured and murdered be allowed to decide what the penalty should be for their own far more heinous crimes! This is a monstrous proposal made by the “lesser evil” Democrat Feinstein, who thinks nothing of sending a worker to jail for decades for stealing a bag of cookies, but who not only conspired to allow torture to be re-legalized but who conspires today to let the perpetrators of torture she worked hand-in-glove with to avoid even the slightest wrist-slap to be imposed upon them!

Feinstein treats us to a pathetic apologia in which she seeks to be absolved from responsibility for signing off on the CIA’s torture program because she was in shock from the carnage of 9/11/2001! Poor woman! But it is your JOB to NOT be driven to commit outrages against the rights of the citizens by a mere terrorist attack! You and your co-conspirators have the authority to launch the US’ massive nuclear arsenal, capable of turning Earth into an irradiated human-free zone – and you tell us that a mere handful of criminals seizing a few civilian airliners and smashing them into skyscrapers is enough to derange your professed commitment to the rule of law to the degree that you will shred the Constitution and the Bill of Rights? If this is the case, then you are confessing to the world that you are utterly unqualified to hold the position you have held at the top of the cesspool of corruption that is the US Government! When did you realize that you were so far out of your depth? And why didn’t you resign when that realization dawned on you, years ago?

We are supposed to believe that all the savagery unleashed by the US Government against the world in the wake of the 9/11 attacks was the result of the temporary derangement of the intellectual faculties of the entire top leadership of the US Government! Is there any better proof that these bought-and-paid-for cretins running the US Government should be thrown out of office immediately – and permanently replaced by a workers government?

Reading [this Executive Summary and Findings and Conclusions of the report] it is easy to forget the context in which the program began – not that the context should serve as an excuse” [our emphasis – IWPCHI] But that is precisely why you bring up the context: to provide an excuse for why you personally and the entire leadership of the US Government, Republican and Democratic parties alike, authorized the dismemberment of the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights!

It is worth remembering the pervasive fear in late 2001 and how immediate the threat felt”.

WE remember feeling no such fear at all! We do, however, remember the overwhelming revulsion we felt knowing that a chain of events that had been initiated by Democratic President Jimmy Carter in 1979 (when he authorized the CIA’s provision of weapons and training to Al Qaeda’s precursors in the holy war against the USSR’s intervention in Afghanistan) had finally come full circle to visit pain and suffering on the citizens of the US. We remember not being the least bit afraid of the pathetic criminal gangs of Al Qaeda, who possessed not a single warplane, aircraft carrier, nuclear submarine, missile or other form of modern weaponry capable of launching serious attacks on the US. We remember being very aware that it was out of their complete incapacity to launch any serious military assault on the US that Al Qaeda chose to sacrifice its best-trained operatives in suicide attacks using civilian airliners; and that, having done so, and as the weeks and months passed and nothing more happened, we recall being acutely aware that Al Qaeda had already “blown their wad” on 9/11. But you, Sen. Feinstein, and your co-conspirators in Washington, you want us to believe that, in spite of all your deep knowledge of the vast military superiority of the US military in comparison with the puny, impotent (then and now) sub-military forces of Al Qaeda, were living in constant fear of another massive attack? Based on what, exactly? You are either a liar or a shameless incompetent – which is it, Sen. Feinstein? No one with an ounce of intelligence could consider Al Qaeda to be anything other than what they were and are: a gang of reactionary, woman-hating serial killers. The Wehrmacht, the Red Army they most decidedly are not! If this tiny cabal of killer cretins could derange the entire US Government into shredding the Bill of Rights, what would you do if the nation was at war with a full-fledged industrialized nation-state of the caliber of Germany or Russia? The US working class had damned well better do all it can to see to it that you and your co-conspirators never get the chance again to showcase your utter inability to keep your wits about you in such an eventuality!

The major lesson of this report is that regardless of the pressures and the need to act, the Intelligence Community’s actions must always reflect who we are as a nation, and adhere to our laws and standards”. But, Sen. Feinstein: you have just explained to us how a mere series of terrorist attacks in which 0.000009% of the US population was murdered and a handful of buildings destroyed is enough to send the so-called “leadership” of that very poorly named “Intelligence Community” running around like a flock of chickens with their heads cut off! How can we expect you to perform better in the future, especially if actual military forces using modern weaponry were attacking the US?

CIA personnel, aided by two outside contractors, decided to initiate a program of indefinite secret detention and the use of brutal interrogation techniques [still in denial, Sen. Feinstein, but you’re almost there! Say it: t-o-r-t-u-r-e!] Here the Democrats try to throw all the blame for the torture campaign on the CIA and two subcontractors when in fact the top leadership of the Democratic Party was kept appraised of all these developments as they happened – and did nothing to oppose them.

The Committee Study documents the abuses and countless mistakes [our emphasis – IWPCHI] made between 2001 and early 2009.” Ah yes; there were not CRIMES committed but mere “abuses” and “mistakes”! You can’t prosecute people for making mistakes now, can you? The CIA, with the full knowledge of the Democratic and Republican leadership of the Senate Intelligence Committee made “countless” “mistakes” – like waterboarding a man over 180 times! Like beating and freezing prisoners to death! “Oops! Naughty boys! Don’t do that again!” says Sen. Feinstein!

The full Committee Study… provides substantially more detail than what is included in the Executive Summary…” YET: “I chose”… [“I chose” she says!] “not to seek declassification of the full Committee Study at this time. I believe that the Executive Summary includes enough information to adequately describe the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program [ah, you’re backsliding again, Senator! Say it: t-o-r-t-u-r-e…]”

Well Sen. Feinstein, we are not impressed with your ability to judge these matters intelligently, as you have just described to the world your and your co-conspirators’ inability to keep your wits about you when you feel threatened. The release of the full report will undoubtedly provide far more proof that something more than a series of cynical hand-wringing apologies are in order to even begin to redress the horrendous crimes you and your co-conspirators committed in the name of “protecting the homeland”!

Decisions will be made later on the declassification and release of the full 6,700 page study”. That is also quite unacceptable. We demand the release of the full, UNCENSORED text of the summary, the report and the immediate release of ALL the addenda, including audio and video recordings, photographs, documents and depositions – EVERYTHING! We’re not going to be made to wait 25 years for this festering boil to be lanced!

Sen. Feinstein, who should recuse herself from proposing what punishments she and her co-conspirators deserve (since she is a likely co-defendant in any war crimes or crimes-against-humanity trial), instead proposes to the world the following non-recommendations:

It is my sincere and deep hope [hope?] that through the release of these Findings and Conclusions and Executive Summary [through their release alone!] that U.S. policy will never again allow for secret indefinite detention and the use of coercive interrogations [Still in denial! Say it: t-o-r-t-u-r-e…!]… we cannot again allow… grievous past mistakes [mistakes!] to be repeated.”

Executive Order 13491 prohibiting “the CIA from holding detainees other than on a ‘short-term, transitory basis’” as well as the limitation of interrogation techniques to those included in the Army Field Manual “should be enshrined in legislation”. But, dear Sen. Feinstein: the prohibitions against the use of torture are already “enshrined in legislation”, aren’t they? They are “enshrined” in both US legislation and international law! Of course, that never has and never will prevent the use of torture whenever the bloodthirsty US capitalist class feels that its class rule is seriously threatened by workers or governments anywhere oppose their endless quest for more and more money – especially if the opposition is led by the US working class.

While the Committee did not make specific recommendations, several emerge from the Committee’s review. The CIA… has already made and begun to implement its own recommendations.” So, not only do the “lesser evil” Democrats cop out on making specific recommendations to “enshrine in legislation” prohibitions against torture and murder of prisoners (which were prohibited by legislation long ago); they are more than happy to let the criminals at the CIA responsible for initiating the campaign of systematic torture and murder of prisoners “correct” their own “mistakes”! What could be more outrageous?

The Committee Study, including the now-declassified Executive Summary and Findings and Conclusions, as updated is now final… [t]his and future Administrations should use this Study to guide future programs, correct past mistakes [“mistakes” again!] increase oversight of CIA representations to policymakers [merely increase oversight of the CIA’s representations to policymakers!] and ensure coercive interrogation practices are not used by our government again”. This is all far beneath what needs to be done – it barely scratches the surface of what needs to be done! And mark the careful phrasing of the end of the last sentence: torture is not to be used “by our government” again! But we have seen how the CIA repeatedly “outsourced” torture to other nations – including those that were alleged to be “rogue nations” like Qaddafi’s Libya! Sen. Feinstein provides the US Government with a loophole large enough to fly a B-1 bomber through: the CIA mustn’t detain prisoners for anything more than a “short-term, transitory basis” at which time they remain as before free to turn over their victims to criminals in another country who can carry out the torture for them! Sen. Feinstein, this non-proposal proposal of your Committee’s will not stand.

Ms. Feinstein’s foreword says absolutely NOTHING on the subject of the imperialist President Obama’s declaration that he has the “right” to order the assassination of US citizens! Undoubtedly this tyrannical declaration of the nation’s top Democrat is not considered to be one of the “mistakes” made by Ms. Feinstein and her cabal of co-conspirators in their project to eviscerate the Constitution and Bill of Rights! She also makes no mention of the major Constitutional crisis that SHOULD have occurred when it was revealed that the CIA spied on members of the Senate Committee as it researched and deliberated during the production of the Torture Report! That the CIA spied on the very governmental body that is responsible for overseeing the CIA’s activities is just another innocent “mistake” in the eyes of Senator Feinstein! This pantomime CIA watchdog refuses to bark – or even to yelp when its tail is rudely stomped on!

The fact that the US capitalist class has become so deranged that it would give its bought-and-paid-for employees in Congress the green light to bring legalized torture back into existence from the dungeons of the Dark Ages proves to us beyond a doubt the need for the US working class to determinedly struggle to create the revolutionary socialist workers parties necessary to lead the nation forward to overthrow the capitalist system – a system which threatens to drag world civilization back in time to the days of the torture chambers of the Holy Inquisition. As we have repeatedly warned: time is not on our side, sister and brother workers! Leaving this savage US ruling class in power allows a standing threat to the workers of the entire world to remain at large, armed to the teeth and ready to unleash its massive military force against our fellow workers all over the world. If the workers of the United States fail to disarm the savage ruling class of the US, the carrying out of that historically necessary task will pass to the rest of the world’s workers, who make up over 95% of the world’s population. By abdicating our responsibility to overthrow the US capitalist class the US working class will force the rest of the world to organize armies to crush the US government in the same manner that Hitler’s Nazi regime was crushed by the Red Army in WWII. WWIII is avoidable only if the US working class acts in time to organize itself into revolutionary vanguard parties in order to overthrow its main enemy – the US capitalist class thereby launching the final revolutionary struggle to liberate the world’s workers from capitalist wage-slavery.

Workers of the World, Unite!

Independent Workers Party of Chicago

Get your copy! Redacted “Executive Summary” of Senate Select Committee’s CIA Torture Report

Well we waited long enough for this Torture Report, didn’t we?  But the most corrupt, depraved, murderous and barbaric government in the world – the United States Government – has deigned only to release a 528-page “Executive Summary” of the horribly misnamed Senate Select Committee on Intelligence’s Torture Report.  The 6700-page magnum opus of the repulsive Obama Administration remains completely censored and unavailable to the citizens of the United States who put this criminal US Government in power and kept it there election after election in spite of all the massive revelations of the vast corruption, criminality and mass murder taking place at the command of those hirelings of the US capitalist class who inhabit the highest elected offices in the “Land of the Free(TM)”!

The full text of the Senate’s report is going to be kept hidden from the US citizenry by “our own government” which answers not to “We, the People” but to the handful of filthy rich capitalists who bought nearly every election for the cretins who hold office in the thoroughly prostituted  democracy of the United States.  Believe us: if Warren Buffet or Donald Trump wants a full copy of the 6700-page report, they’ll get one: but we the sheeple of the United States must be protected from the proof that the US government is a gang of criminals who will throw out our Constitution and Bill of Rights at the wiggle of a mullah’s beard.

The way that the Summary Report’s pages are censored, it appears that the secret squirrels (a.k.a. the intelligence operatives) of the “Five Eyes”  nations have access to the full report, while we, the sheeple of the USA do not.  This is because we live in a phony democracy, which, (thanks to the conspiracy of the Democrats and Republicans who pretend to represent us), though never an actual democracy at any time in its entire history to begin with, was completely eviscerated after the terror attacks of September 11, 2001.  The bipartisan nature of the shredding of the Constitutional rights of the citizens of the US is all too apparent from the Senate “Intelligence Committee’s” Torture Report.  We’ll have much more to say about this monument to the cowardice and treachery of the “lesser evil” Democrats and their co-conspirators in the Republican Party later.  For now, we present to our readers the 528-page summary as released by the Washington Post on December 9, 2014.

Notice that the Senate Intelligence Committee’s Torture Report was released through the Washington Post entitled “nothing.pdf”.  That must be a remnant example of the Senate “Intelligence” Committee’s robust security precautions to misdirect anyone who hacked into their computer networks – as the CIA – probably assisted by the NSA – admitted it did earlier this year – from discovering the text of the summary before it was released.  If this document proves anything, it is this: the longer that the workers of the United States allow the US capitalist class to rape the nation and the world in their mad quest for more and more money, the deeper into barbarism they capitalists will lead the entire world.  It is imperative that the working class of the United States begin now to organize revolutionary socialist workers parties to overthrow the blood-drenched US capitalist class and its government before they unleash more atrocities onto the world in the name of the citizens of the US.

Workers of the World, Unite!

Independent Workers Party of Chicago

nothing.pdf

Prosecutors Get Indictments from Grand Juries 95% of Time – Unless They Are Pretending to Attempt to Indict a Cop

In Ferguson, MO, the citizens are nervously and angrily awaiting the decision of a Missouri Grand Jury regarding whether or not the cop who wantonly murdered Michael Brown will be indicted for murder or not.

In Gretna, Florida a similar situation exists: there, members of yet another black family mourning the cop murder of one of their kids await the “verdict” of a Grand Jury decision as to whether or not a local cop will be indicted for the murder of a mentally ill unarmed youth – shot to death in his own home after his mother called the cops to help her handle her son’s refusal to go with her to a local hospital for treatment.

The likely outcome in both cases?  The cops will be acquitted by the Grand Jury and the respective towns will quite justifiably erupt in anger against the grave injustice that has been committed by the police and a justice system in which there is no justice for workers – especially if they “happen to be black”.  It is a fact of the U.S. Criminal Injustice System that even though prosecutors can get Grand Juries to indict 95% of the time, “somehow” they almost always fail to do so when the accused is a cop. “The fix is in” every time when it’s a cop facing a potential murder charge. We fully expect that the Mike Brown case in Ferguson, MO will not be an exception to this rule.

Grand Juries in the United States are notoriously unfair.

There is a famous legal saying that Grand Juries are so biased in favor of the prosecution that they could be expected “to indict a ham sandwich”.  The Wikipedia article on “Grand Juries in the United States” quotes from “Eliminate the Grand Jury” a much-cited 1973 essay by the late William J. Campbell –  a US Attorney and at one time the longest serving Chief Judge in the Northern District Federal Court in Chicago – in which he calls for the complete elimination of the corrupt Federal Grand Jury system: ” “[T]oday, the grand jury is the total captive of the prosecutor who, if he is candid, will concede that he can indict anybody, at any time, for almost anything, before any grand jury.” Campbell cites a famous study of the Grand Jury system by

A couple of months ago, a friend of ours was present at a local “temple” of notoriously racist justice here in Chicago’s Crooked C[r]ook County: the infamous Skokie Courthouse (where the conviction rate is an astoundingly Saddam-Hussein-regime-like 90 percent plus). There, he overheard two cops babbling to each other in the inimitable, timeless manner of all pigs throughout human history.  When they started stupidly yapping about one of their recent experiences as a member of a Grand Jury in Chicago, he opened up his ears real wide and grabbed a notebook and started jotting down their priceless nuggets of pig-wisdom.

The babblers were a METRA cop who was just about to enter a courtroom and casually commit perjury in an extremely minor trespassing case (with the likely cooperation and approval of the crooked Crook County prosecutors seeking to maintain their scandalous .900-plus batting average); his interlocutor was a Crook County Sheriffs cop – the bailiff.  Here is the edited conversation – they were already talking about service on a Grand Jury:

Crook County Bailiff (CCB): “It’s like a reunion – you know everyone there – ‘hey, how’s it going?’ “

METRA cop (MC):  “We heard 899 cases [over 5 weeks – June 2nd to July 3rd]. Not a bad gig.  I had to testify before the Grand Jury 3 weeks before.”

CCB: [I’ve never been on one but my dad was a Chicago cop and he was on several. He said] it was real good money.”

MC: “Oh, yeah!”

Our friend could not resist asking the METRA cop: “Did you indict any ham sandwiches while you were there?”  The bailiff looked at him and said “what?”

He apparently had never heard that one before.  So our friend repeated the question.  Both cops looked at him uncomprehendingly.  Our friend, not wanting to miss the opportunity to pursue the question rephrased it: “Were there any cases that you did not indict?”

MC: “We can’t discuss anything about what goes on there.”

Our friend replied: “That’s OK: I already know the answer.”

[The cops resumed their conversation on other topics.  This doesn’t relate to the Grand Jury but it’s interesting to see what motivates cops – it ain’t “serving the public”. – IWPCHI]

MC: “One of the drawbacks working as a cop for Chicago is you got to live in the city.”

CCB (agreeing): “Uh huh. You guys [meaning METRA cops] get to live anywhere you want.”

MC: “Yeah we’ve got guys living everywhere.  We’ve got a guy who lives in Indiana, a K9 cop: [he’s got a] take-home car…”

CCB: “Cooool”.

MC: “Union Pacific [Railroad] cops get to take home an unmarked car… they’re considered management so they make in the 80’s to 90’s… [thousands of dollars a year – IWPCHI]. […] Lot of guys getting overtime tonight – Jay-Z/Beyonce concert.  They work for SPI.”  [most likely Security Professionals of Illinois]

Screenshot from SPI Incorporated video: SPI Level 2 Taser Training Final Cut

Screenshot from SPI Incorporated video: SPI Level 2 Taser Training Final Cut

[This is another good example of how nearly every story we research leads right into another seedy scandal that would bear investigating.  Thanks to our limited resources, this one’s going to get a pass for the time being…]

IWPCHI

 

 

 

 

 

UPDATED: Get your copy of the US Army’s New “Civil Disturbances” Manual for 2014

[Note: We have added another document – 2007’s “Military Intelligence – US Army Intelligence Activities”  to the end of the article – IWPCHI]

Until recently, US citizens have been spared the kind of savage military response to attempts by workers to defend their rights such as we have seen this year meted out so brutally by the Israel Defense Force (IDF) against the Palestinian people in Gaza. But as the State of Missouri’s response to the uprising against police state murder in Ferguson shows, it looks like this kind of military intervention is going to be increasingly used against dissidents here in the US as well.

It is a little-known fact that throughout the civil rights struggle in the US, the FBI, whose own savage COINTELPRO tactics wantonly violated the Constitutional rights of US workers who legally fought for their rights, routinely kept the US military districts all over the US informed of their plans and activities.

In this document, the FBI, which is spying on both the anti-Vietnam War Movement and the late wife of Martin Luther King, Coretta Scott King, notes that the referenced memo (LHM means “Letterhead Memorandum” in FBI-speak) will be disseminated to several US military intelligence divisions in the various military districts…

as has been done with the rest of the world

(as has been done with the rest of the world)

…which the United States is divided into.

US Military Intelligence spied on Coretta King and antiwar activists

The U.S. Army Intelligence Command (USAINTC) is “the Army counterintelligence element formed in 1965 to conduct operations in the continental United States. The command had been allotted substantial personnel to carry out its mission. Its seven Military Intelligence groups controlled a network of 300 field and resident offices across the nation.” [Source: globalsecurity.org: “U.S. Army Intelligence Command and the Home Front“] In the FBI document above, we see that the 111th Military Intelligence Group, as well as the Naval Investigative Service [NIS – now known as the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS)] and the Air Force’s Office of Special Investigations (OSI) were being kept informed by the FBI as to the activities of the antiwar left and the key civil rights activists legally exercising their constitutional rights to protest and organize. Since the end of the Civil War, the US military has been used most significantly on behalf of the US capitalist class in order to smash labor strikes whenever the oligarchs’ private security forces have been overwhelmed by working class militancy.

The National Guard was famously used against black workers in the uprisings that broke out across the nation in the wake of the assassination of Martin Luther King as well as in the efforts to quell the antiwar protests at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago in 1968.

In a 2009 article for the US Army’s “Joint Center for Operational Analysis Journal” entitled “The Role of Federal Military Forces in Domestic Law Enforcement“, Retired Col. John R. Brinkerhoff provided a concise historical overview with a couple of surprises:

“Federal military troops have been used often to enforce the laws of the Nation. In the past two hundred fifteen years, the Army and, to a lesser extent, the Marine Corps has enforced the laws in over 167 incidents, or about 0.75 times per year on the average. Federal troops have been called on to quell insurrections, enforce unpopular federal laws, govern the seven states of the defeated Confederacy, protect minorities from harm, quell race riots, police the lawless West, guard the borders, break strikes, protect key assets against sabotage, seize and operate war plants, enforce civil rights laws, operate the postal service, and protect the population from lawless elements. (See U.S. Army Center of Military History, The Role of Federal Military Forces in Domestic Disorders, 1789-1878 (1988).)

[…]

“A major source of confusion is the Posse Comitatus Act, which many people believe-incorrectly-prohibits the use of federal troops to enforce the law in the United States.

“What was originally no more than a way to prevent US attorneys and local sheriffs to require federal troops to enforce the law has become, in popular myth, a general proscription of any use of federal troops to enforce the law. This general belief is belied by the fact that despite the Posse Comitatus Act, Presidents after 1878 have used federal troops to enforce the laws when they saw fit to do so. Presidents have used the Posse Comitatus Act as an excuse to reject or avoid actions they did not want to do, but have not hesitated to work around the act to do what they wanted to do. During the labor riots of the late 19th Century, Presidents used federal troops to intervene in labor disputes under the pretext of protecting federal property. During World War I, President Woodrow Wilson breached the actual terms of the Posse Comitatus Act by allowing his subordinates to use troops without first obtaining his authorization. During World War II and for three decades thereafter, federal troops were frequently involved in law enforcement actions, such as surveillance, search, detention, and arrest in the course of authorized domestic operations. Federal troops not only enforced the law of the land, including making arrests and detaining lawbreakers, but they were expected to do so by a generally grateful public. The real intent of the original Posse Comitatus Act was to restore to the President sole authority to authorize the use of federal military forces to enforce the law in the United States.

“The real effect of the Posse Comitatus Act has been to slow down the response time for the use of federal troops.” [ibid.]

More information on this subject can be had by looking up the term “Operation GARDEN PLOT” which is “the DoD Civil Disturbance Plan, the generic Operations Plan [OPLAN] for military support related to domestic civil disturbances.”

This April, the US Army published a new “Techniques Publication” on how to handle civil disturbances. This document lays out in no uncertain terms just how our “heroes in uniform” have been handling “disturbances” created by our working class brothers and sisters courageously fighting for their rights under US military occupation in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.

We have confirmed that this document is genuine and comes from the US Army’s own website. In it are described many of the most notorious tactics used by the military and cops against political activists, including “extraction teams” and methods to “establish lethal overwatch” by placing snipers on tall buildings overseeing the likely sites where “disturbances” might take place.

Army Techniques Publication 3-39.33 – Civil Disturbances

This all sounds very scary, but even this extreme example of police state terror has its limitations, as has been belatedly discovered by every despot who was overthrown in a revolution led by an enraged working class and/or peasantry. After all, the National Guard and the rest of the armed forces of the US are composed of our brothers, sisters, sons and daughters, and and also of poor and minority workers, who join the military not out of love for the ruling class and its government but out of desperation to find means to survive, especially at times of high unemployment. The army, therefore is very unlike the cops who more consciously hire on as the front-line defenders of capitalist private property, knowing in advance that they will be used to break strikes and to brutalize workers on a daily basis as part of their “jobs”. To the rank-and-file members of the military appeals can be made that they refrain from opening fire on their fellow workers.

Using the military to quell domestic disturbances can very easily lead to a rapid demoralization of the working-class members of the armed forces, their joining the insurrection, arresting their officers and turning the heavy guns of the military against the ruling class itself. If led by a revolutionary socialist vanguard party dedicated to the overthrow of the capitalist system, this can lead to the collapse of the government and the accession of the working class to power. In the great Russian Revolution of 1917, almost the entire Czarist army went over to the side of the Bolsheviks, who alone among all the opposition parties had promised to end the bloodbath of WWI – and who followed through on that promise upon their seizure of power. Brute force is an effective deterrent to attempts at the overthrow of the government – until it finally fails to work… at which time, as we have seen repeatedly throughout history, the end finally comes for the hated government and ruling class that has dared to attempt to extend their tenacious hold on to power by slaughtering “their own” workers in the streets of “their own” cities.

Workers of the World, Unite!

Independent Workers Party of Chicago

UPDATE:  We’ve run across another interesting unclassified US Army document entitled: “Military Intelligence – US_Army_Intelligence_Activities“.  It’s a good overview of the extent of the US Army’s domestic and international espionage activities. – IWPCHI

 

Movie Review – CITIZENFOUR: “Speaking Truth to Power” is not What Needs to Be Done (* out of 5)

[Note: this review is being simultaneously published by the Independent Workers Party of Chicago and the Friends of WikiLeaks – Chicago on the respective websites of both groups.]

CITIZENFOUR – a film by Laura Poitras  https://citizenfourfilm.com/

We expected a lot from Laura Poitras’ new film CITIZENFOUR; we were massively disappointed.  With ex- CIA/NSA contract worker Edward Snowden still stuck in exile in Russia and the citizenry of the United States far more interested in the latest shiny objects for sale at the Apple Store than in fighting for their rapidly disappearing Constitutional rights, we had hoped that this film would be a clarion call to the workers of the United States to take action in their own self-defense by standing up in support of Snowden and his fellow heroic whistle-blowers Chelsea Manning, Julian Assange, Jeremy Hammond and others.  Instead what we get is a very tepid and shallow overview of “the story so far” of the world-shaking revelations made by Snowden exposing the US Government’s global espionage network that monitors and stores for future use every cellphone call, email message and the wealth of information derivable from our daily movements as recorded by our cellphones every day.  CITIZENFOUR should be like a nuclear howitzer blasting chunks out of the edifice of US and British imperialism; instead its effect is like that of a dozen pies thrown in the faces of a gang of war criminals.  You could say that CITIZENFOUR pulled all its punches… except for the fact that it never even attempts to throw any.  This is, by the way, the primary reason why it’s getting such great reviews from the bourgeois press.

So far as we can tell, the reason that Poitras doesn’t engage in aggressive political “agitprop” – a fact that nearly every reviewer from the bourgeois press extols as one of her film’s strengths – is apparently that she has no political axe to grind – or more accurately, she is a liberal bourgeois democratic reformist whose political aspirations rise no higher than to being one who “speaks truth to power”.  What this means in practice is that she and others like her – including Assange and Snowden – willingly self-limit the extent of their political activities to begging the “legitimate powers that be” to behave themselves and to urging the paid employees of the US capitalist ruling class that have set up the global espionage network – the bourgeois politicians in the “Five Eyes” nations – to start taking their alleged “responsibilities” to the citizens of their respective nations seriously by curbing the “excesses” that they themselves signed off on!

This kind of “inside the box” thinking may seem strange coming from the likes of Poitras, Assange, Snowden and Greenwald; but if we analyze their political philosophies in more detail it doesn’t seem strange at all.  Unless a person has consciously broken away from the worthless, selfish, greedy corporatist ideology of the capitalist system and has become a conscious Marxist revolutionary dedicated to the overthrow of the capitalist class and its economic system, one’s politics are going to be by definition REFORMIST at best; and so how can a non-revolutionary do anything else but simply beg the bourgeoisie to straighten up and fly right?  If you believe that the capitalist economic system is “the best of all possible economic systems”, and that only the capitalist class and its favored institutions of higher learning are capable of producing “legitimate” political leaders – where does that leave you politically?  It leaves you “speaking truth to power” like a good, loyal (if somewhat uppity) wage-slave!

Is CITIZENFOUR worth seeing?  For us, it was worth the price of admission just to see the “Dream Team” of Snowden, Greenwald and Poitras in the same room preparing to launch one of the world’s most impressive exposes of massive governmental abuses of power affecting everyone on the planet who has access to a telephone and/or a computer connected to the Internet.  This NSA spy scandal makes Watergate look like a pillow fight!  But the cursory overview made by the film of the extent of the revelations can’t be very compelling to anyone who hasn’t been following the story over the past year or so.  The movie barely describes the NSA and GCHQ-run “Five Eyes” espionage juggernaut; nor does it clearly show the threats of assassination and worse levied against Snowden, Assange and Greenwald by various US Government scumbags through the news media for daring to bring all this criminality into the light of day.  And, having not even really covered any of these issues, the film fails to even attempt to engage the audience in the critically important work of what is to be done: building new political parties to take down those that have erected the Big Brother spy apparatus that is intended to be used primarily to rapidly identify political opponents of the US, UK, Australian, Canadian and New Zealand Governments INSIDE  THEIR RESPECTIVE NATION-STATES!  This is, after all, the real purpose of all this espionage: to create a database of the day-to-day activities of every citizen of the world’s leading capitalist states in order to identify and neutralize them if they should ever seek to organize seriously threatening political opposition to the neo-fascist police states being set up in the US and its partners in the “Five Eyes” nations.  The primary target of all this espionage isn’t foreign terrorism: the target is the domestic working-class political opposition that – if it turns in a revolutionary socialist direction – potentially threatens the continued class rule of the capitalist classes of the world.  The capitalist classes of the US and UK in particular have absolutely no intention of sharing political power with the numerically and economically vastly superior working class that creates all the wealth under capitalism.  Any attempt by the domestic working classes of the US or UK to throw off the yoke of capitalist exploitation through political or economic strike action will immediately be placed under the microscope of the global espionage network, where the movement’s leaders will be quickly identified, isolated and “neutralized” – physically if the capitalists deem it to be necessary.  This is precisely what makes so extremely dangerous  the Obama Administration’s precedent-setting legal findings asserting that a sitting US President has the “right” to order the assassination of any US citizen whose writings or friends and associates he – or more accurately his employers in the US capitalist class – do not like.

This is not crazy commie paranoia speaking here: the Obama Administration has openly admitted that it has murdered four US citizens in drone strikes overseas – that we know of; and the US government maintains a “watch list” of its perceived opponents that already had a million people listed on it in 2009 – and it is being constantly updated. In 2013 it was reported that an additional 450,000 people were “nominated” to be added to the list – with few of the nominees escaping that dubious honor.

The faith in the hired political lackeys of the bourgeoisie implicitly espoused by Poitras, Greenwald, Snowden and Assange; their placid belief that steady pressure applied to the so-called liberal “left-wing” and Libertarian sections of the political class will ultimately win the day and allow the necessary political reforms to be enacted is, quite frankly, absurd – and evidence of a political immaturity in all of them that is quite shocking, especially considering what they have learned since Snowden came forward with his revelations.  Those actual members of the US or UK capitalist classes who go to see CITIZENFOUR will undoubtedly feel a tremendous relief in their discovery that these potentially dangerous opponents of the capitalist class are, in fact, posing no serious threat to the status quo at all.  The capitalists and their spies and hired guns can sleep a bit easier knowing that Poitras, Assange, Snowden and Greenwald – for all their genuine courage and excellent work in exposing the crimes of the ruling class – have set for themselves only the pathetic task of “speaking truth to power”.   That is something that the ruling class can listen to from Assange, Snowden – or anyone else, for that matter – for ever, condescendingly acknowledging and even thanking them profusely for their heroic selflessness in bringing to the world’s attention these “serious issues” – while doing absolutely nothing substantial to change the workings of the national security state at all.  Viewed in this way, CITIZENFOUR becomes just another pointless pantomime rebellion in the long, bloody history of capitalism.  The capitalists will, first of all, breathe a deep sigh of relief now that it’s clear that the film isn’t presenting an indictment of the capitalist class or their system; then, having been let largely off the hook by the film’s protagonists, we expect the capitalist class to continue to do what they have in fact been doing: applauding the film.   Perhaps Poitras and Greenwald will be invited to  testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee to speak “truth to power” on CSPAN; or at the Council on Foreign Relations… or at the United Nations or one of the capitalist soirees like the annual hand-wringing exercise at Davos, Switzerland.   Finally, perhaps, the capitalist class will direct the editors of their news media conglomerates to heap praise on the film and even to heartily recommend that it be awarded the Palme ‘d’Or, or even an Oscar or two!  This is how activist filmmakers like Poitras and investigative journalists like Greenwald are co-opted by the capitalist class and transformed from courageous opponents of the capitalist system to prominent pro-regime songbirds publicly displayed in golden cages. Ask Barbara Kopple or Bob Woodward how it’s done.

Poitras, Greenwald et al are, we believe, decent, courageous and apparently honest bourgeois reformist journalists.  But we ask our readers to imagine how much further along in investigating, exposing and successfully fighting this impending global police state we’d be if the documents unleashed by Snowden had been placed not in the hands of “responsible journalists” but in the hands of worker-revolutionaries who weren’t so loyally censoring the documents in order to “protect the agents and assets” of the racist, bloodthirsty and greed-obsessed US capitalist class and its spy organizations!  Snowden makes clear in the movie that his motivation for placing the blockbuster documents he purloined from the NSA into the hands of trustworthy representatives of the bourgeois press was that he wanted to be sure that there would be no reckless release of information that would seriously damage the “legitimate” goals of the shadow government of the US!  Greenwald et al have scrupulously respected the “sacred trust” placed in them by Snowden to protect the “family jewels” of the espionage agencies of US and British imperialism.  This is disgusting!  Instead of placing the interests of the 7.2 billion workers of the world above all else, Snowden and his team are protecting the “legitimate rights” of the microscopically small capitalist class against those of the multi-billion strong international working class!  Snowden and his collaborators are doing a tremendous service for the US and British capitalist classes, which are, by the way, going to repay them and all of us by imposing their will on the world – both internationally and domestically – through increasingly brutal military and police-state force.  To throw the US and British capitalist classes such a huge life-preserver when they should instead be having ANCHORS tied to their necks is to betray the entire human race in order to maintain the tenuous and despotic rule of a class of criminals responsible for the perpetuation of the horrors of a capitalist world in which – to name just one major example – the world does little or nothing while 17,000 children die of starvation every single day!  There is nothing “legitimate” about the capitalist class or their “interests”!  Every effort should be made to destroy the NSA, the CIA and the US military and the cretinous ruling class that spawned them – not to save them!

Nothing short of workers revolution can change the increasingly deranged plans of the US capitalist class.  They have plans of global military domination of the entire planet that go far beyond what even Adolf Hitler envisioned; so long as their political opponents refuse to form working class revolutionary parties to overthrow the capitalist class and system, the ruling capitalists have nothing to fear.

The working class, however, DOES have something to fear from the fact that most of their erstwhile leaders are so completely dedicated to the continuation of the brutal capitalist system that they are prepared to follow the capitalist class all the way down the road to hell, where the fascists and eventually World War Three will put an end to this historical epoch – and perhaps throw the human race back into a pre-industrial stage of development.  Apparently, these folks think that they have more to gain from clinging to the coat-tails of the capitalist class than they can gain by fighting for the emancipation of the workers of the world.  If they insist on taking the capitalist road, that’s fine; but let’s not imagine that because THEY are heading down that road, that we, too, must take that well-worn path to political oblivion.  We’re not followers – we aspire to be revolutionary workers leaders. We warn the Poitrases and Greenwalds of the world of the dangers that lie ahead; we try to point out the reasons why we disagree with them; we urge them to take the high rather than the low road; but we can’t force them to lead a workers revolution.  They are simply not revolutionaries; perhaps it’s just not in their nature to be revolutionaries.  It’s a pity, but that is, in the end, their problem – we don’t need to make it ours.

The working class must look elsewhere than to Poitras, Snowden, Assange and Greenwald for the political leadership necessary to lead the workers of the world out of the dead end of the capitalist stage of development and into the next stage: that of socialism.  It’s “socialism or barbarism” brothers and sisters, just like Marx, Engels, Lenin, Luxemburg, and Trotsky explained to us so many years ago!  Now –  as then – to ignore the warnings of those great, selfless and honest internationalist leaders of the working class is to help the capitalist class pave the road leading to the hell of the next – and possibly this time, the last – world war.

Workers of the World, Unite!

IWPCHI and Friends of WikiLeaks – Chicago

The US Has a Vicious, Murderous Government Because Most US Citizens are Vicious, Murderous People Who Don’t Care About the Rest of the World

You like to “think outside the box” do you?   So do we: in fact, we have lived “outside the box” for so long we have forgotten what it’s like to think “inside the box”.  So here’s some “outside the box” thinking for you.  You’re welcome in advance!

As a public service to our working-class sisters and brothers around the world, we would like to take a moment to explain what, to the 95.5% of the world’s population living outside the United States apparently appears to be an unsolvable riddle: “Why is it that the seemingly nice, friendly people of the United States have such a vicious, murderous, warmongering government?”

The answer, brothers and sisters, is simple: the vast majority of the citizens of the United States are vicious, selfish, ignorant cretins who don’t give a shit how many of you are murdered by the US military so long as the standard of living in the US enables them to barely survive.  We like to tell people that so long as the price of gasoline remains below $5.00/gallon, the vast majority of the citizens of the United States will continue to not give a shit how many innocent women and children are butchered annually by a raping, murdering, torturing US military that the majority of US citizens consider to be “heroes” to the last man.   So long as the price of gasoline keeps falling, you can expect these scum to continue to give the US military a blank check to go ahead and kill as many people as the US capitalist class feels is necessary to maintain the economic status quo here in the United States.  And the rest of you – the 95.5% of the world’s non-US citizens – can all go fuck yourselves.

No one else is going to be honest enough to tell you that that is really what the vast majority of the shitty “American people” of 2014 think.  They’re so stupid that not 1 in a thousand of them even KNOW that the US only makes up 4.4% (and falling) of the world’s population.Fuck the rest of the world!is a common statement we hear from US workers all the time.  Living here in the United States is like living in an insane asylum full of chronological adults barely functioning at a grade-school level.

No one here in the United States – or in the rest of the world except ourselves – wants to address the fact that the overwhelming majority of the people of the United States have become so corrupted morally by the utter degeneracy of the US capitalist class that they simply do not give a rat’s ass how many men, women and children are murdered every year by “their” government in its endless and phony war on “terrorists” – terrorists who have largely been recruited, organized, trained and armed by “their” US Government.  So long as the stupid and selfish citizenry of the USA can barely afford to feed, clothe, shelter and amuse themselves they will continue to not give a shit about anything being done to their fellow human beings all over the world. by the execrable US capitalist class and its bought-and-paid-for government and its military war machine.

The US working class has been so completely brainwashed into believing the disgusting US corporate philosophy that “greed is good” and that every human being is responsible for their own welfare and owes absolutely nothing to any of their fellow human beings.   This philosophy is extremely popular in the US among its workers – a philosophy, by the way fully embraced by what large numbers of the stupid US working class sees as an “alternative” to the Republican and Democratic parties – the inane and inhumane “free-markets-for-free people” “philosophy” of  Libertarianism.   It is for this reason that we warn our working class sisters and brothers around the world that US workers in 2014 have come to resemble their closest historical precursors – the “good German citizens of Hitler’s Germany.

In fact, the citizens of the United States are almost exactly like the citizens of Nazi Germany in their self-imposed faux-ignorance of the realities of what their government is doing to the rest of the world – with one major exception, which only serves to make the viciousness of today’s US citizen all the more repulsive: in Nazi Germany, there was pervasive censorship of the news media far more comprehensive than what we see in the US today.  Though the German people in Hitler’s era were able to listen to shortwave radio broadcasts from around the world, they were subject to severe penalties for doing so.  In the United States today, though there is vast but usually subtle self-censorship of the news media and television, there is the Internet – and no criminal penalties for utilizing it to inform oneself about how the rest of the world perceives the USA.  But Americans are so apathetic and, frankly, stupid that they don’t want to be bothered using the Internet to read the vast amount of first-hand reports of US military atrocities being daily committed all over the world.  Instead, US citizens use their computers to entertain themselves and to keep themselves distracted from what is going on in the world… because when it comes right down to it, they simply don’t give a shit.

Like the vast majority of German workers under the Hitler regime, the vast majority of the US workers under the bloodthirsty Obama regime delude themselves into believing that things aren’t really all that bad; or if they are, that “there is nothing that we (meaning the US working class of 175,000,000 or so people) can do about it”.   That facile excuse for not giving a shit is utilized by almost every “nice” US citizen you ask about it.  Think we’re lying?  Give it a try!  If you know a native-born American citizen – black, white, Hispanic, Asian – it don’t matter – ask them about any important issue regarding the US government’s vicious policies being carried out in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Syria or Israel.  We’ll wager that you will quickly elicit either a blank stare accompanied by the sound of crickets chirping… and then a savage reaction when you challenge them on their offhand attitude to the monstrous brutalities being carried out all over the world in the THEIR NAME, utilizing weapons systems paid for with THEIR TAX DOLLARS to murder innocent women, men and children all over the Middle East, western Asia.

A typical reaction from a US citizen might be: “the US military is being used to fight terrorism – and that’s a good thing”.  They will get very defensive and start to get agitated – so press them a bit harder and you will finally get: “I don’t care about what’s going on in the rest of the world!  I care about what’s going on here!”

The one thing that American citizens hate more than anything is people who remind them and inform them of the crimes being committed by “their” government all over the world.  They resent being told by us about these things and they hate us for bringing this information to their attention because it strips away their ability to continue to pretend that they don’t know what’s going on.  They don’t want to read about US military atrocities in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria, Iraq or anywhere else because once they do then they are forced to openly admit that they aren’t going to do anything about it – because they just don’t care.  And they hate that!  US citizens want to be seen as being nice people who love everyone and who want to like others and be liked in return.  So they try to hide their inner viciousness with a veneer of benign ignorance.  They are so selfish that they wouldn’t try to change things even if they believed that they could, because that might make their lives a bit less comfortable than they are – and dull, conformist middle-class comfortability is, after all, the birthright of every US citizen, right?  (Well, every “white” US citizen anyway…).

You still believe that we exaggerate?  Try this: ask your American friends about “Fallujah”.  See if they even know what that word means.

Ask them if they heard about the four boys who were blown to pieces by an Israeli naval vessel in Gaza this year.  Ask them if they know how many women and children were murdered by their “hero” sons and daughters in the US military this year.   Ask them what they know about “Abu Ghraib” and see if they even have a vague recollection of what that name means.  And then challenge them on their callous indifference to the suffering of their fellow human beings at the hands of their own sons and daughters in the US military and see what kind of reaction you get!  Americans hate to be forced to reveal their inner hideousness!

Their historical memories of world-infamous atrocities committed by the US government are no better.  Ask ANY American how many people were killed in the Vietnam War:  their answer (if they can answer the question at all) will most likely be: “53,000”.  Of course, that’s only the number of Americans who were killed in the war.  They don’t know, because they prefer not to know and/or don’t care, how many Vietnamese were butchered by the US during the Vietnam War.  They have been brainwashed into believing that US veterans of the Vietnam War were “heroes” rather than “war criminals”.  “Don’t forget” they will remind you: “the people the US killed in Vietnam were all communists, so killing them was a good thing”!

Ask any US citizen about the US-imposed war against Korea in the 1950s and you will get a blank stare.  That war is unknown to most Americans because they don’t give a shit – except when they fatuously heap praises on veterans of that utterly senseless and savage war because, in their tiny minds, ALL veterans of US wars are “heroes”.  They have no idea that in the Korean War an estimated 3,000,000 Koreans were savagely butchered by the US military.  They don’t know or care that these “heroes” were ordered to, and did shoot down thousands of unarmed Korean civilians in war crime after war crime.   They don’t care enough to look into it – but they “know for sure” that the North Koreans are crazy, that their communist government is a threat to something that they call “world peace” which is under constant attack from crazy people all over the world and which is why they support the mission of the US military – which they idiotically believe to be “the defense of world peace”.

“But we Americans always give generously to charity; and the United States gives more money in foreign aid to poor countries than any other country in the world!” they will exclaim.  They believe these lies but they’ve never bothered to check the facts because they really don’t care.  They are satisfied with the APPEARANCE of their generosity, not with the reality or unreality of it.  They don’t give money to charity because they are good decent human beings: they give it because they are rotten, corrupt and vicious human beings – but they don’t want anyone to KNOW that!  So they pinch a few pennies and attempt to purchase absolution for their callous indifference to human suffering by making a token donation of a ten-thousandth of their income to charity every year – then they order their town or city council to drive the homeless out of their midst and demand that organizations like “Food Not Bombs” be prevented from feeding starving street people.  They don’t care that two of their favorite and largest so-called “charitable organizations” – the United Way and the American Red Cross – have been busted  for wasting tens of millions of dollars of donations on lavish salaries, offices and banquets for their wealthiest donors, or that they simply don’t even try to provide any kind of accounting at all for what they do with the hundreds of millions of dollars they rake in every year.  The indifference of the US citizenry is necessary in order for these vast charitable frauds to be perpetrated decade after decade.

So, what is to be done about this, sisters and brothers?  Especially by you, our working-class sisters and brothers who make up the 95.5% of the world’s population?

First of all: stop thinking that the United States is composed of really nice, compassionate human beings who are simply not aware of the monstrous crimes being perpetrated by the US capitalist class and its military all over the globe: the citizens of the United States don’t know about what’s going on because they don’t want to know and they don’t give a damn.  They are willfully ignorant, hoping that by remaining aloof to the suffering imposed on millions of their fellow human beings by the US Government they can continue to be perceived as being merely unaware of the suffering they are solely responsible for as citizens of the United States who have the unique responsibility for imposing their will on “their” national government.  The citizens of the US believe in their corrupted, amoral hearts that they are benefiting economically from the brutalities inflicted by the US military around the world and so they refuse to do anything to stop the atrocities.

Secondly: do not expect the situation to change any time soon in the United States.  There is not an inkling of any motion among US workers to start fighting even for their own rights, let alone for yours (the uprising in Ferguson, MO is very tiny and has set for itself political goals so feeble as to be utterly useless even in the narrow realm of fighting police brutality in Ferguson itself).  It is possible that things could change, and that’s why we continue to agitate for a socialist workers revolution here in the US: it would be the best thing for the whole planet if the US capitalist class and their state was overthrown by the workers of the US and replaced by a revolutionary socialist government – but it does not look very likely to happen any time soon, if ever.  The citizens of the USA, like their predecessors in Nazi Germany, are literally fat, dumb and grudgingly satisfied enough with the racist capitalist status quo to allow the US Government a free hand to brutalize and colonize the whole planet for the foreseeable future.  Do not expect the stupid assholes of the 2014 US working class to help you drive the US military and US corporations out of your countries in any way, shape or form.

The bottom line:  unless a major sea change takes place in the minds of the workers of the United States – and soon – it is going to be up to YOU – our working-class sisters and brothers OUTSIDE THE US – to band together worldwide and organize yourselves to do the same thing to the United States that the international working class was compelled to do when the Red Army of the no longer extant USSR smashed Nazi Germany in 1945.  There is no other way forward.  If the people of the United States continue to act like “good Germans” they are doomed to suffer the fate of the “good Germans” in 1945.  The world simply can not afford to wait for the relatively pampered, spoiled, over-entertained, over-amused, selfish, pro-capitalist, socialism-hating proto-Nazi US working class to start acting like civilized human beings.  Time is not on our side:  the US government is preparing to unleash a series of massive pre-emptive military assaults on any nation that dares to stand up to the lust of the US capitalist class for global domination of the world’s political and economic future – and the workers of the US are giving them a free pass to do whatever it takes to maintain the current economic status quo inside the US.  Declining gas prices are just going to increase the indifference of the US workers as they find a bit more change in their pockets every time they fill up their gas-guzzling cars at the service stations of America.

The future of the entire planet is at stake.   If 4.5% of the world’s population, due to its callous heartlessness, selfishness and untrammelled greed, must be wiped out so that the planet can survive, then so be it.  It’s a small price to pay!  No one will miss the United States when it’s gone – except brutal dictators and criminal bankers and capitalists who depend on the US military to drown every manifestation of revolutionary socialist working-class leadership in blood wherever and whenever it raises its heroic and noble presence among us.

It is high time that the working class of the United States stood up on its hind legs and started fighting against the encroaching fascism here in the USA and organized itself into revolutionary socialist workers parties dedicated to overthrowing the US capitalist class and its capitalist state and its hideous war machine and building a socialist workers republic!  The slogan “Either socialism or barbarism” has never been more sharply posed as it is today right here in the United States of America!

Workers of the World, Unite!

Independent Workers Party of Chicago

Ebola Epidemic: Good news from Africa & Texas; Political Games in New York Threaten to Spread Epidemic Globally

Unidentified Nigerian man and World Health Organization rep celebrate victory over Ebola in Nigeria

Unidentified Nigerian man and World Health Organization rep celebrate victory over Ebola in Nigeria, 20 October, 2014.  Source: World Health Organization/Andrew Esiebo

There was good news this week from the World Health Organization (WHO): both Nigeria and Senegal were declared by WHO to be free of Ebola virus transmission! We congratulate the heroic health care workers in both countries and from around the world who contributed to stopping those outbreaks in spite of tremendous obstacles beyond their control.

Nigeria’s outbreak, thanks to strenuous efforts by the government and health care workers was limited to only 19 people infected, of whom 7 died.  Senegal was more fortunate: it had only 1 case of Ebola and that man survived and has since returned to Guinea where the epidemic continues to rage.  The World Health Organization, in an update published on 25 October 2014, states that as of that date, “There have been 10,141 EVD cases in eight affected countries since the outbreak began, with 4922 deaths”.   There is much to celebrate, but this epidemic is far from over and threatens the lives of thousands of people in West Africa.

Breaking down the numbers, WHO points out that “[a] total of 450 health-care workers (HCWs) are known to have been infected with EVD up to the end of 23 October: 80 in Guinea; 228 in Liberia; 11 in Nigeria; 127 in Sierra  Leone; one in Spain; and three in the United States of America.  A total of 244 HCWs have died.”  These women and men are heroic workers who gave their lives selflessly in this battle against Ebola in order to prevent the epidemic from spreading out of control globally – we honor their memory!

We mourn all of the victims of this largely preventable disaster and send condolences to the friends and families of all who have died.  They were and are our sisters and brothers!

Good news came in the form of the recovery from Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) of another heroic health care worker, Ms. Nina Pham, the Texas nurse who has completely recovered from her bout with the disease. Just 15 days after she contracted the disease she was declared to be “Ebola-free” and was allowed to travel to Washington D.C. this week for a meeting with President Barack Obama during which, to prove to the nation that there was nothing to fear from survivors of the disease, he awkwardly hugged her at a press conference.

Yes, kids: there’s no need to worry; head Democrat and Wall St. puppet Barack Obama’s on top of the Ebola epidemic: he just appointed a new “Ebola Czar” – Democratic Party spin doctor Ron Klain, “a longtime political hand with no apparent medical or health care background. He did, however, serve as chief of staff to Al Gore and later Vice President Biden.”  By choosing party hack Klain, Obama pointedly ignored the fact that he already has another person who is supposed to oversee the same work as Klain – but, unfortunately for her, she’s not male.  And you can’t have a female “Ebola Czar” now, can you?  “Ebola Czarina” sounds too “girly”.  We’ll have more to say about this later.
[Source:  Fox News, “Obama to name longtime political aide as ‘Ebola czar,’ bypassing senior health official“, 17 October 2014]

In spite of the major success stories there was bad news as well: The first case of Ebola was reported in Mali;  and an American, Dr. Craig Spencer, who works for the French international medical aid group Medecins Sans Frontieres – Doctors Without Borders (MSF/DWB) returned to his home in New York City from his work in the hard-hit West African nation of Guinea and… tested positive for the Ebola virus a few days later. His case has set off a bipartisan, politically-motivated festival of slander and fear-mongering as Democratic Party Governor of New York Andrew Cuomo and Republican Governor of New Jersey Chris Christie declared “a mandatory quarantine for any individual who had direct contact with an individual infected with the Ebola virus while in one of the three West African nations (Liberia, Sierra Leone, or Guinea), including any medical personnel having performed medical services to individuals infected with the Ebola virus. Additionally, all individuals with travel history to the affected regions of West Africa, with no direct contact with an infected person, will be actively monitored by public health officials and, if necessary, quarantined, depending on the facts and circumstances of their particular situation.
[Source: Press release, “Governor Andrew Cuomo and Governor Chris Christie Announce Additional Screening Protocols for Ebola at JFK and Newark Liberty International Airports”, Governor’s Press Office at http://www.governor.ny.gov/press/10242014-ebola-screening-protocols%5D

While announcing their politically-motivated quarantine, the scientifically illiterate, allegedly God-fearing, self-aggrandizing coward, Democratic Party Governor Andrew Cuomo, took the time to slander the truly heroic and selfless Dr. Spencer, announcing to the world that Dr. Spencer had wantonly exposed the citizens of New York City to the Ebola virus by refusing to obey the quarantine protocols he was to follow under the protocols established by MSF/DWB: “He’s a doctor, and even he didn’t follow the guidelines for the quarantine, let’s be honest” Cuomo was quoted as saying.
[Source: New York Times: “Cuomo, Shifting His Policy on Outbreak, Opens Up Public Rift With de Blasio,” 24 October 2014]

It turns out in fact that Dr. Spencer was under no such quarantine order and had scrupulously followed – and perhaps even exceeded – the protocols set by MSF/DWB: “As per the specific guidelines that Doctors Without Borders provides its staff members on their return from Ebola assignments, the individual [Dr. Spencer] engaged in regular health monitoring and reported his first symptoms immediately to MSF […] “ ‘Extremely strict procedures are in place for staff dispatched to Ebola affected countries before, during, and after their assignments,’ said Sophie Delaunay, executive director of MSF. ‘Despite the strict protocols, risk cannot be completely eliminated. However, close post-assignment monitoring allows for early detection of cases and for swift isolation and medical management.’ “As soon as he developed a fever, the MSF staff member was immediately isolated and referred to Bellevue Hospital.”
[Source: http://www.doctorswithoutborders.orgEbola: MSF Staff Member in U.S. Hospital“. 24 October, 2014]

In fact, Dr. Spencer had been so careful about checking his own temperature, he notified MSF/DWB when it reached just 100.3F rather than waiting for it to reach the 100.4F threshold set by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (originally the CDC had set the threshold at 101.5F).
[Source: New York Times: “Ebola Patient in New York Is Called a Doctor at Ease in Danger“, 24 October 2014]

Both Cuomo and Christie are engaged in election campaigns and are cynically using the Ebola crisis to “enhance” their political careers at the expense of the health of the citizens of their respective states and of the entire United States. To top it off, “[t]he city’s health commissioner, Dr. Mary T. Bassett, was not informed in advance of the Cuomo-Christie mandatory quarantine order and was ‘furious,’ a senior city official who spoke to her said.” Dr. Bassett had also praised the actions of Dr. Spencer, telling reporters that he had “handled himself really well,” adding, “I don’t want anyone portraying him as reckless.”
[Source: New York Times: “Cuomo, Shifting His Policy on Outbreak, Opens Up Public Rift With de Blasio,” 24 October 2014]

This public degradation of the top woman allegedly in charge of New York City’s response to the Ebola crisis is entirely in character for the politicians of male-chauvinist Democratic and Republican parties, who routinely use women’s rights as poker chips in their political games to win votes from the reactionary right wings of both parties. Dr. Bassett was not even asked to appear at the press conference announcing the new mandatory quarantine guidelines. What women think is just not important to the men running the twin political parties of US imperialism – not even in an election year.

The panic-mongering capitalist-owned bourgeois press; the under-funded, broken US health care system and the hired politicians of the US capitalist class can be counted to do only one thing regarding the US response to the Ebola crisis: fuck it up. The US capitalist class has created a situation in which ignorant, scientifically illiterate and superstitious politicians are in charge of the response to a major international health care crisis. They pose and posture as being “in charge” and immediately engage in rampant fear-mongering in response to political polls that show that they might obtain a few more votes from the even more ignorant and backward American voters if they would only take actions that are likely to do more to create panic and even sabotage the efforts to stop the spread of the Ebola epidemic in Africa. Many health-care professionals have criticized the new policy, pointing out the hardships that it will impose on medical personnel considering going to West Africa to help stop the spread of Ebola.

Yesterday’s (October 24) New York Times quoted Dr. Dan Kelly of the Wellbody Alliance, an organization he founded, who is currently fighting the Ebola epidemic in Sierra Leone: “I think we are just digging the grave deeper […] [c]ome on, that’s exactly the move to push people away from going to Sierra Leone and other affected areas. It’s going to escalate the epidemic and not help solve the crisis. If we’re going to get in front of it, we need health care workers from abroad. They cannot feel shunned or discriminated against.”

[Source: New York Times: “New Ebola Quarantine Protocol Seen as Barrier to Volunteers“, 24 October 2014]

 

Of course, the new quarantine rules in New York and Newark will not apply to rich capitalists flying to and from West Africa in their private jets.  They’ll just be waved through customs as usual; the people most likely to be profiled and placed under quarantine will be… you guessed it! – black medical workers and travelers to and from the nations hardest hit by the epidemic.

Under socialism, a quarantine would be made easy for returning medical workers: they would be paid full salary to stay in an isolated retreat in the country they are working in, and it would be impossible for them to lose their jobs due to an unexpectedly long absence.  Or, they could come home and take an extra 21 days off with full pay and lay low until they were completely out of harm’s way and then could go back to work with no problems.  But under capitalism?  What are travelers supposed to do if they are placed under a 21-day quarantine?  Where will they stay and who’s going to pay for it?  What will happen to their jobs?  How will they pay their rent and utilities and take care of their families?  They’ll all just have to fend for themselves – and that is going to lead to people getting sick and still going to work, just as happens now when people get the flu – they go to work because no one can afford to take time off for fear of losing their jobs, cars, homes, etc.  Life under capitalism in the USA is like a dream come true for a virus seeking to spread as widely as possible.  Every year the flu kills an estimated 40,000 US workers thanks to our lack of a comprehensive socialist medical plan for everyone as well as the lack of paid sick days for workers and the constant fear of losing one’s job that is the plight of every working woman and man who lives in any capitalist country.

 

After the twin debacles of the CDC screwing up its protocols for protecting health care workers from Ebola and then the hospital in Texas refusing to hospitalize and sending home a now-deceased Ebola patient, you might think that the government-appointed medical professionals and the for-profit hospitals would have learned something and finally properly trained their workers to handle Ebola cases, right?  WRONG!

 

In spite of Democratic Party clown, NY Mayor Bill DeBlasio’s fatuous and vastly delirious statement that “We have the finest public health system, not only anywhere in the country but anywhere in the world”, the fact is that in New York, just as in Texas, hospital workers report that they have received little or no training to handle the crisis.

At Bellevue Hospital, where Dr. Spencer has been taken and is being treated in a special isolation ward used for tuberculosis patients, a “veteran nurse” who works at the hospital told the New York Times: ““We’re wondering how Ebola is being spread. Is it airborne? There is a lot of concern about it.”

 

The head of occupational safety and health for the New York State Nurses Association – who has been working with the for-profit hospitals “for months” preparing them for the Ebola crisis – told the Times that much of the worry of nurses over Ebola was coming from workers who had received “no training” because they weren’t going to be assigned to work in Ebola wards!

[Source: New York Times, “Bellevue Back on Front Line in Another Crisis” 24 October 2014]

To a hospital worker, that might seem to be a strange way of looking at things seeing that medical workers can only work in Ebola wards wearing the oppressively ponderous protective gear for only a few hours at a time; they also suffer from the disease itself as a result of their handling of infectious fluids from Ebola patients and many have given their lives fighting the epidemic.  But to a capitalist owner of a hospital, every penny not spent on properly training hospital workers to safely treat Ebola patients is a penny he or she can put in one of their offshore bank accounts!  Now doesn’t that make sense?

As if that’s not bad enough: a Canadian company actually developed an Ebola vaccine years ago that was proven effective in monkeys – indicating that it had great promise as a vaccine for humans, seeing that humans and chimps – being closely related members of the same branch of the tree of evolution –  share 99% of the same genetic information in their genes.

A human vaccine was developed by researchers in Canada in the early 2000’s and tested by the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (AMRIID) in 2005 where it “protected all the monkeys injected with the virus”.  The Canadians tried to sell the vaccine to a number of major pharmaceutical companies so that it could be prepared for human trials –  but to the capitalists running the show at Big Pharma “an Ebola vaccine didn’t look like a profitable undertaking”.   The people who were mostly affected were poor Africans living in impoverished nations – how could the capitalists make big money developing a vaccine for them?  So it was never done, and only NOW – after some 4900 people are dead from Ebola and the epidemic is spreading uncontrolled – are human trials of the vaccine being scheduled by WHO.  The small US pharmaceutical firm that had purchased the contract to develop the human vaccine never moved forward with it, so the Canadian government canceled the contract and gave it to WHO instead.

“‘If this vaccine had been developed on time, probably people would be living now who are dead,’ said Amir Attaran, a professor of law and medicine at the University of Ottawa.”

“Heinz Feldmann, who developed the vaccine, complained angrily:  ‘It’s  a farce; these doses are lying around there while people are dying in Africa,’ he told Science Magazine.”

[Source: Canada.com (via Postmedia News), “Canada’s Ebola vaccine delays may have cost lives, professor says” 21 October 2014]

The US Government and the US Military have long studied Ebola and Marburg virus for possible use as biological weapons; they have also sponsored development of vaccines for Ebola.  One of the new vaccines had its development halted in 2012 when the US Defense Department cut funding for the project; another vaccine development program was halted by the US Food and Drug Administration on July 3 of this year in order to ensure that proper protections for subjects participating in the human trials would be in place before the trials began.  When the lives of poor workers are in the balance, the capitalist class and their agencies are in no hurry to do anything to save them.  Only after a major disaster takes place is the capitalist class government stirred into action. This happens time and time again with such predictable events as famines, earthquakes, hurricanes and transmittable diseases.  Human life means nothing under capitalism, when it comes right down to it, compared to profits.

[Source: Science magazine, “Ebola Drugs Still Stuck in Lab” 25 July 2014]

The longer the working class allows the US capitalist class and their worthless political cretins in the Democratic and Republican parties to run the country, there is only one possible trajectory for the handling of the Ebola epidemic: it’s going to go from bad to worse.

ATTENTION: Workers of the United States!  You need desperately to put down your TV remotes and your joysticks and start taking control – not of the cable box or the video game but of your future and the future of your children! Get up off your couches and start fighting the capitalist system before it kills us all! You have sat by for far too long, expecting that someone else would come along and save your sorry asses! It is up to every working woman and man in this country to get involved in the fight for a better future for our kids and grandkids and to build revolutionary socialist workers parties – like ours – so that we can not merely pressure the Democrats and Republicans to do the right thing but to take power from the hands of the greed-infected capitalist class and their paid shills in every state capital in the country and place it in the hands of people who give a damn – the political leaders of, by and for the US working class! As the sudden appearance of the medical crisis of Ebola shows, the long-running US working class “strategy” of hiding your heads in the sand and/or voting this year for a Republican and next year for a Democrat just isn’t going to save your asses when Ebola comes to your town! Does half of the country have to die from Ebola while the capitalist class and their politicians run around like headless chickens before you working-class wage-slaves wake up? Will you sit there watching reality TV shows while your children die? What is wrong with you? WAKE UP AND JOIN US!

Workers of the World, Unite!

Independent Workers Party of Chicago

Why Revolution? Why Socialism?

Why Socialism? Why revolution?

Imagine a world where murderous, racist cops don’t exist.

Imagine a world where wars just don’t happen anymore.

Imagine a world where housing is a RIGHT, not a privilege granted by the rich landlords to the workers, and no one can be evicted from their home because they don’t have the money to pay for rent or a mortgage.

Imagine a world where food is a RIGHT and where no one can be denied access to food regardless of their ability to pay; just go to the supermarket and get what you and your family need.

Imagine a world where if you lose your job, you get paid 100% of your old salary until you get a new one.

Imagine a world where health care is free for everyone.

Imagine a world where a college education is not only free but where you get paid to go to college.

Imagine a world where women’s rights are fundamentally protected by the Constitution, not just an asterisk of an Amendment.

Imagine a world where the rights of black workers are not just an asterisk/amendment added to a slave-owner’s Constitution but incorporated into its very foundation.

Imagine a world where all the nation-states have been transformed from competitors into co-operative societies.

Imagine a world where poverty no longer exists.

Imagine a world unified into an organic whole, where cooperation instead of competition is the rule of the day – every day.

If you can imagine all this, then you are imagining a socialist world. A world without the greed factor; where profitability is no longer the sine qua non of human existence. A world dedicated to the eradication of inequality; a true meritocracy where the vast talents of the human race are finally given the opportunity to reach their full potential, no matter if you were born in Bangladesh or Berlin.

This is the future we fight for: a socialist future where the working class rules and poverty, homelessness, starvation, racism and war have become hideous exhibits in the history museums of the monstrous capitalist era.

The capitalist world is not “the best of all possible worlds”: we can and must do better if we want to live in a world that is worthy of our children and grandchildren.

Capitalism promises us a future of wars, endless wars, over food, water, land and even air.

We can build any kind of socialism we want. What kind of socialism do you want? If you, the workers of the world are willing to join forces as the sisters and brothers that you truly are, and if you are ready

to fight for a socialist future of global prosperity rather than a capitalist future of poverty, starvation and endless wars, you will surely reach that goal, because workers make up the vast majority of the world’s population and so you should call the shots – right?

Why revolution? Because it will take a revolution to overthrow the current selfish, greed-based capitalist system and replace it with an egalitarian federation of socialist workers republics.

Think about it. And then join us!

Workers of the World, Unite!

Independent Workers Party of Chicago