BATTLEFIELD USA: De Facto State of Martial Law Declared In Boston *Pics From the War Zone*

As news of last night’s incident in Watertown, Massachusetts spread, police from all over the North East converged, once again, on Boston. Along with them were elements of the National Guard and U.S. military.

Though an official announcement has not been made, and likely will not be made, the entire Boston metropolitan area is now in complete lock-down in what can only be described as a de facto state of martial law.

By all accounts, law enforcement and military personnel have classified  Boston and surrounding towns a war-zone, especially after a gunfight yesterday evening that left one of the Boston Marathon Bombers dead and the other still at large. In a video of the early morning engagement, rapid gunfire and explosive detonations, believed to be more ‘pressure cooker’ bombs, can be heard as police and residents scrambled.

This is what America looks like under martial law:





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US Debt – Visualized in physical $100 bills

China Bashing and the US Election [acting-man]

Protectionism is Back in Fashion


Of course protectionism is always fashionable, so it is perhaps not entirely correct to state that it is ‘back in fashion’. However, there are occasionally  stretches of time when politicians at least give lip service to supporting free trade. As soon as they begin talking about ‘fair trade‘ it is time to hold on to one’s wallet however. We will never understand why the policy has so much popular support (protectionism is widely held to be a ‘populist’ policy), given that the population at large is bound to be the major loser when protectionist barriers to trade are erected. After all, they merely serve to protect a select few producers to the vast detriment of all consumers.

Consider in this context the currently highly popular ‘China bashing’, which has  become the modern-day replacement of the ‘Japan bashing’ of yore (which was equally moronic). In essence, US politicians are demanding from China to raise its prices. How stupid is that? It is the functional equivalent of Wal Mart customers complaining to the retail chain’s management that it isn’t charging them enough. No-one would ever get such an absurd idea – and yet, it is the declared policy of the US to get China to do just that.

Given that a presidential election is imminent, China bashing has gone into high gear. Mitt Romney, in another desperate attempt to differentiate himself from his  opponent, promises to declare China a ‘currency manipulator’ the very moment he comes into power. Of course it is true that China is a ‘currency manipulator’, but so is everybody else.  Moreover, contrary to conventional wisdom, the  party that is disadvantaged by this is China, not its customers. Its customers get to buy things more cheaply than would otherwise be the case, which is an unalloyed  boon for them. As they save money by purchasing cheap goods from China, they have funds available that can be used for other purposes (either for saving and investment or additional consumption). Lastly, the idea that the Chinese yuan is ‘undervalued’ is highly questionable given the amount of money printing that has taken place in China over the past decade.

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Congress Tries to Force U.S. Army to Accept New Tanks [warisacrime]

More than 2,000 M-1 Abrams tanks are sitting in a parking lot in Herlong, California because of a disagreement between the U.S. Army, Congress and the military industrial complex.

The U.S. Army’s chief of staff General Raymond T. Odierno told Congress, earlier this year, that the U.S. has more than enough combat tanks and the U.S. Army can save taxpayers as much as $3 billion if they do not off repair, or make new tanks, for three years when new technologies are expected, reports CNN (video below).

However, 173 House Democrats and Republicans are urging Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, to support their decision to produce more unwanted tanks.

The 173 members of Congress claim that if the U.S. Army stops tank production and repair, the actions will damage the nation’s economy.


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Confirmed: Pentagon deploys military forces to Jordan-Syria border [RT]

US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has confirmed that US troops have been dispatched to the Jordan-Syrian border to help bolster the former’s military capabilities in case violence escalates in the volatile region.

“We have been working with Jordan for a period of time now…on a number of issues that have developed as a result of what’s happening in Syria,” Panetta said. He said chief among those issues were the “humanitarian needs” that has developed as a result of the refugee influx into Jordan.

“We have also been working with them in the effort to monitor the CBW (Chemical-Biological Weapons) sites to determine how best to respond to any concerns in that area,” Panetta continued.

“And we’ve also been working with them to help them develop their own military and operational capabilities in the event of any contingency there, and that’s the reason we have a group of our forces there. They’re working to help them build a headquarters there and to ensure that we make the relationship between the United States and Jordan a strong one so that we can deal with all of the possible consequences of what is happening in Syria,” he added.

Panetta’s comments came during a NATO conference of defense ministers in Brussels on Wednesday, where he said the US had been working with Jordan to monitor chemical and biological weapons sites in Syria and help the country deal with Syrian refugees crossing over the border.

Earlier in the day Jordan’s military had denied the US military was helping the kingdom deal with the influx of Syrian refugees and other security related issues.

“News reports that the United States is helping Jordan deal with the Syrian refugees or face dangers related to chemical weapons are not true,” state-run Petra news agency cited a Jordan Armed Forces spokesperson as saying.

The US has previously used Jordan as a base for other Syria-related military activities. In May of this year, Washington held military drills in Jordan dubbed ‘Operation Eager Lion,’ which saw around 12,000 troops from several nations participate in undisclosed training exercises.


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Not From the Onion: Army Says ‘Social Network’ Use Is a Sign of Radicalism [Wired]

These are some warning signs that that you have turned into a terrorist who will soon kill your co-workers, according to the U.S. military. You’ve recently changed your “choices in entertainment.” You have “peculiar discussions.” You “complain about bias,” you’re “socially withdrawn” and you’re frustrated with “mainstream ideologies.” Your “Risk Factors for Radicalization” include “Social Networks” and “Youth.”

These are some other signs that one of your co-workers has become a terrorist, according to the U.S. military. He “shows a sudden shift from radical to ‘normal’ behavior to conceal radical behavior.” He “inquires about weapons of mass effects.” He “stores or collects mass weapons or hazardous materials.”

That was the assessment of a terrorism advisory organization inside the U.S. Army called the Asymmetric Warfare Group in 2011, acquired by Danger Room. Its concern about the warning signs of internal radicalization reflects how urgent the Army considers that threat after Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan shot and killed 13 people at Ford Hood in 2009. But its “indicators” of radicalization are vague enough to include both benign behaviors that lots of people safely exhibit and, on the other end of the spectrum, signs that someone is so obviously a terrorist they shouldn’t need to be pointed out. It’s hard to tell if the group is being politically correct or euphemistic.

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White House widening covert war in North Africa [freep]

WASHINGTON — Small teams of special operations forces arrived at American embassies throughout North Africa in the months before militants launched the fiery attack that killed the U.S. ambassador in Libya. The soldiers’ mission: Set up a network that could quickly strike a terrorist target or rescue a hostage.

The White House signed off a year ago on the plan to build the new military counterterror task force in the region, and the advance teams have been there for six months, according to three U.S. counterterror officials and a former intelligence official. All spoke only on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the strategy publicly.

The effort indicates that the administration has been worried for some time about a growing threat posed by al-Qaida and its offshoots in North Africa. But officials say the military organization was too new to respond to the attack in Benghazi, where the administration now believes armed al-Qaida-linked militants surrounded the lightly guarded U.S. compound, set it on fire and killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.


In this Oct. 28, 2008 file photo, taken with a night vision scope, U.S. Special Operations forces are seen during a joint operation with Afghan National Army soldiers targeting insurgents operating in Afghanistan's Farah province.

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More Americans opting out of banking system [washingtonpost]

In the aftermath of one of the worst recessions in history, more Americans have limited or no interaction with banks, instead relying on check cashers and payday lenders to manage their finances, according to a new federal report.

Not only are these Americans more vulnerable to high fees and interest rates, but they are also cut off from credit to buy a car or a home or pay for college, the report from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. said.


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A History Of US Defense Spending Since FDR; And Where Obama And Romney Differ [Zerohedge]











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Half of Americans die with almost no money [MarketWatch]

While some retirees struggle profoundly, living at or below the poverty line, others enjoy wealth and health—in fact, the two are strongly linked—while still others have little in savings but enjoy a decent income, according to the report, based on a survey that tracked retirees from 1993 through 2008.

While 46% of retirees have just $10,000 in savings when they die, “That doesn’t mean their standard of living is very low—they might have a relatively generous pension plan, most of them will have Social Security,” said James Poterba, professor of economics at M.I.T., president of the National Bureau of Economic Research, and a co-author of the study.

But the findings “suggest something about the financial resiliency of these households,” Poterba added. “They may not have much capacity to absorb a shock, such as an out-of-pocket medical expenditure. They don’t have very much in the way of liquid assets they can access.”Read the study here.

When net worth is measured—including savings, home equity, the value of Social Security and pension benefits, and more—retirees’ financial picture around the time of death looks less bleak. Single people had average assets of about $142,000, those whose spouse had died previously had average assets of $253,000, and couples where the surveyed retiree had died but the other spouse was still living had average assets of $692,000, according to the study.


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The U.S. Is In Much Worse Shape Than Europe [GoldenTruth]


The United States should be ashamed. While many experts criticize the Europeans for not pulling together politically, U.S. indebtedness is far greater and more dangerous to the world economy.  - Jack Mintz, Palmer chair, School of Public Policy, University of Calgary (article link below)

This will be a bit of a rant day for me.  The markets and the news flow has down-shifted to low-gear ahead of the Labor Day Weekend.  I was playing tennis with friend this past weekend who is a long-time financial “adviser” for Lincoln Financial.  Of course before we started he wanted to discuss how everything was looking good for the economy and the markets.  I was like, “huh, what data are you looking at?”  He pointed to the S&P 500 earnings.  I quickly shot that down by explaining that if you used 1980 GAAP accounting standards on today’s earnings, the S&P 500 earnings would be at least cut in half, especially now that financials represent about 15% of the S&P 500 index my market cap weight and we know all the fraudulent accounting games being played by the big banks and insurance companies to generate earnings.  That deflated him a bit. Then I pointed out several other factoids about our system of which he is aware but – like most everyone else – chooses to ignore.  The bottom line is that 99% of all financial advisers get paid well to sell fairy tales and most Americans with any kind of investment portfolio left after 2008 have been set up for a complete wipe-out once the focus on the problems in Europe shift to the bigger problems in this country.

More Than Half Of All Americans Are At Least Partially Dependent On The Government [theeconomiccollapseblog.]

A very large segment of the population has figured out that it can use voting as a tool to get more money and benefits from the government, and that is a very dangerous thing.  Once upon a time, the free market was the one that distributed nearly all the wealth in our system.  But now the federal government has become a giant deluded “Santa Claus” that distributes goodies to the American people far beyond its actual capacity to do so.  In fact, we are borrowing trillions of dollars that we do not have so that our politicians can continue to buy votes with handouts.  Look, we will always need a safety net.  We don’t want anyone in America starving to death or sleeping in the street.  However, our current system has gotten completely and totally out of control.  Today, there are nearly 80 different “means-tested welfare programs” operated by the federal government.  As I have written aboutpreviously, more than 100 million Americans are enrolled in those programs.  Sadly, that does not even count Social Security and Medicare.  Tens of millions of Americans are enrolled in each of those programs as well.  And when you add in more than 22 million government workers, you get one giant pile of people that are getting money or benefits from the government.  In fact, at this point more than half of all Americans are at least partially dependent on the government.

A recent Forbes article by Bill Wilson estimates that over 165 million Americans are government dependents to at least some degree….

New research from Ranking Member of the Senate Budget Committee Jeff Sessions (R-AL) reveals that this reality may already be here, with more than 107 million Americans on some form of means-tested government welfare.

Add to that 46 million seniors collecting Medicare (subtracting out about 10 million on Supplemental Security Income, Medicaid, and other senior-eligible programs already included in Sessions’ means-tested chart) and 22 million government employees at the federal, state, and local level — and suddenly, over 165 million people, a clear majority of the 308 million Americans counted by the U.S. Census Bureau in 2010, are at least partially dependents of the state.


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Credit card debt falls in Q1 of 2012 – But there’s no reason to applaud

By Rick Murphy

Recent reports suggest that the outstanding credit card debt has dropped by 5.6% to $805 billion in the first quarter of 2012 and fortunately, for the US economy, this marked the 3rd successive first quarter drop. Though it is being seen that the Q1 figures have dropped, the total consumer credit card debt is slightly greater than $800 that was reported during the same time, in the previous year. Since 2010, the credit card debt has fallen by $2260 per household, according to the reports of another popular financial website. Isn’t it certainly encouraging? An increasingly large number of people are taking out unsecured debt consolidation loan and are consolidating their debt and some others are not even taking the risk of using more than one card when they go out for shopping. In short, the numbers of people who are managing their personal finances in an effective manner are now increasing.

The question that is being asked is what is the reason behind the drop in the credit card debt? Is it because of the improving  job market or the increase in the consciousness among the consumers? The banks too surrendered with their debt collection efforts as a large number of people are not being able to repay what they owe. Most banks and financial institutions wrote off their losses and took it off their ledger books. As there are fewer delinquent accounts among the households on an average, the typical household owes less on credit card debt.  However, a greater percentage of households are still indebted and this figure is much more than what it was in 2010. The overall debt picture doesn’t look much better and this situation could be getting worse.

Let’s see in detail where the US economy is going. When there was a sub-prime mortgage crisis, it was due to the large number of mortgage loans that were lent to people who didn’t have the capability to repay their loans. The credit card bubble was also taking place for a similar reason where a large number of credit cards were lent to people who weren’t financially able to make the monthly credit card payments. Student loans are one of the easily available products and there are many lenders who aren’t checking the credit score and the repayment ability of the student borrowers before lending them with a mortgage. With such irresponsible lending going on within the nation, can we expect the US economy to ever improve?

At the present moment, private debt is stagnant as the banks are apprehensive of lending and with the housing market bubble bursting recently; it will certainly take few more months to forget. But they will certainly be deleted from the memories of the US economy. Actually, we need permanent solutions to the problems that we’re facing now. We just need to be more financially responsible so that we may get back on track and also save the US economy from sleepwalking into yet another economic depression.


Assange or Corzine? [azizonomics]

Priorities are a bitch.

The United States won’t prosecute Corzine for raiding segregated customer accounts, but will happily convene a Grand Jury in preparation for prosecuting Julian Assange for exposing the truth about war crimes.

From the New York Times:

A criminal investigation into the collapse of the brokerage firm MF Global and the disappearance of about $1 billion in customer money is now heading into its final stage without charges expected against any top executives. After 10 months of stitching together evidence on the firm’s demise, criminal investigators are concluding that chaos and porous risk controls at the firm, rather than fraud, allowed the money to disappear, according to people involved in the case.


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Israeli military buys 2,000 Hummer vehicles from US Army [PressTV]

The Israeli military has purchased 2,000 used Hummer vehicles from the US Army, a deal which — according to military officials — will significantly expand the Ground Forces’ fleet of combat vehicles.

The vehicles are currently stored in US bases throughout the region and were sold to Israel at a fraction of the original cost. They will be delivered in installments over the next three years.

The military says it will carry out repairs on the Hummers before taking them to Israel. It says once the Hummers arrive there, they will be further outfitted for specific operational needs.

US Army Hummers (file photo)

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Ter·ror·ism (Noun): When OTHER People Do What We Do [Zerohedge]

The United States is arguably the world’s largest sponsor of terrorism, although we call it “self defense” and fighting “humanitarian” wars.

But when other people – especially brown-skinned people who wear funny clothes – do the same things that we do, we label it as terrorism.

Mark Selden - Bartle Professor of History and Sociology at Binghamton University – explains:

American politicians and most social scientists definitionally exclude actions and policies of the United States and its allies” as terrorism.

For example, the American military  indiscriminately kills innocent civilians (and see this),  calling it “carefully targeted strikes”.  When others do it, we rightfully label it terrorism.

When Al Qaeda, Syrians or others target  people attending funerals of those killed – or those attempting to rescue people who have been injured by –   previous attacks, we rightfully label it terrorism.  But the U.S. government does exactly the same thing, without any criticism by government apologists.

Torture is a recognized form of terrorism.  The United States has always considered waterboarding to be a crime of torture, including when the Japanese did it in WWII (and see this).

But the government and its lackeys tried to say that American waterboarding in the “war on terror” was not torture.   When asked during his 2008 presidential bid whether waterboarding was torture, Rudy Giuliani answered:

It depends on the circumstances. It depends on who does it.

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False Flag Terror and Conspiracies of Silence [globalresearch]

The news media’s readiness to accept official pronouncements and failure to more vigorously analyze and question government authorities in the wake of “domestic terrorist” incidents contributes to the American public’s already acute case of collective historical amnesia, while it further rationalizes the twenty-first century police state and continued demise of civil society.

Some may recall “Bugs Raplin” (Giancarlo Esposito), the resolute investigative journalist depicted in Tim Robbins’ 1992 political mockumentary Bob Roberts. After being framed as the culprit in a false flag assassination attempt by corrupt political huckster Bob Roberts (Robbins), Raplin delivers a perceptive soliloquy that among other things effectively describes the American public’s moribund civic condition and short-circuited democracy. “The reason Iran-Contra happened,” Raplin begins,

is because no one did anything substantial about Watergate. And the reason Watergate happened is because there were no consequences from the Bay of Pigs. They’re all the same operatives—the foot soldiers at the Bay of Pigs, the plumbers that got busted at Watergate, the gunrunners in Iran-Contra—all the same people, same faces. Now it doesn’t take a genius to figure out the connection here: A secret government beyond the control of the people and accountable to no one. And the closer we are to discovering the connection, the more Congress turns a blind eye to it. “We can’t talk about that in open session,” they say. “National security reasons.” The truth lies dormant in their laps and they stay blind out of choice. A conspiracy of silence.

Twenty years later amidst the vast outsourcing of intelligence and military operations many more events may arguably be added to such a shadow government’s achievements—the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, the 1995 Oklahoma City Murrah Federal Building bombing, the September 11 terror attacks, the non-existent weapons of mass destruction prompting the occupation of Iraq, the July 7, 2005 London tube bombings, the shoe and underwear “bombings”—all of which have contributed to the official justification of imperial wars abroad and an ever-expanding police state at home.

Lacking meaningful contexts with which to understand such events in their totality the general public is incapable of recognizing the road it is being forced down. The most recent set of events that give pause are the horrific, military-style shootings in Aurora Colorado and Oak Creek Wisconsin that authorities maintain were carried out by “lone wolf” gunmen.

Operation Gladio in America?

A potential backdrop and precursor to the Colorado and Wisconsin events is the oft-forgotten Operation Gladio, a campaign involving US and British intelligence-backed paramilitaries anonymously carrying out mass shootings and bombings of civilian targets throughout Europe. Hundreds of such attacks took place between the late 1960s and early 1980s by “stay behind armies” of right wing and fascist saboteurs in an overall effort to terrorize populations, deploy a “strategy of tension,” and thereby maintain a centrist political status quo.[1] In the uncertain environment the petrified citizenry pled for stepped-up security and stood poised to part with personal freedoms. At the same time the maneuver allowed for political adversaries—in Gladio’s time socialist and communist groups—to be blamed for the attacks and thereby demonized in the public mind.

The string of still unresolved US political assassinations throughout the 1960s suggest how such practices were not restricted to foreign countries. Nor were they solely the terrain of intelligence agencies. Along lines similar to Gladio, in the early 1960s the US Joint Chiefs of Staff proposed Operation Northwoods, where terrorist attacks would be initiated against US civilians in American cities and the violence blamed on Cuban combatants to justify war against the island nation.[2] The Kennedy administration rejected the proposal. While Northwoods exhibited the capacity for government to conceive and propose such plans, Gladio was demonstrably carried out against Western civilian populations in multiple locations over many years.

Consideration of Gladio and Northwoods might be dismissed were it not for early eyewitness accounts following the Colorado and Wisconsin shootings contending how there were two or more killers present at each incident—testimonies contradicting official government narratives that have accordingly been suppressed in the public mind.[3]

As communications historian Christopher Simpson observes, “the tactics that created the [Gladio] stay behinds in the first place are still in place and continue to be used today. They are standard operating procedure.”[4] Such potential explanations will appear foreign to an American public that is systematically misinformed and easily distracted. And in times of crisis especially that very public is tacitly assured of its safe remove from such practices, looking instead to political authorities and experts to reestablish a stasis to the carefully constructed “reality” major media impose on the mass psyche.

How Badly Does Wall Street Want a Romney Presidency? [Azizonomics]

Apparently, this badly:

But this is chickenshit money — it doesn’t even add up to Lloyd Blankfein’s 2007 bonus.

Let’s see where the real money is going.

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U.S. Banks Told to Prepare for Collapse [wealthwire]

Regulators have instructed five of our nation’s biggest banks to develop some serious plans to ward off collapse in lieu of major problems. U.S. regulators were sure to remind these banks that they should not count on any government assistance this time.

Bank of America Corp (BAC.N), JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N), Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N), Citigroup Inc, (C.N), Morgan Stanley (MS.N).

Perhaps those running these banks have learned from the mistakes of Lehman Brothers CEO Dick Fuld who was not quick enough to action, not decisive enough to stave off serious bank problems in the midst of financial crisis.

Reuters reports:

The two-year-old program, which has been largely secret until now, is in addition to the “living wills” the banks crafted to help regulators dismantle them if they actually do fail. It shows how hard regulators are working to ensure that banks have plans for worst-case scenarios and can act rationally in times of distress.

The documents obtained by Reuters indicate that the Federal Reserve and the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency first directed the five big banks to design some realistic recovery plans back in May of 2010.

Such plans would need to be feasibly executed within three-six months following any disaster. Without plans in place, collapse would be imminent.

Recovery plans would vary from resolution plans – which are required under the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law. “Living wills aim to end bailouts of too-big-to-fail banks by showing how they would liquidate themselves without imperiling the financial system.”

So far this summer, nine global banks have sent their living wills to the Fed and Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Public portions of these documents have been released although they have not received much publicity at all.

Reuters was only able to get their hands on the names of the banks required to submit recovery plans through a Freedom of Information Act request.

In the meantime, experts remain deeply concerned with the potential of blow-ups at big banks resulting in another damaging dose of taxpayer bailouts.

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80% of Americans think Iran’s nuclear program threatens the US [timesofisrael]

The poll found an overwhelming majority believe the Iranian nuclear program is a direct threat to the US and its NATO allies. (courtesy: The Israel Project)

Four out of five American voters see Iran’s nuclear weapons program as a threat to the United States and its NATO allies, according to a new poll commissioned by The Israel Project and published on Tuesday.

The poll of 800 likely voters in the upcoming US presidential election found that 39 percent considered the Iranian nuclear weapons program a very big threat and 41% thought it was a moderate threat to the United States and NATO member nations. Only 12% said it was not much of a threat and six percent said it was no threat at all.

Sixty percent say Iran’s nuclear program poses a very big threat to Israel and another 27% say the program is a moderate threat. Iranian leaders have frequently vowed to wipe Israel off the map.

Opinions on the usefulness of sanctions remained unchanged since the last Israel Project poll in February, with 67% of respondents considering it unlikely that sanctions and diplomacy will prevent Iran’s development of nuclear weapons capabilities; only 30% thought that sanctions were likely to achieve results.

Eighty percent of likely voters believe Iran is building nuclear weapons, despite the Tehran government’s constant denials. Only 10% said they thought it is not. Moreover, there was a high level of consensus across party lines on this, with 72% of Democrats, 81% of independents and 89% of Republicans convinced the Iranians were building nuclear weapons.

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Obama places more sanctions on Iran []


President Obama ramped up economic sanctions against Iran today, targeting that nation’s oil sales and financial transactions.

Again pledging to block Iran from developing the means to make a nuclear weapon, Obama said in a statement: “With these actions, we are once again reaffirming our commitment to hold the Iranian government accountable for its actions.”

Obama said the United States remains committed to a diplomatic solution of the nuclear dispute, “but the onus is on Iran to abide by its international obligations.”

The announcement comes less than a week after Republican election opponent Mitt Romney visited Israel, also pledging to prevent Iran from being able to develop a nuclear weapon.

The debate over Iran takes place amid concern that Israel might launch a pre-emptive military strike against Iran in an effort to knock out its nuclear facilities.

Romney aides pointed out that, during the GOP candidate’s recent visit, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that “all the sanctions and diplomacy so far have not set back the Iranian (nuclear) program by one iota And that’s why I believe that we need a strong and credible military threat coupled with the sanctions to have a chance to change that situation.”

Romney spokesman Ryan Williams cited Netanyahu’s comments in saying that Obama “has allowed Iran’s nuclear ambitions to proceed unimpeded. … The president’s refusal to take a tough stance when it comes to Iran has imperiled our allies and jeopardized our national security.”

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Specialized Military Police Deployed in America During Civil Unrest [globalresearch]

n Camp Pendleton, California, the Marine Corp have created a law-enforcement battalion (ELB) consisting of specialized military police officers (SMP) that will be deployed to assist in investigating crimes dealing with drug trafficking, train security and terrorism.

The ELBs contain an estimated 500 SMPs and trained dogs. While capitalizing on their investigative and police training, they will take the role of current street cops while still remaining part of the Marine Corp.

Maj. Jan Durham, commander of the 1st Law Enforcement Battalion at Camp Pendleton states: “Over the past 11 years of combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, some lessons learned painfully, there has been a growing appreciation and a demand for, on the part of the war-fighter, the unique skills and capabilities that MPs bring to the fight. We do enforce traffic laws and we do write reports and tickets, and that’s good, but we do so much more than that.”

Having been deployed overseas prior to their new placement, these SMPs will secure evidence and assist local police departments in building cases against predetermined criminal networks. They may even conduct raids in cities and add to the show of force that is now being used to intimidate the average citizen.

SMPs would be deployed to assist in any event of civil disturbance, handling of detainees, use biometrics to identify suspects and conduct forensic work. Their assistance is not limited to conducting DUIs and writing speeding tickets in an effort to re-brand the Marine Corps as being more involved with average work now allocated to local law enforcement.

Maj. Jan Durham, commander of the 1st Law Enforcement Battalion at Camp Pendleton states: “Over the past 11 years of combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, some lessons learned painfully, there has been a growing appreciation and a demand for, on the part of the war-fighter, the unique skills and capabilities that MPs bring to the fight. We do enforce traffic laws and we do write reports and tickets, and that’s good, but we do so much more than that.”

Loren Thompson, defense analyst, said: “This is a smart idea because the biggest single problem the Marines have in dealing with low-intensity types of threats is that they basically are trained to kill people. It’s good for the Marines to have skills that allow them to contain threats without creating casualties.”

Last June, the Department of Defense began testing military drills in Missouri. While local residents of St. Louis City were warned not to be “alarmed” as US Army tanks travelled down residential neighborhoods. They were told that this is not the beginning signs of martial law.

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Pentagon to recruit bomb-sniffing rats [RT]

(AFP Photo / Yasuyoshi Chiba)


A pet rat that can sniff out explosives could become standard gear for future American soldiers. The Pentagon is conducting research into teaching rats to detect mines and explosives, in hopes of saving lives and reducing military expenditures.

Scientists at the US Army Research Laboratory, supported by West Point Military Academy and engineers at the Counter Explosive Hazards Center busy studying rat psychology, reported, the US Army’s official website.

These researchers are working with Barron Associates, Inc., a defense contractor that has been won a bid to produce a cheap and reliable training program for rats that can detect explosives in hostile environment.

The Rugged Automated Training System’s (RATS) chief aims are low cost and ease of production. The program, managed by the Life Sciences Division of the Army Research Office, is expected to “solve an immediate Army need for safer and lower-cost mine removal,” said William Gressick, senior research engineer at Barron.

Despite being at least as intelligent and scent-savvy as bomb-sniffing dogs, rats are also much more mobile, easier to transport and consume much less food. They can also infiltrate hard-to-reach openings.

Animals remain the most reliable explosives detection system, capable of identifying bombs at much higher rates than mechanical systems. RATS could also be used for non-military purposes. In the future, rats might be deployed by emergency teams on search-and-rescue operations.

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.In [Joint Chief's chair] Lemnitzer’s view, the country would be far better off if the generals could take over. [JFK assassination legend has it some general presided over the fudgy JFK autopsy. --Mk]

For those military officers who were sitting on the fence, the Kennedy administration’s botched Bay of Pigs invasion was the last straw. “The Bay of Pigs fiasco broke the dike,” said one report at the time. “President Kennedy was pilloried by the super patriots as a ‘no-win’ chief . . . The Far Right became a fount of proposals born of frustration and put forward in the name of anti-Communism. . . Active-duty commanders played host to anti-Communist seminars on their bases and attended or addressed Right-wing meetings elsewhere.”

Although no one in Congress could have known it at the time, Lemnitzer and the Joint Chiefs had quietly slipped over the edge.

According to secret and long-hidden documents obtained for Body of Secrets, the Joint Chiefs of Staff drew up and approved plans for what may be the most corrupt plan ever created by the U.S. government. In the name of antiCommunism, they proposed launching a secret and bloody war of terrorism against their own country in order to trick the American public into supporting an ill-conceived war they intended to launch against Cuba.

Operation Northwoods
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Code named Operation Northwoods, the plan, which had the written approval of the Chairman and every member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, called for innocent people to be shot on American streets; for boats carrying refugees fleeing Cuba to be sunk on the high seas; for a wave of violent terrorism to be launched in Washington, D.C., Miami, and elsewhere. People would be framed for bombings they did not commit; planes would be hijacked. Using phony evidence, all of it would be blamed on Castro, thus giving Lemnitzer and his cabal the excuse, as well as the public and international backing, they needed to launch their war.

The idea may actually have originated with President Eisenhower in the last days of his administration. With the Cold War hotter than ever and the recent U-2 scandal fresh in the public’s memory, the old general wanted to go out with a win. He wanted desperately to invade Cuba in the weeks leading up to Kennedy’s inauguration; indeed, on January 3 he told Lemnitzer and other aides in his Cabinet Room that he would move against Castro before the inauguration if only the Cubans gave him a really good excuse. Then, with time growing short, Eisenhower floated an idea. If Castro failed to provide that excuse, perhaps, he said, the United States “could think of manufacturing something that would be generally acceptable.” What he was suggesting was a pretext a bombing, an attack, an act of sabotage carried out secretly against the United States by the United States. Its purpose would be to justify the launching of a war. It was a dangerous suggestion by a desperate president.

Although no such war took place, the idea was not lost on General Lemnitzer But he and his colleagues were frustrated by Kennedy’s failure to authorize their plan, and angry that Castro had not provided an excuse to invade.

The final straw may have come during a White House meeting on February 26, 1962. Concerned that General Lansdale’s various covert action plans under Operation Mongoose were simply becoming more outrageous and going nowhere, Robert Kennedy told him to drop all anti-Castro efforts. Instead, Lansdale was ordered to concentrate for the next three months strictly on gathering intelligence about Cuba. It was a humiliating defeat for Lansdale, a man more accustomed to praise than to scorn.

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