Iraq, as El Salvador, rather than Vietnam

An interesting post over at wikileaks, which is the United States Counter Insurgency Manual, officially the US Special Forces doctrine for Foreign Internal Defense. There are perhaps some other titles for this book, which is basically a HOW-TO for the institution of a fascist police state. Some excerpts suggest that the present template for success in Iraq is based on the experience in El Salvador. Of course, although the U.S. did not lose El Salvador in a straight-forward military sense, in the civil war there from 1980 to about 1992 about 70,000 civilians were killed, including Archbishop Romero and several Jesuit Priests, which e_f has covered here. So, in a moral sense, the dirty war in El Salvador did great damage to the U.S.A., but here is the proof that those in power consider a War where many innocent civilans are needlessly slaughtered as a victory. The manual advocates accusing those who oppose the regime in any way with terrorism, and immediately charging them and any of their supporters with terrorism. Unbelievable, but brought to you courtesy of Web 2.0. It also tells the U.S. military how to do those all-important things like: concealing human rights abuses from journalists. Which just leaves me asking: Who are the real terrorists?

Of course, the other question is: If this manual has been leaked, and available since at least Monday, why hasn’t it been covered by the mainstream US media yet? What’s going on here?

More and links to the manual below…

Continue reading “Iraq, as El Salvador, rather than Vietnam”

Iraq, as El Salvador, rather than Vietnam

Coming Soon to wikileaks

Here’s a story about a government program that, if it existed, would clearly not only violate the Constitution but also break enough of the rules of expect behavior that its disclosure would cause such loss of prestige to those who created it, that it would have to be kept secret. That’s true because the moral implications of the program are so repulsive, that if the program came to light, it would quickly be subject to scrutiny and debate and modification. For that reason, it is not unlikely that it will be leaked soon–all of the reasons to leak are there, and all it takes is exactly one moral person + web 2.0 and the program comes unsprung, probably after being posted at wikileaks So if the program exists, it’s not unreasonable to expect to read about it at wikileaks soon. The story:

From Radar Magazine:

Is the government compiling a secret list of citizens to detain under martial law?

By Christopher Ketcham

In the spring of 2007, a retired senior official in the U.S. Justice Department sat before Congress and told a story so odd and ominous, it could have sprung from the pages of a pulp political thriller. It was about a principled bureaucrat struggling to protect his country from a highly classified program with sinister implications. Rife with high drama, it included a car chase through the streets of Washington, D.C., and a tense meeting at the White House, where the president’s henchmen made the bureaucrat so nervous that he demanded a neutral witness be present.

Coming Soon to wikileaks

The Future CIA: You

From an old, old draft I’d started here is Eblen Moglen is giving a talk at Google and he mentions, as almost an aside, the implications of free and open source methodologies for national security, and it’s not a random or an insignificant point. (This point is made near the end of the show…but it’s a good show anyway.)

All Dressed Up and No Place to Go By Eben Moglen 27 March 2007

What does he mean? Is he crazy? No, he understands some essential processes. And now I’ve got two links that explain this further, so I don’t have to finish the post I’d started. The benefits of procrastination!

Continue reading “The Future CIA: You”

The Future CIA: You

Tim Lee suddenly trusts big government?

Over at TLF, Tim Lee posts about the InfraGard brouhaha, which started with an article by Matt Rothschild over at the Progressive, and also generated a post over at the Future of Freedom Foundation, a libertarian think tank. When the Progressive and a libertarian think tank both agree something is dangerous, it’s got to be interesting to find out why two so very different groups agree.

I find Tim Lee strangely trusting in his post which says:

Is InfraGard a Privacy Threat?

Gary D. Barnett at the Libertarian Future of Freedom Foundation sounds the alarm about InfraGard, a collaboration between the FBI and private-sector people interested in security. Barnett paints InfraGard as a sinister effort by the FBI to get private information about American citizens.

Jim Lippard has a different perspective, explaining in some detail what InfraGard does, and convincing me, at least, that there’s nothing especially sinister going on. It’s perfectly legitimate for law enforcement to cooperate with the private sector to inform one another of potential security threats. Obviously, companies shouldn’t disclose their customers’ private information without a warrant, but Barnett offers no evidence that companies do that as part of InfraGard. It’s great that Barnett is working to ferret out potential threats to Americans’ privacy, but it looks like he might have raised the alarm prematurely in this case.

I’m surprised Tim seems to trust big government, giving them a ‘free pass’ to create an entity that’s designed to avoid oversight, and is potentially very powerful. And so my response (edited for grammar and clarity) is:

Continue reading “Tim Lee suddenly trusts big government?”

Tim Lee suddenly trusts big government?

Brave New War, some comments regarding (slightly expanded)


John Robb’s book Brave New War is out, for awhile now, and I’ve just read some excerpts and reviews. I have every expectation that it is an excellent book, but of course I do have to read it first. I had enjoyed being a frequent commentator over at Global Guerillas and I enjoyed very much discussing the links between sustainability and war processes, and the new topology of globalization. I also think the cover art is exactly right, a cloud being generated from a part of a network (pipeline). The subtitle:The Next Stage of Terrorism and the End of Globalization is also dead on.

One criticism that I don’t agree with, though, is contained in William Lind’s otherwise excellent review, excerpt below:
Continue reading “Brave New War, some comments regarding (slightly expanded)”

Brave New War, some comments regarding (slightly expanded)

Parallel Questions

Mark C R UK asks, in response to my post Posse Comitatus, Requiescat In Pace:

“But how many functional enemies willing to disperse such agents and have the (alarming) patience to wait for for years before mortality begins?”

And this questions fits right in with the subject of a draft post I had been writing, and it is is also a question others have been asking as well. The question is phrased slightly differently, but in essence it is the same question. (Incidentally, Mark has buried the most important word in his question in parenthesis.) Here is a report summarized over at Bugs ‘N’ Gas Gal’s site:

Three Explanations for al-Qaeda’s Lack of a CBRN Attack

By Chris Quillen

The evidence of al-Qaeda’s interest in conducting a terrorist attack with chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear (CBRN) weapons appears compelling. As early as 1998, al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden declared the acquisition of CBRN weapons a “religious duty” for Muslims [1]. He followed up in 2003 by asking for and receiving a fatwa from Saudi Sheikh Nasir bin Hamid al-Fahd that condoned the use of CBRN weapons by Muslims against infidels [2]. Combined with the multitude of warnings from al-Qaeda associates that a CBRN attack against the West is not only forthcoming but also long overdue, the Muslim “duty to warn” has been firmly established. In al-Qaeda’s opinion, no further justification is needed and no additional warnings are required [3].

Given this stated desire and apparent capability to conduct a CBRN terrorist attack, why has al-Qaeda not yet launched an attack with such weapons? This analysis explores three possible explanations for this lack of a CBRN attack: disruption, deterrence and, most disturbingly, patience.

Continue reading “Parallel Questions”

Parallel Questions

Economist on Bio-Terrorism

Well, just a slight ripple in the press, about the lack of preparedness for a bio-terror event, and the glacial pace that the authorities are preparing for such an event is contrasted with the near certainty among those leaders polled that a bio-terror attack is likely within the next 5 years. This is from the Economist, which IMHO has had consistently better reportage about Science and Health Issues. Perhaps their Art department and their Science and Technology staff have both been somewhat immune to the long, slow quality decline in the Economist I have noted over the last 6 or seven years or so?

Also, recall another Economist article “Chronicle of a Disease Foretold” from 1990 or so, another example of thoughtful reporting about the intersection of globalization and disease processes.


Can the line against bio-terror hold?
Dec 13th 2006

From The Economist print edition

Efforts to avert germ warfare succumb to low expectations

IMAGINE if the tiny amount of radioactive polonium-210 that killed a former Russian agent, Alexander Litvinenko, in London last month—contaminating his family and more than a dozen other people from London’s Mayfair district to Hamburg and Moscow—had instead been minute droplets of highly contagious smallpox virus, genetically engineered to neutralise vaccines. Does that sound too hard a trick for a would-be suicidal terrorist to pull off? In early 2001 a team of Australian-based scientists attempting to find a contraceptive vaccine for mice slipped a gene into the mousepox virus that inadvertently turned the normally mild strain deadly.


Yet a recent survey by Amy Smithson of the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, a think-tank in Washington, DC, found that over 80% of past and present senior American officials, congressmen and non-government experts interviewed thought a biological attack in the next five to ten years to be likely, very likely or else a dead cert.


Meanwhile, before the next review in 2011, annual meetings of experts will actually spend less time (one week, instead of two until now) discussing ways to improve lab safety and the security measures needed to govern dangerous pathogens, and on developing codes of conduct for those working in the biotech industry.

Well, thank heavens the safety of the American People is GWB’s first priority, otherwise, we’d be in real trouble, right?

Economist on Bio-Terrorism