TBR News April

Apr 28 2014


The Voice of the White House


            Washington, D.C. April 28, 2014: “With all of the hysterical screeching going on in Washington about the evil Putin and how mighty America is going to deal with him, a bit of simple research is in order here.

First off, the Russians and the Chinese hold an enormous amount of U.S. Treasury bills:


Feb 2014 Foreign holdings of US Treasury Securities

China, Mainland       1272.9 billion 

Russia                         126.2    “


If both Russia and China dumped their holding simultaneously, the dollar would drop to the level of the Mexican peso and cease being the major international currency.


            Second, while Obama is claiming the U.S. is the world’s largest producer of oil, he is completely wrong:


List of Top 10 Largest Oil Producers in the World 2014


1.  Russia  12.65%   Oil Production       11,000,000 bbls per day

                              Oil Consumption      2,200,000 bbls per day


2. Saudi Arabia 11.28%


3. United States 10.74% Oil Production       8,500,000 bbls per day

                                        Oil Consumption  19,000,000 bbls per day


Note here that the United States consumes more than twice the amount of oil they produce. Are they going to ship badly needed oil to poor Ukraine? No, they are not but they will be true to form and promise much while delivering nothing.


            Third, Obama has been braying all over the Orient that American military might is superior. Here are the figures:


Military Forces




Active Frontline Personnel        970,000

Active Reserve Personnel       2,485,000

Tanks                                            15,500

Armored Fighting Vehicles          27,607

Multiple-Launch Rocket systems   3,371





Active Frontline Personnel      1,430,000

Active Reserve Personnel          850,000

Tanks                                           8,325

Armored Fighting Vehicles          25,782

Multiple-Launch Rocket systems   1,330


            And here, from the government-friendly New York Times, is an interesting comment: “The Army, which took on the brunt of the fighting and the casualties in Afghanistan and Iraq, already was scheduled to drop to 490,000 troops from a post-9/11 peak of 570,000. Under Mr. Hagel’s proposals, the Army would drop over the coming years to between 440,000 and 450,000.” Pentagon Plans to Shrink Army to Pre-World War II Level By THOM SHANKER and HELENE COOPER FEB. 23, 2014  NYT

            But surely, Obama is firmly supported by the American people who always recognize their government’s goal of establishing peace and democracy throughout the world.



Public opinion
#1 A national Rasmussen Reports survey has found that an all-time high 53 percent of all Americans believe that neither major political party “represents the American people”.

#2  Only 29 percent of Americans believe that the country is heading in the right direction.

#3  Americans disapprove of the job that Barack Obama is doing by a 52.2 to 43.7 percent margin.

#4 Americans disapprove of the job that Congress is doing by a 77.6 percent to 14.2 percent margin.

#5  52 percent of Americans “do not think the economy is fair to those willing to work hard”.

#6  65 percent of Americans are dissatisfied “with the U.S. system of government and its effectiveness”. That is the highest level of dissatisfaction that Gallup has ever recorded.

#7 Only 4 percent of Americans believe that it would “change Congress for the worse” if every member was voted out during the next election.

#8 An all-time low 31 percent of Americans identify themselves as Democrats.

#9 An all-time low 25 percent of Americans identify themselves as Republicans.

#10 An all-time high 42 percent of Americans identify themselves as Independents.

#11 60 percent of Americans report feeling “angry or irritable”. Two years ago that number was at 50 percent.

#12 70 percent of Americans do not have confidence that the federal government will “make progress on the important problems and issues facing the country in 2014.”


American-instigated coups against anti-democratic countries


Iran (1953);


Thailand (1957);

Laos (1958-60);

the Congo (1960);

Turkey (1960, 1971 & 1980);

Ecuador (1961 & 1963);

South Vietnam (1963);

Brazil (1964);

the Dominican Republic (1963);

Argentina (1963);

Honduras (1963 & 2009);

Iraq (1963 & 2003);

Bolivia (1964, 1971 & 1980);

Indonesia (1965);

Ghana (1966);

Greece (1967);

Panama (1968 & 1989);

Cambodia (1970);

Chile (1973);

Bangladesh (1975);

Pakistan (1977);

Grenada (1983);

Mauritania (1984);

Guinea (1984);

Burkina Faso (1987);

Paraguay (1989);

Haiti (1991 & 2004);

Russia (1993);

Uganda (1996);

and Libya (2011).



from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2014, Issue No. 31
April 28, 2014


            The Office of the Director of National Intelligence is attempting to conceal unclassified information about the structure and function of U.S. intelligence agencies, including the leading role of the Central Intelligence Agency in collecting human intelligence.
            Last month, ODNI issued a heavily redacted version of its Intelligence Community Directive 304 on “Human Intelligence.” The redacted document was produced in response to a Freedom of Information Act request from Robert Sesek, and posted on ScribD.
            The new redactions come as a surprise because most of the censored text had already been published by ODNI itself in an earlier iteration of the same unclassified Directive from 2008. That document has since been removed from the ODNI website but it is preserved on the FAS website here.
             Meanwhile, the current version of the Directive — without any redactions — is also available in the public domain, despite the attempt to suppress it. (Thanks to Jeffrey Richelson for the pointer.)
            A comparison of the redacted and unredacted versions shows that ODNI is now seeking to withhold the fact that the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency functions as the National HUMINT Manager, among other things.
            ODNI also censored the statement that the Central Intelligence Agency “Collects, analyzes, produces, and disseminates foreign intelligence and counterintelligence, including information obtained through clandestine means.”
            Among intelligence agencies, in my experience, ODNI is usually the most responsive to Freedom of Information Act requests, while CIA leads the competition to be the least helpful and cooperative. In this case, it appears that CIA’s pattern of defiance overcame ODNI’s better judgment.


             Noteworthy new and updated reports from the Congressional Research Service that Congress has withheld from online public distribution include the following.

             Achievements of and Outlook for Sanctions on Iran, April 22, 2014

            The Target Data Breach: Frequently Asked Questions, April 22, 2014

            The Republic of the Philippines and U.S. Interests–2014, April 23, 2014

             Malaysia: Background and U.S. Relations, April 21, 2014

             Moldova: Background and U.S. Policy, April 23, 2014

            Trade Promotion Authority (TPA): Frequently Asked Questions, April 21, 2014

             Immigration Detainers: Legal Issues, April 24, 2014

            Judicial Activity Concerning Enemy Combatant Detainees: Major Court Rulings, April 21, 2014

Ukraine: Out of Control: The road to war is paved with dangerous delusions


April 25, 2014

by Justin Raimondo,


They don’t make war propaganda like they used to – or maybe it has something to do with this newfangled thing they call the internet – but the latest “evidence” of Russian troops supposedly directly involved in east Ukraine turmoil was debunked almost as soon as it was made public. It turns out that a key photo touted by the US State Department and the New York Times as proof positive of Russian special forces in Ukraine was lifted off the photographer’s Instagram page. Yes, folks, it’s strictly amateur hour at the CIA, or whichever agency cooked up this “intelligence.” The photo wasn’t taken in Russia, as the Times and US officials claimed, but in Sloviansk, which fatally undermines their case that these are Russian special services.

We can chalk this one up to desperation. They had to do something to salvage their fading credibility as the Ukrainian government’s “anti-terrorist” operation sputtered out as soon as it began. In a truly pathetic scene, a phalanx of crack Ukrainian “special forces” in armored personnel carriers advanced on Sloviansk and Kramatorsk, where they were surrounded by unarmed civilians – and promptly defected en masse. It was a humiliating comedown for the Kiev regime: Ukrainian officials had been boasting to the international media that their mighty army would subdue the “terrorists” in short order.

Sloviansk, by the way, is the scene of the Kiev regime’s latest attack on civilian protesters. “At least five” pro-Russian protesters are dead, according to the Ukrainian “interior minister.” Bereft of professional troops, who have mostly gone over to the pro-Russian side, the coup leaders sent in their Right Sector stormtroopers along with the remnants of the national police – who attacked a checkpoint manned by unarmed civilians in the dead of night.

Yes, they’re killing they’re own people – but that isn’t something you’ll hear US officials say about a government deemed “pro-American.”

The lies, the hypocrisy, the brazen whitewashing of a gang of extremists – this administration’s championing of the Kiev coup leaders is Washington’s most reckless act since the end of the cold war. Yes, more dangerous than even the 2003 invasion of Iraq: Russia, after all, really does possess weapons of mass destruction.

The Geneva talks were supposed to have de-escalated the looming conflict: instead they made conflict more likely. The reason is because Lavrov, Kerry, and the EU failed to invite the key participants: the east Ukrainians, including representatives from the self-proclaimed Donetsk Republic as well as Crimea. The big powers thought they could devise a diplomatic “solution” without consulting the people most directly involved. The Russians are just as responsible for this slight oversight as the Americans: indeed, more so, since they pose as champions of Russian-speakers in their “near abroad.”

The irony is that the turmoil in east Ukraine underscores the truth of Russia’s protestations that it is not responsible for the actions of pro-Russian separatists: Moscow, which has nothing to gain from such provocations, really thought the east Ukrainians would meekly follow the Kremlin’s lead. Yet the Russian Foreign Ministry is hard put to explain away the double standard that requires pro-Russian militants to surrender their positions in the various city halls and government buildings they’ve taken over but allows the Maidan protesters to occupy the seat of government in Kiev.

As predictably histrionic as criticism of administration policy from the John McCain/Peter King wing of the GOP is, the White House seemingly went out of the way to display its own powerlessness by revving up the rhetoric – and tacitly acknowledging there is little they can do about Crimea or east Ukraine. That old geopolitical adage – “put up or shut up” – seems to have been forgotten as John Kerry flies hither and yon, possessed by the idea that the US must “do something” in response to every ginned-up overseas “crisis.”

The lesson of recent events in Ukraine is that no one—not Washington, not Moscow, not Kiev, not nobody – is in control. Ukraine sends in platoons of highly-trained “crack” troops to quell the Donetsk uprising – and the next thing you know they’ve gone over to the other side. The Kremlin uses the Donetsk rebels as a bargaining chip in seemingly successful negotiations that changed the subject from Crimea to east Ukraine – and a day later the Donetsk Republic is telling the world, in effect, “Putin doesn’t speak for us!” Washington, for its part, financed and directed a regime change operation that was supposed to put its favored oligarchs back in power – and instead found itself saddled with an “interim” government dominated by right-wing extremists with a penchant for anti-Semitism.

The hubris of the American political class doesn’t allow them to understand the implications of their own ignorance: they think they are master puppeteers, and that they can manipulate the strings of history in an endless morality play written and directed by their all-powerful selves. Yet events on the ground in Ukraine disprove this conceit every day.

And it is a dangerous conceit. Back in 1914, the Russian Foreign Ministry didn’t realize that the Serb fanatic Gavrilo Princip would set off World War I – a conflict that would bring down the Romanovs – when they aided and abetted Serbian secret societies in the Balkans: the Austrians didn’t realize the visit by Crown Prince Francis Ferdinand would provoke a war that would end their empire for good: the Germans, the French, and the British all miscalculated, drawn inexorably into the conflict by means of interlocking alliances, numerous tripwires, and the pernicious concept of “collective security.”

The exact location of Ukraine’s borders is not a matter the US has any business having an opinion about – never mind intervening on one side or the other. According to the principle of national self-determination, which Washington pays lip service to, the people of Crimea and east Ukraine have the right to secede and go independent, or seek union with the Russian Federation: it’s up to them. And they were not consulted when the big powers sat down to determine their fate – with the result being that the situation is rapidly veering out of control.

Speaking of chaos: the news that Right Sector – the neo-fascist formation that served as the “muscle” of the Maidan rebellion – has moved its headquarters to east Ukraine, and set up a paramilitary army of some 800 heavily armed fighters, does not bode well for the future. According to the terms of the Geneva agreement, Right Sector was to have been disarmed: instead they have been unleashed. As more of the regular Ukrainian army and police defect to the Russian side, Right Sector and various other fascist gangs are increasingly taking their place – setting the stage for a violent provocation that could send the Russians marching in. And also setting the stage for a possible future ultra-nationalist coup against the unelected “interim” government – thus giving the Kiev coup leaders a taste of their own medicine.

There is only one solution to the Ukrainian “crisis,” and that is a referendum offering the people of east Ukraine a choice between the status quo, autonomy within Ukraine, or union with Russia. As both the more moderate Kiev officials and Putin seem to realize, federalism and decentralism are the keys to peace.

Yet the Kiev regime is under considerable pressure from super-centralist ultra-nationalists, who hold key positions in the interim government, to resist such demands. Putin, on the other hand, is under pressure from extreme Russian nationalists who want to grab all Ukraine and dream of restoring the old Russian empire.

The wily Russian leader, for his part, no doubt realizes this is just a dream – because an empire is a luxury ramshackle Russia can no longer afford. With a rapidly declining population and an economy standing on some very shaky ground, the best Putin can do is manage Russia’s inevitable decline and hope his country will come in for a soft landing.

            The not-so-wily Americans, on the other hand, persist with their delusions of global hegemony, unaware that their ambitions have seriously outrun their resources. Which practically ensures that when our bankrupt-in-more-ways-than-one country comes in for a landing it’s going to be quite hard.

More than $1 trillion in sequestration-related defense cuts, slated for now through 2021, “would significantly increase risks both in the short- and long-term,” according to a report released Monday by the Pentagon.

“If sequestration-level cuts persist, our forces will assume substantial additional risks in certain missions and will continue to face significant readiness and modernization challenges,” the report said.

“Overall, sequester-level cuts would result in a military that is too small to fully meet the requirements of our strategy, thereby significantly increasing national security risks both in the short- and long-term,” according to a Pentagon statement that accompanied the report’s release.

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel commissioned the report to underscore the tangible impact of sequestration, the statement said.

According to the report’s findings, sequestration-level funding for fiscal years 2015-19 would result in:


• Reduction of one squadron of F-35 aircraft

• Elimination of the fleet of KC-10 tankers

• Reduction of operational surface combatant ships by seven in 2019

• Reduction of procurement of eight ships

• Divesting the Global Hawk Block 40 fleet

• Divesting the Predator fleet beginning in 2016

• Elimination of planned purchases of Reaper aircraft in 2018-19


Deadlocked over spending cuts in 2011, Congress passed the so-called sequestration law implementing automatic and across-the-board budget cuts beginning in 2013. The cuts have – and will continue to — hit the military particularly hard.

“The Department of Defense only receives 17 percent of the federal budget,” Gordon R. Sullivan, a retired Army general and current president of the Association of the United States Army, told a recent symposium in Hawaii on land forces in the Pacific. Yet the Defense Department is contributing 50 percent of the cuts required by sequestration, he said, criticizing the planned reductions as “government by robot.”

Those numbers are somewhat misleading, as the majority of the U.S. budget goes toward mandatory spending on things like social security, which is not part of the annual appropriation process and generally not subject to sequestration. Meanwhile, the defense budget accounts for more than 50 percent of discretionary spending – the part of the budget over which lawmakers have direct control.

The Pentagon report said that troop levels would be cut due to sequestration. The Army would be reduced to 420,000 active duty soldiers, with the National Guard and Reserves falling to 315,000 and 185,000, respectively. The Marine Corps would shrink to 175,000 active duty.

“Modernization would also be significantly slowed,” the statement said. “Compared to plans under the fiscal 2015 budget, the department would buy eight fewer ships in the years beyond fiscal 2016 — including one fewer Virginia-class submarines and three fewer DDG-51 destroyers – and would delay delivery of the new carrier John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) by two years.

“The services would acquire 17 fewer Joint Strike Fighters, five fewer KC-46 tankers, and six fewer P-8A aircraft.”

Funding for smaller weapons and construction projects would also be curtailed. The report estimated that the department would spend about $66 billion less in procurement and research funding as compared with levels that had been planned for the fiscal year 2015 budget

The U.S. reduced their defense budget by 7.8 percent whereas Russia increased arms spending by $88 billion. For the first time in a decade, Russia devoted a larger share of its GDP to the armed forces than the US.



U.S. Weighs Harder Line on Russia Than European Allies


April 27, 2014

by Peter Baker and C.J. Chivers

New York Times
             WASHINGTON — As President Obama and his national security team struggle to increase pressure on Russia over its intervention in Ukraine, they have become entangled in a tense debate over how much emphasis to put on unity with European allies more reluctant to take stronger economic actions against Moscow.

So far, Mr. Obama has opted to stick close to the Europeans to maintain an undivided front, even at the expense of more punishing sanctions and quicker responses to Kremlin provocations. But some inside and outside the administration argue that the United States should act unilaterally if necessary, on the assumption that the Europeans will ultimately follow.

            The issue came to a head in recent days as American and European leaders tried to coordinate a new round of sanctions after the collapse of a Geneva agreement to de-escalate the crisis in Ukraine. Secretary of State John Kerry delivered a blistering public attack on Moscow on Thursday night for not living up to the agreement, but the plan to follow that up with sanctions on Friday fell apart while Washington waited for Europe, postponing action until Monday at the earliest.

The deliberations in the West came as pro-Russian forces in Ukraine on Sunday continued to defy international demands to stand down. An antigovernment militia paraded eight detained members of a European military observer mission before cameras, while protesters seized a regional government television station and declared they would use it to air Russian newscasts.

The display of the captive European observers underscored the challenge for Washington and Brussels in defusing the conflict. The observers, who were seized at a checkpoint on Friday, were led into an auditorium in the eastern city of Slovyansk by masked gunmen. The self-appointed mayor refused to discuss conditions under which they might be released beyond mentioning a prisoner exchange, although one of the observers was later freed for health reasons.

The sanctions to be announced as early as Monday would single out more people close to President Vladimir V. Putin as well as certain companies. Among them are likely to be Igor Sechin, president of the state-owned Rosneft oil company, and Aleksei Miller, head of the state-owned energy giant Gazprom, American officials said.

            The measures will also block certain high-technology exports to the Russian defense industry, officials added, without elaborating. But while some of Mr. Obama’s advisers want him to impose sanctions against whole sectors of the Russian economy, the president has decided against it for now, cognizant of the resistance of European nations that have far more at stake economically, officials said.

During internal deliberations, Jacob J. Lew, the secretary of the Treasury, and other officials have argued for caution, maintaining that, while action is needed, more expansive measures without European support might hurt American business interests without having the desired impact on Russia, according to people informed about the discussion.

Mr. Obama has been particularly intent on not getting too far in front of Europe to avoid giving Mr. Putin a chance to drive a wedge in the international coalition that has condemned the Russian annexation of Crimea and destabilizing actions in eastern Ukraine.

            “The notion that for us to go forward with sectoral sanctions on our own without the Europeans would be the most effective deterrent to Mr. Putin, I think, is factually wrong,” Mr. Obama told reporters in Asia, where he is traveling. “We’re going to be in a stronger position to deter Mr. Putin when he sees that the world is unified.” He added: “For example, say we’re not going to allow certain arms sales to Russia — just to take an example — but every European defense contractor backfills what we do, then it’s not very effective.”

Some officials, however, privately argue that the administration has made coordinating with Europe too high a priority and that effectively deferring to the 28-member European Union is a recipe for inaction. The United States, these officials contend, should move ahead with more decisive action on the theory that Europe wants leadership from Washington and historically joins in eventually.

“While imposing sanctions together with the E.U. would be nice, the U.S. simply has to lead and not waste more time trying to present a united approach,” said David J. Kramer, president of Freedom House, an advocacy group, and a former Bush administration official, reflecting views expressed inside the government. “It’s easier for us to do so than it is for the Europeans, and they will follow, as long as we lead.”

A task force of Russia specialists that includes Mr. Kramer sent the White House a list of possible sanctions targets, including Russian officials and business leaders as well as nine of its most significant companies.

Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee, the ranking Republican on the Foreign Relations Committee, made a similar proposal. “Hitting four of the largest banks there would send shock waves into the economy; hitting Gazprom would certainly send shock waves into the economy,” he said Sunday on “Face the Nation” on CBS.

Antony J. Blinken, Mr. Obama’s deputy national security adviser, was booked late Friday onto Sunday talk shows to defend the president’s approach. Mr. Blinken said existing sanctions were having an impact on the Russian economy. “All of this is creating a dynamic in which what Putin has promised to his people, which is growth and prosperity, cannot be delivered,” he said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

The administration also signaled that even if Russia backed down in eastern Ukraine, the United States would not lift sanctions as long as it controlled Crimea. “Sanctions imposed because of its actions in Crimea will remain so long as those actions continue,” Tom Malinowski, the assistant secretary of state for human rights, wrote on the department’s blog.

The fate of the European military observers remained uncertain. The observers, who come from Germany, Denmark, Poland, Sweden and the Czech Republic, were brought before reporters, and the group’s leader, Col. Axel Schneider of Germany, was allowed to answer questions, although clearly under duress.

With erect posture, the colonel referred to himself and his team as “guests” under the “protection” of Vyachislav Ponomaryov, the self-appointed mayor of Slovyansk, and said they had suffered no violence. “We are not prisoners of war,” he said.

Colonel Schneider said the team was held in a basement for a day and then moved on Saturday to better quarters. He flatly rejected any characterization of the group as spies and denied that it carried ammunition and reconnaissance equipment. “The only thing we had was a regular business-type road map, scale one-to-one million,” he said, along with “small-scale cameras.”

While Russia’s representative to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe has called for the team to be freed, Mr. Ponomaryov said he had received no word directly from Moscow. Colonel Schneider made clear they were detainees. “Our presence here in Slovyansk is for sure a political instrument for the decision-makers here in the region, and the possibility to use it for negotiations,” he said.

 Separately, anti-government militants detained three men they claimed to be members of Ukraine’s intelligence services. The officers were displayed to Russian media and photographed blindfolded in their underwear, hands bound and heads bloodied.

Officials from the self-styled Donetsk People’s Republic allege that the men, members of Ukraine’s elite “Alfa” unit, were sent to capture a militia commander in Horlivka before being detained and transferred to the separatist stronghold of Slovyansk. Igor Strelkov, the commander of the Republic’s forces whom Kiev has called a Russian operative, told Russian media that the Ukrainian officers would be held “until the end of the war.”

In Donetsk, pro-Russian protesters clad in balaclavas and armed with bats demanded that a television channel that they had seized broadcast Rossiya-24, a Russian state channel. “There was a harsh conversation,” Oleg Dzholos, the station’s general director, said outside the captured building. “I would say we were given an ultimatum.”


Peter Baker reported from Washington, and C. J. Chivers from Slovyansk, Ukraine. Noah Sneider contributed reporting from Slovyansk, and Andrew Roth from Donetsk, Ukraine.


US failing to push economic sanctions against Russia through EU allies


April 27, 2014



The new round of sanctions against Russia, which the EU and the US plan to unveil Monday, will not target the Russian economy. Washington said it won’t use economic sanctions without the EU also signing up to them.

G7 members agreed Friday to roll out a third round of anti-Russian sanctions over the Ukrainian crisis. But those would be an extension of the previous two rounds of sanctions, which targeted 33 individuals in Russia and Ukraine and a Russian bank, which the Western government deemed responsible for the crisis in Ukraine or close enough to President Vladimir Putin to have leverage on him.

“What we will hear about in the coming days, what we will agree … is an expansion of existing sanctions, measures against individuals or entities in Russia,” UK Foreign Secretary William Hague told Sky News on Sunday.

The new round will slap travel bans and asset freezes on 15 more people, according to numerous insider reports. But it’s unlikely that they would have any greater effect on Russian policies than the sanctions already in effect. If anything, so far sanctions against the officials have only resulted in mocking calls from Russian MPs, politicians and ordinary citizens to add their names on the blacklists.

Imposing sanctions on some sectors of the Russian economy, which could actually hurt the country, remains an elusive goal for Washington. At the same time America, whose economic ties with Russia are mediocre at best compared to Europe’s, is unwilling to act alone. Otherwise, it would appear that there is conflict between Russia and the US, not Russia and the world, a narrative that Washington is struggling to promote.

“We’re going to be in a stronger position to deter Mr. Putin when he sees that the world is unified and the United States and Europe is unified rather than this is just a US-Russian conflict,” US President Barack Obama told reporters on Sunday.

But Europe has much to lose from imposing economic sanctions on Russia, and Obama said he sees how US-only sanctions won’t work.

“If we, for example, say that we are not going to allow certain arms sales to Russia, but every European defense contractor backfills what we do, then it’s not very effective,” he said.

With Russia being a major supplier of raw materials and buyer of European goods, the EU governments are far from being eager to shoot themselves in the foot with economic sanctions.

“At the moment there is no consensus among the EU members on which economic measures against Russia would be acceptable, or even if they are needed at all,” a European diplomatic source told Itar-Tass.

The diplomat, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said only an open military invasion of Ukraine or irrefutable proof of Russian clandestine military presence in Ukraine would tip EU’s stance toward economic sanctions. So far every piece of evidence that Kiev and Washington made public of alleged involvement of Russian agents in Ukraine was either inconclusive or simply false.

The US and the EU are accusing Russia of stirring up anti-government protest in eastern Ukraine and failing to fulfill its obligations under last week’s Geneva statement. They want Moscow to publicly denounce the protesters holding governmental buildings in Ukraine in defiance of a military crackdown launched by Kiev.

Russia insists that it is the post-coup Ukrainian government, which is not making necessary steps to deescalate the violence. Moscow says Kiev must disarm radical nationalist groups, particularly the Right Sector, which toppled the previous Ukrainian government, and start negotiations with the protesters instead of threatening them with tanks and multiple rocket launchers.

If Kiev choses to escalate the crackdown on the protesters by using heavy arms against them Russia says it reserves the right to use its own military to stop bloodshed.



Letter to the American People on Ukraine


March 8, 2014

by Alexander Dugin


In this difficult hour of serious trouble on our Western borders, I would like to address the American people in order to help you understand better the positions of our Russian patriots which are shared by the majority of our society.


Difference Between the two Meanings of Being American (In the Russian View)


1. We distinguish between two different things: the American people and the American political elite. We sincerely love the first and we profoundly hate the second.

2. The American people has its own traditions, habits, values, ideals, options and beliefs that are their own. These grant to everybody the right to be different, to choose freely, to be what one wants to be and can be or become. It is wonderful feature. It gives strength and pride, self-esteem and assurance. We Russians admire that.

3. But the American political elite, above all on an international level, are and act quite contrary to these values. They insist on conformity and regard the American way of life as something universal and obligatory. They deny other people the right to difference, they impose on everybody the standards of so called “democracy”, “liberalism”, “human rights” and so on that have in many cases nothing to do with the set of values shared by the non-Western or simply not North-American society. It is an obvious contradiction with inner ideals and standards of America. Nationally the right to difference is assured, internationally it is denied. So we think that something is wrong with the American political elite and their double standards. Where habits became the norms and contradictions are taken for logic. We cannot understand it, nor can we accept it: it seems that the American political elite is not American at all.

4. So here is the contradiction: the American people are essentially good, but the American elite is essentially bad. What we feel regarding the American elite should not be applied to the American people and vise versa.

5. Because of this paradox it is not so easy for a Russian to express correctly his attitude towards the USA. We can say we love it, we can say we hate it – because both are true. But it is not easy to always express this distinction clearly. It creates many misunderstandings. But if you want to know what Russians really think about the USA you should always keep in mind this remark. It is easy to manipulate this semantic duality and interpret anti-Americanism of Russians in an improper sense. But with these clarifications in mind all that you hear from us will be much better understood.


 A Short Survey of Russian History


1. The American Nation was born with capitalism. It didn’t exist in the Middle Ages. The ancestors of Americans had not experienced an American Middle Age, but a European one. So that is a feature of America. Maybe that’s the reason why Americans sincerely think that Russian Nation was born with communism, with the Soviet Union. But that is a total misconception. We are much older than that. The Soviet period was just a short epoch in our long history. We existed before the Soviet Union and we are existing after the Soviet Union. So in order to understand Russians (and Ukrainians as well) you should take into consideration our past.

2. Russians consider Ukraine as being part of the Greater Russia. That was historically so – not by the conquest, but by the genesis of Russian Statehood that started precisely in Kiev. Around Kiev our people and our State were constructed in the IX century. It is our center, our first beloved capital. Later in the XII-XIII centuries different parts of Kievian Russia were more or less independent with two main rivals – the Western principalities Galitsia and Wolyn and the Eastern principality of Vladimir (which later became Moscow) existing. All of these areas were populated by the same nation, Eastern Slavs, all of whom were Orthodox Christian. But the princes of the West were more engaged in European politics and they had more direct contact with Western Christianity and relatively less with the Eastern branches. The title of Great Princes was held in the East by royalty who were considered the masters of the whole of Russia (not always de facto but de jure). In the Mongol period the West as well as the East of our Russian principalities were held under the Golden Horde. Eastern Russia was more or less solid and its power grew around the new capital Moscow. After the fall of the Tartars the rule of the Moscow principality affirmed itself as a regional hegemon that was confirmed by the fall of Byzantine Empire. Hence the doctrine of Moscow as the Third Rome.

The destiny of the Western area was quite different. It was incorporated first in a Lithuanian State that later became Polish. The Orthodox western Russians we put under Catholic rule. The earlier main principalities – Galitsia and Wolyn were fragmented and have lost any trace of independence. Some parts were under Lithuania, others under Austria and Hungary, a third belonged to Romania. But all that concerns us now is only the Right-Bank of modern Ukraine. The Left Bank was peopled by Cossacks – the nomad population common to the all lands of Novorossia, space that include Eastern and South-Eastern Ukraine and South Western Russia. Crimea was at that time under Ottoman rule.

3. The growth of the Moscowit Empire integrated first all the Cossack lands (Novorossia) and little by little other territories peopled by Western Russians liberating them from the Poles and Germans. The Moscowit princes believed that they were restoring Old Russia, Kievan Russia uniting all Orthodox Slavs – Eastern and Western in this unique Kingdom.

4. During the XVIII – XIX century the unification of the Western Russian lands was accomplished and in many battles the Moscowit Emperors had finally taken Crimea from the Ottoman Turks.

5. In WWI the Germans conquered the Western Russian lands. It didn’t last long. After that came the October Revolution and the Empire was split into many parts with new nations being born into existence. There was an attempt to construct a Ukrainian nation by different people – Petlyura, Makhno and Levitsky who tried to found three ephemeral States. These States were attacked by Whites and Reds and fought among themselves. Finally the Bolsheviks restored the lands of the Tsarist Empire and proclaimed the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union then artificially created the Ukrainian Republic consisting of Western Russia (Galitsia, Wolyn) and Southern Russia (Novorossia). Later in the 1960′s to that the Republic of Crimea was added. So in this Republic were united three main ethnic groups: Western Russians, the descendants of the Galitsia / Wolyn principalities; the Cossacks / Great Russian population of Novorossia; the Crimea peopled by Great Russians and the rest of the pre-Russian Tartars. This Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic was created by the Bolsheviks and was the origin of modern Ukraine. This Ukraine declared independence in 1991 after the split of the USSR. More than that the declaration of independence provoked this split.

6. So modern Ukrainians have three lines of descent – Western Russian, Cossacks, Great Russian and a small Tartar minority in the Crimea.


 Ukrainian Identity and the two Geopolitical Options


1. The contradiction of Ukraine consists in the multiplicity of identities. Just after the declaration of the new state – the modern Ukraine in 1991 – the question of pan-Ukrainian identity arose. Such a State and nation never existed in history. So the nation had to be constructed. But the three main identities were very different. Crimea populated by Greater Russians along with most parts of Novorossia which were clearly attracted to the Russian Federation. The Western Russians claimed to be the core of a very specific “Ukrainian nation” that they imagined in order to serve their cause. The Western Russians who partly supported Hitler in WWII (Bandera, Shukhevich) possessed and still possess strong ethnic identity where the hatred toward Great Russians (as well as toward Poles to a lesser scale) plays a central role in this identity. This can be traced to the past rivalry of the two Russian feudal principalities projected onto imperial times and followed by Stalin’s purges. These purges were directed against all ethnic groups, but Western Russians read it as the revenge of the Great Russians on them (Stalin was Georgian and the Bolsheviks were internationalists). So the chosen identity of the newly created State of Ukraine was exclusively Western Russian (purely Galitsia / Wolyn style) with no place for a Novorossia and Great Russian identity.

2. This particularity was expressed in two opposite geopolitical options: Western or Eastern, Europe or Russia. The Western lands of Ukraine were in favor of European integration, the Eastern and Crimea in favor of strengthening relations with Russia. The men from Galtsya were dominant in the political elite presenting a Ukraine with only one identity – a Western one – and denying any attempt of the South and East to express their own vision. In the Western Ukraine anti-sovietism was deeply rooted as well as certain complaisance with the ideas of Bandera and Shukhevich who were considered as national heroes of a new Ukraine. The hatred toward Great Russians was dominant and all anti-Russian xenophobic rhetoric hailed.

3. In the East and South soviet values were still solid and Great Russian identity was in turn the overwhelming feeling. But the East and South were passive and their political power was limited. Still the population regularly expressed their choice giving their votes to pro-Russian or at least not so openly Russo-phobic or pro-Western politicians.

4. The challenge for Ukrainian politicians therefore was how to keep this contradictory society together always balancing between these two opposite parts. Each part demanded completely irreconcilable choices. The Westerners insisted on a European direction, Easterners and Southerners on a Russian one. All of the Presidents of the new Ukraine were unpopular, almost to the point of being hated precisely because they were absolutely unable to resolve this problem that had no solution at all. If you please one half of the population immediately you are hated by the other half. In this situation Westerners were more active and vigorous and partly succeeded in imposing their version of a pan-Ukrainian identity on all of the political space of the country – with the considerable help of Western Europe and above all the USA.


 Events and Their Meaning


 1. Now we have approached the present crisis. The Orange revolution of 2004 was made by Westerners who challenged the legal victory of Victor Yanukovitch who was considered the candidate of the East. A Third round of elections (against all democratic norms) was revolutionary imposed in order to give the power to the Western candidate (Yustchenko). Four years later new elections gave the Western President only 4% of the votes and the Eastern candidate Yanukovitch was elected. This time his victory was so obvious that nobody could challenge it.

 2. Yanukovitch led the politics of balance. He was not really pro-Russian but didn’t respond to all demands of the West either. He was not very lucky and effective, trying to trick Putin and Obama, disappointing both as well as Ukrainians of any side. He was an opportunist without a real integral strategy, which was almost impossible to develop in a society with a split personality and a split identity. He reacted more than acted.

 3. Next, when he made a hesitating and reluctant step toward Russia, abstaining from signing the preparation Treaty of a distant entrance in EU, the opposition (Westerns) revolted. That was the reason Maidan was founded. The revolt was initially that of the West against the East and South. So its russophobic and Nazi nostalgic features are essential to its existence.

 4. The opposition received huge support from the Western countries – above all from the USA. The role of America in all these events was decisive and the will to overthrow a pro-Russian President was shown by American representatives to be firm and strong. Now the fact that snipers who killed most of victims in the rioting were not those of Yanukovitch is exposed. It is clear that they were part of the USA’s plan for revolution in the Ukraine and part of a plot to escalate the conflict.

 5. The Maidan opposition waged revolution, overthrew Yanukovitch who ran from the country to Russia, and quite illegally seized power in Kiev. There was an illegal putsch that brought the completely illegal junta to power.


6. The first steps of the Westerns after seizure of power were:


*  declaration of wishing entrance into NATO


*  attacks on the use of the Russian language


*  a plea to be accepted in the EU


*  a refusal for Russia to continue to have a Navy base in Sebastopol (Crimea)


*  the appointment of corrupted tycoons as governors in the East and South Ukraine.


7. In response to these things Putin took control over Crimea based on on the decrees of the only legal President of the Ukraine, Yankovitch. He also received from the Russian Parliament the right to deploy in Ukraine the Russian army. Crimean authorities were recognized by Moscow as the representatives of their land and Putin has plainly refused any relations with the Kiev junta.

 8. So now we are here.


 Short Prognosis


 1. Where will this lead? Logically Ukraine as it was during the 23 years of its history has ceased to exist. It is irreversible. Russia has integrated Crimea and declared herself the guarantor of the liberty of the freedom of choice of the East and South of Ukraine (Novorossia).

2. So in the near future there will be the creation of two (at least) independent political entities corresponding to the two identities mentioned earlier. The Western Ukraine with their pro-NATO position and at the same time a ultra-nationalist ideology and Novorossia with a pro-Russian (and pro-Eurasian) orientation (apparently without any ideology, just like Russia herself). The West of Ukraine will protest trying to keep hold over the East and South. It is impossible by democratic means so the nationalists will try to use violence. After a certain time the resistance of the East and South will grow and / or Russia will intervene.

3. The USA and NATO countries will support by all means the Westerns and the Kiev junta. But in reality this strategy will only worsen the situation. The essence of the problem lays here: if Russia intervenes in the affairs of the State whose population (the majority) regard this intervention as illegitimate, the position of the USA and NATO States would be natural and well founded. But in this situation the population of the East and South of Ukraine welcomes Russia, waits for it, pleads for Russia to come. There is a kind of civil war in Ukraine now. Russia openly supports the East and South. The USA and NATO back the West. The Westerns are trying to get all Ukraine to affirm that not all the population of the East and South is happy with Russia. This is quite true. Also true is that not all of the population of the West is happy with Right Sector, Bandera, Shukhevich and the rule of tycoons. So if Russia would invade the Western parts of Ukraine or Kiev that could be considered as a kind of illegitimate aggression. But the same aggression is in present circumstances the position of the USA that strives to help the Kiev junta take the control of the East and South. It is perceived as an illegitimate act of aggression and it will provoke fierce resistance.




 1. Now here is what I would say to the American people. The American political elite has tried in this situation as well as in many others to make the Russians hate Americans. But it has failed. We hate the American political elite that brings death, terror, lies and bloodshed everywhere – in Serbia, in Afghanistan, in Iraq, in Libya, in Syria – and now in Ukraine. We hate the global oligarchy that has usurped America and uses her as its tool. We hate the double standard of their politics where they call “fascist” innocent citizens without any feature resembling fascist ideology and in the same breath deny the open Hitlerists and Bandera admirers the qualification of “Nazi” in the Ukraine. All that the American political elite speaks or creates (with small exceptions) is one big lie. And we hate that lie because the victims of this lie are not only ourselves, but also you the American people. You believe them, you vote for them. You have confidence in them. But they deceive and betray you.

2. We have no thoughts of or desire to hurt America. We are far from you. America is for Americans as President Monroe used to say. For Americans interests and not for others. Not for Russians. Yes, this is quite reasonable. You want to be free. You and all others deserve it. But what the hell you are doing in the capital of ancient Russia, Victoria Nuland? Why do you intervene in our domestic affairs? We follow law and logic, lines of history and respect identities, differences. It is not an American affair. Is it?

3. I am sure that the separation line between Americans and the American political elite is very deep. Any honest American calmly studying the case will arrive to the conclusion: “let them decide for themselves. We are not similar to these strange and wild Russians, but let them go their own way. And we are going to go our own way.” But the American political elite has another agenda: to provoke wars, to mix in regional conflicts, to incite the hatred of different ethnic groups. The American political elites sacrifice American people to causes that are far from you, vague, uncertain and finally very very bad.

4. The American people should not choose to be with Ukrainians (Western Russians – Galitsya,Wolyn) or with Russians (Great Russians). That is not the case. Be with America, with real America, with your values and your people. Help yourselves and let us be what we are. But the American political elite makes the decisions instead of You. It lies to you, it dis-informs you. It shows faked pictures and falsely stages events with completely imagined explanations and idiotic commentary. They lie about us. And they lie about you. They give you a distorted image of yourself. The American political elite has stolen, perverted and counterfeited the American identity. And they make us hate you and they make you hate us.

5. This is my idea and suggestion: let us hate the American political elite together. Let us fight them for our identities – you for the American, us for the Russian, but the enemy is in both cases the same – the global oligarchy who rules the word using you and smashing us. Let us revolt. Let us resist. Together. Russians and Americans. We are the people. We are not their puppets.


 Alexander Dugin (b. 1962) is one of the best-known writers and political commentators in post-Soviet Russia. In addition to the many books he has authored on political, philosophical and spiritual topics, he currently serves on the staff of Moscow State University, and is the intellectual leader of the Eurasia Movement. For more than a decade, he has also been an adviser to Vladimir Putin and others in the Kremlin on geopolitical matters.



The Prelude to the End of the American Era

April 26, 2014

by Ian Welsh


            And so it begins. Russia is not restraining the separatists, the Kiev government is finally really sending in the troops, Barack Obama and EU leaders claim they will impose real sanctions and Russia and China are set to ink a deal to export Russian Gas to China, the world’s industrial heartland.
            If the sanctions are imposed, for whatever reason (Russian invasion or not), they will force the creation of a second economic, non-dollar bloc. Russia is not Iran, and China is not going to cut off Russia to please the West, rather the contrary. The creation of a real non dollar bloc which can make almost anything people want, and which has access to essentially all key resources from oil to rare minerals, metals and food is an existential threat to the hegemony of the West and its allies like Japan and Korea.
            Be clear, real sanctions will impose real costs on Russia, but they can bear them. They do not need to borrow money from the West, they cannot be Troika-ized. They have key resources that someone will buy, even if they can’t buy in dollars, because Yuan or rubles can, actually, buy most of what most countries need to buy.
            Absent China, Russia cannot be isolated. Cannot. China is unlikely to cooperate. Sure, they could view eastern Russia near their borders as ripe, but Russia as a subordinate state in the Chinese sphere means they get everything they really need from the Russians anyway, plus military confrontation.
            The Chinese are not stupid, they know that if a real war breaks out, it will be between them and America. They are the rising power, the naturally most powerful and militarily powerful state in the world, recovering from a hiatus of a few centuries where they lost their status. Russia has a lot to offer them, and the Chinese cannot be coerced by sanctions. Sanctioning China would backfire so hard that the US was go into a real economic collapse: China makes the goods. Sanction them, and they WILL break the patents and just make them anyway. Reestablishing the manufacturing and distributing base back to the US and its allies under such circumstances would be unbelievably difficult, especially as Russia, China and its allies control certain key resources like rare earths (other people could mine them in quantity, but don’t, because Chinese rare earths are cheaper and we are stupid and greedy.)
            Russia is already planning how to survive economic sanctions: how to sell its goods in rubles. People will buy, Russia is too big a producer to ignore. If Europe doesn’t want the growth which comes from using Russian gas and oil, well, China and others will be happy to take it.
            And once a second bloc is created, it will no longer be possible to pull stunts like breaking Iran with sanctions: the Chinese/Russian bloc will have a veto.
            Over Ukraine? I guarantee that if this is done in 50 years historians will look back on this like we do on WWI—what were they thinking? The Balkans wasn’t worth WWI. Ukraine isn’t worth destroying American: Western, hegemony. Well, not for America. Others might think this is more of a good thing than bad.
            But it is also the potential glide path to war, real war. WWIII.

‘NATO 3′ Sentenced to More Jail Time After Prosecutors Rabidly Invoke Boston Bombing


April 26, 2014

by Kevin Gosztola



The “NATO 3″ were sentenced by a judge today for mob action and possession of an incendiary device with intent to commit arson offenses. They each were given prison sentences, but they were much shorter than what prosecutors from the state of Illinois wanted.

Brian Jacob Church, Brent Betterly and Jared Chase, came to Chicago for protests at the NATO summit at the end of April in 2012. They were targeted by undercover police and arrested for their alleged involvement in making Molotov cocktails late in the evening on May 16, 2012. They were labeled terrorists by the State’s Attorney Office in a criminal complaint that was a fantasy of radical terror.

On February 7, after a rather lengthy trial,a jury found the three men not guilty of all state terrorism charges including material support for terrorism, conspiracy to commit terrorism and possession and manufacturing of an incendiary device with the intent to commit terrorism. They were found not guilty of possessing an incendiary device with the intention to commit arson and not guilty of solicitation of arson. It was a huge victory for defense attorneys in the case.

The three men were found guilty of possessing an incendiary device to commit arson, a charge that carries a sentence of up to 30 years in prison. They also were found guilty of possessing an incendiary device with the knowledge that it would be used to commit arson and found guilty of lesser mob action charges, which jurors were able to select if they did not want to find the “NATO 3″ guilty of terrorism.

The judge sentenced Church to 30 days in prison for mob action and five years in prison for the possession of an incendiary device charge. He sentenced Betterly to 30 days in prison for mob action and six years in prison for the possession of an incendiary device charge. He sentenced Chase to 30 days in prison for mob action and eight years in prison for the possession of an incendiary device charge.

             “NATO 3″ More Dangerous Than People Who Committed “Murder-For-Hire”

            During sentencing, it was quite clear that the State’s Attorney of Cook County Anita Alvarez and others in her office were deeply upset that they had lost. And, to possibly salvage the case, they asked Judge Thaddeus Wilson to sentence each of the men to 14 years in prison.

Prosecutors argued in their sentencing memo that what the men had done was more dangerous than criminals who committed “murder-for-hire.” They also invoked the Boston Marathon bombing.

Assistant State’s Attorney Jack Blakey built upon his record of feverish statements in this case by referencing a “separate set of defendants,” who on April 15, 2013, used a “crock pot with marbles” and killed people including a child. They, too, had a bag of weapons that were used against the police. A police officer lost his life. These defendants also hijacked a car and attacked a police officer. This is what prosecutors believed the men would have done “if they had gotten their way.” And, if it were not for the “great police work,” the argument was that the city would have been hit with an attack similar to the Boston bombing.

This infuriated defense attorney Thomas Durkin, who represented Chase. He called them out for having the “audacity” to “compare this to Boston.” He “didn’t think for a minute” they would be “ignorant enough to compare this to Boston” and suggested prosecutors were like the Spanish Inquisition.


“Have We Forgotten About Homemade Bombs in Backpacks?”


But State’s Attorney of Cook County, Anita Alvarez, had invoked this real and actual terrorism attack after the state lost its terrorism case in February. “You know what? My job is public safety, and that’s exactly what we did. Have we forgotten about Boston? Have we forgotten about homemade bombs in backpacks?” She also asked a reporter for the Associated Press later if he wanted a Molotov cocktail thrown through his window.

Durkin explained that the prosecutors made him embarrassed to be from Chicago. He was “embarrassed to be in a world where facts get turned upside down for political purposes.” The prosecutors “still didn’t get the message no matter what the jury said.” They didn’t realize “the world has been laughing at them.”

Church made a brief statement in court and mentioned a letter he wrote to the judge. He had spent a few hours trying to figure out exactly what he wanted to say. He said he was not a perfect person. He like any other person made mistakes, but those who are wise learn from their mistakes.”

“I want to go home where I have a job, a family, a home to go to, a place to stay,” he said to the judge. He also felt compelled to add, “I do love my country,” and to be compared to “such an atrocity”—the Boston bombing—”hurts. It rips my heart apart.”


Judge Asked to “Ratify” This “Failed Prosecution”

            A defense attorney for Church, Michael Deutsch, argued that the prosecutors wanted to convince the judge to “ratify overcharging” them. They wanted him to put a kind of stamp of approval on “terrorism charges that never should have been brought in the first place” by giving each of them 14 years in prison.

Deutsch further argued that there was no penological purpose in sentencing Church to any more time in prison. Church (along with the other two defendants) had been in prison all alone in each of their cells for over 700 days. He had time to mature and learn that what he did should not have been done. Anyone coming to Chicago now to commit property damage or any violent criminal act at a major protest would know that they would get charged with terrorism by the state and be put in the Cook County jail if they tried to do something like that. So, what was the purpose?

“Is it retribution?” Deutsch asked. Is it for revenge? Or, he added, “Some way to justify what the State’s Attorney’s Office did?”

Blakey claimed that there was “more than a risk of recidivism” in this case and they were a “disaster waiting to happen.” He continued to use fear to persuade the judge saying the judge needed to use the force of law to the fullest extent possible so Chicago would not look back and ask if he could have done more.


Prosecutors Use Genetic Neurodegenerative Disorder Diagnosis Against Chase


             Perhaps, most vile was how he argued that Chase, who suffers from Huntington’s disease and is likely to die within the next ten years, is “more dangerous” because he has this rare genetic neurodegenerative disorder.

A doctor who conducted a neurological exam testified in court that Chase has been developing symptoms for at least the past five years. It is hereditary. It makes it hard to control behavior. It is in some ways responsible for his outbursts in prison, where he has thrown his food tray or squirted urine and feces at correctional officers.

This is who undercover police officers targeted and manipulated into playing probably the most active role in the construction of Molotov cocktails. Rather than show compassion, Blakey despicably said that if he was out of prison there would be nothing to “prevent him from filling [a] bottle with something else.” There would be “more than urine and feces at his disposal” when he was no longer in jail.

Prosecutors Say Betterly is No “Father of the Year”


The slimy character assassination continued with Blakey saying Betterly was no “Father of the Year.” He said Betterly would not “trust a UC to get in his way” the next time. So, the judge needed to give everyone in Chicago an opportunity for something different, “something different than what Boston suffered.”

Betterly had a son seven years ago. He delivered an impassioned statement in court where he sought to “refute assertions made about the person” prosecutors have suggested he happens to be. He talked about his “little boy” giving him a “sense of purpose in the world” and how he is “haunted” by his own failure. “His daddy is no monster,” he said.

The statement also articulated his political beliefs, responding to the way the prosecution had used anarchist in a way that was interchangeable with terrorist. He said he never planned any conspiracy that would have perpetuated the same cycle of fear and violence which he has opposed. He expressed a clear commitment to social justice and also stated that he had come to the city to protest and “join in solidarity with those who have experienced terror at the hands of NATO.”

            Judge Agrees With Defense That This Case Was Not About Terrorism


When the judge announced his sentence, he opened, “A lot has been said about this case so to start I think it is important to say what this case wasn’t. It was not a case about anarchists. It was not a case about the 99% versus the 1%. It was not a case about criminalizing protest. It was not a case about fear mongering. It was not a case about the First Amendment. It was not a case about police entrapment.”

“It was not a case about terrorism,” he added.

Judge Wilson said the police officers should be “commended.” He said “peaceful protest is not synonymous with rioting,” and “as a society, in the face of threats, we don’t wait for a building or property to be damaged.”

“We don’t wait until runners are impaled by sharpanel as they cross the finish line,” and we “don’t wait for a police on fire,” he declared.

Seeing a Molotov cocktail—”That is terror.” It “might not be terrorism but it is terrorizing.” And Americans will not stand for the throwing of Molotov cocktails at police on the streets.

Never Missing a Moment to Crank Up the Fear


It was Durkin’s contention in court that the “NATO 3″ were being punished for going to trial. The prosecutors pushed for a “heavier sentence because they dared to challenge authority.” Certainly, the prosecutors wanted these men to be terrorists so they could use funds left over from the NATO summit toward the prosecution.

The prosecutors never missed a moment to crank up the fear. They threw around all sorts of innuendo and insinuations and then, during the closing argument, outright called the “NATO 3″ terrorists and the jury was not persuaded by any of it. After about an hour of deliberation, Durkin said, they were moving on to what to do with the other charges they had available to convict them. They recognized the evidence at issue was not evidence of terrorism.


What About the Chicago Police Department’s Spying on Activist Groups?

            Now, what did come out in the courtroom that deserves more attention were details of infiltration and spying on activist groups ahead of the NATO summit. Like a modern-day Red Squad, the Chicago Police Department had an intelligence unit (which used to be named the counterterrorism unit) go out in search of any individuals, who were intent to commit criminal activity at the NATO summit.

The state of Illinois and the judge would have the public believe that it had nothing to do with targeting anarchists. But the unit had to focus their attention somewhere. They had some idea of who they believed would commit violence having viewed videos of the G20 in Toronto. They were on the lookout for “black bloc” or anarchists and went to concerts where bands that had anarchist fans were playing. They went hunting on Division Street, a main thoroughfare in the city, for signs of anarchist activity. They were at peaceful meetings organized by the Occupy movement where they took notes and they even ended up at the Heartland Cafe, known as a restaurant for hippies and leftists but probably not where anarchists meet to plan attacks on city property.

Alvarez overlooked the ramifications of this spying and surveillance after the sentencing. She said, “Police were doing their job. Chicago had never hosted NATO before. It was new to all of us. And they did their best to make sure that there wasn’t going to be violence.”

She was very pleased with the judge’s sentencing verdict. “It should send a message that we’re not going to sit back and wait for someone to get hurt. You know, and that’s the point about Boston. I think everybody would actually loved to have stopped. So we’re not waiting for someone to get hit with a Molotov cocktail.

“We’re not going to wait for a building to be destroyed. Why should we?” she added.

The state’s narrative ignored how present the undercover cops were in essentially goading and trying to get the men to incriminate themselves. How dangerous would these men have been if they were left alone?


“Are You Ready to See a Cop on Fire?” – Prosecutors’ Favorite Incendiary Buzz Phrase


One of the most jarring, reprehensible and authoritarian parts of the trial was this consistent repeating of this phrase Church allegedly said, “Are you ready to see a cop on fire?” Many different variations of this were expressed, each time with the intent of creating a great dramatic effect in the minds of the judge, the press and the public. The only problem is whether Church ever actually uttered this incendiary buzz phrase.

Two undercover police officers that targeted the “NATO 3,” Officer Mehmet Uygun and Officer Nadia Chikko, met with Church on May 2. A surveillance team photographed him approaching the White Palace Grill where they met up and then, according to the two officers, he proceeded to take them downtown to show them how he would like to attack a Chase Bank branch building. But this is where the surveillance stopped. The officers were also not wearing wires yet. So, nobody else heard Church say, “Are you ready to see a cop on fire?”

What did get picked up on a recording was Uygun saying they were going to be up and out of the city of Chicago after they “terrorize[d] this mother fucker.”


“The Boy Who Cries Wolf Must Somehow Produce the Animal”


Civil liberties lawyer, author and director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s (ACLU) Project on Political Surveillance, Frank Donner, wrote in his book, Protectors of Privilege, about the political surveillance operations of the Chicago police in the 1960s and 1970s.

Donner could have been writing about this case:

Because their exalted “mission” to protect internal security contrasts so sharply with the dreary reality of their duties, intelligence personnel in the late sixties, almost as an occupational necessity, fantasized, Walter Mitty-style, about uncovering a subversive plot: in the nick of time they nip it in the bud and seize the plotters (already defined in the police mind by images of bestiality and terror) along with their weapons and explosives. They then testify in a dramatic trial, resulting in long prison sentences, and earn the undying gratitude of the nation, not to speak of promotions, publicity and awards. The happy ending of an arrest makes the dream complete, but even short of that, the fantasy of radical terror is consoling in itself because it vindicates the premise of threatened revolutionary violence that is, after all, the primary justification for the huge expenditure, the files, the days, months and years of boring surveillance, the bursting albums of police photographs, the informer networks and the minatory propaganda. The boy who cries wolf must somehow produce the animal if he is not to forfeit his credibility—and lose a promotion.

The State’s Attorney’s Office of Cook County in Illinois cried wolf about the “NATO 3″ being terrorists. They could not produce the animal and were embarrassed by accounts in the press. Yet, sadly, in the prosecutors’ zeal to save face, three men are going to do more time in prison when whatever crimes and mistakes they committed have probably been punished enough already. They’ll do more time because their confirmation bias—their belief in the fantasy they created around the “NATO 3″—took priority over whatever care they should have for the human beings they were prosecuting.

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