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TBR News July 21, 2020

Jul 21 2020

The Voice of the White House
Comments, July 21, 2020: “Trump has turned his ill-trained simians loose in Portland, both to excite his far-right supportrs who love to use SS tactics against those they perceive as their enemies and to appear a firm national leader (which is most certainly is not!) He is slipping badly in the polls so look for more officially-sanctioned brutality against unarmed (for the present time at least) Americans Trump views as his enemies. As an admirer of Hitler and with a close relative in the German SS, Trump lives in the past. His future, fortunately, is much more promising for the nation.

 

The Table of Contents

 

  • Coronavirus paranoia is outpacing its actual danger
  • The Corona Virus Scare is a deliberate fraud
  • Trump’s sweaty Fox News interview shows his 2020 chances melting away
  • Trump consults Bush torture lawyer on how to skirt law and rule by decree
  • Department of Defense-Domestic Counterinsurgency
  • ‘They Just Started Waling On Me’: Violence In Portland As U.S. Agents Clamp Down
  • Encyclopedia of American Loons

Coronavirus paranoia is outpacing its actual danger
The fear of viruses, just like the price of shares, often has less to do with reality than with irrational expectations. The latest coronavirus epidemic will taper off, just like those before it,
by Fabian Schmidt
DW

No doubt, the news of an impending epidemic is scary, and the novel coronavirus (nCoV) appears to be spreading rapidly with the number of deaths rising continuously. China, where the virus emerged, has implemented drastic measures and placed no fewer than 43 million citizens under quarantine. These steps will surely be effective in stopping the nCoV outbreak.

And if the Chinese government actually succeeds in maintaining the quarantine over Hubei province and other affected regions for several weeks, the epidemic might end sooner than expected.

Infected with fear

But the fear of viruses, just like the price of shares, often has less to do with reality than with irrational expectations. Face masks, worn by those hoping it will protect them from an infection, are manifestations of an irrational gut feeling. Those wearing them have, in other words, become infected by fear.

What is clear is that the Chinese government’s determined steps to stop the nCoV outbreak are proving effective. And around the world, fear of the new coronavirus is far outpacing its actual dispersion.

Let’s take a deep breath

Maybe we should all put aside the face masks, take a deep breath and look at the facts: coronaviruses have been considered relatively harmless pathogens that tend to cause common colds.

But coronaviruses are also very adaptable and can mutate into highly dangerous pathogens, as we witnessed in the twenty-first century. The SARS and MERS epidemics — each caused by coronaviruses transmitted from animals to humans — changed the public perception of these pathogens.

Admittedly, both strands were rather dangerous. SARS killed one in ten individuals infected by the virus who went into hospital care. And the MERS virus, transmitted from camels, killed one in three infected individuals who were treated in hospital.

Take official figures with a pinch of salt

It later transpired, however, that many more people on the Arabian Peninsula had become infected with the MERS virus without ever developing particularly serious symptoms or requiring medical treatment. China’s nCoV epidemic could well prove similar.

Currently, the number of nCoV patients and fatalities is rising rapidly. The virus is spreading fast. Yet like all epidemics, the infection rate will eventually taper off because those infected by it will have become immune. And, judging by official figures, only one in 40 nCoV cases has so far been fatal.

It also needs to be said that many Wuhan residents infected with nCoV are simply staying at home to recover, as so far no effective drug treatment exists. So while there are individuals seeking hospital care due to serious nCoV symptoms, many more unreported nCoV cases presumably exist as well, which do not show up in the official stats.

Focus on flu prevention

If all these harmless cases were taken into account as well, it might indicate that nCoV is no more dangerous than an ordinary flu that spreads around the globe each year, killing thousands or tens of thousands of people. Right now, after all, it is once again flu season in the Northern Hemisphere.

So maybe we should stop worrying about nCoV. And instead focus on not getting the flu, by ensuring we thoroughly rinse our hands after traveling on public trains and buses, or touching door handles in public buildings. No need for a face mask, either. But you might want to get a flu jab, actually.

The Corona Virus Scare is a deliberate fraud
July 21, 2020
by Malcom MacGregor, MD
Royal Disease Institute

To be simple, the coronavirus fears blanketing the world are based on a clear-cut medical fraud. The virus is spreading across the globe but to the bulk of its natives, is as dangerous as a bad cold. True, there are deaths from it but the great number of those who contract it survive undamaged. The medical profession is very well aware of this but the politicians and media have turned it into a vague and horrible plague for their own ends.

This virus, to the great number of those who contract it, is no worse than the common cold. And those paper masks would be totally incapable of filtering out the corona virus.

Now here from Reuters, which is howling at the top of its corporate lungs that corona virus is everywhere, we are given the figures:

TOTAL COVID-19 CASES WORLDWIDE

14.78 million

TOTAL COVID-19 DEATHS WORLDWIDE

610,056 (!)

It should be obvious to anyone with a brain larger than a strawberry that this is not, as frantically touted, another Black Death.

It should also be obvious that this entire busines is a matter of hype and deliberate fraud. The math on these official figures ought to suffice.

The paper masks are of no value.

Take them off!

Trump’s sweaty Fox News interview shows his 2020 chances melting away
With every new poll showing him losing, both nationally and in battleground states, Trump’s despair dribbled through all of his pores Sunday
July 20, 2020
by Richard Wolffe
The Guardian

Two generations ago, Richard Nixon sweated his way to losing the first ever presidential debate on television to a young, fit and cool John F Kennedy.

It was the kind of rookie mistake you could put down to the newness of TV.

So how do you explain – 60 years later – the drenching sweat that trickled down the face of the reality TV star who is now living inside the White House?

Of the very few things Donald Trump is supposed to know in any modicum of detail, TV sits right at the tippity-top. There are more historic crises challenging his presidency than there are cable news channels, but that doesn’t stop him tweeting about all the TV he’s watching all day.

For a man who still measures his manhood by his own TV ratings, it was a curious choice to sit outside in the humid steamer of a Washington summer, caked in his glowing orange make-up, to field the pesky questions of the best interviewer on Fox News.

“Hot enough for you here, Mr President?” asked Chris Wallace.

“It’s hot,” said Trump. “It’s about, well, sort of almost record-breaking stuff.”

“You know, we wanted to do it inside,” replied Wallace. “This is your choice.”

Trump has made so many more consequential blunders than failing to prepare for his double-sided grilling by the weather and Wallace. But this chargrilled interview laid bare how the Wicked Wizard of the West Wing is melting before our eyes.

For four years we have been told that populist leaders – especially this one – are peerless showmen: experts not in government but in hijacking the public attention.

His pithy nicknames and catchphrases supposedly destroyed his rivals in 2016. They came up with 12-point plans while he was going to make America great again. He threatened North Korea with his big nuclear button, then fell in love with the North Korean leader in a summit staged just for the cameras.

But now his repeated attempts to smear Joe Biden have flopped and the great showman is reportedly asking aides if he should try to find another nickname.

With every new poll showing him losing the election, both nationally and in all the battleground states, Trump’s despair dribbled through all his pores on Sunday’s interview.

When asked if Biden was senile, Trump answered with the kind of half-baked half-thoughts of a mind cooking slowly in the heat of the presidency. “I’d say he’s not competent to be president,” he warmed up. “To be president, you have to be sharp and tough and so many other things.”

What are these so many other things, pray tell?

“He doesn’t even come out of his basement. They think, ‘Oh this is a great campaign.’ So he goes in.”

It wasn’t clear who they were or what he was going into. But it seemed totally clear to our sharp and tough president, who is also so many other things.

“I’ll then make a speech. It’ll be a great speech. And some young guy starts writing, ‘Vice President Biden said this, this, this.’ He didn’t say it. Joe doesn’t know he’s alive, OK? He doesn’t know he’s alive.”

It may be tempting to blame all of this on the young guy whose writing clearly leaves a lot to be desired.

But it’s the old guy in the Oval we should be worried about. He doesn’t know he’s dying out there.

There have been some clues, of course. There was the disastrous riot of a photo op with a pretty bible and a ton of tear gas. There was the Tulsa rally for a million people who failed to show up. There was that weird Mount Rushmore speech about the fascists who say mean things about racists.

Then again, as Chris Wallace pointed out, there are the polls that show this desperate act isn’t working. And there’s all the endless video of our sharp and tough president predicting the pandemic would just disappear, like a miracle, with a little disinfectant injected inside. Or perhaps some bright light.

“I’ll be right eventually,” Trump insisted when confronted with his own cringe-inducing comments about the coronavirus. “I will be right eventually. You know I said, ‘It’s going to disappear.’ I’ll say it again.”

They say a stopped clock is right twice a day. But this broken timepiece will only be happy when all the clocks have stopped.

At this point in Trump’s Twilight Zone, the audience has a good sense of the plot twists that lie ahead in the next four months. It consists of as much concocted chaos as humanly possible.

There will be terrorist protesters in every major city, whisked off the streets by Trump’s paramilitaries in rented minivans. Thank goodness we have machine-gun-toting goons to protect us from all that graffiti.

There will be caravans of coronavirus-filled immigrants scaling the freshly-painted border wall, which has done such a fantastic job of protecting us all from the pandemic.

After Nixon sweated his way to defeat against Kennedy, he returned to win the presidency eight years later with a law and order campaign that promised to shut down civil rights protests and stop enforcing civil rights laws.

Our Trumpified version of Tricky Dick is a little less subtle than the original.

He claimed that people flying the confederate flag were “not talking about racism”. But when asked about removing the names of confederate generals from US military bases, Trump could only think about race. And some weird stuff about a couple of world wars.

“We’re going to name it after the Rev Al Sharpton? What are you going to name it, Chris? Tell me what you’re going to name it,” Trump sputtered.

“So there’s a whole thing here. We won two world wars, two world wars, beautiful world wars that were vicious and horrible. And we won them out of Fort Bragg. We won out of all of these forts that now they want to throw those names away.”

Ah yes, those beautiful world wars. So vicious and horrible. All at the same time. Like the man says, there is indeed a whole thing here.

“Let Biden sit through an interview like this,” Trump declared at another point. “He’ll be on the ground crying for mommy. He’ll say, ‘Mommy, mommy, please take me home.’”

In his own man-childish way, Trump thought he was proving his point about senility and sharpness and toughness. And so many other things.

But with every new interview, it sounds like he’s just asking his mommy to please take him home.

Trump consults Bush torture lawyer on how to skirt law and rule by decree
John Yoo wrote memo used to justify waterboarding
Trump keen to use executive orders and circumvent Congress
July 20, 2020
by Julian Borger in Washington
The Guardian

The Trump administration has been consulting the former government lawyer who wrote the legal justification for waterboarding, on how the president might try to rule by decree.

John Yoo told Axios he has been talking to White House officials about his view that a recent supreme court ruling on immigration would allow Trump to issue executive orders that flout federal law.

In a Fox News Sunday interview, Trump declared he would try to use that interpretation to try to force through decrees on healthcare, immigration and “various other plans” over the coming month.

Constitutional scholars and human rights activists have also pointed to the deployment of paramilitary federal forces against protesters in Portland as a sign that Trump is ready to use this broad interpretation of presidential powers as a means to suppress basic constitutional rights.

“This is how it begins,” Laurence Tribe, a Harvard constitutional law professor, wrote on Twitter. “The dictatorial hunger for power is insatiable. If ever there was a time for peaceful civil disobedience, that time is upon us.”

Yoo became notorious for a legal memo he drafted in August 2002, when he was deputy assistant attorney general in the justice department’s Office of Legal Counsel.

It stated: “Necessity or self-defense may justify interrogation methods that might violate’ the criminal prohibition against torture.”

Memos drafted by Yoo were used for justifying waterboarding and other forms of torture on terrorism suspects in CIA “black sites” around the world.

In a book titled Defender in Chief, due to be published next week, Yoo argues that Trump is restoring the powers of the presidency envisioned by the framers of the US constitution.

In a June article in the National Review, he wrote that a supreme court decision which blocked Trump’s attempt to repeal Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals programme, known as Daca and established by executive order, meant Trump could do the same thing to achieve his policy goals.

Daca suspended deportations of undocumented migrants who arrived in the US as children. As an example of what Trump might achieve in the same way, Yoo suggested the president could declare a national right to carry firearms openly, in conflict with many state laws.

“He could declare that he would not enforce federal firearms laws,” Yoo wrote, “and that a new ‘Trump permit’ would free any holder of state and local gun-control restrictions.

“Even if Trump knew that his scheme lacked legal authority, he could get away with it for the length of his presidency. And, moreover, even if courts declared the permit illegal, his successor would have to keep enforcing the program for another year or two.”

Yoo’s article was later spotted on Trump’s desk in the Oval Office.

Constitutional scholars have rejected Yoo’s arguments as ignoring limits on the executive powers of the president imposed by the founders, who were determined to prevent the rise of a tyrant.

Tribe called Yoo’s interpretation of the Daca ruling “indefensible”.

He added: “I fear that this lawless administration will take full advantage of the fact that judicial wheels grind slowly and that it will be difficult to keep up with the many ways Trump, aided and abetted by Bill Barr as attorney general and Chad Wolf as acting head of homeland security, can usurp congressional powers and abridge fundamental rights in the immigration space in particular but also in matters of public health and safety.”

Alka Pradhan, a defence counsel in the 9/11 terrorism cases against inmates in the Guantánamo Bay prison camp, said: “John Yoo’s so-called reasoning has always been based on ‘What can the president get away with?’ rather than ‘What is the purpose and letter of the law?’

“That is not legal reasoning, it’s inherently tyrannical and anti-democratic.”

Yoo did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Pradhan and other defence lawyers in the pre-trial hearings at the Guantánamo Bay military tribunal have argued that the use of torture against their clients, made possible by Yoo’s 2002 memo, invalidated much of the case against them.

“The fact that John Yoo is employed and free to opine on legal matters is an example of the culture of impunity in the United States,” she said.

“Our failure to hold him (and other torture-promoters) accountable after the Bush administration enabled him to continue to rot the legal checks and balances around the presidency today.”

Department of Defense-Domestic Counterinsurgency
NUMBER 3005.20
July 10, 2020 USD(I)
SUBJECT: DoD Domestic Military Order-Counterinsurgency Overview : See Enclosure 1
Domestic Military Order – Counterinsurgency Overview

Part 3

INSURGENT DOCTRINE

Insurgent doctrine determines how insurgents actually implement the two types of insurgency. A defensive insurgency has much in common with a resistance movement, since the counterstate already exists and will normally adopt overt techniques necessary for self-defense. An offensive insurgency, on the other hand, is faced with the task of creating the counterstate from scratch. To do this, there are two basic approaches.

Mass mobilization. A first approach is to emphasize mobilization of the masses. This course places a premium upon political action by the cadre in local areas, with strategic and operational directives coming from above. Emphasizing mass mobilization results in a hierarchical, tightly controlled, coordinated movement. The insurgent movement that results will resemble a pyramid in its manpower distribution, with the combatants the smallest part of the movement (the apex of the pyramid).

Armed action. A second approach emphasizes armed action. This course favors violence rather than mass mobilization and normally results in an inverted pyramid, with the combatants themselves the bulk of the movement. This was the approach taken by Castro in Cuba during the 1950s and may be an approach some insurgents in Iraq have taken against the post-Saddam government, although some efforts to mobilize have been reported.

MASS MOBILIZATION

A mass base sustains the first approach. The second approach has a much smaller support base. The support base will not have the numbers of the mass base generated by the mobilization approach.

If emphasis is upon mass mobilization, the combatants exist to facilitate the accomplishment of the political goals of the insurgent movement. In local areas, terror and guerrilla action are used to eliminate resistance, either from individuals who are opposed to the movement or from the local armed representatives of the state, initially the police and militia, but later the military. Main force units, which are guerrilla units that have been “regularized” or turned into rough copies of government units but are usually more mobile and lightly armed, are used to deal with the state’s inevitable deployment of the military. The purpose of main forces is to engage in mobile (or maneuver) warfare. The intent is force-on-force action to destroy government main force units. Tactics may include major battles as well as ambushes and small-scale engagements. These battles and engagements result in the securing and expansion of the counterstate (which may be clandestine in all or part), but are not designed to seize and hold positions as in conventional warfare. This occurs only in positional warfare. Though the terminology is drawn especially from Soviet usage, the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) and the Viet Cong (VC) used both mobile and positional warfare throughout the war in Vietnam. Examples of insurgencies that used the mass mobilization approach follow:

The NVA and VC frequently deployed battalions and regiments using classic mobile warfare, even as terror and guerrilla action continued against US forces from 1965 until the US withdrawal from Vietnam in 1973. Classic positional warfare was seen three times in the Vietnam War: the Tet Offensive in January–February 1968; the Spring 1972 “Easter Offensive,” which resulted in the permanent seizure and loss of portions of South Vietnamese territory; and the Spring 1975 offensive, which saw the fall of South Vietnam and its absorption into a unified Vietnam. In the latter two of these campaigns, enemy divisions and corps were used, with terror and guerrilla action assuming the role of special operations in support of conventional operations. During Tet, the NVA employed all 52 VC battalions exclusively, and multiple battalions attacked objectives simultaneously, though these battalions were under individual command and control. More recently, in El Salvador, where the United States successfully supported a counterinsurgency, government forces twice, in 1981 and 1989, had to beat back “positional warfare” offensives designed to seize widespread areas, including portions of the nation’s capital.

In Colombia, where the US is similarly involved in support of the counterinsurgency, the insurgents of FARC (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia) initiated their mobile warfare phase in 1996. There followed a string of Colombian Army defeats that culminated in a FARC positional warfare attack that seized a department capital, Mitu, in mid-1998. The relief of Mitu galvanized a military reform effort that led to government success in a half dozen major mobile war battles fought between 1998 and 2001. The largest of these involved a FARC force of eight battalion-equivalents engaged by an equal number of Colombian Army counterguerrilla battalions. FARC consequently returned to an emphasis upon terror and guerrilla action. In Nepal, where US assistance has played an important role in government counterinsurgency, the ’mass mobilization approach adopted by the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), or CPN (M), has progressed in classic fashion. Widespread use of terror and guerrilla action has been complemented by mobile warfare to overrun government positions of up to company size. Mobile warfare targets have been chosen operationally (that is, as part of campaign planning) to position the CPN (M) for anticipated positional war offensives, notably against major population centers.

ARMED ACTION

If emphasis is on the second approach, armed action, the political goal is to be accom-plished primarily by violence rather than mass mobilization. The insurgents attempt to inflict such a level of casualties and destruction the state is incapable or unwilling to continue counterinsurgency actions. Both approaches emphasize inflicting casualties. The distinction is whether mobilization or armed insurrection is the initial emphasis. Insurgents may also employ terrorist tactics if they lack a mass base, do not have the time needed to create such a base, or have objectives that do not require such a base. In this approach, the combatant force rarely moves beyond terrorist and guerrilla actions. Units are small and specialized, frequently no more than squad or platoon sized. Sympathizers provide recruits for the support base, but these sympathizers are actively involved only occasionally, though they are often central to the information warfare component of the insurgent campaign. An illustration of the armed action approach is “The Troubles” of 1968–98 in Northern Ireland (Ulster). An initial mass mobilization approach followed by the Provisional Irish Republican Army was penetrated by the state; hence it was abandoned in favor of a cellular “active service unit” methodology. Normally composed of no more than 300 people, the active service unit network engaged almost exclusively in terror actions and was sustained by a support base that numbered only in the thousands out of a total 1.5 million population in an area the size of Connecticut.

Sympathizers came overwhelmingly from a minority within the Catholic community, thus forming a minority within a minority. At its peak, however, this sympathetic base proved capable of mustering 17 percent of the votes in democratic elections and served to keep open to question the legitimacy of British rule, which was actually favored by a substantial majority.

More recently, the insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan have used the armed action approach. Terror and low-level guerrilla action have been focused on the indigenous supporters and infrastructure of the new regimes in Baghdad and Kabul. Simultaneously, attacks on US forces have sought to inflict casualties to break the will of the US public to continue. The foreign insurgents have recognized that the indigenous regimes cannot continue in the short term without US backing and assistance. Neither will the new regimes be able to continue if their populations can be suitably terrorized into sullen neutrality as the US begins to withdraw.

DYNAMICS OF INSURGENCY

There are seven dynamics that are common to most insurgencies. These dynamics provide a framework for analysis that can reveal the insurgency’s strengths and weaknesses. Although analysts can examine the following dynamics separately, they must study their interaction to fully understand the insurgency. These seven dynamics are—   Leadership.

Ideology.

Objectives.

Environment and geography.

External support.

Phasing and timing.

OBJECTIVES

Effective analysis of an insurgency requires interpreting strategic, operational, and tactical objectives. Understanding the root causes of the insurgency is essential to analyzing the insurgents’ objectives. The strategic objective is the insurgents’ desired end state: the seizure of political power and the overthrow of an existing government. Operational objectives are the decisive points (military, political, and ideological) along lines of operation toward the strategic objective, and they are the means to link tactical goals with strategic end states. One of thepolitical decisive points is the total destruction of government legitimacy. Tactical objectives are the immediate aims of insurgent acts. Tactical objectives can be psychological and physical in nature. Some examples include the dissemination of PSYOP products, intimidation (a psychological objective), and the attack and seizure of a key facility (a physical objective).

IDEOLOGY

In its ideology, a domestic insurgency sets forth a political alternative to the existing state. Both theoretically and actually, it offers a vision of a counterstate. The most powerful ideologies tap latent, emotive concerns of the populace, such as the desire for justice, the creation of an idealized religious state, or liberation from foreign occupation. Ideology influences the insurgents’ perception of the environment by providing the prism, to include vocabulary and analytical categories, through which the situation is assessed. The result is that ideology shapes the movement’s organization and operational methods.

ENVIRONMENT AND GEOGRAPHY

Environment and geography, including cultural and demographic factors, affect all participants in a conflict. The manner in which insurgents and counterinsurgents adapt to these realities creates advantages and disadvantages for each. The effects of these factors are immediately visible at the tactical level, where they are perhaps the predominant influence on decisions regarding force structure, and doctrine (including TTP). Insurgency in an urban environment often presents a different set of planning considerations than in rural environments. These planning considerations affect structure, and TTP directly.

EXTERNAL SUPPORT

The need for access to external resources and sanctuaries has been a constant throughout the history of insurgencies. Rarely, if ever, has an insurgent force been able to obtain the arms and equipment (particularly ammunition) necessary for decisive action from within the battle area. External support can provide political, psychological, and material resources that might otherwise be limited or totally unavailable.

A recent phenomenon has been the advent of internal sanctuaries. These may be in the form of religious structures. I.e. churches mosques or synagogues There may be large cities where neither local law enforcement nor external military forces are sufficiently strong to counter the insurgents.

PHASING AND TIMING

Insurgencies often pass through common phases of development. The conceptualization generally followed by insurgents is drawn from that postulated by Mao Zedong. Regardless of its provenance, movements as diverse as communist or Islamic insurgencies have used the Maoist conceptualization because it is logical and based upon the mass mobilization emphasis.

It states that insurgents are first on the strategic defensive (Phase I), move to stalemate (Phase II), and finally go over to the offensive (Phase III). Strategic movement from one phase to another incorporates the operational and tactical activity typical of earlier phases. It does not end them. The North Vietnamese explicitly recognized this reality in their “war of interlocking” doctrine, which held that all “forms of warfare” occur simultaneously, even as a particular form is paramount.

Not all insurgencies experience every phase, and progression through all phases is not a requirement for success. The same insurgent movement may be in different phases in different regions of a country. Successful insurgencies can also revert to an earlier phase when under pressure, resuming development when favorable conditions return.

Political organization occurs throughout all phases. While on the defensive, however, in Phase I per Mao, a movement will necessarily fight the “war of the weak,” emphasizing terror and guerrilla action. These will be used to eliminate resistance from individuals and local government presence, especially the police. Invariably, the government must commit its main force units (normally the army) to reclaim what it has lost. Knowing this, insurgents form their own main force units. These are used to defeat government forces in detail as the latter disperse to engage in area domination. It is through such action that stalemate, Phase II, is achieved. The government’s forces in the contest of armed power are systematically neutralized through mobile (or maneuver), force-on-force warfare. Only in Phase III does a transition to the holding of position occur (hence the term, “positional warfare”).

STATE APPROACH TO INSURGENCY

A successful counterinsurgency results in the neutralization by the state of the insurgency and its effort to form a counterstate. While many abortive insurgencies are defeated by military and police actions alone, if an insurgency has tapped into serious grievances and has mobilized a significant portion of the population, simply returning to the status quo may not be an option. Reform may be necessary, but reform is a matter for the state, using all of its human and material resources. Security forces are only one such resource. The response must be multifaceted and coordinated, yet states typically charge their security forces with “waging counterinsurgency.”

This the security forces cannot do alone.

The state first decides upon its goal (restoration of legitimate government writ), then, produces a plan to accomplish that end. All elements of national power are assigned their roles in carrying out the plan. The government establishes the legal framework and command and control (C2) mechanisms to enable the plan to be implemented. The legal framework normally includes a series of extraordinary measures that are associated with emergency situations, or even martial law. It will frequently expand military powers into areas delegated solely to the police in “normal times.” Historically, effective C2 architecture has involved setting up local coordinating bodies with representation from all key parties. This local body directs the counterinsurgency campaign in the AO concerned, though one individual will have the lead. Minimally, such a coordinating body includes appropriate representatives from the civil authority, the military, the police, the intelligence services, and (though not always) the civil population. The most effective use of coordinating bodies has given permanent-party individuals (for example, district officers) responsibility for counterinsurgency C2 in their AOs and control over civil or military assets sent into their AOs. Reinforced intelligence bodies, in particular, have been assigned as permanent party. Involvement of pro sitting government local officials and civilians can defeat the insurgents’ attempt to undermine the national American political system.

The counterinsurgency plan analyzes the basis of the insurgency in order to determine its form, centers of gravity, and insurgent vulnerabilities. These dictate the most effective type force to employ (either police, militia, and military; or primarily military and police). The counterinsurgency plan details the scheme to reclaim what has been lost and establish priority of effort and timelines. Concurrently, it outlines how the government intends to secure the critical infrastructure of the state and the government’s centers of power.

Counterinsurgency operations must balance elimination of grievances (that is, reform, to include elimination of human rights abuses) and security force action that eliminates the insurgents. The security forces are constantly described as those who will provide the populace the protection necessary for the restoration of legitimate government presence, basic services, and control.

Counterinsurgency plans and operations exploit shifts in the internal or external situation

that work against the insurgent and favor the state. This normally involves an extended period of time, a “protracted war.” This makes it difficult for representative governments to sustain counterinsurgency campaigns, particularly in the present world environment where there appears to be a lack of overt, sustained agreement regarding strategic interests, ends and means, and operational and tactical concerns.

When supporting a counterinsurgency, the US and its multinational partners assist the local law enforcment in implementing a sustainable approach. To the extent the local law enforcement has its basic institutions and security forces intact, the burden upon US and multinational forces and resources is lessened. To the extent the local law enforcement is lacking basic institutions and functions, the burden upon the US forces is increased. In the extreme, rather than building upon what is, the US will find themselves creating elements (such as local forces and government institutions) of the society they have been sent to assist. Military forces thus become involved in nation building while simultaneously attempting to defeat an insurgency. US forces often lead because the US military) can quickly project and sustain a force. This involves them in a host of current activities regarded as nonstandard, from supervising elections to restoring power and facilitating and conducting schooling.

Leaders and planning staff need to be aware that there will always be constraints upon the prosecution of counterinsurgency. Constraints must be identified and analyzed systematically, because they impact upon the conduct of operations at all levels. They ought to be reevaluated regularly. The bottom line is that forces have to operate in the environment as it is, not as they might wish it to be. Some constraints may include—

Political and military leaders realistically evaluate troop requirements in a counterinsurgency environment. In addition to those tasks inherent in any military situation—such as base security and offensive operations—some tasks occur with greater frequency in counterinsurgency and deserve special attention. Among these are—

Urban operations.

Protection of government facilities.

Protection of infrastructure.

Protection of commercial enterprises vital to the HN economy.

Protection of cultural facilities.

Prevention of looting.

Military police functions.

Close interaction with civilians.

Assistance with reconstruction projects.

Securing the HN borders.

Training or retraining HN military forces.

Establishing and maintaining local government credibility.

Faced with these additional tasks, the joint force may be required to provide more units, and a different mix of units, than would be required for operations against a conventional force the same approximate size as the insurgent force. The preponderance of many ofthese units may only be available in the Reserve Components. All planning considers the long-term implications and second- and-third order effects of counterinsurgency missions.

Counterinsurgency is a long-term approach and effort requiring support from political and military leaders. Additionally, leaders must recognize counterinsurgency operations may involve nation building. Counterinsurgency often involves nation building, but not all nation  building involves counterinsurgency.

At all levels, the conduct (planning, preparing, execution, and assessment) of counterinsurgency operations involves coordination among local law enforcement forces and agencies, US organizations, and NGOs that may influence the mission.

What is the role of the military? While military forces may be the most visible sign of U.S. military involvement, especially in the early phases of a domestic counterinsurgency, they play a supporting role to the political and economic initiatives designed to enhance the effectiveness legitimacy of the sitting government. Establishing a secure environment for these initiatives is normally a primary objective of military forces and can take many forms. This can be a minimal requirement to support pro-sitting government supporters with advisors and equipment or it can mean a large scale- commitment of U.S. forces to carryout the preponderance of operations. In addition to providing a secure environment, U.S. military forces may also be called upon to support infrastructure development, provide health services, conduct police functions, or directly target insurgent cells. Given the wide range of potential military contributions, it is imperative that all military personnel understand how their actions and decisions must support the overall campaign design to de-legitimize the domestic insurgency in the eyes of the population. Significantly, successful counterinsurgencies are normally measured in years or even decades and require a unity of effort across the spectrum of U.S. agencies.

Continued…..

Trump threatens to deploy more federal agents to protests despite reports of violence
President brushes aside reports police have instigated violence and detained protesters without due process
July 20, 2020
by Martin Pengelly
The Guardian

Federal agents sent to confront protesters in Portland have “done a fantastic job” and could be deployed to other cities, Donald Trump said on Monday.

The mayor of Portland has called for Trump to withdraw the federal agents, and the Oregon attorney general has filed a lawsuit seeking the same end. The governor and the state’s two senators, all Democrats, have also complained.

Speaking in the Oval Office, the president brushed aside claims the officers are depriving people of their constitutional rights, and concerns such deployments could herald an attempt by Trump to rule without Congress.

The largest city in Oregon has seen more than 50 nights of protest over police brutality and systemic racism, arising from the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis on 25 May.

Confrontations between law enforcement and protesters in Portland have led to fires and the use of teargas. Speaking to the Guardian and other outlets, protesters have reported violence by police and instances of people being seized by unidentified officers and held without due process.

Democrats in the US House of Representatives have demanded investigations, decrying “the use of federal law enforcement agencies by the attorney general and the acting secretary of homeland security to suppress first amendment-protected activities in Washington DC, Portland and other communities across the United States”.

In June, the Trump administration used federal officers against protesters in the capital, some of whom were forcibly dispersed so Trump could stage a photo op at a church. National guard troops were also used, and active duty army units moved closer to the city.

In Portland, local media has stressed that the protests are not paralysing the city and are confined to a small area, and that much of life continues as normally as possible under the coronavirus pandemic.

Nonetheless, at the White House Trump was asked if he would consider sending troops. It depended on the definition of troops, he said, adding: “We are sending law enforcement.”

Trump seemed to refer to such plans in a controversial Fox News Sunday interview. Talking about healthcare, the president said he would soon issue a plan “that the supreme court decision on Daca [regarding immigration enforcement and which went against the administration] gave me the right to do”.

It has been widely reported that the White House has been influenced by John Yoo, a former government lawyer who justified the use of torture by the George W Bush administration. Yoo argues the Daca ruling, which upheld Barack Obama’s executive order, shows Trump how to bypass Congress.

Many fear Trump, seeking to foreground law and order in an election in which he trails Joe Biden in most polls, will attempt to use federal agents against protesters and in cities in which gun violence has spiked.

On Monday, it was reported that agents were set to be sent to cities including Chicago. In the Oval Office, the president complained about cities including Chicago and his native New York.

“The police are afraid to do anything,” he said, though Portland police have reported some federal agents acting “under their own supervision and direction”, many while dressed in camouflage fatigues that make them look like regular troops.

Trump continued: “We’re not going to let New York and Chicago, Philadelphia, Detroit, Baltimore and all of these, Oakland in California is a mess, we’re not going to let this happen in our country. All run by liberal Democrats.

“Nobody will have done what I’m doing in the next four weeks,” Trump told Fox News Sunday.

“We can’t let this happen in the cities. I’m going to do something, that I can tell you. We’re going to have more federal law enforcement … In Portland they’ve done a fantastic job, they’ve been there three days [and] have done a fantastic job.”

Describing actions against protesters which observers and officials have described as blatantly unconstitutional, Trump said: “No problem. They grab them, a lot of people in jail.

“These are leaders. These people are anarchists, they’re not protesters … These are people that hate our country and we’re not going to let it go forward.”

Claiming lawmakers in Oregon were “maybe even physically afraid” of the protesters, he added: “It’s worse than Afghanistan.”

Trump has sought to withdraw US forces from Afghanistan and other actual war zones.

They Just Started Waling On Me’: Violence In Portland As U.S. Agents Clamp Down
July 20, 2020
by Laurel Wamsley
NPR

As federal law enforcement agents continue to occupy Portland, Ore., state and local officials are demanding that they leave. Protesters have demonstrated in the city’s downtown for more than 50 nights since George Floyd died after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck.

“There’s absolutely no question that by having the presence of federal officers here, it’s simply like adding gasoline to a fire,” Oregon Gov. Kate Brown said in a weekend interview with NPR.

On Sunday, a new image of the stiff federal response in Portland went viral: a video of 53-year-old Navy veteran Christopher David being struck repeatedly with a baton wielded by a federal law enforcement officer.

A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and a former member of the Navy’s Civil Engineer Corps, David told The Washington Post that he hadn’t previously been to any protests, but he wanted to know how the federal officers thought about their oath to defend the Constitution.

“Why are you not honoring your oath to the Constitution?” he says he yelled at the officers. Video shows an officer dressed in camouflage hitting David with a baton and another officer spraying him in the face with a chemical irritant.

“I stood my ground at that point and just stayed there. … I did nothing provocative. They just started waling on me with batons, and I let them,” David told The Independent. He was left with a broken hand.

Oregon Public Broadcasting reported Friday that federal law enforcement officers have been using unmarked vehicles in downtown Portland to grab and detain protesters.

In an interview Sunday with NPR, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler blamed the federal government for making things worse in the city.

“We have an already heightened situation. It’s already tense,” Wheeler said. “But after nearly five weeks of demonstrations, we are starting to see that small handful of people who were engaged in criminal activity — it was dissipating. It was calming down. We believed a week ago it would be over by this weekend. But what happened instead is the feds stepped in with a very heavy-handed approach, and it blew the lid off the whole thing.”

“With the federal government, they won’t even identify who they are,” Wheeler said. “We don’t know why they’re here. We don’t know the circumstances under which they’re making arrests. We don’t know what their policies are or what accountability mechanisms there are, to the point where even the U.S. attorney here in the state of Oregon is calling for an investigation, wondering, where was the probable cause to pull these people off the streets into unmarked cars?”

President Trump defended the federal response. “We are trying to help Portland, not hurt it,” he tweeted on Sunday. “Their leadership has, for months, lost control of the anarchists and agitators. They are missing in action. We must protect Federal property, AND OUR PEOPLE.”

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf brushed aside criticism that federal officers are inciting violence.

“I don’t need invitations by the state, state mayors or state governors to do our job,” Wolf said Monday on Fox News. “We’re going to do that, whether they like us there or not.”

He called the protesters “violent anarchists and extremists” and said they were “violent well before DHS surged assets into Portland.”

Wolf said the Department of Homeland Security will defend Portland’s Mark O. Hatfield U.S. Courthouse from destructive acts despite requests from state and local authorities that federal officers leave.

As Oregon Public Broadcasting’s Jonathan Levinson told NPR’s Morning Edition, Portland police initially reacted with force to the protests, using tear gas and rubber bullets. Activist groups and protesters sued the city and won a temporary restraining order, limiting law enforcement’s use of tear gas and rubber bullets — but it doesn’t apply to federal law enforcement.

The federal officers in Portland are from the U.S. Marshals Special Operations Group, a SWAT-like unit from U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Federal Protective Service, Levinson said. They started taking a more active role clearing protesters from around the courthouse on July 1.

On July Fourth, the federal police made a show of force, dispersing the crowd but then continuing across the street and into the city for blocks, alongside the Portland police. Last week, a protester was shot in the head with a less lethal round and severely injured.

Trump has called the protests “totally out of control.” Ken Cuccinelli, the acting deputy DHS secretary, seemed to blame the restrictions on Portland’s mayor, telling NPR last week that Wheeler “holds back to a certain extent his own law enforcement.”

On Friday, the U.S. senators from Oregon, Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, as well as U.S. Reps. Earl Blumenauer and Suzanne Bonamici asked the Justice Department and DHS to investigate “the unrequested presence and violent actions of federal forces in Portland.”

Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum filed a lawsuit Friday against the DHS and other federal agencies and alleged that they have “engaged in unlawful law enforcement in violation of the civil rights of Oregonians by seizing and detaining them without probable cause.”

“The federal administration has chosen Portland to use their scare tactics to stop our residents from protesting police brutality and from supporting the Black Lives Matter movement,” Rosenblum said in a statement. “Every American should be repulsed when they see this happening. If this can happen here in Portland, it can happen anywhere.”

 

Encyclopedia of American Loons

Edward Sopcak

 CanCell, also known as Entelev or Cantron, is one of many utterly useless purported cancer cures. Ostensibly CanCell is “an assembly of synthetic chemicals” – they are secret, though the assembly has apparently also changed over the years – that react with the body “electrically” rather than “chemically”, and the fact that it doesn’t work doesn’t prevent people with poor moral compasses and/or poor critical thinking skills from promoting it. Indeed, in addition to cancer, CanCell is promoted for a variety of diseases, including AIDS, cystic fibrosis, MS, emphysema, Parkinson’s disease, hemophilia, and mental illness (except schizophrenia). Its inventor, James Sheridan, claimed that the formula was revealed to him by God in a dream in 1936, and that he therefore cannot charge people for using it, but instead established the Eden Foundation, a nonprofit corporation, through which people could pay him instead. Edward Sopcak, another promoter, was less worried about personal gain, and continued to promote the “remedy” at least until 1992, when the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan found him to be in contempt of a January 1990 decree to stop manufacturing and distributing the product. (Two associates, Diane Petrosky and Bonnie Sue Miller, were also warned to cease their violative activities.) Sopcak had then been promoting CanCell as a cure for a range of diseases, claiming for instance that all symptoms of AIDS disappear will in 28 days with CanCell. They would, needless to say, not.

According to Sopcak (here he departs from Sheridan’s teachings) there is only one type of cancer, which is caused by a mutated anaerobic cell: an improper diet will cause electrical and chemical damage and open the way for the microbe Progenitor cryptocides (an  imaginary cancer-causing germ invented by the late Virginia Livingston-Wheeler), and CanCell ostensibly acts by changing the vibrational frequency and energy of cancer cells, thereby “reducing their voltage,” until they reach the “primitive” state described by Sheridan. Sopcak also claims to “tune” the liquid to correct vibrational frequency in some secret fashion. He seems, in other words, to have tried to be careful to avoid phrases that are actually medically meaningful, which would be required for saying anything demonstrably false and therefore legally actionable. Evidence? Well, according to promoters, human and animal studies have in fact been done proving CanCell’s efficacy – the FDA did a “secret and illegal” study resulting in 80–85% cure rates, for instance – but you won’t find any trace of those studies since they have been suppressed by “the establishment”. In other words: none. So it goes.

Sopcak has also claimed that he believes all medicine in the future will ultimately be practiced by adjusting vibrational frequencies, and has even made forays into homeopathy, with a homeopathic version of CanCell called … “CanCell”, no less. Which could potentially be a source of confusion. Fortunately, the homeopathic version is probably no less efficacious than the standard version, and probably less prone to cause harm.

The product has certainly not gone away – woo rarely does, given that it was never a matter of evidence anyways – but is sold in bottles claiming that “Cantron® is an amazing bio-electrical wellness formulation [a meaningless phrase, and thus potentially not legally actionable]. It provides astonishing health benefits like no other substance on Earth. It is the world’s most potent antioxidant [it isn’t, and it wouldn’t necessarily be a good thing if it were, but “antioxidant” sounds like “health” to the intended target audience] and scavenger of abnormal proteins [nonsense] which accumulate in the blood, tissues, organs and joints. Cantron is known to dramatically aid the body’s own natural defenses [yes: it “boosts the immune system”]. Since 1984, it has received rave reviews from those who have taken it. One customer summed it up perfectly on an Internet chat site when she emphatically stated: ‘How blessed we are to know about Cantron.’” There is an informative article on the product here.

Diagnosis: Admittedly, we haven’t heard from Sopcak for a while, and aren’t completely sure he’s still around. But the product certainly is, and deserves to be covered, and since we do entries by name, Sopcak’s seemed as good as any. A real threat to health and well-being.

Mike Stahl

Pastor Mike Stahl of the Living Water internet church is one of many raging fundies polluting the Internet. Stahl has apparently “been seriously considering forming a ( Christian ) grassroots type of organization to be named ‘The Christian National Registry of Atheists’ or something similar.” After all, there are “already National Registrys for convicted sex offenders, ex-convicts, terrorist cells, hate groups like the KKK, skinheads, radical Islamists, etc. [there actually isn’t],” so why not a similar registry for atheists? The registry, he rushes to affirm, “would merely be for information purposes. To inform the public of KNOWN (i.e., self-admitted) atheists” and not contain personal information or the person’s physical address (“though, perhaps a photo could be”). Now, why would we need such a registry? Well, “[d]uhhh, Mr. Atheist, for the same purpose many States put the names and photos of convicted sex offenders and other ex-felons on the I-Net – to INFORM the public!” Who wouldn’t see the obviousness of that comparison? And a list like that would give Stahl and likeminded people the opportunity to “begin to witness to them and warn them of the dangers of atheism. Or perhaps they are radical atheists, whose hearts are as hard as Pharaoh’s, in that case, if they are business owners, we would encourage all our Christian friends, as well as the various churches and their congregations NOT to patronize them as we would only be ‘feeding’ Satan”. In his wisdom, Stahl cannot even see “why anyone would oppose this idea – including the atheists themselves (unless of course, they’re actually ashamed of their atheist religion, and would prefer to stay in the ‘closet’”). Presumably being lectured to and told about the dangers of atheism is something any atheist would desire.

After receiving some attention for his suggestion, Stahl promptly made his blog private. It was surely not because he didn’t enjoy the public exposure, was it? (A year later he apparently still thought the registry was a good idea).

Diagnosis: Genuinely stupid. (Unless he is evil. The options are not mutually exclusive.)

Kurt Donsbach

Dave D’Onofrio appears to be a creationist and David Abel’s coauthor on those few papers they actually got published in some low-tier but peer reviewed science journals (and has accordingly been lauded by the WND as making significant scientific breakthroughs) but I struggle to find much further information about him. We’ll leave him be for now.

Kurt Donsbach, however, is a legend. Donsbach is an unlicensed chiropractor and altmed promoter, whose Hospital Santa Monica operated in California until 1987, whereupon it moved to Mexico and was in operation until the death of Coretta Scott King – widow of MLK – while under treatment at the clinic in 2006, when Mexican health officials promptly shut it down. Donsbach moved his practice to Mexico after several troubles with American authorities, first in 1971, when he was convicted of practicing medicine without a license in California after undercover agents observed him prescribing unproven remedies and claiming e.g.  that various vitamins, minerals, and herbal tea were effective against cancer, heart disease and emphysema to patients while claiming to be a medical doctor. Many of the remedies prescribed were only available from Westpro Labs, a company – coincidentally, of course – operated by Donsbach himself. (He pleaded guilty and received a fine and two years’ summary probation).

Coretta King was one of many desperate people who sought out Donsbach’s clinic during its two decades of operation in Mexico, where they would be treated with vitamins and herbs, iron lungs, and a variety of other useless procedures (the clinic was recommended to King by members of her church.) Of course, clinics like Donsbach’s thrive on survivors providing compelling (and personalized) anecdotes and the dead telling nothing, which they usually don’t unless the victim was a celebrity of sufficient note for the press to care. Had it not been for King, who knows how long Donsbach would have been allowed to continue.

Donsbach’s list of troubles with the authorities is extensive, though. Apart from the 1971 incident and the 2006 closing of his hospital, incidents include at least the following:

– In 1973, he was charged with nine more counts of illegal activity, including misbranding of drugs and manufacturing drugs without a license.

– In 1974, he was found guilty of violating his probation and was fined again.

– In 1975, Donsbach owned and operated Metabolic Products, a company that marketed supplement products with claims they didn’t bother to back up. That year, he also began his fourteen years of service as board chairman of the National Health Federation, a true quack organization if there ever was one.

– In 1976, he acquired a license to practice naturopathy in Oregon, based on a document that was later revealed to be a forgery (authorities prohibited him from holding the license in 1990). If you have to commit fraud to be able to even practice naturopathy …

– In 1979, he began operating Donsbach University, a nonaccredited correspondence school that awarded bachelor, master, and doctoral “degrees” in nutrition. That the “institution” was  unaccredited did not deter Donsbach from claiming that it was (by the National Accreditation Association, which consisted of a telephone in the living room of a single quack with a fake degree in Maryland – the California Department of Education was not impressed). He was also operating the International Institute of Natural Health Sciences, through which he marketed numerous misleading publications and a “Nutrient Deficiency Test”: The test consisted of a questionnaire about symptoms, and the answers were fed into a computer that issued a report of supposed nutrient deficiencies and medical conditions – the answers, however, did not affect the printout of supposed deficiencies in any systematic and reliable way.

– In 1982, Donsbach formed and became board chairman of Health Resources Group, Inc., which sold supplement products to health-food stores through HRG Enterprises and a multilevel company named Nutrition Motivation.

– In 1985, the FDA sent Donsbach and HRG a regulatory letter indicating that claims made for Orachel made it an unapproved new drug that was illegal to market.

– In 1985, the New York Attorney General brought actions against Donsbach, his university, and his International Institute, on the grounds that they lacked legal authorization to conduct business within the state and that it was illegal to advertise nonaccredited degrees to state residents. The Attorney General also charged that the “Nutrient Deficiency Test” was a scheme to defraud consumers (duh!).

– In 1988, the US postal service ordered him to stop claiming that a hydrogen peroxide solution he sold could prevent cancer and ease arthritis pain (it can’t).

– A 1996 case, based on a 1993 Complaint for Forfeiture, states that Donsbach obtained money from insurance companies by misrepresenting the nature and location of treatments he rendered there.

– In 1997 he was sentenced to a year in federal prison for smuggling more than $250,000 worth of unapproved drugs into the US from Mexico.

On April 9, 2009, he was arrested again, this time during his Internet radio health show, and charged with 11 felony counts, including dispensing unapproved drugs and offering neuropeptides to his patients (which contained nimesulide, which is banned in Europe because they cause high rates of liver failure and have resulted in some deaths). The case ended with a plea deal with Donsbach facing up to a year in jail, followed by probation. In 2010, however, he pleaded guilty to 13 additional felony charges, including practicing medicine without a license and selling misbranded drugs.

That should give you an idea. Donsbach himself is a pupil of Royal Lee, who – at least before Kevin Trudeau – was “probably the largest publisher of unreliable and false nutritional information in the world” (according to an FDA official). His website states that he has produced more than 50 books and pamphlets that have sold a total of 14 milion copies (most of which were titled “Dr. Donsbach Tells You What You Always Wanted To Know About …”)

Donsbach’s partner Harry R. Alsleben used to run his own correspondence school offering pseudo-credentials in nutrition, such as “Clinical Nutrimedicine and Biological Sciences”, “nutri-medical dentistry”, “nutri-medical eye and visual health care,” “nutri-medical homeopathy” and “therapeutic nutrimedicine”.

Diagnosis: It’s hard to believe that Donsbach actually thinks he is helping people, but I suppose the powers of delusion should not be underestimated. At least the continued success of Kurt Donsbach demonstrates how and why there’s still a market for spam. A horrible, horrible person.

Note: Most of the information for this entry was taken from Quackwatch’s very informative articles on Donsbach and his antics.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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