Thursday, October 7, 2010

Economic Hitman

Here is an interview with John Perkins author of 'Confessions of an Economic Hit man,' former chief economist and partner at Chas. T. Main and founder of Independent Power Systems, an energy company he later sold.  Perkins explains the strategies the U.S. has used in which he has been involved like massive predatory loans from the world bank and assassination all with the aim of controlling foreign governments and extracting resources from foreign countries.

Perkins interview

Perkins Interview 2


"It should be pretty obvious to people what they are doing, as it should be pretty obvious to everyone in this country where our tax dollars are going....The system is built on an assumption that the people at the top are all corruptible."  If a leader at the top is not corruptible they are assassinated, if an employee of a contractor is unwilling to help implement the corruption he is fired.  Coercion by bribe or threat of violence, the American way.  


"It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" Upton Sinclair 


The U.S. does large scale wiretapping in Latin America, for instance see this wikileaks cable from the Panama embassy about the struggle for control of the DEA's Matador wiretap room in Panama. This cable has everything, a huge cluster-fuck of Israeli security firms, Drugs and the CIA.  The U.S. government has used heavy handed strategies against its own citizens as well, see the Democracy Now peace on the FBI raiding the homes of anti-war activists.  The U.S. has implemented a large number of automatic license plate readers for police cars as well as at intersections and the FBI has car GPS trackers as well as cell phone tracking equipment for when it can't get the information it needs from the cell phone carrier.  There are also some issues with the NSA warrant-less wiretapping and NSA domestic call database.  Realistically, even if a warrant is required the NSA has plenty of friendly judges willing to sign warrants when asked, it is not that strong an oversight.  Also, while working at the NSA, a coworker noted that U.K.'s GCHQ can, by U.K. law, perform surveillance on U.S. citizens without a warrant and the U.K. shares that intelligence with the U.S., the English speaking countries have a cozy intelligence sharing agreement, sometimes called "five eyes."   There would be no problem with all this surveillance if the U.S. implemented a reasonable justice system, unfortunately it does not, as is pointed out in Glen Greenwald's book "Liberty and Justice for Some: How the Law is Used to Destroy Equality and Protect the Powerful."  It is a good thing when the government uses its surveillance to catch crooks (as with tax fraud or insider trading), the problem is not that the U.S. does a lot of surveillance, the problem is that the U.S. government acts criminally.  One method of decreasing the criminality in the government is to decrease secrecy in the government.  They look into what we do, ok, but we should be able to look into what they do more effectively, less secrecy in the government and military.  There will always be a biggest guy on the block so it’s best if that guy is intelligent, honest, decent, transparent and is accountable to the voter (note that secrecy in the derivatives market was partially to blame for the financial crisis).  After all, search engine companies, telecom companies and financial companies have large data centers full of information about U.S. citizens.  It is not a good idea to let private companies have more information about U.S. citizens than does the U.S. government, otherwise you end up with the corporations running the show, Government Sachs


And seriously, why has no one been held accountable for essentially lying to the U.S. people about the rationale for the Iraq war?  It is difficult to understand why lying to the American people on such an important issue is not considered treason against the United States.  With such a massive military intelligence budget there should not be such fundamental intelligence mistakes.  The weapons of mass destruction that figured so prominently in the initial rationale have proved to not exist even according to the official Pentagon-CIA study.  Not to mention the fact that the U.S. helped arm Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war.  



the documentary 'Why We Fight' 


U.S. oil production peaked in 1970.  In 1977 the Carter administration told America "all of us must learn to waste less energy. Simply by keeping our thermostats, for instance, at 65 degrees in the daytime and 55 degrees at night we could save half the current shortage of natural gas."  Then, in 1980 Reagan won the White House basically on a platform of lets burn up the foreign oil first (along with financial deregulation).  To put this in a good light one can note that the U.S. has burnt up a large percentage of non-renewable world resources, basically fossil fuels, without growing its population too much, decreasing the future possibility of a Malthusian squeeze (also see China's one child policy).  The U.S. has also burnt it up without engaging in mass killings on the scale of WWII, at least up to this point (war machines run on oil).  It seems likely that the world is now close to peak conventional oil production.   

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