Spying on Americans: The Bipartisan National Security State – Telecoms Lobby US Congress By Tom Burghardt

20 October, 2009 — Global ResearchAntifascist Calling

The bipartisan consensus that encourages unaccountable secret state agencies to illegally spy on the American people under color of a limitless, and highly profitable, “war on terror” was dealt a (minor) blow October 13.

Federal District Court Judge Jeffrey White denied a motion by the Obama administration that the court issue a 30-day stay to “release records relating to telecom lobbying over last year’s debate over immunity for corporate participation in government spying,” the Electronic Frontier Foundation reported.

The Justice Department had argued that the Bush, and now, the Obama administration’s Office of Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) and Congress were exempt from releasing lobbying records under the Freedom of Information Act, since consultations amongst said grifters were protected as “intra-agency” records.

One might add, since the 2001 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, a well-funded surveillance-industrial-complex fueled by giant defense firms and the telecommunications industry have, as investigative journalist Tim Shorrock reported back in 2005 “fielded armies of lobbyists to keep the money flowing.”

White’s denial of a motion for a stay followed a startling admission by Department of Justice (DoJ) attorneys that America’s telecommunication firms are actually “an arm of the government–at least when it comes to secret spying,” Wired reported October 8. The government had argued that:

“The communications between the agencies and telecommunications companies regarding the immunity provisions of the proposed legislation have been regarded as intra-agency because the government and the companies have a common interest in the defense of the pending litigation and the communications regarding the immunity provisions concerned that common interest.”

U.S. District Court Judge Jeffery White disagreed and ruled on September 24 that the feds had to release the names of the telecom employees that contacted the Justice Department and the White House to lobby for a get-out-of-court-free card. (Ryan Singel, “Telephone Company Is Arm of Government, Feds Admit in Spy Suit,” Wired, October 8, 2009)

EFF had sued the state in order to discover what role telecom lobbyists played in persuading Congress to grant the nation’s telecommunications’ giants retroactive immunity for their role in illegal spying as part of the Bush, and now, Obama regime’s Presidential Spying Program.

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Diego Garcia: A thorn in the side of Africa's nuclear-weapon-free 'zone By Peter H. Sand

8 October, 2009 — Bulletin of Atomic Scientists

Article Highlights

  • More than 13 years after its signature, the Pelindaba Treaty, which establishes Africa as a nuclear-weapon-free zone, officially came into force this summer.
  • However, conflicting British and African interpretations of an oblique footnote about Diego Garcia threaten to put one signatory,
    Mauritius, in breach of the treaty.
  • For Africa to truly be considered nuclear-weapon-free, this ambiguity must be clarified–possibly affecting U.S. and British military activities in the region.

On July 15, the Pelindaba Treaty, which established Africa as a nuclear-weapon-free zone, finally entered into force. The treaty is the latest regional agreement to ban nuclear weapons in its area of application. The other five are the 1959 Antarctic Treaty, the 1967 Treaty of Tlatelolco (for Latin America and the Caribbean), the 1985 Treaty of Rarotonga (for the South Pacific), the 1995 Treaty of Bangkok (for Southeast Asia), and the 2006 Treaty of Semipalatinsk (for Central Asia).

The Pelindaba Treaty–named for the former South African nuclear weapons facility near Pretoria–requires each party “to prohibit in its territory the stationing of any nuclear explosive devices,” while allowing parties to authorize visits or transits by foreign nuclear-armed ships or aircraft. It also prohibits nuclear weapon tests and radioactive waste dumping. Two supplementary protocols to the treaty provide for non-African nuclear powers to agree that they won’t “contribute to any act which constitutes a violation of this treaty or protocol.” The United States co-signed the treaty’s protocols under the Clinton administration in 1996, but after a heated political debate, Washington didn’t submit them to the Senate for ratification. China, France, and Britain have ratified them, however, ostensibly supporting the International Atomic Energy Agency’s enthusiastic (if slightly exaggerated) claim that the treaty made the “entire Southern hemisphere free of nuclear weapons.”

Underneath this international support for an African nuclear-weapon-free zone, however, is a low-profile but high-stakes dispute over the status of the Chagos Archipelago, which includes Diego Garcia. This coral atoll in the British Indian Ocean Territory happens to be the site of one of the most valuable (and secretive) U.S. military bases overseas. Both Britain and Mauritius claim sovereignty over the archipelago.

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Geo-Strategic Chessboard: War Between India and China? By Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya

17 October, 2009 — Global Research

Since 1947, India has not fully pledged itself to any camp or global pole during the Cold War and as a result was a founding member of the Non-Aligned Movement (N.A.M.). Since the post-Cold War era that position has eroded. New Delhi has been gradually moving away from its traditional position, relationships, and policies in the international arena for over a decade.

India has been vied for as an ally in the “Great Game” that is underway, once again. This round of the “Great Game” is, however, being played under a far broader spectrum than the one played between Britain and Czarist Russia. In question is the Indian power relationship with two geo-political entities: the first is the “Periphery” and the second is “Eurasia.”

The Periphery and Eurasia: Vying for India on a Geo-Strategic Chessboard

Physical geography alone does not form or carve or determine geographic entities. The activity of people also is of critical importance to this process. Geographic units, from blocs and countries to regions, must be understood as a product of people interacting in socio-economic and political terms. The geographic entities that are subject herein are social constructions. In this conceptual context, Eurasia itself can be defined as a geo-political player and entity.

In a physical sense, Eurasia as a geographic landmass and spatial entity is neutral, just as are other geographic regions or units, and carries no meaning or value(s). Eurasia in socio-political terms as an active player, however, is altogether different. Herein, it is this active and politically organized Eurasia that is a product of the anti-hegemonic cooperation of Russia, China, and Iran against the status quo global order of the Periphery that is the Eurasia being addressed.

The Periphery is a collective term for those nations who are either geographically located on the margins of the Eurasian landmass or altogether geographically outside of the Eurasian landmass. This grouping or categorization of geo-political players when described are namely the U.S., the E.U., and Japan. In almost organic terms these players at the broader level strive to penetrate and consume Eurasia. This objective is so because of the socio-economic organization and political mechanisms (all of which serve elitist interests) of the Periphery. Aside from the U.S., the E.U., and Japan, the Periphery includes Australia, Canada, South Korea, Singapore, and Israel.

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