We don’t need no stinking justice! As a presidential candidate in 2008, Barack Obama, a professor of constitutional law, lauded whistleblowers as “part of a healthy democracy [and they] must be protected from reprisal”.
In 2012, the campaign to re-elect President Barack Obama boasted on its website that he had prosecuted more whistleblowers in his first term than all other US presidents combined.
Before Manning had even received a trial, Obama had pronounced the whisletblower guilty. Manning was subsequently sentenced to 35 years in prison, having been tortured during his long pre-trial detention.
John Pilger shows that justice has simply departed the West. It cannot be found anywhere within the confines of Western “civilization.”
One reason that Washington is currently trying to overthrow the Ecuadoran government is to have the puppet Washington installs revoke Julian Assange’s political asylum. Time is running out on the corrupt Swedish prosecutor, Marianne Ny, who works for Washington, not for justice. So Washington has decided to overthrow a government in its quest for revenge against one journalist.
Is America “a light unto the world, a shinning city upon a hill,” or is America a cesspool of injustice, injustice that has spread and now infects the entire Western world?
The available evidence convinces me that the
Malaysian airliner shot down over Ukraine was a plot hatched in Washington in
order to blame Russia, blame which helps Washington’s pressure on Europe for
sanctions against Russia. An alternative explanation is that Washington’s
stooge government in Kiev in an assassination attempt against Vladimir Putin
mistook the Malaysian airliner for Putin’s airplane.
The circumstantial evidence in favor of the
former explanation is that the Western media was primed and ready to go with
stories blaming Russia the minute the news broke that the airliner had been
downed. No evidence was available, but the Western media was uniform in
accusations against Russia and “Russian-supported separatists.”
In making up your own mind, consider these two
In contrast with the Russian government which relies on diplomacy,
Washington relies on coercion and it obviously intends to coerce Russia into
submission, Dr. Paul Craig Roberts told Sputnik.
The cornerstone of America's foreign and military policy is the
Wolfowitz Doctrine which declares that Washington's primary objective "is
to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival, either in the
territory of the former Soviet Union or elsewhere that poses a threat
similar to that posed formerly by the Soviet Union," Dr. Paul
Craig Roberts, a prominent American economist, former Assistant Secretary
of the Treasury for Economic Policy and author, elaborated.
"By ‘threat' the Wolfowitz Doctrine means a country sufficiently
strong enough to have a foreign policy independent of Washington.
‘Threat' does not mean a military threat or a plan to attack the US. It
means any country capable of standing up to Washington. Today there
are two such countries, Russia and China. While the Washington neoconservatives
were absorbed in their decade-long wars in the Middle East, Vladimir
Putin revived Russia from the Yeltsin debacle, and China rose much more
rapidly than Washington expected," Dr. Roberts told Sputnik.
Jonathan Pollard, a paid spy for Israel described by Michael D. Shear as
“one of the country’s most notorious spies,” has been pardoned from his life
sentence. It strikes me as hypocritical for the US government to sentence
anyone to prison for spying when the government itself spies on everyone
everywhere. All Americans including members of the House and Senate,
congressional staff, military officers, foreign governments including the
leaders of Washington’s closest allies, and foreign businesses are spied upon.
No one is exempt from Washington’s spying.
Washington claims that its worldwide spying does no harm. So how did the
very limited spying of one person—Pollard—a civilian employee of Naval
intelligence do so much harm as to warrant a life sentence? What some of us
would like to see is a life sentence for NSA.
What disturbs me about the case is that it is Pollard, who spied for a
foreign country, who is released. In contrast, Manning and Snowden who
spied for the American people are locked away, Manning in a federal
prison and Snowden in his Russian exile. Julian Assange, who merely did his job
as a journalist and made available to newspapers documents leaked to him, is
confined to the Ecuadoran embassy in London.
Former Assistant Treasury
Secretary Dr. Paul Craig Roberts has repeatedly called the global economy a
“house of cards.” Currently, demand for physical gold and silver is spiking
even though prices are falling. What does this mean?
Dr. Roberts says, “Some people
clearly understand it, and that’s why the demand of gold and silver is so high
that it often cannot be met. Right now, for example, the U.S. Mint has
suspended all sales of Silver Eagles simply because they cannot get enough
silver to manufacture the coins to meet the demand. We see that the gold trusts
are being depleted. We see extraordinary amounts of withdrawals from the
Shanghai Gold Exchange. So, we know the demand for gold and silver is very,
very high. Some people know that, but the financial press operates to disguise
what’s going on. The financial press says the reason the demand for coins is so
high is the price is falling. What made the price fall?
Only two things can
cause the price of gold to fall. One has to be a great increase in supplies . .
. but that’s not what’s happening it’s the opposite. . . . The only other thing
that could cause the price to fall is a massive decrease in demand. We are
seeing a massive increase in demand. The paper market is driving down the price
and it’s fraudulent. All these stories are coming out in the press that gold is
not money. It’s a pet rock. . . .”
Clearly, the language of freedom is no longer the
common tongue spoken by the citizenry and their government. With the government
having shifted into a language of force, “we the people” have been reduced to
suspects in a surveillance state, criminals in a police state, and enemy
combatants in a military empire. —
John W. Whitehead
Drivers, Beware: The Costly, Deadly Dangers of Traffic
Stops in the American Police State
By John W. Whitehead
July 28, 2015
“The Fourth Amendment was designed to stand between us
and arbitrary governmental authority. For all practical purposes, that shield
has been shattered, leaving our liberty and personal integrity subject to the
whim of every cop on the beat, trooper on the highway and jail official. The
framers would be appalled.”—Herman Schwartz, The Nation Trying to predict the outcome of any encounter with
the police is a bit like playing Russian roulette: most of the time you will
emerge relatively unscathed, although decidedly poorer and less secure about
your rights, but there’s always the chance that an encounter will turn deadly.
The odds weren’t in Walter L. Scott’s favor.
Reportedly pulled over for a broken taillight, Scott—unarmed—ran away from the
police officer, who pursued and shot him from behind, first with a Taser, then
with a gun. Scott was struck five times, “three times in the back, once in the
upper buttocks and once in the ear — with at least one bullet entering his
Samuel Dubose, also unarmed, was pulled over for a
missing front license plate. He was reportedly shot in the head after a brief
struggle in which his car began rolling forward.
This article establishes that the price of gold and
silver in the futures markets in which cash is the predominant means of
settlement is inconsistent with the conditions of supply and demand in the
actual physical or current market where physical bullion is bought and sold as
opposed to transactions in uncovered paper claims to bullion in the futures
markets. The supply of bullion in the futures markets is increased by printing
uncovered contracts representing claims to gold. This artificial, indeed
fraudulent, increase in the supply of paper bullion contracts drives down the
price in the futures market despite high demand for bullion in the physical
market and constrained supply. We will demonstrate with economic analysis and
empirical evidence that the bear market in bullion is an artificial creation.
The law of supply and demand is the basis of
economics. Yet the price of gold and silver in the Comex futures market, where
paper contracts representing 100 troy ounces of gold or 5,000 ounces of silver
are traded, is inconsistent with the actual supply and demand conditions in the
physical market for bullion. For four years the price of bullion has been
falling in the futures market despite rising demand for possession of the
physical metal and supply constraints.
Russia's President Vladimir Putin (R) welcomes Iran's
President Hassan Rouhani during the 7th BRICS summit in Ufa, Russia, on July 9,
2015. (AFP photo)
A former White House official says the United States
cannot stand independent countries, such as Russia and Iran, because they are a
threat to Washington’s unilateral actions.
Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, who was Assistant Secretary of
the Treasury in the Reagan Administration and associate editor of the Wall
Street Journal, made the remarks in a phone interview with Press TV on
He was commenting on a statement by the head of the US
Special Operations Command, General Joseph Votel, who said on Friday that
Russia “could pose an existential threat" to the United States.
“Let me clarify what the word or the term existential
threat means,” Roberts said.
“When a general says this as a public statement, it
tells the American people that Russia is a threat to the very existence of the
United States, and it causes them to think that Russia may attack the United
States with nuclear weapons, or maybe preparing to do that.
Steal a Tree, Go to Jail; Steal a Forest, Meet the President
By Jeffrey St.
with permission is a chapter from Jeffrey St. Clair’s 2008 book, Born
Under A Bad Sky. St. Clair has provided an outstanding report of corrupt
government at work. Even environmentalists in the Forest Service who are
appointed to protect our national forests are part of the looting
The power of money
can be stronger than the power of government. We can see the power of money in
the looting of our national forests. Even the environmental agencies
established by Congress to protect the environment have fallen under corporate
politicians, even if they intend otherwise, end up serving the corporatocracy.
The impotence of
government to serve the public interest and general welfare is an important
lesson both for progressives, who believe in the curative powers of government,
and libertarians, who believe that government is inimical to private interests.
As both parties
serve the corporatocracy, elections can change nothing.
The Politics of
Stealing trees is
as old as the King’s timber reserves. The sanctions for such sylvan thievery
have always been harsh. In medieval England, it meant public torture and slow
death. In the US, the levy was a kind of financial death penalty — triple
damages plus serious jail time.
A couple of years
ago, two tree poachers drove a log truck onto a small farm in central Indiana
after midnight, cut down two 100-year old black walnut trees in the small
woodlot, loaded the pilfered trunks onto their truck and fled across a
cornfield. The county sheriff caught them when their truck stalled in the field
and sank in the mud. It turns out that the men had been hired by a local
sawmill owner, who was set to sell the lumber to a German timber broker. All
three men were tried and convicted of tree theft.
The black walnut trees, highly prized by German furniture makers, were valued
at $150,000 each. The men were hit with $900,000 in fines and three years of
Contrast this with
evidence coming out of a trial in Portland, Oregon, concerning timber theft on
a massive scale. According to internal documents from the US Forest Service,
more than 10% of all trees cut off of the national forests are
stolen, usually by timber companies that deliberately log outside the
boundaries of timber sales offered by the agency. The annual toll involves
hundreds of thousands of trees valued at more than $100 million.
The situation was
so rife with theft and fraud that in 1991 Congress set up a Timber Theft Task
Force to investigate tree stealing on federal lands. The ten-person team
launched three probes: timber theft on the ground, accounting fraud, and
complicity and obstruction of justice by Forest Service managers.
The team won an
early victory. In 1993, the Columbia River Scaling Bureau, a supposedly
independent accounting agency that measures and values timber logged off the
national forests in Oregon and Washington, was convicted of fraud. The Bureau
deliberately undervalued logs in return for kickbacks from timber companies.
The firm was hit with a $3.2 million fine.
But this was just a
tune up for much bigger fish, namely the largest privately-owned timber company
in the world: Weyerhaeuser. The investigation was code-named “Rodeo.” The task
force had compiled evidence that Weyerhaeuser had illegally cut more than
88,000 trees off of the Winema National Forest in southern Oregon. The pilfered
trees were valued at more than $5 million. Moreover, investigators suspected
that managers in at least three different Forest Service offices had gotten
wind of the investigation, tipped off Weyerhaeuser, destroyed documents and
tried to silence agency whistleblowers.
investigation picked up steam in the spring of 1995, the head of the task
force, Al Marion, traveled to Denver for a secret meeting with the chief of the
Forest Service, Jack Ward Thomas, hand-picked for the position by Bill Clinton.
Thomas, a wildlife biologist, had won the job after his role in spearheading
Option 9, the infamous Clinton forest con job that restarted logging in the
ancient forests of the Pacific Northwest.
Marion outlined the
investigation for Thomas and Manny Martinez, his newly-appointed deputy for law
enforcement. The lead investigator told Thomas that the evidence was compelling
and that there would be a good probability of criminal convictions and recovery
of large civil fines.
According to notes
from the session taken by Martinez, Thomas told Marion that he would give his
team “18 months to finish the cases” and promised them an additional $300,000
to pursue the investigation. In the next few weeks, the team developed new
leads suggesting that Weyerhaeuser’s tree theft was systematic and may have
been occurring on three other national forests in the region. One estimate
suggested that Weyerhaeuser might have been illegally logging more than 33,000
trees a month.
Most of the illegal
logging done by Weyerhaeuser occurred in so-called salvage sales, where only
dead and dying trees were meant to be cut. Instead, Weyerhaeuser crews, often
operating at night, logged off thousands of healthy ponderosa pines and hauled
them off to mills under cover of darkness.
On other occasions,
timber theft investigators alleged, Weyerhaeuser crews logged off green trees
in open daylight under the nose of Forest Service officials and then bundled
the green trees in with stacks of dead lodgepole pines.
“They bundled the
trees, sometimes 20 trees to a bundle,” says Dennis Shrader, the lead
investigator in the Rodeo case. “I estimated that as many as ten trees per
bundle were green trees.”
Yet, just as the
task force was closing it on its culprits its work came to a crashing halt.
Less than a four weeks after the Denver meeting with Jack Ward Thomas, Marion
received a bizarre letter from the chief thanking him for his service and
disbanding the task force immediately. The letter was hand delivered by
Marion and his
colleagues were out of a job. Thomas ordered their files seized and locked in a
vault, where they remained for the next ten months. Marion retired rather than
be relocated to West Virginia. Shrader, the head of the Weyerhaeuser
investigation, was reassigned to a desk job in a storage closet in the Portland
office of the Forest Service.
Why did Thomas pull
the plug? It now seems evident that the order came directly from the White
House in order to protect Weyerhaeuser executives, who were longtime friends
and backers of Clinton, his chief of staff Mac McLarty and his top White House
counsel Bruce Lindsay.
In the 1960s,
Seattle-based Weyerhaeuser, enticed by cheap land prices and non-union labor,
began buying up forestland in the southeast. By the time Bill Clinton was
elected governor in 1978, Weyerhaeuser was the largest landowner in Arkansas.
During Clinton’s idealistic first term, he tried to curtail the roughshod
logging practices of the timber industry in the state by placing limits on
clearcutting, aerial pesticide spraying and logging near streams and rivers.
The new regulations riled Weyerhaeuser, which poured money into the campaign of
Clinton’s rival Frank White. Clinton lost and retreated to a corporate law firm
in Little Rock run by his pal Bruce Lindsay to lick his wounds and plot his
return to power.
introduced the humbled Clinton to Jack Creighton, Weyerhaeuser’s CEO. Clinton
confessed his mistakes and pledged to devote himself to protecting
Weyerhaeuser’s interests should he ever return to the governor’s mansion. The
timber giant accepted Clinton’s apologies, invested heavily in his re-election
bid and remained a faithful political sponsor over the next 20 years.
When local Forest
Service officials tipped Weyerhaeuser to the criminal probe on the Winema
Forest, Weyerhaeuser executives complained to their two protectors in the
Clinton inner circle, McLarty and Lindsay. The White House instructed political
appointees in the Department of Agriculture to tell Thomas to kill the
investigation. And it was so.
“The bottom line is
that Weyerhaeuser is one of the largest companies in the world,” says Shrader.
“When you’ve got an organization that large and with that kind of clout and
that amount of resources, they are able to apply political pressure.”
While Thomas may
have intervened in order to save Weyerhaeuser, his decision to terminate the
task force entirely had the effect of halting of every other timber fraud
investigation then under way.
Up in southeast
Alaska a two-year long probe by the task force had uncovered an even grander
timber theft scheme unfurling on the Tongass National Forest, the nation’s
largest publicly-owned forest. Investigator Steven Slagowski had been presented
with compelling evidence that large rafts of timber logged off the Tongass by
the Ketchikan Pulp Company, owned by Louisiana-Pacific, were routinely
disappearing at night before they could be scaled and inventoried by Forest
Service workers. The timber ended up being sold to lucrative Asian markets, in
violation of federal laws requiring the logs to be sent to Alaska mills.
This was just one
of a number of scams on the Tongass uncovered by Slagowski and his colleagues
in 1994. He estimated that as much as one out of every three trees logged from
the Tongass was illegally cut. In some cases, entire islands were clearcut with
the timber companies paying little or nothing for the trees. The illegal
cutting often occurred in endangered species habitat. He noted that nesting
sites for bald eagles and marbled murrelets, a small forest-nesting seabird,
were both routinely clearcut. “It was theft of unprecedented proportions,” says
As in Oregon, the
Tongass timber theft ring thrived with the collusion of Forest Service
officials, many of them high ranking. Forest Service managers routinely gave
advance warning to targets of the investigation and the regional office, based
in Juneau, twice convened secret “vulnerability assessment teams.” On both
occasions, the teams included managers suspected of either being complicit with
the timber thieves or participating in the cover-up.
All of this has
come out through a lawsuit filed with the US Merit Systems Protection Board by
five members of the task force who are seeking the return of their jobs. The
MSPB is a federal administrative court charged with hearing claims brought by
federal whistleblowers who have suffered retaliation for exposing government
These days instead
of going after multi-million dollar timber theft rings Forest Service law
enforcement teams spend their time arresting environmental protesters, pulling
up pot plants and harassing poor Hispanics in northern New Mexico who gather
firewood from federal forests without a permit.
ongoing investigations have been disrupted or are simply gathering dust,” says
Tom Devine, a lawyer at the Government Accountability Project, which represents
Marion and five other whistleblowers from the quashed task force. “No new major
fraud cases have been opened and only small, firewood theft cases are being
Steal a tree for
firewood go to jail. Steal an entire forest of trees and ship the logs to Japan
and watch your company’s stock soar.
administration, naturally, sees no compelling reason to restart an
investigation into white-collar crime in the forest. Instead, they have moved
to make it easier for timber companies to legally steal trees from the public
lands. In November, Bush signed the deceptively-titled Healthy Forests
Initiative, which prescribes wholesale clearcutting of public forests immune
from legal challenge and environmental strictures — all in the name of fire
A couple of weeks
later, Bush issued an executive order opening 300,000 acres of ancient forest
on the Tongass to logging. Clinton had deferred logging on these lands, but
rejected pleas from environmentalists to permanently protect the temperate
rainforest from cutting. Bush exploited the loophole at the request of Alaska’s
Senator Ted Stevens, who, as detailed in an extraordinary profile in the Los
Angeles Times, has exploited the appropriations process to enrich himself, his
family and his son’s clients, including timber companies operating on the
None of this
logging will have to take place under the cover of darkness.
Jeffrey St. Clair
is the editor of CounterPunch and a well known writer on environmental issues.
Jeffrey St. Clair
(born 1959 in Indianapolis, Indiana) is an investigative journalist, writer and
editor. He is the co-editor, with Alexander Cockburn, of the political
newsletter CounterPunch, and a contributing editor to the monthly magazine In
These Times. He has also written for The Washington Post, San Francisco
Examiner, The Nation and The Progressive. His reporting specializes in the
politics surrounding environmental and military issues.
St. Clair attended the American University in Washington, D.C., majoring in
English and history. He has worked as an environmental organizer and writer for
Friends of the Earth, Clean Water Action Project and the Hoosier Environmental
In 1990, he moved to Oregon to edit the influential environmental magazine
Forest Watch, published by the libertarian economist Randal O'Toole. In 1994,
he joined journalists Alexander Cockburn and Ken Silverstein on CounterPunch.
He now co-edits the newsletter and the popular website.
In 1998, he published his first book, with Cockburn, Whiteout: the CIA, Drugs
and the Press, a history of the CIA's ties to drug gangs from World War II to
the Mujahideen and Nicaraguan Contras. This was followed by A Field Guide to
Environmental Bad Guys (with James Ridgeway), Five Days that Shook the World:
Seattle and Beyond, Al Gore: a User's Manual, Been Brown So Long It Looked Like
Green to Me: the Politics of Nature, Grand Theft Pentagon and Born Under a Bad
Jeffrey St. Clair lives in Oregon City with his wife Kimberly Willson, a librarian,
and his two children Zen and Nathaniel St. Clair.
In the councils of government, we must guard against
the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by
the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced
power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination
endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for
granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper
meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our
peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.
- President Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1961
A standing army - something that propelled the early
colonists into revolution - strips the American people of any vestige of
freedom.How can there be any semblance of freedom when there are tanks
in the streets, military encampments in cities, Blackhawk helicopters and armed
drones patrolling overhead?
It was for this reason that those who established
America vested control of the military in a civilian government, with a
civilian commander-in-chief. They did not want a military government, ruled by
force. Rather, they opted for a republic bound by the rule of law: the
Unfortunately, with the Constitution under constant
attack, the military’s power, influence and authority have grown dramatically. Even
the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, which makes it a crime for the government to use the
military to carry out arrests, searches, seizure of evidence and other
activities normally handled by a civilian police force, has been weakened by
both Barack Obama and George W. Bush, who ushered in exemptions allowing troops to deploy
domestically and arrest civilians in the wake of alleged terrorist acts.
can the life of such a man
Be in the palm of some fool’s hand?
To see him obviously framed
Couldn’t help but make me feel ashamed to live in a land
Where justice is a game.—Bob Dylan, “Hurricane”
John W. Whitehead opens a recent posting (see below) on his Rutherford
Institute website with these words from a song by Bob Dylan. Why don’t all of
us feel ashamed? Why only Bob Dylan?
wonder how many of Bob Dylan’s fans understand what he is telling them.
American justice has nothing to do with innocence or guilt. It only has to do
with the prosecutor’s conviction rate, which builds his political career.
Considering the gullibility of the American people, American jurors are the last
people to whom an innocent defendant should trust his fate. The jury will
betray the innocent almost every time.
Lawrence Stratton and I show in our book (2000, 2008) there is no justice in
America. We titled our book, “How the Law Was Lost.” It is a description of how
the protective features in law that made law a shield of the innocent was
transformed over time into a weapon in the hands of the government, a weapon
used against the people. The loss of law as a shield occurred prior to 9/11,
which “our representative government” used to construct a police state.
marketing department of our publisher did not appreciate our title and instead
came up with “The Tyranny of Good Intentions.” We asked what this title meant.
The marketing department answered that we showed that the war on crime, which
gave us the abuses of RICO, the war on child abusers, which gave us show trials
of total innocents that bested Joseph Stalin’s show trials of the heroes of the
Bolshevik Revolution, and the war on drugs, which gave “Freedom and Democracy
America” broken families and by far the highest incarceration rate in the world
all resulted from good intentions to combat crime, to combat drugs, and to
combat child abuse. The publisher’s title apparently succeeded, because 15
years later the book is still in print. It has sold enough copies over these
years that, had the sales occurred upon publication would have made the book a
“best seller.” The book, had it been a best seller, would have gained more
attention, and perhaps law schools and bar associations could have used it to
hold the police state at bay.