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The Doomsday Project, Deep Events, and the Shrinking of American Democracy

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Prof Peter Dale Scott
I know the capacity that is there to make tyranny total in America, and we must see to it that this agency [the National Security Agency] and all agencies that possess this technology operate within the law and under proper supervision, so that we never cross over that abyss. That is the abyss from which there is no return." -- Senator Frank Church (1975)
In recent years I have become more and more concerned with the interactions between three important and alarming trends in recent American history. The first is America's increasing militarization, and above all its inclination, even obsession, to involve itself in needless and pernicious wars. The second, closely related, is the progressive shrinking of public politics and the rule of law as they are subordinated, even domestically, to the requirements of covert U.S. operations abroad.

The third, also closely related, is the important and increasingly deleterious impact on American history and the global extension of American power, of what I have called deep events. These events, like the JFK assassination, the Watergate break-in, or 9/11, which repeatedly involve law-breaking or violence, are mysterious to begin with, are embedded in ongoing covert processes, have consequences that enlarge covert government, and are subsequently covered up by systematic falsifications in media and internal government records.

One factor linking Dallas, Watergate, and 9/11, has been the involvement in all three deep events of personnel involved in America's highest-level emergency planning, known since the 1980s as Continuity of Government (COG) planning, or more colloquially as "the Doomsday Project." The implementation of COG plans on 9/11, or what I call Doomsday Power, was the culmination of three decades of such planning, and has resulted in the permanent militarization of the domestic United States, and the imposition at home of institutions and processes designed for domination abroad.

Writing about these deep events as they occurred over the decades, I have been interested in the interrelations among them. It is now possible to show how each was related both to those preceding it, and those which followed.

Sheriff

Former Minneapolis Governor Jesse Ventura Sues US Transportation Security Administration Over Its Infringements of Privacy

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© AP Photo
Minneapolis - Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura sued the Department of Homeland Security and the Transportation Security Administration on Monday, alleging full-body scans and pat-downs at airport checkpoints violate his right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures.

Ventura is asking a federal judge in Minnesota to issue an injunction ordering officials to stop subjecting him to "warrantless and suspicionless" scans and body searches.

The lawsuit, which also names Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and TSA Administrator John Pistole as defendants, argues the searches are "unwarranted and unreasonable intrusions on Governor Ventura's personal privacy and dignity . and are a justifiable cause for him to be concerned for his personal health and well-being."

According to the lawsuit, Ventura received a hip replacement in 2008, and since then, his titanium implant has set off metal detectors at airport security checkpoints. The lawsuit said that prior to last November officials had used a non-invasive hand-held wand to scan his body as a secondary security measure.

No Entry

Obama may get power to shut down Internet without court oversight

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A bill giving the president an Internet "kill switch" during times of emergency that failed to pass Congress last year will return this year, but with a revision that has many civil liberties advocates concerned: It will give the president the ability to shut down parts of the Internet without any court oversight.

The Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act was introduced last year by Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Susan Collins (R-ME) in an effort to combat cyber-crime and the threat of online warfare and terrorism.

Critics said the bill would allow the president to disconnect Internet networks and force private websites to comply with broad cybersecurity measures. Future US presidents would have those powers renewed indefinitely.

According to a report Monday at CNET News, the bill will be back on the Senate agenda in the new year. But a revision introduced into the bill in December would exempt the law from judicial oversight. According to critics, this change would open the law to politically-motivated abuse by any administration, no matter how narrowly the law is interpreted.

Cheeseburger

US: Taco Bell Asked in Suit to Be True About The Beef

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© Paul Sakuma AP
So what is in that "fourth meal"?
A law firm claims in a lawsuit that Taco Bell is using false advertising when it refers to using "seasoned ground beef" or "seasoned beef" in its products.

The meat mixture sold by Taco Bell restaurants contains binders and extenders and does not meet the minimum requirements set by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to be labeled as "beef," according to the legal complaint.

The class-action lawsuit was filed Friday in federal court in the Central District of California by the Montgomery law firm Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles.

Attorney Dee Miles said attorneys had Taco Bell's "meat mixture" tested and found it contained less that 35 percent beef.

The lawsuit on behalf of Taco Bell customer and California resident Amanda Obney does not seek monetary damages, but asks the court to order Taco Bell to be honest in its advertising.

"We are asking that they stop saying that they are selling beef," Miles said.

Heart - Black

Monsanto's latest farmwashing ad campaign debuts

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© Monsanto, Marlboro
Marlsanto: A persuasive combine-nation?
Now that the Supreme Court has declared that corporations are people, too (happy birthday, Citizens United!), Monsanto is apparently out to put a friendly, slightly weather-beaten, gently grizzled face on industrial agriculture. The above ad (the lefthand one) is part of a campaign currently appearing in bus shelters in D.C., including just outside USDA headquarters, among other places. The link, Americasfarmers.com, forwards to a Monsanto page.

This guy looks an awful lot like Henry Fonda playing Tom Joad in The Grapes of Wrath, which seems only fitting since Agribiz may be helping to create a 21st century Dust Bowl.

After decades of boasting about how fossil-fuel-intensive industrial agriculture has made it possible for far fewer farmers to produce way more food, Monsanto is now championing the power of farming to create jobs and preserve land. Does this attempt by a biotechnology behemoth to wrap itself in a populist plaid flannel shirt give you the warm and fuzzies, or just burn you up?

Stormtrooper

Recording a Police Officer Could Get You 15 Years in Jail

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© Shutterstock
Citizens recording their public interactions with police sure seems like the kind of thing that would prevent corruption, harassment and bad behavior by cops. Just don't do it in Illinois, where it's punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

Sixty-year-old Chicago artist Christopher Drew is currently facing an eavesdropping charge because he recorded his arrest for "selling art without a permit." Eavesdropping - that is, recording conversations, either public or private, without universal consent - is a felony in Illinois, and Drew could face 15 years in prison.

Dollar

Bono and Bill Gates-Backed Global Health Charity Exposed as a Fraud

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© Activist Post
What institutions can you trust these days with your donations? The Associated Press reported today that the $21.7 billion Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria is a fraud where at least two-thirds of the funds were "pocketed," and donated medicines were sold on the black market for profit.

The prestigious development fund is backed by celebrities like Bono, politicians like French president Sarkozy, and a cool $150 million from Bill and Melinda Gates. The AP wrote, "The fund has been a darling of the power set that will hold the World Economic Forum in the Swiss mountain village of Davos this week."

Although many of the contributors to this fund likely had good intentions for their donation, it seems that funds of this size are too-big-to-succeed and are ripe for corruption. The fund spokesman, Jon Liden, said, "We would contend that we do not have any corruption problems that are significantly different in scale or nature to any other international financing institution."

Light Sabers

U.S. Can't Link Accused Army Private to Assange

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© BradleyManning.org/European Pressphoto Agency
Army Specialist Bradley Manning is suspected of leaking thousands of Iraq War documents to Wikileaks.
Military also denies allegations that Bradley Manning is being mistreated

U.S. military officials tell NBC News that investigators have been unable to make any direct connection between a jailed army private suspected with leaking secret documents and Julian Assange, founder of the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks.

The officials say that while investigators have determined that Manning had allegedly unlawfully downloaded tens of thousands of documents onto his own computer and passed them to an unauthorized person, there is apparently no evidence he passed the files directly to Assange, or had any direct contact with the controversial WikiLeaks figure.

Assange, an Australian national, is under house arrest at a British mansion near London, facing a Swedish warrant seeking his extradition for questioning on charges of rape. Assange has denied the allegations.

WikiLeaks' release of secret diplomatic cables last year caused a diplomatic stir and laid bare some of the most sensitive U.S. dealings with governments around the world. It also prompted an American effort to stifle WikiLeaks by pressuring financial institutions to cut off the flow of money to the organization.

Light Saber

Peru recognizes Palestinian State

Peruvian Foreign Minister Jose Antonio Garcia Belaunde
© unknown
Peruvian Foreign Minister Jose Antonio Garcia Belaunde
Peru said on Monday it had recognized a Palestinian state, joining a growing number of Latin American countries in making an endorsement the United States has called premature.

Israel has warned that declarations by Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Bolivia and Ecuador, among others, could undermine the Middle East peace process.

Peruvian Foreign Minister Jose Antonio Garcia Belaunde did not specify if Peru recognized the Palestine state along borders that existed before 1967.

"Palestine is recognized as a free and sovereign state," he said on RPP radio.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas thanked Brazil several weeks ago for allowing his nation to open its first embassy in the Americas and said other countries were following suit.

Palestinian authorities are hoping for a diplomatic domino effect to back their claim for a state in all of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Israel disputes the Palestinian claim on all the West Bank and East Jerusalem, land it captured from Jordan in a 1967 war and has extensively settled.

Mr. Potato

Court throws Rahm off the Chicago mayoral ballot

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An appellate court panel ruled by a vote of 2-1 on Monday that former Obama administration chief of staff Rahm Emanuel may not run for mayor of Chicago.

The high-powered Democrat, who was the leading fundraiser in the race, was not officially a resident of Chicago in time for the registration deadline, his opponents argued. In previous challenges to his candidacy, Emanuel convinced the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners and a judge in Cook County that he'd met residency requirements.

While Emanuel did own a home in Chicago, it was rented out to tenants who'd renewed their lease just days before outgoing Chicago Mayor Richard Daley said he would not seek reelection. When Rahm announced his intent to run, the couple said they wouldn't be moving.