zaterdag 3 augustus 2013

Chris Hedges 31

The Death of Truth

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This interview is a joint project of Truthdig and The Nation magazine.
LONDON—A tiny tip of the vast subterranean network of governmental and intelligence agencies from around the world dedicated to destroying WikiLeaks and arresting its founder, Julian Assange, appears outside the red-brick building on Hans Crescent Street that houses the Ecuadorean Embassy. Assange, the world’s best-known political refugee, has been in the embassy since he was offered sanctuary there last June. British police in black Kevlar vests are perched night and day on the steps leading up to the building, and others wait in the lobby directly in front of the embassy door. An officer stands on the corner of a side street facing the iconic department store Harrods, half a block away on Brompton Road. Another officer peers out the window of a neighboring building a few feet from Assange’s bedroom at the back of the embassy. Police sit round-the-clock in a communications van topped with an array of antennas that presumably captures all electronic forms of communication from Assange’s ground-floor suite.
The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS), or Scotland Yard, said the estimated cost of surrounding the Ecuadorean Embassy from June 19, 2012, when Assange entered the building, until Jan. 31, 2013, is the equivalent of $4.5 million. 
Audio clip one: Chris Hedges talks with Julian Assange about his opponents’ legal strategies.
Audio clip two: Julian Assange shares his thoughts on the Bradley Manning Case.
Britain has rejected an Ecuadorean request that Assange be granted safe passage to an airport. He is in limbo. It is, he said, like living in a “space station.”
“The status quo, for them, is a loss,” Assange said of the U.S.-led campaign against him as we sat in his small workroom, cluttered with cables and computer equipment. He had a full head of gray hair and gray stubble on his face and was wearing a traditional white embroidered Ecuadorean shirt. “The Pentagon threatened WikiLeaks and me personally, threatened us before the whole world, demanded that we destroy everything we had published, demanded we cease ‘soliciting’ new information from U.S. government whistle-blowers, demanded, in other words, the total annihilation of a publisher. It stated that if we did not self-destruct in this way that we would be ‘compelled’ to do so.”
“But they have failed,” he went on. “They set the rules about what a win was. They lost in every battle they defined. Their loss is total. We’ve won the big stuff. The loss of face is hard to overstate. The Pentagon reissued its threats on Sept. 28 last year. This time we laughed. Threats inflate quickly. Now the Pentagon, the White House and the State Department intend to show the world what vindictive losers they are through the persecution of Bradley Manning, myself and the organization more generally.”
Assange, Manning and WikiLeaks, by making public in 2010 half a million internal documents from the Pentagon and the State Department, along with the 2007 video of U.S. helicopter pilots nonchalantly gunning down Iraqi civilians, including children, and two Reuters journalists, effectively exposed the empire’s hypocrisy, indiscriminate violence and its use of torture, lies, bribery and crude tactics of intimidation. WikiLeaks shone a spotlight into the inner workings of empire—the most important role of a press—and for this it has become empire’s prey. Those around the globe with the computer skills to search out the secrets of empire are now those whom empire fears most. If we lose this battle, if these rebels are defeated, it means the dark night of corporate totalitarianism. If we win, if the corporate state is unmasked, it can be destroyed. 
U.S. government officials quoted in Australian diplomatic cables obtained by The Saturday Age described the campaign against Assange and WikiLeaks as “unprecedented both in its scale and nature.” The scope of the operation has also been gleaned from statements made during Manning’s pretrial hearing. The U.S. Department of Justice will apparently pay the contractor ManTech of Fairfax, Va., more than $2 million this year alone for a computer system that, from the tender, appears designed to handle the prosecution documents. The government line item refers only to “WikiLeaks Software and Hardware Maintenance.”
The lead government prosecutor in the Manning case, Maj. Ashden Fein, has told the court that the FBI file that deals with the leak of government documents through WikiLeaks has “42,135 pages or 3,475 documents.” This does not include a huge volume of material accumulated by a grand jury investigation. Manning, Fein has said, represents only 8,741 pages or 636 different documents in that classified FBI file.
There are no divisions among government departments or the two major political parties over what should be Assange’s fate. “I think we should be clear here. WikiLeaks and people that disseminate information to people like this are criminals, first and foremost,” then-press secretary Robert Gibbs, speaking for the Obama administration, said during a 2010 press briefing.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat, and then-Sen. Christopher S. Bond, a Republican, said in a joint letter to the U.S. attorney general calling for Assange’s prosecution: “If Mr. Assange and his possible accomplices cannot be charged under the Espionage Act (or any other applicable statute), please know that we stand ready and willing to support your efforts to ‘close those gaps’ in the law, as you also mentioned. …”
Republican Candice S. Miller, a U.S. representative from Michigan, said in the House: “It is time that the Obama administration treats WikiLeaks for what it is—a terrorist organization, whose continued operation threatens our security. Shut it down. Shut it down. It is time to shut down this terrorist, this terrorist Web site, WikiLeaks. Shut it down, Attorney General [Eric] Holder.”
At least a dozen American governmental agencies, including the Pentagon, the FBI, the Army’s Criminal Investigative Department, the Department of Justice, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and the Diplomatic Security Service, are assigned to the WikiLeaks case, while the CIA and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence are assigned to track down WikiLeaks’ supposed breaches of security. The global assault—which saw Australia threaten to revoke Assange’s passport—is part of the terrifying metamorphosis of the “war on terror” into a wider war on civil liberties. It has become a hunt not for actual terrorists but a hunt for all those with the ability to expose the mounting crimes of the power elite. 
The dragnet has swept up any person or organization that fits the profile of those with the technical skills and inclination to burrow into the archives of power and disseminate it to the public. It no longer matters if they have committed a crime. The group Anonymous, which has mounted cyberattacks on government agencies at the local and federal levels, saw Barrett Brown—a journalist associated with Anonymous and who specializes in military and intelligence contractors—arrested along with Jeremy Hammond, a political activist alleged to have provided WikiLeaks with 5.5 million emails between the security firm Strategic Forecasting (Stratfor) and its clients. Brown and Hammond were apparently seized because of allegations made by an informant named Hector Xavier Monsegur—known as Sabu—who appears to have attempted to entrap WikiLeaks while under FBI supervision.

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Dig last updated on May. 6, 2013

vrijdag 2 augustus 2013

Zionist Terror 146

The Anguish of Israel's Bedouin

A protester holds a placard as another holds an Islamic movement flag during a demonstration to show their solidarity with Bedouin citizens, near the Bedouin town of Rahat in southern Israel, Aug. 1, 2013. (photo by REUTERS/Amir Cohen)

By: Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse Posted on August 2.
If anyone thought that the Prawer Bill to regulate Bedouin settlement in the south of Israel would pass quietly, the demonstrations and conflicts of the past few days prove that he was mistaken. The implementation of the law and attempts to forcibly evict the Israeli Bedouin from their unrecognized settlements in the Negev and move them to planned new settlements will only deepen the rift between them and the state of Israel and ultimately lead to bloodshed.

About This Article

Summary :
Israel's Bedouin tribes are calling upon the government to stop their forced relocation under the Prawer law, and use dialogue and compromise to avoid more violence.
Original Title:
The Eviction of the Bedouin Could End in Bloodshed
Author: Shlomi EldarPosted on: August 2 2013
Translated by: Danny Wool
Categories : Originals  Israel  
It is very reasonable for the state to want to pass a law regulating the Bedouin settlements, either through financial compensation or by providing alternative plots of land to anyone forced to abandon their own. The far-reaching land grab by the Bedouin clans of the south has created a situation that requires intervention. On the other hand, almost any time that the state has tried to find an equitable legal solution that also meets the tribal needs of the tribal people, the Bedouin have pulled out the claim that “This land belongs to me and my ancestors,” effectively ending the discussion.
Members of the “Green Patrol,” which enforces the Ministry of Environmental Protection’s decisions, have been engaged in futile efforts to curb the tribes’ seizure of additional territories resulting from the natural growth of the community or the shifting migration patterns of their flocks. Efforts to demolish illegal structures have quickly deteriorated into full-fledged battles pitting the residents against the Israeli Land Authority and the police. A feeling of animosity toward the state has emerged among the Bedouin over time, as they perceive it as hostile to them and their lifestyle. It is hard to believe that in this climate, it will be possible to implement the Prawer Bill through dialogue and cooperation. After all, the Bedouin claim that the law would result in 36 unrecognized villages being uprooted, dispossessing villagers of 800,000 dunums (300 square miles), and some 30% of their population would be concentrated in just 1% of the land on which it is now spread out.
Former Knesset member Talab el-Sana, from the village of Lakiya, described what will happen after the bill is finally passed into law: “If the government continues to promote this plan, we will declare a civil revolt. If the plan does not show us respect, we are not required to respect its implementation.”
“Civil revolt” is a term that the Bedouin of the south have started using with increasing frequency ever since their structures have begun to be demolished. Every such demolition has become a full-fledged military operation, involving the police, border patrol, inspectors, bulldozers and guard dogs. While it is true that the number of forces present has been increased due to the violent resistance that erupted during similar incidents in the past, the enormous force used against the Bedouin inevitably instills in them a sense of being enemies of the state.
This is what happened during one such raid by law enforcement on an unrecognized Bedouin settlement: Bulldozers secured by a large police force appeared at the scene without any prior warning and started to demolish buildings, fences and tents. A crowd of angry men started throwing rocks, and women and children started shrieking. Once the bulldozers had finished their work, a tractor arrived to destroy dunum after dunum of vegetable patches and wheat fields planted by the locals. Their pain and anger was palpable. Men and women wallowed in the sand, clutching at clods of earth and the ruins of buildings, which quickly became projectiles of stone, wood and asbestos. What pained them the most was the fate of their agricultural lands. While the inspectors claimed that the Bedouin have no title to the land, the Bedouin retorted that they have owned and worked this land for generations.
Sami Amrana, a resident of Segev Shalom, has commented to Al-Monitor on the eviction of the Bedouin, comparing them to Jewish settlers of Gush Katif in the Gaza Strip. He said, ''I was touched to see the sympathy demonstrated by the soldiers called to move out the settlers. They hugged them, shed tears with them, made sure they received psychological support, brought in social workers — everything. … But then I ask myself: ‘Why is it that the settler is given a hug, whereas with me, you speak only the language of force?’ We are beaten with brute force; we are treated roughly, while the Jews are embraced.''
Could it have been done any differently? A campaign to resettle the Bedouin of the south began in the 1970s and lasted almost 20 years. Hundreds of thousands of people now live in the seven settlements established with the agreement and acceptance of the Bedouin community: Rahat (the largest Bedouin city), Lakiya, Kuseife, Hura, Tel Sheva, Segev Shalom and Ar’ara. There was opposition from the Bedouin back then, too, as they were reluctant to abandon their traditional tents and move to planned settlements, but this was tempered through dialogue. Today, these settlements often have stone homes with a tent pitched next to them, and family life alternates between the two.
Once again it has become necessary to introduce some order into the Bedouin’s expansion into lands outside the boundaries of those settlements. The atmosphere is more charged and the mood is more hostile than it was three or four decades ago. What steps can be taken to ensure that the implementation of the Prawer plan does not turn into a civil revolt?
The Bedouin have an intelligent answer to this conundrum. They say that if the state wants to eliminate the tension and hostility, it is incumbent upon the government to reopen negotiations. They also recognize that it is necessary to give some order to the chaotic expansion of settlements in the Negev and Arava regions, and they are quite open about that. They demand that the law, spearheaded by former Knesset member Benny Begin, be withdrawn, and that all obstacles and risks that could lead to bloodshed in the area be eliminated.
It is quite possible that the country’s legislators will not have to make any major changes to the Prawer plan. All that they will really have to do is to give the Bedouin a sense that these steps are being taken in conjunction with them and out of respect for the community and its lifestyle. It is true that in 2013, it is hard to find some alternative to the Bedouin’s unique lifestyle, but ignoring the necessity of reaching an understanding and agreement with them, as hard as that may be, could end in bloodshed.
Shlomi Eldar is a contributing writer for Al-Monitor’s Israel Pulse. For the past two decades, he has covered the Palestinian Authority and especially the Gaza Strip for Israel’s Channels 1 and 10, reporting on the emergence of Hamas. In 2007, he was awarded the Sokolov Prize, Israel’s most important media award, for this work.

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Zionist Terror 145

Turkey Stalls on Reconciliation
With Israel

An Israeli flag flutters in the wind as a naval vessel (not seen) escorts the Mavi Marmara, a Gaza-bound ship that was raided by Israeli marines, to the Ashdod port May 31, 2010. (photo by REUTERS/Amir Cohen)

By: Arad Nir for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse Posted on August 1.
The process of reconciliation between Israel and Turkey — which started with a phone call between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Prime Minister Recep Tayyiyp Erdogan on March 22, when Netanyahu offered to meet every demand made by Turkey after the Mavi Marmara affair — has come to a standstill.

About This Article

Summary :
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has accepted the Turkish conditions for restoring relations between the two countries, but is Ankara willing to move forward?
Original Title:
Turkey Is Changing the Terms
Author: Arad NirPosted on: August 1 2013
Translated by: Danny Wool
Categories : Originals  Israel   Turkey  
Since that phone call, no progress has been made in the normalization process, although its outline had been predetermined and agreed upon in advance. By the end of it, Ankara was supposed to send an ambassador to Israel and accept the credentials of Israel’s ambassador to Turkey. This final fanfare, signifying the end of the process, now seems even more remote than ever.
In the months since the two sides began talking about the compensation that Israel would pay to the families of the Mavi Marmara victims, the media in both countries has focused on discrepencies between the sums that were expected to be paid. Various media outlets reported that the Turkish demands were ten times higher than what Israel had offered. Some gave numbers to support this claim. According to some outlets, Turkey had demanded $100 million, while Israel offered $10 million. Others claimed that Turkey had demanded $60 million, while Israel only offered $6 million.
When I told a senior Turkish official involved in the negotiations how surprised I was that these things were not concluded in advance, before the reconciliation discussion between Netanyahu and Erdogan, he dismissed the differences and emphasized, “An agreement has been reached on everything except for the figure.” According to him, there wasn’t even any need for a further round of talks. It would take just a few phone calls for the parties to reach agreement on the sum, and then they could continue down the path to normalization.
On July 23, the website of the Turkish newspaper Haberturk reported that there had been a “new development,” by which the differences between the parties had been reduced. Israel was now prepared to pay $15 million, while Turkey was demanding $50 million.
After this report appeared, Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc, charged with overseeing the reconciliation process, summoned senior journalists in Ankara for a briefing about the latest developments in the process. Arinc wanted to downgrade the importance of the haggling going on between Turkey and Israel, because, he said, there can be no bargaining over the cost of blood. Instead, he emphasized that his government is insisting on "values."
This is in no way an argument about money, he contended, and went on to claim that Israel wants the sum it is to pay to be defined as going “beyond what would rightfully be expected of it,” while Turkey is sticking to its principles and demanding that Israel recognize that it is paying compensation for “its wrongful acts.” The Israelis are unwilling to stand by this, he said.
I rushed to check the precise formulation of the reconciliation outlines sent to me by Turkey’s Foreign Ministry immediately after the conversation in which Netanyahu apologized to Erdogan. This is what it said, in the official English text written by the Turks: “On behalf of the Turkish people, the prime minister accepted Prime Minister Netanyahu's apology. They have also agreed to conclude an agreement on compensation/non-liability.”
For three years, Israel has asked to send remittances to the families of those people who were killed and injured, but it did not agree to call this money "compensation." The grueling negotiations lasted three years, until Israel finally accepted every single Turkish condition, exactly as defined by Turkey. Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu even said as much.
This leads to a single, unavoidable conclusion: After four months of talks, Turkey has changed the conditions that it originally set. The reason for this apparently lies with the families of the wounded and dead, who are vehemently opposed to the reconciliation process in general. When Davutoglu and Arinc brought the families together for a special briefing about the agreements being reached with Israel, they expected to be applauded for their effort. Instead, their work was shot down.
The Turkish government, when it agreed to the outline for reconciliation, believed that it would continue to have the full cooperation of the effected families. It later became clear that the families are more loyal to the IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation, whose goal is to attack Israel over its long-standing siege of the Gaza Strip, than they are to Erdogan. In this particular instance, Erdogan acted out of character and refused to get into a confrontation with them. More precisely, he preferred to continue his confrontation with Israel rather than evoke the ire of a small but radical core group at home, which is at best motivated by vengeance and loss, and at worst by transparent political incentives.
But history remembers leaders who assume responsibility and make decisions, even if at a given moment those decisions seem unpopular. That is exactly what the Israeli prime minister did in this particular case, and in some other recent cases as well.
Netanyahu is at peace with his decision to accept Turkey’s conditions for normalizing relations between the two countries and with the outline agreed on in advance, even if he wasted three years before reaching this conclusion. Nevertheless, he is also becoming increasingly convinced that Erdogan’s Turkey is still trying to embarrass and extort Israel by avoiding completing the reconciliation and by refusing to show even the slightest hint of goodwill.
Netanyahu continues to stress that reconciliation between Turkey and Israel is a top strategic priority, and rightly so, but there is a limit to what he will pay for it.

Arad Nir Is the head of the foreign news desk and international commentator for Channel 2 News, the largest news provider in Israel. Arad has covered international politics and diplomacy, ethnic conflicts around the world and interviewed various world leaders, decision makers and opinion leaders. He teaches TV journalism at the IDC Herzliya and Netanya Academic College.

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Free Bradley Manning 18

on Juli 26, 2013 Chomsky says ‘Snowden should be honored’ for ‘telling Americans what the government was doing’

Noam Chomsky: "Bradley Manning Should Be Regarded as a Hero"

Friday, 02 August 2013 10:48By Laura FlandersTruthout | Interview
Bradley Manning.(Photo: Peg Hunter / Flickr)Bradley Manning has just been acquitted of "aiding the enemy" but convicted of numerous violations of the Espionage Act in a verdict that could set dangerous new precedents for whistle-blowers and journalism. 
When Laura Flanders spoke to Noam Chomsky last month, he had only praise for Manning. Here's what he said:
"Bradley Manning should be regarded as a hero. He is doing what an honest, decent citizen should be doing: letting your population know what the government, the people who rule you are doing. They want to keep it secret of course."

And that's not all the renowned author and scholar had to say. Among other topics: what we can glean about the secretive new trade deal, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (it's not about trade, says Chomsky); "tiny robots" (Chomsky's "least favorite, favorite" development); and terrorism: "Obama is running the biggest terrorist operation that exists, maybe in history," says Chomsky, professor emeritus of linguistics at MIT.
Below is an edited transcript. You can watch the interview in full (and in parts) at Truthout contributor and GRITtv host Laura Flanders caught up with Chomsky at the Left Forum in New York in June, immediately after Chomsky delivered a keynote address and held a short private meeting with a representative of the Bolivian government.
Laura Flanders: You just came from an interesting meeting with the vice president of Bolivia. What did you talk about?
Noam Chomsky: Mostly I was interested in developments in Bolivia. It's a very exciting place. As you know, it has a complicated history, but in the year 2000 there was an indigenous uprising over water. The international corporations and the international financial institutions were trying to do to Bolivia what they are doing to Europe successfully now . . . They wanted to privatize water as part of the general view that privatization improves efficiency. It's kind of a footnote that people can't afford it.
There was an uprising in Cochabamba that succeeded in interesting ways, partly because of international solidarity. Something to think about; they threw out the major multinationals, Bechtel and a French company . . . There had happened to be a demonstration in Washington at the same time against the World Trade Organization (or maybe the World Bank), and they communicated. And the protests in Washington were able to reinforce the public attention to Cochabamba - otherwise it might as well have been crushed. That succeeded, and since then, Bolivia has an indigenous majority. The indigenous population succeeded in taking over the reins of government. They have an indigenous president. They've been carrying out programs that are important both for the Bolivians themselves and for the world.
Bolivia is in the lead internationally in talking about the threat of environmental catastrophe. [It's generally true] where there are indigenous populations, there are important things happening; where the indigenous populations have been marginalized or exterminated, things go to a disaster. This is [true] worldwide, and Bolivia is striking because it's a majority population and in the lead.
That's going to be kind of interesting [in] contrast with Europe. Europe is being subjected to the kinds of programs that devastated Latin America for many years. Latin America has thrown them out and is pulling out: It's successful; it's democratizing; it's economically developing; and it's free from the shrapnel of US imperialism for 25 years. Meanwhile, Western Europe is destroying itself systematically, destroying itself going in the opposite direction.
LF: The Bolivian government just a few months ago ejected USAID. (The US government's international aid agency.)
NC: They had already ejected the American Ambassador. I can't evaluate [the Bolivians' claims] that USAID, as in many parts of the world, in various ways, is supporting the opposition groups that try to overthrow the government. That's the usual US policy. It's kind of interesting that the US has lost its power. Years ago, they would have just overthrown the government, which, in fact, it has done a couple of times. Now they can't do it anymore. Now they are using devious means to try to block or terminate progressive developments that are taking place, and one of the main tools they use is USAID. So the claims are at least credible because it has been happening.
LF: In other regional news, there is what we can glean about something called the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). What can you tell us about this trade deal that's being described as NAFTA (the North American Trade Agreement) on steroids?
NC: Well, actually I can't tell you very much because it's being kept secret. Not entirely secret. Major corporations are part of the process; they know what's going on. The public is kept entirely out, and probably there are some selected elements of Congress that are allowed to know a bit, but it's essentially an executive agreement jointly with multinational corporations.
We can imagine what's it's like. There are leaks here and there. There appears to be basically the kind of framework of the World Trade Organization, and NAFTA rules. These things are called free-trade agreements. They're not. For one thing a lot of what they're involved with isn't even trade. It's called trade to sneak it into these agreements. A good deal of NAFTA and the World Trade Organization rules are investor rights, provisions. It has nothing to do with trade. It's called "trade-related investment mechanisms" or something. A lot of it is pure protectionism. Very high protection barriers undermine free trade for the benefit of pharmaceutical corporations and Disney and others. It's just to try and protect their exorbitant profits and harm the population.
These are patent rules so high that if they had existed in the 19th century and had been enforced, the US would be an agricultural producer today. It could never have developed and nor could any other country. In fact, England could not have developed because it was engaged in what we now call piracy - it's the way the rich countries developed.
There is a phrase for it in trade theory; it's called "kicking away the ladder." First you violate the rules - the market rules - and then by the time you succeed in developing, you kick away the ladders so others can't do it too, and you preach about "free trade."
The pharmaceutical corporations claim that they need these exorbitant profits for research and development, but it has been shown pretty well, particularly by economists Dean Baker and a couple of others, that most of their serious research, the hard research, is done in the public sector anyway. If it was all done in the public sector, and they were forced onto the market, there would be a huge saving to consumers, but of course a reduction in profits. So that's the kind of thing that's going on.
LF: So this deal, if it had included India, say, would have made it impossible for the Indians to defy Pfizer the way they did, not long ago, denying them a patent (on a kidney drug in the third strike against a big pharmaceutical firm's patent this year).
NC: Yeah, that's the point. India is kind of not observing. They have a successful drug industry, and they're producing drugs at a fraction of the cost of western pharmaceuticals. For a while they were under the constraints of the trade agreements, but they are slowly breaking off.
LF: What happens to US labor rights and environment protections (such as there are) in deals like the TPP? What do we know from NAFTA about whether the standards of all the countries involved rise up or trickle down? (In the case of the TPP, we're talking about 17 countries around the Pacific Rim, including Vietnam.)
NC: Labor rights don't exist. In fact, NAFTA is a good case. It's been studied quite well . . . There is supposedly an immigration "crisis" in the United States. Why? Why are people fleeing to the United States? Well, some are actually still fleeing from the ravages of Reagan's war in the 1980s, and the Guatemalan war and so on, but plenty are coming from Mexico. The Mexican-US border used to be a pretty open border, pretty much the same people lived on both sides. Like most borders it was established by conquest, in fact; in a very aggressive war, the US conquered half of Mexico. In 1994, when Clinton started militarizing the border - 1994 is the year when NAFTA was pushed through - we don't have internal documents, but I think it's likely that the Clinton administration understood that NAFTA was going to undermine Mexican farming. Mexican campesinos are pretty efficient, but they can't compete with highly subsidized US agribusiness.
The US does not observe the free-trade principles. Those are for the weak. So agribusiness is highly subsidized and pours product into Mexico and drives out Mexican farmers. Maybe they have to go into the cities, and they don't have jobs to support them, so they flee across the border.
LF: If that's what happened under NAFTA, what can we expect if the Trans-Pacific Partnership goes forward?
NC: Probably on steroids like the critics are saying, but we really can't be sure because it is kept secret from the population, though not from the corporate sector - from which we can draw some plausible conclusions. This is being rammed down the throats of the populations of the world by state and corporate power acting in tandem, and so we can make guesses to what it's likely to be, quite apart from the record we've seen [before].
LF: On another a topic, security, we meet as the Obama administration is defending having secured FISA Court requests from internet corporations essentially to seize not only telephone records, but email records of possibly millions of Americans. They say it was important for fighting terrorism.
NC: If we had anything like a free press, there would be headlines saying this is a bad joke. The Obama administration is dedicated to increasing terrorism. In fact, he is doing it all over the world. Obama is running the biggest terrorist operation that exists, maybe in history. The drone assassination campaigns - which are just part of the special forces operations and so on - all of these operations are terror operations.
LF: How so?
NC: Well suppose you're walking down the street, you don't know whether two minutes from now the guy across the street and everything around him is going to be blown away by a sudden explosion run by somebody a couple of thousand miles away: You're terrorized. And in fact, in villages, regions, countries, [people] are terrorized by these operations and have a reaction. People just don't say "Fine, I don't mind if my cousin is murdered." They do mind. And they become what we call terrorists. This is completely understood from the highest level, that as you carry out these operations, you're generating terrorism. First of all, they are terrorist operations, and they are generating more terrorist operations. Sometimes it's almost surreal.
Take the [Boston] marathon bombing that's supposed to be the excuse for all of this stuff. A couple of days after the marathon bombing in Boston, there was a drone strike in Yemen. Usually we don't know anything about these things, but this happens to be known because a young man from the village that was attacked was in the United States, and by fortunate accident, he was testifying before a Senate committee, and he had described what had happened in his village. He said for years the Jihadi groups in Yemen have been trying to get the villagers to be anti-American, and they had failed because the only thing they knew about America is what he was telling them, and [he kind of liked to hear himself] talk, so they we very pro-American.
One drone attack turned them all into fanatic anti-Americans - what we call "anti-American." People who hate the country that's just terrorizing them; it's not surprising. Just consider the way we react to acts of terror. That's the way other people react to acts of terror. The Osama bin Laden case was quite traumatic. It almost lead to a nuclear war.
The way they tracked bin Laden was by a fake vaccination campaign. The US and the CIA were carrying out a pretend vaccination campaign about town, about Abbottabad, where they thought he was, in poorer areas. That is a violation of principles that go back to the Hippocratic oath. In the middle, they stopped it, which is another grotesque violation, because they thought they had found him somewhere else.
Well . . . throughout much of the third world there is a lot of fear and concern when rich, white people come around and start sticking things into your arms. What are they up to? Sensible fear. They have a history after all. This showed that this fear was correct.
One of the consequences right away was . . . There is a polio vaccination campaign underway in Pakistan. It's one of the last places in the world which has polio. It could be eradicated if it weren't for this kind of thing. There were attacks on polio vaccination workers. Right now the charges are credible, that these rich white guys are just trying to get intelligence and undermine you and maybe send more drones to attack you. It was so severe that the UN had to pull out their vaccination team. There are some estimates, one epidemiologist at Columbia, Les Roberts, estimated that it may lead to maybe a hundred thousand polio cases in Pakistan, and he made an interesting comment. He said, "One of these days somebody in Pakistan is going to point to this child sitting in a wheelchair and say [to the US], 'You did it to him.' And they'll react." And so we're generating more of what we call terrorists.
Meanwhile, in the course of this terrorist-generation campaign, Obama claims that, "You know I'm really worried about terrorists, so I have to read," (they claim that they don't read) "I have to get information about you, your email, where you are, who you're talking to, what you have on Facebook. I've got to put that in my big database."
We are moving into a world which was described, pretty accurately, I think by one of the founders of Google [Eric Schmidt].
I don't know if you followed the stories about Google Glass. Google has this new ridiculous thing that they are marketing - glasses which have a computer on them so you can be on the Internet 24 hours a day, just what you want. It's a way of destroying people, but quite apart from that, this little device has a camera and presumably, if it doesn't have it already, it will have a recorder which means that everything that goes on around you goes up on the internet. Some reporter asked [Schmidt] if he thinks it was an invasion of privacy. His answer comes right out of the Obama administration: "If you are doing anything that you don't want to be on the internet, you shouldn't be doing it."
This is a dream that Orwell couldn't have concocted. We're moving into it, and it's not the only case. If you read the technical journals, there is more stuff coming along. For example, right now, our corporations are concerned about computers using components made in China because it's technically possible to build into the hardware, devices which would record what the computer is doing and send it to those bad guys. What the articles don't point out is that if the Chinese can do it, we can do it better - and probably are - so it may end up in Obama's database the next time you hit the computer.
One of my favorite, least favorite, horror stories is about the robotics being developed extensively. One of the projects they've been working on for years [is] trying to develop robots the size of a fly: tiny robots, which can be controlled like drones. They finally managed to get them to the point where they could get them to fly. Pretty soon, they will have them. The military has been interested in them for years and the intelligence services. The idea is to be able to place a tiny drone in your living room ­- and you won't see it because it looks like a fly on the wall. The one saving grace it that there is probably not much you can do with all this information. I mean, if there is somebody they want to go after, they can probably find ways of going after him. But if you've followed FBI actions, it's been incredibly incompetent even when they didn't have big databases. 
LF: The bigger the haystack, the harder it is to find the needle.
NC: I could tell you some stories.
LF: So what do we do?
NC:. . . Globally we are destroying the commons; the environment, the atmosphere; what's held in common is being destroyed by the same wrecking ball. Here we're back to Bolivia.
The rich and powerful countries are trying to wreck as much as possible. You know, go off the cliff as soon as you can. Extract every drop of hydrocarbons off the ground and destroy the environment. At the opposite extreme are countries like Bolivia and Ecuador, indigenous people around the world, and first nations in Canada and tribal people in India, campesinos in Colombia . . . They're trying to save the commons. And I think you can look at Taksim Square [in Turkey] as a kind of a microcosm of that too . . .
LF: I learned from you that "the commons" are enshrined in an 800-year-old piece of law, the Magna Carta.
NC: Half of the Magna Carta was protecting the commons from the king. The Robin Hood myths kind of reflect that. You know, Robin Hood is protecting the forest from the predator. The commons were the source of food, of wood, of sustenance or welfare. You know the image of a widow gleaming from the forest, that's the traditional image. That's the welfare system. It was nurtured. It was a common possession, so that people took care of it. That half of Magna Carta is an effort to protect it from predatory state power.
Well, over the next couple of centuries, Britain began to move towards capitalism - capitalism is based on the principle that everything has to be privately owned; it can't be held in common. There is even a dogma, which is today called, the "tragedy of the commons" which holds that if things are held in common they are going to be destroyed. If they're privatized, like you give them to Bechtel or Monsanto or ExxonMobil, then they'll be preserved because that's the capitalist's religion.
[The truth is] exactly the opposite. In England, enclosure programs kind of destroyed the commons. In the United States, it happened later. But, ah, now it's happening in the world. The last remnant of the commons is the environment, which the indigenous people are still trying to preserve and we sophisticated rich people are trying to destroy.
LF: So what can we do to celebrate the 800 years?
NC: We can try to gain some of the sensibility of some of the indigenous populations of the world or our predecessors 800 years ago. We can laugh at them as being naive and unsophisticated, but unless we can gain that sensibility that there has to be rights of nature as Bolivians and others put it, then we're going to be destroyed.
LF: Finally, do you have a message for Bradley Manning?
NC: Bradley Manning should be regarded as a hero. He is doing what an honest, decent citizen should be doing: letting your population know what the government, the people who rule you, are doing. They want to keep it secret of course. Just like the Trans-Pacific Partnership or like Obama's programs. They don't want what they're doing known - for good reasons. The public has a right to know what's being done to them by their so-called "elected representatives" for all kind of reasons - Bradley Manning is helping them know it.
There is a principle he is violating, namely, that power has to be protected from scrutiny. That's the principle of every dictatorship, of every autocracy. You hear it from high priests at Harvard and every government department, that power has to be kept secret otherwise it will fade and it won't work. But Bradley Manning is violating that principle.
LF: Noam Chomsky, thanks for all you do to violate that principle and for sitting in with us here again, at GRITtv.
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"The F Word" is Laura Flanders' weekly commentary broadcast Thursday mornings on Pacifica Radio, WBAI Wake Up Call.  Find more interviews, articles and commentaries from Flanders at