November, 2010 -- Obama faces the music from utter corruption, narcissism, hypocrisy and utter disregard to people's opinions about War, Peace, Freedom, security, etc...WMR's sources who are close to the White House report that President Obama was scheduled to have a meeting with top Democratic Party officials in the morning after the Democrats lost control of the House of Representatives and saw its majority in the Senate whittled down to a bare majority. The loss of half of Congress, at least 60 seats in the House, and Democratic governorships in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Michigan has Democratic leaders reading Obama the riot act this morning, according to our sources.
The race for 2012 has officially commenced and with it, several Democrats are actively planning to challenge Obama for the Democratic presidential nomination. One person who is adamantly opposed to a second term for Obama is outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi who witnessed a number of senior Democratic members of the House and close colleagues, including James Oberstar (Minnesota), John Spratt (South Carolina), Ike Skelton (Missouri). and Paul Kanjorski (Pennsylvania) go down in defeat. For a while it even looked as though the longest-serving member, John Dingell of Michigan, was in trouble, however, he managed to eke out a victory. For Pelosi, it was former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel's insistence on compromise with the GOP that spelled doom for the Democrats. Pelosi is irate and she intends to focus her attacks privately, and increasingly, publicly, on what she considers to be an ineffectual Obama presidency.
There are also reports that Pelosi will resign her House seat rather than be placed in the embarrassing position of being a back bencher in the minority.
Meanwhile, former President Bill Clinton is reportedly telling top Democratic funders, "I told you so," regarding Obama's lack of political acumen and experience for not only the presidency but also the titular head of the Democratic Party. Clinton is paving the way, albeit discretely, for a 2012 challenge to Obama from his wife, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is busy racking up frequent flyer miles in Asia, beefing up her foreign policy and national security credentials. It is no coincidence that Obama is leaving for a 10-day visit to Asia, visiting some of the same nations where Hillary Clinton precedes him by a few days. Obama's trip will also take him to his one-time home Indonesia, where the local media is sure to play up his past, something the White House will be keen on steering away from any potential embarrassing revelations, including his past travels on an Indonesian passport and the CIA connections of his mother and Indonesian step-father.
In another election post-script, on September 22, 2010, WMR reported on the involvement of Representative Walt Minnick (D-ID) on the Nixon White House's national security team. WMR reported on a July 11, 1972, CIA memo concerning the CIA's involvement with drug trafficking from Southeast Asia. WMR's report stated: "The July 11 CIA memo also indicates that the CIA was prepared to declassify certain CIA reports on illicit drug trafficking in Indochina. The information was requested from the CIA by Representative Charles Rangel (D-NY) who requested the same information from John Ingersoll, the director of the U.S. Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, the forerunner of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Ingersoll referred Rangel's request to the CIA.
The memo states, 'The whole problem has been taken up with the White House, where Walter Minick [sic], Bud Krogh's deputy, apparently opposes declassification of any material on the illicit drug traffic'.The memo also states, 'Rangel seems determined to press for a showdown. On 10 July he issued a public statement charging that CIA's 'paranoid quest for secrecy' was keeping vital information about the drug traffic from the American public, and that we were 'covering up for the international merchants of death.'
Minnick is now a Democratic congressman from Idaho who is running for re-election and is leading in polls in his race against Republican Raul Labrador. However, the CIA memo indicates that Minnick was involved in covering up the CIA's role in drug trafficking in 1972 while he was a member of the Nixon administration."
Yesterday, Labrador beat Minnick by 9 percentage points in Idaho....
On US Foreign policy...."Yawn..."
By Steven WALT
I'm sure you political junkies out there are busy chewing over last night's election results, and I admit I spent a bit too much time last night reading 538.com and monitoring what was happening in various races. I like a three-ring circus as much as anyone, and it's hard to take one's eyes off a train-wreck too.
Of course, the really critical race to watch was for the County Board of Dekalb County, Illinois. The race in District 6 pitted incumbent Republican Steve Walt against Democrat Bob Brown, but somehow this important contest escaped the attention of CNN, the New York Times, and hot-shot election analysts like Nate Silver. So I can't confirm that my namesake won, but surely the outcome of that race must mean something.
But I digress. Truth be told, I'm with all of those people -- such as FP colleague Dan Drezner -- who said this election is neither about foreign policy nor likely to affect foreign policy very much. A few points to keep in mind as you digest the final tallies.
- As Dan notes, the Executive Branch has primary authority over foreign policy, and especially at this stage in the evolution (if that is the right word) of the American republic. Obama is still commander-in-chief, his appointees are in charge at Defense, State, Treasury, and the intelligence agencies. Given that the Senate remains in Democratic hands, Congress cannot force President Obama to do anything he really doesn't want to do, although they may refuse to fund initiatives that the White House might favor. (But how often does that really happen?) On the vast majority of foreign policy issues, in short, the initiative will remain in the White House. So if you're thinking the election makes war with Iran more likely, or anything crazy like that, think again. We might do something that stupid, but if so it will be Obama's mistake, not John Boehner's.
- As I've repeated ad nauseum over the past few months, there just aren't a lot of low-hanging fruit in the international arena, and that would be true even if the mid-term elections had gone completely the other way. Democratic control of the House and a supermajority in the Senate wouldn't make Iran more compliant, wouldn't make the Taliban run up the white flag, wouldn't make Hamid Karzai shun corruption, and wouldn't make Bejing more inclined to revalue its currency. The composition of Congress isn't going to have the slightest effect on the drug wars in Mexico, the dysfunctional politics of Pakistan, or the hostility of Al Qaeda and its various clones. It's not even going to make a difference on climate change, because Obama couldn't get an energy and climate bill passed back when the Dems had both houses of Congress in their grasp.
- Unlike Aaron Miller, I don't think this situation means Obama should just put foreign policy on the back burner, but the fact of the matter is that it is the nature of these international problems that makes them hard to solve, not the balance of power on Capital Hill. And on Israel-Palestine, the one big issue where domestic politics does loom large, both parties are still in thrall to the Israel lobby so last night's vote makes little difference.
- What will determine our foreign policy prospects over the next couple of years are various external circumstances and broad structural forces, and not the outcome of last night's assorted horse races.
First and foremost is America's parlous economic condition: if the economy doesn't improve, we'll be pinching pennies across the board and our international clout will decline accordingly. As other great powers have discovered to their sorrow, it is damn hard to run the world when you owe lots of people money and your debts keep piling up and you're stuck in costly wars. Is divided government means gridlock then this problem could get worse--as Paul Krugman has warned -- but the midterm results didn't create it.
Second, does Obama have the will and/or skill to extricate us from the war in Afghanistan, and does he have to keep a lot of U.S. troops in Iraq to keep it from spiraling back into large-scale sectarian violence? If he can't get out of these costly quagmires, then his ability to make bold initiatives elsewhere will be limited.
Third, does he write off the Middle East peace process as a lost cause, does he try a "new" (?!) team, or does he finally bite the bullet and say what he thinks a final status agreement ought to look like? Does he commit himself to ramming a peace deal through, even at the risk of being a one-term president like Jimmy Carter and George H. W. Bush? (It is no accident, by the way, that former Israeli foreign minister Shlomo Ben-Ami once wrote that Carter and the elder Bush had done more to help the cause of peace than any other U.S. presidents, and incurred the wrath of the lobby in the process). And do any of the local leaders show a little daring and imagination, and actually do something that might make peace more likely?
Fourth, now's the time when initial appointees start jumping ship, and it will be interesting to see who follows former National Security Advisor James Jones out the door. Pay special attention to appointees from academia, because most universities don't allow faculty to be on leave for more than two years, and the clock is ticking. Given how little Obama has accomplished in foreign policy so far, a fresh team might be just what he needs.
Finally, do real or potential rivals make things easier by committing some blunders of their own (as China did by overplaying its recent dispute with Japan), or are other states able to take advantage of our current discomfiture in smart ways? If the former, so much the better for us; if the latter, look out.
Those are the sort of things that will determine how U.S. foreign policy gets conducted over the next two years, and not which party gets to wield the gavel in all those committee meetings in Congress....
The media announced that the 2012 kabuki began the day after the 2010 puppet show ended. Permanent television coverage helps them control the dialog. And with a majority of citizens disillusioned, it lets the present government off the hook by hoping for change in the future instead of the present.
America needs to expect better from the congress and the administration we have. Not only could Congress change the rules on campaign finance reform, they are the only ones who can. THIS congress is responsible to the citizens, not the citizens responsible for first magically getting a more responsive one elected, which is a catch-22 when the MIC, money and media make that impossible. THIS president should face protesters in the here and now for going to India with his outsourcing entourage while nothing is done to help workers here. The treasonous ratbastards planning war with Iran don't need to be voted out, they need to be hounded. When the Republicans trot out the policies they used in the 80s again, they need to know that we know their policies played a large role in getting us into this mess. So on and so forth. That is my suggestion, to shift our expectations from the future to the present.
One of the problems we have as a nation is that we are too big (and too broke) to protest effectively because we can't all go to DC. And another problem, first described under Bush, is outrage fatigue. We have to pick our fights and target our political effort to the most important stuff. Unfortunately, there is a lot of important stuff.
Having said all of that, I think our government is so corrupt that collapse is inevitable. But as someone said above, we make our own peace that we tried even if we couldn't change the outcome....
WMR has uncovered CIA-archival documents that point to a link between Barack Obama's post-Columbia University CIA front employer, Business International Corporation (BIC), and his mother's two employers, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Asian Development Bank. WMR has also discovered CIA files that point to the use of field anthropologists abroad, working under foundation cover, by the CIA. Obama's mother, Stanley Ann Dunham/Obama/Soetoro/Sutoro worked as a field anthropologist in Indonesia under the cover of the Ford Foundation.
BIC and the Ford Foundation maintained a close relationship through the BIC's running of the Business International Roundtable. Papers maintained at the John F. Kennedy Library provide a linkage between David E. Bell, the Director of the Bureau of the Budget from 1961 to 1962 and administrator of the USAID from 1963 to 1966, and the Ford Foundation, where Bell served as executive vice president from 1966 to 1981, and Business International, where Bell participated in one of their Business International Roundtables on December 17, 1965, at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington. The Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr. Foundation helped fund the CIA's Airlift Africa project that saw it used to bring Barack H. Obama, Sr. to the University of Hawaii in 1960, as well as over two hundred other African students to other American universities, as part of the CIA's program to counter the Soviet Union's efforts to provide scholarships to African college students in newly-independent African nations at the People's Friendship University in Moscow (later Patrice Lumumba University).
BIC also attempted to infiltrate members of Students for Democratic Society (SDS) at Columbia University in the 1960s by offering them money from Rockefeller family coffers. BIC, which ran Business International Roundtables, was cited in its attempts to infiltrate SDS and other leftist groups.
BIC, which helped propel Obama into international affairs and, later, a profession in politics, was a key to the co-option of leftist groups by Rockefeller and other corporate interests. The following video describes how BIC attempted to infiltrate SDS and other leftist groups beginning after 28 minutes.
In a book titled "The Strawberry Statement," James Kunen described Business International, as related by an unnamed 1968 SDS conference attendee, as leading an effort to finance SDS demonstrations in Chicago in the late 1960s. BIC is described in the book as "the left wing of the ruling class."
Obama was inserted into the south side of Chicago at the same time the CIA, FBI, and other U.S. intelligence agencies were focused on the foreign connections of the El Rukn gang, the Nation of Islam, and the Black Panthers. Obama's membership in a leftist organization at Occidental College in Los Angeles appears to have been a continuation of the infiltration efforts by BIC and its major funder, the CIA. WMR previously reported that Obama was a key asset to the penetration of radical black organizations in south Chicago in the mid-1980s. Of particular interest to the CIA after Obama's graduation from Columbia, was the connections of the El Rukns and Nation of Islam to the Muammar Qaddafi government in Libya, in addition to foreign connections of the Hispanic gang, the Latin Kings, also active in Chicago.
In 1986, BIC was sold to The Economist Group in London and merged with the Economist Intelligence Unit. [BIC had maintained "Business International UK Ltd.," which, according to an internal CIA memorandum, subscribed to all the CIA's unclassified publications]. However, the BIC International Roundtables appear to continue under various academic and foundation auspices, including at Obama's former guest law lecturing employer, the University of Chicago. In addition, the BIC International Roundtables appear to be a continuation of the Roundtables first organized by Africa's greatest colonialist plunderers, Cecil Rhodes. Rhodes's business roundtables of the wealthiest elites eventually morphed into the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). In fact, Obama, the first African-American president of the United States, is a direct product of BIC and its Roundtables, originally founded by Africa's most infamous looter and pillager of diamonds, gold, and other natural resources and promoter of white minority rule and colonialism, Rhodes.
On June 14, 1976, Senator John Durkin (D-NH) said there was little the Senate could do to reduce the ability of "the Business Roundtable or the Chamber of Commerce . . . to attempt to influence votes, either through sheer force of logic or sheer force." On June 19, 1975, Representative Wright Patman (D-TX) railed on the House floor that "in 1973 and 1974 -- when the previous audit bill was up -- the Federal Reserve and its Chairman entered into some highly questionable lobbying tactics, ending up with the involvement of the big banks and the big business combines including the fat cat Business Roundtable." Obama's current subservience to Wall Street and the Federal Reserve can be seen through the lens of his employment with BIC, a virtual mouthpiece for what Patman described as the "fat cats."
BIC was used by the State Department as a diversion for a delegation of General Accounting Office (GAO) representatives who visited Hong Kong in August 1974 looking for information on possibilities for U.S.-Chinese trade after Richard Nixon had opened China up to the United States. A formerly Confidential cable from the U.S. Consulate General in Hong Kong to the State Department, with copies to the U.S. Liaison Office in Peking and U.S. embassy in Tokyo, dated August 21, 1974, bragged about the consulate's success in diverting the GAO's interest from consulate files on "PRC economic affairs (general), foreign trade and trade promotion, (which includes our files on the Canton Trade Fair)" even though the GAO team told the consulate it was "not supposed to do that." The consulate's problem appeared to be that some of the files were classified. In order to stymie the GAO group, the consulate directed them to conversations with "companies, third country representatives (identified as UK, Canadian, Australian, and West German trade officials in Hong Kong), Far Eastern Economic Review, and Business International staffs." The GAO delegation was particularly interested in potential oil and mining deals with China.
It is apparent that the consulate and BIC wanted to keep what they knew about Chinese trade under wraps, even from Congress. A few weeks after the GAO team was in Hong Kong, a new head of the U.S. Liaison Office in Peking replaced Ambassador David Bruce. His name was George H. W. Bush.
BIC was also used by the State Department and CIA to keep tabs on U.S. firms on the Arab boycott blacklist for investing in or trading with Israel. A Congressional Record insertion in 1965 stated, "Business International reported in January 1964 that there were 164 U.S. firms on the Arab blacklist, adding that, "many American businessmen who have wanted to trade or invest in Israel have been deterred by Arab threats."
BIC also enjoyed a cozy relationship with USAID in 1982, the year before Barack Obama graduated from Columbia and joined BIC's staff in New York. Obama's mother had been a long time employee of USAID, an agency with historical and current links to the CIA.....
On June 8, 1962, in a hearing on "U.S. Policies and Programs in Southeast Asia" held by the Senate Subcommittee on East Asian and Pacific Affairs and chaired by Senator S. I. Hayakawa (R-CA), Elise R. W. DuPont, the Assistant Administrator for Private Enterprise for USAID, testified that her agency was "working with Business International to develop country specific information on laws, regulations, and policies in developing countries that affect investment." DuPont specifically stated that USAID was using the information from BIC to conduct "bureau reconnaissance missions" in Indonesia and Thailand and this included support for "a venture capital firm and a leasing firm in Indonesia." BIC, along with a CIA-connected firm called InterMatrix, also conducted country risk analyses for the CIA.
Obama's first employer acted as a bridge between the U.S. intelligence world, with USAID and other government fronts as cover, and the print media. On May 4, 1967, Acting Secretary of Commerce Alexander B. Trowbridge told the East-West Trade Conference at Bowling Green State University that U.S. trade missions to the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe were facilitated by "TIME, Inc. and Business International." Trowbridge said the use of "trade publications," such as those for whom Obama worked after graduating from Columbia, "stimulated" the exchange of information between East and West.
BIC's relationship with the U.S.governments sensitive trade channels with the East Bloc continued through 1979. A "Cuban Chronology," dated April 1979 and issued by the CIA's National Foreign Assessment Center, states that from November 20 to 25, 1977, BIC sponsored "meetings in Havana of representatives of 50 US firms and their contact points in the Cuban government." WMR has learned from a reliable source that Obama's grandfather, Stanley Dunham, had traveled to Cuba in 1960 on CIA business with Obama's mother, Ann Dunham.... It has also been strongly rumored by informed sources with connections to the Cuban government that Barack H. Obama, Sr. was not the father of Barack Obama, Jr. but that his actual father was an Afro-Cuban who Ann Dunham met during the 1960 trip with her father....
A formerly classified CIA "East Europe Branch Notes," report, dated February 4, 1974, states "A three-day roundtable conference between Business International and East German officials concerned with the promotion of trade opened in East Berlin on February 4. Orville Freeman, President of Business International, heads the foreign participants, comprising presidents, vice presidents, and board members of important US and West European enterprises. GDR Premier Sindermann told the group further steps toward detente have a favorable effect on the expansion of foreign economic activities. He also said that East Germany plans to expand substantially its economic relations with non-socialist cluntries. The remainder of the report from East Germany's roundtable with BIC is redacted.
BIC, along with the CIA, also participated in private conclaves sponsored by an entity called the "Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions," operating from Post Office Box 4068 in Santa Barbara, California and funded by a non-profit corporation called "The Fund for the Republic," which were held periodically on top of Eucalyptus Hill, overlooking the Pacific Ocean, in Santa Barbara. A fellow of the Center was Edward Engberg, the Managing Editor for Business International who was also a former assistant editor for Fortune magazine. Other center fellows and consultants included Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court William O. Douglas; former President of the University of California Clark Kerr; former President of the University of Chicago Robert M. Hutchins (also the President of the center); and Isidor Rabi, Professor of Physics at Columbia University; Stanley Sheinbaum, former consultant to the government of South Vietnam; John R. Seeley, Chairman of the Sociology Department at Brandeis University; and Harvey Wheeler, co-author of the book "Fail Safe."
CIA files contain a 1967 letter to the editor of the Daily Emerald from three anthropology professors at the University of Oregon supporting a decision of the American Anthropological Association (AAA) condemning the "intelligence meddling" of the CIA and Defense Department in anthropological field work. 1967 was the same year that Ann Dunham was performing such anthropological "field work" for USAID, a front for the CIA, in Java, Indonesia. The AAA's Professor Ralph Beals [from UCLA] report stated that the Pentagon and CIA "repeatedly interfered with anthropological work abroad, and have clearly jeopardized our chances, as anthropologists, to do meaningful foreign research."
And in what is the clearest evidence yet that Ann Dunham was working for the CIA in Indonesia and elsewhere, the Beals Report stated: "several anthropologists, especially younger ones who had difficulty in securing research funds, were approached by 'obscure' foundations or were offered support from such organizations only to discover later that they were expected to provide intelligence information to the CIA." The report added, "agents of the CIA have posed as anthropologists, much to the detriment of the anthropological research programs."
In Ann Dunham/Soetoro's case, her foundation "sugar daddy" was the Ford Foundation and USAID. Her boss at Ford was none other than Peter Geithner, the father of President Obama's current Treasury Secretary, Tim Geithner.....