Who is running America, is it the President or the Pentagon? In June of 2015 there were a spate of articles written by reporters citing a 2013 article in Reuters called “Unaccountable, the high cost of thePentagon’s bad bookkeeping” that revealed $8.5 trillion is missing from the Pentagon’s budget. Shortly after the Pentagon published new guidelines for the torture and murder of journalists. From Mint Press:
Pentagon Legalizes Killing Journalists As ‘Law Of War’
The Pentagon just changed the rules of war to include legitimizing the killing of any journalists they deem “belligerent.”
The new “laws of war” were released as part of a book of instructions on legitimate warfare practices approved by the United States military.
This “rule book” of sorts details what the US government deems the acceptable ways of killing those they claim are the “enemy”… including journalists whose reporting they do not approve.
The manual explains that the Pentagon considers such journalists “unprivileged belligerents,” even though they are not “enemy combatants….”
Now, the American 1,176-page “Department of Defense Law of War Manual” says that it is perfectly legitimate to shoot, explode, bomb, stab, or cut journalists they deem “belligerent.”
Hmm, don’t like the message, literally kill the messenger. There is a reason journalists are protected by the U.S. Constitution as well as by the Geneva Conventions. But ever since the overthrow of the government in 2000 the Geneva Convention and U.S. Constitution has been abandoned by the Pentagon and their handmaidens in the U.S. government.
It was their illegally installed “President” George W. Bush who declared the constitution a goddamned piece of paper. From Rense:
Bush - Constitution 'Just A Goddamned Piece Of Paper'
Last month, Republican Congressional leaders filed into the Oval Office to meet with President George W. Bush and talk about renewing the controversial USA Patriot Act.
Several provisions of the act, passed in the shell shocked period immediately following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, caused enough anger that liberal groups like the American Civil Liberties Union had joined forces with prominent conservatives like Phyllis Schlafly and Bob Barr to oppose renewal.
GOP leaders told Bush that his hardcore push to renew the more onerous provisions of the act could further alienate conservatives still mad at the President from his botched attempt to nominate White House Counsel Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court.
"I don't give a goddamn," Bush retorted. "I'm the President and the Commander-in-Chief. Do it my way."
"Mr. President," one aide in the meeting said. "There is a valid case that the provisions in this law undermine the Constitution."
"Stop throwing the Constitution in my face," Bush screamed back. "It's just a goddamned piece of paper!"
I've talked to three people present for the meeting that day and they all confirm that the President of the United States called the Constitution "a goddamned piece of paper."
And, to the Bush Administration, the Constitution of the United States is little more than toilet paper stained from all the shit that this group of power-mad despots have dumped on the freedoms that "goddamned piece of paper" used to guarantee.
And how has the fourth estate fared in keeping the public informed since the U.S. Constitution was declared a “goddamned piece of paper” by George W. Bush? From Aljazeera:
Iraq: The deadliest war for journalists
More journalists were killed during the US-led invasion and occupation of Iraq than in any war in history.
On April 8, 2003, during the US-led invasion of Iraq, Al Jazeera correspondent Tareq Ayoub was killed when a US warplane bombed Al Jazeera's headquarters in Baghdad.
The invasion and subsequent nine-year occupation of Iraq claimed the lives of a record number of journalists. It was undisputedly the deadliest war for journalists in recorded history.
Disturbingly, more journalists were murdered in targeted killings in Iraq than died in combat-related circumstances, according to the group Committee to Protect Journalists.
CPJ research shows that "at least 150 journalists and 54 media support workers were killed in Iraq from the US-led invasion in March 2003 to the declared end of the war in December 2011."
"The media were not welcome by the US military," Soazig Dollet, who runs the Middle East and North Africa desk of Reporters Without Borders told Al Jazeera….
Al Jazeera bore a constant barrage of bellicose verbiage from Bush administration officials during the invasion and occupation. Then Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld labeled Al Jazeera Arabic's reportage as "vicious, inaccurate and inexcusable."
But the verbal attack had been preceded by bombs in Afghanistan.
The US bombed Al Jazeera's office in Kabul during the 2001 US invasion of Afghanistan, and attacked the media outlet multiple times during the 2003 Iraq invasion, including the killing of Ayoub, despite the fact that Al Jazeera supplied the Pentagon with their headquarter's coordinates in Baghdad in February 2003….
On the same day Ayoub was killed a US tank shelled the Palestine Hotel, and office to more than 100 unembedded international journalists operating in Baghdad at the time. The shell smashed into the Reuters office, killing two cameramen, Reuters' Taras Protsyuk and Jose Couso of Spain's Telecinco. That day there was also an attack on an Abu Dhabi TV office by US forces.
And that was when it was illegal for the Pentagon to deliberately target journalists. So how have journalists fared under the tenure of constitutional scholar Barack Obama and his self-proclaimed Zionist side kick, Joe Biden? From Common Dreams:
An Assault from Obama’s Escalating War on Journalism
In a memoir published this year, the CIA’s former top legal officer John Rizzo says that on the last day of 2005 a panicky White House tried to figure out how to prevent the distribution of a book by New York Times reporter James Risen. Officials were upset because Risen’s book, State of War, exposed what -- in his words -- “may have been one of the most reckless operations in the modern history of the CIA.”
The book told of a bungled CIA attempt to set back Iran’s nuclear program in 2000 by supplying the Iranian government with flawed blueprints for nuclear-bomb design. The CIA’s tactic might have actually aided Iranian nuclear development.
When a bootlegged copy of State of War reached the National Security Council, a frantic meeting convened in the Situation Room, according to Rizzo. “As best anyone could tell, the books were printed in bulk and stacked somewhere in warehouses.” The aspiring censors hit a wall. “We arrived at a rueful consensus: game over as far as any realistic possibility to keep the book, and the classified information in it, from getting out.”
But more than eight years later, the Obama White House is seeking a different form of retribution. The people running the current administration don’t want to pulp the book -- they want to put its author in jail.
The Obama administration is insisting that Risen name his confidential source -- or face imprisonment. Risen says he won’t capitulate.
The Freedom of the Press Foundation calls the government’s effort to force Risen to reveal a source “one of the most significant press freedom cases in decades.”
Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg says: “The pursuit of Risen is a warning to potential sources that journalists cannot promise them confidentiality for disclosing Executive Branch criminality, recklessness, deception, unconstitutional policies or lying us into war. Without protecting confidentiality, investigative journalism required for accountability and democracy will wither and disappear….”
So now, with $8.5 trillion dollars missing at the Pentagon, let’s take a look at the lifestyles of the four star generals that have demanded and been given the legal authority to “shoot, explode, bomb, stab, or cut journalists they deem “belligerent.” From Hampton Roads:
Former defense secretary Robert Gates stopped bagging his leaves when he moved into a small Washington military enclave in 2007. His next-door neighbor was Mike Mullen, then the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who had a chef, a personal valet and - not lost on Gates - troops to tend his property.
Gates may have been the civilian leader of the world’s largest military, but his position did not come with household staff. So, he often joked, he disposed of his leaves by blowing them onto the chairman’s lawn.
“I was often jealous because he had four enlisted people helping him all the time,” Gates said in response to a question after a speech Thursday. He wryly complained to his wife that “Mullen’s got guys over there who are fixing meals for him, and I’m shoving something into the microwave. And I’m his boss.”
Of the many facts that have come to light in the scandal involving former CIA director David Petraeus, among the most curious was that during his days as a four-star general, he was once escorted by 28 police motorcycles as he traveled from his Central Command headquarters in Tampa, Fla. to socialite Jill Kelley’s mansion. Although most of his trips did not involve a presidential-size convoy, the scandal has prompted new scrutiny of the imperial trappings that come with a senior general’s lifestyle.
The commanders who lead the nation’s military services and those who oversee troops around the world enjoy an array of perquisites befitting a billionaire, including executive jets, palatial homes, drivers, security guards and aides to carry their bags, press their uniforms and track their schedules in 10-minute increments.
Their food is prepared by gourmet chefs. If they want music with their dinner parties, their staff can summon a string quartet or a choir.
In 1933 a plan was concocted by a confluence of Wall Street Bankers, Industrialists and the military to overthrow President Franklin Roosevelt and end the New Deal: From Huppi:
THE BUSINESS PLOT TO OVERTHROW ROOSEVELT
In the summer of 1933, shortly after Roosevelt's "First 100 Days," America's richest businessmen were in a panic. It was clear that Roosevelt intended to conduct a massive redistribution of wealth from the rich to the poor. Roosevelt had to be stopped at all costs.
The answer was a military coup. It was to be secretly financed and organized by leading officers of the Morgan and Du Pont empires. This included some of America's richest and most famous names of the time:
Irenee Du Pont - Right-wing chemical industrialist and founder of the American Liberty League, the organization assigned to execute the plot.
Grayson Murphy - Director of Goodyear, Bethlehem Steel and a group of J.P. Morgan banks.
William Doyle - Former state commander of the American Legion and a central plotter of the coup.
John Davis - Former Democratic presidential candidate and a senior attorney for J.P. Morgan.
Al Smith - Roosevelt's bitter political foe from New York. Smith was a former governor of New York and a codirector of the American Liberty League.
John J. Raskob - A high-ranking Du Pont officer and a former chairman of the Democratic Party. In later decades, Raskob would become a "Knight of Malta," a Roman Catholic Religious Order with a high percentage of CIA spies, including CIA Directors William Casey, William Colby and John McCone.
Robert Clark - One of Wall Street's richest bankers and stockbrokers.
Gerald MacGuire - Bond salesman for Clark, and a former commander of the Connecticut American Legion. MacGuire was the key recruiter to General Butler.
The plotters attempted to recruit General Smedley Butler to lead the coup. They selected him because he was a war hero who was popular with the troops...
What the businessmen proposed was dramatic: they wanted General Butler to deliver an ultimatum to Roosevelt. Roosevelt would pretend to become sick and incapacitated from his polio, and allow a newly created cabinet officer, a "Secretary of General Affairs," to run things in his stead.
The secretary, of course, would be carrying out the orders of Wall Street. If Roosevelt refused, then General Butler would force him out with an army of 500,000 war veterans from the American Legion….
"You know the American people will swallow that. We have got the newspapers. We will start a campaign that the President's health is failing. Everyone can tell that by looking at him, and the dumb American people will fall for it in a second…"
The businessmen also promised that money was no object: Clark told Butler that he would spend half his $60 million fortune to save the other half.
And what type of government would replace Roosevelt's New Deal….?
"We need a fascist government in this country… Indeed, it turns out that MacGuire travelled to Italy to study Mussolini's fascist state, and came away mightily impressed. He wrote glowing reports back to his boss, Robert Clark, suggesting that they implement the same thing.
If this sounds too fantastic to believe, we should remember that by 1933, the crimes of fascism were still mostly in the future, and its dangers were largely unknown, even to its supporters. But in the early days, many businessmen openly admired Mussolini because he had used a strong hand to deal with labor unions, put out social unrest, and get the economy working again, if only at the point of a gun.
Americans today would be appalled to learn of the many famous millionaires back then who initially admired Hitler and Mussolini: Henry Ford, John D. Rockefeller, John and Allen Dulles (who, besides being millionaires, would later become Eisenhower's Secretary of State and CIA Director, respectively), and, of course, everyone on the above list. They disavowed Hitler and Mussolini only after their atrocities grew to indefensible levels…
So the fascist Wall Street bankers’ military industrial complex overthrow of the government envisioned in 1933 has come to fruition and its wag the dog. $8.5 trillion dollars is missing at the Pentagon, it’s time to make it legal for the Pentagon to kill the investigative journalists who would hold them accountable.
By Patricia Baeten