Radical media, politics and culture.

Unleashing the CIA

William Blum

The old joke goes that in the waning days of the Second World War, when Hitler was told of yet another defeat on the battlefield, he slammed his fist into his desk and declared: "That does it! No more Mr. Nice Guy!"

We've been treated in the past couple of weeks to one press story after another about how the Bush administration seeks to "unleash" the CIA from its restrictions concerning things like political assassination and dealing with "unsavory" characters. The nature of the September 11 attack was such, we are told, that we have to remove our kid gloves and put on depleted-uranium-tipped brass knuckles.

The policies whose "revisions" are being discussed and leaked are principally a 25-year ban on the CIA and other agencies of the government from engaging in assassination, and a policy of the past five years or so of barring the CIA from employing real nasty killers and torturers abroad, or at least not without express approval from high up.

Why are they telling us these tales at this time? Is it to comfort the American public into believing that the government is holding nothing back in its campaign of making us more secure? Or can they actually believe that such announcements will put the fear of Allah in the Taliban leadership?

Whole story is at http://www.counterpunch.org/blum1.html>http://www.c ounterpunch.org/blum1.html

A new manifesto of sorts from BAAM. It may frame some debates on anarchism(s) in their various relations to strains of libertarianism, some versions of marxism, and urgently-needed discussions involving extremist political and religious ideologies.


Boston Anarchists Against Militarism (BAAM)


Over the years, many people of many different beliefs have adopted
the label anarchists, and most self-identifying anarchists would agree
that there are many schools of anarchist thought. We are anarchists of
the social/communal school of thought, who believe, roughly, in working
towards a society based on the values of community and mutual aid; direct
democracy; non-hierarchical organization; the absense of class division; the
absense of divisions based on race, gender and nation; and the absense of
institutionalized authority figures (because power corrupts, and we know
it). The term "anarchy" comes from the Greek "anarchos" and means "no
ruler", a condition which CEOs, bureaucrats and landlords would like
everyone to believe is synonymous with "chaos". Throughout this document,
the term "anarchist" will be used to refer to social anarchists, although it
is not always used in this context in the media.
read more on infoshop.org

Louis Lingg writes: "The Labour Party of Pakistan website has posted a report by Scottish socialist Alan McCombes on women involved with the underground Afghan Revolutionary Labour Organisation.

An excerpt: 'as an organiser of the party's women's section, Mahsooda carries out in effect double underground work. They are in even more danger of punishment from the religious
parties if they are discovered. And the women Mahsooda organises are forced to meet clandestinely, behind the backs of the men in their families "Lots of women conform to a
traditional role. But many thirst for knowledge and want to become active," says Mahsooda, herself a mother of four young children. "Women have a long history of
involvement in political struggle in Afghanistan. But now many men won't allow them to attend events, or courses. "We have lots of women comrades who work in secret
from their husbands, brothers and fathers. They will say `we are going to the market' or `we are going to buy clothes' but instead they will come to this house and other

Anonymous Comrade writes: "Can anyone out there translate German? Two towering Germans, critical theorist Jurgen Habermas and Nobel-winning novelist Gunter Grass, have written on September 11th. I for one would *love* to be able to read them! They'd be great additions to this site, wouldn't they?

Jurgen Habermas's article: http://www.sueddeutsche.de/aktuell/sz/artikel86740 .php

The Gunter Grass interview: http://www.spiegel.de/kultur/gesellschaft/0,1518,1 61444,00.html


Well, If any of our readers can translate from the german, please post it as a comment to this article.-- Uncle Fluffy

jim writes: "Terrorism and the Struggle for Peace

Manning Marable

It is still mourning time here in New York City. It has
been weeks since the terrorist attack destroying the
World Trade Center towers, but the real tragedy remains
brutally fresh and terribly real to millions of
residents in this over-crowded metropolis. The horrific
sights of thousands of human beings incinerated in less
than one hundred minutes, of screaming people free
falling more than one thousand feet plummeting to their
deaths, is nearly impossible for anyone to comprehend
or even to explain.

The criminals who obliterated the World Trade Center
and part of the Pentagon attempted to make a symbolic
political statement about the links between
transnational capitalism and U.S. militarism. But by
initiating acts of mass murder, any shred of political
credibility that those who plotted and carried out
these crimes was totally destroyed. There can be no
justification, excuse or rationale for the deliberate
use of deadly force and unprovoked violence against any
civilian population. This was not essentially an act of
war, but a criminal act, a crime against not only the
American people, but all of humanity. Those who
committed these crimes must be apprehended and brought
to justice under international law and courts.

Louis Lingg writes: "Human Rights Watch has posted a report and anlysis of women's rights in Afghanistan: 'Humanity Denied'.

An excerpt: Throughout Afghanistan's civil war, the major armed factions - primarily the Taliban and the United National Islamic Front for the Salvation of Afghanistan (commonly
known as the "United Front" or by its previous name, the Northern Alliance), a coalition of mainly Tajik, Uzbek, and ethnic Hazara parties - have repeatedly
committed serious abuses of international human rights and humanitarian law. Women have borne the brunt of this violence and discrimination. In the civil war, women
have suffered massive, systematic, and unrelenting human rights abuses that have permeated every aspect of their lives. Both Taliban forces and forces now grouped in
the United Front have sexually assaulted, abducted, and forcibly married women during the armed conflict, targeting them on the basis of both gender and ethnicity.
Thousands of women have been physically assaulted and have had severe restrictions placed on their liberty and fundamental freedoms. Moreover, the Taliban have
sought to erase women from public life. They have banned women from employment in most sectors; banned education of girls beyond primary school; forbidden
women from going out in public without the accompaniment of a close male relative (mahram); and banned women from appearing in public without wearing an
all-enveloping chadari (a head-to-toe garment). These restrictions assault women's human dignity and threaten their very right to life."

jim writes: Immanuel Wallerstein's latest commentary is worth a read:

The United States is a hegemonic power in decline. I have been expressing this viewpoint since at least 1980.(1) This statement is meant to be analytic and not prescriptive. I have found that nonetheless it evokes not only disbelief but anger, and that such a reaction occurs on all sides of the political spectrum, and all around the world. Persons on the right take the statement to be false, or rather they take it to be true only insofar as the superpower has insufficiently asserted its strength. Furthermore, they seem to assume that, by my making such an analysis, I am creating a defeatist attitude that is self-fulfilling. These persons have a strange degree of belief in the power of the word, or at least of my word.

Persons on the left are often incredulous, telling me that it is obvious that the United States dominates the world scene and imposes itself around the world, and that in evil ways. So how can I talk of U.S. being in decline? Am I not thereby deflecting people from meaningful action? And persons in the center seem to be offended by the very idea that appropriate intelligent action on the part of those in power will not, cannot, eventually remedy any limitations on U.S. virtuous action.

What does it mean to be a hegemonic power? It means that normally one defines the rules of the geopolitical game, and that one gets one way almost all of the time simply by political pressure, and without having to resort to the actual use of force. The story of how one gets to be a hegemonic power and why it is that hegemony never lasts is not my subject here.(2) The question rather is what evidence do I have that U.S. hegemony is on the wane.

Check out Immanuel Wallerstein's site to read the rest of this article...

hydrarchist writes:

" The following long essay was prepared by Negativland for the forthcoming conference organised by the Center for the Public Domain. The essay provides a detailed analysis of some of the issues raised by intellectual property, a legal category that has been unrelentingly expanded in the last decade. Criminal liability now attaches to uses made by individual consumers of cultural products,a nd works produced in our lifetime will never be avaliable for recombination before our deaths - unless the 'life scientists' manage to pull off the immortality thing...

A full report on the conference will be published after the event here at slash.autonomedia.org.

We make this text available as a HTML document - it was released only in PDF format- in homage to the first victim of the DMCA's war to disable users' rights through criminalising those that make the tools required to exert those rights.

Dimitry Sklyarov was arrested at Defcon during the summer for his part in creating tools which allow the circumnavigation of Adobe's e-book reader encryption program.

Drop the Charges against Dimitry!

N© 10/14/2001 by Negativland;

Editor’s Note: See http://www.negativland.com for more


By Negativland


It's been ten years since Negativland was sued by Island Records for the copyright
infringement, trademark infringement, defamation of character and consumer fraud
contained in our 1991 "U2" single. In the big wide world of idea ownership, a lot has
changed since then - the Internet and its worldwide empowerment of individuals through
personalized interconnection, the effects of globalization and how it bypasses both the
ideologies of local governments and the rule of their national laws, and the Digital
Millennium Copyright Act with which intellectual property owners are attempting to survive
all these rugs being pulled out from under them. There is a contemporary realization that,
on one hand, the fate of all content is now in the hands of its receiving audience more than
ever before, and on the other hand, that worldwide commerce is scrambling to forge all
kinds of new laws and regulations to maintain their traditional control over the fate of
“their” content.

The Politics of Upward Redistribution

Henry C.K. Liu

The Bush Administration is totally consistent in the economic policy of
its war on terrorism. Taking care of business is the core of the
supplyside ideology of market fundmentalism. It is consistent with the
strategic thrust of its geo-political war on terrorism, through a
coalition of state power, notwithstanding that, terrorists of all
different stripes generally identify social injustice with state power,
both domestically and internationally. Radical, or extremist Islam
fundamentalism considers both the secular Islam states as well as the
theocratic Islam states part of the regime of nation states that has
given birth to the politcal and socio-economic-cultural imperialism that
acts as the midwife of political terrorism. In this respect, it is not
much different from other religious funamentalism. The Church of Rome
went through the conflict between Church and State, and reached a
compromise of spearating the two conflicting institutions in the
spiritual and the political spheres. Religous fundamentalism has yet to
completely accept this separation, even in the US, where the intrusion
of religion into state supported education remain active. Islam
fundamentalism, insulating from Western liberalism, continues to reject
secularism in politics and culture.

Autonomedia writes: "Nature And Politics

by Jeffrey St. Clair and Alexander Cockburn

America's Greens Rally to Flag, Run for Cover

Hot to present themselves as staunch flag-waggers, some of
America's premier environmental organizations have
disgracefully ditched their principles.

The Sierra Club, America's oldest green group, has abruptly
turned off its campaign against the anti-environmental
program of the Bush administration.

We have secured an internal memo in which the club's high
command explains to its staff why it's suspending its
campaigns. "In response to the attacks on America," the memo
goes, "we are shifting our communications strategy for the
immediate future. We have taken all of our ads off of the
air; halted our phone banks; removed any material from the
web that people could perceive as anti-Bush, and we are
taking other steps to prevent the Sierra Club from being
perceived as controversial during this crisis. For now we
are going to stop aggressively pushing our agenda and will
cease bashing President Bush."

The memo then instructs club staffers on how to respond to
the press: "If you are asked about what this terrorism does
to the Sierra Club's agenda, please respond simply by saying
that right now the public needs to focus on comforting each
other and strengthening our national security to deal with
the crisis at hand."

Imagine if this craven posture spreads across the public
interest movement.