Monday, March 31, 2014

Joseph Nacchio: ten years before Edward Snowden

Here's another story you may not have heard, of a man who stood up to the NSA, in the defense of freedom, and was punished for that.

While CEO of Qwest Communications, a large telecommunications company that provided services in the western US states and later merged with US West, Joseph Nacchio served as Chairman of the National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee, a federal government policy advisory panel.  in that role, he was granted a top secret security clearance in the late 1990s.

In February 2001, the NSA asked Joseph Nacchio for permission to secretly spy on Qwest customers.  Nacchio, on advice from his lawyers who said the action would be illegal, refused the request.  He told the NSA to go through the normal channels of asking the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court for a subpoena. That request made Joseph Nacchio the only head of an American communications company to demand a court order before turning over customer information to the NSA.  All the others, it would appear, turned over the information to the NSA without protest.

In May 2006, USA Today reported that millions of telephone calling records had been handed over to the NSA by AT&T Corp., Verizon, and BellSouth since September 11, 2001. That data was used to create a database of all international and domestic calls. Qwest, under Joseph Nacchio's leadership, was the lone holdout, despite threats from the NSA that their refusal would jeopardize their chances for future government contracts.

Simply:  Joseph Nacchio refused to go along with what he knew was an illegal scheme, even while all the other telecom CEOs, his competitors, chose to betray their customers in order to curry favor with the feds. Nacchio paid a high price for his principled stand.

For his defiance of the NSA, in the defense of his customers' rights to privacy, Joseph Nacchio was targeted for prosecution for insider trading.  Because he sold Qwest stock in early February 2001, before the company began to have financial problems that drove down the value of that stock, he was convicted in 2007 and sentence to six years in prison.

It can never be proven, but Joseph Nacchio is convinced that his challenge of the NSA led directly to his conviction and imprisonment by the SEC for "insider trading".

Nacchio served 4 and half years of his six-year sentence and was released on September 20, 2013.

Last week, Nacchio made his first public statement since his release from prison in a (March 27) interview with Maria Bartiromo on Fox Business Channel, his first public statement since being released from jail. That interview can be viewed in two parts, I suggest viewing the 2nd (shorter) segment first.  I love his passion when he says, "We don't want to change the values of our country, our Constitution, and our civil liberties because we're threatened from abroad.  We're trading our civil liberties for security."

Among American businessmen, Joseph Nacchio is a rarity.

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Friday, March 28, 2014

A story of courage: Joan Airoldi, librarian

Do you recognize the name "Joan Airoldi"? In June 2004, Joan (a career librarian, then 58 years old) was Director of the Whatcom County (Washington state) Rural Library District. Under her direction, the Deming branch library refused to provide information requested (under the auspices of the despicable "USA PATRIOT Act") by a visiting FBI agent and the library system informed the FBI that no information would be released without a subpoena or court order (that is, without "due process" ... the equivalent of a search warrant). She also led the library board to a vote to fight any subpoena in court. When that grand jury subpoena was eventually issued, the library prepared to challenge it in court, and the subpoena was quickly withdrawn.

In light of the US government's extreme efforts to prevent groups like WikiLeaks from divulging embarrassing information about its activities and exposing it lies, Joan Airoldi's stand takes on even more significance than it had in the summer of 2004. Just for the record, if the news media in the United States had been doing its job; there would be no need for WikiLeaks. As for the claim that WikiLeaks is not a "legitimate" news organization, let me ask you this: how "legitimate" were the mainstream media outlets doing when they sold a war to the public with lies? They were carrying water for the neoconservatives. They were not doing their jobs.

We need WikiLeaks. We need courageous whistleblowers like Edward Snowden. And we need public access to the truth. Joan Airoldi was not defending the rights of libraries; she was defending our right to seek out information; to know the truth that our government would prefer to conceal from us. She was defending one of the most basic rights of citizens in every democratic society everywhere. And she was defending a core American principle against a very serious assault.

At that time, Airoldi made this statement: "Libraries are a haven where people should be able to seek whatever information they want to pursue without any threat of government intervention." That explains, in a nutshell, why she did it ... because she's a librarian who believes in what she's doing for the public, because she believes in intellectual freedom (freedom of thought, and freedom of expression) ... she's not an anarchist, a socialist or even an activist.

She's a patriot.

Sometimes American heroes are those who simply say, "No!"

Sometimes the involvement of the ordinary typical America citizen is required in the fight to preserve our liberties and our nation.

Sometimes there is a limit to the price that should be paid for comfort and security.

And a librarian named Joan Airoldi is my hero.

More about Joan Airoldi:

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Russia is NOT the most aggressive country in the world today

It has been very gratifying to me to watch the American news media beat its war drums and repeat endlessly their mindless, nationalistic, jingoistic, and even moralistic propaganda while most Americans simply are not buying their bullshit this time around.  When you consider how well that propaganda engine worked in 2002 (or in 1951, or in 1965), you have to admit, things have change dramatically in 12 years.  People know where this is heading, and they don't want to go there.  Again.

Crimea is the most aggressive move by a large military power since the end of the Cold War only if (as William Boardman pointed out) we ignore "various wars and terrorist attacks and drone strikes of recent years ... the rest of the world accepted the American view of Iraq's sovereignty and territorial integrity (just as they passively accept the American view of Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen, Venezuela, and Honduras)."

I was astonished to receive the following statement; I had almost forgotten that some people believe this: "You live on a dream world, USA has never been aggressive to Russia like Russia has been to all its neighbors FOREVER!"

Excuse me?  Mexico and South America are neighbors of the USA.  And so is Canada.

Canadians have repulsed three American attempts to invade this nation, with the intent of annexation (that is the very definition of imperialist expansion).

The battle of Lundy's Lane (also known as the battle of Niagara Falls) was an armed invasion of Canada that took place on 25 July 1814, in present-day Niagara Falls, Ontario. It was one of the bloodiest battles of the war, and probably the deadliest battle ever fought on Canadian soil.
That battle was fought on Canadian soil,  and in defense of Canadian soil, soil which remains Canadian. It was fought against a far more powerful military aggressor.
That was the third and last military invasion of Canada. The invaders were beaten, and driven back across the border.

I would count the number of sovereign countries that have been attacked by the US since 2001 as seven: Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen, Libya and Uganda.  That is four more countries, I believe, than President Obama's predecessor ... so the number has doubled. Actually, it's not unreasonable to count the 200 US Marines who entered Guatemala to "assist" with the "drug war" there as an eighth country. Those Marines have no legitimate reason to be in Guatemala.

And if the US is not trying to extend its national borders, that is absolutely no reason to believe the US is not trying to extend its "sphere of influence" and control.  Domination.  That's called imperialism.

As for Russia's annexation of Crimea being an act of cowardly bullying, in which a larger, far more powerful country attacked first, without provocation, a target nation that is tiny, unarmed, and defenseless, I have only one thing to say: Iraq.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Ulysses: A reading choice I regret

Last weekend, I finished a book that I have been reading since January.  Ulysses, by James Joyce.  The paperback copy I have is the one depicted in the photo below, it's a reprint of the complete unabridged 1934 American edition of the book which was originally published in 1922.

I chose to read the book because I had always seen it on lists of "books every man should read" and I have also been trying to digest more lengthy material ... "longreads" I've heard them called.  I finished it.  And I mean every word, cover-to-cover.  It wasn't worth it.  Where was my "I can't believe I didn't read this years ago!" moment?

Reading should never be that tedious.  And no one should ever read anything just to check it of their bucket list.

I read a lot of commentaries on the book to help me understand it better, and kept an outline handy, but I really wish I'd bought an annotated copy.  Actually, I wish I'd never started it to begin with.

Here's my review of Ulysses by James Joyce: don't bother.

Joyce's daughter was a diagnosed schizophrenic.  It has often been wondered if Joyce suffered from schizophrenia himself.  I don't know what the official verdict is, but here's mine: yes, he was either mentally ill or a substance abuser.  Or both.  It is truly astonishing that a mind could create that work ... but one thing I'm sure of:  I'm damned glad that mind isn't my own.  :-)

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Sackville's RCI shortwave towers are gone

Last week, the last of 13 shortwave towers that have been located on the Tantramar Marsh a few kilometres east of Sackville, New Brunswick were torn down and removed, after having stood on that site for the past 70 years.  They are gone.  Forever.

The former location of those towers:

The site was originally built there in 1938 to for local radio broadcasting.  In 1943, Radio Canada International (RCI), Canada's "Voice to the World". erected the shortwave towers and installed two RCA shortwave transmitters, choosing the location because it is far enough from the earth’s magnetic pole and on the site of a salt marsh, which means nothing can interfere with the signal.

After WWII, the site began broadcasting shortwave signals to the entire world (leasing its spare transmission capacity to other international broadcasters) and those signals were broadcast for the following 67 years, until the summer of 2012.

When I was a small boy, my family lived for a couple of years on a small island in southern Alaska (in the Wrangall Narrows).  That was in 1962/63.  We weren't able to receive television or AM/FM radio broadcasts, but my dad did have a shortwave receiver, and it is quite likely (though I don't have any memory of it) that we listened to RCI, broadcast from Sackville NB.

Yes, other than a few people in the very most remote areas of the planet (mostly in Canada's Arctic and on the African continent) no one uses shortwave radios anymore.  It's antiquated technology.  It's obsolete. It is useless and it is time it was discarded.  All true.

It is also a bit saddening. 

The transmitting towers and antennae in the 1940's:
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And more recently:Inline image 2

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Edward Snowden: more from his TED Talk

In his surprise TED Talk Tuesday, Edward Snowden mentioned the FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) court of no fewer than 15 federal judges which upheld the legality of NSA data collection with its PRISM program.

Snowden added that the legality of the program had been challenged by some companies (he named Yahoo), but it "was never tried by open court, only by secret court. This has been a talking point in the US government, that 15 federal judges reviewed the programs and found them to be lawful. What they don’t tell you is those are secret judges in a secret court making secret interpretations of the law. There have been 34,000 warrant requests in 33 years and they only rejected 11 government requests. These aren't the people we want deciding what the role of corporate America in a free society should be."

Secret surveillance, secret courts made up of secret judges whose very identities are not known to the public, making secret interpretations of the law ... is this the America I was born in?  I don't think so.

Again, though, it's not the government you should fear ... it's the people who are only too willing to let these things happen unopposed.  If only to a friend, voice your opposition.  Do it today.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Edward Snowden makes surprise appearance at TED2014

Former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden came out of exile in Russia yesterday, in the form of a remotely-controlled robot to make a surprise appearance at the TED2014, which is being held in Vancouver British Columbia, March 17–21.

You can read an edited transcript of Snowden's talk here, or view his TED Talk here.

In answer to the question, "You might think if you haven’t done anything wrong then it doesn’t really matter. Why should we care about all this surveillance?" Snowden answered:

The first thing is you’re giving up your rights. "I don’t think I’m going to need them so I’ll get rid of them, it doesn’t really matter, these guys will do the right thing."  But your rights matter because you never know when you’ll need them. In democratic societies around the world, people should be able to pick up the phone, call family, send text messages to loved one, travel by train, buy an airline ticket – without wondering how those events will look to an agent of government, possibly not even your government but one years in the future. How might this be misinterpreted? We have a right to privacy. We require warrants to be based on probable causes. Trusting any government authority with the entirety of human communications without any oversight is too great a temptation to be ignored.

In other words, it's not a matter of privacy ... it's one of freedom.  And ultimately, of democracy, open societies, in which free citizens are self-governing. 

Sergey Mikhaylovich Brin is an American computer scientist and Internet entrepreneur who, with Larry Page, co-founded Google.  Here's a photo of him taken with Edward Snowen at TED2014:

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Which country leads the world in imprisonments?

Did you know the United States now has fully 25% of the world's entire prison population??  One out of every four.


The US has the highest rate of incarceration of any country in the entire world! Don't believe that? Check this list:

The reason is that they WANT these people in prison ... for three reasons I think: 1) societal control, 2) most prisons are now private and make huge profits for their owners and 3) there are no jobs for these people; this is one way of keeping the unemployment rate low.

How do you get people into prison if they are doing nothing wrong?  You take something they do that is harmless, and you make it illegal:
Perhaps the single greatest contributor has been the so-called "war on drugs," which has precipitated a 12-fold increase in the number of incarcerated drug offenders. About 1.5 million Americans are arrested each year for drug offenses, one-third of whom end up in prison. Many are repeat offenders caught with small quantities of relatively innocuous drugs, such as marijuana, a type of criminal activity often referred to as "victimless."

Add incarceration to the list of techniques used to control people:  along with surveillance and propaganda/deception/censorship through the media.

It's all about control.
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World incarceration rates as of 3 October 2012.  (Wikipedia)

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Ubiquitous surveillance results in conformity

Security consultant Bruce Schneier pointed out that the documents released to the public by Edward Snowden exposed not one NSA surveillance program, but three:

  1. Targeted surveillance – The only program that is legal and within the scope of the NSA's mission is that of NSA's Tailored Access Operations (TAO) group, and is used to surreptitiously plant software on specifically targeted computers to spy on the activities of specifically targeted individuals; those suspected of wrong doing.
  2. Bulk surveillance – The untargeted collection of vast databases of people's call records, location data, travel plans, contact lists, emails, text messages, webchats, financial transactions and more – most of whom are under no suspicion of illegal activity.
  3. The deliberate sabotaging of security – This is the worst NSA program of all.  It has been revealed that the NSA (and the UK's GCHQ) have plans to infect millions of computers around the world with "malware", in an attempt to subvert the security on these computers, allowing the spy agencies to control them.  This is bad for several reasons, first, it destroys public trust in the Internet, it weakens the security that everyone relies on to make the Internet work, and it plants trojan devices on computers that others can find and exploit, in other words, it opens our computers to attackers worldwide, and there's not a helluva lot most of us can do about.

But there's another purpose for NSA spying that Bruce Schneier hasn't addressed.  The spying program is targeted at Americans and that is for one reason, I believe.  It reduces their ability to act as free individuals, according to their own purposes and principles; it makes them servants of the State, forced to trust the State with their security; it enforces compliance.

And Glenn Greewald described that to us early this year:

A human being who lives in a world where he thinks he is always being watched is a human being who makes choices not as a free individual but as someone who is trying to conform to what is expected and demanded of them. And you lose a huge part of your individual freedom when you lose your private realm. Politically that is why tyranny loves surveillance, because it breeds conformity. It means people will only do that which they want other people to know they're doing – in other words, nothing that is deviant or dissenting or disruptive. It breeds orthodoxy.
Glenn Greenwald, interview with, released 03 January, 2013

There's a new group of Americans who simply can't be bothered to care about their privacy, their liberty or their dignity.  And the secret spying will only continue, and grow every more invasive, not because of the government – do NOT blame the government – but because most Americans simply don't care, and will never care.  They want to be vassal slaves; taken care of and protected.  That is their choice; the problem I have with it is that it is not mine.  If they could give away their freedom, without also giving away mine, I'd have nothing to say about it.

I believe the real purpose of ubiquitous surveillance is not to find evil-doers in our midst; but to control the behaviour of the population at large.  It is directed, not at criminals, but at all of us.  And that's why I find it offensive; exactly because I have nothing to hide; I resent being targeted without reason.  It is a violation of my rights, as an American citizen, if you wish to limit those rights to American citizens. I think the founding documents of the United States of American are clear, though, that those rights are the inalienable rights of all free men and women.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Emad Hassan is an innocent man

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Emad Abdullah Hassan

On Tuesday of this weeek, March 11, 2014, a US federal (civil) court heard a motion brought before it on behalf of a Yemeni citizen, Emad Abdullah Hassan, who has been on hunger strike in the 
Guantánamo Bay detention camp intermittently since 2005 and continuously since 2007.
During that time, Emad Hassan has been force-fed more than 5,000 times, in conditions that his lawyers allege are abusive, illegal under international law, and amount to torture. The motion filed Tuesday calls for a preliminary injunction that would put an immediate halt to the the force-feeding pending a full review of the practice.

Hassan, now 34, was picked up by Pakistani security forces in February 2002, when he was a 22 year old man who had traveled from his native Yemen to Faisalabad Pakistan to attend university. He has been held without charge for almost 12 years at Guantánamo, despite the fact that he was cleared for release in 2009.  In other words, there is no evidence against him of any crime.  None.  No charges ever filed.

By the most American of all legal precepts, the presumption of innocence, Emad Hassan is an innocent man.

Monday, March 10, 2014

We don't need your war machine

The Conservative Party government of Canada has vowed to reintroduce its plans to buy the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter from the United States, despite strong public opposition to that waste of Canada's tax money.  The opposition to the purchase really grew after the government was discovered trying to conceal the actual life cycle cost of the aircraft purchase and it was revealed that the aircraft had tested out as a poor choice for arctic use.   The purchase is a fop to the United States; not essential to Canada's national-defense.

The original total life cycle cost of $65 billion was based on a per-unit price of $75 million for each aircraft; that was the estimate given by the  government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Then Lockheed Martin announced last April that the per unit price had risen, from $75 million to $85 million (a 13% increase).  The total life cycle cost to Canada, rising commensurately, would be around $74 billion.

The F-35 is also on the list of the most expensive weapon systems ever built.  It's  on track to cost the United States about $1.4 trillion.

But this is Canada.  We don't have $74 billion to blow on aerial machines of war.  It isn't our choice to piss away our resources like that.

I have always been proud that Canadians are seen as peace keepers in the world. The fact that some think we need to spend billions on machines of war is beyond me. I'm probably too idealistic, but I've always believed that when a person spends time and resources aiding others, they find it generously returned when they are, themselves, in need. I think it is the same with nations. Our neighbours to the south have spent decades looking out for themselves and only helping others when it suits their goals. Now, they have lost the respect of the world. Canada must not follow suit.

American woman, stay away from me
American woman, Mama let me be
Don't come hangin' around my door
I don't wanna see your face no more
I don't need your war machine
I don't need your ghetto scenes
Coloured lights can hypnotize
Sparkle someone else's eyes
Now woman, I said stay away
American woman, listen what I say.

American Woman, from the Canadian rock band The Guess Who 
Reached #1 chart position in both the US and Canada in 1970

Friday, March 7, 2014

A story of courage: Huge Thompson (1943–2006)

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WO1 Hugh Thompson, Jr.

The My Lai Massacre was a mass murder conducted by a company level unit of the U.S. Army in the Son My village in the Quang Ngai province of South Vietnam on March 16, 1968, 46 years ago.  Between 347 (which was official count of the U.S. Dept of Defense) and 504 people (the number of names on the monument erected at the site) were killed.  All of the victims were civilians and a majority of them were women, children (including babies), and elderly people.

Hugh C. Thompson was a Chief Warrant Officer from Decatur, Georgia; he was the pilot of an OH-23 observation helicopter that day, flying reconnaissance over the My Lai 4 hamlet.  In the tiny chopper with him was Spec 4 Lawrence M. Colburn and Spec 4 Glenn U. Andreotta (KIA 8 April 1968).  They had already marked injured Vietnamese civilians with green smoke in order to bring medical assistance to them only to return to find those civilians had been killed. After flying over a deep drainage ditch and seeing that it was full of people, mostly women and children, and that some were still alive, they knew something was terribly wrong.

Thompson put his chopper down between a group of American soldiers who were preparing to fire on a group of 11 Vietnamese (women, old men, and children) who were huddled in a bunker for safety.  Before getting out of the helicopter, Thompson told Larry Colburn, his door gunner, to cover the GIs and if they tried to harm the villagers, to shoot them.  He said, "Y'all cover me! If these bastards open up on me or these people, you open up on them. Promise me!"   Colburn promised.  He was behind a door-mounted M60 7.62mm machine gun.

Colburn later said that he wasn't sure he would've followed Thompson's order to fire on the American soldiers if they'd tried to shoot the Vietnamese.  He said, "I wasn't pointing my gun right at them, but more or less toward the ground.  But I was looking their way."

Thompson then called for two (UH-1) helicopter gunships to land and pick up the civilians.  While waiting for the gunships to arrive, he stood between the American soldiers and the group of civilians.

Coburn later said, "[Thompson] stood between our troops and the bunker.  He was shielding the people with his body."

By the end of his tour of duty, Thompson had been hit eight times by enemy fire and lost five helicopters in combat. He left Vietnam after a combat crash broke his back, and was awarded both a Purple Heart and the Distinguished Flying Cross.  His bravest act of all, though, was the one he took alone.

It's not always easy to know the right thing to do, and to have the intestinal fortitude to do it.  The right thing to do isn't always the thing that benefits us the most, or the thing our peers or family thinks is the proper thing to do, or what the church or the military tells us to do.  The difficult choices are always those we must make alone.  Not because they are safe, easy choices, or popular choices, or socially approved choices, but because they are right.

How many people participated in the My Lai killings? Twenty-six U.S. soldiers were charged with criminal offenses for their actions at My Lai.  Only one was convicted.  Many more witnessed or knew about the murders; none tried to stop them.  It took the soldiers an entire morning to kill 350 to 500 civilians with M-16 rifles, bayonets and grenades.  A few of them expressed regrets years afterward, and sought to ease their consciences.  Most though, didn't have what it took to stand up when it mattered, and say "No, I will not do this."  Hugh Thompson and Larry Colburn and Glenn Andreotta stood alone that day. Everyone else either didn't know that what they were doing was wrong; or they thought that they were supposed to follow orders even if they knew those orders were wrong.  In other words, they chose not to care about the difference in right and wrong; for them, that was someone else's decision.

Hugh Thompson and his crew of two stood alone.  And that's not easy. A hero is a person who stands tall when everyone else around him/her crawls.

Friends, when you let someone else decide morality for you; you are acting immorally. All morality – Hugh Thompson's morality; my morality; yours – is individual; it isn't determined by the State or by the Church or by the U.S. Army or Marine Corps.

It took three decades (until 1996) before the Army recognized Hugh Thompson's courage.  He, along with SP4 Lawrence Colburn and SP4 Glenn Andreotta, was awarded the Soldier's Medal (the highest award the Army can give for valor not under enemy fire). Thompson refused to accept the medal when he was told the U.S. Army wanted to award it to him secretly.  He insisted that the award be made publicly to him and to his crew.  The citation said the three crewmen landed "in the line of fire between American ground troops and fleeing Vietnamese civilians to prevent their murder."

For thirty years, Thompson was treated like a traitor, suffering snubs from fellow servicemen who refused to speak with him, and he received death threats as well.  He was even verbally maligned by a U.S. Congressman.  Through it all, he stood by his actions in the hamlet of My Lai 4.

In 2004, Hugh Thompson told The Associated Press, "Don't do the right thing looking for a reward, because it might not come." 

Hugh Thompson died in a Veterans Affairs hospital in Alexandria, Louisiana on January 6, 2006 at the age of 62.  Larry Colburn, who had flown from Atlanta, Georgia to be with him, was at his bedside.

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Hugh Thompson, on the right, and Lawrence Colburn, his helicopter door-gunner, at My Lai village, 16 March 1998

Thursday, March 6, 2014

No one's buying it anymore

Last month, after repeated threats against Iran, US State Department official Wendy Sherman conceded that Iran has done everything they promised to do under an interim deal which would lift economic sanctions on Iran. [source]

Iran has long maintained that it has no covert nuclear weapon development program.  The Obama Administration admits that it has no evidence of such a program.  That is the consensus opinion of 16 American intelligence agencies who said, six years ago, that there is no evidence that Iran has tried to rebuild a nuclear weapon capability since voluntarily halting it in 2003.  Again:  Not one of these 16 American intelligence agencies has found any evidence whatsoever that the Iranians have restarted their nuclear weapon program after having voluntarily halted it in 2003, although the US still alleges that Iran had such a program in the past; and has failed to provide is no evidence of its having been halted.

Nevertheless the Obama Administration is demanding that Iran "resolve past and present concerns” about the “possible military dimensions” of it's nuclear enrichment program, in other words, that Iran prove a negative.  Prove that something doesn't exist.

Sound familiar?  All this needs is a cheesy PowerPoint slide presentation and a tiny vial of powdered sugar.

Iran's response, for the past two years, has been to ask for the documentation of any evidence the US has to back up its allegations that Iran continues to enrich uranium for weapons purposes.  The US refuses to share these documents, which were provided only  to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) until Iran confesses that it had a nuclear weaponization program. Those documents were given to Western intelligence at least two years ago by an anti-regime Iranian terrorist organization and their authenticity has been challenged by Former IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBarade and other senior IAEA official.

The head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, Ali Akbar Salehi, declared on Feb. 12, "The authenticity of each allegation should be proven first, then the person who submitted it to the agency should give us the genuine document. When we are assured of the authenticity, then we can talk to the agency."

Neither the IAEA nor the Obama administration has responded publicly to Salehi’s statement. In response to a query from Inter Press Service (IPS), the spokesperson for the National Security Council, Bernadette Meehan, said the NSC officials would have no comment on the Iranian demand for access to the documents.

The US has no evidence of an on-going nuclear weapon development program by Iran.  None.

They are trying to back Iran into a corner, in order to start a war.   The problem the US has right now is that no one's buying their load of bullshit this time.

If the US attacks Iran; it will do so without strong support from the rest of the world.

I hope they do.  Iran knows how to win such a war.  It would be another punishing lesson about hubris and lying. 

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