Monday, August 29, 2016

Israeli Arms Dealer Selling Advanced Spying Tech to World’s Repressive Regimes

Apple issued an urgent software update after the program was discovered. (photo: Graeme Robertson/Guardian UK)
Apple issued an urgent software update after the program was discovered. (photo: Graeme Robertson/Guardian UK)

Israeli Arms Dealer Selling Advanced Spying Tech to World’s Repressive Regimes

By teleSUR
28 August 16

NSO Group has exploited Apple vulnerabilities to disguise itself as Gmail, Facebook, WhatsApp, Skype, the Red Cross, CNN, Al Jazeera and the Pokemon Company to create malicious links.

  In Israeli company that is a world leader in cyber warfare was found to help governments hack the iPhones of activists and journalists, including the United Arab Emirates, Mexico and likely Turkey, Israel, Kenya, Saudi Arabia, Hungary and others.

   Citizen Lab and Lookout found that the company, NSO Group, has exploited Apple vulnerabilities to disguise itself as Gmail, Facebook, WhatsApp, Skype, the Red Cross, CNN, Al Jazeera and the Pokemon Company to create malicious links.

   Once a target clicks on the link, the company can read messages, record sounds, track locations and collect passwords.

   Ahmed Mansoor, a human rights activist from the UAE, received a text message with one of the links and showed it to Citizen Lab. Mansoor had been victim of cyber attacks twice before.

   Further investigation revealed that Mexican journalist Rafael Cabrera was also targeted by NSO Group after investigating Enrique PeƱa Nieto’s family. The resulting report cited other attacks linked back to the company, including in Kenya, Turkey and Qatar.

   NSO Group, which is now owned by San Francisco-based private equity firm Francisco Partners Management LLC, wrote to the New York Times: “The company sells only to authorized governmental agencies, and fully complies with strict export control laws and regulations.” The spokesman said that its customers use its software lawfully.

   After Citizen Lab informed Apple of the vulnerabilities, it released a new secure version of iOS 9.3.5 and encouraged users to update it. The version may not be safe from other vulnerabilities found by the FBI, which did not disclose them to Apple.

  “The targeting of these activists and dissidents is a taste of what’s to come,” Citizen Lab researcher Bill Marczak told the New York Times. “What they’re facing today will be faced by ordinary users tomorrow.”

C 2015 Reader Supported News

Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218.  Ph: 410-323-1607; Email: mobuszewski [at] verizon.net. Go to http://baltimorenonviolencecenter.blogspot.com/


"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Baltimore Activist Alert September 4 - 7, 2016

Baltimore Activist Alert September 4 - 7, 2016

"I speak as an American to the leaders of my own nation. The great initiative in this war is ours.
The initiative to stop it must be ours." -Martin Luther King Jr.

Friends, this list and other email documents which I send out are done under the auspices of the Baltimore Nonviolence Center.  Go to www.baltimorenonviolencecenter.blogspot.com.  If you appreciate this information and would like to make a donation, send contributions to BNC, 325 East 25th Street, Baltimore, MD 21218.  Max Obuszewski can be reached at 410-323-1607 or mobuszewski [at] verizon.net.

1] Books, buttons and stickers
2] Web site for info on federal legislation
3] Join Nonviolent Resistance lists  
4] Two friends are looking to buy a house in Baltimore
5] Take Me Out to the Ballgame – deadline Aug. 31
6] “Celebrate National Recovery Month.”  – Sept. 4
7] Pentagon Vigil – Sept. 5
8] Marc Steiner on WEAA – Sept. 5 – Sept. 9
9] Peace vigil in Philadelphia – Sept. 6
10] "No Drone Research at JHU" – Sept. 6
11] Protest the TPP – Sept. 7
12] Transform Baltimore – Sept. 7
13] Film “Embracing Article 9 of the Constitution of Japan” – Sept. 9
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1] – Buttons, bumperstickers and books are available.  “God Bless the Whole World, No Exceptions” stickers are in stock. Call Max at 410-323-1607.

2] – To obtain information how your federal legislators voted on particular bills, go to http://thomas.loc.gov/.  Congressional toll-free numbers are 888-818-6641, 888-355-3588 or 800-426-8073. The White House Comment Email is accessible at http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/.

3] – THE ORGANIZING LIST will be the primary decision-making mechanism of the National Campaign of Nonviolent Resistance [NCNR].  It will be augmented by conference calls and possibly in-person meetings as needed.  It will consist of 1 or 2 representatives from each local, regional, or national organization (not coalitions) that wishes to actively work to carry out the NCNR campaign of facilitating and organizing nonviolent resistance to the war in Iraq.

To join the ORGANIZING List, please send your name, group affiliation, city and email address to mobuszewski at Verizon.net.  Different local chapters of a national organization are encouraged to subscribe.  

THE NOTICES LIST will include only notices of NCNR actions and related information and is open to any interested person to subscribe.  It will be moderated to maintain focus & will include periodic notices about getting involved in NCNR national organizing.  To join the NOTICES List, send an email message to ncnrnotices-subscribe@lists.riseup.net. You will get a confirmation message once subscribed.  If you have problems, please write to the list manager at ncnrnotices-admin@lists.riseup.net.

4] – Janice and Max are looking to buy a house in Baltimore.  Let Max know if you have any leads—410-323-1607 or mobuszewski at Verizon dot net.

5] – On Tues. Sept. 20th, a peace delegation will be going to the Oriole-Red Sox game at Camden Yards.  A young peace loving Oriole fan, Carlos Laffin, and a lifetime Oriole fan, from his days growing up in Salisbury, MD, Johnny Zokovitch, will be honored.  If you would like to join the delegation, contact Bob Cooke at 301-661-0449 (cell), no later than Wed., Aug. 31.  All tickets will be in the same section, and the cost of the tickets should probably be in the $16 to $24 range.

6] – Usually, the Baltimore Ethical Society, 306 W. Franklin St., Suite 102, Baltimore 21201-4661, meets on Sundays, and generally there is a speaker and discussion from 10:30 AM to noon.  On Sun., Sept. 4, “Celebrate National Recovery Month.”  Join a panel of Society members and friends as they share their experiences with mental health, addiction, and different pathways to recovery.  Call 410-581-2322 or email ask@bmorethical.org.

7] – There is a weekly Pentagon Peace Vigil from 7 to 8 AM on Mondays, since 1987, outside the Pentagon Metro stop.  The next vigil is Sept., 5, and it is sponsored by the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker.  Email artlaffin@hotmail.com or call 202-882-9649.  The vigil will be outside the Pentagon's south Metro entrance and in the designated "protest zone" behind bicycle fences across from the entrance to the Metro.  By Metro, take Yellow Line and get out at the "Pentagon" stop. Do not go to the Pentagon City stop! Go up south escalators and turn left and walk across to protest area. By car from D.C. area, take 395 South and get off at Exit 8A-Pentagon South Parking. Take slight right onto S. Rotary Rd. at end of ramp and right on S. Fern St. Then take left onto Army Navy Dr. You can "pay to park" on Army Navy Dr.,  and there is meter parking one block on right on Eads St. Payment for both of these spots begin at 8 AM.  No cameras are allowed on Pentagon grounds. Restrooms are located inside Marriott Residence Inn on corner of S. Fern and Army Navy Dr. 

8] – The Marc Steiner Show airs Monday through Friday fr6m 10 AM to noon on WEAA 88.9 FM, The Voice of the Community, or online at www.weaa.org.   The call-in number is 410-319-8888, and comments can also be sent by email to steinershow@gmail.com. All shows are also available as podcasts at www.steinershow.org.

9] – Each Tuesday from 4:30 - 5:30 PM, the Catholic Peace Fellowship-Philadelphia for peace in Afghanistan and Iraq gathers at the Suburban Station, 16th St. & JFK Blvd., at the entrance to Tracks 3 and 4 on the mezzanine.  The next vigil is Sept. 3.  Call 215-426-0364.

10] – Vigil to say "No Drone Research at JHU" each Tuesday at 33rd & North Charles Sts. join this ongoing vigil on Sept. 3  from 5:30 to 6:30  PM. Call Max at 410-323-1607.

11] – Popular Resistance is organizing a protest on Wed., Sept. 7 from 9 AM to 5 PM, the first full day that Congress will be back. President Obama has taken official steps to introduce legislation to ratify the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) after the election (called the 'lame duck session'). We must let Congress know in no uncertain terms that we will not accept a vote on the TPP this year and we demand that they oppose the TPP!  To participate go to https://www.facebook.com/events/588040108035564/ , and then you will be contacted about the details.

12] – Transform Baltimore Moves Forward. The Baltimore City Council Land Use and Transportation Committee will be voting on the maps for Transform Baltimore, our city's new zoning code, on Wed., Sept. 7 at 5 PM at the City Council Chambers.  CPHA is concerned that certain members of the City Council have proposed that several liquor stores in low-income, African-American communities be rezoned in order to prevent them from being closed under the Alcohol Outlet Density Reduction provisions of the code. CPHA is working with members of the City Council and local communities to ensure that all liquor stores being rezoned are wanted in these neighborhoods. 

13] –  The Hiroshima-Nagasaki Commemoration Committee, Baltimore Quaker Peace and Justice Committee of Homewood and Stony Run Meetings and Chesapeake Physicians for Social Responsibility are continuing the FILM & SOCIAL CONSCIOUSNESS DVD SERIES.  The DVDs will be shown at Homewood Friends Meetinghouse, 3107 N. Charles St., Baltimore 21218, usually on the First Friday.  After the Black Lives Matter vigil, there will be a potluck dinner. At 7:15 PM, from September through December, a DVD will be shown with a discussion to follow.  There is no charge, and refreshments will be available.  The series theme is REACTING TO WARS ON CONSTITUTIONAL PROTECTIONS, PEOPLE AND THE ENVIRONMENT.

On Fri., Sept. 9 see “Embracing Article 9 of the Constitution of Japan” [2013, Allen Nelson Peace Project].  It is in Japanese with English subtitles. Allan Nelson, an ex-marine, talks about war and peace:  “Article 9 is more powerful than any nuclear weapons.” Article 9 of Japan's Constitution reads as follows: “Aspiring sincerely to an international peace based on justice and order, the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as a means of settling international disputes.” However, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has called for changing Article 9.  This has resulted in protests.  Contact Max at 410-323-1607 or mobuszewski at Verizon.net.

To be continued.

Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218.  Ph: 410-366-1637; Email: mobuszewski [at] verizon.net.

Go to http://baltimorenonviolencecenter.blogspot.com/. "The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs

Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218.  Ph: 410-323-1607; Email: mobuszewski [at] verizon.net. Go to http://baltimorenonviolencecenter.blogspot.com/

"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs


Baltimore Activist Alert - August 29 - September 9, 2016

23] Fracking tele-briefing – Aug. 29
24] Forum on Fracking – Aug. 30
25] Hearing on DOJ Report – Aug. 30
26] Synthetic Turf Brown Bag Lunch – Aug. 31
27] Work Session on Inclusionary Housing – Aug. 31
28] Public Stakeholder Meeting on regional climate plan – Sept. 1
29] Peace vigil at White House – Sept. 2
30] WIB peace vigils – Sept. 2
31] Black Lives Matter vigil – Sept. 2
32] Ballroom Dancing – Sept. 2
33] West Chester peace vigil – Sept. 3
34] Play MANDELA -- Sept. 3 & 4
35] Film “Embracing Article 9 of the Constitution of Japan” – Sept. 9
36] Room for rent
37] Sign up with Washington Peace Center
38] Donate books, videos, DVDs and records
39] Do you need any book shelves?
40] Join the Global Zero campaign
41] Join the Peace Park Antinuclear Vigil
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23] – Are you planning to attend the public forum on August 30th on fracking? You are in luck! Sierra Club Maryland Chapter is hosting a tele-briefing on Maryland's legislative process on from 7:30 to 8:30 PM on Mon., Aug. 29. Call in at 7:25 PM to 301-478-4995. This briefing will include an overview of Maryland's legislative process, some insights on key legislators, and a Q&A. Go to https://docs.google.com/…/1FAIpQLSfYWbqxou5P03EUS…/viewform…  Get in touch with Don’t Frack Maryland at https://www.facebook.com/DontFrackMaryland/?notif_t=fbpage_fan_invite&notif_id=1472149424719467.

24] – On Wed., Aug. 30 at 5:30 PM, come to a Garrett College Public Forum.  MD House of Delegates Environment & Transportation committee members will hold a working session on Fracking. Go to https://www.facebook.com/events/1565625553746189/1567880123520732/?notif_t=admin_plan_mall_activity&notif_id=1471882537601076.

25] – On Tues., Aug. 30 from 6:30  to 8 PM at GALLERY CA, 440 E. Oliver St., Baltimore 21202, participate in a hearing about the DOJ investigation of the Baltimore Police Department.  Go to https://www.facebook.com/events/834270013341006/.  The recent DOJ report confirmed what the people of Baltimore have known for a long time- change is needed in the Police Department. When the release of the investigations report, the next step could be one of two things. Either the Police Department agrees to make needed changes, or the Police Department refuses and the DOJ takes the Police Department to court to have the court order the needed changes. The Baltimore Police Department has agreed to make changes without being taken to court.  The DOJ will be negotiating an agreement - called a consent decree - with the Police Department. The DOJ has asked the people of Baltimore to tell them what changes we want from BPD. On Aug. 30 come together to make a list of demands to give to the DOJ. 

26] –There is a Synthetic Turf Brown Bag Lunch in College Park on Wed., Aug. 31 at noon at 7338 Baltimore Ave., Suite 102, College Park, MD 20740.  Learn about the toxicity and environmental impacts of synthetic turf and pulverized waste tires increasingly being used for playgrounds and athletic fields as part of the Bush administration's anti-environment legacy. Discuss critical actions we can take now to protect our children and the public's health. Contact Laurel Imlay at laurel.imlay@sierraclub.org or (301) 277-7111. Go to www.safehealthyplayingfields.org.

27] – Attend a Work Session on Inclusionary Housing to be Held on Wed., Aug. 31 at 5 PM.  Councilperson Bill Henry has introduced a new and improved inclusionary housing bill. The work session open to public testimony will be held in City Council Chambers. Citizens Planning and Housing Association encourages everyone to attend and show their support for an improved law. CPHA feels the current bill is a good step forward and is working with other advocates to improve it so we can have a law that best serves Baltimore. Call 410-539-1369.

28] – Attend a Public Stakeholder Meeting on regional climate plan on Thurs., Sept 1 from 6 to 8 PM, organized by the Sierra Club, at MDE Headquarters, 1800 Washington Blvd., Baltimore.  Contact Seth Bush at seth.bush@sierraclub.org.  Register at https://sierra.secure.force.com/events/details?id=7013100000113RTAAY&formcampaignid=70131000001SSHwAAO&data=0a73ac2a6bb856cace2158a759913301951b49fd9bf2c2d4fc1b1b4b5470a0832068189c4571adbfa20bba2a368827a4.

29] – On Fri., Sept. 2 from noon to 1 PM, join the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker in a vigil urging the powers that be to abolish war and torture, to disarm all weapons, to end indefinite detention, to close Guantanamo, to establish justice for all and help create the Beloved Community! This vigil will take place at the White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. Contract Art @ artlaffin@hotmail.com or at 202-360-6416. 

30] – On Fri., Sept. 2 from noon to 1 PM, join a Women in Black peace vigil. A vigil will take place in McKeldin Square at the corner of Light and Pratt Sts., and another will take place outside Roland Park Place, 830 W. 40th St., across from the Rotunda.  Stay for as long as you can. Wear black. Dress for who knows what kind of weather. Bring your own poster or help with the "NO WAR IN MY NAME" banner.  When there are others to stand with, you don't need to carry the burden alone. Do this to be in solidarity with others....when everything around us says “Be afraid of the stranger.” Carpool and parking available at both locations. Just send an email that you need a ride [mailto:wibbaltimore@peacepath911.org].  Peace signs will be available. 

31] – There is usually a silent vigil on Fridays, from 5 to 6 PM, sponsored by Homewood Friends and Stony Run Meetings, outside the Homewood Friends Meetinghouse, 3107 N. Charles St.  The next scheduled vigil is on Sept. 2. Black Lives Matter.

32] – There is an opportunity to participate in ballroom dancing, usually every Friday of the month, in the JHU ROTC Bldg. at  8 PM.  Turn south on San Martin Dr. from the intersection of Univ. Parkway and 39th St.  Drive on campus by taking the third left turn. The next dance will be Sept. 2. Call Dave Greene at 410-599-3725.

33] – Each Saturday, 11 AM – 1 PM, Chester County Peace Movement holds a peace vigil in West Chester in front of the Chester County Courthouse, High & Market Sts. Go to www.ccpeace.org. Email ccpeacemovement@aol.com.

34] – Making its Baltimore debut on Sat., Sept. 3 and Sun., Sept. 4, the timely and important MANDELA is a moving theater performance about the life and struggles of Nelson Mandela.  The play, which originally premiered at the National Black Theater in New York City in 2014, and then included a performance by former NYC Mayor David Dinkins (playing himself), is coming off a third run at the same theater in July 2016. This performance will uplift your spirit and feed your mind. This play is full of scenes that include laughter, dance and thought provoking moments, which will have the audience experience the struggles and joys of Mandela, Winnie Mandela, and the courageous men and women who stood by Nelson Mandela's side. Director/Co-Writers and Co-Producers John Ruiz, who was a personal friend of Mr. Mandela, and Yolanda Brooks were inspired by Nelson Mandela and have brought together a stellar cast, including Audelco Award Winner Lloyd Goodman who plays Mandela for this limited engagement.

See a performance at the Creative Alliance at The Patterson, 3134 Eastern Ave., Baltimore 21224 on Saturday at 6 PM or 8:30 PM or Sunday at 4 PM.  Tickets are $25 and $22 for members who buy in advance.  Finally, there is limited $40 reserve VIP seating which includes a choice of a Mandela shirt or cap. Email info@creativealliance.org or call 410/276-1651.

35] –  The Hiroshima-Nagasaki Commemoration Committee, Baltimore Quaker Peace and Justice Committee of Homewood and Stony Run Meetings and Chesapeake Physicians for Social Responsibility are continuing the FILM & SOCIAL CONSCIOUSNESS DVD SERIES.  The DVDs will be shown at Homewood Friends Meetinghouse, 3107 N. Charles St., Baltimore 21218, usually on the First Friday.  After the Black Lives Matter vigil, there will be a potluck dinner. At 7:15 PM, from September through December, a DVD will be shown with a discussion to follow.  There is no charge, and refreshments will be available.  The series theme is REACTING TO WARS ON CONSTITUTIONAL PROTECTIONS, PEOPLE AND THE ENVIRONMENT.

On Fri., Sept. 9 see “Embracing Article 9 of the Constitution of Japan” [2013, Allen Nelson Peace Project].  It is in Japanese with English subtitles. Allan Nelson, an ex-marine, talks about war and peace:  “Article 9 is more powerful than any nuclear weapons.” Article 9 of Japan's Constitution reads as follows: “Aspiring sincerely to an international peace based on justice and order, the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as a means of settling international disputes.” However, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has called for changing Article 9.  This has resulted in protests.  Contact max at 410-323-1607 or mobuszewski at Verizon.net.

36] – There is a furnished room for rent with private bath in a nice, quiet Lutherville neighborhood, not far from the light rail and 83, 15 minutes from Towson Town Center and various shops on York Road.  Rent, which includes cable, Wi-Fi, kitchen privileges and the use of washer and dryer, is $650.00 a month and the splitting of gas & electric bill. Call Lynn at 410-960-3008.

37] -- The Washington Peace Center has a progressive calendar & activist alert! Consider signing up to receive its weekly email: info@washingtonpeacecenter.org.

38] -- If you would like to get rid of books, videos, DVDs or records, contact Max at 410-323-1607 or mobuszewski at verizon.net.

39] -- Can you use any book shelves? Contact Max at 410-366-1637 or mobuszewski at verizon.net.

40] -- Join an extraordinary global campaign for the elimination of nuclear weapons: http://www.globalzero.org/sign-declaration. A growing group of leaders around the world is calling for the elimination of nuclear weapons and a majority of the global public agrees.  This is an historic window of opportunity.  With momentum already building in favor of Zero, a major show of support from people around the world could tip the balance. When it comes to nuclear weapons, one is one too many.

41] – A Peace Park Antinuclear Vigil takes place every day in Lafayette Park, 1601 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, 24 hours a day, since June 3, 1981. Go to http://prop1.org; call 202-682-4282.

Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218.  Ph: 410-366-1637; Email: mobuszewski [at] verizon.net. Go to http://baltimorenonviolencecenter.blogspot.com/.


“One is called to live nonviolently, even if the change one works for seems impossible. It may or may not be possible to turn the US around through nonviolent revolution. But one thing favors such an attempt: the total inability of violence to change anything for the better" - Daniel Berrigan  

Noam Chomsky: How Obama Has Ushered in 'a New Era of International Terrorism'

Published on Alternet (http://www.alternet.org)

Noam Chomsky: How Obama Has Ushered in 'a New Era of International Terrorism'

By Emran Feroz [1] / Qantara [2]

August 25, 2016

The following is a recent interview with Noam Chomsky on the Middle East and the Obama Administration's policies towards Syria, Egypt and Iran, and the rise of right-wing extremism and nationalism in Europe.

Emran Feroz: Barack Obama's presidency is coming to an end. With reference to the political situation in the Middle East, what remains of his historical speech in Cairo and what of his Middle East policy in general?
Noam Chomsky: At the time I felt that the speech was pretty vacuous. I didn't expect anything from it, so I wasn't disappointed. One positive aspect of his policy is that there have been no major acts of aggression like the vicious invasion of Iraq, which in my opinion was the worst crime this century. And I suppose you could describe the negotiation of the agreement with Iran as positive too. But it could have been done much earlier. Still, better an agreement with Iran than no agreement.

Obama's major legacy in the Middle East is the US drone campaign, which is ushering in a new era of international terrorism. I predict that its impact will be wide reaching. Drone technology will not only expand, it will also become a useful tool for all kinds of different terrorist groups in the near future. In the case of the Arab Spring, Obama – and his allies – supported the established dictators as long as it was possible. Moreover, they also tried to shore up the old systems even after the revolutions had started.

EF: We are still witnessing these brutal dictatorships, in Egypt particularly, but also in Syria. Has the Arab Spring been a total failure?

NC: That's hard to say. Some progress has been made, but there is still much to be done. There have been significant changes which could have formed the basis for something. In Egypt, for example, the labour movement, which is an important and leading part of the Arab Spring, did make some substantial gains. I don't think the Sisi dictatorship is capable of dealing with Egypt's mammoth problems. I suspect this is just another stage of many as the country edges towards democratisation and freedom. Syria is a different story. The country appears bent on self-destruction. Anything that might be done to mitigate the situation simply leads to another disaster.

EF: To what extent is the US administration responsible for Syria's implosion?
Aleppo in ruins (photo: Getty Images/AFP/G. Ourfalian)

NC: It's hard to say. The Assad regime is absolutely monstrous and responsible for a large majority of the atrocities. IS is another monstrosity. The al-Qaida affiliated al-Nusra Front is not much better than IS, while some of the other major groups are closely linked to it. The Kurdish groups have succeeded in defending their own territory and establishing a more or less decent system within. And then there are various other groups – local militias and parts of the original reform movement and some other more democratic elements.

To what extent they still exert any influence is debatable. The veteran Middle East correspondent Robert Fisk claims they no longer exist. Others say they are a substantial force. It's a patchwork of many different groups. At the moment, there are some small signs of progress that might possibly lead to a ceasefire or some kind of negotiated agreement. We can be sure that this will be pretty ugly. But it's still better than suicide.

EF: You already mentioned the deal with Iran. Many people say it's one of the biggest successes of the Obama administration, while others say it will lead to the nuclearisation of the Arab Sunni states. Why do you think it is a success?

NC: I think the deal was a success, but I also think there is a problem with how the issue has been presented. It would have been a major step had those involved accepted Iranian, Arab and, in fact, global opinion and moved towards establishing a nuclear-weapons-free-zone in the region. Indeed that is what Obama promised. The deal is a small step in the right direction. We – and that includes the US intelligence agencies - don't know whether Iran was planning to develop nuclear weapons. I think we can be fairly confident that it was planning to develop nuclear capability. On the other hand, any nation with nuclear power or technology can be said to possess this capability. Considering, however, the restrictive conditions in which it was reached, the agreement was a step forward.

EF: On the subject of success, to what extent can we say there's been any in Israel and Palestine?

NC: We've seen zero success there. If we put aside words and look at actions, the Obama administration has been the most supportive administration of Israeli expansion so far. While the rest of the world condemns the illegal settlements, the US is still supporting the Israeli government in this point. There is still military, diplomatic, economic and even ideological support for continuing the settlement programme. Obama's most remarkable move, one of the few that actually received some public attention, was his veto of the UN security council resolution in February 2011 which literally endorsed official US policy. The resolution called for limiting settlement expansion while the Obama veto claimed it was a drawback to peace. In fact, we're currently seeing negotiations with Netanyahu over increasing extensive US aid, which basically feeds settlement expansion. Gaza has just been subjected to brutal and savage attacks by Israel with US support.

EF: We're seeing a rise in nationalism and right-wing extremism in Europe at the moment. First and foremost the hatred is being directed at the refugees fleeing the chaos in the Middle East. With the rise of Donald Trump, a similar picture seems to be developing in the United States. Do you think that the fear-mongers are winning?

NC: It's very interesting to look at the so-called refugee crisis. In Austria, for example, a neo-Nazi is on the verge of political victory. Austria has taken in a very small number of refugees. One of the most forthcoming countries in Europe, I suppose, is Sweden, which has taken in some 160,000 refugees. Sweden is a rich country with a population of 10 million, so now refugees make up about 1.5 per cent of the population. But this is still a very small number compared to a poor country like Lebanon, which has no role in generating refugees. But refugees currently make up 40 percent of its population; 25 percent of those are Syrians. Jordan has also taken in a huge number of refugees, while most European countries have apparently absorbed very few.

  But where are the refugees coming from? Most of them come from the Middle East, but some are also coming from Africa. Europe has a long history in Africa. For centuries, Africa suffered devastation and destruction, which is still one of the reasons why people are fleeing from Africa to Europe. In the Middle East, there are many causes for the crisis, but one major and overwhelming cause is the American and British invasion of Iraq, which virtually destroyed the country. Iraqis are still fleeing, at the moment mostly from a sectarian conflict that barely existed before the invasion. Look more closely and it is clear that there are countries that have generated refugees throughout their history – and they include the US, Britain and a number of European countries.

Interview conducted by Emran Feroz

Emran Feroz is the founder of the Drone Memorial [3].
        [5]


Links:

Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218.  Ph: 410-323-1607; Email: mobuszewski [at] verizon.net. Go to http://baltimorenonviolencecenter.blogspot.com/


"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs

U.S. Nuclear Weapons in Europe

U.S. Nuclear Weapons in Europe
August 10, 2016 
By: Erin Connolly
The recent upheaval in Turkey has highlighted an uncomfortable fact: The United States holds approximately 160 tactical nuclear weapons outside of its own borders. In fact, all of these nonstrategic nuclear weapons are deployed in Europe at six bases in five countries, including Turkey. In theory, these weapons are in place to deter Russia and affirm the U.S. commitment to NATO allies in the region. However, U.S. nuclear weapons come with a high price and extensive responsibility. More than two decades after the end of the Cold War, it is time to improve nuclear security by consolidating U.S. tactical nuclear weapons in Europe or consider removing them altogether.
In 2008, an Air Force Blue Ribbon Review reported that most of the bases in Europe did not meet DOD security standards. These discoveries concerned the international community and sparked a new motivation for base improvements. NATO responded by promising to invest tens of millions of dollars in order to improve nuclear weapon facilities security. Yet, eight years later, questions still persist regarding the security of U.S. nuclear weapons abroad.
Belgium’s Kleine Brogel Air Base, which hosts approximately 20 nuclear weapons, has been particularly scrutinized in light of a few incidents. The most notable: In2010 peace activists successfully circumnavigated the presence of the U.S. Air Force and Belgian security forces at Kleine Brogel, wandering the premises for more than an hour before being stopped. Fortunately, Kleine Brogel’s intruders were not seeking a nuclear device, but there are nefarious groups who are interested in nuclear capabilities, including ISIS, which demonstrated its interest in nuclear technology by surveilling a Belgian nuclear scientist in 2015.
B61_in_Weapons_Storage_and_Security_System
Incirlik Air Base in Turkey is also vulnerable to these security threats. The base hosts approximately 50 US tactical nuclear weapons and rests a mere 100 miles from the troubled Syrian border. While improvements have been made, the facilities at Incirlik are not designed to withstand a siege and the recently failed coup raises questions regarding the political stability of its host country. The utility of the nuclear mission at Incirlik is also under scrutiny. There are no suitable aircraft stationed at Incirlik to deliver the nuclear bombs. The time it would require to access proper aircraft and certified personnel nullifies the benefit of having the weapons stationed abroad. Domestic weapons could be delivered more quickly to a target; a U.S-based nuclear missile would require only 30 minutes to hit a target on the other side of the world, while a submarine-launched missile could take only 10-15 minutes. At this point, the 50 or so U.S. nuclear weapons at Incirlik are essentially in storage on foreign soil without adequate base security.
Fortunately, regardless of the security environment, the bombs remain in secure vaults and feature security precautions to minimize the risk of accidental or unauthorized detonation. These include so-called “stronglinks” that ensure the proper unique signal for launch is received along with “weak links” that make the weapons inoperable under atypical environments. Another example is the Permissive Action Link (PAL) which requires codes to arm or launch the weapon. Most PAL’s involve a multiple-coded switch for added protection on the weapon itself. While these measures provide some security reassurance, there is no guarantee that they can fully block unauthorized access indefinitely.
If a nefarious group were to acquire access to the weapons vault, they could attempt to take the device off base in order to have more time to decipher the “weak links”, “strong links” and PAL’s. Should the group fail in this effort, the weapon would be rendered inoperable but not invaluable. With proper technology and expertise, the nuclear material can be removed and reused for a crude nuclear weapon or a dirty bomb. Success for the group would be difficult, but possible, to achieve. This scenario also threatens global security and requires the U.S. to reevaluate the benefits of having nuclear weapons in numerous locations abroad.
There is a compromise between conventional and nuclear military capabilities in Europe. Limited financial resources force difficult decisions between which conventional and nuclear programs are pursued. Some argue that the NATO alliance should focus on the conventional aspect of deterrence since the weapons are less divisive among allies and can effectively deter Russian aggression.  Conventional weapons also have an immediate utility for conflicts the U.S. and its allies currently face, increasing their military value. U.S. nuclear weapons on the European continent are a more expensive and risky symbol of the U.S. commitment to NATO and countering Russian influence. Superior conventional forces can effectively serve the same reassuring purpose without threatening international security.
At the very least, some nuclear experts have recommended consolidating U.S. tactical nuclear weapons abroad for the sake of safety and security. Consolidation can help verify proper DOD standards are met at each active base and prevent future unauthorized access. The U.S. does not lose any security from consolidating nuclear weapons abroad. Instead, consolidation allows for better base security and a minimized risk of unsanctioned use that would undermine global security. Incirlik should be the first base to be revaluated and considered for nuclear weapons removal.
It has been argued by many, including then-Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General James Cartwright, that U.S. tactical nuclear weapons in Europe serve no unique military role. Moving forward, Pentagon planners should also reconsider the risks and benefits of keeping over 100 tactical nuclear weapons abroad.
However, current political realities seem to constrain decisions to move or remove nuclear weapons at this time. Tensions between Russia and the West have escalated as a result of numerous actions, particularly those in Ukraine. Yet Western European nations struggle to find domestic support for U.S. nuclear weapons within their borders, restricting options for consolidation. Despite NATO’s recent affirmation of its nuclear commitment, the U.S. and NATO should progress towards a conventional dependence that would foster international security while nuclear weapons in Europe are reduced and eventually removed.
####

Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218.  Ph: 410-323-1607; Email: mobuszewski [at] verizon.net. Go to http://baltimorenonviolencecenter.blogspot.com/


"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Vets Lose When Big Pharma and Defense [sic] Corporations Rake in the Big War Bucks

Published on Alternet (http://www.alternet.org)

Vets Lose When Big Pharma and Defense [sic] Corporations Rake in the Big War Bucks

By Ann Jones [1] / TomDispatch [2]

August 25, 2016

  A friend of mine, a Vietnam vet, told me about a veteran of the Iraq War who, when some civilian said, “Thank you for your service,” replied: “I didn’t serve, I was used.” That got me thinking about the many ways today’s veterans are used, conned, and exploited by big gamers right here at home.

  Near the end of his invaluable book cataloguing the long, slow disaster of America’s War for the Greater Middle East [3], historian Andrew Bacevich writes:

   “Some individuals and institutions actually benefit from an armed conflict that drags on and on. Those benefits are immediate and tangible. They come in the form of profits, jobs, and campaign contributions. For the military-industrial complex and its beneficiaries, perpetual war is not necessarily bad news.”

   Bacevich is certainly right about war profiteers, but I believe we haven’t yet fully wrapped our minds around what that truly means. This is what we have yet to take in: today, the U.S. is the most unequal [4] country in the developed world, and the wealth of the plutocrats on top is now so great that, when they invest it in politics, it’s likely that no elected government can stop them or the lucrative wars and “free markets” they exploit.

  Among the prime movers in our corporatized politics are undoubtedly the two billionaire Koch brothers, Charles and David, and their cozy network of secret donors. It’s hard to grasp how rich they really are: they rank [5] fifth (David) and sixth (Charles) onBusiness Insider’slist of the 50 richest people in the world, but if you pool their wealth they become by far the single richest “individual” on the planet. And they have pals. For decades now they’ve hosted top-secret gatherings [6] of their richest collaborators that sometimes also feature [7] dignitaries like Clarence Thomas or the late Antonin Scalia, two of the Supreme Court Justices who gave them the Citizens United decision, suffocating American democracy in plutocratic dollars. That select donor group had reportedly planned to spend at least $889 million on this year’s elections and related political projects, but recent reports [8] note a scaling back and redirection of resources.

    While the contest between Trump and Clinton fills the media, the big money is evidently going to be aimed at selected states and municipalities to aid right-wing governors, Senate candidates, congressional representatives, and in some cities, ominously enough, school board candidates [9]. The Koch brothers need not openly support [10] the embarrassing Trump [11], for they’ve already proved that, by controlling Congress, they can significantly control [12] the president, as they have already done in the Obama era.

   Yet for all their influence, the Koch name means nothing, pollsters report [13], to more than half of the U.S. population. In fact, the brothers Koch largely stayed under the radar until recent years when their roles as polluters, campaigners against the environment, and funders of a new politics came into view. Thanks to Robert Greenwald’s film Koch Brothers Exposed [14] and Jane Mayer’s book Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right [15], we now know a lot more about them, but not enough.

  They’ve always been ready to profit off America’s wars. Despite their extreme neo-libertarian goal of demonizing and demolishing government, they reportedly didn’t hesitate [16] to pocket about $170 million as contractors for George W. Bush’s wars. They sold fuel (oil istheir principal business) to the Defense Department, and after they bought Georgia Pacific, maker of paper products, they supplied that military essential: toilet paper [17].

   But that was small potatoes compared to what happened when soldiers came home from the wars and fell victim to the profiteering of corporate America. Dig in to the scams exploiting veterans, and once again you’ll run into the Koch brothers.

Pain Relief: With Thanks from Big Pharma

   It’s no secret that the VA wasn’t ready for the endless, explosive post-9/11 wars. Its hospitals were already full of old vets from earlier wars when suddenly there arrived young men and women with wounds, both physical and mental, the doctors had never seen before. The VA enlarged its hospitals, recruited new staff, and tried to catch up, but it’s been running behind ever since.

  It’s no wonder veterans’ organizations keep after it (as well they should), demanding more funding and better service. But they have to be careful what they focus on. If they leave it at that and overlook what’s really going on—often in plain sight, however disguised in patriotic verbiage—they can wind up being marched down a road they didn’t choose that leads to a place they don’t want to be.

   Even before the post-9/11 vets came home, a phalanx of drug-making corporations led by Purdue Pharma [18] had already gone to work on the VA. These Big Pharma corporations (many of which buy equipment [19] from Koch Membrane Systems) had developed new pain medications—opioid narcotics like [20] OxyContin (Purdue), Vicodin, Percocet, Opana (Endo Pharmaceuticals), Duragesic, and Nucynta (Janssen, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson)—and they spotted a prospective marketplace. Early in 2001, Purdue developed a plan to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars targeting [21] the VA. By the end of that year, this country was at war, and Big Pharma was looking at a gold mine.

    They recruited doctors, set them up in private “Pain Foundations [22],” and paid them handsomely to give lectures and interviews, write studies and textbooks, teach classes in medical schools, and testify before Congress on the importance of providing our veterans with powerful painkillers. In 2002, the Food and Drug Administration considered restricting the use of opioids, fearing they might be addictive. They were talked out of it by experts likeDr. Rollin Gallagher [21] of the American Academy of Pain Medicine and board member of the American Pain Foundation, both largely fundedby the drug companies. He spoke against restricting OxyContin.

   By 2008, congressional legislation had been written—the Veterans’ Mental Health and Other Care Improvement Act [23]—directing the VA to develop a plan to evaluate all patients for pain. When the VA objected to Congress dictating its medical procedures, Big Pharma launched [21] a “Freedom from Pain” media blitz, enlisting veterans’ organizations to campaign for the bill and get it passed.

   Those painkillers were also dispatched to the war zones where our troops were physically breaking down under the weight [24] of the equipment they carried. By 2010, a third of the Army’s soldiers were on prescription medications [25]—and nearly half of them, 76,500, were on prescription opioids—which proved to be highly addictive, despite the assurance of experts like Rollin Gallagher. In 2007, for instance, “The American Veterans and Service Members Survival Guide,” distributed by the American Pain Foundation and edited by Gallagher, offered [21] this assurance: “[W]hen used for medical purposes and under the guidance of a skilled health-care provider, the risk of addiction from opioid pain medication is very low.”

   By that time, here at home, soldiers and vets were dying at astonishing rates [26] from accidental or deliberate overdoses. Civilian doctors as well had been persuaded to overprescribe these drugs, so that by 2011 the CDC announced [27] a national epidemic, affecting more than 12 million Americans. In May 2012, the Senate Finance Committee finally initiated an investigation [22] into the perhaps “improper relation” between Big Pharma and the pain foundations. That investigation is still “ongoing,” which means that no information about it can yet be revealed to the public.

   Meanwhile, opioid addicts, both veterans and civilians, were discovering that heroin was a cheaper [28] and no less effective way to go. Because heroin is often cut with Fentanyl, a more powerful opioid, however, drug deaths rose dramatically [29].

  This epidemic of death is in the news almost every day now as hard-hit cities and states sue [30] the drug makers, but rarely is it traced to its launching pad: the Big Pharma conspiracy to make big bucks off our country’s wounded soldiers.
It took the VA far too long to extricate itself from medical policies marketed by Big Pharma and, in effect, prescribed by Congress. It had made the mistake of turning to the Pharma-funded pain foundations in 2004 to select [31] its Deputy National Program Director of Pain Management: the ubiquitous Dr. Gallagher [32]

   But when the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency finally laid down new restrictive rules [33] on opioids in 2014, the VA had to comply. That’s been hard on the thousands of opioid-dependent vets [34]it had unwittingly hooked, and it’s becoming harder as Republicans in Congress move to privatize the VA and send vets out with vouchers to find their own health care.

Cute Cards Courtesy of the Koch Brothers

   To force the VA to use its drugs, Big Pharma set up dummy foundations and turned toexisting veterans’ organizations for support. These days, however, the Big Money people have found a more efficient way to make their weight felt. Now, when they need the political clout of a veterans’ organization, they help finance one of their own.

   Consider Concerned Veterans for America [35] (CVA). The group’s stated mission: “to preserve the freedom and prosperity we and our families fought and sacrificed to defend.” What patriotic American wouldn’t want to get behind that?
The problem that concerns the group right now is the “divide” between civilians and soldiers, which exists, its leaders claim, because responsibility for veterans has been “pushed to the highest levels of government.” That has left veterans isolated from their own communities, which should be taking care of them.

    Concerned Veterans for America proposes (though not quite in so many words) to close that gap by sacking the VA and giving vets the “freedom” to find their own health care. The 102-page proposal [36] of CVA’s Task Force on “Fixing Veterans’ Health Care” would let VA hospitals treat veterans with “service-connected health needs”—let them, that is, sweat the hard stuff—while transforming most VA Health Care facilities into an “independent, non-profit corporation” to be “preserved,” if possible, in competition “with private providers.”

   All other vets would have the “option to seek private health coverage,” using funds the VA might have spent on their care, had they chosen it. (How that would be calculated remains one of many mysteries.) 

   The venerable [37] VA operates [38] America's largest health care system, with 168 VA Medical Centers and 1,053 outpatient clinics, providing care to more than 8.9 million vets each year. Yet under this plan that lame, undernourished but extraordinary and, in a great many ways, remarkably successful version of single-payer lifelong socialized medicine for vets would be a goner, perhaps surviving only in bifurcated form: as an intensive care unit and an insurance office dispensing funds to free and choosy vets.

   Such plans should have marked Concerned Veterans for America as a Koch brothers’ creation even before its front man gave the game away [39] and lost his job. Like those pain foundation doctors who became self-anointed opioid experts, veteran Pete Hegseth had made himself an expert on veterans’ affairs, running Concerned Veterans for America and doubling as a talking head [40] on Fox News. The secretive veterans’ organization now carries on without him, still working to capture—or perhaps buy—the hearts and minds of Congress.

   And here’s the scary part: they may succeed. Remember that every U.S. administration, from the Continental Congress on, has regarded the care of veterans as a sacred trust of government. The notion of privatizing veterans’ care—by giving each veteran a voucher [41], like some underprivileged schoolboy—was first suggested only eight years ago by Arizona Senator John McCain, America’s most famous veteran-cum-politician. Most veterans’ organizations opposed the idea, citing McCain’s long record [42] of voting against funding the VA. 
  
   Four years ago, Mitt Romney touted the same idea and got the same response.
That’s about the time that the Koch brothers, and their donor network, changed their strategy. They had invested an estimated$400 million [43] in the 2012 elections and lost the presidency (though not Congress). So they turned their attention to the states and localities. Somewhere along the way, they quietly promoted Concerned Veterans for America and who knows what other similar organizations and think tanks to peddle their cutthroat capitalist ideology and enshrine it in the law of the land.

    Then, in 2014, President Obama signed into law [44] the Veterans’ Access to Care Through Choice, Accountability, and Transparency Act. That bill singled out certain veterans who lived at least 40 miles from a VA hospital or had to wait 30 days for an appointment and gave them a “choice card,” entitling them to see a private doctor of their own choosing. Though John McCain had originally designed the bill, it was by then a bipartisan effort, officially introduced [45] by the Democratic senator who chaired the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs: Bernie Sanders.

   Sanders said that, while it was not the bill he would have written, he thought it was a step toward cutting wait times. With his sponsorship, the bill passed by a 93-3 vote. And so an idea unthinkable only two years earlier—the partial privatization of veteran’s health care—became law.

   How could that have happened? At the VA, there was certainly need for improvement. Its health care system had been consistently underfunded and wait times for appointments were notoriously long [46]. Then, early in 2014, personnel at the Phoenix VA in McCain’s home state of Arizona were caught [47] falsifying records to hide the wait-time problem. When that scandal hit the news [48], Concerned Veterans for America was quick to exploit [49] the situation and lead a mass protest. Three weeks later, as heads rolled at the VA, Senator McCain called [48] a town hall meeting to announce his new bill, with its “hallmark Choice Card.” His website notes that it “received praise... from veterans’ advocacy organizations such as Concerned Veterans for America.”

   That bill also called for a “commission on care” to explore the possibilities of “transforming” veterans’ health care. Most vets still haven’t heard of this commission and its charge to change their lives, but many of those who did learn of it were worried by the terminology. After all, many vets already had a choice through Medicare or private insurance, and most chose the vet-centered treatment of the VA. They complained only that it took too long to get an appointment. They wanted more VA care, not less—and they wanted it faster.

   In any case, those choice cards already handed out have reportedly [50] only slowed down the process of getting treatment, while the freedom to search for a private doctor has turned out [51] to be anything but popular. Nevertheless, the commission on care [52]—15 people chosen by President Obama and the leaders of the House and Senate—worked for 10 months to produce a laundry list of “fixes” for the VA and one controversial recommendation. They called for the VA “across the United States” to establish “high-performing, integrated community health care networks, to be known as the VHA Care System.”

   In other words, instead of funding added staff and speeded-up service, the commission recommended the creation of an entirely new, more expensive, and untried system. Then there was the fine print: as in the plan of Concerned Veterans of America, there would be tightened qualifications, out-of-pocket costs, and exclusions. In other words, the commission was proposing a fragmented, complicated, and iffy system, funded in part on the backs of veterans, and “transformative” in ways ominously different from anything vets had been promised in the past.

  Commissioner Michael Blecker, executive director of the San Francisco-based veterans’ service organization Swords to Plowshares, refused [53] to sign off on the report. Although he approved of the VA fixes, he saw in that recommendation for “community networks” the privatizer's big boot in the door. Yet while Blecker thought the recommendation would serve the private sector and not the vet, another non-signer took the opposite view. Darin Selnick, senior veterans' affairs advisor for Concerned Veterans for America and executive director of CVA's Fixing Veterans Health Care Taskforce, complained [54] that the commission had focused too much on “fixing the existing VA” rather than “boldly transforming” veterans’ health care into a menu of “multiple private-sector choice options.” The lines were clearly drawn.

  Then, last April, Senator McCain made an end run around the commission, a dash that could only thrill the leaders of Concerned Veterans for America and their backers. Noting that his choice card legislation was due to expire, McCain, together with seven other Republican senators (including Ted Cruz), introduced new legislation: the Care Veterans Deserve Act of 2016 [55]. It’s a bill designed to “enhance choice and flexibility in veterans’ health care” by making the problematic choicecard“permanently and universally” available to all disabled and other unspecified veterans. You can see where the notion came from and where it’s going. By May 2016, when Fox News featured [56] a joint statement by Senator McCain and Pete Hegseth, late of Concerned Veterans for America, trumpeting the VA Choice Card Program as “the most significant VA reform in decades,” you could also see where this might end.

  As real veterans’ organizations wise up to what’s going on, they will undoubtedly stand against the false “freedom” of a Koch brothers-style “transformation” of the VA system. The rest of us should stand with them. The plutocrats who corrupted veterans’ health care and now want to shut it down, and the plutocrats who profit from this country’s endless wars are one and the same. And they have bigger plans for us all.

   Ann Jones, a TomDispatch regular, is the author of Kabul in Winter, among other books, and most recently They Were Soldiers: How the Wounded Return From America’s Wars -- The Untold Story [57], a Dispatch Books project (Haymarket, 2013).

        [59]


Links:

[1] http://www.alternet.org/authors/ann-jones-1
[2] http://www.tomdispatch.com/
[3] https://www.amazon.com/dp/0553393936/ref=nosim/?tag=tomdispatch-20
[4] http://inequality.org/unequal/
[5] http://www.businessinsider.com/50-richest-people-on-earth-2016-1/#49-tie-aliko-dangote-1
[6] https://www.thenation.com/article/exclusive-behind-koch-brothers-secret-billionaire-summit/
[7] http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/20/us/politics/20koch.html
[8] http://www.nationalreview.com/article/435418/koch-brothers-campaign-activity-slows
[9] https://meamatters.com/2015/12/04/will-the-koch-brothers-target-your-school-board-next/
[10] http://prospect.org/article/make-no-mistake-koch-brothers-are-helping-donald-trump
[11] http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/22/us/politics/republican-democratic-voters-poll.html
[12] http://www.politico.com/story/2014/05/republicans-legislation-obama-dccc-event-106481
[13] http://www.politico.com/story/2014/03/koch-brothers-poll-104993
[14] http://www.bravenewfilms.org/koch
[15] https://www.amazon.com/dp/0385535597/ref=nosim/?tag=tomdispatch-20
[16] http://exiledonline.com/anti-war-libertarians-charles-and-david-koch-love-profiteering-off-americas-war-machine/
[17] http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2013/11/defense-spending-sequester-toilet-paper-military
[18] http://www.latimes.com/projects/oxycontin-part1/
[19] http://www.kochmembrane.com/Industrial-Life-Sciences/Pharmaceutical-Intermediates.aspx
[20] http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Drugs/DrugSafety/InformationbyDrugClass/UCM348818.pdf
[21] http://www.statesman.com/news/news/local-military/critics-say-firms-spurred-painkiller-prescriptions/nSPNL/
[22] https://www.propublica.org/article/senate-panel-investigates-drug-company-ties-to-pain-groups
[23] https://www.congress.gov/bill/110th-congress/senate-bill/2162
[24] http://www.seattletimes.com/nation-world/weight-of-war-gear-that-protects-troops-also-injures-them/
[25] http://www.statesman.com/news/news/prescription-drug-abuse-overdoses-haunt-veterans/nSPLW/
[26] http://www.drugfree.org/news-service/va-opiate-overdose-rate-almost-double-the-national-average-report/
[27] http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2011/p1101_flu_pain_killer_overdose.html
[28] http://www.military.com/daily-news/2016/01/18/rising-use-opioid-painkillers-and-efforts-curb-them-may-lead.html
[29] http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/concerns-grow-fentanyl-fuels-rise-opioid-overdose-deaths/
[30] http://www.mcall.com/news/nationworld/pennsylvania/mc-pa-drug-company-lawsuit-resolution-20160617-story.html
[31] http://www.salem-news.com/articles/october302013/senate-painkillers-ms.php
[32] https://iprcc.nih.gov/National_Pain_Strategy/Professional_Education_and_Training_Members.htm#RollinMacGallagherMDMPH
[33] http://www.roanoke.com/news/virginia/new-dea-rules-place-more-restrictions-on-popular-painkillers/article_8431e5e4-8d15-53b7-88cd-a346a42929b2.html
[34] https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/veterans-struggle-to-renew-their-prescriptions-amid-new-opioid-rules/2015/02/18/4d42d63a-acb3-11e4-9c91-e9d2f9fde644_story.html
[35] http://cv4a.org/
[36] http://cv4a.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Fixing-Veterans-Healthcare.pdf
[37] http://www.defenseone.com/ideas/2016/08/veterans-care-should-not-be-profit-making-enterprise/130948/?oref=d_brief_nl
[38] http://www.va.gov/health/aboutVHA.asp
[39] http://www.military.com/daily-news/2016/01/26/ceo-vets-group-backed-by-koch-brothers-resigns-campaign-heats-up.html
[40] http://www.foxnews.com/person/h/pete-hegseth.html
[41] http://www.ipsnews.net/2008/08/politics-us-mccains-plan-to-privatise-veterans-health-care/
[42] http://www.politicalaffairs.net/28-votes-mccain-s-record-against-veterans/
[43] http://www.prwatch.org/news/2014/01/12353/koch-network-raised-400-million-2012
[44] https://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2014/08/07/president-obama-signs-bill-give-va-resources-it-needs
[45] http://www.sanders.senate.gov/newsroom/press-releases/the-veterans-access-to-care-through-choice-accountability-and-transparency-act-of-2014
[46] http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/may/23/robert-mcdonald-veterans-affairs-secretary-likens-/
[47] http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/06/22/va-brass-knew-of-false-data-for-2-years-/11224899/
[48] http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2014/05/21/veterans-healthcare-scandal-shinseki-timeline/9373227/
[49] https://www.thenation.com/article/how-koch-network-exploited-veterans-affairs-crisis/
[50] http://www.npr.org/2016/06/06/480604249/for-doctors-and-patients-veterans-choice-often-means-long-waits
[51] https://www.yahoo.com/news/vas-choice-program-health-care-off-slow-start-081210315.html?ref=gs
[52] https://commissiononcare.sites.usa.gov/
[53] http://www.prweb.com/releases/2016/07/prweb13535231.htm
[54] http://freebeacon.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/COC-Commissioners-Report-Dissent-063016-1.pdf
[55] http://www.mccain.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2016/4/senators-mccain-ayotte-cornyn-cruz-ernst-flake-graham-tillis-introduce-the-care-veterans-deserve-act
[56] http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2016/05/27/sen-john-mccain-pete-hegseth-its-time-for-real-reform-our-veterans-deserve.html
[57] http://www.amazon.com/dp/1608463710/ref=nosim/?tag=tomdispatch-20
[58] mailto:corrections@alternet.org?Subject=Typo on Vets Lose When Big Pharma and Defense Corporations Rake in the Big War Bucks
[59] http://www.alternet.org/
[60] http://www.alternet.org/%2Bnew_src%2B

Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218.  Ph: 410-323-1607; Email: mobuszewski [at] verizon.net. Go to http://baltimorenonviolencecenter.blogspot.com/

"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs