The infrastructure of a police state emerges in Europe

Peter Schwarz

Satellite dishes at GCHQ's outpost at Bude, close to where
trans-Atlantic fibre-optic cables come ashore in Cornwall.

The real target of the intelligence surveillance is the vast majority of the people. This is the real enemy identified by the ruling class. The ruling class senses that popular opposition is growing and is responding by placing the entire population under surveillance.

Former NSA employee Edward Snowden has exposed the infrastructure of a police state whose surveillance powers far exceed those of totalitarian dictatorships such as the German Nazi regime.

American and European intelligence agencies monitor and store the communications data of hundreds of millions of citizens. Based on the metadata of tapped connections, they can draw up a seamless profile of an individual’s movements and contacts. This in turn enables them to selectively filter out the content of conversations and emails.

The right to privacy—a basic human right enshrined in the American and every European Constitution—and the associated guarantee of the confidentiality of the post and telecommunications are being ripped to shreds. The wiretaps are so obviously illegal that intelligence agencies in one country often delegate their activities to foreign partners in order to avoid overly blatant violation of their own national laws.

Syrian Opposition in Disarray

Stephen Lendman

After 28 months of conflict, Assad defeated Washington's best laid plans. Its Syrian National Coalition (SNC) opposition lacks effective leadership. It lacks legitimacy. It's an artificial construct. It operates extrajudicially. It resembles a gang that can't shoot straight.

On July 8, another leader resigned. After four months, self-styled prime minister Ghassan Hitto announced he won't "continue in (his) capacity as prime minister tasked with leading the interim government, though (he) emphasize(s he'll) 'continue working for the interests of the revolution and towards achieving its objectives."

Hitto's resignation came two days after SNC members elected Ahmad Asi-al Jarba president. The post's been vacant since Mouaz al-Khatib resigned in April. He cited frustration over lack of enough international support, internal divisions, and disarray among "rebel" factions. Washington hoped he'd become Syria's Hamid Karzai. Maybe Obama has similar aspirations for al-Jarba. Washington's war on Syria's no "revolution." There's nothing civil about it. It's US proxy aggression. Foreign death squad invaders want Islamofacism replacing Syrian sovereignty.

Repeated changing of the guard shows SNC ranks in disarray. Al-Khatib and Hitto couldn't resolve SNC divisions. Don't expect al-Jarba to fare better. Just causes close ranks effectively. Rogue operations feature self-aggrandizing, power-hungry opportunists.

They face overwhelming Syrian opposition. Most Syrians support Assad. They do so for good reason. They alone want to decide who rule them. They deplore outside intervention. Disorganized "rebel" ranks are no match for Syria's superior military. It continues making impressive gains.


William Blum

I have written on more than one occasion about the value of preaching and repeating to the choir on a regular basis. One of my readers agreed with this, saying: “How else has Christianity survived 2,000 years except by weekly reinforcement?”

Well, dear choir, beloved parishioners, for this week’s sermon we once again turn to Afghanistan. As US officials often make statements giving the impression that the American military presence in that sad land is definitely winding down – soon to be all gone except for the standard few thousand American servicemen which almost every country in the world needs stationed on their territory – one regularly sees articles in the mainstream media and government releases trying to explain what it was all about. For what good reason did thousands of young Americans breathe their last breath in that backward country and why were tens of thousands of Afghans dispatched by the United States to go meet Allah (amidst widespread American torture and other violations of human rights)?

The Washington Post recently cited a Defense Department report that states: The United States “has wound up with a reasonable ‘Plan B’ for achieving its core objective of preventing Afghanistan from once again becoming a safe haven for al-Qaeda and its affiliates.”

“Preventing a safe haven for terrorists” – that was the original reason given back in 2001 for the invasion of Afghanistan, a consistency in sharp contrast to the ever-changing explanations for Iraq.

However, it appears that the best and the brightest in our government and media do not remember, if they ever knew, that Afghanistan was not really about 9-11 or fighting terrorists (except the many the US has created by its invasion and occupation), but was about pipelines.

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