The Empire Has No Clothes – America’s Blindness to Its Imperial Nuclear Aggression

I grew up thinking our country stood on the highest of moral ground. But there it is, the first and only nation in the world to actually use nuclear weapons and do so against civilian targets (Hiroshima and Nagasaki), the same nation that spends more on defense than the next nine countries combined (including Russia and China) — our nation — acknowledging, if not boasting, that it might throw the first nuclear punch in an international fistfight.

From the Independent

Scott Fina (second from right) and others have gathered outside the Vandenberg military base to protest the U.S. nuclear arsenal for many years

by Scott Fina
December 3, 2022

I’m part of a small group of people who protest our nation’s nuclear weapons program at Vandenberg Space Force Base on the Central Coast of California. Monthly, we gather on the shoulder of the Pacific Coast Highway, aka Highway 1, just outside the base’s main gate. We are a collection of grey-haired and wrinkled folks committed to nonviolence.

We protest at Vandenberg because the U.S. tests its intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) system at the base. It periodically fires unarmed ICBMs 4,200 miles across the Pacific to tiny Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands. Vandenberg also trains the missileers who are responsible for launching U.S. nuclear armed ICBMs in an actual conflict.

Generally, the base security soldiers have stood by watching us, or ignored us. We have over the years, however, had our troubling interactions with them. Most of us have been arrested at some point, several of us have been imprisoned, and one of us landed before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Objective observers could find the optics of these moments comical. Visualize aged Ewoks holding peace posters, standing up to and then being carted off by stormtroopers armed with semiautomatic weapons (to borrow imagery from George Lucas).

These days we mostly stand quietly, looking into the faces of motorists on Highway 1. It can be monotonous. To pass the time, I survey motorists’ reactions. I compare the number who point a middle finger at us with the number who display the two-fingered peace sign.

Surprisingly, the number of motorists flashing peace signs has been increasing, and these motorists greatly outnumbers middle fingers as the Russian-Ukrainian war continues. They seem to see something our government does not, something strikingly obvious to other governments around the world but our own is blind to: American nuclear aggression.

I came upon a blatant manifestation of this blindness while researching the size and formidableness of the U.S. nuclear arsenal. It’s in plain view on the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) website: a content section titled “America’s Nuclear Triad.” Go there to be treated to a glitzy, multimedia, virtual tour of our nation’s capacity to hurl nuclear bombs across the globe from land, sea, and air.

The DoD website strikes me as part video game, part action movie, and part testosterone booster. It boldly acknowledges that our nation deploys 400 nuclear armed ICBMs in underground silos, 14 Trident submarines collectively carrying 240 nuclear “missiles with multiple, independently targeted warheads,” and 60 long-range nuclear-capable bomber jets, forming “the most flexible leg of the [nuclear weapons] triad, capable of providing massive firepower in a short time anywhere on the globe, even through the most advanced defenses.”

I initially questioned the website’s authenticity; its presentation goes well beyond transparency, like strutting exhibitionism. A statement at the top of the website, however, notes it officially belongs to the U.S. government and provides a link to prove it.

I then wondered if some DoD techies got high one night and altered the webpage to see what kind of a rise they could get out of people, such as the leaders of Iran and North Korea.

One statement in the “sea” section of the website astounded me: “Ballistic missile submarines … are on constant patrol with enough firepower to make just one [submarine] … the sixth most powerful nuclear power in the world.”

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U.S. military bio-labs in Ukraine; production of bio-weapons and “disease causing agents”

Global Research, August 24, 2017

Ukraine turned into the proving ground for the new generation of US biological weapons, European mass media report.

In 2015, American alternative media outlet InfoWars accused the Pentagon of developing new types of biological weapons in secret military laboratories in Ukraine. The facilities were constructed under the terms of the bilateral agreement signed between the Ministry of Health of Ukraine and the Department of Defense in 2012.

Today thirteen American military bio-labs operate in Ukraine, The International Mass Media Agency reports. They employ only American specialists being entirely funded from the budget of the Department of Defense. Local authorities have pledged not to interfere in their work. These military labs are reported to be mainly involved in the study and production of disease-causing agents of smallpox, anthrax and botulism. The facilities are located in the following Ukrainian cities: Odessa, Vinnytsia, Uzhgorod, Lviv (three), Kharkiv, Kyiv (four), Kherson, Ternopil.

The network of military bio-labs in Eastern Europe gives the hawks the opportunity to avoid the Geneva Convention of 1972 on the prohibition of development, production and stockpiling of biological and chemical weapons the US Senate ratified in 1973. So we witness the blatant violation of international laws.

Local media in Ukraine have frequently reported about splashes of contaminant diseases in that country since the beginning of the 2010s, the time American military facilities were opened. Western European media also express concern over splashes of contaminant diseases in that country this summer and point at American bio-labs as pockets of infection.

https://blogs.mediapart.fr/ivendurepos/blog/200817/la-menace-biologique-creee-par-washington

Experts warn this kind of weapon may be captured by terrorists due to the lack of security measures in Ukraine, the country being suffered from frozen conflict with pro-Russian rebels in its Eastern part and ongoing political turmoil after the flee of the Kremlin-backed leader Viktor Yanukovych in February, 2014. Latest terrorist acts in Europe show the jihadists are looking for new methods of attacks. Use of bio-weapons in densely populated regions will bring catastrophic consequences.

Chemical and biological weapons may be dangerous for the whole world because of their infectious effect. Modern diseases can travel through countries and reach any continent with just one plane passenger. And that is the big problem. Despite the remoteness of potential objects of infection from the territory of the United States, viruses still can reach the North American continent.

Goran Lompar is a free journalist and postgraduate at University of Donja Gorica, Montenegro.

All images in this article are from the author.

Pokémon Go, the CIA, “totalitarianism” and the future of surveillance

Global Research, July 29, 2016

If anyone doubted that a percentage of the global population are akin to zombies, the incidents following the release of Pokémon Go have surely convinced you. Despite the game only being released in early July, we have already seen a man driving into a tree and a women getting locked in a graveyard whilst chasing these furry little creatures.

Pokémon describes the game on their website in the following way:

“Travel between the real world and the virtual world of Pokémon with Pokémon GO for iPhone and Android devices. With Pokémon GO, you’ll discover Pokémon in a whole new world—your own! Pokémon GO is built on Niantic’s Real World Gaming Platform and will use real locations to encourage players to search far and wide in the real world to discover Pokémon… In Pokémon GO, the real world will be the setting!”

Pokémon Go, Google, the State Department, the CIA and the DoD

The company behind Pokémon Go is a San Francisco software developer called Niantic, Inc, which was formed in 2010 as an internal startup at Google. The founder and current CEO of Niantic is John Hanke, a man who has connections both to the State Department and the CIA.

Before moving to San Francisco to study at the University of California, Hanke previously worked for the US State Department in Myanmar. Hanke also founded Keyhole, Inc in 2001, a company which specialized in geospatial data visualization applications. Google acquired the company in 2004, with many of the applications developed by Keyhole being instrumental in Google Maps and Earth. In 2003, the CIA’s venture-capitalist firm, In-Q-Tel, invested in Keyhole, with the CIA’s own website proudly detailing this investment:

“The CIA-assisted technology probably most familiar to you is one many of us use on a regular basis:  Google Earth. In February 2003, the CIA-funded venture-capitalist firm In-Q-Tel made a strategic investment in Keyhole, Inc., a pioneer of interactive 3-D earth visualization and creator of the groundbreaking rich-mapping EarthViewer 3D system. CIA worked closely with other Intelligence Community organizations to tailor Keyhole’s systems to meet their needs. The finished product transformed the way intelligence officers interacted with geographic information and earth imagery.”

One of the other intelligence organizations the CIA worked alongside was the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), which is partly under the control of the US Department of Defense (DoD).

So we have a somewhat enigmatic former State Department employee with connections to the CIA and the DoD, being the CEO of a company that created what seems to be a silly, harmless game. What’s going on?

Selling and Sharing Your Data

Like so many new technologies in our digital age, Pokémon Go is constantly gathering information on the user and then openly admitting that they will share this data with anyone who wants it.

As James Corbett pointed out in his article titled: The CIA’s ‘Pokémon Go’ App is Doing What the Patriot Act Can’t, the privacy policy of the app states that Niantic will share all the information they gather (which is a lot) with the state and private organizations:

“We cooperate with government and law enforcement officials or private parties to enforce and comply with the law. We may disclose any information about you (or your authorized child) that is in our possession or control to government or law enforcement officials or private parties as we, in our sole discretion, believe necessary or appropriate.”

Corbett also details how the game requires the user to give excessive access to Niantic/CIA/NGA/DoD (including access to the users Google account and camera).

Oliver Stone on PG: “Totalitarianism” and a “New Level of Invasion”

Speaking at this year’s Comic-Con, Oliver Stone – the award winning filmmaker and director of the new film on Edward Snowden – had some very insightful views on the new craze and the growing business of data-mining. As Vulture magazine reported in a recent article, Stone denounced the game as a “new level of invasion” and a new form of “totalitarianism:”

“I’m hearing about it too; it’s a new level of invasion. Once the government had been hounded by Snowden, of course the corporations went into encryption, because they had to for survival, right? But the search for profits is enormous. Nobody has ever seen, in the history of the world, something like Google – ever! It’s the fastest-growing business ever, and they have invested huge amounts of money into what surveillance is; which is data-mining.”

Stone continues:

“They’re data-mining every person in this room for information as to what you’re buying, what it is you like, and above all, your behavior. Pokémon Go kicks into that. It’s everywhere. It’s what some people callsurveillance capitalism; it’s the newest stage. You’ll see a new form of, frankly, a robot society, where they will know how you want to behave and they will make the mockup that matches how you behave and feed you. It’s what they call totalitarianism.”

Predicting Human Behavior

It is interesting that Stone doesn’t just warn about the commercial aspect of data-mining, but the fact that the more data governments and private corporations collect on the citizens of the world, the easier it becomes to predict their behavior. It is not just Stone that is warning about this reality however. At the start of last year, the UK governments own surveillance commissioner, Tony Porter, revealed how data obtained from CCTV cameras can be used to “predict behavior.”

As we progress through the 21st century and more advanced algorithmic systems are developed to process the tsunami of data, intelligence agencies and governments will increasingly be able to predict (and manipulate) the behavior of their populations and the populations of foreign countries. We are already far along this path, will the trajectory for the future heading straight towards levels of surveillance far beyond even what George Orwell envisaged; with the fight for digital privacy being a major battleground in this century for those who value freedom.

Pokémon Go looks more like a Trojan horse of the CIA and the wider intelligence-security-data-mining-Big-Brother complex, than just a silly, innocent game.  With all these connections to the State Department, the CIA and the DoD, no wonder some countries are reportedly considering banning the game.

Steven MacMillan is an independent writer, researcher, geopolitical analyst and editor of  The Analyst Report, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.