Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Occupy Wall Street protest

Part 2. Israel “occupy” USA domestic security agencies: How insidious is this invasion? 

In part 1, I posted what Margaret Flowers published on Dec. 4, 2011 on the Israeli stamps of how “Occupy Wall Street” protest revolts are being disrupted and evicted.  Part 2 develop on Israeli infiltration in all US domestic security units, apparatus, programs and mistreatment of citizens…

Israel is heavily involved in the total “cooperation” with US domestic security forces and is teaching the US security apparatus how it should be changing the way of doing business in security matters.

The Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA) is at the heart of American-Israeli law enforcement collaboration. JINSA is a Jerusalem and Washington DC-based think tank, known for its extremist neoconservative policy positions on Israel’s policy towards the Palestinians, and its brinkmanship with Iran. The group’s board of directors boasts a Who’s Who of neocon ideologues.

Two former JINSA advisors, who have also consulted for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Douglas Feith and Richard Perle went on to serve in the Department of Defense under President George W. Bush, playing influential roles in the push to invade and occupy Iraq.

During a 2004 trip of Law Enforcement Education Program (LEEP), JINSA brought 14 senior American law enforcement officials to Israel to receive instruction from their counterparts. The Americans were trained in “how to secure large venues, such as shopping malls, sporting events and concerts…”

 Escorted by Brigadier General Simon Perry, an Israeli police attaché and former Mossad official, the group toured the Israeli separation wall, now a mandatory stop for American cops on junkets to Israel.

The New York Times reported that according to JINSA: “American officials learned about the mindset of a suicide bomber and how to spot trouble signs. Although the police are typically told to aim for the chest when shooting because it is the largest target, the Israelis are teaching [American] officers to aim for a suspect’s head so as not to detonate any explosives that might be strapped to his torso.”

Cathy Lanier, now the Chief of Washington DC’s Metropolitan Police Department, was among the law enforcement officials junketed to Israel by JINSA, and she confirmed: “I was with the bomb units and the SWAT team and all of those high-profile specialized [Israeli] units and I learned a tremendous amount. I took 82 pages of notes while I was there, which I later brought back, and used to formulate a lot of what I later used to create and formulate the Homeland Security terrorism bureau in the DC Metropolitan Police department.”

Besides JINSA, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has positioned itself as an important liaison between American police forces and the Israeli security-intelligence apparatus. Though the ADL promotes itself as a Jewish civil rights group, it has provoked controversy by publishing a blacklist of organizations supporting Palestinian rights, and for condemning a proposal to construct an Islamic community center in downtown New York, several blocks from Ground Zero, on the basis that some opponents of the project were entitled to “positions that others would characterize as irrational or bigoted.”

Through the ADL’s Advanced Training School course on Extremist and Terrorist Threats, over 700 law enforcement personnel from 220 federal and local agencies including the FBI and CIA have been trained by Israeli police and intelligence commanders.

This year, the ADL brought 15 high-level American police officials to Israel for instruction from the country’s security apparatus. According to the ADL, over 115 federal, State and local law enforcement executives have undergone ADL-organized training sessions in Israel since the program began in 2003.

Deputy Commissioner Thomas Wright of the Philadelphia Police Department commented, after completing an ADL program this year, said: “I can honestly say that the training offered by ADL is by far the most useful and current training course I have ever attended.” 

The ADL’s relationship with the Washington DC Police Department is so cozy its members are invited to accompany DC cops on “ride along” patrols.

The ADL claims to have trained over 45,000 American law enforcement officials through its Law Enforcement and Society program, which “draws on the history of the Holocaust to provide law enforcement professionals with an increased understanding of…their role as protectors of the Constitution,” the group’s website stated.

All new FBI agents and intelligence analysts are required to attend the ADL program, which is incorporated into three FBI training programs. According to official FBI recruitment material, “all new special agents must visit the US Holocaust Memorial Museum to see firsthand what can happen when law enforcement fails to protect individuals.”

Fighting “crimiterror”

Among the most prominent Israeli government figure to have influenced the practices of American law enforcement officials is Avi Dichter, a former head of Israel’s Shin Bet internal security service and current member of Knesset who recently introduced legislation widely criticized as anti-democratic. 

During the Second Palestinian Intifada, Dichter ordered several bombings on densely populated Palestinian civilian areas, including one on the al-Daraj neighborhood of Gaza that resulted in the death of 15 innocent people, including 8 children, and 150 injuries.

Dichter would say of the “targeted” assassinations he has ordered:“After each success, the only thought is, ‘Okay, who’s next?’”

Despite his dubious human rights record and apparently dim view of democratic values, or perhaps because of them, Dichter has been a key figure in fostering cooperation between Israeli security forces and American law enforcement.

In 2006, while Dichter was serving at the time as Israel’s Minister of Public Security, he spoke in Boston, Massachusetts before the annual convention of the International Association of Chiefs of Police. Seated beside FBI Director Robert Mueller and then-Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez, Dichter told the 10,000 police officers in the crowd that there was an “intimate connection between fighting criminals and fighting terrorists.” Dichter declared that American cops were actually “fighting crimiterrorists.”

The Jerusalem Post reported that Dichter was “greeted by a hail of applause, as he was hugged by Mueller, who described Dichter as his mentor in anti-terror tactics.”

A year after Dichter’s speech, he and then-Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff signed a joint memorandum pledging security collaboration between America and Israel on issues ranging from airport security to emergency planning.

In 2010, Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano authorized a new joint memorandum with Israeli Transport and Road Safety Minister Israel Katz shoring up cooperation between the US Transportation Security Agency – the agency in charge of day-to-day airport security – and Israel’s Security Department.

The recent joint memorandum also consolidated the presence of US Homeland Security law enforcement personnel on Israeli soil. “The bond between the United States and Israel has never been stronger,” Napolitano remarked at a recent summit of AIPAC, the leading outfit of America’s Israel lobby, in Scottsdale, Arizona.

The Demographic Unit

For the New York Police Department, collaboration with Israel’s security and intelligence apparatus became a top priority after 9/11. Just months after the attacks on New York City, the NYPD assigned a permanent, taxpayer-funded liaison officer to Tel Aviv.

Under the leadership of Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, ties between the NYPD and Israel have deepened by the day. Kelly embarked on his first trip to Israel in early 2009 to demonstrate his support for Israel’s ongoing assault on the Gaza Strip, a one-sided attack that left over 1400 Gaza residents dead in three weeks and led a United Nations fact-finding mission to conclude that Israeli military and government officials had committed war crimes.

Kelly returned to Israel the following year to speak at the Herziliya Conference, an annual gathering of neoconservative security and government officials who obsess over supposed “demographic threats.” After Kelly appeared on stage, the Herziliya crowd was addressed by the pro-Israel academic Martin Kramer, who claimed that Israel’s blockade of Gaza was helping to reduce the numbers of “superfluous young men of fighting age.” Kramer added, “If a State can’t control these young men, then someone else will.”

Back in New York, the NYPD set up a secret “Demographics Unit” designed to spy on and monitor Muslim communities around the city. The unit was developed with input and intensive involvement by the CIA, which still refuses to name the former Middle East station chief it has posted in the senior ranks of the NYPD’s intelligence division.

 Since 2002, the NYPD has dispatched undercover agents known as “rakers” and “mosque crawlers” into Pakistani-American bookstores and restaurants to gauge community anger over US drone strikes inside Pakistan, and into Palestinian hookah bars and mosques to search out signs of terror recruitment and clandestine funding.

“If a raker noticed a customer looking at radical literature, he might chat up the store owner and see what he could learn,” the Associated Press reported. “The bookstore, or even the customer, might get further scrutiny.”

The Israeli imprimatur on the NYPD’s Demographics Unit is unmistakable. As a former police official told the Associated Press, the Demographics Unit has attempted to “map the city’s human terrain” through a program “modeled in part on how Israeli authorities operate in the West Bank.”

Shop ‘til you’re stopped

At Israel’s Ben Gurion International Airport, security personnel target non-Jewish and non-white passengers, especially Arabs, as a matter of policy. The most routinely harassed passengers are Palestinian citizens of Israel, who must brace themselves for five-hour interrogation sessions and strip searches before flying.

Those singled out for extra screening by Shin Bet officers are sent to what many Palestinians from Israel call the “Arab room,” where they are subjected to humiliating questioning sessions (former White House Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala encountered such mistreatment during a visit to Israel last year). Some Palestinians are forbidden from speaking to anyone until takeoff, and may be menaced by Israeli flight attendants during the flight.

In one documented case, a six-month-old was awoken for a strip search by Israeli Shin Bet personnel. Instances of discrimination against Arabs at Ben Gurion International are too numerous to detail – several incidents occur each day – but a few of the more egregious instances were outlined in a 2007 petition the Association for Civil Rights in Israel filed with the country’s Supreme Court.

Though the Israeli system of airline security contains dubious benefits and clearly deleterious implications for civil liberties, it is quietly and rapidly migrating into major American airports. Security personnel at Boston’s Logan International Airport have undergone extensive training from Israeli intelligence personnel, learning to apply profiling and behavioral assessment techniques against American citizens that were initially tested on Palestinians.

The new procedures at US airports began in August, when so-called Behavior Detection Officers were placed in security queues at Logan’s heavily trafficked Terminal A. Though the procedures have added to traveler stress while netting exactly zero terrorists, they are likely to spread to other cities.

“I would like to see a lot more profiling in American airports” said Yossi Sheffi, an Israeli-born risk analyst at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Center for Transportation and Logistics.

Israeli techniques now dictate security procedures at the Mall of America, a gargantuan shopping mall in Bloomington, Minnesota that has become a major tourist attraction. The new methods took hold in 2005 when the mall hired a former Israeli army sergeant named Mike Rozin to lead a special new security unit.

Rozin, who once worked with a canine unit at Ben Gurion Airport in Israel, instructed his employees at the Mall of America to visually profile every shopper, examining their expressions for suspicious signs. His security team accosts and interrogates an average of 1200 shoppers a year, according to the Center for Investigative Reporting.

One of the thousands who fell into Rozin’s dragnet was Najam Qureshi, a Pakistani-American mall vendor whose father accidentally left his cell phone on a table in the mall food court. A day after the incident, FBI agents appeared at Qureshi’s doorstep to ask if he knew anyone seeking to harm the United States.

An army veteran interrogated for two hours by Rozin’s men for taking video inside the mall sobbed openly about his experience to reporters. Meanwhile, another man, Emile Khalil, was visited by FBI agents after mall security stopped him for taking photographs of the dazzling consumer haven.

“I think that the threat of terrorism in the United States is going to become an unfortunate part of American life,” Rozin remarked to American Jewish World. And as long as the threat persists in the public’s mind, Israeli securitocrats like Rozin will never have to worry about the next paycheck.

“Occupy” meets the Occupation

When a riot squad from the New York Police Department destroyed and evicted the “Occupy Wall Street” protest encampment at Zuccotti Park in downtown Manhattan, department leadership drew on the anti-terror tactics they had refined since the 9/11 attacks.

According to the New York Times, the NYPD deployed “counterterrorism measures” to mobilize large numbers of cops for the lightning raid on Zuccotti. The use of anti-terror techniques to suppress a civilian protest complemented harsh police measures demonstrated across the country against the nationwide “Occupy” movement, from firing tear gas canisters and rubber bullets into unarmed crowds to blasting demonstrators with the LRAD sound cannon.

Given the amount of training the NYPD and so many other police forces have received from Israel’s military-intelligence apparatus, and the profuse levels of gratitude American police chiefs have expressed to their Israeli mentors, it is worth asking how much Israeli instruction has influenced the way the police have attempted to suppress the Occupy movement, and how much it will inform police repression of future upsurge of street protest.

Already, the “Israelification” of American law enforcement appears to have intensified police hostility towards the civilian population, blurring the lines between protesters, common criminals, and terrorists. As Dichter said: “they are all just “crimiterrorists.”

“After 9/11 we had to react very quickly,” Karen Greenberg remarked, “but now we’re in 2011 and we’re not talking about people who want to fly planes into buildings. We’re talking about young American citizens who feel that their birthright has been sold. If we’re using Israeli style tactics on them and this stuff bleeds into the way we do business at large, were in big trouble.”

Note: You may read my previous post https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2011/12/04/part-1-israel-occupying-usa-domestic-security-agencies-how-this-israelification-is-insiduous/

An entire Decade Lost? Opportunities, Peace…

“The scary part is the political class inability to think about the economy in a realistic way” Walter Russell Mead. The world economy has many rigidity, and the worst ones are in people’s heads.

Before I express what the world community missed in the last decade and what problems have not been exposed for serious resolution, it might be relevant to post what DAVID BROOKS published in Sept. 26, 2011 under “The Lost Decade?”  on the missed opportunity to reform the financial crisis (I edited slightly the article)

“If you want a big swig of despair, listen to the people who know something about the global economy. Roger Altman, a former deputy Treasury secretary, is arguing that America and Europe are on the verge of a disastrous double-dip recession. Various economists say it will be at least another three years before we see serious job growth. Others say European banks are teetering, probably early next year.
 
Walter Russell Mead, who teaches foreign policy at Bard College, recently laid out some worst-case scenarios: “It is about whether the international financial system will survive the next six months in the form we now know it. It is about whether the foundations of the postwar order are cracking in Europe. It is about whether a global financial crash will further destabilize the Middle East. …
 
It is about whether the incipient signs of a bubble burst in China signal the start of an extended economic and perhaps even political crisis there. It is about whether the American middle class is about to be knocked off its feet once again.”

The prognosis for the next few years is bad with a chance of worse. And the economic conditions are not even the scary part. The scary part is the political class’s inability to think about the economy in a realistic way.”

This crisis has many currents, which merge and feed off each other. There is the lack of consumer demand, the credit crunch, the continuing slide in housing prices, the freeze in business investment, the still hefty consumer debt levels and the skills mismatch, regulatory burdens, the business class utter lack of confidence in the White House, the looming explosion of entitlement costs, the public’s lack of confidence in institutions across the board…

No single one of these “currents” prolongs the crisis: It is the product of the complex interplay between them. The crisis is an emergent condition, even more terrible than the sum of its parts.

The “ideologues” who dominate the political conversation are unable to think in holistic, emergent ways: They pick out the one factor that best conforms to their preformed prejudices and, like blind men grabbing a piece of the elephant, they persuade themselves they understand the entire problem.

Many Democrats are predisposed to want more government spending. So they pick up on the low consumer demand factor: Increase government spending and that will pump up consumer spending.  When President Obama’s stimulus package produced insufficient results, they didn’t concede that maybe there are other factors at play, which mitigated the effects. They just called for more government spending. To a man in love with his hammer, every problem requires a nail.

Many Republicans, meanwhile, are predisposed to want lower taxes and less regulation. So they pick up on the low business investment factor:  Cut taxes and Reduce regulation… (but don’t touch the military budget)…And All will be well.

Both orthodoxies take a constricted, mechanistic view of the situation. If we’re stuck with these two mentalities, we will be forever presented with proposals that are incommensurate with the problem at hand. Look at the recent Obama stimulus proposal. You may like it or not, but it’s trivial. It’s simply not significant enough to make a difference, given the size of the global mess.

We need an approach that is both grander and more modest. When you are confronted by a complex, emergent problem, don’t try to pick out the one lever that (you think) is the key to the whole thing. There is no one lever. You wouldn’t be smart enough to find it even if there was one.

Instead, try to reform whole institutions and hope that by getting the long-term fundamentals right, you’ll set off a positive cascade to reverse the negative ones.  (How about we endeavor to) simplify the tax code; end corporate taxes, and create a consumption tax?

Reshape the European Union to make it (either more unified or less), but not halfway as it is now. Reduce the barriers to business formation. Reform Medicare so it is fiscally sustainable. Break up the banks and increase capital requirements. Lighten debt burdens even if it means hitting the institutional creditors.

There are six or seven big institutions that are fundamentally diseased, from government to banking to housing to entitlements and the tax code.

The Simpson-Bowles report on the deficit was an opportunity to begin a wave of institutional reform. But that proposal died because our political leaders are too ideologically rigid to take on big subjects like tax reform, which involve combining Republican and Democratic ideas. The failure to seize that moment was one of the Obama administration’s gravest errors.” End of article

The article approached the financial missed opportunities for serious reforms, and this crisis didn’t emerge in the last decades, but at least three decades ago.  The developed States knew the seriousness of the fast arriving economic and financial crises, and all they did was launching preemptive wars to throw dense smokescreens on the real monster trouble facing world community, and mainly to taking the lower middle class people off the unemployment streets and into the military… 

What was supposed to be “fighting terrorism” turned out something different altogether: Instead of eradicating the basic factors that initiated and encouraged “terrorist activities”, mainly illiteracy, poor economic development, lack of investing in human development indicators of infantile mortality…and cleaning up the growing environmental degradation, water pollution, and nuclear disasters…, endemic famine plaguing many regions in the worlds, focusing on taming curable deseases…the US went on a “quick preemptive war” in Iraq that dragged on for a decade, leaving behind it over one million of Iraqis dead and severely injured and plaguing the “Greater Middle East” in greater instability…

Instead of focusing on the factors that hurt world community, the US wanted to blackmail China by physically occupying the oil fields in Iraq…

The European Union had to hastily agree on the common Euro currency because it knew that the timing for declaring the world financial crisis was in the hand of the US, and it wanted not to be harassed one individual State at a time when the US blow the cover…

Europe is taking things seriously and agreeing on difficult medicines to taking: Nuclear power plants are being phased out, environmental problems are tackled in earnest, and frequent meetings among their leaders are common events…, but what the US and China have been doing?

China and India are polluting the environment, water sources, and ocean bays, consumer cars… to unprecedented levels, and still claiming to be treated as developing countries in order to catching up with the developed nations in pollution conditions…

The US is trying hard to throwing more smokescreens in order to avoid dealing with its “liberal capitalist” system: Occupy Wall Street protest came to dismiss focusing on further creation of smokescreens and tackling the main problems for serious resolutions…


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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