FARC in Colombia : A History of Armed Resistance

CARTAGENA DE INDIES, Colombia — In May 2003 a leak from the Bush Treasury Department indicated that the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) was about to add to its extensive narcotics traffickers list. This time it would add someone in Colombia.

OFAC would be using one of the enlightened Republican Congress’s new drug war laws, the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act. I was pretty sure who the new addition would be. The word “kingpin” was a dead giveaway.

It had to be the guy who had attained high office; whose brother had organized 20 or more death squads and maintained a couple of them out at the family hacienda; whose cousin in the Colombian Congress was the mouthpiece for those death squads as well as a close friend and promoter of various well known narcotraficantes, including the legendary Pablo Emilio Escobar Gaviria; someone whose own father was wanted by the Colombian police and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration for cocaine trafficking when he was killed in an abortive kidnap plot; and who himself was removed from his position as mayor of Medellín for having well-known ties to drug runners.

Who else could it be, but master criminal and El Presidente himself, Álvaro Uribe Vélez?

Imagine my surprise when it was announced the next day, that it was not Uribe after all, but the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – People’s Army (FARC-EP: Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia – Ejército del Pueblo) and 15 of their known or suspected leaders, even though I already knew they had to be a bad bunch of hombres. Five years before, in 1997, they were named a Foreign Terrorist Organization by the U.S. Department of State.

It couldn’t have been easy to make it to the top of two government lists at the same time (the terrorist list and the narcotraficantes list) and be the defining designees of a whole new hyphenated word, “Narco-terrorist”! That should keep them from gaining credibility with anyone with media access in the U.S.! I started wondering who these FARC guys were. Somebody needed to check them out, find out where they came from, and why.

See also:

New Year Greetings from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – People’s Army (FARC)

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Intelligence Improperly Collected on U.S. Citizens

WASHINGTON — In February, a Department of Homeland Security intelligence official wrote a “threat assessment” for the police in Wisconsin about a demonstration involving local pro- and anti-abortion rights groups.

That report soon drew internal criticism because the groups “posed no threat to homeland security,” according to a department memorandum released on Wednesday in connection with a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit. The agency destroyed all its copies of the report and gave the author remedial training.

That was just one of several cases in the last several years in which the department’s intelligence office improperly collected information about American citizens or lawful United States residents, the documents show.

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63rd District: You need to know Paul Chabot

Paul Chabot,  who is running for California’s 63rd State Assembly District, recently participated in a debate over drug legalization, which included former judge James “Jim” P. Gray of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and Ethan Nadelmann of the Drug Policy Alliance.

Chabot was damaged in childhood by incompetent parenting and by the war on drugs. While compassion and support for the handicapped is honorable, outright patronization and exaggerated, unreal flattery is an insult.

The military, the criminal justice system and many religious cults go a step further and recruit from sources such as Alcoholics Anonymous, where a couple of percent of forced participants who actually are handicaps (euphemistically called “addicts“), buy into the concept of helplessness and are anxious to turn the control of their minds and bodies over to a “higher power.”  Chabot has been a subject of their nurturing since age 12.

These are the people sought by the recruiters.  They will do what rational people will not.  Note that 1 in 8 combat troops needs alcohol counseling.  Note the escalated activity by law enforcement to round them up during “wartime.”

Chabot has already proven his helplessness and mindless obedience to both the prison- and military-industrial complexes.  The next step for such victims is abandonment – or “promotion” to public office for one final round of exploitation.

If he is abandoned now, further damage to himself and his family might be avoided.  Even if this was not the case, society cannot accept the threat he will represent to all of us if he is patronized into a political career as a windfall cut-out for his handlers.

Do you want another “leader” who cannot handle his alcohol and/or drugs?  A leader whose goal is to punish all normal, healthy people for his disease and weakness?  It is time to take control of government away from the vulgar, self-serving military– and prison-industrial complexes and put them back under our control where they belong.  Have they not disgraced us all enough?  Listen to the debate…

Listen to the debate here.

His “testimonial-fired” personal website is here.

His political website is here.

His “bio” is here.

How Washington Learned to Love Nonviolence

Nonviolence can be a major force for democratic social change, but not when it becomes a tool for covert intervention.

A close-cropped, no-nonsense infantry officer, Col. Robert Helvey was studying at Harvard’s Center for International Affairs on an Army fellowship. One day in 1987, he happened upon a seminar led by Gene Sharp, a draft resister imprisoned for refusing to serve in Korea and a systematic scholar of the kind of strategic non-violence that activists of my generation had helped to develop in the free speech, civil rights, and anti-war movements of the 1960s.

“I had an image of nonviolence as being a bunch of long-haired hippies,” Col. Helvey recalled. But Dr. Sharp had come a long way from his Gandhism roots, and Helvey quickly realized that the older man’s approach had “nothing to do with pacifism.” Sharp was talking “about seizing political power or denying it to others,” and doing it without having to break things or kill people.

The idea fascinated Col. Helvey. He invited Sharp to lunch, spent time at the Albert Einstein Institution (AEI), which Sharp had created in Cambridge in 1983, and came to see his new mentor as “the Clausewitz of the nonviolence movement.” An energetic disciple, Col. Helvey would in time become president of AEI and a forceful champion of nonviolent conflict as a weapon of American intervention in other countries.

Were these interventions good or bad? In my opinion, they had elements of both, at least at the start. But they have become a major danger to democracy, not least our own, and an increasing threat to the lives of those that the United States and its allies encourage to make nonviolent revolutions.
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Biologists napping while work militarized

As researchers discover more agents that alter mental states, the Chemical Weapons Convention needs modification to help ensure that the life sciences are not used for hostile purposes, says Malcolm Dando.

In October 2002, Chechen rebel fighters held more than 750 people hostage at a Nord-Ost production in a theatre in Moscow. The siege was broken only after special military forces used what the Russian Health Minister, Yuri Shevchenko, later described as a mixture of substances derived from fentanyl — an opiate developed in the 1950s as an anaesthetic. Widespread relief that many of the hostages were saved was tempered by 124 of them being killed by the gas.

Chemicals with effects like those of fentanyl are often known as ‘incapacitating agents‘. These substances affect biochemical processes and physiological systems to produce a disabling condition such as unconsciousness, and in higher concentrations can cause death. With effects that last from hours to days, they are distinct from standard riot-control agents such as CS gas, which cause sensory irritation that disappears shortly after termination of exposure.

That Russian special military forces resorted to using fentanyl in Moscow is a possible harbinger of the wider militarization of advances in the biological sciences.

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NSA Whistleblower Tells More on Illegal Wiretapping of US Citizens (videos)

On January 21, former National Security Agency analyst Russell Tice appeared Keith Olbermann’s MSNBC show. Tice, who helped expose the NSA’s warrantless wiretapping in December 2005, told Olbermann government programs designed to spy on the American people are more extensive and far reaching than previously admitted. “The National Security Agency had access to all Americans’ communications — faxes, phone calls, and their computer communications,” Tice said. “It didn’t matter whether you were in Kansas, in the middle of the country, and you never made foreign communications at all. They monitored all communications.”

[ click “Read more” for videos and related links ]

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