Jamesb101.com

commentary on Politics and a little bit of everything else

The Oligarch Kings…..The United Fruit Company…..The CIA…Coups…And Bananas…..

Although Rockefeller is best remembered for his oil money and his political family – his grandson was Vice President, he had interests in other monopolies too, copper, tobacco and perhaps least recalled – bananas.

He was the money in The United Fruit Company which appeared on the surface to be a fairly anodyne, if not stultifying boring firm engaged in trying to persuade the children of 50’s America in the health giving properties of milk and bananas.  Not exactly world shaking stuff.

Unless you had the misfortune to live in Central America.

The United Fruit Company had plantations in Columbia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Panama, Santo Dominica and most infamously Guatemala.  A number of these states have had problematic relations with the USA ever since.  At the height of its powers The United Fruit Company owned a staggering 42% of the entire country of Guatemala and paid not one cent in tax on any of it.

The company also owned the railways, the telephone system, the ports and a large fleet of ships build by some of the finest shipyards in the world.

Not unsurprisingly the people of Guatemala took against this foreign domination, and when offered the opportunity in an election in 1951 to voice an opinion – voted in their droves for Jacobo Arbenz.  Arbenz had suggested the not overly revolutionary idea of buying out some of the lands that the Company was not actually using so that landless people might grow food to eat.  It wasn’t even appropriation.  Arbenz said he would pay them the agreed value The United Fruit Company stated on their own returns.  Cute!  I mean an American company would never ever undervalue its own assets for tax purposes now would it?

The company took umbrage at the utter impertinence of this jumped up peon and aided a coup of disaffected Guatemalan army officers who invaded from Honduras with covert assistance from the CIA in an operation known as PBSUCCESS.  They had persuaded Truman and Eisenhower that Arbenz was going to take the country over to the dark side and ally the country to the USSR.

So, who were these business men?  Well at the time of the Guatemalan coup we find the following closely connected with the board of United Fruit.

John Foster Dulles and the firm of Sullivan & Cromwell, had been legal council for the UFC for decades and John Foster Dulles was also a major shareholder in UFC.  And at the time John Foster Dulles was also the Secretary of State under President Dwight D Eisenhower.  Dulles’s grandfather had also been Secretary’s of State in the time of President Ben Harrison……

More……..

May 31, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Counterpoints, Family, Food, Government, Law, Media, Men, Military, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, The Economy, Travel, Updates | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Russian secrets for sale, no questions asked……

Savelovsky market

[ Anything from porn to secret databases is openly for sale at Savyolovsky market in downtown Moscow. ]

The Dog wonders if the CIA gets a discount?

They are selling secrets along the shining corridors of the Savyolovsky Market: Unlisted numbers. Tax returns. Customs declarations. Wanted lists. Police reports. Car registrations. Business permits.

Wrenched from the bowels of government by the forces of runaway capitalism and corruption, the hush-hush databases have made their way to this market in central Moscow where the windows of tiny shops glitter with cellphones, pirated DVDs and porn.

Compressed on discs, frozen in Cyrillic letters, is a trove of petty squabbles and personal tragedies that make up the fabric of this vast and often lawless land.

In a country where you have no right to know, but really you can know anything, anybody can anonymously buy discs burned with private information such as rape victimization, financial holdings and the suspicion of CIA involvement. Asking price (it’s negotiable): $40 to $60.

Nobody asks whether the buyer is looking for a competitive edge, an address to plan a hit, research for a newspaper article. The sale of these databases is illegal, sure, but nobody seems to care. A few beat cops browse lazily among the stalls, studying cellphones.

“Krysha,” a vendor with matted dreadlocks and bloodshot eyes says slyly, stretching a flat hand over his head. “Roof” — the word Russians use to denote protection.

The roof is the person who has enough connections, and enough muscle, to shelter underlings from the authorities. When Russians talk about operating in Moscow — opening a business, or even working as a journalist — they will, almost inevitably, say the same thing: What you need is a roof.

“It’s cool, right?” the vendor prods, jabbing a cigarette at the wall displays advertising available databases. “It’s cool.”

A reporter settles on two discs: one purporting to contain all police reports in Russia throughout 2009, the other an amalgamation of cellphone numbers, addresses and professions. Both are packed with data technically off-limits to the public.

“They get leaked, or else somebody hacks into official databases,” says another vendor, a swarthy young man who gives his name only as Alexander. “It’s not legal.”

The buyers might be concerned that a used car they’re looking to buy was stolen, or maybe they’re trying to track a license plate or find long-lost relatives or friends. Or, Alexander adds ominously, they are “people conducting their own investigations.”

A browse through the database of phone directories turns up full names, addresses and telephone contacts for employees of the FSB, the secretive intelligence service that is a successor to the KGB.

Other bits of information come to light: A Russian colleague discovers that his name and his father’s were found among the papers of a woman who was slain.

Capitalism in the heart of Russia…..Things have changed!

March 17, 2010 Posted by | Breaking News, Entertainment, Government, Media, Men, Military, Other Things, PoliticalDog Calls, Updates, Women | , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

More on the 'Special Interrogation Teams'……

The Dog has followed this story for a while……

Here…. Here……...and Here…….

It seems that after the NW 235 caper..the government decided to actually set the unit up…..it still isn’t fully operational……

The High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group, announced to fanfare by White House officials last summer, was not formally authorized until Jan. 28, under a previously unreported 14-page memo signed by the president’s national security adviser, Gen. James L. Jones. The delay became a matter of political debate last month after members of Congress asked why the group had been not deployed to interrogate Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who is accused of trying to detonate an explosive Dec. 25 on an airliner about to land in Detroit.

But the Dogs still see’s this whole thing as a political exercise (the finding wasn’t signed until January 28th? ) to placate those who think that bad guys need to be protected from the local FBI and CIA people and counterintelligence people at those agencies….Who have so far handled the NW suspect case pretty darn good…..

Duplication of services come to mind……

Wasting the taxpayer’s money does also……

Bureaucratic political infighting seems to be also on the list…….

Note:…..Even the name of the Group sounds lousy……One can only hope this whole thing quietly goes away…..I can see the cluster f*#k at an airport if a similar action occurs…..What are the local FBI agents and Cops supposed to do?….Sit there with their mouths taped shut  for hours until the HVDIG people show up?……

Note#2.….The Republican’s are on crack…no Federal Judge  and Defense attorney is gonna let any testimony from a suspect gained BEFORE being Mirandized be used in a trial…Nope… ain’t gonna happen……That’s why Abdulmutallad is singing…he knows he’s getting a deal…..intelligence will always trump a criminal charge….

February 6, 2010 Posted by | Breaking News, Crime, Government, Law, Media, Men, Other Things, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, September 11, Updates, Women | , , , | Leave a comment

More on the ‘Special Interrogation Teams’……

The Dog has followed this story for a while……

Here…. Here……...and Here…….

It seems that after the NW 235 caper..the government decided to actually set the unit up…..it still isn’t fully operational……

The High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group, announced to fanfare by White House officials last summer, was not formally authorized until Jan. 28, under a previously unreported 14-page memo signed by the president’s national security adviser, Gen. James L. Jones. The delay became a matter of political debate last month after members of Congress asked why the group had been not deployed to interrogate Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who is accused of trying to detonate an explosive Dec. 25 on an airliner about to land in Detroit.

But the Dogs still see’s this whole thing as a political exercise (the finding wasn’t signed until January 28th? ) to placate those who think that bad guys need to be protected from the local FBI and CIA people and counterintelligence people at those agencies….Who have so far handled the NW suspect case pretty darn good…..

Duplication of services come to mind……

Wasting the taxpayer’s money does also……

Bureaucratic political infighting seems to be also on the list…….

Note:…..Even the name of the Group sounds lousy……One can only hope this whole thing quietly goes away…..I can see the cluster f*#k at an airport if a similar action occurs…..What are the local FBI agents and Cops supposed to do?….Sit there with their mouths taped shut  for hours until the HVDIG people show up?……

Note#2.….The Republican’s are on crack…no Federal Judge  and Defense attorney is gonna let any testimony from a suspect gained BEFORE being Mirandized be used in a trial…Nope… ain’t gonna happen……That’s why Abdulmutallad is singing…he knows he’s getting a deal…..intelligence will always trump a criminal charge….

February 6, 2010 Posted by | Breaking News, Crime, Government, Law, Media, Men, Other Things, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, September 11, Updates, Women | , , , | Leave a comment

The CIA is pissed…the gives out a taste of payback…..

When people get in fights…..certain things are considered ‘off limits’…..

The Pakistani Taliban and its leader, Hakimullah Mehsud, who claimed responsibility for the Khost bombing, have been getting regular visits from armed CIA Reapers drones….because they went ‘off limits’ in their direct attack on the seven CIA members in Khost….

The message that has been conveyed is very clear, and very personal…..”you messed with us…you now pay for that transgression”……

The Khost attack cost the agency dearly, taking the lives of the most experienced analysts of Al Qaeda whose intelligence helped guide the drone attacks. Yet the agency has responded by redoubling its assault. Drone strikes have come roughly every other day this month, up from about once a week last year and the most furious pace since the drone campaign began in earnest in the summer of 2008.

The increase in drone attacks has caused panic among rank-and-file militants, particularly in North Waziristan, where some now avoid using private vehicles, according to Pakistani intelligence and security officials. Fewer foreign extremists are now in Miram Shah, North Waziristan’s capital, which was previously awash with them, said local tribesmen and security officials.

While this reaction is understand able…..but it can cause risks…….

“Has the situation stabilized in the past two years?” asked the general, speaking on condition of anonymity. “Are the tribal areas more stable?” Yes, he said, Baitullah Mehsud, founder of the Pakistani Taliban, was killed by a missile last August. “But he’s been replaced and the number of fighters is increasing,” the general said.

I’m sure the CIA is well aware of that……and right now does not much care……

Someone will have to slow the action down…but for now…. it continues…..

January 22, 2010 Posted by | Breaking News, Family, Government, Men, Military, PoliticalDog Calls, Travel, Updates | , , , | Leave a comment

The U.S. military resets the Intel operation in Aftghanistan……

In a report published this week, Maj. Gen. Michael Flynn, the top U.S. military intelligence officer in Afghanistan, said U.S. military and civilian analysts have focused too much on Afghanistan’s insurgent groups and will be redeployed to devote more attention to its complex tribal, cultural and economic dynamics……

The move comes after a quick review of the CIA walk bombing……

While the CIA team in that situation was concentrating on its mission….The collection material may not be what they military needs to do its job…….

“Eight years into the war in Afghanistan, the U.S. intelligence community is only marginally relevant to the overall strategy,” Gen. Flynn wrote. “History is replete with examples of powerful militaries that lost wars to much weaker opponents because they were inattentive to nuances in their environment.”

The General received this assessment from a report published by the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), a centrist Washington think tank.

It is unusual for a senior commander to release such an assessment in a nongovernmental venue, and a defense official said that the Pentagon was surprised and disappointed by the report’s publication by the think tank. The report’s authors wrote that they wanted to “broaden its reach” inside and outside the military by publishing it through CNAS.

In the end the changes are to address the ‘God’s Eye’ view vs the local view….

Gen. Flynn has the power to carry out the changes outlined in the report. He and his co-authors said they would overhaul intelligence gathering and analysis by creating teams of analysts who will focus on individual regions of the country, rather than on single issues such as narcotics. Gen. Flynn likened the analysts to journalists, and said they’d be directed to visit individual units throughout their regions to collect localized information.

I give the general kudos’ for going public and making adjustments to deal with the real world changes…something most politicians don’t do…….Bravo!

January 6, 2010 Posted by | Breaking News, Government, Media, Men, Military, Politics | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The CIA bomber in Afghanistan was a Jordanian double agent…..

The chess pieces are moved around in the war……here’s the story……

It seems that the Jordians are much more involved in helping the United States then previously known…….

Note……Way back when….the Jordanian’s kicked the Palestinians out of their country ….which send them on their way back to Israeli’s border…..

January 5, 2010 Posted by | Government, Media, Men, Military, Politics, Religion, Updates | , , , | 2 Comments

The resurrection of John Brennan continues……..And the President IS tough on terrorists…..

The old CIA hand, John Brennan……trashed for his association with the CIA torture policies during the Bush administration is being draged out.…dusted off and put back in good standing by the Obama administration in defiance of the media, liberal and progressives, who vetoed his ascension to the CIA spot at the beginning of the President’s tenure……

Brennan in this New York Times process piece has seen the light…..instead of the Bush-era fight call of being tough, at all costs….Brennan has embraced the Commander-in Chiefs policy of finding a middle…of trying to ‘think outside the box’ before using the’ tough as you go’ approach…..

Presidents …like all bosses should be able to pick their top staff…and having Brennan back is going to make a lot of people happy and reassured in the White House…..

Note: ……look for similar pieces to come out in the Washington Post and elsewhere…the secondary goal of the piece is to show that the President is hard on terroism…and is is pushback on the last weeks beat down he took politically from the Republicans…….

January 4, 2010 Posted by | Government, Law, Media, Men, Military, Politics, September 11, Travel | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

John Brennan the old CIA master is back……

Brennan……The former CIA intelligence insider headed the first days of the National Counterterrorism Center…..but ran into trouble getting a ok to take the Central Intelligence Director job and had to settle  for the job of Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Adviser for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism…….that job kept him from having to go up on the Hill and get chewed on about torture tactics used during his time at the CIA……

He has now been named to head the Presidents review of the intelligence community information practices and aviation security, even though he was CEO of the private company the government used to help manage a key terrorism database before he joined the administration.

His new assignment will put him back where the White House needs him…….and they need all the old hands they can find…..with the media and Republicans chewing on them for the past week….

All that carping about President Obama being ‘green’ doesn’t take into account the choices he has made for staff postions…..most of his staff are seasoned veterans unlike the last democratic president who tried to have all new people reform the system and lost three years finding out that it is better to work Washington D.C. from the inside out……

January 2, 2010 Posted by | Breaking News, Computers, Government, Law, Media, Men, Military, Politics, September 11, Updates | , , | Leave a comment

Turns out the Afghan CIA bombing was a ‘tit for tat’….

The bombing of CIA Forward Operation Base Chapman in Khowst, where seven CIA officers died Wednesday was most probably in retribution from warlord Jalaluddin Haqqani ,who was backed by the CIA in the 1980’s against the Russians…….it is reported that after 9/11 in 2001 that the warlord aligned himself with Bin Laden instead of the CIA…….and thus subject his operation to CIA controlled U.S. Predator attacks…..

While the media has reported this as a neutral incident…the understory is the CIA is hurt and pissed…..the loss of seven of its members will not be forgotten and Haqqani and his operation will probably on the top of the CIA and Predator (UAV) punch lists…….

“If it wasn’t personal before, it sure as hell is now,” a furious counterterror official said Thursday.

Here’s some links……..NY DailyNewsNYTimes…..WashingtonPost……

Note:…..The bombing has highlighted the fact that the CIA is in there fighting alongside the U.S. military, NATO  and other countries military in the Afghan war campaign……

Note #2:……The CIA directed Predator strikes continued after the attack……

January 1, 2010 Posted by | Breaking News, Government, Media, Men, Military, Politics, Travel | , , , , , | 2 Comments